Page 1

Spare the stick, save your job!

FR EE

8

www.kuwaittimes.net

Kurd rebel leader orders ceasefire

12

Heat extend their winning streak to 24

47 Max 29º Min 14º

NO: 15755- Friday, March 22, 2013

Choose peace: Obama to Israel See Page 10

RAMALLAH: US President Barack Obama (L) poses with a group of dancers following a performance at the al-Bireh Youth Center in the West Bank city of Ramallah yesterday. (Inset) Obama speaks during a press conference. — AFP/AP


Local FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

YOUR SEND US AM PICS R G A T S N I

er

ne berg

@ christi

beauticlicking a n a th n fu rs! Let hat’s more haring it with othe ?S u see e way yo ful picture th e e s le op es will o th e r p e Friday Tim ram . s n le r u yo gh Instag through wait throu gram phou Kuwait K f o ts o apsh your Insta feature sn nt to share a w u o y If feeds. es.net us at kuwaittim @ m ra g tos, email ta ins

W

@ s_cyra

@ Dony

an

sk amm

@ sid ic @ Dony


Local FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

In my view

Kuwait’s my business

A plan to improve Kuwait’s friendly image By John P Hayes

local@kuwaittimes.net

A

nother slap in the face for Kuwait, and I don’t understand why no one seems to care. Last weekend’s newspaper reported that the World Economic Forum proclaimed Kuwait to be the 4th least friendly country in the world. Really? And you all agree? Where are the protestors? France is friendlier? Switzerland is friendlier? Not by my experiences. Let me tell you what happened when I was so new to Kuwait that I couldn’t find the American Embassy. I stopped to ask an expat who was working along the road to help me, but he didn’t understand me. I asked a Kuwaiti, but he simply shook his head and walked away. In my persistence I stopped a Kuwaiti in an SUV. “Can you please help me find the American Embassy?” He nodded, motioned for me to follow him, then turned around his vehicle and led me to the embassy’s parking lot, about three minutes out of his away. Right then and there I knew Kuwait was a friendly place - if you’re persistent. Persistence finds friendly people The same is true for Philadelphia, Pa., the City of Brotherly Love. It’s not a country, but its population is one-fourth larger than Kuwait’s. I moved there in 1976 after spending 25 years in several of Ohio’s friendly small towns. Fortunately, my department head at Temple University, where I had arrived to teach writing, advised me to ignore the rude Philadelphians. “You may have to ask three people before you’ll find someone who will help you,” he said, “but someone always will.” I think the people who conducted that survey for the World Economic Forum were not persistent! So let’s fight back. It’s not ever my place to tell my host country how to go about its business, but if you’ll allow me this exception, here’s what I recommend. First, the Ministry of Interior will establish the Friendly Department, which will administer a test to measure an

individual’s friendliness. Everyone who seeks entry into Kuwait must complete this test, which will be available online. The test results must be verified by the Kuwait Embassy in the applicant’s home country, and then verified again upon arrival in Kuwait. MOI will establish a Friendly Desk next to the visa station at Kuwait International Airport. (If nothing else, this plan will create more jobs for Kuwaitis!) Measuring friendliness The Friendly Test will measure friendliness on a 10-point scale. Those who score 2 or less (out of 10 points) will be told they’re not welcome in Kuwait. We already have enough unfriendly people and we don’t need more! Let them visit France or Switzerland, or any of the other “more friendly” countries. Meanwhile, we’ll recommend that these folks study friendliness, and when they improve their scores they can apply again to visit us. However, re-takes of the test will cost KD 3 - the country may as well make a little money to offset the cost of the Friendly Department. People who score 3 to 5 points will be granted a 10-day visa; we don’t want them in-country for very long. These visitors also will be required to carry a yellow flag everywhere they go in public so that the rest of us can show them what it means to be friendly. Every time we see someone with a yellow flag, say at the 360 Mall or the Kuwait Towers, we will go out of our way to say hello to them, to welcome them to Kuwait, and to ask if there’s anything we can do to make them more comfortable. We’ll even buy a cup of coffee for some of them (though it will need to be a small cup with the inflated coffee prices in Kuwait). A smiley face in your passport The folks who score 6 or 7 points will get a 30 day visa, and they won’t have to carry a yellow flag, but we don’t want them living here. And the friendly people who score 8 points or higher can get a 90-day visa and eventually apply for a civil ID. Agents at the Friendly Desk will stamp their passports with a smiley face! After one year, the World Economic Forum can return to Kuwait and measure our friendliness once again, and that’s how we’ll move up the rankings. Of course, those World Economic Forum pollsters better be friendly people, or they’re not getting into the country! It’s time Kuwait stood up for Kuwait. Of course, it would help if more people would smile, greet others, and stop acting unfriendly! questions@hayesworldwide.com, or via Twitter @drjohnhayes

KUWAIT: A couple walks past a giant kite in Kuwait. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Expose corruption By Labeed Abdal

labeed@kuwaittimes.net

T

he statement of the former Speaker of National Assembly about theft and widespread corruption in Kuwait must be taken seriously by the new parliament with more focus on practical and more effective measures to curb these by the legislature, the executive and the common people. Ahmad Al-Sa’adoun has challenged HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, who had recently announced allocation of $125 billion for the next five years to be spent for the development plan, on this issue. Although he has been so far acting like a head of the former Majority Bloc, he must provide more proof to concerned authorities like the public prosecution, instead of raking up unsubstantiated allegations that will only please a few undetermined voters. All Kuwaitis must stand against any acts that result in squandering away of public assets and public funds. Furthermore, according to Article 18 of the law number 1 for the year 1993 for the protection of public funds, everybody knows that anyone aware of any omission or commission in the use of state owned assets must inform the public prosecution or the public auditing authority. Without any doubt, that clearly means that citizens and expats must stand up as one to perform their public duty to point out and oppose any corruption, theft or misuse of the public assets which are meant for building and protecting Kuwait and ensure our safety, security, precious peace and public happiness.


Local FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

The phone whisperer Dial Bassem for a phone you wanted to buy 10 years ago but couldn’t By Ben Garcia

A

lthough mobile telephony has been in existence since 1973, the gadget became commercially available only a little more than a decade ago. Before mobile phones became so ubiquitous, in the late 1990s, a text messaging system gadget had become popular first. In the Philippines, they called it a ‘beeper’ or a ‘pocketbell’ and if you had one, you were already counted as a technology savvy person. Towards the end of 1990s, companies like Ericson, Motorola and Nokia commercially introduced mobile phone technology, a handheld device technology enabling people to make or receive telephone calls over a radio link while moving around a wide geographical area. It worked by connecting to cellular network provided by a mobile phone operator. At that time in Kuwait, we only had one operator in the name of Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC). The name was later changed to ZAIN. Mobile phone started with just telephony, but it was later improved by various support services being added such as text messaging, MMS, email, internet access, short-range wireless applications like infrared and Bluetooth etc, business applications, photography and so on. Then came the era of smartphones. In fact, according to some surveys, worldwide mobile phone subscriptions grew from 12.4 million towards the end of 1990s to over six billion in 2011. The tech-

nology evolved radically, and many of the mobile phones that were absolutely useful 10 years ago are now totally obsolete, that is if they are not already headed for trash bins to be pummeled to pieces. However, there are people who really value the past. They realize these old phones’ worth. Bassem, a Palestinian national who lives in Rumaitiya, is one such man. He started collecting old mobile phones from Friday Market 10 years ago. Every Friday, he would visit the Friday Market early in the morning to look for any available mobile phones he could purchase to add to the collections of thousands of old mobiles or cellphones in his cupboard. Indeed, he has over 1,000 different kinds and models. The best thing about his collection is that they are all in a working condition. “I started collecting old phones since 2003. My idea, when I visit the Friday market early in the morning, is to purchase cellphones that are old but still working. So I now have almost every model of a cellphone available in my collection,” he said. Bassem would collect as many of the models as he could. “I remember buying cellphones worth about KD 100 one Friday. Imagine how many cellphones I was able to haul home that day. At that time, the price ranged from KD 2 to just about KD 10 only. These were all used phones but which could still be of use,” he said. Bassem would then resell these at a higher value when he was not giving these out to his family and friends and adding the rest to his collection.

“If I had never given out cellphones or sold these, my warehouse would have been bursting at the seams. I collected thousands of cellphones and gave away many of these to friends and some of my family members and relatives in the Palestine or in the Philippines.” Bassem is married to a Filipina with two grown up children now in Manila. Bassem admitted that over the last few years, he has come to be known as a collector of old cellphones. “I am amazed that many Arabs would come to visit me at my home just to see my cellphone collection and if they wished to buy one, I would usually sell these. The good thing is that I collect as many cellphone models as I can. At times, I end up with 10 pieces of the same model. I keep selling these and retain one or two of any particular model for my own collection,” he added. A former plumber and carpenter, Bassem also collects other stuff at the Friday Market in his spare time. He is also fond of collecting different kinds of used watches and shoes.


Local FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

By Sunil Cherian

S

cenario 1: A quiet mathematics class for class 9 at an Indian school in Salmiya. The teacher writes a problem on the board. The students seemingly are busy with finding the solution - except a few. Those few kids do not create any disciplinary issues in the traditional sense. They are passing a note: Is he (the teacher) wearing the shirt 2nd day? As the note is passed on, it is filled with comments - the washing machine is out of order, he is too busy with tutoring.... The classroom is still quiet. Some of those note-makers do solve the math problem too. But some utterly fail to understand anything. Scenario 2: A foreign school in Salwa. Grade 6. The teacher gets annoyed when the class is disrupted by two students who continuously talk, one boy who walks around blowing his nose in search of a bundle of tissue paper and another who stretches his hand to play-fight with his classmate who is busy on his laptop. The teacher eyes the most dangerous one, questions him and eventually gets in an argument with the student. The class is enjoying the heated debate. To win the situation, the student says “I’ll bring my father and show you who I am”. “Spare the rod, spoil the child was the old saying. Students cannot be punished in any way both from legal and educational frames of references”, said Rahab

Sultan, counselor at a foreign school. “It is natural for children to show their behavior. A child’s behavior looks unfit from an adult angle. We adults are trying to fix the youngsters into a frame that is safe and secure for our well-being. Of course we adults have to show models for kids to learn from. Behavioral issues are a part of growing up”, Sultan said. Nikhila Thomas, Counselor at Al-Nibras International Bilingual School also opines children need care. “Our school policy has it”, said Nikhila, “A disciplinary problem in a classroom first has to be resolved in the classroom itself. If the issue goes beyond the control of the class teacher, then there are faculty like

social worker and me (school counselor)”. Nikhila also briefed the policy her school has adopted. Identify and classify the offence depending on the severity of it. Students are then given verbal or written warning. Loss of recess, art, PE classes and community services are some of the measurements taken. Next step is detention, in-school suspension where the student is confined to a special room with some assignments monitored by teachers on rotation. Out of school suspension is also on the card but is rarely implemented. The student in question is observed and the parents are informed of the progress on weekly and monthly basis. “I personally believe that most of the disciplinary issues stem from home and therefore can be solved by involving parents”, Nikhila said. Ian Parker, a US teacher in Kuwait has two interesting points to make: We teachers are not trained to become parents. By the time we learn how to be a parent, the damage is done. Same thing happens over and over. Secondly, mothers are supposed to be at home taking care of the children. Instead, due to economical and other reasons perhaps, they are at work when the kids come home from school. Where do kids learn discipline from? The teacher in the second scenario told this reporter about another student who “threatened” her with ‘Will show you when my mother comes’. When the mother did come she said, behind closed doors “Please beat him because I can’t do that!”


Local FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Court acquits Tweeter for insulting the Amir Five MPs propose scrapping segregation system at universities By B Izzak

KUWAIT: HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah AlKhaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah are pictured with one of the graduates. — KUNA

Kuwaiti PM attends diplomats’ graduation KUWAIT: A graduation ceremony for young diplomats was held at the Saud Al-Nasser Al-Sabah Diplomatic Institute under the patronage and attendance of HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah yesterday. The event was also attended by the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad AlSabah, several ministers, governors, senior officials, Prime Minister’s Diwan employees and a number of diplomatic missions in the country. The ceremony was marked by speeches from the foreign minister, the institute’s director general Abdulaziz Al-Sharekh, and the graduates themselves. — KUNA

Drunk men fight over ‘lady boys’ in Salmiya KUWAIT: Three citizens were arrested in an inebriated state while they were partying in a Salmiya flat where they scuffled over three ‘girls’, later found to be transgender persons, security sources said. The security personnel at the Salmiya police station were left speechless when they found the reality about the three ‘girls’. The sources added that the party host told the police that he was not satisfied by just inviting women, and occasionally invited four bisexuals who had undergone plastic surgery that made them look even more ‘beautiful’ than women to dance for them and serve them during the party. Hashish dumped Security forces at Abdali northern land exit are currently investigating the discovery of a piece of hashish dumped near the entry gate, security sources said, and noted that it seemed one of the arriving passengers threw the drug near the gate fearing he could be caught by custom inspectors. Teacher breaks student’s arm Less than a week after the death of an 11-year-old school girl in a Farwaniya public school, a teacher broke a school boy’s arm in a Jahra private school, security sources said. According to the sources, the teacher hit the child on his arm to punish him for not following her instructions like the rest of his classmates. The child was rushed to the Jahra Hospital and his family members reported the matter to the police. Tragic lift accident An Arab expatriate was killed when a lift he was inside on the sixth floor of a Hawalli building gave way and dropped like a ton of bricks to the ground, security sources said. The victim suffered serious head injuries and succumbed to his death. Kuwaiti family escapes death Members of a Kuwaiti family recently escaped death when a fire broke out in their house in Reqqa, security sources said, noting that firemen rushed to the scene and managed to rescue the trapped family members before they put out the fire. Handbag attacker An Arab expatriate filed a complaint against a Kuwaiti woman who hit him on his head with her handbag when they argued about a traffic accident, security sources said. The man provided the police with a medical report.

KUWAIT: Islamist MPs and activists strongly reacted against a proposal put forward by five lawmakers to “scrap” a law that bans segregation at higher educational institutions, with one Islamist MP vowing he will oppose the proposal even if it was to lead to dissolution of the National Assembly. MPs Abdulhameed Dashti, Maasouma AlMubarak, Adnan Al-Mutawa, Nabeel Al-Fadhl and Saleh Atiqi submitted the proposal yesterday, saying the legislation had harmful effect on education at universities and similar higher education institutes. The segregation law was passed in late 1990s and became effective in the year 2000. It requires all public and private universities in addition to the public authority for applied education and training to have separate class-

rooms for male and female students and to separate boys and girls in the best way possible. At the new university under construction in Shadadiya, two separate campuses are being built to completely separate male students from females. The five MPs however insisted that the legislation has created major obstacles in the face of the educational process and increased the cost of education besides making higher education more difficult. But Islamist MP Khaled Al-Shulaimi said the proposal aims at spreading moral corruption in the educational institutions and vowed that he will not allow the proposal to pass even if it leads to dissolving the assembly. MP Adnan Abdulsamad called on the five MPs to withdraw their proposal because it will create an unnecessary crisis. A number of former opposition MPs warned that the popular

reaction will be very strong if the proposal is approved. In another development, the criminal court yesterday acquitted Twitter user affiliated to the opposition, Mohammad AlBulaihees, of the charges of insulting and undermining the status of the Amir. Bulaihees was accused of posting messages on Twitter deemed offensive to HH the Amir in October last year. He is one of the few opposition Twitter users and activists to be acquitted of similar charges. Courts in the past sentenced more than 10 Twitter users and former opposition MPs accused of similar charges to jail terms of varying length. The court also postponed until April 11 a similar case against another opposition Twitter user Sager Al-Hashash till he is brought to court from jail where he is serving a two-year prison term in a similar case.

KFJ hosts ‘A Day for Palestine’ at GUST By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The ‘Kuwaitis For Jerusalem’ Committee (KFJ) is organizing an open family festival titled ‘A Day for Palestine’ at the Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) in Mishref today. The festival will include different cultural, social, and sports activities. This was announced during a press conference held on Wednesday at the Holiday Inn Hotel. The festival program will be as follows: Friday, March 22, 1 pm - 9 pm with “Al-Bayan Bilingual School” and “Kuwait Red Crescent Society”. Activities for the whole family, include traditional events, entertainment, sports, bazaar sale, traditional food and allday children games. The program: 2:00 pm soccer games, 3:00 pm games and sports by Al-Bayan Bilingual School, 3:30 pm Zajal - Palestinian traditional singing by Azan Al-Ijawi, 3:45 pm, games and sports by Al-Bayan Bilingual School, 4:30 pm, “Dabkeh” - Palestinian traditional dance 5:00 pm, “Zajal” - Palestinian traditional singing by Azan Al-Ijawi, 6:00 pm “Dabkeh” Palestinian traditional dance, 6:30 pm “Koum Yaba” presented by Istanbouli Theatre, 7:109:00 pm Kuwaiti traditional musical singing band. This festival is being held for the third consecutive year. “This year, we will be focusing on the issue of the Palestinian detainees and the isolation wall. Different activities held on this day will focus on these issues to let people know about what was happening in the occupied territories,” said Abdulaziz Al-Mulla, Head of the ‘Kuwaitis for Jerusalem’ Committee. The committee focuses on the development programs in Palestine. “These include many cultural, sports, and health issues. We are in touch with the Palestinians to maintain a connection between the Kuwaiti and Palestinian nations. In addition, we also focus on the social aspect which is very important due to the harsh conditions in which the Palestinians live. This is the reason behind inviting them to visit Kuwait and meet their brothers. It is also a message for those who were not able to come to Kuwait, that there is hope for them to come next year,” he added. KFJ is a joint committee with the Women Cultural and Social Society and the Graduates Society, and was established in 1988 during the first Palestinian uprising.

“The aim of KFJ is to make people aware about our responsibility towards Jerusalem, which is the primary Arab issue. The KuwaitiPalestinian relationship is currently in its best phase especially after the appointment of the Palestinian ambassador to Kuwait, Rami Tuhaib, and this has strengthened the relations between the two countries,” stressed Al-Mulla. As part of this festival, junior football players of the Palestinian football sports club ‘Hilal Al-Quds’ are visiting Kuwait and participating in the festival. “I welcome the youth and invite them to meet their Kuwaiti brothers. I would also like to welcome the Lebanese artist and author Qasim Istanbuli, who will present the play ‘Qoom Yaba,’ a Palestinian melodrama talking about Palestine. I also thank all those who are supporting this activity,” he concluded. Hani Idrees from KFJ noted that the committee was keen to include many activities suitable for all age categories. “These activities include the traditions and folklore of both Kuwait and Palestine. Also, a friendly football match will be played between the ‘Hilal Al-Quds’ juniors against the “Arsenal Football Academy” and a volunteering football team,” he pointed out.

Lebanese artist and author Qasim Istanbuli expressed his happiness at visiting Kuwait and participating in this festival. “Since a long time, Kuwait has been supporting the Palestinian issue as we all are one Arab nation, and we aim to achieve peace. The Palestinian youth are now carrying forward the traditional heritage of their country. The Palestinian issue is considered a humanitarian international issue,” he noted. Amjad Ghosha, the Deputy President of the ‘Hilal Al-Quds’ Club, thanked Kuwait for hosting this activity and inviting his team. “This is our third participation, but this year it is more as a championship. There are 13 boys in the age group of 14-15 participating in this championship. This is a great opportunity for them to see Kuwait and meet the Kuwaiti boys. Also, through this participation, they will gain experience as the Kuwaiti teams are more advanced and experienced in football,” he stated. “The participation will also send a message from Jerusalem to Kuwait that notwithstanding the occupation, we practice sports back there and notwithstanding the deaths all around and what stares us in the face, we have a desire to live with dignity,” highlighted Ghosha.

KUWAIT: Under the auspices of minister of Awqaf and Islamic affairs, Sherida Al-Maosherji and with the attendance of his undersecretary, Dr Adel Al-Falah, the Awqaf ministry recently concluded its Young Quran Readers project by holding a special graduation ceremony including all participating kids. ‘HH the Amir is the prime supporter of those memorizing the Quran of all ages’, said Al-Falah.


FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Khamenei: Iran will destroy Tel Aviv, Haifa if attacked

11

Kurd rebel leader orders ceasefire

12

India court upholds actor Sanjay Dutt’s conviction

16

RAMALLAH: President Barack Obama greets children during his visit to the Al-Bireh Youth Center in the West Bank city of Ramallah yesterday. —AP

Obama: Israel at a crossroads on peace ‘Nuclear Iran a global threat, military action an option’ JERUSALEM: US President Barack Obama warned yesterday that Israel was at a “crossroads” and should choose peace with Palestinians because it was necessary for its own ultimate security and was morally just. Obama argued that though the Palestinian issue had receded as Israelis felt safer in their own homes, it was necessary to solve the decades-old dispute so the Jewish state could fulfill its destiny. Obama delivered the impassioned appeal yesterday for Israel to recognize that compromise will be necessary to secure peace and lasting security for the Jewish state. Telling an audience of university students that the United States is their country’s best friend and most important ally, Obama said the US will never compromise in its own commitment to Israel’s defense, particularly against threats such as the one posed by Iran and its nuclear program. But he also stressed that Israel must make peace with the Palestinians if it is to ensure its survival and long-term viability as a homeland for the Jewish people. Israeli occupation of areas that the Palestinians claim for their state must end, he said. “The Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and

justice must ... be recognized,” he said. “Put yourself in their shoes - look at the world through their eyes. It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of her own, and lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements of her parents every single day.” Obama made no explicit demands of Israel but said its people should understand that specific actions, notably ongoing construction of Jewish housing on disputed territory, can hurt the chances for restarting stalled peace talks with the Palestinians, who have made a halt to such building a demand for returning to negotiations. “Israelis must recognize that continued settlement activity is counterproductive to the cause of peace, and that an independent Palestine must be viable - that real borders will have to be drawn,” Obama said. Obama warned sharply yesterday that a nuclear Iran could never be contained and would be a danger for the entire world, saying he would not rule out military action. Obama said that he favored a diplomatic exit to the nuclear dispute but warned Iran’s time was not unlimited: “I have made the position of the United States of America clear: Iran must not get a nuclear

weapon. This is not a danger that can be contained,” Obama said in Jerusalem. Meanwhile, a small Islamist group claimed responsibility for firing rockets yesterday at an Israeli border town from the Gaza Strip during US President Barack Obama’s visit to the region. The small Salafi group called Magles Shoura Al-Mujahddin said in an Internet statement that it fired the rockets to show that Israeli air defenses could not stop attacks on the Jewish state during the visit. Police said there were no casualties but some damage in the attack on Sderot near the Gaza frontier. Earlier yesterday in the West Bank, standing alongside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Obama made similar comments but essentially abandoned his previous support for the Palestinian demand that settlement activity end before talks resume. Obama said the United States continues to oppose the construction of Jewish housing on land claimed by the Palestinians but stressed that issues of disagreement between the two sides should not be used as an “excuse” to do nothing. “If the expectation is that we can only have direct

negotiations when everything is settled ahead of time, then there is no point for negotiations, so I think it is important to work through this process even if there are irritants on both sides,” Obama said at a joint news conference with Abbas in Ramallah. Abbas and other Palestinian officials said they would not drop the demand, noting that much of the world considers the settlements to be illegal and not merely an impediment to peace talks. “We require the Israeli government to stop settlements in order to discuss all our issues and their concerns,” Abbas told the news conference, a marquee event during Obama’s brief visit to the West Bank on the second day of his Mideast visit. “It’s the duty of the Israeli government to stop the settlement activities to enable us to talk about the issues in the negotiations.” During his first four years in office, Obama had sided with the Palestinians on the issue. He and his surrogates repeatedly have demanded that all settlement activity cease. However, when Israel reluctantly declared a 10-month moratorium on construction, the Palestinians balked at returning to negotiations until shortly before it expired and talks foundered shortly thereafter. — Agencies


International FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Khamenei: Iran will destroy Tel Aviv, Haifa if attacked Supreme leader cool to direct talks offer DUBAI: Iran’s clerical supreme leader said yesterday the Islamic Republic would destroy the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa if it came under attack from the Jewish state. “At times the officials of the Zionist regime (Israel) threaten to launch a military invasion but they themselves know that if they make the slightest mistake the Islamic Republic will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in an address to mark the Iranian new year. Israel has threatened military action against Iran unless it abandons nuclear activities which the West suspects are intended to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran denies this, saying it wants nuclear energy only for civilian purposes. In his televised speech, Khamenei said Iran’s struggles over the past year against international sanctions imposed over its disputed nuclear program resembled a battle and that its enemies had confessed to trying to “cripple the Iranian nation”. “What happened last year, we need to learn a lesson,” he said, alluding to what he described as Iran’s significant scientific and military advances. “This vibrant nation will never be brought to its knees.” Khamenei also called for Iran’s “natural right” to enrich uranium for nuclear ener-

TEHRAN: In this photo released by an official website of the Iranian supreme leader’s office yesterday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei waves to a crowd in northeastern Iran on the first day of the new Persian calendar year. — AP gy to be recognized by the world. Western powers have refused, saying Iran has hidden nuclear work from UN inspectors and stonewalled their investigations.

Talks between Iran and six world powers - the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany - are to resume early next month in a further

attempt to strike a deal on Iranian nuclear aspirations. But Khamenei was cool to a US suggestion of direct talks between the two countries, which severed diplomatic relations after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. “I am not optimistic about these talks. Why? Because our past experiences show that talks for the American officials do not mean for us to sit down and reach a logical solution ... What they mean by talks is that we sit down and talk until Iran accepts their viewpoint,” he said. “Iran only wants its enrichment right, which is its natural right, to be recognized by the world.” But Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says he’s not optimistic that such talks would yield results unless Washington stops imposing sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Khamenei says the offer of direct bilateral talks with Iran is an American tactic to deceive the public and impose its will on Tehran. He says problems could be resolved if the US would stop imposing sanctions, harming Iran’s economy and acting against Iran’s territorial integrity. Khamenei spoke yesterday to a crowd in northeastern Iran on the first day of the new Persian calendar year. The US and its allies fear Iran could ultimately develop a nuclear weapon, a charge Tehran denies. — Agencies

AU Somali force readies for Ethiopia pullout MOGADISHU: African Union forces battling Islamist insurgents in Somalia are preparing troops to take over should Ethiopia withdraw more soldiers from the region, their commander said yesterday. “We have in place contingent measures to ensure that areas in Bay and Bakool...remain stable and secure in the event of further Ethiopian troop withdrawals,” said Andrew Gutti, commander of African Union Mission for Somalia (AMISOM), referring to southwest Somali regions currently controlled by Ethiopia. Ethiopian troops, the strongest military power in Somalia’s southwest ever since their November 2011 invasion, pulled out of the town of Hudur on Sunday, the capital of Bakool region. Hours later, Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab swept into the town, their most important territorial victory for over a year. The capture prompted jubilant celebrations, which included the beheading of an influential cleric in the town. Despite a string of losses in recent months, the Shebab remain a potent threat, still controlling rural areas as well as carrying out guerrilla attacks in areas apparently under government control. Somali militia forces allied to the Ethiopians, as well as a column of some 2,000 terrified civilians, fled shortly after the Ethiopian pullout. Security sources say the withdrawal from Hudur could signal a wider pullout of Ethiopian forces including from the key city of Baidoa, warning that if this happens, the 17,000-strong AMISOM would be hugely overstretched. AMISOM, which fights alongside Somali government forces, “is closely monitoring developments following the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Hudur,” the force said in a statement. “We are conducting a review of our troop deployments...and remain confident that there will be sufficient coverage,” Gutti added. Security sources say that AMISOM would struggle at its current capacity to take over Ethiopian positions, while Somali troops who have worked closely with Ethiopian troops might not necessarily cooperate so well with other forces. So far, Hudur is the only major town Ethiopians have pulled out of, but troops are also packing kit in Baidoa in apparent preparation to leave. —AFP

RAMALLAH: President Barack Obama (left) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas participate in a joint news conference at the Muqata Presidential Compound, in the West Bank town of Ramallah, yesterday. — AP

Syria rebels take areas near Golan Heights BEIRUT: Syrian rebels captured one village and parts of others on the edge of the Golan Heights yesterday as fighting closed in on the strategic plateau that Israel captured from Syria in 1967 and later annexed, activists and officials said. If the rebels take over the region, it will bring radical Islamic militants to a front-line with Israeli troops and give them a potential staging ground for attack on the Jewish state. One of the rebel groups involved in the fighting, the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, is an Islamic militant group. One of the worst-case scenarios for Syria’s 2-year-old civil war is that it could

draw in neighboring countries such as Israel or Lebanon. Israel has said its policy is not to get involved in the Syrian civil war, but it has retaliated for sporadic Syrian fire that spilled into Israeli communities on the Golan Heights. There have also been clashes with Turkey, Syria’s neighbor to the north. And Israel recently bombed targets inside Syria said to include a weapons convoy headed for Hezbollah in Lebanon, a key ally of the regime in Damascus and an arch foe of Israel. The battles near the town of Quneitra in southwest Syria sent many residents fleeing, including dozens who crossed

into neighboring Lebanon. The fighting in the sensitive area began Wednesday near the cease-fire line between Syrian and Israeli troops. Syrian rebels are made of dozens of groups including the powerful, AlQaida-linked Jabhat Al-Nusra, which the Obama administration labels a terrorist organization. Syrian TV said Thursday that Syrian forces “restored peace” to Khan Arnabeh and the Tilal Al-Ahmar villages in Quneitra province “after eradicating large numbers of Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists,” the term used by the regime to refer to the rebels seeking to topple President Bashar Assad. —AP


International FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Kurd rebel leader orders ceasefire Three-decade-long conflict killed over 40,000 DIYARBAKIR, Turkey: Jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan ordered his fighters yesterday to cease fire and withdraw from Turkish soil as a step to ending a conflict that has killed 40,000 people, riven the country and battered its economy. Hundreds of thousands of Kurds, gathered in the regional centre of Diyarbakir, cheered and waved banners bearing Ocalan’s moustachioed image when a letter from the rebel leader, held since 1999 on a prison island in the Marmara Sea, was read out by a proKurdish politician. “Let guns be silenced and politics dominate,” he said to a sea of red-yellow-green Kurdish flags. “The stage has been reached where our armed forces should withdraw beyond the borders ... It’s not the end. It’s the start of a new era.” Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has taken considerable risks since he was elected in 2002, breaking taboos deeply rooted in a conservative establishment, not least in the military, by extending cultural and language rights to Kurds. He must now carry a skeptical conservative establishment with him, just as Ocalan from his prison island must marshal and keep the obedience of fighters in the hills of northern Iraq. The road must be a rough one with suspicions on both sides. “The language is the language of peace, we need to see it implemented,” Interior Minister Muammer Guler said, condemning the absence of red Turkish flags at the celebrations. Rebel fighters would withdraw to their bases in the mountains of northern Iraq, which they have used as a springboard for attacks on Turkish soil. The Turkish air force has frequently attacked the strongholds. Ocalan’s Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), regarded by the United States, European Union and Turkey as a terrorist group, launched its campaign in 1984, demanding an independent Kurdish state in the southeast of Turkey. It has since moderated its demands to political autonomy and broader cultural rights in an area where the Kurdish language was long formally banned.

“There is a strategic shift happening,” said Ertugrul Kurkcu, a parliamentarian from the pro-Kurdish BDP party. “The Kurdish liberation movement is moving from an armed campaign to a cultural one. And the PKK accepts this.” Ocalan, isolated from his fighters for over a decade, has won public backing for a truce from field commanders over the last week; but there have been signs of skepticism in their ranks.

Throughout the conflict, insignia of the outlawed PKK has been strictly banned. A huge bonfire was lit as Kurdish “Newroz” new year celebrations began, a soundtrack of Ocalan’s past speeches playing over loudspeakers. “War happens, but at some point you have to dress your wounds. This is our chance now,” said Bedri Alat, 73. “I remember peace. My grandson does not. He does not remember when Kurds and Turks lived as brothers.

DIYARKABIR: Some thousands of supporters demonstrate waving various PKK flags and images of jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, in southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir yesterday. (Inset) Kurdish rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan — AP/ AFP Last month, at a meeting with Kurdish politicians he accused them of unwarranted pessimism over peace talks. “I’m angry with them,” Ocalan said, voicing opposition to their “war system”, or strategy. There are still dangers of division over the terms of any deal or between the PKK figures negotiating it. The live broadcast on national television of the scenes in Diyarbakir would have been unthinkable even a few months ago.

Suicide car-bomber kills Mali soldier in Timbuktu BAMAKO: A suicide car-bomber killed a Malian soldier and wounded six others in a raid on the airport in Timbuktu overnight, a spokesman for Mali’s army said yesterday, triggering a counterattack by French forces. It was the first suicide bombing in Timbuktu since French and Malian forces chased al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants from the ancient trading town nearly two months ago, and comes weeks ahead of the planned start to France’s withdrawal from Mali. “It happened at the Malian army checkpoint, just before the French checkpoint ... we are mopping up to see if there are any other attackers in the area,” said Captain Samba Coulibaly, spokesman for Mali’s army in Timbuktu. A French military officer in Mali said French air support and troops took part in fighting overnight to repel the attack and there were no French casualties. “There were about 30 attackers ... It took a while but the result was good,” the officer said, asking not to be named. The officer did not say if any of the attackers were killed or captured. A resident in the northern town said he heard two air strikes overnight and gunfire in the early morning but by 0900 GMT fighting appeared to have stopped. French war planes flew overhead on Thursday morning, he said. —Reuters

This is a last chance.” A settlement would lift a huge burden off Turkey, though it would be viewed with deep suspicion by hardline nationalists who fear Kurds would resume a drive for independence. “The PKK is challenging the state and this is a display of power by them,” said Ozcan Yeniceri, a parliamentarian from the MHP, Turkey’s main nationalist opposition party. “In place of a Turkish Republic, the road is being paved for formation of a federal inde-

pendent Kurdish state.” The war has drained state coffers, stunted development of the mainly Kurdish southeast and scarred the country’s human rights record. A peace would bolster the NATO member’s credibility as it seeks to extend influence across the Middle East, and remove a stumbling block from its path to join the EU. Two years ago, to the anger of hardliners, Turkish intelligence officers held secret talks with the PKK in Oslo and have been talking with Ocalan in recent months. Truces have been declared and secret talks held with the PKK in the past, but expectations this time have been fuelled by the openness with which the talks have been conducted. Leftist militants launched bomb and missile strikes on Turkish government and ruling party offices on Tuesday night in attacks which Erdogan said were aimed at derailing the peace process. “Peace won’t come just because the prime minister says so. A ceasefire isn’t enough to guarantee my rights and freedoms,” said Mustafa Guner, 22, a literature student in Diyarbakir, sipping tea at a nearby cafe in a restored caravanserai. “I am hopeful, but I am also wary and I am anxious.” If a ceasefire holds, the path to disarmament and the reintegration of militants will still be long and vulnerable to sabotage. The fate of Ocalan, “Apo” to his allies, also remains uncertain, but any move to release him could be strongly opposed by critics who see any settlement as threatening Turkish unity. The prospect of talks with the PKK would long have outraged many Turks who revile Ocalan and hold him personally responsible for the bloodshed. An upsurge in violence last summer appeared to lend momentum to the nascent peace process. Turkish intelligence officers began meeting Ocalan in October on his prison island in the Marmara Sea. In November, he proved his continued authority by ordering the end of a hunger strike by hundreds of jailed Kurds. — Reuters

US offers $5m for arrest of tweeting US jihadi NAIROBI: Will the allure of a $5 million reward be the downfall of a tweeting, rapping American jihadi who once fought alongside the Somali militant group Al-Shabab but now denounces their methods and motivations in online feuds? A US State Department official said yesterday that the $5 million reward offered for Omar Hammami could exploit what are believed to be fault lines between Somali groups that may be for and against Hammami. The Alabama-born American was once high in the ranks of Al-Shababab but has since had a falling out with the group’s leader. The US announced on Wednesday the $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Hammami and another $5 million reward for a second American fighting in Somalia, Jehad Mostafa. — AP

American-born Islamist militant Omar Hammami, 27, also known as Abu Mansur AlAmriki (right) and deputy leader of Al-Shabab Sheik Mukhtar Abu Mansur Robow (left) sit under a banner which reads “Allah is Great” during a news conference of the militant group at a farm in southern Mogadishu’s Afgoye district in Somalia. — AP


FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013


International FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka must probe rights abuse Forum passes resolution on ‘Tamil civilian massacres’

A video grab made yesterday from a video distributed to reporters in Nigeria’s north by purported intermediaries of the Nigerian Islamist group linked to Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, shows the French man abducted with his family (left) last month in Cameroon, Tanguy Moulin-Fournier, with his wife, four children and brother at an undisclosed location in Nigeria and the suspected leader of the Nigerian Islamist group linked to Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau (right). — AFP

Sri Lanka to seize part of India oil depot COLOMBO: Sri Lanka announced yesterday it would repossess part of a strategic oil storage depot from a state-run Indian firm after Delhi supported international calls to probe war crimes on the island. Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said there were provisions to repossess tanks that were not being used by the Indian Oil Company’s local unit, Lanka IOC, in the northeastern port of Trincomalee. “If they are not using the tanks, we can use them,” Rambukwella told reporters. “This is for the country. “If they are not using these tanks, the CPC (state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation) wants to take them back and put them into good use.” Rambukwella denied that the move to repossess the facilities, which were privatised in 2003, was in retaliation for India voting with the United States to censure Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council yesterday. “The CPC had wanted to expand. They need at least three tanks in Trincomalee to store their chemicals and other products,” he said, adding that there were legal provisions for the government to repossess the tanks. Lanka IOC chief Subodh Dakwale said he was unaware of government plans to take back some of the tanks at the Trincomalee tank farm. “We are right now spending $17 million to refurbish two tanks and we are quite unaware of the plan to take over some of the storage tanks,” Dakwale said. The UNHRC adopted a resolution initiated by the United States demanding accountability for alleged war crimes during the Sri Lankan military’s crushing of Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009. Rights groups have said that up to 40,000 civilians were killed by government forces in the final months of fighting, a charge denied by Sri Lanka. India, home to millions of Tamils who share links with their counterparts in Sri Lanka, risks a further worsening in relations with its southern neighbor over the UNHRC resolution. It has postponed scheduled defense cooperation talks with Sri Lanka originally scheduled for later this week. — AFP

‘Racist’ Hungary journalist returns state prize BUDAPEST: A Hungarian TV presenter known for his antiSemitic and racist remarks has handed back a prestigious state award after an outcry by local journalists and foreign embassies including Israel’s. “The [award] is not worth it if it going to damage the country,” Ferenc Szaniszlo said late Wednesday in a special broadcast of his World Panorama program on the pro-government Echo TV channel. On March 14 the 53-year-old Szaniszlo was awarded the Mihaly Tancsics prize, one of the highest distinctions for journalists in the country, as part of a state honors list to mark Hungary’s national day. In 2011, Echo TV was fined 500,000 forints (1,640 euros, $2,150) by the country’s media regulator after Szaniszlo compared members of the ethnic Roma community to “monkeys”. In 2009, he said that Israel might have to be emptied by 2020, as it was no longer geopolitically important. “But who would want six million Israelis?” he said. His award prompted several Hungarian journalists who received the Tancsics award in the past to return their own awards in protest. —AFP

GENEVA: Sri Lanka must launch an indepth probe into claims that government troops killed 40,000 civilians during a 2009 offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels that ended its three-decade civil war, the UN Human Rights Council said yesterday. The UN’s top human rights forum passed a resolution pressing Colombo to “credibly investigate widespread allegations of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.” To date, it said, Sri Lanka has failed to “adequately address serious allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law”. Lodged by the United States-whose embassy in Colombo was the scene of protests by pro-government activists Thursday-the text was backed by Europe nations, as well as Canada and India. “The resolution does very clearly state that the international community knows an independent and credible investigation must go forward, and that’s what’s lacking,” Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, the US ambassador to the council, told reporters. “No determination has been made by the council members yet on whether an international probe is required, but what we’re hoping for is a domestic, credible independent investigation that satisfies the people of Sri Lanka,” she added. The text also flagged concerns about continuing abuses including killings, torture and violations of freedom of

expression, as well as breaches of the rule of law. Sri Lanka’s rights minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe, said it was “unacceptable”. “It is highly intrusive, is replete with misrepresentations and in its overall scope accentuates the negative and eliminates or is dismissive of the positive,” he told the council, adding that it brushed aside Sri Lanka’s domestic reconciliation efforts. “The Sri Lankan conflict ended three years and 10 months ago. There are other ongoing conflicts and reported violations of rights, as we speak, in several parts of the world. Our concern is, why this preoccupation with Sri Lanka?” Samarasinghe won vocal backing from Pakistan’s ambassador, Zamir Akram. “Sri Lanka needs to be given the time and the space to address those challenges in a comprehensive manner by completing its domestic reconciliation process. What it does not need is to be subjected by highly critical and intrusive decisions by this council,” he told the council. The UN estimates that some 40,000 people were killed in the final months Sri Lanka’s civil war, mostly in indiscriminate shelling by government forces during a final onslaught against Tamil separatists. Sri Lanka insists that no civilian was killed by its troops During the civil war, which began in 1983, the rebels made suicide bombings their hallmark. The council’s resolution underlined that

states “must ensure that any measure taken to combat terrorism complies with their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law.” India, home to its own Tamil community, has taken a tough stance on the issue. “We note with concern the inadequate focus by Sri Lanka in fulfilling its commitments,” said India’s ambassador, Dilip Sinha. In what appeared to be a reaction to India’s support of the resolution, Sri Lanka on Thursday said it would repossess part of a strategic oil storage depot from a state-run India firm. The council in Geneva passed the resolution by 25 votes to 13 — the very fact of holding the ballot underlining the controversy in a body that strives to work by consensus. It welcomed Sri Lanka’s efforts to rebuild war-damaged infrastructure, clear landmines and resettle the majority of people who were displaced during the civil war. But it said that “considerable work lies ahead in the areas of justice, reconciliation and the resumption of livelihoods”, and that all groups, including minorities, should be able to participate fully. Human rights campaigners hailed the resolution. “UN member states have sent a clear signal to the Sri Lankan government that crimes of the past cannot simply be ignored, but need to be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice,” said Yolanda Foster of Amnesty International. — AFP

Trust in Kenya’s top judge tested by election challenge

NAIROBI: With a history of pro-democracy activism and an unconventional streak, Kenya’s chief justice has won broad support for his campaign to clean up the country’s discredited judicial system. Now, with a nation’s expectations weighing on his shoulders, 65-year-old Justice Willy Mutunga must rule on a disputed presidential election in the biggest test yet of the country’s newly reformed judiciary. Defeated presidential candidate Raila Odinga’s decision to challenge the result in court is already a dramatic shift from 2007, when he lost in another disputed election but called for protests because he said the judiciary could not be trusted to be fair. The tribal violence in the weeks that followed that vote led to a new constitution that gave Kenyans a reformed judiciary and a new chief justice, Mutunga, breaking the mould of presidential appointees who were seen as political insiders. For Kenyans, the hard-won democratic gains are now at stake. Whatever Mutunga rules, upholding Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory or deciding in Odinga’s favor, he will face a tough job convincing the losers that his court has not again played politics. He has already faced some sniping from critics who suggest he is too close to Odinga and question his ability to be impartial.

But Mutunga’s background as a lawyer who was detained in the 1980s for challenging the autocratic government at that time means he may stand a better chance than predecessors in ensuring his final ruling, due by March 30, wins popular acceptance. “People have never had as much faith in the chief justice as they do in Willy Mutunga,” said John Githongo, a former

anti-corruption official turned whistleblower. “Before now there has never been this level of confidence in the judiciary.” Odinga alleges the poll was rigged and said Kenyatta’s win had put “democracy on trial”. Kenyatta said the vote was fair. Both have promised to abide by the Supreme Court’s ruling that could throw out Odinga’s challenge or order a re-run. —Reuters

BERLIN: German President Joachim Gauck (left) and his counterpart from Tunisia Moncef Marzouki, right, review the honor guards during the welcoming ceremony at Bellevue Palace in Berlin yesterday. — AP


International FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Xi visits Russia as China seeks bigger global role

Italian parties divided as president seeks way out

BEIJING: Xi Jinping heads to Russia today on his first foreign visit as president amid signs he wants China to be more assertive in challenging US leadership in Asia while looking for new energy sources to fuel the Chinese economy. Since Xi became China’s leader late last year, the country has notched up its feud with Japan over a set of disputed islands believed to sit atop petroleum reserves, while also contending with the U.S. and other Western powers at the UN over the conflict in Syria, Iran’s nuclear program and the growing belligerence of nominal ally North Korea. “I think that, clearly, under Xi, China is starting to move away from the defensive philosophy. As it grows into its role as a major power, we can expect China to be even more assertive,” said Warren Sun, a Chinese politics expert at Australia’s Monash University. Xi, who became Communist Chinese President Xi Party chief in November and Jinping claps as he arrives was formally named president at a plenary session of the last week, will visit Moscow to National People’s Congress highlight trade ties and discuss held in Beijing’s Great Hall Russian gas exports. of the People. — AP Yearslong talks over Russia providing as much as 68 billion cubic meters of gas per year in a new pipeline have bogged down over pricing. China already receives about 8 percent of its crude oil imports from Russia via a pipeline to the northeastern city of Daqing. At a briefing this week, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said the two countries would sign a new deal on oil and gas, but offered no details. Xi’s Russian visit offers few potential risks, but will be scrutinized for signs of his personal stamp on Chinese diplomacy. The two countries share an authoritarian bent and a common desire to curb Western dominance. Heads of state from China and Russia, the former leaders of the communist camp, have made a tradition of paying inaugural foreign visits to each other after taking power. Ties between them have warmed in recent years and two-way trade rose by 11.2 percent last year to $88 billion. China has shown revived interest in buying Russian Su-35 fighter jets and other sophisticated weaponry following years of friction over China’s cloning of Russian military technology. — AP

Berlusconi demands share of govt with centre-left

Helicopters collide near Berlin stadium BERLIN: Two helicopters clipped each other and crashed as they landed in a snowstorm near Berlin’s Olympic Stadium during a federal police exercise yesterday, leaving one person dead and several injured, German authorities said. One of the helicopter pilots died at the scene, fire service spokesman Stephan Fleischer said. Five people were injured, four of them seriously, he added. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the injured people were in the helicopters, Fleischer said. He didn’t have details on how the accident happened. Pictures from the scene showed one of the helicopters lying on its side in the snow in a field behind the stadium and the other next to it, still upright. Eyewitness Johannes Malinowski said on n-tv television that he saw three helicopters approaching and that the snow on the field was being kicked up by the aircraft, so “you couldn’t see a whole lot anymore.” Then “there was a big bang and someone shouted, ‘everybody on the ground,’” he said. “And then we looked up and there was blood on the ground.” The police were conducting a training exercise on dealing with football violence. The Olympic Stadium is home to the Hertha Berlin soccer club. It also hosts the annual German Cup final and was the venue for the 2006 World Cup final. — AP

ROME: Italy’s divided political parties remained far apart yesterday as President Giorgio Napolitano tried to form a government after last month’s deadlocked election left no group with a majority in parliament. The election gave Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani’s centre-left alliance with the leftist SEL party a majority in the lower house but not in the Senate, leaving it unable to govern without the support of other parties. The stalemate has revived fears of a prolonged bout of instability in the eurozone’s third largest economy just as the crisis over bank deposits in Cyprus has revived fears of a return of financial market turmoil. Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi repeated his demand yesterday that Bersani form a coalition with his conservative bloc and that Napolitano’s successor as head of state should be from the centre-right. Napolitano’s term ends on May 15. That offer has already been firmly rejected by Bersani, who is due to meet Napolitano at 6.00 p.m. (1700 GMT) but Berlusconi said there was no alternative. “There are two forces still in play, us and the Democratic Party, and at this moment the responsibility to give a government to the country lies with both of us,” he told reporters after meeting Napolitano. Berlusconi received some encouragement yesterday from opinion polls showing the centre-right and centre-left neck and neck. If no agreement can be struck, Italy faces the prospect of a brief period under a caretaker government before heading for new elections, possibly as early as June or after the summer holiday months, in September or October. With the country in deep recession, record unemployment and a 2-trillion-euro debt pile that remains vulnerable to the kind of financial market crisis that struck in 2011, business leaders and European partners are deeply concerned at the

stalemate. Bersani has said he will present a limited program of policies, focused on institutional reform, fighting corruption and creating jobs and seek the backing of parliament, even if he does not have any formal coalition agreement in advance. For its part, Beppe Grillo’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (MS5), which

dence vote to political or pseudo-technocrat governments,” Grillo said on his blog. He explicitly rejected one option, widely mooted in Italian newspapers, that the newly elected speaker of the Senate, former anti-mafia judge Pietro Grasso, could be asked to form a government. Grasso is seen as a potential replacement for Bersani, whose position has been under

ROME: Italian former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (center) speaks during a press point with People of Freedom party (PDL) Angelino Alfano (L) after a meeting with the Italian President at the Quirinale palace yesterday at the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome. — AFP holds the balance of power in parliament, asked Napolitano for a mandate of its own, though it declined to say who it would present as prime minister. The head of the 5-Star Senate group, Vito Crimi, said the party presented its platform of policies to Napolitano, including a referendum on Italy’s future in the euro and measures on issues including tax and party finance reform. Grillo made clear the movement would not support a coalition led by any other party. “MS5 will not give any confi-

threat ever since the election in which the centre-left threw away a 10 point lead. He said on Thursday that he was “ready to serve for the good of the country”. Italy’s main banking association ABI said on Thursday that Italy had “two great interconnected emergencies” - an urgent need to reform its institutions, and an economy in need of reforms to cut debt and restart growth. “We need an authoritative government that can operate efficiently on both,” it said in a statement. — Reuters

Pope to hold major Holy Week service in youth jail

ROME: Argentinian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel gives a press conference after a meeting with Pope Francis yesterday near the Vatican in Rome. Pope Francis was “not complicit” with Argentina’s brutal military dictatorship and maintained a “diplomatic silence,” Perez Esquivel said after meeting with Latin America’s first pontiff. — AFP

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis will hold a major ceremony next week in the chapel of a youth prison instead of in the Vatican or a Rome basilica where it has been held before, the Vatican said yesterday. Francis will conduct the Holy afternoon service at the Casal del Marmo jail for minors on Rome’s outskirts. During the service, the pope washes and kisses the feet of 12 people to commemorate Jesus’s gesture of humility towards his apostles on the night before he died. All previous popes in living memory held the service either in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican or in the Basilica of St. John in Lateran, which is the pope’s cathedral church in his capacity as bishop of Rome. Vatican spokesmen said they could not recall an occasion when the service was held anywhere else. When he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio often celebrated the Holy Thursday service in a jail, a hospital, a home for the elderly or with poor people. A pope is also bishop of Rome and the decision by Francis to hold the service in the prison was another indication that he intends to take that role seriously. The Holy Thursday service is one of several during Holy Week, which for Catholics this year begins on March 24 with Palm Sunday and ends with Easter Sunday on March 31. — Reuters


International FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

India politician’s home raided after UPA exit NEW DELHI: India’s prime minister insisted yesterday his government had nothing to do with a raid on a top opposition politician’s home, a day after the politician’s party pulled out of the ruling coalition. M K Stalin, a key powerbroker in the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) who is also the son of the party’s leader, reacted furiously after investigators searched his home as part of a tax probe, calling it a political “vendetta”. Stalin described the officers from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as the “dead hand” of the main ruling Congress party and said they had targeted his home in the southern city of Chennai for no good reason. “There should be some reason behind (the raid)... it’s a political vendetta,” he told reporters. But after a series of senior ministers condemned the timing, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told reporters he himself was upset by news of the raid. “We are all upset at these events. The government had no role in this, that I am sure of,” he was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India. “We will find out the details. This should not have...(happened). The timing of the raid is most unfortunate.” Stalin’s home was one of around 20 locations raided in and around Chennai, capital of the state of Tamil Nadu, as part of an investigation into the illegal import of cars worth $3.7 million. The DMK’s five ministers handed in their resignations to Singh on Wednesday over the coalition’s perceived failure to condemn alleged atrocities against Tamils in Sri Lanka. The DMK, with 18 members of parliament, is based in Tamil Nadu and depends on Tamil voters who have close ties to their counterparts in Sri Lanka. Its exit from the coalition less than a year before India is due to go to the polls means the government, which had already lost its parliamentary majority, is even more vulnerable to a no confidence vote. The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party waded into the row, denouncing the raid as a “blatant” abuse of power by a government trying to cling to power. In a statement the CBI insisted that the operation “was strictly in accordance with procedures” and there was “no intention whatsoever to target any particular individual”. Indian politicians have previously come under fire for using the CBI to shield allies accused of graft or put pressure on rivals. —AFP

India court upholds actor Sanjay Dutt’s conviction Memon death sentence in Mumbai blasts case upheld NEW DELHI: India’s Supreme Court yesterday upheld the weapons conviction of Bollywood leading man Sanjay Dutt and ordered him to report to prison within four weeks in a case linked to the deadliest terror attack in Indian history. Dutt’s failed appeal of his conviction was part of a broader ruling by the Supreme Court on cases stemming from the 1993 bombings that killed 257 people in the financial hub of Mumbai. A total of 100 people were convicted of involvement in the blasts. The court upheld the death sentence given to Yakub Memon, who is a brother of Ibrahim ‘Tiger’ Memon, an accused mastermind of the bombings who remains at large. However, the court commuted to life in prison the death sentences given to 10 other men convicted of carrying out the blasts. Some of the men have been in prison for nearly two decades. Dutt originally had been sentenced to serve six years in prison on the charge of possessing an automatic rifle and a pistol that were supplied to him by men subsequently convicted in the bombings. He served 18 months in jail before he was released on bail in November 2007 pending an appeal in the top court. The court shaved one year off his sentence yesterday and ordered him imprisoned within a month to finish out the remaining 3 1/2 years of his sentence. Dutt had earlier been acquitted of the more serious charges of terrorism and conspiracy. The actor’s case was part of a sprawling Mumbai bombings trial that has dragged on for 18 years. Dutt maintains he knew nothing about the bombing plot and that he asked for the guns to protect his family his mother was Muslim and his father Hindu - after receiving threats during sec-

MUMBAI: Indian Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt leaves a special court trying the cases of those accused in the 1993 Mumbai bombings in Mumbai. — AP tarian riots in Mumbai. Dutt’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde said the 53-year-old actor would take some time before deciding on his next step. For now, Dutt will “abide by the apex court’s order of undergoing the sentence of 3 1/2 years in letter and spirit,” Maneshinde said. “Three-and-a-half years is not a long period,” he said. The 1993 bombings were seen at the time as the world’s worst terrorist attack, with 13 bombs exploding over a two-hour period across Mumbai. Powerful explosives were packed into cars and scooters parked near India’s main Bombay Stock Exchange and other sites in the city. Apart from the 257 dead, more than 720 people were injured in the attack. The bombings were believed to have been acts of revenge for the demolition of

a 16th-century mosque by Hindu nationalists in northern India in 1992. After the demolition, religious riots erupted, leaving more than 800 people dead, most of them Muslims. The court’s ruling on Dutt comes as a blow for Mumbai’s film industry, putting several films he was working on in limbo. Despite his brush with the law and his stint in jail, Dutt’s Bollywood career flourished over the past two decades. He gained enormous popularity for a series of Hindi films in which he played the role of a reformed thug who follows the teachings of nonviolence advocate and Indian independence hero Mohandas Gandhi. Industry estimates said Dutt was currently involved in projects worth at least $20 million. — AP

Car bomb at Pakistani refugee camp kills 13 PESHAWAR, Pakistan: A car packed with explosives blew up inside a refugee camp in northwestern Pakistan yesterday as hundreds of people lined up to get food, killing 13 and wounding 25, officials said. The attack on the Jalozai camp underlines the intensity of the conflict in Pakistan’s northwest, where refugees are sometimes caught in the middle of a battle between the government and militants. Militants often don’t want residents to flee an area of conflict, in part because it deprives them of a civilian population in which to hide and undermines their claim that they have local support. The Jalozai camp, which lies on the outskirts of the main northwest city of Peshawar, hosts Pakistanis who have been displaced by fighting between the army and the Taleban in the country’s northwest. Most of the people hit by the attack were from the Bajur and Khyber tribal areas along the Afghan border, said police officer Mohammad Zahid. The army has carried out operations against the Pakistani Taliban in both those areas. An official with one of the aid groups was working in an office about

30 meters (yards) from where the vehicle exploded. “It was very terrible, very terrible. We were very near. It was very loud,” said Mumtaz Bangash. “I have

seen so many injured people.” A security guard and an employee of a Pakistani aid group who was walking by when the bomb went off were among the

PESHAWAR: Pakistani volunteers wheel an injured blast victim into a hospital in Peshawar, following a car bomb blast at the Jalozai refugee camp yesterday. — AFP

dead, said Faiz Muhammed, who runs Khyber Paktunkhwa province’s programs to help displaced people. The rest of the 13 killed were camp residents. Many of the refugees get rations from the United Nations’ World Food Program. It’s unclear whether the attack will disrupt the group’s operations in Jalozai because of safety concerns. Muhammed said he and his staff would continue helping people at the camp despite the blast and called on aid groups to step up with even more help in the future. “We need to show these people that we will not be deterred,” he said. “For the life of me I cannot understand who would try to sabotage these people who are already affected by a war.” Jalozai, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) southwest of Peshawar, is one of three camps in Pakistan for people displaced by the fighting in the northwest. It’s run by the Pakistani government with assistance from various international aid agencies and is essentially a small city, with about 57,000 refugees living there. The population ebbs and flows depending on the ongoing military

operations in the tribal areas. In recent days, refugees from intense fighting in the remote Tirah Valley showed up at the camp looking for help, said Muhammed. Jalozai has schools, a hospital and job training programs designed to help people prepare for their eventual return home. Representatives from the various aid groups constantly travel back and forth to the camp, and foreign delegations often visit. An attack like yesterday’s is extremely rare, although there have been concerns over the years that militants would try to infiltrate Jalozai and other camps like it. Also, attacks against the refugees can be a way to punish them for fleeing in the first place and for accepting government and international help. Peshawar is located on the border of the tribal region, the Taleban’s main sanctuary in the country, and has been hit with scores of bombings in recent years. The Taleban have been waging a bloody insurgency against the government in an attempt to establish an Islamic state and end Pakistan’s cooperation with the United States in fighting militancy.—AP


International FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Australian PM survives leadership challenge CANBERRA: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard faced down a leadership challenge yesterday, emerging victorious from a party vote after former leader Kevin Rudd made a last-minute decision not to run. In a tense day of political manoeuvring, Gillard called the shock ballot as internal unrest reached fever pitch in the ruling Labor party which is floundering ahead of general elections in September. After being reappointed unopposed as Rudd withdrew and the challenge evaporated, a defiant Gillard said she now planned to get on with governing the country. “Today the leadership of our political party has been settled and has been settled in the most conclusive fashion possible,” she said. “The whole business is completely at an end. It has ended now. But despite her stunning tactical victory, analysts warned that faction-ridden Labor’s internal problems were not over and that the public brawling would further alienate voters. Gillard’s move followed senior cabinet minister Simon Crean openly urging a party ballot to end speculation that was “killing” the party, with the

CANBERRA: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard addresses a press conference in Canberra yesterday. — AFP premier lagging badly in opinion polls and leadership speculation rampant. But Rudd, who was ruthlessly ousted by Gillard in mid-2010, indicated he did not have the numbers to topple the premier, after being roundly beaten when he resigned as foreign minister and

launched a previous challenge in February 2012. Since losing that battle, he has repeatedly pledged his support for the prime minister and despite his backers campaigning behind the scenes, maintained yesterday he was a man of honor. “I’m not prepared to dishonor my word... others take such commitments lightly, I do not,” he said minutes before Labor parliamentarians were due to vote. “I have also said that the only circumstances under which I would consider a return to leadership would be if there was an overwhelming majority of the parliamentary party requesting such a return, drafting me to return and the position was vacant,” he said. “I am here to inform you that those circumstances do not exist.” With Rudd out of the running, the ballot went ahead with Gillard retaining the leadership with no challengers. Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan also retained his position after Crean withdrew as a candidate, according to Chris Hayes, returning officer for the party vote who described the mood inside the caucus room as “sombre”. —AFP

N Korea threatens US bases in Japan Pyongyang’s role in cyber attack doubted

PHNOM PENH: Cambodian former Khmer Rouge leader ex-social affairs minister Ieng Thirith (right) prays during the funeral ceremony of former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary at Ieng Sary’s house in Malai, near the Cambodian-Thai border, in Banteay Meanchey province, some 400 kilometers northwest of Phnom Penh yesterday. — AFP

Mourners gather for KR leader’s cremation MALAI, Cambodia: Hundreds of mourners massed yesterday ahead of the cremation of a co-founder of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge, highlighting the stark divide between supporters and victims of the brutal communist regime. Former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary, 87, died last week while on trial for war crimes and genocide, cheating Cambodians of a verdict over his role in the regime’s 1975-1979 reign of terror. About 500 people-including relatives, former Khmer Rouge fighters and chanting monks-gathered for a ceremony yesterday morning, with more people expected to attend the cremation outside the home at 6:00 pm (1100 GMT). Many in the crowd which gathered in Ieng Sary’s home town of Malai near the Thai border wore black and white mourning dress, and black ribbons pinned to their chests. “He is a hero for the people of Malai,” said former Khmer Rouge cadre Long Run, 78, describing the regime co-founder as a “patriot” who defended the country from Vietnamese invaders. “I was shocked when I heard he was dead. We’re sorry that we lost him now,” he told AFP as he paid his

respects at Ieng Sary’s home in Malai, a small bustling town where former Khmer Rouge cadres sell goods in a local market. A large picture of Ieng Sary was placed next to his golden colored coffin surrounded by flowers-where mourners came to pay their respects. A Buddhist monk shaved the heads of his son Ieng Vuth and several other relatives during a religious ceremony that was also attended by the late regime leader’s international defense lawyers. His widow Ieng Thirith, the regime’s former social affairs minister, arrived later dressed in white, and was carried into the house. Initially a co-defendant alongside her husband, she was freed in September after being deemed unfit for trial due to dementia and lives in Phnom Penh. The death of Ieng Sary, one of the regime’s few public faces, intensified fears the remaining two elderly co-defendants may also die before verdicts can be reached in their trial, which began in June 2011. “Justice for the victims is fading little by little,” said Bou Meng, 72, one of a handful of people to survive incarceration at the Khmer Rouge’s Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh. —AFP

SEOUL: North Korea yesterday threatened strikes on US military bases in Japan and Guam, escalating tensions as suspicion deepened that Pyongyang was behind a cyber attack on South Korean broadcasters and banks. The tone of the strike threat, attributed to a spokesman for the army’s supreme command, blended with the torrent of warlike rhetoric from Pyongyang in recent weeks, but stood out for its precise naming of targets. Military tensions on the Korean peninsula are at their highest since 2010, with Pyongyang irate at the use of nuclear-capable US B-52 bombers and nuclear-powered submarines in joint military drills with South Korea. “The US should not forget that the Andersen base on Guam where B-52s take off and naval bases on the Japan mainland and Okinawa where nuclearpowered submarines are launched, are all within the range of our precision target assets,” the army spokesman said. North Korea has successfully tested medium-range missiles that can reach Japan, but has no proven long-range missile capability that would allow it to hit targets on the US mainland or Guam-more than 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometres) away. Nevertheless, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced last week that Washington had decided to bolster missile defences along the US west coast so as to “stay ahead of the threat” from the North Korean regime. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un had issued a more general threat to destroy US bases “in the operational theatre of the Pacific” on Wednesday, as he directed a drone strike exercise. Still photographs broadcast on state television seemed to show what looked like a rudimentary drone being flown into a mountainside target and exploding. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported last year that the North was developing unmanned strike aircraft using old US target drones imported

from the Middle East. Kim has personally overseen a host of rocket and artillery drills in recent weeks, mostly at frontline bases near the disputed maritime border with South Korea which has been a flashpoint for clashes in the past. Since the UN Security Council tightened sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear test last month, Pyongyang has issued a range of apocalyptic threats including “pre-emptive” nuclear strikes. It also announced it was scrapping the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War, but its rhetoric has yet to be matched by any overt military action. In Seoul, analysts said the latest threat to US bases was another attention-grabbing move. “This is just more bluster,” said Baek Seung-Joo, who heads the North Korea Research Team at the Korea Institute for Defence Analyses. “It really seems aimed at shifting responsibility for the current tensions to the US and South Korea conducting their joint military exercises,” Baek said.

The response from Tokyo was measured, with a foreign ministry official voicing regret at the North’s “provocative action.” In a further sign of current tensions, North Korea conducted a one-hour civil defense drill yesterday morning, sounding a national air raid alert over state radio. In South Korea, government agencies were trying to confirm who was behind a concerted cyber attack the day before on three TV broadcasters and three banks that crippled their computer networks. The regulatory Korea Communications Commission (KCC) said it had sourced the attack to an IP address in China, fuelling suspicions that North Korea may have been responsible. Previous cyber attacks blamed on North Korea have also been tracked to Chinese sources, and security analysts in South Korea believe the North sends hackers to China to hone their skills and operate from there. “The Chinese IP may trigger various assumptions,” said Park Jae-Moon, the KCC director of network policy.—AFP

SEOUL: South Korean computer researchers check shutdown computer servers at the Cyber Terror Response Center of the National Police Agency in Seoul yesterday. — AFP


International FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Bipartisan US Senate group on path to immigration bill Senators optimistic about status for undocumented

MEDELLIN: Colombian soldiers frisk residents at the Commune 13 — one of the shantytowns with the highest rates of urban violence in Medellin, Antioquia department, Colombia. So far this year, more than 335 people have been killed by urban conflict and more than 400 were displaced, due to gang disputes. — AFP

Marines killed in training were young, lives ahead CAMP LEJEUNE, North Carolina: They’re called “leathernecks” or “Devil Dogs,” but some of the Marines killed in a desert training accident this week were just a year or so out of high school, their boyish faces not yet weathered by life’s hardships. Just 19, Pfc. Josh Martino of Dubois, Pa., had already spent nearly half his young life dreaming of becoming one of “the few, the proud.” He had joined in July and was hoping to marry his fiancee later this year before being deployed to Afghanistan, his mother said. “Since he was probably 8 years old he wanted to be a Marine,” Karen Perry said Wednesday after meeting with military officials to start planning her son’s funeral. “That’s all he wanted to do.” Lance Cpl. Josh Taylor, 21, also seemed to have been born for the Corps. The Marietta, Ohio, native had talked about being a Marine since he was about 5, said his grandfather, Larry Stephens. Josh, too, was planning for a wedding, scheduled for May. Both young men were among seven members of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force killed late Monday when a mortar shell exploded in its firing tube during an exercise at Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada. Eight men were injured, some severely. A decade after the invasion of Iraq and nearly 12 years since the United States launched the global war on terror, Americans have become wearily accustomed to the sight of flag-draped coffins being solemnly offloaded at Dover Air Force Base. But news of such loss on American soil, far from any foreign battlefield, has the power to shock. During the past dozen years, barber Kenton Jones has touched the heads of many Marines and their family members. And they have touched him. Some of the men who’ve sat in his chair at Sharpe Cuts II - just up a busy highway from Lejeune’s main gate - came home from the Middle East in coffins. Staring out his window, he couldn’t help wondering whether any of those killed or wounded in Nevada had come under his shears. “During a time of war or whatever, the occupation ... you kind of expect it,” he says. “But when it happens here, it seems senseless and it seems like a loss that could have been prevented.” Down the road in Jacksonville, Marine veteran Guy Henry Woods led out-of-state relatives on a tour of the Beirut Memorial, built to honor the 241 Marines, sailors and other American service members who died in a 1983 truck bombing that destroyed their barracks in the Lebanese capital. —AP

WASHINGTON: In a US Congress riven by partisan conflict on deficits and guns, a circle of eight senators from both parties meeting several times a week might be on the cusp of a major legislative breakthrough. The so-called Gang of Eight - four Democrats and four Republicans - is completing a plan for the biggest overhaul of immigration laws since 1986. The group is not only holding together after four months of intense discussions - an accomplishment in itself in Washington’s brutally partisan atmosphere - it is down to the last sticking points, according to the senators and aides. The centerpiece, they say, will be a 10- to 15-year path to US citizenship perhaps under a different formulation for 11 million illegal immigrants. The issue has gained new urgency for both parties after strong Hispanic support for President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats in last year’s election. In an effort to improve the plan’s chances with Republicans, the path to citizenship may wind up being called a road to a green card - the permit issued by the government that allows foreigners to work in the United States and ultimately apply for citizenship. If so, that would reflect the influence of Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, one of the group’s members. “There is no such thing as a path toward citizenship,” Rubio said in an interview. “There is a path toward a green card.” “We want to be generous and we want to be fair, but we also have to be fair to the people trying to do it legally,” Rubio said. “To become a citizen, you

first have to get a green card. I made that clear” to the others, Rubio said. Senate aides said they were not worried about what one called “semantics. ... We all agree you need to get a green card before getting citizenship. He is just reflecting concerns in his own party.” The goal is a Senate bill sometime next month, with a Senate vote by June or July. Considering the battles in line ahead of immigration - on deficit reduction and gun violence - that schedule could be optimistic. There are also plenty of challenges ahead. The group envisions a commission that would help

control the future flow of low-skilled guest workers into the United States in a way that satisfies businesses’ need for employees as well as unions’ desires to protect their members and US wages. But satisfying both the US Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO labor organization on how that would work has become a problem. “It is a tightrope to bring in the workers that are necessary but not at the expense of American workers,” Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, one of the eight, said in an interview. —Reuters

WASHINGTON: US Senator David Boren (right) attends a meeting at the White House in a file photo. The Washington Post reported yesterday that The President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, which Hagel (left) and Boren co-chaired, warned in a document that US spy agencies are too focused on anti-terror operations and pay inadequate attention to China, the Middle East and other flashpoints. — AFP

Colorado Corrections Dept chief shot, killed at home MONUMENT, Colorado: In the weeks before Colorado’s top prisons official was fatally shot after answering his front door, he carried out a variety of functions including requesting execution chemicals and speaking to legislators about security issues. It’s unknown what role Tom Clements’ position as executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections might have played in the shooting Tuesday, but investigators said they aren’t ruling out any possible motives, including whether it was random or a work-related attack. Colorado corrections spokeswoman Adrienne Jacobson would not comment on whether Clements had security at his home. Security was stepped up for other state officials, including Gov John Hickenlooper, who was ashen-faced as he addressed reporters at the Capitol before signing bills placing new restrictions on firearms. “Tom Clements dedicated his life to being a public servant, to making our state a better place and he is going to be deeply, deeply missed,” Hickenlooper said Wednesday. While small in numbers, similar attacks on officials have been increasing in the US in recent years, said Glenn McGovern, an investigator with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office in California who tracks such incidents worldwide. He said there have been roughly as many in the past three years - at least 35

- as the entire prior decade. Revenge is usually the motive, he added. “It’s often taking place away from the office, which makes sense, because everyone’s hardening up their facilities,” he said, adding that he advises prosecutors to constantly assess the safety of their residences. On Jan 31, Texas prosecutor Mark Hasse was gunned down as he left his car in the parking lot to the county courthouse. McGovern also counts the rampage by an ex-Los Angeles police officer who killed the daughter of a retired city police officer as part of a plot to avenge his firing.In Colorado, a prosecutor was fatally shot in 2008 as he returned to his Denver home. In 2001, federal prosecutor Thomas Wales was fatally shot by a rifleman while he worked on a computer at night in his Seattle home. Both cases remain unsolved. Attacks on legal officials are still extremely rare, said Scott Burns of the National District Attorneys Association, which counts 11 prosecutors as having been slain in the last 50 years. But he acknowledged that legal officials are vulnerable outside of protected offices and courthouses. “If someone wants to truly harm or kill them, it’s very difficult, frankly. There’s not a lot we can do,” he said. Mike McLelland, the district attorney in rural Kaufman county east of Dallas, is a 23-year military veteran. — AP


Business FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Is South Africa the odd BRIC out? PAGE 20

New BOJ chief pledges all-out war on deflation page 22

NICOSIA: People queue outside a Laiki (Popular) Bank branch in the Cypriot capital Nicosia to withdraw money from an ATM cash machine yesterday. Anxious Cypriots queued outside Popular Bank ATM machines to withdraw their cash as fears rose that the country’s banking meltdown will mean its second largest bank closes forever. — AFP (See page 22)

Cyprus banks face meltdown ECB ready to pull plug as crisis deepens NICOSIA: The European Central Bank warned yesterday it was ready to pull the plug on emergency funding for Cyprus banks as the island’s politicians scrambled to raise billions of euros to head off financial meltdown. The ECB said Cyprus had until Monday to clinch a bailout deal or funds would be cut off, while an EU source said the island had “until Tuesday” to get a workable plan through parliament or risk having to leave the euro-zone. With banks shut since Saturday and not due to reopen until Tuesday, rumors spread yesterday that Popular Bank, the island’s second largest, may never open its doors again, sparking panic among customers who formed long queues outside ATM machines to withdraw their daily limits. Anxious to head off the panic, the island’s political leaders raced to put together a “Plan B” to try to raise 5.8 billion euros needed to secure a 10-billion-euro ($13-billion) EU-led rescue package that would prevent the banks from collapsing. A crisis meeting chaired by President Nicos Anastasiades ended in an announcement that political leaders had agreed to set up a “solidarity investment fund,” which media said would nationalize provident funds, with bonds issued against future natural gas revenues. Legislation giving effect to the deal was being drafted and would be put to the cabinet at 1600 GMT, the government said, while Averof Neophytou, acting leader of the ruling Disy party, said it could be put to parliament for a vote later in the day. Leaders emerging from the meeting told reporters that a tax on

bank deposits that sank an earlier deal had been ruled out completely. The troika of lenders-the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund-agreed to the 10billion-euro bailout on Saturday on condition Cyprus raised the other 5.8 billion euros. Lawmakers on Tuesday flatly rejected a highly unpopular measure that would have slapped a one-time levy of up to 9.9 percent on bank deposits as a condition for the loan, leaving the government scrambling to find other ways to raise cash to repay its debts. Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem warned in Brussels the crisis poses a “systemic risk” that threatens to ricochet through the eurozone, while ratings agency Fitch said any support package for Cyprus that includes a stability levy “inevitably increases the danger of contagion risks within the euro-zone.” And in Moscow, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev slammed the European proposals to solve the Cyprus crisis as “absolutely absurd,” further raising tension between Russia and the European Union. The revised plan was hastily drawn up after Finance Minister Michalis Sarris failed to make any progress in Moscow talks to secure aid, as a tough-bargaining Russia sought lucrative assets in exchange for more help. Sarris was to hold further meetings yesterday although the prevailing mood offered little optimism. At the opening of a conference in Moscow with the head of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, Medvedev slammed the European strategy to bail

out the near-bankrupt euro-zone member. “This scheme that is being discussed on Cyprus now looks absolutely absurd,” Medvedev said. “I think that in any case the Eurogroup could examine a future plan of regulating Cyprus with the participation of all the interested sides, including Russian structures.” Russians including wealthy tycoons hold between a third and half of all Cypriot deposits and are believed to have more than $30 billion in private and corporate cash in the island’s banks. Eurogroup head Dijsselbloem said in Brussels a fresh loan from Russia would be the wrong approach to take, as this would only pile up debt to an unsustainable level. The Cypriot banking model needs a total overhaul, he said. Referring to “worries about the stability of the euro-zone,” Dijsselbloem said the “present situation (was) definitely a systemic risk-the unrest of the last couple of days has proven this.” Also in Brussels, the European Commission on Thursday evoked the risk of a Cyprus default. “The Commission is convinced that a managed and orderly way forward is still possible in Cyprus,” said a spokesman for the EU executive-which along with the International Monetary Fund is trying to broker the bailout with Nicosia. The unprompted remark raised eyebrows as it also appeared to raise the specter of a chaotic, disorderly breakdown. Shortly afterwards, an EU source speaking on condition of anonymity said that Nicosia has “until Tuesday” to get a workable plan through parliament-otherwise Cyprus could find itself kicked out of the euro-zone. — AFP


Business FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Is South Africa the odd BRIC out? JOHANNESBURG: The meeting of BRICS leaders in Durban next week could uncharitably be described as a summit of the world’s emerging economic powers, plus South Africa. On March 26-27 the African nation will-for the first time since joining the Brazil, Russia, India and China grouping in 2011 — host the annual BRICS summit. President Jacob Zuma will lead discussions on the establishment of a BRICS development bank and a range of other issues. But some question whether Zuma should even be at the table, never mind sitting at its head. South Africa has the continent’s largest economy, but is struggling amid crippling joblessness and growth that lags well behind its African and emerging market peers. It is the world’s 29th largest economy, according to the IMF. That’s smaller than the economies of Austria, Iran or Argentina-not exactly behemoths of global commerce. By contrast, China is the world’s second largest economy,

Brazil the seventh, Russia the ninth and India the tenth. South Africa’s economic flag bearers-the likes of Standard Bank or MTN pale in comparison to giants like Gazprom, Vale, Sinopec or Reliance Industries. Yet South Africa is not a Blist celebrity gate crashing an A-list party, according to Catherine Grant of the South African Institute of International Affairs. Grant, a former diplomat for New Zealand, points out the focus of the BRIC grouping is much transformed since a Goldman Sachs economist coined the term in 2001. “The BRICS is not an economic grouping. Size of economy was a factor when it was an investment construct by Jim O’Neill, but it is now a political grouping,” said Grant. “To have credibility and representation of the global south the BRICS needed an African member and South Africa makes a lot of sense.” “They are a significant middle power in their own right and they have the capacity,

the demonstrated ability to play a role in global issues.” In South Africa, the BRIC nations get a democratic African voice that echoes their discontent with existing western-dominance of global institutions like the UN, World Bank and IMF. And although South Africa’s status as the gateway to the rest of the continent is often overstated, it remains a regional powerhouse. South Africa accounts for just 2.5 percent of BRICS GDP, but it is esponsible for 11 percent of BRIC-Africa trade according to Standard Bank research. It is home to Africa’s largest stock exchange by far and South African banks bestride the continent. Chinese or Indian manufactured goods often enter southern Africa via South African ports, while Zambian copper, Botswanan coal or South African platinum go the other way. South Africa is keen to use its BRICS membership to cement that hub position. It hopes to tap joint BRICS spending on infrastructure projects to bind

its region to South Africa. There are a signs South Africa may need to leverage BRICS membership if it wants to be competitive. China and India in particular have often bypassed the country in favor of faster growing economies in west and north Africa. Standard Bank economists believe BRIC-Africa trade will top $500 billion by 2015, with China-Africa trade will make up roughly 60 percent of that total. “China and India have entered Africa without the gateway, the only ones who would rely on South Africa are Russia and Brazil,” said Neren Rau, CEO of the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “BRICS is extremely important for South Africa in many respects, although we need to make sure to position ourselves well,” said Rau. The trajectory of the summit and the BRICS bank may make it clearer if South Africa is also important for its fellow BRICS. — AFP

Russia’s Rosneft completes $56bn TNK-BP takeover

Women sort peanuts in the central Senegalese village of Dinguiraye at a Chinese-owned warehouse. Peanut farming has brought wealth to Senegalese farmers, who have been selling their crop for higher prices to Chinese exporters while local oil producers speak of unfair competition. — AFP

H&M profits fall amid tough economy, bad weather STOCKHOLM: Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB reported yesterday a 10 percent fall in its first-quarter net profit, to 2.46 billion kronar ($380 million), mainly due to unfavorable weather conditions and a tough economic climate. Net sales during the December to February period, the company’s fiscal first quarter, were 28.4 billion kronar, up from 27.8 billion kronar. The international retail industry was hit by bad weather during parts of the period, particularly in Europe and North America, H&M said, and cautioned that an unusually cold start to the current quarter will delay the start of the spring collection. The company was also hurt by shifts in foreign exchange markets as the Swedish krona strengthened against other currencies. Sales in Asia remained strong and the newly launched mobile-adapted H&M shop online launched in January was well received by customers, H&M said. CEO Karl-Johan Persson said sales in the quarter had been below expectations and cautioned that 2013 would remain “challenging.” He said H&M would open outlets in five new countries Chile, Estonia, Lithuania, Serbia and Indonesia bringing the total number of new H&M stores this year to 350, with more expansion plans next year, including launching outlets in Australia. H&M is also planning to start a new sportswear and accessories range at the beginning of 2014. H&M’s share price was up some 2 percent at 4.30 kronar in midday trading on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. — AP

MOSCOW: Russia’s state oil giant Rosneft announced the creation of the world’s largest listed oil company as it completed a $56-billion acquisition of the British and Russian stakes in the joint venture TNK-BP. The deal-completed in stages since October-creates a Kremlin-owned supergiant with fields and refineries stretching from Eastern Europe through Siberia to the Pacific Coast. “Congratulations on the completion of this deal,” President Vladimir Putin told a special ceremony attended by Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin and his BP counterpart Bob Dudley. “In my opinion, this was a very successful deal,” news agencies quoted Putin as saying.

The takeover’s terms allow BP to acquire up to 20 percent of Rosneft’s shares and provide the British group with an additional $17 billion in cash. Rosneft completed the all-cash acquisition of the Russian stakes held by four Soviet-born tycoons earlier in the year. TNK-BP-Russia’s third-largest oil company-was hit by years of infighting between its British and Russian owners though it has generated around $19 billion in dividends for BP since the company’s formation in 2003. Putin conceded that the joint venture’s recent history has not been simple and that the deal’s completion was marred by very public squabbles between BP executives and TNK-BP’s

former chairman Mikhail Fridman. “Not everything went smoothly,” Putin acknowledged. “But in my opinion, in the long run, it all ends well.” Dudley for his part said he had no intention of selling Rosneft’s stake despite some BP shareholders’ questions about the wisdom of the British group becoming so closely involved with a Kremlin firm. “If you ever hear rumors about us intending to sell out Rosneft shares, do not believe them,” news agencies quoted Dudley as telling Putin in a Russian translation of his remarks. Sechin said the joint company would produce 206 million tons of oil per year compared with 115 million by ExxonMobil. — AFP

HONG KONG: Employees work at dried foods stalls in Hong Kong yesterday. The southern Chinese financial hub saw growth of 1.4 percent in 2012 and was tipped to expand only 1.5-3.5 percent this year. — AFP


Business FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Ukraine resumes maize exports to Iran KIEV: Ukraine has resumed exports of maize to Iran, which has been hit by international sanctions, with a shipment of 30,000 tons made on March 13, analysts and traders said yesterday. A vessel bound for Iran had been loaded in the port of Yuzhny near the Black Sea port of Odessa, a trader said. The previous shipments of maize to Iran were made in November 2012, when Ukraine, one of the world’s top maize exporters, sent a total of 124,000 tonnes of the commodity, Mykola Vernytsky from ProAgro consultancy told Reuters. “The suspension of shipments was likely to be caused by international sanctions as other countries in the region were continuing maize purchases without

any pauses,” Vernytsky said. Ukraine’s Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk said this week that Ukrainian private companies were considering an increase in their food exports to Iran, despite payment problems caused by the sanctions. He said that such shipments by private companies were already under way, adding that there were no barter deals with Iran but “direct payments”. The minister declined to give details of how Iranian consumers pay for Ukrainian produce. The European Union and the United States have imposed toughened sanctions meant to discourage Tehran’s nuclear program, which they say has a military purpose. Iran rejects this.

British budget deficit, data offer rare positive news LONDON: Britain had a far smaller-thanexpected deficit in February and retail sales got a boost, data showed yesterday, a fillip for finance minister George Osborne a day after he released dismal economic forecasts. Deficit reduction is the central economic policy of Britain’s Conservative-led coalition government, which came to power in May 2010 when Britain’s budget deficit was more than 11 percent of annual economic output - one of the highest for a major economy. The government’s budget plans have been plagued by weak growth, but retail sales figures released at the same time as the borrowing figures suggested at least some temporary relief after a dismal January for retailers. The government’s preferred measure of Britain’s public borrowing, which strips out some of the effects of its bank bailouts, showed a deficit of just 2.756 billion pounds in February, the Office for National Statistics said yesterday. This is roughly a quarter of the 11.756

LONDON: British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne visits the Berkeley Homes Royal Arsenal Riverside development in Woolwich, southeast London yesterday. — AFP

billion seen in February 2012 and far below analyst forecasts of deficit of 8.45 billion pounds. The statistics office did not translate this into a percentage of output, or gross national product. Osborne announced on Wednesday that GDP would grow just 0.6 percent this year, half the previous prediction. Britain is teetering on the brink of its third recession in four years - something Thursday’s data may help it avoid. Growth is better than in the euro zone which is expected by many to contract this year. But it pales against other countries. Sterling rose to a two-week high against the dollar and a five-week high against the euro after the data. February’s figures are flattered by a known 2.6 billion pound transfer of cash from the Bank of England under a deal to return gilt interest to the government, and 2.3 billion pounds from the sale of nextgeneration mobile phone frequencies. But underlying performance was also strong, with a drop in local government spending and stronger central government tax receipts. “It’s mildly encouraging and we can see why sterling rallied on the back of that news,” said Tom Vosa, economist at National Australia Bank. “Public sector borrowing now looks to be in line with the stronger employment growth and perhaps again more consistent that we have avoided the technical recession.” Separate official data showed that retail sales volumes rose 2.1 percent on the month, versus expectations for a 0.5 percent rise, and were 2.6 percent higher on the year - both the strongest rises since March 2012. A bounce back from a snowy January and strong demand for tablet computers, sports goods and jewellery helped sales, the statistics office said. Still, there were signs of weakness in the retail sector. Next, Britain’s second-biggest clothing retailer, said trading in its new financial year had got off to a slow start. Yesterday’s data showed Britain’s total public debt, excluding the cost of bailing out its banks, rose to 1.1615 trillion pounds, equivalent to 73.5 percent of annual economic output, just shy of December’s record 75.1 percent. Since the start of the tax year in April 2012, borrowing has totalled 94.9 billion pounds, excluding a one-off boost from the transfer of Royal Mail pension assets. — Reuters

Western sanctions do not target food shipments, but financial measures have frozen Iranian firms out of much of the global banking system, complicating payments for imports on which Iran relies for much of its food, consumer and industrial goods. Many foreign companies, including shipping firms, have pulled out of trade with Iran for fear of losing business in the United States and due to the complexities of arranging nonsanctioned deals. Ukraine, which plans to export about 14 million tons of maize this marketing year, sold 155,200 tons of maize to Iran so far the 2012/13 July-June season. The former Soviet republic exported 1.7 million tons of maize to Iran in 2011/12. — Reuters

US jobless claims at fresh five-year low Companies laying off fewer workers WASHINGTON: The number of people seeking US unemployment aid barely changed last week, and the average over the past month fell to a fresh fiveyear low. The decline in layoffs is helping strengthen the job market. Weekly unemployment benefit applications rose just 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 336,000, the Labor Department said yesterday. Over the past four weeks, applications have dropped by 7,500 to 339,750. That’s the lowest since February 2008, just three months into the recession. Economists pay close attention to the four-week average because it can smooth out week to week fluctuations. The steady decline in unemployment claims signals that companies are laying off fewer workers. That suggests many aren’t worried about economic conditions in the near future. The four-week average has fallen nearly 15 percent since November. The trend has coincided with acceleration in the job market. Employers have added an average of 200,000 jobs per month since November. That’s nearly double the average from last spring. And in February, the unemployment rate fell to a four-year low of 7.7 percent. The job market is

benefiting from stronger auto sales and a healthy recovery in housing. Homebuilding permits jumped to their highest level in 4 1/2 years in February, suggesting that recent strong gains in home construction will continue. New-home sales jumped 16 percent in January to the highest level since July 2008. Auto sales, meanwhile, rose in January and February after hitting a five-year high in 2012. The housing and auto sectors are being helped by the Federal Reserve’s efforts to keep interest rates low, policies the Fed stood by Wednesday after a two-day meeting. The Fed reinforced its plan to keep short-term interest rates at record lows at least until unemployment falls to 6.5 percent, as long as the inflation outlook remains mild. And it said it would continue buying $85 billion a month in bonds indefinitely to keep long-term borrowing costs down. During a news conference after the meeting, Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged the job market has accelerated but said the Fed wants to see sustained improvement before altering its stimulus policies. Unemployment benefit applications are one of the measures Bernanke said the Fed is closely monitoring. — AP

GANGTOK: Indian entrepreneurs carry equipment to set up an internet cafe, allegedly the ‘world’s highest cyber cafe’ at an altitude of 13,600 ft at Sherathang Mart, some 48 kms (30 miles) east of the Sikkim capital Gangtok. — AFP


Business FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Run on Cyprus Popular Bank ATMs as closure fears rise NICOSIA: Anxious Cypriots queued outside Popular Bank ATM machines yesterday to withdraw their cash as fears rose that the country’s banking meltdown will mean its second largest bank closes forever. “It’s all about cash now. Only a gambler will take cheques in this situation,” said retired government official Phaedon Vassiliades as he withdrew money from the bank’s ATM at Ledra Street, a tourist hotspot in the capital. Behind the wheelchair-bound Vassiliades, a queue of anxious men and women waited for their turn to claw back as much money as they can. “There are rumors that Laiki Bank (the Greek name for the Popular Bank) will never open again. I want to take out as much as I can,” Vassiliades, who lost both his legs in a car accident a few years ago, told AFP. “I have nearly 60,000 euros as savings in this bank and some credit societies. I don’t know if I will ever get it back now. This is what I had and now it seems it is all gone.” AFP reporters saw similar queues of worried Popular Bank depositors across central Nicosia amid reports that the government, struggling to

halt a banking meltdown since an EU bailout package was first announced, was considering merging it with the Bank of Cyprus, the island’s largest. Yesterday, Nicosia was fine-tuning a “Plan B” aimed at securing a euro-zone bailout that the European Central Bank warned should be adopted by the weekend to avoid a banking meltdown on the debt-hit island. But Popular Bank savers expressed total distrust in the government efforts. “Cyprus is sinking. They (the EU and the international community) are prepared to let Cyprus sink,” said Gautam Kapoor, a Briton working for a Greek metals company, as he waited outside the Popular Bank ATM in central Nicosia. “The markets have already factored in the Cyprus debacle. Nobody is going to have trust in Cyprus again. I just want to withdraw cash as much as possible as even fuel stations and departmental stores are now accepting only cash.” The manageress of a nearby fuel station confirmed that only cash mattered now. “I am helpless. I have to pay cash to my fuel supplier so I’m accepting only cash,” Photoulla Zantis told AFP. — AFP

MOSCOW: Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (right) listens to EU commission President Jose Manuel Barroso as they meet in Moscow, yesterday. Medvedev slammed yesterday current European proposals to solve the Cyprus crisis as absurd, while Cypriot Finance Minister Michalis Sarris was set to hold further talks in Moscow over aid. — AFP

New BOJ chief pledges all-out war on deflation Grim data underlines scale of task

NEW DELHI: Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt (right) gestures as he addresses the Big Tent Activate Summit in New Delhi yesterday.—AFP

India a laggard in Internet revolution: Google boss NEW DELHI: Google chairman Eric Schmidt warned yesterday that India was lagging badly behind in harnessing the power of the Internet because of its failure to invest in high-speed telecom networks. Schmidt, on a trip to New Delhi, highlighted the relatively small proportion of Indians who have online access-an estimated 150 million out of 1.2 billion, with only about 20 million using high-speed broadband. The solution he proposed appeared simple and has been acknowledged by the government, but roll-out has been slow in a country that is unable to provide basic services such as power or sewage to hundreds of millions of citizens. “Take fibreoptic cables and run them everywhere in the ground that you can imagine... Those fibreoptic cables will last 20, 30, 40 years and scale to infinite bandwidth,” he told a Google-organized conference in New Delhi. “The Internet feels here like in America in 1994,” he added. While a mobile phone revolution has led to an explosion in handset ownership, with calls at some of the lowest rates in the world, the development of highspeed connections enabling Internet browsing has also been slow. Without investment in Internet infrastructure, Schmidt warned that India risked missing out despite its reputation for producing software and IT services companies centered in the high-tech hub of Bangalore. India “is well behind in the

web services model that the rest of the world is adopting”, Schmidt told the CNBC-TV18 television channel in an earlier interview. When asked to explain why, he suggested the government had perhaps grown complacent due to the country’s earlier success in the high-tech sector. “My guess would be that having been satisfied with the great success of IT, the Indian government and the leadership has made the same mistake that companies do, they rested on their own laurels,” he said. The chairman also detailed the challenging regulatory environment in India, which has led to the company being ensnared in a criminal case and caused repeated clashes with the government. Last year, Google was named along with Internet firms including Facebook and Yahoo! in criminal and civil cases in a New Delhi court over allegedly offensive material generated on their platforms by users.Schmidt said there was uncertainty over the liability of Internet service providers and social networks. “You want entrepreneurs to take risks and you don’t want them going to jail unless they are really evil,” he told the Google Big Tent event. Among other problems in India, Google is the subject of an anti-trust probe by the Competition Commission over its online advertising practices, and has been investigated over possible foreignexchange transaction violations. — AFP

TOKYO: The Bank of Japan’s new governor Haruhiko Kuroda yesterday pledged “all-out efforts” to rid Japan of growth-sapping deflation as gloomy new trade data underlined the scale of the task ahead. Kuroda, a finance veteran who supports aggressive monetary easing, told Prime Minister Shinzo Abe he would do his best to revive the world’s third-largest economy. “I said that I will make all-out efforts... to pull Japan’s economy out of deflation,” Kuroda said after a morning meeting with the premier. The 68-year-old former Asian Development Bank president conceded there would be “difficulty ahead” in rebooting Japan’s economy and reversing years of falling prices that have crimped private spending and corporate investment. But “we must achieve it and I believe it can be achieved”, Kuroda told reporters at his first official press briefing yesterday evening. The Oxford university graduate declined to say if he would call a rate-setting policy board meeting before the next scheduled meeting in April. The yen strengthened against the dollar and euro after his comments disappointed expectations of imminent easing measures. “I know emergency meetings have been held in the past so it is not impossible,” Kuroda said. The government and central bank have faced criticism overseas, particularly in Europe, that they engineered a decline in the yen in recent months through monetary policy, risking setting off a global currency devaluation war. Kuroda denied those claims yesterday, saying “monetary policy is not meant to target forex rates, which are affected by many factors”. Kuroda is a longtime critic of the Bank of Japan, saying it has been too timid in its

approach to fuelling economic growth. But he has hailed a two-percent inflation target aimed at tackling deflation-seen as more explicit than a previous “goal”-adopted by the central bank’s previous chief in January. The BOJ’s then-chief Masaaki Shirakawa, under heavy pressure from the government, also announced an unlimited easing program to start from next year. Abe swept December elections on a pledge to revive Japan’s economy with a mix of big spending, aggressive monetary easing and job creation programs, a package widely dubbed “Abenomics”. The premier’s prescription won approval from Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz on Thursday after he met Abe in Tokyo. The combination of “monetary policy, fiscal policy and a growth strategy, I think, is exactly right”, the professor at New York’s Columbia University was quoted by Japanese media as saying. On Tuesday outgoing central bank governor Shirakawa acknowledged

he had failed to vanquish stubborn deflation. But he warned that easing measures alone would not restore Japan’s former glory, pointing to the need for deregulation and for a reduction in Tokyo’s massive public debt. Shirakawa, 63, left the job three weeks before the end of his term after sparring over monetary policy with Abe, who previously threatened to rein in the BOJ’s independence if it did not fall in line with his policy views. Earlier Thursday, the finance ministry said Japan logged an $8.1 billion trade deficit in February as exports to key markets China and Europe sagged, while imports jumped nearly 12 percent as Tokyo’s energy bills soared. “The data highlight the need for more aggressive easing in Japan from a revamped BoJ,” said Chris Tedder, research analyst at Forex.com in Sydney. Japan’s increasing reliance on pricey fossil fuel imports in the aftermath of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima in 2011 has reversed its usual trade surplus. — AFP

TOKYO: The Bank of Japan’s new governor Haruhiko Kuroda (centre), deputy governors Kikuo Iwata (left) and Hiroshi Nakaso (right) hold a press conference at the BOJ headquarters in Tokyo yesterday. — AFP


THEY ARE THE 99! 99 Mystical Noor Stones carry all that is left of the wisdom and knowledge of the lost civilization of Baghdad. But the Noor Stones lie scattered across the globe - now little more than a legend. One man has made it his life’s mission to seek out what was lost. His name is Dr. Ramzi Razem and he has searched fruitlessly for the Noor Stones all his life. Now, his luck is about to change - the first of the stones have been rediscovered and with them a special type of human who can unlock the gem’s mystical power. Ramzi brings these gem - bearers together to form a new force for good in the world. A force known as ... the 99!

THE FASCINATING STORY OF THE 99 Mumita, Samda and Baqi are at a demolition site in Alexandria, at the request of Baqi’s father, who thinks someone is trapped in the debris. It turns out to be a false alarm, but Baqi is certain his father knew that.

The 99 ® and all related characters ® and © 2013, Teshkeel Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

www.the99.org


Opinion FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Hacking highlights dangers of cyber-warriors By Ju-min Park

A

hacking attack that brought down three South Korean broadcasters and two major banks has been identified by most commentators as North Korea flexing its muscles as military tensions on the divided peninsula sky-rocket. Officials in Seoul traced Wednesday’s breach to a server in China, a country that has been used by North Korean hackers in the past. That reinforces the vulnerability of South Korea, the world’s most wired economy, to unconventional warfare. China’s Foreign Ministry said that hacking attacks were a “global problem”, anonymous and cross-border. “Hackers often use the IP addresses of other countries to carry out their attacks,” ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters. One government official in Seoul directly blamed Pyongyang, although police and the country’s computer crime agency said it would take months to firmly establish responsibility. Jang Se-yul, a former North Korean soldier who went to a military college in Pyongyang to groom hackers and who defected to the South in 2008, estimates the North has some 3,000 troops, including 600 professional hackers, in its cyber-unit. Jang’s alma mater, the Mirim University, is now called the University of Automation. It was set up in the late 1980s to help North Korea’s military automation and has a special class in professional hacking. The North’s professional “cyber-warriors” enjoy perks such as luxury apartments for their role in what Pyongyang has defined as a new front in its “war” against the South, Jang said. “I don’t think they will stop at a temporary malfunction. North Korea can easily bring down another country in a cyber-warfare attack,” Jang said. Like much about North Korea, its true cyber capabilities are hard to determine. The vast majority of North Koreans have no access to the Internet or own a computer, a policy the regime of Kim Jong-un strictly enforces to limit outside influence. The nominee to be the next South Korean intelligence chief told MPs recently the North was suspected of being behind most of the 70,000 cyber-attacks on the country’s public institutions over the past five years, local TV channel YTN reported. North Korea recently threatened the United States with a nuclear attack and said it would bomb South Korea in response to what it says are “hostile” war games in the South by Washington and Seoul. Threats to bomb the mainland United States are empty rhetoric as Pyongyang does not have the capacity to do so and its outdated armed forces would lose any all-out war with South Korea and Washington, military experts say. That makes hacking an attractive, and cheaper, option. “North Korea can’t invest in fighter jets or warships, but they have put all their resources into raising hackers. Qualified talent matters to cyber warfare, not technology,” said Lee Dong-hoon, an information security expert at Korea University in Seoul. However much of North Korea’s limited funds go into its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. LIMITED ATTACK Wednesday’s attack hit the network servers of television broadcasters YTN, MBC and KBS as well as two major commercial

SEOUL: South Korean computer researchers check shutdown computer servers at the Cyber Terror Response Center of the National Police Agency in Seoul yesterday. — AFP

banks, Shinhan Bank and NongHyup Bank. South Korea’s military raised its alert levels in response. About 32,000 computers at the organizations were affected, according to the South’s state-run Korea Internet Security Agency, adding it would take up to five days to fully restore their functions. It took the banks hours to restore banking services. Damage to the servers of the TV networks was believed to be more severe, although broadcasts were not affected. South Korea’s military, its core power infrastructure and ports and airports were unaffected. Investigations of past hacking of South Korean organizations have led to Pyongyang. “There can be many inferences based on the fact that the IP address is based in China,” said the South Korean communication commission’s head of network policy, Park Jaemoon. “We’ve left open all possibilities and are trying to identify the hackers.” North Korea has in the past targeted South Korea’s conservative newspapers, banks and government institutions. The biggest hacking effort attributed to Pyongyang was a 10-day denial of service attack in 2011 that antivirus firm McAfee, part of Intel Corp, dubbed “Ten Days of Rain”. It said that attack was a bid to probe the South’s computer defenses in the event of a real conflict. However, the hacking attack on Wednesday doesn’t appear to be state sponsored, security vendor Sophos said, noting the malicious software it detected was not sophisticated. “It’s hard to jump to the immediate conclusion that this was necessarily evidence of a cyber-warfare attack coming from North Korea,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. North Korea last week said it had been a victim of cyber-attacks, blaming the United States and threatening retaliation. “North Korea is able to carry out much bigger attacks than this incident such as stopping broadcasts or erasing all financial data that could panic South Korea,” Lee of Korea University said. — Reuters

Merkel under fire over Cyprus but unscathed By Eloi Rouyer

C

hancellor Angela Merkel faces opposition criticism over the “chaotic” Cyprus crisis but polishes her image as champion of German interests in Europe, a key asset in upcoming elections, analysts said Thursday. Politicians from the centreleft parties have laid blame at the conservative Merkel’s door as near-bankrupt euro-zone member Cyprus races to draw up a bailout plan after MPs rejected a tax grab on savings. “The Cyprus disaster bears her signature,” head of the main opposition Social Democratic Party (SPD) Sigmar Gabriel told news weekly Spiegel online. “Angela Merkel has allowed a country with only a few more inhabitants than (the German western state) Saarland to plunge the whole euro-zone into chaos,” he charged. Peer Steinbrueck, who is the SPD’s candidate to unseat Merkel in September elections, called it a “blatant political mistake” to have made Cyprus’s small depositors fearful over their savings. And financial affairs spokesman for the Greens’ parliamentary group Gerhard Schick told business daily Handelsblatt online that Merkel “bears part of the responsibility for the dead end in which the crisis management of the Cyprus issue is currently stuck.” Cyprus’s lawmakers Tuesday rejected the terms of an EU bailout deal which would have slapped a one-time levy of up to

9.9 percent on bank deposits as a condition for an EU-led 10-billion-euro ($13-billion) loan. The 5.8 billion euros the highly unpopular proposal would have raised was crucial to Nicosia getting the full rescue. As the crisis mounted and anti-German protests were seen on the Mediterranean island, Merkel was initially guarded about publicly commenting on Cyprus, where leaders are now focused on a ‘Plan B’ to secure the loan and authorities have been forced to shut the banks for 10 straight days. Merkel waited until Wednesday to speak publicly about the fresh turmoil, saying the euro-zone had a “duty” to work with Cyprus to resolve the debt-mired island’s banking crisis and called the country “our partner in the euro area”. But she stressed the importance of Cyprus in future having a “sustainable banking sector”. “The current banking sector is not sustainable,” she warned, to be followed by her spokesman Steffen Seibert saying later that bank shareholders, bond owners and depositors would need to be involved in any deal. Werner Weidenfeld, a political science professor at Munich’s Ludwig Maximilian University, said her public position was “tactically very good”. “On the one hand she affirms the principle of ‘we will show solidarity’ and on the other, and this message clearly has designs on domestic politics, she says that the Cypriots must contribute to their own rescue,” he said. — AFP


FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013 www.kuwaittimes.net

Kiernan Shipka, a cast member in "Mad Men," poses at the season six premiere of the drama series at the Directors Guild of America on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 in Los Angeles. — AP


FOOD FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

1 stew, 3 themes:

Learn a basic formula, then change it up with ethnic flavor By Judy Hevrdejs

C

ooking smart means more than perfectly poaching an egg. It also means maximizing your kitchen time and dollars. And mastering a basic beef stew. Beef stew has impeccable comfort-food credentials. It’s easily doubled or tripled, and freezes well. And once you’ve simmered the stew base of browned beef cubes and onions, it can be divided into meal-size portions for your family. Use one portion immediately. A second or third can be frozen, then transformed weeks later into a different dish.

Depending on ingredients added to the base, it can take on a French accent (mushrooms), a Belgian carbonnade (onions), a Southwestern chili (tomatoes, chilies), classic American (potatoes, carrots, peas) and more. You may even win over leftovers haters. “The first thing that one should remember about making stews is that it’s nearly impossible to screw up a stew,” says Clifford A Wright, whose book, “One-Pot Wonders” (Wiley, $23.99), features a dozen or so beef stews, including a goulash and Colombian cocido with peas, carrots, potatoes and corn. “There really is no such thing as overcooking a stew, but there sure is a thing called undercooking it, which isn’t a problem because undercooking simply means you cook longer.” With a basic beef stew, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based author and cooking teacher might stir in drained canned kidney beans or white beans. Or green vegetables, a long-simmering kale, collard or Swiss chard, or quick-cooking spinach or green beans. If a bit of tomato paste is languishing in his refrigerator, that may go in. So could macaroni, though he notes it may need a longer cooking time than directed on the box. “As long as you’ve got a good sense of what you’re doing,” Wright says, “because you’ve got the base, you can start mixing up different culinary cultures.” Get creative and come up with your own variation on the beef stew theme, following Wright’s formula. NOW YOU’RE STEWING Clifford Wright’s beef stew tips: Cuts from the chuck or round work best. “You cook them a long time, which melts the connective tissue (and) makes the whole piece of meat taste so flavorful and tender.” Look for huge pieces of meat on sale and cut it in cubes. “If it’s a 4-pound piece, I may get two or three meals out of that.” You don’t have to brown the meat. But “we like to brown it, especially if it’s floured. It creates a thickener for the sauce that makes the gravy - plus it creates another level of flavor when the

caramelized flour on the beef gets crusty.” Don’t crowd the beef or it will steam, not brown. Don’t overlap pieces. You may need to work in batches. “You want to brown it fast, not quickly... On medium-high heat, it’s going to brown in 5 to 8 minutes.” Choose a stewing liquid. “If you want to play with flavors down the line, go with water. But if you’ve got an idea in mind right from the get-go, then you can use beef stock.” General tips: Think about colors, textures and complementary flavors. Unsure of where to start? Check out Elisabeth Rozin’s “The Flavor-Principle Cookbook.” She details how similar ingredients in stews and similar dishes will take on the flavor profile of different cuisines by changing an element. Olive oil and tomato are basic Mediterranean flavors. Add garlic for Italian, saffron for Spanish, mixed herbs for French Provencal, or cinnamon and/or lemon for Greek. Can’t use flour? Brown meat without dredging, then simmer. During the final hour of cooking, crush potatoes or use another starch (corn or potato) to thicken; also reduce liquid atop the stove. Package and label properly; store at zero degrees or below for two to three months. Don’t freeze potatoes; they don’t hold well. Defrost in the refrigerator. Add varied ingredients during reheating. Change up side dishes (pasta, polenta, potatoes, crusty bread) to enjoy the sauce or gravy. BEEF STEW Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 2 hours, 15 minutes Makes: 8 servings This recipe adapted from Clifford A Wright’s “One-Pot Wonders” may be doubled or tripled easily. We’ve doubled the recipe here to facilitate freezing a batch for another meal. 3 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into

bite-size pieces 1 cup flour 1 teaspoon salt Freshly ground pepper 6 tablespoons unsalted butter or beef suet 2 medium onions, chopped 4 cups cold water 1. Dredge beef in the flour; season with salt and pepper. In a large heavy flameproof baking casserole or stew pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the meat, in batches if necessary; brown on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Add onion; cook, stirring and scraping bottom of the pot until softened, about 4 minutes. 2. Pour in water to barely cover; reduce heat to low. Stir a bit then simmer, partially covered, until tender, about 2 hours. Check for seasoning. Finish with one of the variations below; or freeze half and cook the other half. Freeze: Divide the finished stew in half. Cook one half following a variation below. Spoon remaining half into a freezer-safe container, leaving about 1-inch headroom. Cool then cover, label and store in freezer up to 3 months. Cook: Remove half recipe of stew from freezer. Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Place thawed stew in a heavy stew pot; heat to a simmer on low heat. Proceed with a variation from below or create your own. VARIATIONS American style, based on Wright’s basic beef stew: Add 1 pound potatoes (red, white, Yukon gold), peeled cubed; 1 carrot, scraped, diced; 1 large parsnip, scraped, diced; 1 medium turnip, peeled, diced. Continue cooking and stirring occasionally until everything is very tender, about 1 hour. Spanish style, based on Wright’s beef stew of La Mancha: Seed and slice 2 green peppers. Add to stew with 1 can each: drained chickpeas, diced tomatoes with juices; 1 clove garlic, minced; 1 bay leaf; a pinch of ground cloves and a pinch of saffron. Continue cooking and stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. — MCT


FOOD FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Fermentation bubbling back into the mainstream By Monica Eng

L

ike that ripe jar of kimchi sitting in the back of your fridge, something fizzy, funky and delicious is bubbling up in the American culinary scene. It’s called fermentation. Its adherents are called fermentos. And its unofficial guru is a lanky Manhattan-raised, Tennessee homesteader with mutton chop whiskers called Sandor Katz. For a couple of decades now, Katz has been studying and experimenting with fermented foods. And he’s collected much of that knowledge in books that include his 2003 “Wild Fermentation” and his new best-selling tome “The Art of Fermentation: An InDepth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes From Around the World.” In them, he notes that fermented foods - which include olives, cheese, pickles, miso, yogurt, cured meats and sourdough bread - are nothing new or radical. In fact, they represent some of the highest achievements and oldest food traditions of their respective cultures. What is fairly recent, however, is the notion that these foods were supposed to be made in a factory rather than our own homes. “Almost everyone above a certain age has a memory of a grandparent who did some fermentation in the household,” Katz said from his home in the Short Mountain Sanctuary about 60 miles southeast of Nashville, Tenn. “It was something that was always a part of the household and the community. But with mass consolidation of the food system and centralization of production, sourdough bread took the form of Wonder bread. Coming back to it today is all a part of our desire to get closer to the source of our food and food traditions.” Even first lady Michelle Obama has gotten in on the act by posting a recipe for the first White House kimchi. Restaurant trend magazine “Plate,” based in Chicago, recently devoted a whole issue to fermentation. Editor Chandra Ram notes that the trend taps into a growing desire among chefs and home cooks to preserve seasonally purchased foods, produce uniquely flavored menu items that tell a story and create pickley house-made garnishes that can hold their own with richer cuts of meat and charcuterie (also often house cured) that proliferate on menus today. “Finally, there is a small but growing interest in probiotics, and fermented and preserved foods fill that need quite nicely,” Ram said. “Add to all of the above the fact that more people are interested in cooking but only have time for projects on weekends, and small batch fermentation and preservation is an easy fit.” Katz found fermentation an easy fit in the early ‘90s when he unearthed a crock in an old barn on the Short Mountain property. By washing it and stuffing it with salted cabbage from the communal garden, he produced the first batch of what would become his signature ferment, eventually earning him the nickname Sandorkraut. Today, he travels the world giving fermentation workshops but believes he’ll always be in the process of learning, especially from other fermentos, “who have taught me more than I ever could have learned through my own experimentation,” he says. This view of fermentation as a continuing, personal, intuitive process rather than a rule-based one has led Katz to abandon recipes in his new book - although he included dozens in “Wild Fermentation.” “I’ve given (readers) demystifying information without giving them hard and fast rules,” he says. “There are no right or wrong answers. It’s about how you like it. If you do a blind taste test with a dozen people, they will have very different conclusions about how much sugar and how much time kombucha needs, for instance. ... I just don’t think there are generic answers for things like that.” One of the many fans of Katz’s work is food writer Michael Pollan who wrote the foreword to “The Art of Fermentation” and features Katz prominently in his upcoming book “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation.” In his graceful foreword, Pollan admits to having caught the fermento bug himself and describes the various crocks and jars that gently gurgle and bubble around his house. Katz also has earned a host of admirers among chefs, including Kory Stewart of San Francisco’s Americano. Drawing

inspiration from Katz’s books and his own travels to Southeast Asia, Stewart has added a growing repertory of house-fermented dishes to his menu, including fermented padron chili paste that he adds to half a dozen dishes. “We start with roasted chilies and salt, and the paste tastes good,” Stewart says. “But once you ferment it, you get these complex flavors of oil-cured olives and preserved lemons. For me that’s the test (it passes): that it tastes better than what you started with before fermentation.” Although Stewart says he’s had no fermentation-linked health inspection problems, Katz says he knows many celebrated chefs who must hide ferments from inspectors “because they don’t fit into the food safety paradigm that we’ve organized the rules around.” A basic rule of this paradigm prohibits holding food for certain periods at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees, but as Katz notes, most fermented foods were developed precisely to keep food safe at those temperatures. “If these foods were intrinsically dangerous, we would not be here talking about this today,” he says. “It was only 100 years ago that people even began to have the ability to keep food under 40 degrees... The great paradox is that everyone’s favorite foods are products of fermentation, but because we have been indoctrinated to fear bacteria, this group of very safe foods are those that people are most afraid of. “There has never been a single documented case of food poisoning from sauerkraut in the United States, but everyone’s biggest question to me is how can I be sure I’m getting good bacteria and not bad bacteria growing in here.” KRAUT-CHI Time: 2 days to 4 weeks Note: Adapted from Sandor Katz’ “Wild Fermentation” and his online video about fermenting vegetables to make what he calls “kraut-chi.” Although Katz now avoids writing strict recipes, this one represents his general recommendations for the tasty condiment. Ingredients per quart: 2 pounds green and/or red cabbage (and/or other vegetables, the process is very versatile) Salt, to taste Garlic, ginger, chili pepper, caraway, juniper berries and/or other seasonings, optional Chop vegetables finely or coarsely, however you like it. Place in a large bowl. Lightly sprinkle with salt as you go. Squeeze mixture with your hands until it releases its liquid. Taste and add more salt as necessary. If you are unable to squeeze the vegetables or cannot get enough juice out of them, add a little dechlorinated water. Stuff the mixture a bit at a time into a large wide-mouth jar, packing it down hard as you go. Make sure vegetables are submerged under liquid, and leave space at the top of the jar for expansion. Close lid on jar. Leave the jar on the counter or somewhere you will see it every day. Pressure from carbon dioxide will build in the jar, so unscrew the top each day (for the first several days) to release pressure; press down on the layer that floats to the top, in order to submerge it. Taste the kraut every day or every few days. Remove any surface growth that forms at the top where the vegetables might be exposed to air. Depending on the ambient temperature in your home, the kraut will start to become tangy after a few days. Ferment until it tastes the way you like. You can then store all of it in the fridge in sealed jars or just scoop out a portion for refrigeration and let the rest continue to ferment. TALES OF A FLEDGLING FERMENTO I consider myself an adventurous cook. But for most of my life, the only thing I wanted getting funky in my kitchen was the music. Sure, I’d bring home stinky cheeses and ripe-smelling kimchi that someone else had made. But fermenting foods was not something I felt safe doing on my own. I figured that using microbes to prod foods into that land between fresh and rotten was strictly for experts.

Then I made my first batch of kombucha, a sour fizzy drink created by adding yeasty bacteria to sweet tea. And then I heard of Sandor Katz - who writes extensively about cured meat and fermented drinks in his new book, “The Art of Fermentation,” but says the best first-time fermento project is sauerkraut. Despite my previous forays, this one still scared me, especially since Katz urges folks to trust their taste buds over recipes. Salt levels, for instance, are up to each home cook. Still, one recent day I chopped and grated cabbage, beets, carrots and garlic (see recipe), salted them to taste and stuffed them in a jar. During the first few days, the jar belched powerful odors. Next, the top of my kraut turned brown and I Skyped Katz for an emergency consultation. He told me to stuff a root vegetable in the top of the jar to push the kraut under the brine. It worked, and I continued to taste and tamp down the concoction each day until it transformed from noxious tangles of cabbage to delicious condiment. Now I welcome homemade funk in my kitchen - albeit in controlled doses and I look forward to things getting even funkier. — MCT


Tr a v e l FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Welcome to New York! What is it about NYC that keeps you going back for more?

T

he must-see list for the one-day visitor to New York - especially the first-timer - is mind-boggling. Don’t fret; you’ll return. We’re assuming you’re well aware of the major attractions: Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (better known as MoMA). We’re here to guide you to the top 10 places where tourists don’t normally go (though, let’s be honest, they’re everywhere), places where New Yorkers live and play. Give yourself a gentle introduction to the city by exploring its beloved, natural gem. Though Central Park may not exactly be free of tourists, there are ways to avoid the herds. Designed by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted,Central Park is home to 843 acres of verdant views, vibrant flora and hidden histories. The best way to see it all? By bicycle. For an early morning jaunt, head to the park anytime after 6 am. You can rent a bike for two hours andgo solo for $20, or you can book a twohour expedition through Central Park Bike Tours, which takes off at 9 a.m. and costs about $47 per person. With well-marked routes of 6.1, 5.2 or 1.7 miles, you can take your time cycling through the hilly terrain, stopping to see the model sailboats at the Conservatory Water, the Alice in Wonderland sculpture, Belvedere Castle atop Vista Rock, or the Bow Bridge - one of the park’s most photographed locations. Completed in 1862, the Bow Bridge’s cast-iron arch stretches 60 ft. over the lake, connecting Cherry Hill and the Ramble. While you pedal along, it’s more than likely you’ll hear a guitar strumming in the distance. Follow the music and pay homage at the Imagine Mosaic, a tribute to sometime New York resident John Lennon, in the park’s Strawberry Fields. Following your bike ride, treat yourself to Sarabeth’s Central Park South, where you


Tr a v e l FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

can gorge on a range of quirky specialties, including lemon-ricotta pancakes and pumpkin waffles. This neighborhood of quaint brownstones clustered along tree-lined cobblestone streets remains virtually unchanged since the 19th century. You’ll need a map to navigate the puzzling geography - how does West 4th Street intersect with West 10th Street, exactly? - as it’s one of the few areas in Manhattan that strays from the orderly street grid. Better, though, to just wander aimlessly. Highlights include the Jefferson Market Courthouse, a former women’s detention center that once held Mae West, and the shops along Bleecker St and Commerce St - the most beautiful block-long side street in NYC. Ignore the temptation to join the curiously long line outside Magnolia Bakery (they’re queuing for cupcakes - repeat, cupcakes). New York is a film-lover’s town and Film Forum is heaven for the city’s cinephiles. See here the movies you may otherwise only read about in the New York Times. Smart programming ranges from provocative indie features and documentaries to the best foreign art cinema culled from the world’s top film festivals. The always-entertaining repertory calendar is a mix of thede rigeuer (Woody Allen retrospectives), the artsy (Godard’s ‘60s) and the audacious (Pam Grier blaxploitation festival). Try the concession stand’s lemon-poppy sponge cake!

New Yorkers love to argue about the best pizza, with Di Fara’s, John’s and Lombardi’s being among the primary contenders. We won’t settle that score here, but if you have only 24 hours you can’t go wrong with Grimaldi’s, a coal-fired pizzeria under the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge. Not only will you get a memorable pie, you’ll also get a memorable view of Manhattan from one of the oldest - and most picturesque - parts of Brooklyn. Not to mention a jukebox filled with classics by Frank Sinatra, who, legend has it, had Grimaldi’s pies flown to him in Vegas. If you must visit an ultra-touristy site, the ESB is the one. The stately deco architecture rivals the nearby Chrysler Building for

Best in Class honors and it is, once again, New York’s tallest structure. The view from the 86th-floor observation deck is breathtaking. You won’t be the only one who’s decided to visit, so prepare to wait in line; to avoid the throngs, the best times to come are at 8:30 a.m. or during lunch and dinner hours, Monday through Wednesday. Tickets are steep, but worth it: $22 for adults; $45 for an “express pass” that whisks you pass the hordes. For an extra $15 you can buy a ticket to the more intimate 102nd-floor observation deck. Buy your ticket online to reduce waiting-in-line time. MoMA is home to the modern masters. But head to MoMa’s cutting-edge kid sister across the East River to see the virtuosos of tomorrow. Located in a refurbished public school, P.S. 1 consistently mounts challenging exhibitions from the world’s most provocative artists. Don’t miss James Turrell’s transcendent installation, Meeting (seasonal, and weather permitting), and, in summer, the always-changing architectural garden. Also, on summer Saturdays, hit the early evening Warm Up session, a free weekly dance party that’s become a must-stop on the city’s nightlife calendar. Now that Barneys - still a stellar place to shop - has become a national mini-chain, Bergdorf’s is the sole remaining New Yorkcentric luxe department store. Even if you can’t afford a thing, it’s still fun to browse and dream. But if you can, rev up your credit card. For the ladies, an all-star roster of couture designers is on hand, from Alexander McQueen to Zac Posen. Tight on time? Arrange for a personal shopper to help you out. Guys get their own store across the street, which is no less exquisite - and no less expensive. Hands down the best music spot in New York, Bowery Ballroom should be visiting music-lovers’ first stop. Up-and-coming national acts with indie-rock leanings occupy the two-level music venue, home to the city’s best sound system. The downstairs bar is a great place to warm up before the show. The Ballroom is the crown jewel of the Bowery Presents chain of local venues, which includes the Music Hall of Williamsburg (the Ballroom’s Brooklyn twin), Mercury Lounge (local bands, smaller national acts), Terminal 5 and Webster Hall (both of which book bigger touring bands). Among them, there’s something for everyone. Take the express back to a bygone era. Grand Central Terminal - don’t call it Grand Central Station - is a living, bustling temple to New York’s illustrious past. Gaze at the celestial ceiling mural above the vast main concourse. Slurp some Kumamotos at the legendary Oyster Bar downstairs, and wash them down with a Manhattan at the swank Campbell Apartment. Tell a secret to your partner in the Whispering Gallery: stand at the end of either Oyster Bar ramp and whisper into the wall; you’ll be heard way across on the other side. Mingle with the commuters in the gourmet culinary market. Explore the “secret” elevated passageways for a spectacular view of the concourse. Even if you have nowhere to go you can spend hours in the 100-year-old depot and never get bored. — www.time.com


Health FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Don’t let baby blues get you down A

Is it common to suffer from depression or anxiety during pregnancy?

lthough pregnancy is often portrayed as a time of great joy, that’s not the reality for all women. At least one in ten pregnant women suffers from bouts of depression. For years, experts mistakenly believed that pregnancy hormones protected against depression, leaving women more vulnerable to the illness only after the baby was born and their hormone levels plunged. They now believe that the rapid increase in hormone levels at the start of pregnancy can disrupt brain chemistry and lead to depression. Hormonal changes can also make you feel more anxious than usual. Anxiety is another condition that can and should be treated during pregnancy. Depression and anxiety may go undiagnosed because women often dismiss their feelings, chalking them up to the temporary moodiness that often accompanies pregnancy. So don’t be shy about letting your doctor or midwife know if you feel low. Your emotional health is every bit as important as your physical health. And in fact, it can affect your physical health. Research has shown, for instance, that depression and anxiety can increase your risk for preterm labor. Untreated, these conditions can hamper your ability to care for yourself and your developing baby. How can tell if I’m at particular risk for depression or anxiety during pregnancy? Some common risk factors are: • Personal or family history of depression or anxiety. If you’ve struggled in the past with depression or extreme anxiety (or, to a lesser extent, if depression runs in your family), you’re more likely to become depressed now that you’re expecting. Even if you’ve never experienced a full-blown bout of depression or anxiety but have a tendency to get down or anxious during stressful or uncertain times, you may be more susceptible to depression now. • Relationship difficulties. If you’re in a troubled relationship and talking things out as a couple isn’t working, get counseling. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your baby’s arrival will make everything rosy. A newborn will only add to the strain on your relationship - so don’t put off seeking professional advice on repairing your relationship now, particularly if you’re the victim of abuse. • Fertility treatments. If you had trouble getting pregnant, chances are you’ve been under a lot of stress. And if you’ve gone through multiple fertility procedures, you may still be dealing with the emotional side effects of months or even years of treatments and anxiety-laden waiting. On top of that, now that you’re pregnant, it’s not uncommon to be terrified of losing the baby you worked so hard to conceive. All of these make you more prone to depression. • Previous pregnancy loss. If you’ve miscarried or lost a baby in the past, it’s no wonder you’re worrying about the safety of this pregnancy. And if the loss was recent or if you’ve miscarried several times in the last year, you may not have had time to fully recover emotionally or physically. And as with fertility treatments, if you’re dealing with health restrictions you’re more vulnerable to depression and anxiety. • Problems with your pregnancy. A complicated or high-risk pregnancy can take an emotional toll, particularly if you’re enduring weeks of bedrest or numerous genetic tests.

(Women who are pregnant with twins or more often fall into this category.) The strain of having to endure difficult procedures combined with fear about your baby’s well-being is often difficult to shoulder. Likewise, not being able to work or do other things you’re used to doing makes it tougher to maintain your emotional balance. Talk to your caregiver about caring for your emotional well-being. Taking proper steps now will also reduce your risk for problems after giving birth - and help you to better enjoy the baby you’ve worked so hard to bring into the world. • Stressful life events. Financial worries? Relocating? Contemplating switching jobs? Planning to stay home after years of working? Any major concerns or life changes such as these - as well as a breakup, the death of a close friend or family member, or a job loss can send you into a serious funk. • Past history of abuse. Women who’ve survived emotional, sexual, physical, or verbal abuse may have low self-esteem, a sense of helplessness, or feelings of isolation - all of which contribute to a higher risk for depression. Pregnancy can trigger painful memories of your past abuse as you prepare for parenthood, and the loss of control over your changing body may mirror the helplessness you experienced when you were abused. • Other risk factors. If you are young, are single, or have an unplanned pregnancy, your risk of depression is also higher. What are the symptoms of depression? Some of the symptoms below, such as fatigue or trouble sleeping, are common among healthy women during pregnancy. But when they’re combined with a sense of sadness or hopelessness or they interfere with your ability to function, depression is probably at least partly to blame. If you feel unable to handle your daily responsibilities or are having thoughts of harming yourself, call your doctor or midwife immediately for a referral to a counselor. Seeing a therapist or psychiatrist isn’t an indication of weakness. On the contrary, it shows that you’re willing to take the steps necessary to keep your baby and yourself safe and healthy. If you’ve experienced three or more of the following symptoms for more than two weeks, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you should see a therapist: • A sense that nothing feels enjoyable or fun anymore • Feeling blue, sad, or “empty” for most of the day, every day • It’s harder to concentrate • Extreme irritability or agitation or excessive crying • Trouble sleeping or sleeping all the time • Extreme or never-ending fatigue • A desire to eat all the time or not wanting to eat at all • Inappropriate guilt or feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness Finally, mood swings with cycles of depression alternating with periods of an abnormally high spirits - including increased activity, little need to sleep or eat, racing thoughts, inappropriate social behavior, or poor judgment are signs of a serious condition called bipolar disorder, which requires immediate attention. Call your caregiver if you have those symptoms. How are depression and anxiety treated

during pregnancy? Both psychotherapy and antidepressant medication can be used to treat these conditions during pregnancy. Ask your doctor or midwife for a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist, or check with your insurance company for a list of mental health providers. Don’t try to treat yourself by taking St. John’s wort or other remedies. The safety of these remedies during pregnancy is unknown, and they’re not an effective substitute for professional help. How can I help prevent depression and anxiety during pregnancy? Depression and anxiety are biochemical conditions, so you may not be able to avoid them altogether if you’re prone to them. But taking care of yourself emotionally can help ease your symptoms and keep your spirits up. • Take it easy. Resist the urge to pack in as many chores as you can before the baby comes. You may think you need to set up the nursery, clean the house, or work as much as you can before you go on maternity leave, but you don’t. Pencil yourself in at the top of your

to-do list. You won’t have as much time for yourself once the baby’s around. Read a book, have breakfast in bed, or go for a nice long walk around the neighborhood. Choose something that makes you feel good. Taking care of yourself is an essential part of taking care of your baby. • Bond with your partner. Make sure you’re spending plenty of time with your partner and nurturing your relationship. Take a vacation now if you can. Do what you can to strengthen your connection so that once the baby comes, you’ll have that bond to rely on. • Talk it out. Air out your fears and worries about the future with your partner, friends, and family. • Manage your stress. Don’t let frustration build up in your life. Find ways to take care of yourself emotionally. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, get some exercise, and eat well. If you find anxiety creeping in, try taking a pregnancy yoga class or practicing meditation. www.babycentre.com


Lifestyle FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

A boy is pictured in a room with an artwork by US artist Andy Warhol with helium-filled metalized plastic film hovering in a room, titled “Silver Clouds” and dated from 1994, as part of the “Clouds” (Wolken) exhibition held at the Leopold Museum in Vienna, yesterday. The exhibition will run until July 1, 2013. — AFP

West Africa art makes big splash in Dubai

A

bout 500 artists from 30 countries, with a special window on West Africa, are displaying their works at Art Dubai, billed as the leading contemporary art fair in the Middle East and North Africa. While half of the artists hail from the Middle East and Indian sub-continent, this year’s fair has dedicated a special pavilion, “Changing Cities”, to artists from West Africa with galleries from Nigeria, Cameroon, Mali, Ghana and Senegal. “Dubai Art’s emergence as a major global art event is representative of Dubai’s growing stature as an international art hub ... We provide a window into a very fertile regional art scene,” said Antonia Carver, director of the fair. The works of renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama are also on display for the first time in the region among the avantgarde paintings at the fair which opened on Wednesday night and runs until Saturday. Syrian artists too have exhibited their works inspired by the bloody conflict that has roiled their country. Among them is Ammar al-Beik, with his work “The Guillotine.” “Many artists have left Syria, galleries are closed while others have moved their collections outside the country,” said Delphine Leccas from the Atassi gallery in Damascus. Last year, four works, including two inspired by the Arab Spring, were removed by censors, but this year saw no such action. The 2012 edition of Art Dubai totalled sales of $40 million. —AFP

Guitar once played by Beatles’ Lennon and Harrison up for auction A

n electric guitar played by John Lennon and George Harrison at the height of the Beatles’ fame is expected to fetch between $200,000 and $300,000 at auction in May, Julien’s Auctions said yesterday. The VOX custombuilt guitar, the centerpiece of a “Music Icons” auction, was played by the two late pop stars during the British band’s “Magical Mystery Tour” period. Harrison used it to practice the 1967 song “I Am the Walrus,” while Lennon played the guitar the same year while recording a video session for “Hello, Goodbye.” Both songs were included on the “Magical Mystery Tour” album. Beverly Hills-based Julien’s Auctions said the guitar was given as a gift in 1967 to Yanni “Magic Alex” Mardas, the electronics engineer for the band’s Apple Records label. Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien’s Auctions, called the guitar “one of the most historical pieces of music memorabilia” ever offered by the auction house. Other Beatles items for sale at the May 18 auction in New York include a copy of the band’s 1963 debut album “Please Please Me,” signed by all four band members and which has an estimated price of between $30,000 and $50,000. A copy of Lennon’s whimsical 1964 book of stories and drawings “In His Own Write” - also signed by the band - could

fetch up to $30,000. Costumes, personal effects and memorabilia from Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, The Grateful Dead, David Bowie and 1970s teen heartthrob David Cassidy are also up for sale. The VOX guitar will go on display from April 16 to May 5 at the Museum of Style

Icons in Newbridge, Ireland, ahead of the New York auction. Lennon was shot dead in New York in 1980, and Harrison died of lung cancer in Los Angeles in 2001, leaving Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr as the surviving members of the Fab Four. — Reuters

A woman walks next to an artwork by Australian artist Dietrich Wegner, titled “Playhouse”. —AFP


Lifestyle FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

W Reese Witherspoon

R

eese Witherspoon is attached to appear in and is in talks to produce “The Engagements” for Fox2000, Evelyn O’Neill, her manager, told TheWrap. Witherspoon and her partner Bruna Papandrea found the project through the actress’ production company, Pacific Standard, and brought it to the studio’s attention, her manager said. A person with knowledge of the production, however, told TheWrap that Witherspoon may have a role if the film gets made, but no decision has been made yet. The film is an ensemble piece and an adaptation of J Courtney Sullivan’s romance book, which follows a diamond engagement ring from the 1930s to the present day. That bauble forms the connective tissue, allowing the story to explore five very different relationships throughout the decades. It has yet to be published, but it hits stores on June 11. Fox 2000 closed the deal for the book before it closed adeal to bring on Witherspoon’s production company. If Witherspoon joins the picture, she will play a supporting role, not a lead, according to the individual with knowledge of the production. —Reuters

Bobby Brown

hen Russian actress Evelina Blyodans gave birth to a son with Down’s Syndrome, the first question from the doctor at the maternity hospital came as a shock: “Are you going to keep him?” In Russia, where most children with Down’s Syndrome are still abandoned by their parents at birth, Blyodans, a popular actress and television host, not only kept her son, Semyon, but used her fame to push for greater awareness and tolerance. The charismatic actress known for sexbomb roles appeared with Semyon on the cover of Russia’s most popular weekly magazine, 7 Dnei, and set up a Twitter account in her son’s name which now has more than 14,000 followers. “Some people treat my husband and me as heroes or practically saints. Others vent their anger at us: ‘What’s the point of bringing monsters into the world? Why didn’t she have an abortion if she knew? Why is she showing him off all the time on every television channel?’” Blyodans told AFP ahead of World Down’s Syndrome Day on March 21. “Our fellow citizens can be pretty tactless. They can point at children with Down’s, laugh or frown with disgust,” said Blyodans, 43. A genetic condition caused by an extra chromosome, Down’s Syndrome leads to distinctive features, varying levels of learning disabilities and a number of health complications. According to Moscow-based charity, Downside Up, almost 2,5000 children are born with the syndrome every year in Russia, and 85 percent of them are abandoned by their parents at birth. Created in 1996 by Britons living in Moscow, the charity helps children with Down’s Syndrome adapt to living in a society where people with disabilities were for decades considered shameful and hidden away. ‘For years they were hidden away’ “You never used to see disabled people on the street. It felt as if they did not exist,” said Blyodans. “It was then that doctors had it so firmly dinned into them that such children should be taken to a children’s home straight from the maternity hospital, so that

no one sees them.” “Even if some people decided to keep their children, they just sat in their flats like in prison. They were hidden away and their parents were afraid to let them out to play.” With her striking looks and frank manner, Blyodans gained popularity for playing sultry seductresses in comedy sketches which makes her an unlikely but effective campaigner. Yelena Artemyeva, a 45-yearold librarian, also has painful memories of

Evelina Blyodans doctors’ reaction to the birth of her daughter, Sonya, now two. “The woman doctor came when I had already given birth: she said ‘Why would you want a child with Down’s Syndrome? Give it away quickly! They’re so awful!’” Yet Artemyeva acknowledged that she understands such ignorance and fear, because she once felt the same. “When I was a child, my mother once showed me a girl with Down’s Syndrome and explained that it was awful, a nightmare, that they can’t do anything when they grow up, all they can do is glue up

cardboard boxes. For me, Down’s Syndrome was just a horror.” Difficult life in modern Russia Experts said such prejudices are still the norm. “People think that those with Down’s Syndrome cannot be educated, that they cannot live in society and cannot work,” said Anna Portugalova, of Downside Up. The children who are abandoned at birth are sent to boarding houses for those with mental disabilities, where they receive little attention and have no hope of integrating into society. It is rare for Russian families to adopt children with Down’s Syndrome, and a law banning US families from adopting from Russia, passed in December, has further reduced their chances of finding a new home. But even children who are cherished by their families find it difficult to lead a normal life in Russia. “When it comes to the likelihood of finding work, the situation is particularly bad,” Portugalova said. “In Western countries, people with Down’s Syndrome can work in cafes, hotels or shops. In Russia, unfortunately, this is not the case.” In Moscow, where children with Down’s are allowed to attend mainstream state kindergartens, the situation is better than in other Russian cities where parents have to make huge efforts to integrate their children into society. Calling her 11-month-old son a “gift from above,” Blyodans said she is on a mission to improve the lives of the thousands of people with Down’s Syndrome in Russia. Her campaign against intolerance is already bearing fruit, she said. “A lot of the mums who write to Semyon on Twitter said that it was only after we admitted we had such a child that for the first time they went to the sandpit with their child in daylight, not at night as they had before.”—AFP

B

obby Brown has surrendered to authorities and will begin a 55-day jail sentence for a driving under the influence conviction. Brown’s attorney and a spokesman for the city attorney’s office say the R&B singer turned himself in at a Los Angeles courthouse Wednesday. Brown pleaded no contest to DUI and driving on a suspended license in February. He will also be required to serve four years on informal probation and complete an 18-month alcohol treatment program after he is released. The conviction is Brown’s second for DUI in less than a year. He avoided jail after pleading no contest to a March 2012 drunk driving case. The 44-year-old New Edition singer is the exhusband of deceased singer Whitney Houston. — AP

(From left) Indian Bollywood actors Saurabh Shukla, Arshad Warsi, and Boman Irani pose during a media event for the Hindi film ‘Jolly LLB’ in Mumbai. — AFP


Lifestyle FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

“T

he Sapphires” is missing a lot - detailed characters, a unique narrative arc, and half-plausible scenes of the Vietnam War but it’s got two uncommon things going for it: genuine charm and Chris O’Dowd. They are not mutually exclusive. O’Dowd, the Irish comedic actor, has no proper business being in “The Sapphires,” a film about four Aboriginal sisters in rural ‘60s Australia who set out to make it as a pop singing group. But this is the same actor who managed to play a Milwaukee police officer with his natural brogue in “Bridesmaids.” His passport, thankfully, has some peculiar powers. In “The Sapphires,” he plays a heavy-drinking former cruise ship entertainer named Dave who has somehow wound up in an Australian backwater hosting a rinky-dink local talent show. The film first greets him passed out in the back of his car. When he wakes, he goes for his sunglasses and a pint before his pants. “Soul Man” is playing, the joke being that this pale and lanky boozer is not exactly a shining star of Motown. But, he insists, the music is in his veins: “My blood runs Negro,” he says, a joke to everyone but him. And when he sees three sisters Gail (Deborah Mailman), Cynthia (Miranda Tapsell) and Julie (Jessica Mauboy) - perform a Merl Saunders tune, he’s immediately blown away. He tells them to ditch the country music for soul and soon they (along with an estranged fourth sister, Kay, played by Shari Sebbens) are off to entertain US troops in Vietnam as a Supremes-esque foursome, with Dave as manager. Like Bill Murray did in the ‘70s, O’Dowd enlivens the otherwise thin but buoyant film with his winning charisma. He’s the offcolor, off-key salvation to this bright and simple Australian period musical. It’s an odd hodgepodge of a movie. Cutting between scenes of the Civil Rights movement in America with the plight of

B

ritish pop mogul Simon Cowell launched an innovative online talent contest Wednesday, inviting wannabee stars from around the world to post clips of their skills on YouTube. “The X Factor” and “Got Talent” guru Cowell joined forces with the video sharing platform to run 26 biweekly contests, called “The You Generation”, for hopefuls in 26 countries over the next 12 months. “We wanted to devise a way that it’s easier for you to get noticed,” explained Cowell in an interview in his padded-wall office posted on the “You Generation” channel. Contestants immediately began uploading videos in a host of categories-vocalists to chefs to make-up artists-after an hour-long introduction, live on YouTube, by the Cowell-managed Brit boy band One Direction. Entries will be judged by talent scouts at Cowell’s production company, in a joint venture with Japanese electronics and entertainment powerhouse Sony. Cowell hopes the initiative will make up for a slide in viewing figures for conventional TV talent shows as more artists bypass traditional routes to success by harnessing the power of the Internet. Notable among those previously discovered on YouTube is Justin Bieber-but Cowell’s idea is to have a onestop YouTube channel for fans to size up new

Simon Cowell

indigenous Australians, the opening credits connect the social changes of Down Under in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s with those from the opposite side of the globe. There’s a similar air of racism, heard in catcalls from white Australians, along with the heavy recent history of discrimination. “The Sapphires” was adapted with the help of coscreenwriter Keith Thompson from Tony Brigg’s 2004 stage play. It opens with a summary of the late arrival of rights for Aboriginal Australians and of the “Stolen Generations” of indigenous families whose children - like Kay in the film - were abducted by the government. While “The Sapphires” is far from a history lesson, it’s a rare film to portray such a history, one generally unfamiliar to Westerners. Briggs wrote the story loosely based on his mother’s traveling girl group. The directorial debut of the Aussie actor Wayne Blair, the film is most concerned with the sisterhood of its singers. They’re painted broadly but entertainingly: Gail, played forcefully and memorably by Mailman, is the proud eldest; Cynthia is the eager carouser; Julie has the soaring lead voice; and Julie is awakening to her ethnicity. They constantly vacillate between bickering and singing. When the film moves to Vietnam, its less expert filmmaking and threadbare, inauthentic settings get harder to forgive. Many of the scenes, as the girls travel stage to stage, lack any sense of a war-torn country. Vietnam is less a battlefield than a menagerie of handsome, strapping soldiers for the girls to enjoy. Familiar soul hits make up the soundtrack, in song-and-dance scenes and montages. The songs are undeniable crowd-pleasing classics, but they’ve countless times before been fodder for movie redemption, muting their effect here somewhat. But even when “The Sapphires” is at its most unpolished and cheesiest, O’Dowd and the film’s general warm spirit make it a

acts without having to surf all over the website. The first artists posting on Wednesday swiftly collected hundreds of thousands of views, although comments varied between positive reviews and criticisms of Cowell’s tastemaker status in the pop music industry. YouTube is striving to become more than simply a place to watch amusing cat videos by encouraging, and in some cases bankrolling, original programming. “It’s the biggest TV channel now in the world,” Cowell said. “It’s changed everything. It has literally changed the music business-for the good.”—AFP

tune hard to resist. Heart and humor, after all, aren’t always so easy to find at the movies. “The Sapphires,” a Weinstein Co release, is rated PG-13 for sexuality, a scene of war violence, some language, thematic elements and smoking. Running time: 99 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four. Motion Picture Association of America rating definition for PG-13: Parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. — AP

This film publicity image released by The Weinstein Company shows, from left, Deborah Mailman as Gail, Jessica Mauboy as Julie, Miranda Tapsell as Cynthia, and Shari Sebbens as Kay from ‘The Sapphires.’ — AP

“M

ad Men” star Jon Hamm is going mad over Justin Timberlake’s suit and tie - the song and the singer’s style. “I’m a big fan of Justin Timberlake,” Hamm said in a recent interview. “I think he’s a trendsetter, as they say. But he’s always been kind of a natty dresser.” The 42-year-old actor, who says he has an “appreciation for fashion,” returns as womanizing adman Don Draper when season six premieres April 7 on AMC. Seeing “Mad Men” style infiltrate pop culture - from Taylor Swift’s mod minidress on the March cover of Elle magazine to Timberlake’s ode to old Hollywood glamour with his latest hit, “Suit & Tie,” is the ultimate compliment for Hamm. “It’s nice that our show has had that sort of serendipitous resonance with fashion,” he said. “I think it’s great. I think it’s really cool.” As for Timberlake, Hamm believes the pop star is “a very fashion-forward kind of guy,” although the Grammy winner is guilty of at least one “fashion don’t.” “That one unfortunate picture of him in that denim tuxedo excused,” Hamm said with a smile, referring to Timberlake’s all-denim ensemble at the 2001 American Music Awards. — AP

File photo show host Britney Spears, left, and Justin Timberlake of N’Sync arrive at the 28th Annual American Music Awards in Los Angeles. — AP


Lifestyle FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

W

Costumes seen at the VIP reception for the ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibition at the V&A Museum in London on Wednesday. —AP Photos

The Alexander McQueen tyre-print suit which David Bowie wore to promote the album’ Outside’, is photographed as part of a retrospective David Bowie exhibition.

hen did the modern era begin? With the Renaissance? With Elvis Presley? For a generation of music-loving Britons, it started on July 6, 1972, when David Bowie performed the song “Starman” on the TV show “Top of the Pops.” Viewers had never seen anything like the androgynous orangehaired figure in a jumpsuit, singing about aliens while draping his arm teasingly around guitarist Mick Ronson and offering a lyrical benediction - “let all the children boogie.” Lonely teenagers in suburban bedrooms across the land were entranced, and, in many cases, inspired. The ripples from that moment help explain why a major new multimedia exhibition about Bowie at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum is the fastest seller in the institution’s history, with 50,000 advance tickets sold - and why Bowie is topping music charts once again at the age of 66. The “David Bowie Is” exhibition, which opens Saturday, marks the first time Britain’s leading museum of decorative arts and design has devoted a show to a pop star. “Bowie is no ordinary pop star,” co-curator Victoria Broackes said Wednesday. “He has seeped into every area of our culture” - music, fashion, performance and design. “In the last couple of years, the fashion references have been non-stop,” Broackes said. “Jonathan Saunders, Miu Miu, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Gucci - all reference him. It seems that the creative directors of those companies often are of a certain age, and perhaps they first came across David Bowie in the ‘70s and have reached these positions of authority now.” Bowie is arguably music’s greatest chameleon, a performer who has adopted and discarded personas with abandon as he moved through musical styles from folk-rock to glam to soul to electronica. As a teenager, he transformed himself from plain old David Jones - born in 1947 and raised in the drab south London suburbs - to exotic David Bowie. Then he went on to create a series of larger-than-life stage characters - astronaut Major Tom, alien rock star Ziggy Stardust, troubled Aladdin Sane, the enigmatic Thin White Duke. It’s that eclecticism, the show argues, that makes Bowie uniquely influential - he has mixed up sounds and styles, genres and genders, to come up with something all his own. The show includes glimpses at Bowie’s wide range of influences, from British musical theater to Berlin cabaret; from German Expressionism to Japanese Kabuki; from surrealism to Andy Warhol. Bowie gave curators access to his personal archive, although he was not directly involved in planning the show. The 300 items on display include film clips, photographs, handwritten lyrics, storyboards for videos and drawings of costumes and sets. There is plenty to thrill Bowie fans, from his first single (“Liza Jane,” by Davie Jones and the King Bees, released in 1964) to film footage of the only meeting between Bowie and Andy Warhol - an awkward 1971 encounter - to a painting by Bowie of Iggy Pop in a wintry 1970s Berlin. In contrast to the hushed halls throughout the rest of the museum, there is plenty of sound and vision, including performance footage from Bowie’s large-scale tours and inventive videos for songs like “Ashes to Ashes.” Above all, there are extravagant costumes, including the multicolored quilted jumpsuit from that pivotal “Starman” appearance, designed by Freddie Burretti. Bowie wore it with red patent leather boots, calling the look “ultra violence in Liberty fabrics.” Fashion always played a major part in creating the Bowie mystique, and he chose designers carefully, from the late Alexander McQueen - whose Union Jack coat adorned Bowie’s “Earthling” album cover - to Kansai Yamamoto, a key 1970s collaborator. The show includes several flamboyant Yamamoto outfits, including a knitted cat suit that Bowie wore as Aladdin Sane. The exhibition reveals, endearingly, that a knitting pattern was published so fans

could make their own versions. The David Bowie who emerges through the exhibition is a canny businessman and hard-working innovator as well as eclectic artist. Bowie has released 27 studio albums, and performed 1,000 gigs in 12 tours between 1972 and 2004. Along the way, he sold shares in himself with the issue of “Bowie Bonds” and set up the website and online community Bowienet. And then he

An outfit David Bowie wore on the Serious Moonlight Tour, is photographed as part of a retrospective David Bowie exhibition.

A cobweb costume with fake hands that David Bowie appeared on television with.

stopped, seemingly retiring for good in 2004 after suffering a heart attack. Exhibition co-curator Geoffrey Marsh argues that retiring from public view was yet another example of Bowie’s genius. “He’s been famous for 10 years by doing nothing,” Marsh said. Then, earlier this year, Bowie startled the world by announcing he was releasing a new album. “The Next Day,” with its melancholy backward glances at Bowie’s time in divided Berlin in the 1970s, has received largely positive reviews. Fans are even starting to dream there could be some new live shows. And there is little sign of Bowie’s influence waning. “When we started this exhibition, we thought we were reaching ‘peak Bowie,’” Broackes said. “But we’re opening in a week when he has an album that is No. 1 in 40 countries.” “David Bowie Is” runs at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum until Aug 11, and at the Museum of Image and Sound in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from January to April 2014. — AP


Lifestyle FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

File photo shows a man admires the new EYE Film Institute, center in white, on the other side of IJ River in Amsterdam, Netherlands. — AP photos

Italian-built cruise ship MS Azura sails past the EYE film institute as it leaves the port of Amsterdam.

5 free things in

Amsterdam, from canals to parks

T

by. Look out for the Picasso sculpture of a fish in one of its meadows.

he Dutch capital has plenty to celebrate this year, most notably the April 13 reopening of the magnificent Rijksmuseum after 10 years of renovations and, after a shorter facelift, the May 1 reopening of the neighboring Van Gogh Museum. You have to pay to get into those museums, but most of downtown Amsterdam looks like one huge open-air museum and strolling its streets costs you nothing. Renting a bike is not free, but if you want to go native, it’s the only way to travel. Just watch out for the traffic and tram rails. THE CANALS It’s not only the Rijksmuseum celebrating in 2013: Amsterdam’s canals are 400 years old this year, but strolling along the waterways never gets old. The scenery includes Golden Age mansions dating to the 17th century; converted warehouses and narrow buildings that sometimes look like they’re ready to topple over sideways. The ring of canals starts with the Singel, which boasts a floating flower market. Then come the Herengracht, Keizersgracht and finally the Prinsengracht. If you visit the Red Light District (and most tourists do), you’ll discover that it’s also built around two historic canals, the Oudezijds Voorburgwal and Oudezijds Achterburgwal. BEGIJNHOF The clatter of trams and ringing of bicycle bells can be an assault on the ears, but there’s a hidden oasis of peace in the heart of Amsterdam if you

A view of Begijnhof courtyard in Amsterdam.

Visitors in the civic guard gallery of the Amsterdam Museum. need a little quiet time. The Begijnhof is a small grassed courtyard surrounded by beautiful 17thand 18th-century houses that were originally built for pious Catholic single women. It’s right in the middle of town and reachable by a gateway at the end of a lane leading off one of the city’s busiest shopping streets, but it is almost eerily silent. The courtyard also holds a small English Reformed Church and a Catholic chapel. If you don’t manage to get into the Rijksmuseum to see Rembrandt’s “Night Watch,” right around the corner from the Begijnhof is another hidden (and free) gem of the city, the Schuttersgalerij, or Civil Guard Gallery, of

the Amsterdam Museum. This short covered passageway is home to - among other things - a handful of much smaller portraits of civil guards similar in style, if not size, to Rembrandt’s famous work. VONDELPARK The city’s most famous park is just a stone’s throw from Museum Square and a great place for a picnic. The 116-acre park (47 hectares) has ponds, tree-lined pathways, kids’ playgrounds, an open-air theater and cafes. You can rent inline skates, but it’s mainly just a great place to lay down a blanket and sit for an hour or two watching the world go

A canal cruise boat passing under one of the bridges in Amsterdam.

EYE One of Amsterdam’s newest landmarks is a stark, white film institute, called the EYE, perched on northern bank of the Ij waterway. While you have to pay to take in a movie, the cafe and its terrace are open to all who are prepared to buy a cup of coffee or light meal and offer a front-row seat to watch barges chug along the Ij against a backdrop of the city skyline. Remember that Amsterdam, at its heart, is a busy port. Getting there is another of the city’s unsung pleasures - you squeeze onto a free commuter ferry usually crammed with cyclists from behind Central Station. MARKETS Amsterdam’s wealth began in its port with the merchants who bought and sold everything from tulip bulbs to spices from the East Indies. A little of that mercantile past can still be seen at the city’s many markets. The most famous is the Albert Cuyp food market in the Pijp neighborhood, which sells, as the city website puts it, everything from cheese to bicycle chains, six days a week. The prettiest is the Noordermarkt, a sort of grower’s market that sets up each Saturday outside the historic Noorderkerk church, next to the Prinsengracht canal. The best flea market is at Waterloo Square every day except Sunday close to the Amstel River. — AP

A horse-drawn cart transporting tourists turns onto a bridge in Amsterdam.


FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

SITUATION WANTED

Al-Madena Al-Shohada’a Al-Shuwaikh Al-Nuzha Sabhan Al-Helaly Al-Fayhaa Al-Farwaniya Al-Sulaibikhat Al-Fahaheel Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh Ahmadi Al-Mangaf Al-Shuaiba Al-Jahra Al-Salmiya

22418714 22545171 24810598 22545171 24742838 22434853 22545051 24711433 24316983 23927002 24316983 23980088 23711183 23262845 25610011 25616368

Hospitals Sabah Hospital

24812000

Amiri Hospital

22450005

Maternity Hospital

24843100

Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital

25312700

Chest Hospital

24849400

Farwaniya Hospital

24892010

Adan Hospital

23940620

Ibn Sina Hospital

24840300

Al-Razi Hospital

24846000

Physiotherapy Hospital

24874330/9

Clinics

CHANGE OF NAME

Female, MBA with over 11 years experience in all functions of HR/Admin. Transferable visa 18. Can join immediately. Knowledge of English, Hindi & Arabic. Please contact: 94062123. (C 4345) 16-3-2013

MATRIMONIAL Proposals invited for a Marthomite girl, 25/160cms, B/B in Kuwait, Masters in Psychology from U.S.A. working in an international school as counselor. Invites proposals from God fearing well educated employed boys. Email: proposals0327@gmail.com (C 4348) 20-3-2013

I, Fathima w/o Abdul Rasak holder of Indian Passport No. E5241458 hereby change my name to Beer Fathima. (C 4347) 19-3-2013 Bhupinder Singh, S/o Darshan Singh, Dhaiiwai R/o Ramnagar Sibia (Sanrur) changed my name to Bhupinder Singh Dhaiiwai. (C 4346) 14-3-2013 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

Prayer timings

Fajr:

04:31

Shorook

05:50

Rabiya

24732263

Duhr:

11:55

Rawdha

22517733

Asr:

15:23

Adailiya

22517144

Maghrib:

18:00

Khaldiya

24848075

Isha:

19:17

Khaifan

24849807

Shamiya

24848913

Shuwaikh

24814507

Abdullah Salim

22549134

Al-Nuzha

22526804

Industrial Shuwaikh

24814764

Al-Qadisiya

22515088

Dasmah

22532265

Bneid Al-Ghar

22531908

Al-Shaab

22518752

Al-Kibla

22459381

Ayoun Al-Kibla

22451082

Mirqab

22456536

Sharq

22465401

Salmiya

25746401

Jabriya

25316254

Maidan Hawally

25623444

Bayan

25388462

No: 15755

Kuwait SHARQIA-1 LOVE AND HONOR (DIG) SIDE EFFECTS (DIG) LOVE AND HONOR (DIG) TRUTH OR DARE (DIG) LOVE AND HONOR (DIG) TRUTH OR DARE (DIG) SIDE EFFECTS (DIG)

12:30 PM 2:30 PM 4:45 PM 6:45 PM 8:45 PM 10:45 PM 12:45 AM

SHARQIA-2 THE CROODS (DIG-3D) THE CROODS (DIG-3D) THE CROODS (DIG-3D) THE CROODS (DIG-3D) JACK THE GIANT SLAYER (DIG-3D) JACK THE GIANT SLAYER (DIG-3D)

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

SHARQIA-3 OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (DIG) OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (DIG)

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

MUHALAB-1 LOVE AND HONOR (DIG) LOVE AND HONOR (DIG) TRUTH OR DARE (DIG) LOVE AND HONOR (DIG)

12:45 PM 4:30 PM 5:00 PM 7:00 PM

KNCC PROGRAMME FROM THURSDAY TO WEDNESDAY (21/03/2013 TO 27/03/2013) TRUTH OR DARE (DIG) LOVE AND HONOR (DIG) TRUTH OR DARE (DIG)

9:00 PM 11:00 PM 1:00 AM

MUHALAB-2 OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (DIG) OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (DIG) OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (DIG) OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (DIG)

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

MUHALAB-3 THE CROODS (DIG-3D) 1:45 PM THE CROODS (DIG-3D) 3:45 PM THE CROODS (DIG-3D) 5:45 PM OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (DIG-3D) 7:45 PM JACK THE GIANT SLAYER (DIG-3D) 10:15 PM JACK THE GIANT SLAYER (DIG-3D) 12:30 AM FANAR-1 OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (DIG) TRUTH OR DARE (DIG) OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (DIG) OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (DIG) OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (DIG) TRUTH OR DARE (DIG)

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

FANAR-2 LOVE AND HONOR (DIG)

2:15 PM

LOVE AND HONOR (DIG) SIDE EFFECTS (DIG) LOVE AND HONOR (DIG) SIDE EFFECTS (DIG) LOVE AND HONOR (DIG)

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

FANAR-3 SNITCH (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) SNITCH (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) SNITCH (DIG)

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

MARINA-1 LOVE AND HONOR (DIG) LOVE AND HONOR (DIG) TRUTH OR DARE (DIG) LOVE AND HONOR (DIG) TRUTH OR DARE (DIG) LOVE AND HONOR (DIG) TRUTH OR DARE (DIG)

1:00 PM 3:00 PM 5:00 PM 7:00 PM 9:00 PM 11:00 PM 1:00 AM

MARINA-2 OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (DIG) OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (DIG) AL HAFLA (DIG) OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (DIG)

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


Pets FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

No horsing around Teacher and animal crusader founded nonprofit to help troubled girls, horses

L

Ulysses rests his chin on the head of Elizabeth Zarkos, president and founder of Hanaeleh, a horse rescue organization in Trabuco Canyon. — MCT

ike any horse-crazy little girl, young Elizabeth Zarkos collected Breyer figurines of blood-bay Arabians, black Thoroughbreds, buckskin Mustangs and more. And, like any horse-crazy little girl, she soon discovered that the plastic-molded legs on those toys didn’t hold up too well galloping around bedspreads and jumping over teddy bears. But when her plastic horses snapped off a leg or two, instead of throwing them away and asking mommy for another, Zarkos used Scotch tape to bandage their broken legs and put them up on the shelf to recover. Her father’s career in resort management meant the family was often uprooted, so sometimes during packing up to move, her mother would “accidentally” lose the ones with lots of tape. Still, Zarkos tried to keep all she could, because those horses were a constant in the life of this admittedly “ultra shy” girl, who says she struggled with constantly changing elementary schools, 11 in all. In high school at Newport Beach, Calif., she kept her drawings of horses in her notebooks to herself. “I didn’t want to set myself up for people to make fun of me, I guess,” says the 37-year-old Lake Forest, Calif, resident, who is now a teacher. “That’s why when I get students who are a little bit off, I get it. I’m a little bit off, too. We can talk about weirdness together.” You don’t have to be Sigmund Freud to see the roots of what led the little girl to be the woman she is today: Weekdays Zarkos teaches independent study in the Educational Options program in Orange Unified School District to teenagers who, for educational or emotional reasons, don’t fit

the standard high school routine. Then, each day after work and on every weekend, she dons her paddock boots and makes her way to a bare-bones stable in Trabuco Canyon. There she trains horses, mucks stalls, tends wounds and teaches volunteers about horses as the founder of Hanaeleh Horse Rescue. Her mission is to find loving homes for abused, neglected or slaughter-bound horses. She does this with a finger crushed and mangled by a half-blind gelding and a back injury that means she’s “only got so many rides in me a day.” At night she works to finish her doctorate in education at Chapman University, where she is writing her dissertation analyzing how counselors decide which students to recommend for continuation high schools. By all accounts, her dedication to both horses and students is above and beyond. “She is like this scaffolding, supporting and guiding them. It is almost undetectable how much influence she has. Human or animal, she helps them get on the right path and be better,” says teaching colleague Alisa Kopp of Tustin “She helps everybody be their best selves.” Kopp nominated Zarkos as a hero because “she can’t give this to someone else or turn it into a bag of horse feed. She passes on everything she has - her money, her education, her time - and yet when you ask her, she’ll tell you she’s living her dream,” Kopp says. Zarkos has given up a lot financially to keep the horse rescue afloat; donated her time and the equestrian facility to local pony clubs, Girl Scout troops and other community organizations; and

give private riding lessons to budding horse enthusiasts. Donations and the $1,000 horse adoption fees pay for the stable rent, horse feed and other costs to maintain the rescue. But Zarkos still forks over up to $10,000 a year - down from the $20,000 it took when she began the rescue in 2004. “She’s single, and could be going neat places and doing a lot for herself, but she doesn’t,” Kopp says, citing the modest condo where Zarkos has long lived and her small economy car that “she’s had forever.” Where Zarkos does splurge is on her advanced college degree, but Kopp says even that is a means for her to be in a position to serve students better. “She surely didn’t give up on her dreams, and she’s not giving up on her education,” says Kopp, who thinks Zarkos is a great role model for young girls like her daughter, Corrine, whom Zarkos taught to ride. Tom Wilson, Zarkos’ thesis adviser at Chapman, says Zarkos’ interest in alternative education “relates to her beautiful interest in dropout horses.” He believes both spring from a profound sense she has that unequal treatment of any creature “is a violation of their dignity that isn’t fair, a feeling that hits you in the gut that ‘this is not right.’” That sense of justice spurs her dedication to horse rescue. “They are warm, they are loving, they are sentient creatures, and we don’t respect them and we don’t listen to them. And they built the entire Western civilization. We need to value them not only their spirit and courage they give us now, but the heritage they have offered us,” Zarkos says. On a windy afternoon when rain turned the dirt

road to Hanaeleh into muddy slop, Zarkos talked as she cared for the equine residents - and adopted stray cats, two bottle-fed orphan sheep and a small flock of chickens who come running when called for dinner. “I will say this is all my mother’s fault,” Zarkos jokes. “She allowed me to have animals because she thought my maternal instinct was so strong, she was afraid if she didn’t give me something to care for, I’d be pregnant at 16.” The strategy might have worked too well for the childless Zarkos. The care she gives both students and animals comes from the same maternal well. “I treat them pretty much the same,” Zarkos says. “They need structure. Horses really need structure, but it can’t become imposing where it starts pressing on their personality, so it is a very fine line of allowing their personality to come through and still retaining enough of a structure so they feel secure. Just like in the classroom.” But all this prompts the question, why? Why does she get up every day when she’d rather pull the covers over her head? When her body aches? When she knows she’s investing in creatures who will never pay her back? “Horses are my thing,” she says simply. “Everyone should have their thing. If everyone would pick one thing, just one, and did it to the best of their ability - I mean went all in, put all your passion and love into it - the world will be an amazing place.” Little wonder she named her horse rescue Hanaeleh, after the mythical land in the children’s ballad “Puff the Magic Dragon,” where both kids and creatures romped happily. It is the world she works to create. — MCT


Stars

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Your daily life takes on a more lively, enthusiastic quality during this time period. The effects are not dramatic and unusual, but there definitely is a quickened pace at this time. Fortunately, the mood is lively but not hectic. In fact, this is an enjoyable time when you meet interesting and entertaining people, and you share enthusiastic and lively ideas and interests with others. You make yourself perfectly clear at this time, coming across in a very direct, articulate manner to your romantic partner. Your honesty and willingness to communicate openly impresses others. This is a good time to simply express your viewpoint to the people who matter the most in your life.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) The extravagance and wild reactions of someone could confuse and upset you today. Because of your heightened sensitivity, you will not want to be in the company of very highenergy, nervous people and will prefer time alone. It’s also likely that being exposed to new ideas will arouse certain fears or insecurities inside you. Be open even if you choose not to try anything new. Your thoughts are dreamy, fantastic, and faraway right now. Your imagination and intuition is heightened, which benefits emotional commitments and thoughts of romance. However, your practical reasoning ability and your ability to focus on the here and now are diminished. Your judgment regarding concrete matters is a bit fuzzy at this time, so you may wish to delay making important decisions.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

There is optimism, there is faith, and there is a tendency to take chances at the deepest emotional levels. This is a time of exploring your feelings, a kind of restlessness for new emotional experience. A feeling that anything is possible if you set your sights high enough characterizes mood today. This is an excellent time to have company or to give a party at your home. You are feeling hospitable, loving, and feel the need to share comfort and affection with close friends and family. Go on a date with someone you care for, make it simple and enjoy the adventure.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Matters are coming 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 you and a parent or family elder. Don’t continue to handle those difficult tasks alone. It is time for others to take some of the burdens and responsibilities off your shoulders. A really good time of the month to start working on getting noticed, someone will be paying attention that you haven’t realized is watching. Good words about you are getting around that will work their way directly into your life next week, so help them out where you can.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

You want to do what you want today. Fortunately you are able find ways to be yourself and even be a little “crazy” without offending or upsetting others. Take advantage of any unusual offers or opportunities from others, who knows it could lead you to “the one” or even reinforce what you have if you’re with someone special already. Special attention to and from a partner is what you should be trying for today, and flattery will get you everywhere if you use it with that fine skill you have worked on for some time. Set aside some private time so no one else can get in the way of the feelings you want to share.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) Wow what a day! You should have smooth sailing for the entire day. What problems do emerge will be solved quickly and with little effort. You may want to take today off and go do something you especially enjoy. Better yet, be adventurous and do something you have never done before! Take a day trip to a local area you’ve never visited, or try an activity you’ve never tried before. Regardless of what you do, Have fun! A love for the unusual and a distaste the same old daily routine is the energy today. You may have feelings that you’re above the petty dramas and nonsense. Unconventional romantic and social connections are also likely to occur. Just be careful of getting in over your head just because it feels exciting.

Libra (September 23-October 22) Exploring your creative impulses can also bring benefits financially at present. You have to think less traditionally however if you’re going to draw those significant opportunities to you just now. Try something different in your approach to your daily routine and you’ll be surprised at how good you feel and how productive the results will be as well. You are inclined to be aggressive and hot tempered now, particularly when it feels like you aren’t getting your way. You can be impatient and behave in an impulsive, irritable way which makes you more prone to accidents during this period, so be careful, both for yourself and others.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

A recovery of sorts is possible, particularly if you’ve had some minor ailment bothering you over the recent past. You improved dietary routine and lifestyle changes have been the cause of this. Now all you have to do is moderate your working life to take this wellbeing to an even greater level Strong sexual feelings and romantic passions are stimulated now, and the urge to be with your love partner is compelling. If you are not currently in a relationship, you are likely to be bold and to make the first move toward someone you are attracted to.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Your desire for leadership, personal recognition for your efforts, and absolute control over your own affairs is very strong now. You are very competitive in business affairs and business and you aggressively present your concerns and interests to colleagues and superiors. Anger over an inability to be first, or to be on top, is quite possible, but you won’t take it lying down - you are ready to fight if necessary in order to forge ahead. A great time to reflect and understand your own situation, just how you feel about yourself in your current relationship. Emotions in particular, or the feelings of those around you, may be very clear for the first time in a long time. The more you learn about yourself the better relationships you can have with others.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

A problem that is lurking beneath the surface could be the cause of some mental stress. Unless you dig beneath the surface you won’t be able to sort this issue out. As long as you project these problems on others, you’ll be frustrated in your work, your love and possibly even your health. Charm abounds and an atmosphere of love and desire allows for all sorts of pleasantries that can provide the foundations of lots more like it to come, if you go for it now. New adventures begun today can be the start of great friendships and even love relationships as well as achievements that bring both wealth and love.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18)

You have a desire to investigate some of the mysteries of life. You could be interested in the occult and this in turn will bring to the surface memories or impressions of your past that are affecting your present situation. It is a cycle of positive transformation and of freedom, but you’ve got to be prepared to let go rather than holding on to old issues that are not holding you back. You may want to call or write someone you love, simply to cheer them up or tell them you love them. The tone of this time is light, friendly and easy. Positive connections are made with others, and you may meet a new romance. This is a favorable time to visit people you really enjoy.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Habits are in a cycle of change and variety satisfies a deep inner need. Being on the go and keeping and paying attention to new trends make you feel in touch. Learning and communicating scratch an instinctive itch. You’re entering a period of emotional change now, feeling two ways at once without getting too deep into either polarity is possible. Sharing dreams and creating shared dreams and goals with your mate will create the foundation for a very rewarding future. To reap the full rewards possible it is important that you be as honest as possible, but remember to choose your words carefully and avoid ultimatums.

COUNTRY CODES 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 Republic 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 Somalia 00252 South Africa 0027 South Korea 0082 Spain 0034 Sri Lanka 0094 Sudan 00249 Suriname 00597 Swaziland 00268 Sweden 0046 Switzerland 0041 Syria 00963 Taiwan 00886 Tanzania 00255 Thailand 0066 Toga 00228 Tonga 00676 Tokelau 00690 Trinidad 001868 Tunisia 00216 Turkey 0090 Tuvalu 00688 Uganda 00256 Ukraine 00380 United Arab Emirates00976


Stars

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Word Search

Yesterdayʼs Solution

C R O S S W O R D 1 3 6

ACROSS 1. The compass point that is one point west of northwest. 5. Tranquilizer (trade name Ativan) used to treat anxiety and tension and insomnia. 11. Tiny leafy-stemmed flowerless plants. 15. Long-bodied long-tailed tropical American wildcat. 16. A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (trade name Lodine). 17. German industrialist who was the first in Germany to use an assembly line in manufacturing automobiles (1871-1948). 18. English writer (1925-1994). 19. Worthy of trust or belief. 20. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 21. A support or foundation. 23. Belonging to some prior time. 25. Marked by excessive enthusiasm for and intense devotion to a cause or idea. 26. Type genus of the Ardeidae. 28. An honorary degree in science. 30. (computer science) American Standard Code for Information Interchange. 32. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 36. (of pain or sorrow) Made easier to bear. 39. City in northeast Pakistan. 40. The habitation of wild animals. 41. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 42. A heavy silvery toxic univalent and bivalent metallic element. 44. Acquire or gain knowledge or skills. 46. (botany) Relating to a plant of the family Araceae. 48. A metabolic acid found in yeast and liver cells. 49. A Russian prison camp for political prisoners. 50. Rounded like an egg. 53. A set of questions or exercises evaluating skill or knowledge. 54. A medicine that induces nausea and vomiting. 56. An easy return of a tennis ball in a high arc. 58. Thorny shrub or small tree common in central Argentina having small orange or yellow flowers followed by edible berries. 63. A dry scab formed on the skin following a burn or cauterization of the skin. 66. Dressed in a tuxedo. 69. Distant in either space or time. 70. (astronomy) The angular distance of a celestial point measured westward along the celestial equator from the zenith crossing. 72. An organism (especially a bacterium) that does not require air or free oxygen to live. 73. A unit of absorbed ionizing radiation equal to 100 ergs per gram of irradiated material. 76. Type genus of the Anatidae. 77. A strong solution of sodium or potassium hydroxide. 78. (of mines and mining) Worked from the exposed surface. 79. A small cake leavened with yeast.

Daily SuDoku

DOWN 1. New information about specific and timely events. 2. English poet who introduced the sonnet form to English literature (1503-1542). 3. Eurasian rose with prickly stems and fragrant leaves and bright pink flowers followed by scarlet hips. 4. An ambitious and aspiring young person. 5. Angular distance above the horizon (especially of a celestial object). 6. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (trade name Torodal) that is given only orally. 7. Goddess of spring and wife of Bragi. 8. Gregarious burrowing rodent larger than the chinchillas. 9. (zoology) Of or near the head end or toward the front plane of the body. 10. French marshal in the Napoleonic Wars (1769-1815). 11. Large high frilly cap with a full crown. 12. A translucent mineral consisting of hydrated silica of variable color. 13. Stalk of a moss capsule. 14. A thin strip (wood or metal). 22. A logarithmic unit of sound intensity. 24. The branch of engineering science that studies the uses of electricity and the equipment for power generation and distribution and the control of machines and communication. 27. A full skirt with a gathered waistband. 29. Wedge-shaped bone consisting of five fused vertebrae forming the posterior part of the pelvis. 31. Chiefly Old World herbs or shrubs. 33. Large antelope with lightly spiraled horns of desert regions of North Africa. 34. Tropical American trees with palmately compound leaves and showy bellshaped flowers. 35. A communist state in Indochina on the South China Sea. 37. A river that rises in central Germany and flows north to join the Elbe River. 38. Any member of a Siouan people speaking one of the Dhegiha languages. 43. Functioning correctly and ready for action. 45. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 47. Having concealed difficulty. 51. (electricity) Pertaining to or producing electric current by chemical action. 52. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 55. A waiter at a drive-in restaurant. 57. On or toward the lee. 59. Marked by strict and particular and complete accordance with fact. 60. Formerly included in genus Cedrela. 61. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 62. A port city of south central Ukraine on an arm of the Black Sea. 64. Controlling influence. 65. (of a young animal) Abandoned by its mother and raised by hand. 67. Relatively small fast-moving sloth. 68. Lacking in liveliness or charm or surprise. 71. Used of a single unit or thing. 74. A radioactive metallic element that is similar to tellurium and bismuth. 75. A state in east central United States.

Yesterdayʼs Solution

Yesterday’s Solution


Sports FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Roof row heats up Sweden-Ireland clash STOCKHOLM: Amid accusations of gamesmanship, Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has called for the stadium roof to be left open for today’s World Cup qualifier in Sweden. With temperatures set to dip to minus 10 Celsius (14 Fahrenheit), the Swedish Football Association has already stated its desire to keep the elements at bay for the Group C clash. Swedish team manager Lars Richt told Reuters that their primary concern was for the fans who do not want to watch a match in Stockholm’s freezing temperatures. Trapattoni, however, is keen to protect his players’ eardrums at the expense of the shivering spectators at the newly-constructed Friends Arena. “When it is closed, it has an echo, which is no good,” the former Juventus, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich coach told reporters on Monday. “It is too loud. I was in Germany with this situation before, and it was bad for us because of the crowd...”It would not be cold. The pitch is what’s important. It’s for the spectators that it will be cold.” While local media have fanned the flames of the debate, Sweden midfielder Sebastian Larsson said the players were unlikely to be bothered either way. “Honestly? I couldn’t really care less about it. For the players on the pitch it’s not going to make any difference,” Larsson said. The final say about the roof will rest with FIFA’s match commissioner who will make a decision on the day of the game after taking representations from both teams. Today’s match will be Sweden’s first competitive international at their new arena, and they come into the encounter on a high. They closed out 2012 in fine style, staging a remarkable comeback to draw 4-4 with Germany in Berlin and snatch a vital point. They opened the new stadium with a thrilling 4-2 friendly win over Roy Hodgson’s England, with captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic netting all four goals, each one more spectacular than the last. The Irish, on the other hand, limped out of 2012 with a crushing 6-1 defeat by the Germans and a lucky 2-1 win at Kazakhstan thanks to very late goals from Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle. Those results left Sweden in second place on seven points, three behind group leaders and favorites Germany, with Ireland one point further back in third. With the Irish due to face fourth-placed Austria in Dublin on Tuesday, Trapattoni will be aware that two defeats would probably end his side’s hopes of qualifying for the 2014 finals in Brazil. For Sweden coach Erik Hamren, the picture is much more positive - a win in Stockholm followed by victory away to Austria in June would put them in the driving seat for second spot and a playoff place. The Swedes will look to tighten up a defense that conceded four against Germany and hope that

Ibrahimovic continues his fine run of scoring form since joining Paris St Germain. Ireland have not been helped by Trapattoni’s controversial selection policy. Despite winning a penalty and scoring the winner against Kazakhstan, the experienced Doyle is only on the standby list for the current squad. Hamren described the match against England and the February friendly against Argentina as “a party for the people”, but he is now looking forward to the first competitive game. “Now it’s the thrilling fight for points, and I’m very excited,” he said. — Reuters

STOCKHOLM: Sweden’s striker and team captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic (center) takes part in Sweden’s national team training session at the Friends Arena in Stockholm in preparation for their 2014 World Cup qualifying game against Ireland. — AFP

Bitter rivals Paraguay and Uruguay face off PARIS: Perennial rivals Uruguay and Paraguay will clash in Montevideo tomorrow in a 2014 World Cup qualifier neither side can afford to lose. Copa America champions Uruguay sit outside the automatic promotion places on goal difference but would have been expecting a smoother ride to the finals in Brazil given their recent tournament performances. With the top three sitting pretty, Uruguay are in a battle with Venezuela, in fourth, and Chile, also on 12 points, for the final automatic berth. It was not the kind of struggle coach Oscar Tabarez would have expected having reached the semi-finals of the last World Cup in South Africa and followed that up with their record 15th Copa America title a year later in Argentina. In fact, they had started the qualifying campaign in fine style but just one point, and three thrashings, in the last four matches has seen them plummet, while piling the pressure on Tabarez. They will at least be glad to be playing at home given their last three away

matches saw them leak 11 goals while mustering only one. Yet their troubles are more than overshadowed by their northern neighbors. The only team to have performed better than Paraguay at the last two major tournaments was Uruguay, yet Gerardo Pelusso’s team currently sit rock bottom of South American qualifying. Paraguay reached the quarter-finals of the last World Cup and then lost to Uruguay in the Copa America final in 2011. But their fall from grace since then has been alarming, something that has not been lost on Uruguay forward Luis Suarez. “They’re going through a complicated period and aren’t the Paraguay that everyone expected,” he said. “But we mustn’t forget that they have a great coach and are coming off a victory. “We need to be intelligent and try to play on their anxiety.” Although the points distances aren’t huge, Paraguay still face an uphill battle to qualify for next year’s finals. Bottom on seven points they are five points behind Venezuela with just sev-

en matches left. With victory essential added to the historic animosity between the two rivals and tomorrow’s encounter at the Estadio Centenario promises to be a fiesty affair. Both sides will cast an eye on events in Buenos Aires were group leaders Argentina host Venezuela. Argentina’s total of 20 points sees them sitting comfortably above the rest and a win over their visitors tomorrow would further distance them from the pack, while giving the other pretenders to fourth place a welcome boost. Like Argentina, second-placed Colombia, will be looking to cement their qualification prospects as they host Bolivia, who sit only a point above Paraguay. The final match of the weekend sees Peru entertain their southern neighbors Chile. Like Paraguay and Bolivia, Peru are in desperate need of some victories to boost their faint chances of qualification while Chile will be looking to avoid losing ground to Uruguay or Venezuela in the crucial chase for fourth. — AFP

WC2014-CONCACAF PREVIEW

Klinsmann faces a ‘must win’ game WASHINGTON: US coach Jurgen Klinsmann dubbed today’s World Cup 2014 home qualifying match against Costa Rica a “must-win” a term which might apply to his future as coach as well as to the team’s hopes of qualifying. Now the former German star striker and national team coach, who took over 20 months ago, could have his job on the line when the Americans try to rebound from a 2-1 defeat by Honduras in last month’s opening qualifier. “After the loss to Honduras, the game today night is a must win,” said Klinsmann. “We learned quite a bit out of that game. You’re going to see a completely different game. It’s a must-win and we’re confident to achieve it.” While the Costa Ricans visit Denver, Mexico will travel to Honduras and Jamaica will entertain Panama in other matches of the six-team North American (CONCACAF) final round qualifying group that will decide three spots in Brazil. A report Tuesday in The Sporting News citing interviews with 11 unidentified American players and 11 others connected to the team saying that faith in Klinsmann’s leadership is dimming and confidence in his methods is eroding. “Things are boiling over,” one source told the Sporting News. “The feeling now is that this is (Klinsmann’s) last chance against Costa Rica.” Toppling the Americans has put Honduras atop the group after draws by the other four teams, but the Catrachos will be tested by Mexico, the region’s best team according to Wigan midfielder and Honduran star Roger Espinoza. “It will be tough for us,” Espinoza said. “We are ready for the challenge and we are hungry to succeed. “We have a big chance to reach Brazil if we stay mentally prepared.” The Americans travel to Mexico’s Estadio Azteca next Tuesday, where they have never won in World Cup qualifying and only recorded their first triumph last August in a friendly, ending a 24-match winless streak that lasted 75 years. If the US team comes away from the next week still seeking their first point of the hexagonal, it might be too far back to recover in time to reach Brazil. Adding to injury woes for the US squad are the absences of former captain Carlos Bocanegra, who was demoted to the substitutes bench in Honduras in favor of younger talent, and Landon Donovan, who is completing a four-month break from football. Players told the Sporting News they found Bocanegra’s last-minute ousting from the starting lineup in Honduras “a bit disturbing” and “to not have him in a game like that was really peculiar. It was just everyone on their own terms. Everyone was doing their own thing. And it showed.” Klinsmann defended his style of keeping players uncertain of their status in the starting lineup and out of their comfort zone in workouts, saying it toughens them for the World Cup and forces them to work harder to improve. “All those elements we throw at them now, because if we don’t do it, it’s too late in the World Cup,” Klinsmann told The Sporting News. “The only way we get them to that next level is to run them through this uncomfortable period, and they have to learn and they have to swim in the cold water. And we’re going to convince the world later.” Eight US players are injured, including goalkeeper Tim Howard with a back injury, defender Steve Cherundolo with a knee injury and defender Jonathan Spector with a sore ankle. But Klinsmann was ready to turn the page to new faces, including a defensive unit with only three players with any qualifying experience and none in more than a handful of matches. “We know we have a big task ahead of us, and we are confident our group will get the job done,” Klinsmann said. “There are many players out with injuries, and that means the next person in line has a chance to step up.” — AFP


Sports FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

2014 World Cup qualifier

Germany break with tradition against Kazakhstan BERLIN: Whether it was Gerd Mueller, Rudi Voeller or Miroslav Klose, Germany have never had a shortage of gifted strikers but when they take on Kazakhstan in their World Cup qualifier today there could be none in their lineup. Germany, top of 2014 World Cup qualifying Group C on 10 points from four games, will be looking to get all three points in Astana and will most likely try to do it without a designated forward. With their last trophy dating back to 1996, the three-times world and European champions are eager to mould a team that can challenge for the biggest crown of all in Brazil next year and coach Joachim Loew is ready to try everything. In what is likely to be the latest shift from the traditional German style of play, Loew could deploy “a fake nine” as a centre forward with offensive midfielder Mario Goetze looking set to

start ahead of forward Mario Gomez. Gone are the days of physical play and rock-solid defenses; Loew has reinvented Germany as a lightning-quick, young team, more eager to score four goals and let in three than keep a clean sheet at all costs. “I have been toying for some time with the idea that players could take turns playing as forwards,” Loew told reporters. “It does not always have to be a big, physical centre forward but smaller, more agile players who can find the right solutions in tight spaces and cause problems for the sometimes slower defenders.” With Spain setting the standard for such a style of play when they cruised to the Euro 2012 title without an out-and-out striker, Loew is eager to try it out as German fans are getting desperate for success. The trip to Astana could be a good opportunity

to wean the Germans off their strikers with the pace likely to be quick on the artificial pitch. With Klose out injured and Gomez the only real striker option, Loew looks set to adapt their play. Loew will also have holding midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger back to orchestrate their game and a socalled fake nine, falling back in midfield while also acting as a lone forward, could be exactly the connection they need to link their play. The Germans will be looking to get the full six points from lowly Kazakhstan in their two games on March 22 and 26 to maintain their three-point advantage over second-placed Sweden, who have played a game less. For Kazakh coach Miroslav Beranek the question will not be how to score goals so much as how to seal their porous backline. Kazakhstan, in fifth place with one point from four games,

have let in an average two goals per game in the campaign and look set to throw bodies into defense today while waiting for a quick break to sting the Germans. Kazakh midfielder Marat Khairullin admitted: “The match won’t be easy and its likely the Germans will have most of the possession and we will have to rely on counter-attacks.” He said the fact that the match was kicking off at midnight Astana time - mid-evening in central Europe would help the visitors who have been going to bed at dawn and training at midnight in preparation for the game. “We will have to go to bed later to adapt too,” Khairullin added. Midfielder Heinrich Schmidtgal, an ethnic German from Kazakhstan who plays for Greuther Furth in the Bundesliga, has fully recovered from an injury and is expected to play.— Reuters

Bosnia face Greece SARAJEVO: Bosnia’s Edin Dzeko hopes to extend his birthday party with a World Cup qualifying win over Greece today that would represent a big step forward for the Balkan country in their bid to reach their first major tournament as an independent nation. Dzeko, who turned 27 on Sunday, acknowledged the Bosnians would have to be at their best in the cauldron of Zenica stadium to overcome the 2004 European champions, with the two teams leading Group I on 10 pojnts from four games each. “This game is not decisive but a home win would take a lot of weight off our backs because Greece are the group favorites and being three points ahead of them after today’s fixture would put us in the driving seat,” Dzeko told reporters on Wednesday. “A draw would also be a good result because we mustn’t forget that Greece are a very strong team who’ve qualified for many major tournaments while we are trying to make a maiden appearance on the big stage,” he said. The Bosnians, eliminated by Portugal in the playoffs for the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, will miss injured midfielder Sejad Salihovic, and playmaker Miralem Pjanic is doubtful with a sore ankle. GOOD GAME Bosnia coach Safet Susic, a versatile forward who scored 21 goals in 54 appearances for the former Yugoslavia, said he would ask Pjanic to declare whether he is fit to play several hours before the match. “We naturally expect a good game and victory against Greece,” Susic told reporters. “It is our goal to remain top of the group and we will do our best to achieve that, although it’s not going to be an easy task,” he added. The sides drew 0-0 in the reverse fixture in Athens and Bosnia will feel their optimism is well-founded having scored 15 goals in their campaign compared with Greece’s five, although the bulk came in an 8-1 rout of Liechtenstein. Greece coach Fernando Santos, who gave his players a day off on Monday, acknowledged the winner of today’s clash would have the upper hand halfway through the battle to qualify for next year’s 32-tournament in Brazil. “Whoever wins the match, if there is a winner, will be very close to clinching the direct qualification spot,” he said. “But there is a long way to go and we mustn’t forget that that Slovakia will keep chasing the both of us and the equation is not just about Bosnia and Greece.” The Greeks will miss injured Nikos Spyropoulos and Kyriakos Papadopoulos and uncapped 22-year old goalkeeper Juri Lodigin has been given a surprise call-up. Central defender Avraam Papadopoulos is expected to return to the starting line-up for the first time since he limped out of Euro 2012 with a knee injury.— Reuters

YVELINES: (From left) French national football team midfielder Blaise Matuidi, forward Dimitri Payet, forward Franck Ribery, midfielder Mathieu Valbuena and forward Karim Benzema take part in a training session in Clairefontaine-enYvelines, near Paris ahead of a World Cup 2014 qualifying football match against Georgia. — AFP

France have Georgia and not Spain, on their mind PARIS: France coach Didier Deschamps will ram home the message that his side must focus on beating Georgia today and not think about the looming clash with Spain as their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign takes a decisive turn. Les Bleus, who have dramatically improved since exiting Euro 2012 in the quarter-finals, are second in Group I with seven points from three games and trail Spain on goal difference. Tuesday’s clash against the world champions in Paris will not count for much, Deschamps said, if France cannot first beat Georgia at the Stade de France. “In our qualifying campaign, if the match against Spain is to mean anything, we first need to win against Georgia,” Deschamps told reporters. “For the fans, it’s as if the Georgia game had already been won. We are not going to say that Georgia are one of

the best teams in Europe but they have good players and they are aggressive.” Georgia, third in the group with four points from as many games, will likely set out to frustrate the hosts by defending in depth. “Georgia defended very well against Spain. We could face the same situation,” said Deschamps, referring to Spain’s 1-0 win in Tbilisi in September, earned by a late Roberto Soldado goal. “They will come to defend well. We will have to find opportunities to score. We will try to have a team who take control of the ball and creates problems.” Deschamps is set to shuffle his side with midfielders Maxime Gonalons, Yohan Cabaye and Blaise Matuidi, as well as centre back Laurent Koscielny, facing suspension if they get booked today. “The risk of suspension is an extra danger,” Deschamps admitted. One option is to rest Koscielny and field

Real Madrid’s teenage defender Raphael Varane alongside Mamadou Sakho. Varane, 19, has been impressive with Real lately and has already been called up twice although he had to leave the squad because of injuries. In the midfield, Deschamps may hand Juventus prodigy Paul Pogba his first cap, especially with the 20-yearold blessed with the ability to score from long range - a rarity in the France team. It will not solve, however, Karim Benzema’s scoring problem. The Real Madrid striker has not scored in the last 10 internationals and has come under fire from a French newspaper because he does not sing the national anthem before a game. “Singing La Marseillaise will not help me score a hat trick,” Benzema told French radio RMC on Tuesday. “The problem is that I haven’t scored with France for a while.”— Reuters


Sports FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Former BBC boss Dyke tapped for FA top job LONDON: Former BBC director General Greg Dyke is set to become the new chairman of the Football Association, the English game’s governing body announced yesterday. The 65-year-old is in line to succeed David Bernstein when the current chairman steps down in July after the FA refused to alter a rule requiring the holder of the post to quit at the age of 70. Now the appointment of Dyke is subject to the approval of the FA council. A lifelong football fan and the current chairman of west London side Brentford, currently second in England’s third tier League One, Dyke previously had business experience of the game when buying sports rights on behalf of both commercial broadcaster ITV and the BBC, Britain’s two main terrestrial networks. During the 1990s, he was also a director of English giants Manchester United. Dyke, subject to his appoint-

ment being approved, will step down from his Brentford role in July. An FA statement Wednesday said: “The Football Association Board has today unanimously approved the nomination for Greg Dyke to be appointed independent FA chairman.” Dyke said: “I was brought up in a household where my father was much more interested in whether or not you had won at football than whether you had passed your exams. In my case that was just as well.”I got involved in how the game was run when I was first involved in buying sports rights as chairman of ITV Sport in the late eighties and later at the BBC. I learnt a lot in the years when I was on the board of Manchester United and have seen the other side of the professional game at Brentford.” Dyke, who as well as quitting his Brentford role will resign as chairman of German broadcaster Pro Sieben,

added: “I am very excited to take on this role with the FA. “At the grass roots seven million people play football every weekend, women’s football is booming and the ambition is for it to be the second-biggest team participation sport in England behind only the men’s game, we have the best known, most successful league in the world with the Premier League and the Football League is so much stronger than it was eight years or nine ago. “Having said that I am a big supporter of financial fair play which, in both the Premier League and the Football League, will have a big impact and hopefully bring a degree of financial sanity to the professional game. “I do see one of the most important tasks for the FA is, over time, to make thoughtful changes which will benefit the England team,” said Dyke. England have not won a major trophy since lifting the World Cup on home soil back in 1966.—AFP

Overhaul needed to stop talent drain: Champagne ZURICH: Football has reached the point where it must choose between becoming an elitist sport, dominated by a handful of rich clubs and leagues, or a universal one, according to former FIFA presidential advisor Jerome Champagne. The Frenchman, who worked in various senior positions including advisor to President Sepp Blatter during 11 years at FIFA, said the sport needed a radical overhaul to help it stop the drain of talent to a few rich European clubs and to help it flourish worldwide. The former diplomat said that even once powerful clubs such as Portugal’s Sporting have become suppliers of players for the major European leagues while fans in many countries follow England’s Premier league more closely than their own championship. “We tend to misrepresent the game by thinking the game is about the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo,” Champagne said. “In reality, it is about players whose salaries are not paid and clubs who are on the verge of bankruptcy. “The majority of football is today facing this crisis while the wealthy are becoming wealthier,” added Champagne, who has not ruled out running for the FIFA presidency himself when Blatter’s fourth mandate expires in 2015. “I always quote the example of Sporting Lisbon. They had to sell (Manchester United winger) Nani and (Real Madrid forward) Cristiano Ronaldo to bigger clubs, but just think what they could have achieved if they had stayed a little longer. “The reality is that for two percent of privileged clubs or competitions, you have 98 percent in the opposite situation. “Salaries are paid irregularly, when they’re paid at all, and that creates a situation where the player is in a weak situation and makes him a possible target for match-fixing mafia. “The system has taken us towards an elitist trend which is making football look like basketball, where two or three Western European club competitions could become like the NBA,” he said. Champagne said that, while clubs in South America and Africa have long been reduced to the role of suppliers of talent, they had now been joined by the smaller European countries. “The sucking of players into Europe means that African leagues, and also others, lose their best talents at a younger age,” he said. BIGGER GAP “So the local leagues are deprived of their talents, which means fewer people in the stadiums, less money, and less interest for local television stations. “There is more money today in African football than 20 years ago but the gap with Europe has increased. Before, the feeder continents were South America and Africa, but now this trend of dividing between receivers and providers is inside Europe itself. “It is clear today that even clubs from countries like France, apart from Paris St Germain, Netherlands, and Hungary, it’s over. These countries are providers.” This led to paradoxes such as fans watching foreign tournaments rather than local ones. “The local leagues have to sell rights to cable television to make money. Look at a country like Peru, where only one million households have access to cable. “At the same time, other leagues are broadcast free-to-air because they have made so much money at home that they can sell at a cheaper price, so a young boy of 12 will see more European football then local football.”—Reuters

BEIJING: Football superstar David Beckham (center) poses for a photo with fans and players during a visit to Beijing Guoan soccer club in Beijing yesterday. — AFP

Struggling China boss needs the Becks effect BEIJING: China boss Jose Antonio Camacho will hope a sprinkling of stardust from the visiting David Beckham will rub off on his team as he fights for his job in today’s crunch Asian Cup qualifier with Iraq. Critics have lined up to savage the former Spain and Real Madrid handler after China crashed out of World Cup qualifying, lost a series of friendlies and were beaten by Saudi Arabia in their Group C opener last month. Now Chinese media say only a win will do as Camacho leads his players out in Changsha with Guangzhou Evergrande’s World Cupwinning coach Marcello Lippi, his mooted replacement, watching from the stands. “We are under pressure after the first loss. Every game is significant for us now,” admitted the Spaniard, according to the China Daily. “It’s the national team and we have the responsibility to try our best. In Changsha, we must win.” Beckham, who is on his first trip to China in his role as an “ambassador” for the country’s football, has had his share of fairytale wins but today’s plot is shaping as a horror story for Camacho. His opposite number is Vladimir Petrovic, a former China coach who was sacked after he failed to steer the team to the 2010 World Cup-with defeat to Iraq a contributing factor. Petrovic now has the chance to exact poetic revenge as he returns to China, where he also coached double-winning Dalian Shide, for his first game with Iraq following the departure of Zico and interim manager Hakeem Shaker.

The statistics also read poorly for China, who are bidding to win a six-game winless run and have also not beaten Iraq in their last six meetings since the 2004 Asian Cup quarter-finals on home soil. But China will draw hope from Camacho’s call-up of Chen Zhizhao, 25. The skilful and pacey winger has sparkled on loan at Brazil’s Corinthians, where fans have christened him ‘Zizao’ in reference to French legend Zinedine Zidane. This week’s other Group C game will take place tomorrow in Jakarta where three-time Asian Cup winners Saudi Arabia will be looking to continue their excellent start under Juan Lopez Caro when they face Indonesia. Lopez Caro replaced Frank Rijkaard in January after the team flopped at the Gulf Cup and the Spaniard has won his first two matches with a 4-1 victory against Malaysia on Sunday, following February’s 2-1 dismissal of China. Today, joint Group D front-runners Bahrain and Qatar will face off in Manama with both teams trying to build on solid opening wins last month. Uzbekistan, who finished fourth at the 2011 Asian Cup, will be keen to bounce back from a dismal 0-0 draw against 10-man Hong Kong when they visit Abu Dhabi to face Group E leaders United Arab Emirates, who edged Vietnam 2-1 last month. In Group B, Lebanon host Thailand in Beirut but the big match will take place next Tuesday when group front-runners Kuwait and Iran meet in Kuwait City.— AFP


Sports FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Shillingford puts Zimbabwe in a spin again SCOREBOARD Scoreboard at the close of play on the first day of the second and final test between West Indies and Zimbabwe at Windsor Park in Roseau, Dominica on Wednesday. Zimbabwe first innings T. Mawoyo b Gabriel 8 V. Sibanda c Roach b Gabriel 32 H. Masakadza b Shillingford 14 B. Taylor b Shillingford 33 C. Ervine lbw Samuels 18 S. Williams c Powell b Samuels 31 M. Waller c Best b Shillingford 9 G. Cremer c Powell b Samuels 0 P. Utseya lbw b Shillingford 9 K. Jarvis not out 1 T. Chatara lbw b Shillingford 4 Extras (b-10, lb-4, w-1, nb-1) 16 Total (all out, 60.5 overs) 175 Fall: 1-42 2-43 3-64 4-105 5-141 6-158 7-158 8-161 9-171 Bowling: Roach 7-0-30-0, Best 10-0-32-0 (nb-1, w-1), Gabriel 8-610-2, Sammy 5-1-15-0, Shillingford 21.5-4-59-5, Samuels 9-3-15-3 West Indies first innings G. Gayle not out 61 K. Powell b Jarvis 24 D. Bravo c Taylor b Jarvis 0 M. Samuels not out 26 Extras (lb-3) 3 Total (for two wickets, 27 overs) 114 Fall: 1-35 2-35 To bat: S. Chanderpaul, D. Ramdin, D. Sammy, S. Gabriel, K. Roach, T. Best, S. Shillingford. Bowling: Jarvis 7-2-35-2, Chatara 7-2-21-0, Masakadza 4-2-10-0, Cremer 6-0-27-0, Utseya 3-0-18-0 West Indies won first test by nine wickets

Roach irons out Zou amateur mistakes ahead of pro debut NEW YORK: Double Olympic boxing gold medalist Zou Shiming admits he has a lot to learn ahead of his professional debut next month but the Chinese flyweight enjoyed the best possible education from hall of fame trainer Freddie Roach yesterday. Having bossed the amateur circuit, where he also claimed three world championships, Zou will enter the paid ranks on April 6 when he faces Mexican Eleazar Valenzuela in a four-round bout in Macau. Zou has prepared for the contest in the United States and on Wednesday was put through his paces at Roach’s famed Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California and sparred with WBA and WBO flyweight champion Brian Viloria. Zou’s amateur success was built on lightning quick hand speed, body swerving elusiveness and his ability to throw punches from all angles but that style could come unstuck against heavy-punching professionals. American trainer Roach, who has worked with some of the sport’s greats including multiple world champions Bernard Hopkins and Manny Pacquiao, believes the 31-year-old Zou has room for improvement. “For him to come into this venue like this, with Brian Viloria being his number one sparring partner and flyweight champion of the world and probably someone who he may be after some day, it’s great for him and he has learned a lot,” Roach told Reuters TV. “He has a lot of potential but he still makes a lot of amateur mistakes. He has a lot of bad habits, but we are getting rid of them slowly. He’s becoming a very good fighter,” the American added. Zou agreed he had a lot of adapting to do, but was looking forward to headlining the card which also features Viloria defending his titles against Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada. “I’m pretty good and I think I am ready for the first fight,” Zou said. “From the start I’m learning what to do inside the professional boxing ring. But, now I am getting comfortable with the rules here and I feel ready.” Demonstrating ferocious accuracy and a mean left hook as he pounded the gloves of Roach during the session, Zou said he was also concerned about improving his fitness. “As an amateur we do all of our boxing in three rounds. As a professional, you have 12 rounds to show what you can do. This is a big challenge for my physical condition. I am working on this,” the Chinese said. “The same thing for amateur boxing and professional boxing is skills and I think that I have it.” —Reuters

ROSEAU, Dominica: Spinner Shane Shillingford took five wickets to skittle Zimbabwe out for 175 on the opening day of the second test in Roseau on Wednesday and West Indies reached 114 for two in reply at the close. Chris Gayle played some characteristically flamboyant shots after a cautious start to finish on 61 not out as the hosts finished just 61 runs behind with eight wickets in hand. The tall Shillingford delighted his home crowd in Dominica with his third test five-wicket haul as spin again proved the undoing of the inexperienced touring side. He took five for 59 as the Zimbabweans found it difficult to deal with the turn and bounce he

extracted from a benign pitch. Shillingford, man of the match for his nine-wicket haul in the hosts’ first test win in Barbados, was assisted by parttime bowler Marlon Samuels who claimed three wickets with his occasional off spin. Samuels, who took four wickets in the first innings of the opening test, returned figures of three for 15. It was another disappointing day for Zimbabwe, playing only their second test in the last 14 months, as only three batsmen got past 30. Captain Brendan Taylor top-scored on 33, Vusi Sibanda made 32 and debutant Sean Williams 31. Sibanda helped Zimbabwe get off to quick start after rain delayed the

start of play by 30 minutes but chipped a full toss to mid on as fast bowler Shannon Gabriel dismissed the two openers in his first 10 balls to put the brakes on an early flurry of runs. After that Zimbabwe surrendered meekly as Shillingford had the Windsor Park crowd in raptures. Zimbabwe pace man Kyle Jarvis took two wickets at the start of the West Indies innings but a 79-run partnership between Gayle and Samuels (26 not out) put the home team in a dominant position. Captain Darren Sammy said he wanted his side to bat just once when he put Zimbabwe in after winning the toss, setting up the prospect of a West Indies runs onslaught.

Retirees Ponting, Hussey rule out return to Ashes SYDNEY: Recently retired batting greats Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey have both ruled out returning to the Australia team for the back-to-back Ashes series against England this year. Former captain Ponting, 38, retired from test cricket last November after scoring 13,378 runs at 51.85 in 168 tests and 37-year-old Hussey (6,235 at 51.52 in 79 matches) followed suit after the series against Sri Lanka over the New Year. With Australia struggling on and off the pitch in India, and both players enjoying fine form in domestic cricket, there was plenty of talk about coaxing them of out retirement. Ponting, who lost three Ashes series as Australia skipper, was named Sheffield Shield Player of the Year after averaging 87.5 for his state Tasmania this year but quickly moved to quash any idea of a test comeback. “International cricket’s long passed me by and I’ve just been really excited about giving back to Tasmanian cricket whatever I could for this season,” Ponting said. “The decision you make to retire when you do is a very big one. I know I put a lot of time and thought into making the decision that I made for all the right reasons.” Hussey enjoyed a prolific last test season as he shored up the Australian middle order with captain Michael Clarke but was equally dismissive when asked about potentially pulling on the baggy green cap once again. “It’s extremely flattering but I’ve moved on and I really don’t want to be back in that pressure-cooker environment, particularly leading into the Ashes,” Hussey told reporters in Perth this week. “It’s going to be an extremely stressful time for all the boys. I’m really looking forward to having a winter at home and just having some time with the family and being part of some normal life. “People probably take it for granted, but I absolutely love knowing that I get to come home every day rather than going to another hotel room or another airport. “I feel very lucky to have been able to leave on my own terms and leave when I wanted to.” In order to take the Australia-hosted Ashes out of its previous position in the international cricket calendar immediately ahead of the 50-overs World Cup, the home and away series will be played back-to-back this year. England won the Ashes on home soil in 2009 and retained the trophy with a convincing 3-1 triumph in 2010-11, their first in Australia for nearly a quarter of a century.—Reuters

Australian batsman Ricky Ponting


Sports FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

NFL owners tweak Rooney Rule PHOENIX: The NFL is looking to make the Rooney Rule more effective after eight available coaching jobs and seven for general managers did not go to a minority candidate. “We were disappointed in the results this year,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday at the owners meetings, adding the league will make some tweaks to the rule. “We think that some of the changes we are making (are) to make sure we get the right candidates better training and we really are doing a better job of getting them in front of the people who are making the decisions.” The Rooney Rule, implemented in 2003, was named for Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney, who steadfastly pushed the league to require every team to interview at least one minority

Italy’s Mennea dies MILAN: Italian athletics great Pietro Mennea, the gold medal winner in the 200m at the 1980 Moscow Olympics who held the world record in the event for 17 years, has died. Mennea was pronounced dead in a Rome hospital yesterday morning following a long battle with an as yet unnamed incurable disease. He was 60. A 14-time outdoor Italian champion in his preferred events of the 100m and 200m, Mennea was perhaps best known for setting a world record of 19.72sec in Mexico City in 1979 which stood for nearly two decades. It beat the previous record set by American Tommie Smith, and remained unbeaten for 17 years - until it was bettered by another US sprint great, Michael Johnson, in 1996. The following year Mennea went to the Moscow Olympics as the favorite for the 200m, especially given the absence of US athletes due to the American boycott to protest Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan. Although he only reached the semi-finals of the 100m, the Italian edged ahead of Scotland’s Allan Wells in the final metres of the home straight to take a stunning gold in the 200m. Paying tribute, Livio Berruti - the Olympic 200m gold winner at the 1960 Games in Rome - said: “Today we’ve lost a man who always competed with ferocity and determination. “He epitomized resistance, tenacity and suffering.” Such was Mennea’s popularity in Italy that a minute’s silence will be held prior to the Brazil v Italy football friendly later in Geneva, where the Azzurri will also wear black armbands. Affectionately known as the “Arrow of the South” (Freccia del Sud in Italian), Mennea announced his retirement in 1983 but soon returned to win a 200m bronze at the inaugural World Athletics Championships in Helsinki that same year. A year later he became the first person to appear in a fourth consecutive 200m Olympic final, at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. He failed to make the medals and, after yet another retirement, returned to competition in time for the Seoul Games of 1988 where he failed to make the final in his fifth Olympics. Mennea later admitted to using human growth hormone (HgH) to aid his performances. At the time HgH was not yet a banned substance and it took the authorities until after 2004 to begin targeting its use through blood testing. Nowadays, HgH is on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) list of banned substances. Upon hearing the news of Mennea’s death, the president of Italy’s Olympic Committee (CONI), Giovanni Malago, returned to Rome from Milan where he had been on business and is expected to help organize Mennea’s funeral. Over his career Mennea gleaned one gold and two bronze from the Olympic Games, a silver and a bronze from the world championships, three European titles and six Mediterranean titles. His influence will also be felt outside the world of athletics. After hanging up his spikes Mennea went on to help run the Italian football club Salernitana, which gained only its second ever promotion to Italy’s top flight in 1998 but enjoyed only a one-season stay in Serie A. It coincided with Mennea’s election to the European Parliament, as a Democrat, from 1999 to 2004. Unlike his athletics career, politics was less kind to the man from Barletta, on the heel of Italy’s boot, as he failed to be re-elected.— AFP

candidate every time there is a coaching or general manager opening. Before the rule went into effect, the NFL had had only six minority head coaches in more than 80 years. Since it has been in place, 12 have been hired. But none this year, and not for a GM’s job, either. Plus, two black head coaches, Lovie Smith and Romeo Crennel, and one general manager, Rod Graves, were fired. So one focal point for the league will be reinstating a symposium program that was primarily focused on coaches, but Goodell said likely will have some potential GM candidates also attend. “And this will be a learning experience, this will be an opportunity for us to help give them greater tools to be able to advance their careers,” he said. “We also

want to be able to give them greater feedback on the interview process.” One unidentified club suggested to Goodell there needs to be more flexibility in the interviewing process. Teams still involved in the playoffs are very reluctant to grant permission to interview their personnel, although the NFL has established a small window for those interviews early in the postseason. “When there’s an opening, it’s good practice to allow your best people to interview and have that opportunity to get a new job, and that will attract even better people,” Goodell said. “That’s what the whole effort here is, to give the best people the best opportunities, and that’s what everyone is asking for and looking for.—AP

Ducks thump Chicago ANAHEIM: Ryan Getzlaf set up Bobby Ryan’s tying goal and Teemu Selanne’s tiebreaker 1:04 apart late in the third period as the Anaheim Ducks rallied for a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night in a meeting of the NHL’s top two teams. Jonas Hiller stopped 22 shots, and Peter Holland and Sheldon Souray scored as the Ducks extended their franchise-record home winning streak to 13 games in dramatic fashion. Anaheim (22-34) pulled within three points of Chicago atop the overall NHL standings by dealing the Blackhawks just their third regulation loss of the season. Nick Leddy scored a power-play goal and captain Jonathan Toews scored an early short-handed goal for the Blackhawks (24-3-3), who lost in regulation after entering the third period with a lead for the first time in 19 games this season. The largest crowd in Honda Center history was packed with boisterous fans of both teams for a prominent game in this lockout-shortened year. Two clubs with a points percentage above .800 had never met this late in an NHL season, and they lived up to their pedigrees in a fast-paced game showcasing their skill and tenacity. MAPLE LEAFS 4, LIGHTNING 2 Nazem Kadri had three assists and Joffrey Lupul added a goal and an assist as the Toronto Maple Leafs ended a five-game winless skid with a victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Dion Phaneuf, Tyler Bozak and Nikolai Kulemin also scored for Toronto. Kadri’s three points tied a career high, and he had a chance at a fourth point but was hauled down in front of the goal by Teddy Purcell midway through the third period. Rookies Radko Gudas and Cory Conacher scored for Tampa Bay in the third, spoiling James Reimer’s shutout attempt. WILD 4, RED WINGS 2 Devin Setoguchi had two goals, Niklas Backstrom made 36 saves and the streaking Minnesota Wild beat the Detroit Red Wings. Kyle Brodziak, Mikko Koivu also scored for Minnesota, which won its fourth straight. Pierre-Marc Bouchard had two assists. Gustav Nyquist and Drew Miller scored for Detroit. Minnesota led 1-0 after the first period despite being outshot 17-5. Setoguchi opened the scoring 2:04 into the game when he swept in a shot from the bottom of the right circle for his 10th goal. Setoguchi’s second goal of the game came on the power play with 2:45 left in the second period, putting in a rebound to give Minnesota a 4-1 lead. SHARKS 4, OILERS 3, SO Logan Couture scored twice in regulation and added a shootout goal, and Dan Boyle netted the tiebreaker winner in the

DETROIT: Jason Zucker #16 of the Minnesota Wild and Drew Miller #20 of the Detroit Red Wings chase the puck in NHL action at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. —AFP San Jose Sharks’ victory over the Edmonton and Ryan O’Reilly each had a goal and an Oilers. After Couture pulled the Sharks assist, and Gabriel Landeskog also had a within a goal on a power play at 6:50 of the goal for the Avalanche, who stopped a third, Tommy Wingels tied it at 9:15. San four-game skid. The Avalanche got the winner when Jose snapped a two-game losing streak with its second victory in eight games. Sam Matt Hunwick’s shot from the boards hit Gagner, Shawn Horcoff and Ryan Jones Dallas defenseman Stephane Robidas in scored for Edmonton. The Oilers have the face and dropped to the ice. Kobasew quickly knocked it in with a backhand to earned eight points in their last five games. stop Colorado’s four-game skid. Jaromir AVALANCHE 4, STARS 3 Chuck Kobasew’s goal with 3:29 left in Jagr scored a goal and had two assists, and the third period helped lift the Colorado Trevor Daley and Ray Whitney also scored Avalanche past the Dallas Stars. Mark Olver for the Stars.— AP

NHL results/standings Toronto 4, Tampa Bay 2; Minnesota 4, Detroit 2; Colorado 4, Dallas 3; San Jose 4, Edmonton 3 (SO); Anaheim 4, Chicago 2. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF GA Pittsburgh 23 8 0 110 81 NY Rangers 15 12 2 70 70 New Jersey 13 11 6 74 84 NY Islanders 13 13 3 86 96 Philadelphia 13 16 1 81 92 Northeast Division Montreal 19 5 5 92 73 Boston 19 6 3 82 60 Ottawa 16 8 6 77 65 Toronto 16 12 2 90 85 Buffalo 11 15 4 79 95 Southeast Division Winnipeg 16 12 2 80 86 Carolina 15 12 2 84 82 Tampa Bay 13 16 1 98 90 Washington 12 16 1 79 87 Florida 8 16 6 74 110

PTS 46 32 32 29 27 43 41 38 34 26 34 32 27 25 22

Western Conference Central Division Chicago 24 3 3 102 66 51 St. Louis 16 11 2 87 83 34 Detroit 14 11 5 80 79 33 Columbus 12 12 6 68 79 30 Nashville 11 13 6 70 81 28 Northwest Division Minnesota 17 10 2 77 71 36 Vancouver 14 9 6 81 82 34 Edmonton 11 11 7 72 85 29 Calgary 11 12 4 78 91 26 Colorado 11 14 4 75 92 26 Pacific Division Anaheim 22 3 4 99 71 48 Los Angeles 17 10 2 88 73 36 San Jose 13 10 6 71 77 32 Phoenix 13 13 4 79 85 30 Dallas 13 13 3 76 88 29 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L).


Sports FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Cavaliers overwhelmed by Heat Heat extend winning streak to 24 CLEVELAND: LeBron James scored 25 points as the Miami Heat overcame a 27point deficit to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-95 for their 24th straight victory, extending the second-longest winning streak in NBA history. Miami is within nine games of matching the record of 33 consecutive wins held by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. James and his teammates have insisted the record isn’t one of their goals, and for more than 30 minutes the defending champions seemed disinterested and on the verge of losing Wednesday for the first time since Feb 1. Miami trailed 67-40 with 7:44 left in the third quarter. But behind the irrepressible James, who added 12 rebounds and 10 assists, the Heat inched closer to history by matching the biggest comeback in the NBA this season. James had 14 points in the fourth as Miami completed its second straight comeback. The Heat rallied from 17 down - 13 in the fourth quarter - to beat Boston 105-103 Monday night and snap a tie with the 200708 Houston Rockets for the second-longest winning streak in NBA history. Although the Cavs were missing All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Anderson Varejao - their top three scorers they pushed Miami to the limit. It wasn’t until James, playing his fourth game back in Cleveland since leaving as a free agent in 2010, made two free throws with 4.7 seconds left that Miami could relax a little. The Cavs had one last chance to tie it, but CJ Miles was long with a 3-pointer in the final second, letting Miami off the hook. GRIZZLIES 90, THUNDER 89, OT Marc Gasol tipped in Zach Randolph’s miss with less than a second left in overtime, lifting the Grizzlies to the win. In a game that had all the intensity of a playoff matchup, Jerryd Bayless connected from the top of the key for Memphis with 3.7 seconds left in regulation to tie it at 83. Bayless had 10 points in the fourth quarter. After Gasol’s tip over Kevin Durant put the Grizzlies ahead, Russell Westbrook’s desperation shot from past halfcourt was off the mark and Memphis walked away with its 16th victory in 19 games. Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with 24 points and Bayless had 20. Durant led the Thunder with 32 points, including 15 in the third quarter. KNICKS 106, MAGIC 94 Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points to lead New York over Orlando after missing the previous three games with a knee injury. J R Smith had 22 points for New York, still short-handed in the frontcourt but looking much better with Anthony back. The NBA’s second-leading scorer hadn’t played since leaving the Knicks’ road trip last week to have fluid drained from the back of his right knee. He said he felt much better after the morning shootaround and moved much better, shooting 7 of 14 and grabbing eight rebounds. The Knicks shot 53 percent and won their second straight after dropping the first four games of their five-game trip. All-Star center Tyson Chandler is expected to miss about a week with a bulging disk, and reserve forwards Amare Stoudemire, Rasheed Wallace

and Kurt Thomas all could miss the rest of the regular season. But New York had no trouble despite using a small lineup that featured 6-foot-9 Kenyon Martin as the center. Tobias Harris and Andrew Nicholson each scored 14 points for the Magic in their fifth straight loss. They played without center Nikola Vucevic because of an illness in the second night of a difficult back-to-back, after losing by 22 at Indiana on Tuesday. New York beat Orlando for the sixth straight time and swept the season series for the first time since 1997-98.

less than 13 seconds to go as Charlotte won its third straight at home. Henderson scored 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting and added seven rebounds and five assists, continuing the best stretch of his four-year NBA career. He has scored at least 20 points in five of the last seven games. Rudy Gay had 25 points and DeMar DeRozan added 19 points for the Raptors, who have lost seven of their last eight in Charlotte and fell to 9-25 on the road. Ben Gordon finished with 16 points for the Bobcats and Josh McRoberts had 12 points and 12 rebounds.

HAWKS 98, BUCKS 90 Jeff Teague scored 27 points and Al Horford had 26, taking control after a sluggish first quarter to lead Atlanta past Milwaukee. Teague scored 11 points in the second quarter and a dozen more in the

NETS 113, MAVERICKS 96 Brook Lopez led Brooklyn with 38 points and Deron Williams had 31 in his first visit to Dallas since spurning his hometown team in free agency. Williams scored 26 in the second half, repeatedly hitting shots and occa-

could have put the Celtics up by three. Garnett, returning from a two-game absence caused by a left thigh injury and the flu, had 20 points - not quite enough to prevent a second straight loss. CLIPPERS 101, 76ERS 72 Chris Paul scored 19 points as the Clippers bounced back on the second night of back-to-back games. Paul also had nine assists and six rebounds while Blake Griffin had a relatively quiet showing with seven points, nine rebounds and six assists. The Clippers were without Chauncey Billups and Eric Bledsoe, who were sidelined by injuries. Los Angeles improved to 27-8 at home after losing four of its previous seven, including a night earlier at Sacramento. Spencer Hawes had 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the 76ers, who have dropped 14 in a row on the road, where they are 6-24 this season. Thaddeus Young added 13 points and Evan Turner finished with 12. SPURS 104, WARRIORS 93 Tim Duncan had 25 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and four blocks, leading San Antonio to the win. Tiago Splitter added 17 points, Manu Ginobili had 16 points and seven assists and fellow reserve Nando De Colo had 10 points for San Antonio (52-16), which is second to Miami (53-14) for the league’s best record. Stephen Curry had 24 points for Golden State (39-31), which remains sixth in the West. Harrison Barnes added 13 points, Jarrett Jack had 14, David Lee finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Duncan was 11 for 17 from the field. It was his 13th game of at least 20 points and 10 rebounds this season.

LOS ANGELES: Philadelphia 76ers guard Damien Wilkins (right) puts up a shot as Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin defends during the second half of their NBA third as the Hawks pushed out to a 77-59 lead. Horford scored 10 points in the final period and finished with 15 rebounds, stepping up to help the Hawks hold off a Milwaukee comeback. Led by Brandon Jennings with 21 points, the Bucks closed to 94-90. But Jennings missed a free throw that could have made it a one-possession game, then came up short on a tough jumper with Teague in his face. Josh Smith clinched it by making two free throws with 27.9 seconds left. Smith also had a doubledouble, scoring just 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting but helping out with a seasonhigh 16 rebounds. Devin Harris added 15 points. BOBCATS 107, RAPTORS 101 Byron Mullens scored 25 points, Gerald Henderson had another solid all-around game and Charlotte beat Toronto to win consecutive games for the first time since mid-November. Mullens scored 12 points in the fourth quarter. The reserve made his final eight free throws, including four with

sionally assisting on a basket by Lopez to prevent a Dallas rally in the fourth quarter. Williams also hit a fadeaway jumper after a blocked shot by Lopez, running to his bench with a big smile after Dallas called timeout with the Nets up 97-88 midway through the fourth. The Mavericks didn’t get closer than six after that. Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 16 points and had a teamhigh six rebounds, compared to 22 boards for Reggie Evans of the Nets, who outrebounded the Mavericks 45-34. HORNETS 87, CELTICS 86 Anthony Davis beat Kevin Garnett and Jeff Green to a last-second tip in, helping the Hornets end a four-game skid. Davis, who missed the morning shootaround with an illness, finished with nine points and eight rebounds. Ryan Anderson scored 21 points and Eric Gordon had 18 for the Hornets. Paul Pierce scored 11 of his 28 points in the last six minutes to nearly lead Boston back from a nine-point deficit, but missed a jumper with 16 seconds left that

ROCKETS 100, JAZZ 93 James Harden scored 29 points to help Houston improved its positioning in the Western Conference playoff race. Jeremy Lin added 24 for the Rockets, who currently hold the No. 7 spot in the West. They lead the idle Los Angeles Lakers by 11/2 games and are three ahead of the sliding Jazz. The Rockets led by 19 points after three quarters and withstood a late surge by the Jazz to hold on for the victory. Utah has lost 10 of its last 13 games. Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with 27 points and Al Jefferson added 18 points and 11 rebounds. WIZARDS 88, SUNS 79 John Wall scored 19 points and Washington picked up its first victory at Phoenix in more than six years. Nene had 17 points and eight rebounds, Kevin Seraphin added 16 points and Trevor Ariza scored 14 for the Wizards, who won for the fourth time in five games. Washington improved to 6-26 away from home, tying Charlotte, Philadelphia and Sacramento for the fewest road wins in the NBA. The Wizards played without center Emeka Okafor, who missed his first game this season with an illness. Washington snapped a five-game losing streak in Phoenix and swept the Suns for the first time since 200102. Wesley Johnson and Goran Dragic scored 18 points apiece and Luis Scola added 11 off the bench for the Suns, who have lost five of six. — AP


FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

www.kuwaittimes.net

Cavaliers overwhelmed by Heat PAGE 47

22 Mar 2013  

Friday Times

Advertisement