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MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

www.kuwaittimes.net

RABI ALTHANI 29, 1434 AH

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MPs want expats to pay full charges for services

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By B Izzak conspiracy theories

Billionaire for an hour By Badrya Darwish

badrya_d@kuwaittimes.net

L

ife is so strange. Sometimes it is miserable. Sometimes it is ironic. Sometimes it is plain ridiculous. Some other times it is harsh and sad. But I have no words to describe the story I recently read about Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia who reportedly is upset with Forbes magazine for undervaluing his wealth in their latest ranking of world billionaires. We usually hear and live with people who have debts or are bankrupt. We meet people complaining of price increases who ask the government to scrap their debts. For instance, look at us in Kuwait. We have been rallying for a while now asking the government to scrap our debts. The government has been rejecting these pleas for years. That is why now we are begging the government to scrap the interest on our loans. After a few years of arguments in parliament, the government has been rejecting our requests. I am sure that 90 percent of the people wish to be in Alwaleed bin Talal’s shoes. As for me, I would like to be in his position for just one hour. How about you, guys? How do you feel about this? We usually read stories that one firm has closed down or another announced bankruptcy. We even hear of countries that have terrible fiscal difficulties, such as Greece. Such countries have to beg Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, and her group to bail them out. Spain has been also falling apart with debts. Portugal has also been hit hard. Italy is the latest casualty of the post-recession period. I hope that Berlusconi, the billionaire tycoon, can save it. How many banks have disappeared from the financial map? In the past few years many countries have been suffering. Even governments have failed to pay their debts. A country such as Japan is also experiencing financial turbulence. Tune in to business news and you will hear people complaining that firms are closing. There are billions of stories about failed enterprises. Such kinds of stories exceed the number of stars in the sky. That is why it was nice to hear about someone who is not complaining about bankruptcy or tight times. Good luck Prince Alwaleed!

TOKYO: A protester holds a placard amongst the crowd during an anti-nuclear rally yesterday. Waves of antinuclear rallies were held across Japan on the eve of the second anniversary of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster that triggered a nuclear crisis in northern Japan. — AFP (See Page 11)

Syrian rebels launch dawn assault in Homs

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KUWAIT: A parliamentary bloc consisting of eight MPs yesterday called on the government to scrap all subsidies on services and commodities and make expatriates pay full prices in a move that could increase electricity bills to around KD 100 per month. Spokesman of the Independents Bloc MP Nasser Al-Marri said in the proposals submitted to the National Assembly yesterday that they found that between KD 6-12 billion is squandered annually for providing subsidized public services and commodities. He said the bloc found that public expenditure is bloated not because of the high wage bill of Kuwaiti citizens as the government claims, but because of the huge bill paid for subsidies from which expatriates benefit. Marri said the solution to this is to scrap all subsidies, mainly on fuel, electricity and water, and then provide these services free of charge to Kuwaitis and subsequently make expatriates pay full costs. Based on the latest official figures, the number of Kuwaitis is 1.2 million against 2.6 million expatriates, more than half of whom are either domestic helpers or low-paid menial workers whose monthly salary is less than KD 100 and clearly cannot cope with any increase in the price of essential commodities or services. Based on statements by the electricity and water ministry, the government sells a kilowatt/hour of electricity for just two fils while its actual production cost is around 38 fils. Power prices have not been increased since the mid-1960. If the proposal is accepted, the monthly electricity bill for a medium size apartment, which is now at KD 5-6, will increase to as high as KD 100. The price of fuel has remained unchanged for the past 15 years and is considered one of the lowest in all oil-rich Gulf states. The government says it pays over KD 1 billion annually to subsidize its cost. The proposals must first be debated by Assembly panels before being Continued on Page 2

Karzai alleges US and Taleban are colluding

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Debate flares on ‘Twitter revolutions’ WASHINGTON: How important were Twitter, Facebook and other social media in toppling regimes in the Arab Spring uprisings? Amid a fierce debate in academic circles, an upcoming book argues that social media and new technology made a key difference in successful uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt and helped foster grassroots movements in other Arab nations. The book by Philip Howard and colleagues concludes that digital media was “consistently one of the most important sufficient and necessary conditions” for the Arab Spring movements. “There was a longstanding democracy movement in these countries that for many years tried many tactics but none of them worked,” Howard told AFP. He maintained that new media made a difference because it “has so fundamentally changed the way people think about their options.” The Arab Spring movements “involved a networked public of generally younger folks,” which was “structurally different”

than prior movements headed by a charismatic leader, Howard said. Howard, a University of Washington communications professor who is visiting at Princeton, said authoritarian regimes had been accustomed to controls on traditional media but were unable to keep up with the rapid pace of Twitter and Facebook organizing at that time. “Democracy ’s Fourth Wave? Digital Media and the Arab Spring,” written with Muzammil Hussain, counters the conclusions of other academics who found that the impact of social media were exaggerated in the West. Earlier research led by Sean Aday of George Washington University concluded that new media “did not appear to play a significant role in either in-country collective action or regional diffusion” during the 2011 uprisings. “This lack of impact does not mean that social media or digital media generally were unimportant,” they said in a report for the US Continued on Page 2

RAQQA, Syria: This March 5, 2013 photo shows a Syrian man sitting on a fallen statue of former Syrian president Hafez Al-Assad in a central square in this city. Graffiti on the fallen statue reads “Tomorrow will be better.” — AP

in the

news

Rights group slams jailing of activists KUWAIT: A Gulf rights group has strongly condemned heavy jail terms against two prominent Saudi rights activists and called on the authorities in the kingdom to free them immediately. “We strongly condemn these jail terms and demand that Saudi authorities release them immediately and scrap the verdicts,” said the Gulf Forum for Civil Societies (GFCS), a pan-Gulf liberal group, in a statement overnight. “We caution against the use of the judiciary as a means of settling political scores, which has become a policy used repeatedly by Gulf states during the past two years,” the forum said. The criminal court in Riyadh on Saturday sentenced activists Mohammed Al-Qahtani and Abdullah Al-Hamed to 10-year and five-year jail terms respectively. The GFCS said it held the Saudi authorities responsible for the “physical and psychological safety” of the two activists, and called on international rights groups to apply pressure on Riyadh to free them.

Seven children among 8 dead in German fire BERLIN: Fire swept through an apartment building in southwestern Germany yesterday, killing at least eight members of a family of Turkish origin, including seven children, police said. The cause of the blaze was not known but police said they were investigating an oven in a flat on the first floor of the former leather factory in the town of Backnang near Stuttgart. “There are no indications of arson or a xenophobic motive,” police said, adding that there was a German-Turkish cultural exchange association on the ground floor of the building. Firefighters were able to rescue three people from a balcony. According to a local paper, the Waiblinger Kreiszeitung, an 11-year old girl, the family’s grandmother and an uncle were saved. The father of the family, said to have 10 members, was not at home when the fire broke out, it reported. Mass circulation Bild said the youngest victim was only six months old.

Backlash over move to allow knives on planes WASHINGTON: A decision to scrap a post-9/11 ban on pocket knives being carried by passengers on US aircraft has triggered an angry backlash from pilots, flight attendants and airline chiefs. Starting from April 25, travelers will be able to carry small knives with folding blades on US planes following a shift in security strategy by the federal Transportation Security Administration. TSA chief John Pistole said the new guidelines would bring US security regulations into line with international standards and were designed to help airport staff find more dangerous items such as explosives. While box cutters of the kind used by hijackers in the Sept 11, 2001 attacks remain banned, the TSA’s decision to relax the rules on pocket knives has appalled airline officials and staff. The Flight Attendants Union Coalition said its members were “outraged”. The Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations has also spoken out against the move. The furor has also proved irresistible to satirical media outlet The Onion, which commented in a spoof report that the TSA “will henceforth allow small terrorists on commercial aircraft.”

Iran repeats offer to help US find agent TEHRAN: Iran yesterday repeated its offer to help the US in finding an ex-FBI agent who went missing while on a trip to the Islamic republic to probe cigarette counterfeiting in the region. On Friday the United States, arch-foe of Iran, asked again for Tehran’s help in finding Robert Levinson who disappeared six years ago from the Gulf island of Kish. “We have said many times that we do not have any information in this regard,” Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said. “We have repeatedly announced that we are ready to cooperate on humanitarian ground to find... how he disappeared.” Salehi said Iran was ready to share intelligence to help locate Levinson. “We are ready to cooperate through the intelligence entities to shed light on this issue. I once again repeat that this person is not in Iran and the Americans have already acknowledged this,” Salehi said. Salehi said that based on that evidence Levinson “is not in Iran”.


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

LOCAL

Kuwait-Russia diplomatic ties

By Alexander Kinshchak

Russian ambassador

I KUWAIT: Kuwait Times Editor-in-Chief Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan, ambassadors and other dignitaries signed the condolence book at the Venezuela Embassy in Kuwait expressing their heartfelt sympathy to the people of Venezuela on the sad demise of great leader Hugo Chavez over the weekend. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

Govt plans to cut subsidies to all Kuwaitis, expats VAT, income taxes soon By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Kuwaitis and expatriates will all be riled very soon by subsidy cuts, imposition of Value Added Tax (VAT) and income tax. MP Nasser Al-Merri has recently proposed scrapping of subsidy to all Kuwaitis and expats and advised the government to instead improve the services and provide subsidy to Kuwaitis only on basic necessities such as electricity, water and fuel. Last week, the government admitted that it was studying a mechanism to reduce subsidizing products and services for expatriates before similarly trimming subsidies for citizens as the state was trying to better organize its spending and budget. Water, electricity and fuel in Kuwait are subsidized, apart from other products and services. If taxes and subsidy cuts are imposed, the prices are likely to go up. VAT is a form of consumption tax

which, from the perspective of the buyer, is a tax on the purchase price. A seller would look at it as a tax only on the value added to a product, material, or service from an accounting point of view at any stage of its manufacture or distribution. The manufacturer remits to the government the difference between these two amounts, and retains the rest for themselves to offset the taxes they had previously paid on the inputs. “As far as I am concerned as an expat, I do not really care much if it finally comes to a point that the government needs our money to pay for its services and basic necessities. It is a norm in other countries also, so we are not strangers to that,” said an expat who spoke with this reporter but did not wish to let his name be disclosed. “ There is no country in the world today that does not pay for its government. That is how countries pay for their infrastructure, public employees etc, but

I wonder why Kuwait needs it since it has a lot of oil revenue surplus and occasionally gives out cash handouts or grants to their citizens. One wonders why it plans to impose such taxes,” another expat observed. Many expatriates said they would be staying even if tax system was to be imposed. “I will stay if my salary is still okay, but if I find that I can earn the same amount of money back in my own country, then why should I stay? I came here because of Kuwait’s attraction as a tax-free country,” an expat said. Along with the issue of generating income from expatriates is the possibility of imposing value added tax, probably by next year. The government has sought the assistance of World Bank on tax-related issues and mechanism for tax collection. Most of the governmental subsidy that foreigners in Kuwait benefit from pertains to electricity and water services in

addition to gasoline. According to a Kuwait Times report, the mechanism is based on finding new ways to change the pricing of services available to citizens and expatriates, thus enabling the government to charge the fees accordingly. They explained that the state plans to study “similar experiences followed by other Gulf states” and then apply them in Kuwait. The issue is currently being studied by government committees “that are also assigned to chalk out plans for reducing subsidies for Kuwaitis as a first step,” said the sources who did not provide a timetable as to by when a reduction in subsidies was expected to be approved. The state’s budget for the fiscal year 2012/2013 lists the total government subsidy for consumer services at KD 6.3 billion, KD 3.1 billion of which goes towards electricity and KD 1.1 billion towards fuel.

Business incubator a strategic tool for economic development KUWAIT: A recent study showed that business incubators are a strategic tool for economic development, as they help create job opportunities and transfer technologies, as well as expand existing businesses. Business incubators have the ability to provide business services and highlevel support, including networks of contacts to accelerate the development of leading companies along with small startups, in addition to existing companies, Dr Hanadi Al-Mubaraki from the Faculty of Engineering and Petroleum at Kuwait University said yesterday. The professor added that the study she conducted with Dr Michael Busler

from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey found that business incubators are very successful in economic development and creating job opportunities in the United States and on the international level. “There are an estimated 7,000 business incubators at present across the world, 1,800 of which are in the US and 900 in Europe,” noted Al-Mubaraki. The study is based on the evaluation of both quantitative and qualitative results, which indicate that the incubators’ program is “an added value to the market,” she said, further adding that the result of surveys and case studies indicates that this added value creates job

Kuwait hosts ambassadors conference KUWAIT: Under the patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Seventh Ambassadors Conference will kick off here today. The two-day conference is organized by the Kuwait Foreign Ministry at its headquarters here and will be attended by 124 ambassadors and heads of missions. In a press statement, Head of the Conference’s Higher Committee and Kuwait Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Khalid Suleiman Al-Jarrallah said that the seventh round of the conference is held amid major local, regional and international developments which require thorough revision to all aspects of Kuwait’s diplomacy. Al-Jarrallah described the conference as a golden platform for diplomats to meet with the state senior officials in all political, economic, parliamentary, energy and other sectors, to get comprehensive information and clear vision for the new developments both at home and abroad. For his part, Foreign Ministry Protocols Department Director and the Conference Higher Committee member, Ambassador Dhari Al-Ajran said the conference will include an expanded meeting between heads of the Kuwait diplomatic missions and ambassadors working at the Diwan of Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. The meeting will also be attended by Kuwait Foreign Ministry Undersecretary, he added. Al-Ajran disclosed that the event will comprise several lectures on Kuwait’s foreign, economic, petroleum and social policies. —KUNA

opportunities, transfers technology, enhances marketing, and reduces indirect start-up cost for companies. Al-Mubaraki said “the findings also indicate that the success of the “incubated” leads to creating sustainable companies with five criteria involved; clear goals, incubator location, access to services, job opportunity creation, and finally, economic development strategy. “When these criteria are met, they lead to a survival rate of 90 percent, which leads to sustainability in the market.” Business incubators provide a helpful and supportive educational environment to entrepreneurs during the criti-

cal stages of starting a new business. The goal of incubators, she remarked, is to develop the company’s business as they help to take care of the companies that will pave the way for the wealth of the country and employment in the future, she noted. The findings of the study show that there are five benefits to incubators; an incubator is a powerful tool in economic development strategy to create job opportunities; it promotes entrepreneurship; it helps with technology transfer; it supports corporate sustainability; and it helps diversify the economy and the corporate field in the country concerned. —KUNA

Ruling on electoral challenges next June KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Chief Justice said that the Constitutional Court is expected to pronounce its ruling on electoral challenges next June, a verdict that will settle the legal dispute between the government and the opposition about the legal validity of the electoral system, and decide the course for the subsequent political movement. Meanwhile, Counselor Faisal Al-Mirshed, the Head of the Supreme Judicial Council and the Constitutional Court, insisted that the court is ‘unaffected’ by the voices questioning the judicial verdicts “because [earning] people’s trust in the judicial system is what is important.” “Some people criticize the judiciary if they are affected by a court ruling, while praise it if the ruling is in their favor,” he told Al-Jarida newspaper on Saturday. The Constitutional Court is looking into 56 challenges made against last December’s parliamentary elections, including cases arguing that an emergency decree which enforced the single-vote system prior to the elections was unconstitutional. A ruling that upholds these challenges would lead to the dissolution of the parliament which was elected amid a boycott by most of the opposition and nationalist groups. Al-Mirshed was asked about the slogan ‘cleansing the judiciary’ chosen for the 8th Karamat Watan procession that the opposition plans to stage at an undisclosed date. “Questioning the integrity of patriots who handle the judicial work is unacceptable,” he said, adding that “objections to court verdicts are carried out through challenges forwarded to higher courts according to the law.” (Jarida) In related news, former MP Dr. Waleed Al-

Tabtabaei said that details of the next protest expected to conclude with a rally at the Iradah Square will be announced soon. He said the idea was first pitched by the Majority Bloc, a coalition of oppositionists who formed a majority in the scrapped 2012 parliament. Dr. AlTabtabaei also urged lawmakers to resign and ‘renounce’ the current parliament “to save their parliamentary careers.” Sources privy to the Majority Bloc’s thinking told Al-Rai in the meantime that next Saturday has tentatively been selected for a procession, while it was yet to be confirmed whether it would end at the Iradah Square or outside the Kuwait Towers. Separately, former liberal lawmaker Dr. Ahmad Al-Khateeb described the situation that Kuwait is currently going through as “complicated” and “sad,” and suggested that the country could be “involved in a deal that we have nothing to do with or benefit in any way from.” “After no longer having a role in the region, we have become part of a regional struggle that is bigger than us and is led by regional powers and the world’s superpowers, while we find ourselves the weakest link in it,” he told Gulf University for Science and Technology students recently. The member of the Constituent Parliament spoke about “Kuwait’s bright political history since independence,” but soon indicated that the Gulf state “no longer shows clear activity, leaving its fate to be determined by a regional struggle.” “It is easy for the superpowers to agree, and it is possible that we can someday be ‘sold’ because we have become followers after giving up the leading role,” he said.

would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Governments and the people of Russia and Kuwait on the upcoming 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and the State of Kuwait. The history of friendly relations between Russia and Kuwait dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, when the Russian Empire’s ships - gunboat “Gilyak” and cruisers “Varyag”, “Askold” and “Boyarin” visited Kuwait for the first time. Relations between Russia and Kuwait continued to improve since then and formal diplomatic relations were established on 11 March, 1963. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties Russia-Kuwait relations have made a steady and stable development. The friendship and fruitful cooperation between Russia and Kuwait are based on mutual respect and shared interests. Our two countries have built up increasingly closer contacts at all levels and in all fields. On the political field Russia and Kuwait have constructive cooperation in the framework of regional and international organizations. Our two countries have proximity of the positions in respect to many international and regional issues and work together to safeguard common values and interests of our two countries and other countries as well, and to tackle global challenges and advance the noble cause of world peace and development. Economic ties between Russia and Kuwait are based on mutual benefit. Our two countries signed a series of agreements in various sectors like trade, energy, science and technology. Remark able results have been achieved in the field of military and technical cooperation. The bilateral trade has grown from a modest $7 million in 2006 to nearly $325 million today. In 2012 the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) have launched of an automatic co-investment mechanism. It means that KIA will invest $500 million alongside the RDIF in the Russian economy. I am convinced that it is only the beginning and there are still many opportunities to develop trade and investment cooperation between our two countries. Today the strategic partnership between Russia and Kuwait is growing. We continue to work together to elevate the friendly cooperative relations to a new level of development in all fields and increase high-level exchange of visits and interaction between the people. And I believe firmly that the potential for Russia-Kuwait cooperation is not limited to specific economic and political interests but it is rooted in common values and common aspirations for the future. Russia is determined in further boosting traditional friendship ties with Kuwait, deepening pragmatic cooperation, expanding people -to-people and cultural exchanges, strengthening coordination in international and regional affairs and work hand in hand for a brighter future of Russia-Kuwait relations in the days ahead.

MPs want expats to pay... Continued from Page 1 debated on the floor. The government must accept them before they can be implemented. Meanwhile, HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah yesterday received a number of lawmakers and called on them to avoid tension with the government and to consolidate cooperation with the government. MP Maasouma AlMubarak said the meeting did not tackle the issue of waiving interest on loans and focused on boosting cooperation between the Assembly and the government. The court of appeals yesterday lifted a travel ban imposed on three former MPs in October last year after they delivered speeches at a public rally that were deemed offensive to the Amir. Former opposition MPs Falah Al-Sawwagh, Khaled Al-Tahous and Bader Al-Dahoum were sentenced to two years in prison each in January by the

criminal court for insulting the Amir and undermining his authorities. The court of appeals however suspended the jail term against them until it has looked into the case. Yesterday, the court lifted the travel ban on them and set April 21 as the date for the next hearing. In a related development, the trial of former opposition MP Musallam Al-Barrak resumes today in the criminal court. He is on trial on charges of insulting the Amir and undermining his authorities and status. Around 40 lawyers are defending the opposition figure. The cassation court will also start looking into the case of opposition writer Zayed Al-Zaid who is serving a one-month jail term for accusing some board members of Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) of being corrupt and failing to fight corruption. Zaid returned from abroad about 10 days ago and was taken straight to jail. The court today can suspend the jail term until the case is settled.

Debate flares on... Continued from Page 1 Institute of Peace last year. “But it does mean that at least in terms of media... (especially Twitter), data do not provide strong support for claims of significant new media impact on Arab Spring political protests.” The 2012 study said the tweets and Facebook posts probably did more to spread information outside the affected countries and could have led to “a boomerang effect that brought international pressure to bear on autocratic regimes”.

A separate study led by Juergen Pfeffer and Kathleen Carley at Carnegie Mellon University found that “the pattern of spread of the revolutions was not related to the pattern of social media usage” “In other words, the social media did not cause the revolutions,” they wrote. Many activists in the region maintain that social media helped keep up the momentum of the protests that began in Tunisia, toppled two more dictators in Egypt and Libya, and continue to shake the region.— AFP


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

LOCAL

No safe racing track despite fatal accidents Young drivers blame govt By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Two days ago, a young Kuwait died and a few others were injured during a street race held in Subhan. It was not the first such accident here. Almost every year, young people die in fatal street racing accidents. People have been blaming the government for not laying down a racing track for these young drivers where they can practice their hobby. People also blame the police for not securing this and other areas where street races occur. Some spectators and participants in these races claim that many a time, police act as mere spectators but do not ban the drivers from racing. When contacted, the officials from the Ministry of Interior refused to not only comment on the accident but even avoided saying anything about how they planned to act or ensure that such accidents in future are avoided. The Kuwait Quarter Mile Club or as it is officially called, Kuwait Motor Racing Club (KMRC), was founded a few years ago through private initiative to organize races for the car and motorcycle fans. It does not receive any support from the government. “Unfortunately we are working with our own funds and have a limited ability to support the young racers. Yet we are organizing a few races to protect our youth from fatal accidents,” Khalid Al-Ajeel, Director of the Drag Race Committee, told the Kuwait Times yesterday. Al-Ajeel announced the good news. “Finally, after 11 years, we have received a piece of land to build a track. We still need financial support from the government. We organized the Midnight Madness race recently, and even provided the participants with food just to encourage them to practice their hobby of racing on the track with safety measures in place. We provide them with the same length of stretch that they use in the street. We concentrate on safety, and use of safety belt, helmet, and other tools,” he added. The quarter Mile Club is doing its best, given its resources. “We arrange for the racing lovers to participate in the races held abroad such as in Abu Dhabi, but not everyone can travel as it is expensive. Currently, we are holding drift and drag race on weekends. The ambulance and firemen are present at these races for more

safety,” stressed Al-Ajeel. If the track is built, the racers will definitely come. “I assure you that 99 percent of accidents will not happen once the track was launched. In the United States, there is no street racing, and if somebody raced in the streets, they will withhold his driving license. We can organize all kinds of races such as the Head to Head race, ATV race, motorcycles and others. We have materials to put on the street so that the cars would not slip,” he stated. According to him, building the track is not difficult at all. “The track can be built within five months only. For the drag race, it would not cost more than KD 1 million, and if we combined all other motor sports, it would not cost more than KD 8 million. We can bring in an American company to bring all the things we need. However, we need funds to pay for the companies who will work on this track. I accuse the government of being responsible for all the accidents caused by street racing. The government has to act fast to execute the track as soon as possible. In all GCC countries, there are such tracks. And although we had the first track in 1986, which was closed for building new residential area, the other GCC countries all have a track now while we do not have one,” explained Al-Ajeel. He concluded by saying that the Club adopts and welcomes all drivers, be they Kuwaitis or expats, who love this sport. “We cannot provide them with funds but we direct them and give them advice. We teach them the international rules of racing and simplify and arrange for their participation internationally. We also help them avail Sports Leave to participate,” he said. Twitter:@KMRCQ8, Instagram: KUWAITQUARTERMILECLUB, Facebook: KWquartermileclub, http://www.kmrc.com.kw On his part, Col Abdulrahman Al-Sharah, Central Area Commander, blamed the parents in the first place. “In the Doha Road accident last year in which few youngsters died, there was one whose father called him and wanted him to come home immediately but he did not,” he pointed out. “In fact, it is not easy for the police to guard the area. They need more than 50 police patrols to control the racers who gather there. The police department needs to cooperate and make repeated rounds to reduce the instances of street racing,” AlSharah further said.

22,000 job applications pending with CSC KUWAIT: The National Assembly is planning to discuss the employment issue and creation of job opportunities for citizens on the waiting list at the Civil Service Commission (CSC) which is now growing. About 22,000 job applications were now pending with the CSC. The assembly needs to intervene to obtain a clarification about the government’s policy to provide job opportunities and replacements in the government sector. It also needs to understand the difficulties that the private sector faces in absorbing university and lesser graduates. National Assembly member Saadoun Hammad said he and a group of MPs are working on a request to designate a special assembly session to discuss the unemployment issue and the lack of job opportunities for citizens. Hammad said the jobs crisis and the piling up of some 22,000 job applications at the CSC is something for which the government needs to bear responsibility. He said the slow replacement policy, and failure to create job opportunities for citizens in the oil sector contracts, besides the

absence of evaluation of the employment structure in the government sector were responsible for the crisis that is escalating as the educational establishments add new graduates each year. Development issues in the country such as education, medical treatment, employment and housing needed urgent attention, he said, adding that the current assembly changed the follow up and supervision aspects and introduced clear and transparent solutions for citizensí issues according to a new principle that is not limited to saving the government but was rather focused on providing alternatives and ensuring cooperation between the two authorities to implement the policies. MP Ahmad Lari said among the most important achievements of the current assembly is the stability achieved in the countr y, especially between the two authorities, besides the positive spirit in the parliamentar y per formance of all members. This was reflected in the general stability in the country. He said this was possible due to the wisdom of HH the Amir and his leadership.

Horeca founder to attend inauguration

Nihad Dammous

KUWAIT: The Leaders Group for Consulting and Development, organizers of the 2013 HORECA Kuwait exhibition, announced yesterday that HORECA Lebanon founder Nihad Dammous has been invited to attend the event scheduled for March 18-21, 2013 at the Arraya Ball Room of Courtyard Marriott Hotel. Dammous will be joined by General Manager of the Leaders Group for Consulting and Development, Nabila AlAnjari, as well as Undersecretary of the Ministr y of Commerce and Industr y, Abdul-Aziz Al-Khaldi, in inaugurating the event which will witness wide participation of companies involved in the hospitality, catering and food industries.

Discussions to amend housing care law KUWAIT: MP Dr Maasouma Al-Mubarak said that women and family affairs committee will discuss this week a draft law about amending the housing care law aimed at giving the Kuwaiti woman her rights. She said the much awaited meeting will be held in the presence of government parties like Public Authority for Housing and Saving Lending Bank. Maasouma said that the most important amendment suggested was to grant a deser ving woman housing care lease allowance equivalent to what any man receives. She said the intention was to ensure the principle of parity between gen-

ders before the law. Sources said that MPs were expected to approve this draft law as several of them were in favor of it as it was in consonance with the constitutional articles that called for achieving justice and equality. In the meantime, the Ministry of Housing has given its initial approval to allow any widow whose husband died before the Iraqi invasion to own real estate and to allow any young child to apply for a housing unit instead of giving him the choice to either own the same real estate or register it as leased for his mother, something that was prevalent before.

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received yesterday at Seif Palace the National Assembly Speaker Ali Fahad Al-Rashed and several MPs who had joined Al-Rashed’s delegation during his recent tour to several Arab Gulf countries. The meeting was also attended by MPs Dr Maasouma Saleh Al-Mubarak, Safaa Abdulrahman Al-Hashim, Khalid Hussein Al-Shatti, Essam Salman Al-Dabbous and Faisal Saud Al-Duwaisan.

Sheikh Nasser visits India

KUWAIT: Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and his accompanying delegation leaving for New Delhi yesterday.

KUWAIT: Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah headed to New Delhi yesterday accompanied by a host of officials on an official few-day visit, during which he is to forward a letter from His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah to President Pranab Mukherjee of India. This comes upon invitation of the Indian Government, conveyed through Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid. Sheikh Nasser Al-Sabah is to meet senior officials to discuss means to further cooperation and coordination between the two friendly nations. The Kuwaiti delegation includes Deputy Chairman of Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry Khalid AlSaqer, Kuwait Petroleum Managing Director Farooq AlZanki, Amiri Diwan Undersecretary Mazin Al-Eisa, and Kuwait Investment Authority Mohammad Al-Hilal AlMutairi. — KUNA


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

LOCAL

Kuwait celebrates golden jubilee of co-op movement KUWAIT: The Union of Consumer Cooperative Societies (UCCS) will celebrate today the anniversar y of launching the co-operative movement in the country with a number of activities over three days. The UCCS worked in cooperation and coordination with various governmental institutions to best serve society and meet the daily needs of citizens over the past 50 years. In 1962, law number 20 was issued, explaining procedures towards establishing co-operative societies, membership, management, supervision, and dissolution, and the first cooperative society was estab-

lished in the same year. In 1971, the UCCS was founded, and its activities increased dramatically by 1975 with the distribution of subsidized goods to citizens. The union also played a great role in supporting national industry. It also introduced measures such as collective and bulk purchase and import in 1981, in order to find alternatives that are more affordable for consumers. In the same year, the UCCS became member in the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), and so far into 2013, some 50 co-operative societies are ser ving consumers across the country.— KUNA

EQUATE employees with other participants in Clean Up the Gulf campaign.

EQUATE participates in Clean Up the Gulf campaign KUWAIT: EQUATE Petrochemical Company participated in “Clean Up the Gulf ” campaign launched by the Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association (GPCA) in cooperation with Kuwait’s Environment Public Authority (EPA). With the participation of over 200 persons, EQUATE employees cooperated with students from a number of Kuwaiti schools, teachers and EPA staff in cleaning up a part of Kuwait’s beachfront at Youm AlBahhar. The campaign was proposed by GPCA for its member companies, grouping EQUATE and several others, to organize such an activity within their respective communities through public engagement and participation. As part of its efforts to preserve the environment through applying sustain-

ability principles, EQUATE has launched throughout the years a number of initiatives including the Middle East’s First Plant Water Recycling Project and Kuwait’s First CO2 Recovery project. 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.

Three languages added to Quran radio online KUWAIT: Al-Najat Charitable Society added three new languages (Hindi, Urdu, and Vietnamese) to its Holy Quran online radio service. The radio already broadcasts in English, French, and German, allowing visitors of the website to access translations of the meanings of the Holy Quran in all mentioned languages. Electronic Da’wah Committee (EDC) at Al-Najat charity said in press remarks that the Holy Quran is the most widely read (holy) book worldwide, and it is instrumental to understanding Islam and its teachings. This project aims at spreading access to the holy Quran to the largest number of peoples, and to allow Muslims from across the world to better understand

the teachings of their religion. This is a golden opportunity to introduce non-Muslims to Islam’s true teachings. A statistic from last year revealed a remarkable increase of listeners to internet radios, especially among owners of smart phones. The number of this latter segment rose from 51 percent in 2012, to 62 percent in 2012, while owners of tablet computers accessing such webradios jumped from 15 percent in 2011 to 28 percent in 2012. Internet radios are unique in that they are accessible from any part of the world, through the appropriate devices, and the cost of broadcast in such medium is much lower than more conventional media. —- KUNA

Unified Gulf Traffic Week kicks off KUWAIT: The unified Gulf Traffic Week kicked off here yesterday under the slogan ‘Your safety is our goal’ which will continue until March 14. Ministry of Interior’s Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Department Maj Gen Dr. Mustafa AlZaabi stressed the importance of this event whose deliberations and activities must be exploited through the exchange of experiences and specialized information. The field visits during the Gulf Traffic Week will achieve the greatest possible benefit in parallel to the exchange of information and experiences relating to the problems of traffic between the GCC countries, Al-Zaabi added The representatives of GCC delegations toured the streets and major intersections after the opening to become acquainted with the nature of the traffic in the country. They distributed a number of awareness brochures before heading to the Police Officers Club to attend the official opening and hoist the flags of the Gulf states participating in the Unified Gulf Traffic Week. — KUNA

Phone technician charged for late night call to woman Pedestrian killed on Gulf Road KUWAIT: A woman pressed harassment charges against a phone maintenance technician who called her at a late hour in the night to ‘check if ever ything was okay with her phone.’ The Kuwaiti woman had sought help at a phone shop in Sharq on Friday night to fix some fault with her smart phone. She had given the phone number to the technician who wanted to ‘check the sound quality.’ She was startled the same night by text messages at 1:00 am from a strange number. This was followed by a call from the technician using the same number. When she scolded him, he claimed he was only calling to check if the problem with her phone was fixed. The woman headed the next morning to the Sharq police station and filed a case. The man is being summoned for investigations. Traffic accident A pedestrian died when a car hit him at the Gulf Road in front of the Amiri Hospital on Saturday afternoon. He was rushed to the same hospital but succumbed to his skull injury within minutes. The car, after hitting the expatriate pedestrian, crashed into a side barricade. The car’s Kuwaiti driver was taken into

custody for investigations. Search for thief A Kuwaiti man in Subahiya who returned to his house only to find it locked from inside called the police but by the time help arrived, the thief inside succeeded in escaping through a window along with KD 1000 that he stole from the bedroom. The thief managed to reach the window that was perched high by using a trash can which was found placed upside down underneath the window. A case was filed. Ingrate son held A young man whom his Kuwaiti father refused to allow going out with his friends turned violent and attacked him, leaving him with bruises. Police rushed to a house in AlAdan where the Kuwaiti man in his sixties repor ted being assaulted by his son. The youngster was arrested and the senior citizen was taken to the hospital for treatment. ‘Independent’ girl A college student reported missing was recently found living in an apartment she shared with classmates who all came together

to seek independence from their families. Search for the Arab girl who studies in a local private university had been going on since her father reported her missing at the Salmiya police station. Detectives eventually found her on Saturday with three other women who turned out to be students at the same university. Questioning of the four women revealed that they had decided to stay in an apartment rented by one of them after leaving their respective families’ homes. The news report did not mention whether the three other women were also reported missing by their families. Police charged the apartment’s owner for providing shelter to a person reported missing. Drug duo arrested Two people were arrested in Hawally late on Friday night for possessing some drugs and a firearm. Patrol officers called for backup after finding a pistol and an amount of drugs inside the suspects’ vehicle. They searched the car after noticing that the two men, a Kuwaiti and a Bedoon (stateless), were in an inebriated state when they were pulled over. The duo was referred to the proper authorities to face charges.

Gulf women’s sports to get big boost MANAMA: Women’s sports in the Gulf will be given a boost as a media committee will be formed to distribute awareness and campaigns for sports events, according to senior sports official Sheikha Naeema Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. The Gulf Cooperation Council Women’s Sports Committee chairman told KUNA, while attending the Women’s Games in Bahrain, that a meeting she had headed

agreed the formation of the committee. “It is important to select the most competent of sports journalists out there, whether they be female or male, in order to accomplish our aim to aid the spread of women’s sports to a larger degree across Gulf states. “Media preparations should begin early, should continue throughout the year and should

provide coverage on all sports events related to women,” she added. The endeavor was regarded a priority by head of the Third GCC Women’s Games organizing committee Sheikha Hayat bint Abdulaziz Al-Khalifa. “Forming a sports media committee is aimed at educating the public on the efforts of the GCC Women’s Sports Committee, and its

role in the community,” she stressed. The Women’s Sports Committee meeting also discussed Oman’s preparations to host the fourth edition of the five-nation Women’s Games in 2014. Kuwait is taking part in the games currently being held at the Bahraini capital, alongside the host nation, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman.— KUNA

KUWAIT: The national security college organized a workshop to explain the aims and contents of the comprehensive security strategy for GCC. A total of 20 officers from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar participated in the workshop, which was held under the patronage of Assistant Undersecretary of Ministry of Interior, Gen Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. It was supervised by the general administration for training.


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

LOCAL kuwait digest

kuwait digest

Other face of PAAET

‘Achievements’ of govt, NA By Waleed Al-Ghanim

By Dr Hamad Al-Asidan

verybody knows that Iraq owes Kuwait more than $1.2 billion, which gives us only two options: either pay the entire amount, or accept the negotiations between the Iraqi government and its Kuwaiti counterpart with the hope of reducing the amount to $500 million. We at the services committee support the latter option, and applaud the major negotiations which can help Iraq retain half of the amount owed to Kuwait.” - MP Ehsan Yasseen, member of the Council of Representatives of Iraq - session no. 13, on Thursday Aug 2, 2012. The way in which the Kuwaiti government is managing the Kuwait Airways issue is strange. The issue seems to be lost between the KAC privatization, the KAC budget law, the early retirement fiasco, and finally closing the file about compensations due to Kuwait on account of the destruction of the KAC fleet during the 1990/91 Iraqi Invasion. This issue was closed through a

nansa Raj is a Christian electronics engineer who came from his native India to Kuwait in 1992 to work in the engineering department at the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training. He was 22 then. I saw him recently, proudly reminiscing about the wonderful times he had throughout his career with managers Mohammad Al-Misf, Fareed Al-Awadhi, Mansour AlShemmari, Mohammad Al-Serbel and others. He spoke fondly about the good treatment meted out to people in the PAAET. This resulted in him forming a good impression about the Kuwaiti society, and made him come closer to what he had been looking for all his life, and find it in Islam. I was invited last week to a ceremony held by the PAAET to celebrate Raj’s decision to convert to Islam. I went there thinking it was going to be a small gathering of a handful of people, but much to my surprise it turned out to be a huge event attended by a large number of guests led by the PAAET Director, Dr. Abdul-Razaq AlNufaisi, who is known for his support to his employees be they Kuwaitis or expatriates. I made sure to speak privately with Raj in order to understand the spiritual journey which ended with him finding the safety in Islamic shores. He told me that the first thing that made him think about the religion was the good treatment he received from his Kuwaiti colleagues and managers at the workplace. He never felt discriminated against among them. After interacting at a young age with the Kuwaiti society and seeing features of the Islamic faith, Raj decided to investigate what was it that made people equal in this society. One day, Raj was advised by a colleague to read the Holy Quran. Raj says that he started reading an English-translated version of the holy Quran that he had bought, and then studied Islam until he found everything he was looking for in this religion, such as equality between people, as well as clothes that are described in the Holy Book as ‘ornaments’ that enhance the appearance of people. He decided to convert to Islam after it provided an answer to every question he needed to ask. Raj’s story shows a significant role that the PAAET played aside from the task for which it was established. It managed to transmit the concept of Islam to Raj through good treatment only, without preaching. The fact that the officials of the PAAET as well as teaching staff members made sure that they attend the celebration will further solidify this role and strengthen Raj’s faith. I asked Raj about his family, and he told me that he was married with two children - a 12-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son. He said he was not going to force his family members to convert, but was going to let his wife do her own research until she reaches the shores of safety just as he did. The same thing would apply to his children who currently study at an Indian school in Kuwait. Raj said he was confident that one day, they will also make the decision to convert by learning the Islamic faith by interacting with the Kuwaiti society. At the end of our conversation I asked Raj if he had anything he wanted to add, and he simply said “Alhamdulillah”. — Al-Rai

“E

A

The current pro-government parliament agreed with a comfortable majority of 46 votes to pass the settlement on Jan 22, 2013. settlement signed between Iraq and Kuwait on July 18, 2012, and approved by an emergency decree released in Kuwait on Oct 24, 2012. But is there anyone other than the parties involved who knows the details of the settlement? The aforementioned quote from a debate in the Iraqi parliament on the issue revealed that rumors about Kuwait giving up some of its rights were true. How can the compensation be dropped by half a billion dollars despite final verdicts released by international courts which gave Kuwait a $1.2 billion compensation? And just for the record, the current pro-government parliament agreed with a comfortable majority of 46 votes to pass the settlement on Jan 22, 2013. I would like to ask lawmakers: is dropping $700 million owned to Kuwait by Iraq the best you could do? Is supporting Iraq and waiving its dues something that Kuwaitis elected you for? Is this how you reward Kuwaitis on the Liberation Day anniversary? Is the already running in losses KAC budget going to bear the relinquished amount? And what did Kuwait gain from this settlement? After all, Iraq continues to object to the Mubarak Port and argue on issues pertaining to the borders, while Iraqi factions continue to insult Kuwait. How ironic is it that the Kuwaiti government and parliament let go of $700 million of Iraq’s dues, while Kuwait’s finance minister skips meetings to reach a settlement on Kuwaitis’ loans? Are these the ‘achievements’ that the government and parliament promised us? — Al-Qabas

kuwait digest

Understand the lesson By Dr Mubarak Al-Therwa

T

he Soviet authorities had agreed to screen the movie ‘The Grapes of Wrath,’ a 1940 American production that tells the story of the suffering of American workers, because they wanted to propagate the negative image that the movie depicted of the situation of laborers in the United States during the Great Depression. The authorities felt that the movie could help ‘distort’ the image of capitalism in the east. However, the Soviet authorities later had to ban the movie after it left a huge impact on the public who saw that in reality American families owned cars and used them for transportation. There are people who attempt to ‘distort’ the Kuwaiti opposition and the ongoing progressive youth movement. Such attempts targeting a significant component of the society come in several forms including lies being spread through the media. In order to block oppositionist political groups, the government brought in a parliament elected after the singlevote decree under the pretext that it would be ‘an assembly that is going to result in achievements, more civilized discourse and be a better protector of the will of the peo-

ple.’ What was the result? Lawmakers’ performance and the poor quality of discourse inside the National Assembly’s building exposed the fact that Kuwaitis have no true representative in the parliament. Between public skepticism, blind loyalty to the government, accusations of profiteering, governmental control that led to delay in debate over grilling motions, cancellation of committee meetings due to lack of quorum and MPs hiding behind parliamentary immunity, people are now yearning for those times when the now scrapped 2012 parliament was strong and coherent. Moreover, all this has now put further responsibility on the shoulders of the scrapped assembly’s members to continue working in order to defend the people’s constitutional gains. Finally, people would not accept anything less than real achievement, development and better usage of public funds. Kuwaitis never forgive a lawmaker who remains silent and fools around with their destiny for personal benefit. The government needs to stop its theatrical performance before it is too late. It should take a leaf from the erstwhile Soviet nation’s book before it loses whatever little support it still enjoys in Kuwait’s politics. — Al-Rai

There are people who attempt to ‘distort’ the Kuwaiti opposition and the ongoing progressive youth movement. Such attempts targeting a significant component of the society come in several forms including lies being spread through the media.


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

LOCAL

Fireman Day activities conclude By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: The 11th Fireman Day Exhibition activities held from March 7-9, 2013 came to a close at Souq Sharq in the presence of General Director of Fire Department, Lt. General Yousuf AlAnsari, his Deputy Brig. Khalid Al-Mikrad, capital fire center director Colonel Hamad Al-Hadlaq and public relations director Lt. Colonel Khalil Al-Amir. The fire department, Army and National Guards fire department and

KOC fire department participated in the event. Visitors were educated about the equipment used in firefighting, accident prevention and safety and security issues. They were also told why each family should equip itself for its own safety. Al-Ansari expressed thanks and appreciated the sponsoring companies and participants who backed this exhibition. He also appreciated the commercial participants in the exhibition and thanked the commercial complexes that hosted the festival.

Kuwait may face power shortage risk next year Mega power plant soon KUWAIT: Kuwait faces the risk of being unable to meet its energy requirements during the summer of 2014 and 2015 if a planned mega power plant project was to be delayed, a senior Ministry of Electricity and Water official said in a recent press statement. Undersecretary Assistant for Planning and Training Dr. Meshan Al-Otaibi indicated in his statement on Saturday about completing projects to increase the daily production capacity of the Subbiya power plant and South Zoor power plant by 500 megawatts each, and added that the latter was expected to start generating an additional 370 megawatts before next summer. However, Al-Otaibi stressed that these steps were still not enough to meet the growing demand of electricity unless the North Zoor power plant was built. In related news, Al-Qabas newspaper quoted official statistics yesterday which suggested that thanks to extremely low tariffs, power generation losses have reached 95 percent. Power tariff in Kuwait is considered the lowest in the world.

The percentage is based on the difference between the annual cost of electricity generation which is pegged at KD3.2 billion, and the average amount of fees collected every year which is estimated at KD160 million, charged at the rate of 2 fils per kilowatt. Meanwhile, statistics showed that the government was spending 38 fils for every kilowatt produced and then sold it for 2 fils, the lowest rate in the region. The rates were as much as 20, 22 and 30 fils per kilowatts in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Dubai, respectively. Experts predict that the production cost would increase to 50 fils per kilowatt in the next few years, putting Kuwait at risk of further financial loss. According to international reports, Kuwait uses 10 percent of its daily oil production to produce electricity and water. The rate is estimated to increase to 20 percent by 2017, at which point nearly 600 thousand barrels will be pumped every day into power plants to meet the demand that continues to

increase as a result of population growth and residential expansion projects. In another development, sources revealed that nine ministries have been found to have spent KD 901.6 million without any authorization on their employees and companies contracted by those ministries. Expenses also included those borne on account of unnecessary medical treatment abroad, in addition to uncollected dues. Out of this figure, KD 280.2 million were wasted by the MEW, KD 206.5 million by the oil sector, KD 115.50 million by the Ministry of Communication, KD 109 by the Ministry of Finance, KD 13 million by Justice Ministry, KD 10.7 million by the Ministry of Information, KD 7.4 million by the Ministry of Public Works, and KD 6.8 million by the Ministry of Higher Education. Sources said real financial regulation was almost absent in these ministries due to corruption indulged in one or the other leader.

Omar Al-Sameraie

Skating rink closed for maintenance

T

he Touristic Enterprises Company (TEC) yesterday announced that the Ice Skating Rink will remain closed until April 4, 2013 for annual maintenance. Supervisor of the Ice Skating Rink and Fountain Park, Omar Al-Sameraie, was quoted in a statement as ensuring that “all efforts will be made to ensure that the comprehensive maintenance operations are finished in time.�


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

Karzai alleges America, Taleban are colluding

Falkland Islands vote in referendum Page 9

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CARACAS: Handout picture released by the Venezuelan Presidency shows supporters of late President Hugo Chavez paying their last respects to their leader during his funeral at the Military Academy in Caracas, yesterday. Venezuelan political parties begin registering candidates Sunday for a snap election on April 14, setting the stage for a bruising campaign to succeed the late president Hugo Chavez. — AFP

Venezuela’s Capriles mulls election run Parties begin registering candidates for April 14 election CARACAS: Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles yesterday weighed a run against Hugo Chavez’s handpicked successor in an April 14 election, six months after the late firebrand leftist defeated him. Capriles, the 40-year-old Miranda state governor, said he would announce later yesterday whether he will take on acting President Nicolas Maduro and the 14-year socialist revolution that has divided the oilrich nation. The election promises to be bitter, with the ruling party vowing to keep Chavez’s legacy alive and the opposition accusing the government of violating the constitution by making Maduro acting president. Capriles, who has said he would follow Brazilian-style center-left policies, thanked the opposition for offering him the nomination, writing on Twitter that he would “speak to the country about my decision” late yesterday. Candidates have until today

afternoon to register for the snap election. A recent survey by pollsters Hinterlaces gave Maduro a 14-point advantage over Capriles, though the opposition leader has questioned the firm’s reliability in the past. The Democratic Union Roundtable (MUD), a large coalition of wide-ranging parties, said it had unanimously picked him as its candidates. Last year, Capriles was nominated in an unprecedented election within the historically fractured opposition. “ We have all recognized Henrique Capriles Radonski as the person to embody this option of change,” said MUD executive secretary Ramon Guillermo Aveledo. The opposition largely boycotted Maduro’s swearing-in late Friday, hours after Chavez was given a lavish state funeral with more than 30 foreign leaders, mostly from Latin America, including his closest ally, Cuban President Raul Castro.

Capriles denounced the inauguration as a “constitutional fraud” and an abuse of power, telling Maduro: “The people didn’t vote for you, kid.” Maduro countered that the opposition was misinterpreting the constitution. Maduro, the 50-year-old former vice president, and Capriles began trading barbs well before Chavez lost his battle to cancer last Tuesday at the age of 58. Maduro has called Capriles the “decadent prince of the parasitic bourgeoisie,” while the governor said the former bus driver and union activist was “lazy” and a “slacker” who “has never worked.” Chavez defeated Capriles by 11 points in the October presidential election, but Capriles gave the opposition its best result ever against the president, garnering 44 percent of the votes. The youthful, energetic governor drew massive crowds during the last campaign,

bringing hundreds of thousands of people to the streets of Caracas for a rally in the final stretch of the race. But Chavez was propelled to victory again thanks to his popularity among the nation’s once-neglected poor, who worshipped him for the oil-funded social program that brought them health care, housing and education. His expropriations and nationalizations of key industries, however, angered the wealthy. The opposition accused Chavez of using his position to dominate the airwaves and use state funds to finance his campaign. Chavez will cast a huge shadow over this new election, which falls near a key anniversary in his political history. The late leader was briefly ousted on April 11, 2002, in a coup that was organized by the chamber of commerce and the trade union federation with the help of some military officials. But he was restored

to power by loyal soldiers on April 13 amid popular protests. The government plans to embalm and preserve Chavez “like Lenin” to rest in a glass casket “for eternity,” a move decried by the opposition, which claimed that it went against the president’s wishes. Thousands of Venezuelans, meanwhile, continued to file past the open casket of the firebrand leader at a military academy, in a prolonged farewell. Chavez, who forged a near-mystical bond with the country’s poor, has been lying in state since Wednesday and throngs have filed past his half-open casket nonstop. Chavez chose Maduro to succeed him before leaving for Cuba in December for a new round of cancer surger y, urging Venezuelans to vote for him if he died. “Chavez continues to govern through Maduro,” said former vice president Jose Vicente Rangel, an influential figure in Chavismo. — AFP

Italy, Greece confirm hostages killed in Nigeria ROME/ATHENS: Seven foreign hostages kidnapped last month by a Nigerian Islamist group from a construction firm’s compound have been killed, the Italian and Greek Foreign Ministries said yesterday. Al Qaeda-affiliated group Ansaru said on Saturday it had killed the hostages seized on Feb. 7 in the northern state of Bauchi because of attempts by Nigerian and British forces to free them. It published grainy photos purporting to show the bodies of a Briton, an Italian, a Greek and four Lebanese workers snatched from the Lebanese firm Setraco. Foreign governments had not been able to confirm the killings until yesterday. Italy and Greece denied any attempt to rescue them had been made by any of the governments involved. Nigeria had no confirmation of the killings. “Our checks conducted in co-ordi-

nation with the other countries concerned lead us to believe that the news of the killing of the hostages seized last month is true,” an Italian Foreign Ministry statement said. “ There was never any military attempt to rescue the hostages by any of the governments concerned,” it said, adding the president had sent his condolences to the Italian’s family. Security has become a top concern for oil and infrastructure companies across the region after gunmen loyal to al Qaeda’s north African franchise stormed an Algerian gas plant in January. Up to 37 foreigners died during an attempted rescue mission by Algerian forces. The risk posed by Islamists across west and north Africa has greatly increased since France sent troops to Mail to wrest control of its northern territory from al Qaeda linked rebels. Islamist groups have also spread

across the north and centre of Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, where they have become the main security threat after an amnesty ended an uprising by armed groups in the oil-producing southeastern Niger Delta. Britain said it was “likely” the Briton was killed along with the six others, with Foreign Secretary William Hague saying: “This was an act of cold-blooded murder, which I condemn in the strongest terms.” Greece confirmed its citizen was dead, adding the Foreign Ministry had informed his family. Lebanon declined to comment. Nigerian authorities continued to say they had no evidence, after doubting the veracity of the Ansaru statement on Saturday. “We have launched a full investigation to find out what has really happened, but for now we really cannot way whether this report is true or not,” police spokesman for Bauchi state Hassan Mohammed Auyo

said by telephone. Western security officials say growing links between Nigerian Islamists and Saharan groups such as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has led them to increasingly seek Western targets, rather than local security forces or civilians. French intervention in Mali has also heightened the risk to Western interests in Nigeria, analysts say, and French oil major Total moved its staff from the Nigerian capital Abuja, where the main insurgent group Boko Haram operates, in January. Kidnappings - including some targeting foreigners - have been rife in the southeast for many years, but the gangs there usually seek a payout and hostages tend to be released quickly, while Islamist kidnappings in the north are often fatal. The hostage-taking at the compound in the remote town of Jama’are was the largest number of foreigners seized in the mostly

Muslim north since an Islamist insurgency intensified two years ago. Ansaru declared itself a separate group from Boko Haram in January, although security officials believe them to be closely linked. Its full name is Jama’atu Ansarul Musilimina Fi Biladis Sudan or “vanguards for the protection of Muslims in Black Africa”. Ansaru was suspected of being behind the killing of a British and Italian hostage a year ago in northwest Nigeria during a botched attempt to rescue them by British and Nigerian forces. Britain has labelled it a terrorist organisation. It also claimed responsibility for the kidnapping in December of a French national, still missing. Nigerian authorities are still looking for a French family of seven kidnapped in northern Cameroon and moved over the border by militants who said they were from Boko Haram. — Reuters


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

I N T E R N AT I O N A L

Syria regime bombs rebel-held city Refugees may double or triple this year: UN

PORT SAID: A man who was released from police custody is greetd by relatives in Port Said yesterday. Defendents were released following a court verdict over deadly football violence sparked fresh unrest in Egypt on March 9, with two people killed and buildings torched in Cairo, as Islamist President Mohamed Morsi faces growing civil unrest. — AFP

Egypt minister urges end to ‘rumours’ of police abuse CAIRO: Egypt’s interior minister pleaded yesterday for an end to “rumours” of police abuse, saying his forces had never fired a single shot at protesters since the start of the 2011 uprising. Mohammed Ibrahim, who is facing an unprecedented strike by thousands of police officers across the country calling for his resignation, told reporters the media was waging an attack against the ministry and spreading lies. “We are the ones being hit with stones. We are the ones being hit with live bullets... this is putting too much psychological pressure on officers,” Ibrahim said. “The police is being attacked all day in the media. Why the rumours? Why the attacks?” He said people were making up stories of torture in police custody and accusing the police of shooting protesters, which is “untrue.” The police have been engaged in violent clashes with protesters across the country for months, and local and international rights groups have accused the force of unlawful killings. Clashes in the canal city of Port Said in January following 21 death sentences handed down to supporters of a local football team left more than 40 people dead. “Evidence gathered... indicates that the police began shooting when they came under fire on January 26, but con-

tinued shooting after the threat against them receded, killing and wounding a number of protesters and bystanders,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement last week. But Ibrahim insisted that police have never fired on protesters. “We haven’t fired a single shot since January 25. Not a single shot,” he said in reference to the start of the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time president Hosni Mubarak. He said his forces were being attacked and called on political factions to withdraw their people from the streets “so we can tell the difference between a thug and a protester.” Ibrahim said the police were under immense pressure, which is why the officers were on strike. Thousands of policemen have refused to obey orders and some have locked police stations demanding the minister’s resignation, accusing him of being too close to President Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and of using them as pawns in a political battle. But Ibrahim painted a more unified front, saying that the strikers were a minority and added that he himself wanted to be kept out of politics. “We call on everyone to keep us out of their equations. We don’t belong to any faction, ideology, opposition,” he said. — AFP

BEIRUT: Syrian government airstrikes killed at least 14 people in the northern province of Raqqa less than a week after rebels seized the area’s provincial capital, activists said yesterday. Also, the UN’s top official for refugee affairs said the number of people fleeing Syria could triple this year if the war does not end. The city of Raqqa, home to a half million people before the uprising against President Bashar Assad began two years ago, could prove a test case for how rebels administer areas they capture. The rebel groups that led the battle for the city are comprised largely of conservative Muslims, some of them extremists, and videos released over the weekend indicate some fighters have killed captured soldiers. Recent government airstrikes have shown the limits of rebel control. Even if they hold the ground, they can do little about the government’s air force, which often bombards areas recently captured by the rebels, killing fighters and civilians alike. The regime regularly accuses the rebels - whom it refers to as “terrorists” - of attacking civilians. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres told reporters in the Turkish capital, Ankara, that the international community should work toward ending the conflict. “If the Syrian conflict will go on and on and on, there is an effective risk of an explosion into the Middle East,” he said, adding that it was in “the interest of everybody to stop this conflict before it is too late. “ On March 6, the UN said the number of registered Syrian refugees had reached 1 million. Guterres also renewed a call for nations to support Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and other countries sheltering refugees. The UN says more than 70,000 people have been killed in the violence. Associated Press writer Suzan Fraser contributed reporting from Ankara, Turkey. Also yesterday, some of the fiercest fighting in a year was reported in Baba Amr, the neighborhood in the central city of Homs that stood for rebel defiance but also for the government’s ability to strike back. The Syrian military besieged Baba Amr for a month last year, killing hundreds of people, and eventually retook the area. Yesterday, rebels and regime troops clashed in Baba Amr, accompanied by army shelling and airstrikes, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist group. Amateur video showed clouds of smoke above Homs. In the Damascus suburb of Harasta, assailants fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a van carrying preschool children Sunday, according to Syrian state TV and a government official. The attack killed one child and wounded nine, three seriously, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with briefing regulations. A video posted online from Raqqa

ANKARA: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, chief Antonio Guterres, right, and Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, left, seen during a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, yesterday. Guterres will visit Syrian refugee camps along the border between Turkey and Syria yesterday. — AP city showed the dead bodies of seven people scat- areas have set up courts to try prisoners, though it tered in a street with destroyed buildings nearby. is unclear whether they meet international stanAn off-camera narrator says they were killed in an dards of due process. Another video from Raqqa posted on Saturday airstrike. The Observatory confirmed that strike and said at least seven others were killed in a separate shows three bodies in a street in pools of blood. “These are the dogs of military intelligence, and air attack near the province’s eastern border. Over the last year, Syria’s rebels have greatly they were executed in Clock Square,” a voice says, expanded the territory they hold in northern Syria, referring to a city landmark. Other captured regime officials appear to have mostly in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo next to the Turkish border. In February, they extended their been kept alive. Another video posted Saturday control into Raqqa province, seizing a hydroelectric showed the provincial governor, Hassan Jalali, dam on the Euphrates River. After storming a cen- along with the chief of President Bashar Assad’s rultral prison, they seized most of Raqqa city on March ing Baath party sitting in front of the black flag of 4, solidifying their control over the next two days. Jabhat al-Nusra, an extremist rebel group the US Raqqa is the first of Syria’s provincial capitals to fall has designated a terror group. The two were captured by rebels when they completely under rebel control. Rebel actions since stormed the governor’s palace on March 4. In the taking the city have raised concerns. Videos have surfaced in recent days that show videos, the second man, Suleiman al-Suleiman, says dead government soldiers and security officials that before his capture, he was afraid that rebels lying on the ground, their heads bearing gunshot were extremists. “But my view has changed, and I have seen that wounds. One video showed rebels driving the dead body Jabhat al-Nusra has a religious program that folof a military intelligence official around in the back lows Allah and his prophet,” he said. There was no of a pickup truck to show it off. At one point, they way to establish whether he was speaking under lay out his body in a street next to another body. duress. In Aleppo, activists said the dead bodies of at least 20 men were pulled from a river that runs Both have large holes in their heads. “No one hurt me more than this man!” a voice between regime- and rebel-controlled parts of the off-camera yells. Rights groups have reported extra- northern city. Videos posted online showed the bodies of at judicial killings of regime officials and troops following the capture of other areas, especially of pro- least nine men, some with their hands behind their government militiamen known as “shabiha,” whom backs and deep head wounds, covered with mud rebels accuse of atrocities. Rebels groups in some and flies on the riverbank. —AP


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

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Rome braces for conclave crowd control challenge Ancient ritual and high-tech security Merkel partners pick candidate for election BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition partners yesterday chose a former economy minister as their candidate in national elections in September, as the party battles for its political survival. The pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), which has governed with Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union since 2009, selected Rainer Bruederle, 67, to represent them in the September 22 vote in Europe’ top economy. “People want a strong voice for freedom. The chance is there for us. We should use it and we want to use it,” said Bruederle during a 75-minute speech at the party conference in Berlin. “I know you will all fight with me,” he told the 600 delegates, who responded by giving him a fiveminute standing ovation. “Let’s go into battle,” he shouted, to cheers and applause. Bruederle has a tough scrap ahead of him, as the party struggles to turn around its fortunes following years of internal bickering and plunging support. With now Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle as candidate, the FDP was the surprise package in the 2009 elections, polling 14.6 percent and giving Merkel the combined votes needed to form a viable government. But following a failure to push through promised tax cuts and a brief flirtation with a more eurosceptic line, supporters left in droves and the party suffered a series of catastrophic regional election defeats. In recent polls, the FDP has consistently failed to score the five percent required to win seats in the Bundestag lower house of parliament and would be cast into political oblivion if this performance were repeated in September. The latest survey, published yesterday by polling institute Emnid for the Bild am Sonntag weekly, put the FDP at four percent. —AFP

ROME: You’re expecting hundreds of thousands of guests. You don’t know where they’re coming from, or when they’ll arrive. You don’t even know the date of the celebration. And heaven only knows the name of the man being feted. Planning for the moment when the next pope is proclaimed to the world, and for the installation ceremony a few days later, is a bigtime guessing game. And that adds up to an ungodly logistical headache for the city of Rome. When white smoke pours out of the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel, throngs of Romans will drop what they’re doing and race to St. Peter’s Square to cheer the new pope when he steps out onto the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica. If the next pontiff hails from somewhere in Italy, thousands can be expected to pack trains to the capital. Then there are all the foreigners flying into town to capture the historic moment - an influx that may become overwhelming if cardinals break with tradition and elect the first pope from Latin America, home to 40 percent of the world’s Catholics. A tented field hospital will go up in a square near the Vatican by the eve of the start of the conclave on Tuesday, ensuring that emergency medical treatment will be just around the corner if any pilgrim feels ill or stumbles in the rush to glimpse the new pope. While there are no other special plans for the conclave itself, Rome authorities have a detailed game-plan for the papal installation that takes place a few days after the pope is elected. The audience for that momentous event in St. Peter’s Square will include presidents, prime ministers, religious leaders and tens of thousands of pilgrims, along with the throngs of accidental tourists who happen to be in town. Police helicopters will whirl overhead. Thousands of extra police will be summoned to duty to keep streets safe and unclogged. Officers on motorized rubber dinghies will glide down the Tiber, ready to dive into the river’s murky waters to pick out anything suspicious. Bombsniffing dogs will poke their noses down manholes and trash bins in security sweeps along the routes that both VIPs and faithful will cover en route to the square. As soon as the installation date is known, some 500 Civil Protection volunteers, many of them ready to hop on Segways, will receive phone calls to spring into action. They know the drill for the big day: They’ll report to Rome’s main train station and the subway stop closest to the Vatican before dawn, helping like good shepherds to channel the flock along designated streets, closed to traffic, that lead to St. Peter’s Square. “Not even the Vatican knows how big the crowd will be,” said Mario Vallorosi, who heads

the Rome office of the government’s Civil Protection service. “It will be affected by who (the pope) is. If he’s a Latin American, he will draw huge crowds.” Conservative crowd estimates, he told The Associated Press, run between 200,000 and 300,000. Since Benedict XVI gave two-week’s notice last month for his resignation - the first in 600 years - there have been a few “trial runs” of crowd control and security in St. Peter’s Square. His final public audience drew so many people (some

VATICAN: People gather at St Peter’s square at the Vatican ahead of the cardinals conclave yesterday. Roman Catholic cardinals from around the world will assemble in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel from tomorrow for a conclave to elect a new pope in an unprecedented transition after Benedict XVI’s historic resignation. —AFP 150,000 people) there wasn’t enough space for all in the vast cobblestone square. Surrounding streets quickly filled up with the overflow, with many faithful watching the pope’s final public Vatican appearance on maxi-screens set up for them. The Vatican’s own security force, known as the gendarmerie, is in charge of the crowd inside the square and Italian police handle crowd control just outside the Vatican’s boundaries. Security officers from both forces included plainclothes agents dressed up as pilgrims and tourists, listening to the chatter in the square and watching for any unusual movements. Nearly everything went smoothly for Benedict’s last public appearances, although some faithful panicked during the retired pope’s penultimate Sunday blessing from his studio window, when thousands of lastminute arrivals tried to squeeze through three narrow openings through a metal fence ring-

Falkland Islanders vote in referendum LONDON: Falkland Islanders held a referendum yesterday and today to send a message to the world that they want to stay British, although Argentina has already dismissed the vote as illegal. Residents of the windswept archipelago in the South Atlantic have hoisted British and Falklands flags and even created a giant “YES” made of four-wheel drives ahead of the vote. In a move instigated by residents themselves, 1,672 eligible voters are being asked whether they want the Falklands to remain an internally self-governing British overseas territory. Argentina and Britain fought a brief but bloody war over the islands in 1982, and diplomatic tensions have escalated in

arm them with an unambiguous message to take to other capitals when pressing their case for acceptance on the international stage. The United States, for example, has studiously avoided taking sides on the issue despite its close ties with Britain. In the Falklands capital Stanley, television footage showed islanders busy on the eve of the vote hanging bunting with the British Union Jack and the Falklands flag, which is deep blue with the Union Jack in one corner and a crest with a sheep in the middle. “I’m quite proud to be a British overseas territory,” sheep farmer Ailsa Heathman told Britain’s ITV news. At least 30 Land Rovers were lined up to spell

PORT STANLEY: People drive their vehicles bearing British flags and stickers in favor of keeping the Falkland Islands as an overseas territory of the United Kingdom in Port Stanley, Falkland Islands, Saturday. The local Falkland Islands Government has mobilized a major effort to get registered voters to answer a yes-or-no to the referendum; “Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom?”, scheduled for March 10-11, 2013. —AP recent years with the discovery of oil near the Falklands. Britain has held the barren islands since 1833 but Buenos Aires claims what it calls “Las Malvinas” are occupied Argentinian territory. “We would be deluding ourselves if we thought that Argentina would change overnight, but we hope it’ll be a strong message to them and to others,” legislative assembly member Jan Cheek, a sixth generation Falkland Islander, told AFP. Falklanders hope the outcome-and ideally a big turnout-will provide a slap in the face to an increasingly bellicose Argentinian President Cristina Kirchner. They also hope the referendum result will

“YES” on a patch of land opposite Stanley that has historically been used by Royal Navy vessels to commemorate their vessels. The Penguin News, the local newspaper named after the flightless birds that are native to the Falklands, urged residents to take part in “grass roots” events for the vote. “When you pass journalists open your window, smile, wave or give the thumbs up,” it wrote. “Face painting, especially with children, is encouraged. Please bring your flags.” Argentina, 400 kilometres (250 miles) away, has branded the referendum “illegal” because, it claims, the islanders are “implanted” and thus do not

ing the edge of the square. Rome enjoyed at least a few days scramble time for those last papal events. Now, uncertainty surrounding the conclave is adding huge pressure. “The biggest concern is lack of information,” said Giammario Nardi, the man Rome’s mayor has put in charge of hosting special events. Nardi insisted the city is not privy to any hints from the Vatican about when the papal installation will take place. “We’re operating on predictions,” he

have the right to self-determination. The Argentinian foreign ministry said on Friday that the vote was “a British attempt to manipulate” the status of the archipelago. The “attempt will not alter the essence of the Falklands or put an end to the sovereignty dispute”, it insisted. London says it will not discuss sovereignty issues with Buenos Aires unless the islanders expressly wish it. Opinion polls commissioned for British media organisations showed that attitudes in both Britain and Argentina were hardening. A YouGov poll for Sky News published on Saturday found that 24 percent of Argentinians surveyed said the Falkands was the most important foreign policy issue, against just one percent of Britons. But a ComRes poll for ITV news on Saturday showed that 77 percent of Britons thought the Falklanders should decide the future of the islands, while 60 percent said London should keep military options open against any threat to the Falklands. On April 2, 1982, Argentina’s then-ruling junta invaded the Falklands, sparking a 74-day war with Britain which cost the lives of 649 Argentine and 255 British troops. If the invasion hardened the minds of the staunchly pro-British islanders further, Kirchner’s tub-thumping has done likewise for a whole new generation. “The only people who can really decide what is in their best interests are the Falkland Islanders,” Dick Sawle, another of the islands’ eight elected legislative assembly members, told AFP. Diplomatic friction between Argentina and Britain has intensified since 2010, when London authorised oil prospecting in the waters around the islands. But Falkland Islanders suspect Kirchner’s often-emotional crusade is a ruse to divert domestic attention away from Argentina’s mounting economic problems. Four-fifths of the rugged islands’ 2,563 residents live in the capital Stanley, with its pubs and red telephone boxes. But polling stations in remote villages and even mobile voting booths will be used to make sure those in even the farthest-flung sheep farms get the chance to cast their ballots. Several countries have sent official international observers for the polls, which open at 1300 GMT with results expected overnight Monday-Tuesday. Sukey Cameron, who represents the Falklands government in London, said they expect Buenos Aires to disregard the result but added that “at least, internationally, it will bring the islanders into the forefront”. —AFP

said, “on what the newspapers tell us.” Nardi spoke with The Associated Press several hours before the Vatican announced on Friday that the cardinals will start voting for Benedict’s successor on Tuesday, a process that could wrap up in a day or two, or might need more time. With a shudder, Nardi recalled how ambulances were blocked by the narrow streets of the Borgo, the neighborhood near the Vatican, when faithful couldn’t squeeze into the square and clogged the streets after John Paul II’s death in 2005. In those days crowds turned out day and night to pray at the Vatican and pass by his body as it lay on display in St. Peter’s Basilica. The decision to set up a field hospital this time is fruit of that bad memory, he said. The most mentioned date for the new pope’s installation Mass in St. Peter’s Square is Sunday, March 17, exactly a week before Palm Sunday begins Holy Week. Nardi acknowledged that date as the city’s operating “hypothesis.”

He sighed as he pondered the challenges. “The election of an Italian pope or a foreign pope will mean, as pilgrims go, different numbers and different types,” he said, adding: “It’s not like we have a lot of time between when the white smoke puffs out and the installation.” Complicating a March 17 papal installation: It’s the same date the capital is hosting the Rome Marathon. Some 100,000 runners are expected for the race, which traditionally loops near St. Peter’s Square in mid-morning. That’s practically the same time huge crowds could be surging toward the Vatican for a first papal Mass. Nardi said that the Italian government wanted to cancel the marathon, citing worries about public safety. But Rome’s officials were adamant about holding it, and a compromise was clinched. If the installation falls on marathon day, the race will go ahead but re-routed away from the Vatican. The marathon’s start will also be put off until early afternoon, when presumably the new pope, pilgrims and Romans will be eating lunch. A main Rome boulevard usually on the marathon route will be fenced off so limousines can whisk VIPs straight to St. Peter’s Square without dodging pedestrians - or marathon runners. If the marathon weren’t enough, March 17 is also St. Patrick’s Day, with thousands of Irish rugby fans expected in Rome because Ireland plays Italy the day before in the Six Nations tournament. Benedict’s final public audience cost Rome some euros 500,000 ($675,000) alone, and public events surrounding the new pope’s installation ceremony could cost 10 times that amount. For example, the city will rent several maxi-screens, at euros 20,000 ($27,000) apiece, to place in streets near the Vatican for faithful who can’t fit into the square. Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno has taken to passing a collection plate to the central government, but so far Italy’s austerity-minded caretaker premier, Mario Monti, hasn’t dropped anything in. Whether Rome could recoup some of the costs connected with the papal ceremonies from tourism, including a modest surcharge on hotel rooms, depends heavily on where the pilgrims come from, Nardi said. The number of tourists in the city rose by some 10 to 20 percent for Benedict’s final audience, with many apparently from southern Germany, judging by the many pilgrims waving the flag of Benedict’s native Bavaria. When Benedict was installed in 2005, an estimated 100,000 Germans turned out for the ceremony, which drew some 350,000 overall. Just how many people the new pope will attract to the city is an open question, depending a lot on what Nardi called “charisma.” —AP


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Pro-gun voters put heat on Democratic senators ‘Gun control is a top-agenda’

CLARKSDALE: Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. pallbearers carry the casket of slain Clarksdale, Miss. mayoral candidate Marco Watson McMillian from the Pinnacle at Coahoma Community College in Clarksdale Saturday. Authorities have charged 22-yearold Lawrence Reed in McMillian’s death. McMillian was killed in late February. —AP

Obama meets with faith leaders on immigration WASHINGTON: Projecting urgency, President Barack Obama said he wants the Senate to pass a comprehensive immigration bill in the next three months, though he is willing to be patient if that timeline slips slightly. Obama spoke during a meeting with faith leaders, an increasingly powerful part of the coalition seeking to overhaul the nation’s patchwork immigration laws. The private meeting occurred as the White House tries to show it is focused on more than just fiscal issues following Washington’s inability to avert billions in budget cuts and a looming deadline for keeping the government running. According to people who attended the meeting, the president was enthusiastic about the work underway in the Senate, where a group of eight senators, four Democrats and four Republicans, are crafting legislation. The White House has drafted its own immigration bill, but Obama emphasized to the faith leaders that he would only send it to Capitol Hill if the Senate effort breaks down. “The president understood our sense of urgency,” said Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition. “He understands there’s a very narrow window.” The “Gang of Eight” senators said this week that they’re not sure they can finish crafting a bill by their selfimposed March deadline but were optimistic about reaching a deal soon. Immigration shot to the forefront of Washington’s agenda - both for Obama and some Republicans - following the November election. Hispanic voters made up 10 percent of the electorate and Obama carried more than two-thirds of their voters, raising concerns among Republicans

about their ability to appeal to the increasingly powerful voting bloc. Overhauling immigration laws is also a top priority for the fast-growing number of Asians in the US, who also voted overwhelmingly for Obama but make up a far smaller percentage of the electorate - 3 percent, according to exit polls from the November election. Faith leaders, particularly evangelical Christians, have become an important voice in pressing Republicans to back new immigration laws. Rev. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference was among those who attended Friday ’s meeting with Obama. He said Republicans “must cross the Jordan of immigration reform” in order to regain their standing with Hispanics. “Otherwise, they will stay in the desert of a political minority party,” he added, using Bible references to illustrate his point. The faith leaders said they were largely in line with the president on what needs to be included in an immigration bill, particularly the need to provide a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. They also agree with Obama declaring the border secure should not be a precondition for starting the citizenship pathway, as the Senate group has proposed. However, faith leaders are opposed to the president’s belief that gays and lesbians should be afforded equal rights under a new immigration law. Meeting participants said they raised their concerns during the meeting, but the topic did not dominate the conversation. Among the 14 participants in the meeting were representatives of the Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Mormon faiths.— AP

Ten years on, Serbians mourn murdered PM BELGRADE: Reformers in Serbia will be mourning slain prime minister Zoran Djindjic this week, painfully aware that his assassination a decade ago severely damaged efforts to bring the country into the European Union. Djindjic, the first democratically elected prime minister in post-communist Serbia, was shot and killed by a single sniper in broad daylight on March 12, 2003, at the doorstep of a Serbian government building. His pivotal goal was to transform the country from a pariah state, tainted by war crimes and shattered by NATO bombs, into a democratic and prosperous EU member. “Djindjic devoted lots of time to realise his idea of transforming Serbia into a decent country,” said Cedomir Jovanovic, who was a close associate of the slain leader. But in the years following Djindjic’s death, he said, nobody has been able to carry the cause with equal fervour. “Serbia nowadays is the same as the one 10 years ago,” Jovanovic lamented. Djindjic was the mastermind of the October 2000 uprising that ousted the authoritarian regime of Slobodan Milosevic, the alleged architect of the genocide that followed the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. He saw Serbia’s future as laying to the west, and set about removing the key obstacles to Serbia’s EU entry-notably by arresting war crimes suspects and taking the diplomatic track with breakaway state Kosovo. His assassination, plotted by elite police in league with the criminal underworld, put the reform movement into paralysis. The economy, slowly reviving after years of sanctions, was brought to a

halt for years as Djindjic’s successors failed to push on with reforms the slain leader had started. Zoran Zivkovic, Djindjic’s right-hand man and successor, said the killing “halted Serbia.” “If Djindjic had not been killed, I am convinced that Serbia would have joined the EU along with Croatia,” another former Yugoslav republic set to become a member of the bloc in July, Zivkovic told AFP. While the last war crimes suspect, Bosnian Serb wartime military leader Ratko Mladic, was finally arrested in 2011, Kosovo has remained an obstacle to Serbia’s EU integration. It took years for Serbian leaders to even agree to talk with Kosovo’s leadership on how to overcome the raft of problems that arose after the 1998-1999 conflict war between Belgrade security forces and ethnic Albanian separatists, followed by Pristina’s secession from Serbia in 2008. Current Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic-once Milosevic’s spokesman and Djindjic’s fierce opponent-now negotiates with his Kosovo counterpart Hashim Thaci in EU-sponsored talks. Progress in the dialogue with Kosovo, whose independence Belgrade still refuses to recognise, is a key condition set by Brussels to open accession talks with Serbia later this year. In an article for the influential NIN weekly, Dacic appeared to admit that Djindjic was ahead of his time.”Ten years later, Serbia has yet to solve the problems that burdened Djindjic’s government,” Dacic wrote. “I am convinced that he would not mind that we, his political opponents, do what we do.” — AFP

HELENA: US Sen. Max Baucus has been here before. Back during the Clinton era, the Democrat faced a choice: support an assault weapons ban urged by a president from his own party and risk angering constituents who cherish their gun rights, or buck his party. He chose the ban, and nearly lost his Senate seat. Now, as he begins his campaign for a seventh term, Baucus faces the question again. For weeks, gun foes have sought assurances he would oppose the assault weapons ban. But it was only this past week he said he would oppose it. That decision alone doesn’t settle the issue for his re-election campaign. His opponents are watching closely, eager to pounce as he navigates a series of other gun control proposals, including an expected call for universal background checks. Baucus’ predicament is one that a group of Democrats like him in the West and South are facing. They hail from predominantly rural regions of the country where the Second Amendment is cherished and where Republicans routinely win in presidential elections. From Montana to Louisiana, these anxious voters have made at least six Democratic senators a little uneasy heading into next year’s election season. Both sides are aware that gun-owners’ rights are taking shape as a campaign issue that could shift the balance of power in the US Senate. “Make no mistake - it is a very delicate dance for rural state Democrats,” said Barrett Kaiser, a Democratic political consultant. “I would be stunned if the Montana congressional delegation said anything but ‘hell no’ to gun control measures,” he added. Part of the concern comes from a proposal by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., that would ban assault weapons and high-capacity clips. The plan is a response to calls for new gun restrictions from President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school. Gun control is a top-agenda item for many Democrats, and they’ll need all the votes they can to push changes. Baucus knows, though, that a gun control vote “opens the door for whoever challenges him, because Montanans do not want the federal government restricting guns. That is clear as

day,” said Republican state Rep. Scott Reichner, who was Mitt Romney’s campaign chairman in Montana. “It would be a monumental mistake on his part” to support federal gun control legislation, said Republican state Rep. Scott Reichner. Gun rights carry sway in Montana. The state Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks says Montana “boasts more hunters per capita than any other state in the nation.” State lawmakers have been discussing measures to expand gun rights. And a pro-gun group, the Montana Shooting Sports Association, has set up a website that is updated with Baucus’ public statements on gun policy. Other Democratic senators that Republicans are watching closely include Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Pryor of Arkansas. Democrats control the Senate, but if Republicans pick off these seats they could take the chamber. Pryor already has said he won’t support an assault weapons ban, and the measure is unlikely to clear the Senate. Gun activists still worry that other restrictions they oppose are in the works. “I don’t think the assault rifle ban, the semi-auto ban, has been the real objective,” said Gar y Marbut of the Montana Shooting Sports Association. “I think that is where the rubber meets the road, federal gun registration.” The gun rights crowd considers mandator y registration as an unconstitutional overreach of federal authority and the close attention paid to all discussions on the topic show how carefully Baucus and others must tread. Baucus would appear to be a shoo-in for re-election. He’s the third most senior U.S. senator, chairman of finance committee that lets him prioritize many Montana projects and a consummate dealmaker who routinely collects endorsements from Republican-allied groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And he’s worked hard over the years to become the only Senate Democrat with an A-plus rating from the National Rifle Association. But one wrong gun vote could energize his opposition. Though Baucus specifically rejected the assault rifle ban, he stopped short

NEW YORK: In this Wednesday, May 9, 2012 file photo, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn laughs during a news conference at City Hall in New York. Quinn, a Democrat, announced through her Twitter feed yesterday, that she’s in the race to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg. — AP of mentioning expanded background checks by name. Baucus indicated he prefers the focus was elsewhere. “Instead of focusing on new laws, Max believes the first step should be effectively enforcing the laws already on the books,” Baucus spokeswoman Jennifer Donohue said Thursday. The entire debate represents a potential replay of the most difficult fight of his career, when Baucus voted for the 1993 Brady Bill that established background checks and the original 1994 ban on assault rifles and high-capacity clips. Those votes led to the closest election in four decades of politics for Baucus, a narrow victory in a bitter campaign against Republican Denny Rehberg. The other Democratic senators in rural states could find themselves in similar fights and have been cagey over the issue. Most have taken a wait-and-see

approach. The NRA last month launched an advertising campaign aimed squarely at this group, sending a strong message. The organization did not return a call seeking comment. Democratic political operatives say the NRA could be overplaying its hand this time, arguing some sportsmen may be willing to listen to moderate proposals. Still, Baucus and his colleagues aren’t likely to take risks and by next year’s election, he and others could seek to turn the issue to their advantage by using a pro-gun stance to appeal to conservative and libertarian-minded voters. “Why wouldn’t he want to talk about guns?” said Montana State University political scientist David Parker. “Sen. Baucus is as about as middle of the road as they get in the United States Senate. What he doesn’t want to do is have himself painted as a national Democrat or as an Obama Democrat.” — AP

Third Bulgarian dies after setting ablaze SOFIA: A third Bulgarian man died yesterday after setting himself on fire amid protests against growing poverty and corruption in the EU’s poorest country, hospital officials said. Ventsislav Vasilev, a 53-year-old unemployed father of five, had doused himself with fuel and set himself ablaze outside the mayor’s office in the central town of Radnevo on February 26. He died on Sunday after being hospitalised with severe smoke inhalation and burns over 75 percent of his body. Also last month, 36-year-old protester Plamen Goranov set himself on fire outside the city hall in Varna, on the Black Sea, amid snowballing nationwide rallies against poverty, cronyism and corruption. Goranov ’s self-immolation and clashes between protesters and police in Sofia prompted the resignation of the right-wing government of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov the same day. The young man’s death on Bulgaria’s Liberation Day, March 3, turned him into a symbol of the rallies. Another Bulgarian died by selfimmolation in the central city of Veliko Tarnovo on February 19 although he had not voiced any demands and police played down his death saying he had schizophrenia. Several thousands demonstrated yesterday in the capital Sofia and about a dozen other cities across the country as the political crisis deepened. Protesters in Sofia kneeled and observed a minute’s silence in Vasilev’s memory and gathered outside parliament, shouting “Victory” and waved banners reading “Out with the mafia.” Demonstrators briefly blocked traffic at the railway station in Varna. Traffic on a key highway to Greece was also blocked. Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev is due to dissolve parliament and appoint a caretaker government next week ahead of snap elections on May 12. — AFP

BAKU: Azerbaijani police use water cannons against demonstrators showing V-victory sign during a protest in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, yesterday. Police in the capital of Azerbaijan have broken up an unsanctioned protest rally by firing water cannon and rubber bullets at the hundreds of demonstrators. — AP

Exonerated Ohio man wins civil rights suit, $13.2m CINCINNATI: An Ohio man who was exonerated after spending 13 years in prison for murder cried as a federal jury found that two Cleveland police detectives violated his civil rights by coercing and falsifying testimony and withholding evidence that pointed to his innocence. The jury’s verdict on Friday, which included awarding $13.2 million to David Ayers of Cleveland for his pain and suffering, brings an end to the legal battle he’s been fighting since his arrest in the 1999 killing of 76-year-old Dorothy Brown. Ayers, 56, was released from prison in 2011 after the 6th US Circuit

Court of Appeals in Cincinnati reversed his conviction and the state decided not to seek another trial. Ayers had been found guilty of killing Brown, who was found in her Cleveland apartment bludgeoned to death, covered in defensive wounds and naked from the waist down; she also had been robbed. DNA testing later proved that a pubic hair found in her mouth did not come from Ayers. “This should have been stopped a long time ago,” Ayers told the Cleveland Plain Dealer after the jury ’s verdict Friday. “My goal is that it never happens to anyone else ever again.”

A phone number listed for Ayers did not accept messages Saturday. Ayers filed his civil rights lawsuit in March 2012 against six Cleveland police officers, the city and the county housing authority. Allegations against three of the officers, the city and the housing authority were dismissed by a judge who found that their roles did not violate Ayers’ rights. One of the remaining officers settled out of court with Ayers for an undisclosed amount. The Friday verdict was against Michael Cipo and Denise Kovach, who were the lead investigators in the case. Kovach and Cipo could not be reached for comment. They have denied

misconduct. Phone and email requests for comment with Cleveland police and the three city attorneys who represent Cipo and Kovach were not immediately answered Saturday. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that attorney Rachel Steinback of Chicago, who represented Ayers, said the city is self-insured so the award will come from taxpayer money, not an insurance company. Among the most serious allegations by Ayers against Kovach and Cipo were that the two detectives conspired with each other to fabricate a confession that he never made, coerced a friend of Ayers to lie by saying that Ayers had told him

of the murder before Brown’s body was discovered, and gave key information about the crime to Ayers’ prison cellmate so he could later testify against Ayers about an admission he didn’t make. In an August filing, Cipo and Kovach argued to have the lawsuit dismissed, saying that they acted in good faith and with probable cause, and that Ayers was responsible for any alleged injuries that he incurred. Federal Judge James Gwin denied their request late last month shortly before the trial, ruling that Ayers had produced sufficient evidence that the detectives had violated his rights. — AP


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China to abolish rail ministry in anti-graft shakeup BEIJING: China is to effectively abolish its scandal-plagued railways ministry as part of a sweep of government reforms aimed at tackling inefficiency and corruption, a top official told parliament yesterday. The changes include bolstering a maritime body as China engages in island disputes with its neighbours, and giving an economic development body more say over the one-child policy as the country faces a shrinking labour pool. “The administrative system in effect still has many areas not suited to the demands of new circumstances and duties,” Ma Kai, secretary general of the State Council, China’s cabinet, told the National People’s Congress parliament at its annual gathering in Beijing, according to a copy of his speech. Inadequate supervision had led to “work left undone or done messily, abuse of power and corruption,” he said, adding that some areas were insufficiently managed while others had “too

many cooks in the kitchen”. Analysts, though, expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the moves. David Goodman, a China politics expert at the University of Sydney, pointed out that reorganisation alone could not stamp out corruption. “They are very serious reforms,” he said, “but they are not going to attack that question of making officials more accountable and more responsible.” Since taking office at the head of the ruling Communist Party in November, China’s incoming leadership has issued a barrage of promises to adopt humble ways and fight corruption, while state media have highlighted individual scandals. But any broad anti-graft measures would require taking on powerful vested interests, and the official news agency Xinhua said the State Council had restructured the government seven times in 30 years. Beijing will switch control of the railway ministry’s administrative functions

to the transport ministry and hand its commercial functions to a new China Railway Corporation. The rail systemwhich has cost hundreds of billions of dollars-has been one of China’s flagship development projects in recent years and the country now boasts the world’s largest high-speed network. But the expansion has seen a series of scandals and widespread allegations of corruption, with former railways minister Liu Zhijun, who was sacked in 2011, now awaiting trial on graft charges. In July 2011 a high-speed crash in the eastern city of Wenzhou killed at least 40 people, sparking a torrent of public criticism that authorities compromised safety in their rush to expand the network. Meanwhile the body that oversees China’s one-child policy will be merged with the health ministry to form a new body, and nationwide population policy will now be handled by the National Development and Reform Commission, an economic planner.

The move comes after China saw the first drop in its labour pool in decades a consequence of the restrictions imposed on families in the late 1970s that now threaten to impact the country’s future growth. But outgoing premier Wen Jiabao told parliament last week that the policy would be maintained this year. China will also bring its maritime law enforcement bodies under a single organisation, allowing greater coordination as the country is embroiled in a bitter row with Japan over disputed islands in the East China Sea. The State Oceanic Administration, which runs marine surveillance, will take over management of the coastguard from the public security ministry, fisheries patrols from the agriculture ministry, and customs’ marine anti-smuggling functions. Chinese marine surveillance vessels regularly patrol what Beijing says are its waters around the Diaoyu islands,

prompting accusations of territorial incursions by Tokyo, which refers to the outcrops as the Senkakus. Beijing is also at odds with several Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines, over islands in the South China Sea. In other measures, the State Administration for Food and Drug will be elevated to a “general administration” amid a series of food safety scandals that have generated public concern. Two censorship bodies, one for print media and the other for broadcast, will be merged. Goodman called the reforms sensible efforts to better address pressing issues such as demographic changes and disputes with neighbours, saying they pointed to the government seeking a “more sophisticated, more effective way of doing things”. But the restructuring would only bring about “government efficiency within the limits of what is possible,” he said. “It doesn’t stop people behaving badly.” — AFP

Teen dead, 3 injured in Malaysia incursion Philippines alarmed by alleged Malaysian abuses

YANGON: Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (C) speaks to the media at a press conference during the National League for Democracy’s (NLD) first ever party conference at the Royal Rose Hall in Yangon yesterday. Myanmar’s long-silenced opposition yesterday reappointed Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi as party leader at a landmark maiden congress, as it eyes victory in elections due in 2015. — AFP

Suu Kyi reappointed as opposition leader YANGON: Aung San Suu Kyi was re-elected as Myanmar opposition chief yesterday at a landmark congress that disappointed some members hoping for new blood in the wider leadership ahead of a key 2015 election. Hundreds of National League for Democracy (NLD) members gathered in Yangon for their first national conference-a display of political strength that would have been unthinkable under the former junta. The meeting highlighted the myriad challenges facing the hugely popular opposition, including its lack of experience as well as party infighting, as it eyes victory in key elections due to be held in 2015. “We have to seize the chance,” Suu Kyi, a former political prisoner who entered parliament last year, urged the estimated 850 representatives who attended the three days of talks. “I thank the members who struggled hand-in-hand with the NLD for 25 years, and I also welcome our new members,” she said. “A party can be energetic if it’s refreshed with new blood all the time.” The party had faced calls among younger members to rejuvenate its leadership, dominated by elderly activists including some in their 80s and 90s known as the “NLD uncles”. But it held back from a substantial revamp, instead selecting older veteran party members for a core executive of 15 and unanimously reappointing Suu Kyi as chairwoman. “We are not completely satisfied. We accept their decision and we will support it. But we do want more new blood among the leadership,” said an NLD youth member who asked not to be named. “We want to see people in their 40s and 50s who are educated and have experience in politics being more involved.” NLD spokesman Han Tha Myint said the party recognised the need to gradually promote

younger activists. “That’s our main concern-most of our senior leaders are getting old,” he said. “ That’s why we have decided that the capacity of our youth must be built up and we must recruit some competent people from outside.” After being sidelined by Myanmar’s military rulers for two decades, the NLD entered the political mainstream last year as a result of sweeping reforms initiated by a new reformist government. Experts question whether the party is ready to run an impoverished nation whose economy, education and health systems were left in tatters by the corrupt former junta. “They could not take power over the country tomorrow. They are not ready. They have a lack of capacity,” said a Western diplomat who did not want to be named. The NLD faces the financial and political might of President Thein Sein’s Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), created by former generals who shed their uniforms to run for office in controversial elections held in 2010. The congress is the latest sign of the dramatic changes seen in Myanmar since a quasi-civilian regime, led by former general Thein Sein, took power in 2011, ending years of isolation and heralding a flood of aid and investment. Suu Kyi, 67, has said she is ready to become president if the NLD takes power, but a constitutional rule now bars her from the role as she was married to a Briton and has two sons who are foreign nationals. The NLD-which says it now has 1.3 million members across the country-swept to a landslide election victory in 1990, when Suu Kyi was under house arrest, but the junta never recognised the result. The party refused to take part in polls in 2010 mainly because of rules that would have forced it to expel imprisoned members. — AFP

BALI: A Balinese priest puts an offering at “Ogoh-ogoh”, a paper-mache effigy that symbolizes Balinese Hinduism’s mythical demons and monsters, during a parade to celebrate “Nyepi”, or Bali’s Day of Silence, in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia yesterday. Balinese Hindu will celebrate Nyepi Day tomorrow by observing a day of silence in which they have to stay inside their homes and meditate in silence and darkness for the entire day. — AP

FELDA SAHABAT: Malaysian police shot dead a teenager and injured a man yesterday as they tried to end a month-long incursion by Filipino gunmen in remote Sabah state that has seen 62 people killed. The death of the teen, whose identity and nationality has not yet been confirmed, came on the same day that police said two officers were hurt in clashes with armed Filipino Islamists. The group landed in the state on Borneo island to resurrect long-dormant land claims by a self-proclaimed Philippine sultan. Malaysia, facing its worst security crisis in years, insists the gunmen must surrender and has launched air- and ground strikes against them, but they continue to hide within a security cordon around two villages and farm land. Malaysian police shot the boy, believed to be between 12 and 15 years old, and the man in his 30s when they noticed movement in some bushes while frisking a group of five near the battlezone, federal police chief Ismail Omar said. Gunmen have traded fresh fire with security forces since late Saturday, also injuring two policemen who have been hospitalised. Eight policemen were killed in clashes before the Malaysian military assault began. Police said earlier yesterday they have arrested a total of 85 people in the state under a security law and are investigating them for “committing terrorist acts”. Earliere, Philippine officials asked the Malaysian government yesterday to clarify news reports of Filipinos in Malaysia’s eastern Sabah state allegedly being mistreated by authorities amid a crackdown on armed Filipino gunmen staking a claim on the resource-rich frontier region. The Department of Foreign Affairs also reiterated a call for Malaysia to give Philippine diplomats full access to Filipinos who are being held outside an area of Sabah where Malaysian forces have staged the crackdown against the followers of a Filipino sultan from the southern Philippines. About 200 Filipinos from the southern Philippines, dozens of them armed, barged into Sabah in Borneo around Feb. 9, sparking assaults that Malaysian officials said they launched after efforts to coax the intruders to leave were ignored and the gunmen fatally shot two policemen on March 1. At least 53 Filipino gunmen and eight Malaysian policemen have died in the conflict, mainly in shootouts, according to Malaysian offi-

MANILA: Self-declared Sultan of Sulu Jamalul Kiram III (R) talks to his brother Sultan Bantilan Esmail Kiram II (L) during a photo opportunity in his home in Manila yesterday, as the crisis continues to fester after his followers entered the Malaysian state of Sabah to reassert his claim over the area. So far 53 militants and eight police officers have been killed since the stand-off in Sabah. — AFP cials. The Sabah conflict has tested the relations of the Southeast Asian countries. Malaysia has been brokering peace talks between Manila and a large Muslim rebel group, and the two countries are founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, an influential regional bloc. The Philippine foreign affairs department said in a statement that it “views with grave concern” Philippine news reports of alleged rounding up of Filipinos in Lahad Datu, the coastal district where the gunmen are believed to be hiding, and other Sabah areas. “The allegations are alarming and should be properly and immediately addressed by concerned authorities,” the statement said. There was no immediate reaction from Malaysian officials. But Malaysian police said 85 men and women, held without trial under a security law, were being investigated for their links to the gunmen. Malaysian national police chief Ismail Omar said a

teenager was shot dead yesterday during an ongoing operation to flush out the gunmen. Security personnel were questioning five people when they saw some movement in the bushes, prompting them to fire because they feared they were under attack, he said. They later found the body of the boy, aged between 12 and 15. A man was also injured in the violence, Ismail said, adding that authorities were still trying to identify the duo. New Yorkbased Human Rights Watch on Saturday echoed a call by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to ensure the protection of civilians and for humanitarian access to help those affected by the violence. Malaysia should provide accurate information on what has transpired and either charge or release dozens of suspects detained under a new security law, said Human Rights Watch’s Asia deputy-director, Phil Robertson. — Agencies

Thousands in Japan hold anti-nuke protest TOKYO: Thousands of protesters marched in the Japanese capital yesterday calling on the government to shun nuclear power, a day before the second anniversary of an earthquake and tsunami that triggered the world’s worst atomic disaster in 25 years. Japan is still coming to terms with the disaster that ravaged its northeastern region two years ago - the earthquake and tsunami killed more than 15,000 people. Several thousand people are still unaccounted for. “It’s becoming more and more important for us to protest. I do this for my children, we can’t leave the mess of nuclear power behind to them,” said a 32-year old mother of two marching in front of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, chanting “Stop nuclear! Protect our children!”. “People and the media are starting to forget Fukushima and what happened there,” said the woman. The nuclear meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power’s (Tepco) Fukushima Daiichi plant forced 160,000 people from their homes and many of them will never return. It also sparked an unprecedented protest movement against nuclear power. Tepco faces a decades-long effort to decontaminate and decommission the wrecked nuclear plant after the worst atomic disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. All of Japan’s 50 reactors were gradually shut down after the Fukushima disaster and all but two of them remain idle. But the sweeping December victory of Prime

Minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which long supported nuclear power and fostered ties between politicians, bureaucrats and utilities, is a worry for nuclear power’s opponents. A recent survey showed about 70 percent of Japanese want to phase out nuclear power eventual-

ly. An equal number backs Abe, who wants to restart off-line reactors if they meet new safety standards. Nobuko Kameyama, a 67-year old retiree, handing out antinuclear leaflets at a train station, said many people were pre-occupied with a stagnant economy

while progress made towards phasing out nuclear under the previous government was lost when it lost power. “The movement seems to have gotten quieter because we had to go back to the drawing board when the LDP got voted back in,” Kameyama said. — Reuters

TOKYO: People hold up placards as they take part in an anti-nuclear rally in Tokyo yesterday. Waves of antinuclear rallies were held across Japan on the eve of the second anniversary of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster that triggered a nuclear crisis in northern Japan. — AFP


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India, Asia’s most powerful voice in papal vote PANAJI: India’s Catholics may account for less than two percent of the country’s population but they will be Asia’s most powerful voice in the election to choose a new pope. Five of the nine Asian cardinals who have the right to vote at the upcoming papal enclave hail from India, an overwhelmingly Hindu nation where Catholics are also outnumbered by Muslims and Sikhs. Only Italy, the United States and Germany will be represented by more cardinal electors when they meet in Vatican City. But with around 17 million practicising Catholics, India is home to the Church’s second largest community in Asia after the Philippines. Like elsewhere on the continent, Indian Catholics would love to see an Asian take over from Benedict XVI, with Luis Antonio Tagle, the archbishop of Manila, the name most often mentioned by Vatican observers. Oswald Gracias, the archbishop of Mumbai who is one of the five Indian cardinals, has expressed doubt that an Asian will be elected pope for the first time and insists that a candidate’s birthplace should not be a major factor. “For me it’s not important what continent he comes from,” he told the

Catholic News Service. “We want a person who is most suitable for this assignment and most suitable for the very great responsibility, the one to whom the Holy Spirit guides us.” Telesphore Toppo, the archbishop of Patna and another of the five Indian cardinal electors, has also said that nationality should not be a factor. Thousands of miles away from the Vatican, the election is being closely followed in the sun-blessed coastal state of Goa, a place better known in the West for its hedonistic beach parties. One in four of the state’s 1.5 million population is Catholic-a legacy of centuries under Portuguese rule-and many would love to see an Asian become the church’s leader. But they also stress that his beliefs on keynote issues are the most important consideration. “It would be an honour for the continent,” Peter Cabral, a 56-year-old baker told AFP outside the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Panaji, the state capital. Cabral hopes that regardless of where the pope comes from, he will have a truly global outlook. “He should not sit only in the Vatican while heading the flock. He should personally see the people before deciding the agenda,” he said.

Although an Asian pope would be a radical departure from tradition, many Catholics expressed the desire that a change at the top should not lead to major changes on social issues. Banker Richard D’Mello, 37, said the new pope should be “a bit liberal” but stick to “traditional religious ethos”. “The Church is against gay marriage and contraception, so let it be that way. Liberal values does not mean he should challenge everything,” he told AFP. On the same issues, social worker Maria Viency Cardozo, also in her late 30s, agreed that there should be no progression. “The new pope should not change the policy,” she said. “The resolutions were taken by the Catholic Church after much deliberation.” A reader sur vey by the Union of Catholic Asian News found that sex abuse by the clergy and its handling by Church authorities is the top priority for the next pope, who will have to deal with a string of scandals. Other important issues raised included unifying the Church and offering a more pastoral response to divorcees. Jerry Fernandes, who runs a small kiosk on an island off Goa, said the new pope “has a challenge to be different” and adapt the Church to changes in the

modern world. “More than the issue of humanity and strengthening religion, he also needs to focus on crucial aspects like the environment,” he said. The election, which should be decided by March

31, was triggered when Benedict became only the second pontiff to step down by choice in the Church’s 2,000year history and the first to do so since the Middle Ages. — AFP

MUMBAI: In this photograph taken on March 7, 2013 an Indian Catholic man prays outside the Mount Mary Church in Mumbai. India’s Catholics may account for less than two percent of the country’s population but they will be Asia’s most powerful voice in the election to choose a new pope. —AFP

Karzai alleges America, Taleban are colluding ‘We have fought too hard over the past 12 years’

JAMMU: A Hindu devotee takes a picture on her mobile phone as others wait to offer prayers at the ancient Ranbireshwar temple during the Shivaratri festival in Jammu, India, yesterday. Shivaratri, or the night of Shiva, is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of death and destruction. — AP

120 million wash away sins as India’s Kumbh Mela ends ALLAHABAD: A record 120 million pilgrims washed away their sins with plunges in an Indian holy river during the world’s biggest religious festival which ended yesterday, officials said. The two-month-long Kumbh Mela Hindu festival celebrated every 12 years at the conjunction of two sacred rivers on the outskirts of the northern Indian city of Allahabad drew massive crowds of Hindu devotees, ascetics and foreign tourists. “Over 60 million people attended the festival in 2001 and this time we believe 120 million people have participated,” festival chief Mani Prasad Mishra told AFP late on Saturday. The festival involves crowd management on a jaw-dropping scale and despite all the precautions was hit by tragedy last month when a stampede at a train station in Allahabad killed 36 pilgrims who were returning from the festival. Assorted dreadlocked, naked holy men, priests and self-proclaimed saints from all over the country assembled for the spectacle that offers a rare glimpse of the dizzying range of Indian spiritualism. Despite the hardships of waking early, plunging into the polluted river water and the relentless crush of the crowds, pilgrims from all over the world described feeling spiritually uplifted and amazed by the scale of the event. “There is a sense of relief because the festival finally is coming to an end. Most of

the pilgrims have returned back home,” said Mishra. He said the job of dismantling the infrastructure that sprawled over 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares) to house the pilgrims had already begun. “We built a tent city to celebrate the Kumbh Mela and now we are tearing it down,” he said. Mishra said five electrical substations and tens of thousands of streetlights that gave the improvised city its yellow glow between dusk and dawn would be removed last night. All police stations, mobile field hospitals, fire stations, shops, and cafes were now shut and more than 35,000 makeshift toilets had been removed, he said. The Kumbh Mela has its origins in Hindu mythology, which describes how a few drops of the nectar of immortality fell on the four places that host the festival-Allahabad, Nasik, Ujjain and Haridwar. The “Mother Ganges” is worshipped as a god and is seen as the giver and taker of life. In many cases, pilgrims used up all their money to come to the Kumbh Mela, hoping that their prayers could come true. “People from all walks of life participate in the festival but there is one thing common among all of them-they have a desire to lead a pure life,” said Chandra Bala, a temple priest in Allahabad city. “ The power of the Kumbh Mela is the power of humanity.” — AFP

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai yesterday accused the Taleban and the US of working in concert to convince Afghans that violence will worsen if most foreign troops leave - an allegation the top American commander in Afghanistan rejected as “categorically false.” Karzai said two suicide bombings that killed 19 people on Saturday - one outside the Afghan Defense Ministry and the other near a police checkpoint in eastern Khost province - show the insurgent group is conducting attacks to demonstrate that international forces will still be needed to keep the peace after their current combat mission ends in 2014. “The explosions in Kabul and Khost yesterday showed that they are at the service of America and at the service of this phrase: 2014. They are trying to frighten us into thinking that if the foreigners are not in Afghanistan, we would be facing these sorts of incidents,” he said during a nationally televised speech about the state of Afghan women. Karzai is known for making incendiary comments in his public speeches, a tactic that is often attributed to him trying to appeal to Taleban sympathizers or to gain leverage when he feels his international allies are ignoring his country’s sovereignty. In previous speeches, he has threatened to join the Taleban and called his NATO allies occupiers who want to plunder Afghanistan’s resources. US and NATO forces commander Gen. Joseph Dunford said Karzai had never expressed such views to him, but said it was understandable that tensions would arise as the coalition balances the need to complete its mission and the Afghans’ move to exercise more sovereignty. “We have fought too hard over the past 12 years, we have shed too much blood over the last 12 years, to ever think that violence or instability would be to our advantage,” Dunford said. Karzai also denounced the arrest of a university student Saturday by Afghan forces his aide said were working for the CIA. It was unclear why the student was detained. Presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi said in an interview with The Associated Press that the CIA freed the student after Karzai’s staff intervened, but that Karzai wants the alleged Afghan raiders arrested. The president issued a decree on Sunday banning all international forces and the Afghans working with them from entering universities and schools without Afghan government permission. The Karzai government’s latest comments and actions come as it negotiates a pact with the US for the long-term presence of American forces in Afghanistan and just days after an

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai sits among the audience prior to his nationally televised speech about the state of Afghan women in Kabul, Afghanistan, yesterday. Karzai yesterday accused the Taleban and the US of working in concert to convince Afghans that violence will worsen if most foreign troops leave as planned by the end of next year. — AP agreement to transfer a US prison outside of Kabul to Afghan authority fell through. They also came during US. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s first visit to Afghanistan since becoming the Pentagon chief, a trip made in part to meet with Karzai. Hours after Karzai’s speech, their joint news conference was canceled by officials citing security concerns, though officials said the two men still planned to meet privately. Karzai said in his speech that any foreign powers that want to keep troops in Afghanistan need to do so under conditions set forward by Afghanistan. “We will tell them where we need them, and under which conditions. They must respect our laws. They must respect the national sovereignty of our country and must respect all our customs,” Karzai said. Karzai offered no proof of coordination, but said the Taleban and the United States were in “daily negotiations” in various foreign countries and noted that the United States has said that it no longer considers the insurgent group its enemy. The US continues to fight against the Taleban and other militant groups, but has expressed its backing for formal

150 arrested for burning Christian homes

Bangladesh policeman shot dead in clashes DHAKA: A policeman was killed early yesterday in a gunfight with Islamists in a remote southern village, as violence over war crime convictions of Islamic leaders continued to mount in Bangladesh. Police said a constable was hit by a bullet after around 1,000 supporters of the country’s largest Islamic part, Jamaate-Islami, attacked police entering a village in Khulna district and tried to detain a Jamaat activist on charges of violence. “They attacked us with firearms. We also fired from shotguns. Constable Mofizur Rahman was hit by a bullet and died after we took him to a hospital,” inspector Mominur Rahman told AFP, adding several policemen were also injured. The killing raised the death toll to 85, including eight policemen, in clashes with Islamists since a Bangladesh tribunal announced its first war crimes verdict on January 21. Sixty-nine of the deadmost of them Jamaat members shot by

police-have been killed since Delwar Hossain Sayedee, the vice-president of Jamaat, was sentenced to death on February 28. Three convictions by the state appointed tribunal have triggered the worst violence in the impoverished country since independence, hitting economic growth and raising concern over political stability. The war crimes proceedings against a dozen leaders from Jamaat and the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have opened old wounds and divided the nation, with the opposition accusing the government of staging a witch-hunt. The government, which says the 1971 war claimed three million lives, rejects the claims and accuses Jamaat leaders of being part of pro-Pakistani militias blamed for much of the carnage during the war. Independent estimates put the war death toll much lower. — AFP

peace talks with the Taleban to find a political resolution to the war. Karzai said he did not believe the Taleban’s claim that they launched Saturday’s attacks to show they are still a potent force fighting the United States. “Yesterday’s explosions, which the Taleban claimed, show that in reality they are saying they want the presence of foreigners in Afghanistan,” Karzai said. In the incident at the Kandahar university Saturday, presidential spokesman Faizi said the raiders fired shots as they grabbed student Abdul Qayoum, and blindfolded him before taking him for interrogation at a CIA post that Taleban leader Mullah Omar once used as a home. The CIA could not be reached for comment. The CIA has trained an Afghan counterterrorist force several thousand strong, known as the Counterterrorism Pursuit Team, which works mostly in insurgent strongholds in southern and eastern Afghanistan. U.S. officials say they work in concert with the Afghan intelligence service, but Karzai frequently complains he lacks oversight over their operations. — AP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Christians hold posters during a demonstration demanding that the government rebuild their homes after they were burned down following an alleged blasphemy incident in Islamabad, Pakistan, yesterday. The incident began yesterday after a Muslim accused a Christian man of blasphemy, an offence that in Pakistan is punished by life in prison or death. — AP

LAHORE: Police have arrested around 150 people accused of burning dozens of Christian houses in eastern Pakistan after a nonMuslim was accused of making offensive comments about Islam’s Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) , police said Sunday as Christians rallied against the destruction. The Christian demonstrators blocked a main highway in Lahore and police fired tear gas shells to disperse the protesters who demanded assistance from the government. Government spokesman Pervaiz Rasheed promised the government would help hem rebuild their houses, but the Christians expressed dissatisfaction with the way the government was handling the incident. “I have been robbed of all of my life’s savings,” Yousuf Masih said, standing close to his burned house. He said the government’s announcement that it would give 200,000 rupees ($2,000) compensation to each family was a joke. The incident began on Friday after a Muslim accused a Christian man of blasphemy - an offense that in Pakistan is punished by life in prison or death. On Saturday, a mob of angry

Muslims rampaged through the Christian neighborhood, burning about 170 houses. The Christian man is in police custody pending an investigation into the allegations. Those who rioted are being investigated for alleged arson, robbery, theft, and terrorism, said police officer Abdur Rehman. The Pakistani police usually arrest rioters to tamp down public anger, but those accused are rarely convicted. The law is often misused to settle personal scores and rivalries. Akram Gill, a local bishop in the Lahore Christian community, said the incident had more to do with personal enmity between two men - one Christian and one Muslim than blasphemy. He said the men got into a brawl after drinking late one night, and in the morning the Muslim man made up the blasphemy story as payback. Such accusations of blasphemy in Pakistan can prompt huge crowds to take the law into their own hands. Once an accusation is made it’s difficult to get it reversed, partly because law enforcement officials and politicians do not want to be seen as being soft on blasphemers. — AP


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MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

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Issues

Is Citi safer than JPMorgan? And other questions By David Henry he newest stress tests for US banks produced scores that are at odds with other measures of lenders’ safety, in another sign that some institutions may be too big for regulators to understand and executives to manage. For example, Citigroup Inc, which has been bailed out multiple times by the US government, showed up on the score sheets posted by the Federal Reserve on Thursday as being clearly safer than JPMorgan Chase & Co. That conclusion is at odds with the views of investors, bond analysts and credit-rating agencies, as well as when measured by a yardstick regulators themselves want to use in the future. “At the end of the day, there is a legitimate question about the ability of regulators to fully evaluate $2 trillion institutions because of the complexity and exposures they have,” said Fred Cannon, director of US research at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. On Thursday, the Federal Reserve reported the latest results of the tests that began after the 2007-2009 financial crisis to determine if banks have enough capital to withstand a severe economic crisis. The Fed concluded that the banks are in “a much stronger position” than before the financial crisis in 2008. While experts are not arguing with the fact that the banks are better capitalized now and that the system is safer than it was in the run-up to the financial crisis, some of the numbers the regulators published left analysts and bank executives groping for explanations. The test raises questions about the ability of regulators to head off the next big threat to the financial system because of the complexity of the institutions. The results are also important as they will help the Fed decide how much capital banks can return to investors. The report showed that Citigroup’s capital, as tracked by the Tier 1 common capital ratio, would dip to 8.3 percent during two years of hypothetical stress. JPMorgan’s would fall to 6.3 percent. Both numbers are better than the 5 percent minimum under current regulations, but they show Citigroup having a bigger cushion to weather losses. That does not make a lot of sense to Kathleen Shanley, a bond analyst at GimmeCredit, a research service for institutional investors. “I wouldn’t say that Citi is safer than JPMorgan, for a variety of reasons, including its track record,” Shanley said. Citigroup has lower credit ratings than JPMorgan, and prices for credit default swaps show the market views JPMorgan as safer. Citigroup is the third-biggest US bank by assets and JPMorgan is the biggest. A Federal Reserve spokeswoman declined to comment, as did representatives for Citigroup and JPMorgan. Citigroup’s score came out better partly because it started the test with a better Tier 1 common ratio, 12.7 percent compared with JPMorgan’s 10.4 percent. The starting ratios were based on the banks’ financial statements at the end of September. They were calculated based on a set of international regulations known as Basel 1, which the Federal Reserve intends to replace as inadequate with a pending new set known as Basel 3. Under the expected Basel 3 rules, Citigroup has estimated its ratio was 8.6 percent at the end of the third quarter, about the same as the 8.4 percent JPMorgan estimated. Among the reasons that Citigroup’s ratio will fall so much under Basel 3 from the Basel 1 level is that the new rules will not treat as favorably Citigroup’s deferred tax assets. Citigroup expects those assets to allow it to pay lower taxes on future profits because it lost so much money when the financial crisis and recession hit. Also, Basel 3 will reduce the benefits of stakes Citigroup has in joint ventures, such as its brokerage with Morgan Stanley. The Federal Reserve did not publish stress scores for the banks under Basel 3 because the regulators have not finalized those rules yet. Analyst Cannon said there was one reason to think of Citigroup as being safer: its capital markets business is smaller than JPMorgan’s. Regulators regard capital markets operations as riskier than consumer banking businesses. The Fed’s scoring is also at odds with results some of the banks calculated for themselves under the same scenarios, which shows there is room for subjectivity in the testing. JPMorgan, for example, found that its ratio would fall to 7.6 percent, significantly better than the 6.3 percent reported by the Fed. Goldman Sachs Group Inc determined its low during the hypothetical stress period would be 8.6 percent, compared with the 5.8 percent reported by the Fed, with some of the difference related to its extensive capital markets activities. Goldman declined to comment.— Reuters

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

Obama carries 3 goals on trip to Israel By Steven R Hurst

hree goals will dominate US President Barack Obama’s coming visit to Israel, his first as president: Convincing Israel and its leadership he means what he says about stopping Iran from building a nuclear weapon, mending a deeply troubled relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, in return, enticing Israel back to negotiations with the Palestinians. Some of the cosmic stars of diplomacy and Middle East reality are lining up to make the visit a success. Others are not. Whatever the outcome, the visit that will also take Obama to the West Bank and Jordan will mark a significant step by the president to dig deeper into a problem that has bedeviled American leaders for decades. Managing expectations, therefore, is essential in the remaining two weeks before Obama sets off on his mission. Palestinian and Iranian issues dominated Obama’s remarks in a White House briefing with representatives of major US Jewish organizations on Thursday. The president said it would be premature to take a grand peace plan, according to a person at the session who requested anonymity to detail the private remarks. The person said Obama planned to tell Israelis that just wanting peace was not enough, and would ask what hard steps they were willing to take. On Iran and attempts to sidetrack its nuclear program, Obama said Tehran must be left with sufficient face-saving room to accept a diplomatic solution. The president said he was not “going to do extra chest beating in public” during the visit to Israel just to convince people he is tough, according to the person at the meeting. He left the talking on that issue earlier in the week to Vice President Joe Biden, who spoke at the Washington gathering of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, America’s most powerful Jewish lobbying organization. “The president of the United States cannot and does not bluff,” Biden told the group when he turned to US vows to keep Iran from obtaining an atomic bomb. “President Barack Obama is not bluffing.”

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Israel views a nuclear armed Iran as a threat to its existence, and Netanyahu has hinted at launching a preemptive military strike on the Islamic Republic to set back its nuclear program. Tehran has already enriched enough uranium to 20 percent purity for the country, should it decided to do so, to quickly move toward levels needed for a bomb. Obama says he won’t let that happen, declaring that a US military attack would be possible should negotiations with Iran fail. Netanyahu, however, needs reassuring. That showed in his words to the same AIPAC conference addressed by Biden. “From the bottom of my heart and the clarity of my brain, words alone will not stop Iran,” the Israeli leader said, reinforcing his contention that negotiations with Tehran and damaging international sanctions may not stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power. The Iranians say they are only trying to refine sufficient uranium as fuel for power generation and medical research. Netanyahu, thus, will want more public reassurances from Washington. “Obama will have Netanyahu in his pocket if he truly manages to convince him that the United States will use military force if necessary,” said Jonathan Adelman, a professor and Israeli specialist at the University of Denver. “Then, Netanyahu will be comfortable saying: ‘You deal with the Iranians and we will give you serious negotiations with the Palestinians.’” Aaron David Miller, a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center who was a Mideast negotiator under six secretaries of state in both Republican and Democratic administrations, said “Obama needs to have two kinds of conversations” during his visit. In private, Miller said, the two leaders will have to find a way “to give one another the benefit of the doubt on both Iran and the peace process so they can figure out a way to manage each issue because there is no comprehensive solution”. The men have been “at cross purposes”, he said “because they couldn’t manage that uncertainty in the past.” The two men got off to a terrible start. Netanyahu visited the president shortly after Obama took office in 2009 and publicly and bluntly rejected Obama’s insis-

tence that Israel stop building Jewish settlements in the West Bank, land that the Palestinians view as the territory that will make up their future state. Obama subsequently dropped the issue, but it remains foremost in the minds of Palestinians, a pre-condition for a return to negotiations about creating a two-state solution - Israel and a Palestinian state living peacefully and side-by-side in a tiny swath of land over which so much blood has been shed. For that reason, there looks to be little doubt that Obama and Netanyahu will emerge from their meetings, smiling and reassuring their constituencies that the bad blood of Obama’s first term is a thing of the past. There have been hints, but only hints, that Netanyahu might be ready to again call a halt to expanding settlements part of a potential deal that would leave those around Jerusalem in place in return for a land swap elsewhere. That’s a bitter pill for the Palestinians, but one they might swallow if the deal were sufficiently sweet. And the Israeli government quickly knocked down such reports on settlements. Netanyahu is weakened at home after January elections in which his deeply conservative coalition was gravely damaged. The prime minister has been unable in the ensuing weeks to pull together a new coalition and form a government despite a readiness to shed his former alignment with deeply conservative, ultraOrthodox Jewish political powers. Signaling a shift toward moderation, he has drawn former opposition leader Tzipi Livni into a future government, if it can be formed, to be justice minister and chief negotiator with the Palestinians. Livni’s party promises to push for the two-state solution with the Palestinians. But plenty of hardliners will remain in government. The hope is that Obama reassurances on Iran will give a politically weakened Netanyahu the needed cover for a move back toward talks with the Palestinians, who are worried that Obama will do too little during his visit to pressure the Israeli leader on the need to resume negotiations.— AP

Faint hope of Syria breakthrough By Michael Mainville fter two years largely on the sidelines, the international community is finally showing signs of taking action on Syria’s escalating conflict but analysts say it may be a case of too little too late. Foreign efforts to stem the country’s conflict have been paralysed since March 2011 protests against President Bashar Al-Assad sparked a crackdown, armed uprising and eventually a fullblown civil war. The rising tide of violence - with more than 70,000 killed and one million fleeing the country - has done little to push foreign powers to overcome deep divisions on how to tackle the crisis. “The diplomacy has very clearly not kept up with the situation on the ground,” said Salman Shaikh of the Brookings Doha Center, describing the Western and Arab nations backing Syria’s opposition as a “Coalition of the Unwilling”. But analysts saw moves since last month, including British and US decisions to supply direct aid to rebel fighters battling Assad’s regime, as tentative steps towards a new international response to the crisis. “Things are starting to move... I have the feeling that people are starting to wake up,” said Joseph Bahout, a Middle East expert and professor at Science Po in Paris. “We’re at less of an impasse than we were six months ago,” agreed Christopher Phillips, a lecturer on the Middle East at the University of London. “That sense of urgency has ratcheted up.” Phillips said US President Barack Obama’s election to a second term in November has freed his administration to act in the face of Syria’s worsening humanitarian crisis. Obama’s newly minted secretary of state, John Kerry, gave the first sign of a

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US shift last month by announcing food and medical aid to the rebels and an extra $60 million in support to the country’s political opposition. Exper ts said the move was hardly a game-changer, but did send an important signal. “ The direct financing and recognition of the Free Syrian Army is an evolution in American thinking,” a French diplomatic source said. “ They have broken through a barrier.” Britain went fur ther on Wednesday, announcing it would send non-lethal militar y aid including body armour and armoured vehicles to the rebels. “The fact remains that diplomacy is taking far too long and the prospect of an immediate breakthrough is slim,” Foreign Secretary

William Hague said while announcing the aid. Analysts said that as well as helping the rebels, the aid aims to push Russia Assad’s key international ally - into budging on its steadfast suppor t for the regime. “They believe the Russians can influence the situation and they want the Russians to see that they’re serious, playing ball,” Phillips said. Moscow’s support for Assad has been vital in keeping him in power, lending him continued legitimacy, blocking UN Security Council resolutions against him and maintaining the flow of Russian arms to his regime. Backed by its foreign allies, the opposition has said Assad must step down before any talks can be held on ending the conflict, but

Abu Khalil, a sniper of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), watches government positions on Feb 17, 2013 in Jbiela, a neighborhood of Deir Ezzor. — AFP

Moscow has insisted on negotiations without any preconditions. Western leaders have been increasing pressure on President Vladimir Putin, but exper ts said it would be difficult for Moscow to back down. “The longer the situation lasts, the more difficult it is for Moscow to separate itself from Assad,” said Alexey Malashenko, an analyst with the Moscow Carnegie Center. What ’s needed before diplomatic efforts can move forward, experts said, is an end to the stalemate that has seen the rebels make some gains but not yet pose a serious threat to the regime. “There can be no political solution without a change in the balance of power on the ground,” the French diplomat said. “Damascus needs to be afraid.” “If Moscow realises that basically its client has decisively lost, then new diplomatic options will suddenly open up,” said Richard Gowan, a Syria exper t at the Centre on International Cooperation at New York University. Still, experts said more will need to be done if the opposition’s main international backers in the United States, Europe and Arab world want to give the rebels a decisive edge. Wary of weapons falling into the hands of the Islamic extremists who are playing an increasingly prominent role in the conflict, Washington and Europe have shied away from directly providing the rebels with arms. And given the potential quagmire for foreign troops, analysts said the chances of an international military intervention in Syria were practically non-existent. “At this point in time we’re going to be stuck in an intensifying conflic t,” Shaikh said. “I suspect that 2013 will probably be one of the bloodiest years we’ve had so far.” — AFP


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

S P ORTS

Pocock out of Lions series

Sharks win NRL opener

New contract for Rooney

SYDNEY: Australia suffered a hammer blow in their preparations for this year’s tour of the British and Irish Lions when flanker David Pocock was ruled out for the season with a knee injury yesterday. Openside Pocock’s ability to turn over ball at the breakdown would have made him one of the first names on the team sheet for three tests against the Lions in June and July and he was also a contender to captain the hosts. The 24-year-old ACT Brumbies forward injured his left knee in a Super Rugby match on Saturday, coming off the pitch early in the first half after being tackled by Adam Ashley-Cooper of New South Wales Waratahs. Scans later confirmed an anterior cruciate ligament injury, which will require surgery and six months out of the game, an ACT Brumbies spokesman said yesterday. The Zimbabwean-born flanker will miss the rest of the Super Rugby season, the Lions tour as well as the southern hemisphere’s international Rugby Championship. Pocock, who has played 45 tests since his debut in 2008, was one of four players to captain Australia last season as the Wallabies were hit by a catalogue of injuries.—Reuters

SYDNEY: Crisis club Cronulla Sharks overcame a turbulent week of doping scandals to open their National Rugby League season with an emotional 12-10 victory over Gold Coast yesterday. It followed a week where up to 14 players were implicated in a swoop by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) which led to the standing down of head coach Shane Flanagan and the sacking of four other football staff members. The narrow victory was just the tonic the embattled club and its fans needed ahead of the full ramifications of ASADA’s investigation in the wake of a wide-ranging Australian Crime Commission (ACC) report into doping in Australian sport. The Sharks held on for a tenacious victory before their home fans and in the end it was a missed Aidan Sezer conversion that proved the difference with both sides scoring two tries. Defending NRL and world club champions Melbourne Storm opened their title defence with an impressive 30-10 home victory over St George Illawarra yesterday. In scorching temperatures, the Storm showed no signs of a hangover from their recent trip to England for the World Club Challenge where they beat Leeds for the title. The Storm ran in three unanswered tries in the first half to set up the victory, with Test fullback Billy Slater scoring the opening try. Test scrumhalf Johnathan Thurston guided the North Queensland Cowboys to a 24-12 win over the Ben Barba-less Canterbury Bulldogs. —AFP

LONDON: Manchester United’s England striker Wayne Rooney will be offered a new contract before his deal ends in 2015, the club’s manager Alex Ferguson was quoted as saying by British media yesterday. “There is no issue with the contract. When it has to be renegotiated, it will be,’ Ferguson said in The Mail on Sunday ahead of United’s FA Cup quarter-final at home to Chelsea. British media went into overdrive last week reporting that Rooney would be offloaded by Ferguson after he was left out of the starting lineup for United’s biggest game of the season against Real Madrid in the Champions league tomorrow. The 27-year-old came off the bench in the 73rd minute but could not stop United losing 2-1 to exit the competition. However, on Friday Ferguson dismissed speculation that Rooney’s Old Trafford days were numbered, telling reporters: “He will be here next year, you’ve got my word on that.” Yesterday’s newspaper reports backed that up as Ferguson came to Rooney’s defence and stressed his qualities, having said he was right to leave the forward out of their Champions League last 16, second leg at Old Trafford for tactical reasons. —Reuters

Knicks rout slumping Jazz NEW YORK: JR Smith scored 24 points and the New York Knicks shook off the absence of Carmelo Anthony and the shock of Amare Stoudemire needing more knee surgery to rout the slumping Utah Jazz 113-84 on Saturday night. The Knicks learned earlier Saturday that Stoudemire will have right knee surgery that will sideline him approximately six weeks. But they still have plenty of scoring off the bench, with Steve Novak adding a season-high 20 points. Alec Burks scored 14 points and Gordon Hayward had 13 for the Jazz, who completed a 0-4 road trip that dropped them into a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Utah played without starting forward Paul Millsap because of right knee inflammation.

TOKYO: Japan’s reliever Hideaki Wakui pitches against the Netherlands in the seventh inning of their World Baseball Classic second round game at Tokyo Dome.—AP

Japan demolish Dutch to reach final round TOKYO: Japan’s World Baseball Classic title defence roared into life yesterday when they hammered the Netherlands 16-4 to secure a spot in the final round in San Francisco. The two-time defending champions smashed six home runs at Tokyo Dome to floor the Dutch, who earlier upset South Korea and will now play Cuba, whom they have already beaten in the second round, in a play-off on Monday. Japan, missing their Major League stars and with a coach under pressure from domestic media, lost to Cuba during the first round and they struggled to an extra-inning win against Taiwan in their opening game of round two. But on Sunday, opening batter Takashi Toritani hit a solo homer in the first inning, and then Nobuhiro Matsuda and Seiichi Uchikawa cracked two more in the second to put Japan 6-0 up, while pitcher Kenta Maeda shut out the first five innings. “I thought nothing but of taking the first base. I’m really happy that it eventually ended in a home run,” said Toritani. Atsunori Inaba, with a solo homer, and Yoshio Itoi, with a three-run homer, stretched the lead at 10-0 by the fourth inning. Captain Shinnosuke Abe and Matsuda hit a double each in the following two innings to add two runs, while start-

ing pitcher Maeda gave just one hit and struck out nine batters in his five innings. In the sixth inning, Wladimir Balentien hit a double to get three runs for the Netherlands and Andruw Jones added another with a single off relief pitcher Tetsuya Utsumi to reduce the deficit to 12-4 and raise brief hopes of a comeback. But Hayato Sakamoto fired a grand slam for a 16-4 lead in the seventh, and closer Hideaki Wakui shut out the bottom inning to bring the game to an early halt under the mercy rule. “I’m really glad that we achieved our first goal of reaching the final stage,” said Japan’s head coach Koji Yamamoto. “I used Toritani as the first batter in our line-up, because he showed his fighting spirit by courageously stealing the second base at two downs in the ninth inning” against Taiwan on Friday. “And Toritani suddenly hit a home run. It gathered the momentum to our side,” said Yamamoto. Japan beat Taiwan 4-3 in an extra inning on Friday after Toritani returned home on a single hit by Hirokazu Ibata for 3-3. Japan are now assured of a berth in this month’s four-team final series, featuring two sides from the Asian grouping and two more from pools in Puerto Rico and Arizona.—AFP

Rivera victory tour a bonus for baseball NEW YORK: The last save will be the toughest of them all for Mariano Rivera. The cities and stadiums will all be familiar after 18 years crisscrossing the country, glove in hand. The reception in what will be his final season may be different because even fans who never wanted to see him get the last out will want to see his last hurrah. The way the Yankees are aching and aging it could end in, of all places, Houston, where the New Yorkers close out the regular season against the assuredly hapless Astros. But if all goes by the script Rivera envisions, the last pitch of his career will be made in the last inning of the final game of the World Series. The only thing certain, really, is that this season is the end. After nearly two decades in pinstripes, the greatest closer ever is finally closing it out. He never intended to have a farewell tour, until he blew out a knee early last season. Now that he will, he’s going to enjoy his last ride. “There’s nothing to be sad (about),” Rivera said. “I did everything within my power to enjoy the game, to do it well, to respect the game of baseball. Have so much joy, and no one can take that joy away from me.” That joy was evident Saturday in Florida, where Rivera threw in a game for the first time since he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last May. It was a fifth-inning appearance in a meaningless spring game, but the 43-year-old on the mound didn’t look much different than he would in the ninth inning in the postseason. A pop up followed by two strikeouts. The master of the single inning barely broke a sweat. It came just a few hours after Rivera formally announced it was soon to be over, that this season would be his last. Forgive Yankee fans if they never want to see it end. If baseball is truly a game of numbers, his will make him a part of Yankee lore forever. He rarely pitched more than one inning at a time, but he goes into this season as baseball’s all-time save leader with 608, a number that may never be matched. He’s won 76 other games and, pitching in a time where

steroids reigned, has an ERA of just 2.21. Rivera only has one pitch, really, a cutter that over the years flummoxed hitter after hitter even though they knew it was coming. Most are already swinging toward where they think the pitch will be when it takes a sharp twist left at the plate and either eats up a lefty or finds the outside corner of the plate for a right-handed hitter. He’s not the first closer with a signature pitch, of course. Bruce Sutter was about to wash out of baseball until he learned his, a split finger that looked like a fastball until it got to the plate. Now he’s in the Hall of Fame, a prototype closer who became the first pitcher elected there who never started a Major League game. When it comes time to vote on Rivera for Cooperstown, there will be no debate. He’ll likely go in on the first ballot, wearing the pinstripes he proudly wore his entire career. The clock to that won’t start ticking until the end of this season, one Rivera didn’t even expect to be playing. He wanted to retire after last season, but wasn’t going to go out, with the last vision fans having of him writhing in pain after tearing his ACL while shagging fly balls during batting practice in Kansas City. In typical Rivera fashion, he was more concerned about his team after that game than himself. “You feel like you let your team down,” he said the night he was injured. No, Rivera didn’t let his team down. He never did, even if he occasionally failed, most memorably in the 2001 World Series when manager Joe Torre put him in for a rare two-inning save in Game 7 and he allowed the tying and winning runs to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Mostly, though, he was routinely brilliant in a game where brilliance is so terribly hard to sustain. He was even better once the postseason began, once pitching 33 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings on his way to 42 postseason saves and five World Series titles. Rivera was MVP of the 1999 World Series, a year he finished with 43 straight scoreless innings, though he was never MVP of the American League. —AP

Nets 93, Hawks 80 In Atlanta, Brook Lopez and Andray Blatche each scored 18 points, Deron Williams added 17 and Brooklyn won its third straight game by beating Atlanta. Al Horford finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Hawks, who seemed lethargic after losing in overtime at Boston on Friday. Atlanta has lost two straight and five of six. Brooklyn had a better performance coming off its 17-point home victory over Washington on Friday in which Williams set the NBA record with nine 3-pointers in a half and scored a season-high 42 points. Lopez, who finished with nine rebounds, scored 14 points in the third, including a runner that gave Brooklyn its first 20-point lead. Nuggets 111, Timberwolves 88 In Denver, Ty Lawson matched his season high with 32 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter, and Denver beat injury-depleted Minnesota to stretch its home winning streak to 13 games, its longest in 14 years. Corey Brewer had 15 points, while Danilo Gallinari and Andre Iguodala added 11 apiece for the Nuggets, who have won eight in a row overall. Fueled by their longest home winning streak since a 19-game run from Jan. 28-April 20, 1989, the Nuggets ran their home record to 28-3, tying the Miami Heat for best in the league. Mickael Gelabale scored 19 points for the Timberwolves, who were without Nikola Pekovic (abdominal strain), Kevin Love (broken hand), Andrei Kirilenko (strained left calf ), Brandon Roy (knee surgery), Chase Budinger (knee) and Malcom Lee (knee). JJ Barea added 15 points for Minnesota, which lost for the seventh time in eight games. Grizzlies 96, Hornets 85 In Memphis, Mike Conley scored 22 points, seven Memphis players finished in double figures and the Grizzlies won their fourth straight. Tony Allen had 14 points, while Tayshaun Prince and Quincy Pondexter scored 13 points apiece. Ed Davis had 12 points, nine rebounds and matched his career best with five blocks as Memphis won its 12th game in the last 13. Jerryd Bayless and Marc Gasol scored 10 points apiece, although Gasol missed all four of his shots in the second half. Anthony Davis led the Hornets with 20 points and 18 rebounds, while Ryan Anderson scored 17 points. Greivis Vasquez added 12 points and eight assists, and Eric Gordon had 11 points. The Hornets lost their third straight and have dropped five of six. Bucks 103, Warriors 93 In Oakland, Brandon Jennings had 31 points and 10 assists, Monta Ellis scored 26 points against his former team and Milwaukee pulled

away late to beat Golden State. Ellis added five assists and five rebounds, and J.J. Redick finished with 15 points and seven assists while hitting some big shots in the fourth quarter to carry the Bucks to their fifth win in six games. In a matchup of teams transformed by a trade last season, Milwaukee has owned the matchup. The Bucks are 3-0 against the Warriors since sending center Andrew Bogut to the Bay Area for Ellis. Ellis shot 10 of 19 from the field and Jennings was 10 of 16, including 6 of 11 from beyond the arc. Bogut had four points, four assists and nine rebounds in 29 minutes in his first game against the Bucks since the trade. Suns 107, Rockets 105 In Phoenix, Goran Dragic scored 13 of his 18 points and delivered a key hustle play in the fourth quarter to help Phoenix beat Houston. The Suns overcame 38 points from Rockets star James Harden. Phoenix, far out of playoff contention, has three

straight wins over the postseason-hopeful Rockets and is 10-3 in the last 13 meetings. Jared Dudley led the Suns with 22 points. The Rockets got 21 points off the bench from Carlos Delfino. Wizards 104, Bobcats 87 In Washington, Trevor Ariza scored a seasonhigh 26 points as Washington never trailed, shot 50 percent and handed league-worst Charlotte its 10th straight loss. Martell Webster finished with 20 points, and Nene had 19. John Wall added 13 points and six assists for Washington, and A.J. Price contributed six assists. Ariza and Emeka Okafor each had 10 rebounds as Washington controlled the boards 4532. Kemba Walker scored 29 points for the Bobcats, who were done in by their 5-for-17 shooting from the field in the second quarter. Charlotte did manage to cut a 22-point deficit in the third quarter down to nine early in the fourth, but Ariza made a pair of 3-pointers to restore the Wizards’ comfortable lead.—AP

OAKLAND: Milwaukee Bucks’ Brandon Jennings (3) and Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry chase a loose ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game.—AP

NBA results/standings Brooklyn 93, Atlanta 80; NY Knicks 113, Utah 84; Washington 104, Charlotte 87; Memphis 96, New Orleans 85; Denver 111, Minnesota 88; Phoenix 107, Houston 105; Milwaukee 103, Golden State 93.

NY Knicks Brooklyn Boston Toronto Philadelphia Indiana Chicago Milwaukee Detroit Cleveland Miami Atlanta Washington Orlando Charlotte

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT 38 22 .633 37 26 .587 34 27 .557 24 39 .381 23 38 .377 Central Division 39 23 .629 35 27 .565 31 29 .517 23 41 .359 21 41 .339 Southeast Division 46 14 .767 34 28 .548 20 41 .328 17 46 .270 13 50 .206

GB 2.5 4.5 15.5 15.5

Oklahoma City Denver Utah Portland Minnesota

4 7 17 18

LA Clippers Golden State LA Lakers Phoenix Sacramento

13 26.5 30.5 34.5

San Antonio Memphis Houston Dallas New Orleans

Western Conference Northwest Division 46 16 .742 42 22 .656 5 32 31 .508 14.5 29 32 .475 16.5 21 38 .356 23.5 Pacific Division 44 20 .688 35 29 .547 9 32 31 .508 11.5 22 41 .349 21.5 22 42 .344 22 Southwest Division 48 15 .762 42 19 .689 5 34 30 .531 14.5 28 33 .459 19 21 42 .333 27

Baun becomes oldest winner at All England

BIRMINGHAM: Tine Baun of Denmark holds her trophy after defeating Intanon Ratchanok of Thailand in their women’s singles final at the English Badminton Open Championships.—AP

BIRMINGHAM: Tine Baun became the oldest AllEngland women’s singles winner of the open era when she beat the youngest finalist Ratchanok Intanon in an uniquely emotional final. The 33-yearold’s 21-14, 16-21, 21-10 win over the 18-year-old brought to an end the career of one of the outstanding players of the past ten years, and the only woman to threaten Chinese dominance. The Dane only decided to compete this year as a “last adventure” but instead, as seventh seed, surprised herself by winning the All-England title back and taking it a third time. Her young Thai opponent, the youngest world junior champion at the age of 14, was not far from spoiling the script with her wonderful movement and wide range of strokes and looked a likely future champion. Meanwhile,Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli, one of the women’s doubles pairs disqualified from the Olympics in London for throwing matches, took another step down the road towards atonement by regaining the title at the prestigious All-England Open championships yesterday. The top-seeded Chinese pair followed their Super Series success at the Korean Open in January with a 21-18, 21-10 win over their compatriots, Zhao Yunlei and Cheng Shu. Yu, who announced that she was quitting badminton after the Games scandal but changed her mind, thus produced further confirmation that her career is moving into another, more productive phase. Earlier Zhao and Cheng, a new partnership, had had to fight their way through the qualification

and an unseeded position in the draw. They upset the seedings twice to do that, but in the final against Yu and Wang there was only one phase where it seemed they might pull off the miracle and go all the way. That was when they pulled back a four-point deficit to reach 16-16, with a chance of continuing the momentum to upset their top-seeded team mates. But Wang delivered a good smash return of serve to halt a four-point sequence and then won two more points behind her serve to avert the immediate danger. Once the top seeds had taken the first game, the match became much more one-sided. The result meant that Zhao, the only player to win two badminton gold medals at the same Olympics, was denied the chance of doing the same at this year’s All-England. China thus won the women’s doubles event for the 13th time in 14 years, and later showed that they are developing another remarkable pair by winning the men’s doubles title back. That was achieved by Liu Xiaolong and Qiu Zihan, a new partnership who were unseeded and who completed an unexpected journey by beating seeded opponents for the third time. These were Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hasagawa of Japan, who made a full contribution to a magnificent spectacle, full of high speed rallies, but rarely looked like altering the course of the Chinese newcomers’ triumph in a 21-11, 21-9 result. Chin was later in contention for the men’s singles and the mixed doubles titles as well, but for the first time since 1995 had no surviving contenders in the women’s singles final.—AFP


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

S P ORTS

Record-setting Ashraful, Rahim boost Bangladesh

DUNEDIN: England’s Matt Prior (left) and Ian Bell wave to the fans as they walk from the field at the end of the game during the first international cricket Test match against New Zealand.—AFP

Dogged England salvage draw DUNEDIN: A determined England batted through the final day to salvage a draw from the first Test against New Zealand at the University Oval in Dunedin yesterday. At stumps England were 421 for six, a lead of 128 runs, after facing a 293-run deficit on the first innings in the rain-interrupted Test. Despite the best efforts of England nightwatchman Steven Finn and New Zealand quick Neil Wagner on the final day, an outright result was never more than a remote possibility on the unresponsive wicket. New Zealand saw a glimmer of hope in the first three overs after tea when Finn was eventually removed after 203 minutes at the crease for 56 and Joe Root quickly followed, run out without scoring. But Ian Bell, with an unbeaten 26, and Matt Prior (23 not out) carried England through to stumps, seeing off the third new ball of the innings in the process. Despite being unable to force a victory, New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum saw it as a morale-boosting performance for his side who dominated the early stages of the Test against the world’s second-ranked side. “We never gave up the belief that we could get the job done but we weren’t quite able to finish off,” he said, rueing the loss of the opening day because of rain. “Another day of Test cricket would have been phenomenal. You lose that first day and you have to try and work out how to congest such a good game into four days. Unfortunately we weren’t able to.” England captain Alastair Cook was relieved to escape with a draw after the tourists posted only 167 in their first innings. He said it put them on good footing for the second Test. “The character to dig ourselves out of a hole is very pleasing,” he said. “It certainly gives us some confidence, especially when you get bowled out for 160 in the first innings, as a batting unit you can start to have negative thoughts. You don’t want that to snowball.” England resumed the final day at 234 for

one and added 31 before Nick Compton fell for 117, trapped leg before wicket by a swinging delivery from Wagner. Compton’s maiden Test century and his 231-run opening stand with Cook, who made 116, may well have secured his international career. Compton’s previous nine Test innings had produced a best score of only 57. Wagner, a late inclusion in the side when Doug Bracewell cut his foot, staked a strong claim to be retained for the second Test after finishing with figures of three for 141 to go with his four-wicket bag in the first innings. In the session between lunch and tea, the left-arm seamer claimed the wickets of Jonathan Trott, caught and bowled for 52, and Kevin Pietersen who was caught behind for 12. As the senior batsmen came and went, nightwatchman Finn doggedly pressed on to his maiden half-century, frustrating the New Zealand bowlers as he played a straight bat to anything heading towards the stumps. He survived two tough chances, edging the ball towards the slip cordon, and his 203 minutes at the crease included a 72minute period when he faced 50 dot balls before advancing from 53 to 54. But having refrained from anything flashy for more than two sessions Finn was undone immediately after tea when he attempted to play across the line against Bruce Martin and was deemed leg before wicket. Root’s brief stay in the middle ended when he was called for an unnecessary single by Bell and was run out without scoring on a direct hit from Tim Southee. Bell and Prior then steered England safely through to stumps, which was called with 15 overs remaining. Although Wagner was the principal wicket-taker for New Zealand, Trent Boult was the most economical bowler with one for 49 from 35 overs. Martin took one for 90 in 44 overs. —AFP

SCOREBOARD DUNEDIN, New Zealand: Scoreboard at the close of play on the fifth and final day of the first test between New Zealand and England at University Oval yesterday: England first innings 167 all out New Zealand first innings 460-9 dec. England second innings (overnight 234-1) A. Cook c Watling b Boult 116 N. Compton lbw b Wagner 117 S. Finn lbw b Martin 56 J. Trott c & b Wagner 52 K. Pietersen c Watling b Wagner 12 I. Bell not out 26 J. Root run out 0 M. Prior not out 23 Extras (b-6, lb-11, nb-1, w-1) 19

Total (for six wickets, 170 overs) 421 Fall of wickets: 1-231 2-265 3-355 4-367 5-386 6-390 Bowling: T. Southee 36-8-94-0 (nb-1), T. Boult 35-12-49-1, N. Wagner 43-9-141-3 (w-1), B. Martin 44-13-90-1, K. Williamson 12-3-30-0. Result: Match drawn Remaining fixtures March 14-18 - second test, Wellington March 22-26 - third test, Auckland

Porte wins Paris-Nice race PARIS: Team Sky rider Richie Porte became the first winner of Paris-Nice yesterday as he won the final stage 9.6km time-trial to hold off the challenge of American Andrew Talansky. The 28-year-old began the day with a 32sec lead over Talansky in the prestigious race and came home in a time of 19min 16secs to wrap up the overall victory. He increased his overall advantage 55secs with a rock solid showing in the time-trial that featured a rolling course suited to his talents and finishing with the only summit finish of the week-long race. The Tasmania native, who only turned

professional in 2010, picked up the biggest win of his career, although he had finished seventh in his debut season on the Giro d’Italia after holding the leader’s pink jersey for three days and finishing the race at best young rider. “To succeed such great names as (Tony) Martin and Bradley (Wiggins) is huge for me. I feel very honoured,” he enthused after the race. Frenchman Jean-Christophe Peraud snatched the final place on the overall podium by finishing fourth on the day to push American Tejay Van Garderen into fourth overall while compatriot Sylvain Chavanel had to settle for fifth.—AFP

GALLE: Mohammad Ashraful and Mushfiqur Rahim smashed impressive centuries in a record stand as Bangladesh dominated the third day of the opening Test against Sri Lanka in Galle yesterday. Ashraful hit an unbeaten 189 not out, the highest by a Bangladeshi in Tests, on his comeback and Rahim made a career-best 152 not out as the tourists posted 438-4 in their first innings at stumps in reply to Sri Lanka’s 570-4 declared. Their 261-run unbroken stand was Bangladesh’s highest for any wicket in Tests, the previous best being 200 for the second wicket between Tamim Iqbal and Junaid Siddique against India in Dhaka in 2010. Bangladesh also surpassed their previous highest total of 413 against Sri Lanka in Tests. The tourists, who avoided the follow-on in the final session, now trail by 132 runs with six wickets in hand. The 28-yearold Ashraful, who played his last Test in December 2011, hit one six and 20 fours in his sixth Test hundred, and the fifth against Sri Lanka, while Rahim, 24, smashed one six and 18 fours in his second Test century. “We needed a partnership and I had one with Mushfiq. The wicket was very nice and I believed if I don’t make any mistake I won’t be out. I just wanted to continue, just batting, batting and batting,” said Ashraful. “Every time I play against Sri Lanka I feel very confident. It’s still a very good wicket and I think we can bat two more sessions easily.” It was a frustrating day for Sri Lanka as none of their bowlers could keep up pressure on Ashraful and wicketkeeper-batsman Rahim on a good batting pitch. The hosts went wicketless after striking twice in the opening 11 overs. “Certainly we are not in position that we hoped when we came to the ground this morning. We were hoping for a better day and all credit to Bangladesh,” said Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford. “Obviously we believe we can win and I think everybody knows that game can change rapidly. There is still a lot of cricket left in this match.” Bangladesh added 303 to their overnight total of 1352 for the loss of just two wickets. Ashraful, 65 overnight, completed his century with an aggressive shot when he firmly drove unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis through the covers for a four in the morning. Rahim also played some handsome shots during his big innings and reached his hundred in the last session when he swept Mendis for a four. Debutant Mominul Haque also impressed, scoring an 83-ball 55 with nine fours. He added 105 for the third wicket with Ashraful before being caught at first slip by skipper Angelo Mathews off paceman Nuwan Kulasekara. The left-hander added 20 runs to his overnight score of 35. Sri Lanka struck again when left-arm spinner Rangana Herath had Mohammad Mahmudullah stumped for no score to reduce Bangladesh to 177-4 before Ashraful and Rahim propped up the innings.—AFP

GALLE: Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim (right) shares a light moment with batsman Mohammad Ashraful at the end of the third day of the first Test cricket match against Sri Lanka. —AP

SCOREBOARD GALLE, Sri Lanka: Scoreboard at the close on the third day of the first test between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh yesterday: Sri Lanka first innings 570-4 declared Bangladesh first innings (135-2 overnight) Jahurul Islam c Chandimal b Eranga 20 Anamul Haque b Mendis 13 Mohammad Ashraful not out 189 Mominul Haque c Mathews b Kulasekara55 Mahmudullah st Chandimal b Herath 0 Mushfiqur Rahim not out 152

Extras (b-2, lb-1, nb-6) 9 Total (for four wickets in 136 overs) 438 Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-65, 3-170, 4-177. To bat: Nasir Hossain, Abul Hasan, Sohag Gazi, Elias Sunny, Shahadat Hossain. Bowling: Kulasekara 21-3-76-1 (nb-1), Eranga 22-3-80-1 (nb-5), Herath 42-9-103-1, Mendis 23-2-92-1, Mathews 6-1-16-0, Dilshan 20-3-550, Thirimanne 2-0-13-0.

South Africa defeat Pakistan BLOEMFONTEIN: Colin Ingram hit an unbeaten century to set up a comfortable 125-run win for South Africa in the first oneday international against Pak istan at Chevrolet Park yesterday. The left-handed Ingram made 105 not out as South Africa piled up 315 for four after being sent in to bat. Pakistan could only make 190 in reply. Ingram made his runs off 103 balls with ten fours. It was his third one-day international century and his second against Pakistan. He shared partnerships of 120 for the third wicket with captain AB de Villiers (65), 62 for the fourth wicket with Faf du Plessis (26) and 50 off only 23 balls with Farhaan Behardien, who hammered 34 not out off 14 deliveries. Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla set an aggressive tone with an opening partnership of 72 after South Africa were sent in, with both batsmen going for their shots against Junaid Khan and Umar Gul despite the Pakistan new ball bowlers getting some early assistance from the pitch. Pak istan made a bright star t with Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed putting on 42 for the first wicket off 43 balls before the suffered a double blow. Jamshed was caught at slip by Graeme Smith off Rory Kleinveldt for 25 and Hafeez fell for the same score in unlucky fashion when a drive by Younis Khan was deflected by bowler Kleinveldt into the stumps for Hafeez to be run out. Asad Shafiq fell cheaply and Pakistan were unable to build substantial partnerships with captain Misbah-ul-Haq top-scoring with 38. Shahid Afridi hit 34 off 16 balls before he was last man out but his innings was never likely to alter the outcome. Afridi hit three sixes, including a massive strike which sailed out of the ground and into a car park. Kleinveldt, whose first two balls were hit for four, came back strongly to finish with four for 22 in 5.2 overs, while Ryan McLaren took three for 19. The win gave South Africa a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. The second match will be in Centurion on Friday.—AFP

BLOEMFONTEIN: South Africa’s cricketer Faf du Plessis plays a shot during a One Day International (ODI) cricket match against Pakistan. —AFP

SCOREBOARD BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa: Scores in the first one-day international between South Africa and Pakistan at Chevrolet Park yesterday. South Africa G. Smith c Kamran Akmal b Saeed Ajmal 30 H. Amla c Shoaib Malik b Mohd Hafeez 43 A. de Villiers c Younis Khan b Ajmal 65 C. Ingram not out 105 F. du Plessis c Umar Gul b Junaid 26 F. Behardien not out 34 Extras (b1, lb5, w6) 12 Total (4 wkts, 50 overs) 315 Fall of wickets: 1-72 (Smith), 2-83 (Amla), 3-203 (De Villiers), 4-265 (Du Plessis) Bowling: Junaid Khan 9-0-59-0, Umar Gul 101-68-0 (1w), Mohammad Hafeez 10-0-48-1 (3w), Saeed Ajmal 10-0-53-2 (1w), Shahid Afridi 8-0-60-0 (1w), Shoaib Malik 3-0-21-0 Did not bat: R. McLaren, R. Peterson, R. Kleinveldt, K. Abbott, L. Tsotsobe Pakistan Mohammad Hafeez run out (Kleinveldt) 25 Nasir Jamshed c Smith b Kleinveldt 25

Younis Khan c De Villiers b Abbott 30 Asad Shafiq c Abbott b McLaren 5 Misbah-ul-Haq c De Villiers b McLaren 38 Shoaib Malik c McLaren b Tsotsobe 19 Kamran Akmal c Smith b McLaren 2 Shahid Afridi c Behardien b Kleinveldt 34 Umar Gul c and b Kleinveldt 2 Saeed Ajmal lbw b Kleinveldt 0 Junaid Khan not out 0 Extras (lb6, w4) 10 Total (36.2 overs) 190 Fall of wickets: 1-42 (Jamshed), 2-52 (Hafeez), 3-65 (Shafiq), 4-114 (Younis), 5-135 (Misbah), 6-148 (Kamran), 7-165 (Malik), 8-178 (Gul), 9178 (Ajmal) Bowling: Tsotsobe 9-0-52-1 (3w), Abbott 6-035-1, Kleinveldt 5.2-2-22-4 (1w), Peterson 8-0-47-0, McLaren 7-0-19-3, Behardien 1-0-9-0 Result: South Africa won by 125 runs Series: South Africa lead the five -match series 1-0

Vettel four-title bid faces threat

FRANCE: Winner of Paris-Nice cycling race, Richie Porte of Australia poses for photographers on the podium after the final stage, in Eze, close to Nice. —AP

PARIS: Sebastian Vettel’s bid to become only the third driver to rack-up four successive world titles faces a triple-edged challenge from Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes in 2013. The German Red Bull driver was crowned the youngest three-time champion in 2012, grabbing the championship from Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso by just three points in a breath-taking season-finale in Brazil after a roller-coaster campaign. Vettel and Red Bull, whose lacklustre performance in pre-season winter testing was masked by sleight of hand fuelling to keep rivals guessing, will start the 19race campaign as favorites. Ferrari and McLaren will, as always, be closely tucked in, but Mercedes, with a bank-busting budget and with Lewis Hamilton having replaced

Michael Schumacher, are widely-expected to smash through the three-team dominance. Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, who consistently out-paced the ageing Schumacher in 2012, set the fastest times in testing in Barcelona, while former champions Alonso and McLaren’s Jenson Button, were just off their shoulders. Hamilton, the 2008 champion, insists his first year with the German giants will be a learning curve and that teams’ strengths and weaknesses will not be apparent until the season-opener in Melbourne on March 17. “I don’t think there are any expectations,” Hamilton told autosport.com. “If anything, I feel like I have a free ticket. It’s a year where we know we may not have the best package, but it’s a challenge

for me. “I think the pressure is more on the other guys, who had great cars and were evolved into this year’s car. They have the pressure to go and compete and perform. For us, we only have everything to gain.” Vettel, looking to emulate Juan Manuel Fangio and Schumacher as a four-in-a-row champion, was only eighth fastest in testing at Barcelona last weekend. His test, as well as that of teammate Mark Webber, saw the Red Bulls run full of fuel and with 2012 having seen a dip in their dominance-seven wins compared to 11 the year before-Vettel is keeping his feet on the ground. “We’re in good enough shape I think. Overall testing has been good for us and we didn’t have too many problems,” said the German.—AFP


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

S P ORTS

Sizzling Woods leads at Doral MIAMI: An on-fire Tiger Woods will take a four-stroke lead over Graeme McDowell into Sunday’s final round of the WGCCadillac Championship after shooting a five-under-par 67 at Doral on Saturday. Woods, searching for his 76th PGA Tour victory, finished his third round in fine style with a 16-foot birdie putt on the 18th, highlighting his outstanding work on the greens so far in the tournament. The 14-times major winner finished the day at 18-under for a 198 total, while McDowell’s three-under par 69 put him on 14-under at 202. The debate over whether Woods is “back” will not be over until he wins a major championship again, but on this display he will be the favourite, on form and not just reputation, at the Masters next month. Woods, who won in January at Torrey Pines, has made 24 birdies through 54 holes - a personal record at this stage in a tournament and he has never lost a final round where he has led by three or more strokes. “He putted fantastically today,” said playing partner McDowell. “He controlled every part of his game very well, very few loose shots. He’s going to be a tough man to catch tomorrow.” Woods, who started with a two-stroke lead over McDowell, began his round in blistering fashion by collecting birdies on his first three holes and added four more before heading to the clubhouse with only two blemishes on his card, a bogey on the fifth and on the 17th. The bogey on the penultimate hole came courtesy of a freak incident where his ball stuck in the top of a palm tree, forcing him to take unplayable lie and a penalty stroke. Woods was powerful and mostly accurate off the tee but also was outstanding with his short irons. “I’m hitting the ball further and it is just about adjustments. I had to re-establish the new numbers and new feels and it took a little bit of time

and I worked on it. It is starting to pay off,” said the world number t wo. McDowell, also striding the course in confidence, made an equally lightning start with an eagle on the first and a birdie on the third, reaching the turn at four-under. The Northern Irishman lost his momentum with a bogey on the 11th and a double on the 14th, where he got in trouble in the rough. The 2010 US Open winner bounced back though with a superb eagle on the par-four 16th, where he drove over the back of the green and then superbly chipped in from 22 feet. Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker are both five shots off the lead, tied for third place, af ter shooting rounds of 69. Mickelson had hoped for a final round pairing with Woods and a chance to avenge him for the defeat in the ‘Duel at Doral’ in the 2005 Ford Open but he still believes he can catch his old rival. “I’m going to have to play a really incredible round on Sunday but I really don’t have to play that different than I played today,” said Mickelson. “I threw away five or six shots on and around the greens. I just can’t afford to give away those shots.” Stricker, who gave putting lessons to Woods on the eve of this tournament, may privately wonder if that was the best-timed gesture and he conceded that Woods looks hard to budge. “You know what kind of closer he is. When he gets a lead in a tournament it is tough. He doesn’t let too many guys in usually,” said Stricker. World number one Rory McIlroy made six birdies as he recovered from a poor start of a bogey on the third and a double-bogey on the next hole. McIlroy, still feeling his way back to form after intensive work on his swing, carded a oneunder 71 and is three-under for the tournament, 15 strokes behind Woods and tied in 30th place.—Reuters

DORAL: Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the fourth hole during the third round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship.—AFP

Gomez, Brown share lead PUERTO RICO: Argentine Fabian Gomez and American Scott Brown share the lead at 18under at the Puerto Rico Open as they head into Sunday’s final round four strokes clear of the field. Gomez, searching for a maiden PGA Tour victory, shot a seven-under round of 65 at the Trump International Golf Club with his one bogey coming on the 10th hole. Brown, from

Augusta, Georgia, had a five-under 67, also with just one bogey. Andres Romero, another Argentine who was in strong contention, fell down the leaderboard after a triple bogey on the parfour 12th. He eventually finished at threeover 75, leaving him seven shots off the leaders. Australian Matt Jones shot the best round of the day with an eight-under 64 that moved

him within six strokes of Gomez and Brown. Gomez said he was hoping for some wind late yesterday. “There are many good players in this field and it’s a course where you can go low. So you have to work hard and play well. “If it gets windy, that’ll be better. It will play a little more difficult. If there’s no wind, you will need a lot of birdies to win,” he said.—Reuters

Islanders down Capitals UNIONDALE: John Tavares scored two power-play goals in the third period to lift the New York Islanders to a 5-2 win over Washington on Saturday, ending the Capitals’ three-game winning streak. Tavares scored his 15th goal at 12:13 and his teamleading 16th - the 100th of his career - 30 seconds later, and Evgeni Nabokov made 22 saves for the Islanders. Josh Bailey, Casey Cizikas and Frans Nielsen also scored for the Islanders, who won for the third time in four games and improved to 11-11-3. Tavares’ first goal came as Washington’s Mike Ribeiro was serving a four-minute penalty for high sticking and unsportsmanlike conduct. His second came with Jeff Schultz in the box - also for a doubleminor - as Tavares beat Washington’s Philipp Grubauer, who faced 45 shots in his first NHL start. Mathieu Perreault and Nicklas Backstrom scored for the Capitals, who came in with eight wins in 11 games since starting the season 2-8-1 under first-year coach Adam Oates.

LONDON: England’s fly half Toby Flood (left) is tackled by Italy’s Antonio Pavanello (seconf left) during the Six Nations international rugby union match against Italy at Twickenham Stadium. —AP

England survive Italy fright to keep Grand Slam bid alive LONDON: England came through a huge scare to keep their Grand Slam hopes alive with an unconvincing 18-11 victory over Italy in the Six Nations Championship at Twickenham yesterday. When Italy scored the only try of the match, through Australia-born wing Luke McLean in the 49th minute, they cut England’s lead to 15-11. But England, with recalled fly-half Toby Flood kicking all of the hosts’ points courtesy of six penalties, hung on to set up a title-decider away to champions Wales on Saturday. A Wales victory at the Millennium Stadium will deny England a first Grand Slam since their World Cup-winning year of 2003 at the Millennium Stadium. And this result left England with a mere plus eight points difference advantage over their title rivals. England came into this match having won all their previous 18 Tests against Italy. But come the finish they were forced into some desperate scrambling as Italy laid siege to their line. England coach Stuart Lancaster made several changes to the team that beat France 2313, handing a first start to Saracens prop Mako Vunipola. He also selected a new half-back combination in scrum-half Danny Care, who replaced Ben Youngs, and Flood, in for the injured Owen Farrell. Italy threw the competition wide open on the first weekend with a 23-18 win over pre-tournament favourites France only to subsequently lose heavily to Scotland and Wales. The Italians were like a ship without a rudder against Wales in the absence of captain Sergio Parisse. But the worldclass No 8 returned at Twickenham after his ban for abusing a referee in a French club fixture was reduced on appeal and so too did fly-half Luciano Orquera, who masterminded the win over France. England forced a fourth minute penalty that Flood converted and it looked as if the visitors would soon crack. Flood and Orquera then exchanged penalties before Italy came desperately close to a

try. Parisse burst round the front of a lineout and his superb inside pass found Alessandro Zanni. The flanker’s return pass was knocked up and although Italy scrum-half Edoardo Gori regathered, Irish referee George Clancy mistakenly blew for an Italian knock-on. England then squandered a tr y chance when after a break by wing Chris Ashton, Flood was held up over the line as he attempted to ground the ball. Clancy then penalised England for early engagement at the ensuing five-metre scrum and the try chance disappeared. England were becoming increasingly sloppy but Italy’s cause wasn’t helped either side of the half-hour mark. First power ful prop Martin Castrogiovanni went off injured and then scrum-half Edoardo Gori was sin-binned for pulling back Flood without the ball. Flood increased England’s lead before the hosts butchered a try on the stroke of half-time. Mike Brown burst down the left but was unable to find supporting fellow wing Ashton. Brad Barritt then didn’t move the ball wide and although England had an overlap, the chance evaporated when lock Geoff Parling put a foot in touch as he tried to take a high pass. Fortunately for England, Italy centre Gonzalo Canale had strayed offside and Flood’s fourth penalty left them 12-3 up at the interval. Flood then made it five from five to extend England’s lead early in the second half before an Orquera penalty cut their advantage to 15-6. Then the nightmare scenario for England of an Italy win loomed when the Azzurri scored a fine try. Care’s poor tap penalty put England under pressure and the scrum-half ’s attempted clearance kick went backwards. Italy secured possession and Orquera’s superbly weighted cross-field kick-pass was regathered by McLean, who went over. Orquera, however, missed the conversion and a subsequent penalty before Flood kicked England a converted try in front at 18-11.—AFP

Blue Jackets 3, Red Wings 0 In Columbus, Sergei Bobrovsky had 29 saves in his first career shutout, and Cam Atkinson and Nick Foligno took advantage of Detroit giveaways to score goals in leading the suddenly hot Columbus Blue Jackets to a victory over the Red Wings. Jack Johnson also picked up a power-play goal for the Blue Jackets, who have won four in a row and earned points in their last six. For a change they didn’t work overtime. They had gone to extra time in their previous five games. Bobrovsky, acquired in a trade with Philadelphia last summer, picked up his first career shutout in his 99th NHL game and 16th with Columbus. Bruins 3, Flyers 0 In Boston, Tyler Seguin scored his third goal in two games and the Boston Bruins added two more in a span of just over 2 minutes in a win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Tuukka Rask made 23 saves in his second shutout of the season as the Bruins won the first of three meetings with Philadelphia. Goals scored by Seguin, Chris Kelly and Daniel Paille in the first period were all Boston needed against the slumping Flyers. One week after reaching .500 for the first time this season, the Flyers lost their third straight. Blues 4, Sharks 3 In San Jose, Vladimir Sobotka recorded his first career hat trick and Patrik Berglund scored 72 seconds into overtime to lift the St. Louis Blues past the San Jose Sharks. Berglund’s team-leading 12th goal of the season came after the Blues rallied from two goals down in the third period. Sobotka, in the best stretch of his career, had both scores to tie it before Berglund’s game-winner. Sobotka has five goals in his last three games. Scott Gomez had a goal and assist for San Jose, which has lost nine of its last 11 against St. Louis. Penguins 5, Maple Leafs 4 In Toronto, Sidney Crosby and James Neal scored shootout goals, and Pittsburgh beat Toronto for its NHL-leading 11th road win. Neal opened the shootout with a goal against James Reimer before Crosby sealed the win on Pittsburgh’s second attempt after Marc-Andre Fleury stopped Toronto’s Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri. Phil Kessel forced overtime for the Maple Leafs with his seventh of the season at 15:40 of the third. Neal, Crosby, Beau Bennett and Pascal Dupuis scored in regulation for Pittsburgh (17-8-0), which outshot Toronto 41-26. Crosby scored in his first game in Toronto in over three years to extend his point streak to a season-high seven games (five goals, 10 assists). James van Riemsdyk, Cody Franson and Clarke MacArthur had the other goals for Toronto (15-10-1). Defenseman Dion Phaneuf added three assists. Hurricanes 6, Devils 3 In Raleigh, Jiri Tlusty had two goals, and surging Carolina built an early lead and carried it through to a victory over slumping New Jersey. Alexander Semin and Jay Harrison scored 28 seconds apart in the first period, and Jeff Skinner and Chris Terry - in his NHL debut - added goals for the Hurricanes, who won for

the fifth time in six games. Dan Ellis made 31 saves in the victory. Tlusty’s second goal was into an empty net with 1:14 remaining. New Jersey got two goals from Ilya Kovalchuk, including a short-handed tally, and one from Patrik Elias, but that wasn’t enough for the Devils to avoid their seventh loss in eight games without top goalie Martin Brodeur. Johan Hedberg stopped only 13 of 18 Carolina shots through two periods and was replaced by Jeff Frazee, who made his NHL debut, at the start of the third. Canadiens 4, Lightning 3 In Tampa, Brendan Gallagher broke a tie with Montreal’s third goal of the third period, and the Eastern Conference-leading Canadiens rallied to beat Tampa Bay. The Canadiens pulled within 3-2 on Brian Gionta’s power-play goal 3:49 into the third, and Alexei Emelin tied it at 7:33. Gallagher then put the puck past Cedrick Desjardins from in-close to give Montreal a 4-3 lead with 7:57 to play. Montreal also got a goal from Tomas Plekanec and two assists from Michael Ryder as the Canadiens won for the third time in a five-game trip that has one game remaining. Steven Stamkos scored his NHL-leading 19th goal, and Martin St. Louis had two assists for the Lightning, who have lost seven of eight. Sami Salo and Ryan Malone had the other Tampa Bay goals. Coyotes 2, Stars 1 In Glendale, Rob Klinkhammer netted his first NHL goal in his Coyotes debut, and Shane Doan also scored as Phoenix beat Dallas. Mike Smith made 20 saves for the Coyotes, who ended a two-game losing streak.

Phoenix won the season series from Dallas 2-1-1 and has a point in nine of 10 games against the Stars. Jaromir Jagr scored a goal during a 5-on-3 power play for the Stars, who had a two-game winning streak snapped. Wild 2, Predators 1 In Nashville, Matt Cullen scored the shootout-winning goal to give Minnesota a victory over Nashville. The Wild, who have won two of three, sent Nashville to its fourth loss in five games. Cullen and Wild captain Mikko Koivu both scored in the shootout. Craig Smith was the only Nashville shooter to score in the tiebreaker against Niklas Backstrom. Zach Parise gave the Wild a 1-0 lead in the second period. David Legwand tied it for Nashville in the third. Kings 6, Flames 2 In Los Angeles, Jeff Carter opened the scoring with his 13th goal in 13 games, Justin Williams had a goal and two assists, and the Los Angeles Kings beat Calgary in their first of back-to-back home games against the Flames. Anze Kopitar, Colin Fraser, Trevor Lewis and rookie defenseman Jake Muzzin also had goals, defenseman Slava Voynov tied a career high with his second threeassist game in a week, and Jonathan Quick made 17 saves to help lift the defending Stanley Cup champions into a tie with St. Louis and Detroit for fourth place in the Western Conference. Michael Cammalleri and Alex Tanguay scored for Calgary. Miikka Kiprusoff, making his third straight start after missing 13 games because of a sprained knee, gave up six goals on 22 shots and was replaced by Joey MacDonald after Fraser’s goal with 11:38 remaining.—AP

NASHVILLE: Ryan Ellis No.4 of the Nashville Predators defends Mike Rupp No. 27 of the Minnesota Wild in front of Predator goalie Pekka Rinne No. 35 at Bridgestone Arena.—AFP

NHL results/standings Boston 3, Philadelphia 0; NY Islanders 5, Washington 2; Columbus 3, Detroit 0; St. Louis 4, San Jose 3 (OT); Pittsburgh 5, Toronto 4 (SO); Carolina 6, New Jersey 3; Montreal 4, Tampa Bay 3; Minnesota 2, Nashville 1 (SO); Phoenix 2, Dallas 1; Los Angeles 6, Calgary 2. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division Pittsburgh New Jersey NY Rangers NY Islanders Philadelphia

W 17 11 12 11 11

Montreal Boston Toronto Ottawa Buffalo

16 16 15 13 9

Carolina Winnipeg Washington Tampa Bay Florida

14 12 10 10 7

L OTL GF GA PTS 8 0 91 75 34 9 5 62 73 27 9 2 59 57 26 11 3 76 82 25 14 1 72 80 23 Northeast Division 5 4 79 64 36 3 3 67 48 35 10 1 79 70 31 8 4 59 51 30 13 3 65 80 21 Southeast Division 9 1 75 69 29 11 1 61 71 25 12 1 68 68 21 14 1 85 79 21 12 6 62 93 20

Western Conference Central Division Chicago 21 1 3 80 52 45 St. Louis 13 9 2 74 73 28 Detroit 12 9 4 66 63 28 Nashville 10 9 6 54 61 26 Columbus 9 12 4 58 70 22 Northwest Division Vancouver 11 6 6 64 63 28 Minnesota 12 9 2 54 57 26 Calgary 9 10 4 63 79 22 Colorado 9 10 4 59 67 22 Edmonton 8 11 5 54 71 21 Pacific Division Anaheim 17 3 3 81 60 37 Los Angeles 13 8 2 68 59 28 San Jose 11 7 5 54 54 27 Phoenix 12 10 3 72 72 27 Dallas 12 10 2 67 67 26 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L)


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

S P ORT S

Nadal triumphant on his hardcourt return

INDIAN WELLS: Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, returns a shot to Daniela Hantuchova, of Slovakia, during their match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament.—AP

Azarenka, Stosur advance INDIAN WELLS: Australian Open champion and top seed Victoria Azarenka recovered from a sluggish start to beat Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova 6-4 6-1 in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday. Trailing 1-4 in the opening set, the ponytailed Belarusian then gave herself a wake-up call and seized control by winning 11 of the next 12 games to improve her record this season to 15-0. Azarenka clinched the first set with an ace, then broke Hantuchova for a sixth time in the seventh game of the second when the twice former champion dumped a backhand into the net. “First round matches are never easy and Daniela is such a great player,” Azarenka said courtside at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. “She started really well. It was my first match after a while, so it’s always a little bit tricky. “She already had a match under her belt, plus I think she really feels very good here, winning two times before. So it caught me a little bit off guard. I needed a bit of time to realise ... that I had to step it up if I want to win the match. “I adjusted really well, tried to make her hit out of her comfort zone, because at the beginning she was really going for her shots and making incredible winners. I changed the momentum.” Azarenka, who demolished Russian Maria Sharapova 6-2 6-3 in last year’s final at Indian Wells, will next face Belgian Kirsten Flipkens, who earlier scraped past Romania’s Monica Niculescu 4-6 6-4 6-3. In other matches, former U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur eased into the third round with a commanding 6-3 6-4 victory

over American teenager Madison Keys while fourth-seeded German Angelique Kerber swept past Romania’s Irina Begu 6-3 6-2. Eighth seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark battled past Frenchwomen Alize Cornet 6-4 3-6 6-3 and 2008 champion Ana Ivanovic of Serbia hammered American wildcard Taylor Townsend 6-1 6-2. Australian Stosur, seeded seventh in the elite WTA event at Indian Wells, broke her opponent’s serve once in each set to win the first match of the day on the showpiece Stadium Court after an hour-and-a-quarter. In bright desert sunshine, Stosur sealed victory on her first match point when wildcard Keys netted a forehand from the baseline and will next meet China’s Peng Shuai, a 6-0 4-6 6-3 winner over Romania’s Alexandra Dulgheru. “I’m happy with the way I played,” Stosur, who won her only grand slam singles title at the 2011 U.S. Open, said. “I thought I served very well. “As soon as I put a little bit of pressure on her early on in her service game ... I really took a bit of a stranglehold on the match.” Stosur was lavish in her praise of the 18-year-old American, who reached her first WTA quarter-final in Sydney earlier this year. “She’s got a big game,” the Australian world number nine said of Keys. “Her forehand is massive and she’s got a very big serve. She’s just got to put all the pieces together. “She’s only 18. I think she’s got a lot of potential. She has those big weapons that win these big matches.” In earlier matches, 10th-seeded Russian Nadia Petrova eased past Swiss Stefanie Voegele 6-2 6-3 and Belgian Yanina Wickmayer beat Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 3-6 6-3 6-2.—Reuters

NEW YORK: Bernard Hopkins (right) punches Tavoris Cloud (left) during the 10th round of an IBF Light Heavyweight championship boxing match at the Barclays Center.—AP

Hopkins becomes oldest boxer to win major title NEW YORK: Bernard Hopkins became the oldest boxer to win a major title on Saturday, scoring a 12-round unanimous decision over Tavoris Cloud to claim the IBF light heavyweight championship. “It feels good. It feels real good,” Hopkins said. “I’m going to Junior’s (Restaurant and) I’m going to have cheesecake.” The 48-year- old Hopkins broke the record he set by beating Jean Pascal for the WBC light heavyweight title on May 21, 2011. When asked which fight meant more, Hopkins said “tonight was better. Because I’m older. (It’s) more gratifying. “Tonight was one of the bigger fights (in my career).” And while he reveled in what he accomplished, he was looking toward the future. Hopkins, who was adamant that he will not fight past 50, laid a challenge at the feet of the 175-pound and 168-pound divisions. “I’m motivated to do it,” Hopkins said. “I don’t believe anybody in the 175(-pound) weight class and possibly the 168(-pound) class can beat me.” Hopkins, fighting his 19th title bout, improved to 53-6-2 in the main event of an eight-fight card at the Barclays Center. The 30-year-old Cloud fell to 19-1. “It was great to break (in) the Barclays Center with a (legendary) performance,” Hopkins said. With Hopkins forcing a patient, technical match, Cloud was unable to press the issue and Hopkins circled him, landing jabs to his face, eventually opening a cut above his left eye. “I have to throw a lot of substance (into fights). I’m fighting old school in a new world. (I) have to learn to adapt to what (the judges) are looking for,” Hopkins said. “We knew a 30-year-old guy was not going to run from a 48-year-old guy.” Hopk ins connec ted on 169 of 417 punches. Cloud landed 139 of 650. “I was

only average tonight,” Cloud said. “He hit me with an elbow but I’m not complaining. It is what it is.” Keith Thurman won the WBO intercontinental welterweight title with a 12-round, unanimous decision over Jan Zaveck . Thurman improved to 20-0 and Zaveck fell to 32-3. Thurman and Paulie Malignaggi engaged in a shouting match af ter Thurman challenged the WBA welterweight champion to a title fight during the postfight news conference. “(There is a) lot of action in the welterweight division,” Thurman said before focusing on Malignaggi, sitting in the back of the room. “You better not duck me, son.” Malignaggi fired back, saying “Bring that money. It’s prize fighting, dummy. I’m ducking you because you don’t bring (any) money.” Michael Perez (18-1-2) and Lonnie Smith (14-4-3) fought to a majority draw in the first bout on the main card. The bout was called midway through the seventh round after Perez absorbed what was ruled “an accidental head butt” that led to blood running down both sides of his face. Judges Julie Lederman and Carlos Ortiz both had the fight 66-66, while Perez led 67-65 on Joe Pasquale’s card. “The guy kept head-butting me from the first round on. In the first round, he nailed me in the left eye. Fourth round, he cut me up here above my right eye. In the sixth, he got me in my temple,” Perez said. “To me, it’s all about points and not rushing forward. It’s about getting in clean shots and getting points. I’m going to take a little break and rest my body and recuperate and the get back in there.” Steve Bujaj (9-0), Claude Staten Jr. (1-0), Frank Galarza (9-0-1), Marcus Browne (3-0) and Eddie Gomez (13-0) won undercard fights. The announced attendance was 12,293.—AP

INDIAN WELLS: With the tennis world watching closely, Rafa Nadal made a successful return to Indian Wells with a 7-6 6-2 victory over Ryan Harrison in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday. Though initially looking a little rusty, the Spanish left-hander showed no visible sign of discomfort after being sidelined for seven months last year by a left knee injury before sealing a commanding win in just over an hour and a half. Playing his first match on a hardcourt surface in 346 days, Nadal edged a close first set 7-3 in the tiebreak, then broke Harrison’s serve in the third and fifth games of the second to take firm control. The Spanish world number five, who had his left knee taped up through the match, served out to book his place in the third round, ending Harrison’s brave challenge with an overhead smash to spark loud roars from the crowd. “It was a good victory for me today against a good opponent,” Nadal, who clinched the Indian Wells title in 2007 and 2009, told reporters. “I am satisfied to be in the next round. That’s the most important thing. “Two weeks ago, I didn’t really know if I would be here playing. I am happy to be here. I am happy to be in the third round.” Asked how he felt after the match, Nadal replied: “I am fine. My physical per formance needs to improve. My movements need to improve. Matches like this help for me sure, no? “Today, more than any result, any victory is important because that gives me the chance to play

another day. I need to compete. That’s the only way to play well in a short period of time.” Nadal, who has enjoyed a successful tournament run on clay in recent weeks, was given an electrifying welcome by a vocal crowd

when he first walked out on to the showpiece Stadium Court at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. He made a confident start, racing into a 4-1 lead before his 73rdranked opponent broke back in the seventh game to take the opening

INDIAN WELLS: Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a return to Ryan Harrison during day 4 of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. —AFP

set into a tiebreak. Nadal, who had occasionally blasted his ground strokes long as he tried to find his range, stormed 5-1 ahead in the tiebreak before wrapping up the set in 54 minutes after he struck a deep forehand which forced an error by Harrison. The Spaniard did not look back, breaking Harrison in the third game of the second set with a stunning crosscourt pass and also in the fifth with a dipping forehand service return which the American could not retrieve. While Nadal did not attempt to slide in his customary manner as he moved from side to side in some of the longer baseline rallies, he did not appear to be in any discomfort on the surface expected to trouble him most following his knee injury. “After seven months, I’m not going to take crazy risks,” said the 26-year-old, who won his 11th grand slam title at the French Open last June. “But I am here. When I am playing a tournament, if you know me, my mentality is to try my best in every moment. “For my first tournament on (a) hard (surface) and with the conditions, I don’t expect a big result but just to be here, to practise with the other players, compete like I did tonight and have another chance tomorrow.” The Spaniard, who returned to the ATP circuit last month in South America where he competed in three relatively minor claycourt events, winning two of them after reaching all three finals, will next face Leonardo Mayer of Argentina. Mayer brushed aside Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-2 6-3 earlier in the day.—Reuters

Kostelic wins WCup slalom KRANJSKA GORA: Ivica Kostelic of Croatia won a rain-drenched World Cup slalom yesterday, while Marcel Hirscher of Austria clinched the discipline title after his sole rival skied out in the opening run. Kostelic mastered the difficult conditions on the weakened Podkoren course to finish in an aggregate time of 1 minute, 45.81 seconds. Hirscher finished 0.19 behind in second, and fellow Austrian Mario Matt came third, 0.34 behind Kostelic. Hirscher led Felix Neureuther by 184 points going into the race, and the German was left without a chance of making up the deficit when he straddled a gate in the opening run. “I got the maximum result, I am totally relieved,” said Hirscher, who won the giant slalom globe last season on his way to winning the overall title. “To win the slalom globe means a lot to me. I am more relaxed now. The small globe is important as I hadn’t won this one before.” The Austrian, who turned 24 last week, is the youngest man to win the slalom globe since Kostelic in 2002. He is the seventh Austrian to win the title, more than any other country. Hirscher has finished in the top three of all World Cup slaloms this season, making him the first man with eight straight slalom podiums since Italian great Alberto Tomba in 1991-92. Hirscher also placed second and first respectively in the two city events in Munich and Moscow, which counted for the slalom standings. The Austrian leads Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal, who skipped the race, by 149 points in the overall standings with four events remaining at the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Alexis Pinturault of France opened the race on a rapidly deteriorating course and led the field by 1.45 seconds after the first leg, but failed to finish his final run. Kostelic, who was 1.51 off the lead, benefited from Pinturault’s mistake to land his second victory of the season and 26th overall. “This is a very emotional win for me,” Kostelic said. “I have been training on this hill as a kid and have raced here more than anywhere else. The win means a lot to me. It was a tough day for all of us.” Kostelic, who won the overall title two year ago, said he would undergo tests on his recurring knee problems later Sunday but confirmed his start in the World Cup finals. Many racers were critical of the conditions. The snow had already been softened after days of mild temperatures. Rain made the course even weaker. “As a late starter, you have no chance,” said Austrian veteran Benjamin Raich, who failed to finish his first run. “The course is not holding up well. It’s not dangerous but it’s not fair either.”

Kostelic also said the race “was not fair for late numbers but we have seen worse courses on the World Cup.” Ted Ligety, who secured his fourth giant slalom title here yesterday, finished 2.80 off the lead in 18th. In his first run, the American had a costly mistake that almost threw him off course at the fifth gate. He recovered to stay in the race but came 3.87 behind. “Miserable day for ski racing,” Ligety wrote on

Twitter, where he posted a photo of the spectators sheltering under umbrellas. “It’s been a tough day,” Ligety said. “I didn’t ski very well and these are really bad conditions.” Ligety earned 13 World Cup points to retain his third place in the overall standings, holding a 74-point lead over fourth-place Neureuther. The slalom was the last event before the World Cup finals start on Wednesday.—AP

KRANJSKA GORA: Ivica Kostelic of Croatia competes during the first run of FIS World Cup Men’s Slalom race. —AFP

Maze keeps GS hopes alive GERMANY: Tina Maze won her duel with world champion Mikaela Shiffrin in a women’s World Cup slalom yesterday to keep her chances alive of scoring a grand slam of crystal globes this season. Led by her young American rival in the morning run, the Slovenian overall runaway leader fought back in the afternoon to snatch her 10th victory of the World Cup season, her second in a slalom. In a combined time of one minute and 52.85 seconds, Maze beat Swiss hopeful Wendy Holdener by 0.25 seconds while Shiffrin settled for third, 0.75 adrift. With 2,254 points, the utterly dominant Maze again increased the all-time points

record in the overall World Cup and totals more than twice the score of nearest rival Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany, who is on 1,065 points. The Slovenian, who beat Hermann Maier’s previous record total of 2,000 points last weekend, also improved on one of the Austrian’s other career statistics by earning her 22nd podium of the season. In the slalom World Cup standings, she now leads second-placed Shiffrin by seven points with only one race left at the Lenzerheide finals next week. Maze remains in contention to win all four discipline World Cups on top of the overall big globe. —Reuters

Australia thrash Pakistan Sultan Azlan Shah Cup IPOH: World champions Australia put on a strong showing yesterday to whip Pakistan 6-0 in the second match of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. South Korea secured their first win when they defeated India 2-1 in a closely fought match, while host Malaysia kept up their winning ways to defeat defending champions New Zealand 2-1. In a show of clinical finishing, which was helped by an insipid Pakistan team, Australia, aiming for a seventh cup title, had little trouble collecting full points to lead the standings after two days. The world number two took the lead through Daniel Mirecki, and Matt Gohdes increased the gap with another field goal. Goalkeeper Imran Butt proved to be a bundle

of nerves. It got worse for the Pakistanis as the Australians rang up another two goals by Jacob Whetton for a 4-0 first half lead. Daniel Beale and then Nick Budgeon completed the rout, the latter with a penalty corner goal. Pakistan chief coach Akhtar Rasool said the players were tired and worn down by the humidity in the Southeast Asian nation. He added Butt might be replaced by Imran Shah. “We can only improve, and hopefully the rest day (Monday) will do the team some good,” he said. Australia’s coach Ric Charlesworth downplayed the rival’s thrashing. Australia already beat India on Saturday. “Beating Pakistan at any time is a welcome moment,” he said. “The big score is not that big a

deal as it can happen in an international match. The next minute you may end up losing to the same team.” Meanwhile, Kang Moon-Kweon scored twice for South Korea, while India earned their goal via Malak Singh. India went on to waste six penalty corners in the second half through poor execution and good defending by the Koreans. In the last match of the day, the goals came from Malaysia’s Chua Boon Huat and Ahmad Tajuddin Jalil, although the Kiwis pulled a goal back through Shay Neal. Malaysia now rank second with six points, like the Australians, having won both their games, ahead of South Korea and Pakistan. India and New Zealand have no points so far. The tournament ends next Sunday.—AFP


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

S P ORT S

Gerrard strike rocks Spurs Liverpool 3

Tottenham 2

VIGO: Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (left) celebrates with teammate Real Madrid’s Portuguese defender Pepe after scoring a goal during the Spanish League football match against Celta.—AFP

Ronaldo double sees Real past Celta Vigo MADRID: Real Madrid registered their sixth consecutive victory in all competitions as two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo led them to a 2-1 victory over Celta Vigo. Despite dominating for long spells in the first-half, Madrid couldn’t find a way past Celta goalkeeper Javi Varas until just after the hour mark when Ronaldo swept home a loose ball from close range. The lead lasted barely two minutes as Iago Aspas’s deflected effort wrong-footed Diego Lopez to bring Celta level. However, for all his good work in the first-half, Varas was at fault for the winner as he clipped Kaka inside the area and Ronaldo stepped up to smash home the penalty for his 40th goal of the season. Jose Mourinho again choose to rotate his side after their 2-1 victory against Manchester United in midweek with only Lopez, Sami Khedira, Mesut Ozil and Ronaldo retaining their places in the side. And Celta took advantage of Madrid’s makeshift defence early on as Lopez had to be quick off his line to deny Aspas in the first minute. The Madrid keeper was then forced into two good saves in quick succession as again Aspas got in behind the Madrid defence and after his low drive had been turned behind, Lopez had to get down well to prevent Alex Lopez’s deflected shot creeping in at his lefthand post. Slowly, though, the visitors started to take a stranglehold of the game and only a host of saves from Varas prevented them going into the break with a comfortable lead. Ronaldo was first to test the Celta stopper with a low drive from distance before Karim Benzema shot straight at Varas after skillfully weaving a way through the Celta defence. Varas did well again to repel Marcelo’s low drive after the Brazilian had been released by a wonderful pass from Khedira 10 minutes before

the break and even when the Celta keeper did make a mistake, Madrid couldn’t take advantage as Raul Albiol skied over after Varas had flapped at a corner. The chances continued to flow for Madrid, though, as Jose Maria Callejon also failed to beat Varas when he should have scored and even Ronaldo couldn’t find a way through as he crashed a header off the bar from Benzema’s cross four minutes before half-time. Xabi Alonso was introduced for Khedira at the break and with the Spanish international orchestrating in midfield, Madrid continued to create plenty of chances. Benzema was again denied by Varas with a bending shot from inside the area before Marcelo blazed over after being brilliantly played in by Alonso. The goal finally arrived for the visitors 16 minutes into the second-half as Ronaldo pounced on a loose ball inside the area after Callejon’s shot had been blocked. However, the lead only lasted two minutes as from Celta’s next attack Aspas spun inside the area and saw his shot deflect off Pepe and into the net with Lopez stranded. The Madrid keeper then nearly gifted the hosts a second as a simple cross from the left slipped through his grasp and Raul Albiol had to react quickly to stop Mario Bermejo tapping home from barely a yard. Albiol’s intervention proved to be vital as moments later Alonso’s lovely scooped pass released Kaka and after he had been brought down by Varas, Ronaldo confidently slotted home his second goal of the evening from the penalty spot. Celta pushed strongly for another equaliser in the dying minutes and came agonisingly close in stoppage time as Park ChuYoung’s header hit the bar, but a fifth defeat in six games sees them remain in the bottom three.—AFP

Spanish League results/standings Athletic Bilbao 1(Muniain 79) Valencia 0; Levante 0 Getafe 0; Celta Vigo 1 (Aspas 63) Real Madrid 2 (Cristiano Ronaldo 61, 71-pen) Playing later Atletico Madrid v Real Sociedad Spanish League table ahead of yesterday’s late match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Barcelona Real Madrid Atletico Malaga Real Betis Valencia Sociedad Rayo Getafe Levante

27 27 26 27 27 27 26 27 27 27

23 18 18 12 13 12 11 13 11 10

2 4 3 8 4 6 8 2 6 6

2 5 5 7 10 9 7 12 10 11

85 66 48 38 39 38 44 36 37 32

30 25 23 25 39 40 34 43 44 40

71 58 57 44 43 42 41 41 39 36

Valladolid Sevilla Espanyol Bilbao Osasuna Grenada Zaragoza Mallorca Celta Vigo Deportivo

27 9 27 10 27 8 27 9 27 7 26 7 26 7 27 6 27 6 27 3

8 5 8 5 7 5 4 6 5 8

10 12 11 13 13 14 15 15 16 16

35 39 31 32 23 25 25 28 26 29

34 40 37 50 30 38 38 50 38 58

35 35 32 32 28 26 25 24 23 17

Juve go clear at the top ROME: Substitute Emanuele Giaccherini struck in injury time to snatch a 1-0 win for an uninspired Juventus at home to Catania yesterday to increase their Serie A lead to nine points. Giaccherini had only been on the field 15 minutes, during which time he’d been booked for diving, when he shot home from the centre of the box following a storming run from Paul Pogba down the right. That last-gasp goal completed a joyful day for the reigning champions as their nearest challengers Napoli crashed to a 2-0 defeat at struggling Chievo. Juve came up against determined opponents who refused to relinquish an inch of space in defence and their hosts lacked the inspiration to break them down. Mirko Vucinic did hit a post in the first period while Claudio Marchisio came close to opening the score but Catania remained resolute and determined. After the break young French prospect Pogba tested Argentine goalkeeper Mariano Andujar while Marchisio swept a shot just over the bar but Juventus, with Andrea Pirlo stiffled in midfield, simply could not find a breakthrough. That was until Giaccherini’s injury-time

intervention and even after that fellow substitute Fabio Quagliarella should have put gloss on the score when sent through one-on-one with Andujar but the goalkeeper trumped the forward. It was a miserable day for Napoli in Verona as they fell to defeat at Chievo for the third year in a row. Serie A top scorer Edinson Cavani even missed a spot-kick and Napoli’s goalscoring troubles are now becoming increasingly acute. They have managed only two goals in their last seven games in all competitions while Cavani’s last successful strike came at the end of January. French born Senegal international full-back Boukary Drame opened the scoring for Chievo on 12 minutes with Frenchman Cyril Thereau doubling the advantage just before the break. The defeat leaves out-of-sorts Napoli, who have not won in their last seven games in all competitions and five in the league, dropping into the clutches of hard-charging AC Milan. The Rossoneri won 2-0 at lowly Genoa on Friday night to take their unbeaten run in the league to 10 games and now trail the Neapolitans by just two points. Siena boosted their survival hopes with a crucial 2-1 win at fellow strugglers Palermo.—AFP

Italian League results/standings Atalanta 2 (Denis 34-pen, 67) Pescara 1 (D’Agostino 24); Cagliari 3 (Ibarbo 18, 52, 72) Sampdoria 1 (Maxi Lopez 90-pen); Chievo 2 (Drame 12, Thereau 43) Napoli 0; Juventus 1 (Giaccherini 90) Catania 0; Palermo 1 (Anselmo 44) Siena 2 (Emeghara 51, Rosina 72-pen); Parma 4 (Amauri 77, 84, 90, Sansone 80) Torino 1 (Santana 56). Italian Serie A table ahead of yesterday’s late games (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Juventus Napoli AC Milan Inter Milan Lazio Fiorentina Roma Catania Udinese Sampdoria Parma Cagliari

28 28 28 27 27 27 28 28 28 28 28 28

19 15 15 14 14 13 13 12 10 10 9 9

5 8 6 5 5 6 5 6 11 6 8 7

4 5 7 8 8 8 10 10 7 12 11 12

55 47 50 44 37 48 58 36 37 35 36 35

18 24 32 36 32 33 49 35 35 33 37 48

62 53 51 47 47 45 44 42 41 35 35 34

Atalanta 28 10 5 13 28 39 33 Bologna 27 9 5 13 38 36 32 Torino 28 7 12 9 33 36 32 Chievo 28 9 5 14 29 44 32 Genoa 28 6 8 14 27 42 26 Siena 28 8 6 14 29 40 24 Palermo 28 3 12 13 23 41 21 Pescara 28 6 3 18 21 56 21 Note: Sampdoria (one point), Torino (one point), Atalanta (two points) and Siena (six points) all docked points for involvement in the “Calcioscommesse” illegal betting scandal.

LIVERPOOL: Steven Gerrard rocked Tottenham as the Liverpool captain’s late penalty clinched a 3-2 win over the Champions League hopefuls at Anfield yesterday. Tottenham, who scored twice through defender Jan Vertonghen after Luis Suarez’s opener, would have opened up a 10-point gap on rivals Arsenal in fifth place had they held on to their lead. Instead, Gerrard won it for Liverpool, who had equalised through Stewart Downing, and the Reds climbed above Merseyside rivals Everton into sixth place on goal difference. Tottenham remain third, two points ahead of fourth placed Chelsea, who have a game in hand. Liverpool started brightly, with Daniel Sturridge twice found in promising positions by Philippe Coutinho, but his eagerness was not matched by his technique. On the first occasion he raced into space only to fail to test Hugo Lloris by hitting his shot well over the bar, then when Coutinho delivered a fine pass, the former Chelsea striker failed to control the ball properly. It was in-form Gareth Bale who commanded the most attention, and the crowd waited in anticipation as he addressed a free kick for the first time. The Welshman’s aim was true enough and goalkeeper Brad Jones, deputising for the injured Pepe Reina, was forced to concede a corner.

LONDON: Liverpool’s Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield stadium.—AFP However, it was Suarez, Bale’s main rival for the Footballer of the Year award, who drew first blood after 21 minutes to put Liverpool ahead. The goal, his 29th of the season, was fashioned by a smart exchange of passes between Coutinho and Jose Enrique down the left. Enrique’s final pass to Suarez as the Uruguayan sped in behind Tottenham’s defence allowed Liverpool’s leading scorer to flick the ball past Lloris at the near post with the outside of his right boot. Bale’s response was a wayward shot high into the Kop and moments later he set up Gylfi Sigurdsson with a clever backheel for a shot that went just past a post. The Wales midfielder was hurt in an aerial challenge with Gerrard

and needed treatment before continuing, but Bale soon recovered to provide the far-post cross for Belgian centre-half Vertonghen to head Tottenham level on in first half stoppage-time. Vertonghen struck again on 53 minutes to put the visitors ahead. Bale flighted a free kick from the right and although Jamie Carragher won the header, the ball was not cleared and the alert Vertonghen deftly shot into the bottom corner. With Liverpool in some disarray at the back, Tottenham almost snatched a third goal when Sigurdsson, unmarked, had his angled shot deflected on to a post by Glen Johnson. However, the visitors presented Liverpool with an unexpected lifeline on 65 minutes that the hosts

gratefully accepted. Kyle Walker played a long back-pass that Lloris came out of his area to clear but missed, leaving winger Downing to equalise past Vertonghen on the line. The goal seemed to galvanise Liverpool and Sturridge did his best to impose himself, only to find Vertonghen in just as fine form at the back as he had been at the other end. A blatant dive by Sturridge to win a penalty might have merited a yellow card from a less lenient referee. But Michael Oliver did eventually point to the penalty spot soon after when Suarez was bundled over by Benoit Assou-Ekotto, and Gerrard made no mistake to win it for Liverpool with eight minutes left. —AFP

Cisse late show sinks Stoke Newcastle 2

Stoke 1

NEWCASTLE: Senegal striker Papiss Demba Cisse bagged a stoppage-time winner as Newcastle boosted their survival bid with a 21 victory over Stoke at St James’ Park yesterday. Alan Pardew’s team moved nine points clear of the Premier League relegation zone thanks to Cisse, who struck two minutes into additional time to complete a fine fightback from the Magpies. Jonathan Walters put Stoke ahead from the penalty spot with 67 minutes gone, but Yohan Cabaye’s superb free-kick soon after gave Newcastle renewed hope. After Thursday’s draining 0-0 Europa League draw with Anzhi Makhachkala in Moscow, Pardew’s side could have been forgiven for making a slow start. Initially, that looked likely as Rob Elliot had to save a third-minute volley by Peter Crouch. But Pardew’s men started to force their way into the game, with French midfielder Cabaye and then Jonas Gutierrez both sending shots just wide from long-range. Davide Santon tested Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic with a well-struck drive. Newcastle should have been ahead when Cabaye’s through-ball took a deflection and fell nicely for Yoan Gouffran, only for the French playmaker to lift his shot over the bar. A tight second half appeared to turn Stoke’s way in the 67th minute when Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote conceded a penalty with a rash challenge on Walters. Referee Andre Marriner pointed to the spot and Walters, whose recent record from 12 yards has been dreadful, stepped up to blast home the penalty. However, Tony Pulis’s team were ahead for only five minutes. Moussa Sissoko was tripped by Glenn Whelan on the edge of the penalty area, prompting a furious reaction from Begovic,

LONDON: Newcastle United’s French striker Yoan Gouffran (right) vies with Stoke City’s Andy Wilkinson (left) during the English Premier League football match. —AFP who became embroiled in a row with Steven Taylor as the Stoke coaching staff took exception to Pardew’s reaction on the sideline. Once order had been restored,

Cabaye curled the resulting freekick over the wall and in off the underside of the crossbar to level. Newcastle pushed hard for a winner after that and they finally shat-

tered Stoke’s resistence when substitute Sylvain Marveaux picked out Cisse in front of goal and he controlled before firing past Begovic.—AFP

EPL results/standings Liverpool 3 (Suarez 21, Downing 66, Gerrard 82-pen) Tottenham 2 (Vertonghen 45, 53); Newcastle 2 (Cabaye 72, Cisse 90+2) Stoke 1 (Walters 67-pen). English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Man Utd Man City Tottenham Chelsea Arsenal Liverpool Everton West Brom Swansea Fulham

28 28 29 28 28 29 28 29 29 28

23 2 17 8 16 6 15 7 13 8 12 9 11 12 13 4 10 10 8 9

3 3 7 6 7 8 5 12 9 11

68 31 51 24 51 36 56 30 53 32 56 36 44 35 40 38 40 36 39 44

71 59 54 52 47 45 45 43 40 33

Stoke West Ham Newcastle Norwich Sunderland Southampton Aston Villa Wigan Reading QPR

29 28 29 29 29 29 29 28 29 29

7 9 9 7 7 6 6 6 5 4

12 6 6 12 9 10 9 6 8 11

10 13 14 10 13 13 14 16 16 14

27 35 32 41 40 50 27 45 32 41 39 51 28 54 33 55 35 56 24 45

33 33 33 33 30 28 27 24 23 23

Eintracht held in Hanover, Bayern three wins away BERLIN: Bayern Munich finished the weekend 20 points clear in the Bundesliga and are now just three league wins from the title, while Eintracht Frankfurt stayed in the chasing pack after yesterday’s draw at Hanover. If they win their next three matches, Bayern are set to be crowned German champions on April 6 at Frankfurt, who were held to a goalless draw at wintry Hanover in heavy snow. Despite claiming a point, Frankfurt drop to fifth following a fifth consecutive league match without scoring having only netted five goals in their eight games so far in 2013. They last scored on February 2 in the 2-0 win at Hamburg. In a scrappy game, Hanover 96’s ex-Manchester United striker Mame Diouf and Ivory Coast forward Didier Ya Konan both had chances up front for Hanover, who stay 10th. There was controversy just after the break when Hanover claimed a goal

after Frankfurt captain Pirmin Schwegler cleared Ya Konan’s shot, but even replays failed to determine whether the ball had crossed the line. “During the game I was sure the ball was in, I had already reckoned the goal would count, but after seeing the replays I still don’t know if it was the right decision,” admitted Schwegler. Hamburg moved up amongst the European places when they claimed sixth with a 1-0 win at VfB Stuttgart as Latvia’s Artjoms Rudnevs hit the 50th-minute winner for his 11th goal of the season. On Saturday, Bayern warmed up for Wednesday ’s Champions League clash with Arsenal by fighting back for a 3-2 win at home to Fortuna Duesseldorf. Having beaten the Gunners 3-1 in London three weeks ago, Bayern are looking to book their quarter-final berth in the second leg at Munich’s Allianz Arena.

With Borussia Dortmund, second, and thirdplaced Bayer Leverkusen both losing, Germany defender Jerome Boateng’s 86th-minute header gave Bayern three more points after Thomas Mueller and France wing Franck Ribery had earlier equalised. Schalke warmed-up for tomorrow ’s Champions League last 16, second leg clash at home to Galatasaray with a 2-1 win over neighbours Dortmund in Gelsenkirchen, but lost striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to injury. Schalke have a fighting chance of reaching the last eight having drawn 1-1 in Istanbul three weeks ago and claimed their second Ruhr derby win of the season. Having already enjoyed a 2-1 win at Dortmund last October, Schalke are fourth in the table after their third straight success, but will face Galatasaray without Huntelaar, who has torn knee ligaments.—AFP


Sizzling Woods leads at Doral

MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

17

Hopkins becomes oldest boxer to win major title

18

Record-setting Ashraful, Rahim boost Bangladesh Page 16

OLD TRAFFORD: Chelsea’s Senegalese forward Demba Ba (left) vies with Manchester United’s Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea (right) and Manchester United’s English defender Rio Ferdinand (center) during the English FA Cup quarter-final football match. — AFP

Chelsea roar back to defy United MANCHESTER: Holders Chelsea stormed back from two goals down to draw 2-2 against Manchester United at Old Trafford yesterday and take their FA Cup quarter-final to a replay. After Javier Hernandez opened the scoring in the fifth minute, Wayne Rooney marked his return to the United team with another early goal to put United 2-0 up at half-time. Alex Ferguson’s side looked poised to move on from the hurt of their Champions League exit to Real Madrid, but second-half goals from Eden Hazard and Ramires meant Chelsea kept a hand on the trophy. United were guilty of an oddly disjointed performance, but Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez - barracked, once again, by his own fans - could point to a second-half double substitution that changed the game’s momentum. After the pain of Tuesday’s loss to Madrid, Ferguson spared himself further unwanted headlines by recalling Rooney to his starting line-up, with Robin van Persie on

the bench. Benitez resorted to what has emerged in recent weeks as his strongest team, meanwhile, with Fernando Torres and captain John Terry both dropping out of the visitors’ line-up. The two clubs’ fans’ had only just started to run through their repertoire of songs about each other when United took the lead. Michael Carrick sent an angled pass over the Chelsea defence and as visiting goalkeeper Petr Cech rushed out, Hernandez guided a gentle header over him and into the net. Six minutes later it was 2-0, as Rooney announced his return with a goal. Victor Moses was penalised for a foul on Nani near the left-hand apex of the penalty area and from the free-kick, Rooney bent in a cross that eluded everyone to creep inside the right-hand post. Jonny Evans blocked from Demba Ba and Frank Lampard shot straight at David de Gea as Chelsea sought a response, but United were soon back on the attack.

Ref blunder denies Hibs derby delight EDINBURGH: Hibernian were left to rue a refereeing blunder that cost them a win against Hearts as the Edinburgh derby ended goalless at Easter Road yesterday. The home side had the ball in the net in the 78th minute when a Leigh Griffiths free-kick thundered off the underside of the bar and crossed the line by at least a couple of feet before bouncing out. However, referee Euan Norris and his assistant on the far side both missed it and allowed play to continue to leave the home fans with a deep sense of injustice. Defeat would have been hard on Hearts, who had the best of the clear cut chances with Michael Ngoo firing just wide and Danny Wilson heading into the side netting. The Jambos, who also have financial problems to deal with off the pitch, move up to 10th, while Hibs stay sixth as the second successive Edinburgh derby ended without a goal for the first time in 20 years. Hibs manager Pat Fenlon was deeply disappointed at the decision that cost his side the win. “It was difficult to see but from Leigh’s reaction I thought it was a goal, “Fenlon said. “I am desperately disappointed with that decision. I can’t do anything about it so I’m not going to get too hot about it. “The game was very tight and it was going to take something very special to win it and obviously it was a fantastic strike from Leigh.” Hearts coach Gary Locke, who is temporary charge of the club following John McGlynn’s dismissal, felt his side deserved a bit of luck. “Obviously it’s gone over the line

and it’s one we’ve got away with but maybe the luck is turning for us now,” Locke said. “The referee didn’t give it and that’s the most important thing. I think the effort and commitment from our boys was different class.” There was a place on the Hibernian bench for Kevin Thomson on his return to the club after being released by Middlesbrough in January. Hearts had one enforced change with the suspended Darren Barr replaced by Callum Tapping in central midfield, with John Sutton partnering on-loan Liverpool striker Ngoo up front. Ngoo caused the home defence all sorts of problems from the start as he showed Ryan McGivern a clean pair of heels down the right before sending in a cross that was just in front of Sutton. Hibs were under the cosh and Ngoo almost grabbed an 18th minute opener when his shot, through the legs of McPake, bounced inches wide of Williams’ post. Hearts came close from a corner a minute later when Danny Wilson nodded the ball on to Sutton whose bullet header from close range was blocked on the line. The home fans had little to shout about until the 25th minute when McGivern headed a free-kick into the box to Matt Done but his weak shot was stopped by Jamie MacDonald. Scott Robertson then did well to control a Tom Taiwo pass in the box before rounding his marker and firing a shot at MacDonald who was quick off his line to smoother the danger. — AFP

After Hernandez had diverted a Nani cross wide of the near post, Cech produced a magnificent double-save. The Chelsea goalkeeper was left on the floor after blocking an effort from Rooney but he sprang to touch the ball over the bar when David Luiz inadvertently headed towards his own goal. Cech saved again, from Tom Cleverley, but United grew sloppy, and Moses should have done better than blaze wildly off-target after Juan Mata’s back-heel gave him a good sight of goal in the 39th minute. United then lost Nani to injury just before half-time. Having been controversially sent off against Madrid, the Portuguese winger had to leave the fray early for the second game in succession after abruptly going down on the edge of the Chelsea box. Rooney feathered a chip over the bar in the injury time that followed, but United’s carelessness had given Chelsea hope for the second period. Ramires skewed a shot wide in the 52nd minute, but

Benitez had already seen enough and immediately introduced Hazard and John Mikel Obi in place of Moses and Lampard. The move drew chants of ‘You don’t know what you’re doing!’ from Chelsea’s fans, but it yielded immediate results. Hazard reduced the arrears with a glorious strike in the 59th minute, ghosting into the box from the left and shaping a gorgeous strike into the right side of the goal. In response, Ferguson introduced van Persie, but Chelsea’s tails were up and in the 68th minute, they drew level. A counter-attack left United’s defence exposed and when Oscar fed the ball wide to Ramires, he rolled the ball inside to throw Evans off balance before stroking a shot into the bottom-left corner. Chelsea had two opportunities to win the game at the death, but de Gea saved brilliantly from Mata in the last minute before parrying a fierce shot from Hazard in added time. — AFP

Rovers hold Millwall in FA Cup stalemate LONDON: Indian-owned Blackburn earned an FA Cup quar ter-final replay against Millwall after riding their luck in a 0-0 draw at the Den yesterday. Michael Appleton’s team were second best for long periods of the last eight clash between two out of form Championship clubs, but they enjoyed their share of good fortune to set up a replay at Ewood Park on Wednesday. Andy Keogh’s first half header struck a post before Lions striker Rob Hulse missed an absolute sitter from close -range in the second half. Rovers, owned by Indian poultry firm Venky’s, have endured a troubled season in the second-tier after last year’s relegation from the Premier League and Appleton is Blackburn’s third manager of the campaign. They didn’t have a shot on target against Millwall, yet are still in with a chance of a Wembley semi-final appearance thanks to their escape in south London. “It’s always going to be a battle when you come to the Den with the Millwall fans behind them,” Appleton said. “I was delighted with the way the lads went about it. I had three or four players who were only 60-70 per cent fit and we’ve got another chance to get through. “The game on Wednesday is going to be a completely different game.” Millwall manager Kenny Jackett added: “If you don’t score you’re not going to win games. We did a lot of things right, put a lot of pressure on LONDON: Millwall’s Rob Hulse (left) jumps for the ball during an English them and had clear-cut chances FA Cup quarter final soccer match against Blackburn Rovers. — AP without scoring. “That’s been us of

late. We need to find the quality to put the ball in the net. That’s the thing that is lacking at the moment.” Rovers stunned Arsenal in the previous round and are yet to concede in this season’s competition, but they found it hard going from the start. Millwall had the ball in the back of the net when Keogh headed home Chris Taylor’s corner, but the whistle had already gone as Dany N’Guessan impeded goalkeeper Jake Kean. Republic of Ireland for ward Keogh then saw a diving header come back off the post as he connected with Jack Smith’s deep cross five minutes before the break. Blackburn had a good chance to take the lead early in the second half, but Scotland striker Jordan Rhodes could only fire over after latching on to David Bentley’s set-piece. Millwall kept pushing for the opener and Nigerian defender Danny Shittu unleashed a ferocious dipping strike from 40 yards which Kean tipped over for a corner. The hosts should have been ahead moments later when Keogh’s ball across the face of goal picked out Hulse, only for the on-loan QPR striker to miscue his shot high over the bar. Blackburn came back into the game as the second half progressed and Josh King saw a header come back off a post. It was Shittu who went closest to taking his side to the last four, testing Kean again from long range, with the Rovers goalkeeper doing well to claw the rebound away from Hulse. — AFP


Business

NBB, pension fund to buy 51.6% in Islamic lender Page 22 American job gains cut unemployment to 7.7% Page 23

MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

The new Nissan Leaf arrives in Geneva

Bank compensation up in 2012 despite cutbacks Page 25

Spaniards hold mass street protests against hardship MADRID: Angry workers staged mass demonstrations in Spanish cities yesterday, protesting the country’s high unemployment rate and demanding political reform. Thousands of demonstrators including health, transport and administrative workers marched in central Madrid and Barcelona, to the din of horns, drums and yells of “Government resign!” Similar demos were called in 60 cities in a nationwide movement led by the two main trade unions, CCOO and UGT, and a wide collective of other civil groups. They were the latest in months of strikes and protests against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s austere economic reforms in a recession that has driven the unemployment rate over 26 percent. Yesterday’s actions were called “against unemployment and for the renewal of democracy,” the UGT said in a statement. Protestors raged against Rajoy’s spending cuts, which they say are hitting public services such as schools and hospitals and sharpening hardship in the recession. “Bread and a roof at a fair price,” read some of the signs waved by protestors. Others brandished pictures of Rajoy with the words “Wanted: serial con man”. Rajoy says the cuts are necessary to meet the targets for cutting Spain’s budget deficit that he has agreed with European authorities. He insists the painful measures will strengthen Spain’s finances and economy in the long run. Protestors complained that through this austere economic drive the government and European Union leaders were imposing unfair suffering on citizens. They also vented anger at the political establishment, aggravated by recent investigations into alleged corruption in the governing Popular Party and even the royal family. “Our current problems can only be solved by political change,” said one demonstrator in Madrid, Pilar Gomez, a 52-year-old nursing assistant, wrapped in a red, yellow and purple Republican flag. “The risk premium is going down and the stock market is going up. But the one thing that isn’t changing is the six million people unemployed,” she said. “We can’t allow them to condemn us to economic misery with the stroke of a pen.” The UGT in its statement urged “a radical and urgent change in economic policy in Europe as well as Spain”. “The policies of 2012 have been a resounding failure in tackling the crisis and have only made all our problems worse,” it said. The Spanish unions held yesterday’s demonstrations ahead of a Europe Union-wide protest called by the European Trade Union Confederation on March 13 and 14. — AFP

MADRID: Demonstrators march during a protest against unemployment and austerity measures in Madrid yesterday. Tens of thousands of demonstrators march in dozens of Spanish cities to protest sky-high unemployment, what they say is the government’s inefficient handling of the economy and corruption scandals, including one engulfing the royal family. — AP

Iran passes stop-gap budget Sanctions hit revenues DUBAI: Iran’s parliament has passed a three-month stop-gap budget while it debates President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s full-year spending proposals, delivered nearly 90 days late at a time when economic sanctions have cast doubt over future revenue. This year will be the third in a row that parliament has been unable to pass a full-year budget in time for the March 21 start of the Iranian calendar and fiscal year. Western sanctions over its disputed nuclear program have cut oil exports by more than half over the past year, sharply reducing Iran’s income. “This short-term budget shows that planning beyond 90 days has become impossible because of sanctions,” said Iranian-born economist Mehrdad Emadi of the Betamatrix consultancy in London. “The government faces huge uncertainties.” The temporar y “three -twelfths” budget authorizes spending of 450,000 billion rials total for the first quarter of the year, Fars news agency reported. That is roughly equivalent to a single month’s spending in rial terms in last year’s budget, or $13 billion at the current open market

exchange rate. Ahmadinejad proposed the temporary budget as a stop-gap last month when he asked lawmakers to consider his long overdue draft for the full year. His full-year budget foresees a 31 percent increase in spending in domestic currency, amounting to a cut in dollar terms as the rial has halved in value over the past year on the open market. Ahmadinejad, coming to the end of a second and final four-year term, has often quarreled with parliament over economic policies, including cuts in subsidies for food and fuel. Iranian state media quoted lawmakers who saw the temporary spending bill as a necessity but expressed frustration with the need to resort to such bills. Parliament needed a two-month stop-gap before it passed last year’s budget. “Last year the government presented two-twelfths to parliament and this year it is three-twelfths. Maybe next year it will be four-twelfths,” said member of parliament Mehdi Sanaei, according to state news agency IRNA reported. “This sort of

• Rial loses half its value budget-writing is incorrect and it must be reformed.” The International Energy Agency, which advises rich countries, estimated last week that Iran’s oil exports may have dropped below 1 million barrels per day in January, from 2.2 million bpd in late 2011. New sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union since the start of 2012 banned Iranian oil sales to Europe, and made it difficult for other countries to pay for Iranian oil or for ships that carry it to get insurance. Western countries accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear weapon. Tehran says its nuclear program is peaceful and the sanctions are a form of economic warfare. The temporary budget must be ratified by the parliamentar y Planning and Budget Committee and the 12-member veto-wielding Guardian Council of jurists and clerics, Fars reported. Dependence on oil The full draft budget amounts to 7,305,000 billion rials - $595 billion at the official exchange rate, but only around $200 billion at the free market rate. The

2012 budget was 5,560,000 billion rials. In a television interview before the budget draft was presented, Ahmadinejad said it would reduce Iran’s dependence on oil income and boost non-oil exports, to limit the impact of “heavy factors active from outside”. He said non-oil exports of goods and services could reach $75 billion in the coming year, a 50 percent increase compared to estimated figures for this year. The draft budget did not give an estimate for oil exports for the forthcoming year. Iranian media said it was based on an average oil price of $95 per barrel. Brent crude oil is now at about $110 a barrel. The approval process for the budget is likely to be hampered by the deep political divisions between the president and a mainly hostile parliament who accuse him of reckless financial management they see as a major cause of Iran’s economic pain. The president also drew parliamentarians’ ire by proposing to increase funding for the executive branch while cutting the budgets of other state bodies, including parliament. — Reuters

Dubai in biggest gain in 3 weeks; Gulf up MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS

ATHENS: International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission chief Poul Thomsen (right) arrives at the Greek finance ministry for a meeting with Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras in Athens yesterday.— AFP (See Page 22)

Qatar CB issues 4bn riyals of debt bonds DUBAI: Qatar’s central bank yesterday issued 1 billion riyals ($300 million) of local currency sukuk and 3 billion riyals of local currency conventional bonds, as part of an adjustment of monetary policy and in order to help commercial banks meet Basel III liquidity requirements. Local currency debt will be issued every quarter, half with three-year maturities and half with five-year, the central bank said in a statement. It did not give specific dates or sizes for future issues, saying they would be announced later. “The aim of issuing these bonds is to develop monetary policy and the implementation of a mechanism of coordination between monetary and fiscal

Page 26

policy and support the strength of the banking system and financial and market tools,” it said. A senior commercial banker in Qatar said yesterday’s issuance was allocated directly to local banks. Pricing was not immediately known. In January, the International Monetary Fund’s mission chief for Qatar told Reuters that authorities planned debt issues to build a domestic sovereign yield curve, as part of the country’s efforts to develop a local currency debt market. The issues will help the world’s top liquefied natural gas exporter manage excess liquidity in the banking sector that has been created by rapid economic growth; liquidity may be boosted

further by the country’s massive infrastructure building program, which is due to accelerate this year. Qatar has issued local currency bonds before. In January 2011, the central bank issued a 50 billion riyal, three-year bond directly to local banks as a step to drain excess money from the banking system. In addition, the central bank launched monthly auctions of 91-, 182- and 273-day Treasury bills in May and August that year to soak up excess funds. As a result, available liquidity dropped to a mere 5.8 billion riyals at the end of 2011 from 73.2 billion riyals a year before, the central bank has said.— Reuters

DUBAI: Dubai’s benchmark made its largest gain in three weeks yesterday as upbeat global markets spurred investors to buy back into the emirate’s stocks following a recent slump, while other Middle East bourses also rose on similar sentiment. In Dubai, Emaar Properties climbed 3 percent to a four-year high. The developer is the market bellwether and a favorite among fund managers betting on the emirate’s economic recovery, especially as the company diversifies away from real estate and into retail and hospitality. “Emaar still has room to go up further we’re seeing more and more buying from foreign institutions,” said a regional trader who declined to be identified. Dubai’s index rose 1.5 percent in its biggest gain since Feb 19. It is down 1.9 percent from February’s 39-month peak. “Fundamentally, we’re still looking at a good performance from most companies and we’ve not had yet an influx of liquidity from dividend distributions,” said Mohammed Yasin, managing director of NBAD Securities in Abu Dhabi. “The market is in a sideways pattern, building support for the next rally, which will hopefully come with dividend pay-outs and first-quarter results from mid-April.” Arabtec climbed 0.9 percent to 2.14 dirhams, trimming its losses to 28 percent since it unveiled plans for a $1.8 billion capital increase.

This will be dilutive to shareholders and will strengthen the grip of top shareholder Aabar, an Abu Dhabi state investment fund, over the builder. “There’s a lack of confidence in Arabtec now,” said the trader, adding investors will be reluctant to buy Arabtec shares unless the company reconsiders its capital hike. US and European bourses reached multiyear peaks on Friday, buoying most regional markets as Dubai led gains. “Dubai ? it’s most sensitive to global market moves,” said Adel Nasr, United Securities brokerage manager in Oman. Kuwait’s measure rose 0.8 percent to a twoyear high as individual traders again pumped money into small-cap stocks. The benchmark has gained in 38 of 44 sessions this year and is up 17.3 percent since November’s eight-year low. The prolonged rebound means it now reads 91.1 on the relative strength index. A score above 70 usually is seen as over-bought. Egypt’s index climbed 0.6 percent, its third straight gain since Tuesday’s 2013 low as traders shrugged off renewed violence over the weekend to buy sold-off stocks. The benchmark has fallen 8 percent since Feb. 5. “We can’t analyze the market from a technical or fundamental perspective because the political situation is the main driver and we can’t predict what’s going to happen,” said Nasr. —Reuters


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

BUSINESS

NBB, pension fund to buy 51.6% in Islamic lender

Global equity investment style: Value or growth!

Bahrain encouraging banks to consolidate DUBAI: National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) and a local pension fund will buy a 51.6-percent stake in Bahrain Islamic Bank from its Kuwaiti owner in the latest consolidation move in the

island kingdom’s banking sector. Bahrain’s central bank has encouraged its lenders to consolidate as it seeks to rebuild the sector which has been hit by two years of social unrest. Central bank Governor Rasheed Al-Maraj

said last week that he expected to see at least one merger in the non-OPEC country without disclosing any names. Maraj, speaking at a conference, said the regulator would also require

domestic banks to take more steps to ensure their soundness. As par t of the deal, NBB and Social Insurance Organization Asset Management Company, a unit of pension fund Social

Egypt’s urban inflation jumps as pound slides CAIRO: Egypt’s urban consumer inflation shot up to 8.2 percent in the 12 months to February, statistics agency CAPMAS said yesterday, as a sliding Egyptian pound pushed up food prices. The rate jumped from an annual 6.3 percent in January, putting inflation at the highest since May last year as an economic crisis erodes living standards and deepens anger among Egyptians at a time of political and social turmoil. February’s month-on-month rate also leapt to 2.5 percent from 1.7 the previous month. Food and drink prices - a major spending item particularly for Egypt’s poor - rose 9.3 percent year-on-year last month, CAPMAS said in a bulletin posted on its website. EFG Hermes economist Mohamed Abu Basha blamed the sharply higher inflation rate on the Egyptian pound’s fall, which has pushed up the price of imported food and fuel. “It could rise more given the ongoing unrest and huge losses in the value of the Egyptian pound of around 10 percent of its value since the start of the year,” he told Reuters. Abu Basha also cited higher prices of low-octane fuel used by bakeries and trucks that deliver goods “which usually have a direct impact on the prices of food and other products”. Egypt has been rocked by frequent eruptions of street violence provoked by a variety of grievances. Two people died in Cairo on Saturday as local people protested about the acquittal of seven policemen over their handling of a soccer stadium riot last year. More than 70 people, mostly fans from Cairo, died in the Suez Canal city of Port Said during the riot. Analysts say heavy pressure on living standards since the 2011 uprising that overthrew Hosni Mubarak has deepened social unrest and discontent with the Islamist government of President Mohammed Morsi. —Reuters

By Hayder Tawfik

Insurance Organization, will each take a 25.8percent stake in Bahrain Islamic for 72 fils per share, according to an NBB statement. They are buying the stake from Kuwait’s Investment Dar and associated companies. Dar is selling assets as part of its debt restructuring. It sold a 37.5 percent stake in luxury carmaker Aston Martin to Italian private equity fund Investindustrial late in December. The deal is at a near 3-percent premium to Bahrain Islamic’s closing share price of 70 fils on Thursday. There are 1000 fils in a Bahraini dinar. Based on Bahrain Islamic’s total outstanding shares, the value of the deal is about 34.9 million dinars ($92.57 million). The transaction will provide NBB, the second largest lender by market value in the country, an opportunity to expand into Islamic banking. “We have been looking for an appropriate opportunity to establish a footprint in the Islamic banking industry and BisB represents a suitable vehicle for us,” Abdul Razak Hassan Al Qassim, NBB’s chief executive said in a statement. NBB operates 25 branches in the country. Bahrain Islamic is the oldest Islamic lender in the island kingdom. Among other deals in the country’s banking sector, Al Salam Bank said in Januar y it was in merger talks with an unnamed regional bank, while Gulf Finance House said it was studying options to merge its unit, Khaleeji Commercial Bank, with other Bahraini banks. —Reuters

G

lobal stock markets continue the upward trend that started last year unabated and ignoring economic, financial and geopolitical turbu-

lences around the world. The big question for equity investors is what investment style they should follow. Investing in value stocks or chasing growth stocks? I think for the first time in many years the investment environment is very encouraging for value and growth investors. One of the fundamental reason for this is the very low interest rates and the plenty supply of cheap money around the world. In recent months value stocks have been outperforming growth stocks in some part of the world. This is quite justified because of the high dividends yields they offer relative to short and long interest rates but indeed the outlook for them is not as bright as those for growth stocks. Every style of investment has its own followers and this indeed is a pure investment judgment or clients investment guidelines. The stock markets always offer the opportunity for both style of investment

ENBD eyes bond sale to repay govt funds DUBAI: Emirates NBD (ENBD), Dubai’s largest lender, has hired six banks to help arrange a benchmark-sized subordinated bond sale, four sources familiar with the plan said, as it seeks to reduce government suppor t for its capital ratios. ENBD has hired HSBC Holdings, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Citigroup I nc, J.P. M organ Chase, S ociete Generale and itself for the planned sale, two of the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter is not public. ENBD declined to comment. A successful sale will help the lender, 55.6percent owned by state fund Investment Corp of Dubai, repay part of the 12.6 billion dirhams ($3.43 billion) it received from the government in 2008. The bank said in January that it was looking to begin repayment of the funds. The bond is not expected to be launched immediately given that t wo o t h e r D u b a i e n t i t i e s - D u b a i Islamic Bank and Emirates airline - are currently meeting investors ahead of potential issues. Benchmark size transactions are at least $500 million. Banks in the United Arab Emirates will aim to repay Tier 2 capital placed with them at the height of the global financial crisis this year, with some turning to the bond market to avoid servicing expensive debt. The country’s Ministry of Finance placed 70 billion dirhams ($19.1 billion) with banks to shore up their balance

sheets after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 triggered a seizure of the world’s financial system. The price difference between government bonds, which contribute to Tier 2 capital, and market prices for new debt is prompting many lenders to sell bonds to replace the more expensive obligations. ENBD’s planned sale follows a similar move by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank which raised $1.5 billion from a twotranche bond last month, with a subordinated tranche raising $750 million for the Abu Dhabi lender. While the government bonds have a 5-percent coupon this year, rising to 5.25 percent for the final three years, ADCB’s ten-year Tier 2 note carried a 4.5 percent coupon. ENBD sold a $50 million subordinated bond in a privately placed debt sale, IFR Markets, a unit of Thomson Reuters, reported on Wednesday. The ten-year, non- call five deal, which followed an investor request to sole bookrunner Commerzbank for Tier 2 paper from a Middle Eastern or Asian bank, was priced roughly 75 basis points above where a standard ENBD bond would come. Other UAE banks have chosen to use internal cash resources - at a time of limited loan growth in the country - to pay off the government cash: ADCB, First Gulf Bank and Union National Bank repaid a combined 10 billion dirhams last week. —Reuters

managers. It is for those smart investors to decide which one to go for. One way is to try to combine both investment styles when they are searching for stocks. Indeed, some stocks offer both potentials. Growths in their future earnings and at the same time are priced cheaply relative to their competitors and to the market. Some will disagree with this approach. I think some investment managers are very good in analyzing equity fundamentals but at the same time cannot grasp the economic cycle and hence just stay with equity valuation and rather than try to position themselves for the next economic cycle. At the early stages of the changes in any economic cycles value and growth stocks start behaving quite differently regardless how cheap or how expensive they are. At the same time investors should work hard in trying to identify the right price of any stock taking into account the present value of any future cash flow and discount them at existing rate. Value investors should look for stocks that are out of favor in those unfashionable sectors, such as utilities, telecoms, and energy. These industries have suffered a lot in the past years. They could still suffer under pressure from competition, extra capital spending, regulation and margin squeeze. In my opinion, investors who are looking to pick growth stocks should focus on companies that have very good and promising potential future but have been ignored by the market. Here, I find plenty of those within the small and midcap stocks. Regardless, if it is the value or growth stocks driving the upward trend in global stock markets, it is the increase in corporate profits, easy monetary policy and investors return to the markets with high optimism which I think will take these markets much higher in the coming months. —Hayder Tawfik is Executive Vice President of Asset Management, at Dimah Capital.

Creditor talks in Athens after resignations blow ATHENS: Greece’s finance minister was lined up for talks yesterday with the country’s international creditors, hours after the Greek reform team was hit by the resignation of two top officials. The meeting-mainly focused on job cuts-will determine whether Athens will claim a loan slice of 2.8 billion euros ($3.6 billion) due at the end of March. Thorny issues that Greece still needs to address include shrinking the number of jobs in the public sector, speeding up privatization plans and recapitalizing four of its main banks. “There are open issues, there are differences but the climate is good,” Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras told Mega television. On Saturday, Greece’s privatization chief and the finance ministry general secretary both stepped down over an investigation into alleged breach of duty at the country’s main power group PPC where both were previously members of the board. The blow came as the troubled Greek privatization drive was beginning to hit a stride after years of delays. In January, the privatization agency completed Greece’s first public land international deal in

15 years with a 99-year lease of a plot on the popular tourist island of Corfu for 23 million euros ($30 million). A month later, Greece managed to lure back Qatar’s investment authority in a public tender for its top asset, the former Athens airport of Hellinikon. In an interview with financial weekly Axia on Saturday, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras had forecast a solid privatization drive for 2013. “We will meet this year’s target of around 2.6 billion euros. We might even exceed it,” the PM said. He added that the government was expecting binding offers for gas operator DEPA and gaming monopoly OPAP before summer and would also divest state oil refiner HELPE within the year. A replacement to head the privatization agency is to be nominated to parliament today. Under the bailout conditions adopted last year, Greece needs to cut public sector workers by 25,000 in 2013 and a total of 150,000 by the end of 2015. Facing a sixth consecutive year of recession, the heavily-indebted country has been relying on international rescue packages to avoid bankruptcy. —AFP

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

.2760000 .4210000 .3670000 .2960000 .2740000 .2890000 .0040000 .0020000 .0770830 .7510010 .3920000 .0720000 .7362240 .0420000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2839500 .4235820 .3691630 .2982820 .2760410 .0495340 .0443330 .2905520 .0366060 .2275790 .0029570 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0773390 .7534830 .0000000 .0757400 .7378200 .0000000

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

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.055 5.192 2.896 2.230 3.255 229.030 36.690 3.593 6.992

.2880000 .4380000 .3800000 .3130000 .2880000 .2990000 .0068000 .0035000 .0778580 .7585480 .4100000 .0770000 .7436230 .0480000 .2860500 .4267150 .3718940 .3004880 .2780830 .0499010 .0446610 .2927010 .0368770 .2292620 .0029790 .0052930 .0022680 .0029380 .0036460 .0779110 .7590550 .4045970 .0763000 .7432770 .0070860

Thai Baht Irani Riyal - transfer Irani Riyal - cash

Omani Riyal Qatari Riyal Saudi Riyal

9.571 0.271 0.273

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 41.950 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 41.550 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.328 Tunisian Dinar 180.780 Jordanian Dinar 401.990 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.910 Syrian Lier 3.092 Morocco Dirham 33.875 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 284.550 Euro 373.190 Sterling Pound 432.230 Canadian dollar 278.420 Swiss Franc 303.520 US Dollar Buying 283.350 GOLD 298.000 150.000 77.500

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

SELL DRAFT 296.34 281.50 304.64 374.12 284.75 428.65 3.04 3.625 5.244 2.253 3.286 2.919 77.59 758.18 41.61 405.66

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 285.100 280.570 428.970 371.410 300.075 754.810 77.600 78.255 75.990 401.895 41.644 2.243 5.248 2.914 3.617 6.995 699.365 3.970 9.670 4.030 3.375 91.730

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY

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 UAE Dirhams Bahraini Dinar Egyptian Pound Jordanian Dinar

738.000 78.500 76.500

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

GCC COUNTRIES 75.910 78.216 739.380 756.080 77.513

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

741.08 78.63 76.06

SELL CASH 295.000 280.000 305.000 372.600 285.500 429.000 3.300 3.740 5.350 2.480 3.420 2.880 78.000 756.000 41.600 410.000

British Pound Czech Korune Danish Krone Euro Norwegian Krone Scottish Pound Swedish Krona Swiss Franc Australian Dollar New Zealand Dollar Uganda Shilling Canadian Dollar Colombian Peso US Dollars Bangladesh Taka Cape Vrde Escudo Chinese Yuan Eritrea-Nakfa

SELL CASH Europe 0.4187510 0.0061617 0.0456771 0.3665029 0.0457640 0.4191285 0.0405462 0.2949473 Australasia 0.2817663 0.2261246 0.0001095 America 0.2703015 0.0001485 0.2830000 Asia 0.0035723 0.0031633 0.0448005 0.0164767

SELLDRAFT 0.4277510 0.0181617 0.0506771 0.3663529 0.0509640 0.4266285 0.0455462 0.3019473 0.2937663 0.2381246 0.0001095 0.2793015 0.0001665 0.2851500 0.0036273 0.0033933 0.0498005 0.0195767

Guinea Franc Hong Kong Dollar Indian Rupee Indonesian Rupiah Jamaican Dollars Japanese Yen Kenyan Shilling Malaysian Ringgit Nepalese Rupee Pakistan Rupee Philippine Peso Sierra Leone Singapore Dollar Sri Lankan Rupee Thai Baht Bahraini Dinar Egyptian Pound Ethiopeanbirr Ghanaian Cedi Iranian Riyal Iraqi Dinar Jordanian Dinar Kuwaiti Dinar Lebanese Pound Moroccan Dirhams Nigerian Naira Omani Riyal Qatar Riyal Saudi Riyal Sudanese Pounds Syrian Pound Tunisian Dinar UAE Dirhams Yemeni Riyal

0.0000443 0.0342172 0.0051802 0.0000245 0.0028488 0.0028913 0.0032521 0.0879318 0.0031226 0.0028871 0.0065456 0.0000728 0.2246345 0.0019511 0.0091842 Arab 0.7499397 0.0395760 0.0130154 0.1484326 0.0000793 0.0001834 0.3966167 1.0000000 0.0001749 0.0218169 0.0012120 0.7296388 0.0776683 0.0755067 0.0500805 0.0031818 0.1800547 0.0762085 0.0012864

0.0000503 0.0373172 0.0052502 0.0000296 0.0038488 0.0030713 0.0034821 0.0949318 0.0033226 0.0029271 0.0070156 0.0000758 0.2306345 0.0022561 0.0097842 0.7584397 0.0416060 0.0195154 0.1502226 0.0000798 0.0002434 0.4041167 1.0000000 0.0001949 0.0458169 0.0018470 0.7406388 0.0784513 O.0761467 0.0506305 0.0034018 0.1860547 0.0776585 0.0013864

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

Transfer Rate (Per 1000) 284.700 373.650 427.550 279.150 3.000 5.241 41.600 2.250 3.610 6.988 2.912 758.250 77.525 76.050


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

BUSINESS

American job gains cut unemployment to 7.7% Jobless rate hits 4-year low

BAODING, Hebei: A general view shows the skyline of Baoding, Hebei province, some 140 km south of Beijing early yesterday.—AFP

China eyes India trade by boosting spending in Nepal KATHMANDU: China’s ambassador to Kathmandu was recently pictured in a traditional Nepali cap and silk scarf, digging with a spade to symbolize the laying of the foundations of a new dry port near the Tibet border. The photo opportunity marked the latest in a series of major projects that underscore China’s growing economic influence in Nepal, where it is building roads and investing billions of dollars in hydropower and telecommunications. Other Chinese projects in its impoverished, electricity-starved Himalayan neighbor include a $1.6 billion hydropower plant which is expected finally to end power outages which extend to 14 hours a day in winter. Meanwhile China recently completed a 22-kilometre (14-mile) stretch of road in central Nepal connecting the country’s southern plains with the Tibetan county of Kyirong, to form the shortest motorable overland route between China and India. Analysts have questioned whether Beijing’s largesse is a gesture to a neighbor in need, or the result of a foreign policy which increasingly sees Nepal’s roads and dry ports as a doorway to the huge markets of India. “I am sure that these infrastructure projects will help win influence in Nepal but they will serve a dual purpose,” said Purna Basnet, a Nepalese political commentator who frequently writes on Chinese influence in Nepal. “It will be easier for China to supply goods to India via Nepal. There is even a talk of connecting Kathmandu with their rail networks in Tibet. “The Shigatse-Lhasa railway will be completed in a couple of years. From Shigatse, they have plans to connect Kathmandu through railways.” Nepal has always been in the shadow of its southern neighbor India, which has traditionally exerted huge political influence and is Kathmandu’s biggest trading partner and sole provider of fuel. Since the end of a bloody decade-long civil war in 2006 and the emergence of the Maoist rebels who fought the state as the largest political party, China has been grad-

ually-and literally-making inroads as a counterweight to India. Chinese ambassador Yang Houlan outlined his country’s vision of Kathmandu as a trade gateway to New Delhi in a recent op-ed article in Nepal’s English-language Republica newspaper. “From an economic viewpoint, Nepal links China (with 1.3 billion people) with South Asia (with 1.5 billion). The huge common market provides great opportunities for both China and South Asia,” he wrote. “China is pushing its ‘Develop West’ strategy, and South Asia represents one of the main overseas investment opportunities. Nepal could provide China the much-needed overland channel to South Asia.” China’s commitment to Nepal is outlined by its construction of a further five dry ports in the Himalayan region where the treacherous terrain marks the 1,414kilometre long border. It has also offered to fund an international airport in the tourist hub of Pokhara. On top of infrastructure development, around two dozen Chinese companies have invested $100 million in housing, hotels, restaurants and other areas of tourism in Nepal. By the end of 2013 annual trade between the two countries is expected to hit $1.5 billion, a 25-percent rise on an annual basis. But it’s not just about getting rich, say many observers who see China’s investment in Nepal as a vital part of its strategy for quelling unrest in a country of 55 ethnic groups where poverty remains a major threat to security. “In Tibet, unrest has significantly increased, so Chinese investment in Nepal should be understood in the context of China’s integrity, which is very important for the giant nation,” said Kathmandu-based strategic affairs analyst Lekhnath Paudel. “Some Indian analysts repeatedly warn that China has built these ports to prepare for a war with India,” he added. “It will definitely provide China with an edge but at heart, its goal is to expand the economic opportunity to its workforce and make them loyal to the state.” — AFP

Obama’s minimum wage plan splits analysts, business WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama’s pledge to raise the minimum wage by 24 percent has divided economists and businesses who warn it could threaten recent improvements in jobless numbers. Obama has stated that his administration plans to increase the existing minimum hourly rate from $7.25 to $9, vowing to press ahead with the initiative despite the sequester budget crisis. “There are other areas where we can still make progress even with the sequester unresolved,” Obama said, referring to $85 billion of drastic budget cuts that went into effect on March 1. “I’m gonna keep pushing to make sure that we raise the minimum wage so that it is one American families can live on.” Unlike other developed nations such as France, where the minimum wage is indexed to inflation and adjusted automatically each year, the rate in the United States often remains unchanged for years at a time. The last increase, to the current level of $7.25 an hour, was introduced nearly four years ago in July 2009. “Taking action on the minimum wage is long overdue,” US Deputy Labor Secretary Seth Harris told AFP. The United States has one of the lowest minimum wages of major industrial nations. According to figures from the International Labor Organization, the US is only 38 percent of the median wage, compared with 46 percent in Britain and 60 percent in France. For Democratic lawmakers, Obama’s proposals do not go far enough. Democrats in Congress have launched a bill hoping to raise the rate to $10.10. Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the increase-strongly opposed by Republicans-was necessary to protect middle class Americans. “We have a situation where if we are to honor our commitment to the middle class, which is the backbone of our democracy, we have to reflect that in... our public policy,” Pelosi said. Proposals to increase the minimum wage are broadly popular, with 71 percent of people backing the move, according to a Gallup poll. Former Obama administration adviser William Spriggs, the chief economist of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), said the hike was essential.

“The gap between the average wage of the American worker and the minimum wage is very high,” Spriggs said. He said the current minimum wage also exposed a gender divide in the workforce, noting that those on the minimum wage were predominantly women. “We think it would also help close the gender gap between men and women in terms of salary,” he said. But other economists and business groups are sharply divided over the proposals. The US Chamber of Commerce has argued the burden of any increase will be felt most by small businesses. “The US Chamber continues to believe that increases in the minimum wage fall disproportionately on small businesses who are the least able to absorb such a dramatic increase in their labor costs,” it said. “Accordingly, the US Chamber continues to oppose increases in the minimum wage and believes that any increase must be coupled with provisions that recognize the impact this will have on small businesses.” Michael Saltsman, research director at the conservative Employment Policies Institute, questioned whether a wage increase could be effective. “Will it do what President Obama wants to do, which is help to reduce poverty?” Saltsman asked. “On that question, the minimum wage has been a disappointment too,” he said, adding that poor people “need a job, not a wage increase.” Any increase in the minimum wage is likely to be mitigated by the complexity of the American system. Many states already have their own minimum wage, with several already above the current level of $7.25, while certain employees, such as those paid tips, work under a different scale. But Ioana Marinescu, an economist at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy Studies was adamant that an increased minimum wage will “boost consumption” without adversely affecting businesses. “Underpaid employees will often eventually find a better paid job elsewhere,” she said. “By paying more, employees are more likely to stay, which will mean businesses are saving money spent recruiting and training new employees.” Obama’s minimum wage push has also found support from an unexpected quarter, with the budget retail giant Costco backing the move. — AFP

WASHINGTON: The American job market isn’t just growing. It’s accelerating. Employers added 236,000 jobs in February and drove down the unemployment rate to 7.7 percent, its lowest level in more than four years. The gains signal that companies are confident enough in the economy to intensify hiring even in the face of tax increases and government spending cuts. Last month capped a fourth-month hiring spree in which employers have added an average of 205,000 jobs a month. The hiring has been fueled by steady improvement in housing, auto sales, manufacturing and corporate profits, along with record-low borrowing rates. Before the spree, employers added an average of 154,000 jobs from July through October and only 108,000 from April through June. “The recovery is gathering momentum,” Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients. The gains could boost consumer spending, adding momentum to the US recovery and helping troubled economies in Europe and Asia. The US economy is forecast to grow a modest 2 percent this year. Growth will likely be held back by uncertainty about the federal budget, higher Social Security taxes and across-theboard government spending cuts that kicked in March 1. And unemployment remains high nearly four years after the end of the Great Recession. Roughly 12 million people remain out of work. The unemployment rate declined in February from 7.9 percent in January mostly because more people found work. Another factor was that 130,000 people without jobs stopped looking for work last month. The government doesn’t count them as unemployed. The last time unemployment was lower was December 2008, when it was 7.3 percent. The unemployment rate is calculated from a survey of households. The number of jobs gained is derived from a separate survey of employers. Hiring would be rising even faster if governments weren’t shrinking their workforces, as they have been for nearly four years. Governments cut 10,000 jobs in February. Some $44 billion in spending cuts kicked in last week after Congress failed to reach a budget deal. The cuts are expected to shave about a half-point from economic growth this year and lower total hiring by about 30,000 jobs a month from April through September, according to Moody’s Analytics. And most workers have had to absorb higher Social Security taxes this year. Someone earning $50,000 has about $1,000 less to spend in 2013. A household with two high-paid workers has up

to $4,500 less. Stock prices rose after the report was released and strengthened later in the day. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 67 points to 14,397, its fourth straight record close. Robust auto sales and a steady housing recovery are spurring more hiring, which will trigger more consumer spending and could lead to stronger economic growth. The construction industry added 48,000 jobs in February; it’s added 151,000 since September. Manufacturing gained 14,000 jobs last month and 39,000 since November. Among industry categories, the biggest job growth in February was in professional and business services, which added 73,000. This category includes higher-paying jobs in accounting, engineering and information technology as well as temporary positions that typically pay less. Retailers added 24,000 jobs. Education and health services gained 24,000. And the information industr y, which includes publishing, telecommunications and film, added 20,000, mostly in the movie industry. The economy is generating more higher-paying jobs. That trend is raising average pay, which will help offset the hit that Americans took from higher Social Security taxes and gas prices. Hourly wages rose 4 cents to $23.82 last month. Wages have risen 2.1 percent over the past year, slightly ahead of inflation. Higher pay is vital to the economy because consumer spending drives 70 percent of economic activity. Hotel chain Cambria Suites expects business travel to rise 5 percent this year and next. Cambria, a unit of Choice Hotels International, is building nearly 20 hotels around the country, doubling its total. It plans to add 110 jobs this year and 400 next year to its workforce of 600. The improved job market can also benefit countries that sell goods and services to US consumers and businesses. “All you have to do is look at the trade numbers,” says Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at the Economic Outlook Group. “The strength in the US economy is leading to faster growth in imports.” Imports rose 2 percent in January from December. Those from China surged 7 percent. A stronger US economy, Baumohl says, will also help a battered Europe, which is contending with high unemployment and a debt crisis. The United States is the No. 1 market for exports from the 27-country European Union. “The extent to which the US is recovering and potentially the labor market is improving is potentially an important dynamic that Europe would welcome,” said Nick Matthews, an econo-

mist at Nomura in London. The US economy is benefiting from the Federal Reserve’s drive to keep interest rates at record lows. Lower borrowing rates have made it easier for Americans to buy homes and cars and for companies to expand. The Fed and key central banks overseas have taken extraordinary steps to pump money into their financial systems to try to spur borrowing and spending, boost stock prices and stimulate growth. The Fed has said it plans to keep the benchmark rate it controls near zero at least until the unemployment rate has fallen to 6.5 percent, as long as the inflation outlook remains mild. Friday’s jobs report isn’t expected to move up the Fed’s timetable for any rate increase. The brighter hiring picture has yet to cause a flood of out-of-work people who aren’t looking for a job to start seeking one. The proportion of Americans either working or looking for work dipped one-tenth of a percentage point in February to 63.5 percent, matching a 30-year low. Even though the recession officially ended in June 2009, many Americans have remained discouraged about their job prospects and have given up looking. Others have returned to, or stayed in, school. And the vast generation of baby boomers has begun to retire; the oldest are now 67. Their exodus reduces the percentage of adults working or looking for work. The pickup in hiring hasn’t yet benefited the long-term unemployed. Nearly 4.8 million Americans have been out of work for six months or longer, nearly 100,000 more than in January. Further strong hiring gains will hinge, in part, on healthy consumer spending. So far, higher gas prices and a Jan. 1 increase in Social Security taxes haven’t caused Americans to sharply cut back on spending. But if the economy can continue to add 200,000 or more jobs a month, it means that many more people will have disposable income to spend. A big source of strength has been home sales and residential construction: New-home sales jumped 16 percent in January to the highest level since July 2008. And builders started work on the most homes last year since 2008. The year-over-year increase in home prices in January was the biggest in six years. Higher prices tend to make homeowners feel wealthier and more likely to spend. So do record-high stock prices. “If my house is worth a little more, my 401(k) is going up ... maybe I can afford to go buy that car, or continue to spend,” says Ed Hyland, investment specialist at JPMorgan Private Bank. — AP

Anxiety as Putin picks new Russia CB chief MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin will in the next weeks choose a new head of Russia’s central bank, with economists hoping he picks a dependable figure and not a wild card to head one of its few trusted institutions. The Bank Rossii (Bank of Russia) is facing key policy choices as it tries to keep a lid on resurgent inflation without harming economic growth. The bank’s relatively hawkish recent stance has frustrated some of Putin’s allies who want looser monetary policy. Putin will be presenting to parliament a successor to outgoing chairman Sergei Ignatyev, 65, a dignified economist respected by markets who has turned the bank’s policy priority towards keeping inflation in check at a time of high oil prices. The choice of continuity could be a figure like deputy central bank chairman Alexei Ulyukayev. However a more radical choice like Kremlin economic adviser Sergei Glazyev could upset market and intensify Russia’s problems with capital flight. Speaking in the city of Vologda on Thursday, Putin in typically tantalizing style hinted that his mind was already made up and the appointment could come as a surprise to some. “It’s going to be an unexpected figure. You are going to like it,” the RIA Novosti news agency quoted him as saying without giving further details. The Bank of Russia won respect during the 2008-2009 financial crisis with well-calculated injections of liquidity into the economy and finely-judged currency interventions to support the ruble that saved Russia from an even deeper crisis. “Everyone gives them a lot of recognition, everyone says it’s a properly working institution. Obviously, you don’t have many such examples in Russia,” said Ivan Tchkarov, chief economist at Renaissance Capital. “It will be very difficult for the successor whoever he is, given this environment of economic growth which is not even close to what Russia was seeing in the pre-crisis years,” he added. Russia’s main refinancing rate currently stands at 8.25 percent with the central bank resisting pressure to begin a cutting cycle to support lagging growth, pointing to the risk from inflation that stood at 7.3 percent in February. “The central bank is not to blame for the economic slowdown or the acceleration in inflation but it is the one who must take the difficult decisions,” said Julia Tsepliaeva, the head of Russia and CIS market economics at BNP Paribas. Markets skittish The independence of the Bank of Russia is written into the Russian constitution and its chiefs would hardly have been comforted by the growing pressure from politicians to loosen monetary policy. With his choice of successor to Ignatyev, Putin will show how inclined he is to respect the bank’s independence and how tempted he is politically by a shortterm dash for growth that could have dan-

Sergei Ignatyev gerous consequences. “ The market is already skittish about Russia, and is waiting to see how committed the bank is to controlling inflation,” said Alexander Kliment of the Eurasia Group research firm. “If Putin appoints a weak or dovish head, investors will lose faith entirely and it will take years to regain credibility,” he added. Kliment predicted that Putin would still appoint a “strong, hawkish figure”, saying he believed Putin is “aware that destroying the bank’s tenuous credibility with the market would be a disaster.” The choice of Ulyukayev would be the most predictable and would reassure markets that Ignatyev’s policies and independence would be preserved. Another pro-market choice would be liberal former Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin but he appears to have ruled himself out of the running. A different kind of choice would be figures like Andrei Kostin, the chief executive of Russian state bank V TB and its retail chief Mik hail Zadornov, who would be expected to adopt less hawkish policies at the helm of the central bank. But the biggest bete noire for the markets would be Glazyev, who has argued that Russia is in danger of an economic takeover by the West and would be expected to let the economy heat up to reach the government’s growth targets. Given Putin’s track record of causing surprises, perhaps his “unexpected” candidate is someone who is not being mentioned in the pre-appointment speculation at all. “President Putin likes surprises and he could, as in the past, surprise everyone by proposing a candidate that no-one has thought of,” said Tsepliaeva of BNP Paribas. — AFP


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

BUSINESS

Falklands oil bonanza still a pipedream Tensions between Britain, Argentina rise LONDON: The prospect of an oil bonanza around the Falkland Islands is heightening tensions between Britain and Argentina, but commercial exploitation of reserves remains a distant possibility, industry experts say. Diplomatic friction between London and Buenos Aires has intensified since 2010, when London first authorized oil prospecting in the waters around the South Atlantic archipelago. Islanders suspect Argentine President Cristina

Kirchner’s often-emotional pursuit of Buenos Aires’ sovereignty claim over the Falklands is designed to distract domestic attention from the country’s mounting economic woes. Amid the tension, residents of the islands were voting in a referendum yesterday and today, aimed at sending an unambiguous message about their desire to remain a self-governing British overseas territory. The discovery of oil around the Falklands in 1998 transformed the

inhospitable archipelago into a valuable economic asset. But at that stage, world oil prices languished at just $10 per barrel. The global oil market subsequently spiked to a record high above $147 per barrel in 2008 amid tight supplies, demand growth and geopolitical jitters. And in early 2010, with oil prices remaining at elevated levels, five British companies-including Desire Petroleum and Rockhopper Exploration-began hunting for

hydrocarbons in Falklands exclusive economic zone waters. “There have only been two major discoveries of so far: one in Rockhopper’s Sea Lion field, and another one by Borders & Southern, with gas condensates, and it seems that the development at Sea Lion has gone ahead,” IHS Global Insight analyst Juliette Kerr told AFP. “They would not be able to build a pipeline to Argentina, which would be a natural market.” Kerr said this would inevitably make oil production more expensive as they “would have to ship it” to Europe or other region. Rockhopper, which takes its name from one of the species of penguin so emblematic of the islands, estimates there are 321 million barrels accessible within the Sea Lion field. The London-listed firm expects to extract the first drops of refined petroleum by 2017 and to begin pumping 30,000 bar-

Jefferies, told AFP. “It was always clear that as the industry matured in the Falklands, the type of companies leading the charge would need to mature as well, so seeing these companies come in is certainly a step in the right direction,” she added. In July, London-listed firm Premier Oil took a 60percent stake in Rockhopper operations north of the islands with a total investment of $1.0 billion. Also last year, British peer Falkland Oil & Gas handed leasing contracts to US firm Noble Group and Italian energy company Edison, which is controlled by French energy giant EDF. Together, Noble and Edison have pledged to invest up to $320 million in the region. Noble’s arrival may tempt other international companies to follow suit. Analyst Kerr meanwhile added that, given the legal threats from Argentina, “tensions are likely to remain high between the two

rels a day in 2019. With much of the region still largely unexplored and the forecasts volatile, some experts estimate that more than eight billion barrels may exist around the Falklands, almost three times the amount currently in Britain’s sector of the North Sea. However much the industry might be eventually be worth, the proceeds are unlikely to flow towards Argentina, some 400 kilometres from the Falklands, with Buenos Aires claiming the drilling is an illegal exploitation of their continental shelf. The five fledgling British oil exploration companies, shrugging off the legal warnings from Argentina, have meanwhile sought to forge alliances with larger, more mature operators. “We are often looking at larger companies to give independent validation of smaller companies’ positions, so their entry was seen as very positive,” Laura Loppacher, markets analyst at US investment bank

countries”, although this “would not have any practical impact on the companies.” “We do not anticipate a return to the hostilities we saw in the 1980s, but they have taken steps to make it more difficult for companies, like threatening of law suits, inspections of ships (docking in Argentina) — but the options are limited.” Meanwhile, Sukey Cameron, who represents the Falklands government in London, told AFP that the islands could not count on oil. The Falklands currently rely on their fishing industry, a growing tourism sector and traditional sheep farming. “It’s looking good, but it’s certainly not a certainty. We always say we have to be as prepared for oil as for not having oil. Either will present us with challenges,” she said. “We have got lots of other things we could be doing to make sure that we continue to keep the islands developing and economically self-sufficient for many generations to come.” — AFP

Retrofits to add $1.7bn to cost of F-35: Report WASHINGTON: Retrofits of F-35 fighter planes to fix problems found in flight testing will likely top $1.7 billion, a US government watchdog said in the draft of a new report about the Pentagon’s Joint Strike Fighter program. Extensive restructuring efforts and progress on technical issues have put the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 program on a more solid footing, but the plane’s long-term affordability remains a big concern, the Government Accountability Office said in the draft, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters. It said the F-35 program, which has been subject to massive delays and cost overruns and now has a price tag close to $400 billion, met most of its management objectives in 2012. But it still faced big costs because of earlier decisions to start building planes before development and testing were further along. A final report is due out next week. The F-35 is an advanced “fifth generation” fighter meant to serve the US Air Force, Navy and Marines for decades to come. But the program’s soaring costs and technical complications have now put it in a critical position, where any new setbacks or cuts in orders from the US military and its allies would drive the cost-per-plane up still further. The GAO draft report offers the agency’s most positive outlook yet for the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program, which has seen a spate of negative news in recent weeks, including two engine-related groundings this year. But it also underscores concerns about the long-term future of the program given budget reductions in the United States and other countries that plan to buy the radar-evading warplane. “Overall, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is now moving in the right direction after a long, expensive and arduous learning process,” GAO said. “Going forward, ensuring affordability the ability to acquire aircraft in quantity and to sustain aircraft going over the life cycle - is of paramount concern.” No comment was immediately available from the Pentagon’s F-35 program office or Lockheed. The program faces substantial costs to retrofit planes to address problems discovered in flight testing, GAO said. Such “rework” would add $900 million to the cost of the first four batches of jets build by Lockheed, GAO said, plus about $827 million over the next six batches for a total of $1.7 billion.

Last June, GAO had forecast rework costs of $373 million for the first four batches of jets, but gave no estimate for the remaining batches. Lockheed agreed in its contract for a fifth batch of jets to pay for 55 percent of any cost overruns up to a certain ceiling, and all cost overruns beyond that. Retrofit costs are now shared equally by the Pentagon and the contractor. GAO said cost overruns on 63 planes built by Lockheed in the first four production batches were now expected to reach $1.2 billion, of which the government will have to pay about $756 million. That marks an increase from GAO’s last estimate in June 2012, which forecast a cost overrun of $1.04 billion. Lockheed is building 58 planes for the US military under those first four production contracts, plus five for international partners who helped fund the plane’s development. The report said cost overruns were declining as production costs were coming down, and Lockheed was delivering jets faster. Lockheed signed a contract with the Pentagon at the end of December for a fifth batch of planes, and both sides hope to reach a deal for the sixth and seventh batches this summer. The GAO report reiterated the agency’s concerns about the long-term procurement and sustainment cost of the F-35. It said current plans would require the Pentagon to spend $10.6 billion each year through 2037 on the program, putting “an unprecedented demand on the defense procurement budget.” It said the cost of each plane would rise if the Pentagon cut its plans to buy 2,443 F-35s or the eight foreign partners - Britain, Italy, Australia, Canada, Norway, Turkey, Denmark and the Netherlands reduced their plans to buy 697 aircraft. Industry executives and military officials say US moves to defer orders for 410 aircraft in recent years have already jacked up the cost per plane, and costs will rise further unless Congress averts $500 billion in mandator y defense spending cuts slated to take effect over the next decade. Those cuts began to roll in last week. GAO said the Pentagon’s Cost Analysis and Program Evaluation office had calculated that the average cost of the plane, which has already nearly doubled to $137 million from $69 million originally estimated, would rise by 6 percent if all 697 foreign orders vanished. — Reuters


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

BUSINESS

Improvements in US economy boost markets NBK WEEKLY MONEY MARKETS REPORT KUWAIT: The United States economy gained traction in the midst of a post-crisis environment, leading the financial markets towards recovery, as better than expected economic indicators bloom markets with positive sentiment, and pushing global indices on to the green side, with the Dow Jones reaching record highs. The economy in the US is in a growing phase, in which it created great momentum towards recovery. Better economic figures raised the question whether the Federal Reserve will alter its accommodative policy of quantitative easing. Moreover, sentiment on the Euro remained supported, after ECB President Draghi said monetary policy would remain firmly accommodative and added that confidence was returning to financial markets. In addition, the Bank of England have refrained from any further easing, while keeping the interest rate unchanged. The euro started the week at 1.3022, as positive sentiments overwhelmed the financial markets. The single currency rose to 1.3075 levels, after a report showed that manufacturing and services in the euro-zone contracted less than economists forecast last month. The Euro then plummeted to 1.2965 after a report showed that euro area exports fell in the fourth quarter for the first time in 3-years. The Euro surged following the ECB’s decision to keep interest rates unchanged. The single currency continued to rise to touch a high of 1.3134, as President Mario Draghi held to his view that the euro-zone will gradually recover later this year and then closed the week at 1.3010. The Sterling Pound endured a volatile week. Cable opened the week at 1.5038, only to rise to 1.5199, ahead of the UK’s services report, which proved to be better than expected. The Sterling Pound plunged against the US Dollar, ahead of the Bank of England 2-day meeting to a low of 1.4967 as more easing measures were priced in the market. The currency then climbed to 1.5083, after the BoE refrained from boosting its asset purchase target. The Pound

closed the week at 1.4920. The Japanese Yen opened the week at 93.59, weakening against the US Dollar throughout the week. The JPY continued to weaken ahead of the US payroll report, as expectation of an improving labor market will convince the Federal Reserve to end its program of asset purchases. The Japanese Yen touched a high of 96.55, as the greenback strengthens to its highest level since August. The Swiss Franc weakened against the greenback after a better than expected jobs report from the US. The CHF opened the week at 0.9429, weakening to a high of 0.9489 on Thursday, in tandem with the euro, against a stronger US dollar. The Swiss franc closed the week at 0.9528. Manufacturing industry in the United States expanded in February, at the fastest pace in a year, an indication that financiers, shielded with market optimism, are dwarfing concerns and disagreements over the nation’s budget deficit in Washington. The US service industry, which equates to almost 90% of the county’s economy, is being supported by a sustained level of consumer spending. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index increased to 56.0, ahead of January’s figure of 55.2. As the number above 50 signals expansion, the index surpassed an expected slip to 55.0. A continuous hike in the manufacturing industries will make-up for three straight months of contraction, and will create more jobs. Jobless claims drop Fewer Americans filed for first-time claims for unemployment last week, indicating that demand is still resilient enough to maintain current employment levels. Unemployment benefits unexpectedly dropped last week to a six week low. The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits fell by 7,000 to 340,000, lower than the expected 354,000. Advancing stock prices and housing recovery are fueling a wave of good sentiment in US households, making it easier for

Americans to endure higher payroll taxes and look beyond the nation’s debt disagreements in Washington. Change in non-farm payrolls came much better than expected. The US economy payrolls increased by 246,000, against a forecasted 165,000, and better by 79,000 from the previous figure.

has stated that inflation has declined below 2% in February as expected, and that inflationary pressures should remain contained over the coming months, while “the underlying pace of monetary expansion continues to be subdued”, indicating that the ECB will continue with its accommodative monetary policy stance. ECB President reiterated that the “medium term

continue to look at the exchange rate as part of the overall assessment of the current situation”. After some turbulence in the markets following the Italian elections, Draghi stated that Italy “should continue on the structural reform path”.

ECB rate unchanged To no one’s surprise, the European Central Bank have kept the key benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.75%. The Euro regained ground across major currencies after the decision outcome of no immediate need for further easing. “We always think and study and reflect, but we are not committing to or planning anything special,” said Mario Draghi. “Yes, we have discussed the possibility. We wouldn’t precommit to anything as specific as a rate cut in the future”, the ECB President said over the possibility of an interest rate cut. Moreover, Draghi

risks for inflation remained balanced and that the positive impact from improving financial conditions on economic fundamentals may need time to materialize”. After dismissing comments over the existence of a “currency war”, Draghi said on the matter “that the exchange rate is not a policy target for the ECB. The nominal and real exchange rates are by, and large continue to be near their long term averages. The exchange rate is very important for growth and price stability. The central bank will stick with the G20 consensus”. The ECB President added that the central bank “will

Commodities Gold erased earlier losses after central banks in Europe and Asia left monetary policy unchanged, dimming some prospects for further stimulus measures. The precious metal traded between a low 1,567.48 and a high of 1,586.50 during the week. Gold ended the week at 1,577.95.

German production falls German industrial production unexpectedly stagnated in January, as spending and investments by German companies was hampered by the European debt crisis. Industrial production fell to 0.0%, below the expected 0.4%, and the previous months’ 0.6%. The Bank of England policymakers left the key benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.5%. The Monetary Policy Committee, led by Governor Mervyn King, said the target for its bond purchases will remain at GBP 375 billion. Several economists have stated that an increase in the policy program is possibly delayed rather than totally abandoned, and that an expansion is foreseen in the next two to three months. Policy makers outvoted Governor Mervyn King for a second time, after February’s meeting where he suggested to increase the Asset Purchase Program by GBP 25 billion, to GBP 400 billion, as they are keen on monitoring the impact of their Funding for Lending Scheme, which started in August, before approving anymore stimulus.

Kuwait Kuwaiti dinar at 0.28450 The USDKWD opened at 0.28450 yesterday morning.

Bank compensation up in 2012 despite cutbacks EU policymakers powerless to regulate total pay

Alghanim Travel receives excellence award from BBF KUWAIT: Alghanim Travel (ATA) received the Certificate of Excellence Award from the British Business Forum (BBF) at an awards ceremony held at Holiday Inn, Salmiya. Lord Mayor of London, Roger Gifford, and Frank Baker, British Ambassador of Kuwait, presented Zaid Al-Khubazi, GM Alghanim Travel, with the Certificate of Excellence Award from the British Business Forum (BBF). The award was presented to ATA for their long-standing relationship with British clients and businesses. ATA has been representing British Airways in Kuwait since 1948, one of the longest partnerships seen in the travel business. In addition, ATA has serviced British corporate clients and members of the British community. BBF is a non-profit organization in

Kuwait that encourages the development of British business links by delivering premier events and services through a professional community of individual companies. The British Excellence Awards ceremony is an annual event held to recognize and honor business professionals in the private and public sector who help support British businesses in Kuwait. The Certificate of Excellence Award is yet another recognition for the ATA team in 2012 as they were also awarded the BA Excellence in Partnership and one of the Best 25 Travel and Tours Agents Award in GGC and Middle East. Alghanim Travel is proud to have received these prestigious awards and would like to thank all ATA employees for their continuous efforts and hard work.

Air Arabia takes delivery of second aircraft in 2013 Airline to receive 4 more Sharklet equipped A320s SHARJAH: Air Arabia, the first and largest low-cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa, yesterday announced that it has taken delivery of its second Sharklet equipped Airbus A320 aircraft in 2013. This new delivery also coincides with the 26th anniversary of the Airbus A320 aircraft. Last month, Air Arabia took delivery of A320 equipped with Sharklet wing tip devices, becoming the first carrier in the Middle East to do so. Sharklets are an option on new-build Airbus A320 family aircraft, which are equipped with fuelsaving large wing tip devices. Air Arabia has now received 16 of the 44 A320 aircraft it has ordered from Airbus in 2007. Once completed in 2016, the order will more than double the size of Air Arabia’s existing fleet. The low-cost pioneer expects four more aircraft to be delivered in 2013. The carrier took delivery of its latest

A320 at the Airbus facility in Tolouse, and the new aircraft has gone straight into service across Air Arabia’s global network of 84 destinations, which it serves from three hubs in UAE, Morocco and Egypt. “Barely a month after receiving the region’s first sharklet equipped aircraft, we are pleased to take delivery of the second aircraft as per the fleet plan schedule,” said, Adel Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia. “The delivery of the new aircraft marks yet another step in Air Arabia’s fleet expansion strategy, while creating the industry’s most modern fleet. We look forward to the delivery of four more aircraft this year as we continue to expand our footprint in the wider Arab world and beyond.” Air Arabia aircraft cabin interiors are configured to provide high comfort to passengers, featuring the highest seat pitch of any economy cabin across the globe.

LONDON: Compensation at the world’s biggest banks rose last year, with 35 of them spending a combined 10 billion euros ($13.1 billion) more on staff than in 2011, figures compiled by Reuters show. Bankers’ remuneration has rarely been out of the spotlight over the last five years, as the industry’s powerhouses were rescued from the brink during the financial crisis with hundreds of billions of taxpayers’ dollars. Policymakers have since fought to curb the bonuses they say encouraged excessive - and sometimes catastrophic - risk-taking. Capping absolute pay levels is off-limits for regulators, but banks have talked a lot about cutting staff costs. Reuters analyzed the 2012 results reported by banks in the benchmark EuroStoxx 600 index and their US competitors and found staff costs rose to 275 billion euros across the group. Two thirds of the banks analyzed increased compensation per person, though several attributed this at least in part to redundancy issues. The compensation ratio - the industry’s preferred yardstick, which measures staff expenses against revenue - was up for 18 of the 35 banks. Philippe Lamberts, a Belgian MEP who has also been outspoken on bank pay and supported a cap on bank bonuses recently agreed by members of the European Parliament, says the figures prove that, left to their own devices, banks do not reduce pay. “To me it confirms that what we are doing on the remuneration front is necessary,” said Lamberts, referring to efforts to restrict remuneration through bonus rules and other provisions in a European Union package of bank regulations. A recent survey from recruitment agency Morgan McKinley showed that bank staff who changed jobs in London in January enjoyed average pay rises of 23 percent. But banks baulk at the suggestion they are paying staff more, saying things are more complex than the figures suggest. US retail banking giant Wells Fargo, however, was comfortable with the fact that perperson compensation went up about 2 percent last year and stands at the equivalent of 83,000 euros, placing the bank at the middle of the compensation table. “We support our team members as a competitive advantage and are committed to compensating them based on performance,” a spokeswoman said. The bank

recorded pretax earnings of 28.5 billion euros in 2012, up from 23.7 billion euros in 2011. Among other banks, it was not uncommon for per-person compensation to outstrip the rise in pretax profits. In eight of those where per-person compensation rose, pretax profit fell. In another three cases, per-capita compensation went up, even though the banks actually recorded losses. Job cuts Banks say the figures can be deceptive. They have been cutting jobs, with 93,000 shed across the group in 2012, falling heaviest on some of the loss makers. The lay-offs incur redundancy costs that are grouped in with overall staff compensation, which also includes pensions and payroll taxes. The per-head figures used are based on year-end headcount, since several banks have not released average headcount figures and declined to provide them to Reuters. That means that if a significant number of staff left in the year, the per-person staff costs are overstated. Since year-end headcount is also used to calculate per-person costs for 2011, however, when banks also mostly laid off staff, the broad figures provide a consistent basis for comparison. Where average headcount figures are available, these can show material differences. Bank of Ireland, still 15 percent state-owned, does disclose them, showing the bank’s per-person compensation rose just under 4 percent. Year-end figures overstate it at 9.5 percent. Even so, it was a year when the bank’s losses rose more than tenfold to 2.1 billion euros. The highest per-head rise using year-end figures is Danske Bank, where Reuters figures show an 11 percent rise. “The figures do not reflect actual developments in pay for Danske Bank employees,” said Bent Jespersen, senior vice president at the Danish bank. Jespersen said a union deal to increase wages 1 percent, plus “minor individual adjustments”, pushed pay up. Staff departures also hit headcount, the bank said, a factor also cited by Switzerland’s Banque Cantonale Vaudoise, which had the fourth highest increase in compensation per capita. At Deutsche Bank, where per-head costs rose 5.9 percent, a spokeswoman said the

Rajaa Maaroof wins KD 125,000 in NBK Al-Jawhara draw KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) announced the winner for February’s KD 125,000 Al-Jawhara monthly prize, Rajaa Abdulrahim Ibrahim Maaroof. The draw was held under the supervision of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. NBK re-launched Al-Jawhara account offering customers more chances to win bigger prizes; KD 5,000 weekly, KD 125,000 monthly and a grand prize of KD 250,000 quarterly draw. Rajaa Abdulrahim Ibrahim Maaroof, the winner of February’s KD 125,000 draw expressed her happiness in winning Al Jawhara monthly prize. “Winning KD 125,000 came as a complete surprise. I truly thank NBK for its great services and offers and for always being number one in the market,” she said. Al-Jawhara account offers numerous benefits to NBK customers. Not only is it an interest-free account with regular deposit and withdrawal privileges, but also entitles account holders to enter the weekly, monthly and quarterly Al-Jawhara draws. Each KD 50 in an Al-Jawhara account entitles the customer to one chance in any of the draws. All prizes are automatically credited to the winners’ accounts the day after the draw. The more money held in your Al-Jawhara account, the greater your chances of winning. Al-Jawhara accounts are available to both Kuwaitis and Expats and can be opened at any one of NBK’s branches around Kuwait.

figures included an element of deferred bonuses granted in 2009. Deutsche Bank also booked significant severance payments over the year, she said. Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs, which saw an 8.8 percent rise, had the thirdhighest increase in per-head payroll costs. Goldman, which declined comment, also tops the table for highest average pay, at the equivalent of 310,000 euros, based on average euro/dollar exchange rates for 2012. A source at another investment bank included in the analysis pointed out that their average staff costs were not comparable with banks that had large retail operations, where staff costs are lower. It said compensation ratios were more revealing. For Goldman, pretax profit growth of 82 percent easily beat the rise in average compensation, and its compensation ratio actually fell to 38 percent in 2012 from 42 percent in 2011. But across all the banks analyzed, the compensation ratio came in at just under 36 percent, up from 34 percent in 2011. Sony Kapoor, managing director of think-tank Re-Define, which advises lawmakers on issues including banks, said European policymakers had examined restricting compensation ratios. “It was very hard to apply at an aggregate level,” he said, pointing out that it was difficult to set a level that would capture the diverse operations of different kinds of banks. Though some will admit to enjoying the fruits of an improved remuneration climate, the feeling that they are being hard done by is hanging over the bank towers of London’s Canary Wharf. On New York’s Wall Street it is a similar story. A senior executive at one of the biggest US banks said traders and bankers have been comparing their pay packages to 2009, a banner year for Wall Street profits and bonuses. Even those who performed well and got bigger bonuses last year feel they are not being compensated adequately, he said. Policymakers say bankers are being paid too much based on the levels shown in the Reuters data, where average compensation costs per head were 87,400 euros across 3.25 million staff. Shareholders are pushing for more of banks’ returns to be channelled to them, and less to staff. MEP Lamberts said governments that have bailed out banks should force pay cuts. —

Al-Tijari announces winners of Najma Account draw KUWAIT: Commercial Bank of Kuwait held the Al-Najma Account Daily draw yesterday. The draw was held under the supervision of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry represented by Abdulaziz Ashkanani. The Commercial Bank of Kuwait

which is the date of the bank’s establishment. With a minimum balance of KD 500, customers will be eligible for the daily draw provided that the money is in the account one week prior to the daily draw or 2 months prior to the mega draw.

The winners of the Najma daily draw are:Al-Sayed Ismael Mohammed Jamal Nourah Saoud Matar Al-Mutiri Mejbel Mejbas Faleh Sheikha Nashmia Faisal Nawaf Al Sabah Emaad Shawqy Bekheit Obaid announces the biggest daily draw in Kuwait with the launch of the new Najma account. Customers of the bank can now enjoy a KD7,000 daily prize which is the highest in the country and another 4 mega prizes during the year wor th KD 100,000 each on different occasions: The National Day, Eid Al-Fitr, Eid Al-Adha and on the 19th of June

KD 7000, KD 7000, KD 7000, KD 7000, KD 7000.

In addition, for each KD 25 a customer can get one chance for winning instead of KD 50. Commercial Bank of Kuwait takes this opportunity to congratulate all lucky winners and also extends appreciation to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for their effective supervision of the draws which were conducted in an orderly and organized manner.


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

BUSINESS o r t o

The new Nissan Leaf arrives in Geneva Note and LEAF taking centre-stage at Motor Show DUBAI: With a staggering 50,000 examples sold, the LEAF is the world’s best-selling electric vehicle - but Nissan isn’t a company to rest on its laurels and the new LEAF has benefited from a raft of changes including an improved range of 199km and cut-inhalf charging time* that will only boost its popularity. Making its debut at Geneva the new LEAF will be produced at Nissan’s Sunderland factory in the UK. Built in Europe and re-engineered for European buyers, it has received more than 100 updates, many as a result of direct feedback from loyal customers. It all adds up to a car that will spread the

electric word even wider. New LEAF’s real-world driving range has been improved by the only visual change to the car: a subtly revised front grille helps reduce the aerodynamic drag coefficient Cd figure from an already impressive 0.29 to 0.28. The new LEAF’s driving range is certified at 199km under the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), which is an increase from 175km in the previous model. By moving the charger from the rear of the LEAF to under the bonnet, it has been possible to increase the luggage area by as much as 40 litres...

put that another way, about the size of a typical airplane ‘carry-on’ suitcase. Overall boot capacity has increased to a massive 370 litres. Another area where Nissan has made everyday life even easier is in the charging port area at the front of the car. Thanks to the introduction of a new LED inspection light, drivers no longer have to rely on street lighting to connect their cars to an electric source at night. The charging port has been reworked to improve usability and security and its release mechanism now uses an electric switch. Additionally, the charge cable now features an

electro-mechanical locking mechanism that removes the requirement to lock the cable to the car manually. Other detail enhancements include a new i-Key that also controls the charging port cover and cable lock. These significant updates are incorporated as part of a major range expansion that sees LEAF adopt the familiar Nissan three-tier trim line-up of Visia, Acenta and Tekna to broaden its appeal still further. The Visia version offers a lower price entry point while Tekna models feature even more standard equipment than the original model.

Commercial Facilities Co present at The Avenues

Terrace Mix Project

Top Real Estate offers projects in Istanbul KUWAIT: Top Real Estate Group announced the offering of latest real estate projects in Istanbul City, which are executed and developed by “Inanlar Construction Co”, established in 1965, adopting the principle of “Design for Humans” as its key philosophy throughout its 48 year journey, which enabled the company to be one of leading and distinguished firms in construction industry in Turkey. Waleed Al-Qadoumi, Group’s Managing Director, said that the Group is proud of its well-established relationship with Inanlar, which we exclusively represent in Kuwait and Qatar. Al-Qadoumi added that the Group, during the last

Waleed Al-Qaddoumi

year, offered a number of projects executed by Inanlar in Istanbul City, which realized significantly positive results. Such projects attracted a good group of buyers and investors. Al-Qadoumi indicated that Terrace Tema was the most attractive project due to its excellent location and promising future that the area has. Al-Qadoumi added that the Group now offers the latest project of the Company in Istanbul, “Terrace Mix” project, which is a key project implemented by Inanlar Company in a strategically distinguished location in Istanbul City. The project is located in a dynamic area with many commercial and residential complexes and universities in addition to a large number of businesses. Al-Qadoumi confirmed that Terrace Mix is a real

opportunity for successful investment. Regarding the Project, Al-Qadoumi said that it consists of 5 multistory buildings up to 15 floors, out of which there are 3 residential buildings and 2 office residential buildings. Apartments in such buildings vary from studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms with high quality finishing. He indicated that the Project provides integrated services including parks, playgrounds, health spa, car parking, maintenance and security services round the clock. With respect to the residential unit prices, Al-Qadoumi stated that their prices are suitable for different categories starting from KD18,000 with payment facilities up to 30 months. Al-Qadoumi indicated that the Project is located about 18 km from Ataturk Airport and about 31 km from Taksim area and Istqlal Street. In addition, the Project is adjacent to main road network in the City and also accessible through the metro bus, which is the easiest transport means in the City, which is never affected by crowd. Al-Qadoumi added that the project is under construction and delivery will be in October 2014 explaining that upon completion of the project and handover of the residential units to the owners, the Developer will lease such units from their owners for two years in consideration for annual rental net return of 7% of the unit value. On the other hand, Al-Qadoumi stated that the Group and Inanlar Company are currently considering the incorporation of a company specialized in property management in Turkey to undertake, in the future, the management of properties owned by buyers and investors from the region, who are interested in the same. This step aims at facilitating the new owners’ affairs, following up and maintaining their properties and ensuring that they realize distinct returns in the future. Al-Qadoumi confirmed that the real estate sector in Istanbul is one of the promising investments that yield high returns and realize great benefits for investors. Al-Qadoumi encouraged the people interested in investment to seize the opportunity at the present time to invest in Istanbul, specifically in real estate sector as it is the most feasible and safest sector at all times.

KUWAIT: Commercial Facilities Company (CFC) carries on expanding its communication channels with its clients by putting up a booth at The Avenues. Present during the entire month, the booth is set up to meet clients’ needs and enjoy its diverse facilities, given its outstanding convenience and unparallel speed. M o ham m ed B ader Al- Qattan, M anager Ser vice Development, said, “For the fifth year in a row the company allocates a booth in The Avenues to promote the services of CFC for the Mohammed Al-Qattan, mall’s visitors.’ He added, “The booth Manager of Services has always been well Development received by clients interested to deal with CFC and enjoy its diverse facilities. We strive to bring innovative deals for all our customers and are committed to serve tion to the credit policy by CFC.” them with the highest standards. Hence, we The CFC booth at The Avenues is open daily encourage our customers to visit our booth to during the mall’s working hours, from 10:30 am know more about our services. Moreover, by to 10:30 pm, allowing a number of visitors an visiting the booth, clients can know more opportunity to avail of all the services available about the offered loans, required documents, which best suits them. CFC staff are always proinstallment methods and their balance, in addi- viding the best services and facilities to com-

plete transactions submitted in a period not to exceed 24 hours. CFC, the first leading finance company with strong presence in the market for the past 34 years, has gained a stronger position thanks to its uniqueness in best serving its clients, quick processing of transactions and remarkable convenience.

Warba Bank offers personal finance at competitive rates KUWAIT: Warba Bank, the most recently opened Islamic bank in Kuwait, yesterday announced new competitive rates for personal finance products, having fully considered the market and the rates offered by competitive banks. Warba Bank has reduced the rates of consumer and housing personal finance products to cope with market trends and compete with local banks. Waleed Al-Mosallam, Head of Personal Finance - Warba Bank, said: “We at Warba bank are keen to provide our customers with an added value by means of offering additional services that cater for their needs. Customers looking for consumer and housing finance can take the advantage of our new competitive rates.” “Warba finance products can be availed easily and promptly in the event where the required

documents are complete. Customers can also enjoy the flexible repayment period. Offering such competitive rates emphasizes the bank management’s strategy to provide the finance products that cater for the needs of the all customer at competitive rates,” added Al- Mosallam. Warba Bank reoffers personal finance products at competitive rates to satisfy the needs of all customers and pay them more attention. This also highlights the bank’s supporting role of the sale process throughout the market, which in general serves economy and individuals by providing the required finance at smooth conditions and procedures. Customers of 21 years old and above are eligible for Warba Bank’s personal finance products which cover the necessary and luxury aspects of life at competitive rates, while promoting the quality of customer service.

Waleed Al-Mosallam

Burgan Bank announces names of winners of Yawmi Account KUWAIT: Burgan Bank announced the names of the five winners of its Yawmi account draw, each taking home a prize of KD 5,000. The lucky winners for the daily draws took home a cash-prize of KD 5000 each, and they are: 1. Mohammed Hameed Al-dein Mohammed Qeyas Aldein 2. Mohammed Bader Abdulla Al-farhan 3. Hanan Mohammed Swayed Alajmi 4. Hoor Salem Haji Alfarhan 5. Ahmad Hamed Abdullah Alnouri With its new and enhanced features, the Yawmi Account has become more convenient,

easier, and faster for customers to benefit from. Now, customers will be eligible to enter the draw after 48 hours only from opening the account. Customers are also required to deposit KD 100 or equivalent only to enter the daily draw, and the coupon value to enter the draw stands at KD 10. The newly designed Yawmi account has been launched to provide a highly innovative offering along with a higher frequency and incentive of winning for everyone. Today, the Yawmi account is a well understood product, where its popularity can be seen from the number of increasing account holders.

Burgan Bank encourages everyone to open a Yawmi account and/or increase their deposit to maximize their chances to becoming a daily winner. The more customers deposit, the higher the chances they receive of winning the draw. Opening a Yawmi account is simple, customers are urged to visit their nearest Burgan Bank branch and receive all the details, or simply call the bank’s Call Center at 1804080 where customer service representatives will be delighted to assist with any questions on the Yawmi account or any of the bank’s products and services.

Xcite.com launches Spring Fest promo Discounts on electronics and home furnishing KUWAIT: Kuwait’s leading e-commerce portal www.xcite.com welcomes the spring season with a promotion on a large variety of electronics and home furnishing products that are exclusively chosen based on customers’ favorite products,Xcite’s bestsellers and the latest in the world of electronics. The promotion includes discounts on products such as computers, tablets, mobiles, air con-

ditioning, televisions, home appliances, cameras, home furniture and much more. The Spring Festival Promotion starts today (March 11) and ends on March 17, 2013 giving a chance to everyone in Kuwait to visit the website, find their perfect deal and purchase it. The online portal has recently been redesigned to cater to the growing customer base and the increase in interest in online shop-

ping in Kuwait. Xcite.com offers customers daily bargain deals and exclusive prices that are only found on the website. A full-fledged bilingual online store makes it easier for both English and Arabic speakers to search the website and read the editorial reviews that are especially provided to guide customers to find the product that best matches their needs. X-cite is the largest consumer electronics

retailer in Kuwait and the Middle East. Headquartered in Kuwait, the award winning retailer delivers a modern, dynamic and convenient shopping experience with the primary objective of delighting its customers. With touch and feel displays, cash and carry shopping, a highly trained multilingual sales staff and the latest gadgets and gizmos, shopping at X-cite is an unforgettable experience.


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

technology

Croatian eyes high-end with electric city car ZAGREB: A Croatian car buff has briefly set aside his day job of building demining and firefighting robots to satisfy his childhood dream of making a high-end electric auto he hopes will be a global hit with eco-conscious customers. The first model, a pinkish violet three-seater with gullwing doors, proudly dominates the workshop of DokIng, a company run by Vjekoslav Majetic in one of Zagreb’s industrial suburbs. More than two decades of experience producing robotic systems for use in extreme conditions have provided the know-how that propelled Majetic’s company into a sophisticated but risky car-making adventure. “We had the knowledge, technology and desire to make such a car, on top of

our other products,” Majetic told AFP. The 57-year old transport engineer began developing his idea five years ago and presented the first “Loox” prototype at the Geneva Auto Show in 2010. Apart from batteries and windows, most parts for the 2.9-meter (nine-foot) long vehicle are made in Croatia, which currently has no car industry at all. Dok-Ing engineers were tasked with designing a luxury city car defined by “fine curves, elegant wheels and a stunning interior,” Majetic said. “It is a status symbol, an expensive small city car that is easy to park, with high performance and all possible electronic comforts,” he added. High quality components such as a reinforced-

aluminium chassis and carbon-kevlar body, as well as cutting-edge technologies used in Loox’s production might well give a buyer sticker shock however. At 50,000 euros ($68,000), the car is considerably more expensive than similar vehicles. Majetic knows the Loox is “not profitable,” contrary to his other products, like the MV-4, a portable, highly manueverable mine clearance system. “Loox’s future will depend on the market: if it is interesting for European or global market, we will start a mass production,” he concluded. “If not, it will become a tailor-made vehicle in line with client’s wishes.” Experts say the price is too high for Croatian driv-

ers whose average monthly salary is 730 euros. “It is hard to imagine that someone would pay such a price for a no-name car,” auto journalist Marin Galic said. Although it is primarily an urban vehicle, Loox boasts the performance of a sports car. With synchronized 45 kW electric motors front and rear, it can reach 100 kilometres per hour (63 mph) in just 7.5 seconds. A 32 kWh battery provides range of up to 250 kilometres (155 miles) at an average speed of 40 kilometres per hour (25 mph), and charging the Loox takes three to eight hours from an ordinary power socket. The company is planning to produce five vehicles by the end of this year, to be

driven by its employees. Majetic said his company could build up to 100 cars a year while maintaining its core business, but Galic believes the best way forward would be to hook up with a powerful, strategic partner. Croatia, which is set to join the European Union in July, has only a few hundred electric and hybrid vehicles of a total 1.4 million cars, a small market that Volkswagen leads with a share of 14 percent. One potential customer said that Loox’s chances for success would depend on how electric cars fare in general. “DokIng should turn towards the local business sector as well as the foreign market,” advised Nenad Tonkovic, a 45-year-old lawyer from Zagreb. —AFP

Electric cars back into shadows at Geneva show Hybrid Air technology uses petrol and compressed air

KANSAS: Jennifer Hudson, the head athletic trainer for the Wichita school district, uses the “Sway Balance” app at Wichita East High School in Wichita, Kansas. —MCT

app can assist with concussion detection WICHITA: An entrepreneur with close ties to Wichita State University has developed an iPhone application that researchers say could revolutionize how a key symptom of concussions can be quickly and accurately detected within minutes. The “Sway Balance” app, developed by WSU alumnus Chase Curtiss of Tulsa has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It was tested for two years in Wichita, both at WSU and among hundreds of athletes at Wichita East and Andover Central high schools, and in schools in Oklahoma and California. “It’s a very cool tool,” said Jennifer Hudson, the head athletic trainer for the Wichita school district who helped test the app for two years with East High athletes. What Curtiss did, said Jeremy Patterson, the WSU scientist who studied and tested it, was develop a cheap, fast, accurate tool that trainers and other health care specialists have never had before. It gathers measurable evidence in moments, showing that a person has probably suffered a concussion. “A lot of the initial assessments by trainers on the sidelines have had to be much more subjective, much of them based on how the athlete is feeling,” said Hudson, who also teaches in the athletic training program at WSU. “A concussion until now has not necessarily been an injury that you can ‘see,’ like a fat (swollen) sprained ankle. “But this app shows real numbers and gives you a better assessment.” It doesn’t “prove” a person has a concussion, she said, because some concussions don’t affect the area of the brain that controls balance. But it gives a better assessment than she’s seen before. How the app works is simple, said Curtiss, who earned a master’s degree in exercise science at WSU in 2008 while working under Patterson. “We’re not diagnosing concussions,” Curtiss said. “We’re screening balance as a key symptom of a possible head injury.” The app works like this: Trainers like Hudson ask an athlete to hold the iPhone or iPad on his or her own chest. Then she tells them to close their eyes. She puts them through three tests that take about 10 seconds apiece: With your eyes closed, put your feet together. Then put your dominant foot in front of the other, heel to toe. Then lift the dominant foot, and stand on the non-dominant foot. The app then gives an indication of numbers. Athletes will be tested at the beginning of a season, when everyone is healthy and uninjured. That gives the trainer a recorded baseline of how much balance the athlete has when healthy. That recorded baseline is then compared with whatever the app might show next if the athlete is ever injured in a practice or competition. Hudson said the app, within minutes, gives a reading about whether an injury victim has developed a new problem with balance. This can be done on the field or court right after an injury.

Currently, researchers said, athletes, team trainers and coaches don’t know for sure that an athlete has developed a concussion until extensive physical tests and expensive medical scanner tests are done. They also rely more heavily now on how the athlete tells them he or she feels. Some of those same tests will still need to be done, but the advantage of the new technology is that trainers won’t have to guess when a player needs to sit down, or go to a doctor. Concussion dangers Patterson, an associate professor and director of the human performance laboratory at WSU, said the app is an important innovation not only for National Football League players but for children and adults who play sports of any kind. “Most people think concussions are when an NFL linebacker hits a quarterback helmet to helmet,” Patterson said. “The dangers are more extensive than that.” Thousands of high school and college football players suffer concussions every year. Concussions, Patterson said, are a significant problem for soccer players, for basketball players, for tennis players diving for balls, for any sport. Soccer enthusiasts have become increasingly concerned. Most concussions in soccer do not involve head-to-head but rather head-to-knee collisions, or a “shaking” injury to the brain inside the skull during collisions or falls where the head is whiplashed. Medical people have even begun to ponder the safety of baseball catchers who get hit in the protective mask with a foul tip or an errant pitch. Another good thing this app will do is help sort out when an athlete is ready to return, first to practice, then to competition, Patterson said. The real danger of concussions is not the first head injury, Patterson said. It’s “secondimpact syndrome,” a dangerous outcome. “It’s very important that the first injury gets picked up and identified,” he said. “You get a second injury, and you are really cooked.” Brain damage and recovery can be more extensive after a second injury, he said. Other uses Because the new tool measures balance, researchers also said this tool will almost certainly become a key feature in seemingly unrelated professions. “The possibilities are pretty astounding, really,” Hudson said. Police officers can use this kind of tool to accurately find balance problems in drunk drivers or impaired drivers, researchers said. Physical therapists could use it to cheaply and quickly track the progress or deterioration of nursing-home patients, who must exercise to prolong their lives or recover from injuries. Curtiss said that under the Affordable Care Act, physical therapists treating elderly clients must now assess and put a value on function limitations for every patient who comes for treatment; the new app could help speed that process, he said.—MCT

GENEVA: After being the starring act for several years, the electric car backed into the shadows at this year’s International Geneva Motor Show as carmakers grow weary of waiting for sales to take off. Electric vehicles were not completely absent from the showrooms as the 83rd edition of the Geneva show kicked off, but no new models were unveiled and car company executives on site for the media days tomorrow and Wednesday barely mentioned them. “Public confidence (in electric) has really fallen since its peak at the Paris show in 2010, when we only talked electric,” BIPE analyst Clement Dupont-Roc told AFP. Back then, French carmaker Renault, which leads the electric market, opened the order books for its first electric models and chief executive Carlos Ghosn said he expected the cars to represent 10 percent of the market by 2020. Renault’s compatriot PSA also plunged into the space, as did Japan’s Nissan with its Leaf. But as things stand today, sales have fallen far short of expectations. In France, which claims to be the leading market in Europe for electric, less than 6,000 new such vehicles were registered last year. The low volumes are part of the explanation for the weak offering on display in Geneva, but there are other issues as well. “There are three tasks we have to overcome when it comes to electric vehicles. One is pricing, second is the milage they can cover and the third is infrastructure,” Osamu Masuko, the president of Japanese Mitsubishi, told AFP at the show. Mitsubishi has been providing PSA with electric cars, but last August the French carmaker halted the influx since it was unable to unload the ones it already had. “We had weak forecasts for electric, and now, we’re selling even less than those weak forecasts,” acknowl-

wilderness skills with iPhone SAN FRANCISCO: Chuck La Tournous was about two minutes into his presentation this week at Macworld 2013, “Tech vs. Wild,” when a Boy Scoutishlooking kid in the audience shot up his hand. “I go camping a lot,” he said, “but they won’t let us take our tech into the woods.” That sort of anti-geek outdoorsman mentality may soon be going the way of analog television. At the 29th annual Macworld, the message was that when the going gets tough, the tough get even techier. “The idea is that tech can be useful in the great outdoors,” said La Tournous, a 50-year-old blogger from western New Jersey and founder of TrailCamper.com. “As a kid, you maybe could have taken your Walkman on a campout, but today there’s a lot of good reasons to take tech with you. It doesn’t distract from the outdoors experience, it enhances it.” The San Jose Mercury News decided to take a hike with La Tournous, along with some of the survival products he’s reviewed on his website. But instead of heading for the trails, we joined him on a walk through the urban wilderness just a few blocks from San Francisco’s Moscone Center. We left Macworld and headed toward Market and Sixth streets, where the drug-dealing, Dumpster-diving, panhandling denizens can make an out-of-towner feel like a babe in the woods. While some of La Tournous’ tech tools, like stargazing apps and waterproof smartphone cases, are clearly more suited for the wilderness, he said others would come in handy in an urban environment gone bad. That would include terrorist attacks, civil unrest, earthquakes or other natural disasters. He got to personally test this theory recently after Hurricane Sandy knocked out power in his hometown for more than a week. —MCT

edged Maxime Picat, in charge of PSA’s Peugeot brand. Nissan has also been unable to meet its objective of selling 9,000 Leafs in Europe. As a result, it was showing a new version in Geneva offering better range and especially a lower price, according to industry media.

“A turn-around could come in 2016, 2017, when the electric vehicles that are today mainly bought for fleets arrive on the second-hand market,” he said. In the meantime, carmakers are biding their time, offering environment-conscious customers low-emission-small-

working on the project and promises coming cars will use just three litres of gasoline to drive 100 kilometres. German Volkswagen meanwhile unveiled its lightweight plugin hybrid XL1 at the show, which it says consumes less than one litre of petrol per 100 kilometres and

GENEVA: The booth of German car maker Volkswagen is seen at the Geneva International Motor Show. —AFP Chevrolet, which already has the Volt electric car and is preparing to launch a new, smaller one called Spark, is also not betting on a European boom in the segment any time soon. “I don’t see (electric) growing in a down market,” Susan Docherty, who heads the company’s European operations, said at the Geneva show. Analyst DupontRoc agreed that growth in the segment will likely be a few years off.

engine cars, and are highlighting other greenish technologies like hybrids. The leader in the sector, Japanese Toyota, for instance unveiled a new electric/gasoline hybrid at the Geneva show. And PSA was pushing its Hybrid Air technology, which uses petrol and compressed air. “We want to show that electric hybrids are not the only possible solution,” explained Karim Mokaddem, who is

weighs less than 800 kilos. But Volkswagen is only planning on making 250 units, and is unlikely to immediately take the market by storm. Nissan, German Daimler and US carmaker Ford are meanwhile aiming to hit the accelerator in their development of affordable fuel-cell vehicles-a technology that is taking a while to get rolling but that they hope to get on the roads by 2017. —AFP

How to run growing number of endpoints Over the past few years, consolidation has been the name of the game, we are now seeing a clear trend towards increasing numbers of IT devices in companies. In addition to traditional workplace PCs, more and more employees are using mobile devices, such as netbooks, smartphones and tablets.

inside company walls. The rest may be scattered around the globe. A few years ago, only globally active companies with multiple branches in different countries had to deal with these issues. Today, however, even small companies, particularly SMEs, are affected by them.

Optimum security with increasing numbers of devices The number of IT devices in corporations is trending in just one direction-straight up. At the same time, however, IT departments are being streamlined, with administrators juggling numerous projects in addition to their daily duties. Combined management and security software makes everything manageable. Whether or not their company uses a “Bring Your Own Device” policy, employees today are using more IT devices than ever before. According to a survey carried out by Kaspersky Lab of 3300 companies worldwide, almost 80 percent of companies expect to see an increase in the number of IT devices used by their employees over the next year. Around 44 percent expect up to 10 percent more devices; 27 percent expect an increase of 10 to over 50 percent, and 8 percent of the companies surveyed expect a large increase of more than 50 percent. A further 16 percent of companies expect their device count to remain stable, while just 4% assume that the number of IT devices will decrease over the next year. No doubt, administrators understand this means more work for them as all these additional devices must not only be managed, but also incorporated into corporate security strategies.

Counteract loss of control If companies in this category, that is rather common, find large enterprise management solutions too complex, they cannot, however, allow control over their devices to slip out of their hands. The situation is further complicated by the fact that very few companies are increasing their IT budgets-quite the opposite. Looking at human resources development for IT administrators shows that cuts are being made in multiple areas. Whereas, in 2011, 24 percent of the companies surveyed by Kaspersky had 250 (or more) IT employees, in 2012 this figure was just 15 percent. This consolidation is affecting companies of all sizes, meaning that fewer and fewer employees must keep ever-increasing numbers of IT devices running smoothly and securely. To prevent this task from spelling disaster for companies, IT administrators must become more productive. A combination of management and security software is recommended.

Additional requirements Only rarely does adding more IT devices mean setting up more on-site workstations. In most cases, the devices used are laptops, tablets or smartphones. As these are used not just at employees’ desks, but also on the road, at customers’ premises and at home, they place additional demands on IT security. If something goes wrong, administrators often find themselves having to provide remote assistance. Only a small percentage of the devices for which administrators are responsible are actually

Simple management, perfect security The words “system management” tend to send shivers down administrators’ spines, with many assuming that they refer to complex and overblown software for major corporations. This is, however, not necessarily the case. The perfect solution for small and medium-sized companies combines device management with the latest security technology and features a unified interface to enable the management of workstations, laptops and smartphones. Solutions which allow administrators to adjust devices’ security configurations directly from this interface, when applying patches or checking malware warnings, for example, provide added value. The software should support administrators in these areas by providing automation and templates. These features allow recurring tasks to be completed with minimal effort, thus freeing up time for other duties.


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

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

US implant device helps stop clotting WASHINGTON: An implant device designed by US firm Boston Scientific to prevent strokes in high risk people helps avert blood clotting, a new study said. The umbrellashaped device called “Watchman” can also serve as an alternative to treatment with anticoagulants of

patients suffering from arterial fibrillation, a study by the manufacturer said. The trials involved 407 patients at 41 sites and compared the “Watchman” to warfarin, an anticoagulant medication, said the study, which was presented on Saturday. Of the people surveyed, 269 used

“Watchman” and 138 took the blood thinner warfarin. The results show that “the device performed similar to warfarin with a rate ratio of 1.07”, said the report, presented at an annual conference of the American College of Cardiology. “The results ... add to the wealth of previously published

data confirming the utility of the ‘Watchmen’ device as an option for the reduction of stroke in high risk patients,” said Kenneth Stein, chief medical officer with the cardiac rhythm management department of Boston Scientific. “‘Watchman’ is the only device-based alternative to anti-

coagulation that has undergone rigorous scientific study,” he added. “Watchman” is introduced into the heart via a catheter that goes through a vein in the groin. Atrial fibrillation affects approximately 15 million patients worldwide. Patients have a five times greater risk of stroke.

“Watchman” was approved for sale in Europe in 2005 and some countries in Asia in 2009, according to Boston Scientific. The results of the study will be submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration as part of a process to obtain approval for its marketing in the United States.—AFP

Airport tries therapy dogs to ease passengers’ fears Heart rate decreases on interaction with animals SAN JOSE: Henry James weaves between legs and roller bags at Mineta San Jose International Airport, but he’s in no rush. Around him, people scurry to their gates, but for the 4-year-old golden retriever, being calm is his job. “Do you want to see him?” his owner Kyra Hubis asked two passengers waiting to board a plane home to Atlanta. “This is Henry James, he’s a therapy dog.” Elliot

finds that many passengers are in need of a dog’s wagging tail, wet nose and unconditional love. “Traveling is a stressful experience,” said Rosemary Barnes, the airport’s public information manager. “You may be going to a job interview. You may have lost a loved one. There are so many reasons that people come to airports.” The program began after 9/11, when an air-

SAN JOSE: Kyra Hubis and her “therapy dog” Henry James stop to visit Joe Truckey at Mineta San Jose International Airport in San Jose, California. —MCT Willard was at the airport with his sister-in-law, Ashley Willard, because his grandfather, who lived in San Jose, recently passed away. As they tousled Henry James’ long, shaggy fur, smiles spread across their faces. It was exactly the result hoped for. Every Monday, Henry James and Hubis walk the terminals to comfort passengers who may be stressed, grieving or feeling the jitters of flying. Hubis, a retired critical care nurse for 30 years, runs the therapy dog program as a volunteer. She

port pastor brought in her own dog to help soothe stressed and frightened passengers. The effort has since grown to include 11 volunteers who walk their therapy dogs - including a German shepherd, miniature schnauzer and bordeaux mastiff - up and down the terminals, a few hours a week. The program runs on donations, which pay for the uniforms of the furry counselors: red vests covered in patches embroidered with slogans like “Pet me I’m friendly.”

“We know from a whole body of research that blood rate, heart rate and respiratory rate decrease when a person interacts with an animal,” said Rebecca Johnson, researcher at the University of Missouri. For people who like dogs and are not extremely allergic, these animals have a proven calming effect, said Johnson. Just as people soften with the smile of a stranger, dogs can lighten a heavy mood. “These dogs are going to be perpetually smiling and engaging people and making eye contact. That’s a positive force,” Johnson said. Back in Terminal B, Joe Truckey of California’s Orange County reached down to pet Henry James. Truckey, whose leg was injured by a forklift when he was 18, has mingled with therapy dogs in the past. At age 45, he had an operation on his leg that left him bed ridden in the hospital. Bored and anxious, the hospital’s therapy dogs helped to calm him. “They looked just like him,” said Truckey, as Henry James panted and wagged his long, fluffy tail. Each dog must be tested and certified to be part of the program. The dogs must remain calm amid frenzied crowds, rolling wheelchairs and screaming children. “They have to handle people touching them and people crying into them,” said Hubis, who has visited with grieving family members and nervous flyers. Hubis only approaches people who are interested in visiting with a 90-pound energetic hound. She never asks people their names or where they are going, but often when passengers begin to pet Henry James, they open up about their lives. After a half-hour of walking the gates and greeting at least two dozen people, including waddling toddlers, Hubis leads Henry James into the airport meditation room for a drink of water and a quick snack. By the time they leave two hours later, they might visit with more than a hundred passengers. Los Angeles International Airport plans to start a similar program, modeled after the program run in San Jose, to make their passengers more comfortable. Miami International Airport has also implemented a therapy dog program. “I’m a dog person, and I know if I were upset, I’d want a dog,” said Hubis, who is hoping to grow the program with more dogs walking the San Jose’s terminals more often. —MCT

California dentists develop restorative crowns for kids SACRAMENTO: Two dentists-turnedentrepreneurs say they’re part of the most revolutionary development in children’s dental care “since fluoride.” Jeffrey Fisher and John Hansen, of Sacramento, Calif., started EZ-Pedo Inc in 2010, and today their relatively small manufacturing site in Loomis, Calif, produces thousands of ceramic dental crowns for children. The crowns are made of zirconia, colored and polished to resemble normal, healthy teeth. That’s a departure from the long-standing industry norm metal crowns, typically made of stainless steel. Last year, EZ-Pedo sold nearly 40,000 crowns to about 650 pediatric dentists throughout the United States, and to various international locales. It’s ramping up an office in Germany to handle manufacturing and distribution throughout Europe. The partners guess that they have about 10 percent of the nation’s pediatric crown market (there are more than 6,500 pediatric dentists nationwide). In five years, Hansen and Fisher hope to claim 50 percent. The new business has not yet produced riches for the partners. Fisher and Hansen said they only recently began paying themselves. Both still maintain private practices. Fisher, 39, provides office-based general anesthesia for pediatric dentistry throughout the Sacramento region. Hansen, 45, is a specialist in cosmetic dentistry, with an office in Roseville. Their venture began with a nasty fall. In 2004, Hansen’s 3-year-old son, John Paul, fell in the bathtub and seriously injured four of his front teeth. Hansen sent his son to a pediatric dentist to have the boy’s smile reconstructed and was stunned to learn that there were no aesthetically pleasing crowns like those typically custom-crafted for adults. Hansen said the crowns placed on his son’s teeth were bulky, didn’t match in color and presented a smile that showed metal at the gumline. When John Paul needed more work done, he confided to his father that he was fearful of more treatments. Hansen called Fisher, with whom he had previously worked, to see if he would provide the anesthesia for John Paul. From there, Hansen and Fisher got to talking about the seemingly unfilled niche-better restorative options for children’s teeth.

In 2006, they began an exhaustive process that included interviews with scores of pediatric dentists and numerous tests of potential ceramic materials. They went through 15 design revisions in three years. Ultimately, they filed an application with the US Food and Drug Administration for pre-market clearance of their crowns. The FDA cleared them for use in 2009. “The FDA process is very long and complicated. There are very specific requirements for this,” Fisher noted. The process of making the crowns in Loomis is likewise exacting. The zirconia crowns are first milled in an exotic-looking, custom-made machine. About 35 to 50 crowns placed in a disc can be shaped simultaneously. From there, the crowns are smoothed, polished, put through a staining solution, hardened in a 4,000-degree chamber, microblasted and glazed. Much of the final shad-

ing is done by hand by mask-wearing employees in library-quiet rooms. Workers also do a final visual inspection. Every crown gets a label, which can be scratched off by a dentist before placement. There are 96 shapes and up to six sizes for each specific tooth. That reflects a wide range of teeth, from baby to preteen. Hansen said that besides giving children visually normal teeth, EZ-Pedo’s crowns are designed to guarantee proper spacing in the everchanging mouths of growing kids. Roseville, Calif, dentist Joelle Speed, who has specialized in pediatric dentistry for 10 years, said ceramic crowns have opened up numerous possibilities. “For a while, stainless steel was always the standard, but aesthetics-wise, self-esteem issues would come up,” she said. “(Children) would not have many options if they had a large cavity.” With ceramic crowns, Speed said he believes pediatric

Technician Antonina Mykhailenko applies a glaze on a monolithic zirconia pediatric dental crown. —MCT

dentistry is undergoing a major shift that will continue for years. Brian Banks, completing his residency at Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City before moving on to a pediatric dentistry practice in Phoenix, believes ceramic crowns are helping parents make better decisions. “A lot of parents didn’t like the silver option and would sometimes decide on extraction instead,” Banks said. “Taking teeth out creates other problems, like (kids) having a hard time eating and (improper tooth) spacing. “With more aesthetic options, it’s easier.” EZ-Pedo’s growth has prompted Fisher and Hansen to keep moving into larger and larger offices. They say they are committed to keeping operations local and have resisted offers to outsource manufacturing to reduce costs. “After all the work we’ve done, we’re starting to see more competitors suddenly coming on,” Hansen said. “There are a lot of temptations to do things differently, but we like where we are. We like the area.” Demand for the pair’s professional services and for their new business making crowns is not likely to ebb. Despite the proliferation of fluoride and dental sealants over the years, tooth decay among children has proved a stubborn foe. As recently as 2007, a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report warned that tooth decay in baby teeth was increasing among children ages 2 to 5 years. Tooth decay related to extended use of baby bottles is still common. Research also shows widespread tooth decay in some cultures, with dental care access and affordability playing roles. Tooth decay “remains a problem for some racial and ethnic groups, many of whom have more treated and untreated tooth decay compared with other groups,” said Bruce Dye, an epidemiologist and lead author of the 2007 CDC report. In a separate report released in May 2012, Dye said 20 percent of American children ages 5 to 11 had untreated cavities. And a justreleased report by the Pew Center on the States said most states are not doing enough to provide children with access to dental sealants to prevent tooth decay, driving up health care costs. Twenty states received “D” or “F” grades from Pew. —MCT

KRUGERSDORP: This file picture shows a rhinoceros grazing in the private Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve in Krugersdorp, north of Johannesburg. South Africa’s white rhino population will begin to decline by 2016 if the current rate of poaching continues, authorities warned, following the killing of scores of the creatures this year. —AFP

Big cat sanctuary to reopen to public after lion attack FRESNO: The California wildlife sanctuary where an African lion attacked and killed a 24-year-old intern last week is reopened to the public yesterday, four days after the woman’s death. The Cat Haven preserve, which has been shut since Dianna Hanson’s death on Wednesday, will resume regular operations, including offering guided tours to visitors, Cat Haven officials said. Shortly before it opens its gates, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims is scheduled to brief reporters on the latest findings from the investigation. Hanson, who was on a six-month internship at Cat Haven that began in January and had previously worked in Kenya on a wild feline reserve, will be honored yesterday with a moment of silence at the sanctuary. The big cat center, which is located 40 miles (64 km) east of Fresno, will resume regular operations, including guided tours for visitors, Cat Haven officials said. “It is important that we attend to (the animals’) health and well-being, and we believe returning to a state of normal operations is a part of that process,” Cat Haven founder Dale Anderson said in a statement. Hanson was attacked while cleaning an empty cat enclosure. A four-year-old male lion named Cous Cous escaped from his feeding pen, apparently by prodding open an improperly

secured gate, and pounced on Hanson, fracturing her neck and killing her almost instantly, according to Fresno County Coroner David Hadden. Sheriff’s deputies later shot and killed the lion, which weighed at least 400 pounds (181 kgs), after failed efforts to coax him away from Hanson’s body. Cous Cous and his mate, Pely, were Barbary lions, a species from the region between Morocco and Egypt that is extinct in the wild. He had been handled by humans since he was weeks old. Cat Haven, a 100-acre (40-hectare) sanctuary run by the group Project Survival and located about 40 miles (64 km) east of Fresno, is still home to 29 large cats. State and local agencies are investigating whether Cat Haven violated any safety procedures that could have safeguarded against the attack. Anderson said the sanctuary was cooperating with the investigation. Hanson earned a biology degree in 2011 from Western Washington University. Her family says they consider the incident a tragic accident. “We know that first and foremost, Dianna would want the work that Cat Haven is doing to continue,” her mother, Donna Hanson, said in a statement. The Hanson family has set up a fund in Dianna’s honor that will benefit her favorite charitable organizations, including Cat Haven. —Reuters

Niacin therapy unhelpful WASHINGTON: A combination drug containing niacin failed to lower the risk of heart attacks or strokes and even proved harmful for some with vascular disease, a study released Saturday reported. Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, has for years been widely prescribed to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. The link between high levels of LDL cholesterol and heart disease is well-documented, and doctors work to mitigate that risk with diet and lifestyle changes as well as a variety of medications. But even with these protocols in place, heart disease and stroke

claim lives and cause damage, so scientists continue searching for ways to improve the treatment. Niacin-in doses about 100 times higher than the recommended amount from foodwas thought to be helpful. Indeed, the combination drug used in the study-made by US pharmaceutical giant Merck and combining extended release niacin with laropiprant-is already approved in 70 countries, though not the US. But when tested against a placebo in more than 25,000 patients, it failed to reduce the numbers of heart attacks, strokes or other serious cardiovascular problems. —AFP


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

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

Stroke prevention device misses key goal in study SAN FRANCISCO: The future is unclear for a promising heart device aimed at preventing strokes in people at high risk of them because of an irregular heartbeat. Early results from a key study of Boston Scientific Corp.’s Watchman device suggested it is safer than previous testing found, but may not be better than a drug that is used now for preventing strokes, heart-related deaths and blood clots in people with atrial fibrillation over the long term. More than 2.7 million Americans and 15 million people worldwide have atrial fibrillation. The upper chambers of the heart quiver instead of beating properly. That lets blood pool in a small pouch. Clots can form and

travel to the brain, causing a stroke. The usual treatment is blood thinners such as warfarin, sold as Coumadin and other brands. But they have problems of their own and some are very expensive. The Watchman is intended to be a permanent solution that would not require people to take medications for the rest of their lives. It’s a tiny expandable umbrella that plugs the pouch, and is inserted without surgery, through a tube pushed into a vein. A study four years ago suggested the device was at least as good at preventing strokes as warfarin is, but the procedure to implant it led to strokes in some patients. Advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration narrowly

recommended approving the Watchman but the federal agency required a second test of its safety and effectiveness. The new study was to be the top presentation Saturday at an American College of Cardiology conference in San Francisco. But the group took the unprecedented step of pulling it from the program just before it was to go on because Boston Scientific released results early to investors. The study was led by Dr David Holmes Jr of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He and the clinic have a financial stake in the device. The study involved 407 patients - 269 assigned to get the device and 138 to get warfarin. It had three main goals, and it

clearly met the first on safety - strokes, heart-related deaths, blood clots and serious complications a week after implant or release from the hospital.” The early concerns about safety of the device ... have been alleviated,” Holmes said. The other two goals were estimated based on just 88 patients who have been tracked for 18 months after treatment. Strokes and blood clots occurred no more often with the device in those patients. However, the results suggest the device will not prove better than warfarin at 18 months on a wider measure - a combination of strokes, heart-related deaths or clots. Whether that will be enough to win

FDA approval remains to be seen. Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, a Johns Hopkins University heart specialist and former president of the American Heart Association, said he was reassured that the device seems safer, and said it might be approved just for people who cannot tolerate blood thinners long term. “It’s a mixed result,” he said. “There still are complications” but fewer of them in the new study. Dr Hadley Wilson, cardiology chief at Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, enrolled patients in the new study and predicts the FDA will require even more testing. “It would be difficult for approvability without further study,” he said. —AFP


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

W H AT ’ S O N

Al-Qadiri, Al-Baqsami honor Greek Ambassador

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

Announcements KIFF to host Blood Donation Camp and launch Blood Donors Network

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he Kuwait India Fraternity Forum, a socio cultural organization of Indians residing in Kuwait continues its effort to increase awareness on the importance of blood donation aiming to foster lifelong blood donors with a kick-off blood donation camp and inauguration of KIFF Blood donors Network. Aims to promote “Donate Blood, Save Life”, the Mass Voluntary Blood Donation Camp will be held on Friday, 15th March 2013 at Ministry of Education for private schools Hall, Salmiya, Kuwait. The KIFF with its co-organizer Kuwait Central Blood Bank and event sponsor Noor Clinic, a first of its kind polyclinic located in Al-Ahmadi governorate which provides services dedicated to women and their family in the field of Dermatology, Dental Care & lab services are pleased to organize this event, a noble cause in aid of the Kuwait Central Blood Bank. “The Need for blood in Kuwait is increasing day by day. To meet this demand, KIFF with its co-organizers realize that, this camp is essential because the blood cannot be manufactured; it can only come as a voluntary donation by the people. As many as three people’s lives can be saved as a result of just one donation” said Shamsheer Aman, President of KIFF Karnataka Chapter. KIFF encourages young people above the age of 18 to donate blood. The organizers hope to welcome more than 200 on that day. The event is open for Blood donations from 2.00PM to 7.00PM

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ohammed AlQadiri and his wife, renowned Kuwaiti writer and formative artist Thuraya AlBaqsami held a reception at their residence in Mishref in honor of the Greek Ambassador and Constantin Drakakis, to commemorate the completion of his term in Kuwait. On this occasion, Al-Baqsami gifted a painting to the ambassador and his wife, and wished the couple success. The reception was attended by many ambassadors, diplomats and friends.

McDonald’s halal chicken GCC imports exceed 12,000 tons in 2012

New Indian business forum to be launched

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ntroducing a new world of business networking and commercial synergy, a world all set to open fresh contours in the emerging global economic scenario. A forum comprising of Indian businessmen and professionals will soon be launched in Kuwait to promote business and trade. The forum will primarily aim to provide an interactive platform of networking for Indian businessmen and professionals with their Kuwaiti counterparts through regular interface, meetings and even workshops. The new forum, which plans to engage with all trade and commerce bodies across India and also in Kuwait, intends to act as a unified forum for exchange of information related to current or expected business or professional opportunities in India and Kuwait. Not merely confined to business exchanges, this forum will also enable Indian businessmen and professionals to make suggestions to the government on matters of policy matters, procedures pertaining to the business activities. The forum plans to promote Indian businesses in Kuwait by providing several opportunities between businesses, dissemination of information through seminars and interaction with local and government counterparts. In brief, the Forum intends to revolutionise and develop new business and professional relationships while consolidating existing ties.

Kasarkode district champions nter district tournament organized by KEFAK (Kerala Football Association Kuwait) Kasarkode district team cruised into the final by overwhelming Palaghat by 3-0 and Eranakulam district team secured final berth by convincingly beating Wayanad district team by 2-0. Al Jazeera Public relation Manager Faisal Hamza handed over winner’s trophy to Champions Kasarkode team. Runner up trophy to Eranakulam team was presented by KEFAK president Mohammad Shabeer. Third place winner Wayanad team received trophy from Shifa Al Jazeera marketing manager Neethi Menon. The scorer of first goal in the final was won by Rahim, striker Kasarkode that was presented by Chammannor Jewellery manager Shabu Anthony. Niyas of Kasarkode won man of the match award that was sponsored Iblack electronics and presented by Iblack sales executive Shameer. Best of player of tournament was deservedly won by Prince Puthussery of Eranakulam for his all round and consistent performance that was presented by KEFAK G.S Sameeullah. Best goal keeper award was won by Noufal Kasarkode and was presented by C.O John V.P KEFAK. Top scorer award was shared by Jamnaz Eranakulam and Jagadish Kasarkode with three goals each and award was presented by Safarulla ñ sports secretary KEFAK. KEFAK executive members O.K Abdul Razak, Mubarak Yusuf, Pradeep Kumar, Biju Johny and Siddique presented awards to individual players of each team. Most senior player award was deservedly won by Aashique Cadiri that was presented by Abdulla Qadiri. Final ceremony was chaired by KEFAK president Mohammad Shabeer. Ksarkode district expats association president Salam Kalanad, Eranakulam district association President Roy Yoyaki, and Media representative Sathar Kunnil appreciated KEFAK efforts in their felicitation speech to organize this prestigious tournament. KEFAK General Secretary Sameeullah offered welcome speech and Media secretary Rafeeq Babu expressed gratitude. V.S Najeeb compered the event. Indian football referee association (IFRA) referees Julio Cardozo, Sarto Baptista and Sharma ably officiated the final match.

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St Patrick’s Day

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uwait Irish Society presents our St Patrick’s Day celebration at Hilton Hotel, Al-Dorra Ballroom, Friday March 15, 2013. Dress Code: Black tie.

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

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cDonald’s Arabia has announced imports of Halal chicken, to its 369 restaurants across the GCC region recorded more than 12,000 tons in 2012. The supply is up by 12.3 percent from the previous year due to the growth of demand for chicken meals. Chickens are prepared through strict halal procedures daily in Malaysia, the main exporter of high quality halal chicken to all McDonald’s restaurant in the region. The information was revealed following Kuwaiti delegation’s visit to Malaysia to observe the sophisticated systems that McDonald’s implies on suppliers in the preparation food by halal procedures. The delegation included the Kuwaiti Director of Commercial Fraud and accompanied by executives from McDonald’s. The trip included visits to Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM), an official Malaysian authority that supervises Halal procedures; the Mac Food factory; and two certified Halal slaughter houses, where chickens are prepared daily - under the supervision of JAKIM. Approximately 1,200 employees work at both slaughter houses, and are all holders of certificates provided by the authority. “Ensuring that all ingredients and produce are halal is McDonald’s top priority,” said Yousif Abdulghani, the

Managing Director of McDonald’s Middle East and Africa. “All products served at all McDonald’s restaurants in the Middle East are Halal, as they all ingredients are inspected and approved by local authorities and Halal officers at the countries of export and customs officials at the port of entry. Our customers can be assured that the food that they enjoy is halal and has the same world-famous taste.” Since the first launch of McDonald’s in the GCC in 1993, the company has offered high quality halal food to all customers through qualified suppliers. McDonald’s ensures 100 percent supplier eligibility before adding any source to its database of approved suppliers. To qualify as a McDonald’s supplier, they must adhere to social responsibility policies on aspects concerning animal welfare, animal feed, as well as prohibition of deforestation and use of antibiotics as growth promoters and above all, Halal. McDonalds halal certificates are displayed at its restaurants and on the website www.McDonaldsArabia.com. McDonald’s also offers an ‘Open-Door’ program, open to the public, to take a closer look at the quality standards of the products and procedures implemented at the restaurants. More information on the program and registrations can be found on the McDonald’s Arabia website.

British Council launches Selector radio program

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ritish Council Kuwait celebrated the launch of the selector radio programme, an international radio show bringing the best new music from the UK, on Friday 8 March at Marina Crescent with live music performances. The crowd enjoyed live music by talented local bands throughout the day that included City Jazz Trio, Light Touch and Kalendi. Podcasts from the Selector radio show were also part of the day’s musical program. The launch event attracted more than 1,000 visitors to the British Council stand and listeners enjoyed a day full of music. Keith, one of the visitors who stayed for the music show states “I was here for the jazz show earlier and it was great. It is great to hear live music in Kuwait.” The Selector is a weekly program that

covers all styles of contemporary music. It also features interviews, guest DJ mixes and exclusive sessions with some of the best artists as well as a mix of UK’s best hits. All music lovers are invited to tune in every Wednesday from 16:00-17:00 to Super Station 99.7 to listen to this world-known show presented by global DJ and TV/Radio presenter DJ Goldierocks. The program is a hit in 33 countries around the world including Egypt, Jordan, Oman and soon Qatar with over 3 million listeners worldwide. Andrew Glass, British Council Kuwait Country Director, said “the goal of this cultural collaboration with Radio Kuwait 99.6 FM is to introduce the best new British music to Kuwait, music they might not otherwise get the chance to hear. More widely it lets young people explore our culture and

practise their English. We are working with local musicians too and the launch event with local bands is all about two way relations.” He explained, “The Selector is an award winning music show and has been acknowledged by the Sony Radio Academy Awards in 2005 with a gold award. It also won an award at the International Radio Festival in Zurich in 2011 and we are very excited to listen to it in Kuwait on 99.7”. Aiming at bringing the best of what the UK has to offer and sharing British culture, arts and education and the English language, British Council works closely with both public and private sectors. It collaborates with public institutions todevelopthe education systemand enhance English language skills in order to give young people the skills they need for study, work and to

be part of a global community. British Council also works closely with private institutions from different sectors to create new opportunities and projects with potential collaboration with their counterparts in the UK. British Council’s role isto enhance cultural relations between Kuwait and the UK with a positive impact on both countries. Itteaches English, supports young students who wish to pursue their studies in the UK with language qualifications and connects Kuwaiti and British professionals to promotean exchange of expertise in education and the arts. Tune in every Wednesday at 4 pm to Super Station 99.7 for the Selector radio show. British Council also offers many events throughout the year as well as free resources for English language development.


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

W H AT ’ S O N

McDonald’s, BOCA Juniors organize ‘The Yellow League’ final match

Embassy Information EMBASSY OF AUSTRALIA The Australian Embassy Kuwait does not have a visa or immigration department. All processing of visas and immigration matters in conducted by The Australian Consulate-General in Dubai. Email: info.ausdxb@vfshelpline.com (VFS) immigration.dubai@dfat.gov.au (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 www.immi.gov.au/e visa/e676.htm. nnnnnnn

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cDonald’s Kuwait and the BOCA Juniors football academy, held the Yellow League football finals on March, Friday 8 at the Sports Grounds in Mishref, the major event of the “The Yellow Alliance”. The top four teams that qualified into the semi- finals out of all 12 schools were Al-Jameel Private School, Najat , Fajr Al-Jadeed and Indian Public. The four schools competed head to head for first and second place as well as third place. The Final match for first place was between Al-Jameel Private School and Fajr Al-Jadeed school and was won by Al-Jameel by the score of 1-0 . The match for the third place also took place during the evening and was won by Najat. The “Yellow League” was endorsed by the Public Authority of Youth and

Sports and was conducted by professionals from the BOCA Juniors Academy and refereed by officials from the Kuwait Football Association. “The league was a huge success! All the teams worked hard for the win. I would like to thank all the participants and the coaches for their dedication and devotion. As well as the families that got together to cheer the kids during the matches.” commented Ruben Lineiro, Managing Partner of Boca Juniors Academy Kuwait. The final match was attended by a number of prominent representatives and figures, including the Argentine Ambassador and Consul, Youssef Nasser, forward player from the Kuwait National Team, and top mangament from Argan and Maousherji. The event was also

attended by a number of journalists and renowned media representatives, along with the school administration staff, parents and members of the Kuwaiti community. Mothers and fathers also partook in a fun penalty shootout before the team awardings. Ronald McDonald also visited team players on the field and cheered them on during the final match. “The Yellow League’s record success marks the beginning of a fruitful collaboration between McDonald’s and BOCA Juniors within the Yellow Alliance. With the support of our partners, we managed to start the year with a strong, engaging and fun series of activities for children and we are pleased with the generated hype of the Yellow League. We hope to build upon these successes

by organizing more events and activities for the children of the Kuwaiti community.” Stated George Khawam, Marketing Director, McDonald’s Kuwait. The “Yellow Alliance” between McDonald’s Kuwait and BOCA Juniors is based on bringing the family together through the love of football, and part of McDonald’s ongoing commitment of encouraging and promoting an active and balanced lifestyle. McDonald’s Kuwait continuously supports local youth sports program and is a sponsor of major sports events and focuses on promoting and encouraging an active and balanced lifestyle. McDonald’s has been a proud supporter of the Olympic movement for the past 40 years and is an official partner of the FIFA World Cup since 1994.

Dialysis center of Friends Hospital opens

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of 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, UAE. Individuals who are interested in working, studying, visiting or immigrating to Canada should contact the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, website: www.UAE.gc.ca or www.goingtocanada.gc.ca, E-mail: abdbi-imenquiry@international.gc.ca. The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakei St, Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at www.Kuwait.gc.ca. 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

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 shortstay (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, firsttime 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

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: info@kenyaembkuwait.com. nnnnnnn

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n opening ceremony of Dialysis Center of Friends Hospital was held on Thursday February21, 2013.Chief Guest was Dr Mohammad Ahmed Al-Sharhan President Patient Helping Fund Society. He was accompanied by Faisal Aljeeran General

Manager Kuwait Society for Relief and Nassir Alsyed member of International Islamic Charitable Organisation (IICO), Kuwait. These guests were welcomed by Vice president Friends Welfare Trust (FWT) Sheikh Bashir Ahmed and other FWT executive and Friends

Hospital staff. The Friends hospital has 80 beds with 20 beds for Dialysis and diagnostic Center giving low cost and high quality medical services to the inhabitant of poor community of Rawalpindi Pakistan. Friends Welfare Trust is also running four health cen-

Kuwait Bilingual School to hold Jahra culture fest

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uwait Bilingual School, a reputed educational institution in Jahra, plans to hold a Jahra Cultural Festival next month. Ghassan Al-Jilani, the school director said, “We want to show and promote the culture of Jahra not only to our students and their parents but to all people in Kuwait”. Spread over several days by end of April, the festival will have folklores, dances, artifacts and a poetry session presented by poets. The school will present its annual musical production ‘Aladin’ directed by Dennis. There will also be a health day where parents and other visi-

tors can come, learn about health issues from experts. There will be many booths where doctors and nurses will do free primary tests and check-ups. A family day consisting of games, food and fun has also been planned at a favorite spot in Jahra for parents making entertainment part of the festival. Various committees are formed to ensure the smooth running of the festival that is first of its kind in Jahra Governorate. A team of 30 teaching and non-teaching staff is set up to coordinate the program. “Organizing a festival like this is part of our mission in education”, said Al-Jilani.

ters in different areas of Pakistan. Other projects of FWT are free medical camps in Kuwait and Pakistan, public health awareness program. Teenage health education program and help the poor and needy in Pakistan.

‘Scratcher of Syria’ hosts Ali Farzat at AUK

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he Student Government Association at AUK will hold a public evening under the title “Scratcher of Syria” next Saturday, March 16. The event will host a lecture for the renowned Syrian cartoonist Ali Farzat, in addition to a student play and an art gallery. The theme of the event will be “Representation of Syria’s humanitarian status through art”. The event will run from 6-8 pm at the AUK Auditorium as well as the central AUK hallway. Attendance is open to public and free of charge.

Ghassan Al-Jilani

Embassy of Mexico The Embassy of Mexico presents its compliments and has the pleasure to announce the opening of the Consular Section in the Embassy and that the Embassy has already proceeded on the procudures for issuing entry visas to Mexico from 2nd January 2013. The Embassy of Mexico has further the honor to inform that the working hours of the Consular Section is from 09:00 - 12:00 hours. nnnnnnn

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

EMBASSY OF TURKEY The Embassy of the Republic of Turkey announces that a new classes of Turkish language for beginners will start at the Embassy’s Tourism, Culture and Information Office on 17 February 2013. The lessons will be two times in a week for six weeks, for further details and registration please contact. Or fill the application form on http://kuveyt.bemfa.gov.tr and send it to the email: embassy.Kuwait@mfa.gov.tr


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

TV PROGRAMS

00:50 Untamed & Uncut 01:45 Squid Invasion 02:35 Animal Cops Houston 03:25 Wildest Arctic 04:15 Untamed China With Nigel Marven 05:05 Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan 05:55 Animal Cops Houston 06:45 Wildest Arctic 07:35 Wildlife SOS 08:00 The Really Wild Show 08:25 Bad Dog 09:15 Dogs 101: Specials 10:10 Baby Planet 11:05 Wildest Africa 12:00 Animal Cops Phoenix 12:55 Call Of The Wildman 13:20 Wildlife SOS 13:50 Clinically Wild: Alaska 14:45 Animal Precinct 15:40 Wildest Africa 16:35 Escape To Chimp Eden 17:00 The Really Wild Show 17:30 Dogs 101: Specials 18:25 Crocodile Hunter 19:20 Too Cute! 20:15 Bondi Vet 20:40 Safari Vet School 21:10 Call Of The Wildman 21:35 Escape To Chimp Eden 22:05 Wildest Africa 23:00 Karina: Wild On Safari

00:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials 01:25 Gok’s Fashion Fix 02:15 Design Rules 03:05 MasterChef 07:05 Design Rules 08:05 Homes Under The Hammer 08:55 Bargain Hunt 09:40 Antiques Roadshow 10:30 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials 11:50 Come Dine With Me: Supersize 13:25 Come Dine With Me: South Africa 14:20 Gok’s Clothes Roadshow 15:05 Bargain Hunt 15:50 Antiques Roadshow 16:40 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials 18:00 Homes Under The Hammer 18:50 The Hairy Bikers USA 19:15 Home Cooking Made Easy 20:10 New Scandinavian Cooking 20:35 Come Dine With Me: South Africa 21:30 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 22:20 Antiques Roadshow

00:00 00:30 00:45 01:00 01:30 01:45 02:00 02:30 02:45 03:00 03:30 04:00 04:30 04:45 05:30 05:45 06:30 06:45 07:30 07:45 08:30 09:00 09:30 09:45 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:30 14:00 15:30 15:45

Newsday Asia Business Report Sport Today BBC World News Asia Business Report Sport Today BBC World News Asia Business Report Sport Today BBC World News Hardtalk BBC World News World Business Report BBC World News World Business Report BBC World News World Business Report BBC World News World Business Report BBC World News Hardtalk BBC World News World Business Report Sport Today BBC World News GMT With George Alagiah Impact With Mishal Husain Hardtalk BBC World News World Business Report Sport Today

16:00 BBC World News 16:30 BBC Focus On Africa 17:00 BBC World News 17:30 World Business Report 17:45 Sport Today 18:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 19:30 World Business Report 19:45 Sport Today 20:00 Business Edition With Tanya Beckett 20:30 Hardtalk 21:00 BBC World News America 22:00 Newsday 22:30 Asia Business Report 22:45 Sport Today 23:00 Newsday 23:30 Asia Business Report 23:45 Sport Today

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 Dexter’s Laboratory 06:00 Bananas In Pyjamas 06:25 Jelly Jamm 07:00 Ha Ha Hairies 07:25 Baby Looney Tunes 07:50 Lazy Town 08:15 Krypto The Superdog 08:40 Jelly Jamm 09:05 Gerald McBoing Boing 09:30 Cartoonito Tales 09:55 Bananas In Pyjamas 10:20 Ha Ha Hairies 10:45 Lazy Town 11:10 Krypto The Superdog 11:35 Baby Looney Tunes 12:00 Jelly Jamm 12:25 Gerald McBoing Boing 12:50 Cartoonito Tales 13:15 Krypto The Superdog 13:40 Lazy Town 14:00 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo 14:25 Tom And Jerry Tales 14:50 Sylvester And Tweety Mysteries 15:20 Johnny Bravo 15:45 Tom & Jerry 16:10 Pink Panther And Pals 16:35 The Garfield Show 17:00 What’s New Scooby-Doo? 17:25 Sylvester And Tweety Mysteries 17:50 Tom And Jerry Tales 18:15 The Looney Tunes Show 18:40 Taz-Mania 19:05 Moomins 19:30 Pink Panther & Pals 19:45 The Garfield Show 20:00 Sylvester And Tweety Mysteries 20:20 Tom And Jerry Tales 20:45 Moomins 21:10 Dexters Laboratory 21:20 Johnny Bravo 21:35 Puppy In My Pocket

00:40 Chowder 01:30 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 02:20 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 08:00 Mucha Lucha 08:25 Johnny Test 08:45 Adventure Time

09:05 Total Drama World Tour 09:55 Ben 10: Omniverse 10:20 Young Justice 10:45 Thundercats 11:10 Regular Show 12:00 The Amazing World Of Gumball 12:50 Foster’s Home For... 13:40 Courage The Cowardly Dog 14:30 Powerpuff Girls 15:20 Angelo Rules 16:10 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 16:35 Young Justice 17:00 Ben 10: Omniverse 17:20 Transformers Prime 17:40 Johnny Test 18:00 Level Up 18:25 The Amazing World Of Gumball 18:50 Adventure Time 19:15 Regular Show 19:40 Mucha Lucha 20:05 Total Drama World Tour 20:30 Total Drama World Tour 20:55 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 21:20 Hero 108 21:45 Bakugan: Mechtanium Surge 22:10 Grim Adventures Of... 23:00 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 23:25 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 23:50 The Powerpuff Girls

00:40 World’s Top 5 07:00 Mythbusters 07:50 The Will: Family Secrets Revealed 08:45 Finding Bigfoot 09:40 Border Security 10:05 Auction Kings 10:30 Auction Kings 10:55 How Do They Do It? 11:25 How It’s Made 11:50 Fast N’ Loud 12:45 Jesse James: Outlaw Garage 13:40 American Chopper 14:35 Border Security 15:05 Auction Kings 16:00 Life On A Wire 16:55 Finding Bigfoot 17:50 Mythbusters 18:45 American Guns 19:40 How Do They Do It? 20:05 How It’s Made 20:35 Auction Kings 21:30 Gold Rush 22:25 Gold Divers 23:20 Around The World In 80 Ways

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

Stitch A Kind Of Magic Replacements Emperor’s New School A Kind Of Magic Replacements Emperor’s New School A Kind Of Magic Phineas And Ferb Suite Life On Deck My Babysitter’s A Vampire Phineas And Ferb Jessie Good Luck Charlie Doc McStuffins Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates The Hive Mouk Jonas So Random Hannah Montana Sonny With A Chance Kim Possible Shake It Up Wizards Of Waverly Place Phineas And Ferb Austin And Ally Suite Life On Deck A.N.T. Farm Phineas And Ferb Shake It Up Austin And Ally Jessie A.N.T. Farm Good Luck Charlie Gravity Falls

17:55 18:20 18:45 20:30 20:50 21:40 22:05 22:55 23:20 23:45

Suite Life On Deck Austin And Ally Lemonade Mouth That’s So Raven Cory In The House Hannah Montana Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana Forever

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

00:00 Programmes Start At 7:00am KSA 07:00 Kickin It 07:25 Phineas And Ferb 07:50 Almost Naked Animals 08:15 Pokemon: BW Rival Destinies 08:40 Slugterra 09:05 Scaredy Squirrel 09:30 Ultimate Spider-Man 09:55 Zeke & Luther 10:20 Kick Buttowski 10:45 I’m In The Band 11:10 Rekkit Rabbit 11:35 Rated A For Awesome 12:00 Iron Man Armored Adventures 12:25 American Dragon 12:50 Kick Buttowski 13:20 Pair Of Kings 13:45 Zeke & Luther 14:10 Rekkit Rabbit 14:35 I’m In The Band 15:00 Kick Buttowski 15:25 Pair Of Kings 15:50 Phineas And Ferb 16:40 Kickin It 17:05 Crash & Bernstein 17:30 Slugterra 18:00 Kickin It 18:25 Scaredy Squirrel 18:50 Phineas And Ferb 19:00 Phineas And Ferb 19:15 Phineas And Ferb 19:40 Mr. Young 20:05 Slugterra 20:30 Zeke & Luther 20:55 I’m In The Band 21:20 Rated A For Awesome 21:45 Rekkit Rabbit 22:10 Phineas And Ferb 22:35 Ultimate Spider-Man 23:05 Kick Buttowski 23:30 Scaredy Squirrel

LEAVES OF GRASS ON OSN CINEMA

00:30 Scouted 01:30 E!es

02:00 Live From The Red Carpet 04:00 THS 08:00 E! News 08:55 Married To Jonas 09:45 E!es 10:15 15 Remarkable Celebrity Body Bouncebacks 12:05 30 Best & Worst Beach Bodies 14:05 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 15:00 Style Star 15:30 E!es 16:30 Behind The Scenes 17:00 THS 20:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 21:00 Live From The Red Carpet 23:00 THS

00:40 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 01:30 Andy Bates American Street Feasts 02:20 Unwrapped 02:45 Iron Chef America 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 Food Crafters 10:05 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 13:00 Iron Chef America 13:50 Tyler’s Ultimate 14:15 Unique Sweets 15:05 World Cafe Asia 15:30 Easy Chinese: San Francisco 15:55 Easy Chinese 16:20 Food Crafters 16:45 Chopped 17:35 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 Charly’s Cake Angels 20:05 Guy’s Big Bite 20:30 Chopped 22:10 Iron Chef America 23:00 Andy Bates American Street Feasts 23:25 Andy Bates American Street Feasts 23:50 World Cafe Asia

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

Deadly Affairs Ghost Lab Dr G: Medical Examiner Reel Crime/Real Story Fatal Encounters Deadly Affairs Ghost Lab Dr G: Medical Examiner Disappeared Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? True Crime With Aphrodite Murder Shift Disappeared Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Street Patrol Forensic Detectives True Crime With Aphrodite Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? Disappeared Murder Shift Forensic Detectives True Crime With Aphrodite Disappeared Nightmare Next Door Couples Who Kill I Married A Mobster

00:15 One Man & His Campervan 00:45 Adventure Wanted 01:40 Bondi Rescue: Bali 02:05 On Surfari 02:35 Danger Beach 03:00 On Surfari 03:30 Racing To America 04:25 Market Values 04:50 The Best Job In The World 05:20 A World Apart 06:15 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 06:40 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 07:10 One Man & His Campervan 08:05 Adventure Wanted 09:00 Bondi Rescue: Bali 09:25 On Surfari 09:55 Danger Beach 10:20 On Surfari 10:50 Racing To America 11:45 Market Values 12:10 The Best Job In The World 12:40 A World Apart 13:35 David Rocco‚Äôs Dolce Vita 3 14:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 14:30 Delinquent Gourmet 15:25 Adventure Wanted 16:20 Bondi Rescue: Bali 16:45 On Surfari 17:15 Cycling Home From Siberia With Rob Lilwall

00:00 World’s Deadliest GPU 01:00 Kenny And Zoltan’s Venom Quest 01:55 Journey Into Amazonia 02:50 Night Stalkers 03:45 Caught In The Act 04:40 Strike Force 05:35 Untamed Americas 06:30 Journey Into Amazonia 07:25 Night Stalkers 08:20 Caught In The Act 09:15 Big Cat Wars (aka Lion vs Cheetah) 10:10 Kenny And Zoltan’s Venom Quest 11:05 Striker! 12:00 Planet Carnivore 13:00 Journey Into Amazonia 14:00 Kenny And Zoltan’s Venom

THE CRAZIES ON OSN MOVIES ACTION Quest 15:00 Secrets Of The King Cobra 16:00 Crocodile King 17:00 Hippo Hell 18:00 Crimes Against Nature 19:00 Fish Warrior 20:00 Night Stalkers 21:00 Caught In The Act 22:00 Big Cat Wars (aka Lion vs Cheetah)

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

Disturbing Behavior-18 The Crazies-18 Walled In-PG15 Restitution-PG15 Tank Girl-PG15 Batman: Year One-PG15 Hackers-PG15 Tank Girl-PG15 The Stool Pigeon-PG15 Hackers-PG15 Seventh Moon-18 Ronin-18

01:00 Soldier Love Story-PG15 03:00 Princess Lillifee-FAM 05:00 Blank Slate-PG15 07:00 The Dragon Chronicles: Fire & Ice-PG15 09:00 Soldier Love Story-PG15 11:00 Water For Elephants-PG15 13:00 The Deep End Of The OceanPG15 15:00 Certain Prey-PG15 17:00 Love Finds A Home-PG15 19:00 We Bought A Zoo-PG 21:15 Leaves Of Grass-PG15

00:00 Breaking In 00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Saturday Night Live 02:30 Eastbound & Down 03:00 The Simpsons 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 09:00 The Simpsons 09:30 Two And A Half Men 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 Less Than Perfect 13:30 Hope & Faith 14:00 Baby Daddy 14:30 Hot In Cleveland 15:00 Two And A Half Men 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 Raising Hope 19:00 How I Met Your Mother 19:30 Modern Family 20:00 The Cleveland Show 20:30 Wilfred 21:00 The Daily Show Global Edition 21:30 The Colbert Report Global Edition 22:00 The League

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 08:00 08:30 10:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 17:00

Eureka Grimm Scandal Top Gear (UK) Six Feet Under Jane By Design Good Morning America Emmerdale Coronation Street Jane By Design Eureka Top Gear (UK) Jane By Design Live Good Morning America The Ellen DeGeneres Show

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

Disturbing Behavior-18 The Crazies-18 Walled In-PG15 Restitution-PG15 Tank Girl-PG15 Batman: Year One-PG15 Hackers-PG15 Tank Girl-PG15 The Stool Pigeon-PG15 Hackers-PG15 Seventh Moon-18 Ronin-18

00:00 PG15 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00

The Secret Of My Success-

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 10:45 12:30 15:30 17:15 19:30 21:00 PG15 23:15

Paul-PG15 The Ladykillers-PG15 Despicable Me-FAM Elf-PG The Breakfast Club-PG15 The Ladykillers-PG15 Robots-PG The Breakfast Club-PG15 Zathura: A Space Adventure Spread-R The Switch-18

Fish Tank-PG15 Road To Perdition-18 Cruel Intentions-18 Paws-PG Certified Copy-PG15 Film Socialisme-PG15 Hindenburg-PG15 Certified Copy-PG15 Quiz Show-PG15 The Roommate-PG15 Master And CommanderSomewhere-18

01:45 A Fall From Grace-PG15 03:15 I Don’t Know How She Does It-PG15 05:00 I Don’t Know How She Does It-PG15 07:00 Glee: The Concert MoviePG15 09:00 The Artist-PG 11:00 I Don’t Know How She Does It-PG15 13:00 A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song-PG 15:00 33 Postcards-PG15 17:00 The Artist-PG 18:45 X-Men: First Class-PG15 21:00 The Woman In Black-PG15 23:00 Hall Pass-18

01:00 The Nimbols: Part II-FAM 02:45 Mickey’s Twice Upon A Christmas-FAM 04:30 The Three Bears: The Amazing Adventurers-FAM 06:00 The Nimbols: Part II-FAM 08:00 The Ugly Duckling In Tales Of Mystery-FAM 10:00 A Very Fairy Christmas-FAM 11:30 Alpha And Omega-PG 13:00 Micropolis-FAM 14:30 Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules-PG 16:15 Puss In Boots-PG 18:00 A Very Fairy Christmas-FAM 20:00 Twigson-PG 22:00 Micropolis-FAM 23:30 The Ugly Duckling In Tales Of Mystery-FAM

02:00 02:30 04:30 06:30 07:00 08:30 11:30 13:30 14:00 21:30 22:00

ICC Cricket 360 Top 14 Super League Futbol Mundial PGA Tour PGA Tour Rugby League ICC Cricket 360 Live Snooker The Welsh Open ICC Cricket 360 Live Snooker The Welsh Open

00:00 PGA European Tour 04:30 Inside The PGA Tour 05:00 NFL Game Day 05:30 Trans World Sport 06:30 ICC Cricket 360 07:00 PGA European Tour 11:30 Premier League Darts 15:00 ICC Cricket 360 15:30 NFL Game Day 16:00 Super League 18:00 Trans World Sport 19:00 PGA European Highlights 20:00 PGA Tour Highlights 21:00 NFL Game Day 21:30 Super League 23:30 Inside The PGA Tour

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

Tour

Super League Trans World Sport Total Rugby Premier League Darts Golfing World Top 14 Highlight ICC Cricket 360 World Pool Masters World Cup of Pool Pro 12 Trans World Sport Golfing World World Pool Masters World Cup of Pool Trans World Sport Golfing World Pro 12 Top 14 Highlight Futbol Mundial World Pool Masters World Cup of Pool

01:30 WWE SmackDown 03:00 WWE Bottom Line 04:30 WWE This Week 05:00 NHL 07:00 WWE Bottom Line 08:00 WWE Experience 09:00 Ping Pong Championships 10:00 US Bass Fishing 11:00 NHL 13:00 Mobil 1 The Grid 13:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 14:00 WWE NXT 15:00 WWE SmackDown 17:00 Ping Pong Championships 18:00 US Bass Fishing 19:00 UFC TUF 20:00 UFC 156 Prelims 22:00 UFC 156

World

World

00:00 Ancient Aliens 01:00 Nazi Britain 02:00 Ancient Aliens 04:00 Nazi Britain 05:00 Mankind The Story Of All Of Us 07:00 Ancient Aliens 08:00 Pawn Stars 08:30 Storage Wars 09:00 Seeking Salvage 10:00 Pawn Stars 10:30 American Restoration 11:00 Pawn Stars 11:30 Storage Wars 12:00 Soviet Storm: WWII In The East 13:00 Ancient Aliens 14:00 Ancient Aliens 15:00 Pawn Stars 15:30 American Restoration 16:00 Seeking Salvage

01:20 03:35 05:10 06:55 07:25 08:00 09:35 11:50 13:25 17:00 18:20 20:05 21:30

Some Came Running-PG April In Paris-FAM Lovely To Look At-FAM TCM Presents Under...-U TCM Presents Under The...-U ...Tick...Tick...Tick-PG Some Came Running-PG April In Paris-FAM Gone With The Wind-PG The Fighting 69th-PG Clash By Night-PG The Rounders-PG Postman’s Knock-FAM


Classifieds MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

Kuwait

KNCC PROGRAMME FROM THURSDAY TO WEDNESDAY (07/03/2013 TO 13/03/2013)

SHARQIA-1 PARKER (DIG) PARKER (DIG) PLAYBACK (DIG) PARKER (DIG) PLAYBACK (DIG) PARKER (DIG)

1:45 PM 4:00 PM 6:15 PM 8:15 PM 10:30 PM 12:30 AM

PLAYBACK (DIG) PARKER (DIG) PLAYBACK (DIG) PARKER (DIG) PARKER (DIG) PLAYBACK (DIG) NO SUN+ TUE+WED

SHARQIA-2 APARTMENT 1303 (DIG-3D) OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (DIG-3D) OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (DIG-3D) SNITCH (DIG) OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (DIG-3D) SNITCH (DIG)

12:30 PM 3:00 PM 5:30 PM 8:00 PM 10:15 PM 12:45 AM

MARINA-2 AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG)

1:00 PM 3:15 PM 5:15 PM 7:30 PM 9:45 PM 12:05 AM

SHARQIA-3 SNITCH (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) VEHICLE 19 (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG)

1:30 PM 3:45 PM 6:00 PM 7:45 PM 9:45 PM 12:05 AM

MARINA-3 OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (DIG-3D) OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (DIG-3D) OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (DIG-3D) SNITCH (DIG) OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (DIG-3D) SNITCH (DIG)

12:30 PM 3:00 PM 5:30 PM 8:00 PM 10:15 PM 12:45 AM

1:30 PM 3:30 PM 5:45 PM 8:00 PM 10:00 PM 12:15 AM

AVENUES-1 3ALA GOSETY (DIG) 3ALA GOSETY (DIG) 3:15 PM 3ALA GOSETY (DIG) 3ALA GOSETY (DIG) 3ALA GOSETY (DIG) 3ALA GOSETY (DIG)

5:30 PM 7:45 PM 10:00 PM 12:15 AM

AVENUES-2 SNITCH (DIG) SNITCH (DIG) SNITCH (DIG) SNITCH (DIG) SNITCH (DIG) SNITCH (DIG)

12:45 PM 3:00 PM 5:15 PM 7:30 PM 9:45 PM 12:05 AM

MUHALAB-1 PLAYBACK (DIG) PARKER (DIG) PARKER (DIG) PLAYBACK (DIG) PARKER (DIG) PLAYBACK (DIG) NO SUN+ TUE+WED MUHALAB-2 VEHICLE 19 (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) VEHICLE 19 (DIG) NO SUN+ TUE+WED FANAR-1 MAMA (DIG) PARKER (DIG) MAMA (DIG) PARKER (DIG) PARKER (DIG) PARKER (DIG) NO SUN+ TUE+WED FANAR-2 PLAYBACK (DIG) A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD (DIG) PLAYBACK (DIG) VEHICLE 19 (DIG) PLAYBACK (DIG) VEHICLE 19 (DIG) PLAYBACK (DIG) NO SUN+ TUE+WED =FANAR-3 SNITCH (DIG) SNITCH (DIG) SNITCH (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) SNITCH (DIG) SNITCH (DIG) MARINA-1

1:45 PM 3:45 PM 6:00 PM 8:15 PM 10:30 PM 12:45 AM

1:30 PM 3:30 PM 5:45 PM 7:45 PM 10:00 PM 12:30 AM

12:30 PM 2:45 PM 5:00 PM 7:00 PM 9:00 PM 11:00 PM 12:45 AM

12:45 PM 3:00 PM 5:15 PM 7:30 PM 9:30 PM 11:45 PM

1:30 PM 3:30 PM 5:45 PM 7:45 PM 10:00 PM 12:15 AM

1:00 PM

360ยบ- 1 OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (DIG-3D) OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (DIG-3D) OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (DIG-3D) OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (DIG-3D) OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (DIG-3D) NO SUN+ TUE+WED

12:45 PM 3:30 PM 6:15 PM 9:00 PM 11:45 PM

360ยบ- 2 MAMA (DIG) MAMA (DIG) MAMA (DIG) MAMA (DIG) MAMA (DIG) MAMA (DIG) NO SUN+ TUE+WED

12:45 PM 3:00 PM 5:15 PM 7:30 PM 9:45 PM 12:05 AM

360ยบ- 3 AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG)

2:00 PM 4:15 PM 6:30 PM 8:45 PM 11:00 PM

AL-KOUT.1 APARTMENT 1303 (DIG-3D) OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (DIG-3D) OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (DIG-3D) OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (DIG-3D)

12:45 PM 2:45 PM 5:15 PM 7:45 PM

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (DIG-3D) 10:15 PM APARTMENT 1303 (DIG-3D) 12:45 AM AL-KOUT.2 PARKER (DIG) PARKER (DIG) PARKER (DIG) PARKER (DIG) VEHICLE 19 (DIG) PARKER (DIG) NO SUN+ TUE+WED

1:45 PM 4:00 PM 6:15 PM 8:30 PM 10:45 PM 12:30 AM

BAIRAQ-1 OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (DIG-3D) PLAYBACK (DIG) OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (DIG-3D) OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (DIG-3D) OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (DIG-3D) PLAYBACK (DIG) NO SUN+ TUE+WED

12:30 PM 3:00 PM 5:00 PM 7:30 PM 10:00 PM 12:30 AM

BAIRAQ-2 SNITCH (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) SNITCH (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) NO SUN+ TUE+WED

12:30 PM 2:45 PM 5:00 PM 7:15 PM 9:30 PM 11:45 PM

PLAZA AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG)

5:45 PM 8:00 PM 10:30 PM

AJIAL.1 SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS (DIG) (HINDI) 6:30 PM 9:00 PM SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS (DIG) (HINDI) 9:30 PM 12:00 AM AJIAL.2 PLAYBACK (DIG) AADHIBHAGAVAN (DIG) (TAMIL) PLAYBACK (DIG)

5:30 PM 7:30 PM 10:30 PM

AJIAL.3 MAMA (DIG) MAMA (DIG) MAMA (DIG)

5:45 PM 7:45 PM 9:45 PM

AJIAL.4 AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG)

5:30 PM 7:45 PM 10:00 PM

METRO-1 PLAYBACK (DIG) PLAYBACK (DIG) MR. PELLIKODUKKU (DIG) (TELUGU)

6:00 PM 8:00 PM 10:00 PM

METRO-2 AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG)

6:15 PM 8:15 PM 10:30 PM

Sharing accommodation available in Salmiya near Ghndar Clinic, Bahrain Street. Contact: 69664598 / 66792392. (C 4342) 11-3-2012

Lancer - car for sale 2010 model, GLX, 1600 cc, beige color, 4 cylinder, engine, gear, chassis ver y good condition, interior & exterior neat and clean, 105,000 km run, price KD 2,200/-. Broker excuse. Contact: 99072651. (C 4335)

FOR SALE

CHANGE OF NAME

Maxima car model 2000, navy blue for sale, single hand driven, ver y good condition, all new tires, owner leaving Kuwait, registration up to Dec., 2013. Serious buyers contact 66772656, Khaitan. (C 4339) 6-3-2013

I, Mrs. Annie Cristine Kuriakose, holder of Passport No. F5417121 have changed my name to Mrs. Annie Cristine Pinto. (C 4336) 9-3-2013

ACCOMMODATION

Mitsubishi Galant 2009, black color (4 clr) excellent condition, 33000 km, KD 2,250/-. Contact: 66729295. (C 4334)

I, Ayub Khan Abdul Shakur Khan, holder of Passport No. E5265742, issued at Pune, have changed my name to Ayub Shakoor Khan for all purposes. (C 4341)

Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is 1889988 Ministry of Interior website: www.moi.gov.kw Prayer timings Fajr:

04:44

Shorook

06:03

Duhr:

11:58

Asr:

15:21

Maghrib:

17:54

Isha:

19:10

DIAL 161 FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION

Airlines JAI PIA THY JZR JZR QTR QTR GFA UAE ETD AFG FDB MSR ETH QTR DHX THY JZR BAW KAC KAC FDB KAC UAE ABY QTR FDB ETD KAC GFA KAC JZR MSC IRC MPH MEA KNE MSR UAE KAC FDB KAC KNE KAC SVA QTR JZR

Arrival Flights on Monday 11/3/2013 Flt Route 574 MUMBAI 205 LAHORE 772 ISTANBUL 267 BEIRUT 539 CAIRO 148 DOHA 6130 DOHA 211 BAHRAIN 853 DUBAI 305 ABU DHABI 416 JEDDAH 67 DUBAI 612 CAIRO 620 ADDIS ABABA 138 DOHA 170 BAHRAIN 770 ISTANBUL 503 LUXOR 157 LONDON 412 MANILA 206 ISLAMABAD 53 DUBAI 302 MUMBAI 855 DUBAI 121 SHARJAH 132 DOHA 55 DUBAI 301 ABU DHABI 352 COCHIN 213 BAHRAIN 344 CHENNAI 165 DUBAI 403 ASSIUT 6521 LAMERD 97 AMSTERDAM 404 BEIRUT 482 TAIF 610 CAIRO 871 DUBAI 284 DHAKA 57 DUBAI 672 DUBAI 472 JEDDAH 546 ALEXANDRIA 500 JEDDAH 140 DOHA 561 SOHAG

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

KAC QTR OMA JZR KAC UAE ETD RJA UAL GFA SVA JZR QTR ABY KAC JZR KAC FDB MSC KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC OMA FDB JAI AXB MSR ABY QTR MSC ALK MEA QTR GFA ETD UAE JZR DHX FDB UAL AIC JZR TAR GFA PIA JZR BBC DLH

788 134 645 535 118 857 303 640 982 215 510 777 144 127 542 177 786 63 405 618 742 104 674 774 647 61 572 389 618 129 146 401 229 402 136 221 307 859 135 372 59 981 975 239 327 217 205 185 43 636

JEDDAH DOHA MUSCAT CAIRO NEW YORK DUBAI ABU DHABI AMMAN WASHINGTON DC DULLES BAHRAIN RIYADH JEDDAH DOHA SHARJAH CAIRO DUBAI JEDDAH DUBAI SOHAG DOHA DAMMAM LONDON DUBAI RIYADH MUSCAT DUBAI MUMBAI MANGALORE ALEXANDRIA SHARJAH DOHA ALEXANDRIA COLOMBO BEIRUT DOHA BAHRAIN ABU DHABI DUBAI BAHRAIN BAHRAIN DUBAI BAHRAIN CHENNAI AMMAN TUNIS BAHRAIN LAHORE DUBAI DHAKA FRANKFURT

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

Airlines AIC KAC UAL JAI DLH PIA THY QTR FDB UAE ETD AFG ETH MSR QTR QTR JZR GFA THY KAC JZR FDB BAW JZR KAC KAC ABY UAE FDB ETD QTR GFA KAC KAC JZR KAC MSC IRC MEA KAC MPH KNE MSR JZR UAE FDB

Departure Flights on Monday 11/3/2013 Flt Route 982 AHMEDABAD 283 DHAKA 981 WASHINGTON DC DULLES 573 MUMBAI 637 FRANKFURT 206 PESHAWAR 773 ISTANBUL 6131 DOHA 68 DUBAI 854 DUBAI 306 ABU DHABI 416 JEDDAH 621 ADDIS ABABA 613 CAIRO 139 DOHA 149 DOHA 164 DUBAI 212 BAHRAIN 771 ISTANBUL 545 ALEXANDRIA 560 SOHAG 54 DUBAI 156 LONDON 534 CAIRO 787 JEDDAH 671 DUBAI 122 SHARJAH 856 DUBAI 56 DUBAI 302 ABU DHABI 133 DOHA 214 BAHRAIN 541 CAIRO 165 ROME 776 JEDDAH 103 LONDON 406 SOHAG 6522 LAMERD 405 BEIRUT 785 JEDDAH 97 AL MAKTOUM 483 TAIF 611 CAIRO 176 DUBAI 872 DUBAI 58 DUBAI

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

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (www.kuwait-airport.com.kw)

KAC KNE SVA KAC QTR KAC KAC OMA JZR ETD JZR QTR UAE RJA GFA UAL JZR SVA ABY JZR QTR JZR FDB MSC FDB OMA KAC KAC KAC JAI ABY MSR MSC DHX ALK MEA ETD QTR GFA KAC FDB UAE DHX KAC QTR JZR TAR GFA KAC

673 473 501 617 141 773 741 646 238 304 538 135 858 641 216 982 184 511 128 266 145 134 64 404 62 648 331 361 351 571 120 619 402 171 230 403 308 137 222 301 60 860 373 205 147 502 328 218 411

DUBAI JEDDAH JEDDAH DOHA DOHA RIYADH DAMMAM MUSCAT AMMAN ABU DHABI CAIRO DOHA DUBAI AMMAN BAHRAIN BAHRAIN DUBAI RIYADH SHARJAH BEIRUT DOHA BAHRAIN DUBAI ASSIUT DUBAI MUSCAT TRIVANDRUM COLOMBO KOCHI MUMBAI SHARJAH ALEXANDRIA ALEXANDRIA BAHRAIN COLOMBO BEIRUT ABU DHABI DOHA BAHRAIN MUMBAI DUBAI DUBAI BAHRAIN ISLAMABAD DOHA LUXOR DUBAI BAHRAIN BANGKOK

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


34

MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

stars CROSSWORD 125

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) You are very congenial and cooperative now and more interested in the similarities than in the differences between yourself and others. This is a very good time to let people know you care about them: send a card, write a note of appreciation or even a love letter! Feeling cared for and needed is what makes you most comfortable. The lack of these things can cause an instinctive feeling of uneasiness. You may have to put yourself out there on an emotional level to start attracting someone of like mind into your life.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Travel plans and long journeys may be spotlighted. Great opportunities will likely require some travel. If you’ve had any legal problems or bureaucratic blunders you may find they can be favorably resolved at this time. Your desire for love and affection, as well as beauty and pleasure, are strong now and you can act on feelings and creative impulses more easily than usual. If you are not happy with some aspect of your personal life, these issues arise at this time and there may be disagreements or tension in a close relationship. You can easily discuss your personal needs and desires, but only if you make the effort.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

ACROSS 1. Inquire about. 4. A metal helmet worn by common soldiers in the 16th century. 12. System of measurement based on centimeters and grams and seconds. 15. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 16. Failing to accomplish an intended result. 17. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 18. Thigh of a hog (usually smoked). 19. Dutch navigator who was the first European to discover Tasmania and New Zealand (1603-1659). 20. American professional baseball player who hit more home runs than Babe Ruth (born in 1934). 22. Lower in esteem. 24. Wine and hot water with sugar and lemon juice and nutmeg. 26. Avatar of Vishnu. 27. Strong and sharp. 29. Egyptian statesman who (as President of Egypt) negotiated a peace treaty with Menachem Begin of Israel (1918-1981). 31. An ancient country in Asia on the Caspian Sea. 34. Tag the base runner to get him out. 37. The third compartment of the stomach of a ruminant. 41. Large (to 3 feet) blackish yellow-banded South American lizard. 42. The capital of Western Samoa. 44. A South American shrub whose leaves are chewed by natives of the Andes. 45. A unit of current equal to 10 amperes. 47. Two items of the same kind. 48. A former monetary unit in Great Britain. 49. A region of Malaysia in northeastern Borneo. 50. Mild yellow Dutch cheese made in balls. 53. A colorless explosive liquid that is volatile and poisonous and foul-smelling. 54. Treated with oil. 57. A card game for 2 players. 61. (of complexion) Blemished by imperfections of the skin. 62. Music composed for dancing the saraband. 65. (Greek mythology) The Muse of astronomy. 69. One of the five major classes of immunoglobulins. 70. The taste experience when a savoury condiment is taken into the mouth. 73. A republic in the Middle East in western Asia. 74. Any of various strong liquors distilled from the fermented sap of toddy palms or from fermented molasses. 78. The basic unit of money in Albania. 79. A quantity of no importance. 80. A genus of Paridae. 81. The cry made by sheep. DOWN 1. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 2. Someone who works (or provides work-

ers) during a strike. 3. God of love and erotic desire. 4. Extract of the heartwood of Acacia catechu used for dying and tanning and preserving fishnets and sails. 5. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 6. A mountainous republic of south-central Europe. 7. (used of persons or the military) Characterized by having or bearing arms. 8. Male red deer. 9. An abnormal passage leading from a suppurating cavity to the body surface. 10. A unit of energy equal to the work done by an electron accelerated through a potential difference of 1 volt. 11. A beverage made by steeping tea leaves in water. 12. A unit of weight for precious stones = 200 mg. 13. Take by theft. 14. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 21. Relating to or characteristic of Arabs. 23. A variety of mandarin orange. 25. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 28. Tall New Zealand timber tree. 30. Any of several small ungulate mammals of Africa and Asia with rodent-like incisors and feet with hooflike toes. 32. Pertaining to or resembling amoebae. 33. The seventh month of the Moslem calendar. 35. (in India and Burma) A member of an armed gang of robbers. 36. (of farmland) Capable of being farmed productively. 38. A person to whom money is paid. 39. The capital and chief port of Qatar. 40. Of or relating to or affecting a lobe. 43. A genus of Ploceidae. 46. The cardinal number that is the sum of four and one. 51. Lyrebirds and scrubbirds. 52. A family of Sino-Tibetan languages spoken in southeastern Asia. 55. One of the most common of the five major classes of immunoglobulins. 56. East Indian tart yellow berrylike fruit. 58. An emotional response that has been acquired by conditioning. 59. (Greek mythology) One of the mountain nymphs. 60. Informal terms for a mother. 63. A city in northern India. 64. An informal term for a father. 66. Agency of the United States government charged with mediating disputes between management and labor. 67. The United Nations agency concerned with atomic energy. 68. A town and port in northwestern Israel in the eastern Mediterranean. 71. A healthy capacity for vigorous activity. 72. South American wood sorrel cultivated for its edible tubers. 75. Unknown god. 76. A small digital computer based on a microprocessor and designed to be used by one person at a time. 77. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group.

Your idealism, creative imagination, and sense of awe and wonder about life are stirred now. The child in you is strong. You are likely to encounter fascinating information on the latest scientific technologies and progressive social movements in the world that stir your imagination and idealism. 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.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) A family member may display a lack of emotional control with regard to their habits, desires, and objectives. You may have to take an authoritative position and set limits on their demands. On the other hand, you may personally have to address your career aspirations and your status in the real world. This day has the potential to give birth to all kinds of positive ideas and feelings. Emotions burst out like spring flowers, playfulness abounds, and it can seem like there is no limit to what’s out there for you. Take the initiative and run with it now and you’ll go far.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Relationships with the public at large (and women in particular) give rise to challenges now. A lack of support or understanding can feed feelings of insecurity. It’s important to keep the lines of communication open in close relationships, where emotional differences could arise that might create difficulties. Excellent cooperation in partnerships and friendships is highlighted now. The astrological energy today can extend to virtually all relationships, including romantic and personal relationships, friendships, family groups. Take advantage of this and propose some type of group activity.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) An instinctive urge to get serious about taking care of yourself at many levels is emphasized now. Diet, exercise, and work somehow mean more now: you want to feel good about yourself and the way you do things. Verbal battles, disputes, and heated debates are very likely at this time because you speak your mind without much thought or consideration. Unless you slow your pace down a bit, this time period can be quite a headache and may take more time to mend than it took to break.

Word Search

Libra (September 23-October 22) Until you know the real reason why you haven’t heard from someone that you placed so much faith in, try not to jump to conclusions. After all, being aware that things can occur unexpectedly, this person does deserve the benefit of the doubt. Pay more attention to your inner voice. Talk between you and your romantic interest is likely to be frequent and rewarding at this time. Verbally the two of you are so in sync that sharing ideas can lead to dreams and goals worth chasing. Lighthearted flirting with one another should lead to more romantic moments later.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

Though you may have the best of intentions, you tend to act very compulsively, working boldly toward some goal which you may not even be completely aware of. Your secret need for power, or control, emerges now, and power struggles are very possible. You may be highly attracted to someone new, simply because of the novelty and possibilities for adventure. Also, your friends or love partner may behave in unexpected ways which may throw you off emotionally. Being flexible and open minded in your relationships is called for now.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You want to investigate everything but do you have the time? Establish which area suits your personality and temperament if you have a thirst for knowledge and your curiosity is getting the better of you. You may need to seek out a teacher or mentor who could help you in the first instance determine precisely what areas you are best suited to. A vocational or career counselor or even astrologer can set you straight and give you a sense of when this knowledge will blossom.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Your energy level is high now, and you work very enthusiastically. You also are able to manage and motivate others very effectively, and you may find yourself involved in a successful and productive team effort. At the moment it may be easier to see what is wrong with your personal relationships than it is to see what is right. If so, you’re likely to fall into such a funk that you find yourself doing so much whining resolving your problems seems impossible. Shake your down mood off and confront any issues in your personal life head on and with optimism. If you do you may find that most of what is bothering you quickly vanishes.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18)

If you have taken the time to plan ahead, you could be reaping the rewards by as early as today. You’ll be pleased with the way the communication is shaping up between yourself and a hard-to-please relative or friend. A complicated project will come to fruition soon. You have a strong desire for love and affection and the pleasure that comes with them. Your feelings may lead you to act impulsively and without regard to consequences. While you certainly deserve to have your passions fulfilled, a little prudence in choosing who you share them with will avoid trouble later.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) Your ability to concentrate and focus on your work is very good now. This is a time to attend to details, take care of practical business, and to make your life more stable and secure. It would be beneficial to consult advisors on investments and long-range plans, and to put your affairs in order. The urge to break away from the your normal routine and do something radical may have to be resisted but it shouldn’t be ignored. Perhaps it’s just what you need, but only if you do it with decisiveness and clarity, as you probably won’t be able to take it back. A peek into the unusual can be both entertaining and gratifying.

Yesterday’s Solution

Yesterday’s Solution

Daily SuDoku

Yesterday’s Solution


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

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

24812000

Amiri Hospital

22450005

Maternity Hospital

24843100

Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital

25312700

Chest Hospital

24849400

Farwaniya Hospital

24892010

Adan Hospital

23940620

Ibn Sina Hospital

24840300

Al-Razi Hospital

24846000

Physiotherapy Hospital

24874330/9

Kaizen center

25716707

Rawda

22517733

Adaliya

22517144

Khaldiya

24848075

Kaifan

24849807

Shamiya

24848913

Shuwaikh

24814507

Abdullah Salem

22549134

Nuzha

22526804

Industrial Shuwaikh

24814764

Qadsiya

22515088

Dasmah

22532265

Bneid Al-Gar

22531908

Shaab

22518752

Qibla

22459381

Ayoun Al-Qibla

22451082

Mirqab

22456536

Sharq

22465401

Salmiya Jabriya

PHARMACY

ADDRESS

Ahmadi

Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

23915883 23715414 23726558

Jahra

Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622

Capital

Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967

Farwaniya

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

Hawally

ST TATE T OF KUW K WAIT A

Tel.: e 161

DIRECTORA ATE T GENERAL GENE OF CIVIL AV VIA ATION T METEOROLOGICAL DEP PARTMENT A DA AY Y: Sunday

10/03/2013

BY Y DA AY:

Partly cloudy with moderate to fresh south easterly wind, with speed of 20 - 45 km/h causing raising dust with a chance for rain that might be thundery at times

BY Y NIGHT:

Cool with light to moderate freshening gradually south easterly changing to north westerly wind, with speed of 15 - 40 km/h with a chance for raising dust Unstable weather

WA ARNING

KUW WAIT A CITY

24 °C

18 °C

KUW WAIT A AIRPOR RT

26 °C

18 °C

NUW WAISEEB A

25 °C

18 °C

WAFRA A

27 °C

17 °C

SALMI

27 °C

15 °C

25746401

ABDAL LY

24 °C

16 °C

25316254

JAL ALIY YAH A

24 °C

16 °C

Maidan Hawally

25623444

FA AILAKA

22 °C

18 °C

Bayan

25388462

AHMADI POR RT

21 °C

18 °C

Mishref

25381200

QARUH ISLAND

21 °C

19 °C

W Hawally

22630786

UMM AL-MARADEM

22 °C

19 °C

Sabah

24810221

Jahra

24770319

West Jahra

24772608

South Jahra

24775066

North Jahra

24775992

North Jleeb

24311795

Ardhiya Firdous

SFC. CHART

Temperatures DA ATE T

WEA ATHER T

MAX.

MIN.

Wind Direction

Wind Speed

Monday

11/03

sunny + raising dust

27 °C

16 °C

NW

25 - 50 km/h

Tuesday

12/03

sunny + chance for dust

28 °C

16 °C

NW

20 - 40 km/h

Weednesday

13/03

Mostly sunny

29 °C

18 °C

NW

15 - 38 km/h

Thursday

14/03

sunny

31 °C

19 °C

NW-VRB

08 - 30 km/h

PRA RA AYER Y TIMES

RECORDED YESTERDA AY AT KUW WAIT A AIRPORT

Fajr

04:45

MAX. Temp.

24 °C

24884079

Sunrise

06:04

MIN. Temp.

09 °C

24892674

Zuhr

11:58

MAX. RH

72 %

Asr

15:20

MIN. RH

Sunset

17:53

MAX. Wind

Isha

19:10

TOT TAL AL RAIINF FALL A L IN 24 HR.

Omariya

24719048

N Khaitan

24710044

13 % SE 43 km/h 00 mm V1.00

10/03/13 03:00 UTC

All times are local time unless otherwise stated.

Fintas

10/03/2013 0000 UTC

4 DA AYS Y FORECAST DA AY

T1.06

23900322

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

Paediatricians

Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf

22547272

Dr. Khaled Hamadi

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari

22617700

Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed

Dr. Abdel Quttainah

25625030/60

Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar

23729596/23729581

Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari

22635047

Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan

22613623/0

Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe

23729596/23729581

Dr. Verginia s.Marin

2572-6666 ext 8321

Endocrinologist

25665898 25340300

Dr. Zahra Qabazard

25710444

Dr. Sohail Qamar

22621099

Dr. Snaa Maaroof

25713514

Dr. Pradip Gujare

23713100

Dr. Zacharias Mathew

24334282

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

25655535

Dentists

Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan

22655539

Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami

25343406

Dr. Shamah Al-Matar

22641071/2

Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly

25739272

Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed

22562226

22618787

Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer

22561444

Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan

22619557

Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash

22525888

Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan

25653755

Dr. Bader Al-Ansari

25620111

General Surgeons Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer

22610044

Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher

25327148

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

22666300 25728004

Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra

25355515

Dr. Mobarak Aldoub

24726446

Dr Nasser Behbehani

25654300/3

Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688

info@soorcenter.com www.soorcenter.com

3729596/3729581

Neurologists

22639939

Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman

Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri

25633324

Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan

25345875

Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman

22636464

Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly

25322030

Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali

22633135

Kaizen center 25716707

25339330

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

25722291

Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees

22666288

Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi

Dr Anil Thomas

Dr. Salem soso

22545171

Al-Shuwaikh

24810598

Al-Nuzha

22545171

Sabhan

24742838

Al-Helaly

22434853

Al-Faiha

22545051

Al-Farwaniya

24711433

Al-Sulaibikhat

24316983

Al-Fahaheel

23927002

Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh

24316983

Ahmadi

23980088

Al-Mangaf

23711183

Al-Shuaiba

23262845

Al-Jahra

25610011

Al-Salmiya

25616368

INTERNATIONAL CALLS

07:00

Issue Time

Expected Weather e for the Next 24 Hours

ST TAT TION

Al-Shuhada

WWW.MET.GOV V..KW

MIN. REC.

24575755

Ext.: 2627 262 - 2630

22418714

Fax: 24348714

MAX. EXP P.

New Jahra

PHONE

Al-Madeena

25330060

Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah

25722290

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

2611555-2622555

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


36

MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

LIFESTYLE G o s s i p

Cooper

did ‘stupid’ things

B

radley Cooper used to do “stupid” things when he was growing up. The ‘Hangover’ star got involved with a “bad crowd” during his teenage years in a bid to find “self-worth”. He explained: “There was always this duality with me. On one hand, my father use to call me Two Shoes, because I was always the goodie-two-shoes. “Then puberty hit and I fell in with a bad crowd and I seemed to find a sense of self-worth by hanging out with these older kids and doing whatever these older kids thought was cool. From the age of 12 I did a lot of stupid s**t.” One of the incidents which took place was being caught drinking underage at 15, which postponed him from being able to get his driving license. He continued: “What a drag, man. It meant I couldn’t get my driving license until I was 17 - talk about a buzzkill with the ladies. “Imagine all your buddies are driving around, picking up their women, and there’s little old me having to wait for a lift from my mom. Or saying to some girl, ‘Hey, you want to get a train ride? It’s romantic!’ “ Despite his run in with the law, Bradley, 38, continued drinking heavily until 2009 until he realised his life was getting out of control and he didn’t want to let down his parents. He told Britain’s GQ magazine: “My life was going in one direction and that terrified me. It scared me. I knew I had to make some changes if I ever wanted to fulfil whatever potential I had as a human being. “I felt a huge sense of responsibility to my parents, especially to my father. When I took out a loan to go to grad school to act I could see that deep down he was so terrified. He didn’t think I had it in me.”

LeAnn Rimes blessed by stepsons L

Bieber’s grandparents suggest free London show

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ustin Bieber’s grandparents want him to make amends to his fans with a free concert. The 19-year-old singer’s recent time in the UK has been marred by a public meltdown which included turning up two hours late for a show at London’s O2 Arena and trying to attack a photographer. While his grandmother Kathy, 56, doesn’t believe he is a “bad boy” she does feel he has fallen in with the wrong crowd and needs to make it up to his fans in a big way. She told the Daily Star Sunday newspaper: “I don’t think for one moment this is all about him being a bad boy. He’s only just turned 19 and he’s still learning to cope with the pressures of fame. “But it’s worrying. You read all sorts of things about him partying and he needs to understand some of those so-called friends probably don’t have his best interests at heart. “I know he will be feeling depressed about the way things have gone in London, so maybe it would be a good idea if he were to go back there later and perform free for the fans who feel let down by him.” Meanwhile, the Sunday People newspaper has reported his meltdown is because of his split from Selena Gomez in January after around two years together. A source told the publication: “He simply hasn’t been the same since he split from Selena. It really broke him. “They were together for such a long time for two people so young. He hasn’t quite known what to do without her. “He is lonely. They kept each other very grounded and understood the level of fame that they both had. Now his friends know he needs their support more than ever.”

eAnn Rimes feels “blessed” to have her stepsons in her life. The singer loves being around husband Eddie Cibrian’s children, Mason, nine, and five-year-old Jake - his kids with ex-wife Brandi Glanville - and although it’s not always easy, she wouldn’t change it for the world. She said: “I love them to death and we have a great relationship. I’m blessed to have them in my life; broken families are not easy, it takes a while to get your footing, but they’ve always been very accepting of me. I met them when they were two and six so they’ve known me a while now and we’re finally finding our way as a family. I love hanging out with them, they’re a lot of fun. I play referee a lot - a five year old playing baseball is the cutest thing in the world.” While she loves the boys, LeAnn says she and Eddie would also like children of their own. She admitted to Britain’s OK! magazine: “We’ve talked about having kids of our own. I’ve always admired working moms because they have it tough. I already have two children around half the time so we have our hands full but we talk about it often so we’ll see what happens. We would love to, but it’s all about the right timing.”

Keibler loves to vacation in Cabo San Lucas

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he 33-year-old former wrestler - who is in a relationship with Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney - is a huge fan of the Mexican hotspot and tries to get away whenever she can. She said: “It sounds so cheesy because it’s probably everyone’s favorite but I love Cabo San Lucas. It’s a quick trip and just the ultimate paradise. I could live there forever.” Stacy also loves exercising and says spinning - grueling workouts on stationary bikes - is her favorite way of keeping in shape. She explained to America’s Star magazine: “I love Spinning. I’m hooked - and I always feel amazing when I’m done. It’s my stress reliever. I also do a ton of lunges regularly to tone up. “I usually like to finish my workouts with a 30-minute run to finish strong. It’s tough but feels awesome after.” Stacy recently spoke of her belief it is important to look after her emotional wellbeing through meditation. She said: “I’m a big believer in maintaining a balance between body, mind and spirit. Take some time to meditate and restore your mind, even if it’s just five minutes a day. It’s so good for your overall being! “You are what you eat. This is a major rule I live by and it’s true. I’ve learned a lot experimenting with food and different cleanses.”

Osbourne is ‘in no rush’ to have children

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he ‘Fashion Police’ host admits mother Sharon Osbourne used to ask when she was ready to start a family, but she is relieved the pressure is now off after her brother Jack and his wife Lisa welcomed their daughter Pearl into the world last April. Kelly - who is dating Matthew Mosshart - said: “Mum’s besotted with her first grandchild - it’s taken the pressure off me. I’d love kids in the future, but I’m in no rush.” And despite being blissfully happy with Matthew, Kelly insists she is in no rush to get married. She added to Closer magazine: “I love being with Matthew but I’m not going to push him into proposing. These things have to happen naturally - I’m a romantic.” However, last month Kelly appeared to be keen for Matthew to pop the question. She said: “Isn’t that on every girl’s radar? You’re born, and you’re like ‘I want to get married.’ Honestly, when it happens, it happens, and if I’m lucky enough, maybe you actually won’t see me single.”

Eva Longoria loves cats

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Global traveler Nicholas Hoult

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icholas Hoult is running out of pages in his passport because he travels so much. The 23-yearold actor mainly divides his time between London and Los Angeles, and also regularly jets off on film shoots, but insists he doesn’t mind because he is so used to taking airplanes. He said: “I’m in England but I’m shooting in South Africa and then coming back to Los Angeles, I’m running out of passport pages. It’s a lot of flying but my dad was a pilot so I’m pretty good on planes.” Nicholas who previously dated Jennifer Lawrence - likes to spend him downtime reading up on the internet but says he never reads anything about himself. He told People magazine: “I read stuff on the internet [to relax]. The last thing I looked up was how to pick a lock because it’s a good thing to know. But I don’t read gossip and I try to be private. Otherwise when people watch you onscreen, they think about what they know about you.”

va Longoria thinks she has a lot in common with cats. The former ‘Desperate Housewives’ star - who recently admitted she hasn’t given up on finding love - has revealed she is a “pretty passionate” cat lover and thinks they are very similar to women. The 37-year-old actress told People.com: “I always found that I identified with them. Cats are feminine and independent and playful, much like a woman.” The actress - who has partnered with Sheba cat food in the US to kick off the Feed Your Passion campaign, which encourages cat lovers to visit the brand’s website and share a photo of themselves and their pet, or a video of their greatest passion in a bid to win $5,000 revealed she grew up with a huge amount of cats and her mother hid the death of her favourite feline from her to protect her. She said: “I grew up with a lot of cats, but one in particular, her name was Cindy. She was like a member of our family. I swear she lived for 20, 25 years because every childhood photo, she’s in it with all my sisters and me. “My mom didn’t even tell me she died. She told me she ran away ... I believed her in college.” Eva has recently been spotted spending time with her ex-boyfriend Eduardo Cruz but previously revealed she doesn’t think she only has one soul mate. She said: “I’m hopelessly romantic and I think there are a lot of people who could be a good match. I don’t have to find a soul mate.” Eva and Eduardo split in June last year after which she enjoyed a brief relationship with Mark Sanchez, before going their separate ways in October. —Bang Showbiz


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MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

LIFESTYLE F a s h i o n

Pope Benedict XVI wearing green robe visits del Santo Padre a San Giovanni Rotondo in Italy, June 20, 2009. —MCT photos

Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd at a Mass in Yankee Stadium in New York City, April 20, 2008.

Pope Benedict XVI waves faithfuls and pilgrims during a meeting with youths at the Santa Maria Degli Angeli Basilica on June 17, 2007 in Assisi, Italy.

After taking the name Pope Benedict XVI, German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger greets the crowd in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City, Italy, April 19, 2005.

Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd during a welcoming ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, April 16, 2008.

Pope Benedict the XVI in his white robes during an audience, January 4, 2006.

Pope Benedict XVI with the hat called “saturno” during his public audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, June 15, 2011.

Benedict XVI, the best-dressed pope I

’m a Catholic, but I’ll admit it (or should I say “confess” it?): When Pope Benedict XVI announced his pending resignation, my first thought wasn’t religious. It was in fact downright superficial. “There goes the bestdressed pontiff ever!” During his nearly eight years on the throne of St. Peter, Benedict has always looked absolutely perfect, sartorially speaking, whether garbed in elaborate vestments for an Easter liturgy or clad in the simple but meticulously tailored white caped cassock (it’s called a “simar” in church lingo) that he wears on more ordinary occasions. He’s been the Duke of Windsor of popes. My own fashion sense is nearly nonexistent, but that only makes me more appreciative of Benedict’s. Some highlights: Benedict saying Mass in 2008 at Washington’s Nationals Park stadium in a billowing scarlet satin chasuble (a priest’s outermost liturgical garment) trimmed with crimson velvet and delicate gold piping. Benedict greeting worshipers in Rome, his chasuble this time woven of emerald-green watered silk with a pattern of golden stars. Benedict on Oct. 21 canonizing Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint, while attired in a fanon, a gold-andwhite striped shoulder covering, dating to the 8th century, that only popes may wear. Benedict’s immediate predecessor, Pope John Paul II, was a saintly figure and a commanding intellectual presence, but he had little interest in clothes, tending to wear whatever was handed to him and shunning elaborate adornments. Pope Paul VI, who reigned from 1963 to 1978, started out dressing fancy, but he gradually simplified his attire, abandoning, for example, the papal tiara, the high triple crown that popes had worn since the early Middle Ages. Benedict didn’t bring back the tiara, but he has revived many other traditional papal garments and accessories. For his public appearances he almost always wears the bright red shoes that popes have worn since Roman times (John Paul preferred brown or black footwear). Benedict also began wearing the mozzetta, a waist-length cape, and the

Pope Benedict XVI meets Romanian president Traian Basescu at Vatican City, February 15, 2013.

In this April 24, 2005 file photograph, Pope Benedict XVI blesses a nun during his Ceremony of Investiture on St Peter’s Square in Vatican City.

Pope Benedict XVI wears his red shoes as he walks down the gangway upon his arrival at the International airport of Zagreb in Croatia, June 4, 2011.

Pope Benedict XVI with the hat called “saturno”.

camauro, a red velvet cap with a white fur border that reminded Americans of a Santa Claus hat. Neither of those items had been seen much on popes since the end of the Second Vatican Council in 1965. Benedict’s sartorial revivals have offended many liberal Catholics, who argue that he has been trying to “turn back the clock,” as they often put it, on the churchly reforms of Vatican II. The cattiest critic was Hans Kung, the dissident German priest who had once been a colleague of Benedict, or Josef Ratzinger as he was then called, on the faculty of the University of Tubingen. In a 2008 op-ed article for the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Kung called Benedict’s style of dress “pompous” and compared him to Pope Leo X of the 16th century, notorious for selling indulgences and famously painted by Raphael in fur-trimmed mozzetta and camauro. Others have used the phrases “over the

top” and “major bling” to describe Benedict’s taste in vestments, deeming the pope a foppish aesthete. Still others, such as the gay blogger Andrew Sullivan, have speculated that Benedict is himself gay. Catholic conservatives counter that Benedict’s attire exemplifies a “hermeneutic of continuity,” a deliberate symbolic effort to link his 21st century papacy to centuries of Catholic tradition. My own take on Benedict’s wardrobe is somewhat different. I don’t believe that aesthetics is mere window-dressing. In her 2005 book “The Substance of Style,” economics pundit Virginia Postrel wrote: “Aesthetics is the way we communicate through the senses.... Aesthetics shows rather than tells, delights rather than instructs. The effects are immediate, perceptual and emotional.” Plato argued that the beautiful, while not exactly the same as the good, is a kind of complement to the good that points to the good and

shows off the good via sensory media. That is what I believe is exactly Benedict’s aim. Over the last couple of decades, the Roman Catholic Church has been besmirched with ugliness, scarred by clerical sexual predation abetted by clueless and self-promoting bishops. Benedict has used beauty to demonstrate tangibly that the Catholic faith that he and the members of his church share is itself beautiful and indestructible, and that it shines through despite all human efforts to wreck it. It is especially fitting for our time that the pope has chosen his own liturgical apparel as an aesthetic medium. In the world of what passes for sophisticated culture these days, beauty and art have become nearly unmoored from each other. Art is supposed to be transgressive, while beauty is judged merely ornamental. Paint a Madonna, and you’ve got calendar kitsch. Paint a Madonna, and add some elephant dung and pictures of

female genitalia cut out from porn magazines, and you’ve got a work to be exhibited in an exclusive gallery. Only in the decorative and useful arts-jewelry, fabrics, home furnishings, clothing, the design of cars, machines, and even humble objects-are beauty and fine craftsmanship still the criteria by which we judge value. Pope Benedict XVI has been the pope of aesthetics, the pope who plays Mozart on the piano for his own private entertainment and who can write theological books in such lucid, limpid prose that ordinary people can read them for pleasure. He has reminded a world that looks increasingly ugly and debased that there is such a thing as the beautiful-whether it’s embodied in a sonata or an altarpiece or an embroidered cope or the cut of a cassockand that earthly beauty ultimately communicates a beauty that is beyond earthly things.—MCT

Tokyo Sweets Collection

Models display hair ornaments and accessories made of sweets designed by Japanese patissiers during the Tokyo Sweets Collection in Tokyo. Nine Japanese patissiers showed off their fashion creations, made of confectionery and fruits. —AFP


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

lifestyle F E A T U R E S

US proposes ‘musical instrument passports’

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usicians, take note: Next time you travel abroad, you might need a passport - for your instrument. Delegates attending a global biodiversity conference in Bangkok this week are debating a US proposal to streamline international customs checks for travelers with musical instruments that legally contain endangered wildlife products like exotic hardwoods, ivory or tortoise shell. The goal is not to burden musicians, but to make foreign travel easier by doing away with cumbersome import and export permits and ensuring legal instruments aren’t confiscated, said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe, who is leading Washington’s delegation to the 178-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok. The proposal is expected to be voted on as early as Friday. If approved, travelers would be able to carry a “musical instrument passport” valid for three years. The CITES framework was signed in 1973 to ensure the survival of the world’s flora and fauna by regulating international trade in threatened species. About 35,000 species are presently protected. Ashe said he was not aware of any cases of international customs agents seizing instruments, and if it has happened, it’s been

extremely rare. But concern over the issue within the US music industry rose sharply in 2011, when federal agents raided the factories and offices of Gibson Guitar to seize what they said was illegal ebony wood shipped to the guitar maker from India. Gibson was the subject of a similar raid in 2009 for using wood allegedly exported illegally from Madagascar. After the raids, “people started raising serious questions about their instruments,” Ashe told The Associated Press in an interview in Bangkok this week. “They said, ‘If my guitar contains Brazilian rosewood ... if my violin bow is made of exotic hardwood, is it going to be taken away from me when I travel?’” Violin bows are a major concern. Some are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the last thing their owners want is to risk having them confiscated. “What we want to do is make sure people can comply with the law, and do so easily,” Ashe said. “So we came up with this idea of the musical instrument passport that would allow people to have one document to move through multiple countries.” Ashe said his department had consulted with musicians’ organizations including the International Music Products Association. That group, along with the League of American Orchestras, has called for CITES to protect the

A shop assistant picks up a cello out of the show window for customers. ability of musicians to travel abroad with their contain internationally regulated wildlife instruments and appealed for exemptions for products - many of them built long before those traveling with instruments that can be CITES was established - are supposed to get declared as personal effects. export permits or certifications from every At present, musicians whose instruments country they visit.

“Understanding how to navigate the current international and domestic permit requirements - which vary from country to country - is very complicated and confusing,” said Heather Noonan, vice president for advocacy at the League of American Orchestras. “Streamlining the permit process through a passport of some kind could be quite helpful, but it is essential that a passport be voluntary, and take into account the time, expense, and practical realities of traveling with instruments,” Noonan said. “It is key that steps are taken ... to educate the music community about how to navigate the permit rules - both those existing CITES requirements, and the varying domestic endangered species permit rules for each country.” In the U.S., the passport-like documents would be issued by the Fish and Wildlife Service and could be obtained by mail, Ashe said. They would be issued by the relevant authority in other nations. The passport issue is one of 70 proposals under discussion at the CITES conference, which began Sunday and lasts two weeks. Most of the proposals will determine whether member nations increase or lower the level of protection for various species, including polar bears, sharks, rays and timber. — AP

Georgia’s Augusta offers much more than just the Masters By Mary Ann Anderson

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he azaleas and dogwoods are beginning to blossom in Georgia, their captivating color and sweeter-than-sweet fragrance signaling the Masters aren’t far behind. There’s just something about the flowers and tall, gracious pines on the world’s most iconic golf tournament that casts a magical spell on Augusta National and transforms it into more garden than golf course. The Masters may indeed be the main event in Augusta, but long after the last prayers are uttered at Amen Corner, long after the roars of the crowd grow faint, and long after the glorious spring flowers fade, the historic city is abuzz with festivals, events and excellent restaurants. Augusta just loves a party, so on the first Friday of every month, the town kicks up its heels for First Friday. Held on Artists Row in downtown, the free event is a gathering of artists and craft vendors coming together to sell their creations in a festive atmosphere with live music, food, and performances. Lots of boutiques and restaurants stay open late to accommodate the crowds. • March goes Irish green, as green as a Masters jacket, on St Patrick’s Day with a free festival and parade celebrating the heritage of the Emerald Isle. • April is for more than the Masters. Augusta’s beautiful homes, many of the antebellum, mean beautiful gardens-it’s why it’s nicknamed the Garden City. The Sacred Heart Garden Festival pays homage to these large, private gardens. Tours of the gardens, horticultural lectures and exhibits, and a popular plant market draw gardeners from across the South. • May brings Thunder Over Augusta, a festival celebrating Armed Forces Day with skydivers, extreme stunt performers, and fireworks. And also in May is A Day in the Country, which hosts bigname country music stars and draws thousands of music lovers to Augusta Riverfront Marina. Papa Joe’s Banjo-B-Que is in May, too, and features bluegrass music and a Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned cook-off. • In June, Pride Augusta hosts a two -day festi-

The Rooster’s Beak in downtown Augusta is but one of the city’s uniquely-named restaurants. val of performances, speakers, vendors and the annual Pride Parade celebrating Augusta’s LGBT community. • When summer temperatures rise in August, get cool and wet on the serene and historic Savannah River with Paddlefest, a fun-filled race with canoeing, kayaking, and paddle-boarding. Or better yet, get in on the action with a homemade raft of your own. After crossing the finish line, head to the Augusta Riverfront Marina for food and games. • September brings Arts in the Heart of Augusta, a festival that celebrates Augusta’s diverse cultural heritage with ethnic foods, original art, pottery, and jewelry frm more than 30 countries. • The Westobou Festival in October takes place over five days in locations around Augusta and North Augusta, just over the state line in South Carolina. The festival, only a few years old, has

Visitors enjoy the many craft and art offerings at the Arts in the Heart of Augusta festival.

grown to one of the South’s premier cultural celebrations of film, music, words, dance and visual arts. • The Oliver Hardy Festival, also in October, honors Georgia native Oliver Hardy and his comedy partner Stan Laurel. Held in tiny Harlem, just on the outskirts of Augusta, its highlight is a don’t miss Look-A-Like contest. The Greek Festival, held at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, is in October, too, and so is the Hispanic Festival at Augusta Common, an events park in downtown. And Boshears SkyFest rounds out the month with one of Georgia’s biggest air shows. • To end the year in December, the Christmas Light-Up Spectacular, also at Augusta Common, scores with a parade, holiday market, fireworks, and the lighting of the Christmas tree. Like food? Just as hotdogs and pretzels are to baseball, pimento cheese and egg salad sandwiches are to the Masters. As fresh and delicious

Public parks and private gardens abound in Augusta. Spring brings a kaleidoscope of color with Augusta’s iconic azaleas. town restaurants, says she makes the trek to the tournament every year from her home in Tennessee. “I’m from a small town, so when I come here, I’m always a little overwhelmed by the wide range of restaurants here. Who knew that Augusta had such great food?” The Rooster’s Beak specializes in tacos filled with Southern-inspired ingredients like catfish, chicken, and pulled meat-sort of where Mexico meets the South-and is more on the casual side. For more upscale dining, think five- and sevencourse dinners, an Augusta favorite is La Maison on Telfair, located in an elegant 1853 mansion in the historic district. The Bee’s Knees takes Augusta around the world with Thai, Spanish, Cajun, Mediterranean, Japanese, and French cuisine, while Frog Hollow Tavern incorporates uniquely Georgia ingredients like Sapelo Island Clams, Georgia Wild Shrimp, and Vidalia Onions into their dishes. The menu choices and desserts at the Boll Weevil Cafe and Sweetery are as Southern as the cafe’s name: Fried Green Tomatoes, Bubba Nachos and 7th Heaven Cake. Manuel’s Bread Cafe in North Augusta mixes up traditional French dishes The plant market at the Sacred Heart with rich European-style desserts. Garden Festival in April brings in guests Sconyers Bar-B-Que is a Georgia institution from all across the South. since 1956 and was featured in People magazine as they are, no one can live on bread alone. The as one of the top 10 barbecue joints in the fare at Augusta’s restaurants runs the gamut from United States. The favorite is ribs, which are often simple Southern favorites like grandmother- shipped to official Georgia event and once even inspired fried chicken and collard greens to spe- the White House, but everything else is good, cial-occasion gourmet fare. too. And try the P.I. Bar and Grill, located inside “I love the Masters,” says Emma Newsome, the Old South-style Partridge Inn, where the who, between bites of catfish-filled taco at the verandah overlooks the leafy Summerville hisRooster’s Beak, one of Augusta’s trendy down- toric district. — MCT

Galleries along Artists Row in downtown Augusta welcome patrons on First Friday, a lively, festive event held on the first Friday of each month throughout the year.

Springtime in Georgia means azaleas in a kaleidoscope of color.


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

lifestyle F E A T U R E S

Jewelry-maker turns love of

heirloom seeds into wearable art

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urple and orange. Mottled and speckled. Blue kernels dangling from silver chains. Show Debra Groat a seed, and she’ll show you a wonder. “Without those seeds,” she says, “I would just be one of the hundreds of thousands of people who make jewelry.” The heirloom seeds that Groat grows and crafts into art represent more than a hobby to her. They represent 10,000 years of women’s toil and farmers’ sweat. They represent outrage at the loss of precious heirloom crops in an industrialized world. She is not amused when people ask silly questions that disrespect the bean and its sister vegetable, corn. “I’ve been at craft shows where people ask questions like, ‘If I’m outside, will squirrels chase me?’ and ‘If I get it wet, will my necklace sprout?’” says Groat, 58. “One time this lady said to me, ‘If it’s really hot outside, will the corn on my necklace pop?’ And I thought to myself, lady, if it’s that hot outside, the necklace will be the last thing you’ll worry about.” Jewelry usually does not have a subtext of agricultural urgency. So if people fail to properly appreciate the seeds, perhaps it is because so few people understand what Groat actually does. It is technically difficult to attach seeds to jewelry prongs, much less organically grow heirloom beans and corn, harvest it by hand, then spend at least 7 months drying, freezing and preparing seeds before they can be used. It has been 11 years of trial and error to perfect her secret process of drilling a seed, but leaving it perfectly undamaged. She is also ruthless about the seeds she uses in her art. Misfits that are misshapen or imperfect go straight into her soup pot. And she has figured out that she can’t buy other people’s seeds. Commercial heirloom seed companies tend to harvest by machine, which leaves chips and cracks. So she needs to grow her own. In her second-floor workshop in her rural home in Rhodes, Mich, northwest of Pinconning, Groat works amid glass jars brimming with bean and corn seeds. They have exotic and folksy names-Indian Woman, Red Calypso, Tigers Eye, Black Good Mother, Mayflower, Jacob’s Cattle, Hopi Blue and Oaxacan (wa-Hawkan) Green Dent. Plain-spoken and plainly dressed, Groat pours everything she’s got into the beauty of her jewelry “It is exceptional,” says Michelle Holmes, manager of the Dow Gardens gift shop in Midland, Mich, which has carried Groat’s work for three years. Holmes has seen a lot of other jewelry but nothing that surprises shoppers so much. “They say, ‘Are those seeds?’” she says. “It’s a great conversation piece.” Debra Groat is the sister, daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of Michigan farmers. Her family has worked the land and raised dairy cattle in Standish since the 1880s. Her passion for seeds may seem strange to city dwellers, but in every small, modest, overlooked bean seed she sees a trail of glory. “People who immigrated to America brought their seeds with them, and if they didn’t save

Debra Groat of Rhodes, Michigan, uses hand-sown and harvested organic heirloom seeds and beans to create artisan jewelry she sells through her business, Saverine Creek Heirlooms.— MCT photos

those seeds and plant them, they didn’t eat,” she says. She holds some shiny black seeds in the palm of her hand. “I look at these seeds, and I can feel I might start crying. The thought that the Cherokees carried them on the Trail of Tears, that they carried the exact same bean I have here, it just gives me the shivers.” At least 93 percent of vegetable seed varieties planted in the US have gone extinct since the early 1900s, according to the Rural Advancement Foundation International, which advocates for environmentally sound farming practices. Those seeds were replaced by a handful of commercial hybrids and genetically modified seeds.

and went to work. First, she toiled in an auto parts store. Her specialty was mixing automotive paint. That was followed by 13 years as a stock clerk for the Arenac County Road Commission. During the summers, her older brother, Doug Hagley, a master gardener who lives in the Upper Peninsula, would come to the family farm. There, he would grow half an acre of the most exotic heirloom crops he could find, sometimes so exotic the family didn’t even eat them. Eleven years ago, Groat noticed how beautiful some of the seeds were.

Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders — Henry David Thoreau

So pardon Groat if she feels protective of her humble heirloom seeds. Her company, Saverine Creek Heirlooms, is named after a river that runs through the family farm. Her earrings, bracelets and necklaces are for sale online for $24 to $136, and at a few gift shops, and once she came pretty close to being featured in Paula Deen Magazine. But 11 years in, “I’ve never turned a profit,” she says. On the other hand, it’s better than working at the auto parts store. Groat grew up on the family farm, now called Hagley Farms and run by her brother, Tim Hagley, and their parents. After high school, she briefly attended Central Michigan University, quit, got married, had two children

Danny Boyle lifts veil

on upcoming ‘Trance’

“I was working full time, and who pays attention to beans or thinks about them?” she says. “But, oh, my gosh, these were beautiful. I wondered if I could make jewelry out of them.” She began experimenting, avoiding seeds that were plain white. Instead, “I looked for the beauty of the seed and whether it had a documented history.” Gradually, Doug grew more and more heirlooms for her. When she and her husband, Greg Groat, built a house in Rhodes seven years ago, she started an heirloom garden there. She quit her job with the county, and her life intertwined even more with the beans. This February, Groat’s garden is fallow, its

Public parks and private gardens abound in Augusta. Spring brings a kaleidoscope of color with Augusta’s iconic azaleas.

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one of the appeals of the film.” Speaking to an audience filled with independent filmmakers with dreams of Hollywood success, Boyle said he has been blessed to work with major studios that give him a “cap”-a spending limit-but trust him with full creative control. Joining Boyle on stage at SXSW was Rick Smith, his longtime soundtrack collaborator since “Trainspotting” in 1996, which prominently featured music from Smith’s electronic dance music group Underworld. Smith noted that Underworld was reluctant at first to contribute to “Trainspotting” after Boyle told him it was about a group of heroin addicts in a grim corner of Scotland’s otherwise picturesque capital Edinburgh. “Then Danny said, ‘Come along and I’ll show you 15 minutes,’” Smith recalled. He then viewed a scene in which Ewan McGregor dives into a sordid toilet bowl then swims through tropical waters to recover some lost suppositories. That same clip was screened at Saturday’s discussion-along with a segment from Boyle’s 1994 directorial film debut “Shallow Grave”-and Smith said he immediately saw humor, intelligence and compassion in the project. “And at the end of the clip, it became the complete opposite: ‘You can use anything of ours thatyou want in your film,’” the musician remembered telling Boyle. Boyle, who grew up with late 1970s punk and then frequented raves in the 1990s, cited music as a powerful influence. “I see my life in pop music... and you tell your stories through that prism,” he said. — AFP

She recovered, but still has two brackets and nine bolts in her left leg. She doesn’t have as much stamina as she used to. She is not supposed to sit for hours, because that makes her stiff, but she can’t walk too quickly, either. It humbles her. But perhaps she should not be so humble. Her work, though not famous, contains a strength and character that speaks to her passion for the objects used in it. Beans are plain. But beans feed the world. “For her, it’s a cause. It’s a lifestyle, using these heirloom seeds that are almost forgotten. And she’s very fine technically,” says friend Nelson Yoder. “It is very rare, very unusual, what she

What is an heirloom seed? Heirloom seeds are what fed the pioneers. What Cherokee women carried on the forced Trail of Tears march west. What farmers all over the world planted until the mid-20th Century. Seeds from true heirlooms are self-reproducing, coming up exactly the same each generation. But almost all modern seeds at the store are hybrids, which grow true only for one season (if you harvest the seeds and replant, they either won’t sprout or will revert to look like one parent.) Debra Groat and her brother Doug Hagley are alarmed by the disappearance of heirloom vegetable and grain seeds-and even more so by the advent of genetically modified crops that can cross-pollinate and contaminate older varieties. “The diversity of crops, which we will need as different diseases and pests arise, is being destroyed,” Hagley says. See a stark illustration of the decline in vegetable seed types over the past 80 years at http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/07 /food-ark/food-variety-graphic.—MCT

Chinese railway in Ethiopia

C

anny Boyle gave the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival a sneak preview of his new movie Saturday, a dark thriller in which the director says you won’t know the good guy until the end of the story.”Trance,” which opens March 27 in Europe and next month in North America, stars James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassel in a tale that blends the world of fine art with criminal gangs and hypnotherapy. In conversation with New York Times writer David Carr, the Oscar-winning director of “Slumdog Millionaire” said he recently noticed a common thread in his genre-jumping projects-a character with incredible odds to overcome. “The difference in this film is that you don’t know which character it is,” he said. “You don’t know until the end.” Besides the trailer already up for viewing online, Boyle presented a harrowing segment, set at night on harbor docks, in which Cassel is trapped inside a car that McAvoy soaks with gasoline and then sets on fire. Boyle, 56, affably dismissed suggestions he was spoiling the plot for the SXSW crowd, noting that “Trance”-befitting of its title-opens with “an amnesia effect” that should work on filmgoers. “At first you’re absolutely certain you should root for James McAvoy,” said Boyle, whose other crowd-pleasing efforts include “Trainspotting, “127 Hours” and the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games. “But then it kind of shifts... and that’s

rough ground surrounded by lonely wire fencing. The land is windswept with snow. In winter, she still shells dried beans while watching TV. She is home-schooling an 18-year-old grandson at her house. She exhibits her work when and where she can, avoiding craft shows and their dumb questions, preferring master gardening shows and their wiser patrons. Five years ago on a cold March day, Groat fell while alone, carrying wood in front of her house. She broke her leg and shoulder. She lay outside for more than four hours until her husband found her.

does. I don’t know how she promotes it, but the right person would be overjoyed by such a gift.” But she certainly won’t share her techniques or supplies with other jewelry makers. “When people call and ask if they can buy my seeds, I say no,” she says. “I grow just enough to make my jewelry, have some for eating and to replant. If people want seeds for jewelry, they should grow their own for 10 years first. “People want to copy me, and it gets under my skin.” One thing Groat has in her workshop is a basket of old seed jewelry that people have given her over the years. One strange necklace has some kind of unknown white round seeds, plus a long, white razor-edged bone the length of a finger. Yet another necklace is crafted of tiny squash seeds, hundreds of them, dyed orange and a deeper orange to create a pattern. It’s strung on plain string. The end has a safety pin on it. She touches the necklace reverently. “This is old. You can tell it is authentic Native American,” she says. “I should have it restored.” There is one piece of good news about this old seed necklace. It did not sprout, nor did squirrels chase it. You might even be tempted to call it a wonder.

to replace historic French line

amels rather than locomotives lumber over the railway tracks in this remote desert, famously traversed by storied French adventurers Arthur Rimbaud and Henry de Monfreid in the early 20th century. The old French-built railway that connected Addis Ababa, the capital of landlocked Ethiopia, to the Red Sea port of Djibouti, is now being replaced by a Chinese-built electrified railway, a bold project that seeks to boost Ethiopia’s commercial exports. The new project also symbolizes a shift in Ethiopia’s international relations. “You see nowadays that the dice are thrown differently. Chinese, Indian (and) Turkish interests are now taking over... times have changed,” said Hugues Fontaine, author of the recently published book “Un Train en Afrique”, or African Train, about the historic Ethiopian train. Indeed, Ethiopia is casting its dice eastwardseeking investors to help it achieve its grandiose Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP), which seeks to boost economic growth and achieve middle income status by 2025. The construction of the railway is a key component of the GTP: a series of eight rail corridors totaling 4,744 kilometers (2,948 miles), creating a series of key trade routes to neighboring Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan and-crucially-to Djibouti’s port. Two Chinese companies are contracted to build the $2.8 billion (2.15 billion euro) line connecting Addis Ababa to the Djiboutian border by 2016, and Turkish and Brazilian companies are slated to construct other segments of the nation-wide rail network. “We are working day and night,” said Zacharia Jemal, project manager working for the Ethiopian Railways Corporation. Zacharia said the project will create 5,000 local jobs, and allow Ethiopia to boost exports of key commodities such as coffee and sesame. It also offers the opportunity to get Ethiopian workers trained by engineers from the Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Corporation. The company is building the line from Mieso to the Djibouti border at a cost of $1.2

Abandoned train cars sit idle at the French-built train station, or ‘la gare,’ in Dire Dawa, north eastern Ethiopia. — AFP billion (923 million euros), of which 70 percent is financed by the Export-Import Bank of China and 30 percent by the Ethiopian government. Another Chinese company will build the Addis Ababa to Mieso segment. While the economic benefits of the trainwhich will be used for both freight and passenger transport, replacing slow and costly truck transport-is widely recognized, some lament the seemingly inevitable death of the historic French-built diesel-powered train, which went out of service in 2008 after years of neglect. “In terms of the economy, the (new) train could be very profitable for Ethiopia, one machine could replace 10 trucks... and (maintenance) is easier and more cost-effective,” said Josef Petros, who worked for the French railway company for more than 30 years. But he said that if the old train ceases to operate, it will be a great loss for Ethiopia and for Dire Dawa, the commercial town in northeastern Ethiopia where the main train station and workshops were headquartered. The new sta-

tion is slated to be built just outside Dire Dawa, a town renowned for its French atmosphere. “Dire Dawa will suffer,” said Josef, who is now the director of the French cultural centre in the city. The train station-known locally as “la gare”-and the workshops still stand, unused for years. Employees still arrive at work diligently just after dawn every day, only to sit among the abandoned train cars and imported French machinery, seemingly frozen in time. They still receive a monthly stipend from the company, which is now run by the Ethiopian government. They hold out hope that the diesel train will be revived one day, but the European Commission-funded project to rehabilitate the old railway at a cost of $55 million has stalled due to a contractual dispute. Nonetheless, the 750 employees-down from 2,000 — of the old line maintain a sense of pride at having worked for the French company. Many speak French and retain an extraordinary technical knowledge of the ancient trains. —AFP


Jewelry-maker turns love of heirloom seeds into wearable art

MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

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An Indian Sikh devotee holds a snake in a procession during the Maha Shivaratri festival in Amritsar yesterday, on the occasion of the festival dedicated to the Hindu God, Lord Shiva, Maha Shivaratri. The festival of Maha Shivaratri is marked by Hindus through fasting and offering prayers in a night long vigil. —AFP

Bulgari shows off Liz Taylor’s

gems at its Beverly Hills store I

t isn’t easy sometimes to be an ordinary person in Los Angeles, so near to and yet so far from the city’s glamorous events. You hear about the grand Oscar parties, but you will never be invited. The award ceremony may be taking place minutes from where you live, but you watch it at home, on TV, in your sweat pants-and you might as well be in Dubuque. Rodeo Drive too can make you feel like a scrap on the cutting room floor. As you stroll the wide and immaculate sidewalks of Beverly Hills’ iconic shopping street, you pass by boutiques you’d feel self-conscious walking into. In the windows are baubles and trinkets you could never in three lifetimes afford. Which is why it is rather nice to be invited to make a private appointment at the house of Bulgari, the fine Italian jeweler that opened its doors in 1884. Elizabeth Taylor loved Bulgari jewels. Richard Burton, whose torrid affair with her began during the filming of “Cleopatra” in Rome, accompanied her often to the flagship shop on the Via Condotti. He liked to joke that the name Bulgari was all the Italian she knew. So it is fitting that, starting Oscar week, the jeweler is celebrating the Oscar-winning star with an exhibit of eight of her most treasured Bulgari pieces. They are heavy on diamonds and emeraldsof rare size, gleam and value. And Bulgari knows their value well. After Taylor’s death, it reacquired some of the gems at a Christie’s auction. One piece, an emerald-and-diamond brooch that also can be worn as a pendant, sold for $6,578,500 - breaking records both for sales price of an emerald and for emerald price per carat ($280,000). That brooch, whose centerpiece is an octagonal step-cut emerald weighing 23.44 carats, was

Burton’s engagement present to Taylor. He followed it upon their marriage (his second, her fifth) with a matching necklace whose 16 Colombian emeralds weigh in at 60.5 carats. Bulgari bought the necklace back too, for $6,130,500. They are in the exhibit, along with Burton’s engagement ring to Taylor and a delicate brooch-given to her by husband No. 4, Eddie Fisher-whose emerald and diamond flowers were set en tremblant so that they gently fluttered as Taylor moved. The jewels are not for sale. On Tuesday night, actress Julianne Moore wore the Burton necklace, with pendant attached, at a gala for Bulgari’s top clients. At the dinner hour, guests were escorted along a lavender-colored carpet to a nearby rooftop that had been transformed into a Roman terrace.

A ring in platinum with emerald and diamonds, part of an 8-piece collection of Bulgari jewels once owned by Elizabeth Taylor.

A necklace in platinum and emeralds.

A gold hand mirror decorated with an Egyptian inspired raptor set with calibrated cut turquoise is on display.

Those honored guests, of course, got private viewings of Taylor’s jewels. But so did Amanda Perry, a healer from West Hollywood who arrived the next morning for one of the first appointments available to the public. Someone had emailed news of the collection to the 35-year-old Taylor fan. She walked in off the street Tuesday, when the exhibit was open only to press-and Sabina Pelli, Bulgari’s glamorous executive vice president, fresh from Rome, was taking sips of San Pellegrino brought to her on a silver tray between back-to-back interviews that started at 5 am. The camera crews were long gone when Perry came back Wednesday. She had the exhibit, and handsome sales associate Timothy Morzenti of Milan, entirely to herself. In a black suit, still wearing on his left hand the black glove he dons to handle fine jewels, Morzenti whisked Perry off via a private elevator to the exhibit on the second floor. The jewels stood in vitrines mounted high off the ground. Behind them were photos and a slide show of Taylor, bejew-

A poster outside the store promotes an 8-piece collection of Bulgari jewels once owned by Elizabeth Taylor.

Amanda Perry, left, gets a close up view of a sautoir in platinum with sapphires and diamonds, on display at Bulgari on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. — MCT photos

eled. “Which piece would you like to see first?” Morzenti asked her as a security guard stood by. “I personally love the emerald ring.” Then he proceeded at leisure to explain Bulgari-signature sugar-loaf cuts and trombino ring settings, while tossing in occasional Taylor stories. The best, however, was yet to come. Back in the hushed showroom, where nary a price tag is visible, he sat Perry down before a jewelry case, which he carefully unlocked. Gently, he lifted out a pair of diamond earrings, set in platinum with fancy intense yellow drops. “Would you like to try them on?” he asked as she beamed. Their price, he told her, was $1.7 million. Stars have their Cinderella moments too-when they arrive at the Governors Ball wearing loaner jewels that soon must be returned. Perry, however, didn’t mind when it came time to take the earrings off. Asked how she’d spend the rest of her day, she said, “Walking on a cloud. And I’ll stay with it for a while.” — MCT


11 Mar 2013