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Amir highlights Kuwait’s foreign policy successes Sheikh Sabah urges envoys to promote state’s bright image

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conspiracy theories

Parking nightmare

By Badrya Darwish


arking lots or the lack of them is a problem in Kuwait. As usual I always address the honorable gentlemen in parliament with a problem. It struck me that we do not have proper parking in Kuwait. Is this of an interest to the ladies and gentlemen in parliament? Isn’t it a serious enough issue to talk about? Why are buildings built without proper plans for parking lots? How are building permits given to commercial or residential constructors without a clause that there should be enough parking provided for the residents in the building? Or is the rule: Build the building and do not care about the rest of issues that come with it. How many buildings have you seen in Kuwait which have proper parking areas? In some buildings in residential areas, the owner is so greedy that even if there is a basement, it will be rented out illegally as storehouses regardless of safety measures. In this way they are depriving residents from having proper parking. Isn’t it high time the municipality starts refreshing the rules regarding new buildings forcing every building to have a proper parking like any other country?. To get my drift just visit Hawally. It is the worst area in Kuwait for parking. I feel so sad for the residents of Hawally. Many cry and suffer that they do not have car parking. The traffic department is very active there to give tickets. If they make a study, most of the fines and income to the department is from that area. My friends are telling me that this is spreading to other areas like Farwaniya and Khaitan. This is due to ill-planning from the very beginning. Where is the expertise? Where are the planners in Kuwait? When you plan an area there are hundred other things you plan with it beforehand. Planning in Kuwait is a very serious topic. It is as serious as any other issue in the country. We all live here and we are all affected. Even in commercial areas, those constructing big buildings are not asked to construct parking lots. The only good place which was planned with parking in Kuwait is The Avenues. I am sure the company behind it did it out of their own planning savvy and were not advised or required to do so by the municipality or a planning board or whoever is in charge. Parking in Kuwait has become a nightmare equal to driving in Kuwait.

Govt may suspend commercial visas KUWAIT: The government is studying the possibility of suspending commercial visitor visas soon as the state looks for ways to restore demographic balance and fight human trafficking, a local daily reported yesterday quoting a senior security official. “Suspending commercial visas is being considered as a result of the growing number of expatriate labor forces,” said the Ministry of Interior insider who spoke to Al-Qabas on the condition of anonymity. He indicated that the decision is also sought as a measure to “stop the use of commercial visas by human traffickers who sell work permits obtained under a legal umbrella”. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor has launched crackdown on human trafficking operations in the past several weeks which has so far resulted in the arrest of ministry officials accused of involvement in illegal operations by using their access to the labor system database in order to create job openings for certain companies in exchange of money. This operation allows for issuing work permits that are then sold to workers wishing to come to Kuwait. Investigations had revealed that most companies found to be involved in this act are fake or have suspended licenses. Each private company operating in Kuwait has a file in the ministry’s database which estimates the number of workers required; including the number of Kuwaitis that each company is required to hire by law.

KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah is applauded as he arrives with HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah at the opening session of the Seventh Conference of Heads of Kuwait Diplomatic Missions yesterday. — KUNA KUWAIT: In a comprehensive speech at the opening session of the Seventh Conference of Heads of Kuwait Diplomatic Missions that kicked off yesterday, HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah outlined the main features of Kuwait’s foreign policy. “You are invited to convey to the world the brilliant image of Kuwait - the tolerant and great country -and the ambitions of its people...(the bright image of a country which) works in partnership with the international community to promote peace among nations and enters into partnerships with brotherly and friendly countries for building and development of societies,” the Amir said, addressing

ambassadors and heads of Kuwait’s diplomatic missions abroad. Sheikh Sabah stressed the need for a vigorous diplomatic and media drive to show the real and bright image of Kuwait that enjoys strong unity among its people and a constitution and justice-based democratic life. The Amir added that one of the main objectives of Kuwait’s diplomacy is to cooperate with all countries to maintain world security and stability as well as reach sustainable development of societies. “Kuwait is effectively contributing to the international efforts aiming to resolve disputes that threaten world peace and counter terrorism. Kuwait also takes part in efforts meant to fight pover-

ty, diseases and meet the shortage of food, water and energy as well as achieve sustainable development and investment in people,” he said. In this regard, Sheikh Sabah citied Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development’s (KFAED) loans and grants as well as the Kuwait’s donations to other international funds as clear examples of Kuwait’s effective role in financing development projects in the four corners of the globe. He also cited the recent Kuwait-hosted Asian Cooperation Dialogue Summit as an example of Kuwait’s eagerness to buttress cooperation with Asian and world nations. HH Sheikh Sabah pointed out that

Kuwait pays due attention to the empowerment of women and protection of their rights. “Kuwait directs growing attention to foster women rights and their role in the society,” the Amir said. He highlighted the importance of unity among the Gulf Cooperation Council member states. “The rapid developments in our region and the challenges we face today leaves no room for doubt about the indispensability of joint Gulf action and that needs more work to bolster and expand to cover all domains. You have to show, through diplomatic work, the solidity and unity of the Gulf stances as well as Kuwait’s effective role in tackling Continued on Page 2

Kuwait coastguards kill Iranian smuggler Fire exchanged on Kuwait-Iraq border

Assembly panel calls for reducing expats in govt Zaid freed, Barrak’s trial postponed By B Izzak

the number of government employees is 386,000 of whom 109,000 are expatriKUWAIT: In the second move targeting ates who form 28 percent of the total. If expatriates in two days, the to be implemented immediNational Assembly’s legal and ately, at least 30,000 expatrilegislative committee yesterates working in the governday approved a proposal callment must be dismissed and ing to reduce the percentage replaced by Kuwaitis. On of non-Kuwaitis in governSunday, a parliamentary bloc ment jobs to just 20 percent, called the Independents prodown from 28 percent at presposed that the government ent. The proposal, which aims scrap all subsidies to comat creating more jobs for modities and public services Kuwaitis, also calls on the Civil and then make expatriates Zayed Al-Zaid Service Commission to find pay full costs in a move if jobs for Kuwaitis within six months of implemented would increase the elecapplying or alternatively pay them the tricity bill twentyfold. Official statistics salaries expected from the sought job. show the number of expatriates at 2.6 Based on the latest official statistics, Continued on Page 2

By Hanan Al-Saadoun and Agencies KUWAIT: Kuwaiti coastguards shot dead yesterday a suspected drugs smuggler as they chased a boat in the state’s territorial waters, the interior ministry said. The ministry did not reveal the identity of the dead man but a security official said that he was Iranian. The ministry said that at dawn yesterday, a Kuwaiti coastguards patrol spotted a boat inside the state’s territorial waters and ordered it to stop by “firing warning shots”. After a brief chase, the boat stopped and the coastguards found that one of the two men onboard had died of gunshots, the ministry said. The coastguards arrested a second Iranian man present on the boat who was unharmed. The ministry also said that an unspecified amount of what is believed to be hashish was found on the boat. Kuwaiti coastguards regularly intercept Iraqi and Iranian boats allegedly carrying smugglers or fishermen for infiltrating Kuwait’s territorial waters. Continued on Page 2

KUWAIT: An Iranian drug smuggler is seen with a stash of hashish after he was arrested by Kuwaiti coastguards yesterday. — KUNA

Iran, Pak defy US with gas pipeline

CHABAHAR, Iran: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (left) and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari pray during the inauguration ceremony of a gas pipeline linking the two neighbours in this Iranian border city yesterday. — AFP

CHABAHAR, Iran: Iranian and Pakistani leaders inaugurated the construction of a much-delayed section of a $7.5 billion gas pipeline linking the two neighbours yesterday, defying the threat of US sanctions. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched the project with his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari at a ceremony on the border, hailing a blow to USled sanctions targeting his country’s oil and gas sector. The two leaders unveiled a plaque before shaking hands and offering prayers for the successful conclusion of the project, which involves the laying of a 780-km section of the pipeline on

the Pakistani side, expected to cost some $1.5 billion. “The completion of the pipeline is in the interests of peace, security and progress of the two countries... It will also consolidate the economic, political and security ties of the two nations,” they said in a joint statement. Ahmadinejad hailed the fact that work on the new section of pipeline was going ahead despite US sanctions against Iran’s oil and gas sector imposed over its controversial nuclear program. “This gas pipeline is a show of resistance against domination,” Continued on Page 14



Kuwaiti women face host of problems despite ‘equality’ Society holds seminar By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The Kuwait Human Society held a seminar on Sunday on the occasion of Women’s Day titled ‘Kuwait’s Commitment in Applying of International Conventions regarding Women.’

defines discrimination against women as “any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and

From left: Dr Masouma Al-Mubarak, Dr Suad Al-Tararwa, Sahar Shawa and Sameera Al-Qinai during the seminar.

Some attendees including Najla Al-Naqi (second right). — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat Sahar Shawa, Head of Gender and Social Development Program, UNDP said that Kuwait ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1994. “This Convention was adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, and is often described as an international bill of rights for women. Consisting of a preamble and 30 articles, it defines what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination,” she noted during the seminar. She also explained that the Convention

women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.” She also spoke about the different articles and parts of CEDAW. “By accepting the Convention, States commit themselves to undertake a series of measures to end discrimination against women in all forms, including: to incorporate the principle of equality of men and women in their legal system, abolish all discriminatory laws and adopt appropriate ones prohibiting discrimination against women; to establish tribunals and other public institutions to ensure the effective protection of women

against discrimination; and to ensure elimination of all acts of discrimination against women by persons, organizations or enterprises,” stressed Shawa. Kuwait made four reservations with a view to comply with this Convention. “It reserved article No 9, paragraph 2 stating that: State Parties shall grant women equal rights with men with respect to the nationality of their children as this is in conflict with the Kuwait law of nationality. It then reserved article 16 relating to marriage and family relations including responsibilities with regard to guardianship, trusteeship, wardship and adoption of children as this is in conflict with Islamic Sharia. Then article No. 29, paragraph 1 regarding disputes between states parties concerning the interpretation or application of the present Convention being submitted to arbitration, and finally a reservation on article No 7 regarding the political rights of women, which was later cancelled,” she further said. The United Nations Development Program works to educate and make aware women about their political, social, and legal rights through programs and workshops held in cooperation with the local public institutions and NGOs,” concluded Shawa. On her part, Dr. Suad Al-Tararwa, a law teacher and housing expert, commented that Kuwait’s reservation on article 16 of CEDAW related to marriage contracts and spouses’ rights. Kuwait reserved the part on guardianship, trusteeship and wardship as being in conflict with Sharia, while the explanation part of the Civil Law bans the parent from dealing or using any of her property without her approval. He questioned as to how can, in this situation, he control her life? Also, according to article 51/84, the guardian can let the girl marry even if she was underage without her approval. “While the woman, whether young or old or educated, can marry as per her will and without her guardian’s permission, on the other hand women were also being appointed as ministers, MPs, and even general prosecutors and are responsible for public issues but then how can they not be responsible for themselves,” she pointed out. MP Dr. Masouma Al-Mubarak spoke about some problems facing the Kuwait women, including housing, family and marriage, social security, nationality, work career, violence etc. “In the parliament in 2009, we succeeded in passing several laws in favor of women. Finally, women are availing of housing loans which were given to men for many years, but unfortunately there is no parity in the amounts they can borrow vis-‡-vis men. We consider this as first step and will work on improving it,” she stated. “We also succeeded in changing an unfair law that obliged a son who reached the age of 21 or a non-Kuwaiti husband of a Kuwaiti woman to leave the country if he was unemployed, as she was not able to sponsor them, while she can sponsor a driver or a cook. This law was changed, and now she can sponsor him and this is a great achievement that ensures the security of her family life,” added Masouma.

Duo held in Jahra for thefts By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Jahra security personnel arrested two Bedouin men for stealing steel and copper from a shooting range and recovered a certain quantity of stolen steel and tools used by the suspects. * Security sources said that a soldier who was in charge of guarding the shooting range at Aodairie notices a car at the site and two men carrying cutting tools. He immediately reported the matter to Jahra security personnel who came and arrested the men. The suspects claimed during interrogation that they were now aware of the site belonging to Kuwait army, and were simply collecting steel and copper to later sell it at the Amghara scrap market. • An Egyptian woman accused a Kuwaiti man of making sexual advances towards her and lodged a complaint with the Ahmadi police station in this regard. She said that the man stopped her car in Mina Abdullah Area and asked for her mobile number which she gave. Later, he called her and asked her to come to a private apartment. She hung up on him but the man called repeatedly, following which she filed a case. • An Egyptian expat in a complaint lodged with the Jleeb Al-Shoyoukh police station said four people in a four-wheel drive American car that did not have any plate number stopped and robbed him, snatching KD 50 from him. When he tried to chase the car, they fired at him. • A man in his thirties died when his car met with a collision and turned turtle at the Jahra Road. He died on the spot. A case of death in accident was filed.

Envoys cheer Amir speech KUWAIT: Kuwaiti diplomats cheered HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah’s patronage of and speech at the Seventh Conference of Heads of Kuwait’s Diplomatic Missions. In separate interviews with KUNA, several ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions said HH the Amir ’s speech has identified the main outlines of Kuwait diplomacy in the coming period. “We have listened carefully to HH the Amir’s speech and his wise directives which represent indispensable guidelines for all Kuwaiti diplomats, whether work ing at the Foreign Ministry or embassies and consulates abroad,” Kuwaiti Ambassador to Turkey Abdullah Al-Thuwaikh told KUNA. Thuwaikh described the Amir as the marker of Kuwait diplomacy over the past 50 years, noting that many of the Kuwaiti diplomats have been taught diplomacy at the hands of the Amir when he was foreign minister. He pinned high hopes on the conference in which Kuwaiti diplomats and top official officials from the different sectors discuss the role of diplomacy in achiev-

Amir highlights Kuwait’s ... Continued from Page 1 Arab, Muslim, regional and international issues and causes.” The Amir noted that Kuwait has launched “economic diplomacy” to promote better economic cooperation with world countries and woo foreign investments to Kuwait. “We launched this economic diplomacy a long time ago out of deep belief in its role in achieving the state higher economic interests and opening new horizons for dealing with global economic developments,” Sheikh Sabah said. He urged the Kuwaiti diplomats to convey to the world the economic and development progress which the state has undergone. “You have to acquaint the world with the economic-related legislative reforms and the new package of mega development projects which Kuwait is embarking on.” The Amir asked the diplomats to help transfer the best economic and renewable energy practices in the world to Kuwait. “Through your presence in different countries across

the world, you have to transfer the world’s best practices in diversifying state income resources and using renewable energy to Kuwait.” The Amir called on the Kuwaiti diplomats to embody the state policy and care for the interests of its people. “You have also take into account that Kuwait’s diplomacy is the first line of defense of state security and interests,” he asserted. Sheikh Sabah lauded the major successes and the distinguished performance of Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry under Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled AlHamad Al-Sabah. He also wished great success to the conference to end with recommendations to bolster state diplomacy. This conference “serves as a golden platform for diplomats to meet with senior officials at the foreign ministry and other state bodies to exchange points of view, study the challenges obstructing their efforts and find best ways to upgrade the efficiency of Kuwait’s diplomacy to serve the higher interests of our dear homeland,” the Amir concluded. — KUNA

ing the higher interests of the state. Kuwait’s delegate to the UN Mansour Al-Otaibi echoed a similar view. “HH the Amir’s speech included many direct instructions to Kuwaiti diplomats to provide all care to Kuwaitis abroad, to embody the state foreign policy and defend its interests,” Otaibi told KUNA. He also underlined the importance of this conference in outlining and adopting a unified and clear policy in dealing with the rapid developments on the regional and international levels. Kuwait’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Khaled Al-Duwaisan said the Amir’s directives would be a springboard for the Kuwait diplomacy in the years to come. He told KUNA that the conference allows Kuwaiti diplomats to exchange points of view and information with state officials on different issues. Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Ambassador to South Korea Metab Al-Mutotah said the Amir’s speech and the diplomats’ deliberations with the state officials will give impetus to the Kuwaiti diplomacy in the coming period. — KUNA

Amir’s letter delivered to Indian president NEW DELHI: Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad AlSabah handed yesterday Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs Salman Khurshid a letter from His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to the President of the friendly Republic of India Pranab Mukherjee. The letter included an invitation for the Indian president to visit Kuwait at the date to be specified by President Mukherjee, in addition to bilateral relations. Sheikh Nasser had met earlier in the day with Minister Salman Khurshid at Hyderabad House in the Indian capital New Delhi where they exchanged cordial talks in all fields. On the other hand, both men held official talks where they reviewed bilateral relations between the two countries and ways of enhancing joint cooperation between Kuwait and India in all fields. Delegations of the two sides attended the officials talks. The Kuwaiti delegation includes Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce

Expert supports increasing fees to curb energy waste KUWAIT: The annual average consumption of electricity in Kuwait per capita was pegged at 1540 megawatts per hour, while a person consumes an average of 38,000 imperial gallons of water every year, a former Ministry of Education official said in a recent statement. Energy expert and former Chief Engineer at the Ministry of Education Najeeb Al-Sa’ad was contacted by Al-Qabas newspaper to weigh in on the subject of wastage of energy in a country characterized by a small population but had one of the world’s highest energy consumption rates. “[ The government] is required to come up with mechanisms to curb energy waste and financial losses resulting from it, and that includes increasing fees and finding effective measures to collect electricity and water bills,” he said. Currently, Kuwait collects 2 fils for every kilowatt of electricity that costs it 38 fils to produce, a rate that has not changed since the sixties of the past century and is currently the lowest in the Gulf region. Al-Sa’ad indicated that 350,000 oil barrels are currently used every day to pro-

Separately, security forces exchanged fire across the Kuwait-Iraq border near the port city of Umm Qasr after they encountered firing from the Iraqi side during UN-supervised maintenance of border demarcation signs. It was not clear who was firing from the other side of the border. Sources said trouble started when some Iraqis started throwing stones at Kuwaiti security men, with some stones hitting the military vehicles as well as security men. Firing then erupted from the Iraqi side of the border though the source of the firing could not be known. The UN team tasked with maintaining the border signs between Iraq and Kuwait was taken by surprise with the Iraqi attacks which led to the withdrawal of the team temporarily. The assistant undersecretary for border affairs Lt Gen Mohammad Al-Yousuf ordered all police forces working at the northern border to

duce electricity and water, with an annual cost of KD3.5 billion. According to official estimations, 20 percent of Kuwait’s daily production of oil is going to be pumped into power and water desalination plants by the fiscal year 2017/2018. Meanwhile, a recent study conducted by the Kuwait Banks Association predicted a deficit in the state’s budget, given the high costs of energy production combined with other factors that include the public sector’s payroll which increased by 24 percent in 2012/2013. According to the Tony Blair report - a comprehensive study of Kuwait’s predicted outlook conducted by the former British Prime Minister - the annual increase in maximum electricity overload has currently reached eight percent, while it was two to three percent in the rest of the world. It further showed that the number of consumers increased by 17.6 percent between 2005 and 2009. Moreover, the study put Kuwait at the top of the world’s list of countries that waste water, with a 500 litre per capita daily average of consumption.

Kuwait, Russia mark golden jubilee of diplomatic relations KUWAIT: Kuwait and Russia are celebrating the Golden Jubilee of establishing diplomatic relations between the two friendly countries. The relations between the two states are deep-rooted and based on collaboration and deliberation on regional and international issues of mutual concern, seeking to meet the interests of both peoples. Ties go back to the beginning of the 20th century, when the Ships

of the Russian Empire visited Kuwait, and official diplomatic ties were established later in March, 1963. On this occasion, Kuwait recalls with deep appreciation and pride the Russian position regarding the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, which was in line with international law and legitimacy and the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, the Foreign Ministry statement on this occasion said.—KUNA

Society marks World Kidney Day KUWAIT: Kuwait Nephrology Association (KNA) is later this week marking World Kidney Day, which is celebrated on the second Thursday of March each year. KNA is joining leading international nephrology associations and societies in all parts of the world which are marking this day, KNA President Dr. Ali Al-Sahow told KUNA, Monday. KNA activities on this occasion reflect its deep belief in the importance of spreading awareness on chronic renal

Kuwait coastguards kill... Continued from Page 1

and Industry Khalid Abdullah Al-Sager, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) Chief Executive Officer Farouk Al-Zanki, Amiri Diwan Undersecretary for Information Center Affairs Mazin Al-Essa and the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) director of Asian investments Mohammad Hamad AlMutairi. Meanwhile, from the Indian side, in addition to Minister Khurshid, included Indian Foreign Ministry’s Under-Secretary for Middle East Affairs Sanjay Singh, and Indian Ambassador to Kuwait Satish Mehta, and other high ranking officials from the Indian foreign ministry. Sheikh Nasser had met earlier in the day with Indian Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram where they discussed bilateral relations in the economic sphere and ways of exploring investment and trade opportunities in the two countries. Sheikh Nasser also met Petroleum Minister Shri M. Veerappa Moily and discussed bilateral relations and ways to bolster joint cooperation in the field of investments in petroleum and natural gas. — KUNA

remain on full alert. The area near Umm Qasr had remained at the centre of a dispute between Kuwaitis and Iraqis because based on the 1993 UN Security Council demarcation, the new border line passes through dozens of Iraqi farms. But the dispute was resolved, with the two neighbours agreeing to start repairing the markers under UN supervision. The process began several weeks ago. The Iraqi security forces who were present should have protected the maintenance operations in order to stop these “rejected practices”, a Kuwaiti foreign ministry source said in a statement. A number of Iraqi citizens were present at the border area and set up a large tent near border sign No. 105 and sabotaged the border fence between signs No. 105 and 106, the statement said. It urged the Iraqi government to live up to its responsibility and abide by its international obligations to allow the UN maintenance team to do its job in line with “the already agreed upon timetable”.

and kidney diseases, which are “common, silent, and dangerous” conditions that are, however, easy to detect and treat in early stages. A number of awareness messages would be published on local dailies, besides distribution of fliers in The Avenues mall with offer of fast checkups on weight and blood pressure by a nurse and the chance for visitors to ask a specialized doctor for advice and assessment, he added.— KUNA

Assembly panel calls... Continued from Page 1 million against 1.2 million native Kuwaitis. The legal and legislative committee also approved a proposal calling on the government to raise the salaries of employees without setting a definite percentage or a timeframe and sent the proposal to the Assembly’s financial and economic affairs committee to discuss the details. The panel also approved a draft law raising penalties on traders in expired foodstuff to at least five years and up to life in jail. In other developments, the court of cassation yesterday ordered the immediate release of opposition writer and publisher Zayed Al-Zaid until the court has issued its verdict on the issue. Zaid was arrested at the start of the month after the appeals court confirmed a one-month imprisonment against him for writing an article deemed offensive to some board members of Kuwait Investment Authority. The criminal court postponed until March 25 the case of former opposition MP Musallam Al-Barrak because the state security officer who was required to testify in the court did not attend and sent a letter to court saying he was on official leave. Barrak had said ahead of the case that his defense team was going to demand that the court should ask Prime Minister HH Sheikh Jaber AlMubarak Al-Sabah to testify in the case. Barrak is accused of undermining the authorities of HH the Amir at a public rally he addressed on Oct 15 last year.



Human trafficking official relieved from duties Manila takes swift action By Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: National Guards and British officers pose for a photograph.

National Guards to enhance cooperation with British Army KUWAIT: National Guards Military Affairs Commander Brig Gen Saad Jaber Al-Hajraf held talks with the military attache at the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Kuwait, Col David Bardi and the British Army Special Air Service commander Nick Moran over finding ways to enhance bilateral cooperation in training and operations. Al-Hajraf stressed the importance of cooperation with the British Army to implement directives of the National Guard’s high commandors represented by Chief of Kuwait National Guard Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Salem Al-Sabah and Deputy Chief of National Guard Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah with the follow-up by Undersecretary of the National Guard

Lieutenant General Nasser Al-De’ie to keep up with the latest security measures. For his part, Col. Bardi expressed his country’s readiness to cooperate in training the National Guard members and exchanging expertise to achieve the desired benefit, praising the constructive cooperation with the National Guard within the framework of the excellent relations between the two countries. The meeting was attended by head of military affairs training and operations Lieutenant Colonel Salem Ibrahim AlMusaiteer, reinforcement brigade commander Lieutenant Colonel Hamad Salem Al-Barjas and anti-drug brigade commander Major Nasser Mathhoor Mohammad. — KUNA

KUWAIT: A Philippine Embassy official who was recently implicated in a case of human trafficking and abuse of power has been recalled and effectively discharged of his duties at the embassy. Daligdig Tanandato, former head of Assistance-toNationals Unit (ATNU) will be subjected to administrative proceedings when he returns to Manila at Marchend. A letter from the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila, addressed to this Kuwait Times reporter and duly signed by the Philippines Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Melita Sta Maria, said Tanandatu will be subjected to administrative procedures, and if warranted, face whatever charges may be filed against him including the specific complaint reported in the Kuwait Times. “I refer to your news article ‘Filipina accuses embassy official of human trafficking’ which appeared in the 25 February, 2013 issue of Kuwait Times. I take this opportunity to inform you (Kuwait Times) that the Department has been aware of this, as well as other allegations and complaints against Daligdig

Tanandato,” the letter read. To quote further, the letter stated: “As you are aware, earlier this month (February), the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila dispatched a management audit team to look into the situation at the Embassy in Kuwait. Upon the arrival of the management team, Tanandato was immediately relieved of his duty as head of the Assistance-to-Nationals Unit and was prohibited from further action on OFW cases.” Tanandato is expected to reach Manila before the end of March. “Relocating from one post to another entails some time to make necessary travel and other personal arrangements for Tanandato and his family. I wish to assure you that the complaints against Tanandato are being acted upon,” the letter read. Towards the end of last month, a Filipina businesswoman, who owns a salon in Salmiya, accused a Philippines embassy official of indulging in human trafficking and harassing her. The woman, who identified herself as Moneera, accused Tanandato of selling her a runaway housemaid worth KD600 to work at her salon, an allegation he vehemently denied.

The money was allegedly given by Moneera to Tanadato’s sister-inlaw, who, she alleged, shelters runaway housemaids at her home to eventually hand them over to prospective employers, an accusation she denied when contacted by this reporter. Moneera reiterated

that Tanandato was selling housemaids instead of helping them. “He would sell these ladies to new employers and make money. I am one of those who bought the housemaid from him,” Moneera told the Kuwait Times in that interview.

Daligdig Tanandato

NA panel approves salary increase of state employees

KUWAIT: First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hmoud received the GCC traffic delegations which participated in the unified GCC traffic week in his office yesterday morning. The Assistant Undersecretary, Lt Gen Dr. Mustafa Al-Zaabi, public relations director Colonel Adel Al-Hashash, Deputy Director of the organizing committee Hisham Yaseen Abdullah and Assistant Operations Director at traffic department Colonel Ibrahim Al-Jalel were present on this occasion.

3 companies added to Horeca KUWAIT: Three catering companies announced they will be participating in the 2013 Horeca Kuwait, a hospitality and catering industry show, scheduled to take place from March 18- 21, 2013 at the Arraya Ball Room of Courtyard Marriott Hotel. Organizers of the event, the Leaders Group for Consulting & Development, announced in a

statement yesterday that the Mis’ed Company Limited has agreed to take part in the annual event. It is a leading firm in the catering and hospitality business with 25 years of experience in the local market in importing dairy products as well as hotel equipment. The Leaders Group also announced participation of the Al-Refa’ei company, a leading hospitality firm, as well as Al-Zad

company, one of the largest catering companies that provides local hotels and restaurants with top quality food products. Several major companies and experts in the catering and hospitality market had announced plans to participate in the event which will feature various activities including workshops and cookery competitions.

Agreement to solve farmers issue KUWAIT: Informed diplomatic sources played down the significance of the demonstrations carried out on Saturday near the Kuwait-Iraq border since the maintenance work of the border marks was almost over. Sources said the maintenance was carried out according to UN Resolution 833 and was not a new phenomenon. They said Iraq’s implementation of the issue was something good and will help

solve some of the issues between the two countries. The sources said that a UN team is supervising the maintenance operations, as both sides have paid their dues. The sources commended the maintenance process in the presence of a Kuwaiti committee. As for the farmers, the sources said maintenance of the border marks may end the continued encroachment of the Kuwaiti territories.

Arab women diplomats visit NA KUWAIT: A visiting delegation from the Arab Women Diplomats Society in Spain paid a visit to the National Assembly and attended a regular session. The delegation also met with Minister of State for Planning and Development and Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Dr Rola Dashti, MP Safaa Al-Hashem, and MP Dr Masouma Al-Mubarak. The recent meeting highlighted political experience of Kuwait’s women

who began calling for their political rights in 1971 till earning them in 2005. The meeting also covered issues related to women in Kuwait, knowledge and experience of women in leadership positions in various sectors. Later, a discussion took place on women rights in Kuwait. The society is visiting the country in response to an invitation extended by the Foreign Ministry. —KUNA

New maintenance contracts to be signed KUWAIT: The assistant undersecretary for operating and maintaining water works at the Ministry of Electricity and Water, Engr Mohammad Bushri, said two contracts will be signed this week to repair the damage, supply and install the new connections in the northern and southern areas at a cost of KD 6.4 million over the next three years. Bushehri said a protocol signed earlier with the National Guard to train soldiers with expertise related to the ministry will be implemented soon. He said this move comes as part of the cooperation in which the ministry reaches out to various government sectors whenever they face any emergency, be it domestic or regional that calls for united efforts to keep state sectors in operation. He said the ministry will be organising a training program for new officers joining the ministry. A group of engineers will train these officers about operational and maintenance aspects of the water works.

KUWAIT: The parliamentary legislative and legal affairs committee approved in its meeting yesterday a proposal to increase the salaries of state employees. The committee also approved a proposal compulsing the Civil Service Commission to appoint job seekers within six months and reduce the proportion of expatriates working in the government sector. Committee Rapperteur MP Yacoub Al-Sani’a told reporters after the meeting that the committee opted not to select a number of the proposed increase on the salaries of state employees and left the issue for the financial and economic affairs committee during its forthcoming meeting with the government to avoid any damage to the state budget which may constitute a pretext for the government to reject the proposal. Al-Sani’a added that the committee also decided to compulse the Civil

Service Commission to appoint citizens within a period not exceeding six months unless the applicant rejects the commission’s decision, noting that the proposal provides that in the event the Commission did not abide by the set deadline, the job seeker would be disbursed salary equivalent to the salary he or she would have received if hired. He explained that the proposal itself would also compule the Civil Service Commission to reduce the proportion of expatriates working in the public sector to 20 percent maximum, in addition to submitting a report every six months showing the procedures on the replacement policy. He said the committee agreed to stiffen the penalty for dealers trading in spoiled food to be between five years in prison and life imprisonment if rotten food result in death or permanent disability. — KUNA

All Kuwaiti donations reach Syrian people KUWAIT: Imam and preacher at the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Faihan Al-Jarman Al-Mutairi said all donations collected in Kuwait reached the Syrian people, including needy families in and outside Syria. The donations reached as cash and also in the form of medicines and food. The free Syrian Army received various types of weapons including anti aircraft weapons that were delivered to “Sunna falcons” and “Ahl Al-Athar” brigades to defend the Syrian people against the tyranny of the regime which receives aid from Iraq, Iran, and the “party of Satan.” He said that they buy weapons for the FSA from Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and from traders inside Syria. He said Kuwaiti people have donated heartedly to the brothers in Syria. He said the money was given to trustworthy people only, adding that he selected donors carefully lest any terror money came in. He said that he knew those receiving donations first hand, and was also aware about their keenness to avoid any blood shedding, adding that he did not belong

to any group, party or organization, and rather preferred to carry out this effort on an individual basis. When asked if he interfered in field operations of the brigades he supported, Al-Jarman said his advice to the brigade was not to enter any village unless there was an advantage in doing so, and not to rush things in order to save lives. He said he did not interfere in the types of weapons bought with donated money because those fighting in the field knew what they wanted. Asked when the Syrian crisis would end, he said the FSA was making advances everyday with the help of whatever weaponry it had, and added that the FSA was not fighting the Syrian army alone but was also fighting Iran, Iraq and the “Party of Satan.” He said Bashar Al-Asad was only a puppet of these three sides, and without their support would not last even for a day. He said the Iraqi government backed Bashar with more than nine billion dollars while he was in confinement and Iran, Iraq and the “Party of Satan” are the ones running things in Syria.

KUWAIT: Some outstanding students of the Ibn Majid Elementary School in Ahmadi educational area who participated in the ‘My environment is clean’ competition were received by the Public Relations Administration at Kuwait Municipality at its offices. The competition was organized by social studies department in the school under the patronage of public relations director in the municipality, Rashed Al Hashan.


LOCAL kuwait digest

Letters to Badrya

Kuwaitis can do these jobs

Implement law in its entirety By Thaar Al-Rashidi

n 2004, the province of Uttar Pradesh in India decided to pay 33 Indian rupees (roughly equivalent to KD 0.17) as an allowance to each policeman who grew a moustache. The incentive was supposed to be an encouragement to policemen to grow moustaches as security officials in the northern Indian province believed that it gave the policemen an air of added authority. A security official in that state had said that while they started with about 10 policemen only, they believed that hundreds of policemen would start sporting moustaches within a year’s time. Besides, anyone opting to shave off their moustache would find the allowance stopped immediately. Officials in the Indian state justified their decision saying they had noticed that citizens respected policemen with moustache more than they did those without. In general, people in Uttar Pradesh know better what is good for them. Though I appreciate the idea, which could be based on the culture prevalent in that area, people’s respect for the law could not be predicated on a policeman’s moustache or the stick he carries or huge penalties. These are all ways to add frills to a law. Inculcating a respect for law cannot be achieved in any other way except to ensure that it is applied in a just and equivalent manner without any exception. I am not saying that being choosy in applying the law was the cause of our problems. As our law stands, may Allah be thanked, there is nothing wrong with it. Our courts are just, honest and neutral to a large extent in the region and we are proud of this fact. However, the real problem lies in the way the law is applied and executed. There is a difference between the way law is applied and then the way it is executed. We have no problem with court verdicts as these are based on documents and are as per the law. The real problem starts when the verdict comes and it is to be executed. We are going through an exceptional political situation and exceptional circumstances require exceptional and deep rooted solutions. The most important of these solutions is to implement the law in its entirety and, even most importantly, to execute it. This will be a lasting solution to a problem we are experiencing because we have been selective in “executing” the law. NOTE1: The law does not require a moustache but needs to be executed. NOTE2: Had all the provisions in the mega projects’ contracts been implemented as per the law, our country would have been number one in this area for the last 20 years. — Al-Anbaa

Dear Badrya, I read your article about the expats in Kuwait. I still believe that you miss the point. Skilled workers are needed in Kuwait, but I believe there are a lot of workers who are not really required in the country. And you seem to be forgetting that during the invasion of Kuwait, Kuwaitis were doing the same jobs for free. What about the example of other countries where their nationals are doing the job and are well paid, say, in Sweden or Norway? I believe if you give the right tools and a good salary, you will find Kuwaitis also doing a lot of jobs. It all has to do with education and pride. Our grandparents were doing all such chores without any outside help. Why not us? No one wanted to work as airlines crew before but now there are lot of Kuwaiti crews and they are well paid. I don’t have anything against expats and do have a lot of friends among them. But as the population of Kuwait grows, we need to get rid of some expats, instead of bringing in more since it is putting a strain on our infrastructure, say roads, hospitals, etc. I hope I did not offend you with my email. I needed to raise these points as a concerned Kuwaiti who cares about his country as many other people. Best regards, Zeyad Al Harbi ‘A concerned Kuwaiti citizen’


The Kuwait City skyline is seen in this file photo. —Photo by Joseph Shagra kuwait digest

New airport project By Khalid Al-Awadhi


t is not a secret that the government plans to soon issue the required tenders for the new airport project. The new terminal will have an estimated maximum capacity to handle 25 million passengers a year, which is five times larger than the current capacity of the Kuwait International Airport. But the question is whether the government and the Ministry of Public Works are coordinating with other state departments to plan and prepare for welcoming 25 million people a year in less than ten years. This question spawns many other inquiries pertaining to the mega project, including the following: Has the MPW - the state body supervising the project - began coordinating with the Ministry of Interior regarding the latter’s preparation to change its policies with regards to issuing visitors’ visas? Has the MPW contacted the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education with regards to providing human resources necessary for the project before, during and after its completion? Or are these two issues going to be left to fate? Is there any form of coordination between the

MPW and the Public Roads Department with regards to Kuwait’s needs for new highways, bridges, tunnels and other infrastructure projects to deal with millions of people supposed to arrive in Kuwait after the airport project is completed? Have similar talks been conducted with hotel owners to learn about their future plans? Has there been any coordination with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry with regards to coming up with necessary legislations to attract foreign investors and ease the process of work at the state departments? Or is a new airport with such huge capacity going to be built so that it can mostly benefit human traffickers and marginal laborer forces? In other words, have any measures been taken to connect this vital project with the state’s general policy for the upcoming ten or twenty years so as to ensure that it is carried out simultaneously with other vital projects within a specified time span and framework that results in better returns for the state and the society? — Al-Qabas

kuwait digest

Solving the housing issue By Dr Shamlan Y Al-Essa


uring a session where many ministers and MPs were absent, the National Assembly discussed the population situation in the country with the Minister of State for Housing Affairs, Salem Al-Athena, saying that the number of housing applications is expected to reach 174,619 during 2016-2020. The ministry’s plans to distribute nearly 108,775 units in Al-Khairan city (35,130 units), Mutlaa (21,000) and north Subbiya (52,625), which practically means that around 65,864 applicants will not be able to own a house even by 2020. I do not know why the National Assembly and Kuwaiti government are deliberately trying to underscore an urgency because in all other countries around the world there are better and oft used means to resolve housing issues without any delay or higher cost to the state. Solutions could be easy if we follow what is prevalent and widely practised around the world. To begin with, why does the government not allocate new sites for construction? And why does it let the prices go higher all the time? Why only seven to eight percent of the state’s land is used? Why not more Kuwaiti land not being utilized? The excuse given by the government is that there is oil under some sites, yet most oil producing countries continue building especially in the state of Texas, USA with modern technology overcoming old obstacles. If the state is serious in resolving the housing crisis, it must earmark and sell the land to specialized private companies and ask them to raise infrastructure like roads, electricity, water, communications etc. Then the companies would have to come up with various models of housing across a certain price range, and any citizen will be able to select a house that fits his budget. He can then go to a bank for a housing loan where he may have to pay 20 percent of the house’s price and then the remaining amount could be financed over long periods that may reach 30 years. After that, it will be between the bank and the house owner to reach an understanding about the terms of repayment without the state’s interference. It is the right of each citizen to lease his house after paying a certain percentage, while house price should be as per supply and demand, as is the case around the globe. It is possible to leave it to a citizen to select a flat built over an area of 400 square meters in service oriented buildings overlooking gardens, and with services like schools and hospitals in the vicinity. The current housing policy is inert, slow and costly, especially since some citizens change the original plan and build flats for themselves and their children, and rent some of them. It leads to additional burden on civic amenities like electricity, water, phones, car parking, roads etc. The municipal council made a mistake when it increased the ratio of construction in private homes, and that led to car congestions on inner roads as parking spaces were scarce. Pressure on public services increased as bigger houses prompted citizens to bring in more domestic helpers with their numbers reaching 650,000, a figure that is half of the number of Kuwaiti citizens, now pegged at 1.70 million. Government houses should be given to really needy people, and only those who apply should be allowed to reside there. They should not be allowed to rent it and migrate to a neighbouring country and then complain that the government was late in distributing houses. All these ideas were put forth by MPs and government officials, but at the end of the day, it is execution that will matter. — Al-Watan

Dear Badrya, I salute you for having written an amazing article about expats living in Kuwait. Alishba Batool Mirza Dear Badrya, Why are we suffering? My mother is a Kuwaiti but we are not getting Kuwaiti citizenship. This is unfair. We feel we are not humans. What was our fault? We are being treated unequally. Please write an article about this. I am sure there are many cases out there where Kuwaiti mothers are involved and their offspring are not getting Kuwaiti citizenship. Please consider this issue on priority. Regards, Nabeela Dear Badrya Darwish, I am an expatriate Indian, hailing from Mumbai and an ardent follower of all your articles posted periodically on the Kuwait Times. I am an ardent follower, not because most of your articles are pro-expatriate, but because you are honest and forthright. You are one of the few individuals who calls a spade a spade and does not cower while standing up for what is right. Your recent article “Stop Weeping & Wailing over Expats” should serve as a real eye opener for those Kuwaitis who are “very concerned” about the expats outnumbering the locals, and claim that they are being “denied” jobs as a consequence. Nowadays it is not safe to even take a walk on the not so populated streets/roads for fear of being robbed at knifepoint or even abducted by the locals. This happened with me on two separate occasions during a period of three months. Ever since these incidents, I have been going for my daily walks (needed due to health reasons) with only my civil ID card on my person. Most expats even refrain from lodging a formal complaint (civil or criminal) because of red tape, language barrier and the “stay away from me” attitude adopted by the officials in charge. I sincerely hope your timely articles will help change all this sooner rather than later. Hats off to you once again and do keep up the good work. Wilson Dsouza Hi Badrya, I read your article, Stop Weeping and Wailing over Expats, posted on Facebook by a friend, and I loved it, simply because it was so forthright. That’s the stuff I remember about my childhood in Kuwait. Hope you don’t get into trouble for your views, and people pay heed to what’s important for change. Take care, Anna Peter Good Morning, Hope this mail finds you and your family in good health and prosperity. Let me introduce myself as an expat. To be specific, I am an Indian expat working in Kuwait since 2006, living for my daily bread and a little saving for me and my family in India. I went through your article in Kuwait Times today morning and felt I should extend my thanks and humble appreciation of your view about the expat community and your treatment of the issue of unemployment of citizens. I am 30 years old and married last year. As my salary is exactly equal to the minimum salary cap required for any expat to bring his wife here in Kuwait, she is with me now. Can I make a humble request to you, madam? You know how Kuwaitis (especially children and youngsters) behave with us in public places. Let me point out that they often spit, throw stones on public vehicles and persons, break into family accommodation pretending as police and ask for money etc. I cannot take my wife in a public transport bus. I always have to hire a taxi which is expensive for an expat like me who spends half of his salary on rent and other 25 percent on food. It will be very appreciable if you could write an article which will provide an insight to these younger generations and their parents about their behavior towards expats. Thanking you and appreciating you again, With gratitude, Biju George and wife sitting beside me Hon’ble Badrya Darwish Asslam o alaikum I am a student of Pakistani origin studying international relations. Also, I am working with an Urdu newspaper in Islamabad. I always read your articles in the Kuwait Times, sitting here in Pakistan. I appreciate that you are taking up most important issues. In this regard, I want to say that a lot of my relatives are working in Kuwait. The Kuwaiti government has banned visas for Pakistanis. I request you to please raise this issue through your column to ensure that the ban is lifted. M Salman Balti Sub Editor Daily Sama I/8-3, St-54 Islamabad



National youth project initiative ‘wonderful’ Issue ‘in safe hands’

KUWAIT: Security media in the Ministry of Interior participated in observing the unified GCC traffic week with activities beginning March 10 and lasting for a week. Several lectures, seminars and traffic related meetings have been organised in which delegations from the GCC states will be participating. As part of an awareness generating campaign, they distributed earphones for the smart phones to drivers at several main roads.

Thousands ‘walk for a cause’ in NBK Walkathon 2013 KUWAIT: The registration for National Bank a Cause.” Since its launch, NBK walkathon raised of Kuwait’s (NBK) 19th Annual Walkathon continues at the Registration Point next to many social awareness causes such as Stop Smoking, Exercise, Support the Scientific Centre daily. people with Breast Cancer and Several thousand participants Diabetes.” enrolled so far to “walk for a Annually, NBK`s walkathon cause” at NBK Walkathon that receives great support from the will take place on 23rd March Kuwait Red Crescent Society, 2013. Ministries of Health and Interior “The participation in NBK’s and the Kuwait Athletics Walkathon is increasing year Association. after year, and we are extremeNBK`s 2013 Walkathon will ly thrilled to take our involveaward more than 120 particiment with this exciting event pants valuable prizes. Ten winto a new level. NBK registration ners will be selected from each Point continues to receive parYaqoub Al Baqer of the 12 categories of particiticipants till 21st of March pants. The walk for the male 2013,” said Yaqoub Al Baqer, participants will start from the Scientific NBK Public Relations officer Al Baqer added “ This year, NBK’s Center located in Ras Salmiya, while the Walkathon is marked by a variety of fun, walk for female participants will begin from entertainment filled and health awareness- the Marina Crescent and the walk for kids raising activities. NBK’s 2013 Walkathon aim and Zaina Friends club members will be is to encourage each individual to “Walk for conducted at the Green Island.

KUWAIT: Information Minister and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Al-Sabah, and Amiri Diwan Advisor and Chairman of the Higher Supervision Committee for National Youth Project Dr Yusuf AlIbrahim stressed here yesterday the significance of spurring young people to have positive societal participation. The minister said the issue of youth was “in safe hands,” emphasizing that everybody in the country was responsible for youth and that it was shared responsibility to ensure the successful mission of the Ministry of Youth in this respect. Addressing the National Youth Conference, which kicked off here on Sunday, he said the task of the ministry’s officials was to protect youth and listen to them and to their views, lauding the “wonderful” National Youth Project initiative, which was launched by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. “The initiative has paved the way for us to get acquainted with the priorities of the youth and to share their concerns and problems,” he said. “Through this project, we can involve the youth in the nation’s decision-making and future,” he said. The minister said he understood the expectations of young people to have communications with different state agencies, citing Article 10 of the Constitution as providing for taking care of the young and maintaining communication among state agencies to fulfill the hopes and expectations of the new generation. “Young people make up one third of the Kuwaiti population, a fact that increases our responsibilities and missions for developing this young category, “ he said. The minister pointed to several initiatives aiming to serve young people, including a recent governmental initiative worth KD two billion to support small and mediumsized enterprises for youth. For his part, Amiri Diwan Advisor and Chairman of the Higher Supervision Committee for National Youth Project Dr. Yusuf Al-Ibrahim,

Global warming team to celebrate Earth Hour KUWAIT: In 2008, a group of engineering students at Kuwait University aspired to spread awareness about the global warming phenomenon and to act on the issue of climate change. They were inspired by the Earth Hour - an event held in Sydney, Australia the previous year. Living in an oilproducing country is a great economic privilege; however, it raises important concerns about the amounts of carbon dioxide emissions. Therefore, the Kuwaiti Team for Global Warming was established to motivate the people of Kuwait to embrace the issue of environment to balance the effects of oil production. The team’s main aim was to organize Earth Hour in Kuwait and motivate the people of Kuwait to engage in this global contribution towards reducing carbon emissions.

The journey started in Kuwait University where the first Earth Hour event took place in 2008, mainly targeting university students and staff members. The hard work and admirable efforts of the team members paid off when people par-

ticipated in the event and showed great interest during the years that followed. Moreover, the team’s successful attempts were recognized by Kuwait Voluntary Work Center which adopted the team to work under its umbrella.

Agreement reached on loans interest KUWAIT: The draft naturalization law and a legislation to resolve the issue of interest accrued on loans are likely to be passed during the March 15 session after the government and the NA council reached a mutually acceptable agreement. Sources said that understanding includes amending the draft naturalization law to read that the “number of those to be naturalized should not exceed 4000.” Also, it would include a provision that the measure would apply to other groups who meet conditions of naturalization and not only remain limited to the Bedouins. Council Secretary Kamal Al Awadhi said that the issue of waiving off of interests accrued on the loans availed of by Kuwaiti citizens would be resolved as per an agreement between the council and the government. As per the agreement, the report of the financial committee would be approved regarding those who availed the loans before April 1, 2008. The report will not include any reference about any KD 1000 grant to those not covered by the interest waiver scheme as only the Amir has the power to issue such a grant.

KUWAIT: The National Youth Conference in progress. also speaking at the same conference, said the National Youth Project was a springboard for continuing communication between decision-makers and young people as part of an institutional mechanism to urge youth to play a positive role in society. “Let me seize this opportunity to thank the ministers and officials who have opened up their hearts,

before their doors, to young people in order to listen to them and to have dialogue with them about ideas and suggestions,” he said. He spoke highly of the project as a “unique initiative” in view of care, support and arrangement, citing relevant statements by experts and specialists. The project is a unique experiment that is liable to about-face and

revamp with a view to notching up the goals of building a future Kuwait with the help of its sons, he added. He pointed to several suggestions forwarded to promote and develop this “march”, primarily a national youth council to follow up on dialogue, carry out proposals and maintain communication with young people. —KUNA





Foul play suspected in police officer’s death ‘Missing’ man found in jail KUWAIT: Investigations are on to determine the circumstances leading to the death of a police officer in a case now classified as murder. The Criminal Investigations General Department officer was pronounced dead on Sunday in a Surra home that he shared with his family. Crime scene investigators found evidence of foul play on the scene, according to the police report. The body was taken for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Fatal crash A Kuwaiti male driver was fatally injured in an accident on the King Fahad Road on Sunday and later succumbed to his injuries at the Adan Hospital where he was rushed after paramedics found him in a critical condition. A case was filed at the Abdullah Port police station. Investigations were on to determine what led the man’s sports utility vehicle (SUV) to lose balance and overturn. ‘Missing’ Kuwaiti A report about a man reported missing by his family recently led detectives to the discovery that the man was actually under arrest for drugrelated charges. Search for the 38-year-old

Kuwaiti had been on ever after his brother reported his absence at the Adan police station a few days ago. Detectives later found the man in a lock up at the Drug Control General Department where he had been detained by Kuwait International Airport officers since Saturday for being in an inebriated state and possessing drugs. Boy shot A teenager who was shot in his left arm when he was standing outside his house collapsed and was rushed to a hospital by his father was later discovered to have been a victim of an air rifle shot. His father, who was at hand when the victim fell to the ground and writhed in pain, rushed him quickly to the Adan Hospital. The man, a serviceman with the Ministry of Defense, reported the case to the Sabah Al-Salem police station and provided a medical report about the surgery that his son underwent in order to remove the foreign object from his left arm. Investigations are on to identify and arrest the shooter. Newborn found Jahra police are trying to identify the parents

of a newborn which was found abandoned at a sidewalk along a street in the area. Jahra police station officers were approached on Saturday by a Kuwaiti man carrying a baby which was found on the Al-Naseem Street. The baby was taken to the Jahra Hospital for medical attention while a case was filed for investigations. Work mishap A construction worker was critically injured when he fell off a highrise building in Khaitan on Saturday. Co-workers rushed him to the Jahra Hospital where he was diagnosed with a serious head trauma. The victim, an Egyptian in his forties, reportedly fell from a scaffold to the ground. A case was file for investigations. Caught in the act Salmiya police apprehended a senior citizen along with a young woman after they were found in a compromising state along the Arabian Gulf Road recently. The Kuwaiti man in his early sixties and the Kuwaiti woman in her twenties were found in a car indulging in an illicit act when patrol officers approached them. The two were taken to the Salmiya police station and charged for public indecency.

AL urges retrieving Palestinian relics stolen by Israel CAIRO: The Arab League has called on the international cultural organizations to act for retrieving the Palestinian books and relics stolen by the Israeli occupation authorities. The League’s department of Palestine and occupied Arab territories affairs, urged, in a press release, the international community to adopt a decisive stance against the major robberies of Palestinian heritage including boycott of any Israeli organization or individuals involved in the stealth. Some 40,000 Palestinian books were robbed from Jerusalem alone and the rest 30,000 books were robbed from Jaffa, Al-Naserah and other towns in the West Bank; they are kept at the National Library of Israel, according to the statement. The League called for an international action against this crime, highlighting the need to return the books to Palestine immediately as per the provisions of the concerned international law.

The call follows reports about the discovery of a large usurpation of the contents of Palestinian public and private libraries in 1947 by the Haganah, a Jewish paramilitary organization in what was active during the British Mandate of Palestine from 1920 to 1948 and became the core of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) later on. In 2011 Israeli-Dutch filmmaker Benny Brunner released a documentary on “ The Great Book Robbery” which documents the Jewish usurpation of the Palestinian heritage. The documentary is inspired by Gish Amit’s book titled “Salvage or Plunder? Israel’s ‘Collection’ of Private Palestinian Libraries in West Jerusalem.” Brunner stated that he was “stunned” at the appropriation of 70,000 books by the State of Israel during the 1948 Palestinian exodus as significant to the loss of Palestinian cultural heritage and decided to make a film on the topic. — KUNA

300 muggings reported in Kuwait last year

ABK hosts special National Day event at Fantasy World KUWAIT: Marking the occasion of the Kuwaiti national holidays, ABK collaborated with Fantasy World toy stores to offer their clients and families a special celebratory event. The event, which took place on Feb 25 and 26 at the Fantasy World Al-Rai

store, provided a fun and entertaining atmosphere where the families could show their love for Kuwait through various activities. The event consisted of various competitions, both educational and recreational, and artistic activities for

children, such as coloring and decorating replicas of the Kuwait Towers in their own way. Children who participated in the activities won vouchers worth 15 KD, valid for use in any of Fantasy World’s branches. For more information and

inquiries about what’s new, please visit our website at, or speak directly with a customer service representative through our Ahli Chat service, or call our Ahlan Ahli tele-banking service at 1899899.

Injaz, HP team up for Social Innovation Relay KUWAIT: Injaz-Kuwait and HP have kicked off their Social Innovation Relay on Feb 3, with 40,000 high school students from 19 countries expected to compete and 1000 students locally in Kuwait. Empowered by HP technology and HP employees acting as coaches, mentors and judges, students will work to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges, from energy consumption to expanding access to education. “Today’s job market is more competi-

Rana Al-Nibari tive than ever, and employers expect high levels of entrepreneurial and information and communication technologyskills from the next generation of employees,” stated Caroline Jenner, CEO JA-YE Europe.”Unfortunately, many students do not have the opportunity to learn and develop in these areas, leaving them to struggle in the real world.” The Social Innovation Relay is an innovative program built on HP and JA-YE’s 20-year partnership designed to impart essential skills for the workforce to secondary school students in an interactive and meaningful way. Connected by HP’s cutting-edge technologies, students around the world can collaborate with HP mentors to develop business concepts that address a social challenge. During its first two years,the Social Innovation Relay reached more than 30,000 students at 1,000 schools in13 countries across the worldand engaged more than 200 HP employees. Last year’s winning team from South Africa, the Emulsified Environmentalists, developed a

solar-powered lamp concept from recycled materials that brings light to disadvantaged communities, while also eliminating the environmental and health damage caused by traditional kerosene lamps. This winning idea responded to both electricity shortages and growing respiratory problems in South Africa. Students,mentored by HP volunteers, either face-to-face or virtually,may enter in teams of three to five participants to develop solutions related to education, health, environment, technology, poverty, economic development, human rights and energy. The best 20 solutions will be shortlisted. HP will then assess the projects and choose the top 10 teams in April. Teams will continue to develop their ideas, and the winning team fromKuwaitwill compete globally in an online final againstthe othernational winning teams worldwide in July. Injaz-Kuwait’s CEO, Rana AlNibari, said, “Finding solutions to social challenges is critical to the advancement of societies, whether these challenges impact us directly or indirectly at an individual level. Guiding young and fresh minds to finding solutions to these challenges does not only help them develop entrepreneurial skills, but also builds a larger vision of the correlation between the challenges and the various life aspects they impact. Searching for solutions in a global competition is the ideal setting to stimulate students in pushing themselves. “We are honored to be part of such initiatives and to be the only INJAZ Arab member nation to partner with HP’s global innovation initiative. We are confident that we will be seeing great innovations coming

out of Kuwait in the next five months.” Aiming to reach 40,000 students in 19countries this year, the Social Innovation Relay is the largest global educational initiative based on a blend of virtual and face-to-face mentoring. Specifically designed to increase access to entrepreneurship education, the program provides young people with hands-on skills and entrepreneurial expertise to compete in the 21st century workforce. . As part of the SIR program, student teams are expected to develop business ideas that respond to real world social challenges. This involves teamwork, decisionmaking and problemsolving - skills thatthe majority of respondents reported had improved as a result of participating in the SIR.Mentors from HP help the final teams develop and refine their concepts via online and face-to-face mentoring. Founded in 2005, Ijaz-Kuwait is a non-profit, non-governmental organization driven by Kuwait’s private sector. Through strategic partnerships with Kuwait’s business and education sectors, and with the help of qualified and dedicated volunteers, INJAZ delivers educational programs on entrepreneurial and leadership skills aimed at inspiring and educating future generations. Since 2005, Injaz-Kuwait has reached over 25,000 students from more than 25 schools and universities, thanks to over 800 volunteers-and growing. Injaz-Kuwait connects corporate volunteers to mentor youth through JA programs. Volunteers undergo orientation and training before they embark on their mentoring experience to enhance their readiness as well as performance during mentoring sessions to inspire the youth.

Drop in grades of students KUWAIT: The grades of a number of students in different educational phases across various schools have dropped after a decision as per which wards of teachers were prohibited from studying in schools where their parents taught, sources revealed. Sources said that the ministry wanted the children to be selfsufficient and that was why this decision was taken by Minister of Education Dr Nayef Al-Hajref. The drop in grades was expected

since it was noticed that the grades of students who studied in the same schools where their parents taught were unusually high. Once these students or parents were shifted to a different school, the actual educational level of the students came to the fore. Sources said that ministry would continue with the decision in order to ensure that a truly educated generation able to serve Kuwait comes out of these schools.

KUWAIT: Three hundred cases of mugging were reported in police stations across Kuwait in 2012, a local newspaper reported yesterday quoting annual statistics released recently by the Criminal Evidence General Department. Meanwhile, security sources who provided the statistical report to Al-Qabas newspaper noted that crime involving robbery by force saw an increase last year compared to 2011. The report showed that 147 of the cases filed in 2012 were classified as felonies, compared to 153 of misdemeanour. Among suspects identified and arrested in the reported cases were police officers who according to the sources “have been convicted through evidence” for tar-

geting expatriate residents. The insiders who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that security presence needed to be increased around the country, especially in areas like Jleeb Al-Shuyiukh, Khaitan and Taima from where a majority of mugging cases were reported. The most common modus operandi of robbers was impersonating a police detective and snatch away wallets after intimidating pedestrians. In some cases, such culprits even robbed the residents after breaking into their homes. The sources explained that a majority of crimes were committed by juveniles and unemployed men, drug addicts and people with history of criminal activity.




Princess whose forbidden love gripped Sweden dies

Japan marks second tsunami anniversary

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NEW DELHI: The mother of Ram Singh, the man accused of driving the bus on which a 23-year-old student was gang-raped in December 2012, cries outside the family’s home yesterday. —AP

Delhi rape suspect commits suicide Suspect’s father alleges murder NEW DELHI: A man on trial for the gang rape and fatal beating of a 23year-old student aboard a New Delhi bus committed suicide in an Indian jail yesterday, police said, but his lawyer and family allege he was killed. Ram Singh, who was accused of driving the bus during the December attack, was under suicide watch in a cell with three other inmates at New Delhi’s Tihar Jail when he hanged himself with his own clothes about 5:30 am, police officials said. His death in custody raised further questions about a criminal justice system already under attack for failing to protect the nation’s women. “It’s a grave incident,” Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said. “It’s a major lapse.” The government had ordered a magistrate’s inquiry and would take action after it received the report, he said. Singh, 33, had been among five defendants facing the death penalty if convicted of the rape attack, which horrified Indians and set off national protests. A sixth accused is being tried and jailed separately because he is a juvenile. Ram Singh’s family and lawyer alleged foul play in his death. “There were no circumstances which could have led to Ram Singh committing suicide. There was no mental stress. He was very happy,” his lawyer VK Anand said. Lawyers

for the defendants had previously accused police of beating confessions out of the men. Indian jails have a reputation for overcrowding, poor management and brutal treatment of inmates. Ram Singh’s father, Mangelal Singh, said his son had been raped in prison by other inmates and had been repeatedly threatened by inmates and guards. Nevertheless, he said he visited his son four days ago and the man appeared fine and gave no hint of any despair that could drive him to take his own life. Ram Singh also had a badly injured hand and would have been unable to hang himself, his father said, speaking from outside his small home in a New Delhi slum. “Somebody has killed him,” he said, saying he would push for a top-level investigation into the death. Mangelal Singh said he feared for the safety of another son who is also on trial in the rape case. The defendants were being housed in separate buildings on the jail grounds and were all under suicide watch, a jail official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. During a news conference, Shinde declined to say how Ram Singh could have managed to kill himself without alerting the oth-

er three inmates in his small cell or the guards who were supposed to be monitoring him under a suicide watch. Vimla Mehra, the director general of the jail, declined to release details of the incident. “The inquiry is being conducted and it would be premature to make any statement about the details of the incident,” she said. The rape victim and a male friend were attacked after boarding the bus Dec 16 as they tried to return home after watching a movie, police say. The six men, the only occupants of the private bus, beat the man with a metal bar, raped the woman and used the bar to inflict massive internal injuries to her, police say. The victims were dumped naked on the roadside, and the woman died from her injuries two weeks later in a Singapore hospital. The attack set off nationwide protests about India’s treatment of women and spurred the government to hurry through a package of laws to protect them. Singh’s death comes as the trial was deep underway, with another hearing scheduled for yesterday. The four surviving defendants were produced in court, but left after a short time because of an attorney’s strike. Vivek Sharma, a lawyer representing another defendant, said he planned to ask the court to provide

greater protection for his client. “In a high-security jail, an occurrence of this kind is highly condemnable. It raises the serious issue of security of the accused persons in the jail,” he said. “My clients don’t feel safe in Tihar jail,” said another defense lawyer, AP Singh. KTS Tulsi, a former top lawyer in the office of the solicitor general of India, said the suicide should have no impact on the trial, which is being held in a closed courtroom under a gag order that prevents news organizations from publishing details of the proceedings. He said the death highlighted how important it is for society not to demonize people who have been accused but not convicted of crimes. “It is so unfortunate that the media goes on to presume that they are guilty and goes on to condemn them and demonize them to an extent that it makes the life of these people not worth living,” he said. In 2011, 68 inmates in India killed themselves and another eight were killed by fellow inmates, according to India’s National Crime Records Bureau. Tihar Jail is badly overcrowded with nearly twice as many prisoners as it was designed to hold. Jail authorities have been working to soften its reputation in part by selling TJ’s cookies baked by the inmates to the public. —AP

South Sudan, Sudan pull troops from tense border JUBA: The armies of South Sudan and Sudan yesterday said they were pulling troops from contested border areas, in the latest attempt to set up a buffer zone after fighting last year. Defence ministers from Juba and Khartoum agreed last Friday on steps to implement the demilitarised zone, which was never put into effect despite commitments by their presidents last September. A regional political expert expressed doubt that the latest effort will succeed, calling the deal poorly drafted and difficult to monitor. South Sudan’s army spokesman, Philip Aguer, said soldiers would take around two weeks to withdraw southwards from a series of flashpoint border

areas. Troops must “start moving to the designated areas, 10 kilometres (six miles) away from the buffer zone,” Aguer told reporters, reading a letter with orders from the army chief of staff. In Sudan, a statement yesterday from Defence Minister Abdelrahim Mohammed Hussein said his forces were committed to the timetable signed under African Union mediation last Friday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. “From yesterday our troops started withdrawing from the buffer zone,” he said. President Omar al-Bashir and his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir committed in September to “immediately” implement the demilitarised area as part of key agreements they hailed

as ending conflict, after battles along their undemarcated frontier in March and April. The September pacts also called for an opening of the frontier for trade and passage, and a resumption of South Sudanese oil exports through northern pipelines. None of those measures took effect because of Khartoum’s accusations that South Sudan supports rebels north of the border. Juba denies the charge and in turn says Khartoum backs insurgents on its soil. “It’s very difficult to monitor, to verify,” a regional political expert said of the demilitarised zone, which is supposed to be monitored by observers from Sudan, South Sudan and abroad. —AFP

‘Menace’ made lives ‘hell’ NEW DELHI: Some of Ram Singh’s neighbours grimaced with disgust as they remembered a man they described as a menace, who was violent, drank heavily and used to harass women by peeking at them as they undressed. “People had forgotten about this whole thing. Now all of sudden, this idiot hangs himself and look how this is in focus again,” said an autorickshaw driver in the cramped and grubby Ravidass Camp slum. “He won’t let us live in peace. Whatever peace we were slowly getting has now gone again.” Singh was accused along with four other men and a juvenile of raping and fatally wounding a 23-year-old woman on a moving bus in December. All six pleaded not guilty although police say Singh had confessed to the crime under interrogation Legal experts said Singh’s death does not undermine the prosecution’s case against the other accused, which was largely based on DNA evidence and the testimony of the rape victim before she died and her friend. Ram Singh, 34, and his brother Mukesh, who was also accused in the case, were originally from the western state of Rajasthan. Like millions of Indians in search of work and better prospects, the family migrated to the capital in the 1990s. Ram Singh found work as a bus driver, a job he stuck with even after an accident in 2009 that fractured his right arm so badly that doctors had to insert a rod to support it. He later appeared on a reality TV show in a compensation dispute with a bus owner, who in turn accused Singh of “drunken, negligent and rash driving”. In the show, the moustachioed, slightly-built man was seen walking stiffly and holding his right arm at an awkward angle. Singh and three of the other accused lived in a poor pocket in the otherwise largely middleclass neighbourhood of RK Puram, whose tree-lined boulevards contrast with the narrow lanes and open sewers of their slum.

Menace Residents say Singh, a heavy drinker with a violent temper, was a menace to an otherwise peaceful neighbourhood. They said they remember an elderly woman confronting Singh about why he was always drunk. He is said to have replied, “let me have my way. I will be world famous like this one day.” One neighbour, 19-year-old Priya, remembers Singh as a “disgusting” man. “Sometimes, while we were changing clothes or bathing, he would peep into our house. When confronted, he would be very rude and say it’s his right to stand anywhere.” Singh eloped with a neighbour, a married mother of three, more than a decade ago, residents say. She died in 2008 and Singh eventually came back to the slum. Although he had few friends, one slum resident said Singh was often seen with four people who were later to become his fellow accused in the gang rape case. The police report used to charge the accused draws a picture of Singh as the ringleader of the group. On the night of Dec 16, the accused gathered at his house for dinner, where he hatched a plan of taking the bus out to look for a victim to rape. The police say they found him sitting in the blood-stained school bus, wearing a bloodied T-shirt, the morning after the crime. A DNA test revealed that the blood belonged to the rape victim, the report said. After the attack, Singh tried to wipe the bus clean with the victims’ clothes, then made a fire to burn the clothes and other evidence. Witnesses from the neighbourhood he lived in came to the fire to warm themselves, the report said. The case brought infamy to the Ravidass slum, residents say. “This has become famous for wrong reasons and has made our lives hell,” said a local electrician, who declined to be named. —Reuters



Bahrain king names ‘moderate’ son as deputy PM DUBAI: The king of Bahrain named his son Crown Prince Salman, a reputed moderate, as deputy premier, yesterday, as a promised national dialogue stalled between the Gulf state’s Sunni regime and its Shiite majority. The main Shiiteled opposition group Wefaq gave the appointment a guarded welcome, saying it hoped it would clear the way for a constitutional monarchy with an elected prime minister in place of the appointed incumbent, King Hamad’s cousin, Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa. The king said his son’s appointment was aimed at “enhancing the performance of the executive arm” of the government in the face of the wave of unrest dogging the small but strategic archipelago since February 2011, the official BNA news agency said. Prince Salman has repeatedly called

Video shows bodies of foreign hostages KANO: A video posted online appears to show the corpses of some of the seven foreign hostages abducted by Islamic extremists from northern Nigeria and later killed, a gruesome warning of the growing dangers in the region. The video, viewed by The Associated Press yesterday, matched still images released earlier by the Islamic extremist group Ansaru when it claimed the killings. The face of one of the corpses in the video also resembled that of one of the hostages already named by authorities. European diplomats said Sunday that the hostages had been killed, though Nigeria’s government has yet to publicly say anything about the killings. In the video, a gunman stands in sand, holding a rifle near what appears to be dead bodies. A later shot in the video shows three male corpses, one of whom appears to have been killed by a gunshot wound to the head from a high-powered weapon. The video has no sound. An accompanying caption for the video in Arabic calls it: “The killing of seven Christian hostages in Nigeria.” Another description includes the statement Ansaru released Saturday claiming that it killed the hostages, signed by a man with the nom de guerre Abu Usamatal Ansary. Ansaru fighters kidnapped the foreigners Feb. 16 from a camp for the construction company Setraco at Jama’are, a town 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of Bauchi, the capital of Bauchi state. In the attack, gunmen first assaulted a local prison and burned police trucks, authorities said. Then the attackers blew up a back fence at the construction company’s compound and took over, killing a guard in the process, witnesses and police said. Those kidnapped included four Lebanese and one citizen each from the United Kingdom, Greece and Italy. Local officials in Nigeria initially identified one of the hostages as a Filipino, something the Philippines government later denied. The gunmen appeared to be organized and knew who they wanted to target, leaving the Nigerian household staff at the residence unharmed, while quickly abducting the foreigners, a witness said. In an online statement Saturday in which it claimed the killings, Ansaru said it killed the hostages in part because of reports in the Nigerian press of the arrival of British military aircraft to Bauchi. However, the local news articles cited by Ansaru reported that the airplanes were spotted at the international airport in Abuja, the nation’s central capital 180 miles (290 kilometers) southwest. The British Defense Ministry said Sunday the planes it flew to Abuja ferried Nigerian troops and equipment to Bamako, Mali. Nigerian soldiers have been sent to Mali to help French forces and Malian troops battle Islamic extremists there. The British military said it also transported Ghanaian soldiers to Mali the same way. Ansaru had said it believed the planes were part of a Nigerian and British rescue mission for the abducted hostages. Nigerian authorities have yet to comment publicly about Ansaru’s claim, and the news of the killing of the hostages comes as the nation’s security forces remain unable to stop the guerrilla campaign of bombings, shootings and kidnappings across the country’s north. The majority of those attacks have been blamed on Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist group that grew out of the remains of a sect that sparked a riot and a security crackdown in Nigeria in 2009 in which about 700 people were killed. Boko Haram has hit international targets before, including an August 2011 car bombing of the United Nations office in Abuja that killed 25 people and wounded more than 100. An online video also purportedly claims that Boko Haram is currently holding hostage a family of seven French tourists who were abducted from neighboring Cameroon in late February. The group is blamed for killing at least 792 people last year alone, according to an AP count. Ansaru, which analysts believe split from Boko Haram in January 2012, seems to be focusing much more on Western targets. Analysts say it has closer links to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and cares more about international issues, as opposed to Boko Haram’s largely local grievances. But much remains unknown about Ansaru, which has communicated through short, sometimes muddled online statements. The hostage killings appear to be the worst in decades targeting foreigners working in Nigeria, an oil-rich nation that’s a major crude supplier to the United States. Most kidnappings in the country’s southern oil delta see foreigners released after companies pay ransoms. The latest kidnappings in Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north, however, have seen the hostages killed either by their captors or in military raids to free them, suggesting a new level of danger for expatriate workers there. — AP

for dialogue to resolve the political deadlock in the kingdom, which lies just across the Gulf from Iran and is home to the US Fifth Fleet. The Shiite-led opposition said it was ready for meaningful talks, but has stuck to its demands for a constitutional monarchy with an elected premier. “The political reforms that we want must result in an elected not an appointed prime minister,” Wefaq said in a statement. The incumbent has been in office since 1971 and is widely disliked by the Shiite majority. Wefaq said it also wanted to see an end to corruption and discrimination against Shiites in civil service appointments. A new round of talks between the opposition and the government began last month against the backdrop of daily protests launched around the second

anniversary of the pro-democracy uprising that was put down by the army with support from neighbouring Gulf states. But the dialogue has been dogged by disagreement as the opposition insists that representatives of the king, and not only the government, should take part. Justice Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ali Al-Khalifa said the two sides agreed in Sunday’s session that any deal should be approved by the king but the opposition also wants it put to a referendum. Protests among the Shiite majority rocked Bahrain in the 1990s. A new round of unrest erupted early last decade when reforms announced by King Hamad fell short of the fullblown constitutional monarchy demanded by Wefaq and other opposition groups. — AFP

MANAMA: Photo shows Bahraini Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad AlKhalifa smiling at journalists. — AFP

Jets bomb Syria’s Homs Qaeda claim deadly ambush DAMASCUS: Syrian jets bombed rebel forces attempting to recapture a keenly contested district of third city Homs on Monday, as Al-Qaeda claimed the killing of 48 government troops on Iraqi territory. On the diplomatic front, a top official of Syria’s tolerated opposition met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to appeal for key Damascus ally Moscow to relent in its refusal to back calls on President Bashar alAssad to step down. In Brussels, European Union foreign ministers held talks with UNArab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on ways of stopping an “appalling” conflict about to enter its third year. Rebels launched a surprise assault on Homs’s Baba Amr at dawn on Sunday, hoping to take back the devastated neighbourhood which they lost to Assad’s forces last year. The regime responded with air strikes and shelling, and sent reinforcements to the city which had “completely sealed,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Fighting raged through the night, with more air strikes on Monday morning. “The army will at all costs hunt down the rebels even if it destroys the neighbourhood,” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said. “The regime cannot allow them to stay ... because the neighbourhood of Baba Amr is known as an (anti-regime) symbol in the international media.” Pro-government newspaper Al-Watan said “the army thwarted an attempt to infiltrate Baba Amr... inflicting an enormous loss of human life and weapons on the armed groups,” which it said included the jihadist Al-Nusra Front. Regime troops

seized Baba Amr from rebels just over a year ago after a bloody month-long siege that left the district in ruins and claimed hundreds of lives, including those of two foreign journalists. In Geneva, a UN commission of inquiry on Syria called for direct access to the UN Security Council to make the case for referring crimes committed in the war-torn country to the International Criminal Court. It said the Syria regime appeared to be using militias to carry out sometimes sectarian mass killings. Turkish security forces arrested four Syrians linked to the Assad

ALEPPO: This citizen journalism image shows Syrians standing next to dead bodies that have been pulled from the river near Aleppo’s Bustan Al-Qasr neighborhood. —AP

Syrian refugees in Jordan alive but sad ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP: Ali Al-Bardani and his family fled the horrors of Syria’s civil war for refuge at Zaatari camp in north Jordan. They may now be safe, but they say they live in appalling conditions. “Life here is very, very difficult... The water tastes bad, canned food gives us stomach pains, the dust is blinding and we do not have medicines,” says the 90-year-old, speaking with great difficulty. In Syria “bombs flew over our heads, destroyed our homes and made our lives hell. That’s why we had to leavefor the sake of the children,” Bardani says, sitting inside a tent and surrounded by some of his 20 grandchildren. Like Bardani, more than a million Syrians have registered abroad with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. They have fled Syria, a country plagued by deadly violence since March 2011 after a peaceful popular uprising turned into an armed conflict between rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad. Jordan says the kingdom is sheltering nearly 436,000 Syrian refugees, and that this figure could surge to 700,000 by the end of 2013. The Zaatari camp, situated in a desert region in the north of the country, is now home to some 120,000 Syrians. It has been a scene of several protests by refugees denouncing living conditions there. The camp also witnessed two accidents involving fire within two days. A Syrian refugee

regime over a bomb attack on the volatile border that killed 14 people last month. AlQaeda front group meanwhile said it carried out an attack on a convoy in western Iraq that killed 48 Syrian soldiers and nine Iraqi guards. The soldiers, who were wounded and received treatment in Iraq, were being transported through the western province of Anbar on their way back to Syria when the attack took place on March 4, according to the Iraqi defence ministry. A statement on jihadist forums said that Islamic State of Iraq fighters were able to destroy a column of “the Safavid army with

was killed in a fire that swept through his tent overnight Saturday at the camp, while two of his children were seriously injured in the blaze. On Friday, a short circuit in the camp set 35 tents ablaze, although there were no serious injuries. “Really, it’s as if we are in a large prison we can’t escape from. Nobody but God can truly feel our suffering,” says Bardani’s eldest son, Mohammed, who suffers from a heart ailment and underwent surgery last year. “My health is very bad and I have no medicines,” says Mohammed, adding that he goes to the camp’s clinic every day to try to arrange transport south to the capital Amman for an operation. “All the doctors do here is dole out painkillers,” he says. “When night falls, you can hear the cries of the sick and the children. We want the world to help us-being stuck here in the desert is inhuman.” Mohammed Ahmed, a blue-eyed 14-yearold, does not go to school like other boys his age. Instead he works with his father in a tent, a makeshift vegetable shop, on the main street in the Zaatari camp. Mohammed’s mother died in childbirth four months ago, so now he helps his father work to feed his eight children. “I’m the oldest in the family. We have no money so I work to help my father. Life here is very difficult, and my father has to buy many things for my little brothers,” he says. — AFP

its associated vehicles” carrying “members of the Nusairi army and Syrian regime ‘shabiha.’” Safavid is a word implying Shiites are under Iranian control, while Nusairi is a derogatory term for Alawites, the minority sect to which Assad belongs, and shabiha refers to pro-regime militia. Baghdad has consistently avoided joining calls for the departure of Assad, saying it opposes arming either side and urging an end to the violence that has ravaged Syria for the past two years, leaving at least 70,000 people dead. On the diplomatic front, Haytham Manna of the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change-an anti-Assad group tolerated by the regime as it opposes the armed uprising-said he thought the road to peace in Syria ran through Moscow. “We have always said that a peaceful political solution goes through Moscow,” Manna told Lavrov. “A military solution is still being enforced on the ground. But the predominant majority of Syrians are convinced that a political solution is desirable, that it will save us and that it stands a real chance.” Russia has vetoed three UN resolutions that would have punished the Assad regime for the violence and has said it views pressure on him to step down as undue foreign interference. Lavrov gave no sign on Monday that Moscow was ready to ease its stance. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the meeting of the bloc’s 27 foreign ministers with Brahimi in Brussels was an opportunity to discuss “a transition to a different Syria.” — AFP

Legal storm deepens against Berlusconi ROME: Italy’s billionaire former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was in legal trouble again yesterday, suspected of exaggerating an eye infection to delay one trial against him and facing fresh charges of bribery. The 76-year-old has been in hospital in Milan since Friday but prosecutors say it is all a ruse to put off the onslaught as several cases finally begin to catch up with him. The drama intensified when lawmakers from Berlusconi’s centre-right People of Freedom party marched into the Milan court building in protest. They called for Berlusconi’s trial for allegedly having sex with an underage prostitute and abusing the powers of his office to be suspended. “I think there is a judicial plot against Berlusconi,” said Laura Ravetto, a senior party official who joined the protest. The small group of Berlusconi’s supporters also sang the national anthem outside the court. Judges had ordered external doctors to be sent into the clinic where Berlusconi is staying, after prosecutors said an eye infection was not a legitimate excuse for suspending a trial. The trial, which began almost exactly two years ago, had already been put on hold on Friday because Berlusconi said he was suffering uveitis, an irritation of the uvea. His doctors say Berlusconi also has hypertension. Prosecutors had been due to present their final arguments and make their sentencing requests on the alleged crimes dating back to 2010 when Berlusconi was still prime

minister. The results of the medical checks should be known in the coming hours. A verdict in the trial had been expected this month but that is now in doubt. The flamboyant media baron and three-time prime minister is accused of having sex for money with the then 17-year-old Karima ElMahroug, an exotic dancer nicknamed Ruby the Heart Stealer. Berlusconi risks up to three years in prison on that charge and up to 12 years for allegedly putting pressure on police to have her released from custody when she was arrested for petty theft. Both Berlusconi and El-Mahroug deny having sex. Berlusconi is also appealing a tax fraud conviction linked to his business empire. That hearing was allowed to go ahead on Saturday and a ruling is expected this month. Last week the scandal-fraught billionaire was also convicted over the publication of a police wiretap of a rival politician in a newspaper he owns and sentenced to one year in jail. Prosecutors meanwhile lodged a request for Berlusconi to face a fourth trial over accusations that he bribed a left-wing senator in 2006. Prosecutors say Berlusconi paid senator Sergio De Gregorio three million euros ($3.9 million). The case goes back to elections won by a centre-left coalition led by Romano Prodi by just a handful of votes. A few months later, De Gregorio switched parties to join the Berlusconi opposition in a move that helped bring down Prodi in 2008. — AFP

Iran question likely to be answered this year

ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP: Syrian children walk amid tents at the Zaatari refugee camp, near the Syrian border with Jordan in Mafraq. — AFP

JERUSALEM: Whether Iran will rein in its nuclear programme or push ahead with its suspected bid for a weapons capability is likely to become clear by the end of 2013, Israel’s Ehud Barak said yesterday. “Iran remains the central challenge this year, and it is possible we’ll see the direction determined by the end of the year,” the outgoing defence minister told members of the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs and defence. Barak, who will step down when the new coalition government is announced later this week, used the opportunity to renew warnings that Iran is seeking to put its nuclear facilities out of reach of any military strike. “The Iranian leader wants to reach the zone of immunity with a large and welldefended number of nuclear facilities,” he said. “He thinks the United States will have trouble in attacking in the future if he achieves these things.” Israel and much of the West suspects Iran is using its civil nuclear

programme as a front for developing a weapons capability, a charge Tehran denies. Israel, the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear power, has refused to rule out a preemptive military strike on Iranian installations if it becomes the only way to prevent the Islamic Republic from going nuclear. Any military confrontation would become much more complex if Iran managed to build a weapons capability, he said. “Dealing with Iran militarily today is complex, but any attempt to deal with it in the future, especially when it becomes nuclear, will be much more difficult,” he said. Barak also used the occasion to express his appreciation for new US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel whom he met in Washington last week. “I found a person who supports Israel’s security,” he said of Hagel, whose nomination to the top Pentagon job caused concern in Israel where some accused him of taking a hard line on the Jewish state. — AFP



Cardinals hold last talks before Vatican lockdown Italy’s Scola, Brazil’s Scherer seen as potential popes

PORT STANLEY: Islanders take part in the “Proud to be British” parade along Ross Road in Port Stanley yesterday. — AP

Falklands set to vote on last day of referendum LONDON: Falkland Islanders were to vote yesterday on the final day of a two-day referendum designed to make clear their staunch desire to remain British despite Argentina’s increasingly bellicose sovereignty claims. In a move instigated by residents themselves, the 1,672 eligible voters are being asked whether they want the Falkland Islands to remain an internally self-governing British overseas territory. An overwhelming “yes” result, due overnight, is not in doubt but islanders hope the clear verdict will make their wishes crystal-clear to the world in an uncontestable way. Buenos Aires has dismissed the vote as meaningless and illegal, claiming it is “a British attempt to manipulate” the status of the remote South Atlantic archipelago. “What we’re trying to do is send a message,” Barry Elsby, a member of the Falklands legislative assembly, told AFP by telephone. “Argentina are totally ignoring us. But the rest of the world will see it for what it is-the democratic view of the people.” Four-fifths of the islands’ 2,563 permanent residents live in the capital Stanley, with its pubs and red telephone boxes. For the referendum, homes and shops in the tiny town are festooned with posters and flags, both Britain’s Union Jack and the deep blue Falklands standard, which features the Union Jack and the islands’ crest-a sheep, a wooden ship and the motto “Desire the Right”. Britain has held the Falklands since 1833 but Buenos Aires claims the barren islands, called “Las Malvinas” in Spanish, are occupied Argentinian territory. Argentina seized the

islands in 1982 but was ousted after a short but bloody war. Argentina, 400 kilometres (250 miles) away, has branded the referendum “illegal” because it claims the islanders are an “implanted” population and thus do not have the right to self-determination. Residents hope the referendum result will 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. Marlene Short, who runs a diner in Stanley with her husband Richard, moved to the Falklands in 1989 from Saint Helena, another British overseas territory in the South Atlantic. “I’m pretty sure that everyone who’s able will turn out and vote,” the 43-year-old told AFP. “Argentina will always have their views, but today is to try and convince anyone that is doubtful as to whether we remain Britain that today we desperately want to.” International obser vers, from Argentina’s neighbours Chile and Uruguay, plus Mexico, are monitoring the polls, due to open between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm (1300 and 2100 GMT). The referendum is a logistical challenge, taking place across an inhospitable territory of 12,000 square kilometres (4,700 square miles). Though most Falkland Islanders live in Stanley, several hundred are scattered in isolated sheep farms and tiny settlements across the picturesque, rugged countryside, known as “Camp”. — AFP

Dragging victim abused at S African police station BENONI: An Mozambican immigrant was found in a pool of blood after he was handcuffed and dragged behind a South African police van and brought to a cell bleeding and crying, in the latest scandal to dog the country’s police force, a court heard yesterday. Taxi driver Mido Macia, 27, was brutally abused before and after his arrest two weeks ago, prosecutor December Mthimunye said at a bail hearing for nine policemen charged with his murder. “The deceased died of internal injuries that demonstrate the degree of violence inflicted,” said Mthimunye, reading a police watchdog investigator’s affidavit. Bystanders on February 26 filmed Macia being manhandled, handcuffed to the back of the van and dragged hundreds of metres on the streets of Daveyton, a town east of Johannesburg. Just over two hours later he was found dead in his cell, with extensive injuries, including cuts and bleeding on the brain. Investigators ordered two autopsies after the diplomatic embarrassment over the incident. Internal police investigator Mandla Mahlangu later “saw him lying and bleeding in his cell.” He had blood “even in his heart”, Mthimunye said, quoting the postmortem report. “And this happened in the police station.” Macia was already

injured when he arrived at the station, contrary to police claims, he said. “He was crying and bleeding and he already had some open head wounds,” he said, adding: “When he was booked into his cell he was not wearing any trousers.” The accused officers “flouted operational procedures” by not even calling an ambulance, Mthimunye added. On Friday the nine policemen told the hearing at the Benoni magistrate’s court they were not guilty. They said Macia, a minibus taxi driver, had assaulted a policeman while resisting arrest after being confronted for parking his taxi on the wrong side of the road. The police van driver claimed he drove away to escape the angry crowd that had gathered, and did not know Macia was being dragged behind. None of the accused explained how the Mozambican ended up cuffed to the van or dead in his cell. Footage of the incident went viral and sent shock waves across the world, a spotlight yet again on the conduct of South Africa’s much maligned police force. The Macia family plans to sue the police ministr y for damages, their lawyers said Sunday. Around 2,000 people attended Macia’s funeral in his hometown Matola in southern Mozambique on Saturday. — AP

VATICAN CITY: Cardinals held final discussions on the troubled state of the Roman Catholic Church yesterday, the day before they seclude themselves from the world to elect a new pontiff, with no frontrunner in view. Stunned by the abdication last month of Pope Benedict, the redhatted cardinals have met repeatedly this past week, sketching out the qualities of the person needed to face the huge challenge of leading the scandal-plagued church. “The expectations of the new pope and his profile was a recurring theme in this morning’s interventions by the cardinals,” said Father Tom Rosica, the Vatican spokesman for the English-speaking media. Vatican-watchers say Italy’s Angelo Scola and Brazil’s Odilo Scherer are in pole position, but a host of other candidates from around the world have also been mentioned, leaving the secretive contest wide open. “Last time around there was a man of stature, three or four times that of any other cardinal,” French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin told reporters, in a reference to Joseph Ratzinger who was elected pope within 24 hours in 2005. “That is not the case this time around. Therefore, the choice has to be made among one, two, three, four ... a dozen candidates. We still don’t really know anything. We will have to wait for the results of the first ballot.” The 115 cardinal-electors from 48 countries will file into the Michelangelo-frescoed Sistine Chapel at 4.30 pm (1530 GMT/1030 ET) today and will hold an initial vote shortly afterwards. No one in the modern era has won the necessary two-thirds majority on the first ballot, and the cardinal-electors will hold up to four ballots a day thereafter - two in the morning and two in the afternoon - until they elect a new pontiff. The average length of the last nine conclaves was roughly three days and none went on for more than five days. “There is a dynamic that takes over once they’re in the Sistine Chapel. The first vote kind of lays out the names. We will have a pope by the end of the week,” said Father Rosica. Byzantine politics In preparation for the election, workers hung up crimson curtains on the central balcony of St

Peter’s Basilica, ready for the moment when the new pope makes his first appearance before crowds gathered in the vast cobbled piazza below. The 266th pope will face an array of problems - from sexual abuse scandals to the dysfunctional central bureaucracy, known as the Curia. Vatican insiders say Scola might be best placed to understand the Byzantine politics of the church’s much-criticised, Italian-dominated administration - of which he is not a part - and be able to introduce swift reform. The Curia faction inside the conclave is said to back Scherer, who worked in the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops for seven years. If he should win the vote, he would be the first nonEuropean to become pontiff in some 1,300 years. If neither camp can drum up the necessary

support, a compromise candidate might come to the fore, with Canada’s Marc Ouellet, US cardinals Sean O’Malley and Timothy Dolan and Argentina’s Leonardo Sandri often cited. The conclave itself is held in great secrecy, with cardinals taking a vow never to reveal the details of their ballot. Vatican staff who might come into contact with the so-called princes of the church, including caterers and cleaners, were due to take a vow yesterday not to reveal anything they might hear in the coming days. The cardinals will stay in a simple Vatican hotel during the conclave, crossing over to the Sistine Chapel for the twicedaily voting sessions. Smoke signals from above the chapel - black for an indecisive vote, white for a new pope - will tell the outside world how the ballot is proceeding. — Reuters

VATICAN: Canadian cardinal Thomas Christopher Collins walks on St Peter’s square after a cardinals’ meeting yesterday. — AFP

Princess whose forbidden love gripped Sweden dies STOCKHOLM: She was one of the better kept secrets of Sweden’s royal household: a commoner and divorcee whose relationship with Prince Ber til was seen as a threat to the Bernadotte dynasty. In a touching royal romance, Welsh-born Princess Lilian and her Bertil kept their love unofficial for decades and were both in their 60s when they finally received the king’s blessing to get married. Lilian died in her Stockholm home on Sunday at age 97. The Royal Palace didn’t give a cause of death, but Lilian suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and had been in poor health for sever-

STOCKHOLM: In this file photo, Princess Lilian of Sweden is seen in Stockholm. — AP

al years. She met Sweden’s Prince Bertil in 1943, but his obligations to the throne and Lilian’s status as a divorced commoner prevented them from making their love public. The couple’s sacrifices and lifelong dedication to one another gripped the hearts of Swedes. “If I were to sum up my life, everything has been about my love,” the witty, petite princess said of her husband when she turned 80 in 1995. “He’s a great man, and I love him.” Born Lilian Davies in Swansea, Wales, on Aug. 30, 1915, she moved to London at 16 to embark on a career as a model and an actress, showcasing hats and gloves in commercials and taking on small roles in movies. She met British actor Ivan Craig, whom she married in 1940. After World War II broke out, Craig was drafted into the British army while Lilian stayed behind in London, working at a factory making radio sets for the British merchant fleet and serving at a hospital for wounded soldiers. At the time, Prince Bertil was stationed at the Swedish Embassy in the British capital as a naval attache. The couple first laid eyes on each other in the fancy nightclub Les Ambassadeurs shortly before Lilian’s 28th birthday in 1943. Lilian then invited him to a cocktail party in her London apartment. But it wasn’t until he fetched her with his car following an air raid in her neighborhood that the romance blossomed, Lilian recalled in her 2000 memoirs, “My Life with Prince Bertil.” “He was so handsome my prince. Especially in uniform. So charming and thoughtful. And so funny. Oh how we laughed together,” Lilian wrote. Lilian was still married at the time, but the situation resolved itself since Craig, too, had met someone else during his years abroad in the army, and the couple divorced on amicable terms. Upon Bertil’s return to Sweden, however, his relationship with a commoner became a delicate issue. Bertil became a possible heir to the throne when his eldest brother died in a plane crash, leaving behind an infant son - the current

King Carl XVI Gustaf. Two other brothers had dropped out of the line of succession by marrying commoners. Bertil’s father, King Gustaf VI Adolf, ordered him to abstain from marrying Lilian, since that would jeopardize the survival of the Bernadotte dynasty. Instead, the couple let their romance flourish in an unofficial manner, living together in a common-law marriage for decades. They first lived in their house in SainteMaxime in France, but later shared their time between the French village and Stockholm, where Lilian discreetly stayed in the background for years. Despite the royal reluctance to recognize her officially, Lilian’s charm and warm personality soon won the Swedes over, and magazines depicted the happy couple playing golf and riding around on the prince’s motorbike. When Prince Bertil had to use a walking frame after an operation, she cheerfully nicknamed it his “Bugatti.” In 1976, some 33 years after they first met, the new king finally gave them the approval they had been waiting for. On a cold December day the same year, Lilian, or “Lily” as the prince used to call her, became princess of Sweden and duchess of the southern province of Halland in a ceremony at the Drottningholm Palace Chapel just outside Stockholm. The bride had by then turned 61 and the groom was 64. The couple never had any children. Prince Bertil died in the couple’s residence Villa Solbacken in Stockholm in 1997 after unspecified lung problems. Lilian took over some of her husband’s duties, especially as an award presenter for various sports associations. Health problems forced her to cut back on some of her royal duties. In 2006 she stopped attending the annual Nobel Prize banquet, and the next year she also stopped taking part in the award ceremony. In 2010, the palace said Lilian suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, preventing her from attending the wedding that summer of Crown Princess Vic toria and Daniel Westling. — AP

Intl court drops case against Kenyan suspect THE HAGUE: International Criminal Court prosecutors said yesterday they are dropping their crimes against humanity case against a prominent Kenyan because of a lack of evidence, a decision that also casts serious doubt on the prosecution of the country’s president-elect. The decision to drop the case against Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura was an unprecedented admission of failure by prosecutors and the first time in the 10-year-old court’s history that they have dropped a case so close to trial. It also threw into question the future of the case against presidentelect, Uhuru Kenyatta, who is charged along with Muthaura as a “co-perpetrator.” Kenyatta’s lawyer called on prosecutors to reconsider their case against him. “In light of what the prosecution has said ... they should consider their position honestly in relation to Mr Kenyatta,” lawyer Steven Kay said. “The evidence they are seeking to rely on is utterly

flawed.” Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told judges she is withdrawing all charges against Muthaura, who is charged along with Kenyatta with crimes including murder, rape and deportation for his alleged involvement in deadly violence that erupted after his country’s 2007 presidential election. “We do not feel that we have a reasonable prospect of conviction and therefore withdraw the charges against him,” Bensouda told judges. While Muthaura, 66, is indicted together with Kenyatta, prosecutors argue they have more evidence against Kenyatta and his prosecution should continue. Muthaura, who was sitting in court, showed no emotion as Bensouda made her statement, but his attorney, Karim Khan, welcomed the announcement. “It is absolutely justified and I do recognize that this is not only a courageous but a correct decision,” Khan said. While Bensouda stressed that the case against Kenyatta would continue, judges did not

appear so sure. Presiding Judge Kuniko Ozaki said the announcement “will have consequences not just for the case against Mr. Muthaura, but also in some way Mr Kenyatta.” She asked defense lawyers to outline their reactions to the announcement in writing by March 22. Bensouda said witnesses in the case against Muthaura had either “been killed or have died since those events and other witnesses refuse to speak with the prosecution.” She also accused Kenyan authorities of not living up to their public pledges to fully cooperate with the court in its investigation of violence after the 2007 vote that left more than 1,000 people dead. The Kenyan government “has provided only limited assistance to the prosecution and they have failed to provide the prosecution with access to witnesses or documents that may shed light on Mr. Muthaura’s case.” Bensouda stressed that the decision wasn’t linked to Kenya’s election last week, in which Kenyatta

won the presidency. “We are all keenly aware of the most recent political developments in Kenya, but these have not ... and cannot have a bearing on the decision that I make as prosecutor,” Bensouda said. Kenyatta’s lawyer said yesterday’s shock announcement underscored the necessity for judges to order a review of evidence that prosecutors say proves Kenyatta orchestrated deadly postelection violence. Kay has argued that the case should be reviewed because a key prosecution witness lied, fundamentally undermining the prosecution case against him and Muthaura. Bensouda alleged that the witness said he lied after being bribed. Muthaura’s lawyer vehemently denied that either he or his legal team had played any role in interfering with witnesses. Kenyatta won last week’s election despite his indictment at the Hague-based court on charges of crimes against humanity including murder, rape and deportation. Prosecutors label him

an “indirect co-perpetrator” of violence committed by his supporters in 20072008. Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s founding father, Jomo Kenyatta, and one of the country’s richest men, insists he is innocent. His trial had been scheduled to start next month, but judges last week postponed it until July, saying the defense needed more time to prepare. Khan asked judges to formally call a halt the Muthaura case in light of the prosecution announcement. He said his client should be allowed “to get on the plane back to Kenya in the knowledge that the case against him is withdrawn.” In a written statement, Bensouda pledged her “unwavering commitment” to justice for victims of the postelection violence. “The real victims of the terrible violence in Kenya five years ago are the men, the women, and the children, who were killed, injured, raped, or forcibly displaced from their homes - and whose voices must not be forgotten,” she said. “I will not forget them.” — AP




Rivals trade barbs as race to succeed Chavez starts ‘Govt exploits Chavez death’

SALISBURY: In this photo Meg Theriault, of Salisbury, Mass, reflects on being back in class on the first day of spring semester 2013 at Boston University School of Management.—AP

After crash abroad, student tries to heal BOSTON: Meg Theriault didn’t look in a mirror for two months. When she did, a stranger met her gaze. Most of her hair was gone, but that wasn’t the worst of it: There was a dent on the left side of her head. A chunk of her skull was missing. Meg’s parents told her there had been an accident, that she bumped her head. But that was two hospitals and a long plane ride ago. Whatever had happened to her, she didn’t remember any of it. And photos posted around her Boston hospital room of a 21year-old coed, her chestnut hair flowing below her shoulders, looked like a different person. Now Meg’s two front teeth were cracked into peaks. Her boy-short hair was matted beneath a black hockey helmet. It protected her brain, but made her face break out in blemishes. She could remember her semester abroad in Australia - even if some details of traveling in the Outback, scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef and bungee jumping in the rainforest were coming back slowly. But she couldn’t remember New Zealand, and the last days of her foreign adventure. Something had broken and her mind wasn’t filling in the blanks. Her parents, Todd and Deb Theriault, were there by her hospital bed in New Zealand after she came out of her coma. “I love you, Meg,” Todd had whispered. “I love you,” she answered. Another month would pass before Meg smiled. She was still hospitalized, but back home in Massachusetts. Her parents had hope, but doctors warned Meg might never be Meg again, the Boston University student who’d been on track to finish school and land an accounting job in the next year. Two months after the accident, connections to her brain were still scrambled. The business major couldn’t remember multiplication tables. She mistook a doctor at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston for her sixth-grade teacher. She looked forward to reuniting with a dog that hadn’t lived with her family for years. Meg wobbled as she learned to walk. Therapy filled her days, including speech and reading exercises. She had to practice spooning up her food, and how to bathe and dress herself. But if Meg didn’t understand where she had been, she knew where she wanted to be. “It’s just like being in school,” a therapist said one day when she faltered during a drill. “That’s good,” Meg said. Because whatever it took, she wanted to be back at BU for her senior year. She was the first victim they reached in the road. “Meg, are you OK?” Her classmate Dustin Holstein didn’t get an answer. Deep, fast draws of air were all he heard. It was the kind of breathing, he would say later, “where it’s like you’re on the verge of dying.” It was the morning of May 12, 2012. Steam from a volcano in the distance curled into a cloudless sky in New Zealand’s countryside. The BU students - 16 of them in two minivans - had been headed to Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a trek through volcanic terrain with a view of the peak portrayed as Mount Doom in the “Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy. Police said it seemed the single-vehicle crash happened after the minivan drifted to the roadside. Stephen Houseman, the student who was driving, would say later the van began shaking and he couldn’t control it. Police said he tried to correct course before the van rolled several times. Students Austin Brashears, Roch Jauberty and Daniela Lekhno also landed in the road. Friends covered their faces with sleeping bags or blankets before the first fire truck arrived. Meg was luckier - but far from lucky. Dustin pushed his friend’s hair from her face as American pop star Adam Levine’s voice streamed from the stereo inside the wreck. Blood leaked from a laceration on her chin. Skin had ripped off her right arm, baring part of the muscle. But the worst damage was on the inside. Her skull had fractured. Blood was clotting on her brain. A helicopter flew her to a hospital, where surgeons removed part of her skull to relieve the pressure from her swelling brain and purge the clot. Meg had been due back in Boston in a few days. She’d sent ahead an early Mother’s Day bouquet of lilies, tulips and roses, promising a celebration when she got home. Instead, her parents had boarded a flight to New Zealand. Mother’s Day melted away as they prayed their daughter wouldn’t die. Meg climbed the front steps, one at a time. Four baby steps, with her mother poised to catch her. “You gotta use the railing.” “I am.” When Meg had pictured coming home to Salisbury, Mass., she expected

a trip from the airport, not the hospital. But there was comfort in the kind of rewind that comes with a return to a childhood bedroom and a family cat’s meow. “See, Charlie’s waiting for you,” Meg’s mom said. “I know, adorable kitty.” It was early August. Meg finally took a seat at her family’s kitchen table again. Reminders of the accident were all around. There was a second bannister along the stairs to her room, and support bars in the bathrooms. But Meg could start showering by herself in a special chair. She could shave, too. Meg had planned to move into a city apartment, and start a summer internship at PricewaterhouseCoopers when she came home. Instead, her parents would drive her to Boston a couple times a week for therapy. “You just can’t put words to it, getting her back,” said Deb Theriault, blotting tears. “She’s worked so hard.” Meg felt more like herself, but craved the day when doctors would rebuild the missing part of her skull and she could ditch her helmet. “Sorry you have to see me like this,” she told two of her friends. But soon they were laughing and chatting about Meg’s plan to return to school. “I want to be better as soon as I have the second surgery ...,” she said. “I want to go back on time.” “I don’t remember seeing this shape at all. ... We just went over this, but I don’t remember.” Meg’s mind wouldn’t work the way she wanted. “This is really pushing your brain to compensate for difficult material,” her therapist said. But something inside Meg urged her forward, a kind of determination captured in a poem on the wall of the therapist’s office. “That one day, changed my life... That one thing that counts, one thing that I can’t let go, the faith that one day I will be whole again,” the verse said. She had been home for more than a month. Her complexion was clearing. She was thinner and back to wearing makeup and earrings. She had been reviewing an accounting textbook and seeing more friends. But her parents made her sleep with a baby monitor at night. She still couldn’t drive a car. Her left arm floated away from her side when she walked, giving her a robotic gait. She exercised to build her core strength and banish left-sided weakness from her brain injury. Physiatrist Seth Herman said Meg’s memory and mobility had improved a lot, but might never be what they once were. Due to the frontal lobe injury, she had trouble with insight, including recognizing her shortcomings. “She probably still thinks she can go back to school,” the doctor said. But the day in September the fall semester started, Meg woke before dawn and went back to Massachusetts General Hospital. The time had come for surgeons to fix the hole in her head. Dr Anoop Patel marked the left side of Meg’s head with violet ink, prepping the area where he and Dr William Curry Jr. would operate. “How are you feeling today?” Patel asked. “Ready to get this thing taken care of?” Meg was more than ready. She’d drifted away on anesthesia when tufts of her hair began dropping to the operating room tiles. Scars on her freshshaved head snaked like lines on a map. Blood pooled in the pocket of a surgery drape as the doctors sliced into old incisions, dissecting skin and scar tissue. They wouldn’t reuse bone New Zealand surgeons removed from Meg’s skull. To minimize infection risk, a custom-made plastic implant would patch the gap. Designed with 3-D imaging, it had a lima bean’s shape. It was a little less than 5 inches long and 4 inches wide. The surgeons used tiny screws to connect miniature titanium plates to the prosthetic and then to Meg’s skull. They perfected the implant’s contour by shaving it down with a drill, before washing away blood and sheared plastic. Several layers of stitches later, the left frontal cranioplasty was complete. Meg’s head was round and her scars would be hidden once her hair grew. She wouldn’t bang her brain if she fell. Meg had more to build on now. Strangers at a waterfront cafe sneaked glances as Meg sipped coffee with a friend. Maybe it was her inch-long hair, brown bristles that stood straight up. But six weeks post-surgery, some of those closest to Meg said she was well on her way to recovery. Her friend Julia Petras recalled hospital visits when Meg didn’t understand what happened to her, or that students died in the same accident. “Just talking about the accident itself was really surreal. I don’t think you were in a place to really process it,” Julia said. At one point, Meg believed she had some memories of the wreck. She’d been sleeping at the time of the crash, and not wearing a seatbelt.— AP

CARACAS: Venezuela has entered a bitter election race to succeed Hugo Chavez, with his chosen successor branding his challenger a “fascist” after the opposition candidate accused him of exploiting the late leader’s death. Henrique Capriles accepted Sunday the nomination of the main opposition coalition for the April 14 election, immediately launching a broadside against acting President Nicolas Maduro by accusing him of being “sick with power.” “Nicolas, I won’t leave you an open path, mate. You are going to have to defeat me with votes,” said Capriles, who lost to Chavez in the October presidential election by 11 points and faces an uphill battle against Maduro. Chavez, whose socialist revolution divided his oil-rich nation, is casting a huge shadow in the election, with throngs of supporters flocking to see his body lying in state since Wednesday at a Caracas military academy. Maduro says the government will embalm Chavez’s body to be viewed “like Lenin” in a glass casket “for eternity.” “Now on top of it all, you are using the body of the president to stage a political campaign,” said Capriles, the energetic 40-year-old Miranda state governor. After weeks of rumors about the president’s health, Maduro went on national television last Tuesday to announce the death of Chavez, telling that nation that the firebrand leftist had lost his two-year battle with cancer at the age of 58. “Nicolas lied to this country,” Capriles said, adding that the former vice president had been buying time during Chavez’s illness to prepare the election. He added: “Who knows when president Chavez died?” Chavez traveled to Cuba on December 10 for a fourth round of cancer surgery and was never heard from or seen in public again, apart from one set of photos. He returned to Caracas on February 18 but was never seen until his death. Maduro went on state-run television minutes after his rival’s press conference, standing in front of a picture of Chavez in military uniform as he accused his rival of trying to foment violence with “disgusting” accusations. “His mask has fallen and we can see his nauseating fascist face,” he said, warning that the Chavez family was reserving the right to take “all legal action to defend the honor of president Hugo Chavez.” “His objective is to provoke the people of Venezuela. He is irresponsible,” the broad-shouldered former vice president said. “He is looking for the people of Venezuela to... go on the path

of violence,” he said, urging Venezuelans to “not fall into provocations.” Amid popular pressure to place Chavez alongside South American independence hero Simon Bolivar in the national pantheon, Maduro said he would propose a constitutional amendment to move him there to the legislature on Tuesday. He called Chavez “the great redeemer of the poor.” The move would lead to a referendum in 30 days that could coincide with the presidential election. The body will first be moved on Friday to a military museum where Chavez plotted a failed coup in 1992. Luis Vicente Leon, director of pollsters Datanalisis, said the grief over Chavez’s death gives the government an advantage in the race. “It will be a battle between the divine and the human,” he said. Farith Fraija, a political scientist and blogger, told AFP: “It’s not a race between Capriles and Nicolas Maduro. It’s a race between Capriles and Chavez.” The two candidates will register for the snap election. Capriles accused the government again of abusing its power and violating the constitution by swearing-in Maduro as acting president late Friday, arguing that he should have stepped down in order to run for office. Maduro has

countered that the opposition conveniently misinterpreted the constitution and that his inauguration followed the wishes of his predecessor, who had asked the nation to elect him if he died. 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. 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. Capriles, a youthful, energetic lawyer and runner, 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, have riled the wealthy. The opposition accused Chavez of abusing state funds and dominating state-run media in his campaigns.— AFP

CARACAS: Opposition leader Henrique Capriles gestures during a press conference. — AP

Nixon wished for total handgun ban WASHINGTON: Few presidents in modern times have been as interested in gun control as Richard Nixon, of all people. He proposed ridding the market of Saturday night specials, contemplated banning handguns altogether and refused to pander to gun owners by feigning interest in their weapons. Several previously unreported Oval Office recordings and White House memos from the Nixon years show a conservative president who at times appeared willing to take on the National Rifle Association, a powerful gun lobby then as now, even as his aides worried about the political ramifications. “I don’t know why any individual should have a right to have a revolver in his house,” Nixon said in a taped conversation with aides. “The kids usually kill themselves with it and so forth.” He asked why “can’t we go after handguns, period?” Nixon went on: “I know the rifle association will be against it, the gun makers will be against it.” But “people should not have handguns.” He laced his comments with obscenities, as was typical. Nixon made his remarks in the Oval Office on May 16, 1972, the day after a would-be assassin shot and paralyzed segregationist presidential candidate George Wallace. As president, Nixon never publicly called for a ban on all handguns. Instead, he urged Congress to pass more modest legislation banning Saturday night specials, which were cheaply made, easily concealed and often used by criminals. Not all of the president’s men appeared to share his passion on the issue. The recordings and memos show that Nixon administration officials saw gun control as a political loser. Nixon, a Republican, did say publicly that if Congress passed a ban on Saturday night specials, he would sign it. But in a sign of how potent the NRA was even 40 years ago, this narrow piece of legislation never made it to his desk, and there is no sign that he ever sent a draft bill to Capitol Hill. Today, President Barack Obama faces similar hurdles in trying to ban assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines. Gun control advocates say no one needs such powerful weapons to kill an intruder or take down an animal. In Nixon’s time, the argument of such advocates was that Saturday night specials were too poorly made to be relied on for selfdefense or hunting. “Let me ask you,” Nixon said to Attorney General John Mitchell in June 1971, “there is only one thing you are checking on, that’s the manufacture of

those $20 guns? We should probably stop that.” Saturday night specials sold for $10 to $30 at the time. Mitchell responded that banning those guns would be “pretty difficult, actually,” because of the gun lobby. “No hunters are going to use $20 guns,” Nixon countered. “No, but the gun lobby’s against any incursion into the elimination of firearms,” said Mitchell. The term Saturday night special originated in Detroit, where police observed the frequency

WASHINGTON: In this file photo President Richard Nixon speaks at a White House news conference in Washington during which he said he’d sign legislation banning Saturday night specials. — AP with which the guns were used to commit weekend mayhem. Lynyrd Skynyrd memorialized the weapon in its 1975 song, “Saturday Night Special,” in which the Southern rock band sang: “Ain’t good for nothin’/But put a man six feet in a hole.” Nixon’s private comments were not always supportive of gun control, particularly measures that would go beyond handguns. For example, in a taped conversation just a few days after saying that people shouldn’t have handguns, the president asked rhetorically, “What do they want to do, just disarm the populace? Disarm the good folks and leave the arms in the hands of criminals?” But most of his comments on the tapes, available at the websites of the National Archives and of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, were in favor of stronger gun control.

At a June 29, 1972, news conference, about six weeks after Wallace’s shooting, Nixon said he’d sign legislation banning Saturday night specials. Later that year, the Senate did pass such a bill, but the House never acted on the legislation. The bill’s sponsor, Indiana Democrat Birch Bayh, said in a recent interview that the NRA helped prevent his bill from getting through Congress. The Nixon administration supported an unsuccessful Republican alternative Senate bill on Saturday night specials that had a definition the NRA preferred. The shooting of another politician put gun control back on the radar the following year. On Jan. 30, 1973, two robbers shot Sen. John Stennis, D-Miss., and surgeons initially thought he would die. Stennis survived and lived until 1995. The day of the shooting, Nixon told White House special counsel Charles Colson, “At least I hope that Saturday night special legislation, at least we’re supporting that, you know. We’re not for gun control generally, but we are for that. God damn it that ought to be passed. Or was it passed?” When Colson told him it hadn’t, Nixon instructed his counsel, “We better damn well be for it now, huh?” At a news conference the next day, the president repeated his call to ban Saturday night specials. He also volunteered a comment that few national politicians would make today: “Let me say, personally, I have never hunted in my life. I have no interest in guns and so forth.” By March 1973, aide John Ehrlichman was telling Nixon that gun control was a “loser issue for us.” “You’ve got a highly mobilized lobby,” he told the president. “I think what we have to do is carve out a little piece of it, and Saturday night specials, of course, has been our tactic.” Other White House officials also argued against doing much, including Tom C Korologos, a White House deputy assistant for legislative affairs who later was an outside lobbyist for the NRA and ambassador to Belgium under President George W. Bush. “The thing that worries me is that the president’s hard-core support comes from the gun-folk and obviously we need support these days,” Korologos wrote in an Aug 31, 1973 memo, referring to the Watergate scandal that would undo Nixon’s presidency. “Lurking in the background is the president’s personal statement: ‘I’m a liberal on gun control,’” Korologos said. Nixon might have made this statement privately; there is no record of him saying it publicly. — AP

Iran, Pak defy US with gas pipeline Continued from Page 1 Ahmadinejad said. “There are some nations who are against the progress of people, and so they are using the nuclear issue as a pretext to hinder the progress of the nations.” he said. “This pipeline has nothing to do with the nuclear issue, you cannot build a nuclear bomb with natural gas,” he said, speaking alongside Zardari in comments broadcast live on state television. “This pipeline is peacemaker, so if those countries are not cooperating, then they should not get in the way.” Iran’s presidency website quoted the visiting Pakistani leader as praising the “historical” event and saying it would help his own country’s development. He added that through the pipeline project, Pakistan and Iran were consolidating their ties. Although the pipeline on the Iranian side has almost been completed, Pakistan has run into repeated difficulties in financing the project in

the face of the threat of US sanctions. Like the European Union, Washington has slapped crippling unilateral sanctions on Iran, over and above UN sanctions imposed over its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment. The Karachi Stock Exchange slumped almost 2.5 percent on fears of possible US sanctions over the deal. “There was a panic-like situation in the market as investors fear United States may impose economic sanctions on Pakistan because of the gas pipeline,” analyst Mohammad Sohail of Topline Securities told AFP. “The market experienced turmoil all the day, it never recovered till it suspended trading.” Pakistani analysts said a statement from the US State Department was expected later yesterday, which could determine the future course of the market. In the face of the sanctions threat, Iran eventually agreed to finance a third of the costs of the Pakistani part of the pipeline, with the work to be carried out by an Iranian company.

Analysts said Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party was likely to seek to exploit its defiance of Washington over the pipeline to boost its popularity ahead of a general election in May. “They will say that we signed the deal with Iran despite US pressure and try to convince voters that we can stand against the US,” political analyst Hasan Askari said. Anti-US sentiment runs high in Pakistan and five years of PPP government have done little to address the country’s crippling energy crisis, with severe shortages of electricity in the summer and gas in the winter. Iran has the second largest gas reserves in the world but has been strangled by a Western embargo that has seen its crude exports halved in the past year. It currently produces around 600 million cu m of gas per day, almost all of which is consumed domestically due to lack of exports. Its only foreign client is Turkey, which buys about 30 million cu m of gas per day. — AFP



Japan marks second tsunami anniversary PM Abe vows to speed up rebuilding

SEOUL: Anti-war activists wearing masks hold a black banner reading “No! War” during a protest against a joint military exercise between South Korea and the US yesterday. — AFP

S Korea, US begin drills SEOUL: North and South Korea staged dueling war games yesterday as threatening rhetoric from the rivals rose to the highest level since North Korea rained artillery shells on a South Korean island in 2010. Enraged over the South’s joint military drills with the United States and recent UN sanctions, Pyongyang has piled threat on top of threat, including vows to launch a nuclear strike on the US and to scrap the nearly 60-year-old armistice that ended the Korean War. Seoul has responded with tough talk of its own and has placed its troops on high alert. North Korea’s main newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, reported that the armistice was nullified yesterday as Pyongyang had earlier announced. The North followed through on another promise yesterday, shutting down a Red Cross hotline that the North and South used for general communication and to discuss aid shipments and separated families’ reunions. The 11-day military drills that started yesterday involve 10,000 South Korean and about 3,000 American troops. Those coincide with two months of separate US-South Korean field exercises that began March 1. Also continuing are large-scale North Korean drills that Seoul says involve the army, navy and air force. The South Korean defense ministry said there have been no military activities it considers suspicious. The North has threatened to nullify the armistice several times in times of tension with the outside world, and in 1996 the country sent hundreds of armed troops into a border village. The troops later withdrew. Despite the heightened tension, there were signs of business as usual yesterday. The two Koreas continue to have at least two working channels of communication between their militaries and aviation authorities. One of those hotlines was used yesterday to give hundreds of South Koreans approval to enter North Korea to go to work. Their jobs are at the only remaining operational symbol of joint inter-Korean cooperation, the Kaesong industrial complex. It is operated in North Korea with South Korean money and knowhow and a mostly North Korean work force. The North Korean rhetoric escalated as the UN Security Council last week approved a new round of sanctions over Pyongyang’s latest nuclear weapons test Feb 12. Analysts said that much of the bellicosity is meant to shore up loyalty among citizens and the military for North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong Un. “This is part of their brinksmanship,” said Daniel Pinkston, a Seoulbased expert on North Korea with the International Crisis Group think tank. “It’s an effort to signal their resolve, to show they are willing to take greater risks, with the expectation that everyone else caves in and gives them what they want.” Part of what North Korea wants is a formal peace treaty to end the Korean War, instead of the armistice that leaves the peninsula still technically in a state of war. It also wants security guarantees and other concessions,

direct talks with Washington, recognition as a nuclear weapons state and the removal of 28,500 US troops stationed in South Korea. Pinkston said there is little chance of fighting breaking out while war games are being conducted, but he added that he expects North Korea to follow through with a somewhat mysterious promise to respond at a time and place of its own choosing. North Korea was responsible for an artillery attack that killed four South Koreans in 2010. A South Korean-led international investigation found that North Korea torpedoed a South Korean warship that same year, killing 46 sailors. Pyongyang denies sinking the ship. Among other threats in the past week, North Korea has warned Seoul of a nuclear war on the divided peninsula and said it was cancelling nonaggression pacts. South Korean and US officials have been closely monitoring Pyongyang’s actions and parsing its recent rhetoric, which has been more warlike than usual. One analyst said Kaesong’s continued operations show that North Korea’s cutting of the Red Cross communication channel was symbolic. More than 840 South Koreans were set to cross the border yesterday to Kaesong, which provides a badly-needed flow of hard currency to a country where many face food shortages, according to Seoul’s Unification Ministry. “If South Koreans don’t go to work at Kaesong, North Korea will suffer” financially, said analyst Hong Hyun-ik at the private Sejong Institute in South Korea. “If North Korea really intends to start a war with South Korea, it could have taken South Koreans at Kaesong hostage.” Under newly inaugurated President Park Geun-hye, South Korea’s Defense Ministry, which often brushes off North Korean threats, has looked to send a message of strength in response to the latest comments from Pyongyang. The ministry has warned that the North’s government would “evaporate from the face of the Earth” if it ever used a nuclear weapon. The White House also said the US is fully capable of defending itself against a North Korean ballistic attack. Yesterday, Park told a Cabinet Council meeting that South Korea should strongly respond to any provocation by North Korea. But she also said Seoul should move ahead with her campaign promise to build up trust with the North. North Korea has said the US mainland is within the range of its long-range missiles, and an army general told a Pyongyang rally last week that the military is ready to fire a long-range nuclear-armed missile to turn Washington into a “sea of fire.” While outside scientists are still trying to determine specifics, the North’s rocket test in December and third atomic bomb test last month may have pushed the country a step closer to acquiring the ability to hit the US with weapons of mass destruction. Analysts, however, say Pyongyang is still years away from acquiring the smaller, lighter nuclear warheads needed for a credible nuclear missile program.— AP

Disgraced ally of Chinese president given new role BEIJING: A disgraced ally of outgoing Chinese President Hu Jintao was given a new role yesterday as a vice chairman of a largely ceremonial advisory body to parliament, as a way of sparing Hu from embarrassment before he retires. Ling Jihua, 56, was demoted in September as head of the Communist Party’s powerful General Office of the Central Committee, a secretive body that is the organisational cockpit of the party’s top leaders, after reports his son was killed in a car crash involving a luxury sports car last March. His demotion to the much less influential position as chief of the party’s United Front Work Department - responsible for co-opting non-Communists - was viewed as a setback for Hu’s efforts to retain major influence in the next administration. However, Ling appeared in public last week at the opening of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, parliament’s toothless advisory body, as a member of its organising secretariat. Yesterday, he was elected one of its 23 vice chairmen, giving him a “national-level leader” rank, but in the face of an unusually high level of opposition, given the standard everyone-votes-yes Chinese politics of consensus. Of the more than 2,200 delegates voting, Ling got 90 “no” votes and 22 abstentions, far more than any of the other candidates, who include central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan. “Ling Jihua is not popular,” a source with ties to the leadership told Reuters. A sec-

ond source with leadership ties said Ling had been given the vice chairmanship position “to give Hu face” despite the car crash scandal. Delegates, asked by Reuters about Ling, struggled to say anything nice about him. “Don’t ask such a sensitive question,” said one delegate, who covered up his name badge to prevent identification, when asked about Ling and his son’s car crash. “There’s been no definitive word from the government on that incident.” Ling has been among the officials who are nearly always at Hu’s side during visits at home and abroad over the past decade. The General Office is responsible for shaping the policy agenda, deciding who those leaders meet, as well as their travel arrangements at home and abroad, and security details. Its head is roughly equivalent to the White House chief of staff. The car crash first drew public interest last March when the Global Times, published by the official People’s Daily, reported that online information about the accident had been deleted. That triggered suspicions about the identity of the deceased and a storm online before censors deleted all microblog posts mentioning the crash. The government has given no official account of the incident, despite incoming president Xi Jinping pledging to spare no effort to root out corruption and abuse of power even at the highest levels. Xi, appointed party and military boss in November, will formally assume the head of state role later this week. — Reuters

ISHINOMAKI: People all over Japan bowed their heads in silence yesterday as they remembered the almost 19,000 who died when a ferocious tsunami surged ashore two years earlier. Ceremonies were held in towns and cities throughout the disaster zone, as well as in Tokyo, where Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko led tributes to those who lost their lives in a disaster that also sparked a nuclear emergency. As a mournful quiet descended, cold winds blew through the grounds of Okawa Elementary School, in Ishinomaki, where at least 70 children were swept to their deaths by the rising waters on March 11, 2011. The city’s tsunami alarms were sounded at 2:46 pm (0546 GMT), marking the exact moment a 9.0magnitude undersea quake hit, sending a massive tsunami barreling into Japan’s northeast coast. A total of 15,881 people are confirmed to have died and 2,668 others remain unaccounted for. The Emperor paid tribute to those who lost their lives, including the more than 2,300 whose deaths have been recorded as being caused by the stresses of life in evacuation centres or temporary housing. “I am always deeply moved by seeing how so many people lead their daily lives without complaining... and hope.... to be able to share their suffering, if only a little,” he said. Schoolgirl Rin Yamane recounted the horror of the day she lost her mother as they tried to escape the waves. “Suddenly, we were in the middle of a black sea... When I saw her in a morgue a few days later, I knew then it was a reality,” she said. Police in Miyagi prefecture were yesterday continuing their search for those still listed as missing, with a 50-strong team scouring the coastline. “We haven’t found any

bodies for a year,” police officer Toshiaki Okajima told AFP. “But there are still 1,300 missing people in Miyagi alone and the feelings of families haven’t changed. That’s why the police need to keep looking for remains.” Efforts to rebuild the disaster-hit region have been slow. Figures show 315,196 people are still without a permanent home, many in cramped temporary housing units. Tsunami-hit communities are divided among those who want to rebuild on land that may have been in the family for generations and those who want to move their towns to higher, safer ground. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a news conference he wanted the

anniversary of the disaster to serve as a beacon. “March 11 has to be a day for hope,” he said. “When March 11 comes next year, it will have to be a day when people in the disaster zone can feel their communities are on the mend and their lives have improved greatly.” The tsunami that swallowed coastal communities battered the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which went through meltdowns and explosions in what was to become the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986. Anti-nuclear campaigners Greenpeace say the government has failed to provide enough support to people who fled the leaking radiation, saying some are “in finan-

cial ruin and divorces and mental breakdowns are mounting”. “They need proper compensation and support to rebuild their lives,” it said in a statement, urging Japan to phase out the nuclear industry. Nearly 10,000 aftershocks have been recorded since the original quake, including 736 jolts that measured above magnitude 5.0, some shaking the ground at the plant where there are still no permanent fixes for the damaged reactors. The government says the plant is stable and no longer releasing dangerous materials. It says food products from the region are checked for radioactive contamination before being shipped to markets.— AFP

FUKUSHIMA: A police officer searches for missing people in a wrecked vehicle at a beach in Namie, near the striken TEPCO’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Fukushima yesterday.— AFP

Khmer Rouge genocide: justice delayed may be justice denied PHNOM PENH: Under Cambodia’s murderous Khmer Rouge, Meas Mut and Sou Met, now twostar generals in their 80s, are said to have hauled prisoners to S-21, a torture centre that symbolised the horrors of a regime that wiped out nearly a quarter of the population. Another soldier, Im Chaem, now a Buddhist nun in her 60s, is suspected of running a forced labour camp where fellow Khmer Rouge cadres Ta An and Ta Tith oversaw massacres in the “Killing Fields” revolution of 1975-79. Those allegations, contained in cases known as 003 and 004 at a UN-backed tribunal, are plunging Cambodia into soul searching over how far to pursue war-crimes accusations against former commanders, some of whom now occupy senior roles in government. They are also fuelling criticism of the United Nations over whether its cash-strapped joint Cambodian tribunal will ever deliver justice for victims of the ultra-Maoist regime that tore Cambodia apart and was responsible for up to 2.2 million deaths. The European Union, the second-biggest donor after Japan, has called on Cambodia to come up with more funding for the tribunal, where some workers went on strike last week after going for more than two months without pay. Cambodia says it has given more

than its fair share and has appealed for bigger donations. The tribunal’s new American judge, Mark Harmon, said last month he wanted to reopen case 003 involving former Khmer Rouge navy chief Meas Mut and former air force chief Sou Met. That puts him on a collision course with authoritarian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has been accused of interfering to limit probes that could implicate powerful politicians. Meas Mut and Sou Met are now advisers to the Defence Ministry. Internationally backed inquiries into yearsold atrocities are almost bound to clash with present-day politics, such as the International Criminal Court’s pre-election indictment of Kenya’s new president for crimes against humanity. Compounding difficulties in Cambodia is the fact that the court is a hybrid, as the Cambodians did not want to give up control, a formula unlikely to be followed elsewhere. Hun Sen, a close ally of China which was a key supporter of the Khmer Rouge during the “Killing Fields” years, has vowed to prevent new indictments and has said he would be happy if the United Nations left Cambodia. He was himself a Khmer Rouge fighter before defecting to

Vietnam, which invaded Cambodia and toppled Pol Pot’s regime in 1979. Almost every Cambodian alive lost a family member under the Khmer Rouge. Many fear the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia (ECCC), which began work in 2006 after an greement between the Cambodian government and the United Nations to try those “most responsible” for the killings, will fail to bring justice. The court, dogged from the outset by allegations of corruption, political interference and profligacy, had spent $175.3 million by the end of last year and handed down just one conviction - that of S-21’s former prison chief, Kaing Guek Eav, alias “Duch”, who was jailed for life for the deaths of more than 14,000 people. He has repeatedly said he was “just following orders”. Now on trial in the court’s second case, known as 002, are the only remaining members of the inner circle of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, who died in 1998: chief ideologue Nuon Chea, 86, former Foreign Minister Ieng Sary, 87, and head of state Khieu Samphan, 81. They may not live to hear the verdicts. Ieng Sary and Nuon Chea have been in and out of hospital for years.—Reuters

Insider attack kills 2 US troops, 2 Afghans KABUL: A police officer opened fire on US and Afghan forces at a police headquarters in eastern Afghanistan yesterday, sparking a firefight that killed two US troops and two other Afghan policemen. The attacker was also killed in the shootout, officials said. In a second incident, outside K abul, US troops fired on a truck approaching their military convoy, killing two Afghan men inside. The shooting in the eastern Wardak province was the latest in a series of insider attacks against coalition and Afghan forces that have threatened to undermine their

alliance at a time when cooperation would aid the planned handover of security responsibility to local forces next year. The attack also comes a day after the expiration of the Afghan president’s deadline for US special forces to withdraw from the province. US officials have said that they are working with Afghan counterparts to answer President Hamid Karzai’s concerns and maintain security in Wardak. Most of the US troops in Wardak are special operations forces. In yesterday’s attack, an Afghan police officer stood up in the back of

KABUL: US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (center) is greeted by US General Philip Breedlove, US Air Force Commander for Europe (left) upon Hagel’s arrival from Afghanistan at Ramstein Air Base yesterday. —AFP

a police pickup truck, grabbed a machine gun and started firing at the US special operations forces and Afghan policemen in the police compound in Jalrez district, said the province’s Deputy Police Chief Abdul Razaq Koraishi. The assailant killed two Afghan policemen and wounded four, including the district police chief, before he was gunned down, Koraishi said. The US military said in a statement that two American service members were killed in the shooting. US forces were holding five Afghan police officers for questioning, Koraishi said. Karzai ordered US special operations forces to leave Wardak province, just outside the Afghan capital, because of allegations that Afghans working with the US commandos were involved in abusive behavior. Karzai gave them two weeks to leave, and the deadline expired Sunday. On Sunday, Karzai accused US forces of working with the Taliban to stage two suicide bombings over the weekend during the visit of US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. In a speech, K arzai said the Americans want to scare Afghans into allowing them to stay. That brought a sharp rebuke from the U.S. ambassador Tuesday, as news of the insider attack in Wardak emerged. “The thought that we would collude with the Taliban flies in the face of everything we have done here and is absolutely without foundation,” Ambassador James Cunningham said in a statement. “It is inconceivable that we would spend the lives of America’s sons, daughters, and our treasure, in helping Afghans to secure and rebuild their country, and at the same time be engaged in endangering Afghanistan or its citizens.” The Wardak shooting is the third insider attack this year. Afghan soldiers opened fire on US forces at a joint base in eastern Afghanistan last Friday, killing one US contractor and injuring four US troops. — AP





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Kenyatta turned ICC indictment to his advantage By Boris Bachorz ar from having been a handicap, Uhuru Kenyatta’s indictment for crimes against humanity galvanised his supporters, giving the already formidable machinery of his coalition the edge, analysts said. Kenyatta, 51, was proclaimed president Saturday after an outright win in the first round with 50.07 percent of the votes, against 43.31 percent for his main rival Raila Odinga, 68, who has vowed to take his complaint for “massive tampering” to the Supreme Court. Uhuru Kenyatta should become the first presidential candidate to take power before having to fly off a few months later to appear in a trial likely to last at least two years, at the Hague-based International Criminal Court. But far from deterring voters, the impending trial seems to have had the opposite effect. “ The ICC process helped” Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, who is also indicted for his alleged role in the violence that followed the 2007 presidential poll, said Daniel Branch, an author and academic at Britain’s Warwick University. “It gave them a powerful message, a real motivation for victory and kept the debate on them the whole time. Odinga was unable to seize the initiative back,” Branch went on. Kenyatta’s indictment enabled him to spin the narrative that his community had to “mobilise ... against the enemy who took our son out of here,” said Musambayi Katumanga, a political scientist from Nairobi University. The ICC suspects Kenyatta of having paid the Mungiki, a sect-like criminal gang notorious for beheading its victims, to lead reprisal attacks and defend the Kikuyu community when Kenya was on the brink of civil war after the disputed 2007 poll. The president elect rejects those accusations. Kenyan voters may have wondered how Kenyatta and Ruto will manage the country from The Hague where they are supposed to appear in court in person, starting May 28 for Ruto and July 9 for Kenyatta. Ruto, 46, famously explained that he was quite capable of doing the two things at the same time as “we can chew gum and scale the stairs at the same time”. Even in Kenyatta’s camp, one quarter of his supporters admitted to wondering about the question, an opinion poll by Ipsos-Synovate in late February showed. At the end of the day voters seem to have overcome their doubts. The fact that several foreign diplomats and officials raised the ICC as an issue did not go down well with many Kenyans and likely strengthened Kenyatta’s vote. “People close to Kenyatta reckon that those declarations by diplomats helped them, for Kenyans are very proud and they remember that it is not so long since they belonged to the colonial empire of another power,” said Tom Wolfe, chief analyst at Ipsos-Synovate. But even if “the ICC cases played a prominent role in the campaigns ... more than anything else Kenyatta’s victory was the result of demographic providence and resources,” said Ken Opalo, a political science doctoral candidate at Stanford University. The alliance between Kenyatta and Ruto appears artificial given that their respective communities clashed violently in the Rift Valley in 2007-08. But it gave Kenyatta’s Jubilee coalition an ethnic bloc of votes that represented more than one quarter of Kenya’s 41 million people. According to Opalo, 87 percent of people eligible to vote in Kikuyu and Kalenjin areas registered to vote, against 78 percent in Odinga’s strongholds. “Jubilee ran a much better campaign. Ruto has supplanted Odinga as the most effective mobiliser of voters ... A combination of Ruto’s skills and Uhuru’s money was extremely effective,” Daniel Branch said. The fact that he belongs to one of Africa’s richest families, whose fortune is estimated at $500 million by Forbes Magazine, meant Kenyatta was able to throw money at the campaign, going as far as recruiting a British PR firm BTP Advisers. His opponents, as well as some observers, have also spoken of voters bought, ID cards bought in order to prevent some voters from going to the polls, but it was not possible to verify the claims independently, to measure the scale of the alleged fraud nor to say whether it was the preserve of one camp. — AFP


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West walks tight-rope over Kenyatta win By Edmund Blair huru Kenyatta’s victory in Kenya’s presidential vote presents Western states with the challenge of keeping an elected leader charged with crimes against humanity at arm’s length while preserving valuable security and business ties. Much is at stake in the relationship between East Africa’s biggest economy and its main Western backers and donors. A diplomatic fumble in dealing with Kenyatta could damage ties with a nation that has helped quell militant Islamists in the region and push a traditionally pro-Western state closer to China and other emerging powers hungry for openings in Africa. Kenyatta was declared president-elect at the weekend, after securing just enough votes to win in the first round, handing him the post his father held after Kenya’s 1963 independence, although his main rival Raila Odinga has challenged the outcome. “It is extremely problematic for the West partly because several Western officials inserted themselves into the Kenyan election campaign and made pretty clear they thought Kenyans should not vote for Kenyatta,” said Africa Confidential editor Patrick Smith. “That triggered ... the opposite response.” The 51-year-old may owe some of his votes to Kenyans riled by what they saw as “meddling” when Washington, London and others cautioned before the election about the consequences of a win by Kenyatta, the US-educated deputy prime minister. The West’s day-to-day diplomacy will now be a more awkward affair, though it could in part be shaped by pressure from energy companies and other foreign firms determined not to miss opportunities in a region that may be on the verge of a hydrocarbons-fuelled boom. However, relations will largely hinge on whether Kenyatta and his running mate, deputy president-elect William Ruto, who is also indicted, live up to their pledge to cooperate with the International Criminal Court in The Hague to clear their names. Western diplomats have been coy in outlining what keeping diplomatic dealings down to “essential contacts” means in practice, perhaps allowing them as much room for


interpretation as possible as they assess how Kenyatta handles the case that alleges he had a role in the post-2007 election bloodshed. Offering some encouragement to Western capitals, Kenyatta pledged in a victory speech to cooperate with “international institutions” although he said the world should also respect Kenya’s “democratic will” - drawing applause in the hall. Diplomats have not disguised the dilemma. When British High Commissioner Christian Turner spoke last month about Kenyatta and Ruto’s bid for the presidency, he made clear the challenge facing diplomats in Nairobi. Some Kenyans saw his comments as interference in the race. “It is difficult for us that I am not able to meet and talk to such important politicians in the affairs of Kenya,” he said in the interview with Kenyan television, refusing to be drawn on what exactly he would do if Kenyatta was elected saying “I will cross that bridge when I get to it.” In private, diplomats say precisely how they will respond will be determined as it becomes clear whether Kenyatta and Ruto are meeting ICC obligations in office. Kenyatta faces his own high-wire act as he seeks to run a country of 40 million people while cooperating with a trial in The Hague to start in July. How much time he needs to spend there or whether he can absent himself from hearings is still unclear. His rival, Odinga, quipped during campaigning that Kenyatta would have to govern by Skype from the Netherlands. But no one expects Kenya go the way of Sudan, the only other country where a sitting president faces ICC charges. President Omar Al-Bashir has refused to recognise the court, further isolating Khartoum from the West. Kenya is “light years away from that” said Smith and diplomats want it to stay that way. “We feel if you’re under suspicion of a crime that you step aside and clear your name first,” said one Western diplomat, asking not to be named because of the subject’s sensitivity. But he added: “It won’t be a headache as long as (Kenyatta) cooperates with the ICC.” Indicating the careful calibration, the United States and others in the West congratulated Kenyans on the vote but not Kenyatta by name, using wording that was similar enough to

hint at coordination. The United States, Britain and the European Union, all big donors to Kenya, have good reason not to want to see a Kenyatta presidency undo long standing relations. Western firms are well-entrenched in Kenya’s economy which has steadily recovered from the hammering after the violence that followed the 2007 election. Diageo and Vodafone are among the big players. Kenya is a vital trade link for the rest of east Africa, where energy explorers include Britain’s Tullow, Canada’s Simba Energy and New York-listed Anadarko Petroleum. Regardless of Kenya’s own reserves, its ports will play an export role for finds elsewhere. Aly-Khan Satchu, who was a former interest rate trader in London before moving to Kenya as analyst and trader, said a misstep by the West risked letting Kenya “run into the eager embrace of China and India”. “US, UK and EU foreign policy has been framed ideologically of late and ‘realpolitik’, security and business interests might seek to exert more influence over the policy makers and their responses over the coming weeks,” Satchu said. Security worries loom large. Kenyan troops have been at the vanguard of an African peacekeeping mission, backed by the West, to quash Islamist militants in Somalia. That intervention may have finally set Somalia on a bumpy road to recovery. Washington donates around $900 million a year to Kenya, much of it for AIDS victims, but part goes to security cooperation. While Western diplomats determine their actions, Kenyatta will have to make his own careful calculations. His team lambasted Western “interference” in the campaign, but Kenyatta will not want to a jeopardise long-standing and lucrative ties. Much may be determined by the way the ICC case proceeds. His lawyers and independent observers say the case against him is looking ragged. Citing the unreliability of a key witness for the prosecution, Kenyatta’s defence team have asked for the file to be returned to the pre-trial chamber, calling for it to be thrown out before the trial’s start date of July. Independent observers also cite shortcomings. “It’s a live option that the case gets dismissed,” said Bill Schabas, professor of international law at Middlesex University in London. — Reuters

Pak middle class fixes sights on China By Guillaume Lavallee hen Misbah Rashid taught Chinese 30 years ago, few signed up. Today her department has more than 200 Pakistani students, increasingly attracted by the prospect of an affordable education and a job. For decades, a foreign education was the preserve of the richest who could afford the stratospheric expense of sending their progeny to Oxford or Harvard to mingle with an international elite. But Rashid’s pupils are mostly middle class. Ambitious and academic, they lack the means to afford an American or British education and so they sign up for Mandarin Chinese at the National University of Modern Languages in Islamabad. Some of them hope to get a job with a Chinese company in Pakistan. Others will go on to further studies in China, which offers around 500 scholarships a year and cheaper fees. A course in China costs a few thousand dollars a year, compared with the tens of thousands of dollars US and British universities charge. What is more, some Pakistanis say their great northeastern neighbour makes them feel more welcome. “Nowadays as Pakistanis, you may not be as welcome in all other countries as we were a few years ago,” says 18-year-old Ali Rafi, who applied to study economics at Shangdon University after visiting last summer. “But when we went to China, there was one major difference in that we felt at home, the relations with people were really, really good. We were always welcomed, honoured and everyone was really pleased when they learnt we were Pakistani.” He studies at City School, one of the private schools in Islamabad that has started to offer Chinese lessons to children as young as 12, who sing in Mandarin under the watchful eye of their teacher, Zhang Haiwei. If everything goes well, the classes will be rolled out across the school’s other 200 branches in Pakistan. And other private


schools are doing the same. Pakistanis complain about the difficulty of getting visas and of the suspicion their nationality can arouse among those who associate Pakistan with Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, particularly in Britain and the United States. The British government says that overall, 20 percent fewer student visas were issued in 2012, compared to the previous year. The US mission in Pakistan says it supports the world’s largest US government-funded exchange program, sending over 1,000 Pakistanis on fully funded educational programs to the United States every year. The independent Institute of International Education says 5,045 students from Pakistan studied in the United States in 2010-11, but that the number has declined steadily since 2001-02, the academic year of the 9/11 attacks. There is also considerable resentment of US policy,

including the “covert” use of armed drones to carry out attacks in Pakistan on militants. Whereas Chinese investment, China’s reluctance to admonish Pakistan in public, its rivalry with India and status as an emerging global superpower give it considerable goodwill. The job market is another consideration. Pakistan’s main trading partner is still the European Union, but trade with China reached $12 billion last year, up 18 percent from the previous year. China is also Pakistan’s main arms supplier. Beijing built two nuclear power plants in Pakistan and is contracted to construct two more reactors. There are an estimated 10,000 Chinese living in Pakistan. Last month, it also took control of Pakistan’s strategic port of Gwadar, which through an expanded Karakoram Highway could connect China to the Arabian Sea and Strait of Hormuz, a gate-

In this picture taken Feb 18, 2013, Pakistani schoolchildren learn Chinese from their teacher Zhang Haiwei at a private school in Islamabad. — AFP

way for a third of the world’s traded oil. Mushtak Ahmed, 19, has enrolled under Rashid precisely because of the Chinese influx into Pakistan’s northern province of Gilgit-Baltistan, where China is widening the highway to its border. “Lots of Chinese people are coming to our area and they just speak Chinese and we cannot understand it... so there is a need for translators,” he said. According to Pakistan’s embassy in Beijing, around 8,000 Pakistani students are already studying in China and thousands more are preparing to join them. Former ambassador to Beijing and Washington Riaz Khokar said wealthy Pakistanis tend not to return after studying in the West, but China offers a technical education that will benefit the Pakistani economy. “The Chinese economic presence in Pakistan is growing so why should there be Chinese managers or Chinese at various levels? The idea was (that) we should train.” China has accused the separatist East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which wants an independent homeland in the western Muslim-majority region of Xinjiang, of training “terrorists” in Pakistan, although experts question how much of a threat they are. But the relationship has few of the tensions that Pakistan suffers with the United States, which repeatedly presses Pakistan to do more to clamp down on militants who launch attacks on American and Afghan forces in Afghanistan. “I have dealt with their intelligence, I have dealt with their army, I have dealt with everybody at the highest level. They have never told us ‘do this or we will kick you as the US does,” said Khokar. But if political relations are cosy, then Haiwei says ordinary Chinese professionals are more circumspect. “In Pakistan we have more than 6,000 Chinese students. However, we have maybe about 50 teachers. We don’t have enough teachers. Some people found it dangerous so they don’t want to work here,” he said. —AFP



Brown seals maiden win

Retired boxer Martin shot

Ferguson snubs Benitez

PUERTO RICO: American Scott Brown birdied the final hole, where his playing partner Fabian Gomez bogeyed, to clinch his maiden PGA Tour title by one shot at the Puerto Rico Open in Rio Grande on Sunday. Co-leader overnight with Argentine Gomez, Brown closed with a two-under-par 70 for a 20-under total of 268 at the Trump International Golf Club to claim a spot at this year’s PGA Championship. Brown, who had tied for fifth here 12 months ago in his rookie season on the PGA Tour, also earned a winner’s cheque for $630,000 and a two-year exemption on the US circuit. Gomez, who like Brown had been bidding for his first victory on the PGA Tour, led by a shot playing the par-five last but fell back into a tie for second with his late bogey as he signed off with a 71. The Argentine finished at 19 under par, level with American Jordan Spieth who fired a six-birdie 67. Americans Justin Bolli (66) and Brian Stuard (68) were a further stroke back in a share of fourth place.—Reuters

PHILADELPHIA: Retired boxer Tony Martin was fatally shot in an altercation with a visitor at one of his rental properties and police are searching for a suspect, authorities said yesterday. The 52-year-old Martin, a former welterweight, was shot during an argument at the home in the city’s Hunting Park section on Friday, police said. Martin’s niece, Robyn Peete, said her uncle had gone to the home to collect rent and found a person who wasn’t supposed to be there. Peete said she didn’t know exactly what happened, but that her uncle was a strict landlord who owned several properties in the city. He may not have approved of an unauthorized person being at the property, she said, adding that he was also known to be very compassionate with his tenants. “He was a very good landlord as far as giving breaks to his tenants,” she said. “It’s just a matter of time before the person is identified and apprehended.” A native of St. Louis, Martin was 34-6-1 in his boxing career, with 12 knockouts. He lost his last fight, a decision to Julio Cesar Chavez in Las Vegas, in 1997. A longtime postal service clerk after serving in the military, Martin transferred from his native St. Louis to Philadelphia to train in 1985, Peete said. He trained at Champs Gym in north Philadelphia, where the telephone rang unanswered Monday.—AP

MANCHESTER: Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez accused his Manchester United counterpart Alex Ferguson of failing to shake hands before their FA Cup quarterfinal on Sunday in the latest chapter in their fractious relationship. The teams drew 2-2 after Chelsea, who conceded two early goals, launched a strong second-half fightback to recover from two goals down and earn a replay. Benitez said he had waited before the match to greet Ferguson but that the Scot, with whom he traded many jibes in his days as manager of United’s arch-rivals Liverpool, had walked past him. “I was waiting at the beginning,” the Spaniard told a news conference. “I have education because I know a lot of people are watching so I know what you have to do.” Ferguson was fuming after United’s controversial Champions League exit to Real Madrid on Tuesday and did not give a post-match news conference following the Chelsea game, spurning the opportunity to explain his take on the Benitez incident. The Chelsea manager urged the gathered reporters to tackle Ferguson over the matter. —Reuters

NBA results/standings Oklahoma City 91, Boston 79; LA Lakers 90, Chicago 81; Toronto 100, Cleveland 96; Orlando 99, Philadelphia 91; Miami 105, Indiana 91; New Orleans 98, Portland 96; Dallas 100, Minnesota 77; Milwaukee 115, Sacramento 113; LA Clippers 129, Detroit 97.

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 28 .548 25 39 .391 23 39 .371 Central Division 39 24 .619 35 28 .556 32 29 .525 23 42 .354 21 42 .333 Southeast Division 47 14 .770 34 28 .548 20 41 .328 18 46 .281 13 50 .206

GB 2.5 5 15 16 4 6 17 18 13.5 27 30.5 35

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City 47 16 .746 Denver 42 22 .656 Utah 32 31 .508 Portland 29 33 .468 Minnesota 21 39 .350 Pacific Division LA Clippers 45 20 .692 Golden State 35 29 .547 LA Lakers 33 31 .516 Phoenix 22 41 .349 Sacramento 22 43 .338 Southwest Division San Antonio 48 15 .762 Memphis 42 19 .689 Houston 34 30 .531 Dallas 29 33 .468 New Orleans 22 42 .344

5.5 15 17.5 24.5 9.5 11.5 22 23 5 14.5 18.5 26.5

MEXICO: French driver Sebastien Ogier (right) and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia (left) celebrate after winning the FIA World Rally Championship.—AFP

Ogier wins in Mexico to extend championship lead MEXICO: Frenchman Sebastien Ogier clinched victory in the Rally of Mexico on Sunday to extend his lead at the top of the world championship standings to 31 points after three rounds. The Volkswagen driver put an early-morning technical issue behind him to complete a resounding win, his second in a row, by three minutes 28.9 seconds from Finland’s Mikko Hirvonen in a Citroen. The Frenchman, who won 16 of the rally’s 23 stages, spent 20 minutes fixing a sensor after the morning’s opening Guanajuatito stage on gravel roads in the hills around Leon in central Mexico. “The car was perfect again all weekend,” he told the website. “Okay, just a small alarm this morning with a sensor but it was not a drama. “Now we have quite a good lead for the championship after just three rallies. The season will be long but already it’s not bad,” added the Frenchman, who won on Swedish snow and was second on asphalt in Monte Carlo.

Ogier had seen his lead increased by 40 seconds after the clerk of the course examined data and split times to see how much he had lost on Saturday’s stage 18 when he had to stop and open a gate that was blocking the road. Belgium’s Thierry Neuville finished third in a Ford, despite sliding into a ditch in the morning, for his first world championship podium. Reigning champion Sebastien Loeb is second overall but is competing in only a handful of events this season and is not defending his title. That meant that Ogier’s closest real rival is Hirvonen, third overall and 44 points off the lead after his first podium of the year. “Sebastien was so fast and we couldn’t match his pace,” said the Finn. “We have lots of work to do but I’m happy we’ve finally got on the podium and taken a solid result.” Among the points scorers, Qatar’s Nasser al-Attiyah was fifth in a Ford and American Ken Block finished a career best seventh, also in a Ford.—Reuters

Heat topple Pacers MIAMI: Mario Chalmers scored 26 points and Chris Bosh added 24 as the Miami Heat won their 18th straight game, easily topping the Indiana Pacers 105-91 on Sunday night. The 18-game streak ties the seventh longest in NBA history, and is the league’s best since the Boston Celtics won 19 straight during the 2008-09 season. Miami will try for No. 19 when it hosts Atlanta on Tuesday night. The win also gave Miami (47-14) a victory over every NBA team this season. The Heat lost both previous meetings with Indiana. Dwyane Wade scored 23 points for the Heat, who controlled the game despite a season-low 13 points from LeBron James. Ray Allen added 11 for Miami. David West scored 17 of his 24 points in the first half for the Pacers, who fell nine games behind Miami in the Eastern Conference standings. Roy Hibbert scored 15, D.J. Augustin had 14 and Paul George scored 10 for Indiana. Raptors 100, Cavaliers 96 In Toronto, Amir Johnson scored 17 points and matched his career high with 16 rebounds, and Alan Anderson scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter. Cavaliers star guard Kyrie Irving was knocked out by an apparent shoulder injury late in the third quarter as Cleveland lost for the fourth time in five games. Irving was hurt when he collided with Toronto rookie Jonas Valanciunas on a baseline drive with 2:04 left in the third. He shot the resulting free throws one-handed. Irving made the first but missed the second before walking off and heading to the locker room. He finished with 12 points. Irving missed 11 games between Nov. 21 and Dec. 8 with a broken finger. He also sat out three games between Feb. 26 and March 1 with a sore right knee. Lakers 90, Bulls 81 In Los Angeles, Dwight Howard scored 16 points and grabbed 21 rebounds, Kobe Bryant chipped in with 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for Los Angeles. The Lakers improved their winloss record to 33-31, the first time this season they have been two games over .500. They also moved one-half game ahead of the Utah Jazz and into sole possession of the No. 8 and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Lakers led almost throughout, only briefly falling behind by two

points in the second quarter, and led by as many as 18 in the third period. Nate Robinson led the Bulls with 19 points, and Joakim Noah had 18 points and 17 rebounds. Howard made 8 of 14 shots from the floor but missed all five free throws. His 21 rebounds marked the fourth time this season he’s grabbed at least 20. Thunder 91, Celtics 79 In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant had 23 points and 11 rebounds, Russell Westbrook scored 15 points and the Thunder stretched their winning streak to five games. The Thunder limited Boston to 25 percent shooting in the second half

rebounds for the Sixers, followed by Damien Wilkins with 16 points in his first start of the season. Philadelphia has dropped five straight and 13 in a row on the road. Hornets 98, Trail Blazers 96 In New Orleans, Ryan Anderson capped a 20-point performance with a layup as he was fouled with 1.8 seconds left, and the Hornets snapped a three-game skid. Anderson also hit a 3 with 15.6 seconds left that gave the Hornets a 95-93 lead, but Portland rookie Damian Lillard reached the 20-point mark for a sixth straight game by draining a 3 with 11.2 seconds left.

SACRAMENTO: Milwaukee Bucks center Drew Gooden (right) and Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins battle for the ball during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game.—AP after the Celtics shot 51 percent in the first. Oklahoma City used an 11-2 run at the start of the fourth quarter to close it out. The Celtics had pulled within 68-65 after three quarters before going without a basket for the first 5 minutes of the fourth, and they never could recover. Paul Pierce had 20 points to lead Boston, which had its own run of five straight wins broken. Kevin Garnett chipped in 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Greivis Vasquez, who also had 20 points, then dribbled out of traffic along the perimeter and found Anderson inside for the winning bucket. Anthony Davis had 18 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans. Wesley Matthews scored 24 points and LaMarcus Aldridge 16 for Portland, which fell three games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Magic 99, 76ers 91 In Orlando, Jameer Nelson had 24 points and 10 assists, and Nik Vucevic added 14 points and 17 rebounds. The win ended the Magic’s sevengame home losing streak, their longest skid in Orlando since 200304. Arron Afflalo and Tobias Harris added 17 and 15 points, respectively. The double-double was the 35th of the season for Vucevic. Thaddeus Young had 26 points and 12

Mavericks 100, Timberwolves 77 In Minneapolis, Vince Carter had 22 points and nine rebounds and Dirk Nowitzki scored 16 points for Dallas. Brandan Wright added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Mavericks, who have won three straight and four of their last five in a last-ditch push for the playoffs. They entered the day in 11th place in the West, three games out of the eighth spot.

Derrick Williams had 18 points and nine rebounds for the lethargic Timberwolves, who had no energy on the second night of a tough backto-back that started in Denver. J.J. Barea scored 16 points, but Minnesota’s bench managed just six other points. The Wolves are 6-25 since Kevin Love broke his hand for the second time on Jan. 8. Bucks 115, Kings 113 In Sacramento, Monta Ellis had 29 points and nine assists and the Bucks survived a late comeback by the Kings to earn their second straight victory and sixth in seven games. Before the current hot streak, Milwaukee had dropped nine of 11 games. Mike Dunleavy made four 3pointers and scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half. Brandon Jennings also scored 16 points and had eight assists for Milwaukee. Ellis had 10 fourth-quarter points for the Bucks, who were outscored 33-30 in the period. DeMarcus Cousins, who was ejected in the third quarter, had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings. Tyreke Evans had 20 points and Jason Thompson had 18 points and eight rebounds. Isaiah Thomas had 14 points and nine assists.—AP Clippers 129, Pistons 97 In Los Angeles, Blake Griffin led seven players in double figures with 22 points on 9 of 12 shooting and the Clippers beat the Pistons for their 10th win in 13 games. Chris Paul had 20 points and 14 assists, and Caron Butler added 15 points before leaving in the third quarter with a left elbow contusion. Matt Barnes had 16 points, DeAndre Jordan added 13 points and seven rebounds, Willie Green 11 points and Chauncey Billups 10 points. The Clippers set season highs for points scored and shooting percentage (62) while leading the entire game. Their old high of 125 points came in a win over the Lakers last month. Jose Calderon was one of five Pistons in double figures with 18 points as they lost their fifth in a row overall, fourth straight to the Clippers, and fell to 0-11 on the road against Western Conference opponents. Pistons coach Lawrence Frank missed his third straight game because of a family matter. Assistant Brian Hill, who is running the team, said he doesn’t expect Frank back for the remainder of the four-game trip.—AP

Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive to organise BMW Golf Cup International - Kuwait 2013 Opportunity for customers to participate in exclusive event KUWAIT: This April, amateur golfers in Kuwait will be given the chance to participate in the 2013 BMW Golf Cup International, organised by Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive, the BMW Group importer in Kuwait. Respresenting the Kuwait national round of the renowned international tournament, the event will take place at the Sahara Golf Club on April 5, 2013. Ruled by Kuwait Golf Committee, a total of 100 players will participate in the 18-hole Individual Stableford Event, with golfers falling into three categories: Mens Category A

(Handicap 0-12) and Mens Category B (Handicap betwen 13-28) and Ladies Category with handicaps upto 28. The 18-hole championship course is set to pose a real challenge for the players, providing an exciting day of golf. The first, second and third place winners from each category will take home an exclusive Trophy and BMW Golfsport Gifts. Prizes will also be given out for the Longest Drive, Nearest-to-the-pin and Hole-in-one. In addition, the three overall winners will be flown to the BMW Golf Cup International World Finals in 2014 with all travel and acco-

modation expenses covered by Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive, where they will tee off against more than 100 other golfers representing 47 countries. During the tournament, Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive will display a range of BMW models at the Sahara Golf Club. In addition, BMW Lifestyle items will also be on display at the event, which are set to generate a lot of interest among the participating Kuwaiti golf enthusiasts. “We always aim to offer our customers exciting ways to experience the BMW brand beyond vehicle ownership,” said Yousef Al Qatami,

General Manager of Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive. “Golf is a sport that is in synergy with the BMW brand values of strategic thinking and aesthetic expression. Both the sport and BMW are exclusive, elegant and stylish, a perfect match for the brand’s premium character,” added Al Qatami. Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive is offering the chance to be part of this exclusive and premium event. Participants must be aged 21 or above and can call +965 184 6464 for more information. Registration is on a first come first serve basis and will end on March 18.



Kenseth holds off Kahne to win in Vegas LAS VEGAS: Matt Kenseth decided not to replace any tires during the final pit stop under caution, and the calculated risk put him in the lead. Kenseth knows a bit about risk after his offseason move to Joe Gibbs Racing, and this latest gamble paid off with his third victory in Vegas. Kenseth won on his 41st birthday in just his third start for his new team, barely holding off Kasey Kahne at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for his 25th career victory Sunday. “I was real nervous all day,” Kenseth said. “(Kahne) had the best car. I told (crew chief ) Jason (Ratcliff ) with about 12 to go that I was sorry we were going to lose. We were just too tight. ... We didn’t have the fastest car there, but we had it where we needed it to be.” Kenseth took charge by taking only fuel on the final pit stop during caution while almost everybody else replaced two tires. He took the lead and held onto it, using his veteran savvy - and a few screamed instructions at his new spotter -

to keep Kahne’s impressive Chevrolet behind him to the finish. The frequently laid-back Kenseth celebrated with uncommon vigor after his JGR Toyota crossed the line. He’s still getting comfortable with his new teammates after leaving Roush Fenway Racing in the highest-profile driver move of the offseason, joining Gibbs after 13 seasons with RFR. “I’m not a huge goal person, but my goal was to win, and to win early,” Kenseth said. “Nobody has put any pressure on me except for myself, but I also know that Coach hired me to come in there, climb in that car and win races. You certainly want to do that, and you don’t want to disappoint people. I’m glad we got a win, but it’s still only Week 3. I feel like this is the beginning.” Pole-sitter Brad Keselowski finished third, with Kenseth’s teammate, Kyle Busch, in fourth and Carl Edwards fifth. Jimmie Johnson, the overall points leader, was sixth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. seventh. Defending Vegas champion Tony

Stewart finished 11th, while Gibbs driver Denny Hamlin was 15th after an eventful week featuring a $25,000 fine from NASCAR for criticizing the new Gen-6 race car. The win was the 50th for Toyota in Sprint Cup Series competition. Kenseth is just the third NASCAR driver to win on his birthday, joining Cale Yarborough - who did it twice - and Busch. “I showed them a fake ID when they hired me,” Kenseth said with a laugh. “Told them I was 28, going to be 29 this year.” Kenseth has won at least one race in 11 of his 14 full seasons in the Sprint Cup series, but the first 13 were all in Fords with Roush Fenway, the team that gave him his break in NASCAR and fostered his development into a likely Hall of Famer. Kenseth’s decision to leave for a seat on Gibbs’ team was an open secret for much of last season, although the veteran star never really explained his move. “I had a lot of confidence after our first meeting and decided to go do this, and just had a great feeling about it, and still

do,” Kenseth said. Gibbs had his own worries before the race after a rough start to the season for Toyota. Kenseth and Busch both had serious engine trouble at Daytona two weeks ago. “Lots of times, a victory, the thrill of it, depends on kind of what happens leading up to it,” Gibbs said. “We’ve had a tough couple of weeks, as everybody knows. ... In tough times, everybody bands together around our place. We started fighting, and we worked our way out of some tough things.” The 400-mile race was the first real test for NASCAR’s new Gen-6 car on the intermediate tracks they’re built to race. Although Hamlin commanded the week’s headlines with his pessimism amplified by the NASCAR fine, most drivers were curious how the Gen-6 would work in its ideal 1.5-mile environment. Any drivers who still think it’s too tough to pass in the new car must not have been watching Busch, who made two lengthy charges up to early leads, doing it both before and after a pit-row

speeding penalty dropped him back to 18th. “I just hate it for my team,” said Busch, a Las Vegas native and graduate of nearby Durango High School. “We had by far the best car in practice. I don’t know where that went. Today was a different day. The worst Gibbs car ended up winning the race. It’s funny how this game works.” Busch, who finished second in Saturday ’s Nationwide Series race, charged through the field with impressive ease and took the lead out of a restart with a daredevil move on the apron with 102 laps to go. He went three wide and got underneath Kahne while kicking up dust well below the white line. Kahne set the qualifying speed record on the Vegas track last year, but rain wiped out qualifying this week. He reclaimed the lead and held it until Kenseth nosed ahead out of another restart with 36 laps left when Kahne had trouble getting out of pit row, nearly hitting Stewart.—AP

History-making Rahim leads B’desh run-spree

ST PAUL: Cory Schneider No. 35 and Alexander Edler No. 23 of the Vancouver Canucks defend against a shot on goal by Devin Setoguchi No. 10 of the Minnesota Wild during the third period of the game. —AFP

Rangers bring down Capitals WASHINGTON: About three hours after asking for more respect from NHL officials, Alex Ovechkin was called for two penalties within seconds, leading to a pair of goals that put the New York Rangers ahead Sunday in a 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals. Brian Boyle scored his first goal of the season one game after being a healthy scratch, and Ryan Callahan also took advantage of Ovechkin’s miscues to give New York a two-goal lead in the second period. Derek Stepan and Brad Richards also scored, and Martin Biron made 28 saves for the Rangers, who have won five of six. Steve Oleksy scored his first NHL goal for the Capitals, who endured a rough weekend against New York teams. Washington lost 5-2 on the road against the Islanders on Saturday. With the score 4-1, Capitals coach Adam Oates pulled goalie Braden Holtby in favor of Michal Neuvirth, who hadn’t played since Feb. 7 and had recently been sidelined with an illness. Oilers 6, Blackhawks 5 In Chicago, Sam Gagner scored two of Edmonton’s four goals in the first period and the Oilers beat Chicago, sending the Blackhawks to their second consecutive loss after their recordbreaking start. Ryan Whitney and Taylor Hall each had a goal and an assist for Edmonton, which snapped a five-game losing streak. Shawn Horcoff also scored as the Oilers went 3 for 4 on the power play. Yann Davis, who came in after Devan Dubnyk was hurt in the second period, finished with 21 saves. Chicago set an NHL record by recording at least one point in the first 24 games of the season. The streak ended with a 6-2 loss at Colorado on Friday night. Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Sheldon Brookbank and Brent Seabrook scored during a wild second period, and Kane added his teamleading 14th of the season to get Chicago within one with 13 minutes left. Blue Jackets 3, Red Wings 2 In Detroit, Ryan Johansen and Matt Calvert scored in the shootout and streaking Columbus beat Detroit to complete a series sweep. Derick Brassard and RJ Umberger had goals in regulation, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 20 saves through overtime for Columbus, which has won five straight. The Blue Jackets topped the Red Wings 3-0 in Columbus on Saturday. The Blue Jackets are 5-0-2 in their last seven games after getting only 12 points in their first 19. Jakub Kindl and Johan Franzen scored for Detroit in regulation, and Jimmy Howard stopped 19 shots. Pavel Datsyuk scored the Red Wings’ only goal in the shootout. Franzen tied it 2-2 with a 5-on-3, power-play goal 25 seconds into the third period. Penguins 6, Islanders 1 In Pittsburgh, Sidney Crosby tied a career high with five assists, and Chris Kunitz posted his second hat trick of the season in Pittsburgh’s rout of the New York Islanders. Crosby’s big night boosted his point total to an NHL-leading 45 and helped the Penguins win their fifth straight. James Neal had a goal and three assists, and Pascal Dupuis scored twice for Pittsburgh. Tomas Vokoun made 23 saves. Brad Boyes scored the lone goal for New York, which had a five-game point streak snapped. Evgeni Nabokov stopped just 12 of 17 shots in two periods before getting pulled for the final 20 minutes. The Penguins played without reigning NHL MVP Evgeni Malkin, who sat out due to an upper body injury. Canadiens 5, Panthers 2 In Sunrise, Michael Ryder scored two powerplay goals to lift Montreal over Florida. David Desharnais, Brian Gionta, and Francis Bouillon also scored, and P.K. Subban had three assists. Ryder has seven assists and two goals in seven

games since being acquired from Dallas on Feb. 26. Peter Budaj stopped 14 shots for the Canadiens, who won for the fourth time on their five-game trip and earned their ninth road victory of the season. The Canadiens swept the season series from the Panthers. Tomas Kopecky and Shawn Matthias scored for Florida, and Jacob Markstrom made 33 saves. The Panthers have lost six of seven and 13 of 16. Devils 3, Jets 2 In Newark, Patrik Elias scored the only goal of the shootout, and Johan Hedberg stopped all three Winnipeg attempts as New Jersey topped the Jets. Ryan Carter and Stephen Gionta scored in regulation time for the Devils, who won for only the second time in nine games since top goalie Martin Brodeur was sidelined with a sore back. Hedberg made 23 saves through overtime and then turned away Blake Wheeler, Evander Kane and Andrew Ladd in the shootout. Elias netted the winner with a backhander on the Devils’ last attempt that just got under goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who made 25 saves before the tiebreaker. Defenseman Mark Stuart and Kane had regulation goals for the Jets, who had a twogame winning streak snapped and lost for only the third time in eight games. Flyers 3, Sabres 2 In Philadelphia, Claude Giroux, Simon Gagne and Max Talbot all scored to help Philadelphia snap a three-game losing streak by beating Buffalo. Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 18 shots for the Flyers (12-14-1), who are still on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff race. They are ahead of the Sabres, who are buried in last place in the Northeast Division and have lost four straight. Brian Flynn and Jochen Hecht scored for Buffalo. With both teams struggling, tempers were short. Buffalo’s Mike Weber slugged it out with Wayne Simmonds, and Sabres center Steve Ott threw a punch at Kimmo Timonen.

GALLE: Mushfiqur Rahim yesterday became the first Bangladeshi to crack a double-century while Nasir Hossain hit a maiden ton as the tourists gained a 68-run lead in the first Test against Sri Lanka. Skipper Rahim hit a solid 200 and Hossain an impressive 100 as Bangladesh were bowled out for 638, their highest total in 76 Tests, in reply to Sri Lanka’s first-innings total of 570-4 declared. The hosts reached 116-1 in their second innings at stumps on the penultimate day of the Test, which appears to be heading for a draw in Galle. Opener Tillakaratne Dilshan was unbeaten on 63 and Kumar Sangakkara 49 not out. Rahim’s memorable moment came in the second over after lunch when he pushed paceman Nuwan Kulasekara for a single to the covers on a day when Mohammad Ashraful (190) missed out on his own Test double-hundred. Wicketkeeper-batsman Rahim, 24, was trapped leg-before by Kulasekara in the same over, but not before helping Bangladesh surpass their previous highest Test total of 556 against the West Indies in Dhaka last year. “I am feeling great,” said Rahim. “It was my dream to score a Test hundred and thought if I get a chance to bat long I will probably go for a long innings. Ashraful really batted well and also Nasir. We are really happy with our overall batting performance. “Tomorrow is day five, so anything can happen. If we can manage to draw it will be a huge relief for us. Our main target in Test matches is to play consistent cricket.” Bangladesh, who dominated the match for a second successive day with their solid batting, also became only the third team after India and Pakistan to score 600 or more in a Test innings in Sri Lanka. Rahim, 152 overnight, hit one six and 22 fours in his brilliant 321-ball knock. He put on a record 267 for the fifth wicket with Ashraful and 106 for the next with Hossain. Bangladesh’s previous highest stand for any wicket in Tests was 200 between Tamim Iqbal and Junaid Siddique against India in Dhaka in 2010. Hossain was caught at mid-wicket by Sangakkara off part-time spinner Dilshan after hitting nine fours. Ashraful, playing his first Test in more than a year, added just one to his overnight score when he went for a rash drive off left-arm spinner Rangana Herath and edged a catch to captain Angelo Mathews at first slip. He occupied the crease for more than a day, hitting one six and 20 fours in his marathon 417-ball knock. Ashraful earlier survived a confident appeal for a catch at leg-slip off the first ball of the morning while attempting to reverse-sweep Dilshan.—AFP

GALLE: Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan (left) bats during the fourth day of the first Test cricket match against Bangladesh.—AP

SCOREBOARD GALLE: Scoreboard at the close of play on the fourth day of the first test between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh yesterday: Sri Lanka first innings 570-4 declared Bangladesh first innings (overnight 438-4) Jahurul c Chandimal b Eranga 20 Anamul b Mendis 13 Ashraful c Mathews b Herath 190 Mominul c Mathews b Kulasekara 55 Mahmudullah st Chandimal b Herath 0 Mushfiqur lbw b Kulasekara 200 Hossain c Sangakkara b Dilshan 100 Gazi c Vithanage b Mendis 21 Abul Hasan not out 16 Elias Sunny c Chandimal b Dilshan 0 Shahadat b Eranga 13 Extras (b-2, lb-1, nb-7) 10 Total (all out) 638 Fall of wickets: 1-23 2-65 3-170 4-177 5-444 6-550

Sri Lanka second innings D. Karunaratne c Abul b Shahadat 3 T. Dilshan not out 63 K. Sangakkara not out 49 Extras (nb-1) 1 Total (for 1 wicket) 116 Fall of wickets: 1-17 Bowling: Shahadat 5-1-18-1 (nb-1), Abul 5-0-15-0, Gazi 9-1-37-0, Sunny 5-0-14-0, Mominul 3-0-13-0, Ashraful 1-0-10-0, Mahmudullah 2-0-9-0.

Woods on march to Masters, gets second win of the year

Ducks 4, Blues 2 In Anaheim, Corey Perry scored the go-ahead goal with 14:40 left in the third period before adding an empty-netter in the final minute, Jonas Hiller made 14 of his 29 saves in the second period, and Anaheim tied a franchise record with its 11th consecutive home victory by topping St. Louis. Bobby Ryan tied it early in the third and Andrew Cogliano had a short-handed goal, helping the Ducks improve the NHL’s second-best record to 18-3-3. Anaheim, 15-2-2 in its last 19 games, hasn’t lost at home since the opener against Vancouver. Patrik Berglund had a power-play goal, Ryan Reaves also scored, and Jaroslav Halak made 17 saves for the Blues, who have lost six straight in Anaheim and 10 of 11 there. Wild 4, Canucks 2 In St. Paul, Zach Parise had two goals and an assist, Niklas Backstrom had 25 saves, and Minnesota beat Vancouver. Jason Zucker and Jared Spurgeon also scored for the Wild, who won their fourth straight home game and beat their Northwest Division rivals for the first time this season. Cory Schneider made 28 saves, and Henrik Sedin and Chris Higgins scored for the Canucks, who fell to 1-3-2 in their past six games. Avalanche 3, Sharks 2 In Denver, Matt Duchene scored his second goal of the night just as time was about to expire in overtime, lifting Colorado over San Jose and stretching the Avalanche’s home winning streak to a season-high five. Duchene, who has three goals in two games, wristed a shot past Antti Niemi after taking a pass from PA Parenteau. Officials upheld the goal after a replay review showed Duchene got the shot off an instant before time would have run out in the extra period.—AP

7-581 8-618 9-618 Bowling: Kulasekara 27-3-94-2 (nb-1), Eranga 344-122-2 (nb-6), Herath 62-11-161-2, Mendis 36-3152-2, Mathews 9-2-18-0, Dilshan 26-5-75-2, Thirimanne 2-0-13-0.

DORAL: Developer Donald Trump (right) poses with Tiger Woods after the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at the Trump Doral Golf Resort & Spa. —AFP

MIAMI: Tiger Woods sent out a Masters warning shot with his second win of the year, a convincing two-stroke victory at the WGCCadillac Championship at Doral on Sunday. Composed throughout and deadly on the greens, Woods posted a one-under-par 71 for a winning total of 19 under par, with fellowAmerican Steve Stricker runner-up after shooting 68 in the final round. Stricker could have been credited with an assist, having given his rival a 45-minute putting session on Wednesday. Woods, who needed just 100 putts in the four rounds, was quick to acknowledge the role his closest challenger had played in his week. “I played well, thank you Steve for the putting lesson. I felt good about how I was playing, I made some putts and got rolling,” he said. Phil Mickelson, Australian Adam Scott, Spain’s Sergio Garcia and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell were tied for third, five strokes behind Woods. Scott shot the best round of the day and the tournament with a bogey-free eight-under-par 64 on Sunday. Woods had claimed his first win of the year at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and continued his excellent record in World Golf Championship (WGC) events with a 17th triumph. The victory was his seventh in this tournament in 13 starts and his fourth triumph at Doral. It marked his fifth US tour win in his last 19 events and added momentum to his quest for a first major championship since the 2008 US Open when he tees it up next month at Augusta. McDowell, playing with Woods, created some early pressure with birdies on the first two holes, but he lost ground with a bogey at the fifth and his challenge faded with another on the par-four 11th. The Northern Irishman finished with a double-bogey on the final

hole after being forced to take a drop when his approach found the rocks at the edge of the water guarding the green. “That six on the last leaves an extremely sour taste in my mouth,” said McDowell. “But all in all I am ecstatic at the way I am playing. He was tough to catch. He was always kind of making me press.” Woods, who went into the final round with a four-stroke lead, never looked in danger of losing his grip on the top of the leaderboard and a wobble at the end, with bogeys on the 16th and 18th, was only a minor blemish on what has been an excellent week for the 14times major winner. Woods has looked in control from tee to green and his form will deservedly make him favorite for the Masters. “That’s how I know I can play. That’s the thing. To be able to bring it out a couple of times so far this year and then be able to close and gets W’s — that’s nice. “Any time I can win prior to Augusta, it always feels good,” he said. Immediately after his round, Stricker was asked about whether he regretted providing putting help to Woods before the tournament, given that he was only three shots away from victory over his friend. “At times you kind of kick yourself...but it’s the nature of the game, we help each other out,” he said, but later noted that his help may have been for the broader good. “He’s got a lot of talent and he might have done this without my help. But it is good to see him (like that), it’s good for the tour and I’m happy with the way I played,” said Stricker. World number one Rory McIlroy ended a week of work on his swing troubles with a confidence boosting 65, which moved him into a tie for eighth place nine strokes off the pace.—Reuters


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Barcelona look to Messi to inspire European fightback

KOLKATA: In this Sunday, March 10, 2013 photo, Indian soccer enthusiasts sit on sideline as some practice soccer in an open area. When sports lovers in India talk about a Premier League igniting their passion, they’re usually not referring to the English football competition. —AP

Football fights for status in cricket-mad India NEW DELHI: When sports lovers in India talk about a Premier League igniting their passion, they’re usually not referring to the English football competition. The Indian Premier League dwarfs every other sporting event on the sub-continent for the crowds it draws, the TV ratings, the cash it generates and the rewards for the players. Cricket is followed with almost religious fervor, particularly the smash-and-bash Twenty20 version, to the detriment of most other sports. It wasn’t long ago that the administrators who ran domestic football needed handouts from the Board of Control for Cricket in India for survival. Where else could that happen? But things are slowly changing. The global game is catching on. There is a burgeoning fan football fan base, particularly in the major cities, although they’re primarily interested in faraway foreign leagues. Top officials including FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who once described India as “the sleeping giant” of the game, recognize the scope for football’s growth in this country of 1.2 billion. For now, football players in India are considered the poor cousins of glamorous cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli, who have the marketability to sell anything from real estate projects to motor bikes or cola. The success of IPL has only widened the divide, as the top Indian cricketers easily earn in excess of $2 million per season from the Twenty20 league, on top of their regular contracts and match fees from the national cricket board. The top Indian footballers earn about $100,000-$150,000 per season from the professional I-League, although foreign players in the competition can earn double that amount. Former Tottenham midfielder Rohan Ricketts and Australian A-League player Carlos Hernandez are among the new signings, but don’t have the kind of profile that will entice fans away from cricket or from watching football overseas. Most Indian football fans are more familiar with Wayne Rooney and Lionel Messi than anyone playing in the local league. Cable television has played a big part in that, bringing world-class football into Indian lounge rooms makes the domestic competition look comparatively slow-motion. Morning news programs frequently offer detailed analysis of overnight matches from Europe, albeit with home-grown commentators. The infrequent internationals featuring the Indian team or friendlies involving popular foreign teams pull packed houses, but club games rarely attract big crowds. The top Indian names and a host of imports have failed to generate large-scale interest in six editions of the professional ILeague. And the interest of clubs like Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea seems to be in tapping the fan base in India rather than unearthing local talent. The hurdles for developing football start right at the foundations, in terms of buildings and competition. All stadiums in the country are either owned by state or local municipal corporations, leaving football officials at the mercy of unwieldy bureaucracies and often leading to neglected facilities. Englishman Bob Houghton spoke frequently about the need for a national football center during his five-year tenure as India coach and was forced to hold off-shore camps in Dubai to prepare his squad for matches. “You’re talking about a

country that has zero football infrastructure,” a frustrated Houghton said as he neared the end of his tenure in 2011. “We have, I think, one stadium in the whole of the country that meets the criteria to host a World Cup qualifier and that’s in Chennai, where there’s no football. It’s an athletics stadium.” Houghton pointed out that development programs can be managed but infrastructure would remain a problem. “You can force clubs to start working with under-19s, under-17s and under-14s. That just needs the political will to start. But you can’t build infrastructure overnight, it takes a definite commitment,” Houghton said. Blatter understood the problem and asked Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for land and infrastructure during a visit last year when he spoke of better prospects for the game. “We’re carefully following the development of football in India. A lot of centers are coming up but a lot still needs to be done if football has to be a top game in the country,” Blatter said. “I know you have another game (cricket) that is at the top, but there is surely place for two games up there. I want to establish football in this country.” Cricket officials tried to give football a kick along in 2009 when the BCCI announced a $5 million handout for the All Indian Football Federation, but eventually held back half the amount because they were not sure of how the money was being used. That is the kind of image that the national football federation needs to change. India’s football team is ranked below No. 160, and the euphoria of qualifying for the 2011 Asian Cup has started to wane. The team is looking for more challenges under Dutch coach Wim Koevermans. The failure to raise standards isn’t simply because of a lack of development programs or exposure for the game. The inconsistent scheduling of matches contributes to the problem, with the AIFF failing to organize enough games on FIFA match days which have an impact on rankings. “It’s very difficult to create an international calendar for the team,” Kovermans said. “It’s tough to play an international match on every (FIFA) date and it also becomes tough for the clubs to release players. So we have to have a good plan and make use of any opportunity that we get to play international matches.” The smattering of players from Nigeria, Brazil and other countries might have improved I-League standards but haven’t really generated enough local interest to offset the fact that they’re causing issues in the supply line for the national team, especially in the forwards, since those spots are mostly taken by foreign players in the league. Still, there’s money coming into the game, and plenty of intent to develop it. Sponsorship for the national federation has increased after the $140 million contract signed with IMG-Reliance in 2010 for 15 years. But a franchise-based pro league in the eastern state of West Bengal, which featured semiretired stars like Argentina striker Hernan Crespo and Italy’s World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro, failed to take off. Indian football administrators are rumored to be creating a more robust franchise-based competition, based on the cash-rich IPL cricket format, in the hope of attracting some local fans away from European football. Unless that happens, football will always be second-fiddle to cricket in India.—AP

MADRID: Lionel Messi has often said personal accolades are secondary to the fortunes of the team and Barcelona’s Argentina forward would probably swap all four of his World Player of the Year awards for a comeback success against AC Milan today. Barca’s hopes of a third Champions League crown in five years are hanging by a thread after Milan surprised them 2-0 at the San Siro in last month’s last-16, first leg. If the pre-tournament favorites are to get past the Serie A side into the quarter-finals, Messi will surely have to be on song. He and his team mates will also need to reverse a slump in key games after they were beaten twice in five days by arch rivals Real Madrid following the reverse in Italy. Messi, well shackled by Milan in the first leg, claimed another record on Saturday when he came off the bench and scored for a 17th consecutive La Liga game in a 2-0 victory for the leaders at home to bottom side Deportivo La Coruna. Barca said he had set a new world best by surpassing Polish forward Teodor Pewterek, scorer of 22 goals in 16 straight outings for Ruch Chorzow at the end of the 1930s. Messi has netted 27 on his prolific run. Some have questioned his form of late but it was his 40th goal of the La Liga campaign and his 51st in 41 appearances in all competitions, including five in the Champions League. He is the top scorer in Europe’s elite club competition the past four seasons. Producing the goods on the biggest occasions is what counts,

though, and the 25-year-old has been overshadowed in recent weeks by Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese scored the goal against his former club Manchester United on Tuesday that sent Real through to the Champions League

He gave Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets a runout in the second half but centre back Gerard Pique, fullback Jordi Alba and forward Pedro did not feature. Barca are also expecting to have playmaker Xavi available after he returned to training this week following a minor

SPAIN : Barcelona’s defender Gerard Pique gives a press conference at the Sports Center.—AFP last eight and netted twice to help eliminate Barca from the King’s Cup at the end of last month. A significant positive from Barca’s La Liga win on Saturday was that they kept a clean sheet for the first time in 14 outings and a repeat performance will likely be crucial on Tuesday at the Nou Camp. Barca also rested a slew of key players to keep them fresh for the Milan showdown. Assistant coach Jordi Roura, standing in for Tito Vilanova while he undergoes cancer treatment in New York, deployed Messi only for the final half hour.

muscle strain. However, Vilanova will again be absent from the bench and it is hard not to attribute at least part of Barca’s recent dip in form to their coach’s enforced exile. “We really miss him,” Pique was quoted as saying on the club’s website ( on Sunday. “It’s a difficult situation to be in, without the boss - it’s like a company without its chairman, but we will come through this,” added the Spain international. “Tito is helping us from New York and the most important thing is his health. We’re not putting any pres-

sure on him and we’ll be waiting for him till he gets better. “We’ll attack from the off - which is our way of doing things - and we hope to win 3-0.” Milan warmed up for the trip to Spain with a hardfought 2-0 win at Serie A rivals Genoa on Friday. Victory came at a cost, however, and the club said on Sunday goalscorer Giampaolo Pazzini had sustained a micro-fracture in his right fibula and was out of the Barca game. Fullback Kevin Constant, who was sent off against Genoa for lashing out at an opponent, said he expected Barca to come at Milan hard from the start. “We know that Tuesday’s match will be different to the first leg,” he said on the club’s website ( “We are starting with a 2-0 lead and we are not going there to defend but to try to win this game,” the Guinean added. “They will have a lot of ball possession but when it is our turn we have to be the ones to circulate it and try to score. We cannot underestimate the best team in the world.” Barcelona have not lost a European tie at home for more than three years and knocked Milan out in last season’s quarter-finals, their 16th meeting, and in the 2005-06 semi-finals. History is against them, however, as no team has ever overturned a two-goal first-leg deficit without the benefit of an away goal. Barca will hope to emulate Depor, who lost 41 at Milan in the 2003-04 quarterfinals but beat them 4-0 in the return leg, the biggest first-leg victory overturned in Champions League history.—Reuters


Schalke brimming with confidence BERLIN: Schalke 04 head into today ’s Champions League clash against Turkey ’s Galatasaray fuelled with confidence after beating German champions Borussia Dortmund but will be without key striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. The Dutchman partially tore a ligament in the Ruhr valley derby on Saturday after a collision with his own keeper and has been ruled out for some weeks, but will not need surgery. His absence, however, could prove vital as Schalke look to advance after their last-16, firstleg 1-1 draw in Istanbul. For club bosses, however, victory over Dortmund in Germany ’s biggest derby overshadowed the bad news of Huntelaar’s injury and was exactly the boost Schalke needed after a bad run. “ That is balm for our soul,” said Schalke sports director Horst Heldt after Saturday’s 2-1 victory that enabled them to climb back into the Bundesliga top four. “To deservedly beat the champions does not happen every day and it gives us courage for the tasks ahead,” Heldt told reporters. Schalke have enjoyed a rollercoaster season that has left the club with only the Champions League title to fight for. They began well and stayed close to leaders Bayern Munich until late in the year when they imploded, exiting the German Cup and dropping down the table. Their win on Saturday was their third straight success after a miserable run of one victory in their previous 11 matches. “Galatasaray will be a different game but those at Galatasaray will also have seen our game against Dortmund. I am convinced we will take that next big step,” Heldt added. Schalke, who together with Juventus and Borussia Dortmund are the only undefeated teams left in the competition, last made it to the last eight in 2011 on their way to the semifinal of Europe’s premier club competition. They will be without hard-tackling midfielder Jermaine Jones, who is suspended having received a yellow card in the first leg.

GERMANY: Schalke’s Christoph Moritz exercises during the last training session prior to the Champions League, round of 16, second leg soccer match against Galatasaray.—AP The Turkish side were far less successful in their dress rehearsal, losing 1-0 at home to midtable Genclerbirligi with January signing Didier Drogba missing a penalty. That prompted a warning from coach Fatih Terim that a similar performance would be punished more harshly by Schalke. “Pull yourselves together,” the coach was quoted by Turk ish media as telling his players after Friday’s league defeat. “I do not want to see such a performance against Schalke.” Galatasaray will put their faith in their newly-formed attacking trio of Wesley Sneijder, Drogba and the Champions League’s second highest goalscorer, Burak Yilmaz, to help them to advance past Schalke. The game will also mark the return to Gelsenkirchen of midfielder Hamit Altintop, who spent four seasons with Schalke from 2003. Galatasaray are still leading the Tu r k i s h c h a m p i o n s h i p b y f o u r p o i n t s

despite Friday’s defeat. Yilmaz, who has scored seven of his team’s eight goals in the Champions League this season, is also the leading goalscorer domestically, and Terim needs his side’s attacking trio to hit top form. —Reuters

Matches on TV (Local Timings) UEFA Champions League Barcelona v AC Milan Aljazeera Sport 1 HD Aljazeera Sport +4 Schalke v Galatasaray Aljazeera Sport +5 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD



Kerala snatch GOA Rolling Trophy

Winners Kerala Challengers with guests KUWAIT: In a pulsating final featuring end to end action, Kerala Challengers came back from a goal down to level with Real Betalbatim 1-1 and then snatch the prestigious GOA Rolling Trophy in the tie-breaker after extra time yielded no result in the finals of the 19th edition of the GOA Rolling Trophy organized by Goan Overseas Association (Goa

Maroons) and played at the MOH Grounds in Shuwaikh on March 8, 2013 under the auspices of Kuwait Indian Football Federation. Real Betalbatim playing their first final in a KIFF affiliated tournament matched Kerala Challengers in all respects in the first half and both goalkeepers on either side had to make important saves to

Fajilu of Kerala Challengers receiving the Goa Rolling Trophy keep the score goalless at interval. Denzil Jadhav, Real Betalbatim’s brilliant mid-fielder than conjured a goal out of nothing when he slotted home from an acute angle in a goalmouth melee to give his team the lead in the 10th minute of the second half much to the delight of the Betalbatim supporters.

However as the match progressed, Kerala Challengers made their presence felt and a tiring Real Betalbatim defence led by the veteran Theodore Pinto were finally broken when Jineesh headed from a Rafeeq cross to equalize 1-1 with just 10 minutes to go. In the tie-breaker lottery, Kerala Challengers kept their cool scoring from all their kicks while Real Betalbatim missed one to break the hearts of their supporters. The match was ably handled by IFRA referee Francis Fernandes and he was assisted by Liston and Alvaro on the lines. During the prize distribution ceremony which was graced by Charles D’Sa of Bassem International Company as chief guest, KIFF President and guest of honor Fidelis Fernandes appreciated the efforts of Goan Overseas Association and lauded them for organizing a successful tournament. Leo Fernandes gave away the gifts to referees while the fair play award was won by Kerala Challengers and given away by Rev. Fr. Rosario Oliveria the special invitee who is from the Bishop’s Palace in Goa and on a visit to Kuwait. In his brief address, Fr. Oliveria complimented the Indian Community in Kuwait for

organizing tournaments of such calibre and was especially impressed with the fine sporting spirit and discipline shown by both finalists. An appreciation service award was given to Clifford Fortes for his contribution to Goan Overseas Association since 1994 by Jaime Figueira on behalf of the Association, while Roland D’Sa and Ian D’souza gave away the runners up trophies to players and captain of Real Betalbatim. Mrs. Zinia Cardoso was on hand to give away the Man of the Match trophy which was deservedly won by Jeneesh V. of Kerala Challengers while the V. President of Goa Maroons, Tony Correia gave away the prestigious GOA Rolling Trophy to the captain of Kerala Challengers. Earlier in the day, a festival tie-breaker tournament, the first of its kind was held for KIFF registered club officials and it was won by KIFF Managing Committee who defeated Indian Strikers in the final. Also an unique festival exhibition nine-a-side match between ‘North’ captained by Carmo Santos and ‘South’ captained by Salvador Dias was held just before the final and it was won by North 4-0.

Woods on march to Masters, gets second win



Barcelona look to Messi to inspire European fightback


Football fights for status in cricket-mad India

Page 19

Sharapova advances

INDIAN WELLS: Maria Sharapova of Russia plays against Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. — AFP

INDIAN WELLS: Former champion Maria Sharapova survived a tough battle with Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro on Sunday, winning 7-5 6-3 to book her place in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open. The Russian world number three, seeded second at the elite WTA event, broke the Spaniard twice in a closely contested first set that featured several lengthy baseline rallies and lasted almost an hour. Sharapova then broke the Spaniard’s serve twice more in the second set, sealing victory in one hour 40 minutes when her 21st ranked opponent hit a forehand long. “That was a tough match,” Sharapova told reporters after winning her third round encounter on a sunny afternoon at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. “She’s a quality player and she’s capable of playing really good tennis. “She’s dangerous. She’s beaten top players in grand slams before. She has a really solid game,

a lot of variety, but she can hit the ball, as well. I certainly had some trouble today.” Sharapova, who landed her fourth grand slam singles crown at last year’s French Open, knows she needs to raise her game a few notches if she is to win her first WTA title of the season at Indian Wells. “There are a few things I definitely want to improve for the next one (match), but I was happy I got through on not a great day,” said the former world number one, who lost in the semifinals at the Australian Open in January and also in Doha. The statuesque Sharapova, champion here in 2006, will next face Spaniard Lara ArruabarrenaVecino, who pulled off a minor upset by beating 14th-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci 2-6 6-4 6-4. Third seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland was also given a tough workout, overcoming Romania’s Sorana Cirstea 6-7 6-3 6-4, but fifthseeded Czech Petra Kvitova advanced smoothly

with a 6-2 7-6 win against Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine. Sixth-seeded Italian Sara Errani had to work a little harder than the 6-3 6-1 scoreline reflected as she beat Sweden’s Johanna Larsson to improve her win-loss record for the year to 20-7. Errani, who clinched the seventh WTA title of her career in Acapulco last month, broke her opponent’s serve twice in the opening set and three times in the second to win in one hour 21 minutes. “The score was 6-3 6-1 in the end, but for sure it wasn’t that easy a match,” said the 25year-old Italian, who is known for her doubles prowess. “Many of the points were very long and she’s a very strong player. It was a much tougher match than the score.” Errani, who reached her first grand slam singles final at last year’s French Open, was delighted to become the first WTA player this season to post 20 match wins. “For sure I’m very happy about that,” Errani said with a smile. “I like com-

petition much better than practice, so I play a lot of tournaments and a lot of matches. For the moment I’m doing well.” In other matches, Czech Klara Zakopalova overcame Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova 6-4 7-5 and Russian Maria Kirilenko scraped past American qualifier Mallory Burdette 6-3 4-6 6-2. Meanwhile, former tennis World No. 1 Jennifer Capriati is facing battery charges and possible arrest after being accused of stalking and punching an ex-boyfriend on Valentine’s Day. Capriati, a three-time Grand Slam champion who won 14 titles and earned gold at the 1992 Olympics, had an altercation with Ivan Brannan at the Oxygen Health & Wellness gym in North Palm Beach, Florida on February 14, the local police department said. While Brannan was working out, Capriati, 36, “started screaming” at him before punching him “with a closed fist four times in the chest,” a police report said. A yoga instructor then

Asian rivals, Canada favored at worlds

Djokovic scrambles into third round INDIAN WELLS: Novak Djokovic passed a tough first test at Indian Wells on Sunday to maintain his perfect record for the season and reach the third round of the year’s first Masters tournament. The world No. 1 defeated Fabio Fognini 6-0, 5-7, 6-2, the struggles he encountered against the 36th-ranked Italian echoing world No. 3 Andy Murray’s battle to a 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 victory over unheralded Russian Evgeny Donskoy. Djokovic improved to 14-0 in 2013, but he was kicking himself for letting control of the match slip away in the second set, when he went up an early break only for Fognini to get back on serve with a break of his own in the seventh game. “It was definitely a difficult challenge today,” Djokovic said. “Fabio played well towards the end of the second set, but it was all my fault. I had a break for 4-2 up and I played a terrible game. “After that it was very even. It could have gone either way.” Fognini saved a match point with a service winner in the 10th game of the second set and broke Djokovic in the 11th. He duly served out the set, and had Djokovic under pressure in the opening game of the third, when the Serbian fended off one break point then battled through four game points and an irksome time violation before finally holding serve. From there Fognini began to fade. Djokovic broke him to lead 3-1 and broke him again to secure the win. Djokovic said his difficulties hadn’t dented the confidence gained from capturing

his fourth Australian Open crown in January, and a fourth ATP Dubai title last week. “I’m not concerned,” Djokovic said. “I know I have been in this situation before where I had minor setbacks in a match, especially in the opening matches where I’m trying to get used to the court, the conditions, so forth. “In the end, I have done what I needed to do. The ‘W’ is there, so I feel good about myself.” Murray, playing his first match since falling to Djokovic in the Australian Open final, quickly found himself down 5-1 to Donskoy-ranked 83rd in the world. Although the slow start raised unwelcome memories of his first-match exits here in each of the past two years, Murray won four straight games to level the set. However, he was unable to convert any of six break chances in the 11th game and Donskoy broke him for a third time in the 12th game to pocket the set. Murray, however, had found his range and made short work of the second and third sets. Seventh-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Russian veteran Nikolay Davydenko, but eighth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France had to fight past determined US wild card James Blake 7-6 (8/6), 6-4. Tsonga squandered four set points in the 12th game of the opening set, then had to fight off three set points for Blake in the tiebreaker. Blake saved two match points against his serve in the ninth game of the second set before Tsonga closed it out with a love game.—AFP

stopped the former tennis pro from continuing to punch Brannan and the 28-year-old managed to lock himself in the men’s locker room and call 911. Brannan, a former Florida State University golfer, had red marks on his chest from the incident, according to the police report. While filling out an affidavit, “his hands were physically shaking,” it added. “It was very apparent that he was in fear of physical harm.” Brannan, who dated Capriati from May 2011 to February 2012, told police that Capriati began harassing and stalking him shortly after the couple broke up. He also later brought officers documentation of seven other altercations with the former tennis pro. The North Palm Beach Police Department in Florida subsequently requested an arrest warrant for Capriati, though it has not yet been issued by the court, a spokeswoman told AFP on Sunday.—AFP

INDIAN WELLS: Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a return to Fabio Fognini during Day 5 of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. —AFP

Sociedad defeat Atletico MADRID: Atletico Madrid’s joy at coach Diego Simeone’s contract extension and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois’s club record of 820 minutes unbeaten at home in La Liga was cut short by defeat on Sunday. Improving Real Sociedad beat them 1-0 to become the first visiting side to take points at the Calderon in the league this season, ending a run of 13 straight home victories for the Europa League holders. “Although we lacked accuracy we played with ambition but we were unable to hurt our opponents,” Argentine Simeone, who last week tied himself to Atletico with a contract extension until 2017, told a news conference. “Tomorrow morning, we will look to improve where we need to improve as a team.

This way, we will get back to experiencing what we have done up until now.” Xabi Prieto’s 53rdminute strike for Sociedad, which television replays showed came from an offside position, was the first La Liga goal Courtois had conceded in front of his own fans since Oct. 28. “It is a record for the whole team, not only for Courtois,” the Belgium international, on loan from Chelsea, told reporters. “I am pleased because it is always nice to set a record, especially one like this, but it is the work of all the players, not only me. I would have preferred to win and not have the record.” Courtois, 20, broke the previous club best for not conceding at home in the league, set by former Atletico goalkeeper and coach Abel Resino, of 800 minutes in the 1990-1991 season. — Reuters

LONDON: Reigning Olympic champion Kim Yu-Na and Japan’s Mao Asada will join Canadians Patrick Chan, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir in star roles when the World Figure Skating Championships open tomorrow. Two-time defending men’s world champion Chan and reigning world and Olympic ice dance champions Virtue and Moir, who grew up in London, will enjoy a home ice advantage while Kim and Asada lead a competitive women’s field. Already heated rivalries will intensify in all disciplines with the world’s elite looking to stake early claims to the 2014 Olympic podium and post results that earn their countries maximum entries for next year’s Sochi Winter Games. Competition begins Wednesday with the pairs’ and men’s short programmes. Asada, the 2008 and 2010 world champion, and Kim, the 2009 world champion, have achieved superstar status in their respective homelands. Kim will emerge a self-imposed two-year hiatus from International Skating Union (ISU) competition while a resurgent Asada looks to parlay a recent win streak into a third world crown. Kim looked great as she tuned up for these championships at a second-tier event in Germany. Her 200plus total score confirmed she had lost none of her jumping prowess and performance panache. Meanwhile, Asada has gone undefeated this season in ISU events after struggling to retool her jumps the previous two years. The Japanese star has regained the form, and the triple Axel, that brought her two world crowns. Reigning women’s champion Carolina Kostner of Italy is skating better than ever, but repeating as champion will be difficult. Her long list of challengers also includes another Japanese rival, Akiko Suzuki, and American Ashley Wagner. Defending titles will be no waltz around the ice rink for the Canadians given losses to arch rivals this season. Chan raised eyebrows when he hired a modern dance instructor as his coach last summer and then struggled on the Grand Prix circuit. Meanwhile, his main challengers, Spaniard Javier Fernandez and Japanese Yuzuru Hanyu and Daisuke Takahashi, raised their own levels, flashing quadruple jumps galore and shrinking the sizeable points gap Chan enjoyed for two years. — AFP


Syria, political instability hit Lebanon’s budget Page 22 Al-Tijaria achieves net profits of KD10,935,431 Page 26


Qatar dampens talk of fast funding for Egypt Page 23 Page 25

Global growth remains fragile

DAMASCUS: A man pushes his bike past street stands displaying shoes in the Syrian capital Damascus. Two years into the civil war, Syrians spend long nights queuing in their cars for fuel, while others pay bribes to secure gas for their homes, and families share information on the location of the nearest open bakery. — AFP

War-raved Syrian economy in a shambles People suffer amid shortages of food, fuel and power DAMASCUS: “Yesterday I did not make anything to eat as there was no electricity for the entire day,” says Umm Fadi, a resident of Artuz district near Damascus that has been caught up in the fighting between rebels and regime forces. Like most Syrians, the mother of four faces a shortage of oil and gas and has to resort to cooking on a wood fire or, when there is power, an electric stove. “A gas cylinder costs 3,500 (Syrian) pounds (49 dollars) and there is no oil... we have to wait for two or three hours patiently just to buy bread,” she says with a sigh. Another resident, 35-year-old Bilal, also expresses frustration. “The price of gas has risen tenfold. Oil, if you can find it, is twice as expensive as it used to be. Prices are simply exorbitant, plus one has to wait for hours in queues,” he says, lamenting the “unbearable” living conditions. The situation in Artuz is but a reflection of Syria’s dire economic crisis caused by an uprising against President Bashar Al-Assad that started

on March 15, 2011 and later turned into full-scale civil war which according to the United Nations has left more than 70,000 people dead. In the past few months, Assad’s regime has hiked prices of essential commodities such as flour by 140 percent, gasoline by 62 percent and oil by 106 percent. The country’s agricultural production, meanwhile, has halved due to the conflict, says the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, calling for emergency aid for the sector that offers livelihood to about eight million people. Production of wheat and barley has dropped to less than two million tons from 4-4.5 million tons before the uprising began, the UN body says. Salma, 57, a former secretary, queues during the night in order to be able to refuel her car or to get a full gas cylinder, waiting for hours at army controlled checkpoints. Even this, says the married woman whose children have left the country to work in the Gulf, is “bearable”.

MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS ($0.27) per share, higher than an anticipated 0.85 riyal payout. Elsewhere, Egyptians bought back battered shares, helping lift Cairo’s index by 0.2 percent. The market rose for a fourth consecutive session since slumping to an 11-week low last Tuesday. Shares in Telecom Egypt edged up 0.6 percent, despite posting a 12.8 percent drop in 2012 profit. Egyptians were net buyers against other Arab sellers but investors remain concerned about a currency crisis and a deteriorating economy amid a negative political backdrop. In Saudi Arabia, the index advanced 0.2 percent, up for a third session in four, but the market is trapped in a tight trading range. The petrochemical sector supported gains with Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) up 0.5 percent and Saudi Kayan Petrochemical added 0.4 percent. The kingdom’s two heavyweight sectors, banks and petrochemicals, have been largely ignored by investors after fourth-quarter earnings. Kuwait’s measure rose 0.6 percent to a fresh 25-month high and saw its eleventh straight gain. Small-caps dominated trade as retail investors look for high-liquid stocks to trade, which are easier to enter and exit. “We expect the market to continue its cautious uptrend rally the market is in need of a healthy fundamental correction after the continuous increase in order for new entrants in the market,” said Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global Investment House. — Reuters

of electricity is our biggest problem with power available for only two hours a day,” complains Eugenie, 50, whose house is in the army controlled area of Aziziye. On the other hand Umm Hassan, a resident of rebel controlled Massaken Hanano district of east Aleppo, has had no power since the fighting began. “The electricity has been cut off for months. I have forgotten that washing machines and refrigerators exist,” she says. Like many in Aleppo, she uses electricity from the battery of her husband’s car to light a few lamps in her home. The majority of people in Aleppo are now living in poverty, with economic activity at a standstill following the closure of factories that were once symbols of a prosperous city. Mohammad now sells grilled meat on a handcart near the university after he exhausted all his savings. “I have become a vendor,” says the tall, thin man who once owned an iron works that employed 13 workers. “I have to try somehow to earn a living.” — AFP

Icahn, Dell enter confidentiality deal

Dubai rises to new high, markets gain DUBAI: Dubai’s measure rose to a one-week high yesterday, extending gains as investors flocked to property stocks while all other regional markets also gained. Dubai’s Emaar Properties, the exchange’s largest listed stock by market value, rose 1.6 percent to a fresh 52-week high. Investors are buying into Emaar to benefit from a tentative recovery in real estate prices in the country. A lack of alternative investment opportunity in the sector is also supporting the stock. Emaar shares have risen 50.1 percent this year alone, prompting concern the stock is due for a pull back. Deyaar Development jumped 6.8 percent. The mid-cap is a usual target for local retail investors. Courier Aramex advanced 4.2 percent. The emirate’s index climbed 1.1 percent to its highest close since March 3. “There is a bit more retail interest spreading into smaller names. But what has been driving the market is foreign interest in Emaar - it’s hard to go against the trend,” said Anastasios Dalgiannakis, institutional trading manager at Mubasher. Abu Dhabi’s measure added 0.4 percent, extending gains since Thursday’s two-week low. In Qatar, the benchmark advanced 0.3 percent to its highest close since Feb. 26. The market has been trading within a tight range in recent sessions. Qatar Telecom climbed 1.6 percent. Shares in Qatar Gas Transport rose 3.1 percent after the company approved a cash dividend of 1 riyal

Fear is palpable But when it comes to violence near the capital, her fear is palpable. “The worst is yet to come,” she says. From the balcony of her home near Abbasid square on the edge of Damascus, she can see clouds of black smoke. “The rebels are at Jobar, two kilometres (just over a mile) away,” she says. “We hear gunfire and explosions all through the day and they are coming closer. People are hiding in their homes.” Last Wednesday, Abu Mohammad went to buy fruit and vegetables at a market in east Damascus. “Suddenly there was shelling, we fled like rats. I was scared,” he says. Since July the army has been bombing suburbs of Damascus which are now rebel strongholds, especially in a belt known as Eastern Ghouta. Similar shortages exist across the country, with life becoming a daily battle for survival for many Syrians. In Aleppo, an economic powerhouse in northern Syria before it was engulfed by war in the summer of 2012, “the lack

Carl Icahn

NEW YORK: Corporate raider Carl Icahn said yesterday his investment firm had entered into a confidentiality agreement with Dell, which is facing a battle over its plans to take the computer maker private. The agreement will allow Icahn access to detailed financial information which is not publicly available. A brief statement issued by Icahn said the agreement was signed Sunday. “Icahn Enterprises looks forward to commencing its review of Dell’s confidential information,” the statement said. Icahn has taken a stake in Dell and is opposing the buyout plan led by founder Michael Dell, claiming it undervalues the company, according to documents released by Dell.

Icahn on Friday told AFP that he is doing what he has always done: pressing companies and chief executives to perform better and reward investors better. “What we do by shaking up a large number of companies that need shaking up is very salutary for our economy,” Icahn said in an exclusive telephone interview. “Many of our companies, but with many exceptions, are run by CEOs that should not be running them,” Icahn said. “And as a result, these corporations are not as productive as they should be.” Some reports indicate other offers could be made for Dell which are higher than the $24.4 billion buyout. Icahn’s letter last week suggested a special dividend paid to shareholders would be a better plan. — AFP

UK govt promotes London as Islamic finance hub DUBAI: The British government launched a campaign to promote London as a centre for Islamic finance, seeking to counter growing competition in that industry from rising centres such as Dubai and Kuala Lumpur. A task force including Britain’s Financial Secretary to the Treasury Greg Clark, ministers of state and private sector executives will advertise London around the world, the British Foreign Office said yesterday. The group will try to attract foreign investment to Britain by facilitating Islamic financial business, including investment in British infrastructure by Islamic sovereign wealth funds, the Foreign Office said in a statement. Because of its status as a top global financial centre, London has attracted a large amount of Islamic

business; more than $34 billion worth of sukuk, Islamic bonds which are structured under religious principles such as a ban on interest payments, have been issued through the London Stock Exchange. But competition from cities where Islamic funds originate is increasing. Kuala Lumpur is building its credentials as a centre for foreign companies to issue sukuk outside their domestic markets, while Dubai announced in January that it would revise regulations to attract sukuk issuance and trading. Britain has introduced legislation facilitating Islamic finance, and in 2009 it came close to issuing Europe’s first sovereign sukuk. The issue was ultimately postponed indefinitely because the government felt it would not provide value for money, Farmida Bi, European head of

Islamic finance at law firm Norton Rose in London, told Reuters. The World Islamic Economic Forum, a conference of Islamic financiers to take place in London this October, will be an early opportunity for the new British task force. It will be the first time the forum is held outside of an Islamic city or Asia. Some other parts of Europe are also showing increased interest in Islamic finance as much of the conventional financial industry struggles. The European Central Bank and the Malaysia-based Islamic Financial Services Board, a global standard-setting body, are conducting a joint study on policies affecting Islamic finance in Europe. — Reuters


BUSINESS’s public profiles platform crosses 1 million users DUBAI:, the region’s number one job site, is proud to announce that its Public Profile platform ( has surpassed a staggering one million users. The product empowers people in the region to create a single professional profile page on the Internet that captures and presents their unique career-related identities online. This enables them to easily be found by employers, peers as well as potential referral and endorsement sources and clients. On a daily basis, around 2,000 professionals choose to turn their private CVs into professional Public Profiles on, where they are searchable by

employers and peers alike through the pioneering platform. The product also sees more than 15,000 daily site visits, where Internet-users browse through the smart online identities on Public Profiles of people who are career-savvy and forward looking. To mark the one million users milestone, and in recognition of’s upcoming 13th anniversary, the job site has announced that some major exciting new features will be rolled out on the People channel very soon. The Middle East’s leading jobsite continues to enable and empower online CV creation at different levels of privacy from completely private, to semi-confidential, to public, in

order to cater to all career levels and sensitivities. However, the trend has been for a strongly accelerated uptake of the public platform as more professionals realize the importance of their professional credentials being accessible to a wider circle of employers and peers. “This milestone is an incredible one to achieve, and one that we are very proud to announce. It is a reflection of’s mission and continuous efforts to empower our users by providing them with the tools and information they need to lead their lifestyle of choice,” said Omar Tahboub, VP of Product, “Public Profiles is one such example of how our pioneering spirit

increases the exposure of professionals to more opportunities, whether or not they are looking for jobs. In addition to allowing members to show off their experience in a professional layout, the product is a great way for professionals to market their online “selves”. It also promotes better connectivity, knowledgesharing, and more between peers and employers. The business sphere is changing as the world adopts more digital habits, and we are at the leading edge of this change through our People portal and Public Profiles. We are very excited about unveiling our upcoming new features, will are extremely innovative and will certainly change the way people in

the region communicate together about their fields.” As the results of’s ‘Hiring Management in the MENA’ poll indicate, it is increasingly important for job seekers to have a professional online presence: 84% of employers in the MENA region take the time to research candidates before making their final decision, and 29.2% say that the biggest challenge they face is sourcing relevant candidates for senior executive and management positions. Given these statistics, Baytcom’s Public Profiles allows professionals to promote themselves and their expertise, so that they can stand out from the competition.

Syria, political instability hit Lebanon’s budget First primary deficit since 2006 BEIRUT: Lebanon’s budget deficit jumped 67 percent in 2012 to $3.93 billion, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday, after a year of slowing growth due to the Syrian civil war and domestic political instability. Once a haven for investment in tourism, construction and banking, the small Mediterranean country saw rapid growth of around 8 percent for four years until 2011. But last year Lebanon logged its first primary deficit - in which government finances are in deficit before debts are paid - since 2006, the data showed. The International Monetary Fund expects growth of just 2 percent in 2012 and 2-1/2 percent in 2013. The IMF said in September that poor government economic policies have contributed to a slowdown of investment in Lebanon. Businesses also complain that the government, constrained

by sectarian rivalries, has been slow to reform state finances and improve infrastructure. Domestic problems, however, are intrinsically linked to Syria, Lebanon’s historically domineering and much larger neighbor which is now experiencing a two-year revolt against President Bashar Al-Assad that has left 70,000 dead. There have been sporadic clashes between Assad’s supporters and foes within Lebanon and regular cross-border violence as rebel fighters enter Lebanon to escape the Syrian army. The Lebanese government says that around one million Syrians, including manual laborers and political refugees, have fled to Lebanon, a heavy burden on a country of 4 million. Nassib Ghobril, chief economist of the Byblos Bank Group, said that the budget deficit was a “significant deterioration from 2011,” when the deficit

was $2.35 billion. “Value added tax accounts for around 33 percent of all tax revenues and contracted by almost 1 percent last year,” he said. “This is a reflection of economic stagnation and a decline in consumption,” he added. Retailers in Beirut say they have lost customers and many upmarket restaurants stand empty. Arab tourists, who used to escape the summer heat of the Gulf to Lebanon, are now a rare sight in Beirut’s cafes. Public sector workers have been staging regular protests to demand higher wages and power outages of up to 12 hours a day are common around the country. Ghobril said that the 2012 budget did not include a wage hike that was implemented in September, which he said “could widen the deficit even further.” —Reuters

KARACHI: Pakistani stockbrokers monitor share prices on a digital board during a trading session at the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) in Karachi yesterday. —AFP

Qatar’s new debt issues expand policy arsenal DUBAI: Qatar’s plan to issue local currency government bonds every quarter should help it tackle three key issues at once: managing liquidity in the banking system, developing as a financial centre, and financing huge infrastructure projects. Managing liquidity is the most pressing need, as the $185 billion economy gears up to spend about $140 billion on infrastructure projects in the run-up to Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament. Big flows of project-related money through the banking system could destabilize banks and push up inflation. Qatar is vulnerable to inflation partly because it pegs its riyal currency to the US dollar, limiting how much it can raise interest rates without attracting speculative money. The country of 1.9 million people is no stranger to economic overheating; before the global credit crisis struck, a boom fuelled by expanding gas output and rising property prices drove its inflation rate to a record 15 percent on average in 2008, the highest among the six wealthy Gulf Arab states. “It is pretty critical that Qatar does develop the local debt market in order to deal with the local liquidity that has been building up in the banking sector,” said Farouk Soussa, Citigroup’s chief economist for the region.

“That liquidity throughout last year has seen a very fast growth.” On Sunday, Qatar’s central bank issued 1 billion riyals ($300 million) of local currency sukuk (Islamic bonds) and 3 billion riyals of local currency conventional bonds. A senior commercial banker said the debt was allocated directly to local banks, comprising a three-year tranche yielding 2.75 percent and a five-year tranche at 3.00 percent. Qatar had issued local currency debt to drain excess money from the banking system in the past; in January 2011, the central bank issued a 50 billion riyal, three-year bond directly to local banks. In addition, the central bank launched monthly auctions of 91-, 182and 273-day Treasury bills in May and August 2011 to soak up excess funds; it now drains 4 billion riyals a month through this method. But Sunday’s medium-term debt sale broke new ground because it was designed as part of a regular program of bond issues, putting Qatar at the forefront of wealthy Gulf Arab states in developing its local currency debt market. The central bank said in a statement that local currency debt would now be issued every quarter, half with threeyear maturities and half with five-year. 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 policy, and support the strength of the banking system and financial and market tools,” it said. A more active monetary policy is likely to be needed in coming years. In the wake of the 2011 interventions in the money market, total available liquidity dropped to a mere 5.8 billion riyals at the end of that year from 73.2 billion riyals a year earlier, the central bank has said. But excess liquidity has begun building again. Funds parked by banks at the central bank’s low-yielding deposit facility climbed to 151.3 billion riyals last December, the highest level since April 2011; their average level in MayDecember 2012 was double the level in the previous eight months. Loose liquidity pushed the average three-month interbank lending rate down to 0.76 percent in November, the lowest since June 2011. It rose again to 1.05 percent in December but is still well below the March 2012 peak of 1.75 percent. In January, the International Monetary Fund said Qatar’s central bank needed to start managing liquidity fluctuations more finely through

more flexible open market operations. The central bank told the IMF that its ability to engage in open market operations was limited by a shallow interbank market and the lack of an active secondary market in T-bills. The new bond issue program takes a step towards remedying this deficiency by providing banks with instruments that they could trade with each other and with the central bank. Ultimately, the central bank could buy and sell the bonds in short-term repurchase deals - a common way which authorities use to adjust money market liquidity in developed financial centres. “You want these bonds to be traded regularly to have a liquid market so that you can use them for repo and reverse repo purposes, so that the central bank can actually carry out open market operations,” Soussa said. For now, issuance is unlikely to be enough to stimulate much secondary market trade. “Just one issuance at the moment on a standalone basis is not enough to support trading, and this issuance will most likely be held by banks as assets,” another Qatar-based commercial banker said. But in the long term, a deeper debt market will give the central bank additional options in adjusting liquidity and market interest rates. It will also help

Qatar develop as a regional financial centre, providing foreign financial institutions with more instruments to park funds. Finance Minister Youssef Kamal said yesterday that Qatar hoped to raise its credit rating to AAA from AA. He did not elaborate on how this would be done, but if it happens, foreign investors’ demand for Qatar’s local currency debt could rise. The central bank’s statement on Sunday noted local banks could use the new bonds to meet Basel III banking standards that are being phased in around the world, requiring banks to hold minimum amounts of safe, liquid instruments. A lack of such instruments is a concern for many banks in the Gulf. And by developing a local currency market in government debt, Qatar is creating a potential source of funding as it prepares to finance its infrastructure plans. With massive reserves and a big budget surplus, the government is expected to be able to finance the projects comfortably, but the local debt market could make a significant contribution. “I see that as a very positive step forward. The economy is growing and there is a huge amount of infrastructure financing needed for the local economy,” said a Doha-based economist. —Reuters

Emirates eyes amortizing sukuk DUBAI: Emirates airline, Dubai’s flagship carrier, plans to issue a 10-year amortizing Islamic bond, or sukuk, this week, after releasing early price talk for the deal. The sukuk, maturing 2023, will have an amortizing structure, with an average weighted life of five years, arranging banks said. An amortizing bond is structured in a way that gradually reduces the value of the bond over a fixed period of time, meaning the borrower pays off the full amount before the final maturity date. Lead arrangers released initial profit rate guidance at a spread ranging between 300 basis points to up to 350 bps area over five-year midswaps. The dollar-denominated sukuk will be at least $500 million in size. Emirates tapped global debt markets in January for a $750 million amortizing bond, which received a muted response due to weak market sentiment at the time. It has also issued two smaller export credit agency-backed deals this year to finance aircraft deliveries. —Reuters

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

.2770000 .4210000 .3670000 .2960000 .2740000 .2880000 .0040000 .0020000 .0770830 .7510010 .3920000 .0720000 .7362240 .0420000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2839500 .4236250 .3691210 .2983920 .2763100 .0494980 .0443240 .2902820 .0366080 .2273780 .0029550 .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 2.968 5.237 2.915 2.247 3.278 229.100 36.788 3.603 7.007

.2880000 .4380000 .3800000 .3130000 .2880000 .2990000 .0068000 .0035000 .0778580 .7585480 .4100000 .0770000 .7436230 .0480000 .2860500 .4267580 .3718510 .3005990 .2783540 .0498640 .0446510 .2924290 .0368780 .2290600 .0029770 .0052810 .0022660 .0029370 .0036470 .0779110 .7590550 .4045970 .0763000 .7432770 .0070810

Thai Baht Irani Riyal - transfer Irani Riyal - cash

Omani Riyal Qatari Riyal Saudi Riyal

9.585 0.271 0.273

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 41.950 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 41.605 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.332 Tunisian Dinar 181.930 Jordanian Dinar 403.120 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.915 Syrian Lier 3.101 Morocco Dirham 33.970 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 285.350 Euro 372.240 Sterling Pound 427.030 Canadian dollar 278.530 Swiss Franc 301.000 US Dollar Buying 284.150 GOLD 298.000 150.000 77.500

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

SELL DRAFT 295.79 281.72 304.43 374.17 284.75 428.85 3.04 3.625 5.235 2.253 3.288 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 41.605 2.249 5.236 2.912 3.617 6.995 699.365 3.965 9.670 4.030 3.365 91.620

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 76.300

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

GCC COUNTRIES 76.124 78.436 741.600 758.200 77.731

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

741.08 78.63 76.13

SELL CASH 295.000 280.000 305.000 373.000 285.500 433.500 3.300 3.740 5.350 2.480 3.420 2.870 77.950 755.500 41.900 410.000

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 0.4184094 0.0061617 0.0456771 0.3658990 0.0457640 0.4191285 0.0401318 0.2946316 Australasia 0.2816239 0.2262670 0.0001095 America 0.2704367 0.0001485 0.2830000 Asia 0.0035723 0.0031633 0.0448005 0.0164767

SELLDRAFT 0.4274094 0.0181617 0.0506771 0.3733990 0.0509640 0.4266285 0.0451318 0.3016316 0.2936239 0.2362670 0.0001095 0.2794367 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 0.0051745 0.0000245 0.0028488 0.0028851 0.0032521 0.0877199 0.0031188 0.0028871 0.0065525 0.0000728 0.2243594 0.0019493 0.0091842 Arab 0.7499397 0.0401367 0.0130154 0.1484326 0.0000799 0.0001806 0.3966167 1.0000000 0.0001749 0.0218169 0.0012120 0.7296388 0.0776683 0.0755067 0.0500805 0.0031818 0.1794680 0.0762085 0.0012864

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) 284.700 373.200 427.200 279.250 2.985 5.240 41.600 2.245 3.615 6.998 2.915 758.250 77.525 76.050

0.0000503 0.0373172 0.0052445 0.0000296 0.0038488 0.0030651 0.0034821 0.0947199 0.0033188 0.0029271 0.0070225 0.0000758 0.2303594 0.0022543 0.0097842 0.7584397 0.0421667 0.0195154 0.1502226 0.0000798 0.0002406 0.4041167 1.0000000 0.0001949 0.0458169 0.0018470 0.7406388 0.0784513 O.0761467 0.0506305 0.0034018 0.1854680 0.0776585 0.0013864



Qatar dampens talk of fast funding for Egypt DOHA/CAIRO: Egypt’s wealthy benefactor Qatar dampened speculation yesterday of rapid extra funding to help Cairo through a currency and budget crisis, as pressure grows at home on the Islamist government to come clean about the state of the economy. With public anger rising over shortages of diesel fuel, the Cairo government dismissed two top energy industry officials over distribution problems, but skeptical Egyptians say they think the state no longer has the money to import enough oil. Cairo wants to negotiate a $4.8 billion IMF loan to rebuild its dollar reserves and confidence in the Egyptian pound, but analysts say a full deal seems unlikely for months as the country endures protests, violence and uncertainty over the date of parliamentary elections. Speculation has been rife in Cairo that President Mohammed Morsi would turn again to Qatar, which has already helped out with soft loans and deposits at the Egyptian central bank in the two years since the fall of autocrat Hosni Mubarak. However, Qatari Finance Minister Youssef Kamal disappointed hopes that more money was on its way soon. “We already announced $5 billion,” he told Reuters. Asked whether Doha expected to provide more, he replied: “Not yet.” He did not elaborate. Qatar reveals few details of its financial transactions and it is unclear if the $5 billion in help for Cairo it has announced has been fully disbursed. Egypt’s needs are urgent. Qatar ’s money so far has failed to reverse a slide in its foreign currency reserves to $13.5 billion at the end of February - enough to cover little more

than two months’ imports. In a sign of economic stress, Petroleum Minister Osama Kamal dismissed the head of state-owned Misr Petroleum and a top official in the petroleum authority on Sunday, blaming them for a crisis in distributing diesel used by buses and trucks. The state news agency MENA reported that Kamal had ordered the supply of an extra million litres of diesel to military-run filling stations, aiming to ease shortages which have been dragging on for months. Increasingly, Egyptians are unwilling to accept that fuel shortages are due merely to official incompetence. Prominent T V anchor Lamis elHadidy challenged the official accounts. “Again, they are telling us that the problem lies with the amount of fuel in filling stations, not with cash or that the government has no money to import fuel,” she said. “They have to stop saying that and be frank with the people,” she yelled on air on the CBC private satellite station, which is mostly critical of Mursi and his Islamist backers, after reading the news of the dismissals. International traders say Egypt has cut back on planned oil imports, cancelling one crude purchase tender and reducing the size of another for gasoil. “They need oil but they have no money,” said one trader last week. Tensions are rising on the streets of Egyptian cities, with protests and violence frequently erupting over a variety of grievances. Behind the immediate causes lies a general malaise as Egyptians struggle with falling living standards, pushing ever greater numbers into outright poverty. Egyptians want Morsi’s government

to be more honest with its people. “This is a failed government that is unable to face up to its problems and challenges, and that is why it finds it so difficult to confess them to the people,” said Ahmed Mohamed, a 70-year-old retried private company employee. “Soon it will have to admit the problems when it can no longer buy the fuel. Given the recent economic signs, this stage will come soon,” he told Reuters on a street in downtown Cairo. Inflation jumped to 8.2 percent in the year to February from 6.3 percent the previous month, with an even greater rise in food and drink prices particularly hurting the poor. The central bank succeeded in bringing the fall in currency reserves almost to halt last month, but only by rationing the supply of dollars to commercial banks. This is crippling small and medium-sized private businesses, which are forced to buy dollars on the black market at exchange rates that often wipe out their profits. Long-term economic damage is likely unless currency supplies improve rapidly. The government is putting on a brave face, saying it has no need of any bridging loans from the International Monetary Fund to keep the state running until after parliamentary elections. “ The cure for the budget deficit needs broad structural measures and the help we are requesting from the IMF is not quick fixes,” Planning Minister Ashraf Al-Araby said on Sunday. Energy subsidies are putting a huge burden on the state budget as the falling pound inflates the cost of oil imports, and the government forecasts

CAIRO: Egyptian drivers wait by their vehicles jamming a gas station that ran out of fuel supplies, on the outskirts of Cairo yesterday. On Sunday, drivers of Cairo’s popular communal taxis staged a strike to protest fuel shortages, creating a traffic nightmare on the already congested streets of the city. — AP the deficit will hit 12.3 percent of Egypt’s entire annual economic output this financial year unless reforms are made rapidly. The IMF has yet to respond publicly to Egypt’s invitation for loan talks and analysts say it seems reluctant to negotiate on a full deal during the current political chaos. Last month Morsi called parliamentary elections to start in April, only for a court to cancel his decree. Now no one knows when voting will get underway. This turmoil is hur ting business. Telecom Egypt reported a 12.8 percent fall in its full-year net profit yesterday.

This was par tly due to customers switching from its fixed line services to mobile phones. However, the firm also blamed the economy, although Chief Executive Mohamed Elnawawy said he was optimistic about the long-term business and political outlook . Samir A zmi, head of technical analysis at Blom Egypt Securities, was more cautious. “Nothing keeps going down forever, but I can’t see any other practical reasons behind such optimism as long the status of the countr y remains unchanged,” he said. — Reuters

UK economy may need shock therapy soon Employers group suggests radical options

RAJKOT: An Indian woman and a child clean their harvested wheat crop on the outskirts of Rajkot in the western state of Gujarat yesterday.—AP

LONDON: Britain’s finance minister may have to apply shock treatment to the country’s economy, including the controversial option of new borrowing to fund investment, if there is no sign of growth in six months’ time, a business leader has said. This month’s budget announcement by George Osborne must include several measures to boost the economy which could be funded by cuts to welfare and other spending, said John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce. But if growth prospects remain elusive, more radical options will be needed, he said. “If within the next six months there is no prospect of growth ... you might have to consider actually borrowing more money but you should only do it to fund areas that the market would forgive,” he told reporters. As well as taking on new debt to fund more infrastructure spending, the government may also have to consider big cuts in corporate and capital gains

taxes to kickstart growth. “It would be a sort of defibrillator approach to the economy,” said Longworth, whose organization represents more than 100,000 British businesses. Osborne and Prime Minister David Cameron have ruled out any shift from their plan to rein in Britain’s budget deficit, even as the economy runs the risk of falling into its third recession in four years. Cameron said last week that the country would plunge “into the abyss” if he changed course. But signs have grown of differences within the ruling coalition ahead of the March 20 budget statement. Business minister Vince Cable suggested it might be possible for the government to borrow to fund more spending without spooking financial markets. The BCC and another leading employers group, the CBI, both said on Monday that they backed the government’s focus on tackling the budget deficit but said there was room for measures to boost growth too. Those measures

Egypt must take bold economic steps: IMF WASHINGTON: Egypt needs to take bold and ambitious policy actions to address its economic problems without further delay and could tap temporary IMF funding while it negotiates a full loan program, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday. IMF spokeswoman Wafa Amr said the IMF’s Rapid Financing Instrument was a lending facility designed to provide rapid, but limited, assistance to member countries facing urgent balance of payments needs. “Use of the RFI could be an option if there is a need for interim financing while a strong medium-term policy program is being put in place,” Amr told Reuters. “Ultimately, this is a decision the authorities will have to take,” she added. Cairo has indicated it wants to reopen talks with the Washington-based IMF on a $4.8 billion loan, which was agreed last November but sus-

pended at the government’s request after violent street protests the following month. Amr said the IMF was currently studying revised economic projections by Egyptian authorities and discussing “the next steps in our engagement”. She said no date was set for IMF officials to visit Cairo for further talks. Egypt on Sunday rejected any suggestion of stop-gap IMF funding to help it through a political and economic crisis, saying only broad structural measures as part of an IMF package could help tackle the country’s soaring budget deficit. The country’s foreign currency reserves have fallen to little more than a third of the level before the 2011 revolution, forcing the central bank to ration dollars. With Islamist President Mohammed Morsi struggling to contain violent protests, new figures released on Sunday also

showed an increase in inflation. Analysts have said short-term IMF aid would be a useful compromise for the government while it negotiates an IMF standby loan program. It would also be seen as a down payment by the IMF toward a bigger program. “The IMF remains fully committed to supporting Egypt at this critical time,” Amr said. The stop-gap measure could amount to about $750 million, which is roughly 50 percent Egypt’s quota share, that determines how much the IMF can lend. The United States committed $250 million to Egypt during a recent visit by new US Secretary of State John Kerry to Cairo. While the amount is not nearly enough to plug Egypt’s funding gap, analysts have said it could also help unleash additional loans from allies in the region, including Qatar. — Reuters

German trading activity gains momentum FRANKFURT: Germany’s trading activity got off to a strong start this year with both exports and imports rising in January, official data showed yesterday. Europe’s biggest economy exported 91.9 billion euros ($119.6 billion) worth of goods in calendar and seasonally-adjusted terms in January, an increase of 1.4 percent from December, the national statistics office Destatis said. That was much better than the 0.5 percent analysts had been expecting. Imports rose even more faster, adding 3.3 percent to 76.2 billion euros. That meant the seasonallyadjusted trade surplus declined to 15.7 billion euros in January from 16.9 billion euros in December, statisticians calculated. On a 12-month basis, the unadjusted trade surplus expanded slightly to 13.7 billion euros in January compared with 13.2 billion euros a year earlier, as exports grew by 3.1 percent yearon-year while imports advanced by 2.9 percent, Destatis said. While exports to euro-zone countries edged up only 0.4 percent, imports from Germany’s eurozone partners rose by 2.8 percent.

included moving ahead with the government’s long-delayed business bank which would help provide credit to companies struggling to get loans from commercial banks. The two employers groups called for more investment in housing and road repairs as quick ways to spur growth, and a freeze in business rates - the taxes companies pay based on the value of their properties. The BCC estimated the measures it was proposing for Osborne’s budget this month would cost 29.6 billion pounds over three years, it said could be found by cutting benefits for people who do not need them and through other savings. The CBI’s proposals would cost 2.2 billion pounds in the 2013 fiscal year which could be funded through savings in central government spending and the sale of public land and property, said the CBI’s chief policy director, Katja Hall. The CBI represents around 240,000 British businesses.— Reuters

Italy’s recession worsened at end 2012: Official data MILAN: Italy’s economy shrank by 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 from the previous one, official data showed yesterday, confirming a previous estimate that showed the recession in the euro-zone’s third largest economy deepening. Compared with the fourth quarter of 2011, gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 2.8 percent, the Istat data agency said. Its earlier estimate had put the year-on-year contraction at 2.7 percent. Italy’s economy shrank by 0.9 percent in the first quarter, 0.7 percent in the sec-

ond quarter, and 0.2 percent in the third quarter, Istat said. The fourth quarter decline was the sixth consecutive month of contraction, making this Italy’s longest recession in two decades. Experts say a recovery might not begin until the second quarter of 2013, although some warn that this may be delayed by political instability after an election that left no clear winner. Fitch on Friday downgraded Italy’s credit rating due to the political situation and the recession. Fitch is forecasting a 1.8 percent contraction overall in 2013. —AFP

Qatar discovers new natural gas reserves DOHA: Key gas exporter Qatar has discovered additional reserves of 2.5 trillion cubic feet (68 billion cubic metres) of natural gas in a northern offshore field, media reported yesterday. The discovery was made in Block 4 North, in North Field at a water depth of around 70 metres (230 feet), newspapers said. The gas discovery was “made after four years of intensive exploration activities, including the drilling of two exploration wells,” The Peninsula daily quoted Qatar’s energy minister, Mohammed alSada, as saying. The field is operated by

Qatar Petroleum and its German partner Wintershall, as well as Japan’s Mitsui Gas Development Qatar. North Field was discovered in 1971 and contains 900 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas. Local daily Gulf Times quoted Sada as describing it as “an important gas discovery for Qatar”-the world’s fourth biggest natural gas exporter. The tiny Gulf peninsula holds the world’s thirdlargest gas reser ves and produces roughly 77 million tons of liquefied natural gas per year, making it the world’s largest supplier. — AFP

US companies keep more money offshore: Report A employee controls a new Audi A 3 car at the final check section of the Audi car factory in Ingolstadt, southern Germany yesterday. —AFP And that, for Berenberg Bank economist Christian Schulz, suggested that a healthy rebalancing of trade within the single currency area was underway, with Germany now halving its trade surplus with its euro-zone partners since 2008. “Germany is helping its friends,” Schulz said. “German domestic demand is one of the stabilizing

forces in the euro-zone’s adjustment crisis. Stronger German demand allows the euro-zone crisis economies to export more to Germany,” Schulz argued. Natixis economist Johannes Gareis also welcomed the betterthan-expected trade data. “In seasonally adjusted terms, German exports surprised to the

upside and German imports surprised even more,” he said. “All in all, January’s slight increase in exports is good news for German growth in the first quarter in 2013. The rise in imports should be interpreted as a good sign, too, as it indicates that German domestic demand is quite robust amid the euro-zone crisis,” the expert said. —AFP

WASHINGTON: US companies are keeping more of their profits offshore, choosing overseas tax havens amid talk in Washington about closing corporate tax loopholes, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The business newspaper said its analysis of 60 big American companies had found that they had collectively parked a total of $166 billion offshore last year. That shielded more than 40 percent of their annual profits from US taxes, the report said. Each of the 60 companies chosen for the analysis had held at least $5 billion offshore in 2011, according to The Journal. The list included Abbott Laboratories, whose store of untaxed over-

seas earnings rose by $8.1 billion, to $40 billion, the paper said. The increase exceeded the pharmaceutical maker’s net income of $6 billion. Industrial conglomerate Honeywell International Inc. boosted its store of untaxed earnings held by its offshore subsidiaries and earmarked for foreign investment by $3.5 billion last year to $11.6 billion, a rise equal to the company’s annual profit, excluding a pension adjustment, The Journal said. The practice is a result of US tax rules that allow companies to not pay taxes on profits earned by overseas subsidiaries if the money is not brought back to the United States, the report pointed out. —AFP



Australian CB computers hacked Some networks infected by Chinese-developed malware SYDNEY: Computer networks at the Reserve Bank of Australia have been hacked, officials said yesterday, with some reportedly infected by Chinese-developed malware searching for sensitive information. The central bank revealed the attacks after investigations by The Australian Financial Review found multiple computers had been compromised by malicious software seeking

intelligence. The newspaper said in one attack a Chinese-developed malware spy program was searching in 2011 for information on sensitive G20 negotiations, where Beijing’s exchange rate and currency reserves were on the agenda. A Reserve Bank official confirmed the G20 virus to AFP and said it was confined to only “a few” computers. The official did not say what information was stolen or who was targeted, and would not

confirm the Chinese connection. A defense department official told AFP the “targeting of high-profile events, such as the G20, by state-sponsored adversaries, cyber-criminals and issue-motivated groups is a real and persistent threat”. “At least 65 percent of cyber intrusions on Australian computers have an economic focus,” the official added. “Cyber intruders are looking

for information on Australia’s business dealings, intellectual property, scientific data and the government’s intentions.” In another sophisticated incident in 2011, revealed on the central bank’s disclosure log under its freedom of information obligations, “targeted” emails were received regarding its strategic planning for 2012. “Malicious email was highly targeted, utilizing a possibly legitimate external account purporting to be a senior bank staff member,” an official report by the bank’s risk management unit said. “As the email had no attachment, it bypassed existing security controls, allowing users to

ly”. “The bank has comprehensive security arrangements in place which have isolated these attacks and ensured that viruses have not been spread across the bank’s network or systems,” it said. “At no point have these attacks caused the bank’s data or information to be lost or its systems to be corrupted. The Bank’s IT systems operate safely, securely and with a high degree of resilience.” In 2011, the computers of Australia’s prime minister plus foreign and defense ministers were all suspected to have been hacked. Reports and security experts said the attacks originated in China but Beijing dismissed the allegations as “groundless and made out of ulteri-

SYDNEY: A man walking past the sign of the Reserve Bank of Australia at the financial district in central Sydney. Computer networks at the Reserve Bank of Australia have been hacked, officials said yesterday, some reportedly by Chinese-developed malware searching for sensitive information. — AFP potentially access the malicious payload via the Internet browsing infrastructure.” Six users clicked on the mail, which had a legitimate email signature and a plausible subject title and content. “Bank assets could have been potentially compromised, leading to service information loss and reputation (damage),” the official report said. In a statement released yesterday, the bank said it took cyber security and its potential consequences “extremely serious-

or purposes”. At the time, Canberra said cyber attacks had become so frequent that government and private networks were under “continuous threat”. It said foreign intelligence agencies, criminal organizations and commercial competitors were all to blame. Last year, Chinese telecoms giant Huawei was barred from bidding for contracts on Australia’s ambitious Aus$36 billion ($37 billion) broadband rollout due to fears of cyber attacks. — AFP

Oil slips towards $110 on weak Chinese data LONDON: Oil fell towards $110 yesterday as the latest data from China revived worries over the economic recovery in the world’s second-biggest oil consumer. Chinese industrial production in January and February was the lowest since the economy started recovering in October 2012, while the consumer price index rose to a ten-month high, data showed. Brent crude fell 62 cents to $110.23 a barrel by 1000 GMT, after ending last week marginally higher, to snap three straight weekly losses. US oil slipped 19 cents to $91.76. “This morning we’re starting to lose the punch from Friday due to bearish statistics from China, with very disappointing retailer growth,” said Bjarne Schieldrop, commodity analyst at Stockholm-based SEB. “The statistics are hurting commodities overall. Trading is back to the underlying bearish sentiment.” Some analysts pointed out that Chinese data was distorted by the New Year holidays at the beginning of February. “China’s growth story overall remains intact as the authorities will do whatever they can to ensure they maintain 7.5 percent growth,” said Ric

Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney. Brent futures slipped on Friday after the US dollar rose to a 3-1/2-year high against the yen and a three-month peak against the euro following robust growth in employment. A stronger greenback can weigh on commodities priced in dollars, such as oil. Yesterday, the British pound and the euro pared some of last week’s losses against the dollar. The market was looking ahead to monthly reports from OPEC today and the International Energy Agency tomorrow. Traders were keeping an eye on ongoing geopolitical worries in the Middle East. Syrian rebels broke through government lines to ease a siege of their positions in the strategic central city of Homs despite coming under fierce aerial bombardment, opposition campaigners said. Syria is not key to the oil market, but investors have long worried the unrest may spread to other major oil exporters. Tensions in the Middle East over Iran’s controversial nuclear program have kept Brent futures above $100 through most of 2012 and this year. — Reuters

India firm L&T hit by World Bank ban MUMBAI: Shares in Indian engineering firm Larsen & Toubro, one of the country’s biggest companies, were down in early trade yesterday after it was banned from World Bank-funded projects for six months. Shares fell as much as 2.7 percent after the sanctions were applied from March 7 to September 6. The World Bank enforced the ban after finding that an employee of the company had forged documents to win a supply deal five years ago. Larsen & Toubro (L&T) said in a statement on the Bombay Stock Exchange website that the sanctions were “not expected to have material impact on the company’s present or future operations or its prof-

itability or financials”. The World Bank found L&T had failed to stop the employee from forging documents to help secure a contract to supply ultrasound scanners for a health project in India’s southern Tamil Nadu state in 2008. L&T failed to have measures in place to prevent or detect such frauds, according to the World Bank order. A company executive Deepak Morada on Friday said the documents were forged without company sanction and the employee has since resigned after he was confronted by the management. After falling sharply in early trade, L&T shares recovered slightly to show a loss of 0.94 percent by late morning. — AFP

Malaysia exports rebound, rise 3.5% in January KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia said yesterday its export activity rebounded 3.5 percent in January from a dip a month earlier as demand from neighbors and the giant Chinese market picked up. January exports were valued at 56.99 billion ringgit ($18.37 billion), up 3.5 percent year-on-year, the trade ministry said in a statement. Imports rose 16 percent to 53.72 billion ringgit. Shipments to China rose 8.6 percent year-on-year, driven by demand for Malaysian crude oil, rubber, and electronic and chemical products, the ministry said. Malaysia, Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy, relies heavily on exports of its abundant natural resources but also some manufactured goods. Exports to other Southeast Asian countries—especially electronics and

refined petroleum products—jumped 29.3 percent and accounted for a third of Malaysia’s total shipments abroad. Exports to the United States rose 8.6 percent, while those to Japan fell 14.1 percent. Shipments had unexpectedly slipped 5.8 percent in December on weaker demand in China and the S. Full-year exports for 2012 grew only 0.6 percent compared to the previous year. Analysts have forecast exports to rebound this year as the global economy recovers from the debt crisis Europe, stagnant US growth, and a growth slowdown in China. Malaysia’s economy grew a fasterthan-expected 6.4 percent in the fourth quarter, its best showing in more than two years, and expanded 5.6 percent for full-year 2012. — AFP



Global growth remains fragile Gulf Investment Corporation Monthly Report KUWAIT: Global economic growth remains fragile, and the two sources of fragility are the US and euro-area. The US recovery from the recession remains frail amid weak job creation and persistently high rates of long-term unemployment. Though there has been a noticeable reduction in the number of foreclosures in Jan 2013 vis-‡-vis Dec 2012, and retail and auto sales figures are reasonably robust, there remain seriously weak areas including the anemic housing market and the fiscal contraction. Other risks include the mounting US government debt, as well as continued risks from the Euro-area as illustrated by recent demonstrations in Portugal and Greece. Italy’s political stalemate has led to a spike in the country’s long term borrowing costs to a three month high, while the spread on its government bonds over the German benchmark widened to the most since Dec 2011. Borrowing costs for the peripheral economies in the euro-area have declined on speculation that the ECB will support Italy’s bailout request, through activating its OMT, if its borrowing costs surge to unsustainable levels, or may even consider cutting its refinancing rate given the subdued inflationary pressures. Under conditions of such tightness and disequilibrium, governments and central banks try their best to “squeeze” other economies by policies that include “currency wars”. In the US for instance, the threat of a fiscal contraction due to sequestration has prompted the Federal Reserve to take actions that could weaken the USD. Signals suggest that the new head of the Central Bank in Japan will pursue a more expansionary policy in an effort to stimulate that country’s long-moribund economy. Though these actions are taken purely for domestic reasons, they have currency implications. However, sources of optimism should not be underrated, especially those stemming from such global centers as China whose vibrant economy has been responsible for more than 40% of global economic growth in recent years. Emerging economies portray more positive signs including the political resolve in China to help the economy rebound. Global macro Total GCC liquidity has more than doubled between 2005 and 2012, boosted by high oil prices and inward-bound investment flows due to improved economic outlook. The ratio of total GCC money supply (M3) to total GCC population above the age of 15 (M3/POP15+) rose from $14,722 in 2005, to 27,908 in 2012. The global financial crisis of 2008 pushed regional investors within to hold slightly more liquid assets and the trend continued after the crisis. For instance, since 2009, the M1 per per-

son above the age of 15 (M1/POP15+) grew at a faster pace than the growth rates of M2 and M3 per person aged of 15 and above. Between 2008 and 2009, M1/POP15+ grew by 9.2% from $7,296 to $7,968 compared to 2.6% and 2.3% respectively for M2/POP15+ and M3/POP15+. Between 2011 and 2012, M1 per person grew by 15.6% from $8,800 to $10,175 compared to the growth rates of 8% and 7% respectively for M2 and M3 per person. Undoubtedly, the high growth in M1 per person reflects the recent wage and subsidy increases which GCC governments especially those received in 2011. However when compared internationally, against say China, the US and S. Korea, it turns out that the American and Korean population above the age of 15 tend to hold less cash and invest it in long term deposits since interest rates are higher than the GCC. In 2012, M1/POP15+ reached $9,593 and $9,744 respectively in the US and S Korea compared to $11,380 for the GCC. However, M2/POP15+ compensates for the gap as the ratio of M2 to population above the age of 15 logs $40,864 and $38,603 respectively in the US and S. Korea compared to USD 23,326 for the GCC. GCC equity markets There was mixed performance across global equity markets, with the enthusiasm seen during January replaced by relatively placid returns across most key markets. A pick-up in the growth momentum in the US and China, despite the lack of any encouraging signs of economic revival in Europe, lent some momentum to markets.

However, concerns persisted in the form of the spending cuts in the US and speculations regarding the longevity of the Fed QE program. Markets in the US closed the month with net gains, while those in Europe were largely neutral, and Asian markets closed with losses. Following the earnings season, the GCC markets appeared rudderless, and reacted to selective cues from global markets. With Oil prices coming under pressure during the month, GCC investors remained largely cautious, amidst selective stock-picking and muted speculative activity. The S&P GCC index shed a net -0.26% for the month, curbing YTD gains to +4.17%. While Brent crude edged down by -2.76% to close at $111.4/bbl, WTI shed -6.03%, to close at $92.1/bbl. While Abu Dhabi emerged as the best-performing market for the month, Saudi Arabia under-performed its peers with negative returns for the month. Abu Dhabi’s ADSM index added +5.66% for the month, driven largely by continuing momentum in the Real Estate sector that added +10.73%, and positive earnings announcements in the Banking sector that caused the sector index to add +5.78%. Meanwhile, the Investment & Fin. Services sector added +10.61% for the month. Oman’s MSM 30 added to its rather modest gains in January, as it surged ahead by +3.03% for the month, driven largely by robust gains of +6.47% in the Industrials sector, with some notable gains in the constituents. The Services and Banking sectors added +5.16% and +4.24%. Dubai’s DFM index added only +2.09%, despite strong advance of +18.01% on the

Telecom sector, as losses on the Services, Insurance and Investments sectors dragged the market. The Real Estate sector took a breather, adding +1.90% to consolidate YTD gains of +28.99%. Bahrain’s BSE index added a modest +0.44%, as losses in the Services sector offset some of the gains in the Banking sector, amidst lackluster performance elsewhere. Qatar ’s QEAS index was restricted to +0.22% for the month, as gains in the Telecom and Consumer sectors were offset by losses in the Real Estate and Banking sectors. Kuwait’s KWSE (Weighted) index edged down by -0.10% for the month, as the Banking and Industrials sector moved down. Interestingly, the Oil & Gas sector emerged as the best-performing, with gains of +10.17%. Following the earnings season, the Saudi bourse failed to find any significant triggers to sustain momentum, and the Tadawul shed a net -0.64% for the month, with key sectors such as Energy and Petrochemicals witnessing negative momentum, while gains on others such as Banking and Cement sectors remained muted. We retain our view that in the absence of any key region or country specific catalysts, global macro-economic developments and cues from international equity markets shall remain key drivers for the GCC markets in the short-term. The markets are expected to move largely sideways during March, with some direction starting to form in early April, as the first set of quarterly earnings start to appear. The spending cuts in the US and lackluster pace of recovery in Europe, could put Oil prices under pressure in the short-term, as demand expectations slacken. Further weak-

ness in Oil prices could impact sentiment in regional markets. GCC credit markets February was a month of negative headline macro news. Recession in the Euro-area deepened in Q4’12 as GDP fell by 0.4%, marked by a greater-than expected fall in Germany’s GDP by 0.6%. On the PMI front, both China and Euro-zone reported a very weak set of numbers, with China’s PMI falling from 52.3 to 50.4 m-o-m. Also, UK lost its AAA rating, with Moody’s cutting it by 1 notch. On the positive side, the US housing market reported a very encouraging set of numbers. The market also got some support from the Fed Chairman in the US, who defended the asset purchase program in Congressional testimony, highlighting its support to the economic expansion with little risk of inflation or asset price bubble. However, the biggest threat to the market is posed by the deadlock in the US over spending cuts, with policy makers struggling to replace across the board spending cuts, known as sequestration, that will reduce outlays by $1.2tn over 9 years, with $85bn taking effect in the remaining seven months of this fiscal year. In the short-term, the market is expected to remain marginally upwards, aided by the receding threat of a sell-off in US Treasuries, due to the Fed’s accommodating policies and weak global macro indicators. However, the return trajectory will not be a smooth upward slope and hence investors need to be discerning in credit selection. In the medium-term, the market is expected to consolidate.

AirAsia expands foothold in Philippines, buys into Zest Air

GURGAON: Completed Maruti 800 (796cc) cars are parked at the sales and dispatch area at the factory of Maruti Udhyog Limited (MUL) in Gurgaon. Car sales in India’s once-booming passenger market plunged nearly 26 percent last month on an annual basis. — AFP

India car sales slide 26%, biggest drop in 12 years NEW DELHI: Car sales in India’s oncebooming passenger market plunged nearly 26 percent last month on an annual basis, their worst performance in 12 years, industry figures showed yesterday. Car sales, seen as a key pointer to overall economic health, slid by 25.71 percent to 158,513 units in February from the same month in 2012, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said. With one month left to report in the financial year, SIAM forecast annual sales would shrink for the first time since 200203. Sales have contracted by 4.64 percent in the April to February period from a year earlier. “Discretionary spending on cars has pretty well come to a stop with the economy slowing-if people don’t need a car, they are holding back,” SIAM deputy director general Sugato Sen told reporters. “The weak economy, high inflation and high finance costs mean people at the bottom of the pyramid who buy the smaller cars, which are the biggest part of the market, are not buying,” he added said. The car sales were the latest grim figures for India, Asia’s third-largest economy, which is forecast to grow by just five per-

cent in the current financial year to March 31 — its weakest pace in a decade. The expected drop in annual car sales is a far cry from the 10-12 percent passenger car sales growth for the year that SIAM initially projected. Car companies have been offering big discounts to lure buyers but have been unable to reverse the tailspin. March is usually a good period for car sales as companies dispose of inventories but Sen said it was expected to be a weak month as well. “I can’t even see the passenger car market reaching zero growth this year,” Sen said. India’s car sales grew by a breakneck annual 20-to-30 percent in the previous decade, prompting foreign carmakers such as Ford, GM and other firms to make a beeline for the country as they sought to boost sales globally. But passenger sales growth in India, the sixth-largest car market worldwide, has been in decline over the the past couple of years with the weakening economy weighing on demand. Total sales of trucks and buses-another importer barometer of economic vitality-slumped by 35 percent in February to 21,498 units from a year ago. — AFP

MANILA: AirAsia, the region’s largest budget carrier, has expanded its foothold in the Philippines by acquiring 49 percent of local budget carrier Zest Airways Inc. Philippines’ AirAsia Inc CEO Marianne Hontiveros said that the deal signed Monday will complement AirAsia’s growth strategies. Zest Air operates 11 aircraft on 10 domestic and 10 international routes. It has hubs in Manila, Kalibo and Cebu in the central Philippines, which are major tourist destinations. Malaysia-based AirAsia started operations in the Philippines in 2012 from Clark airport, a 2-3 hour drive from the capital, while Zest Air operates from Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. AirAsia’s routes from Clark include Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei and Kalibo and Davao in the Philippines. Discount airlines have burgeoned in Asia in the past decade, with AirAsia leading the charge, as economic growth that has lifted millions out of poverty boosts demand for affordable air travel. Under the deal, Zest Air will get a 15 percent stake in Philippines’ AirAsia. “I think size is everything.

You’ve got to get your critical mass,” AirAsia founder Tony Fernandes told reporters. He said that combining the resources of the two airlines “enables us to get that critical mass much quicker than if we did it organically.” Fernandes said that having access to Manila’s airport will enable quicker growth for both airlines. The domestic market is dominated by Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines, with AirAsia lagging behind. Zest Air has a bigger fleet in the Philippines while AirAsia has a larger network and will make available its fleet of A320 aircraft to Zest Air, making the partnership a good marriage, Fernandes said. Fernandes said that AirAsia will continue to operate from Clark and has no plans to fly from Manila. He said details were still being discussed, but both airlines will share resources and sell each other’s tickets. Zest Air’s flights will be featured on AirAsia’s website. Fernandes also expressed hope that the US aviation watchdog will soon lift a ban on Philippine carriers from mounting additional flights to the US. Safety and management concerns led the Federal

Aviation Authority to downgrade the rating of the Philippines to Categor y 2 from Categor y 1 in 2007, limiting US-bound flights from the country. In 2010, the European Union also blacklisted Philippine carriers. Philippine

Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said he was confident that the ban would be lifted after the country passed the safety audit conducted by the International Civil Aviation Organization from Feb 18 to 22. —AP

MANILA: AirAsia founder Tony Fernandes (left) and Zest Airways Inc President and CEO Alfredo Yao exchange caps after the Signing of Agreement at the financial district of Makati, south of Manila yesterday. — AP

Kremlin aide Nabiullina may run Russian CB MOSCOW: Kremlin aide Elvira Nabiullina may take charge of Russia’s central bank, two sources close to the matter said, installing a technocrat willing to act on President Vladimir Putin’s call for monetary stimulus to boost growth. With Putin reluctant to pick an insider and other contenders too controversial, Nabiullina, a 49-year-old economist and ex-cabinet minister, has emerged as a compromise choice to succeed Sergei Ignatyev, who retires in June. Intrigue over the appointment has intensified in recent months, with the liberal economic establishment that has controlled fiscal and monetary policy throughout the Putin era resisting a power grab by Kremlin economists who want to launch a dash for growth with the help of easy money. Suggestions that another Putin adviser, Sergei Glazyev, had become a candidate triggered a barrage of criticism of his statist views in the financial press. Nabiullina, who is Putin’s most senior economic adviser and emerged as the sole viable contender over the weekend, is “not a bad candidate”, said one of the sources. “She understands the subject and is capable of listening to arguments,” the source said, adding that Nabiullina might loosen policy “but

not radically”. Putin signalled last Thursday, the eve of Russia’s International Women’s Day holiday, that he had made up his mind but stopped short of saying whom he had picked. “It will be a surprise. You’ll like it,” he told journalists. His spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment yesterday, saying he had heard of Nabiullina’s candidacy in media reports. The Russian leader has until March 24 to nominate a successor to Ignatyev, who is stepping down after 11 years in which the central bank has built its credibility by bringing inflation down into single digits. Putin, who returned to the Kremlin last May, has shown frustration with Russia’s slowing economic growth, which at 3.4 percent last year was half the average rate during his first two terms as president from 2000-08. Nabiullina, whose appointment would require parliament’s rubber stamp, would head an institution that sets monetary policy for Russia’s $2.1 trillion economy and manages half a trillion dollars in foreign reserves. Economists say the central bank lacks genuine independence, while Nabiullina’s background as a protege of, and successor to, former Economy Minister German Gref suggests she

would readily pursue a more expansive policy approach. “It is obvious that the current economic slowdown is not the fault of monetary policy - it is a much more structural problem,” said BNP Paribas economist Julia Tsepliaeva. “At the same time Nabiullina would be more in the camp of those who call for the stimulation of economic growth with monetary tools.” In contrast to the Finance Ministry under the leadership of the still-influential Alexei Kudrin, who resigned in 2011, the Economy Ministry has long been an advocate of spending, rather than saving, windfall revenues from Russia’s vast oil exports. Gref, now CEO of state-controlled Sberbank, Russia’s largest, has attacked the central bank for keeping monetary policy too tight and starving the economy of credit. “If you think about it in institutional terms you have someone from the president’s office being appointed the central bank governor,” said Morgan Stanley economist Jacob Nell. A perceived loss of independence and changes to the central bank’s inflation mandate might push up Russian bond yields a little. On the other hand, added Nell: “She is a competent economist and a good communicator, and those are positives.” — Reters



Land Rover to demonstrate latest technical innovation The world’s first 9-speed automatic transmission KUWAIT: Land Rover will demonstrate the latest in a long line of technical firsts at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show with the announcement of the world’s first 9speed automatic transmission for a passenger car. The ZF 9HP transmission is specifically designed for transverse applications, and is one of the most efficient and technically advanced transmissions ever used in a production vehicle. Land Rover is the lead partner on the project, working together with ZF who are widely recognized as the world leader in transmission technology. Increasing the number of gear ratios from six to nine gives significant improvement in fuel economy and a corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions. Smaller ratio steps give improved response during acceleration, improved shift quality, drive and refinement. The higher top gear not only reduces fuel consumption but the lower engine revs improve comfort and reduce noise when cruising at high speed. The 9HP is extremely robust and perfectly complements Land Rover’s rugged all-terrain ability whilst delivering exceptionally high levels of refinement and efficiency. The lowest ratio in the 9HP is far lower than the existing six-speed trans-

mission and is specifically designed for off-road use, towing and more extreme on-road conditions like gradients and altitude, giving the driver a heightened sense of control. With extremely fast gear changes described by ZF as being; ‘below the threshold of perception’, the 9HP is not only highly responsive but versatile too. Whereas the existing six-speed transmission makes shifts sequentially, the 9HP has a skip-shift function for much swifter downshifting under rapid deceleration or from greater driver input demands. The torque converter incorporates a multi-stage damper system for smoother pulling away and improved refinement. “We are extremely excited about the 9HP which has been tailored exactly to dovetail with the unique attributes of our vehicles. It will add another layer of performance, refinement and efficiency, further enhancing Land Rover’s world class abilities,” said John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director. The innovative adaptive shifting system matches the driver’s mood within seconds, sharpening up during brisk driving then slipping seamlessly into a more economical regime just as quickly when taking a more

relaxed approach. Curve Mode, longitudinal acceleration and pedal position all control upshift prevention. Fast-Off mode measures the rate of throttle release, anticipates further requests by the driver for high power, then holds the gear if necessary. If the driver requests

a downshift when the vehicle is travelling too fast, the transmission will remember the request and make the shift when the speed drops to an appropriate level. The 9HP is a masterpiece of packaging and despite the extra three gear ratios is only 6mm longer and weighs 7.5kg less than the outgoing six-speed transmission. The small package space is achieved by a number of innovative design features including a new hydraulic vane-type pump which also contributes to improved efficiency, two, patented, dog clutches replacing bulkier conventional clutch packs, and an Intelligently Nested gear set. Land Rover was chosen by ZF, one of the world’s most technically advanced transmission manufacturers, to be the lead partner on the 9HP and Land Rover engineers have worked in partnership with ZF engineers to jointly develop the transmission to suit the brand. The Land Rover transmission engineering team is already extremely experienced in engineering ZF products to suit Land Rover vehicles having integrated the 8HP with the Range Rover, Land Rover Discovery 4 and Range Rover Sport. The 9HP is produced at ZF’s Gray Court facility in South Carolina.

Al-Tijaria achieves net profits of KD10,935,431 Cash dividend of 5% for financial year

Kerala CM inaugurates Lulu Mall KOCHI: One of the largest malls in India, Lulu Mall in Kochi was inaugurated by Kerala State Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at a glittering function on March 10, 2013. The chief minister inaugurated the mall with the traditional ribbon cutting and also unveiled a plaque to commemorate the grand opening of the mall. Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly VS Achuthanandan was the chief guest of the event, which was attended by Union Minister Vayalar Ravi, who as the guest of honor cut the ceremonial cake to mark the occasion. Sheikh Abdulla Al-Saleh, UAE Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade who was also the guest of honor launched the

Chandy, Achuthanandan, Sheikh Abdulla Al-Saleh, Vayalar Ravi, Prof KV Thomas and other dignitaries toured various sections of the newly built mall and congratulated group managing director Yusuff Ali MA on the successful completion of the mall and for providing the latest family shopping destination to the citizens and residents of the state. Lulu Mall is a 2.5 million sq. ft complex in 17 acres and spread over three levels. The mall is complete with a full line of amenities and facilities which includes best of international luxury and lifestyle brands, well-appointed food court that serves international cuisines, coffee shops, money

mall manual. Also present were Union Minister Prof KV Thomas who launched Lulu loyalty card, state minister PK Kunhali Kutty who launched Lulu Mall website. TKA Nair, Adviser to the Prime Minister launched a mall guide on the occasion. The opening ceremony was also attended by leaders of various political parties, government officials and a large crowd of well-wishers. Lulu group managing director Yusuff Ali MA welcomed the gathering and Executive Director Ashraf Ali MA tendered vote of thanks. After the inauguration, Oommen

exchange, dine-in outlets, 22,000 sq ft entertainment zone, 5,000 sq. ft Ice Rink that is first of its kind in South India, prayer halls, baby care centre among other facilities. The shopping mall which was built with an investment of INR 1,600 crore is expected to become the family shopping destination of choice for residents and tourists as well. The architecturally excellent mall designed by WS Atkins, UK based consultants, has a parking capacity for 3000 cars with easy access from all the main roads. Well placed escalators, elevators, travelators and walkways make it easy for

shoppers, diners, and fun lovers to get from one point of the mall to another. Located in Edapally, Kochi at the intersection of three important highways of Kerala: NH 47, NH 17 and the Kochi by-pass, the mall is within the easy reach of almost all landmarks and prominent facilities covering health centers and accommodation options. Furthermore it is within close proximity to almost all transport facilities, including Cochin International Airport and railway station. Also, within the mall’s expansive campus is the The Marriott - a magnificent 300 room hotel that caters to the unique accommodation needs of visitors and tourists to the God’s own country. In addition, and in true tradition of Lulu stores across the Gulf, the mall will feature the widest choice of world class brands at the fairest prices and also offer a whole world of shopping with a good selection of brands and product lines under one roof. To give a Keral touch to the mall a special area has been designated to promote Keral products and handicrafts. The Mall will generate 8000 direct jobs and more than 20000 indirect job opportunities. Lulu’s winning formula of value for money quality shopping will be a matter of delight for the residents who will cherish the pleasurable shopping experience and the economy it offers. Lulu Hypermarket, Lulu Celebrate, Lulu Connect, Westside, PVR Cinemas are the anchor stores of the mall. Nine cinema screens with a total capacity of 2,250 seats will open in the mall by early April. Inside the mall, there is a food court with a capacity for 3500 people and 18 food counters. The first McDonald’s Restaurant in Kerala will be opened at Lulu Mall. The mall will have a 5-D cinema hall, bowling alleys, water rides and electronic games. The other facilities include ATM, money exchange, pharmacy, travel and holiday’s desk and a Federal Bank branch functioning in the mall.

KUWAIT: Al-Tijaria Chairman and Managing Director, Abdulfattah Marafie, stated that the realized business results of Al-Tijaria Real Estate Company for the financial year ended 31.12.2012 have achieved net profits of KD 10,935,431 (ten millions nine hundred thirty five thousand and four hundred thirty one Kuwaiti dinars only); ie an increase of 3.9 % compared to last year, with earnings per share amounting to 6.37 Fills/share, equal to 6%. These profits have caused uplifting the financial indices ratios of 2012 compared to 2011, as the return per share reached 4.4%, i.e. an increase of 4.8%. The total accumulated profits to total assets amounted to 3.2 %, revealing an increase of 18.5 %. The return on the paid-up capital of the company has grown to reach 6%; an increase of 5.3%. Following the same methodology and strategy based on reducing debts and liabilities and supporting selffinance, the company has succeeded in reducing its total liabilities with an amount of KD 14.8 million; i.e. equal to 12 % of the total liabilities on the company. In addition, the cost of debt was reduced by 32.5%, dropping the financing burdens of the company down to an amount of KD 2.7million, improving the financial indicators and

Abdulfattah Marafie ratios of trading and rapid liquidity, as well as the debt ratio, efficiency and effectiveness of the financial solvency of the company. Based on the achieved results, the Board of Directors has recommended cash dividends of 5 % of the nominal value of the share. It is worth noting that the recommendations of the board regarding the dividends were based on specific principles and methodology that depend on the continuity and expansion of the company’s activities and the growth of its revenues in accordance with the future vision of the projects and operating revenues of the company in

order to create added value to shareholders. Also the Board suggested to reduce the company’s capital at nominal value of treasury shares of (132 826 178 shares) which equal (13,282,618 KD) as on 31/12/2012 to due to it is more than the company needs to be proposed at the General Assembly of shareholders, after obtaining the necessary approval from the capital markets Authority and the regulatory authorities. He also stressed that this reduction has no impact on shareholders’ equity or the share book value. The company always strives to maintain continuous growth rates, enhance profit margins, manage cash flows and optimize the return on invested capital in a way that achieves quality and value. Moreover, the company follows low-risk policies and strategies for the acquisition of good assets, maintaining balance and diversity of real estate investments in cash generating properties and strategic assets, achieving increased growth and creating a sustainable added value to our shareholders and partners, Marafie said. Marafie expressed his thanks and gratitude to all shareholders, members of the board and all personnel in the company for their efforts, determination, continuous support and hard work to achieve the desired goals.

Citi celebrates International Women’s Day in Kuwait KUWAIT: Citi yesterday celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD), a UN-designated occasion falling on March 8th each year, through a series of events held at its premises or with local community partners around the world. Relevant events which are held on the day aim at inspiring women and celebrating their achievements, as well as addressing social and professional challenges facing women around the world. Across the Middle East, Citi held several events which featured Citi’s female clients as well as employees. Citibank N.A. Kuwait honored exceptional famous women by sharing their stories and quotes on a daily basis since the beginning of the week. Danah Razooqi, one of the female employees, completed 5 years with Citibank Kuwait on the 8th of March. She was presented with an award and certificate to congratulate her on completing five years and to thank her for her commitment and dedication to Citi. During a staff get together, Ozgur Kutay General Manager for Citibank NA Kuwait thanked the female employees for their local community work, efforts and active participation in the charity events every year. The bank also took the female employees to a unique pampering session to one of the boutique salons in Kuwait for a refreshing experience. This and other events are a continuation of 2012 celebrations when Citi held more than 100 events in 88 cities across 57 countries to mark the day, while 2013 celebrations covered over 185 events across 124 cities and 85 countries. They also complement Citi Foundation efforts aimed at empowering women in the communities where we live and work through focused programs run with

local and regional NGOs, including: “IWD is an occasion for Citi to reiterate its commitment to developing and advancing our female employees in addition to supporting clients and communities with the aim of bridging gender gaps,” said Ozgur Kutay, General Manager for Citibank N.A. Kuwait. “Moreover, we work closely with community partners throughout the region to support women’s causes, an effort which falls within our stated objective as a global corporate citizen.” Citi has been in the Arab world for nearly 50 years and continues to view the region as critical to its global franchise. It is currently present in ten Arab countries including Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria.



When tip jars go high-tech, do US workers benefit? NEW YORK: Latte buyers in select New York City venues may have noticed an addition to coffee shop counters lately: DipJar, a tip jar that takes plastic. With a quick dip of their credit cards into the sleek machine, grateful customers are able to leave a pre-set tip (generally $1) for baristas. An old-fashioned cash-register chime alerts them that the transaction has gone through, but there is no receipt. Counter workers later divvy up the proceeds, which right now are not subject to a processing fee. DipJar, located in six stores, is just one high-tech innovation seeking to make up for declining gratuities as people pay for small purchases with credit or debit cards. More than 30 percent of debit card receipts were for less than $10 in 2011, with the median amount of all debit transactions just $19, according to the ATM/debit network PULSE. Losing out, however, are workers, whose pay is directly impacted as fewer customers leave behind loose change as tips. “Tip jars once upon a time could mean $2 or $3 more in hourly wages,” says Richard Seltzer, author of the 2010 book ‘Gratuity.’ “That’s a significant pay cut for the person behind the counter.” It is not just a simple bonus baristas are losing out on. “Employers have come to depend on wages being paid out of the tip pool,” says Shannon Liss-Riordan, a Boston-based attorney who has represented workers in tipping cases for a decade. “Workers depend on tips to pay for things like rent, tuition- it’s real money for them.” After years of seeing tipping decline, Oren’s Daily Roast, a coffeehouse chain, agreed to test-

pilot DipJar at two of its New York locations last year. “Credit cards aren’t just reserved for special purchases any more. I saw one woman charge 45 cents,” says Gabe Smentek, director of operations at Oren’s. “But less cash means less tipping, and that affects workers’ morale.” In October, Starbucks said that from next summer it would start letting customers who pay via mobile devices add a digital tip through Square, the San Francisco-based mobile payments system started by Twitter chairman Jack Dorsey. Ziptip, a nascent startup based in Boston and Florida, is also experimenting in this space. Tippers use the Ziptip smartphone app to scan unique QR codes, those funky-looking square barcodes, assigned to tip recipients and transmit their gratuities through PayPal. “The money goes directly into the recipient’s account to be used that day,” says Lois Hamblet, Ziptip’s CEO. “And you can tip anyone you feel who deserves it, from a barista to a hotel doorman to your yoga teacher.” Ziptip service is available in 20 countries so far. As tips drop, Liss-Riordan would like to see employers to make up the difference with higher wages. She is realistic, however, and would at least prefer that customers be given credit card slips to sign. “More often than not, most will leave a little something,” Liss-Riordan says. The rule of thumb, among baristas at least, is $1 per drink for counter service. Beyond anecdotal evidence, little research on gratuities has been done in this area, experts say. New York City taxicabs offer one prime example. When cab drivers starting accepting credit cards in

On Facebook, app makers face a treacherous path SAN FRANCISCO: Last spring, the future for Viddy, a video-sharing Facebook app, seemed as sunny as southern California’s skies. Based a block away from Venice Beach, the 30-person startup impressed prospective investors with skyrocketing user growth figures and won funding from them at a $370 million valuation. The tech press hailed it as the “Instagram for video,” potentially ripe for a billion-dollar-plus buyout. Justin Bieber wanted to invest - and the pop star eventually did just that. But this month, the company fired its chief executive, laid off nearly half of its staff and blamed plummeting user numbers on something it once believed to be its ticket to success: Facebook Inc. “Everyone has known for years that Facebook can be a huge driver of traffic, but Facebook also frequently changes who gets traffic,” said Brian O’Malley, a Viddy director and a partner at venture capital firm Battery Ventures, which is an investor in Viddy. “We certainly didn’t anticipate the decline.” Viddy’s dramatic reversal of fortune is a common tale among builders of software and services that rode the No. 1 social network to viral stardom, only to plummet when Facebook made one of its frequent changes in the way third-party apps can communicate with and solicit customers. Investors and entrepreneurs say that the unpredictable way that Facebook cuts off apps or suppresses their presence has made them increasingly wary of building companies that rely on Facebook. Some believe Facebook could eventually attract regulatory scrutiny because of its ability to make or break companies that rely on its billion-strong base of users. Douglas Purdy, Facebook’s director of developer products, said the company boosts traffic to apps that prove to be popular and takes it away from those that overwhelm people with notifications or are otherwise abusive or unpopular. In the past year and a half, Facebook has cut down spam complaints by 90 percent, he said. “We don’t want to be in the business of king-making,” Purdy said. “In the end, users decide what they care about, and they have control over it. If you’re a great developer and you’re good at sharing really good content, you’re going to get traffic.” He declined to comment on relationships with individual developers. Developers sympathetic to Facebook say that the company has rightly prioritized its users, who could abandon the network if they feel overwhelmed by solicitations from apps. “Facebook thinks first and foremost about the user,” said Riccardo Zacconi, the chief executive of game maker “For companies that were relying 100 percent on virality, there’s been a negative impact, but it’s been a better user experience.” Viral growth occurs when current users recruit other users, by inviting them to join, touting the content or sharing an application. It is not clear if Viddy and other firms who have partly blamed Facebook for declining fortunes would have run into difficulties eventually anyway as, for example, rivals came out with new products. But as consumers spend increasing time on mobile devices, disaffected developers could choose to focus on marketing their apps directly to Apple Inc’s App Store and Google Inc’s Play market - two platforms that compete with Facebook. “Facebook is in a platform battle that they’re losing right now,” said Nabeel Hyatt, a partner at Spark Capital, a venture capital firm that has backed rival social media companies like Twitter and Tumblr. “When we have startup companies coming in and presenting about where they’re going to get users, most of those conversations are about [Apple’s] iOS and then Android, and then maybe Facebook.” For hot startups, the Facebook platform used to be “the cocktail party you had to be at,” Hyatt added. “It’s becoming just another cocktail party.” For years, startups like Viddy and news apps like The Washington Post Social Reader used automated messages or posts on its users’ Facebook pages to lure other users to install its app. But that put them at the mercy of “EdgeRank,” the opaque and closely guarded algorithm that Facebook constantly tweaks to control whether an app’s posts are broadly exposed to users. In financial disclosures, Facebook has warned investors that a fundamental challenge in its business model is finding the balance between the “frequency, prominence and size of ads and other commercial content we display” with its user experience. While Facebook is under intense pressure from Wall Street to turn its massive audience into growth in advertising revenue, a lot of the changes that rattle firms like Viddy seem to be more related to Facebook’s

attempts to retain users. Viddy’s implosion has been spectacular - it fell from 35 million monthly users at its peak last year to half a million recently, according to, a tracking service. But the collapse is not unique. Branchout, a business networking service built on top of Facebook, raised $25 million last April from A-list backers including Accel Partners. But now it languishes with just 100,000 monthly users on Facebook, down from a high of 39 million, after Facebook limited the automatic notifications that Branchout used to attract users. The poster child for fallen Facebook stars has been Zynga Inc, the game publisher that shot to popularity, and a lucrative IPO, with viral Facebook games like FarmVille that distributed a deluge of notifications about virtual farm animals before Facebook clamped down. Zynga, whose shares are trading two-thirds below its IPO price, has since announced that it would loosen its ties with Facebook and develop its own network for gamers. Zynga declined to comment for this article. The fate of Facebook apps have drawn attention to the perennial push-and-pull between large technology companies and smaller developers. Like tech industry heavyweights before it, Facebook recognizes it can expand its market power and offer new features by fostering a thriving ecosystem. But those relationships have historically been fraught. In the 1990s, the Windows operating system rose to dominate personal computing, but its maker Microsoft Corp was accused of favoring its own browser and word processor over its competitors’ offerings like Netscape and WordPerfect. Similarly, Apple Inc’s iPhone dominated smartphone sales 15 years later with the help of third-party apps - but it, too, has periodically attracted attention from the Federal Trade Commission over whom and what it lets into its App Store and iTunes platforms. Recently, Twitter has also clashed with some thirdparty developers. Facebook first opened its programming interfaces to outside developers in 2007. The company later rolled out log-in credentials for third-party sites and then the powerful “Open Graph” protocol, which gives apps developers access to troves of data. The company said it expects developers to contribute interesting content - rather than game the system for growth. “Facebook is a story-telling device,” said Purdy, the Facebook executive. “Driving millions and millions of installs is not why we built it.” “There are always going to be players who, for whatever reason, aren’t seeing what they want or feel disenfranchised,” he added. “But when we look at the totality of the ecosystem, it’s never been stronger.” And current and former Facebook employees argue that the company has sought to communicate to its developers that they shouldn’t be over-reliant on Facebook. In Zynga’s early years, for example, Facebook employees advised Zynga CEO Mark Pincus on renaming Zynga’s highly successful “Texas Hold’em” poker game on Facebook to “Zynga Poker,” in order to strengthen Zynga as an independent brand and differentiate it from competing gaming companies, people close to the situation said. But there are signs that Facebook may not be as collaborative as it once was. In January, Tom Katis, the chief executive of Voxer, a voice-messaging app that has raised $30 million from Institutional Venture Partners and Intel Capital, received an email from Facebook representatives requesting a phone call. Facebook told Katis that it intended to cut off Voxer, which had used Facebook’s log-in credentials for over a year, from accessing Facebook’s friends data because it did not share its own data with Facebook and because Voxer replicated communications features that Facebook wanted to build itself. Katis has brushed off the incident, saying he is confident Voxer will continue to grow swiftly independent of Facebook. “We were flattered that Facebook called us a competitor,” Katis said. “It’s their platform. They can do whatever they want. But it’s just another cautionary tale.” Later that month, Facebook blocked Yandex, the Russian search engine, from crawling through its network. Facebook said that those companies took advantage of its network without sharing any information back. Facebook’s Purdy denied the company is being less collaborative, saying it is seeking to have “nuanced and mature” discussions with developers when conflicts arise. Although there are no indications that the Federal Trade Commission, which has wrestled with Facebook over privacy issues, has looked into its competitive practices, experts broadly say that this is all but assured as Facebook continues to grow.—Reuters

2007, riders were given the option for tips of 20 percent, 25 percent or 30 percent. Tips more than doubled in the first two years. Over time, though, fares increased and riders began to ignore the tip options, and tips as a percentage of fares have fallen back closer to pre-plastic levels, according to the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission. Perhaps the closest comparison is to waiters and bartenders, for whom patrons are now accustomed to adding 15 to 20 percent onto their credit card receipts, and as much as 25 percent in pricey cities like New York, according to Cornell University’s Michael Lynn, who studies tipping. The analogy isn’t a great one, however. Restaurant workers typically earn what’s known as a “server’s wage,” the federal tip minimum wage of $2.13 per hour since 1991, with the expectation that they’ll earn the rest of their hourly wages in tips. Even with tips, however, the median wage for restaurant workers is $8.90 per hour, slightly below the poverty level for a family of three, according to the advocacy group ROC United. Plus, compensation rarely includes health insurance or retirement plans. What most restaurant-goers don’t realize is that when they tip on plastic, management will often deduct a portion, usually for processing fees, before distributing the money to servers on a weekly or monthly basis. State law in New York and several other states prohibits management from taking any part of tips for any reason. Baristas, on the other hand, don’t work for tips. By law they make at least minimum wage. At major coffee houses like Starbucks, they may also qualify for health benefits.

Smentek estimates that at the busiest Oren’s stores in New York, cash and credit card tips add up to an extra $10 to $25 per employee’s shift. Technology, of course, isn’t always a solution. When Swork Coffee in Los Angeles recently swapped paper receipts for an iPad checkout system at its three locations, tips dropped more than 25 percent overnight, says owner Patricia Neale. Neale laments that her baristas, who make between $9 and $12 per hour, could once count on $50 in tips per shift, but now sometimes make less than $5. Neale says she has also had to raise prices for customers to cover credit card processing fees. She estimates she rings in $30,000 in sales each month, and pays $1,500 in credit card processing fees. DipJar plans to expand rapidly across the United States and abroad over the next year. For its 10device pilot project in six locations, the company is covering all the debit and credit card fees. Cofounder Ryder Kessler says going forward the company hopes to ensure that at least 80 percent of each tip goes to workers. “Fees are a reality,” Kessler says. “But we’re negotiating with banks and credit card companies to keep them as low as possible.” Using Ziptip, tippers pay an extra 1 percent of the tip, which goes to Ziptip, and tip recipients pay any associated PayPal fees. At Oren’s, Smentek notes, many customers still seem wary of DipJar, which doesn’t produce a receipt or email confirmation. Baristas receive $5 to $10 from the electronic jars every couple of weeks. It’s not as much, but as cash tips dwindle, Smentek adds, “every little bit extra helps.” — Reuters

Former Sony CEO Stringer to retire Hands over the helm to Kazuo Hirai TOKYO: Howard Stringer, who fought to bring a divided and struggling Sony Corp. together as the Japanese electronics and entertainment company’s first foreign president, is retiring as chairman in June. He announced his departure in New York in a speech at the Japan Society, which was confirmed by Tokyo-based Sony on Sunday. His retirement will come at an annual general shareholders’ meeting in June. Stringer, a Welsh-born American and 15-year employee at Sony, became president in 2005, when the once glorious maker behind the Walkman portable player was first starting to get slammed by the flashier Apple Inc. and the nimbler Samsung Electronics Co. The company, which makes the PlayStation 3 game console as well as “Spider-Man” movies, is still struggling. It has lost money for the last four years, and racked up its biggest loss in its 67-year history for the fiscal year through March 2012. Stringer said he was ready to retire after handing over the helm last year to Kazuo Hirai. Stringer groomed Hirai, longtime head of Sony’s video-game unit, who led its relative success as a brand in the US market, to be his successor. “I was pleased to hand the reins to Kazuo Hirai last year because I saw in him the right mix of skills to lead Sony, and I knew it was the right time to bring about generational change,” Stringer said in the speech. “Over the course of the past year, he has come into his own and is leading Sony with vision and authority.” Stringer said he will remain busy with charity work in education and medicine, and will continue as chair of the American Film Institute. Hirai credited Stringer in the next-generation video-format battle by leading the Blu-ray camp, which included Sony, to victory; for pursuing efficiency and cost reductions, and expanding the film and music businesses to become “key profit

TOKYO: This file photo taken on February 2, 2012 shows Sony’s former president and CEO Howard Stringer (R) and his successor Kazuo Hirai (L) at a news conference in Tokyo. Howard Stringer has announced yesterday he would retire from the struggling firm as it eyes a return to profitablity. — AFP

drivers.” “Howard’s unwavering dedication and leadership throughout his tenure as CEO enabled us to form the foundation to overcome huge challenges and the path to future growth,” Hirai said in a statement. “I was able to learn so much from him as a business leader and person, particularly his incomparable ability to inspire and invigorate all of those around him.” Before joining Sony in 1997, Stringer had a 30-year career as a journalist, producer and executive at CBS Inc. His pivotal role was seen as developing strategic links between the entertainment and electronics business - a plan Sony has pursued for years but is still not fully realized. While president, Stringer pinpointed as the major problem the divisions within

Sony’s sprawling empire he disparagingly named “silos.” He reorganized the company, ended unprofitable businesses like the robot project and slashed thousands of jobs. He also encouraged collaborations. Hirai has followed with the same effort under the slogan “One Sony.” Sony has recently come out with smartphones and other products that have gotten good reviews. But it is still losing money in its core TV division. Some critics say playing catch-up with Apple and Samsung isn’t enough, and Sony needs to pioneer an entire consumer electronics sector, as it once did with the Walkman. But Stringer said he was ready to move on. “A new world is opening up for me, too,” he said. — AP

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba names new CEO BEIJING: Alibaba Group, one of the world’s biggest e-commerce companies, said yesterday its executive vice president will succeed founder Jack Ma as chief executive. Ma, 48, announced in January he was stepping down as CEO to make way for younger leaders. He stayed on as chair-

man. Jonathan Lu Zhaoxi, a 13-year veteran of the company, will take over in May as CEO, said the company, based in the eastern city of Hangzhou. “He is passionate about and familiar with the group’s various businesses,” said Ma in the announcement. “Not only has he contributed to building

HANGZHOU: In this photo taken Wednesday April 27, 2011, Jonathan Lu Zhaoxi, left, then CEO of, and Jack Ma Yun, then Chairman of Alibaba Group, listen to a question at a press conference held in Hangzhou in east China’s Zhejiang province. Alibaba Group, one of the world’s biggest e-commerce companies, said yesterday, its executive vice president Jonathan Lu Zhaoxi will succeed founder Jack Ma as chief executive. — AP

our culture and organization and developed many talented people, he also possesses a unique leadership style and charisma.” Ma, a former English teacher, founded Alibaba in 1999 to link Chinese suppliers with retailers abroad. It has expanded in consumer e-commerce with its Taobao and Tmall platforms, which are among the world’s busiest online outlets. Ma is part of a generation of Chinese Internet entrepreneurs who built successful businesses in e-commerce, entertainment, search and other fields. In addition to Ma, several others have become billionaires, including Robin Li of search giant Baidu and Ma Huateng of Tencent, an entertainment and Web portal company. Lu, who joined Alibaba in 2000, was the founding president of its online payment service Alipay and worked in Taobao, the company said. Alibaba announced a reorganization in January to transform its seven business units into 25 smaller divisions to compete more effectively in China’s turbulent Internet market. China has the world’s biggest population of Internet users, with 564 million people online at the end of 2012, according to an industr y group, the China Internet Network Information Center. The country trails the United States and Japan in total e-commerce spending but is forecast by the Boston Consulting Group to take the No. 1 position by 2015. — AP


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

New drug said to reduce heart damage during surgery WASHINGTON: A single dose of an experimental anti-inflammatory treatment reduces heart muscle damage during an angioplasty operation to open blocked arteries, a study found Sunday. The antibody inclacumab, developed by Swiss lab Hoffmann-La Roche, significantly reduced levels of the standard molecular markers troponin I and CK-MB in patients, compared to those who took a placebo in a clinical trial. Patients who received the inclacumab dose saw troponin I levels drop 22.4 per-

cent more after 16 hours and 24.4 percent after more at 24 hours (p=0.05), compared with patients on a placebo. CK-MB levels dropped 16.3 percent more after 16 hours and 17.4 percent more at 24 hours, compared with patients on placebo. “It was exciting to see that a single administration of inclacumab would yield clinical benefit,” said the study’s lead investigator Jean-Claude Tardif, director of the Research Center at the Montreal Heart Institute.

The phase II trial examined 530 patients with a median age of 61 experiencing a type of heart attack called nonST-elevation myocardial infarction or NSTEMI. Patients were randomized to receive an infusion of inclacumab of 20 milligrams per kilogram, five milligrams per kilogram or a placebo one hour before angioplasty. The researchers also found that 24 hours after angioplasty, 18.3 percent of patients on the placebo had CK-MB increases more than three times the

upper limit of normal. Many clinical trials define that threshold as the onset of a post-angioplasty heart attack. But only 8.9 percent of patients who received the higher dose of inclacumab experienced those same CKMB increases. “If we’re able to confirm these results in potential future studies, this drug could become part of the therapeutic armamentarium in modern cardiology,” Tardif said in a statement. “You could use this drug more widely, in all patients

coming in with heart attacks, although that would require additional large studies.” More than a million coronary angioplasty procedures are performed in the United States each year, costing more than $10 billion. Angioplasty can damage heart tissue, which can trigger a need for more procedures, poor outcomes and higher health care costs . During angioplasty, surgeons insert a balloon catheter to mechanically widen narrowed or obstructed arteries. —AFP

Ancient mummies had clogged arteries LONDON: Even without modernday temptations like fast food or cigarettes, people had clogged arteries some 4,000 years ago, according to the biggest-ever study of mummies searching for the condition. Researchers say that suggests heart disease may be more a natural

causes heart attacks and strokes. More than half of the mummies were from Egypt while the rest were from Peru, southwest America and the Aleutian islands in Alaska. The mummies were from about 3800 BC to 1900 AD. “Heart disease has been stalking

the heart disease killed them. The study results were announced Sunday at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology in San Francisco and simultaneously published online in the journal Lancet. Thompson said he was surprised to see hardened arteries even in

CAIRO: In this undated photo released Sunday, by a group of cardiologists lead by Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, USA, showing the sarcophagus of the mummy Hatiay (New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, 1550 to 1295 BCE) as it is closed after the mummy underwent a CT scanning, in Cairo, Egypt. This scanning is part of a major survey to investigate some 137 mummies which has revealed that people probably had clogged arteries and heart disease some 4,000 years ago. —AP part of human aging rather than being directly tied to contemporary risk factors like smoking, eating fatty foods and not exercising. CT scans of 137 mummies showed evidence of atherosclerosis, or hardened arteries, in one third of those examined, including those from ancient people believed to have healthy lifestyles. Atherosclerosis

mankind for over 4,000 years all over the globe,” said Dr. Randall Thompson, a cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City and the paper’s lead author. The mummies with clogged arteries were older at the time of their death, around 43 versus 32 for those without the condition. In most cases, scientists couldn’t say whether

people like the ancient Aleutians who were presumed to have a healthy lifestyle as hunter-gatherers. “I think it’s fair to say people should feel less guilty about getting heart disease in modern times,” he said. “We may have oversold the idea that a healthy lifestyle can completely eliminate your risk.” Thompson said there could be

unknown factors that contributed to the mummies’ narrowed arteries. He said the Ancestral Puebloans who lived in underground caves in modern-day Colorado and Utah, used fire for heat and cooking, producing a lot of smoke. “They were breathing in a lot of smoke and that could have had the same effect as cigarettes,” he said. Previous studies have found evidence of heart disease in Egyptian mummies, but the Lancet paper is the largest survey so far and the first to include mummies elsewhere in the world. Dr. Frank Ruehli of the University of Zurich, who runs the Swiss Mummy Project, said it was clear atherosclerosis was notably present in antiquity and agreed there might be a genetic predisposition to the disease. “Humans seem to have a particular vulnerability (to heart disease) and it will be interesting to see what genes are involved,” he said. Ruehli was not connected to the study. “This is a piece in the puzzle that may tell us something important about the evolution of disease.” Other experts warned against reading too much into the mummy data. Dr. Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said calcified arteries could also be caused by other ailments including endocrine disorders and that it was impossible to tell from the CT scans if the types of calcium deposits in the mummies were the kind that would have sparked a heart attack or stroke. “It’s a fascinating study but I’m not sure we can say atherosclerosis is an inevitable part of aging,” he said, citing the numerous studies that have showed strong links between lifestyle factors and heart disease. Researcher Thompson advised people to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible, noting that the risk of heart disease could be reduced with good eating habits, not smoking and exercising. “We don’t have to end up like the mummies,” he said. —AP

Sharks, manta rays win global trade protection BANGKOK: Several shark species and the manta ray won international trade protection yesterday in a move hailed by conservationists as a breakthrough in efforts to save them from being wiped out by overfishing. The deal at a major wildlife conference in Bangkok marked a rare victory in the fight by environmentalists to reverse a slump in populations of sharks-the world’s oldest predator-due to rampant demand for its fins. Rather than a complete ban, the 178-member Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) voted to restrict cross-border trade in the oceanic whitetip, the porbeagle, three types of hammerheads and the manta ray. The agreement, which must still be formally approved by the CITES plenary session, delighted conservationists who warn that Asia’s voracious appetite for shark fins is causing their population to plunge. “The tide is now turning for shark conservation,” said Elizabeth Wilson of Pew’s Global Shark Conservation Campaign. “With these new protections, oceanic whitetip, porbeagle, and hammerhead sharks will have the chance to recover and once again fulfil their role as top predators in the marine ecosystem.” Monday’s deal would require countries to regulate trade by issuing export permits to ensure their sustainability in the wild, otherwise they could face sanctions by members of CITES, a global treaty which protects some 35,000 species. Under the CITES framework, however, a party may ask to reconsider the decision at the plenary session, as happened in 2010 when an initial agreement to control international trade in the porbeagle was later overturned. Conservationists say sharks are slow to reproduce and may become threatened with extinction without better monitoring and management. “During their lifetimes they have relatively few offspring and they only start reproducing at a relatively late age-they’re more like mammals in many ways than fish,” said Colman O’Criodain, an expert with the WWF. Asian nations led by Japan and China-where shark fin soup is considered a delicacy-tried in vain to block the proposals, which were pushed by countries including Brazil, Colombia and the United States.

If the deal gets final approval, the five species would join the great white shark, the whale shark and the basking shark, which already enjoy international trade controls. Members would have 18 months to introduce the new measures. Humans kill about 100 million sharks each year, mostly for their fins, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and conservationists are warning that dozens of species are under threat. Ninety percent of the world’s sharks have disappeared over the past 100 years, mostly because of overfishing in countries such as Indonesia, the FAO says. Conservationists also argue that “finning”-slicing the valuable fins from live sharks-is inhumane, as the rest of the animal is typically dumped back into the ocean where it bleeds slowly to death. Shark fin soup was once a luxury for China’s elite,

but shark populations have been decimated around the world as the country’s 1.3 billion people have grown wealthier and incorporated it into their festivities. “The trade is driven by the demands of a luxury market, whether it’s shark fin soup for banquets in China, porbeagle meat in Europe where it’s considered a delicacy or the gill plates in the manta ray which are used in Chinese medicine,” said the WWF’s O’Criodain. Hong Kong is the world’s largest shark fin market with about 50 percent of the global trade, according to campaign group Pew. The CITES meeting is also discussing how to tackle illegal trade in ivory and rhino horn with environmentalists calling for wildlife trade sanctions against countries which fail to take sufficient action. —AFP

SHANGHAI: Sanitation workers collect a dead pig from Shanghai’s main waterway yesterday. Nearly 3,000 dead pigs have been found floating in Shanghai’s main waterway, the Chinese city’s government said yesterday as residents expressed fears over possible contamination of drinking water. —AFP

Over 2,800 dead pigs dumped in Shanghai river raises concern BEIJING: A surge in the dumping of dead pigs upstream from Shanghai - with more than 2,800 carcasses floating into the financial hub through yesterday - has followed a police campaign to curb the illicit trade in sick pig parts. The effort to keep infected pork off dinner tables may be fueling new health fears, as Shanghai residents and local media fret over the possibility of contamination to the city’s water supply, though authorities say no contamination has been detected. Authorities have been pulling out the swollen and rotting pigs, some with their internal organs visible, since Friday - and revolting images of the carcasses in news reports and online blogs have raised public ire against local officials. “Well, since there supposedly is no problem in drinking this water, please forward this message, if you agree, to ask Shanghai’s party secretary, mayor and water authority leaders if they will be the first ones to drink this meat soup?” lawyer Gan Yuanchun said on his verified microblog. Yesterday, Shanghai officials said the number of dumped adult and piglet carcasses retrieved had reached 2,813. The city government, citing monitoring authorities, said the drinking water quality has not been affected. Shanghai’s Agriculture Committee said authorities don’t know what caused the pigs to die, but that they have detected a sometimes-fatal pig disease in at least one of the carcasses. The disease is associated with the porcine circovirus, which is widespread in pigs but doesn’t affect humans or other livestock. Shanghai’s city government said initial investigations had found the dead pigs had come from Jiaxing city in Zhejiang province. It said it had not found any major epidemic. Huang Beibei, a lifetime resident of Shanghai, was the first to expose the problem when he took photos of the carcasses and uploaded them onto his microblog on Thursday. “This is the water we are drinking,” Huang wrote. “What is the government doing to address this?” His graphic photos apparently caught the attention of local reporters, who followed up. Huang said he’s most concerned about water safety. “Though the government says the water is safe, at least I do not

believe it - given the number of the pigs in the river. These pigs have died from disease,” Huang said. The dumping follows a crackdown on the illegal trade in contaminated pork. In China, pigs that have died from disease should be either incinerated or buried, but some unscrupulous farmers and animal control officials have sold problematic carcasses to slaughterhouses. The pork harvested from such carcasses has ended up in markets. As a food safety problem, it has drawn attention from China’s Ministry of Public Security, which has made it a priority to crack down on gangs that purchase dead or sick pigs and process them for illegal profits. Zhejiang police said on their official website that police have been campaigning to crack down on pork meat harvested from sick pigs and that the efforts were stepped up this winter as Chinese families gathered to celebrate the Lunar New Year in February. In one operation last year in a village in the city of Jiaxing in neighboring Zhejiang province police stamped out a criminal gang that acquired and slaughtered diseased pigs. The provincial authorities said police arrested 12 suspects and confiscated nearly 12 tons of tainted pork meat. “Ever since the police have stepped up efforts to crack down on the illicit market of sick pigs since last year, no one has come here to buy dead pigs, and the problem of pig dumping is worse than ever this year,” an unnamed villager told the Jiaxing Daily newspaper, which is run by the local Communist Party. Wang Xianjun, a government worker for Zhulin village, told the newspaper that villagers were breeding too many pigs. Wang said the village had 10,078 dead pigs in January and another 8,325 in February. “We have limited land in the village,” he said. “We do not have that much land for burial.” “We know there is some illegal trade in sick and dead pigs in some places of China,” said Zheng Fengtian, a professor at the School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development at Renmin University in Beijing. “According to the law, dead pigs must be burned or buried, but if there is not enough regulatory monitoring, it’s possible some of them will be sold into the market at low prices,” he said, adding that it isn’t known how serious the problem is. —AP

Cannabis-smoking ascetics light up Nepal festival

BANGKOK: In this photo taken on Friday, March 1, 2013, a Thai worker stands by dried shark fins on display at a restaurant in Bangkok Thailand. Conservationists at a global wildlife conference yesterday voted to regulate the trade of shark species that have been threatened because their fins are used to make expensive delicacies in Asia. Delegates at the triennial meeting in Bangkok of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna adopted the proposals to put the oceanic whitetip, hammerhead and porbeagle sharks on a list of species whose trade is closely controlled. —AP

KATHMANDU: Ringed by an endless stream of pilgrims at an ancient temple in Kathmandu, Hindu holy man Mahant Ramnaresh Giri sat naked and puffed on a pipe filled with cannabis, his body smeared with ash as he took part in Nepal’s biggest annual religious event. Giri was one of more than a hundred such naked ascetics at the ancient Shivaratri festival, which brings an estimated one million devout Hindus flocking to Kathmandu’s Pashupatinath temple each year for rituals to cleanse them of sin and earn a place in heaven. Holy men such as Giri, 35, bless them and smoke cone-shaped pipes of cannabis as part of the annual festival dedicated to Shiva, the god of destruction. “After I smoke I get a feeling that I have overcome worldly pleasure and dissolved myself in the universe,” said Giri, smoke billowing around his head. After Shiva’s consort died, legend has it, he came to the forests near the temple, his body smeared with ash. Smoking cannabis, which grows wild in the forests of Nepal, he wore a serpent and draped his waist with a tiger skin as he wandered. Cannabis is illegal in Nepal, but permitted as

a religious ritual for ascetics during the festival, which took place at the weekend. The only explanation for this is that the ascetics are imitating Shiva. The ban is ignored during the festival for the ascetics, who are allowed to smoke inside the temple complex but not sell or distribute it to pilgrims. Authorities supplied the drug to holy men in the past but the practice was discontinued in the 1990s after critics said it amounted to promoting its consumption. For pilgrims, the rituals are more mundane and involve pouring milk on a stone phallus and making offerings of fruit, sandalwood paste and incense sticks. Holy men such as Giri press ashcovered thumbs onto their foreheads and bless them. “I became an ascetic for the protection of our religion, the welfare of the world and myself,” said Giri, his dreadlocked hair and beard not combed or cut for 17 years. This year’s festival included modern touches such as 65 CCTV cameras to help guard crowds estimated to have topped one million devotees. Some of the holy men also played music on their mobile phones. —Reuters


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

Recent heat spike unlike anything in 11,000 years WASHINGTON: A new study looking at 11,000 years of climate temperatures shows the world in the middle of a dramatic U-turn, lurching from near-record cooling to a heat spike. Research released Thursday in the journal Science uses fossils of tiny marine organisms to reconstruct global temperatures back to the end of the last ice age. It shows how the globe for several thousands of years was cooling until an unprecedented reversal in the 20th century. Scientists say it is further evidence that modern-day global warming isn’t natural, but the result of rising carbon dioxide emissions that have rapidly grown since the Industrial

Revolution began roughly 250 years ago. The decade of 1900 to 1910 was one of the coolest in the past 11,300 years - cooler than 95 percent of the other years, the marine fossil data suggest. Yet 100 years later, the decade of 2000 to 2010 was one of the warmest, said study lead author Shaun Marcott of Oregon State University. Global thermometer records only go back to 1880, and those show the last decade was the hottest for this more recent time period. “In 100 years, we’ve gone from the cold end of the spectrum to the warm end of the spectrum,” Marcott said. “We’ve never seen something this rapid. Even in the ice age the global temperature never changed this quickly.”

Using fossils from all over the world, Marcott presents the longest continuous record of Earth’s average temperature. One of his co-authors last year used the same method to look even farther back. This study fills in the crucial post-ice age time during early human civilization. Marcott’s data indicates that it took 4,000 years for the world to warm about 1.25 degrees from the end of the ice age to about 7,000 years ago. The same fossil-based data suggest a similar level of warming occurring in just one generation: from the 1920s to the 1940s. Actual thermometer records don’t show the rise from the 1920s to the 1940s was quite that big and Marcott said for such recent

time periods it is better to use actual thermometer readings than his proxies. Before this study, continuous temperature record reconstruction only went back about 2,000 years. The temperature trend produces a line shaped like a “hockey stick” with a sudden spike after what had been a fairly steady line. That data came from tree rings, ice cores and lake sediments. Marcott wanted to go farther back, to the end of the last ice age in more detail by using the same marine fossil method his colleague used. That period also coincides with a “really important time for the history of our planet,” said Smithsonian Institution research anthropologist Torben Rick. That’s the time when

people started to first domesticate animals and start agriculture, which is connected to the end of the ice age. Marcott’s research finds the climate had been gently warming out of the ice age with a slow cooling that started about 6,000 years ago. Then the cooling reversed with a vengeance. The study shows the recent heat spike “has no precedent as far back as we can go with any confidence, 11,000 years arguably,” said Pennsylvania State University professor Michael Mann, who wrote the original hockey stick study but wasn’t part of this research. He said scientists may have to go back 125,000 years to find warmer temperatures potentially rivaling today’s. —AP


W H AT ’ S O N

‘Annual Marriott Corporate Appreciation Night’ livens up Arraya Ballroom



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

Announcements Confidence cure diwaniya presentation will be held today (March 12) titled “The Confidence Cure” by Laurie Santos at 7 pm. Not having confidence & a strong selfesteem can prevent you from experiencing the success & powerful relationships you so desire. In this Diwaniya, we will discuss & explore what you feel may be holding you back from having the strong, sound, powerful confidence you desire so you can move past issues, challenges & problems faster and with ease, while simultaneously climbing up the ladder faster. Where: The AWARE Center, Villa 84, Street 50, Block 3, Surra 0r log on to


Soorya India Festival he prestigious ‘Soorya India Festival’ will be held on Thursday, March 14, 2013, at the American International School, Maidan Hawally. A Bharatanatyam recital by Rama Vaidyanathan and a Khatak performance by Rani Khanam will be main attractions of the show. Another highlight of the show will be ‘Speaking Shadow’, a shadow art by Prahlad Acharya. be Indian Ambassador Satish C Mehta will be chief guest of the show. The doors will open at 6.30 pm and the program will start at 7 pm. Entry strictly by invitation.

Marriott White Sensation Night.

Marriott management team.

Nabil Matarweh - Etihad Airways General Manager in Kuwait - awarding lucky winner.

Peruvian dancers.


Peruvian dance “Marinera” by special experts from the famous “Club Libertad” for the first time which delighted the audience with their exotic performance. The renowned band from the Terrace Grill steakhouse led by Joe also engaged the crowd with some lively performances, following which the international chefs from the hotel presented an array of world foods for dinner. George Aoun, General Manager of Kuwait Marriott Hotels said: “This annual event is truly awaited with highest expectations every year, from our clients and management team alike. It gives us great pleasure to welcome our esteemed


CRYcket 2013 tournament riends of CRY Club (FOCC) announces 16th CRY (Child Rights & You) cricket tournament for children and it be held at the GC grounds at Jaleeb AlShuyoukh on Friday, 12th Apr 2013 from 6:30 a.m to 4:30 pm. The one day “CRYcket” tournament is a very popular annual family event, participated by children under 14. 12 teams each are set to participate in the Under-12 and Under-14 divisions initially in four groups in round robin fashion leading to 4 winners who will clash in the semifinals. The last date for registration of Teams is 5th Apr 2013. For more details & game rules, visit the FOCC website


KIFF to host Blood Donation Camp and launch Blood Donors Network


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 organizers hope to welcome more than 200 on that day. The event is open for Blood donations from 2.00PM to 7.00PM New Indian business forum to be launched


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.

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


Musical extravaganza with Dr Yesudas


rend setter Udupi Restaurant, Kuwait proudly present “Gandharva Nadamritham”, a live classical musical extravaganza featuring the living legend & maestro Padmabooshan Award winner Dr. K.J. Yesudas with his troupe from India, on March 22 at American International School, Maidan Hawally, Kuwait.

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

s part of its much-anticipated annual corporate event, the JW Marriott Hotel Kuwait City, the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Kuwait City and Arraya Ballroom organized a glamorous gala celebration to recognize and celebrate its loyal and prospective clients. Over 500 guests were a part of the celebration at the prestigious Arraya Ballroom which included the country’s elite social and corporate leaders, loyal media partners, along with popular international and local personalities. The evening was sponsored by the experienced events leaders - Techmo International and Hilights Events. Some

of Kuwait’s leading brands also sponsored the raffle draw. As every year carries a new theme, this time was elegantly designed to suit a ‘White Sensation Night’, with the large ballroom transformed into a beautiful white setting, dÈcor white lounges coupled with entertaining sound and lighting effects, presented a surreal atmosphere to the guests. The highlight of the show was the presentation of elegant awards on stage to the top 40 companies in Kuwait for their continued loyalty to Kuwait Marriott Hotels over the years. Some truly glamorous performances were held - the highlight being the

guests and extend our appreciation for their years of committed support.” Moreover, Ahmad Shaban, Country Director of Sales and Marketing commented on the significance of the Marriott brands’ corporate clients saying: “We are very pleased to hold this special night in gratitude of our longstanding relationship with our loyal corporate customers, whom over the years have added great impact to our overall growth and placed us in a remarkable position in the hospitality sector. We hope everyone enjoyed their night and we’re looking forward to furthering our success with our trust worthy clients.”

Francophones anniversary


ver y year, Francophones around the world celebrate the Journee internationale de la Francophonie. March 20, 1970 saw the birth of an intergovernmental organization of French-speaking nations, with the creation in Niamey (Niger), of the Agency of Cultural and Technical Cooperation. This organization adopted a new Char ter in 2005 and was renamed the International Organization of La Francophonie, as it is still known today. This anniversary is an opportunity for us to celebrate our attachment, not only to the French language and the rich and diverse Francophone culture, but also to the values of peace, democrac y and respect for human rights. These are all elements that unite the members of the International Organization of La Francophonie. To mark the celebration of the 2013 Journee internationale de la Francophonie, Embassies of Canada, France, Switzerland, Senegal and Belgium in addition to the Institut Franaais du Koweit (French Institute in Kuwait) and Lycee FranÁais de Koweit reunite to present a range of unique cultural events throughout the month of March which are addressed to all people with an interest in the Francophone culture and in the French language. Everyone

who appreciates the cultural diversity should not miss this golden opportunity to celebrate the French language that is used by around 890 million people around the world. The aim of this diverse program is to honour and promote the French language and to underline the respect for cultural and linguistic diversity which is shared among all members of La Francophonie. This collaboration with all these Embassies and institutions highlights the solidarity values and the effec tiveness of Francophone cooperation. This rich varied program includes the following elements: On March 13 there will be an address / debate with French Award winning writer JÈrÙme Ferrari (Goncourt prize 2012) organised by Institut franÁais du Koweit (French Institute in Kuwait) and Lycee Franaais de Koweit, on March 18 a chamber musical concert by Pianist Manon Gertsch & Cellist Cecile Tacier organised by Embassy of Switzerland and on March 20 & 27 a Film Festival featuring Award winning movies: Incendies (Canada), Un home qui crie (France - Tchad- Belgium) and L’exercise de l’etat (France). For more program details, please contact the Institut Franaais by email:

Francophonie Celebration 2013 13, 18, 20 & 27 March 2013 13 March / address - debate With French Award winning writer JÈrÙme Ferrari Goncourt prize 2012 / Conference in French Amricani Centre - Dar Al Athar Al-Islamiyyah (Kuwait City - Gulf Road) / 18H45 18 March / Musical concert Manon Gertsch (Piano) & CÈcile Tacier (Cello) Al-Babtain Central Library - 19H30 20 March / Francophone Film Festival (1) Incendies (Canada) / In French with English Subtitles Laila Gallery Cinema (Salmiya) / 19H00 27 March / Francophone Film Festival (2) Un homme qui crie (Tchad- Belgium- France) / 18H00 L’Exercice de l’?tat (France) / 20H00 The movies are In French with English Subtitles Laila Gallery Cinema (Salmiya) / 19H00 For more information

TNTJ conducts Islamic program


amil Nadu Thowheed Jamaath (TNTJ), a Holy Quran & Sunnah based well known Tamil Islamic organization in Kuwait, conducted an Islamic program for Muslim Tamilians on Friday at Dasma Teacher’s Society in Dasma. A famous Tamil Islamic propagandist and State President of TNTJ P

Jainul Abideen delivered special sermon at the gathering. The program started promptly at 7 pm. More than 1,500 persons participated in this meeting. Head of the executive committee and Islamic Scholar F M Althafi welcomed the people. During this meeting a brother from Sri Lanka converted to Islam.

BAIA participates in Dido and Aeneas


he British Academy of International Arts (BAIA) was delighted to be invited by Richard Bushman, Director of the Ahmadi Music Group, to provide some senior dancers for the Opera ‘Dido and Aeneas’ by Henry Purcell. Over a six-week period the Grade 5 Ballet and modern students rehearsed four hours a week with Grace Dewey and collaborated closely with Richard to produce dances that complimented the stunning music. The Dar Al-Athar theatre has a spectacular stage design which allowed for some creative choreography. The overture and opening of the whole opera saw the dancers emerge from beneath the stage on a platform, their gold and cream costumes complimenting the ancient Greek setting of the opera. The dancers then moved effortlessly across the stage, highlighting key notes in the beautiful orchestral music with leaps and gestures.The performances took place over four evenings in front of packed houses.

Great applause could be heard at the end of each night with no-one left disappointed with this unique collaboration between the magnificent opera singing, orchestral music and ballet. The BAIA students taking part in the performance have gained some vital experience working as part of a professional environment- showing commitment and dedication, giving up time for rehearsals and performances. Their confidence on the stage and musicality, working so closely with a live orchestra, has also been increased dramatically which can now be transferred to their work in their ballet and modern exams taking place in April and May. To quote one happy spectator ‘The ballet dancers for instance, underscored some of the more poignant scenes of Dido and Aeneas with their poise and elegance’. Working with the Ahmadi Music Group has been a fantastic experience for BAIA and future collaborations are planned.


W H AT ’ S O N

AUK professor authors new book


rofessor of Communications and Media at the American University of Kuwait. The book deals with a specialized type of translation which has been gaining prominence lately; namely media translation. Published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, the book seeks to help those interested in studying the science and history of translation. It is also targeted to those wishing to acquire skills for this profession and engage in it after achieving proficiency in the two languages: the tar-

get language and the source language. “The field of media translation has a thirst for this type of publications. I hope this book counts as a valuable contribution to the field and fills a void in the Arabic library” said Dr Akbar. The book is divided into two sections. The first deals with the history, importance, role, and major theories and types of translation. The second offers some applications in Arabic and English for the benefit of those working in the field of media translation.

Dr Mohammad Akbar is an Assistant Professor at the American University of Kuwait. He has worked in the field of media and translation for over 30 years. His publications include TV Translations, Identity Crisis and Globalization, and the Effect of Children’s TV Cartoon Translation on Education. During the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, Dr Akbar established a Media Centre in Wales, Cardiff. Moreover, Dr Akbar is currently associated with the advancement of women issues and empowerment in Kuwait

Astounding commencement ceremony at LOA


here are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. The best thing we can do for our children is to allow them to do things for themselves, allow them to be strong, allow them to experience life on their own terms, allow them to take the subway.. let them believe more in themselves and come up with miracles.” Learners’ dedicated and industrious KG teachers were in pursuit of this motto while they were doing their level best in moulding the perplexed but curious tiny tots from the safe cocoon of their lovely homes into zealous and confident little artists at their favourite school. The much awaited, the whole year anticipated UKG graduation day ceremony was the depiction of the completion of a milestone and the curious entry into a new beginning. In two lovely segments LOA celebrated this momentous feat of the children with much splendour and auspicious aura on 14th and 21st February 2013. It was obvious glancing through the plethora of programmes they showcased for the audience that the tender minds of the KG 2 children were ready to embrace smoothly the formal education at the Primary level. The huge ground which was adorned beautifully was filled to capacity with the congregation of eager and passionate parents and other guests with all possible support to encourage the precious ones. The venue glittered with the innocent smiles of tiny tots reflecting the gaiety and contentment in the eyes of their proud parents. The auspicious event was unveiled with a sober welcome speech by a confident little speaker followed by the pious recitals from the Holy Quran by the tiny tots from the kindergarten wing. A befitting tribute was paid to the two homes through the respective national anthems. The guests of honour who graced the occasion with their benign presence were Dr Abraa renowned dentist Abdul Rehman Alzair - manager of Kuwait finance house, Shafiq Ahmad, Principal of Indian Integrated School, John Tauro from American Insurance and Pushpa Tauro from British Council. The school sponsor Ibrahim Al Gurair and Principal Mrs. Asha Sharma ensured the smooth conduct of the programme. The guests were full of appreciation for the school which is gradually turning into a household name with excellence as its hallmark. They were bounteous while congratulating each and every member of the academic fraternity. They commented that the horizon of knowledge is opened to our dear ones and they are expected to utilize it up to the brim of it. According to them the incredible move towards the saturation point in the blink of an eye was possible only because of the collaborative effort of the students, teachers, parents, principal and the entire management team. School Principal Sharma made a quick analysis of the significant events that the school witnessed in the previous year. She added that the students at LOA are encouraged to nurture their artistic talents and aesthetic tastes too along with their hunt of knowledge. She thanked the honorable guests and precious parents for their graceful presence. The students who brought laurels to the school by achieving high distinctions in the international benchmark tests were awarded with their prestigious certificates. As a tree is

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

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: or, E-mail: The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakei St, Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. The reception is open from 07:30 to 12:30. Consular services for Canadian citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00, Sunday through Wednesday. nnnnnnn

known by its fruits, a school is known by its wonderful students. The foundation, the base, the beehive of activity, THE KG WING is incomparably strong and it will reflect in the future years. The little singers and dancers proved that they were not behind the seniors in any respect. “The welcome dance, chocolate song, down in the jungle, butterfly song, here we go, hurray hurray, bumble bee, gummy bear, fusion song, be responsible, bingo song, flower song, old Macdonalds, roar like a lion, let’s clap our hands, healthy food song, don’t worry be happy and it’s a small world” were received with rapturous applause by the thrilled parents. Their eyes were moist

with joy and contentment and no doubt it was the reward for the dedicated teachers. When the students clad in their proud convocation gowns and caps marched towards the arena in perfect discipline to receive their graduation certificates the parents sat spellbound with a blended feeling of surprise, satisfaction and elation. The whole show was a surprise gift to their loving parents who work hard day and night for their kids’ well being. When the magnificent fiesta came to an end the parents who were happy being a part of the very special day left cherishing the wonderful moments in their minds.

YMCA hosts Mar Chrysostom led Global Peace rally

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:

KFM to present seven ideas To reform Kuwait


even Campaigns for Change for the benefit of Kuwaiti Society will be presented by members of the Kuwait Leadership Mastery (KLM) tomorrow 13 March at 5:30 pm at Gulf University for Science & Technology. KLM is a year-long program that’s designed to “inspire Kuwait’s future leaders.” The program teaches leadership skills to Kuwaiti youth between the ages of 17 and 24. More than 60 people participate in the program. Last November, the participants were divided into seven teams, and each team was requested to develop a plan to resolve a problem currently existing in Kuwait. The teams were organized around these themes: Sports & Health, Environment, National Unity, Social Responsibility, Leadership Development, Business/Entrepreneurial Development, and Education Reform. A group of judges will evaluate the campaigns when they are presented at the Kuwait Leadership Mastery. The judges will select three winning campaigns. Audience members will also vote on the winning campaigns and the audience will select the “most creative” campaign. The event is open to the public. The winning teams will be recognized at the KLM graduation ceremony on 3 April at GUST. KLM was developed by Dr John P. Hayes, head of Business Administration at GUST. The program is funded by the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) of the US State Department.



Embassy of Mexico The Embassy of Mexico to Kuwait has the pleasure to announce the opening of its Consular Section where visa applications are already being handled. The Consular Section is open to the public from Sundays-Thursdays 09.00-12.00 hrs. at Cliffs Complex in Salmiya, Villa No. 6 (3rd floor).



he Global Peace Rally headed by Dr Philipose M a r C h r ys o s to m t h a t co m m e n ce d a t Kanyakumari last year, reached Kuwait after covering several nations. YMCA Kuwait, along with Global Christian Ecumenical Association, extended a warm welcome to the participants of the Global Peace Rally at the National Evangelical Church, Kuwait City. The rally, under the direction of Reji K o p p a r a , b e a r s a s i gn i f i c a n t t h e m e, n a m e l y, Justice, Peace and Social Integration. The grand function in Kuwait was inaugurated by Maha Al-Berjes, Chairperson and President of Human Rights Commission, Kuwait. Dr Thomas Mar Athanasius Metropolitan, Malankara Or thodox Syrian Church, Kandanad East Diocesan Bishop, p re s i d e d ove r t h e m e e t i n g. Pa r i m a n a m Manoj,Program Convener, read the message from Dr Hilal Al-Sayer, former Health Minister Kuwait.

Bishop Thomas K Oommen, SI Madhya Kerala Maha Edavaka, was the chief guest. MarThoma Valiya Metropolitan, Dr Philipose Mar Chrysostom, who d o n n e d a n a t t i re t h a t re s e m b l e d t h a t o f t h e ancient Christian Priest, rendered the peace message. He pointed out that peace cannot exist without social equality and peace imposed by fear will not last. As a par t of the honoring ceremony, Dr A T Varghese presented a memento to Maha Al-Berges. Pastor Warrel Reeves (TLC Pastor), Binju Varghese Kuruvilla (CSI Vicar), K P Koshy (NECK Secretary), R e j i K o p p a r a (G l o b a l C h r i s t i a n E c u m e n i c a l Association President), Babu Johnson ( YMCA President), Saji Varghese (Gen convener), Koshy Alexander (GCEA Kuwait Coordinator), Mathew E a p e n ( Vi ce Pre s i d e n t ) a n d A j o s h M a t h e w (Treasurer) also spoke on the auspicious occasion.

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

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 and send it to the email:



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Taz-Mania Pink Panther And Pals Moomins Tom & Jerry Kids A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Puppy In My Pocket Wacky Races Looney Tunes Duck Dodgers Dastardly And Muttley Dexter’s Laboratory Wacky Races Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Tom & Jerry The Garfield Show Bananas In Pyjamas Gerald McBoing Boing

06:45 Jelly Jamm 07:00 Ha Ha Hairies 07:25 Bananas In Pyjamas 07:50 Lazytown 08:15 Krypto: The Super Dog 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 Lazytown 11:10 Krypto: The Super Dog 11:35 Baby Looney Tunes 12:00 Jelly Jamm 12:25 Gerald McBoing Boing 12:50 Cartoonito Tales 13:15 Krypto: The Super Dog 13:40 Lazytown 14:00 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo 14:25 Tom And Jerry Tales 14:50 Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries 15:20 Johnny Bravo 15:45 Tiny Toons 16:10 13 Ghosts Of Scooby-Doo 16:35 The Garfield Show 17:00 What’s New Scooby-Doo? 17:25 Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries 17:50 Tom And Jerry Tales 18:15 The Looney Tunes Show 18:40 Tiny Toons 19:05 13 Ghosts Of Scooby-Doo 19:30 Scooby Doo And The Witch’s Ghost 20:45 Moomins 21:10 Dexters Laboratory 21:20 Johnny Bravo 21:35 Puppy In My Pocket 22:00 The Garfield Show 22:25 What’s New Scooby-Doo? 22:50 Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries 23:15 Tom & Jerry Tales 23:40 The Looney Tunes Show

00:00 Amanpour 00:30 World Sport 01:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 02:00 World Report 02:30 World Sport 03:00 Anderson Cooper 360 04:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 05:00 Quest Means Business 06:00 The Situation Room 07:00 World Sport 07:30 African Voices 08:00 World Report 09:00 World Report 10:00 World Sport 10:30 Talk Asia 11:00 World Business Today 12:00 World One 12:30 News Special 13:00 Amanpour 13:30 CNN Newscenter 14:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 15:00 News Stream 16:00 World Business Today 17:00 International Desk 18:00 Global Exchange 19:00 World Sport 19:30 News Special 20:00 International Desk 21:00 Quest Means Business 22:00 Amanpour 22:30 CNN Newscenter 23:00 Connect The World With Becky Anderson

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Gold Rush Gold Divers Around The World In 80 Ways Mythbusters How Stuff’s Made Auction Kings Auction Hunters Factory Line How Stuff’s Made American Guns Mythbusters Life On A Wire Wheeler Dealers Border Security Auction Kings Auction Hunters Factory Line How It’s Made Gold Rush

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Gold Divers Around The World In 80 Ways Border Security Auction Kings Auction Hunters Ultimate Survival Wheeler Dealers Mythbusters Sons Of Guns Factory Line How It’s Made Auction Kings Auction Hunters Outback Truckers Driven To Extremes Finding Bigfoot

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Oddities Gadget Show - World Tour How Tech Works Scrapheap Challenge Oddities Oddities Bang Goes The Theory Things That Move Things That Move Weird Or What? Kings Of Construction Sci-Trek How The Universe Works Things That Move Things That Move Kings Of Construction Scrapheap Challenge Sci-Trek Gadget Show - World Tour How Tech Works How The Universe Works Kings Of Construction Scrapheap Challenge Bang Goes The Theory Things That Move Things That Move Oddities Oddities Gadget Show - World Tour How Tech Works Sci-Trek Man-Made Marvels Asia How The Universe Works Da Vinci’s Machines The X-Testers The X-Testers Gadget Show - World Tour How Tech Works Da Vinci’s Machines The X-Testers

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Hannah Montana Brandy & Mr Whiskers Brandy & Mr Whiskers Replacements Replacements Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School Brandy & Mr Whiskers Brandy & Mr Whiskers Replacements Replacements Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School Brandy & Mr Whiskers Fish Hooks Suite Life On Deck My Babysitter’s A Vampire A.N.T. Farm Austin And Ally Jessie Good Luck Charlie Doc McStuffins Mickey Mouse Clubhouse A.N.T Farm Jonas Los Angeles So Random Hannah Montana Sonny With A Chance Kim Possible Shake It Up Wizards Of Waverly Place That’s So Raven Austin And Ally Art Attack A.N.T Farm Suite Life On Deck My Babysitter’s A Vampire Shake It Up

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Jessie Jessie Jessie Good Luck Charlie Gravity Falls Suite Life On Deck Austin And Ally My Babysitter’s A Vampire A.N.T Farm Good Luck Charlie Jessie That’s So Raven Cory In The House Phil Of The Future Hannah Montana Good Luck Charlie Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana

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

00:00 Dirty Soap 00:55 Style Star 01:25 E! Investigates 03:15 Style Star 03:40 Extreme Close-Up 04:10 THS 05:05 E!es 06:00 THS 07:50 Style Star 08:20 E! News 09:15 Giuliana & Bill 10:15 THS 12:05 E! News 13:05 Ice Loves Coco 13:35 Ice Loves Coco 14:05 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 15:00 Style Star 15:30 E!es 16:30 Extreme Close-Up 17:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 18:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 19:00 E!es 20:00 Married To Jonas 20:30 Giuliana & Bill 21:30 Giuliana & Bill 22:30 Fashion Police 23:30 Chelsea Lately


00:15 Andy Bates Street Feasts 00:40 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 01:05 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives

01:30 Heat Seekers 01:55 Outrageous Food 02:20 Unwrapped 02:45 Andy Bates American Street Feasts 03:10 Andy Bates American Street Feasts 03:35 Andy Bates Street Feasts 04:00 Andy Bates Street Feasts 04:25 Unique Eats 04:50 Food Crafters 05:15 Charly’s Cake Angels 05:40 Chopped 06:30 Iron Chef America 07:10 Unwrapped 07:35 Unwrapped 08:00 Unwrapped 08:25 Unwrapped 08:50 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 09:15 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 09:40 Symon’s Suppers 10:05 Barefoot Contessa 10:30 Barefoot Contessa 10:55 Cooking For Real 11:20 Cooking For Real 11:45 Unique Eats 12:10 Food Crafters 12:35 Charly’s Cake Angels 13:00 Iron Chef America 13:50 Symon’s Suppers 14:15 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 14:40 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 15:05 United Tastes Of America 15:30 Food Crafters 15:55 Guy’s Big Bite 16:20 Guy’s Big Bite 16:45 Chopped 17:35 Barefoot Contessa 18:00 Barefoot Contessa 18:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 19:15 Unique Sweets 19:40 Charly’s Cake Angels 20:05 Guy’s Big Bite 20:30 Chopped 21:20 Chopped 22:10 Iron Chef America 23:00 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 23:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 23:50 Guy’s Big Bite

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Who On Earth Did I Marry? I Almost Got Away With It Dr G: Medical Examiner The Haunted Deadly Sins Who On Earth Did I Marry? Who On Earth Did I Marry? I Almost Got Away With It Dr G: Medical Examiner The Haunted Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Murder Shift Disappeared Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Street Patrol Forensic Detectives On The Case With Paula Zahn Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? Disappeared Murder Shift Forensic Detectives On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Nightmare Next Door Couples Who Kill Couples Who Kill Deadly Women

00:15 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 00:45 Chasing Che: Latin America On A Motorcycle 01:10 Chasing Che: Latin America On A Motorcycle 01:40 Bondi Rescue 02:05 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 02:35 Cycling Home From Siberia With Rob Lilwall 03:00 Destination Extreme 03:30 A World Apart 04:25 Maverick Chef 04:50 Travel Madness 05:20 Ultimate Traveller 06:15 One Man & His Campervan 06:40 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 07:10 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 07:35 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 08:05 Chasing Che: Latin America On A Motorcycle 08:30 Chasing Che: Latin America On A Motorcycle 09:00 Bondi Rescue 09:25 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 09:55 Cycling Home From Siberia With Rob Lilwall 10:20 Destination Extreme 10:50 A World Apart 11:45 Maverick Chef 12:10 Travel Madness 12:40 Around The World For Free 13:35 Kimchi Chronicles 14:05 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 14:30 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 14:55 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 15:25 Chasing Che: Latin America On A Motorcycle 15:50 Chasing Che: Latin America On A Motorcycle 16:20 Bondi Rescue 16:45 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 17:15 Cycling Home From Siberia With Rob Lilwall 17:40 Destination Extreme 18:10 A World Apart 19:05 Maverick Chef 19:30 Travel Madness 20:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 20:30 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 21:00 Kimchi Chronicles 21:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 22:00 Ultimate Traveller 22:55 One Man & His Campervan 23:20 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 23:50 Exploring The Vine


00:15 The Rite-18 02:15 The Godfather-18 05:15 Twins Mission-PG15 07:15 Enter The Phoenix-PG15 09:00 Legendary Assassin-PG15 10:45 Batman: Year One-PG15 12:15 True Justice: Urban WarfarePG15 14:00 Legendary Assassin-PG15 16:00 True Justice: One Shot, One Life-PG15 18:00 True Justice: Urban WarfarePG15 20:00 Road To Perdition-18 22:00 True Justice: One Shot, One Life-PG15

01:00 Ghost Machine-PG15 03:00 Princess Lillifee-FAM 05:00 Marley & Me: The Puppy Years-PG 07:00 Kings Ransom-PG15 08:00 Marion Jones: Press PausePG15 09:00 Ghost Machine-PG15 11:00 Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back-PG 13:00 No Surrender-PG15 15:00 Riddles Of The Sphinx-PG15 17:00 Something Borrowed-PG15 19:00 Water For Elephants-PG15 21:00 30 Minutes Or Less-18 23:00 Husk-18

00:00 The Cleveland Show 00:30 The Daily Show Global Edition 01:00 The Colbert Report Global Edition 01:30 Girls 02:00 Unsupervised 02:30 Family Guy 03:00 The Simpsons 03:30 Malibu Country 04:00 Gary Unmarried 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Hope & Faith 06:00 10 Items Or Less 06:30 Less Than Perfect 08:00 Gary Unmarried 08:30 Modern Family 09:00 The Simpsons 09:30 How I Met Your Mother 10:30 Last Man Standing 12:00 10 Items Or Less 12:30 Gary Unmarried 13:00 Hope & Faith 13:30 Less Than Perfect 14:00 Malibu Country 15:00 How I Met Your Mother 15:30 The Daily Show Global Edition 16:00 The Colbert Report Global Edition 16:30 10 Items Or Less 18:00 Hot In Cleveland 18:30 Raising Hope 19:00 How I Met Your Mother 19:30 Napoleon Dynamite 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 The New Normal 22:30 American Dad 23:00 Family Guy 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

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Bones Banshee Once Upon A Time Bones Emmerdale Coronation Street Perception Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Perception Bones Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Perception Grey’s Anatomy In Plain Sight Homeland The Tudors

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

High Fidelity-PG15 Reno 911!: Miami-18 Scrooged-PG 12 Dates Of Christmas-PG15 Rebound-PG The Winning Season-PG15 Scrooged-PG The Family Stone-PG15 The Winning Season-PG15 Good Boy!-PG The Waterboy-PG15 High Fidelity-PG15

01:15 03:30 05:15 07:00 09:00 10:30 12:45 15:00 16:30 18:00 21:00 23:30

A L’origine-PG15 Body Of Evidence-R 13-PG15 Ice Dreams-PG Unanswered Prayers-PG15 Catch Me If You Can-PG15 Seabiscuit-PG15 Unanswered Prayers-PG15 Separate Lies-PG15 Thorne: Sleepy Head-PG15 Tora! Tora! Tora!-PG15 The Wild Hunt-PG15

01:00 Another Earth-PG15 03:00 Spy Kids: All The Time In The World-PG 05:00 Perfect Plan-PG15 07:00 Bound By A Secret-PG15 09:00 Captain America: The First Avenger-PG15 11:15 A Dog Named Duke-PG15 13:00 Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked-PG 14:45 A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song-PG 16:45 Captain America: The First Avenger-PG15 19:00 Contagion-PG15 21:00 Crazy, Stupid, Love.-PG15 23:00 After Life-18

01:00 Crab Island 02:45 Cher Ami 04:30 The Nimbols: Part II 06:00 Barbie: A Perfect Christmas 08:00 Princess Sydney: The Legend Of The Blue Rabbit 10:00 Quest For A Heart 11:30 The Nimbols: Part II 12:45 Mia And The Migoo 14:15 Dolphin Tale 16:15 Pacific Pirates 18:00 Quest For A Heart 20:00 Cheaper By The Dozen 22:00 Mia And The Migoo 23:30 Pacific Pirates

00:00 The Trip-PG15 02:00 I Don’t Know How She Does ItPG15 03:30 Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol-PG15 05:45 The Tree Of Life-PG15 08:00 The Hairy Tooth Fairy 2-PG 09:45 Fat Albert-PG 11:30 Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol-PG15 14:00 Jesse Stone: Innocents LostPG15 16:00 The Hairy Tooth Fairy 2-PG 18:00 The Pirates! Band Of Misfits-PG 20:00 Summer Coda-PG15 22:00 The Debt-18

03:00 Super League 04:30 Futbol Mundial 05:00 Anglo Welsh Cup 07:00 Super Rugby Highlights 08:00 Trans World Sport 09:00 Super League 11:00 ICC Cricket 360 11:30 Super Rugby 13:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 14:00 Super Rugby Highlights 15:00 Premier League Darts 18:30 Ladies European Tour Highlights 19:30 Anglo Welsh Cup 21:30 Futbol Mundial 22:00 Trans World Sport 23:00 Super Rugby Highlights

01:30 Super Rugby 02:30 Dubai World Cup Carnival 06:30 HSBC Sevens World Series 07:00 ICC Cricket 360 07:30 Inside The PGA Tour 08:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 09:00 Super Rugby 10:00 Top 14 12:00 Trans World Sport 13:00 Futbol Mundial 13:30 ICC Cricket 360 14:00 Dubai World Cup Carnival 18:00 Super Rugby 20:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 21:00 UFC Countdown 22:00 WWE SmackDown

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

ICC Cricket 360 Trans World Sport NRL Premiership Total Rugby Futbol Mundial World Pool Masters World Cup Of Pool Golfing World ICC Cricket 360 Top 14 Highlights World Pool Masters World Cup Of Pool NRL Premiership Top 14 Highlights Adventure Challenge Golfing World World Pool Masters World Cup Of Pool Anglo Welsh Cup City Centre Races City Centre Races NRL Full Time Trans World Sport Golfing World Top 14 Highlights World Pool Masters

01:00 Ping Pong World Championship 02:00 NHL 04:00 US Bass Fishing 05:00 NHL 07:00 WWE NXT 08:00 WWE Bottom Line 09:00 Ping Pong World Championship 10:00 US Bass Fishing 11:00 NHL 13:00 WWE Experience 14:00 Prizefighter 17:00 Ping Pong World Championship 18:00 WWE This Week 18:30 NHL 20:30 Mobil 1 the Grid 21:00 WWE Bottom Line 22:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 23:00 UFC Countdown

00:05 Empire Girls: Julissa And Adrienne 01:00 Jerseylicious 02:00 Videofashion News 02:25 Videofashion Collections 02:55 Big Rich Texas 03:50 Big Boutique In The City 04:20 Jerseylicious 05:15 Glam Fairy 06:10 Chicagolicious 07:05 The Amandas 08:00 Videofashion News 09:00 Videofashion Daily 10:00 Open House 10:30 Big Boutique In The City 11:00 Top 10 11:55 Giuliana & Bill 12:55 Tia And Tamera 13:50 Videofashion News 14:20 Videofashion Collections 14:50 Dress My Nest 15:45 How Do I Look? 17:35 Giuliana & Bill 19:25 Tia And Tamera 20:25 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 21:20 The Amandas 23:10 Jerseylicious

Classifieds TUESDAY, MARCH 12, 2013



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FOR SALE Mitsubishi Lancer - 2010 car for sale, beige color, 4 cylinder, engine, gear, chases ver y good condition, interior & exterior neat and clean, original paint, 1,05000 km run, price KD 2,100/-. Contact: 99072651. Brokers excuse. (C 4343) 12-3-2013 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 CHANGE OF NAME

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Ramesh Kumar Ravichandran, son of Ravichandran and Victoria bearing an Indian Passport No. H3125212 and having an address No.21 Clive Street Port, Cuddalore, Tamilnadu 607003 - has embraced Islam and changed the name to Abdul Rahman. (C 4344) 12-3-2013


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


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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) 7-3-2013


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

Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is 1889988 Ministry of Interior website:

Prayer timings Fajr:












No: 15745

I, Posina Lakshmi Prasanna D/o Posina Venkata Ratnam holder of Indian Passport No. H5961214 converted to the Islam do hereby change my name to P. Zareena Begum. (C 4338) 5-3-2013 I, Mrs. Annie Cristine Kuriakose, holder of Indian Passport No. F5417121 changing the name to Mrs. Annie Cristine Pinto. (C 4336)




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Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (


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stars CROSSWORD 126

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) This is a time when you can get some sort of extra support or recognition from those around you. You may feel that you are in touch and in harmony with others; the lines of communication are open. The support you need is there, you may just have to ask for it, but no risk no gain. Friendship and cooperative endeavors are what the mood is really about today. You can achieve a harmonious balance of giving and receiving, of talking and listening. Your romantic interest will find this very appealing and appreciative.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Now is a time of culmination, where matters come to a head. Old stagnant conditions involving personal projects, a family member, or a parent will be finalized. This is the time to establish good relationships between yourself and a parent. Don’t continue to handle difficult tasks alone. This is a very pleasant time for you. You have a need to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life, relax, and collect yourself. Taking a stroll through the woods, visiting a beautiful lake, mountain retreat, or beach appeals to you now, even more so if you take along someone special. You also enjoy casual activities and visiting friends.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

ACROSS 1. The month following March and preceding May. 4. An obsolete firearm with a long barrel. 11. A white crystalline double sulfate of aluminum. 15. A fixed charge for a privilege or for professional services. 16. The more conspicuous of two alternatives or cases or sides. 17. British writer of short stories (1870-1916). 18. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 19. Jordan's port. 20. An orderly assigned to serve a British military officer. 22. English courtier (a favorite of Elizabeth I) who tried to colonize Virginia. 24. A public promotion of some product or service. 25. Wear away. 26. A member of an American Indian people of Yucatan and Belize and Guatemala who once had a culture characterized by outstanding architecture and pottery and astronomy. 28. A very poisonous metallic element that has three allotropic forms. 31. French romantic writer (1766-1817). 36. A nucleic acid that transmits genetic information from DNA to the cytoplasm. 39. A genus of Ploceidae. 40. Deeply moved. 42. Noisy talk. 43. One of the most common of the five major classes of immunoglobulins. 44. An intensely radioactive metallic element that occurs in minute amounts in uranium ores. 46. Goddess of love and fecundity. 49. That is to say. 50. Having a slightly undulating margin. 52. An officer who acts as military assistant to a more senior officer. 53. The actions and activities assigned to or required or expected of a person or group. 55. Mild yellow Dutch cheese made in balls. 56. A Russian river. 58. A woman hired to suckle a child of someone else. 60. (prefix) Indicating difference or variation. 61. The ninth month of the Hindu calendar. 65. Empty rhetoric or insincere or exaggerated talk. 68. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 69. A design fixed to some surface or a paper bearing the design to be transferred to the surface. 71. Oil palms. 75. An Indian side dish of yogurt and chopped cucumbers and spices. 76. A spacecraft that carries astronauts from the command module to the surface of the moon and back. 77. (medical) An absence of normal pigmentation especially in the skin (as in albinism) or in red blood cells. 80. A guided missile fired from shipboard against an airborne target. 81. A unit of length of thread or yarn. 82. Goat grass. 83. An independent agency of the United States government responsible for collecting and coordinating intelligence and counterintelligence activities abroad in the national interest. DOWN 1. (old-fashioned) At or from or to a great distance.

2. Having nine hinged bands of bony plates. 3. A domain in which something is dominant. 4. A large sandwich made of a long crusty roll split lengthwise and filled with meats and cheese (and tomato and onion and lettuce and condiments). 5. A member of the Circassian people living east of the Black Sea. 6. A sudden loss of consciousness resulting when the rupture or occlusion of a blood vessel leads to oxygen lack in the brain. 7. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 8. A small nail. 9. North American republic containing 50 states - 48 conterminous states in North America plus Alaska in northwest North America and the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean. 10. Italian operatic soprano (born in 1922). 11. Being or relating to or resembling or emanating from stars. 12. A monastery for lamas. 13. An edict of the Russian tsar. 14. Extracted from a source of supply as of minerals from the earth. 21. In bed. 23. Worn or shabby from overuse or (of pages) from having corners turned down. 27. Pitted with cell-like cavities (as a honeycomb). 29. Deliberately arranged for effect. 30. Plant bearing large mild thick-walled usually bell-shaped fruits. 32. (Babylonian) A demigod or first man. 33. Acquire or gain knowledge or skills. 34. A colorless and odorless inert gas. 35. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 37. Horny plate covering and protecting part of the dorsal surface of the digits. 38. Widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions for its fragrant flowers and colorful fruits. 41. A person who announces and plays popular recorded music. 45. Become adolescent. 47. Not only so, but. 48. A genus of orb-weaving spiders including common garden spiders and barn spiders. 51. Affect with wonder. 54. A midwestern state in north central United States in the Great Lakes region. 57. A long thin fluffy scarf of feathers or fur. 59. A state in southeastern India on the Bay of Bengal (south of Andhra Pradesh). 62. Something whose name is either forgotten or not known. 63. New Zealand conifer. 64. Tropical American tree grown in southern United States having a whitish pink-tinged fruit. 66. On or toward the lee. 67. The battle in 202 BC in which Scipio decisively defeated Hannibal at the end of the second Punic War. 70. (computer science) A kind of computer architecture that has a large number of instructions hard coded into the cpu chip. 72. A plant hormone promoting elongation of stems and roots. 73. The use of nuclear magnetic resonance of protons to produce proton density images. 74. A person active in party politics. 78. A heavy silvery toxic univalent and bivalent metallic element. 79. The sciences concerned with gathering and manipulating and storing and retrieving and classifying recorded information.


You feel energetic, confident, and assertive now, and are less inclined to be patient with others’ needs and demands. You may become angry if you can’t get your way or if you have to adjust your vigorous pace to others’ slower tempo. Try to have some patience today, it will pay off. Relationships are very satisfying and loving, and you may also wish to invite company into your home. The role of gracious host or hostess suits you very well right now. Throw a party or just invite some friends over to watch a movie and munch on popcorn. It’s a kick back type of mood.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) What’s one person’s meat is another person’s poison, and trying to change people’s moral views or political persuasions is often a waste of time. You need to be respectful in the company of others just as they need to be respectful of your views. Beg to differ but remain calm and happy irrespective of anyone’s views today. Your thoughts turn to love and this is a favorable time to bring out any concerns you have in your personal relationships. Agreements and cooperation can be achieved easily during this time. You readily discuss your personal needs and desires. Also, you are more aware of beauty and may want to rearrange your decor or buy something to beautify your surroundings.

Leo (July 23-August 22) If you don’t ask you’ll never know. It’s time, while it lasts (for a day or so), so if you want it, go for it. Part of it is about intuitively knowing just what to ask for, what’s really available, and who’s in the mood for giving or giving in. Go with your feelings and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with your intuition. Disagreements or differences of opinion and viewpoints arise now between you and a partner. You may have to speak your mind in a way that challenges or unnerves someone close to you. However, your mind is very active and sharp, and your reasoning power is good, so this is a good time to try and work things out or maybe even find some compromises.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) Words may convey a bit more emotional meaning than usual, as subtle communication makes inner messages clear. Spiritual deeds are done without a second thought and life as an unusual glow. Working on previous brainstorms pays off and keeping good company comes with ease today. Not too much will run smoothly or go your way today in your relationships, but if you keep working toward a goal you will make some progress. A change at home will be beneficial to you and everyone around you. Stop being so hard on yourself and realize you are who you are and you’re doing the best you can.

Word Search

Libra (September 23-October 22) You need to take some calculated risks in an important relationship just now, because what you thought was unacceptable in a previous stage of your development is more than likely just exactly what you need now. Don’t shy away from trying something new. Today could be like a roller coaster ride with crazy emotional ups and downs. Positive energy will be coming and going out of nowhere to remind you of your more important purpose. Try not to get so weighed down in the lows of the day that you fail to see the opportunities when they hit the highs.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

Be prepared to change your mind now. Use your intuition; suggest how to incorporate change into your thinking. Your relationships will be dependant upon the clarity of your words not how clever you are. Also don’t let people sidetrack you with their opinions during this period. Your passions are strong and compelling at this time, and you tend to be very demanding of a lover’s energy and affection. Tensions may erupt in close relationships because one of you feels that you have been giving more, and not receiving enough in return, or one of you is more amorous than the other.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) As the day takes shape, you could find yourself working out financial complications that have been playing on your mind for ages. It’ll come to you in a flash! Be sure everyone close to you gets their fair share of your attention or you may alienate some who feel ignored. This is a good time to speak up and clear the air of any grievances you have been holding on to for some time. Personal subjects are the topic of discussion now. Reminiscing, remembering, daydreaming about and reflecting on the past is likely as well. Use what you may learn about yourself and your partner to grow together not apart.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Changes, reversals, or removals (involving vocational interests, unusual circumstances, or close relationships) will open the door to a new experience, while at the same time closing the door that led to an old one. There could be separation from an older relative or from someone with whom you have had a close emotional bond. Unconventional romantic and social connections are likely at this time. Sometimes you just know it’s right and jump in without hesitation, someone caught your attention perhaps? The general feeling all around is that your plan is the best one, so take advantage and move as far as you can.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You could get the wrong idea, develop false ideals, and let your imagination carry you away to the point that those who support and care for you are neglected or hurt. Walk a careful line when it comes to dreams versus realities. Words may convey a bit more emotional meaning than usual, as under-the-radar communication makes inner messages clear. There is a chance to understand those around you and to have a special time with someone you love. Lovers, children, and other people or things dear to your heart are emphasized at this time. General good feeling and a sense of support and harmony make this a happy time.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) Laziness, self-indulgence, and expecting everything to work out well with no effort on your part are negative possibilities now. You feel very lucky and you are likely to be lax or extravagant with your money. Material benefits are, indeed, likely at this time, but beware of being overly generous or depending too much on Lady Luck. An intuitive sense of just how to handle your emotions in your close relationships are more than likely for you today. Knowing in your deepest self just where you are going without having to explain things can let you advance farther along with less energy wasted. Don’t push so hard that you do more damage than good, allow that the power of mutual attraction will get you exactly where you want to go.

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Yesterday’s Solution

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


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital


Kaizen center














Abdullah Salem




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Gar






Ayoun Al-Qibla






Salmiya Jabriya




Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

23915883 23715414 23726558


Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622


Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967


New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638

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

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

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241



Tel.: e 161




Hazy with moderate to fresh north westerly wind, with speed of 20 - 45 km/h causing raising dust over open areas


Cool with light to moderate north westerly wind, with speed of 15 - 35 km/h

No Current Waarnings arnin



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12 °C

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23 °C

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21 °C

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W Hawally



21 °C

19 °C





West Jahra


South Jahra


North Jahra


North Jleeb



11/03/2013 0000 UTC

4 DA AYS Y FORECAST Temperatures DA AY





Wind Direction

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26 °C

13 °C


15 - 35 km/h

Wednesday e


warm + scattered clouds

30 °C

14 °C


12 - 32 km/h




31 °C

15 °C


06 - 22 km/h



warm + scattered clouds

32 °C

16 °C


06 - 26 km/h





MAX. Temp.

27 °C


MIN. Temp.

18 °C 78 %














MAX. Wind






N Khaitan


All times are local time unless otherwise stated.


19 % SE 60 km/h .03 mm V1.00

11/03/13 02:40 UTC



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


Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf


Dr. Khaled Hamadi

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari


Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed

Dr. Abdel Quttainah


Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar


Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari


Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan


Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe


Dr. Verginia s.Marin

2572-6666 ext 8321


25665898 25340300

Dr. Zahra Qabazard


Dr. Sohail Qamar


Dr. Snaa Maaroof


Dr. Pradip Gujare


Dr. Zacharias Mathew


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



Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan


Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami


Dr. Shamah Al-Matar


Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed



Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari


General Surgeons Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer


Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher


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

22666300 25728004

Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra


Dr. Mobarak Aldoub


Dr Nasser Behbehani


Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688




Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman

Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri


Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly


Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali


Kaizen center 25716707


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


Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees


Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi

Dr Anil Thomas

Dr. Salem soso


















Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh














Issue Time

Expected Weather e for the Next 24 Hours






Ext.: 2627 262 - 2630


Fax: 24348714


New Jahra




Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah


Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad

24555050 Ext 210

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


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

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

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



LIFESTYLE M o v i e s


M u s i c


This CD cover image released by Columbia Records shows ‘The Next Day,’ by David Bowie. —AP

Fabreezy and Ice from Spain perform before their victory over Italy in the hip hop series during the ‘Juste Debout’ (Just Standing) worldwide street dance festival at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy in Paris.—AFP

Spielberg in Mumbai meeting Bollywood stars U

S director Steven Spielberg was in India’s entertainment capital yesterday to meet Bollywood filmmakers and stars of the country’s film industry. Spielberg and various Indian directors were seen by an AFP photographer arriving at the Taj Lands End Hotel in Mumbai’s fashionable Bandra suburb yesterday. Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan wrote on Twitter Sunday that he would be moderating a talk with the Hollywood veteran at an event for show business insiders. “Tomorrow meeting up with THE Steven Spielberg, and moderating a conversation with him, at an event for (a) select fraternity!!” Bachchan said. The Mid Day newspaper said Spielberg would be holding a “masterclass session” with a room full of Indian directors. The 66year-old is reportedly on his first visit to Mumbai partly to celebrate the success of his film Lincoln, which was co-produced by his DreamWorks Studios and Indian tycoon Anil Ambani’s Reliance Entertainment. Spielberg, known for classic hits such as Jaws, E.T. and Jurassic Park, was seen by AFP leaving Ambani’s office yesterday. Reports said billionaire Ambani and his wife Tina would throw a lavish party in honor of the acclaimed director. —AFP

David Bowie’s ‘The Next Day’


any people wondered if there would be a next day for David Bowie, professionally speaking. Bowie retreated after suffering a heart attack in 2004, leaving many of his fans to wonder if he had retired. He recorded secretly in New York the past couple of years, announced the imminent release of “The Next Day” on his 66th birthday in January, and has said nothing about its contents publicly. Absence has clearly made the heart fonder, judging by the prerelease raves for his first new music in 10 years. Simmer down. This does not auger a return to Bowie’s 1970s glory days, although “The Next Day” is certainly more focused than his string of forgettable work in the late 1980s and 1990s. The album cover and song “Where Are We Now?” harken back to Bowie’s fruitful period in Berlin. The moody, atmospheric song has Bowie, in a voice rendered fragile by age, wandering the German streets again. Like “Heroes,” it ultimately soars and is life-affirming. It also sounds like nothing

else on the disc, not only in tempo but in the personal glimpse it offers. As a songwriter, Bowie is a reporter, and sings of medieval evil, the shamed offspring of a prison warden, a soldier wasted by his work, a gleaming young girl in a rotting world. And, unexpectedly, Bob Dylan, in the roaring rocker “(You Will) Set the World on Fire.” Producer Tony Visconti and Bowie steer the band toward a muscular rock sound. Bowie sounds refreshed, happy to be working at his own pace, and Visconti is one of his best collaborators. Most compelling are “The Stars (Are Out Tonight) what’s the deal with all these parentheses (?) - that addresses celebrity as both necessary and an evil and “Dancing Out in Space.” The track is no space oddity: it’s a thrill ride with a swinging beat and trippy guitar. The balance is more solid than spectacular. While a welcome return for those who know him, “The Next Day” isn’t likely to get more than a shrug from a new generation of fans. —AP

Stephen Baldwin may avoid jail in tax case US film director Steven Spielberg waves to photographers as he leaves the office of Indian industrialist Anil Ambani in Mumbai yesterday.—AFP

Former Vienna Philharmonic chief was member of Nazi elite troop


Photo taken on January 1, 2013 shows Austrian conducter Franz Welser-Moest and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra as they perform the traditional New Year’s Concert at the music association in Vienna, Austria. —AFP photos

File photo released by the Vienna Philharmonic (Wiener Philharmoniker) shows Governor of Austria Arthur Seyss-Inquart standing by German conductor Wilhelm Furtwaengler and musicians, in 1938 in Vienna.

former head of Vienna’s prestigious Philharmonic Orchestra was a member of Nazi Germany’s elite paramilitary SS and collaborated with the secret police, while half of its musicians were members of the Nazi party, historians said Sunday. Helmut Wobisch, a member of the Nazi party since 1933 when it was still illegal in Austria, was the orchestra’s managing director between 1954 and 1968 even though he had been dismissed at the end of World War II because of his ties to the Nazi regime. Wobisch became a member of the SS in 1938 when Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany. In 1966, he presented a replica of the orchestra’s Honorary Ring to former Nazi youth leader Baldur von Schirach who was convicted of crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg trials in 1946 and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Von Schirach, Vienna’s local Nazi leader, had received the orchestra’s highest distinction in 1942 but US troops seized it when he was arrested in 1945. Research by the independent group of historians which was coordinated by Vienna University professor Oliver Rathkolb and others was to shed light on the orchestra’s political involvement during the 1938-45 period when Austria was under Nazi control. Historians also looked into the biographies of orchestra members who were expelled, persecuted or killed for political or racist reasons. They found that six Jewish members of the orchestra were murdered and 10 deported to Nazi camps. None of those who emigrated, mainly to Britain and the United States, returned after World War II. With 60 musicians out of a total of 123 members of the Nazi party, their percentage was well above that of the general population, which was about 10 percent. As Austria marks the 75th anniversary of its annexation by Nazi Germany on Tuesday, the historians’ findings are available on the orchestra’s web site at—AFP


defense lawyer says prosecutors are not seeking jail time for actor Stephen Baldwin, who’s accused of not paying his New York income taxes for three years. There was a court conference yesterday in the case against Baldwin, the youngest of the four acting Baldwin brothers. The Rockland County district attorney’s office said it is hoping a resolution can be reached today. Baldwin is accused of skipping New York taxes in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The district attorney said Baldwin owed more than $350,000 in tax and penalties. His attorney, Russell Yankwitt, says he’s been advised by the Rockland County district attorney’s office that Baldwin can resolve the case without going behind bars. Baldwin, who starred in 1995’s “The Usual Suspects,” has been free without bail.

Bieber concert in Portugal cancelled


anadian singer Justin Bieber has cancelled one of two concerts scheduled for this week in Portugal, the venue in Lisbon said on its website yesterday. It was not immediately clear whether the cancellation was linked to his collapse on-stage in London last week which forced the teen sensation to take a 20-minute break to receive oxygen and then to stay overnight in hospital. “Due to unforeseen circumstances, Justin Bieber was forced to cancel the second performance in Portugal, March 12,” a statement said on the website of the Pavilhao Atlantico. “The Canadian singer is eager to play for the Portuguese fans on March 11,” it added. Ticket holders for the cancelled gig were entitled to a refund if they claimed it within a month. His US-based representatives were not immediately available for comment. Bieber described his visit to London as a “rough week”. As well as the collapse, the 19-year-old was caught on film in an expletive-filled altercation with a photographer, showed up nearly two hours late for a show leading to widespread anger and was labeled a “pop brat” by a leading tabloid. Discovered on YouTube in 2008, Bieber has built an online following of tens of millions of fans and is one of the pop world’s biggest stars. In February, he became the youngest artist to land five chart-topping albums in the key US market.

Former Abba singer Agnetha stages comeback


gnetha Faeltskog, former singer of legendary Swedish pop group Abba, will release her first album in nine years in May, her record company said yesterday. “I never thought I would sing again, but when I heard the first three songs I couldn’t say no,” said the Swedish songstress, sometimes described in the media as being a recluse. “When You Really Love Someone”, the first single from the upcoming full-length release “A”, was made available on digital music platforms iTunes and Spotify on Monday, along with a music video on YouTube. “A” will be released on May 13 and includes the first track co-written by the star in decades, as well as a duet with British singer Gary Barlow of Take That. “I hadn’t written music in a very long time but when I sat down at the piano it came to me very naturally,” the 62-year-old singer said in a statement. On all the new tracks, Faeltskog collaborated with Swedish songwriter and producer Joergen Elofsson, who has penned hits for artists including Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson and Celine Dion. “She’s a musician, a songwriter and singer who hasn’t done that for a while. We saw her open up, become much happier, with music again in her life,” he said. Abba, one of the most popular and enduring bands of all time, formed in 1970 and shot to fame after winning the Eurovision contest in 1974. The band, which has sold more than 378 million records to date, split up in 1982 and has never reunited. A museum dedicated to the group will open in Stockholm this spring. “This is a Cinderella story worth telling,” former member Bjoern Ulvaeus told reporters last year. —Agencies



LIFESTYLE F a s h i o n

Salman Khan walks the finale of the SS’13 fashion show Splash fashion league

E The trends here include bold color mix, leather detail, skater skirt. Pictured here: Aqua Milly leather collar sweater; MISS WU ‘Lush’ striped silk skirt; Vince ‘Celeste’ pumps and bangles by Alexis Bittar and Sequin.

Black and white and checks are huge for spring—wearing it in a classic sheath is an ideal way to work the trend. —MCT photos

Bold color mix: Pairing bright colors in an unexpected mix orange with blue and acid yellow’s a real-life answer to spring’s head-to-toe color trend.

Spring forward: Get a jump on fashion trends I

t has been cold lately, but soon enough the weather will warm and you’ll want a pop of spring to relieve the weariness of your wintery black wardrobe. But which of the many spring trends-cropped jackets, graphic black and white, vibrant color mixes and global print-a-paloozas-do you choose to get you through the winter blues? “Spring ‘13 trends offer something for everyone,” says David Wolfe, creative director of The Doneger Group, a New York-based retail and fashion consultant. “There are a great many directions happening all at once with each designer/label offering looks that are true to themselves. Colorful and optimistic sums it all up, very possibly a reaction to a world fraught with problems and disasters. Fashion is acting as an escape mechanism.” And gone are the days when you saw something on a runway in October and waited half a year for the trend to hit your mall. With the Internet-and the thousands of fashion bloggers and self-appointed stylists it has spawned-couture trends translate much faster into retail reality than they used to, Wolfe said. Such “fast fashion” means antsy fashionistas like me can get a spring-look fix well before winter is over. “There used to be a real ‘ripple-out’ timetable that said, ‘Paris now, Peoria in 18 months,’” Wolfe said. “That is no longer the case. For those who care about fashion, it is almost instant.” And that ability to satisfy a fashion fan’s desire for the new hasn’t just made trends more accessible, it has made them easier to afford. Wolfe points to the spring 2013 runways. They were full of black and white-which Wolfe deems “hardly a revolutionary idea”and nearly immediately, fast-fashion retailer H&M is pushing black-and-white outfits. The Swedish retailer is selling a black-and-whitestriped sheer blouse for $25 that looks like something off the Marc Jacobs spring runway. But what to choose for your escape from

now until actual spring without looking like you’re blindly following trends? After all, what works on the runways doesn’t work for your life. “If you like a trend, you should try it,” says Sarah Bennett, personal stylist manager at Nordstrom South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif. “Every trend is wearable; the key is tailoring it to your own personal style. Color is everywhere for spring. If you’re not ready for head-to-toe color, try starting small with a colored shoe or handbag.”

White, color, print: Perforated leather moto jacket by ASTR plus Marc by Marc Jacobs mesh tank and printed skater skirt accessorized by a white Rebecca Minkoff M.A.C. bag and Rachel Roy bright ‘Brigitte’ flats and colorful bangles by Alexis Bittar. But the array of trends is dizzying. From the boxy silhouettes of Chanel’s sweet suits, Derek Lam’s saturated featherweight leather, Peter Pilotto’s hypnotic exotic prints, Chloe’s blinding white ensembles, Gucci’s giant undulating ruffles or Michael Kors’ bluegreen color mix _ what’s a girl on a limited budget to do? “With so many trends happening simultaneously, a smart shopper takes the time ... to familiarize herself with the options and to

only adapt/assimilate those that truly suit her real lifestyle and budget. Forget Kim Kardashian and all those starlets on the red carpet,” Wolfe advised. His easy solution is to choose something that looks like your style, but in spring’s favorite new colors. “Color, color, color! But not any one specific color,” he said. “There will be brights, pastels, black-and-white and neutrals, too. ‘Proven newness’ is an important consideration. That means choosing something familiar (a garment or an accessory) that is in a new color or new material. It’s safe, but sort of exciting.” Costa Mesa, Calif.-based fashion blogger Beth Jones of B Jones Style agrees. “Bold color is still in. Purchase one statement item in a bold color and pop it in your winter wardrobe, but get ready to wear it when spring comes around,” she said. Another trend easily incorporated into your spring closet-you might even have some left over from fall, when it started appearing on the runway and in stores-is lightweight leather. Ultra-soft leather details on shirts or dresses automatically make a piece look more sophisticated and give a classic sweater an unexpected edge. Here, too, color can make it new, because leather doesn’t just come in black anymore (although black leather has reached an iconic status that automatically makes it classic and therefore wearable for all time). “I’m loving leather for spring, especially colored leather. It’s such a great transitional piece, and if you’re going to make the investment, you’re going to want to use it all year long,” says Orange County, Calif. fashion stylist Leslie Christen. Choosing a trend that makes you feel like the ultimate version of yourself is the best way to introduce newness into your wardrobe. “Fashion is a form of self-expression,” Nordstrom’s Bennett says. “It’s a way to tell the world who we are and who we aspire to be without saying anything. If we didn’t have fashion, we’d all be dressed the same; part of our identity would be erased.” —MCT

Haute couture time keeping


ou can see it in her pace, she’s got style and she’s got grace, she’s a lady. Infatuated by the soul of the free-spirited woman of today, Paris-based fashion brand Nina Ricci has released a stunning orchestration of elegant time pieces. The beautiful creations are an ode to the refinement and confidence of the contemporary woman, who exudes charm and loves to experiment with her look each time she dresses. Independent, bold and gorgeous - catch this season’s most outspoken must-haves at select luxury outlets across the Middle East.

Boby Chemmanur International Jewellers Diamond Boutique at Abbassiya showroom was inaugurated by Shanta Mariyam James (Chairperson for CBC Gulf Countries). Regional Manager Shabu, Zonal Manager Biju George & Diamond Section head Shaju attended the function.

ach season as fashion inspires, excites and enthralls the styleconscious aficionados, Splash tugs at the season’s trends to showcase a collection that is talk-worthy. As the SS’13 Splash catwalk at Madinat Arena came alive with sleeker, more functional and minimalist leaning wardrobe inspirations for both men and women, more than 3000 fashion enthusiasts became part of the changing face of fashion. Salman Khan, Bollywood superstar, made an appearance in support of the brand Splash, which are the sole distributors of Being Human in the Region. A bevy of 45 models walked down the ramp sporting themes like 60s, Gatsby, Warrior, New Mod, Preppy resort to dapper Schoolboy, which are just some of the trends which lead the style pack this season. Drawing inspiration from team sports such as baseball and tennis, to individual sports such as horse riding & track, to rough sports like wrestling & fencing the Splash runway was opened with a singer belting out a rendition of the popular track, ‘We are the Champions’. In between the 20 minute show, cheer leaders flown in especially from Germany, regaled the audiences with 25 second performances ensuring that the sports themed show had its right mix of fashion, style and entertainment. Speaking on the unique design and concept of the show, Raza Beig, CEO, Splash & ICONIC, “At Splash we have always strived to work on unique concepts and sets which tie-in the season’s trends presenting a collection of high street must haves from the brand. Our SS’13 fashion show is an ode to the world of sports and the fashion it brings along.” “With an aim to maximize the reach of our shows and celebrate fashion on a larger scale, we live streamed our 3 shows on all our social media platforms along with leading online platforms across the Region, where we hope that half a million or more fans and consumers watched the show. This will be more than twice the number of viewers from last time and we are thankful and extremely proud of our loyal clientele,” Raza added further. The Splash Fashion League set was divided into two specially made sections, the ramp that resembled an oval shaped sports arena with tiered bleacher style seating for the runway show while the after party was held at the specially made Trophy Room that was replete with large size trophies and medals. The VIP show was attended by UAE’s crËme de la crËme where Raza Beig walked the red carpet for the finale along with Salman Khan and Nisha Jagtiani amidst cheer leaders and along with the Splash Fashion League models. Followed by the show was the much sought after, after-party which had guests grooving to DJ Charl Chakka and DJ Kennedy’s tunes into the wee hours of the night. Continuing with the lineup of the two consumer shows, fashion followers and Shukran customers also got a taste of the season’s most awaited runway action across 2 shows earlier in the evening. With utility elements staying, sports inspired fashion on the Splash runway was less about taking specific sports uniform and adapting it as street-wear and more about creating sleek, almost minimalist pieces that have an element of the functional for both men and women. The show was opened by around 15 models wearing the monochrome trend which ruled the roost in graphic prints or stark contrast blocking reflecting modernist cool. The women’s collection had prints and patterns dominating the looks with engineered, tribal, reptile and kaleidoscope prints. Easy fabrics like georgettes, chiffons and soft knits in shades of fuchsia, citrus and ombre were a key favorite on the runway reflecting poised feminity where you can incorporate a sporty feel by the way of outerwear. For a mermaid look gone urban sports, the Splash runway presented looks that mixed sparkling sequins or metallic with luxe jersey or figure hugging wetsuit-like silhouettes. Floral prints, a sugary display of pastels were key trends reflecting a very 60s mood. For men, the obvious and most popular way of incorporating a sporty feel into the season was by way of outerwear where hooded coats in parachute silks or jersey, varsity jackets, and parkas are all strong options. Explosively optimistic for this season, deep tangerine, lemon yellow, Caribbean blue and neon are combined with pastels and men sported slim blazers paired with easy-fit shorts and pants. Representing the roaring

20s of America, ‘The Great Gatsby’ trend finds its inspiration from an era which had a distinctive cultural edge featuring pastel shades where tailored play is important. Colours such as cornflower blue and pine green provide a fresh feel to the looks while a refined laundered look of washed earthy neutrals, mixed with deep red and olives with a hint of camouflage and geometric prints emerge as strong contenders to the season. A combination of the best highstreet trends the, Splash SS’13 wardrobe presented on the runway will be available from now until July 2012 while all the looks from the catwalk are available on and in case you want to revisit moments from the show or watch the show live tune in to Fashion. In Kuwait Splash is available at all Centrepoint Stores and at The Avenues - Phase II.


lifestyle F e a t u r e s

Marinera dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the food festival at J W Marriott Hotel Kuwait on Sunday.

Gustavo Bravo with Peruvian dancers.— Photos by Joseph Shagra

By Sajeev K Peter


George Aoun (left) and Gustavo Bravo jointly cut the ribbon to inaugurate the Peruvian Food Festival.

week-long Peruvian food festival opened here on Sunday at the J W Marriott Hotel, Kuwait introducing Peru’s exotic gastronomic diversities to the food lovers in Kuwait. George Aoun, General Manager of Kuwait Marriott Hotels and Gustavo Bravo, Charge d’Affaires ad interim of the Embassy of Peru, Kuwait jointly cut the ribbon to inaugurate the festival at the La Brasserie Restaurant in the presence of a host of ambassadors and other guests. “The response of the people in Kuwaiti has been overwhelming. We have a couple of desks fully booked already,” Bravo told Kuwait Times prior to the inauguration of the festival. The first-ever ‘Peruvian Gastronomic and Artistic Festival’ (March 10-15) in Kuwait is being organized by J W Marriott Hotel under the patronage of the Embassy of Peru, Kuwait and the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL), Kuwait. The festival offers a vast variety of Latin American cuisines with international flavors, but it adds a local taste to its delicacies to suit the Kuwaiti palate. “We are proud to host a globally acclaimed cultural festival that demonstrates the unique ingredients of a cuisine that maintains a leading position in the culinary agenda. Marriott prides itself in enhancing the development of multi-cultural integration into the local community,” said George Aoun.

The exotic Peruvian delicacies. Peru’s famous culinary expert chef Javier Morante from Casa Andina Restaurant Group along with executive chef Joseph D’Costa and other chefs from the J W Marriott, joined hands to demonstrate their expertise in exquisite Peruvian delicacies and popular local favorites like Fish Ceviche, Lomo Saltado (sautÈed beef) and Pulpo al Olivo (octopus in black olive sauce) and much more at La Brasserie.

“We, the Embassy of Peru and JW Marriott Hotel worked together to organize the food festival where chefs and artists perform together,” added Gustavo Bravo. Art for the palate While, the exotic dishes offer absolute art for your palates, Marinera dancers, the traditional dancers from Peru, perform before you,

Gustavo Bravo poses with Ambassadors and other dignitaries during the festival.


t’s about the size of an American football and made of clay. It’s chipped, cracked and is even missing a chunk. But the Cyrus Cylinder is one of the most important pieces of pottery in history. On loan from the British Museum, it is on display in a small two-room exhibit at the Arthur M Sackler Gallery in Washington, DC, through April 28. The lines of decoration are actually cuneiform, an ancient writing system, and they proclaim a different style of ruling-one that says “This is an empire that is going to recognize different diversity, honor separate traditions, and somehow hold it together,” said Neil McGregor, director of the British Museum. “It is a document about regime change and a meditation on how you govern a diverse society.” Persian leader Cyrus the Great ruled over an empire that spanned from Egypt to Central Asia, including the Balkans. He died in 530 B.C. after a reign that stretched from 29 to 31 years, depending on the source. Unlike most empires of the period, which were based around rivers, Cyrus’ was a “road empire,” stretching thousands of miles, said McGregor, and also the first “multilingual empire.” It also had a civil service: “You can’t run this kind of an empire without a great bureaucracy.” What we know of this empire came from two diverse sources: the Jewish scriptures and the Persians’ arch-enemies, the Greeks. “What is striking, given the usual Greek view of Persians as barbarians ... is that, in the Greek record, one hero emerges — Cyrus,” says McGregor. “That is because both Jewish and the Greek held him to be a hero.” So did Xenophon, Machiavelli and Thomas Jefferson, who owned two copies of the Cyropaedia, “The Education of Cyrus.” The cylinder’s text shows why he was regarded so highly. Found in fragments in the ruins of a city in 1879, it proclaims that Cyrus “is going to allow the people deported by the previous kings of

Babylon to go home ... They will take their gods that were confiscated, the temples that were confiscated, back to their towns and sanctuaries, and they are to rebuild the sanctuaries, and they are to pray to their gods, and, in their temples, to pray for the king (Cyrus).” This validates what was in Hebrew Scriptures. In Ezra (1:1-4,) and the Chronicles, it’s said that the Jews deported from Jerusalem were “to go home, to take the temples’ vessels, and to rebuild the temples.” The discovery of the cylinder proved that the scriptures were

offering a glimpse of the cultural distinctiveness of the country. The performers with their elegant and complex dancing, set the perfect ambiance for a superb dining. Marinera is Peruvian national dance. It is a graceful and romantic dance performed by a couple who uses handkerchiefs as props. The dance is an elegant and stylized reenactment of a courtship and it shows a blend of the different cultures of Peru. “These dancers were brought specially from Rome to perform during the festival. They perform three times a day during the festival,” said Bravo. The food festival has also been sponsored by Air France, KLM and Associazione Culturale Uniti nel Monda. Hailed as a ‘gastronomic superpower’ by the Financial Times, Peru as a destination is increasingly recognized for its culinary tours, food safaris, world-class cooking schools and foodie fiestas including the Mistura Food Festival, which attracted more than 500,000 people to Lima in September 2012. Peru also won the top honor as World’s Leading Culinary Destination at the 19th World Travel Awards held in New Delhi.

Executive chefs Javier Morante and Joseph D’Costa with other chefs from J W Marriott Hotel.

historically correct. They also said that other copies had been made but there was no proof until, in 2009, the British Museum discovered they had parts of another copy. McGregor says one of the cuneiform curators “read a small tablet” one day, and later that night he realized that he’d read some of the same words before _ on the Cyrus Cylinder. Excited, he called the cuneiform specialist curator to say he thought he’d found a copy. Looking at it, the specialist said he thought he recognized the cuneiform “handwriting” of the ancient

The Cyrus Cylinder is on display until April 28, 2013 at the Arthur M Sackler Gallery in Washington, DC. It will then travel to Houston, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

scribe. He “went off into other drawers and found another fragment of the same tablet.” The real bonus? The tablet had lines that were missing from the original cylinder. The Cyrus Cylinder will travel from Washington to museums in Houston, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. — MCT

Thomas Jefferson’s copy of the Cyropaedia is on display at the Arthur M Sackler Gallery in Washington, DC through April 28, 2013. — MCT photos


lifestyle F e a t u r e s


Part of a painting entitled ‘Chinese Shrimp Junk II’ by artist Hung Liu.

Part of the art work of Hung Liu, of Oakland, a ChineseAmerican artist and Mills College professor of art, entitled ‘Great Granary’.

iewing the wild spectrum of artist Hung Liu’s workfrom a massive mound of 205,000 fortune cookies atop intersecting railroad ties to giant ship-shaped canvases weathered with Liu’s trademark technique of dripped linseed oil-one would never guess the rigid training she received in her homeland China. As a young artist learning her craft in the mid-20th century, Liu was limited to works that represented the official view of society under Chairman Mao Zedong. Even the artistic disciplines were firmly separated from one another. “In China, when I went to the best art institute in Beijing, everything was so tight, so compartmentalized, only focused on one discipline _ you did sculpture only, or drawing only or mural only. It’s different here in America,” Liu said, laughing gently at the Mills College Art Museum as she pointed to the mound of cookies, her striking installation, “Jiu Jin Shan” or “Old Gold Mountain,” meant to symbolize the shattered dreams of Chinese workers who came West to find fortune. “Is this sculpture?” she asked. “Who knows? Here you can do everything.” And she has. Liu, a professor of studio arts at Mills for more than 20 years and one of the first Chinese artists to establish a career in the West, is considered one of the most significant Chinese-American contemporary artists living today. This year her work is the focus of two backto-back exhibits in California’s East Bay: “Hung Liu: Offerings” runs through March 17 at the Mills museum, followed by a major retrospective of her work, “Summoning Ghosts,” at the Oakland Museum of California from March 16 through June. The show will then embark on a two-year national tour. And the San Jose Museum of Art, where she already has several works, offers a new exhibit, “Questions From the Sky: New Work by Hung Liu” June 6 through Sept 29. During her career, Liu has received two painting fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and her work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the National Museum of American Art and the Walker Center. She’s internationally known for her dramatic paintings, which often layer historical images with scenes from her own life or those of everyday people who didn’t make it into the history books. The blurry linseed-oil technique is “to give the feel of distant memory,” Liu said, and the inability to bring things from the past into focus. “What I love about her work-you can look at it and see all these layers of history embedded there, so many things you can pull out about immigration, emigration,” said Stephanie Hanor, director of the Mills museum. “But it’s not didactic. It’s the history of China mingling with her own personal history.” For Rene de Guzman, OMCA’s senior curator of art, Liu’s body of work “reminds us of the important role of art to represent reality from the perspective of the individual’s experience,” he said. Born in 1948 in Changchun, China, Liu came of age during Mao’s Cultural Revolution. As a young woman, she was sent to labor in a remote village and learn a distorted account of Chinese history. She later earned a degree at Beijing Teacher’s College before studying mural painting at Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Art. After many years working as an artist and teacher in China, she was offered a scholarship in the graduate studio-art program at UC San Diego, finally immigrating to the United States in 1984. “It took four years to get my visa,” Liu said. “Chinese had started to come to the US for education at that point, but most were studying engineering, chemistry-you know, real things. It was pretty weird to be studying art from a socialist country.” Hanor is thrilled to display some of Liu’s large-scale installations at Mills. “Hung is well-known as a painter, a legacy that’s really embedded in the studio arts program here,” Hanor said. “But even many of her students don’t know she’s been doing installations from early in her career, stemming out of the mural tradition.” In the exhib-

‘Great Granary’ is displayed at Mills College in Oakland, California. — MCT photos

‘Great Granary’

Hung Liu, of Oakland, a Chinese-American artist and Mills College professor of art, stands in front of her 2008 mural entitled ‘Music of the Great Earth II’ at Mills College in Oakland.

it, the 40-foot-long mural spans one full wall. “Music of the Great Earth, 2” is a tribute to a public mural Liu created years ago in China, which was destroyed when the building was torn down. Against a background of deep blues and purples, scenes blur together in layers and layers of images, almost like double negatives. “This is an image of my Chinese passport, and here’s my green card,” Liu said, moving back and forth along the wall to point out details. “Here’s me when I was in college. We were sent to the military to learn to fight, so here I am with my semi-automatic rifle. I was a pretty good shooter.” Liu sees it as a joining of her personal history with that of China. “It’s a look at the way history plays out and how history is written by the winners,” she says. “How with time and perspective, things are remembered differently.”— MCT

A self-portrait of Hung Liu.

Sean Howe, of San Francisco, does some final touch up painting next to the art work of Hung Liu.

The art work of Hung Liu is on display .

Another art work of Hung Liu.

Hung Liu, of Oakland, a Chinese-American artist and Mills College professor of art, stands in front of her 1994 work consisting of 200,000 fortune cookies atop the crossroads of railroad tracks entitled Jiu Jin Shan (Old Gold Mountain) at Mills College in Oakland, California.

First-ever Peruvian food festival in Kuwait opens



Balinese Hindu devotees carry effigies known as ‘Ogoh-Ogoh’ during a parade one day before ‘Silent Day’ in Denpasar on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali yesterday. The predominantly Hindu island of Bali in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslimpopulated nation, will celebrate the ‘Day of Silence’ today, locally known as Nyepi. — AFP



ombies seem to be everywhere these days. In the popular T V series “ The Walking Dead,” humans struggle to escape from a pack of zombies hungry for flesh. Prank alerts have warned of a zombie apocalypse on radio stations in a handful of states. And across the country, zombie wannabes in tattered clothes occasionally fill local parks, gurgling moans of the undead. Are these just unhealthy obsessions with death and decay? To Clemson University professor Sarah Lauro, the phenomenon isn’t harmful or a random fad, but part of a historical trend that mirrors a level of cultural dissatisfaction and economic upheaval.

Lauro, who teaches English at Clemson, studied zombies while working on her doctoral degree at the University of California at Davis. Lauro said she keeps track of zombie movies, TV shows and video games, but her research focuses primarily on the concept of the “zombie walk,” a mass gathering of people who, dressed in the clothes and makeup of the undead, stagger about and dance. It’s a fascination that, for Lauro, a self-described “chicken,” seems unnatural. Disinterested in violent movies or games, Lauro said she finds herself now taking part in both in an attempt to further understand what makes zombielovers tick. “I hate violence,” she said. “I can’t

Costumed actors, promoting the Halloween premiere of the AMC television series “The Walking Dead”, shamble along the Brooklyn Bridge while posing for pictures in New York, in this Oct 26, 2010 file photo. — AP

stand gore. So it’s a labor, but I do it.” The zombie mob originated in 2003 in Toronto, Lauro said, and popularity escalated dramatically in the United States in 2005, alongside a rise in dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq. “It was a way that the population was getting to exercise the fact that they felt like they hadn’t been listened to by the Bush administration,” Lauro said. “Nobody really wanted that war, and yet we were going to war anyway.” The mid- to late 2000s also saw an uptick in overall zombie popularity, perhaps prompted in part by the release of postapocalyptic movies including “Dawn of the Dead” and “28 Days Later.” As of last year, Lauro said, zombie walks had been documented in 20 countries. The largest gathering drew more than 4,000 participants at the New Jersey Zombie Walk in Asbury Park, N.J., in October 2010, according to Guinness World Records. “We are more interested in the zombie at times when as a culture we feel disempowered,” Lauro said. “And the facts are there that, when we are experiencing economic crises, the vast population is feeling disempowered. ... Either playing dead themselves ... or watching a show like ‘Walking Dead’ provides a great variety of outlets for people.” But, Lauro pointed out, the display of dissatisfaction isn’t always a conscious expression of that feeling of frustration. “If you were to ask the participants, I don’t think that all of them are very cognizant of what they’re saying when they put on the zombie makeup and participate,” she said. “To me, it’s such an obvious allegory. We feel like, in one way, we’re dead.” — AP

rough, whitish block recovered from an Elizabethan shipwreck may be a sunstone, the fabled crystal believed by some to have helped Vikings and other medieval seafarers navigate the high seas, researchers say. In a paper published earlier this week, a Franco-British group argued that the Alderney Crystal - a chunk of Icelandic calcite found amid a 16th century wreck at the bottom of the English Channel - worked as a kind of solar compass, allowing sailors to determine the position of the sun even when it was hidden by heavy cloud, masked by fog, or below the horizon.

This photo taken in Alderney, one of the Channel Islands, dated June 2012 and released on Friday March 8, 2013 by scientist Guy Ropars shows the Alderney Crystal, a piece of calcite. — AP That’s because of a property known as birefringence, which splits light beams in a way that can reveal the direction of their source with a high degree of accuracy. Vikings may not have grasped the physics behind the phenomenon, but that wouldn’t present a problem. “You don’t have to understand how it works,” said Albert Le Floch, of the University in Rennes in western France. “Using it is basically easy.” Vikings were expert navigators - using the sun, stars, mountains and even migratory whales to help guide them across the sea - but some have wondered at their ability to travel the long stretches of open water between Greenland, Iceland, and Newfoundland in modern-day Canada. Le Floch is one of several who’ve suggested that calcite crystals were used as navigational aids for long summer days in which the sun might be hidden behind the clouds. He said the use of such crystals may have persisted into the 16th century, by which time magnetic compasses were widely used but often malfunctioned. Le Floch noted that one Icelandic legend - the Saga of St Olaf - appears to refer to such a crystal when it says that Olaf used a “sunstone” to verify the position of the sun on a snowy day. —AP

12 Mar 2013