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SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012



NO: 15391

150 FILS

Kuwait National & Liberation Days

Planes grounded as KAC staff strike for pay hike Stoppage results in $1m loss for Kuwait Airways

Max 18º Min 06º High Tide 09:19 & 20:00 Low Tide 02:08 & 13:54

By Nawara Fattahova

Coptic leader Shenouda dies CAIRO: Egypt’s Coptic Pope Shenouda III, spiritual leader of the Middle East’s largest Christian minority, died yesterday at the age of 88, state television and cathedral sources said. The cause of death was not immediately clear, but the Christian leader has suffered health problems for years. State television reported he was 89, but the pope was born in August 1923, which would make him 88 at the time of death. The official MENA news agency said Shenouda suffered from several diseases, including liver problems and Pope Shenouda tumours or swelling in the lungs. He was forced to cancel a weekly sermon last week over health concerns. Named Coptic pope of Alexandria in 1971, Shenouda led the Copts, estimated at 10 percent of Egypt’s population of 80 million, for the best part of a generation that saw Egypt hit by a wave of Islamic militancy from which he sought to protect it. Continued on Page 13

KUWAIT: Kuwait Airways employees strike for a pay raise at Kuwait International Airport yesterday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Mauritania arrests Gaddafi spymaster NOUAKCHOTT: Abdullah Al-Senussi, the investigation might take before the wanted former spymaster of slain Libyan requests are examined. Libyan governdictator Muammar Gaddafi, was arrested ment spokesman Salal Al-Manaa said in Mauritania overnight, prompting calls Tripoli wanted Senussi extradited “to for his extradition yesterday by Libya and give him a fair trial in Libya”. He said the France. The former Libyan intelligence Libyan prosecutor general had sent an chief, who is also sought extradition request to the by the International Mauritanian government Criminal Court (ICC), was through Interpol. Manaa arrested at Nouakchott said the former spymaster airport after arriving on a was accompanied at the regular flight from time of his arrest “by someCasablanca in Morocco, a one who is believed to be Mauritanian security his son”. source said. Senussi, 62, French President Nicolas who was travelling on a Sarkozy hailed the arrest fake Malian passport, was and will seek Senussi’s taken to the national extradition to France, his Abdullah Al-Senussi intelligence agency ’s office said. Senussi faced an office in Nouakchott, the source added. international arrest warrant after a Paris Police said Mauritania wanted to court sentenced him in absentia to life investigate him in association with for his alleged involvement in an attack Interpol before considering any extradi- on a French airliner in 1989 that killed tion requests. They did not say how long Continued on Page 13

KUWAIT: Cars are parked in a camp in Rawdatain desert, 120 km north of Kuwait City, as a heavy sandstorm caused by northwesterly winds of 50 kph hit the country yesterday, reducing visibility. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat (See Page 2)

In one day, Obama is $5 million man


Israel policy of detaining children questioned


GI who killed Afghans ID’d WASHINGTON: An American soldier who shot dead 16 civilians in Afghanistan was being held yesterday in a US military jail in Kansas, awaiting trial as new details of his past emerged. The suspect, identified Friday as 38-year-old US Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, had served three combat tours in Iraq - where he was wounded twice - and was on his first deployment to Afghanistan at the time of the killings. Whisked out of Afghanistan to Kuwait in the days after the attacks, Bales was transferred to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas on Friday, where US officials said he was being held in “pre-trial confinement”. The US Army said Bales was being kept in “special housing” in his own cell, but no details have been released on a trial or even the charges to be brought against him. Bales’ wife and two young children have been moved to Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Seattle for protection, said Bales’ Seattle-based lawyer, John Henry Browne. Bales allegedly left his base in the southern province of Kandahar before sunrise last Sunday, entered a nearby Afghan village and opened fire, killing men, women and children. The incident has plunged US-Afghan Robert Bales relations into their deepest crisis since the 2001 US-led invasion. Several websites containing pictures and stories about Bales, including a 2009 Department of Defense page, were taken down by the time his identity was revealed Friday, but some versions of the webpages could still be accessed, shedding light on his military career. According to a cached online article, dated Feb 2009, from the official US Army homepage, Bales participated in one of the bloodiest clashes of the Iraq war - a January 2007 battle against a messianic Shiite sect in southern Iraq known as the Soldiers of Heaven. In the 15-hour engagement, according to the US Army article, 250 fighters were killed, all enemy - and Bales said he was proud his unit “discriminated between the bad guys and the noncombatants and then afterward we ended up helping the people Continued on Page 13

Clooney arrested at US anti-Sudan protest


KUWAIT: Employees of Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) and its subsidiary companies went on strike yesterday evening at Kuwait International Airport, resulting in losses of about $1 million within four hours, as about 10 Kuwait Airways flights to different destinations were canceled. Abdullah Al-Hajri, Chairman of the Union of Workers of Kuwait Airways Corporation and its subsidiary companies, held the government responsible for the financial losses caused by the strike. “This strike will completely paralyze all flights and operations of KAC. Also, stopping the operations of KAC due to the strike will make the companies served by KAC seek other companies to deal with, which is also a great loss for KAC,” he said. “We were forced to go on this strike as a result of the negligence of the government for not fulfilling its promises or realizing the deal signed with the union regarding wages and increasing allowances of KAC workers more than six months ago,” he pointed out. According to Hajri, the agreement was signed by the minister of communication representing the government and the managing director of KAC, which included the demands of the striking employees. “The employees demanded allowances including screen allowance, infection allowance, shift allowance and other legal and fair allowances that KAC employees deserve,” he said. He added that this strike is not a goal, but it represent a way to reach their demands. “KAC employees care for the general benefit of the public but they were forced to hold this strike to demand their rights. We will continue striking until our demands that were previously approved by the government are met,” vowed Hajri.

Twin suicide blasts kill 27 in Damascus Saudis begin arming rebels DAMASCUS: Two huge bomb blasts killed at least 27 people in Syria’s capital yesterday, sparking anger at Riyadh and Doha, as special envoy Kofi Annan warned of regional fallout from the yearlong bloodshed. Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, has started delivering arms to Syrian rebels, an Arab diplomat told AFP, while its rival Iran is suspected of sending weapons to its Syrian regime allies. State television said the early morning “terrorist” attacks, apparently car bombings timed minutes apart, had targeted police headquarters in the Duwar Al-Jamarek area and air force intelligence offices in Al-Qasaa district. The explosions killed 27 people, mainly civilians, and wounded 140 civilians and security personnel, the interior min-

istry said. Three people had been reduced to “body parts” by the force of the blast, it added. As angry residents vented their fury at Arab supporters of anti-regime activists, the state broadcaster ran footage of a charred body inside the mangled remains of a smouldering vehicle in Duwar Al-Jamarek. The other blast totally gutted the facade of a multi-storey building, also destroying several cars. The channel aired gruesome images of the scene, with mangled and charred corpses, bloodstained streets and twisted steel. “All our windows and doors are blown out,” said Majed Seibiyah, 29, who lives in the area of one of the blasts “I was sleeping when I heard a sound like an earthquake. Continued on Page 13

DAMASCUS: Security forces gather in front of a damaged building near the aviation intelligence department that was hit by a blast yesterday. (Inset) A destroyed van is seen in front of the damaged building of the Syrian criminal security department which was also attacked yesterday. — AFP/AP

Messi on target again as Barca beat Sevilla



SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


Expatriates lament ugly side of Kuwait Feeling thirsty in an ocean full of water By Chidi Emmanuel KUWAIT: Oil-rich Kuwait is not an exception to criticisms. Just like other nations in the region, Kuwait has its ugly side. Having been slammed many times by civil society organizations on the issues of human rights, women’s rights, democratic rights, religious freedom and bedoons among others, expatriates in Kuwait are voicing their frustrations on the other things these bodies could not have seen. With huge record budget surpluses year after year, most expatriates find themselves feeling thirsty in an ocean full of water. “We cannot make ends meet here as we struggle to survive day by day. Things are very expensive now - ranging from house rent, food items, etc. With inflation biting deeper, the government only takes care of its citizens and no one cares for us (expats). We are stuck here. We can’t go back home because we have nothing to start life afresh with-and staying here is a struggle as things get harder,” Abdul Aziz, an Egyptian expatriate who chose to go by only his first name, said. Most people Kuwait Times interviewed for this report opted to stay anonymous or use only their first name to avoid being targeted. Some of the expats lamented on the things that hurt them most. Here are some of the issues: WASTA-ISM, OFFICIALDOM Wasta-as it is infamously called in Kuwait is a baptismal name for corruption, bribery, favoritism and nepotism. “Without wasta, you can hardly do things in Kuwait. You need wasta to get your driver ’s license, car registration and even to pay your bills sometimes. If you don’t have wasta, you may end up spending months or even years before you get little things done in Kuwait ministries,” Nada, a Lebanese said. “If you have it (wasta), you will smoothly by-pass all the rigorous bureaucratic processes-but without it, they will keep telling you bukra! bukra! (Come back tomorrow, come back tomorrow). One of the staff at the immigration department in Farwaniya asked me to come ‘bukra’ on a Thursday (with Friday being a non-working day),” Hana, Nada’s friend added as they narrated their ordeals at Kuwait’s ministries. STIGMA, LACK OF RESPECT, PASSPORT “Actually people seem to place more emphasis on nationality here. It’s not only Kuwaitis that are blameworthy in this case, even some expatriates have jumped onto

the bandwagon. The first thing a cab driver will ask you is your nationality-from which he will then weigh your worth. If you tell him you are American or British, he will accord you some respect. But if you tell him you are African, Indian, Filipino etc, he will just light his cigarette carelessly and rudely without giving a damn,” Khan, an Indian computer engineer said. Some complained of prejudice at workplaces. “Many (Kuwaitis) see Filipinos, Ethiopians, Bangladeshis and Indonesians only as domestic helpers. Can you imagine, many people don’t believe me when I tell them that I am a doctor,” a Filipino doctor work ing in a private clinic in Salmiya told Kuwait Times. “It’s horrible here-you will be treated according to your nationality. Sometimes, there seems to be a different salary structure for different nationalities. Indians, Filipinos, Egyptians, Pakistanis etc can never rub shoulders with their Western counterparts in the office irrespective of their higher qualifications and years of experience. They (Westerners) will always be placed above them,” Khan added in dismay. VISA/RESIDENCY/LABOR LAWS A 52-year-old Egyptian engineer summarized Kuwait labor laws as “milk them (expats) when they are young and kick them out when they get old.” “They need you when you are active and as soon as you get old, they will find an excuse to replace you with either a Kuwaiti or a younger person, and then kick you out of Kuwait. Without any form of pension scheme for you here (Kuwait) and in your home country, you will then spend the rest of your life in misery in your home country,” he said. “Kuwait doesn’t give permanent residency to expatriates and as such, we will all leave one day with only the Kuwait-style indemnity-which is only half of your salary for the first five years and one month’s salary for all other years you worked in Kuwait,” he explained. “My brother and I left Jordan for greener pastures in the same year (1990). My brother went to the US and I came to Kuwait. My brother is now an American citizen even though he is not in a Muslim country but I cannot boast of a permanent residency in Kuwait (a Muslim nation). I have spent 22 years here but every year I have to renew my residency,” Ahmed, a Jordanian, lamented. FREEDOM OF RELIGION Although Kuwait touts religious freedom, Hindus and some Christians see things differently here. “There is not a sin-

Kuwait key opinion-maker, shareholder in World Bank

KUWAIT: Photos show some Asian workers on duty. gle Hindu temple in Kuwait. It is forbidden even though we have a large Hindu population here. Is this what is called religious freedom?” one Indian Hindu faithful queried. “They indirectly force everyone to fast during the holy month of Ramadan by making it a crime to eat during the fasting time. Does this reflect religious freedom?” Clement, an Ethiopian Catholic asked. Similar views were echoed by some of the non-Muslim expats who were interviewed in this report. HEALTHCARE At t h e S a l m i y a c l i n i c, Wa l e e d, a Pakistani teacher, showed Kuwait Times

one of his medical appointment papers o n w h i c h i t i s b o l d l y w r i t te n ‘ N O N KUWAITI’. “This paper says it all. You will just be treated as such. This is my third time here. They keep giving me appointment dates,” he said. “Even after increasing the health issuance fee to KD 50, and after paying another KD 2 and KD 1 to buy stamps, anytime we go to the hospital and clinic, we are still being given prescriptions to buy drugs that cost less than KD 5. It is terrible. We hope the new government will do something to alleviate the suffering of many expatriates here,” Waleed’s friend added.

KUWAIT: Since joining the World Bank (WB) in 1962, Kuwait has been an important ‘opinion-maker’ and significant shareholder, said Vice President of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) at the World Bank Inger Andersen. In an exclusive interview with Kuwait News Agency, Andersen said that the main purpose of her visit is “to listen” and get a better understanding of the progressing relationship between Kuwait and WB. She indicated that she will hold talks with the Minister of Finance Mustafa Al-Shimali, Minister of Commerce and Industry Anas Al-Saleh, Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Development Affairs Dr Fahdel Safar, as well as representatives of youth and women institutions. “We have signed with Kuwait a three-year country-programming strategy agreement in 2009, involving three over-arching priorities,” she said. She explained that her priorities include the public sector management, (procurement law, anti-corruption law, governance, speeding public cycle), economic diversification through developing private sector (privatization law, oil privatization law) and human development and sustainable development. Andersen was touring the Gulf region in the past week and Kuwait was her second stop, after Oman. She commended Kuwait “extraordinary” work in WB’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GGFR) partnership, which Kuwait has joined on March fourth of this year. Kuwait represented in the partnership by Kuwait Oil Company Ltd (KOC), a subsidiar y of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, managed to reduce flaring from 17% down to 1.75% of its gas production during 2005-06 and 2010-11 respectively. Kuwait is the third country in the Middle East to join the GGFR initiative, following Iraq and Qatar. As for the MENA region after the (Arab Spring) she said “I believe in the Arab people. It’s historic what happened here, unprecedented and infectious. The spirit of the Arab people is strong and inspiring for the whole world.” “The Arab Spring is ‘unique’ different than the ones witnessed in East Europe or South America,” she said, adding “I’m optimistic.” The central objective of the WB’s Strategic Cooperation Program (SCP) in GCC is to serve as an independent and objective adviser on development policies and programs. The SCP assists GCC governments through knowledge sharing, capacity building and technical assistance. The SCP began over 30 years ago with advisory services to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It later expanded to cover the remaining GCC countries, namely, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE. — KUNA

Charity kicks off campaign to assist displaced Syrians KUWAIT: With a generous donation of $5 million from His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah, the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO) launched a benefit campaign through various media outlets to help the stranded people from the violent uprisings in Syria. Director General of IICO Sulaiman Shamseldin said yesterday, that the

campaign has called the public to give aid to the misfortunate Syrian people who are facing a dire humanitarian crisis that left more than 10,000 dead, 60,000 imprisoned, 100,000 displaced and 60,000 missing. He said that since January, IICO has visited Syrian families stranded in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. It has given them financial, educational and health aid. Shamseldin lauded Kuwaiti

media outlets especially, Al-watan TV, Al-Rai TV and Kuwait TV for playing a major role in covering the activities of this campaign and making them well known to the public. IICO always strives to help those in need, he said, recalling that in 2010 and 2011 the organization rushed to give help to the victims of floods in Pakistan and those who suffered starvation in Somalia. —KUNA

KUWAIT: Scenes from Kuwait as a dust storm hit the country yesterday. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Dust storm renders low visibility KUWAIT: Kuwait is currently experiencing dust storm and unstable weather conditions due to high air pressure. The active northwesterly winds, reaching a speed of 50 km per hour, caused horizontal visibility to drop below 300 meters in most of the country’s areas, said Mohammad Karam, head of the Meteorological Department at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. A lack of visibility is expected in most parts of Kuwait later in the day, he cautioned. However, he said that the weather will improve late at night but temperature will drop below 10 degrees Celsius. Today, dusty weather will continue with active northwesterly winds that reach to 45 kilometer per hour. Tomorrow, he added, weather returns to normal with a high temperature of 26 degree Celsius and the a low temperature of 12 degreee Celsius. Also, Kuwait’s Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced here yesterday that air-traffic at Kuwait International Airport was normal despite low visibility spurred on by the onset of a sandstorm. DGCA’s Essam Al-Zamel Head of Operations told KUNA that air-traffic proceeded normally despite the rough weather, noting that the field of vision for aircraft traffic was at 600 meters. Flights are allowed to operate within 250 meters visibility for incoming planes and 150 meters for departing ones, he said. —KUNA

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


Customs staff strike causes food shortage, price rise ‘Govt fails to fulfill promises’ By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The strike held by staff of the General Department of Customs paralyzed the country, with goods barred from entering Kuwait, causing some commodities’ prices to shoot up. The strike entered the fourth day yesterday which affected land, sea, and air border points, creating a noticeable shortage in essential commodities. Ahmad Al-Anezi, Head of the Customs Labor Union assured the Kuwait Times that employees will continue to protest until their demands are fulfilled. “People should understand that striking is the only way to fulfill our desire. The employees of the General Department of Customs have been waiting to receive their rights for more than five months, and the situation remains unchanged. The government has failed to fulfill promises. We will continue to strike,” he asserted. This form of protest has affected the availability of foodstuffs in the market. Customers could see some

shelves empty, with imported fresh products disappearing from shelves. This includes dairy products, fruits and vegetables. Although the Ministry of Commerce(MoC) has announced that it will curb prices and inspect the market to avoid any price hike (vegetable and fruits), co-operative societies have experienced a 100 percent price rise for some commodities. “The price of tomatoes, for instance, has soared by 100 percent. Also, the prices of other vegetables have increased as well. This has come about as a result of a shortage in fruits and vegetables. All the fruits and vegetables from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Turkey and others remain stranded at the border,” noted Ramzi from the Farwaniya Co-operative supermarket. “The shortage was also noticed in Saudi dairy products that have completely disappeared from the market. We deal in five Saudi brands that supply us with dairy products. Local production is not enough to cover shortage, although they have increased production to supplies to our supermarket,” he

Kuwait, Iraq to resume flights KUWAIT: The Kuwait Airways and Iraqi Airways are expected to exchange flights between the two countries for the first time in over two decades based on the recent ‘successful visit’ of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri AlMaliki to Kuwait. “Al-Maliki’s visit featured several agreements including one to end the conflict between the Kuwaiti Airways and the Iraqi Airways”, said undersecretary of Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry Khalid Al-Jarallah. The conflict was sparked by compensations owed to the KAC due to the damage of its fleet during the 1990/91 Iraqi Invasion. Al-Jarallah further noted that “the possibility of resuming flights between the two countries was discussed. We hope to see IAC planes at the Kuwait International Airport and KAC planes at Iraq’s airports in the near future”. The top official also hinted the possibility of Jazeera Airways launching flights to Iraqi destinations. “The visit also featured an agreement for maintenance of border marks placed as per UN Resolution No. 833 in 1993, while two memorandums of understanding were signed with regards to oil fields on the joint border,” Al-Jarallah said. He added that the plans to implement the agreements will be discussed during the next meeting of the top joint committee expected to be held no later than mid April. Regarding the Mubarak AlKabeer port, Al-Jarallah said that construction is “underway as scheduled” as he insisted “there are no updates regarding the subject worthy of being discussed”.


in brief

Registration open for fishing competition KUWAIT: Registration is open for the 28th Grand Traditional Fishing Tournament organized by the Kuwait Sea Sports Club (KSSC) on Saturday, announced Ali Al-Qabandi, Head of the KSSC’s Cultural Committee yesterday. “Participation is open to enthusiasts belonging to all nationalities subject to certain conditions. Only the use of fishing lines or rods will be permitted, in addition to the use of a maximum 33-feet-long fishing boat,” Ali Al-Qabandi Al-Qabandi said in press statement. Registration will close at 8:00 pm on March 30, 2012. Cash prizes will be awarded to the first three winners who will be selected based on the weight of the catch. Haj, Omrah exhibition KUWAIT: Ismail Mandacar Haj campaign has signed a platinum sponsorship with Kuwait International Fair for the Haj and Omrah exhibition for the year 2012. The event was organized by Kuwait International Fair Co and was held at the fair ground in Mishref. The agreement was signed by sales and marketing director Mishaal Al Rashid in the presence of its general manager Ali Ismail Mandacar. Kuwait International Fair Company urged all Haj campaign companies, specialized companies and charity organizations to participate in the exhibition and explain the services they provide. The exhibition makes it easy for Haj campaigners to meet those who intend to perform Haj and Omrah. The exhibition is a good chance for those who intend to perform Haj to meet directly with different Haj campaign representatives. Haj sector is considered as one of the important economic sectors in Kuwait market as it combines between performing Haj with good investment at the same time. KAC workers’ demands KUWAIT: The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has developed recommendations on the demands of the trade union of Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) and submitted them to the Cabinet, KAC’s Managing Director Mohammad Al-Hilal announced Friday evening. “The recommendations address all demands of the workers of KAC and its subsidiaries for pay rise, allowances and increments,” KAC’s representative said after his meeting with CSC’s undersecretary and assistant undersecretaries here. “The Cabinet will make a final decision on the CSC recommendations during its coming meeting,” Al-Hilal added. IMF official in Kuwait KUWAIT: Vice-President of the International Motorcycling Federation (IMF), Nasser Al-Attiya, arrived in Kuwait yesterday to attend the motorcycle racing world championship grand prix which began in Kuwait on Saturday. The tournament is hosted by the Kuwait Quarter Mile Club at its circuit south Kuwait, featuring 50 participants from Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium.

added. A similar situation exists in Fintas Co-operative Society, where they suffer from a shortage in vegetables, fruits and dairy products. “It is true that the suppliers have increased the price of most vegetables and fruits due to a shortage in imported goods. The media has exaggerated by stating that prices have risen by 700 or 800 percent. It has only doubled. Unfortunately, the local production (fruits and vegetables) is not enough to cover our needs, and Kuwait farmers have limited capabilities. They cannot increase production immediately. It also depends on weather conditions, which is not always suitable for agriculture,” stressed Abdul Aal, Director of the Fintas Co-operative Society. According to him, the price of dairy products have not increased. “The Saudi dairy products have disappeared completely as containers carrying it remain trapped near the borders. The two local suppliers have increased production but they cannot meet all demands, and all the borders are closed,” Abdul Aal added.

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior launched a course to train staff members on implementing the ministry’s projects. The program was held in cooperation with the Integrated Energy Development Training and Consultancy Company, supervised by Maj Gen Humaid Al-Sammak, general director, Directorate of Training.


SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

LOCAL Local Spotlight


Mistakes breed more mistakes

What is happening to the aviation sector?

hat we feared would happen eventually took place sooner than we thought. The modified complaint forwarded about the Parliament’s raid might not be based on correct legal or objective basis, yet what happened on Tuesday reflects obtuseness and misbehavior that threatens to leave serious repercussions on the democratic practice in the form of hindering the Parliament’s legislative authority. MPs have the right to protest as long as it remains within the framework of the law. However, this freedom becomes dangerous when it breeds other problems or can be interpreted as being sectarian. Using methods that can lead to sectarian struggles in facing problems created by the Parliament’s majority is acceptable. We are positive that Shiite MPs in the Parliament do not adopt a sectarian approach. However, no one denies the


By Muna Al-Fuzai hat is going on with Kuwait’s state-owned airlines? Is the government facing a tough time? Is competition very high? What makes others win while we keep faltering? Look at Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways. They entered into service quite recently and now they are famous. Kuwait Airways was launched in 1953, and today it is teetering on the brink of extinction. What is the secret of regional airways’ success? The above-mentioned airlines offer excellent services and continuously improve customer service, aircrafts and facilities offered on board to all passengers, be it economy, business or first class! Clearly, their target is not to attract customers for one flight, but winning their hearts for a lifetime. That is what I call talent and success. So marketing is their key to success and they have done their homework well. I believe that Kuwait Airways failed due to the lack of a marketing policy , strategy and a business plan. A report released by a fact-finding commission in 2012 on the status of Kuwait Airways and its subsidiaries have stated that it incurred KD 591 million losses in 15 years. Of this, KD 164 million was lost in the form of huge wasteful blunders. For example, many overseas operations failed to achieve a target revenue. The report cited many reasons like failure to conduct proper feasibility studies. The bottom line here is that the marketing policy was skewed. I wonder why employees from this department were sacked. I would say it is wasta! It is not news that many Kuwaitis and expatriates don’t wish to travel in Kuwait Airways unless they run out of options. I have flown in both Emirates and Kuwait Airways. Most passengers dread the delay that may set in. No one wishes to be stranded in the airport for several hours during a short trip from Kuwait to Dubai! In Emirates Airways, no delay will last for more than an hour, but Kuwait Airways takes hours to resolve the issue! It is a matter of shame for Kuwait’s oldest carrier. In UAE, several private carriers have entered into service to cater to the needs of all passengers in the Gulf region. Wataniya Airways is another example that came to an abrupt end after a short stint. It entered into service in 2009 but completely halted operations in 2011.Reasons for this vary from stiff competition faced from other carriers and high fuel prices . There were two other Kuwait-based carriers operating at the same time Kuwait Airways, and Jazeera Airways, a budget carrier. Wataniya positioned itself as a luxury service provider. Sadly, it met a natural end. Kuwait Airways has not been able to keep up with the needs of today’s customers. I feel sorry for the situation it is in because it is a national carrier. I do not care much about the people who caused this fall. But, I guess the board members knew this is inevitable. Their staff members are asking for salary raises and are staging strikes. I am sure this is the last thing the management wants to deal with. Crisis comes in different packages ! There can be no end to this unless this company is sold to a to a third party. Maybe selling it to the UAE or Qatar would not be a bad idea. I think they will be able to do a better job.


kuwait digest

People never accept restrictions on freedom By Waleed Al-Rujaib t is important to keep reminding the public that not lead to further distraction from achieving develany draft laws proposed by lawmakers which could opment and reform. restrict public freedoms must not be accepted. No matter how adamant they are to adopt their While Kuwaitis have shown in the past that they do personal ideologies, religious policymakers always not approve of any restrictions to their freedom, it is have to comply with public demand if they wish to necessary to continue raising save their political careers. awareness of attempts by In Egypt, the Islamist fundamentalists in the modmajority in Parliament People usually shun away from ern state. resorted to maintain the People usually shun away peace treaty with Israel and talking about religious matters, in from talking about religious fear they might be accused of lack relations with the West, matters, in fear they might despite how much they did of faith if they show any disagree- not agree with either case. be accused of lack of faith if ment with common religious Islamist parties also realize they show any disagreement with common religious beliefs. This is widely utilized by reli- that there are persistent beliefs. This is widely utilized problems such as poverty gious fundamentalists who use by religious fundamentalists and unemployment which ‘intellectual terrorism’ to gain the need to be addressed who use ‘intellectual terrorupper hand against their oppoism’ to gain the upper hand before introducing reliagainst their opponents. I gious-oriented legislation. nents. I have read many posts on have read many posts on Even Iran, which tried Twitter in which people who Twitter in which people who hard to become completely expressed disapproval of the pro- independent, eventually expressed disapproval of the proposed ‘decent wear’ law posed ‘decent wear’ law were had to rely on the internawere accused of being advotional community in one accused of being advocates of cates of encouraging way or another. encouraging obscenity in society. obscenity in society. No human being or While religious MPs most political regime in human likely realize that attempts to history was able to force restrict public freedoms will not succeed, their contin- their point of view on people’s personal and ideologiuous efforts only lead to taking attention away from cal beliefs. Neither Hitler, nor Saddam or Ali Abdullah achieving development in all fields in Kuwait. Saleh were able to do that, and no one will ever do in In turn, the process of rejecting these efforts must the near or distant future.—Al-Rai


The Parliament’s majority does not realize that the modified complaint is going to remain a hot topic until the end of the Parliament’s term. Everyone understands that Kuwaiti citizens who took part in storming the Parliament last November were emotionally charged and led by anti-government MPs. It is important, however, that they are brought to court for the actions they committed. This should remain in Kuwait’s best interest, achieved when the law is fully enforced. fact that sectarianism is sometimes used in a way that damages the state’s democratic process. The Parliament’s majority perhaps does not realize that the modified complaint is going to remain a hot topic until the end of the Parliament’s term. Everyone understands that Kuwaiti citizens who took part in storming the Parliament last November were emotionally charged and led by anti-government MPs. It is important, however, that they be held responsible for the actions they committed. This should be in Kuwait’s best interest, achieved when the law is fully enforced. Unfortunately, this was overlooked by the Parliament’s head office, and chose to ignore the gravity of the action of the Parliament’s raid in order to picture the accusations made by the previous head office as being politically motivated. It is sad to know that Speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun, who described the raid as a mistake at the time, failed to do the right thing by allowing the case to be handled by the law. Let investigations decide whether the earlier complaint was false. The Parliament’s majority has the responsibility of dealing with this problem and also respect the minority’s opinion. In turn, the minority ought to avoid actions that can create troubles in the Parliament or cause sectarian tensions. It is worth mentioning that despite having a majority support in the previous Parliament, the Cabinet failed to survive after being suspected of corruption which people have refused to accept. Modifying the original report on the Parliament’s raid is an error that can be classified as a form of ‘corruption in legal procedures.’ We hope that the majority will prove that they are truly against corruption. The modifications can be canceled and the case will be left entirely to law’s judgment. — Al-Qabas

kuwait digest kuwait digest

Is the govt committing political suicide?

Youth are being neglected as usual By Mohammad Hayat

By Dr Hassan Abdullah Johar he government should have made a more serious and tangible approach by adopting new techniques, avoiding empty slogans and the usual boring headlines. Actually, the government’s political mentality appears to be so complicated that it will remain there forever. A par t of this complexity is not accepting the concept of constitutional partnership, the democratic system and accepting the National Assembly as a political rival that cannot be ignored or dismissed. The funny thing is that many successive governments failed to learn the lesson, despite being humiliated by various parliaments so many times. The previous turn of events forced the Premier to step down. I consider this introduction as advice to His Highness the Prime Minister, Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, whose government seems to be either following the same footsteps of previous governments or suffering a severe lack of understanding and political comprehension. The Premier realizes that his Cabinet does not have enough parliamentary support to formulate different ideologies that might contradict his own political agenda. The current political ‘teasing’ by the government can only be described as ‘picking political rivalry,’ particularly concerning the legislative, and surveillance inherited from the previous


Parliament. Surveillance-wise, the government should handle corruption openly and use some political and legal measures, like accepting and responding to investigation committees. The Premier has a golden chance to expose so many facts and classified information when he discusses the grilling motion filed against him, regardless of any favouritism. The government should also be more stringent in issuing anti-corruption legislation and take a more zealous approach as soon as possible. The government should also objectively show full respect to public causes, such as the long-awaited grades and increments, especially as it broke its promise last December to come up with a full comprehensive study. The government tried to make the biggest mistake ever by attempting to ‘kill’ teachers’ increments, that were already approved by the Cabinet and received support from His Highness the Amir. Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak must conduc t political recalculations early, as he is not well-established and his Cabinet includes an unwanted minister who can be immediately discarded. Nevertheless, Al-Mubarak appears to be too confrontational and, therefore, also the government. Breaking the six-month truce with the National Assembly is turning out to be political suicide! —Al-Jarida

t has become increasingly common to see frustration boiling over in Kuwaiti society. There are people frustrated at the spread of communal feelings and hateful speech, and there are others that are frustrated with the spread of corruption in government departments. Frustration is everywhere — deteriorating health conditions and educational and housing fields, as well as the lack of development and proper law enforcement. People are growing even more frustrated at MPs’ shallow draft laws that provide no legislative solutions to our everyday problems. Sadly, frustration is seeping into Kuwait’s youth; the building blocks of the country’s future. This feeling is mounting everyday as young people experience a lack of attention paid to matters concerning their future as decision makers. They are always occupied with issues that do not reflect their ambitions or troubles. The gross negligence can clearly be seen when we try to breakdown the budget of the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS). According to official statistics, only one percent of the annual budget estimated at KD 42 million is spent on reviving the youth. Meanwhile, the remaining 99 percent has so far not utilized to improve the country’s sports sector which has been deteriorating. I can’t help but feel sorry for the state’s youth when the government cannot provide enough funding to activities that can improve creativity and skills, or completely overhaul the struggling sports sector. What further fueled young people’s frustration is when the Parliament’s majority failed to give proper attention to youth and sports, with the excuse that forming a temporary committee to handle these might put them at odds with the Cabinet. As representatives for citizens of all social and age groups, lawmakers are required to fulfill their responsibility of taking care of subjects that interest young citizens. A specialized youth and sports committee would’ve been able to create regulations that puts an end to the country’s sports crisis. This step would be better than dumping the subject on the health and social affairs committee that is already burdened by labor and health related files.—Al-Rai


SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


Canada’s oil, gas reserves play role in global energy security Efforts to attract more investment By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Canada is ready to meet the world’s oil and gas needs, highlighted a visiting Canadian minister. Addressing a speech to reporters and distinguished guests at the Canadian ambassador’s residence over the weekend, Joe Oliver, Canada Natural Resources Minister said that his presence at the International Energy Forum hosted by Kuwait, was part of the Canadian effort to create the right conditions to attract more trade and investment especially in the energy sector. “The world needs oil and gas, and Canada can deliver. At 174 billion barrels, our oil reserves are the world’s third largest, of this, 170 billion barrels is in the form of oil sands and with technology, this could be converted to over 300 billion barrels. Our recoverable natural gas resources are estimated between 700 and 1,300 trillion cubic feet ,” he said. Oliver emphasized that Canada has energy, talent and innovative technology to develop the sector responsibly. “When you put our natural resources and know-how together with an attractive investment climate, you’ve got a winning combination. Canada is now well-positioned to grow in stature as a global energy leader,” he said. However, he conceded that Canada needs more infrastructure to transform the goal into reality. “By the end of the year, a liquefied natural gas(LNG) export could be up and running

in British Columbia on Canada’s West Coast. This is the kind of project that is catching the eyes of foreign investors, and we welcome their interest,” Oliver stressed. The natural resources minister said that

Joe Oliver, Canada Natural Resources Minister Canada is committed to ensuring that it can attract capital it needs to develop natural resources, build the necessary pipelines, ports and projects to move their resources to new

markets. “Forbes magazine recently named Canada the best country in the world to do business.” He said because of recent developments, Canada has been modernizing its regulatory system for major federal projects, most importantly to lessen red tape. “Ultimately, we want a project that will ease the process for proponents without compromising standards for responsible development. It is our hope that these changes will encourage Kuwait investors to become even more engaged in Canada’s oil sector,” he added. The minister also promised to take a sound and responsible approach to developing oil sands. “We apply science-based policies and systems to ensure our energy development is both socially and environmentally sustainable. We will do this through a new worldclass environmental monitoring system, and by investing in innovative new technologies,” he said. Oil sands are a type of unconventional petroleum deposits more technically known as bituminous sands. Total natural bitumen reserves are estimated at 249.67 billion barrels globally, of which 176.8 billion barrels or 70.8 percent are in Canada. “Make no mistake: Canada’s oil and gas reserves will make an important contribution to North American and global energy security. They are strategic global resource, and Canada is the proud steward and custodian,” he concluded.

ABK hosts Maidan Dental Clinic KUWAIT: Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait hosted Maidan Dental Clinic at its head office, within the framework of ABK’s new campaign “Our Society... Our Responsibility”. Maidan Dental Clinic set up a mobile unit, so ABK staff could avail a free dental review from their specialist dentists. The dentists examined staff and offered medical consultation and advice to them, and answered all their queries on oral healthcare. Sahar Al-Therban, Public Relations Manager at ABK stated, “This initiative comes from Al-Ahli Bank’s insistence on social responsibility, which is summarized in the slogan of our new social campaign “Our Society... Our Responsibility”. Under this banner we seek to serve the community in various ways, healthcare and health awareness being of paramount importance. We believe we can begin the awareness on our home ground, therefore these programs to motivate and support staff is special.”

Al-Therban added “ We thank Maidan Dental Clinic for accepting our invitation and for their expert and invaluable advice to ABK staff.” On their part, the medical team of Maidan Dental Clinic thanked Al-Ahli Bank of

Kuwait for conceiving and initiating such a supportive plan, and hoped for continuous cooperation as they serve the community and provide awareness on the importance of oral healthcare.

— Photos by Yasser Al- Zayyat revamps jobsite KUWAIT:, the Middle East’s number one jobsite, has totally recalibrated its look, feel, and functionality to better serve the employer and job-seeking community in Kuwait and the region on its approaching 12th anniversary. has more than 225,000 jobseekers in Kuwait alone, with more than 900 job vacancies in Kuwait and thousands of other regional vacancies available on any given day through the innovative, intuitive professional site. Reinforcing its position as a platform that empowers professionals with the tools and knowledge to build their lifestyle of their choice, the overhauled dynamic, experiential platform catapults the world of online recruitment into a vibrant new future. The revamp enhances existing functions, as well as introduces multiple new features such as a mobile application; a reworked, industry-leading CV builder; and new jobsearch tracking and CV-analysis tools. Revealed in Kuwait on March 16, during an actionpacked, glamorous evening event at the Marina Hotel,’s new form and functionalities are entirely people-centric, built around the jobsite’s core values of leadership, empowerment, efficiency, flexibility and communication. Leadership’s CEO, Rabea Ataya, opened the evening by announcing a new Employer Loyalty Programme designed to actively incentivize recruitment activity in the region. As has always cherished its position as a regional employment enabler, rewarding active hiring is very much in line with its community-centric activities. Empowerment Professionals increasingly want to stand out and be recognized for their expertise. Through the People channel and the newly-introduced Specialties, professionals can engage directly with other members who share their specialties as well as be found by search engine users. Moreover, the new design includes a powerful Insights engine, where professionals can gain free and immediate details on their job application status, visibility to employers, demand and supply for their different skills, and an overview of general market conditions.

KUWAIT: Kuwait Municipality’s public services recently signed a contract with a local company to provide the needed machinery. Kuwait Municipality’s public services manager Al-Sherida said that a three-year contract was signed with a local company to rent 40 machineries including vehicles, trucks, winches and cutting equipments to be used by the demolition team. — Photo by Hanan AlSaadoun


SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


Growth in store for Kuwait retail sector ‘Great demand for leasing’ KUWAIT: The completion of a sizeable local tower project, continuing expansion of the country’s largest mall and moves by a major Kuwaiti retail firm into the UK market have underlined the rising growth and confidence in the domestic retail sector. This confidence is being seen in new investment and projects, with Kuwait’s largest mall and shopping centre, The Avenues, building a $500 million ex tension scheduled for completion by September 2012. The mall’s ‘third phase’ expansion will cover 100,000 sq meters, bumping The Avenues’ total area to 420,000 sq meters. Mohammed Abdul Aziz Alshaya, chairman and managing director of Mabanee Company, which owns the shopping complex, told Kuwaiti media last year that the success of The Avenues was shown by the “great demand for leasing in the new extension by regional and international high-end brands,� including UK high-street brand Har vey N ichols. O ther recent major developments include the Al Harma Luxury Centre, part of the 412 metertall Al-Harma Tower that was completed in January at an estimated cost of $950 million. Forming part of the tallest sculpted tower in the world, the retail wing will feature 195,000 square meters of commercial and office space. It is not just local firms that are noticing the uptick in domestic retail growth. In January, monitoring firm Research and Markets wrote that Kuwait’s ‘high level of urbanization’ was contributing to a ‘vibrant’ retail sector, with sales expected to grow from an estimated KD2.27 billion in 2011 to KD 3.24 billion by 2015. A November 2011 report on the GCC’s

retail market by investment bank Alpen Capital also noted that the wholesale and retail trade sector expanded by a robust 27.6 percent year-on-year in 2010. I n fac t, Kuwait was ranked first in the Middle East for retail expansion and development by the Global Retail Development Index released in June 2011 by AT Kearney, a global management consulting firm. Evaluating 25 macroeconomic and retail-specific variables in the world’s top-30 retail nations, the survey placed Kuwait fifth worldwide and first in the region. And in its 2011 “How Global is the Business of Retail?� report, CB Richard Ellis, a global property firm, ranked Kuwait the world’s 13thmost international retail market, alongside Singapore and outranking countries such as Belgium, Japan, Canada and Switzerland. It was also awarded 13th most-popular retail city, beating out destinations including Milan, Munich, Las Vegas and Miami. A major factor in Kuwait’s retail success is its young and increasingly wealthy population, with a median age of 29.8 years for males and 26.3 years for women, as well as a 1.99 percent annual population growth rate. Meanwhile, GDP per capita is predicted to grow to some $64,027 by 2015, up from $40,700 in 2011, according to the IMF. The strength of the country’s demographic potential is reflected in rising consumer confidence, with the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) announcing in February 2012 that the nation’s economic growth of 3.8 per cent this year would be “driven by positive performance in Kuwait’s consumer sector.�

The NBK said Kuwait ’s consumer price index (CPI) inflation is expected to be four percent in 2012, 0.8 percent less than 2011, while the bank has predicted a KD nine billion budget surplus this year. Backed by this solid growth at home, in January, the Alshaya Group, a Kuwaiti retail conglomerate, announced it was buying a significant chunk of struggling lingerie firm La Senza from administrators KPMG. The deal includes exclusive franchise rights for the La Senza brand in the UK, as well as 60 stores. “ We are delighted to have reached an agreement to buy these La Senza stores, saving jobs, protecting a great brand for consumers and strengthening our UK presence and links, “said Mohammed Alshaya, the executive chairman of the Alshaya Group. “This is a strategic investment for us and a positive addition to our extensive international retail portfolio.� The purchase is part of Alshaya’s plans to invest $155 million in the UK retail market in the next two years. The interest works both ways, however. UK brand Marks & Spencer (M&S) has said it could double its number of stores in Kuwait from two to four if business continues to do well. “Kuwait was incredibly strong for us last year,� Bruce Bowman, Head of Gulf operations for the company, told local media. With such a strong domestic market, growing disposable incomes, plus a favorable longterm economic outlook, Kuwait’s retail sector is poised for continued expansion both at home and via increasing participation in other markets. —Oxford Business Group

KUWAIT: A team from the Commercial Bank of Kuwait visited the American Academy for Girls recently, as part of its ongoing cultural campaign to revive traditions among students. The campaign will last until April 5, 2012 with the announcement of the winner of the online competition. The best entry will be chosen from among multimedia files uploaded on the link

Kuwait Towers celebrates Mothers’ Day

Nicolas BuMelheb

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Towers hosted a special event on March 21, 2012 to celebrate Mothers’ Day, featuring special program and offers for families, announced a senior Touristic Enterprises Company (TEC) official yesterday. “A special program will be held to celebrate the Family and Mother’s Day. Several activities will be held, in addition to offering 20 percent discounts on lunch or dinner buffets for families that have over five members,� said Nicolas BuMelheb Kuwait Towers’ Interim Manager in a press statement. Special gifts will be presented to each mother taking part in the event. The program will take place during the lunch buffet from 12:30 pm until 4:30 pm, and the dinner buffet period will begin at 7:30 pm and last until midnight.

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Golden Age of Arab Sciences exhibition in Kuwait By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The Amricani Cultural Centre of Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyyah (DAI) is hosting the Golden Age of Arab Sciences exhibition from March 15 to June 16, 2012. This exhibition has been brought to Kuwait by the Institut du Monde Arabe of Paris, with the support of Total and the French Embassy. This unique exhibition examines the role of the Islamic world in the development of the foundations of modern science and technology. The exhibition offers a fascinating insight into the application of science and technology during what is commonly referred to as the ‘golden age’ of Arab-Muslim civilization. The period spans the eighth and fifteen centuries C.E. (first and eighth centuries in the Islamic calendar). The three-month exhibition features priceless items from the Al-Sabah Collection of Art from the Islamic World, the private collection of Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah and his wife, Sheikha Hussa Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah. Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, Minister of Information and President of the National Council of Culture, Arts and Letters, officially launched the Golden Age of Arab Sciences exhibition at the Amricani Cultural Centre on Wednesday evening. He said the exhibition is unique, and provides the opportunity for different cultures to meet. Sheikha Hussa Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, DAI Co-Founder and Director General, expressed her pleasure at the Golden Age of Arab Sciences exhibition in the Amricani Cultural Centre. “The Islamic world has contributed a significant chapter to the history of scientific endeavor, which the Golden Age of Arab Sciences exhibition will bring into focus for a public audience in a highly engaging way,� she said. Nada Yafi, Ambassador of France to Kuwait, Lionel Levha, General Manager of Total Kuwait, Renaud Muselier, President of the Institut du Monde Arabe and Catherine Ferrant, Vice President of Corporate Philanthropy and General Delegate of the Total Foundation global endowment fund were among the VIP guests at the exhibition launch. Lionel Levha, General Manager of Total Kuwait and Total’s Group Representative in Kuwait said “Total has been a partner since the beginning, since more than six years ago. Total has significant presence in the country in the field of oil and gas, but we also contribute in the environment, development and social life. I think that this event is a fantastic opportunity to participate in this event by organizing it to show some pieces of the most beautiful collection related to Arab heritage and culture,�. “We all know that the contribution of Arabs

in developing science and their role was impressive. It’s important for Total to participate in development and culture, which are important for the people in this country where we work. We are glad that Total is able to participate in something unique in Kuwait and the world. I think we won’t be able to repeat such a nice collection and we are proud to be part of this event,� added Levha. “The exhibition underlined Total’s commitment to community engagement, especially in Kuwait where the company is also an active supporter of environmental conservation, in partnership with local organizations and the Total Foundation,� he said. “We’re grateful to Sheikha Hussa Sabah AlSalem Al-Sabah, Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyyah and the Kuwaiti authorities for supporting this landmark exhibition. The Golden Age of Arab Sciences exhibition shows our passion at Total for developing lasting, meaningful partnerships in the region - and the importance of science and technology to both our industry and the future development of the Arab world. The exhibition makes an intriguing connection between the scientific challenges of today and the innovations of the past,� stressed Levha. Catherine Ferrant, Managing Director of Foundation D’enterprise Total said Total’s participation in the event represents its interest in culture, and this is the best way to bring nations and countries together. “In order to be able to understand each other, we have to participate in preserving nature. This is very important for the people of Kuwait, who are proud of their marine nature and would like to show the biodiversity to their children.� Total is supporting a program, launched in 2011 at the Kuwait National Museum, to preserve marine turtles. “We presented this exhibition in Doha, Qatar and maybe in the future we will hold it in another GCC country. We are proud to work with Sheikha Hussa Al-Sabah, who provided a great collection of art from the Islamic world,� Ferrant told Kuwait Times. “There is so much to discover about the variety and beauty of the Arab world’s culture, so it was a fantastic opportunity to contribute to the organization of the Golden Age of Arab Sciences exhibition with objects from the exceptional Al-Sabah Collection. We are deeply honored to promote the scientific and cultural heritage of the Islamic world,� noted Ferrant. “I believe that people now don’t believe in sciences after some dramatic events such as Fukushima, and through this event we want them to know the value of science. This exhibition is a way of working with each other and understanding each other through understanding our different cultures,� she concluded. Renaud Muselier of the Institut du Monde Arabe said “We’re very excited to bring the Golden Age of Arab Sciences exhibition to

Kuwait, a country known for its dedication to the arts. The exhibition has been shown to thousands of people in Europe, and has significantly raised awareness there of the contribution by Arab and Muslim scientists to the advancement of humanity in a variety of fields, from mathematics to physics to astronomy. Having this opportunity to reconnect people in the region, especially youths, with their scientific heritage is a great privilege and adds a new dimension to the exhibition itself.� Nada Yafi, French ambassador to Kuwait, said Kuwait is an ideal location for such an exhibition; “a country with a gift for science and many institutions dedicated to the subject,� . The Golden Age of Arab Sciences exhibition runs from March 15 to June 16 at the Amricani Cultural Centre in Kuwait City, from 10:00am to 7:00pm Monday to Thursday and on Saturdays. Entry is free. The exhibition is also open from 2:00 to 7:00pm every Friday. The Golden Age of Arab Sciences exhibition (L’age d’or des Sciences Arabes) is created and curated by the Paris-based Institut du Monde Arabe. It follows the evolution of scientific inquiry during the ‘golden age’ of the Arab-Muslim civilization, the period between the eighth and fifteen centuries C.E. (corresponding with the first and eighth centuries in the Islamic calendar). Islamic art objects from the Al-Sabah Collection, the private art collection of Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah and his wife, Sheikha Hussa Al-Sabah, are displayed throughout the exhibition. These objects include scientific manuscripts, ancient instruments such as astrolabes and quadrants, and glass beakers used in early chemistry experiments. Ceramics, glass artwork and architectural designs, and surgical instruments are also on display. The Golden Age of Arab Sciences exhibition explores a subject that has prompted substantial debate in recent years, due to the changing perceptions of the historical role played by Arab and Muslim society in the journey of world civilization. The individual exhibits have substantial intrinsic and comparative value themselves. The exhibition shows how the Islamic civilization that united a vast geographical region, extending from the borders of China to the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa, built upon the scientific achievements of the societies it came into contact with. Sections on astronomy, biology and the relationship between science, culture and the arts guide the visitor through the exhibition. It displays applications of the sciences described, such as navigation and medicine, and the philosophical writings and theories that evolved from them. An accompanying audio-video sequence brings into focus the various cultural, religious and aesthetic characteristics that defined the region at the time.

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SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

Belarus executes bombing convict Page 10

Ailing Venezuela leader eyes new six-year term Page 9

In one day, Obama is $5m man Money amassed in lucrative single-day campaign blitz ATLANTA: US President Barack Obama, juggling dual roles as fundraiser extraordinaire and commander-in-chief, piled up a cool five million dollars in a lucrative single-day campaign blitz. In no other country is a leader expected to tend to a deteriorating war he is leading in Afghanistan on the same day as conducting the business of stuffing millions into his war chest to bankroll his own political career. But such is the cost of running for president in America, where campaign teams play on a vast and complex political map, building expensive grass roots get-out-of the vote networks and multi-million dollar advertizing blasts. Obama started Friday in Washington, in the early hours, trying to talk President Hamid Karzai down after a fresh broadside at America’s war strategy, as he fumes after a US soldier launched a rampage killing 16 civilians. Later, Obama was aboard as Air Force One nosed into the murky skies over Washington, heading to a five-event, two city, 1700 mile odyssey of events in a vast hotel ballroom, huge film studio and intimate living room setting. Going home-to Chicago-for four hours, Obama amassed $2.1 million, first giving a pep talk to 600 loyal supporters in a ballroom under glistening chandeliers, who paid least $2,500 a head. Obama’s mission: inspire the hoards who gathered at his 2008 victory rally in nearby a nearby park to sign up to fight one more battle.

“As much as 2008 was exciting and as much as all of us, I think, saw that night in Grant Park as the culmination of something-it was actually just the beginning of what we are fighting for,” Obama said. “That is what 2012 is about. I know it’s been a tough few years, I know that when you see what’s going in Washington sometimes it is tempting to believe that what we

were each paying at least $10,000 dollars for some face time with the local boy made good. Obama has already raised more than $140 million dollars for his reelection bid and experts believe he is well on the way to trumping the more than $700 million he piled up in his 2008 run for the White House. He will likely fall short though of the staggering one billion dollar figure

ATLANTA: President Barack Obama waves to the crowd after speaking during a fundraiser at the film studio of actor Tyler Perry Friday in Atlanta. —AP believed in in 2008 was an illusion. “It is easy to slip back into cynicism. Remember what we said in the last campaign. Real change would be hard.” Then, Obama retreated to more exclusive company-a roundtable for 60 well-heeled supporters who

some campaign watchers fully expected him to haul in. Money may be even more important to Obama this year than in 2008. Thanks to a much debated Supreme Court decision individual rich donors and corporations are now free to throw unlimited mil-

lions of dollars into so-called Super PAC committees to support a candidate and savage his opponents. Republicans, who believe Obama’s presidency is a bust, with unemployment at 8.3 percent and gasoline prices on the rise, see the unshackled system as a way to compete with Obama’s fundraising prowess. Though Obama’s events have being taking on a more partisan tone, the White House insists that the president-kept waiting by a winding Republican nominating race of an opponent in November’s election is not campaigning. But days like Friday, which came a day after a brawling partisan trip to Ohio by Vice President Biden and a campaign film glorifying the president as a steely leader, make that conceit harder to maintain. Obama Friday took his total to 110 fundraisers since he launched his bid for the second term that all presidents crave. They range from big rallies to small affairs where the richest donors pay up to $35,800 to break bread with the president, ask him questions away from the prying eyes of the press, and get to bend his ear on a pet cause. After 90 minutes streaking to the Deep South on Air Force One, Obama was in an Atlanta living room, with a well heeled largely African American set, after evoking screams by plunging into a crowd of neighbors outside. “As satisfied as I am with some of the progress we’ve made ... I know we have still got a lot of work to do,” Obama said, as admirers crowded around.—AFP

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


Yemen security forces hunt abductors of Swiss woman ADEN: Yemeni security forces were yesterday hunting for suspected AlQaeda gunmen who abducted a Swiss woman this week with no immediate leads in sight, a security official said. “We are pursuing our search but so far we have not been able to locate where the Swiss woman is being held or know anything about her fate,” a security official in southern Shabwa province said. He said that three suspects were detained overnight as part of the investigation. On Friday a local official said suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen seized the woman in the Red Sea por t of

Hodeida and then moved her to restive Shabwa province further to the east. The Swiss foreign ministry confirmed the abduction and said it had been informed the woman had been kidnapped late Wednesday and were trying to seek her release. The Yemeni interior ministry, quoting a Swiss colleague of the woman, said she had been teaching at a foreign language institute in Hodeida and was seized at home by “men in militar y uniform” who moved her to Shabwa. The colleague identified her as 34year-old Sylvia Abrahat, according to

the transliteration from Arabic of a name posted by the ministry on its website. According to the report, the kidnapped woman telephoned her colleague to say her abductors are demanding “the release of prisoners held in Hodeida” in return for her freedom. The local official who announced the abduction on Friday said at the time that the kidnappers were “demanding the release of two Al-Qaeda militants detained in Hodeida.” Later a security official said “the kidnapping bears the hallmark of AlQaeda.” According to him, only a well-

organised group such as Al-Qaeda could have undertaken such an operation, which involved moving the Swiss woman across three provinces. Shabwa is a stronghold of loyalists of the jihadists’ local affiliate Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, whose militants fight under the banner of Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law). A tribal source said the woman was being held in a mountainous area of Shabwa adjoining Bayda province. “Contacts are under way in an attempt to secure the woman’s release,” he said, without detailing the nature of the contacts. The source named the men whose

release is wanted by the kidnappers as Ahmed Mohammed Morjan and Faez Mohammed Aliwa-both said to be detained from criminal issues. Overnight Friday authorities arrested Morjan’s father, a brother and a cousin to quiz them on any involvement in the abduction, the security official said. More than 200 people have been abducted in Yemen during the past 15 years, many of them by members of the country’s powerful tribes who use them as bargaining chips with the authorities. Almost all of those kidnapped were later freed unharmed. — AFP

Hopes riding on talks to defuse Iran tension Specter of military confrontation looms large

CAIRO: Ayman Nour, a leading Egyptian dissident who was jailed after challenging ousted President Hosni Mubarak in the 2005 elections, left, meets Amr Moussa, Egyptian presidential hopeful and former secretary general of the Arab League, following their meeting in Cairo, Egypt yesterday. —AP

Egypt parliament meets to set constitution rules CAIRO: Egypt’s parliament met yesterday to decide on the criteria for selecting members of a 100-person assembly charged with writing a new constitution, a process crucial for charting out the future of democracy in the country. The constitution will define the balance of power between the army-backed executive and parliament following the toppling of autocratic President Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising in February 2011. The constituent assembly will decide the ex tent of presidential powers, which parliament wants to curb, and the sensitive issue of the role of Islamic law in Egyptian laws and society. The document will also outline the future political role of the military, which has been in power since the fall of Mubarak. Under an interim constitution, parliament is responsible for picking the 100-strong assembly that will write the

new constitution, replacing the one that helped keep Mubarak in power for three decades and was a cornerstone of his rule. The upper and lower houses of parliament, meeting in joint session yesterday, will first vote on whether members of the constituent assembly will come from inside or outside the parliament or include a mixture of both. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), which controls most seats in the joint session, wants 50 members of the assembly to be from parliament and the remaining 50 to include legal and constitutional experts and unions members, FJP lawmaker Hussein Ibrahim said yesterday. The FJP had earlier said it wanted only 40 members to be appointed from within parliament. The two houses will meet again on March 24 to choose which parliamentary members will be appointed to the assembly. — Reuters

How Somalia famine aid went astray MOGADISHU: A large amount of food sent by the UN to the Somali capital during last year’s famine never reached the starving people it was intended for, an Associated Press investigation has found. Some of the World Food Program supplies went to the black market, some to feed livestock. One warehouse full of rations was looted in its entirety by a Somali government official. And across the city, feeding sites handed out far less food than records indicate they should have. The British government estimates between 50,000 and 100,000 people died in Somalia’s famine, and the UN has requested $1.5 billion for Somalia this year, partly to prevent a return of famine. The World Food Program provides much of Somalia’s food aid, and the UN says donations of food and cash saved half a million lives in the second half of last year. In the chaos of a civil war, with the aid effort’s own personnel at mortal risk merely for being associated with the

West, orderly, corruption-free food distribution could never be guaranteed. But AP’s three-month investigation into sites providing hot meals to families in government-controlled Mogadishu reveals various shortcomings, some of which WFP says it is already addressing by changing procedures. A critical problem was keeping track of supplies: WFP knew how much food was being shipped to the capital, but not how much was being cooked or how many people were showing up to eat it. Barey Muse, a mother of three, illustrated the frustrations. “My children are hungry but when I go here for food I must return emptyhanded,” she said last month, holding two large bowls outside a feeding site called Hodan. The WFP had to design a flexible program so that families could use the nearest hot-meal center as they moved between neighborhoods to avoid fighting. The price of flexibility was less control over theft, officials acknowledge. — AP

TEHRAN: Hopes are riding high that mooted talks between Iran and world powers will deescalate a dangerous showdown over Tehran’s controversial nuclear program. While Iran and the so-called P5+1 comprising the five UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany, are expected to soon agree a date and place for reviving their long-stalled talks, the spectre of military confrontation looms large. Israel has kept up warnings of air strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities to prevent the Islamic republic obtaining a nuclear weapons capability. A majority of Israel’s 14-member security cabinet now suppor ts Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak in launching a pre-emptive attack on Iran in a bid to end its nuclear program, the Israeli newspaper Maariv reported on Thursday, citing political sources it did not identify. “Israel is very close to the point when a very tough decision should be made-the bomb or the bombing,” former military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin told reporters last week. The United States, meanwhile, is positioning three of its aircraft carriers near Iran, according to the US navy on its official web-

site. The USS Enterprise a week ago left its home port to join the USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Carl Vinson that are already in the region. The Lincoln in January sailed through the strategic Strait of Hormuz into the Gulf, testing Iranian threats against the Vinson in that body of water. The US navy is also doubling the number of minesweeping ships and helicopters based in the Gulf, according to testimony by its chief, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, to US senators. US President Barack Obama has warned that Iran’s leaders have to understand that “the window for solving this issue diplomatically is shrinking.” Iran maintains its nuclear program is purely peaceful even though this year it blocked UN inspectors from visiting a specific area of a military base suspected to have hosted nuclear warhead research. Tehran on Wednesday made a formal request to schedule the time and place for “constructive, serious” talks with the P5+1, which it agreed to on February 14 after an initial offer made back in October by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. The last round of negotiations with the P5+1 collapsed in Istanbul in January 2011.

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, though, has told the West to drop the “illusion” that its economic sanctions against his country will force a change of heart over nuclear policy. Khamenei has called nuclear weapons a “sin”. Iran has stressed that it seeks only civilian uses from splitting the atom, such as nuclear energy and medical isotopes. The Western sanctions are taking a toll on Iran’s vital oil exports, though one that is quantifiably unclear overall amid competing declarations from Tehran and from Western agencies. While shipments have certainly been curtailed to several markets, the tensions over the showdown have driven global oil prices higher, giving the Islamic state higher revenue per barrel of oil it manages to sell. The International Atomic Energy Agency last November issued a report detailing suspicions that Iran was researching military aspects of nuclear technology, though it stopped short of stating definite proof of atomic bomb-related activities existed. US intelligence has likewise said there was no evidence of an Iranian nuclear bomb and it was thought no decision had yet been made on whether to make one. — AFP

Policy of detaining kids questioned in Israel BEIT UMAR: When Mahmoud Al-Alami was 9 years old, an Israeli soldier caught him throwing rocks, took him out of his uncle’s arms, slung him over his shoulders and carried him away. Mahmoud, now 10, says he was subsequently blindfolded and shackled, slapped and ordered to confess to throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers and identify other children doing the same. Mahmoud is among dozens of Palestinian minors who are detained every month by Israeli security forces in the West Bank and Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem, interrogated and pressured to report on others, according to a report issued this week. The report, by the Swedish branch of the organization Save the Children and the East Jerusalem YMCA, examined the cases of 297 minors aged 17 and under who were detained in 2011, most of them in nighttime raids on their homes after Israeli forces accused them of throwing stones. The detentions are drawing criticism from human rights groups, which say they traumatize the children and violate their rights. Rights activists say Israel appears to use detentions to scare young children into not throwing rocks again, as well as to extract information about older rock-hurling youths. They say interrogators also gather evidence against Palestinian leaders of weekly demonstrations that take place around the West Bank. The demonstrations often turn into confrontations between rock-throwing youths and Israeli soldiers firing tear gas and rubber bullets. Israel’s military points out that rocks Palestinian youths throw can be dangerous and even

deadly. In September, an Israeli settler and his year-old son were killed in a car cash after stones were thrown at their vehicle on a highway that crosses the West Bank. “It doesn’t matter if it was thrown by a 12-year-old or a 20year-old if it killed somebody,” said an officer in Israel’s military justice system, speaking on condition of anonymity under briefing regulations. “We still have to take minors to trial. It’s still a serious offense for us.” Mahmoud denies he was throwing stones at soldiers when he was detained for several hours in February last year. He says he was hurling rocks at friends pretending to be Israeli soldiers - a game the children call “Arabs and Jews” - near a military watchtower in his home village of Beit Umar. Nearby soldiers thought he was targeting them, he said. “I t was just a game,” the fifth-grader said. The soldiers chased the children, and Mahmoud ran into the arms of his uncle, who has a mental disability, before soldiers pulled him away. The boy was held from around noon until late evening. His mother says he still has nightmares that the soldiers will return. The Israeli official said the army does not hold children under 12. Asked to explained Mahmoud’s detention, he said it’s possible the boy was questioned until interrogators found out his age. He said minors are now tried in a special youth court, and that proceedings are sped up. Most minors never make it to trial because they usually agree to plea bargains that their lawyers tell them will reduce their sentences. Few Palestinian youths, or their lawyers, believe they will receive a fair trial.

From 2005 through 2010, 834 minors 17 and younger were brought before Israeli military cour ts on stone -throwing charges, according to the Israeli rights group B’tselem. Of these, 288 - around a third - were

organizing demonstrations. Israeli forces taped their interrogation with the boys to use as par t of their case against alTamimi. One of videos, edited to about 40 minutes from the 5hour interrogation, was

WEST BANK: In this March 12, 2012 photograph, Mahmoud AlAlami, 10, left, stands in front of his home with his cousin Farah, center, and brother Mamoun in Beit Umar, West Bank. —AP between 12 and 15 years old. All but one were found guilty, mostly in plea bargains, and spent a few weeks to a few months in jail. Rights activists say the interrogations of children and use of their confessions are particularly problematic. Confessions from two boys aged 14 and 15 feature heavily in the indictment against Bassem al-Tamimi, a 45-year-old protest leader in the village of Nabi Saleh, who has been designated a “prisoner of conscience” by London-based Amnesty International. Al-Tamimi has been held since March 2011 on charges of inciting youths to throw rocks and

uploaded to YouTube by activists who obtained the footage from defense lawyers. It shows one of the youths, Islam Dar-Ayyoub, then 14, tired and yawning. He wasn’t allowed to sleep, eat or go to the toilet, said Israeli activist Jonathan Pollack, who is following the case. In the video, he sometimes cries as two, sometimes three adults pester him with questions. “ Why are you cr ying?” one interrogator asks. “I”m afraid I’ll fail at school,” he sobs. Later he briefly falls asleep. The Israeli military officer wouldn’t comment on the video because al-Tamimi’s case is still ongoing. — AP

PKK rebels moot prisoner swap for 5 snatched Turks

MOGADISHU: In this Thursday, Jan 19, 2012 file photo, a child walks away carrying a bowl of food after receiving it at a food distribution center run by the Somali Relief, Rehabilitation and Development Organisation (SORRDO) to cook food provided by the World Food Program (WFP) for those displaced by the 2011 famine or by conflict, in the Hodan area of Mogadishu, Somalia. —AP

ARBIL: A Turkish Kurdish rebel group with bases in northern Iraq said yesterday it would release five Turkish nationals it kidnapped last year if Ankara would agree to a prisoner exchange. Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) spokesman Bakhtiar Doran said the five-a town mayor, a policeman and three Turkish soldiers-were snatched last year, but did not specify the date of their kidnap, or provide their names. “We have in our hands a mayor, a policeman and three Turkish soldiers,” a PKK statement attributed to Doran said. “The PKK is treating these prisoners according to the Geneva Convention, and we will not release them without official agreement with the

Turkish government on a prisoner exchange.” Doran said by telephone that the group were kidnapped last year, but declined to give further details. The PKK said in September that it detained a number of “military officials, a town mayor and 12 teachers”, but did not give specifics. It was not immediately clear if the group of five were among those kidnapped in September. The statement, which made reference to an October deal in which Israel freed more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was snatched by Gaza-based militants in June 2006, said: “If Turkey wants these prisoners

released, it must take serious steps. “The Turkish government has not carried out any efforts until now to release them.” Fighting between Turkish forces and PKK rebels has escalated in recent months. In October, Turkey launched a major air and land offensive against the rebels in the southeast of the country and in neighboring northern Iraq after 24 of its troops were killed in a nighttime ambush by rebels. The PKK took up arms in Kurdish-majority southeastern Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives. It is labeled a terrorist outfit by Ankara and much of the international community. — AFP

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


Mexican frontrunner targets quick reforms MEXICO CITY: A government headed by Mexican presidential frontrunner Enrique Pena Nieto would seek to tap foreign capital markets more and push ahead quickly with energy and tax reforms if he wins the July 1 election, his campaign chief said on Friday. Luis Videgaray, seen by many as a possible finance minister under Pena Nieto, who belongs to the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), told Reuters that his candidate was adamant about the need to boost sluggish domestic lending. Videgaray noted that the vast majority of Mexican federal debt was sold in pesos - to the extent that the government risked crowding out private sector lending. So it ought to raise the proportion that it sells to foreign investors, he said. Asked whether a PRI administration, which would begin in December 2012, would issue more of that debt denominated in dollars or euros, Videgaray said: “More in all (currencies). The thing is to take the decision to be funded more in international markets and less in local markets in

order to free up domestic gold. The thing is (to see) how far international markets let us get,” he added. Videgaray detailed a range of economic reforms in the interview that suggested the PRI would be far more market-friendly in power than it has been since 2000, when it became the opposition party. Changes also need to be made to rules governing bank capitalization and reserves that currently “penalize” lenders, Videgaray said. And it is vital to create a development bank in Mexico to spur commercial lending, Videgaray added. Domestic credit of all kinds provided by the banking sector was 45 percent of Mexico’s gross domestic product in 2010 - far behind the United States, where the equivalent figure was 231.4 percent of GDP that year. In Latin America’s biggest economy, Brazil, bank lending was more than double Mexico’s rate. Investors are hopeful Pena Nieto, 45, will push through stalled reforms in Mexico if he is elected. In recent polls, Pena Nieto had a lead of between 7 and 18 points over his nearest rival,

Josefina Vazquez Mota of President Felipe Calderon’s conservative National Action Party (PAN). Until the PAN took power in 2000, the centrist PRI ruled Mexico for more than 70 years, a reign that was often dogged by accusations of corruption and authoritarianism. Several of the domestic reform plans outlined by Videgaray echo measures proposed by the PAN under Calderon and his predecessor Vicente Fox, whose efforts to overhaul the Mexican economy were often thwarted by the PRI in opposition. Videgaray, who served as finance minister in the State of Mexico when Pena Nieto was governor, said the PRI would seek to foster competition in all sec tors, including the telecommunication industr y that tycoon Carlos Slim dominates. There is broad consensus in Mexico among the three main presidential hopefuls on the need to shake up competition, though progress has been halting due to political standoffs in Congress, where no party has had a majority for 15 years. A government headed by Pena Nieto would create special tribunals to han-

dle competition disputes, which can get bogged down for years in legal maneuvering in Mexico, Videgaray said. Another of Pena Nieto’s principal priorities to help boost Latin America’s second biggest economy is to improve Mexico’s weak tax take, which has made the government heavily dependent on state oil monopoly Pemex for revenues. A fiscal reform might extend to ending a value added tax exemption on food and medicine, if a way to offset the impact on the poor can be found, Videgaray added. Politicians, particularly in the PRI, have been wary of such a move because about half of Mexico’s population lives in poverty. If the PRI wins the election, it would also push for quick approval of legislation aimed at liberalizing Mexico’s labor market, Videgaray said. A bill designed to do this has been stalled in Congress for months, partly due to PRI objections. “The key issue in the labor market is flexibility,” he said. Turning to foreign policy, Videgaray said ties with the United States, where Mexico sends nearly 80 percent of its exports, would

be the most important for Pena Nieto. US efforts to clamp down on illegal immigration, and Mexican concerns over the treatment of undocumented workers have vexed policymakers on both sides of the border for years. Videgaray said the PRI would seek to ease tensions. “Mexico will be interested in seeing how we can help the US government to create the political conditions in the US Congress for immigration reform in the United States,” he said. “O ur stance won’t be to demand immigration reform, it’ll be how can we help with an immigration reform.” Videgaray also floated the idea that the two sides should increase crossborder integration in the service sector. He said one potential example that may be wor th exploring is whether state-backed US welfare programs like Medicaid or Medicare could be used to pay for some medical services in Mexico, arguing that the lower cost of treatment south of the border could result in major savings for US public finances.— Reuters

Ailing Venezuela leader eyes new six-year term Chavez faces more cancer treatment

ALASKA: In this Thursday photo, a juvenile moose is dwarfed by deep snow in Anchorage, Alaska. The state’s largest city is 3.3 inches away from breaking its record snowfall of 132.6 inches that was set in the winter of 1954-55. —AP

Alaska’s largest city eyes snow record ANCHORAGE: Even by Alaska standards, this winter is unusual for the hardy residents of the state’s largest city. Near-record snowfall buried Anchorage neighborhoods, turning streets into canyons with walls of snow on each side. The snow’s weight collapsed the roofs of some buildings. Moose are fleeing into the city to get away from too-deep snow. And the city dumps are close to overflowing with snow that may not melt entirely before next winter. Love or hate it, some residents are hoping for more, at least another 3.3 inches. Then they could say they made it through the winter when the nearly 60-year record of 132.6 inches was broken. “I want it destroyed,” resident Melissa Blair said. “I want to see another foot and knock that record out of the park.” The extreme weather has not just struck Alaska this winter. It has also hit the Lower 48. The first three months of 2012 have seen twice the normal number of tornadoes. And 36 states set daily high temperature records Thursday. The Lower 48 had its fourth warmest winter on record, while Alaska had its coldest January on record. Two different weather phenomenon - La Nina and its northern cousin the Arctic Oscillation - are mostly to blame, meteorologists say. Global warming could also be a factor because it is supposed to increase weather extremes, cli-

mate scientists say. “When you start to see the extreme events become more common, that’s when you can say that it is a consequence of global warming,” University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver said. Nearly 11 feet of snow has fallen on Anchorage this winter, forcing the city to haul away at least 250,000 tons of snow to its six snow disposal sites. The sites are close to overflowing. State and city crews are working around the clock to clear almost 2,500 miles of roads. This winter is just fine with Kenny Withrow, owner of Popeye’s Services, a snow-clearing outfit. He has been working well into the night, clearing driveways and parking lots and charging $350 to $1,200 for each roof clearing job. Last year, he cleared maybe five roofs. This year, he’s done as many as 50, and the phone calls from worried residents keep coming. Withrow enjoys the snow because of its beauty and the snowmobiling adventures it makes possible. He does wonder if it’s ever going to end, though. Still, he’s rooting for more of the white stuff. There’s that record to break. “We’re so close,” he said. “We might as well just get it done.” To date, the city has received 129.4 inches of snow this winter, compared with the historical average of 69.5 inches. No more is expected in the coming days, but snow can typically fall well into April.— AP

Cuban protesters defiant after expulsion from church HAVANA: Cuban dissident activists vowed Friday to keep up demands for a dialogue with the government over human rights a day after police expelled them from a Catholic church they occupied in Havana. The dissidents want Pope Benedict XVI to push Cuban leaders for greater political freedom on the island during his upcoming visit this month. “We will persist in presenting demands to the government,” Cuban activist Vladimir Calderon told AFP. “We are peaceful fighters, nonviolent, but active, by peaceful means, by way of dialogue.” The 13 protesters took up residence in Our Lady of Charity church on Tuesday to demonstrate their concern over Cuba’s inaction on human rights issues. The group from the outlawed Republican Party of Cuba (PRC) is demanding the release of political prisoners and greater freedom of expression. “We went to the church with one intention: to present some demands that the Church serve as mediator to have a dialogue between the Cuban government and the opposition,” Calderon told AFP Police escorted the protesters out of the church Thursday night at the request of Havana’s Cardinal Jaime Ortega, a church spokesman said. Church officials had asked them to leave earlier but they refused. After being fingerprinted at a local police station, the dissidents were released. The pope is scheduled to visit Cuba March 26-28, after his trip to Mexico. He has said he would focus only on church ministerial issues during his visit. The Catholic Church in Cuba has organized a six-mile procession

for March 28 leading from Cathedral Square to the Plaza of the Revolution in Havana, where Pope Benedict XVI plans to preside over a Mass. The eviction came after the Ladies in White group and other prominent Cuban dissidents said they disagreed with the activists. The Ladies in White are the wives and female relatives of jailed dissidents. The women protest the imprisonments by attending Mass each Sunday and then walking through the streets dressed in white clothing. The archdiocese had earlier condemned the “illegitimate and irresponsible” protest by the eight men and five women from the PRC. It said the dissidents were evicted “in less than 10 minutes,” and that the authorities had told the church the group would not face penalties for its actions. “We have thus ended a crisis that should never have taken place,” the archdiocese said in a statement. But Calderon said that “police threatened us and told us that if we continued our activities, there would be legal consequences. But we will continue to oppose the regime. We are not afraid and we are ready to face the consequences.” Some Cuban opposition members are critical of church cooperation with the communist state, which has included mediating the release of political prisoners. But the church is the most influential non-state actor in a society overwhelmingly controlled by the government. After decades of official atheism, the Cuban regime now has more cordial relations with Catholics and other churches. Most Cubans, however, do not consider themselves practicing Catholics.— AFP

CARACAS: Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez flew home on Friday after cancer surgery in Cuba, vowing to conquer the illness and win an October presidential election despite the need for radiation treatment. “ Who said the path was going to be easy?” said Chavez, 57, in an emotional speech to the nation on the runway. “I have promised I will live, and to this end I will give my all!” The socialist president’s return to Venezuelan soil after an absence of three weeks in Havana reasserts his leadership, calms anxiety among supporters and quells whispers of a succession struggle behind the scenes. Yet little is known about what kind of cancer Chavez has or how serious it is. So big questions remain as to whether he is fit enough to campaign for an Oct 7 election that has turned into the biggest political fight of his 13-year rule. Flying from Havana into Maiquetia international airport, on the Caribbean coast outside Caracas, Chavez smiled and hugged Cabinet members and relatives before giving a 30-minute address laced with religious and historical references. “ This new return is a song, a prayer, a commitment to God,” Chavez said. The president appeared sure-footed, but at times his voice quivered and he lacked his typical exuberance. “You can already smell the Bolivarian victory on Oct 7,” he said, referring to his inspiration and Venezuelan independence hero Simon Bolivar. “They can’t stop us!” Chavez had said he would come home on Sunday, but in typically unpredictable fashion he caught officials by surprise by announcing his imminent return on Twitter. The highway to the airport was jammed with VIPs’ motorcades, sirens blaring, as his top aides raced to be there when his plane landed. Jubilant supporters quickly adopted the Twitter hashtag #ChavezVictorioso (Chavez Victorious). In news that stunned Venezuelans accustomed to Chavez’s energetic and dominant presence, Cuban doctors removed a baseball-sized cancerous tumor from his pelvis in June 2011. Following that procedure, Chavez

CARACAS: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (R) is welcomed with military honours at Caracas’ Maiquetia international airport on Friday after spending three weeks in Cuba where he underwent cancer surgery.—AFP said he was “completely cured.” But a recurrence of the disease dented his credibility about his health. Last month, Chavez flew to Cuba to have a second tumor removed. Medical experts say the radiation treatment he faces could take a heavy physical toll. The cancer saga has eclipsed all other matters in South America’s biggest oil exporter. In Venezuela, where scant information has been released about Chavez’s condition, everyone is speculating about what is happening behind the scenes. Some theorize that Chavez invented his condition to win sympathy, while others predict that he has months to live. Chavez has denied rumors the disease has spread. On Friday, he said he was making a “good recovery” but needed to apply a “soldier’s discipline” to slowing down his hectic lifestyle and following his medical routine. Whatever his condition, the side

effects of the radiation treatment will slow down the president’s traditionally gregarious, on-the-street style, just as his 39-year-old opponent, Henrique Capriles, is gearing up his own campaign. Capriles, a former state governor who won a strong mandate in an opposition primary election last month, is contrasting his energetic and youthful image with Chavez ’s convalescence. On the campaign trail this week, Capriles walked for hours under the sun, visiting dozens of homes and shops to talk to Venezuelans, and enjoyed a game of basketball with locals. “We are the new generation. We have energy and new ideas. We are the future, they are the past,” Capriles said. Opinion polls show Chavez, who has been in power since 1999, still has the edge over Capriles in voter enthusiasm, although roughly a third of the electorate is still unde-

cided. Though Capriles is a centerleft politician who admires the Brazilian model of free-market economics combined with strong welfare policies, Chavez’s camp depicts him as the epitome of what it calls the US-backed, pro-rich “ultra right.” “We will continue bringing down the vile inheritance of capitalism,” Chavez said in familiar flamboyant rhetoric. One medical source close to the doctors treating Chavez said the Military Hospital in Caracas had been prepared to receive him. There was no official word, however, on whether Chavez would undergo radiation treatment at home or in Cuba. A pro-opposition Venezuelan journalist, who has broken news on Chavez’s condition, said Venezuelan, Brazilian and Spanish doctors involved in assessing him had disagreed with Cuban counterparts about where precisely the radiation should be applied to the president. — Reuters

Brazilian judge dismisses dictatorship-era charges BRASILIA: A Brazilian judge has dismissed the first charges ever brought against an army officer over crimes committed during the country’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship, dealing a blow to rights groups and victims’ families. Prosecutors brought charges this week against Colonel Sebastiao Curio Rodrigues de Moura, 77, who commanded troops they say kidnapped and tortured five members of the Araguaia guerrilla movement in the Amazon that was fighting to impose communism. Human rights groups had applauded the charges as a “landmark step for accountability in Brazil,” which critics say has taken only timid steps to deal with that dark chapter in its history. The fate of the five and several hundred others has never been discovered. Prosecutors argued the kidnapping of the five was not covered by a 1979 amnesty law because they were not found and the case never closed. The prosecution argument heeded a 2010 decision by the Inter-American Court of Human

Rights that Brazil must investigate those kidnappings and punish the perpetrators. In dismissing the charges, Federal Judge Joao Cesar Matos argued they were covered by the amnesty law. “Pretending that you can skirt around the amnesty law to reopen the debate over military dictatorship-era crimes ... disregards the historical circumstances which, in a great effort of national reconciliation, led to its implementation,” the judge said in a statement on the Federal Justice website of Para state. The judge added that even if he accepted the case, the legal time limit for a sentence to be given had passed. Federal prosecutors in Para state said they would appeal the judge’s decision. The accused colonel was a notorious figure from the dictatorship period that began after a military coup. He took over the running of the region in the Amazon where his troops were stationed and earned a fortune overseeing artisanal, or small, independent mining. The judge’s decision came

on the day Defense Minister Celso Amorim called for the powers of a recently established truth commission to be expanded to enable it to investigate all the wrongdoing of the era. Brazil’s military dictatorship was

less murderous than those in Argentina and Chile, but the country’s leadership has been criticized for not doing more to investigate the violent acts committed and mete out punishment to those responsible.— Reuters

SAN JUAN: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov Mitt Romney, center, holds hands with his wife Ann, left, and San Juan Gov. Luis Fortuno during a rally on Friday in San Juan, Puerto Rico. —AP

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


Kony video director hospitalized in US CALIFORNIA: The director of a video gone viral that calls for the arrest of Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony has been hospitalized in California following an “unfortunate incident” that his group said on Friday stemmed from the emotional toll of recent weeks. Jason Russell, director of the 30-minute “Kony 2012” YouTube video and co-founder of the group Invisible Children, was hospitalized on Thursday for “exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition,” Invisible Children CEO Ben Keesey said in a statement. “The past two

weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday,” Keesey said without providing details. “Jason’s passion and his work have done so much to help so many, and we are devastated to see him dealing with this personal health issue,” he said. The video Russell direc ted became an Internet sensation this month, racking up nearly 80 million hits on YouTube since it was posted with the aim of waking up the world to atrocities committed by the Kony’s

Lord’s Resistance Army, including k idnapping children and forcing them to fight. Celebrities including George Clooney, Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Oprah Winfrey have announced their suppor t for the cause. The company owned by powerful producer Harvey Weinstein has contacted Russell to buy the film. A San Diego police spokeswoman, asked about media reports that Russell had been detained, said only that a 33year-old white man had been taken to a medical facility on Thursday

morning. “ The San Diego Police Department received several calls that he was acting bizarrely, running into traffic, interfering with traffic, yelling,” police spokeswoman Lieutenant Andra Brown said. She said officers detained the man, who according to witnesses was in “various stages of undress,” but did not arrest him after deciding it was better to take him to a medical facility. She declined to name him. The phenomenal success of Russell’s video has been hailed for inspiring young people to activism,

but has suffered criticism including that it oversimplified a long-standing human rights crisis. Russell, who narrates the video with a personal story that juxtaposes shots of his young son in San Diego, California, with the hopelessness of Ugandan children, has said the video was meant as a kick-starter to a complicated issue. A spokesman for the San Diego-area hospital where Russell was thought to have been taken could not immediately be reached for comment, and it was not clear if he was there on Friday.— Reuters

Belarus executes bombing convict Execution likely to further sour ties with EU

NIKKALUOKTA: Lieutenant colonel Mikael Nordmark (3rd R), head of a Lapland army garrison, listens to police spokesman Hakan Alselind (L) as he relates the latest information on the missing Hercules C130-J and the five people onboard during a press confernce in Nikkaluokta, northern Sweden yesterday.—AFP

Swedish rescuers find wreckage of crashed plane STOCKHOLM: Rescuers have found the wreckage of a Norwegian military plane that crashed with five people on board during an exercise in northern Sweden, officials said yesterday. Parts of the C-130 cargo aircraft were found scattered over a glacier on mount Kebnekaise, rescue spokesman Mathias Hansson told The Associated Press. Four men and one woman - all Norwegians - were on board the plane heading from Evenes, on Norway’s Arctic coast, to the Swedish city of Kiruna when it disappeared from radar screens Thursday over the mountain range. Hansson said the crew had not been found, but “there is nothing that indicates” they had survived the crash. “There are a lot of wreckage parts spread out over a large area. It suggests it was a major impact,” Hansson said. The plane was participating in a Norwegian-led military exercise with 16,000 soldiers from 14 countries taking part. Rescue helicopters and military aircraft taking part in the drill searched the mountainous area about 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of

Kiruna, but were hampered by poor visibility brought on by low clouds, snow and strong winds. Rescuers searching the area around Kebnekaise on the ground found some small debris Friday, but couldn’t confirm whether it came from the missing plane. The wreckage parts were found on other side of the mountain early yesterday, on Rabots glacier, Hansson said, adding “there is no doubt” those parts belonged to the missing C-130. The plane crashed into the western side of the mountain, Norwegian Defense Minister Espen Barth Eide told a news conference in Oslo. Asked whether any of the crew may have survived the crash, Barth Eide said “it looks dim, but we don’t want to draw any conclusions.” Kebnekaise is Sweden’s highest mountain, more than 2,100 meters (6,680 feet) above sea level. The Norwegian Armed Forces identified the crew as Lt. Col. Truls Oerpen, 46; Capt. Staale Garberg, 42; Capt. Bjoern Yngvar Haug, 40; Capt. Steinar Utne, 35; and Capt. Siw Robertsen, 45.— AP

MINSK: Belarus has executed one of two men convicted for a fatal 2011 metro bomb attack, despite protest from European human rights groups and calls for a re-trial, a relative of the executed man said yesterday. The execution is likely to further sour already strained relations between the former Soviet republic and the European Union whose ambassadors left Belarus this month in a diplomatic row triggered by fresh EU sanctions. Belarus is the only country in Europe to retain the death penalty and rights groups had urged it not to carry out the death sentences on two 25-yearold factory workers, Vladislav Kovalyov, whose execution was confirmed yesterday, and Dmitry Konovalov, whose fate is not yet known. Both were sentenced last November for carrying out the attack at the “October” metro station at rush hour in central Minsk which killed 15 people and wounded dozens more. “ We received a letter from the Supreme Court this morning ... saying that the sentence had been carried out,” Tatyana Kovalyova, the dead man’s sister said. “The letter was dater March 16. They did ever ything very quickly.” Konovalov’s family has declined to talk to the media and it was unclear whether he had also been executed. Petros

MINSK: Dmitry Konovalov, left, and Vladislav Kovalev stand in a defendant’s cage during a court session in Minsk, Belarus. The mother of Vladislav Kovalev, Lubov Kovaleva confirmed yesterday, that her son has been executed, after she received official notification about the execution. —AP Efthymiou of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe said this week: “The lack of fairness in the trial and the lack of transparency in Belarusian court should lead the authorities to reconsider their decision.” At his trial, Kovalyov said he had never confessed and had

only agreed to testify against his childhood friend Konovalov after hearing his screams from a nearby jail cell. After being convicted he asked President Alexander Lukashenko for clemency. Earlier this week, Lukashenko said he had refused to pardon the two, citing the gravity of the crime.


in brief

Shabaab base bombed

Showdown shapes up in French presidential race PARIS: What’s likely to be a cacophonous list of French presidential candidates is being finalized, but the race is really about two men with starkly different visions for the future of France. Nicolas Sarkozy wants to make it a leaner, more competitive economy and keep a lid on immigration. Francois Hollande wants to tax the rich more, protect workers and make the country a kinder place - and become the first leftist to win the presidency in a generation. French voters have six weeks to make up their minds before the balloting begins. Candidates from the far right, and increasingly the far left, are weighing heavily on the race. How much support they gain in the first round of voting April 22 could swing the crucial runoff May 6. And it will influence parliamentary elections held a month later, in June. All of which could change the face of France. NICOLAS SARKOZY The 57-year-old Sarkozy ’s mood bounced this week after a poll suggested he was finally gaining on front-runner Hollande. Sarkozy’s expressive brow and grin are recognizable far beyond France’s borders, after he intervened in wars in Libya and Georgia, and improved relations with the United States and Israel. But the sight of his face inspires visceral anger in his critics, who are legion. Those on the left say the conservative president’s moves to raise the retirement age and limit the power of France’s frequent strikes are suffocating the French way of life, in favor of a more American-style, work-until-you-drop ethic. Sarkozy says change is the only way for France to stay important. But business owners who supported him in the last election in 2007 say his reform momentum fizzled fast, and that he hasn’t made it much easier to hire and fire and innovate. And European partners and ratings agencies say he’s been too cautious about cutting France’s big deficit. Opponents also blanch at his attacks on immigrants - though he’s the son of a Hungarian immigrant himself and on Muslim practices, such as the ban on Islamic face veils and recent digs about halal meat. His biggest liability appears to be his own personality. Tabloids loved his whirl-

wind romance with former supermodel wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy just months after he divorced in office, but voters felt alienated. They’re still angry that he celebrated his 2007 victory on a billionaire friend’s yacht. “He’s too Parisian” for rural voters and seen as too “American” in his behavior and style, said Pascal Perrineau, who lectures on political sociology at Paris’ Institute for Political Sciences. Sarkozy’s tongue is sharp and quick - too quick sometimes. He lashed out at a journalist during a campaign stop Thursday, the latest in a term full of such outbursts. FRANCOIS HOLLANDE Hollande, who’s also 57, has led opinion polls for more than half a year as the most likely next president. He led the Socialist Party through a troubled decade, but few of his ideas have energized voters. Little known abroad, he has worried European leaders by saying he’d refuse to ratify a hard-fought European accord meant to bring eurozone economies closer together. “I will not sacrifice the interests of my country, never!” he said in a televised debate Thursday night, adding that he wants a “reorientation of Europe.” He says the pact focuses too much on austerity and not on stimulating growth. Often accused of being too soft and not enough of a leader to run “a strong France” - Sarkozy’s campaign slogan - Hollande surprised viewers and some on his campaign team with a pledge to tax high-income earners at 75 percent. He admitted Thursday that it wouldn’t make a big dent in the deficit but said it would be a “moral measure” and “send a signal” to voters angry at bankers and traders, and frustrated at high unemployment. Political scientist Perrineau said, “there’s still a spirit of communism” in France, unlike other European countries where the political center has moved to the right. Hollande sees squeezing immigrants as the wrong answer. “To say ‘there are too many foreigners,’ does that mean, ‘OK, those who are here legally, those who have been here for years, we are going to kick them out’?” he asked Thursday. He lived for 25 years with Sarkozy’s last Socialist challenger, Segolene Royal, who tried in 2007 to become France’s first female president.—AP

Lukashenko, an autocratic leader in power since 1994, has kept his countr y out of the European mainstream and Belarus’ relations with the EU are at a low after a crackdown on political opposition following mass protests against Lukashenko’s re-election in December 2010.— Reuters

MOSCOW: Russian police officers detain an opposition supporter during a rally in central Moscow yesterday.—AFP

Russian police detain anti-govt protesters MOSCOW: Russian police detained two anti-government dozen protesters yesterday as hundreds rallied in downtown Moscow to denounce Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency and a television show that accused opposition leaders of treason. Moscow police said they had detained more than 20 people for trying to hold an unsanctioned protest at Revolution Square, along with two protesters at nearby Pushkin Square who unfurled antiKremlin banners. The protesters were released shortly afterward, police said. Several hundred protesters at Pushkin Square chanted “Russia without Putin!” Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who was president in 2000-2008, was re-elected earlier this month for a third term despite rallies, Russia’s largest since the Soviet collapse, that urged him to step down. The protesters at Pushkin Square cheered opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov, who was released from jail Friday night after his 10-day jail term for disobeying police orders was replaced with a fine. Udaltsov, who leads the Left Front movement and spent several months in jail last year, called on the protesters to participate in the March of A Million - an opposition rally planned for May 6, a day before Putin’s presidential inauguration. “This power is not legitimate,” Udaltsov told the crowd. “Impostors, get out of the Kremlin!” The protesters also chanted “Shame on NTV!” referring to a national television

channel. An NTV report aired Thursday alleged that opposition leaders used US grants to plan an anti-Kremlin coup, organize provocations against authorities and pay thousands of Russians for participating in huge rallies that followed December’s fraud-tainted parliamentary election. The report - whose authors were uncredited - triggered tens of thousands of angry tweets and comments on blogs and social networking websites, and NTV’s website was briefly paralyzed Friday after what the broadcaster said was a hacker attack. In recent months, several videos, tapped phone conversations of opposition leaders and their e-mails have been leaked online, prompting accusations of the Kremlin’s involvement. The protesters also demanded the release of Alexei Kozlov, the husband of protest leader Olga Romanova. Kozlov, a former investment banker, was sentenced Thursday to five years in jail for alleged money laundering and fraud in a trial widely seen as Kremlin retaliation for his wife’s political activism. Although yesterday’s rally was not sanctioned by authorities, police made no attempt to disperse it and only used bullhorns urging the protesters to disperse. Since December, authorities who once denied almost all permission requests for opposition rallies or tightly limited their size have shown an unusual willingness to sanction huge gatherings in prominent locations.— AP

MOGADISHU: Jets bombed an al Shabaab base north of Somalia’s Kismayu port yesterday but it was not clear if there were any casualties, residents and officials said. The jets hit the insurgents’ base near the village of Daytubako, 135 km (84 miles) north of Kismayu, the nerve-centre of rebel operations in the Horn of Africa country. Mohamud Farah, the spokesman for Somali government troops in Lower Juba, southern Somalia, told Reuters the jets were likely to be Kenyan, but the east African country’s military spokesman could not immediately confirm the attack. Kenya sent troops into anarchic Somalia in October after raids and kidnappings it blamed on al Shabaab, but the advance has slowed and regional insecurity is no better. Somali rebels killed seven people in an attack inside Kenya last week. Kenya announces elections NAIROBI: Kenyan officials have set the next major election for 2013, the first poll since postelection violence rocked this East African countr y and k illed more than 1,000 people. Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Isaac Hassan said yesterday that they decided to announce the vote will be held March 4, 2013, to “remove the uncertainty, anxiety and suspense surrounding this date.” Confusion surrounded the date for the presidential, national and local polls after Kenyan leaders gave different interpretations of a new constitution on when it should be held. A court in January said the two key leaders of Kenya’s coalition government can decide the date or failing that, hold it in March 2013. Police investigate break-in LONDON: Police say they are investigating reports of a break-in at an office inside Britain’s Parliament buildings. The Press Association news agency says the incident took place at offices used by Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, though not his personal office. The agency said yesterday that a member of staff had found a door forced open, but it was unclear whether anything had been stolen. The Metropolitan Police said officers were called just before 7 pm Friday to reports of “alleged forced entry to an office in the Palace of Westminster.” Labor, Britain’s main opposition party, said it could not comment on a police investigation.

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


Pakistan parliament set to take up US-Pakistan ties ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s parliament is set to finally reveal new terms of engagement with the United States this week, almost five months after a crossborder skirmish with NATO forces that left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead and ties at their lowest in years. The new terms will likely include the re-opening of supply lines to US-led NATO troops in Afghanistan, closed since Nov 26, but with many new qualifications and restrictions, a prominent opposition lawmaker said yesterday. “Broadly, all the parties agree on this,” said Ayaz Amir, an opposition member of the National Assembly who sits on its foreign affairs and defense committees. “I don’t think anyone is in favour of permanently blocking off NATO routes. There will be riders, qualifications, and the military will have a heavy input in this.” The

National Security Committee’s recommendations are almost certain to be accepted by parliament when they are finally issued later this week, given that it has been working on the new terms for months with heavy input from the military. Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari briefly talked about the alliance as he addressed the opening of a joint session of parliament. “Pakistan-United States relations are multi-dimensional and important. We seek to engage meaningfully with the US on the basis of mutual interest and mutual respect,” he said. “We are looking forward to your recommendations on re-engaging with the United States.” His speech was marked by loud jeering and anti-Zardari slogans from opposition lawmakers, who walked out in protest part way through the speech. It was

Zardari’s fifth time to address parliament, more than any previous civilian president of the unstable, nuclear-armed South Asian nation which has a history of coups. Pakistan has been directly ruled by its military for more than half of its 64-year history and indirectly for much of the rest. It largely controls foreign and security policies, and has taken the lead in relations with the United States. “All of this, the break in relations, the army viewpoint is coloring Pakistan’s response,” said Amir, a member of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) faction headed by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He spoke to Reuters just before Zardari’s speech. Relations with the United States reached a crisis point after the November incident in which NATO aircraft killed 24

Pakistani troops. Pakistan shut down NATO supply routes into Afghanistan and demanded an apology. The United States expressed regret for the loss of life and accepted the bulk of the blame, but has not apologized. Zardari could be the first civilian president to serve a full five-year term, having so far weathered numerous political crises and showdowns with both the military and the Supreme Court. Still, his governing coalition has a secure majority in parliament and is unlikely to face much resistance. “Regardless of the opposition these recommendations face when they are presented before parliament, the government has a majority and will not face difficulties affirming them,” Amir said. “I think it should be done within a week, that’s my expectation.”— Reuters

India issues warrant for another Iranian over blast Israel accuses Iran of masterminding attack

This undated handout picture shows missing US yoga teacher Aubrey Sacco (R) with a friend before she embarked on a six-month trip, in Kathmandu. Aubrey was last seen in a village called Lama Hotel on April 22, 2010, in northern Nepal’s Langtang National Park. —AFP

Vanished US tourist points to dark heart of Himalayas KATHMANDU: After travelling through Sri Lanka and India, American yoga teacher Aubrey Sacco decided to cap her six-month trip of a lifetime with a solo trek in Nepal’s majestic Himalayas. The 23-year-old told her family she would be hiking in Langtang National Park, on the Tibetan border, and would check back with them in a few days. They never heard from her again. Two years later, her mother has returned to the country accusing Nepal of indifference to a case that has highlighted the dangers of women trekking alone in the world’s most famous mountain range. “We have been to Nepal three times to meet with police officials to find out what they have done in investigating for my missing daughter,” Aubrey’s mother Connie told reporters this week. “It should not be our job to investigate this, it’s their job.” Aubrey was last seen in Langtang village on April 22, 2010. Villagers there initially told her parents she left in the afternoon but some later changed their stories, saying they hadn’t seen her. The Saccos accept that Aubrey may have died in an accident but they fear the Nepal authorities refuse to consider more sinister alternatives because any suggestion of a sex attacker at large could be devastating for tourism. The family have cultivated local contacts, enlisted senators and congressmen in their home state of Colorado and even have the FBI working on the case, but they say the search is being hindered by “red tape” in Nepal. A sweep of the area around Langtang village at the time and subsequent searches have turned up no body and no avalanches were reported. Lie detectors and sensing equipment that could locate a body-even after two yearshave been made available through the US Embassy but have not yet been used by Nepali police, Connie Sacco said. “This makes

us suspicious that the government and police may not want to find out what happened to Aubrey,” said Sacco, who has asked for a meeting with Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai. Nepal police have defended their actions, telling AFP they had searched the area thoroughly and had even sought help from witchdoctors. Aubrey’s disappearance is one of a growing caseload of unsolved attacks and unexplained deaths in Nepal’s popular trekking areas. American Lena Sessions, 23, was hiking alone in December in the area where Aubrey went missing when a man wearing a black mask approached her with a tribal “khukri” knife and threatened her. She told police she managed to escape after her assailant threatened to kill her if she did not submit to a sexual assault. The incident occurred a week after a South Korean woman had been assaulted, also in Langtang National Park, and the US Embassy now warns against hiking alone in Nepal, stating that two American women were attacked and seriously injured in 2010 on popular trails. The British Foreign Office website also warns of “isolated incidences of rape” on trekking routes. Sacco believes the attempted attack on Lena Sessions, Aubrey’s disappearance, and other cases may be connected. “There is a very bad man on the loose in the area where many women trekkers trek alone and where harm can come to the women and young girls of the villages,” she said. In the recent assaults the women have lived to tell the tale, but several trekkers have not been so lucky. In 2005 Celine Henry from France and, separately, Sabine Gruneklee from Germany disappeared while trekking on the fringes of the Kathmandu valley. Gruneklee’s badly decomposed body was found in 2006 but Henry remains officially missing.—AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani policemen stand guard outside a house where family members of slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden are believed be be held, in Islamabad yesterday.—AFP

Pakistan remands bin Laden family members: lawyer ISLAMABAD: A Pakistan court yesterday remanded family members of Osama bin Laden including his Yemeni wife in judicial custody for nine days, their lawyer said. Bin Laden’s youngest wife Amal Abdulfattah was with him in a compound in Abbottabad when he was killed in a US Navy SEALs’ operation last year. “The judge sent Abdulfattah along with her five children to judicial remand until March 26 after a preliminary hearing,” Muhammad Aamir, who is going to represent Abdulfattah in the case, told AFP. He said Abdulfattah’s brother, Zakarya Ahmad Abd Al-Fattah had hired him to represent his sister and her children in the case. “I will file a power of attorney on

behalf of my client, Abd Al-Fattah in the court on Monday to represent Abdulfattah in the case,” Aamir said. He added that he will also seek access to Abdulfattah, who has been in Pakistani custody since May last year and to the copy of the First Investigation Report filed against her. “I will also pray to the judge to allow Abdulfattah’s brother to see her before the next hearing on March 26”. Pakistan was humiliated by the covert American operation that killed the Al-Qaeda leader in the early hours of May 2, practically on the doorstep of the country’s elite military academy in Abbottabad where he lived for five years. — AFP

NEW DELHI: An Indian court issued yesterday an arrest warrant against another Iranian suspect in an attack last month on an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi, a report said. Israel has accused Iran of masterminding the attack. But India has held back from blaming traditional ally Tehran although the Indian police’s probe appears to be focused on Iranian nationals and those with ties to the Islamic Republic. Delhi Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vinod Yadav issued the warrant against Masod Sedaghatzadeh, an Iranian who has been detained in Malaysia, after police alleged he was also involved in the Delhi blast conspiracy, the Press Trust of India said. “You (police) are hereby directed to arrest him,” Yadav was quoted by the news agency as saying. The warrant was issued a day after Indian police said arrest warrants were being drawn up for three men of

Iranian origin identified as suspects in the New Delhi attack that severely injured the Israeli diplomat. Delhi police commissioner Brijesh Kumar Gupta also said Friday investigations had established a clear link between the February 13 attack and a similar alleged plot targeting Israeli diplomats in Bangkok. Gupta said the arrest warrants would be issued soon against the three suspects named as Houshang Ashfar Irani, Sayed Ali Sadr Mehdian and Abolghasemi Mohammad Reza. They are all now believed to be in Iran, police said. In the Delhi attack, a hitman on a motorbike attached a magnetic bomb to the back of an Israeli embassy car carrying the 42-year-old diplomat, who was also the wife of the defence attache at the embassy. Last week, a veteran Indian freelance journalist called Syed

Mohammed Kazmi who worked part-time for Iran’s news agency IRNA became the first person to be arrested in connection with the attack. Gupta said interrogation of Kazmi, who denies involvement, had led to the “unravelling of the conspiracy.” The Delhi bombing came on the same day as another attempted attack on an Israeli embassy car in Georgia. Thai police have arrested two Iranian men in Bangkok who are suspected of planning the separate attack on Israeli diplomats. Delhi police commissioner Gupta said one of the three named in the Delhi attack, Irani, had been in touch with Sedaghatzadeh, “thus establishing his links with the terror module in Bangkok.” Malaysian authorities have taken steps to extradite Sedaghatzadeh to face trial in connection with the alleged foiled Bangkok plot. — AFP

In Afghan killings case, questions over alcohol KABUL: The US military bans alcohol for its troops in Afghanistan, but that doesn’t stop some soldiers from having a bottle or two stowed away in their gear - a fact highlighted by investigators’ probe into whether alcohol played a role when a US sergeant allegedly carried out a killing spree that left 16 Afghans dead. US investigators have determined that the suspect had been drinking alcohol prior to leaving the base the night of the attack, a senior US defense official said Friday. How much of a role alcohol played in the attack is still under investigation, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because charges have not yet been filed. Like many rules in a war zone, the US military’s General Order No. 1 forbidding alcohol in both Afghanistan and Iraq is not always followed to the letter. Even in these strictly Muslim countries, there are ways to access liquor. Amid the tight-knit camaraderie of a stressful battlefield, officers sometimes turn a blind eye - or even partake themselves. In Iraq, booze was easy to come by in Baghdad’s Green Zone and on some bases. In Afghanistan, soldiers from many other NATO countries are allowed to imbibe. That means there’s some “alcohol spillover” to American troops on large multinational bases. In both countries, foreign contractors dealing with the US military - most of whom were not covered by the order - bring in their own supplies and are a source that soldiers can turn to. German troops stationed in northern Afghanistan are allowed two beers a day at their main base in northern Afghanistan, but not at smaller camps. In Kabul, one military base that mainly houses European troops boasts two liquor stores. On Kandahar Air Field, the main international base in southern Afghanistan, Canadian forces used to have regular beer nights before they pulled their forces out this past summer. Each person was limited to two beers and half a bottle of wine. At these large installations, US soldiers also sometimes manage to get alcohol in packages sent by family and friends, often hidden in other types of bottles. Finding alcohol is more difficult in more remote areas of the country or on smaller bases, like the one from which the soldier allegedly slipped out to start his shooting spree. Some rural Afghans make homemade wine out of raisins but in general few Afghans drink - so alcohol would have to be brought in by soldiers or brewed using local ingredients. A senior US defense official told The Associated Press earlier this week that investigators had found alcohol at the soldier’s base, Camp Belambai in Panjwai district. The official spoke anonymously to discuss an ongoing investigation. The suspect - identified by his attorney as 38-yearold Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales - is said by military officials to have left the base at 3 am Sunday, walking to two nearby villages where they say he barged into homes and opened fire, killing 16 people, including nine children. Bales’ lawyer, Seattle attorney John Henry Browne, disputed reports that a combination of alcohol, stress and domestic issues caused the suspect to snap. He said the family said they were unaware of any drinking problem. He said that a day before the rampage, Bales - who was on his fourth tour after three tours in Iraq - saw a comrade’s leg blown off. The US military’s General Order No 1 forbids “possessing, consuming, introducing, purchasing, selling, transferring, or manufacturing any alcoholic beverage” in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldiers found violating the order can face discharge or criminal charges. War zone deployments have not always been so ascetic, of course. During the Vietnam era, drinking was allowed and both drinking and drug use were common among soldiers. At that time, raucous, alcohol-fueled nights out on the town in Saigon were routine. But as men returned from Vietnam as alcoholics and drug addicts, the military started to revisit its substance abuse policy. In 1971, the government required all military branches to identify substance abusers and provide treatment and rehabilitation. More than 20 percent of soldiers tested positive for drugs when the Army started screenings, according to US military figures.—AP

KABUL: Turkish soldiers carry the coffins of their fallen comrades, killed in a helicopter crash, during a ceremony at the Kabul International Airport yesterday. A Turkish helicopter crashed into a house on the outskirts of Kabul on March 16, killing 12 Turkish soldiers and two Afghan civilians in what appeared to be Ankara’s deadliest incident in Afghanistan. —AFP

US aid cutoff fails to end Afghan prison searches KABUL: Female visitors to Afghanistan’s main prison were still being subjected to body cavity searches yesterday despite a suspension of US funding and orders from Afghan officials to stop the practice, a Western official said. It’s a situation that both shows the fading influence of the US government in Afghanistan and provides an example of the type of issues of conduct and policy that may arise as the US transfers its own detention facility to the Afghan government. The commander of Pol-i-Charki prison outside the capital has had female guards performing the intrusive searches on all women visiting inmates for at least the past month, according to a Western official briefed on the procedures. Men are not submitted to similar searches. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue and so spoke on condition of anonymity. After trying to work behind the scenes to get the searches at Pol-i-Charki stopped without success, the Obama administration suspended US assistance to the prison earlier this week in hopes that the financial pressure would force a change. “Until we have determined that this utterly unacceptable practice has ceased, the United States government has suspended all mentoring activity other than that specifically focused on monitoring visitation search procedures,” said Gavin Sundwall, a spokesman for the US embassy in Kabul. He said delivery of equipment to the prison had also been halted. He did not provide a dollar figure for the blocked assistance. The United States has spent millions on improvements to Pol-i-Charki since 2009, expanding its capacity to 7,000 inmates from 4,000 previously. The US government has a host of mentors who regularly visit the prison to run training sessions and also has been building facilities for vocational programs and business training, along with medical facilities, at Pol-iCharki. But body cavity searches were still going yesterday, the Western official said. The searches were first reported by The New York Times. The policy is against Afghan law and international human rights standards and is not even implemented according to standard hygiene practices, said Heather Barr, an Afghanistan researcher with Human Rights Watch who has done extensive work on the prison system. “We’ve been told they have a limited supply of gloves, so they change them every four of five women,” Barr said. The commander of the prison, Khan Mohammad, appears to be continuing the

searches despite an order to cease by his superiors. The head of Afghanistan’s prisons, Gen. Amir Jamshid, ordered Mohammad to stop the searches before the US aid stopped, the Western official said. It was not immediately clear if his decision had been overruled by someone higher in the Interior Ministry. Khan did not respond to calls seeking comment. A spokesman for the Interior Ministry denied that any illegal searches had occurred since the Interior Ministry took over control of the prisons from the Justice Department three months ago. “It’s not happening, this kind of invasive search. That’s not happening in Pol-i-Charki prison. It’s against our law,” said the spokesman, Sediq Sediqi. Afghan rules for searches provide only for cavity searches conducted by a medical professional and not as a matter of a routine search, according to government documents. The standoff comes down to a larger debate in the Afghan government over who should have control of the country’s prison system - a collection of underfunded facilities where U.N. investigators found evidence of torture in September. The Justice Ministry agreed to give up control of the system after it was embarrassed by a massive jailbreak last year in which some 500 Taleban prisoners tunneled out of the main jail in southern Afghanistan. But the switch to Interior Ministry control means that the same officials are overseeing detention and criminal investigations, which could make abuse more likely. “The people who are trying to solve the crime and the people who are holding the prisons can’t be the same people. There’s too much danger that they’ll resort to torture to get information,” Barr said. It also means that many of the people that the US and other international allies spent millions to train to run the prison system are no longer involved in overseeing the facilities. Beyond the issues of human rights abuse, US officials have repeatedly said that the transfer of their detention facilities needed more time because the Afghans did not have the expertise needed to run the 3,000-inmate facility in Parwan. But now the Afghans have signed an agreement with the US government giving them nominal control of the Parwan facility immediately, along with the gradual transfer of responsibility for prisoners over six months. The agreement signed last week was seen an important move toward satisfying President Hamid Karzai’s demand for more control over international forces operating in his country.—AP

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


China government tells city to fall in line after Bo purged CHONGQING: China’s central leadership has moved to bolster control over the southwest city-province of Chongqing after ousting its contentious yet popular chief, Bo Xilai, with state-run media yesterday telling officials and residents there to toe the line. The calls for unity with the ruling Communist Party’s top leaders were emblazoned on the front pages of Chongqing newspapers. They made no mention of Bo, removed this week after a scandal when his Vice Mayor Wang Lijun took refuge in February in a US consulate until he was coaxed out. Until that episode, Bo was widely seen as an ambition-fuelled contender for a spot in the next central leadership to be settled late this year. But

now the message to Chongqing officials and residents amounts to: forget about Bo, even if days ago he was China’s most high-profile province-level leader. “Unite our thinking and actions around the decision of the central leadership,” said one of the front-page headlines of the Chongqing Times, which was given over to calls for conformity. “The voice of the party centre is a reassuring tonic,” said another, citing messages from official meetings. The Chongqing Daily reported that city officials on Friday effectively pledged loyalty to President Hu Jintao and the new boss in Chongqing, Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang. “All unanimously declared that they will sincerely embrace the central leadership’s deci-

sion on adjusting the municipality party committee’s leader and handling the Wang Lijun case,” the paper reported of a meeting of Chongqing officials. “Do not disappoint the sincere expectations of the central leadership,” the officials were told, according to the report. NO MENTION OF OUSTED LEADER The absence of any mention Bo Xilai by name in state media was another sign of the fall from grace for a man who, unusually among China’s poker-faced leaders, reveled in publicity. “After the Wang Lijun incident, the central leadership initially left room to spare Bo by treating it as an isolated case, but I think the leadership got fed up with the defiance from Chongqing,” said Zhu Zhiyong, a Chongqing busi-

nessman and Internet commentator who closely follows city politics. After arriving in Chongqing in 2007, Bo, 62 and a former commerce minister, turned it into a bastion of Communist revolutionary-inspired “red” culture and egalitarian growth, winning national attention with a crackdown on organized crime. His self-promotion and revival of Mao Zedong-inspired propaganda irked moderate officials. But his populist ways and crime clean-up were welcomed by many residents and others who hoped Bo could try his policies nationwide. “I think Chongqing officials will quickly fall in line with the new leaders. Many are relieved that all the pressure and drama over Bo and Wang has

lifted,” said Zhu, the commentator. “Ordinary people feel different. They saw the changes Bo made, but not the costs and political tensions he created.” Indeed, while Chongqing newspapers said residents have embraced Bo’s successor, residents of the riverside city continued to voice dismay at the dumping of Bo. “It’s hard for us to understand this,” said Xia Hao, a businessman in his thirties. “The problem is that Chongqing had party secretaries before who came and left, like Wang Yang and He Guoqiang, but nothing about the city changed much then,” he said. “But after Bo Xilai came here, we could see and feel all the changes, so people don’t understand what he did that was so wrong.” — Reuters

East Timor holds presidential poll President faces 11 challengers to make it into run-off

BANGKOK: Buddhist monks walk in lines through Thais gathered for a mass alms offering ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand yesterday. The ceremony was held to honor the 2,600th anniversary of the enlightenment of Lord Buddha. —AP

Hong Kong school place shortage deters expats HONG KONG: A shortage of English-language school places in Hong Kong is hurting expatriate families and damaging the city’s reputation as a regional business hub, parents and lobby groups say. The situation is driving some companies to look at alternatives such as Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, they say. International chambers of commerce have united to pressure the semiautonomous Chinese’s territory to wake up to the problem, but say their pleas for action have fallen on deaf ears. “There is no space and no flexibility for families like ours. It’s a big sacrifice on my family’s part ... to come to Hong Kong,” said a recently arrived American businessman and father-of-two, requesting anonymity. “All we as parents are concerned with coming to Hong Kong is will any school accept our children? A lot of firms have decided to go to other cities in Asia where school accessibility is easier. Hong Kong is losing out.” Hong Kong had the dubious distinction of making assignment services firm Brookfield Global Relocation’s Top 20 list of most challenging destinations for the first time last year, with schooling cited as the major problem. “This continues to be the number one burning issue that (foreign companies) are facing in growing their businesses out here,” in Hong Kong, said Janet de Silva, the American Chamber of Commerce’s (AmCham) education affairs group chairwoman. HK schools fail to keep upImmigration department figures show the number of US and UK passport holders issued with Hong Kong employment visas increased 42.48 percent from 2009 to 2011, as more people are drawn to the city as a gateway to the Chinese market. But the former British colony’s Englishlanguage schools have struggled to keep up with the demand due to land shortages, red tape and funding problems. School waiting lists typically contain up

to 100 names, and only two state-funded English-language schools had any spare spaces at the start of this year, according to school data and relocation specialists. The government cut its annual subsidy for the English-language school system (ESF) after Hong Kong reverted to Chinese rule in 1997. It has been frozen at HK$284 million ($37 million) for 11 years. ESF figures show applications for Year One places at the foundation’s schools across the territory have leapt 76 percent since 2006-07 to more than double the 1,020 available places-an amount that has remained flat over that period. Horror stories abound of distraught parents fighting to get their little ones into appropriate schools. Home schooling is a growth industry, while relocation companies are branching out into school placement. Shaila Gidwani of moving firm Crown Relocations says one of her British clients was “totally panicking” because his twins could not get into British international schools in Hong Kong. Crown regional account manager Bushra Siddiqui tells of a partner in an international law firm who, unable to find the schooling he wants for his three children, will now leave his family in Singapore and commute on weekends. “We are seeing an increasing trend of families choosing to stay behind, so that only the employee moves, and that puts a lot of strain on the relationship and on the assignment,” she said. It’s also putting strain on companies that want their best people in Hong Kong. “In the last year or so we’ve seen a slightly increasing trend of families just refusing to come, purely because they can’t get schooling,” Siddiqui said, adding that schooling was a greater concern than sky-high rents or pollution. “That obviously means that companies go from their first pick for a position to their second or third, so they’re not getting the talent they want.” — AFP

Philippines to sell off Marcos’ properties MANILA: The Philippines said yesterday it will auction off two properties once owned by late dictator Ferdinand Marcos for at least 315.8 million pesos ($7.3 million). Prime real estate in a Manila suburb and the northern mountain resort city of Baguio will be sold through public bidding on April 24, said a government agency set up to recover the ill-gotten wealth of Marcos and his cronies. The two properties, totaling 7,913 square meters, were surrendered to the government by Marcos croney Jose Yao Campos in 1986 after a popular revolt toppled Marcos earlier that year. “We are confident that... the strategic location of the properties (would) attract more bidders, generating higher value,” said Roger Amurao, commissioner from the Presidential Commission on Good Government. The Manila property is located opposite a major leisure and casino project while the one in Baguio is situated near popular tourist attractions, the commission said. Marcos ruled the country from

1965 to 1986, much of this time as a dictator. His family and their allies are accused of stealing billions of dollars in state funds during this period. While Marcos and his family fled abroad after his downfall, some of his key allies surrendered assets they were holding for the ex-president as part of settlement deals with government. The Presidential Commission on Good Government aims to use the recovered funds for a land reform program. The commission said that 93.4 billion pesos had so been recovered. The agency hopes to claw back 405.7 million pesos this year. However the commission has long complained that the lack of a paper trail and delaying tactics employed by lawyers for the Marcos estate prevented it from recovering more. Although Marcos died in exile in 1989, his family has since returned to the Philippines. His widow Imelda Marcos and their son, also named Ferdinand, were elected to parliament in 2010. — AFP

DILI: East Timor’s first-round presidential election ended peacefully late yesterday, with polling stations now counting votes ahead of a provisional result due today. The election is seen as a critical test of whether Asia’s youngest and poorest country can maintain stability and build confidence to develop the economy. Earlier yesterday, streets in the capital Dili were almost empty and businesses largely closed as voters walked to polling stations in drizzle in a contest pitting incumbent and Nobel Peace prize laureate Jose RamosHorta against 11 challengers. Hundreds queued up before polling stations opened early morning and election monitors are now counting ballots. Analysts predicted a close finish, with Ramos-Horta facing a battle from four leading rivals to stay in office in East Timor, the eastern half of an island at the eastern end of the vast Indonesian archipelago. The president plays little role in policy but is vital in projecting stability in East Timor, which has vast offshore gas reserves but is having difficulty unlocking its wealth. The reserves are the object of a dispute with Australia’s Woodside Petroleum, which heads a consortium of firms developing the Greater Sunrise project gas field. It wants to use a floating LNG plant, while East Timor wants the plant built on shore to create more jobs. The national election commission was due to announce provisional results late yesterday, but delays in returns from outlying districts could delay the announcement until today. Official results are to be announced a week after the election. 2 CONTENDERS FAVOURED Two candidates-Francisco Guterres from the main opposition party Fretilin and Jose Maria de Vasconcelos, the former army chief and guerrilla leader-were seen as standing the best chance of facing each other in a run-off

in mid-April. Two others, Deputy Prime Minister Jose Luis Guterres and Fernando de Araujoof the Democratic Party, could also go through. Fretilin’s Gutteres was optimistic about his second round chances. His party won the most votes in the 2007 parliamentary poll, punctuated by bouts of violence. “As a candidate, I am confident that I will win the

DILI: East Timorese farmer Francisco Mendoza, 65, displays his inked finger after voting at a polling center during presidential elections in Dili yesterday. —AFP majority of the vote,” he told reporters after casting his ballot in a primary school. Vasconcelos, who resigned from his military position to run for president, is known as Taur Matan Ruak. On the eve of the vote, he stressed his credentials as a guerrilla chief during the long process of winning independence. East Timor, a former Portuguese colony,

WikiLeaks founder eyes politics CANBERRA: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange plans to run for a seat in the Australian Senate in elections due next year despite being under virtual house arrest in England and facing sex crime allegations in Sweden, the group said yesterday. The 40-year-old Australian citizen is fighting extradition to Sweden. He has taken his legal battle all the way to Britain’s Supreme Court, which is expected to rule on his case soon. “We have discovered that it is possible for Julian Assange to run for the Australian Senate while detained. Julian has decided to run,” WikiLeaks announced on Twitter. Assange has criticized Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s center-left government for not standing up for him against the potential threat of his extradition to the United States for prosecution over WikiLeaks’ release of hundreds of thousands of classified US documents. Australian police have concluded that WikiLeaks and Assange have not broken

became independent in 2002 after nearly two decades of being under Indonesian control. Ramos-Horta, who survived an assassination attempt in 2008 and shared the Nobel prize in 1996 for his role in resolving years of deadlock, also told voters he would “continue my success that I have achieved now, which is peace”. For many voters, economic issues are

any Australian laws by publishing the US cables, although Gillard has condemned the action as “grossly irresponsible.” John Wanna, an Australian National University political scientist, said it was possible for Assange to run for a Senate seat if he remains on the Australian electoral roll despite living overseas for several years. “If he gets on the roll, then he can stand as long as he’s solvent and not in jail and not insane,” Wanna said. Being convicted of a crime punishable under Australian law by 12 months or more in prison can disqualify a person from running for the Australian Parliament for the duration of the sentence, even if it is suspended. Constitutional lawyer George Williams of the University of New South Wales said that provision of the constitution has never been tested in the courts in the 111year history of the Australian federation and probably would not apply to a criminal conviction in a foreign country such as Sweden. — AP

LONDON: In this file photo, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange talks during a press conference in central London. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is planning to run for election to the Australian Senate, the organization announced yesterday on Twitter. — AFP

fundamental, as 41 percent of East Timor’s 1.2 million people live below $0.88 a day, according to a World Bank report, and malnutrition is a significant public health issue. “The elected president needs to understand the needs of the poor people and create more job opportunities,” said Alfredo Marques, 39, a language tutor. — Reuters

Australia braces for cyclone, floods SYDNEY: A severe tropical cyclone smashed into Western Australia’s north coast yesterday, forcing residents to bunker down as they waited for the destructive gale-force winds to pass. Cyclone Lua, upgraded to a Category 4 storm-five is the highesthit the sparsely populated Pilbara region and was moving inland, with winds estimated at 250 kilometres (155 miles) at its centre near the shore. “It’s a fairly black sky and the winds are picking up quite strong and we’re getting lots and lots of rain and the ocean is absolutely boiling,” ranger Pete Morris told the ABC ahead of the cyclone making landfall. “So we’re sort of just bunking down.” The small communities of Pardoo and Wallal were expected to be worst hit, with the Bureau of Meteorology warning winds of up to 160 kilometres per hour from Port Hedland to Bidyadanga, near the resort town of Broome. “Very Destructive winds to 250 kilometres per hour are forecast near the cyclone centre near the coast with gusts to 180 kilometres per hour possible over the inland eastern Pilbara,” it said. Western Australia’s Pilbara region is an important resources hub, with major iron ore and gas facilities. Commercial flights into the area have been cancelled and the main highway closed, while the Port Hedland port had been shut down. Bureau forecaster Neil Bennett said the storm was powerful. “Looking at the whole of Australia, this is the strongest cyclone of the season so far and the strongest one since Cyclone Yasi crossed the Queensland coast last year,” he told the ABC. Cyclone Yasi was the biggest storm to hit Australia in a century and wrought huge damage to small coastal communities in the eastern state of Queensland but did not cause any deaths. Australia has been hit by extreme rainfall in recent weeks, with the eastern state of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria all suffering floods after torrential downpours swamped scores of homes. More residents were told to evacuate in New South Wales yesterday amid fears that Murrumbidgee River, swollen by weeks of incessant rain and the floodwaters from upstream, would breach levees. State Emergency Services have warned that the levees may not be able to hold back the waters from the town of Hay, with more than 500 properties in danger of inundation. —AFP

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


Spectators watch a traditional goose fight in the Russian town of Pavlovsk, some 450 km outside Moscow, yesterday. All birds were tested for possible illnesses before the fight by veterinarians, who also ensured their safety during the event. — AFP

Coptic leader Shenouda dies Continued from Page 1 News of Shenouda’s death was certain to cause dismay among Egypt’s beleaguered Coptic population, many of whom looked up to him as a spiritual guide. He was placed under house arrest by former president Anwar Sadat for his outspoken criticism of Sadat’s courting of Islamists. But Shenouda was supportive of Sadat’s successor Hosni Mubarak, who was overthrown by a popular uprising more than a year ago which led to an Islamist-dominated parliament - the first in the country’s history. Shenouda, immediately recognisable by his long white beard, was believed to have viewed the widely despised

Mubarak as a bulwark against Islamists who believe Copts should not be allowed to rule the country. He was seen as a check on more radical Copts who urged more forceful reactions to sectarian attacks that have plagued their community, especially after Mubarak’s ouster. Theologically, Shenouda was conservative, slamming a court decision calling on his church to allow divorce. Shenouda, whose community is one of the Oriental Orthodox churches that recognise the primacy of neither the Catholic papacy nor the Eastern Orthodox patriarchate, maintained a keen interest in promoting church unity. He served as head of both the World Council of Churches and the Middle East Council of Churches, and founded churches in several African countries. — AFP

Twin suicide blasts kill 27 in Damascus Continued from Page 1 I didn’t grasp what was happening until I hear screaming in the street.” A third blast also was reported, at a refugee camp housing thousands of Palestinians in Damascus, but the two bombers were the only casualties, SANA said. From Paris, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said: “France condemns all acts of terrorism, which cannot be justified under any circumstances.” France has been at the forefront of calls for Assad to quit. Egypt’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr affirmed Cairo’s “fixed position against terrorism in any form, regardless of the reasons behind it”. The continuing bloodshed confirmed the need to start implementing the Arab League initiative, he added. Bombings have hit Syria’s major cities in recent months provoking mounting concern that Al-Qaeda has taken advantage of the uprising against President Bashar Al-Assad. Syria’s opposition however has accused the regime of having stage-managed the attacks. Commentators on state television blamed Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the fiercest Arab critics of Assad over his regime’s deadly crackdown on dissent since March 2011. Both countries have called for rebels to be armed. “Saudi Arabia is sending us terrorists,” a resident of the devastated areas said on television. “These are the friends... of the Istanbul council,” said another of the opposition Syrian National Council set up in the Turkish city last August. An Arab diplomat told AFP that Saudi Arabia, which closed its embassy in Damascus this week, was delivering military equipment to Syrian rebels. “Saudi military equipment is on its way to Jordan to arm the (rebel) Free Syrian Army,” the diplomat said, on condition of anonymity. “This is a Saudi initiative to stop the massacres in Syria.” Jordan rejected the report. “Jordan categorically denies the report,” government spokesman and Information Minister Rakan Majali told AFP. “This is completely baseless.” Iraq, another neighbour of Syria, has informed Tehran it will not allow arms shipments to the country to pass through or over its territory, Baghdad government spokesman Ali Al-Dabbagh said yesterday.

The United States has said it was concerned that Iranian cargo flights over Iraq to Syria could be carrying arms to help Damascus crush protests. On Friday, UN-Arab League peace envoy Annan warned of a regional “escalation” of the Syria conflict and urged the UN Security Council to close ranks to put pressure on Assad. The former United Nations chief, who met Assad in Damascus last weekend, has ordered a team of UN experts to Syria to discuss a possible ceasefire and international monitoring mission, his spokesman said. Russian and China have twice used their veto powers as permanent members to block Security Council resolutions on the Syrian crisis that they said were unbalanced. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said yesterday he had spoken to Annan shortly after his talks with Assad and had been told that the strongman’s resignation was not under discussion. Annan himself told the Security Council he had had a “disappointing” response from Assad so far to his proposals. Syria’s foreign ministry said the country would cooperate with Annan and at the same time pursue its crackdown on “armed terrorist gangs,” which it blames for the bloodshed. Thousands of antigovernment protesters called on Friday for foreign military intervention as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 18 people were killed nationwide. A large crowd also took part in a rare demonstration in Al-Raqqa in northeast Syria, as seen in a video posted on the Internet by activists. The Britain-based Observatory said funerals were held yesterday for two people killed during the Al-Raqqa protest and security forces opened fire on mourners, killing another two people. Huge rallies in support of Assad were held in Damascus and other major cities on Thursday to mark the first anniversary of the uprising that monitors say has cost more than 9,100 lives in 12 months. Apart from Annan’s technical team, the UN and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation are to send experts to Damascus on a Syrian government-led humanitarian mission to protest cities devastated in shelling by security forces. The team members will head to Damascus from New York and Geneva on Monday, Annan’s spokesman said. — Agencies

Mauritania arrests Gaddafi spymaster Continued from Page 1 170 people, a statement from the Elysee said. The statement said Senussi’s arrest was “the result of joint efforts by the French and Mauritanian authorities, of which the Libyan authorities were kept informed”. It said Paris would file a request for Senussi to be held pending extradition to Nouakchott within hours. The UTA airliner on a flight from Brazzaville to Paris via N’Djamena was brought down by a bomb on Sept 19, 1989, over the Tenere desert. This attack, along with that a year earlier against a PanAm jumbo jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, in which 270 people were killed, led to a UN-mandated air blockade of Libya in 1992. The families of the victims of the UTA flight welcomed the news of Senussi’s arrest. “We have never lost hope of seeing those responsible for the attack put on trial,” Guillaume Denoix de Saint Marc, their association’s president, said in a statement. Senussi, a brother-in-law of Gaddafi, is wanted by the ICC in The Hague for what it alleges was his “crucial” role in trying to crush the country’s popular revolt last year. The ICC, which issued an arrest warrant for Senussi on June 27, says he was an “indirect perpetrator of crimes against humanity, of murder and persecution based on political grounds” committed in northeastern Benghazi. The court has not officially received information of his arrest, ICC spokesman Fadi Al-Abdallah told AFP yester-

day. “We are going to ask the Mauritanian authorities for official confirmation, and if that is the case seek their cooperation for handing the suspect to the court,” he said. Abdallah said Mauritania was not a party to the treaty that set up the court, “but like all UN member states it has been asked by the Security Council to cooperate with the ICC”. Senussi could also be held accountable in Libya for the Abu Salim prison massacre of 1996 when more than 1,000 detainees were gunned down. The spy chief, a heavy-set man with a thick jawline and bushy black eyebrows, spent several months on the run before his capture. Security sources in Niger and Mali said in October that Senussi and several of his men passed through their territory. A month later, Libya’s new government announced his arrest but it was not confirmed and no pictures of Senussi have been released since then. Long considered Gaddafi’s right-hand man, Senussi remained faithful to the end to the man who ruled Libya with an iron fist for 42 years. On Aug 21, the day rebels stormed Tripoli, Senussi made a rare appearance at the Rixos Hotel, headquarters of the foreign media in the Libyan capital, to denounce NATO’s bombing campaign. He said the military alliance, which had bombed his Tripoli home a few days earlier, worked with Western intelligence and Al-Qaeda “to destroy Libya”. “Libya will not be ruled by bands of terrorists,” Senussi said at the time. — AFP

Former ‘Nazi’ guard Demjanjuk dead at 91 BERLIN: Former Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk, Germans.” Demjanjuk had vigorously denied the charges and sentenced to five years in a German prison last year in one of the last major trials of its kind, has died at the age of 91, appealed his conviction, arguing throughout the proceedpolice said yesterday. The Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk had ings that he had been a victim of the Nazis as a prisoner of been found guilty of more than 27,000 counts of accesso- war, not a perpetrator. He went to live in the United States ry to murder during the six months he was a guard at the after the war, raising three children there. But in 1986, he Sobibor death camp in 1943. The ailing Demjanjuk was was hauled before a court in Jerusalem accused of being sentenced by a Munich court in May 2011 after a trial last- “Ivan the Terrible”, an infamous Ukrainian guard at the ing 18 months. However he was allowed to go free pend- Treblinka death camp. Found guilty of all charges and sening an appeal before a federal court, having already spent tenced to death in 1988, he was freed five years later when evidence surfaced proving nearly two years in prison, on the Israel had got the wrong man. After grounds that he was not a threat and new indications emerged that he was unlikely to abscond, being stateserved as a guard at other Nazi less. Police in the southern state of camps, he was stripped of his US citiBavaria said he died in a home for the zenship in 2002 for lying about his aged in the town of Bad Feilnbach, war record on immigration forms. adding that prosecutors would now Years of legal wrangling ensued conduct a routine investigation into and he was deported from the the cause of death. United States to Germany in 2009 to While there was no irrefutable eviagain face trial, this time in Germany. dence of his presence or actions at Because of ill health, Demjanjuk Sobibor in German-occupied Poland, attended much of his trial either in a the German court said in a landmark wheelchair or lying on a hospital bed, ruling that it was convinced he had wearing dark glasses and a baseball been a guard, and was thus automaticap. He rarely spoke during the procally implicated in killings carried out ceedings, which were limited to two there at the time, mainly of Dutch 90-minute hearings per day so as to Jews. The US Office for Special not overtax him. After his conviction, Investigations (OSI), which investigates the two dozen co-plaintiffs in the trial Nazi criminals, described Sobibor as “as -relatives of those murdered at close an approximation of Hell as has Sobibor - expressed regret that ever been created on this Earth”. An Demjanjuk never showed remorse. estimated 150,000 to 250,000 people John Demjanjuk Based on the precedent set by the were exterminated there. Attorney Yoram Sheftel, who defended Demjanjuk in Demjanjuk case requiring a less rigid standard of proof, the Israel trial, criticized the German conviction of the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Centre launched a Demjanjuk as a Sobibor “Wachmann” - the lowest rank of new drive in Germany in December to catch the last perthe “Hilfswillige” prisoners who agreed to serve the Nazis petrators of the Holocaust. The organisation said it would and were subordinate to German SS men - while higher- offer an up to €25,000 ($32,900) reward for information ranking Germans were acquitted in years past. “I can only leading to the capture and conviction of other elderly people implicated in Nazi crimes during World War II who call it a prostitution of the Holocaust,” he said. His son, John Demjanjuk Jr, said in a telephone inter- are still at large. Richard Prasquier, the president of CRIF, the umbrella view from Ohio that his father apparently died of natural causes. Demjanjuk had terminal bone marrow disease, group of French Jewish organisations, said the German chronic kidney disease and other ailments and local authorities’ pursuit of Demjanjuk to the last had been jusauthorities said the exact cause of death was still being tified. “A number of guards did the dirty work for determined. “My father fell asleep with the Lord as a victim Germany,” he said. Considering the horrors of the and survivor of Soviet and German brutality since child- Holocaust, “it is only normal that we try to track down hood,” Demjanjuk Jr said. “He loved life, family and human- those responsible - it is not relentlessness, it is simply ity. History will show Germany used him as a scapegoat to because the extermination of an entire people is extraorblame helpless Ukrainian POWs for the deeds of Nazi dinary.” — Agencies

GI who killed Afghans ID’d Continued from Page 1 that three or four hours before were trying to kill us. “I think that’s the real difference between being an American as opposed to being a bad guy, someone who puts his family in harm’s way like that,” Bales said. Bales’ lawyer Browne said this week his client had gotten angry about a serious injury that a comrade sustained the day before the massacre, but held no animosity toward Muslims. Bales, who joined the army less than two months after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, was also upset because after his extensive Iraq duty he did not believe he would be deployed to Afghanistan, his lawyer said. A US official told AFP on Friday that “investigators have reason to believe that alcohol may have been a factor in this tragic incident”, a violation of US combat rules. The New York Times quoted one official who said Bales may have “just snapped” due to a combination of stress and tensions with his wife, although Browne has rejected reports of his client’s marital problems. Bales was also angry about being passed over for a military promotion, and as a civilian had brushes with the law, spending time in an anger management course for an assault case that was later dropped, according to reports. Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Friday again lashed out at Washington over the massacre, one day after he said international forces should leave villages in his country, potentially jeopardizing NATO operations two years before combat troops are due to leave Afghanistan. Yesterday, Kabul appeared to step back from that demand, saying the call was “nothing new” from Karzai, and part of the Afghan leader’s long-held position. US President Barack Obama agreed to resolve

Karzai’s concerns over night raids in a phone call Friday, and the two agreed to discuss complaints about NATO troops in villages. Bales, who completed a two-year associate college degree in 1992, joined the Army in 2001, the Army said. His home of record was listed as Jensen Beach, Florida. His military training included education in sniper skills, military leadership and a course called “combat life savers”. The Baleses’ off-white, spacious wood home sat dark on Friday night in a neighborhood now filled with news media in the town of Bonney Lake east of Tacoma. A children’s playset was in the backyard, situated about a block from Lake Tapps. Few neighbors were present. At one house backing on to Bales’ property, a handwritten sign addressed to media was posted on the door, reading: “We don’t know Bales, so don’t ask.” Beau Britt, staying at his parents’ house across the street, said he did not know Bales or his family. “It’s not the sort of area where you just walk up to a house and start talking to them,” Britt said. Browne told Reuters that post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, would likely be part of the defense. “It is commonly used in military defense,” he said, calling it a mitigating factor. Browne has said the soldier was unhappy about returning to combat after being wounded twice in Iraq. The Army statement said Bales had spent a total of 37 months during three deployments in Iraq between 2003 and 2010. Browne added on Friday that Bales had witnessed a serious injury to a comrade the day before the massacre in the southern province of Kandahar on Sunday. “One leg was blown off,” Browne said, and the sergeant was nearby. Browne or a colleague from the defense team plan to meet the sergeant next week, he said. — Agencies


SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012



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NYPD shredding the constitution By Dr James J Zogby he massive surveillance program implemented by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) in coordination with CIA officials is shredding the Constitution, putting at risk the rights and freedoms of Arab Americans and American Muslims. If left unchecked, their behavior will weaken the foundations of our democracy and seriously compromise our values as an open and inclusive society. Revelations by the AP have established that the NYPD, working with a few CIA officials, has been monitoring Arab and Muslim-owned businesses, mosques, and “mapping” areas of the city where high concentrations of Muslims and Arab immigrants are known to live. In order to accomplish these objectives, the NYPD has coerced and entrapped Muslims to act as spies. In one instance, the police scoured records of taxi drivers looking for those who had unpaid tickets and other violations. Those who also had immigration status issues were given the option of acting as spies or facing possible deportation. Once turned into informants, they were then asked to go to popular gathering places (coffee shops, stores, etc), attend religious services, and other community events in order to report on who was present and what was said. This material has been entered into extensive surveillance files, even when the activities attended and the words spoken have been innocent and protected by the First Amendment. The reports which have been compiled and are categorized as “SECRET” are, at best, trite. At the same time, they are dangerous, since they represent ethnic profiling at its worst and an extension of the long arm of the state into the normal everyday activity of an entire community. One report, for example, on “Egyptian Locations of Interest” purports to map “centers of activity” or “hangouts” for Egyptian Americans that can be used as “listening posts” where informants can go to “listen to neighborhood gossip...[and] get a feel for the community.” The report goes on to present a demographic profile of where persons of Egyptian descent live in New York City and describes, with pictures attached, all of the restaurants and other businesses where Egyptians and other Arab immigrants to the city congregate or shop. [There is another similar report on “Syrian Locations of Concern” which includes such noteworthy information about a travel agency as - “Observed a female named ‘Rasha’ working in the travel agency, she recommended the ‘Royal Jordanian Airline.’”] While it is expected that law enforcement should be on guard and should be proactive in countering potential threats, as Attorney General Eric Holder has said, police should only monitor activity “when there is a basis to believe that something inappropriate is occurring or potentially could occur.” The “SECRET” reports on the Egyptian, Syrian, Palestinian, and Shiite communities which have been leaked and released by the AP clearly violate Holder’s criterion. As disturbing as this behavior has been, is outright denial by New York officials that anything untoward has occurred and the public’s apparent tolerance for these flagrant violations of rights. Despite clear evidence to the contrary, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly claims that “the value we place on privacy rights and constitutional protections is part of what motivates the work of counterterrorism. It would be counterproductive in the extreme if we violated those freedoms in the course of our work to defend New York.” For his part, Mayor Michael Bloomberg denies that any profiling is involved saying “we don’t stop to think about religion. We stop to think about the threats and focus our efforts there,” ignoring the statements in the beginning of each of the “SECRET” reports that they are targeting specific ethnic and religious communities. Finally, a recent poll of residents of the City concluded that “New Yorkers brush aside the gripes about police surveillance of the Muslim community.” In addition to the violations of the fundamental and guaranteed rights of citizens to be free of intrusive government surveillance as they go about their normal everyday activity, there are other troubling issues that must be noted. First and foremost is the fear and suspicion generated by this behavior. As a result of this NYPD/CIA program, Arab and Muslim immigrants have become increasingly fearful of law enforcement. Trust has been broken. And trust between the community and the police is the key to any successful crime prevention strategy. Another by-product of this effort is the suspicion it has created about the community, reinforcing prejudice and negative perceptions. Some might say “if the police think that they are all a threat, they must be.”


NOTE: Dr James J Zogby is the President of the Arab American Institute.

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Sudden North Korean turn risks US ties By Matthew Pennington orth Korea’s planned long-range rocket launch threatens to wreck its recent food-for-nuclear concessions deal with the United States and dim hopes for better relations under new leader Kim Jong Un. The North’s announcement Friday marked a sharp and sudden turn 17 days after the two countries offered unexpected signs of optimism that three years of tensions were easing. Such a launch would violate a UN ban. “It’s a real slap in the face,” said Victor Cha, a White House director for Asia policy under President George W Bush. “It undercuts a lot of theories that the young leadership might be different. If anything, it shows that it’s very much the same as before, only more unpredictable.” It is an embarrassment in an election year for President Barack Obama, who has been labeled by Republican presidential candidates as naive in his foreign policy. Republican lawmakers have accused his administration of “appeasing” North Korea by offering 240,000 tons of food in exchange for a freeze on nuclear activities and a freeze on nuclear and long-range missile tests. If North Korea carries out the launch, it will be hard to keep alive the accord announced Feb 29. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said a satellite launch would be a “deal-breaker” and indicated that the United States would be unlikely to send the food. A launch in violation of the North’s commitments, she said,


would undermine confidence that the North would allow proper monitoring of the distribution of the aid. The development shows the pitfalls of negotiating with a secretive government, which views its nuclear program as a deterrent against invasion. The United States retains 28,000 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War. The two Koreas remain in a state of war because the war ended without a peace treaty. Previous US efforts over the past two decades to persuade North Korea to disarm have ended in disappointment. Even before Friday’s announcement, a group of five Republican senators wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton accusing the administration of accepting the North’s “hollow commitments”. North Korea says the rocket launch would be for peaceful means. But the same kind of technology is used for ballistic missiles, which could eventually provide a delivery system for a nuclear weapon if the North should become able to miniaturize one for use on a warhead. The North Koreans “are putting the Obama administration in a very, very difficult position,” said Evans Revere, a former State Department official for East Asia. “The administration would have little choice but to react in a firm way to this.” The United States could refer the matter to the UN Security Council. The last time North Korea conducted such a rocket launch - it described an April 2009 launch as a bid to send a com-

munications satellite into space - the council condemned it. Whether permanent council members Russia and China, the North’s closest ally, would support such a step this time remains unclear. All parties are aware of what can happen if the North feels cornered. Soon after the 2009 launch, the North conducted a nuclear test. For now, the US says it is consulting with the other parties in suspended six-nation disarmament talks to encourage the North not to go ahead with the launch. The North says it plans to conduct the launch between April 12-16, in commemoration of the centennial of the birth of its founder, Kim Il Sung, the new leader’s grandfather. That the North is prepared to take that step, risking international censure and spoiling its diplomatic outreach to Washington, underscores the importance of the centennial, as the untested Kim Jong Un seeks to consolidate his power. It also would fuel speculation over the internal dynamics in the new government and whether it has competing policy aims. An international nuclear summit March 26-27 in South Korea, to be attended by Obama, will provide a high-profile opportunity to crank up diplomatic pressure on the North over its plans. “The US will probably really lean on the Chinese,” said Jonathan Pollack, an expert on North Korea’s nuclear program at the Brookings Institution think tank. He said he expected the message to China to be: “You remember what happened last time they tried to launch a satellite?” — AP

Spain’s victory could backfire for Rajoy By Julien Toyer rime Minister Mariano Rajoy may have won praise at home for reaching a deal with the European Union to soften troubled Spain’s deficit targets, but his tactics exposed a lack of diplomatic finesse that has delivered a hollow victory. Rajoy, who came to power late last year at the same time as Italy’s Mario Monti, committed a series of blunders during a four-week fight with the European Commission over budget cuts which have drawn comparisons with his smooth and accomplished counterpart in Rome. The performance of Rajoy, 56, with little international expertise and limited English, sharply contrasts with that of Monti, 68, chosen as a technocrat leader and who as European Commissioner took on US corporate titans General Electric and Microsoft. “Monti is really doing a great job,” a senior EU official told Reuters, summing up sentiment in Brussels where the prime minister has reshaped perceptions of Italy forged under Silvio Berlusconi. “We are more optimistic for Italy than for Spain.” As a consequence of Rajoy’s Pyrrhic victory, the Commission will monitor Spain’s public accounts more closely with frequent inspector visits to Madrid, while the jolt in trust will spell zero tolerance for any more budget slippage. Both Rajoy and Monti, known as “Super Mario” for his work with the Commission, came to power with their nations struggling in the face of the euro zone debt crisis cyclone. Both have been pushing since January for more balance between austerity and growth for their suffering economies. While Monti, whose sharp intellect and diplomatic skills are admired by the European and global policy-making elite, has joined the top table with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Rajoy looks somewhat isolated. Monti, who leads an unelected technocrat government, was initially the most vocal in suggesting excessive German-sponsored austerity measures could crush growth. But since then he has mostly lobbied quietly behind closed doors in Brussels and has convinced his peers of his commitment to credible economic reforms, particularly to Italy’s pension system, leaving Rajoy exposed in a public fight. Rajoy, who wears a scruffy beard first grown when the scars from a serious car accident prevented him from shaving, shocked other EU leaders at a Brussels summit on March 2 when he announced he would unilaterally set a looser deficit target of 5.8 percent of gross domestic product. The conservative Spanish leader’s timing, on the same day he and his peers signed up to a new pact enshrining tougher debt rules, and the lack of advance warning, infuriated other EU heads of state and government. At the same time, Monti was working the corridors of power to bring Italy back to the centre of European decision-making, reversing the


major slide in influence under his scandalplagued predecessor Berlusconi. When Rajoy cited Spain’s national sovereignty in ditching a previously agreed deficit target of 4.4 percent of GDP for 2012 and asking for a much wider margin of 5.8 percent, Monti stuck to the goal of 1.6 percent for Italy which analysts consider just as hard to achieve. Rajoy might have gained political advantage at home when he actually settled for a 5.3 percent target, but his gamesmanship left him exposed. In comparison, Monti, whose hard but reliable negotiating skills earned him the nickname “The Italian Prussian”, has basked in praise for his performance. A European Commission official said Spain will now face much closer scrutiny from the EU executive, which will make full use of new intrusive powers to check if the 2012 and 2013 budgets are in line with the targets. “We will hold them much more tightly. The 5.3 percent doesn’t come for free,” said the official. “We will send more officials to Madrid, more often ... We’ll stick our nose into their accounts and exert pressure.” Senior EU officials suggest Spain’s new government misread signals from Merkel and other leaders and failed to understand immediately that the Commission was ready to trigger sanctions against Madrid for not doing enough to cut its deficit. When Rajoy took the helm, some said he should be in tune with the mostly conservative European leadership of the moment but others said the new prime minister had not done enough to nurture a relationship with

Merkel - a key ally as Spain and other Euro currency nations fend off market attacks. Rajoy, the son of a judge and known for the impenetrable demeanour typical of his native Galicia in northern Spain, made the mistake of bringing his fight directly to leaders at this month’s EU summit in Brussels , as Germany and France have done in the past. “There was a clear miscalculation. These issues are not dealt with at the European Council, unless you are Sarkozy. But Rajoy is not,” said a third senior source, who was involved in preparing the summit. Referring to Rajoy’s strategy, a senior Spanish government source acknowledged a “communication problem”, which must be overcome to convince investors. “Our aim should be to disappear from the markets’ radar screens,” the source said. A Spanish official played down any disagreements, telling Reuters European leaders indicated to Rajoy they were pleased with his economic initiatives, such as labour markets reform. The official, who asked not to be named, said Spain played by the rules as it sought to set a credible 2012 target and that it remained on track to reduce its long-term deficit. He predicted the Commission would sign off in May on Spain’s budget without imposing any sanctions. Spain has promised to bring its deficit under 3 percent of GDP in 2013 despite heading, like Italy, for its second recession in four years. But that came after a strong reprimand at last Monday night’s meeting of euro zone finance ministers, at which Madrid’s attitude was

considered unacceptable by Germany and others, according to one senior source who was at the meeting. There, Madrid was forced to backtrack on the tougher deficit target of 5.3 percent for 2012 and it could still face sanctions by June if it fails to deliver savings of about € 20 billion on top of 15 billion already announced in December. Now Rajoy, of the centre-right People’s Party, or PP, must pass on much of the cuts to Spain’s 17 autonomous regions.Government sources say he stands ready to cut the credit tap to the regions to force them to meet strict targets. The previous Socialist government had little success when it used this threat last year, however, and the danger for Rajoy is that the fiscal credibility of his party will rest on its ability to enforce discipline in the regions. The Spanish prime minister, who also irritated the Commission by waiting to present his 2012 budget until after a key regional election on March 25, will be shown less understanding by fellow euro zone countries in the future. But Spain is no Greece, which suffered a terminal loss of trust among its European partners. The euro zone can ill afford to let the much larger Spanish economy fall over and while Rajoy may be put under scrutiny, he will not be cut adrift. Euro zone leaders know he is the man they will have to deal with for some time. His Socialist opponents are in disarray and next weekend he is likely to win their last stronghold at an election in the populous region of Andalusia. — Reuters

Bo sacking exposes party rifts By Allison Jackson he sacking of rising star Bo Xilai has bolstered President Hu Jintao’s reformist faction and exposed deep divides in the Communist Party ahead of a 10-yearly leadership transition, analysts say. Bo, famed for his populist “red revival” campaign, was removed as party chief of the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing on Thursday, ending his hopes of joining China’s most powerful decision-making body later this year. Analysts said his removal was a victory for Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao, who favour economic and social reforms in China, while more conservative party members want the state to retain its strong influence. The demise of Bo, who championed a stronger state role, highlights the intense debate among senior leaders about the direction of the Chinese economy and the pace of reforms many see as essential to prevent a collapse. “There are discussions going on about what policies should be adopted in what order and in what direction,” said David Goodman, a professor of Chinese politics at the University of Sydney. Willy Lam said Bo’s demise was a “victory” for Hu and his supporters, but factional horsetrading in the coming months would determine who was promoted instead of Bo to the Politburo Standing Committee, the apex of political power. “The power struggle between the Youth League and the princelings has intensified. Bo is a victim of that power struggle,” said Lam, a China expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Hu’s Communist Youth League and the ‘princelings’, elite politicians like Bo whose rise is due partly to their family lineage, are seen as the two dominant factions in the Communist Party. “At the moment, it can be said that the ‘tuan pai’ and the more liberal factions have the upper


hand,” said Jean-Philippe Beja, an expert in Chinese politics at the CeriSciences Po school in Paris, referring to the Youth League. “And Wang Yang, whose chances of joining the Standing Committee are now even higher.” Wang - Bo’s predecessor in Chongqing and current party chief of the southern province of Guangdong - is seen as close to Hu, and likely to win a seat on the nine-member Standing Committee when a generational handover of power begins later this year. Bo had been seen as one of the leading contenders to fill one of the seven seats up for grabs before Thursday’s dramatic announcement, the biggest and most public political drama hit China politics in many years. A day after Bo was sacked, the Communist Party magazine Qiushi, or Seeking Truth, published a speech in which China’s likely next leader called for greater unity in the party. Vice President Xi Jinping, who is expected to take over from Hu as head of the party later this year before succeeding him as president in 2013, did not mention Bo by name. But he warned the party’s authority had been weakened by a “lack of principles” among some members, which analysts said was a criticism of Bo and a warning to others. Analysts said Bo had alienated liberal reformists in the party with his high-profile crackdown on corruption in Chongqing and a populist Maoist revival campaign that alarmed leaders who had lived through the Cultural Revolution. Leaders were also unnerved by his charismatic style, which analysts said called into question the absolute power of the party. Some saw a reference by Wen in his final press conference as premier to the Cultural Revolution - a decade of chaos launched by Mao Zedong to bring down what he perceived as “capitalist” forces - as an oblique criticism of Bo.— AFP

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

sp orts Cuche says ‘adieu’ AUSTRIA: Swiss veteran Didier Cuche ended his two-decade long career yesterday in characteristically goofy fashion, racing the giant slalom’s second leg in wooden skis and traditional woollen ski clothes. With soft cap on his head, leather rucksack on his back and long wooden poles in hand, the 37-year-old Cuche, clad in early 1900s fashion with jacket and trousers-a far cry from today’s high-tech jumpsuits-skidded uncertainly down the slope with a smile on his face, to the cheers of fans. “I prefer to leave with feelings of regret rather than with feelings of relief,” he had said ahead of his last race. As a tribute, many of the competitors that followed him down the slope attempted on arrival a ski flip-Cuche’s trademark-with more or less success. “It was a nice gesture, I really appreciated it,” Cuche reacted later. “I didn’t know at the start if five minutes would be enough (to go down the slope in his traditional equipment).” Race winner Marcel Hirscher later took 1min 14.32sec to do the same course. “It was a great run. I tried to turn at the beginning and I realised I needed to just skid,” Cuche laughed.—AFP

Fourcade wins WCup biathlon overall title

Langer, Clampett, Browne share Toshiba Classic lead NEWPORT BEACH: Bernhard Langer birdied the final hole for a 6-under 65 and a share of the first-round lead with Bobby Clampett and Olin Browne in the Champions Tour ’s Toshiba Classic. Langer, the 2008 winner, holed an 8-iron from 143 yards for an eagle on the par-4 sixth hole in his bogey-free round at Newpor t Beach Countr y Club. “I played solidly all round,” Langer said. “The only trouble I had was 17, but I got it up and down from a bunker to save par.” Clampett birdied three of the last four holes and finished with eight birdies and two bogeys. He holed a

30-foot birdie chip in the sixth hole. Browne also birdied the par-5 18th, and had just 27 putts. “I don’t think I had but one chip the whole day,” Browne said. “I basically hit every green.” Loren Roberts, Tom Kite, Steve Pate, Bill Glasson and David Eger were a stroke back. Fred Couples, the 2010 winner, had a 67. Defending champion Nick Price shot a 70. He opened with a career-best 60 last year. Heavy rain is expected today. “Everyone knows it’s going to be cold and wet,” Browne said. “Every shot you made was one less you have to try and make up in bad conditions the next couple days.”—AP

KHANTY-MANSIYSK: World champion Martin Fourcade of France claimed the World Cup biathlon overall title after winning the men’s pursuit race yesterday. Fourcade missed one target and completed the 12.5-kilometer course in 34 minutes, 47.1 seconds. Arnd Peiffer of Germany, who also missed one target and had a penalty lap, was 19.6 seconds behind for second. Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway missed twice and finished another 15.1 seconds behind. Fourcade, who won Friday’s sprint race, was leading the race before Peiffer overtook him with quick shooting on the second range. The Frenchman then missed his last target on the next shooting range and was 17.8 second behind Peiffer after completing the penalty lap. But Fourcade turned the race his way after the German missed at the last shooting and fell 23.8 second behind. Right after crossing the finish line, Fourcade unfastened his skies and lifted them over his head in celebration. —AP

Senators beat Canadiens

Ottawa 2, Montreal 1 (OT); Winnipeg 3, Washington 2; Chicago 4, Dallas 1; Edmonton 3, Calgary 1; Los Angeles 4, Anaheim 2. (OT denotes overtime) Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF GA PTS NY Rangers 44 19 7 194 155 95 Pittsburgh 43 21 5 224 175 91 Philadelphia 41 22 7 226 199 89 New Jersey 41 25 5 196 182 87 NY Islanders 28 32 11 166 214 67 Northeast Division Ottawa 37 25 10 220 210 84 Boston 40 27 3 225 176 83 Buffalo 33 29 9 178 201 75 Toronto 31 32 8 205 218 70 Montreal 28 32 12 189 200 68 Southeast Division Florida 34 23 13 177 195 81 Washington 36 29 6 191 200 78 Winnipeg 34 29 8 189 199 76 Tampa Bay 32 31 7 198 237 71 Carolina 27 29 15 185 211 69

OTTAWA: Filip Kuba scored 3:07 into overtime Friday as the Ottawa Senators moved into first place in the Northeast Division with a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. After taking a pass from Daniel Alfredsson, Kuba beat Carey Price with a slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle. Erik Karlsson assisted on Kuba’s winner, giving him four points in his last three games and 71 points in 71 games on the season. The Senators passed idle Boston for first place in the Northeast, although the Bruins have two games in hand. Colin Greening also scored for the Senators, while Tomas Plekanec had a goal for Montreal. Jets 3, Capitals 2 At Winnipeg, Manitoba, Dustin Byfuglien crashed the net and scored the go-ahead goal in the third period as the Jets defeated Washington. As Byfuglien skated in front of Capitals goalie Tomas Vokoun, Evander Kane sent the puck into the crease and the defenseman tipped it in at 9:21 of the third. Winnipeg moved into ninth place in the Eastern Conference, two points behind the Capitals. Andrew Ladd and Nik Antropov also scored for Winnipeg. Brooks Laich and Mathieu Perreault had goals for Washington. Blackhawks 4, Stars 1 In Dallas, Dave Bolland and Patrick Sharp scored in the game’s first two minutes as surging Chicago beat the Stars. Bolland’s 18th goal of the season came 10 seconds in, and Sharp made it 2-0 at 1:42 with his 27th. Sharp and Marian Hossa added goals in the opening two minutes of the third period to put the game out of reach for Chicago, which improved to 6-1-1 in its last eight games. Corey Crawford finished with 21 saves for the Blackhawks. Oilers 3, Flames 1 In Edmonton, Alberta, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored a pair of goals as the Oilers ended Calgary’s five-game winning streak. Jordan Eberle also had a goal and two assists for the Oilers, who won their second in a row. Mark Giordano had the lone goal for the Flames, who remained level in ninth place in the Western Conference with San Jose, a point behind Colorado. Kings 4, Ducks 2 At Anaheim, California, Alec Martinez, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams scored first-period goals to lead Los Angeles past the Ducks. The Kings won the “Freeway Faceoff” series against their Southern California rivals, 5-1. Cam Fowler and Luca Sbisa scored for the Ducks, who outshot the Kings 42-19. Jonas Hiller made 19 of his 39 saves in the second period after giving up three goals on eight shots in the first.— AP

Taiwanese Tseng leads at LPGA Founders Cup PHOENIX: Top-ranked Yani Tseng shot a 2under 70 on Friday to take a one-stroke over five players after the second round of the LPGA Founders Cup. A day after playing a seven-hole stretch on the back nine in 7 under, the Taiwanese star opened with nine pars on the same nine. She had three birdies and a bogey on her final nine to reach 9-under 135 on another perfect day at Wildfire Golf Club. “Front nine, it’s very sorry,” Tseng said. “I was like, ‘Oh, yesterday I make birdie here. How could I make par.’ And it was not even close. A couple holes, I was trying to make safe par, but yesterday it was so easy. Second-ranked Na Yeon Choi was second along with fellow South Korean players I K Kim and Meena Lee and Japan’s Ai Miyazato and Mika Miyazato. “I’m very satisfied what I did today,” said Choi, who had a 69. “The weather is good like yesterday, but I heard tomorrow and Sunday the weather will be a little cold and windy, so I have to prepare for that. I think I’m in good position right now, but I have two more rounds.” Kim had a 66, Lee and Mika Miyazato shot 67, and Ai Miyazato had a 68. “I played in the afternoon yesterday, so the fairways and greens were pretty firm, but this morning it was really soft,” Ai Miyazato said. “And I thought I can be more aggressive, but I was a little bit impatient on the front nine.” Tseng successfully defended her LPGA Thailand title in February for her 13th LPGA Tour victory. She led the tour last season with seven victories - including major victories in the LPGA Championship and Women’s British Open - and finished the year with 12 worldwide titles. “The next two days are very important, but I will keep the same strategy, be aggressive and try to make more birdies as I can and play smart,” Tseng said. Paula Creamer (68) was two strokes back along with defending champion Karrie Webb (69), Karen Sjodin (68), Inbee Park (69), Jiyai Shin (71) and Hee Young Park (72). Park was level with Tseng for the first-round lead after a 65. — AP

NHL results/standings

WINNIPEG: Ondrej Pavelec No. 31 of the Winnipeg Jets keeps his eye on the puck as it flies through the air during a game against the Washington Capitals in NHL action. — AFP

Western Conference Central Division St Louis 45 19 8 186 141 98 Detroit 44 24 3 219 171 91 Nashville 41 21 8 201 181 90 Chicago 39 25 8 217 210 86 Columbus 22 41 7 161 226 51 Northwest Division Vancouver 42 20 8 219 177 92 Colorado 38 30 5 191 194 81 Calgary 34 26 12 181 197 80 Minnesota 29 31 10 150 194 68 Edmonton 28 36 7 188 210 63 Pacific Division Dallas 39 28 5 189 192 83 Phoenix 35 26 11 188 186 81 San Jose 35 25 10 191 179 80 Los Angeles 34 25 12 163 156 80 Anaheim 30 31 11 179 200 71 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L).

Kuwait shooters aim for top results By Abdellatif Sharaa KUWAIT: Kuwait shooters are determined to get the best results possible during His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah Grand Prix Championship to be held in Kuwait from March 19th until March 26th. Kuwait has a strong presence of nearly 100 shooters in all disciplines skeet, trap, double trap and air guns as shooting officials already prepared training programs for this and upcoming tournaments leading to the London 2012 Olympics when Abdallah Al-Turqi, Fuhaid Al-Daihani, Talal Al-Rashidi and Mariam Erzouqi will represent Kuwait in the Olympic shooting events. Shooter Mariam Erzouqi said she is ready for HH the Amir Grand Prix and the 10th Arab Shooting tournament to be held simultaneously in the individual and teams events. She said the competition will be really tough as participants are strong and have similar skills and talents. She said this tournament is a very important stage in the preparation for the Olympics to which she qualified in the 10m air rifle event. Mariam said she will go into several training camps according to the program that was prepared by the officials. Erzouqi said that she previously suffered from fear before going into tournaments which affected her negatively until recently when she overcame this fear especially during the Asian championship held in Qatar and had good experience in absorbing the pressure and had results that qualified her for the Olympics. Meanwhile shooter Munira Al-Anjari said the training program she went through has given her confidence especially that it was simulating true competition in order to become

Mariam Erzouqi

familiar with the pressure and atmosphere the shooters may be under. She said Kuwaiti shooters are now having enough experience to be legitimate contenders for medals locally and abroad. Meanwhile member of the Higher Organizing Committee, head of the Air Gun Referees Committee Bader Al-Tannak said that there will be 40 Kuwaiti referees to officiate HH the Amir Grand Prix Championship 30 of whom are internationally licensed. He said that this tournament along with the 10th Arab Shooting Championship is very important and receives special attention from all concerned. He said Kuwait is used tp organizing such major events and very rarely had any problem in officiating or protests from shooters and their officials. He said there will be over 500 shooters representing more than 30 countries having the honor of participating in this annual tournament. He said as far as the referees committee is concerned, a refreshing course is conducted every year with the participation of 20 Kuwaiti referees. He said when an event of such importance like that of HH the Amir KSF invites ISSF referees as a jury to oversee the events without interfering in the actual refereeing. He said that Kuwait referees are known for their efficiency and they are invited to tournaments held abroad. Al-Tannak said that shooting referees cannot be affected by the ranking or name of shooters because there’s a certain set of rules that have to be followed regardless of who is the shooter or which country he comes from. The Championship’s Technical Director Jasni Shaari said HH the Amir Shooting Grand Prix will witness the participation of several Olympic champions who have outstanding records at the international level.

He said this will give Kuwait shooters strong interaction with them during the various competitions adding that there will be almost 600 shooters during this event. He said that many shooters are taking great interest in the Grand Prix because it is a launching pad to the serious preparations and training for the London 2012 Olympics. Jasni spoke about the difference between ordinary preparations and preparations through official participations in tournaments, because they allow for contact with other shooters and create the pressure and atmosphere of competition.

Shooter Abdallah Al-Turqi

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

sp orts

Proteas seal victory

KINGSTOWN: Australiaís George Bailey (left) makes his grounds as West Indies’ Kieron Pollard (right) waits for the return on an attempt to run him out during the first one day international cricket match. — AP

Doherty spell leads Australia to victory KINGSTOW: Australia spinner Xavier Doherty took four wickets to lead the visitors to a 64-run victory over the West Indies in the first one-day international of their five-match series in Kingstown, St Vincent on Friday. It was a familiar story of failing with the bat while chasing a modest total for the Caribbean side as they kicked off the series, which also includes three tests, in disappointing fashion. Australia were restricted to 204 in their allotted 50 overs with only opener Dave Warner, who struck 40 from 55 balls, and George Bailey’s 48 on his one-day international debut able to master the tricky conditions for the visitors. Dwayne Bravo was the most effective of the West Indies bowlers, picking up 3-58, while Kemar Roach’s pace and Marlon Samuels’ off-spin also helped pin down the tourists on a slow track. West Indies made a decent start to taking on what was a very achievable target with Samuels (35) and Dwayne Bravo (32) getting amongst the runs but when the latter was bowled by Daniel Christian, the floodgates opened. Six wickets fell for just seven runs and only a late cameo from skipper Darren Sammy (35) offered any kind of resistance at the Arnos Vale Ground. Doherty will take the plaudits for his fine spell of slow left-arm bowling, coming back well after being hit for three sixes in his first over by Samuels, but the Australian bowlers were helped by some awful shot selection from the hosts. “It was a great way

to start the tour... we know that on this surface we had a decent enough score,” Australian skipper Shane Watson told reporters. “ They had a period with (Dwayne) Bravo and Samuels going after us but we had talked before that if we kept up some sustained pressure they could selfdestruct a bit and they did that,” he said. While Watson was delighted with Bailey making the top score in his first ODI, he was full of praise for Doherty’s response to being blasted out of the attack. “Xavier has improved, he has just developed his cricket over the last couple of years and now he has a number of different game plans that he can go to,” Watson added. “For me as a captain, he really is a pleasure to skipper because he knows that if things don’t go exactly right he has always got another way to be successful and he did that today with four wickets at a really crucial time”. The only real bright spot for West Indies was the all-round performance of Jamaican Samuels, but Sammy remained upbeat. “We are very disappointed. Hopefully we can bounce back in the second match. We have two more games here and we have a history of getting better as a series goes on.” The two teams observed a minute’s silence prior to the start of the match in honor of Runako Morton after the former Leeward Islands captain and West Indies batsman died in a car crash two weeks ago. The second match of the series is also in St Vincent today. — Reuters

SCOREBOARD Scoreboard from the first one-day international between West Indies and Australia on Friday in Kingstown, St. Vincent. Australia S. Watson lbw b DJ Bravo 21 D. Warner c Pollard b Samuels 40 P. Forrest st Baugh b Samuels 26 M. Hussey c Roach b DJ Bravo 32 D. Hussey c Baugh b Roach 0 G. Bailey c Narine b Roach 48 M. Wade c DJ Bravo b Narine 0 D. Christian not out 18 B. Lee c Charles b DJ Bravo 5 C. McKay not out 0 Extras (b-3, lb-6, w-5) 14 Total (eight wickets; 50 overs) 204 Did not bat: X. Doherty Fall of wickets 1-31, 2-91, 3-92, 4-99, 5162, 6-162, 7-195, 8-203 Bowling: K. Roach 10-1-33-2, DJ Bravo 101-58-3 (w-3), A. Russell 4-0-21-0 (w-1), D. Sammy 8-0-30-0, S. Narine 10-0-24-1 (w1), M. Samuels 8-0-29-2.

West Indies K.Powell c Bailey b Lee 8 J. Charles c M.Hussey b McKay 13 M. Samuels c Watson b Doherty 35 DM.Bravo run out 4 DJ. Bravo b Christian 32 K. Pollard c Bailey b Christian 4 C. Baugh lbw b Doherty 0 A. Russell st Wade b Doherty 1 D.Sammy c Christian b McKay 35 S.Narine c Bailey b Doherty 0 K.Roach not out 1 Extras (b-4, w-3) 7 Total (all out; 32.2 overs) 140 Fall of wickets 1-15, 2-23, 3-33, 4-97, 5-97, 6-97, 7-101, 8-103, 9-104,10-140 Bowling: Lee 7-1-25-1 (w-2), C.McKay 5.21-22-2 (w-1), S.Watson 4-1-13-0, D.Hussey 2-0-15-0, X.Doherty 8-2-49-4, D. Christian 6-2-12-2 Result: Australia won by 64 runs. Australia lead five-match series 1-0.

Gerrans wins Milan-Sanremo SAN REMO: Australia’s Simon Gerrans yesterday won the 103rd edition of the Milan-Sanremo, the first classic of the season over 298 kilometres (185 miles). The GreenEdge rider beat Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellera and Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali in a sprint for the line after nearly seven hours in the saddle. The chasing pack, headed by Slovakia’s Peter Sagan, failed to catch the trio, who sped out in front some seven kilometres from the finish. Britain’s world champion Mark Cavendish slipped back in the field after the Liquigas team stepped up the pace on the La Monie ascent, 97 kilometres from the line. The TeamSky rider, who won the race in 2009, managed to get back to the second group, clawing back about 40 sec-

onds with the help of his teammates but was unable to get into the main peloton led at a fast pace by the BMC and Omega Pharma teams. The race, in sunny but cold conditions, was opened up after the riders left Milan when nine cyclists broke away and stretched their lead up to 14 minutes. The peloton caught them up 57 kilometres from the finish in a hilly section where Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert saw his challenge falter with a crash on the approach to the summit of the second-last ascent on La Cipressa. Last year’s race was also won by an Australian, Matt Goss. At 31, the victory is Gerrans biggest of his career, although he has been a stage winner in the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia and Tour of Spain. — AFP

SAN REMO: Australia’s Simon Gerrans reacts as he crosses the finish line to win the 103th Milan San Remo spring classic. — AFP

HAMILTON: South Africa’s crushing ninewicket victory over New Zealand to win the second test inside three days yesterday was achieved by three 20-minute periods of superb pace bowling and their tail contributing a valuable 165 runs when they were in deep trouble. Graeme Smith completed the victory when he drove part-time spinner Rob Nicol through the covers to take his side to 103 for one, two more runs than they needed, shortly before tea on the third day at Seddon Park in Hamilton. Skipper Smith, who finished on 55 not out, and Hashim Amla (46) had needed less than 90 minutes to score the 101 runs that gave their side a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. The victor y, however, had been set up through the exploits of their fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander, when they captured five New Zealand wickets for no runs late on day one to trigger a collapse from a comfortable 133 for two to 133-7. Philander and Steyn also provided the spark needed in New Zealand’s second innings when they reduced Ross Taylor’s side to 7-3 just after tea on the second day, while the former ran through the lower middle order either side of lunch yesterday. Philander finished with combined figures of 10-114, his second 10-wicket haul in just his sixth test to be named man of the match. “I thought Philander and Steyn bowled well in both innings and they put pressure on the batsmen and pressure told at the end of the day,” Taylor said in a televised interview. “It was a pretty flat wicket but they put the ball in the right areas and put us under pressure.” Despite being comprehensively outplayed in the match, which lost more than two hours of play due to rain on the first day, New Zealand had an opportunity to impose themselves on the South Africans’ first inning after Mark Gillespie had ripped the heart out of their order. Gillespie took 4-24 from seven overs as the Proteas collapsed to 88-6, before AB de Villiers (83) rallied the tail and the final four wickets added 165 runs that gave the visitors a valauable 68-run first innings lead. “At 88-6, things were a bit squeaky in our changing room but it is the sign of a good test team that we were able to get ourselves out of trouble and then able to dominate the game,” Smith said. “Crucial knock,” Smith added of de Villier’s innings. “He marshaled the innings very well when we were under pressure and each of our tail was grafting very hard and it’s a big part of the team when they contribute.” Taylor also said his side’s inability to finish off the South African tail had been crucial in the first innings and they needed to make the most of such opportunities as they headed to Wellington for the third and final test next week. “With the ball, I thought we were okay. We had them at six for 90-odd but we weren’t able to put the ball in (those good) areas for long enough to put them under pressure. “(But) we’re not out of the series, we have to pick ourselves up and can still draw the series come Wellington.”— Reuters

HAMILTON: South Africa’s Hashim Amla bats in front New Zealand’s Kruger van Wyk on the third day of their second international cricket Test match at the Seddon Park. —AP

SCOREBOARD Scoreboard after South Africa beat New Zealand by nine wickets on the third day of the second test at Seddon Park in Hamilton yesterday. New Zealand first innings 185 South Africa first innings 253 New Zealand second innings (overnight 65-4) R. Nicol b Philander 1 M. Guptill c Amla b Steyn 1 B. McCullum lbw b Philander 5 R. Taylor lbw b Steyn 17 K. Williamson c Boucher b Philander 77 D. Vettori c Boucher b Kallis 21 K. van Wyk b Philander 20 D. Bracewell b Morkel 0 M. Gillespie c Boucher b Philander 14 B. Arnel not out 8 C. Martin b Philander 0 Extras (lb-4) 4 Total (all out, 67.5 overs) 168

Fall of wickets: 1-1 2-7 3-7 4-64 5-99 6-141 7142 8-142 9-160 Bowling: Steyn 16-5-31-2; Philander 15.5-3-446; Morkel 13-5-26-1; Tahir 17-2-52-0; Kallis 6-311-1 South Africa second innings G. Smith not out 55 A. Petersen c van Wyk b Bracewell 1 H. Amla not out 46 Extras (nb-1) 1 Total (for one wicket, 19.5 overs) 103 Fall of wickets: 1-5 Bowling: Martin 3-1-18-0; Bracewell 5-0-14-1; Vettori 2-0-2-0; Gillespie 4-0-24-0 (nb-1); Arnel 3-0-18-0; Williamson 2-0-23-0; Nicol 0.5-0-4-0. South Africa lead the three-match series 1-0.

Tendulkar ‘relieved’ after 100th century DHAKA: India’s Sachin Tendulkar said yesterday that the hardest period of his life was over after the batsman scored his 100th international century, just over a year since he got his 99th. Tendulkar, who had gone 33 innings without scoring an international ton since chalking up 111 in a World Cup group match against South Africa last March, claimed his 100th century when he hit 114 off 147 balls against Bangladesh on Friday. “I have to admit I was relieved,” he told reporters in Dhaka yesterday. “This is now out of the way and I can start a new chapter. “It was possibly the toughest

phase of my life. There was so much hype and attention about the 100th hundred. “I thought I possibly batted the best in my life over the last year and got close in a couple of games but I couldn’t achieve that. “There are no specific reasons for that; at times I was luckless. Sometimes you need to have luck on your side to cross the final hurdle.” Despite the 33 luckless innings Tendulkar was always confident of getting the century sooner or later. “I knew it would come but it is important that you don’t take things for granted and keep working the way you usually do,” the 38-yearold said. — Reuters

Australia’s swimmer Jones makes history ADELAIDE: Leisel Jones became the first Australian swimmer to qualify for four Olympic Games yesterday with her runner-up swim in the 100 meters breaststroke at national trials in Adelaide to book her ticket to London. The triple Olympic champion’s bid for a 12th title in the event from the past 13 championships was foiled by fellow Queenslander Leiston Pickett, but second place was enough to ensure she will head to London to defend her Beijing gold. “I did put a lot of pressure on myself, I’d done a lot of media in the leadup to say I was going to my fourth Olympics, so there was a fair bit of pressure on to make it and I’ve done that job tonight, I’m pretty stoked with that,” the 26-year-old told reporters. “I didn’t think I’d ever make it to four Olympics, that’s just an absolute dream.” Jones started poorly and posted a time of one minute, 7.64 seconds, nearly a second adrift of Pickett and more than two shy of her Australian record of 1:05.09, a result she blamed in part on illness. “The time was pretty ordinary but I’m not too bothered with that at the moment ... It was apparently a bit of a viral thing going around that makes you really dizzy, and vomiting and diarrhoea and stuff. Not very nice. “If I can come out and do 1:07 and still make the team and I’m not feeling 100 percent, that gives me a lot of confidence going into training.” Jones and Pickett are likely to clash for gold in London with American rival Rebecca Soni, who denied Jones the world title in Shanghai last year. Jones’s achievement brought some cheer back to the South Australia Aquatic and Leisure Centre following the colossal disappointment of Ian Thorpe failing to make the final of the 200 freestyle on Friday. In the five-time Olympic champion’s absence, Thomas Fraser-Holmes emerged triumphant, winning a thrilling duel with Kenrick Monk. The 20-year-old Fraser-Holmes’s title followed his 400 individual medley win on the opening day, while Monk’s Olympic qualification was redemption of sorts after he was embroiled in scandal for lying to police about a skateboard injury last year. “I did have my ups and downs and it was a bit of a roller coaster (but) I’m on the team and I’m going to London,” Monk said. Olympic silver medal-

SINGAPORE: In this July 16, 2011 file photo, Australian swimmer Leisel Jones swims the breaststroke as she trains at a local country club in Singapore. —AP

ist Hayden Stoeckel qualified for his second Games after edging Dani Arnamnart for the 100 backstroke title, while Emily Seebohm, who won gold in the 100 medley relay at Beijing, beat Belinda Hocking to win the women’s event. Stephanie Rice, swimming through the pain of a nagging shoulder injury, eased into the finals of the 200 freestyle and the 200 individual medley, raising hopes of defending all three of her Beijing Olympic titles. World record holder Rice became the first swimmer to book her Olympic ticket at the trials when she won the 400 metres IM on the opening day on Thursday and will also hope to defend her 200 IM and 200 freestyle relay titles at London. Controversial swimmer Nick D’Arcy qualified first into the 200 butterfly final to

boost his London hopes, four years after being kicked off the Beijing-bound Olympic team for punching fellow swimmer Simon Cowley at a Sydney night club. D’Arcy was convicted for assault and later filed for bankruptcy after he was ordered to pay A$180,000 in damages to Cowley. He was cleared to compete at the trials last month. “I’m just trying to focus on each race at a time,” D’Arcy said after his morning preliminary. “It’s three rounds of a title fight.” Day four of the trials today will see Thorpe attempt to qualify for the 100 freestyle finalhis last-chance saloon for London-in an ultracompetitive field including world champion James Magnussen and the other members of Australia’s gold-medal winning 100 freestyle relay team. — Reuters


SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


Hirscher wins WCup title

SCHLADMING: Austria’s Michaela Kirchgasser celebrates after winning an alpine ski, women’s World Cup slalom. —AP

Vonn sets women’s WCup points record SCHLADMING: Lindsey Vonn set a women’s Alpine ski World Cup points record when she reached 1,980 for the season with eighth place in a slalom race yesterday. The American World Cup champion passed the mark of 1,970 points set by Croatia’s Janica Kostelic in 2006. Vonn has one more race - today’s giant slalom on the same course, to improve her total and aim at the men’s record of 2,000 points set by Austria’s Hermann Maier in 2000. Twelfth place in the last race of the winter would be enough for the American to break the 2,000-points barrier. “I was not sure about doing the slalom, I wanted to save strength for the GS,” said Vonn. “But I’m glad I did it as it means less pressure and nervousness tomorrow.” Yesterday’s race victory went to Austria’s Michaela Kirchgasser, who

clocked a combined time of one minute 32.57 seconds to win her second slalom of the season after Kranjska Gora in January. “To win a slalom in Austria and to finish second behind Marlies (Schild) in the slalom World Cup is a dream come true and a great boost for next year’s world championships here,” said Kirchgasser. Veronika Zuzulova, fastest in the first leg, missed out on her first World Cup victory yet again, by 0.12 seconds. In eight seasons on the circuit, the Slovakian has earned 13 podium placings but no wins. World champion Schild, already crowned in the discipline’s World Cup for the season, was third, 0.51 seconds adrift, but the Austrian will now have to wait until next season to try to equal the record of 34 slalom wins held by Swiss Vreni Schneider. —Reuters

SCHLADMING: Marcel Hirscher of Austria has won the overall World Cup championship. The Austrian won yesterday’s final giant slalom of the season to take the discipline title and go top of the overall standings. Hirscher holds a 25point lead over speed specialist Beat Feuz of Switzerland, who announced he won’t start in today’s slalom, the final race of the season. “I don’t get it, unbelievable,” Hirscher said. “I was well behind couple of times this season. I told myself that the race today was the same as a race in January to take the pressure off.” Hirscher is the fifth Austrian to win the overall title and the first since Benjamin Raich in 2006. Franz Klammer, Hermann Maier and Stephen Eberharter have also won the big crystal globe. Feuz would have needed a top-10 finish in today’s slalom, but the Swiss racer has never scored World Cup points in the discipline. “This was my last race of the season,” Feuz said after coming 21st in the GS. “I’ve given everything I had but it was not enough.” Hirscher had already secured the GS title after the opening run, in which American rival Ted Ligety skied off-course. “To know that I had won that globe was a relief,” Hirscher said. “It helped me to relax and have an attacking but clean second run.” Ligety, who won three GS titles in the past four seasons, trailed Hirscher by 92 points and, with a victory worth 100 points, had to win the race to stand a chance of overtaking the Austrian. Ligety led by 0.43 seconds at the final intermediate time but

skied off-course. He hiked back up the hill to complete his run but finished 11.16 seconds off the lead. “There was only one option today winning or going home,” Ligety said. “I tried everything so I can’t blame myself.” Ligety posted the fastest time in the second run but obviously his deficit was too big

American said of Hirscher. “For me it was a good year, it’s just that someone else was better.” Hirscher won four GS races and nine events in total this season. “What happened to Ted could have happened to me as well,” said Hirscher, who won the event in 2 minutes, 25.52 seconds to lead an

standout slid down the hill at a slow pace and stopped several times to greet and hug officials and coaches along the course. It took him 5 minutes, 44 seconds to complete his run. After crossing the finish line, Cuche showed his trademark ski flip for a last time, cheered on by thousands of fans

AUSTRIA: Austria’s Marcel Hirscher (center) holds the trophy he won for clinching the alpine ski, men’s World Cup giant slalom discipline title, flanked by second placed Ted Ligety, of the United States (left) and third placed Italy’s Massimiliano Blardone. —AP and he finished 25th. Ligety won two GS races and led the standings early in the season, but had since been playing catch-up with Hirscher. Ligety added a third victory last weekend in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, to retain his slim chance. “With the season he’s had, he deserved to win the globe,” the

Austrian sweep of the podium. Hannes Reichelt, who led after the first run, came 0.19 behind in second and Marcel Mathis was third, 0.55 behind. Didier Cuche celebrated his retirement by wearing an outfit from the 1950s including a backpack and wooden skis. The Swiss

in the Planai stadium. Since his World Cup debut in 1998, Cuche competed in 358 World Cup races. He won 21 events and was the season’s downhill champion four times. “Ski retiree sounds a bit weird but I will get used to it,” Cuche said. “I believe it was the right decision.” —AP

Under-fire Team New Zealand silence critics AUCKLAND: Under-fire Team New Zealand skipper Chris Nicholson answered his critics with a resounding home victory for his boat Camper in the Volvo Ocean Race yesterday. Nicholson, an Australian in charge of a largely Kiwi crew, had been criticized after his team surrendered second place overall last weekend having mustered only fourth place in the fourth leg from China to Auckland. A week of practicing their starts, however, paid handsome dividends as Camper dominated the Auckland inport race from the first mark and gradually increased their final margin of victory over second-placed Puma to 54 seconds following an hour of racing. The result leaves Camper on 104 points, 18 behind overall race pace-setters Team Telefonica who finished last. Groupama of France are second overall on 107 but had to settle for third in yes-

terday’s Auckland sprint after suffering problems with their keel at one stage. “It’s been a huge week of support for us and it’s helped,” he told reporters. “We did practice start after practice start all week and we really stuck it when it mattered. “Now we’ve flicked the switch and we want this on the next leg. Telefonica showed in this race already that momentum counts for so much by winning the first three legs. I’m hoping it’s our turn now.” The fleet now faces probably their toughest test of the 39,000nautical mile, nine-month race when they take on the treacherous Cape Horn on the way to Itajai, Brazil. Storm conditions are expected to greet the boats on the first night out of Auckland today and then they will need to dodge icebergs in the Southern Ocean. There are nine legs overall with each earning the winner 30 points. —Reuters

China scoop all four golds at World Series DUBAI: China’s medal prospects at the London Olympics were highlighted on Friday when they won all four gold medals up for grabs on the first day of the FINA/Midea Diving World Series in Dubai. There were individual titles for He Chong in the men’s three-metre springboard and Chen Ruolin in the women’s 10-metre platform while Cao Yuan and Zhang Yanquan won the men’s 10-metre synchro platform event and Wu Minixa and He Zi captured the women’s three-metre synchro springboard title. The success follows a Chinese clean sweep of eight golds at last month’s FINA World Cup at the London Aquatic Centre, venue for this year’s Olympic diving competition, and the 10 golds on offer at the 2011 world championships in Shanghai. “I feel great especially as I only trained for two days before competing here, so getting the gold with so little preparation is great,” He Chong said through an interpreter as a 2,000 crowd watched the first diving competition in Dubai. “I will be competing in the whole (world) series (of four events) as it is good preparation for the Olympics. I don’t care about what the other divers are doing. I just focus on my preparation, my performance and what I have to do.” Chen, the Olympic, world and World Cup champion, prevailed despite a determined effort from Mexico’s Paola Espinosa who finished second, just 3.6 points behind. “This is a good chance to compete before the Olympics, especially with the very special diving pool and training pool we have here (in Dubai),”

Chen told reporters through an interpreter a the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Sports Complex. He Chong, another athlete with Olympic, world and World Cup titles in his locker, always looked comfortable in finishing 25.6 points ahead of Illya Zakharov of Russia. World Cup winners Cao and Zhang put on a flawless display which earned them the first and only 10 of the night as they immediately took top spot and never relinquished it. The win launched an early bid by the Chinese duo to retain their world series title as they finished 44 points ahead of Ukraine pairing Oleksandr Gorshkovozov and Oleksandr Bondar. Wu and He Zi won China’s other gold on Friday, 31.68 points ahead of Americans Christina Loukas and Kassidy Cook. “I think the Chinese are amazing divers. I love watching them,” Loukas told reporters. “I think Kassidy and I, if we keep training every day, are taking steps towards competing against the Chinese at these competitions.” Four more gold medals will be decided on the final day of competition in the women’s three-meter springboard, the men’s 10-metre platform, the three-meter synchro springboard for men and the women’s 10metre synchro platform. The remaining rounds of the FINA/Midea Diving World Series takes place in Beijing on March 23 and 24, Moscow on April 13 and 14 and Tijuana on April 22 and 23. A total of 58 athletes from 11 countries have assembled in Dubai with China providing the largest contingent of 11. —Reuters

MELBOURNE: McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain runs off onto the grass on turn one during the qualifying session of the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park. —AP

Hamilton takes pole for F1 Australian GP MELBOURNE: Lewis Hamilton led a McLaren one-two by claiming pole position yesterday for Formula One’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix, indicating an immediate change in the F1 pecking order at the start of the 2012 season. Hamilton qualified in a time of 1 minute, 24.922 seconds around the Albert Park circuit, a tenth of a second ahead of teammate Jenson Button with Lotus’ Romain Grosjean a surprise third. Most importantly, the McLarens had a two-thirds of a second gap over reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel, who imperiously won 15 poles last season while sweeping to the title. Saturday’s results suggested a much tighter contest this season. Coming into Saturday’s session, two-time defending constructors’ champion Red Bull had put at least one car on the front row in 24 straight races since the 2010 Italian Grand Prix, but Vettel will start sixth on the grid, one place behind teammate Mark Webber. “It’s a fantastic feeling to be back here, and it’s an incredible start to the season,” Hamilton said. “It was a tremendous job from the team to get us to this point. We’ve had a couple of tough years, but we never seem to give up.” Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher qualified fourth, with Nico Rosberg seventh in the other Mercedes.

However, argument over the legality of Mercedes’ wing system continued off the track yesterday, with Lotus pushing for a definitive ruling from the FIA over the Mercedes system, which channels air from the rear wing to the front wing to increase downforce. “We have clearly a query on the legality of the Mercedes system,” Lotus team principal Eric Boullier said on Sky Sports television. “We have just explained our view to Charlie (FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting) and we’ll wait for Charlie to respond. “We expect a clarification today or tomorrow, but definitely we would like to fix and understand this position before the next race.” Whiting had already given an initial clearance to the design, and a move to ban the wings on the day of the race was unlikely, but a ruling would be expected before next weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix. Yesterday’s challenge was an echo of 2009 in Australia when Red Bull and others unsuccessfully protested the double diffuser of the Brawn team - the forerunner to Mercedes - which went on to win the title. Williams’ Pastor Maldonado qualified an impressive eighth yesterday, Nico Hulkenberg was ninth for Force India and Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top 10. Hamilton’s pole was the 20th of his career, making him the 13th man in F1 history to reach that

mark and moving him level with Alonso and Damon Hill on the alltime list. It was also the first allMcLaren front row since 2009. Four of the past five winners in Melbourne have started from pole position, boosting Hamilton’s hopes going into today’s race. Button said he was “quite surprised” by the gap to the Red Bulls. “Red Bull are always competitive, we should never forget that, but we are going to enjoy this and hope we have a great race,” Button said. Grosjean’s third place was the shock result in his debut at the Albert Park circuit. The Frenchman was expected to spend the season in the shadow of Kimi Raikkonen - who qualified a lowly 18th - but the 2011 GP2 champion showed he had matured since his brief, troubled time in F1 in 2009. “A few people believed in me in the toughest times and today I am back, almost at the top,” Grosjean said. It was a dismal day for Ferrari, with Fernando Alonso spinning off into a gravel trap early in session two and qualifying in 12th place, while Felipe Massa fared even worse, qualifying 16th. “We are not quite quick enough,” Alonso said. “We need to change the direction quickly if we are to challenge for the championship. We have to react.” Comeback driver Raikkonen also disappointed, qualifying a

long way behind teammate Grosjean. The Finn had struggled on Friday and yesterday with a steering system that did not suit his driving style, and said poor communication from his team caused him to miss out on session two by a tenth of a second, having run wide on his last flying lap. “I slowed down because we were supposed to have time for one more lap and I guessed we didn’t,” Raikkonen said. “Nobody told me when I slowed down that I had to hurry up. There’s no point to blame anybody and everyone is as disappointed as me. It’s a bad start.” Vettel, who set a record for pole positions in a season in 2011, made an error on his last flying lap but said pole position was out of reach regardless. “McLaren did a massive step from Q2 to Q3,” Vettel said. “I should have been a bit better. I made a mistake so that’s down to me, probably cost me one or two places.” The HRTs predictably failed to reach the time needed to take part in today’s race, with neither car getting within the required seven percent of the best time in the first qualifying session. The team, which missed preseason testing and was still putting its cars together on Friday, asked race stewards for an exemption to the rule but were denied, meaning they will be sidelined in Australia for the second straight year. —AP


SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

sp orts

Lakers top Timberwolves LOS ANGELES: Kobe Bryant scored 28 points and Ramon Sessions had seven points and five assists in his Los Angeles debut as the Lakers beat Minnesota 97-92 Friday night for their 19th consecutive victory over the Timberwolves. Andrew Bynum had 15 points and 14 rebounds and Pau Gasol added 17 points and 11 rebounds in the Lakers’ fifth straight win overall - and their first game since early 2007 without Derek Fisher in their starting lineup. The five-time NBA champion point guard was traded to Houston on Thursday, and Sessions arrived from Cleveland to replace him, along with promoted starter Steve Blake. Kevin Love had 27 points and 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who have lost four of five.

INDIAN WELLS: Ana Ivanovic of Serbia questions a call during her match against Maria Sharapova of Russia at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament. —AP

Azarenka, Sharapova face off in Indian Wells final INDIAN WELLS: World number one Victoria Azarenka of Belarus charged into the final of the Indian Wells WTA tournament with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Germany’s Angelique Kerber on Friday. Both players struggled to hold serve in breezy conditions on the showpiece stadium court but Azarenka sealed the win by breaking her 18th-seeded opponent in the ninth game of the second set when the German hit a forehand long. Australian Open champion Azarenka will face second-seeded Maria Sharapova in today’s final after 2008 winner Ana Ivanovic of Serbia retired hurt from the second semi-final because of an injured left hip while trailing the Russian 6-4, 0-1. The title showdown at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden will be a repeat of the Australian Open final in January when Azarenka won her first grand slam title with a crushing 6-3 6-0 victory over Sharapova. “I can’t play, I can’t push,” a tearful Ivanovic told the chair umpire before withdrawing from her match in the last four. Ivanovic had taken a medical time-out after the ninth game of the first set before returning to the court for two more games, and exiting with Sharapova 30-0 up on her serve. “After the treatment, it was just getting worse and worse rapidly,” the 24year-old Serb later told reporters. “We taped it and then I tried to continue, but at the end, I couldn’t even return. “I’m very disappointed ... I really felt like I have been playing the best tennis probably played in a very, very long time”. Sharapova, champion here in 2006, lost serve in the second game of the match but she broke back in the third and seventh games before clinching the set in just over an hour when Ivanovic hit a forehand long. “It was unfortunate that it had to end this way,” the Russian former world number one said of Ivanovic’s injury. “I

thought towards the end of the second set we started playing really good, high quality tennis.” Sharapova was delighted, though, to advance after a relatively short match before taking on the game’s hottest player in the final. “She (Azarenka) is definitely the one to beat right now, someone who playing with a lot of confidence and all the momentum in the world,” the Russian smiled. “I’d love to get my revenge from Australia and play much better, as well.” Top seed Azarenka improved her record for this year to 22-0 with her victory over left-hander Kerber. “I am so excited, it’s the first time for me to be in the final here,” a beaming Azarenka said in a courtside interview. “It’s a great event and I love playing here.” Asked how tricky the swirling breezes had been, Azarenka replied: “It was a little bit difficult, especially from one side but it made it more interesting, a lot more adversity and challenge for both of us. “Overall I played pretty good on the return. I really was impressed by the way Angelique was playing. She really pushed me to raise my level and really dig to win that match.” The pony-tailed Belarusian moved into outright second place for the best start to a WTA Tour season since 1997. Swiss Martina Hingis leads the way with 37 consecutive victories to launch her 1997 campaign with Azarenka next best and American Serena Williams in third, with 21 in 2003. Playing Kerber for the first time, Azarenka traded early service breaks with the German before again breaking her opponent in the ninth to take the opening set 6-4 in 48 minutes. Kerber, who upset eighth seed Li Na of China 6-4 6-2 in the quarter-finals, was then broken four more times in an erratic second set as the Belarusian wrapped up the win. — Reuters

Knicks 115, Pacers 100 In New York, Tyson Chandler scored 16 points and Jeremy Lin had 13 as the Knicks beat Indiana for their second straight dominant victory under interim coach Mike Woodson. JR Smith added 16 points and Steve Novak 12 for New York, two nights after the Knicks beat Portland by 42 on the day coach Mike D’Antoni resigned. The Pacers never led and had their two-game winning streak broken. Danny Granger shot 4 of 15 and had nine points, while All-Star Roy Hibbert was 2 of 10 and scored four. Darren Collison led Indiana with 15 points. Heat 84, 76ers 78 At Philadelphia, LeBron James scored 29 points and Dwyane Wade had 12 points and 10 rebounds as Miami held on to beat the Sixers. The Heat led by 29 points in the third quarter before Lou Williams and Evan Turner sparked a Philadelphia comeback that got the Sixers to within four. James hit a pull-up jumper and sank a pair of free throws in the final 90 seconds to help the Heat seal the victory and end a four-game road losing streak. Turner had 13 points and Williams added 12 for the Sixers. Trail Blazers 100, Bulls 89 In Chicago, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 21 points and Wesley Matthews added 18 as Portland beat the Bulls, who were without leading scorer Derrick Rose. Chicago beat the Heat without Rose on Wednesday, but was unable to win a second straight game with him sitting on the bench with a strained groin. One day after trading starters Gerald Wallace and Marcus Camby and firing head coach Nate McMillan, the Blazers hung with the Bulls through three quarters and pulled away in the fourth. Carlos Boozer had 22 points and 14 rebounds and Luol Deng added 19 points for the Bulls. Spurs 114, Thunder 105 In Oklahoma City, Tony Parker scored 25 points and Tim Duncan added 16 points and 19 rebounds as San Antonio inched closer to

the Thunder in the Western Conference standings. San Antonio rolled to a 27-point lead in the first half and was up by 20 late in the third quarter before Oklahoma City rallied to within two down the stretch. Russell Westbrook had

had 15 rebounds for the Kings, who set a season high for points. Sacramento shot 70 percent in the third quarter, scoring 41 points. Ray Allen scored 26 points and Paul Pierce had 19 for Boston.

LOS ANGELES: Minnesota Timberwolves guard Luke Ridnour (13) attempts to get by Los Angeles Lakers guard Ramon Sessions (7) in the second half of an NBA basketball game. —AP 36 points and Durant 25 for first-place Oklahoma City, which leads San Antonio by three games in the West. Hawks 102, Wizards 88 At Atlanta, Joe Johnson matched his season high with 34 points, including the first two baskets of a decisive 11-0 run in the fourth quarter, to lead the Hawks. Josh Smith added 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for Atlanta, who have won eight straight over Washington. Trevor Booker scored 18 points and John Wall had 14 points and nine assists for the Wizards, who were held to 34 points in the second half. Magic 86, Nets 70 At Orlando, Florida, Dwight Howard scored 18 points and Jameer Nelson and Glen Davis each had 13 as the Magic easily beat New Jersey. Orlando won for the fourth time in five games and extended its winning streak against the Nets to 10. Reserve Gerald Green scored 15 points to lead the Nets. DeShawn Stevenson was the only New Jersey starter to reach double figures with 11. Kings 120, Celtics 95 At Sacramento, California, Marcus Thornton hit five 3-pointers and scored a season-high 36 points as the Kings beat Boston to end a three-game losing streak. Jason Thompson matched his season best with 21 points and

Bucks 120, Warriors 98 In Oakland, California, Monta Ellis scored 18 points in his much-hyped return to the Bay Area in a Bucks uniform, leading Milwaukee to victory over Golden State. Ellis was traded to Milwaukee on Thursday after seven seasons with Golden State. Luc Mbah a Moute had a career-high 22 points and season-best 17 rebounds for Milwaukee, which extended its season-best winning streak to five. Rookie Klay Thompson scored 19 points for the Warriors. Suns 109, Pistons 101 In Phoenix, Jared Dudley scored 23 points and Channing Frye added 15 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Suns. Marcin Gortat added 16 points for Phoenix, which has won eight of its last 10. Rodney Stuckey scored 23 points and Brandon Knight had 17 to lead the Pistons, who lost their second in six games. Raptors 114, Grizzlies 101 In Memphis, Tennessee, Jerryd Bayless scored five of his 28 points in overtime and added nine assists to help Toronto beat the Grizzlies. Gary Forbes had a career-high 20 points and Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan added 18 apiece for Toronto. Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with a season-high 28 points, and Rudy Gay added 26 points and 11 rebounds. — AP

Federer, Nadal to meet in last four INDIAN WELLS: Three-times champion Roger Federer and twice winner Rafa Nadal won their quarter-final matches at the Indian Wells ATP tournament on Friday to set up an enticing last four showdown. Federer booked his place in the semi-finals with a ruthless 6-3 6-2 victory over big-serving Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina before Nadal fought back to beat David Nalbandian, also of Argentina 4-6 7-5 6-4. Saturday’s other semi-final will pit Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic against 11th-seeded American John Isner, both players having advanced on Thursday. Second seed Nadal was delighted to scrape through, having saved two break points in a gripping 10th game of the third set before sealing victory with a forehand drop shot to end an absorbing baseline rally. Nalbandian, on the run, sent his attempted backhand return well wide and Nadal punched the air with his left fist in delight as the stadium court erupted to applaud both players for a riveting encounter lasting two hours, 39 minutes. “It was a very difficult match for me,” the second-seeded Spaniard said in a courtside interview after racing into a 52 lead in the final set before losing the next two games. “I started a little bit more nervous than usual against a tough player like David. He’s beaten me a few times in the past so it was a very important victory for me. “I am very excited to be back here,” added lefthander Nadal, who has reached the semi-finals in his last seven attempts at Indian Wells. Nadal will face Federer for a 28th time in Saturday’s semi-finals, but it will be their first ever meeting at Indian Wells. “It’s something not very strange,” said the Spaniard, who holds an 18-9 career advantage over the Swiss. Nalbandian, whose last victory over Nadal came at the 2007 Masters Series event in Paris, broke the Spaniard in the 10th game of

the match when he hit a searing forehand winner down the line to take the opening set. It was the first set Nadal had dropped in the tournament, having breezed through his first three matches for the loss of just 14 games at the hardcourt venue. The second set went with serve until Nalbandian was broken in the 11th game after netting an attempted backhand drop shot to trail 30-40 and then double-faulting. Nadal comfortably held ser ve to level the match. The Spaniard seized control in the third set, breaking the Argentinean in the first and seventh games to lead 5-2. Nadal was then broken while serving for the match in the eighth, squandered a match point in the ninth and finally sealed victory on his second opportunity after an absorbing 10th game. Swiss world number three Federer broke ninth seed Del Potro once in the opening set and twice in the second to wrap up his win in just over an hour at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Federer, who powered down 13 aces in a one-sided match, completed his fifth successive straight-sets victory over the tall Argentinean when his opponent netted a forehand service return. “This was for me a really good match against a great player,” the 16times grand slam champion told reporters after beating Del Potro for the fourth time this season. “I’m happy I was happy to maintain the great streak I’ve got going against him this year. He’s a top-10 player, a ver y dangerous player. “I sor t of expected myself to come out and play a good match today after the struggle I had against (Thomaz) Bellucci,” said the Swiss, referring to his 3-6 6-3 6-4 win over the Brazilian in the previous round. Federer, who had battled flu and a temperature to beat his first three opponents at Indian Wells, has won 37 of his 39 matches since last year’s US Open. — Reuters

Finalists with KIFF Managing Committee and guests

YRC Rising Stars lift KIFF Veterans Trophy KUWAIT: Defending Champions YRC Rising Stars lifted the KIFF Veterans Trophy for the 3rd time in a row in the one day 7-aside football tournament organized by Kuwait Indian Football Federation (KIFF) at MOH grounds, Shuwaikh. 14 KIFF affiliated teams participated in the one-day tournament. It was YRC Rising Stars who proved their supremacy by defeating AVC Veterans in the tie-breaker after both teams failed to break the deadlock during regulation time. It was goalkeeper Ronnie of YRC who ensured victory for his team by saving 2 penalty kicks. Earlier, before the start of the finals, chief guest Fidelis Fernandes President of KIFF was accompanied by KIFF MC Members and club presidents for the introduction of players.

Following trophies were presented during the presentation ceremony. Winners - YRC Rising Stars along with individual trophies to all their players; Runners-Up - AVC along with individual trophies to all their players; Best Discipline Team - DHL Football Club; Best player of the tournament Rommel Dias of AVC; Man of the match in the finals - Ronnie of YRC Rising Stars. The function was compered by Bernard Fernandes. KIFF vice president Mr. Clifford Pinto proposed a vote of thanks. The tournament officiated by KIFF referees was sponsored by Xavier Furtado (AVC), Bosco Leitao (CRC Chinchinim), Agnelo Fernandes (Navelim Youth Centre), Goa Caterers, Raymond D’Sa (GOA), VK Vohra (KGA) and Tony Dias (Santos FC).

YRC captain receiving the trophy from Fidelis

Italy beat Scotland to avoid wooden spoon ROME: Italy beat Scotland 13-6 in the Six Nations at the Stadio Olimpico here yesterday to earn Frenchman Jacques Brunel his first victory as Azzurri coach. It meant Scotland finished bottom of the Six Nations for the first time since 2007 and suffered their first whitewash since 2004. Italy avoided the wooden spoon for the first time since 2007 and heaped pressure on Scotland boss Andy Robinson, whose side have now lost seven matches in a row. Giovanbattista Venditti scored the only try of the game, his second in four appearances for the

Azzurri. “ That (the win) feels good. We’ve had enough good matches in this tournament, we only just lost against England here at the (Stadio) Olimpico for example,” Italy flanker Sergio Parisse enthused. “Today we had possession of the ball, I think we deserved the win. We were a little bit afraid at half-time because they came into our half for 30 seconds and scored three points. “But we won. It’s good for Jacques (Brunel), who’s just arrived,” Parisse told Sky Sports. Scotland had both Nick De Luca and Jim Hamilton sinbinned while Alessandro Zanni

also picked up a yellow card for the hosts. A month ago the Stadio Olimpico was covered in snow but this game kicked off in brilliant spring sunshine with fans in t-shirts topping up their tans. And it was a good thing too because events on the field did little to excite the crowd. Scottish lock Hamilton was penalized for diving over the top on 10 minutes and Mirco Bergamasco kicked Italy into a 3-0 lead. The hosts dominated in terms of both possession and territory but lacked the cutting edge to turn their pressure into genuine chances or points. David Denton

was penalized for holding on and some Scottish back-chat earned an extra 10 yards on the penalty but Bergamasco hooked his kick from wide left. Zanni started an attack that saw Italy burrow down the left but having reached five yards out, fly-half Kris Burton suddenly decided to try a hurried and impromptu drop-goal that was easily charged down and almost resulted in a Scottish counter. Italy were then hit with a rare penalty for collapsing the scrum and Greig Laidlaw slotted over the penalty from just inside the hosts’ half. — AFP

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


Messi hits 150th Barcelona league goal in Sevilla win

ITALY: AC Milan’s Brazilian midfielder Urby Emanuelson kicks the ball during the Italian Serie A football match against Parma yesterday. —AFP

Milan extend lead with win at Parma ROME: AC Milan cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win at Parma yesterday to increase their lead at the top of Serie A to seven points. Juventus could reduce their arrears if they win at Fiorentina later yesterday. A penalty from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Urby Emanuelson’s stunning solo effort secured a win for the rossoneri that never looked in doubt. With 10 games left in the Serie A season, Milan appear to have hit their stride at just the right time. And this result was earned despite a host of important first team players such as Kevin-Prince Boateng, Mark van Bommel, Robinho, Pato, Philippe Mexes and Alessandro Nesta being ruled out. Parma created the first clear chance as Jaime Valdes beat Sulley Muntari and Daniele Bonera on the edge of the box before curling his shot just past the far post. But Ibrahimovic headed a chipped ball into the box back to Emanuelson whose goalwards shot hit Cristian Zaccardo’s arm and the referee pointed to the spot. Ibrahimovic sent Antonio Mirante the wrong way and the visitors had a 17thminute lead. It could have been worse for Parma as Mirante failed to hold Ibrahimovic’s stinging free -kick but Emanuelson volleyed the bouncing ball high over the bar. Parma did have their moments and a Gabriel Palletta header deflected off Thiago Silva before hitting the bar with Christian Abbiati well beaten.

Ibrahimovic should have had a second when a ricochet sent him clean through but he took a heavy touch allowing Mirante to charge out and clear the danger. In the second period Massimo Ambrosini clipped the ball into Ibrahimovic who turned on the edge of the six-yard box and fired in from a tight angle. But Mirante saved at his near post, although Antonio Nocerino was standing all on his own and screaming for a square pass. Milan doubled their lead on 55 minutes when Emanuelson beat two players and then ran through before rounding Mirante and slotting home. But the goal also owed a lot to Ibrahimovic’s vision in stepping over the ball as it came towards him with Emanuelson on the charge because he was in an offside position. Those two were a constant thorn in the Parma defence’s side and Ibrahimovic set up his Dutch team-mate only for Emanuelson to fire wide when well-placed. Abbiati kept a clean sheet with a diving save to his right late on after Gianluca Musacci’s deflected shot momentarily wrong-footed him. Such was Milan’s comfort that coach Massimiliano Allegri even afforded Gennaro Gattuso a return to first team action for the first time since early September due to an eye problem. But deep into injury time Sergio Floccari beat Abbiati with a shudding effort only to see the ball rebound off the bar.—AFP

Italian League results/standings Parma 0 AC Milan 2 (Ibrahimovic 17-pen, Emanuelson 55) Playing later Fiorentina v Juventus Playing today Cagliari v Cesena (1130 GMT), Bologna v Chievo, Catania v Lazio, Inter Milan v Atalanta, Lecce v Palermo, Siena v Novara, Udinese v Napoli (1945 GMT) Playing tomorrow Roma v Genoa Italian Serie A table ahead of yesterday’s late match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): AC Milan Juventus Lazio Napoli Udinese Roma Inter Milan Catania Bologna Palermo Chievo

28 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27

18 13 14 12 13 12 12 9 9 10 9

6 14 6 10 7 5 4 11 8 4 7

4 0 7 5 7 10 11 7 10 13 11

57 39 42 50 37 40 38 35 29 39 22

22 17 33 28 24 33 36 35 31 44 33

60 53 48 46 46 41 40 38 35 34 34

Atalanta 27 9 12 Genoa 27 9 6 Siena 27 8 8 Fiorentina 27 8 8 Cagliari 27 7 10 Parma 28 7 10 Lecce 27 6 7 Novara 27 4 8 Cesena 27 4 5 Note: Atalanta deducted season for match-fixing

6 31 12 35 11 32 11 27 10 26 11 33 14 30 15 22 18 16 six points

29 33 48 33 28 32 28 32 35 31 44 31 44 25 46 20 42 17 at start of


Evra targets 20th title for United

MADRID: A sublime chip from Lionel Messi brought up his 150th league goal for Barcelona in yesterday’s 2-0 win over Sevilla which cut Real Madrid’s lead to seven points. A Xavi Hernandez free-kick put Barca ahead after 18 minutes and then Messi continued his blistering goal scoring form with his 14th in six games. Real Madrid can restore their 10-point cushion when they face Malaga today. Coach Pep Guardiola put out his strongest side as Barca continued their pursuit of Real with the only surprise the absence of Carles Puyol from the defence with Javier Mascherano chosen to play alongside Gerard Pique at centre half. Adriano started at leftback in place of Eric Abidal who will be out of the game indefinitely as he awaits a liver transplant. Adriano had a deflected shot which looped just over the crossbar and then Pedro Rodriguez, put through by Cesc Fabregas, had a strike parried by the keeper as the Catalan side pressed from the start. Then Adriano was upended as he surged towards the area by Emir Spahic, who received a yellow card, and Xavi scored from the resultant free-kick. Goalkeeper Andres Palop got a hand to the ball but could not stop it as it curled into the corner. Andres Iniesta blazed wide while, at the other end, Manu del Moral caused the first real danger for Sevilla after outpacing Pique but his shot from a tight angle was beaten away by keeper Victor Valdes. Messi doubled Barca’s lead mid-way through the first half with another collectors’ item. He nutmegged Spahic on the edge of the

sive game and we have to make sure we win. “We didn’t start well in Europe this year - maybe we were too confident at the beginning of the Champions League - and this is the end now. “We are out again and we have to be honest with ourselves, we don’t deserve to be in the Champions League or the Europa League. “We haven’t played in Europe this season with the same desire that we have in the league. We can see the difference in the league we are top, and we are more focused on the league, we have to tell the truth. I don’t know why that is.” Phil Jones could return after missing the 2-1 defeat in Bilbao with flu but midfielder Anderson is facing at least a month on the sidelines with a hamstring problem. Antonio Valencia is close to a return from his own hamstring injury, while Nemanja Vidic and Darren Fletcher are long-term absentees. Wolves manager Terry Connor has urged his players to shut out the air of negativity which has recently engulfed the club. The Molineux club find themselves in the bottom three after disappointing defeats against Fulham and Blackburn, the latter leading to protests by fans against the board after the match. “Did we go down last year, or the year before?” said Connor. “Did people have that same psyche then of: ‘We’re going to go down’? “Is that the same psyche we’re seeing now: ‘drop into the bottom three and that’s them gone’? “We’re in the same group every year. But that’s why we’re here working - to get out of it. That’s part and parcel of our job which is to get ourselves above that dotted line. “Other people have their own opinions. I can’t affect that. —AFP

area and then chipped the ball over the keeper. Sevilla are the only side to have taken points off Barca at the Nou Camp this season in the league and they battled back with a Manu header coming back off the woodwork as Pique and Valdes looked on. Frederic Kanoute had a shot blocked by Valdes while at the other end Pedro also was denied by Palop. After the break Sevilla began to take

the game to the visitors as Barca failed to show the same rhythm in the centre of the pitch and Manu fired inches wide from a Jesus Navas cross. Iniesta then poked the ball just wide in front of goal after being set up by Messi and substitute Alexis Sanchez had a shot blocked by the keeper after running clear while Manu also had another glaring miss for Sevilla. Earlier, Getafe put further distance

between themselves and the drop zone as they bounced back from three straight defeats to beat second-frombottom Sporting Gijon 2-0. Rock-bottom Zaragoza were just minutes away from a much needed victory but Roversio equalised Helder Postiga’s opener after 88 minutes to give Osasuna a 1-1 draw. Elsewhere an owngoal from Inigo Martinez gave Getafe a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad.—AFP

Bayern hammer Hertha BERLIN: Dutch winger Arjen Robben hit a hat-trick yesterday as Bayern Munich hammered Hertha Berlin 6-0 in Germany’s capital but league leaders Borussia Dortmund beat Bremen to stay five points clear. Having hammered Hoffenheim 7-1 last Saturday in the Bundesliga, then demolished Basel 7-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday to reach the quarter-finals, Bayern have now scored 20 goals in their last three games. Germany striker Mario Gomez, the league’s top-scorer with 22 goals in 25 games, netted a secondhalf penalty to leave him with eight goals from three games having hit four against Basel and three against Hoffenheim. In total, the 26-year-old has alread scored 35 in all competitions, while his team remain second in the league and five points behind Dortmund. Likewise, Robben now has seven goals from his last three matches as Bayern’s purple patch continues. Berlin, who have lost nine of their last 10 games, gave away three penalties and defeat to Bayern sees them drop to 17th, second from bottom, after Freiburg’s 3-1 win at Hamburg. Germany midfielder Thomas Mueller gave Bayern an early lead before Robben netted twice, including a penalty, to make it 3-0 at the break.

With 50 minutes gone, the Berlin defence was blitzed with two goals in as many minutes as Gomez fired home from the penalty spot after France winger Franck Ribery was fouled by Hertha defender Alfredo Morales. Robben then robbed Berlin’s

only 10 Bundesliga appearances, gave away his second penalty of the game when he again fouled Ribery and Robben slotted home the spot kick to complete the scoring. Earlier, Dortmund’s Japan winger Shinji Kagawa scored an early goal to seal his team’s 1-0 win

BERLIN: Bayern Munich’s Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo (second left) and his teammate Bayern Munich’s Ukrainian midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and Berlin’s Croatian defender Andre Mijatovic (left) vie for the ball during the German First Division Bundesliga match.—AFP Christoph Janker of possession and although the Hertha goalkeeper got a glove to the ball, Bayern’s Toni Kroos netted the rebound to make it 5-0. Morales, 21, who has made

over Bremen, setting a new club record of 20 matches without defeat. “My only criticism is that we didn’t take our chances earlier, we left the game open for too long,”

said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp. “Consequently, we weren’t sure of the win until the very end. But I was very happy with the performance, we were very alert and alive.” Third-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach picked up their first win in four games after a late winner from Igor de Camargo sealed their 2-1 victory at Bayer Leverkusen. Dortmund-bound Marco Reus, who will join the defending champions next season, scored one and created the second as victor y allowed Gladbach to draw level on points with Munich. The attacking midfielder showed great finishing to put his side ahead on seven minutes, before the hosts hit back when exGermany striker Stefan Kiessling equalised with 15 minutes left. But Reus’s mazy run on 88 minutes put de Camarago clear to round Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno and score the winner. Lucien Favre’s Gladbach host Bayern on Wednesday in the semifinals of the German Cup with Borussia chasing their third win over Munich this season after home and away victories in the league. Germany’s remaining Europa League teams, Schalke 04 and Hanover 96, are in action today when the Royal Blues are at bottom side Kaiserslautern and Hanover host Cologne.—AFP

Rangers lose to Dundee Utd Matches on TV (Local Timings)

WOLVERHAMPTON: Patrice Evra believes Manchester United must win a 20th Premier League title to avoid a “really bad season”. United slipped out of the Europa League with a 5-3 aggregate defeat to Atletic Bilbao on Thursday and the league is now all they have to go for. They were knocked out of the Champions League in the first round for just the third time in their history, after failing to win any of four games against Benfica and Basel. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were also beaten by Liverpool in the FA Cup fourth round and dumped out of the League Cup by Championship side Crystal Palace at Old Trafford. At least their league form has been imperious. The draw they earned in coming from three goals down to draw 3-3 at Chelsea in February was the only Premier League match they have failed to win in eight matches since their 3-0 defeat at Newcastle at the start of the year. Today’s trip to struggling Wolves offers the chance to move four points ahead of second-placed Manchester City, who host resurgent Chelsea on Wednesday. French defender Evra claims United must take their opportunity to retain their league title. “A big club like Manchester United should be able to compete in every competition but now we have no choice, we have to focus on the league,” he said. “We have to win the league to save our season. If we don’t win the league, it will have been a really bad season. “I’m not worried about the league because we are playing well and now we are top, in front of Manchester City. “After (Bilbao) we go home and rest, then focus on Wolves because it’s a big game, a mas-

SEVILLA: Barcelona’s midfielder Andres Iniesta vies for the ball with Sevilla’s goalkeeper Andres Palop during the Spanish league football match Sevilla FC vs FC Barcelona yesterday at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium. —AFP

FA Cup Chelsea FC v Leicester Aljazeera Sport +5 Aljazeera Sport 1 HD Liverpool v Stoke Aljazeera Sport +5 Aljazeera Sport 1 HD

17:05 19:00

English Premier League Wolves v Man United 16:30 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Newcastle v Norwich 19:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Spanish League Vallecano v Betis 0:00 Aljazeera Sport +4 Levante v Villarreal 14:00 Aljazeera Sport +2 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD Mallorca v Atletico 18:00 Aljazeera Sport +2 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD Bilbao v Valencia 20:00 Aljazeera Sport +2 Real Madrid v Malaga 23:30 Aljazeera Sport +3 Italian League Cagliari v Cesena Aljazeera Sport +1 Aljazeera Sport 1 HD Lecce v Palermo Aljazeera Sport +8 Inter v Atalanta Aljazeera Sport +1 Aljazeera Sport 1 HD Catania v Lazio Aljazeera Sport 1 HD Aljazeera Sport +4 Bologna v Chievo Aljazeera Sport +10 Udinese v Napoli Aljazeera Sport +1 Aljazeera Sport 1 HD

14:30 17:00 17:00 17:00 17:00 22:45

GLASGOW: Rangers lost their second successive Scottish Premier League match as they went down 2-1 to Dundee United yesterday, giving Glasgow rivals Celtic the chance to clinch the title in next Sunday’s Old Firm derby. Depleted R angers, who were without six defenders due to suspension and injuries, were only able to field five substitutes for the match, as youngsters Rhys McCabe and Ross Perr y joined Lee McCulloch in a makeshift back four. The Gers held the home side at bay until the 37th minute when defender Keith Watson volleyed United into the lead. Jon Daly added a second two minutes after the break before substitute Sone Aluko gave Rangers hope when his deflec ted shot beat Dusan Pernis on the hour mark. If Motherwell fail to beat Aberdeen later today it means Celtic, who play Kilmarnock at Hampden on Sunday in the League Cup final, could win the title at Ibrox next weekend. Celtic are 21 points clear of their rivals. Ally McCoist thought his side had deserved something from the game. “I’ve absolutely no complaints about the effort and commitment my players showed today,” the Rangers manager said. “I felt apart from

the first 15 minutes of the second half we were really good. In the first half we had by far the better chances to score and with a little more pressure in the second half we could have got a draw.” Peter Houston said Dundee United had won without playing well. “We didn’t play at the standards at which we normally play. We didn’t pass the ball as well as we can do, we gave the ball away cheaply and we panicked a bit towards the end,” the United manager said. “But the most impor tant thing at this stage of the season is three points in our quest to try and get a top six spot.” At Tannadice, former Man City youth player Andy M itchell made his R angers debut and after a good run down the right sent a decent deliver y into the box but American Alejandro Bedoya couldn’t direct his header on target. Andy Little then made room for his international teammate Steven Davis to let fly with a shot from distance but Pernis made the save. Davis then sent Salim Kerkar clear but Pernis rushed for his goal to clear the danger. The Algerian winger poked the ball just wide of Pernis’ post after going on a mazy run into the box. Rangers had kept United subdued for most of the first half but it was the home side

who took a 37th minute lead thanks to a sensational strike from Watson. McCulloch could only clear a long throw-in to the edge of the box where the United defender was waiting to send a vicious volley into the top right-hand corner of the net. United doubled their lead within 90 seconds of the restart. Gary Mackay-Stevens ghosted past two challenges before putting a dangerous delivery into the path of Daly who swept the ball past Allan McGregor. Rangers brought on Aluko for Mitchell to join Andy Little up front and within seven minutes he had reduced the deficit. The Nigerian international showed great skill to evade two challenges on the by-line before his cross-cum-shot took a deflection off John Rankin to loop over the head of Pernis on the hour mark. The Gers then had McCulloch to thank as he somehow managed to head Johnny Russell’s fierce pointblank strike over the bar. Little saw his first time effort held by Pernis af ter Davis picked him out in the box with a viciously whipped in cross. The Northern Ireland striker then sent a half-volley over the bar in stoppage time as Rangers failed to haul themselves level.—AFP

Hamilton takes pole for F1 Australian GP

Australia’s swimmer Jones makes history



SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

Evra targets 20th title for Manchester United

Page 19

LONDON: Bolton Wanderer’s manager Owen Coyle (right) stands beside Tottenham players, Benoit Assou-Ekotto (left), William Gallas (second left) and Carlo Cudicini (second right) as Bolton’s English midfielder Fabrice Muamba (inset) is treated by medical staff after collapsing during the English FA Cup quarter-final football match. —AFP

FA Cup game abandoned after Muamba collapses LONDON: Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba was fighting for his life yesterday after collapsing during his team’s FA Cup quarter-final with Tottenham, forcing the game to be abandoned. The 23-year-old Kinshasa-born player appeared to collapse with no players near him towards the end of the first half at White Hart Lane. Several paramedics were seen attempting to revive the player before he was stretchered off the field after 41 minutes with the scores at 1-1. Muamba was wearing an oxygen mask and was flanked by a number of paramedics and Bolton medical staff as he left the pitch. Referee Howard Webb called the players off the field before an announcement shortly afterwards that the game had been abandoned. Former England Under-21 international Muamba, who had been treated on the pitch for around six minutes, was being taken to hospital while para-

medics battled to revive him, ESPN television reported. Several players from both teams were in tears as the seriousness of the situation became apparent and fans sung Muamba’s name as he was treated. Muamba’s Bolton team-mate Stuart Holden tweeted: “Praying for you Fab. Hope he’s OK. Thoughts with him and his family.” Commentating on ESPN, former Liverpool and England winger John Barnes said: “From the players’ reaction on both sides it seemed that things were pretty serious.” Former England coach Kevin Keegan, also commentating on the match, added: “(Tottenham striker) Jermain Defoe seemed absolutely distraught. “The fans are in a state of shock. I’ve never seen anything like that on a football pitch before. Our hearts go out to his family.” English football stars were quick to express their concern, with

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand tweeting: “Come on Fabrice Muamba, praying for you.” Arsenal and England midfiedler Jack Wilshere, who played with Muamba during a loan spell at Bolton, added: “Hope Muamba is okay. Thoughts with him.” Spurs striker Defoe said: “Pray for fab god willing he will pull through #PrayForMuamba.” Middlesbrough defender Justin Hoyte-a former youth team colleague of Muamba’s at Arsenal-posted: “I seriously hope my best friend in football is OK. Stay strong bro please please stay strong. “God is with you remember that.” Tottenham midfielder Tom Huddlestone wrote: “Thoughts with Fab and his family. Feel sick watching this, puts football and everything else into perspective.” Bolton manager Owen Coyle and club captain Kevin Davies are reported to have gone to hospital to join

EPL results/standings

Swansea blank Fulham Fulham 0

Swansea 3

LONDON: Swansea turned on the style as Gylfi Sigurdsson’s double inspired an impressive 3-0 win at Fulham yesterday. Brendan Rodgers’ team have earned plenty of plaudits for their eye-catching play since last season’s promotion from the Championship and they delivered one of their best performances of the campaign to rout the Cottagers thanks to two goals from Sigurdsson and a Joe Allen strike. After beating title challengers Manchester City last weekend, this was further proof that Rodgers and his entertaining team have what it takes to make their mark in the top flight. They are up to eighth in the Premier League table after their third successive victory, while Fulham slip to 11th. “It’s a very tough league with some wonderful teams but today we were incredible,” Rodgers said. “I felt it was our biggest game because last week we played well and won against a great team, but then comes a game raiser and we were phenomenal. “The passing and tempo was fantastic but

our defensive play, such as pressing and blocking, was tremendous as well.” Rodgers was forced to make one change to the starting line-up that beat City as Wales defender Ashley Williams saw his run of 169 consecutive appearances brought to an end by a virus and was replaced in central defence by Garry Monk. That switch initially seemed to trouble Swansea and Dutch goalkeeper Michel Vorm had to be at his best to keep out efforts from Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele. However, Rodgers’ men gradually found their rhythm and Sigurdsson saw a low effort flash wide in the 29th minute. Fulham did not take heed of the warnings and found themselves a goal behind in the 36th minute. Wayne Routledge darted down the right flank and sent a cross to the back post, which was nodded across goal by Scott Sinclair for Sigurdsson to head home. Swansea looked in total control now and they doubled their advantage in the 66th minute. Sigurdsson, on loan from Hoffenheim, played a neat one -two with Routledge before bursting through to shoot past Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. The Cottagers contributed to their own downfall when Swansea sealed the points in the 77th minute. A poor pass from former Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos allowed Swansea to work the ball towards Allen. Senderos compounded his error by standing off Allen and the midfielder took full advantage to fire home.—AFP

Muamba, who moved to England from the Democratic Republic of Congo at the age of 11 after his father fled the wartorn country. Wanderers released a statement soon after the match was called off, which said: “Fabrice Muamba has been taken to hospital following his collapse. We have no further information at this time.” Tottenham added in a statement: “Tottenham can confirm that Fabrice Muamba has been taken to hospital following his collapse on the pitch during the match at White Hart Lane this evening. “The match was immediately abandoned. Everyone at the club sends their best wished to Fabrice and his family.” Meanwhile, Everton came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw with Sunderland in the two Premier League teams’ FA Cup quarter-final at Goodison Park yesterday. A frenetic first half saw Sunderland

Fulham 0 Swansea 3 (Sigurdsson 36, 66, Allen 77); Wigan 1 (McArthur 54) West Brom 1 (Scharner 65).

take an early lead through fullback Phil Bardsley before Everton levelled with a header from Tim Cahill. Sunderland’s opener came after a cleverly worked free-kick on 12 minutes, Jack Colback squaring to Bardsley who lashed home a thunderous low shot that gave Everton keeper Tim Howard no chance. Yet Everton, aiming to bounce back from their Merseyside derby mauling in midweek, drew level just over 10 minutes later with a goal that owed everything to the predatory instincts of Australian international Cahill. Leighton Baines swung in a cross from the left and Nikica Jelavic’s header found Cahill, who reacted swiftly to steer

Wigan woe as dismal home run continues

Playing today Wolves v Manchester Utd; Newcastle v Norwich. Wigan 1 English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Man Utd Man City Tottenham Arsenal Chelsea Newcastle Liverpool Swansea Sunderland Everton Fulham West Brom Norwich Stoke Aston Villa Blackburn Bolton QPR Wolves Wigan

28 28 28 28 28 28 28 29 28 28 29 29 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 29

21 21 16 16 14 12 11 10 10 10 9 10 9 10 7 6 7 5 5 4

4 3 5 4 7 8 9 9 7 7 9 6 9 6 12 7 2 7 7 10

3 4 7 8 7 8 8 10 11 11 11 13 10 12 9 15 19 16 16 15

68 69 52 57 48 40 33 34 36 28 37 35 39 27 31 40 31 29 30 25

27 20 34 39 32 41 26 34 31 31 40 38 45 39 35 60 57 48 58 54

67 66 53 52 49 44 42 39 37 37 36 36 36 36 33 25 23 22 22 22

in the the equaliser. An evenly balanced second half saw both sides struggle to create many clear-cut chances although Everton nearly snatched a winner in the dying minutes only to be denied by a superb double save from Simon Mignolet. The Belgian international goalkeeper dived at full stretch to claw away Johnny Heitinga’s well-directed header and then sprang to his feet to block Jelavic’s follow-up for a corner. The result means David Moyes’ Toffees must now travel to the Stadium of Light for a replay as they attempt to return to Wembley three years after their defeat in the final against Chelsea.—AFP

West Brom 1

WIGAN: Wigan’s miserable home record continued yesterday as the relegation-threatened side were held to a 1-1 draw by West Bromwich Albion at the DW Stadium. With only two Premier League fixtures scheduled yesterday, Roberto Martinez’s men could have climbed out of the bottom three if they had managed to record their first home win since August. However James McArthur’s second-half strike for the Latics was cancelled out by Paul Scharner’s equaliser for West Brom, leaving Wigan winless at home for the 14th match in a row. “It is a real feeling of frustration,” Wigan boss Martinez said. “Scoring the first goal is always the hardest moment in the game-and we got that. “Then we got heavily punished. But, if we perform like we did today, we will get enough points. I have no doubt about that.” Wigan striker Franco Di Santo had raised hopes of a brighter afternoon for the Latics after getting a sight of goal within the first minute only to miscontrol his shot following a Gary

Caldwell free-kick. The Argentinian was back in the thick of it soon afterwards after latching onto a pass from Jean Beausejour but once again failed to test West Brom keeper Ben Foster with a miscued shot. The former Chelsea striker did better moments later however, when his shot from James McCarthy’s pull-back produced a good save from Foster, the England international tipping over the bar. Wigan’s pressure continued but Caldwell shot wide weakly and West Brom breathed again. Ominously for Wigan, the home side’s bright start gave way to a good period from the visitors, with Jerome Thomas threatening before shooting well wide. At the other end Wigan were denied an opener when Emmerson Boyce smacked a thumping header off the bar following a pinpoint cross from Maynor Figueroa. Wigan were also left cursing their luck just before half-time after squandering another promising attack, Beausejour finding Antolin Alcaraz in space at the far post, who in turn fed Shaun Maloney who was unable to hit the target with the goal gaping. But Wigan’s luck in front of goal changed nine minutes into the second half when McArthur bundled in from close range. A strong run from Victor Moses created the opening, the attacker bursting into the box and shooting against Billy Jones before bouncing into the path of McArthur who scrambled home the tap-in.—AFP

Kurds say Exxon still working in North Iraq Page 22

Higher US gas prices threaten economy Page 25

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

Sachs gets support for World Bank as US stalls

KSE remains positive amid pressure Page 24

Page 23

KUWAIT: Gulf Bank board of directors.

Gulf Bank reports net profit KD 30.6m in 2011 5% bonus shares announced KUWAIT: Gulf Bank yesterday announced a net profit of KD 30.6 million in 2011, compared to KD 19.1 million in 2010. Earnings per share amounted to 12 fils. The Board of Directors has recommended to the General Assembly a 5% bonus shares to be distributed to the shareholders. As of the end of December 2011, the Bank’s total assets reached KD 4,785.9 million, deposits KD 4,107.3 million, whilst total shareholders’ equity measured up to KD 430.3 million. Ali Al-Rashaid Al-Bader, Gulf Bank’s Chairman, said: “ This year’s results show the application of our customercentric strategy of providing the best and fastest bank ing ser vices, the improving conditions in the market where the Bank operates, the relative decline in the statutory and precautionary provisions, in addition to the efforts exerted by the Bank’s various business groups, including consumer banking, corporate, international and investment. The Treasury Group consolidated its market leadership in Foreign Exchange dealing and played a significant role in growing the Bank’s customer deposit base. Customer deposits grew by 4% to KD 4.1 billion whiles the loan book increased by more than 7%.” “Our focus on the needs of our customers, developing our customer base and delivering returns to our shareholders must continue as we address new opportunities to grow and deliver excellence in corporate and consumer banking services to the Kuwait market, while enhancing the

Bank’s reserves and financial capability”, Al-Bader elaborated. “The year 2011 witnessed the completion of the Bank’s strategic plan, which commenced in 2010, and

• EPS at 12 fils against 8 fils in 2010 Obama seeks halt to tax subsidies for oil industry

tomers the best and the fastest financial service in Kuwait. Gulf Bank is the first bank in Kuwait that makes explicit guarantees to deliver individual services with exceptional speed and

KUWAIT: Ali Al-Rashaid Al-Bader, Gulf Bank’s Chairman, addresses the meeting. —Photo by Joseph Shagra

aimed at building a fortress balance sheet, focusing on our core competencies, fostering the Bank’s management and technical abilities, upgrading internal control systems in the area of risk management, and refining the Bank’s marketing plans. A new expansionary strategy was set for the forthcoming four years - up to 2015. “ Al-Bader continued. During 2011, Gulf Bank launched its ‘We Promise’ program offering its cus-

efficiency. Consequently, the Bank has received excellent customer feedback praising the Bank in meeting the promises made and maintaining outstanding customer service. In December, Gulf Bank was the only bank in the region to get an upgrade on both its ratings and outlook from the rating agency, Standard & Poor’s (S&P). Gulf Bank’s long-term credit rating was upgraded from BBBto BBB, and its outlook was raised

from stable to positive. “The upgrade from S&P reflects the strength of our financial performance, the quality of our assets and the effectiveness of our business strategy,” Al-Bader said. Gulf Bank has conducted many social activities throughout the year in serving the community at large, all which fall under the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategy. Gulf Bank was recognized for its excellence in 2011 and received many prestigious awards. These awards included: ‘Best Bank in the retail sector’ award from the Arabian Business Magazine, ‘2012 Best Foreign Exchange Bank Provider’ in Kuwait by Global Finance Magazine, ‘Thought Leadership Excellence’ Award at the MENA CIO’s Summit 2011, the ‘International Excellence in Retail Financial Services’ award from The Asian Banker, the ‘Best Retail Customer Service’, the ‘Best Phone Banking Service’, the ‘Best Corporate Governance’ and ‘Best Employee Training’ awards from the Banker Middle East, the ‘Quality Recognition Award’ from Citibank, Deutsche Bank’s Award for International Payment Per formance and the ‘GCC Localization Award’ for seven consecutive years from the GCC Council of Ministers of Labor and Social Affairs. “Gulf Bank looks to the future with great confidence. We are serving our customers with excellence, we are contributing to Kuwait’s economic growth and prosperity and we strive to deliver an outstanding return on our shareholders’ investment,” concluded Al-Bader.

KSE privatization, IPO plans on track KUWAIT: Significant progress has been made towards creation of the New KSE Company that will lead to its privatization and Initial Public Offering, said the Incorporating committee for Kuwait Stock Exchange Company (KSE) of the Capital Markets Authority in a statement released yesterday. The management of the KSE continues to provide information to the advisers, mandated by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) to prepare the KSE for the IPO. The advisers are currently working on their due diligence and analysis and valuation of the KSE assets and these results will be discussed with the CMA and the KSE management in due course. The process of allocating assets to the new company is a detailed process

which has to cover technical, financial and legal due diligence. The CMA and the Advisers are working to ensure this is done in the most appropriate manner possible in line with Law 7/2010. Once this first phase is concluded, the legal establishment process that includes the submission to the relevant authorities for the creation of the New KSE will need to be completed. With respect to timing of the transaction, the CMA, the Incorporating Committee and their Advisers recognize the need to fast-track the process. However, the CMA is also determined to ensure the new KSE company is prepared to the highest standards ahead of its IPO and sale to Kuwaiti Nationals and this remains their highest priority. Commenting on the issue, Abdullah

Al-Gabandi Chairman of Incorporating Committee said: “The CMA’s current focus is to ensure the company is prepared and packaged to the best standards. We want to ensure the New KSE entity is placed on a solid footing for the long term is a sustainable and profitable business and provides an exciting and attractive investment opportunity for Kuwaiti nationals who will subscribe in the IPO”. The CMA will hopefully embark a new era of transparency, accountability, and justice for participants in the Kuwait Stock Exchange. Currently, the CMA is waiting for feedback from fourteen entities on its first draft of the executive rules. The deadline for the feedback is February 15, and by early March the CMA should have a final

draft. The executive rules include 432 articles spread over 121 pages. Kuwait Capital Markets Authority was established according to a legislation passed by the Parliament in Februar y 2010, known as Capital Markets Law (CML). It calls for regulating the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE), supervise public and private subscriptions, and oversee mergers and acquisitions. In addition to organizing the activities of the securities market in a transparent manner, the authority is also tasked with forcing the listed companies to implement principles of corporate governance. Also, and as part of its awareness campaign the Capital Market is also responsible to regularly educate the public about the activities of the markets. —KUNA

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama is calling anew on Congress to end tax subsidies for the oil and gas industry, saying the nation needs to develop alternative sources of energy in the face of rising gasoline prices. Obama said yesterday in his weekly radio and Internet address that he expected Congress to consider in the next few weeks halting $4 billion in tax subsidies, something he hasn’t been able to get through Congress throughout his presidency. He said the vote would put lawmakers on record on whether they “stand up for oil companies” or “stand up for the American people.” “They can either place their bets on a fossil fuel from the last century or they can place their bets on America’s future,” Obama said. Industry officials and many Republicans in Congress have argued that cutting the tax breaks would lead to higher fuel prices, raising costs on oil companies and affecting their investments in exploration and production. The measure is considered a long shot in Congress, given that Obama couldn’t end the subsidies when Democrats controlled Congress earlier in his term. Republican presidential candidates have accused Obama of delaying drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico and in a national wildlife refuge in Alaska and faulted him for not advancing the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Texas Gulf Coast refineries. They have also criticized policies pursued by the Environmental Protection Agency as inhibiting energy development. Obama said there is no quick fix to high gas prices, which climbed to $3.83 on Friday according to AAA, but he pushed back against critics who say he is opposed to more drilling. He said the US is producing more oil than at any time in the past eight years and has quadrupled the number of operating oil rigs. “If we’re truly going to make sure we’re not at the mercy of spikes in gas prices every year, the answer isn’t just to drill more - because we’re already drilling more,” Obama said. He said his administration was trying to develop wind and solar power, biofuels and usher in more fuel-efficient vehicles to make the nation less dependent on oil. In the weekly Republican address, Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., said his constituents have been hard hit by an increase in gasoline prices and were “fed up with the way the president is handling this issue, and rightfully so. The most forceful thing the president has done about high gas prices is try to explain that he’s against them.” Gardner said the $800 billion stimulus spending sought by Obama promoted energy companies that went bankrupt, wasting taxpayer money. “After spending money we don’t have on what won’t work - and overregulating what would - is it any wonder gas prices have more than doubled on the president’s watch? Make no mistake, high gas prices are a symptom of his failed ‘stimulus’ policies,” Gardner said. Obama is expected to keep up a drumbeat on energy this week, traveling to four states over two days to push his administration’s “all of the above” energy strategy. The trip includes stops in Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Ohio. —AP

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


Kurds say Exxon still working in North Iraq report

Learn how to say ‘no’ gently

Official unaware of Baghdad’s decision ARBIL: Exxon Mobil has not suspended its work in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, an aide to the region’s president said yesterday, after Baghdad said Exxon had frozen its Kurdish deal. Iraq’s oil minister said on Friday that Exxon had written to Baghdad informing it that it had suspended work in the Kurdish region, under a deal which Baghdad considers illegal. “We’ve never heard anything like this from Exxon Mobil. We have continuous meetings with Exxon Mobil’s senior executives and I think the company is continuing its work,” said Fuad Hussein, senior aide to Kurdish President Masoud Barzani. Exxon is one of the oil majors that is par-

ticipating in massive projects intended to make Iraq the world’s biggest source of new oil over the next few years, but the US firm’s decision to sign a deal with the Kurds has infuriated Baghdad. Iraq has threatened to block Exxon from bidding in future oil projects and even to reconsider its role in a supergiant field, West Qurna-2, where Exxon was part of a consortium that won a contract in 2009. Baghdad has offered international oil firms fee-for-service contracts, while the Kurdish region offers production-sharing deals which give the foreign firms a share of oil output - considered far more lucrative. Because the legality of Kurdish

deals is in dispute, only smaller firms had made agreements with the autonomous region until last November, when the Kurds announced that Exxon had signed a deal for six exploration blocks. Iraq’s Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi said on Friday that Baghdad had received a letter from Exxon on March 5 “saying they are freezing the contract with the Kurds”. Exxon declined to comment on Luaibi’s remarks on Friday. Luaibi said Iraq had not yet reversed a decision to bar Exxon from bidding in the next round of oil deals, and Baghdad was waiting for Exxon to further clarify its position. — Reuters

UAE banks told to reduce debt burden of nationals

KOLKATA: A pedestrian walks past shuttered jewelry shops, closed to observe a strike, in Kolkata yesterday. The All-India Gems and Jewelry Trade Federation has called a threeday strike in protest of a proposal to bring unbranded precious jewelry under the excise duty net and raise customs duty on gold bars and coins. — AFP

Half of Zurich’s millionaires left after tax change GENEVA: The region of Zurich, the home of Swiss banking, has lost nearly half its foreign millionaires two years after scrapping special tax breaks, official figures published showed. Of the 201 foreign residents who benefited from the tax breaks which the canton scrapped in early 2009, 97 have decamped to more favorable tax regimes, the region’s tax services department said. Those departures represent a loss of 12.2 million Swiss francs (10 million euros, $13 million) in tax revenues last year, however that figure is more than recouped by the higher tax bills charged to the high-earners

who decided to stay on. Switzerland has come under pressure from its neighborsmany of which have depleted state coffers-as well as from some of its own citizens over its flat rate tax system that has attracted the wealthiest to claim residency here. Among them are celebrities such as musician Phil Collins and Formula 1 ex-champion Michael Schumacher. In a bid to counter increasing opposition to the tax system, the Swiss government has put forward proposals to make these wealthy foreigners pay more, although not too much so as to avoid causing them all to leave.—AFP

ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates’ central bank has directed lenders in the Gulf state to help reduce the debt burden of UAE nationals, with some bankers saying banks may have to write off certain personal loans. The central bank, after a review of personal loans, found that UAE nationals were paying high repayment installments, it said in a statement. “To alleviate the financial burden on UAE nationals, the board instructed further study and more cooperation and coordination from concerned agencies in order to find solutions,” the statement said. It did not specify how the burden should be reduced. Shabbir Malik, banking analyst at EFG-Hermes, said: “This is in line with other measures taken by the government to help UAE nationals in terms of debt.” In January, the UAE government said it would settle 2 billion dirhams ($544.5 million) of debt owed by nationals, including some who were detained for defaulting on loans. “I don’t expect a massive negative impact, it won’t be large as the provisions standards for retail loans are quite stringent,” said Malik. But bankers speaking on condition of anonymity said banks may have to write off some debt relating to personal loans. “It must be about waiving or writing off some loans conditionally. We need to know more details,” said an Abu Dhabi-based banker involved in credit. In the boom years, UAE banks extended huge personal loans to UAE nationals and expatriates, surpassing even limits set. But after the financial downturn and real estate crash in the UAE, many lost jobs, finding it difficult to repay loans. Personal loans in the UAE, which has the largest Arab banking sector, surged by at least 35 percent during 200608 before they sharply slowed over the past three years following the 2008 global financial crisis and regional debt default problems, according to the central bank. — Reuters

Britain to scrap public sector national pay rates LONDON: Britain’s finance minister George Osborne is planning to scrap national pay rates for public sector workers in his budget yesterday, newspapers said. Civil servants could have their pay rates frozen from next year until they fall into line with regional private sector wages, reports said Saturday. Treasury officials say the change is needed because public sector wages are up to 18 percent higher in some areas than for equivalent private jobs, discouraging recruitment and investment. Chancellor of the Exchequer Osborne will unveil his third budget on Wednesday, but is widely expected to stick to his austerity plans to slash the deficit and avoid a debt crisis.

Ahead of the budget, media have reported that Osborne will decide to cut the 50 percent income tax for Britain’s highest earners, but such a move might need funding with more austerity measures elsewhere. The chancellor revealed last year that he was asking pay bodies to examine moving from national deals to regional pay. Elements of the budget are often trailed in the press in the preceding days. Business Secretary Vince Cable-who did not confirm the reports-said care needed to be taken over how local pay rates would be implemented to protect career progression in the civil service. “The idea of having more flexibility in the public

sector is surely right,” he told BBC radio. “What we are trying to do is to make sure that throughout the public sector there is more genuine decision-making at a local level and you have to take into account pay and conditions.” Trade union leaders condemned the reported plans. Trades Union Congress general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Moving to regional pay will not just reduce the pay of millions of public servants, but hit regional economies outside London and the southeast as people have less to spend. “This budget is shaping up to be a giveaway for the super-rich and a takeaway from Britain’s hardesthit regions.” — AFP


f you have a hard time refusing requests and saying ‘no’ to people, know that you’re not alone. Don’t try too hard to maintain a pleasant reputation at your own expense; in fact, the biggest favor you can do yourself is to learn how to say no. Many people find it impolite to decline requests. However, keep in mind that saying “no” doesn’t necessarily make you selfish. On the contrar y, sometimes “no” is the best option. It’s a simple fact that you can’t be productive if you take on too many commitments, at least not well or on time. It is essential that you remember that good working conditions are primordial for your well-being which directly affects your company’s overall performance. While it is true that your employer can provide you with good working conditions in terms of office settings, training schemes, personal job authority and decision making etc; It is your duty to make sure you are at all times comfortable and offering your best performance at work by eliminating any source of distraction and by focusing on your tasks and priorities instead of those of your colleagues.’s poll “Good Working Conditions” revealed that improved working conditions would result in more organizational loyalty, more produc tivity and more job involvement (64.3%). Meanwhile, 11% said more organizational loyalty, 11.5% said more productivity and 10.7% said more job involvement. To stay highly productive and minimize anxiety, career exper ts from, the Middle East’s #1 job site, have a few pointers to help you say no, gently. Initially, it is essential that you start by knowing your commitments. In order to know when to say no, you have to be aware of what’s already on your plate. Create a document that lists all your current projects, assignments, courses, and meetings, updated on a daily basis. Tr y to organize this list based on date due, amount of time needed, and priority, to give you an instant overview of your schedule. It also helps to have a separate action task list, made up not of projec ts but of concrete action steps that you need to complete in the next week or two. When you need to, pull up these two, and make your decision based on whether or not you have the scope to say yes. Now, when your nex t request comes, you have to be aware of the implications of saying yes, by thinking twice before giving an answer. What’s going to happen if you say yes? What are the long-term implications? What is there to gain? What are you going to lose if you agree? Do you really have to say yes? Be

consciously aware that saying no is okay. No matter who you are speaking to and what the situation is, you have the right to say no. Only say yes when you know you have the scope, and when it is relevant to your vision and goals. A useful trick to use is to never give your answer right away. Always ask for time to check with your schedule, your team, or your family. Use the extra time to properly assess how it lines up with your priorities. It also helps to have a prepared, scripted “No” sentence. Practice saying this sentence out loud, something along the lines of: “Unfortunately, I currently have too many responsibilities and this is not something I can do right now.” If it helps, you can actually say “yes” in the beginning of the sentence and then explain why you can’t do what has been requested. It may sound counterintuitive, but it actually works. For example, instead of giving a straight “No, I can’t”, you can say something along the lines of: “Sure, but I have too much on my plate right now - can you get back to me in a month or two?” This way, you are both giving yourself time to accept a request at a future point in time and sending the decision back to the other party’s court. Keep in mind that if you have decided to say no, there’s no need to over-explain yourself. Simply say no, and give the key reason why. Some people run into the mistake of overexplaining, and it’s unnecessary. In fact, it might deteriorate your position. Even if the requests are coming from your boss, simply explain that by tak ing on too many commitments, you are weakening your produc tivity and endangering your existing commitments. If your boss insists, go over your task list with him or her and ask for help in prioritization. According to’s poll “Employee Motivation at the ME workplace”, 73.7% of MENA professionals admit that transparent communication channels are very important and positively affect their loyalty motivation levels at work. A respectful thing to do, if you can, is provide an alternative option to get the request done. For example, you can recommend a friend who can do the job as well as you can, or an outsourcing service. Saying no isn’t necessarily selfish. When you say no to a new commitment, you’re honoring your existing obligations and ensuring that you’ll be able to devote quality time to them. Saying no can also allow you to try new things and pursue other interests. What it all comes down to, in the end, is knowing what you want to do in your life and in your job.

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

.2730000 .4340000 .3610000 .2970000 .2780000 .2890000 .0040000 .0020000 .0755610 .7371450 .3830000 .0720000 .7226380 .0040000 .0430000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2787000 .4362070 .3631180 .2991790 .2805520 .0488340 .0405710 .2915060 .0359060 .2198640 .0033150 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0759090 .7395520 .0000000 .0743400 .7241780 .0000000

US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian dollars Danish Kroner Swedish Kroner Australian dlr Hong Kong dlr Singapore dlr Japanese yen Indian Rs/KD Sri Lanka rupee Pakistan rupee Bangladesh taka UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi Riyal/KD Omani riyals Philippine Peso

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal - Transfer Irani Riyal - Cash

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.598 5.667 3.154 2.436 3.341 213.250 35.672 3.580 6.336 8.873 0.271 0.273

.2830000 .4440000 .3710000 .3100000 .2870000 .3020000 .0070000 .0035000 .0764220 .7445530 .4020000 .0770000 .7299010 .0072000 .0500000 .2808000 .4394940 .3658540 .3014330 .2826660 .0492020 .0408770 .2937030 .0361760 .2215210 .0033400 .0056160 .0022570 .0031030 .0034410 .0764810 .7451240 .3971710 .0749000 .7296350 .0065380

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

GCC COUNTRIES 74.150 76.402 722.230 738.540 75.715

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Egyptian Pound - Cash Egyptian Pound - Transfer Yemen Riyal/for 1000 Tunisian Dinar Jordanian Dinar Lebanese Lira/for 1000 Syrian Lier Morocco Dirham

ARAB COUNTRIES 47.500 46.282 1.272 189.860 392.670 1.865 6.003 33.814

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 277.950 Euro 370.650 Sterling Pound 431.930 Canadian dollar 268.420 Turkish lire 153.940 Swiss Franc 300.620 Australian dollar 277.000 US Dollar Buying 277.750

307.900 4.000 9.320 76.230 279.900

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 445.100 279.900

SELL DRAFT 298.200 744.520 3.418 284.500

224.100 46.393 371.200 36.630 5.570 0.032

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

SELL DRAFT 299.11 286.32 307.77 369.12 443.59 3.42 3.417 5.558 2.236 3.488 3.085 76.16 744.52 46.40 398.20 727.44 77.18 74.74

SELL CASH 298.00 287.00 306.00 370.00 443.00 3.70 3.550 5.800 2.600 4.250 3.180 76.95 745.00 47.70 397.00 728.00 77.50 75.00

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd 396.890 0.188 93.910 3.500

Rate for Transfer US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro

Selling Rate 279.850 283.390 439.940 365.555

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

301.025 741.085 76.170 76.815 74.585 393.930 46.385 2.245 5.582 3.091 3.422 6.490 686.465 4.325 9.180 5.895 3.600 92.600

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

UAE Exchange Centre WLL

Bahrain Exchange Company SELL CASH 299.700 744.520 3.700 286.000 549.800 45.600 50.500 167.800 47.690 372.700 36.780 5.830 0.032 0.160 0.240 3.450 396.730 0.189 93.910 45.400 4.300

727.000 3.094 6.527 77.010 74.750 224.130 39.260 2.240 445.100


Sterling Pound US Dollar

315.500 159.000 81.500

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


GOLD 10 Tola

GOLD 20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

234.400 1.814 50.100 727.180 3.140 6.840 77.440 74.750 224.130 39.260 2.667 447.100 42.500 309.400 4.000 9.480 198.263 76.330 280.300 1.360

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

Rate per 1000 (Tran) 279.500 3.079 5.615 2.270 3.422 6.590 76.200 74.690 743.100 46.308 443.900 3.190 1.550 370.900 288.300 3.510

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

Transfer Rate (Per 1000) 279.550 367.500 440.500 289.900 3.375 5.565 46.330 2.240 3.418 6.490 3.085 744.400 76.150 74.650

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


Boeing boosts 2011 pay 34% for CEO McNerney NEW YORK: Boeing CEO Jim McNerney’s compensation jumped 34 percent last year as the board of the big airplane maker rewarded him for delivering the new 787 and winning a huge Air Force order for refueling tankers. McNerney, 62, is also Boeing’s chairman and president. His total compensation added up to $18.4 million, according to an Associated Press analysis of a company filing on Friday. The main increase was in incentive pay, which nearly doubled to $8.7 million. That included almost $4.3 million for 2009-2011 performance, which was actually less than Boeing’s target because that three-year period included the delays to the 787 and the revamped 747, among other issues. But the board also granted above-target 2011 incentive pay to Boeing managers for 2011, including $4.4 million for McNerney. The above-target rewards were in order because of “strong, integrated performance across the Company and betterthan- expected mitigation of risks,” Boeing said in its filing. A year earlier, Boeing’s board had held McNerney’s incentive pay at $4.4 million for because the company didn’t meet its profit goals for the 2008-2010 period. By last year, all was forgiven. Boeing delivered the new 787 three years late, but did deliver it. It’s also delivering the 747-8, a revamped, larger version of its double-decker superjumbo jet. It won an important order to make F-15 fighters for Saudi Arabia and tankers for the US Air Force. Although the filing didn’t mention labor issues, it’s unlikely they went unnoticed. In December the National Labor Relations Board dropped its highprofile lawsuit over Boeing’s addition of a 787 assembly line in union-unfriendly South Carolina. And Boeing signed a new, four-year contract with its biggest union a year early, ensuring labor peace. Boeing revenue rose 6.9 percent last year, to $68.74 billion. Net income

jumped 21.5 percent to $4.02 billion. Boeing shares rose 12.4 percent for 2011, finishing the year at $73.35. On Friday they fell 23 cents to close at $75.20. McNerney ’s base salary was unchanged at $1.9 million. Stock awards and options awards each rose 4 percent to just over $3.4 million, although their real value will depend on Boeing’s share price when he exercises those options in future years. Boeing also spent $324,504 so McNerney could use the company jet for personal travel, $80,633 so he could use a Boeing plane to fly to board meetings of other companies and $47,039 for personal use of ground transportation. It also paid for his home security and tax preparation, although those amounts were less than $25,000 each. The company said that as of Jan. 1 it will no longer pay its executives’ tax bills for their perks, except for moving expenses. And starting April 1 it will no longer provide company vehicles to its top five executives. Boeing Co plans to hold its annual shareholder meeting on April 30 at the Field Museum in Chicago. The Associated Press formula is designed to isolate the value the company’s board placed on the executive’s total compensation package during the last fiscal year. It includes salary, performancerelated bonuses, perks, and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year. It also includes bonuses and above-market returns on deferred compensation, which McNerney did not receive. The calculations don’t include changes in the present value of pension benefits, and they sometimes differ from the totals companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which reflect the size of the accounting charge taken for the executive’s compensation in the previous fiscal year. —AP

HYDERABAD: (Left) Visitors take photograph and gather around a model of a Bell 429 helicopter on display inside the exhibition hall at the India Aviation 2012 show at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad yesterday. The third edition of India Aviation, a five-day event is scheduled to run from March 14-18, where some 250 international companies will showcase the latest global aerospace technology at the event offering opportunities for them to do business in India. (Right) Visitors gather around a model of a Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) helicopter on display inside the exhibition hall at the India Aviation 2012 show at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad. — AFP Photos

Sachs gets support for World Bank as US stalls White House scrambles to pick a different candidate WASHINGTON: US lawmakers pressed President Barack Obama to nominate economist Jeffrey Sachs as the next World Bank president as the White House scrambled to pick a different candidate ahead of next week’s deadline. In a letter to Obama, 27 fellow Democrats in the House of Representatives said that Sachs, whose self-declared candidacy has drawn a number of endorsements from around the world, has the leadership skills for the job. Meanwhile the White House appeared still not ready to submit its own nominee to run the global development bank, a week after leaking out a shortlist of three high-powered possibilities-none of them Sachs. One person close to the World Bank said the administration is at an “impasse” because each of the three presents a problem. Senator John Kerry has declared he does not want the job; UN ambassador Susan Rice is in line to become US secretary of state; and Harvard University economics professor and former World Bank chief economist Larry Summers is seen as divisive by some key allies of Washington. “Summers doesn’t look like a candidate who will have strong support... Apparently, he cannot gain the backing of all Group of Seven countries,” the person said. The US legislators pressed Obama to opt for Sachs, a development economist known for his work worldwide. “We believe that Professor Sachs has the experience, expertise, and bold vision for the future needed to lead the World Bank at this critical moment in history.” they said in the letter. Sachs, 57, is the director of The Earth

Institute at Columbia University and a special adviser to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals. In early March he announced his bid to succeed World Bank president Robert Zoellick, the former US diplomat who is stepping down when his term ends in June. Since then Sachs has garnered official let-

US economist Jeffrey Sachs during a press conference at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) headquarters in Manila. — AFP

ters of support from Bhutan, East Timor, Haiti, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia and Namibia, and he told AFP Friday that his nomination has already been submitted to the Bank. “It’s been confirmed to me that my name has been put officially into nomination by one or more of the governments that has publicly endorsed my candidacy,” he said Friday. “Finding the graceful way forward, forging the networks that can create global change, should be the bank’s greatest role,” Sachs said in announcing his candidacy on March 2. “I’ll stand on my record of helping to create those networks.” The World Bank would not confirm the nomination, saying the Board plans to release a short list of up to three candidates only after considering names submitted by the March 23 deadline. And endorsement of Sachs’ maverick move would be crucial to his candidacy. Under a tacit agreement dating back to the founding of the institution, the US has always chosen the World Bank head-and it has always been an American while Europe names a European chief of the International Monetary Fund. But emerging economies have loudly protested that status quo, demanding greater representation at the two Washington-based institutions. The source close to the bank said the US could miss the deadline for nominating someone. “But it would not pose any problem to extend the deadline to March 23,” the source said. It just takes an agreement by the board, the source added. The World Bank has said it plans to fill the post by the start of its spring meetings with the IMF on April 20. — AFP

In Goldilocks market, everything seems just right People attend a demonstration against the “Eurovegas” project of US investor Sheldon Adelson at the Puerta del Sol in Madrid yesterday. A new citizens group has vowed to fight plans by a US gaming giant to build a Las Vegas-style casino strip in Spain that promises to create over 250,000 jobs. — AFP

CBO sees higher near-term deficits under Obama plan Budget gap below $500bn for only one year WASHINGTON: US deficits for the next two fiscal years would be slightly higher than the White House envisions if President Barack Obama’s budget plan were adopted, the Congressional Budget Office said. The CBO’s latest analysis shows the plan would pile up $6.39 trillion in cumulative deficits over a 10-year period, but that figure is about $294 billion less than the White House estimated in February for the same 2013-2022 period. The longterm view provided a measure of positive news to Obama, who is seeking to counter Republicans’ election-year attacks painting him as a tax-and-spend liberal who will rack up four straight years of trillion-dollar deficits in his first term. It also gives Republicans new ammunition, including a nearly $1 trillion deficit next year and big debt and deficit targets that they aim to undershoot significantly when they unveil their own budget plan next week in the House of Representatives. They are expected to seek cuts in discretionary spending and shrink outlays for the Social Security and Medicare programs for the elderly, while maintaining current low tax rates. “It confirms that the President’s budget accelerates our nation towards a debt crisis,” said House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, who is leading the Republican effort. “By contrast, the House Budget Committee will advance a budget next week that restores spending discipline, tackles the drivers of our debt, and makes good on the fundamental American promise: ensuring our children inherit a stronger America and greater opportunities than our parents gave us,” Ryan said in a statement. Neither the Ryan budget nor the

Obama budget is expected to win congressional approval this year, but they will be fodder for the November election as both parties try to convince voters they have the better plan to tackle huge deficits and boost economic growth. The differences between the CBO and White House estimates of the Obama plan are due largely to the CBO’s slightly more pessimistic near-term view of the economy and revenue growth, coupled with its projections of slower cost growth for Social Security benefits and lower interest costs later in the decade. In fiscal 2013, the first full year in the president’s budget, the CBO estimated the deficit would reach $977 billion, about $76 billion more than the White House estimated in February. The deficit then shrinks to $702 billion in fiscal 2014, about $34 billion higher than the White House estimate. But the trend then reverses for several years, with the CBO offering lower deficit estimates through 2021. There is only one year in which deficits fall below $500 billion - 2017 - but after 2015, deficits as a percentage of gross domestic product fall to below 3 percent, a level that many economists consider sustainable. The fiscal 2011 deficit of $1.3 trillion amounted to 8.7 percent of GDP. The review confirmed that the Obama plan, which would raise taxes on the wealthy, boost near-term spending on infrastructure and keep in place some of the tax cuts enacted under former President George W. Bush, would pile up higher deficits over the next decade than would occur if all the Bush tax cuts were allowed to expire at the end of 2012. But it also confirmed that the Obama plan would accumulate far less debt than if those cuts and other policies were left in place. — Reuters

NEW YORK: It’s the Goldilocks market. Stocks are up, but they may have room to rally further, at least if you believe a popular gauge of their value. Companies are selling more bonds than ever, but not so much to send prices tumbling and end their remarkable run. Even indebted Europe is offering investors big profits lately. Stocks are at eight-month highs in Germany and France and are up 12.4 percent this year in Greece, of all places. Credit a delicate balance when the economy is neither too hot nor too cold. Prices of myriad assets that might otherwise be moving in opposite directions are nearly all moving up. “People are upbeat,” says Martin Fridson, global credit strategist at BNP Paribas Investment Partners. “The glass is half-full.” For investors who own stocks and bonds, halffull is exactly what they need. If the economy were roaring ahead, stocks might rise, but maybe not bonds. Fear of inflation in a hot economy can lead investors to sell bonds and push prices down fast. Not this year, though. The Dow Jones industrial average is up 8.3 percent this year. Bonds of various kinds are rallying, too - municipals issued by cities and states, junk bonds from the riskiest of companies, and even that once most hated and destructive of Wall Street products, mortgage-backed securities. They’ve eked out a 0.36 percent gain so far this year, according to Barclays Capital. If you suspect it’s too good to be true, you may be right. Some worrisome signs: Profits may not be growing: Companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index are expected to earn 0.5 percent less than they did a year ago for the first three months this year, according to FactSet, a data provider. Insiders are selling: Corporate executives are selling 14 times more of their own companies’ stock than they are buying, according Trim Tabs. The normal rate is eight times. IPOs are still anemic: Companies aren’t going public at a pace associated with a bull market. So far this year, companies have raised $3.4 billion in IPOs, down 78 percent

from a year ago, according to Renaissance Capital. Then there was the scare this week that inflation may be looming at last. Treasury prices fell, and their yields, which move in the opposite direction, rose fast. The yield on the 10year Treasury note closed Friday at 2.3 percent, the highest since October and up nearly a third of point in five days. The 10-year helps set rates for ever ything from mortgages to credit cards to auto loans, and a rise can sometimes scare investors into selling bonds issued by companies. But in a land where the porridge is at the perfect temperature and the beds are just firm enough, investors shrugged off the Treasury scare. Instead of falling, junk bonds issued by heavily indebted companies rose. So far this year, they have returned 5.4 percent, including interest. Those fears from last summer of another US recession? A distant memor y. Investors have poured a record $17 billion into mutual funds that buy junk bonds in 2012, according to Lipper Inc, a financial data provider.

There was plenty of good news this week. Unemployment claims fell to 351,000, matching a fouryear low. The Federal Reserve signaled that the economic recovery was gaining steam. Apple rose 7 percent just this week and closed Friday at $585. Just a year and a half ago, it was trading at half that price. And the Nasdaq broke through 3,000 for the first time since the dot-com days more than a decade ago. Jack Ablin, chief investment officer of Harris Private Bank, is optimistic stocks will keep climbing. Still, he plans to start selling when the S&P 500 hits 1,450, less than 4 percent higher. He notes that individual investors, as opposed to pension funds and other institutions, have been pulling money out of the market, and that worries him. “I’d rather leave a little cash on the table than get caught in a downdraft,” he says. “I don’t know where these gains are coming from.” One place to look is central banks around the world. They have kept rates at record lows, lent to banks or bought government

bonds or other securities. That has put cash in the hands of the sellers, who can turn around and buy stocks and other assets. As it’s bought over the past 3 1/2 years, the balance sheet of US Federal Reserve has tripled to nearly $3 trillion. Critics say all the new cash from central banks has led to wild speculation in all manner of assets stocks, bonds, oil, corn. And just looking at the prices, it’s hard to argue with that. Then again, after the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, prices should be rising fast if the economy is truly recovering, right? Fridson of BNP Paribas says the rise in Treasury yields this week is a good sign that the economy is indeed bouncing back. And he doesn’t seem troubled that companies are issuing debt now at record levels - $380 billion so far this year. Still, he says some companies are trying “to sell bonds that don’t fully reflect the risk,” so he thinks investors should be cautious. Always good advice in fairy tales. “You have to be on your toes,” he says. — AP

IMF warns against slippage in Greece program WASHINGTON: Greece has “little if any margin” for slippage on reforms under its new bailout program, according to IMF documentation for its loan to Athens released. The International Monetary Fund, which decided a new 28 billion euro loan for Greece on Thursday said Greece could reach its debt reduction targets if it adhered to the tough austerity measures-including slashing minimum wages, trimming pensions and cutting 15,000 public jobs this year. But it said there was little room to maneuver if Greece did not follow through. “In general, Greece has little if any margin to absorb adverse shocks or program slippages,” the IMF said in its documentation for the Greek loan. But if implementation moves too slowly or falls short, or if the economy does not respond to reforms as fast as expected, “a deeper recession and a much higher debt trajectory would be the likely result.” “Political risks linked to the electoral calendar create additional uncertainty about policy imple-

mentation,” it added. That was a reference to plans for an election in late April which will hinge heavily on how much the public is willing to support politicians who endorsed the unpopular austerity program. The IMF warned that if any of these risks materialized, Greece would need more debt relief from official lenders and, if they were not willing, that would “lead to a sovereign default” and possibly a messy exit from the euro-zone. But it said its loan program, in conjunction with the European Union’s large new support program, is aimed at reducing these risks. In the program document released Friday, it noted that leaders of the main political parties, the left-wing Pasok and right-wing New Democracy, “have made public commitments to the program objectives and key policy measures on behalf of their parties, now and throughout and beyond any election period.” “Given the present political fragmentation, one or both of these parties is likely to be involved in a post-election coalition.”—AFP


SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

KSE remains positive amid pressure BAYAN WEEKLY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended last week in the green zone. The price index ended last week with an increase amounted to 0.38%, while the weighted index raised by 1.45% compared to the closings of the week before. Furthermore, last week’s average daily turnover decreased by 25.58%, compared to the preceding week, reaching KD 41.33 million whereas trading volume average was 479.32 million shares, recording decrease of 24.52%. KSE managed to keep its positive performance by recording gains for both of its indices. The price index managed in the last two days to recover from the losses of the first three days in the week, as a result of the selling trend on low price stocks, and in response to its positive performance during the last week. On the other hand the leading stocks, especially on the Banks sector, played major role to support the weighted index. Moreover, the stock market outperformed last week in spite of its current watch state, as the traders are waiting for the listed companies’ 2011 financial results; noting that the declared companies reached 44% so far, however most of the legal notice period (given 3

months) have already passed. The total number of declared companies reached 90 out of 205 listed companies, realizing approximately KD 1.61 billion, with a decline of 17.85% compared to same companies’ results for 2010. By the end of the week, the price index closed at 6,200.4 points, up by 0.38% from the week before closing, whereas the weighted index registered a 1.45% weekly gain after closing at 419.86 points. Sectors indices Six of KSE’s sectors ended last week in the green zone, while the other two recorded declines. Last week’s highest gainer was the Banks sector, achieving 1.45% growth rate as its index closed at 11,437.9 points. Whereas, in the second place, the Industry sector’s index closed at 4,314.8 points recording 1.03% increase. The Insurance companies sector came in third as its index achieved 0.82% growth, ending the week at 2,708.4 points. The Investment sector was the least growing as its index closed at 4,046.6 points with a 0.25% increase. On the other hand, the food sector

headed the losers list as its index declined by 1.68% to end the week’s activity at 4,277.4 points. The Non Kuwaiti sector was second on the losers’ list, which index declined by 0.94%, closing at 6,112.2 points. Sectors’ activity The Investment sector dominated total trade volume during last week with 657.73 million shares changing hands, representing 27.44% of the total market trading volume. The Real Estate sector was second in terms trading volume as the sector’s traded shares were 26.51% of last week’s total trading volume, with a total of 635.45 million shares. On the other hand, the services sector’s stocks where the highest traded in terms of value; with a turnover of KD 57.05 million or 27.60% of last week’s total market trading value. The Investment sector took the second place as the sector’s last week turnover of KD 47.25 million represented 22.86% of the total market trading value. Market capitalization KSE total market capitalization grew by 1.35% during

last week to reach KD 29.21 billion, as six of KSE’s sectors recorded an increase in their respective market capitalization, whereas the other two recorded declines. The Real estate sector headed the growing sectors as its total market capitalization reached KD 1.93 billion, increasing by 3.86%. The Industry sector was the second in terms of recorded growth with 1.75% increase after the total value of its listed companies reached KD 2.25 billion. The third place was for the Banks sector, which total market capitalization reached KD 12.81 billion by the end of the week, recording an increase of 1.51%. The Investment sector was the least growing with 0.85% recorded growth after its market capitalization amounted to KD 2.19 billion. On the other hand, the Food sector headed the decliners list as its total market capitalization decreased by 1.23% to reach, by the end of the week, KD 696.60 million. The Non Kuwaiti Companies sector was second on this list, which market value of its listed companies declined by 0.54%, reaching KD 1.83 billion. — Prepared by the Studies & Research Department Bayan Investment Co.

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


Stocks’ correction coming? Not that again WALL STREET WEEKLY OUTLOOK NEW YORK: Investors are beginning to wonder if this Energizer Bunny of a rally can just keep going without taking a break or a fall. Every Friday for the past couple of months, the question has hung in the back of investors’ minds: Is the stock market’s rally strong enough to continue without a correction? Even with the S&P 500 above levels unseen since before the financial crisis, the answer remains: Yes. The broad market index broke through 1,400 - a psychologically important level - for the first time in four years this week. On Friday, the S&P 500 closed at 1,404.17, its highest since May 20, 2008. The index is up for nine out of the past 10 weeks. “We are seeing this unbelievable rally in the market and yet the market is unbelievably complacent. We haven’t been this bullish for a long time,” said Randy Frederick, director of trading and derivatives at the Schwab Center for Financial Research, based in Austin, Texas. Indeed, the CBOE Volatility Index or VIX, Wall

Street’s fear gauge, plunged to a five-year low despite the S&P 500’s stunning gain of 12 percent for the year so far. The VIX measures the expected volatility in the S&P 500 index over the next 30 days and generally moves in the opposite direction of the broad market. Investors often use VIX options and futures as a hedge against a market decline. Frederick said the only concern is the wide spread between second- and third-month VIX futures, suggesting a rise in volatility in the longer term. But the front-month futures that expire next week have come down to levels near the spot VIX. The VIX fell 6.2 percent on Friday to end at 14.47, its lowest close since June 2007. “I would like to see the VIX around 17 just because it tends to have a significant pop when there is bad news at current levels,” Frederick said, adding that “frankly” there isn’t that much negative news out there. Further evidence of the market’s bullish senti-

ment: The S&P 400 midcap index has popped above the 1,000 mark, an area of strong resistance since last year, according to Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist with Schaeffer’s Investment Research, in Cincinnati. “It’s a big area of resistance, but we have moved above this. If we manage to stay here, then the strength in the overall market will advance further,” Detrick said. “Historically, April has been a strong month so we can even see the market going up to 1,440, which is the high made in May 2008,” he added. The direction of Apple shares will also be in focus next week after the stock hit the $600 mark for the first time in history this week, only about a month after it topped $500. Apple currently accounts for about 18 percent of the Nasdaq 100 stock index. Its weighting was cut to 12.3 percent from 20.5 percent last April, but the price surge has pushed the stock’s weighting back

up, making this index of 100 well-known companies hostage to the performance of a few technology titans like Apple. With Apple’s heavy weighting, investors are questioning whether the broad market can continue to rally even with a pullback in Apple shares. “It’s a name that a lot of people have exposure to so it definitely has an impact on indexes, but it seems even without Apple, the money gets put to work in other sectors and stocks,” Detrick said. While the VIX has been sliding, the expected volatility in Apple has increased, judging by a VIX index that tracks Apple options. Apple, like IBM and other bellwether names, has its own VIX index. The CBOE Apple VIX index, which measures the expected 30-day volatility of the underlying shares of Apple, jumped 35 percent this week, suggesting more gyrations ahead as more investors speculate on short-term moves. — Reuters

Higher US gas prices threaten economy Americans may pull back on spending

NEW YORK: Trader Kenneth Polcari works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. European stocks eked out some modest gains Friday ahead of another round of US economic data, that should shed some further light on whether the recovery in the world’s largest economy continues to pick up steam. —AP

Cloudy economic data leaves US stocks mixed NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks closed mixed after a slate of US data reports delivered more murky signals than clarity about the direction of the economy. At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 20.14 points (0.03 percent) to 13,232.62. The broad-market S&P 500 gained 1.57 points (0.11 percent) to 1,404.17. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 1.11 points (0.04 percent) to 3,055.26. Traders were hesitant after the strong stocks runup this week and with new data failing to provide a clear direction for the economy. The occurrence of a “quadruple witching” day-when settlement dates for equity options and futures and index options and futures all come on the same day-also tempered trade. “There are growing concerns in the market that the 2012 rally in equity markets has become extremely overbought and ripe for setback,” said The Hightower Report. Consumer prices picked up in February, but the blame was almost entirely on surging pump prices for gasoline: food prices were flat, and the core consumer price index rose just 0.1 percent, slower than in January. Federal Reserve data on industri-

al production gave an overall picture of only modest expansion so far this year, with flat growth in February following a 0.4 percent rise in January. Meanwhile, the University of Michigan index of consumer confidence fell by 1.0 point to 74.3, after analysts had forecast a slight rise. Bank of America led the Dow blue chips with a 6.0 percent gain as analysts upgraded the stock following its passing grade in the Federal Reserve’s stress test. Alcoa put on 1.8 percent. Ford shares sank 3.0 percent after news that the automaker could be hit with a class action suit over alleged fuel tank defects in its popular E and F series pickup trucks. Apple shares were flat despite the hubbub around its launch of the newest version of the hit iPad. Blackberry maker Research in Motion jumped 6.9 percent on rumors of an investment in the company by Samsung. Two major online retailers took hits: Priceline lost 2.8 percent and eBay fell 2.3 percent. Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10year Treasury edged up to 2.30 percent from 2.28 percent Thursday, while the 30-year was flat at 3.41 percent. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions. — AFP

WASHINGTON: Inflation remains tame throughout the US economy, with one big exception: gas prices. Those higher prices haven’t derailed a steadily improving economy. But if they surpass $4 or $5 a gallon, experts fear Americans could pull back on spending, and job growth could stall, posing a potentially serious threat to the recovery. And the longer prices remain high, the more they could imperil President Barack Obama’s reelection hopes. A few weeks ago, economists generally agreed that the economy was in little danger from higher gas prices as long as job growth remained strong. But fears are now mounting that gas prices could begin to weaken consumer confidence. The average pump price nationwide is $3.83 a gallon. Energy analysts say it’s bound to climb higher in the weeks ahead. “It’s a thorn in the side of the consumer and businesses,” said Chris Christopher, an economist at IHS Global Insight. The economy this year “would have been better and stronger if we didn’t have to deal with this.” So far, higher prices aren’t undermining the economic recovery, which is getting a lift from strong job creation. It would take a big jump - to around $5 a gallon - before most economists would worry that growth would halt and the economy would slide into another recession. That’s because an improving economy is somewhat insulated from any threat posed by higher prices at the pump. The risk is that gas prices could eventually slow growth by causing some people to cut spending on other goods, from appliances and furniture to electronics and vacations. Gasoline purchases provide less benefit for the US economy because about half of the revenue flows to oil-exporting nations, though US oil companies and gasoline retailers also benefit. Many American businesses suffer, too. They must pay more for fuel and shipping and for materials affected by high oil prices, such as petroleum-based plastics. Profit margins get squeezed. Even if prices ease after the summer driving season, don’t expect gasoline to fall below $3 a gallon. The government estimates that this year’s average will be $3.79, followed by $3.72 in 2013. Most economists accept a rough guideline that a 25-cent rise in gas prices knocks about 0.2 percentage point off economic growth. Gas prices also have an outsize impact on consumer confidence, Christopher noted. It’s a high-frequency purchase. Consumers notice the price whether they’re filling up or driving past a gas station. Along with the unemployment rate and stock market levels, gasoline prices heavily determine how Americans see their financial health. That effect was evident Friday when a decline was reported in the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment. The result surprised some economists who had assumed that higher stock prices and lower unemployment would lift consumer sentiment. The Michigan report showed that “gasoline worries ... are outweighing stock market gains and job growth” when it comes to influencing consumer attitudes, said Michael Hanson, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The price of gasoline has climbed 17 percent since the year began - to a national average of $3.83 a gallon. That’s the highest ever for this time of

year. A month ago, it was $3.52. Gasoline prices have followed oil prices up. Oil is rising, in part, because of tensions surrounding Iran’s nuclear program. Iranian leaders have threatened to close a shipping route into the Persian Gulf. Experts say the standoff could lead to tighter global oil supplies later this year. Contributing to higher gas prices is stronger demand from China and other developing economies. Most economists expect gas prices to top $4 a gallon by May. That would drag on consumer spending and the economy. “It’s like a tax,” Hanson said. Economists note that gas prices tend to hit consumer confidence especially hard once they surpass round

WASHINGTON: Henry Rice, of Atlanta, pumps gas on Friday at a station in Atlanta. Gasoline prices rose again Friday and are now averaging more than $4 in six states plus Washington, DC. Retail gasoline prices were up a penny on Friday to a national average of $3.831 per gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. —AP

numbers, such as $4 a gallon or $5 a gallon. Consumer confidence levels provide a rough guide to what Americans will actually do when at the mall or their favorite store. A Gallup poll last week found that nearly half of Americans would make “significant” spending cuts in other areas if gas topped $5 a gallon. On average, Americans said gas prices of $5.30 to $5.35 are a “tipping point” that would cause them to make those cutbacks. Motorists have responded to rising pump prices by driving fewer miles in more efficient vehicles. They’ve conserved so much fuel this year that they’ve effectively reduced gasoline spending even though a gallon is an average of 32 cents higher than it was a year ago, said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service. “Gas prices really choked the consumer in 2008,” Kloza said. “This year I’m not so sure.” Retailers have begun to worry that higher gas prices will eventually force many consumers to cut back. “If gas prices do start (going) upward again and creeping back up to $4 and $5, I think that is going to be a problem for our customer,” Charles Holley, WalMart’s chief financial officer, said this month.

Dollar slips as new data clouds US growth picture WASHINGTON: A mixed bag of US data dampened newfound hopes for US growth and pushed the dollar down against the euro Friday. At 2100 GMT, the euro bought $1.3177 compared to $1.3082 on Thursday. The dollar slipped to 83.42 yen from 83.49 yen a day earlier. The euro though gained to 109.93 yen, up from 109.08 yen. Data showing a fuels-driven pickup in inflation in February, only modest growth in manufacturing for the last two months and an unexpected fall in consumer confidence put a little worry in traders who earlier in the week grabbed onto a stronger recovery story for the US economy. “Inflation increased in the month of February but core prices, which exclude food and energy costs, rose only 0.1 percent,” said Kathy Lien of currency house GFT. “Normally CPI (the consumer price index) would not have triggered such a sharp sell-off in the US dollar,” she said. “But with the greenback extremely overbought, softer core CPI was a reality check for the market.” The dollar dropped to 91.54 Swiss francs from 0.9228 Swiss francs Thursday. The British pound rose to $1.5844 from $1.5714. — AFP

Some trends in the economy should cushion the impact of higher gas prices. Americans saved more last year. That gives them some leeway to pay for costlier gas out of savings rather than cutting spending in other areas. Easing the impact further, other energy prices have fallen even as gas costs have soared. The price of natural gas to residential consumers has dropped an average of 8 percent a year since 2009. Consumers saved more money in January from lower natural gas and electricity prices than they paid in higher gas costs, Christopher said. The price of gasoline will likely follow developments in Iran. Continued sparring between Iran and

the West means prices will keep going up. But if Iran adopts a more conciliatory tone, oil and gasoline prices could tumble. The outcome will help determine the US elections in November. Obama has been under pressure to do something to ease prices even as the economy is producing its best job growth since the recession ended. A Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted last week found that 59 percent of voters disapproved of the way Obama has handled the economy. A month ago, the same poll found that 53 percent disapproved. Obama’s Republican opponents have criticized him for blocking efforts to expand drilling in restricted areas of the Gulf of Mexico and in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge. In a TV interview this week, front-runner Mitt Romney said Obama should “absolutely” be held responsible for the higher prices because “he has not pursued policies that convince the world that America is going to become energy secure, energy independent.” The Obama administration argues that oil and gas prices are set by global demand and that those who promise a quick fix are lying to voters. — AP

Lagarde discusses IMF reform with Chinese VP

ATHENS: Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos speaks during a news conference in Athens. Venizelos said that he will ensure the country’s commitments to international creditors are honored if he is part of the new government after general elections, expected in late April or early May.— AP

BEIJING: International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde met Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan yesterday in Beijing, where they discussed reforming the IMF, state media reported. Lagarde is in Beijing on a two-day trip to attend a forum on China’s development, where she will give the opening address. State news agency Xinhua reported the IMF chief and Wang discussed reform of the fund, but did not give further details. IMF spokesman Gerry Rice had said ahead of the meeting that discussions in Beijing “would touch on a broad number of important issues”. These would include “the state of the global economy, the implications of the euro-zone crisis for Asia, for China, the status of progress in the Chinese economy”, he said. Also on the agenda would

be “the collective effort which has been supported by the IMF members... to strengthen the global firewall against potential contagion,” Rice said. Earlier this month, Lagarde tapped the Chinese IMF official Jianhai Lin, who has been acting secretary since November, as the Fund’s next secretary. Lin, whose appointment takes effect on March 22, will hold the key post in the department responsible for the operations of the IMF executive board and serves as a main contact point for the institution’s 187 member countries. After the China development forum Sunday, Lagarde will travel to New Delhi on March 18-19 to take part in an IMFbacked conference on “Sustaining a High-Quality Growth” in the economies of India and China. — AFP


SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


Toyota... Heart of Gold: The 4th consecutive year TMC recognizes Mohamed Naser Al-Sayer & Sons as one of the top 10 distributors in the world KUWAIT: Toyota Motor Corporation recognized Mohamed Naser Al-Sayer and Sons Co, the exclusive dealer of Toyota and Lexus in Kuwait for records in sales for best Customer Service and excellence in Marketing strategy at a special ceremony held by TMC at the new Lexus Center. In the presence of the Board of Directors and managers, and in honor of the company’s outstanding performance, MNSS was awarded with one of the most prestigious awards granted by TMC for The Fourth Consecutive Year. In 2011, the Golden Award was only granted to 10 distributors around the world, and only two of those golden awards were granted to distributors in the Middle East, out of 167 Toyota distributors worldwide. MNSS received the award during the ceremony attended by Nasser AlMohamed Al-Sayer, Chairman of the Board and Faisal Bader Al-Sayer, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Musaed Bader Al-Sayer and Mubarak Naser Al-Sayer, CEO - Automotive /MNSS, in addition to a number of guests of honor from Toyota Motor Corporation among them were Akira Okabe - Executive Advisor TMC. Nasser Mohamed Al-Sayer, chairman of the Board of MNSS, assured his faith in Kuwait and its economy, saying: “We are under the patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and his good government. We

will spare no effort to invest in various different areas that will support Toyota’s customers at all levels, which in turn will enable us always to be at the expectations and the goodwill of our existing & customers to be for life”. Nasser Al-Sayer added: “ The awards we received from TMC for Sales, Marketing and Customer Service are only the result of us at MNSS putting our customer’s satisfaction as our top priority. Our unique “Best in the Business”

staff training program is designed to equip our staff with knowledge and skills to better serve our customers with excellence”. Mubarak Al-Sayer, CEO - Automotive / MNSS speech stated: “Since the Chairman Nasser Mohamed Al-Sayer began the Company in 1954, our Mission has been to be the Best in the Business in Kuwait, and our local research regularly confirms that we are. This alone is a great testament to the determination and dedication

of all our staff”. Mubarak also added: “However, to be recognized as Best in the Business in an International sense by TMC for the fourth year running through these awards adds an extra dimension entirely. The combination of Toyota and Al Sayer has always been strong, and we continue to work hard to make it even stronger than before.” Akira Okabe - Executive Advisor said: “We at Toyota, are still in the forefront of major global companies in terms of successful and superior quest for employing state-of-the-art technology, to insure that we offer our customers the best form of cars and production “. In the same context, Akira Okabe said: “The award from TMC to MNSS Kuwait is granted as a symbol of our recognition for achieving the highest sales figures, and those results which reflect the success of the strategies implemented in achieving the objectives “The best customer service, and excellence in marketing strategy in Kuwait”, and I congratulate you for such outstanding achievements, I would also like to express to you my sincere thanks for your contribution in making MNSS Al-Sayer not only the leading distributor in Kuwait, but one of the most appreciated Toyota distributors anywhere in the world “. The ceremony was followed by the distribution of certificates and award.

Special promotion for certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz cars Abdul Rahman Albisher & Zaid Alkazemi Co begins campaign

Jazeera Airways gets nod to fly to Al-Najaf Kuwait-Iraq bilateral discussions improve KUWAIT: Following the successful bilateral discussions between the governments of Kuwait and Iraq, Jazeera Airways announced yesterday that it has secured rights to operate Kuwait-Al-Najaf route and intends to launch the route within the next six months. Jazeera Airways, which currently operates 18 non-stop routes in the Middle East from Kuwait, will be the first Kuwaiti airline to operate a scheduled service between Kuwait and a city in Iraq. The bilateral discussions also granted access to Kuwaiti airlines to operate to other Iraqi cities, including Mosul,

Baghdad, Arbil and others. Established in 2005, Jazeera Airways Group is a Kuwait Stock Exchange-listed company and operates a fleet of fullyowned Airbus A320s. The airline is the largest carrier serving the region from Kuwait. In 2011 the airline carried 1.2 million passengers in total across its network that includes today high-demand business, leisure, family, and weekend destinations such as Dubai, Bahrain, Beirut, Alexandria, Amman, Damascus, Istanbul, Sharm El-Sheikh, Assiut, Aleppo, DeirEzzor, Luxor, Mashhad, Sohag, Jeddah, Riyadh and Cairo.

Jet Airways to introduce direct Dammam-Delhi-Dammam service MUMBAI: Jet Airways, India’s premier international airline, will provide a direct connection between Dammam in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Delhi four times a week with effect from March 17, 2012. This will be the third connection between Dammam and India, with Boeing 737 services already operating from Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram. The new service will operate four days a week - Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays - and provide onward connections from and to Kathmandu and Dhaka as well as to some leading destinations on the domestic network through the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The introduction of this new service to Dammam will further strengthen Jet Airways presence in the Gulf, where it has emerged as one of the leading carriers on the Indo-Gulf sector. The Jet Airways flight 9W 567 will depart Dammam at 2355 hrs (local time) and arrive Delhi at 0615 hrs (LT next day). On the return leg, 9W 568 will depart Delhi at 2035 hrs (LT) and arrive Dammam at 2255 hrs (LT) pro-

viding seamless connections to and from international and domestic destinations on the airline’s network. The airline will deploy a Boeing 737800 aircraft on this route, offering Premiere and Economy guests an inflight product that is among the best in its class, warm service, award-winning in-flight entertainment, as well as delectable cuisine. The service will complement the airline’s existing Gulf operations to Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Doha, Kuwait, Muscat and Sharjah as well as Jeddah and Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Sudheer Raghavan, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways said: “The airline has already established itself as a prominent brand in the highly competitive Indo-Gulf sector on account of the warmth and quality of its inflight product. “We are confident that the new service will equally prove popular with our guests. The service will also provide convenient connections from and to Delhi to neighboring countries like Kathmandu and Dhaka and also to important stations in India.”

KUWAIT: Abdul Rahman Albisher & Zaid Alkazemi Company sole authorized General Distributor for Mercedes-Benz in Kuwait is pleased to announce the start of its special promotional campaign for Certified PreOwned Mercedes-Benz cars. During the month of March, customers who purchase selected certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz cars through the Proven Exclusivity program will receive a complimentary gift voucher worth KD 400. Customers can take this Gift Voucher to the Mercedes-Benz Boutique and Accessories area located in the Shuwaikh Parts Center for redemption, where they can choose from a wide varity of accessories for their car or the latest Mercedes-Benz boutique and collection items for themselves. This is a limited time offer ending on March 31 2012 and it is valid on select certified preowned Mercedes-Benz cars purchased through the ProvenExclusivity program only. Customer have the choice of late model SClass, GL-Class, CLS-Class and CL-Class vehicles available at the Pre-Owned cars showroom in Shuwaikh. The pre-owned certified cars from Abdul Rahman Albisher & Zaid Alkazemi offer customers peace of mind and the satisfaction of having purchased a car which has been thoroughly checked by Mercedes-Benz trained specialists. “We are pleased to offer this additional benefit to our Pre-Owned cars customers for a limited period” said Ashraf Tamim, Senior Manager Sales and Operations, Abdul Rahman Albisher & Zaid Alkazemi Company.

Burgan Bank and Service Hero launch customer satisfaction poll KUWAIT: Burgan Bank announced yesterday that it has launched an online customer satisfaction poll in coordination with Service Hero Company, which aims at measuring the bank’s customers’ satisfaction levels. Through the online poll, that is considered the only index in the Arab world that measures service quality

across different sectors or industry categories, Burgan Bank will use the results with an objective of capitalizing as well as improving its overall performance. Haneen Al-Rumaihi, Head of Marketing at Burgan Bank said: “These ratings will prove to be instrumental in enabling us to track and improve our

performance, and obtain the highest level of customer satisfaction. Our collaboration with Service Hero is part of our overall strategy to continue to deliver exceptional results to all of our customers. We believe this voting system will be an effective, faster and more reliable source of valuable information.” Faten Abu-Ghazaleh- Service Hero President said, “Understanding your customer is one of the most fundamental aspects of building customer loyalty. This is why Service Hero has developed an online customer satisfaction poll. The service offered by Service Hero to companies gives users the chance to rate their overall satisfaction based on one question. This poll is designed to be user friendly and, most importantly, does not trouble the online user. This service reflects our commitment to customers to help them get better service”. Burgan Bank continues to apply best practice methods with an overall aim to offer its customers the best quality and service. The bank strives to bring the best in class financial services through continuous quality improvement in innovative products and services, streamlining processes, developing as well as enhancing skills, and effectively responding to customer feedback.

US treasury prices slip as consumer prices inch up NEW YORK: Money flew out of the US Treasury market this week, pushing long-term interest rates to nearly fivemonth highs. Signs the economy is improving got the selling started on Tuesday. The government reported stronger retail sales, the Federal Reserve brightened its view of the economy and 15 of the country’s largest banks passed the Fed’s stress tests. Stock market indexes hit four-year highs and Treasury yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury jumped from 2.03 percent late Monday to 2.27 percent by late Wednesday. That pushed the benchmark lending rate for mortgages and other loans to its highest level since late October. Yields on 2-year notes jumped to levels last seen in July. The yield started the week at 0.33 percent and was trading at 0.37 percent late Friday. Most Treasury prices edged slightly lower Friday after the government said gas prices drove consumer costs up last month. The price of the 10-year Treasury note fell 18.7 cents for every $100 invested. Its yield rose to 2.30 percent from 2.27 percent late Thursday. The Labor Department said the consumer price index rose 0.4 percent in February. About 80 percent of the increase stemmed from higher gas prices. The 30-year Treasury bond edged up 9.37 cents, while its yield was unchanged at 3.41 percent. The yield on the 2-year note was also unchanged at 0.37 percent. In the market for short-term bills, the 3-month T-bill paid 0.08 percent. — AP


SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


Radio show on Apple’s Chinese workers retracted NEW YORK: The US radio program “This American Life” has retracted an episode critical of working conditions at a Chinese factory that makes iPhones and iPads for Apple Inc, saying it had contained “numerous fabrications.” The retracted episode, which aired on Jan. 6, was based heavily on a oneman theatrical show by actor Mike Daisey: “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.” The play and its attendant publicity, including the radio segment, have played a big role in pressuring Apple to allow outside inspectors at its contract manufacturing facilities in China, which are mostly owned by Foxconn Technology. Daisey had also written an op-ed piece on the topic for The New York Times, and on Friday the Times removed a paragraph from that piece, stating that “questions have been raised” about its veracity. The Times itself also spotlighted working conditions at Foxconn factories in a recent series of stories. Friday night’s edition of the “This American Life,” which is produced by Chicago radio station WBEZ and distributed by Public Radio International, detailed the factual inaccuracies in the earlier show and featured a tense backand-forth between Daisey and the

show’s host and executive producer, Ira Glass. “We did factcheck the story before we put it on the radio,” Glass said in opening the program. “But in factchecking, our main concern was whether the things Mike says about Apple and about its supplier Foxconn, which makes this stuff, were true. That stuff is true. It’s been corroborated by independent investigations by other journalists, studies by advocacy groups, and much of it has been corroborated by Apple itself in its own audit reports. “But what’s not true is what Mike said about his own trip to China.” “This American Life” is one of the most popular and respected public affairs programs in the country, and news of the retraction was greeted with shock and chagrin in the media world. Many of the United States’ top journalism organizations have had to combat issues of fabrication, plagiarism and bias in recent years, which press critics say has undermined public trust in journalism. The alleged fabrications on “This American Life” came to light after a correspondent for another radio show, American Public Media’s “Marketplace,” contacted Daisey’s Chinese interpreter, Li Guiden, who disputed much of what the actor had

been telling audiences since 2010 and what he said on the radio program. “Daisey lied to me and to This American Life producer Brian Reed,” Glass said in a statement. Saying “what I do is not journalism,” Daisey defended his work in a blog: “My show is a theatrical piece whose goal is to create a human connection between our gorgeous devices and the brutal circumstances from which they emerge.” Apple was contacted while the show was being researched and denied its allegations, including that workers were poisoned on an iPhone assembly line by a chemical called nhexane, according to a source familiar with the situation. Apple has not commented publicly on the radio program and the retraction. The company has consistently rejected allegations that Foxconn workers were mistreated, but last month the company for the first time agreed to allow independent monitors to inspect the facilities. Both “This American Life” and “Marketplace” are part of the complex public broadcasting system in the United States, and both are separate from National Public Radio, the news producer most commonly associated with public radio. While taxpayer funds support stations that broadcast the

shows, the programs themselves are not directly subsidized by the government. In a form of cooperation that would be unusual in commercial media, Rob Schmitz, the “Marketplace” reporter, and Glass of “This American Life” jointly confronted Daisey about the truth of the original segment in the show that aired Friday. In one exchange, Daisey acknowledged that he had not actually met or seen workers poisoned by n-hexane. He then apologized to Glass. “Look. I’m not going to say that I didn’t take a few shortcuts in my passion to be heard. But I stand behind the work,” Daisey said. “My mistake, the mistake I truly regret, is that I had it on your show as journalism. And it’s not journalism. It’s theater.” At another point in the program Glass presses Daisey on why he didn’t come clean when a “This American Life” producer pressed him on key facts. “Why not just tell us what really happened at that point?” Glass asks. Daisey responds: “I think I was terrified.” Glass: “Of what?” Daisey: “That ... I think I was terrified that if I untied these things, that the work, that I know is really good, and tells a story, that does these really great things for making people care, that it would come apart in a way

where, where it would ruin everything.” Daisey’s explanation of his actions echoes a debate that has rocked the book publishing world over non-fiction “memoirs” that contain made-up scenes. Some writers have defended departing from the hard facts to tell a more compelling story, but most non-fiction writers and editors reject the practice. “A program like “This American Life” wants to get at the truth, to be sure,” said Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple. “But it has an equal loyalty to the facts.” On Twitter, the most common reaction from reporters and editors were “Wow” or “Whoa.” The dust-up does not appear to have scared off “This American Life” sponsors, however. Julia Yager, a vice president with Public Radio International, the network that distributes This American Life, said that her group had informed the show’s two sponsors, Toyota Scion and, of the issue on Thursday and that companies had decided to continue to advertise. “The whole industry suffers a bit when something like this occurs,” said Dave Kansas, chief operating officer of American Public Media. “What’s important is to address is forthrightly, and that’s what This American Life is doing.” — Reuters

5 ways to control privacy on Google ‘Google forcing to accept changes’

Apple’s latest iPad

Fans, entrepreneurs rush for the new iPad MADISON: Apple’s latest iPad drew the customary lines of die-hard fans looking to be first and entrepreneurs looking to make a quick profit. Many buyers lined up for hours, and in some cases overnight, as the tablet computer went on sale in the US and nine other countries. They did so even though Apple started accepting online orders a week ago. The new, third model comes with a faster processor, a much sharper screen and an improved camera, though the changes aren’t as big as the upgrade from the original model to the iPad 2. As with the previous models, prices start at $499 in the US. “I don’t think it’s worth the price but I guess I’m a victim of society,” Athena May, 21, said in Paris. Dan Krolikowski, 34, was first in line at a Madison, Wis., mall. He arrived 14 hours before the store’s opening and was buying an extra one to sell on the “gray market.” “Last year I sold one on eBay and made over $500 in profit,” Krolikowski said, leaning back in a reclining lawn chair he brought. “I’m hoping to do that again this year.” Those who ordered iPads online started getting them delivered Friday. However, Apple now says there’s a two- to threeweek shipping delay for online orders. There’s also demand in countries where the new iPad isn’t available yet. In Hong Kong, a steady stream of buyers picked up their new devices at preset times at the city’s sole Apple store after entering an online lottery. The system, which required buyers to have local ID cards, helped thwart visitors from mainland China, Apple’s fastest growing market. A release date in China has not yet been announced. Apple will begin selling the iPad in 25 additional countries next Friday, mostly in Europe. At Apple’s flagship retail store on New York’s Fifth Avenue, the composition

of the line, and the way many customers were paying for two iPads each with wads of cash, suggested that many of the tablets were destined to be resold abroad. The gadget also drew entrepreneurs of a dubious nature. In Orlando, Fla., authorities arrested a Best Buy employee and a former worker early Thursday on accusations they schemed to rob a store at gunpoint and steal more than $1 million in iPads and other Apple products, according to the Orlando Sentinel. About 450 people lined up outside Apple’s Ginza store in downtown Tokyo. Some had spent the night sleeping outside the store. Dipak Varsani, 21, got in line in London at 1 a.m. Thursday local time and said he was drawn by the new device’s better screen. “You’ve got clearer movies and clearer games,” he said. “I use it as a multimedia device.” Despite competition from cheaper tablet computers such as Inc.’s Kindle Fire, the iPad remains the most popular tablet computer. Apple Inc. has sold more than 55 million iPads since its debut in 2010. Apple says the iPad is propelling us into a “post-PC era,” with computers that work very differently from the traditional laptops and desktops. Two years after the debut of the first iPad, the device’s launch has become the second-biggest “gadget event” of the year, after the annual iPhone release. In Atlanta, one kid in line carried a sign that read “Happy iDay!” Many said they lined up for the atmosphere, rather than ordering online. “Sure, it’s a marketing ploy, but I still love the experience,” said Pam Johnson, 58, a Portage, Wis, writer who traveled about an hour to the Madison store. “You have great conversations. You learn a lot. You don’t get that when you just sit at home and wait for it to be delivered to your doorstep.” —- AP

NEW YORK: Like it or not, your relationship with Google is becoming a lot more intimate. The company recently expanded its ability to combine data from its various services to create a highly detailed profile on you. Google says it’s doing that to simplify its privacy policy and improve your experience on sites such as Gmail, Picasa, Google Plus and YouTube. But there’s a business reason, too. Google gets a chance to use the data it collects to tailor ads that align more precisely with your interests, and those personalized ads are among the most lucrative for the company. Many privacy groups complain that Google is forcing you to accept these changes. The European Union is investigating whether the new approach violates its data-protection rules. Before getting too worked up, it’s important to understand what’s happening. Google has long monitored its users in order to target advertisements. If you’ve been reading a lot of news articles on golf, don’t be surprised to see golf products pitched in graphical, display ads as you move across the Web. Google identifies you not by name, but by a string of charac-

change when you sign into a Google account - the kind you have for Gmail. When you do that, Google will have personal attributes such as your name, address and a list of friends. The new policy gives Google more ability to combine such data from email, YouTube, search and other services, beyond the limited rights it had in the past. Keep in mind that as much as Google makes promises to guard data about you, it’s legally bound to respond to subpoenas and other government requests. That’s no different from policies at Facebook, Yahoo and other websites. This was the case with Google’s old policy as well. I find no reason to be paranoid online, but it’s best to know what’s happening so you can take appropriate precautions if you feel the need. I really don’t care if Google’s ad system mistakenly thinks I’m a teenage girl because I search for the latest on ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars.” But I’d care if ads popped up on my work computer based on a job search I might have done at home the night before. Here are five things you can do to guard your privacy:

three different people and not link your activities. If you want to stick with one browser, one approach is to use other providers such as Microsoft’s Bing for search and Yahoo’s Flickr for photos. Keep in mind that Google still collects data about your use when you’re not signed in, but it won’t have as much information on you. REVIEW WHAT GOOGLE KNOWS Google makes it easier than many other services to see what it knows about you. Start with the Dashboard at You’ll have to sign in to use it. Go through each service to make sure it’s up to date. On the right columns are links for managing your settings and profiles. If you’ve enabled a feature called Web History, check the lists of past searches and delete any you don’t want Google to remember. You can suspend recording by visiting Part of what’s changing is that Google will now be allowed to use your Web history to suggest videos you might like to see on YouTube. So if I’ve visited a lot of sites on “Pretty Little Liars,”

ment and private organizations to discuss Internet use, access, new codes and security. ICANN is a nongovernmental organization that polices Internet registrations and coordinates the Web’s international resources, such as usernames and Internet addresses. International awareness is helping to fuel the trend toward greater Internet access, said De la Parra, predicting economic growth would accompany rising Internet use in Latin America. He expressed concern about promoting access in developing regions, particularly in Africa. “Africa has a more acute problem than Latin America in all types of infrastructure, obviously telecommunications infrastructure and of course the Internet is included,” De la Parra said. ICANN’s next conference is scheduled for June in Prague. — AFP

BROWSER’S PRIVACY MODES Major browsers offer a stealth mode. Typically, that means things you do aren’t recorded in your browser’s history files, and any data files added by a website for tracking get deleted after you’re done. On Chrome, look for “new incognito window” under the picture of the wrench. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer calls it “InPrivate Browsing” under “Safety.” The feature is called “Private Browsing” in Firefox and Apple’s Safari. While you’re at it, you can delete data already recorded by the browser. Look for a menu item that says “delete,” “clear” or “reset.” Keep in mind that some services won’t function properly in stealth mode. Netflix’s streaming service won’t operate, and Gmail won’t store password information to automatically sign in next time. Also, Google will still have your numeric Internet address. Stealth mode will curtail tracking but won’t make you completely anonymous. USE ANONYMIZERS Several services are available to help you mask your Internet address. Requests to retrieve email or get search results will get bounced through multiple servers to get to a website such as Google. That means Google would have the address of the last computer on that chain, but not yours. A popular free option is Tor, though it requires a software download and can slow down Web surfing.

Latin American Web access could double in a decade SAN JOSE: Latin America is the world’s fastest-growing market for Internet access, and could double within a decade, the group that oversees Internet-related tasks said Friday. “I think this is the decade of our region in many ways,” said Rodrigo de la Parra, regional vice president for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. “It is a region that without any doubt has more growth on a worldwide level,” the Mexico native said. Internet market penetration is found in about 30 percent of Latin American households, compared with nearly 100 percent in developed countries. De la Parra spoke during a fiveday ICANN conference in Costa Rica that ended Friday. About 1,700 participants from 150 countries attended the conference. The participants came from govern-

Google account, while the ad manager is specific to your browser, so you’ll have to do this with each browser on each computer or mobile device you use.

ters attached to your Web browser. Google also promises not to target ads based on sensitive attributes such as sexual orientation, religion and serious health conditions. Google also keeps logs of your searches and other activities, partly as feedback to improve services, the company says. Those logs don’t have your name, but rather a numeric Internet address associated with your computer and the same browser-based characters used for ads. That Internet address also gives Google your approximate location, so a search may return local plumbers and not those 500 miles away. Things

MANAGE YOUR SIGN-INS: Remember, the new policy affects what happens when you sign in. You can avoid a deeper level of tracking and personalization simply by not signing in. Of course, some services such as email and photo sharing on Picasa do require signing in. You can get around that by using different browsers to keep your identities separate. You could, for instance, use Google’s Chrome to sign in for email and Firefox to sign in under a different account for YouTube. You could then use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer to search the Web without signing in. That way, Google will see you as

YouTube might recommend video clips featuring some of its stars. Next, check out Google’s Ads Preferences manager at That page reflects what Google thinks it knows about you when you’re not signed in. You can remove or edit categories of interests. If you don’t like targeted ads, you can throw Google off by adding a bunch of fake interests. Or simply turn it off by hitting the “Opt out” link and button. You’ll still get ads, just not targeted ones. The page might give you a few chuckles, as Google’s guess of your age and gender is often wrong. The Dashboard is tied to your

STAY OFFLINE Even if you take all of the above steps, it won’t guarantee anonymity or track-free browsing. For starters, your Internet service provider has information on you regardless of what Google has and does with it. With a subpoena, it can link your name to nameless IDs in Google’s logs. The products and techniques I’ve outlined here can help, but the only way to completely protect your privacy is to disconnect. You may actually like the policy changes. Combining data allows Google to do such things as suggest spelling corrections in Google’s online word processing program for contacts you have in Gmail or chat. Many people complained when Facebook introduced feeds of friends’ status updates to save you from having to sift through dozens of profile pages to see what your friends are up to. These days, few people can imagine Facebook without that. — AP

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


UK to keep carbon limit high for gas plants LONDON: Britain’s energy minister promised yesterday to keep the limit on power plants’ carbon emissions high enough until 2045 to ensure that modern gas-fired stations can continue to operate. The government will submit its full proposals to reform Britain’s electricity market to Parliament in May, marking the first step to enshrine the deepest overhaul of the market in 30 years into law. The previous draft had proposed that the limit on carbon emissions allowed per plant would be reviewed over time. Developers of gas-fired plants were concerned their power stations could be scrapped if the limit was reduced below a level they could meet. UK Energy and Climate Change

Secretary Edward Davey guaranteed that a proposed level of 450g of carbon per kilowatt-hour (g/kWh) of electricity would be maintained until 2045. State-of-the-art gas plants emit less than 400 g/kWh, while coal-fired plants without carboncapture technology emit nearly 800 g/kWh. “This announcement by government removes a potential uncertainty for gas-fired generation, providing clarity around investment and lending decisions,” said Mark Somerset, vice president of InterGen Europe, which plans to build two new gas-fired power plants in Britain. Its new 800 megawatt combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT ) projects at

Spalding in Lincolnshire and on the Thames Gateway in Essex are also planned to be carboncapture ready, meaning they can be retrofitted with the technology in future. “Gas will continue to play a vital role in a lowcarbon economy. Modern gas-fired power stations are relatively quick to build and twice as clean as many of the coal plants they’re replacing,” Davey said in a statement. The reform proposals also foresee an important role for gas plants in providing backup capacity alongside intermittent renewable energy production under a so-called capacity mechanism. “A fifth of the UK’s ageing fleet of power stations will close this decade, and

it’s not possible to fill that gap entirely with lowcarbon alternatives in that timescale,” Davey said. Gas plant operators will be able to take part in competitive auctions to provide backup capacity for a certain year and receive payments for making power plants available when needed. The minister will also publish a strategy for Britain’s gas market this autumn, detailing whether the government needs to intervene in the market to guarantee security of supply and investments in new gas-fired power plants. The proposals will be based on gas and electricity market repor ts expected to be published by energy regulator Ofgem by September.— Reuters

Common medicines may cut cancer drug potency Greater monitoring of drug interactions needed

LYON: A test person wearing a cap with electrodes poses in front a computer screen at the Neuroscience Research Center, in the east-central French city of Lyon. Researchers experiment interactions between the brain and the machine to make possible a synergistic approach on integrative and cognitive neurophysiology and related brain disorders. — AFP

When ICU beds are scarce, doctors’ goals change: Study CALGARY: When hospitals are short on beds in the intensive care unit, doctors are more likely to switch from live-saving care to end-of-life care, according to a new Canadian study that looked at more than 3,000 people. But it wasn’t clear whether that meant patients died any sooner, the researchers reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine. “A lot of ICU beds in this country are filled with patients that are either too sick to benefit or too well to benefit,” said Scott Halpern, a critical care expert at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, who wrote a commentary on the findings. “The present study is interesting in that it raises the possibility that scarcity may in fact be the mother of expedited end-of-life decision-making. It’s much easier to transfer a patient to an intensive care unit whether or not they will benefit from it than it is to have a difficult discussion about the end of life.” Last month, a French study showed that patients who were denied ICU access because of bed shortages had a higher risk of dying over the next few months. In the new study, Henry Stelfox at the University of Calgary and colleagues used data on nearly 3,500 hospitalized patients who had suddenly gotten very ill, launching the hospital’s emergency team into action.

The emergency team was called much less often when there weren’t any free ICU beds compared with when at least three were available. When no ICU beds were free, 12 percent of patients were admitted to the ICU within two hours, compared to 21 percent when more than two beds were free. The goals of care changed from resuscitation to medical or comfort care 15 percent of the time when the ICU was full, compared to nine percent of the time when three or more beds were available. Whether that’s appropriate is unclear and depends on individual values, Halpern said. For example, a woman with fatal cancer whose blood pressure drops suddenly might be kept alive for a little longer if she gets aggressive treatment in the ICU, Halpern said. But she might have a more peaceful death if given comfor t care instead. “She would die either way, but in this case in a more palliative setting,” he added. There was no difference in death rates at the hospital, although Halpern said that result could be misleading because patients who got comfort care were often sent home. “Work needs to be done to better understand how commonly ICU beds are not available, and how often that affects patients who could benefit from ICU admission,” he added.— Reuters

FDA may probe TX firm over Perry’s stem cells WASHINGTON: The Food and Drug Administration has received a complaint against a company that stored adult stem cells from Texas Governor Rick Perry for use in an experimental procedure to treat his back pain. A University of Minnesota professor is calling on the FDA to investigate the safety and legality of services offered by CellTex Therapeutics, a company which banks patients’ own stem cells for future use in medical procedures. “I think there’s a role here for the FDA to ensure that people are receiving safe and effective treatments,” said Leigh Turner, an associate professor of bioethics, in an interview with the Associated Press. “I think a lot of these stem cell therapies seem like 21st century quackery.” Turner believes the Houston company’s business model runs afoul of FDA regulations governing human stem cells, though the area is subject to multiple rules. A spokeswoman for the FDA declined Wednesday to comment on the letter or say “what, if any, investigation would take place based on the concerns submitted.” Turner said an agency official contacted him last month to say that the Feb 21 letter is being “taken seriously.” CellTex is only one of multiple US companies offering to store stem cells for untested medical procedures, Turner said. While pursuing the Republican presidential nomination last fall, Perry revealed that he had stem cells taken from fat in his body, grown in a lab and then injected into his back during a July operation to address back pain. News of the procedure triggered criticism last November from medical experts who said untested stem cell treatments carry a host of potential risks, ranging from blood clots to infection. Adult stem cells are being studied for everything from heart disease to diabetes, but it’s too soon to know if these approaches are safe or effective. Perry’s procedure used his own cells - not embryonic stem cells, which are more controversial because

their use involves destroying human embryos. The FDA has not approved any adult stem cell therapies for orthopedic use, but experimentation by doctors in the US and abroad is common. Perry’s procedure was performed by his doctor and friend, orthopedist Stanley Jones, with stem cells allegedly stored by Houstonbased CellTex Therapeutics. Last year the company paid $30 million to license technology from RNL Bio, another stem cell company with offices in the US and South Korea. “Have CellTex and RNL Bio provided to the FDA data concerning safety and efficacy of their adult stem cell procedures?” asks Turner in his letter, which was first reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. In a March 9 letter to the FDA, lawyers for CellTex said the company operates within state and federal law. The letter stresses that CellTex does not treat patients using stem cells, a key distinction in FDA regulation. “It is a lab that processes stem cells at the behest of independent physicians who diagnose and prescribe to their patients,” states Jonathan Emord of Emord & Associates in Washington, DC. Procedures like Perry’s highlight a gray area for the FDA, which does not regulate the practice of medicine but does oversee medical products. For years, some US doctors have reportedly extracted adult stem cells from patients’ fat for a variety of experimental uses, ranging from skinsmoothing facelifts to joint-strengthening injections. The agency has taken little action against these techniques because they usually do not involve commercial products marketed by a company. But some experts say growing cells in culture and possibly mixing them with other substances may make these modified cells a product. The FDA brought an injunction barring a Colorado company from growing marrow-derived stem cells in this way. Court proceedings in that case are underway.—AP

WASHINGTON: Many patients taking a widely prescribed class of oral cancer drugs are also using a variety of medications that could reduce the effectiveness of the cancer treatment or increase its toxic side effects, according to research by Medco Health Solutions Inc. For example, 43 percent of patients taking the highly effective leukemia drug Gleevec were also on another medicine that could diminish its efficacy, while 68 percent were taking something that could potentially raise the toxicity level , the study found. Not surprisingly, the study found that the vast majority of the cancer drugs were prescribed by an oncologist, while the other medicines were typically prescribed by a primary care physician. “More communication needs to take place across all doctors that are prescribing for the patient,” said Medco’s Steve Bowlin, who is presenting the study findings on Friday at the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics meeting in Washington. The Medco drug interaction study looked at pharmacy claims of about 11,600 patients who had been prescribed any of nine oral drugs known as kinase inhibitors, used to treat a variety of cancers. They include Gleevec and Tasigna from Novartis ; Pfizer Inc’s Sutent; Nexavar from Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc and Bayer AG; Tarceva, sold

by Roche Holding and Japan’s Astellas Pharma Inc ; Sprycel from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co ; and GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s Tykerb. The medications that could potentially cause such adverse “drug-drug interactions” (DDI) include commonly used heartburn drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as Nexium and Prevacid; steroids; a class of blood pressure and heart medications known as calcium channel blockers; and some antibiotics and antifungal treatments. At the high end of the range, 74 percent of patients who were taking Glaxo’s kidney cancer drug Votrient were also taking a drug that could increase toxicity, researchers said. Fifty-seven percent of Tarceva patients were also taking a drug that could weaken effectiveness, more than for any of the other cancer treatments. Sutent had the lowest incidence of potentially troubling drug interactions, with 23 percent of patients taking a medicine that could decrease its effectiveness and 24 percent on a drug that could increase Sutent’s toxicity. “The fact that one-quarter to 75 percent of patients on these oral drugs may not be getting the full benefit of their treatment or may in fact be putting their health at further risk because of another medication they are taking is concerning,” Dr. Milayna Subar of Medco’s Oncology Therapeutic

Resource Center said in a statement. The PPI drugs for heartburn and acid reflux were the most likely to alter the effectiveness and toxicity of Gleevec, researchers said. For the lung cancer drug Tarceva, steroids and PPIs were most likely to decrease efficacy, while certain antibiotics were most likely to increase toxicity. Even though the Tarceva label cautions against using the antibiotic ciprofloxacin when taking that cancer drug, the analysis found that the two were co-prescribed for a significant number of patients. “There are other therapeutic alternatives that could be prescribed that would not have the same potential for interaction,” said study co-author Eric Stanek, who called for increased surveillance of patient prescribing. The analysis also found that the overlap for patients taking one of the oral cancer drugs and a medicine that could cause problems was rarely for just a day or two. “In many instances, 30 or 40 percent of the time people were on a cancer drug they were also on a DDI drug,” Bowlin said. “On average, it was substantial amount of time.” Medco, a pharmacy benefit manager that is in the process of being acquired by rival Express Scripts Inc, offers a Drug Utilization Review program under which its oncology pharmacists can alert doctors about potentially troubling medication interactions.—Reuters

Indonesian 8-year-old to kick smoking habit JAKARTA: An eight-year-old Indonesian boy who smokes more than a pack of cigarettes a day will undergo a month of therapy to kick his four-year habit, a child welfare official said. Indonesia’s Child Protection Commission chairman Arist Merdeka Sirait said the boy, Ilham, who smokes around 25 cigarettes a day, needed “emergency help” as his addiction had reached “alert level”, affecting his behavior. “You can see a dramatic change of behavior when he doesn’t have a cigarette for a while. He becomes emotionally aggressive and uncontrollable. He acts like he’s possessed by evil spirits,” Sirait said. The boy’s father Agan Umar said his son would become enraged and “smash glass windows or whatever’s around” if he is not constantly given cigarettes. “I hope the therapy works so my son can go back to school and live a normal life like the other kids,” Umar said. The boy will leave his village in Sukabumi in western Java on Monday to start receiving intensive specialist care in the capital Jakarta, Sirait said. “We’ll give him a medical check-up to examine the impact his smoking has had on his health, and he’ll be given psycho-social therapy to divert his attention from smoking to playing,” he said. Indonesia has the world’s highest percentage of young smokers, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report from 2006, which found more than 37 percent of high school and university students smoked. The report found 25 percent of children between the age of three and 15 had tried smoking. A two-year-old boy on Sumatra Island kicked the habit with a similar treatment after a video emerged in 2010 of the overweight toddler drawing heavily on a cigarette. His parents admitted he smoked 40 cigarettes a day. Smoking rates have risen sixfold in Indonesia over the last 40 years, with 89 million Indonesians in a population of 240 million smoking today, WHO data shows. The government has done little to regulate big tobacco’s activities in Indonesia, other than increasing excise taxes. But prices remain extremely low by international standards, with a pack of 20 costing little more than a dollar. After food, cigarettes account for the second-largest household expenditure, with half the population still living on on less than $2 a day.—AFP

SICHUAN: In a photograph taken on March 16, 2012, a patient undergoes treatment for a cervical injury at the Suining City Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine in southwest China’s Sichuan province. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an ancient medical system that takes a deep understanding of the laws and patterns of nature and applies them to the human body that has been practiced for more than five thousand years.— AFP

TAIPEI: A researcher puts a meat sample in a machine to test if it contains a banned additive, ractopamine, at a laboratory in Taipei yesterday .Taiwan plans to lift a ban on most US beef treated with ractopamine, a controversial additive used to promote lean meat, in an apparent bid to facilitate trade talks with Washington, triggering a protest from farmers. - AFP

Schools planning to drop ‘pink slime’ meat PHILADELPHIA: The lunch lady won’t be serving up “pink slime” anymore at several school districts around the country. Under a change announced Friday by the US Department of Agriculture, districts that get food through the government’s school lunch program will be allowed to say no to ground beef containing an ammonia-treated filler derisively called “pink slime” and choose fillerfree meat instead. Several school systems said they will change their cafeteria menus when the move takes effect next fall. What’s not yet clear is how much the switch might cost and whether it could lead to price increases for school lunches. “Our district has long advocated for purity and disclosure in food products. And we will definitely be moving to the pure ground beef when that becomes available in the fall,” said John Schuster, spokesman for Florida’s MiamiDade school system, the nation’s fourthlargest district with 345,000 students. He could not immediately speak to the cost, noting that the district is on spring break. An Agriculture Department spokeswoman did not return a call for comment. The change came after a furious online campaign to rid school cafeterias of what the meat industry calls “lean, finely textured beef.” The low-cost filler is made from fatty meat scraps that are heated to remove most of the fat, then treated with ammonium hydroxide gas to kill bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. It has been on the market for years, and federal officials say it is safe. The National Meat Association has also noted that ammonium hydroxide is used in baked goods, puddings and other processed foods. But the USDA announced that, in response to requests from school districts nationwide, it will offer schools a choice: 95 percent lean beef patties made with the filler, or less lean bulk ground beef without it.

The Philadelphia school district serves one product with the additive - a beef patty - in its high schools only, according to spokesman Fernando Gallard. He said he was unaware of any complaints. “We have full confidence in the products that are given to us by the USDA,” Gallard said. But given the choice next year, he said the 146,000-student district will consider the alternatives. In New York City’s 1.1 million-student school system, officials said they are working with food vendors to phase out pink slime products. They said they have heard concerns from parents and food dvocates. The Agriculture Department sets national nutritional standards for school meals, but districts make the decisions on what food to serve to meet the guidelines. On average, districts in the National School Lunch Program buy about 20 percent of their food through USDA, with the remainder coming directly from private vendors. There are no precise numbers on how prevalent the filler product is, but one industry official estimates it is in at least half of the ground meat and burgers in the US. Tony Geraci, executive director of child nutrition for the schools in Memphis, Tenn., said the 110,000-student district hasn’t used the product at least since he arrived in October. Geraci said that while he understands the food industry doesn’t want to waste any part of an animal, pink slime is “a horrible product” not fit for human consumption. “Any time you buy something that is chunked, chopped or formed, you run the risk of problems with product integrity,” Geraci said. “We buy whole-muscle stuff. We buy whole pork shoulders. We buy whole turkeys.” The USDA this year is contracted to buy 111.5 million pounds of ground beef for the National School Lunch Program.—AP

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


US government details contraceptives rule fix WASHINGTON: The Obama administration began laying out its blueprint on Friday for accommodating the moral concerns of religious institutions that oppose its policy of requiring free coverage for women’s contraceptives through employer-sponsored health plans. The move came a month after the White House tried to calm a furor among Roman Catholic bishops and other social conservatives by announcing it would not require church-run hospitals, universities and charities to foot the bill for birth control coverage but instead shift the burden to insurers. The administration released preliminary regulatory language for an eventual rule that addressed a number of issues, including a yet-to-besolved problem of religious institutions that provide their own health insurance. The action’s bearing on birth control and religious freedom places it at the center of incendiary issues that have moved to the forefront of the election campaign for control of the White House and Congress. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has spearheaded opposition to Obama contraceptives policies, said it would examine the administration’s new proposed language to see if it met its demands. But conference spokeswoman Sister Mary Ann Walsh chided the administration for releasing the document late on a Friday as Catholic leaders observed St Patrick’s Day yesterday. The proposal provoked anger from some religious groups. “This does nothing,” said Michael O’Dea, executive director of the Christus Medicus Foundation, which promotes Christian healthcare. “It’s bogus.” The Department of Health and Human Services’ notice of rulemaking gave special emphasis to protections for self-insured religious institutions that have been a prime concern for Roman Catholic authorities. “Our principle is that the religious employer who’s self-insured will not be paying for this coverage, full stop,” an administration official who spoke

on condition of anonymity told reporters in a conference call. The notice calls for third-party administrators including insurers to handle contraceptive coverage for selfinsured groups. Costs would be covered through a range of options unrelated to the employer, including drug rebates, reinsurance credits and multistate insurance plans. The public will have 90 days to comment on the notice. SPLIT OPINION A polic y adopted last month requires that most employers provide free coverage for women’s birth control under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature healthcare overhaul. Churches and other places of worship are exempt. But the rule now on the books applies to religiously affiliated hospitals, universities, charities and other institutions. Friday’s action won praise from women’s health advocates and other Obama allies who saw it as reasonable effort to resolve differences with the Catholic clergy. “The proposal released today make clears that the Obama administration is fulfilling its promise that women will have access to birth control coverage, with no costly co-pays and no additional hurdles, no matter where they work,” Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said in a statement. “In my estimation, this definitely moves things forward toward something the American bishops might be more willing to consider,” said Stephen Schneck, a political scientist at The Catholic University of America, who advised Obama on how to reach out to the church. Friday’s announcement followed weeks of behind-thescenes meetings between administration officials and stakeholders including Catholic bishops and insurance industry representatives. There was no word on when proposed regulations might become final. The administration’s current policy does not come into force for religious employers or educators until Aug 1, 2013. — Reuters

US court weighs making health coverage a fact of life WASHINGTON: Death, taxes and now health insurance? Having a medical plan or else paying a fine is about to become another certainty of American life, unless the Supreme Court says no. People are split over the wisdom of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, but they are nearly united against its requirement that everybody have insurance. The mandate is intensely unpopular even though more than 8 in 10 people in the United States already are covered by workplace plans or government programs such as Medicare. When the insurance obligation kicks in, not even two years from now, most people won’t need to worry or buy anything new. Nonetheless, Americans don’t like being told how to spend their money, not even if it would help solve the problem of the nation’s more than 50 million uninsured. Can the government really tell us what to buy? Federal judges have come down on both sides of the question, leaving it to the Supreme Court to sort out. The justices are allotting an unusually long period, six hours over three days, beginning March 26, to hear arguments challenging the law’s constitutionality. Their ruling, expected in June, is shaping up as a historic moment in the centur y-long quest by reformers to provide affordable health care for all. Many critics and supporters alike see the insurance requirement as the linchpin of Obama’s health care law: Take away the mandate and the wheels fall off. Politically it was a wobbly construction from the start. It seems half of Washington has flipflopped over mandating insurance. One critic dismissed the idea this way: “If things were that easy, I could mandate everybody to buy a house and that would solve the problem of homelessness.” That was Obama as a presidential candidate, who was

against health insurance mandates before he was for them. Once elected, Obama decided a mandate could work as part of a plan that helps keep premiums down and assists those who can’t afford them. To hear Republicans rail against this attack on personal freedom, you’d never know the idea came from them. Its model was a Massachusetts law signed in 2006 by Mitt Romney, now the front-runner of the Republican presidential race, when he was governor. Another GOP hopeful, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, supported a mandate on individuals as an alternative to President Bill Clinton’s health care proposal, which put the burden on employers. All four GOP presidential candidates now promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which they call “Obamacare.” Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum calls it “the death knell for freedom.” So much for compromise. Obama and congressional Democrats pushed the mandate through in 2010, without Republican support, in hopes of creating a fair system that ensures everyone, rich or poor, young or old, can get the health care they need. Other economically advanced countries have done it. Doing nothing is more expensive than most people realize. Congress found that when the uninsured go to clinics and emergency rooms, the care they can’t pay for costs nearly $75 billion a year. Much of that cost is passed along and ends up adding $1,000 a year to the average family’s insurance premium. The overhaul is neither the liberal dream of a single government program supported by taxes and covering everyone nor the conservative vision of stripping away federal rules and putting free enterprise in charge. The Obama plan relies on pri-

vate companies plus lots of regulation to make sure they provide basic benefits, keep premiums reasonable, and cover the sick as well as the healthy. That’s where the mandate comes in. If insurers must cover everyone, even those with existing medical conditions, healthy people have little incentive to sign up before they get sick. Insurance companies argue that if only the sick sign up, insurers will go broke. So the law says everybody must have insurance for themselves and their children, or pay a penalty. Also, because everyone needs health care sometime, if everyone purchases insurance, the price per person can be lower, with the cost of care spread out over many people. After all, the government requires workers to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, whether they want the benefits or not. One argument for the insurance mandate is that the fines are just federal taxes by another name. Another is that it falls under the government’s constitutional power to regulate commerce that crosses state borders. State governments, of course, tell people to buy lots of things, including auto insurance or motorcycle helmets. “You can always move to another state,” said Tom O’Connor, a consultant in Fairfax, Va., who thinks the health care law overreaches. “It’s a little more difficult to move to another country.” Many agree. In an Associated Press-GfK poll, 85 percent said the US government should not have the power to require people to buy health insurance. When the question is worded without the specific reference to federal power, acceptance of the mandate grows a bit, but 6 in 10 are still against it. Even among those who generally support the health care overhaul, one -third said they are

against the insurance mandate. There’s also a significant minority who sees mandates as a cop-out and prefer a government program that covers ever yone, Medicare for all. It’s clear that many people do not understand what the law would do or how it would affect them. Jan Gonzales, an out-ofwork bookkeeper in Pablo, Mont., calls fining people for going without insurance “the most ridiculous, asinine thing you ever heard of.” “If I can’t put food on the table for my children, how can I pay for health care coverage?” asks Gonzales, who’s been without insurance for seven years. “What moron came up with that idea?” Of course, she might qualify for the law’s exemptions for those too poor to pay and for assistance for low-income people, as well as many in the middle class. There also are some religious exemptions. Estimates vary widely of how many uninsured people will get insurance once it’s required in January 2014. About 4 million people would pay a penalty to the Internal Revenue Service for being uninsured in 2016, the Congressional Budget Office estimates. By 2016, the fine reaches $695 per uninsured adult or 2.5 percent of family income, up to $12,500 per year. The IRS is in charge of the penalties but can’t prosecute violators or place liens against them. Its only enforcement option may be withholding money from refunds. That leaves insurance companies, who stand to gain lots of new customers, worried that people instead will shrug off the weak mandate. Meanwhile, the state-federal Medicaid program will expand to cover more low-income people, and that’s another issue before the Supreme Court, because many states say they cannot afford the extra cost. — AP


SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

W H AT ’ S O N Greetings


e wish our precious son Mohammad Zaid a very happy birthday. May Allah bless you with good health and long life. Best wishes from mom, dad, cousins & relatives.

Announcements IOC arts cpmpetition Indian Overseas Congress, Kuwait is conducting Arts Competitions-2012 on 11th and 12 May 2012 at United Indian School. The winners of this prestigious competition will be awarded with trophies and medals. The awards will be distributed during the Gandhidarshan Program in October, this year. The competitions include Elocution, Solo, Poetry Recitation, Dance, Indian Patriotic Song, Mono act, Drawing/Painting and Poster Poetry. Although the competitions are mainly meant for children from various disciplines, Elocution and Indian Patriotic Song Competitions will be held for elders also. For entry forms, please contact the following collection points. Abbassiya - Hidine Super Market, Sakina Book Stall; Salmiya - Uduppi Restaurant, Sakina Book Stall; Riggae - Al Dallah Super Market; Fahaheel - Royal Mobile Services and Sales. For details, contact 24316426, 24884175, 24343173, 66110570, 66853100. Filled forms can be sent to fax : 24331461 or Email : Or deliver by hand to Sakina Book Stall, Abbassiya.

KNES secondary department takes part in community service event


econdary students at Kuwait National English School, in association with Starbucks about minimizing the environmental impact on our planet, took part in a Community Service event during the month of March. Fifty

Year 10 students from the Art and Design Department carry out this worthwhile community event with enthusiasm. Starting from scratch the future Artists participated in the event at different stages from the conception, to drawing

and painting. They managed to put together an amazing mural that highlighted the importance of recycling, reducing waste and encouraged reusing. The goal is to make people aware of the environmental impact on our planet. The

students from Kuwait National English School were so thrilled and enthusiastic they came up with great designs and mottos. We would like to thank Madame Chantal Al Gharabally, School Director, for supporting this mission.

Lecturers at AUK The Center for Gulf Studies (CGS) will be organizing the following events in March. Event Title: “The People are Missing” Lecturer By Dr Mai Al Nakib, on March 21, 2012 at 6-9 pm, AUK Auditorium. Event Description: Dr. Mai Al-Nakib’s presentation looks at the Palestinian community in Kuwait prior to the first Gulf War, and considers the ethical consequences to Kuwait after their expulsion in 1991. Event Title: City Images, on March 27, 2012, at 6-9 pm, AUK Auditorium. Event Description: This talk presents the issues surrounding the concept of ‘branding’ in relation to the city states of the Gulf, such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Qatar. Event Title: “Energy Conservation” Lecture by Jim Krane, on March 28, 2012 at 6-8 pm, AUK Auditorium. Event Description: The speaker discusses the energy consumption issue in the Gulf. He examines the role of government, the population, and the barriers to promoting less consumption and reforming the energy sector. All events are open for public. Desert get-together A full day in the desert with the collaboration of the BBF (British Business Forum), BLS (British Ladies Society), ANZAK (Australians & New Zealanders), Diwaniya Italia (Italians in Kuwait), UFE (French Community in Kuwait), and the Lebanese community as well. It’s a get together day with loads of fun and a chance to compete in a real Paint Ball arena in the desert, participate in a mini football tournament & volleyball tournament, and there will also be many other activities such as ATV (Quads) Karaoke and more! A BBQ buffet catering will be provided by Holiday Inn Salmiya, and entertainment will be provided by DJ Shatti and Chromatic Band). For more information and early booking please call 5010-0734. What do you get... When you mix African drums with a herd of elephants and delicious food, to which you add lots of African music & rhythms, unique fashion in a flavor of colors, a few drops of a sleepy panther, a mini African market and just the right amount of leopard spots... all sprinkled with inimitable African spirit? Come and find out on Thursday, 22 March At Holiday Inn Hotel (Salmiya), Al Dana Ballroom from 7 pm - 10 pm For details regarding participation in the kids’ contest “Best African Costume”, e contact Lorie Beverly at Kuwait Improv Fun lovers of Kuwait unite. A get together by people who love to surprise, be surprised and just be about at anything are welcome to Kuwait Improv, a gathering, reminiscent of the famous American TV program Whose Line is it Anyway, informally organized by American School of Kuwait teacher Brad Manker. No histrionic talent required, but a willingness to share. Please contact: Mega musical program in April Pravasaandhra Telugu Desam, Kuwait released publicity material and poster for prominent Telugu film hero Nandamuri Balakrishna’s Kuwait visit and upcoming mega musical program on April 6. Pravasaandhra Telugu Desam, NBK Seva Samithi organizing mega musical program with famous Telugu singers Simha and Kosalya troupe in Abbasiya open park next month. Balakrishna will be participating as the chief guest at this event. Nandamuri Balakrishna is popularly known as “Balayya” and “NBK” by his fans and admirers. He is the son of the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and Telugu film legend Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao.

Open day for traffic officers


rganizing committee for unified GCC traffic week, hosted by Kuwait during the period 11-17th March under the slogan “Let us work together to limit traffic accidents” organ-

ized an open day at the Officers Club in the presence of Follow Up and Coordination Department in traffic department and the chairman of the organizing committee Brig Nasser Al

Enezi. The event was sponsored by Zain Communication Co. The event included several educational activities recreation and competitions for young and old and gifts distributions to the audience by the

Blessen George Memorial Volleyball Tournament


lessen George Foundation, Kuwait is holding a Volleyball tournament in Kuwait, titled, Blessen George Memorial Volleyball Tournament in Kuwait from 12th April to 14th April 2012 at Indian Central School Court in Abbassiya in memory of late Blessen George, who was the best allrounder of his time in India in the Volleyball game and who played for Kerala University, Indian University, Kerala State and Indian National Teams and captained the University and State Teams. All the matches will be held in the evening from 5 pm to 10 pm under Floodlights. Top Indian Clubs in Kuwait with Players based in Kuwait and the Gulf will be competing in this Tournament. Former Kerala State, University and Indian Players are also

invited to attend the Tournament. At the Tournament venue, there will be photo show of the great Volleyball Players of Kerala and old Volleyabll Tournaments in which Blessen George, Jimmy George and other Top Players of Kerala and India played as well as Video airing of ASIAD in which the great Jimmy George palyed a pivotal role in gaining a Bronze medal for India. Volleyball was once the most played and watched Game in Kerala apart from Football. The objectives of Blessen George Foundation is to bring back the game of Volleyball to its pre-eminence among the most watched and played Games in India, particualrly in Kerala, to promote Sports and Games, encourage talented sportsmen and sportswomen by giving Awards to outstanding Volleyball Player and sportspersons in

Kerala in other branches of Sports and Games and Awards to the best Sportsperson among the School children in Indian Schools in Kuwait, and giving financial support (Scholarships, etc.,) to budding sports talents in the country who need financial support to progress further in their respective fields as well as to involve in Sports and Games related activities in Kerala and Kuwait. Blessen Geroge Memorial Volleyball Tournament is a beginning towards fulfilling the objectives of the Foundation and I request the wholehearted support and partronage of all Sports Lovers and Lovers and Fans of Volleyball to make this Tournament a grand success by attending the Tournament and contributions of sponsorships of Awards and Scholarships.

sponsoring company. Fire department participated in exhibition fire fighting vehicles to acquaint people with the way it works in case of disasters.

Battle of the bands


on Bosco Past Pupils Association (DBPPA) Presents “Battle of the Bands - Simply Unplugged - 2012”. This is a high intensity competition among the music bands in Kuwait. The competition has been divided into 3 groups Subjuniors / Juniors / Seniors. 8yrs and below sub-juniors...2 song; 9yrs to 16yrs - juniors....2 songs; 17yrs to 25yrs - seniors...2 songs. The event will be held on Friday, April 27, 2012 at the IEAS Auditorium, Salmiya, Kuwait. A ‘one of its kind’ event where young and old can display their music skills. This is simply an exhibition of RAW TALENT...... This invitation is to all music lovers and groups in Kuwait - Unearth your talent in front of a magnificent crowd. Entries invited for the various groups. Please more info and confirmation, contact:, or


SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

W H AT ’ S O N

Mother’s Day Discount with ABK & Damas


l Ahli Bank of Kuwait together with Damas invite ABK credit and debit card holders to a 35% discount on any purchase of diamonds or pearls from Damas to celebrate the upcoming Mother’s Day. Mr. Stewart Lockie, GM Retail Banking at ABK commented that, “Mother’s Day is an occasion we all celebrate to honour mothers, and present them with a small token to

acknowledge their unconditional love and care. What better token could be there than the most exquisite jewels from Damas’ diamonds or pearls collection.” Mr. Lockie added that, “this exquisite offer is only valid on purchases made between the 15th - 21st of March, so visit any Damas showroom, use your ABK credit or debit card and purchase your mother a gift she will never forget. This

offer is valid only on the diamond and pearl collections.” For more information about our latest offers, please visit any of our ABK branches throughout Kuwait or call Ahlan Ahli at 1899899. Alternatively you can visit our website at where you can chat live regarding any of your banking queries, with our ABK client service manager on Ahli Chat.

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

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St., Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. The reception is closed from 12:30 to 01:00 pm for lunch break. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 A.M until 12:00 P.M on Sunday through Wednesday. Canada offers a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that Consular Officials can contact and assist Canadians in an emergency in a foreign country, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform Canadians of a family emergency at home. The Embassy of Canada encourages all Canadian Citizens to register online through the Government of Canada Travel Website at The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at nnnnnnn

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

Kaico Hala open day


n the occasion of Kuwait National and Liberation day, Kuwait Automotive Imports Co WLL (Al Shaya & Al Sagar), a leading automotive and auto products distributor of brands such as Mazda, Peugeot, Eicher, BAW, Geely, Apollo, Michelin, BF Goodrich, Mobil, Sherwin Williams, held

an open day for its employees themed KAICO HALA on 24 Feb 2012 at Qadsiya Stadium. The celebration was kicked off by a short speech given by Mr Ashish Tandon, General Manager of Al Shaya & Al Sagar, in which he thanked all the employees for their outstanding efforts

and hard work during 2011. He emphasized that they are one team and the main goal is to deliver the best to KAICO customers in line with KAICO business philosophy “Customer is #1”. Mr Tandon added that 2012 would be the year for KAICO to break all barriers. KAICO Hala Open Day was full of fun

sports activities like cricket, football and tug-of-war between the management and employees. Children were entertained with games and drawing competition. The event concluded with a sumptuous buffet lunch and raffle draw for the staff.

Centrepoint makes it special for moms on Mother’s Day


his mother’s day delight and surprise your mother with a wide array of fashion and accessories from Centrepoint. Gift her with a KD 20 Gift Voucher and get a KD 5 Gift Voucher absolutely free. An exciting new collection is now available in stores for you to check out and promises to completely bowl you over with a wide variety of styles and accessories to

MMF elects new office-bearers


Sajeev K Peter

Girish Ottapalam

Vinod V Nair

alayali Media Forum (MMF), Kuwait held its annual general body meeting on Friday at the United Indian School, Abbassiya and elected its office-bearers and executive members for the year 2012-2013. Sajeev K Peter, Business Editor, Kuwait Times was elected as the General Convener while Vinod V Nair, Bureau Chief, Jeevan TV and Girish Ottapalam, reporter, Jai Hind TV were elected as conveners. Abdul Fattah Thayyil, Anil Keloth Nambiar, Anil P Alex, Azeez Thikkodi, Gafoor Moodadi, Junoob PP, Mohammad Riyaz, Noufal Moodadi, Nixon George, Sathar Kunnil, Siddique Valiyakath, Sunoj K. P and Thomas Mathew Kadavil were elected as executive members. The meeting was presided over by outgoing General Convener Siddique Valiyakath. Thomas Mathew Kadavil welcomed the members while Sunoj KP presented the annual reports.

choose from across the various brands. Centrepoint, the popular shopping destination in Kuwait is pulling out all stops to craft a number of opportunities to show your mum that you truly care. “It’s nice to show your mum you appreciate her and it is even better to have a special day once a year to show appreciation. We have this special promotion available only for a few days,

thus, go ahead and surprise your mothers with a voucher or shop her desire at Centrepoint. Your favorite shopping destination once again has it all to surprise your mum and fulfill all her shopping needs! Stop by at any of the stores located at Al Rai, Hawally, Salmiya, Kuwait City, Fahaheel, Fintas, Jahra from 18th -22nd March 2012 to avail this promotion.

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

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

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

Future Eye Theatre 2nd anniversary on April 13


uture Eye Theatre, Kuwait will celebrate its second anniversary on April 13, 2012 (6 pm to 9.30pm on Friday) at the Indian Central School auditorium, Abbassiya. Future Eye Theatre members will showcase a variety of theatre productions during the celebration entitled ‘Kaliyarangu.’ Manjulan, a well-known film and theatre personality from Kerala, will be the chief guest of the this year’s celebration, whose path-breaking solo drama ‘Koonan’ has broken all records in Malayalam theatre arena. Manjulan’s solo drama ‘Koonan’ will be a major attraction of the anniversary celebration and will certainly be a treat for theatre lovers in Kuwait. Manjulan, a first rank holder from the School of Drama, Trichur and a post-graduate in Classical Indian Theatre, has acted in several Malayalam films including ‘December’, ‘Vadhakramam’, ‘Aparachithan’ ‘Prajapathi’ etc and in many TV serials.


EMBASSY OF VENEZUELA Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, request Venezuelan citizens living in Kuwait to register with the Embassy, This registration service is provided so that the Embassy can update its contact list and assist Venezuelan citizens in cases os emergencies. Registration Information 25324367 or by email: Our time is from Sunday to Thursday from 8.30am till 2 pm. nnnnnnn

The highlight of the celebration will be the staging of the Malayalam version of Samuel Beckett’s most celebrated play ‘Waiting for Godot,’ by Future Eye Theatre members. It is scripted by Kadammanitta Ramakrishnan and directed by Future Eye Theatre Vice president Shemej Kumar.

A theatre sketch in English based on Bertolt Brecht’s popular play ‘Threepenny Opera’ will also be staged on the occasion. The sketch is directed by Prof John Mathews. All theatre lovers are welcome. For details: 99483940/97106957/65018302/66 726427.

P Jayachandran to perform in Kuwait


opular south Indian singer P Jayachandran, who has won one National Award, four Kerala State Awards and four Tamil Nadu State Awards, will perform in Kuwait on March 23, 2012 during stage mega show by Kalanjali Kuwait. He has recorded songs in Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Hindi languages. Jayachandran

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

is also affectionately called the ‘Bhava Gayakan. Jayachandran has carved his own niche in the South Indian music and till now has over 10000 recorded songs to his credit in Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu. The intensity of this mellifluous voice could do such justice to love and romantic songs that

Jayachandran is considered to be the most suited and god-gifted singer of love songs. For Jayachandran, age too has not been a barrier over the years of singing. Major Ravi, a well known Malayalam Film Director will be an added attraction during the show. Major A.K. Ravindran, (alias) Major Ravi is a former Indian Army Officer & a Malayalam filmmaker.

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

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

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


ANIMAL PLANET 00:50 Animal Cops Philadelphia 01:45 Untamed & Uncut 02:40 Amba The Russian Tiger 03:35 Karina: Wild On Safari 04:30 Animal Planet’s Most Outrageous 05:25 Wild France 06:20 Escape To Chimp Eden 06:45 In Too Deep 07:10 Animal Cops Philadelphia 08:00 Monkey Life 08:25 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 09:15 Crocodile Hunter 10:10 Pandamonium 11:05 The Really Wild Show 12:00 Gorilla School 12:25 Project Puppy 12:55 Corwin’s Quest 13:50 Wild France 15:40 Wildlife SOS 16:35 Animal Planet’s Most Outrageous 17:30 Wild Animal Orphans 18:25 Venom Hunter With Donald Schultz 19:20 Big Five Challenge 20:15 Untamed China With Nigel Marven 21:10 Weird Creatures With Nick Baker 22:05 Austin Stevens: Most Dangerous... 23:00 Wild France

00:10 The Impressions Show 00:40 Born and Bred 01:35 Rob Brydon’s Annually Retentive 02:05 Beautiful People 02:30 Doctor Who 03:15 The Weakest Link 04:00 Fimbles 04:20 Charlie and Lola 04:30 Jackanory Junior 04:45 Boogie Beebies 05:00 Buzz & Tell 05:05 Tikkabilla 05:35 3rd & Bird 05:45 The Adventures of Spot 05:50 Fimbles 06:10 Charlie and Lola 06:20 Jackanory Junior 06:35 Boogie Beebies 06:45 Buzz & Tell 06:50 Tikkabilla 07:20 3rd & Bird 07:30 The Adventures of Spot 07:35 Allo ‘Allo! 08:05 The Weakest Link 08:50 Doctor Who 09:35 Keeping Up Appearances 10:10 Casualty 11:00 Orang-Utan Diary 11:30 Allo ‘Allo! 12:00 The Weakest Link 12:45 Lark Rise to Candleford 13:35 Doctors 14:05 Doctors 15:35 Doctors 16:05 Doctor Who 16:50 Allo ‘Allo! 17:20 Keeping Up Appearances 17:50 Monarch Of The Glen 18:40 Orang-Utan Diary 19:10 Lark Rise to Candleford 20:00 Jekyll 20:50 Waking The Dead 21:40 Last Woman Standing 22:30 Red Cap 23:25 The Weakest Link

00:00 01:40 02:30 03:20 04:10 04:55 06:30 08:00 14:30

Gok’s Fashion Fix Diy SOS Holmes On Homes What Not To Wear Coleen’s Real Women Gok’s Fashion Fix Cash In The Attic USA MasterChef Australia 10 Years Younger

15:20 17:00 17:55 18:45 19:35 20:20 22:00 23:50

Gok’s Fashion Fix Diy SOS Holmes On Homes What Not To Wear Coleen’s Real Women Gok’s Fashion Fix The Restaurant UK Gok’s Fashion Fix

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

Wacky Races Dastardly And Muttley New Yogi Bear Show Duck Dodgers The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop Tom & Jerry Kids A Pup Named Scooby-Doo The Jetsons Puppy In My Pocket Popeye Tom & Jerry Looney Tunes Scooby Doo Where Are You! Droopy: Master Detective Wacky Races The Flintstones A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Popeye Classics Wacky Races Pink Panther And Pals Pink Panther And Pals Gerald McBoing Boing Bananas In Pyjamas Baby Looney Tunes Jelly Jamm The Garfield Show The Looney Tunes Show Scooby Doo Where Are You! Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Tom & Jerry Wacky Races Scooby Cinema Pink Panther And Pals Pink Panther And Pals Looney Tunes Scooby-Doo And Scrappy-

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

A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Puppy In My Pocket Pink Panther And Pals Pink Panther And Pals Tom & Jerry Kids The Garfield Show The Looney Tunes Show Scooby Doo Where Are You! The Scooby Doo Show Pink Panther & Pals The Jetsons Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries The Garfield Show Duck Dodgers The Flintstones Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch Popeye Scooby-Doo And Scrappy-

Mainsail World Sport World Report Talk Asia World Report World Report This Week CNN Marketplace Europe CNN Marketplace Africa The Brief CNN Presents CNN Newsroom World View Inside Africa World Sport Inside The Middle East World Report CNN Marketplace Middle East Talk Asia World Report CNN Marketplace Europe Eco Solutions World Sport Living Golf African Voices The Brief World Report News Special CNN Presents World Report

14:30 15:00 16:00 17:00 17:30 18:00 18:15 18:30 18:45 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 21:30

Cnngo Fareed Zakaria Gps State Of The Union International Desk Inside Africa Global Exchange CNN Marketplace Africa Global Exchange CNN Marketplace Middle East World Sport Mainsail International Desk African Voices International Desk Inside The Middle East

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

Programmes Start At 7:00am

00:15 01:05 01:55 02:45 03:35 04:25 05:15 06:00 06:25 06:40 Cody 07:05 07:30 07:55 08:20 08:45 09:10 09:35 10:00 10:25 11:54 12:05 12:25 12:30 12:55 13:20 13:45 14:10 14:35 15:00 15:25 15:50 16:12 17:30 Board 19:00 19:10 19:35 20:00 20:25 20:50 21:15 22:43 22:55 23:20 Cody 23:45

Kid vs Kat Pokemon: Black And White Phineas And Ferb I’m In The Band Rated A For Awesome Pair Of Kings Rekkit Rabbit Scaredy Squirrel Zeke & Luther I’m In The Band Phineas And Ferb Pokemon: Black And White Pair Of Kings Jumping Ship Kickin It Pair Of Kings Phineas And Ferb Rekkit Rabbit Zeke & Luther Pair Of Kings I’m In The Band Rated A For Awesome Kickin It Phineas And Ferb Scaredy Squirrel Pokemon: Black And White Kick Buttowski Zeke & Luther I’m In The Band Pair Of Kings

Replacements Fairly Odd Parents A Kind Of Magic Stitch Replacements Fairly Odd Parents A Kind Of Magic Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates The Suite Life Of Zack And So Random Fish Hooks Timon And Pumbaa Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Jessie Shake It Up A.N.T. Farm Johnny Tsunami Phineas And Ferb Fish Hooks Have A Laugh Shake It Up Good Luck Charlie A.N.T. Farm Recess Timon And Pumbaa Wizards Of Waverly Place So Random Phineas And Ferb Shake It Up So Random Johnny Kapahala: Back On Have A Laugh So Random Wizards Of Waverly Place Jessie Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Johnny Tsunami Phineas And Ferb Fish Hooks The Suite Life Of Zack And Sonny With A Chance


00:40 I Escaped: Real Prison Breaks 01:35 Mobster Confessions 02:05 Destroyed In Seconds 02:30 How It’s Made 03:00 How Does It Work 03:25 How It’s Made 03:55 How Do They Do It? 04:20 How It’s Made 04:50 How Do They Do It? 05:15 How It’s Made 05:40 How Do They Do It? 06:05 How It’s Made 06:35 How Do They Do It? 07:00 How Do They Do It? 07:25 American Chopper: Senior vs Junior 08:15 Fifth Gear 09:10 Street Customs 10:05 Dirty Money 12:20 Border Security 14:35 Cash Cab Us 16:55 Cake Boss 19:10 Nextworld 20:05 The Future Of... 21:00 Mythbusters 21:55 Walking The Amazon 22:50 Surviving The Cut 23:45 Surviving The Cut

00:40 01:35 02:25 02:50 07:10 08:00 08:55 08:58 09:25 09:55 10:45 11:35 15:45 15:48 16:15 16:45 17:10 18:00 18:50 19:15 19:40 20:30 21:20 22:10 23:00 23:50

Meteorite Men Mega World The Tech Show Prototype This Future Weapons Future Weapons Head Rush Sci-Fi Science Weird Connections Smash Lab Catch It Keep It Prototype This Head Rush Sci-Fi Science Weird Connections The Tech Show Future Weapons Sci-Trek Bang Goes The Theory Bang Goes The Theory Meteorite Men Killer Outbreaks Mega World Tech Toys 360 Meteorite Men Killer Outbreaks

00:15 Bobby Chinn Cooks Asia 00:40 Meat & Potatoes 01:05 Reza, Spice Prince Of India 01:30 Good Eats 01:55 Tasting Ireland 02:45 Bobby’s Ireland 03:35 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 04:25 Bobby Chinn Cooks Asia 05:15 Unique Sweets 05:40 Good Eats 06:05 Aarti Party 06:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 06:50 Food Network Challenge 07:35 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 08:00 Food Network Challenge 08:50 Reza, Spice Prince Of India 09:15 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 09:40 Good Eats 10:05 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 10:30 Paula’s Best Dishes 10:55 Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam 11:20 Lidia’s Italy 11:45 30 Minute Meals 12:10 Unwrapped 12:35 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 13:00 Good Eats 13:25 Guy’s Big Bite 13:50 Aarti Party 14:15 Cooking For Real 14:40 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 15:05 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 15:30 Unwrapped 15:55 Paula’s Best Dishes 16:20 Meat & Potatoes 16:45 Chopped 17:35 Cooking For Real 18:00 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 18:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:50 Aarti Party 19:15 Good Eats 19:40 Chef vs Britain 20:05 Meat & Potatoes 20:30 Food Network Challenge

00:20 Special Agent Oso 00:50 Lazytown 01:15 Little Einsteins 01:40 Jungle Junction 02:10 Little Einsteins 02:30 Special Agent Oso 03:00 Lazytown 03:25 Little Einsteins 03:50 Jungle Junction 04:20 Little Einsteins 04:40 Special Agent Oso 05:10 Lazytown 05:35 Little Einsteins 06:00 Jungle Junction 06:30 Little Einsteins 06:50 Lazytown 07:15 Jungle Junction 07:45 Handy Manny 08:00 Special Agent Oso 08:15 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 08:40 Jungle Junction 08:55 Little Einsteins 09:20 The Hive 09:30 101 Dalmatians 10:45 Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 11:45 Art Attack 12:10 Imagination Movers 12:30 The Hive 12:40 Lazytown 13:05 The Hive 13:15 Mouk 13:45 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 14:15 The Hive 14:25 Timmy Time 14:35 Special Agent Oso 14:50 101 Dalmatians 16:05 Mouk 16:45 Jungle Junction 17:05 Handy Manny 17:20 Lazytown 17:45 Art Attack

18:10 101 Dalmatians 19:25 The Hive 19:40 Jungle Junction 20:00 Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 20:05 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 20:25 101 Dalmatians 20:50 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 21:05 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 21:20 The Hive 21:30 Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 21:35 A Poem Is... 21:40 Animated Stories 21:45 Mouk 22:00 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 22:25 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 22:40 Special Agent Oso 22:55 Little Einsteins 23:20 Timmy Time 23:30 Jungle Junction 23:45 Handy Manny 23:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

00:25 Kendra 00:55 Style Star 01:25 E!es 02:20 E! Investigates 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Then And Now 05:30 Wildest TV Show Moments 06:00 50 Cutest Child Stars: All Grown Up 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Extreme Close-Up 10:15 E!es 11:10 Ice Loves Coco 12:05 E! News 13:05 Style Star 14:05 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 15:00 Dirty Soap 16:55 Behind The Scenes 17:55 E! News 18:55 Scouted 19:55 Kendra 20:25 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 21:25 Khloe And Lamar 22:25 E! News 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians

00:00 X Games Heroes 00:50 Wrestling With Reality 02:30 M1 Selection 2010 03:20 Dragrace High 05:00 Carpocalypse 05:50 FIM World Supermoto 2010 07:30 Ticket To Ride 2009/2010 09:00 FIM World Motocross MX3 Championships... 10:40 X Games 16 2010 11:30 Summer Dew Tour 2010 12:20 FIM World Supermoto 2010 14:00 Mantracker 14:50 Formula Drift 2011 15:40 Fantasy Factory 17:20 Man’s Work 18:10 Best Of The Streets 19:00 Formula Drift 2011 19:50 FIM World Supermoto 2010 21:30 Mantracker 22:20 Ed’s Up 23:10 Formula Drift 2011

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

A Haunting Mysterious Journeys The Haunted Ghost Lab A Haunting Mysterious Journeys True Crime With Aphrodite

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

Departures The Ride: Alaska To Patagonia Madventures Departures Word Travels Word Travels Don’t Tell My Mother Don’t Tell My Mother Departures The Ride: Alaska To Patagonia Madventures Departures Word Travels Word Travels Don’t Tell My Mother Don’t Tell My Mother Departures Meet The Natives: USA Young Global Hotshots One Man & His Campervan Bondi Rescue Endurance Traveller Long Way Down The Best Job In The World Calcutta Or Bust Earth Tripping Meet The Natives: USA Young Global Hotshots One Man & His Campervan Bondi Rescue Endurance Traveller Long Way Down The Best Job In The World

Disappeared Mystery Diagnosis FBI Files Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? True Crime With Aphrodite Disappeared Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Mall Cops – Mall Of America True Crime With Aphrodite Disappeared FBI Files Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Real Emergency Calls Mystery Diagnosis Mall Cops – Mall Of America True Crime With Aphrodite Disappeared Behind Mansion Walls Kidnap And Rescue


00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 18 14:00 15:30 18:15 18 20:00 22:00

Splinter-18 RoboCop 3-PG15 Gridlock’d-18 Rocky II-PG15 Arctic Predator-PG15 The Warrior’s Way-PG15 The Haunting Of Molly HartleyArctic Predator-PG15 2012-PG15 The Haunting Of Molly HartleyHomecoming-18 Icarus-18

01:00 Vinyan-18 03:00 The Roommate-PG15 05:00 Gasland-PG15 07:00 Yona Yona Penguin-PG 09:00 Elle: A Modern Cinderella Tale-PG15 11:00 Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides-PG15 13:15 My Dog Tulip-PG15 15:00 Letters To Juliet-PG15 17:00 Elle: A Modern Cinderella Tale-PG15 19:00 Despicable Me-FAM

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Saturday Night Live 02:30 The Cleveland Show 03:00 Parks And Recreation 03:30 2 Broke Girls 04:00 Dharma And Greg 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 The Simpsons 06:00 Just Shoot Me 06:30 Yes Dear 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Dharma And Greg 08:30 Parks And Recreation 09:00 The Simpsons 09:30 The Office 10:00 Man Up! 10:30 Yes Dear 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Just Shoot Me 12:30 Dharma And Greg 13:00 The Simpsons 13:30 Yes Dear 14:00 2 Broke Girls 14:30 Man Up! 15:00 The Office 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Just Shoot Me 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Friends With Benefits 18:30 Friends With Benefits 19:00 Two And A Half Men 19:30 Hot In Cleveland 20:00 Whitney 20:30 Allen Gregory

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

Kalifornia-18 Gridlock’d-18 Army Of Darkness-18 What Lies Beneath-PG15 Largo Winch 2-PG15 Fighting-PG15 The Front-PG15 Largo Winch 2-PG15 Little Big Soldier-PG15 Full Metal Jacket-18 Jason X-18 Luster-18

18:00 Love Hurts-PG15 20:00 Cemetery Junction-PG15 22:00 Greenberg-18

21:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 22:00 Prizefighter

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

00:00 Mega Movers 01:00 Pub Dig 02:00 Lost Worlds 03:00 America: The Story Of The Us 04:00 How Britain Bridges The World 05:00 Mega Movers 06:00 Mega Movers 07:00 Pub Dig 08:00 Lost Worlds 09:00 America: The Story Of The Us 10:00 How Britain Bridges The World 11:00 Mega Movers 12:00 Mega Movers 13:00 Pub Dig 14:00 Lost Worlds 15:00 America: The Story Of The Us 16:00 How Britain Bridges The World 17:00 Mega Movers 18:00 Mega Movers 19:00 Pub Dig 20:00 Mud Men 21:00 Pawn Stars 21:30 Pawn Stars 22:00 Ancient Aliens 23:00 The Universe

Dare-18 A Soldier’s Love Story-PG15 The Sorcerer’s ApprenticeMorning Glory-PG15 The Bounty Hunter-PG15 Napoleon Dynamite-PG Film Socialisme-PG15 Bond Of Silence-PG15 The Bounty Hunter-PG15 Faster-PG15 Country Strong-PG15 Little Fockers-PG15

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

Turtle Hero: Part I-FAM Free Birds-FAM Gladiators: The Conspiracy-PG Turtle Hero: Part I-FAM Legend Of Sleeping BeautyCars 2-FAM Alex & Alexis-FAM Gladiators: The Conspiracy-PG Turtle Hero: Part II-FAM Cars 2-FAM Gladiators: The Tournament Alex & Alexis-FAM

00:00 02:00 04:00 10:00 12:00 13:00 13:30 15:30 16:00 20:00 20:30 22:30 23:30

Super Rugby Super Rugby Live NRL Premiership NRL Premiership Volvo Ocean Race Volvo Ocean Race Highlights NRL Premiership Futbol Mundial Live European PGA Tour Volvo Ocean Race Highlights Super Rugby UFC The Ultimate Fighter Volvo Ocean Race

00:30 Super League 02:15 Volvo Ocean Race 03:45 Live Volvo Ocean Race 05:00 Trans World Sport 06:00 ICC Cricket World 06:30 Futbol Mundial 07:00 Live NRL Premiership 09:00 Anglo Welsh Cup 11:30 Super League 13:30 Trans World Sport 14:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 15:00 Live Scottish Premier League 17:00 Total Rugby 17:30 Futbol Mundial 18:00 Live Scottish League Cup 20:30 Scottish Premier League 22:30 Volvo Ocean Race Highlights 23:00 NRL Premiership

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Time 0:10 0:20 0:20 0:35 0:45 0:50 1:45 2:15 2:35 2:55 2:55 3:00 3:05 3:10 3:10 3:15 4:40 5:15 5:30 6:00 6:00 6:20 6:40 6:45 7:40 7:45 7:50 7:50 7:55 8:05 8:10 8:15 8:30 9:00 9:05 9:15 9:20 9:40 9:55 10:30 11:10 11:20 11:35 11:35 11:55 12:35 12:55 13:00 13:05 13:10 13:20 13:25 13:25 13:45 13:50 14:30 14:40 14:45 14:50 15:00 15:15 15:20 15:25 16:10 16:25 16:50 16:55 17:15 17:20 17:40 17:45 18:10 18:15 18:25 18:40 18:45 18:50 19:05 19:10 19:15 19:25 19:30 19:35 19:50 20:00 20:10 20:15 20:30 20:30 20:50 20:55 21:00 21:15 21:20 21:25 21:35 21:40 21:45 21:55 22:00 22:05 22:05 22:45 23:50



Time 0:05 0:50 1:00 1:20 1:55 2:45 3:15 3:30 3:45 3:50 3:55 4:00 4:00 4:40 5:40 6:55 7:00 7:10 7:30 8:00 8:25 8:40 8:55 9:00 9:00 9:05 9:15 9:25 9:30 9:35 9:40 9:45 10:00 10:00 10:05 10:10 10:25 10:40 10:40 10:45 11:45 12:00 12:10 12:15 12:15 12:30 12:35 12:55 13:00 13:35 13:40 13:50 13:55 14:10 14:20 14:25 14:35 14:45 15:05 15:25 15:25 15:35 15:45 15:50 15:50 16:25 17:15 17:25 17:35 17:40 18:10 18:15 18:25 18:35 18:45 19:05 19:05 19:10 19:20 19:55 20:15 20:20 20:40 21:00 21:05 21:10 21:15 21:50 21:55 22:00 22:20 22:25 22:30 22:35 22:45 22:45 22:50 23:00 23:30 23:35 23:45 23:45 23:55 23:59

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available in two bed room flat, one furnished room available for family in Salmiya behind fire station. Contact: 25618576, Mob: 66373409 after 2 pm. 18-3-2012 Room available in Salmiya near City Center for decent bachelor, rent KD 75 (Pakistani or Indian). Tel: 99959140. (C 3914) Accommodation available for non smoking decent bachelor in Khaitan with separate bathroom and CA/C, sharing with Sri Lankan family. Contact: 66704630. (C 3913) 15-3-2012 Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya with Keralite Christian family near German clinic, rent KD 55 (Christian visiting couples only). Contact: 97145592. (C 3909) 13-3-2012 Accommodation available in Abbassiya double bedroom flat, two bachelors accommodation available April 1st, rent KD 40. Contact: 99162583. (C 3900) Sharing accommodation in Farwaniya near Gulf Mart, big room for bachelor or couple, Filipino only, available April 21. Contact: 94418396. 10-3-2012

FOR SALE Toyota Yaris model 2011 car, 4 cylinder strong engine km done 35000, registration March 2014, grey color, excellent condition, installment possible, cash price KD 2880, negotiable. Tel: 99105286. (C 3916) 17-3-2012 Toyota Prado 2006, golden color, 6 clr, 4 doors, km 101000. Price KD 5250. Mob: 66729295. (C 3908) 13-3-2012

VW Tiguan (car) 2010, exterior white, interior black / Tan manual gear, in great condition, 22000 mph, under Kuwait warranty. Price KD 4900. Contact: 66663494. (C 3907) Mitsubishi Pajero 2003, baige color, GLX, 1,35000 km, 2 doors, 6 cyl, (one owner, company maintained). Contact: 66133001. 12-3-2012 Lady driven Land Rover model 1996, passing up to Nov 2012, available for sale, KD 550. Contact: 97358878. (C 3905) 11-3-2012

MATRIMONIAL Alliance sought for Brahmin boy aged 28, decently employed in Kuwait, from parents of girls preferably employed in Kuwait. Please contact: 11-3-2012

LOST Lost Indian Passport No. Z1959053, finder please call 99866856 or Indian Embassy 22530600, will be rewarded. (C 3901) 10-3-2012

No: 15391

SITUATION WANTED 25 years experienced Indian seeking part time or full time assignment in finance management/ development analysis, or internal auditing or any other senior position any big company. Contact: 65802853. (C 3910) 18-3-2012 Female, MBA, with total 8 years experience (3 years, in Kuwait). Specialized in all areas of HR/Admin functions of big companies. Looking for suitable post. Contact: 94062123. (C 3902) 10-3-2012

CHANGE OF NAME I, Kandli Qadar Shaikh Ahmed, Indian Passport No: E5351994, hereby change my name to Kadar Ahmed Kundlik. (C 3906) 11-3-2012

SITUATION VACANT Manager (Asian) in Maidan Hawally looking for a maid.

Part time. Good salary. Call 97263962 for details. (C 3915) 17-3-2012 A Kuwaiti family looks to hire experienced driver and cook. Contact: 97691119. (C 3911) Housemaid wanted for an Indian doctor family in Kuwait City. Call 55003696 / 55003699. (C 3912) 14-3-2012

TUITION Math teacher for secondar y stage, language schools, bi-lingual schools and intermediate stage: Algebra, Gmath, Geometry, Statistics for arts and science branches. Tel: 66974020. English language teacher specialized in starting elementary and intermediate, 10th and 11th experienced in starting functions, grammar, set book, vocabulary, notes and model exams available. Tel: 65791555. Arabic language teacher, masters in methods of teaching for secondary and intermediate students. Tel: 50644685.


SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

stars CROSSWORD 620



Aries (March 21-April 19) You are enthusiastic today in just about anything you attempt. You could sway others to your way of seeing with clever arguments. Companionship with others is most rewarding and you should take every opportunity to be with friends. You are helping them as much as their presence is helping you. You work to create pleasant surroundings in your home and you may find that friends and neighbors will be in the mood to stay a bit longer than necessary. You may volunteer some of your time to help an elderly person in your neighborhood, or in your family—perhaps in shopping or cleaning. Communal activities, perhaps surrounding a charity or park program, should be successful today. A relationship that has been on hold could flower now.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) This is an excellent time to sit down alone and get many things accomplished—letter writing, list making, phone calls, etc. If you take the initiative, a goal that seemed beyond your reach may be obtainable soon. You have a great desire to succeed and you will probably be planning and allocating out what help you will need. Do not forget to compliment and reward the people that help you today. Working with partners in an open, honest environment can only bring good fortune to you now. You, your friends and your loved ones will all experience tremendous changes in your lives. This is an excellent time for spiritual growth and a deeper understanding of the forces that move the world and each other. Communication is good with the opposite sex.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. A rapid bustling commotion. 4. (Norse mythology) The heavenly dwelling of the Norse gods (the Aesir) and slain war heroes. 10. A master's degree in business. 13. Game in which matchsticks are arranged in rows and players alternately remove one or more of them. 14. The time that the curfew signal is sounded. 15. An associate degree in applied science. 16. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 17. North American rat snakes. 18. The syllable naming the sixth (submediant) note of a major or minor scale in solmization. 19. A Nilo-Saharan language spoken in parts of Chad. 21. In an unnatural eery manner. 23. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 24. Any of numerous low-growing cushion-forming plants of the genus Draba having rosette-forming leaves and terminal racemes of small flowers with scapose or leafy stems. 26. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 28. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 29. The 19th letter of the Greek alphabet. 32. The sacred city of Lamaism. 35. A person who announces and plays popular recorded music. 38. A heavy brittle metallic element of the platinum group. 39. The 12th letter of the Hebrew alphabet. 41. French philosopher and theologian. 44. A long thin fluffy scarf of feathers or fur. 45. Tall feather palm of northern Brazil with hard-shelled nuts yielding valuable oil and a kind of vegetable ivory. 46. (astronomy) The angular distance of a celestial point measured westward along the celestial equator from the zenith crossing. 48. A rare silvery (usually trivalent) metallic element. 50. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 51. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 53. A public promotion of some product or service. 54. A colorless element that is one of the six inert gasses. 56. In favor of (an action or proposal etc.). 59. Any culture medium that uses agar as the gelling agent. 64. (Babylonian) God of wisdom and agriculture and patron of scribes and schools. 65. In bed. 66. Port city that is the capital and largest city of Latvia. 67. An administrator in charge of a division of a university or college. 68. Offering fun and gaiety. 69. Harsh or corrosive in tone. DOWN 1. Squash bugs. 2. The basic unit of money in Yemen. 3. A member of the Siouan people formerly living in the Missouri river valley in NE Nebraska. 4. Type genus of the Aceraceae. 5. Type genus of the Sulidae. 6. The father of your father or mother. 7. An abnormally large amount of this fetoprotein in the fetus can signal an abnormality of the neural tube (as spina bifida or anencephaly). 8. Hear or try a court case anew. 9. A person of unquestioning obedience. 10. A landlocked republic in northwestern Africa. 11. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 12. Pale gray. 20. Lower in esteem. 22. An intensely radioactive metallic element that occurs in minute amounts in uranium ores. 25. The seventh month of the Moslem calendar. 27. Having undesirable or negative qualities. 30. Affected manners intended to impress others. 31. Relating to the Urdu language. 33. 10 hao equal 1 dong. 34. A woman hired to suckle a child of someone else. 36. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 37. (botany) Of or relating to the axil. 40. Hormone produced early in pregnancy by the placenta. 42. The cry made by sheep. 43. Free of or using methods to keep free of pathological microorganisms. 44. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 47. American professional baseball player who hit more home runs than Babe Ruth (born in 1934). 48. A trivalent metallic element of the rare earth group. 49. Jordan's port. 52. American novelist (1909-1955). 53. (astronomy) The angular distance of a celestial point measured westward along the celestial equator from the zenith crossing. 55. The basic unit of money in Cambodia. 56. The sense organ for hearing and equilibrium. 57. East Indian cereal grass whose seed yield a somewhat bitter flour, a staple in the Orient. 58. Toward the mouth or oral region. 60. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 61. Someone (especially a woman) who annoys people by constantly finding fault. 62. A federal agency established to regulate the release of new foods and health-related products. 63. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You are welcome wherever you go and you have an insatiable urge to wander. Friends are always glad to have you as a house guest. If you are an artist, you may have decided that a different part of the city, state or country would afford you the exact view you needed to complete some creative task. You have outstanding mental qualities and an ability to handle details. You are dedicated to a certain goal just now and seem ready to throw yourself into a particular cause without expecting the rewards. You could find that you are appreciated or valued for your ability to grow and learn and accomplish. Basically you have an unbiased mind that sees past the frustrations that may occur. Young people enjoy your encouragement.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


You have had a tough work week and greatly desire peace and quiet in the family setting today. Parental instincts may come to the forefront now, and you enjoy the creative effort it takes to appease any discord in the home. Also, there is a strong wish to make your surroundings as pleasant as possible. It would be a good idea, weather permitting, to escape the four walls and go to the zoo or some other fun exhibit. It will probably be in the process of a cleanup for spring and you will most likely see new animals. If you are alone, invite a friend or neighbor. Being more closely involved with another person may well become your highest priority now. Marriage, contracts and partnerships are seen as keys to success and happiness at this time.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Today you may be visiting and enjoying time with your friends from work. This could mean a company picnic, convention or some other group gathering that includes your co-workers. You are apt to spend a great deal of time communicating with co-workers apart from work. Keep an open mind about all ideas or proposals today; mostly pay attention to the details involved. This may not only be financial interests, it could include romantic interests—careful. Your ability to get along with family and friends could be tested. This may only mean that you have a hard time knowing where to draw the line when it comes to mixing friends from home and friends from work—gently. The power of your ego is strong; consider placing romance on hold for now.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) You have all the confidence you need to tackle most any sort of task today. You are invigorated and feel extremely well disposed to friends and loved ones just now. Group activities, whether they are social or sports related, will be both well attended and fun. There may be an opportunity for an overdue emotional talk with a loved one. Being more involved with neighbors, friends or sibling(s) satisfies a deep emotional need. A number of options present themselves, such as a block party a cleanup committee, helping at a book sale or a joint effort for a volunteer organization. Your professional life is exciting and full of surprises leaving little time for friends or family; however, today is the perfect time for a little social interaction.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


Scorpio (October 23-November 21) This is not the best time to engage in strenuous activity or serious thinking about your business or career. If you do not have to work today—don’t volunteer. This is a most encouraging time to engage in intellectually stimulating leisure activities. This could mean a trip to a special showing in a museum or an unusual art show. If asked, you could join a group of neighbors in a joint beautification program. Perhaps several of you will decide to plant flowers in places that never seem to have any natural beauty, such as a bus stop or homeless shelter, etc. Go slow and enjoy your accomplishments with others. You are surrounded by loving, helpful people today. Relationships with loved ones are excellent.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) A little extra money may be enjoyed. This could be because you are good at finding a bargain and then you are good at whittling down the best deal in town—although you may be a bit gullible. You should expend a great amount of energy in moneymaking efforts—you are in the moneymaking mood. Today marks a time when just about anything can happen. You may decide to take in a boarder or call up that out-of-state friend and suggest a house trade for the next vacation you will take. This way, people you know are in your house and you are not paying high motel room fees while you are in their house. The nearby parks, restaurants, tourist or museum interests are more inviting at this time because you will have more funds.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


Yesterday’s Solution

Regardless of the weather, you are invigorated and ready for physical activity at this time and there will most likely be ample opportunities to partake in it. You could be somewhat impulsive today and you may find yourself doing things you normally would not—be careful in taking risks. This is the perfect time to solicit the help of friends. Perhaps you have friends that enjoy the same hobby as you. Several of you could put together that particular craft or project. Perhaps the tenants of your apartment complex will want to challenge another group in another apartment complex in a game of soccer or some other sport. Whatever you decide to do today will be along the lines of comradeship and successful negotiations within a team. This evening is for relaxing.

Out-of-town company may have you engaging in some project whether you wanted to or not. The results are positive, however, for you become actively involved and to bring about positive results. This could be anything from animal control to child care or in throwing things together to meet the needs of the day—food, transportation, facilities, etc. Take plenty of breaks and know that you can walk away at any time—you probably won’t. Your mental faculties are at high speed and you are readily receptive to all thoughts that impinge upon you. This is an excellent time to get to know someone better. There will be opportunities to rest and you must do just that—rest. A hobby has a great attraction this evening. This evening others want to help.

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) This is not a good time to make any concrete decisions about a relationship or business deal. Today is a great time to be creative . . . the more creative you are, the better you become at solving problems. Your intuition is strong when you want to understand others and their problems. What an amazing book you could write if you tried your hand at writing. Begin now to keep a notebook of story ideas or outlines. If you are involved in some home restoration, continue working with this—you will feel a good sense of accomplishment. You will see end results fairly quickly from any ongoing chores you care to attack this afternoon. The evening brings an opportunity to express your appreciation of a loved one’s presence in your life.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

Surprised by the amount of finance charges paid out each month, you may decide to buckle down and cut corners with your expenses or take on a second job and put the debts behind you. Depending on your family situation, you may ask for help or guidance from successful people. This could mean family budgeting. Be open to the feedback of others, allowing them to set their own limits. A family meeting would be advisable. You will have a surprising amount of cooperation. This is a good time to lead the way on a project that will help you make some extra money. Your originality is in demand. A good leader is one that leads people that are excited and enthusiastic about a common goal. A party or charity event may need planning.



e niv rsar n


SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

i n f o r m at i o n























Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh











Amiri Hospital




Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital


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

Hospitals Sabah Hospital

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

Clinics Rabiya














Abdullah Salim




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Ghar






Ayoun Al-Kibla










Maidan Hawally












New Jahra


West Jahra


South Jahra


North Jahra


North Jleeb












22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801

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








Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

23915883 23715414 23726558


Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622


Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967


New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638


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

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

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241

Kuwait Airways Jazeera Airways Jet Airways FlyDubai Qatar Airways KLM Air Slovakia Olympic Airways Royal Jordanian Reservation British Airways Air France Emirates Air India Sri Lanka Airlines Egypt Air Swiss Air Saudia Middle East Airlines Lufthansa PIA Alitalia Balkan Airlines Bangladesh Airlines Czech Airlines Indian Airlines Oman Air Turkish Airlines Aeroflot

171 177 22924455 22414400 22423888 22425747 22434940 22420002/9 22418064/5/6 22433388 22425635 22430224 22921555 22438184 22424444 22421578 22421516 22426306 22423073 22422493 22421044 22414427 22416474 22452977/8 22417901/ 2433141 22456700 22958787 22453820/1 22404838/9

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


Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf


Dr. Khaled Hamadi

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari


Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed

Dr. Abdel Quttainah


Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar


Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari


Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan



Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe


Dr. Verginia s.Marin

2572-6666 ext 8321


25665898 25340300

Dr. Zahra Qabazard


Dr. Sohail Qamar


Dr. Snaa Maaroof


Dr. Pradip Gujare


Dr. Zacharias Mathew


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



Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan


Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami


Dr. Shamah Al-Matar


Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed



Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari


General Surgeons Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer


Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher


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

22666300 25728004

Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra


Dr. Mobarak Aldoub


Dr Nasser Behbehani


Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688



Dr. Mousa Khadada


Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri


Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly


Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali


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


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


Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees


Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi

Dr Anil Thomas

Dr. Salem soso

Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman


Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah


Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad

24555050 Ext 210

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


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

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Central African Chad Chile China Colombia Comoros Congo Cook Islands Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Cyprus (Northern) Czech Republic Denmark Diego Garcia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England (UK) Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia

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SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

LIFESTYLE G o s s i p

Eminem drops in on 50 Cent SXSW show he rumors were true: Eminem joined 50 Cent to recreate “Get Rich or Die Tryin’” Friday night at South By Southwest. It was a throwback to the heyday of gangster rap at the music conference and festival as 50 Cent hit the stage at the Shady Records showcase in a camouflage bullet-proof vest and a Yankees cap as clouds of chronic floated through the air. With a seven-piece band and MC Tony Yayo at this side, he laid down the 16 gamechanging tracks from “Get Rich,” performing the entire album live for the first time. “It’s been a minute,” he told the crowd of about 2,000 at the Austin Music Hall and an audience watching via Fuse and YouTube. “It’s


Oprah Winfrey’s OWN

been 10 years. That album sold 13 million copies. Damn.” The album came out in February 2003, with Eminem and Dr Dre serving as executive producers and featured rappers. While Dr Dre didn’t show in Austin, Eminem - the focus of rumors all week - joined 50 on “Patiently Waiting” and a short encore that almost didn’t come off because of lackluster crowd reaction, a commonplace occurrence at SXSW. “I guess it’s not what have I done, but what have I done for you lately, is that right?” a tweaked 50 Cent said when he returned to the stage. But perhaps showing he’s mellowed in the decade since he filled the air with the “pop pop pop” of songs like “In Da Club”

axes ‘The Rosie Show’ prah Winfrey’s OWN network is pulling the curtain on “The Rosie Show” after five months on the air. The show premiered in October to about 500,000 viewers but lost about half that audience within days of its debut. Recently, it changed the format from taping before a studio audience to a one-on-one interview setting with celebrities such as Kathy Griffin, Chelsea Handler and former Illinois



first lady Patti Blagojevich. In a statement released by OWN, Winfrey thanked O’Donnell. She called O’Donnell “an incredible partner” who worked to put on the best show “every single day.” O’Donnell also was quoted as saying she loved working with Winfrey and in Chicago and “wished” the show had better ratings.

likes all her co-stars ate Beckinsale has been lucky with her movie co-stars. The ‘Contraband’ actress has starred alongside actors including Mark Wahlberg, Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett in her career and says they have all helped to make things easier for her on set. She explained: “I’ve been very lucky with my co-stars in my career. If you don’t like your co-star it doesn’t by any means follow that you can’t do a good performance with them - co-stars who don’t get along in real life quite often have really great on-screen chemistry. But it is much more pleasant and a great deal more fun if you do like them.” Kate also revealed she took on the part in ‘Contraband’ because it is so different from her usual type of role. She told Britain’s HELLO! magazine: “Although it’s an action movie, my character is different from those I usually play in those films. She’s not a fighter, she’s just a normal, nice working-class woman, a hairdresser from New Orleans, happily married with two children.”


Catherine Zeta-Jones star struck by Bono atherine Zeta-Jones gets star struck by Bono. Even though the Welsh beauty can remember the ‘One’ singer and his band U2 from before they got famous in the 80s, she still gets excited by his stardom when they see one another. She said: “I remember seeing U2 when they were just an Irish band before they made it big and it blows my mind that Bono says, ‘Hi Catherine, how are you doing?’ I’m like, ‘Oh my God, it’s Bono!’” Catherine, 42, has children Dylan, 11, and Carys, seven, with her husband, Michael Douglas, and admits she has to pull herself together when she takes them to Bono’s house at Halloween. She added: “I can clearly remember going trick or treating with my kids to Bono’s house, I had to be really grown up and get it together.” The ‘Rock of Ages’ actress embarked on a pop career of her own in the early 90s, releasing several singles but she has no plans to resurrect her pop career. She added to Britain’s OK! magazine: “It’ll go down historically and there’s going to be a movie made out of that era too. It was a world that was just fascinating to me but I definitely prefer acting.”

and “Many Men (Wish Death),” he did the encore anyway. Dre wasn’t the only prominent player missing from the session. Governor replaced the late Nate Dogg, who passed away a year ago this week, on “21 Questions.” Fit and on his game, 50 seemed in high spirits throughout the show and marveled at how, against the odds, he did get rich and didn’t die tryin’. “The money came so fast, I couldn’t (expletive) it up,” the 36-year-old said. “I was trying everything I could think of.”


Charlize Theron’s amazing son

Beyonce thinks baby Blue looks like Jay-Z eyonce Knowles thinks her baby Blue Ivy is changing all the time. The ‘Love On Top’ hitmaker who welcomed her first daughter on January 7 - has told singer Melanie Fiona, who is co-managed by Jay, she is confident the tot resembles her daddy but admits it changes every day. Melanie told US Weekly magazine: “Beyonce says Blue changes every day and looks just like Jay now. “She just is so happy. I’ve seen Bey like three times since she’s had the baby. And she’s just glowing and she’s saying motherhood is the best, and she just loves it.” Discussing Jay, she added he was on a perpetual high. She said: “He’s in a good mood all the time!” Beyonce’s sister Solange Knowles recently revealed she would not be giving her sibling any advice about raising her daughter. When asks if she gives advice, Solange said: “No, I really feel like because I had my son so young, I didn’t want everyone’s help. I think people felt entitled to give advice, so I’m always very sensitive to moms and letting them feel their way out. But there have been times when she’ll ask, ‘Did Julez do this? Did this ever happen with Julez?’ And I’ll gladly give her advice.”


harlize Theron says having a new baby is “amazing”. The ‘Young Adult’ actress has thanked people for their well-wishes following the adoption of baby boy Jackson, and is impressed at how “lovely” her friends have been. She told Ryan Seacrest on his KIIS FM radio show: “It’s been amazing, the amount of emails and congratulations. Everyone’s just been so lovely it’s been really lovely.” The 36year-old beauty has also confessed she is a big fan of keeping Jackson wrapped in swaddling, despite worrying it might be cruel. She said: “I didn’t think I would be a fan of the swaddling, but the swaddling’s pretty amazing. It sort of looks a bit like a straightjacket - you’re like, ‘Is this child abuse?’ but for some reason they just love it.” The South African star is believed to have waited a “long time” to finally adopt a child. A source said: “She has been trying to adopt a baby for a long time. “She has been very patient and has a great attitude and is ecstatic about finally becoming a mom.” —Agencies


Hudson, Bellamy married?? ate Hudson has already married to rocker Matt Bellamy, according to her mother Goldie Hawn. The ‘Overboard’ actress - who raised Kate with actor Kurt Russell - has hinted Kate and Matt, who have seven-month-old son Bingham together and have been engaged since April 2011, may have wed in secret. Speaking in an interview with ES Magazine, Goldie said: “My kids are fantastic with their children, they have an amazing parental ethic and I’m very proud of them for that. “When my daughter Kate married and English rock star [Matt Bellamy] it didn’t worry me; all that matters that the relationship is a good one. What people do is not necessarily who they are. “Kate hasn’t picked up too many English mannerisms, she’s held on to her identity quite well.” Speaking last year, ‘Something Borrowed’ beauty Kate said she and Matt - who began dating in 2010 - were in no rush to wed. She said: “One thing at a time. We’ll say hello to our new one and enjoy that for a while.”



SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

LIFESTYLE F e a t u r e s

A glamour-less Hindi film on a shameless system By Sunil Cherian mpossible’, I kept on telling myself while watching the nosong-and-dance, utterly unattractive (in terms of sets and glitz), Bollywood film, Paan Singh Tomar, a biopic on India’s steeple chase champion of the 1950s, who turned into a bandit because the government officials turn down his military background and medals when his life becomes embroiled in a land dispute. The movie has no bankable stars and guaranteed plot, ushering in a new breed of Bollywooders who care to dare. The movie, directed by National School of Drama product


Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan has immortalized the real life character of Indian soldier-athlete Paan Singh Tomar, who turns into a dacoit because his medals did not save his life’s larger issues. The movie promises a bunch of directors who are on their mark to race against the dance-song norm of Bollywood. Tigmanshu Dhulia has garnered raves reviews in India and across the globe. Hindi cinema does delve, occasionally, into the grim and gory. Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen is one such example. Dhulia, it is reported, came across the Paan Singh episode when he was working on the sets of Bandit Queen in the Chambal Valley of Madhya Pradesh, central India. The fact that it took so long for Dhulia to bring the soldier-athlete-bandit saga because the director wanted a hit movie in his kitty before embarking on a social subject. In real life, Paan Singh, who was killed in a police encounter in 1981, was the victim of a system that does not help the helpless. The six feet tall villager joined the Indian Army in the hope of getting better food. In an emotional scene, and that is rare, Paan Singh is denied extra chappatis (Indian flatbread). “Go and join the Athletics department to receive nourishing food,” he is told. In another scene, as fate would have it, he returns to the camp late from a frustrated wife - she drops a pot in desperation. Paan Singh’s talent for running is discovered by the Army while meting out running as a punishment for tardiness. “Give the ice-cream before it melts,” orders a major and Paan Singh runs to the destination in time, later to be identified as the ‘ice-cream man’ by the major’s wife in the competition that brought Paan Singh a medal. He took part in the 1958 Asian Games in Tokyo, ran barefoot because he was not used to the spiked trainers provided. For seven years, he reigned as the undefeated champion in steeple chase. Hurdles came along as he ran the race of life. The second half of the movie, jointly penned by the director and Sanjay Chauhan overtakes Singh as the villain. His ‘ancestral land’ was grabbed by relatives who turned ‘goondas’ (thugs) when their authority was questioned. Paan Singh’s teenage son is beaten and his aged mother is brutally killed. Paan Singh turns into a bandit with a gang, and exacts revenge that is partly glorified, reaching the ‘finish’ line of life, by winning our pity. Paan Singh’s revenge is justified when India’s officialdom is exposed as the real villain. In a scene, Paan Singh is ridiculed by the police: ‘So steeple chase means running in the water. Are you not cold, wearing shorts?’ ‘Impossible’ I thought, as I was watching Irfan, a forgotten talent in Bollywood just like sports stars who have been wiped off from Incredible India’s memory. It is not impossible for Irrfan to find himself at the National Film Awards venue to receive a Best Actor award and, for the movie who knows, to reach the finishing line of the Best Foreign Language film in

Man views an anonymous 17th century Japanese screen from the late Momoyama-early Edo period, estimated at 700,000 to 900,000 USD.

NY art s Asia Week set for big sales N

ew York art dealers might need to pull out marker pens and add zeros to their price tags during Asia Week sales starting Friday in auction houses and galleries across the city. Once a backwater of the international market, Asian art-particularly Chinese-has boomed in popularity. Asia Week, which runs through March 24, will see leading rivals Sotheby’s and Christie’s, as well as smaller houses and individual galleries, focusing on everything from bold contemporary Indian paintings to classical Chinese ceramics. “Our last five years we’ve seen an astonishing boom, a push into a new price level,” Henry Howard-Sneyd, vice chairman for Asian art at Sotheby’s said. He pointed out that in 2011 the highest grossing artists at auction in the world were not the long-predictable top dogs Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol, but Zhang Daqian, with nearly $507 million in sales, and Qi Bashi, with $445 million-far ahead of their Western rivals. That two Chinese painters barely known to the Western public should outperform artists synonymous with modern art does not surprise Sotheby’s, which in this year’s Asia Week is for the first time dedicating a distinct sale to classical Chinese works. Among those works is a Qi Bashi painting of an eagle, somewhat similar to another of his paintings that last year sold for $65.5 million-the most expensive painting at any auction in 2011. The version offered by Sotheby’s has an estimate of a modest $1.2-1.5 million. But HowardSneyd doesn’t think estimates will survive once the red hot Chinese collectors take their seats. Gesturing at galleries filled with Chinese ceramics, paintings, fans, and furniture, he said: “I think there’ll be fireworks.” The head of Asian art at Christie’s, Hugo Weihe, also has strong hopes for Asia Week. Last year, sales of Asian art at Christie’s saw a

Visitors view a massive 16th century Chinese gilt-bronze figure of Vairocana from the Ming dynasty estimated at 2 million to 3 million USD.

Journalists look at a statue titled “Uma” during a press preview on March 16, 2012 for the upcoming Sotheby’s New York Asia Week series of sales. —AFP photos double-digit percent increase and are now the second place category behind overall contemporary art, but ahead of impressionist and modern. Weihe pointed to wealthy, patriotic Chinese looking to their pre-revolutionary past for the ultimate status symbol. “Chinese buyers are very interested in their heritage-anything that has imperial marks. You’ve truly arrived in China if you can have something that belonged to an emperor,” Weihe said. Better known, but entirely different, is the Indian art market. India has pro-

duced a string of top-notch modern and contemporary artists like Subodh Gupta, whose works are still considered relatively cheap. “Indian art is underpriced, particularly contemporary,” Weihe said. But that market will change as increasingly well educated Indian collectors think beyond simply decorating their living rooms and instead start building great national museums and collections. “It’s going to be private individuals and enterprises, rather like it was in America 100 years ago,” Weihe

said. And the next artistic goldmine in Asia? Pakistan is only just beginning to stir, says Deepanjana Klein, at Christie’s. “In Southeast Asia it’s not yet that cool to be an artist, in Pakistan especially. In India, it’s taken off, but in Pakistan it’s still in its nascent phase,” she said. Then there’s Bangladesh. The country “is having its first international art show next month, which is a huge step,” Klein said. Ironically, many of the available classical Asian works have long been in the hands of elite, private collectors in the West, such as the recently deceased Doris Weiner. Weiner’s collection of 400 sculptures and paintings from Gandhara, the Himalayas, India and across Southeast Asia will be part of the Christie’s sale, led by an ancient bronze titled “Shiva with Uma and Skanda,” and estimated at $800,000 to $1.2 million. With Asian collectors awakening, the old westward flow of treasures is finally being reversed. “It will all go back,” Weihe said. “There’s no question.” —AFP

Amir lends support to Popular Heritage Festival O rganizers of the Popular Heritage Festival expressed “deep gratitude” to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah for supporting the event, announcing that it be held annually while visiting the venue in Al-Roudhatain with His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. “HH the Amir’s support will help showcase popular heritage and instill values in younger generations,” said Sheikh Dhari Al-Fahad Al-Sabah,Head of the festival’s supreme committee yesterday. In Saturday’s events, a camel race featuring Al-Shaal breed was held. Eleven contestants from Kuwait and other Gulf Cooperation Council(GCC) countries participated. In addition, a beauty contest for male camels was held. Meanwhile, poor weather conditions prevented the Fishermen’s Dewaniya in Al-Salmiya from holding its competition. It was canceled

owing to strong winds. Similar weather conditions forced the first fishing competition’s cancellation during this year’s Popular Heritage Festival. Winners of the competition in Salmiya were selected through a

raffle draw. “Fishing boats began entering waters at 8:00 am, but a decision was taken an hour later to cancel the tournament to protect contestants’ safety,” said Sheikh Salem Al-Nawaf Al-Sabah, Head of the judging committee.

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

lifestyle T R A V E L

A long weekend in Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland, spreads out in this view from the tower of the Hallgrimskirkja church. By Lynn Jacobson


ou have a three-day weekend coming up and you want to get away for a little shopping and nightlife, or maybe just a change of scenery. So how about Reykjavik? Yes, that’s in Iceland-and you may be surprised to learn you can get there and back in a long weekend. At this time of year, it’s also affordable: You can get your fill of lava fields, geothermal steam, ghostly winter light and quaint European streetscapes for not much more than the cost of three or four nights in San Francisco. My sister and I recently booked a Thursday-to-Sunday Icelandair deal that included flight, hotel, some meals, a free museum pass and unlimited in-city bus service for $685 each. Here’s how we spent our time: • Day one After about a seven-hour flight, we arrived at Keflavik airport at 6:45 am, though it could have been the middle of the night for all we knew. In Iceland, in February, the sun begins to rise about 9:30 am, traverses a low arc across the horizon, and sets around 5 pm. Visitors learn quickly to make the most of precious daylight. After breakfast and a stop to drop our bags at our hotel (the well-situated Centerhotel Plaza), we walked straightaway up a short hill to the Hallgrimskirkjaperhaps Reykjavik’s most recognizable landmark.

A modernist church designed by Icelandic architect Guojon Samuelsson in the middle of the 20th century, it presides over downtown. For about $4 you can take an elevator to the top of the bell tower and survey the city, the ice-clad mountains and the sea beyond. It’s a charming view-marked by colorful, functional, low-rise buildings made mostly of concrete and corrugated metal (trees are scarce in Iceland). As we looked out on the rooftops and the glowering sky, we sensed a slight whiff of sulfur in the airevidence of the geothermal activity that powers most of the country. The church bell tolled, seeming to welcome us to this strange and beautiful world. After a quick stop for a slice of pizza, we spent the afternoon walking the main commercial streets of Reykjavik: Laugavegur and Skolavoroustigur. Shop windows bloom with high-end fashion; traditional woolens; outdoor gear by Iceland companies like 66o North and Zoon; contemporary Danish housewares; and trinket shops hawking trolls and Viking figurines. If you’re in the mood to buy, be sure you understand how the VAT tax works, because you could save yourself about 15 percent on many purchases. Speaking of economizing, we had been warned about the high cost of food and drinks in Reykjavik. Then at night we went prowling for a reasonable dinner. At the trendy but lowkey Laundromat Cafe we found one. We

sat at the bar and had sandwiches, fries and-hey, it was vacation! The bill came to 6,100 Icelandic krona-about $25 per person. • Day two Breakfast at Centerhotel Plaza was a feast-artisan breads, salami and cheese, pastries, granola and other cereals and eggs, plus characteristically Scandinavian delicacies such as pickled herring. Fruit and vegetables are not so plentiful in Iceland, especially in winter, since they have to be imported or grown in greenhouses. We skipped the sad-looking fruit salad and loaded up on orange juice instead.Our first stop Saturday was Kolaportio, a popular flea market near the waterfront. A trove of tchotchkes, foodstuffs, books, jewelry and clothing, it offered an excellent alternative to pricier shops in the center of town. Vintage-clothing vendors, especially, seemed to do a brisk business with locals and tourists alike. We bought locally produced candy, secondhand Danish jewelry and even Donald Duck comic books-written in Icelandic-as souvenirs. For lunch on the cheap, we visited Bajarins Beztu Pylsur on the waterfront, one of the most famous hot-dog stands in the world. (“Bill Clinton ate here,” locals are quick to point out, in their impeccable English.) For a little more than $4, we bought two hot dogs slathered in ketchup and a sweet mustard sauce, sitting on a bed of crunchy fried onions. Yum.

Agawa Canyon

Snow Train takes a round-trip journey to stillness here are no animals, no birds, not one moving creature, except for a man on a lake who raises his hand as we pass. It is overcast. Sky the color of cotton wool muffles the harsh rocky landscape; the snow and hills blend into a black-and-white panorama dotted with the drab loden of the pines. Snow falls in fits and starts. It is already more than 2 feet deep. Let spring come somewhere else; winter has settled here, as always. Last year, the Agawa Canyon Snow Train did not run. This year, it has $11 million worth of new equipment, upgraded coaches and splendid new burgundy paint. It has a warm dining car with good service and hearty food. It is running each Saturday through March 10. The question is: Does anyone have the patience to ride the Snow Train anymore? “We used to do 25 coaches, two dining cars, two dome cars and five or six engines; we were a mile long,” says Craig (Smitty) Smith of EJM Catering, who has worked the train for 17 years. “We would have 1,600 to 1,800 passengers a day. Then, along came 9/11.” That’s when everything changed. The Agawa Canyon tour trains, which run in winter, summer and fall, saw business plummet when passports became a requirement to cross the US-Canada border. Gas prices rose and Michigan’s economy tanked, damaging the train’s busiest source of customers. The value of the US dollar shrank against the Canadian dollar. Then, a whole generation of travelers who thought Agawa Canyon was the most exotic place in the world passed on, leaving restless younger folks who demand active, not passive experiences. Now the Snow Train runs just six coaches, one dining car and two engines. This day, it has about 100 passengers spread through three of the cars. The other cars are empty. Its route? Chug from downtown Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, to scenic Agawa Canyon 114 miles north, then return. In sum-

mer, passengers can hike and picnic in the canyon. But in winter, they must stay on board the train the whole trip-nine hours straight. There’s no opening the windows. No smoking. No cell phone service. And that’s exactly what railroad fans love about the Snow Train. They love the silence. They love the feeling of being far, far away in an earlier time. They love the stubborn simplicity of it all. “Years ago, I came on this train with my parents. Then, when Suzanne and I started dating, we came here again. Now, we’ve brought our daughter,” says David Bergeson of Flat Rock, Mich., who wears a sweatshirt with a picture of a train on it, as do his wife, Suzanne, and 5-year-old daughter, Barbara. They ride trains all over the country. Even Bergeson, 45, wasn’t sure whether the Snow Train was still in business, and he was thrilled to find it was. “It’s a combination of a weekend getaway in the middle of winter and a chance to see some snow since we don’t have any in Detroit,” he says. A bit of history. There has been a railway up here since 1899 for freight and passengers. The regular “Hearst” train (also called the Algoma Central Railway Tour of the Line) runs 296 miles from busy Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, (population 75,000) up to tiny Hearst, Ontario (population 5,000). Many fishing camps and cottages lie along the remote route, so passengers can flag down the train to stop at any point. Sharing the rails is the more famous Agawa Canyon tour train, which is called the Snow Train in the winter. Since 1972, the tour train has carried more than 3 million passengers to the canyon and back. Two years ago, owner Canadian National Railway decided the 1940s equipment was too decrepit. It bought a 1968-era ski train from Colorado with 16 coaches and three locomotives and sent most of it away to be rehabbed and repainted. The new tour train has enlarged windows with tinted glass on nine of the 14 coaches and new carpet and seating. It has new GPS-tripped narration explaining the history of the line and the features of the stern Algoma region of northern Ontario. —MCT

The Agawa Canyon Snow Train passes over the Montreal Trestle on the 114 journey between Sault Ste Marie.

A hot lunch is a highlight of the Agawa Canyon Snow Train.

By Ellen Creager


Next stop: Culture House, for an exhibit of medieval manuscripts, including original handwritten copies of some of the Icelandic sagas-the stories that relate the exploits of the Vikings who settled the

country in the 9th and 10th centuries. Among them we found the bloody tale of Egill Skallagrimsson, one of my family’s distant relatives through marriage. Skallagrimsson reportedly embarked on a

There’s good shopping in Reykjavik, Iceland, such as hats as seen from inside a shop in the city center. — MCT photos If you go Go to and click on “Packages” for inclusive deals. Lodging: Icelandair packages typically include accommodations at a Centerhotel-a small chain of modest hotels in convenient locations scattered throughout downtown Reykjavik. We stayed at Centerhotel Plaza, which featured comfortable, basic furnishings; a full, free breakfast; private baths; and free Wi-Fi-when it worked. We were especially happy with Centerhotel Plaza’s location: It sits on a fairly quiet square, while at least some of its sister properties are on streets that are lively and noisy into the wee hours. See for more information. Weather: Iceland’s maritime climate is milder than you might think, thanks to the North Atlantic Current. That said, the weather is changeable, and in winter, you might find yourself in an ice storm or high winds without much warning. Average temperatures in Reykjavik, January through March, hover around freezing (27 to 36 degrees). More information: Official tourism site: Save on shopping: Iceland has a Value Added Tax, or VAT, that is charged on purchases but may be refunded at the airport when you leave the country, subject to certain limitations. Some tips: • If you are buying lots of small souvenirs, buy them all in a single transaction, because the VAT is only refunded on purchases above 4,000 krona (about $33). • Use a credit card instead of cash so that when you receive your refund, it will be applied to your credit card, rather than paid in Icelandic currency. This allows you to avoid having to change krona back into dollars later. • Avoid the VAT entirely by shopping duty free at the airport before departure. Many of Iceland’s most coveted brands are represented at Keflavik airport, including 66o North fashions, Blue Lagoon beauty products, Eymundsson bookstore. Details: and click on “Before Departure” and then “VAT Refund.” —MCT

life of violence at age 7, when he axed to death a playmate whom he believed to have cheated him. The grisly history of the Vikings was very much on our minds later that day as we passed through the rugged, windswept lava fields outside Reykjavik on a bus trip to the Blue Lagoon. A more inhospitable environment for a luxury spa is hard to imagine, but that’s part of this famed attraction’s otherworldly appeal. Blue Lagoon is a geothermal pool famed for its warm, milky blue waters and natural silica mud masks. Massages and other spa treatments are also on the menu. As a day trip, it’s a splurge, costing about $63 for bus and entry, and taking four hours at minimum. Hundreds of thousands of visitors bathe in its sulfurous pools each year. Some find it an exotic, sensuous experience; others, an overpriced dip in a pungent bath. We landed somewhere in the middle, deeming it a pricey, but unique sensation, not likely to be repeated. Back in Reykjavik, we dined at Prikio, an unpretentious spot in the commercial center promising traditional Icelandic food. It did not disappoint, especially with a gravlax salad drizzled in vinegar. Prikio is also known as a nightlife destination, with a bar that stays open past 4 am Reykjavik’s famed wee-hours bar scene eluded us on this trip. On this night, we were out till about midnight-just when things tend to heat up, according to the Icelanders we spoke to. At 2 or 3 in the morning, we awoke briefly to the sounds of singing and smashing glass. • Day three We devoted our final day in Reykjavik to a visit with relatives. They treated us to a mouthwatering, traditional Sunday dinner-lamb, red cabbage, potatoes, pickled pears and salaz. Our plane wasn’t scheduled to leave until 5 pm, and if we’d had no family visit on our agenda, we could have easily filled a third day with art and natural-history museums, or one of the country’s many outdoor pursuits-whalewatching; glacier hikes; or the Golden Circle driving tour past geysers and massive waterfalls. As it was, those will have to wait for another trip-perhaps a mad, weekend dash in summer, when it’s daylight nearly around the clock.

Rocks and snow loom next to the Agawa Canyon Snow Train enroute to Agawa Canyon. — MCT photos

The Agawa Canyon Snow Train’s dining car serves full and hearty breakfasts and lunches.

The Agawa Canyon Snow Train leaves from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and chugs 114 miles north to dramatic Agawa Canyon.

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

lifestyle T R A V E L

Skiiers on the slopes at Soelden, Austria.

Moonrise over the Austrian Alps as seen from the Central Spa Hotel Soelden. — MCT photos


The best winter resort you haven’t heard of (yet)

By Alan Behr


e arrived in Soelden after heavy snows had fallen and the sky had grown as blue and clear as an Alpine lake. (“We” being a family of three: husband, wife and a toddler named Ryan.) Soelden is in the Oetztal region of Tyrol, in the Austrian Alps. It is very popular with Europeans but comparatively unknown to North American ski and snowboard enthusiasts, even to those who, like us, frequent the Alps. That was part of the appeal: After so many ski trips together, my wife and I craved something new. We expect that word will quickly get out in our part of the world because, late last year, Soelden was chosen as the official European training base for the men’s Alpine competitors of the US Ski Team. The American champion downhill skier Bode Miller had already made Soelden a base in the Alps. (The town is his headwear sponsor.)

View from the top of the mountains of the Soelden ski area in the Austrian Alps.

Soelden sits along a small river, in the manner of Zermatt, and it is operated in the service of winter sports, which began in 1948 when a single chair lift, which still runs, started to carry people in a single line, the wooden skis of each resting on his lap. You go up now in a fast gondola from either of two bases at opposite ends of town. With the sky bright and snow plentiful, our guide for a day, Erich Wilhelm of the Yellow Power Ski School, took us to one of two glaciers that sit in crags among the mountain peaks. We reached it by multiple lifts and a tunnel taken on skis. Our reward was that top-of-the-world feeling that you get from carving clean turns on snow-packed Alpine slopes in good weather, the snow crunching and hissing as you move. Like all good ski guides, Erich was relaxed and forgiving about the mistakes of the amateurs in his charge. He gently coaxed better performance from us on turns and gave tips on skiing in the powder that would surely come from the snowfall expected in the following days. As we sat down for lunch in a small and agreeably warm room at Gampe Thaya, the oldest hut on the region’s mountains, Erich explained the transformation that people like us bring to Soelden annually. “I’m a carpenter in the off season,” he said. “There is much work to do then to renovate and improve the hotels and guest-

houses. About 4,100 people live here, but there are over three hundred thousand visitors, mostly in winter.” As we finished a meal of traditional mountain broth, sausages and, for dessert, Kaiserschmarnn (caramelized pancakes cut into chunks and covered with confectioner’s sugar), Austrian men seated themselves at our table. (In Alpine huts, there are no private tables, and anyone may help himself to an unreserved vacant chair.) An accordionist and guitarist strolled in and our tablemates accompanied them in song. We had arrived soon after the start of the break for Russian New Year (Jan 6), and there were many Russian guests at our hotel, the Central Spa Hotel Soelden. In the best Alpine tradition, the Central is luxurious but relaxed; you can dress for dinner as you would to dine at home with good friends. Seated at the table to the right of ours each breakfast and dinner were a lovely young couple from Moscow, Daria and Tim, and their 5year-old, David. Ryan’s new friend David would soon have a sibling because Daria was pregnant; she spent her days in town or watching David in a children’s race. Ryan became friends with David, following him to the Oezti Club, where the ever-patient Gabi looked after the children of hotel guests from morning until dinner was over, with a break in between that was filled, for Ryan, by Caroline, a hotel staffer. The Central’s kitchen is especially distinguished, with a flair for moderate and clever portions, always beautifully presented. That should not be surprising, given that gourmet chefs and increasingly impressive wines are two famous Austrian exports. True to its name, the hotel also has complete spa facilities, from a family pool area, to a clothing-optional sauna and steam bath area, to a no-clothesallowed-and-that-means-you, madam area (as my wife discovered) with a whirlpool, saunas and more. Ryan liked sitting in the reduced-size gondola propped beside the pool, and when in the room, he would hike up his sleeves and wash his hands in his personal sink, which others might prefer to call a bidet. On our fifth day, the snowfall that Erich had said was coming and that had begun lightly the day before was now strong and steady. At my request, and over the objections of Frau Behr (as she is known in the Alps), we took a rest, shopping and having lunch in town. Russian skiers are obviously quite hearty. Many made their way to the slopes regardless of the inclement weather; they were comparatively infrequent guests in all weathers at the apres ski bars and the hotel lounge, preferring an early start and an early bedtime. That attitude also characterizes Frau Behr, who usually does not let anything short of a record blizzard stop her from getting to the slopes. It does not characterize her husband, who feels that a little less skiing, a long lunch at a mountain hut, and an invigorating stretch of sauna and whirlpool time with athletic Russian women is good for the soul. That night, explosions rumbled from the mountains, as snow was cleared to prevent avalanches. “Sprengstoff!” exclaimed Ryan in German. (Explosives!) In the morning, new snow came in a steady fall, and I was pleading for another day of rest, perhaps at a nearby indoor-outdoor thermal spa called the Aqua Dome. We compromised on morning massages, followed by discussion of options. Tall and fit, with light Roger Daltrey curls, Paul is a native of Liverpool who came to the Alps to live, as I do to visit, for a love of the mountains and the mountain culture. A rafting guide and an avid downhill mountain biker in summer, he trained in Innsbruck for what may signal the start of a more modulated life for a man of 43: working winters as a masseuse. Paul was placating the complaints of my bad shoulder when he said, “I agree with your wife. I

Lunch time at one of the mountain restaurants .

toddler, with breakfast and dinner, start at about $400. The price includes the use of the complete spa and, for children, the Oetzi Club, a supervised play room. The club closes for three hours in early afternoons, but the hotel will assist you in making your own arrangements. The hotel’s vans take guests directly to and from the lifts. Budget alternative: Across the street from the Central is the Andre Arnold bed and breakfast, Auweg 10. Telephone: +43-(0)5254-2269, A junior suite with breakfast for two runs about $150 per night. It’s a place for those who do not mind doing a bit more on their own (such as getting themselves to and from the lifts or rustling up dinner) or for those traveling with a nanny or other household staff in need of nearby quality accommodations for them. Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski, Maximilianstrasse 17, 80539 Munich. Telephone: +49 (0) 89-2125-2799. One of the great city hotels of the world. Rooms for two adults start at about $350 and at slightly more for a somewhat larger room in order to accommodate a toddler bed for your little one. Reservations: or call Leading Hotels of the World at: 1-800-745-8883. Dining there: Our favorite mountain hut: Gampe Thaya. The owners, Daniela and Jakob Prantl, keep a lively spirit going in the intimate, wooden-walled rooms and on the outdoor dining terrace. Lunch for two: about $50 to $75. Telephone: +43-(0)-664-2400246; Winter sports: A six-day ski pass is about $255. Intersport Glanzer has locations around the town, and you can exchange or drop off your rented equipment at any of them. Ski and poles / snowboard and boot rental for six or seven days start at about $190. Telephone: +43 (0) 5254-2223, —MCT

A member of the kitchen staff at the Central Spa Hotel. wouldn’t let that snow keep me from skiing.” With no Americans to consult, and with apparently every Russian who was not pregnant and one sporty Englishman against me, there was nothing for it but to get on those skis and follow Frau Behr up that mountain. Many runs were closed when we arrived (but would slowly open throughout the day), so we skied under low skis on the lowest slopes, alongside evergreens wearing beards of white on all their branches. People fell in the thick powder, including Frau Behr, who lost her skis on a black (difficult) run. I helped her get them on and so we kept going, she leading the way. Soelden has many blue (easy) slopes and that came to our aid now. We stayed upright despite the challenge, and we both enjoyed ourselves. By the time we arrived at the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski in Munich, to relax in preparation for our flight home, Ryan’s German had improved, he had not offered to hug any girls to whom he had not been properly introduced, and he was now telling us “I want to go skiing,” which may well happen next year. If you go

Getting there: You can fly into either Munich, from which Soelden is three hours away by road, or Innsbruck, which is one hour distant. We elected to fly non-stop from JFK to Munich by Lufthansa and then to be driven to Soelden in a van, on the theory that Ryan would handle that better than the change of planes that would have been necessary for the Innsbruck flight. It all worked out fine for him. Staying there: Central Spa Hotel Soelden, Auweg 3, Soelden, Tirol, A-6450. Telephone: +43 (0) 5254-2260-0; We traveled in the January “lull” season between the holidays and the February ski furloughs that are given by school districts throughout middle Europe. During that time, rooms for two adults and a

Children cross the main street of the Austrian town of Soelden.

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN axes ‘The Rosie Show’

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

US actor George Clooney (center-right) is arrested during a proterst outside the Embassy of Sudan on March 16, 2012 in Washington, DC. — AP/AFP photos


Actor George Clooney, center, followed Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va, lower left, are placed into a police vehicle after being arrested.


arrested at anti-Sudan protest


George Clooney is handcuffed by a member of the US Secret Service.

arresting him. Tom Andrews, president of United to End Genocide, another group involved in the protest, said the United States should raise the heat on Khartoum to stop the violence and allow humanitarian access. “It is unacceptable and inexcusable that Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir - an international criminal wanted for war crimes and genocide - is getting away with bombing, starving and displacing hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile State,” Andrews, who was also arrested, said in a statement. — Reuters

group of US lawmakers and film star George Clooney were arrested at Sudan’s embassy in Washington on Friday in a protest at which activists accused Khartoum of blocking humanitarian aid from reaching a volatile border region where hundreds of thousands of people may be short of food. Protest organizers said those arrested included US Representatives Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, Al Green of Texas, Jim Moran of Virginia and John Olver of Massachusetts - all Democrats. Organizers said Ben Jealous, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and Martin Luther King III, the son of the slain US civil rights hero, also were arrested. Clooney, his father Nick and the other antiSudan activists ignored three police warnings to leave the embassy grounds and were led away in plastic handcuffs to a waiting van by uniformed members of the Secret Service, a Reuters journalist covering the demonstration said. “We need humanitarian aid to be allowed into the Sudan before it becomes the worst humanitarian crisis in the world,” Clooney told reporters just before his arrest. “The second thing we are here to ask is for the government

Nick Clooney, the father of actor and activist George Clooney, speaks to the press upon he and his son’s release from the Metropolitan Police second district station.

Protesters march in to support actor and activist George Clooney shortly before his arrest for trespassing upon the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, DC, March 16, 2012. US concern in Khartoum to stop randomly killing its own The United States has voiced serious coninnocent men, women and children. Stop raping them and stop starving them. That’s all we cern about the deteriorating conditions in the ask.” Clooney, who on Wednesday was a guest border region, where Sudanese troops are at the White House banquet in honor of British fighting rebels. Sudan accuses its newly indePrime Minister David Cameron, and several oth- pendent neighbor South Sudan of supporting ers posted bail and walked free later on Friday. the rebels but Juba denies the charges. Sudan has denied US concerns that famine Clooney, who recently visited the area, told a might break out in South Kordofan and Blue Senate hearing this week that Sudan’s forces Nile states, although there is almost no inde- were launching repeated attacks on unarmed pendent access to the region, making it difficult civilians and preventing aid from reaching a to assess the humanitarian situation. Khartoum region where US officials say as many as has also restricted access of the United Nations 250,000 people face potentially severe food and foreign aid agencies to the region, shortages. Clooney, a long-time celebrity although it recently did allow the return of activist critical of the Khartoum government, had been expected to provoke police into some UN international staff.

Actor George Clooney, center, Rep Jim Moran, D-Va, back, and Clooney’s father, Nick Clooney, right, are arrested during the protest .

Layers make lasting impression on fashion players T

housands of outfits later, with probably every hemline, color and silhouette turning up somewhere on the runways of New York, London, Milan and Paris, fashion insiders have started to focus on trends they think will have the most influence on style in the second half of the year. There was a wearability to many of the clothes paraded in front of retailers, editors and stylists, which might not have made the most exciting show seasons, but could translate into solid sales. “Designers are understanding that women don’t dress in gowns,” says Brandon Holley, editor-in-chief of Lucky magazine. “It was all about pieces you could work with. Now the question is, what can you break down and put into your wardrobe?” Colleen Sherin, senior fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue, says the “big idea” that stuck with her throughout the previews was one of eclectic elegance. It’s a more democratic style that more women will be able to participate in, she notes, because it’s not about a single must-have piece, it’s about creating an overall look that can be achieved with the individual pieces that best suit your body and life. Five trends that were strong in the four big fashion capitals: layered separates, interesting fabrics, coats, military and melancholy.

Layered separates Forget the simple dress and be ready to add a few extra minutes to your morning routine to put together your outfit, says Linda Wells, Allure magazine editor-in-chief. If you like the long-sleeve sheath dress, then think about how it will look with a vest or jacket on top. If you like more of the A-line dress shape, start gathering chunky knit cardigans and blanket coats. “This is going to be a complicated way to dress,” Wells says. “It’s very interesting, but it’s not about running out the door in one great dress, and your coat is not just a coat, but it’s a coat with a cape over it, maybe a coat with a vest, a coat with a detachable fur - and a turtleneck.” Underneath all the layers were some wearable pants and trousers that, Lucky’s Holley predicts, will be popular. Shoppers have already shown interest in all the colored pants that have emerged as an early trend for spring. “A lot of the pants are menswear-inspired. It’s not ‘menswear’ but it has the feeling of being separate pieces with a businesslike vibe,” Holley said. Interesting fabrics Rich luxe fabrics in rich luxe colors such as burgundy, bottle green and teal mean a stepped-up sophistication for clothes without blingy bells and

whistles. Envision brocades, jacquards and metallic tweeds. “The gorgeous colors are flattering for so many women, and they look great in the decorative fabrications and translate into outerwear, another important trend,” says Saks’ Sherin. And, she says, get some leather, especially if it’s a mixed-media coat, perhaps leather sleeves on a cashmere coat, or panels of leather on a shearling. Allure’s Wells noted leather T-shirts, pants and dresses, too. Leather used like lace in the Alexander McQueen collection was pure art, she says. The leather goes with the rough edge that seemed to guide many designers this season, she says. “There’s definitely a bit of a tough look.” Coats Coats are a good investment piece because you get so much use out of them, Holley says. A coat is a workhorse in a way that a great dress or even great black pants cannot be, she explains. “You can wear your new coat many times and (for) many seasons.” As a look, she favored the trench coat silhouette with a pair of slim-fit pants and a beautiful flat shoe. Sherin says shoppers will have other options, ranging from peacoats and duffels to sporty, puffy jackets. There were fancy embellished coats and even those with gilded embroidery at Dolce & Gabbana. “Statement

coats is something we’ll be buying into,” she says. Military Military touches, including epaulets, patch pockets and metallic hardware, were consistent, although there was not a literal translation of camo and khaki, says Amanda Brooks, who attended shows as fashion director for Barneys New York. (She announced her resignation from the post this week.) There was a sort of yin and yang with the strength that comes from straightforward military styles that was balanced by those elegant - and expensive - fabrics. “A simple item with a high price will be harder to sell than a simple item in high fabrics that look expensive,” Brooks says, noting specifically Marni’s military pockets on fur shrugs. MELANCHOLY There was an overall darkness to the collections, from the palette to the mood, says Wells. There were important flashes of embellishment that added some levity and whimsy, but Wells pictured a muse in the spirit of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. “It was all about the romance of the ill-fated lover. ... It was not a sad statement, but a poetic, romantic sad with indulgence.” —AP

18 Mar 2012  

Kuwait Times