Page 1



9 150 Fils

North Korea warns embassies



Facebook unveils ‘Home’

No: 15770


FIFA’s Blatter backtracks on racism sanctions

UN blasts Kuwait Rights body decries hike in death penalty

GENEVA: The UN rights body yesterday criticized Kuwait and several countries in Asia for resuming executions after halting the practice for several years. “We are deeply concerned that a number of countries in the Middle East and Asia have recently started reapplying the death penalty after several years of moratorium,” OHCHR spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva. He criticized Kuwait, India, Indonesia and Japan for resuming executions in a move that he said flies in the face of “the overwhelming global trend towards abolishing the death penalty.” Kuwait on Monday carried out its first executions in six years, hanging a Saudi, a Pakistani and a stateless Arab who had been convicted of murder. And in Asia, India resumed executions late last year after an eight-year moratorium, and Japan also applied the death penalty for the first time in nearly two years. Last month, Indonesia carried out its first execution in four years. Of the countries that never stopped carrying out the death penalty, like Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, China and North Korea, Colville expressed particular concern about the soaring number of executions in Iraq. At least 12 people had been executed in the country so far this year, he said, while 123 people, including five women, were executed there in 2012. That “was a massive increase over previous years, and deeply worrying in a country where there are persisting serious concerns about compliance with fair trial standards,” Colville said. The United States has meanwhile executed five people so far this year, he said. “In many cases, the death penalty involves clear violations of international norms and standards,” he said, listing for instance the absence of fair trials and due process, executions of juvenile offenders and long waits on death row. “We appeal to all governments concerned to take necessary measures and establish an official moratorium on all executions with the aim of abolishing the death penalty,” Colville said. — AFP

Max 28º Min 18º

KUWAIT: Traffic department displays a warning sign as dusty weather paralyzed activities in Kuwait yesterday. — Photo Joseph Shagra (See Page 3)

45 perish as building collapses in Mumbai More than 20 people missing

MUMBAI: People gather around a heap of debris at the site of a building collapsed as a rescue operation continues on the outskirts of Mumbai, India yesterday. —AP

MUMBAI: A residential building being constructed illegally on forest land in a suburb of India’s financial capital collapsed into a mound of steel and concrete, killing at least 45 people and injuring more than 50 others, authorities said yesterday. The eight-storey building in the Mumbai suburb of Thane caved in Thursday evening, police said. Rescue workers with sledgehammers, gasoline-powered saws and hydraulic jacks struggled yesterday to break through the tower of rubble in their search for possible survivors. Six bulldozers were brought to the scene. “There may be (a) possibility people have been trapped inside right now,” local police commissioner K P Raghuvanshi yesterday. At the time of the collapse, between 100 and 150 people were in the building. Many were residents or construction workers, who were living at the site as they worked on it, said Sandeep Malvi, a spokesman for the Thane government. More than 20 people remained missing

yesterday afternoon and three floors of the building remained to be searched, said RS Rajesh, an official with the National Disaster Response Force who was at the scene. “All the three floors are sandwiched ... so it’s very difficult for us,” he said. The dead included 12 children, police said. A nearby hospital was filled with the injured, many of whom had head wounds, fractures and spinal injuries. Hospital officials searched in vain for the parents of an injured 10-month-old girl who had been rescued. At least four floors of the building had been completed and were occupied. Workers had finished three more floors and were adding the eighth when it collapsed, police Inspector Digamber Jangale said. It was not immediately clear what caused the structure to collapse, but Raghuvanshi said it was weakly built. Police were searching for the builders to arrest them, he said. “The inquiry is ongoing. We are all busy with Continued on Page 14



Founder of expat teachers Facebook group terminated Lawsuit led to the end-of-services decision: Abolela

By Jay Walker

MOI keen on water, power conservation KUWAIT: “MOI is very keen to reduce water and power consumption at all its facilities”, stressed MOI’s acting PR, moral guidance and security media director, colonel Adel Al-Hashash, while noting that MOI had been taking part in the awareness campaigns organized by MEW over the past three years. In this regard, Al-Hashash added that MOI had participated in a special exhibition held at the Radisson Blue Hotel on April 3-4, where special videos on conservation measures taken by the ministry at its facilities were aired side-by-side with some awareness posters. Meanwhile, speaking on the occasion of opening of a new citizen service center in Fintas, the director of MoI’s citizen service centers, Major General Saif Al-Saif, said that the ministry planned to open even more centers to help facilitate citizens transact their business with the state departments.

KUWAIT: After working with the Ministry of Education for over 20 years, Ashraf Abolela, 45 and a computer teacher, had his contract terminated. As per the contract, which is renewed automatically in the end of every school year, the Ministry of Education has the right to terminate Abolela’s employment at any time without providing the reasons for the termination. Abolela argues that his termination is not related to his performance record but to a legal dispute that was solved in favour of many expat teachers. “The only reason I know that would make me unwelcome within the ministry staff is being the founder of the Expatriate Teachers Society group on Facebook”, Abolela told Kuwait Times stressing that his “termination is the price he paid for voicing expatriate teachers’ sufferings and demands for their lawful rights that the ministry had been ignoring for decades.” He said that his group includes over 9,000 expatriate teachers working in Kuwaiti public schools. He also explained that the blog had been the venue for all expatriate teachers from all nationalities to communicate and share experiences. The bone of contention, Abolela argues, was the forum’s topic on the

decision of the civil services commission that expatriate teachers who have a university degree should have been initially appointed for a basic salary of KD 260 instead of KD 200 only. In Abolela’s words, the tussle with the ministry of education started when he and around 6,000 expatriate teachers sued the ministry demanding for the difference in payment as per the services commission’s decision. Some of the plaintiffs won the cases against the ministry of education. However, according to Abolela, despite the final court orders, those who won the cases were forced to resign as a condition to receive a compensation of KD 3,600 for the past years plus a KD 45 monthly increase. Abolela has been working for the Ministry of Education for over 20 years. According to his fellow teachers he has demonstrated an excellent performance record for many successive years and has had several achievements as a teacher and a senior teacher. Abolela is determined to fight for the rights of expatriate teachers. “They cannot silence me. We will continue fighting for the rights of expatriate teachers”, Abolela concluded. Meanwhile, informed sources said that the Ministry of Education tends to increase the annual performance bonus for teachers. The

new bonus would be respectively KD 800 for those whose performance was evaluated for at least 90 per cent and up to KD 1500 for those evaluated with 98 per cent in their performance evaluation records. A recently formed committee will set the rules for determining the bonus after the new proposal was discussed during a recent meeting. The conditions set by the committee include that a teacher should have ‘Excellent’ performance evaluation for the last two successive years, not more than 15 sick leave days during the school year. The teachers who are eligible for the performance increase should not have been punished for any administrative violations. “In case of using more than 15 sick leave days a year, the teacher should get only half of the bonus, excluding Haj, maternity and mourning vacations”, explained the sources. According to the new proposal, teachers who have an evaluation report of 92 per cent would get KD 1,000; those with 94 per cent would get KD 1,200 and those with 96 per cent would get KD 1,400. The excellent performance bonus used to be KD 300 for school directors and KD 200 for teachers getting 94 percent or more on the performance evaluation. The sources did not specify if the new proposal includes expatriates teachers.

MEW restructuring sectors KUWAIT: The Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) completed the proposal of restructuring most of the existing sectors in the ministry, which will be presented to the cabinet as one of the projects it intends to carry out to enhance its performance in the coming period. An official source at the ministry said the ministry put its final touches in regards to restructuring sectors. He said a committee was formed a year ago to find out view on restructuring, and now it finished collecting approvals from all areas. The sources said in case the proposal is approved, it will be implemented and will benefit work so much. Meanwhile the same source said world countries intend to manage demands for energy and not to directly depend on power stations to meet the demand, which use too much money to generate power through burning oil, which is currently in use in Kuwait, and we look for changing that.

KRCS continues aiding Syrian refugees in Lebanon BEIRUT: Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) distributed yesterday relief supplies to 3,500 Syrian families that have taken up refuge in Lebanon, fleeing violence at home. Dr Musaed Al-Enezi, the envoy of the society in Lebanon, said in a statement to KUNA bread and olive oil were given to these families. The Kuwaiti society is providing each Syrian family in need for support 14 loaves of bread per day throughout a month, as part of its “loaf of bread” humanitarian program in the country, aimed at aiding thousands of Syrian refugees. Deals were made with bakeries in the northern areas of Al-Minyara, Halba and Al-Miyah to distribute the bread to the Syrians, he said.

Next Monday, the society will begin distributing bread in the southern city of Sidon, targeting up to 2,500 Syrian families. Mustafa Akel, the head of the municipal union in Al-Miyah, praised the Kuwaiti philanthropic efforts aimed at easing off hardships and suffering of the refugees. “This generous initiative signals the humane side of nature of the Kuwaiti people,” he said in remarks to KUNA. The multi-phased humane program is designed to aid thousands of Syrian refugees. Its second phase will cover 9,000 families, each to be supplied with 14 loaves a day, in addition to a liter of olive oil. The KRCS has agreed with bakeries in Lebanon and Jordan to secure bread for the refugees.

Al-Minya alone hosts more than 1,000 Syrian families. Total number of the Syrian refugees in the country is estimated at 400,000. — KUNA


MPs urge grass-root changes in health care Al-Haifi highlights major developments KUWAIT: Following a parliamentary session that attracted the attention of Kuwaitis, and resulted in issuing the debt interest write-off, the National Assembly used its supervisory role, in the “8” hour marathon session on Thursday to discuss the health situation, and security. The session resulted more on the health and security aspects, while several MPs threatened to resort to constitutional means in case ministers took it easy towards the recommendations. The National Assembly entrusted in its meeting on health care the committee for health and social affairs to follow up closely a number of recommendations the lawmakers put forth regarding streamlining health care in Kuwait. Among these recommendations is to speed up sending difficult health cases abroad for treatment, especially Kuwaitis suffering from cancer or need organ transplants. Another recommendation calls for increasing the number of neighborhood medical centers that open 24 hours a day and to supplement them with specialized clinics that treat major diseases.

The assembly also recommended sending abroad more Kuwaiti physicians to gain expertise in their specialties and asked that special teams be organized to follow up meticulously the construction of new hospitals and medical centers and neighborhood clinics. Moreover the lawmakers urged that foreign medical experts be invited regularly to avail themselves of their services, including contributing to nurturing competent medical staffs for various hospitals and clinics. The national assembly also demanded that a well-equipped center of patient rehabilitation be built and a new law for health insurance for citizens and expatriates alike be passed, urging that medical care should be a joint effort by both the private and public sectors. The lawmakers emphasized the need for a specialized team of physicians to look deeply and professionally into the reasons for the ubiquity of cases of cancer in Kuwait, and whether the frequency of these cases represents international norms or not. Health Minister Dr Mohammad Al-Haifi said the Ministry of Healthís budget is KD 1.5 bil-

KUWAIT: Dusty weather conditions continues. — Photo by Joseph Shagra

Unstable weather to continue today KUWAIT: Director of Meteorology Department Mohammad Karam expected the unstable weather conditions will continue through today. Karam said, the country was under the extension of the Sudan seasonal depression, which caused a rise in temperatures reaching almost 37 degree Celsius, with Southern Easterly winds. The country is expected to be under the effect of the Mediterranean depression which merged with the Sudan one causing the unstable weather. Meanwhile Astronomer Khalid Al-Jamaan said the first days of April

mark the period of “Sabq”, which precedes the will known Sarrayat (rain storms), and it will continue until the start of Sarrayat in mid April. Meanwhile, sea guidance supervisor at Shuwaikh Port Abdullah Al-Mansour said, Kuwait Ports Authority announced the suspension of sea navigation in the country’s three ports, Shuaiba, Doha and Shuwaikh due to the bad weather the country was under. AlMansour said the wind speed caused the half of sea navigation, as the speed was between 25 to 35 sea knots which hinders the navigation into and out of the port.— Agencies

KAC flight makes emergency landing

KUWAIT: This file photo show passengers and employees at Kuwait Airways counters at the airport. The image is used for illustrative purposes only. — Photo by Joseph Shagra

KUWAIT: The passengers aboard KAC flight number 248 headed for Cairo on Wednesday were delayed at the Kuwait International Airport for over five hours before they were shifted to another plane that took them to their destination. According to sources, the flight’s take off was delayed for an hour. They added that ten minutes after takeoff, the plane experienced engine trouble and the pilot had to dump fuel in the sea before returning to Kuwait to make an emergency landing. It took three hours to carry out the repairs, but the pilot insisted on switching planes and passengers were shifted to a different aircraft. — Al-Watan

lion, adding that this is the largest in the ministry’s history. He said the development plan in the health field is based on 6 points, they are the bad expansion, medical supplies, centers and hospitals services, in addition to treating illnesses that cause death and treatment abroad. Al-Haifi said the financial allocations concentrated on the construction of nine new hospitals, and expanding existing ones so that the bed capacity will reach 5,868 beds. Al-Haifi pointed out that Kuwaiti hospitals and medical care centers received 5.89 million patients and 18.73 million patients respectively in 2011, citing the Kuwaiti Health Ministry’s official statistics. The minister estimated the number of hospital beds at about 6,703, at an average of 1.83 beds per 1,000 people. “The ministry is embarking on a plan to take this number up to approximately 7,702 beds in 2015 and to reach 15,000 beds in 2030,” he added. Al-Haifi underlined that the ministry is seeking to raise the efficiency of healthcare services provided to citizens and residents, to reduce

waiting lists through developing and increasing the number of patients and enhancing the capacity of intensive care, emergency and X-ray sections. “The ministry also seeks to open more outpatient clinics across the nation. We have been discussing a number of measures to cut the time patients spend in hospital visits, through applying the use of robots in all pharmacies in hospitals.” Furthermore the lawmakers recommended that medical cities be built jointly by the public and private sectors in the northern parts of the country and that new speedy means of transportation such as helicopters be used to transport patients requiring critical care. Another recommendation by the lawmakers regards easing requirements in the private sector to get licenses to operate hospitals, pharmacies, ambulance services, and radiological centers. However the lawmakers frowned on certain surgical procedures they deemed unsuitable for many patients such as gastric bypass operations, calling for their elimination from government hospitals. —Agencies



kuwait digest

kuwait digest

Some matters of our concern

Segregating the bullet from gun?

By Dr Wael Al-Hasawi


attended a meeting that HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah held with nearly 20 media reporters, and I have to give him credit for answering our inquiries without any hesitation; even questions which addressed sensitive matters pertaining to ruling family members. There were many topics I wanted to take the opportunity of meeting the premier to raise, but eventually settled on one issue that I believe topped all Kuwaitis’ concerns - the deteriorating level of services in the country. I gave examples during the meeting of some of the things that citizens suffer from on a daily basis. These included: 1. Education: In my 37 years of experience in higher education, my colleagues and I are witnessing deterioration in the level of high school graduates day after day, as well as the level of college students. This has been happening amid lack of academic construction projects that have led to massive overcrowding in the country’s sole public university. All the talk about a 125 billion Kuwaiti Dinars means nothing to people when they cannot see a university project coming up.

2. Housing: This issue has become a nightmare for Kuwaiti young people. Who can believe that the price of a piece of land in South Surra has increased to KD 400,000 to 500,000? How can a fresh graduate with nearly KD 1,000 monthly pay afford that? 3. Employment: Finding jobs for fresh graduates has become a problem that snowballed for years until it reached serious levels. There are many graduates who are eventually put in positions that do not go in line with their field of speciality, whereas a lot of them feel pain when they see classmates who graduated after them winning better jobs with the help of wasta (unlawful mediation). 4. Traffic: This has become a problem that is now a miserable experience every time you are on the road and find yourself stuck in a sea of immobile cars. Can you believe that driving for a relatively short distance such as the one between Shuwaikh and Faiha takes an hour and a half during rush hour? And when people complain, they are told to wait for major road projects that will take ten years to be completed. — Al-Rai

kuwait digest

The Power of Now By Labeed Abdal


otwithstanding the latest objections being raised by some people on the issue of Kuwait-Iraq border demarcation, the exercise overseen by the UN mission can be cited as a great example of constructive intervention by a world organization in modern times. The cooperative role of the Iraqi officials in putting up these border signs and removing illegal dwellings and structures built by some families showed a commitment to resolve the intricate issue. The UN Security Council’s decision to apply chapter seven of the United Nations charter to maintain peace between the border sharing countries led to the two parties extending cooperation. Both parties need to live up to the relevant international obligations after paying compensation to Kuwait and demarcating the borders. Kuwait and Iraq must maintain stronger friendship as we will always have a common border, regional challenges and quest for a good future. We must work on areas of mutual interest and join hands in exe-

cuting various development projects. Both countries need to extract serious commitment from the public and private sectors. Northern Kuwait and southern Iraq can be better developed as new free zones and it can be a chance to retrieve the old trade road through which goods and manpower used to be transported between the northern and southern Arabian Peninsula. Furthermore, to quote the German philosopher, Eckhart Tolle, author of the book ‘The Power of Now’: “The quality of your consciousness at this moment is what shapes the future - which, of course, can only be experienced as the Now.” Such an approach will definitely help build grounds for good, unshakeable, clear and reliable peace between the two countries and their people. Without any question, the two countries must adopt such an approach as there cannot be any other option except peace and mutual understanding to ensure security, stability and development for our future generations.

By Nawaf Al-Arbash


have witnessed various social media channels, and some sections of the press, raising the issue of gender segregation (once again) because of various problems arising out of the decision taken a few years back to ban mixing of students of both genders. It started as a religious constraint, and ended up as an academic restraint. How? Well, you will find that numerous students who faced a situation where one compulsory class clashed with another that they had to enroll in, and they failed to find a way around the problem simply because the only convenient time was allocated for the same class but one meant for students from the opposite gender. Of course, this might sound trivial and irrelevant to the larger cause of “education,” but actually, it is an extremely vital issue as some students are forced to fall behind a semester (four to six months) because they are unable to enroll in a certain class. Time,

in such young age, is of immense significance. I am against any sort of gender segregation in the field of academia, because no matter how different the routes that students take, they all eventually end up at the same destination - graduation. So they will not be any distraction to each other in a mixed class, certainly not more than in the same gender class. It is enough to seat them in different rows or columns, and ban them from sitting next to each other. That is, if the prompting factors were religious. In the end, even if they were to be segregated during school days, they will be free to mingle once they get a job. Let us face it, if any mishaps were to take place, they would take place in any case, segregation or not. Kofi Annan has put it best: “Gender equality is more than a goal by itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development, and building good governance.”



National Guard, KNPC hold fire drill at Sabhan By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Security Affairs Command at the National Guard carried out an exercise, along with Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC), Civil Defense, Kuwait Fire Service, and

MOH Emergency Department. The exercise was to put out a major fire in an oil reservoir, in the local marketing department located in Sabhan. It also included the evacuation of workers. The exercise dealt with a fire that broke out in a reservoir, so those concerned

responded, as entrances and exits were secured, as workers were being directed to assembly prints, as fire engines and ambulances were being led in. Commander of facilities protection Brigades Colonel Misfer Abdullah said the exercise aims at

elevating readiness of National Guard men, and guage the equipment effectiveness and training plans. He lauded the cooperation and coordination by Interior Ministry, Fire Service, KNPC, and Emergency Department during the implementation of National Guard command instructions.

Gay beaten by woman Scuffle over parking rights at airport KUWAIT: A police patrol in Abdullah Al-Salem noticed a fight in the middle of the street, between a woman who was beating a young man, who was discovered to be a homosexual. Policemen learned that the homosexual made an obscene gesture towards the woman, who pulled him out of his car and beat him. The woman refused to file charges adding that he is not worth it and already had what he deserves. KUWAIT: The Leaders Preparation Center at the National Security College yesterday concluded a training course on Basic Leadership Skills for Ministry of Interior (MOI), Kuwait Fire Services Directorate (KFSD) and National Guards personnel.

Shepherd beaten, robbed A shepherd was beaten by unknowns who stole 25 sheep before escaping. The incident took place in Al-Abdaly area, when three persons in a car stopped and beat the shepherd before escaping. The victim filed a complaint at the area’s police station.

Sheikh Thamer visits Kuwaiti pavilion at Janadriyah Festival

Rape averted A man, who was passing through an open area by accident, rescued his nephew from being raped by three persons. The incident took place in Taima area, where the boy was kidnapped and was taken to where his uncle found him. The three attackers escaped, and charges were filed.

RIYADH: Kuwait’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Sheikh Thamer Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah visited the 28th National Festival for Heritage and Culture (Al-Janadriyah) late on Thursday. Sheikh Thamer visited Kuwait’s pavilion at the festival, in which he was briefed about the most prominent activities offered by the Kuwaiti artisans to the pavilion visitors, such as shipbuilding. The Ambassador then went to see the gift presented to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud by Kuwait’s Ministry of Information for the festival, which is a figure of an old ship, creation of which took around four months. During the visit, he also examined the other GCC pavilions. Sheikh Thamer expressed admiration for the exerted efforts at Al-Janadriyah Festival, praising the success it has achieved. The festival, drawing participants from a number of countries of the world, witnessed participation of China this year. — KUNA

Insult charges field A female employee at Jahra traffic was in tears when a female patron insulted her verbally, prompting her to file charges. The employee was receiving transactions from those who were to pay their traffic violations fines. The woman came and gave her papers, but the employee told her she must go to the sentences execution department to finish processing the papers. The woman did not like what she heard and began swearing at the employee before leaving. Tip off A manager in a mobile telecom company told Jahra police that a booster tower in Mutlaa area was burned deliberately, and charges were filed against unknowns. Detectives are investigating. Generator restores cut off power An Egyptian expat brought an electric generator to his flat,

after the ministry cut his power for lack of payment of his bills. Residents told the haris to help them because of the generator’s noise. Police told the Egyptian to find another way and keep away from disturbing people. Drugs seized Daeya policemen dealt with a man who refused to give him his papers. The man was found drunk with a pistol and two magazines, he also had four hashish sticks, and a bag of Keptagon tablets. He was placed under arrest. Kidnap over an affidavit An Egyptian told police officers that three of his compatriots kidnapped, assaulted and forced him to sign an affidavit, making him promise that he will pay them the money that was a subject of dispute among them, security sources said. Fight erupts over parking Four young men scuffled over parking rights at Kuwait International Airport parking, security sources said. According to eyewitnesses, one of the young men was waiting for a car to pull out and park in its place when someone else drove into that slot, taking the just vacated space.A citizen who went jogging returned to find the rear window of his car smashed and his wallet and mobile phone missing. A case was filed. Wanted gunmen caught with hashish A citizen wanted for having used a gun was recently arrested in Jahra for being in possession of hashish, security sources said. As per the case papers, a police patrol was dispatched to intercept a recklessly driven vehicle. The driver, who himself was under the influence of drugs, tried to escape arrest but the police patrol managed to force him to pull over. On searching his car, the police found some hashish-stuffed cigarettes.



Future politicians take KESMUN by storm By Dalia Abu Yassien and Maya Bayyoud


orld Peace”, “Gender Equality” and “End Racism” were some of the subjects suggested by delegates at the opening ceremony of the Model United Nations, when asked for topics confronting the future, which set the tone for the remainder of the weekend. This happened during Kuwait English School’s third annual Model United Nations held recently, bringing together over 300 delegates from nine schools. MUN is a worldwide event based upon an academic simulation of the United Nations that seeks to educate participants about current events, topics in international relations, diplomacy, and the United Nations Agenda. Chaired by fellow students, delegates had the opportunity to debate the most pertinent issues of today in each commission, including Territorial Disputes, ECOSOC (The Economic and Social Commission), Environment, Disarmament, Security Council, Human Rights and the General Assemblies.

What does being in MUN mean? “Sometimes I feel like in Kuwait we live in a bubble, and I really think MUN pops that bubble and brings us closer to the real world” said Dana, a Kuwait English School student. The Model United Nations is meant to create an international community of youth who can mold a more understanding and peaceful future. Each commission had something to dif-

Award winners for General Assembly lighten the hours spent in the room. The dispute between Argentina and the UK over ownership of the Falkland Islands is an example. Fadi, the award-winning Argentinean delegate from NES, discusses his experience: “Before doing my research, I had only a vague idea of the issue. The details I learnt helped me to understand the self-interest that governs on-going conflict across the planet. While being a

‘Sometimes I feel like in Kuwait we live in a bubble, and I really think MUN pops that bubble and brings us closer to the real world’ ferentiate it: The many amendments submitted in ECOSOC to perfect the resolution, or the fierce determination characterizing the delegates discussing the environment. Additionally, debates on Iran’s nuclear program took place in the Arab League, showcasing students’ political knowledge. The general consensus among delegates was that the event was an experience unlike anything they have taken part in before. They had the opportunity to work on skills and qualities, such as confidence, while making new friends. Also, delegates are put on the spot, feeling the thrill of a challenge. School admissions officers often look for MUN experiences. “Some astonishing ideas were voiced here. It’s a shame that some of the resolutions that passed only exist on paper,” said Stefan, who chaired a commission. However, MUN has its drawbacks. Sometimes firsttimers are pitted against experienced speakers, who have an unfair advantage. Also, that the MUN takes place over a weekend can be hard on some students. Being a delegate Being in a successful commission requires focus, underpinned by humor to

delegate, ethics suggest one thing, but sometimes you are forced to debate for another country’s perhaps flawed policy.” When asked for advice for MUN firsttimers, he simply stated, “Speak your heart out.” Public speaking is an acquired skill, and speaking in front of a roomful of students who may not know each other about complex political ideas certainly hones this. Lulwa, an ASK student and six-time

MUN veteran, spoke from extensive experience when she said, “MUN taught me how to speak confidently and how to use words to persuade people. Above all, I think learning the art of persuasion from my many conferences helped me in real life.” Although MUN is just a model of its real-life counterpart, public speaking, confidence, persuasive powers and knowledge of world politics can all be applied in a real life situation. Being a chair The job of a chair is to lead the commission. This includes keeping the delegates in line, choosing who speaks and overseeing voting procedures. The chairs threw around words like ‘dynamic’, ‘mutual respect’ and ‘energy’ when asked about the experience, giving a good idea of what the atmosphere is like. “I like the friendly but constructive vibe. The delegates were well-researched, and there were a lot of confident speakers,” says Imran, chair of ‘Territorial Disputes.’ Chairing a commission is difficult; students within the same age range as delegates are given positions of responsibility and must ensure that students stick to strict MUN policies. As Hariz, the chair of

The Territorial Disputes Commission

the Security Council, stated, “Each commission is different, and the most important thing as Chair is to mould yourself to that particular commission and atmosphere.” Leadership qualities are certainly necessary. Kuwait English School Kuwait English School avidly participates in several MUNs across the country. This includes PEARLMUN, KSAAMUN and EQUAITMUN, among many others. Additionally, in February, students were invited to travel to Italy for GEMUN, to attend an international MUN conference. KESMUN 2013’s aim was to give back to Kuwait another inter-school opportunity. The overarching sentiment of the students of other schools revolved around how welcoming their Kuwait English School hosts were. As Ahmed, an NES student, stated, “I feel a great sense of camaraderie with the students I met here and I know we’ll all keep in touch.” Organized by a Kuwait English School student executive team, led by Ross Appleby, months of effort were rewarded with a closing ceremony at the Crowne Plaza on Saturday afternoon, which turned out to be an event to remember. The Deputy Security General, Samrat Malhotra, addressed KESMUN 2013: “You all have the power to be an Obama, a Bill Gates, or an Oprah Winfrey. It is in your hands, and not the person sitting next to you. Take it upon yourself to create your own destiny and be the difference you want to see in others. Nothing in life is certain except for death. So do what needs to be done now.” Seeing something of this caliber happen in Kuwait, across nine schools, inspires a sense of optimism that all the delegates, chairs and executives will carry with them in their upcoming ventures. The MUN continues to be a symbol of hope for the future; amid so many conflicts that corrode our planet, the next generation may finally have the potential for change.


Hezbollah bloc to back Salam as Lebanese PM


Iran, 6 big powers at odds in nuclear talks


Bulgaria rocked by suicides, protests


PAJU: A South Korean soldier stands on a military guard post near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas in the border city yesterday. — AFP

N Korea tells embassies to evacuate Missiles hidden on North Korea’s east coast LONDON: North Korea has asked embassies in Pyongyang that might wish to get staff out if there is a war, Britain said yesterday, as it upped the pressure as part of a war of words that has set the Korean peninsula on edge. Initial reports by Russia’s Foreign Ministry and China’s Xinhua news agency suggested that North Korea had suggested that embassies should consider closing because of the risk of conflict. The request came amid a military buildup by the United States in South Korea following the North’s warnings that war was inevitable due to UN sanctions imposed for a nuclear test and what it terms “hostile” US troop drills with South Korea. “We believe they have taken this step as part of their continuing rhetoric that the US poses a threat to them,” Britain’s Foreign Office said in a statement after the reports from Russia and China. A British diplomatic official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that European Union embassies in Pyongyang had been summoned to deliver their evacuation plans. Under the Vienna Convention that governs diplomatic missions, host governments are required to facilitate the exit of embassy staff in the event of

conflict. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said earlier that North Korea had “proposed that the Russian side consider the evacuation of employees in the increasingly tense situation”, according to Denis Samsonov, a spokesman for its embassy in Pyongyang. A report from Chinese state news agency Xinhua chimed with the Russian report, saying that Pyongyang had asked embassies to consider evacuation if the situation deteriorated. North Korea, ruled by 30year old Kim Jong-un, has not issued any statement indicating which of the conflicting reports was true. TWO ROCKETS DEPLOYED In a fusillade of statements issued over the past month, North Korea has threatened to stage a nuclear strike on the United States, something it lacks the capacity to do, according to most experts, and has declared war on South Korea. Yesterday, South Korean media reported that North Korea had placed two of its intermediate range missiles on mobile launchers and hidden them on the east coast of the country in a move that could threaten Japan or US Pacific bases. The report could not be confirmed. But

any such movement may be intended to demonstrate that the North, angry about joint US-South Korean military exercises as well as the sanctions for its third nuclear test, is prepared to demonstrate its ability to mount an attack. Speculation centered on two kinds of missiles neither of which is known to have been tested. One was the so-called Musudan missile which South Korea’s Defence Ministry estimates has a range of up to 3,000 km, the other is called the KN-08, which is believed to be an inter-continental ballistic missile, which is again untested. The month-long verbal assaults from North Korea have set financial markets in South Korea, Asia’s fourth largest economy, on edge. South Korean shares slid yesterday, with foreign investors selling their biggest daily amount in nearly 20 months, hurt after aggressive easing from the Bank of Japan sent the yen reeling, as well as by the tension over North Korea. “In the past, (markets) recovered quickly from the impact from any North Korea-related event, but recent threats from North Korea are stronger and the impact may therefore not disappear quickly,” Vice Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho told a meeting. While few observers believe that

North Korea will launch a military attack, alarm has grown over the intensification of the threats. The comments from the North could well continue until the end of April when the joint U.S. and South Korean military exercises are due to end. “The rhetoric is off the charts,” said Victor Cha, former director for Asian affairs at the White House National Security Council and now senior adviser at the Centre for Strategic Studies in Washington. The youth of Kim Jong-un has become an issue. He is the third member of his family to rule in Pyongyang and took over in December 2011 after the death of his father Kim Jong-il, who staged confrontations with South Korea and the United States throughout his 17year rule. Counterbalancing that, the young Kim is surrounded by generals and advisers in their 70s who have been through this before, but there are concerns that he may view the risk of conflict as one worth taking. “We don’t understand this new guy at all. And if the North Koreans move to provoke the South, the South is going to retaliate in a way we haven’t seen before,” said Victor Cha, a former director for Asian affairs at the White House National Security Council. — Reuters



As Koreas face off, risk of accidental war grows Miscalculation could bring devastating conflict

DAMASCUS: In this file photo, the Lebanese Culture Minister Tammam Salam (right) is seen with his Egyptian counterpart Farouk Hosni, during a two-day meeting of Arab culture ministers. — AP

Hezbollah bloc to back Salam as Lebanese PM BEIRUT: Shiite militant group Hezbollah and its allies are expected to back Sunni politician Tammam Salam yesterday to be Lebanon’s new prime minister, politicians said, handing him an overwhelming parliamentary endorsement to form a government. President Michel Suleiman is holding two days of talks to nominate a successor to Najib Mikati, who resigned last month after two fraught years in office during which he sought to contain sectarian tensions, street violence and economic fallout from the civil war raging in neighboring Syria. Salam’s main task, if Suleiman asks him to form a government, will be to steer the fractious country towards a parliamentary election which is due in June but is now widely expected to face delay. Mikati resigned following a cabinet dispute with Hezbollah and its allies - who brought him to power in early 2011 - over extending the term of a top security official and preparations for the parliamentary vote. A former minister from a prominent political dynasty, Salam won the backing on Thursday of the Saudi- and Western-backed March 14 political coalition after talks brokered in Saudi Arabia. Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, whose seven parliamentary seats hold the balance of power, also backed him. A Sunni Muslim, as all Lebanese prime ministers must be under the country’s confessional distribution of power, Salam is seen as close to March 14, but independent enough to be acceptable to Hezbollah’s March 8 bloc. Parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri, whose Shiite Amal movement is part of the March 8 coalition, threw his support behind Salam yesterday and called on all political sides to work together. “We in March 8 will name Tammam Salam to form a new government - a government of national unity,” a political source in the bloc said yesterday. Despite the likely overwhelming support - even outgoing Prime Minister Mikati said he would back Salam - the March 8 source warned it “might still be months” before the former culture minister can form a cabinet acceptable to all sides. SYRIA DIVIDES LEBANON March 14 groups mainly Sunni and Christian parties which pushed, with US and European support, for Syria to end nearly three decades of military presence in Lebanon in 2005. It has strongly supported the revolt against President Bashar Al-Assad in neighboring Syria, where the United Nations says 70,000 people have been killed and 400,000 refugees have poured into Lebanon, a country of just 4 million. March 8 has backed Assad’s campaign to crush the uprising, which began with mainly peaceful protests but has descended into a civil war which has reduced parts of its main cities to rubble and caused tens of billions of dollars’ worth of damage. Lebanon itself has been shaken by the violence, which has spilled across the border into the Bekaa Valley and inflamed tensions in the northern city of Tripoli between Sunni Muslims who actively support the Syrian rebels and members of Assad’s minority Alawite community. Dozens of people have been killed in the northern city of Tripoli in waves of street fighting since 2011. The influx of mainly Sunni refugees is politically sensitive in Lebanon, whose rival sects fought a civil war from 1975 to 1990. Before his resignation, Mikati called for international aid to help Lebanon deal with the impact of the ever-growing number of refugees. President Suleiman called this week for refugee camps to be set up inside Syria itself, under United Nations auspices, to ease the burden on Syria’s neighbors. Born in 1945, Salam is the son of former Prime Minister Saeb Salam. His grandfather served under the Ottoman Empire and the French colonial mandate. He himself was a cabinet minister in 2008 and 2009.— Reuters

LONDON: At the North Korean embassy in London, they are answering the phone but saying little. “As far as we know, we are not giving any statements,” a North Korean official said, declining to give his name and saying all necessary information was already available on the website of the North Korean state news agency KCNA. In fact, the world, well beyond Asia, is perplexed by the mysteries of the nuclear-capable state’s bellicosity and many fear mutual ignorance could help turn words into acts of war. Many foreign analysts offer reassurance. No one, they say, really wants war. Missile and nuclear tests, threats of possible atomic strikes on the United States and military drills on both sides of the divided Korean peninsula, reflect rather a youthful North Korean leader and newly elected South Korean government both finding their feet at home and testing their strengths. Yet neither 30-year-old Kim Jong-un, who succeeded his late father just over a year ago, nor South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye is seen having much room or appetite to back down. The risk of miscalculation or mistake sparking accidental conflict may be growing by the day bringing with it the greatest risk in years of a regional nuclear exchange. “We have had worrying times before, but this is bad,” says Victor Cha, former director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council under President George W. Bush. “The rhetoric is off the charts. We don’t understand this new guy at all,” added Cha, who is now a senior adviser at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “And if the North Koreans move to provoke the South, the South is going to retaliate in a way we haven’t seen before.” This month’s joint US-South Korean military exercises have sparked outcry from the North and could make for the most dangerous weeks on the peninsula in more than two decades. COULD GO VERY WRONG “There are number of ways this could go very wrong,” says Ken Gause, chief North Korea specialist at the Center for Naval Analyses, a US government-funded research institute that advises the US military among others. “You have two new governments in North and South Korea that are still finding out where each other’s red lines are.” While there is uncertainty over whether North Korea is capable of firing a nuclear device across the border or over the sea at Japan or US Pacific bases, even a conventional conflict could be devastating. Meanwhile, the risk of confrontation with Pyongyang’s traditional ally China also worries Washington. The likely human and economic cost, those with knowledge of events say, was one of the key reasons Washington held back from direct military action against the North Korean nuclear program in the 1990s to stop it completing a nuclear device. The bottom line, veteran North Korea watchers say, is that the outside world still has little real understanding of what is happening in the secretive authoritarian state. Satellites and spies may provide basic details of weaponry, but the intentions of those at the top remained very

opaque. “It is basically guesswork,” said Mark Fitzpatrick, a one-time North Korea specialist at the US State Department and later deputy head of its nuclear non-proliferation team. “China and Russia may have a better understanding than us, but I don’t believe anyone is truly on top of it,” added Fitzpatrick, now a senior analyst at London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies. How much the North and Kim Jong-un in particular - understands events outside its borders is also far from clear. The London embassy - housed in a modest villa in the suburb of Ealing - is one of only a few overseas missions run by the administration in Pyongyang. Direct

contact with foreigners is rare and many senior leaders have never left the country. SOUTHERN READINESS South Korea is also preparing militarily. After criticism at home for muted responses to the sinking of one of its warships in 2010 and fatal shelling of an island in 2011, the government in Seoul has ramped up its readiness in case of attack. Even an accidental incident on either side, analysts now worry, could spark dramatic and almost instantaneous escalation. Much larger than normal, this year’s annual US exercises show Washington reassuring its South Korean and Japanese allies that it stands behind them. — Reuters

PYONGYANG: In this file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, accompanied by his wife Ri Sol Ju, waves to the crowd in Pyongyang.— AP

The known unknowns of Korea’s Kim Jong-Un SEOUL: Like his father Kim Jong-Il, North Korea’s new young leader Kim Jong-Un is viewed by much of the outside world with a heady mix of incomprehension, ridicule and fear. In early March, people were shaking their heads in bemusement at photos of Kim partying with flamboyant former NBA star Dennis Rodman in Pyongyang after watching a basketball game together. One month later, they’re wondering if he might be on the brink of tipping the Korean peninsula into a catastrophic conflict. The current crisis, with its nuclear threats and Kim’s lurid exhortations to his troops to “break the waists of the crazy enemies and totally cut their windpipes” has placed the young leader firmly in the global spotlight. But while more of a public personality than his introverted father ever was, Kim remains an enigmatic figure, especially on a personal level. He’s young, but it’s unclear how young, with reports ranging from 28 to 30. He has a stylish, attractive wife, but how many children he has or what gender they are is a mystery. As far as personal tastes go, his apparent affection for amusement parks and Disney characters sits oddly with his position as supreme commander of the world’s fifth-largest army with an emerg-

ing nuclear arsenal. An often-used media qualifier, and one that has taken on an ominous ring in recent weeks as tensions between Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington have soared, is “inexperienced.” While Kim Jong-Il was well groomed before taking over from his father-founding leader Kim Il-Sung-Kim Jong-Un had barely warmed the successor’s chair when his father died in December 2011. And after less than 16 months in the job, he has taken his country to the brink of conflict in the very first crisis he has faced. For Alexandre Mansourov, a North Korea expert and visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University, Kim’s personal inexperience is worryingly matched by the outside world’s inexperience in dealing with him “I think we still don’t know what he’s doing, to be honest,” Mansourov said. “Although he practiced brinkmanship all the time, there was a record of Kim Jong-Il stepping back from the brink. We knew basically where his limits were, where his brakes were and what buttons to push to keep him behaving. “With his son, we don’t have a track record yet. We don’t know what his limits are, how far we can push him or whether he has any brakes or not,” he said.— AFP



Syria refugee funds dry up GENEVA: The United Nations gave its starkest warning yet yesterday that it would soon run out of cash to cope with the vast influx of Syrian refugees into Jordan and other neighboring countries. “The needs are rising exponentially, and we are broke,” Marixie Mercado, spokeswoman for the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF, told a UN news conference in Geneva. The number of people fleeing in the world’s worst refugee crisis has repeatedly outrun the UN’s expectations. The 1.25 million refugees, three-quarter of them women and children, is 10 percent higher than had been expected by June. With more than 3.6 million people internally displaced within Syria and no end to the twoyear conflict in sight, there is every chance that the exodus could keep growing. “Since the beginning of the year, more than 2,000 refugees have streamed across the borders (into Jordan) every day. We expect these numbers to more than double by July and triple by December,” Mercado said. “By the end of 2013, we estimate there will be 1.2 million Syrian refugees in Jordan - equivalent to about one-fifth of Jordan’s population.” The impact of funding drying up would include a halt in 3.5 million liters of daily water deliveries to Jordan’s Za’atari camp, which houses more than 100,000 refugees, mostly children. Almost 11,000 Syrians have arrived in Za’atari in the past week, the International Organization for Migration said. UN officials said the funding shortage was affecting the whole region, not just Jordan, and all humanitarian agencies. While the humanitarian agencies have so far managed to prevent major health problems among the refugees, policing the huge and growing population is becoming more difficult. UNHCR has reported multiple demonstrations at Za’atari at the end of March due to a shortage of buses to take refugees back to Syria, people “frequently” trying to smuggle items out of the camp, and violence over the distribution of new caravans. The other countries hosting large numbers of Syrian refugees are Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq. Most of the displaced people within Syria are in northern and central areas rather than the southern regions close to Jordan, according to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, the main humanitarian agency on the ground. Fighting in Raqqa province recently drove 35,000 into Deir Al-Zor on a single day, it said. Figures from the UN refugee agency UNHCR show the biggest country donors so far in 2013 are the United States, European Union and Japan. UNHCR has received $162 million, one-third of the $494 million it needs for the first half of this year. China has donated $1 million, earmarked for refugees in Turkey. Russia does not appear on the list of donors to UNHCR. “So far very little has come in,” Mercado said. “We are doing a lot, we are doing an enormous amount. But the needs are just extraordinary. And they are growing every day.”— Reuters

ALMATY: EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (left) takes part in talks on Iran’s nuclear programme in the Kazakh city of Almaty yesterday. — AFP

Iran, 6 big powers at odds in nuclear talks

Chances of breakthrough slim ahead of Iran election ALMATY: World powers and Iran still appeared far apart yesterday in negotiations on Tehran’s nuclear program that were aimed at calming tensions which could boil over into war. As talks got under way in Kazakhstan, the six nations - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany - sought a concrete response from Iran to their February offer to ease sanctions if it stops its most sensitive nuclear work. Iranian negotiators said they had outlined their own “specific” proposals, but a Western diplomat said they had still not responded clearly to the initiative from the big powers. The dissonant views suggested the two sides had not narrowed differences that have bedeviled a decade of onoff talks. “We are somewhat puzzled by the Iranians’ characterisation of what they presented at this morning’s plenary,” a Western diplomat said. “There has not yet been a clear and concrete response to the...proposal (from the six powers).” Iran’s deputy negotiator Ali Bagheri did not say whether the offer was acceptable, but told reporters his side had made “specific proposals...for the start of a new round of cooperation”. “Naturally, the talks will continue today and, if necessary tomorrow, until the two sides exchange their views and until a new platform for

cooperation is formed,” he said after talks paused for Iranian negotiators to join Friday prayers at Almaty’s main mosque. The dispute centers on Iranian efforts to enrich uranium, which world powers suspect are part of a covert drive to achieve atom bomb capability. The UN Security Council has demanded that Iran stop the process, in several resolutions since 2006. Iran argues it has the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes under international law and denies its nuclear work has military aims. It has refused to change course unless the big powers recognize its right to enrichment and lift sanctions. Stakes are high because Israel, widely assumed to be the Middle East’s only nuclear-armed power, has threatened to bomb the Islamic Republic’s atomic sites if diplomacy fails to rein in a foe which it sees as bent on its destruction. Chances for a quick breakthrough are seen as scant, with Iran not expected to make any major decisions on nuclear policy until after its presidential election in June. Western diplomats are hoping at least for serious discussion of their February proposal, under which Iran would have to close a nuclear facility and ship some enriched uranium stockpiles abroad in return for modest relief on sanctions on Iranian petrochemicals and trade

in gold and other precious metals. For years Iran has resisted ever-harsher sanctions and pressure to retreat from a nuclear program that enjoys broad support amongst its fractious political leadership. Iran’s chief negotiator, Saeed Jalili, said in a speech at Almaty University on the eve of the latest talks that their success hinged on “acceptance of the rights of Iran, particularly the right to enrichment”. The six nations, however, say this right only applies when nuclear work is carried out under sufficient oversight by UN inspectors, something Iran has refused to grant. For now, Iran may play for time, trying to keep diplomacy on track to avert new sanctions before the June election. Tehran’s conversion of some its highergrade uranium stockpile to nuclear reactor fuel may have bought time for diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute peacefully. But if talks fail to produce sufficient progress, Western governments are likely to impose yet more economic penalties, with the double aim of pressuring Tehran while seeking to persuade Israel to hold back from any military action. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting US senators on Thursday that Tehran’s nuclear work must be stopped.— Reuters

Kidnap threat stalks Syrians

ALEPPO: A Syrian rebel observes the movement of regime forces as he takes position inside a building in the Saif Al-Dawla district of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo yesterday. — AFP

BEIRUT: Syria’s residents, already terrorized by a conflict now in its third year, are also being stalked by the increasing threat of kidnap, with motives ranging from sectarianism and prisoner exchange to ransom. Syria’s government on Tuesday offered kidnappers an amnesty deal, giving them 15 days to hand over victims or face sentences ranging from life with hard labor to execution, if their victims were murdered or sexually abused. The decree speaks to the scale of the problem, which has spared virtually no corner of the country, affecting civilians and fighters from both sides and implicating both opposition forces and supporters of the regime. But it is unlikely to stem the flow of disappearances carried out by regime loyalists, nor convince rebel forces or criminal gangs operating in largely lawless swathes of the country to turn them-

selves in. Motives appear to vary widely, even overlapping at times, with kidnappers targeting victims on the basis of sectarian affiliations, but also demanding ransoms. Lama Fakih, a Human Rights Watch researcher on Syria and Lebanon, said the group has also documented “tit-for-tat kidnappings, sometimes between neighborhoods, where people take someone in order to exchange them for someone else.” “We also see some instances of kidnappings where it does seem that religious minorities are more vulnerable to these sorts of attacks because they are seen to be supporters of the government,” she said. Activists say kidnappings motivated by sectarian hatred are more common in areas where communities of different religious backgrounds live near each other but are separated by frontlines. Men,

women and even children have been affected, and kidnappers often demand sums around three million Syrian pounds ($42,000). One Syrian said on condition of anonymity that he had been kidnapped on the Aleppo-Damascus road. “I spent around 10 days in the town of Taftanaz and I was released only after the payment of four million Syrian pounds in ransom to a middleman,” he said. Some Damascus residents say they have altered their habits accordingly, ditching expensive cars for nondescript ones, dressing down and avoiding walking in the street alone where possible. “Most kidnappers are motivated by a desire for financial gain, though some operate on a sectarian basis,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said, describing the emergence of “organized gangs” of kidnappers.—AFP



Jolie pays tribute to Malala at conference NEW YORK: Angelina Jolie paid glowing tribute on Thursday to the Pakistani teenager who was shot by the Taleban for advocating for girls’ education, telling the girl’s story to a high-profile women’s conference and committing $200,000 to a new fund to promote her cause. Jolie also introduced Malala Yousafzai, 15, to the crowd at the Women in the World summit via a new video from Britain, in which the girl spoke about the new “Malala’s Fund” for girls’ education in Pakistan. “Today I’m going to announce the happiest moment of my life,” the teenager said in the brief video, wearing a bright red headscarf and at one point shyly covering her face with her hands. She said that a new school in her homeland would be built, for 40 girls. “Let us turn the education of 40 girls into 40 million girls,” she said. Malala has garnered huge global attention since she was shot in the head in October by Taleban attackers angered by her activism. She was brought to Britain for treatment, including skull reconstruction and cochlear implant surgeries. She is now attending school there. She recently signed a deal to write her memoir, and was also shortlisted for Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” in 2012. Jolie gave an emotional rendition of her story. “Here’s what they accomplished,” she said of Malala’s attackers. “They shot her point blank range in the head - and made her stronger. The brutal attempt to silence her voice made it stronger.” After her introduction, Tina Brown, the Newsweek/Daily Beast editor who created the Women in the World summit, told the audience at Lincoln Center’s David H Koch Theater that Jolie had just committed $200,000 personally to the fund, which was established by Vital Voices, with a donation from the Women in the World Foundation. Jolie was not the only Hollywood star on the stage at the conference. Meryl Streep was there to honor another activist, Inez McCormack of Northern Ireland, who died in January of cancer. At the first Women in the World summit three years ago, Streep had played McCormack in a short play, called “Seven,” with McCormack herself watching from the audience. Streep spoke some lines from the play on Thursday evening - in a flawless Irish accent. The conference continues on Friday, with a speech by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and appearances by Oprah Winfrey, Eva Longoria and Tom Hanks. The evening began with a dance performance by Michaela DePrince, who grew up as an orphan in war-torn Sierra Leone, where her father was killed and her mother starved to death, as she explained in an accompanying film. She was adopted by an American family and now dances with the Dance Theater of Harlem. Barbara Walters moderated a panel on Syria, Charlie Rose interviewed South African political activist Mamphela Ramphele, and Christiane Amanpour led a panel on “The Next Generation of Malalas,” featuring two other young women fighting for girls’ rights in Pakistan. Jolie, who is a special envoy for the UN refugee agency, told an anecdote about Malala that had the audience smiling. She said the girl’s father had shown his daughter, in the hospital, a poll that said she was the sixth most influential person in the world, and that President Barack Obama was seventh. But the girl, according to the story, said she wasn’t so happy with that - she didn’t think people should be categorized like that. “So we can learn a lot from this girl,” Jolie said with a grin. — AP

An image grab taken from handout video footage released by the Malala Fund yesterday shows Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taleban for promoting girls’ education, speaking in a recorded message to announce the first grant from the Malala Fund. — AFP

DHAKA: Bangladeshi Hifazat-e Islam activists shout slogans during a rally yesterday. Both secular and Islamist protesters have taken to the streets over the war crimes trials of leaders of the Islamic Jamaat-e-Islami party in cases related to the 1971 liberation war against Pakistan.—AFP

Musharraf barred from one Pak election constituency Top court to hear treason petition ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s election board barred yesterday former President Pervez Musharraf from contesting polls in one constituency and the Supreme Court agreed to look into a treason complaint against him, hurting his efforts to win back influence. The former army chief returned last month after nearly four years of self-imposed exile to contest a May 11 general election despite the possibility of arrest on various charges and death threats from the Pakistani Taleban. The Election Commission barred Musharraf from the polls in Kasur in Punjab province because of court cases against him, commission officials said. He could also face disqualification in the three other constituencies where he plans to run. The officials, who declined to be identified, also said the decision was based on a clause in the constitution which requires candidates to be of good character and the fact that he had not declared all of his assets. “Musharraf has been disqualified under articles 62 and 63 of the constitution, among other reasons,” an election commission official said, referring to clauses that require a candidate to be “of good character”, among other things. Neither Musharraf nor a spokesman for him were available for comment. Musharraf faces charges of failing to provide adequate security to former prime minister Benazir Bhutto before her assassination in 2007. He also faces accusations in connection with the death of a separatist leader in the southwestern province of Baluchistan. He denies any wrongdoing. A petition which will be heard by the Supreme Court on Monday accuses

Musharraf of committing treason when he sacked senior judges and declared emergency rule while in power. The current chief justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry, was embroiled in a confrontation with Musharraf, who removed him from office in 2007 after he opposed plans to extend the general’s term in office. He was later reinstated. Musharraf had hoped to compete in the election. Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the man Musharraf ousted in a coup in 1999, is seen as the front runner. Musharraf, a former commando,

has been far removed from Pakistan’s troubles during his exile in London and Dubai, where he lived in a posh part of the Gulf Arab emirate. Pakistan’s military has ruled the nation for more than half of its 66-year history, through coups and from behind the scenes. It sets foreign and security policy, even when civilian administrations are in power. But current commanders have meddled far less in politics than during Musharraf’s era, preferring instead to let civilian governments take the heat for the country’s failures. — Reuters

Delhi rape suspect’s arm broken in jail NEW DELHI: A man accused in the fatal gang rape of a woman on a New Delhi bus in December was beaten so badly in jail that his arm was broken, a defense lawyer said yesterday. The attack followed the death last month of another defendant, whose lifeless body was found in his cell, which he shared with three other inmates. Authorities said Ram Singh committed suicide by hanging himself. His father said the man had been raped in prison by other inmates. On Thursday, the other four defendants being tried in a special court that deals with crimes against women complained to the court about being routinely beaten by fellow inmates and guards at Delhi’s Tihar Jail, defense lawyer A.P. Singh told reporters outside the courtroom. Instead of authorities responding with extra security, defendant Vinay Sharma was beaten so badly after he returned to jail that his arm was broken, Singh said. Tihar Jail spokesman Sunil Gupta denied that Sharma was beaten up. “His arm was broken, but he stated before the doctor that he got his arm broken due to falling in the jail van,” Gupta said. Singh called for the defendants to be moved to a jail where they could be better protected. The men are charged with rape and murder for the fatal attack on a young woman in a moving bus in New Delhi in December that sparked protests demanding the country do more to protect its women. A fifth defendant is being tried in juvenile court. — AP


US agents net Africa drug kingpin in high seas sting BISSAU: US agents have captured the former head of Guinea-Bissau’s navy, an alleged kingpin in the west African nation’s drugs trade with Latin America, in a sting operation on the high seas, intelligence sources and media said. Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto was transferred to the United States after being snatched in international waters near Cape Verde in an operation by US and Cape Verdian agents, state TV in the Atlantic island state reported. Bubo Na Tchuto has since 2010 been on a list of suspected drug barons drawn up by the United States, which has also imposed a US travel ban and asset freeze on him. He is one of several military figures in the small and notoriously unstable former Portuguese colony alleged to be involved in helping Latin American drug cartels smuggle cocaine into Europe via Africa.

There was no immediate official comment by US officials, but Radio France Internationale said a New York court would later Friday inform Bubo Na Tchuto and four others arrested with him of the charges against them. The head of Guinea-Bissau national radio, Carlos Gomes Nhafe, a friend of Bubo Na Tchuto, told AFP he had received a phone call from the former navy chief, who has been involved in several failed coups in the impoverished former Portuguese colony. “He called me this (Thursday) morning from Sal, in Cape Verde, to tell me he had been arrested and that he is en route to the United States,” he said. No military official in Bissau would comment. But an intelligence officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the ex-rear admiral was “captured by American agents”. He said

US agents had been present in Guinea-Bissau for two weeks and that it was probably these agents who had been involved in the capture. Bubo Na Tchuto’s wife said she had not seen her husband since Wednesday and that her requests to military high command for information on his whereabouts had drawn a blank. “He left the house (on Wednesday) as usual in his car to do some shopping in town and he hasn’t been back since,” Cadi Balde said. The Cape Verde islands lie about 1,000 kilometers west of GuineaBissau. Bubo Na Tchuto was accused of being the leader of a coup attempt in December 2011. He was arrested and later released with 18 others in June last year on orders of the country’s current army chief. GuineaBissau, a country of just 1.5 million people, has suffered chronic instabili-

Bulgaria rocked by suicides, protests Bulgarians unite in prayer after series of self-immolations SOFIA: Bulgarians set aside religious and political differences yesterday at the start of three days of prayer, as President Rosen Plevneliev sought to heal rifts following protests over poverty and the deaths of four men who set themselves on fire. The country has been rocked by demonstrations which brought down the centre-right government in February and in particular by the self-immolations highlighting low living standards and suspected corruption among the political elite. The prayer initiative, which drew more worshippers than normal to mosques on the Muslim day of prayer yesterday, came after Plevneliev met leaders of the dominant Orthodox Christian church and minority Muslim, Jewish and Catholic communities. Orthodox Christianity accounts for more than 80 percent of the 7.3-million population of Bulgaria, a country where 45 years of Communist rule undermined its influence. “We need to have more hope and believe that we can pull through,” Plevneliev told reporters at his presidential offices. “As we face up to the challenges, we should draw lessons and believe more. “We need solidarity personal, human, fraternal solidarity,” Plevneliev added. “Let us look after the sick, give a hand to a neighbor who is in distress. Let us not leave people alone.” Special prayers will be held at mosques across the country, the synagogue in the capital Sofia and all Bulgarian Orthodox and protestant churches over the next three days. The Armenian Church will also hold prayers today and tomorrow. The Orthodox Church has already expressed concern about the recent

SOFIA: A Muslim imam prays in the day. — AFP wave of self-immolations, with newlyelected Patriarch Neofit urging his followers not to take their own lives “under any circumstances”. “Bulgarians must not fall victim to hopelessness,” he said. Images of people setting themselves alight in protest, a new phenomenon in the country, have shocked Bulgarians. The most famous case was that of 36-year-old artist Plamen Goranov, who died last month after setting himself on fire in the Black Sea port of Varna while holding a poster protesting against the city’s mayor, who subsequently resigned. Underlining the level of concern over such cases, the health ministry has ordered public hospitals to offer free psychological counselling to people contemplating suicide. “I will burn a candle and will pray

mosque in downtown Sofia yesterfor an end to the suicides,” said Yordanka Koleva, a 69-year-old pensioner, outside Sofia’s main cathedral, St Alexander Nevski. “We have to be strong and patient even during the crisis.” Widespread protests over low incomes and a political elite accused of maintaining a corrupt system since the collapse of communism in 1989 forced the resignation of the cabinet led by Boiko Borisov. New elections are set for May 12, and, although Borisov’s centreright GERB party is leading in the polls, it is unlikely to command a majority and will have to try and form a coalition. People in the Balkan country, the European Union’s poorest member, earn an average monthly wage of 400 euros ($510) and pensions of less than half that. — Reuters

ty since independence from Portugal in 1974 due to conflict between the army and state. Political instability and mismanagement have undermined the legal economy, which is mostly based on primary crops and subsistence agriculture. Drug traffickers have turned the state, which is sandwiched between Senegal and Guinea where the African continent extends the farthest west toward South America, into a transit point for the cocaine trade. Guinea-Bissau suffered its latest military-backed coup a year ago, and the current transitional government does not have full international recognition. The United Nations Security Council last year said that drug trafficking in the troubled state had grown since the junta seized control in April. — AFP

Scandals and austerity an ‘explosive mix’ in Europe PARIS: A wave of corrosive political scandals at a time of economic woe is exacerbating the outrage of European citizens, who are channeling resentment into street protests or at the polls. Italy, Spain and Greece have all been hit by fraud or graft cases allegedly involving the top brass. France joined the ranks of scandal-hit nations this week after its former budget minister was charged with tax fraud. “Everything is coming together to reinforce populist theories-the theory that ‘they’re all rotten’,” said Eddy Fougier, a researcher at the Parisbased IRIS think tank, which analyses international issues. In France, outrage over the budget minister scandal has yet to erupt into popular protests. But in some countries of southern Europe, which for several years have been hit by austerity measures more severe than in France, fury has coiled into potent blowback. Italy, for instance, is currently in the midst a major political impasse triggered in part by voter discontent over a string of scandals. Ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is involved in tax fraud, sex-for-money and other cases. Fed-up Italians registered their anger en masse in February general elections, giving former comedian Beppe Grillo’s new anti-corruption, anti-austerity party-the Five Star Movement - 25 percent of the votes. That led to a three-way split between the parties of Grillo, Berlusconi and a centre-left party run by Pier Luigi Bersani. The result was a failure to form a new government in the eurozone’s third-largest economy. “No political party must be under any illusion. Even if they did not all act in the same way, there is rage against them,” said Giacomo Marramao, a professor of political philosophy at Roma Tre University. A series of scandals has also sparked anger in Spain, where citizens brandish drawings of envelopes-a reference to hiding wads of cash in a symbol of graft-in street protests and on the Internet as a sign of their disgust. “In Spain, people have never really forgiven the act of pocketing money, and if it coincides with a period of general crisis, then it spawns incredibly hostile feelings,” said Emilio de Diego, professor of contemporary history at the Complutense University of Madrid. The country’s ruling Popular Party, in power since the end of 2011, has been rocked by two separate probes. It has been accused of using a slush fund to make secret payments to senior members, including Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy-a claim he denies-and is also involved in a corruption scandal related to awarding state contracts. — AFP



Colombia’s ‘emerald czar’ dead at 77 BOGOTA: The man known as Colombia’s “emerald czar” survived at least two assassination attempts and avoided criminal conviction despite being prosecuted for allegedly forming farright militias. What finally felled Victor Carranza was lung cancer, with officials announcing the death of the mustachioed emerald magnate on Thursday at Bogota’s top hospital, Fundacion Santa Fe, at age 77. Carranza, one of Colombia’s biggest landowners, built his fortune after discovering his first emerald mine as a boy in the late 1940s. “I’ve been fortunate,” he would say. “The emeralds call me.” In a 2010 interview with the newspaper El Espectador, Carranza said his father died when he was two years old. “We were left without protection, five siblings and my mother. We had a small farm and we were very poor. It fell to me to get things going.” A loquacious, gravel-voiced man of humble origins but deep political connections, Carranza fought three power struggles for control of the sector beginning in the 1960s. The fighting left nearly 5,000 people dead while Carranza amassed a private army, say the authors of a 2012 biography, leftist Rep. Ivan Cepeda and Rev. Javier Giraldo, a Jesuit priest. In the 1990s, Carranza began to extend his holdings outside the Victor Carranza central state of Boyaca where the emerald industry is concentrated, buying properties in the eastern plains around Puerto Lopez. It was there that he allegedly deepened support for the paramilitary militias that are blamed for the lion’s share of killings in Colombia’s decades-old dirty war. In 1998, Carranza was arrested and charged with kidnapping and forming illegal right-wing militias, which prosecutors have blamed for more than 50,000 killings over the past three decades. Colombia’s chief prosecutor at the time, Alfonso Gomez Mendez, told The Associated Press in an interview that he had no doubt Carranza was one of the paramilitaries’ principal creators and backers. Yet after three years in jail Carranza, whose lawyers included a former Supreme Court justice, was freed and the charges were dropped. The following year, Alvaro Uribe was elected president and he made peace with the paramilitaries. Several top paramilitary warlords who surrendered in exchange for reduced sentences identified Carranza as one of them. One, Ivan Roberto Duque, said Carranza shouldn’t have been called the “emerald czar” but rather “the czar of paramilitarism.” Cepeda, one of Carranza’s biographers, said Carranza was long able to avoid prosecution because he could rely on “the families that have been governing this country.” Carranza was born Oct 8, 1935 in Guateque, a temperate mountain town about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Bogota. He is survived by his wife, Blanca, and five children. —AP

in the


Truck crashes into airport JEDDAH: A service truck crashed into a passenger lounge of Jeddah international airport in Saudi Arabia, killing two Iranian pilgrims and injuring four others, reports said yesterday. The truck, driven by a Nepalese man, careened through the glass panes of the King Abdulaziz International Airport terminal on Thursday, the reports said, citing the Saudi Civil Aviation Authority. The Iranians had been waiting to board a flight to Tehran after pilgrimages to the Muslim holy cities of Makkah and Madina. Iran’s Arabic-language Al-Alam television said the two passengers who died were in their sixties and that two of the four injured were treated on the spot and able to travel, while the other two were hospitalized. The Nepalese truck driver was arrested and an investigation launched into the accident, the Saudi media reports said.

15 die as fiery crashes MUMBAI: Sandhya, 4, a survivor of a building collapse, recovers at a hospital in Thane, on the outskirts of Mumbai. — AFP

45 perish as building... Continued from Page 1 the rescue operation; our priority now is to rescue as many as possible,” he said. Police with rescue dogs were searching the building, which appeared to have buckled and collapsed upon itself. Rescuers and nearby residents stood on the remains of the roof trying to get to people trapped inside. Residents carried the injured to ambulances and one man carried a small child caked white with dust from the wreckage. Raghuvanshi said rescue workers had saved 15 people from the wreckage. Building collapses are common in India as builders try to cut corners by using poor quality materials, and multi-storied structures are built with inadequate supervision. The massive demand for housing around India’s cities and pervasive corruption allow builders to add unauthorized floors or build entirely illegal buildings. The neighborhood where the building collapsed was part of a belt of more than 2,000 illegal structures that had sprung up in the area in recent years, said Malvi, the town spokesman. “Notices have been served several times for such illegal construction, sometimes notices are sent 10 times for the same building,” he said. G R Khairnar, a former top Mumbai official, said government officials who allowed the illegal construction should be tried along with the builders. “There are a lot of people involved (in illegal construction) builders, government machinery, police, municipal corporation - everybody is involved in this process,” he told CNN-IBN television. The building that collapsed was illegally constructed on forest land, and the city informed forestry officials twice about it, Malvi said. A local resident, who did not give his name, said the site was meant to hold a smaller structure and accused officials of turning a blind eye to the problem.— AP

TEHRAN: A pickup truck smuggling fuel crashed yesterday into a car carrying 15 Afghans in southeastern Iran, bursting into flames and killing all on board as well as three Iranians, media reported. “The crash and resulting fire claimed the lives of 15 Afghans who had entered the country illegally,” the state IRNA news agency quoted local official Sadeq Dadollahpour as saying. He attributed the accident to the “excessive speed” of both vehicles. The Mehr news agency said the crash took place in Kerman province on a transit route for Afghans illegally crossing the border in the hope of finding work in the Islamic republic. Nearly a million Afghans live in Iran illegally, according to official figures released in 2012. Iran is one of the world’s deadliest countries for road accidents. Around 20,000 people are killed each year in a nation with a little over 17 million vehicles for its 75-millionstrong population.

5 killed in Iraq attacks HILLA: Attacks near Baghdad and central Iraq killed five people yesterday, the latest in an apparent spike in unrest barely two weeks ahead of the country’s first elections in three years. In the deadliest attack, a roadside bomb near a fruit and vegetable stall in a small village south of the capital in Babil province killed three people, security and medical officials said. Just west of Baghdad in Abu Ghraib, two soldiers were killed and two others were wounded by another bombing targeting a passing military vehicle. And in Baquba, north of the capital in restive Diyala province, 13 people were wounded by an explosion near a Sunni mosque as worshippers were exiting after weekly Friday prayers. The apparent rise in violence, which left 271 Iraqis dead last month, the highest such figure since August 2012 according to an AFP tally, comes ahead of provincial elections due on April 20.

Political intelligence gathering tough to oversee WASHINGTON: Two US lawmakers on Thursday renewed their bid to regulate the business of selling information gleaned from government contacts after a study said the political intelligence industry was difficult to define and would be hard to police. Senator Charles Grassley and Representative Louise Slaughter said they would reintroduce a bill requiring political intelligence gatherers to register with the government and disclose information about their activities. Such requirements were stripped from legislation passed last year to curb insider trading by lawmakers, their staffs and executive-branch employees. The Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act instead called for more study of the growing industry surrounding the collection and sale of non-public information about legislative, regulatory and executive branch matters to Wall Street investors and corporations. The study released on Thursday by the Government Accountability Office came to

few conclusions. “The prevalence of the sale of political intelligence is not known and therefore difficult to quantify,” the GAO said. “The extent to which investment decisions are based on a single piece of political intelligence would be extremely difficult to measure.” At the time the STOCK Act was being debated by Congress, Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, had suggested that the political intelligence industry could be racking up annual sales of $100 million, largely employing former congressional staffers and government officials. Unlike lobbyists, who are subject to strict disclosure laws, people who collect information through direct, informal contacts with lawmakers, staffers and other government officials are not subject to any laws or guidelines. The sale of such information is often bundled with industry research or policy analysis services, making it difficult to determine exactly what information clients use to

make their investment decisions. Often, multiple sources of information are combined when deciding to buy or sell securities, the study said. “Even when a connection can be established between a discrete piece of government information and investment decisions, it is not always clear whether such information could be definitively categorized as material,” the GAO said. Still, Grassley and Slaughter, a Democratic congresswoman from upstate New York, said these professionals should be registered with the government and their activities disclosed, just like lobbyists. “This report shows the dire need for transparency in the political intelligence industry, which profits from the cozy relationship between Washington, DC, and Wall Street,” the two lawmakers said in a statement. What is ‘direct contact’? The GAO noted that insider trading laws

now apply to both the executive and legislative branches of government, prohibiting officials and lawmakers from using or disclosing material non-public information for their own benefit. Firms selling political intelligence maintain they have policies in place to ensure that they follow those laws. If Congress chose to supplement these laws with disclosure requirements for political intelligence gatherers, it would have to deal with a lack of consensus on key definitions such as what constitutes “direct contact,” or an “investment decision” or even what constitutes such intelligence, the study said. On Capitol Hill, where information is used as currency among lawmakers, congressional staff, constituents, trade groups and the media, such requirements could make life more difficult. The GAO said they could even prompt challenges based on perceived restrictions to free speech. — Reuters

Numbness gives way to anger in Cyprus


India-France Rafale deal hits problems



Freshest fish traded in dead of the NYC night




UK lawmakers urge bans for ‘colossal’ HBOS failure

WASHINGTON: A jobs sign hangs above the entrance to the US Chamber of Commerce building in this Dec 13, 2011 file photo. — AFP

Weak job gains hit US outlook Nonfarm payrolls climb 88,000 • Unemployment falls to 7.6% WASHINGTON: American employers hired at the slowest pace in nine months in March, a sign that Washington’s austerity drive could be stealing momentum from the economy. The economy added just 88,000 nonfarm jobs last month, the Labor Department said yesterday, well below market expectations for a 200,000 increase. The jobless rate ticked a tenth of a point lower to 7.6 percent largely due to people dropping out of the work force. Analysts suspected some of the weakness was due to tax hikes enacted in January. While retail sales data had not shown a big impact earlier in the year, retailers cut staff in March by 24,100. “The US economy just hit a major speed bump,” said Marcus Bullus, trading director at MB Capital in London. It was unclear whether across-the-board federal budget cuts that began in March played a significant role in the weak pace of hiring, although nervousness over the cuts might have made businesses shy about taking on more staff. Some economists cautioned against reading too much into the

report. “We don’t think there is enough signal here to conclude the US economy is wobbling. Rather, it appears that the underlying trend has not improved as much as the January-February data suggested,” said Julia Coronado, chief North America economist at BNP Paribas in New York. US stocks fell more than 1 percent at open on the data, while prices for Treasury debt rallied. The dollar fell against a basket of currencies. The slowdown in job growth could make policymakers at the Federal Reserve more confident about continuing a bond-buying stimulus program. Prior advances in the labor market recovery had fueled discussion at the central bank over whether to dial back the purchases, perhaps as soon as this summer. “The recent discussions about the Fed backing off from its quantitative easing has been premature,” said Russell Price, senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Services in Troy, Michigan. The report did have some positive news for the economy. The Labor Department revised readings for January and February to

show 61,000 more jobs added than previously estimated. The average workweek rose to its highest level in a year. “Companies ramped up working hours instead of hiring additional people. The fact that labor demand kept rising should bode well for future job gains,” said Harm Bandholz, chief US economist at UniCredit Research in New York. The construction sector added 18,000 jobs despite cold weather in parts of the country, reinforcing the view that a recovery in the housing sector has become entrenched. But analysts have noted that the federal spending cuts have only just begun and will be a more substantial drag on the economy between April and June, when many government workers begin taking days off work without pay. Government payrolls fell only 7,000 in March, partly reversing the 14,000job gain from February. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who has said the labor market must show sustained improvement before monetary stimulus is eased, has voiced concern about the spending cuts.

The jobless rate fell to its lowest since Dec 2008, but the report showed that much of the drop was due to the labor force shrinking by 496,000 people. That pushed the labor force participation rate - the percentage of working-age Americans either with a job or looking for one - to 63.3 percent, its lowest since 1979. The unemployment rate is derived from a survey of households which is separate from the survey of employer payrolls. That survey actually showed employment fell by 206,000 in March. Some of the people dropping out of the labor force are retiring or going back to school, but others have given up the job hunt out of discouragement. Separately, Commerce Department data showed the US trade gap narrowed unexpectedly in February as crude oil imports fell to their lowest level since March 1996 and overall exports increased slightly. The deficit narrowed to $43.0 billion. The consensus estimate of analysts surveyed before the report was for the trade gap to widen slightly to $44.6 billion. — Reuters



Numbness gives way to anger in Cyprus Confusion over how bailout controls should operate NICOSIA: Public shock in Cyprus about the tough terms of an international bailout is turning into anger as millions of euros remain locked in the country’s banks. Cypriots were stunned by last month’s collapse of its second-biggest lender, Popular Bank, and a decision to slap losses on large deposits at the Bank of Cyprus in return for financial aid from the European Union and IMF. They are now demanding answers after allegations earlier this week that a company connected to the family of President Nicos Anastasiades shifted money out of one of the distressed lenders just before the banking system was effectively locked down on March 15. Anger and impatience is rising as the results of an official inquiry into what caused the crisis, and exactly who knew what and when, is unlikely to be ready for weeks. Banks reopened last week but Cypriots can withdraw only €300 ($390) a day under a range of controls imposed to prevent panicked residents from emptying their accounts or moving all their savings abroad. Anxiety is being deepened by confusion over how the hastily-imposed rules should operate. Hundreds of bank workers protested outside parliament on Thursday, worried that they could lose much of their pension savings under the terms of the bailout deal. This stipulates that some depositors have to bear part of the rescue’s cost if their accounts hold more than €100,000 ($128,500). “I am disappointed and angry,” said Iacovos Louca, 53, who works at Popular Bank, which is being wound down under the €10 billion deal with the EU and International Monetary Fund. “The politicians are out of touch with our problems and the big guys, who had the information, managed to take their money abroad.” A copy of a bank statement, first published in the Cypriot communist newspaper Haravghi which maintains it is genuine, shows a company whose owners are related to the president by marriage moving money out of Popular in early March. The company says there was nothing untoward or nontransparent in the transaction used to facilitate a real estate project abroad. It has also said many more millions of its funds remain

locked in the Cypriot banking system. One company in Nicosia which has several offices abroad has been caught in limbo as the central bank now has to approve transfers out of Cyprus over €25,000. As part of the company’s payroll is managed from the island, payments to employees abroad are being delayed because of the vetting process and currency controls to avoid a bank run. “We have held clients’ money for certain pre-paid jobs, and we have a cash flow issue now,” the owner of the services company said, on condition of anonymity. “We have to make payments of more than 1 million euros on behalf of our clients, and now we can only use 100,000.” Lack of clear answers on where their money may end up is fuelling public frustration. Andrew Georgiou, a 55-year-old British consultant who moved to Cyprus a year ago

with the earnings from the sale of his home in London, says all four accounts he holds with Popular - even a sterling account containing just 22 pence - are blocked. These totalled €97,000 and under the bailout deal, deposits under 100,000 are fully insured. Nevertheless, Georgiou is now unable to access any funds. Georgiou, who is of Cypriot descent, said Popular Bank had justified its action on the grounds that he was also considered a beneficiary to an account held by his 78-yearold father. It also covered money held in a trust for medical expenses. “I wrote to the central bank and they came back saying that it was not their competence, so whose competence is it?,” said Georgiou. “Nobody is explaining where anyone should go with a problem.” As a result, Georgiou has been told he and his father could eventually be entitled only to a combined €40,000 despite

the 100,000 euro guarantee, a fraction of their savings in Popular. “Absolutely nothing adds up,” he said. “They told us it was 140,000 last week.” Georgiou and others like him are in for a long wait to figure out what went wrong. Three judges appointed to look into the island’s financial collapse started work on Thursday. With an extensive remit ranging from the business sense of Cypriot banks hoarding a mass of Greek government bonds while others were selling them and the prudence of government fiscal policies, the judges will need a small army of consultants. Cypriots are, in the meantime, resigned to years of hardship. Iraklis Paraskeva, 53, has three children to support, now studying in Greece. “I am going to find myself in the street with no future, only debts. But we will fight to the end. We have nothing left to lose.” — Reuters

NICOSIA: People queue outside the government-owned Housing Finance Corporation in the Cypriot capital yesterday. — AFP

Egyptians buy into real estate to escape currency dive CAIRO: After buying gold plates for 100,000 Egyptian pounds ($14,700), Naer Wahid is considering whether to use the rest of his savings to acquire, with his sisters, an apartment or plot of land outside Cairo. Like many Egyptians, the tour guide is tired of seeing his savings shrinking along with the value of the local currency, which has been in decline since president Hosni Mubarak was ousted in early 2011. “I need to move assets because the pound is losing so much value against the dollar,” said Wahid, who already owns a multistorey building near Cairo’s Ramses train station. Two years of upheaval have devastated much of Egypt’s economy. The pound has lost about 14 percent of its value, while the central bank’s dollar reserves have fallen to critically low levels, hampering the government’s ability to buy essential imports such as fuel and wheat. But for the real estate industry, especially the upmarket part of it which caters to people with large amounts

of savings, the weak pound is actually fairly good news. “We have a better market now,” said Hisham Shoukri, chairman of Rooya Group, one of the largest property investment firms. “I don’t say it is an excellent market, but a lot of people want to save the value of their money by buying real estate assets,” he told last week’s Cityscape property industry conference in Cairo, which saw a 25 percent rise in participants compared to 2012. In addition to Egyptians, the weaker currency makes Egypt more attractive for investors from other Arab countries trying to escape instability at home, especially Libya, Syria and Sudan. “We have 12 Libyans who just bought apartments here,” said Ali Ibrahim, head of El Noor, a firm which just finished building a large residential tower in Nasr City, a Cairo suburb where middle-class people like to move to escape traffic jams in the centre. “Some of the Libyans had political problems at home so they moved here,” he

said, sitting in his ground-floor office, which faces a quiet street and a public garden - a stark contrast to the noisy centre of the capital. “Other Libyans come for investment. I’ve also had a Kuwaiti buyer.” Asking prices for apartments in the upmarket suburb of New Cairo rose 4 percent in the first quarter compared to the previous quarter, consultants Jones Lang LaSalle said in a report last week. Some foreign developers want to get in on the action. Last October Al-Futtaim Group and Emaar Properties, two real estate developers from the United Arab Emirates, said they planned a 5 billion Egyptian pound tie-up to build a retail, entertainment and residential complex outside Cairo. Political uncertainty over the outcome of infighting between new Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and the secular opposition still weighs on the real estate sector. Several developers have delayed or stopped work at large housing schemes after courts or the government revoked

land sales, accusing them of having paid too little because of cosy relationships with officials in the Mubarak era. According to Jones Lang LaSalle, delivery of 200 villas was delayed in one project during the first quarter of this year because of such a legal dispute. The most prominent example may be Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG), a large firm which has been locked for three years starting even before the revolution - in a court battle over its $3 billion Madinaty real estate development project. “We need to change a lot of regulations,” said Shoukri. “With this instability in the political situation it is very difficult to ask someone to take the hard decision to change all the rules.” Developers also complain that the government needs to build more roads to make land accessible - a prospect which seems unlikely while the economy struggles and political conflict remains so fierce. — Reuters



British lawmakers urge bans for ‘colossal’ HBOS failure Scathing report slams trio of former executives

LONDON: In a file picture taken on Dec 17, 2012, pedestrians pass a branch of retailer HMV in central London. — AFP

HMV rescued by US-based Hilco LONDON: Restructuring specialist Hilco on Friday bought Britain’s most high-profile entertainment retailer HMV, securing the future of the 92-year-old firm and safeguarding 2,500 jobs. Hilco, which already owns HMV Canada, said it had acquired the business and certain assets of HMV, including 141 stores, 25 of which had been marked for closure by administrators Deloitte. Media reports have valued the deal at around £50 million. Deloitte was brought in by HMV in January to find a buyer for the firm after a long struggle with declining CD, DVD and video game markets and fierce competition from supermarkets and online. To try and attract sales it had been focusing on selling in demand tablets and other devices but Hilco said yesterday that move would be reversed and it would look to “reclaim the space for an enhanced music and visual range”. Hilco, long seen as the favourite to strike a deal for HMV after buying the group’s £176 million of debt in January, also said it was in talks with landlords in Ireland with a view to re-opening there having closed during administration. The chain will initially be run by a Hilco team working alongside existing HMV management. HMV’s chief executive Trevor Moore was made redundant in February. “This is an exciting investment for the Hilco team and we will be able to use some of the developments already progressed in Canada to restore HMV to health,” Hilco’s Ian Topping said, adding the deal had the backing of landlords and suppliers, all keen to protect a valuable outlet onto Britain’s high streets. “The reaction of the British public to the administration of HMV shows a strong desire for the business to continue to trade and we hope to play a constructive part in delivering that.” HMV, whose first store on London’s Oxford Street was opened by English composer Edward Elgar in 1921, had around 400 stores before going into administration and over 4,000 staff. In its last full-year results for the year to April 28, 2012, it had sales of £923 million but posted a pretax loss of £16.2 million. HMV was hit hard by the rise of online retailers like Amazon and supermarket giants, whose vast scale enabled them to offer CDs and DVDs at cheaper prices. A series of ill-fated relaunches failed to turn around the HMV chain and it collapsed in January. —Agencies

LONDON: Bailed-out British lender HBOS was so badly run it would have failed even without the 2008 financial crisis and the regulator should consider banning its former bosses from the industry, UK lawmakers said in a damning report. The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, tasked with finding ways to reform UK banks, said yesterday that HBOS was an “accident waiting to happen”, with bad lending and losses across the business likely to have led to its insolvency even without the funding and liquidity problems of the financial crisis. The committee said regulators bore some of the blame, but primary responsibility lay with Dennis Stevenson, chairman from the formation of HBOS in 2001 until its collapse, and former chief executives James Crosby and Andy Hornby. There was a “colossal failure of senior management and the board”, said Commission chairman Andrew Tyrie, a Conservative lawmaker who expressed surprise that only Peter Cummings, who was head of corporate lending at HBOS, had so far been punished. “The Commission has asked the regulator to consider whether these individuals should be barred from undertaking any future role in the sector,” Tyrie said in the report. Following the report, Crosby resigned as an advisor to private equity firm Bridgepoint. He is also senior independent director at the world’s biggest catering company, Compass , which declined to comment on his position. Cummings was fined 500,000 pounds ($759,000) by Britain’s financial services regulator in September and banned for life from the industry. HBOS, Britain’s biggest mortgage lender, had to be rescued with a government-engineered takeover by rival Lloyds, which subsequently needed a

£20-billion bailout to survive. Hornby, who since leaving HBOS has worked as chief executive of healthcare group Alliance Boots and is currently the boss of betting shop chain Coral, declined to comment on the report. Coral, however, had nothing but praise for Hornby, and a spokesman said his position was safe. “Coral is performing extremely well, and we are really pleased with the great job Andy is doing.” Stevenson, who sits in the upper chamber of parliament, could not be reached for comment. HBOS was created in 2001 by a merger between Halifax, a former mutually owned savings and loans firm, and the 300-year-old Bank of Scotland. It ramped up lending using cheap funding

on the wholesale markets rather than safer customer deposits, and its highrisk strategy was exposed when that funding dried up following the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2008. HBOS’s managers blamed the financial crisis for the collapse, but the Commission said the bank’s business model was inherently flawed and its board was a “model of self-delusion”. “The sums would never have added up,” Tyrie said. “The Commission has estimated that, taken together, the losses incurred by the corporate, international and treasury divisions would have led to insolvency, regardless of funding and liquidity problems, had HBOS not been bailed out by both Lloyds and the taxpayer,” he said. — Reuters

LONDON: A combination of still image grabs taken from archive footage broadcast on Parliament TV from the UK Parliament’s Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) shows former HBOS chief executives Andy Hornby (right) and James Crosby giving evidence about the bank’s downfall to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards Joint Committee on Dec 3, 2012. — AFP

Kenya to re-allocate cash in budget to fund pledges NAIROBI: Kenya’s government will table a supplementary budget for the 2012/13 (July-June) fiscal in parliament seeking to re-allocate cash to pay for promises made by President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta during his campaign, the finance minister said yesterday. The budget to be tabled when parliament in east Africa’s biggest economy starts sitting on April 16 will aims to re-allocate 44 billion shillings ($518 million) to avoid further borrowing, Njeru Githae said. “We are trying to re-align the budget to take into account the Jubilee manifesto,” the minister said, referring to Kenyatta’s Jubilee coalition that swept to power in March 4 polls. The funds will be spent on the provision of free maternal health care, a milk-for-schools programme and a youth enterprise fund, all pledges Kenyatta had committed to deliver in his first 100 days in office. Githae, who presented a national budget worth 1.46 trillion shillings for this fiscal year last June, said they would take cash allocated to some projects that were yet to start and use it to fund Kenyatta’s pledges. Githae did not specify which

projects had yet to kick-off. Over the years, some ministries usually return to Treasury cash that had been allocated for specific projects after they failed to take off owing to red tape in the tendering process. The country’s debt-to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio stood at just under 44 percent at the end of last year and it is expected to fall further in the years ahead on the back of expenditure control and higher tax collections. Githae dismissed claims in the local media that Kenyatta and his deputy Presidentelect William Ruto were considering keeping him at his post as the head of the Treasury when they form their government by next week. “That is just sheer speculation. That appointment is the prerogative of the two (Kenyatta and Ruto),” he said. Kenyatta’s appointments are subject to approval or rejection by parliament, where his coalition holds a majority. Kenyatta, son of the country’s founding president Jomo Kenyatta, will formally take over from President Mwai Kibaki on April 9 when he takes the oath of office to become the country’s fourth president since independence from Britain in 1963. — Reuters



Tokyo stocks soar on BoJ easing plan TOKYO: Tokyo stocks soared yesterday, hitting record volumes as investors embraced sweeping new Bank of Japan stimulus measures which sent the yen plunging, spelling good news for the key export sector. The scope of the BoJ action Thursday - including doubling the money supply took some analysts and investors by surprise, despite expectations of major moves by the bank in its first meeting under new governor Haruhiko Kuroda. The yen slumped against the dollar and euro after Thursday’s announcement, the benchmark Nikkei jumped and bond yields hit a record low as Kuroda vowed no let-up in the battle against the decades of deflation that has weighed on the world’s third-largest economy. The Nikkei soared over four percent in early yesterday’s trade, past 13,100 to intraday highs last seen in August 2008 just before the global financial crisis rocked markets. It ended yesterday’s session up 1.58 percent, or 199.10 points, to 12,833.64 on its biggest volume since the Tokyo Stock Exchange opened in 1949, with 6.45 billion shares changing hands. The broader Topix Haruhiko Kuroda index of all first-section shares jumped 2.74 percent, or 28.48 points, to finish at 1,066.24. Shares were boosted by a tumbling yen, which sank to a three-and-a-half year low against the dollar, with the greenback buying 96.35 yen against 96.33 yen in New York late Thursday, after jumping as high as 97.05 yen earlier Friday. The dollar was trading below 93 yen before the BoJ announcement. The euro bought 124.59 yen from 125.20 yen in US trade, after soaring to 125.43 yen in earlier Tokyo trade yesterday. Monetary easing tends to weaken yen, which makes Japanese goods more competitive overseas and lifts companies’ foreign-earned profits when converted back to yen. Investors have so far given a thumbs up to the economic policies of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, dubbed “Abenomics”, after he swept December elections on a pledge to kickstart Japan’s lumbering economy. “Japanese stocks had long been undervalued, so the gain is justified,” said Daisuke Uno, chief market strategist of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. “But we also need to keep an eye on the downside of the fresh easing measures... We don’t know where this gamble will take us.” Abe yesterday applauded the BoJ, with Japanese media quoting him as saying the market reaction was “exactly what the measures were expected to do”. Kuroda, meanwhile, brushed off worries of an asset-price bubble, a big fear in Japan after the last two decades of limp growth followed a huge stock and real-estate bubble in the late 1980s. Boston University professor William Grimes warned there “are no guarantees” after years of tepid policy action from the central bank. “Deflationary expectations are much more firmly entrenched among Japanese companies and consumers (now),” he said. “Also, Japan’s fiscal situation has become much worse.” Japan, which has proportionately the worst debt load among industrialised nations, has been wrestling with falling prices for years, putting the brakes on growth because it encourages people to put off buying goods in the hopes of paying less down the road and hurting producers in the process. In Tokyo stock trading, exporters gained with Sony finishing up 0.44 percent to 1,580 yen, while Canon jumped 1.54 percent to 3,290 yen, Toyota rose 3.35 percent to 5,090 yen and industrial giant Hitachi finished up 3.01 percent to 547 yen. Among the BoJ measures are expanding its asset-purchase program to include riskier bets such as exchangetraded funds (ETFs) and real-estate investment trusts. ETFs are similar to an index fund, but are market traded like stocks. It also plans to double the nation’s money supply and buy longer-term government bonds, a move aimed at pushing down long-term interest rates to encourage companies and individuals to borrow instead of hoarding their cash. — AFP

India-France Rafale deal hits problems Dassault won’t take responsibility for HAL-made jets NEW DELHI: India’s negotiations with France’s Dassault Aviation on a $12-billion deal for Rafale fighter jets have stalled due to disagreements over the production of the planes in India, a report said yesterday. The defence deal, one of the biggest ever, was to see the manufacture of the first 18 of the jets in France with the remainder to be produced under licence by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a state-run Indian aerospace behemoth. The Indian Express newspaper, citing anonymous sources in its report, said that Dassault had refused to take responsibility for the 108 jets to be manufactured by HAL, sparking a row with New Delhi. The French firm reportedly told Indian officials that New Delhi would have to negotiate two contracts, one with Dassault for 18 fighters and the other with HAL for the remaining 108 aircraft. The defence ministry “completely rejected this suggestion and made it clear to Dassault that it (the French company) will be solely responsible for the sale and delivery of all 126 aircraft,” the newspaper reported, citing sources. Dassault is thought to have reservations about the ability of HAL, a firm renowned for its inefficiencies, to handle the complex manufacturing and technology transfers which are a crucial part of the deal. The snag could further delay the conclusion of the deal, which has been under negotiation for more than a year. Dassault had hoped to sign the contract in 2013. Experts point out that HAL has several existing licence deals with foreign firms to produce the British-supplied Hawk trainer aircraft, Russia’s SU-30 multi-role fighter jets and European helicopters. It is also Dassault’s partner in upgrading the Indian army’s Frenchmade Mirage-2000 jets. Dipankar Banerjee, a retired major general and expert at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies in New Delhi, said that the disagreement with Dassault was part of the ongoing dialogue process. “With such a large number of aircrafts, the country would have the right

for domestic manufacturing, under licence. It has to be part of the deal. But it’s a major issue in the negotiation process,” he told AFP. Dassault has pushed for greater control over the production process in India, including the right to name suppliers, and fears being hit with severe financial penalties if production fails to meet the targets in the contract. “Dassault says HAL does not have the capacity and capability to assemble the aircraft,” said an Indian Defence Ministry official who declined to be identified because he is not authorised to speak to the media. “HAL is our main public sector partner. And if needed, capacity and

down negotiations. The disagreement is on who guarantees the quality of the planes produced in India, HAL or Dassault,” another source close to the matter said. The Rafale beat off stiff competition from six rivals from Russia, the US and Europe last year when India selected the French fighter to replace its ageing fleet. Its main rival, the Eurofighter made by European group EADS, has remained in India and is still hoping to bag the deal in case Dassault is unable to conclude the negotiations successfully. A Dassault spokeswoman said she was unable to comment immediately on the report when contacted by AFP. The Indian

BANGALORE: In this photograph taken on Feb 6, 2013 a French Dassault Rafale fighter performs during Aero India 2013 at the Yelahanka Air Force station.— AFP capabilities can be improved. But the proposal for two contracts is not agreeable to the government of India,” he said. The source said the dispute would likely delay finalising the deal but not derail it. Indian Defence Ministry officials had earlier expressed the hope that the deal could be finalised by July. “This kind of deal is complex. This issue is slowing

defence ministry did not return calls. The Rafale has carried out bombing missions in Afghanistan, Libya and most recently in Mali, where it is currently flying sorties targeting Islamist militants. India’s air force chief said in February that the country hopes to sign the deal with Dassault Aviation by the middle of the year.— Agencies

Spring in air for German industry as orders rise BERLIN: Swelling domestic demand for capital goods drove a stronger-thanexpected rise in German industrial orders in February, adding to signs Europe’s largest economy and growth engine is back on track after a dismal end to last year. Seasonally and price-adjusted order intakes rose 2.3 percent on the month, data from the Economy Ministry showed on Friday, well above a forecast in a Reuters poll of 34 economists for a 1.2 percent rise. It was the strongest rise since October, and made up for a 1.6 percent fall in January. The data was a further indication that Germany’s robust domestic economy will probably compensate for weak demand this year from top trading partners in Europe, which are struggling with the debt crisis.

“Today’s new order data add to the evidence that the German economy’s decoupling from the rest of the euro zone is continuing,” said ING’s Carsten Brzeski. “With the solid labour market and surprisingly strong retail sales, domestic demand should be an important growth driver this year.” “In addition, the pick-up in non-euro zone demand shows that the German economy benefits from the gradual recovery of the global economy,” he said. German retail sales also rose in February, for the second month in a row, figures showed last week. By contrast, trade in euro zone shops overall was weaker than expected in February, falling 0.3 percent on the month and raising doubts about how quickly the euro zone can recover from recession.

Yesterday’s data showed domestic industrial orders were up 2.2 percent, while intake from abroad increased 2.3 percent. Orders from the euro zone were up 1.6 percent, after dropping 3.8 percent in January, while intake from further afield rose 2.7 percent. Germany’s economy, long resilient to the euro zone crisis, slowed in 2012 and output shrank by 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter. But economists expect it to avoid recession and to have returned to weak growth in the first three months of 2013. German growth is crucial for stimulating the economy of the broader single currency bloc. Domestic orders for machinery and other capital goods jumped 4.4 percent, which the economy ministry said set the stage for a revival in investments. — Reuters



KUWAIT: Dr Remesh T A, Country Manager Gulfmart, opens Homes of India, a mega Indian property exhibition showcasing real estate options from across India at the Ramada Hotel in Riggae yesterday. —Photos by Joseph Shagra

Homes of India exhibition opens KUWAIT: Homes of India, a mega Indian property exhibition showcasing real estate options from across India was inaugurated yesterday at the Ramada Hotel in Riggae, by Dr Remesh T A, Country Manager of Gulfmart in front of a host of prominent Indian business dignitaries, exhibition participants and organizers, as well as a large crowd of visitors to the show. The two-day exhibition, which is open till today from 10.30 am to 8.30 pm, features over two dozen reputed and reliable builders and property developers offering luxurious and semi-luxurious apartments and villas in major Indian cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune and Delhi, as well as in the states of Kerala and Goa. In addition to the variety of locations around India, the Homes of India exhibition offers properties targeting different income groups and lifestyles, ranging from affordable apartments to high-end luxury villas. The

show also provides the ability to interact directly with builders and developers of some of the finest properties in India, giving visitors a better understanding of the realty sector across the length and breadth of the country. Homes of India exhibition is being organ-

ized by Studioline Conventions & Estates, a leading events management company in India, in association with Response Events & Exhibitions, Kuwait. According to Michael Vasanth of Studioline, “People looking to invest in the

lucrative Indian real estate sector will find the exhibition an excellent venue to explore various real estate investment options in residential and commercial real-estate. This show is a great opportunity for potential NRI real estate investors and home buyers in Kuwait to examine properties in various locations without having to physically travel to those places.“ “Property has always given better returns than most other investments. As the value of gold continues to go lower, investors are losing their appetite for the precious metal; and as fixed deposit rates from banks are chipped away by inflation, real-estate in India is once again regaining its luster as one of the most rewarding investment opportunities. Now is probably the best time for the Indian community in Kuwait to look at investing in realestate market, as it sits poised to surge ahead in the days and months ahead,” added Vasanth.



Freshest fish traded in dead of the NYC night New Fulton Fish Market is largest US seafood market NEW YORK: Think Wall Street trading is brutal? Head up to the grittiest part of the South Bronx, where cutthroat deals are made in the dead of night on a massive concrete floor that reeks of fish guts. The New Fulton Fish Market is the nation’s largest seafood market, and second in the world to Tokyo’s. Here, in a refrigerated building the size of six football fields, fishmongers are frenetically filleting, selling and packaging seafood - 200 million pounds a year worth close to $1 billion by some estimates. It is headed for restaurant tables, stores and mouths across America. Glistening under the fluorescent lights is just about every sea creature. Most come in by truck, but about half are flown in from the ends of the Earth: Arctic char from Iceland; mahi-mahi from Ecuador; hamachi from Japan; branzino from Greece; salmon from Scotland; cockles from New Zealand. Experienced buyers negotiate prices in seconds, judging quality on a look, a touch, a smell and often a raw taste. “You know right away if fish is fresh. It’s like looking into a woman’s eyes - you know what’s there,” says Roberto Nunez, a 44-year-old Peruvian immigrant who started out as a dishwasher and has been the buyer for more than a decade for celebrity restaurateurs Lidia Bastianich, her son, Joe Bastianich, and their partner, Mario Batali. Five nights a week, Nunez shows up at 1 am to purchase as much as $15,000 worth of seafood, enough to meet the demands of 10 restaurants. What’s available on any given night depends on a variety of often unpredictable factors, such as severe weather that keeps fishing fleets in port or a spotty catch in an overfished ocean. “This is not like ordering tomatoes or potatoes,” Nunez says. “Seafood is wild.” By 2:30 am, one of the key items on his handwritten list of orders - 400 pounds of striped bass - remains unfilled from among dozens of vendors. “I’m getting nervous,” he says. The day’s hundreds of offerings - including crabs, clams, mussels, slimy squid, octopus and caviar - are spread out across the floor in ice-lined boxes, a shimmering spectrum of silvers, pinks, reds and browns. Buyers, some vying for the same, scarce items, point to a specific box and cry out, “That’s mine!” All night, dozens of men in coats and wool caps work to the soundtrack of miniforklifts whizzing around, honking and spewing exhaust as they move seafood-laden pallets. The smell is a mixture of the fishy and the fresh scent of the ocean. Nunez finally spots some striped bass. But when he lifts the gills, “it’s no good; they’re brown,” he says dejectedly. (The gills should be bright red). Plus the skin is dry, the eyes are cloudy, and it smells funky. The hunt continues for the rest of his list: scallops, shrimp, squid, monkfish liver, fluke, shad roe, blowfish. He spies black sea bass from New Jersey at $6.75 a pound. “How many do you have?” “One hundred pounds,” says vendor John Dias. “How about $5.50?” Nunez asks. Dias relents. Nunez later nabs red snapper from the Gulf of Mexico. He feels the fish, smells his fingers. It’s fresh. OK, 60 pounds. At another stall, he pops a raw Nantucket Bay scallop in his mouth, smiling. It’s $20.50 a pound com-

NEW YORK: Roberto Nunez, a buyer for multiple high-end New York establishments, checks a fish for purchase at the Fulton Fish Market in this March 29, 2013 photo. —AP pared to a normal price of, say, $16. But these are extraordinary, and fresh - “like a baby’s bottom” to the touch. Just before 3 am, a vendor whispers in Nunez’s ear: Some striped bass might be on the way - maybe. He waits around for a while, and sure enough, a box lid opens to reveal eight bass from Delaware, weighing 121 pounds. Now, where to find at least 180 pounds more? He rushes off, scouring the cavernous market. And he gets lucky, landing 100 pounds. Not far away, Peter Panteleakis, who owns two Greek restaurants in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, is on a hunt of his own for the freshest seafood he can find, such as the sea scallops that still move when poked and a 21-pound piece of local halibut that a vendor slices open to reveal clean, rosy flesh. The 66-yearold immigrant from a village near Sparta, Greece, who comes by four nights a week with his son, first set foot in the old open-air Fulton fish market in lower Manhattan more than 30 years ago. It was replaced in 2005 by the state-of-the-art South Bronx facility that’s open six nights a week. Learning from his father, Nick Panteleakis quotes a sign on the market wall: “Good fish ain’t cheap, and cheap fish ain’t good.” When huge pieces of tuna or swordfish worth thousands of dollars come in, men carrying metal hooks and razor-sharp knives leap into action, splitting them into smaller chunks, sweating even in the regulated temperature of about 39 degrees. At about 5 am, bartering slows as the sun peeks over the East River. Blood-stained gloves rest atop the counters. The forklifts are buzzing around, loading 18wheelers outside with goods that will be trucked all over the Northeast. What litters the floor - heads, guts and other parts - is scooped up and sold off as well, to make fertilizer, pet food, glue. As the city awakens and New Yorkers prepare for work, the exhausted fishmongers trickle out of the South Bronx facility to the surrounding Hunt’s Point neighborhood of warehouses, truck depots, all-night bars and strip clubs. They will be back at night to do it all over again. — AP

Indian government lifts curbs on sales of sugar NEW DELHI: India has decided to lift curbs on its $15.5 billion sugar industry that restricted sales of sugar on the open market and required mills to sell sugar to the government at a deep discount. Food Minister K V Thomas said the Cabinet decided late Thursday that sugar mills will no longer face quotas on the amount of sugar they can sell or be forced to sell 10 percent of their output at a discount to the government’s public distribution network. The discounted sales cost the industry 30 billion rupees ($547 million) annually. The government will now purchase sugar on the open market and sell it at a subsidized rate through the public network intended for the poor. The government’s bill for subsidizing the purchase of sugar would double from the current 26

billion rupees to 53 billion rupees, Thomas said. India is the world’s secondlargest producer of sugar and as well as the world’s biggest consumer of the sweetener. Thomas said that sugar prices would not rise as a result of the government’s action. The sugar industry was the only industry that had remained under government control in a throwback to an earlier era when most parts of the Indian economy were controlled. “By arriving at the decision in the Cabinet, we’ve kept the interest of all stakeholders - farmers, consumers and the industry - in mind,” Thomas said. Freeing up sugar sales will prevent sharp swings in demand and imports that have led to volatility in global sugar prices. — AP

GAUHATI, India: An Indian man puts sugar in a sack for sale at a shop yesterday. — AP


Bollywood launches first zombie films PAGE 24

Pulitzer-winning US film critic Ebert dies PAGE 25

Acrobats of the Italian Circus Maximus present their programme in the Capital Grand Circus of Budapest yesterday during their presentation for the press. The premiere will be held today. — AFP


Julia Roberts enjoying vacation in Hawaii


Chris Brown

worries that Rihanna will cheat on him


he ‘Don’t Wake Me Up’ singer - who is still on probation for beating her up in 2009 - says he tries not to be a jealous boyfriend but admitted being separated while she is away touring can be tough. In a radio interview with Power 105.1, Chris said: “I’m just a regular guy so I be thinking, man I hope nobody’s hitting that. But you can’t be the jealous boyfriend, I can’t be calling her constantly asking what she’s doing so I just gotta put that trust out there and hope nothing happens.” While Chris hates the idea of Rihanna being with another man, he admitted he wouldn’t be jealous if she cheated on him with another girl. He said: “If it was another girl it would be cool, I ain’t with that if it was another guy.” While Chris, 23 and 25-year-old Rihanna have put their troubles behind them, Chris revealed it is frustrating that other people keep reminding him about his mistake. He said: “I gotta take that on the chin, I can’t expect people to forget but at the end of the day I’m rich and I’m happy.”

Michael Buble can’t wait to be a ‘hands-on dad’


he 37-year-old singer’s wife Luisana Lopilato is due to give birth to their first son later this year and Michael is planning to rearrange his work commitments so he can be there for his child as much as possible. Michael said: “I’ve changed my touring schedule so it’s no longer a month and a half and then a week off. Now it’s three weeks on and two weeks off. I can’t wait to be a hands-on dad when the baby arrives.” The Canadian singer has already vowed to do his fair share of the less-than-pleasant aspects of parenthood, despite being originally unsure if he was ready for children. He vowed to Closer magazine: “I’ll be doing the late nights and changing the nappies.” Michael - who married Argentinean model Luisana a year ago - says his wife’s pregnancy has brought them closer than ever, but he admits to “driving her crazy” with affection. He said: “When I found out Luisana was pregnant, I was so in love with her that I was driving her crazy. I just wanted to kiss her and was touching her stomach going: ‘I love you so much! I really love you.’ “

he 44-year-old actress, her three children, twins Hazel and Phinnaeus, seven, and Henry, five and husband Danny Moder are spending time at their holiday home on the island of Kauai, where Julia and the kids have been spotting picking seashells on the beach. It was recently claimed Julia and her family are keen to leave Hollywood and move to Hawaii permanently so they can “live off the land” and surf all the time. A source said: “Julia has been into healthy eating for some time, but she got even more interested in it after deciding to lose the 10 pounds she gained while playing the Evil Queen in ‘Mirror, Mirror’. “She’s even considering moving to Hawaii, where her family vacations every year, so they can live off the land, bask in the sun and surf 365 days a year.” Although she has not made a final decision on whether to move her family, those close to her claim she is much happier when she is living back to basics. The source added: “She’s turning into a real hippy. She really believes she’s much happier and healthier living down on the farm.”

Zoe Saldana was raised to be strong


he ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ star - who split from Bradley Cooper earlier this year - has revealed she always trusts her instincts and appreciates her good looks. The 34-year-old actress told the new issue of InStyle Hair magazine: “My mom raised my sisters and I with a strong sense of self. [My mother] always said, ‘Honey, there is nothing that a red lipstick and a pair of red shoes can’t heal, cure, or solve.’ And I absolutely believe that. They can get you out of anything, even the biggest funk of your life.” Zoe, who is well known for her brave sense of style, also revealed that although she has a full time stylist, she regularly makes drastic decisions alone when it comes to her appearance and she would love to follow in Charlize Theron’s footsteps by chopping off all of her hair some day. She explained: “If I want to chop off my half my hair, I’ll take scissors and do one side before I even go to the hairdresser. For me, it’s all about trusting my instinct. Plus, that way I can’t change my mind! “In Latino culture, hair carries a lot of history, a lot of weight, and a lot of energy. I always liked my hair. I never wanted to have any other skin but my own, any other hair but my own. Women who spend so much of their lives wanting to have something else miss out on learning to appreciate what they do have. “At some point I want to chop mine off and learn to enhance my other virtues, instead of depending so much on my hair.” South African actress Charlize previously revealed that shaving

her head for her role in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ was the most “freeing thing” she’s ever done. The 37year-old star said: “It’s the most freeing thing. I highly recommend it. I think every woman should do it. I had two huge garbage bags full of hair products. It’s so freeing.”


Justin Bieber

Charlie Sheen

splashes out $4.8m on a mansion


wants a break from the spotlight

he 19-year-old singer - who was accused of spitting on and threatening his 47-year-old neighbour in Calabasas, California - admitted he isn’t sure what his next career move should be since wrapping up his latest tour in Europe earlier this month. The ‘Beauty and a Beat’ singer told Us Weekly magazine: “I’m thinking about my next album, next tour. Or maybe I’ll take a break. I’m figuring it out. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do at 19?” Justin was recently urged to take some time off to recharge by former child star Christina Aguilera, 32, after he endured a nightmare week in London where he argued with the paparazzi and collapsed on stage. She said: “You live life and it’s hard to grow up in front of a camera. You learn as you get older to take moments for yourself, step away from the camera, re-inspire yourself as an artist, rejuvenate and refresh. “I would tell [Bieber], don’t let anything morph you or push you around or have you be something you’re not. I’ve always been really honest and true to my own roots and been

really grounded, not letting myself stray too much.” Recently Jon M Chu, who directed Justin’s ‘Never Say Never’ documentary, insisted the youngster is fine and just “figuring stuff out”. He said: “I love the kid. The kid’s a good guy. He’s amazingly

talented. And he’s growing up. He’s figuring his stuff out. “I think it’s good to keep him in check in everything he does. I know he takes that as well and grows as a human being. But yeah, I think he’s a good kid and he’ll continue to be a good kid.”


he ‘Anger Management’ star already owns two homes in the exclusive Mulholland Estates gated community but recently bought the Spanish villa-style home in the same estate, according to E! News. Charlie paid $7.2 million for his first home in the area in 2006 and bought a second in 2011 for just under $7 million. Generous Charlie recently gave troubled starlet Lindsay Lohan $100,000 to help pay off her hefty $233,904 tax bill and even though Lindsay didn’t thank him until Charlie publicly complained, Lindsay’s mother Dina says the pair are extremely close. She said “Lindsay continues to feel an immeasurable respect and love for her dear friend Charlie Sheen. They have a deep bond and she has expressed privately her sincerest gratitude to Charlie for his immense generosity on her behalf. She and I are deeply appreciative for his kindest of gestures. Charlie you are a true gentleman.” Lindsay, 26, sent Charlie a bunch of flowers and a hand-written letter in which she explained to him that she didn’t mean to be rude but couldn’t contact him because she lost his number when her phone broke. The former ‘Two And A Half Men’ star generously helped out his ‘Scary Movie 5’ co-star when he heard she was having financial difficulties after not being paid for one of her projects but Charlie admitted he was unimpressed that she accepted money from him but didn’t acknowledge it. He said: “She got shorted and I found out, so I said: ‘Here’. I’m still waiting for a text to say ‘Thank you’. Anything you know?” — Bangshowbiz


he superstar’s beau Taylor Kinney has planned a booze-free Mad Hatter-inspired party to celebrate her 27th birthday, and hopes replacing alcohol with a selection of fine teas will aid her recovery from her recent hip operation. A source told The Sun newspaper: “Gaga’s always been obsessed with taking tea and tea sets on tour to keep her happy, so they are putting a smile on her face with this ‘Alice In Wonderland’-themed do. “She’s still on painkillers after the operation on her hip so she shouldn’t be drinking any alcohol, which also makes it a good idea.” The singer has been avoiding alcohol since being forced to cancel her US ‘Born This Way Ball’ tour after sustaining a labral tear to her right hip. She has been confined to a 24-carat gold plated wheelchair since her surgery. Gaga has allegedly also been bought a Victorian poison flask as a birthday present to go with her expansive collection of vintage glass bottles. The insider added: “She’s been collecting the antique blue and green glass containers after creating her Fame perfume, as she loves the morbid look of the skull and crossbones logo on the bottles.” This isn’t the first time ‘Vampire Diaries’ hunk Taylor has pulled out all the stops to treat Gaga. He rustled up a gourmet meal for the star and her pet pooch Fozzi on Valentine’s Day and made sure both Gaga and her dog were showered with gifts on the most romantic day of the year.

Madonna worth $1 billion

Lady Gaga’s boyfriend is throwing a tea party


he ‘Girl Gone Wild’ singer - who has four children, Lourdes, 16, Rocco, 12, David, seven, and Mercy, also seven, - recently became a billionaire, according to Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) magazine via the New York Post. The 54year-old star - who was named the top earner in pop music in 2012 - was previously estimated to have a personal fortune of around $700 million but has now earned more than a billion dollars from her successful career in showbiz after investing in several additional money making ventures recently. Her MDNA world tour, which saw her perform 72 sell out shows last year, grossed $305,158,363, and also saw her rake in $75 million in merchandise sales and $10 million in TV rights and DVD sales. Madonna has also enjoyed success off stage as her perfume Truth of Dare saw her earn $60 million. She is also a investor in the popular drinks brand Vita Coco and gym chain Hard Candy, and retail experts estimate she takes home $10 million from her clothing line Material Girl, which she runs with her teenage daughter.



ollywood is branching out from its traditional song-anddance dramas and slapstick comedies with its first zombie films which filmmakers hope will entice younger crowds back to Indian films from Hollywood’s living dead. Few horror films are made in Bollywood and those that do make it to the big screen tend to focus on ghosts and the after-life, which are common themes in Hindu mythology. But this year, as Indian cinema celebrates 100 years, three zombie films made in Hindi are slated for release, hoping to compete with blockbuster US zombie movies such as “Warm Bodies” and “World War Z”. Directors Luke Kenny and Devaki Singh will release the first of the three Hindi films, “Rise of the Zombie”, on April 5, and hope twinning zombies with Indian filmmaking will appeal to younger audiences. “We’ve been wanting to make something like this within the Hindi film industry set-up and we realized that within the horror film genre nobody has ever touched the zombie genre,” Kenny, who also stars in the film, told Reuters. “Prepare to witness the ultimate human fear”, proclaims the film’s trailer, which shows photographer Neil Parker in the jungle fighting off a swarm of insects before transforming, writhing and screaming, into a blood-splattered zombie. Kenny, who has worked as content head at a music channel and directed one previous film, a movie called “13th Floor”, said part of the challenge was to educate Indian audiences about the living dead as the country has no zombie folklore. But he said they managed not to “dumb down” the film, the first of a planned trilogy, since the main target audience is aged 18 to 25, a group likely to know about Hollywood zombies.


construction magnate’s preppy son is forced to drive one of Mexico City’s battered green buses, while his spoiled sister waits tables at a cantina in a miniskirt and nondesigner shoes. Their credit cards have been canceled, their BMWs and mansion seized. OMG! The Mexican riches-to-rags movie, “We are the Nobles” has opened to packed theaters in a country with one of the world’s widest income gaps - and a love for laughing at misfortune. More than 1 million people showed up in the first week to see the story of an impresario who fakes a government raid on his riches to teach his children the value of work. Only a Hollywood blockbuster featuring Bruce Willis and DreamWorks’ latest 3D animation beat it at the box office last weekend, the second-biggest opening for a domestic film here in more than 10 years. “Latin America is a region where middle class is very small,” said writer and director Gary “Gaz”Alazraki. “So I thought if you want to capture the mood of the public with cinema, that’s the first place to look, the contrast between rich and poor.” In the movie, patriarch German Noble’s eldest son spends his days at daddy’s company dreaming up big ideas, such as mixing the world’s largest rum and Coke in Mexico City’s storied Aztec Stadium. His daughter is engaged to a failed businessman and aspires to open a restaurant on her father’s dime. The youngest is a hipster who preaches against capitalism, even as dad pays his private college tuition - until he is expelled for sleeping with a professor. After surviving a heart attack and getting a second chance at life, Noble decides to stage a raid on his Beverly Hills-like home. “Can someone please explain why they are confiscating all our stuff, as if we were in Venezuela?” the agitated daughter, Barbie, demands to know in the Mexican equivalent of Valley speak. “They discovered fraud,” German Noble tells her. “Jesus Christ,” she answers in English. People like the fictitious Nobles can be seen on any ritzy corner of the city, where Mexico’s carefully coiffed, wearing the highest fashions,

can be seen stepping from the running boards of their enormous SUVs, their bodyguards lurking outside as they go for a workout or pedicure. They have been to the best schools in the world and the finest malls in Texas, but never to one of the city’s ubiquitous, crowded marketplaces or a street-food stand. “I haven’t seen the archetypes of urban Mexico portrayed on the big screen so well in a long time,” said Oscar de los Reyes, an expert on cinema and society at the Technological Institute of Monterrey. It’s not surprising that the social contrast is playing big in the cinema. In Mexico, 10 percent of the people held nearly 40 percent of the wealth in 2010, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America. The world’s richest man, Carlos Slim, holds more than 6 percent himself. —AP

Other challenges were to make the film as realistic as possible, despite severe budget limitations, and to give it international appeal. Kenny said the film was made for “less than the song and dance sequence of a Bollywood film”, with the filmmakers relying mainly on makeup and camera effects rather than more costly computer graphics used in Hollywood horror films. “It’s a Hindi film with international sensibilities ... The effort on my part was to make a film that anybody in the world can watch,” he said. Kenny’s film will be followed by two more zombie films in India this year, highlighting a trend for Indian filmmakers to try to cater to audiences who enjoy Hollywood fare. In May comes “Go Goa Gone”, a zombie comedy by filmmakers Krishna DK and Raj Nidimoru that features Saif Ali Khan, one of Bollywood’s most bankable stars, as an Indian pretending to be a Russian zombie hunter. The trailer, which bills the film as a “zomcom”, has attracted more than 2.3 million hits since late March. A third film, “Rock the Shaadi” (“Rock the Wedding”), will come out later in the year, accompanied by a graphic novel. “My producers and I realize that there is a market there for films that are in this genre, and that market will only grow,” said Kenny. “Hopefully, when we make the second and third parts of the film, we’ll be able to mount it on a bigger scale.” — Reuters

Andrey Molokov from the Chuvash Republic works on his sand sculpture “The Vikings” at a bathing area of the Baltic Sea in Warnemuende, Germany yesterday. Nine artists from six countries design sand sculptures under the theme “fairy tales and myths of thesea”. — AFP


rom its generous parental leave to Ikea’s supervised play areas, Sweden prides itself on family friendly policies. So when a Swedish cafe owner tried to ban children from his property he wasn’t surprised by the number of outraged parents-there were plenty-but by the groundswell of support he received from his guests and colleagues. “I’m always going to think that everything my daughter does is really cute, but I know that not everyone else feels the same way,” said Josef Shamon, whose family owns Nelly’s, the Stockholm coffee shop and bistro that recently implemented the ban. Problems included children “standing on the chairs, jumping from them, standing on the shelves by the windows and banging on them,” he added. One employee asked a mother to tell her son to stop jumping on the couch, only to burn himself with coffee when the young boy came running at him minutes later. “We have lost a lot of customers over this and it’s a widespread

problem in the industry,” Shamon said. It all began when Nelly’s new owners decided to lift a ban on prams and buggies, a practice Swedish eateries justify by pointing to fire safety regulations, but which is also seen as a ploy to keep the number of latte-sipping parents down. News of the baby-friendly cafe spread and soon there were around ten prams on the premises at any given moment of the day, and even more children, Shamon claimed. “Out of those, 90 percent are very good and well-behaved...but around 10 percent come here either thinking we will take care of (their kids), or that their behaviour is okay,” he said. For the moment, Nelly’s has taken down the controversial sign barring children from entering, but Shamon said it was mulling having the ban tried in court, pointing to the growing popularity of child-free holidays and hotels.—AFP



Film critic Roger Ebert gives his trademark thumbs-up as he arrives for the premiere screening of new film “Training Day” at the Toronto International Film Festival in this September 7, 2001 file photo. — AFP


oger Ebert reviewed thousands of films over the years, influencing moviegoers across the country with his uncomplicated, yet intelligent reviews that were breezy and often quotable. Along with fellow film critic Gene Siskel, Ebert, who died on Thursday at the age of 70, created and made famous the thumbs-up, thumbs-down style of reviews. Here are excerpts of some of his memorable reviews for both film classics as well as movie duds. THUMBS UP: “CASABLANCA,” 1941 There are greater movies. More profound movies. Movies of greater artistic vision or artistic originality or political significance. There are other titles we would put above it on our lists of the best films of all time. But when it comes right down to the movies we treasure the most, when we are - let us imagine - confiding in the secrets of our heart to someone we think we may be able to trust, the conversations sooner or later comes around to the same seven words: “I really love Casablanca.” “I do too.”

“THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS,” 1991 If the movie were not so well made, indeed, it would be ludicrous. Material like this invites filmmakers to take chances and punishes them mercilessly when they fail. “TITANIC,” 1997 James Cameron’s 194-minute, $200 million film of the tragic voyage is in the tradition of the great Hollywood epics. It is flawlessly crafted, intelligently constructed, strongly acted and spellbinding. If its story stays well within the traditional formulas for such pictures, well, you don’t choose the most expensive film ever made as your opportunity to reinvent the wheel. “THE GODFATHER,” 1972 Although the movie is three hours long, it absorbs us so effectively it never has to hurry. There is something in the measured passage of time as Don Corleone hands over his reins of power that would have made a shorter, faster

ilm legend Martin Scorsese and President Barack Obama led tributes to US movie critic Roger Ebert, the first cinema pundit to win a Pulitzer Prize who died Thursday from cancer aged 70. Scorsese, who has been working on a film about the reviewer famed for his trademark thumbs up and thumbs down accolades, called Ebert’s death “an incalculable loss for movie culture and for film criticism.” “It’s a loss for me personally. Roger was always supportive, he was always right there for me when I needed it most, when it really counted - at the very beginning, when every word of encouragement was precious.” Fellow Chicago native Obama also hailed Ebert, who wrote reviews for the Chicago Sun-Times for over four decades and hosted a hugely popular long-running TV show. “For a generation of Americans-and especially Chicagoans-Roger was the movies. When he didn’t like a film, he was honest; when he did, he was effusive-capturing the unique power of the movies to take us somewhere magical.” “Even amidst his own battles with cancer, Roger was as productive as he was resilient - continuing to share his passion and perspective with the world,” Obama added in a White House statement. Ebert-who just two days ago announced in a blog post that he was taking a break from his main job-succumbed to cancer after a long battle, said his newspaper, announcing the critic’s death in Chicago. He “promoted excellence in film while deflating the awful, the derivative, or the merely mediocre with an observant eye, a sharp wit and a depth of knowledge that delighted his millions of readers and viewers,” it said. The print, television and online critic, whose “two thumbs up” accolade was a stamp of excellence coveted by filmmakers, started working for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1967. He won a Pulitzer in 1975 for distinguished criticism, the first and one of only three such honorees, and hosted long-running movie review television shows, with a thumbs up or thumbs down as the main logo.

moving film unseemly. Even at this length, there are characters in relationships you can’t quite understand unless you’ve read the novel. Or perhaps you can, just by the way the characters look at each other. “ET.: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL,” 1982 This movie made my heart glad. It is filled with innocence, hope, and good cheer. It is also wickedly funny and exciting as hell. “ET: The Extra-Terrestrial” is a movie like “The Wizard of Oz,” that you can grow up with and grow old with, and it won’t let you down. “STAR WARS,” 1977 Every once in a while I have what I think of as an out-of-the-body experience at a movie. When the ESP people use a phrase like that, they’re referring to the sensation of the mind actually leaving the body and spiriting itself off to China or Peoria or a galaxy far, far away. When I use the phrase, I simply mean that my imagination has forgotten it is actually present in a movie theater and thinks it’s up there on the screen. In a curious sense, the events in the movie seem real, and I seem to be a part of them. THUMBS DOWN: “KAZAAM,” 1996 As for Shaquille O’Neal, given his own three wishes the next time, he should go for a script, a director and an interesting character. “ISHTAR,” 1987 Ishtar is a truly dreadful film, a lifeless, massive, lumbering exercise in failed comedy. This movie is a long, dry slog. It’s not funny, it’s not smart and it’s interesting only in the way a traffic accident is interesting. “HEAVEN’S GATE,” 1980 It is so smoky, so dusty, so foggy, so unfocused and so brownish yellow that you want to try Windex on the screen. — AP

Ebert-who had been in ill-health for a decade and battled thyroid and salivary gland cancers-also embraced the Internet age, sharing his output online through blogs, Twitter and other social media. In a blog post Tuesday, he announced a “Leave of Presence” but laid out his plans to continue working: “I am throwing myself into Ebert Digital and the redesigned, highly interactive and searchable” Ebert noted how a “painful fracture” had recently been revealed to be a cancer. “It is being treated with radiation, which has made it impossible for me to attend as many movies as I used to,” he said. Addressing his readers for a last time, he recalled how he became the Chicago Sun-Times’ film critic almost 46 years ago to the day, on April 3, 1967. “Some of you have read my reviews and columns and even written to me since that time... However you came to know me, I’m glad you did and thank you for being the best readers any film critic could ask for.” Within hours of his death, Hollywood veterans lined up to pay their respects, in tributes carried by the Chicago newspaper. Director Steven Spielberg said: “Roger loved movies. They were his life. His reviews went far deeper than simply thumbs up or thumbs down. He wrote with passion through a real knowledge of film and film history.” Influential producer Harvey Weinstein added: “Roger Ebert was a passionate critic who understood that he needed to not only appraise films but be a champion of cinema.” “He was always on the side of movies that needed that extra push. The only thing that tops him as a writer was his kindness as a human being.” — AFP


en things to remember about acclaimed film critic Roger Ebert, who died on Thursday:

1. There were many firsts in his career: Roger Ebert was the first journalist to win the Pulitzer Prize for movie criticism in 1975. He also earned an honor given to the movie stars he wrote about. Ebert was the first critic to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 2. Ebert did something every year that he hated: In 2010, Ebert wrote a piece for The Wall Street Journal with the headline “Why I Loathe Top 10 Film Lists.” 3. He wasn’t afraid to die: Ebert wrote that he didn’t think there was anything on the other side of death to fear. 4. Ebert didn’t date oprah winfrey: There was lots of gossip to the contrary, but Ebert wrote in his 2011 memoir that it wasn’t true. Ebert said the pair went to the movies once, “but that’s what it was: We went to the movies.” 5. He was a fan of Studs Terkel: Ebert called the Pulitzer Prize-winning author the greatest man he knew well. He wrote that Terkel taught him that “your life is over when you stop living it.” 6. Ebert won the New Yorker’s weekly cartoon caption contest: It was one of his goals. He entered more than 100 times and often posted his entries on Twitter. He won in 2011. 7. He was at home on social media: Ebert had nearly 840,000 Twitter followers and had tweeted more than 31,000 times. He had more than 100,000 likes on Facebook and wrote a regular blog. He announced on his blog Tuesday that he was scaling back his movie reviews and finished the post saying: “So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I’ll see you at the movies.”

8.humble roots in Illinois: Ebert grew up the son of a union electrician who worked at the University of Illinois in Urbana. He graduated from the university and it hosts an annual film festival in his honor called Ebertfest. 9. Not just a critic, but a screenwriter: Ebert wrote the screenplay for the film “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,” directed by Russ Meyer. It earned an X rating and became a cult favorite. 10. Rice cooker recipes were a pastime: Ebert received a rice cooker as a wedding present in 1992 and would take it with him to film festivals for food during busy movie-viewing schedules. He published a book of recipes in 202 with the title: “The Pot and How to Use It. The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker. — AP

In this file photo, Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert poses in the kitchen of his home in Chicago. — AP


Fierstein, Lauper

forge ‘kinky’ show


ake an obscure British film about a failing shoe factory, hand it over to openly gay actor and writer Harvey Fierstein, add music by pop star Cyndi Lauper and what have you got? It is the new Broadway musical “Kinky Boots,” which aims to make drag safe and commercially viable for the masses, while offering life lessons on love and self-acceptance along the way. With a mantle full of Tony awards for hit shows such as “La Cage aux Folles,” “Torch Song Trilogy” and “Hairspray,” Fierstein embraced the opportunity to take the story to the stage. In “Kinky Boots,” which opened yesterday, the reluctant owner of a failing shoe factory teams up with a force-of-nature drag queen to save the business. The owner comes up with an unlikely plan to produce outrageous thigh-high spike-heeled boots that can withstand a man’s heft, meeting resistance from the English working-class laborers. “It’s very human,” Fierstein told Reuters about his adaptation of the 2005 British film of the same name. “It’s not about saving a factory, it’s not about making shoes. It’s about accepting yourself, and healing the wounds in ourselves,” said Fierstein. One of the first openly gay performers to conquer Broadway, starting with 1982’s semi-autobiographical “Torch Song Trilogy” about a drag artist, he won Tonys for best play and best actor. When it came time to find someone to write the songs that would bring the small story of a struggling provincial shoe factory in England to singing-and-dancing life on stage, Fierstein turned to his friend, Lauper, although she had never written a Broadway tune, let alone an entire show. Lauper undaunted by first stage musical “Most composers care about their own sound - they want things to sound like them, and that’s not really good for theater, if everybody sounds the same,” Fierstein said. “But with Cyndi, her ego never got involved in that way. Her ego only got involved in terms of, was this good enough. And there was no learning curve at all, she jumped right in.” “It’s the story that grabbed me,” said Lauper, who had been asked to write shows before. “That’s what has to make you spend 4 1/2 years working, busting your butt, for a story that’s worth telling, and this story is important to tell, and timely.” Lauper, best known for 1980s pop anthems such as “She Bop” and “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” and ballads like “Time After Time,” said she was given free rein to “be able to write music, and basically told, ‘Let yourself go, write write write’ - so I did. And it was very freeing. “It was very exciting because I wrote all kinds of music. Every character has a different rhythm of speech, and here was a great opportunity to put that into motion and make every character have their own style of music. How often is that?” Lauper, Fierstein and “Kinky Boots” director Jerry Mitchell have spent years working to support the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community and for the public to accept people for who they are. Lauper, busier than ever on the cusp of age 60 with the musical, an autobiography and a reality TV show all overlapping in recent years, was undaunted entering what for her was a new realm. “You had to propel the story, but every single song has a story to it, a beginning a middle and an end. It was almost easier (than writing an album) - you don’t have to dig inside your own world. The world was in front of you and you need to help explain where the person is, and where they’re going. And I thought, ‘Wow, that’s really fun.’” Years spent wearing out her mother’s Broadway albums helped. “I learned how to sing listening to Broadway shows on vinyl,” she said. “I learned how to sing listening to all those different characters, and becoming all those characters. “So when it came time to write for all of these different characters, I was all of them. I had to be.” — Reuters

Cherry blossoms slowly starting to open around the Tidal Basin as a colder than normal March and chilly April has delayed the beginning of the cherry blossom season in the nation’s capital yesterday in Washington, DC. — AFP

‘Jurassic’ filmmakers recall video effects nightmare T

he makers of the original “Jurassic Park” film are recalling the “nightmare” of using pioneering visual effects, as a 3D version of the Oscar-winning movie is released. Steven Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster used a combination of stop motion filming with dinosaur models and primitive computer generated technology, which was unprecedented at the time. The filmmakers talked about the challenges involved at a screening of “Jurassic Park 3D” hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), ahead of its US release yesterday, 20 years after the original. William Sherak said the most difficult scene was when the T-Rex attacks the visiting guests in their car, in the rain, calling it “my personal nightmare” because of the complexity of effects needed. “The best moment is the sequence of the car falling down the tree,” he added, referring to a later scene in the landmark movie. Adapted from a Michael Crichton novel, the movie starred Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum and won three Oscars in 1994, while making $920 million at the box office globally. There have been two sequels, in 1997 and 2001, and “Jurassic Park 4” is due out next year. The 3D version gives extra depth and color to the original, although critics may argue that the adaptationrather than making a film in 3D from scratch-adds little to what was already a

This file photo shows US film director Steven Spielberg attending the 85th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. — AFP gripping and spectacular film. “This was really the first time the computer graphics were used to make what appeared to be a living animal in a feature film. And we didn’t know if we could do it,” visual effects specialist Dennis Muren told AFP. “We started very slowly doing tests to see if we could have a computer image like a dinosaur because if you can do that, you

can give them a performance that you can never see with robotics or stop motion or any other way.” He also pointed to his work on 1991’s “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” which helped pave the way for the Jurassic Park special effects. Aged 66, Muren is a Hollywood institution-he has won six Oscars, notably for special effects for Spielberg’s “E.T.” (1982), and some of the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” movies. “The learning curve for me was very steep on Jurassic Park, because I didn’t know the tools,” said Phil Tippett, another special effects guru who has worked on “Star Wars” and the recent “Twilight” movies. “It was a time where computer graphic animation wasn’t at a very high level, so we developed technology that allowed stop motion animators to be able to manipulate (dinosaurs) — it wasn’t software, it was more mechanical device.” Presenting the Beverly Hills screening, David Cohen said: “If we didn’t have ‘Jurassic Park’ in 1993, we wouldn’t have had Richard Parker last year”-referring to the computer-generated tiger in Ang Lee’s stunning “Life of Pi.” Tippett, who shared the 1994 Oscar for special effects with Muren for “Jurassic Park,” added: “Technology is always a pain in the butt”. “What you need is creative people, an artist. The technology doesn’t do anything. It gets in the way,” he said. — AFP

Ewes-full: Paris hires sheep to mow city lawns


ill the future see flocks of sheep baaing beneath the Eiffel Tower and bleating by Notre Dame cathedral? Paris is enlisting a few hungry sheep to keep the city’s grass trim, replacing gas-guzzling lawnmowers. The initiative, which started this week, sees four sheep from an island in Brittany put to work munching the bountiful grass of the Paris Archives. The eco-experiment, which could

expand around the capital from October, follows on from a stint last year by two goats that the Louvre hired to mow the lawn of Paris’ famed Tuileries gardens. Already, private companies have hundreds of operational sheep mowing lawns of big companies around Paris. “(It’) efficient... and cheap,” says Paris City Hall’s Fabienne Giboudeaux. “I can imagine this very easily in London. And New York... even Tokyo.” — AP



usy shooting a film about disgraced ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Gerard Depardieu failed to turn up at a Paris hearing yesterday to face a drink-driving charge, the second time he has skipped court. The actor, who has sparked controversy recently by moving to Belgium and taking Russian citizenship amid a tax row with French authorities, had also failed to appear at a January hearing due to previous engagements on the film.

In this file photo, French actor Gerard Depardieu visits the museum of Akhmad Kadyrov, a warlord who switched sides and became a pro-Russian leader, in Chechnya’s provincial capital Grozny, Russia. — AP

“He wanted to be present, but he couldn’t, he really regrets it,” his lawyer, Eric de Caumont, told the court yesterday, adding Depardieu was currently in New York to shoot the movie by US director Abel Ferrara, in which he plays StraussKahn. The trial was put off until May 24 for procedural reasons and not because the 64-year-old failed to show up. The actor is being tried in a court that deals with minor offences, and under French law can be represented by his lawyer without being there.

Depardieu was detained in Paris in November after falling off his scooter, which he had been driving while more than three times over the legal alcohol limit. He risks being fined 4,500 euros ($5,800), jailed for up to two years and given penalty points. Caumont said the actor would “probably not be present” at the May hearing, but added he would turn up “if it suits his work schedule”. He said appearing in court yesterday would have meant interrupting the “film shoot for two or three days,” and added that neither the judge nor the prosecutor demanded the actor be present. The portly star has been involved in much controversy since he announced in November that he was moving abroad due to a 75 percent tax rate on incomes over one million euros that President Francois Hollande’s government wanted to impose. The tax plan was eventually struck down as unconstitutional but Hollande’s government has vowed to present a new proposal that would see it charged to employers instead of individuals. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault branded Depardieu’s decision to move as “pathetic”, and the actor struck back with a series of rants against the government, including an interview with Belgian media last month in which he said France had become a “sad” country. Hailed as one of the greatest actors of his generation, Depardieu has starred in films including “Green Card”, “Cyrano de Bergerac”, “Jean de Florette” and the “Asterix & Obelix” series. He also owns a number of businesses including vineyards. But in recent years he has become as famed for his erratic behaviour as for his acting talents.—AFP

4. “Tape it up, coach, I’m staying in.” 3. “They fired Leno?” 2. “Heat then ice? Or ice then heat?” 1. “At least my bracket’s not busted.” In the interview, taped earlier Thursday at Louisville’s hotel, Ware told Letterman he still hasn’t seen a video of the injury - “And I don’t plan on it.” He also said his first concern when he got to the hospital was for his mother. “I know she freaks out over the littlest things,” Ware said. “I called her and made sure she was all right.”“We’re talking about a snapped tibia that actually protruded through the skin!” Letterman said. — AP

Ballet star Polunin walks out of 2nd show



evin Ware might have a future as a comedian. The Louisville guard was at ease as he presented the Top 10 List on the “Late Show with David Letterman” on Thursday night, even tossing in a barb at Letterman’s late-night rival Jay Leno. “How about that for a kid? Kevin Ware!” Letterman said. Ware has become something of a celebrity since his right tibia snapped during the first half of Sunday’s Midwest Regional final against Duke. His teammates were devastated by the horrific injury, with several collapsing to the floor in tears after it happened. But Ware told them to “just go win the game” before he was wheeled off the floor on a stretcher, and the Cardinals rallied to beat Duke 85-63 and earn a second straight trip to the Final Four. Ware underwent surgery Sunday night, and was released from the hospital two days later. On Wednesday, hours after being cleared by doctors, he accompanied top-seeded Louisville to the Final Four - being played in his hometown of Atlanta. “This goes from a terrible tragedy to bit of a miracle, doesn’t it?” Letterman said, chatting with the sophomore before Ware read the top 10 list of “Thoughts going through Kevin Ware’s mind” after he broke his leg: 10. “What was that loud cracking sound?” 9. “I hope this doesn’t leave a bruise.” 8. “Hey look, my tibia!” 7. “Ouch.” 6. “Did it go in?” 5. “Oh boy, hospital food.”

In this file photo, dancer Sergei Polunin performs in the Royal Ballet production of Sleeping Beauty by Tchaikovsky at the Royal Opera House, London. — AP

Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware answers questions during a press conference, Wednesday April 3, 2013, at the KFC Yum! Center practice facility in Louisville, Ky. — AP

ne of the ballet world’s brightest but most volatile stars has vanished, again. Sergei Polunin had been due to star in a dance piece based on Billy Hayes’ Turkish prison memoir “Midnight Express” opening next week in London. But director Peter Schaufuss said the 23year-old dancer did not show up for rehearsals on Wednesday. Schaufuss told the BBC he was “hugely disappointed” the young star had left. “I’m really, really worried about him,” the director said. “Artists have good and bad days - that goes with the territory - but rehearsals were going well.” The dance company said Polunin’s mentor, Igor Zelensky, had also left the production. Polunin’s whereabouts could not immediately be determined yesterday. But friend Anthony Lammin - who co-owns a London tattoo parlor with the dancer - told the Evening Standard newspaper that Polunin was OK. “I don’t know why he left the show,” Lammin said. “We have been texting each other during the last few days. He’s fine and is doing well.” Ukraine-born Polunin became the youngest-ever male principal dancer at Britain’s Royal Ballet when he was 19, but walked out of the company last year, saying he was giving up dance. He later said he had quit because he could no longer handle the stress of a dance career. Polunin, who moved to Britain aged 13, had spoken in a 2011 interview about the pressure he felt to succeed. “I would have liked to behave badly, to play football. I loved sport,” he told The Guardian. “But all my family were working for me to succeed. There was no chance of me failing.” Polunin later returned to performing under Zelensky at Moscow’s Stanislavsky Ballet and has made guest appearances with the Royal Ballet. When his role in “Midnight Express” was announced late last year, Polunin said it was “exactly the kind of work I want to be making, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.” The Peter Schaufuss ballet company said Danish understudy Johan Christensen would take over the main role in “Midnight Express,” which opens Tuesday. — AP


By Booth Moore


otter and home furnishings designer Jonathan Adler is bringing his signature brand of “happy chic” to the world of fashion, with a new line of men’s and women’s accessories landing now in his boutiques. Colorful scarves, ties, hats, bags and belts, priced from $38 to $398, incorporate whimsical design motifs such as birds and Greek keys taken from his home accessories line and have the pimped-out preppy vibe of his interiors at the Parker Palm Springs Hotel and elsewhere. I caught up recently with Adler to chat about the new collection. Q: You have dabbled in the fashion realm before, with needlepoint totes and eyeglasses cases in your own stores and collaborations with Lacoste and Seven for All Mankind Jeans. So this has been kind of an evolution, right? A: I wish I could claim to be strategic. I’m not, I’m more intuitive. It just kind of made sense to me, and I was interested in doing it. Q: Why fashion accessories? A: Women’s accessories make my chakras tingle. They are a compact opportunity to present design and to hit all my interests of form, texture, color and craft. When I was first starting out as a potter in college in the late 1980s, I made teapots and urns inspired by Chanel, which had quilting and gold details. It was an art project, but it reflected my interest in fashion. And making accessories is really not so different from making a pot and a pillow; it brings all my skills together. Q: And what is a purse really but a pot that you can carry around? A: According to Freud, it’s a symbol for something else, too. Q: Do themes carry over from your pottery and home decor to these fashion accessories?

A:Yes, I took some of my favorite patterns and brought them to the handbags and put the bird print on scarves, which is very cute. Q: But it’s not all about print, right? It’s also about form. I’m looking at the Reina Hex satchel, which is kind of a leather polygon. A: That comes from my sculptural interest in pottery. We have a new bag coming out for fall that’s literally inspired by a chair I designed, the Whitaker chair. Some pieces are about creating great vehicles for color and pattern, others are more about a sculptural exploration. But I hope they are all are accessible, which is something that is very important to me unimpeachable luxury. Q: I love the WASPy country club chic of some of the items, the straw visors, for example, and the Pat Nixon necktie. A: WASPs have an insouciant love of color and a carefree chic. That’s how we roll. Q: I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but some of the men’s ties are so bad they’re good. A: There are some great 1970s colors on the neckties, browns and mustards. Others are more crisp and optimistic. But they do have a good throwback look. Q: Which is great because whenever you try to buy a vintage tie, they’re so gross and nasty. So what’s next? Will you be having a Jonathan Adler runway show soon? A: Oh my god, that’s sounds bigger than I want. But I would never say never to anything. I enjoy designing stuff. That’s what I do all day long. The more I get to do, the more I want to do. Q: How do you record your ideas? iPhone? Sketch book? A: I’m such a Luddite; I have a Blackberry. But I’m constantly sketching, emailing and talking. I work a lot. We design everything in the studio. Simon (Simon Doonan, Adler’s husband) has referred to my studio as “the fantasy factory,” and I think that description works.

Q: Does Simon, who has been in the fashion biz for years at Barneys New York, help out? A: He’s an interested and supportive observer. We’ve been together so long, we just communicate via grunt at this point. We don’t come home and talk and scheme. Q: You’ve on the way to creating a whole Jonathan Adler universe. What’s your dream design project? A: I want to design a car. It would be the ultimate expression of everything we do. — MCT


drive. Joining the actress were Ann Inc. CEO Kay Krill and Washington non-profit Vital Voices Global Partnership CEO Alyse Nelson, who all answered questions from the young ladies about work-life balance, workplace camaraderie and fashion. The annual forum is a part of ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative by the nonprofit and Ann Inc, owner of Ann Taylor and Loft.— AP

Kate Hudson


ctress-producer Kate Hudson says the pressure of stepping out of the shadow of her movie star mom Goldie Hawn was discouraging and daunting. She advised girls to believe in their own talent and take risks as they choose a career path. “Take a chance on your own talent and your ambition because if you don’t do that, there’s no one else who will,” she said. Hudson spoke at the ANNpower Leadership Forum, a week-long program that unites teens from across the country with women leaders in business, entertainment and nonprofit groups. The “Almost Famous” star and Ann Taylor spokeswoman is a member of the advisory council that mentors the teen girls and recommends grants for community projects they create in their neighborhoods, from a healthy eating program to a clothing collection

Models display creations by designer Deneth at the annual Colombo fashion week. — AFP photos



Vintage website seen as glimpse at teenage Zuckerberg SAN FRANCISCO: A website thought to be the handiwork of Mark Zuckerberg at the age of 15 resurfaced on the Internet on Thursday, providing a glimpse into the early days of the famed Facebook co-founder. “Hi, my name is Slim Shady,” the creator of the website said in a message on an “about me” page at a website hosted by Angelfire, an Internet service from the 1990s that offered free online hosting. “Just kidding, my name is Mark (for those of you that don’t know me) and I live in a small town near the massive city of New York.”

Zuckerberg grew up in the town of White Plains near New York City. He turns 29 years old next month. The website creator said he had just completed his freshman year of high school, and that he made the site to promote a program he wrote for use at Internet portal AOL. A website page hinted at an early interest in tapping the social potential of the Internet with a project called The Web. “This is one of the few applets that require your participation to work well,” the website maker said in a message.

“If your name is already on the Web because someone else has chosen to be linked to you, then you may choose two additional people to be linked with,” he continued. “Otherwise, if you see someone who you know and would like to be linked with but your name is not already on The Web, then you can contact me and I will link that person to you and put you on The Web.” Website features included games and a page devoted to models of molecules such as ethane inspired by a high school biochemistry lecture. Along with

Facebook unveils ‘Home’ Facebook stakes out Android ‘home’ to battle rivals MENLO PARK: Facebook Inc on Thursday unveiled its most ambitious attempt yet to enter mobile computing market without a phone of its own, introducing a new app that replaces the home screen on some Android smartphones. Called “Home,” Facebook’s new software will let users comprehensively modify Android, the popular mobile operating system developed by Google, to prominently display their Facebook newsfeed and messages on the home screens of a wide range of devices - while hiding other apps. “Why do we need to go into those apps in the first place to see what’s going on with those we care about?” Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg told the hundreds of reporters and industry executives gathered at the company’s Menlo Park campus. “We want to bring all this content to the front.” The “Home” software will be available for download for free from Google Play starting April 12. In addition, AT&T Inc has exclusive rights to sell for $100 the first handsets, made by Taiwan’s HTC Corp, that come pre-installed with the software starting the same day. France Telecom’s Orange will be offering the phone in Europe. Shares in Facebook finished trading up 82 cents at $27.07; Google stock closed at $795.07, down $11.13 or 1.38 percent. Instead of traditional wallpaper or a “lock screen,” users with Home installed will see a new Facebook “cover feed” that displays a rolling tickertape of photos, status updates - and eventually, ads - from Facebook’s network. Facebook’s executives, acknowledging that messaging and communications remain the most fundamental use for smartphones, also showed off a new “chat heads” messaging interface, which would combine SMS text messages and Facebook chat messages under one tool. “On one level, this is just next mobile version of Facebook,” Zuckerberg said. “At a deeper level, this can start to be a change in the relationship with how we use these computing devices.” But some analysts were skeptical that consumers would leap at the chance to make Facebook so central to their lives. “Facebook thinks it’s more important to people than it actually is,” said Charles Golvin, an analyst at Forrester Research. Golvin said that in markets like Spain and Brazil, mobile users spend far more time in messaging apps like Whatsapp compared to the Facebook app. “For the vast majority of people, Facebook just isn’t the be-all and end-all of their mobile experience. It’s just one part,” he said. “I see a more apathetic response among Facebook users than Facebook might be expecting.”

CALIFORNIA: A Facebook employee holds a phone that is running the new ‘Home’ program during an event at Facebook headquarters during an event at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California. — AFP

COMPETITION WITH GOOGLE Facebook’s wide-reaching mobile strategy could heighten its competition with Google, the dominant Internet search engine and the developer of Android with whom it is locked in a battle for Internet users’ time online and for advertising dollars. But if it proves to be popular among Android users, Home could also place the two companies in something of an uneasy partnership. More than 750 million mobile devices featuring Android have been activated to date, according to Google, more than gadgets based on Apple Inc’s iOS, the runner-up. Zuckerberg downplayed the rivalry even as he praised Google’s willingness to let other companies tinker with Android. He said he was confident Google would not make changes to Android that would hamstring Facebook. “If 20 percent of time people are spending on their phones is in Home, I really think they’re going to have a hard time making a rational decision” to limit Home’s functionality, Zuckerberg told reporters. Google issued a neutral statement, saying the new phone demonstrated Android’s openness. “The Android platform has spurred the development of hundreds of different types of devices,” the company said. “This latest device demonstrates the openness and flexibility that has made Android so popular.” Not everyone is sure that Google will remain neutral. “Google has made Android open, but as they release the next version, are they going

to be as open?” said Simon Mansell, the chief executive of TBG Digital, an advertising technology provider. “Facebook is hiding all the Google stuff with their own stuff, and how Google will respond is interesting.” For Facebook - founded in Zuckerberg’s dorm room in 2004 as a website - bolstering its mobile presence is critical. Nearly 70 percent of Facebook members used mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to access its service at the end of 2012, and 157 million of Facebook’s roughly 1 billion users accessed the service solely on a mobile device. The company has stepped up efforts to ensure that its revenue-generating ads can be viewed on mobile devices and Zuckerberg has said that the company’s engineers are now focused on creating “mobile-first experiences.” Zuckerberg said features like cover feed will be ad-free initially, but he envisioned advertising as another form of content that will eventually be integrated. Analysts say the company treads cautiously when introducing ads into any of its services, wary of infuriating users. “This is about becoming more deeply embedded in the operating system on mobile devices, and creating a broader platform,” said Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst for the research firm Ovum. “It will allow Facebook to track more of a user’s behavior on devices, and present more opportunities to serve up advertising.” But “that presents the biggest obstacle to success for this experiment: Facebook’s objectives and users’ are once again in conflict. Users don’t want more advertising or tracking, and Facebook wants to do more of both.” —Reuters

mini-programs that included a drawing tool and a grade point average calculator, the website had a “Best” page devoted to “my friends, and of course, bad comedy.” The laser was listed as the best achievement by a human and the quesadilla as the best food. Facebook did not respond to a request for comment, but online reports said that the email provided on the website was an account that belonged to Zuckerberg’s father. The website was brought to light by a user of Hacker News, a website designed for hackers. —AFP

Google-Samsung ties profitable but could change CALIFORNIA: The world’s leading smartphone maker managed to spotlight a youthful tapdancer, Broadway actors and plenty of lame jokes during an hourlong event to show off its latest high-end gadget - but there was barely a mention of the Android software that makes Samsung’s most successful phones work. That snub didn’t go unnoticed by tech analysts who are watching for signs of strain in the lucrative partnership between Samsung Electronics Co and Google Inc, which developed Android. Some have wondered if Samsung’s tremendous growth could tip the balance in that relationship. “After the announcement for the Galaxy S4” - the new smartphone that goes on sale this month - “there was a lot of questioning about whether Samsung was trying to subsume Android or even move away from it,” said Ross Rubin, a veteran tech analyst at Reticle Research. Google lets Samsung and other hardware makers use Android without charge, in an innovative strategy to ensure that its online services are available on handheld gadgets used by consumers around the world. To date, that arrangement has paid off for both companies. Samsung relied on Android devices to achieve dominance in the smartphone business, while Google says its mobile revenue has reached $8 billion a year from showing ads and selling digital goods on a variety of handheld devices, including Samsung’s. Google also counts on Android to balance the ambitions of Apple, which has begun deemphasizing Google apps on the iPhone and iPad. But Samsung has begun building its own features on top of Android for its Galaxy phones. And some analysts have speculated Samsung’s success might give the Korean tech giant enough clout to create its own version of Android, demand special features from Google or install more of its own software to replace Google’s ad-supported services. It might even demand a share of Google’s mobile ad revenue. Almost 70 percent of smartphones sold worldwide last year use Android, as opposed to operating software from Apple, Microsoft and others, according to the Canalys research firm. Analysts at IDC estimate Samsung sold more than 215 million smartphones last year, almost half of all Android phones sold. Samsung also sells phones that use Microsoft’s mobile software, and it’s planning a phone based on new software called Tizen, which Samsung developed with Intel and other partners. But Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney said Android’s ecosystem of applications and services are so popular that Samsung is unlikely to abandon its partnership with Google. “Both parties need each other,” he said. — MCT



Mars missions scaled back because of sun LOS ANGELES: It’s the Martian version of spring break: Curiosity and Opportunity, along with their spacecraft friends circling overhead, will take it easy this month because of the sun’s interference. For much of April, the sun blocks the line of sight between Earth and Mars. This celestial alignment - called a Mars solar conjunction makes it difficult for engineers to send instructions or hear from the flotilla in orbit and on the surface. Such communication blackouts occur every two years when the red planet disappears behind the sun. No new commands are sent since flares and charged particles spewing from the sun can scramble transmission signals and put spacecraft in danger. Mission teams prepared by uploading weeks of scaled-back activities beforehand. “They’re on their own,” said Rich Zurek, chief Mars scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The rovers are banned from driving. Instead, they take a staycation and study their surroundings. The orbiting Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter continue to listen for the rovers and make their own observations, but for the most part will transmit data once Mars is in view again. Opportunity, Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the European Space Agency’s Mars Express have survived previous bouts of restricted communications. It’s the first for Curiosity, which landed last year near the Martian equator to hunt for the chemical building blocks of life. Beginning Thursday and through May 1, Curiosity can only check the weather every hour, measure radiation and look for signs of water below the desert-like surface. The limited chores are a departure for the active six-wheeler, which is used to driving, drilling and zapping its laser at rocks. Before the sun got in the way, Curiosity made its biggest discovery yet: From a drilled piece of rock, it determined that its crater landing site was habitable billions of years ago, possessing some of the basic ingredients necessary to support tiny microbes. Scientists must wait until next month to drill into another rock and start the longdelayed trek to a mountain where Curiosity will search for the elusive organic molecules that are fundamental to life as we know it. The road trip was supposed to have started last year, but longer-thanexpected science experiments put Curiosity behind schedule. Odyssey, circling Mars since 2001, has experienced half a dozen blackout episodes with no problem. This time, it will try something new. There are plans to radio Earth every day even if calls are dropped, mostly to keep engineers updated on Curiosity’s health. The rover is also programmed to send daily beeps to ground controllers. By contrast, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will record and store information onboard its computers and beam it back after the hiatus. Opportunity, which parked itself in a clay-rich spot, will use the down time to study a rock and track the amount of dust in the sky. With Mars missions on autopilot, many scientists and engineers planned to take vacation while a small crew remains on duty. “We’ve been through this before,” Zurek said. “We’re not expecting to have any problems during this period. Let’s hope it stays that way.”— AP

Japanese scientists can ‘read’ dreams MRI scanners unlock secrets of unconscious mind TOKYO: Scientists in Japan said yesterday they had found a way to “read” people’s dreams, using MRI scanners to unlock some of the secrets of the unconscious mind. Researchers have managed what they said was “the world’s first decoding” of night-time visions, the subject of centuries of speculation that have captivated humanity since ancient times. In the study, published in the journal Science, researchers at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories, in Kyoto, western Japan, used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to locate exactly which part of the brain was active during the first moments of sleep. The scientists then woke up the dreamers and asked them what images they had seen, a process that was repeated 200 times. These answers were compared with the brain maps that had been produced by the MRI scanner, the researchers said, adding that they later built a database, based on the results. On subsequent attempts they were able to predict what images the volunteers had seen with a 60 percent accuracy rate, rising to more than 70 percent with around 15 specific items

including men, words and books, they said. “We have concluded that we successfully decoded some kinds of dreams with a distinctively high success rate,” said Yukiyasu Kamitani, a senior researcher at the laboratories and head of the study team. “Dreams have fascinated people since ancient times, but their function and meaning has remained closed,” Kamitani said. “I believe this result was a key step towards reading dreams more precisely.” His team is now trying to predict other dream experiences such as smells, colors and emotion, as well as entire stories in people’s dreams. “We would like to introduce a more accurate method so that we can work on a way of visualizing dreams,” he said. Kamitani, however, admits that there is still a long way to go before they are anywhere near understanding a whole dream. He said the decoding patterns differ for individuals and the database they have developed cannot be applied generally, rather it has to be generated for each person. The experiment also only used the images the subjects were seeing right before they were woken up. Deep sleep, where

subjects have more vivid dreams, remains a mystery. “There are still a lot of things that are unknown,” he added. Kamitani’s experiment is the latest in a government-led brain study program aimed at applying the science to medical and welfare services, government officials said. “Our expectations from the dream study are quite high,” said an official of the science and technology ministry’s brain research promotion program. The ministry spent around 3.4 billion yen ($35 million) on the dream and other neuroscience studies for the fiscal year that ended on March 31. “This technology may help disabled people to be able to move artificial limbs with their brain, or it may lead to a remedy for dementia or other brain-related diseases in the future,” the official said. “But we are looking carefully at the ethical aspects of the technology, which may allow a third person to look at somebody else’s thoughts in the future,” she said. In 2011, a team of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, used an MRI system to capture images from the brains of subjects who were awake and later reconstructed them as video clips. — AFP

This undated file image provided by the European Space Agency ESA shows the International Space Station in the sunlight. A $2 billion cosmic ray detector on the International Space Station has found the footprint of something that could be dark matter, the mysterious substance that is believed to hold the cosmos together but has never been directly observed, scientists say. — AP

Scientists find possible hint of dark matter GENEVA: It is one of the cosmos’ most mysterious unsolved cases: dark matter. It is supposedly what holds the universe together. We can’t see it, but scientists are pretty sure it’s out there. Led by a dogged, Nobel Prize-winning gumshoe who has spent 18 years on the case, scientists put a $2 billion detector aboard the International Space Station to try to track down the stuff. And after two years, the first evidence came in Wednesday: tantalizing cosmic footprints that seem to have been left by dark matter. But the evidence isn’t enough to declare the case closed. The footprints could have come from another, more conventional suspect: a pulsar, or a rotating, radiation-emitting star. The Sam Spade in the investigation, physicist and Nobel laureate Sam Ting of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said he expects a more definitive answer in a matter of months. He confidently promised: “There is no question we’re going to solve this problem.” “It’s a tantalizing hint,” said

California Institute of Technology physicist Sean Carroll, who was not part of the team. “It’s a sign of something.” But he can’t quite say what that something is. It doesn’t eliminate the other suspect, pulsars, he added. The results from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, or AMS, are significant because dark matter is thought to make up about a quarter of all the matter in the universe. “We live in a sea of dark matter,” said Michael Salamon, who runs the AMS program for the US Energy Department. Unraveling the mystery of dark matter could help scientists better understand the composition of our universe and, more particularly, what holds galaxies together. Ting announced the findings in Geneva at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, the particle physics laboratory known as CERN. The 7ton detector with a 3-foot magnet ring at its core was sent into space in 2011 in a shuttle mission commanded by astronaut Mark Kelly while his

wife, then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was recovering from a gunshot wound to the head. The device is transmitting its data to CERN, where it is being analyzed. For 80 years scientists have theorized the existence of dark matter but have never actually observed it directly. They have looked for it in accelerators that smash particles together at high speed. No luck. They’ve looked deep underground with special detectors. Again no luck. Then there’s a third way: looking in space for the results of rare dark matter collisions. If particles of dark matter crash and annihilate each other, they should leave a footprint of positrons - the antimatter version of electrons - at high energy levels. That’s what Ting and AMS are looking for. They found some. But they could also be signs of pulsars, Ting and others concede. What’s key is the curve of the plot of those positrons. If the curve is one shape, it points to dark matter. If it’s another, it points to pulsars. —AP

TV listings


00:45 01:35 02:25 03:15 04:05 04:55 05:20 05:45 06:35 07:00 07:25 08:15 09:10 10:05 10:30 11:00 11:25 11:55 12:50 13:15 13:45 14:10 14:40 15:05 15:35 16:00 16:30 16:55 17:25 17:50 18:20 19:15 20:10 21:05 22:00 22:55 23:20 23:50

Monster Bug Wars Untamed & Uncut Wildest India Shark After Dark Whale Wars Call Of The Wildman Dark Days In Monkey City Last Chance Highway Wildlife SOS Meerkat Manor Dogs 101 Crocodile Hunter Michaela’s Animal Road Trip Monkey Life Chris Humfrey’s Wildlife Bondi Vet The Really Wild Show Wildest Africa Shamwari: A Wild Life Shamwari: A Wild Life Shamwari: A Wild Life Shamwari: A Wild Life Shamwari: A Wild Life Shamwari: A Wild Life Shamwari: A Wild Life Shamwari: A Wild Life Shamwari: A Wild Life Shamwari: A Wild Life Shamwari: A Wild Life Shamwari: A Wild Life The Animals’ Guide To Survival The Animals’ Guide To Survival Running With Wolves Wildest Africa My Cat From Hell Baboons With Bill Bailey Baboons With Bill Bailey Untamed & Uncut

00:40 Come Dine With Me 01:30 Masterchef: The Professionals 02:15 Gok’s Clothes Roadshow 03:05 Mitch And Matt’s Big Fish 03:30 Cash In The Attic 04:15 Bargain Hunt 05:00 House Swap 05:45 Gok’s Clothes Roadshow 06:35 French Food At Home 07:00 Homes Under The Hammer 07:55 Homes Under The Hammer 08:50 Homes Under The Hammer 09:45 Homes Under The Hammer 10:40 Cash In The Attic 11:25 Come Dine With Me 12:15 Perfect Day 12:40 Baking Mad With Eric Lanlard 13:05 Baking Mad With Eric Lanlard 13:30 The Good Cook 13:55 French Food At Home 14:15 French Food At Home 14:40 Bargain Hunt 15:25 Antiques Roadshow 16:20 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials 17:40 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials 19:00 Come Dine With Me: Supersize 20:30 Come Dine With Me 21:20 Antiques Roadshow 22:15 Bargain Hunt: Famous Finds 23:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials

00:00 00:30 01:00 01:30 02:00 02:30 03:00 03:10 03:30 04:00 04:30 05:00 05:10 06:00 06:30 07:00 07:30 08:00 08:30 09:00 09:30 10:00 10:10 10:30

BBC World News America BBC World News America BBC World News Newsnight BBC World News Our World BBC World News Weekend World BBC World News BBC World News Horizons BBC World News BBC World News BBC World News Fast Track BBC World News BBC World News BBC World News Middle East Business Report BBC World News Click BBC World News Weekend World BBC World News

THREE KINGS ON OSN ACTION HD 11:00 BBC World News 11:10 Football Focus 11:30 Horizons 12:00 BBC World News 12:10 The Intelligence Squared Debate 13:00 BBC World News 13:10 World Features 13:30 Newsnight 14:00 BBC World News 14:30 Our World 15:00 BBC World News 15:10 Weekend World 15:30 BBC World News 16:00 BBC World News 16:15 Sport Today 16:30 Fast Track 17:00 BBC World News 17:30 Dateline London 18:00 BBC World News 18:10 BBC World News 19:00 BBC World News 19:30 Final Score 20:00 BBC World News 20:30 BBC World News 21:00 BBC World News 21:15 Sport Today 21:30 Fast Track 22:00 BBC World News 22:30 Click 23:00 BBC World News 23:10 World Features 23:30 Dateline London

00:45 01:35 02:00 02:25 02:50 03:00

Wacky Races Duck Dodgers Duck Dodgers Dastardly And Muttley Dastardly And Muttley Dexter’s Laboratory

03:30 03:55 04:20 04:45 05:00 05:25 05:45 06:00 06:25 06:50 07:15 07:40 11:50 12:15 12:40 13:00 13:50 14:40 15:30 15:55 16:20 16:45 17:10 18:00 18:50 19:40 20:30 20:55 21:20 21:45 22:10 22:35 23:00 23:50

Wacky Races Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Tom & Jerry The Garfield Show Bananas In Pyjamas Gerald McBoing Boing Jelly Jamm Ha Ha Hairies Baby Looney Tunes Cartoonito Tales Krypto: The Super Dog Lazy Town Gerald McBoing Boing Baby Looney Tunes Jelly Jamm The Looney Tunes Show Taz-Mania Tom & Jerry Tales The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby-Doo The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby-Doo Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Dexter’s Laboratory Moomins The Looney Tunes Show Taz-Mania The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby-Doo The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby-Doo The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby-Doo The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby-Doo Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Moomins Duck Dodgers

00:30 01:20 02:10 02:35 03:00

Grim Adventures Of... Johnny Test Ben 10: Ultimate Alien Ben 10: Ultimate Alien The Amazing World Of

Gumball 03:25 Regular Show 03:50 Ben 10: Omniverse 04:15 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 04:40 Powerpuff Girls 05:05 Evil Con Carne 05:30 Cow & Chicken 06:00 Casper’s Scare School 06:30 Angelo Rules 07:00 Thundercats 07:25 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 07:50 Young Justice 08:15 Hero 108 08:40 Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated 09:35 Ben 10 Omniverse 10:00 Dreamworks Dragons: Riders Of Berk 10:25 The Amazing World Of Gumball 11:15 Evil Con Carne 12:05 Adventure Time 12:55 Regular Show 13:45 Angelo Rules 14:10 Ben 10 Omniverse 14:35 Dreamworks Dragons: Riders Of Berk 15:00 Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated 15:50 The Amazing World Of Gumball 16:40 Adventure Time 17:05 Regular Show 17:30 Ben 10 17:55 Hero 108 18:20 Young Justice 18:45 Total Drama Action 19:10 Total Drama Action 19:35 Total Drama Action 20:00 Total Drama Action 20:25 Total Drama Action 20:50 Starwars: The Clone Wars

21:40 22:00 22:25 22:50 23:15 23:40

Evil Con Carne Ben 10 Ben 10 Mucha Lucha ! Mucha Lucha ! Powerpuff Girls

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

Amanpour World Sport Piers Morgan Tonight World Report World Sport Anderson Cooper 360 Piers Morgan Tonight Quest Means Business CNN Marketplace Africa The Situation Room World Sport Inside The Middle East World Report CNN Marketplace Africa Backstory World Report CNN Marketplace Middle East Eco Solutions World Sport Living Golf The Best Of The Situation Room World Report The Brief Amanpour Inside Africa Talk Asia Business Traveller World Report Cnngo News Special Backstory International Desk African Voices CNN Marketplace Europe CNN Marketplace Africa The Brief World Sport Mainsail International Desk Inside Africa International Desk Inside The Middle East The Best Of The Situation Room World Report News Special

00:15 00:40 01:10 02:05 03:00 03:55 04:20 04:50 05:15 05:40 06:05 07:00 07:50 08:45 09:40 10:30 11:25 12:20 13:15 14:10 15:05 16:00 16:55 17:50 18:15 18:45 19:40 20:35 21:30 21:55 22:25 22:50 23:20 23:45

Crash Course Crash Course World’s Top 5 Dirty Great Machines Mythbusters Border Security Auction Kings Baggage Battles How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Sons Of Guns Superhuman Showdown James May’s Man Lab Moonshiners Sharkbite Beach River Monsters Animal Cops South Africa Fast N’ Loud Fast N’ Loud Fast N’ Loud Fast N’ Loud Fast N’ Loud Fast N’ Loud Crash Course Crash Course Gold Rush Jungle Gold Sons Of Guns Baggage Battles Baggage Battles Baggage Battles Baggage Battles Baggage Battles Auction Kings

00:05 00:30 01:00 01:50 02:15 02:45 03:10 03:35 04:25 05:15 05:40

How Tech Works Weird Connections Building The Future Stuck With Hackett Stuck With Hackett Tech Toys 360 Tech Toys 360 Building The Future Mighty Ships Gadget Show - World Tour How Tech Works

06:05 07:00 07:25 07:50 08:15 08:40 09:05 09:30 10:25 11:20 12:10 13:00 13:50 14:20 14:45 15:10 16:00 16:55 17:45 18:10 18:35 19:00 19:30 20:20 21:10 21:35 22:00 22:50 23:40

Meteorite Men Tech Toys 360 Tech Toys 360 Oddities Oddities Gadget Show - World Tour How Tech Works The Kustomizer Mighty Ships Mighty Ships Mighty Ships Mighty Ships Weird Connections Gadget Show - World Tour How Tech Works X-Machines Da Vinci’s Machines Space Pioneer Food Factory Food Factory Tech Toys 360 Tech Toys 360 Storm Chasers Engineering Thrills Gadget Show - World Tour How Tech Works Storm Chasers Dark Matters: Twisted But True Gadget Show - World Tour

00:10 00:35 01:00 01:25 01:50 02:15 02:40 03:05 03:30 03:55 04:20 04:45 05:10 05:35 06:00 06:25 06:40 07:05 07:30 07:55 08:20 08:45 09:10 09:35 10:00 10:25 10:50 11:15 12:35 12:55 13:20 13:45 14:10 14:35 15:00 15:25 15:50 16:15 16:40 17:00 18:25 18:45 19:10 19:35 20:00 20:25 20:50 21:15 21:40 22:05 22:30 22:55 23:20 23:45

Hannah Montana Brandy & Mr Whiskers Brandy & Mr Whiskers Replacements Replacements Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School Brandy & Mr Whiskers Brandy & Mr Whiskers Replacements Replacements Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School Brandy & Mr Whiskers Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates Suite Life On Deck A.N.T. Farm A.N.T. Farm Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Jessie Austin And Ally A.N.T. Farm That’s So Raven Dadnapped Jessie Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Good Luck Charlie Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Shake It Up Shake It Up Shake It Up A.N.T. Farm A.N.T. Farm Cheetah Girls Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Shake It Up Shake It Up Austin And Ally Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Jessie Jessie Jonas Sonny With A Chance Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Stitch

00:00 Dirty Soap 00:55 Style Star 01:25 THS 02:20 THS 03:15 Style Star 03:40 Extreme Close-Up 04:10 E!es 05:05 E!es 06:00 THS 07:50 Style Star 08:20 E! News 09:15 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 10:15 THS 11:10 E!es 12:05 E! News 13:05 Scouted

TV listings

SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2013 14:05 Giuliana & Bill 15:00 Giuliana & Bill 16:00 Opening Act 17:00 Opening Act 18:00 E! News 19:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 20:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 21:00 Chasing The Saturdays 21:30 Fashion Police 22:30 E! News 23:30 Chelsea Lately

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

Dr G: Medical Examiner A Haunting Scorned: Crimes Of Passion Most Evil I Almost Got Away With It Dr G: Medical Examiner A Haunting Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? True Crime With Aphrodite Murder Shift Disappeared Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Street Patrol Forensic Detectives True Crime With Aphrodite Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? Disappeared Murder Shift Forensic Detectives True Crime With Aphrodite Disappeared Nightmare Next Door Couples Who Kill Deadly Affairs Stalked: Someone’s Watching Stalked: Someone’s Watching On The Case With Paula Zahn

00:05 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 00:30 Outrageous Food 00:55 Unwrapped 01:20 Unwrapped 01:45 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 02:10 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 02:35 Heat Seekers 03:00 Heat Seekers 03:25 Unique Eats 03:50 Andy Bates Street Feasts 04:15 Andy Bates American Street Feasts 04:40 Chopped 05:30 Iron Chef America 06:10 Food Network Challenge 07:00 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 07:25 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 07:50 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 08:15 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 08:40 Cooking For Real 09:05 Cooking For Real 09:30 Cooking For Real 09:55 Cooking For Real 10:20 Tyler’s Ultimate 10:45 Tyler’s Ultimate 11:10 Tyler’s Ultimate 11:35 Tyler’s Ultimate 12:00 Chef Hunter 12:50 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 13:15 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 13:40 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 14:05 Unique Sweets 14:30 Unique Sweets 14:55 Unique Sweets 15:20 Unique Sweets 15:45 Chopped 16:35 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 17:00 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 17:25 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 17:50 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics

18:15 18:40 19:05 19:30 20:20 21:10 22:00

00:45 01:40 02:05 02:35 03:00 03:30 03:55 04:25 05:20 05:45 06:15 06:40 07:10 08:05 08:30 09:00 09:55 10:50 11:45 12:10 12:40 13:05 13:35 14:00 14:30 14:55 15:25 16:20 16:45 17:15 18:10 19:05 19:30 20:00 20:30

Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Chopped Chopped Ultimate Recipe Showdown Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives

Living With The Amish, 6 Papua New Guinea Czech Republic Ep 11 Ep 12 Wacky Wine Weekend Bangkok, Thailand Living With The Amish, 6 Ep 1 Ep 2 Ep 3 Ep 4 Kazakhstan Peru Italy Karate Hugh’s Three Hungry Boys, 1 Australia North Devon New Forest Ep 13 Hunt For Funghi The Oldest Vine Hong Kong Istanbul Mumbai Vegas Peru Italy Karate Hugh’s Three Hungry Boys, 1 Ep 1 Ep 2 Ep 3 Ep 4

21:00 22:00 22:25 22:55 23:50

Kazakhstan Thailand Brazil USA Indonesia To Australia

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

7 Below-PG15 Striking Distance-PG15 Bending The Rules-PG15 Charlie’s Angels: Full ThrottleBlank Slate-PG15 Deadly Hope-PG15 True Justice: Dark VengeanceBlank Slate-PG15 Do No Harm-PG15 True Justice: Dark VengeanceExorcismus-18 Three Kings-PG15

01:00 Beware The Gonzo-PG15 03:00 Spy Kids: All The Time In The World-PG 05:00 A Dog Named Duke-PG15 07:00 The Game Of Their Lives-PG15 09:00 Beware The Gonzo-PG15 11:00 The Edge Of Love-PG15 13:00 Mrs. Miracle-PG15 15:00 The Decoy Bride-PG15 16:45 Take Shelter-PG15 19:00 This Means War-PG15 21:00 The Rum Diary-18 23:00 Breaking The Girl-18

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 The Ricky Gervais Show 02:00 South Park

03:00 Parks And Recreation 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Hope & Faith 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:30 Hope & Faith 09:00 Parks And Recreation 09:30 30 Rock 10:00 Cougar Town 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 13:00 Hope & Faith 14:30 Cougar Town 15:00 30 Rock 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Parks And Recreation 18:30 Happy Endings 19:00 The Neighbors 19:30 The Office 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

01:00 04:00 07:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

Glee Six Feet Under Fairly Legal The Glades Criminal Minds The Mob Doctor Sons Of Anarchy Six Feet Under

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00

Switched At Birth Survivor: Caramoan Smash Greek American Idol

05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

Smash Switched At Birth Smallville White Collar Glee American Idol Survivor: Caramoan Smallville The Ellen DeGeneres Show White Collar Switched At Birth Smallville The Ellen DeGeneres Show White Collar The Glades Criminal Minds The Mob Doctor Sons Of Anarchy Greek

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

Taxi Driver 7 Below Striking Distance Bending The Rules Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle Blank Slate Deadly Hope True Justice: Dark Vengeance Blank Slate Do No Harm True Justice: Dark Vengeance Exorcismus

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

Detention-18 Hard Breakers-18 How Do You Know-PG15 It Could Happen To You-PG Little Shop Of Horrors-PG15 While You Were Sleeping-PG15 How Do You Know-PG15 The Perfect Catch-PG15 While You Were Sleeping-PG15 Mean Girls 2-PG15 Reno 911!: Miami-18 Detention-18

01:00 The Entitled-PG15 02:45 Incendies-PG15 05:00 Walk The Line-PG15 07:15 Honey 2-PG15 09:15 I’ve Loved You So Long-PG15 11:15 Frozen-PG15 13:00 The Natural-PG 15:15 I’ve Loved You So Long-PG15 17:15 Courage—PG15 19:00 Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid-PG 21:00 Sleeping Beauty-18 23:00 Blind Revenge-18


00:00 02:00 03:30 05:15 PG15 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00

Dirty Girl-18 A Monster In Paris-PG Jack And Jill-PG15 Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes-

01:00 02:45 04:30 06:00 08:00 10:00 11:30 13:00 14:30 16:00 18:00 20:00 Island 22:00 23:30

Crab Island Arthur’s Missing Pal Return To Halloweentown 101 Dalmatians (1961) The Apple & The Worm The Wild Thornberrys Movie Battle For Terra Ploddy Police Car Return To Halloweentown Tommy & Oscar The Wild Thornberrys Movie Journey 2: The Mysterious

Win Win-PG15 Johnny English Reborn-PG15 Brave-PG Jane Eyre-PG15 Kings Ransom-PG15 Johnny English Reborn-PG15 Like Crazy-PG15 Outlaw Country-PG15 Contraband-18

Ploddy Police Car Tommy & Oscar

00:00 MSNBC Hardball With Chris Matthews 01:00 MSNBC Politicsnation 02:00 Live NBC Nightly News

02:30 ABC World News With Diane Sawyer 03:00 MSNBC The Ed Show 04:00 MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show 05:00 MSNBC The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell 06:00 NBC Nightly News 06:30 ABC World News With Diane Sawyer 07:00 Live NBC Nightly News 07:39 ABC Nightline 08:06 Live MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show 10:00 MSNBC Morning Joe 13:00 MSNBC Caught On Camera 14:00 Live NBC Saturday Today Show 16:00 MSNBC Up With Chris Hayes Saturday 17:57 Live MSNBC Hardball With Chris Matthews 18:38 Live MSNBC The Ed Show 19:19 Live MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show 20:00 Live ABC 20/20 21:00 Weight Of The Nation 23:00 MSNBC News

01:00 01:30 03:30 05:00 09:00 09:30 13:30 15:00 17:00 18:00 20:00

ICC Cricket 360 European Challenge Cup Super League Super Rugby Futbol Mundial Live Super Rugby NRL Premiership Live European Challenge Cup Trans World Sport Live Super Rugby Live PGA Tour

00:00 02:00 03:00 03:30 07:00 09:00 09:30 13:30 14:00 18:00 20:00 21:00

Super Rugby Trans World Sport Inside The PGA Tour PGA Tour European Challenge Cup ICC Cricket 360 Live NRL Premiership Futbol Mundial Super Rugby NRL Premiership UFC The Ultimate Fighter Live UFC

00:00 02:00 04:30 05:00 07:30 09:00 09:30 13:30 17:00 17:30 20:00 22:00

NRL Premiership Live ITU World Triathlon Total Rugby Live ITU World Triathlon Super League Asian Tour Golf Show Live Asian Tour Golf PGA Tour ICC Cricket 360 AFL Premiership European Challenge Cup Super Rugby

01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 07:00 10:00 12:00 12:30 15:30 16:30 18:30 19:30 21:30 22:30 23:30

WWE NXT UFC The Ultimate Fighter Ping Pong World US Bass Fishing NHL Live AFL Premiership WWE Smackdown Mobil 1 The Grid Live AFL Premiership WWE Vintage Collection WWE SmackDown WWE Bottom Line NHL Adventure Challenge Triahlon UK UAE National Race Day Series

01:25 Speedway-FAM 03:00 Live A Little, Love A Little-PG 04:35 The Toast Of New Orleans-U 07:00 They Drive By Night-FAM 08:45 The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre-U 11:00 Singin’ In The Rain-FAM 12:50 Lust For Life-FAM 14:50 The Toast Of New Orleans-U 16:30 Torpedo Run-FAM 18:05 Logan’s Run-PG 20:00 Double Trouble-FAM 22:00 Heaven With A Gun-U 23:40 Westworld


Announcements Kalanjali presents instrumental fusion Instrumental Fusion by Indian Symphony - Dr Mani Bharathi (violin) and troupe - of Keyboard player; Tabla and Pads, will perform for the first time for music lovers in Kuwait. They will perform ever green melodies from Tamil and Hindi films and devotional songs. Venue: Indian Community School (Senior Branch) Salmiya. Time: 6.30 pm onwards. Date: April 27, 2013 (Saturday). CRYcket 2013 tournament Friends of CRY Club (FOCC) announces 16th CRY (Child Rights & You) cricket tournament for children and will be held at the GC grounds at Jaleeb Al-Shuyoukh on Friday, 12th Apr 2013 from 6:30 a.m to 4:30 pm. The one day “CRYcket” tournament is a very popular annual family event, participated by children under 14. 12 teams each are set to participate in the Under-12 and Under-14 divisions initially in four groups in round robin fashion leading to 4 winners who will clash in the semifinals. The last date for registration of Teams is 5th Apr 2013. For more details & game rules, visit the FOCC website

Bangladesh military contingent celebrates Independence Day


he 42nd Independence & National day of Bangladesh was observed by the Bangladesh Military Contingent to Kuwait with due solemnity and festivity. For the peace and prosperity of Bangladesh, a special prayer was arranged in Bangladesh Military Contingent Command headquarters mosque. Bangladesh Military Contingent hosted a lunch for the occasion where the ambassador of Bangladesh HE Syed Shahed Reza attended as chief guest. Besides, a good number

of military officers from Kuwait Armed Forces and officers from Bangladesh Embassy were also present. Brigadier General Hamidur Rahman Chowdhury, PSC Commander, Bangladesh Military Contingent to Kuwait welcomed the guest in his inaugural speech where the significance of the day was elaborated before the august gathering. After that, the invited guests joined in a cake-cutting ceremony to mark the day.

Basketball Academy The new Premier Basketball Academy offers coaching and games every Friday and Saturday from 10 am onwards for 6 to 18 year olds, boys and girls. Located in Bayan Block 7, Masjed Al-Aqsa Street by Abdullah Al-Rujaib High School. Free Basketball and Tee Shirts for all participants, with certificates and special awards on completion of each 6 week course. Qualified and experienced British and American Coaches, Everyone Welcome. Aye Mere Humsafar An event with renowned artist from Indian Cinema. ‘Aye Mere Humsafar’ on Friday 12th April @ American International School (AIS). A concept of real voice from Bollywood. High energy orchestra with Melody Queen Alka Yagnik charming playback singer Vinod Rathod (accompanied by female playback singer & standup comedian Sangeeta Kopalkar and young standup comedian Ashok Mishra.

Birthday greetings Dear Dad Many many happy returns of the day. May God always bless you. Thanks a lot for everything. You are the best dad, may you always live long and celebrate this special day with us. Husnain Yasin Mohammad Yasin

W Bangladesh Nationalist Party Kuwait Wing arranged a get-together on the occasion of the 43rd Independence Day of Bangladesh in Kuwait City’s Gulshan Hotel Hall on March 27, 2013. The meeting was presided by President of BNP Kuwait Chapter A K Anwar and conducted by General Secretary of BNP Kamrul Hasan.


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


Indian Business Council marks 10 years


ndian Business Council held its 10th anniversary celebrations under the auspices of Sheikh Salman Hmoud Al-Sabah, Minister of Information & Youth Affairs on March 24, 2013 at The Regency Hotel. The occasion was graced by the Ambassador of India to Kuwait Satish C Mehta. The event was attended by many prominent Kuwaiti as well as Indian businessmen. The highlight of the event was IBC honoring leading Kuwaiti and Indian business leaders for their contribution to strengthening economic and cultural relations between our two countries.

Awardees - Kuwaiti Late Sheikh Abdullah Salem Al-Sabah Late Sheikh Abdullah Al-Jaber Al Sabah Kutayba Alghanim Mustafa Jassim Boodai Nasser Mohammed Naser Al-Sayer Khalid Jumaiyan Salem Al-Jumaiyan Founders of Al Mulla Group Khalid Latif Abdul Latif Al A Razzak Essa Abdul Rahman Al-Essa Khalid Abdullah Hamad Al-Sager Abdulaziz Mohammed Al-Shaya Awardees - Indian Mathunny Mathews B N Malhotra Sam Alphonso Bhagwan Gidwani Valreine M D’Sa Lawrence D’Souza Kuldeep Singh Lamba John Mathew Anand Swaroop Sharma Late Abhay Mehta Ali Hussain Ragib

health & science


More deaths in China from new bird flu Vietnam bans poultry imports from China SHANGHAI/HONG KONG: China said it was mobilising resources nationwide to combat a new strain of bird flu that has killed six people, as Japan and Hong Kong stepped up vigilance and the United States said it was closely monitoring the situation. All of the 14 reported infections from the H7N9 bird flu strain have been in eastern China and at least four of the six dead are in the financial hub of Shanghai, a city of 20 million people. The strain does not appear to be transmitted from human to human but authorities in Hong Kong raised a preliminary alert and said they were taking precautions at the airport. Vietnam banned imports of Chinese poultry. In Japan, airports have put up posters at entry points warning all passengers from China to seek medical attention if they have flu-like symptoms. A total of 14 people in China have been confirmed to have contracted H7N9, all in the east of the country. One of the cases was a four-year-old child, who was recovering, the official Xinhua news agency said. Hong Kong authorities said six people had died. Authorities in Shanghai also discovered the H7N9 virus in a pigeon sample taken from a traditional wholesale market, Xinhua added, believed to be the first time the virus has been discovered in an animal in China since the outbreak began. In the United States, the White House said it was monitoring the situation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it had started work on a vaccine if it was needed. It would take five to six months to begin commercial production. But the groundwork is being laid. The virus has been shared with World Health Organization (WHO) collaborating centres in Atlanta, Beijing, London, Melbourne and Tokyo, and these groups are analysing samples to identify the best candidate to be used for the manufacture of vaccine - if it

SHANGHAI: Chinese health workers collect the bags of dead chickens at Huhuai wholesale agricultural market in Shanghai yesterday. Authorities in Shanghai began the mass slaughter of poultry at a market after the H7N9 bird flu virus, which has killed five people in China, was detected there, state media said. — AFP becomes necessary. Any decision to mass-produce vaccines against H7N9 flu will not be taken lightly, since it will mean sacrificing production of seasonal shots. That could mean shortages of vaccine against the normal seasonal flu which, while not serious for most people, still costs thousands of lives. Sanofi Pasteur, the world’s largest flu vaccine manufacturer, said it was in continuous contact with the WHO through the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), but it was too soon to know the significance of the Chinese cases. Other leading flu vaccine makers include GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis Preliminary test results suggest the new flu strain responds to treatment with Roche’s drug Tamiflu and GSK’s Relenza, according to the WHO. With the fear that a SARS-like epidemic could re-emerge, China said it was

pulling out the stops to combat the virus. “(China) will strengthen its leadership in combating the virus ... and coordinate and deploy the entire nation’s health system to combat the virus,” the Health Ministry said in a statement on its website ( In 2003, authorities initially tried to cover up an epidemic of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which emerged in China and killed about 10 percent of the 8,000 people it infected worldwide. China “will continue to openly and transparently maintain communication and information channels with the World Health Organisation and relevant countries and regions, and strengthen monitoring and preventative measures”, the ministry said. Other strains of bird flu, such as H5N1, have been circulating for many years and can be transmitted from bird to bird, and bird to human, but not generally from human to human. — Reuters

Dementia tops cancer, heart disease in cost NEW YORK: Cancer and heart disease are bigger killers, but Alzheimer’s is the most expensive malady in the US, costing families and society $157 billion to $215 billion a year, according to a new study that looked at this in unprecedented detail. The biggest cost of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia isn’t drugs or other medical treatments, but the care that’s needed just to get mentally impaired people through daily life, the nonprofit RAND Corp.’s study found. It also gives what experts say is the most reliable estimate for how many Americans have dementia around 4.1 million. That’s less than the widely cited 5.2 million estimate from the Alzheimer’s Association, which comes from a study that included people with less severe impairment. “The bottom line here is the same: Dementia is among the most costly diseases to society, and we need to address this if we’re going to come to terms with the cost to the Medicare and Medicaid system,” said Matthew Baumgart, senior director of public policy at the Alzheimer’s Association. Dementia’s direct costs, from medicines to nursing homes, are $109 billion a year in 2010 dollars, the new RAND report found. That compares to $102 billion for heart disease and $77 billion for cancer. Informal care by family members and others pushes dementia’s total even higher, depending on how that care and lost wages are valued. “The informal care costs are substantially higher for dementia than for cancer or heart conditions,” said Michael Hurd, a RAND economist who led the study. It was sponsored by the government’s National Institute on Aging and will be published in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Dementia also can result from a stroke or other diseases. It is rapidly growing in prevalence as the population ages. Current treatments only temporarily ease symptoms and don’t slow the disease. Patients live four to eight years on average after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, but some live 20 years. By age 80, about 75 percent of people with Alzheimer’s will be in a nursing home compared with only 4 percent of the general population, the Alzheimer’s group says. “Most people have understood the enormous toll in terms of human suffering and cost,” but the new comparisons to heart disease and cancer may surprise some, said Dr. Richard Hodes, director of the Institute on Ageing. — AP

Japan aquarium shows mysterious clear-blood fish

TOKYO: An ocellated ice fish, caught in the Antarctic Ocean in 2011, swims in a fish tank at Tokyo Sea Life Park yesterday. — AFP

TOKYO: The deep oceans have yielded many mysteries that have puzzled people for centuries, from the giant squid to huge jellyfish that look like UFOs. To that list add a fish with totally transparent blood. The Ocellated Ice Fish lives in the freezing waters of the Antarctic Ocean, where it manages to keep its body doing all the things that other fish do, but with blood that is absolutely clear, researchers told AFP on Friday. The reason, say experts at Tokyo Sea Life Park, is that the Ocellated Ice Fish has no haemoglobin, making it unique among vertebrates

the world over. Haemoglobin is the protein found in every other animal with bones. It is what makes blood red and is the agent that carries oxygen around the body. The fish, which has no scales, is a prize catch for the aquarium, the only place on the planet that has the curious specimen in captivity. Satoshi Tada, an education specialist at the centre, said very little is known about the fish, which was brought back to Japan by krill fishermen. “Luckily, we have a male and a female, and they spawned in January,” he told AFP, adding that having more examples to study

might help scientists unlock some of the fish’s secrets. Researchers believe the fish can live without haemoglobin because it has a large heart and uses blood plasma to circulate oxygen throughout its body. Its skin is also thought to be able to absorb oxygen from the rich waters of the Antarctic, where it is found at depths of up to a kilometre (3,300 feet). But the evolutionary mechanism that left this creature with clear blood running through its veins is a mystery. “Why is it the fish lost haemoglobin? More studies are needed on the question,” Tada said. — AFP


health & science



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


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital


I, Mustufa Fazle Husain Bohra, S/o Fazle Husain Bohra, holder of Indian Passport No: F9950554, change my name to Mustafa Fazele Husain Jawadwala. (C 4367) I, P Mora Sudhakar, holder Indian Passport No: E8783494 hereby change my name to Mohammad Aziz Shaik. 4-4-2013 Raja Mohamed s/o R.M. Yousuf holder of Indian Passport No. F5609683 change my name to Raj Mohamed. (C 4366) 3-4-2013 I, Moiz Ali Mazaf Aziz, holder of Indian Passport No: F9295029 hereby change my name to Aziz Mazaf. (C 4362) I, ABUL HASANSA DULI S/O RAHMATH ALI, holder of Indian Passport No: G3925520, issued at Kuwait, on 13.11.2007 permanent resident of 3/81 A, middle street, SP Pattinam (Post), Ramnad dist., Tamil Nadu and presently working at Sharq - Kuwait, do hereby change my name from ABUL HASANSA DULI S/O RAHMATH ALI to ABUL HASAN S/O RAHMATH ALI with immediate effect. (C 4364) 2-4-2013 SITUATION WANTED

Clinics Rabiya






Need a job in Kuwait, having MBA Degree + Indian driving license, K. Suresh Babu MBA. Contact: 0091-9440707761 or Mr. Balu 66195135. (C 4368) 6-4-2013



Female, MBA with over 11







Abdullah Salim




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Ghar






Ayoun Al-Kibla










Maidan Hawally




years experience in all functions of HR/Admin. Transferable Visa 18. Can join immediately, knowledge of English, Hindi, Arabic. Please contact: 94062123. (C 4358) 2-4-2013 British male consultant engineer work in petrol chemical and manufacturing industries in leading companies in Europe and UK. 20 years experience, seeking job in Kuwait. Mob: 50936694, 25742132. 1-4-2013

FOR SALE 2004 BMW X3, mileage 1,38,000 km, full option black exterior, 1 year insurance, KD 2750, Mobile: 66526872. 4-4-2013 Mazda Two car Salon model 2011, white color, four cylinder, 1500CC engine, very excellent original condition, 60,000km done, installment possible with or without down payment, cash price KD 1,950/- negotiable. Contact: 66507741. (4363) 2-4-2013


1:30 PM

Prayer timings Fajr: Shorook Duhr: Asr: Maghrib: Isha:

04:12 05:32 11:51 15:23 18:09 19:28


2:00 PM 4:30 PM 7:00 PM


9:30 PM 12:05 AM 1:15 PM 5:45 PM 8:15 PM 10:45 PM 1:00 AM 1:15 PM 3:45 PM 5:45 PM 8:00 PM 10:15 PM 12:30 AM 1:00 PM 3:30 PM 5:30 PM 8:00 PM 10:30 PM 12:45 AM 1:15 PM 3:30 PM 5:45 PM 8:15 PM 10:45 PM 1:00 AM

information SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2013



Time 00:05 00:15 00:20 00:40 01:30 01:45 01:55 02:05 02:25 02:30 03:10 03:15 03:15 03:20 03:30 04:15 04:35 05:10 05:50 06:15 06:30 06:35 06:40 07:25 07:30 07:40 07:45 07:50 08:05 08:20 08:25 08:45 08:50 09:00 09:15 09:30 10:40 11:05 11:35 12:00 12:05 12:25 12:35 12:45 13:00 13:25 13:40 13:40 13:45 13:50 13:55 14:00 14:15 14:30 14:30 14:35 14:55 15:00 15:05 15:40 15:55 16:00 16:10 16:15 16:25 16:35 16:50 16:50 16:55 17:10 17:20 17:20 17:25 17:30 17:45 17:50 18:00 18:05


542 144 104 63 251 618 674 774 405 572 553 562 61 647 129 607 189 402 618 489 462 415 229 859 307 136 370 217 146 59 975 474 239 185 981 786 614 636 574 513 772


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



Time 00:05 00:20 00:25 00:30 00:55 01:30 01:30 02:20 02:30 02:45 03:35 03:45 03:50 03:55 04:15 04:20 04:20 04:25 05:15 05:45 06:30 07:00 07:10 07:10 07:25 07:45 08:25 08:25 08:50 09:10 09:10 09:15 09:25 09:30 09:35 09:50


56 133 302 101 356 214 541 165 501 4162 776 406 176 124 611 481 872 220 58 561 141 6693 576 673 473 617 342 773 505 188 461 641 785 238 512 135 304 72 538 128 858 511 216 184 266 982 4168 145 64 252 613 554 402 571 62 120 331 648 351 604 403 607 543 475 171 415 308 230 860 381 137 301 218 371 60 205 147 554 471 411 283


Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (

09:55 10:00 10:15 10:25 11:00 11:25 11:30 11:45 12:00 12:05 12:25 13:00 13:20 13:30 14:00 14:15 14:15 14:25 14:30 14:40 14:55 15:00 15:00 15:05 15:30 15:45 15:55 16:00 16:00 16:00 16:05 16:55 17:00 17:05 17:15 17:15 17:20 17:35 17:40 17:50 18:15 18:20 18:20 18:30 18:40 18:40 19:05 19:25 19:35 20:00 20:00 20:20 20:30 20:35 20:40 20:45 20:50 20:55 21:05 21:10 21:15 21:30 21:30 21:45 21:50 22:05 22:15 22:20 22:25 22:30 22:35 22:40 22:45 22:50 23:00 23:00 23:05 23:20 23:25 23:40 23:45


Word Search

C R O S S W O R D 1 5 1


Yesterdayʼs Solution

1. (computer science) The rate at which data is transferred (as by a modem). 4. The act of getting possession of something. 12. Rate of revolution of a motor. 15. A former agency (from 1946 to 1974) that was responsible for research into atomic energy and its peacetime uses in the United States. 16. Requiring two hands or designed for two people. 17. The 7th letter of the Greek alphabet. 18. (informal usage) A general feeling of boredom and dissatisfaction. 20. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 21. Marked by smartness in dress and manners. 23. A rounded thickly curled hairdo. 25. A Dravidian language spoken in south central India. 26. English scholastic philosopher and assumed author of Occam's Razor (1285-1349). 30. A crystal of snow. 33. Cheese containing a blue mold. 35. A metrical unit with unstressed-stressed syllables. 39. A girl or young woman who is unmarried. 42. Of or relating to a directionless magnitude. 43. The universal time coordinated when an event is received on Earth. 45. A flexible container with a single opening. 47. Electronic equipment that provides visual images of varying electrical quantities. 48. A statement that is not literally false but that cleverly avoids an unpleasant truth. 50. 100 avos equal 1 pataca. 52. An ancient country is southwestern Asia on the east coast of the Mediterranean. 53. A watercourse that carries water away from a mill or water wheel or turbine. 55. A feeling of strong eagerness (usually in favor of a person or cause). 56. One of the two main branches of orthodox Islam. 59. A Loloish language. 60. A colorless and odorless inert gas. 61. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 63. An associate degree in nursing. 64. A ruler of the Inca Empire (or a member of his family). 66. Used in or intended for inhaling. 70. (prosody) Of or consisting of iambs. 74. The cry made by sheep. 75. Any plant of the genus Argemone having large white or yellow flowers and prickly leaves and stems and pods. 78. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 79. The shape of a raised edge of a more or less circular object. 80. American gurnard. 81. (usually followed by `of') Released from something onerous (especially an obligation or duty). 82. A chronic skin disease occurring primarily in women between the ages of 20 and 40. 83. A river in northeastern Brazil that flows generally northward to the Atlantic Ocean. 84. A fatal disease of cattle that affects the central nervous system.

6. A member of the Siouan people formerly living in the Missouri river valley in NE Nebraska. 7. Alternatively, a member of the family Nymphaeaceae. 8. Beyond what is natural. 9. A rare polyvalent metallic element of the platinum group. 10. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 11. Wild or domesticated South American cud-chewing animal related to camels but smaller and lacking a hump. 12. One of a pair of long straps (usually connected to the bit or the headpiece) used to control a horse. 13. An anxiety disorder associated with serious traumatic events and characterized by such symptoms as guilt about surviving or reliving the trauma in dreams or numbness and lack of involvement with reality or recurrent thoughts and images. 14. A member of the Siouan people formerly living in the Missouri river valley in NE Nebraska. 19. Large strong hand (as of a fighter). 22. A member of a North American Indian people of southeastern California and northwestern Mexico. 24. A white trivalent metallic element. 27. A ductile gray metallic element of the lanthanide series. 28. That is to say. 29. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 31. Immature of its kind. 32. Remote city of Kazakhstan that (ostensibly for security reasons) was made the capital in 1998. 34. Ctenophore having tentacles only in the immature stage. 36. Genus of erect herbs of the Middle East having showy flowers. 37. A percussion instrument consisting of a pair of hollow pieces of wood or bone (usually held between the thumb and fingers) that are made to click together (as by Spanish dancers) in rhythm with the dance. 38. A businessman who buys or sells for another in exchange for a commission. 40. Metal shackles. 41. An argument opposed to a proposal. 44. Perennial herb of East India to Polynesia and Australia cultivated for its large edible root yielding Otaheite arrowroot starch. 46. A genus of Indriidae. 49. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 51. (Greek mythology) The last king of Troy. 54. Type genus of the Lycaenidae. 57. A large building at an airport where aircraft can be stored and maintained. 58. An advanced student or graduate in medicine gaining supervised practical experience (`houseman' is a British term). 62. A fastener (as a buckle or hook) that is used to hold two things together. 65. (Sumerian and Babylonian) A solar deity. 67. Horny plate covering and protecting part of the dorsal surface of the digits. 68. Stable gear consisting of either of two curved supports that are attached to the collar of a draft horse and that hold the traces. 69. A particular geographical region of indefinite boundary (usually serving some special purpose or distinguished by its people or culture or geography). 71. An aggressive remark directed at a person like a missile and intended to have a telling effect. 72. Wading birds of warm regions having long slender down-curved bills. 73. (of a young animal) Abandoned by its mother and raised by hand. 76. Extinct flightless bird of New Zealand. 77. A religious belief of African origin involving witchcraft and sorcery.

Yesterdayʼs Solution

DOWN 1. A small cake leavened with yeast. 2. Informal terms for money. 3. A mark left by the healing of injured tissue. 4. A solution containing a phosphate buffer. 5. A state in New England.

Daily Sudoku

Yesterday’s Solution



Kings draw with Brumbies CANBERRA: Competition newcomers Southern Kings fought back with a try three minutes after the fulltime siren to draw 28-28 with Super 15 front runners ACT Brumbies in Canberra yesterday. Number eight Cornell du Preez plunged over for his second try to cap a fighting comeback from the Port Elizabeth-based Kings to deny the Brumbies a victory in a spirited backs-to-thewall performance. The Kings capitalized on a out-of-sorts Brumbies to outscore the competition leaders four tries to two with only Christian Lealiifano’s goalkicking keeping the Brumbies ahead into the final moments. The Kings’ committed defense frustrated the Brumbies, who dominated the rucks and mauls 110-59 and possession 62-38 percent, but could not break free of the indomitable South Africans after leading 13-0 in the opening 17 minutes. The Southern Kings now have one win and one tie from the first six games of their debut season. Du Preez scored two tries to go with five-pointers from loosehead Schalk Ferreira and outstanding openside flanker Wimpie van der Walt in the first half. Flyhalf George Whitehead landed three conversions with replacement Demetri Catrakilis kicking the conversion to draw the match. The Kings also played a man down for much of the closing period with Ferreira in the sin bin for repeated infringements in the 67th minutes. The South Africans conceded 16 penalties to 10 for the home side. The Brumbies looked set for a big win after early tries to winger Henry Speight and Joe Tomane and Christian Lealiifano impressing Wallabies’ coach Robbie Deans watching from the stands with his inventive showing at flyhalf. Lealiifano kicked five penalties and scrum-half Nic White landed a long-range penalty for the Brumbies. “We are a team who pride ourselves in our defense and fronting up to whoever we play against,” Kings captain Andries Strauss said. “We were a bit disappointed at the start of the game, we gave away too many penalties and we allowed the Brumbies to play in our half. “But all credit to the boys, they fought back in the last 10 minutes and we go out with a few points.” Apart from the two points from the draw the Kings also picked up a bonus point for scoring four tries, while the Brumbies only added two points to their tally. “Our mindset wasn’t right from the start, we got a good start and then we turned off,” Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen said. “Inconsistency has cost us but certainly it was a very spirited Kings’ outfit and they threw everything at us and the result shows that.” The Kings continue their Australasian tour against the Rebels in Melbourne next weekend, while the Brumbies play the Otago Highlanders in Dunedin.— AFP

Weepu lifts Blues Blues triumph on blunders by ex-teammate Nonu

AUCKLAND: Blunders by former teammate Ma’a Nonu helped the Auckland Blues return to winning ways with a 29-18 victory over the Otago Highlanders in a Super 15 clash at Eden Park yesterday. Auckland scored two tries in the first half when the inside centre, who quit the Blues in the off-season to join the Highlanders, was off the field after being yellow carded for a dangerous shoulder charge on Piri Weepu. And Weepu scored the second of his two tries late in the second half by finishing off an 80-metre move that started after Nonu kicked away possession, snuffing out a promising Highlanders attack. Both sides were desperate to win-the Blues needed to snap a three-match losing streak and the Highlanders were equally desperate to secure their first win of the year. The score see-sawed through the first 58 minutes, and it took two late tries, both by Weepu, for the Blues to snatch their bonus point victory.

The Blues now have three wins from six outings while the Highlanders have equaled their worst start to a season with their sixth consecutive loss. The start of the game was all Highlanders as the visitors raced to a 10-0 lead with Ben Smith scoring a try after Buxton Popoalii had opened up the Blues backline. Colin Slade landed the conversion and a penalty. But when Nonu could not resist the urge to use the shoulder to floor his All Blacks and former Hurricanes teammate Weepu the game turned. At first, referee Steve Walsh only awarded a penalty but when the television match official intervened it was upgraded to a yellow card. With the one-man advantage, the Blues stretched play wide to create an overlap and put Steven Luatua over in the corner. They then caught the Highlanders napping by tapping a close range penalty for prop Angus Ta’avao to score. Chris Noakes landed one conversion for the Blues to put

them ahead 12-10 but when Nonu returned to the field the Highlanders had the numbers to work their way onto the attack, and Slade regained the lead 13-12 with his second penalty. Early in the second half Blues wing George Moala was sent to the sin-bin giving the Highlanders the opportunity to extend the lead but their policy of using their superior scrum as a platform to score tries backfired. Three kickable penalties were turned down by captain Andrew Hore in favor of scrums and although the Blues pack was monstered the Hurricanes were unable to breach their defense. The one time they broke the Blues first line of defense, Nonu gave the ball away in sight of the line. In a frenzied 10-minute spell at the start of the final quarter, Weepu scored twice for the Blues and Noakes landed a penalty while the Highlanders were restricted to a try by replacement back Phil Burleigh.— AFP

AUCKLAND: Highlanders reserve halfback Fumiaki Tanaka passes the ball as he is tackled by a player of the Blues during their Super 15 rugby match at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand yesterday. — AP

English seek to end Irish European hopes PARIS: Irish rugby is going through a lean time at present and two English sides will bid to deliver another hammerblow to the country’s morale this weekend in the European Cup quarter-finals. Saracens will start off the double header at Twickenham today against last season’s beaten finalists Ulster while on Sunday Harlequins, whose director of rugby Conor O’Shea said Wednesday he wasn’t interested in being Ireland coach after Declan Kidney was sacked, will host two-time winners Munster. The other two quarter-finals see favourites Clermont host fellow Top 14 side Montpellier, appearing in the knockout stages for the first time today, while tomorrow Top 14 leaders Toulon, boosted by Jonny Wilkinson committing himself to another season with them, host England’s two-time winners Leicester. Saracens go into their mouthwatering Twickenham fixture on the back of a 22-13

win away at Wasps which maintained their position at the top of the English Premiership. However, Saracens 2007 World Cup winning Springbok captain Jon Smit says that the game with Ulster is a totally different challenge and against a side which comprises several players he played with both at domestic and international level such as scrum-half Ruan Pienaar. “I think they’ve built a good team over the last few years,” Smit told the Saracens website. “Physically they are very difficult to approach from a set-piece point of view; their set-piece is very strong and provides them with a solid base off which to play, and with a game breaker like Ruan Pienaar at scrum half they are a very dangerous opposition. “But they have people who can turn games all over the pitch so we can’t just focus on one player, we have to be aware of every single threat they pose and work harder than we have done all season if we are to get the

result we want.” Harlequins, who are third in the Premiership table, face the biggest day of their vaunted history on Sunday says O’Shea, as they bid to reach the last four for the first time. While Munster looked at times jaded in their pool matches, they still possess match winners such as former All Black Doug Howlett and Irish scrum-half Conor Murray. They could also be boosted by the surprise return of Ireland wing Simon Zebo, who broke his foot in Ireland’s Six Nations match with England but has made a remarkably quick recovery. O’Shea, who has guided Harlequins to the European Challenge Trophy and then the English title last year, accepts that his side face a real battle to prevail. “This Sunday will be the best day The Stoop has witnessed in terms of atmosphere and occasion,” O’Shea said. “We just can’t wait to get into the quarter-final this weekend and help this club get to a first European Cup semi-final in its history. “There is no

tomorrow in games like this. Munster’s journey of heartache and loss to ultimately winning it (in 2006) is one of the great stories of the European Cup. Like O’Shea Clermont coach Vern Cotter has said that he is not interested in replacing Kidney, preferring to honor his contract with the French club till 2014. His side are clear favorites for the trophy itself having won all six of their pool games, including beating title holders Leinster twice, sweet revenge for having been knocked out by the Irish side in the knockout rounds on two previous occasions. However, Clermont’s France hooker Benjamin Kayser is nervous about the favorite’s tag especially against a Montpellier side that has become a real force under former French captain Fabien Galthie. “I am really wary of this favorite’s tag, as that could undermine us,” said Kayser. “However, I think we have enough quality and maturity not to fall into any traps.”— AFP



Bruins overpower Devils 1-0 Jagr scores in Bruins debut BOSTON: Jaromir Jagr scored off his skate in his Bruins debut and Tuukka Rask stopped 40 shots to lead Boston to a 1-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night. Acquired from Dallas this week shortly before the trade deadline, Jagr joined the Bruins for the pregame skate Thursday morning and quickly endeared himself to the Boston fans. Brad Marchand’s centering pass went off Jagr’s left skate and past Martin Brodeur to give the Bruins a 10 lead with 80 seconds gone in the second period. Rask earned his third shutout of the season. Brodeur made 25 saves for the Devils. The Bruins keep pace with Montreal, which entered the night with a one-point lead in the NHL’s Northeast Division. New Jersey, the defending Eastern Conference champions, fell into ninth place and out of playoff position. CANADIENS 4, JETS 1 Michael Ryder scored two goals and set up another as Montreal handed Winnipeg its fifth straight loss. Brian Gionta and Alex Galchenyuk also scored for Montreal, which has won four of five but was coming off a 5-3 loss in Philadelphia on Wednesday. Winnipeg outshot Montreal 35-24, but Canadiens backup goalie Peter Budaj improved to 6-1-1. Alexander Burmistrov got his first goal in 18 games for the Jets, who fell out of first place in the NHL’s Southeast Division to 10th place in the Eastern Conference. Washington and Winnipeg both have 38 points, but the Capitals own the top spot in the division on a tiebreaker. The Jets, who were swept on a three-game road trip, have scored only six goals during their losing streak. CAPITALS 2, ISLANDERS 1, SO Mike Green scored his fifth goal in four games and Braden Holtby made 35 saves as Washington took another big step toward the playoffs with a shootout win over the New York Islanders. Holtby denied Frans Nielsen, Brad Boyes and John Tavares in the shootout for the Capitals, who moved into a tie on points with Winnipeg atop the Southeast Division. Washington has two games in hand against Winnipeg, a major turnaround for a Capitals team that started 2-8-1. They have won six of eight. The Islanders tied the game on Kyle Okposo’s one-timer with 4:59 to play in regulation. Evgeni Nabokov was Holtby’s equal, making 21 stops in a game that was just as crucial for the surging Islanders. New York, trying to make playoffs for first time since 2007, had won five of six and picked up a point to move into seventh place in the Eastern Conference. FLYERS 5, MAPLE LEAFS 3 Former Maple Leafs enforcer Jay Rosehill scored the winning goal and Ilya Bryzgalov made 25 saves for Philadelphia, which beat Toronto for its fourth straight victory. Simon Gagne, Jakub Voracek, Brayden Schenn and Luke Schenn also scored for Philadelphia, which is trying to make a late run for a playoff spot. Sean Couturier added two assists. Nikolai Kulemin, John-Michael Liles and James van Riemsdyk had goals for Toronto, which lost left wing Joffrey Lupul in the first period to an upper-body injury after he took a hard hit. James Reimer made 26 saves for the Maple Leafs. Dion Phaneuf had two assists. LIGHTNING 5, HURRICANES 0 Ben Bishop earned a shutout in his debut with Tampa Bay as the Lightning routed reeling Carolina. Bishop, acquired Wednesday from Ottawa for promising rookie Cory Conacher, stopped a careerhigh 45 shots. Teddy Purcell, Tom Pyatt and Keith Aulie scored during the Lightning’s three-goal second period. Martin St Louis had a goal and two assists, NHL goal leader Steven Stamkos had two assists, and Benoit Pouliot added a goal and an assist to help Tampa Bay earn points for the fourth straight game. The Lightning moved into a tie with Carolina for third in the NHL’s Southeast Division. Bishop posted his third career shutout and second this season while improving to 5-1 in his last six games. BLUE JACKETS 3, PREDATORS 1 Marian Gaborik scored the go-ahead goal at 4:16 of the third period and added an assist in his debut with Columbus, helping the Blue Jackets beat the Predators. The Blue Jackets won for just the seventh time in Nashville and the second time this season in this series between Central Division rivals. Matt Calvert also had a goal and an assist, James Wisniewski had a power-play goal, and Brandon Dubinsky had two assists. Sergei Bobrovsky made 38 saves. Kevin Klein scored a goal for Nashville, which slipped one point behind Columbus and into 11th place in the Western Conference.

VANCOUVER: Nicklas Jensen #46 of the Vancouver Canucks tries to get past Ladislav Smid #5 of the Edmonton Oilers during second period of NHL action on April 4, 2013 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. — AFP BLUES 4, BLACKHAWKS 3, SO Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk scored the deciding goal in the sixth round of the shootout as St Louis rallied to beat Chicago. Chris Stewart, Andy McDonald and Alexander Steen also scored in the shootout for the Blues, who bounced back from a 2-1 deficit after two periods and ended a seven game (0-3-4) losing streak in Chicago, dating to Feb 3, 2010. The NHL-leading Blackhawks lost for only the third time this season when leading after 40 minutes. St Louis’ Adam Cracknell scored his first two goals of the season and David Backes added a goal early in the third period, ending a 14-game drought. Chicago’s Viktor Stalberg swept in a rebound of Michal Rozsival’s shot with 4:31 left in regulation to tie the game at 3 and end his 14-game run without a goal. Jonathan Toews scored his 18th goal early in the second period and set up rookie Brandon Saad’s goal 2:27 later. COYOTES 4, RED WINGS 2 Chris Conner scored in his Phoenix debut and Mikkel Boedker had a pair of assists as the Coyotes held off Detroit. Phoenix kicked off a critical three-game homestand by beating Los Angeles on Tuesday and left the Red Wings flatfooted with three second-period goals. Michael Stone got the flurry started, Shane Doan finished it off, and Martin Hanzal scored into an empty net with less than a second left. Chad Johnson stopped 34 shots in his third start of the season. Valtteri Filppula scored in the first period, and Daniel Cleary had a power-play goal with 1:13 left in the third, but Detroit couldn’t finish off the comeback and lost for the third time in four games. KINGS 3, WILD 0 Justin Williams and Jeff Carter scored 98 seconds apart on the first two shots of the game and Williams added a goal on Los Angeles’ first shot of the second period as the Kings beat Minnesota behind Jonathan Bernier’s first shutout of the season. Bernier made 23 saves en route to his sixth NHL shutout and first since Feb. 12, 2012 - also against the Wild at Minnesota. Williams extended his goal streak to five games, eclipsing his previous career best at 1:29. Mike Richards set up the second goal with a perfect pass to Carter, who slid his 21st goal through Niklas Backstrom’s pads before many in the sellout crowd had found their seats. Minnesota coach Mike Yeo replaced the six-year veteran with Darcy Kuemper, who faced only four shots the rest of the period. The defending Stanley Cup champions had just 14 shots. CANUCKS 4, OILERS 0 Cory Schneider made 23 saves and Henrik Sedin had a goal and an assist for Vancouver in a victory over Edmonton that moved the Canucks into first place in the NHL’s Northwest Division. Schneider, making his ninth consecutive start, had 12 saves through 40 minutes and then stopped 11 shots in the third for his fourth shutout of the season and eighth of his NHL career. Sedin set up Kevin Bieksa’s first-period goal and then scored in the second. Chris Higgins and Zack Kassian had goals in the third to help Vancouver end a two-game losing streak. Nikolai Khabibulin made 24 saves for Edmonton, which had its five-game winning streak broken and fell into ninth place in the Western Conference. — AP

NHL results/standings Boston 1, New Jersey 0; Philadelphia 5, Toronto 3; Washington 2, NY Islanders 1 (SO); Tampa Bay 5, Carolina 0; Montreal 4, Winnipeg 1; Columbus 3, Nashville 1; St. Louis 4, Chicago 3 (SO); Phoenix 4, Detroit 2; Vancouver 3, Edmonton 0. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF GA PTS Pittsburgh 28 10 0 125 94 56 NY Islanders 18 16 4 109 117 40 NY Rangers 18 15 3 88 87 39 New Jersey 15 13 9 89 101 39 Philadelphia 17 17 3 105 114 37 Northeast Division Montreal 24 8 5 118 90 53 Boston 24 8 4 101 77 52 Ottawa 19 11 6 91 79 44 Toronto 20 13 4 115 105 44 Buffalo 14 17 6 98 114 34 Southeast Division Washington 18 17 2 109 105 38 Winnipeg 18 19 2 94 119 38 Carolina 16 18 2 96 111 34 Tampa Bay 16 18 2 117 106 34 Florida 12 19 6 91 127 30 Western Conference Central Division Chicago 27 5 4 122 80 58 Detroit 18 14 5 96 98 41 St. Louis 19 14 2 102 97 40 Columbus 16 14 7 90 98 39 Nashville 15 15 8 93 103 38 Northwest Division Vancouver 20 11 6 98 93 46 Minnesota 21 14 2 100 97 44 Edmonton 16 14 7 99 102 39 Calgary 13 18 4 96 126 30 Colorado 12 20 4 87 114 28 Pacific Division Anaheim 25 7 5 116 92 55 Los Angeles 21 13 3 107 91 45 San Jose 19 11 6 92 88 44 Phoenix 16 15 6 101 104 38 Dallas 16 17 3 96 112 35 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L)



Myanmar’s musclemen flexing for glory YANGON: Sporting just a navy blue thong and several layers of tan oil, Zarli Tin says he dreams of becoming Myanmar’s greatest bodybuilder as the discipline undergoes a revival after years in the doldrums. One of a new generation of musclemen, he hopes to be among the beneficiaries of a cash injection for the sport, which floundered like all others during the wasteful and corrupt junta era. “I’m not great yet, I’m not very famous... but I’m trying, I’m on the way,” says the jovial 33-year-old, flashing a grin as he flexes his grapefruit-sized biceps by way of credentials. Myanmar’s reformist government has loosened the purse strings for sport as it hunts success at the Southeast Asian Games regional event which it will host in December, billed as the country’s ‘coming out’ party. It has targeted several medals at bodybuilding and hopes to extend the nation’s impressive record in the event. Home to a demure culture and relatively diminutive people, Myanmar has an unexpected lineage in the ultimate of exhibitionist sports-which was popularized through the 1970s by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Myanmar claimed two silvers at the 2001 World Bodybuilding Championship-held on home soil-a bronze at the Asian Games the following year and has taken a clutch of medals whenever the sport is contested at the SEA Games. But bodybuilders say those achievements mask a deep malaise, with woeful funding over the final years of the avaricious junta leaving them without decent gyms, proper coaching or nutrition-a huge cost in an impoverished country. At the final SEA Games selection contest in Yangon, 32-year-old truck driver Tint Lwin says he struggles to afford the high protein diet and supplements required to power him through a brutal four- to six-hour daily training regime. “The money I get from work isn’t even

enough for a single bottle of the vitamins I need to train,” he says as an assistant applies a final coat of the stinking copper-colored tanning oil to his back with a paint roller. “But the sport will get bigger... the officials are helping us get better. It will come.” Myanmar’s sporting prowess was eviscerated by the former regime, with a lack of investment in facilities and planning choking the pipeline of talent in all disciplines. Football fell hardest, with the national team slumping from one of Asia’s best in the mid-1960s and the 1970s, to claiming just a single 1993 SEA Games final spot, and a semi-final in the Asean Football Championship of 2004. For the nation’s bodybuilders the demise

has been less precipitous, but still keenly felt. Once they toured schools and colleges drawing adulation with their combination of muscle, machismo and showmanship. But the visits waned as student activities of all kinds came under intense scrutiny from the paranoid former junta after a failed college-led uprising in 1988, which was brutally crushed by the army. Strongmen have flexed their way back into popularity over the last few years, with improved access to US bodybuilding websites boosting its popularity just as the reformminded government throws its weight behind the SEA Games. While several contestants quietly share suspicions that some of their rivals

YANGON: Bodybuilder Zarli Tin trains at an old-style gym in the National Stadium compound in Yangon. — AFP

Tomasulo, Bettencourt share Texas Open lead SAN ANTONIO: Peter Tomasulo’s birdiebirdie finish completed a bogey-free fiveunder par 67 Thursday and vaulted him into a tie for the lead with Matt Bettencourt at the US PGA Tour Texas Open. The US duo had a one-stroke lead over Ireland’s Padraig Harrington and Americans Billy Horschel, Bryce Molder and Harris English, who all finished a windy day at TPC San Antonio on fourunder 68. A group of 10 players on 69 included England’s Brian Davis, Australians Nathan Green, Alistair Presnell and Steven Bowditch, as well as Argentina’s Andres Romero. Tomasulo, making just his sixth start of the season on the PGA Tour and trying to regain full playing privileges after battling a rib injury two years ago, played in the last group of the day. He drained a 10-foot birdie putt at 18 for his share of the lead, and said playing late was an advantage on a day of gusty winds. “I just played a solid round of golf to go around here with no bogeys,” Tomasulo said. “We got a good end of the draw, I think, with the weather calming down late in the day.”Three-time major champion Harrington said “mental fortitude” rather than great ball-striking was the key to his round, played in tougher conditions. He missed seven greens, but got up-and-down from three bunkers-including a blast out at the par-

five 14th that rolled within a foot of the cup and left him a tap-in for birdie. A solid performance on the greens was marred by a three-putt from 34 feet at 18, where his first try whizzed past before he missed a four-footer coming back to finish with a bogey. “That was a pity. Takes the shine off the day,” he said. “It wasn’t a difficult putt. As I got over it I stood off it once because the wind was gusting from my left, which it shouldn’t have been,” he said. The wind from the north also made it feel colder than the temperature of about 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celsius). “This morning, early on, it was a battle,” Harrington said. “Last week back in Ireland it was snowing and I didn’t feel this cold.” Even with his lapse at the last, Harrington had a share of the clubhouse lead with Horschel before Bettencourt and then Tomasulo completed their 67s. Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, dislodged from the top of the world rankings by Tiger Woods last month and trying to sharpen up his game before next week’s Masters, had four birdies and four bogeys in an even-par 72. Bettencourt gained his share of the lead despite damaging a wedge when he struck a rock he didn’t see when hitting out of rough at the eighth. “It pretty much destroyed the face of the club,” said Bettencourt, who nevertheless used the 52-degree wedge again in the round.

Bettencourt’s six birdies included a 21footer at the 12th, a 405-yard par-four that played into the wind. The only blemish on his card was a bogey at the parfour fourth, where he missed an eightfooter for par. —AFP

SAN ANTONIO: First round co-leader Matt Bettencourt looks at his putt on the 18th green during the second round of the Texas Open golf tournament yesterday in San Antonio. — AP

take steroids, the high cost of the drugs and lack of ready availability makes doping harder in Myanmar than in western countries where bodybuilding draws its biggest fanbase. “The top bodybuilders are very famous here,” says 19-year-old student Oak Tharkyaw who is among the raucous 150-strong audience. “It’s a healthy sport, it builds your confidence and strength. It feels great... the only bad thing is Myanmar girls prefer the small, skinny Korean pop star look.” He breaks off to applaud as local boy Zarli and the five other contestants in the 90-kilogram category waddle up to the spot-lit stage, their giant arms held crab-like away from their torsos. To cries of “squeeze” from the crowd, they strain through seven poses accentuating the main muscle areas-biceps, triceps, thighs, back and abdomen. The resulting mass of oily muscle, veins and sinew is both impressive and a touch grotesque, while the skimpy “posing suits” elicit titters from the female fans and bawdy jeers from a group of inebriated older men. Judges give marks for symmetry and proportion as well as the definition and size of the muscle, according to Ne Lin, a former champion bodybuilder scoring the contestants. “Our athletes always tried hard but we struggled for money... all sports suffered. But the bodybuilding federation is now supporting us,” he says, adding the target is two golds out of the five available at the SEA Games. Zarli finishes third in his category-not enough to take a spot at the Games’ training camp but impressive given his struggle to afford the expensive diet needed in the run-in to a competition. For all the rivalry, Zarli says the bodybuilders are “like brothers”, united by punishing training and an all-consuming passion. “We may be poor,” he adds. “But we love this sport.”— AFP

Pettersen, Ewart Shadoff, Choi fire 4-under par 68s RANCHO MIRAGE: Na Yeon Choi, Suzann Pettersen and Jodi Ewart Shadoff fired four-under par 68s Thursday to share the first round lead at the LPGA Kraft Nabisco, the first major of the season. Both South Korea’s Choi and Norway’s Pettersen had four birdies with no bogeys on the par-72 Dinah Shore tournament course at Mission Hills, while England’s Ewart Shadoff had six birdies and two bogeys. Ewart Shadoff had seized the outright lead with four holes to play thanks to a four-birdie burst starting at the par-five 11th, but she gave back a stroke with her second bogey of the day at the 16th. “I’ve been playing really consistently the last three or four tournaments,” Ewart Shadoff said. “And so I knew my game is right there, and I knew I was due to have a really good round.” Choi, ranked third in the world, teed off on 10 and picked up her first birdie at the 14th, draining a 30-footer from the fringe. A brace of birdies at 16 and 17 was followed by nine pars before she punctuated her round with a birdie at the par-five ninth. “I’m really happy I played without a bogey today, but luckily I played in the morning today and the greens and fairways are a little softer than the afternoon,” she said. Pettersen also started on the back nine and came alive with three birdies in a row from the 16th. Her only other birdie came at the par-four-seventh. “Today was everything I could ask for an opening round,” the Norwegian said. “Just feeling really good all week, and it’s just about kind of trusting what you have, and I couldn’t ask for a better start.” Pettersen has three runner-up finishes in this event. Despite her desire to go one step better, the fiercely competitive player believes it’s important to enjoy the experience. — AFP




Yankees get first win of the season NEW YORK: Andy Pettitte pitched the Yankees to their first win of the season and Mariano Rivera made a successful return to the mound in New York’s 4-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday. Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli homered for the Yankees, providing some unexpected power to a depleted lineup missing the “sore four” Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson. All those Major League All-Stars are on the disabled list, and without them New York dropped its first two games at home to the rival Red Sox. Lyle Overbay had a two-run single off Ryan Dempster (0-1), who struck out eight in his Boston debut but needed 101 pitches to get through five innings. Pettitte (1-0) tossed eight sharp innings on a chilly night and Rivera entered to a standing ovation. Major League baseball’s career saves leader, set to retire after this season, missed most of last year after tearing a knee ligament May 3 during batting practice in Kansas City. ORIOLES 6, RAYS 3 Chris Davis homered for the third straight day and drove in four runs Thursday to lead the Baltimore Orioles past the Tampa Bay Rays. Davis went 7 of 11 with three homers, three doubles and a Major League-leading 11 RBIs in helping the Orioles win two of three games in the season-opening series. He drove in four for the second day in a row, hitting a two-run homer in the second inning and a two-run double that broke a 2-2 tie against Roberto Hernandez (0-1) in the sixth. Adam Jones had three more hits, giving him seven in a series that saw the three-fourfive spots in Baltimore’s lineup go 17 for 37 with four homers, six doubles, 13 runs scored and 15 RBIs. Miguel Gonzalez (1-0) allowed two runs and four hits over 6 1/3 innings. TWINS 8, TIGERS 2 Mike Pelfrey pitched into the sixth inning in his Minnesota debut and Josh

Kansas City Royals ended a two-game losing streak to start the season, beating the Chicago White Sox. Guthrie (1-0) scattered five hits and walked one for Kansas City, which took its first lead of the season with three runs in the fifth inning and made it stick. Kansas City reliever Greg Holland worked the ninth for his first save. Chicago right-hander Gavin Floyd (0-1) gave up four hits and two runs in six innings. He walked one and struck out five. Gordon Beckham was 4 for 4 for Chicago, matching a career high set on May 12, 2012, at Minnesota. ATHLETICS 8, MARINERS 2 Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes gave Brandon Maurer a rude welcome to the Major League by hitting two-run homers off the Seattle rookie that led the Oakland Athletics past the Mariners. AJ Griffin (1-0) allowed two runs in six innings and John Jaso drove in a run against his former team as the Athletics won back-to-back games to earn a split of the season-opening series. Michael Morse homered for the third straight day and joined Ken Griffey Jr in 1997 as the only Mariners to homer four times in the first four games. But that wasn’t enough as Maurer (0-1) struggled in his Major League debut.

TORONTO: Brett Myers #39 of the Cleveland Indians delivers a pitch during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 4, 2013. — AFP Willingham and Trevor Plouffe hit home runs as the Twins took the season-opening series from the Detroit Tigers. Pelfrey (1-0) wasn’t charged with any earned runs, taking the mound less than a year after Tommy John surgery. He was given a 3-2 lead when Willingham and Plouffe went deep against Tigers starter Rick Porcello (0-1). Four relievers kept the Twins in front for four innings, until they broke the game open with a

five-run eighth against Brayan Villarreal. The Tigers’ relievers gave up 10 runs over 10 innings in three games against the Twins. Miguel Cabrera got another RBI, his fourth of the year, but the Tigers had another quiet afternoon at the plate. ROYALS 3, WHITE SOX 1 Jeremy Guthrie struck out nine and gave up one run in six innings as the

BLUE JAYS 10, INDIANS 8 JP Arencibia hit two solo homers and Edwin Encarnacion added a three-run shot as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Cleveland Indians, avoiding their first 03 start since 2004. Jose Bautista hit a two-run homer and Colby Rasmus also connected as the Blue Jays went deep five times. Carlos Santana and Mark Reynolds replied with solo homers for the Indians, who were trying to start a season with three straight road wins for the first time since 1998. Steve Delabar (1-0) got two outs for the win and Casey Janssen finished in the ninth for his first save. — AP

Cubs hold off Pirates PITTSBURGH: Travis Wood allowed one hit over six innings as the Chicago Cubs held off the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 in the National League on Thursday. Wood struck out four and walked two as the Cubs won a seasonopening series for the first time in four years. Wood also scored the game’s first run, racing home on Starlin Castro’s single in the third inning. Nate Schierholtz smacked a two-run homer in the ninth to give the Cubs some breathing room. Chicago needed it after another shaky outing from Carlos Marmol. The closer picked up his first save of the season, but only after the Pirates drew within one. Pittsburgh had the tying run on third with no outs, but Pedro Alvarez struck out and Neil Walker hit into a game-ending double play. PADRES 2, METS 1 Jedd Gyorko doubled in the go-ahead run in the fourth inning for his first major league RBI as the San Diego Padres beat the New

York Mets for their first win of the season. Eric Stults (1-0) and five relievers combined on a five-hitter and struck out 14 for the Padres, who had not led in their first two games. Stults, who beat the Mets seven years ago for the Los Angeles Dodgers for his first Major League win, made an opening-day roster for the first time. Mets starter Dillon Gee (0-1) returned from shoulder surgery last summer and was nearly as sharp. He opened with a walk, then retired 10 in a row and wound up giving up three hits in 6 1-3 innings. NATIONALS 6, MARLINS 1 Jordan Zimmermann worked around eight hits over six innings and Ryan Zimmerman had three hits, including a two-run double, as the Washington Nationals completed a season-opening three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins. Jayson Werth tacked on a three-run homer in the seventh, and Bryce Harper had another eventful day, collecting two hits, taking an elbow to the face while scoring a run,

and getting thrown out trying to steal third. The defending National League East champion Nationals outscored the Marlins 11-1 in the series. At least Miami finally got someone home, ending a 19-inning run drought in the second Thursday on Justin Ruggiano’s homer to right off Zimmermann (1-0). Wade LeBlanc (0-1) took the loss. PHILLIES 2, BRAVES 0 Cliff Lee allowed two hits in eight scoreless innings and the Philadelphia Phillies scored twice in the second inning to win their first game of the season. Lee (1-0) didn’t win his first game last year until July 4, but the former Cy Young Award winner outpitched Kris Medlen (0-1) in chilly temperatures. Philadelphia scored two runs in the second on Ben Revere’s fielder’s choice RBI and Chase Utley’s sacrifice fly RBI. After Lee watched Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay lose the first two games by a combined 16-7 score, the lefthander walked none and struck out eight in


106 pitches to give the Phillies’ renowned threesome a big lift. Lee left for pinch-hitter Freddy Galvis in the ninth. Jonathan Papelbon earned his first save. INTERLEAGUE REDS 5, ANGELS 4 Shin-Soo Choo homered on Joe Blanton’s first pitch of the game, the first of Cincinnati’s three homers off the right-hander, as the Reds pulled away to beat the Angels. The Reds took two of three during the first interleague series to open a season. Todd Frazier had a solo homer off Blanton (0-1), and Chris Heisey’s two-run shot put Cincinnati up 5-3 in the fifth. Blanton gave up five runs and seven hits in five innings. Bronson Arroyo (1-0) gave up three runs in six innings, including Josh Hamilton’s two-run single that was his first hit for the Angels. Albert Pujols drove in a pair of runs with a sacrifice fly and a groundout. Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth for his first save. — AP


Blatter cool on relegation, points deductions for racism ZURICH: FIFA president Sepp Blatter has expressed misgivings about the idea of relegation and points deductions as punishments for racism, suggesting it could encourage fans to deliberately try and get matches stopped. In January, the 77-year-old Swiss proposed the possible introduction of such sanctions for teams whose fans were guilty of racism but appeared to back away from that stance during a speech at an event in Zurich yesterday. “Where does it end?” he asked. “How far can we go? To what extent can we expect that a game is stopped, by players walking off the field? “Can we stop it by deducting points or by relegating a team? Or will this lead to persons coming to the stadium wanting to stop the game intentionally? There is so much passion in football.” Afterwards, Blatter told reporters: “We have to do something but the danger is if we say the match will be replayed, or there will be a deduction of points or whatever, this can open the door for groups of hooligans to create these problems. “That is why the control of the stadium will be essential.” Blatter said that, on the suggestion of the world players’ union FIFPro, a resolution would be put to the annual FIFA Congress is May asking for uniform sanctions worldwide. “They say it must be done all around the world, it must be in all disciplinary committees and associations and leagues and it must be the same standard,” Blatter said. FARINA SHAME Blatter also criticized the situation in Italy saying it was a “shame” that a former second division defender who denounced a match-fixing attempt had been shunned and could not get a new contract. “We had the case of Simone Farina, and guess what happened? Italian clubs refused to sign him. He denounced football officials and they didn’t want to sign him any more... what a shame.” Blatter also hit out at criticism of FIFA and turned to politics as he criticized the European Union’s handling of the financial crisis in Cyprus, Greece and Spain and the politics of austerity “Cyprus is a country with one million inhabitants, and in this country, in great financial difficulties, people devised a system where investors have to pay the bill directly. “Do you think this would have been possible for 10 million Greeks or 50 million Spaniards, would anyone have had the courage? But with a small country, there they have done it. “In my early studies, I learned that if I want to help someone, I shouldn’t pay his debts, I have to give him money so he can make investments to get the economy going again, to create jobs and stimulate consumption. “Then the profit from this can be used to pay back debt, but if someone else pays my debt, I become dependent.” He also turned his attention towards Switzerland, suggesting his compatriots devoted too much time to futile matters. “Is it admissible to discuss the quality of veal sausages when many people in this world have nothing to eat or drink?” he said.— Reuters

Photo of the day

MODENA: Junior (France), Wing (Korea), and Cico (Italy) pose for a portrait in front of a wall by famous Italian street artist Blu in Modena, Italy. —

Lebanese referees detained Referees ‘allegedly accepted’ sexual favors SINGAPORE: Three Lebanese referees charged with corruption for allegedly accepting sexual favors to fix a football match in Singapore were remanded in custody yesterday until their bail petition is heard. Referee Ali Sabbagh, 34, and assistants Ali Eid, 33, and Abdallah Taleb, 37, were brought to court one day after being arrested by Singapore anti-corruption agents on charges that could land them in jail for up to five years. The trio had been due to officiate in Singapore-based Tampines Rovers’ AFC Cup fixture with Indian club East Bengal on Wednesday when they were abruptly dropped and questioned by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB). They face a maximum prison term of five years or a fine not exceeding Sg$100,000 ($81,000) or both, under the Prevention of Corruption Act, after being charged with the offence on Thursday. Ali Eid fell ill before he could appear before the judge and was brought to a hospital for observation. The two others were remanded to Changi prison, where the stricken Lebanese will also be brought after he recovers. A representative from Lebanon’s consulate attended the hearing. Sabbagh

and Taleb will appear in court again on Wednesday when bail and their pleas are expected to be discussed, while the third referee was ordered to be in court on Monday. State prosecutors opposed bail, saying the three belonged to a syndicate, but district court judge Kamala Ponnampalam ruled the offence was bailable. The CPIB said in a statement Thursday that it had acted on “prior information of match fixing” involving the three referees. “Subsequent investigations revealed that the trio corruptly received gratification... in the form of free sexual service from three females,” CPIB said. Singapore has a long record of match-fixing scandals and criminals from the tiny but wealthy Southeast Asian country have been blamed by Europol for orchestrating a network responsible for rigging hundreds of games worldwide. In February, Singapore came under pressure to act against the cartels, whose activities fuel illegal gambling estimated to be worth billions of dollars, when the head of Interpol called for the arrest of an alleged ringleader. Singapore police later said the suspect, Tan Seet Eng or Dan Tan, was assisting investigations, but he was not arrested or charged with any crime.— AFP

We won’t let City ruin title push, says United LONDON: Alex Ferguson insists there is no chance Manchester United will allow Manchester City the satisfaction of slowing their title charge in Monday’s derby at Old Trafford. Ferguson’s team are on course to regain the Premier League crown from their bitter rivals after opening up a massive 15-point lead over champions City. A victory against Roberto Mancini’s second- placed side would move United to within touching distance of the title, but Ferguson knows City would love to at least delay their neighbors’ 20th championship celebrations by winning on Monday. And with the finish line in sight, Ferguson is determined to ensure his players don’t rest on their laurels. “We’ve still got to win the title. We have eight games left. That’s 24 points to play for,” said Ferguson, who hopes to welcome back Wayne Rooney from a groin

injury. “The way we’ve approached things is the correct way and that’s to win the next game, that’s what we’ve always tried to do. Hopefully it takes you to winning the league. “The important thing is to win Monday’s game. It’ll be a big game for City. “They’ll want to come and derail us for a spell. I can understand their motivation because we would probably have the same motivation. But we’re at home. “Our consistency in the league is there for all to see. I expect us to perform really well on Monday.” United’s lacklustre FA Cup quarter-final replay defeat at Chelsea on Monday, together with the memories of last season’s epic 6-1 win at Old Trafford, should give City encouragement that they can give their old enemies a bloody nose. And while City’s inconsistent league form looks to have scuppered their hopes of retaining the

title, captain Vincent Kompany believes a victory over United would at least salvage some pride. “A derby is a derby. I don’t think we could care less about the league in that game,” Kompany said. “It is about who is going to be champions of Manchester, that is all it is. “I don’t expect Manchester United to be less motivated because they have this points gap between us where they are pretty safe. “It will be like a one-off game, it will be like a cup final.” With the title race all but over, the real battles are being fought over the other two positions in the top four and at the bottom of the table. Thirdplaced Tottenham host Everton looking to maintain their two-point advantage over fourth placed Chelsea, who face Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, while fifth placed Arsenal can keep the pressure on with a win at West Bromwich Albion.—AFP



German League Preview

‘Greedy’ Bayern eager to wrap up Bundesliga title BERLIN: “Greedy” Bayern Munich are hungry to wrap up the Bundesliga title this weekend as victory at Eintracht Frankfurt today would see them confirmed German Champions for the 23rd time. If they beat Frankfurt, Bayern will break their own record for the earliest confirmed title win with six games left and are just nine short of Dortmund’s record of 81, set last May, for the most points in a campaign. With a 20-point lead at the top of the table from rivals Dortmund, a win at Frankfurt would make it impossible for Borussia to deny Munich the title having dominated the league from the start by winning of their first eight games. Having routed Hamburg 9-2 at Munich’s Allianz Arena

last Saturday, Bayern were only denied the league title by Dortmund’s win in Stuttgart, but this weekend Munich have their destiny in their own hands. “This time we are not dependent on anyone to be German champions,” said director of sport Matthias Sammer, with Bayern chasing their first title since May 2010. “If it happens, no one should be unhappy about it, just feel the joy after all the hard work which has been put in. “We’ll probably have to celebrate a bit differently, rather than partying until morning, because Juventus wait for us on Wednesday.” With Bayern holding a 2-0 first-leg lead for Tuesday’s first leg in Munich, they travel to Turin for the return leg against Juventus on Wednesday in the Champions

League and Sammer said the side are hungry for silverware. “You can see the greed of this team for what they have already achieved, they want more,” said Sammer. “It requires a high-level of responsibility, especially from the captain Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger. “That means we will have to stay disciplined after the match in Frankfurt and on our return to Munich, but that’s what we expect and that is what will happen.” With some players sure to be rested in Frankfurt ahead of the Turin trip, midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri said those selected will do the job. “We’re determined to win the league there,” said the Swiss. “It would give us a boost for the game in Turin.” Having wasted a string of chances in their 0-0

Champions League draw at Malaga on Wednesday, second-placed Borussia Dortmund host strugglers Augsburg as a warm-up before the Spaniards visit Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday. Poland striker Robert Lewandowski is looking to add to his club record having scored in each of his last nine league games to leave him with 20 goals in 24 games this season. Germany defender Mats Hummels is back training with the reserves after tearing ankle ligaments last month. Having seen his side routed at Munich last weekend, Hamburg coach Thorsten Fink has promised an improved display in their home game against Freiburg, which could put Fink’s side back amongst the top six and European places.— AFP

Controversy, blunders rock Europa Italian League Preview

Juve look to bounce back MILAN: Leaders Juventus will look to put their 2-0 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich behind them by putting strugglers Pescara to the sword today as they continue their march towards the Serie A title. The Old Lady of Turin looked decidedly frail midweek against the soon-to-be German champions, with veteran ‘keeper Gianluigi Buffon labelled a “pensioner” by German legend Franz Beckenbauer after he failed to stop Bayern’s first-minute opener. Buffon has since hit back at the “old wise man” of German football, claiming the former Bayern coach and president “should be quiet and wait for the (outcome of the) next game.” In the meantime, Pescara provide the Bianconeri with a chance to take another step towards a successful title defence and allow coach Antonio Conte a chance to rest some tired legs in what is a busy period for the champions. Conte, however, already has one eye on next Wednesday’s second leg at Juventus Stadium. “We have a league game against Pescara today and immediately after that we’ll focus on the return leg,” said Conte. Taking anything less than three points from a Pescara side that has garnered only eight from a possible 45 on the road this season would be considered a disaster - at least by Juve’s fans. A win on the other hand would put Juve 12 points clear of closest challengers Napoli, although the latter were in a similar position last week until Edinson Cavani came off the bench to score a late brace in a 5-3 win away to Torino. Still nine points off the pace, Napoli host Genoa tomorrow looking to reinforce second place, the last in Serie A offering automatic entry to next season’s Champions League. But with Milan only two points further off the pace in third, Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik believes his side’s next three games could make the difference. Napoli host Genoa, are away to Milan and then host Cagliari while Milan are away to Fiorentina, host Napoli and then face Juventus away. “They’ll be decisive because we could increase our points gap,” said the Slovakian midfielder. Fiorentina, meanwhile, host Milan in tomorrow’s early match without striker Stevan Jovetic, who was ruled out for up to two weeks after suffering a thigh injury in a 2-1 defeat to Cagliari. La Viola are still in fourth, but now six points adrift of Milan, who occupy the third and last spot offering qualification for the Champions League, albeit through a preliminary round. Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado has scored in his last two Serie A outings and said: “We’ll miss him (Jovetic) but we have other players who want to step up and show they’re up to the job. “We’ll give everything to try and beat Milan.” A slip-up by Milan would also boost city rivals Inter, who host Atalanta tomorrow four days after beating Sampdoria 2-0 away in a match postponed from March 17 due to adverse weather in Genoa. —AFP

Chelsea, Benfica, Fenerbahce win BERNE: The much-maligned Europa League threw up a bumper mix of goals, controversy and defensive blunders on Thursday as Chelsea, Benfica and Fenerbahce won by two-goal margins at home and Basel held Tottenham Hotspur. Hosts Tottenham, the only former winners still in the competition, were at times outplayed by Switzerland’s Basel, the only domestic champions in the last eight, but scrambled a 2-2 draw in their quarter-final first leg where Gareth Bale went off injured. Fenerbahce scored two late goals, the first a highly debatable penalty, in a 2-0 win over Lazio, who played nearly the whole of the second half with 10 men. Two goals from under pressure Fernando Torres gave European champions Chelsea a 3-1 win at home to Russia’s Rubin Kazan and Benfica won by the same score in Lisbon against blunder-prone Newcastle United, who twice hit the post. “Fernando needed to score a goal,” Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez told reporters. “We could see today the confidence, we could see he can work hard... He will score goals until the end of the season.” Lazio, who must overturn their firstleg deficit behind closed doors in Rome next week, had the better of the first half but were soon in trouble when Ogenyi Onazi was sent off for a second bookable offence straight after the restart. Raul Meireles hit the post as Fenerbahce took control but they needed a soft penalty, awarded after the ball hit Stefan Radu’s raised arm and converted by Cameroon’s Pierre Webo, to break through in the 78th minute. Dutchman Dirk Kuyt added the second in stoppage time after Federico Marchetti could not hold Mehmet Topuz’s long-range free kick. Basel, who last season knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League, stunned White Hart Lane when Valentin Stocker and Fabian Frei scored within a fourminute first-half spell. Emmanuel Adebayor pulled one back before the break for Tottenham, twice winners of the old UEFA Cup, and substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson leveled with a deflected shot just after the hour. Basel continued to dominate either side of his goal and could easily have snatched a shock win.

LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur’s Togolese striker Emmanuel Adebayor (center) scores his team’s first goal during the Europa League quarter-final football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Basel at White Hart Lane in London.— AFP BACK PASS Newcastle appeared to have the upper hand in Lisbon when Papiss Cisse tapped in a pinpoint cross from French midfielder Moussa Sissoko after 12 minutes and the Senegalese striker also had a shot turned on to the post by goalkeeper Arthur. Instead, Benfica leveled when Oscar Cardozo’s thumping shot was parried by Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul, the defense was slow to react and Spanish striker Rodrigo pounced to equalize. Cisse chipped another shot against the post on the counter-attack early in the second half before Benfica were gifted the lead in the 65th minute. Davide Santon’s poor back pass was intercepted by Lima and the Brazilian dribbled past Krul and easily slid the ball in. It got worse for Newcastle as Steven Taylor handled in the area and Paraguay striker Oscar Cardozo added a third from the spot two minutes later. “Luck doesn’t just appear from nowhere, you

conquer it with work,” said Benfica coach Jorge Jesus. “The Newcastle goalkeeper stopped three or four certain goals. I didn’t know him by name but he is a great goalkeeper. “The game had everything: excitement, goals, balls hitting the woodwork and missed chances,” he added. Chelsea, who parachuted into the competition after being eliminated in the group stage of the Champions League, raced to a 2-0 lead in 32 minutes through Spaniard Torres and Nigerian Victor Moses. Rubin, conquerors of titleholders Atletico Madrid earlier in the competition, grabbed an away goal in the 41st minute when Israeli midfielder Bebras Natcho scored from the penalty spot after John Terry had blocked a shot by Cristian Ansaldi with his arm. Torres gave Chelsea breathing space when he met a cross from fellow Spaniard Mata with an emphatic header in the 70th minute.— Reuters



French league preview

PSG head to Rennes with thoughts elsewhere PARIS: Paris Saint-Germain could be forgiven for having their minds elsewhere as they travel to Brittany to face Rennes in Ligue 1 this weekend. The match falls in between the two legs of the capital club’s Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona, with Tuesday’s 2-2 draw at the Parc des Princes keeping PSG’s hopes alive ahead of the return next midweek. Before that, however, Carlo Ancelotti’s side will be aiming to take another step towards winning the domestic title as they head into the weekend with a healthy seven-point lead at the top of Ligue 1. PSG have struggled in this fixture in recent years, failing to win in Rennes since a 2-1 victory in January 2002, when Ronaldinho was among the scorers. Ancelotti will be tempted to rest key players in order to keep them fresh for Wednesday’s match in Barcelona, but there is enough depth in his squad for PSG to end their poor

record in Rennes, especially with the home side struggling just now. The Bretons have taken their eye off the ball since winning through to the League Cup final, where they will face Saint-Etienne later this month. Frederic Antonetti’s side have won just once in nine matches, slipping from fourth in the table to 10th in the process. “Whoever our opponents are, we have our own problems to solve,” says Antonetti. “We are happy to play Paris, but I would have preferred to be playing them with seven or eight points more.” Despite Rennes’ troubles, the match will attract a sell-out crowd of around 30,000 to the Stade de la Route de Lorient, with fans queuing for up to five hours to buy a ticket. They will be hoping for a repeat of the result when the clubs last met in November, when Rennes won 2-1 at the Parc des Princes despite playing almost half the game down to nine men. “That

game was one of the best moments of my career as a coach,” added Antonetti. That Paris boast such a big lead is mainly down to the inability of closest challengers Marseille and Lyon to maintain any consistency since the winter break. OM negotiated the month of March without losing, though, with a 1-0 win at south-coast rivals Nice last weekend lifting them back up to second place. Elie Baup’s side have now won by that scoreline on nine occasions this season, and have registered 13 victories by a singlegoal margin. “I’d be happy if we won our last eight games 1-0,” said midfielder Benoit Cheyrou this week. “Nobody expected us to be where we are. We have received a lot of criticism, but we are still up there.” Cheyrou was speaking ahead of Marseille’s home clash with Bordeaux, a match which will mark the opening of the huge new East Stand at the Stade Velodrome, which is being renovated

ahead of Euro 2016. “We need to do better at home,” he added. “Sometimes we have struggled but against a team like Bordeaux everyone will be fully focused on the task in hand.” The home side will nevertheless miss playmaker Mathieu Valbuena, who has been ruled out of the game with an adductor injury. Lyon’s 2-1 home loss to Sochaux last week left them without a win in four games, and with just two wins in eight outings going into Sunday’s clash at struggling Reims. OL’s bitter rivals SaintEtienne are also in action on Sunday, and will be aiming to extend their unbeaten start to 2013 when they entertain Evian-Thonon-Gaillard. Les Verts are unbeaten in 11 league games, and 15 matches in all competitions, since the winter break. In-form Lille host Lorient, while troubled Brest go to Bastia in their first game since coach Landry Chauvin was sacked, with sporting director Corentin Martins taking his place. — AFP

Spanish league preview

Barca ‘can cope without Messi’ MADRID: Barcelona defender Dani Alves has said the La Liga leaders can cope without Lionel Messi for their clash with Mallorca today. The four-time World Player of the Year strained his hamstring in the 2-2 draw with Paris Saint-Germain in midweek, ruling him out of this weekend’s game and possibly the return against the Parisians on Wednesday. However, Alves believes the Argentine’s absence is a great opportunity for Barca to show they are far from a one-man team. “The fact he is not going to be there is an incentive to show that we have the sufficient quality to compete without him and to show we can do just as well as when he is there.” the Brazilian told a press conference on Wednesday. Messi’s injury though wasn’t the only important loss the Catalans suffered in the French capital as Javier Mascherano was stretchered off with a lateral knee ligament injury which will rule him out for six weeks. And with Carles Puyol and Adriano already ruled out for the coming weeks due to injury, Alves has said he would be more than willing to deputise in central defence having played in a back three under Pep Guardiola last season. “If I don’t remember wrongly, I have already done it with Guardiola when we played with a back three. I have the ability to adapt myself: if they ask me to attack, I attack; if they ask me to defense, I defend and if they ask me to do both, I will try to do so. “I am at the disposition of the coaches.” The good news for Barca will be the return of Tito Vilanova to the Camp Nou for the first time since he travelled to New York for cancer treatment at the end of January. Vilanova made his return to the touchline for the game in Paris and will continue with Barca’s rotation policy for league games in recent weeks with Wednesday’s return against PSG in mind. Sergio Busquets, Xavi and Andres Iniesta are among those likely to be rested, although Pedro could return after he missed the last two games with a calf injury. Barca’s 13-point lead at the top of the table has given them some breathing space, but Mallorca’s need for points is urgent as the islanders lie second bot-

tom of the table and three points from safety with just nine games remaining. And manager Gregorio Manzano has said Messi’s absence is just the boost they needed ahead of the daunting trip to the Camp Nou. “With Messi absent we won’t have this footballing nightmare of trying to stop a player that has scored more goals than I don’t know how many teams in the First Division,” he told a press conference on Thursday. “I don’t want to say that without Messi, Barcelona will be a vulnerable team because they are absolutely not. “What has happened is that they don’t have the resource of a footballer that I do not need to describe because everything has already been said about what he can do in a game.” Real

Madrid meanwhile will continue their pursuit of Barca when they host Levante at home today afternoon. Los Blancos’ 3-0 win over Galatasaray in their Champions League quarter-final first-leg on Wednesday means there isn’t such a great need for manager Jose Mourinho to keep plenty in reserve for the return-leg in Istanbul. The Portuguese indicated that Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso will both start after they picked up yellow cards that will keep them out of the game in Turkey on Tuesday, whilst Iker Casillas is expected to return to the squad but only start on the bench as he returns after three months out with a hand injury. — AFP

Today’s matches on TV

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE Reading v Southampton Abu Dhabi Sports HD Norwich v Swansea City Abu Dhabi Sports HD Albion v Arsenal Abu Dhabi Sports HD Stoke City v Aston Villa Abu Dhabi Sports HD

14:45 17:00 17:00 17:00

SPANISH LEAGUE Sociedad v Malaga Aljazeera Sport +2 Real Madrid v Levante Aljazeera Sport +2 Deportivo v Zaragoza Aljazeera Sport +10 Barcelona v Mallorca Aljazeera Sport +2

17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00

ITALIAN LEAGUE Juventus v Pescara Aljazeera Sport +1


Bologna v Torino Aljazeera Sport +1


GERMAN LEAGUE Dortmund v Augsburg Dubai Sports Bremen v Schalke Dubai Sports Frankfurt v Bayern Munich Dubai Sports Hamburger v Freiburg Dubai Sports

16:30 16:30 16:30 19:30

FRENCH LEAGUE Stade Rennes v Paris Saint Aljazeera Sport +4 Bastia v Brest Aljazeera Sport +4 Montpellier v Valenciennes Aljazeera Sport +9 Toulouse v Nice Aljazeera Sport +5

18:00 21:00 21:00 21:00

Barcelona file complaint about refereeing at PSG MADRID: Barcelona have filed a formal complaint with the European governing body UEFA about the refereeing of Wolfgang Stark in Tuesday’s 2-2 Champions League draw at Paris St Germain. Their main criticism concerns an incident in the second half of the quarterfinal first leg in Paris in which Javier Mascherano and Jordi Alba collided and were both lying prone on the ground in the penalty area. “The club has written to UEFA due to a series of incidents on the pitch in the understanding that objectively speaking it was evident that the referee did not apply the rules of the game,” Barca spokesman Toni Freixa told a news conference after a meeting of the club’s board on Thursday. “When two players from the same team are on the floor the referee should stop the match, which did not happen. “What’s more he then obliged them to leave the pitch, in contravention of the rules. “An incident that is sufficiently serious in a competition like the Champions League to bring to UEFA’s attention so that it does not happen again.” Barca were also incensed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s goal to make the score 1-1 in the 79th minute was allowed to stand when the Swede was clearly in an offside position. Ibrahimovic, who spent a season at Barca in 2009-10, was playing only because UEFA halved on appeal the twomatch ban he received after his sendingoff at Valencia in the last 16 round. “We are fully conscious of the possibility of errors in refereeing and we do not consider ourselves badly treated,” Freixa said. “But it surprises us that in a high-level competition a referee does not know the rules. “We are not judging the work of referees but the basic principle that a judge should know the law. We hope it does not happen again.” Barca host PSG in the return game at the Nou Camp on Wednesday. — Reuters



Bumper mix of goals, blunders rock Europa


OKLAHOMA: San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard goes up for a shot in front of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (9) in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City. — AP

Boozer leads Bulls past Nets Thunder beat Spurs in duel of West’s top teams NEW YORK: Carlos Boozer had 29 points and 18 rebounds and Nate Robinson made the goahead basket with 22 seconds left as the Chicago Bulls overcame a 16-point deficit to beat the Brooklyn Nets 92-90 on Thursday. Jimmy Butler had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Luol Deng scored 18 points, and Robinson finished with 12 as the Bulls shook off the absences of five key players to keep Indiana from clinching the NBA Central Division title they’ve won the last two years. Deron Williams had 30 points and 10 assists for the Nets, who had a disappointing return home from an eight-game road trip. Brook Lopez finished with 28 points, but he had a turnover and two misses in the final minute, including a corner jumper that went in and out that would have forced overtime. NUGGETS 95, MAVERICKS 94 Corey Brewer scored 23 points and got a hand on Anthony Morrow’s last-second shot to preserve the Nuggets’ 19th straight home win. Andre Iguodala’s layup with 2.8 seconds put Denver ahead in a game that Dallas dominated. The win was bittersweet, though. Denver’s

dreams of a deep playoff run might have taken a huge hit when they lost forward Danilo Gallinari to what looked like serious knee injury in the second quarter. He is scheduled for an MRI on Friday. Brandan Wright scored 16 points to lead Dallas. THUNDER 100, SPURS 88 Russell Westbrook scored 27 points and Kevin Durant had 25 as the Thunder seized control of the race for home-court advantage in the NBA Western Conference playoffs. Derek Fisher hit a season-high five 3-pointers and had 17 points, his most since joining the Thunder in late February, while fueling a big first-half run that put Oklahoma City ahead to stay. Oklahoma City still trails San Antonio by a half-game in the standings, but pulled even in the loss column and would control the tiebreaker if both teams won the rest of their games because of a better record against Western Conference opponents. Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan each scored 24 points for the Spurs. Tony Parker had just two points in 25 minutes and did not play in the final 7 minutes with the game on the line. — AP

NBA results/standings Chicago 92, Brooklyn 90; Denver 95, Dallas 94; Oklahoma City 100, San Antonio 88. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT NY Knicks 48 26 .649 Brooklyn 43 32 .573 Boston 39 36 .520 Philadelphia 30 44 .405 Toronto 28 47 .373 Central Division Indiana 48 27 .640 Chicago 41 33 .554 Milwaukee 36 38 .486 Detroit 25 51 .329 Cleveland 22 52 .297 Southeast Division Miami 58 16 .784 Atlanta 42 34 .553 Washington 28 47 .373 Orlando 19 57 .250 Charlotte 18 57 .240

GB 5.5 9.5 18 20.5 6.5 11.5 23.5 25.5 17 30.5 40 40.5

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City 55 20 .733 Denver 52 24 .684 Utah 39 37 .513 Portland 33 42 .440 Minnesota 28 46 .378 Pacific Division LA Clippers 50 26 .658 Golden State 43 32 .573 LA Lakers 39 36 .520 Sacramento 27 48 .360 Phoenix 23 52 .307 Southwest Division San Antonio 56 20 .737 Memphis 51 24 .680 Houston 42 33 .560 Dallas 36 39 .480 New Orleans 26 49 .347

3.5 16.5 22 26.5 6.5 10.5 22.5 26.5 4.5 13.5 19.5 29.5

6 Apr 2013  

Kuwait Times

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you