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Gaza death toll passes 100; Hamas, Fatah unite Israel, Hamas each want the other to hold fire first conspiracy theories

Gaza doesn’t need visitors By Badrya Darwish


aza again, again and again. Things are getting worse by the minute and more children are being slaughtered in a merciless and coldblooded way in front of the eyes of the whole world. The whole world is watching the events on their own media. It is not like we are in the Stone Ages and there is no one to record events that you would read about in the history books after many years. Today we are watching events in Gaza unfold in real time. I was switching from channel to channel and reading different sources online from around the world. It is so sad to see that the West mainly covers the news from an angle that suits the Israeli side: How many rockets Hamas and its group launched and where they hit. In this way, they could justify the Israeli attack. On the other hand, Israel has so far struck more than 1,350 targets. And how many people the Israelis killed is buried somewhere in the news stories. It almost feels like the casualties don’t matter as much. Is this war on Gaza planned? For many years Israel had not installed the sophisticated Iron Dome system which detects low-range missiles and only two months after this acquisition, it is being used to kill innocent people in Palestine. Exactly now they launched a war against Palestine. In my opinion, the Israelis knew what kind of missiles Hamas had and their range. They prepared the Iron Dome before the attack. In this way they intercept the missiles efficiently. So, they assassinate Al-Jaabari, the military commander of Hamas, in order to provoke the Palestinians to launch a few missiles. There you go. You have a full-fledged attack on Gaza. At the same time the Arab world is watching in silence. Where are all the Muslim brothers? All Gaza had from the Arab world is a delegation to visit Gaza today. What a nice time to visit! What are they going to achieve? Ceasefire? Are they going to honor Gaza with their visit? Does Gaza need visitors or people to take action and save lives? That makes me think that even the Arab Spring had a similar methodical plan. Demolish Libya and Tunisia and the most important country in the Arab World - Egypt. Mess up with Lebanon and silence Jordan with demonstrations over gas cylinders; ruin Syria with the alibi to liberate people from a dictator. OK, he is dictator, but what about the rest of the leaders? Are they freedom-seeking heroes? Are they the Che Guevaras of the Arab world? I talked to many people on the street who were excited about the Arab Spring. Unfortunately, today most of them regret what happened. They wish to turn back the clock. Have a nice day!

Indian women arrested over Facebook post MUMBAI: Indian police said yesterday they had arrested a woman for criticising on Facebook the total shutdown of Mumbai after the death of politician Bal Thackeray, as well as a friend who “liked” the comment. The pair, both aged 21, were arrested for “hurting religious sentiments” and bailed yesterday afternoon by a court in the town of Palghar, north of Mumbai, Police Inspector Shrikant Pingle told AFP. “The police had sought 14 days judicial custody for the two girls,” he said. The women were arrested on Sunday, when a huge funeral procession attended by hundreds of thousands was held in Mumbai for Thackeray, the divisive founder of the rightwing Shiv Sena party. Reports said a Shiv Sena mob, angered by the woman’s Facebook post, vandalised a clinic of her uncle’s. Pingle said they were probing the alleged Continued on Page 13

GAZA: Smoke rises following an Israeli attack on smuggling tunnels on the border between Egypt and Rafah yesterday. (Inset) Palestinians carry the body of a child from the Al-Dalu family during a funeral procession yesterday.—AP/AFP

Max 22º Min 16º High Tide 03:18 & 17:41 Low Tide 10:18 & 22:36

GAZA CITY: Israeli strikes killed 24 Palestinians yesterday, taking the Gaza death toll past 100 as UN chief Ban Ki-moon joined efforts to broker a truce to end the worst violence in four years. As the violence raged for a sixth day, an Israeli missile killed a senior Islamic Jihad militant in a Gaza City tower housing Palestinian and international media, the second time in as many days the building has been targeted. As Ban arrived in Cairo to push for a ceasefire, Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal said his move ment was committed to efforts to secure a truce with Israel, but insisted the Jewish state must lift its six-year blockade of the Gaza Strip. Terrified and desperate, many Gaza families have fled their homes, some seeking haven in the south which has seen fewer strikes. But they know nowhere is safe. “My son Mohammed refuses to eat. He follows me everywhere because he’s so scared and asks me every 10 minutes when we’re going to die,” said Umm Jihad, 37. “He says he won’t go back to school because he’s scared he’ll be martyred or that he’ll come back from school and find that I or his brothers have been killed,” she told AFP. Continued on Page 13

Oppn to stage demo on election eve Panel confirms 37 disqualified • Amir urged to resolve bedoon problem By B Izzak KUWAIT: The opposition announced yesterday that it plans to stage a demonstration on Friday, Nov 30, just a day before the parliamentary elections in protest against the electoral law amendment and to urge voters to boycott the polls. Karamat Watan (Dignity of a Nation), the name used by organizers, said on its Twitter account that the demonstration will signify the opposition’s message to the world that ‘we are rejecting this flop election’. The organizers did not specify the location or the timing of the procession, which will be the third since the opposition began its campaign against the election on Oct 21. The previous two processions and a demonstration in support of former opposition MP Mussallam Al-Barrak on Oct 31 turned violent and resulted in dozens of protesters and policemen being injured. The government has maintained that it will not allow

Dec 1 election. The disqualified processions or demonstracandidates include seven fortions because they are illegal mer MPs who were among 13 and advised the opposition to former lawmakers who had stage gatherings at the Irada been questioned last year by Square. The opposition meanthe public prosecution over while stepped up its camallegations they illegally paign against the election received millions of dinars and late yesterday it held two which the opposition claimed gatherings to urge voters to was a political bribe. The public shun the election. prosecution shelved the case Head of the National last month after it said there Election Commission Ahmad was no sufficient legislation to Al-Ajeel meanwhile conpress charges against them. firmed yesterday that the Ahmad Al-Ajeel Nabeel Al-Fadl, Mohammad Alcommission has disqualified Juwaihel and Abdulhameed 37 candidates for ‘failing to meet the conditions’ required by candidates Dashti were among other prominent candito run for Assembly seats. Ajeel, who heads a dates disqualified. Ajeel told a press conference that a numpanel of nine top judges, however said that disqualified candidates have the right to chal- ber of the candidates were disqualified for lenge the decision before the administrative failing to enjoy a ‘good reputation’ even court which will rule on the issue before the though they had not been sentenced on

felony charges. At least 12 of the disqualified candidates have filed petitions to challenge the election commission’s surprising decisions and the administrative court is expected to set dates soon for the hearing to begin. In a related development, the administrative court set Nov 26 as the date to issue its verdict on the challenge it received against the amendment of the electoral law which triggered the ongoing political crisis. The challenge was filed by lawyer Riyadh Al-Sane who insisted that the Amiri decree that carried out the amendment was illegal and must be scrapped by the court. Sane had also demanded that the court should suspend the general election until it has ruled on the main challenge. The court set the date to rule on both requests. Another petition is expected to be submitted today by former liberal MPs Marzouk Al-Ghanem and Saleh Al-Mulla who are expected to make similar requests. Continued on Page 13

Obama makes history with Myanmar visit YANGON: US President Barack Obama urged Myanmar yesterday to hasten its “remarkable” reforms on a historic visit during which he was feted by huge crowds and met Aung San Suu Kyi at the home where she was long locked up. The trip, the first to Myanmar by a serving US president, came as the regime freed dozens more political prisoners to burnish its reform credentials and after the United States joined other Western powers in relaxing its sanctions. After a red-carpet welcome for Air Force One,

YANGON: US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Myanmar’s President Thein Sein after a meeting at the regional parliament building yesterday. — AFP

Obama met Myanmar’s reformist President Thein Sein and called on the former general to speed up the country’s march out of decades of iron-fisted military rule. “Over the last year and a half, a dramatic transition has begun, as a dictatorship of five decades has loosened its grip,” Obama said afterwards in a major address at Yangon University during his whirlwind visit. “This remarkable journey has just begun, and has much further to go,” he said. “The flickers of progress that we have seen must not be extinguished. They must be strengthened.” Over the past few decades, “our two countries became strangers”, added Obama, who is on his first foreign trip since winning re-election this month. “But today, I can tell you that we always remained hopeful about the people of this country. About you. You gave us hope. And we bore witness to your courage.” In once unthinkable scenes, Obama’s motorcade passed tens of thousands of flag-waving supporters some chanting “America” - lining the streets of Yangon, the backdrop for several bloody crackdowns on pro-democracy uprisings. Obama removed his shoes during a brief visit to Shwedagon Pagoda, a gold-plated spire encrusted with diamonds and rubies that is the spiritual centre of Burmese Buddhism. He later stood side by side with democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi at the lakeside villa where his fellow Nobel laureate languished for years under house arrest, as the presidential limousine sat parked outside. Crowds could be heard chanting “Obama, freedom” in the streets nearby. Suu Kyi for her part sounded a note of caution about the sweeping changes. “The most difficult time in any transition is when we think that success is in sight,” she said. “We have to be very careful that we’re not lured by the mirage of success.” Continued on Page 13

ISTANBUL: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a meeting of Muslim religious leaders from Europe and Asia yesterday. — AP

Erdogan: Israel ‘terrorist state’ ISTANBUL: Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan described Israel yesterday as a “terrorist state” in carrying out its bombardment of Gaza, underlining hostility for Ankara’s former ally since relations between them collapsed in 2010. His comments came after nearly a week of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel and Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip. An Israeli missile killed at least 11 Palestinian civilians including four children in Gaza on Sunday. “Those who associate Islam with terrorism close their eyes in the face of mass killing of Muslims, turn their heads from the massacre of children in Gaza,” Erdogan told a conference of the Eurasian Islamic Council in Istanbul. “For this reason, I say that Israel is a terrorist state, and its acts are terrorist acts,” he said. Ties between Israel and Turkey, once Israel’s only Muslim ally, Continued on Page 13



Monti urges Kuwaitis to seize investment opportunities

KUWAIT: Omani Ambassador Salam bin Suhail Al-Ma’shani held on Sunday a reception on the occasion of the 42nd anniversary of the National Day of his country at Jahra ballroom in J W Marriot hotel. It was attended by a large number of diplomats and other dignitaries. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Cabinet approves two bills for naturalizing 58 people Weekly meeting held KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti Cabinet held its weekly meeting yesterday at Sief Palace under the chairmanship of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak AlHamad Al-Sabah. Following the meeting, Minister of Information and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah gave a briefing of the meeting deliberations and outcome. Sheikh Mohammad pointed out that the Cabinet started with reviewing the letters addressed to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah from several world leaders. HH the Amir has received a letter from the King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk who thanked HH the Amir on the invitation to participate in the recently held Asian Cooperation Dialogue Summit and the warm welcome he had received in Kuwait during the summit. HH the Amir received letters from Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Albanian President Bujar Nishani. The two letters focused on means to strengthen bilateral relations. The Kuwaiti ministers congratulated Saudi leadership and people on the success of the surgery which the Saudi King Abdullah has recently undergone. Then HH Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber reviewed in details the aspects of the Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti’s visit to Kuwait and the main issues discussed with him. The Cabinet welcomed the visiting Senegalese President Macky Sall and his accompanying delegation. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh

Al-Ahmad Humoud Al-Jaber Al-Sabah presented to the Cabinet a detailed report on the outcome of the 31st meeting of the interior ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Sheikh Ahmad made a presentation on the items of the draft security agreement between GCC states. He disclosed that Kuwait has expressed reservations about some items, and the GCC ministers have approved amending them to cope with the Kuwaiti vision. He underlined that the bill now is totally in harmony with the Kuwaiti constitution, adding that the bill still needs approval from the National Assembly. For his part, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah presented to the Cabinet a report on the outcome of his

participation in the GCC and Arab League ministerial meeting as well as the Foreign Ministry efforts to help end bloodshed in Syria and Gaza Strip. Health Minister Ali Al-Obiedi briefed the Cabinet on the national program for senior-care and elders assistance. The Cabinet approved and referred to HH the Amir for final approval two bills for naturalizing 58 people. It also endorsed a draft law for extending the customs duties exemptions for industrial materials coming from GCC states. Then the Cabinet tackled the latest political development in Kuwait, Arab region and whole world. It sent condolences for Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi and Egyptian people over the recent school bus-train crash which claimed the lives of 52 people, including 50 children. — KUNA

Registration for voluntary forum ends Nov 25 KUWAIT: President of the supreme committee for the Volunteers of Kuwait Forum, Dr Khaled AlKlaib announced yesterday that teams wishing to participate in the event can register until November 25, 2012 which is the last day for registration. The event which will take place at Hall 7 of the Kuwait International Fairground in Mishref will

feature voluntary teams in Kuwait “whose goal is to serve society,” Dr. Al-Klaib said in a statement yesterday. He added that the forum which marks the International Volunteer Day sheds light on voluntary work in Kuwait and focuses on ways to encourage and improve it. Registration is available at the website or by calling the Environmental

Kuwait-Senegal relations ‘deep-seated’ KUWAIT: Visiting Senegalese President Macky Sall urged here yesterday the Kuwaiti private sector to invest in his country’s various domains. “The relationship between Senegal and Kuwait is deep-seated and comprehensive,” Sall said in an interview, mainly attributing this to the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, as he aspired for such relation to be further sustained through Kuwaiti investments that would help the Senegalese economy thrive. In this regard, Sall pointed out to the aerial transportation agreement signed with Kuwait during

the visit, noting that such accord, along with talks with the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, would buttress bilateral relations even further. He extended gratitude to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for the invitation, hoping for the visit to bear fruit. “Now, there are a number of Kuwaiti companies operating in Senegal. We need to support this approach,” he stressed. On the Senegalese inner affairs, Sall, who became president of the West African country in April 2012, said that his people wanted change, reform, job

opportunities and equality. Underlining significance of the rule of law and employing the country’s resources for the benefit of the people, Sall said “any unstudied investment should be avoided,” emphasizing that he is currently working on drawing foreign investments back to Senegal. On Senegal’s democratic experience, Sall indicated that his nation initiated a revolution a year before the French Revolution, saying “since independence in 1960 and we’ve been working to expand the concept of democracy in our political system”. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Italian Prime Minister Senator Mario Monti concluded an official two-day visit and was seen off by a host of senior officials after issue of a joint statement on the visit program and results. The minister and his delegation were seen off by head of accompanying mission of honor Minister of State for Planning and Development and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Rola Dashti, senior state officials, senior officials of the Prime Minister’s Diwan, and the Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Italy, Sheikh Jaber Duaij Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah. The joint statement pointed out the talks between the Italian premier and his counterpart, His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, reviewed the economic development and reform plans in motion in Italy at present. The visiting dignitary urged the Kuwaiti side to seize the many investment opportunities in fields which include oil and gas industries and renewable energy. His Highness the premier, for his part, praised the effort and reforms and privatizations executed to improve the Italian economy recently aiming at ending the economic crisis and re-attracting investment In addition to the importance of exchanging visits by specialists in all fields, the two countries also agreed to hold a joint meeting presided by the two premiers early 2012 in Rome. The two sides also agreed to improve trade and investment exchange in vital and lucrative areas, particularly in cooperation with the Italian Strategic Fund and involving Kuwait’s development plan, and the two sides hailed Kuwait’s intent to take part in Expo 2015 in Italy. The statement reported satisfaction over the level of military coordination and cooperation and stressed the need to work on furthering relations in this field. It also pointed out a desire to bolster cooperation in the areas of culture, scientific research, and education, as well as medicine and health care and stressed the need for transfer of technology to help hereditary disease in Kuwait. The officials also reviewed international issues of mutual interest, and the Italian side praised the progress made in Kuwaiti-Iraqi relations and urged the latter side to show commitment and honor its obligations as stated by UN Security Council resolutions if the country wishes to escape UN Charter VII restrictions. The officials also touched on the situation in Gaza, and the statement also noted that the deteriorating conditions which innocent civilians have to suffer in Syria and refugee camps and said the continued bloodshed is cause for great concern. The Joint press release said the two sides support the joint Arab League UN envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, in his efforts to find settlement and welcomed the agreement reached by the Syrian opposition in Doha, Nov 11. It also said the international community has a duty to double the effort to end the Syrians’ suffering within and outside their homeland. When it came to Iran, the officials renewed a call to Tehran to take concrete steps to dispel doubts and fears concerning its nuclear program. —- KUNA

Groundwater Symposium kicks off in Kuwait KUWAIT: The Sixth International Groundwater Symposium kicked off here yesterday with the participation of researchers, professors, and technicians from the four corners of the globe. “This gathering is meant to address the challenges facing the groundwater production and to make its sustainable with the help of the latest technologies in this regard,” Dr. Naji Al-Mutairi, the Director General of Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), said in the opening session. Dr. Al-Mutairi underlined the importance of groundwater in meeting the growing demand for water with steadily growth of the world population. He warned that this important source of water is facing daunting challenges such as the random management of water wells, over usage, pollution. “There are also grave impacts for the climate change on groundwater,” Dr Al-Mutairi said. He made it clear that such daunting challenges could not be addressed with a comprehensive global strategy to protect groundwater, rationalize consumption and improved the quality of the produced water. “Without this global strategy, the goal of sustaining the world development and welfare will be a far-fetching goal in the years and decades to come,” he cautioned. Dr.Al-Mutairi disclosed that the two-day Sixth International Groundwater Symposium is organized jointly by IAHR Groundwater Hydraulics Committee and KISR. He noted that researchers, professors, and technicians from 13 countries; including the United States, Britain, Australia, France, Greece, Italy, China, Spain, Mexico, Turkey, Bangladesh, Egypt and India, participate in the Symposium with research papers. He added that the purpose of the

Symposium is to bring together researchers, scientists, engineers and managers to raise awareness about current challenges and opportunities for the exploration and sustainable development of groundwater resources using cutting-edge technology. The Symposium will provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and expertise among the various research and applied groups, for better understanding of the complex processes that lead to best practices in groundwater utilization and management. The interactions among the multidisciplinary participants of the Symposium will also serve to recognize the limitations of existing approaches and help identify future research avenues. The Symposium will tackle a wide array of key-issues related to the groundwater protection and production. The main topic to be debated in the Symposium are: Characterization of Heterogeneous Subsurface Environments; Upscaling and Parameter Identification Flow and Transport Modeling Salt Water Intrusion; Optimization and Management of Coastal Aquifers; Innovative and Conventional Subsurface Remediation Techniques and Sustainable Groundwater Management in Arid and Semiarid Environments. It will also discuss the Impact of Climate Change on Groundwater Resources; Impact of Subsurface CO2 Storage; Mass and Heat Transfer in Geothermal Systems; Applications of Geophysical Techniques for Assessment of Groundwater Quality and Contamination; Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) as Groundwater Management tool; Management Solutions for Groundwater Rise Problems; Modeling and Management Under Uncertainty; Modeling of Coupled SurfaceSubsurface Processes. —- KUNA



Participation in Assembly election ‘a national duty’ Candidates call for unity KUWAIT: Participation in the election is part of national duty that compels all Kuwaitis to vote, said fourth constituency candidate for the December 2012 National Assembly Elections Falah Al-Maseb here yesterday. AIMaseb told the press that cooperation between the executive and legislative authorities should occur especially in the current delicate situation prevailing the country and the region, stressing that Kuwaitis were looking forward to see how the two authorities would seek measures to better their lives. The candidate affirmed that it was important to solidify national unity despite the differences in opinions and views. In regards to his program, Al-Maseb said that he would be focusing on human resources development and education in order to overcome obstacles facing the country and to achieve the aspirations of the Kuwaiti people. He also indicated that he would call for better healthcare and housing for the Kuwaiti people. Meanwhile, a First Constituency candidate for the 2012 National Assembly election believed that tranquility and stability would be back to normal in Kuwait and the next parliament would contribute to develop-

ment and welfare. Saud Buhamad said Kuwait would regain its pioneering role in the Arabian Gulf thanks to solidarity and cooperation among its people. On his plank, he said he would give a top priority to human development, employment, drastic solutions to housing problems, better medical services and women’s empowerment. He added that he would seek to raise housing loans, waive citizens’ loans and solve the problems of people with special needs. The candidate expressed belief in the single-vote decree for the forthcoming parliamentary election, which he said would create equal opportunities for everyone and wipe out sectarianism and factionalism. Another First Constituency candidate, Khaled Al-Gharib, called on voters here to elect members of parliament who could revive the country and advance development plan, indicating that current stage requires consolidation of everyone’s efforts in order to implement the vision of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah in converting Kuwait into a regional economic, financial, and trade center. Al-Gharib also called for enhancing level of

health care in Kuwait in order to provide an integrated pack of specialized services in various fields of health care, as well as to maintain the life of individuals and societies. In the same context, he asserted importance of encouraging investment in health care, since it is a vital field in Kuwait, and harnessing all available abilities, whether human or financial, in order to attain this goal. Furthermore, Al-Gharib stressed importance of the tourism sector in Kuwait and finding a competitive ability for it to surpass its regional barriers, noting that Kuwait was an open country with civilized people and that tourism was an essential factor in the development of the country. Moreover, he mentioned that Kuwaiti businessmen are some of the most distinguished investors in the region and the Middle East areas, adding that all regional issues must be resolved in order to attract foreign share capital and what follows is from facilitations, creation of an appropriate environment for it, activate partnership between government and private sectors, and depend transparency within the country’s institutions to make Kuwait a distinctive financial and trade center. —KUNA

Review of Second Constituency representation KUWAIT: Within the ten parliament lineups elected between 1981 and 2012 the Second Constituency was represented by 43 members and showed the least change in 2012. The Second Constituency covers what used to be the second, third, fifth, sixth, and eighteenth constituencies in the old 25-district system. Khalaf Dmaithir served as MP for nine legislative sessions, followed by Jassem Al-Khorafi who served for eight. Mishari Al-Anjiri and Ahmad Baqir served for six sessions, and Mohammad AlSaqir and Ali Fahad Al-Rashid served for five. Mohammad Barrak Al-Mutair, Jemaan AlHerbesh, Marzouq Al-Ghanim, Khalid Sultan,

Rashid Al-Hbaidah, and Abdullah Al-Naibari meanwhile served for four sessions. Those who served twice are Jassem Al-Saqir, Abdelmehsin Jamal, Hamad Al-Roumi, Sayyah bu Shaibah, Hamad Al-Jouaan, Ahmad Al-Nassar, Fahad AlKhannah, Adnan Al-Mutawwa, and Abdelrahman Al-Anjiri. Then there are those who served as representatives once only; Mohammad Al-Rshaid, Mohammad Al-Bader, Abdelrahman AlGhunaim, Jassem Al-Qetami, Abdullah AlAradah, Duaij Al-Shimmiri, Abdelletif AI-Amiri, Mohammad Al-Abdeljader, and Salwa Al-Jassar. A representative of the constituency, Al-

Kharafi, served as Parliament Speaker for five legislative sessions; in 1999, 2002, 2006, 2008, and 2009. The constituency saw the least number of members named ministers since 1981, just four out of an overall 25. Al-Kharafi was appointed minister of finance in 1985, Mishari Al-Anjiri minister of justice and administrative affairs in 1992, and Ahmad Baqir minister of justice and Awqaf, in 2001 and again in 2003. The latter also served as state minister for municipal affairs after the cabinet reshuffle in April 2005. The fourth minister was Ali Al-Rashid who served as minister of state for cabinet affairs in the 2011 cabinet. — KUNA

Amir visit to UK ‘to give big boost to bilateral ties’ LONDON: The forthcoming state visit to the UK by His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah comes at an important time for relations between the two countries, a distinguished former British Ambassador has said. Sir Alan Munro, the former Envoy to Saudi Arabia, hailed these ties, reaffirming that “the two countries have had very, very close links for well over a century.” His Highness the Amir is invited by Queen Elizabeth II to pay this state visit from Nov 27 to 29. The Amir will be staying at the Queen’s country residence of the Royal Windsor Castle, outside London. Meanwhile, Sir Alan, who served in Saudi Arabia during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, said that this relationship was “demonstrated to be strong, particularly when Kuwait came under a military threat from Iraq for the first time very soon after Kuwait obtained Independence from British protection back in 1961.” The former Ambassador recalled that he was working as a junior British diplomat at that time and pointed out that later, there was “a period of rapid prosperity and development of the national economy in Kuwait and especially the Hydrocarbon industry.” He noted that much of this was achieved in collaboration with Britain. Munro noted that the “big crisis occurred when a second attempt was successfully made by Saddam Hussain to occupy Kuwait in August 1990.” He paid tribute to the “swift response by an international coalition no less by 37 countries,

with a major part being played by the US, UK, Saudi Arabia as Kuwait’s closest friend and neighbor, and also by France to expel the Iraqi forces from Kuwait. “That major crisis brought our two countries closer together than ever,” the former envoy underscored. He said that during that time, he was always very impressed by the “strong national spirit shown by the Kuwaiti people in resisting this occupation and very bravely resisting it at a considerable risk to themselves and their families.” Sir Alan showered praise on this very strong spirit of nationhood and “one which I certainly respect.” Then Amir, the late Sheikh Jaber AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and his government were given a refuge in Saudi Arabia, near Taef, “and from there I used to see them occasionally.” The former envoy said the Kuwaiti government then was deeply engaged in conducting that resistance and in maintaining the high spirit of Kuwaitis through international media and planning for their own return and the recovery of their country. Sir Alan was full of admiration of the big effort undertaken by the Kuwaitis to rebuild their country after the damage inflicted by the Iraqi forces, particularly in extinguishing the fires of the oil fields, torched by the Iraqi forces shortly before they were evicted from Kuwait. He pointed out that this recovery was also undertaken in close co-operation with the UK. On his expectations regarding the visit, Sir Alan expressed his confidence that the trip will give a big boost to bilateral co-cooperation in

political, economic, defence, and educational domains. He described Kuwait as “a prosperous country which is carrying out an ambitious programme of wide economic development.” The former envoy was confident that there is a strong British role to be played in these activities, as there always has been. Meanwhile, Sir Alan noted that many Kuwaitis live or spend a large part of their time in this country and many others have received some education here. On the other hand, he pointed out that there is a very large British community living and working in Kuwait. He also believed that there will be a wide range of Kuwaiti investments here in the pipeline after this important visit. On politics and regional policy, the former ambassador observed that this is “a time of considerable tension in the Gulf region and Kuwait obviously shares the same pressures with her GCC partners as a result of the Iranian nuclear crisis, and the ‘regrettable’ lack of stability that continues in Iraq. “There will be much discussion during the visit on how to handle and try to play a part in calming these tensions which are threatening the security of the region and the wider Middle East and the world, he remarked. On defence issues, Sir Alan said that there has been traditional close co-operation between the two countries in this important area since the independence of Kuwait. He said that the UK attaches great priority to the security of the region, to which it is committed. — KUNA

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Red Crescent Society received a donation presented by the Bank Boubyan staff to provide urgent relief to the Syrian people suffering as a result of the ongoing unrest there which left many casualties.

Japanese students deepen understanding about Kuwait TOKYO: Four Japanese university students have visited the Kuwaiti Embassy in Tokyo to express appreciation to the Kuwaiti government for offering scholarships, the embassy said yesterday.

The four young students studied Arabic at the Kuwait University’s Language Center in 2011-2012 through sponsorship from the Kuwaiti government, according to the embassy.

TOKYO: The Japanese university students pictured with Kuwait embassy’s Third Secretary Mohammad Al-Othman.

The four discussed relations between Kuwait and Japan with embassy ’s Third Secretar y Mohammad Al-Othman, who is in charge of education, culture and media. Earlier this year, former Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Hirofumi Hirano said that Japan is willing to enhance educational cooperation with Kuwait and to increase the number of Japanese students in Kuwait, attaching great importance to humanitarian exchanges, especially those among the young generations. Meanwhile, situated in the hear t of Tokyo and elegantly designed, the Kuwaiti Embassy here gains high reputation among Japanese schools by tak ing a cooperative stance toward study tour and receives a steady flow of young visitors, including those from distant places. Two groups of

students have recently made study tours to the embassy to deepen understanding of bilateral relations, the embassy said. Joined by Second Secretar y Hamad Al-Mulla at the embassy, three students and their teacher from a junior high school in Naruto City, about 500 km southwest of Tokyo, learned about Kuwaiti costumes, sweet, history and culture. In their talks with Al-Mullah, the group gave a series of questions about Kuwaiti costumes and foods. As a part of their school activities to learn about Kuwait, seven girls from senior high school in Tokyo also visited the embassy, where Al-Othman explained about Kuwaiti society, history, economy, politics, and culture. The teenage girls exchanged their opinions on various issues with the diplomat and tried Kuwait ’s traditional dresses. — KUNA

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior hosted an event yesterday to commemorate the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims which is adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. The event took place under the patronage of First Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah, and participation of Minister of Development and Planning Dr Rola Dashty, as well as Ministry of Interior’s Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs, Maj Gen Dr Mustafa Al-Zaabi.

Al-Tijari continues its offer with British Airways KUWAIT: Commercial Bank of Kuwait announced that its exclusive offer with British Airways to its Visa and MasterCard cardholders which was launched on Oct 1, 2012 will last till Feb 28, 2013, where the cardholders of (classic, gold and platinum cards) can receive up to 10% off airline tickets at all classes (first class, business and economy). Over and above, Visa Infinite cardholders will receive 15% off airline tickets at all classes when booking and ticketing to any destination from Kuwait by using their credit cards at the British Airways General Agent Ticket Shop - Al Awadhi Complex. The Bank endeavors, through this offer, to provide the best marketing offers and services to its customers around all the year around to attain customers’ utmost satisfaction by offering them opportunities for shopping and benefiting from offers provided by reputable merchants

and enjoy saving at the same time. Undoubtedly, this offer reflects the Bank’s ongoing efforts to meet and entertain all its cardholders requirements and accentuates its continuous endeavors to provide its customers with the best offers in cooperation with top-class and renowned partners such as the prestigious British Airways heading diverse routes in Europe and America, and this accordingly benefits a large segment of the Bank’s customers. As the Bank always seek to provide convenience to its customers when traveling, it entered into contract with one of the largest insurance companies in the world to issue free insurance policies to all credit cardholders to make them feel peace of mind when traveling abroad, where customers can get their insurance policy by visiting their nearest CBK branch.

Al-Khorafi ‘confident’ of election success KUWAIT: Former Parliament Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi expressed pride in “the democracy that Kuwait enjoys,” which he says allows for “different opinions to be expressed.” He said democracy was something that requires an ability to “respect different opinions at the same time.” Al-Khurafi made these statements on Sunday while attending the Omani embassy’s national day celebrations. He recognized the right of those planning to boycott the elections as also the right of citizens who are “not thrilled with the boycott” to take part in voting. While reiterating that the upcoming elections was not the first time

when polls were being boycotted in Kuwait’s history - “after all, some did boycott the 1971 elections” - Al-Khurafi stressed his belief that the wide scale boycott announced by the majority of political groups “would not affect the elections and was no reason for concern since this is a democracy.” “The elections are going to happen and a large number of candidates have registered,” Al-Khurafi, who is not running for parliament, said. He expressed optimism that the next parliament will be successful but recognized “the huge responsibility placed on the shoulders of voters to elect the best candidate qualified to represent them.”



Sheraton opens specialty restaurants at Grand Avenue

KUWAIT: Sheraton Kuwait, a Luxur y Collection Hotel, has announced the opening of new branches of its specialty restaurants at the Grand Avenue, that took place in a festive ceremony held in the presence of the Board of Directors of Oriental Hotels Company in addition to a large number of the media in Kuwait on Sunday. Restaurants inaugurated include Le Tarbouche famous for its Lebanese mezzas and grills prepared with the finest spices and ingredients originating from the land of the cedars; Shahrayar restaurant that is distinguished for its quintessentially Iranian Kebabs as well as its famous and delicious meals; the renowned restaurant Bukhara, inspired by the magnificent Palace of Jaipur that captures the romance of ancient India down to the last detail with authentic Indian dishes including the world famous flavours of Tandoori; and finally, Al Hambra, well known for offering lavish buffets that generously feature a combination of international cuisines and mouthwatering dishes from the four corners of

the world available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is worth mentioning that the debut of Al Hambra restaurant at The Avenues marks the first in a series of buffet restaurants that have opened in a mall. “We are so thrilled to expand our presence at The Avenues, the largest and finest shopping center in the region with the opening of new branches of our four specialty restaurants. With this qualitative step, Sheraton Kuwait will reach new horizons of hospitality in Kuwait, aiming to provide the best services to our esteemed guests” expressed Fahed Abushaar, Area Director and General Manager of Sheraton Kuwait. He added, “these new restaurants in their distinguished new location at the Grand Avenue, The Avenues along with their breathtaking designs and varied delicacies, will be an exceptional culinary destination for all food lovers who will indulge in a unique dining experience complimented by first rate service that Sheraton Kuwait has long been famed for since its opening back in 1966”.

—photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat



Teenage duo sexually assaults friend in Waha Child molester in police net KUWAIT: Two teenage boys sexually assaulted a friend of theirs after reportedly kidnapping him from his relative’s house in Waha. The 14-year-old told his father that he was forced by his two friends into their car and driven to the residence of one of them where he was assaulted. Later, the suspects dropped him off at his house, after which he was escorted to the police station to file a case. Investigations are on. Jleeb molester A drunken man was arrested in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh after he molested a child near her building. The suspect tried to escape when he was spotted by a person who happened to pass by the spot where he had lured a nine-year-old girl to.

The passerby caught him and waited till the child’s parents were informed. Soon, the police arrived at the scene and arrested the Indian man. Drug overdose A man was hospitalized in a critical condition after he took an overdose of drugs and passed out. The Bedouin (stateless) young man was brought to the Jahra Hospital in an unconscious state. His relatives, who brought him to the hospital, confirmed that he had consumed an overdose of drugs. A case was filed at the Taima police station for investigations. Driver mugged Two men robbed an Indian-origin driver after dragging him out

of his pickup truck at the Sixth Ring Road recently. The duo forced the hapless driver into their vehicle and drove to a remote location where they physically assaulted him, took away two cell phones and KD5000 that he was carrying to purchase livestock. They dropped him off at a location near Al-Oyoun before escaping. Based on the victim’s testimony, officers at the Taima police station filed a case for investigations. Theft discovered An Adan resident who hosted a dinner party for a large number of family members and friends later complained to the local police about a theft at his house. The Kuwaiti man said after the guests had left, he discovered that

KD14,000 and his wife’s jewelry were missing from his bed room. Detectives surveyed the scene while police requested a list of the guests to ‘invite’ them again, but this time for investigations. Political row Three people face charges after they beat up a man in Farwaniya over an argument about politics recently. A Kuwaiti man told the police that three Kuwaiti suspects assaulted him physically and verbally after he expressed support for a parliamentary candidate known for his controversial views. He had to get medical treatment for the injuries. The attackers happened to be opposed to that particular candidate. Investigations are ongoing.

GCC panel to visit Gaza

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Dive Team managed to lift the engine of a sunken ship which drifted off the Ouhah Island Beach due to strong southern winds. Divers used air bags to lift the six ton engine and then used a large wooden ship to take it ashore. The operation supervisor Talal Al-Duaij described the operation as “difficult” due to strong currents and lack of visibility underwater.

Zakat House receives KD10m grant KUWAIT: A sum of KD 10 million has been received by the Zakat (Alms) House as an initial step to distribute the KD 40 million grant by HH Sheikh Salem Al-Ali, said a statement here yesterday. Head of Public Relations at the Zakat House Abdulaziz Al-Bath told the press the current donation would be covering the debts of some 12,000 Kuwaiti citizens prior to July 25, 2012, adding that the sum would be paid to the citizens within a spe-

cific time-frame, mechanism, and would not exceeded KD 4, 000 per chosen citizen. In regards to the donation’s encouragement of Kuwaiti citizens to marry their female compatriots, Al-Bath noted that each citizens, after July 25, 2012, would be allocated a sum of KD 6,000, adding that the Zakat House will coordinate the matter with the loans and savings bank and other sides to determine who benefits from the grant. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Kuwait said Sunday the GCC countries were the first to recognize the recently-formed Syrian opposition umbrella as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people. “The issue of the Syrian National Coalition (of the opposition Forces of the Revolution) is of interest to us and the Arab League has issued a resolution in that respect,” deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad AlSabah said. Speaking to reporters during a reception at the Omani Embassy to celebrate the Gulf state’s 42nd National Day, Sheikh Sabah hoped the new Syrian National Coalition be recognized by the European Union (EU) foreign ministers during their meeting in Brussels. Asked about UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s statement that relations between Kuwait and Iraq lacked confidence, Sheikh Sabah called for crossexamining Ban’s remarks which came in a lengthy report. In the report, said Sheikh Sabah, Ban asserted that Kuwait and Iraq has made long and positive strides. Yesterday’s extraordinary meeting of the Arab foreign ministers, Sheikh Sabah said the top diplomats formed two ministerial committees: one to vis-

Burgan Bank sponsors ‘Beat Diabetes’ KUWAIT: In celebration of World Diabetes Day, Burgan Bank recently sponsored the annual “Beat Diabetes Walk” which was organized by Landmark Group. The event took place on Nov 17, and included a large group of participants who commenced their walk from the Yacht Club all the way to the Green Islands. Throughout the walk, a number of testing centers were available to provide free diabetes check-ups. Burgan Bank’s sponsorship aims at raising awareness on methods of combatting diabetes, as well as the importance of early detection. Over 25% of the population of Kuwait and 300 million people worldwide are affected by diabetes. World Diabetes Day is a global celebration that occurs in more than 200 diabetic member associations, in over 160 different countries. The cause unites medical professionals, associations and individuals all over the world to celebrate World Diabetes Day. Such sponsorships are part of the continued development of Burgan Bank’s overall social responsibility framework that adds more value to the local community. Established in 1977, Burgan Bank is the youngest commercial bank based in Kuwait, with a significant focus on the corporate and financial institutions sectors, as well as having a growing retail and private bank customer base. Burgan Bank has four majority owned

subsidiaries: Gulf Bank Algeria - AGB (Algeria), Bank of Baghdad - BOB (Iraq), Jordan Kuwait Bank - JKB (Jordan) and Tunis International Bank - TIB (Tunisia), (collectively known as the “Burgan Bank Group”). The Bank has continuously improved its performance over the years through an expanded revenue structure, diversified funding sources, and a strong capital base. The adoption of state-of-the-art services and technology has positioned it as a trendsetter in the domestic market and within the MENA region. Burgan Bank’s brand has been created on a foundation of real values - of trust, commitment, excellence and progression, to remind us of the high standards to which we aspire. ‘People come first’ is the foundation on which its products and services are developed. Earlier this year, ‘Brand Finance’ the international brand valuation company- rated Burgan Bank brand as AA with positive outlook. The rating places Burgan Bank Brand at 2nd amongst the most valuable banking brands in Kuwait. Excellence is one of the Bank’s four key values and Burgan Bank continually strives to maintain the highest standards in the industry. The Bank was recertified in 2010 with the ISO 9001:2008 certification in all its banking businesses, making it the first bank in the GCC, and the only bank in

Kuwait to receive such accreditation. The Bank also has to its credit the distinction of being the only Bank in Kuwait to have won the JP Morgan Chase Quality Recognition Award for twelve consecutive years. Burgan Bank won the prestigious “Banking Web Awards” prize in the commercial and corporate Category for Kuwait. In 2010 Burgan Bank was awarded with the “Best Internet Banking Service award” from Banker Middle East Awards. Burgan Bank was recognized in 2011 as Kuwait’s “Best Private Bank”, by World Finance. The bank also won, in 2011, the coveted “International Platinum Star for Quality” award from Business Initiative Directions, and “The Best Technical Award” from Banking Web Awards. In 2012, Global Banking and Finance Review online magazine recognized Burgan Bank as the “Best Banking Group in the MENA” as well as the “Best Corporate Bank in Kuwait”. The bank also won the coveted “Best Bank Branding” award by the Banker Middle East. For the second consecutive year in 2012, Burgan Bank also won World Finance’s “Best Private Bank” award, as well as the “Best Private Bank in Kuwait 2012” award from Capital Finance International. Burgan Bank, a subsidiary of KIPCO (Kuwait Projects Company), is a strongly positioned regional Bank in the MENA region.

Committee condemns Israeli aggression

Dr Ghazi Al-Enizy

KUWAIT: A committee representing nongovernmental organizations in Kuwait released a statement calling the Arab and Islamic nations as well as “peace-loving countries around the world” to stand behind the Palestinian people in Gaza against the Israeli assault. “[The Israeli] practices came as further proof of the legitimacy and right of resistance groups in Gaza to continue resisting the aggressive regime,” said Secretary General of the Ansar Al-Quds (supporters of Jerusalem’s cause) Committee, Dr Ghazi AlEnizy, in a statement yesterday that echoed

the committee’s “condemnation of the systematic terrorist activities and massacres committed by the Israeli army which exposes the ugly true face of Israel as well as the ill intentions they have against Palestinians.” Calling upon the world governments to “live up to their humane and moral responsibilities to stop the Zionist violations,” the Ansar Al-Qasa Committee acknowledged the “positive and impactful role” played by unions and NGOs in Arab and Muslim countries as well as other countries around the world in showing solidarity with the

it Gaza to provide urgent aid for the Palestinians and the second was to review all principles related to the Palestinian cause and refer them to the upcoming Arab summit. Meanwhile, a security agreement recently signed by the six GCC countries had addressed reservations by the State of Kuwait, a senior official said. Kuwait had in the past voiced reservations over the security agreement but “the reservations has been addressed and some amendments have been made which tackle Kuwait’s concern over these articles,” Foreign Undersecretary Khaled Al-Jarallah told reporters at a reception at the Omani Embassy to celebrate the Gulf state’s 42nd National Day. Following the amendments, he explained, the reservations have become void “thus the signature was collective.” Al-Jarallah did not mention what kind of reservations. Al-Jarallah said the security agreement “aims at boosting stability and address security concerns at the GCC level. “We have made a very important step at the security cooperation level and towards strengthening of security and stability in the Gulf region,” he added. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Public Relations Department officials at the Fire department paid a visit to Madina Fire Center and Al-Hilali Center to keep in contact with internal public relations experience. Public Relations Director Col Khalil Al Amir said that the visit was a friendly one and helped to understand the needs of firemen. — Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun


LOCAL kuwait digest

In my view

Why doesn’t Egypt defend Gaza militarily?

‘Get paid and enter the race’ By Thaar Al-Rashidi

By Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed

hree more weeks to go and we will come to know the shape of the next council, that is if the election goes on as planned without any more obstacles. Personally I believe that the council will witness 90 percent change, which means at least 45 new faces will be there. However, as far as participation of the electorate is concerned, I think it will remain at a record low compared to the earlier elections in Kuwait. For all you know, the rock bottom level of participation may put this election in the Guinness Book of World Records.


don’t think that millions of Arabs today accept the statements of sympathy, symbolic field visits, and diplomatic activities that are being showcased to address the aggression on Gaza. Yet if Egypt decided to defend Gaza in a military fashion, perhaps the political equitation would be entirely different, even if it wasn’t victorious. What’s more, this wouldn’t have to be a major war. The visit paid by [Egyptian Prime Minister]


What is noticeable is that most of the candidates speak as if they were tutored about what to say or declare in their meetings. First they attack the opposition and then they justify their own reasons for contesting these elections as if running in the elections was some kind of a sin and they need to take a shower to wash themselves of the stigma. One key reason why the public may boycott these elections is what the candidates say in their interviews. Most of them either do not know how to articulate, and speak as if Arabic is their second language, or when they speak it well, they talk as if they are trying to hide something. What is noticeable is that most of the candidates speak as if they were tutored about what to say or declare in their meetings. First they attack the opposition and then they justify their own reasons for contesting these elections as if running in the elections was some kind of a sin and they need to take a shower to wash themselves of the stigma. Third thing they do is call for national unity and, then, lastly they warn about some bogus conspiracy. You need to hear out just any single one of these candidates. That is as good as having heard them all, since they all talk about these four points in their identical carbon-copy speeches. NOTE: 1. One simple and legitimate question these days is, “Where is the government?” 2. In the past, they used to enter and then receive the cash. Now, it seems to me that things happen the other way round and the system is that you “get paid and enter.” — Al-Anba

kuwait digest

Do not preach what you don’t practice By Aziza Al-Mufarrej e had no commitment towards his duties as a teacher and was most undisciplined. On top of that, he found a school administration that was equally lax and run by similarly people bad mouthed people. He took advantage of the situation and used to spend Thursdays and Fridays in Basra, doing whatever his fancy led him to. He would be in Basra on Thursdays, even though weekend would start on Friday only. Strangely, the vice principal of the school, during his absence, refused to allow a committed teacher, who rarely used to take leave, to go and see his brother who was involved in a car accident. The sincere teacher was able to leave only when the principal returned and allowed him to go. When one compares how the sincere and the insincere teachers were dealt with, one can only fall back on the saying that “If I lean towards favoring you, then you will get your way.” The “Basra” teacher went to the university to study law, but clearly he was not a bright student, as was evident from his getting an “F” grade, but since he did not like his rating, he changed it with his own hand to “B”, much to his colleagues’ astonishment. The examining professor, who had meanwhile gone to his country after posting the results, could not change the grade when he returned, and the failed student passed the course, much to the detriment of his teacher. Now, this man who indulged in this kind of corruption during his youth, is acting like an honorable man. In fact, his columns in a newspaper are all about the corruption prevalent in the government. His opinions, of course, are in line with the majority view. What we know is that anyone who fights corruption and asks people to be righteous and seeks Allah’s acceptance must be clean and free of greed himself to get the people to accept his ideas and opinions. If a cheat starts posing as if he is “treating” people while he is himself sick, it will be nothing but a joke, and we refuse to suffer it. Anyhow, in all fairness, we know that human beings do make mistakes and the best among them are those who repent. We also know that mistakes happen in one’s youth due to enthusiasm and inexperience, but we hope that this man turns out at least now to be someone who lives by his own words. His columns will have some credibility with those who know his background only if his words match his deeds. Only then will be he be counted alongside those writers who respect their own quill, because they also respect their country and its citizens. — Al-Watan


kuwait digest

Criticizing the opposition

The truth is that Hamas has been extremely disciplined and has honored the commitments it has made to Israel. Of course it responded to the latest Israeli act of aggression, and to the military provocations over the past few months, but Hamas has also done its utmost to prevent and pursue extremist Salafi jihadist groups, which have deliberately launched missiles or attempted to cross the border into Israel.

By Mohammad Al-Sabti riticizing the opposition is often misinterpreted as taking the side of the government or defending the corruption and mismanagement that has been afflicting it for years. People voicing objection to the opposition’s approach are often accused of ‘sucking up to’ the government. This is in my opinion a rather crude way to judge people by the positions they take in the midst of a vicious socio-political conflict rocking the country. It is particularly so when these people continue to criticize the government and tackle corruption. Many people, and myself included, criticize those in the opposition because we find that their actions, speeches and plans have started posing a threat to our social and economic system, intentionally or inadvertently. Their approach gives the impression that they no longer seek to achieve reform, but are looking to overthrow the ruling system. It is unusual for Kuwaitis to speak in praise of HH the Amir and post his pictures on line, because they never had to speak about or prove their appreciation for him. But when the opposition and some of its followers started undermining the status of the Amir, people found themselves forced to show their love and appreciation, not for any other reason but in response to such offenses. Meanwhile, the poor language used by the opposition while addressing ministers and others has led the society to stand up in defense of its morals. And while exposing the opposition’s mistakes is not necessary, the fact that its behaviors was preplanned and carried out with a specific purpose in mind made us realize that their approach was destructive and could not pave the way towards any reform. This road which the opposition is seemingly insisting on taking has no speed limits or red lights. They are willing to destroy the entire building only to restore one room. That is why many people in Kuwait use the same


term for the opposition which they employ for the government: corrupt. Using a bad medicine can not only make the disease worse, but can also leave side effects which could be a lot worse than the disease itself. The opposition is the medicine for the government’s corruption, therefore it needs to follow a correct path, otherwise it will leave side effects that could be undoubtedly worse than the disease of the government’s performance. The government has missed the chance for devel-

While exposing the opposition’s mistakes is not necessary, the fact that its behaviors was preplanned and carried out with a specific purpose in mind made us realize that their approach was destructive and could not pave the way towards any reform. This road which the opposition is seemingly insisting on taking has no speed limits or red lights. opment, wasted public funds and sponsored corruption, but the opposition risks losing the entire country with its approach that spreads chaos and opens the door for civil war and destruction of society. Sometimes, staying sick is better than taking a bad medicine that might end your life. — Al-Rai

kuwait digest

Legitimacy of the elections By Dr Mohammad Al-Moqatei n every general election to the parliament, there are a number of important things that need to be taken note of. Some of the developments that need to be noted in these elections are as follows: Unlike previous elections, this election is taking place in the face of an announced boycott by a majority of political groups in Kuwait. This has set the tone where the public, those in the government and the political groups are all trying to anticipate the voting percentage. It has become almost like a public referendum for the emergency decree that altered the voting mechanism and triggered the boycott call in the first place. If the voting percentage exceeds the average of 63 percent balloting in Kuwait in previous elections, then the decree would gain political legitimacy, but if not, it will be open to question. As with previous elections, the line up of candidates includes some controversial faces that many people believe are not qualified for the parliamentary


post. Apart from the question of whether these candidates are qualified or not, there is another question about the new faces nominated for the elections since a majority of them have entered the scene in an unusual situation and registered during a sudden surge of nominees on the last two days of registration. With traditional faces absent, can the new candidates convince the people about their ability to pull the country out of the current ordeal, especially when a majority of people believe that they would not have stood a chance if the usual faces had been in the contest? On the other hand, those in the opposition also face the question about which way their political future is headed after the elections. In other words, can we say that the elections which will be held after the one that is coming up now will be the beginning of change for the current political class? There is a dire need for us to realize that patriotism is more than just a scarf wrapped around one’s neck to prove that one

commands more loyalty than others. Questioning other people’s patriotism is by itself a dangerous game but unfortunately it has become part of a culture followed by some political groups. So much so that the chance of these varied groups coming together to jointly work for the nation now stands diminished. Moreover, people have now become unwilling to allow anyone to provide an initiative for a solution even if the said person had the capability to do so. In my opinion, the increasing number of cases filed regarding the upcoming election, including those challenging its legitimacy, is a positive phenomenon that proves that the pillars on which the constitutional state is based still stand. Such a trend is found in some European countries and Australia, which helps solidify their political systems. And as the Justice Palace continues to receive cases, we ask ourselves this question: what kind of impact can they leave on the present situation? — Al-Qabas

Hisham Qandil to Gaza was no more politically valuable than those conducted by the late Omar Suleiman, the former head of Egyptian intelligence during the Mubarak era. Qandil’s statements of condemnation do not scare Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, who launched the attack for electoral purposes and to challenge the new Egyptian regime. He wants to determine Egypt’s limits on the ground and to clarify the boundaries of the relationship between the two states. The truth is that Hamas has been extremely disciplined and has honored the commitments it has made to Israel. Of course it responded to the latest Israeli act of aggression, and to the military provocations over the past few months, but Hamas has also done its utmost to prevent and pursue extremist Salafi jihadist groups, which have deliberately launched missiles or attempted to cross the border into Israel. It is clear from recent statements that Israel holds Hamas responsible for the actions of these uncontrolled jihadist groups. Most of the attacks from the Israeli side, sometimes aerial bombardments, have been aimed at Hamas and not at the rogue groups that are a threat not only to Israel but to Hamas itself. Therefore, it is clear that Israel is using its latest aggression for purposes that have nothing to do with responding to threats or protecting its territory. It is a military operation purely for political reasons. I believe that President Mohammed Mursi knows that this time the war on Gaza is primarily directed at him and not at Haniyeh’s government. Israel wants to ensure his obedience from the outset and embarrass him before his citizens and the Arabs, who are watching and wondering what the difference between him and Mubarak is. Sending messages, dispatching officials and withdrawing ambassadors were the weapons that Mubarak used to show solidarity with the Palestinians. What will Mursi’s tactics be to stop the Israeli aggression? We always say that when an opposition movement is on the street it is more vocal and outspoken than the government, but when it assumes office it conforms to certain parameters, and this is exactly what is happening with Mursi. Ever since it came to power, Mursi’s government has dealt with diplomatic norms in a civilized and harmonious manner, and has shown its commitment to the legacy of the Camp David Accords and other agreements. In this respect, it has outdone any previous government. President Mursi has closed the tunnels that were used to smuggle arms into Gaza. Of course, there is neither any logic nor truth in the assertion that closing these tunnels will protect Sinai from weapons and fighters infiltrating from Gaza. Sinai is the passage and Gaza is the destination, or the downstream. Egyptian forces have also waged the largest military confrontation in Sinai since 1973, only this time against Egyptian extremists and jihadist groups that threaten both Israel and Egypt’s security. As long as Mursi remains committed to the Camp David agreement, he is obliged to do so. Yet despite all this evidence, the Netanyahu government has failed to respect the new Egyptian regime and has deliberately embarrassed Mursi on several occasions, most recently with the attack on Gaza, which is, in fact, partially an attack on Egypt. Does Egypt dare get involved in a war with Israel? Personally, I think the question should be reversed: Does Israel risk opening a military front with Egypt?


Gaza children struggle to cope with life under fire Page 8

Tensions flare over South China Sea at Asian summit Page 11

GOMA: Residents run through the city following the sound of shell fire and gunshots in Goma, the major eastern city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo yesterday. —AFP

Fresh fighting as rebels halt outside Goma Kinshasa rejects rebel peace talks GOMA: Fresh fighting broke out yesterday around the key eastern DR Congo city of Goma after the government rejected a rebel ultimatum in the war-weary central African country. Witnesses reported weapons fire in districts to the north and northwest of Goma, the main city in the mineral rich region, causing residents to flee south or towards the Rwanda border just to the east. The M23 rebels had said they would resume their offensive unless the government opened direct talks within 24 hours and removed troops from the city and the airport, but Kinshasa swiftly rejected the ultimatum as “irrational rantings”. “These are fictitious forces put in place by Rwanda to hide its criminal activities in DR Congo,” spokesman Lambert Mende told AFP. “We prefer to negotiate with Rwanda, the real aggressor.” The United Nations has also charged that the M23 rebels are backed by neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda, charges both countries deny. UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said the United Nations could notconfirm whether Rwanda was helping the new rebel offensive but told reporters that M23 “attacking forces are well-equipped and very well-supplied”. According to a worker at the Heal Africa hospital, six people were admitted there after their hotel on the outskirts of Goma

was shelled. The mineral-rich region has long been a powderkeg, the launchpad of rebellions dating back to 1996, with Rwanda and Uganda both playing active or behind-the-scenes roles in much of the warfare.The rebels are mainly Tutsis, the minority ethnic group of Rwandan President Paul Kagame and the target of the 1994 genocide in his country that claimed at least 800,000 lives. Many members of the Hutu militias who perpetrated the genocide fled across into the DR Congo and used Hutu refugee camps in as bases for incursions against Rwanda, further destabilising the region. Yesterday only a kilometre lay between government forces and the rebels massed at the gates of Goma some five kilometres (three miles) from the centre of the city on the shores of Lake Kivu. Soldiers barred a photographer from the frontline where Kalashnikov fire could be heard. The United Nations warned the rebels have a real possibility of capturing the city. “The situation in Goma is extremely tense,” UN peacekeeping spokesman Kieran Dwyer told AFP in New York. “There is a real threat that the city could fall into the M23’s hands.” The EU, Britain and France have also expressed alarm at the violence, which has displaced thousands of civilians and flared up again after a three-month truce last

Thursday, just two days after the UN and the United States imposed sanctions on the M23 leader. In Goma yesterday, schools were shut and streets were deserted save for rare army or UN vehicles a day after the rebels advanced to near the airport, on the eastern edge of the city. But as some soldiers and many local officials fled the city, according to several sources, regional Governor Julien Paluku said he was staying and appealed for residents to do the same. “There is nothing to fear, the city is protected by the international community,” he said according to his spokesman. UN chief Ban Ki-moon vowed Sunday that some 1,500 “quick reaction” peacekeepers would stay in Goma. They are among about 6,700 troops in Goma’s Nord Kivu province, backing government forces against the rebels. The UN troops “will remain present in Goma and will continue all efforts to robustly implement its mandate to the fullest of its capabilities with regard to the protection of civilians”, Ban said. Dwyer said UN attack helicopters have staged cannon and rocket strikes against the rebels but have not been able to stop the steady advance towards Goma. The M23 rebels are former soldiers who mutinied in April after the failure of a 2009

peace deal that integrated them into the regular army. They took their name M23 from the date of the agreement on March 23 of that year. The UN Security Council held an emergency session on the crisis on Saturday, demanding an end to the M23 advance and “that any and all outside support and supply of equipment to the M23 cease immediately”. It also vowed fresh sanctions against M23 leaders and those who help it breach UN sanctions and an arms embargo. M23 leader Sultani Makenga was hit with US and UN sanctions last week, accused of atrocities including masterminding killings, rapes, abductions and recruiting child soldiers. The fighting is the most serious since July, when UN helicopters last went into action against the M23. The former Belgian colony, known as Zaire under the dictator Mobutu Sese Seko who was toppled in 1997, remains one of the world’s least developed countries despite a wealth of cobalt, copper, diamonds and gold. Since 1998 more than three million people are estimated to have died of combat, disease and hunger and 1.6 million been left homeless. In peaceful times, Goma is the starting point for tourists wishing to see endangered mountain gorillas in nearby Virunga National Park. — AFP

Man found guilty in S Africa slaying

Undated file photo shows Shrien Dewani and Anni Dewani. — AP

CAPE TOWN: A South African accused of being the triggerman in the 2010 honeymoon slaying of a Swedish bride was found guilty yesterday, ending his long-delayed trial as the woman’s husband continues to fight extradition over the killing. Judge Robert Henney gave the verdict yesterday in the trial of Xolile Mngeni, charged with killing 28-year-old Anni Dewani. Prosecutors say Mngeni was hired by Dewani’s British husband to carry out the November 2010 killing, which was made to look like a carjacking. Mngeni, who had surgery in June 2011 to remove a brain tumor, has suffered seizures and black outs and has troubles remembering things, his lawyer has said. The poor health of the 25-year-old has slowed his trial and he appeared thinner yesterday than he had at previous hearings, wearing a white button-up shirt with blue flowers on it. Mngeni needed a walker to make his way into court and he sat without showing much emotion during the proceedings, looking straight ahead at the judge as he spoke and a translator offered his words in the local

Xhosa language. In his ruling, Henney dismissed claims by Mngeni’s lawyer that his client had been set up for the killing. Henney found Mngeni guilty of premeditated murder, possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition and robbery charges, while acquitting him of kidnapping charges. The judge described the case against Mngeni as “overwhelming” and said an “avalanche of evidence” came crashing down on his claims of innocence. Mngeni told investigators “where the vehicle was hijacked ... where the deceased was shot and where he had hidden the stolen items,” Henney said. “How could he have done this if he wasn’t involved?” After the hearing, defense lawyer Matthews Dayimani said his client had so far shown no emotion about the verdict. “I don’t think it has sunk in within him as to what has just transpired,” Dayimani said. Eric Ntabazalila, a spokesman for South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority, said the government was happy with the judgment. Mngeni is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday. In August, Mngeni’s alleged

accomplice Mziwamadoda Qwabe pleaded guilty to charges over the killing, receiving a 25-year prison sentence. Zola Tongo, the taxi driver that police say husband Shrien Dewani asked to plot the killing, earlier pleaded guilty to charges over the slaying and received an 18-year prison sentence. Both Tongo and Qwabe have said Dewani wanted it to look like he wasn’t involved in his wife’s slaying and they planned to have the attack look like a carjacking in Cape Town’s impoverished Gugulethu township. The men received 15,000 rand (about $2,100) for the killing, Qwabe and prosecutors have said. In a statement provided as part of his plea deal, Qwabe said that after he and Mngeni staged the fake hijacking, he drove the car as Mngeni kept a 7.62 mm pistol pointed at Anni Dewani in the backseat and then pulled the trigger, the fatal shot going through her neck. Panicked, Qwabe said he stopped the car and got out, helping Mngeni find the spent bullet casing. He threw the casing into a sewer as they ran away into the night.— AP

Syrian rebels clash with Kurdish militia CEYLANPINAR: Syrian rebels fighting to oust President Bashar Al-Assad clashed with armed Kurds near the Turkish border yesterday, the latest sign of an emerging power struggle in Syria’s ethnically diverse northeast. Exploiting the unravelling of Assad’s grip in wide swathes of Syria, Kurds have been asserting control in parts of the northeast, bidding for the self-rule and rights denied to their community for decades under Assad and his father before him. Some fear the increasingly sectarian tinge of the anti-Assad uprising will splinter Syria. But whoever takes charge in the Kurdish plains nudging against Turkey will control a chunk of Syria’s estimated 2.5 billion barrels of crude oil reserves. Yesterday, gunfire clattered in the mixed Arab and Kurdish frontier town of Ras al-Ain, which was overrun by the mainly Sunni Muslim Arab rebels on Nov. 8 and bombed by Assad’s forces in the days that followed. Fleeing residents said the fighting was between insurgents of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Kurds affiliated with the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Syrian Kurdish party with links to Kurdish separatist militants in Turkey. Opposition activists at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported clashes, with a rebel advance into Syria’s Kurdish heartland meeting resistance.—Reuters




Regime loyalist chosen to head Sudan Islamists KHARTOUM: Government-linked Islamists in Sudan yesterday chose a former cabinet minister as their head after reformers who feel the regime has strayed from its Islamic foundation were ignored, analysts said. “The Shura Council of the Islamic Movement elected Al-Zubair Ahmed AlHassan as the Secretary General”, the official SUNA news agency reported. Hassan, a regime loyalist, held the portfolios of finance and energy in the government of President Omar Al-Bashir, who seized power in a 1989 Islamist coup. Hassan currently heads parliament’s economic committee. “The election of the new secretary general reinforces the government control... over the Islamic Movement,” said

Safwat Fanous, a political scientist at the University of Khartoum. Hassan was the only candidate to lead the Islamic Movement after the withdrawal of Ghazi Salaheddine, a former presidential adviser and moderate Islamist. Fanous told AFP that Salaheddine was backed by a pressure group who believe the Islamic Movement should be autonomous from the National Congress Party regime. “I think their major concern... is to make the movement in charge of the government and its political party, and not the other way around,” he said. Hassan’s acclamation followed a fouryearly Islamic Movement conference which, analysts said, was dominated by

supporters of the regime despite calls from the Arab Spring-inspired reformers who say corruption and other problems have left the African nation’s government Islamic in name only. They have also questioned how much longer Bashir should remain in office. “It is obvious that the advocates of change and reform, who bet on the conference as a means for change, have miscalculated the effects of ‘the power’,” columnist Abdullah Rizig wrote on Sunday in The Citizen newspaper. The Shura process itself was controversial and marked a change from past Islamic Movement conferences. Previously the conference chose the movement’s leader but this year the gen-

eral membership of 4,000 voted in a shura of a few hundred, who in turn chose the secretary general. “The secretary general is the person who gets the trust of the president,” and hence will not cause trouble, Fanous said. Vice President Ali Osman Taha stepped down after two terms as secretary general, and analysts see him as a possible successor to Bashir. Taha told last week’s conference that the Islamic Movement leadership needed “a renewal of the blood”. In a stirring Saturday night final speech, he proclaimed that “Islam is coming! From Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Somalia!” The crowd, many of the men bearded

and wearing traditional white jalabiya robes and turbans, rose to their feet in response with shouts of “100 percent Islam!” But those are just words to the marginalised reformers who have been threatening to break away. Sudan’s Islamists divided more than a decade ago when Hassan Al-Turabi, a key figure behind the 1989 coup, parted from Bashir and formed the Popular Congress opposition party. The Islamic Movement is a social group whose members are also assumed to belong to the ruling National Congress Party. The conference was the first by the movement since uprisings and civil war began driving out authoritarian leaders around the region in 2011. —AFP

Gaza children struggle to cope with life under fire Defiant rhetoric shrouds powerlessness GAZA: Barefoot boys chase each other in circles around the street, pointing pretend guns made out of rubber pipes up at the Gaza sky, which is thick with Israeli F-16s and surveillance drones. “We’re not afraid of the Jews’ bombs!” said Sharif Al-Ewad, whose plump cheeks make him look younger than his 15 years. “Al-Qassam

local culture of armed struggle against Israel. The Jewish state pulled its troops and settlers out of the coastal territory in 2005 but ever since has come under regular rocket fire from Islamist group Hamas and its allies in the Gaza Strip, which refuse to recognise Israel’s right to exist.

kind of denial. it’s normal to be scared, but in the messages they’ve watched and heard, they’re taught just to show strength,” said Zeyada, manager of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program. “When there’s no safe place to go, they respond naturally with denial. In a situation like Gaza’s, the best families and the community

GAZA CITY: A Palestinian man carries a stuffed toy in a street littered with debris after an Israeli air raid on a nearby sporting centre yesterday. —AFP (Hamas’s armed wing) has raised its head high, and is really beating them up this time!” he smiled. But beneath the swagger and bravado there is also a yearning for peace and quiet after five days of Israeli airstrikes that killed at least 65 Palestinians, including 20 children. With one of the youngest populations in the world, over half of Gaza’s 1.7 million residents are aged under 18 and they have little to comfort them beside the heady

Israel launched its latest widescale operation last Wednesday with the stated aim of putting a halt to the attacks. Psychiatrist Hasan Zeyada says the constant exposure to shocking violence has left many children suffering trauma and all that it entailsbed-wetting, nightmares, flashbacks, and fear of going out in public. “Part of this is related to our culture and religion, which values sacrifice and duty. The other part is a

can do for children is to keep them close and go about life as normally as possible,” he said. That isn’t very easy. Small victims With schools shut while the fighting rages, some children express delight at their newfound freedom. “Of course we’re happy!” squealed one boy, drawing out giggles from his mates. Looking more serious, Sharif shook his

head. “No, it’s no good. We want to learn. It’s boring, and our parents try to make us stay inside. But we’re not scared,” he insisted. On the other side of the fence, Israeli schools are also shuttered within a 40-km radius of Gaza because of an incessant rain of incoming rockets, with children confined to their homes. Tragically, some young Gazans will never get to see school. Tamer, 1, and Joumana Abu Sefan, 3, were blasted from their beds by an Israeli strike early on Sunday. Their father Salama, blood gushing down his face from his owns wounds, rushed them to hospital, where they were pronounced dead. Male relatives stared on in tears, women cried out and swooned while the little bodies were swaddled in white cloth and gauze was placed in their nostrils to keep still-flowing blood from staining their faces. At their joint funeral march just hours later, Salama cradled their heads as uncles held them aloft at his side. Green Hamas flags were suddenly draped over their shrouds, and the militant group’s religious songs, playing in the background, announced that the tiny pair had achieved martyrdom and that heaven would be their reward. “What does Israel want with their blood?” Salama heaved, inconsolable and seeming to sleepwalk through the spectacle. For its part, Israel denies targeting civilians and says it is constantly warning residents, who it says are used by as human shields, away from areas where militants operate. Abdullah Zumlot, 15, the first hints of moustache speckling his upper lip, scoffed at this as he loitered around the hospital where the Abu Sefan children were earlier carried away. “It’s not fair what we have to live through, we’re not happy. All my family and I do is sit at home and watch the news 24 hours,” he complained. —Reuters

MONACO: (From left to right) Prince Albert II of Monaco, Princess Caroline of Hanover and Princess Stephanie stand in the cathedral for a mass during celebrations marking Monaco’s National Day yesterday. —AFP

US soldier to hear charges for 2009 Iraq shootings TACOMA: A US soldier accused of killing five fellow servicemen at a military combat stress center in Baghdad in 2009 will face an arraignment at a military base in Washington state, preparing the way for a trial that could result in the death penalty. Sergeant John Russell, of the 54th Engineer Battalion based in Bamberg, Germany, is accused of going on a shooting spree at Camp Liberty, near the Baghdad airport, in an assault the military said at the time could have been triggered by combat stress. The soldier faces five charges of premeditated murder, one charge of aggravated assault and one charge of attempted murder in connection with the May 2009 shootings. Six months ago, he was ordered to stand trial in a military court empowered to assign the death penalty if convicted. Two of the five people killed in the shooting were medical staff officers at the counseling center for troops experiencing combat stress. The others were soldiers. It is not known how Russell will plead after hearing the charges against him. An Army spokesman said Russell was expected to be in court during the arraignment. Russell’s attorney, James Culp, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. No trial date has been set. The arraignment, scheduled to take place at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington, comes at a sensitive time for the Army, which is in the process of deciding how to prosecute Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, the soldier accused of killing Afghan villagers in cold blood earlier this year. A two-week hearing at Lewis-McChord

to establish if there is sufficient evidence to send Bales to a court-martial wrapped up last week, after harrowing testimony from Afghan adults and children wounded in the attack. Bales’ civilian defense lawyers have suggested he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, an argument that has already played a role in Russell’s case. In the days following the Iraq shooting, Admiral Mike Mullen, then chairman of the US military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the incident highlighted the risks of multiple deployments on soldiers and underlined the need to redouble efforts to deal effectively with combat stress. Russell’s attorney wrote in a memo this year his client was “facing death because the Army’s mental health system failed him.” Army Colonel James Pohl, who presided over a preliminary hearing in the case last year at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, had called the death penalty an “inappropriate” punishment for Russell because of combat trauma concerns. That view was not shared by the Army’s General Court-Martial Convening Authority, which referred the case as a capital crime in May. At the time, an Army spokesman said that decision was made because of the severity of what he called “blue-on-blue” killings. A recent Army study estimated as many as 20 percent of the more than 2 million US troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan could suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Before the shooting, Russell’s commander had determined that Russell should have his weapon taken away. —Reuters

Yemen leader vows to complete transition

BAGHDAD: An Iraqi woman makes her way through flooded streets yesterday. Heavy rain flooded the streets of Baghdad causing traffic jams. —AP

Kremlin critics: Stop ads on pro-Putin TV channel MOSCOW: Russian opposition and human rights groups yesterday urged Western consumer products giants to stop “financing politically motivated persecution” by advertising on a Kremlin-friendly TV network known for its biased coverage of government critics and demonstrations against President Vladimir Putin. In the wake of unprecedented antiPutin protests that followed last December’s rigged parliament vote and Putin’s return to the Kremlin in May, NTV has run dozens of news reports, talk shows and pseudo-documentaries accusing opposition leaders of plotting coups and terrorist attacks, of receiving money from Western governments, and of hiring migrant workers and neo-Nazis to participate in anti-Putin rallies. The broadcaster has become part of the Kremlin’s “machinery for repression,” the White Ribbon movement, the Resistance group, the Moscow Civil Forum and the For Human Rights group said yesterday. In a statement directed at

companies such as Coca-Cola Co., Procter & Gamble Co., Nestle SA, and L’Oreal International, the four groups said: “Please consider stopping to place your company’s advertising on the NTV channel because it is a way of financing politically motivated persecution.” Coca-Cola’s Russian office declined to provide contact information for its spokespeople, and a P&G spokeswoman said she needed a written request. The public relations offices of L’Oreal International and Nestle were not immediately available for comment. NTV reports have prompted several official investigations of opposition leaders and triggered at least two arrests. One of the arrested opposition activists, Leonid Razvozzhayev, claimed Russian prosecutors kidnapped him from neighboring Ukraine and tortured him for several days, forcing him to confess anti-government activities. Russian officials insisted he turned himself in. —AP

SANAA: Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi pledged yesterday to see through the UN-backed transition from veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh’s rule at a ceremony attended by UN chief Ban Kimoon. Hadi vowed that parliamentary elections would go ahead in February 2014 as planned under the transition agreement signed by Saleh a year ago that paved the way for his succession. Hadi called on political factions in Yemen to overcome their differences and demonstrate the “cohesion and understanding” necessary for the national dialogue envisaged by the transition deal that ended 11 months of deadly violence. The dialogue had been due to start in the middle of this month but it has yet to get under way and no new date has been set nor reason given for the delay. Hadi told reporters after yesterday’s anniversary ceremony that a preparatory committee for the national dialogue, which will have the job of drawing up a new constitution and electoral law, had completed 95 percent of its work. “The remaining five percent will be completed in the coming few weeks,” he said. Hadi has repeatedly urged all factions to join the critical talks, including Zaidi Shiite rebels, who have mounted repeated uprisings in the far north since 2004, and activists of the Southern Movement, who have campaigned for autonomy or outright secession for the formerly independent south. Early last month, the Southern Movement announced it would boycott the national dialogue in protest at its grievances not being heard. But Hadi, who is himself a southerner, gave the movement

SANAA: United Nations Security General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a ceremony on the first anniversary of the signing of Yemen’s power transfer deal yesterday. —AFP little encouragement for a change of heart. “Everything will take place within the framework of Yemen’s security and its unity,” he said. The UN chief, whose special envoy Jamal Benomar has made repeated visits to Yemen to support the transition agreement, said the world body stood ready to provide “technical and logistical” assistance for the national dialogue. Ban urged Yemeni leaders to remove all obstacles to the participation of the Zaidi Shiite rebels. The UN chief held talks not only with Hadi but also with members of the military committee that is charged with restructur-

ing the armed forces, which were split down the middle by last year’s bloody uprising against Saleh, the state Saba news agency said. Ban was also to hold talks with ambassadors from Yemen’s wealthy Gulf Arab neighbours, which played a big part in brokering last year’s agreement and are key donors to the impoverished country, a diplomat said. The head of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, Abdullatif Al-Zayani, too held talks with Hadi on preparations for the national dialogue, Saba said. He said the bloc had opened an office in Sanaa to monitor projects funded with its aid. —AFP




Ivorian military illegally arrested 100s ABIDJAN: The victims were rounded up at their homes, at work or while out having drinks. Taken without explanation to military camps overflowing with prisoners, they were deprived of food and beaten routinely with belts, clubs and guns and released only after their families paid substantial sums of money. A report issued yesterday by New York-based Human Rights Watch accuses Ivory Coast’s military of undertaking a swift, brutal and illegal campaign of arbitrary arrest and detention in response to some of the most significant violence since last year’s election crisis. The rights group warned that such tactics could exacerbate divisions in a country where reconciliation efforts have all but stalled, making the military vulnerable to further attacks. “ The security threats to Ivory Coast are real, but widespread abuses by the military will fuel rather than end - them,” said Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher for

HRW. “The government should quickly show the determination to bring to account the soldiers responsible for torture, inhuman treatment and criminality.” Ivory Coast is still struggling to move past last year’s postelection violence, which claimed at least 3,000 lives after exPresident Laurent Gbagbo refused to concede defeat in the November 2010 election. The conflict dragged on for five months, with Gbagbo stubbornly refusing to leave the presidential palace, forcing now-President Alassane Ouattara to hole up inside a UN-guarded hotel. Since early August, unknown gunmen have struck military positions throughout the country in about 10 attacks, raising fears of renewed instability. Ouattara’s government has blamed the attacks on Gbagbo allies in exile in Ghana and Liberia - allegations the rights group describes as “credible.” But the 73-page report says the military, known as the Republican Forces of

Ivory Coast, seems to have implicated all perceived Gbagbo supporters in the recent violence, arresting hundreds without presenting evidence or allowing formal charges to be brought. The report draws primarily from abuses documented at three camps - two in Abidjan and one in Dabou, a town about 50 kilometers ( 31 miles) west of Abidjan where military positions were attacked in August. One victim, a low-level official for Gbagbo’s political party, told The Associated Press that soldiers arrested him at his office on Aug. 8, two days after gunmen struck one of the country’s most important military bases in Abidjan, killing six soldiers. He was taken to the military police base in the commercial capital’s Adjame neighborhood, where Human Rights Watch documented five cases of torture. “They took me with my driver to this camp, and when we arrived they asked us

to take off our clothes and enter the cell,” said the ex-detainee, who insisted on anonymity for fear of reprisals. “They accused us of participating in the Aug. 6 attack (at the military base). I said, ‘I am not a soldier. How could I attack the camp?’ They said, ‘It doesn’t matter, you are a pro-Gbagbo, and a pro-Gbagbo is naturally involved in the attacks.” He went on to describe how soldiers beat detainees with sticks, belts and other objects in a bid to extract confessions. Victims interviewed by HRW decried “horrible conditions” at the Adjame camp, saying detainees were sometimes “forced as punishment to stay in a room full of excrement.” The lack of food and water drove some detainees “delirious,” the report states. Matt Wells, who researched the report, said abuses by the military were symptomatic of a lack of accountability that predates the postelection violence. The rights group has previously implicated

military commanders in a host of grave crimes committed during the conflict, though no pro Ouattara fighters have been arrested or investigated. “Despite its promises, the Ouattara government has failed to tackle the culture of impunity among the Republican Forces, particularly at the command level,” Wells said. “In response particularly to these findings of torture, it’s crucial that the government quickly open an investigation, find those who were involved and bring them to justice.” In a written response to HRW, Gnenema Coulibaly, who was human rights minister before Ouattara dissolved his cabinet last week, said allegations of illegal acts on the part of the military would be investigated. However, he defended the government’s failure to formally charge detainees and its refusal to allow free and independent monitoring of detention facilities, citing institutional constraints and security concerns. —AP

Rivals dispute leadership of France’s conservatives Fillon claims to lead by 224 votes

FREETOWN: A girl walks past election posters for incumbent President Ernest Bai Koroma yesterday. —AP

Sierra Leone vote peaceful FREETOWN: Sierra Leone carried out a largely peaceful and well-conducted vote despite isolated reports of money changing hands and polling stations marred by bees and lack of light, observers said yesterday. Saturday’s vote was the third presidential election since the end of the West African country’s brutal 11-year civil war that ended in 2002, and experts say it is a key test of how far the nation has come. While local radio stations have begun airing unofficial results from some polling stations, the National Electoral Commission has yet to announce whether the vote will go to a second round. Incumbent President Ernest Bai Koroma must garner 55 percent of the ballots cast or he will face his main opponent Julius Maada Bio in a second round of voting. In issuing the European Union observer mission’s preliminary results, chief observer Richard Howitt said yesterday it is up to the country’s election body to make a decision on the when to announce the results. The body legally has up to 10 days following the election to declare its results. “Clearly the National Electoral Commission will want to take sufficient time and care to ensure the accurate accounting of the vote but they will want to move as quickly as possible with the announcement of the results before any risks of instability or unrest,” Howitt said. Sierra Leone’s chief elections officer Christiana Thorpe said that polling “was reported to be peaceful and orderly in almost all polling stations nationwide.” She, however, noted that polling was disrupted by a swarm of honey bees in ward 135 in the Kambia District. “The polling station was automatically relocated and polling went on peacefully,” she said. The EU mission noted that there were isolated reports of the governing party distributing cash payments. While the mission was assured that the amount of money involved amounted to a local “handshake,” Howitt said in one case there was “a significant amount of money involved.” There also was a report of one polling station where voters who presented ID cards were allowed to vote though they ultimately were not on the voter registry, Howitt said. The ballot boxes in question were under quarantine pending an investigation, he added. The US-based Carter Center also

said yesterday that Sierra Leone’s vote had been “peaceful, orderly and transparent.” Some polled opened late and in some cases there were shortages of election materials, the observers noted. “These shortfalls were generally addressed by midday and they did not undermine the fundamental integrity of the electoral process,” said former Zambian President Rupiah Banda who is with the Carter Center delegation. The observer mission from the West African regional bloc ECOWAS also noted a few isolated incidents, including the absence of back-up lighting which required party agents to improvise with cellphones and flashlights to enable counting in the dark. Sierra Leone’s presidential race has hinged on which candidate can best uplift this West African country trying to shed its past after a brutal 1991-2002 civil war. A decade after the war’s end, Sierra Leone remains one of the poorest countries in the world despite its diamonds and other riches. Several recent offshore oil discoveries, though, are raising hopes for economic development. Most of the country’s nearly 6 million people live on less than $1.25 a day, and it remains among the deadliest places in the world for women to give birth. Earlier this year, the capital was hard-hit by a cholera outbreak. While Sierra Leone already had held two mostly peaceful votes since the war’s end, experts said Saturday’s vote would be a crucial test of whether those gains were irreversible. UN Secretary-General Ban Kimoon praised Sierra Leonean voters for the “peaceful and largely orderly elections. “The high voter turnout and the remarkable calm displayed by the country’s citizens as they cast their votes are a clear manifestation of their desire for peace, democracy and development,” said a statement released by his spokesperson. The incumbent president, Koroma, has pointed to his accomplishments during his first term, pleading with voters in his campaign signs: “I Will Do More.” He faced eight opponents including leading opposition figure Julius Maada Bio, a retired brigadier-general who calls himself the “father of democracy” after his brief three-month tenure at the country’s helm in 1996. —AP

‘Cold-blooded’ ice cream lady in Austria murder trial VIENNA: A woman described as “singularly cold-blooded” went on trial in Austria yesterday accused of murdering two men and setting their sawn-up body parts in concrete in the cellar of her ice cream parlour. Dubbed the “trial of the year ” in Austrian media, Goidsargi Estibaliz Carranza Zabala, who has joint Spanish-Mexican citizenship, is charged with shooting dead her husband in 2008 and in 2010 her new partner. Prosecutors allege she then sliced up the bodies of her first victim Holger Holz and the second, Manfred Hinterberger, with a chain saw and concealed the pieces in lumps

of concrete that she mixed in the cellar under her “Schleckeria” shop in Vienna. The gruesome remains were discovered by chance during maintenance work in June 2011. After going on the run to Italy, Carranza was captured several days afterwards and later extradited. When arrested, Carranza was twomonths pregnant by another man, whom she married in prison in March this year. The baby was born in January but the boy was immediately taken away from her and is now reportedly being looked after Carranza’s parents in Barcelona. —AFP

PARIS: The result of a tightly fought two-way contest to choose the next leader of France’s conservatives remained unclear early yesterday, with both sides claiming they had won. Jean-Francois Cope, a disciple of former president Nicolas Sarkozy, announced his victory to reporters around 2230 GMT, only for former prime minister Francois Fillon to say 20 minutes later that he was in the lead. Cope supporters said he was some 1,000 votes ahead, while Fillon said he had a lead of more than 200 votes. The confusion followed several hours during which both camps claimed there had been irregularities in the voting process. Fillon said he was waiting for the official results of the contest from the internal voting commission, adding that “the credibility of the right and the centre” was at stake. “We don’t have the right to proclaim results before those whose responsibility it is have even done so,” Fillon said. Announcing his victory, Cope said he wanted to work hand in hand with Fillon to present a united opposition to President Francois Hollande’s Socialists. Cope said the UMP (Union for a Popular Movement) party had clearly shown its will to fight Hollande’s policies, which he said were “dangerous for our country” on an economic, social and fiscal level, with reforms that would divide France. The contest to lead the party, six months after Sarkozy lost power to the Socialists, is key to determining whether the UMP will hold to the centre or move to the right in a quest to regain power in 2017. Sarkozy’s defeat marked the end of 17 years in power for the

right, and the UMP lost the Senate, the presidency and the lower house within months of each other. Yet two-thirds of UMP members want Sarkozy to return as a presidential candidate in five years. Unlike Fillon, a motor-racing fan who is ready to run for the 2017 presidency, Cope has said he would stand aside if Sarkozy decides to make a comeback.

“anti-white” racism. He irked many inside his party by making much of an incident in which a boy had his chocolate pastry snatched from him by Muslim youths during the Ramadan fasting period. Cope played a central role in Sarkozy’s banning of the full-face Islamic veil and aims to appease those who find Muslim customs invasive in secular and traditionally Catholic France.

rift. Hollande has a clear majority in parliament and controls most French regions, but a steady slump in his ratings is giving the right an audience. The latest Ifop poll on Sunday showed a 41 percent approval rating. Whichever direction the UMP takes will be tested in early 2014 in local elections where Hollande risks losing ground, barring an economic

A combination shows two pictures taken in Paris showing France’s former Prime Minister Francois Fillon speaking and claiming victory in a battle for the leadership of the opposition right-wing UMP party and the party’s populist secretary-general, Jean-Francois Cope, speaking and claiming victory too. —AFP Polarising figure Cope is seen as a more polarising figure, playing to the nearly one-infive people who voted for the farright National Front in the first election round in May, betting that rampant unemployment would keep tensions high over immigration. The mayor of a town near Paris alleged recently that city suburbs brim with

Fillon appeals more to centreground voters disillusioned with Hollande’s left-wing policies, such as tax hikes on high-earners. The gulf between them reflects a split in a party founded by former President Jacques Chirac in 2002 to group several centre-right parties and carry on the legacy of post-war leader Charles de Gaulle, who sought to transcend the left-right

Revised statue of Pope John Paul II unveiled in Rome ROME: The city of Rome unveiled a revamped statue of Pope John Paul II yesterday after the first one was pilloried by the public and the Vatican. Artist Oliviero Rainaldi said he was pleased with the final product, saying it matched his original vision. He blamed workers for a botched assemblage the first time around. When the larger-than-life statue was first unveiled in May 2011, it was widely criti-

ROME: A combination of two pictures showing (right) a 5.5m tall bronze statue of the late Pope John Paul II on May 19, 2011 and (left) a giant statue of Pope John Paul II displayed outside Rome’s Termini train Station yesterday. —AFP cized by passers-by as looking more like Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini than the beloved Polish pope. The Vatican’s own art critic wrote that it looked like a “bomb” had landed. That few could recognize it as honoring John Paul was a “sin,” critic Sandro Barbagallo declared. Rome’s mayor quickly assembled a committee of art experts, culture officials and scholars to work with Rainaldi to make the

sculpture match what had been approved in his sketches. Rainaldi said the work involved “small corrections” to the “errors” made during the initial assembly. The revisions unveiled yesterday focus on the pope’s face: he smiles now and has a neck and more defined chin rather than a stern expression on a bowling-ballshaped head. His outstretched arm with his cloak opened in a gesture of welcoming and protection - is straightened out. The bronze’s greenish hue is also evened out, the dark brown stains that marked the head and cloak mostly removed. And the statue now has its own enclosed pedestal rather than the patch of grass and bush that surrounded it previously. Umberto Broccoli, Rome’s superintendent of cultural heritage, said it was only natural that the work would elicit a range of opinions, saying Italy is a country of 50 million soccer referees, 50 million art critics and 50 million politicians. “With contemporary art, you have to wait for years to pass before judging it,” he told reporters at the site, located in front of Rome’s main train station. Still, passers-by yesterday were not shy about offering their opinions on the statue’s (second) inauguration day. “It’s much better than before,” said Marco Felici, a 53-year-old road worker who watched the unveiling ceremony with the rest of his neon orange-clad road crew. “The face is better and the neck. They did a good job this time.” Commuter Alberto Donella, however, wasn’t convinced. “It’s not him. It’s not him,” he said as he walked by the statue. “He was joyful. He was nothing like this here. For me it still looks like a refrigerator.” —AP

rebound. Right-wing ideology aside, Cope and Fillon have similar views on economic policy and Europe, and have been critical of Hollande’s challenge to Berlin’s focus on austerity. Sarkozy, praised for his handling of the financial crisis, has told friends he would seek re-election if the Socialists mishandle economic policy. —Reuters

Ethnic Somalis attacked in Kenyan capital NAIROBI: Police fired tear gas to disperse Kenyans who attacked ethnic Somalis in a Somali-dominated district of the capital yesterday following a weekend bomb attack. A crowd threw stones and broke into Somali homes and shops in anger at Sunday’s attack on a minibus which killed at least nine people in Nairobi’s “Little Mogadishu” district. Ethnic Somalis, some armed with machetes, hurled rocks at their attackers, who responded with sling shots and stones. Paramilitary police fired volleys of teargas as they tried to prise the battling factions apart. “We are trying to create a buffer zone so that people cannot cross over,” Nairobi regional police commander Moses Ombati told reporters, pointing to a road that he said formed a rough boundary between the two communities. “These people are neighbours and business partners who need each other, so I don’t think it will last long,” he said. Authorities have blamed Somali militants and their sympathisers for grenade and gun attacks in Kenya since Nairobi sent soldiers into neighbouring Somalia last year to drive out Al-Shabaab rebels, an Islamist group linked to Al-Qaeda. Attacks have intensified since Kenyan and African Union forces launched an offensive seven weeks ago against Al-Shabaab’s last major urban stronghold, the Somali port of Kismayu, forcing the rebels to flee. Two Kenyan soldiers were shot dead in the eastern town of Garissa, which is a rear base for Kenya troops fighting in Somalia as part of the regional African Union force. Somalia-related violence and growing separatist sentiment in its Indian Ocean coastal strip have added to security concerns ahead of March presidential polls in a country where 1,200 died in post-election violence in 2007. In the Eastleigh district of the capital Nairobi, crowds poured through the streets chanting “Somalis must go!”, hurling rocks and smashing windows of some Somali apartments. Rioters jeered police who fired warnings shots in the air, demanding the government improve security in a district that has borne the brunt of the grenade and gun attacks. —Reuters



Congress to investigate Benghazi ‘talking points’ WASHINGTON: Lawmakers want to know who had a hand in creating the Obama administration’s now-discredited “talking points” about the Sept 11 attack on a US diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, and why a final draft omitted the CIA’s early conclusion that terrorists were involved. The answers could explain why President Barack Obama and top aides, including UN Ambassador Susan Rice, described the attack for days afterward as a protest against an antiIslam video that spontaneously turned violent and why they played down any potential link to Al-Qaeda, despite evidence to the contrary. Administration officials have defended the portrayal of the attack as relying on the best information avail-

able at the time that didn’t compromise classified intelligence. Democrats say CIA and other intelligence officials signed off on the final talking points. Republicans have alleged a Watergatelike cover up, accusing White House aides of hiding the terrorism link in the run-up to the Nov 6 presidential election so voters wouldn’t question Obama’s claim that Al-Qaeda’s power had diminished. “I know the narrative was wrong and the intelligence was right. We’re going to get to the bottom of how that happened,” Rep. Mike Rogers, RMich, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, said she does-

n’t believe the White House altered the document for political reasons. But she said she has lingering concerns about how the talking points were created when it was clear early on that the military-style assault wasn’t a simple protest gone awry. She said Congress has asked the administration to provide a detailed explanation. “We gave the direction yesterday that this whole process is going to be checked out,” Feinstein, DCalif said on “Meet the Press.” “We’re going to find out who made changes in the original statement. Until, we do I really think it’s unwarranted to make accusations.” The inquiry comes on the heels of closed testimony to the committees last week by former CIA Director David Petraeus.

According to lawmakers who attended the meetings, Petraeus said the reference to Al-Qaeda was removed from the final version of talking points, although he wasn’t sure who or which federal agency deleted it. A senior US official familiar with the document, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the process publicly, said the Al-Qaeda reference was deleted because the information came from classified sources and the links were tenuous. The administration also did not want to prejudice a criminal investigation in its early stages, that official said. Feinstein confirmed that intelligence officials told her in closed briefings that they were reluctant to name

any particular terrorist group without being certain. But, she added, it was clear very soon after the attack that the violence didn’t stem from a political demonstration. Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, told reporters traveling with the president to Asia that any substantive edits to the talking points would have come from intelligence agencies themselves. The only change the White House made, he said, was to correct a reference to the facility in Benghazi as a “diplomatic facility,” instead of a “consulate.” “Other than that we were guided by the points that were provided by the intelligence community. So I can’t speak to any other edits that may have been made,” he said. — AP

Immigrants, minority groups skeptical about Rep outreach Plurality of minorities may help shape future races

This photo shows the former Commander of International Security Assistance Force and US Forces-Afghanistan Gen Davis Petraeus (left) shaking hands with Paula Broadwell, co-author of his biography “All In: The Education of General David Petraeus.” — AP

Devastated by affair: Petraeus biographer WASHINGTON: Paula Broadwell, whose extramarital affair with CIA chief David Petraeus led to his resignation, is telling friends she is devastated by the fallout. A person close to Broadwell said Sunday she deeply regrets the damage that’s been done to her family and everyone else’s, and she is trying to repair that and move forward. The friend spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. A group of friends and neighbors welcomed Broadwell, her husband, Scott, and their young sons back to their home in Charlotte, NC, after Broadwell spent more than a week being hounded by media while staying at her brother’s home in Washington. The family friend said she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from her neighbors. Broadwell is still being investigated by the FBI over classified documents found on her laptop and in her home, which investigators believe the author gathered while researching her biography of Petraeus in Afghanistan. Investigators say many of the documents are old and may no longer be classified despite their labels, and say Broadwell told them she did not get them from Petraeus. The FBI stumbled onto their relationship after tracking anonymous emails Broadwell

allegedly sent to Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, warning Kelley to stay away from Petraeus and Afghanistan war commander Gen John Allen. Kelley served as sort of an unpaid social liaison for Central Command, hosting parties at her and her husband’s home, where senior officers would mingle with Tampa’s elite. Officials say Kelley kept in near constant contact with Allen, and Petraeus before him, apparently trading on her friendship with the fourstar commanders to advance her social status in the military-conscious community of Tampa. The scandal widened when the Pentagon announced it was looking into that copious correspondence between Kelley and Allen, searching for possible evidence of an inappropriate relationship between the two married people. Allen’s nomination to lead the US European Command has been put on hold, pending results of the investigation, though officials now concede only a handful of the emails between Kelley and Allen are of flirtatious or questionable nature. The FBI found no reason to further investigate Petraeus, but the CIA is now investigating whether the former director behaved inappropriately, such as possibly using agency resources to further the affair. — AP

San Francisco considers banning public nudity SAN FRANCISCO: San Francisco’s lawmakers are voting today on whether to ban nudity in a city where anything goes, including clothes. The ordinance would prohibit nudity in most public places. It represents an escalation of a two-year fight between a group of men who strut their stuff through the city’s famously gay Castro District and the supervisor who represents the area. Supervisor Scott Wiener’s proposal would make it illegal for a person over the age of 5 to “expose his or her genitals, perineum or anal region on any public street, sidewalk, street median, parklet or plaza” or while using public transit. “I don’t think having some guys taking their clothes off and hanging out seven days a week at Castro and Market Street is really what San Francisco is about. I think it’s a caricature of what San Francisco is about,” Wiener said. Exemptions would be made for participants at permitted street fairs and parades, such as the city’s annual gay pride event and the Folsom Street Fair, which celebrates sadomasochism and other sexual subcultures. A first offense would carry a maximum penalty of a $100 fine, but prosecutors would have authority to charge a third violation as a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine and a year in jail. Wiener said he felt compelled to act after constituents complained about the naked men who gather in a small Castro plaza most days and sometimes walk the streets au naturel. He persuaded his colleagues last year to pass a law requiring a

cloth to be placed between public seating and bare bottoms, but the complaints have continued. The proposed ban predictably has produced outrage, as well as a lawsuit. Last week, about two dozen people undressed in front of City Hall and marched around the block to the amusement of gawking tourists. Stripped down to his sunglasses and hiking boots, McCray Winpsett, 37, said he understands the disgust of residents who would prefer not to see the body modifications and sex enhancement devices sported by some of the Castro nudists. But he thinks Wiener’s prohibition goes too far in undermining a tradition “that keeps San Francisco weird.” “A few lewd exhibitionists are really ruining it for the rest of us,” he said. Because clothes are required to enter City Hall itself, demonstrators who try to disrobe at the Board of Supervisors meeting will be escorted out by sheriff’s deputies. That is what happened last Monday when Gypsy Taub removed her dress during the ban’s first public hearing. “I thought if I take my clothes off, I bet they are going to listen,” the mother of two said. San Francisco lawyer Christina DiEdoardo filed a federal lawsuit last week on behalf of Taub and three men that seeks to block Weiner’s ordinance. The complaint alleges that the ban infringes on the free speech rights of nudists and discriminates against those who cannot afford to obtain a city permit. —AP

BALTIMORE: Latinos, African-Americans and other minorities who helped President Barack Obama win a second term are skeptical about enhanced Republican outreach to their communities, but also say the future of the coalition that shaped the 2012 election may be fragile. Top Republicans rushed to do damage control last week after Mitt Romney blamed his election loss on what he called an Obama strategy of giving “gifts” to blacks, Latinos and young voters - groups instrumental to the president’s re-election victory. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and other Republicans warned that the party could not broaden its appeal unless it stopped insulting the very voters its was trying to reach. “We have to really question their motives and how they’re tokenizing these faces of color,” Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, told activists and organizers at a conference on racial issues in Baltimore this weekend. She said Latino voters and other minority groups remained on guard given the Republicans’ reluctance to embrace immigration reform and other substantive issues. She said it had not escaped notice that most delegates at Republican convention were white despite the inclusion of Latino speakers. Michael Omi, a leading scholar on US racial politics at the University of California, Berkeley, said the Republican party faced a crisis in how to adapt to changing demographics, which show blacks, Latinos, Asians and others will eclipse whites as a majority of the US population in three decades, without moving away from its core constituency of white males. “All of that amounts to a pretty thin

veneer,” Omi told over 1,400 teachers, doctors, artists and others at the “Facing Race” conference hosted by the non-profit Applied Research Center. He said it was still unclear if Asian-Americans and Latinos would be increasingly accepted as “honorary whites,” which could align them more closely with the Republican party while perpetuating a blackwhite divide, or if the country would move toward a new, more multi-faceted view of race. Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Junot Diaz, who immigrated from the Dominican Republic when he was a child and now teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the 2012 presidential election clearly reflected growing unease with what he called the Republican party’s “angry white male machine.” “People of color have for the first time in the history of the United States attained a strategic plurality that, when coordinated, allowed us to decisively alter the outcome of the presidential campaign in Obama’s favor,” said Diaz, author of the bestselling novel, “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” But maintaining the new alliances could be tough, given long-standing tensions among various groups, deeply internalized images of white supremacy among minorities and vast economic disparities still in place 50 years after the civil rights movement, Diaz said. “Who knows if the coalition will hold, splinter, collapse or mutate,” he added. Rinku Sen, executive director of the center that hosted the conference, said she saw growing interest in racial justice issues, including hundreds of grass-roots initiatives focused on immigrant rights, underperforming schools, healthcare, working conditions, human trafficking and mass incarceration. Over the past four years, she said, many of

those groups began working more closely together, partnering across racial, ethnic and gender lines to support each other. In Minnesota, for instance, organizers brought together Native Americans, Somali immigrants and others to oppose a voter-identification amendment. In Maryland, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) rallied its members to support an amendment legalizing same-sex marriage. Sen said there was also far more attention to racial issues during the 2012 election, but the Republican party faced an uphill battle with non-white voters after remarks like those made by Romney, especially since the Republican policy agenda did not address the needs of large numbers of people of color. Republicans in recent years have taken a hard line against the estimated 11.2 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, most of whom are Hispanic. During the campaign, Romney called for “self-deportation” of such immigrants. “Unless they figure out how to adapt their policy platforms to address those needs, I think they’re going to continue to have trouble,” Sen told Reuters during the conference. At the same time, Sen said a record number of deportations and other issues had left many immigrants and others ambivalent about the Democratic Party as well. Diaz told reporters the Republican political machine remained strong and well-funded and could still fragment the fledgling coalition whose success in 2012 had surprised many of its own members. “Just because people have the numbers does not mean they’re not going to be captured,” he said. “Historically there’s been very efficient ways to neutralize numerical advantages.” —Reuters

Rhodes Scholars announced for 2013 PHILADELPHIA: They’ve studied in countries from Ghana to China, speak languages from Zulu to Mandarin, and count everything from West African drumming to firefighting among their talents. The 32 Rhodes Scholars announced Sunday represent a diverse cross-section of US students, hailing from New England to the Deep South, from Ivy League universities to small liberal arts colleges. However, the scholars, who will study at Oxford University in England beginning next October, are selected based on a core set of criteria: academic achievement, personal integrity, leadership potential and physical vigor. Recipients reached by The Associated Press all described similar reactions: They were excited, humbled and at times in disbelief. “I keep sort of checking my phone to see if this actually happened,” said David Carel, a Yale University senior and one of seven recipients from the school. “It’s so hard to believe I just sort of assume I dreamed the whole thing.” Carel said he hopes to use his scholarship to study how health, education and economics intersect. A trip to explore the South African roots of his family led to work in the KwaZulu-Natal region of western South Africa, where he joined Peace Corps volunteers and later a nonprofit working with at-risk youths who aren’t in school and don’t have jobs, trying to prevent widespread alcoholism, depression and other problems. He is fluent in both Zulu and Hebrew, is a lead drummer in a West African dance troupe and teaches a form of Israeli dance. Rhiana Gunn-Wright’s ambitions stem from her childhood in the impoverished Englewood neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. “I’ve seen the way that poverty robs people of their opportunity to explore their capabilities,” she said. The Yale graduate currently researches poverty’s effects on people’s access to a college education and hopes to one day help reform social welfare policy. Christian Heller, a 21-year-old United States Naval Academy student, has a deep interest in Middle Eastern affairs and the effects of the oil industry. But his interest grew when he started seeing the connections between how the industry developed overseas and how the energy sector is developing in his home state of North Dakota, which is experiencing massive growth amid the oil boom there. “That’s pretty much where I’m from and it was having a big impact on the people I know,” said Heller, who grew up about an hour southeast of the heart of the boom. Others also described deeply personal reasons for their studies. Chris Dobyns of Highland, Md., said his grandfather - a Methodist minister - would preach at different churches, including an African-American church every Ash Wednesday. That exposed him to a variety of cultures during his upbringing in suburban Washington, DC, and ultimately inspired him to pursue African studies at Cornell University. “There are a lot of people who promoted that in my life, but it really started and ended, I think, with my faith,” said Dobyns, who also was a volunteer firefighter at Cornell. For Rachel Myrick, a University of North CarolinaChapel Hill student, a trip with a nonprofit to Cambodia inspired her interest in studying the causes and consequences of ethnic conflict.— AP

TEGUCIGALPA: In this file photo, Xiomara Castro Zelaya (right) wife of former Honduras President Manuel Zelaya, waves to supporters during a Labor Day rally in Honduras. — AP

Honduran parties choose presidential candidates TEGUCIGALPA: Three Honduran political parties chose their candidates for next year’s general elections in primary voting Sunday that heralded the return of ousted former President Manuel Zelaya to politics in this Central American country. Zelaya’s wife, Xiomara Castro, is running uncontested as the presidential candidate in 2013 for the leftist Liberty and Refoundation party, or Libre, while the ousted president is seeking to be a congressional candidate. The National and Liberal parties, which have long dominated Honduran politics, fielded multiple candidates. Late Sunday, Honduras’ Supreme Electoral Tribunal said preliminary results showed Mauricio Villeda ahead as presidential candidate for the Liberal Party while the National Party was favoring Juan Orlando Hernandez. It was unclear when the official final results would be announced. A mission of 40 Organization of American States observers said the vot-

ing process had been “normal.” Supporters of Libre, which was formed after the 2009 coup d’etat that toppled Zelaya, hope it will break the lock on power held by the Liberal and National parties. “Libre will break the biparty system,” said Zelaya on the eve of the primaries. “Libre is a peaceful, revolutionary, socialist and the hope for this country.” Honduras’ army flew Zelaya out of the country after he went forward with plans for a referendum on changing the constitution even though the Supreme Court ruled the vote illegal. The coup was widely condemned by other nations. Zelaya returned from exile in May 2011 under a deal brokered by Colombia and Venezuela, paving the way for Honduras’ reintegration into the world community. Sunday’s voting was to choose candidates for the presidency and vice presidency, and open seats in the Central American Parliament, National Congress, and municipal councils. — AP



Japan oppn LDP remains election favourite: Poll TOKYO: Japan’s main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) saw its voter support slip, but still maintained a commanding lead against rivals, including the ruling Democratic Party, ahead of a December election, public opinion polls showed yesterday. The Nikkei business daily survey said 25 percent of those polled said they would vote for the LDP in a lower house election on Dec 16, while 16 percent would vote for the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). The LDP figure represented a loss of 2 percentage points from the previous

Nikkei poll, while the DPJ gained 5 percentage points. More significantly, poll figures showed the new Japan Restoration Party, led by Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, earned 11 percent support and the Sunrise Party, led by nationalist ex-Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, stood at 4 percent. A Kyodo news agency poll credited the Japan Restoration Party with 6.8 percent and Sunrise with 1.0 percent. Over the weekend, the two new parties agreed to merge under the 80year-old Ishihara’s leadership, despite serious policy gaps, such as the role of

nuclear power in Japan’s energy mix. Analysts see the election ushering in a period of confusing coalition politics, partly because of a spate of new parties courting voters discontented with the LDP and the DPJ and because whoever wins will still lack a majority in parliament’s upper house, which can block bills. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda dissolved the lower house of parliament on Friday, but the election is unlikely to fix a policy stalemate that has plagued a country struggling to cope with an ageing population, a declining manufacturing

sector and the emerging power of China. Polls by other news outlets, the Asahi Shimbun daily, the Mainichi Shimbun daily and Kyodo, produced a similar LDP lead. But they also showed large numbers of undecided voters — 44 percent of respondents in the Asahi, 43 percent in the Kyodo and 36 percent in the Mainichi-who said they did not support any particular party, a sign of campaign battles to come to win over swing voters. Asked which of the two main parties’ leaders was suited for the prime minister’s post, 35 percent of those

polled by Kyodo chose LDP chief Shinzo Abe, a former premier who advocates aggressive monetary easing, compared with 32.1 percent for Noda. The DPJ swept to power in 2009 ending more than a half a centur y of nearly non-stop Liberal Democratic Party rule. But the support rate slumped over what voters saw as broken promises, a confused response to last year’s tsunami and nuclear crisis and Noda’s embrace of unpopular causes such as rise in the sales tax and the restart of nuclear reactors.— Reuters

Tensions flare over South China Sea at Asian summit Washington insists containing China not its ‘pivot’

GUIZHOU: This picture shows workers cleaning up the heavily polluted Nanming River in Guiyang, southwest China’s Guizhou province. China will start assessing the “social risk” of major projects, its environmental protection minister said, after anti-pollution protests forced a series of industrial ventures to be cancelled. — AFP

China’s Xi warns party of corruption scourge

BEIJING: China’s new leader Xi Jinping is highlighting corruption as a scourge that could bring down the Communist Party, though he has yet to offer any specific new proposals to stop it. In a weekend speech that was carried yesterday by the official Xinhua News Agency, Xi told the new 25-member Politburo that the party must be vigilant against graft, noting that corruption in other countries in recent years has prompted major social unrest and the collapse of governments. “The large number of facts tells us that if the problem of corruption becomes increasingly severe, it will lead to the ruin of the party and the country!” Xinhua quoted Xi as saying in a speech that can be read as an indication of the priorities of the incoming administration. Xi’s language was unusually direct for a top leader, indicating his seriousness about the problem, but his speech gave few indications of how the party could better police itself, said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a political scientist at Hong Kong Baptist University. “He used strong words. It was clearly a warning: ‘We have to do something about this,’” Cabestan said. “Clearly, for him, the crux of the matter is corruption. The trouble is, of course, that he doesn’t tell us much about what are going to be the efficient tools or weapons he will put together to fight corruption.” Several corruption investigations have targeted high-level leaders in recent years, most notably former Politburo member Bo Xilai, who was purged this year after an aide disclosed that Bo’s wife murdered a British businessman. Bo is accused of obstructing the investigation into the murder as well as unspecified corruption while in office. Foreign media, meanwhile, have reported in recent weeks that the families of Chinese leaders have accumulated enormous wealth. Xi urged officials at all levels to obey anticorruption regulations and to better limit their relatives or associates from abusing their influence for personal gain, but he gave no indication of any independent

mechanism for investigating graft. The party, which controls courts, police and prosecutors, has proved feeble in policing itself yet does not want to undermine its control by empowering an independent body. Some officials have been required to report income, real estate holdings and other wealth to their superiors since 2010, but the measure has done little to staunch graft. Xi took over as China’s top leader last Thursday when he assumed the posts of party leader and head of the military commission from President Hu Jintao. Hu will retain the title of president - the ceremonial head of state - until next spring, when he hands that position to Xi as well. Xi has been gradually replacing key Huappointed party officials. Yesterday, former public security minister Meng Jianzhu was named head of the Political Science and Law Commission that oversees police and the courts, replacing Zhou Yongkang. Zhao Leji, the former party boss of the northern province of Shaanxi, was named the new head of the Organization Department responsible for key government and party appointments. He takes over from Li Yuanchao, a Hu ally who last week failed to gain a seat on the all-power ful Politburo Standing Committee. In his remarks to the Politburo, Xi dwelled on the importance of the party’s theoretical foundations in Marxism, Leninism and the ideas espoused by his predecessors, but his remarks on corruption stood out for being relatively free of political jargon. Xi also emphasized the need to narrow the gap between the party and the people in what seemed like an implicit critique of his predecessors, said Willy Lam, a political analyst at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Lam said Xi’s frequent references to “the people” in his speech indicated that “the past two decades have resulted somehow in the people feeling alienated from the party.” “Now what he’s saying is that from day one is that we shall stick to the people. We will do what the people want,” Lam said. —AP

Chinese dissident gets 12 years for contract fraud BEIJING: A dissident Chinese poet whose detention has drawn an international appeal for his release was sentenced yesterday by a court in southwestern China to 12 years in prison for contract fraud, his lawyer said. Li Bifeng formerly imprisoned for five years for involvement in the Tiananmen Square democracy movement - was sentenced at Shehong County Court in Sichuan province, said lawyer Zhao Jianwei. He said the defense would appeal. “We believe the verdict was not based on the facts and the prosecutors and the court violated procedural laws and regulations,” Zhao said. A court official who declined to give his name confirmed Li’s hearing had taken place, but said he didn’t have details. Li’s friend - exiled dissident Liao Yiwu said the 48-year-old Li was targeted because he was suspected of financing Liao’s escape from the country last year. Liao said those suspicions are false. Earlier this year, after Li was detained, Liao launched an international appeal from Germany calling for Li’s release.

Nobel Prize for Literature winner Herta Muller and Ha Jin, winner of the US National Book Award, were among those who joined the appeal. Li’s wife said yesterday’s verdict was untenable. Zhan Xia said the charge related to a sales agreement that her husband had signed with an alcohol company to help sell some apartments on southern Hainan island. “After the apartments were sold, the company sued him for contract fraud, which is groundless,” she said. “He is a very good friend of Liao Yiwu, but he didn’t tell me whether he helped Liao flee. His being on trial must be related to his alleged help of Liao because the economic charge against him can’t be proven,” she said. Zhan said she had only seen her husband once since he was detained in September 2011 and that was at his trial in July. “He wasn’t in good mental health and was suffering from high blood pressure,” she said. A man from Shehong County’s prosecutor’s office said he knew nothing about the case. Calls to Shehong Public Security Bureau rang unanswered. — AP

PHNOM PENH: Japan warned yesterday that a row over the South China Sea could directly influence “peace and stability” in Asia as the Philippines publicly disagreed with Cambodia over the contentious territorial issue at a regional summit. Wading into one of Asia’s most divisive and vexing security problems, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda challenged efforts by summit host Cambodia to limit discussions on the South China Sea, where China’s territorial claims overlap those of four Southeast Asian countries and of Taiwan. “Prime Minister Noda raised the issue of the South China Sea, noting that this is of common concern for the international community, which would have direct impact on peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific,” a Japanese government statement said after Noda met leaders from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). That followed a statement on Sunday from Kao Kim Hourn, a Cambodian foreign ministry official, who said Southeast Asian leaders “had decided that they will not internationalise the South China Sea from now on.” In a sign of tensions within Southeast Asia over Chinese sovereignty claims, Philippine President Benigno Aquino disputed the Cambodian statement and said no such agreement had been reached, voicing his objections intense final minutes of discussions between Noda and Southeast Asian leaders. As Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen began to conclude the meeting, Aquino abruptly raised his hand and tersely interjected. “There were several views expressed yesterday on ASEAN unity which we did not realise would be translated into an ASEAN consensus,” he said, according to his spokesman. “For the record, this was not our understanding. The ASEAN route is not the only route for us. As a sovereign state, it is our right to defend our national interests.” Alternative diplomatic routes for the Philippines would likely involve the United States, a close ally. Cambodia, on the other hand, has deep ties with China. US President Barack Obama met Southeast Asian leaders yesterday evening before sitting down with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao today. He is widely expected to raise the issue of South China Sea tensions. China has repeatedly sought to reject involvement by nations outside Southeast Asia at a sensitive time, as Washington seeks an

PHNOM PENH: China’s Premier Wen Jiabao (right) walks past Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda during the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Commemorative Summit yesterday. — AP expanded military and diplomatic presence in the region under a so-called “pivot” from conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan announced last year. China’s assertion of sovereignty over the stretch of water off its south coast and to the east of mainland Southeast Asia has set it directly against US allies Vietnam and the Philippines, while Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia also lay claim to parts, making it Asia’s biggest potential military trouble spot. US military presence The Philippines, Australia and other parts of the region have seen a resurgence of US warships, planes and personnel since Obama began shifting foreign, economic and security policy towards Asia late last year. Cambodia has used its powers as ASEAN chair this year to limit discussion on the South China Sea, in line with Beijing’s view the disputes should be discussed on a bilateral basis. Kao of the Cambodian foreign ministry said on Sunday the ASEAN bloc had agreed to confine talks on a set of rules for operating in the South China Sea to its meetings

S Korean opposition far apart on presidential deal

SEOUL: With a week until a deadline to finalise nominations for South Korea’s Dec 19 presidential election, neither of two main opposition challengers appears willing to step aside, which will likely mean the conservatives retain the country’s most powerful office. Moon Jae -in, who has been nominated by the main left-of-centre opposition party, has held talks with independent Ahn Cheol-soo over a joint platform that could lead to a single candidate, but the talks have been bedevilled by infighting and leaks, with neither side appearing willing to give way. “If I yield arbitrarily, it would be equivalent of breach of trust (for my party)” Moon said yesterday. Speaking within minutes in the same building, Ahn declined to be drawn on whether the two sides could agree on a single candidate. Opinion polls show that either Moon or Ahn would stand a chance of beating conservative Park Geun-hye in a straight fight. But a split vote see Park into the presidential palace. Park is the daughter of dictator Park Chung-hee who ruled the country for 18 years until he was killed by an assassin. Park’s mother was assassinated earlier, in an attack backed by North Korea. Ahn told journalists yesterday Park could be defeated if the backers of both challengers joined forces. “If we are able to get support from those people who suppor t both camps, I am confident the likelihood of defeating candidate Park is very high,” Ahn said. “But if not, I expect there will be a very difficult battle.” Ahn, a software mogul turned academic and philanthropist, has promised a break from South Korea’s confrontational party politics. But the man who once led in

SEOUL: South Korea’s independent presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-Soo smiles during a press conference at the Seoul Foreign Correspondents Club yesterday. — AFP opinion polls has seen his ratings slide sharply. A poll by the East Asia Institute showed Moon was 15.3 percentage points ahead of Ahn on the question of which one should be the sole opposition candidate. Moon, a former human rights lawyer and confidant of ex-president Roh Moo-hyun, was elected to parliament for the first time in April. Ahn has never held political office. Facing them is the 60-year old Park, a veteran politician from the conservative Saenuri party, which now holds the presidency and controls parliament. — AP

with China. Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario, however, told reporters that Vietnam shared the Philippines’ objections to that Cambodian statement. Vietnam officials were not immediately available to confirm that. The tensions illustrate the difficulty of forging a Southeast Asian consensus over how to deal with an increasingly assertive China. Southeast Asia had hoped avoid a repeat of an embarrassing breakdown of talks in July over competing claims in the mineral-rich waters, its biggest security challenge. Washington insists its “pivot” is not about containing China or a permanent return to military bases of the past, but it has increased its military presence in the Philippines and other areas near vital sea lanes and border disputes in the South China Sea that have raised tensions with China. Cambodian Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said Hun Sen had discussed the issue with China’s Wen on Sunday evening but did not provide details. However, he said “China wants a peaceful resolution.” — Reuters

China frees man sent to labour camp for dissent after outcry

BEIJING: Chinese authorities released yesterday a village official sent to a labour camp for criticising the ruling Communist Party after his case prompted anger against controls on speech and the labour camp system, his father and lawyer said. Ren Jianyu’s treatment in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing generated a storm of criticism from Chinese Internet users and even state media, as well as reviving debate over freedom of speech and China’s much-maligned “re-education through labour” system. Ren, 25, was sentenced in September 2011 to two years in a labour camp for posting online messages that called for the downfall of the party’s “dictatorship”. “Ren Jianyu was released today, his spirits are quite fragile,” Ren Shiliu, Ren Jianyu’s father, told Reuters by telephone. “My son called and spoke briefly to me, (he said) the government’s decision to send him to labour camp was not appropriate,” he said, adding that security bureau officials had taken Ren Jianyu from his camp earlier yesterday. Public security officials were not immediately available for comment. Ren Shiliu criticised the judiciary in Chongqing for not publicly overturning his son’s sentence. He said his son lost about 20 kg (44 lb) in the labour camp. “The court is in the wrong, so why is it that they don’t dare to openly say that they’ve lost?” he said. “If they’re in the wrong, they should correct their mistake.” Ren Jianyu’s family is suing the Chongqing “re-education through labour” authorities for locking up the young man. The court will hear the verdict today. The outcry over Ren’s case came as Beijing said it would reform the “re-education through labour” system, which empowers police and other agencies to detain people for up to four years without a court process. Ren had forwarded photographs of President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao online with the words: “Down with the Chinese Communist Party” on them after a July 2011 train crash near the eastern city of Wenzhou, said Ren’s lawyer, Pu Zhiqiang. Ren had wanted to criticise the leadership for the poor official response to the deadly crash, the lawyer said. Ren also forwarded messages that said: “End one-party dictatorship, long live freedom and democracy”. He also posted a photograph of Li Keqiang, who is set to be China’s next premier, with the words “Mafia leader” written on it, Pu said. Ren is at least the third person in Chongqing to have his conviction overturned after being detained for online postings about officials during the time in power of former senior politician Bo Xilai’s rule.—Reuters



Russia eyes rebirth in former foe Afghanistan’s classrooms KABUL: Russian culture and language are making a surprising comeback in Afghanistan, where the Soviets fought a disastrous decade-long war, as Moscow vies to regain influence ahead of the planned withdrawal of foreign troops. Bulldozers are clearing the way for a sparkling Russian cultural centre in Kabul, to replace its behemoth, Soviet-era predecessor which for many came to symbolise Moscow’s war and its humiliating 1989 defeat that cost 15,000 Soviet lives. “We are here in the region, and we will be in the future. And to have good, friendly, neighbourly relations you must have some cultural component to it,” Russia’s envoy to Kabul, Andrey Avetisyan, told Reuters of the decision to rebuild the centre. Moscow fears the exit of most NATO-led troops by the end of 2014 will lead to a dangerous power vacuum south of ex-Soviet Central Asia’s borders, threatening its own security and allowing for a larger influx of heroin. The new centre will teach Russian language,

singing, dancing and handicrafts and will boast a concert hall, similar to the one built in 1983. Its rebuild is reminiscent of Soviet influence in Afghanistan before the 1979 invasion, when they heavily supported education and the arts. It also coincides with renewed interest by Afghans in the Russian language, who see it as increasingly useful in their country’s changing landscape amid the emergence of new regional powers. “Demand for the Russian language is growing. It is more widely spoken in Afghanistan than five years ago,” Avetisyan said, adding: “Foreign advisers and experts are not going to be here forever. NATO, the European Union, they will all go”. When asked when it would open, he chuckled and said: “Everything is about the year 2014”. The centre replaces a dilapidated, bullet-ridden shell of a building that became home to scores of heroin addicts before the Russians finally demolished it several months ago at the behest of Kabul authorities, who complained it “ruined the skyline”,

Avetisyan said. Russian engineers from state company Spetstroi Rossii will oversee the project, which has been contracted by the Russian government. It will employ Afghan construction firms. More Russian students Though Afghanistan was devastated by the Soviet Union’s war here, which by some estimates killed millions and destroyed its once-thriving agriculture, both sides have started to take a more upbeat view of their relationship, helping Moscow gain a bigger role. At the sprawling and leafy Kabul University, the country’s largest, demand is growing for degrees in Russian language and literature. “Our students are too young to worry about the past. Instead they see Russian as a bridge to social and economic opportunities,” said Mohammad Rahim Banaizada, one of six professors in its Russian department. Around 220 students are currently studying for four year degrees in Russian, almost double that of five years ago, Banaizada

told Reuters beside framed pictures of Russian President Vladimir Putin with the Afghan leader Hamid Karzai. They hung next to copies of typed Cyrillic letters from Afghan King Amanullah Khan in 1919 to Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union, affirming the countries’ friendly ties two years after the Bolsheviks swept to power. “Russia is our neighbour with a culture we love. Things were good when they were here,” said third-year student Sharifullah, 22, who gave only his first name. The cultural centre is the first of a series of ambitious Russian construction projects in Afghanistan. Most are aimed at reinforcing stability in a country where Russia believes Washington is at risk of repeating its own mistakes. After the Soviets rushed out, financial aid dried up and the Afghan communist government collapsed, leading to infighting between warlords and a vicious civil war that paved the way for the Taleban’s rise to power in 1996. — Reuters

US violating detainee pact: Afghan president Karzai under pressure to ‘uphold’ Afghan sovereignty KABUL: Afghanistan’s president has accused US forces of continuing to capture and hold Afghans in violation of an agreement signed earlier this year between the two countries. Hamid Karzai’s late Sunday statement, which did not include any specific demands for the US, was made days after the beginning of negotiations on a bilateral security agreement that will govern the US military presence in the country after the majority of troops draw down in 2014. Karzai’s critics say he frequently strikes populist, nationalist stances that give him leverage in talks with the Americans. The Afghan president said some detainees are still being held by US forces even though Afghan judges have ruled that they be released. He also decried the continued arrest of Afghans by US forces. The two countries signed the detainee transfer pact in March but the handover of detention facilities has been slowed by the US, which

has argued both that the Afghans are not ready to take over their management and insisted that the Afghan government agree to hold without trial some detainees that the US deems too dangerous to release. “These acts are completely against the agreement that has been signed between Afghanistan and the US President,” said the statement, released by Karzai’s office after the president was briefed by judicial authorities on the transfer. He urged Afghan officials to “take serious measures” to push for taking overall responsibility for the detention center on the edge of the main US base in eastern Afghanistan. The detainee transfer agreement was one of two pacts that were key to a broad but vague strategic partnership agreement signed by Kabul and Washington in May that set forth an American commitment to Afghanistan for years to come.

The second pact covers “special operations” such as certain American raids and other conduct on the battlefield. A third detailed pact - dubbed the bilateral security agreement - is now under negotiation, and covers logistical and legal questions such as the size and number of bases and the immunity of US forces from prosecution. The two countries officially opened negotiations on the bilateral security agreement last week, and have given themselves a year to sign the pact. Karzai is under pressure to give an appearance of upholding Afghan sovereignty - which he has repeatedly claimed to champion - without putting so many restrictions on US forces that an agreement becomes impossible. It is believed that the United States wants to retain up to 20,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014 to train and support Afghan forces and go after extremists and groups, including Al-Qaeda. Afghanistan now has about 66,000 US troops and it remains unclear how many will be withdrawn next year as they continue to hand over security to Afghan forces. The foreign military mission is evolving from combat to advising, assisting and training Afghan forces. The bilateral security agreement is essentially a status of forces agreement and will set up a legal framework needed to operate military forces in Afghanistan, including taxation, visas and other technical issues. It does not need to be ratified by the US Congress. The US has similar agreements with dozens of countries. In Iraq, a similar deal fell apart after US officials were unable to reach an agreement with the Iraqis on legal issues and troop immunity that would have allowed a small training and counterterrorism force to remain there. Karzai said last month that the issue of soldiers being protected from prosecution in Afghanistan could be a problem in the talks. He has said Afghanistan might demand prosecutions in some cases. The issue took on new meaning after Staff Sgt. Robert Bales allegedly attacked Afghan civilians in two villages in southern Afghanistan. The American soldier faces 16 counts of premeditated murder and six counts of attempted murder in the NEW DELHI: Afghan President Hamid Karzai (left) meets with Indian President Pranab March 11 attacks against civilians. A preliminary hearing was held this week at Joint Base LewisMukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan. — AFP McChord in Washington. — AFP

illegal logging laws passed in Australia CANBERRA/SINGAPORE: Australia’s parliament on Monday passed laws to ban the import and trade of illegally logged timber, joining the United States and European Union in clamping down on a global trade in stolen timber that Interpol says is worth about $30 billion a year. The laws, five years in the making, impose fines, jail and forfeiture of goods and oblige importers to carry out mandatory due diligence on timber and timber products sourced from overseas. “The illegal timber trade is a trade that benefits no one. It risks jobs, it risks the timber industry, and it risks the environment,” Forestry Minister Joe Ludwig said. Every year an area the size of Ireland is illegally cleared in an industry that fuels crime and conflict, destroys livelihoods of forest communities, triggers landslides, pollutes rivers and releases large amounts of carbon emissions. “The Australian government can raise its head high for following the United States in progressive legislation aimed to stop the ongoing trade

in illegal timber products,” Reece Turner, forests campaigner for Greenpeace Australia-Pacific, told Reuters. The government says about 10 percent of the more than A$4 billion ($4.12 billion) of timber imported annually is illegal and that illegal logging globally causes environmental and social damage estimated at $60 billion a year. Greenpeace says high-risk products include outdoor furniture, decking and plywood made from tropical hardwood species. Green groups, governments and some in the timber industry have been pushing for laws to tackle the trade in stolen wood as the world’s tropical forests shrink. Illegal timber depresses prices, slashes margins and can deter firms from investing in better due diligence. There were sound commercial and environmental reasons to support the laws, said Ross Hearne, general manager of corporate services for Kimberly-Clark Australia and New Zealand, which makes various products from paper.—Reuters

MULTAN: Pakistani lawyers burn Israel, US and United Nations flags during a protest in Multan yesterday. — AFP

Meat-eaters commit crimes: Indian textbook NEW DELHI: A school textbook that claims meat-eaters “easily cheat, tell lies, steal and commit sex crimes” has sparked an uproar in India, reports said Saturday. New Healthway, a book on hygiene and health for 11-12 year-old students was printed by S Chand group, which publishes textbooks for hundreds of Indian schools, broadcaster NDTV reported. “The strongest argument that meat is not essential food is the fact that the Creator of this Universe did not include meat in the original diet for Adam and Eve. He gave them fruits, nuts and vegetables,” reads a chapter entitled Do We Need Flesh Food?, according to the BBC. The book in circulation since 2008 also claims that Inuit people are “lazy, sluggish and short-lived,” because they live on “a

diet largely of meat,” the report said. “The Arabs who helped in constructing the Suez Canal lived on wheat and dates and were superior to the beef-fed Englishmen engaged in the same work.” It was not clear how many schools were using the book. Some academics complained that misleading material was available to schools. Human Resource Minster M M Pallam Raju called the textbook an “unfortunate and occasional aberration” and said it was up to the schools to monitor content. The criticism prompted the publishers to promise they would discontinue the book. “We are looking at twopronged approach, one is to discontinue it or revise it altogether,” Himanshu Gupta from Chand group said. — dpa

Woman suicide bomber targets Pakistan politician PESHAWAR: A woman suicide bomber targeted a Pakistani politician near the Afghan border yesterday, wounding at least four local party workers, officials said. Qazi Hussain Ahmad, the former head of Pakistan’s biggest Islamist political party Jamat-e-Islami, escaped unscathed after the attack in Mohmand. Mohmand is one of seven districts in Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt, where Taleban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants have carved out strongholds. Local administrative official Adil Siddique told AFP that Ahmad had been en route to address a public meeting in the Haleemzai area when the woman blew herself up on foot alongside his convoy. Ahmad’s vehicle was not damaged or hit by the force of the blast, which wounded four local members of Jamat-e-Islami, Siddique said. Another local official, Jamshed Khan, confirmed the incident and said “pieces of female clothes and hair found from the site make us believe that the attacker was a woman”. — AFP

HYDERABAD: India’s leftist party activists shout slogans during a protest in front of a Bharti Walmart Best Price wholesale store yesterday. They are protesting against the Indian governmentís recent decision to open India’s retail sector to foreign investment. — AP

Detectives part and parcel of arranged Indian marriages

SRINAGAR: A Kashmiri boy rides a bicycle at a closed market during a strike yesterday. Most shops and businesses were closed in the main city of Kashmir yesterday over a strike called by separatists to protest a recent court ruling that a top jailed separatist leader Ashiq Hussain Faktoo will serve life imprisonment till death. — AP

NEW DELHI: Finding the office of the Indian Detective Agency is not an easy task. It is situated on the fourth floor of a building behind New Delhi’s orbital motorway in a rundown district where house numbers are a rarity. Despite the location, company boss Sanjay Singh boasts a bulging roster of clients, who are mostly concerned parents seeking information about potential suitors for their offspring. “People in India spend a lot of money on marriage,” he explained. “As a result, they are keen to know exactly what they are letting themselves in for. How much does a person earn? What sort of reputation does he have? What is his family situation like?” Singh can find all these things out and is enjoying a healthy trade as even today the majority of Indian marriages are arranged. That means parents and other relatives, depending on how traditional they are, have a large say in deciding the choice of spouse. Arranged marriages are still an integral part of Indian culture. Prospective partners are often found with the help of newspaper adverts and popular

online websites. What may appear to be ideal candidates often turn out to be fraudsters, leading many parents to hire the services of a private detective to ensure they are aware of their prospective in-law’s finances and past relationships. Marriage not only joins two people but two families. If the sibling of a potential marriage partner turns out to be a criminal or homosexual, then the reputation of the entire family suffers, says Singh. According to the Indian Association of Private Detectives and Investigators, business is booming in the marriage sector. General secretary Ajit Singh estimated that requests have increased annually by between 25 and 30 percent. He also revealed how private investigators go about their work. One favoured method is to pry information from neighbours with the help of small gifts. Caretakers of buildings can also share valuable information about the temperament of the target. Sanjay Singh believes in good old-fashioned surveillance. His detectives follow their targets for hours on end, filming their actions with tiny cameras hidden in car

keys and chewing gum packets. In the past, parents or relatives carried out their own investigations of prospects, asking around the village if the chosen girl was chaste or using contacts to ascertain the young man’s financial standing and even medical health. That type of investigation is no longer possible in modern urban India as relatives and prospective brides and grooms now browse matrimonial web sites and the matrimonial sections in newspapers, which are strictly separated by religion, caste and place of origin. A typical matrimonial advert would include astrological information, salary details, educational achievements and the father’s occupation. Karan works as an engineer in Calcutta but has acceded to his family’s wish to find a spouse for him with the help of an advert. “You have a good time but there comes a point when things in life become serious,” he said after arriving in Delhi to meet three marriage candidates. “When a man reaches the age of 27, 28, 29 then his parents think he is settled and it is time for him to marry. I also believe that the time has eventually come.” —dpa


NEWS Oppn to stage demo on election eve Continued from Page 1 The criminal court meanwhile postponed the hearing into the case of storming the Assembly building until Nov 26 to allow defense lawyers to receive the CDs of the case. Around 68 people, including 10 former lawmakers, are accused in the case of storming a public building and assaulting police, in addition to other charges. Meanwhile, over 111 academics appealed to HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to

issue an emergency decree to resolve the decades-old problem of the stateless people or bedoons. The academics called on the Amir to issue a decree granting citizenship to around 34,000 of the 106,000 bedoons that the government has admitted meet the conditions for citizenship and then grant the rest all civil and legal rights until their problem is resolved. They also called for allowing the Kuwaiti judiciary to look into citizenship cases. Currently, citizenship is considered as a sovereign issue that courts are barred from tackling.

Erdogan: Israel ‘terrorist state’ Continued from Page 1

crumbled after Israeli marines stormed an aid ship in 2010 to enforce a naval blockade of the Palestinian-run Gaza Strip. Nine Turks were killed in clashes with activists on board. Ankara expelled Israel’s ambassador and froze military cooper-

ation after a UN report into the incident released in September last year largely exonerated the Jewish state. Earlier this month Turkey opened the trial in absentia of four former Israeli military commanders over the 2010 raid. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is to travel to Gaza today with a group of foreign ministers from the Arab League.— Reuters

Obama makes history with Myanmar visit Continued from Page 1

The White House hopes Obama’s visit to Myanmar will strengthen Thein Sein’s reform drive, which saw Suu Kyi enter parliament after her rivals in the junta made way for a nominally civilian government. The trip is seen as a political coup for Obama after his election victory and a major boost for Thein Sein, who has faced resistance from hardliners within his regime to the rapid political changes. Obama has stressed his visit is not an “endorsement” of the regime but “an acknowledgement” of the reform process. Some human rights groups said Obama should have waited longer to visit, arguing that he could have dangled the prospect of a trip as leverage to seek more progress such as the release of scores of remaining political prisoners. Obama used his speech to urge an end to sectarian unrest in the western state of Rakhine, saying there was “no excuse for violence against innocent people”. Two major outbreaks of violence since June between Muslims and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists in the state have left 180 people dead and more than 110,000 displaced. Most of those who fled their homes were stateless Rohingya Muslims, who have faced decades of discrimination. “For too long, the people of this state, including ethnic Rakhine, have faced crush-

ing poverty and persecution. But there’s no excuse for violence against innocent people, and the Rohingya hold within themselves the same dignity as you do, and I do,” Obama said. The setting for the speech was rich in symbolism. The university was the scene of past episodes of prodemocratic student unrest, including mass demonstrations in 1988 that ended in a bloody military crackdown. Myanmar unveiled a series of new pledges on human rights ahead of Obama’s visit, vowing to review prisoner cases in line with “international standards” and open its jails to the Red Cross. Activists said the regime also freed at least 44 political prisoners in an amnesty that coincided with his trip, but demanded more action. “The government must release all political prisoners instead of using them as bargaining chips for visits like this (Obama’s),” Thailand-based activist Bo Kyi said, adding that more than 200 convicted dissidents remain in Myanmar ’s jails. Obama flew on to Cambodia to attend a regional summit gathering the leaders of 18 countries. During the two-day East Asia Summit, he is scheduled to hold talks with the leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations along with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Japan’s Yoshihiko Noda. — AFP

Indian women arrested over Facebook... Continued from Page 1

attack by “some unknown people” but were yet to detain anyone. “We will investigate the matter, find them and arrest them,” he said. Thackeray’s death on Saturday afternoon brought Mumbai to a virtual standstill for the weekend, with businesses shutting and taxis going off the roads, amid fears of violence by Thackeray’s supporters. While his followers mourned, others were angered at the hold Shiv Sena exerted over India’s financial capital. The woman arrested for her Facebook post was among many who aired opinions on social networking sites. “Her comment said people like Thackeray are born and die daily and one should not observe a ‘bandh’ (city shutdown) for that,” Police Inspector Uttam Sonawane told the Mumbai Mirror. The arrests, which ironically sparked outrage online, followed a police complaint lodged by a local Shiv Sena leader, according to the PTI

news agency. Press Council of India chief Markandey Katju said the accusations against the women were “absurd” and called for immediate action against the police involved in the case. “We are living in a democracy, not a fascist dictatorship,” he said in a letter - posted on his blog - to the chief minister of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital. Sandeep Dikshit, spokesman for India’s ruling Congress party, described the case as “unfortunate”. Despite widespread concerns, there were no reports of unrest in Mumbai itself on the day of the funeral of Thackeray, one of India’s most polarising party leaders who was widely accused of stoking ethnic and religious violence. India in recent months has shown sensitivity to criticism of its politicians, sparking anger from freedom of expression campaigners. In September, free speech activists were outraged by the arrest in Mumbai on charges of sedition of a cartoonist for his anti-corruption drawings. The charges were later dropped. — AFP

GAZA CITY: A Palestinian woman is helped by a paramedic out of her building, damaged during an Israeli air raid on a nearby sporting centre yesterday. — AFP

Gaza death toll passes 100... Continued from Page 1 Mourners flocked to the funeral of nine members of one family killed in a weekend strike on a Gaza City home, the tiny bodies of the five children carried through the streets wrapped in Palestinian flags. “Do children fire rockets?” shouted a man through a loudhailer as the crowd roared back: “No!” Meanwhile, rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas said yesterday they had agreed to end their infighting in a show of solidarity over the spiralling Gaza crisis. The unexpected announcement came as sporadic clashes between protesters and Israeli security forces returned to the relatively peaceful West Bank. Five Palestinians were wounded, while one died of injuries sustained during a weekend protest. The elusive agreement between Hamas and Fatah - a less militant movement that runs the West Bank and is viewed by Israel as a possible negotiating partner - was announced following a meeting between senior representatives of both sides. “From here, we announce with other (factional) leaders, that we are ending the division,” Fatah’s Jibril Rajoub told a crowd of about 1,000 who had gathered for a demonstration in the West Bank’s political centre Ramallah. Among those present were top members of Hamas’s leadership in the West Bank as well as senior officials from its smaller rival Islamic Jihad. Ramallah’s Manara Square was a sea of Palestinian flags as the crowd chanted “Unity!” and “Hit, hit Tel Aviv” in an appeal to Hamas militants who have fired at least five rockets at the coastal city since Thursday. “Whoever speaks about the division after today is a criminal,” top Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Ramahi told the crowd. The violence, which comes as Israel gears up for a general election on Jan 22, raised the spectre of a broader Israeli military campaign like its 22-day Operation Cast Lead, launched at the end of Dec 2008. Analysts say Israel’s leadership appears satisfied with the success of Operation Pillar of Defence and that could it be ready for a ceasefire. But the Jewish state has signalled a readiness to expand the operation. And Gaza’s Hamas rulers have been emboldened after securing the support of the recently installed

Islamist governments of Egypt and Tunisia. The overall death toll from the Israeli raids on the Palestinian territory hit 101, with another 24 people killed yesterday. The Israeli army said that 42 rockets had struck yesterday and another 19 been intercepted by the Iron Dome defence system. To date, the military has struck more than 1,350 targets in Gaza, and 640 rockets have crashed into southern Israel while another 324 have been intercepted. The latest negotiations aimed at ending the conflict, conducted behind closed doors in Cairo, ended without agreement. But all sides have expressed a willingness to engage in more talks. The UN chief flew to Egypt “to add his diplomatic weight to these efforts, which are considerable and extremely important,” his spokesman Martin Nesirky said. Ban was to meet Egypt’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr yesterday night, and President Mohamed Morsi and Arab League chief Nabil Al-Arabi today, Nesirky said. He would then go to Jerusalem to see Israeli leaders but had no plan to go to Gaza, Nesirky added. The Arab League’s Arabi is due in Gaza today, accompanied by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, in the latest in a series of visits that have eased the long diplomatic isolation of the territory’s Hamas rulers. Israel was also seeking a ceasefire, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself having “called the US, Europe and Egypt asking for a truce”, said Meshaal. “We are not against a calming, but we want our demands... to end the thuggery, to end the aggression and to lift the blockade,” he said. An Egyptian official who spoke to AFP before Meshaal’s statement reported “encouraging signs”. “I hope, that maybe by the end of the day, we receive a final signal of what may be achieved to stop hostilities,” he said. “Both sides are saying a ceasefire is important and that there should be guarantees, but these guarantees are different.” Hamas is also understood to be seeking guarantees Israel will stop its targeted killings, like the one which killed a top military commander on Wednesday, sparking the current hostilities. Israel has its own demands, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman insisting “the first and absolute condition for a truce is stopping all fire from Gaza”. — Agencies





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Hamas finds cause to smile under assault By Nidal Al-Mughrabi s Israel bombed Palestinian militant targets in the Gaza Strip for a fifth day, Ali Al-Ahmed took to the streets of Gaza city in his pyjamas on Sunday to buy eggs and chocolate for his three children. “Terrifying, that’s how it feels,” he said. “But they are also terrorised on the other side of the border,” he added approvingly. “To be honest, I thought Hamas had forgotten about fighting Israel. I was wrong.” That will be music to the ears of the Islamist movement that rules the blockaded sliver of land where 1.7 million people have been cooped up since 2007 when the Hamas government, hostile to Israel, took charge. In an earlier clash, the three-week winter war of 2008-2009, many Palestinian rivals blamed Hamas’s rocket-firing bravado for bringing Israel’s military might down on Gaza. That war ended with over 1,400 Palestinians in early graves and a territory scarred by bombing, shelling and invasion. Israel lost 13 lives in the lopsided battle, and Hamas licked its wounds. This time is different. The Arab Spring has changed the Middle East, and Hamas has more powerful weapons. Many Facebook pages express undisguised glee at Israelis scuttling for cover, and two singers from the West Bank have made a YouTube hit, “Strike Tel Aviv”, praising Hamas and others for firing rockets that can threaten Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for the first time. Hamas also scored a diplomatic hit, with solidarity visits last week by the foreign ministers of Egypt and Tunisia while its positions were under attack. Both countries were ruled by Western-backed autocrats last time Gaza was invaded, but popular uprisings have since swept them aside, and Islamists now dominate in Cairo and Tunis, representing masses who back their fellow Sunni Islamists, Hamas. “Today we raise our hats to Hamas,” said Talal Okal, a Gaza political analyst normally critical of the movement. “They look organised, aware of what they’re doing and ready to pay the price to achieve their agenda. Ordinary people can only admire them today.” Israel is no longer able to predict what Arab leaders might do if a ground offensive takes place, certainly not what Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi could do under pressure from the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist and secular parties. “Maybe Israel does not care much, but its American and European allies do. They care for their own interests in the Middle East, the new Middle East,” Okal said. Though the long-range rockets fired at Tel Aviv have not caused any casualties or damage - thanks largely to Israel’s Iron Dome interceptor shield - Hamas is content to see Israelis running for cover in a city that was once immune to such attack. They claim to have shot down an Israeli F-16 fighter, and mock Israel’s “Paper Dome” as a failure. Both claims are outlandish, but they go down well with those eager to believe them. This is still asymmetric warfare with asymmetric rules and results. Since it erupted last Wednesday, three Israelis have been killed, but 65 Palestinians are dead, most of them civilians. Yet the Islamists believe they are winning an important round in the battle for world public opinion. Israel says its goal is to defang the militants by destroying their rocket stockpile. It accuses Hamas of hiding behind civilians, implanting weapons in schools and apartment blocks. Even Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas - a figure of ridicule for Hamas because he recognises Israel and has renounced violence - has called its leaders to express his solidarity and readiness to do his utmost to bring an end to Israeli military action. Abbas is the leader of the Palestinian national movement and, for now, the embodiment of its aspirations of statehood. But he is put squarely in the shade by the Hamas spectacular in Gaza. Shops and schools remain closed, but the few who are on the streets celebrate every time they hear the distinctive roar of the long-range rockets that could be heading to Tel Aviv. “If we endured 22 days in the past war, we are today more ready to keep up for longer, and their soldiers will not,” said Abu Ubaida, spokesman of the Hamas armed wing Izz el-Deen Al-Qassam Brigades. “This round of confrontation will not be the last against the Zionist enemy,” he said. Israeli claims to have badly damaged the military capability of the Qassam Brigades were “lies, propaganda and have no grain of truth”. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the movement’s members were “proud of our resistance and high-profile capability and a performance which surprised the enemy and struck deep”. Still ahead, however, is the threat of another Israeli invasion, as in early Jan 2009. Hamas has no armour, no tanks. But it does now have some modern anti-tank missiles, and Hamas says it will surprise the Israeli army if it enters. And even if the ground invasion comes, Palestinians sense that it will achieve nothing lasting for the Israelis. “Hundreds of civilians may be killed if the Israelis invade,” says Ali Al-Ahmed. “But once they leave, rockets will follow them home, so they would fail.” — Reuters


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

Mumbai refuses to fit Thackeray’s vision By Rachel O’Brien

he proud host of India’s first Starbucks cafe, a melting pot of migrants and the nation’s most cosmopolitan city - the Mumbai of today is not what Bal Thackeray claimed to fight for. The brazenly xenophobic politician, who died on Saturday, campaigned for Mumbai - now home to more than 12 million people - to eject migrant “outsiders” whom he saw as a threat to the local Marathi-speaking workforce. His fiery rhetoric lambasted what he saw as decadent foreign culture, and his party’s targets included shops selling Valentine’s Day cards, Pakistani sportsmen and entertainers, and cinemas showing a film with a lesbian theme. Despite his devoted following among the working class and his clout in the capital of Maharashtra state, the vision that he sought appeared increasingly out of touch with


India’s modern financial and entertainment hub. “Mumbai is an example of unity and diversity, even more so than other parts of India. It’s such a multi-cultural city,” Vaibhav Purandare, author of Sena Story, a history of Thackeray’s rightwing Shiv Sena party, told AFP. After founding Shiv Sena in 1966, Thackeray targeted not the Gujaratis of big business, but those, such as south Indians, seen to be taking jobs from the ethnic Marathis who felt left behind by economic development. “He cleverly exploited this resentment. A section of the community responded with alacrity,” said Purandare, emphasising the rousing oratory skills of the man often known as “the Tiger”. After Shiv Sena took power in the state government in 1994, it changed the city’s name from Bombay to Mumbai to underline the region’s Marathi identity in a symbolic move that attracted worldwide attention.

The party - named after Shivaji, a Maratha king who battled the Muslim Mughal empire - also stressed pride in the local culture and rejection of many Western influences. “Apart from taking up the cause of Marathi-speaking youth, the Sena constituted itself as a self-appointed culture police,” said a Thackeray obituary in The Hindu newspaper. But Mumbai in the 21st-century is home to young couples increasingly opting to wear jeans, eat pizza and embrace Western dating rituals including Valentine’s Day, while Bollywood movies often promote global consumerism. Since Starbucks opened its first Indian outlet last month in Mumbai, long queues have snaked outside as locals line up to get their latest taste of imported American culture. “Shiv Sena cling to these invented traditions of purity. What’s working against them is demographics,” said Naresh Fernandes, a Mumbai-based author

writing a book about the city. “Bombay has always been a very diverse city.” Thackeray tried to widen his appeal beyond Marathi speakers through Hindu nationalism, allying with the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party to win state level power and tapping into anti-Muslim sentiment. But many observers say his personality was more important to his appeal than his politics - which were often undercut by his own decisions, such as inviting US singer Michael Jackson to play a charity concert in Mumbai. And the future of his party is uncertain as the city develops more rapidly than ever. Thackeray’s son Uddhav may struggle to keep the movement together without its beloved founder, and especially since Raj Thackeray - Bal’s nephew - has set up a rival group to Shiv Sena. “It is not a party with a very strong central ideology. It’s a negative ideology. It took Bal’s charisma to hold them all together,” said Fernandes. —AFP

Japan politics could fragment further By Linda Sieg apan ruling party lawmaker Mieko Nakabayashi isn’t just worried that her Democratic Party will lose power in next month’s election; she fears a comeback by rival conservative Liberal Democrats will spell a return to the prolonged one-party rule that critics blame for many of the country’s past policy ills. Three years after the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ended more than half a century of nearly non-stop Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) rule, surveys suggest disappointed voters will hand the LDP the most seats in a Dec 16 poll for parliament’s lower house. That would put LDP leader Shinzo Abe in pole position to form the next government and regain a job he quit in 2007. “The risk is that the old LDP will come back and once that happens, Japan will take a long time to change back,” said Nakabayashi, a former academic elected in the 2009 vote that propelled the Democrats to power for the first time. “The DPJ could be an opposition par-


ty forever,” she said, in an interview in her office near parliament. Critics say the LDP’s long reign created a triad of ruling politicians, bureaucrats and vested interests such as farmers, doctors and big businesses that rigidified over time, keeping Japan from responding to global and domestic changes. Not all agree Japan’s experiment with alternating power between two big parties is over after just three years, though some pundits agree the Democrats’ demise can’t be ruled out. A more likely scenario is that the December election ushers in a period of confusing coalition politics, partly because of a spate of new parties eyeing voters discontented with both the LDP and the DPJ but also because whoever wins will still lack a majority in parliament’s upper house, which can block bills. That will complicate policymaking in a political system already criticised as indecisive as Japan struggles with such challenges as China’s rise, the role of nuclear power after last year’s Fukushima crisis and the ballooning costs of a fast-ageing population. Such prospects would deepen concerns at ratings agencies over Japan’s ability to deal with its high public debt, which at more than twice the size of the $5 trillion economy is the heaviest among leading industrialised nations. They have already cut the country’s credit status and warned of further cuts, citing a lack of political will to deal with the looming crisis. Indeed, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda called the Dec 16 election because the opposition demanded it as the price for help to enact a national sales tax rise to curb the public debt. “No one can win an overwhelming majority,” said Steven Reed, a political science professor at Chuo University in Tokyo. Complicating the picture are a clutch of new mini-parties, several with a right-leaning, hawkish tinge, that aim to woo the many voters fed up with the two biggest parties. Two of those new parties, one led by popular Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and the other by nationalist exTokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, agreed over the weekend to merge under the 80-year-old Ishihara’s leadership, despite some serious policy gaps such as over nuclear power’s role in Japan’s energy mix. “I think we are definitely entering a new phase fragmentation rather than bifurca-

tion,” said Jesper Koll, head of equity research at JP Morgan in Tokyo. “Why? Because we have the stale LDP and the stale DPJ and now new charisma parties with ‘can-do leaders’ who will ‘rescue’ Japan,” Koll said. “There will be more, not less, horse trading. Governing will be more complex.” Still, such confusion could turn out to be the cost of a rocky transition to a system centred on two major parties alternating in power that would boost competition over policies and lessen the likelihood of corruption. That was a key goal of electoral reforms, introduced in 1994, that favour big parties. “Maybe it is simply the process of political creative destruction ... and at the end of the day we may look back and say it was the establishment of a new, stable system,” said Gerry Curtis, a professor at New York’s Columbia University who has studied Japanese politics for decades. “I still have hope that is what’s going on, but it is taking time - more time than I thought.” The gloom in the DPJ these days is a stark change from the optimism that greeted the Democrats’ landslide win in 2009, both among voters frustrated with the LDP’s long rule and DPJ lawmaker pledges to change how Japan is ruled by paying more heed to individuals than companies and prying control of policy away from elite bureaucrats. Former National Strategy Minister Motohisa Furukawa thinks that sort of exuberance was one reason the inexperienced Democrats made missteps once they gained power. “We won too big in the election three years ago. The people’s expectations ballooned and we ourselves thought we could change everything all at once,” he said in an interview. “Looking back, it would have been better to try to do things one by one.” The composition of the Democratic Party, which was begun by a core of centreleft lawmakers but grew into an often-fractious group of former LDP members, exsocialists and young conservatives, also plagued the party,

hampering policymaking and ultimately setting the stage for a string of defections. “I don’t think the direction the DPJ aimed at was mistaken,” Furukawa said. “But was there a consensus? There were lots of people who just tried to use the DPJ to take power.” The Democrats going into the election will be a far slimmer group. While 308 DPJ took 308 of the 480 lower house seats in 2009, dozens of parliamentarians left the party after Noda - the third DPJ prime minister in three years - pushed through the sales tax rise in the face of criticism it violated campaign pledges. For all the Democrats’ woes, the LDP - itself divided on many policies - has hardly seen a groundswell of public support. A Yomiuri newspaper survey published on Sunday showed 26 percent of voters would cast their ballots for the LDP against 13 percent for the DPJ, a smaller gap than in recent surveys. Abe’s lead over Noda, as the most appropriate to become premier, also narrowed though he still outscored his rival 37 to 31 percent. Forty-four percent of respondents backed no specific party, suggesting a large chunk of votes are in play. Even if the LDP - either alone or with its partner, the smaller New Komeito party - wins a majority in the lower house, it would still need to woo support from other parties in order to pass bills in the upper house, which can block legislation, at least until an election for that chamber set for July 2013. Possible partners include the mini-parties such as the HashimotoIshihara duo’s Japan Restoration Party or even the DPJ, the same line-up that joined hands to raise the sales tax. “Whoever wins a majority, the‘twisted parliament’remains ... At least until next year, things will not stabilise,”the DPJ’s Furukawa said.“In any transition period, confusion must be overcome. You can’t destroy the old and build something new without confusion. I think we are still in that process.”—Reuters


sp orts Cooper quits Wallabies

Bid to double doping bans

SYDNEY: Controversial Wallaby flyhalf Quade Cooper has rejected a contract offer by the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and may now pursue a career overseas or switch to Rugby League, local media reported yesterday. Cooper had signed a three-year deal with his Super Rugby club Queensland Reds in June but that deal, reportedly worth around A$400,000 ($412,300) a year, is contingent upon a contract with the ARU with whom the 24-year-old has endured a fractious relationship. Channel Nine news said yesterday the New Zealand-born flyhalf had rejected a low incentive-based ARU contract, and could now switch to the lucrative French Top 14 competition or to Rugby League. New Zealand World Cup-winning centre Sonny Bill Williams quit Union and signed for the Sydney Roosters in Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) last week and said earlier this year he would only switch codes if Cooper followed suit. “I reckon (Cooper) would be a huge success,” Williams, also New Zealand’s heavyweight boxing champion, said in September. “He has definitely got the skill-set to play the 13-man game. “The biggest difference is in rugby you are playing on the advantage line, whereas in league the defence is 10 metre back. —Reuters

MONTREAL: The World Anti-Doping Agency wants to double suspensions for all doping cheats from two to four years. The proposal has been included in a new draft code that will be reviewed in December and must be approved next year, although it would not actually take effect until 2015. WADA president John Fahey presented a draft of the 2015 code to the organization’s foundation board in Montreal on Sunday, a day after its executive committee had discussed the need to make changes in order to step up the doping fight. “It is clear from the number of submissions we received that there is a strong desire in the world of sport, from governments and within the anti-doping community, to strengthen the

sanction,” Fahey said in a statement. “This second draft has done that, doubling the length of suspension for serious offenders and widening the scope for anti-doping organizations to impose lifetime bans.” The present draft substantially strengthens the sanctions for serious violations for the use of anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, masking agents, trafficking and prohibited methods. Fahey is also unhappy that the agency won’t receive additional funding for the second straight year. WADA has an annual income of about $28 million. “While we appreciate that economies across the world continue to struggle, this freeze is not ideal for the fight against doping,” Fahey said. —AP

Police probe death threats LONDON: Police have started an investigation into allegations Sunderland winger James McClean has received death threats. Republic of Ireland international McClean, 23, was criticised for not wearing a poppy-the symbol commemorating British war dead-on his shirt during Sunderland’s 2-1 Premier League defeat at Everton on November 10, the day before Britain’s Remembrance Sunday. And McLean received a mixed welcome from travelling fans when he came on as a substitute during Sunday’s 3-1 victory at Fulham. It is understood threats have been directed towards McClean on Twitter, a social networking site which the player no longer uses. A statement released by Northumbria Police read: “Police are carrying out inquiries following a third party report of threats made on social networking sites. “Officers have spoken to Sunderland AFC and inquiries are ongoing.” Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill, speaking after Sunday’s match, confirmed McClean had received death threats but said he backed the player to deal with the unsettling abuse, having had to cope with irate fans’ reaction when he chose to represent the Republic of Ireland rather than his native Northern Ireland.—AFP

Herath spins Sri Lanka to crushing win over NZ

NAPLES: Na Yeon Choi, of South Korea, kisses her trophy after winning the LPGA Titleholders golf tournament. — AP

Choi captures Titleholders NAPLES: Moments after Na Yeon Choi tapped in for par to complete her two-shot win at the Titleholders, Inbee Park ran onto the 18th green at The TwinEagles Club and showered her with champagne. Both South Koreans had reason to celebrate Sunday. Choi captured the final event of the LPGA Tour season by atoning for a double bogey with an eagle on the front nine, and then playing it smart off the tee on the short 16th hole and hitting a superb sand wedge in which she had hardly any room for error. She closed with a 2-under 70 for a twoshot win over So Yeon Ryu. Park was never in serious contention, though she needed a solid outing in the final round to lock up the LPGA Tour money title and capture the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average of the season. That led to a debate of which Choi wanted no part. Who’s the best South Korean in women’s golf? “Except me?” Choi said. She laughed in a rare moment of bravado. “I think it seems that Inbee is playing really well this year. I think she has a lot of confidence from this year and I think she can play really well next year, too,” Choi said. The LPGA Tour closed up shop for the year with plenty up for grabs. Stacy Lewis won four times and was the first American to win player of the year since Beth Daniel in 1994. Park won the Vare Trophy and the money title, the only woman to surpass $2 million in earnings this year. Right behind her was Choi, the 25-year-old who plays with such control. She won twice this year, but they were big ones - $585,000 from the U.S. Women’s Open and $500,000 from the Titleholders, the two biggest prizes in women’s golf. The rookie of the year was Ryu, who doesn’t seem like a rookie and certainly doesn’t play like one. Ryu won the U.S. Women’s Open last year before she was an LPGA member. She gave Choi all she could handle until Ryu three-putted for bogey on the 14th hole, and had to scramble for par on the 16th when Choi pulled ahead. And don’t forget Yani Tseng, who remains No. 1 in the women’s world ranking. The LPGA Tour now takes three months off, and the lasting image will be Choi’s solid play that turned a great season into her best one yet. She won her first major in the summer at Blackwolf Run and then closed out the year with another big win at the Titleholders, giving her just under $2 million in earnings. “I feel really great, and I’m really satisfied how I played - not just this week, but this season,” Choi said. It was the first time Choi’s mother watched her win outside South Korea, and Choi kept it suspenseful with a double bogey on the third hole that created a four-way tie atop the leaderboard with so much golf left to play. Two holes later, Choi drilled a 3-wood from 240 yards and bounced onto the green and settled 10 feet away for eagle. Choi and Ryu pulled away from the field, and it felt like high noon over Seoul the rest of the way. “I was very nervous last night,” Choi said. “I told people that leading the tournament, there’s always extra pressure. Even on front nine, when I had the double bogey and tie for first place, I felt more comfortable than leading. Maybe that sounds a little weird. I like chasing somebody, and then I can play more aggressive.” Choi and Ryu each made birdie on the par-3 12th that enabled Choi to keep a one-shot lead. Ryu then hit 3-wood into about 25 feet for a two-putt birdie on the 13th to tie for the lead. But on the next hole, she didn’t account for the wind making her 30-foot birdie putt faster than it looked. The putt went some 6 feet by the hole, and a three-putt bogey cost her a share of the lead. She never caught up the rest of the way. “I learn one more thing,” Ryu said. “I have to think about the wind strength at the green.” Choi took it from there, and seized control on the 16th, which can be reached off the tee with a big drive. Her caddie, Jason Hamilton, didn’t think it was worth the risk. Anything short leaves an awkward pitch, which is what Ryu ended up facing. Anything too close to the green and to the left leaves a blind pitch to the back of the three-tiered green, and par becomes a good score. Choi hit 3-wood to the left side of the fairway and a 52wedge to a tiny spot on an elevated green she couldn’t see. “Left side of the fairway is a better angle to the second shot,” Choi said. “I think the pin was at 79 yards, but I just landed it almost at the pin. I tried to land it almost to the pin. There’s not a lot of room.” It checked up and trickled to 3 feet, and she was on her way. Brittany Lincicome also closed with a 70 at The TwinEagles Club for finish alone in third. Karrie Webb had a 69 to finish another shot behind.—AP

GALLE: Rangana Herath exposed New Zealand’s weakness against spin with a sixwicket haul as Sri Lanka raced to an emphatic 10-wicket win on the third day of the opening Test in Galle yesterday. The left-arm spinner finished with 6-43 off 18 probing overs as New Zealand, trailing by 26 runs, crashed to 118 in their second innings after losing their last nine wickets for 83. Sri Lanka effortlessly chased down a 93-run target, with debutant Dimuth Karunaratne remaining unbeaten on 60 and Tharanga Paranavitana 31 not out. Karunaratne, who failed to open his account in the first innings, made amends with a 60-ball knock which included nine fours. Man-of-the-match Herath, who took 5-65 in the first innings, finished the Test with 11-108, his second haul of 10 or more wickets in a match. Middle-order batsman Daniel Flynn, who made a half-century in the first innings, topscored with 20 in a dismal New Zealand batting performance on a slow turning track. It was New Zealand’s fifth successive Test defeat this year after they lost two matches each in the West Indies and India. “Rangana knows what he is doing with the ball and he knows what the batsman is doing as well,” said his skipper Mahela Jayawardene. “After Murali (Muttiah Muralitharan), from what I’ve seen in Sri Lankan cricket, he is the next best thing. Others have chipped in but Rangana has become the leading bowler for us. “Because of the pressure he is creating on the opposition and the way he’s performed, it has enabled us to be consistent in Test cricket in the last two years or so.” The Test was evenly poised at stumps on Sunday when New Zealand were nine runs ahead with as many wickets in hand, but Herath swung the match in his team’s favour with four quick wickets in the morning. “Herath dominated our batting line-up in both innings. He is a very good bowler at the moment and the leading wicket-taker in 2012,” said New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor.

“He is very consistent in this part of the world and we have got to come up with a way of negating his wicket-taking ability. We have to pick ourselves up and give ourselves a chance in the next match.” Herath continually tested the batsmen with his shrewd variations, removing Taylor (18), James Franklin (two) and then Flynn and Doug Bracewell off successive deliveries. He was well supported by paceman Nuwan Kulasekara and off-spinner Suraj Randiv, who bagged two wickets apiece. New Zealand’s batting woes began against pace, when Kulasekara struck twice in his opening three overs, dismissing overnight batsmen Martin Guptill in his second over and Kane Williamson to have the tourists struggling at 46-3. Williamson was caught down the legside by a diving wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene. Sri Lanka were bowled out for 247 in their first innings on Sunday in reply to New Zealand’s 221, with Mahela Jayawardene scoring 91 and vice-captain Angelo Mathews 79. The second and final Test starts in Colombo on Sunday. — AFP

GALLE: Sri Lanka’s Dimuth Karunaratne (left) acknowledges the crowd after scoring a half century as New Zealand’s wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk (right) looks on during the third day of their first Test cricket match. — AP

SCOREBOARD Scoreboard after Sri Lanka beat New Zealand by 10 wickets on the third day of the first test in Galle yesterday: New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat. New Zealand first innings Sri Lanka first innings New Zealand second innings (overnight 35-1) M. Guptill b Kulasekara B. McCullum c Kulasekara b Herath K. Williamson c P. Jayawardene b Kulasekara R. Taylor lbw b Herath D. Flynn b Herath J. Franklin st P. Jayawardene b Herath K. Van Wyk not out D. Bracewell lbw b Herath T. Southee st P. Jayawardene b Randiv J. Patel c Karunaratne b Herath T. Boult c M. Jayawardene b Randiv

221 247

Total (all out; 44.1 overs) 118 Fall of wickets: 1-18 2-35 3-46 4-60 5-70 6-79 7-79 8-96 9-97 Bowling: Kulasekara 12-4-28-2, Eranga 4-2-10-0, Herath 18-3-43-6, Randiv 10.1-0-37-2.

13 13 10 18 20 2 13 0 16 0 13

Sri Lanka second innings T. Paranavitana not out 31 D. Karunaratne not out 60 Extras (w-2) 2 Total (no loss; 18.3 overs) 93 Did not bat: K. Sangakkara, M. Jayawardene, T. Samaraweera, A. Mathews, P. Jayawardene, M. Kulasekara, R. Herath, S. Randiv, S. Eranga Bowling: Boult 4-1-15-0 (1w), Bracewell 5.3-0-35-0 (1w), Patel 5-122-0, Franklin 3-0-15-0, Williamson 1-0-6-0 Sri Lanka won by 10 wickets. Sri Lanka lead two-test series 1-0.

Kuwait Sporting Club, winner of 2012 Asian Football Confederation Cup.

Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive celebrates Kuwait’s win at Asian Football Confederation Cup KUWAIT: As the team’s official sponsor, Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive has extended its congratulations to the Kuwait Sporting Club following its win over Arbil at the recent 2012 Asian Football Confederation Cup. The final game, which took place at Francouse Al Hareeri Stadium in Arbil, Iraq, saw the Kuwaiti side secure a four-nil win to take home the trophy for the second time in three years. Kuwait Sporting Club had met Arbil in the knockout stages of the competition on two previous occasions — in 2009 in the quarter-finals and in the semi-finals last year — and on both occasions the team emerged victorious. “Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive would like to congratulate Kuwait Sporting Club on winning such a prestigious title,” said Yousef Al Qatami, General Manager at Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive. “This win further strengthens Kuwait’s position on the regional and international football map and gives the country a great start to the season kickoff. We wish them the best of luck in the upcoming season and will be cheering them on throughout,” added Al Qatami. The BMW Group importer’s sponsorship of Kuwait

Sporting Club is an example of how the company is committed to furthering the country’s sporting credentials — on both a local and international stage — as part of its overall community relations programme. The partnership began in 2010. “Our partnership with Kuwait Sporting Club is one of the chapters in Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive and BMW’s history of supporting local and international sports in the region — a history that has included motorsport, and now football. We are very delighted to have had such a successful season, and look forward to a continuing our relationship with the club, its management and most importantly, its continuously-growing fan base of loyal supporters,” added Al Qatami. The Asian Football Confederation Cup is an annual international association football competition between domestic club sides, with Kuwait Sporting Club one of the most successful clubs in the competition’s history. In addition to its win at this year’s Cup, Kuwait Sporting Club has won the Kuwaiti Premier League 10 times, and has over 23 trophies to their name in Kuwaiti Club Football history.




Lakers run past Rockets LOS ANGELES: Kobe Bryant had 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his 18th career triple-double, and the revitalized Los Angeles Lakers ran past the Houston Rockets 119-108 Sunday night for their fourth victory in five games since firing coach Mike Brown. Dwight Howard had 28 points and 13 rebounds, and Pau Gasol scored his 15,000th career point among his 17 as the Lakers returned to .500 by running away from their second straight opponent since coach Mike D’Antoni took over their practices. D’Antoni watched his second straight game from the Lakers’ locker room while interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff ran the bench. D’Antoni decided earlier Sunday to delay his debut, giving him a few more days to recover from recent knee replacement surgery.Chandler Parsons scored 24 and James Harden 20 for the Rockets, who have lost six of eight. Bickerstaff improved to 4-1 while fill-

ing in for Brown and D’Antoni, who announced the longtime NBA coach and executive will remain on his staff. Thunder 119, Warriors 109 In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant notched his first career triple-double with 25 points, 13 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists to lead Oklahoma City past Golden State. The three-time NBA scoring champion has endured some growing pains this season trying to improve his floor game, with a bump in his assist number coinciding with an increase in his turnovers, too. He came in averaging four turnovers per game, the fourth-worst in the league. He turned it over just twice in this one. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 22 points and David Lee had 19 points and 10 rebounds. Russell Westbrook had 30 points and Kevin Martin scored 23 for Oklahoma City.

Knicks 88, Pacers 76 In New York, Carmelo Anthony had 26 points and nine rebounds to help New York bounce back from its first loss of the season with a win over Indiana. JR Smith added 13 points and Raymond Felton had 11 for the Knicks in their only home appearance over a span of seven games. After falling 105-95 at Memphis on Friday, the Knicks (7-1) go right back on the road to start another threegame trip Tuesday in New Orleans. In a game that was ugly, neither team shot 40 percent, but the Knicks built a big early lead, went up by as much as 20 and were never challenged. Paul George scored 20 points Indiana, which played without leading scorer Danny Granger. Nets 99, Kings 90 In Sacramento, reserve forward Andray Blatche scored 22 points to lead Brooklyn over Sacramento for its fifth straight win. The Nets (6-2) matched the team’s best start since the 2002-03 season when they went to the NBA finals, losing to San Antonio in six games. Deron Williams had 14 points and 10 assists for the Nets, whose longest winning streak last season was three games. MarShon Brooks had nine of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, Brook Lopez had 13 points and four blocks, and CJ Watson had 13 points for Brooklyn. DeMarcus Cousins had 29 points for the Kings, who have dropped five straight. Raptors 97, Magic 86 In Toronto, DeMar DeRozan scored 20 points and Amir Johnson had 14 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to lead Toronto over slumping Orlando. Andrea Bargnani had 17 points, Linas Kleiza scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth and Jose Calderon had a season-high 18 assists for the Raptors, who had lost six of their previous seven home meetings with Orlando. Glen Davis led the Magic with 16 points and 12 rebounds, E’Twuan Moore scored 16 points and Arron Afflalo had 15. Nikola Vucevic had 12 points and six rebounds, ending his streak of three straight double-doubles. 76ers 86, Cavaliers 79 In Philadelphia, Evan Turner had 19 points and nine assists to lead Philadelphia over reeling Cleveland. Spencer Hawes and Jrue Holiday each added 14 points for the Sixers, who’ve won two straight and five of seven. Alonzo Gee scored 17 and Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson had 14 apiece for Cleveland, which has lost six in a row. Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters combined for 14 points on 6-for-27 shooting. They came in averaging a combined 39.1 points, a leaguebest for a starting backcourt. The Cavaliers had won eight of their last 10 games in Philadelphia.

LOS ANGELES: Houston Rockets forward Marcus Morris (top) puts up a shot as Los Angeles Lakers center Robert Sacre defends during the second half of their NBA basketball game. —AP

NBA results/standings NY Knicks 88, Indiana 76; Toronto 97, Orlando 86; Philadelphia 86, Cleveland 79; Brooklyn 99, Sacramento 90; Oklahoma City 119, Golden State 109; Detroit 103, Boston 83; Portland 102, Chicago 94; LA Lakers 119, Houston 108. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT NY Knicks 7 1 .875 Brooklyn 6 2 .750 Philadelphia 6 4 .600 Boston 6 5 .545 Toronto 3 7 .300

Milwaukee Chicago Indiana Cleveland Detroit

Central Division 6 2 .750 5 5 .500 4 7 .364 2 8 .200 2 9 .182

Southeast Division Miami 8 3 .727 Charlotte 4 4 .500 Atlanta 4 4 .500 Orlando 3 6 .333 Washington 0 8 0

GB 1 2 2.5 5

2 3.5 5 5.5

2.5 2.5 4 6.5

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City 8 3 .727 Minnesota 5 4 .556 2 Portland 5 5 .500 2.5 Utah 5 6 .455 3 Denver 4 6 .400 3.5

LA Clippers LA Lakers Golden State Phoenix Sacramento

Pacific Division 7 2 .778 5 5 .500 5 5 .500 4 7 .364 2 8 .200

Southwest Division Memphis 8 1 .889 San Antonio 8 2 .800 Dallas 6 5 .545 Houston 4 6 .400 New Orleans 3 5 .375

2.5 2.5 4 5.5

0.5 3 4.5 4.5

Pistons 103, Celtics 83 In Auburn Hills, Greg Monroe had 20 points and 13 rebounds, Jason Maxiell added 15 points and Detroit beat Boston for its first home win of the season. The Pistons (2-9) had blown double-digit leads in each of their first three home games, but the Celtics, playing their fourth game in five nights, hit only four 3-pointers and trailed by as many as 22 points. Jared Sullinger had 16 points and Kevin Garnett 15 for Boston. Rajon Rondo finished with 10 assists to extend his double-digit streak to 34 games, the third longest in league history. Magic Johnson had a 46game streak in 1983-84 and John Stockton had a 37-game run in 1989. Blazers 102, Bulls 94 In Portland, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum scored 21 points apiece as Portland beat Chicago for its first-three-game winning streak since opening last season 3-0. LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points and 13 rebounds for Portland. After trailing by as many as 15 in the third quarter, the Bulls tied it at 73 early in the fourth. But Portland pulled back in front 8775 on Matthews’ pull-up jumper with 5:04 left. Nate Robinson hit a 3 to narrow it to 98-94 with 13.9 seconds to go, but Batum and Aldridge each hit a pair of free throws to help the Blazers hang on. Joakim Noah had 16 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists for Chicago. —AP

Kuwaiti shooters excel in UAE KUWAIT: The 12th Gulf Brotherhood Shooting Tournament being held at Al-Ein Equestrian Shooting and Golf Club, UAE, saw Kuwaiti shooters dominate the event by winning four gold, two silver and three bronze medals. Participating countries include UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia. Results are as follows: In the 10 meter rifle event, Kuwait’s Abdallah Awad Al-Harby won the gold medal by scoring 588-600, while Khalid AlSubaie ended in fourth place with the score of 585-600. The team of Abdallah AlHarby, Nawaf Al-Khalidy and Khalid AlSubaie took the bronze medal, as Saudi Arabia took gold and Oman took silver medals. In the ladies 10M rifle, Mariam Erzouqi

took second place and the silver medal by scoring 392-400, while Heba Erzouqi placed third with a score of 390-400. The team of Mariam and Heba Erzouqi and Muneera Al-Anjari won first place and the gold medal. In the women skeet event Iman AlShamaa scored 87-100 and won the gold medal, followed by her teammate Afrah Mohammad with 85-100 taking the silver medal while Sheikh Al-Rashidi clinched third place with a score of 83-100. The team won gold. Head of the delegation, secretary general of the Arab and Kuwait Shooting Federations dedicated the results to HH the Amir, HH the Crown Prince and HH the Prime Minister, as well as the Kuwaiti people, and urged the shooters to continue their winning ways in the coming events.

Al-Osaimi with Kuwait Shooting delegation

AUSTIN: McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain holds the trophy after winning the Formula One US Grand Prix auto race. —AP

Hamilton grabs US GP AUSTIN: The Formula One title battle between Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso will go down to the wire in Brazil after McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton won the US Grand Prix on Sunday. Championship leader Vettel finished second after starting his 100th career F1 race on pole position while Alonso remained in contention with third place and is now 13 points adrift of the German with one race left. While Vettel was denied a third straight title, Red Bull were able to celebrate the constructors’ title - becoming only the fourth team in the 62 year history of the sport to take the championship three years in a row. “It’s incredible, something that everyone throughout the team has worked incredibly hard for and to have achieved it is something...I’m speechless really,” said team principal Christian Horner. Vettel need finish only fourth in the Sao Paulo finale to take the title but the weather at Interlagos can be fickle and the wily and consistent Alonso cannot be ruled out for what would also be his third title. “The race unfortunately hinged on one backmarker who didn’t use his mirrors, that was the difference,” said Horner after Hamilton passed Vettel for the lead on lap 42 after the German had lost time behind Indian Narain Karthikeyan’s HRT. “There was nothing between the two of them today. They were trading times all afternoon and it was that one backmarker that cost us. “But congratulations to Lewis, he’s obviously had bad luck at other races and it was important to finish ahead of Fernando,” said Horner.

Hamilton, winner of the last US Grand Prix staged in the United States five years ago, had been second at the start with Alonso lining up seventh. The Spaniard would have started eighth but Brazilian Felipe Massa took a five-place penalty to move his Ferrari team mate to the clean side of the grid. “A first-time winner. I’m so happy,” beamed Hamilton, interviewed by US Formula One great Mario Andretti on the podium, of picking up where he left at Indianapolis in 2007 by winning the first race at the new Circuit of the Americas. “It was such a warm welcome and one of the best, if not the best, race of the year - especially for me and the team,” added the 2008 champion, wearing a cowboy hat on the podium, who is moving to Mercedes at the end of the season. “It’s been a long time since we had a win. I’m so proud of the team and grateful for the support we’ve had.” While Vettel and Red Bull team mate Mark Webber got away quickly, Alonso made his move and was fourth after the first corner. The Spaniard was gifted another spot on lap 17 when Webber retired with an alternator problem in a worrying development for Red Bull. Needing to finish fourth or better to keep Vettel from clinching the title if the German won the race, Alonso kept his Ferrari near the top of the leaderboard for the entire race while Massa finished fourth. Hamilton’s team mate Jenson Button was fifth after an outstanding drive while Kimi Raikkonen, winner in Abu Dhabi two weeks’ earlier, was sixth for Lotus. —Reuters

Keselowski wins Sprint Cup title NEW YORK: Brad Keselowski won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup title on Sunday with a 15th place finish in the final race of the year at Homestead, securing him top place ahead of Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson. Johnson, who was searching for a sixth championship, paid the price for a pit road mistake and a part failure, completing just 224 of the 267 laps at the South Florida speedway. Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports team mate Jeff Gordon won the final race of the season with Bowyer second and Ryan Newman third. The 28-year-old Keselowski delivered his team owner Roger Penske his first Sprint Cup and also provided the first since 1975 for car maker Dodge, which is leaving Cup racing at the end of the season. “It feels really good. I can’t believe how everything just came together over the last three years and you know what? I feel like the best is yet to come.

I really do,” said Keselowsk i. The Michigan-born driver paid tribute to his team at Penske for their work throughout the season. “It’s as sweet as life gets, to know that you have people around you that can make up for you when you make mistakes, because we all make mistakes, and I make a ton of them. “But I know that when I make them, I’ve got people that got my back,” he said. Johnson was left frustrated after he felt he was in with a chance of gaining the advantage he needed over Keselowski in the standings. “We were in position and putting the pressure on the 2 car (Keselowski) like we needed to. I said at the beginning of the week, 15th isn’t a lay-up, and I certainly had him in position. “He made it really interesting here at the end of this thing. If we could have not had the mistake on pit road and then the gear failure at the end...” he said. —Reuters




European roundup

Man City go top, Messi nets double RIO DE JANEIRO: Fluminense’s players celebrate at the end of a Brazilian league soccer match against Cruzeiro. Cruzeiro won 2-0. Fluminense won its second Brazilian title in three years by beating Palmeiras 3-2 on Sunday. —AP

Palmeiras relegated once again in Brazil RIO DE JANEIRO: Former South American champions and eight times Brazilian title winners Palmeiras were relegated for the second time in 10 years on Sunday. Palmeiras went down just four months after winning the Copa Brasil knockout competition and will play next year’s South American Libertadores Cup while in Brazil’s Serie B. “Have you been to the wake? That’s what’s happening here,” Palmeiras coach Gilson Kleina told reporters. The club’s relegation came after they drew 1-1 away to Flamengo, whose former Palmeiras striker Vagner Love equalised in the 89th minute of the match at Volta Redonda. Portuguesa, in 16th two places above Palmeiras, also drew 2-2 at home to Gremio, leaving Palmeiras seven points adrift in the relegation zone with two matches remaining. The bottom four teams in the championship are relegated. Figueirense and Goianiense already down. Sport, in 17th place one point behind Portuguesa, can still avoid the drop. Palmeiras, who share the record of eight Brazilian league titles with Santos, were crowned South American champions when they won the Libertadores Cup in 1999. They appeared to be on their way to only their fourth away win in the championship when Vinicius opened the scoring with a shot from outside the box in the 64th minute.

Flamengo then had substitute Paulo Sergio sent off in the 85th minute for a foul on Roman but Love put the final nail in their coffin four minutes later with a deflected shot. “ We tried ever ything but it was impossible. There’s a feeling of impotence now. We needed to win, we apologise for everything, the fans were always behind us,” Palmeiras’ Argentine striker Hernan Barcos told reporters. Before the match, played at the Volta Redonda due to World Cup refurbishments at the Maracana, police stopped a fight between fans of the rival teams. Palmeiras fans have been involved in several violent incidents protesting against the team and the club. In September with the team already in the relegation zone, Palmeiras parted company with former Brazil, Portugal and Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari - a mere two months after they had won the Copa Brasil. Critics blamed Scolari, who steered Palmeiras to their 1999 Libertadores Cup victory in a previous spell in charge, for their relegation. They spent one season in the second division after their first relegation in 2002. Fluminense, crowned champions last weekend with three matches to spare, were handed the trophy in a ceremony at the Engenhao in Rio, only to lose 2-0 to visiting Cruzeiro. —Reuters

LONDON: Manchester City topped the Premier League for the first time this season after thrashing Aston Villa while Barcelona stayed three points clear in La Liga as Lionel Messi scored twice in a win over Real Zaragoza. Bayern Munich extended their Bundesliga lead to eight points with a 1-1 draw at Nuremberg while leaders Juventus stayed four clear of Inter Milan in Serie A after both drew and Olympique Lyonnais top Ligue 1 after beating Stade Reims 3-0 at home.

Toluca face America and Leon meet Tijuana in the semi-finals. Sinha took a quick free kick in the 56th minute while Guadalajara were lining up their wall and Edgar Benitez passed to holding midfielder Wilson Thiago, who opened the scoring. “Toluca had not come close to our

MEXICO: Morelia’s Miguel Sabah scores a goal against America during a Mexican soccer league. Morelia defeated America 2-1. —AP Thursday’s 2-1 win in the first leg at Guadalajara’s Omnilife stadium. Two goals in three minutes inspired by Brazilian-born Mexico international Antonio Naelson Sinha and scored by fellow Brazilian midfielders at the Nemesio Diez ground in Toluca sealed the Chivas’ fate.

goal but we took our eyes off the ball at a free kick, they scored and that completely changed the game’s perspective,” Guadalajara right back Omar Esparza told the club’s website ( Two minutes later, Lucas Silva capitalised on a mistake by visiting goal-

SPAIN Unbeaten leaders Barcelona secured their 11th win in 12 games when La Liga top scorer Lionel Messi struck twice in a 3-1 home win over Real Zaragoza before second-placed Atletico Madrid kept the gap at three points with a 1-0 win away to Granada. Messi’s 16th and 17th league goals of the campaign took his tally for club and country in 2012 to 78 and the Argentina forward is closing in on the record of 85 in a calendar year set by Bayern Munich’s Germany striker Gerd Mueller 40 years ago. Diego Simeone’s Atletico side

keeper Luis Michel to head the second goal and virtually put the tie beyond Guadalajara. Substitute Juan Carlos Cacho scored a third for the Red Devils from Silva’s cross in the 72nd before striker Erick Torres pulled one back 10 minutes later. Tijuana, who opened the scoring through defender Pablo Aguilar, drew 1-1 at home to Monterrey to go through 2-1 on aggregate to their first semi-final. Striker Aldo de Nigris equalised in added time. Guadalajara’s arch-rivals America, looking for their 11th league title, lost 2-1 at home to Morelia at the Azteca in Mexico City on Saturday but went through 3-2 on aggregate. “We had a wake-up call today,” Eagles coach Miguel Herrera told reporters. “Fortunately we already held a lead, but we lacked concentration in the first half and they took advantage. Luckily Raul Jimenez scored a good goal that gave us this opportunity to go through.” Leon upset Cruz Azul 3-0 with two first-half goals from striker Matias Britos to qualify 4-2 on aggregate having lost 2-1 away in Wednesday’s first leg. Luis Delgado scored a late third goal for Leon after Cruz Azul striker Mariano Pavone had been sent off with 10 minutes remaining. Cruz Azul, Mexico’s fourth most successful club with eight titles after Guadalajara (11), America and Toluca (both 10), have gone 15 years without winning the championship. —Reuters

Crowd violence mars Colon’s 2-0 victory BUENOS AIRES: Crowd violence marred Colon’s 2-0 home win over Union in the Argentine championship on Sunday as the heated Santa Fe derby was held up for 10 minutes while riot police restored order. Union fans broke perimeter fencing in a bid to invade the pitch during the match but were held back by riot police using high-pressure water hoses. Colon’s second goal in the 70th minute also sparked anger among the fans. Striker Emanuel Gigliotti scored while team mate Facundo Curuchet was in an offside position judging by television replays. The top two teams, Velez Sarsfield and Newell’s Old Boys, both lost at home, leaving the way open for Lanus to take over the lead if they can secure a seventh successive victory away to Belgrano in Cordoba on Monday. Velez had the best chances against Boca Juniors but lost 1-0 to a first half goal by Uruguayan striker Santiago “Tank” Silva, who won the Clausura title with them in June 2011. The home side’s leading scorer

Facundo Ferreyra failed to add to his tally of six goals in the previous three matches when he missed a sitter and also had a goal disallowed for pushing. Boca climbed to fourth, five points behind Velez and two short of Lanus and Newell’s. Previously unbeaten Newell’s lost 21 to modest All Boys after an astonishing faux pas by their goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman. Guzman tried to play the ball out of his box, lost it to Mauro Matos, chased the striker halfway round the box and brought him down from behind, giving away a penalty which Matos converted to put All Boys two goals up. “We lost (for the first time) when we least expected it,” said Newell’s coach Gerardo Martino. “To win the championship we had to win our remaining four matches and hope the leaders slipped up,” he told reporters. “I’m sure that after yesterday’s matches there won’t be only one leader. If there’s another chance we’ll try to take it but we have the

the campaign looked to have put Bayern on track for their 11th win in 12 games. But a Markus Feulner long-range effort drew the hosts level right after the restart. Bayern, in action against Valencia in the Champions League on Tuesday, move up to 31 points

ENGLAND Champions Manchester City went top of the Premier League for the first time this season after demolishing Aston Villa 5-0 with Argentines Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero scoring twice. City moved to 28 points from 12 games, one more than Manchester United who slipped to second after a shock 1-0 defeat at lowly Norwich City. Chelsea are third on 24 after their surprise 2-1 loss away to West Bromwich Albion. The highest scoring match was at the Emirates where Arsenal beat Tottenham Hotspur 5-2 for the second successive season. Arsene Wenger’s side took control after exGunner Emmanuel Adebayor, who put Spurs ahead, was sent off in the 18th minute.

Brazilian flair sees Toluca into semis MEXICO CITY: Guadalajara succumbed to Brazilian mastery in their Mexican championship quarter-final on Sunday, going down 3-1 at Toluca. Toluca, who finished top of the league standings and qualified in first place for the eightteam knockout phase, went through to the semi-finals 5-2 on aggregate after

have a club best 31 points from their 12 matches, one more than when they last won the title with the combative Argentine in the side in 1996. Champions Real Madrid are third on 26 points, still eight adrift of great rivals Barca, after thrashing

feeling something’s escaped us.” Newell’s also lost their three most experienced players former Argentina internationals Maxi Rodriguez, Gabriel Heinze and Lucas Bernardi - to injury during the match. All three are in danger of missing the last four matches. The violence at Colon occurred four days after Independiente’s home match with Belgrano was suspended when hooligans threw flares onto the Libertadores de America pitch, stunning visiting goalkeeper Juan Carlos Olave. Troubled Independiente, who are in the relegation zone, lost 2-0 at Estudiantes on Saturday going a fourth match without victory. Club president Javier Cantero is attempting to rid Independiente of its “barrabravas”, or hooligan fans, who enjoyed favours from the previous administration. The Argentine Football Association is expected to rule that the remaining 45 minutes of Wednesday’s suspended match be played behind closed doors. —Reuters

Manchester City’s manager Roberto Mancini Athletic Bilbao 5-1 at the Bernabeu. Levante climbed above Malaga into fourth on 20 points thanks to a 2-0 win at Deportivo Coruna after Malaga drew 0-0 at struggling Osasuna. GERMANY Bayern Munich extended their lead at the top of the Bundesliga to eight points despite a 1-1 draw at Nuremberg. Bundesliga top scorer Mario Mandzukic’s ninth goal of

while second-placed Schalke 04 are stuck on 23 after losing 2-0 at Bayer Leverkusen. Champions Borussia Dortmund eased past Greuther Fuerth 3-1 to make the most of Bayern’s slip and move up to 22 points in fourth place, one behind Eintracht Frankfurt in third. Frankfurt’s Alexander Meier struck twice to join Mandzukic on nine goals at the top of the scoring charts in a 4-2 victory over bottom side Augsburg.

ITALY Leaders and champions Juventus were held to a 0-0 draw by visitors Lazio but stayed four points clear of Inter Milan, who needed a late Davide Astori own goal to draw 2-2 at home to Cagliari. Alberto Aquilani scored twice to held Fiorentina thump Atalanta 41, their fifth league win in a row, and move into third, one point behind Inter and ahead of Napoli on goal difference. Napoli drew 2-2 after squandering a 2-0 lead at home to AC Milan. Serie A top scorer Stephan El Shaaraway scored both Milan goals to take his tally to 10. FRANCE Olympique Lyonnais moved top of Ligue 1 by one point with a game in hand after beating midtable Stade Reims 3-0 at home. The seven-times champions have 25 points from 12 games ahead of Girondins Bordeaux who beat Olympique Marseille 1-0. Bordeaux extended their successful home run against their rivals, who have failed to win at the home of the Girondins since 1977 and finished the game fielding a 27-year-old amateur called up to strengthen a decimated squad. Marseille slipped to fourth and remain level on 23 points with Paris St Germain who dropped to third after a shock home defeat by nine-man Stade Rennes who are seventh on 22. NETHERLANDS PSV Eindhoven extended their lead at the top of the Dutch league to three points after their 6-1 thrashing of ADO Den Haag was followed by Twente Enschede’s 1-1 draw at Utrecht. Vitesse Arnhem are two more points back in third following 4-1 home win over NEC Nijmegen who finished with eight men after Victor Palsson, Remy Amieux and Ryan Koolwijk were sent off. —Reuters

Al-Essa clinches third spot KUWAIT: World ranked Jet Skier and member of Kuwait’s team Abdelwahab Suhail Al-Essa took third place of the fastest time category during Qatar International Jet Ski Championship, which was organized by Qatar Sea Sports Federations, in cooperation with the International Association of Sea Sports (UIM). Al-Essa said he is proud with the third place specially after the fierce competition from the French skier who won first place and UAE’s Rashid AlOwais was second. He said those results complement the outstanding win by Kuwait’s Jet Ski team during the world championship held in Arizona, USA. AlEssa won first place for the standing 800 category during the first round of Kuwait Championship for the current season in June.

CCC and Pakistan School & College win Kuwait Cricket’s U-18 tournament KUWAIT: In the ongoing U-18 School cricket tournament organized by Kuwait Cricket and sponsored by Gulf Four, Cricket Coaching Club prevailed over a spirited challenge from Titan XI to win their first match by a margin of 20 runs. Winning the toss & batting first, CCC scored a decent 143 runs in their allotted 20 overs. CCC openers Vineeth (18 runs) and Allen (18 runs) posted a 58 runs opening partnership to lay a solid foundation. Thereafter, wickets fell to some good bowling by Titan team, especially their captain Solomon who bowled brilliantly to grab 3 wickets and it was a quick fire 28 runs from Ammer which helped CCC to pile up 143 runs. Titans XI put up a good fight and

stood up to match their experienced rivals by scoring 123 runs in 20 overs. Solomon again was the pick of their batsman as he played a lone battle to score 24 runs. Right arm leg spinner Ilham (3 for 24) was the top wicket taker for CCC. Mehaboob Khan, Director Women’s cricket, presented the Player of the Match award to Ammer for his batting skills. In the second match of the tournament played in the afternoon at Sulaibiya, Pakistan School & College, Salmiya scored a comfor table 7 wicket vic tor y over FAIPS (Delhi Public School). A scintillating knock of 75 runs by the stylish left hander Faizan Ali could not save FAIPS from defeat. Winning the toss and using

Titus, Director, BEC exchange presenting the Player of the Match trophy to Qassim of Pakistan School & College, Salmiya.

the wicket first, FAIPS scored 141 runs for 6 wickets in 20 overs. Opening the batting for FAIPS, left handed Faizan Ali was in immaculate form from the word go and he stylishly cut and drove with awesome power to hit twelve magnificent boundaries. Rocking on the back foot and punching the ball to the cover boundary was the shot of the day. Adit Bagga and Faizan Siddiq gave valuable support for Faizan Ali to post a defendable total of 141 runs. Mohammed Fouzi 2-23, Qassim 1-29 and Abdul Wahab 1-22 bowled well for Pakistan School & College. A brilliant pick up and throw by Faizan Ali accounted for Abdul Wahab as Pakistan School & College stared chasing and it was left for the tall and lanky Shahrukh and Qassim to put their heads down to play sensibly and they put on 47 runs for the second wicket. Qassim spotting the ball well batted excellently to score 58 runs with 4 huge sixes & three boundaries to top score for Pakistan School & College. Later on Captain Abdul Jabbar with 26 runs and Mohammed Fouzi with 22 runs batted till the end to give Pak istan School a memorable victory. Titus, Director of Bahrain Exchange Company, Kuwait presented the Player of the Match award to Qassim of Pakistan School & College Salmiya for his all round bat and ball skills.



sp orts

Man United can rest key players for Galatasaray trip

TURIN: (From left) Juventus’ Andrea Pirlo, Simone Pepe, Sebastian Giovinco and Mirko Vucinic warm up during a training session ahead of today’s Champions League, Group E soccer match against Chelsea. —AP

Pirlo holds the key for Juventus MILAN: Chelsea must find a way to subdue Juventus playmaker Andrea Pirlo in a Champions League clash today which is likely to leave either the Serie A titleholders or European champions out of the competition. The 2006 World Cup winner now sports a beard which many feel gives him a resemblance to martial arts film star Chuck Norris, and he has been just as destructive as Juve’s guiding light in the past 18 months. Pirlo’s importance was clear on Saturday as he sat out the Serie A match against Lazio through suspension and Juventus, who had scored 10 goals in their previous two games, stuttered to a goalless draw. Never the happiest-looking of characters with his long, droopy face, Pirlo’s favoured role as a deep-lying playmaker makes him something of a rarity in modern football. The 33-year-old, ever-present in their Champions League campaign to date, dictates the rhythm of the five-man Juventus midfield, floating exquisitelytimed 40 metre passes over the opposing backline or threading gaps in the defence. The Serie A champions have lost only twice in all competitions since Pirlo joined them at the start of last season from AC Milan where his own career had run into a dead end. Spain coach Vicente del Bosque suggested recently that Pirlo, also instrumental in leading Italy to the Euro 2012 final, deserved to win the FIFA World Player of the Year award. Juventus’ problem is that their forwards are not always on hand to convert chances that Pirlo and his midfield create for them. New signing Sebastian Giovinco has failed to meet expectations since his move from Parma and Mirko Vucinic’s individualism continues to exasperate his team mates and the fans. Juventus, who went out in the group stage on their last Champions League appearance in 2009/10, have six points from four games in Group E, one less than Chelsea and Shakhtar Donetsk who visit winless Nordsjaelland. Chelsea will qualify if they win today’s match and Shakhtar will join them if they also win,

leaving Juventus to contemplate the Europa League. However, a win for Juventus would leave them needing a point from their visit to Shakhtar in December to qualify, as they would edge Chelsea on the headto-head record if the pair finished level on points. Chelsea, who in their opening Champions League game squandered a 2-0 lead at home to Juventus in a game that ended 2-2, cannot be eliminated on Tuesday but if they lose and Shakhtar win as expected, their fate will be out of their hands. “From now on we think about Chelsea, as at this moment it is the most important test,” said Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci. “Chelsea lost to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, but that doesn’t change anything as far as we are concerned. On Tuesday we must step on to the pitch only to win.” Chelsea have failed to win their last four league matches, their first poor domestic run since Roberto Di Matteo became manager last March. Di Matteo was angry at the way his side defended at The Hawthorns and said he may change the shape of his team back to a more defensive one rather than the attacking options he has used for most of this season. “This season we are playing a little bit different but we might have to go back to be able to win games, and make sure first and foremost we don’t concede,” he said. “Maybe it is the time where we might have to change a little bit in terms of our selection and the way we play.” Italy has not been a happy huntingground for Chelsea who have managed only one win in eight visits since their first trip in April 1998 for a Cup Winners Cup match against Vicenza which they lost 1-0. Stalwart Frank Lampard, who scored when they beat Lazio 4-0 for their only win in Italy, remains a doubt because of injury, although defender Ashley Cole should return after recovering from a hamstring problem. The defence will also be without skipper John Terry today as he faces another two weeks at least on the sidelines with a damaged knee.—Reuters

LONDON: Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie were two of the big names kept at home by Manchester United as the alreadyqualified English team traveled to Galatasaray for today’s match Champions League. With first place in the group already secured after four straight wins, United coach Alex Ferguson took full opportunity to rest the team’s top players to save their legs for the Premier League. Rooney was back in training yesterday after missing Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Norwich in the Premier League because of tonsillitis, but was missing from the squad of 21 players that boarded the flight to Istanbul. Van Persie, Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and David de Gea will also stay in England. It’s a far cry from last season’s struggles in the competition, when the three-time winners surprisingly failed to reach the knockout stage. “It is a happier place because of what we are doing in the Champions League,” United midfielder Michael Carrick said. “Last year we were chasing our tails a bit and came up short. This year we have been ahead of the game. “Getting those wins and points on the board makes it an awful lot easier.” United’s position gives Galatasaray a better chance of a win that would keep the Turkish team in second place and favorite to qualify with United. Cluj hosts

Braga in the other group match, with the three teams below United separated by only one point. Looking for a first European home win since 2009, Galatasaray comes into the match on the back of a disappointing 3-1 home loss to unheralded Karabukspor in the Turkish Super League game on Friday. It didn’t stop Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim sounding upbeat. “Galatasaray has a European reflex - we show this reflex even in our worst moments,” Terim said. “From minute one, the crowd will be gushing support for (Galatasaray). If we beat Manchester United, this confidence will carry us further.” The situation in the group could have been a lot different had United not come away with a slightly fortunate 1-0 victory from its home match against Galatasaray to open the group. The visitors had enough chances to draw, even win, the game at Old Trafford. Now, United can sit back and watch on as a host of top European sides - including Chelsea, Manchester City, Juventus and AC Milan - struggle to qualify for the knockout stage. “You can drive yourself mad thinking about who you might get and all the various permutations,” Carrick said, in reference to United’s possible opponents in the last 16. “We just have to win our games, which we have done, and see what the draw gives us. Whoever it is, we will be ready in February.” —AP

LONDON: Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney (center) trains with teammates including Robin van Persie (right) at Carrington training ground. Manchester United will play Galatasaray in Turkey in a Champions League Group H soccer match today. —AP

Barcelona hopes to avoid surprises against Spartak MADRID: Barcelona will try to avoid another surprise in the Champions League, and try to advance to the knockout stage, when it takes on Spartak Moscow today. The Spanish club slipped to a 2-1 loss at Celtic in the last round, but gets another chance to secure advancement with a victory against Spartak. The Russian team has only a theoretical chance of advancing from Group G, with three points from four games. But Spartak surprised Barcelona by leading 2-1 at the Camp Nou in September before Lionel Messi scored two late goals for a 3-2 win. “Our goal is to qualify for the next round as soon as possible,” Barcelona sports director Andoni Zubizarreta said. “We must win on Tuesday for that to happen.” Zubizarreta said the artificial surface at Luzhniki Stadium and the cold temperatures should not pose too big a problem for Barcelona. “Our players have played on artifi-

cial turf when they were in the youth academy,” he said, adding that the team knows it will be cold in Moscow. Barcelona’s defense will be almost at full strength, with Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique back. “We’ve recovered Puyol and Pique and we have (Javier) Mascherano and (Alex) Song,” Zubizarreta said. Marc Batra, however, will be sidelined for 15-20 days due to a leg injury he sustained after coming on as a late substitute during the team’s 3-1 home win over Real Zaragoza on Saturday. “We know it’s practically impossible to have a fully fit squad at any given moment,” Zubizarreta said. Spartak played to 1-1 draw with Russian league outsider Volga on Saturday and remains fifth in the league standings with 29 points from 16 games, 10 points behind leader CSKA Moscow. “We wanted to play our game, but Volga denied us,” Spartak coach Unai Emery said.

Pellegrino on thin ice ahead of Bayern clash MADRID: Valencia coach Mauricio Pellegrino has yet to win over the La Liga club’s demanding fans but a good performance at home to old foes Bayern Munich in Champions League Group F today would help ease pressure on the softly-spoken Argentine. His erratic side snatched a 2-1 La Liga win at home to Espanyol on Saturday thanks to Roberto Soldado’s late penalty and they are level on nine points with group leaders Bayern and well placed to progress to the last 16. Former Valencia player Pellegrino, who replaced Unai Emery as coach at the end of last season, was denied by Bayern goalkeeper Oliver Kahn in the penalty shootout that decided the 2001 final and he is well aware of the precariousness of his current position in the results-orientated modern game. “It’s not a good time to be a coach right now,” Pellegrino said at a promotional event last week. “You are skating on thin ice,” the 41-year-old added. “The players have more influence than the coach, that’s the way football is. “The players have a value in the market for the clubs that the coach just does not.” Valencia will have half an eye on the other match in the group because if Belarussian champions BATE Borisov lose at home to French side Lille, the La Liga club will be through whatever happens at the Mestalla. Bayern have lost to Valencia only once in eight meetings, a 3-0 reverse in Spain in the first leg of a UEFA Cup first-round tie in the 1996-97 season. They beat them 2-1 in Munich in September thanks to goals from Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos, Nelson Valdez replying for the visitors in added time. Mario Gomez and Franck Ribery will

travel to Valencia late yesterday as both continue their recovery from injury, Bayern said on their website ( on Sunday. Germany striker Gomez made his comeback last week after three months out following ankle surgery, while France winger Ribery trained with the rest of the squad on Sunday after a brief spell on the sidelines with bruised ribs. — Reuters

MOSCOW: Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (center) plays with a ball surrounded by other team players during a training session. Barcelona will play Spartak Moscow at their Champions League soccer match today. —AP

“They looked stronger in many components of the game. And it raises questions ahead of the match with Barcelona.” Spartak goalkeeper Andrey Dikan and his replacements Sergei Pasyakov and Artem Rebrov are all injured, causing Emery a headache. Spartak striker Artem Dzyuba will also miss the game with a hamstring injury he picked up during practice ahead of the game against Volga, while midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov underwent groin surgery in Germany last week. Benfica’s defense will be strengthened for its home match against Celtic by the return of Brazil international Luisao, suspended for two months by UEFA after a pre-season clash with a referee. But Uruguayan right-back Maxi Pereira is doubtful with a right thigh injury and the Lisbon club’s four key Argentine players - midfielders Enzo Perez and Pablo Aimar, central defender Ezequiel Garay, and striker Eduardo Salvio - also have questions marks over their fitness. Attacking duties will likely fall to Paraguayan forward Oscar Cardozo and Brazilian teammate Lima. The pair have combined for 18 goals in official matches this season, helping put the team at top of the Portuguese league alongside FC Porto after nine rounds. Benfica is unbeaten in the domestic competition, but has failed to reproduce that form in Europe, where it has won once in four games. It drew 0-0 in Glasgow. “I have complete faith in all my squad and we’re going through a period of strong form,” Benfica coach Jorge Jesus said. Celtic returns to Lisbon - the city where it won the European Cup in 1967 - looking for a victory to clinch a place in the knockout stage for the third time. A scoring draw is enough if Barcelona beats Spartak. Second-place Celtic is still buoyant after its much celebrated 2-1 win over Barcelona two weeks ago. “We are in a great position,” Celtic assistant coach Johan Mjallby said. “There is more pressure on Benfica because they really need to win.” —AP

Matches on TV (Local Timings) UEFA Champions League Spartak v Barcelona Aljazeera Sport +2 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD


BATE v Lille - 20:00 Aljazeera Sport +9 Nordsjaelland v Shakhtar Aljazeera Sport +8


Juventus v Chelsea Aljazeera Sport 1 HD Aljazeera Sport +4


Valencia v Bayern Aljazeera Sport +5


Galatasaray v Man United Aljazeera Sport +1


Benfica v Celtic Aljazeera Sport 2 HD


Cluj v Braga Aljazeera Sport +8


Celtic search for more glory LISBON: Celtic’s 2-1 win over Barcelona two weeks ago was described as the second greatest occasion for the club and by a quirk of the fixture list they go back today to the city where the greatest took place — Lisbon. It was in the Portuguese capital, on May 25 1967 that Celtic became the first British club to win the European Cup when they beat Inter Milan 2-1 at the National Stadium. That team, of which every player was born within 30 miles of Glasgow are now immortalised as the “Lisbon Lions” and if today’s side, comprising of diverse nationalities, can conjure a victory there and beat Benfica in their penultimate Group G match they will secure their place in the last 16 of the Champions League. Celtic travel in buoyant mood after the win over Barcelona, the

shock of the season so far, lifted them on to seven points in Group G, two behind the Spaniards and three ahead of Benfica. Spartak Moscow are bottom with three. They returned to the top of the Scottish Premier League with a 2-0 win at Aberdeen on Saturday, their first league win in four outings with both goals coming in a four-minute burst in the second half from substitute Lassad Nouioui and Charlie Mulgrew. Joe Ledley and Miku, both of whom played against Barcelona, were rested and should be fresh to face Benfica. Striker Giorgios Samaras was substituted in the 80th minute, while 18-year-old Tony Watt, who came on to score the decider against Barca, played the full 90 minutes but is likely to start on the bench. Celtic did not play all that

well to beat Aberdeen, and will need to show greater resolve against Benfica, who were European champions in 1961 and 1962. To keep their hopes alive of any further involvement this season, Benfica badly need to win on Tuesday as they face a daunting trip to Barcelona in their final group game. “ We need to win against Celtic and, then, we will have a word to say in Barcelona’s Camp Nou, said Benfica coach Jorge Jesus.”It is hard to qualify, but it is not clear that Celtic will win the last match against Spartak Moscow,” he added. “We depend only on ourselves and the maths are done in the end.” Jesus has been hard at work to patch up the Lisbon club’s midfield in the aftermath of the high-profile departures of Axel Witsel to Zenit and Javi Garcia to Manchester City.

Although Benfica are yet to convince in Europe, with only a win to their name against Spartak in the last round, they have thrived at home and share the lead of the Portuguese Premier League with Porto. “We are in a very good phase. I believe in all the players of the squad,” said Jesus after a 2-0 cup win over Moreirense on Friday. He has been rotating his squad and will be boosted by the return of influential captain Luisao. The centre back returns for his first Champions League match after a two-month suspension for physical aggression against a referee in a pre-season friendly in Germany. Lanky Serb Nemanja Matic, who stepped up to the holding midfield role, is a doubt after picking up a knock during his man-of-the-match performance against Moreirense.—Reuters




Texans down Jaguars in OT

PITTSBURGH: Baltimore Ravens tight end Ed Dickson (84) is hit by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Larry Foote (50) during the third quarter of an NFL football game.—AP

Chelsea slump puts spotlight on Di Matteo and Torres LONDON: Fernando Torres could become Chelsea’s fall guy after a poor run of form has suddenly turned the heat on manager Roberto Di Matteo just weeks after the Italian could seemingly do no wrong. Di Matteo’s stock could hardly have been higher in the early weeks of the season as the European champions won seven and drew one of their opening eight Premier League games. The midfield trio of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata were combining in eyecatching fashion and even the muchmaligned Torres looked something like his old self, having struggled to justify his 50 million pounds ($79.23 million)price tag since joining the Blues. However, a 3-2 home defeat by Manchester United at the end of October, in which Torres was given a red card for diving, and captain John Terry’s four-game ban for racial abuse and a subsequent knee injury has coincided with a dip. Chelsea have gone four Premier League games without victory, slipping to third in the table after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at West Bromwich Albion and now face a crucial away trip to Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday. Defeat at the Serie A side would leave their hopes of reaching the last 16 in the balance and Di Matteo could opt for a more defensive line-up, with Torres’s position under threat. The former Liverpool striker has managed just one goal in his last seven matches for Chelsea and Di Matteo hinted that the Spaniard may have to be sacrificed against Juventus. “I think we have to access the whole team and see how everybody is and how they have recovered. “We will see assess them and see what the right selection is for Tuesday. (But) if I believe it the right thing to do for the team, then yeah,” Di Matteo told reporters when asked to discuss whether he would leave Torres out in Turin. British newspapers carried reports of disharmony in the Chelsea ranks on Monday, with defender David Luiz admitting tempers had been frayed in the dressing room after the defeat to West

Roberto Di Matteo Bromwich Albion. “At the moment it’s not good,” the 25year-old was quoted on Chelsea’s website ( “We started the season at the top of the league, but we’ve now lost another game, although it was against a good team. “But it’s disappointing, Chelsea want to be at the top of the table always, so we need to work hard before the next game.” Di Matteo was made caretaker manager in March after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked and led Chelsea to Champions League glory, beating Bayern Munich to claim the trophy for the first time in the club’s history. A few weeks later he was give the job on a permanent basis on a two-year contract but has become used to speculation linking several big names to the Chelsea job. With Juventus away on Tuesday and then league leaders Manchester City at home on Saturday, Di Matteo’s side have an important week. “Maybe it is the time when we might have to change in terms of our selection and the way we play, looking at the set-up of the team and sacrifice a little bit the attacking options to go a bit more defensive,” Di Matteo said. “We had a lot of joy with the way we have been playing and long-term that is the way we want to go but we need a couple of positive result to get our confidence high again. “We have two massive games but we have players with a lot of experience and we have been in this position before.”—Reuters

Axe hangs over QPR manager

LONDON: As a player Mark Hughes never shirked a challenge nor backed away from confrontation. Dreaded by defenders throughout Europe, the Welshman enjoyed a fearsome reputation as a fighter. Rarely in his playing days, however, can the bellicose Hughes have encountered the enormity of challenge now facing him as he bids to cling on to his job as manager of rock-bottom Queen’s Park Rangers. Saturday’s home defeat to fellow Premier League strugglers Southampton left Hughes’s team as the only team in England’s four professional divisions without a win this season. It also left the manager squarely in the firing line. “HARRY COME AND SAVE US” read a placard held up by fans at Loftus Road, beseeching former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp to rescue the ailing West Londoners. Chants of “You’re only here for the money” rang out at the club’s Shepherd’s Bush stadium, accompanied by the more direct “Hughes Out”. The manger, though, remains defiant in the face of fans’ criticism. “I don’t run away from challenges, and this is a huge challenge,” he told reporters. “(The performance) was unacceptable. We have to take it on the chin... it is my intention to see it through.” Most pertinent, though, has been club owner Tony Fernandes’s response. Usually publicly very supportive of his manager, the Malaysian airline tycoon took to Twitter in the wake of the defeat, but pointedly for once failed to back his man. “I feel gutted,” wrote Fernandes, who

also owns the Caterham Formula One motor racing team. “I have put my heart and soul into this with my other shareholders. And done all we can to give support to players and all management. I can only apologise to the QPR fans. We keep fighting. “Let me tell you fans come first. Everyone including me let the fans down. Many of us need a hard look at themselves.” On Sunday night, he took to Twitter again. “On my way home from America,” the chief of Air Asia wrote. “Long long flight to think of many things.” QPR talisman Phil Parkes poured oil on the fire. Goalkeeper during a 1970s heydey when they finished runners-up in the league to Liverpool, Parkes urged for a change of leadership. “They have some tough games coming up and if he (Fernandes) carries on backing Mark Hughes and they keep losing it is very difficult to get yourselves out of that position,” he told the BBC. “Harry (Redknapp) is hovering in the background and he is a guy who will come in and make a difference straightaway. You may have to bite the bullet and say it is time for Mark Hughes to move on. “The longer he (Fernandes) leaves it the worse it will be for a new manager coming in and unfortunately that is what they need now, a new direction.” Redknapp did little to dampen the speculation surrounding Hughes’s position and the possibility of him replacing the Welshman. “It wouldn’t be fair to comment about it until something happens,” he said on the BBC’s Match of the Day programme. “We will wait and see.”—Reuters

Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Hughes

HOUSTON: Andre Johnson caught a screen pass from Matt Schaub and ran 48 yards for the winning touchdown in overtime as the Houston Texans rallied to beat Jacksonville Jaguars 43-37 on Sunday. Schaub threw a career-high five touchdown passes, completed a franchiserecord 43 passes and finished with 527 yards passing, second most in NFL history. Warren Moon also threw for 527 yards for the Houston Oilers in December 1990 against Kansas City. Norm Van Brocklin holds the record with 554 for the Rams in 1951. Johnson caught 14 passes for 273 yards, both career highs. The Texans (91) won an overtime game for the first time at Reliant Stadium. Chad Henne threw a careerhigh four touchdown passes in relief of injured Blaine Gabbert for the Jaguars (1-9). Rookie Justin Blackmon had 236 yards receiving. Falcons 23, Cardinals 19 In Atlanta, Matt Ryan overcame a careerworst five interceptions, guiding Atlanta to its only offensive touchdown in the fourth quarter in a sloppy win. The Falcons (9-1) turned it over a total of six times, but Michael Turner scored on a 1-yard run with 6:40 remaining to give Atlanta its first lead of the game. Ryan set up the score with four completions for 64 yards, including a 9-yarder to Tony Gonzalez on third-and-5 at the Arizona 10. Coming off a bye, Arizona (4-6) lost its sixth straight game. The Cardinals tried to bolster their anemic offense by switching quarterbacks, replacing John Skelton with rookie Ryan Lindley, but Larry Fitzgerald couldn’t hang on to a fourth-down pass after Ryan’s fifth pick. Packers 24, Lions 20 In Detroit, Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes, including a 22-yarder to Randall Cobb with 1:55 left to lift Green Bay. Mason Crosby made a 39-yard field goal with 19 seconds to go after missing two field goals earlier in the game. Matthew Stafford couldn’t put the Lions ahead on either of their last two drives in a game he’d like to forget. Stafford threw two interceptions - one of which was returned 72 yards by Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings for a go-ahead score in the third quarter - and lost a fumble. Green Bay (7-3) has won five straight and Detroit (4-6) has dropped two in a row. Cowboys 23, Browns 20 In Arlington, Dan Bailey kicked a 38-yard field goal in overtime and Dallas overcame a critical fumble by Tony Romo that sparked a wild ending. Bailey’s winning kick with 6:07 remaining in OT came after both teams punted once in the first overtime game at Cowboys Stadium. Bailey hit a tying 32-yard field goal with 2 seconds left in regulation. Dallas (5-5) rallied from a 13-0 halftime deficit and went ahead 17-13 on Romo’s 28-yard pass to Dez Bryant. A fumble by Browns rookie Brandon Weeden on a sack appeared to put the Cowboys in control, but Romo gave it right back with a fumble on another sack. The Cowboys made one goal-line stand in the final minutes, but the Browns got another chance and went ahead 20-17 on Weeden’s 17yard pass to Benjamin Watson. Buccaneers 27, Panthers 21 In Charlotte, Josh Freeman threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Clark in overtime to cap a comeback. It was Freeman’s third touchdown pass of the game for the Buccaneers (6-4). Carolina appeared to have the game in hand after a 29-yard touchdown pass from Cam Newton to Brandon LaFell put the Panthers (2-8) up 21-10 with 4:34 left in the game. But after a 40-yard field goal by Connor Barth, the Panthers were forced to punt, and Freeman led the Bucs 80 yards on seven plays in 50 seconds with no timeouts. He finished the drive with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson between three defenders with 12 seconds left. Freeman went back to Jackson for a 2-point conversion on a slant route to send the game into overtime. Ravens 13, Steelers 10 In Pittsburgh, Jacoby Jones returned a punt for a touchdown, Justin Tucker kicked two field goals and Baltimore took control of the AFC North with a victory over Pittsburgh. The Ravens (8-2) moved two games in front of the Steelers (6-4) by shutting down Pittsburgh’s offense, which sputtered without injured quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Byron Leftwich, making his first start in more than three years, completed 18 of 39 passes for 201 yards and an interception. He ran for a score but was also sacked three times. Baltimore’s Joe Flacco wasn’t much better, completing 20 of 32 passes for 164 yards, but the Ravens didn’t need Flacco to dominate to beat the Steelers for the third straight time at Heinz Field. Patriots 59, Colts 24 In Foxborough, the Patriots used three scoring passes from Tom Brady, two touchdowns on interception returns and another on a punt return to match a team single-game scoring

HOUSTON: Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis (right) makes the catch for a touchdown ahead of Houston Texans free safety Danieal Manning (38) during the first quarter of an NFL football game.—AP record. The first matchup between three-time Super Bowl winner Brady and star rookie Andrew Luck was no match. The Patriots (7-3) won their fourth straight game and extended their lead in the AFC East to three games. The Colts (6-4) had their four-game winning streak stopped by the NFL’s best offense and one of its worst defenses. This win was the Patriots’ most complete in a season in which they’ve averaged 35.8 points per game and lost their three games by a combined margin of four points. The 59 points equals the team mark set in a 59-0 win over the Tennessee Titans on Oct. 18, 2009. Saints 38, Raiders 17 In Oakland, Drew Brees threw three touchdown passes and Malcolm Jenkins returned an interception for another score to get the Saints back to .500. Lance Moore caught two touchdown passes and Mark Ingram ran for a score as the Saints (5-5) won for the fifth time in six games and are in position to make a late-season playoff run despite the season-long distraction from the bounty scandal. The Raiders (3-7) lost their third straight game under first-year coach Dennis Allen as their banged-up defense got picked apart by Brees’ precision passing. Oakland has allowed 135 points in those defeats, the most in a three-game span for the franchise since allowing 141 in the first three games in 1961. Brees finished 20 for 27 for 219 yards, extending his own records by throwing a touchdown in his 53rd straight game and completing 20 passes for the 46th straight game. Broncos 30, Chargers 23 In Denver, Peyton Manning threw for three touchdowns and Von Miller had three sacks to take the league lead with 13. Denver took a three-game lead in the AFC West by sweeping the Chargers. Manning threw for 270 yards. He got off to a slow start, throwing an interception that Eric Weddle returned for a score and an early 7-0 lead. But the Broncos (7-3) took a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter and never trailed again. Manning won his 148th regular-season game as a starting quarterback, tying John Elway for second on the all-time list. Brett Favre has 186. The Chargers (4-6) lost for the fifth time in six games. Redskins 31, Eagles 6 In Landover, Robert Griffin III threw four

touchdown passes, and Washington broke a three-game losing streak. Griffin completed 14 of 15 passes for 200 yards and also ran 11 times for 85 yards. He threw for scores of 6, 49, 61 and 17 yards - one in each quarter. Philadelphia’s Nick Foles was 21 for 46 for 204 yards in his first NFL start, and his first two series ended with interceptions. Foles was starting in place of Michael Vick, who suffered a concussion in last week’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys. The Redskins improved to 4-6. The Eagles (37) have dropped six straight, accelerating the countdown toward the possible end of Andy Reid’s 14-year tenure as coach. Jets 27, Rams 13 In St. Louis, Mark Sanchez directed a turnover-free offense and Bilal Powell ran for the first two touchdowns of his career as the Jets ended a three-game losing streak. Chaz Schilens scored on a 25-yard reception and Nick Folk kicked a pair of 51-yard field goals for the Jets (4-6), who were outscored 58-16 the previous two games. The Jets overcame a controversial practice week with several anonymous players quoted in a newspaper report disparaging the ability of backup quarterback Tim Tebow, who had a handful of snaps but was no factor. Brandon Gibson caught a pair of short touchdown passes for the Rams (3-6-1), who committed three turnovers and are in an 0-4-1 slump. St. Louis’ defense hasn’t forced a turnover in five straight games, tying the NFL’s longest such slump since 1950 according to STATS LLC. Bengals 28, Chiefs 6 In Kansas City, Andy Dalton threw for 230 yards and accounted for three touchdowns and A.J. Green caught a touchdown pass in his ninth straight game. Green finished with six catches for 91 yards in another dazzling performance, Mohamed Sanu had a scoring grab and BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 101 yards and a touchdown as the Bengals (5-5) won their second straight following a four-game losing streak. Cincinnati now plays its next four games against teams with losing records. Jamaal Charles had 87 yards rushing for Kansas City (19), but that was the only highlight for a team that lost its seventh straight amid a quiet crowd at Arrowhead Stadium.—AP

NFL results/standings Washington 31, Philadelphia 6; Green Bay 24, Detroit 20; Atlanta 23, Arizona 19; Tampa Bay 27, Carolina 21 (OT); Dallas 23, Cleveland 20 (OT); NY Jets 27, St. Louis 13; Houston 43, Jacksonville 37 (OT); Cincinnati 28, Kansas City 6; New Orleans 38, Oakland 17; Denver 30, San Diego 23; New England 59, Indianapolis 24; Baltimore 13, Pittsburgh 10. American Football Conference National Football Conference AFC East NFC EAST W L T OTL PF PA PCT NY Giants 6 4 0 0 267 216 .600 New England 7 3 0 0 358 225 .700 Dallas 5 5 0 0 211 224 .500 NY Jets 4 6 0 1 202 241 .400 Washington 4 6 0 0 257 254 .400 Buffalo 4 6 0 0 230 299 .400 Philadelphia 3 7 0 1 162 252 .300 Miami 4 6 0 2 187 205 .400 NFC North AFC North Chicago 7 2 0 0 242 133 .778 Baltimore 8 2 0 0 267 206 .800 Green Bay 7 3 0 0 263 207 .700 Pittsburgh 6 4 0 0 217 190 .600 Minnesota 6 4 0 0 238 221 .600 Cincinnati 5 5 0 0 248 237 .500 Detroit 4 6 0 1 236 246 .400 Cleveland 2 8 0 1 189 234 .200 NFC South AFC South Atlanta 9 1 0 0 270 193 .900 Houston 9 1 0 0 293 180 .900 Tampa Bay 6 4 0 0 287 230 .600 Indianapolis 6 4 0 0 210 260 .600 New Orleans 5 5 0 1 287 273 .500 Tennessee 4 6 0 1 219 311 .400 Carolina 2 8 0 1 184 243 .200 Jacksonville 1 9 0 3 164 289 .100 NFC West AFC West San Francisco 6 2 1 0 213 127 .722 Denver 7 3 0 0 301 212 .700 Seattle 6 4 0 0 198 161 .600 San Diego 4 6 0 0 232 221 .400 Arizona 4 6 0 1 163 196 .400 Oakland 3 7 0 0 208 322 .300 Kansas City 1 9 0 1 152 284 .100 St. Louis 3 6 1 0 174 237 .350

Russia shocked by new hooliganism outrage

MOSCOW: Russia’s football authorities yesterday vowed to fully investigate the latest outbreak of fan violence to hit the World Cup 2018 hosts after a top-flight goalkeeper was injured by a supporter’s firecracker. The incident forced a Premier League game between Dynamo Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg to be abandoned and was just the latest in a spate of hooliganism outrages that have raised concerns about Russia’s hosting of the World Cup. The Russian Premier League said it will hold today an extraordinary meeting to investigate the incident at Saturday’s match which was stopped in the 36th minute

after Dynamo goalkeeper Anton Shunin was injured by a firecracker thrown by visiting Zenit fans. “Taking into consideration the recent negative tendency of acts of hooliganism by some football fans, which caused dangerous consequences for other supporters and players, the league decided to discuss the case at an extraordinary meeting,” a statement said. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev expressed fury over the violence, which he described as “not an incident but a crime and furthermore a premeditated crime.” “There cannot be anarchy. People need to be put in prison for this sort of thing,” told a meeting of

deputy prime ministers, state media said. On Saturday, Dynamo took the lead in the 27th minute through a Vladimir Granat free kick, but referee Alexei Nikolaev called a halt to the game nine minutes later after Shunin went down injured. After the match local police detained 53 visiting fans at the Khimki Arena “including the person who supposedly threw the firecracker onto the pitch.” Local medics said that Shunin is currently undergoing treatment to his eyes which suffered a chemical burn - as well as injuries to his right ear caused by the blowing up of the firecracker. In a bizarre twist,

reports by stadium stewards said the firecrackers were likely to have been brought into the ground by Zenit female supporters in condoms pushed inside their bodies, adding that they found numerous torn rubber contraceptives in the women’s lavatory. Russian Football Union chief Nikolai Tolstykh, who visited the stadium soon after the incident, said that a decision on the case would be taken in the near future. “We will collect all the reports and documents and analyse them to investigate this terrible case thoroughly,” Tolstykh was quoted as saying by ITAR-TASS news agency.—AFP


Italy’s industrial orders plunge official 12.8% Page 23

US budget hopes shore up markets


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Qatar dodges shareholder duty on Glenstrata: Report

Mercedes-Benz SUV range expands horizons

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LONDON: British Business Secretary Vince Cable addresses delegates at the annual Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference in central London yesterday. Britain’s biggest employers’ group vowed yesterday to argue against a vote for Britain to leave the EU, in any referendum on European Union membership amid dwindling support for the country’s place in the bloc. — AFP

Britain must avoid EU exit vote: CBI Italy, Germany, Poland appeal against euro-skepticism LONDON: Britain’s biggest employers’ group vowed yesterday to argue against a vote for Britain to leave the EU, in any referendum on European Union membership amid dwindling support for the country’s place in the bloc. Roger Carr, president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), told the group’s annual meeting that European Union membership was a “launchpad” for international trade involving non-euro-zone member Britain. “If we are to avoid an exit vote in any referendum it is essential that the voice of British business is loud and clear in extolling the virtues of future engagement-not as a reluctant participant-but as the lynchpin of our wider global trade ambitions,” Carr told delegates. With the economic crisis boosting anti-EU sentiment in Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron has said that when the time is right he will hold a referendum on Britain’s relationship with the 27-country bloc. Euroskeptics meanwhile are pushing for a straight “in-out” referendum on Britain’s membership after a sharp drop over recent years in British public support for remaining part of the EU. “Europe, however challenged, remains home for half

our exports,” Carr said. “It’s like many relationships-can’t live with you, can’t live without you-but somehow the partnership continues to survive. Whatever the popular appeal may be of withdrawal, businessmen and politicians must keep a bridge to Europe firmly in place. “As countries of Europe bind together in pursuit of salvation, we in the UK must work harder to avoid the risks of isolation. Europe is the bedrock of our international trade. “It should be viewed as the launchpad from which our global trade can expand-not a landmass from which we wish to retreat,” Carr added. He also called on British companies to pursue rapidly growing emerging markets and beyond China and India. “We must, business and government, redouble our focus on our export performance, and get after those opportunities that are outside our traditional comfort zone. “Not just China and India, but Turkey, Indonesia, Vietnam, Russia, and of course South America,” the CBI head said. Meanwhile, Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano and his German and Polish counterparts launched an appeal on Monday for

unity in the face of growing euroskepticism as the European economic downturn drags on. In a “Naples Appeal” presented at the start of

NAPLES: Italian President Giorgio Napolitano (center) poses with his Polish counterpart Bronislaw Komoroski and German counterpart Joachim Gauck of Germany during their meeting at Villa Rosbery yesterday in Naples. — AFP

Italy’s Monti seals investment deal with Qatar DOHA: Energy-rich Qatar agreed to invest as much as 1 billion euros ($1.27 billion) in Italian companies yesterday, aiding efforts by Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Monti to breathe life into a weak economy. Italy has joined a growing list of European states looking to tap the Qatar’s vast wealth to support national industries struggling to finance their way out of recession. A joint venture between Italy’s strategic investment fund and state-owned Qatar Holding will invest in sectors including food, fashion and luxury goods, furniture and design, tourism and leisure, the Italian fund said in a statement yesterday. The venture will have capital of up to 2 billion

euros ($2.5 billion) provided equally by both partners over the first four years, according to the agreement signed during a visit to the small, energy-rich Gulf state by Monti. IQ Made in Italy Venture will start with 300 million euros of capital. “We have four or five ideas (for investment in Italy) we are studying at the moment,” Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani said at a news conference without elaborating. Qatar is also preparing to sign another agreement with Italy worth 1 billion euros aimed at small and medium sized enterprises, Sheikh Hamad said, adding that Qatar would participate in half that amount. — Reuters

Abu Dhabi eyes new airport terminal launch by early 2017 DUBAI: Abu Dhabi will launch operations at its new airport terminal by the second quarter of 2017, a senior aviation official said yesterday, as the cash-rich emirate expands its infrastructure to outpace regional rivals. The 700,000-square-metre fourth terminal will add capacity for 30 million passengers annually to the existing airport and become the home of Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways. Abu Dhabi airport has emerged in the past two years as a significant competitor to the larger airport in neighboring Dubai, where Emirates airlines is based. A consortium of Turkey’s TAV Insaat, Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Co and Dubai’s Arabtec was awarded a 10.8 billion dirhams ($2.94 billion) contract

two-day talks in the southern Italian city, Napolitano, Joachim Gauck and Bronislaw Komorowski also called for greater growth

to build the terminal in June. “The construction will be done in 2016. By the end of the second quarter of 2017, we will be operational,” Daniel Molloy, deputy development officer at Abu Dhabi Airports Company told a business conference in Abu Dhabi. Neighbouring Gulf state Qatar is also expanding its aviation infrastructure with a new international airport. Molloy said passenger activity at Abu Dhabi’s existing airport is already up 20 percent over last year. “Our challenge right now is capacity,” he said. The current three terminals at Abu Dhabi have a total capacity of 12.5 million passengers a year. — Reuters

measures ahead of a summit later this week on the EU budget. “We strongly oppose... every relapse into restrictive or nationalistic views. Only by remaining united can we face up to the challenges of the global world,” the appeal said, referring to a rise in euroskepticism across the EU. In light of the upcoming budget summit, the presidents said they reaffirmed their “shared conviction that an investment aimed at sustainable growth is the best way to uphold the prosperity and stability of our continent.” Europe has been hit by a wave of anti-austerity protests-with general strikes in Spain, Portugal and Italy-as the policy of fighting the crisis with austerity measures has provoked outrage and despair among the worst off. “When many are looking towards Europe with uncertainty and detachment, when Europe no longer seems capable of creating a just society, when many fear for their jobs... we have a message of encouragement,” the appeal said. “We will get over this serious economic and financial crisis,” it said. — Agencies

Saudi heads Gulf slump as Gaza clashes weigh MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS DUBAI: A sharp sell-off dragged Saudi Arabia’s index to a five-week low yesterday and most other Middle East markets also fell as Israel-Palestine clashes extended into a sixth day. The kingdom’s market dropped 1.9 percent to its lowest close since Oct 14. Israel bombed dozens of suspected militant sites in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Monday and Palestinians kept up their cross-border rocket fire as international pressure for a truce intensified. “People are getting worried the rising tension in Gaza can be the start of something worse,” said Abdullah Alawi, assistant general manager and head of research at Al Jazira Capital research, adding worries over the world economy were also weighing on Saudi investor sentiment. Global markets dropped last week on worries the US economy is heading towards a “fiscal cliff”, which threatens to send the world’s largest economy back into recession. Saudi large-caps lost ground, with Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), the world’s largest chemicals producer, and Al Rajhi Bank each dropping 1.4 percent and Samba Financial Group lost 2.4 percent. State media said on Sunday that King Abdullah has undergone successful back surgery at a hospital in Riyadh. Analyst say weak third-quarter earnings from petrochemical and banking stocks - the two largest sectors by market value - have made investors wary. “Bluechip companies have shown weakness in the last quarter and most analysts agree that next year will witness slower growth in petchems, banks and telecoms,” Alawi added. “The main sectors of the economy are maturing, which in return lowers the expectations of exceptional

growth.” Elsewhere, Dubai’s blue-chips dragged the emirate’s index to a seven-week closing low. Telecom operator du lost 1.8 percent, builder Arabtec dropped 3 percent and Emaar Properties slipped 1.4 percent.The market is still up 16.7 percent so far in 2012. Analysts expect bargain hunters to now step in following yesterday’s declines. Abu Dhabi’s benchmark closed 0.8 percent lower, its fourth decline since Nov. 12’s 16-month high. Heavyweights weighed, with First Gulf Bank and telecom operator etisalat falling 1.9 and 0.7 percent respectively. In Doha, the measure ended 0.04 percent higher, easing away from Sunday’s three-month low. Gainers outnumbered losers nine to seven. Qatar Navigation climbed 2.1 percent. “It’s all politics and Middle East conflict - the Gaza attack is scaring everyone,” said Yassir Mckee, head of brokerage at Doha’s Al Rayan Financial Brokerage. “Qatar should stay in range - it needs some good news to take it higher. Locals are not as scared as much as the foreigners when there is tension in the region.” Doha’s bourse is down 4.5 percent this year due to investor disappointment over dividend yields and what is perceived as slow progress in the award of infrastructure development contracts ahead of Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. “If volumes in Qatar don’t increase in the medium-term, it’s going to be difficult for people to accumulate,” said Musa Haddad, head of investment advisory services at National Bank of Abu Dhabi. “It will not get much attention from international investors because the dividend yield growth is getting flat.” — Reuters



Saudi summer oil burning hits record high in 2012 DUBAI: Saudi Arabia burned record volumes of crude oil over the summer, official government figures show, contrary to its aim of using more gas for power generation to reduce wastage of crude that it could export. During the peak period from early June through September, Saudi Arabia burned an average of 763,250 barrels per day (bpd) of crude, compared to an average of 701,250 bpd last year and 747,750 bpd in the previous record summer of 2010, official government data issued on Sunday under the Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI) shows. Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said in March that more natural gas should be available from fields that only produce gas, or so-called non-associated fields, to meet peak summer power demand, potentially saving millions of barrels of valuable crude for export. Key to this plan was the ramp-up of

Karan, Saudi Aramco’s first non-associated offshore gas field, which was completed ahead of schedule, helping boost Saudi gas production by 18 percent over summer, Aramco said in October. Karan, which can pump gas free from OPEC-constrained crude oil fields, should save tens of millions of barrels of crude for export over coming years. But its rapid ramp up was not enough to prevent a rebound in crude oil burning in the world’s leading oil exporting country, as rampant power demand and tight supplies of alternative fuels for electricity and sea-water desalination sucked in millions more Saudi crude barrels for burning this year. “Karan has definitely contributed to reduce crude oil burning, had it not been on stream, oil burning could have exceeded 850,000 bpd in the peak summer period,” said Sadad AlHusseini, a former top executive at

Saudi Aramco said. “But demand (for power) was significantly higher, due to an exceptionally hot summer.” In summer 2011, record Saudi imports of diesel and fuel oil, which is used to generate power in parts of the country, combined with a sharp rise in Saudi crude production which boosted associated gas supplies, contributed to the first hiatus in the rise of crude burning since 2003. Lack of refinery capacity means Saudi has to import fuel. Saudi crude production averaged 9.845 million bpd from June to September 2012, or 192,500 bpd more than it pumped in the same period of last year, which would have brought with it more associated gas from the kingdom’s vast oil fields. But there was still not enough gas to meet demand as temperatures in the kingdom soared over 45 degrees Celsius. Despite stepping up diesel and fuel oil imports , a market

made tighter by sanctions on Iran kept prices high and supplies scarce, forcing the country sitting on the world’s largest oil reserves to burn around 7.56 million more barrels of oil over the four months than it did last year. At an average price of $105 a barrel, that equates to around $800 million more Saudi crude burnt this summer. Saudi Arabia is by far the largest user of crude oil for power generation, with most countries outside the Middle East cutting back oil-fired power generation long ago in favor of gas, nuclear and renewable energy sources. Aramco now manages known gas reserves of 279 trillion cubic feet, the fourth largest in the world, and hopes to increase its gross gas production from 10.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in 2010 to more than 15 bcfd by 2015. It has raised output significantly over the past few years but has not been able to keep up with rapidly rising demand driven by

population growth and a buoyant industrial sector. Although dwarfed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which generates the vast majority of its electricity with natural gas, set light to an average of 20,000 bpd oil in the period, compared to just 4,500 bpd last summer and a previous high of 14,750 bpd in 2010. The UAE burned an average of 79,000 bpd of oil in April, nearly four times its previous monthly record high of 21,000 bpd set in December 2011, according to JODI data. Kuwait, which like the UAE has tried to reduce its oil use for power generation by increasing imports of liquefied natural gas over the last few years, burned 13,000 bpd more crude every day this summer than it did last year. But less of its oil was used than in the June-September periods of peak air conditioning demand in 2009 and 2010, JODI figures show. — Reuters

Qatar dodges shareholder duty on Glenstrata: Report Doha refusal a snub to $220m incentive plan

MADRID: 45-year-old office manager Irene Gonzalez of Spain (centre left) is comforted by a friend while she waits to be evicted from her home in Madrid yesterday. Spain approved a two-year suspension of evictions Thursday for some needy homeowners unable to pay their mortgages, but activists said the government failed to address the larger issue of how those who give up their homes may still remain indebted, sometimes for the rest of their lives. — AP

NBK announces first of its Visa cardholders to win a trip to DSF 2013 KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) will on Tuesday, November 27, 2012, announce the winners of the first draw in its Dubai Shopping Festival 2013 campaign, offered to its Visa Cardholders in partnership with Visa International. NBK is offering its Visa Cardholders the opportunity to win 60 travel packages for two to Dubai Shopping Festival 2013. Each travel package includes two round trip airline tickets with two-night accommodation in a five star hotel. The first 30 winners will be announced at this draw. This exclusive campaign is valid until 31 December, 2012. NBK Visa Cardholders (debit, credit and prepaid cards) are given one entry to the draw for every 10 KD

spent on any purchases using their NBK Visa Cards during the promotion period. Cardholders can also triple their chances to win when spending on their NBK Visa cards while traveling overseas or even on the internet. Dubai Shopping Festival is one of the most exciting shopping events in the world. The more NBK Visa Cardholders use their cards during the promotion period the more chances they get to win one of the 60 travel packages. NBK Cards are accepted worldwide and are the safest, most convenient and rewarding way to pay. For more information log onto or contact Hala Watani on 1801801, or follow NBK on Twitter @NBKPage, and on Instagram @NBKPage.

DUBAI: Qatar is dodging its shareholder duty. The emirate successfully used its muscle to extract better terms from Glencore in the commodity trader’s union with miner Xstrata. But the decision to vote in favor of the merger while abstaining on a side vote on retention bonuses makes Qatar Holding seem inconsistent at best. The Qataris own 12 percent of Xstrata. Their refusal to back golden handcuffs for Xstrata staff is a snub to the scale of the $220 million incentive plan, according to a person familiar with the situation. It isn’t a show of solidarity with big institutional shareholders that oppose retentions in principle. In announcing its voting intentions, Qatar explicitly recognized that “retaining Xstrata’s operational management is of critical importance to the successful and stable integration”. In other words, Qatar clearly supports, and even expects, the new board of the enlarged miner to devise an alternative pay scheme or ad-hoc packages for key staff in due course. The Gulf state and Glencore boss, Ivan Glasenberg, together have over

$10 billion invested in the success of the $80 billion merger. Neither can afford for top talent to disappear. But as it stands, the package isn’t acceptable to Qatar. Logically, it therefore ought to vote no. Its decision to abstain is a cop out from good governance. Why the loss of conviction? The Gulf state wants to avoid a sensitive debate that would put it against large institutional funds. The desire to bury its head in the sand will be reinforced by ongoing regulatory probes in the UK and United States into fees paid to Qatar in relation to a capital fundraising by British bank Barclays in 2008 and fresh allegations of corruption over its winning bid to host the football 2022 World Cup. Large shareholders ought to be able to negotiate effectively behind the scenes to keep an issue like this a sideshow. It is odd that the Xstrata board wasn’t able to devise a retention plan that its lead shareholder could support. True, it may be harder for a sovereign investor to engage due to organizational

peculiarities. But Qatar was very public in its intervention forcing Glencore to offer more for Xstrata: it has chosen not to be a passive investor. If it doesn’t want to be dismissed as an unreliable one, it needs to finish what it starts. Qatar Holding said on Nov 15 that it would back Glencore’s $32 billion takeover of Xstrata. The fund, which owns almost 12 percent of Xstrata, said it would vote for two key resolutions on the takeover at a shareholder meeting scheduled for Nov 20. However, it said it would abstain from voting on a $220 million pay deal designed to encourage top Xstrata staff to stay on after the deal completes. “QH is conscious of the sensitivities concerning governance issues in the UK and does not feel it appropriate to influence the outcome either way”, the fund said in a statement. The fund added that it believes “retaining Xstrata’s operational management is of critical importance to the successful and stable integration of the two companies”. — Reuters

Abu Dhabi to begin building Louvre ABU DHABI: Visitors to Abu Dhabi’s latest attraction will be offered a journey through time when building of a branch of Paris’s world-famous Louvre museum finally gets under way next year. The emirate’s tourism arm, which is also building a branch of New York’s Guggenheim museum in the Gulf Arab emi-

lion cultural project in Abu Dhabi, where they will be housed alongside a golf course and high-end housing developments. “The contractor will move (in on the Louvre project) very soon. Construction will start in the first quarter of 2013,” Nabil Al-Kendi, Tourism Development & Investment Company’s chief

rate, confirmed construction will begin in the first quarter of 2013. Both museums were originally scheduled to open between 2013 and 2014 but were delayed due to a government review of projects. The museums and New York University are among institutions that plan to set up branches on Saadiyat Island, a $27 bil-

development officer said on Monday at an MEED conference. The development of Saadiyat Island is one of the largest cultural projects in the M iddle East but last year more than 130 ar tists said they would boycott the Guggenheim museum there over what they said was exploitation of foreign workers. — Reuters

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

.2740000 .4440000 .3550000 .2940000 .2800000 .2910000 .0040000 .0020000 .0764600 .7449300 .3870000 .0720000 .7302720 .0430000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2816500 GB Pound/KD .4467530 Euro .3571040 Swiss francs .2964420 Canadian dollars .2816080 Danish Kroner .0478830 Swedish Kroner .0415540 Australian dlr .2930570 Hong Kong dlr .0363400 Singapore dlr .2302000 Japanese yen .0035510 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0767130 Bahraini dinars .7473800 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0751270 Omani riyals .7318440 Philippine Peso .0000000

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. ASIAN COUNTRIES

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

3.559 5.147 2.947 2.172 3.223 232.110 36.502 3.452 6.834 9.199 0.271 0.273

.2850000 .4590000 .3690000 .3070000 .2910000 .2990000 .0067500 .0035000 .0772290 .7524170 .4070000 .0770000 .7376110 .0510000 .2837500 .4500840 .3597670 .2986530 .2837070 .0482400 .0418640 .2952420 .0366110 .2319170 .0035780 .0051870 .0021810 .0029700 .0034870 .0772840 .7529520 .4013440 .0756870 .7373000 .0069520

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

GCC COUNTRIES 75.470 77.763 735.090 751.690 77.063

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 47.900 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 46.327 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.320 Tunisian Dinar 178.150 Jordanian Dinar 399.150 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.899 Syrian Lier 3.870 Morocco Dirham 33.088 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 282.900 Euro 364.940 Sterling Pound 452.500 Canadian dollar 284.890 Turkish lire 153.750 Swiss Franc 301.920 Australian dollar 294.220 US Dollar Buying 281.700 GOLD 332.000 167.000 86.500

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

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


297.000 752.340 3.710 286.300 555.600 46.100 49.400 167.800 48.040 365.300 37.190 5.560 0.032 0.162 0.249 3.580 400.900 0.191 95.400 45.000 4.350 233.800 1.832

50.000 734.840 3.090 7.070 78.250 75.530 232.370 34.590 2.694 454.100 42.700 303.200 4.100 9.560 198.263 77.130 283.300 1.370

10 Tola

GOLD 1,829.100

Sterling Pound US Dollar

734.660 2.964 6.888 77.820 75.530 232.370 34.590 2.177 452.100 301.700 4.100 9.410 77.030 282.900


TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 452.100 282.900


295.500 752.340 3.456 284.800

232.400 46.383 363.800 37.040 5.145 0.031


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

297.06 287.10 304.07 363.79 282.55 452.47 3.56 3.466 5.141 2.177 3.214 2.953 77.00 752.33 46.35 402.54 735.36 78.02 75.56


296.000 285.500 304.000 362.500 283.000 451.600 3.690 3.580 5.550 2.310 3.650 3.150 77.500 750.000 47.950 400.000 740.000 77.850 75.850

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd 400.860 0.190 95.400 3.230 232.300

Rate for Transfer

Selling Rate

US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro

282.800 283.360 450.780 361.360

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

299.860 748.710 76.975 77.625 75.375 398.650 46.378 2.171 5.141 2.943 3.460 6.850 693.715 4.480 9.285 4.385 3.290 92.220

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

UAE Exchange Centre WLL

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY

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


Rate per 1000 (Tran)

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

282.900 2.947 5.151 2.180 3.466 6.885 77.130 75.600 752.100 46.366 454.900 2.990 1.550 367.000 288.500 3.345

Al Mulla Exchange Currency

Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

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

282.300 363.000 451.550 284.700 3.550 5.142 46.305 2.172 3.453 6.835 2.948 752.350 77.020 75.520



Greece slaps spending curbs to appease lenders ATHENS: Greece approved laws yesterday to enforce budget targets and ensure privatization proceeds are used to pay off debt, seeking to appease foreign lenders before a critical meeting of euro-zone finance ministers. Athens said the decrees - in addition to an austerity package passed earlier this month - completed its obligations to lenders before today’s Eurogroup meeting, which it hopes will unlock more aid to stave off bankruptcy. “We have delivered, fulfilling the final pledges we made,” Greek government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou told Reuters. The government decrees which go into force immediately and do not require parliamentary approval - stipulate proceeds from privatization go into a special escrow account and impose automatic cuts on public sector units that miss budget targets. European paymaster Germany, which has long been skeptical of Greece’s commitment to reform, had pushed for the measures, according to sources close to the matter.

After lengthy talks with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Sunday, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said Greece was “fully ready ” for the Eurogroup session. Asked about Greek declarations that the government has completed the major steps required of them at this stage, a senior euro-zone official said: “They have done so, and two small items remain to be done before disbursement.” Still, prospects for a swift disbursement of more than 30 billion euros ($38 billion) in bailout aid remain cloudy as Greece’s euro-zone and International Monetary Fund lenders squabble over how to resolve the country’s debt crisis. IMF officials have said some writedown of Greek debt held by euro-zone governments is inevitable, but Germany has rejected the idea of taking a loss on bond holdings. Greek opposition leader Alexis Tsipras attacked the use of decrees saying the country risked becoming a “debt colony”. “At tomorrow’s Eurogroup

meeting, a voiceless, surrendered government will go cap in hand to await what others will decide for it,” Tsipras, head of the radical leftist Syriza party, told a news conference. The party ’s popularity has been growing.

One of yesterday’s decrees requires money from selling state assets to be paid within 10 days into the escrow account at the Greek central bank, set up under the country’s second bailout deal with the European Union and IMF

last March. It also imposes curbs on public sector borrowing from 2014 and sets up automatic spending cuts or tax hikes if budget targets are missed. A second decree cuts the pensions of parliamentary

Greek body warns of ‘annihilation’ ATHENS: A leading chamber of commerce in Greece warned yesterday that the job situation in its sector was the worst for 14 years, as the country heads towards a sixth year of recession, and said that worse was to come. “Returning to 1984 purchasing power levels, 1998 employment levels and 1999 salary levels will not help Greece’s economy in 2013,” said Vassilis Korkidis, chairman of the National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (Esee). The association, representing a sector which employs nearly 18 percent of the Greek workforce, presented an annual study forecasting a further drop in sales and job cuts in an economy where the unemployment rate currently exceeds 25 percent. More than 40 percent of limited liability companies and 70.6 percent of general and limited partnerships expect a fall in sales, and one in three businesses in both categories expects to shed workers next year, the report showed. “If this situation continues, the trader sector... will be threatened with annihilation,” Korkidis said. “The recipe of successive

(fiscal overhauls) appears to have failed,” he said. Greece’s parliament earlier this month approved a new round of austerity worth 18.5 billion euros ($23.6 billion) that includes additional salary and pension cuts and other reforms to be implemented by 2016. The measures have been prescribed by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund which have been propping up the near-bankrupt Greek economy with billions of euros in loans since 2010. After a third year of austerity, eight in ten businesses report a fall in sales and seven in ten have lost access to bank funding, Korkidis said. “Europe needs a three-pillar approach: regain confidence, implement needed structural reforms, provide growth-enhancing measures,” said Gunilla Almgren, president of the European association of craft, small and medium-sized enterprises (UEAPME). Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis said the government had pledged to pay businesses outstanding state debts of three billion euros by the end of the year. The state owes private suppliers more than eight billion euros in total. — AP

workers, who nearly derailed a vote on austerity measures earlier this month by walking out, forcing the government to hastily withdraw an amendment that would have cut their pay. Powerful unions and shaky political will have impeded Greek efforts to overhaul its bloated public sector. Municipal employees blocked city services in Athens on Monday, protesting about plans to earmark about 2,000 government workers for possible dismissal by the end of the year. At the health ministry, workers blocked doorways and held banners reading “No to layoffs!”. Protests have surged in recent weeks. Dozens of mayors across the country have refused to send lists of employees who would fall under the scheme and plan to challenge it in court. “We have the right to resist measures that destroy society,” said Iraclis Gotsis, mayor of the Athens suburb of Nea Ionia on state television NET.—Reuters

Italy’s industrial orders plunge official 12.8% 13th drop in a row sends shockwaves

FRANKFURT: Jens Weidmann, President of the German Central Bank (Deutsche Bundesbank), gives a speech at the Euro Finance Week in Frankfurt am Main yesterday. With more than 500 speakers and 10,000 visitors from 60 countries, the Euro Finance Week is according to the organizer Europe’s largest meeting point for the finance and insurance industry. —AFP

One in four German firms ‘to slash jobs’ next year BERLIN: Gloomy German companies are preparing to slash their workforces next year as the euro-zone crisis bites, a survey showed yesterday, with more than one in four firms saying they would cut jobs in 2013. According to the study of around 2,300 companies by the IW economic institute, 28 percent of firms questioned said they planned to reduce staff levels in 2013, compared to 20 percent that expect to take on employees. The survey also showed that 28 percent of firms were anticipating making fewer investments next year than this year, with 23 percent of companies saying they would invest more in 2013. The report came as signs grow that the three-year euro-zone crisis is taking an increasingly heavy toll on Germany, the bloc’s economic powerhouse. Data published last week showed the economy barely grew in the third quarter of the year, inching ahead only 0.2 percent compared with

the previous three months of the year. Economists expect Germany to grind to a complete standstill or possibly even to go into reverse in the four th quar ter as the crisis hits demand for its all important exports. Business confidence as measured by the monthly survey published by the Ifo institute in late October showed sentiment at a two-and-a-half year low. The IW survey painted a barely more optimistic picture, with one third of companies saying they expected orders to be weaker next year, compared to only 24 percent predicting fuller order books. “Despite the economic weakness stemming from the declining world economy, the IW does not expect Germany to fall into recession,” the institute wrote. “Our economic researchers predict economic growth of 0.75 percent in 2013. A precondition for this however is that the debt crisis in Europe does not escalate,” the institute added. —AFP

Egypt’s PM says very close to IMF deal CAIRO: Egypt aims to secure agreement on a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund in a few days to help shore up its battered finances, the prime minister said yesterday. The IMF team in Cairo said earlier yesterday it was extending its stay for a few days and that it was having “constructive consultations” with the government on a deal seen as vital to restoring investor confidence in the economy. “I think we are very close. We are still doing the last minute negotiations,” Prime Minister Hisham Kandil said in an interview for the Reuters M iddle East Investment Summit. “We think we will be able to close the deal within the next coming few days,” he said in Cairo, speaking of a deal that has been at the centre of on-off negotiations since soon after Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising in February 2011. Kandil outlined austerity steps in the government’s economic plan, including cutting fuel subsidy spending. He said targeting subsidies on cooking

gas cylinders so they reach the most needy had begun in several provinces, adding that when implemented across the nation it would save Egypt 5 billion to 6 billion Egyptian pounds ($820 million to $980 million) a year. He said a plan to eliminate subsidies on 95- octane gasoline, the highest grade available, could happen within a week . Officials had said it would happen last week. Kandil said the step would save the government 55 million pounds a year. On other measures, he said a plan to hike the sales tax, now at 10 percent, was under review. Some reports suggested it would rise to 11 percent, but Kandil said the hike “might be less.” K andil said he was “optimistic ” the budget deficit for the financial year 2012/13, which ends in June, would come in less than the 10.8 percent of gross domestic product hit in 2011/12. Officials previously said the deficit last year was 11 percent. — Reuters

MILAN: Italy’s industrial orders plunged by 12.8 percent in September from the level 12 months earlier and by 4.0 percent from the August figure, the official data agency Istat said yesterday. It is the thirteenth drop in a row for industrial orders on a 12-month comparison, as Italy struggles to pull itself out of a recession. On a monthly comparison, orders had risen in August and July. Slumping internal demand was a key factor, Istat said, as the country reigns in spending amid govern-

ment imposed austerit y measures and budget cuts. Orders from within Italy were down 15.8 percent on a year, and 1.4 percent on a month. Those from abroad were down 8.1 percent on a year and 7.4 percent on a month, as the euro-zone debt crisis continued to hit the world economy. Tu r n ove r i n t h e i n d u s t r i a l s e c to r dropped 5.4 percent from ac tivit y in September 2011 and by 4.2 percent in the month, Istat said. The country slumped into a recession at

the end of 2011 and the government does not expect a return to growth before 2013. Prime Minister Mario Monti’s technocrat government has been racing to bring Italy’s vast debt under control with a series of biting measures and reforms. While international observers and the markets have been reassured by Monti’s efforts to stave off the crisis, many are concerned that the end of his term in early 2013 may open the way for a government determined to undo his reforms. — AFP

Ocado’s new banking deal gives firm time to grow LONDON: British online grocer Ocado said it will raise 36 million pounds ($57 million) through a placing of new shares as part of a deal with lenders that will see its debt facility extended. Ocado shares, which nearly halved in the past six months on fears it could breach its banking agreements, leaped as much as 32 percent yesterday as investors bet the new lending deal would give management more time to prove its business model can work. The stock was up 15.05 pence at 75.6 pence at 1130 GMT, valuing the business at 392 million pounds. The firm, founded in 2000 by three former Goldman Sachs bankers and floated at 180 pence a share in 2010, has polarized opinion like few other market debutants. Fans point to rapid growth in online grocery sales and high customer service ratings. Skeptics say its model of filling orders from central depots will never be as profitable as online operations at established grocers, which mostly pick orders in store and are seeing faster online sales growth than Ocado. “Ocado is still operating an inefficient model, growing below City expectations and its multichannel competitors,” said Panmure Gordon analyst Philip Dorgan, a long-time Ocado bear. “That said, the monkey is off their back and management now has considerable breathing space.” Chief Executive Tim Steiner denied the firm would have breached its banking covenants if it had not agreed a new deal with banks. “100 percent categorically we would not have breached the agreements,” he told Reuters. Ocado, whose range includes products supplied by upmarket grocer Waitrose, said existing lenders Barclays , HSBC and Lloyds, had agreed to extend the maturity of its existing 100 million pounds capital expenditure facility by 18 months to July 2015. Chief Financial Officer Duncan Tatton-Brown said covenants on the new deal were fundamentally the same as the previous deal for 2013 and would become less onerous in subsequent years. The lending deal is conditional upon Ocado placing 55.9 million new shares representing 9.99 percent of existing capital, to existing shareholders, at 64 pence a share - a premium of 5.7 percent to Friday’s closing price of 60.55 pence. Ocado said a wide spectrum of large shareholders, including board members such as Steiner, would be backing the placing. Ocado’s gross sales rose 11 percent in the 14 weeks to Nov 11 and were up 13.7 percent in the last six weeks of the period, as the firm benefited from the extension of its range towards 30,000 lines and the introduction of its “Low Price Promise”. Sales growth had slowed to 9.9 percent in the third quarter after trade was impacted by celebrations to mark Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee and the London Olympics. “The chitter chatter in the market has been that we’re seeing declining growth... What this (statement) is highlighting is not only has the quarter been stronger than the previous quarter but as we predicted it was going to be a back-ended quarter which is actually the most important point of the year,” said Steiner. He said he expected stronger sales growth until February next year when the firm will start to fulfil customer orders from a second distribution centre. After February he anticipates a further acceleration, as marketing is stepped-up and the firm’s non-food offer expanded. — Reuters

LONDON: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BAE Systems Ian King (left), Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Director-General John Cridland (center) and CBI President Roger Carr (right) pose for photographs on the BAE systems stand ahead of the start of the annual Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference in central London yesterday. — AFP

US homebuilder confidence rises

LOS ANGELES: Confidence among US homebuilders rose this month to its highest level in six and a half years, driven by strong demand for newly built homes and growing optimism that the housing recovery will strengthen next year. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released yesterday increased to 46, up from 41 in October. That’s the highest reading since May 2006, just before the housing bubble burst. Readings below 50 suggest negative sentiment about the housing market. The index last reached that level in April 2006. Still it has been trending higher since October 2011, when it stood at 17. The survey is based on responses from 417 builders. The index sank to 8, its lowest point dating back to 1985, in January 2008. Builders’ confidence has improved this year as the housing market has shown signs of a sustained turnaround. US sales of new homes hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 389,000 in September, an increase of nearly 6 percent from the previous month and the highest level in more than two years. All told, sales of new homes have increased 27.1 percent over the past year, although sales remain well below healthy levels. Data on new-home sales in October are due out next week. Sales of previously occupied homes rose 2.1 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.79 million, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. The sales pace is roughly 11 percent higher than a year ago, though sales remains below the more than 5.5 million that economists consider consistent with a healthy market. Home sales have been bolstered by the lowest

mortgages rates in decades. The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage has been below 4 percent all year. And that’s helped drive home prices higher in many markets. Meanwhile, builders are starting to put up more homes. Homebuilders started construction on new homes and apartments at the fastest pace in more than four years in September. They also requested the most building permits in four years, an indication that many are confident that gains in home sales will endure. “In view of the tightening supply and other improving conditions, many potential buyers who were on the fence are now motivated to move forward with a purchase in order to take advantage of today’s favorable prices and interest rates,” said NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg, a homebuilder from Gainesville, Florida. Even so, many factors remain a drag on the housing recovery. Many Americans, particularly first-time homebuyers, are unable to qualify for a mortgage or can’t afford larger down payments. And while foreclosures are slowing and homeowners appear to be doing a better job of keeping up with their mortgage payments, a trove of bank-owned homes remain a possible drag on home prices. As of the end of October, lenders were sitting on more than 590,000 foreclosed homes yet to be sold, according to RealtyTrac. At the current sales pace, it would take about 15 months for those homes to be sold. Though new homes represent only a small portion of the housing market, they have a disproportionate impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to statistics from the National Association of Home Builders.—AP




US budget hopes shore up markets Mideast fighting remains a major concern LONDON: Optimism over the progress of crucial US budget talks combined with hopes that Greece will finally get its next batch of bailout cash to shore up markets yesterday in spite of concerns over the fighting in the Middle East. The advance followed a rebound late Friday amid signs that President Barack Obama and leaders of Congress were making headway in their efforts to agree a budget deal by the end of the year. Without a settlement, the US faces the “fiscal cliff” of tax increases and spending cuts - a scenario that some analysts say could knock around 5 percentage points off the US economy, seriously derailing the global recovery. “Hope that US politicians can avoid the fiscal cliff has been gaining traction over the weekend after lawmakers expressed confidence that they can reach a deal,” said Jane Foley, an analyst at Rabobank International. “Clearly if an agreement is reached the US should be able to avoid be plunged back into recession early next year.” As a result, a sense of relief pervaded markets at the start of a week that will likely be dominated by developments in Europe and the

Middle East. The mass exodus for the US. Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday will build through the week and most traders won’t be returning to their desks until next week. In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 1 percent at 5,660 while Germany’s DAX rose 1.3 percent to 7,041. The CAC-40 in France was 1.3 percent higher too 15 3,386. Wall Street was poised for gains later, with both Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures 0.5 percent higher. There’s little on the economic calendar later in the US so attention will likely remain on any noises that may emerge from the Obama administration and Congress over the progress of the budget talks. Investors will also be monitoring latest developments in Greece’s bailout saga, amid hopes that the country’s euro partners and the International Monetary Fund will finally sign off on the release of at least ?31.5 billion of cash the country needs to avoid going bankrupt. Ministers from the eurogroup meet today, ahead of a summit of their leaders later in the week that will discuss the European Union’s budget for the next few years.

Despite uncertainty over whether a budget deal in Europe will be agreed, the euro has prospered in the more optimistic market mood. It was trading 0.2 percent higher at $1.2770. Earlier, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.5 percent to 21,262.06 and South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.9 percent to 1,878.10. Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite Index inched up 0.1 percent to 2,016.98. The smaller Shenzhen Composite Index rose marginally to 800.84. The yen’s recent weakness helped boost Japan’s Nikkei 225 and its heavy orientation toward exporting companies - a weak yen reduces the cost of Japanese products overseas, and that helps companies whose survival depends on sales beyond their home turf. The index in Tokyo jumped 1.4 percent to close at 9,153.20, its highest close since Sept. 19, while the dollar continued to trade above 81 yen. Investors across all financial markets were also monitoring developments in the Middle East as the conflict between Israel and Hamas showed few signs of abating. Concerns over crude supplies supported oil prices, with the benchmark New York rate up 88 cents at $87.80 a barrel. —AP

TOKYO: A pedestrian walks past a share prices board in Tokyo yesterday. Japan’s share prices rose 129.04 points to close at 9,153.20 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, boosted by a weaker yen after the front-runner to become Japan’s next prime minister said he would push for aggressive central bank easing if elected. — AFP

Lithuania hits euro-zone inflation hurdle: CB VILNIUS: Inflation is likely to prove the key hurdle to Lithuania’s euro-zone entry, the Baltic state’s central bank said yesterday. “We will not meet the price stability criterion either in 2012 or in 2013,” senior bank official Ruta Rodzko was quoted as saying by the Baltic News Service. As a result, Lithuania is set to have to wait until 2014 to get a green light to adopt the euro the following year. The country ’s incoming coalition government, led by the centre -left Social Democrats, has already said that Lithuania’s currency, the litas, is likely to be swapped for the euro only in 2015. The previous centre -right Conservative government, ousted by austerity-weary voters in last month’s general election, had been eying entry in 2014, albeit without setting a formal target. In its latest macroeconomic

forecasts released yesterday, the central bank said that average annual inflation was projected at 3.2 percent for this year and 2.8 percent in 2013 due to faster growth in prices for food, fuel and industrial goods. The previous forecasts had been 2.9 percent and 2.4 percent respectively. Average inflation is a key measure used to assess a country’s eligibility for adopting the euro. A would-be euro-zone member must keep the rate within 1.5 percentage points of the average of the three best performing European Union countries-a level of 2.9 percent in October. Inflation narrowly put paid to Lithuania’s original plan to adopt the euro in 2007, because it was one-tenth of a percentage point over the bar. The measure is one of the European Union’s Maastricht criteria for switching to the euro, which also include debt and

Areva picks Scotland for wind turbine unit PARIS/LONDON: Areva plans to locate its third European factory for producing offshore wind turbines in eastern Scotland, the French nuclear firm announced yesterday, in a boost for a UK industry hit recently by other firms putting such plans on hold. Areva signed a memorandum of understanding with Scottish Enterprise, a public body of the Scottish government, to build a factory producing 5-megawatt (MW) turbines by 2015 or 2016. The plant, whose exact location has not been chosen, could create up to 750 jobs and is expected to cost Areva several tens of millions of euros to build, Chief Executive Luc Oursel said. The news comes five months after Danish wind turbine maker Vestas pulled the plug on its factory at the Port of Sheerness in southeast England, citing a lack of orders. Pressure on Britain’s offshore wind industry rose further last month when a group of seven multinational green energy investors, including Areva, warned the government they may take their money elsewhere if state support for green energy fades. Areva’s Scottish plant will cater for offshore wind projects in Britain, which plans to build around 18 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2020. The company said negotiations with developers of Scottish wind farms, such as Scottish Power and Vattenfall , could start in 2013 or 2014. “I warmly welcome Areva’s announcement today which is brilliant news for Scotland,” said Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron. “I am determined that Britain competes and thrives in the global race and this shows that the UK remains an attractive place for foreign investment.” — Reuters

deficit levels, and have been roundly breached by most members of the 17-nation currency bloc. In addition, would-be eurozone members must show that their economies are on a sustainable path, and over the past five years Lithuania has swung from a breakneck boom into a spectacular recession and back into growth. The Social Democrats and their allies have pledged to pursue fiscal discipline in order to bring the Baltic state into the euro-zone. Like the defeated Conservatives, they argue that makes sense to join the monetary bloc because the Lithuania’s main trade partners are already members. The central bank also revised its 2013 economic growth forecasts downwards to 3.1 percent from the previous 3.4 percent, but upheld its 3.0 percent projection for this year. — AFP

Oil rises above $110 on ME, US budget hopes LONDON: Oil rose above $110 a barrel yesterday as escalating violence in the Middle East fuelled concerns over oil supplies from the region and as hopes rose that a US budget crisis could be averted. Investors fear the Israeli-Palestinian conflict may draw in other countries and possibly disrupt energy exports from the region, which supplies more than a third of the world’s crude. Israel raised the stakes yesterday, saying it was ready for a ground invasion in the Gaza Strip, but preferred a diplomatic solution. Risk analysts say it is unlikely the confrontation between Israel and Gaza will spill out into a wider conflict, but investors were wary, knowing previous Middle East wars have led to oil embargoes and temporary disruptions to energy supplies. Brent futures was up $1.17 to trade at $110.12 by 1307 GMT. US crude oil rose $1.06 to trade at $87.98. “Violence in the Middle East is certainly supporting oil,” said Carsten Fritsch, senior commodities analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. “Hopes for a solution to the crisis over the US budget are also providing support for all financial markets.” United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was due to arrive in Cairo yesterday to support ceasefire efforts led by Egypt, which borders both Israel and Gaza and whose Islamist-rooted government has been hosting leaders of Hamas. “It’s a very fluid situation. As long as the fighting continues we will maintain a certain geopolitical premium in the oil prices,” said Olivier Jakob, an oil analyst at Petromatrix. Financial markets also found support from expectations that US politicians would be able to avoid a budget crisis, helping support growth in the world’s biggest oil consumer. A deal has to be agreed before January when a “fiscal cliff” more than $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts will kick in and could push the US economy back into recession. Top lawmakers emerged from a meeting with President Barack Obama on Friday confident of finding common ground on taxes and spending to help them avert the disastrous situation. “Stock markets and commodities markets are hoping a US budget deal can be found,” said Commerzbank’s Fritsch. “So markets are in a ‘risk on’ mode.” — Reuters

RBS Irish unit fined $2.5m over capital rules DUBLIN: The Irish Central Bank has fined Royal Bank of Scotland’s Irish unit 2 million euros ($2.5 million) over violations relating to the management of liquidity risk and capital adequacy last year. The central bank said in a statement that Ulster Bank failed to apply the correct haircuts to four categories of retail and corporate deposits. It

also failed to maintain effective internal controls for the management of liquidity risk and excluded certain cash inflows from the calculation of its liquidity position. Ulster bank said the violations, which took place between Jan. 26 and Sept. 13, 2011, had not affected customers. The central bank said it considered

the issue was now closed. The fine related to a shortfall in the bank’s Pillar II capital requirements, used to balance risks over and above those relating to credit, market and operations risks. Ulster Bank said in a statement that it had since implemented “a number of robust measures to ensure similar contraventions are not repeated.” — Reuters




Bulls, not bears, go into hibernation LONDON: The longest losing streak on world markets since the darkest days of the euro crisis in late 2011 shows how reluctant investors are to trust in any sustained recovery after years of crisis. Global equity indices on Friday flirted with a record eight consecutive days in the red for the first time in a year. Do a sweep of all related risky assets around the world and there’s been a similar pattern of pullback. And given those are the eight trading days since the US election results on Nov 7, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the dominant market concern of the moment. Investors of all hues just seemed to have downed tools for the year as they await the outcome of the battle between re-elected Democrat President Barack Obama and Republican-dominated House of Representatives over how to avert the “fiscal cliff”. If there were any doubt about the shift in dominant risks over the year, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s latest investment funds poll this week showed 54 percent citing the impending threat of automatic US tax rises and spending cuts as the biggest global risk - more than twice those citing the euro crisis. For the record, they swapped places in the September poll

after 17 months in which euro angst was seen as the top threat. But the result of the election was exactly as most people had forecast for months, the nature of the cliff hasn’t changed an iota and the big funds nearly all expect some resolution anyhow. So, it might seem just a little odd why people waited until after the election to dump stocks. At the very least it begs yet another question about how efficient markets really are in discounting future risks. Some strategists, such as Barclays, say it was important to wait for post-election negotiating positions to be laid out and, on that basis, reckon the chances of hitting the cliff are now “non-trivial.” But maybe the sudden funk is less rooted in Washington than it is in the edginess of year-end markets - markets that have been tossed around for two years now on a welter of crises and crisis-management but making about as much net headway as their “zig-zagging” underlying economies, to borrow this week’s phrase from Bank of England chief Mervyn King. What looked like a pretty impressive year for virtually all asset classes up to November is now in danger of wimp-

ing out as funds bank profits on their winning 2012 trades. With a little over a month to go, Wall Street’s once double-digit year-to-date rises have shrunk to less than 8 percent, while German equity gains of more than 25 percent have slipped into the teens. Emerging market equities, which were up almost 20 percent by February, have pared back to 10 percent. With the rump gains still relatively punchy given the economic backdrop, then it’s easy to see persistent temptation to cash in without any breakthrough stateside. Hard currency emerging market debt and global high-yield bonds, for example, are still up over 15 percent each. In fact, in a year driven by central bank monetary stimuli it was hard to lose money anywhere beyond a near 20 percent drop in soft commodities. So-called safe-havens are up alongside the riskier plays, with gold still up 10 percent and 10-year US Treasuries up more than 5 percent. But with the global economy still slowing and major economies in Europe and Japan flatlining or in recession, are these market moves all just monetary smoke and mirrors? A quick check of net asset moves

over the two years of both euro sovereign debt and US fiscal anxiety offers perspective. Since the end of 2010, developed market equities have actually done very little, with total returns just 3 percent. Ditto for the US dollar. Emerging market equities have done even worse, with net losses over the two years still at more than 10 percent. The big winners are all monetarypolicy sensitive or safety plays - with some 15-25 percent gains in gold, oil, U.S. Treasuries, German bunds, corporate and emerging market debt. Gold and oil aside, other demanddriven commodities such as copper and soft commodities have been hammered by 10-30 percent. So, how important then is the cliff or even the euro crisis if the monetary taps keep coming on at every critical juncture? Well, one way to look at this year’s moves is to watch the jump in positive surprises on U.S. economic data - as captured by Citi’s economic surprise index - even as equivalent European measures have turned down again. But Wall Street has not followed this leading signal yet as it appears to have done routinely in the past - in fact it’s gone the opposite direction over the past fortnight. Is this then the fiscal cliff

factor? Will macro data roll over if the cliff is hit? Or has a dour earnings season been swamped by all the tax uncertainty that means at least some pent-up demand will be seen come an eventual deal? With the bulls rather than bears setting up for hibernation this winter, maybe the long-term pessimists have an answer. Many of them reckon the macro data and policy environment has merely masked a cliff of another kind. “Despite the upside economic surprises, profits have been spiralling downwards,” said Societe Generale’s Albert Edwards. “It’’s not the impending fiscal cliff the market is worrying about, it’s the actual profits cliff we have already fallen off.” Third-quarter S&P500 earnings were flat from a year ago, Thomson Reuters data shows, and they slightly beat forecasts for the first decline in three years. But Edwards reckons the rate at which earnings estimates are being downgraded suggests we are already in a profit recession, that consensus forecasts of 12 percent next year are optimistic and - just like in 2008 - the economic data would follow suit. “Expect the New Year to bring nothing but disappointment.” — Reuters

Euro-zone tackles Greek debt and a split with IMF Private creditors to write off 100bn euros of Greek debt

FLATOW: Workers cover a typical asparagus field with plastic film to prepare it for winter near Flatow, eastern Germany yesterday. —AP

UK household finance pressures ease in Nov LONDON: The deterioration of Britons’ personal finances slowed for the second consecutive month as fears over inflation eased in November, a survey showed yesterday. Survey compiler Markit said that its headline Household Finance Index rose to 39.3 in November from 39.0 in October, reaching its highest level since December 2010. However, the index remained below the 50 level that would mark no change. Around 28 percent of respondents said their financial situation has worsened this month, while less than 7 percent reported an improvement. “November’s survey highlights that the alleviation of strains on household finances has continued as winter approaches,” said Markit economist Tim Moore. “However, expectations for the year ahead remain subdued, as the dismal global economic backdrop means the recent easing in financial pressures is

more a cause for relief than celebration.” Current inflation perceptions by respondents dropped in November for the first time in four months, and inflation expectations also improved slightly. However, almost three quarters of respondents reported that their cost of living had increased compared to the previous month. “The surprise uptick in consumer price inflation during October, alongside muted trends in employee earnings, suggests that the recent moderation in financial strains may prove somewhat transitory,” Moore warned. Britons’ view of their financial outlook remained bleak with around 40 percent of households expecting their finances to worsen, with only 23 percent anticipating an improvement. The survey also showed that people renting from private landlords saw a particularly large drop in their finances in November, pressured by rising property rental costs. — Reuters

Airline SAS aims for final union deal in survival fight COPENHAGEN/STOCKHOLM: Scandinavian airline SAS yesterday sought a deal with the last union opposing its plans for severe cost cuts aimed at avoiding bankruptcy and securing the airline’s long-term future. SAS, half owned by the governments of Sweden, Denmark and Norway, said it had secured a deal with seven of eight unions on wage cuts, working schedule changes and pensions and had only the cabin crew union of Denmark to go. The airline, hit by competition from lower-price rivals, last week announced plans to cut some salaries by up to 17 percent and lower overall staff to about 9,000 from 15,000 as it shrinks its business. That prompted media speculation SAS faced bankruptcy if it failed to get unions to agree to the cuts. But even if a deal is reached, analysts have questioned whether the airline can survive on its own in the long term as it faces competition from Ryanair and regional rival Norwegian Air Shuttle, both of which have lower operating costs. “We have successfully negotiated seven of eight collective (union) agreements, which is gratifying,” SAS Chief Executive Rickard Gustafson told journalists during talks with unions at the main airpor t in the Danish capital Copenhagen. “But there remains one union and we must have it on board too. That is a condition for carrying out our plan.” The airline needs to get agreement from all eight unions as a condition of a 3.5 billion Swedish crown ($515 million) loan from the governments and six banks.

Progress in the talks sent SAS shares soaring. By 1024 GMT, the stock was up 25 percent at 6.95 Swedish crowns. Since the start of 2011, the stock has lost 69 percent of its value to be worth under 2 billion Swedish crowns. Gustafson said management aimed to conclude negotiations as soon as possible. Although the airline had set a deadline of Sunday for an agreement, talks continued all night and into yesterday. SAS has reached deals with unions for pilots from Nor way, Denmark and Sweden plus unions for cabin staff in Sweden and Norway. “It has been a very gruelling process,” said Espen Pettersen, deputy leader of the main Norwegian cabin union. —Reuters

COPENHAGEN: Jens Lippestad, negotiator for the Norwegian pilots, talks to the media outside SAS headquarters at Kastrup Airport in Copenhagen yesterday. —AFP

BRUSSELS: Euro-zone finance ministers today take up where they left off last week-bogged down in Greece’s bailout quagmire and facing a serious split with the International Monetary Fund over a key debt reduction target. IMF head Lagarde, who clashed openly with Eurogroupe head Jean-Claude Juncker when they last met, says the gathering is crucial to getting stricken Greece back on its feet and its debt mountain cut sharply to sustainable levels. “It’s a question of ... making sure that we focus on the same objective, which is that ... Greece can operate on a sustainable basis,” Lagarde said on Friday. At the November 12 meeting, Juncker said that he was in favor of giving Greece an extra two-years, to 2022, to get its accumulated debt down to 120 percent of gross domestic product, sparking an immediate reaction from Lagarde. The overall debt target agreed in the Greek bailout should remain at 2020, she insisted, adding: “We have differences; we are working, trying to resolve them.” Greece’s debt burden is nearly 180 percent of GDP and expected to rise to 190 percent by 2014. That is about three times the EU 60 percent limit and way beyond what it can support, meaning it has to be reduced one way or the other. Under the current bailout, private sector creditors agreed to write off 100 billion euros of Greek debt and it has been suggested that now the official creditors should do the same, an option both the IMF and ECB rule out. The IMF cannot extend more aid to countries whose debt is classed as unsustainable. The ECB meanwhile cannot accept a write-down as to do so would mean in effect that it was giving a government direct financing, which its rules forbid. That is not the only problem. Under its bailout, Greece was supposed to steadily reduce its public deficit-the shortfall between government revenue and spendingto the EU limit of 3.0 percent of GDP by 2014 but last week’s meeting agreed a delay to 2016. That, however, produces a financing gap of nearly 33 billion euros as the targets are spaced out, which has to be covered by governments wary of giving any more to Greece and under pressure to cut their own spending at all costs. The immediate issue is approval of about 31 billion euros in long-

delayed aid funds after Greece adopted a tough new austerity package and 2013 budget, as required by its creditors-the EU, IMF and the European Central Bank. One senior EU diplomat said that ministers were “heading for an agreement but a staged agreement, part now, part later. Probably look at the 14th and 16th of next month.” Last week, Greece raised enough funds in onemonth bills to cover debt maturing on Friday but it has more payments due, and of course in mid-December it will also have to find the money to cover the very bills it issued.

year in recession. The backdrop then is not promising for Tuesday’s meeting. ING said in a note that it has to resolve the two issues-how to bridge the financing gap and how to restore debt sustainability by 2020. “Financing the funding gap can probably be achieved by lowering the interest rates on the current Greek loans and extending their maturities,” ING said. “Restoring debt sustainability, however, should be more complex and the issue of a public sector (debt) haircut is still on the table. “While these public sector haircuts are still

ATHENS: A member of an Athens municipal brass band plays as the Town Hall building is reflected in his instrument, during a demonstration by municipal employees yesterday. Several hundred people took part in the protest, against government plans to place 2,000 civil servants on notice ahead of reassignment or potential dismissal. — AP As Greece risks getting caught in this vicious cycle, the circumstances are not getting any better-data on Thursday showed the euro-zone back in recession for the second time in three years, with the problems spreading to traditionally stronger members such as Germany. The downturn is startlingly sharp in Greece itself where the economy has shrunk by a fifth since the crisis broke and it now faces a sixth

UK sees possible deal on EU budget this week LONDON: Britain believes a deal can be reached on the European Union budget at crunch talks in Brussels this week, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters yesterday. The positive language on prospects for an agreement are in marked contrast to Cameron’s comment’s earlier this month in which he said he did not have “very high hopes” on what he called “ludicrous” proposals for the EU budget. The spokeswoman gave no reason for the change in tone, but said Cameron had in recent days spoken to leaders in Poland, Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany and the Netherlands, and would be calling other EU leaders in the coming days. All but one of those countries - Poland - contacted so far are net contributors to the EU budget, and more likely to be sympathetic to Britain’s demands of a real terms freeze in EU spending, if not a real terms cut. “The prime minister believes we can work through these details to get the right deal at this week’s summit and we’re ready to do that,” the spokeswoman said, adding that Cameron had been “hitting the phones” speaking to other EU leaders. Cameron has threatened to use Britain’s veto at the Nov 22-23 meeting to decide the EU’s next seven-year budget to stop any agreement that is not in the interests of British taxpayers. — Reuters

politically unacceptable for most Eurozone governments, it seems to be the IMF’s preferred option,” it argued. On Thursday, the IMF made the point clearly, saying it was up to Europe to reduce Greece’s debt, insisting it would not contribute more to the bailout. It is “120 by 2020,” IMF spokesman Bill Murray said. “To get Greece back on a path of growth and job creation ... you have to lower its debt-toGDP ratio in a significant way.” — AFP

Nav Canada to invest $150m in air traffic venture with Iridium TORONTO: Nav Canada, the private company that manages air traffic over Canada, said it would spend $150 million for a controlling stake in a joint venture with Iridium Communications Inc that will track planes over oceans in real time. Nav Canada, which gets its money from airline fees, will make the investment in five installments through 2017, giving it a 51 percent stake in the joint venture, Aireon LLC. The joint venture, first announced in June, will allow aircraft to fly longer in better weather-saving fuel, decreasing carbon emissions and increasing passenger safety. Air traffic authorities currently need to keep aircraft widely spaced due to lack of radar visibility over oceanic airspace and mountainous terrain. “We’re confident the North Atlantic (air traffic) will substantially cover most of the costs of Aireon but it won’t cover all of them, so we need other parts of the world as well,” Nav Canada Chief Executive John Crichton told Reuters. “We’re interested in other air navigation ser vice providers becoming investors.” Iridium, which will own the rest of Aireon, said while costs of setting up the new venture were covered for now, it would be open to taking on oth-

er investors. The companies said they have yet to decide how much they will charge for Aireon’s services, which Nav Canada estimated would save airlines over $100 million in annual fuel costs on their North Atlantic routes alone. Aireon has agreed that the price needs to be considerably less than the expected fuel savings for the airlines, Nav Canada’s Crichton said. Aireon’s service will use receivers built into 66 satellites in Iridium’s second-generation constellation, due to be launched starting 2015. Although the joint venture will be fully up and running only after the launch is complete in 2017, Iridium said Aireon will start generating revenue right from when the first satellite is turned on in just over two years. Data from aircraft reporting their positions through the system will start flowing in early 2015, Iridium CEO Matt Desch said in an interview with Reuters. “I know that a lot of the air navigation service providers are going to be interested in that data even upfront and would be glad to pay for it.” Aireon, whose services will also enable aircraft black boxes to send information real time, could be taken public in the future, the JV partners said. — Reuters




Mercedes-Benz SUV range expands horizons Oman off-road Mercedes-Benz SUVenture launches flagship new GL, G-Class and GLK DUBAI: Navigating rocky plateaus, wild wadis, drifting dunes and towering jebels, Mercedes-Benz Middle East has capped its ‘Year of the SUV’ strategy with an epic off-road ‘SUVenture’ across the majestic Omani landscape, demonstrating its ability to cater to the wants and needs of the modern Arab family. Attended by customers and media invited from throughout the region, the cross-country adventure showcased the unrivalled capabilities, fascinating technologies, space and refinement of the luxury German automotive manufacturer’s peerless SUV range in any terrain. The ‘SUVenture’ included the Middle East launch of the flagship new seven-seater GL, the highly dynamic all-purpose compact GLK, launch of the iconic new G 500, and first off-road driving experience for the spearhead of the Mercedes-Benz regional SUV strategy - the M-Class. Taking centre stage was the media launch of the flagship new Mercedes-Benz GL. The award winning large size SUV

occupies the top position amongst luxury off-road vehicles and is built around the modern Arab family with its seven seats, best in class engines, powerful performance, space, refinement and cutting edge technologies. With excellent driving dynamics and high levels of ride comfort - both on the road and on difficult terrain - the GL pampers its occupants with the first-class comfort of a luxury saloon. Up to seven passengers enjoy an excellent amount of space and an optional ON&OFFROAD package for the new GL has six driving programs for optimizing driving dynamics and handling safety, as the optimum drive system control is provided for an extremely wide range of on-road and off-road operating conditions. With the ability to travel almost 900 kms on just a single tank of fuel, numerous measures significantly increase the energy efficiency in the 435 hp GL 500 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY petrol model, with fuel consumption cut by

about 18 percent. Unveiling the new GL, Frank Bernthaler, Director, Sales and Marketing, Mercedes-Benz Cars, Middle East & Levant said: “The 2012 Year of the SUV strategy has been an overwhelming success, with three exciting launches achieving great success amongst customers. With the launch of the new 7-seater GL capping our unrivalled luxury off-road range, we now offer a stable of powerful, attractive, capable and intelligent SUVs that appeal to the tastes and sensibilities of a new generation of regional customers: Customers who question convention and seek only the very best for their families. All this has delivered a best ever year for Mercedes-Benz SUVs, with projected 2012 sales expected to record a 35% increase on 2011.” Running for a month with each expedition lasting three days and covering over 720 kms, participants departed Almouj Golf Club in Muscat and crossed the Wahiba Sands to camp the

first night in luxury Bedouin desert camps. Day two saw the convoy leave the dunes - known to be some of the highest in the Middle East - to cross the jebel and wadis and reach the world class Sifawy Boutique Hotel on the coast in evening, where guests enjoyed the warm, friendly hospitality characteristic of the Omani people. The final leg of the journey took in stunning views overlooking the capital, before concluding at the Almouj Golf Club. All participants got a chance to experience each model as both driver and passenger to gain a first-hand understanding of what ‘The Best or Nothing’ really means when it comes to Mercedes-Benz SUVs. Mercedes-Benz has an off-road heritage of over 100 years, and now boasts an unrivalled SUV family offering the widest range in the market, delivering peerless performance, fascinating technology, space and refinement across any terrain.

IPG Mediabrands launches third media agency in Mideast BPN DUBAI: IPG Mediabrands has recently launched its third global media agency BPN, across several international markets. Today IPG Mediabrands announces the launch of BPN in the Middle East, in partnership with Horizon Group’s Brand Connection Network. BPNis a forward-thinking global media agency focused on programming insights, including social data insights, to drive effective media decisions and business results. The new agency business model is designed to offer small agency attention along with large agency advantages. Aside from having access to all the global tools and resources of IPG Mediabrands, BPN will be uniquely positioned to offer highly differentiated services. IPG Mediabrands, the media agency holding group from IPG is currently a leading international network with strong local presence in the Middle East. With the launch of BPN in the region, IPG Mediabrands introduces a new media agency approach and business model, specially designed for the ever-evolving media landscape. In celebrating the launch of BPN, Rafic Saadeh, Chairman Horizon Holdings said, “The introduction of BPN in the Middle East complements perfectly the Horizon Group’s strategic capabilities and our offering as an integrated advertising and marketing solutions company in the Middle East”. He further added, “With business trends across key industry sectors sustaining an upward trend over the past year, we believe this is the ideal time to introduce a new and robust product in the Middle East. BPN is a perfect match for our group and we are confident that our vast portfolio of clients across the region will benefit with this latest addition to our overall capabilities.” BPN model, revolves around the word “program-

‘Bolt Gold’ Nissan GT-R charity auction to start Nov 22 DUBAI: Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, is taking his passion for speed and performance, and his desire to help others, and applying them to charity. A unique 2013 model year “Bolt Gold” GT-R will go to the highest bidder in a global online charity auction to be held on eBay from November 22 to December 2, 2012. The highest bidder in the charity auction will become the owner of the one-ofa-kind ‘Bolt Gold’ GT-R, a 2013 model year Nissan GT-R painted the same gold color that left a lasting impression on Olympic champion Usain Bolt at a fan appreciation event hosted by Nissan in Yokohama on October 11. All proceeds from the charity auction will benefit the Usain Bolt Foundation, which was established to support educational and cultural opportunities for children and young people in Bolt’s home country of Jamaica. Usain Bolt teamed up with Nissan in June 2012 as a brand ambassador, and he recently became the company’s honorary “Director of Excitement” for the new Nissan “What IF—” global brand campaign. As part of this expanded partnership with Bolt, Nissan is preparing a special 2013 model year Premium Edition GT-R, painted ‘Bolt Gold’, for the charity auction. The car will feature a gold plate embossed with Bolt’s signature and his autograph. It will be built to the performance specifications conforming to regulations in the winning bidder’s country of residence. Nissan plans to deliver the car to the win-

ner in March 2013. The car will be auctioned on eBay Motors please see the eBay Storefront page at The online listing can be accessed by people in regions around the world, and bidding will be open to residents in countries where the Nissan GT-R is currently sold. Bidding is set to begin at 12:00 GMT on Thursday, November 22, and ends at 11:59 GMT on Sunday, December 2. Bids will be limited to residents of countries where the GT-R is currently sold. Please refer to the corresponding Nissan Global Facebook page for more information, including FAQs and applicable regions. All proceeds from the online charity auction will go directly to the Usain Bolt Foundation (, established by Bolt to give back to his community and help children in Jamaica. “ This project excites me because it brings together my passion for speed and excellence, and my desire to help kids and young people,” said Usain Bolt. “Thanks to Nissan, all the revenue from the GT-R charity auction will be donated to the Usain Bolt Foundation, which will go directly to children to help develop their education and allow them to participate in sports. It warms my heart to help kids and young people who are in the starting blocks of life, and it would be wonderful if someday this activity leads to a ‘Second Bolt.’”

ming” and aims to bring clients an integrated brand programming strategy by drawing upon all marketing disciplines, especially in the areas of social, digital and shopper marketing. By programming the brand, the purpose is to get closer to the brand, using social media as a key source of information in concert with traditional media, and in the end, to connect those

time metrics contribute to client’s media investment decisions,” said Mauricio Sabogal, Global CEO of BPN. “The core of the BPN offer has its roots in an extensive knowledge about the shopper, and not precisely the consumer and we are creating a new way of programming the brand by implementing planning methods that combine traditional and social media.

specific brands with the right audiences. “The launch of BPNcoincides with many exciting factors in our industry. First, the latest market developments show that there is enough international business to support the launch of a new agency. Second, the value of data driven by the social media explosion makes it even more powerful to let real

Our mission is to understand the development of the brand from a more dynamic and real-time point of view to ultimately maximize clients’ media investment.” By the end of 2012, BPN will have launched in 20 countries around 5 continents, with operations in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia and now in the Middle East.

IKEA Kuwait, a leading sponsor of interactive historic map at Avenues KUWAIT: IKEA Kuwait announced its lead sponsorship of the Avenues Mall’s Interactive Historic Map exhibition, which will run until the end of the month. The exhibition has been designed to tell the story of Kuwait’s 300 year history through the latest picture recognition technology and interactive marketing services. IKEA Kuwait is proud to be part of this new innovation, sponsoring over 50 videos of live footage on the development of the country into one of the leading economies in the Arab world. The interactive map consists of a 680 square meter map of Kuwait constructed on the floor of the second phase of the ‘The Avenues’ with special symbols distributed all around the map. Visitors would need to scan the symbol of IKEA through a specially designed application (Treek) to view a digital archive of IKEA Kuwait’s contribution to the local advancement since its inception in 1984. Reviving the historical brilliance of Kuwait into the archival treasure was shared by Kuwaiti

enthusiasts and researchers with a passion to document and acquire through diligent efforts, materials and information from sources inside and outside Kuwait. To view IKEA Kuwait’s significant addition to the country’s economic development, the smart Phone Application (Treek) is available to download free of charge from Apple store and Google Play. Only by the scanning feature of application will the visitors be able to enjoy never been seen pictures and videos about Kuwait cultural history and enjoy a nostalgic trip down the golden era of Kuwait’s Television and Radio productions. In collaboration with Universal Watch co., this nationally charged project was able to see the light embracing the latest in picture recognition technology and interactive marketing services. For more information on the new products and services, IKEA customers are urged to visit the IKEA Kuwait store or log on to or call 18 40 408 to stay updated.

ABK introduces first diamond embedded credit card in Kuwait KUWAIT: In celebration of a 10-year long partnership with Emirates Airlines, ABK is issuing a one-of-a-kind special edition Diamond embedded World MasterCard credit card. ABK is always working to position itself as the dominant player in the banking industry, and today’s diamond embedded credit card is a testimony of our success. With a genuine certificated 0.02 carat diamond embedded on the card, the ABK World MasterCard will become the most luxurious card in Kuwait, reserved for our VIP Clientele the Diamond card will be given out to 100 of our existing ABK World MasterCard cardholders who qualify for the special draws. Stewart Lockie GM Retail banking stated, “We pride ourselves in being market leaders, and we are always finding ways to deliver diverse and innovative credit card product, this Diamond embedded special edition card was produced in cooperation with a Swiss based company, and the ‘Diamond Card Technology’ used for the embedding is one-of-a-kind and requires professional and high tech manufacturing”. Lockie added “Only 100 limited cards will be issued to mark the 10 years anniversary with Emirates Airlines, and we will offer them to our top spenders through a series of draws, we will also be giving away 100,000 Skywards Miles to two lucky winners” For more details on our ABK Emirates World MasterCard, please visit any ABK branch or call Ahlan Ahli 1899 899.



Armchair skippers race virtual Vendee Globe 300,000 players sign up for online race PARIS: Navigating stormy seas by day and night, hundreds of thousands of virtual skippers are sailing the Vendee Globe while safe and dry at home thanks to an online version of the round-the-world yacht race. “Virtual Regatta” has signed up some 300,000 players from around the world since the 20 real-life skippers set off from Sables d’Olonne in western France on November 10, on a threemonth solo quest for yachting’s ultimate prize. “I’ve been immersed in it from the word go thanks to the real-time weather simulator,” Philippe Barrier, a cameraman and sailing enthusiast from the Paris area, told AFP. “The day they left there were two possible routes: I headed due south before the wind dropped, and then I set a westerly course,” said the 38-year-old, whose boat “LeFilou”, was ranked 10,047th on Thursday. The game’s virtual sea was dark with boats this week as the thick swarm of competitors set off. Latecomers are free to join at any

point, tacking on to the end of the race. With real-time weather reports, feeding them accurate wind speed and direction, the players set a course as if they were alongside the real-life competitors. “You can’t feel the spray, but you get a lot of the same sensations as at sea,” said Barrier. “I’m competitive by nature, so it’s amazing to be able to take part in a real race, in real time, with so many people.” And here of course, nobody gets hurt. “It’s fun-you can run adrift, turn around, grind almost to a halt-but unlike the real skippers you don’t have to worry about colliding with a trawler,” said Louis Andre of the French online game firm Many Player, which developed “Virtual Regatta” in 2006. “Racing hard but also making friends” “Our goal was to bring yachting to a wider public-we’ve achieved that tenfold!” said Andre, whose firm has since

developed versions for other major races-the Route du Rhum, or Jacques Vabres. Afficionados include the twotime Vendee Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux, but around half of all players have no experience of sailing. Weather maps are updated twice a day, at 7:57 am and pm, for players to tweak their strategy. “I try to spend as little time as possible at the computerbut to have good visibility over the coming seven days,” said Barrier, who plays mostly after his baby son is tucked up in bed. “If I plan things right, then I only have to log on to check my course.” He estimates his daily play time at half a hour-racing as a “purist” without add-on options. For David Houzelot-codenamed “Dadouteam_1”, racing in around 6,000th position-the comfort of having satellite navigation, an automatic pilot for nighttime, and extra choice of sails was well worth paying 20 euros ($25). “Without it’s like navigating with a sextant,” joked the 43-

year-old businessman, himself a yachtsman. “The game is about playing with the wind, about thinking ahead, racing hard but also making friends,” he said. “Lots of people play in a team, like a relay race. You can spend a minute or an hour on it.” But while safe from capsizing, the virtual skippers risk glitches of a modern kind, like one recent morning when a technical bug left the site off-limits for five hours, costing some players thousands of places in the ranking. Twenty skippers began the real-life Vendee Globe race but 16 remain. Kito de Pavant withdrew and one of the favourites, Marc Guillemot, quit when his keel suffered irreparable damage. Samantha Davies dismasted in strong winds, while Louis Burton, whose boat was hit by a trawler, pulled out after wind conditions made it impossible for him to return to Les Sables d’Olonne to repair a damaged shroud. — AFP

PARIS: A man plays Virtual Regatta, a simulation game of the Vendee Globe, the solo non-stop round-the-world yacht race, on his computer. — AFP

New frontier for scaling online classes: Credit n 15 years of teaching, University of Pennsylvania classicist Peter Struck has guided perhaps a few hundred students annually in his classes on Greek and Roman mythology through the works of Homer, Sophocles, Aeschylus and others “the oldest strands of our cultural DNA.” But if you gathered all of those tuition-paying, in-person students together, the group would pale in size compared with the 54,000 from around the world who, this fall alone, are taking his class online for free - a “Massive Open Online Course,” or MOOC, offered through a company called Coursera. Reaching that broader audience of eager learners - seeing students in Brazil and Thailand wrestle online with texts dating back millennia - is thrilling. But he’s not prepared to say they’re getting the same educational experience. “Where you have a back-andforth, interrogating each other’s ideas, finding shades of gray in each other’s ideas, I don’t know how much of that you can do in a MOOC,” he said. “I can measure some things students are getting out of this course, but it’s nowhere near what I can do even when I teach 300 here at Penn.” A year ago, hardly anybody knew the term MOOC. But the Internet-based courses offered by elite universities through Coursera, by a consortium led by Harvard and MIT called edX, and by others, are proving wildly popular, with some classes attracting hundreds of thousands of students. In a field known for glacial change, MOOCs have landed like a meteorite in higher education, and universities are racing for a piece of the action. The question now is what the MOOCs will ultimately achieve. Will they simply expand access to good instruction (no small thing)? Or will they truly transform higher education, at last shaking up an enterprise that’s seemed incapable of improving productivity, thus dooming itself to ever-rising prices? Much of the answer depends on the concept at the center of a string of recent MOOC announcements: course credit. Credit’s the coin of the realm in higher education, the difference between knowing something and the world recognizing that you do. Without it, students will get a little bit smarter. With it, they’ll get smarter - and enjoy faster and cheaper routes to degrees and the careers that follow. Students are telling the MOOC developers they want credit opportunities, and with a push from funders like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the MOOCs are trying to figure out how to get it to them. “Initially, I said it’d be three years” before MOOCs began confronting the credit issue, said MIT’s Anant Agarwal, president of edX, which launched only last May and has 420,000 students signed up this fall (Coursera is approaching 2 million). “It’s been months.” But making MOOC courses creditworthy brings challenges much harder than producing even the best online lectures, from entering a stateby-state regulatory thicket to assessment. How do you grade 100,000 essays? How do you make sure students in a coffee shop in Kazakhstan


aren’t cheating on quizzes? Last Tuesday, Coursera, which offers classes from 34 universities, announced the American Council on Education would begin evaluating a handful of Coursera courses and could recommend other universities accept them for credit (individual colleges ultimately decide what credits to accept). Antioch University, Excelsior College and the University of Texas system are already planning to award credit for some MOOCs. Two days later, Duke, Northwestern, Vanderbilt and seven other prominent universities announced a consortium called Semester Online offering students at those institutions - and eventually others, though details aren’t yet clear - access to new online courses for credit. These won’t be giant classes, but the announcement is important because top colleges, generally stingy about accepting outside credit, are signaling they agree the technology can now replicate at least substantially some of the high-priced learning experience that takes place on campus. The latest announcement will come Monday, and appears smaller but is potentially important: a first-ofits-kind partnership between edX, the MIT-Harvard consortium, and two Massachusetts community colleges. EdX’s popular introductory computer science course from MIT will provide the backbone of a class at the community college - a key gateway to degree programs - with supplemental teaching and help from community college faculty on the ground. This is where the rubber meets the road for transforming higher education. Community colleges are beset by waitlists (400,000 in California alone) and bottlenecks in important introductory courses, as well as low success rates. If scaled-up MIT-quality teaching can help with solve those problems, MOOCS could be truly revolutionary. Massachusetts Bay Community College president John O’Donnell calls edX an invention comparable to Gutenberg’s printing press. Online classes have been around for going-on two decades, so what’s the big-deal about MOOCs? Scale. So far, online courses have offered convenience, but they generally haven’t scaled up any more easily than traditional ones; somebody still has to grade the papers, and answer students’ questions. One study found 93 percent of institutions charge the same or more for online courses as for in-person ones. No solving the college cost crisis there. Molly Broad, president of the American Council on Education, refers to the “iron triangle” of higher education: cost, access and quality. The assumption has always been it’s a zero-sum game - you can improve any one of those only at the expense of the others. There’s also the famous analogy of Princeton economists William Baumol and William Bowen from the 1960s, that college teaching is akin to a string quartet. No matter how technology improves, a string quartet simply can’t be performed (well) by fewer people than in Beethoven’s day. So the relative cost of college (and musical performance) will always rise, relative to other things where efficiency does improve.—AP



health & science

Massive deforestation risks turning Somalia into desert SOMALIA: Hassan Hussein cuts down 40 trees every month to fuel his charcoal business, fully aware of the impact his action has on the environment. But for the livestock keeper, the forests are the last remaining resource. And he is not alone. Hundreds of thousands of Somalia’s traditional pastoralist herders do the same, putting their impoverished country on a path of heavy deforestation that risks turning large swathes of their country into a desert. “I used to keep animals, but I lost my herd to famine and disease and am the eldest in the family,” says Hussein, 27, adding that he has 10 mouths to feed back home-two children, seven brothers and his mother. Four years ago, Hussein had 25 camels and 300 goats. Now, only three camels and 15 goats from his once respectable sized herd are left. Thus every morning, with an axe slumped over his shoulder; he sets off in search of wood for charcoal. Once he locates and cuts down a tree, it takes two days of burning, and two more days of cooling the smouldering heaps before he can sell the charcoal, at six dollars (five euros) for a 20 kilogram sack. The village of Jaleo, in the northern self-declared state of Somaliland, once prided itself on being at the heart of the savannah. British explorer Harald Swayne recounted, in his 19th century memoirs, the adventures he had while tracking and hunting “a large herd of elephants.” But the last elephant was killed in 1958, and were Swayne to retake his journey today, he would only find the smallest of game in a rocky landscape dotted with shrubs and

charred tree stumps. “Twenty percent of the forest has disappeared in the last ten years-definitely this country is turning into a desert,” Ahmed Derie Elmi, director of forests in Somaliland’s environment ministry, recently tells AFP. “If the deforestation continues at this pace, this country will be a desert in two or three decades,” echoes Ahmed Ibrahim Awale of the Candlelight organisation, which tackles environmental and health issues in Somaliland. ‘All the trees will have disappeared’ Charcoal burning has not always been preferred in Jalelo. Three years ago an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in the Horn of Africa forced Gulf states to suspend importation of animals or animal products from the region, forcing the herders to look for alternative sources of income. But it is urbanization and a population explosion that are the biggest threats to the country’s environmental well-being. Somaliland’s capital Hargeisa has a population of 850,000 people, six times its population in the 1970s, which consumes approximately 250 tons of charcoal daily. Elmi says that charcoal is the main source of energy, as electricity is rare and expensive for many. The rampant deforestation is not unique to Somaliland. In southern Somalia, Al Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents turned charcoal burning and exportation into one of their major sources of income. In a report, the UN monitoring group on Somalia and Eritrea says the

Islamist group made up to 25 million dollars every year from charcoal trade. Several regions of southern Somalia were declared famine zones by the United Nations last year, with the deforestation contributing to an extreme drought. In a bid to put an end to rampant deforestation, Somalia’s newly elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in one of his first official duties banned all exportation of charcoal, in line with a UN embargo in February. However, much more than a UN declaration and a presidential decree are needed to bring the deforestation to an end. “The underlying causes of poverty and the general decline of the size of livestock herds have to be addressed,” says Awale. Alternative sources of energy must be harnessed to cater for the population, massive reforestation campaigns need to be initiated and some of the pastoralists need to switch to agriculture. In a country where the government faces numerous challenges, environmental matters are not a priority. “The Ministry of Environment has the smallest budgetary allocation that only covers the salaries of 187 employees,” says Elmi. “All the mature trees have disappeared.... In the past one could get six or seven 25 kilogram sacks of charcoal from a tree. Today, maybe one or two,” Awale says. As a consequence, charcoal prices in Somaliland have doubled in the past four years, to 10 dollars a sack. “Each time I cut down a tree, I am left with a bitter taste in my mouth,” Hussein says. “The future is bleak.... All the trees will have disappeared.” — AFP

Dengue vaccine to be tested in India NEW DELHI: French health care giant Sanofi Pasteur will soon test a vaccine against dengue fever in India amid concerns about the increasingly global spread of the disease, reports said yesterday. The vaccine will be tried on about 120 adults followed by trials on children before it can be made available internationally as soon as 2015, the Times of India newspaper said. “Sites for the vaccine’s final trials will stretch from Thailand to India as this vaccine has to work on populations across countries. We will test it in India soon,” Sanofi’s CEO Christopher Viehbacher was quoted as saying. Dengue causes a flulike illness for most victims but one of its strains can cause life-threatening internal bleeding. There is no licensed vaccine to protect against dengue. Efforts to develop one have been complicated by the fact that there are four different strains, all of which may circulate in an outbreak zone. Dengue also seems to be exclusive to humans, which means it is impossible to test vaccines on lab animals first. Jean Lang, head of the vaccine’s research and development program, said Sanofi had been asked to conduct “phase two safety trials” in India by the national drug controller. “It will help us get a license to

market the vaccine in India faster if it has been tested on the Indian population and is found safe and effective,” Lang told the paper. According to the UN’s World Health Organisation, between 50 and 100 million dengue infections occur each year in more than 100 countries. In 1970 the disease was endemic in just nine countries.

India, with a teeming population of 1.2 billion, has become a major focal point for the mosquito-borne viral infection. Between 2007 and this month, the country has had 32,263 dengue cases with 188 deaths, according to the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program. Experts say the real numbers are much higher. —AFP

INDIA: In this photograph taken on November 7, 2012, Indian municipal health workers fumigate a neighborhood against mosquitoes in New Delhi. —AFP

SOMALIA: Somali woman Cibaado Warsame cooks using charcaol in the village of Jalelo, Hargeisa. —AFP photos

SOMALIA: Somali men carry wood to make charcoal in the village of Jalelo.

Medicare experiments with ‘bundled’ payments ST LOUIS: To improve the quality of health care and cut medical costs, the federal government is focusing increasingly on a simple, though powerful tool: changing hospitals’ financial incentives. Already, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is penalizing hospitals that provide ineffective medical treatment. Those hospitals with a high percentage of patients who are readmitted for the same condition within 30 days of a hospital stay will receive lower federal reimbursements. Now, the agency is preparing to test a billing method called “bundled payments” to see if it can spur hospitals to lower treatment costs while delivering high-quality care. If the pilot program is successful, it could be rolled out nationally to all Medicare patients. Here’s how the program will work: _Medicare will reimburse hospitals at a fixed rate for all care related to an individual’s primary diagnosis, such as a patient’s need for knee replacement surgery. _A hospital that delivers high quality care at a lower cost will make money on a treated patient. But a hospital whose treatment of the patient results in complications, hospital readmission and other problems will bear the cost of that additional care. This pilot program is a creative way for hospitals and physicians to work together and take better care of patients at lower cost, said Walter Kopp, a hospital consultant based in San Anselmo, Calif. “ The health care industry is entrenched in fee-for-service medicine, and it has to break out,” Kopp said. “This is an attempt to get at that.” SSM St Mary’s Health Center in Richmond Heights, Mo, and SSM DePaul Health Center in Bridgeton, Mo , are in the final stage of an application process to join the pilot program sponsored by the CMS Innovation Center, which is responsible for designing and testing models of health care. CMS soon will select the hospitals for the program, which begins in January. Emma Sandoe, a CMS spokeswoman, said that bundled payments will “encourage doctors, hospitals and other health care providers to work together to better coordinate care for patients both when they are in the hospital and after they are discharged.” If selected for the program, St Mary’s will focus on bundled payments for patients with congestive heart failure, while DePaul will focus on knee replacement surgery. “Our motivation behind doing this is to provide the best care to the patient that we can-the highest quality of care at the lowest cost possible,” said Dr Jay Moore, vice president for medical affairs at SSM DePaul. “That’s value. We think that’s the key.” Missouri Baptist Medical Center in west St Louis County, which is part of St Louis-based BJC Healthcare, also is awaiting word of

final approval. If given, Missouri Baptist will focus on orthopedics, said Kit Kitson, a BJC spokeswoman. If successful, the pilot program could be rolled out nationwide, CMS’ Sandoe said. A bundled payment system is very different from the CMS’ current “encounter-based” system. Under the current system, there are few economic incentives for hospitals to reduce the risks of complications or readmission. Instead, hospitals are rewarded financially when they increase the number of treatments or procedures a patient undergoes. Typically, a hospital gets reimbursed by Medicare on a preapproved “case rate” for particular transactions, and a separate bill is issued each time a patient deals with a hospital, physician’s office, emergency room, or ambulance. Each visit is treated as a separate billable event. The current system is ridden with high administrative costs, and gets even more complicated and costly when a patient receives additional care for the original problem at another medical office or hospital. In a bundled payment system, one payment covers all treatment and procedures related to a patient’s primary diagnosis-regardless of where or when the medical

care has risen about 8 percent a year. While applauding the pilot project, Kopp cautioned that the bundled payment system is only one step toward the establishment of what he believes is needed: accountable care organizations. Under the model of accountable care, hospitals and physicians share the risk of managing all the needs of a patient, from flu shot to surgery. The Medicare system favors accountable care organizations as a way to reward providers who keep their patients healthy, and thus reduce costs. Bundled payments require “hospitals and physicians to work together and there are opportunities for savings, but it’s not the best way to manage care because you’re not having the provider responsible for all care for the patient,” Kopp said. “It’s a halfway solution, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.” In negotiating bundled payment rates with hospitals, CMS is crunching data to determine the average cost of treating a primary diagnosis in a particular region, such as the metropolitan St Louis area, then lopping 2 percent off the top to put more pressure on hospitals to save costs. As hospitals begin to consolidate their services and find ways to

MISSOURI : Dr Kiran Kancherla, a Cardiologist at SSM St Mary’s Health Center, discusses the results of an echocardiogram with patient Eloise Coleman, at the facility in Richmond Heights. —MCT photos care is given. Under this new system, the hospital assumes the financial risk for patient care during the entire process: Some patients will be ushered in and out of the system quickly, while others may suffer a complication such as a blood clot that requires additional treatment. “It puts the accountability for the cost of the care onto the provider (hospital or medical office), rather than the payer (Medicare),” said SSM’s Moore. “ That’s better for patients ... “It does not make sense for a patient to have to pay and pay again for the same problem,” he said. “It puts a cap on the total amount that the payer will be responsible for.” Ultimately, the patient is the payer-either through paying higher taxes or higher insurance premiums. In recent years, the cost of US health

become more efficient, CMS is expected to further reduce Medicare reimbursements. To be sure that hospitals don’t provide an inferior level of care simply to save money, CMS plans to continue to monitor benchmark measures, such as surgery complication rates, readmission rates and patient satisfaction surveys. Some private insurers have also experimented with bundled payments to cover the cost of treatment and procedures for certain surgeries and conditions. “This is an idea that has been around for a while, but it is the first time Medicare has gotten into it in any significant way,” Moore said. “It’s just the right thing to do. ... I think this is a better way to take care of people. This ensures that wasteful care is not rewarded.” —MCT


health & science GUST SA organizes lecture to raise awareness on World Diabetes Day he Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) and its Student Association were honored to have Dr Thamer Al-Essa, Specialist in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital, as a guest speaker to educate and raise awareness about Diabetes on World Diabetes Day. The speaker clarified diabetes, in simple, as a lifelong (chronic) disease in which there are high levels of sugar in the blood. He went out to explain the different types of Diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes with type 2 being the most common in adults and teenagers. Dr Al-Essa then pointed out the risk factors that increase chances for a person to be diagnosed with diabetes such as obesity, physical inactivity, ethnicity, and having a family history of the disease. Dr Al-Essa stated a shocking fact: around 183 million people are undiagnosed and do not know they’re diabetics. He then engaged in a discussion with students allowing them to ask questions and share their experiences. He ended the lecture by talking about


KAZAKHSTAN: In this photo provided by NASA, the Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft is seen shortly after it landed with Expedition 33 Commander Sunita Williams of NASA and Flight Engineers Akihiko Hoshide of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and Yuri Malenchenko of ROSCOSMOS (Russian Federal Space Agency) in a remote area near the town of Arkalyk, , yesterday. —AP Photos

KAZAKHSTAN: Sunita Williams of NASA, right, and Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko of ROSCOSMOS (Russian Federal Space Agency), and Akihiko Hoshide of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), left, sit in chairs outside the Soyuz Capsule just minutes after they landed. —AP

Astronauts touch down in chilly Kazakhstan steppe KAZAKHSTAN: Three astronauts touched down in the dark, chilly expanses of central Kazakhstan onboard a Soyuz capsule yesterday after a 125-day stay at the International Space Station. NASA’s Sunita Williams, Russian astronaut Yury Malenchenko and Aki Hoshide of Japan’s JAXA space agency landed at 07:56 am local time (0156 GMT) northeast of the town of Arkalyk. Eight helicopters rushed search-and-recovery crew to assist the crew, whose capsule did not parachute onto the exact planned touchdown site due to a minimal delay in procedures. With the departure of the outgoing crew, NASA astronaut Kevin Ford has taken command of the space station, where he remains with Russian colleagues Oleg Novitsky and Yevgeny Tarelkin.

They will be joined next month by NASA’s Tom Marshburn, Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency, and Russia’s Roman Romanenko. The Soyuz is the only means for international astronauts to reach the orbiting laboratory since the decommissioning of the US shuttle fleet in 2011. Williams, Malenchenko and Hoshide undocked from the space station Sunday at 1023 GMT to begin their return to earth. Around 28 minutes before touchdown, the three modules of the Soyuz craft separated, leaving the 2.1-meter tall capsule to begin its entry into orbit. A series of parachutes deployed to bring the capsule to gentle floating speed. Winds pulled the descent module on its side in the snowy terrain, which is a common occurrence, but the crew was

nonetheless swiftly hoisted out by the recovery crew and lifted onto reclining chairs and swaddled in blankets to shield them from the 12 Fahrenheit degree (-11 Celsius degree) temperature. The chairs are designed to afford the astronauts comfortable acclimatization after months of living in gravity-free conditions. “For me, everything was very good,” a smiling Williams told recovery staff, speaking in Russian. Malenchenko has now spent 642 days in space, making him the sixth most experienced space traveler in history. Williams has a spent a total of 322 days in space over two missions. She and Hoshide conducted a crucial spacewalk earlier this month to work on a leaky radiator system outside the space station. That took Williams’ total cumu-

lative spacewalk time to 50 hours and 40 minutes - a record for a female astronaut. NASA says the returning expedition conducted a range of scientific experiments while at the space station, included testing radiation levels on the orbiting outpost, assessing the effects of microgravity on the spinal cord, and investigating melting glaciers, seasonal changes and human impacts on the ecosystem. The crew was to be taken to the town of Kostanai, from where Williams and Hoshide would board a Gulfstream jet for a trip to Houston, Texas, while Malenchenko was to return to a Russian space facility outside Moscow. NASA footage showed celebrating recovery workers at the landing site erecting a sign marking the successful touchdown. —AP

prevention and offering health tips. It was a very insightful and educational lecture. Awareness was raised, and students and staff all left having learned more on the subject.




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


Announcements Basketball Academy he new Premier Basketball Academy offers coaching and games every Friday and Saturday from 10 am onwards for 6 to 18 year olds, boys and girls. Located in Bayan Block 7, Masjed Al-Aqsa Street by Abdullah Al-Rujaib High School. Free Basketball and Tee Shirts for all participants, with certificates and special awards on completion of each 6 week course. Qualified and experienced British and American Coaches, Everyone Welcome.


Goan Culinary Club he Goan Culinary Club - Goa encourages you to log on to their website where you can find a video of Odette and Joe Mascarenhas sharing their thoughts on Goan cuisine. These videos were recorded at the launch of the Goan Culinary Club in Goa on March 3, 2012. Thanks to support from all at the Goan Culinary Club, we have made great progress in six months.


Suhaani Shaam fter hosting ‘Bappi Lahiri Live Concert’ Indian Cultural Society brings you live excitement & entertainment with renowned young Ghazal Maestro Jaswinder Singh for romantic geet & ghazal. An evening accompanied by laughter machine & Hindi poet sardar Manjit Singh. Special guest of honor & attraction from Bollywood will be famous film actress Raveena Tandon. Join us on 30th Nov at 7 pm at Dr. Kamil Al Rays Auditorium AIS - near police station Maidan Hawally, Kuwait.


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


Winter 2012 AMIE examination


he AMIE Winter 2012 examinations will be held between Dec 01-07, 2012 as follows:

Section A (Diploma) - December 1-4, 2012 Section A (Non-Diploma) - December 1-7, 2012 Section B - December 1-7, 2012 The last date for submission of examination application forms are given hereunder: Candidates not appeared at Summer 2012 Exam: Aug 21 - Sept 21, 2012 Candidates appeared at Summer 2012 Exam: Sept 21 - Oct 19, 2012. Candidates who intend to appear for the Winter 2012 examination must apply directly to Kolkata by filling the prescribed application form along with requisite amount of demand draft in favour of The Institution of Engineers (India), payable in Kolkata.

Agility introduces Arabic website gility, a leading global logistics provider, launched its Arabic-language website on October 30, to cater to Arabic-speaking customers, partners, and shareholders in the Middle East and North Africa. The website has been designed to allow Arabic speakers convenient access to the latest company news, range of products and services, specialized solutions, and other related business and investor information. “We are a global company that operates in more than 100 countries, but we have strong local roots in the countries in which we operate. This is especially true in the Middle East, where we got our start as a company. Our Arabic website is part of our ongoing commitment to serving our customers in the Middle East and North Africa, and to maintaining open communication with our shareholders and partners,” said Elias Monem, Agility’s CEO for the Middle East and Africa. With the newly introduced Arabic version, Agility’s website is now available in four languages, including English, French and German.


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

he English School Fahaheel once again this year held a host of events to mark breast cancer awareness. It included a Pink Parade, Pink Theme Bake sale and a Pink non- uniform Day. ESF proudly raised KD 1,500 to donate to the local Breast Cancer Awareness charity. A big thank you to Mr and Mrs Shepherd and all staff for their organizing skills and of course to all the students who took time out of their busy school day to contribute to this important event at ESF.





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

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

TEC launches football academy for kids he Touristic Enterprises Company established a football academy for children at the Touristic Park, allowing kids between the ages of 8 and 14 to learn basic football skills through 2-days a week training period. “The academy focuses on improving basic football skills for children from the theoretical and practical aspects of training”, said Touristic Park Supervisor Nader Imam in a statement yesterday.



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

EMBASSY OF INDIA The Embassy of India will remain closed on Nov 25, 2012 - Sunday on account of Muharram. Due to maintenance work being done in Sharq area by the Ministry of Electricity on Tuesday, November 27, 2012, BLS International Sharq Branch will remain closed between 08:00 Hrs and 11:30 Hrs. The working hours on 27-11-2012 will be from 16:00 Hrs to 19:30 Hrs. Fahaheel Branch will remain open during regular working hours 08:00 - 11:30 and 16:00- 19:30. ■■■■■■■

NAFO picnic - a resounding success ational Forum Kuwait (NAFO) conducted a picnic on Thursday, Nov 15 with the overwhelming participation of its member families. The picnic, held in an atmosphere of harmony and cordiality, was a huge success in achieving its aims. The event was very interesting and meaningful by the large participation of members. The picnic turned out to be an excursion trip, according to organizers. On the early morning of Thursday a convoy of buses/van/cars carrying about 150 families kicked off from the meeting at Salmiya garden, to picnic venue - a farmhouse at Wafra on the outskirts of Kuwait. While welcoming the family members, President B S Pillai flagged off the day with full of fun and frolic, organized by the picnic committee consisting


Vijayakrishnan, Anilkumar, Satheesh Pillai (Conveners), Rajkartha, Madhu Menon, Krishnakumar, A R Subbaraman, Sreekumar Pillai (coordinators), and also with the active participation of NAFO Ladies Wing and general committee members. As scheduled the picnic core committee evolved numerous games by dividing the entire group into three team, ensuring participation of all ages. Games like: Group formation, a warm-up game, “Three Language Number Game”, NAFO Human Scrabble, “Make a Mummy”, the hilarious “Saree adorning game for Men”, “Lemon & Spoon Family Game” “Kids Toy Picking game “were the highlights of the day. However, the climax of the day was the well awaited Board game “Housie”. In between, there were intermit-

tent lucky family draw, wherein the members’ participation was quite enthusing and about 16 NAFO families were lucky to take home attractive prizes. The breakfast, lunch and the snacks and tea were arranged by the food committee led by Satheesh, Rajkartha and Sreekumar. The marvelous picnic day blessed with a sunny and cool weather concluded at 4.30 PM, by bringing the picnic-goers back home safely. The day concluded with a gala prize distribution to all winning teams in the group games conducted during the day. NAFO once again is proud and thankful to all its esteemed members for having made this outdoor “Family Day”, a grand success.

EMBASSY OF LEBANON Due to exceptional circumstances Lebanon is going through currently, a mass celebration that was planned on Wednesday, Nov 14, 2012 at the Lebanese Embassy’s garden has been called off. Ambassador of Lebanon to Kuwait Dr Bassam Al-Nu’mani welcomes well wishers on the occasion of Independence Day at his residence on Thursday, Nov 22, 2012 between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF UKRAINE The Embassy of Ukraine in the State of Kuwait would like to remind that the external polling station No 90046 was created in the Embassy’s premises at the following address: Hawalli, Jabriya, bl.10, str. 6, build. 5. The working hours of the polling station: Sunday from 13.00 to 17.00 pm; Monday from 13.00 to 17.00 pm; Tuesday from 13.00 to 17.00 pm; Wednesday from 13.00 to 17.00 pm; Thursday from 13.00 to 17.00 pm; Friday from 10.00 to 13.00 pm; Saturday from 10.00 to 13.00 pm On October 28, 2012 the working hours of the polling station from 8.00 am to 20.00 pm. Please be advised to refer to the Embassy to check your data in the Electoral Register as well as to pick up your personal invitation from the polling station if you did not receive this document by post.


TV PROGRAMS 20:20 Bang Goes The Theory

00:50 Animal Cops South Africa 01:45 Human Prey 02:35 I’m Alive 03:25 Baboons With Bill Bailey 03:50 Baboons With Bill Bailey 04:15 Too Cute! 05:05 Wildest Latin America 05:55 Wild Britain With Ray Mears 06:20 Orangutan Island 06:45 Dolphin Days 07:10 Dolphin Days 07:35 Wildlife SOS 08:00 Monkey Life 08:25 Animal Planet’s Most Outrageous 09:15 Dogs 101 10:10 Must Love Cats 11:05 Wildest Latin America 12:00 Wildlife SOS 12:55 Clinically Wild: Alaska 13:20 Clinically Wild: Alaska 13:50 Wildlife SOS 14:15 E-Vets: The Interns 14:45 Animal Cops Phoenix 15:40 Wildest Latin America 16:35 Orangutan Island 17:00 The Really Wild Show 17:30 Trophy Cats 18:25 Natural Born Hunters 18:50 Natural Born Hunters 19:20 Dogs 101 20:15 Monkey Life 20:40 E-Vets: The Interns 21:10 Deep Into The Wild With Nick Baker 21:35 Orangutan Island 22:05 Wildest Latin America 23:00 Gator Boys 23:55 New Breed Vets With Steve Irwin 23:50 Animal Cops Houston 00:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 00:45 Come Dine With Me 01:35 Antiques Roadshow 02:25 Gok’s Fashion Fix 03:15 Gok’s Fashion Fix 04:00 Out Of The Frying Pan 04:55 House Swap 05:40 Saturday Kitchen 06:05 Out Of The Frying Pan 06:55 House Swap 07:40 Saturday Kitchen 08:10 MasterChef Australia 09:00 MasterChef Australia 09:25 Gok’s Fashion Fix 10:15 Gok’s Fashion Fix 11:05 Bargain Hunt 11:50 Antiques Roadshow 12:40 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 13:25 Come Dine With Me 14:15 Holmes On Homes 15:05 Holmes On Homes 15:50 Bargain Hunt 16:35 Antiques Roadshow 17:30 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 18:10 Come Dine With Me 19:00 Baking Mad With Eric Lanlard 19:30 Baking Mad With Eric Lanlard 19:55 Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey 20:45 Come Dine With Me 21:35 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 22:20 Antiques Roadshow 23:15 Bargain Hunt EditionEdition 00:15 Outback Truckers 01:10 Deadliest Catch 02:05 An Idiot Abroad 03:00 Mythbusters 03:55 Border Security 04:20 Scrappers 04:50 Auction Kings 05:15 How Stuff’s Made 05:40 How It’s Made 06:05 Robson Green’s Extreme Fishing Challenge 07:00 Wheeler Dealers 07:50 Mythbusters 08:45 Ultimate Survival 09:40 Border Security 10:05 Scrappers 10:30 How Stuff’s Made 10:55 How It’s Made 11:25 Outback Truckers 12:20 Deadliest Catch 13:15 River Monsters 14:10 Border Security 14:35 Scrappers 15:05 Auction Kings 15:30 Ultimate Survival 16:25 Wheeler Dealers 17:20 Robson Green’s Extreme Fishing Challenge 18:15 Mythbusters 19:10 How Stuff’s Made 19:40 How It’s Made 20:05 Border Security 20:35 Scrappers 21:00 Auction Kings 21:30 You Have Been Warned 22:25 Bear’s Mission Everest 23:20 Ultimate Survival 23:20 Surviving Disaster 00:40 Gadget Show - World Tour 01:05 How Tech Works 01:35 Colony 02:25 Brave New World 03:15 Mighty Ships 04:05 Weird Connections 04:35 Colony 05:25 Prototype This 06:15 Gadget Show - World Tour 06:40 How Tech Works 07:05 How The Universe Works 08:00 Brave New World 08:50 How Do They Do It? 09:15 How Do They Do It? 09:40 Head Rush 09:43 Things That Move 10:10 How Stuff’s Made 10:40 How The Universe Works 11:30 Gadget Show - World Tour 11:55 How Tech Works 12:20 Mighty Ships 13:10 Prototype This 14:00 Brave New World 14:50 Sport Science 15:45 How Do They Do It? 16:10 How Do They Do It? 16:35 Weird Connections 17:00 Head Rush 17:03 Things That Move 17:30 How Stuff’s Made 18:00 Gadget Show - World Tour 18:25 How Tech Works 18:50 Mega World 19:40 How The Universe Works 20:30 Build It Bigger: Rebuilding Greensburg 21:20 Prototype This 22:10 Gadget Show - World Tour 22:35 How Tech Works 23:00 Build It Bigger: Rebuilding Greensburg 23:50 How The Universe Works

00:20 Little Einsteins 00:50 Special Agent Oso 01:15 Lazytown 01:40 Jungle Junction 01:55 Jungle Junction 02:10 Handy Manny 02:30 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 02:55 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 03:00 Lazytown 03:25 Special Agent Oso 03:50 Imagination Movers 04:20 Handy Manny 04:40 Special Agent Oso 05:00 Timmy Time 05:10 Lazytown 05:35 Little Einsteins 06:00 Jungle Junction 06:15 Jungle Junction 06:30 Little Einsteins 06:50 Special Agent Oso 07:00 Special Agent Oso 07:15 Jungle Junction 07:30 Jungle Junction 07:45 Handy Manny 08:00 Special Agent Oso 08:15 Little Einsteins 08:45 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 09:10 The Hive 09:20 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 09:35 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 09:50 Handy Manny 10:05 The Hive 10:15 Animated Stories 10:20 Mouk 10:30 Mouk 10:45 The Hive 10:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 11:20 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 11:45 Art Attack 12:10 Imagination Movers 12:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 13:00 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 13:10 Handy Manny 13:25 Jungle Junction 13:40 Imagination Movers 14:05 The Hive 14:15 Special Agent Oso 14:30 Lazytown 14:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 15:20 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 15:45 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 16:00 Mouk 16:15 The Hive 16:25 Art Attack 16:50 Doc McStuffins 17:05 Art Attack 17:30 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 17:45 Art Attack 18:10 Mouk 18:25 Mouk 18:40 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 18:55 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 19:10 The Hive 19:20 Handy Manny 19:35 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 20:00 Animated Stories 20:05 Timmy Time 20:20 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 20:25 Doc McStuffins 20:40 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 20:55 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 21:10 The Hive 21:20 Timmy Time 21:30 Mouk 21:45 Handy Manny 22:00 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 22:25 The Hive 22:35 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 23:00 Timmy Time 23:10 Animated Stories 23:15 A Poem Is... 23:20 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 23:30 Jungle Junction 23:45 Handy Manny 23:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse ecial Agent Oso 23:50 Lazytown 00:30 01:25 01:50 02:20 03:15 04:10 05:05 06:00 06:55 08:00 08:25 08:55 09:20 09:50 10:15 10:45 11:40 12:05 12:35 13:30 14:25 15:20 16:15 16:40 17:10 17:35 18:05 18:30 19:00 19:55 20:50 21:45 22:40 23:35

M1 Challenge Fantasy Factory Fantasy Factory Pro Bull Riders 2011 World Combat League Enfusion Monster Jam M1 Challenge Pro Bull Riders 2011 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 X Games Heroes X Games Heroes Ticket To Ride – 5 2012 Ticket To Ride – 5 2012 AMA Motocross 2011 Fantasy Factory Fantasy Factory Pro Bull Riders 2011 Mantracker Danger Men World Combat League Fantasy Factory Fantasy Factory X Games Heroes X Games Heroes Ticket To Ride – 5 2012 Ticket To Ride – 5 2012 Mantracker Pro Bull Riders 2011 Danger Men World Combat League Monster Jam Enfusion

00:15 Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam 00:40 Guy’s Big Bite 01:05 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 01:30 Heat Seekers 01:55 Jenny Morris Cooks Morocco 02:20 Jenny Morris Cooks Morocco 02:45 Andy Bates Street Feasts 03:10 Andy Bates Street Feasts 03:35 Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam 04:00 Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam 04:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 04:50 Heat Seekers 05:15 Guy’s Big Bite 05:40 Grill It! With Bobby Flay 06:05 Unwrapped 06:30 Iron Chef America 07:10 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 07:35 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 08:00 Food Network Challenge 08:50 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 09:15 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 09:40 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 10:05 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 10:30 Kelsey’s Essentials 10:55 Cooking For Real 11:20 Cooking For Real 11:45 Food Crafters

12:10 12:35 13:00 13:50 14:15 14:40 Basics 15:05 Basics 15:30 15:55 16:20 16:45 17:35 Basics 18:00 Basics 18:25 18:50 19:15 19:40 20:05 20:30 21:20 22:10 22:35 23:00 23:25 23:50

Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Heat Seekers Iron Chef America Guy’s Big Bite Cooking For Real Barefoot Contessa - Back To

Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Bored To Death 22:30 The Ricky Gervais Show 23:00 Family Guy 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Barefoot Contessa - Back To

Fall on

Food Crafters Unique Eats Unique Eats Chopped Barefoot Contessa - Back To Barefoot Contessa - Back To Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Heat Seekers Guy’s Big Bite Unique Eats Unique Eats Chopped Iron Chef America Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Guy’s Big Bite Guy’s Big Bite Grill It! With Bobby Flay

00:15 Market Values 00:45 Roam 01:10 Deadliest Journeys 01:40 Perilous Journeys 02:35 Hugh’s Three Hungry Boys 03:30 Banged Up Abroad 04:25 Don’t Tell My Mother 05:20 Bondi Rescue 05:45 Bondi Rescue 06:15 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 06:40 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 07:10 Street Food Around The World 07:35 Market Values 08:05 Roam 08:30 Deadliest Journeys 09:00 Perilous Journeys 09:55 Hugh’s Three Hungry Boys 10:50 Banged Up Abroad 11:45 Don’t Tell My Mother 12:40 Danger Beach 13:05 Danger Beach 13:35 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 14:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 14:30 Street Food Around The World 14:55 Market Values 15:25 Roam 15:50 Travel Madness 16:20 Perilous Journeys 17:15 One Man & His Campervan 17:40 One Man & His Campervan 18:10 Banged Up Abroad 19:05 Don’t Tell My Mother 20:00 Street Food Around The World 20:30 Market Values 21:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 21:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 22:00 Danger Beach 22:25 Danger Beach 22:55 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 23:20 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 23:50 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 23:00 Naked Science 00:00 Animal Autopsy (AKA Inside Nature’s Giants) 01:00 Superfish 01:55 Wild India (aka Secrets of Wild India) 02:50 World’s Wildest Encounters 03:45 Cliffhangers 04:40 Zambezi 05:35 World’s Deadliest Animals 06:30 Wild India (aka Secrets of Wild India) 07:25 World’s Wildest Encounters 08:20 Cliffhangers 09:15 Shark Men 10:10 Python Hunters 11:05 Rescue Ink 12:00 Snake Underworld 13:00 Wild Mississippi 14:00 World’s Wildest Encounters 15:00 Cliffhangers 16:00 Shark Men 17:00 Python Hunters 18:00 Rescue Ink 19:00 Wild India (aka Secrets of Wild India) 20:00 World’s Wildest Encounters 21:00 Cliffhangers 22:00 Shark Men 23:00 Python Hunters Zoo Confidential 23:00 Dangerous Encounters 01:00 03:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 PG15 14:00 16:00 18:00 PG15 20:00 22:00

Chain Letter-R Saving Private Ryan-18 Law Abiding Citizen-18 Shanghai Noon-PG15 Rocky v-PG15 Charlie’s Angels: Full ThrottleShanghai Noon-PG15 Aeon Flux-PG15 Charlie’s Angels: Full ThrottlePaintball-18 Bunraku-PG15

22:00 13 Assassins-1822:00 Homecoming-18 00:00 Napoleon Dynamite 00:30 The Daily Show Global Edition 01:00 The Colbert Report Global Edition 01:30 Enlightened 02:00 Hung 02:30 Family Guy 03:00 Breaking In 03:30 Hot In Cleveland 04:00 Samantha Who? 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Seinfeld 06:00 Seinfeld 06:30 Friends 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Samantha Who? 08:30 Breaking In 09:00 Seinfeld 09:30 Seinfeld 10:00 Modern Family 10:30 Best Friends Forever 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Friends 12:30 Samantha Who? 13:00 Seinfeld 13:30 Seinfeld 14:00 Hot In Cleveland 14:30 Best Friends Forever 15:00 Modern Family 15:30 The Daily Show Global Edition 16:00 The Colbert Report Global Edition 16:30 Friends 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 How I Met Your Mother 18:30 Last Man Standing 19:00 Modern Family 19:30 Community 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon

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Body Of Proof Boardwalk Empire Justified Downton Abbey Bones Revenge Body Of Proof Emmerdale Coronation Street C.S.I. New York The Ellen DeGeneres Show Revenge Bones Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show C.S.I. New York Body Of Proof Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show C.S.I. New York Grey’s Anatomy Private Practice Homeland Pillars Of The Earth Strike Back

Malibu Shark Attack-18 Outcast-R Transporter 2-PG15 Blank Slate-PG15 Inside Out-PG15 Transporter 2-PG15 Master And Commander-PG15 Inside Out-PG15 Warbirds-PG15 Constantine-PG15 Bunraku-PG15 The Echo-18

Stuck On You-PG15 The Switch-18 Can’t Hardly Wait-PG15 The Marc Pease ExperienceThe Beverly Hillbillies-PG15 Prom-PG15 Below The Beltway-PG15 Say Anything-PG15 Prom-PG15 Pieces Of April-PG15 Dinner For Schmucks-PG15 Reginald D Hunter Live-18

22:00 Frenemy-18 01:00 03:30 05:15 07:15 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 19:15 21:00 PG15 23:15

Scent Of A Woman-18 Fargo-18 Bright Star-PG15 Miles From Nowhere-PG15 Relative Stranger-PG15 Chasing 3000-PG15 Mademoiselle Chambon-PG15 Relative Stranger-PG15 Lorenzo’s Oil-PG15 Babies-18 An Officer And A GentlemanGardens Of The Night-18 Square Grouper-18

01:00 The Debt-18 03:00 The Dragon Chronicles: Fire & Ice-PG15 05:00 Bound By A Secret-PG15 07:00 Take Shelter-PG15 09:00 Mars Needs Moms-PG 11:00 The Adjustment Bureau-PG15 13:00 Labor Pains-PG15 15:00 Elevator Girl-PG15 16:45 Mars Needs Moms-PG 18:30 War Horse-PG15 21:00 The Romantics-PG15 23:00 The Last Exorcism-18

01:00 Winner & The Golden Child: Part I-FAM 02:45 The Nutty Professor-FAM 04:30 The Three Bears: The Amazing Adventurers-FAM 06:00 Cars 2-FAM 08:00 Winner & The Golden Child: Part II-FAM 10:00 Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil-PG 11:30 Olentzero And The Magic LogFAM 13:00 Alex & Alexis-FAM 14:30 The Nutty Professor-FAM 16:00 Blue Elephant 2-FAM 18:00 Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil-PG 20:00 Adventures Of Sharkboy And Lavagirl-PG 21:45 Blue Elephant 2-FAM 23:30 Alex & Alexis-FAM

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PGA European Tour Highlights Rugby Union International Premier League Snooker Futbol Mundial Rugby Union International Extreme Sailing Series Extreme Sailing Series Trans World Sport PGA European Tour Highlights PGA European Tour Highlights ICC Cricket 360 Rugby Union International Extreme Sailing Series Premier League Snooker Futbol Mundial Trans World Sport PGA European Tour Highlights

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Rugby Union International PGA European Tour Highlights PGA European Tour Highlights Rugby Union International Extreme Sailing Series Extreme Sailing Series PGA European Tour Highlights PGA European Tour Highlights Grand Slam of Darts ICC Cricket 360 Premier League Snooker PGA European Tour Highlights PGA European Tour Highlights ICC Cricket 360 Grand Slam of Darts Rugby Union International WWE This Week WWE SmackDown



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C lassified s TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2012



Arrival Flights on Tuesday 20/11/2012 Route


411 AMSTERDAM / DAMMAM 0:30 574 MUMBAI 0:30 772 ISTANBUL 0:35 539 CAIRO 0:50 148 DOHA 1:00 211 BAHRAIN 1:50 239 SIALKOT 1:55 5035 DHAKA 2:20 853 DUBAI 2:35 305 ABU DHABI 2:45 643 MUSCAT 2:50 67 DUBAI 3:05 612 CAIRO 3:10 642 AMMAN 3:15 3553 ALEXANDRIA 3:25 138 DOHA 3:45 170 BAHRAIN 5:15 770 ISTANBUL 5:30 503 LUXOR 5:55 416 JAKARTA / KUALA LUMPUR 6:25 157 LONDON 6:40 412 MANILA / BANGKOK 6:45 206 ISLAMABAD 7:40 53 DUBAI 7:45 302 MUMBAI 7:55 352 COCHIN 8:05 332 TRIVANDRUM 8:15 855 DUBAI 8:40 284 DHAKA 8:45 121 SHARJAH 9:05 132 DOHA 9:10 55 DUBAI 9:15 301 ABU DHABI 9:20 605 ISFAHAN 9:45 213 BAHRAIN 9:55 165 DUBAI 11:20 404 BEIRUT 11:55 871 DUBAI 12:50 341 DAMASCUS 12:55 610 CAIRO 13:05 219 BAHRAIN 13:35 514 TEHRAN 13:45 57 DUBAI 13:50 362 COLOMBO / MUSCAT 14:20 546 ALEXANDRIA 14:30 500 JEDDAH 14:30 140 DOHA 14:35 561 SOHAG 14:50 562 AMMAN 14:55 134 DOHA 15:30 325 NAJAF 16:25 857 DUBAI 16:40 303 ABU DHABI 16:50 640 AMMAN 16:55 215 BAHRAIN 17:15 510 RIYADH 17:20 144 DOHA 17:50 127 SHARJAH 17:55 982 WASHINGTON DC DULLES 17:55 542 CAIRO 18:05 177 DUBAI 18:15 786 JEDDAH 18:30 63 DUBAI 18:45 787 RIYADH 19:05 166 PARIS / ROME 19:10 618 DOHA 19:20 742 DAMMAM 19:30 674 DUBAI 19:35 104 LONDON 19:35 774 RIYADH 19:50 647 MUSCAT 19:55 61 DUBAI 20:00 572 MUMBAI 20:10 393 KOZHIKODE 20:15 618 ALEXANDRIA 20:25 678 ABU DHABI 20:30 619 LAR 20:35 129 SHARJAH 20:35 146 DOHA 20:45 229 COLOMBO 20:55 402 BEIRUT 21:20 136 DOHA 21:25 221 BAHRAIN 21:30 307 ABU DHABI 21:35 859 DUBAI 21:40 6130 DOHA 21:55 59 DUBAI 22:00 372 BAHRAIN 22:00 415 AMSTERDAM 22:05 981 CHENNAI / HYDERABAD / AHMEDABAD 22:30 239 AMMAN 22:45 217 BAHRAIN 22:50 205 LAHORE / PESHAWER 23:00 185 DUBAI 23:05 981 BAHRAIN 23:25 43 DHAKA 23:45 636 FRANKFURT 23:55

Depature Flights on Tuesday 20/11/2012 Airlines Flt Route



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Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (

ACCOMMODATION Single bedroom flat for rent in old Riggae, sector 1, St. 1, Jada 3, from 1st December to 31st march 2013, rent KD 160/-. Contact: 97525830. (C 4222) 20-11-2012 SITUATION WANTWestern educated “Project Manager” with 2 Engineering-Degrees (Civil/Elec.), 4-Master Degrees (Project Mgmt/ Engineering/ Education & Training/ MBA), plus 17-years experience in Middle East/ Australia, seeking Executive Position. Contact: 65695468 email: (C 4195) FOR SALE Mitsubishi Galant, 2006 model, silver color, beige interior, 1,25,000 km, serviced by dealership, owned by American lady, price KD 1,500/ (Negotiable) Contact: 99405067. (C 4224) Toyota Camry 2012 model, 4 cylinder, white color, very good condition, price KD 1,600/-. Contact: 99592461. (C 4221) 20-11-2012 Jeep Kia sportage 2010, white color, excellent condition, 42,000 km, price KD 2,450/-. Contact: 50699345. (C 4220) 19-11-2012 MATRIMONIAL Seeking proposal for daughter age 26, Msc., 5.6 heights, fair, slim, born & brought up in Kuwait,

Pakistani Muslim family, current Kuwait resident. Contact: (C 4219) 15-11-2012 CHANGE OF NAME FRANCISCA JOANA GRACIAS of holder Passport No. E6395478 hereby change surname to FRANCISCA JOANA RODRIGUES, H.No. 20, near Railway Station, Seraulim, Salcete, Goa 403708. (C 4223) 20-11-2012 I, Madhavan, holder of Indian Passport No. H5961296, son of Muthukrishanan, converted to Islam and do now hereafter be known by my new name MOHAMED SHARIF. (C 4217)


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s ta rs CROSSWORD 14

ACROSS 1. A light touch or stroke. 4. Leopard lizards. 12. Relating to a recently developed fashion or style. 15. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 16. Relating to, or coming from, Europe and Asia. 17. Any of various primates with short tails or no tail at all. 18. Straighten up or out. 19. A single splash. 20. A spacecraft that carries astronauts from the command module to the surface of the moon and back. 21. The cry made by sheep. 22. A metrical unit with stressed-unstressedunstressed syllables. 24. Small tropical American tree bearing edible plumlike fruit. 27. Unable to relax or be still. 29. An imaginary elephant that appears in a series of French books for children. 35. Fear resulting from the awareness of danger. 37. Of or relating to or characteristic of Uganda or its people. 40. A chronic disorder that occurs in tropical and nontropical forms and in both children and adults. 41. Any of various small biting flies. 43. A burial chamber (usually underground). 44. Country of southeastern Asia that extends southward along the isthmus of Kra to the Malay peninsula. 47. Fish eggs or egg-filled ovary. 48. (Sumerian) Legendary friend of Gilgamish. 50. One who accompanies and supervises a young woman or gatherings of young people. 53. A beverage made by steeping tea leaves in water. 54. A law passed by US Congress to prevent employees from being injured or contracting diseases in the course of their employment. 57. A heavy morocco often used in bookbinding. 60. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread. 67. An elaborate song for solo voice. 68. Take control of. 71. The lofty nest of a bird of prey (such as a hawk or eagle). 72. A transparent optical device used to converge or diverge transmitted light and to form images. 73. Turn into cheese, of milk. 75. Not in good physical or mental health. 76. A body of (usually fresh) water surrounded by land. 77. A festival featuring African-American culture. 78. The fatty flesh of eel. DOWN 1. Material used to daub walls. 2. A former copper coin of Pakistan. 3. A small cake leavened with yeast. 4. A French policeman. 5. Wild sheep of northern Africa. 6. A form of address for a man. 7. Strong woody fibers obtained especially from the phloem of from various plants. 8. Catch sight of. 9. An imaginary land inhabited by tiny people

(in Swift's Gulliver's Travels). 10. A plant hormone promoting elongation of stems and roots. 11. Ludicrously odd. 12. Of or relating to or characteristic of the people or language of Malaysia and the N Malay Peninsula and parts of the W Malay Archipelago. 13. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 14. A visual presentation showing how something works. 23. A ductile gray metallic element of the lanthanide series. 25. A communist nation that covers a vast territory in eastern Asia. 26. Shrub bearing round-fruited kumquats. 28. A label made of cardboard or plastic or metal. 30. Relating to or characteristic of alps. 31. United States writer of poems and plays about racial conflict (born in 1934). 32. The (prehensile) extremity of the superior limb. 33. A room or establishment where alcoholic drinks are served over a counter. 34. Directed with intense concentration. 36. One of the most common of the five major classes of immunoglobulins. 38. The eleventh month of the civil year. 39. Sorghums of dry regions of Asia and North Africa. 42. A former agency (from 1946 to 1974) that was responsible for research into atomic energy and its peacetime uses in the United States. 45. Antelope with white markings like a harness and twisted horns. 46. A republic in the western central Pacific Ocean in association with the United States. 49. Amino acid that is formed in the liver and converted into dopamine in the brain. 51. Genus of chiefly small rock-loving ferns. 52. Avoid or try to avoid, as of duties, questions and issues. 55. An expression of greeting. 56. A public promotion of some product or service. 58. Lower in esteem. 59. A yellow quartz. 61. A particular geographical region of indefinite boundary (usually serving some special purpose or distinguished by its people or culture or geography). 62. Utter a high-pitched cry, characteristic of pigs. 63. A submachine gun operated by gas pressure. 64. A member of an Iroquoian people formerly living on the south shore of Lake Erie in northern Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania and western New York. 65. Cause annoyance in. 66. A loud utterance. 69. A condensed but memorable saying embodying some important fact of experience that is taken as true by many people. 70. North American republic containing 50 states - 48 conterminous states in North America plus Alaska in northwest North America and the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean. 74. A hard gray lustrous metallic element that is highly corrosion-resistant.

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Yesterday’s Solution

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19)

This workday flows along without too many problems. A new partnership, business plan or job category can be entered into now. Your evaluation of matters is clear. There may be a slowdown in transportation, but confirmation of schedules should help assuage this situation. There is much conversation over the phone or computer with family while in the workplace. Someone has something special to celebrate and you may find yourself shopping after work. With a love of authority figures, plus an appreciation for authority and your elders in general, you are most often welcome at any social scene. A golf game, tennis or other similar sport activity this afternoon is likely. Not only do you enjoy all sorts of sports—you enjoy simple friendly chatter.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

The power of organization and the order of a variety of things (politics, religion, etc.) come to your attention today. It is as if order is the answer rather than a means to an ideal objective or purpose. Do not restrict your abilities too much. If you stop and think about how successful companies and people got where they are now, you will find that flexibility is an important factor in their arrival. The study of trends with regard to business, stocks, interest rates, etc., is an interesting study for you now. Being more closely involved with another person may well become your highest priority this afternoon. Marriage, contracts and partnerships are seen as keys to success and happiness—and they certainly have plenty of lessons to teach you.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Do not rush today—stay focused—attend to the normal duties and then you can move forward. Business opportunities that include conferences and lectures will open new doors to further your career. Circumstances throw you into position where you must use your mind and deal with some sort of public relations. You may deal with education, psychology or teaching principles and techniques. Ambition and the desire for social status can get a little out of touch with reality just now. This afternoon a friend may interest you in a competitive sport that is good for your mind as well as your body. You may enjoy implementing more of this into your schedule more often. Exercise is good for many things and will increase the energy level—enjoy.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

You are at your most practical when it comes to working with others today. You know just what to do and can act without emotion. This ability to hold back on emotions is appreciated by all and you may find others using you as a mentor. By holding back on your emotions, you find answers come easily and people stop trying to fool you. You can concentrate on the real issues. You are asked to double up on your quota for the next few days, perhaps because some of your co-workers are not at work. This may call for overtime work and you should put in for the extra hours as pushing your work quota is a difficult task. You are successful in an attempt to achieve and excel. You will prosper through new insights, inventions and an independent point of view.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

You may be very forceful in what you say and think today. With your habit of giving a subject plenty of thought, you speak or communicate very well exactly what is needed. You have much mental drive. Perhaps through teaching, you will find yourself serving to guide someone younger than you. You can demonstrate great understanding and sensitivity to the needs of others and you are in a good position to help those that need your wisdom. This afternoon your friends may include you in some group activity. It is certainly a good time to be with your friends. This evening there is a kind of romantic wistfulness. This could mean a longing for a soul mate or a yearning to save the world; it could mean carrying a torch, as well. Music is relaxing.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) You may find yourself interacting with co-workers a bit more than usual today; this could mean a group project or a conference. You are called on to make use of your abilities to figure out problems and use your common sense in coming up with answers. This is a very lucky day for decisions and finding your way through just about any problem you may discover. You feel successful and able to solve problems—quick answers, great wit and a surplus of insights and solutions are available for your use. There is good advice from a guide or older person. You can enjoy the afternoon by propping your feet up and involving yourself in a good book for a time. A visitor in your home this evening is honest in the compliments he or she gives you.

Libra (September 23-October 22) Keep those positive thoughts coming—you are learning how to transform the negative. This is a great day to work with others. Round table discussions or conferences with higher-ups may be in the forecast for the whole day. Financial shrewdness is important but your practical way of thinking will be the most beneficial. You have a wheeler-dealer attitude with a knack for knowing how to put people, ideas and things together profitably. Playing the role of a coordinator can be rewarding. If there is not a permanent love relationship just now, you may find one developing this afternoon. If there is a permanent relationship, you will find the feelings between you and your loved one have deepened. A sense of support makes this a happy time.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

You might set aside some time this week to plot your path toward better career plans. If this means additional education or part-time work—now is the time. You have all the drive you could want—the path is open and clear. Your accomplishments are your self-image, rather than your personality. The goals you have dreamed about are becoming more clear and reachable every day. Regardless of how important it is to make plans for upgrading your future professional life, you do very well in your present profession. Get out-of-doors this afternoon—rain or no rain. Exercise is important and you most enjoy exercising with someone in order to keep on target. To stay motivated, pick the sport you love and keep moving forward, such as bicycling, walking, etc.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) A work situation today may find you missing the lunch hour and this could be bad. You could become irritable and say too much at the wrong time. Quick-witted, you can repair any negative damage you may have created. Say as little as possible in order to avoid any misunderstandings just now as this may be a time of missed communication. You are never too old for classes and it may be time now to take up piano, vocal classes or some form of art. This is a way to get away from the usual and enjoy your very own creative vent. Your mind runs to humanitarian values and thoughts of what could and should be improved upon. Community work just may be in the forecast. Your ideas could make a positive difference.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) This morning you may find yourself unusually motivated or driven in new and unexpected directions. You may receive pleasing news from people you hardly know that say they will back you or support you for whatever you want to accomplish. This may be political in public affairs or political in business affairs. Gathering and exchanging information becomes a more important part of your success. Some sort of education schedule may soon be in order. It may come to your attention that you should brush up on some subject or learn a new technique in order to gain some advantage. This evening is relaxing and you may decide to reevaluate your diet for this winter. Some form of exercise needs to be added to your curriculum as it is helpful to you in many ways.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18)

Ideas and interaction with influential people may be in the forecast, but easily handled. Working with—rather than against the flow should be easy to do. Lightning fast when it comes to the business deal, you seem to have direct insight into what is worthwhile as well as insignificant in a situation. You will find a way to cut through the red tape and get at what is important. You tear through appearances in an effort to get beneath, behind and at the heart or core of someone today. What-you-see-is-what-you-get may not be enough for you. You want more than appearances and you are willing to dig down to get what is needed. You work through all that is superficial, no matter what kind of personal sacrifice. This is a successful day.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) Taking on a more practical and conscientious mindset is important to you now. Sorting things out and getting them organized will keep you quite busy. You may adopt a more unconventional appearance or manner of communicating and getting yourself across to others. You have more personal insight and are more inventive than usual. Others sense your concern over their welfare and you may not be able to escape the positive admiration that comes your way now. Someone may take you to lunch or do a favor without expecting reciprocation. Others appreciate your kindness. Your friends, partners and relationships mean a lot to you. They are a primary source of strength, support and encouragement. You involve yourself in a full social life now.


inform ation For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128 GOVERNORATE Sabah Hospital


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Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

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lifest yle G o s s i p

the highest-paid James Bond aniel Craig is the highest-paid James Bond star ever. The 44-yearold actor - who reprised his role as the iconic British spy for the third time in ‘Skyfall’ - will earn £31 million to portray the suave secret agent in two more movies, dwarfing the pay cheques received by his predecessors. Sir Sean Connery was the first actor to play Bond in 1962, earning £10,000 to star in ‘Dr. No’. His salary steadily rose, with the average pay for his work on six films in the franchise averaging at £218,000 - around £3 million in today’s prices. George Lazenby earned £340,000 - the equivelent of £460,000 - for his one outing as 007 in ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’, while Sir Roger Moore brought home an average of £1.4 million, or £6.3 million today, from his seven films.


alma Hayek cried before shooting nude scenes with Antonio Banderas. Although most leading ladies would have jumped at the chance to dive into bed with the Hollywood hunk for 1992 movie ‘Desperado’, Salma was worried about what her parents would think when they saw her on screen. The Mexican beauty told The Sun newspaper: “It was my first chance at an American film and I knew I had to take it. “In ‘Desperado’, I had great difficulty doing the love scene with Antonio Banderas. I actually cried. “I didn’t want to be naked in front of a camera and kept on thinking, ‘What will my mother and father think about this?’ “The movie was a cult hit and helped launch Salma’s career, but as her English still wasn’t great at the time, she initially thought the film had flopped and critics were blaming her for it. She added: “When the movie came out the critics were saying, ‘Salma Hayek is a bombshell’. “I was confused because I thought they were saying that the movie had ‘bombed’, as in failed, and it was all my fault.” Salma - who is married to FrancoisHenri Pinault, with whom she has daughter Valentina Paloma Pinault - also said she didn’t think she was beautiful when she first tried to make it in the US. She said: “I thought I was pretty - not beautiful, but pretty. And I also knew that there were prettier women in every town. “I was also told, at one point, that my accent would remind people in Hollywood of their Mexican housekeepers. “I always knew that I would make it. When you say ‘make it’, in English, it means becoming a star. “To me, it means not to have great success, but to simply be able to do what you want in life. That is enough.”


icolas Cage has paid off $600,000 towards his massive tax debt. The actor is slowly paying back the $13 million he owes in back taxes after splurging on extortionate purchases between 2004 and 2009, TMZ is reporting. However, he still owes about $6 million thanks to his love of expensive gadgets, despite already paying off $6,257,005 in April. The actor filed a lawsuit against his former business manager Sam Levin in 2009 claiming he had led him “down a path of financial ruin”. Nicolas once splashed out $276,000 on a 67-million-year-old dinosaur skull, outbidding Leonardo DiCaprio to get his hands on the unique prehistoric artefact. He also owns a jet, two yachts, three castles, two islands in the Bahamas and several mansions. The 48-year-old actor - who is cur-





rently filming superhero comedy ‘Kick-Ass 2’ - had already been forced to sell his extensive comic book collection in 1997 for $1.6 million. The ‘National Treasure’ star confessed in 2010: “Over the course of my career I have paid at least $70 million in taxes. Unfortunately, due to a recent legal situation, another approximate $14 million is owed to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), however, I am under new business management and am happy to say that I am current for 2009. “All taxes will be paid including any to be determined state taxes.”

ameron Diaz finds racy photo shoots “empowering”. The 40-year-old actress is comfortable in her skin and gets a buzz from stripping down to her underwear when she is modeling. She told The Sunday Times newspaper: “It’s empowering. I’m not some young girl with the photographer going, ‘Will you take your clothes off?’ I’m like [mimes stripping], ‘How does this look?’ “They’re like, ‘Today we’re not going to put anything other than bras and heels on you,’ and I’m like, ‘These heels are not high enough.’ “I’m a woman, I know how to handle myself. I know what I feel comfortable doing.” The ‘Gambit’ star also thinks its “healthy” for women to want to be objectified. She added: “I think every woman does want to be objectified. There’s a little part of you at all times that hopes to be somewhat objectified, and I think its healthy.” Cameron also laments the scrutiny put on the young stars of today, as its harder for them to grow up and make the mistakes young people do without being criticized. Reflecting on her own career, she added: “I wouldn’t have survived it. Nobody in their twenties can. That’s when you do all your stupid things. You’re supposed to be an idiot. You’re supposed to get drunk, or go out with a guy who’s terrible for you.” he ‘Hitchcock’ actress - who split from boyfriend Nate Taylor last month - was spotted having dinner with a mystery man at New York’s Beatrice Inn last week and onlookers say they couldn’t keep their hands off each other. One told the New York Post newspaper: “ They were very lovey-dovey and holding hands under the table all night. They were holding each other while outside smoking in the cold. “He was dark-haired and slightly taller than her but skinny and he may have been speaking French at one point.” Last month, Scarlett - who was once married to Ryan Reynolds reportedly dumped advertising exec-

obbie Williams was upset by the success Take That enjoyed when they reformed. The ‘Candy’ singer insists he was happy that his former bandmates - Gary Barlow, Mark Owen, Jason Orange and Howard Donald decided to perform together again in 2006 but admits he didn’t want them to do as well as they went on to. Robbie - who quit the band in 1995, months before they split, and rejoined in 2010 - admitted: “When the boys first got together, I was pretty much, ‘Oh, right, OK?’ “Then it was, ‘They’ve sold 275,000 tickets... they’ve done what?!’ “I was gobsmacked. Gobsmacked in all manner of everything. Sort of, ‘Wow, we meant that much to people, that’s

Timothy Dalton also averaged £1.4 million for his two films, while Pierce Brosnan’s average amounted to £6.1 million, or £8.7 million in today’s prices. Daniel’s new deal brings his pay average to £9.6 million per film. The huge contract surpasses the £10.7 million he earned for ‘Skyfall’, which at the time overtook the £10.3 million Pierce Brosnan took home for starring in 2002 Bond movie ‘Die Another Day’. Daniel - who is married to Rachel Weisz - has seen his salary in the role take a huge jump, having earned £1.9 million for his 2006 debut ‘Casino Royale’ and £4.4 million for 2008’s ‘Quantum of Solace’.

great. They mean that much to people? “I think it was confusion more than anything. [I was] pleased for the boys - you know not too pleased that I wanted them to take over the joint. “It was like, you know, they can have a certain level. Just don’t smash the living daylights out of it, like they did.” Despite his own hugely successful pop career, 38-year-old Robbie - who recently became a father for the first time when wife Ayda Field gave birth to their daughter Teddy - doesn’t think he will leave much of a musical legacy, though he thinks he should be viewed as a “national treasure”. Speaking to James Corden for forthcoming documentary ‘When Robbie Met James’, he said: “I think I stand somewhere just above Steps and slightly below Westlife. Not far away from there. “I think that a lot of people don’t like my brand of whatever I do. I am the quintessential boy next door, I feel that way. “I have a gigantic ego and need to be at the top of the pile and be doing amazingly well. Also, at the same time, I’m just pleased to be anywhere. “Do I think I’m a national treasure? I don’t see why not? I don’t see why I shouldn’t be. I’m a good lad really.” “When Robbie Met James’ airs on Sky One on Friday at 9pm.

utive Nate just days after she was spotted “completely flirting” with one of Lindsay Lohan’s close friends. A source said: “They never officially lived together, but Nate has moved all of his stuff out and back into his apartment. The relationship is over. It has not been amicable.” Scarlett began dating 38-year-old Nate in January after meeting him in New York, shortly after her separation from 52-yearold actor Sean Penn. The split followed with multiple men, including her ex-boyfriend Jared Leto.

he Wanted were amazed by Pink’s performance at the American Music Awards. The British boy band were nominees at the ceremony on Sunday night and performed their hit ‘ I Found You’. The group lost out on the Favourite Pop/Rock Band, Duo or Group prize to Maroon 5 but rather than wallow in defeat the five guys sat back and enjoyed the show and had special praise for Pink’s rendition of ‘ Try’. Speaking at The Wanted’s AMAs after-party at the Lure Hollywood nightclub - which was hosted by The Hollywood Agency and Us Weekly - band member Tom Parker told BANG Showbiz: “The AMAs were pretty amazing, we didn’t win it was great to be nominated and getting to perform was so fantastic. “Pink was unbelievable, she gave the performance of the night. She’s so incredible and such an amazing professional.” The band - which also includes Max


George, Siva Kaneswaran, Jay McGuiness and Nathan Sykes - played a set at the club and Tom revealed he and the boys were going to have drinks before taking to the stage. He said: “At the party tonight we’re planning to have lots of shots, lots of vodka, lots of beers and then put on a great performance.” Max insists one major difference between The Wanted and other boy bands is that they can play intimate club gigs and can drink booze and make it on stage. He said: “We’re different from other boy bands because we like to play club gigs so we can drink and sing at the same time. Most other boy bands don’t do that and they’re too young to drink.” A number of stars were at the party, including Kendra Wilkinson and Joanna Krupa.


lifestyle M u s i c

ife of Pi” is one of those lyrical, internalized novels that should have no business working on the screen. Quite possibly, it wouldn’t have worked if anyone but Ang Lee had adapted it. The filmmaker who turned martial arts into a poetic blockbuster for Western audiences with “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and made gay cowboys mainstream fare with “Brokeback Mountain” has crafted one of the finest entries in his eclectic resume in “Life of Pi,” a gorgeous, ruminative film that is soulfully, provocatively entertaining. Lee combines a lifetime of storytelling finesse with arguably the most artful use of digital 3-D technology yet seen to bring to life Yann Martel’s saga of an Indian youth lost at sea with a ravenous Bengal tiger aboard his small lifeboat. It’s a delicate narrative with visceral impact, told with an innovative style that’s beguiling to watch and a philosophical voice that compassionately explores how and why we tell stories. Our playful, not-always-reliable narrator here is Pi Patel, played by newcomer Suraj Sharma as a teen and as a grown man reflecting back on his adventure by Irrfan Khan. As a youth, Pi, his parents and brother set out from India, where the family runs a zoo in a botanical garden, to Canada. Pi’s father brings along some of his menagerie on their voyage, including a tiger named Richard Parker with which Pi had a terrifying encounter as a boy.


Their ship sinks in a storm, with Pi the only human survivor aboard a lifeboat with an orangutan, a hyena, a zebra with a broken leg and Richard Parker. Survival of the fittest thins their numbers into a life-and-death duel, and eventually an uneasy truce of companionship, between Richard Parker and Pi. This could be a one-note story - please Mister Tiger, don’t eat me. Yet Lee and screenwriter David Magee find rich and clever ways to translate even Pi’s stillest moments, the film unfolding through intricate flashbacks, whimsical voice-overs, harrowing sea hazards and exquisite flashes of fantasy and hallucination. Lee used real tigers for a handful of scenes, but Richard Parker mostly is a digital creation, a remarkably realistic piece of computer animation seamlessly blended into the live action. The digital detail may be responsible for most of Richard Parker’s fearful presence, though no small part of the tiger’s impact is due to the nimble engagement of Sharma with a predator that wasn’t actually there during production, a task hard enough for experienced performers, let alone a youth with no acting experience. Digital 3-D usually is an unnecessary distraction not worth the extra admission price. In “Life of Pi,” like Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo,” the 3-D images are tantalizing and immersive, pulling viewers deeper into Pi’s world so that the illusion of depth becomes essential to the story. Not all of the images live up to Lee’s digital

nimal wranglers involved in the making of “The Hobbit” movie trilogy say the production company is responsible for the deaths of up to 27 animals, largely because they were kept at a farm filled with bluffs, sinkholes and other “death traps.” The American Humane Association, which is overseeing animal welfare on the films, says no animals were harmed during the actual filming. But it also says the wranglers’ complaints highlight shortcomings in its


People walk by the Embassy Theater where a giant statue of the character Gandalf from the upcoming movie ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ overlooks the passersby in Wellington, New Zealand, yesterday. — AP photos oversight system, which monitors film sets but not the facilities where the animals are housed and trained. A spokesman for trilogy director Peter Jackson on Monday acknowledged that horses, goats, chickens and one sheep died at the farm near Wellington where about 150 animals were housed for the movies, but he said some of the deaths were from natural causes. The spokesman, Matt Dravitzki, agreed that the deaths of two horses were avoidable, and said the production company moved quickly to improve conditions after they died. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” the first movie in the planned $500 million trilogy, is scheduled to launch with a red-carpet premiere Nov. 28 in Wellington and will open at theaters in the US and around the world in December. The ani-

ames Bond actor Daniel Craig surprised British troops in Afghanistan on Sunday by turning up at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province to introduce the latest 007 movie “Skyfall” as 800 soldiers sat down to watch it. According to the Ministry of Defence, after giving a brief speech ahead of the screening, the 44year-old actor was given a tour of the camp and met soldiers to see some of the training they underwent before being deployed to forward operating bases. He also fired some of the machine guns used by British forces in Afghanistan and visited Bastion Role 3 Hospital which specialises in treating trauma patients. “It was really good morale for everyone - it’s a decent thing for him to take time to come out and visit everyone here,” said Private Scott Craggs who serves as a medical technician. “Skyfall”, the 23rd official James Bond movie in the 50-year-old franchise, is now the highest-grossing instalment in the series with a global box office take of $669 million, surpassing the $599 million taken in by “Casino Royale” in 2006. Craig has starred in the last three Bond movies. — Reuters


M o v i e s

tiger or 3-D wizardry. Water is notoriously hard to simulate through computer animation, and the waves crashing down around the sinking ship or tossing Pi’s lifeboat about have an unfinished, cartoony look. Still, Lee more than compensates with a world of visual wonders, from the simple image of a swimmer framed from below as though he’s stroking his way across the sky to a mysterious island populated by a seemingly infinite number of meerkats. The rest of the cast is mostly inconsequential, including Gerard Depardieu in a fleeting role as a cruel ship’s cook. The other people in Pi’s life are filtered through this unusual youth’s eyes, each of them catalysts in the development of his deep spirituality, which blends Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and other contradictory influences into a weirdly cohesive form of humanism. Like Martel’s novel, the film disdains our inclination to anthropomorphize wild animals by ascribing human traits to them, and then turns around and subtly does just that. Friendship cannot possibly exist between a hungry tiger and a scrawny kid alone on the open water, yet for that boy, if not the cat, the need for togetherness, some commune of spirits, is almost as strong as the need for food and water. The ways in which Lee examines the strange bond between Pi and Richard Parker are wondrous, hilarious, unnerving, sometimes joyous, and often melancholy. Pi’s story may not, as one character states,

mal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says it’s planning protests at the premieres in New Zealand, the US and the UK. The Associated Press spoke to four wranglers who said the farm near Wellington was unsuitable for horses because it was peppered with bluffs, sinkholes and broken-down fencing. They said they repeatedly raised concerns about the farm with their superiors and the production company, owned by Warner Bros, but it continued to be used. They say they want their story aired publicly now to prevent similar deaths in the future. One wrangler said that over time he buried three horses, as well as about six goats, six sheep and a dozen chickens. The wranglers say two more horses suffered severe injuries but survived. Wrangler Chris Langridge said he was hired as a horse trainer in November 2010, overseeing 50 or so horses, but immediately became concerned that the farm was full of “death traps.” He said he tried to fill in some of the sinkholes, made by underground streams, and even brought in his own fences to keep the horses away from the most dangerous areas. Ultimately, he said, it was an impossible task. He said horses run at speeds of up to 30 mph and need to be housed on flat land: “It’s just a no-brainer.” The first horse to die, he said, was a miniature named Rainbow. “When I arrived at work in the morning, the pony was still alive but his back was broken. He’d come off a bank at speed and crash-landed,” Langridge said. “He was in a bad state.” Rainbow, who had been slated for use as a hobbit horse, was euthanized. A week later, a horse named Doofus got caught in some fencing and sliced open its leg. That horse survived, but Langridge said he’d had enough. He and his wife, Lynn, who was also working as a wrangler, said they quit in February 2011. The following month, they wrote an email to Brigitte Yorke, the Hobbit trilogy’s unit production manager, outlining their concerns. Chris Langridge said he responded to Yorke’s request for more information but never received a reply after that. Wrangler Johnny Smythe said that soon after Langridge left, a horse named Claire was found dead, its head submerged in a stream after it fell over a bluff. After that, he said, the horses were put in stables, where a third horse died. Smythe said no autopsy was performed on the horse, which was named Zeppelin. Veterinary records say the horse died of natural causes, from a burst blood vessel, but Smythe said the horse was bloated and its intestines were full of a yellow liquid; he believes it died of digestive problems caused by new feed. Smythe said the six goats and six sheep he buried died after falling into sinkholes, contracting worms or getting new feed after the grass was eaten. He said the chickens were often left out of their enclosure and that a dozen were mauled to death by dogs on two separate occasions. Smythe said he was fired in October 2011 after arguing with his boss about the

make you believe in God. But you may leave the theater more open to the possibilities of higher things in the life of Pi, and in your own. “Life of Pi,” a 20th Century Fox release, is rated PG for emotional thematic content throughout, and some scary action sequences and peril. Running time: 126 minutes. Three and a half stars out of four.—AP

treatment of the animals. A fourth wrangler, who didn’t want to be named because she feared it could jeopardize her future employment in the industry, said another horse, Molly, got caught in a fence and ripped her leg open, suffering permanent injuries. Dravitzki, the spokesman for Peter Jackson, said the production company reacted swiftly after the first two horses died, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars upgrading housing and stable facilities in early 2011. “We do know those deaths were avoidable and we took steps to make sure it didn’t happen again,” he said. Dravitzki said Zeppelin died of a burst blood vessel and that he knew only of three goats, one sheep and about eight chickens that had died aside from that. He said two of the goats died in a cold snap but the third, like the sheep, was old and had likely died of natural causes. He said the chicken maulings were the result of careless staff oversight. The American Humane Association said in its report on “An Unexpected Journey” that it investigated the farm at the production company’s request. Dravitzki said the company contacted the AHA after Smythe alleged mistreatment of animals. Mark Stubis, an association spokesman, said it investigated the farm in August 2011, months after the first deaths. “We made safety recommendations to the animals’ living areas. The production company followed our recommendations and upgraded fence and farm housing, among other things,” the group said. Dravitzki said the company had already made many of the recommended changes by the time the AHA made them. Stubis said the association acknowledges that what happens off-set remains a blind spot in its oversight. “We would love to be able to monitor the training of animals and the housing of animals,” Stubis said. “It’s something we are looking into. We want to make sure the animals are treated well all the time.” Dravitzki questioned the timing of the allegations with the premiere so close but said the producers are investigating all the claims “and are attempting to speak with all parties involved to establish the truth.” He said the company no longer leases the farm and has no animals left on the property. He said he didn’t know if animals will be needed for future filming in the trilogy, but added that Jackson himself adopted three of the pigs used. Hollywood has made animal welfare a stated priority for years. In March, HBO canceled the horse racing series “Luck” after three thoroughbred horses died during production. The network said it canceled the show because it could not guarantee against future accidents. — AP


Egyptian Director Maggie Morgan attends a press conference at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival in the Qatari capital, yesterday. Morgan’s movie ‘Asham’ is her first participation in the festival, and is considered part of Egypt’s independent cinema. — AFP

This film image released by 20th Century Fox shows Suraj Sharma as Pi Patel in a scene from ‘Life of Pi.’ — AP

Aaron Lewis

aron Lewis stands as one of the more unusual crossovers into country music, but the singer of the metal band Staind believes it was a fit made in the cradle. “It’s been quite the pleasant eclectic mix of tattoos and black eyeliner, and Stetsons, cowboy boots and big shiny buckles,” Lewis said in an interview after the release of his first full-length country studio album, “The Road,” this week. Lewis, 40, was raised on what he terms his grandfather’s country music: Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Charlie Daniels and George Jones. He collaborated with Daniels and Jones on his country EP, “Town Line,” released last year. This made the transition from the angst-ridden world of metal to the laid-back country scene an easy step for him, but perhaps not so much for his head-banging fans. “A few fans are really having a hard time with it,” Lewis said. “I can’t make everyone happy. Music is about making me happy first. For those who wish I would stick with Staind, they’ll get what they want, too.” Lewis, who sold seven studio albums over a 17-year career with Staind, says he has two musical careers because he is “creatively bipolar” and suffers from attention deficit disorder. “I need to switch it up a little bit,” he said. “It’s kind of nice to write a song about taking my daughters to the beach instead (of) about something that’s tearing me apart from the inside.” For Lewis, each song on “The Road” is the opportunity to explore his creativity in music, while winding down a road filled with new country listeners and taking Staind fans along for the ride. “The Road” includes “Forever,” a thoughtful song of life on the road, and “Endless Summer,” a simple track about digging up clams and casting for striped bass with his daughters. “If we catch a keeper we throw it on the grill,” he says. “The beauty of the adventure that I’m on now is I can write songs about stuff like that. I could never bring a song like that to the table for Staind.” He describes writing “Endless Summer” as a “refreshing and a nice change” from his metal past. “I remember having a big smile on my face the whole time I was writing it,” he said. “In the past, what’s usually coming up for lyrics is not smiley material. The song wrote itself in 10 minutes.” In contrast, “Party in Hell,” which has fans up and dancing, was the last song Lewis wrote for the album and was inspired by a stint in Las Vegas. “Las Vegas really is, in a metaphorical sense, a party in hell; you can get into anything you want to,” he said. “It was like well, ‘OK, I’m going to hell, who else is going to be there? We might as well have a party with it.’”


Same process His previous country EP, “Town Line,” featured the goldselling single “Country Boy,” a collaboration with Daniels and Jones that hit the top of the “Billboard” album charts and topped off at No. 7 on the Top 200. “That’s crazy, right?” Lewis asks, shaking his head. “It was pretty amazing for me, pretty surreal. I was actually in the studio with Charlie, which was a lot of fun. We have become good friends.” The writing process for country or rock is the same, according to Lewis. “The music is always first, then the melody, and the lyrics third,” he said. “I need the music to know what the landscape is that I’m singing over, and I need the melody to fit the words in, and then the words come last.” But the lyrics do not come while he is writing on a piece of paper. “They come with me standing in front of a microphone with the song playing in the background and singing,” he said. “Its total improve, right off the cuff.”—Reuters


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Justin Bieber gets love at American Music Awards

Justin Bieber accepts the award for favorite male artist - pop/rock.

Justin Bieber brings his mom Pattie Malette on stage as he accepts the award for artist of the year. Justin Bieber performs at the 40th Anniversary of American Music Awards on Sunday, in Los Angeles. — AP/AFP photos ustin Bieber may be Canadian, but he was the all-American boy at Sunday night’s American Music Awards. The pop singer dominated the awards show, winning three trophies, including artist of the year. His mom joined him onstage as he collected the award, beating out Rihanna, Maroon 5, Katy Perry and Drake. “I wanted to thank you for always believing in me,” Bieber said, looking to his mom. The 18-year-old also won the honor in 2010. He said it’s “hard growing up with everyone watching me” and asked that people continue to believe in him.


She was in an all-white get-up, including fur coat and pink hair when she performed her new song “Freedom.” The scene was ghostly and snowy, as a choir - also in white - joined her onstage. One background singer stole the performance, belting semi-high notes as Minaj looked on. Usher kicked off the three-hour show with green laser lights beaming onstage as he performed a medley of songs, including “Numb,” “Climax” and “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop,” which featured a smoky floor and a number of backup dancers, as Usher jammed in all black, with the exception of his red shoes. He won favorite soul/R&B male artist. His protege Bieber won favorite pop/rock male artist in the first award handed out and gave a shout-out to those who didn’t think he would last on the music scene. “I want to say this is for all the haters who thought I was just here for one or two years. I feel like I’m going to be here for a very long time,” he said. He also won favorite pop/rock album for his platinum-selling third album, “Believe.” He gave a stripped down, acoustic performance of “As Long As You Love Me,” then transitioned to the dance-heavy “Beauty and a Beat,” where Minaj joined him onstage, grinding with the teen for a few seconds. Swift won her fifth consecutive award for favorite country female artist. “This is unreal. I want to thank the fans. You guys are the ones who voted on this,”

she said. Swift gave a masquerade-themed performance of the pop song “I Knew You Were Trouble.” She sang onstage in a light dress while dancers wore mostly black. But then she changed into a red corset and black skirt, matching their dark mood. She even danced and sang on the floor as lights flickered throughout the performance. Dick Clark, who created the AMAs, was remembered by Ryan Seacrest and an upbeat performance by Stevie Wonder. “What a producer he was,” said Seacrest, as Wonder sang his hits, including “My Cherie Amour.” Carly

Taylor Swift performs “I Knew Your Were Trouble”.

Carrie Underwood accepts the award for favorite album - country for “Blown Away”.

Lucy Hale and Phillip Phillips introduce Carly Rae Jepsen.

But the teenager who brought his mom as a date also got in some grinding with Nicki Minaj - who shared the stage with him and took home two awards - and a kiss on the neck from presenter Jenny McCarthy. “Wow. I feel violated right now,” he said, laughing. Another collaboration was the night’s most colorful performance: Korean rapper PSY and MC Hammer. Hammer joined the buzzedabout pop star for his viral hit “Gangnam Style.” PSY rocked traditional “Hammer” pants as they danced to his jam and to Hammer’s “Too Legit to Quit.” Minaj, who wore three different wigs and four outfits throughout the night, repeated her AMAs wins from last year, picking up trophies for favorite rap/hip-hop artist and album for “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.”

Rae Jepsen, who performed early in the night, won favorite new artist. “I am floored. Wow,” she said, thanking Bieber and his manager, Scooter Braun. Party girl Ke$ha was glammed up on the red carpet, rocking long, flowy blond hair and a light pink dress. She switched to her normal attire when she performed her hit single “Die Young.” It was tribal, with shirtless dancers in skin-tight pants, silver hair and skeleton-painted faces, who also played the drums. Ke$ha was pants-less, rocking knee-high boots and rolling on the floor as she finished up the song. Minaj and Christina Aguilera were blond bombshells, too: Minaj’s hair was busy and full of volume and she sported a neon strapless gown to accept her first award. Aguilera wore a blond bob in a purple dress that

Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj perform.

Carrie Underwood performs.

matched her eyeshadow. Aguilera performed a medley of material from her new album and joined Pitbull onstage. Kelly Clarkson also hit the stage, making a nod to her “American Idol” roots with a number on her dress and three judges looking on as she sang “Miss Independent.” Then she went into “Since U Been Gone,” “Stronger” and “Catch My Breath.” Fellow “Idol” winner Carrie Underwood won favorite country album and performed, hitting the right notes while singing “Two Black Cadillacs.” She talked about singing competition shows backstage. “These people that go on these shows are so talented, you know? And I would love to see if so many of the other artists that are out there today would go back and try out for these shows, because they might get their behinds kicked by some of the contestants,” she said. Luke Bryan won favorite country male artist and Lady Antebellum favorite country group. American Music Awards nominees were selected based on sales and airplay, and fans chose the winners by voting online. At this award show, even the stars were fans: Pink said on the red carpet that she’d like to collaborate with Lauryn Hill. Cyndi Lauper said her musical playlist includes Pink and Minaj. Boy band The Wanted said they were excited to see PSY and Colbie Caillat wanted to watch No Doubt. “What makes the American Music Awards special is the fans choose the winning artists,” said Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, who won favorite alternative rock artist and performed “Burn It Down,” as Brandy sang along and Gwen Stefani, Usher and Phillip Phillips bobbed their heads. David Guetta won the show’s first-ever electronic dance music award. Non-televised awards went to Katy Perry for pop/rock female artist,

Members of Linkin Park, from left, Joe Hahn, Rob Bourdon, Mike Shinoda, Chester Bennington, Dave Farrell, and Brad Delson accept the award for favorite artist alternative rock.

Carly Rae Jepsen performs.

Beyonce for soul/R&B female artist, Adele for adult contemporary artist and Shakira for Latin artist. Along with Rihanna, Minaj was the top nominee with four nominations. — AP

Carrie Underwood


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Singer Taylor Swift performs.

Chris Brown, from left, Ludacris and Swizz Beatz perform ‘Everyday Birthday’.

Stevie Wonder and the Rickey Minor Band perform ‘Master Blaster’, ‘My Cherie Amour’ and ‘Sir Duke’ as an image of Clark with Britney Spears and LL Cool J is displayed during a tribute to Dick Clark.

Ke$ha performs ‘Die Young’.

US singer Rihanna performs.

Winners - American Music Awards Artist of the year: Justin Bieber New artist of the year: Carly Rae Jepsen Pop/rock female artist: Katy Perry Pop/rock male artist: Justin Bieber Pop/rock band, duo or group: Maroon 5 Pop/rock album: Justin Bieber, ‘Believe’ Country female artist: Taylor Swift Country male artist: Luke Bryan Country band, duo or group: Lady Antebellum Country album: Carrie Underwood, ‘Blown Away’ Rap/hip-hop artist: Nicki Minaj Rap/hip-hop album: Nicki Minaj, ‘Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded’ Soul/R&B female artist: Beyonce Soul/R&B male artist: Usher Soul/R&B album: Rihanna, ‘Talk That Talk’ Alternative rock artist: Linkin Park Adult contemporary artist: Adele Latin artist: Shakira Contemporary inspirational artist: tobyMac Electronic dance music artist: David Guetta — AP

Nicki Minaj performs “Freedom”.

Singer Justin Bieber accepts the award for Favorite Pop/Rock Album from Jenny McCarthy onstage. Dave Haywood, from left, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley, left to right, from the band Lady Antebellum accept the award for favorite band, duo or group - country.

Nicki Minaj accepts the award for favorite album - rap/hip-hop “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded”.

Taylor Swift accepts the award for favorite female country artist from presenter Eric Stonestreet.

Carly Rae Jepsen poses backstage with the Old Navy new artist of the year award.

Usher poses backstage with the soul/R&B favorite male artist award.

Luke Bryan poses backstage with the award for favorite country music male artist.

Kelly Clarkson performs a medley of her songs.

Gwen Stefani of No Doubt performs ‘Looking Hot’.

MC Hammer, left, dances as PSY performs ‘Gangnam Style’.

Nicki Minaj accepts the award for favorite artist - rap/hip-hop.

Taylor Swift arrives at the 40th Anniversary American Music Awards.

Swizz Beatz, right, and Ludacris perform ‘Everyday Birthday’.

Justin Bieber gets love at American Music Awards



Pigeons perch on the window sills and wooden struts on a traditional building in Souq Waqif where the Doha Tribeca Film Festival is taking place yesterday. —AFP

Now the Christmas hanksgiving, the last US holiday undisturbed by mass commercialization, is now victim to the ever advancing Christmas shopping season, with stores welcoming shopaholics before the family turkey can be taken from the oven. Thanksgiving was long that rare day when stores closed and families gathered for long, uninterrupted meals. Unlike at Easter, Christmas or Hanukkah there was no merchandising-other than for the unfortunate birds. That’s been eroding yearly with the growing emphasis on Black Friday, when stores begin sales that they count on for putting their books in the black. Now, to the consternation of some Americans, the sanctity of Thanksgiving, which falls this year on November 22, appears to have crumbled even more. Black Friday will start on Thursday, with WalMart and Target, and Toys “R” Us opening their sales in the evening, right when people, including store clerks, might have been finishing their feast, or settling down to family TV. Kmart will open even earlier, starting at 6:00 am Thursday. There’ll be a break in the late afternoon, but then a reopening at 8:00 pm to 3:00 am Friday. Other big department stores, like Lord & Taylor in New York, are planning to open all day on Thanksgiving for the first time. For others, there’ll be Thanksgiving, but barely: the sales will open at midnight on Thursday to


make use of every second of Black Friday, or as some are already suggesting it should be called, Black Thursday. Best Buy is even giving out advance tickets for entry. Target defends its decision, saying “the holiday season is highly competitive and Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest shopping times of the year. “Our opening time this year reflects the feedback we have heard from our guests. Many prefer to shop following their family gatherings rather than in the very early hours of the morning.” As for the employees, there’s no need to feel sorry for them, said Tina Schiel, a company executive. “Across the company, only one-third of Target’s store team members are scheduled to work on Thanksgiving and we continue to hear from store after store that there were more volunteers than shifts to fill.” But the shopping takeover of Thanksgiving is meeting resistance in some quarters, with dozens of petitions on the website to “save” the holiday and pressuring stores to stay closed. “Every year the opening time gets pushed up more and more. Midnight last year was pushing it. How can you expect workers to spend time with family and then stay up all night? It’s inhumane and inconsiderate,” said one open letter directed at Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel. Others complained that the lack of time off was ruining get-

Charlie Chaplin’s bowler hat sold at LA auction he bowler hat and cane that accented Charlie Chaplin’s costume in “Little Tramp” has sold for $62,500 at an auction in Los Angeles. Bonhams said the silent film star’s trademark accessories were sold Sunday at an auction of Hollywood mementos. Other notable items included a handwritten letter from John Lennon with a nude drawing of him and Yoko Ono. It went for $25,000. A set of original photographs of Marilyn Monroe sold for $21,250 and a painting by Frank Sinatra went for $10,625.—AFP


File photo shows Charlie Chaplain’s iconic bowler hat and cane. —AFP


steals Thanksgiving

togethers. “My son is coming home from Afghanistan for this holiday and I would be devastated if I had been scheduled to work,” said Mary Pat Tifft, a founding member of OUR Wal-Mart on the website Wal-Mart employees at hundreds of stores have gone on strike in the run-up to Thanksgiving in a movement that began in California. “No matter how hard we work, my husband and I can’t catch up on our bills,” Charlene Fletcher, an OUR Wal-Mart leader in California, said on “We just found out that we are both scheduled to work on Thanksgiving Day instead of being home with our kids. It’s heartbreaking to miss the holiday with them.” Alexandra Petri at The Washington Post said the battle was as good as lost. “Christmas has now moved from defense to offense and is laying siege to October. Thanksgiving has been mortally wounded, reduced to a shopping day. The Christmas commercial invasion begins even before Halloween,” she wrote. “Still, it’s a shame. Thanksgiving is the final stand of the holidays that were about Eating Things rather than Buying Things.” —AFP

People shop inside a Walmart store on November 17, 2012 in Stamford, Connecticut. —AFP photos

20th Nov  

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