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Eating in Peru ‘a journey in itself’

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Death toll in Bangladesh ferry mishap rises to 14

Mali remains on edge after suicide attack



City’s title hopes in tatters after Saints shock




Blizzard grinds US Northeast to halt 650,000 homes without power • Air, road, rail links crippled

BOSTON, Massachusetts: People walk in the snow during a lingering blizzard yesterday in Boston, Massachusetts. The powerful storm has knocked out power to 650,000 and dumped more than two feet of snow in parts of New England. — AP

India executes plotter of parliament attack NEW DELHI: A Kashmiri separatist convicted of involvement in a deadly 2001 attack on the Indian parliament was executed yesterday in New Delhi. Hundreds of demonstrators rallied near the family home of Mohammed Afzal Guru in northern Indian Kashmir hours after authorities said he had been hanged. Similar protests were held across the frontier on the Pakistani side. Some 36 people, including many police, were hurt in protests near Guru’s home and across Indian Kashmir as police fired into the air to disperse demonstrators but none were seriously injured, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. Guru, 43, was hanged at Tihar Jail after President Pranab Mukherjee rejected a mercy appeal. He had been convicted of waging war against India and conspiring with the Islamist militants who attacked the parliament-an event that brought nuclear-armed India and Pakistan to the brink of war. “Afzal Guru was hanged at 8:00 am. All legal procedures were followed,” Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters after the execution. India’s main opposition party welcomed the hanging, but one of Guru’s

co-accused who was later cleared called it a travesty of justice. Human rights group Amnesty International said Guru’s trial fell “considerably short” of international fair standards. Continued on Page 13

NEW DELHI: Mohammed Afzal Guru (second right) is produced in a court in New Delhi in this file photo. — AP

BOSTON: A howling storm across the Northeast left the New York-to-Boston corridor shrouded in one to three feet of snow yesterday, stranding motorists on highways overnight and piling up drifts so high that some homeowners couldn’t get their doors open. More than 650,000 homes and businesses were left without electricity. At least three deaths in the US were blamed on the wind-whipped snowstorm, including that of a New York man killed when the tractor he was using to plow his driveway ran off the edge of the road. More than 38 inches of snow fell in Milford, Connecticut, and an 82 mph gust was recorded in nearby Westport. Areas of southeastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire got at least 2 feet of snow, with more falling. Portland, Maine, received 29.3 inches, breaking the record set in 1979. Roads in many places were impassable. Across much of New England, snowed-over cars looked like white blobs. Streets were mostly deserted for snowplow crews and a few hardy souls walking dogs or venturing out to take pictures. In Boston’s Financial District, the only sound was an army of snowblowers clearing sidewalks. The digging-out went more smoothly in some places than in others. A little more than 11 inches fell in New York, but the city “dodged a bullet” and was “in great shape,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, predicting streets would be cleared by the end of the day. The New York region’s three major airports - LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark, New Jersey- were up and running again by late morning after shutting down the evening before. But hundreds of motorists abandoned their vehicles on New York’s Long Island, and even snowplows were getting stuck. Emergency workers used snowmobiles to try to reach stranded motorists, some of whom spent the night in their cars. Richard Ebbrecht, a chiropractor, left his office in Brooklyn at 3 p.m. on Friday and headed for his home in Middle Island, New York, but got stuck six or seven times on the Long Island Expressway and other roads. Continued on Page 13

Kerry offers olive branch to Iran WASHINGTON: New US Secretary of State John Kerry held out an olive branch to sanction-hit Iran, saying the world would respond if Tehran seriously addressed its nuclear program at upcoming talks. “The choice is really ultimately up to Iran,” Kerry told his first press conference since becoming America’s top diplomat a week ago. Tehran, which has been hit by crippling international sanctions, has agreed to meet with the six world powers working to rein in its suspect nuclear program for a new round of talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan on February 26. In his first comments on Iran since taking the helm John Kerry of the State Department, Kerry assured the Iranian leadership that “the window for diplomacy is still open” as they prepare for the next talks. “ The international community is ready to respond if Iran comes prepared to talk real substance and to address the concerns, which could not be more clear, about their nuclear program,” the new secretary of state vowed. “If they don’t, then they will choose to leave themselves more isolated. Continued on Page 13

Islamists rally in Tunis, PM threatens to quit TUNIS: Thousands of backers of Tunisia’s ruling Islamists rallied in the capital yesterday to denounce Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali’s plan to form a new government of technocrats amid deepening political uncertainty. Jebali, who is seen as a moderate, said he would step down if he failed to form a new government within days as more than 3,000 supporters of his Ennahda party took to the streets to oppose his plans. The prime minister stated his determination to replace the existing cabinet, including the three key ministries held by the Islamist party, in a television interview late yesterday that threw down the gauntlet to opponents within his own party.

Max 22º Min 10º High Tide 12:40 & 23:52 Low Tide 06:23 & 18:12

“All the ministries will be independent, including the interior, justice and foreign affairs ministries,” Jebali told France 24, when asked by the satellite news channel about the plan. Ennahda supporters rallied in Tunis to press their demands that the Islamist-dominated cabinet remain untouched, deepening a pervasive sense of crisis after days of street clashes between opposition supporters and police following the murder of leading government critic Chokri Belaid, “The people want to protect the legitimacy of the ballot,” they shouted as they gathered on the Habib Bourguiba Avenue, the epicentre of the 2011 revolution that toppled former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Continued on Page 13

HEBRON: Israeli security forces spray Palestinian activists with a chemical which leaves a bad odor in Yatta, south of the West Bank city of Hebron, yesterday. Palestinian activists set up a tent village to protest the settlement building in the area. — AP

Egypt court suspends YouTube for a month CAIRO: A Cairo court yesterday ordered the government to block access to the video-sharing website YouTube for 30 days for carrying an anti-Islam film that caused deadly riots across the world. Judge Hassouna Tawfiq ordered YouTube blocked for carrying the film, which he described as “offensive to Islam and the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).” He

made the ruling in the Egyptian capital where the first protests against the film erupted last September before spreading to more than 20 countries, killing more than 50 people. The ruling, however, can be appealed and, based on precedent, might not be enforced. The 14-minute trailer for the movie “Innocence of Muslims” was Continued on Page 13



All precautions taken to prevent food poisoning Health ministry takes firm actions By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The Ministry of Health withdrew all chicken stock of a certain brand from public hospitals and stopped all dealings with it after finding out that the chicken supplied by the company was contaminated with salmonella. Dr Nawal Al-Hamad, Food and Nutrition Department Manager at the Ministry of Health, who is in charge of catering at all public hospitals, said it was being ensured that all meals served at any public hospital are healthy and completely safe. “I deal with prevention and care of the food served in the public hospitals. We stopped dealing with a certain company after contaminated chicken was found. In fact, we take strict measures regarding the food we purchase and do not accept any chicken if it weighed more than one kg. The bigger sized chicken is more prone to risk

and is harder to cook well. We have never received a case of poisoning as far as hospital food was concerned, though cases from restaurants are reported,” she told the Kuwait Times. The Food and Nutrition Department is regularly recording samples from the factory of the supplying company in case of chicken and meat. “We have to systematically check the food coming to the hospital to ensure that it is safe, especially since the consumers are patients who are already at a bigger risk. It is common for the chicken to have salmonella, but the birds are administered antibiotics through food or are fed organic food. In both cases, we examine them. Also, as per the rules, we do not receive fresh chicken and only take frozen one to reduce the risk,” added Al-Hamad. The chicken and meat are not the only risky food. “Even milk, eggs and other dairy products

are risky. So people should take care not to eat cracked eggs in any case. They should always check that the eggs are not broken as in that case, something may get into these and the eggs can become contaminated. Also it is important how the food is stored. Sometimes the milk is spoilt due to transportation or poor handling,” she explained. Al-Hamad also gave some advice for consumers in general. “It is not only about the product and what mattered more is how we cook. The meat should always be cooked at a high temperature as heating the inner moist tissue kills the microbes. There should not be any blood inside the meat which may increase the risk. At the hospitals, we only have boiled meat, not grilled. The same thing should be applied to eggs and these should be cooked well and not just half done or dipped in water,” she pointed out.

TEC participates in global show KUWAIT: The Touristic Enterprises Company participated in the Emmet International Tourism Fair which took place in Istanbul, Turkey recently, and featured 67 countries. The event is considered one of the world’s largest exhibitions specializing in the tourism industry with 500 pavilions and 2500 exhibitors, and attracting major touristic companies and travel agencies from Europe and around the world. The TEC’s participation comes as part of its efforts to open new routes for cooperation and encouraging tourism in Kuwait. The TEC’s team was led by Public Relations and Media Manager, Saqr AlBadr, and Public Relations Supervisor, Ala’a Abul.

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry signed a one-year contract with the Leaders Group for Consultations and Development after the latter won a tender for a project to provide technical support to the ministry’s touristic department. The picture shows Leaders Group General Manager Nabila AlAnjari (center) and the ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Financial and Administrative Affairs, Samira Al-Ghareeb, after signing the contract. The head of the ministry’s financial department, Fatima Essa, is also seen.

KUWAIT: A fire that broke out in a cloth shop in a popular market in Kuwait City was brought under control without any casualties by firefighters from Madina and Hawally fire centers who responded swiftly to the distress call. They fought the flames that had engulfed the 24 square meter shop, focussing on preventing it from spreading to adjacent shops. —Photo by Hanan Al-Saadoun

Two dead in motorcycle accident By Hanan Al-Saadoon KUWAIT: In a tragic motorcycle accident, two Kuwaiti youths aged 21 and 17 years died yesturday when their motorcycle went out of control and collided. Both the youth suffered massive fractures to the skull with even their brains spilling out. Both died on the spot. The accident happened at the Arabian Gulf Road opposite McDonald’s. A car accident at King Fahad Road near Al-Wafra Bridge left a 24-year-old Kuwaiti man with a fractured left shoulder and pain in the neck. A car accident opposite Al-Abdally fire center resulted in a right thigh fracture for a 50-year-old Egyptian expat. A 39year-old Egyptian expat received a direct head injury and other multiple injuries in the same accident and was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Al-Jahra Hospital. A 35-year-old Egyptian expat was hit by a passing car at Al-Eqaila opposite AlLewan Complex. The man was injured in the head and also suffered a fracture in his right shoulder. He was taken to the Al-Adan Hospital. A car accident at King Fahad Road

opposite Mina Abdullah Bridge resulted in a head injury for a 16-year-old Kuwaiti boy. Also, another 17-year-old Kuwaiti youth suffered pain in the back apart from an injury under the eye. Both were taken to the Al-Adan Hospital. A car accident at Al-Mutlaa Road left a 59-year-old Kuwaiti woman with fractured ribs, a 29-year-old Kuwaiti man with an injured left jaw and a fractured left shoulder besides other injuries on eyes and nose, and also an 80-year-old Kuwaiti man with an injured right hand. All were taken to the Al-Jahra Hospital. Two Kuwaiti men aged 24 and 27 years fell from a high rise at Nowaiseeb. The younger man suffered a cardiac arrest and a fractured left thigh while the older man suffered a fracture in his right thigh. Both were rushed to the Al-Adan Hospital and admitted to its intensive care unit. A 16-year-old French girl fell down at KAC spring camp and broke her right leg. She was taken to the Al-Adan Hospital. A 37-year-old Kuwaiti woman was hit by a buggy at Bnaider Chalait Road. The accident left her with a fractured left foot. She was taken to the Al-Adan Hospital.


in brief

Director of Health Office KUWAIT: Sources in the Ministry of Health revealed that the Ministry was amending the name of the post of their offices abroad from health attaché to “Director of Health Office.” The amendment would cover three offices abroad, namely, the health office in Washington headed by Dr. Abdullah Al-Wateeb, the health office in Jordan headed by Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Enazie and the health office in London headed by Dr. Yaqub Al-Tammar. Sources said that the amendment came after the previous health attaché recommended the move, pointing out that the new title implies job and financial allowances. New health buildings KUWAIT: The Ministry of Health is coordinating with the Ministry of Education to lease six new buildings for school health administration in each governorate to serve the students, health sources said. This step was being taken since the Ministry of Health did not have any buildings to use as offices for school health administration, and needed new buildings which will take a long time to come up. It would have delayed services that the students require. The leased buildings will have a department for checkup of new students, specialized clinics, pharmacies and laboratories for students. The school health centers distributed across governorates will serve all schools in that particular area. Timetable agreement KUWAIT: The government and National Assembly have agreed on a timetable to distribute the proposed laws as per priority throughout the Council’s session which will come to a close on June 25. As per the timetable, the small projects law will be discussed on February 19 , money laundering, terror financing and conscription issues will be discussed on May 28, public authority for food supervision law and the amendment to Build-Own-Transfer (BOT) law on March 19 and cooperative societies and communication authority, purchases and tender issues on April 2, the transport authority and fighting discrimination issues on April 16, environment protection and naturalization of 2000 persons on April 30, unified media on May 14 , new budget on June 11, and closing old accounts on the last day on June 25. Grand Mosque repair KUWAIT: The Director General of Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), Dr. Naji Al-Mutairi, said there was no connection between the new Central Bank project and the cracks in the Amiri Hall of the Grand Mosque. He said other buildings separated the mosque and the project, including the Al-Babtain Library, the Mosque’s parking lot and the prayer area in it. He said the problem was not related to the water level in the CB project as was being rumored. Rather, it had to do with the concrete, especially the material used in the supports. He also added that there was no scientific proof that the CB project was the cause of the problem. Dr. Al-Mutairi said KISR submitted its final report to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs including the reasons behind the problem, and also proposed its solutions, adding that there was no engineering problem without a solution. He expected repairs to take six to nine months according to KISR’s plan if it was adopted.

KUWAIT: The National Bank of Kuwait celebrated Kuwait’s National Holiday by hoisting the national flag atop its headquarters. It was part of the NBK’s annual program held during national celebrations, which also coincide with the bank’s anniversary celebrations, Public Relations Manager, Manal AlMuttar, said in a press statement.



Attempts to contain opposition conflict Unions plan ‘civil disobedience’ KUWAIT: Efforts are on among the opposition to contain a ‘breakup’ as a result of two major oppositionist groups seceding from the grand opposition coalition. The Nahj Group announced on Friday that the requests from Popular Action Bloc and Islamic Constitutional Movement were granted to withdraw from the group “in order to fully prepare for the new coalition that they plan to announce soon.” The step was seen as a sign that the group, which included top oppositionist groups including the Development and Reform Bloc and the Islamic Salafist Movement, could be breaking up. “A meeting was held [on Friday] at former MP Osama Al-Munawer’s dewaniya in an attempt to come up with preemptive measures to avoid any conflicts that might arise after the PAB’s and the ICM’s decision,” Al-Rai reported yesterday quoting sources close to the opposition.

In other news, labor unions which attended a coordinating meeting at the dewaniya of former MP Musallam Al-Barrak last Thursday threatened the government with “civil disobedience” should the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor dissolve any union using article 104 of the labor law which prevents unions from becoming involved in political, religious or sectarian matters. “If the government dissolves any union, we will cripple all public facilities in the state,” said the head of the labor union at the Ministry of Justice, Ahmad Al-Mutairi. Meanwhile, head of the labor union at the Customs General Department, Ahmad Enizy, said that dissolving a union in this case would be unconstitutional “since the MSAL is an executive body which does not have the authority to dissolve unions established officially as per Amiri

decrees.” He said that legal action will be taken if any union was to be dissolved. Separately, the parliament’s financial and economic committee will discuss during its meeting tomorrow (Monday) a report sent by the government last week opposing a parliamentary proposal to write-off the interests of bank loans. The parliament is set later this month to vote on a draft law calling on the government to purchase bank loans taken between 2002 and 2008 and then reschedule the repayments while writing off the interests. Committee member Nasser Al-Merri told Al-Qabas on Friday that Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Mustafa AlShamali, is set to attend the meeting “in an attempt to come up with a solution based on a thorough study that achieves justice among citizens.”

37 groups in Hala opening carnival

KUWAIT: Commander of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Al-Jazeera Shield arrived in Kuwait yesterday in preparation for Exercises 9 of the forces.

Kuwait, France discuss educational cooperation PARIS: Head of Kuwait Cultural Office in Paris Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Radhwan held talks here yesterday with cultural counselor of the French Embassy in Kuwait Julian Clec’h. The talks focuses on the situations of Kuwaiti students studying in France and the plan for building the capacity of newlyenrolled students, Al-Radhwan said. “The meeting, held at Kuwait Cultural Office was attended by Kuwait Cultural Attaché Dr. Khalid Al-Thafiri and several

officials of the French ministries of foreign affairs, culture and education,” he said. “Clec’h voiced satisfaction with the level of Kuwaiti doctors studying at the French Institute in Kuwait, an affiliate of the French Embassy,” Al-Radhwan revealed. The capacity-building program for the doctors was developed in coordination with Kuwait’s Civil Service Commission (CSC) the Ministry of Health and Kuwait Institute for Medical Specialization (KIMS), he added. —KUNA

KUWAIT: The organizing committee for Hala February held a meeting with young people’s groups who are volunteering to take part in the festival taking place for the 14th consecutive year. The 37 groups are set to showcase Kuwait through photographs and cultural memorabilia, as well as brochures about the culturally important destinations in Kuwait. The head of the committee, Madina Ismail, said in a press release that the meeting was held to discuss the ideas of the volunteers and decide about their activities during the opening carnival on February 15th. Meanwhile, Minister of Commerce and Industry Anas AlSaleh sent a letter to the organizing committee reiterating the Kuwaiti government’s support to the annual event. It said the government recognized that the impact of the festival was not limited to just being a shopping festival but has exceeded to become “a national event bringing together the Kuwaiti society under an umbrella of national unity.”

Volunteers seen during the meeting

Kuwait to host conference on colon, rectal cancer KUWAIT: Under the auspices of Kuwaiti Minister of Health Dr. Mohammad Barrak AlHaifi the colon and rectal cancer conference will open here on Feb 15. The conference will review the latest advances in preventing, diagnosing and treating colon and rectal cancer, Dr. Salem AlShemmeri, head of the chemical treatment

unit of Sheikha Badriya Al-Ahmad Center said yesterday. “World-renowned colon and rectal surgeons from the United States, France and Canada will share experience with their Kuwaiti peers on the related surgeries and chemical medication,” Dr. Al-Shemmeri, also head of the lymphoma and stem cell planta-

tion unit of the center and chair of the conference, noted. The conferees will discuss, inter alia, the prevalence rate of the disease in Kuwait and other GCC countries, and a number of researches on best medical practices approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), he added. —KUNA


LOCAL kuwait digest

Local Spotlight

What a shame for Kuwait

Long way to go for NGOs

By Iqabal Al-Ahmad


appreciate the precautionary measures taken by the authorities and their efforts to protect the country from potential risks against any illegal activities or repercussions of certain political developments. I understand that restrictions on the access of certain countries’ nationals into Kuwait are part of these measures. However, I and many others are against random application of such limitations with total disregard to the purpose of a national

The two Yemeni experts were invited to share their knowledge during the conference which attempted to provide methods for diagnoses and treatment for an affliction that many children in Kuwait face even as the issue is greatly overlooked here. It is unfortunate and shameful as well, that the experts had to turn down the invitation after failing to obtain visas simply because they are Yemenis.

By Muna Al-Fuzai


kuwait digest

Defect always in leadership By Aziza Al-Mufarej

coming to Kuwait. The 2nd International Conference on Learning Difficulties and Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder took place recently in Kuwait featuring specialists from Kuwait, the Middle East, North Africa, India, the United States and the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, two of the specialists who wished to take part in the conference were not granted access into Kuwait because their country is listed among states whose citizens are banned from entering the country due to security reasons. The two Yemeni experts were invited to share their knowledge during the conference which attempted to provide methods for diagnoses and treatment for an affliction that many children in Kuwait face even as the issue is greatly overlooked here. It is unfortunate and shameful as well, that the experts had to turn down the invitation after failing to obtain visas simply because they are Yemenis. The two experts were members of non-governmental organizations which just want to raise awareness about the cause under discussion during the conference. It would have positively impacted the educational process for a large number of children in Kuwait. After several unsuccessful attempts to obtain entry visas, the experts politely turned down the invitations and wished the organizers all success. Kuwait is home to many events held around the year which include camel races, poetry symposiums, fashion shows, food exhibitions, etc. Guests from all around the Arab World usually participate in these events after entering the country without facing any complications. It appears that regulations are randomly enforced when invitations are extended to experts specializing in new diseases that existed earlier but remained unknown until they were brought to the light through efforts of nongovernmental organizations. The Kuwait Association for Learning Difficulties (KALD) is one of the many NGOs in Kuwait whose activities shed light on physical and mental illnesses that people of all ages suffer from. These NGOs never asked the government for financial support, but they definitely need governmental support for their activities. Just for the record, the Yemeni experts were supposed to give a series of lectures, workshops and seminars to explain the role of parents, teachers and specialists in addressing learning difficulties that individuals face during all stages of their lives. They were never planning to sell dresses or biscuits, cheer camels during races or recite romantic poems. —Al-Qabas


orruption has permeated even the highest seat instead. He should have added some questions that he of learning in Kuwait, the Kuwait University, and wanted to ask and removed some others instead of seems entrenched now. One of its professors, blindly recycling an old examination. who received his doctorate degree from the US, said on This teacher was an Arab national, and he may have a radio program that the level of education at the heard about or worked with Kuwaitis whose names University was plummeting were prefixed with the title except in case of colleges of “Dr.” without there being any Why would such a university sign that they were knowlmedicine and engineering, and from my side I may add or knew what they care about a much lesser crime edgeable the college of science. This is were doing. This could have a sorry situation that would of recycling questions without encouraged him to take it worry many in Kuwait, but a easy on his job since the uniascertaining that they were in versity also did not care major factor is also the poor standards of professors the fact that a teacher consonance with the syllabus about employed at the university. could have simply bought In one of the university or the new theories? There are his degree off the shelf and colleges, a professor decidwas playing around with the some teachers who defer to ed to test women students future of the and students. on a certain part of the cur- their sectarian or tribal affiliaWhy would such a univerricula but when they sity care about a much lessreceived the question paper, tions to such an extent that we er crime of recycling questheir faces seemed as if without ascertaining find this reflected on innocent tions champion pugilist that they were in consoMohammad Ali has landed a students who are there to seek nance with the syllabus or power-packed punch for the new theories? There are knowledge and earn a degree some teachers who defer to which he was known at his prime. The questions posed that enables them to find gain- their sectarian or tribal affiliby the teacher had nothing ations to such an extent that ful employment in the future. we find this reflected on whatsoever to do with the section for which he had innocent students who are said he wanted to test the there to seek knowledge students. Besides, the test was ten years old when and earn a degree that enables them to find gainful social service studies were part of the College of Arts. employment in the future. So much so that even the exam paper said so explicitly I am writing this because one of our girls at the union top of the page. versity is disappointed with a professor who does not It was a ridiculous situation for the professor who lose any opportunity to ridicule the urban (Hadar) girls put students through this predicament as well as the but at the same pampers the tribal ones. This is very university which appoints such teachers. This professor, regretful. University dons never behaved in this fashion apart from not reading the questions and making sure when we used to teach students coming from different that these pertained at least to the part he designated ethnicities and nationalities. We hope such behaviour for the students’ test, did not even take a moment to at never pervades among the teachers. least remove the headline from the paper that proKuwait University is in need of a major overhaul. It is claimed: “College of Arts - Social service division.” At not acceptable that we should only have one universileast he should have written “Social Service College” ty, and that too a sick one. —Al-Watan

ver the years, I have dealt with several NGOs, locally and internationally. I came out with a solid conclusion that there was a huge misperception about their nature, structure and the extent of governmental involvement in the activities of the NGOs. I believe that the NGOs in Kuwait have not proven themselves as an asset to the society by being creative or productive. In fact, there is a huge gap between the concept of NGOs here and in the west. The NGOs, referred to as Public Welfare Associations in Kuwait, are associations that assume duties and offer services to the local community. They receive money from the government as part of the budget to carry on with their activities and they have board of directors. They are monitored by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor. There is a law to regulate their work, elections, duties, which is known as Law No. 24 of 1962 applicable to the clubs and non-profit organizations. Thus, the NGOs here are under the control of the government, though it may not be complete control. Thus, being a part of the government did not help the local NGOs to improve and develop themselves, neither could they change nor develop their objectives to match with the needs of society today. Some well-known NGOs here have had the same people for over 30 years now at the helm. That makes me sick. The same boards of directors have been ruling the destiny of these bodies. Any new member who even tries to question this state of affairs is silenced or segregated as if it is taboo to question the state of affairs. Such a state of affairs persists only because the NGOs are receiving money from the government in the form of annual budget to help them carry out their activities and services. This clearly means that it is up to the government to decide who will stay in the board and who should not. That, of course, means that the policy of an NGO itself will be affected and can be manipulated according to the thoughts and ideas of the board of directors. No wonder the NGOs here are run by the same board of directors for thirty years or more. I do not see much harm in a government body to observe the services of these NGOs and possibly levy penalties against any poor or suspicious activity but don’t you think when these NGOs do not show any improvement in services or a will to have new members or change in their board of directors, there is something wrong? After all, community service requires ever new blood all the time. We are a developed society and surely Kuwait has changed a lot in the last twenty years, so why do most of the NGOs have still the same boards of directors? Recently, we saw some NGOs being involved in political activities against the state of Kuwait and also read about former MPs calling upon these NGOs to participate in the demonstrations and rebel against the country, its leadership and its legal system. That was outrageous on two accounts. First, the NGOs have no reason to be part of any political activity. Second, if they indeed indulged in such acts, then such NGOs must be shut down because they went outside the scope of their role and became a tool to serve certain politicians. I agree with the MPs who sent a request to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor inquiring about the NGOs. The NGOs in the west try to be role models when it comes to transparency. In fact, governments there avoid interfering in their activities or composition because it will affect their credibility and create suspicions on both sides. In Kuwait, most, if not all, NGOs are located in down town areas. Maybe, we need a compound area like a diplomatic enclave for housing all the NGOs. In Kuwait, the NGOs are not being questioned when they fail to offer solutions to societal issues such human trafficking, rising divorce rate or the menace of drugs. In Kuwait, we need them to be partners with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour, and the Ministry should be questioning any NGO that steps out of line and joins the demands against the country’s system even when it clearly falls under a law that prohibits all political activity. There is thus a huge gap in our understanding of the role and activities of NGOs and this is why the NGOs cannot offer much to solve our problems. Hence, even shutting down these NGOs would not be any great loss.



Intellectual property rights violations ‘widespread’ Registration ‘only way out’ By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Many people suffered because their writings or photos were stolen or used by others without mentioning their right to what was their creation. Many of them do not know that they can sue those who used their material without their permission. Mishari Obaid is a victim of such an illegal and unethical act committed by a local magazine which used a photograph of his, published on the photography website Flickr, without his permission to illustrate an article in the magazine. He filed a case against the magazine and after a year and a half-long legal battle, the court compensated him financially. “My friends told me that a certain magazine used one of my photos that I had uploaded on Flickr. They even removed the watermark from the photo. I tried to contact the magazine’s editor-in-chief but could not reach him. They refused to communicate with me and even to apologize for this unethical act which violated my intellectual right to this photo. So I decided to sue them even if I was no so sure about winning the case,”

Obaid told the Kuwait Times. He explained that the litigation started when his friend, who had just graduated, advised him to sue the publication resting his case on a law, effective since 1999, protecting intellectual property. The First Instance Court refused the case noting the photo was not a copy of Obaid’s photo. “Maybe this unjustified verdict was built on the fact that the magazine cropped the photo and removed my watermark from it, and it was published in black and white colors in a different size. This verdict helped me at the Appeals Court, which issued a verdict in my favor. The financial compensation satisfied me, and I felt that the verdict was a retribution for me,” he added. According to Obaid, the court considered Flickr reliable, as this website registers the date of shooting the photo and the date of uploading it along with the name of the owner. “I proved that the photo was uploaded on the website about two months previous to when it was published in the local magazine,” he explained. Obaid said that cases of violation of intellectual property rights is widespread in Kuwait. He

Cirque De Glace team performs in Kuwait KUWAIT: The Cirque De Glace team concluded its showcase events yesterday at the Ice Skating Rink after entertaining huge crowds. It was the first time that such an event was held in Kuwait. It was attended by top officials of the Touristic Emprises Company

which organized it in cooperation with Power Media. The Egyptian Ambassador to Kuwait, Abdulkareem Sulaiman, as well as members from the British Embassy in Kuwait were also among those who attended and enjoyed the event.

also offered to help people who face the same problem. “Two people already corresponded with me regarding a similar issue, and I gave them the reference number of my court case to help them in their trial. I am trying to spread awareness about protecting intellectual property rights so that people refrain from violating it. Anybody who has a similar question is free to contact me through my email,” he concluded. Attorney Mubarak Mijzea said that any material must be registered with the public authority in charge. “For instance trademarks are registered at the Ministry of Commerce while copyrights to intellectual materials are registered at the Ministry of Information. In order to claim the copyright to a work, it has to be registered,” he pointed out. He remembers a case of a teacher at the Kuwait University who wrote a book, and after publishing it he was sued by other doctors since he had allegedly copied material from their researches without mentioning the source. They lost the case as their researches were not registered at the Ministry,” noted Mijzea.

US Family Center thankful for Kuwaiti contribution WASHINGTON: Kuwait’s Ambassador to the US Sheikh Salem Al-Sabah attended an official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of the USO Warrior and Family Center in Fort Belvoir, Virginia; the largest center in USO history. Kuwait’s Ambassador and his wife Sheikha Rima Al-Sabah, with the cooperation of the Kuwait-America Foundation, had held in 2011 a Gala Dinner which helped raise around $2 million to fund the USO Warrior and Family Center. In remarks at the opening ceremony, USO President and CEO Sloan Gibson thanked all the people and organizations that helped make this center possible. Gibson thanked, in particular, the Kuwait Embassy for the fund raiser it held for this particular center “which became at that time the largest single gift to the USO in its history.” He also thanked “nearly a quarter of a million individual Americans that have made a contribution honoring our wounded troops and their families to operation educing care.” “Thank you to all those that helped make today possible and all of the tomorrows that are going to be enjoyed in the center,” he remarked. For her part, President and CEO, USO of Metropolitan Washington, Elaine, Rogers said in her remarks that this center is “life changing” for the USO and the troops and their families, saying “”this is a place of hope and possibility, where the mission is to turn this place into a home.” Director of the Army Staff, U.S. Army Lieutenant General William Troy also thanked all the contributors on behalf of all the service people “who will come through here and their families for what this center is going to mean to them.” He said that when the returning service members and their families “see this magnificent structure and they feel the love inside that will be given to them they will know without any

doubt that they have a home and that somebody does care about them.” He added that they will know “they are not alone and they will be always be there for them as they take this journey for however long it takes them on to the rest of their lives.” “This center says what words can never say “we love you, we care about you and we are going to be with you the entire way,” he remarked. He affirmed that “this is the most eloquent testimony that there could ever be that we care about our service members and their families.” Also, co-Chair of Operation Enduring Care Ed Reilly noted that “this day is a celebration of partnerships,” on many levels to help ensure the success of this facility. He stressed that the money raised by the Kuwait-America Foundation which “was an essential rock piece of the building of the campaign and gave us the confidence that we were going to make our number and go forward.” He affirmed “not only was it an important number but it came at a very important time.” He thanked the Kuwait Ambassador and his wife, who “have been strong supporters of the USO efforts to help wounded, ill and injured troops and their families.” In his remarks, Kuwait’s Ambassador to the US Sheikh Salem Al-Sabah shed light on Kuwait’s interest in such a project, saying “if it wasn’t for the U.S. armed forces I would not be standing in front of you today as a representative of a free and sovereign nation.” He said “this is an opportunity for us as an Embassy and the Foundation to give back in a way and what made it even more special was the timing the fund raiser was held,” as it coincided with the 20th liberation anniversary of Kuwait from the Iraqi invasion,” saying “it was a very opportune moment for us to be on board.” — KUNA



LuLu Exchange celebrates its first anniversary

Burgan Bank’s brand rating re-affirmed as AA KUWAIT: Burgan Bank yesterday announced that Brand Finance, the international brand valuation company has re-affirmed Burgan Bank brand rating as AA with a positive outlook. Burgan Bank is the only bank in Kuwait that witnessed an increase in its total brand value, which came at $199 million compared to $175 million last year. The brand ratings and values were recently published in “The Banker” magazine, a Financial Times publication, where Brand Finance has featured the world’s most valuable 500 banking brands. Bashir Jaber, Burgan Bank’s Assistant General Manager - Corporate Communications said: “We are delighted with the recent ratings published by Brand Finance, and ranking at the top of the banking brand ratings in Kuwait. Burgan Bank is the only conventional bank in Kuwait and one of only 5 banks in Middle East that has achieved an absolute rise in its brand value. Our brand model has been an essential component of our corporate strategy, one which aims at 1) increasing market share with profitability in the core market 2) achieving scale, capabilities and footprint through strategic acquisitions”. Burgan Bank enjoys an award winning strong branding platform that reflects its values of trust as well as partnership to deliver international best practices throughout its operations.

Bashir Jaber

“Going forward, Burgan Bank’s performance is on the right trajectory. We remain focused on further developing the bank’s brand in Kuwait, and across the markets we operate in. Recently, Burgan Bank announced the expansion of its regional brand platform to Turkey following its recent acquisition of Eurobank Tekfen, where as of January 28, is operating under the name of Burgan Bank Turkey,” added Jaber. In 2012, Burgan Bank won the “Best Bank Branding” award by the Banker Middle East. The bank was recognized for its creative approach towards continuously building its brand name and values, an element that is reflected across all forms of communications including the physical application of its brand

concept within branches and channels to provide seamless services to customers. The global 500 banking brands, is an annual report published by “Brand Finance” in association with “The Banker” - a “financial times publication”. Each brand is rated on the basis of a benchmarking study of the brand’s strength, risk and future potential relative to its competitors and a summary measure of the business’s financial strength and delivery. Established in 1977, Burgan Bank is the youngest commercial Bank and third largest by assets 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 five majority owned subsidiaries, which include Gulf Bank Algeria AGB (Algeria), Bank of Baghdad - BOB (Iraq & Lebanon), Jordan Kuwait Bank - JKB (Jordan) Tunis International Bank - TIB (Tunisia), and fully owned Burgan Bank - Turkey, (collectively known as the “Burgan Bank Group”). The Bank has continuously improved its per formance 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.

Syrians firm on stance KUWAIT: Local Coordination Committees in Syria (LCC) announced yesterday that any negotiations with Syrian regime will only be about departure of Bashar AlAssad’s regime in order to achieve revolution goal of freedom. The LCC also stressed that solutions that do not achieve the revolution objectives cannot be imposed on the Syrian people. The Committees said this assertion came in leaflets and placards, circulated and brandished in Syria, in response to recently-proposed political solutions that resulted in debates at the grass-root level in Syria. The Committees said it contributed throughout the Syrian territory in “translating the views of the Syrian people with these banners expressing the widespread people’s positions in all parts of the country.” The Committees explained that words of these banners reflected determination of the Syrian people against bids to dictate settlements on them, to be the sole party to hold negotiations to bring down the regime. Moreover, the billboards asserted adherence to the goals of the revolution, which cost the people tens of thousands of martyrs, prisoners, and prompted many citizens to seek safety in exile. The Coordination Committees also stressed the continuation of peaceful and military actions to achieve inevitable victory. Meanwhile, at least five people including one child were killed yesterday as the Syrian regular troops renewed bombardment of several parts of the country, according to an LCC statement received here. Yesterday (Friday), the LCC reported 121 civilian deaths, including women and children, noting that the death toll of the conflict exceeded 60,000 since March, 2011. The Local Coordination Committees of Syria consists of a network of local groups that organise and report on protests as part of the Syrian uprising. — KUNA

KUWAIT: LuLu Exchange, one of the emerging Remittance and Foreign Exchange brand, on Wednesday celebrated its first anniversary across its Kuwait operations. The exchange house initiated its operations on the Feb 6, 2012, when it opened its first branch in the State of Kuwait at Fahaheel district. Today the exchange house has a total count of 8 branches spread across Kuwait. The company, apart from remittance and forex solutions, also offers a host of services and products. The number of correspondent banks with which LuLu Exchange does business, also has grown quite considerably. LuLu Exchange has steadfastly focused on bringing greater value to its wide base of customers worldwide. The Guest of Honor, Vidhu. P. Nair - Deputy Chief of Mission, Indian Embassy inaugurated the anniversary celebrations. Speaking at the sidelines of the anniversary celebrations, Adeeb Ahamed, CEO - LuLu Exchange said, “Having completed a successful year today, it indeed is a proud day for us. Our emphasis on pursuing excellence in Customer Service and Satisfaction has certainly paid. We will continue to value the customers’ trust with the same motive we started our business a year

ago.” “We are ever thankful to all our well wishers on this occasion. The patronage we enjoy from our customers across our operations tells us that they have placed us close to their hearts, and we have been successful in our endeavor of becoming the most customer-friendly and reliable brand in the industry. We have grown quite considerably in comparison and in an attempt to strengthen our reach; we are exploring new avenues and locations. We also thank the Central Bank of Kuwait for its constant guidance without which we could not have achieved this milestone”, Adeeb mentioned. Adeeb further stated, “As a socially responsible organization, we have ensured fair business practices including rigorous compliance to global anti-money laundering protocols, in the best interest of our regulators and customers. We also have added new products and services which were received well by the market as our ongoing commitment to enhance customer experience by identifying customer requirements.” Among the other dignitaries present at the anniversary celebrations were the senior management of the company.

Eating in Peru ‘a journey in itself’ KUWAIT: Eating in Peru is a journey in itself, tory of immigration. Peru’s population is not said Gustavo Bravo, Charge d’Affaires ad only comprised of Europeans, mestizos interim of the Embassy of Peru in Kuwait on (people of mixed heritage or descent) and indigenous peoples, but also Sunday. Asians, especially Japanese and “Starting from the bountiful Chinese. The Chinese in particuPeruvian Sea, where our ‘cebiche’ lar have left a big impact on the come swimming out, passing cuisine, giving rise to its own through the Andes with the type of Chinese food; Peruvianhundreds of varieties of potato Chinese, commonly known in and moving on to the Amazon, Peru as ‘Chifa’. “Whenever hearloaded with the exotic for a nating from a Peruvian that ours is ural and mysterious cuisine, we the best cuisine, always rememhave just one great route that ber that this is not one hundred makes Peru a unique territory; it Gustavo Bravo percent naive bravado; but it is is the road that outlines our fladue to the beliefs that, if there is such a thing vors,” Bravo said. His remarks came on the occasion of as a sixth sense, then us, the Peruvians, have holding the First Peruvian Food Festival in received ours to double the sense of taste,” Kuwait, to be organized at the Restaurant La Bravo noted. Peru has won the top honor as World’s Brasserie at JW Marriott from March 10-15. The event will be held with the collaboration Leading Culinary Destination at the 19th of the National Council for Culture, Arts and World Travel Awards held in New Delhi, Letters of Kuwait and will include shows of India, last December. Renowned for its the Peruvian National Dance “Marinera”, to ingredients and traditional dishes, the be performed by a group of Peruvian pro- Peruvian cuisine bagged the award after fessional dancers brought exclusively for the beating other nominees, including China, event. “My country’s cuisine benefits not France, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, only from its geography but from a long his- Thailand and the United States. — KUNA


6 killed in rocket attack on Iraqi refugee camp Page 8

TIMBUKTU: Ani Boka Arby stops in the desert in Timbuktu, Mali on Friday a few hundred yards from the site where the body of her husband, Mohamed Lamine, was dumped. Ahead of her is her father who used a shovel to unearth his corpse. — AP

Mali on edge after first suicide attack Two men strapped with explosives held GAO: Malian troops bolstered security at army checkpoints and villagers detained two youths allegedly strapped with explosives yesterday after Islamists claimed responsibility for the country’s first suicide attack. Residents of a village near Gao, the largest city in the north, detained two youths they said were wearing explosiverigged belts and travelling on the same road where the suicide bombing on Friday wounded a soldier at a checkpoint. “We arrested two young men early this morning. They had explosive belts and they were riding on two donkeys,” Oumar Maiga, the son of the local village chief, told AFP. He said the pair, an Arab and a Tuareg, were detained some 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Gao. Soldiers and paramilitary police guarding checkpoints in Gao cut down trees to increase visibility, dragged sandbags in front of their positions and set up heavy machine guns in an effort to protect themselves from attacks. In Friday’s blast, the bomber rode a motorcycle up to an army checkpoint and detonated an explosive belt, wounding one soldier, an officer said. The young Tuareg, dressed as a paramilitary officer, was also carrying a larger bomb that failed to detonate. The Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) claimed the attack and vowed to carry out more against “the Malian soldiers who chose the side of the miscreants, the enemies of Islam”. MUJAO is one of a trio of Islamist groups that occupied northern Mali for 10 months before France sent in fighter jets, attack helicopters and 4,000 troops to drive them out. The French-led operation, launched on Januar y 11 as the insurgents advanced toward the capital, has succeeded in forcing the Islamists from the towns under their control. But they are thought to retain a presence in the vast desert spaces of the country’s north and France is now anxious to hand over the operation to United Nations peacekeepers amid fears of a prolonged insurgency. Two Malian soldiers and four civilians have already been killed by landmines, and French troops are still fighting off what Paris called “residual jihadists” in reclaimed territory. Some villages around Gao, 1,200 kilometres (750 miles) northeast of the capital Bamako, continue to support the

Islamists, French and Malian security sources say. “As soon as you go more than a few kilometres outside Gao, it’s dangerous,” a Malian officer told AFP. Despite the success of the French operation, Mali’s state and militar y remain weak and divided, a situation highlighted by a gunfight Friday in Bamako between rival army troops. The firefight erupted after paratroopers loyal to ex-president Amadou Toumani Toure-who was ousted in a March 2012 coup that eventually enabled the Islamist takeover-fired into the air to protest an order absorbing them into other units to be sent to the frontline. Two adolescents were killed and another 13 people wounded in the clash at the paratroopers’ camp, state media said. Interim president Dioncounda Traore reprimanded the military over the incident. The fighting overshadowed the arrival of 70 EU military trainers, the first of what is to be a 500-strong mission tasked with whipping the Malian army into shape. French General Francois Lecointre, leading the mission, said there was “a real need to rebuild the Malian army, which is in a state of advanced disrepair”. The nation imploded last year after the coup, waged by soldiers who blamed the government for the army’s humiliation by a rebellion among the Tuareg, a North African people who have long complained of being marginalized by the south. A month later, paratroopers launched a failed counter-coup that left 20 people dead. With Bamako in disarray, Al-Qaedalinked fighters hijacked the Tuareg rebellion and took control of the north, imposing a brutal form of Islamic law. French special forces and Chadian troops on Friday secured the strategic oasis of Tessalit, near the Algerian border in the far northeast, and sought to flush the Islamists out of hiding in the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains, where they are believed to have fled with seven French hostages. US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland urged countries not to pay ransoms to free their hostages, after a former US ambassador to Mali estimated that Western countries had paid as much as $89 million from 2004 to 2011 in ransom payments to the militants French troops are now fighting. Paying ransoms is “just feeding into the coffers of the terrorists”, Nuland said. — AFP



6 die in rocket attack on Iraqi refugee camp 3,100 Iranian camp residents ‘unsafe’

BERLIN: German chancellor Angela Merkel (right) and education minister Annette Schavan ( left) arrive for a statement in Berlin yesterday. — AP

German minister quits in plagiarism case BERLIN: Germany’s education minister resigned yesterday after a university decided to withdraw her doctorate, finding that she plagiarized parts of her thesis - an embarrassment for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government as it prepares for elections later this year. Merkel said she had accepted “only with a very heavy heart” the resignation of Annette Schavan, who has been her education and research minister since 2005 and was considered close to the chancellor. On Tuesday, Duesseldorf ’s Heinrich Heine University decided to revoke Schavan’s doctorate following a review of her 1980 thesis, which dealt with the formation of conscience. The review was undertaken after an anonymous blogger last year raised allegations of plagiarism, which the minister denies. “I will not accept this decision - I neither copied nor deceived in my dissertation,” she told reporters, speaking alongside Merkel at a brief news conference. “The accusations ... hurt me deeply.” Schavan made clear that she was going to prevent the issue turning into a festering problem for her party, and the government, as Germany gears up for parliamentary elections on Sept. 22 in which the conservative Merkel will seek a third term. Schavan, a member of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, announced her decision after returning from an official trip to South Africa during which, she said, she thought “thoroughly about the political consequences.” “If a research minister files a suit against a university, that of course places strain on my office, my ministry, the government and the CDU as well,” she said. “And that is exactly what I want to avoid.”

Merkel offered lengthy praise of Schavan’s “exceptional” performance as a minister, adding that “at this time, she is putting her own personal well-being behind the common good.” Schavan will be replaced by Johanna Wanka, the outgoing regional education minister in the state of Lower Saxony, Merkel said. That state’s conservative-led government narrowly lost a regional election to the center-left opposition last month. Schavan’s resignation comes two years after then-Defense Minister KarlTheodor zu Guttenberg lost his doctorate and quit when it emerged that he copied large parts of his doctoral thesis. Doctorates are highly prized in Germany, where it is not unusual for people to insist on being referred to by their full academic title. Despite the coalition government’s setback Lower Saxony, in northwestern Germany, polls show that Merkel remains popular with voters; her challenger from the center-left Social Democrats, Peer Steinbrueck, has struggled to gain traction. Most recent polls show a majority neither for Merkel’s current center-right coalition with the pro-market Free Democrats nor for a rival combination of the Social Democrats and Greens. They show Merkel’s conser vative Christian Democrats as the strongest single party. That suggests the chancellor may be able to carry on with a new coalition partner. It’s also unclear that the Schavan affair will provide political ammunition for the opposition. The usually low-profile minister’s troubles over her three-decade-old thesis have drawn a much more measured response from opponents than in the case of Guttenberg, a rising conservative star at the time he quit.— AP

Arab Spring promoting clashes: Christian leader KIRKUK, Iraq: The newly appointed patriarch of Iraq’s largest Christian community said yesterday that the Arab Spring had been hijacked by narrow interests and had promoted tension and bloodshed. Asked about the impacts on Christians of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings across the Middle East that eventually led to the ouster of strongmen in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya and the conflict in Syria, the head of the Chaldean Church Louis Sako said the changes had initially signalled hope. “But unfortunately, it went in a different direction, and was taken over by a narrow faction,” Sako told AFP in an interview. “We are watching the situation in the Arab Spring countries. Where is the spring? There are fights, there is tension, and there is blood and corruption.”

Sako was selected as the new patriarch of the Iraq-based Chaldean Church on February 1, replacing Emmanuel III Delly who retired in December after reaching the upper age limit of 85. The Chaldean church, which has 700,000 followers and uses Aramaic-the language that Jesus Christ would have spoken-belongs to one of the oldest Christian communities in the world. But along with other Iraqi Christian communities, it suffered persecution, forced flight and killings in the aftermath of the 2003 US-led invasion. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, many thousands fled after 44 worshippers and two priests were killed in an attack on a Syriac Catholic church in Baghdad on October 31, 2010, an atrocity claimed by Al-Qaeda. — AFP

BAGHDAD: Rockets and mortar rounds struck a refugee camp for Iranian exiles next to Baghdad’s international airport before dawn yesterday, killing six people and wounding about 40, police and UN officials said. The UN urged the Iraqi government to ensure the safety of the about 3,100 camp residents and move quickly to find the still-unidentified attackers. The government said it launched an investigation, but that there is little it can do to shield the camp from rocket attacks. It asked the international community to speed up the resettlement of the refugees. The camp is home to members of Mujahedeen-e-Khalq or MEK, the militant wing of a Paris-based Iranian opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Iraq’s Shiite-led pro-Iranian government considers the MEK a terrorist group and is eager to have it out of the country. The refugee camp, located in a former American military base known as Camp Liberty, is meant to be a temporary way station while the United Nations works to find host countries for the refugees. They are unlikely to return to Iran because of their opposition to the regime. In yesterday’s attack, 35 rockets and mortar rounds struck the camp, said camp spokesman Shahriar Kia. He said more than 100 people were hurt, while the U.N. and police put the number of injured at about 40. The Iranian opposition group provided amateur video and photos it said showed the aftermath of the attack. One photo showed five bodies swaddled in blankets lying on the ground in a hallway. A video clip showed wounded, some

with blood-covered faces, being treated at a small clinic. Other footage said to be from the camp showed several small craters in the ground, presumably from rockets, as well as shattered windows and shredded walls of trailer homes. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, AntÛnio Guterres, called on the Iraqi government to ensure the safety of the refugees and find the perpetrators. “This is a despicable act of violence,” he said, noting that camp residents are asylum seekers requesting refugee status and are entitled to international protection. Two police officials confirmed that six people were killed in yesterday’s attack and said more than 40 were hurt, including three Iraqi policemen. They spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to share information with the media. Kia, the camp spokesman, alleged that Iraqi authorities refused to let the wounded be taken to area hospitals for treatment. Iraqi government spokesman Ali Al-Moussawi denied the claim. The UN envoy to Iraq, Martin Kobler, said about 40 wounded were taken to hospitals shortly after the attack. Kobler said five people died at the camp and that a sixth apparently died later in a hospital. The camp was set up last year. Before being moved to the Baghdad area, members of the MEK had lived in another camp, called Ashraf, in northeastern Iraq. Camp Ashraf was twice raided by Iraqi security forces trying to impose control, leaving more than three dozen people dead. Iraq’s government says MEK members are living in Iraq illegally. “We call on the international community to expedite the procedures ... to

find countries for them as quickly as possible,” Al-Moussawi, the government spokesman, said yesterday. —AP

BAGHDAD: A handout picture provided by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the political wing of Mujahedeen-E-Khalq (MEK), shows the body of a woman identified as Pouran Najafi who was allegedly killed in mortar attacks at Camp Liberty, an exile camp housing Iranian dissidents near the Iraqi capital Baghdad, yesterday. —AFP


in brief

THE VATICAN: Vatican secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone presides over the mass in St Peter’s Basilica to mark the 900th anniversary of the Order of the Knights of Malta, yesterday at the Vatican. — AFP

Vatican celebrates Knights of Malta’s 900 years VATICAN CITY: The Knights of Malta, one of the most peculiar organizations in the world, marked its 900th birthday yesterday with a color ful procession through St Peter’s Square, a Mass in the basilica and an audience with Pope Benedict XVI, himself a member of the onetime chivalrous order drawn from Europe’s nobility. The Knights are at once a Roman Catholic religious order, an aid group that runs soup kitchens, hospitals and ambulance services around the globe, and a sovereign entity that prints its own passports and enjoys diplomatic relations with 104 countries - yet has no country to call its own. Some 4,000 people - volunteers in neon orange civil protection suits, children in red berets and members each draped in a black cloak with a white, eight-pointed Maltese Cross on the front - processed through St. Peter’s Square and into the basilica for the Mass marking the 900th anniversary of the order’s recognition by the Holy See. After the Mass, which was celebrated by the Vatican No 2, Benedict came to the basilica for an audience during which he thanked the order for its service and urged it to continue providing health care for the world’s neediest while staying true to its

Christian ideals. The order’s work, he said, “is not mere philanthropy but an effective expression and a living testimony of evangelical love.” The order traces its history to an 11th century infirmary in Jerusalem set up by a monk to care for pilgrims visiting the Holy Land. During the Crusades, as the order’s humanitarian efforts spread, it took on a military role to protect pilgrims and Christendom as a whole from Muslim attacks. In February 1113 Pope Paschal II recognized the order with a papal bull establishing its sovereign status by saying it was independent of both lay and other religious authorities. During its heyday, would-be members had to prove nobility through all eight great-grandparents. Such requirements are now largely relaxed except in some European countries. Still, the order’s members are drawn from some of the world’s wealthiest Catholics, who fund its health clinics, homeless shelters and old folks’ homes in 120 countries and rally for special appeals when disasters strike. Sixty of the 13,500 members are socalled “professed knights,” who make vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and live like monks, albeit without being ordained priests. — AP

Israel evicts West Bank protesters HEBRON: Israel’s army yesterday forced Palestinian activists to evacuate a West Bank encampment they tried to set up to protest against settlement building, witnesses said. Soldiers dismantled tents that were being erected in two different areas near the town of Yatta in the southern West Bank, and forced activists to leave, the Palestinian witnesses said. At the first site no arrests were made, but soldiers used water cannon to disperse activists at the second and arrested six people, including two photographers. Two protesters were injured and taken to hospital in nearby Hebron. An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed to AFP the evacuation of the first encampment before it had been set up. She said later that during the second operation, five Palestinian and two Israeli activists were arrested and that 100 Palestinians were dispersed after the site was declared a “closed military zone”. Plane crash kills five in Belgium BRUSSELS: A small passenger plane crashed at Belgium’s Charleroi airport yesterday, killing five people and closing the international hub used by Ryanair and other low-cost carriers. The aircraft, a Cessna, had problems on takeoff and tried to return to Charleroi to make an emergency landing but crashed on the side of the runway, airport officials said.“There was a problem on takeoff and they tried to come back, but unfortunately the plane crashed,” said Melissa Milioto, an airport spokeswoman. “Five people were killed.” Firefighters sprayed water on the plane that was reduced to a wreck of twisted metal, with only the tail still visible, TV images showed. The Belgian news agency Belga said the five killed were three young children, their mother and grandfather, and were all Belgian nationals. Khartoum militia kill 17 civilians KHARTOUM: Khartoum-backed militia in Sudan’s South Kordofan state have killed 17 civilians, rebels said yesterday, adding to tensions with South Sudan over a failure to implement security agreements. The rebels accused a group of ethnic South Sudanese of ambushing a civilian lorry on Friday at Abu Nuwara, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the border with South Sudan’s Upper Nile state. “They clashed with the civilians there and there’s a lot of casualties,” said Arnu Ngutulu Lodi, spokesman for the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) which has been fighting government forces in South Kordofan since June 2011.



Manhunt for former cop on in California LOS ANGELES: A mountaintop search resumed yesterday for an ex-policeman wanted in three California slayings, after authorities interrupted the manhunt during the night as snowfall kept their helicopters grounded. Former Los Angeles officer Christopher Dorner, 33, has declared war on law enforcement officers and their families in a manifesto posted to the Internet that complains of his 2008 firing from the LAPD. The hunt for Dorner has centered on the Big Bear Lake resort in the San Bernardino Mountains after his burning

pickup truck was discovered in the area on Thursday. Authorities have acknowledged he may have slipped away undetected. Snow fell late on Friday around Big Bear Lake, which is about 80 miles (129 km) northeast of Los Angeles. The temperature hovered at about 20 degrees Fahrenheit (7 Celsius). The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, which is leading the manhunt involving over 100 officers, said in a statement on Friday that because of the weather conditions it would not be sending aloft its helicopters equipped with

infrared technology used earlier in the search. With no air support, the search by officers on the ground was also suspended overnight. The heavily armed officers participating in the hunt for Dorner have used dogs and armored personnel carriers equipped with chains. San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said the mountaintop hunt, which began with officers following tracks that led away from the truck, would press on “until either we discover that he’s left the mountain or we find him.” The truck turned up in the San Bernardino mountain

range on Thursday hours after police say Dorner exchanged gunfire before dawn with two Los Angeles police officers, grazing one, in the nearby city of Corona. The officers were trying to catch up to Dorner’s truck after it was spotted in the area. About 20 minutes later, he ambushed two more policemen in their patrol car at a stoplight in the adjacent town of Riverside, killing one and leaving the other badly wounded, police said. A former Navy lieutenant, Dorner is also suspected in the weekend shooting deaths in Irvine of a university security officer and his fiancÈe,

the daughter of a retired Los Angeles police captain singled out for blame in Dorner’s manifesto for his dismissal from the LAPD. Police said they were providing extra security for about 40 potential targets mentioned in Dorner’s online declaration, which was posted to Facebook but has since been taken down by the website. Dorner, who once played college football in Utah, blamed the police department not just for firing him but also for ending his Navy career and the loss of close relationships. — Reuters

Behemoth storm drops two feet of snow on Northeast A state-by-state look at the Northeast blizzard A look at effects in states and provinces in the path of the storm sweeping across the Northeast and southern Canada:

WASHINGTON: Omar Samaha, holds a picture of his sister Reema Samaha, who was killed in the Virginia Tech shootings. — AP

NRA’s LaPierre: Wonk with million-dollar megaphone WASHINGTON: Wayne LaPierre would just as soon read a book as fire a gun. That’s right, the National rifle Association’s firebreathing defender of gun rights is more academic than marksman. “A policy wonk,” says Joseph Tartaro, president of the progun Second Amendment Foundation. “He is more professorial than you would think.” “Wayne is a Washington-type person,” says John Aquilino, a former NRA spokesman who worked with LaPierre. “He is best characterized as an absent-minded professor.” A professor, that is, with a million-dollar megaphone and a well-honed ability to dish apocalyptic warnings about a tyrannical government angling to grab people’s firearms. “It’s about banning your guns ... PERIOD!” LaPierre wrote in a January email to the NRA’s 4 million-plus members. For decades, LaPierre, 63, has been serving up heated us-vs.-them rhetoric to rally the NRA faithful. Usually it works; sometimes it backfires. There was his 1995 reference to federal law enforcement agents as “jack-booted government thugs.” (He later apologized.) And his 2000 declaration that President Bill Clinton was “willing to accept a certain level of killing to further his political agenda.” (No apology.) And his 2002 complaint that tougher airport screenings after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks signaled that “I guess it’s OK to wand-rape someone’s daughter in public.” A week after the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn, LaPierre gave a fiery speech calling for armed guards in every school. He blamed violence on a culture that celebrates gory video games and “bloodsoaked slasher films” and rewards killers with fame. “Gun nut!” the New York Post screamed on its front page. “The most revolting, tone-deaf statement I’ve ever seen,” tweeted then-Rep. Chris Murphy, now a Democratic senator from Connecticut. “Call me crazy,” LaPierre retorted on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I think the

American people think it’s crazy not to do it,” referring to armed school guards. In fact, a Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted in January found that 55 percent of Americans said they would support a law “placing an armed guard in every school in the country.” In the weeks since Newtown, LaPierre has been the ever-present public face of gunrights forces, shuttling between speeches, hearing rooms and TV studios to forcefully reject proposals for tighter gun controls as misguided ideas that will do nothing to stop criminals and everything to tangle law-abiding citizens in a bureaucratic nightmare. Jimmy Carter was president when LaPierre first went to work for the NRA in 1977, and for the past 22 years LaPierre has been the organization’s executive vice president, steering it through a transformation from a clubby marksmanship group into a political movement adept at beating back efforts to tighten firearms regulations. Along the way, says Josh Sugarman, head of the pro-gun-control Violence Policy Center, LaPierre’s tenure has been marked by a willingness to push the envelope with over-the-top language that casts the government as the enemy and stokes “fear-driven paranoia.” LaPierre has been richly rewarded for his efforts: NRA tax returns show he earned $835,000 in salary and $126,000 in other compensation in 2010. For all of LaPierre’s tough talk, friends and former colleagues describe a soft-spoken man who’s a little scattered. Aquilino, the former NRA spokesman, remembers his former colleague oversleeping and missing a golf outing with Vice President Dan Quayle. Leaving a trail of dropped notebooks and papers on the path from his office to a cab. Sitting head in hands in an airport terminal, unable to remember what flight he was booked on. Aquilino says he once asked LaPierre what he wanted to do eventually and was told, “To tell the truth, I’d like to run an ice cream parlor in Maine.” — AP

Stella! Ornery dog leads to $1m Idaho lottery win SALT LAKE CITY: A group of blue collar University of Utah workers will split $1 million in lottery winnings thanks to a set of keys left in a truck and an ornery little dog named “Stella.” Thirteen years after playing the same set of numbers every month in the Idaho lottery, the group of 33 workers who work on heating and cooling university buildings hit pay dirt when Steve Hughes left his truck running to keep his dog “Stella” warm while he went inside to a gas station near Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, on Jan 6. Utah has no lottery. When he returned to his truck, his miniature pincher had locked him out by putting her paw on the manual lock. Hughes, 29, planned to buy the ticket elsewhere, but instead he had his girlfriend buy it there while he tried to pick the lock with a slim jim. He eventually coached Stella to put her paws on the electronic window button in the back seat, allowing Hughes to get in the car. What seemed like an annoying delay that day turned out to be serendipitous when the group discovered Wednesday night that they had won second prize in the Idaho Powerball. They announced the great news during a morning meeting Thursday morning at the HVAC shop at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Hughes thought it was a joke - looking for the camera filming the prank. “It was pretty exciting,” said Richard Tison, 50, the supervisor. About 25 members of the group made the 5.5-hour trip on a charter bus to Boise, Idaho on Friday to turn in their winning ticket and collect their checks. The rest had to stay behind to make sure the university’s buildings were toasty on the cold winter day, Tison said. It was a raucous ride on the bus, with the crew making it a “party bus” type atmos-

phere as they celebrated their good fortune. After collecting their money, the group planned to climb back on board the bus for the journey home - though some suggested they might stop off at a watering hole in Boise to contemplate their winnings. Tison and Hughes say they will each get about $20,000 after taxes, or as Hughes said, “A nice little bonus during the year.” Hughes plans to save half of his share and buy a four-wheeler. Many in the group plan to buy four-wheelers or drag cars, he said. Some are going to save or invest it. “I’m going to pay off some bills and probably get me a boat,” Tison said. Hughes’ dog, “Stella,” didn’t get to go on Friday’s “party bus” but the lucky winners had previously made sure she was rewarded. “She got a couple of big surprises when I got home,” Hughes said. “She got 18-inch rawhide bones.” The group began buying the tickets in February 2001 with just three people. The pool grew to 33 people, but the philosophy of using the same numbers never changed. Recently, some in the group suggested they change the numbers - fed up with 13 years of futility. But Tison, one of the original three, insisted they stay the course. Hughes estimates that they’ve each put in $200 to $400 over the years, depending on how long they’ve been in the group. Tison said they plan to keep playing the Idaho Powerball, taking turns making the monthly 1.5 hour drive to Millad, Idaho to pick up a ticket. And yes, Tison says they’ll keep playing the same numbers: 11-16-3340-41. “There is no need to change them,” Tison said. “It worked once, why wouldn’t it work again.” — AP

CONNECTICUT Gov Dannel P Malloy imposed a travel ban Friday on the state’s highways and deployed National Guard troops around the state for rescues or other emergencies. A coastal flood warning was posted for southern Fairfield County, saying Friday evening’s high tide could be 3 to 5 feet higher than normal in western Long Island Sound. The state’s two biggest utilities planned for the possibility that up to 30 percent of their customers - more than 400,000 homes and businesses - would lose power. As of early yesterday, more than 35,000 had no service. Nonessential state workers were ordered to stay home Friday. Schools, colleges and state courthouses were also closed. All flights after 1:30 pm at Bradley Airport near Hartford were canceled. Connecticut Transit ceased all bus service by 6 pm Friday. Some gas stations ran out of fuel Thursday night during the rush to prepare for the storm.

Hassan declared a state of emergency but stopped short of ordering everyone off the roads. Hundreds of schools were closed Friday, airlines canceled flights and sporting and civic events were postponed. State-run liquor stores were slated to close at 6 pm Friday to encourage people to get off the roads by 7 p.m., when the storm is supposed to intensify. Backcountry hikers were of high-mountain whiteout conditions and 80 to 90 mph gusts. NEW JERSEY A blizzard warning for northeast New Jersey called for as much as 14 inches of snow. Up to 10 inches were possible for most of the state, with 2

that it would not be as bad as Superstorm Sandy. About 2,300 flights were canceled and the state’s airports were expected to close, Cuomo said. Regional transportation was still running and was expected to continue throughout the night. In New York City, where 8 to 12 inches were expected, Mayor Michael Bloomberg sought to clear the streets of cars and people so 1,700 city plows could get to work; drivers were expected to work 12-hour shifts. Amtrak canceled service north of the city. New York closed Interstate 84 to truck traffic between Pennsylvania and Connecticut. A 74year-old man died after being struck by a car in Poughkeepsie; the driver said she lost control in

MAINE State offices closed early Friday as the storm that contributed to a 19-car pileup in Cumberland that took four hours to clear. Registration and practice runs for the National Toboggan Championships were held Friday as scheduled, but yesterday’s races were postponed for a day. Up to 2 feet of snow was forecast along the southern coast, with lesser amounts across the rest of the state. MASSACHUSETTS Forecasters said the storm could top Boston’s record of 27.6 inches, set in 2003. Gov. Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency and ordered a statewide travel ban, believed to be the first since the blizzard of 1978. Emergency management officials reported more than 400,000 utility customers without power early yesterday, while Boston’s transit system was shut down along with Logan Airport. Flights were expected to resume yesterday afternoon. In Plymouth, the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant lost power and automatically shut down during the storm. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said there’s no threat to public safety. The Steamship Authority suspended all ferry service between Nantucket and Hyannis and between Martha’s Vineyard and Woods Hole. On Cape Cod, shelters opened at high schools in Sandwich, South Yarmouth, Eastham and Falmouth after a flood warning was issued; as much as 2 feet of snow is expected. Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding roast for Golden Globe-winning actor Keifer Sutherland took place Friday evening in Cambridge despite the storm. NEW HAMPSHIRE A blizzard warning is in effect through 4 pm yesterday for portions of the state. Gov Maggie

WINTHROP: A man shovels snow along Winthrop Shore Drive yesterday in Winthrop, Massachusetts. — AFP to 5 inches in south Jersey. Although assuring residents the state had the resources to keep roads and bridges passable, Gov Chris Christie urged everyone to just stay home. Parts of the coast were expected to see waves up to 12 feet and minor to moderate flooding during high tide. Brick Township and Toms River, which were hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, issued voluntary evacuation orders for areas still recovering from that storm. The blizzard zone included the state’s largest city, Newark, with a population of more than 275,000. Mayor Cory Booker urged residents to prepare for widespread power failures. NJ Transit said it would suspend service on its northern routes from 8 pm Friday through yesterday. Bus service north of Interstate 195, including into New York, was also suspended indefinitely. NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency as snow fell heavily Friday afternoon, though officials took pains to assure residents

the snowy conditions, police said. Snowfall predictions were 10 to 15 inches in the lower Hudson Valley and 12 to 16 inches on Long Island. Depths of 6 to 18 inches were forecast upstate. Hundreds of cars got stuck on the Long Island Expressway when snow began falling Friday afternoon, and dozens of disabled motorists remained on the road early yesterday as police worked to free them. More than 10,000 customers were without power statewide yesterday, mostly on Long Island. ONTARIO At least 350 traffic collisions were reported in Toronto, and at least three people died in southern Ontario. Many flights were canceled in Toronto, some of them because destination airports in the United States were closed by the snow. An 80-year-old woman in Hamilton collapsed while shoveling her driveway, and two men were killed in car crashes, one of them in a multi-vehicle collision. — AP

Obama is a hawk on war WASHINGTON: For all of his liberal positions on the environment, taxes and health care, President Barack Obama is a hawk when it comes to the war on terror. From deadly drones to secret interrogations to withholding evidence in terror lawsuits, Obama’s Democratic White House has followed the path of his predecessor, Republican President George W Bush. The U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, remains open, despite Obama’s pledge to close it, and his administration has pursued leaks of classified information to reporters even more aggressively than Bush’s. “They have maintained momentum in a lot of important areas that we were focused on, and they’ve continued to build in those areas,” said Ken Wainstein, the White House homeland security adviser and a top Justice Department lawyer under Bush. “You can see an appreciation for the severity of the threat, the need to stand up to it, and the need to go on offense at times.” John Brennan’s confirmation hearing this week to be CIA director showed just how much Washington - and especially Democrats - has come to accept the same counterterrorism policies that drew such furor in the first years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Brennan refused to call waterboarding a form of torture but called it “reprehensible” and, if CIA director, said he would not allow it. He also said he didn’t know whether any valuable information was gleaned as a result. His more than three hours of testimony was received by a mostly friendly panel of senators, and his confirmation is expected to move forward soon. In October 2007, by contrast, Bush’s attorney general nominee, Judge Michael Mukasey, called waterboarding “repugnant” but also refused to say whether it was torture. His confirmation was delayed for three weeks and nearly derailed. No one expects Brennan not to be confirmed. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said Obama has stopped or softened a number of Bush’s security tactics, including ending harsh

interrogations, closing secret prisons and, overall, trying to be more transparent about counterterror policy. But he noted that Obama has delivered on his campaign promises to kill or capture Osama bin Laden, take the battle to Al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Yemen before its members can attack the US, and to end the war in Iraq. “Yes, we’re still fighting Al-Qaeda, but I think there are very few people who would take issue with that,” Vietor said Friday. “This president does what he says he’s going to do, and I think that’s noticed around the world.” Obama’s embrace of many of Bush’s counterterror policies did not hurt him in his re-election bid last year. In one key rejection of Bush’s legacy, Obama repeatedly has said he believes waterboarding - the interrogation tactic that simulates drowning - is torture and illegal and that it will not be used under his watch. But Brennan, a career CIA officer who has served as Obama’s top counterterrorism official since 2009, told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday that because he was not a lawyer he could not answer whether he personally believes waterboarding is torture. The CIA

LANSDOWNE: In this file photo, President Barack Obama speaks at the House Democratic Issues Conference. — AP

waterboarded at least three Al-Qaeda detainees before the tactic was banned in 2006. The parallels between Obama’s and Bush’s security policies were on sharp display in the runup to Brennan’s hearing over the use of deadly drones to kill suspected terrorists, including U.S. citizens, overseas. A newly surfaced Justice Department memo from 2012 outlined the Obama administration’s decision to kill Al-Qaeda suspects without evidence that specific and imminent plots were being planned against the United States. At Thursday’s hearing, Brennan defended the missile strikes by the unmanned drones, saying they are used only against people who are considered active threats to the US - and never as retribution for earlier attacks. In a way that Bush did not, Obama has sought congressional approval of laws that he then uses as the basis of many of the counterterror policies he has carried over from his Republican predecessor. He successfully lobbied Congress three times to renew the controversial USA Patriot Act, the 2001 law that lets the government put roving wiretaps on US citizens’ phones with a secret court order and obtain other personal and financial records with no judicial approval at all. White House spokesman Jay Carney defended the deadly strikes as legal under a 2001 law authorizing the use of military force against AlQaeda. CIA drones also have been used in attacks, including the 2011 killing in Yemen of US citizen Anwar Al-Awlaki, a cleric with suspected ties to at least three attacks planned or carried out on US soil: the Fort Hood, Texas, shooting that claimed 13 lives in 2009, a failed attempt to down a Detroit-bound airliner the same year and a thwarted plot to bomb cargo planes in 2010. But Congress has grown increasingly uneasy with at least some of the authorities. Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee of California, a staunch Obama supporter, calls the military force law “overly broad” and has been seeking to overturn it for years. “He’s got to end that,” Lee said. — AP



Japan suggests hotline to Beijing over island spat Japan may release data proving Chinese radar incident

BEIJING: A vendor waits for customers in her stall at a temple fair in Ditan park yesterday, a day before the Lunar New Year. China is preparing to welcome the lunar new year of the snake which falls today. — AFP

Millions race home for China’s biggest holiday GONGXIAN: Pushing through scores of passengers in the aisle of a cramped train at Beijing West station, Chen Guolan could barely contain her excitement at joining the world’s largest annual human migration. “I have been so busy working away all year, and now I will soon be seeing my family,” she said to a group of strangers sitting alongside her as she began an epic 2,000 kilometre journey back to the quiet backwater she calls home. Chen is one of China’s hundreds of millions of migrant workers, who together make most of the 220 million train rides taken during the 40day travel season before and after the Lunar New Year. Around 7:30 am she left the high-rise apartment where she works as a domestic worker for a family of seven in the capital, a city of more than 20 million people enduring sub-zero February temperatures and heavily polluted air. Within 48 hours she would be beside her husband and son in the family home in a quiet, rugged area of the warmer south-western province of Sichuan, where the tree-capped mountains are hugged by mist, rather than toxic haze. Chen had bought her 229 yuan ($37) ticket for the 10:35 am to Chongqing two weeks earlier, joining millions who have clogged internet travel sites and queued at train stations to ensure they will be home for China’s main national holiday. Demand is phenomenal. For China’s 236 million migrant workers, it is the only time of year they can see their families. Chen, 50, failed to secure a bed in the train’s sleeping compartment but had a seat for the 30hour journey from Beijing West railway station to Chongqing North. “I will be OK, I will just get my head down on the table when it is bedtime,” she said. Many were less fortunate, with 40 to 50 passengers forced to stand in each of the carriages, which seat about 120 people in total. “I do not expect to sleep tonight. But then at least I got a ticket,” said one heading for a village on the outskirts of Chongqing, crouching on the

floor with two friends. A group of four young men playing cards in a washing area between the carriages said they had not even contemplated how they would sleep. “No problem. No problem,” repeated one, laughing as he perched on the rim of a sink, cards in hand. Meanwhile, Chen was in deep conversation with her neighbours. “We are speaking Sichuan dialect,” she said, still grinning. “It is so nice to be able to speak my local dialect.” Chen speaks standard Mandarin Chinese during her working life in Beijing, where a typical salary for her job is around 2,500 yuan ($400) a month. The train pulled into Chongqing on schedule at 4:27pm the following day, but she still had a five-hour bus journey to the city of Yibin ahead of her, followed by another 70 kilometres to the small rural town of Gongxian, and home. In the moments before she finally arrived at 3 am, her son and husband prepared a late-night dinner, the traditional Chinese welcome for a loved one returning from afar. “I am so happy in my heart. My wife is returning home,” said her 59-yearold husband Yuan Youjun, taking a break from cooking meatball soup and. Chen’s 23-year-old son Yuan Jinhao was also home from his job at a karaoke venue in a nearby town to welcome his mother. “Chinese New Year is so important because we’ll all be able to spend time together,” he said, as he took a break from preparing steamed Chinese bread. Meanwhile, clearly tired after almost two full days of travelling, Chen pulled her luggage up the hilly street to her home as the moment she had been waiting for all year neared. With a warm hug she was welcomed inside, before being herded to the dinner table for the local delicacies her family had lovingly prepared. After spending the year making food for others, it was a meal she had been warmly anticipating. “The best thing about New Year is being with family. The old, the young. Everyone. I’m so happy,” she said. — AFP

Filipino former hostages claim militants thriving MANILA: When they were taken hostage last year in the jungles of the southern Philippines, Ramel Vela and Roland Letriro were pleasantly surprised when their AlQaeda-linked captors handed each of them a hotel-like comfort pack that included a bedsheet, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a glass, plates, spoons and two sets of new clothes. In the mountain encampments that would be their prison in Sulu province for nearly eight months, the recently released captives said they saw an Abu Sayyaf force of about 400 heavily armed fighters who puffed Marlboro cigarettes and enjoyed the luxury of cellphones, including some with cameras and access to email and Facebook. Vela and Letriro’s ordeal provides a glimpse into the Abu Sayyaf’s resiliency despite a decade of American-backed local offensives that have battered the group, which is on a US list of terrorist organizations and remains one of Southeast Asia’s most dangerous Al-Qaeda-inspired offshoots. Rice, fish, beef, medicine, bottles of Coke and other supplies filtered from the town market, which the militants visited from time to time, or from an unknown network of supporters into the Abu Sayyaf’s far-flung lairs, according to Vela and Letriro, who were freed on Feb. 2, reportedly in exchange for ransom. It’s unclear where the militants got their weapons and ammunition. “We didn’t see all their weapons, but the ones I saw were very powerful,” Vela told The Associated Press in an interview Friday in Manila. The 39-year-old cameraman was seized along with audio technician Letriro and veteran Jordanian TV journalist Baker Atyani by Abu Sayyaf militants he said they had hoped to interview in Sulu, about 950 kilometers (590 miles) south of Manila. Atyani, who gained prominence for interviewing Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan a few months before the Sept 11, 2001, attacks, remains in the hands of Abu Sayyaf gunmen, who are demanding a $3 million ransom, police say. Vela said about 400 militants armed with assault rifles, explosives and machetes were split into several groups, which alternately held them in different encampments of bamboo huts nestled amid mangosteen trees and coconut groves. The gunmen stayed in community-like encampments with their wives and children, who were immediately moved away, along with the hostages, at the first sign of

a looming military attack. While most of the militants were barely educated, some did attend college and others kept to a conservative Muslim way of life. They prayed in a makeshift mosque before dawn, at noon and early evening each day, helping the captives keep a rough track of time, Vela said. In one encampment, women were completely covered with gowns and religious veils, which left only their eyes exposed. The men there never smoked or played cards, unlike in the other camps, according to the two former captives. Once, the two asked the gunmen what they were fighting for and were told they wanted to seize the predominantly Muslim provinces of Sulu, Basilan and Tawi Tawi and form a separate Islamic state. The gunmen have demanded control of the three provinces in exchange for the freedom of two Caucasians, who they claimed were separately being held in Sulu’s jungles, Vela said, adding that he and Letriro never saw other hostages aside from Atyani, who was separated from them five days after they were held. Gunmen kidnapped Ewold Horn of the Netherlands and Lorenzo Vinciguerra of Switzerland while on a bird watching trip to nearby Tawi Tawi province in February last year and took them by boat to Sulu, police say. Vela and Letriro said they were treated well, and added that their long captivity in the jungle-clad mountains at times felt like a break. “It’s a vacation that was not relaxing and came with a lot of explosions,” Vela said, describing close brushes with gunbattles between troops and the militants. But there were constant fears of meeting a brutal death. A major clash raged for more than five hours between the Abu Sayyaf and the military in October, leaving Vela and Letriro trembling in fear in a bunker hole, where they said they were asked to hide as army artillery rounds exploded all over. In calmer times, the militants passed the time by fiddling with their cellphones, which they charged using a portable solar panel, they said. Some of the gunmen owned up to three cellphones each, which they used to watch videos of their clashes with government forces, including the beheading of slain soldiers. The two captives said they were horrified when they were shown the videos on the phones. “I thought that jungle would be our graveyard,” Letriro said. — AP

TOKYO: Japan has suggested setting up a militar y hotline with China to avoid clashes between the two countries, which are at loggerheads over a group of disputed islands, Tokyo’s defence minister said yesterday. The proposal came after Tokyo accused a Chinese frigate of locking its weaponstracking radar on a Japanese destroyer-a claim Beijing has denied. The incident, which Japan said happened last week, marked the first time the two nations’ navies have locked horns in a territorial dispute that provoked fears of armed conflict breaking out between the two. The neighbours-also the world’s second and third-largest economies-have seen ties sour over the uninhabited Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea, known as Senkaku in Tokyo and Diaoyu by Beijing, which also claims them. “What’s important is to create a hotline, so that we

would be able to communicate swiftly when this kind of incident happens,” Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters. He said Tokyo told Beijing on Thursday through its embassy in China that it wants to resume talks on creating a “seaborne communication mechanism” between military officials of both countries. In 2010 China and Japan agreed to establish a hotline between political leaders following a series of naval incidents, but the plan has yet to materialise. Defence officials of the two countries also agreed in 2011 to set up a military-to-military hotline by the end of last year, but the talks stalled due to heightened tensions over the territorial row. Onodera also said Japan was considering disclosing evidence to bolster its accusation of the lock-on incident, after Beijing rejected the charge. “We have evidence. The government is considering the extent of what can be disclosed”,

because it includes confidential information on Japan’s defence capability, Onodera said. The comments came after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe demanded Beijing apologise and admit the incident took place. Tokyo has also charged that last month a Chinese frigate’s radar locked on to a Japanese helicopter, in a procedure known as “painting” that is a precursor to firing weaponry. For both alleged incidents, on January 19 and January 30, China’s defence ministry said in a statement to AFP that the Chinese shipboard radar maintained normal operations and “fire-control radar was not used”. Onodera said yesterday that Japan could prove the frigate used a fire-control radar, instead of an early-warning radar that China insists was used as part of normal operations. “An early-warning radar turns around repeatedly, while a fire-control radar keeps pointing to

a moving ship that it targets at,” Onodera said. “We have evidences that the radar followed after our ship for a certain period of time,” he said, adding that Japan recorded a radio frequency that is peculiar to a fire-control radar. The long-running row over the islands intensified in September when Tokyo nationalised part of the chain, triggering fury in Beijing and huge anti-Japan demonstrations across China. Beijing has repeatedly sent ships and aircraft near the islands and both sides have scrambled fighter jets, though there have been no clashes. Activities of Chinese official ships around Senkaku islands have calmed”, since Tuesday, when Japan disclosed the radar incident, Onodera said. Abe, the hawkish Japanese premier, on Thursday called the incident “extremely regrettable”, “dangerous” and “provocative”, but also said dialogue must remain an option.— AFP

Pilgrims prepare for holiest day at India’s Kumbh Mela

MUNSHIGANJ: A Bangladeshi fire fighter holds the dead body of a drowned child passenger after a ferry accident in Munshiganj on February 8, 2013. — AFP

Death toll in Bangladesh ferry sinking rises to 14 DHAKA: Rescue divers yesterday pulled out 12 more bodies from a ferry that sank near the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka with around 100 people aboard, raising the death toll from the latest boat disaster to 14. The small vessel was ferrying passengers Friday on the Meghna river, close to the town of Gazaria in the central Munshiganj district, when it collided with a barge laden with sand to be used for construction. While some passengers managed to swim to safety as the wooden boat went down rapidly, many others remain unaccounted for, according to officials involved in the rescue effort. “Divers have pulled 12 more dead bodies from the sunken vessel,” district police chief Mohammad Shahabuddin told AFP, adding that the ferr y had been recovered and would be searched for more bodies. “The death toll is now 14.” The exact number of people aboard the ferry was uncertain as passenger lists are often not maintained properly in Bangladesh and many travellers buy tickets on board. Police said that the ferry was car-

rying around 100 people, with 40 people feared missing. Nasir Hossain, who participated in the rescue operation on Friday using his own boat, said that he and others helped pull 13 people out of the water. “I heard a bang as a sand-laden barge hit the boat in the middle of the river and saw the overcrowded boat sink quickly,” Hossain told a local television channel. Bangladesh has a history of boat disasters as a result of poor safety standards and frequent overloading of vessels. Last March 147 people were killed when a passenger vessel sank in the Meghna river after colliding with a cargo ship. Ferries are the main form of transport in Bangladesh, a low-lying country that is subject to frequent flooding and where the road network is rudimentary. However many of the vessels that plough the 230 or so rivers that traverse the country date back to before independence in 1971 and overcrowding is frequent. Naval officials have said more than 95 percent of Bangladesh’s hundreds of thousands of small and medium-sized boats do not meet minimum safety regulations. - AFP

Worried Indonesian prez steps in to lead unpopular ruling party JAKARTA: Indonesia’s president has stepped in to take over his ruling party, so damaged by a series of corruption scandals that even its senior members concede it faces a rout in elections next year. One of his ministers was felled in December after being named as a suspect in a bribery investigation by a powerful anti-corruption agency which has in recent months sunk its teeth into several politicians, including top members of the country’s most successful Muslim-based party. The latest issue surrounds the chairman of the ruling Democrat Party, Anas Urbaningrum, who has been linked to a graft case surrounding the construction of a sports stadium, and whom President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono effectively pushed from his post on Friday night following his return from an overseas trip. “While I am sorting things out ... I am giving (Anas) time to focus on his KPK (Corruption Eradication Agency) legal case,” Yudhoyono told reporters at his home on Friday night. However, the president said Anas remained party chairman, counter to what media have said was a strong push by senior party members to have Anas ousted completely and try to repair the party’s tattered image. Indonesia has long been listed as among the world’s most graft-ridden societies. But it is only more recently, after little more that a decade of democracy in the world’s fourth most populous nation, that Indonesia has really had the means through the KPK anti-corruption agency to chase down suspected officials and politicians. The agency has had to fend of repeated attempts, including by police and legislators, to weaken its powers. But its head, Abraham Samad, sounded confident enough this week

to state that even the president could not interfere with its investigations. The rash of graft cases comes ahead of next year’s general and presidential votes, with no clear front runner for either. Government coalition member the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) has also been badly hit after its head was forced to step down after investigations into the allegations the party was involved in a beefimport scam. That has led to widespread media speculation that the position of Agriculture Minister Suswono, a member of the PKS party, could be at risk. The PKS is the most successful of the Islam-based parties in the world’s most populous Muslim country. But it has faced repeated scandals including an incident when one of its MPs was photographed looking at pornography on a tablet computer in parliament. With Yudhoyono coming to the end of his second and final five-year term next year, speculation is high over who might take over. Months of horse-trading are expected as more powerful parties try to lure candidates with some chance of winning. One top Democrat Party official told Reuters last week that the ruling party itself would be lucky to get 10 percent of the vote next year. The other main party, Golkar, is pushing controversial businessman Abdurizal Bakrie as its presidential candidate but he is seen even among some of his own party officials as unpopular and unelectable. His campaign appears to have suffered a setback when sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Friday that his debtridden company was in talks to sell its majority stake in a media company, potentially depriving him of easy national television access.— Reuters

ALLAHABAD: Tens of millions of Hindu pilgrims prepared to cleanse their sins with a plunge into the sacred river Ganges, ahead of the most auspicious day of the world’s largest religious festival. Some 30 million Hindu saints, devotees and visitors were expected to take part in the Kumbh Mela today-considered the holiest of the 55-day festival-in north India, police said. “One dip in the river has the power to change life forever,” said 65-year-old Malti Devi from London, taking part in the festivities for the first time. The Kumbh Mela, which began last month, takes place every 12 years in Allahabad in northern Uttar Pradesh state, with smaller but similar events every three years in other locations around India. It has its origins in Hindu mythology, which tells how a few drops of the nectar of immortality fell on the four places that host the festival-Allahabad, Nasik, Ujjain and Haridwar. Devotees believe entering the mighty river cleanses them of sin and frees them of the cycle of birth and rebirth. Many believe some three billion Hindu deities will also take a dip in the sacred river to bless mankind today. The festival, which draws ash-covered holy men, a smattering of international celebrities as well as millions of ordinary Indians, yesterday welcomed new waves of devotees. Naked ash-smeared mystics, known as sadhus, and swamis and gurus clad in flowing robes streamed into the festival grounds. Today, when the water is considered the holiest and most auspicious, is “the most crucial day for the pilgrims and for police”, Ajit Tyagi, a police officer in Allahabad, told AFP. “We have to make sure everyone is safe.” Over 7,000 policemen have been deployed to oversee the bathing ritual today, along with 30,000 volunteers, he said. The “safety of women and children is our first priority”, said Tyagi, adding that over 10 million women were expected to participate in the big bathing day. Increasing pollution in the river has been another key concern for authorities who said they are constantly monitoring levels since the festival began on January 14. Londoner Devi said she would donate food and clothes to the poor after taking the ritual dip in the river. “I’m not worried about the security or pollution. We’re here to celebrate a festival that brings the rich and poor together,” she said. Around eight million people housed in a sprawling city of tents have already bathed at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers since the festival started. Ahead of the Kumbh Mela, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had warned of action against industries polluting the river and ordered the release of water from India’s highest dam in Tehri to meet demands for the festival. “No one will be allowed to wash their clothes or throw plastic bags in the river on the main bathing day,” Manikant Mishra, an administrator at the Kumbh Mela, told AFP. “Take a dip and move out of the water-those are the instructions we are giving,” Mishra said.— AFP

ALLAHABAD: A Hindu holy man or Sadhu (center) prays while standing on one leg at the banks of the river Ganges at the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad yesterday. —AP

NEWS Blizzard grinds US Northeast to halt Continued from Page 1 “There was a bunch of us Long Islanders. We were all helping each other, shoveling, pushing,” he said. He finally gave up and settled in for the night in his car just two miles from his destination. At 8 am, when it was light out, he walked home. “I could run my car and keep the heat on and listen to the radio a little bit,” he said. “It was very icy under my car. That’s why my car is still there.” Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut closed roads to all but essential traffic. Some of the worst of the storm appeared to hit Connecticut, where even emergency responders found themselves stuck on highways all night. In the shoreline community of Fairfield, police and firefighters could not come in to work, so the overnight shift was staying on duty, said First Selectman Michael Tetreau. “It’s a real challenge out there,” Tetreau said. “The roads are not passable at this point. We are asking everyone to stay home and stay safe.” Several state police cars were also stuck in deep snow in Maine, where stranded drivers were warned to expect long waits for tow trucks. Nearly 22 inches of snow fell in Boston and more was expected, closing in on the 2003 record of 27.6 inches. The archdiocese in the heavily Roman Catholic city reminded parishioners that under church law, the requirement to attend Sunday Mass “does not apply when there is grave diffi-

culty in fulfilling this obligation.” Logan Airport was not expected to resume operations until late night. Flooding fears along the Massachusetts coast led to the evacuation of two neighborhoods in Quincy, south of Boston, and of 20 to 30 people in oceanfront homes in Salisbury. But around the New York metropolitan area, many victims of Superstorm Sandy were mercifully spared another round of flooding, property damage and power failures. “I was very lucky and I never even lost power,” said Susan Kelly of Bayville on Long Island. “We were dry as anything. My new roof was fantastic. Other than digging out, this storm was a nice storm.” As for the shoveling, “I got two hours of exercise.” The Postal Service closed post offices and suspended mail delivery yesterday in New England. “This is crazy. I mean it’s just nuts,” Eileen O’Brien said in blacked-out Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts, as she cleared heavy snow from her deck for fear it might collapse. As the pirate flag outside her door snapped and popped in gale-force winds yesterday, she said: “My thermostat keeps dropping. Right now it’s 54 inside, and I don’t have any wood. There’s nothing I can do to keep warm except maybe start the grill and make some coffee.” In South Windsor, Connecticut, Bill Tsoronis used a snowblower to carve paths through huge snowdrifts in his neighborhood. — AP

Islamists rally in Tunis, PM threatens... Continued from Page 1 Belaid, who accused the Islamist party of stealing the revolution, was gunned down outside his home on Wednesday morning, sparking days of unrest as his supporters and family openly blamed Ennahda for eliminating him. Yesterday’s protest was on a far smaller scale than anti-government rallies held in the wake of Belaid’s murder. Ennahda supporters also chanted anti-French slogans in response to Paris’ Interior Minister Manuel Valls’s condemnation of “Islamist fascism” in Tunisia. Tensions between liberals and Islamists have been simmering for months over the future direction of the once

proudly secular Muslim nation. Their divisions within the national assembly have blocked progress on the drafting of a new constitution. But the crisis has also laid bare divisions within the party itself, and inflamed anti-Islamist sentiment. Jebali first announced his plans to form a nonpolitical government of technocrats in the immediate aftermath of Belaid’s murder. “I will present the team no later than the middle of next week,” he told Tunisian media yesterday. “If it is accepted... I will continue to carry out my duties as head of the government. Otherwise, I will ask the president of the republic to find another candidate to form a new government.” — AFP

India executes plotter of parliament... Continued from Page 1 Fearing a backlash over the execution of the onetime fruit merchant, authorities imposed a tight curfew in major populated areas of Indian Kashmir. A separatist conflict in the disputed Himalayan region has claimed up to 100,000 lives. Authorities also cut off cable television and mobile Internet lines in Kashmir while India’s home ministry issued an advisory to state police across the country to be on guard against any violence following the hanging. Guru was arrested after five militants stormed the parliament in New Delhi on December 13, 2001, killing eight policemen and a gardener before securi-

ty forces shot them dead. A journalist who was wounded died months later. India alleged the militants behind the attack were supported by Pakistani intelligence, creating a tense eight-month standoff as the neighbors deployed an estimated one million troops on their borders. India’s main opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, said while the execution had been delayed too long, the world now “could see India is committed to the fight against terror”. India says the death penalty is reserved for the “rarest of rare” cases and the execution came after the government hanged the sole surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Pakistan-born Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, last November. — AFP


Assad shakes up cabinet, warplanes raid Damascus DAMASCUS: President Bashar Al-Assad reshuffled his cabinet yesterday as regime warplanes raided rebel areas in a bid to end the stalemate in Syria’s deadly civil war and hopes for a political solution appeared to founder. Syria is in the depths of an unprecedented economic recession because of the violence gripping the country for nearly two years, and the latest government reshuffle focused on finance and social affairs portfolios. The World Bank says the country’s gross domestic product has shrunk by 20 percent, and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) puts unemployment at 37 percent and possibly hitting 50 percent by the end of 2013. Assad changed seven ministers, the official SANA news agency reported. It said he split the ministry of labour and social affairs into two, and brought in a woman, Kinda Shmat, to head the latter. Hassan Hijazi becomes labor minister. Ismail Ismail becomes finance minister and Sleiman Abbas takes the oil and mineral resources portfolio. The housing and urban development, agriculture and public works ministers

also changed. In the latest fighting, regime warplanes launched air strikes within the Menegh military airbase in the northern province of Aleppo after rebels stormed parts of the garrison, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The base is less than 25 kilometres (15 miles) from the border with Turkey, a key backer of the rebellion against Assad’s regime. Air raids also targeted northern and eastern areas outlying the capital, amid fighting between loyalist troops and insurgents, the watchdog said. Jets also hit the town of Sabineh south of Damascus, and fierce clashes broke out between rebels and troops in the embattled town of Daraya, where the army shelled insurgent positions, the Observatory said. The army this week launched a major offensive against rebel zones surrounding the capital, in a drive to break the stalemate. Pro-regime newspaper Al-Watan said the army was “determined to crush terrorism around the capital and in big cities.” The Observatory said at least 15 people were killed yesterday a day after it reported 136 deaths nationwide. — AFP

Egypt court suspends YouTube... Continued from Page 1 produced in the United States by an Egyptian-born Christian who’s now a US citizen. Egypt’s new constitution includes a ban on insulting “religious messengers and prophets.” Broadly worded, blasphemy laws were also in effect under former President Hosni Mubarak prior to his ouster in a popular revolt two years ago. Yet, similar orders to censor pornographic websites deemed offensive have not been enforced in Egypt because of high

costs associated with technical applications, although blocking YouTube may be easier to enforce. Also, rights activists say the ministry of communications and information technology has appeared unwilling to enforce such bans. Human rights lawyer Gamal Eid said the decision to ban YouTube stems in large part from a lack of knowledge among judges about how the Internet works. Activists say this has led to a lack of courtroom discussion on technical aspects of digital technology, leaving cases based solely on threats to national security and defamation of religion. — AP

Kerry offers olive branch to Iran Continued from Page 1 That’s the choice,” Kerry said, speaking after his first bilateral talks with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird. In talks held last May in Baghdad, the so-called P5+1 — the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germanydemanded Iran scale back its uranium enrichment, the part of its program that causes the most concern because it could provide the key ingredient for a nuclear bomb. But because the P5+1 stopped short of offering relief from the sanctions, Iran walked away at the third round of talks in Moscow. British Foreign Secretary William Hague has said the P5+1 will put forward an “updated and credible” offer to Iranian leaders at the Almaty talks. Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful, but many in the international community suspect that Tehran’s real aim is to develop an atomic bomb. “We believe that beyond Iran’s support, material support for terrorism, beyond their abysmal and deteriorating human rights record, the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran is the biggest threat to international peace and security,” said Baird, the Canadian foreign minister. “I share the view that a diplomatic solution is possible,” he added, saying Canada wanted Iran to “change course and rejoin the international community.” Tehran has been calling for scaling back biting sanctions that are hurting the Iranian economy. But instead, the United States tightened sanctions Wednesday on Iran to further choke off its oil income and lim-

it Tehran’s ability to freely use the money it gets from oil exports. The global sanctions have also targeted Iran’s access to the world banking system, slowing its economy, accelerating inflation and boosting the ranks of the jobless. And they have led to the collapse of the national currency, which lost more than two thirds of its value in a 20-day span starting in late September. Tehran is also being pressured by the UN’s atomic watchdog agency to allow broader access to its nuclear facilities in a bid to resolve outstanding issues over the Islamic republic’s past atomic activities. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei angrily accused Washington this week of trying to negotiate with Tehran at gunpoint, as he rejected an offer of direct US-Iran talks. “I am not a diplomat but a revolutionary and I speak frankly,” Khamenei told air force commanders in remarks published on his website. “You (Americans) are pointing the gun at Iran and say either negotiate or we will shoot.” A Gallup poll found that most Iranians are feeling the pain of sanctions but still support a civilian nuclear program. The US polling firm, which spoke to 1,000 Iranians by telephone over December and January, found that 83 percent said international economic sanctions had affected their livelihoods, with nearly half blaming the United States. Washington broke off relations with Iran in 1980 in the aftermath of the storming of the US embassy in Tehran, when 52 Americans were taken hostage by Islamist students. Since then, the United States has been vilified by the Islamic republic as the “Great Satan.” — AFP





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Mali crisis poses serious security issue for Niger By Boureima Hama


uthorities in Niger, who have sent troops to help battle Islamists in neighboring Mali, are wary of armed extremists filtering across the desert border and of an uprising by the domestic Tuareg population. Since French troops deployed in Mali on January 11 to tackle the armed Islamists, Niger’s government has ordered round-the-clock military patrols in the capital Niamey and stepped up security around hotels and foreign embassies. “Never seen anything like it, except during coups d’etat,” said a resident in the plush Plateau residential district, home to many expatriates. It was there that Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in January 2011 took two young French hostages, who subsequently died during a failed rescue bid by the French military. The abduction in the capital was among the most spectacular operations carried out by Islamists in Niger in recent years, together with the kidnapping of seven expatriate workers at the uranium mine run by French nuclear group Areva at Arlit in the north in September 2010. AQIM still holds four French hostages. “The threats that exist in Mali constitute a domestic security problem for Niger,” President Mahamadou Issoufou recently said. A long-standing proponent of using force against AQIM and its allies, who seized control of northern Mali last year, Issoufou sent a battalion of 500 Niger soldiers to join the West African peacekeeping force deployed there. These soldiers, considered well-trained and tough, are presently the most committed African troops in Mali, along with a Chadian contingent that is battle-hardened in desert warfare. At home, Niger’s rulers have adopted preventive tactics. The government says it is doing its best to patrol the 800-kilometre (500-mile) border with Mali to deter any infiltration. The speaker of the National Assembly, Hama Amadou, warned “terrorist” forces could “deploy in the direction of Niger” after armed Islamists took dozens of hostages in January at a gas site in Algeria’s southeastern desert to avenge French military action in Mali. At least 37 foreigners and one Algerian hostage were killed when Algerian special forces stormed the complex, along with 29 hostage-takers. The attack led France to send special forces to protect the Areva sites in Niger, which are the poor and largely desert nation’s main source of foreign income. But “in spite of all the best intentions of the security forces, it is impossible to control everything,” an official close to Niger’s ruling elite said. The Niamey government has welcomed US plans to deploy reconnaissance drones in Niger to monitor AQIM activities in the vast Sahel region. Officials are also closely watching the role played by Tuaregs in the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), whose fighters captured northern Mali before AQIM and its allies sidelined the Tuaregs. Like Mali, Niger has been prone to Tuareg separatist uprisings, but both countries’ governments made several peace deals with the traditional nomadic tribes. Mali considers the MNLA as the only force it would be prepared to negotiate with among the armed movements in the north. However, Niger’s President Issoufou has made forceful demands for the disarmament of the MNLA and spoken out against talks with the movement on self-determination, a stance that surprised some observers. “If the demands of this Tuareg armed group are met (in Mali), there will be a big temptation for their Tuareg brothers in Niger, who for the moment are content with decentralized rule of their territory. The north of Niger is certainly going through a calm period, but everything could change very fast,” an African diplomat posted to Niamey said. Niger’s Tuareg community-about nine per cent of the country’s 15 million inhabitants-will not “dig up the battle-axe”, countered a former rebel leader in the town of Agadez, in the heart of Tuareg territory. Many leaders of past Tuareg uprisings-the last dates from 2007-2009 - have been integrated into public service in Niamey or become elected officials in the north. In a symbolic move, Issoufou made a Tuareg, Brigi Rafini, his prime minister on taking power in 2011. In Mali, “they have to solve the MNLA problem through dialogue,” said the former rebel leader in Agadez. “Otherwise, the tension will never ease in the north of Mali and throughout the Sahel.” —AFP

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Washington Watch

Obama and drones: Unkept promises By Dr James J Zogby


find deeply troubling the White House claim that their use of drones to assassinate suspected terrorists is “legal, ethical and wise”. The release of a Department of Justice “White Paper” that purports to establish the Administration’s legal justification for these killings only compounds my concern. In response to the excesses of his predecessor, President Obama promised an Administration that would respect due process, rule of law, judicial oversight, and a government that would be transparent and accountable. The “White Paper” fails to deliver on this promise. Legal critics point to the “White Paper’s” vague criteria saying that it essentially gives the Administration the right to kill anyone (even a US citizen), anywhere (whether on or off the battlefield), anytime it deems it appropriate to do so. According to the procedures established by the Administration, a “drone kill” is justified if “an informed, high level [US] official” decides that a “target is a high-ranking Al-Qaeda official or affiliate”, who poses an “imminent threat of a violent attack against the United States, [where] capture is not feasible”. The “White Paper” then dumbsdown the definitions of each of the operative terms (“highranking”, “affiliate”, imminent” or “feasible”) to such a disturbing degree that the mandate becomes more-or-less open-ended. All this has not passed without objection. Several Senators and Members of Congress are challenging the Administration’s use of drones, and several commentators and editorial writers have delivered stinging critiques. Some have compared this Administration’s approach to “drone kills” with the way the Bush crowd attempted to justify their use of torture. Both initially shrouded their policies with secrecy. Both commissioned legal opinions to validate their behaviors. Both used language to obfuscate;

torture became “enhanced interrogation”, while assassinations have become “targeted killings”. And both maintained the inherent right of the Executive Branch to operate without oversight. There is, no doubt, a perverse attractiveness to the use of drones to “take out” troublesome individuals. The technology is remarkable, allowing an individual thousands of miles away to engage in surveillance, to analyze data, and then, by remote control, to kill. It’s easy and it doesn’t require putting the lives of American military personnel at risk. Sure it’s easy, but just because you have the technology that enables you to do something and are powerful enough to get away with doing it doesn’t, by itself, provide sufficient justification. Nor does the preparation of a selfserving “White Paper” in which you give yourself questionable legal cover. It is important to consider that the technology we now possess will soon be available to other states and non-state actors. So too the “legal justifications” we are now using to give ourselves absolution, may also one day be used by others. What would be our response to Iran or Hezbollah using drones to assassinate an Israeli defense official involved in planning a military strike against Iran? Or Shabab militants similarly “taking out” an Ethiopian official? Or what if Taleban operatives were to gain access to drones and use them against an American defense official visiting a neighboring country? If they deemed the target as a “high-ranking official or affiliate” who posed “an imminent threat” and so on? Another deeply troubling issue raised by the use of drones is the subjectivity involved in the entire exercise. We are assured by Administration officials that they engage many layers of internal review and “agonize” over each and every strike. At one point they boldly stated that there were no instances where “collateral damage” occurred. Now, however, they admit that there have been

“mistakes”. Independent investigations from the UK and the US estimate that of the between 2,000 to over 3, 400 who have been killed in drone strikes, “mistakes” have resulted in between 300 to over 800 civilian deaths. The term “collateral damage” is vile and antiseptic, masking, as it does, real lives lost, families affected, and entire communities traumatized. In fact, what we don’t know goes much deeper. What was the evidence used to sentence to death those who were killed? How “high level” were the targets? And what exactly were they doing that made us determine that they posed an “imminent threat to the United States”? In the end, we are simply asked to “trust” that an “informed high level official” made the right call. Finally, there are the impacts that this use of drones are having on affected populations, as well as on the legacy of this President. The use of overwhelming deadly force only increases the sense of alienation and powerlessness among peoples whose hearts and minds we ought to be seeking to win. Dexter Filkins writes in the New Yorker about the fear and trauma and the resultant anti-American fury created by the use of drones in a village he visited in Yemen. I have heard as much from Pakistanis.We’ve come a long way from the President’s 2009 “Speech to the Muslim World” in which he declared his willingness to address past failings and his openness to “a new beginning”. It would be tragic if this and his other promises were betrayed and the final chapter of his tenure in office were to see him ultimately defined (as he currently is in some quarters) as the “drone President”. The President should listen to his critics. He still has time to change direction and to return to the promises he made to the American people to correct the course taken by his predecessor and the pledges he made to the Muslim World in Cairo, 2009. - Dr James J Zogby is President, Arab American Institute.

US mulls next steps in Syria By Jo Biddle


Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that the United States is exploring ways to end Syria’s increasingly bloody conflict as the White House defended its refusal to arm rebels there. The decision not to arm rebels was apparently a divisive one in President Barack Obama’s first term, with several top officials urging more strident action to tip the military balance on the ground against the Damascus regime. Kerry, speaking at his first press conference since taking over as the top US diplomat, steered clear of saying whether the United States would reconsider arming the rebels now, as the bloody conflict rages through its 22nd month. Some 60,000 people have died since demonstrators first took to the streets almost two years ago to protest President Bashar Al-Assad, as the conflict has escalated into a civil war that has displaced some three million people. It was revealed this week that the White House had rejected secret plans drawn up last summer by Kerry’s predecessor, Hillary Clinton, and former CIA chief, General David Petraeus, to arm the Syrian opposition. “It is a very complicated and very dangerous situation,” warned Kerry, who only took over as America’s top diplomat late last Friday. “There’s too much killing and there’s too much violence and we obviously want to try to find a way forward,” he said, adding that everybody in the administration was “deeply distressed” by the continued violence in Syria. “We are evaluating now, we are taking a look at what steps, if any, diplomatic particularly, might be able to be taken in an effort to reduce that violence and deal with that situation.” So far the United States is the largest single donor of aid, having pledged some $365 million to help the Syrian opposition and refugees. Some 760,000 people have fled the country and another 2.5 million are internally displaced. But, wary of pouring more weapons into a volatile conflict, Washington has so far refused to arm the Syrian opposition, limiting itself to non-lethal support such as communications equipment. News that other senior cabinet members, including Pentagon chief Leon Panetta and chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, had supported the Clinton-Petraeus plan, further fuelled the notion of major differences over what to do about Syria.

Kerry said he was not aware of what decisions had been made before he took over as secretary of state a week ago, stressing he was focused on the future. The White House meanwhile defended its decision to reject the plan to arm the Syrian opposition. Spokesman Jay Carney said the US priority was to ensure that weapons provided by Americans did not end up in the wrong hands and create more danger for “the US, the Syrian people or for Israel.” Analysts say however that had the US administration pressed ahead with the proposals to arm the rebels several months ago, the situation in Syria today might be very different. “I firmly believe you have to change the military balance on the ground even for a political solution. The fact is that this regime, and Assad, is not going to do himself out of a job,” Salman Shaikh, director of the Qatar-based Brookings Doha Center, told AFP. “If the decision had been

taken last summer, we may well be in a situation by which the Free Syrian Army and the more professional elements could have become much more capable themselves by now in organizing the resistance.” Now a strong “disillusionment” is setting in among the opposition, many of whom had been primed to expect a lifting of the US arms ban. “Everyone’s conflicted, these are tough decisions. But sometimes you have to make the tough decisions,” Shaikh added. Obama told the New Republic magazine last month he constantly wrestled with issues of where and when America should intervene. “In a situation like Syria, I have to ask, can we make a difference in that situation? Would a military intervention have an impact? ... What would be the aftermath of our involvement on the ground? Could it trigger even worse violence or the use of chemical weapons?” “Those are not simple questions. And you process them as best you can.” — AFP

ALEPPO: Free Syrian Army fighters sit behind their anti-aircraft weapon in Aleppo, Syria. US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the US is exploring ways to end Syria’s increasingly bloody conflict as the White House defended its refusal to arm rebels there. — AP



Keshi backs move to rescind Pitroipa’s card SOWETO: Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has warmly welcomed the decision to rescind the red card picked up by Burkina Faso’s key attacking midfielder Jonathan Pitroipa. CAF’s decision allows the Rennes star to compete in Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations final against Keshi’s Super Eagles at Soccer City stadium. “I applaud the decision taken by CAF in rescinding Jonathan’s red card,” Keshi told the traditional pre-final press conferennce here yesterday. “If you look at the video, it’s very obvious this guy didn’t deserve a red card. “Tomorrow, it’s going to be a good game in front of a 90,000 crowd - it’s a game where Jonathan should be there, so I’m happy. “It’s not every day you get the chance to play in a Nations Cup final so to deny him that would be rough on him.” Pitroipa was cleared to take part after the referee who sent him off wrongly for diving in Wednesday’s semi-final win over Ghana admitted the decision was incorrect. Tunisian Slim Jdidi has been suspended after making a series of dodgy decisions during the game. — AFP

Bay Area prepares for men’s tennis goodbye SAN JOSE: For more than a century, some of the best men’s tennis players in the world have come to the Bay Area almost every year. From its birth in 1889 as the Pacific Coast Championships in Monterey to stints in Berkeley and San Francisco and its current home in San Jose, the tournament now known as the SAP Open has a list of winners that reads like a who’s who of tennis greats. Bill Johnston. Don Budge. Jack Kramer. Rod Laver. Arthur Ashe. Jimmy Connors. John McEnroe. Ivan Lendl. Stefan Edberg. Andre Agassi. Pete Sampras. The winner of this year’s tournament, which begins Monday, will be the last. The SAP Open is being moved after this year, leaving the Bay Area without a men’s tournament. “It’s incredibly disappointing,” said ESPN analyst Brad Gilbert, who won here in 1989. “As somebody who grew up here and has been part of the tournament since I was like 8-years-old, it’s sad.” Gilbert served as a ball boy as a kid at this tournament, made it to the singles finals four times as a player, and coached Agassi, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray to titles here. But he has watched as the tournament lost star power in recent years after the group that runs the San Jose Sharks bought it from former star Barry MacKay in the 1990s.—AP

Nadal says he wants drug cheats caught VINA DEL MAR: Rafael Nadal says testing for performanceenhancing drugs in sport should strike a balance between catching the cheats and respecting the athletes. “Not everyone has to pay for some sinners,” Nadal said Friday at the VTR Open in Chile. Nadal said earlier this week that he had passed six blood and urine tests since losing June 28 at Wimbledon. He took seven months off to recover from a left knee injury before returning in Chile. An 11-time Grand Slam winner, Nadal said it should be made public who is being tested and how frequently. “If I go through a lot - or very few doping controls - people should know,” he said. “Though I went for seven months without competing, I went through a lot of tests.” “I don’t have to justify anything,” he added. “This information should be open to the public.” All top tennis players are subject to being tested without warning. The admission last month by Lance Armstrong that he used banned substances in all seven of his Tour de France victories has increased the focus on doping in all sports— AP

Asada nails triple axel to lead 4 Continents Four Continents championships

OSAKA: Taiwan’s Crystal Kiang performs her short program performance in the ladies event during the Four Continents figure skating championships in Osaka yesterday. — AFP

Super Bowl blackout was caused by electrical relay NEW ORLEANS: The company that supplied electricity to the Super Bowl says the blackout that halted the big game was caused by a device it installed specially to prevent a power failure. But the utility stopped short of taking all the blame and said Friday that it was looking into whether the electrical relay at fault had a design flaw or a manufacturing defect. The relay had been installed as part of a project begun in 2011 to upgrade the electrical system serving the Superdome in anticipation of the championship game. The equipment was supposed to guard against problems in the cable that links the power grid with lines that go into the stadium. “The purpose of it was to provide a newer, more advanced type of protection for the Superdome,” Dennis Dawsey, an executive with Entergy Corp., told members of the City Council. Entergy is the parent company of Entergy New Orleans, the city’s main electric utility. Entergy officials said the relay functioned with no problems during January’s Sugar Bowl and other earlier events. It has been removed and will be replaced. All systems at the Superdome are now working, and the stadium was to host a major Mardi Gras event Saturday night, said Doug Thornton, an executive with SMG, the company that manages the stadium for the state. The relay was installed in a building near the stadium known as “the vault,” which receives a line directly from a nearby Entergy substation. Once the line reaches the vault, it splits into two cables that go into the Superdome. Sunday’s power failure cut lights to about half of the stadium, halting play between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers and interrupting the nation’s most-watched sporting event for 34 minutes. Not long after the announcement, the manufacturer of the relay, Chicagobased S&C Electric Co., released a statement saying that the blackout occurred because system operators had put the relay’s so-called trip setting too low to allow the device to handle the incoming electric load. The equipment was owned and installed by Entergy New Orleans. “If higher settings had been applied, the equipment would not have disconnected the power,” said Michael J.S. Edmonds, vice president of strategic solutions for S&C. In a follow-up statement, Entergy said that tests conducted by S&C and Entergy on the two relays at the Superdome showed that one worked as expected, the other did not. Entergy spokesman Mike Burns said both relays had the same trip setting. Entergy’s announcement came shortly before company officials went before a committee of the City Council, which is the regulatory body for the company. During the committee hearing, council member Susan Guidry asked Entergy executives whether they were “fairly cer-

tain” that the relay was faulty. “That is correct,” Dawsey said. However, when asked if the outage was caused by the design or a defect in a part of the equipment, Entergy New Orleans CEO Charles Rice said that had not been determined. “ The equipment did not function properly,” Rice said. “At this particular time, based upon our analysis, we cannot say definitively that there was a defect in design. What we do know is that the equipment for some unknown reason, at this particular time, did not react the way that it should have.” Asked if Entergy and SMG still plan to hire a third-party investigator to get to the bottom of the cause, Rice said that possibility remains open. “We’ll work closely with SMG, and if there is a need for a third-party investigation, we will do that,” Rice said, adding that Entergy was also working with the relay manufacturer. Shabab Mehraeen, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at Louisiana State University, said relays are common electrical fixtures in businesses and massive facilities such as the Superdome. “They are designed to keep a problem they sense from becoming something bigger, like a fire or catastrophic event,” he said. The devices var y in size. Mehraeen, who was not familiar with the relay at the Superdome, said he “wouldn’t be surprised if it was bigger than a truck.” The reasons the devices fail are the subject of much academic research into the interaction of relays with the complex electrical systems they regulate. “It’s not unusual for them to have problems,” Mehraeen said. “ They can be unpredictable, despite national testing standards recommended by manufacturers.” Entergy and SMG had both upgraded lines and equipment in the months leading up to the Super Bowl. Rice said the new gear, with the faulty relay, was installed as part of a $4.2 million upgrade by Entergy that included a new power line dedicated solely to the stadium. In a separate project, SMG replaced lines coming into the stadium after managers expressed concerns the Superdome might be vulnerable to a power failure like the one that struck Candlestick Park during an NFL game in 2011. Thornton stressed Friday that the dome was drawing only about twothirds of its power capacity Super Bowl night. He said typical NFL games in late August or September can draw a little more. Friday’s announcement appeared to absolve Superdome officials of any missteps in the blackout. City officials had worried that the Super Bowl outage might harm New Orleans’ chances of getting another NFL championship game. But NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell downplayed that possibility, saying the league planned to keep New Orleans in its Super Bowl plans. Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the city intends to bid for the game again in 2018.— AP

OSAKA: Former world champion Mao Asada landed a risky triple axel for the first time in two years to lead Japan’s 1-2-3 finish in the short programme at the Four Continents championships yesterday. Skating to the tune of “I Got Rhythm” by George Gershwin, the 2008 and 2010 world champion opened her routine with the highly demanding 3.5-revolution jump before nailing a triple-double combination and a triple loop. The 22-year-old, who has swept all four events she took part in earlier in the season, including the Grand Prix Final, also hit a maximum level-four in two spins and a step sequence to collect 74.49 points. Akiko Suzuki, the 2012 world bronze medallist, trailed in second spot on 65.65 and 2010 world junior champion Kanako Murakami was third on 64.04, going into the final free skate on Sunday. Canada’s national champion Kaetlyn Osmond, 17, crashed on a triple flip attempt and placed eighth on 56.22 points. Asada had refrained from attempting the triple axel so far this season because she frequently bungled the high-scoring jump in the past two seasons, after finishing second to South Korea’s Kim Yu-Na at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. She is the only female skater who regularly attempts the triple axel in competitions. “I have already declared my wish to revive the triple axel this season. It was great that I made it,” said Asada, who is preparing for a showdown with Kim at the world championships next month in London, Ontario, that will crown the pre Olympic season. “I tried to give it all, believing in what I did in training. I feel very happy,” she said. “I used to strain myself too much on the triple axel but now I don’t brace myself before doing it.”

Asada’s last successful triple axel was made at the 2011 Four Continents when she finished runner-up to teammate Miki Ando. Kim, also 22, made a competitive comeback in a second-tier event in December but skipped this event, featuring talent from non-European continents. Italy’s five-time European champion Carolina

Kostner is the reigning world champion. Asada’s short programme score was the highest this season in the world and about one point shy of her personal best she marked four years ago. “I want to carry on the momentum to the free skate tomorrow and the world championships,” she said. — AFP

OSAKA: Winner Kevin Reynolds, center, of Canada, second-placed Yuzur Hanyu, left, of Japan and third-placed Yan Han of China pose for photographers after the awarding ceremony of men’s event of the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Osaka, western Japan, yesterday.— AP

GulfRun 8 winners awarded KUWAIT: GulfRun hosted a ceremony to award the winners of the GulfRun 8 race that took place at the Bahrain International Circuit on January 24th and 25th, 2013. During the award ceremony held on February 5, winners were awarded with GulfRun trophies in the presence of the main sponsor Wataniya Telecom along with other GulfRun sponsors. GulfRun CEO & Founder, Ahmed Al Mudhaf, said: “The competition at GulfRun 8 was more intense compared to previous years due to our returning drivers being a lot more skilled and trained in addition to several interesting cars that joined the race this year.” Al Mudhaf also added, “We have ensured that all participating drivers experienced the thrills of speeding while being in a safe and secure environment with the help of qualified trainers and instructors from the Bahrain International Circuit.” The top three participants of each car class Street, Super and Unlimited were awarded with the GulfRun trophy as they achieved the best lap times in the different competitions (Quartermile, Circuit Champion and Autocross). Hussain Thiyab, Tariq AlMusairie and Tamer Al-Shawa drove their cars to the limit and ranked first in the Quartermile category, while Ahmed Al-Fahed, Bader Al-Sarraf and Sami Haidar, succeeded in reaching first place in the Circuit Champion Category. On his part, Ahmed AlKandari, with his Mitsubishi EVO was declared win-

ner of the Autocross category. Furthermore, Al Mudhaf also stated “GulfRun 8 also succeeded in attracting a record number of audiences many of which got their adrenaline pumping from taking a cab ride around the circuit for a lap. GulfRun 8 would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors and we would like to extend our gratitude towards Kuwait’s private sector, which acknowledges the important role sports plays amongst Kuwait’s youth.” GulfRun 8 is

Khaled Al-Fraih

Marzouq Al-Ghanim

supported by a wide range of sponsors: Title sponsorship by Wataniya Telecom,;Strategic Partner: Kuwait Finance House; Platinum Sponsors: Consolidated Contractors Company, Hydrotek Engineering Company and Jashanmal; Gold sponsorship by Al-Sawan Co., KGL, MotoCare and Slider Station. Dealer sponsors : Abdul Rahman Al Bisher & Zaid Al Kazemi Co., Fouad AlGhanim & Sons Automotive Co., and Kromozone; Venue sponsor: 360 mall.

Group picture

Ahmad Al-Mudhaf

Gulf Bank leads KBC league standings KUWAIT: The Gulf Bank defeated the Ahli United Bank 7-0 in week four competitions of the KBC Football League, a tournament organized by the Kuwait Banks Club for teams representing local banks in Kuwait. The win puts the Gulf Bank on top of the standings with 12 points, followed by the Kuwait Finance House with 10 after defeating the Commercial Bank of Kuwait 9-0. In third place comes the National Bank of Kuwait with 9 points after defeating the Burgan Bank 3-0. AlAhli Bank of Kuwait also defeated the International Bank 2-0.



Sonny Williams defends shortened title bout SYDNEY: Sonny Bill Williams has defended his controversial unanimous points heavyweight victory over veteran Frans Botha in a title bout that ended after 10 rounds in Brisbane on Friday night. The fight, which was advertised and scheduled for 12 rounds as per WBA rules, was stopped early, drawing an angry reaction from Botha and boos from the crowd at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre. The former World Cup-winning All Black star, in only his sixth professional fight, won the points on all three of the ringside judges’ cards against the vastly

experienced but ageing South African boxer. Bookmakers refunded bets on Williams’s controversial win and 44-yearold Botha has challenged the rugby star to a rematch. Williams, who was on the receiving end of some heavy blows from Botha in the final round, tweeted on Saturday that both camps knew it was a 10-round affair. “First morning after the fight it’s sinking in what a great night it was. We both knew it was a 10 rounder b4 the fight! WBAinterntionalbelt!!,” he posted. There was no official explanation for the early ending. The Australian news-

paper reported that Australian National Boxing Federation vice-president Alan Moore, a ringside judge for the bout, said he had no idea why the title fight had been shortened. “When the ring announcer said over the loud speaker that it was the last round, that was the first we ( judges) knew of any change,” Moore was quoted as saying. “Any international title fight is meant to be fought over 12 three -minute rounds. I have no idea what happened.” New Zealand betting agency TAB, which has refunded bets on the fight, claimed it had checked that it was correct in tak-

ing bets on a 12-round bout because it had been stung previously by Williams’ fights finishing early. “We went to great pains to double check and triple check that it was 12 rounds because (in) a Sonny Bill fight this has happened before so we’re pretty annoyed about it,” TAB head bookmaker Mark Stafford told New Zealand’s Radio Sport. “It’s not really about the money figure. People are brassed off. “I don’t know how it has happened, why it has happened. When they said ‘10th and final round’ we all just looked at each other and said ‘what is going on here’?”

The ringside judges gave the Kiwi the victory 97-91, 98-94, 97-91 which was greeted by considerable booing from the crowd. But Williams, who will switch back to Australia’s National Rugby League this season after playing rugby union in New Zealand, was praised in some quarters for the win against Botha, who has fought Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson, Wladimir Klitschko and Evander Holyfield in a 23-year career. “No amateur career, no decent training camp & he won against a guy that fought the greats with 60 bouts to his name,” tweeted one fan. — AFP

NBA results/standings Washington 89, Brooklyn 74; LA Lakers 100, Charlotte 93; Toronto 100, Indiana 98 (OT); New Orleans 111, Atlanta 100; Detroit 119, San Antonio 109; Cleveland 119, Orlando 108; Miami 111, LA Clippers 89; Memphis 99, Golden State 93; Houston 118, Portland 103; Oklahoma City 127, Phoenix 96; NY Knicks 100, Minnesota 94; Chicago 93, Utah 89. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division NY Knicks Brooklyn Boston Philadelphia Toronto

W 32 29 26 21 18

L 16 21 23 27 32

PCT .667 .580 .531 .438 .360

GB 4 6.5 11 15

Indiana Chicago Milwaukee Detroit Cleveland

Central Division 31 20 .608 30 20 .600 0.5 25 23 .521 4.5 19 32 .373 12 16 34 .320 14.5

Southeast Division Miami 33 14 .702 Atlanta 27 22 .551 7 Washington 14 35 .286 20 Orlando 14 36 .280 20.5 Charlotte 11 38 .224 23

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City38 12 .760 Denver 32 18 .640 6 Utah 28 23 .549 10.5 Portland 25 25 .500 13 Minnesota 18 29 .383 18.5 Pacific Division LA Clippers 35 17 .673 Golden State 30 20 .600 4 LA Lakers 24 27 .471 10.5 Sacramento 17 33 .340 17 Phoenix 17 34 .333 17.5 Southwest Division San Antonio 39 12 .765 Memphis 31 18 .633 7 Houston 28 24 .538 11.5 Dallas 21 28 .429 17 New Orleans 17 33 .340 21.5

American quartet to fill Vonn’s boots in downhill SCHLADMING: A quartet of US racers will desperately bid to fill the sizeable hole left by the injured Lindsey Vonn when they compete in the women’s downhill at the World Ski Championships today. Vonn, the reigning Olympic champion in the discipline, sustained season-ending knee injuries in a crash in Tuesday’s opening super-G, a huge morale blow for the US team she spearheaded. Teammate Stacey Cook was moved to issue a plea that she and the rest of the team be allowed to focus on racing in the wake of news that Vonn now finds herself in a battle to make the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Cook currently lies second in the World Cup downhill standings, behind Vonn. Three other US racers, Alice McKennis, Leanne Smith and Julia Mancuso, are in the top 11. Cook twice finished second to Vonn in Lake Louise, while McKennis topped the podium in St Anton, and Smith pitched in with a second place in Val d’Isere and a third place in Cortina. Mancuso bagged a bronze in the superG here and again impressed in Friday’s super-combined, in which she finished eighth despite her weakness in the technical slalom. But she has a penchant for the Streicher slope and warned that she would come out all guns blazing for the downhill. “You’ll see me today, I’ll be racing and I will be going fast,” said Mancuso, the reigning Olympic downhill silver medallist. “The colour of medal I want is gold. If you want to win you have to have an absolute best run and be on the limit. “It’s going to be really cool to see what our team can do. We’ve got three other athletes who can be on the podium and not one of us came here for anything other than a medal.” Lining up to bump the US team off course will be Slovenian Tina Maze, who won the super-G and picked up a silver in

the super-combined here. Maze has been more consistent than thrilling in downhill on the World Cup circuit this season, her best result second behind Vonn at Cortina last month. After storming to the super-G title, the Slovenian admitted that she had taken it easy in the first two training runs and had only really unleashed herself in the downhill run of the super-combined. “I didn’t know how fast I could be,” said Maze, who finished joint first in the combined downhill. “I know yesterday (in the second downhill training) I wasn’t skiing my best. Today (Friday) was the first day I really attacked the course.” In a stark warning to her rivals, Maze announced that she was eyeing five medals in five disciplines in Schladming. “I didn’t think about that coming here. Two golds were my goal,” she said. “But when people started to talk about five medals, I thought they wouldn’t think that if it wasn’t possible. “The doors are open... I will try to do my best in each discipline. It’s not easy, I saw that today. But that’s the most interesting part: to handle the pressure and just be relaxed and have fun.” Other contenders in the running for a podium push include Austrian Anna Fenninger, who saw her super-combined hopes go up in smoke after straddling a gate in the slalom after impressing in the downhill. Fenninger’s teammate Regina Sterz topped both of the two opening training sessions, but insisted that she was not now the favourite. “Others were always on the podium so I don’t see myself as favourite,” she said. “I just like this downhill and I’ll continue to do what I’ve been doing up to now.” Other Austrian hopes ride with Andrea Fischbacher, Stefanie Moser and reigning world downhill champion Elisabeth Goergl. - AFP

SCHLADMING: Stacey Cook from the US practices during the women’s downhill training session of the 2013 World Ski Championships in Schladming, Austria yesterday. — AFP

CLEVELAND: Orlando Magic’s Nikola Vucevic, left, from Montenegro, goes up for a rebound against Cleveland Cavaliers’ Wayne Ellington in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday, in Cleveland. Vucevic led the Magic with 25 points. The Cavaliers won 119-108.—AP

Boozer’s big fourth lifts Bulls over Jazz Thibodeau’s worst loss as Bulls’ coach SALT LAKE CITY: After dealing with foul trouble most of the night, Carlos Boozer got mad. He drew a technical after a no-call with 4:12 left. Then, he got even, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 93-89 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday night. “It was a good win for us,” said Boozer, who played five years with the Jazz. Boozer scored 19 points, including 11 straight in the fourth quarter, and the Bulls closed out a six-game road trip on a positive note. It sure felt better than 24 hours earlier, when the Bulls suffered a 32-point loss in Denver.”Last night, we had a decent first half, but got blown out in the third quarter,” Boozer said. “We all felt terrible. . (Friday) we did a good job of finishing.” It made up for Tom Thibodeau’s worst loss as the Bulls’ coach. “We needed to bounce back,” Thibodeau said. “We took a punch last night, but today we got up and fought. That is exactly what you have to do. You can’t look backwards, you can’t look ahead, you have to look at exactly what is in front of you.” The Bulls easily could have been looking at their third straight loss, especially with Al Jefferson hitting from everywhere. Utah’s big man had a season-high 32 points, going 4 of 4 in the third, then scoring the first eight in the fourth period to give the Jazz a 77-73 lead. Boozer got rolling with about 5 minutes remain-

ing. His layup tied it at 83 with 2:29 left and he scored the next five from the free throw line, including a pair with 27 seconds left for an 88-85 Bulls lead. Randy Foye’s layup pulled Utah to 88-87 with 22 seconds to go, but Chicago sealed it at the foul line. “I’m not sure he’s the guy who beat us,” Millsap said of Boozer, who he forced into early foul trouble. “They’ve got a whole team and they did a good job. Down the stretch, he hits a couple of shots, got fouled but that’s not what lost us the game.” Jefferson and Millsap got little help from their teammates, with no bench players in double figures and Marvin Williams shooting 1 of 6. As a team, Utah made shot 4 of 16 from beyond the arc. The win came almost two years to the day that the Bulls beat Utah by six in the finale for Hall of Fame Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, who abruptly resigned the following afternoon. Sloan was in the arena Friday. He watched Jefferson put on a shooting clinic, hitting 15 of his first 20 shots, only to miss his final two after being forced a bit beyond his range. “If he’s making his shot like that he’s unstoppable,” Foye said. “You already know what he can do with his back to the basket.” Jeffferson said the team just needs to take better advantage when he is double-teamed and play-

ers are fronting him. “I think we did for the most part, we had a chance to win,” said Jefferson, who added 13 rebounds and two blocks. “Things just didn’t go our way in the end.” The Jazz were down by 13 at one point, then held the Bulls to 11 points in the third quarter after giving up 58 in the first half. Even after blowing a lead in the fourth, Utah had a chance late. Millsap’s step-back 3-pointer with 16.9 seconds left missed with Utah trailing 9087. Luol Deng went 3 of 4 on free throws around a runner by Foye to clinch the victory for Chicago. Millsap had 21 points for Utah, which had won four of five. Nate Robinson added 18 points for the Bulls. Chicago led 58-50 going into halftime after shooting nearly 60 percent (24 of 41). The big difference in the first half was the play of Taj Gibson (5 of 6) and Marco Belinelli (3 of 4), who combined for 17 points off the bench before the break. Early on, Utah’s frontcourt duo of Jefferson and Millsap dominated, scoring 11 points each in the first quarter. Jefferson opened 4 of 5, spinning by Joakim Noah for a layup, dunking on him and then converting a three-point play to give Utah a 21-16 lead. Millsap, meanwhile, went right at his former teammate, Boozer, forcing him into two early fouls. It knocked Boozer out for a while, but not at the end. “It was a good fight,” Gibson said. — AP

Svindal joins ski greats with second downhill win SCHLADMING: Aksel Lund Svindal joined an illustrious group yesterday when he became world downhill champion for the second time after finishing third in Wednesday’s superG. The Norwegian clocked two minutes 01.32 seconds on the Planai piste to emulate Toni Sailer, JeanClaude Killy and Bernhard Russi with a second victory in an event no skier has won three times. “It’s a huge achievement for me to clinch another gold medal today in such a difficult race. I was so tired in my mind and body crossing the finish line after fighting so hard all the way down,” Svindal told reporters. “The course was very hard and even icy in some parts and the visibility was very poor too. “I’m really proud to have been able to produce such an effort at the given moment. I was convinced I had given my best and achieved a pretty strong run.” It was the fifth world title for Svindal, who won the downhill in Are six years ago. The 30-year-old Olympic super-G Olympic champion has now collected gold medals in the last four editions of the world cham-

pionships, clinching the combined titles in 2009 and in 2011. The twice overall World Cup winner is also the first Alpine skiing champion to win gold in five consecutive major events including the 2010 Olympics at Vancouver where he won the super-G along with silver

in the downhill and bronze in the giant slalom. Power and strength were the keys on the treacherous and wearing Planai course as the two other men on the podium were also among the most physical athletes on the circuit. Italy’s Dominik Paris, winner of the Kitzbuehel classic two

SCHLADMING: Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal reacts at finish line during the men’s downhill event of the 2013 Ski World Championships in Schladming, Austria yesterday. — AFP

weeks ago, finished second. “I felt pretty relaxed at the start after having done so well this winter, and I didn’t take great risks at the top to save some energy for the tricky bottom section,” he said. “This silver medal is a perfect way to crown that incredible season. I’m very pleased and looking forward for a fun party tonight.” France’s David Poisson was the unexpected bronze medallist, although only injuries have prevented him medalling earlier. Poisson’s performance was all the more praiseworthy as he nearly lost his pole in the final section. “Since the start of the season, I have had fun, I managed to take risks, I have confidence in my skiing. In a one-day race, you have to take your chance and that’s what I did.” Hosts Austria were again denied a medal as downhill World Cup holder Klaus Kroell had to be content with fourth place. The demands of the course were especially evident when defending champion Erik Guay of Canada, exhausted by the succession of turns and bumps, decided to call it quits before the finish line. - Reuters



NHL result/standings Dallas 3 Anaheim 1. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W Pittsburgh 8 New Jersey 6 NY Rangers 5 NY Islanders 4 Philadelphia 4

LOTL GF GA PTS 3 0 39 26 16 1 3 27 22 15 5 0 24 26 10 5 1 30 34 9 6 1 25 30 9

Boston Ottawa Montreal Toronto Buffalo

7 6 6 6 4

Northeast Division 1 1 26 20 15 3 2 31 22 14 3 1 31 24 13 5 0 28 31 12 6 1 35 41 9

Tampa Bay Carolina Winnipeg Florida Washington

6 5 4 4 2

Southeast Division 4 0 42 27 12 4 0 25 26 10 5 1 29 37 9 5 1 25 35 9 8 1 25 41 5

Chicago Nashville St. Louis Detroit Columbus

9 5 6 5 3

Vancouver Edmonton Minnesota Calgary Colorado

6 4 4 3 4

Anaheim San Jose Dallas Phoenix Los Angeles

7 7 6 4 3

Western Conference Central Division 0 2 39 25 20 2 3 23 21 13 4 0 33 30 12 4 1 28 29 11 6 2 23 36 8 Northwest Division 2 2 28 23 14 3 3 24 27 11 5 1 22 28 9 3 2 24 28 8 6 0 21 26 8 Pacific Division 2 1 33 26 15 2 1 34 21 15 5 1 26 28 13 5 2 31 33 10 4 2 20 28 8

Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L)

Sizzling Snedeker in tie for Pebble Beach lead LOS ANGELES: FedExCup champion Brandt Snedeker, the hottest player on the PGA Tour this year, took advantage of ideal scoring conditions by charging into a share of the second-round lead at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Friday. The fast-talking American fired a flawless four-under-par 68 on a glorious sun-splashed af ternoon at Spyglass Hill, one of three venues for this week’s pro-am celebrity event, to post an eight-under total of 134. Snedeker, who has recorded three top-three finishes in his first four starts on the 2013 PGA Tour, collected two birdies on each nine to end the day level with compatriot Ted Potter Jr., who carded a three -under 67 at Monterey Peninsula Country Club. “I didn’t make a lot of putts today but I look forward to going into the weekend,” Snedeker, 32, told reporters after sinking nothing longer than a five-footer for his four birdies on the toughest of the three courses being used this week. “My confidence is very high and, after last week, I feel like my game is where I want it to be. Two good days to go, it should be a lot of fun.” Snedeker, a four-times winner on the PGA Tour, has finished second in his last two events - four shots behind Tiger Woods at the Farmers Insurance Open and then four behind Phil Mickelson at last week’s Phoenix Open. “That’s how you win out here, you keep putting yourself in position, and the more times you do, that the more success you’re going to have,” said Snedeker, who is widely regarded as one of the best putters in the game. “I take nothing but positives away from the way I’ve played the weekend the last couple of events. I know I’ll have a lot of fun this weekend, so just try to recreate that.”

Swe d e Fre d r i k J a co b s o n , w h o charged up the leaderboard with five birdies in his first nine holes, was a further stroke back at seven-under 137 after shooting a six-under 66 on the hosting Pebble Beach Golf Links. Also at seven-under were Americans Hunter Mahan (69) and John Merrick (67), who both played at Monterey Peninsula, and PGA Tour rookie Patrick Reed, after a 69 at Pebble Beach. Defending champion M ickelson made three early birdies to close in on the leaders but was left feeling frustrated after dropping three shots after the turn for a 71 at Spyglass Hill. “I had a good round going here at Spyglass and I turned a 66 into a 71,” world number 10 Mickelson said after ending a day that began amid rain showers at two-under 140, six off the pace. “Tomorrow, I’ve got to finish off. I play a good round tomorrow, I feel like I’m not far off. Hopefully I will put myself in position where a good round on Sunday will get it done.” Mickelson, who clinched his 41st PGA Tour title at last week’s Phoenix Open, is bidding for a fifth victory at Pebble Beach which has long been one of his favourite venues. “Gosh, it ’s so much fun having a chance to win here,” the American lefthander smiled. “But I’ve got to finish off the round tomorrow and see if I can get something in the mid-sixties, and be ready for Sunday.” Britain’s former world number one Lee Westwood, playing his first PGA Tour event of the year, was at four under after carding a 70 at Monterey Peninsula. Triple major winner Padraig H arring ton of I relan d was at on e under after a 71 at Pebble Beach, a stroke better than US Open champion Webb Simpson who shot a 71 at Spyglass Hill. — Reuters

PEBBLE BEACH: Patrick Cantlay hits a shot during the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at Spyglass Hill on Friday in Pebble Beach, California.— AFP

DALLAS: Jonas Hiller #1 of the Anaheim Ducks makes a save against Jamie Benn #14 of the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on Friday in Dallas, Texas. — AFP

Eriksson gets big goal as Stars beat Ducks 3-1 Stars make most of powerplays DALLAS: Trevor Daley and Jamie Benn scored power-play goals, Loui Eriksson added a third-period score and the Dallas Stars beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 on Friday night. Eriksson gave the Stars some breathing room when he corralled Alex Goligoski’s cross-ice pass and fired a wrist shot past Anaheim goaltender Viktor Fasth with 7:14 remaining. Goligoski, who was a healthy scratch Wednesday in Edmonton, added two assists for Dallas (6-5-1), which earned its third consecutive win. Nick Bonino scored for the Ducks (7-2-1), who had won four in a row. It was the first regulation road loss this season for Anaheim. Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller left after the first period with a lower body injury. He made 14 saves, and Fasth finished with 11 stops. The Stars’ power-play unit struck twice in the first period. It went 2 for 5 overall after man-

aging just one goal on 16 opportunities over the previous five games. Dallas also outshot Anaheim 28-21, marking the first time this season that it had outshot an opponent. Daley was strong at the other end as well, disrupting two different breakaways. He helped stop Corey Perry in the first period, resulting in an easy save for Kari Lehtonen, and Kyle Palmieri didn’t even get a shot off on his opportunity in the second. Lehtonen was excellent in goal, making 20 saves. The Ducks cut the Stars’ lead to 2-1 with 4:37 remaining in the second period when Bonino scored for the fourth time this season, re-directing Luca Sbisa’s booming slap shot over Lehtonen’s shoulder. Anaheim nearly tied it just over a minute later, but Lehtonen gloved Daniel Winnik’s backhander on a 3-on-1 rush. Dallas got off to a fast start, outshooting the Ducks 8-1

through the first seven minutes, and drawing the first power play when Brad Staubitz was sent off for roughing. Daley capitalized at 8:48 when his slap shot from the point found its way through a screen and squeezed under Hiller’s arm. Shortly afterward, frustrations bubbled over after a Stephane Robidas slash on Perry went undetected by the officials, incensing Perry and resulting in a fight between the two at 11:02. Staubitz then speared Dallas rookie Brenden Dillon in the groin at 12:34, earning himself a five-minute major and a game misconduct. It took the Stars just 25 seconds to cash in on the extra-man opportunity, with Benn collecting his fourth goal in the last three games. He retrieved the puck off the end boards just above the goal line on the left side and fired it from a sharp angle past the scrambling Hiller. — AP

Nadal reaches singles semifinals in Chile VINA DEL MAR: Rafael Nadal tested his sore left knee with a pair of matches on Friday, defeating fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-1, 6-4 to reach the semifinals of the VTR Open, then advancing in the doubles tournament as well. Nadal, who is returning to the tour after seven months off due to the knee injury, teamed with Juan Monaco to post a 6-3, 6-4 victory against the Argentine pair of Carlos Berlocq and Leonardo Mayer. The twin wins meant Nadal had played five matches in four days. The knee is still hurting but he felt as if he was mak ing progress. “I felt better today than the first day, so that ’s a positive thing,” he said. “That’s a thing that gives me confidence and hope for the future that we’re going in the right way. After seven months out of competition, even if I don’t have the pain in the knee, at the beginning you feel slower, you feel more tired than usual so you need time to adapt. That’s the thing. I need time to do it. I still feel pain in the knee some days and that’s something we hope and think will be improving week by week.” Nadal will play France’s Jeremy Chardy in the singles semifinals on Saturday. If he

advances, the Spaniard then will face another busy day on Sunday with a singles final and the doubles championship against the Italian pair Paolo Lorenzi and Potito Starace. Nadal’s goal is to get back to the top and challenge the other three of tennis’ Top Four: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray. He took the court Friday with temperatures hovering around 85 degrees in the middle to the South American

summer. He is likely to encounter similar temperatures when he plays next week in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and later this month in Acapulco, Mexico. Nadal has said he’s not focusing on the results while he uses the Latin American clay-court events to hone his game. But most fans expect one of the most dominant clay-court players in history - he has won 93 percent of his singles matches on the surface - to win all three

MOSCOW: Russia’s Maria Kirilenko celebrates her victory over Japan’s Kimiko Date-Krumm during the International Tennis Federation Fed Cup quarterfinal match between Russia and Japan in Moscow yesterday. — AFP

tournaments and show he’s ready to challenge for an eighth French Open title come May. He will turn 27 in the middle of the French Open. Nadal was asked Friday about testing for performance-enhancing drugs. He said he wants cheats caught, and clean athletes protected. “Not everyone has to pay for some sinners,” Nadal said. Nadal said earlier this week he had passed six blood and urine tests since losing on June 28 at Wimbledon - his most recent tournament before the current one in Chile. Nadal, an 11-time Grand Slam winner, said it should be made public who is being tested and how frequently. “If I go through a lot - or very few doping controls - people should know,” he said. “ Though I went for seven months without competing, I went through a lot of tests.” “I don’t have to justify anything,” he added. “This information should be open the public.” All top tennis players are subject to being tested without warning. The admission last month by Lance Armstrong that he used banned substances in all seven of his Tour de France victories has increased the focus on doping in all sports. “The important thing is that those who are cheating, pay for their cheating,” Nadal said. — AP

Cipollini snared in Puerto case: Report MILAN: Retired Italian cycling star Mario Cipollini used a sophisticated doping programme designed by a sports doctor currently standing trial in Spain, a report claimed yesterday. At t h e ‘O p e r a t i o n Pu e r to’ t r i a l which opened in Madrid last week, Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes f a ce d c h a rg e s o f s u p p l y i n g a n d administering banned doping products to a number of top cyclists and athetes. Cipollini, a former star sprinter who

w a s c row n e d wo r l d c h a m p i o n i n 2002, is accused by Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport of being one of Fuentes’ clients. Th e p a p e r c a r r i e d a h u g e f ro n t page photo of the rider, once known as the ‘Lion King’ for his flamboyant p e r s o n a l i t y a n d f l ow i n g l o c k s o f blonde hair, with the headline ‘Here is the evidence which snares Cipollini’. The report claims to have solid evid e n ce o f t h e d o p i n g p ro gr a m m e Fu e n te s p re p a re d fo r C i p o l l i n i .

Referred to as ‘Maria’-like many of the other cyclists who were given code n a m e s by t h e d o c to r - C i p o l l i n i i s a l l e g e d to h ave u s e d t h e b a n n e d blood booster (erythropoietin) as well as blood transfusions. The paper claims it has evidence of doping by the former sprinter for the years 2001-2004. Cipollini had an outstanding year in 2002, winning the M i l a n - S a n R e m o o n e - d ay c l a s s i c, Ghent-Wevelgem semi- classic, six stages at the Giro d’Italia, three at the

Tour of Spain and then the world title in Zolder, Belgium. La Gazzetta claims it has evidence t h a t C i p o l l i n i w a s a d m i n i s te re d a blood transfusion three days before M ilan-SanRemo, as well as before Ghent-Wevelgem, the start of the Tour o f S p a i n a n d a l a s t o n e fo u r d ays before the World Championships road race in Zolder. Blood transfusions are particularly a t t r a c t i ve fo r e n d u r a n ce a t h l e te s because they boost performance via

the added oxygen-rich blood cells in the blood while being difficult to detect. With nearly 200 wins in his career from 1989 to 2005, Cipollini is considered one of the greatest sprinters of all time. Included in his honours list are 12 Tour de France stages and 42 from the Giro d’Italia. The biggest names to have already served suspensions for their role in Operation Puer to are S p a n i a rd A l e j a n d ro Va l ve rd e a n d Italian Ivan Basso. — AFP



Fergie blasts Premier League over scheduling LONDON: Alex Ferguson has accused Premier League chiefs of damaging Manchester United’s chances of winning the Champions League with their “ridiculous” scheduling. Ferguson is furious his team must play Everton at Old Trafford in a Premier League fixture on Sunday, while Real Madrid, who host United in the Champions League last-16 first leg on Wednesday, have been allowed to bring their Liga clash with Sevilla forward to

Saturday. The United manager believes the extra time Madrid now have to recover could be crucial and he launched a scathing attack on the Premier League for failing to reschedule the Everton match. “The Premier League agree the contract with TV and they are in control. But they are not giving our teams a chance to be successful in Europe,” Ferguson was quoted as saying in several English newspapers yesterday.

“It is ridiculous to think we are playing on Sunday and Real Madrid have an extra day’s rest. “It is not fair. France play Friday nights. Why? Possibly we (England) get more money out of television I don’t know. “Other countries make sacrifices for their top teams in Europe. What can you do? Not turn up? I would like to do that by the way.” Ferguson insists he isn’t just looking out for United’s interests and he believes

the Premier League need to plan their fixtures more carefully to take into consideration other clubs’ European exploits. In April 2007, Tottenham played a Europa League tie in Seville before flying back and taking on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in a Saturday lunchtime game, which could not be moved because the hosts were stuck in that Wednesday-Tuesday Champions League fix. “It is pointless complaining about these things all the time,” he said. “You

know full well after an away game in Europe you are not getting back until two or three in the morning and then are playing again on the Saturday. “There was an even more ridiculous case than ours when Tottenham played on a Thursday night in the Europa League and then had to play on the Saturday against Chelsea. “How many times have I complained about it? You’ve heard my complaints. Do they listen?”— AFP

Scotland overwhelm Italy in Six Nations LONDON: Scotland played with aggression, discipline and attacking ambition to beat Italy 34-10 in the Six Nations yesterday, their first win in this year’s championship. Tries from Tim Visser, Matt Scott, Stuart Hogg and Sean Lamont as well as 14 points from the boot of man-of-the-match Greig Laidlaw helped Scotland overwhelm an Italy team who came into the match full of confidence after beating France last weekend. In a match often billed as the wooden spoon decider, Scotland, who were soundly beaten 38-18 by England on the opening weekend, were superior in all areas and capitalised on a string of Italian errors. It was their first victory at Murrayfield after five successive defeats and quashed Italian hopes of building on last week’s impressive display against the pre-championship favourites. “We had opportunities and we scored off them which was a great sign of things to come from this team. But in two weeks time we are going to have to do it again,” interim coach Scott Johnson said on the BBC. “I just want to congratulate them because they put in a hard week. We will enjoy the night, that’s why we play the sport, when we reassemble on Tuesday we will be all on for Ireland.” The Italians enjoyed the early territorial advantage, but this began to seep away as the errors crept in and they fell behind after 15 minutes when a Laidlaw penalty from 30 metres soared between the posts. That lead was doubled nine minutes later when Andrea Lo Cicero, winning his 100th cap, was penalised for pulling down the maul and Laidlaw stepped up to notch another three points. Scotland began to showcase their attacking fluency with Scott prevented

from going over after a high-speed dash down the left flank thanks to a superb lastditch tackle from Tobias Botes. A minute later, however, Dutch-born winger Visser jinked past two Italian defenders before going over for his fifth try in seven internationals. Luciano Orquera, who had endured a miserable first half, in stark contrast to his match-wining display last weekend, made Italy’s first mark on the scoreboard with a penalty a minute before the break. If the Italians hoped that would give them a platform to build off they were swiftly brought down to earth after the restart as Scotland extended their lead with two quick tries. Scott took a lovely offload from Sean Maitland to cross before Hogg intercepted a pass from the forlorn Orquera to gallop 80 metres for his second try in consecutive matches. Laidlaw added the conversions to put the hosts 27-3 up after only eight minutes of the second half. After Scott had a second try ruled out for a forward pass, Lamont added the final gloss to the scoreline when he picked up a loose ball and ran 50 metres for another excellent individual effort. Italy’s Alessandro Zanni bundled the ball over late on for a consolation try but it came too late to spark a revival or dampen Scottish celebrations. “I was fortunate to pick up man of the match but that was because everyone of the forwards did their job. I had an easy ride today, I really enjoyed the game,” Laidlaw said. “We’re not getting carried away, we’ve had wins before, we need to go away and understand why we won and take it from there.” Scotland next face Ireland at Murrayfield on Feb. 24, a day after Italy host Wales. — Reuters

AUCKLAND: England’s Luke Wright celebrates the wicket of New Zealand’s Martin Guptill (note pictured) as New Zealand’s Colin Munro looks on (L) during the International Twenty20 cricket match between New Zealand and England played at Eden Park in Auckland yesterday. — AFP

Wright lead England to T20 win over NZ England dominate match from start

EDINBURGH: Andrea Masi of Italy is tackled by Richie Gray (top) and Robert Harley (bottom) of Scotland during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Scotland and Italy at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh yesterday. — AFP

PSG beat Bastia 3-1 to move six points clear PARIS: Goals from Jeremy Menez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ezequiel Lavezzi helped Paris Saint-Germain overcome a poor first half and beat Bastia 3-1 Friday to move provisionally six points clear of Lyon at the top of the French league. Coach Carlo Ancelotti kept Ibrahimovic on the bench until the 65th minute and PSG struggled to play with fluency in the first half, even though striker Kevin Gameiro hit the post midway through. “We were lacking in intensity and speed,” Ancelotti said. “I told the players at halftime to play with more speed.” With Ibrahimovic warming up, Menez scored in the 56th with a shot which goalkeeper Mickael Landreau should have saved. Ibrahimovic then added a penalty in the 71st to notch his 21st league goal in as many games this season. Wahbi Khazri pulled a goal back from a free kick in the 83rd before Lavezzi sealed the win in the 89th. “The first half wasn’t very good, we played too many long balls. The second half was different and we controlled the game quite well,” Ancelotti said. “This gives us confidence for the next match” against Valencia in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Lyon needs to beat Lille at home today night to close the gap on PSG to three points, while Marseille must win at Evian to pull within six points of PSG. “Nothing’s decided yet, but it’s good to have this lead,” Ancelotti said. Defender Sylvain Marchal almost scored an own goal when he cut out Lucas’ cross and the ball rolled just wide, and former PSG goalie Landreau made a smart stop to keep out Gameiro’s back -heeled volley. But Landreau then made a mistake, failing to properly gather Menez’s tame shot, and allowing it to squeeze under him. Landreau was beaten again when Lucas was fouled by Julian Palmieri and PSG was awarded a penalty, although the infringement looked to be outside the penalty area. It was not a night for goalies as Salvatore Sirigu was beaten by Khazri’s free kick while he was still organizing his wall - the first goal the Italian ‘keeper has conceded in 951 minutes since the 2-1 home loss to Rennes on Nov. 17. Khazri almost equalized moments later as Bastia pushed forward, but Lavezzi sealed the win when he turned in Clement Chantome’s cross in the 89th. — AP

MONTPELLIER: Saint-Etienne’s Gabonese forward Pierre -Emerick Aubameyang runs to the ball during a French L1 football match between Saint-Etienne and Montpellier yesterday at the Geoffroy Guichard stadium in Saint-Etienne. — AFP

WELLINGTON: Luke Wright shone with bat and ball while captain Stuart Broad took four wickets as England eased to a 40-run victory over New Zealand in their first Twenty20 international in Auckland yesterday. All-rounder Wright’s 20-ball innings of 42 included three fours and four sixes as England’s power-packed batting line-up scored 214 for seven, their highest total in a T20 international. “The freedom the guys played with the bat today set us up brilliantly,” Broad said in a televised interview. “To go and set our record as an England batting line-up was fantastic. “It was exciting to see the cleanness with which the guys were hitting it.” The 27-year-old Wright then put immense pressure on New Zealand’s batsmen as he bowled several dot balls that forced the hosts to take risks, one of which resulted in Martin Guptill blasting a full delivery straight to Broad at mid-off for 44. Guptill’s wicket in the 13th over was a body blow for New Zealand as the right-hander had looked well set to be the batsmen the hosts could build their late-innings assault around. Broad then chipped in with two wickets in the 15th over, removing James Franklin (eight) and Colin Munro (28) to ensure England’s total was well out of reach. The England skipper finished with 4-24, his best T20 international figures, while Wright took 2-29 and added a catch as New Zealand made 174-9 off their 20 overs. “I think we learned a lot from batting on it first actually,” Broad added of being asked to bat by New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum. “We learned that we could bang it back of a length, take the pace off and get the guys hitting to the bigger boundaries. “It was certainly a good toss to lose.”

The short boundaries straight down the ground, which is primarily configured for rugby, were peppered with a total of 23 sixes dispatched into the stands. The highest total for sixes in a Twenty20 international was the 24 hit by New Zealand and India in Christchurch 2009, a feat duplicated by Australia and India in Bridgetown a year later. Eoin Morgan top-scored for England with 46 from 26 balls and combined with Jonny Bairstow (38) in a 81-run partnership off 7.1 overs as England appeared set for a total in

excess of 230 on the bouncy, drop-in pitch until the stand was broken. New Zealand did not help their cause by dropping five catches. “It was a really poor day in the field,” McCullum said. “You can’t afford to drop five catches in the field in any form of cricket, particularly in 20 overs with the power they have got. “I thought England were outstanding and put us under pressure. We were outplayed by a far better team on the day.” The second contest of the three-match series is in Hamilton on Tuesday. — Reuters

SCOREBOARD WELLINGTON: Scoreboard at the end of thefirst New Zealand v England Twenty20 international at Eden Park in Auckland yesterday: New Zealand won the toss and chose to bowl England M. Lumb c Rutherford b McClenaghan 22 A. Hales st. B. McCullum b Hira 21 L. Wright c Hira b Ellis 42 E. Morgan c Taylor b Hira 46 J. Bairstow c Guptill b Boult 38 J. Buttler not out 32 S. Patel c B. McCullum b Ellis 2 S. Broad c B. McCullum b Boult4 J. Tredwell not out 0 Extras (w-6, nb-1) 7 Total (for seven wickets, 20 overs) 214 Did not bat: Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach. Fall of wickets: 1-29 2-89 3-91 4-172 5-194 6197 7-203 Bowling: McClenaghan 4-0-29-1, Boult 4-040-2 (w-1, nb-1), Hira 4-0-42-2, N. McCullum 40-49-0, Ellis 3-0-40-2 (w-1), Franklin 1-0-14-0. New Zealand H. Rutherford c Tredwell b Broad 18 M. Guptill c Broad b Wright 44

B. McCullum c Morgan b Finn 10 R. Taylor c Bairstow b Finn 13 C. Munro b Broad 28 J. Franklin c Buttler b Broad 8 N. McCullum c Buttler b Wright 3 A. Ellis c Wright b Finn 4 R. Hira not out 20 T. Boult c Patel b Broad 4 M. McClenaghan not out 6 Extras (lb-8, w-3, nb-5) 16 Total (for nine wickets, 20 overs) 174 Fall of wickets: 1-31 2-46 3-77 4-11 5-127 6128 7-134 8-135 9-156 Bowling: Finn 4-0-39-3 (w-1), Broad 4-0-24-4, Dernbach 4-0-33-0 (nb-1), Wright 4-0-29-2, Patel 2-0-17-0 (w-2), Tredwell 2-0-24-0. Result: England won by 40 runs Remaining Twenty20 fixtures: Feb. 12 - Seddon Park, Hamilton Feb. 15 - Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington

Fergie vows to avoid more Everton agony MANCHESTER: Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has promised there will be no more shocks against Everton when David Moyes’ team head to Old Trafford today. Moyes’ men fought back from two goals down with eight minutes remaining to snatch a 4-4 draw at United that swung the Premier League title race towards Manchester City in April last season. They also beat United 1-0 at the start of this season at Goodison Park but, while Ferguson knows his players have every reason to be wary of Everton, he maintains the lessons of last season have been learnt. “It was anticipating the unexpected and we didn’t do that (in the 1-0 defeat) against Everton,” Ferguson said. “But we were 4-2 up with eight minutes to go last season and that definitely cost us the league, no question. It won’t happen again. We hope we’re 4-2 with a few minutes to go this time.” Ferguson once attempted to recruit Moyes as his assistant manager and is full of praise for the work his fellow Scot has done in more than a decade on Merseyside. Moyes’ current deal expires at the end of this season and Ferguson believes his departure would have a significant impact on a

club that has grown used to challenging for a place in the top four. “I’ve read that his contract is up and that’s obviously a concern for Everton,” Ferguson said. “It would be a blow to them because good quality managers with consistency and perseverance would be a big, big loss. “They are a difficult opponent. You see the record this year, they’ve lost three and drawn 12 so they’re hard to beat and that’s David style. “It’s gradual progress because when he first took over there was no money to spend and the squad wasn’t near to what he’s got now. “But given time you can do these things and that’s the great value they get from David because each year they progress to a good level.” Ferguson is hopeful that defender Phil Jones can overcome shingles in order to feature in the game at Old Trafford. England winger Ashley Young should also be available after a knee injury and Michael Carrick will return from a thigh problem, although Ferguson may make changes ahead of the Champions League clash with Real Madrid on Wednesday. Shinji Kagawa and Robin van Persie both made their debuts at Goodison Park in August and Japan

international Kagawa believes the Dutchman can prove pivotal in the title race. “He’s a player who can do a crucial job to win in almost every game. He is a top player, obviously.” Kagawa said. “It’s a wonderful experience for me to be able to play with him. For the team, it’s always encouraging to have players like Van Persie and (Wayne) Rooney when you’re attacking.” Moyes believes that Everton’s suprise win on the opening weekend of the season provided the catalyst for his team’s impressive challenge for a European place. “I don’t sit back thinking the 4-4 was a great game-it got us a point, that’s all,” Moyes said. “But we finished last season with a bit of momentum, and the 1-0 win at the start of this one probably set us up. That game gave us a boost again.” Everton are vying with Tottenham, currently in fourth place three points ahead of Moyes’s team, for the coveted final Champions League berth, with Arsenal a point behind in sixth place. “We’re having a great season, yet Manchester United are 20 points ahead of us. I was shaking my head in disbelief,” Moyes said. “It says a lot about the level you have to reach if you’re going to have any chance of competing for the title.” — AFP




Nigeria favoured to win and end Burkina fairytale SOWETO: Nigeria are expected to be crowned African football kings a third time today by bringing the fairytale run of Burkina Faso to an end. Man for man, the Super Eagles look stronger than the Stallions ahead of the title match at the 85,000-capacity Soccer Stadium in Soweto, a township on the south-west outskirts of Johannesburg. The team in green and white can also expect to enjoy a massive advantage in support with thousands of Nigerians working in the South African financial hub set to roar on the footballers they adore. Nigeria boast an amazingly consistent Cup of Nations record with 13 topthree finishes in 16 previous appearances while Burkina Faso arrived in South Africa last month desperate to end a 17-match run without a victory. While the Super Eagles lifted the symbol of African national-team supremacy at home in 1980 and in

Tunisia in 1994, the closest the Stallions have come is reaching the semi-finals as hosts of the 1998 tournament. They ended the win-less streak in style by thrashing Ethiopia in Nelspruit near the famous Kruger National Park game reserve, and three of the goals came after being reduced to 10 men when goalkeeper Abdoulaye Soulama was red carded. It is a final no one outside of the two countries could have imagined with perennial pre-competition favourites Ivory Coast, four-time champions Ghana, hosts South Africa and young, talented Algeria being strongly backed. Nigeria and Burkina Faso have already met in this competition, drawing 1-1 in a Group C opener with Emmanuel Emenike giving the Eagles a first half advantage they held until now-injured Alain Traore levelled deep

in stoppage time. The Eagles also drew with defending champions Zambia before victories over Ethiopia, star-stacked title favourites Ivory Coast and Mali propelled them to a final they enter as 1-2 favourites with local bookmakers. Burkina Faso followed the draw with Nigeria by whipping Ethiopia, holding title-holders Zambia and edging Togo through an extra-time goal and Ghana on penalties. Nigeria handler Stephen Keshi, who hopes to emulate late Egyptian Mahmoud El Gohary and win Cup of Nations gold medals as a player and a coach, is taking nothing for granted and reluctantly accepts the favourites tag. “What we have achieved so far will not help us come Sunday-the final is where you have to prove that you are the best team in Africa and worthy of the gold medals,” he stressed. “My team is still growing as I am in

the building phase. There is a lot of talent at my disposal but you cannot compare this side with the great team of 1994 which I had the honour to captain.” Key figures in the Nigerian class of 2013 include goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, centre-backs Godfrey Oboabona and Kenneth Omeruo, midfielders John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses and four-goal joint leading competition scorer Emenike. Moses from English Premier League outfit Chelsea gave Mali defenders dizzy spells in the semi-final with his pace and footwork trickery and neutralising his threat must be a priority for Burkina Faso coach Paul Put. The 56-year-old hoping to become the first Belgian coach of a Cup of Nations-winning team has worked miracles using 16 of the 23 players who lost all three group games at the 2012 tournament in Gabon/Equatorial

Guinea. “We have grown, and so have Nigeria, with each game and our initial aim of achieving a win to end that terrible record is now a distant memory. Now we must analyse our opponents and see what we can do,” said Put. Stars like goalkeeper Daouda Diakite, defenders Bakary Kone and Paul Koulibaly, midfielders Charlos Kabore, Djakaridja Kone and Jonathan Pitroipa and striker Aristide Bance have found a new lease of life under the Belgian. “Paul is the difference between this year and last year,” explained Bance from German club Augsburg, a star against Ghana and instantly recognisable with his mop of dyed spaghettistyle hair. Apart from a $1.5 million (1,2 million euros) first prize, the African champions go to the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil during June to face Tahiti, Uruguay and Spain. — AFP

Wilshere injury mars Cazorla’s heroics Sunderland 0

Arsenal 1

DORTMUND: Hamburg’s Venezualan midfielder Tomas Rincon, Hamburg’s defender Heiko Westermann and Dortmund’s midfielder Mario Goetze vie for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match Borussia Dortmund vs Hamburger SV in the German city of Dortmund yesterday. — AFP

Champs Dortmund suffer Hamburg hammering BERLIN: Defending champions Borussia Dortmund suffered a shock 4-1 defeat at home to Hamburg in the Bundesliga yesterday with South Korea’s Son Heung-Min claiming two goals as both teams finished with 10 men. With neither of their rivals Dortmund nor Bayer Leverkusen picking up wins, runaway league leaders Bayern Munich can extend their 12-point advantage at the top of the table when they host Schalke 04 later yesterday evening. Having lost 3-2 at Hamburg in September, Dortmund were stunned at their Signal Iduna Park home in front of 80,645 fans as Thorsten Fink’s side once again got the better of the titleholders. After losing 2-0 at home to Eintracht Frankfurt the week before, Fink admitted he was shocked by the result. “That was totally unexpected. After the home defeat, I made it clear to the boys they had to play the ball forward more. We played well and deserved the win,” he said. Poland striker Robert Lewandowski put Dortmund ahead in the first half only to be sent off a quarter of an hour later as Hamburg roared back with two goals each from Son and Latvia’s Artjoms Rudnevs. “Hamburg had the better start and after they went 2-1 up, the game got hectic and wild,” said disappointed Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp. “Robert was unlucky for his dismissal. At the end our strength and morale diminished against a strong Hamburg side.” Amidst reports here he is set to join Dortmund’s rivals Bayern next season, Lewandowski hit his fifth goal in as many league games after 16 minutes. Hamburg responded immediately with Rudnevs converting a superb cross from the left from Dennis Aogo just 60 seconds later.

The visitors then took the lead on 26 minutes when Son beat Germany defender Mats Hummels on the right, broke down the wing and cut inside stand-in left-back Sven Bender to unleash his shot into the far corner. Lewandowski was then harshly shown a straight red card following a challenge on Norway midfielder Per Ciljan Skjelbred, while Hamburg’s Dutch star Rafael van der Vaart was shown a yellow for angrily shoving the Dortmund star on 31 minutes to leave it 2-1 at the break. The numbers were evened up when Hamburg’s Dutch defender Jeffrey Bruma was shown a straight red for bringing down Marco Reus when he was clear on goal after 59 minutes. But Hamburg recovered from that blow as Rudnevs headed home on 62 minutes and then Son’s 89th-minute strike completed the rout of Dortmund as he turned in Marcell Jansen’s pass to move Hamburg up to fifth. Borussia Moenchengladbach last beat Bayer Leverkusen at home in 1989 and the hosts must wait another year to break the league’s record for a winless run, but there was plenty of drama in their 3-3 draw. The lead changed hands three times before an 86th-minute equaliser by ‘Gladbach’s Patrick Herrmann shared the points, while Leverkusen stay third in the table. Hanover 96’s Senegal striker Mame Diouf added to Hoffenheim’s woes with a first-half winner in their 1-0 home victory, while Chelsea’s Kevin de Bruyne, on loan at Werder Bremen, scored the final goal in his team’s 4-1 win at Stuttgart. Bottom side Greuther Fuerth went down 1-0 at home to Wolfsburg, while Eintracht Frankfurt stay fourth despite their goalless draw at home to Nuremberg. — AFP

(Local Timings)

English Premier League

Aston Villa v West Ham Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 5


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SUNDERLAND: Arsenal’s Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny (R) denies Sunderland’s Scottish forward Steven Fletcher (L) during the English Premier League football match between Sunderland and Arsenal at The Stadium Of Light, in Sunderland, north-east England, yesterday. — AFP Wojciech Szczesny into action to do anything about the goal a goal with a 55th minute shot at when he dealt with an angled that gave Arsenal a deserved lead the end of another inventive drive from Stephane Sessegnon four minutes later. move. after an incisive run by the forWilshere was again involved A rare Sunderland break that ward. with a determined run before climaxed in Steven Fletcher wastArsenal continued to look the Walcott took over, setting up ing an excellent chance by slicing more impressive side, throughout Cazorla for a fierce low finish his shot wide reminded Arsenal an opening half as their passing beyond Mignolet. they needed a second goal to finand movement gave them the O’Neill’s response was to send ish off Sunderland. They almost edge over their more pedestrian on Sebastian Larsson in place of got it when Cazorla was narrowly hosts. The difference was plain to captain Lee Cattermole as anoth- off-target shortly before the see when Wilshere cut through er reminder to his skipper that his departure of Jenkinson, who colSunderland as Arsenal construct- value to the team is being affect- lected his second yellow card for a ed one of their best moves of the ed by his disciplinary record. foul on Sessegnon. half in the 32nd minute. Arsenal also had to make a sigFletcher did force two good It finished with Aaron Ramsey’s nificant change five minutes into saves from Szczesny and Titus shot that swerved wickedly and the second-half when Wilshere Bramble missed from six yards, required Mignolet to make his was hobbled off to be replaced by but Arsenal still went closest to best save of the match to turn it Abou Diaby. They were not dis- another goal when the luckless away at full-stretch. rupted by the loss of Wilshere as Walcott hit the post 15 minutes But even Mignolet was unable Olivier Giroud was again close to from the end. — AFP

Brilliant Bale bags brace to sink Newcastle Tottenham 2

Newcastle 1

Matches on TV African Nations Cup Nigeria v Burkina Faso 21:00 Aljazeera Sport +9

SUNDERLAND: Santi Cazorla fired 10-man Arsenal to a 1-0 win at Sunderland yesterday, but the Gunners’ triumph was marred by Jack Wilshere’s thigh injury. Although Arsene Wenger’s side moved up to fifth in table, keeping the pressure on Tottenham, who won 2-1 earlier in the day at home to Newcastle, as the north London rivals continue their battle with the leading pack for a place in next season’s Champions League. However, there was immediate reason for concern over England midfielder Wilshere, who limped off in the second half following a strong challenge from Alfred N’Diaye. And the dismissal of Carl Jenkinson made it an uncomfortable finish for Arsenal, whose victory would have been far more comfortable if not for the inspired form of Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. Mignolet made two fine saves inside the opening two minutes from Theo Walcott as Martin O’Neill’s back-four was unlocked with an ease that was surprising for a team possessing one of the best defensive records in the Premier League. Sunderland, meanwhile, did force Arsenal goalkeeper

German League Augsburg v Mainz 17:30 Dubai Sport 2 Freiburg v Dusseldorf Duabi Sport 2


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LONDON: Gareth Bale maintained his sublime form with a brilliant brace to inspire Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-1 victory over Newcastle United at White Hart Lane yesterday. Bale added to the growing belief that he is currently the best player in the Premier League with a superb free-kick to open the scoring early in the first half. The Wales winger then bagged the late winner after Yoan Gouffran had equalised with his first Premier League goal for Newcastle. Bale’s heroics extended Tottenham’s unbeaten run to 10 Premier League games and lifted Andre Villas-Boas’s side into third place, although Chelsea will reclaim that position with a win over Wigan later on. Villas-Boas had admitted earlier this week that he fears Bale would be tempted to leave Spurs if the club don’t qualify for next season’s Champions League. To achieve that target Villas-Boas needs Bale to remain at his best, so he would have been delighted with his winger’s early impact against Newcastle. With just 75 seconds gone, Bale eluded his marker and fired over a low cross that Clint Dempsey could-

LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur’s Welsh midfielder Gareth Bale (L) vies with Newcastle United’s Argentinian defender Fabricio Coloccini (R) during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United at White Hart Lane in London yesterday. Tottenham won 2-1. — AFP n’t quite reach. That close shave failed to shake Newcastle out of their lethargy and Fabricio Coloccini, caught out of position, conceded a free-kick in a dangerous area after a trip on Dempsey in the fifth minute. Bale stood over the ball sizing up his options before unleashing a dipping strike that flashed past Newcastle’s wall and beat goalkeep-

er Tim Krul at his near post. That was Bale’s ninth goal in his last 12 Premier League appearances for Tottenham and should have provided the hosts with the perfect springboard to finish off Alan Pardew’s team. German midfielder Lewis Holtby, making his first start after his January move from Schalke, looked keen to impress, but his shooting

was wayward as he lifted one effort over the bar and then shot wide twice. In between those chances, Newcastle were able to establish a foothold in the contest and they drew level in the 24th minute. It was a goal that owed everything to Newcastle’s recent recruitment drive in France as Moussa Sissoko combined with fellow new signing Gouffran. — AFP

Wilshere injury mars Cazorla’s heroics

Wright lead England to T20 win over NZ




Eriksson gets big goal as Stars beat Ducks 3-1

Page 17

SOUTHAMPTON: Southampton’s English striker Rickie Lambert (R) vies with Manchester City’s Spanish midfielder Javi Garcia (L) during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Manchester City at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England, yesterday. Southampton won 3-1. — AFP

Saints ruin City’s title hopes Southampton 3

Man City 1

SOUTHAMPTON: Manchester City’s hopes of defending the Premier League title were dealt a major blow on a disastrous evening for the champions as Southampton secured a 3-1 victory at St Mary’s yesterday. After Jason Puncheon opened the scoring for Mauricio Pochettino’s team, an embarrassing mis-

take from City goalkeeper Joe Hart allowed Steven Davis to double Southampton’s lead. Edin Dzeko got one back for City but a calamitous own goal from Gareth Barry shattered Mancini’s men, who trail leaders Manchester United by nine points after their third successive league game without a win. United can now move 12 points clear at the top if they beat Everton today. For Southampton, the victory means they are now six points clear of the relegation zone and, on this evidence, look destined to secure their Premier League status for another season. After returning from African Cup of Nations duty on Tuesday, City’s Yaya Toure started his first game since the 3-0 win over Stoke on New Year’s Day. Pochettino selected an attacking line-up featuring Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez and the

Argentine could not have asked for a better start. Puncheon stole the ball from Barry in the seventh minute and fed Jay Rodriguez, who saw his effort smothered by Hart. Unfortunately for the England goalkeeper, the ball fell directly into the path of Puncheon and he slotted home from the rebound. Things went from bad to worse for Hart midway through the half as Lambert cut in from the right flank and hit his shot straight at the goalkeeper, but the ball slipped out of his grasp and was stabbed in by the onrushing Davis. A flashing volley from the lively Rodriguez that missed the post by inches almost extended Southampton’s lead just after the half-hour mark before Pablo Zabaleta saw his curling effort just drift wide.

Bayern rout Schalke to go 15 points clear BERLIN: Bayern Munich moved closer to their first title in three years after extending their lead at the top of the Bundesliga to 15 points yesterday following their 4-0 rout of Schalke 04 at the Allianz Arena. With neither of their rivals Dortmund nor Bayer Leverkusen having picked up wins earlier, Bayern were irresistible in Munich with 20-year-old Austrian ‘wunderkind’ David Alaba claiming two goals. “The most important thing was picking up the three points,” said left-back Alaba.”We had fun and joked in the dressing room and you could see that on the pitch.” May 2010 was the last time Bayern won a title after Louis van Gaal steered them to the league and cup double, but this year’s Bundesliga title is now theirs to lose. “That was a super Saturday for us, long may it continue,” said Bayern captain Philipp Lahm. “Of course, you pay attention to what your rivals are doing, but we are just looking at us.” Having enjoyed 70 percent possession, Munich lived up to German daily Bild’s mocking headline “Bayern are having open training today against Schalke” with the Royal Blues having won just once in their last nine league games. It proved to be prophetic as Schalke’s lone striker Teemu Pukki found himself hopelessly isolated up front with his side unable to create a single shot on target and forced to defend against seemingly endless waves of Bayern attacks. France winger Franck Ribery won an early penalty when he darted through the Schalke defence and was

brought down by Marco Hoeger. Alaba showed his rising status by stepping up and drilling home the 19th-minute spot-kick. Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger proved the ankle injury - which kept him from playing in Wednesday’s 2-1 friendly win over France in Paris was not an issue by curling home a free kick on 32 minutes to make it 2-0 at the break. Alaba netted his second on 51 minutes after a pass from striker Mario Gomez, who grabbed his first goal of the year in his first start of 2013 on 63 minutes. Defending champions Borussia Dortmund lost 4-1 at home to Hamburg with South Korea’s Son Heung-Min scoring twice as both teams finished with ten men. Having lost 3-2 at Hamburg in September, Dortmund were stunned at their Signal Iduna Park home in front of a bumper crowd of 80,645. Poland striker Robert Lewandowski put Dortmund ahead in the first half only to be sent off a quarter of an hour later as Hamburg roared back with two goals each from Son and Latvia’s Artjoms Rudnevs. The numbers were evened up when Hamburg’s Dutch defender Jeffrey Bruma was shown a straight red for bringing down Marco Reus when he was clear on goal after 59 minutes. But Hamburg recovered from that blow as Rudnevs headed home on 62 minutes and then Son’s 89th-minute strike completed the rout of Dortmund as he turned in Marcell Jansen’s pass to move Hamburg up to fifth. — AFP

Less than five minutes later, the City right-back was instrumental in the counter-attack that saw City pull one back, with Dzeko converting a closerange finish. Southampton have the unwanted record of throwing away more points from winning positions than any other Premier League team, but they should have been given the chance to restore their two-goal cushion on the stroke of half-time when Toure seemed to bring down Rodriguez, only for referee Martin Atkinson to wave their appeals away. If City thought their luck had changed, they were sadly mistaken. Puncheon came close to grabbing his second of the game from Lambert’s cutback two minutes after the break. But Southampton didn’t have to wait long for their next goal. Within 60 seconds, Lambert again found space down the left but his ball across the

face of the box appeared harmless until Barry inexplicably sidefooted past a helpless Hart. Mancini threw on James Milner for Samir Nasri in an attempt to chase the game but once more it was the hosts who looked more likely to extend their lead. With City still struggling to create any real chances, Maicon replaced David Silva and finally they looked a threat going forward. Saints goalkeeper Artur Boruc did well to hold on to the ball following a goalmouth scramble, but Mancini cut a frustrated figure down on the touchline as his side continued to struggle for inspiration. Some City fans tried to put on a brave face on things as they sang a tribute to Mancini in the dying moments, but this insipid display could end up being even more significant for the Italian’s future than it is for their title prospects. — AFP

Mali beat Ghana 3-1 to finish 3rd in African Cup PORT ELIZABETH: Mali finished third a second consecutive time at the Africa Cup of Nations by defeating Ghana 3-1 yesterday at raindrenched Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Mahamadou Samassa and Seydou Keita gave Mali a two-goal advantage by early in the second half, Kwadwo Asamoah scored a soft late goal to set up a tense finish but substitute Sigamary Diarra put the result beyond doubt in stoppage time. It was the second successive tournament in which the Black Stars of Ghana defeated the Eagles of Mali in the mini-league first phase of the tournament only to lose out when they met a second time with the bronze medals at stake. Nigeria, who won the Cup of Nations in 1980 and 1994, and Burkina Faso, whose best previous showing was reaching the 1998 semifinals, meet Sunday in Soweto for the biggest African football prize. Samassa opened the scoring on 21 minutes before another disappointing crowd in this Indian Ocean city, diving to head a cross wide of Fatawu Dauda after a superb pass from midfield set Adama Tamboura free down the left flank. Inspirational captain Keita claimed the second goal three minutes into the second half when he latched on to a low Ousmane Coulibaly cross and fired home from close range for his third goal of the competition.

PORT ELIZABERTH: Malian players celebrate with their bronze medal at the end of the 2013 African Cup of Nations third place final football match Mali vs Ghana, yesterday in Port Elizabeth. Mali won 3 to 1. — AFP Mubarak Wakaso, joint leading scorer on minutes from time when a speculative four goals with Nigerian Emmanuel Emenike, Asamoah shot from outside the box surprisingwasted a great chance to edge ahead in the ly found its way past Soumaila Diakite. Diarra completed the scoring three minutes chase for the Golden Boot trophy when he into stoppage time when a long pass from midblazed a harshly awarded penalty over. But Ghana, who have now lost three of four field evaded several defenders and he took third-place play-offs, did pull a goal back eight advantage with a snap shot past Dauda. — AFP


How to make the relationship with your boss work for you Page 22 White House warns of damaging ‘sequestration’ spending cuts


Page 25 EQUATE sees $1.09bn net profit in 2012 Page 26 Page 22

Dell’s $24.4bn sale deal opposed by stockholder

HONG KONG: In this photo, an assistant shop clerk works near a newly unveiled gold snake on display for sale ahead of the upcoming Chinese lunar new year today. — AP

Australian retailers welcome Chinese shoppers Consumer confidence stalls in Australia SYDNEY: Be polite but not too familiar, display lucky symbols and take things slowly-unusual advice for the frantic world of retail but Australian stores hope it will help lure cashed-up Chinese tourists. As Sydney gears up to host one of the world’s biggest Chinese New Year celebrations, officials are working to help struggling retailers use the key tourism event to set their cash registers ringing. Consumer confidence has stalled in Australia, with households cautious about spending given the uncertain global economy, while an explosion in online shopping has hurt bricks-andmortar stores. In an effort to offset the impact, Sydney has established practical workshops to help businesses attract Chinese clients with advice ranging from employing Mandarin-speaking staff to using feng shui to attract shoppers. “The numbers of Chinese tourists from Hong Kong, Taiwan and China are increasing exponentially,” explained Sydney councillor Jenny Green at a recent “ChinaConnect” workshop designed specifically for retailers. “So

it’s really important that our businesses here in Sydney cater to the needs of those tourists.” She said the workshops, where dozens of tourism operators, business owners and hospitality specialists gather to learn more about what Chinese tourists might want, are about giving retailers the skills to cater to their needs. They cover cultural awareness-such as Chinese sensitivities, customs and traditions; how to communicate more effectively with Chinese shoppers and how to tailor products and services to meet the needs of visitors. Among the advice to shop assistants is to respect the elders and not deal exclusively with the person who speaks the best English, given that they may not be the one with the most buying power. Experts also recommend translating signs, brochures and business cards, acknowledging Chinese New Year and other holidays and using the power of auspicious symbols, feng shui and gifts. Green said there are signs that some retailers get the message, but there is also an awareness that more could be done to attract Asian visitors. “I think, no doubt, that the retailers and

Oman raises minimum wage to avert future protests MUSCAT: Oman’s parliament, the Shura Council, approved a much higher minimum wage and curbs on the employment of foreigners yesterday, aiming to prevent joblessness again becoming a source of anger for Omani citizens. The cabinet proposed the moves last week in an attempt to spur private sector employment levels among Omanis after complaints about the lack of jobs contributed to Arab Spring protests two years ago. The government is keen to move more citizens into private sector jobs in preparation for an eventual fall in oil revenue, seen as possible later this decade. Public sector jobs in Oman pay much higher wages than most jobs with private companies. The private sector minimum wage for Omani citizens will be raised by more than 60 percent to 325 rials ($844) a month effective from July 1, state television said. The council also approved restricting the number of foreign workers in Oman to 33 percent of the country’s total population “to create an employment balance”, but without introducing a timeframe. The plan approved by the Shura Council also lacked details on any mechanism to cut the number of foreign workers, most of whom are from South Asia Or southeast Asia. Expatriates are now

thought to represent about 39 percent of Oman’s population and are mainly workers who were brought in to do skilled or strenuous jobs in the oil, construction and services industries, according to official data from last year. “The new rules will open up more jobs for Omanis in the private sector as well as control demographic complexity between foreigners and nationals,” the Shura Council statement carried on television said. The increased minimum wage is likely to affect 122,000 of the 172,000 Omanis working in the private sector, the government estimated heralding a likely rise in costs for many companies. Finance minister Darwish Ismail Al-Balushi said the government created 50,000 jobs through state spending in 2012 and promised another 56,000 jobs for Omanis this year. After protesters in 2011 damaged some foreign-owned businesses, some Omanis are also worried that unemployment could cause a rift between the sultanate’s citizens and expatriates. “If we don’t continue to create more jobs for Omanis, then we are going to see tensions between Omanis and foreign workers. We already started to see signs of that,” Mohammed Al-Harthy, human resources officer at the property developer Al-Mouj Al-Khaleej Co told Reuters. — Reuters

the business people here would be very aware that that’s a growing market, and they would be keen to tap into that,” she said. Chinese tourists and students come to Australia each year in the tens of thousands, and the government launched a global marketing campaign called “Nothing Like Australia” in mid-2012 in Shanghai to further boost business. China is Australia’s fastest growing and most valuable international tourism market, with visitors from the country more than tripling over the past decade, jumping from 190,000 visits in 2002 to a record 630,000 in 2012. Tourism Australia believes the market could grow to be worth up to Aus$9 billion a year by the end of the decade, with Chinese visitors not only increasing in numbers but spending at greater levels. In particular, Chinese tourists surveyed for the agency said they wanted to go shopping, particularly for souvenirs, with local brands and products highly rated. “Now China has become more open to the outside, one of the things they are (wanting)... is to go for shopping,” said Li

Chen, who runs a business in Sydney and was attending the workshop. “It’s not only for tourism, or to look at the view, or the beautiful weather. Shopping was one of the key tasks for them to achieve.” Will Figueira, who manages the Red Bottle liquor store in Sydney’s Chinatown, said the workshop had “really helped us understand a lot more about the mindset from where a lot of Chinese customers come from”. He said this has meant that his staff were not only better able to establish a rapport with Asian customers, but had also helped the business devise its marketing strategies. “Including some Mandarin on our business cards, while seemingly only a small step, is taken as an extremely nice symbolic gesture by many of our Chinese customers,” he said. Knowing what to say, and what not to say, and understanding the concept of someone “losing face” by being publicly criticised or embarrassed, was also vital for good relationships with Chinese suppliers, he said. “These sorts of things can be the difference between a positive outcome, and a not so great one,” Figueira said. — AFP

Venezuela sharply devalues currency CARACAS: Venezuela’s government announced Friday that it is devaluing the country’s currency, a long-anticipated change expected to push up prices in the heavily import-reliant economy. Officials said the fixed exchange rate is changing from 4.30 bolivars to the dollar to 6.30 bolivars to the dollar. The devaluation had been widely expected by analysts in recent months, though experts had been unsure about whether the government would act while President Hugo Chavez remained out of sight in Cuba recovering from cancer surgery. It was the first devaluation to be announced by Chavez’s government since 2010, and it pushed up the price of the dollar against the bolivar by 46.5 percent. By boosting the bolivar value of Venezuela’s dollar-denominated oil sales, the change is expected to help ease a difficult budget outlook for the government, which has turned increasingly to borrowing to meet its spending obligations. But analysts said the move would not be sufficient to end the government’s budget woes or balance the exchange rate with an overvalued currency. Economists predicted higher inflation and a likely continuation of shortages of some staple foods, such as cornmeal, chicken and sugar. Planning and Finance Minister Jorge Giordani said the new rate will take effect Wednesday, after the two-day holiday of Carnival. He said the old rate would still be allowed for some transactions that already were approved by the state currency agency. Venezuela’s government has had strict currency

exchange controls since 2003 and maintains a fixed, government-set exchange rate. Under the controls, people and businesses must apply to a government currency agency to receive dollars at the official rate to import goods, pay for travel or cover other obligations. While those controls have restricted the amounts of dollars available at the official rate, an illegal black market has flourished and the value of the bolivar has recently been eroding. In black market street trading, dollars have recently been selling for more than four times the official exchange rate of 4.30 bolivars to the dollar. Economist Pedro Palma, a professor at Caracas’ IESA business school, said the government’s decision to allow some previously requested dollar transactions for products in categories such as food, health care, construction and autos will somewhat soften the impact on inflation. But he predicted the devaluation would inevitably further drive up inflation. Economist Jose Guerra told The Associated Press that given the devaluation, he predicts inflation of more than 25 percent this year. The announcement of the devaluation came after the country’s Central Bank said annual inflation rose to 22.2 percent in January, up from 20.1 percent at the end of 2012. The oil-exporting country, a member of OPEC, has consistently had Latin America’s highest officially acknowledged inflation rates in recent years. Spiraling prices have come amid worsening shortages of some foods.—AP



Dell’s $24.4bn sale deal opposed by stockholder

How to make the relationship with your boss work for you

Buyout plan ‘grossly undervalues’ Dell SAN FRANCISCO: Dell Inc’s decision to sell itself for $24.4 billion to a group led by its founder and CEO is being ridiculed as a rotten deal by a major shareholder who estimates the slumping personal computer maker is really wor th more than $42 billion. The missive launched Friday by Southeastern Asset Management Inc. threatens to complicate Dell Inc.’s efforts to end its 25-year history as a pub-

in 1984. Michael Dell is contributing about $4.5 billion in stock and cash to help pay for the deal. The rest of the money would be supplied by the investment firm Silver Lake, loans from Microsoft Corp. and a litany of banks. The loans will burden Dell with debts that could leave the company with less money to invest in innovation and acquisitions. Hawkins derided the price of the proposed

FLORIDA: Paul Brener (left) and David Tabb check out a Dell computer on display at the Electric Avenue store. —AFP lic company. In a letter to Dell’s board of directors, Southeastern CEO O Mason Hawkins threatened to lead a shareholder mutiny unless the company came up with an alternative to the deal announced earlier this week. A Dell spokesman declined to comment. Hawkins vowed to wield Southeastern’s 8.5 percent stake to thwart the deal currently on the table. Only Michael Dell, the company’s eponymous founder and CEO, owns more stock with a roughly 14 percent stake. Under Dell’s proposal, Southeastern and other stockholders will be paid $13.65 per share to leave the company in control of Michael Dell, who founded the business in his University of Texas dorm room

sale as “woefully inadequate” and laid out a scenario that values Dell at $23.72 per share, or about $42 billion. The per-share amount mirrors Dell’s stock price six years ago, when Michael Dell returned for a second go-round as the company’s CEO. The company, based in Round Rock, Texas, has previously said that Michael Dell recused himself from all discussions about the proposed deal to take the company private. The board has also said it explored a wide range of alternatives before agreeing to sell the company for $24.4 billion a price 80 percent below Dell’s top market value of more than $150 billion at the peak of the dot-com boom 13 years ago.

Anticipating possible second-guessing, the board is allowing 45 days for other potential bidders to emerge. Hawkins is worried other suitors will be discouraged from bidding because Michael Dell already has lined up a deal to buy the company for what Southeastern believes to be a steep discount. The transaction that Michael Dell and Silver Lake negotiated “clearly represents an opportunistically timed bid to take the company private at a valuation far below Dell’s intrinsic value, and deprives public shareholders of the ability to participate in the company’s substantial future value creation,” Hawkins wrote. Michael Dell and Silver Lake contend the company will be in a better position to overhaul its operations as a privately held company. That’s because Dell would be able to make dramatic changes without having to worry about Wall Street’s fixation on whether earnings and revenue are growing from one quarter to the next. The proposed sale at $13.65 per share is 25 percent above where Dell’s stock stood last month, before word of the buyout negotiations leaked out in the media. Dell’s stock has plunged during the past year as PC sales have slumped amid the technological upheaval caused by the growing popularity of smartphones and tablet computers. Dell’s shares rose 10 cents Friday to close at $13.63. Michael Dell has been trying to wean his company from PCs by expanding sales of technology consulting services, business software and higher-end computers. As part of that process, Hawkins pointed out that Dell has spent $13.7 billion, or the equivalent of $7.58 per share, on acquisitions since Michael Dell returned as the company’s CEO in January 2007. Dell hasn’t taken any charges to reflect that the acquisitions have diminished in value. In his letter Hawkins laid out his rationale for valuing the company’s PC business at $2.78 per share and other product lines at a combined $13.36 per share. Instead of sticking with the current deal, Dell’s board should consider an alternative that would give existing shareholders a stake in a restructured company that would still be led by Michael Dell, Hawkins wrote. Messages left with Southeastern for comment weren’t immediately returned. The 38-year-old firm, which is based in Memphis, Tennessee, manages about $33 billion in assets. In a regulatory filing Friday, Southeastern said it had spent about $2.28 billion to accumulate more than 147 million shares of Dell. That means Southeastern would lose about $270 million on its Dell holdings if the company is sold at $13.65 per share. —AP

India’s finance minister sees ‘signs of an upturn’ NEW DELHI: India’s economy should return to a highgrowth path of seven to eight percent in the next couple of years, picking up from decade-low expansion, the finance minister said yesterday. Earlier in the week, India’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) projected that Asia’s thirdlargest economy will accelerate by just 5.0 percent in the fiscal year ending in March, its slowest rate in 10 years. “There are signs of an upturn that will take us to a high growth path of six to seven percent in the next fiscal year (to March 2014),” Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters. “I have no doubt in my mind that we will come

out of this trough and we will climb back to a growth rate of between six to seven percent next year and then between seven and eight percent in the year after,” he said. He disputed the CSO’s estimate for the current financial year as too low. “We believe growth will be closer to 5.5 percent rather than the CSO’s estimate of five percent,” Chidambaram said, as he unveiled a scheme to draw more investors into the stock market. The International Monetary Fund last week forecast that India’s economy would grow by 5.4 percent in the financial year ending in

March. Last year, the economy grew by 6.2 percent but even that rate is insufficient to create the jobs India needs to provide for its ballooning population. After notching up sizzling annual growth rates of up to 10 percent in the last decade, India’s economy has slowed sharply due to high interest rates, Europe’s debt crisis and sluggish investment caused by domestic and overseas concerns about policymaking and corruption. On a positive note, Chidambaram said the CSO’s growth forecast was higher than the two record lows of 2000-01 and 2002-03. In 2002-3, the economy grew at four percent. —AFP


o you find yourself looking at the exit door more often than you care to admit? Do you get a sinking feeling every time you are called into your manager’s office? Chances are your relationship with your manager is in a rut. According to’s ‘Management Challenges in the MENA’ poll, 71.5 percent of managers describe their relationships with their team as friendly; almost a quarter claim a more formal relationship, while 3.9 percent chose ‘fearful’ to describe their team interactions. The same poll showed that 42.1 percent of professionals believe that they have an ‘excellent’ manager; however, 31.1 percent describe their manager as having ‘poor management skills’. No matter how sour your relationship with your manager is, there are ways you can turn it into a decent one. Here are a few tips from the career experts at, the leading jobsite in the Middle East:

Lama manager in on your progress and project milestones, as well as discuss any hurdles and issues you are facing. Keep the conversations constructive and professional at all times and remember to always keep the bigger picture in mind. Try to stay away from accusatory tones in your conversations and instead of focusing on what “the organization doesn’t do for me” focus on getting enthusiastic buy-in for great suggestions that you show to be clear win-win solutions for all concerned.

1. Understand your manager’s expectations In order to meet and manage your boss’s expectations it is essential you first fully understand what these expectations are. Ask for clarifications on your role and a well-defined set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) if you don’t have them, and make sure your goals, objectives, tasks and projects are all well aligned with your manager’s vision and goals.

4. Go the extra mile Your boss missed a project’s deadline and you need to work late once again? Take the challenge and communicate with a smile later that you will help him with timelines so such occurrences can be minimized. Your boss has low expectations of you that don’t fully address your true capacities? Show him your mettle and what you are capable of. It’s up to you to take the initiative to show where and how you can excel.

2. Understand what expectations are of your manager Remember your boss also has a boss and different stakeholders to answer to and your performance, priorities and choices affect his own performance, deliverables and upward mobility. It helps if you truly understand the broader picture of what your manager is trying to achieve and the hurdles he faces so you can be of even better value-added. Moreover it helps to understand that your manager has challenges too. According to the ‘Management Challenges in the MENA’ poll, “building trust and loyalty” is considered challenging by 24.8 percent of polled managers. The same poll shows that other areas managers find challenging are “motivating and inspiring teams” (18.6 percent), “encouraging open communications” (16.2 percent), “training and coaching” (5.7 percent), as well as “delegating adequately” (4.8 percent).

5. Show your presence matters Is your presence more or less of similar impact as your absence at work? The workplace is replete with genuinely ambitious hard-working people who are doing their best to increase their own output and productivity and the success of their organization and if you wish to compete and succeed in the workplace you need to be one of them. Doing the minimum amount of work will not earn you favors with your boss or in your career so take on that special project you need to make an extra special impact, and aim to let yourself and your boss and your organization shine.

3. Maintain an open and constructive channel of communication with your manager The ‘Management Challenges in the MENA’ poll showed that what employees seek most from their manager is ‘open, respectful communication’ as per 35.1 percent of the poll’s respondents. Rather than bursting out in occasional loud defensive confrontations as a result of built up frustrations at work, aim to maintain an open channel of constructive dialogue with your manager at all times. Ask for regular meetings where your performance is appraised and where you can ask questions and fill your

6. Make your character a winning one At the end of the day attitude really counts and you need to make sure your workplace character is a winning one. Aim to radiate genuine happiness and motivation and to be generally helpful and cooperative and charitable in the workplace and to make your boss and the company look good at all times. You will be surprised at the amazing dividends of having a truly great character on all your relationships.

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

.2740000 .4380000 .3780000 .3070000 .2800000 .2880000 .0040000 .0020000 .0762570 .7429510 .3900000 .0720000 .7283310 .0420000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .28100500 .4406300 .3813010 .3094920 .2821790 .0511270 .0443400 .2901140 .0362420 .2269640 .0029980 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0765490 .7457870 .0000000 .0749670 .7302850 .0000000

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.048 5.266 2.882 2.231 3.303 230.050 36.425 3.549

.2840000 .4510000 .3870000 .3160000 .2880000 .3000000 .0067500 .0035000 .0770240 .7504180 .4050000 .0760000 .7356510 .0470000 .2831500 .4439230 .3841500 .3118050 .2842870 .0515090 .0446720 .2922820 .0365120 .2286600 .0030200 .0053530 .0022530 .0029030 .0036390 .0771210 .7513600 .4004950 .0755270 .7357410 .0070220

Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal - transfer Irani Riyal - cash

UAE Dirhams Bahraini Dinar Egyptian Pound Jordanian Dinar Omani Riyal Qatari Riyal Saudi Riyal

6.934 9.485 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 75.350 77.639 733.920 750.500 76.941

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 282.450 Euro 380.880 Sterling Pound 449.660 Canadian dollar 284.730 Turkish lire 159.590 Swiss Franc 311.410 Australian dollar 298.500 US Dollar Buying 281.250 GOLD 311.000 157.000 81.500

SELL DRAFT 295.69 287.83 315.97 386.11 281.85 445.33 3.08 3.570 5.298 2.239 3.327 2.884

Rate for Transfer US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro 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

Selling Rate 282.250 285.310 450.050 377.280 301.730 747.250 76.825 77.475 75.230 397.875 42.694 2.227 5.236 2.885 3.540 6.948 692.360 4.125 9.540 3.970 3.320 93.365

SELL CASH 296.000 286.000 313.000 385.80 282.000 445.000 3.750 3.800 5.350 2.520 3.450 2.933

COUNTRY Australian dollar Bahraini dinar Bangladeshi taka Canadian dollar Cyprus pound Czek koruna Danish krone Deutsche Mark Egyptian pound Euro Cash Hongkong dollar Indian rupees Indonesia Iranian tuman Iraqi dinar

SELL CASH 295.000 751.280 3.970 285.200 554.800 46.000 51.700 167.800 42.340 382.000 37.120 5.370 0.032 0.161 0.245

Japanese yen Jordanian dinar Lebanese pound Malaysian ringgit Morocco dirham Nepalese Rupees New Zealand dollar Nigeria Norwegian krone Omani Riyal Pakistani rupees Philippine peso Qatari riyal Saudi riyal Singapore dollar South Africa Sri Lankan rupees Sterling pound Swedish krona Swiss franc Syrian pound Thai bhat Tunisian dollar UAE dirham U.S. dollars Yemeni Riyal

3.120 400.330 0.191 94.290 46.300 4.340 239.600 1.830 52.200 733.800 3.000 7.210 78.140 75.430 229.710 33.830 2.691 450.400 45.100 311.600 3.400 9.810 198.263 77.020 282.900 1.360 GOLD

10 Tola 1,800.110

Sterling Pound US Dollar

Bahrain Exchange Company

UAE Exchange Centre WLL COUNTRY Australian Dollar Canadian Dollar Swiss Franc Euro US Dollar Sterling Pound Japanese Yen Bangladesh Taka Indian Rupee Sri Lankan Rupee Nepali Rupee Pakistani Rupee

77.000 747.000 46.750 398.000 733.000 78.500 75.400

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 42.450 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 41.977 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.318 Tunisian Dinar 182.400 Jordanian Dinar 398.940 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.896 Syrian Lier 3.070 Morocco Dirham 34.445

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

76.81 750.47 41.98 401.54 733.54 77.83 75.37

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 448.400 282.500

Al Mulla Exchange

SELLDRAFT 293.500 751.280 3.553 283.700

229.700 42.014 380.500 36.970 5.268 0.031

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

Transfer Rate (Per 1000) 281.800 385.250 446.400 285.550 3.060 5.265 41.955 2.231 3.550 6.930 2.880 750.650 76.700 75.300

400.300 0.190 94.290 3.320 238.100

733.620 2.889 6.946 77.710 75.430 229.710 33.830 2.233 448.400 310.100 3.400 9.680 76.920 282.500



Is the market’s strong start bound to fizzle? NEW YORK: The pattern looks eerily familiar. The stock market scampers up to historical heights to start the year then gets knocked on its back. Last year, worries about Greece and the US economy helped flatten a rally by June. The year before it was an earthquake and tsunami in Japan along with a political fight in Washington. This year, the stock market raced off to its best start since 1997. So, what could squash the good cheer this time? The top candidates are two of the same culprits from the previous years: Europe and Washington. But the big difference is that the US economy, Corporate America and Europe are all in much better shape, investors say. A slump this year shouldn’t be as bad. “Even if we’re tired of hearing about the dangers, dismissing them hasn’t been a smart thing to do for the past few years,” says Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at the brokerage BTIG. History never repeats itself, exactly, but people who play with numbers for a living see patterns. Last year, strong corporate earnings and steady growth in the US economy drove the S&P 500 index up 8 percent by the middle of February. Less

KIB sees net profit of KD 13.2m in 2012 Al-Dawli’s net profits rose by 22 percent in 2012: Al-Jarrah KUWAIT: Sheikh Mohamed Jarrah Al-Sabah, Chairman of Kuwait International Bank, announced that the bank realised a net profit of KD 13.2 million for 2012 against KD 10.8 million for 2011, an increase of 22 percent. With earnings per share of 14.1 fils for

Sheikh Mohamed Jarrah Al-Sabah

2012, up 22 percent from the 11.6 fils of 2011, Al-Jarrah remarked that the board has decided to recommend to the General Assembly a cash dividend of 7 percent of the nominal value per share(7 fils per share) to shareholders registered in the bank’s records on the date of the General Assembly meeting. This recommendation shall be subject to the approval of the General Assembly and concerned parties.

have edged higher over recent days. But the damage won’t be as deep as in prior years. Borrowing costs for Spain and Italy remain far below levels reached last year, thanks to the European Central Bank’s pledge to stand behind the hardest hit countries and protect the euro currency. Last July, for example, the cost for Italy’s government to borrow from the bond market for 10 years topped out at 7.5 percent. On Friday, after creeping higher all week, it was 4.5 percent. The European debt crisis no longer has Wall Street’s investment banks on a leash. Back in October 2011, fears that Greece would be unable to get another lifeline from lenders helped push Goldman Sachs’s stock as low as $84.27. It’s now $151.11. Jeffrey Kleintop, the chief market strategist at LPL Financial, says the ECB’s pledge largely removed the prospect of a financial crisis spreading from Europe to the rest of the world. Even though the scariest threat is gone, Europe’s economic troubles still pose a risk. If Germany, for instance, gets pulled into a recession with the rest of the region, the pain is bound to spread, Kleintop says.

than three months later, fears that Greece would drop the euro currency and a surprisingly weak employment report left the index back where it started. In 2011, the broad-market index staggered higher to start the year, reaching a peak in May with a 9 percent gain. By August, it was all gone. That echoed the year before, and the year before that. “It’s funny how at the beginning of the year everybody gets excited and then by the middle of the year it’s, ‘Everything stinks,’” Greenhaus says. Over the past week, Europe’s troubles have recaptured investors’ attention. In Spain, charges of bribery have put pressure on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to resign. In Italy, polls show strong support for Silvio Berlusconi, the former prime minister, in elections later this month. The scandalplagued Berlusconi has called for billions in tax rebates and amnesty for Italians who haven’t paid them. Both developments have heightened concerns that the two countries will be able to handle their struggling banks as well as their debts. As a result, interest rates for Spanish and Italian government bonds

Al-Jarrah noted that operating income of KD 44.9 million was 14 percent higher than the KD 39.2 million of 2011 and that such outstanding performance and growth directly reflected the Bank’s strategy of sustainable and fair growth. The net profit was declared after taking precautionary impairment provisions of KD 7.7 million which included additional prudent provisions of KD 4.4 million for the year. Al-Jarrah also stated that during 2012 Al-Dawli managed to diversify its sources of income with revenues from fees and commissions up 39 percent. Net financing income up 15 percent on 2011. Return on assets increased to 1.11 percent in comparison with the 0.96 percent of 2011. Return on equity increased to 6.21 percent up from the 5.37 percent of 2011. The bank noted that these positive results were achieved despite difficult circumstances during 2012, with the slowdown of Kuwait economy performance and the continuing structural imbalance there which negatively impacted the local economy. The factors which could activate the private sector role include implementing the development plan and increasing government capital expenditure. AL-Dawli’s total assets as at December 2012 were KD 1,249 million compared to the KD 1,118 million of 2011, an increase of 12 percent. Al-Jarrah noted that growth in financing receivables of 13 percent was matched with 13 percent growth in depositor accounts. The capital adequacy ratio at December 2012 of 25.23 percent comfortably exceeds the minimum regulatory requirements of 12 percent. AlJarrah confirmed that during the year AlDawli was able to reduce non performing financing receivables to 8.3 percent of the portfolio down from 11.2 percent through management’s continuous efforts to mitigate these risks Al-Jarrah noted that such promising indicators of acceptable and stable growth reflect the bank’s success in implementing its business plan and realising its strategic targets which include: diversifying the financing portfolio, increasing financing to small and medium projects and expanding the branch and ATM networks throughout Kuwait. With the inauguration of five new full service branches 2012 saw significant growth in the branch network. Al-Dawli now has 23 branches to provide its corporate and retail customers with a wide spectrum of Islamic banking products and services throughout Kuwait. The bank’s network of ATM machines increased by 66 percent during 2012 with more ATM machines installed in customer convenient locations.

Added together, the 17 countries that use the euro rank as the world’s secondlargest economy. Europe is also China’s top customer for exports. The other major concern for investors stems from Washington, where drawn-out budget battles have turned into an annual event. Steep spending cuts are scheduled to kick in March 1, unless Congress and the White House find a way to avoid them. Previous high-stakes talks have rattled financial markets. In August 2011, a fight over raising the government’s borrowing limit ended with the country losing its top credit rating and panicked investors fleeing for safety. Worries that lawmakers would fail to avoid budget cuts known as the “fiscal cliff” were blamed for the stock market’s swoon last fall. There’s little agreement about what will happen this time, except that it won’t be nearly as bad. Some think that investors have seen enough budget brawls that they won’t be fazed by another one. “People are pretty much sick of hearing about this,” says Joseph Tanious, the global market strategist at JPMorgan Funds. The S&P 500 is already off to its best start in

decades, after climbing 6 percent this year. Kleintop, however, says the buoyant mood is unlikely to last. If more companies keep warning of slower earnings in the coming weeks, the pile-up of worries could unnerve investors. Without another lastminute deal between Congress and the White House to avoid the budget cuts, the stock market’s gains could be erased as early as March, Kleintop says. The good news is that even those who believe the ride is about to get bumpy expect it to end well. Unlike previous years, it’s hard to find anyone predicting a crash or a replay of 2008. They mainly believe the stock market can’t keep up its blistering start. Repeat the S&P 500’s surge in January over the rest of 2013 and it works out to an annual gain of 79 percentroughly nine times better than the historical average. For all his skepticism, Kleintop expects the S&P 500 to end the year trading around where it is now. He’s drawn up a list of companies he plans to scoop up after the next big drop. “It will be a buying opportunity,” he says. “We’ll be ready to step in, because this bull market isn’t over.” —AP

Working for a better future! By Nadeem Shafi


ear readers, I hope you are having a wonderful time in a windy but pleasant weather of Kuwait. We are about to start a

Nadeem Shafi, E&Y Training, Partner journey with you in sharing our thought leadership material going forward. I hope that you will read these short summaries and share your views. Today I am sharing with you a global perspective on the current job market. It’s a new year and an opportunity for a fresh start. More jobs and stronger growth hopefully lie ahead but, unfortunately, there are few signs that the global economy is poised for a much-needed era of expansion. With forecasts being downgraded, it seems that the systemic problems that cast a long shadow over much of 2012 are here to stay. Chief among this is employment. The turbulence that began in 2011 continues to sweep across parts of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as well. A region of many challenges and strengths, the MENA is slowly adjusting to the need for greater gender equality across its borders. Rich natural resources, solid infrastructure and an expanding middle class are just some of the factors that somewhat sheltered MENA from the very worst of the global financial crisis. But that’s not to say that the region is without its challenges. The political and social instability that ricocheted across borders in 2011 will not only be long remembered, but also exposed the long-term and systemic problems that have existed, often below the surface, for a considerable period of time. Chief among these is addressing the region’s unemployment problem. Of course, no country has proved immune to surging joblessness in recent years, but in MENA the problem is particularly acute. Over the next 10 years, the labor force in the region is expected to grow at around 2 percent per year, whereas in the eurozone and Japan, for instance, it is set to decline.

Of the many and varied repercussions of the 2008-09 financial crisis, one that has rippled across borders to impact both developed and developing economies, has been surging unemployment. Over the last few years, the number of people estimated to be out of work has grown to total more than 200 million, which is an increase of 27 million since the beginning of the crisis. And even rapid-growth economies have not proved immune; although some regions have enjoyed robust economic expansion, this hasn’t led to a greater increase in employment. As stated above, take the Middle East and North Africa, for example. Although the region enjoys many strengths - natural resources and substantial budget surpluses among oil exporters, for example - high unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, remains a key problem. The primary reason for this is a skills mismatch. Most foreign companies setting up base in the region prefer to employ immigrant labor due to a shortage of a skilled workforce. Reducing this skills mismatch between nationals and expatriates is, therefore, a top priority for Middle Eastern countries. The global unemployment situation as “troubling,” is particularly concerned by key aspects of the unemployment crisis - such as the increasing numbers of long-term jobless and young people who remain out of work . The size of a country’s economy is crucial in shaping what policy-makers can do to stabilize and improve the jobs market. “So much depends on a country’s GDP,” “It really controls what a government is able or not able to do. But what’s clear is the need to focus on those people who are not in the jobs market, who perhaps have never been employed and feel cut off from society as a result. We can see this type of structural unemployment in many countries, with large groups excluded from the workforce for a number of different reasons, such as access to adequate education or training. People need and deserve to be able to support themselves. Employment is as important, both for individuals’ wellbeing and society as a whole. It is a basic part of human life, or the ‘social contract’ that exists in all countries. In recent years, though, this has broken down too often. This means we need more active labor market policies - to provide support and help to both employers and job seekers. There are a number of reasons why young people have been particularly badly affected. They don’t have as many contacts as older professionals and not a huge amount of experience that can help them when an economy slows. They are

also more likely to work to fixedterm contracts. On the other hand, young people are often highly mobile and flexible, which means that we can use our collaboration to create tools and meeting places that can help them get into the workforce. Given the diverse and challenging issues facing governments, the unemployed and employers around the world, it is clear that the task facing public employment services is increasingly important. And providing employers and job seekers with the best possible support is not easy when resources are being withdrawn due to government budget cuts and constraints. The demands are bigger than ever. Potential tasks include creating meetings between employers and job seekers, reflecting the need to increase the cooperation between different groups in society in order to address the unemployment gap. Public employment services must seek closer collaboration with a large number of partners involved in the labor markets because they can’t do it alone. All need to work together employers, private and public businesses, municipalities, other agencies and organizations. Only then will countries be able to cope with the labor market challenges they face. And it’s not just about domestic issues; what’s also crucial is the sharing of knowledge and ideas internationally. Working together will improve the conditions for greater mobility and facilitate labor migration Countries can benefit from learning from the experiences of others. This, in turn, leads to a better service to job seekers, private businesses and public employers. Given the already-high unemployment in many MENA economies, creating jobs for the next generation will be one of the most important economic challenges for the region’s leaders. With many countries in MENA looking at economic development, economic diversification and job creation, tapping into all the talent that is available in society is crucial. And this means helping more women into the workforce. The Middle East and North Africa - did you know? l In the MENA region, only 33 percent of working age women join the labor force - far below the 56 percent of women in low- and middle-income countries and 61 percent of women in OECD member states who are part of the workforce. l The MENA-OECD Investment Program estimates that, in order to remain at current unemployment

levels, 25 million jobs will need to be created over the next decade, requiring an average annual growth rate of 5.5 percent, one point above the average growth of the last decade. l In all countries of the MENA region (with the exception of the Palestinian Authority), women who join the labor force have consistently higher unemployment rates than their male counterparts. l The gender gap in unemployment is the largest in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen and Egypt, where the female unemployment rate is nearly four times the male unemployment rate. l The average median age is 25 years, below the average of other emerging regions, and well below the average of developed countries in Europe and North America. These young populations represent a tremendous opportunity, both as a market and as a labor force. According to the International Labor Organization, the haunting specter of high unemployment continues to cast its shadow over the global economy, the world faces the “urgent challenge” of creating 600 million productive jobs over the next decade in order to generate sustainable growth and maintain social cohesion. Yet many governments are still struggling to find and implement the winning blend of policy and strategy that will enable them to create jobs and growth, transitioning their economies to recovery and a return to prosperity. I think it is crucial to invest in knowledge, to retrain schools, universities and research, it is also really important to begin with the recognition of what can be learned in all contexts and in every moment of your life. From an economic and social perspective, recognizing the learning that occurs outside of the traditional places designed to provide education can really help sustain the flexibility of someone’s career options. It can also facilitate geographical and professional mobility, and it can dismantle the boundaries to the entry or re-entry into the labor market. To make this a fundamental right of everyone, it needs public action from Government and educational institutions, but it also requires a massive cultural and practical shift in all the systems involving education, training and work. It needs a kind of a drastic change of mentality; otherwise this perspective remains just a theory. With these thoughts I let you think what contribution you as an individual can make for a better world to live in.

Syrian prez reshuffles economic Cabinet posts DAMASCUS: Syrian President Bashar Assad reshuffled his Cabinet yesterday, appointing seven new ministers in a move that appeared aimed at trying to shore up an economy that has been ravaged by the country’s 2-year-old revolt, state media said. State TV said Assad replaced the heads of the oil, finance, social affairs, labor, housing, public works and agriculture ministries. Key security ministries such as defense and interior, which are on the front lines of the civil war, remained unchanged. Syria’s economy has been devastated by the civil war, which has left major cities in ruins and gutted the nation’s industries. Power outages are common and Syrians in some areas must stand in hours-long lines for bread and gasoline. The reshuffle took place as fighting in Damascus and its suburbs raged for a fourth consecutive day, with clashes focused in southern and northeastern neighborhoods of the capital. Rebels brought their fight within a mile of the heart of Damascus on Friday, seizing army checkpoints and cutting a key highway with a row of burning tires as

they pressed their campaign for the city, the seat of Assad’s power. Both the rebels and the government consider the fight for Damascus the most likely endgame in a civil war that has already killed more than 60,000. The regime controls movement in and out of the heavily defended city with a network of checkpoints, and rebels have failed so far to make significant inroads and hold them. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported intense air raids on several Damascus suburbs on Saturday, including Zamalka and Douma, and near a major highway that leads to the capital. It added that troops shelled the northeastern neighborhoods of Jobar and Qaboun that have witnessed fighting and shelling since Thursday. A resident who lives near Jobar said he fled with his family Friday afternoon to a safer area close to central Damascus because of the intensity of the fighting. “It was a bad day. We heard lots of explosions,” he said speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. The Observatory and the Local

Coordination Committees reported that rebels captured a housing compound for army officers in the Damascus suburb of Adra. To the north, the Observatory said rebels entered parts of the Mannagh air base near the border with Turkey that has been subjected to attacks by rebels for weeks. The civil war has heavily damaged infrastructure like oil pipelines, bridges and water and power stations. The airport in Syria’s largest city and commercial hub, Aleppo, is closed due to fighting. The exchange rate for one US dollar today is around 95 Syrian pounds on the black market, which is more than double the 47 pounds to the dollar when the crisis began in March 2011. The presidential decrees issued Saturday appeared to be an attempt to address some of the fallout - economic and social - from the civil war. The order split what used to be the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs into two posts, apparently to give the new Ministry of Social Affairs responsibility for rising number of people who have fled from one part of the country to another to escape

the fighting. Jens Laerke, a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said Tuesday that 2 million people have been displaced inside Syria while 4 million need urgent help. Those numbers could rise if fighting continues, he said. He said the humanitarian situation in Syria had reached “catastrophic” proportions, with some 2.5 million people lacking food. Syria’s civil war has settled into a bloody stalemate that shows no signs of stopping, despite several tentative proposals from both sides to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Syria’s Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi floated the latest proposal late Friday, saying Damascus is ready for dialogue with the opposition, so long as they lay down their weapons. He said anyone who responds will not be harmed. The offer is unlikely to gain much traction among the Syrian opposition. The rebel movement is highly decentralized and deeply distrusts the regime, and most groups are unlikely to stop fighting so long

as Assad remains president. Assad in a rare speech in January outlined his own vision for ending the country’s conflict with a plan that would keep him in power. He also dismissed any chance of dialogue with the armed opposition and called on Syrians to fight what he called “murderous criminals.” He offered a national reconciliation conference, elections and a new constitution but demanded regional and Western countries stop funding and arming rebels trying to overthrow his regime first. Syria’s opposition rejected the proposal. Those fighting to topple the regime have repeatedly said they will accept nothing less than the president’s departure. On Jan. 30, in a sharp shift from their resolve, the Syrian National Coalition’s president, Mouaz Al-Khatib, said he is willing to talk to the regime if that would help end bloodshed. His call was sharply criticized by members of the opposition. AlKhatib suggested that Assad should begin releasing tens of thousands of political prisoners as a first step before Sunday or the offer will be void. —AP



Bayan investment weekly

Price index witnesses rise at 0.70% KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended last week with variance on its indices. The price index ended last week with an increase amounted to 0.70 percent, while the weighted index decreased by 0.72 percent compared to the closings of the week before, whereas KSX15 Index decreased by 1.13 percent. Furthermore, last week’s average daily turnover increased by 35.10 percent, compared to the preceding week, reaching KD 41.85 million, whereas trading volume average was 664.13 million shares, recording increase of 59.18 percent. In addition, small-cap stocks occupied the traders’ interest and witnessed active speculative operations, focused on stocks in the financial services and real estate sectors, where less activity was noticed on leading and large-cap stocks. Moreover, random purchasing and buy and hold operations started to appear in the market, due to the listed companies’ annual results expectations. In general, a cautious optimism state is prevailing on the market traders since the beginning of 2013. For the annual performance, the price index ended last week recording 5.97 percent annual gain compared to its closing in 2012, while the weighted index increased by 2.73 percent, and the KSX-15 recorded 2.54 percent increase. By the end of the week, the price index closed at 6,288.72 points, up by 0.70 percent from the week before closing, whereas the weighted index registered a 0.72 percent weekly loss after closing at 429.06 points. Moreover, the KSX-15 index closed at 1,034.68 points, decreasing with 1.13 percent. Sectors’ indices Eight of KSE’s sectors ended last week in

the green zone, while the other four recorded declines. Last week’s highest gainer was the technology sector, achieving 4.66 percent growth rate as its index closed at 933.66 points. Whereas, in the second place, the oil and gas sector’s index closed at 1,115.56 points recording 3.76 percent increase. The basic materials sector came in third as its index achieved 3.46 percent growth, ending the week at 1,037.20 points. On the other hand, the telecommunications sector headed the losers list as its index declined by 2.90 percent to end the week’s activity at 916.30 points. The healthcare sector was second on the losers’ list, which index declined by 1.30 percent, closing at 917.37 points, followed by the banks sector, as its index closed at 1,022.45 points at a loss of 0.92 percent. Sectors’ activity The real estate sector dominated total trade volume during last week with 1.58 billion shares changing hands, representing 47.50 percent of the total market trading volume. The financial services sector was second in terms of trading volume as the sector’s traded shares were 26.13 percent of last week’s total trading volume, with a total of 867.57 million shares. On the other hand, the real estate sector’s stocks were the highest traded in terms of value; with a turnover of KD 61.51 million or 29.39 percent of last week’s total market trading value. The financial services sector took the second place as the sector’s last week turnover of KD 55.01 million represented 26.29 percent of the total market trading value.

As college debt grows, students delay payment NEW YORK: Borrowers on the hook for more than half of student loans are delaying principal and interest payments, contributing to rising balances for recent graduates who face a weak jobs market, according to a new study. “With unemployment rates remaining high, the repayment of these loans remains a concern,” said Ezra Becker, vice president of research and consulting for Chicago-based TransUnion, which conducted the study. “Students can defer their loans for only a certain period, often up to three years, and after that these students can find themselves in a difficult position financially.” Filing for bankruptcy after that rarely solves the problem, as student loans generally aren’t dischargeable in court. So graduates have to either begin paying or ask for forbearance, another grace period that that buys them more time but for which some lenders also charge a monthly fee. TransUnion, one of three major creditreporting agencies, examined every active student loan in its credit database from March 2007 to March 2012, determining whether they were being repaid or were in deferred status meaning repayment of principal and interest was temporarily delayed. It determined that 65.5 million of 128.8 million student loans outstanding as of last March were deferred. TransUnion said “virtually every student lender,” including the US government, reports its data to the company. The average debt per borrower rose, by 30 percent since 2007, to $23,829, TransUnion said. And the graduates and the lenders aren’t the only ones affected. Rising student debt levels can act as a drag on the economy. “Too many Americans are carrying around mortgage-sized student loan debt that forces them to put off major life decisions like buying a home or starting a family,” US Sen Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said in January after reintroducing two pieces of legislation related to student loans. “And it’s not only young people facing this crisis but also parents, siblings and even grandparents who co-signed private loans long ago.” The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said in an October report that “many recent graduates are seeking to pay less in interest on

private and federal student loans so they can one day purchase a home or otherwise economically progress.” “There are also signs that young workers are not able to save enough in taxdeferred retirement plans,” Rohit Chopra, the bureau’s student-loan ombudsman, said at a congressional forum on student loans in August in Chicago. Consider Sheila Uribe, 28. The Chicago resident has about $60,000 in student debt after earning a business degree from Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Ill. And because she works full time, she can no longer defer her loan payments. The married mother of two, who works as an administrative assistant at a suburban machinery company, received federal aid for her studies in 2003 but, needing more money, she began taking out private loans in 2005. She ultimately took out three private loans, with her mother co-signing one of them. She graduated with $35,000 in student loan debt. “When you’re young, the future seems a long way off, and loan repayments sound pretty manageable,” said Uribe, who said she has worked since she was 15 years old. She and her husband then had their first child after a difficult pregnancy. She was no longer a student, so her loans were no longer in deferment, and she said all of her loans came due at once. Due to variable interest rates, the combined balances are now about $60,000. The difficult economy meant that she and her husband were working fewer hours. She and her mother have gotten up to six calls a day from collectors seeking repayment. She said that until she pays down her loans, other spending will remain difficult. “My husband and I try to live within our means by sharing a car, working full time and not spending money on frivolous things,” she said. “But my credit is shot, and any hope I ever had of owning a home, making a major purchase with credit, or going back to school is all gone.” Last week, she said she received some good news. A lender on a $19,000 loan has agreed to reduce her interest rate from about 10 percent to 0.02 percent. She and her mother reached out to Durbin and in August spoke at a news conference held by

the senator, who in January reintroduced legislation dealing with student loans. The Fairness for Struggling Students Act of 2013 would treat privately issued loans in bankruptcy the same as other types of private debt. The Know Before You Owe Act of 2013 would require schools to counsel students before they take on private student loan debt. Uribe’s mother, Marilyn DeVries, said that she too has had setbacks during the recession, getting laid off and then landing a job that paid a third of what she had made. She said she and her husband, who had health problems, had to empty their 401(k) to keep up their mortgage payments. Last year, they sold some property at a loss to pay taxes. “I know my husband and I will be working well into our retirement years,” she said. “Don’t co-sign and don’t let your kids take out these loans.” The balance of loans that are in deferred status represented $388 billion of $893 billion in student debt outstanding, TransUnion said. That’s up from $228 billion in 2007. The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimated last October that student debt now surpasses $1 trillion, but, in November, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, long a source on student loan data, said outstanding student loan balances were $956 billion as of Sept. 30. TransUnion’s finding that about half of student loan payments are being deferred is consistent with findings from the New York Fed. Elevent percent of student loan balances are 90 or more days delinquent, the New York Fed estimates. That’s higher than most other credit products, including mortgages, home equity lines of credit, credit cards and auto loans. “These delinquency rates for student loans are likely to understate actual delinquency rates because almost half of these loans are currently in deferment or in grace periods and therefore temporarily not” considered delinquent, the New York Fed said in November. That implies that delinquency rates would be twice as high, the Fed said. TransUnion estimates the delinquency rates for federal loans were 12.3 percent as of March and 5.3 percent for private loans. — MCT

ILLINOIS: Sheila Uribe, 28, of Chicago, is pictured at her place of business where she works as an administrative assistant at a machinery company. — MCT

What are deferment And forbearance?


deferment is a temporary pause to student loan payments for specific situations, such as re-enrollment in school. A borrower may receive a deferment on federal student loans for certain periods. The US Department of Education has published a list of qualifications for a deferment. They include unemployment or inability to find fulltime employment; economic hardship, including joining the Peace Corps; and active-duty military service. Borrowers don’t have to pay interest during deferment if he or she has a subsidized loan. For subsidized federal student loans, the Education Department pays the interest on a loan while a student is in school and during deferment. Subsidized loans are given to students who demonstrate financial need. If a

borrower has an unsubsidized loan, he or she is responsible for the interest during deferment. If the interest is not paid, it will accumulate and be added to the loan balance, and the amount in the future will be higher. A borrower must apply for a deferment with a loan servicer, and he or she must continue to make payments until deferment is granted. Private student loans may or may not have a deferment option, and the rules vary among lenders. Contact a loan servicer to explore this option. If a borrower can’t make scheduled loan payments and doesn’t qualify for a deferment, a loan servicer may grant a forbearance. With forbearance, a borrower may be able to stop making payments or reduce the monthly payment for up to a year. Interest will continue to accrue on subsidized and unsubsidized loans.



White House warns of damaging ‘sequestration’ spending cuts Automatic cuts would hit law enforcement

FRESNO: Adolfo Reyes (left) pours fruit bar mix into molds at Helados La Tapatia in Fresno, California. —MCT

Ice cream company gets sweet taste of expansion FRESNO: Emilio Sandoval moved to Fresno in 1986 to work at his uncle’s ice cream factory. It didn’t take long for the deliveryman to realize the company’s growth potential. “I started doing some projection analysis and research of this Mexican ice cream product,” he said. “That’s when I decided to purchase the company from my uncle.” Today, Sandoval is president of Helados La Tapatia, which makes and sells 24 types of ice cream fruit bars from a cramped 8,800square-foot manufacturing plant in downtown Fresno. Business has been, well, fruitful. Sandoval was one of only three employees - all relatives - in 1986. Within 10 years, it had a work force of 15. Today, it has 55 workers - and Sandoval plans to open a new manufacturing plant on 4.1 acres he bought at Roeding Business Park in southwest Fresno. The new plant will be almost twice the size of the current operation and could double his work force. The $3 million plant could be under construction by June, following city approvals, he said. A fleet of 13 trucks ships about 1 million bars per month to retailers in the central San Joaquin Valley, but the company also supplies the all-natural dessert to outlets in the San Francisco Bay area, Nebraska, Nevada and Arizona. Sandoval estimates his company has about 5 percent of the market in the other states. The bars are sold in packages of 24 or as singles. They can be found in coolers and

ice boxes in FoodsCo and other stores, including those catering to Hispanic customers. Helados La Tapatia is one of a handful of ice cream manufacturers in the vicinity. Others include La Reina de Michoacan, which also uses fruit in its product, and Braun’s California Style Gourmet Ice Cream. Sandoval says his product’s appeal extends beyond Hispanics; other ethnic groups are responsible for almost 50 percent of the sale, he said. Coconut is the most popular flavor, with strawberry coming in second and lemon third. Bubble gum and Oreo cookie bars are favorites with children, he said. Sandoval selected the property in Roeding Business Park because of its central location and being near freeways. It also is in the state enterprise zone, federal empowerment zone and city ’s new Municipal Restoration Zone. A presence within those zones makes Helados La Tapatia eligible for tax credits when employees are hired and manufacturing and communications equipment is bought. It’s also eligible for a refund in business permit fees and reduced city fees, said Kelly Trevino, the city’s incentive zones manager. Sandoval found the Roeding property with the aid of Federico Murillo, a broker with ProMax Real Estate in Fresno. “I admire the guy,” Murillo said. “He started from practically nothing and built this company up. He works hard.” — MCT

WILSON: Bobby Blue loads tires into a bundler machine at the Bridgestone Firestone plant in Wilson, North Carolina. — MCT

Tire company sends workers to school WILSON: Ashley Batts recalls that he needed little experience or education when he worked at the Bridgestone Firestone tire plant in Wilson in 1990. He did as he was told and then went home. Now, almost 20 years later, to get rehired at the same plant, he must be skilled in problem solving, team-building, math, safety techniques and basic computer skills. Batts, who recently moved back to Wilson from Durham, NC, where he assembled IBM computers, said he is not surprised, because the manufacturing industry is more competitive. “They are looking for specific qualities,” he said. “In order to be competitive, they want to choose the best people.” Global competition has caused many US plants to close or move production overseas and is forcing manufacturers to work harder to find and train workers. Having highly skilled employees is critical to staying in business. “You have to continually prove that you are worth keeping open,” said David Byerly, human resource manager at the Bridgestone Firestone plant. “We are competing against plants in China that pay less than a dollar an hour.” On average, the plant’s workers make $37 an hour. The plant produces more than 90 types of tires, Byerly said. To maintain its competitive edge, it makes specialty or high-end tires. One for BMW will keep going for 75 miles after it loses all of its air, he said. For 32 years, the Bridgestone Firestone operations have been a fixture and major economic engine in Wilson. The campus covers 500 acres and houses 2,150 workers. Japanese parent company Bridgestone has agreed to make a hefty investment in the plant - Byerly wouldn’t divulge an exact amount but said it is roughly equal to the cost of building new - over the next 10 years, as long as certain milestones are met. Six years ago, some in the area wor-

ried about the plant’s future after a major tire recall spawned lawsuits. Many of the recalled tires were made in Wilson. Byerly said the investment is not linked to that incident. “We fixed those issues a long time ago,” he said. And indeed, the cash infusion can be seen as another vote of confidence in the plant. But there is a catch: Plant supervisors must find people qualified to operate and manage the new equipment. That mandate sent Firestone executives to Wilson Technical Community College for help. The college agreed to star t a class, “Introduction to Tire Manufacturing,” to train potential employees. Firestone worked with the college for nearly a year to develop the curriculum, said Rob Holsten, dean of continuing education and sustainability. That process cost about $25,000 and was funded by a state program, Focus Industrial Training Funds. As an employer in the county, Firestone qualified for the money, Holsten said. Students pay $117 for the class and workbook; Firestone reimburses the $67 tuition of those it hires. It offers similar internal training for employees. Most applicants must complete the course before the company will even interview them. Batts enrolled last month. Twice a week for six weeks, Batts and 14 other students take a three-hour class in a spacious, old woodworking classroom. To Batts’ surprise, the class has so far focused mostly on team-building and problem solving. “I was expecting the teacher to talk more about Firestone,” he said. About 30 percent of the curriculum focuses on tire -making, said Theresa Peaden, director of continuing education for Wilson Tech. The rest of the time is spent teaching skills that will help the students with measurements, math, safety and communication.— MCT

WASHINGTON: The White House said on Friday that government spending cuts due to take effect March 1 would have harsh consequences for ordinary Americans and the US economy, seeking to turn up pressure on Congress to come up with a plan to avoid what Washington calls “sequestration.” President Barack Obama said the spending cuts could weaken US military preparedness. “There is no reason, no reason for that to happen,” Obama said at a farewell ceremony for Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. “Putting our fiscal house in order calls for a balanced approach, not massive, indiscriminate cuts that could have a severe impact on our military preparedness,” he said. In its strongest warnings yet, the White House separately gave examples of what it said program cuts would mean: 1,000 fewer FBI officers, mass layoffs of government meat and food inspectors, and aid benefits slashed for hundreds of thousands of lowincome women and children. “Sequester is a blunt and indiscriminate instrument that poses a serious threat to our national security, domestic priorities and the economy,” Danny Werfel, a senior official at the White House budget office, told reporters at a briefing. “It does not represent a responsible way to achieve deficit reduction,” he said. The administration repeated its plea to Congress to put off the planned reductions, which the White House said would slash non-defense programs by 9 percent across the board and defense programs by 13 percent in the current fiscal year, resulting in “furloughs,” or temporary layoffs, for hundreds of thousands of government workers. White House economic aide Jason Furman said it was up to Congress to work out the details of how to raise revenues and cut spending so both sides have time to agree on how replace the sequester with a more acceptable fiscal belt-tightening program. “What we’re trying to do now is make sure Congress can buy the time it needs in order to do this entitlement reform, tax reform, that’s a much better solution to our problems than letting the sequester hit,” Furman said.

Republicans said that while they agree sequestration could be devastating, the president must propose spending cuts if he wants to see the deep automatic cuts replaced with something more palatable. “Spending is still the problem,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner. “It’s time to finally make the cuts and reforms we all know are needed to save and strengthen our safety net programs.” Republican aides said there had been no outreach from the White House to senior members of their party on the sequester. “Not a peep,” a Senate Republican leadership aide said. Legacy of 2011 budget battles Sequestration is a legacy of the 2011 impasse between Obama and congressional Republicans over raising the nation’s debt limit. Republicans, unhappy about the nation’s deficit, wanted to match any increases in the borrowing cap with cuts to government spending. The president balked at cutting social safety net programs, and the nation came close to defaulting on its debt as a deal eluded negotiators. The two sides finally agreed to raise the debt ceiling but vowed to continue negotiating to cut the deficit, setting up a deadline for the painful automatic sequestration cuts as an incentive to come to terms. The automatic cuts were reportedly suggested by the White House but were agreed to by both sides. The spending reductions are divided equally among nondefense and defense programs in an effort to make politicians at both ends of the political spectrum feel the pressure to compromise. The long period of fiscal skirmishing between Obama and congressional Republicans has been blamed by economists for creating a drag on the sluggish US economic recovery because it leaves businesses and consumers uncertain about tax rates and government spending plans. Defense spending fell sharply at the end of last year, in part because of fiscal uncertainty, contributing to a contraction of the overall economy in the quarter. Obama’s November reelection and gains by Democrats in both houses

of Congress have strengthened the president’s hand in fiscal negotiations. The two sides were able to avoid an initial year-end deadline for spending cuts with a deal that raised taxes on the wealthiest while leaving lower rates in place for most Americans. The deal to avoid the socalled “fiscal cliff” postponed automatic cuts for two months. New revenue, targeted cuts Cutting government spending remains a high priority for Republicans, who still control the House of Representatives. However, the White House pushed back on Friday by painting a dire picture of what would happen if the automatic cuts were allowed to go into effect. Obama wants Republicans to agree to a shortterm budget package to avoid the deepest of the automatic spending cuts but has said it needs to be “balanced” - that is, include some increases in revenue from closing tax loopholes. Boehner has said he would block any delay in those cuts unless other spending cuts and reforms are agreed to. Key Democratic US senators are discussing a plan that could be introduced next week to turn off the sequester for 10 months, through Dec 31, and pay for it half with new revenues and half with spending cuts, a Democratic Senate aide said. While no elements have been decided upon yet, provisions under discussion include ideas Democrats have raised before, such as raising taxes on carried interest, a provision aimed at wealthy investors who profit from hedge funds and private equity partnerships. Tax breaks for corporate jets and large oil companies could also be targeted, along with higher payroll taxes on smaller private firms organized as S-corporations. The senators are also considering reductions in farm subsidies, which they consider a spending cut. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid discussed the plan on Thursday with Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and Appropriations Committee Chairman Barbara Mikulski. — Reuters

Strong start to 2013 could be tested Wall St Week Ahead NEW YORK: The US stock market is no stranger to strong performances in January, only to see the lofty gains early in the year transition into months of grinding action that goes nowhere. That’s what happened in 2011 and 2012, and some analysts think 2013 could follow the same routine. Markets are up this year in the face of Washington’s debates over fiscal policy, but a looming deadline on spending reductions could test the gains. “This is almost a carbon copy of last year,” said Alan Lancz, president of Alan B Lancz & Associates Inc in Toledo, Ohio. The mentality is “ride the wave as far as you can and try not to be the last one off,” Lancz said. Major indexes recently crossed psychologically important milestones - 1,500 for the S&P 500 and 14,000 for the Dow industrials. The S&P is at its highest level in five years, while the Nasdaq finished on Friday at its highest close since November 2000, the tail end of the Internet bubble. The current levels are more significant than Wall Street’s usual fixation on round numbers. This is only the second time the Dow has reached 14,000, and the third time the S&P has hit 1,500. That could leave the market churning as investors test whether there’s enough support to reach new highs, or if a pullback is needed. The sharp gains and overall bullishness on Wall Street leave stocks vulnerable to sudden shocks, such as a flare-up of the financial crisis in the euro zone, which momentarily sidetracked the market earlier this week. Way apart One significant hurdle is the automatic federal spending cuts that will go into effect as of March.

So far, the equity market has largely ignored the back-and-forth related to delaying the so-called sequester that would trigger $85 billion in automatic spending cuts, which would hit the defense industry particularly hard. If the cuts go ahead unchanged, that could slow economic growth this year due to the swiftness of the cuts, according to the Congressional Budget Office. While that’s not as dire as the immediate threat of default presented by a possible failure to raise the debt ceiling, it isn’t positive for markets. “I don’t see any grand compromise coming, largely because the markets are so complacent,” said Greg Valliere, chief political strategist at Potomac Research Group in Washington. With the economic calendar light next week, investors could start to focus more on the political jockeying. President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address

on Tuesday may also provide some insight into how the talks may shape up. Valliere put a 60 percent chance on the sequester coming into effect next month while Washington scrambles to come up with a solution to alter it over the spring. “They are way, way apart on a deal,” said Valliere. Markets may also be ignoring the political deal making because the spending cuts would go towards reducing the United States’ high debt level. The CBO report, which included the cuts as they are, forecast the budget deficit will drop below $1 trillion a year after four years above that level. But analysts are worried about the broader implications of slower growth. “Across-the-board cuts will really be more damaging than strategic cuts,” said Lancz. “If we go into recession, all cards are off the table.” The economy already unexpectedly contracted in the fourth

NEW YORK: Specialist Gregg Maloney (left) and trader Tom Ferrigno work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. — AP

quarter of last year, but more recent data suggests subsequent revisions will show the economy did in fact grow, though at a weak pace. “Jack-rabbit start” The future path of monetary policy will be in focus next week as several members of the Federal Reserve are scheduled to speak on the economy and policy. The central bank is currently buying $85 billion worth of assets a month as it tries to bolster the economy. A growing number of policymakers say the Fed should taper its bondbuying when the time is right rather than bring the stimulus to an abrupt end and investors will be looking for signs of what the central bank’s exit strategy may be. The S&P 500 closed above 1,500 on Friday, though it likely faces resistance getting above 1,523.57, which would be its highest intraday level since November 2007. Analysts say the index could ultimately make a run for the all-time high of 1,576.09. Jeff Kleintop, chief market strategist at LPL Financial in Boston, expects the market will see a pullback in the 5 percent range, though that should present a better buying opportunity. Kleintop suggests using the dips to buy stocks in sectors such as homebuilders and transportation. “When you’re in a trading range, you want to buy what’s working.” For now, analysts are taking the market’s sideways direction as a healthy move as it tries to establish a stronger base to push higher. “To be stuck in a trading range for a period of time after having a jackrabbit start to the year is probably a positive sign,” said Art Hogan, managing director of Lazard Capital Markets in New York. — Reuters

Is Airbus dropping lithium-ion battery? PARIS/NEW YORK: Europe’s Airbus is considering whether to drop lithium-ion batteries and switch back to traditional ones on its A350 passenger jet as investigators probe Boeing 787 safety incidents, several people familiar with the matter said. The move comes amid a wider rethink in the aerospace industry on whether the powerful but delicate backup energy systems are technically “mature”, or predictable, they said. Industry executives, insurers and safety officials told Reuters the technology’s predictability was being questioned at senior levels as investigators struggle to find the cause of incidents that led to the grounding of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. “There is an increasing doubt over the technology,” said a person familiar with industrywide discussions on the issue. “It may well be the future but for now it is a question of maturity. The information on the two incidents is not reassuring.” The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, which is examining a fire on a 787 at Boston airport a month ago, said on Thursday it had identified where the fire broke out but not the cause. A similar investigation is under way in Japan. A spokesman for EADS unit Airbus said it would study the outcome of the US probe: “Let’s

not get ahead of ourselves. There are no conclusions by the NTSB yet and the investigation is still ongoing.” All options are open, he added. France’s Saft, which makes both the new and old batteries for Airbus, did not respond to requests for comment. Last month it insisted lithium-ion was safe. The A350 would be the second large passenger jet to fly on lithium-ion batteries for backup electrical power after the Dreamliner, which pioneered their use in passenger transport to support an increasing array of electrical systems. Airbus said last week it had a plan B for its battery and time to respond to any rule changes. However, industry sources said that following the NTSB’s latest comments, the odds are shortening that Airbus will switch to nickel-cadmium technology used on jets like the A380. “It is a classic risk-management problem. If you don’t know the cause of something you can’t quantify the risk that it will happen again,” an international safety official told Reuters. “In that case, you have little choice but to take a temporary step back and rely on something better understood.” Experts say that if the 787 probe fails to provide clear answers soon, pressure may build for Airbus to pre-empt the findings and switch solutions to head off development risk. Airbus plans

an A350 maiden flight in mid-year, followed by a year of flight trials and certification, during which the distraction of re-engineering could increase the risk of delays. The A350 is due to be delivered in the second half of 2014, around two years behind its original schedule. Reverting to nickel-cadmium would mean sacrificing the lighter weight of lithium-ion, equivalent on the A350 to one adult male passenger out of between 270 and 350 passengers. “The penalty in weight compared with the risks associated with ‘li-ion’ is minimal,” said Nick Cunningham, an aerospace analyst at Agency Partners in London. Boeing declined to say whether it was looking at making the same switch to restore its fleet to service. “We’re simply focused on resolving the issue, working closely with regulatory and investigative authorities,” a spokesman said. Boeing said the U.S. planemaker had selected lithium-ion batteries because they best met the performance and design objectives of the 787. “Nothing we learned during the design of the 787 or since has led us to change our fundamental assessment of the technology,” the company said. Because of its highly electric design, replacing many hydraulic systems, the 787 consumes more power than the A350. — Reuters



KIA to give $750,000 in gifts, cash prizes KUWAIT: National Agencies Group, the authorized dealer for KIA Motors in Kuwait, once again raised the bar of corporate generosity when it launched a mega giveaway totaling $750,000 in gifts and cash prizes this month. The campaign, lasting until February 28, automatically gives KD 100 AlShaya Giftcards, 1-year comprehensive insurance, third party insurance and free registration to everyone purchasing a new KIA during this period. In addition, each KD 500 spent entitles the customer entry into cash draws yielding 7 winners who take home up to $7,500 in cash. “This promotion reflects our strong belief at National Agencies Group that there is no such thing as too much customer satisfaction. As our loyal customer base continues to grow, we are confident that promotions like this onewill reinforce our corporate philosophy,” explained Nadia Gobran, KIA Kuwait Marketing & Business Development Manager.

The year 2013 is expected to be another outstanding year for KIA Motors as it continues to impress consumers with its new line of award winning vehicles character-

Gulf Bank announces winners of Al-Danah Daily Draws KUWAIT: Gulf Bank held its Al-Danah daily draws on Februar y 3, 2013, announcing the names of its winners for the week of January 27 to 31. The Al-Danah daily draws include draws each working day for two prizes of KD1,000 per winner. The Al-Danah Daily winners are: (Sunday 27/1): Aminah Mohammed Ahmed Mullahmohammed, Wedad Abdulnabi Mohammed Moussa (Monday 28/1): Omran Reyadh Haji Mohammed Reyadh, Layla Abdulraouf Hanafi Al-Sherif (Tuesday 29/1): Suhaila Abdulqader Al-Mutawa, Mishary Khaled Mishref Al-Mutairi (Wednesday 30/1) Hassan Mohammed Hassan Al-Ansari, Balqees Abdullah Ismael Nasser (Thursday 31/1) Waleed Fadel Abdulraheem Al-Matrood, Nouf Mubarak Jassim Mubarak Gulf Bank ’s new Al Danah 2013 draw lineup includes daily draws (2 winners per working day each receive KD 1,000), as well as two additional

prizes per quar ter. Al-Danah’s 1st Quarterly draw will be held on March 28 (KD 200,000, KD 125,000, and KD 25,000), 2nd Quarter - 27 June (KD 250,000, KD 125,000, and KD 25,000), 3rd Quar ter - 26 September (KD 500,000, KD 125,000, and KD 25,000) and the final draw held on 9 January, 2014 announcing winners of KD 50,000, KD 250,000 and the Al-Danah Millionaire. Gulf Bank’s Al-Danah allows customers to win cash prizes and simultaneously encourages them to save money. Chances increase the more money is deposited and the longer it is kept in the account. Al-Danah also offers a number of unique ser vices including the AlDanah Deposit Only ATM card which helps account holders deposit their money at their convenience; as well as the Al-Danah calculator to help customers calculate their chances of becoming an Al-Danah winner.

Competition in ME oil & gas industry


he oil and gas industry forms the foundation of economies throughout the Middle East. Recent analysis indicates that the region’s exporters account for roughly 40 percent of oil and 20 percent of natural gas traded internationally. There is strong and growing demand for energy across the region. So, how can the region’s operators capitalise on this positive outlook, compete positively against their rivals and ensure that they get a significant slice of market share? Mohamed Ghuloom, General Manager, Engineering, Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) feels thatthe answer lies in developing a powerful blend of talent and technology. “One of our core strategic objectives is to continue to build a skilled and motivated workforce. Recruiting the right peoplecan be challenging. There are technical graduates that have sufficient skills, but unfortunately many have been lured away from the process industries by higher pay packages elsewhere. Training is, therefore,vital in our industry. Investment in job-specific training has shown to drive employee motivation and good training needs be targeted not just at young recruits, but also at older and more experienced staff. Yet, if oil and gas operators are to optimise the way they do business and drive commercial advantage, investment in people needs to be matched by investment in technology solutions across the entire operation,” he advises. Industry analysts also advise operators toreview software productson their merits. Typically, there are stringent performance targets to meet. At Bapco, for example, the prime focus is based more on guaranteeing reliability with achieving a minimum level of unplanned shutdowns and delivering against product quality specifications, which are both seen as key operational metrics. “We are now actively using optimisation software from AspenTech, a leading software provider in engineering, manufacturing and supply chain sectors. More

specifically, Aspen HYSYS is the modelling tool Bapco uses for conceptual design, optimisation, business planning, asset management and performance monitoring for oil & gas production, gas processing, petroleum refining. Aspen PIMS also helps Bapco facilitate enterprise-wide planning through optimisation of feedstock evaluation, product slate production, plant design and operations, enabling its plants to run at maximum efficiency and profitability,” says Ghuloom. Oil and gas operators in the region are increasingly investing in automated Advanced Process Control (APC) solutions that help to reduce workload on plants and drive up operational efficiency and profit margins. APC will help decision-makers within the plant to react to change as best as possible.From Bapco’s viewpoint, AspenTech’s DMCplus has been implemented to help maintain tight quality specifications for products and operating conditions, as well as improve operating stability and constraint handling resulting in less unscheduled plant downtime. This type of investment is crucial for operators and the technology is important to maximise throughput by operating closer to constraints enabling greater capacity from existing assets. With globalisation and market volatility, the oil and gas margins are diminishing. In the future, software tools and packages will need to be further integrated into operators’ working practices and IT infrastructures, so that users waste less time moving data into different formats. This needs to be in line with a general push towards ramping up levels of automation on their plants. Business operates in an incredibly challenging and highly capital-intensive, energy consuming environment. “As industry leaders seek to successfully make the most of their existing assets and maximise the potential of their resources,a combined investment strategy of talent and leading-edge technology will help to achieve commercial goals in a highly competitive marketplace,” says Ghuloom.

NBK offers clients access to 16 markets globally KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) enjoys the largest international network offering its customers access to 16 markets on four continents around the world. NBK’s international network comprises 173 branches, subsidiaries and representative offices in 16 countries across the world’s leading financial centers, ten of which are in the Middle East. NBK’s international presence includes London, New York, Paris, Geneva and Singapore, as well as China (Shanghai). Meanwhile, regional coverage extends to Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon,

Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE. NBK international network offers a wide range of cross border services that address customers’ needs overseas. NBK’s services and products around the world deliver convenience and reliability. NBK has a dedicated specialized unit in Ras Al-Salmiya branch that assists customers with their overseas banking needs and coordinates with NBK’s overseas subsidiaries. Experts are ready to assist customers with the services offered by NBK’s international branches.

ized by amazing design, high-tech features and impressive quality. KIA has been consistently breaking sales records- both in Kuwait and worldwide - and its success has been attributed to the complete transformation of the brand that began in 2009 and continues to this day. In 2012, KIA was listed for the first time in the prestigious top 100 Global Brands list by Interbrand and has achieved 81 percent sales growth between 2008-2011. This is the result of KIA’s global vision to introduce a new perspective of automobiles characterized by amazing design, sophisticated technology and impressive features.” “KIA is not only a leading car company, but the ambassador of Korean excellence to the world. At National Agencies Group, we insist on extending the high standards of our Korean partner to our valued customers in Kuwait,” further explained Nadia. National Agencies Group recently reno-

vated the KIA showroom in Al-Rai and added new convenient facilities such as hosting bank and credit companies, inhouse car registration, renovated used-car section and high trade-in rates. Some of the award-winning KIA models include the new 2013 “Sorento” midsize SUV ( Top Safety Pick 2012 - IIHS) which sports an attractive new look. KIA’s largest and most powerful SUV, the “Mohave” large SUV (Consumers’ Top Rated SUV $25K to $35K - is also available and comes in V6 and V8 engine options. KIA’s “Sportage”CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) (iF Product Design Award) is currently turning heads with an ultra-modern look and impressive features such as a panoramic sunroof. For those seeking a near-luxury mid-size family sedan, the KIA “Cadenza” offers an elegant feel and a power ful engine. Secondary to the Cadenza, the multiple award-winning KIA “Optima” (2012 Car of

the Year Award - Motoring) shows off its highly distinctive design and modern features. The all-new “Rio” compact (2012 red dot Design Award) comes in three dynamic options: 3-door, 4-door and 5-door to provide versatile fun to the economical-minded driver. Customers seeking a truly different driving experience are recommended the youthful “Soul” crossover (red dot Design Award), which has been hailed for its customizability. For families who appreciate the minivan variety, KIA offers its “Carnival” minivan and Carensmultipurpose utility vehicle, each offering unmatched versatility for children and multiple passengers. Customers interested in taking advantage of this offer are kindly requested to visit the KIA Showroom in Al-Rai. National Agencies Group is a subsidiar y of Abdulaziz Al-Ali Al-Mutawa Group of Companies, and has been growing the KIA brand in Kuwait since 1997.

EQUATE sees $1.09bn net profit in 2012 Sales value exceeds $2.6 billion KUWAIT: EQUATE Petrochemical Company announced a net profit of $1.09 billion for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2012, which is a 3 percent increase over the $1.05 billion achieved in 2011. On this occasion, EQUATE President & CEO Mohammad Husain said, “These profits were realized through absolute integration of all commercial, industrial, administrative and other elements, as well as global demand for these products.” Husain noted, “Sales value in 2012 has exceeded $2.6 billion for the first time in EQUATE’s history which was a result of overall organizational efficiency by manifesting its tagline of ‘Partners in Success’ with all stakeholders within and outside Kuwait.” Husain added, “EQUATE has recently devised its ‘2020 Strategy’ that includes three main stages with the first focusing on qualifying relevant human resources, the second preparing to enter the international scene and the third is venturing into the global arena. The first phase is all about creating as much added-value from current facil-

ities, while the second and third are all about making EQUATE have greater global presence, with all stages focusing on distinguished human resources, especially Kuwaitis, through being more specialized and optimum technology utilization within a creative, innovative and sustainable work environment.” Husain extended utmost appreciation and gratitude to EQUATE Board, all employees and every person who has contributed to its success in all fields. Established in 1995, EQUATE is an international joint venture between Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), The Dow Chemical Company (Dow), Boubyan Petrochemical Company (BPC) and Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company (QPIC). Commencing production in 1997, EQUATE is the single operator of a fully integrated world-scale manufacturing facility producing over 5 million tons annually of high-quality petrochemical products which are marketed throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.

EQUATE President & CEO Mohammad Husain

ABK continues auto finance offer KUWAIT: Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait announces the continuation of auto finance so its customers can own and enjoy the car they desire. Stewart Lockie, General Manager, Retail Banking explained, “We are pleased to announce that clients financing their car of choice from most of the major showrooms in Kuwait has been

extended. ABK customers can avail auto finance for any one of the wide range of well known brands: GMC, SEAT, Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, Nissan, Infiniti, Citroen, Renault, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Saab, Ford, Subaro, Toyota, Lexus, Hummer, Opel, Peugeot, Mazda, Kia, Lincoln, Audi and Skoda.” Lockie continued, “Auto financ-

ing is available to all ABK customers without having to transfer their salaries to the Bank. The benefits are excellent; discounts are up to KD 250 and auto finance up to maximum KD 15,000.” Visit any of the top brand showrooms to own the car of your dreams and don’t forget to ask for exclusive offers for ABK customers.

TBWA\RAAD collects 11 awards at MENA Cristal Fest


t the first award ceremony of the 2013 MENA Cristal Festival, TBWA\RAAD picked up a series of awards, with two of the Grand Prixs awarded, six gold, one silver and two bronze. Last night’s ceremony honoured winners in the Digital, Mobile, Promotions, Direct, Media, Production and Innovation categories. The first Grand Prix was awarded to Arabian Automobiles in Dubai for its highly acclaimed “House Hunter Test Drive”, an interactive banner which automatically paired house hunters with the right Nissan model tailored to their flatrental budget. The idea tapped into the high numbers of new expats to Dubai, and offered up

Test Drive solutions to a willing target audience. The success of the campaign was phenomenal. Michel Ayat, CEO of Arabian Automobiles said - on the occasion: “Creativity and marketing are a powerful combination that can generate ideas which work and drive business results. Our account team at TBWA and their commitment to our business are highly valued. I am confident that our long standing partnership will continue to drive excellence across other prestigious platforms in 2013 and beyond”. The second category to secure a win was the ‘Future is Now’ Cristal, a new category at the awards.This brand new global competition is

aiming to award the different platforms, innovative technologies and new ideas in order to celebrate the creativity of the people who are pioneers in the art of reinventing technology at the customers’ service. The first ever Global Grand Prix in the category went to Red Tomato Pizza in Dubai for its VIP Fridge Magnet, which has already won four Cannes Lions and many other effectiveness and creativity awards. In his acceptance speech, Ramzi Raad, Chairman and CEO of the TBWA Group thanked the clients for encouraging, embracing and approving TBWA’s disruptive creativity as well as all the people behind the awarded work.



BANGALORE: Visitors watch Russian air force air demonstration team’s two Sukhoi Su-27 fighters of Russian Knights take off on the fourth day of the Aero India 2013 at Yelahanka air base in Bangalore, yesterday. More than 600 aviation companies along with delegations from 78 countries are participating in the five-day event that started Wednesday. — AP

New technologies promise to boost mobile data traffic NEW YORK: Take a look around at the next ball game or concert you attend. You’ll see thousands of fans snapping photos and videos and e-mailing them to friends. Those armies of smartphone owners-and their tablet-toting brethrenare contributing to a striking increase in wireless data usage: Cisco Systems estimates that mobile data traffic will grow by a factor of 18 by 2016, and Bell Labs predicts it will increase by a factor of 25. Intuitively, there’s a problem: all these photos and videos go over the airwaves. Yet just a few sections, or bands, in the spectrum of radio frequencies are available to the wireless carriers, which paid billions of dollars for them. Vastly more frequencies are reserved for other uses, from television and radio to aviation and military applications. Data traffic is growing so rapidly that carriers have imposed usage caps and raised prices. Surely, these two basic realities-exploding data use on the one hand, limited bands of spectrum on the other-must mean we will soon run out of airwaves for our gadgets, right? Just two years ago the chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski, suggested as much. He said the U.S. wireless industry desperately needed to get its hands on underused parts of the spectrum controlled by government agencies or TV broadcasters. Otherwise, wireless companies would find that demand for their services would outstrip their ability to provide them. “If we do nothing in the face of the looming spectrum crunch, many consumers will face higher prices as the market is forced to respond to supply and demand,” he declared. Similarly, an AT&T executive, Jim Cicconi, said that “the need for more spectrum is an industry-wide issue and problem.” But these claims were premature. For one thing, spectrum “crunches”-mobile phone usage that overwhelms the available wireless frequencies-would occur at highly specific locations and times. Sometimes, alternative strategies can completely solve these localized problems. Look around that stadium, for instance, and you’ll probably find milkcarton-size boxes tucked away in the rafters. These are short-range Wi-Fi receivers, operating on unlicensed portions of the radio spectrum. Your phone can send data through them instead of on the long-range cell-phone frequencies. The Wi-Fi boxes mop up all the data you send, and route it out of the stadium over a wired Internet connection. So the data sent by you and nearly everyone else in the stadium doesn’t touch the precious spectrum that the wireless carriers claim is running out. That clever trick is just one example of the new strategies and technologies that can be brought to bear. The entire spectrum system is managed inefficiently. A recent advisory report to the White House made that clear enough, and it emphasized that sharing wireless frequencies more widely-rather than parceling each band out to a limited set of users-could increase wireless capacity by a factor of thousands. For example, many sections of the airwaves that are reserved for TV stations and federal agencies go unused. That’s partly because some regions have only three local TV channels and no one needs the remaining spectrum set aside for TV broadcasts. Or a military weapon system that gobbles spectrum in San Diego uses little or none in New York. “We don’t have a spectrum crunch so much as we have a spectrum policy crunch,” says David Tennenhouse, Microsoft’s vice president of technology policy and a former MIT professor and Intel executive. “The so-called ‘spectrum crunch’ really reflects artificial spectrum scarcity.” To document this artificial scarcity more precisely, his company has launched a project, called the Microsoft Spectrum Observatory, to measure where and when bands of radio frequencies are actually being used, starting in Washington, D.C., Seattle, and

Redmond, Washington. Tennenhouse hopes it is the first step in a far broader data-gathering effort that leads to smarter spectrum regulations. Pointing to the runaway success of Wi-Fi, which covers only short ranges and works on open, unlicensed frequencies, he adds, “The challenge now is to extend those proven successes to enable wider-area broadband access using other underutilized portions of the spectrum.” Some early efforts at frequency sharing have begun. For example, some television channels that go unused in a given geographic area, referred to as “white spaces,” can now be used by other devices. And in December, the FCC recommended that researchers and companies be allowed access to frequencies that have been reserved for radar systems. Many more airwaves could eventually be shared with the help of cognitive radios, which sense available frequencies and shift between them in milliseconds to avoid interference with other devices. Some of the first outdoor tests are under way at the University of Colorado. Groups elsewhere, including Virginia Tech, the University of California, Berkeley, and Rutgers, are also working on the technology. However, at least for now, rigid regulations don’t allow widespread use of flexible technologies like cognitive radio. It’s not that the entire subject of a spectrum crunch is a red herring. Radio frequencies are a limited resource, and some bands aren’t well suited to longdistance communications. Wireless carriers can’t endlessly install new base stations, those towers atop office buildings or hillsides (sometimes disguised as trees), because eventually the signals would interfere with those from other stations. But shorter-range transmitters and receivers that use dedicated cellular frequencies-called small cells-can already fill gaps in coverage. The smallest of these, called femtocells, can be as cheap as $200 and give clear service in homes and offices while keeping the load off large base stations, much like those Wi-Fi gadgets in the stadium rafters. “Small cells are the hottest thing in the wireless industry right now,” says Jeff Reed, director of the wireless research lab at Virginia Tech. John Donovan, an AT&T executive vice president, said this fall that while the company had bought additional spectrum rights and wanted still more, the immediate crisis had passed, and that half the new demand through 2015 would be handled by small cells. Such technologies have emerged far more strongly than anticipated. “If you looked a few years ago, you’d say we’d be out of spectrum by now,” says Vanu Bose, founder of Vanu, a wireless-communications company in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bose, along with Reed, was a technical advisor on the White House report. “There are lots of ways to satisfy the demand,” he says. “Adding spectrum [for commercial services] is certainly one of them, and so are small cells, alternative offloading technologies, and innovations we haven’t even conceived of yet.” Eventually, new technologies might free up airwaves by making wireless data transfers happen much more quickly. For example, MIT researchers have shown it’s possible to reduce the amount of back-and-forth communication required to deal with dropped packets of data. While the technique may be a few years from being widely implemented, lab demonstrations show that it could increase capacity tenfold. That means you could download your video 10 times faster than you do now, freeing the network that much sooner for someone else to use. So can new technology stave off a spectrum shortage forever? Perhaps not, but Microsoft’s Tennenhouse says that decades of research advances are waiting to be applied to the problem: “Right now, we have a 15- to 20-year backlog of new technologies and architectures ... which can take us a long way into the future. —- MCT

BANGALORE: Visitors watch US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III, a cargo plane, fly over other aircraft on the fourth day of the Aero India 2013 at Yelahanka air base in Bangalore yesterday.

Closest Earth-like planet ‘stroll across the park’ Study of red dwarf stars CAPE CANAVERAL: Earth-like worlds may be closer and more plentiful than anyone imagined. Astronomers reported yesterday that the nearest Earth-like planet may be just 13 light-years away - or some 77 trillion miles. That planet hasn’t been found yet, but should be there based on the team’s study of red dwarf stars. Galactically speaking, that’s right next door. If our Milky Way galaxy were shrunk to the size of the United States, the distance between Earth and its closest Earth-like neighbor would be the span of New York’s Central Park, said Harvard University graduate student Courtney Dressing, the study’s lead author. “The nearest Earth-like planet is simply a stroll across the park away,” she said at a news conference in Cambridge, Mass. Small, cool red dwarfs are the most common stars in our galaxy, numbering at least 75 billion. The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for

Astrophysics team estimates 6 percent of red dwarf stars have Earth-like planets. To qualify, the planet must be roughly the size of Earth and get as much light from its star, as Earth does from the sun. This high rate of occurrence should simplify the search for extraterrestrial life. As the report’s co-author, David Charbonneau, noted, he’s an astronomer, but hopes to become a biologist if that search succeeds.These planetary candidates are quite different than Earth because of the differences between their red dwarf stars and the sun, Charbonneau told reporters. Because the red dwarfs are so much smaller, potentially habitable planets would need to orbit much closer than the Earth does to the sun. They likely would be rocky, the astronomers said, but different types of atmospheres could lead to different types of life. Red dwarf stars also can be old - far older than

our sun - which means their planets could be much older than Earth and their potential life forms much more evolved. Our solar system is 4.5 billion years old, for instance, while some red dwarf stars are 12 billion years old. One of these target planets could be 12 billion years old as well, the scientists said. Future spacecraft should be able to locate these planets and provide environmental clues. California Institute of Technology astronomer John Johnson, who was not involved in the study, called the proximity of the nearest Earthlike planet “extraordinarily exciting.” “It’s right within reach,” Johnson said, and future efforts will put scientists “hot on the trail of finding life elsewhere in the galaxy.” These newest findings are based on data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope, launched in 2009. They will be published in “The Astrophysical Journal.” —- AP

How to stay connected in a power outage NEW YORK: Here are some tips for communicating with emergency services and loved ones as a snowstorm bears down on the Northeast: _ Keep your phones plugged in so that they’re fully charged if the power goes out. There are various products available that can recharge a cellphone from a larger rechargeable battery or AA batteries. _ Even if your cellphone is charged when the power goes out, the wireless network may not work. Some cell towers are equipped with backup batteries and some have generators, but not all. _ If your power goes out, you could use your car to recharge your phones. Of course, don’t run the car in an enclosed space, or you risk carbon monoxide poisoning. _ Ideally, you should have a corded landline phone as well. They get all the power they need from the line itself. Cordless phones stop working when the power goes out. _ Home phones hooked up to cable or Verizon FiOS aren’t powered by those lines, but the modems in the home usually have backup batteries that will last about eight hours. That means corded phones hooked up to these services will work without your home’s electric power. Again, cordless phones will be useless. _ Working cell towers may be overloaded by people calling to check in on each other or surfing the Web. Cellphone companies recommend text messaging rather than calling in any disaster, because text messages use much less network capacity. They also don’t use much battery power. Using Facebook and Twitter can be tempting, but try to keep usage brief and use the phone’s apps rather than web browsers if possible, to minimize network use and battery drain. _ But if you lose power at home, your house’s Internet service won’t work. Wireless Internet service on your phones is your best bet. _ If you have a battery-powered radio or car radio, use it to get your news updates rather than taxing the wireless network and your phone battery. _ Vehicle emergency systems like General Motors Co.’s OnStar rely on a wireless network (OnStar uses Verizon’s), so they’re susceptible to network outages, just like cellphones. However, OnStar says customers report better luck connecting with their car systems than with cellphones, probably because the car has a much larger antenna, allowing it to reach more distant towers. — AP

EMC Middle East’s HR Team

EMC named among top 10 companies to work for in the UAE DUBAI: EMC yesterday announced that the Great Place to Work Institute, UAE (GPTW UAE) has recognized EMC among the Top 10 best companies to work for in its third annual list of the ‘Top Companies to Work for in the UAE’. EMC was honored thanks to leading HR practices based on the ‘Employee First’ principle to boost employee growth and satisfaction, as well as the ability to foster a friendly and collaborative work environment that encourages transparency and open communication. One key EMC HR practice highlighted by the Institute was EMC’s Individual Development Program (IDP), which helps employees chart out and achieve their long term career goals through a series of specific learning and development programs. In addition to the customized training and development programs that emphasize professional growth, EMC was also acknowledged for placing HR at the strategic core of the business and enabling HR professionals with innovative tools and resources that go beyond traditional HR practices. The official list of “Top Companies to Work for in the UAE” 2013 by the Great

Place to Work Institute, UAE, is based on the confidential feedback of employees and an audit of management practices in addition to HR policies and practices. This annual benchmarking study assesses the level of credibility, fairness, respect, pride and camaraderie within an organization used to recognize the best workplaces in over 45 countries worldwide. This is EMC’s second year participating in the survey. In 2012, EMC ranked 10th on the list.

Habib Mahakian

AOL shows signs of revival on advertising growth WASHINGTON: AOL is showing signs of revival with gains in advertising, a key step toward the reinvention of the former Internet star as a media firm. AOL said Friday profits in the fourth quarter jumped 57 percent from a year earlier to $35.7 million, led by a rise in ad revenues. Total revenues were up four percent from a year earlier to $599.5 million, in what the company said was the first time revenue had increased year-over-year in eight years. The growth was led by advertising, which saw a 13 percent jump in revenue. “AOL returned to growth and generated significant value for shareholders in 2012,” Tim Armstrong, the firm’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement. “AOL has strong momentum entering 2013 and is positioned to continue on our growth

path by executing our strategy to build the next generation media and technology company.” AOL, formerly known as America Online, has been struggling since the collapse of its leadership as an Internet subscription service, and has been seeking to become a more diversified Web firm. It fused with news and entertainment giant Time Warner in 2001 at the height of the dotcom boom in what is considered one of the most disastrous mergers ever. It was spun off by Time Warner in December 2009 into an independent company and has been struggling since then as it tries to focus on media and news. Its operations include the Huffington Post news site, technology news site TechCrunch, the local news operation Patch, Moviefone and AOL shares leapt 7.3 percent to close at $33.72.

Victor Anthony at Topeka Capital Markers said the shares may “react positively off the headline revenue outperformance” and profit growth, but added that “we would have liked to see growth in domestic display (advertising) as evidence that AOL can fully compete with Google and Facebook.” Anthony added that a spinoff of the struggling Internet access arm called AOL Networks “would be a catalyst.” Youssef Squali at Cantor Fitzgerald was cautious, maintaining a “hold” rating on AOL. He said the better-than-expected gains show that AOL is “slowly moving back to growth mode again” but added that “management shied away from providing revenue guidance or quantifying margin improvement potential for 2013.” — AFP


H E A LT H & S C I E N C E

In a switch, GOP governors back expanding Medicaid DES MOINES, Iowa: Once largely united in resisting the Obama administration’s new health care overhaul, a growing number of Republican governors are now buying into parts of the system as the financial realities of their states’ medical costs begin to counterbalance the fierce election politics of the issue. This week, Michigan’s Rick Snyder became the sixth GOP governor to propose expanding his state’s health insurance program to cover more lowincome residents, in line with the Democratic administration’s strong recommendation. Eleven Republican governors have rejected the idea while a dozen, who have been mostly critical, have not announced a decision. Although the Democratic president’s re-election last fall cleared the way for providing health insurance for millions of Americans who don’t have it, many Republican governors have resisted parts of the plan that remained optional. They have been

reluctant to expand their Medicaid programs to cover more low-income residents. And many declined to take responsibility for the online exchanges that would offer subsidized private coverage to the middle class. Both would pose costs to the states and also involved cooperating with a larger government role in health care that many Republicans strongly opposed. However, the federal government’s agreement to pay most of the added Medicaid expense, and belief that fewer residents would be showing up at local hospitals without insurance, have begun to break down some governors’ opposition. “Politically, the dynamic may be shifting,” said Matt Benson, a senior aide to Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, who proposed expanding Medicaid last month. “There may be some folks looking at this anew.” Two high-profile Republican

governors, Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Rick Scott of Florida, have voiced skepticism about the federal terms but are still considering the option. Most Democratic governors have supported expanding their Medicaid programs to cover more low-income residents, mainly adults with no children at home, who don’t qualify now. With such an expansion, Medicaid would account for almost all of the state’s poor. Under the new federal plan, higher earners would be required to get private insurance. Together, the provisions are aimed at sharply reducing the 15% of Americans who are uninsured. But many Republican governors shrank from taking on any further costs for Medicaid, which has heavily burdened state budgets. The federal government would pay the full cost for the first three years under the new system, but the states would pay up to 10 percent later. Some governors worried that the federal government could decide to trim back

its contribution in the future. The governors now agreeing to opt in and expand Medicaid include Republicans from different regions of the country and different ideological leanings. This has prompted hope among some health care overhaul supporters of more GOP defections. In addition to Snyder and Brewer, Republican governors who support expanding Medicaid include Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota, John Kasich of Ohio, Brian Sandoval of Nevada and Susana Martinez of New Mexico. In each state, the proposal must still be approved by the legislature, where there is still Republican opposition. Snyder said that in Michigan, the expansion would provide coverage for about 500,000 uninsured residents, mostly at federal expense, and save state taxpayers $1.2 billion through 2020. The government now helps hospitals cover some of the cost of treating those without insurance.—AP

Horse lasagne sparks European food scare Criminal activity suspected

SEA BRIGHT: Chris Christie pictured with some of his friends recently.

Christie seeks to address his weight on own terms SEA BRIGHT: Chris Christie began the workweek doughnut in hand, playfully embracing fat jokes on David Letterman’s couch. The New Jersey governor was soon describing himself as the “the healthiest fat guy you’ve ever seen in your life” and sharing private details about his cholesterol and blood sugar with Letterman. And in a flash, the Republican was countering a former White House doctor’s suggestion that his weight would present serious health risks if he were elected president. By design or not, the 50-year-old ended up outlining a personal and political plan for dealing with his weight - in a more concentrated fashion, perhaps, than ever before, and in a matter of days. And he addressed a political vulnerability in his indisputable quest to emerge as a key leader in the Republican Party, if not become his party’s 2016 presidential nominee. “ There is a plan” for losing weight, Christie acknowledged, adding: “Whether it’s successful or not, you’ll all be able to notice.” He has never publicly revealed his weight. On Thursday, Christie was touring this seaside community as part of recovery efforts from Superstorm Sandy. It was unclear whether the focus earlier in the week about his weight - and his promise to control it - signaled his thinking as it related to a potential run for president or whether it was simply a continuation of the status quo for a man who has struggled with his size for three decades. Regardless of the answer, the Republican’s candor on an issue he long has contended was personal - not political - showed a desire to frame the years-old debate over his outsize girth at a critical time in his political career and as the nation deals with an obesity epidemic. And how he handled questions about his weight amid the flurry of media attention suggested a strategy for dealing with the issue self-deprecating humor, moments of reflection and a plan for taking responsibility for his health. There were also moments of anger. Christie bristled after a former White House physician, Dr. Connie Mariano, told CNN that his weight may present serious health risks for a president. “I’m a Republican, so I like Chris Christie a lot. I want him to run. I just want him to lose weight,” Mariano said Tuesday. “I worry about this man dying in office.” Christie later suggested that the doctor “should shut up” until she gives him a physical and takes his family history. “This is just another hack who wants five minutes on TV,” he said. Not content to castigate the physician on national television or in a news conference earlier in the week, the blunt-speaking Christie phoned the physician. Mariano told KTVK-TV in Phoenix that the call from the governor was like his press conference, “only louder,” adding “he wasn’t very nice to me.” Christie confirmed he made the call but declined to comment on the conversation, saying it was private. After joking with Letterman, Christie struck a more personal tone with reporters: “The idea that somehow I don’t care about this, of course I care about it, and I’m making the best effort I can,” he said while acknowledging that dieting has been a regular part of his life for 30 years. The focus on Christie’s weight comes as Republican celebrities across the country -

and potential presidential candidates jockey to emerge as leaders of a GOP that lacks a standard-bearer after Mitt Romney’s defeat. Christie’s allies, medical professionals and even history suggest that his weight presents both practical and political problems. Few significantly overweight presidential candidates have succeeded in the modern political era, when television became a major factor in shaping voter attitudes. There are disputed reports that President William Howard Taft couldn’t fit in a White House bathtub a century ago, but only a handful of presidents since have been considered obese. President Bill Clinton struggled at times with his weight, but he was substantially slimmer than the New Jersey governor. Christie is running for re-election and is likely to be challenged by Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono, a fit 59-year-old who runs, swims and works out regularly. He also has kept the door open to a possible White House run. “I refuse to put it in political terms,” said Christie adviser Bill Palatucci. “He’s my friend first and foremost. I want to see him lose weight for himself and his family.” He and others say the issue is serious for health reasons, if not the public perception that his weight may impede his performance in one of the world’s most stressful jobs. But Palatucci also suggested that Christie’s weight - particularly his struggle to control it - could ultimately become a political asset. “In many ways to most New Jersyans, it’s an endearing quality. It’s why this guy is genuine,” Palatucci said. “He readily admits he has a problem that he’s been struggling with for 30 years.” So far, there’s no sign it has affected his political standing in New Jersey, where registered voters late last month gave him a record-high 74 percent approval rating, according to Quinnipiac University. Christie also has other - potentially more serious - political liabilities, and whether he takes steps to address them in the coming months could signal his political intentions. His brash manner could alienate voters outside of New Jersey, and conservatives who make up the presidential primary electorate - are angry over his emphatic praise of President Barack Obama’s response to Superstorm Sandy. “He’ll have some challenges within the Republican Party just because he gave Obama a French kiss on the Jersey shore,” said Republican operative Hogan Gidley. “But there is also a perception issue for many candidates. Voters base their votes on some very odd things.” Gidley knows well the political challenges facing overweight candidates, having previously worked for Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a former GOP presidential candidate who also struggled with obesity. After facing an ultimatum from his doctor, Huckabee lost more than 100 pounds and wrote a how-to book, “Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork,” before launching his presidential bid in 2008. Christie has never released his medical records - an action customary for presidential candidates - and he bristled when his size came up during the 2009 governor’s race. He is hardly alone in his struggle. More than a third of adults 20 years old and older are obese and another third are overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.—AP

LONDON: Britain’s horsemeat lasagne food scare spread to several other European countries yesterday as officials said they suspected criminal activity was behind the growing scandal. Swedish food giant Findus withdrew various frozen meals from France and Sweden, a day after withdrawing frozen beef lasagne from sale in Britain that was found to contain up to 100 perecent equine flesh. The British supermarket chain Aldi meanwhile announced on Friday that two ready meal ranges contained similar quantities of the meat. The meals were all produced in Luxembourg for French supplier Comigel and the company said the horsemeant orginated in a Romanian abbatoir. Britain Prime Minister David Cameron called the scandal “completely unacceptable” and police said officers had met with Britain’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) to discuss the matter. British environment minister Owen Paterson said he would hold a “horsemeat summit” with the FSA and retailers to tackle the problem. “I’ve got a nasty feeling it’s actually a criminal conspiracy and that’s why it’s quite right for the FSA to engage the Metropolitan Police, who are working with other police forces across the mainland of Europe,” Paterson told the BBC. He said there was no risk to human health from the meals and said he would eat them himself. On Thursday the FSA announced that 11 of 18 samples of Findus beef lasagne were found to contain between 60 and 100 percent horse-

meat. A Findus spokesman was quoted as telling the Guardian newspaper that it was told by Comigel about the horsemeat on Saturday but did not issue a product recall then, saying it was “a question of logistics.” Aldi announced on Friday that tests on its Today’s Special brand of frozen beef lasagne and frozen spaghetti bolognese found they too contained between 30 percent and 100 percent horse meat. The company said it felt “angry and let down” by Comigel. Scotland Yard said it had “met with the Food Standards Agency at their request and will continue to liaise with them” but added that there was “no investigation at this time.” Comigel director Erich Lehagre told AFP the horsemeat originated in a Romanian abattoir and was provided to Comigel via a meat-processing company called Spanghero, based in southwestern France. The meals were then produced in Luxembourg by a supplier called Tavola. Speaking in Brussels after a European Union summit, Cameron described the situation as “very shocking”. “People will be very angry to find out they have been eating horse when they thought they were eating beef. This isn’t really about food safety-it’s about effective food labelling,” Cameron said. The FSA said it had ordered further tests on the suspect lasagne for the veterinary drug phenylbutazone, which can cause a serious blood disorder to humans in rare cases.

All Findus frozen beef lasagnes have been recalled from Swedish stores while in France, the company is withdrawing three productslasagne, cottage pie and moussaka. It is the latest horsemeat-related scare to his Europe after equine DNA was found two weeks ago in beefburgers in Britain and Ireland, countries where horsemeat consumption is generally taboo. Millions of beefburgers have been removed from sale. The consumption of horsemeat is more common in other parts of Europe including France, as well as in central Asia, China and Latin America. Comigel said earlier that it had withdrawn all products from a meat supplier that had provided it with horsemeat instead of beef, but insisted that veterinary services in France and Luxembourg had said the horsemeat in question “does not raise any public health issue”. Comigel supplies frozen meals to supermarket chains and other clients in 16 countries, with Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium and Scandinavia the main markets and Findus among the brands it has contracts with. Luxembourg company Tavola, which makes the products for Comigel, imported the meat from France but it was “fraudulently labelled” beef, the country’s director of veterinary services Felix Wildschutz said. France’s anti-fraud watchdog said it was trying to trace the origin of the horsemeat fraud. A spokesman for Findus UK told AFP that Comigel has supplied them with beef lasagne since 2011. —- AFP

Japan seeks cooperation with China on smog problem TOKYO: Japan is seeking to cooperate and exchange information with China on the recent bout of severe smog in many Chinese cities as Japanese fret that the toxic haze may drift into their own skies. The Foreign Ministry said it plans to pursue the issue with China once its weeklong Lunar New Year holiday ends in mid-February. It is unclear if tensions with Beijing over a territorial dispute might interfere with that plan. Many Japanese cities suffered from severe smog in earlier decades, during the country’s industrial boom. But enforcement of fuel and clean air standards helped clear the skies, and pollution is much less severe than in most of China. Publicly released data so far has shown no correlation between the recent peaks in levels of harmful particulates in China, which obscured skies in some cities last month and prompted authorities to warn residents to stay indoors when possible, and overall smog levels in Japan. But Japanese media have carried numerous stories on the potential for the smog to spread given prevailing wind patterns. Japanese pollution monitors have recorded elevated levels of contaminants in the past, especially during the spring dust storm season, when clouds of yellow silt from the Gobi desert have affected both Japan and South Korea. Japan has long worked with China on reducing acid rain resulting from pollution on the Asian mainland. Last month, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing reported an hourly peak level of PM2.5 at 526 micrograms per cubic meter, or “beyond index,” or more than 20 times higher than World Health Organization safety levels over a 24-hour period. In southern Japan’s Fukuoka prefecture, on the island of Kyushu, extra monitors were set up last week to measure pollutants that might have spread from China. Readings there showed levels of PM2.5 a secondary pollutant that forms in the air and is tiny enough to penetrate deep into the lungs at about 50, above the local standard of 35. Japan’s Environment Ministry has said it plans to issue guidelines for alerts in case they become necessary. Soaring vehicle emissions in China are a big source of PM2.5. But the country’s heavy reliance on coal to fuel its power generation, its widespread burning of leftover vegetation in harvested fields and poor quality fuel are also to blame. Although China has sought to impose strict fuel quality standards, experts say they are often flouted, while penalties for pollution violations are mild and enforcement of controls is haphazard. — AP

TOKYO: Chimpanzees munch on leek at Tokyo’s Tama Zoo yesterday. The zoo gave welsh onions and garlic to chimpanzees to help the primates stay healthy in winter and to avoid catching colds, according to Japanese traditional medicine. — AFP

Worst of flu season may be over NEW YORK: The worst of the flu season appears to be over. The number of states reporting intense or widespread flu dropped again last week, US health officials said yesterday. The season started earlier than normal, spiking first in the Southeast and then spreading. But now, by some measures, flu activity has been ebbing for at least four weeks in much of the country. Flu and pneumonia deaths have been dropping for two weeks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. “It’s likely that the worst of the current flu season is over,” CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said in an email. It’s been nine years since a conventional flu season started like this one. That was the winter of 2003-04 - one of the deadliest in the past 35 years, with more than 48,000 deaths. Like this year, that season had the

same dominant flu strain, one that tends to make people sicker. But back then, the flu vaccine didn’t protect against that bug, and fewer people got flu shots. The vaccine is reformulated each year, and the CDC has said this year’s vaccine is a good match to the types that are circulating. A preliminary CDC study showed this year’s version is about 60 percent effective. So far, the season has been labeled moderately severe. The government does not keep a running tally of flu-related deaths in adults, but has received reports of 59 such deaths in children. The most - nine - were in Texas, where flu activity was still high last week. On average, about 24,000 Americans die each flu season, according to the CDC. Flu vaccinations are recommended for everyone 6 months or older. —- AP


H E A LT H & S C I E N C E

Dar Al Shifa submits study on coronary angiography

Dr. Saad Al Kandari

KUWAIT: Dar Al Shifa Hospital announced yesterday the success of a full study which was recently submitted at the World Congress of Clinical Lipidology at Budapest. The study is the first of its kind in the Middle East to describe Clinical and angiographic gender differences in patients undergoing coronary angiography, and was highly acknowledged by the organizing committee at the congress. This new research was conducted by Dr. Jadaan Al Saddah, Master’s Degree holder in cardiology at Dar Al Shifa Hospital along with Dr. Saad Al Kandari, consultant cardiology at the hospital. The objective of the

study was to determine the differences that exist in clinical evaluation and treatment between men and women with coronary heart disease. Results of the study have shown that while women are more likely to present with atypical symptoms, they have more cardiovascular risk fac tors and more aggressive multi-vessel coronary disease indicating the higher surgical referrals compared to their men counterpart. Commenting on the study, Dr. Al Saddah said: “ We are proud to have received appreciation from the conference’s organizing committee towards our

efforts in conducting this study. Dar Al Shifa Hospital was the first in the Middle East to submit a study on this subject, an initiative that reflec ts the hospital ’s approach towards providing comprehensive healthcare services that are backed by core scientific evidence.” Moreover, Dr. Al Kandari commented on this recent initiative, claiming: “We have undergone extensive research in this study and therefore, we are sure that it will further help us and our teams in understanding more about accurate ways of treatments for both men and women challenged with coronary angiography.”

Dr. Jaadan Al Saddah

GE Healthcare displays oncology solutions Improved cancer care in Mideast DUBAI: As part of its $1 billion oncology commitment and marking World Cancer Day, GE Healthcare showcased its range of leading oncology solutions at Arab Health 2013 recently, highlighting the benefits of GE’s established portfolio for patients across the Middle East. Among the solutions highlighted were the SenoBright* Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM) and FlightPlan for Liver, that have the potential to help healthcare providers improve outcomes in breast and liver cancer for the region’s anticipated 140 million1 and 12 million2 cases respectively,

across the Middle East. SenoBright* Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM) Launched in 2010, developed in the Middle East in collaboration with the Qatar Science & Technology Park and available worldwide, the innovative SenoBright* Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM) is helping healthcare providers to improve the diagnosis of breast cancer using GE’s latest developments in digital mammography. SenoBright uses X-rays at multiple energies to

create two separate but almost simultaneous exposures. The resulting images specifically illuminate and highlight the areas of interest through contrast visualization. SenoBright is intended to allow for a procedure to be conducted potentially on the same day as a traditional screening exam and can be operated using the same mammography equipment and staff, thereby helping medical professionals cut the critical time patients often have to wait from detection to diagnosis by up to 30 days. “Mammography is the standard in breast cancer screening, delivering proven clinical outcomes,

however, the sensitivity and specificity of images can be impacted by a range of factors which are not always visible on regular x-ray sometimes leading to misdiagnosis. SenoBright is helping radiologists localize known or suspected lesions using a unique imaging method which combines digital mammography, low-and high-energy x-rays and a common contrast agent to highlight lesions through contrast visualization. The insights gained through SenoBright enables physicians in diagnosis and treatment, and can help improve the patient experience. With Senobright now available

around the globe we are seeing increasing demand for this solution across the Middle East and North Africa, Turkey & Central Asia,” said Marc Mougel, EAGM Detection & Guidance Solutions General Manager. Mougel added: “Since 1965, GE Healthcare has made significant progress in providing solutions for breast cancer detection and diagnosis that really bring a change to people’s lives. In fact, we’ve committed to invest $1 billion in oncology R&D by 2016, to deliver new products to market, manufacture of biopharmaceuticals and continued oncology research.


W H AT ’ S O N



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—Photos by Joseph Saagra

Congratulations to Mariyam Khalil for getting 98% in her Grade 1 examination. God bless u.

Jamawar - New Indian restaurant at Crowne Plaza Many, many happy returns of the day to Shaikh Mohammed Ashraf. Best wishes from father Shaikh Aslam Basha, mother Tabasum Begum, brother Mohammed Ayaan, sister Faiz, uncle Shaikh Anwar Basha, aunty Sajida Begum and Dada, Dadi, Nana, Nani, Kalesha, Shahida and near and dear ones from Kuwait and India.

Top Canadian universities to visit Kuwait


welveof Canada’s elite universities are coming to Kuwait, on 11 February 2013, to hold an information session on Canada as a destination for higher education. Representatives from these universities are organizing a Study in Canada Fair at Sheraton Kuwait Hotel on Monday 11th February, 2013 from 7 pm till 9:30 pm. The tour is of special interest to senior secondary students who exhibit strong academic standing, as well as to their parents. The schedule includes school visits, information sessions, and opportunities to interact with school guidance counsellors. Universities represented by the 2013 CIS Canadian University Tour to the Middle East are: lCarleton University lConcordia University lDalhousie University lLakehead University lMcGill University lMemorial University lUniversity of New Brunswick lRyerson University lSaint Mary’s University lTrent University lVancouver Island University lYork University The delegation is led by Daralyn Holt from Trent University in Ontario. The group’s visit to Kuwait is part of a larger initiative which will take them to Qatar, Oman, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates. The tour is being organized by the Canadian Higher Education Committee under the aegis of Council of International Schools (CIS). It is Council’s tenth consecutive Canadian tour to visit Kuwait. “The Middle East is a key undergraduate student market for Canadian universities,” said Daralyn Holt of Trent University and Tour Director. “Students from Kuwait and the broader region are sought for their strengths and their rich contributions to student life on Canadian university campuses. In turn, increasing numbers of students from the region are making Canada their first choice for study- as evidenced on this tour. Kuwaiti students are drawn to our universities’ common attributes of international reputations for academic excellence, state of the art resources, and safe campuses in welcoming locations,” Holt said. Each year, tour organizers work to strengthen existing relationships with secondary schools in the city they visit, and also expand outreach to new regions. The 2013 tour includes a professional development workshop for school counsellors from across the region, visits to 39 schools in six cities, and public outreach events in Kuwait and Dubai.

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rowne Plaza Kuwait, one of the country’s most popular five star hotels, has announced the opening of its brand new restaurant - Jamawar - an Indian cuisine restaurant which is the newest addition to the array of international restaurants at the hotel. The inauguration took place on Jan 23, 2013 in a festive dinner ceremony held in the presence of the Indian Ambassador Satish C Mehta and Preeti Mehta in addition to a large number of distinguished guests based in Kuwait. Amongst the invitees were also many regular guests of Crowne Plaza Kuwait who have been the driving force behind the success of its restaurants over the years. The Indian ambassador accompanied by his wife and other dignitaries was delighted to inaugurate the new Indian restaurant and conveyed his best wishes on its opening to Emad Bukahmseen, Vice-Chairman of Bukhamseen Group Holding. Another major highlight of the evening was the announcement of a tie

up between Jamawar and Air India for one month as part of the inaugural promotion. Starting Feb 1, 2013 all guests dining at Jamawar would be entitled to participate in the lucky draw that will take place twice in the month of February. Two lucky couples will win a return flight ticket to Goa sponsored by Air India and room stay sponsored by Crowne Plaza. “The tie up shows the strong business relationships that has been built between Air India and Crowne Plaza Kuwait over the years and we are excited about this tie up,” said Ajay Sinha, Manager, Air India in Kuwait. Following the inaugural dinner, a press lunch event was also organized for the distinguished guests from reputed newspapers and magazines. Many representatives from the media were present for the lunch event and expressed great feedbacks on the decor and food prepared by the Jamawar specialty Chef Jalaludeen who is an expert in Indian cuisine with many years of exemplary experience in

many 5-star hotels in India. Welcoming citizens and expatriates alike, Crowne Plaza Kuwait has gone to great lengths to ensure that there is nothing left to chance for guests coming in to enjoy the different flavors at the hotel. Jamawar offers an authentic introduction to traditional Indian cuisine - from succulent kebabs to rich curries. The theatre of the surroundings is very much on the menu here with an opulent blend of modern and traditional decor. Hand-carved paintings, flower-laden pots with floating candles, and live traditional music make the whole experience even richer. Our ethos is to ensure that tradition and modern go hand in hand. Tradition, because we don’t want people to miss out on what has made Indian cuisine so renowned and modern because we want to introduce people to innovative and exciting flavors,” says Ramy Haykal, General Manager. With 8 restaurants already within the hotel, Crowne Plaza Kuwait is a gastronome’s delight for indulgence. Exotic

flavors from around the world are available at the Al Ahmadi International Buffet, the steaks of the West are done just the way you like it at the Rib Eye Steakhouse, the food of the Persian royals is yours at the Shabestan Iranian restaurant, while elegant teas and pastries complete your day at the Fauchon. Espresso serves your favourite tea and coffee, authentic Japanese is yours at the Sakura, delights of the seas come alive at the Al Noukhaza and traditional Lebanese is the order of the day at the Ayam Zaman restaurant. “We are proud as well as excited to add our latest addition - Jamawar Indian Cuisine restaurant- which will bring to you the true flavors of India and the guests will experience service of the highest standard.” expressed Bukhamseen on the day of its opening. This Hotel is owned by Al Barakah Kuwait General Trading and Contracting Company and Tourism Company and operated under license from InterContinental Hotels Group.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Movenpick Hotel & Resort


uests are invited to enjoy the most romantic celebration of the year with a mouth-watering dinner, special room package and a relaxing spa offer. Mario Bassil, the Food & Beverage Director of the resort, announced a romantic buffet in Breeze Restaurant on the year’s dreamiest day. “We are preparing an enticingly romantic menu this year,” he said, “featuring a choice of Oriental and international favourites and exceptional desserts for just 20KD per person.” The romantic dinner will be complemented by a beautiful ambience and discreet service. And to create that perfect amorous mood couples will receive a special Valentine’s gift upon arrival. Breeze Restaurant, also, offers an out-

CGS Hosts “Challenges to Transition: The Egyptian Case”


he Center of Gulf Studies (CGS) at AUK will be holding a lecture about the transformation of the political landscape in Egypt and its challenges to adapt to the changes caused by the revolution. The talk will be held on Wednesday on February 13 at 6:30 p.m. and will take place at the AUK Auditorium. The lecture is open to public. The talk will be presented by Dr. Ann Lesch, professor of Political Science and the Associate Provost of International Programs at the American University of Cairo (AUC). The lecture will highlight and address the struggles and obstacles faced by the Egyptian people and the region’s attempts to transition. Dr. Lesch acquired her doctorate from Columbia University and joined AUC as Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2004. As cofounder of the Palestinian American Research Center, Dr. Lesch’s research interests cover Palestinian, Egyptian, and Sudanese politics. Dr. Lesch has published 60 academic articles and book chapters, and authored 10 books that focus on the ArabIsraeli conflict and inter-Arab relations.


door terrace overlooking the Arabian Gulf for couples who prefer a romantic alfresco setting under the stars. Or for those romantic husbands and wives who’d rather rest and digest after their special meal rather than drive home, the hotel is offering a getaway package for just 109KD per room per night including the Valentine’s dinner for two and 20% discount on all spa treatments. And arrive in good time on the 14th; the offer includes an early check in, a romantic gift and a hearty buffet breakfast the following morning. The Spa, too, provides a romantic treat lasting throughout the whole month of February. The special package includes a full body massage, romance crystal bath, purity ritual facial and mini-manicure or mini-pedicure.

Glasgow Celtic FC coaches visit PGA Kuwait

he Premier Goal Academy, under the patronage of H.E. the British Ambassador Frank Baker and sponsored by Porsche Centre Kuwait, Behbehani Motors Company, is pleased to announce the visit of Glasgow Celtic F.C. coaching staff

to Kuwait from 14 to 21 February, 2013. Mark Tobin, Senior Academy Coach at Celtic will be accompanied by experienced Academy coaches Michael McIlroy and Graeme Colmer. They are visiting Kuwait as part of their role to develop strong working rela-

tionships with clubs and associations globally, focussing on key elements such as coach education, talent identification, facilitating tours and parent education. Mark, Michael and Graeme hold elite level coaching positions at Celtic F.C., working with some of the very best young players in the country and focussing on development of technique and game awareness. They will be leading the weeks coaching sessions with over two hundred and fifty youngsters at the Premier Goal Academy based at Bayan. They will also be organising soccer camps in Jahra and Bayan for any aspiring young footballers here in Kuwait aged from 6 to 16 years. The Bayan course runs from 0900-1200 and the Jahra course from 1400-1700 daily. There will be free Celtic T-shirts, gifts and certificates for all participants. In addition they will be providing certified Coach Education sessions for all interested football coaches and teachers from within Kuwait. Currently Celtic F.C. have formed football relationships in many countries including USA, Canada, India, Australia and Ireland, bringing cutting edge coaching and training methodologies to clubs and associations worldwide. The support and active involvement of Scottish Premier League and European Club giants Glasgow Celtic F.C., alongside the association with Everton Football Club from the English Premier League, ensures that players at the Premier Goal Academy receive the very best football development programme available in the State of Kuwait. The visit is being supported by Porsche Centre Kuwait, Behbehani Motors Company, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Go Sport, Wrigleys Extra and the Ministry of Education. For further details email;


W H AT ’ S O N

Embassy Information

Rumaithiya Health Center Holds Awareness Day


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. nnnnnnn

umaithiya Specialized Health Center held an open awareness day under the Slogan (Chronic Diseases Day).The event included free testing of blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar levels.. Etc. The day, in addition, included lectures on certain diseases and how to deal with them. The lectures also concentrated on prevention.

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassyof Canada 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, U.A.E. 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 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. The reception is open from 07:30 to 12:30. Consular services for Canadian citizens are provided from 09:00†until 12:00, Sunday through Wednesday. nnnnnnn

Indian Classical Music Concert held at Embassy of India


n Indian classical music concert featuring Maestros Kala Ramnath on the violin, Rupak Kulkarni on the flute and Yogesh Samsi on Indian drums (Tabla) was held at the Embassy of India auditorium on 7 February 2013. Maestro Kala Ramnath began playing the violin at the tender age of three and is amongst the most outstanding instru-

mental musicians in the North Indian Classical style. Maestro Rupak Kulkarni is a disciple of renowned Flute Maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia under whose tutelage he has matured as an outstanding exponent of the instrument. Maestro Yogesh Samsi born in a family of musicians was initiated into Tabla when he was four years old. He is a disciple of the leg-

endary Maestro Ustad Allah Rakha under whom he trained for twenty three years. The event was hosted by the Ambassador of India Shri Satish C. Mehta. A large number of Kuwaiti dignitaries, Ambassadors and members of the Indian community in Kuwait attended the concert. The scintillating performance by the Maestros

received spontaneous applause from the appreciative audience time and again. The spell-bound audience gave the Maestros a standing ovation upon conclusion of the performance. The event was organized by the Embassy of India in cooperation with Indian Business Council Kuwait, National Council for Culture, Arts & Letters and Dar Al-Aathaar Al-Islamiya.

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. nnnnnnn

ASSE, Kuwait organize workshop


merican Society of Safety Engineers, Kuwait Chapter in pursuit of professional development of Safety professionals organized a Workshop and training session on “Associate Safety Professional (ASP) Preparatory Program” on 1st & 2nd February 2013 at Kohinoor Banquets Hall, Fahaheel. Mr. Vasudevan N, CSP, President inaugurated the meet with his welcome address and shared his experience in obtaining his CSP Certification. Mr. Golamari Sampath Reddy, Secretary, introduced the speakers and thanked them for their voluntary support in organizing the workshop. 11 ASSE members got benefited by this two day workshop. The Key note speakers of the meet were Mr. Venkatakrishnan, CSP, PT Engineer, Chevron, Mr. Ramanan, CSP, Project Safety Coordinator, Chevron, Mr. Ramana Murthy, CSP, Safety Engineer, EQUATE, Mr. G. Sampath Reddy, CSP, CMIOSH, Secretary, ASSE and Mr. Vasudevan, CSP, President, ASSE. The Associate Safety Professional (ASP) designation is the start of the process toward achieving the CSP certification. The ASP training workshop included examination plan, review of test taking strategy, test format, scoring procedures, and recent examination results. During

the workshop the speakers discussed on the principles of the topics in key knowledge areas and reference materials available to prepare for the Fundamentals examination. The workshop also provided opportunity to practice solving analytical prob-

lems in all the domains. The presentations were followed by an extensive question & answer session lasted for about 60 minutes, where the speakers clarified the queries raised by attendees on the topics as well as on the ASP examination system. All the attendees

were extremely satisfied with the Workshop and thanked the ASSE EC committee for organizing such useful training session. As a token of appreciation ASSEKuwait chapter thanked the speakers for volunteering for two days in presentation of the topics.

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

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

Kuwait Carnatic Music Forum Thyagaraja program


J Nandini disciple of Bombay Jayasree who sang the title song in the Oscar nominated movie Life of Pi and winner of Ragarathnam program Amrutha TV classical music competition; accompanying artistes: Kanchi Kamakodi Pitham asthana vidwan Karunagappalli S Balamurali on violin; Kanchi Kamakodi Pitham asthana vidwan Perunna G Harikumar on mridangam; Gireesh Sundareshan on ganchira; Vazhappalli G Anil kumar on ghatam; and Manoj Mavelikkara on morshankh will perform. Full day classical music program on Feb 19 am - 4.30 pm. Participants: music students and devotees. Pancharathna keerthanaalapanam at 5 pm at the Indian Community School Salmiya (senior girls). All are welcome.



00:20 Karina: Wild On Safari 00:50 Untamed & Uncut 01:45 Lions Of Crocodile River 02:35 Animal Cops Houston 03:25 Wildest Arctic 04:15 My Cat From Hell 05:05 Karina: Wild On Safari 05:30 Karina: Wild On Safari 05:55 Animal Cops Houston 06:45 Wildest Arctic 07:35 Wildlife SOS 08:00 Meerkat Manor 08:25 Dogs 101 09:15 Crocodile Hunter 10:10 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 11:05 Monkey Life 11:30 Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild 12:00 Extraordinary Dogs 12:25 The Really Wild Show 12:55 Wildest Arctic 13:50 Wild France 14:45 Wild France 15:40 Shamwari: A Wild Life 16:05 Shamwari: A Wild Life 16:35 Wildlife SOS 17:30 Too Cute! 18:25 My Cat From Hell 19:20 Call Of The Wildman 19:45 Call Of The Wildman 20:15 Venom Hunter With Donald Schultz 21:10 Squid Invasion 22:05 Wildest Arctic 23:00 Untamed China With Nigel Marven 23:55 Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan

00:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials 01:20 Homes Under The Hammer 02:10 Homes Under The Hammer 03:00 Homes Under The Hammer 03:50 Homes Under The Hammer 04:45 Homes Under The Hammer 05:35 Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes 06:25 New Scandinavian Cooking 06:55 The Hairy Bikers USA 07:20 The Hairy Bikers USA 07:45 MasterChef 08:40 MasterChef 09:35 MasterChef 10:05 MasterChef 11:00 Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes 11:50 New Scandinavian Cooking 12:15 The Hairy Bikers USA 12:40 The Hairy Bikers USA 13:05 Come Dine With Me: Supersize 14:40 Come Dine With Me: South Africa 15:35 Antiques Roadshow 16:30 Bargain Hunt 17:15 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials 18:35 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials 20:00 Come Dine With Me: Supersize 21:30 Gok’s Fashion Fix 22:20 Antiques Roadshow 23:15 Bargain Hunt

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BBC World News Dateline London BBC World News My Country BBC World News Newsnight BBC World News Click BBC World News Politics Europe BBC World News Fast Track BBC World News World Features Spirit Of Yachting BBC World News World Features

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Dateline London BBC World News World Features Changing Fortunes BBC World News World Features BBC World News BBC World News World Features Newsnight BBC World News The Bottom Line BBC World News Sport Today Click BBC World News Horizons BBC World News My Country BBC World News Politics Europe BBC World News BBC World News BBC World News The Ideas Exchange BBC World News Sport Today Spirit Of Yachting BBC World News World Features Changing Fortunes BBC World News Horizons BBC World News Our World Newsday Asia Business Report Sport Today Newsday India Business Report

00:20 Yogi’s Treasure Hunt 00:45 Duck Dodgers 01:10 Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries 01:35 Dastardly And Muttley 02:00 Popeye 02:25 Wacky Races 02:50 Scooby Doo Where Are You! 03:15 The Flintstones 03:40 The Jetsons 04:00 What’s New Scooby Doo? 04:20 Taz-Mania 04:45 The Looney Tunes Show 05:10 Tom & Jerry Tales 05:35 Johnny Bravo 06:00 Bananas In Pyjamas 06:25 Jelly Jamm 07:00 Ha Ha Hairies 07:20 Baby Looney Tunes 07:45 Cartoonito Tales 08:10 Gerald McBoing Boing 08:35 Lazy Town 09:00 Krypto The Superdog 09:25 Bananas In Pyjamas 09:40 Cartoonito Tales 09:55 Ha Ha Hairies 10:10 Jelly Jamm 10:25 Gerald McBoing Boing 10:45 Lazy Town 11:05 Krypto The Superdog 11:30 Baby Looney Tunes 11:55 Ha Ha Hairies 12:20 Jelly Jamm 12:45 Gerald McBoing Boing 13:10 Lazy Town 13:35 Krypto The Superdog 14:00 Johnny Bravo 16:05 Johnny Bravo Goes To Bollywood 17:20 Johnny Bravo 22:40 Puppy In My Pocket 23:05 The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop 23:30 The Addams Family 23:55 Droopy: Master Detective

00:40 Chowder 01:30 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 01:55 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 02:20 Foster’s Home For... 02:45 Foster’s Home For... 03:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 04:00 The Amazing World Of Gumball 04:25 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 04:50 Adventure Time 05:15 The Powerpuff Girls

05:40 Generator Rex 06:05 Ben 10 06:30 Ben 10 06:55 Angelo Rules 07:00 Casper’s Scare School 07:30 Casper’s Scare School 08:00 Grim Adventures Of... 08:45 Total Drama Island 09:10 Total Drama Island 09:35 Ben 10: Ultimate Challenge 09:55 Level Up 10:15 Transformers Prime 10:35 Ben 10: Omniverse 11:00 Thundercats 11:25 Mucha Lucha 11:50 Adventure Time 12:40 Regular Show 13:35 The Amazing World Of Gumball 14:20 Johnny Test 15:10 Total Drama Island 15:35 Total Drama Island 16:00 Level Up 16:25 Level Up 16:50 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 17:15 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 17:40 Transformers Prime 18:30 Hero 108 18:55 Hero 108 19:20 The Amazing World Of Gumball 19:45 Adventure Time 20:35 Regular Show 21:00 Mucha Lucha 21:25 Total Drama Island 21:50 Total Drama Island 22:15 Grim Adventures Of... 23:00 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 23:25 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 23:50 The Powerpuff Girls

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

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Auction Kings Auction Kings Auction Kings Auction Kings How It’s Made How Do They Do It?


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How It’s Made How Do They Do It? How It’s Made How Do They Do It? How It’s Made How Do They Do It? How It’s Made How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Fast N’ Loud Jesse James: Outlaw Garage American Chopper Gold Rush Gold Divers Around The World In 80 Ways How It’s Made How It’s Made Auction Kings Auction Kings Border Security Border Security Border Security Border Security Border Security Mythbusters Mythbusters Magic Of Science Time Warp How We Invented The World Secret Service Secrets World’s Top 5

00:40 The X-Testers 01:05 The X-Testers 01:35 Finding Bigfoot 02:25 Dark Matters 03:15 Sci-Fi Science 03:45 Finding Bigfoot 04:35 The X-Testers 05:00 The X-Testers 05:25 NASA’s Unexplained Files 06:20 Weird Connections 06:45 Weird Connections 07:10 Weird Or What? 08:00 Meteorite Men 08:50 Stunt Junkies 09:15 Stunt Junkies 09:40 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 10:30 Mighty Ships 11:25 Da Vinci’s Machines 12:15 Tech Toys 360 12:40 Tech Toys 360 13:10 Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger 13:35 Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger 14:00 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 14:50 Sci-Fi Science 15:20 Da Vinci’s Machines 16:10 Weird Or What? 17:00 Tech Toys 360 17:25 Tech Toys 360 17:55 Superships 18:45 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 19:35 Da Vinci’s Machines 20:30 Meteorite Men 21:20 Finding Bigfoot 22:10 Tech Toys 360 22:35 Tech Toys 360 23:00 Meteorite Men 23:50 Dark Matters

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Stitch A Kind Of Magic A Kind Of Magic Replacements Replacements Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School A Kind Of Magic A Kind Of Magic Replacements Replacements Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School A Kind Of Magic Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates Suite Life On Deck A.N.T. Farm Wizards Of Waverly Place Phineas And Ferb Phineas And Ferb Prank Stars Prank Stars Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Jessie Austin And Ally A.N.T. Farm Gravity Falls Girl vs Monster Phineas And Ferb Wizards Of Waverly Place Minnie And You Suite Life On Deck Minnie And You Good Luck Charlie Minnie And You Gravity Falls Minnie And You Phineas And Ferb Phineas And Ferb Minnie And You Jessie Good Luck Charlie Gravity Falls Wizards Of Waverly Place Phineas And Ferb Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure Prank Stars Prank Stars Phineas And Ferb Phineas And Ferb Wizards Of Waverly Place Shake It Up Austin And Ally Prank Stars Prank Stars A.N.T. Farm Jessie Jessie Good Luck Charlie Good Luck Charlie The Suite Life Of Zack And The Suite Life Of Zack And

03:40 Special Agent Oso 03:50 Imagination Movers 04:20 Handy Manny 04:30 Handy Manny 04:40 Special Agent Oso 04:50 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 07:05 Special Agent Oso 07:15 Jungle Junction 07:30 Jungle Junction 07:45 Handy Manny 08:00 Special Agent Oso 08:15 Jungle Junction 08:30 Little Einsteins 08:55 Lazytown 09:20 Imagination Movers 09:45 Timmy Time 09:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 10:20 The Hive 10:30 Doc McStuffins 10:45 Zou 11:00 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 11:15 Cars Toons 11:20 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 11:45 Art Attack 12:10 The Adventures Of Disney Fairies 12:35 Lilo And Stitch 13:10 Timmy Time 13:20 The Hive 13:30 Doc McStuffins 13:45 Doc McStuffins 14:00 Zou 14:15 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 14:30 Mouk 14:45 Lilo And Stitch 15:15 Cars Toons 15:20 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 15:40 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 16:05 The Hive 16:20 Mouk

JOHN CARTER ON OSN CINEMA 00:15 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 00:40 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 01:05 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 01:30 Andy Bates American Street Feasts 01:55 Andy Bates American Street Feasts 02:20 Unwrapped 02:45 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 03:10 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 03:35 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 04:00 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 04:20 Kid In A Candy Store 04:50 Unique Sweets 05:15 Charly’s Cake Angels 05:40 Chopped 06:30 Iron Chef America 07:10 Unwrapped 07:35 Unwrapped 08:00 Food Network Challenge 08:50 Kid In A Candy Store 09:15 Unwrapped 09:40 United Tastes Of America 10:05 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 10:30 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 10:55 Cooking For Real 11:20 Easy Chinese: San Francisco 11:45 Easy Chinese 12:10 Mexican Made Easy 12:35 Mexican Made Easy 13:00 Iron Chef America 13:50 Tyler’s Ultimate 14:15 Easy Chinese 14:40 Easy Chinese 15:05 World Cafe Asia 15:30 Easy Chinese: San Francisco 15:55 Easy Chinese 16:20 United Tastes Of America 16:45 Chopped 17:35 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 18:00 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 18:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 19:15 Andy Bates American Street Feasts 19:40 Tyler’s Ultimate 20:05 Guy’s Big Bite 20:30 Chopped 21:20 Chopped 22:10 Iron Chef America 23:00 Iron Chef America 23:50 Iron Chef America

00:00 Scouted 00:55 Style Star 01:25 15 Most Infamous Child Star Mugshots 03:15 E! Investigates 04:10 E!es 05:05 Extreme Close-Up 05:30 Extreme Close-Up 06:00 THS 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Extreme Close-Up 09:45 Extreme Close-Up 10:15 E!es 11:10 Opening Act 12:05 E! News 13:05 E!es 14:05 E!es 15:00 E!es 16:00 E!es 17:00 THS 18:00 E! News 19:00 Married To Jonas 19:30 Married To Jonas 20:00 Red Carpet Wrap-Up 20:15 Live From The Red Carpet 21:15 Ice Loves Coco 21:45 Ice Loves Coco 22:10 E!es 22:40 Opening Act 23:35 Opening Act


Little Einsteins Special Agent Oso Special Agent Oso Lazytown Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Handy Manny Handy Manny Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Lazytown Special Agent Oso

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I Married A Mobster Evil, I Evil, I Ghost Lab Dr G: Medical Examiner Blood Relatives I Married A Mobster I Married A Mobster Evil, I Evil, I Ghost Lab Dr G: Medical Examiner Disappeared Killer Outbreaks

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Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Murder Shift Disappeared Killer Outbreaks Street Patrol Forensic Detectives On The Case With Paula Zahn Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? Disappeared Murder Shift Forensic Detectives On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Nightmare Next Door Couples Who Kill Reel Crime/Real Story Fatal Encounters

00:45 Market Values 01:40 Into The Drink 02:35 Ultimate Traveller 03:30 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 03:55 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 04:25 One Man & His Campervan 04:50 Street Food Around The World 05:20 Amish: Out of Order 06:15 On Surfari 07:10 Don’t Tell My Mother 08:05 Don’t Tell My Mother 09:00 Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy 09:55 By Any Means 10:50 Market Values 11:45 Into The Drink 12:40 Ultimate Traveller 13:35 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 14:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 14:30 One Man & His Campervan 14:55 Street Food Around The World 15:25 Cruise Ship Diaries 15:50 Destination Extreme 16:20 Don’t Tell My Mother 17:15 Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy 18:10 By Any Means 19:05 Amish: Out of Order 20:00 On Surfari 20:30 On Surfari 21:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 22:00 A World Apart 22:55 David Rocco‚Äôs Dolce Vita 3 23:20 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 23:50 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1

00:00 Deadtime Stories 2-18 02:00 Wake Wood-18 04:00 Anaconda-PG15 06:00 Lords Of Dogtown-PG15 08:00 Walled In-PG15 10:00 True Justice: Vengeance Is Mine-PG15 12:00 Restitution-PG15 14:00 Walled In-PG15 16:00 Batman: Year One-PG15 18:00 Restitution-PG15 20:00 The Crazies-18 22:00 Kill List-R

01:00 John Carter-PG15 03:30 Happiness Is A Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown-PG 04:30 Unmatched-PG15 05:30 Feed The Fish-PG15 07:15 Relative Stranger-PG15 09:00 John Carter-PG15 11:30 Princess Lillifee-FAM 13:00 Blank Slate-PG15 15:00 The Dragon Chronicles: Fire & Ice-PG15 17:00 Soldier Love Story-PG15 19:00 Water For Elephants-PG15 21:00 A Little Help-18 23:00 The Devil Inside-18

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Saturday Night Live 02:30 Eastbound & Down 03:00 Parks And Recreation 03:30 Baby Daddy 04:00 Less Than Perfect 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay

Leno 05:30 Til Death 06:00 Seinfeld 06:30 Hope & Faith 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Less Than Perfect 08:30 Parks And Recreation 09:00 Til Death 09:30 The Neighbors 10:00 Hot In Cleveland 10:30 Hope & Faith 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Seinfeld 12:30 Less Than Perfect 13:00 Til Death 13:30 Hope & Faith 14:00 Baby Daddy 14:30 Hot In Cleveland 15:00 The Neighbors 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Seinfeld 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 The Simpsons 18:30 Baby Daddy 19:00 Two And A Half Men 19:30 Hot In Cleveland 20:00 The Cleveland Show 20:30 Breaking In 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Saturday Night Live 23:00 Eastbound & Down 23:30 The Cleveland Show

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Castle Strike Back C.S.I. Miami The Killing C.S.I. Miami Castle Emmerdale Coronation Street One Tree Hill C.S.I. Miami Criminal Minds Emmerdale Coronation Street One Tree Hill Castle Emmerdale Coronation Street One Tree Hill Eureka Grimm Scandal The Killing

00:00 Deadtime Stories 2-18 02:00 Wake Wood-18 04:00 Anaconda-PG15 06:00 Lords Of Dogtown-PG15 08:00 Walled In-PG15 10:00 True Justice: Vengeance Is Mine-PG15 12:00 Restitution-PG15 14:00 Walled In-PG15 16:00 Batman: Year One-PG15 18:00 Restitution-PG15 20:00 The Crazies-18 22:00 Kill List-R

00:00 Tommy Boy-PG15 02:00 No Strings Attached-18 04:00 The Winning Season-PG15 06:00 12 Dates Of Christmas-PG15 08:00 Scooby-Doo! Curse Of The Lake Monster-PG 10:00 Despicable Me-FAM 12:00 The Winning Season-PG15 14:00 Elf-PG 16:00 Despicable Me-FAM 18:00 The Ladykillers-PG15 20:00 Paul-PG15 22:00 Super-18

00:45 04:30 06:15 09:15 10:45 PG15 12:30 14:15

Woodstock-18 Fargo-18 Neverland—PG15 Call Of The Wild-PG15 An Invisible Sign Of My OwnHenry’s Crime-PG15 Paws-PG

15:45 PG15 17:30 19:15 21:00 23:00

An Invisible Sign Of My OwnFilm Socialisme-PG15 Cruel Intentions-18 Road To Perdition-18 1941-PG15

02:15 Larry Crowne-PG15 04:00 Tower Heist-PG15 05:45 Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked-PG 07:15 Justin Bieber: Never Say Never-PG 09:00 Stolen Lives-PG15 11:00 Tower Heist-PG15 13:00 Fat Albert-PG 15:00 Glee: The Concert MoviePG15 17:00 Stolen Lives-PG15 19:00 I Don’t Know How She Does It-PG15 21:00 Thor-PG15 23:00 The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo-R

01:00 Crab Island-FAM 02:45 Mr. Popper’s Penguins-PG 04:30 Marco Macaco-FAM 06:00 The Nimbols: Part I-FAM 08:00 Mickey’s Twice Upon A Christmas-FAM 10:00 The Nimbols: Part II-FAM 11:30 Judy Moody And The Not Bummer Summer-PG 13:00 The Three Bears: The Amazing Adventurers-FAM 14:30 Mr. Popper’s Penguins-PG 16:15 Alpha And Omega-PG 18:00 The Nimbols: Part I-FAM 20:00 Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules-PG 22:00 The Three Bears: The Amazing Adventurers-FAM 23:30 Alpha And Omega-PG

02:00 Top 14 04:00 Super League 06:15 Live Cricket One International 14:30 ICC Cricket 360 15:00 Rugby League 17:00 Super League 19:00 Top 14 21:00 Live PGA Tour 22:30 Inside The PGA Tour 23:00 Live PGA Tour


01:00 01:30 06:00 07:00 11:30 13:30 17:30 21:00 22:00

PGA European Tour Weekly PGA European Tour Trans World Sport PGA European Tour Top 14 Live PGA European Tour Premier League Darts Trans World Sport Rugby League NRL

01:00 04:30 05:00 07:00 11:30 13:30 14:30 15:00 22:00

Premier League Darts Futbol Mundial Pro 12 European PGA Tour Pro 12 Trans World Sport Total Rugby Cricket One Day International Pro 12

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WWE Vintage Collection NHL UFC 156 UFC Unleashed WWE Bottom Line WWE NXT WWE Experience WWE This Week Mobil 1 The Grid NHL Prizefighter WWE Smackdown WWE Bottom Line UFC TUF UFC Unleashed WWE Experience WWE This Week WWE Vintage Collection NHL

Classifieds SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2013


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2009 Hyundai Sonata, single use, white color, excellent condition, agency maintained, 37,000 km only, still under warranty, expecting price KD 3,000, negotiable. Contact: 97182559. 6-2-2013 MATRIMONIAL Australian man new in Kuwait turn Muslim looking for a Kuwaiti lady must fear God and come from a good family, widow or divorcee no problem. Email: m (C 4302) 9-2-2013

Prayer timings Fajr:


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AJIAL.3 SPECIAL 26 (DIG) (Hindi) SPECIAL 26 (DIG) (Hindi) SPECIAL 26 (DIG) (Hindi)

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Arrival Flights on Sunday 10/2/2013 Route




574 772 267 539 148 642 211 853 305 67 612 620 138 544 792 170 770 555 157 412 206 53 302 332 352 855 121 132 55 301 213 436 603 6666 165 404 610 341 871 742 382 774 57 672 472 500 140


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


561 284 134 787 857 303 640 215 510 777 144 127 982 542 177 3553 786 438 63 415 166 618 102 674 647 562 61 572 393 606 129 146 229 402 136 221 307 859 172 135 372 59 514 417 981 239 217 502 185 981 636


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



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

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (


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


stars CROSSWORD 96

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) Government officials, those in authority, a parent, or friends of sobering attitudes may prove to be of assistance. There may be public recognition for past efforts and hard work. This is a time to consider longterm plans for future gains, rather than immediate results. This is a good time for you in your emotional relationships. Your ability to express yourself confidently and openly wins you the respect and admiration of others. You can promote ideas and goals that you believe strongly in and. They quietly accept your proposals and ideas, and may even provide some support.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) A brief feeling of being blocked surrounds you. Don’t try to force your will and desires onto the world, as friction and resistance and challenges from others will only result in struggle. During this time, relations with men could be very trying. It’s a good day for agreements and generally patting each other on the back, or maybe, for scratching each other’s backs. It will be easy to see eye to eye, and shared goals and feelings can be put into action to bring favorable future results. Mutual investment and mutual trust is really what today’s emotional energy is about.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

ACROSS 1. By bad luck. 5. Failure of some tissue or organ to develop. 12. Committee formed by a special-interest group to raise money for their favorite political candidates. 15. A milkshake made with malt powder. 16. Wet with secreted or exuded moisture such as sweat or blood or tears. 17. The sign language used in the United States. 18. Any of various common orange trees yielding sour or bitter fruit. 20. Ancient city is southeastern Italy where Hannibal defeated the Romans in 216 BC. 21. The Japanese art of folding paper into shapes representing objects (e.g., flowers or birds). 23. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 24. A theatrical performer. 27. (Old Testament) The minister of the Persian emperor who hated the Jews and was hanged for plotting to massacre them. 29. One of a pair of planks used to make a track for rolling or sliding objects. 32. (used of count nouns) Every one considered individually. 34. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 39. Cause to become awake or conscious. 43. East Indian cereal grass whose seed yield a somewhat bitter flour, a staple in the Orient. 44. Filled with a great quantity. 47. An ancient city of Sumer located on a former channel of the Euphrates River. 48. Jordan's port. 49. Person who does no work. 52. Type genus of the Ranidae. 55. (Greek mythology) A maiden seduced by Zeus. 56. Extremely pleasing. 57. An abnormally large amount of this fetoprotein in the fetus can signal an abnormality of the neural tube (as spina bifida or anencephaly). 64. Type genus of the Gavidae. 68. An implement consisting of handle with a free swinging stick at the end. 69. Flat-topped or convex inflorescence in which the individual flower stalks grow upward from various points on the main stem to approximately the same height. 71. The basic unit of electric current adopted under the System International d'Unites. 72. A former agency (from 1946 to 1974) that was responsible for research into atomic energy and its peacetime uses in the United States. 73. Climbing garden plant having fragrant pastel-colored flowers. 75. A plant hormone promoting elongation of stems and roots. 76. Any of various long-tailed rodents similar to but larger than a mouse. 77. Projection that extends beyond or hangs over something else v 1. 78. Resonance of protons to radiation in a magnetic field. DOWN 1. A platform raised above the surrounding level to give prominence to the person on it.

2. The habitation of wild animals. 3. Primitive chlorophyll-containing mainly aquatic eukaryotic organisms lacking true stems and roots and leaves. 4. Deliberately arranged for effect. 5. Of or relating to Aram or to its inhabitants or their culture or their language. 6. A tricycle (usually propelled by pedalling). 7. Towards the side away from the wind. 8. A state in northwestern North America. 9. A complete metric system of units of measurement for scientists. 10. A ruler of the Inca Empire (or a member of his family). 11. Kauri pine. 12. Low stingless nettle of Central and South America having velvety brownish-green toothed leaves and clusters of small green flowers. 13. (Hindu) A manner of sitting (as in the practice of Yoga). 14. Free from dirt or impurities. 19. An intensely radioactive metallic element that occurs in minute amounts in uranium ores. 22. A nonmetallic largely pentavalent heavy volatile corrosive dark brown liquid element belonging to the halogens. 25. A crystalline metallic element not found in nature. 26. A midwestern state in north central United States in the Great Lakes region. 28. Slightly open. 30. New Zealand timber tree resembling the cypress. 31. A large Yoruba city in southwestern Nigeria. 33. The syllable naming the fourth (subdominant) note of the diatonic scale in solmization. 35. The battle in 1806 in which Napoleon decisively defeated the Prussians. 36. Closed with a lace. 37. A group of southern Bantu languages. 38. Open to or abounding in fresh air. 40. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 41. The basic unit of money in Ghana. 42. Cry weakly or softly. 45. A divorced woman or a woman who is separated from her husband. 46. A trivalent metallic element of the rare earth group. 50. A small cake leavened with yeast. 51. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 53. Being one more than two. 54. A motley assortment of things. 58. Any wingless blood-sucking parasitic insect noted for ability to leap. 59. A written agreement between two states or sovereigns. 60. In addition. 61. Someone who leaves. 62. Goddess of fate. 63. Monotypic genus of palms of Australasia. 65. Characteristic of false pride. 66. (Islam) The man who leads prayers in a mosque. 67. South American armadillo with three bands of bony plates. 70. The force of workers available. 74. A state in east central United States.


It’ll be a mentally invigorating day, with many of you taking up a new line of study, and others getting organized to make an important speech or presentation. A touch of restlessness could see you planning a short get-away or calling it quits with a certain relationship. Talking about your feelings and the feelings of those close to you comes easily at the moment. Use this time to not only resolve any lingering misunderstandings, but to create a better understanding of the emotional bonds you share with those you love. Time spent strengthening your relationships now will guarantee many fulfilling moments in the future.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) The bonds you strengthen today will serve you well in the future. Let those in your inner circle know that you are always prepared to support them through any crisis and accept them for who they are, and you will guarantee they will support you when trouble comes your way. Not too much will run smoothly or go your way today in your relationships, but if you keep working toward a goal you will make some progress. A change at home will be beneficial to you and everyone around you. Stop being so hard on yourself and realize you are who you are and you’re doing the best you can.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Emotions, prejudices, or unresolved issues from the past come up in your interactions with others now, and you may not be very objective. This is a good time to speak up and clear the air of any grievances you have been holding on to for some time. Personal subjects are the topic of discussion now. Reminiscing, remembering, daydreaming about and reflecting on the past is likely. Use some of that charm today as you’ll get farther than if you push your way into situations. This especially applies to love, but it also applies to any competitive interests you may have, anything where you want to come out a winner. This is an excellent time to investigate a complex problem you may have in a relationship that means a great deal to you and also to learn more about your own self.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) Perhaps your notions of love are all in your head and this is one grand self-delusion, but on the other hand it could be real so the question is “Are you prepared to walk away from a possibility (Capital P)?” You have to take a new look at your motives and other people’s reasons for being in your life and dare to display a larger than life response to get to the truth. You’ll soon know whether or not it’s a delusion. All consuming fantasies have their place in the scope of life, but if all you focus on are the dreams now, when the real thing walks by you may not notice it at all. So dream a little dream, for you and that special someone, but pay attention to what’s going on around you so you don’t lose out.

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Libra (September 23-October 22) Seemingly small changes have a way of turning into something big for you now, and they bear close watching. Sex, money, and health could be the focus for this, and a time of decision has come where these things are concerned. It’s up to you to decide; if you let circumstances decide for you, you lose control. It can seem too easy to simply push your way through, but right now you’ll find that can be a losing strategy in any of your relationships. The more you shove, the more resistance you’ll get. Back off for awhile is going to be the best strategy and the problem will more than likely fade away.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Your desire for pleasure, ease, and affection is brought to the fore, and may interfere with work or complicate situations in which you need to be acting assertively and on your own behalf. Your mood and attitude is conciliatory, and your need for love and approval heightened. Social gatherings and personal relationships are favored. Watch out for conflicting goals and energy wasting attitudes today. What may seem like deceit could be just mixed emotions, or vice versa. Rather than jump into anyone’s drama, watch a bit and see if it calms down. When all get more certain of what they want, it will be easier to work together.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Keeping your emotional level on the level could be a challenge today. Feelings run strong and then suddenly ebb away before you have really thoroughly explored them. The result can be half-expressed emotions that leave you and others hanging, waiting for the next shoe to drop. If you just abandon the situation and move on to another, the results will be haphazard, indeed. You feel quite amorous and affectionate now, and will very much want to share this time with someone you love or at least with congenial company. Take the time to meet new people if you aren’t already involved with someone, have an adventure and create a memory worth repeating.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Your imagination and intuition is heightened, which benefits any creative or artistic work you may do. Others may find you especially witty and eccentric just now. You may have insights or breakthroughs in regard to your living situation or life circumstances. Things are looking good today! If it feels right then go ahead and take the risk and ask that special someone whatever it is you’ve been holding back! This is a time when inspiration and opportunity both are in the air, so be ready to take a risk and make your move.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) If you don’t pay your bills on time, you’ll suffer, and this is when you should be particularly careful to pick up every stitch. If you don’t need the credit, don’t ask for it, as if you’re turned down it’s a mark on your record. Use what’s yours, not what belongs to others and you’ll be better off. Personal relationships are harmonious and rewarding. Opportunities for friendship, pleasant associations and enjoyable social interactions occur now. Ask someone out on a date or if you’re involved with someone surprise them by being spontaneous and doing something a bit different than normal.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) Your present vocation may require additional training or studies to insure future advancements. Avoid becoming too concerned with details and perfection, which can take its toll on your health. Your state of mind can affect your physical condition, so always maintain a positive attitude and avoid undue worry and stress. This is a good time for relaxing recreation and rejuvenating yourself, to do the things you most enjoy doing. Good humor and optimism are the energy that prevails at this time and you are able to get a larger perspective on your life. This is also a good time to approach someone who you’ve been admiring.

Yesterday’s Solution

Yesterday’s Solution

Daily SuDoku

Yesterday’s Solution


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


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital


Kaizen center














Abdullah Salem




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Gar






Ayoun Al-Qibla







Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

23915883 23715414 23726558


Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622


Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967


New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638

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

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

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241



Tel.: e 161


Fax: 24348714


Issue Time

Cool with light variable wind, with speed of 06 - 16 km/h


No Current Warnings arnin a


25 °C

15 °C


27 °C

11 °C


23 °C

12 °C



26 °C

12 °C




25 °C

12 °C




27 °C

12 °C




25 °C

12 °C

Maidan Hawally



24 °C

13 °C




22 °C

16 °C




22 °C

16 °C


21 °C

16 °C

W Hawally






New Jahra





27 °C




sunny + scattered clouds

26 °C



sunny + scattered clouds

25 °C



sunny + raising dust

24 °C


09/02/2013 0000 UTC




Wind Direction

Wind Speed

11 °C


06 - 22 km/h

10 °C


08 - 28 km/h

11 °C


12 - 35 km/h

12 °C


20 - 40 km/h


South Jahra


North Jahra


North Jleeb




MAX. Temp.

24 °C





MIN. Temp.

13 °C






90 %




36 %





MAX. Wind

N 21 km/h

N Khaitan









00 mm

09/02/13 02:13 UTC

All times are local time unless otherwise stated.




Psychologists /Psychotherapists


Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf


Dr. Khaled Hamadi

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari


Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed

Dr. Abdel Quttainah


Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar


Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari


Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan


Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe


Dr. Verginia s.Marin

2572-6666 ext 8321

Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan


Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami


Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly


Dr. Salem soso

22618787 General Surgeons

Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer


Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher


Internists, Chest & Heart Dr. Adnan Ebil


Dr. Mousa Khadada


Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan


Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra


Dr. Mobarak Aldoub


Dr Nasser Behbehani


Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688


















Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh












Sunny with light variable wind, with speed of 06 - 20 km/h and some scattered clouds will appear



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




Expected Weeather for the Next 24 Hours





West Jahra

Ext.: 2627 262 - 2630


25665898 25340300

Dr. Zahra Qabazard


Dr. Sohail Qamar


Dr. Snaa Maaroof


Dr. Pradip Gujare


Dr. Zacharias Mathew


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


Dentists Dr Anil Thomas


Dr. Shamah Al-Matar


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed


Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari


Neurologists Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri


Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly


Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali


Kaizen center 25716707

Endocrinologist Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman


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


Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees


Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi


Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah


Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad

24555050 Ext 210

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


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

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

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



LIFESTYLE M o v i e s


M u s i c

(From left) Co director Rob Epstein, actors James Franco, Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard and co director Jeffrey Friedman pose at the photo call for the film Lovelace at the 63rd edition of the Berlinale, International Film Festival in Berlin, yesterday. —AP

Kiefer Sutherland honored Suggestions for Disney by Harvard theater group on ‘Star Wars’ spinoffs G H aving recently purchased the “Star Wars” franchise from Lucasfilm for $4 billion, the Walt Disney Co. is shifting the films into hyperdrive. Not only has Disney already begun working on a new trilogy, to start with J.J. Abrams directing episode seven, but studio chief Bob Iger said this week have said possible spinoffs

of the Rebel Alliance’s Endor assault doesn’t exactly have the matinee looks you’d normally want in a star. Truth be told, he looks like a fish. But he’s a master tactician and no one is better at taking evasive action. An Ackbar film could revolve around his deep-seated paranoia of constantly being ambushed. Ackbar drives into a parking garage: “It’s

This 1977 file image provided by 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation shows, from left, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill in a scene from “Star Wars” movie released by 20th CenturyFox in 1977. —AP are being developed for young Han Solo, the bounty hunter Boba Fett and Yoda. Obviously, the tauntaun is totally out of the bag. The “Star Wars” universe is set to rapidly expand, with every penny drained out of George Lucas’ franchise. But why stop with a few predictable choices when there are others deserving of a close-up? Here are a few lighthearted suggestions for further “Star Wars” spinoffs. ADMIRAL ACKBAR: Sure, the leader

a trap!” Ackbar drops off his dry cleaning: “It’s a trap!” THE CANTINA BAND: An obvious one, perhaps, but who doesn’t want to know more about the Mos Eisley Cantina Band? Technically known as Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes, one can’t help but wonder about the band dynamics. Is Figrin D’an like the Sammy Hager of the outfit and Doikk Na’ts the Eddie Van Halen? Do they tour? And what about Max Rebo, the blue elephant-looking guy who plays key-

boards in Jabba the Hutt’s palace. Do they ever jam together?? LIFE ON THE DEATH STAR: It was an entire planet (twice) created by Dark Side, but what’s it like to live there? How are property values? The whole thing looks entirely grey. Where are the parks? Where do the Stormtroopers get their helmets? This would have to be directed by the comedian Eddie Izzard, who contemplated the scene of a Death Star cafeteria in a famous standup bit. Izzard imagined Darth Vader ordering the penne alla arrabiata and arguing with a caterer over whether he needs a tray. C-3PO AND R2D2 ON HOLIDAY: Because droids need a vacation, too. R2D2 and C-3PO finally get away for an eventful week in the Caribbean where the two learn some lasting lessons on friendship, love and the effects of salt water on their parts. The tagline: “These ARE the droids you’re looking for.” ANOTHER SKYWALKER: It was long ago that on his death bed, Yoda uttered his last words: “There is another Skywalker.” It turned out, of course, that Princess Leia was that Skywalker, the twin sister of Luke. But what if Yoda came back to say, “There is another another Skywalker”? Not twins, but triplets. Imagine the possibilities. I’m thinking the third Skywalker should be the black sheep of the family (other than, um, Darth Vader). Possible casting choices for the third, less talented Skywalker: John Goodman, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jason Schwartzman. OLD HAN SOLO: Granted, young Han Solo is probably very dashing and risk-taking. But don’t we all kind of expect old Han would end up a lot like old Elvis? His hard-living is sure to catch up with him. All that time frozen in carbonite can’t be good for your metabolism. —AP

olden Globe-winning actor Kiefer Sutherland has been awarded the pudding pot after being honored as Man of the Year by Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals. The roast for the actor took place despite a massive snowstorm hitting the Boston area. The Friday evening event, including presentation of the traditional pudding pot, was moved to the Charles Hotel in Cambridge. The 46-year-old Sutherland has been in dozens of films. He’s perhaps best known for his role as Jack Bauer in the television series “24,” for which he won Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy awards. He is currently starring in the television show “Touch.” Last year’s Man of the Year was Jason Segel. The 2013 Woman of the Year, Marion Cotillard (koh-tee-YAR’), was honored last week. —AP

Actor Kiefer Sutherland reacts as he is honored as the Hasty Pudding Man of the Year at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. —AP

Tyler, Fleetwood push Hawaii celeb privacy bill


ock legends Steven Tyler and Mick Fleetwood convinced a Hawaii Senate committee on Friday to approve a bill to protect celebrities or anyone else from intrusive paparazzi. The state Senate Judiciary Committee approved the so-called Steven Tyler Act after the stars testified at a hearing, saying they want to fiercely protect the little privacy they have as public figures. The bill would give people power to sue others who take photos

or video of their private lives in an offensive way, such as using telephoto lenses or other advanced equipment to record them on their private properties. Tyler said he asked Sen. Kalani English to introduce the measure after paparazzi took a photo of Tyler and his girlfriend in his home, and it was published by a national magazine as part of a report saying the two were getting married. “It caused a ripple in my family,” Tyler told

Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler, center, sits with his attorney Dina LaPolt, left, and Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood as they listen to testimony on a celebrity privacy bill during a hearing at the Hawaii Capitol in Honolulu. —AP

The Associated Press after the hearing. “I hadn’t told anybody.” The Aerosmith frontman and former “American Idol” judge says his kids don’t want to go out with him in Hawaii because of the threat of photographers who sometimes get on boats to take photos of him from the ocean. “That’s what they do, they are just constantly taking from us,” Tyler said. Fleetwood, the drummer from Fleetwood Mac, says he’s gotten used to the constant attention but realizes that it’s a “grim reality.” “The islands shouldn’t represent this to people coming here,” Fleetwood said. Tyler addressed Hawaii senators briefly during a general session following the hearing and received applause from lawmakers. During the hearing, Senate judiciary committee chair Clayton Hee scrapped the bill’s original contents which were largely drafted by Tyler’s lawyer - and replaced them with language from a related California statute. The California law was originally passed in 1998 in response to the death of Princess Diana, then amended in 2009 to permit lawsuits against media outlets that pay for and make first use of material they knew was improperly obtained. In addition to provisions against advanced equipment, the California measure has penalties for reckless behavior while attempting to get photos or video of a celebrity. —AP

File photo shows guitarist Dan Auerbach, center, and drummer Patrick Carney of The Black Keys perform at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, in New York. —AP

Black Keys ready for Grammys with 5 nominations


he Black Keys still feel like the black sheep of the Grammy Awards. “It’s unexpected. I don’t think we’ll ever get used to this stuff,” singer and guitarist Dan Auerbach said Friday. “I don’t think we ever will either,” added drummer Patrick Carney. “It’s more surreal now kind of being here and seeing all the musicians gathering for their annual ‘pat on the back.’” The bluesy Ohio-based rockers are nominated for five trophies at Sunday’s ceremony. They were rehearsing Friday at the Staples Center with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and legendary New Orleans pianist Dr John, who’ll join the group when they perform “Lonely Boy”

live at the Grammys. Justin Timberlake was also heard rehearsing as he transitioned from his comeback single “Suit & Tie” to a new song called “Push Your Love Girl,” which featured his falsetto. The Black Keys’ five nominations include album of the year for “El Camino” and record of the year for “Lonely Boy.” Auerbach is part of the six top acts with six nominations Sunday night, thanks to his nomination for nonclassical producer of the year. The duo said in an interview that they’re fans of their top-album competitors, which include Frank Ocean, Mumford & Sons, fun. and Jack White. “They’re all good records, so it’s excit-

ing,” Carney said before Auerbach jumped in with a light laugh: “Stiff competition. This is a competition right? I don’t know what the odds are. Are they taking bets in Vegas right now?” The group said they’ve spent the last month hard at work on a new album in Nashville. “It’s still coming together. We have tons of ideas,” Carney said. “It’s also something that will develop in the studio. We don’t really know what it sounds like until it’s done.” Carney makes an appearance on drums on Ke$ha’s recently released album, “Warrior.”“She’s a friend of ours. She asked me to play on a song. She lives in Nashville, too,” he explained of the collaboration. —AP



LIFESTYLE M o v i e s

Elton John performs “Streets of Philadelphia” at the MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring Bruce Springsteen.


M u s i c

Honoree Bruce Springsteen and guitarist Tom Morello perform onstage.

Musician Ben Lovett and honoree Bruce Springsteen perform onstage.

Stars salute MusiCares honoree Bruce



e it concert or charity auction, Bruce Springsteen can bring any event to a crescendo. Springsteen briefly took over auctioneering duties before being honored as MusiCares person of the year Friday night, exhorting the crowd to bid on a signed Fender electric guitar by amping up the deal. The 63-year-old rock ‘n’ roll star moved the bid north from $60,000 by offering a series of sweeteners. “That’s right, a one-hour guitar lesson with me,” Springsteen shouted. “And a ride in my Harley Davidson sidecar. So dig in, one-percenters.” That moved the needle past $150,000. He added eight concert tickets and backstage passes with a bonus tour conducted by Springsteen himself. That pushed it to $200,000, but he wasn’t done. “And a lasagna made by my mother!” he shouted as an in-house camera at the Los Angeles Convention Center cut to his 87-year-old mother Adele Ann Springsteen. And with an extra $250,000 in the musicians charity’s coffers, Springsteen sat down and spent most of the evening in the unusual role of spectator as a string of stars that included Elton John, Neil Young, Sting, Kenny Chesney, John Legend, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Patti Smith, Jackson Browne took the stage two nights before the Grammy Awards. “Here’s a little secret about Bruce Springsteen: He loves this,” host Jon Stewart joked. “There’s nothing he’d rather do than come to Los Angeles, put on a suit ... and then have people talking about him like he’s dead.” Alabama Shakes kicked things off with “Adam Raised A Cain” and over the course of the evening there were several interesting takes on Springsteen’s voluminous 40-year catalog of hits. Natalie Manes, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite played a stripped down “Atlantic City.” Mavis Staples and Zac Brown put a gospel spin on “My City of Ruins.” John added a funky backbeat to “Streets of Philadelphia.” Kenny Chesney offered an acoustic version of “One Step Up.” Jim James and Tom Morello burned through a scorching version of “The Ghost of Tom Joad” that brought the crowd out of their seats as Morello finished the song with a fiery guitar solo. And Mumford & Sons took it the opposite way, playing a quiet, acoustic version of “I’m On Fire” in the round that had the crowd leaning in. Legend offered a somber piano version of “Dancing in the

Bruce Springsteen performs onstage

Singers Zac Brown and Mavis Staples Dark” and Young shut down the preSpringsteen portion of the evening with a “Born in the USA” that included two sign-lan-

Singers Faith Hill and Tim McGraw

he screenwriter of “Lincoln,” which has 12 Oscar nominations, conceded on Friday that the taut political drama changed the historical record for “15 seconds,” after a lawmaker complained. Democratic Representative Joe Courtney of Connecticut said a key scene the film was wrong to suggest that two congressmen from his state voted against the US Constitution’s 13th Amendment that abolished slavery in 1865. “Representative Courtney is correct that the four members of the Connecticut delegation voted for the amendment,” screenwriter Tony Kushner wrote in a letter he made public. “We changed two of the delegation’s votes, and we made up new names for the men casting those votes, so as not to ascribe any actions to actual persons who didn’t perform them.” With a hint of irony, Kushner added: “I’m sorry if anyone in Connecticut felt insulted by these 15 seconds of the movie, although issuing a congressional press release startlingly headlined ‘Before The Oscars...’ seems a rather flamboyant way to make that known.” Kushner stressed that the fallacy did not change the direction of the film in any way, stressing that “Lincoln” is first and foremost “a dramatic film and not an attack on their home state.” In a statement released after Kushner’s letter, Courtney said he was pleased the screenwriter had recognized the mistake. “My effort from the beginning has been to set the record straight on this vote, so people do not leave the theater believing Connecticut’s representatives in the 38th Congress were on the wrong side of history,” Courtney said. He also called for a correction ahead of the DVD release. The Steven Spielberg film recounts Abraham Lincoln’s maneuvers to secure votes in Congress to abolish slavery during the American Civil War. —AFP

Singer John Legend

Ben Harper and Natalie Maines guage interpreters dressed as cheerleaders signing along to the lyrics. “John Legend made me sound like

Singer Kenny Chesney

‘Lincoln’ screenwriter apologizes for 15-second error


Singer Sting

Gershwin,” Springsteen said. “I love that. Neil Young made me sound like the Sex Pistols. I love that. What an evening.” Springsteen

spoke of the “miracle of music,” the importance of musicians in human culture and making sure everyone is cared for. And he joked that he somehow ended up being honored by MusiCares, a charity that offers financial assistance to musicians in need run by The Recording Academy, after his manager called up Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich to seek a performance slot on the show in a “mercenary publicity move.” In the end, though, he was moved by the evening. “It’s kind of a freaky experience, the whole thing,” Springsteen said. “This is the huge Italian wedding Patti (Scialfa) and I never had. It’s a huge Bar Mitzvah. I owe each and every one of you. You made me feel like the person of the year. Now give me that damn guitar.” He asked the several thousand attendees to move toward the stage - “Come on, it’s only rock ‘n’ roll” - and kicked off his five-song set with his Grammy nominated song “We Take Care Of Our Own.” At the end of the night he brought everyone on stage for “Glory Days.” —AP

(From left) ) Musicians Ben Lovett, Marcus Mumford, ‘Country’ Winston Marshall and Ted Dwane of Mumford & Sons.

Universal Music chairman tops Billboard industry power list


ucian Grainge, chairman of Universal Music Group, beat out “X Factor” host Simon Cowell and the manager for teen pop sensation Justin Bieber as the most powerful person in the music industry, according to a list released by Billboard magazine on Friday. The second annual list left off music stars such as rapper-mogul Jay-Z, his wife and singer, Beyonce, and Irish rock group U2, all of which placed on the Power 100 list last year. Billboard put Grainge atop the list in part for Universal Music Group’s $1.9 billion acquisition of record label EMI last September and the spinning off of part of that purchase to privately-held Warner Music for $762 million. The industry magazine called the executive a “tireless advocate for the recorded-music business,” who took the top spot from Irving Azoff, the former chairman of ticket sales and concert promoting company Live Nation. Grainge placed third last year. Coran Capshaw, the manager to pop singer Miley Cyrus and rock group Dave Matthews Band, ranked No. 2 for the second straight year. Capshaw’s privately-held Starr Hill Presents has stakes in live music festivals

Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo among others. Behind Capshaw was Martin Bandier, CEO of publisher Sony/ATV Music Publishing, at No. 3, while Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino placed fourth and Doug Morris, chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, rounded out the top five. Cowell, creator of television talent shows “America’s Got Talent” and “The X Factor,” placed at No. 30, a giant leap from his No. 100 ranking on the inaugural list. LA Reid, a former “X Factor” host and current chairman and CEO of Sony Music’s Epic Records, ranked No. 40, while “American Idol” host and TV producer Ryan Seacrest climbed up to No. 59 from No. 64 last year. Scooter Braun, the manager of teen pop star Justin Bieber and British-Irish boy band The Wanted, was No. 42 on the list. Digital music pioneer Sean Parker, who co-founded music-sharing program Napster and invested in music streaming service Spotify, was No. 71. This year’s list was largely absent of performers, drawing primarily from industry executives, music producers and talent managers. Last year, country-pop singer Taylor Swift and pop singer Lady Gaga both

made the list, but they were excluded this year. The full list can be viewed at Universal Music Group is a subsidiary of France’s Vivendi SA. “American Idol” and “The X Factor” are broadcast by Fox, which is owned by News Corp. The top 10 on the list: 1. Lucian Grainge, Chairman, Universal Music Group 2. Coran Capshaw, Founder/Owner, Red Light Management and Starr Hill Presents 3. Martin Bandier, CEO, Sony/ATV Music Publishing 4. Michael Rapino, CEO, Live Nation Entertainment 5. Doug Morris, Chairman/CEO, Sony Music Entertainment 6. Len Blavatnik, Founder/Chairman, Access Industries 7. Rob Light, music head, Creative Artists Agency 8. Tim Leiweke, President/CEO, Anschutz Entertainment Group 9. Marc Geiger, music head, William Morris Endeavor 10. Jimmy Iovine, Chairman, Interscope Geffen A&M —Reuters


lifestyle F a s h i o n


Project Runway judges, from left, Zac Posen, Heidi Klum, Michael Kors and Nina Garcia greet guests before the showing of the finalists Fall 2013 collection during Fashion Week, Friday, in New York. — AP photos JASON WU Wu’s collection was all woman. Not girlie. Not mannish. That was by design. “I wanted to bring back the woman to the runway,” he said backstage. The clothes were full of strength, with exaggerated shoulders and some military touches, but chiffon pleats floated down the runway. Two outfits were long - as in floor-length pleated, peplum tops over tuxedo pants, the perfect yin and yang. Red that offset the mostly black-and-white combinations

other Nature is clearly not a fashionista. A blizzard forced Michael Kors to arrive at New York Fashion Week’s “Project Runway” show on Friday in - gasp Uggs. “I came in looking like Pam Anderson,” he joked backstage, where the offending boots had been traded for tasteful black leather. Marc Jacobs postponed his Monday night show until Thursday, citing delivery problems, but for the most part Fashion Week went on with the show. IMG Fashion said organizers remained in contact with city officials, including the mayor’s office, about potential weather problems but had planned for an extra layer of tenting for the venue and more heat at Lincoln Center, along with crews to help with snow and ice. Zac Posen said he would present his collection as usual on Sunday but he worried that out-of-town editors and retailers might not be able to make it. Other designers were considering Plan B - adding an Internet stream - to accommodate guests who couldn’t make it to their shows. Still, plenty of fashion fans wouldn’t let a little snow get in the way. Baltimore college student Carmen Green arrived in a red cocktail dress and black high-heel booties. “In this outfit, the blizzard did not deter me,” she said. She did allow that she only had to cross the street from her hotel and would change into combat boots for the train ride home. Alyssa Montemurro, 22, works

for a website that covers models. She was wearing four-inch heels and left the boots at home. Why? “I am 5-foot-3 on a good day,” she said, “and when you’re interviewing models backstage it’s best to be somewhere near their face level.” The celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch offered a blizzard pro tip. “You either come in warm and comfortable clothes and boots or you come in neon - or sequins would be a good one - so they see you in the drift,” he said. MercedesBenz Fashion Week wraps up Feb. 14, when the industry moves on to London, Milan and Paris.

was the va-va-voom. Use of the color both here and on Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown last month was not a coincidence. Wu started on the collection in October and the gown - for which he received plenty of congratulations and accolades - was designed in November. “Certainly red was on my mind. ... I felt it was right for right now,” he said.

RAG & BONE RAG & BONE Outside, there was sleet, snow and slush. But inside at the Rag & Bone show, one could find at least a temporary solution to the winter storm: Hot mulled wine to ease the chill, and some fun, colorful clothes. Designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville were interested in pops of bright color - like mineral green and grape - and

Fashion from the Fall 2013 collection of Jason Wu is modeled in New York. —AP/AFP photos


in a more overtly masculine style. “We referenced men’s silhouettes a lot more than usual this time,” Wainwright said. On the other hand, the collection was full of flirty quilted miniskirts, too, giving it a feminine accent along with the structured jackets and coats. A grape-colored crochet mini was a typically fun look, as was an orange bomber skirt paired with a long coat,

also in grape. There were lots of soft sweaters, too, like a charcoal “funnel sweater” paired with a crochet skirt of the same color. A charcoal sweater-coat looked deliciously big and warm - one envied the model who got to wear it on such a cold evening.

CARMEN MARC VALVO Valvo’s tell-tale heart drew him to Edgar Allan Poe for inspiration. “I was thinking long, lean, moody and dark,” the designer said backstage. “Edgar Allan Poe. Creatures of the night. With a little rock ‘n’ roll, too.” The show featured some stunning gowns in ivory, grape and merlot, but most creations were in black. Valvo said he was so taken with black this season that he almost did the entire collection in it. “It really makes you focus on the structure and the detailing, to make sure each dress is different,” he explained. The show opened with what seemed a perfect nod to the stormy weather: An embroidered trench with patent leather squares, all in black. Actress Nichole Galicia, who appears in “Django Unchained,” especially loved a couple of gowns in flowing ivory - but was partial to the black lacy gowns, too. “I’m doing some mental shopping here,” quipped the actress, who wore Valvo to a recent event honoring “Django” director Quentin Tarantino. “I’m still looking for an Oscar dress.”

CARMEN MARC VALVO PROJECT RUNWAY The rivalry stayed on the catwalk when new judge, Zac Posen, met previous judge, Michael Kors. Kors, acting as a guest panelist, Posen, Heidi Klum and Nina Garcia were one big happy family when they took their seats to watch the collections of this season’s contestants. (Kors and Klum joked they’ve spent so much time together over the years that they now look like brother and sister.) “I didn’t call Zac with any tips before he started. He knows what he’s doing,” Kors said. “I knew I was leaving it in very capable

hands.” Chiming in, Posen added: “I had 10 seasons to watch Michael, and I had been a guest judge with him. I’m sure I learned a few things.” The show is the godmother of fashion reality TV, now in its 11th season. It was time for a change, said Klum, who is an executive producer. The other new wrinkle this go-around is that the contestants have been working in teams - and they are not necessarily happy about it, Klum said.


lifestyle F a s h i o n HELMUT LANG The Lang label went cubist, Picasso style. The show in a funky downtown space was dubbed “Assemblage,” for the many geometric dresses, skirts and coats combining a range of fabrics and textures. But this Picasso, as interpreted by creative directors Nicole and Michael Colovos, was near absent color, sticking mostly to shades of black, white and nude. Hints of bright yellow and blue broke through in some looks for fall. The show was influenced, according to its notes, by an exhibition called Picasso

Black and White, along with the work of Richard Prince in his book, “Prince/Picasso,” which turns an eye on the nude female form ala the Spanish painter. The Lang designers used a rubber-treated fabric for a raised effect. Some pieces combined leather, pressed felt, wool, pony and silk. The pony theme was carried into high-heel boots and pumps. — AP



EDUN There’s something new on the Edun runway this season: the Y chromosome. The theme for fall is youth culture, and the label founded by U2 rocker Bono and his wife, Ali Hewson, decided to showcase men’s clothes with equal emphasis. “We’ve been making men’s clothes for so long, but a lot of people didn’t know that,” Hewson said. “It’s great to bring men’s looks to the fore.” The look was strong and simple for the men: big black biker jackets, with fitted black jeans. On the women’s side, many of the looks - from jackets to tops to dresses featured little silver chains. But not too thick, emphasized the label’s designer, Sharon Wauchob. “I didn’t want it to be too aggressive and tough,” she said backstage of the chain detailing. “It’s always a very careful balance between expressing femininity and expressing a strong identity.”


oe Flacco is soaking up all the opportunities that come with being a Super Bowl champ, including nabbing a front row seat at New York Fashion Week. The Baltimore Ravens quarterback and his wife, Dana Grady, had prime real-estate for Tommy Hilfiger’s ever-preppy menswear collection Friday at the Park Avenue Armory. “It was pretty cool. It was a lot quicker than I thought it would have been,” said Flacco after watching his first fashion show. As a brutal Nor’easter raged outside, the Hilfiger men on the runway bundled up in hefty coats with plush fur collars, cozy argyle sweaters and patterned turtlenecks. If there’s one takeaway from the fall collection: Houndstooth is a man’s best friend. It came down the runway in subtle waves -

just peeking out from the lining of a coat or scarf - and in bold explosions, including a head-to-toe ensemble of houndstooth trousers and trench. Hilfiger also mixed and matched his pattern du jour with plaids and argyle. Flacco, who led the Ravens in a 34-31 victory against the San Francisco 49ers at the Super Bowl in New Orleans, gave a nod of approval as a model passed by in a fitted navy blazer, layered under a dark, shearling car coat. So what would his teammates say about his fashion week cameo? “You know they’d probably pick on me a little bit, but it was a lot of fun,” said Flacco. — AP

Tommy Hilfi fig ger

Uggs? Ugh. NY Fashion Week battles the elements



Performers take part in a dragon dance on the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Snake, in China town in Manila yesterday. The Dragon Dance is usually performed during the Chinese New Year to bring in good luck and prosperity as billions of Chinese worldwide celebrate Lunar New Year of the Snake today.—AFP



s Hong Kong prepares to usher in the Year of the Snake, an increasing number of the reptiles are slithering their way into local households, with sales of the uncuddly pet rocketing. Keeping snakes has become increasingly popular in the densely-populated city in recent years as animal lovers seek out less space-hungry pets. And with the spotlight firmly on the reptile in the lead-up to the Lunar New Year on Sunday, sales have surged. At Reptile Paradise, a store which first opened its doors in Hong Kong’s Mong Kok neighbourhood in 1994, dozens of baby snakes, not more than a few weeks old, frantically try to climb their way out of small plastic boxes.

timetres) when they are young, growing to around 47 inches. But while popular pet reptiles such as the turtle represent luck, longevity and fortune, the snake has a mixed reputation in Chinese culture. Although it can signify intelligence and happiness, it is also associated with tragedy - some believe that if a snake is found in the home it means impending disaster for the family concerned, though others feel that such a discovery brings good luck and peace. In culinary terms it is held up as a delicacy in southern Chinese cuisine as well as a health booster, with thick soup made from snake meat thought to quicken the blood and ward off illness in winter.

A woman displays her pet, a corn snake, during an event promoting responsible breeding and pet ownership in Kong Kong. — AFP photos

‘Impress the girls with snakes’ In Hong Kong, practicality and a certain cool factor are fuelling sales, as well as money-making potential. “Some people think it’s a good idea to impress the girls with snakes and some people want to keep them to make money through breeding,” Gourry Chan, a director at Mong Kok’s Turtle Park pet store, told AFP. Demand has also spiked in his shop in the lead up to new year, though he criticised those who simply want to get on the Year of the Snake bandwagon. “There are a number of people who are genuinely interested in keeping snakes - but lately there have been more people coming in, and if they say they are doing it for the Year of the Snake, we discourage them. “A snake can live up to 20 years and it takes dedication to keep one. Some are sold online when their owners get bored or they die from neglect.” Animal protection groups also warn against buying a snake on a whim. “There are many species of snake and all require unique habitats, including the right temperature and humidity to accomplish various physiological and behavioral processes. There are huge commitments behind keeping snakes and the SPCA does not recommend it to be a suitable household pet,” said the organization’s Dr Fiona Woodhouse. Bad diet and poor care often leave pet snakes dehydrated and with bone deformities, while keeping them in small containers leaves them stressed and prone to disease. The reality may also be more gruesome than buyers realize. “Many snakes require the feeding of live mice and although some can be trained to eat dead food, many can’t”, the SPCA said, adding that it feared that unwanted snakes would end up abandoned. Turtle Park’s Chan says he’ll make sure his customers know the nitty gritty before snapping up a snake. “As a pet enthusiast myself, I feel that I have a responsibility to tell them it isn’t right to buy on impulse.” — AFP

As well as turtles and lizards the shop sells milk snakes, corn snakes, king snakes and ball pythons, plus containers of live white mice to feed them. Its director Vincent Cheung said snake sales have been rising steadily for several months prior to the arrival of the new year. “The increase for the past month and what I expect for the coming month is about 20 percent to 25 percent, compared with the last year,” Cheung told AFP. He has sold 100 to 150 snakes in the past three months and remembers a similar spike in 2001, the previous Year of the Snake, with twentyand thirty-something Hong Kongers the most eager customers. “When the Year of the Snake comes, they really want to save their money to buy a snake for it. Keeping snakes is very simple compared to keeping other types of reptiles,” said Cheung, adding that clients often learn how to raise and breed them on the Internet. With real estate at a premium and rentals sky high, snakes appear to fit with the compact highrise lifestyle of most of the city’s residents - popular breeds in Hong Kong like the North American corn snake and milk snake only measure 10 inches (25 cen-

wenty-five drawings by Michelangelo begin a two-city US exhibition in Virginia yesterday, including some works never before seen in the United States and many that offer a glimpse into the mind of the master and the tumultuous times in which he lived. “Michelangelo: Sacred and Profane, Masterpiece Drawings from the Casa Buonarroti” will be on view at the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg through April 14, then move to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston where it will run from April 21 through June 30. While the collection is divided between figures and dazzling architectural drawings of libraries, churches and fortifications, the centerpieces are “Madonna and Child” and “Cleopatra.” These two works open and close the Muscarelle exhibit, which is presented in a stark setting with each drawing individually illuminated on burgundy walls. The work typically is viewed only by scholars who must travel to the Casa Buonarroti museum in Florence, the city where Michelangelo spent most of his 89 years. The Muscarelle was able to snag the exhibition because of the long relationship between the museum’s assistant director, John T. Spike, and Pina Ragionieri, the elegant 86-year-old director of Casa Buonarroti. The exhibit honors her and the Muscarelle’s founding 30 years ago. They call it the most important Michelangelo show in the US in decades. “We sent to the Muscarelle our best, because I have old friends here,”

A drawing by Renaissance artist Michelangelo of Madonna and Child.

Drawing by Renaissance artist Michelangelo of Cleopatra that was found on the back side of another image of Cleopatra that is on display.

Ragionieri said during a playful, bilingual discussion with Spike in the museum prior to its opening. Spike selected the show from approximately 230 drawings that are held by Casa Buonarroti, the home of Michelangelo’s descendants. He burned many of his drawings, Ragionieri said. “He said all that remained of his had to be perfect,” she said. Muscarelle’s director, Aaron De Groft, said Michelangelo destroyed the bulk of his drawings for another reason: “He was protecting his brand. He didn’t want other people to go and execute his paintings.”

The drawings were done after Michelangelo completed the Sistine Chapel in 1512, when he was 37. “Over the next three decades he set his heart on the impossible task of surpassing himself,” Spike writes in an introduction to the show. “Michelangelo between the ages of forty and sixty labored incessantly on projects too huge to complete on time or as planned.”—AP

This image provided by the Muscarelle Museum of Art shows a drawing by Renaissance artist Michelangelo of a plan for the church of San Giovanni del Florentini in Rome that is on display at the museum in Williamsburg, Va.

Director of the Casa Buonarroti museum in Florence, Italy, Pina Ragionieri in front of a Michelangelo drawing of Cleopatra in Williamsburg, Va.

10 Feb  

Kuwait Times

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