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72 dead in Mumbai building collapse as search ends

New PM vows to safeguard Lebanon from Syria war


NO: 15771

150 FILS



How a matchbook can trap a wanted man


Magnificent Bayern confirmed Bundesliga Champions



World powers, Iran ‘far apart’ in nuke stalemate US says no breakthrough but also no breakdown

RIYADH: A Saudi woman drives a buggy in Thumamah Park on Friday. Saudi Arabia’s religious police have lifted a ban on women riding bicycles and motorbikes, but only in recreational areas and while dressed in full Islamic clothing and accompanied by a male relative, local media reported. — AFP

Two new bird flu cases in China SHANGHAI: Two more people have contracted bird flu in Shanghai, China’s health ministry said yesterday, as authorities closed live poultry markets and culled birds to combat a new virus strain that has killed six people. State-run Xinhua news agency said authorities planned to slaughter birds at two live poultry markets in Shanghai and another in Hangzhou after new samples of the H7N9 virus were detected in birds at the three sites. More than 20,000 birds have been culled at another Shanghai market where traces of the virus were found this week. Officials in Shanghai, China’s financial hub, closed all the city’s live poultry markets yesterday, emptying food

stalls. All poultry trading was banned in Nanjing, another eastern Chinese city, although local officials said they had not found any trace of the bird flu virus and declared that chicken on the retail market was safe to eat, official media reported. The new strain of bird flu has infected 18 people in China, all in the east. Six people have died in an outbreak that has spread concern overseas. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said that 10 infected people were severe cases and two were mild cases. It reiterated there was no evidence of ongoing human-to-human transmission of the virus. “More than 530 close contacts of the confirmed cases are being

British woman killed on Kashmir houseboat Dutchman arrested SRINAGAR: A young British woman holidaying in Indian Kashmir was found dead in a pool of blood on a houseboat yesterday, police said after arresting a Dutch man on suspicion of her murder. The 43-year-old Dutch national was taken into custody as he tried to flee the scenic Kashmir valley in the foothills of the Himalayas, police superintendent

Tahir Sajjad told AFP. “We walked into a pool of blood in her room,” Sajjad said. “We found a sharp-edged knife close to her body. The young lady had multiple stab wounds.” The attacker broke the latch on the cabin door of the 24-year-old British tourist who had been staying in the Continued on Page 13

SRINAGAR: The houseboat where a young British woman was found murdered is seen yesterday. — AFP

closely monitored. In Jiangsu, investigation is ongoing into a contact of an earlier confirmed case who developed symptoms of illness,” the Geneva-based WHO said in a statement yesterday. There were no signs of panic in Shanghai, where four of the six people died, and people generally said they were not worried. But the culling, which has been widely publicised, did underline for some how close to home the issue had become. “Now it’s just downstairs,” said Liu Leting, a user of Weibo, China’s version of Twitter which has more than 500 million users. “Suddenly I discover that I’m living in an epidemic zone!” In one city Continued on Page 13

5 killed in Egypt religious clashes CAIRO: Five Egyptians were killed and eight wounded in clashes between Christians and Muslims in a town near Cairo, security sources said yesterday, in the latest sectarian violence in the most populous Arab state. Christian-Muslim confrontations have increased in Muslim-majority Egypt since the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 gave freer rein to hardline Islamists repressed under his rule. Four Christians and one Muslim were killed when members of both communities started shooting at each other in Khusus outside the Egyptian capital, the sources said. State news agency MENA put the death toll at four. The violence broke out late on Friday when a group of Christian children were drawing on a wall of a Muslim religious institute, the security sources said. No more details were immediately available. MENA quoted a Christian official as saying unidentified assailants had attacked a local church during the clashes and set parts of it on fire. Police had stepped up security at the church after Muslim youths began gathering in the area. The town was quiet yesterday with a heavy security presence, a security source said. Some 15 police cars were patrolling the streets. Police detained 15 people. President Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader elected in June, has promised to protect the rights of Coptic Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s 83 million people. “The sectarian riots which happened in Khusus are unacceptable and grave,” Saad Al-Katatni, the head of the Brotherhood’s political party, said on his Facebook website. “There are some who want to set Egypt ablaze and create crises.” — Reuters

Max 33º Min 19º High Tide 10:14 & 22:03 Low Tide 03:50 & 15:59

ALMATY: World powers and Iran failed again to ease their decade-old dispute over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program in talks that ended yesterday, prolonging a standoff that risks spiralling into a new Middle East war. The lack of a breakthrough in the two-day meeting in Kazakhstan aimed at easing international concern over Iran’s contested nuclear activity marked a further setback for diplomatic efforts to resolve the row peacefully. It is also likely to strengthen suspicions in Israel - which threatens air strikes, if necessary, to stop its archenemy from getting the bomb - that Iran is using diplomacy as a stalling tactic. “Over two days of talks, we had long and intensive discussions,” European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said. “It became Catherine Ashton clear that our positions remain far apart,” Ashton, who represents the six powers - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany - in dealings with Iran, told a news conference. Underlining the lack of substantial progress during the negotiations in the Kazakh commercial centre of Almaty the second meeting Saeed Jalili there this year - no new talks between the two sides were scheduled. But a senior US official said there had been no breakdown in the negotiations with Iran. “There was no breakthrough but also no breakdown,” the official, who declined to be identified, said. “Our intention is to proceed,” he said, referring to a US commitment to further diplomatic efforts. Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili acknowledged differences between the two sides. “We proposed our plan of action and the other party was not ready and they asked for some time to study the idea,” he told a separate news conference. Jalili offered little hope of Iran offering concessions on the main sticking point in the talks - Tehran’s insistence on its right to enrich uranium on its soil. “Now they (the world powers) must work to gain the confidence of the Iranian people,” said Jalili, a hardline conservative close to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. “We believe that the right to enrich is an inalienable right of the Iranian people - whether we are talking about (to a level of ) five percent or 20 percent,” Jalili said. “Trust building should not deprive and deny the Continued on Page 13

‘Balloon man’ flies from Mandela jail CAPE TOWN: A South African man yesterday successfully flew across the sea from Nelson Mandela’s apartheid island prison using helium-filled giant party balloons. The six-kilometre crossing, to raise funds for a children’s hospital named after the country’s former president, was the first stunt of its kind from the historical site. Matt Silver-Vallance, 37, took around an hour to float across the Atlantic Ocean

from Robben Island while harnessed to a mass of multi-coloured balloons in grey, drizzly conditions with low visibility. Making his way wearing a wetsuit, he floated a few metres above the sea, with controls for flight including bags weighted with water and an air gun and makeshift spear to pop balloons. “Wow, that was crazy,” he said, saying Continued on Page 13

CAPE TOWN: Matt Silver-Vallance flies above Table Bay with some of his support crew in boats from Nelson Mandela’s apartheid island prison using helium-filled giant party balloons yesterday. — AFP



‘State Security’ to be separated from MOI Ben Ali’s wife not in Kuwait KUWAIT: The State Security Bureau is set to be separated from the Ministry of Interior and placed directly under the Prime Minister’s Office, a local daily reported yesterday, quoting a source with knowledge of the decision. Speaking to Al-Qabas on the condition of anonymity, the insider said the government had “almost certainly” made up its mind on the new decision, adding that its next move would likely see “the birth of a new structure in the coming few weeks for the bureau, which will be chaired by a deputy of a minister’s rank”. Al-Qabas also quoted a source inside the Kuwaiti government as saying that the United Arab Emirates had sent a notice to Kuwait, inquiring about the outcome of investigation that the latter was supposed to carry out on 23 Kuwaitis suspected to be involved in a network that faced terror charges in the UAE. Meanwhile, sources in Kuwait’s Public Prosecution denied rumours suggesting that the wife of former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali had entered the Gulf state. “Kuwait told the international agencies and Tunisian authorities inquiring about Laila Ben Ali’s possibly entry into the Gulf state that, according to the outcome of its investigations, she had neither Kuwait since the Tunisian Revolution, nor does

she own property in the Gulf state”, said the sources who spoke to Al-Jarida on the condition of anonymity. The same report further indicates that Kuwait received a list from Libyan authorities, which contained the names of Libyan citizens who were wanted in their home country and who must be arrested if found attempting to enter Kuwait. The report confirms that the list includes members associated with the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. In the mean time, Qatar’s Attorney General, Dr. Ali Al-Merri, has reportedly received a letter from Kuwait urging Qatari authorities to hand over an Egyptian man wanted in an embezzlement case worth 3.5 million Kuwaiti Dinars. The suspect had reportedly fled to Qatar from his home country after committing his crime while working as an accountant in Kuwait’s Patients Aid Fund. According to judicial sources quoted by Al-Jarida yesterday, Dr. Al-Merri had told his Kuwaiti counterpart, Dherar Al-As’ousy, in a letter three months ago that “Qatar is willing to hand over the Egyptian accountant” to Kuwait in order for his trial to be continued. In other news, Al-Jarida quoted an Interior Ministry insider as saying that the embassy of Nepal in Kuwait had been notified to provide

Nepalese citizens with a certificate showing that they were Nepalese by origin before sending them to the Gulf state for work. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the source explained that the measure was taken after the migration department noticed that a large number of Asian nationals who were previously deported out of Kuwait had returned using Nepalese passports that were issued legally. The people in this case were denied access after their identity - included in the blacklist - was exposed by the fingerprint scanner at the Kuwait International Airport. “The Nepalese embassy explained that Nepal granted citizenship to people after they lived there for a certain period of time, but it was not aware of the methods used by the deportees”, the source indicated. Finally, Al-Rai reported yesterday that the State Security Bureau opened an investigation into a case involving a poster that read ‘No to National Unity’, which was found inside the newly opened Shwauikh police station. Security sources with knowledge of the case indicated that the investigation will focus on identifying the person who put the sticker on the station’s wall near the entrance. Suspects will be arrested on charges of undermining national unity.

Far East tension may affect Kuwait oil export By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Former MP Osama Al-Shaheen expressed apprehension that Kuwait’s oil export will be affected in case of any war or military conflict in the Far East. In his statement made in the context of news reports about expected attack by North Korea on South Korea, Al-Saheen noted that over 60 percent of Kuwait’s oil export goes through this area, including to Japan and South Korea. Economic analyst and expert Dr. Hajaj Bukhadoor noted that any war or attack will affect the international economy in general and not the Kuwaiti oil export. “The war in the Korean region would not happen according to the expectations of the Kuwaiti politics, (and Kuwaitis) are not very aware of the situation there. The war would not affect the oil trade, but the world economy. The whole world will be affected and not just certain geographic areas,” he told the Kuwait Times. He mentioned some examples of previous wars. “The Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s is an example that Kuwait’s export of oil was not affected, and was normal. Also, after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and after the liberation in 1991, Kuwait started exporting oil in the same quantity as before the invasion, although the region was still unstable. Also, Iran is now exporting more than half of its exports, notwithstanding the international embargo. All these examples show that war

does not affect the oil export,” explained Bukhadoor. “Such an expected war would not affect Kuwait’s oil export to Korea especially since Kuwait ranks fourth in oil export among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Thus, this war will affect the international economy which may affect all producers and exporters of oil around the world, and Kuwait is exporting oil to many other countries in all continents,” concluded Bukhadoor. On his part, a source, who is a CEO in one of the leading oil companies in Kuwait who preferred not to allow his name to be mentioned, noted that in general, Kuwait’s income from oil would not be affected as a result of the possible war in Korea. “Kuwait is the second biggest exporter of oil to South Korea, and I do not expect that Korea will stop importing oil from us, unless they were not able to receive the shipment of oil due to certain circumstances, as had happened with Pakistan or Japan in the past when they faced natural disasters and could not receive the oil shipment,” he explained. “The oil would not be lost, and could be sold to any other country. The world demand for Kuwaiti oil is increasing. We will always have customers, even though the destination may be affected by the political conflict, but not the national budget or income from oil or the oil production,” stressed the source.

KUWAIT: Ambassador of Senegal Abdou Lahad Mbacke held a reception in Sheraton Hotel on Wednesday on the occasion of the National Day of his country. It was attended by a number of diplomats and other dignitaries. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

475 arsons in 2012 KUWAIT: Of the more than 5600 incidents of fire last year, authorities found evidence of foul play in 475 cases during investigations, while the total number of fire and rescue accidents rose by 14 percent compared to 2011, a senior Kuwait Fire Services Directorate official announced recently. According to official statistics revealed by Public Relations and Media Director, Lieutenant Colonel Khalil AlAmir, in a press statement, firefighters responded to 15370 cases last year, including 5609 fires which saw an eight percent increase compared to 2011. Firefighters also handled 3552 rescue missions, in which 179 people died while 1166 were injured including 183 firefighters. The statistics show that electrical short circuiting was the reason behind maximum instances of fire last year at 1740 such cases, followed by 1366 fires which, investigations revealed, were caused by child play. Meanwhile, investigations revealed that 562 fires were caused by smoldering cigarettes, while 475 were started either deliberately or semi-intentionally. A total of 1240 fires were reported last year within the Jahra governorate, followed by Al-Farwaniya with 1216, Al-Ahmadi with 1123, Hawally with 1066, the Capital with 601 and Mubarak Al-Kabeer with 363. Among the 179 reported deaths in accidents that firefighters handled in 2012 was a case of a firefighter who was killed in an accident on his way to a house on fire. Meanwhile, the statistics showed that 115 people were killed in traffic accidents, 21 in fires, seven due to suffocation by smoke, while 35 incidents were classified as deaths due to falls from a high rise, drowning, electrocution or suicide.


in brief

Hajj affairs delegation KUWAIT: A delegation of the Ministry of Awqaf dealing with Hajj affairs will leave today (Sunday) for Saudi Arabia to meet with the Saudi Hajj minister and other Saudi officials. The delegation is headed by ministry’s undersecretary Dr. Adel Al-Falah and includes Assistant Undersecretary for Hajj Affairs and External Relations Dr. Mutlaq Al-Qarawi and Director of Hajj Administration Roomi Al-Roomi. During the meeting, a number of important issues will be discussed, on top of which will be the issues regarding expats going on Hajj from Kuwait this year, the Kuwait’s quota of Hajjis and Bedouin Hajjis. The meeting will also discuss other important issues concerning the Kuwaiti Hajj delegation’s location at Mena and Arafat and the new services provided by the Saudi government. NA members accused KUWAIT: In remarks that can potentially trigger a controversy, MP Khalil Abdullah accused the fellow Members of Parliament of having lost their way and not having any priorities. While a number of MPs were asked for their view, Khalil Abdullah turned out to the first one who said the NA Council did not achieve what it should have because it lacked any clear plan. MP Mohammad Al-Jabri said the success and achievements of this council speak for themselves. “We do not need any proof, but there are some who want to defame the council and present a distorted picture,” he said. MP Khalil Al-Saleh said, “We have finalized four necessity decrees and these are all important. These decrees could change the political scene in Kuwait and this is proof of the MPs’ success in their mission.” MP Ahmad Lary said people can see for themselves the achievements of this council.

Bahraini-Kuwaiti cooperation meeting soon KUWAIT: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced here yesterday that Kuwait is to host the 7th Higher Bahraini-Kuwaiti Cooperation Committee on the 8th and 9th of April, presided by Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad AlSabah and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa. The 7th session is to discuss and review several subjects of bilateral cooperation fields as fulfillment and continuation to what the 6th session

had achieved of outcomes that included political, economic, developmental, cultural, and security cooperation fields, the ministry said in a statement. In the same context, the statement indicated that Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Khaled Sulaiman Al-Jarallah has affirmed keenness of the two brotherly countries’ leaderships and care in making all efforts and facilitate all possibilities to bolster distinctive and historical relations between Kuwait and Bahrain, adding that establishment of the joint higher committee comes

under the framework of consultation, communication, and coordination to achieve joint goals, to which would support the march of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and attain higher interests of its states. Furthermore, Al-Jarallah mentioned that this year’s session is to witness signing of many agreements and MoUs between the two countries concerning bilateral cooperation fields, stressing importance of higher joint committee’s vital role in enriching the credit of achievements of joint cooperation, as well as the beneficial outcomes for both countries. —- KUNA

New committee formed KUWAIT: Sources in the Salafi group revealed that a new committee has been set up to bridge differences among members within the group, as the current political period requires unified efforts and various points of view need to find a convergence since it is a sensitive period. Sources said that the committee will organize issues within the group, and will call upon the two parties who have different views on several subjects to ensure that an agreement is reached among all the members. In the meantime, sources in the Islamic Constitution Movement (HADAS) revealed that political office leadership of the movement will meet in the coming days to nominate a new secretary general to replace incumbent Bader AlSanie. No names about the new secretary are known so far though these will be clear within the next two weeks. Educational strategy KUWAIT: The Kuwait Teachers’ Association has invited teachers and school administrations to attend an event to be hosted by it where Education and Higher Education Minister, Dr. Nayef Al-Hajraf, will speak about educational strategy. The event is scheduled for 4 pm on Tuesday, April 9th at the Association’s headquarters. Association Director Miteb Al-Otaibi said the minister expressed a wish to present his educational strategy during an open meeting with the members of the association.

KUWAIT: Assistant Undersecretary at the ministry of interior, Lt. General Sheikh Mohammad Yousuf Al-Sabah, paid a visit to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain, where he got acquainted with the role of joint marine forces in the Arabian Gulf and the means of strengthening joint cooperation between U.S. marine forces and Kuwait coast guards. His trip also included a visit to one of the submarines, in which he was briefed about the duties and abilities of the submarine. Sheikh Mohammad Al-Yousuf was met by the representative of the Fifth Fleet’s commander, Lt. Col Thomas Bechnan, the commander of the American submarine, Lt. Colonel Christian Williams and the operations officer of the Fifth Fleet, Lt. Colonel Jery Abiel.



Safety system plays big role in reducing hacking Call to avoid unsafe websites By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Two days ago, an Arab expat noticed that more than KD 600 had disappeared from his bank account. He first contacted the bank and sought an explanation. The bank stated that the amount was deducted by three different companies through as many transactions. The bank also noted that there had been several complaints from various clients within the past 48 hours. The victim then contacted the three companies. The first one promised to return KD 25, and the second promised to return the KD 50 it had deducted. But the third company, which had deducted the biggest amount, refused to take responsibility. Saying that it was a hacker who had probably laundered the deducted money, the company advised the victim to report to the police station. Most banks that were contacted agreed to take the responsibility and compensate the client. One of the leading commercial banks stated that such incidents had not happened within the past two years, but assured that it would definitely pay the money back if it ever faced such a situation. “After we investigate the

case and check the security cameras, the client will get the illegally withdrawn amount back in his account,” an officer of the bank told the Kuwait Times. Another Islamic bank admitted that it had come across some cases in which its clients’ email accounts were hacked and they were asked to provide information or data by sources that claimed to represent the bank. “Our bank never requires any information or updates through emails or messages. Our bank always holds awareness campaigns to warn clients of such tricks. We always advice them to call the bank and get informed about any procedure,” a staff member pointed out. “Those whose accounts were hacked and who lost money from their bank accounts as a result of responding to such emails were directed to the main branch of the bank to get their problem resolved. After confirming that the client was cheated by a hacker, we will definitely return the money to the client’s account. It may take some time, as there are investigations to be done and a procedure to be followed,” she further said. Few months ago, a client of one of the Islamic banks faced a similar situation. Twenty-five-year-

old Mohammed noticed that his bank account shrank by about KD 500, even though he had not lost his ATM card or given it to somebody else. “I was shocked when I called to check my bank balance, because I found only KD 400 in my account instead of KD 900 something. Then, I called the bank to complain. They told me I have to wait, and that a committee will be formed to decide what to do in my case. Later, after two days, I found the amount back in my account,” said Mohammed. Another leading commercial bank stated that the reason behind the missing money was the most important thing while taking decisions about such cases. “If it was the fault of the client, for example, if he was using unsafe websites, then we can’t help him or compensate his lost money. That is because it was he who entered his account number and password. In general, our bank has a safety rule to lock the card if any suspicious transactions are made. The safety system of a bank plays a crucial role in the fight against hacking. Any victim can complain file a complaint at the branch if his account has been hacked,” the officer of the bank added.

KUWAIT: Under the patronage of Assistant Undersecretary at the Ministry of Interior, Lt Gen Abdullah Yousuf Al-Mahama, the activities relating to the 3rd foundation course for staff officers and personnel on civil defence training have drawn to a close. The course was held at the civil defence administration office and 14 trainees, from different sectors of the ministry of interior, participated in it.

US State Department official talks freedoms in Kuwait

KUWAIT: A delegation comprising experts in human resources and organizational leadership visited the navigation institute and gave a lecture to the institute’s students about the strategic plans for National Guards and the motivational advantage that an association with the NG brings in its wake. The lecture was organized in keeping with the framework of cooperation protocol between the PAAET and the National Guards. The delegation was met by the institute’s deputy director, Capt. Monther Al-Kandari, and also included Human Resources Director Lt Col Ahmad Abdul Rahman Al-Dae and Maj Mohammad Shabab Al-Rifaie.

Um Kulthum Museum gets rare photo of late singer CAIRO: Kuwaiti Ambassador to Egypt Dr Rasheed AlHamad presented here yesterday Dr. Nahla Mattar, Director of Umm Kulthum Museum, with a rare photo of the late famed singer, taken during one of her visits to Kuwait, which comes under the framework of strengthening cultural and artistic relations between Kuwait and Egypt. The cultural and artistic relations between Kuwait and Egypt are an important tributary of the distinctive brotherly ties between peoples and leaderships of both countries, Al-Hamad stated to KUNA. Also, he noted the late singer’s several musical tours on throughout the Arab world, adding that her concerts were attended by distinctive famous Arab song writers and composers whom embodied a golden era in lyrics, melodies, and vocals that graced hearts and souls of Arab listeners. In addition, the Ambassador lauded Um Kulthum’s wide range celebrity status in various Arab countries, especially her role in supporting Arab causes through her songs, indicating her distinctive role in serving her country Egypt following the June 1967 Arab-Israeli War, and her Arab states tours to support arming the Egyptian armed forces. The late singer visited Kuwait twice and was welcomed warmly. Her first visit was in 1963 and the second during a tour in 1968. The visits resulted in two songs in love and praise of Kuwait. — KUNA

Bahraini official forecasts economic boom in Kuwait KUWAIT: Member of the Executive Office and President of the Commission of the industrial sector in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Bahrain Abdul Hameed al-Kooheji expected to see Kuwait witness an “ excellent” economic boom in the coming years. Al-Kooheji said at a press conference at the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry that the Kuwaiti youth are invited to exploit the potential opportunities afforded by their government, adding that the (Road Show gallery) that was launched here today comes in conjunction with the meetings of the seventh session of the joint higher committee for cooperation between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the State of Kuwait to be hosted by Kuwait on April 8-9. He explained that the exhibition includes a forum titled (Invest in Bahrain) which aims to increase the volume of trade and economic relations between the two countries as well as attracting Kuwaiti investments to the Kingdom of Bahrain by highlighting the economic and investment opportunities available there. — KUNA

KUWAIT: A senior official of the United States Department of State said his country shares a ‘special relationship’ with Kuwait that allows for “true and constructive” dialogue. In a recent interview to Al-Rai, Mr. Thomas O. Melia, the Deputy Assistant Secretar y of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, at the US Department of State, said, “I appreciate the opportunity to visit Kuwait and engage in discussions with a number of Kuwaitis about issues of mutual interest for both of our countries.” Mr. Melia, who was interviewed by AlRai after his return from a recent visit to Kuwait, described the bilateral relations as “long and historic.” Melia’s two-day visit started following a short stop in Bahrain in the middle of last month. During his stay in Kuwait, the US official indicated that he met with “senior government officials, academics, civil society leaders, media personnel and businessmen who all welcomed me in their dewaniyas or workplaces.” Among issues he discussed with those he met were “foreign policy, Syria, and other regional issues,” but Melia choose not to go into any further details. Al-Rai’s report meanwhile suggested that Melia’s visit comes along with repeated statements by US officials about ‘positive signs’ coming from Tehran regarding a possible settlement on the issue of Iran’s nuclear program, whereas the Syrian crisis looks heading for further turmoil. Besides politics, Melia’s discussions in Kuwait dealt with the area of his expert-

ise, including “human rights, freedom of opinion and assembly.” The issue of freedom of opinion had opened a ‘give and take’ debate between Kuwait and Washington earlier this year when US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland urged the Kuwaiti government to “adhere to its tradition of respect for freedom of assembly, association, and expression,” following court rulings sentencing a tweeter to jail. But Melia said he expected continuing positivity on the part of the United States towards Kuwait in the future, especially after the parliament passed a bill recently with regards to naturalizing stateless residents. “I was impressed during the meetings by the openness of the people I met and their willingness to listen to the point of view of the American government about issues concerning our countries,” he said. The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, which Melia heads, supervises the release of the annual Human Rights Report which the US Department of State is expected to release in May. The report this year is expected to mention the steps taken for stateless residents’ naturalization. Last year’s report had identified the main human rights problems in Kuwait as “restricting citizens’ right to change their government,” “human trafficking of expatriate labor forces,” as well as “restrictions on workers’ rights.” It also accuses authorities of “limiting freedom of opinion and assembly, especially with regards to foreign workers and stateless residents.” — Al-Rai



Local Spotlight

In my view

The role of Arab media

Real burden on budget

By Muna Al-Fuzai By Labeed Abdal



he bail out offered to the citizens through the debt interest relief involves a cost component running into millions of Kuwaiti dinars and will be a real burden on the public budget. Writing off the interests accrued on the loans would be only a tip of the big loan iceberg. Inheriting a certain scenario from the previous parliament and appeasing a section of voters, while forgetting all about other responsible citizens who remained financially prudent, would open the doors for many others to raise objections in the courts. It is clear that the proposed measures would be against the constitutional principles of equality. At 744 million Kuwaiti Dinars, it is certainly a considerable amount and must not become a tool to hurt

Dropping the interests will be a relief to the people in times when the country has already issued a previous law, number 41/1993, to resolve the issue. As per that law, the country was to buy all the defaulters’ debts, and pay these to the banks. Most of the debtors ended up bankrupt because they were financially confused. Kuwait’s economy. The new law must not be released without due diligence, as it could lead to many expected legal and constitutional set backs. Any public spending or measures to relieve citizens of their burdens must benefit all citizens to be in public interest. Dropping the interests will be a relief to the people in times when the country has already issued a previous law, number 41/1993, to resolve the issue. As per that law, the country was to buy all the defaulters’ debts, and pay these to the banks. Most of the debtors ended up bankrupt because they were financially confused. The solutions must not worsen the financial condition for those hopeless debtors since the country will then literally become the new creditor for another public debt, thus usurping the role of the banks. Hopefully, that will save them from another financial risk or the prospect of falling from a cliff into a really deep abyss.

kuwait digest

Is it really necessary? By Saad Al-Rushaidi


ecent news reports about the Cyprus government planning to introduce a new controversial tax law regarding bank deposits have drawn comparisons with certain plans that are on the anvil in Kuwait and which are currently a hot subject of debate between the parliament and the Cabinet. In Cyprus, the government is moving towards forcing the citizens to take part of the responsibility to resolve the financial crisis that the country is facing, and dip into their pockets to help repay its debt. On the other hand, the government in Kuwait is taking a completely opposite path as it plans to waive off the interests accrued on loans availed of by nearly 67,000 citizens. The Kuwaiti government plans to make the state’s exchequer pay for this profligacy, completely disregarding the economic, social and constitutional dimensions of such a move. Aside from the resultant financial burden on the state’s budget, the most dangerous thing about the government purchasing citizens’ loans is the fact that the proposals made in this regard are motivated by vested political interest. The decision is a result of a risky competition to gain popularity at the expense of justice, development and prudent use of public funds. It is strange that the current debt relief project, much like other projects proposed earlier, will benefit only a section of the citizens, whereas the same funds could have been used to fund projects aimed at improving health, educational or developmental sectors, with everyone gaining from the outcome. What I find even more worrisome about the debt relief project is the fact that the focus has been shifted towards achieving cooperation between the parliament and Cabinet, but at the same time the economic considerations that could affect the fiscal future of a country dependent on a single source of income are being ignored. That Kuwait’s economic growth rate dropped from 4.5 percent in 2010 to 1.2 percent, only adds to these worries. Back in 2006, the state had taken steps to avoid any direct conflict with MPs on the issue of writing off of loans, and I believe it should have continued with that approach. I hope that the recent attitude is not part of a new policy aimed at appeasing incumbent members of parliament, regardless of the cost to the national exchequer. —Al-Rai

kuwait digest

Morsi fights with many By Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid


espite the huge optimism that ensued after He wanted to display his strength to football fans Mubarak’s regime was toppled, it was not during the Port Said trail and he ended up being a expected for the first Egyptian president who part of the confrontation. Clashes during a Port Said succeeded Mubarak to rule peacefully, even though game killed 71. Afterward, a court sentenced 21 he was quickly elected and even when all his oppo- people - supporters of the Port Said club - to death. nents were satisfied with him. The city’s residents were outraged and as a result 30 It seems that President Muhammad Morsi’s jour- more were killed in new confrontations. ney has been tougher than he had estimated. Some Where did Morsi go wrong, especially when he of the obstructions were caused by his rivals, but had nothing to do with some incidents in the counmost of them were caused by him. The number of try? When Barack Obama became US president, the his rivals increased with time, involving people from country was witnessing a serious economic crisis. It all areas, from Cairo to Suez as well as all segments: was the new president’s right to manage the crisis as Politicians, activists, media, security and military fig- he saw appropriate but he estimated that the situaures, youths from the revolution, liberals, Copts, aca- tion was very serious so he decided to involve his demics, even Islamists, sports fans and bakers. rivals from the Republican Party in the work of parHow can any presiliamentary and president run a state amid dential committees. these mass complaints he overcame the Morsi does not want cooperation from So and confrontations? country’s dangerous The president and his his rivals. But Egypt is going through a crisis by cooperating group paint the crisis as serious phase that requires cooperation with the losing party. one caused by individuMorsi does not among all governing parties. It is impossi- want als from the old regime cooperation and a part of it is caused ble for Morsi to bear all these terrible from his rivals. But by foreign par ties. pressures and confront all these prob- Egypt is going Perhaps some of this is through a serious lems, whether new ones or inherited ones, phase that requires true. But it is obvious that most of the crisis is without cooperating with all parties and cooperation among all the result of Morsi’s poli- without reassuring them that they are a governing parties. It is cies that eliminated all for Morsi par t of the transitional phase - from impossible other power centers. to bear all these terriMorsi worked at a fast Mubarak’s regime toward a new regime. ble pressures and conpace, aiming to impose His rivals are the means toward salvation front all these probhis decisions despite his whether new amid a phase of conflicting parties, caus- lems, inability to understand ones or inherited the legal and bureau- es and requests which are impossible for ones, without coopercratic rules of the state. him to confront alone no matter how ating with all parties He made his MPs write without reassurlegitimate he is and no matter what his and the constitution without ing them that they are taking into considera- capabilities are. a par t of the transition the will of rest of the tional phase - from countr y. Thus he Mubarak ’s regime unleashed the gates of hell upon himself. He insisted toward a new regime. His rivals are the means to set a date for the parliamentary elections without toward salvation amid a phase of conflicting parties, caring about administrative and legislative proce- causes and requests which are impossible for him to dures, so the court intervened against him. He thus confront alone no matter how legitimate he is and retreated and became willing to hold the elections no matter what his capabilities are. in next October - that is after he had rejected to wait The ruling party in Egypt seems arrogant. It deals half of that period. He had also sacked the attorney with its rivals with a sense of superiority and it thinks general and assigned another of his own choice, it has the right to absolute power. It even desires to ignoring legal procedure. He did this although the dominate the authorities that, in the democratic sysattorney general post is a very crucial one. It is a post tem, do not fall under its jurisdiction and are considthat can be used to chase and eliminate Morsi’s ered independent authorities like the parliamentary rivals, if a Morsi supporter assumes this post. assemblies, the judiciary and the media. In the end, The court ordered Morsi to reverse his decisions it will fail. And after that it will seek its rivals’ help. In and commit to the law. However, he has not only this case, no one will be able to save the party which confronted judges and politicians, he has also put is drowning in crises. Why is Morsi leading his goverhimself in a big trouble with bakers! He wanted to nance, party and followers down this rough road control the price of bread so he targeted bakeries. when he is not expected to?

t is no surprise that many Arabs hate Americans, but how many of us ever took the trouble to think why we harbor these negative feelings? Maybe it is time to stop following the so called Arab media channels that provoke negative sentiments about United States. Maybe it is time to use our own minds to understand the issues. Today, I think we need to analyze those who remain behind the scene and shape and re-shape our minds, ideas and possibly even actions, against the US. Maybe they have their own reasons to hate the US, but what are our reasons and why should we see the US as an enemy and not a friend or an ally or just a big country with vast interests across the world that impact every single country and living soul? I have never been convinced than today that the war of hatred that is being waged against the Americans is false and prompted by shallow reasons. I do believe that some Arab channels - and this is my own thinking - do have an agenda of their own and

During the revolution in Egypt, Al Jazeera played a significant role in promoting the image of the new rebels and the Muslim Brotherhood. Today, we can clearly see how we were misled, or at least some of us viewers were. I am one of those who want to be cautious when we speak about the current scene in Egypt. that is why they are stoking these tensions. For example, during the revolution in Egypt, Al Jazeera played a significant role in promoting the image of the new rebels and the Muslim Brotherhood. Today, we can clearly see how we were misled, or at least some of us viewers were. I am one of those who want to be cautious when we speak about the current scene in Egypt. Where is the Arab league on all this? The situation in Syria is really worrying and yet, nothing serious has been done by the Arab league. Where does the general secretary stand on these issues? The Arabs are confronting many serious challenges as an outcome of the Arab Spring and its economic and social consequences for their countries, yet no good came out of that spring except death and more failure on all aspects. Moreover, the Arab media is blaming the Americans for every single misery they face. That, surely, is not fair and not true at all. So, is it money or hunger for power that is driving the Arab channels to shape the ideas as well as, possibly, actions propelled by hate against one of the largest nations on earth? I think it might be both and the fact that some of those who own these channels mistakenly think that the more they attack the US, the more popular they will be in the Arab world. I think we need to be careful and try to filter what we hear and read. We should not follow anyone blindly, like a herd of sheep.

kuwait digest

Time to go to work By Faihan Al-Azmi

kuwait digest

Loyalists in full control By Thaar Al-Rashidi


hen the Al Qadisiya club lost the game to the Most of the oppositionists are still on the play ground, Al Naser club, they claimed it was the refer- unable to dent the strong defense of the loyalists. In ee’s game. When Barcelona lost to Real fact, the loyalists are more secure than before. Madrid, they said it was all because of the referee. I am using this soccer metaphor to explain the Usually when one of the two warring parties loses, political reality of Kuwait for the benefit of deewaniya it blames the loss on umpiring. The referee is the only friends who are addicted to the game, since they one without any audiasked me how effective ence. Therefore, he is was the loans interest As per calculations, Team Loyal has “pass” and what impact always the weakest in this contest, much retained ground control for 69% of the will it make on the overweaker than the two all game. My answer was warriors, each of whom time, yielding it for only 31% of the time simply this: it was like has an audience and or even less to Team Opposition. Most of scoring a goal against fans ready to defend the oppositionists are still on the play the opposition, but the their side. feat is under suspicion Politically speaking, ground, unable to dent the strong since no one saw the refthe opposition is one defense of the loyalists. In fact, the loyal- eree’s flag being waived team, and the loyalists ists are more secure than before. when he saw three govof the government ernment players in “offanother. As per the last side” position, as they score card reports, the loyalists are retaining control scored the loans goal in the dying minute. in the face of little resistance from the opposition Away from all this, the opposition still has a long team which has not been able to score a single goal way to go and consolidate its powers and rearrange ever since this year started. its papers, before it loses the tournament. It was espeAs per calculations, Team Loyal has retained cially so since they are late in scoring points than the ground control for 69% of the time, yielding it for only loyalists who seem to be in full control of the political 31% of the time or even less to Team Opposition. game, which started in June 2012. — Al-Watan


ealth Minister Dr Mohammad Al-Haifi said recently that Kuwait’s hospitals are better than Great Britain’s, but then a few days later, he finds that our hospitals are old and dilapidated, and that the Adan Hospital was constructed way back in the 1980s. So which of the two statements is correct, Your Excellency Mr Minister? If you really want any advancement for your country and ministry, we know that the ministry was paid one billion dinars. It is time to go to work. You can improve our hospitals, and we are all confident that your hands are not tainted. Please, Your Excellency, do not use the one billion dinars to renew doors and change decor. We hope you use the money in such a way that the citizens perceive a change in the health services that he is entitled to. Just for your information, the Adan Hospital caters to people in more than one governorate. The citizens of Mubarak Al-Kabeer governorate have demanded that another hospital be constructed to relieve the pressure on the Adan Hospital which serves more than 750,000 citizens and expats. The numbers are particularly high on weekends. We wish that you will empathize with the needs of the citizens and expats by building another hospital, so that a billion dinars are not squandered for nothing. We would like to draw your attention to the dilapidated fleet of ambulances that is in urgent need of some serious rescue. If you allocate some funds from this billion-strong kitty for this purpose, you would be doing a good deed for your country. Kuwait and its citizens deserve it. — Al- Anbaa



Violence rates increase among Kuwaiti youth Major role for media KUWAIT: Violence is an increasing phenomenon among youngsters in Kuwait’s modern society due to media sensationalism, becoming a heavy concern for families, and educational, social and psychological professionals. What aggravates the impact of this phenomenon are some of the messages and concepts presented by the media, such as the violent contents that get translated into the behavior of youngsters, a number of specialists studying “youth violence” said. According to these specialists, the definition of violence is any irresponsible act that leads to damage or harm to others, whether physically or psychologically, or any act or threat involving the use of force and aims to harm others physically or psychologically. Youth violence is divided into three categories; violence directed against teachers and their properties, another against the institutions of the society, and violence

amongst students, the specialists noted, indicating that violence in general is a result of frustration, psychological imbalance or the absence of educational guidance. “Cross-sectional statistics show that the prevalence of violence rises among males more than it does between females due to several reasons, such as lack of family care for students, the weak role of schools in guiding and consulting, lack of faith, in addition to violent horror movies that attract most teenagers,” Psychology professor at Kuwait University Dr. Amthal Al-Huwailah said. Dr Al-Huwailah added “Such a problem can be solved through continuous cooperation between home and school according to modern educational methods parallel to the ongoing cooperation of the police and educational institutions as well as the mutual consultation between them. “Activating the role of school guides and increasing the number of counselors, in

addition to resorting to religious advisors, psychologists and social workers will help eliminate this phenomenon.” For his part, media professor at Kuwait University Dr Mahmoud Abdulnabi AlMousawi said that media and social networking websites have a major role in affecting the psyche of people by teaching them negative perceptions that may lead to corrupting one’s behavior. Media materials in the past, such as TV series and telefilms were of greater influence than they are now because of the lack of social networking means as opposed to the case nowadays with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, Dr. Al-Mousawi added. The media is not broadcasting enough awareness programs aimed at improving the behavior of youngsters, but it is usually sending out violent messages and concepts through TV series revolving around robberies, beatings and killings, he noted. Dr. Al-Mousawi suggested that the

media must tighten control on TV series by minimizing showing scenes of violence and replacing them with awareness programs for the benefit of children and adolescents instead. Some of the bodies responsible for addressing the phenomenon are neglecting the spread of awareness and containing youngsters, said Member of Kuwait Lawyer Association and Member of Kuwait Society for Human Rights Mishary Al-Jabr. He noted that the laws need to be amended by Kuwait’s legislature, suggesting forming a committee of psychiatrists and psychologists to study this phenomenon in order to provide advice for the youngsters. Attorney Fatima Jawad Safar said that penalty laws are convenient to the Kuwaiti constitution, but lack application, indicating that the reasons behind this phenomenon is caused by leisure time and lack of awareness. —KUNA

‘Addressing high blood pressure’

Tulaitula High School students in a group picture.

NBK welcomes Tulaitula students KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) recently hosted students from Tulaitula High School for girls, who toured the bank’s head office to learn about the banking industry and the day-to-day work of the bank’s various departments. NBK Public Relations officers accompanied the students on their tour of the bank’s various departments and gave them a brief presentation about NBK in general and the

role of marketing and public relations within the bank. The students had the chance to learn about the broad range of NBK financial and banking products and services and were particularly interested in the multi‹benefit Al-Azraq and Al-Shabab accounts, exclusively designed for high school, college and university students. NBK supports fresh graduates and Kuwait’s youth, listens to their interests and

issues and offers a range of products and services to satisfy their needs. The tour is part of NBK’s ongoing commitment to its corporate social responsibility program and to promoting the education and development of the country’s youth. Other initiatives include providing summer training programs for students, hiring fresh graduates and offering professional development programs for new hires.

KUWAIT: Ministry of Health underscored yesterday its bid to work hard to integrate the issues of prevention of chronic non-communicable diseases in the educational programs and activities in various stages of education in the country in coordination with the Ministr y of Education and the World Health Organization (WHO). Director of the school health administration in the Ministry of Health Dr. Ibtisam Al-Huwaidi said in a press statement that the coming period will witness a series of meetings with officials in the Ministry of Education to develop key features and operational plans for the prevention of chronic non-communicable diseases. She added that the meetings would also address the risk factors related to those diseases in the school environment, pointing out that this falls within the framework of the Supreme Committee chaired by the Minister of Health, Dr. Mohammed Al-Haifi aimed to address chronic diseases in conjunction with the Ministry of Health’s celebrations of World Health Day on April 7 of every year. She said that this year’s slogan is ‘Addressing high blood pressure’. —KUNA

Municipality delegation visits Istanbul KUWAIT: A delegation from Kuwait’s Municipal Council is currently visiting the Turkish city of Istanbul to check out the new national strategy of handling the traffic situation through over 600 cameras distributed all around the 15 million people city. The Kuwaiti delegation, headed by the Municipal Council Chairman Zaid Ayesh Al-Azmi, met with the head of Istanbul’s traffic control center Mohammad Najib Ertas where they reviewed modern technologies to help increase traffic awareness, using an official website on the internet that keeps people informed about the traffic situation in their city, the council said in a press statement yesterday. This modern technology allows the city residents to send messages via the Internet of the destination they want to reach and the program will provide them in return with two options on how to access it. The delegation also visited the traffic operation rooms, belonging to Istanbul’s Municipal Council, and they include 50 employees working in 24-hour rotation, following the traffic situation through 600 camera monitors. The council’s delegation began its visit to Istanbul a few days ago in response to an official invitation addressed by the Turkish Chairman of the Municipal Council, Abdulkadir Tobashi. The delegation, headed by Al-Azmi, includes Chairman of the technical committee Farz Al-Daihani and Chairman Office Director Jassem Al-Randi. —KUNA



Policeman-to-be held for illegal relationship Man survives suicide jump KUWAIT: A police academy student faces charges following his arrest for having a sexual relationship out of wedlock with a university student. Police had first detained the woman in Salmiya where they located here through investigations carried out after her family reported her missing. The girl told officers that she had been living with her fiance at his house in Salwa. However, her family told the police she was not married, after which the girl claimed that the man was her boyfriend and admitted that they had sex four times. The man was identified as a student at the Saad Al-Abdullah Police Academy, and was detained after police headed to his house with an arrest warrant. He admitted his involvement in an illegal relationship with the university student, based on which he was put behind bars along with the woman to face charges. Fatal accidents A man died when his sedan collided with a trailer truck at the Wafra Road recently. The victim

reportedly died before police and paramedics could reach the scene. He was declared dead after firefighters extricated his body from the mangled car that had been crushed by the truck. An investigation was opened into the accident. Meanwhile, a child died in a hitand-run accident reported at the Coastal Road in front of the Sulaibikhat Sports Club. The eightyear-old Kuwaiti boy was declared dead on the scene. According to friends, with whom he was playing football just before the accident, the child was hit when he ran after the ball that overshot the playground. Police obtained descriptions of the car involved in the accident. In a separate incident, an Asian man walking on the road died when he was hit by a motorist in AlFarwania. The motorist was taken into custody. Paramedics and police reached the site of the accident shortly after the Kuwaiti driver made an emergency call. The victim was pronounced dead on the scene. The driver claimed he tried to avoid hitting the man but could

not succeed. The body was taken to the coroner while the driver was held to face manslaughter charges. Teen stabbed A teenager was hospitalized in a critical condition following a fight reported recently at the Fahaheel polyclinic. The 18-year-old Kuwaiti was admitted to the intensive care unit after he was reportedly stabbed by a compatriot during the fight. It could not be ascertained what led to the scuffle. A case was filed and investigations went underway in search for the suspect. Search for rapist Investigations are on to track down a man accused of raping a woman at gunpoint in Bnaid AlGar. In her statements to Al-Da’iya police station officers, the Kuwaiti woman said that the suspect forced her into his car at gunpoint while she was walking in the area, then drove to a remote location where he assaulted her sexually before escaping. Police managed to identify the suspect, a Kuwaiti man, using his car’s license plate

number that the victim provided. Suicide jump A man tried to commit suicide by jumping off a high rise and was hospitalized in Far waniya. Firefighters reached the scene shortly after the case was reported, and found the 21-year-old man about to jump from the bathroom window of his third-floor apartment. The expatriate man eventually did jump but survived the fall. He was rushed to the Far waniya Hospital where he was diagnosed with multiple contusions. A case was filed. Attempted murder A man was held pending investigations after admitting he tried to kill his friend over financial issues. Jarbiya police station officers were approached by a Kuwaiti man who claimed that his friend attempted to run him over in his car. Police apprehended his compatriots who admitted to the murder attempt and said a financial dispute was the reason. He will remain in custody pending legal procedures.

Hope and Joy Voluntary Group honors ABK

Jawad Boushahri, Ali Al-Baghli, Sahar Al-Therban, Shaikha Fariha Al- Ahmed, Ameera AlShameri

18,808 birth, death certificates for bedoons KUWAIT: Authorities issued 18,808 birth and death certificates for “non-Kuwaitis” (informally known as illegal residents) till end of March, a Ministry of Health official said on Saturday. Number of birth certificates that had been issued for these residents (also dubbed the bedoun), since April 2011 till end of March 2013, amounted to 17, 736, and the figure of death documents, during the same period, reached 1,072, said Director of the Central Registry of Birth and Death Department of the Ministry of Health, Rashed Al-Azmi, in a statement to Kuwait News Agency. Up to 1,003 papers, including 968 birth

certificates and 35 death papers were released, in the first quarter of the current year. Department of central registration of births and deaths implements the Cabinet resolution to use the term “non-Kuwaiti” in the official papers, instead of illegal resident, Al-Azmi said, noting that following issuance of this decision, mechanism of the application process became more organized and number of applicants from this segment of the society increased. He indicated at conditions for applying for such documents, affirming that this process became much more easier than before. — KUNA

TEC to organize Open Chess Championship KUWAIT: Kuwait Touristic Enterprises Company will organize the 2nd TEC Open Chess Championship 2013 under the patronage of Vice-chairman of the Board and Managing Director of TEC Khalid Abdallah Al-Ghanim and Chairman of Kuwait Mind Sports Association (KMSA) Hassan Ramadhan Jumaa. TEC Public Relations and Marketing Director Huda Ahmad Al-Saleh, who is the chairman of the organizing committee, said the TEC’s leadership is keen to support the youth in acquiring skills across various fields and activities, be it social, cultural, sports or mental. She said TEC was coordinating with KMSA on organizing the Chess Championship, which would be held under the patronage of company and the technical supervision of the association, as per the declaration of the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS). Al-Saleh said TEC supports the associa-

tion’s junior team, which constitutes the core of the next-generation Kuwaiti chess team. She said financial prizes would be awarded to the top five finishers as a form of encouragement. The championship will take place at the yacht club. KMSA Secretary Eng Adel Humoud AlAmiri, who is the chairman of the championship’s technical committee, thanked TEC for sponsoring the championship for a second consecutive year. He said the championship will start today, adding that about 80 association members will participate - including the Kuwait National Team and the junior team. Al-Amiri invited chess lovers to take part in the event by registering with the association at Qadisiya, bloc 1, street 10, house 7. Prospective participants can get more detailed information by calling up the technical coordinator, Zainab AlFayadh, at 66501371 anytime between 5 pm and 9 pm.

Huda Al-Saleh

Adel Al-Amiri

Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait was honored by the ‘Hope and Joy voluntary group’, for its ongoing support of their activities, as part of the Bank’s corporate social responsibility. The ceremony was presided over by the ‘Ideal Mother’ Mrs. Amira Al-Shemmari at the Elderly Care House, under the sponsorship of Mr. Jawad Bushahri, and attended by Sheikha Fariha AlAhmad Al-Sabah and Al-Sheikha Sheikha AlAbdallah Al-Sabah. Special cultural programs were held for the attendees, at the end of which companies and institutions supporting the Hope and Joy voluntary group were felicitated. Sheikha Fariha Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and the ‘Ideal Mother’ Amira Al-Shemmari presented a memorial plaque to ABK’s representatives. At the occasion, ABK’s PR Manager Sahar Al-Therban said “at ABK we are always enthusiastic to be a part of social and humanitarian activities, under the banner of our Corporate Social Responsibility campaign “Our Society, Our Responsibility”. Our CSR motto covers a wide range of social, humanitarian, cultural and youth activities, and helps us to lend ourselves to a variety of causes.” Al-Therban concluded by saying “I would like to thank Hope and Joy voluntary group for their contribution and efforts in putting a smile on the faces of the elderly, unwell and differently abled and those who need moral support in dealing with crisis situations. I would also like to thank them for honoring us today; it’s gratifying to be acknowledged for our small contribution we make to their large deeds.”


in brief

Five new consultants KUWAIT: Heated arguments started in Deewanias after the appointment of five consultants to the office of Kuwaiti National Assembly Speaker Ali Al-Rashed. The arguments were on whether those consultants were actually necessary for the proper functioning of the office or were simply for decorative purposes. Former N.A. Speaker Jassem Al-Kharafi’s consultant, Mubarak AlMuttawaa , stated that consultation is very important for any decision maker and is an Islamic principle, but there are consultants who corrupt their countries. “So, how can we trust them?,” he asked. Meanwhile, MP Yacoub Al-Sanies pointed out that it was important to have consultants, as they assisted in studying issues under discussion. However, Kuwait University professor Jameel Al-Miri said consultants should be chosen on the basis of the nature of work in order for them to help achieve the desired results. Bridges safe KUWAIT: The Chief Engineer for Maintenance at the Ministry of Public Works, Eng. Shiede Al-Azemi, said that the bridge separating Al-Fintas area from Al-Eqaila was safe and there was nothing to worry about. He added that there is no deviation in the bridge, and it was designed as per the approved standard designs. He said what some perceive as a deviation in the bridge is merely a difference in the levels of the bridge span while travelling in the two directions. Full health care KUWAIT: His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah is keen providing full health care, either in Kuwait or abroad, for fireman Sergeant Ammar Ashour Abdeen who is injured in a firefight incident. Sheikh Jaber visited Abdeen at AlBabtain centers for burns and cosmetic surgery, where the fireman was receiving treatment for burns he suffered while fighting fire in an apartment building yesterday.Minister of state for cabinet affairs and minister of state for Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Sabah, in a statement, said the prime minister said Abdeen would be sent for treatment abroad if necessary. Sheikh Jaber said an investigation would be opened to know causes of the fire, noted Sheikh Mohammad. New GCC initiative RIYADH: Bahraini Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa commended here yesterday the initaitive of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz to move from the state of cooperation among the GCC states to the state of a union. Upon arrival here, Prince Khalifa affirmed the distinguished relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, emphasizing that these relations have been deeply rooted and witnessing significant development, thanks to the efforts of King Abdullah and King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain. He said in a press statement ‘I am pleased to express my thanks and appreciation to Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defence for inviting me to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is dear to the leadership and people of Bahrain’.

KUWAIT: The State Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Minister of Municipality Affairs, Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah, visited the Babtain Burn Injuries Center on Friday to check on the condition of Sgt Ammar Ashour, who sustained injuries while fighting a blaze in a Salmiya apartment the same day. — By Hanan Al-Saadoun

Court to rule on electoral law amendment on June 16 KUWAIT: Kuwait’s political future could be decided on June 16 when the Constitutional Court issues a much-anticipated ruling on the legality of the controversial amendment of the electoral law by His Highness the Amir. The court will also pronounce on the same day its verdict on the challenges to the results of the parliamentary elections held on December 1. The date was decided by the court on Monday when it reviewed the last pleas by lawyers in the cases that have captivated the nation’s attention for months. Kuwait’s Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, amended the controversial 2006 electoral law last October slashing the number of candidates a voter could elect from four to one. The move impeded attempts by parliamentary candidates to enter coalitions, leading the opposition to accuse the government of trying to influence elections to produce a friendly parliament. Article continues below A court decision deeming the Emiri decree that amended the law to be unconstitutional would dissolve the current parliament elected in December and lead to the resignation of the government that was subsequently formed. However, should the court judge that the decree was in line with the constitution, the opposition would receive a blow that could seriously erode its influence. “Whatever the decision is, we have to

respect it whether we agree or disagree with it,” former MP Mohammad Barak Al Mutair said. “A ruling by the Constitutional Court ensures the nation’s higher interests and stability. While everybody has the right to express his or her view on it, there should be no accusations against anyone. It is time for Kuwaitis to be closely united to confront internal and external challenges and to boost the nation-building process,” he said in remarks published by local Arabic daily Al Qabas on Tuesday. A decision to boycott the elections in December failed to undermine popular support for casting ballots and street pressure tactics resulted in confrontations with the riot police and in court cases. However, the opposition has vowed to continue its pressure to have the electoral law amendment repealed and the fourvote system reinstated. New demands that pushed for an elected government and the amendment of the constitution have however waded into controversy and threatened to erode the unity of the opposition. Islamists and candidates representing tribal groups dominated the elections in February 2012 and formed a strong opposition to the government. However, their parliament lasted only four months and was dissolved by the Constitutional Court after the latter judged a decree that dissolved the 2009 parliament and one calling for fresh elections to be unconstitutional.

Parliament to receive GCC agreement in two weeks’ time KUWAIT: The parliament is expected to receive a security agreement that was approved during a Gulf Cooperation Council summit last December within the next couple of weeks, head of the foreign affairs committee in the National Assembly, Saleh Ashour, said in a recent statement. “Foreign Minister Sabah Al-Khalid AlSabah responded to inquiries about the delay in referring the agreement (to the parliament) by stating that the cabinet received it from the General Secretariat of the GCC only last week, and it takes two weeks to study it before sending it to the parliament’s foreign affairs committee,” MP Ashour told Al-Jarida on Friday. The agreement has been a topic of debate in Kuwait ever since the government signed it, with one side arguing that it promotes cooperation and interior security while the other opposing it because of fears that contains articles that were in conflict with the Kuwaiti constitution. One of the controversial articles stipulates that an authority of a certain country can continue pursuing a fugitive even if they flee to another state. Similarly, another

provision talks about establishing coordination between the member states with regards to revealing and sharing the names of suspects and people with criminal background. Another controversial article also stipulates that a member state will be obliged to handover suspects arrested in their country to those countries where they are charged or sentenced for crimes not including political cases. In other news, the parliament’s human rights committee suggested that the government provide financial aid to the family of Al-Qaeda Spokesman Sulaiman Abu Gaith who was reportedly arrested and transferred to the United States in recent weeks for investigations. “The committee met last week with Abu Gaith’s family which requested a visa to the US in order to hire an attorney, and asked for governmental aid in order to be able to pay for legal costs there,” rapporteur Taher Al-Failakawi told Al-Rai on Friday. Undersecretary of Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry Khalid Al-Jarrallah was invited to the committee’s meeting today which will discuss the issue, MP Al-Failakawi added.


Moderate MP Salam named Lebanese PM

Um Omar, the mother feeding Syria’s mountain rebels Page 8

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MUMBAI: An Indian rescue worker carries the body of a victim recovered from the debris of a building that collapsed on the outskirts of Mumbai, India yesterday. — AP

Mumbai death toll hits 72 Woman pulled alive from rubble after 36 hours 6 Americans, doctor killed KANDAHAR: Six American troops and civilians and an Afghan doctor were killed in attacks yesterday in southern and eastern Afghanistan as the US military’s top officer began a weekend visit to the country, officials said. In the south, three US service members, two US civilians and the doctor were killed when a suicide bomber detonated a car full of explosives just as a convoy with the international military coalition drove past another convoy of vehicles carrying the governor of Zabul province. Another American civilian was killed in an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan, the US military said in a statement. The attacks occurred the same day that US Gen Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Afghanistan for a visit aimed at assessing the level of training that American troops can provide to Afghan security forces after international combat forces complete their withdrawal at the end of 2014. Those killed in Zabul province includ-

ed three members of the military and two US civilians, including at least one employee with the US State Department, said a US official who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement. Several other Americans and Afghans, possibly as many as nine, were wounded, the official said. The US Embassy in Kabul confirmed that Americans were involved in an attack in Qalat, the capital of Zabul province. Zabul is next to Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, and shares a volatile border with Pakistan. “ There are American and Afghan casualties. We are still investigating the incident and cannot confirm details at this time,” the embassy said in a statement. There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attacks. The deaths bring the number of foreign military forces killed this year to 30, including 22 Americans. A total of six foreign civilians have died in Afghanistan so far this year, according to an Associated Press count. — AP

MUMBAI: Authorities yesterday abandoned a search for more survivors from the collapse of a seven-storey building on Mumbai’s outskirts that killed 72 people, saying there was no hope of finding anybody else alive. The cave-in of the partly finished building highlighted widespread shoddy building standards in the country where there is huge demand for housing and pervasive corruption often means cost-cutting and no inspections. “The rescue work is now over since there is no hope of finding any more survivors,” Sandeep Malvi, Thane municipal corporation spokesman said. “The death toll is now 72. About 36 are injured and undergoing treatment. At least 126 people have been rescued,” he added. Most of the victims were poor daily wage earners working at the site and their families, who were living with them. The building collapse was the deadliest since 2010 when 69 people were killed in New Delhi in a similar incident. A 65-year-old woman was pulled from the rubble late Friday after being trapped for almost 30 hours and was in stable condition in hospital, police said. The building’s floors collapsed directly on top of each other like a pack of cards-a phenomenon known as a “pancake collapse”-making rescue work even harder, R S Rajesh, a senior government emergency official told local media. Rescue workers used sledgehammers, chainsaws, hydraulic jacks and bulldozers to break through the mass of rubble in Thane district, 35 kilometers from central Mumbai. The Maharashtra state government has announced a probe into the incident and suspended a top civic administrator and a police officer for dereliction of duty, local media reported. Police said they had filed a case of culpable homicide against the builders who have fled. The Maharashtra state government has announced a probe into the incident and suspended a top civic administrator and a police officer for dereliction of duty. Building collapses are a common occurrence in India, where a fast-expanding economy and rising real estate prices have led to a mushrooming of multi-storey structures on the outskirts of cities and towns. — AFP



Um Omar, the mother feeding Syria’s mountain rebels RABIAA: At 53, Um Omar has decided to wage her own type of “jihad” in Syria’s northern Turkmen Mountains, toiling over pots and pans every day to cook for the area’s rebel fighters. “I wake up at 5:00 in the morning to prepare their meals, and I haven’t missed a single day’s work in almost a year,” she says, ladling diced potatoes she sliced earlier that morning out of a pan of simmering oil. “In the snow, the rain, and even under a hail of rockets, she never once stopped cooking for us”, says Assad, a young rebel from the Jabal Al-Turkman ( Turkmen Mountain) area in Lattakia province, the cradle of the Al-Assad clan that has ruled the country for over four decades. Abu Khaled, a sniper from a nearby rebel unit, is also full of praise for Um Omar, who, he says, is like a mother or a sister to the fighters. “She does the impossible to get what we want. Once someone asked for rice pudding and although she struggled to find the ingredients, the

next day, he had his rice pudding,” he says. “Here, people who can’t bring themselves to say that she cooks better than their own mothers still say ‘it’s just as good as my mother’s cooking,’” he adds, serving a group of young men the potatoes and seasoned rice that Um Omar made that morning. However, her work does not give her any special sense of pride. Heaping spoons of salt into a pan, she says: “Feeding the troops is just my way of helping the revolution. And it keeps my mind occupied, so that I don’t worry about the bombing and the humiliation we suffer at the hands of the regime every day.” Um Omar, who ends all her sentences with “God curse Bashar (AlAssad, Syria’s president),” took the decision herself to leave the western town of Lattakia, where she lived, and which has largely been spared from fighting so far. Much of Jabal Al-Turkman is currently rebel-controlled. The area is


in brief

Explosion kills 36 LAGOS: At least 36 people were killed when a fuel tanker exploded after crashing into a crowded bus in southern Nigeria, officials said yesterday. The Federal Road Safety Commission said the crash happened on Friday on the Benin-Ore road linking the commercial hub of Lagos with southeast Nigeria. Three people were injured. Traffic accidents are common in Nigeria, where roads are bad and safety standards poor. At least 95 people were killed in July last year in southern Nigeria when a petrol tanker crashed and caught fire as people crowded around it to scoop up the fuel. Saudi murderer beheaded RIYADH: A Saudi man convicted of murder was beheaded by the sword yesterday in the capital, the interior ministry said in a statement. Saud bin Diri Al-Anezi was found guilty of stabbing Yassef bin Eid Al-Anezi to death in an argument, the statement said. His execution takes to 30 the number of people put to death in Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the year, according to an AFP count. In 2012, the kingdom executed 76 people, according to an AFP tally based on official figures. The US-based Human Rights Watch put the number at 69. Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia’s strict version of sharia, or Islamic law. US to deploy spy plane in Japan TOKYO: The US military is set to deploy an unmanned spy plane in Japan to boost surveillance capabilities as North Korea apparently readied for missile launches, a newspaper report said yesterday. The Global Hawk will be stationed at the US airbase in Misawa, northern Japan, in the first ever deployment of the aircraft in the country, the Sankei Shimbun reported, quoting government sources. The US military informed Japan last month about plans to deploy the plane between June and September but may bring the date forward, it said, following reports about North Korea’s preparations for missile launches. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, citing a top South Korean government official, said North Korea had loaded two mid-range Musudan missiles on mobile launchers and hidden them in underground facilities near its east coast. The Musudan have never been tested but are believed to have a range of around 3,000 kilometers, which could theoretically be pushed to 4,000 if they were to be given a light payload.

bordered by Turkey to the north, which supports the uprising, and the Alawite-inhabited mountains to the south, home to the Assads’s minority. Intense fighting has raged around the southern limits of Jabal AlTurkman for the past nine months as rebels have tried to push towards the town of Lattakia, just 50 kilometers away. “I swore to myself that I wouldn’t leave the mountains until the tyrant has fallen. Then we can return to our homes as victors,” she says with conviction. “To begin with, my children didn’t understand, but I explained to them what I was doing and now even my husband has come round to the idea,” she adds, moving from one bubbling pot to another. “Anyway, I make my own choices, I do what I want.” The feisty 53-year-old follows a strict routine every day in the mountains, rising to pray at dawn, before drink ing her coffee and getting down to work. “I go and see the neighbors, and they each give me a

RABIAA: Syrian rebel Assad Al-Islam stands with his Syrian-Macedonian bride Laila outside a rebel base in Rabiaa in Syria’s northern Turkmen Mountains. Assad and Laila had not much in common but the revolution against the Syrian regime has brought them together, leading to marriage. — AFP

Moderate MP Salam named Lebanese PM New PM vows to safeguard Lebanon from Syria war BEIRUT: Moderate MP Tamam Salam was named yesterday as Lebanon’s new prime minister, pledging in his first address to the nation to safeguard the country from the war raging in neighboring Syria. “There is a need to bring Lebanon out of its state of division and political fragmentation, as reflected on the security situation, and to ward off the risks brought by the tragic situation in the neighboring country and by regional tensions,” he said. Salam, 67, of the Western-backed opposition, made the remarks in his inaugural speech shortly after being tasked by President Michel Suleiman with forming a new government. His appointment comes two weeks after Najib Mikati resigned and effectively brought down his Hezbollahdominated government. Salam also pledged to work with all groups across Lebanon’s political spectrum, which is split into pro- and anti-Damascus camps. “I have accepted this nomination... out of conviction that it is my duty to work for my country’s interest, in cooperation with all political parties,” he said. Lebanon was dominated politically and militarily by Syria until 2005, and the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad still holds great influence over Beirut through Hezbollah and other allies. The March 14 opposition movement, meanwhile, is fiercely opposed to Damascus. Salam’s nomination is expected

to help ease a political crisis that has gripped Lebanon since the Syria conflict erupted more than two years ago. Although Salam’s nomination was backed by 124 MPs out of 128, he faces the difficult challenge of forming a government in a deeply divided country. While Hezbollah has expressed support for creating a national unity government, it is unclear if March 14 would accept this. Salam refused to comment, instead telling reporters: “I will work for a government committed to the national interest.” Hanging over the process is the question of whether elections will go ahead as scheduled in June, amid broad opposition to the electoral law currently on the books. “I am conscious that it is a sensitive period,” Salam said, stressing the importance of the speedy creation of a government and the elections. Salam’s nomination came after regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia backed his candidacy. Several Lebanese politicians including veteran kingmaker Walid Jumblatt visited Riyadh after Mikati’s surprise resignation. Mikati’s government adopted a policy of “disassociation” from Syria’s war, even though the violence has spilled over into fragile Lebanon. There have been frequent clashes in the flashpoint northern city of Tripoli as well as cross-border shellings, and the United Nations says Lebanon has also become

host to more Syrian refugees than any other country in the region. Despite pulling out of Lebanon, Assad’s regime has continued through its allies to play a key role in its politics. But with Syria reeling, Riyadh appears to be playing an increasing role in Lebanese politics. In an editorial, the pro-Damascus Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar accused Riyadh of pushing Salam’s nomination as a “counter-coup” against Syria and its ally Hezbollah. “Riyadh is contemplating returning to Lebanon though a counter-coup,” said Al-Akhbar, referring to a 2011 “coup” by Hezbollah against former premier Saad Hariri’s March 14 government. That year Hezbollah withdrew from Hariri’s national unity government, causing its collapse, after the Special Tribunal for Lebanon named four Hezbollah members as suspects in the killing of the premier’s father, Rafiq Hariri. Pro-opposition newspaper An-Nahar on Saturday also described Riyadh’s role as a Saudi “coup”. Salam, a Sunni Muslim as tradition dictates for Lebanon’s prime ministers, is the son of Saib Salam, who was premier six times between 1952 and 1973. He was first elected a Beirut MP in 1996, and re-elected in 2009. A graduate of economics and management in England and married with three children, he was culture minister between 2008 and 2009.—AFP

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s newly named Prime Minister Tamam Salam gestures following his official appointment by President Michel Suleiman at the presidential palace in Baabda east of the Lebanese capital Beirut yesterday. —AFP

N Korea crisis: How did it come to this? WASHINGTON: Tensions have soared in recent weeks over North Korea, which has threatened a nuclear strike against the United States and has allegedly moved missiles to its east coast.

Suicide attack kills 25 in Iraq BAQUBA: A coordinated attack involving a suicide bomber at an open-air election campaign meeting in central Iraq killed 25 people yesterday, the latest in a spike in unrest two weeks before provincial polls. The assault raises further questions over the credibility of the election, Iraq’s first since 2010, and comes some 10 years after the US-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein and aimed to usher in a stable democracy but instead unleashed brutal violence which continues to plague the country. Supporters of Muthanna Ahmed Abdulwahid, a Sunni Arab candidate for the Azimun Ala Al-Bina (Determined to Build) party, a small local list, had been gathered at around lunchtime in the restive city of Baquba, 60 kilometers north of Baghdad. As they were meeting, a militant threw a grenade before a suicide bomber then blew himself up, a police colonel and a medic at Baquba hospital said. At least 25 people were killed and 60 others were wounded, the officials said, though Abdulwahid appeared to have been unharmed. Diyala province, of which Baquba is the capital, is among Iraq’s most violent - 560 people were killed there last year, according to Britain-based NGO Iraq Body Count, which said it suffered the highest per capita rate of civilian deaths in the country. Iraq has been plagued by attacks against election candidates ahead of provincial council polls due on April 20, with 12 hopefuls killed already, according to an AFP tally. Diplomats have also raised concerns over a government decision to postpone elections in two provinces which, combined with the fact that four were never slated to vote, means that just 12 of Iraq’s 18 provinces will cast ballots. The polls will be the latest in Iraq since a March 2010 parliamentary election, and the first since the withdrawal of US forces at the end of 2011. They come with the country mired in a political crisis that has pitted Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki against several of his erstwhile national unity cabinet partners, and amid more than three months of anti-government protests by the Sunni Arab minority. Also yesterday, a civilian was killed and two anti-Qaeda militiamen were wounded in a bomb blast northwest of Baghdad, and security forces found the body of a policeman who had been kidnapped near the capital a day earlier. Violence has spiked markedly ahead of the provincial elections, with 271 people killed in March, the highest such figure since August.—AFP

little for the day’s meal, which I hand out to the rebels and people living nearby,” she explains. In the garden of a Turkmen family, she uses a small knife to cut away a few stalks of mint, parsley and a few lettuce leaves. Then she heads back to her “k itchen”-a few breeze blocks stacked together with a canvas sheet as a roof. This improvised chef has no toque or apron, but instead goes to work in a set of combat fatigues given to her by the rebels to wage what she calls her “jihad.” Shovelling branches and pine cones into the flames under her pots and pans in the middle of a field next to the headquarters of a local brigade, she says: “At home I had a gas stove in the kitchen, but here I have had to learn to cook over a wood fire.” Um Omar sometimes goes to cut the firewood for her mountain kitchen herself in the nearby woods. “This revolution has really forced me to toughen up,” she laughs.—AFP

Egyptian satirist and television host Bassem Youssef

Egyptian satirist facing charges mocks Morsi CAIRO: Egyptian humorist Bassem Youssef again satirized President Mohamed Morsi on Friday in his first television show since facing charges of insulting the country’s leader and Islam. “I would love to know how you make your decisions,” Youssef said of Morsi, comparing him to a magician drawing his ideas out of a hat. He also ridiculed the proMorsi media and the prosecutor involved in the case against him. “It’s not fear... but after my visit to the prosecutor, I decided not to talk any more about Morsi. So I’m going to talk about the prosecutor, especially his problems!” he joked. Youssef regularly skewers the country’s ruling Islamists on his wildly popular weekly program Albernameg (The Show), which is modeled on Jon Stewart’s US satirical The Daily Show. He is currently out on $2,200 bail after an interrogation last Sunday that lasted nearly five hours. He was questioned on accusations of offending Islam through “making fun of the prayer ritual” and of insulting Morsi by “making fun of his international standing”. He is also subject to a new investigation for “threatening public security”. The charges against the Egyptian satirist have raised international concerns and Morsi himself on Wednesday stressed Egypt’s commitment to freedom of expression, insisting that citizens’ complaints, not his office, were behind the probe against Youssef. However, the soaring number of legal complaints against journalists has cast doubt on Morsi’s commitment to freedom of expression-a key demand of the popular uprising that toppled his predecessor Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Youssef’s high profile case prompted the United States to express “real concerns” about the direction being taken by the Egyptian government.— AFP

HOW DID IT COME TO THIS? The latest crisis erupted when North Korea fired a long-range rocket on December 12 that splashed down near the Philippines. Pyongyang said it was a peaceful satellite launch and US exper ts ack nowledge that the regime put a small objec t into orbit. The United States and its allies said that the launch was aimed at developing ballistic missile capabilities and moved at the United Nations to tighten sanctions. North Korea voiced anger and carried out its third nuclear test on February 12, defying even its main ally China. The UN Security Council on M arch 7 unanimously approved new sanctions that include greater scrutiny of shady financial dealings by the impoverished regime. North Korea had warned of consequences for the UN vote and af ter ward renounced a 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and declared itself at war with the US-allied South. North Korea’s militar y has said it has final approval for a nuclear strike on the United States. WHAT DOES NORTH KOREA WANT? Exper ts k now little about North Korean leader Kim JongUn, who is believed to be in his late 20s and who succeeded his father Kim Jong-Il in December 2011. North Korea has indicated

that it wants recognition as a nuclear weapons state-seen as a guarantor of the regime’s survival. The United States has refused. Some experts believe North Korea is operating from a playbook of steadily upping the ante and had planned out ac tions to coincide with the inauguration of conser vative S outh Korean President Park Geun-Hye. US-SOUTH KOREA EXERCISES The United States and South Korea are carr ying out their annual “Foal Eagle” exercises through April after starting them in March. North Korea regularly denounces the tests as a preparation for war, but tensions have been especially high this year. The United States took the unprecedented step of announcing a test run by its nuclearcapable B-2 bombers. US officials said the step was meant to reassure S outh Korea, but Pyongyang voiced outrage and US peace ac tivists called the move provocative. The United States has also sent to South Korea its stealth F-22 jets, moved two destroyers to nearby waters and-in response to North Korean threats against US bases-sent a missile defense batter y to its Pacific territory of Guam. WHAT ARE NORTH KOREA’S CAPABILITIES? North Korea is seen as capable of attacking South Korea and Japan, but experts doubt it can strike the United States with the possible exception of Guam. The Arms Control Association research group estimates that North Korea’s Rodong-1 missile

has a range of 1,300 kilometers. The Musadan theoretically has a range of 3,000-4,000 kilometers, but North Korea has never tested it. MILITARY RESOURCES IN REGION The United States stations 28,500 troops in South Korea and around 50,000 in Japan. It also keeps nearly 6,000 troops in Guam, a base for fighterbombers and submarines, and 50,000 troops in Hawaii. More than 40 US Navy vessels are permanently based in the Pacific with plans to increase the number as part of a growing US focus on Asia. The Yokosuk a base south of Tokyo is home to the USS George Washington aircraft carrier, two cruisers and seven destroyers. The USS John Stennis aircraft carrier is temporarily in Singapore on its way back from a mission in the Gulf. ARE WE ON THE BRINK OF WAR? Most experts consider North Korea’s threats to be bluster but warn of the potential for miscalculations to blow up. Stanford University’s Siegfried Hecker, to whom North Korea revealed a uranium enrichment facility in 2010, doubted that Pyongyang would use nuclear weapons even if it could as such a step would “result in a devastating militar y response and would spell the end of the regime.” Still, North Korea has a history of taking action around April 15, the 101st birth anniversary of the regime’s founder Kim IlSung, grandfather of Kim JongUn.—AFP



Insurgency endangers French pull-out in Mali Islamists want to ‘open the gates to hell’ PARIS: France wants to cut its forces in Mali sharply by the year-end and is urging its ex-colony to hold elections in July, but an Islamist insurgency is threatening that timetable. Many people in northern Mali who lived under the rebels’ brutal form of Islamic law last year are apprehensive about French plans to leave just 1,000 of the current 4,000 troops in the country by December, with UN peacekeepers filling the gap. “The Islamists are waiting for the French to leave to open the gates to hell. Let’s hope the UN will take over quickly because the Malian army alone cannot face the terrorism threat,” said Alhassane MaÓga, a teacher in the ancient trading post of Timbuktu. Last weekend Islamist militants launched their second attack on Timbuktu in a fortnight, shortly after French President Francois Hollande insisted the elections must take place as scheduled and unveiled the plan to slash troop numbers. Launched in January, the French-led offensive quickly succeeded in pushing a mix of Islamists out of their northern strongholds and remote mountain bases, hitting the local leadership of the Al-Qaeda-linked groups. But new clashes have followed a handful of suicide attacks and raids on towns won back from the rebels, underscoring the task of securing the country as France prepares to hand over to the Malian army and a 7,000-strong regional African force. The nightmare scenario is that of a repeat of the Afghan war, where Taleban insurgents have prevented a full pull-out of NATO-led troops after

a 13-year conflict that has cost tens of thousands of lives. Presidential and legislative elections due in July are vital steps to stabilizing the gold and cotton producer after a military coup a year ago left a power vacuum which the rebels exploited to make gains. “We’re doing everything we can to ensure the elections happen in that timeframe,” said a senior Malian government official speaking on condition of anonymity. “But if you ask me what could stop them (pulling out), I’d say: security, security, security.” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius travels to Mali on Friday to make sure the main political players know what France’s priorities are and that they are doing all they can to keep the political timetable on track. Hollande has made it clear France’s history of propping up African leaders indefinitely is over. He was quick to intervene against the militants who he argues could emerge as a global jihadist threat, but stresses the longerterm military, political and economic solutions must come from Malians and Africans first. But the clock is already against him. The UN Security Council will vote this month to turn the current French and African mission into a UN peacekeeping force by July. If security does not quickly improve, French diplomats acknowledge it could be hard to justify an early winding down of troops. “The fear is that the jihadists that have spread out will return when we leave,” said one French diplomatic source. “The real political

GAO: A French soldier keeps a lookout next to children in a street of Gao. The United Nations expressed concern over reprisal attacks against ethnic Tuaregs and Arabs in Mali, where a French-led intervention recently routed Islamist rebels. — AFP

risk for us is if something serious then happens on the ground.” ‘SHAKE UP’ THE MALIANS Caretaker Malian President Dioncounda Traore’s announcement in late-January of presidential elections on July 7 and the parliamentary vote by July 31 answered a demand of Western governments which backed France’s intervention. Despite the attack in Timbuktu, Paris remains sure a good portion of the military work has been accomplished and that the withdrawal plans can be kept. It has promised to keep a rapid intervention force to fight militants if needed. “From a security perspective things are better, but now we have to reinforce this improvement by extending that politically and through economic development,” Fabius said. “We need democratic legitimacy ... Malians must express what they want for their future,” he said before his visit to the capital Bamako, which lies in the country’s south. The French diplomat put the message more bluntly: “We have pushed forward the calendar to shake the Malians up a bit ... It’s easy for them to let us do all the work, but at some point they need to move politically.” Officials believe the technical side of holding elections by July is possible as long as political parties agree to certain concessions, such as accepting that it may be too complicated for all refugees or displaced Malians to vote. French officials also say that any later than July would delay elections until the end of the year due to heavy rains. But a sporadic insurgency coupled with a slow process in negotiating with disenfranchised Tuareg separatists in the north, who have vowed to remain armed until they have certain guarantees, may also scupper Hollande’s plans. ISLAMISTS BIDING TIME? African and Malian officials privately fear France’s early exit and few believe elections are possible in July. Those locals who lived under rebel rule, which included amputations as a form of punishment, are bracing for the worst. “The withdrawal of 3,000 French troops in the northern cities would signify an abandonment and catastrophe,” said MaÓga, the Timbuktu teacher. Mali’s army, which is now being re-trained by European Union advisers, remains in tatters after the coup and a string of morale-sapping defeats last year. African troops have mostly stayed in the south and many lack logistics, funding and training, although a UN mandate could ease that burden. Adding to general concerns, coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo remains influential in Bamako. “There is a lot of goodwill from Hollande, but the reality on the ground will mean that elections will be pushed back until after the rainy season,” predicted a senior African diplomat. — Reuters

Demos in Sudan’s Darfur ahead of donors’ meeting KHARTOUM: Demonstrations have taken place across Sudan’s troubled Darfur region against an international donors’ conference which begins today in Qatar, a civil society activist and other sources said yesterday. Some of the 1.4 million people displaced by Darfur’s decadelong conflict protested on Friday at their camps near North Darfur’s state capital El Fasher, and in Kalma camp, South Darfur, said the activist. “They demonstrated because there is no security on the ground,” added the activist, who asked not to be identified. Sources in the region said four local residents were wounded on Saturday after gunfire was heard in an area about 100 km east of South Darfur state capital Nyala. The protesters on Friday objected to the Doha conference, where about 400 delegates, including representatives of aid agencies and governments from around the world, aim to woo support for a Darfur “recovery” strategy worth billions of dollars. “What are they going to do with this money when there is no security?” the activist asked. Protests also occurred in North Dar fur ’s Kebkabiya, the Central Darfur capital Zalingei, and Nertiti town in the Jebel Marra region, the activist added. Other sources confirmed that protests took place at

camps in Nertiti, near Zalingei, and at Kalma where about 1,000 displaced people demonstrated. The Kalma protesters had banners calling for an end to killings, and said they would not return to their villages until peace is restored. They also objected to the 2011 peace deal which Khartoum signed in the Qatari capital with an alliance of rebel splinter factions. Major insurgent groups rejected the pact, which UN Secretar y General Ban Ki-moon said in January had seen only limited progress in its implementation. Today’s meeting takes place as part of that peace pact, and comes 10 years after a rebellion erupted among the region’s non-Arab ethnic groups. The Sudan Liberation Army faction led by Minni Minnawi said its forces had killed government troops on Saturday and occupied Muhagiriya and Labado, two communities about 100 km east of Nyala. “Now the flags of SRF and SLA Minnawi are flying over both areas,” the group claimed, in a reference to the Sudan Revolutionary Front, which the Minnawi group and other rebels formed in 2011 to topple the Khartoum regime. Sudan’s army spokesman and local officials could not be reached. But sources in the region confirmed there had been a large rebel pres-

ence in the Muhagiriya and Labado area. The rebels began their fight seeking an end to what they said was the domination of Sudan’s power and wealth by the country’s Arab elites. In response, governmentbacked Arab Janjaweed militia shocked the world with atrocities against black Africans. While the worst of the violence has long passed, inter-Arab battles, kidnappings, carjackings and other crimes add to the instability. But the draft development strategy to be discussed in Doha says there will probably never be an ideal time for recovery, and delays can only make the process more difficult. It seeks $7.2 billion for a sixyear effort to move the region away from food handouts and other emergency aid, laying the foundation for lasting development through improved water facilities, the road network and other infrastructure. It calls for agricultural upgrades, access to financing and other measures to help Darfuris support themselves under a more effective system of local government. One source familiar with the situation recalled divisions which the 2011 peace deal created inside the displaced camps, leading to deadly violence, and said more protests surrounding the conference are likely. — AFP

JOHANNESBURG: An ambulance believed to be transporting former president Nelson Mandela arrives at the home of Mandela yesterday. The South African presidency has confirmed that Mandela has been discharged after spending nine days in hospital in Pretoria. — AP

YUAI: Women from South Sudan’s Lou Nuer ethnic group sing and pray for peace in Yuai, Uror county, as officials from troubled Jonglei state warn against rearmament in the wake of February massacres in which over 100 people were shot, speared or hacked to death. — AFP

Rebellion and revenge in S Sudan’s Jonglei state WALGAK: Nyaguol Bayak wants revenge: her three children were slaughtered when gunmen attacked in this remote and impoverished eastern region of South Sudan. Still reeling from more than two decades of civil war that left this region awash with guns and riven by ethnic hatred, traditional cattle raiding between rival tribes has escalated into a wave of brutal killings. In the dusty village of Walgak, some 350 kilometers north of Juba, people are bitter over a massacre in February in which over 100 people were shot, speared or hacked to death. “I want to mobilize my people to go after those who killed them,” Bayak said. Few here in this remote village appear willing to listen to government and international messages about the need for reconciliation, and warnings are growing that militia forces are gathering once again for a large scale revenge attack. More than two years since South Sudan voted to become the world’s youngest nation, few in troubled Jonglei state are seeing the benefits of peace. Bloody clashes between the army and a former theology scholar turned rebel called David Yau Yau-who Juba accuses of taking arms from foes in north Sudan-have devastated large parts of this troubled region. The Lou Nuer people in Walgak, attacked as they moved cattle herds to find fresh pastures, blame the rival minority Murle tribe-the same people Yau Yau’s soldiers come from-for the massacre. “The situation is deteriorating”, said Hilde Johnson, the top UN official in South Sudan, warning there are “signs of Lou Nuer mobilization compli-

cated by an element of rebellion with David Yau Yau forces.” UN peacekeepers, stationed in small numbers across a vast land with limited mud roads impassable for months during heavy rains, are preparing “contingency plans”, she added. But in previous attacks, the few peacekeepers did little to halt the killings. Revenge attacks target women and children-Yau Yau launched his rebellion in 2010 after alleging state elections were rigged, later agreed to an amnesty, but then returned to war. His agenda is unclear, but several hundred Murle are believed to have flocked to his army after a spate of massacres and an army-led disarmament process marred by abuses against civilians. The Murle took arms from Sudan during the 1983-2005 civil war that led to a referendum on South Sudan’s independence, and are still viewed with suspicion by other groups in the region. “I want them to be killed,” said 17-year-old Nyapuoch Khor. “They don’t want to put their guns down and they don’t want to listen to the government,” she added. However, in Yau Yau’s home region of Pibor, some 180 kilometers south of Walgak, the Murle say they are simply defending themselves. In late 2011, up to 8,000 Lou Nuer youths-a militia known as the White Army-armed with automatic rifles and rocket propelled grenades went on a rampage targeting the Murle, killing scores, torching villages, stealing cattle and abducting women and children. “There is a major risk that the cycle of violence starts again,” Johnson added. — AFP



Canada asks how middle-class boys became jihadists MONTREAL: Shocked to learn that two of their own attacked a deser t gas plant in Algeria, Canadians are struggling to understand how young men from a quiet, middle-class neighborhood ended up as jihadists. It was announced by Algerian officials almost immediately after the days-long siege of the In Amenas plant by the Algerian army in Januar y that the pair were among the dead. One intelligence source said they were Arabs with dual citizenship and were among the 29 Islamists killed in the bloodbath, alongside 38 hostages. But it was only this week when Canadian media revealed that they were actually former schoolmates who grew up in sleepy London, Ontario that the public’s interest was piqued. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

named the men as Xristos Katsiroubas, 22, from a Greek Orthodox family, and Ali Medlej, 24. They died during the siege, possibly by blowing themselves up. The public broadcaster also said two of their friends had traveled with them to Algeria and might be accomplices. One of them, Aaron Yoon, 24, was arrested in Mauritania prior to the attack and sentenced in mid-2012 to two years in prison for “terrorism,” while the other, who was not named, is missing, according to the CBC. Federal police on Thursday officially identified K atsiroubas and Medlej among the Al-Qaeda-linked fighters, and asked the public’s help to fill in gaps about how and why this group had become involved in a deadly plot. “The RCMP is interested as part of the

investigation in determining the circumstances that led to Ali Medlej and Xristos Katsiroubas departing Canada,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superintendent Marc Richer said. Both apparently had become angry and alienated at home, and eventually ruptured ties with their families, reports said. After high school, they also repor tedly struggled to keep menial jobs as employers refused to allow them time to pray. An unclassified RCMP handbook on so - called homegrown terrorist threats says conversions to Islam are often portrayed in the media as a sort of “fast track to terrorist action.” The document notes that Islam is one of the world’s fastest growing religions and that most coverts are simply that-average people who found that

Islam rouses their faith. But it also states that “converts are a constant in Islamist terrorist plots,” and “about half of the subjects involved in disrupted plots in the United States are converts.” The RCMP cites Islamic leaders who fear “the experience of conversion can create an emotional state that is easy for radicalization agents to manipulate.” A former friend told the CBC that Medlej had once told him he did not want to give up women and drinking. “There’re things that I just can’t give up in my lifestyle, and it’s hard for me to be a practicing Muslim, so why don’t I just be a shaheed (mar tyr) and go straight to heaven instead of all the effort that I can’t seem to do,” Medlej was quoted as saying by his former friend. Yoon, of Korean descent, was raised Catholic but like Katsiroubas also

conver ted to Islam. His brother claimed: “It was a positive thing. I obviously had questions, a few conversations about it... He was just a better person, much more respectful.” The brother, who would not give his name, insisted that Yoon traveled to North Africa to learn Arabic and study the Quran, not engage in terrorist attacks. But Canada’s foreign ministry has confirmed Yoon is in a North African jail. A former co-worker meanwhile said of Yoon’s conversion: “He just didn’t have that spark. He wasn’t that friendly, outgoing guy anymore. He just seemed lost and kind of dead inside,” she told CBC. “He had a lot of friends, He was very sociable. But then he just didn’t want to talk to anyone. He didn’t open up to anyone. It was just him and his religion and his job. That’s it.”— AFP

US Secretary of State Kerry kicks off multi-nation tour Eyeing Syria, White House woos regional rulers

Former CIA Director David Petraeus

FBI quizzes former CIA chief Petraeus WASHINGTON: FBI agents interviewed exCIA chief David Petraeus Friday to probe whether secret files had been passed to the woman at the center of the scandal that brought him down, USA Today reported. Petraeus, America’s most celebrated military leader in a generation, stepped down in November as head of the spy agency after admitting to an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell. The move ended a storied career marked by his tenure as military commander in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. USA Today cited a federal law enforcement official as saying that the interview at Petraeus’s home in northern Virginia just outside Washington was part of an ongoing investigation into whether Broadwell had received classified information or whether such files were kept at an unauthorized location. The investigation is taking considerable time to complete, according to the official. FBI spokeswoman Jacqueline Maguire told AFP that agents conducted “law enforcement activity” in northern Virginia. The bureau would not provide any further details on the matter. And CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood told AFP “the agency does not comment on active investigations.” “CIA is fully cooperating with the FBI,” she added.

The CIA declined to comment on any other related queries. Petraeus made his first public speech last week since he quit over the extramarital affair, addressing more than 600 veterans and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps students, hosted by the University of Southern California at a Los Angeles hotel. He apologized to his friends, family and supporters for the “pain” caused by his relationship with Broadwell, pledging to try to “make amends to those I have hurt and let down.” The scandal erupted after Florida socialite Jill Kelley complained to the FBI that she had received menacing emails from an anonymous sender. The emails turned out to be from Paula Broadwell, an Army reservist who wrote a glowing biography of Petraeus’s tenure as a top military commander. Authorities then stumbled upon evidence of Broadwell’s affair with Petraeus, as well as exchanges between Kelley and the four-star general in charge of the war in Afghanistan, John Allen. Allen was investigated and later cleared by the Pentagon’s inspector general for a series of emails he had sent to Kelley. Although President Barack Obama had chosen Allen to take up command of NATO forces in Europe, he chose to retire instead.— AFP

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State John Kerry headed to Turkey yesterday on a wide-ranging tour set to be dominated by many of the top world crises-Syria, the Middle East peace process and North Korea. After a plane door problem delayed his flight, Kerry flew out of Andrews Air Force Base on his way to Istanbul, where he will meet Sunday with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to discuss the unrelenting conflict in Syria. He will then make his third trip back to the Middle East region since becoming the top US diplomat on February, heading for talks in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Expectations are growing that the US administration is ready to resume some kind of shuttle diplomacy to rekindle the moribund peace process, which has stalled since late 2010 amid bitter recriminations on both sides. But State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland cautioned on Thursday: “I would not expect the secretary to be putting down a plan.” The White House meanwhile announced Friday that President Barack Obama will host leaders from key US allies Jordan, Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in the coming weeks amid the Syrian turmoil. Kerr y will meet Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday and Monday, in what would be a follow-up to visits last month by both Obama and the secretary of state. “But he’ll also be making clear that the parties themselves have to want to get back to the table, that this is a choice that they have to make, and that they’ve also got to recognize, both parties, that compromise and sacrifices are going to have to be made if we’re going to be able to help,” Nuland said.

MARYLAND: US Secretary of State John Kerry and his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry board a second plane after their original aircraft had mechanical problems yesterday, at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.— AFP Kerry’s latest trip to Turkey also stocked and prepared for the jour- it “would not be surprised” if North comes after Israel apologized to ney. They eventually took off Korea carried out a missile test. “We Ankara in late March for the deaths around 10:30 am. The Asia leg of have seen them launch missiles in of nine Turkish activists in a Kerry’s tour will be overshadowed the past... And it would fit their curbotched raid by Israeli commandos by increasingly bellicose threats rent pattern of bellicose, unhelpful made by North Korea in recent and unconstructive rhetoric and on a Gaza-bound aid ship. The breakthrough brokered by weeks, which have ramped up ten- actions,” White House spokesman Obama ended a nearly three-year sions on the heavily militarized Jay Carney said. State Department spokesrift between Israel and Turkey. After peninsula. Pyongyang has said it is his talks in Israel, Kerry heads to a ripping up the 60-year armistice woman Victoria Nuland added that meeting of G8 foreign ministers in which ended the Korean war in the United States would “leave the London, before then flying east for 1953 and on Friday warned foreign door open if the DPRK’s willing to his first trip to Asia since taking up embassies to evacuate their nation- make a different choice,” referring to his post. The ambitious, globe-trot- als, saying it could not guarantee North Korea by its official acronym. Kerry will notably seek to pressure ting tour got off to a rough start as their safety if conflict erupts. The spike in tensions came as China, one of North Korea’s only Kerry’s flight out of Andrews was delayed more than three hours due Yonhap news agency, citing a top allies, to use its influence to rein in to a problem with the plane’s door. South Korean official, said new leader Kim Jong-Un. There has Kerry, his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry, Pyongyang had loaded two mid- been speculation that Pyongyang security guards, staff and traveling range Musudan missiles on mobile might schedule a missile launch to reporters-around 30 people in all- launchers and hidden them in coincide with the birthday of the had to disembark for three hours underground facilities near its east North’s late founder Kim Il-Sung in while a new plane was brought in, coast. The White House said Friday mid-April.—AFP

Qaeda denies Saharan leader killed by France

At least 30 dead in Amazon clan attack QUITO: Amazon tribesmen killed at least 30 people in an apparent revenge attack against a rival group in Ecuador, an indigenous leader said Friday, as the government pledged an investigation. Citing information from people who participated in the attack, President Cahuetipe Yeti, of the Huaorani Nationality, said children were among the dead. The new death toll is higher than the 18 fatalities cited to AFP a day earlier by the group’s vice president, Gilberto Nenquimo. According to Huaorani leaders, several members of the clan attacked a settlement of the Taromenane clan on March 29 in retaliation for the March 5 spearing deaths of a Huaorani leader and his wife. Yeti was speaking by telephone from the secluded village of Yarentaro, in eastern Ecuador, where the incident occurred. He said he traveled there on Thursday with Governor Rosario Cortez. Cortez said in a press release he was searching for more details to clarify the incident, adding that the Huaorani had pledged to cooperate with his investigation.

But earlier Friday, Justice Minister Carmen Simone said the government had conducted several flybys of the area and did not find any evidence of the raid. “What we have seen is the existence of malocas (large huts) in good condition. There were no malocas in bad condition or (that had been) burned,” Simone told reporters. An overland expedition was deployed to locate the site of the alleged massacre, she added. Simone also confirmed that the Huaorani were holding two Taromenane girls hostage. Nenquimo had said Thursday Huaorani leaders had negotiated with the attackers so that the two girls-aged between eight and nine years old-would be returned to their clan to avoid further reprisals. This type of attack is common among tribes in the vicinity of Yasuni National Park. A 2003 raid allegedly conducted by the Huaorani against a Taromenane settlement left 23 women and children dead. There are no official figures on the two tribes, but Nenquimo estimated they number about 200 members together.— AFP

Mexico breaks up teachers’ blockade ACAPULCO, Mexico: Hundreds of federal police forced protesting teachers off the main highway between Mexico City and Acapulco Friday after the demonstrators blocked the roadway for hours, causing a huge traffic backup. The teachers were protesting an educational reform that will submit them to evaluation and loosen union control over hiring and firing. Teachers had blocked the four-lane highway at least twice for before, starting in March. A photographer on the scene said helmeted police with shields pushed into

the crowd of teachers, who fought back with pointed staves. Police responded with tear gas. Deputy Interior Secretary Manuel Mondragon told local media that four police officers had been injured, none seriously. Mondragon told the Milenio television station that the police did not used guns during the operation, but that protesters had gasoline bombs, sticks and staves. The government of Guerrero state, where Acapulco is located, said in a statement that traffic was flowing freely on the highway by late Friday.—AP

GAO: French soldiers patrol at Gao’s port near the Niger river. — AFP

RIYADH: Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the movement’s North African arm, said French statements that its forces had killed the group’s leader in the Sahara were “blatant fallacy”, a monitoring website said yesterday. AQIM, as the group is known, did not name the leader but it appeared to be referring to Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, whose death in Mali in February was confirmed by Paris “with certainty” on March 23. The militant group, which attacked a gas plant in Algeria in January, denied the death in a statement published on Friday on Islamist internet forums, SITE, a USbased intelligence monitoring website, reported. The statement threatened “dark days” for France in north and west Africa. French forces launched a ground and air campaign in Mali on Jan. 11 against Islamist forces who carved out an enclave in the country’s northern mountains, saying they posed an international threat. Paris said in a statement last month: “The president of the French Republic confirms with certainty the death of Abdelhamid Abou Zeid after an offensive by the French army.” However, AQIM said the French statement was motivated by the government’s low poll ratings. “This is a blatant fallacy by the French President Hollande, who has low popularity and whose party is mired in financial and moral scandals, in order to delude the French and global public about the achievement of a field victory that restores to them their lost confidence, domestically and abroad,” it said. The fate of Abou Zeid and another Al-Qaeda commander, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, presumed mastermind of the Algerian attack in which more than 60 people were killed, has been murky since Chad, which is fighting alongside France in Mali, reported their deaths in March. Algerian Ennahar TV, which is well connected with Algeria’s security services, said late last month a new commander, Djamel Okacha, had been named to replace Abou Zeid. An Algerian security source said Okacha, also known as Yahia Abu El Hamam, joined AQIM in northern Mali in 2004. However, the AQIM statement monitored by SITE said Hamam had not been installed to replace Abou Zeid, but had in fact replaced another leader, Nabil Abu Alqamah, who it said died in a traffic accident last year. It said he had been installed “eight months ago, and nearly five months before the French invasion of northern Mali”, according to the monitoring.— Reuters



Scarred by conflict, Syrian nurse joins rebel side SALMA: Umm Abed once worked as a nurse at a military hospital in Syria’s Lattakia province, treating wounded soldiers, but when army shelling killed her brother and mother she decided to switch sides. “How could I continue to treat (the soldiers) who killed my mother and brother,” asks the 27-year-old, her face encircled by a black veil that cascades over her black overcoat. Umm Abed abandoned her post at the hospital in the northeastern province to staff a makeshift hospital facility in the rebelheld area of Jabal Al-Akrad. She is now treating wounded rebels and civilians and those who have fallen ill from poor

diet or contaminated drinking water. She works in the town of Salma, once a beautiful summer resort, but now the almost daily target of government shelling. Jabal Al-Akrad is strategic for both the rebels and the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad, because it is bordered on the south by the stronghold of the ruling clan-the Alawite mountains. The Assads come from Lattakia province and belong to the Alawite religious minority, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, for which the mountains are named. When she left the military hospital, Umm Abed, a Sunni, left behind her friends, including an Alawite with whom

she was “very close.” “When I left my job, she asked me why I was leaving. I told her what had happened to my brother and my mother,” Umm Abed said. “I was very surprised when she sent me a letter calling me a terrorist,” the standard regime term for rebels. “I wish could go back to how we were before,” she adds, saying she remembers having good relations with members of the Alawite community when she was growing up. “We were brothers and we should have stayed that way, but they changed and launched a sectarian war,” she says. Umm Abed is one of four women who works in shifts day and night to receive

and treat the sick and wounded. Her colleague Manal has been running the pharmacy for the past 10 months. “When I arrived, there were just three or four of us working in the hospital. I looked around and realized that I was the only girl in all of Jabal Al-Akrad,” she says. Her family fled the area, but she says she decided to stay because of the scope of the needs of the population left behind. “I became stronger than a million men,” she says with a smile, her eyes lined with kohl. She trained on the job to learn how to treat shrapnel wounds and how to deliver emergency care even as shelling goes on all around. The staff live

in the hospital, or in houses nearby, and are available 24 hours a day. They speak to their families by phone at night, when the generator allows them to recharge their batteries or use the Internet. Some of them haven’t seen their families for months, but they have created one of sorts in the hospital. “Here, we discovered solidarity. We work hand-inhand, men and women, to help other people,” one of the women working at the hospital says, declining to give her name. “They can bomb as much as they want. We’re not afraid anymore,” she says, as the shock wave from a nearby airstrike shakes the building. — AFP

Rebel ‘victory would destabilize Mideast’ Syrian leader evokes ‘domino effect’ if he falls

DHAKA: Thousands of Hifazat-e-Islam activists gather for a rally to demand authorities enact an anti-blasphemy law punishing people who insult Islam. — AP

Bangladesh Islamists rally against atheist bloggers DHAKA: Hundreds of thousands of Islamists rallied in Dhaka after an overnight “long march” to the Bangladeshi capital, demanding the execution of atheist bloggers for defaming Islam. It is the latest protest to rack Bangladesh, deepening tensions between secularists and the largest Islamic party, Jamaat-e-Islami, whose leaders are under trial for crimes committed during the country’s 1971 war of independence. The Islamists converged on Dhaka’s main commercial hub to protest against what they say are blasphemous writings by atheist bloggers, defying a pro-government national strike by secular protesters-who staged a smaller rival protest in Dhaka Saturdayaimed at resisting the march. Police said about 100,000 people attended the rally during which protesters chanted “God is great, hang the atheist bloggers”. Protest organizers, who called the rally the “long march” with many travelling from remote villages, put the number at more than half a million, as Dhaka’s Motijheel commercial area turned into a sea of white robes. “I’ve come here to fight for Islam. We won’t allow any bloggers to blaspheme our religion and our beloved Prophet Mohammed,” said Shahidul Islam, an imam at a mosque outside Dhaka who walked 20 kilometers. Hefajat-e-Islam, an Islamic group which draws support from tens of thousands of seminaries, organized the rally in support of its 13-point demand including enactment of a blasphemy law to prosecute

and hang atheist bloggers. There has been vociferous debate between staunch atheists and fundamentalists in Bangladesh’s social media for years, but it took a deadly turn in February when an anti-Islam blogger was murdered. This week four online writers were arrested on charges of hurting religious sentiment through their Internet writings against Islam. Following recent protests over the on-going war crimes tribunal the government has blocked about a dozen websites and blogs to stem the unrest. It has also set up a panel, which includes intelligence chiefs, to monitor blasphemy on social media. Under the country’s cyber laws, a blogger or Internet writer can face up to ten years in jail for defaming a religion. Dhaka has been virtually cut off from the rest of the country since Friday afternoonwhen secularists called a 22-hour nationwide strike to obstruct the march-as private transport operators stopped services fearing clashes between Islamists and secular protesters. Hefajat-e-Islam has accused the government of ordering the transport shutdown to try to foil its march to the capital. While the secularists claim the main goal of the march is to halt the war crime trials of Jamaat-eIslami leaders, a charge the Islamists deny. On Friday, a ruling party activist was shot dead after the secularists clashed with hundreds of seminary students holding a rally in support of the march, local police chief Yasir Arafat said. — AFP

Syrian guerrilla fighters sent to Iran for training HOMS PROVINCE: The Syrian government is sending members of its irregular militias for guerrilla combat training at a secret base in Iran, in a move to bolster its armed forces drained by two years of fighting and defections, fighters and activists said. The discreet program has been described as an open secret in some areas loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad, who is trying to crush a revolt against his family’s four-decade hold on power. Reuters interviewed four fighters who said they were taken on the combat course in Iran, as well as opposition sources who said they had also been documenting such cases. Israel’s intelligence chief and a Western diplomat have said Iran, Assad’s main backer, is helping to train at least 50,000 militiamen and aims to increase the force to 100,000 - though they did not say where the training occurred. No one at Iran’s foreign ministry was available for comment, but Iranian officials have repeatedly denied military involvement in the Syrian conflict, saying they have only provided humanitarian aid and political support for Assad. A Syrian government security source, who declined to be named, denied that Syria was sending fighters to Iran. “We train our own special forces for this type of combat,” he said. “Since 2006 we have had units trained in guerrilla warfare, why would we need to send people to Iran?” But if the reports by Syrian fighters are true, the move to train combatants in Iran suggests that their country’s increasingly regionalized conflict has grown well beyond - and could even outlast - a battle for power between Assad’s circle and the opposition. The fighters also appear to come largely from minority groups that have supported Assad against the mostly Sunni Muslim-led uprising. Such a move could exacerbate the dangerous sectarian dimensions of a conflict that has turned into a civil war that has cost the lives of more than 70,000 people. REGIONAL INFLUENCE Iran, a Shiite rival to Sunni countries in the Gulf that support the rebels, sees Syria as the lynchpin of its regional influence. Syria has been its conduit to the Lebanese guerrilla movement Hezbollah, which fought a war

with Israel in 2006. “It was an urban warfare course that lasted 15 days. The trainers said it’s the same course Hezbollah operatives normally do,” said Samer, a Christian member of a pro-Assad militia fighting in rural parts of Homs province in central Syria. “The course teaches you the important elements of guerrilla warfare, like several different ways to carry a rifle and shoot, and the best methods to prepare against surprise attacks.” According to fighters interviewed in Homs, most men sent to undergo the training are from the Alawite sect, the heterodox strain of Shiite Islam of which Assad himself is a member. A smaller number were Druze and Christians, whose communities are divided but largely support Assad due to their fears of rising Islamist rhetoric among the opposition. “The Iranians kept telling us that this war is not against Sunnis but for the sake of Syria. But the Alawites on the course kept saying they want to kill the Sunnis and rape their women in revenge,” said Samer. ‘DIE AN UGLY DEATH’ Syrian residents living in areas controlled by the army or militias say irregular forces have been increasingly “regularized” in recent months. These groups now brand themselves as the “National Defense Army” and seem to operate as a parallel force to the official armed forces - more lightly armed but without any of the oversight or responsibilities. Since 2011, security forces organized groups called “popular committees” for neighborhood watches. These later became militias nicknamed “shabbiha”, from the Arabic word for ghost. Shabbiha groups have been accused of some of the worst massacres of Sunni civilians, including one incident in the central town of al-Houla, in Homs province, in which more than 100 people were killed, half of them children. Authorities blamed rebels for the killings. It is unclear how many former shabbiha fighters have been sent on courses in Iran, but some interviewees said they had assembled in groups of around 400 before being flown to Iran in smaller numbers. — Reuters

BEIRUT: President Bashar Al-Assad has warned that if rebel forces battling to overthrow him take power in Syria they could destabilize the Middle East for decades. The Syrian leader, locked in a two-year conflict which he says has been fuelled by his regional foes, also criticized Turkey’s “foolish and immature” leaders and Arab neighbors he said were arming and sheltering rebel fighters. “If the unrest in Syria leads to the partitioning of the country, or if the terrorist forces take control ... the situation will inevitably spill over into neighboring countries and create a domino effect throughout the Middle East and beyond,” he said in an interview with Turkish television. Turmoil would spread “east, west, north and south. This will lead to a state of instability for years and maybe decades to come,” Assad said in the interview, posted by the Syrian presidency on the Internet. His remarks were an acid reiteration of his long-standing argument that Syria and the region will face a bleak future if he falls. His foes argue that his determination to keep power at all costs has already plunged his country into disaster. The United Nations says at least 70,000 people have been killed in Syrian’s conflict. Daily death tolls of around 200 are not uncommon, monitoring groups say. More than a million refugees have fled the country and the Syrian Red Crescent says nearly four million have been internally displaced. Neighboring Lebanon and Jordan are both struggling to cope with the flood of refugees, while the sectarian element of the conflict - with mainly Sunni Muslim and Islamist fighters battling a president from Syria’s Alawite minority has also raised tensions in neighbors such as Lebanon and Iraq. While accusing opponents of using “sectarian slogans”, Assad said the essence of the battle was between “forces and states seeking to take their people back into historic times, and states wanting to take their peoples into a prosperous future”. He appeared to be referring to Sunni Muslim Gulf states Saudi Arabia and Qatar, absolute monarchies which have supported efforts to arm insurgents in an uprising which began with peaceful protests for reform and spiraled into civil war. Assad said Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was recruiting fighters with Qatari money to wage war in Syria, but warned

ALEPPO: A Syrian rebel fires towards a position held by regime forces in the old city of Aleppo in northern Syria yesterday. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has warned that the fall of his regime would destabilize the region ‘for many years’. —AP his former friend that the bloodshed could not easily be contained. “The fire in Syria will burn Turkey. Unfortunately he does not see this reality,” Assad said. Erdogan, he said, “has not uttered a single truthful word since the crisis in Syria began”. NOT ‘HIDING IN A BUNKER’ Assad also condemned the Arab League, which has suspended Syria’s membership and last month invited opposition leaders Moaz Alkhatib and Ghassan Hitto to attend a summit meeting in his place. “The Arab League itself lacks legitimacy,” he said. “It is an organization which represents Arab states and not Arab people. It has lacked legitimacy for a long time because these Arab states themselves .... do not reflect the will of the Arab people.” Assad also dismissed Western countries which condemned his crackdown on the protest as hypocrites. “France and Britain committed massacres in Libya with the support and cover of the United States. The Turkish government is knee-deep in Syrian blood. Are these states real-

ly concerned about Syrian blood?” Responding to rumors of his assassination spread by activists and fighters over the last two weeks, Assad said he was living as ever in Damascus, despite rebel advances in the outskirts of the city and regular mortar attacks on its centre. “I am not hiding in a bunker. These rumors (aim) to undermine the morale of the Syrian people. I neither live on a Russian warship nor in Iran. I live in Syria, in the same place I always did.” Assad, who has lost swathes of territory in the north and east of his country, is also battling to keep back rebel militias on the eastern and southern edges of Damascus. In recent weeks rebels have gained ground in the southern province of Deraa, cradle of the two-year-old uprising, which could give them a platform for a fiercer assault on the capital. The fighting in Deraa has alarmed Israel, which fears that four decades of relative calm on the front between the Syrian military and its own troops on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights could be threatened as Islamist rebel brigades take control of the Syrian side of the line. — Reuters

Afghanistan de-mining threatened by pullout SANGAW: Since Haji Abdul Samad lost his leg in a minefield more than 20 years ago, he has unearthed at least 1,000 explosives and become one of Afghanistan’s most experienced de-miners. “After my accident, I told myself that I had to do work to save lives. I had to clean the rivers, hills, villages,” Samad, who was fighting against the Soviets when he stepped on a mine in 1989 said. “But I’m not afraid of mines,” he added, at a site being cleared outside the capital Kabul, ahead of the UN International Day for Mine Awareness on Thursday. “I will continue to work as long as even just one remains in the country,” he vowed. Samad, a father of eight children originally from the southern city of Kandahar, is part of the huge de-mining effort taking place in Afghanistan, which is dotted with minefields after decades of conflict. Since 1989, when the Soviets left, more than 4,000 people have been killed and 17,000 injured by mines, not including devices laid in

the current conflict, according to an estimate by the UN’s Mine Action Coordination Center of Afghanistan (MACCA). Afghanistan remains one of the most heavily mined countries in the world and an average of 42 civilians-most of them boys under 18 — are killed or injured each month by mines and other leftover war explosives. But as the NATO-led combat mission ends next year and international attention towards Afghanistan fades, donor funding for mine clearing is already drying up despite the huge amount of work still to be done. “We are doing our best. We are appealing for more help,” said Mohammad Sediq Rashid, the head of MACCA, which is $25 million short of its $84 million annual fundraising budget. “Donors are aware of the situation. Now it is up to them to respond,” he said, describing the countless remaining mines as a threat to the future development of the country. “If the program is continued the problem can be

SANGAW: Afghan deminers clear mines from a field in Sangaw village, on the outskirts of Kabul. — AFP

addressed, but now it’s not solved. We have lost 1,000 de-miners because of very unstable funding.” De-mining of some description continued even through the civil war and the 1996-2001 Taliban regime, and huge progress has been made in recent years since the Islamic extremists were ousted by a US-led invasion. Sangaw hill, where Haji Abdul Samad works for the Danish Demining Group (DDG), was a forward position for Soviet soldiers, who protected themselves with several belts of meticulously hidden mines. After the Soviets retreated, the Taleban took control of the strategic position, located halfway between Kabul and Bagram airbase, and laid their own explosives in the rough, rocky landscape. Over the last 30 years at least 13 people have died and 22 have been injured by mines on Sangaw hill alone, the latest casualty losing a leg while herding cattle six months ago. Since last October, except for a break in the harshest weeks of winter, more than 40 DDG de-miners have been at work to make the slopes of Sangaw safe for farmers and livestock. “So far, we found more than 600 mines and 1,000 UXO (unexploded ordnance),” said Megan Latimer, DDG Technical Advisor. “There are a lot of items for a small area, but we hope to finish this section within three weeks.” The site, silent except for the beep of metal detectors, is now dotted with red and white stones indicating safe places to walk as teams of de -miners in helmets and blue armored vests clear further ground. A line of yellow painted stones higher up the mountain mark where explosives have been found, while nearby a de-miner scrapes the ground and finds another deadly device during a visit by AFP. “This is very dangerous work,” said Samad, in his late 50s. He says he knows of 20 to 30 deminers killed or injured while on the job. Samad, whose weather-beaten face reveals his years working outdoors, refuses to contemplate retirement and there appears to be no end in sight for the mammoth task. About 1.2 million mines and 16 million pieces of unexploded ordnance have been destroyed since 1989, and 21,000 battlefields have been cleared, but at least 4,900 “risk areas” remain, according to MACCA. — AFP



WikiLeaks Party unveils Australia election plans SYDNEY: Whistleblowing group WikiLeaks unveiled plans yesterday to field candidates in at least three states in Australia’s elections and said it would be “embarrassing” if Julian Assange won but couldn’t take his seat. Assange, Australian-born founder of the controversial WikiLeaks site, announced that he would run for the Senate last year and is pushing ahead with the plan despite being holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since June. Greg Barns, a lawyer who is Assange’s newly-appointed campaign director, said the

WikiLeaks Party had secured candidates to run in at least three states when Australia goes to the polls on September 14. Aside from Assange, who is expected to be on the upper house ticket for the state of Victoria, Barns said WikiLeaks would present several other “high quality candidates” including a state running mate for the WikiLeaks chief. That would allow the party to take the Victoria seat even if Assange, who sought Ecuadorian asylum in a bid to dodge extradition to Sweden where he is wanted over sex crime allegations, is unable to return to

Australia. Britain refused to grant Assange safe passage out of the country, leaving him stranded in Ecuador’s London embassy, and Australia-his place of birth has been outspoken about his whistleblowing activities. Barns said the WikiLeaks Party “certainly think we’re in the mix to win a Senate seat in each of the three states” it presently had plans to run in, but Assange’s return to Australia if victorious would be a matter for Canberra. “It would be up to the government to secure the opportunity for Mr Assange to come back to Australia,” Barns told reporters.

But he added: “It would be internationally embarrassing for the voters of Victoria not to be able to have in the senate the person for whom they voted on September 14.” Despite the swirl of allegations against him, the WikiLeaks founder is a popular figure in Australia. Assange said last month that he believed the US would drop its grand jury investigation of his diplomatic memo leaks and Britain would follow suit were he to win a seat in the Australian election. To persist would risk an “international diplomatic row” Assange told the Australian news website The

Conversation. Barns denied that Assange’s Senate bid was merely a strategy to secure his release from the embassy and return to Australia. “If that were the case he would simply put his name down for the Senate, run in the ungrouped category and hope to get elected,” he said. The WikiLeaks Party said more than 500 people had already registered as members-the threshold to be registered with the Australian Electoral Commission-and that they had come from across the political spectrum.— AFP

Embassies staying put in N Korea despite tensions Evacuation warnings, missile fears stoke Korea crisis

OKUMA: File photo shows storage tanks for radiation-contaminated water in the compound of the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. —AP

Radioactive leak feared at Japan’s nuclear plant TOKYO: The operator of Japan’s crippled nuclear plant said yesterday that it was moving tons of highly radioactive water from a temporary storage tank to another after detecting signs of leakage, in a blow to the plant’s struggles with tight storage space. Tokyo Electric power Co said about 120 tons of the water are believed to have breached the tank’s inner linings, some of it possibly leaking into the soil. TEPCO is moving the water to a nearby tank at the Fukushima Dai-chi plant - a process that could take several days. TEPCO detected the leak earlier in the week, when radiation levels spiked in water samples collected in between the inner linings of the tank. Radiation levels in water samples taken outside the tank also have increased, an indication of the water leak, TEPCO spokesman Masayuki Ono said. Contaminated water at the plant, which went into multiple meltdowns after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan, has escaped into the sea several times during the crisis. Experts suspect there has been a continuous leak into the ocean through an underground water system, citing high levels of contamination among fish caught in waters just off the plant. The leak is not only an immediate environmental concern, but threatens TEPCO’s tight water management situation, Ono said. The tank contains 13,000 tons of water, which is part of the water that was used to cool melted fuel at the plant’s reactors damaged in the twin disasters. So much water has been used that TEPCO is struggling to find storage space. “The impact (from the leak) is not small, as the space is already tight,” Ono said. “We need to revise our water management plans.” More than 270,000 tons of highly

radioactive water is already stored in hundreds of gigantic tanks and another underground tank. They are visible even at the plant’s entrance and built around the compound, taking up more than 80 percent of its storage capacity. TEPCO expects the amount to double over three years and plans to build hundreds of more tanks by mid-2015 to meet the demand. Because of that, TEPCO is anxious to launch a new water treatment system that can purify the contaminated water. The machine, called ALPS, recently started a final test run after six months of delays due to safety requirements by government regulators. The delay caused TEPCO to use some of seven underground tanks, originally meant for ALPS-treated water, to accommodate the contaminated water backlog as a stopgap measure. TEPCO officials have indicated they hope to release the water into the ocean, but Ono said the company has no immediate plans to do so without public acceptance. The plant is being decommissioned but continues to experience glitches. A fuel storage pool temporarily lost its cooling system Friday, less than a month after the plant suffered a more extensive outage. The underground tank, several times the size of an Olympic-size swimming pool and similar to an industrial waste dump, is dug directly into the ground and protected by two layers of polyethylene linings inside the outermost clay-based lining, with a felt padding in between each layer. The meltdowns have caused the plant to release radiation into the surroundings and displaced about 160,000 people from around the plant. They do not know when or if they will be able to return home. — AP

SEOUL: Staff at embassies in North Korea appeared to be remaining in place yesterday despite an appeal by authorities in Pyongyang for diplomats to consider leaving because of heightened tension after weeks of bellicose exchanges. Nor th Korean authorities told diplomatic missions they could not guarantee their safety from next Wednesday - after declaring that conflict was inevitable amid joint US-South Korean military exercises due to last until the end of the month. Whatever the atmosphere in Pyongyang, the rain-soaked South Korean capital, Seoul, was calm. Traffic moved normally through the city centre, busy with yesterday shoppers. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted a government official as saying diplomats were disregarding the suggestion they might leave the country. “We don’t believe there’s any foreign mission about to leave Pyongyang,” the unidentified official was quoted as saying. “Most foreign governments view the North Korean message as a way of ratcheting up tension on the Korean peninsula.” North Korea has been angry since new UN sanctions were imposed following its third nuclear weapons test in February. Its rage has apparently been compounded by joint USSouth Korean military exercises that began on March 1. China’s Xinhua news agency on Friday had quoted the Nor th’s Foreign Ministry as saying the issue was no longer whether but when a war would break out. Most countries saw the appeal to the missions as little more than strident rhetoric after weeks of threatening to launch a nuclear strike on the United States and declarations of war against the South. But Russia said it was “seriously studying” the request. A South Korean government official expressed bewilderment. “It’s hard to define what is its real intention,” said the official, who asked not to be identified. “But it might have intensified these threats to strengthen the regime internally or to respond to the international community.”

The United Nations said its humanitarian workers remained active across Nor th Korea. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, however, remained “deeply concerned” about tensions, heightened since the imposition of UN sanctions against the North for its third nuclear arms test last in February. The appeal to diplomats followed news reports in the South that North Korea, under its 30-yearold leader Kim Jong-un, had moved two medium-range missiles to a location on its east coast. That prompted the White House to say that Washington would “not be surprised” if the North staged another missile test. Kim Jong-un is the third member of his dynasty to rule Nor th Korea. He 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 17-year rule. North Korea has always condemned the exercises held by US forces and their South Korean allies. But its comments have been especially vitriolic this year as the United States dispatched B-2 bombers from its home bases to stage mock runs. MADCAP NUCLEAR WAR North Korea’s government daily newspaper said tension remained high because the United States was “waging madcap nuclear war manoeuvres”. “ This is aimed at igniting a nuclear war against it through a pre-emptive strike,” the Minju Joson said in a commentary. “The prevailing situation proves that a new war, a nuclear war, is imminent on the peninsula.” A television documentar y broadcast on Friday quoted North Korean leader Kim as saying, during a provincial tour last month,

PYONGYANG: A North Korean official checks the passports of a group of foreign diplomats and tourists as they board an Air Koryo flight to Beijing at the airport in Pyongyang, North Korea yesterday. — AFP

that the countr y needed to “absolutely guarantee the quality of our artillery and shells to ensure a rapid pre-emptive attack on our enemies”. But some commentators examining the outcome of meetings in Pyongyang last week - of the ruling Workers’ Party and of the rubber-stamp legislature - concluded that Kim and his leadership were more concerned with economic than military issues. Internet site 38 North, which specializes in North Korean affairs, cited the reappointment of reformer Pak Pong Ju as prime minister, the limited titles given to top military and security officials and the naming of a woman to a senior party post. “These personnel appointments make a great deal of sense in the context of Pyongyang’s declarations ... that its economic policy will be modified by introducing systemic reforms while also continuing the development of nuclear weapons,” 38 Nor th commentator Michael Madden wrote. “(They) appear to be important steps in moving key economic development products and production away from the control of the military to the party and government.” North Korea has not shut down one symbol of joint cooperation, the Kaesong industrial zone just inside its border. But last week it prevented South Koreans from entering the complex and about 100 of them who have since remained were due to return home yesterday, leaving a further 500 there. The barrage of North Korean threats has created jitters in South Korea’s financial markets, with a top official warning a policy meeting on Friday of long-term effects. Shares slid on Friday, but analysts said much of the decline was linked to the Bank of Japan’s monetary easing policies and one analyst said further major falls were unlikely. “In a sense, for now the yen is of greater concern than the Nor th Korea risk,” said Ko Seunghee, a market analyst at SK Securities. “There is a sense that the KOSPI (index) will not fall sharply or drop below the 1,900 level unless big news about North Korea breaks out.”— Reuters

Could North Korea hit its neighbors with nukes? WASHINGTON: North Korea is widely recognized as being years away from perfecting the technology to back up its bold threats of a pre-emptive strike on America. But some nuclear experts say it might have the know-how to fire a nuclear-tipped missile at South Korea and Japan, which host US military bases. No one can tell with any certainty how much technological progress North Korea has made, aside from perhaps a few people close to its secretive leadership. And, if true, it is unlikely that Pyongyang would launch such an attack, because the retaliation would be devastating. The North’s third nuclear test on Feb 12, which prompted the toughest UN Security Council sanctions yet against Pyongyang, is presumed to have advanced its ability to miniaturize a nuclear device. And experts say it’s easier to design a nuclear warhead that works on a shorter-range missile than one for an intercontinental missile that could target the US. The assessment of David Albright at the Institute for Science and International Security think-tank is that North Korea has the capability to mount a warhead on its Nodong missile, which has a range of 800 miles and could hit in South Korea and most of Japan. But he cautioned in his analysis, published after the latest nuclear test, that it is an uncertain estimate, and the warhead’s reliability remains unclear. He contends that the experience of Pakistan could serve as precedent. Pakistan bought the Nodong from North Korea after its first flight test in 1993, then adapted and produced it for its own use. Pakistan, which conducted its first nuclear test in 1998, is said to have taken less than 10 years to miniaturize a warhead before that test, Albright said. North Korea also obtained technology from the trafficking network of A.Q. Khan, a disgraced pioneer of Pakistan’s nuclear program, acquiring centrifuges for enriching uranium. According to the Congressional Research Service, Khan may also have supplied a Chinese-origin nuclear weapon

design he provided to Libya and Iran, which could have helped the North in developing a warhead for a ballistic missile. But Siegfried Hecker at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, who has visited North Korea seven times and been granted unusual access to its nuclear facilities, is skeptical the North has advanced that far in miniaturization of a nuclear device. “Nobody outside of a small elite in North Korea knows - and even they don’t know for sure,” he said in an e-mailed response to questions from The Associated Press. “I agree that we cannot rule it out for one of their shorter-range missiles, but we simply don’t know.” “Thanks to A Q Khan, they almost certainly have designs for such a device that could fit on some of their short- or mediumrange missiles,” said Hecker, who last visited the North in November 2010. “But it is a long way from having a design and having confidence that you can put a warhead on a missile and have it survive the thermal and mechanical stresses during launch and along its entire trajectory.” The differing opinions underscore a fundamental problem in assessing a country as isolated as North Korea, particularly its weapons programs: solid proof is very hard to come by. For example, the international community remains largely in the dark about the latest underground nuclear test. Although it caused a magnitude 5.1 tremor, no gases escaped and experts say there was no way to evaluate whether a plutonium or uranium device was detonated. That information would help reveal whether North Korea has managed to produce highly enriched uranium, giving it a new source of fissile material, and help determine the type and sophistication of the North’s warhead design. The guessing game about the North’s nuclear weapons program dates back decades. Albright says that in the early 1990s, the CIA estimated that North Korea had a “first-generation” design for a plutonium device that was likely to be deployed on

the Nodong missile - although it’s not clear what information that estimate was based on. “Given that twenty years has passed since the deployment of the Nodong, an assessment that North Korea successfully developed a warhead able to be delivered by that missile is reasonable,” Albright wrote. According to Nick Hansen, a retired intelligence expert who closely monitors developments in the North’s weapons programs, the Nodong missile was first flight-tested in 1993. Pakistan claims to have re-engineered the missile and successfully tested it, although doubts apparently persist about its reliability. Whether North Korea has also figured out how to wed the missile with a nuclear warhead has major ramifications not just for South Korea and Japan, but for the US itself, which counts those nations as its principal allies in Asia and retains 80,000 troops in the two countries. US intelligence appears to have vacillated in its assessments of North Korea’s capabilities. In April 2005, Lowell Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that North Korea had the capability to arm a missile with a nuclear device. Pentagon officials, however, later backtracked. According to the Congressional Research Service, a report from the same intelligence agency to Congress in August 2007 said that “North Korea has short and medium-range missiles that could be fitted with nuclear weapons, but we do not know whether it has in fact done so.” In an interview Friday in Germany, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the US does not know whether North Korea has “weaponized” its nuclear capability. Still, Washington is taking North Korea’s nuclear threats seriously. The bellicose rhetoric follows not just the nuclear test in February, but the launch in December of a long-range North Korean rocket that could potentially hit the continental US. According to South Korean officials,

North Korea has moved at least one missile with “considerable range” to its east coast possibly the untested Musudan missile, believed to have a range of 1,800 miles. This week, the US said two of the Navy’s missiledefense ships were positioned closer to the Korean peninsula, and a land-based system is being deployed for the Pacific territory of Guam. The Pentagon last month announced longer-term plans to beef up its US-based missile defenses. South Korea is separated from North Korea and its huge standing army by a heavily militarized frontier, and the countries remain in an official state of war, as the Korean War ended in 1953 without a peace treaty. Even without nuclear arms, the North positions enough artillery within range of Seoul to devastate large parts of the capital before the much-better-equipped US and South Korea could fully respond. And Japan has been starkly aware of the

threat since North Korea’s 1998 test of the medium-range Taepodong missile that overflew its territory. Yet in the latest standoff, much of the international attention has been on the North’s potential threat to the US, a more distant prospect than its capabilities to strike its own neighbors. Experts say the North could hit South Korea with chemical weapons, and might also be able to use a Scud missile to carry a nuclear warhead. Darryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, acknowledges the North might be able to put a warhead on a Nodong missile, but he sees it as unlikely. He says the North’s nuclear threats are less worthy of attention than the prospects of a miscalculation leading to a conventional war. “North Korea understands that a serious attack on South Korea or other US interests is going to be met with overwhelming force,” he said. “It would be near suicidal for the regime.”— AP

GUAM: Members of the 374th Airlift Wing of US Air Force work on a C130 aircraft during the Cope North military exercises at Andersen US Air Force Base in Guam. — AP



Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos shakes hands with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon before a Spanish La Liga football match against Levante at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid yesterday. — AP

How a matchbook can trap a wanted man WASHINGTON: From the unruly areas of Pakistan to Philippine jungles and the deserts of Iraq, simple matchbooks and posters are proving an effective US tool in the hunt for the world’s most wanted men. Since its launch in 1984, the Rewards for Justice program run by the Diplomatic Security bureau of the State Department has paid out $125 million in rewards to 80 people for information leading to the capture of terrorists. Pictures of the wanted men are printed on posters, matchbooks and pens along with messages in the local languages and dialects asking for information and providing instructions on how to hand over tip-offs or ring a hotline. More modern methods to pass the message are also used, such as Twitter and Facebook feeds, a dedicated website, and mobile phone alerts. Top of the program’s wanted list now is Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, with a reward of up to $25 million for information leading to his capture. The Egyptian doctor, who took over as Al-Qaeda leader after US commandos shot dead Osama Bin Laden in May 2011, has been indicted for his role in the 1998 twin bombings of US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. He is one of just 53 people who the United States is seeking to bring before the courts for terror attacks, and who now have a price on their heads. “The genesis of this program actually came about as a result of the bombings of our embassy in Kuwait, and bombings of our facilities in Beirut,”

Acting Assistant Director for Diplomatic Security Kurt Rice told AFP. “The government after that decided we have to look for another tool to try and get information and bring these people to justice.” Last month Alabama-born Omar Hamami, dubbed the rapping jihadist, became one of five Americans on the list, wanted for ties to the Al-Qaeda linked Shebab insurgents evading capture in Somalia. The program is also still seeking information on cases in which the trail appears to have gone cold, including the 1983 attack on a Marine Corps barracks in Beirut and the 1988 bombing of PanAm flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Despite the dangers, the rewards can be tantalizingly huge in impoverished countries. One informant earned $30 million for leading the US to Uday and Qusay Hussein, the sons of late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Thanks to the tip-off, the two were tracked down in July 2003 by a secretive special operations task force sent in to capture them in northern Mosul. A four-hour firefight ensued, in which both men were killed. Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, the 1993 bomber of the World Trade Center, was caught after someone picked up a matchbook bearing his picture in Pakistan and tipped off the US embassy in Islamabad. Yousef, the nephew of the self-confessed architect of the September 11, 2001 attacks Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was arrested by Pakistani forces in 1995 and extradited to the US. He was tried and

sentenced to two life sentences. “This program is fairly simple, it’s fairly elegant, it saves lives,” said Rice. “All we are trying to do is give people an outlet, because people intrinsically often just want to help. “We’re giving them the ability in a safe, very secure manner to provide us information so we can get these people off the streets.” He stresses that confidentiality is key to protecting the identities of the informants. “We’ve given this money out, and that obviously makes them a target wherever they are in the world,” he said. The size of the reward depends on how critical the information is to the wanted person’s capture and is determined by an inter-agency committee which then recommends an amount to the secretary of state. A group of Filipinos in 2007 shared in a $5 million reward for helping to locate one of the high-ranking leaders of the Islamic Abu Sayyaf, Khadaffy Janjalani, and then identify his body after he was killed in a shoot-out with Philippine forces. And while the Diplomatic Security bureau cannot provide physical protection for informants, it has helped relocate some people to safer places, including to the United States. Since 2001, the program has also focused on prevention as well as tracking down those already accused of terrorist acts. “We would rather save lives than solve crimes. Of course solving the crimes is critical to us, but if we can stop, if we can prevent that’s fantastic,” Rice said. —AFP

This handout combination image provided March 21, 2013 by the FBI in Washington shows Americans Omar Shafik Hammami (left) and Jehad Serwan Mostafa, who the United States claims belong to an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Somalia. — AFP

‘Balloon man’ flies from Mandela jail

Two new bird flu cases in China

Continued from Page 1

Continued from Page 1

he felt “unbelievable” after landing in a rubber duck around 300-400 m from shore once the balloons were released. “Don’t try this at home,” he quipped. With no test run ahead of lift-off, a total of 160 balloons were inflated on the island early yesterday morning, with several popping ahead of departure. Silver-Vallance popped around 35 more balloons during the trip to manage his equilibrium. A hard ground landing was ruled out as too risky. The daring mission aimed to raise 10 million rand ($1.1 million) for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital which will be built in Johannesburg. “We’re trying to raise as much money (as possible) for the Nelson

Mandela Children’s Hospital and we really see this project as a catalyst,” Silver-Vallance said ahead of takeoff. The hospital will be part of Mandela’s legacy and the balloon run was a “small thing” to try to remind people of everything the 94year-old anti-apartheid icon had done, he said. “The risks that I’m taking are tiny compared to the risks that he took,” he said, adding he did not consider himself a daredevil. When asked what message he had for Mandela, an emotional Silver-Vallance said: “I think like most South Africans we all love him very much.” He said he hoped the flight “could bring a smile to (Mandela’s) face”. Later, after the flight, Nelson Mandela was discharged from hospital after being admitted 10 days ago for a bout of

pneumonia. The Nobel Peace Prize recipient spent part of his 27 year imprisonment on Robben Island which is now a museum. There have only been 12 previous such balloon flights in the world - two of which were fatal - according to Silver-Vallance, who now lives in Britain. “I think this is the first one in Africa,” he said. Ahead of take-off, he said Mandela was a huge inspiration at home and around the world. “So I think this is just a reflection of everything that he’s done.” The idea for the trip was planted seven years ago while watching astronauts on television and motivated by his work at a Cape Town children’s hospital. The helium for the balloons was worth 70,000 rand and the balloons cost 90,000 rand. Both were donated. — AFP

WORLD POWERS, IRAN ‘FAR APART’ IN NUKE... Continued from Page 1 right of a nation but should be based on mutual cooperation,” he added. The six nations, however, say this right only applies when nuclear work is carried out under extensive oversight by UN inspectors, something Iran has refused to grant. Since 2006, the UN Security Council has demanded that Iran suspend the work. Russia’s negotiator sounded more upbeat, saying the talks were a “step forward” although no compromise had been reached. “Certainly, these talks were a step forward,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. But he added that it was premature to name a date and venue for further talks. Iran’s critics accuse it of covertly seeking the means to produce nuclear bombs. Israel, widely believed to have the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal, sees Iran’s nuclear programme as a potential threat to its existence. Iran says its nuclear energy program is entirely peaceful but UN inspectors suspect it has worked illicitly on designing a nuclear weapon. With all sides aware that a breakdown in diplomacy could shunt the protracted stalemate a step closer to war, no one in Almaty was talking about abandoning diplomatic efforts. Ashton said that for the first time there had been a “real back and forth between us when were able to discuss details, to

pose questions, and to get answers directly ... To that extent, that has been a very important element”. But, she added: “What matters in the end is substance.” With a presidential election due in Iran in June, scope for a breakthrough was slim in Almaty. Iran declined to accept or reject an offer of modest relief from economic sanctions in exchange for curbing its most sensitive nuclear activity. “I do not think the risk of war has substantially increased,” said Shashank Joshi, a senior fellow and Middle East specialist at the Royal United Services Institute. “The priority for both sides is to keep the diplomatic track alive until after the Iranian presidential elections.” But without substantial progress in coming months, Western governments are likely to increase economic sanctions on Iran. The talks were held against a backdrop of flaring tension between big powers and North Korea, which like Iran is defying international demands to curb its nuclear program. But unlike North Korea, which has carried out three nuclear tests since 2006, Iran says its nuclear energy activity is entirely peaceful. The six powers tried to persuade Iran to abandon its higher-grade uranium enrichment, as a first step to a broader deal. Refined uranium can be used to power atomic reactors, Iran’s stated aim, or provide material for weapons if processed more. — Agencies

restaurant, a waitress said they planned to stop serving chicken because of the outbreak. “After we sell out the chicken in stock, we will not buy new chicken and will stop serving chicken dishes for the time being,” said the waitress, who declined to be identified. While the strain does not appear to be transmitted from human to human, authorities in mainland China and Hong Kong said they were taking extra precautions. Hong Kong’s government said it was intensifying surveillance of travellers and poultry coming into the city. China’s Food and Drug Administration said it had fasttracked approval for intravenous anti-influenza drug Peramivir, developed by the US-listed biotechnology firm BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. Peramivir is in medical trials to prove its effectiveness against type-A and

type-B influenza, the administration said in a statement. The H7N9 strain belongs to the type-A group. Shanghai authorities have stressed the H7N9 virus remained sensitive to the drug Tamiflu and those who were diagnosed early could be cured. Tamiflu is made by Roche Holding AG. In Shanghai, residents were taking no chances, turning to traditional medicine and donning face masks. Drugstores were running short of banlangen, a traditional Chinese medicine for colds made from the roots of the woad plant, used as a blue dye from ancient times. “No one knows what might happen with bird flu, so they are buying it,” said a clerk at the Ren Shou Tang medicine store. China and Hong Kong were badly hit by a 2002-2003 epidemic of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome that started in China and killed about one-tenth of the 8,000 people infected worldwide — Agencies

British woman killed on Kashmir houseboat Continued from Page 1 houseboat on the picturesque Dal Lake in the Indian Kashmir city of Srinagar for two months, police said. Police were investigating whether the victim had been sexually assaulted in the incident, which comes after a string of attacks on tourists travelling in India. They said her body had been sent for a postmortem examination. “We can confirm the Jammu and Kashmir police have the body of a British woman. We have contacted the next-of-kin and we are providing consular assistance to the family,” a British High Commission (embassy) spokeswoman told AFP in New Delhi. “At this moment, we cannot reveal the identity of the woman,” she added. In a statement, the police said that the victim was from Manchester. Police said they had arrested the suspect in a taxi near Qazigund, 75 km south of Srinagar on the highway leading out of the Kashmir valley, and they identified him as 43-

year-old Richard De-Wit. “The suspect has been taken into custody on suspicion of murder and we are questioning him,” Sajjad said. DeWit had been staying in the same houseboat, named “New Beauty”, as the victim and he had arrived on Thursday, police said. He had allegedly fled in a small boat which capsized as he was trying to reach the shore, forcing him to swim. The suspect was carrying only his passport when he was arrested, police said. “We flashed an alert for his arrest,” Kashmir Inspector General of Police Abdul Ghani Mir said. The Dutch embassy in New Delhi could not be reached immediately for comment. The victim had been a regular visitor to the houseboat in Srinagar for three years, the vessel’s owner said. “She was like our family member and would often eat with us,” Abdul Rahim Shoda, the houseboat owner, told AFP. “She was like my daughter and my soul is crying.” Shoda said he discovered the victim

“lying on the floor, drenched in blood” several hours after midnight when he got up to do his regular prayers. “I just went mad seeing what was in front of me,” he said. Every year, thousands of tourists visit Kashmir, known as the “Switzerland of the East” for its snow-capped mountains, lakes and breathtaking landscapes, many of them staying on numerous brightly decorated houseboats dotting Dal Lake. Last month, a 39-year-old Swiss cyclist was allegedly gangraped and robbed by six men in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Also last month, a British woman dental hygienist suffered leg injuries when she jumped from a hotel balcony in the northern tourist city of Agra, fearing a sexual assault by hotel employees. The safety of women in India has been in the spotlight since the December fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student on a bus in New Delhi, which sparked nationwide outrage. — AFP





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Washington Watch

Obama’s Lesson: Look at the world through their eyes By Dr James J Zogby resident Obama got it just about perfect in his Jerusalem speech when he urged Israelis to see the world through the eyes of Palestinians. That portion of his remarks was so compelling it deserves to be quoted in full: “But the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, their right to justice must also be recognized. And put yourself in their shoes. Look at the world through their eyes. It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of their own - living their entire lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements, not just of those young people but their parents, their grandparents, every single day. It’s not just when settler violence against Palestinians goes unpunished. It’s not right to prevent Palestinians from farming their lands or restricting a student’s ability to move around the West Bank or displace Palestinian families from their homes. Neither occupation nor expulsion is the answer. “Just as Israelis built a state in their homeland, Palestinians have a right to be a free people in their own land. I’m going off script here for a second. Before I came here, I met with a group of young Palestinians from the age of 15 to 22. And talking to them, they weren’t that different from my daughters. They weren’t that different from your daughters or sons. I honestly believe that if any Israeli parent sat down with those kids, they’d say, I want these kids to succeed. I want them to prosper. I want them to have opportunities just like my kids do. I believe that’s what Israeli parents would want for these kids if they had a chance to listen to them and talk to them. I believe that.” A powerful challenge for Israelis, to be sure, but one that should be listened to by US policymakers and policy analysts, as well. The problem of failing to see Palestinians as equal human beings - of refusing to see the world through their eyes - has long characterized Western and US approaches to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If I were to reduce the West’s understanding of the conflict to an equation, it would be: Israeli humanity vs the Arab/Palestinian problem. Israelis are seen as real people, with whom we can identify. They have hopes and fears and aspirations to live secure and at peace. Arabs, on the other hand, are reduced to one-dimensional objects - as pawns on a chess board to be moved about to satisfy the needs of the Israelis or, merely, as a problem to be solved. Dismissing the full humanity of Palestinians goes back to the very beginning of the conflict. After World War I, US President Woodrow Wilson countered British and French imperial designs to carve up the Middle East, with a call to recognize the right of Arabs to self-determination. To better understand what Arabs really wanted, Wilson commissioned the first-ever survey of Arab opinion. The results were quite clear - Arabs overwhelmingly rejected British and French control, their plans to carve up the Arab East and to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. What Arabs wanted was independence and a unified Arab State. On hearing of these results, Lord Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary, dismissed them out of hand saying: “We do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the inhabitants of the country...Zionism...[is] of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that land.” For the past 90 years it has been Balfour’s understanding, not Wilson’s vision, that has characterized the West’s handling of the conflict. The West has consistently deferred to Israel’s needs, expecting the Arabs to understand. US diplomats have argued with Palestinians that they must deal with “political realities” in Israel or in the US Palestinians have been told that they must recognize the constraints imposed on US presidents and Israeli prime ministers by a difficult Congress or Knesset. And, in recognition of these circumstances, Palestinians have been told to be realistic and not make unreasonable demands. US policymakers say they want negotiations without preconditions leading to a two-state solution. At the same time, they accept, and want Palestinian leaders to accept, Israeli “settlement blocs” (as “established facts”), reject the rights of Palestinian refugees (“it’s unrealistic”), and acknowledge Israel as a “Jewish State” (ignoring the fact that 20 percent of Israeli citizens are Arabs). All of this is done in the name of “realism” and the need to understand the fears and concerns of the Israeli public and the constraints they impose on Israeli leaders. But what of the fears and concerns of the Palestinian public and the constraints they impose on Palestinian leaders? By ignoring this reality, US demands have often placed Palestinian leaders in compromising positions, weakening their political standing with their constituents. If President Obama’s observations in his Jerusalem speech are correct, then not only the Israeli public needs to heed his injunction “to see the world through their [Palestinian] eyes”. US policymakers need to do the same. This is especially important as Secretary of State John Kerry visits the region in a renewed effort at peacemaking. If Kerry is to succeed where others have failed, Palestinian humanity must be recognized. As the victims of occupation, they, the weakest party in the conflict, should not be asked to do the heaviest lifting to make peace possible. And before the US asks President Abbas to take risks, which he can ill afford to do given his already weak position at home, we should challenge our own domestic political constraints and press Prime Minister Netanyahu to do the same in Israel.


NOTE: Dr James J Zogby is the President of the Arab American Institute.

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Africa’s rise pays out dividends for democracy By Pascal Fletcher frica is rising not only on the growth charts of economists. The continent that was a byword for poverty, chaos and bloodshed only a few decades ago, providing a media feast of famines and wars, is slowly but steadily notching up gains on the democracy scorecard too. Last month’s generally peaceful Kenyan presidential election and the Supreme Court process that confirmed Uhuru Kenyatta’s narrow win - confounded pundits’ predictions that East Africa’s biggest economy would tumble back into the same inter-tribal violence which bloodied a 2007 vote. The Kenyan ballot, following a line of hotly-contested but broadly smooth elections last year in Senegal, Sierra Leone and Ghana, has bolstered what many see as a spreading embrace of multi-party democracy in Africa. Combined with better economic management by many governments and a fast-growing population of young workers and consumers, this improving political maturity will underpin expected GDP growth for SubSaharan Africa of five percent or more this year. “If you peel back ‘Africa Rising’, it is not just growth rates,” said John Stremlau, Vice President for Peace Programs at the Atlantabased Carter Center and a veteran observer of African elections, including the most recent Kenyan one. In a December outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa, Fitch Ratings called the vote in Kenya, seen as a political and economic anchor in East Africa, an “important inflection point”.


Despite technical glitches and some localised violence, Kenya passed this test without repeating the 2007-2008 bloodletting that killed more than 1,200 people, helping to mend its image as one of Africa’s most stable democracies. Standard Bank economist Simon Freemantle said the Kenya vote added to a list of recent African elections where incumbent leaders accepted defeat, such as Zambia’s Rupiah Banda in 2011 and Senegal’s Abdoulaye Wade in 2012, or where losing challengers heeded the verdict of the ballot box and the courts. “The momentum, the general thrust is absolutely positive ... these are all examples from very different countries ... different geographically, historically, culturally, and all showing signs of that maturation,” Freemantle told Reuters. He cautioned that the permeation of electoral democracy across a vast and varied continent was not uniform, as Africa has not completely shaken off some of its old demons. “The African narrative in many ways is not a single-track story, it’s very patchy,” he said. A rebel takeover in Central African Republic last month became the latest flashpoint of regional instability. This sucked in South Africa which suffered a blow to its ambitions to be the continental superpower by losing 13 soldiers on a military training mission killed in confused fighting there. France’s robust military intervention in its former Sahel colony Mali in January repulsed a mix of AlQaeda allied rebels, but at the same time raised fears of an Islamist jihadist backlash in North and West Africa, not least in Nigeria

where the government is battling the northern Boko Haram insurgency. Democratic Republic of Congo’s east remains a political and ethnic tinderbox and a surprise attack by pro-secessionist rebels in March on the second city and mining hub of Lubumbashi added to the instability woes of the central African giant. A raid by opposition Renamo supporters in Mozambique on Thursday, killing four policemen, may also worry mining firms exploring huge coal and natural gas reserves. Nevertheless, most Africa watchers say the continent has unquestionably moved on from the time when government change was more likely to come from the point of a gun than a ballot box. In its 2012 “Africa attractiveness” survey, Ernst & Young recalled that between 1960, the milestone year for African independence, and 1990 there was only one instance of an African leader or ruling party being voted out of office. The continent gained an unenviable reputation for bloody coups, kleptocratic “Big Men” dictators, and brutal civil wars fought over resources and often featuring child soldiers - an image of chaos and conflict that has endured over the years. “The perception is that Africa is often more politically unstable, more corrupt and more challenging to do business than anywhere else in the world,” the Ernst & Young survey said. But it argued the facts now “tell a different story,” noting that most African countries have transitioned, or are transitioning toward, some form of participatory democracy. In its 2012 Democracy index, the Economist Intelligence Unit said elections had become a

“normal occurrence” in Sub-Saharan Africa, while coups had declined sharply. The EIU listed 22 Sub-Saharan African states classifying above Russia on its index, while 34 were listed above China. But it noted that despite more infrequent coups, “conflict, failed government and human rights abuses remained widespread”. African Development Bank president Donald Kaberuka believes Africa, written off for decades as a hopeless continent always begging for aid, has now reached a milestone moment. “It is not simply a tipping point in the fortunes of Africa, it is a tipping point in how the rest of the world looks at Africa as well,” he told Reuters at a summit of BRICS emerging powers last week held for the first time in Africa. As China, India, Brazil and Russia increasingly court Africa, he says this is changing perceptions of the region from “a continent of problems” to a source of business opportunities in infrastructure, financial services, and agriculture. Sudan-born telecoms entrepreneur Mo Ibrahim, who has created a $5 million annual prize to reward good governance in Africa, points to the record 86 percent Kenya election turnout as a sign Africans are embracing electoral democracy as a viable force. This contrasts with low turnouts in older western democracies. Tipping the balance towards improving governance, Ibrahim said, was a critical mass of Africa’s young population who were better educated and better informed than their parents. “They ask ‘Why are we like this? Why aren’t we like the Europeans and Americans, why not like China?’,” he added.—Reuters

Rousseff not a slam dunk for re-election By Brian Winter he’s one of the world’s most popular presidents with an approval rating that is the envy of her peers in richer countries struggling with debt crises and political deadlock - 79 percent and rising. She presides over a country with record-low unemployment, a can-do optimism that invites comparisons to the post-war years in the United States, and a chance to showcase its progress when it hosts the soccer World Cup next year. And yet, it’s entirely possible that Dilma Rousseff could fail to win re-election as president of Brazil in Oct 2014. The 65-year-old leftist remains the clear favorite but the threat of rising inflation and unemployment, a trio of attractive opposition candidates, and the possibility of an embarrassing logistical debacle at the World Cup mean that Rousseff is less of a shoo-in than many observers think. “It’s probably going to be the most competitive election in Brazil in a decade,” said Jo„o Augusto de Castro Neves, an analyst for the Eurasia Group think tank. “If you look, most of the ingredients for a tight race are in place.” The main ingredient is the economy. In some ways, it’s Rousseff’s biggest strength. Unemployment was 5.6 percent in February, the lowest ever for that month. Real wages continue to rise, just as they have for most of the past decade as Brazil’s economy enjoyed a historic boom, lifting some 35 million people - equivalent to the population of California - out of poverty. That past and present success best explains why Rousseff’s approval rating ticked up to 79 percent in a nationwide poll sponsored by industrial lobby group CNI last month. Sixty-three percent of respondents rated her government as good or very good. If those numbers hold, Rousseff will be virtually impossible to beat. Castro Neves cited a study by polling group Ipsos that looked at more than 200 elections around the world over the past two decades, and found that leaders with an approval rating above 60 percent have a nine-in-10 chance of being reelected. Yet, not far beneath the surface, there are clear economic problems that could jump up and bite Rousseff, and erode those enviable ratings, just as her re-election bid gets underway. The most likely villain - though not the most dangerous one - is inflation. Prices rose 6.43 percent in the year through mid-March, and look set to creep even higher in coming months. Brazil’s central bank said last week it sees a one-infour chance that inflation could finish this year above its target ceiling of 6.5 percent - double the odds it saw three months before. Brazilians are extremely sensitive to rising prices, mainly because of past horrors. Hyperinflation spiked


over 2,500 percent just two decades ago, and people appreciate that the country’s recent success was possible only because it got that problem under control. Most voters aren’t mad about rising prices yet, because wages have been rising even faster - by an average margin of about 3 percent last year. So, a tiny plurality in the CNI poll said they approved of Rousseff’s handling of inflation, by a margin of 48 percent to 47 percent - a result that was a positive surprise to some in the presidential palace. Can it last? To quote a member of Rousseff’s economic team: “Anybody who tells you they know is lying.” That’s because Brazil’s economy is behaving strangely, and there’s no manual for where it’s headed. Solid wage growth has come even as gross domestic product grew just 2.7 percent in 2011 and 0.9 percent in 2012. Projections for 3 percent GDP growth this year are starting to look optimistic. Rousseff’s popularity proves that Brazilian voters do not care one whit about GDP. But business leaders do, and they’re the ones who provide most of the jobs. To that end, several gauges of business sentiment are looking shaky. Brazil’s stock market tumbled 7.55 percent from January to March, the worst first quarter in 18 years, at a time when markets in the United States were soaring to new highs. Industrial output fell 2.5 percent in February, its worst performance since the depths of the global financial crisis in late 2008, dashing hopes that Rousseff’s numerous stimulus packages might have helped manufacturers turn the corner. Consumer spending has been the economy’s savior for years now, sustained by cheaper and more widely available credit. But high inflation means the central bank will probably have to start hiking interest rates as soon as May or June. So the question boils down to this: Will Brazilian companies continue to create more jobs, and pay better wages, if the economy enters a third straight year of sluggish growth with no clear end in sight, at the

same time as credit is becoming more expensive and consumption is starting to slow? The answer could very well be yes: companies have so far continued to bet that Brazil’s longterm future remains bright. But if the answer is no, then inflation will become a bigger political issue, and the biggest hazard of all to Rousseff’s re-election could emerge: rising unemployment. And then 2014 could turn into a very interesting election indeed. Another core truth about Rousseff is that, while she’s widely respected and even admired, she is not beloved - at least not to the same extent as her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who governed Brazil from 2003 to 2010. A career government official who had never run for election before winning the presidency, and still sometimes looks strained speaking to crowds, Rousseff has built her image around the idea she is a sober steward of the economy. The flip side of that: If the economy fades further, there’s not a lot else to sustain her popularity. In the CNI poll, she got her highest marks for fighting poverty, hunger and unemployment. But majorities disapproved of her handling of healthcare (67 percent), public safety (66 percent) and education (50 percent) - issues that are becoming higher priorities as more move into the middle class. Similarly, the emphasis on administrative competence as Rousseff’s primary job skill leaves her especially vulnerable to a snafu at the World Cup, which will be held just three months before the presidential election. World soccer body FIFA has voiced concerns that stadiums won’t be ready on time, and Brazil suffers terrible bottlenecks at airports, roads and public transport networks even on its best days. A major logistical meltdown could be used by the opposition to undercut Rousseff’s main perceived strength— Reuters


S P ORTS Fergie at Grand National LIVERPOOL: Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson took time off from preparing his side for tomorrow’s derby with defending champions Manchester City by going to watch his two runners in the Grand National on Saturday. The 71-year-old has enjoyed tremendous success as an owner in both flat and National Hunt racing and said he had little hesitation in backing both What A Friend and Harry The Viking in the world’s greatest steeplechase later yesterday. What A Friend has lost his way since finishing fourth in the 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup and, having not won since 2010, is very much an outsider but Ferguson felt there was some grounds for optimism. “I think his fall at the first in last year’s Gold Cup rattled him,” he said. “However, he has talent and I have backed both him and Harry The Viking at the odds of 40/1 each.” Ferguson, who’s greatest turf success was with miler Rock of Gibraltar on the flat winning seven successive Group One contests, said he had unbounding admiration for his duo’s trainer, Paul Nicholls. “When you visit Paul’s stables you have to be impressed,” said Ferguson. “He is always seeking to improve and always asking questions of himself. That is the secret to being successful in any sport.” —AFP

India’s veterans to miss out on Champions Trophy NEW DELHI: India left out opener Virender Sehwag, offspinner Harbhajan Singh and swing bowler Zaheer Khan yesterday from its provisional squad of 30 players for the Champions Trophy in June. The 34-year-old Sehwag, who has played 251 one-day internationals since his debut in 1999, was dropped for the ODI home series against England in January and the last two games of a subsequent four-test home series against Australia. Harbhajan and Khan will also miss the June 6-23 tournament in England after being excluded from the squad Saturday. Harbhajan has been in indifferent form in recent months while Zaheer has failed to return to the national side after recovering from a calf injury. Cheteshwar Pujara, India’s new test batting star, was overlooked despite showing he can score quickly in test and domestic cricket. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, allrounder Yuvraj Singh and batsman Suresh Raina are in the squad and look certain to be picked in the final 15, which will be announced one month before the tournament. Experienced batsman Gautam Gambhir will compete with Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan for the openers’ slots. Unmukt Chand, India’s Under-19 World Cup-winning captain from last year, is another top order batsman in the squad. —AP

Indian boxer gets the axe NEW DELHI: India’s Olympic bronze-medallist boxer Vijender Singh will not take part in two upcoming events following police accusations that he consumed heroin, a top official said yesterday. Vijender will not be selected in the Indian squad for tournaments in Cyprus and Cuba that serve as a prelude to the world championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan in October, the official said. Vijender, who won a bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was accused by Punjab Police of taking heroin 12 times as they investigated his links to an alleged dealer in a $24 million drug haul last month. Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) president Abhishek Matoria said Vijender was not considered for two events after he failed to attend selection trials in the northern town of Punjab. “He is an Olympic hero,” Matoria told reporters. “But at the moment his training has taken a blow because of the drug controversy. “I have been in constant touch with Vijender and he has assured me that he is not involved in the scandal. He has told me that he will come out clean. “As far as we are concerned, Vijender is very much a part of the Indian boxing fraternity.” The boxer, himself a police officer in the neighboring state of Haryana, was linked to the haul after a car belonging to his wife was found outside the residence of the drug dealer near Chandigarh. —AFP

Rangers bring down Angels

SAN FRANCISCO: Giants starting pitcher Barry Zito throws during the first inning of a baseball game. —AP

Giants tower over Cardinals SAN FRANCISCO: Barry Zito pitched another gem against the St. Louis Cardinals, leading the San Francisco Giants to a 1-0 victory in their home opener Friday. The Giants celebrated their latest World Series title throughout the day. Of course, it was Zito who saved San Francisco’s season by beating the Cardinals 5-0 last fall in Game 5 of the NL championship series. This time, Zito outdueled Jake Westbrook (0-1) in his season debut. The lefty also had a key sacrifice bunt that led to San Francisco’s run in the fourth, when Angel Pagan drew a bases-loaded walk. The Giants won their 15th straight game with Zito on the mound, including the postseason. He hasn’t lost since Aug. 2 against the New York Mets. Zito (1-0) blanked the Cardinals on three hits through the seventh. San Francisco’s starters have gone 26 innings without allowing an earned run so far. Jeremy Affeldt pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and Sergio Romo closed out the three-hitter with a clean ninth for his third save. Fresh off San Francisco’s second title in three years, manager Bruce Bochy carried the World Series trophy out from an entrance in center field as the first Giant announced to the sellout crowd of 41,581. DODGERS 3, PIRATES 0 In Los Angeles, Zack Greinke pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning of his splendid Dodgers debut against Pittsburgh. Andre Ethier homered and Los Angeles got consecutive RBI doubles from Matt Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez. Greinke, who signed a $147 million, six-year contract to join the Dodgers during the offseason, struck out six and did not walk a batter in 6 1-3 innings. Greinke (1-0) was on a limited pitch count after throwing only 13 innings during spring training, but he made his 92 pitches count. He yielded just a two-out single to Garrett Jones in the second inning and a one-out single to Andrew McCutchen in the seventh. Offensively for the Dodgers, Ethier hit his first home run of the season, Kemp got his first hit (his RBI double) and Gonzalez had his first RBI. All three hits came against Pirates starter Jonathan Sanchez (0-1). Brandon League worked the ninth for his first save, completing the two-hitter. REDS 15, NATIONALS 0 In Cincinnati, Todd Frazier and Zack Cozart each hit two of Cincinnati’s six home runs, including a grand slam by pinch-hitter Xavier Paul, as the Reds sent Washington to its first loss of the season. It was the Nationals’ most lopsided loss since baseball returned to Washington in 2005, topping a 15-1 defeat to Detroit on June 19, 2007, according to STATS. Washington had been the last major league team without a loss this season. Dan Haren (0-1) had a rough time in his Nationals debut, giving up four homers and six runs in four innings. Homer Bailey (1-0) allowed two hits in six scoreless innings. The right-hander hasn’t allowed a run in his last 19 regular-season innings, a streak that includes his no-hitter in Pittsburgh on Sept. 28. BRAVES 4, CUBS 1 In Atlanta, Justin Upton hit his third homer in four games and Mike Minor pitched into the eighth inning to help Atlanta beat Chicago. Juan Francisco had a two-run single and Minor (1-0) won his first start of the season, allowing one run and five hits in 7 1-3 innings. He walked none and struck out seven. Eric O’Flaherty got two outs in the eighth and Craig Kimbrel threw eight pitches in a perfect ninth for his second save. Making his Cubs debut, Scott Feldman (0-1) threw two wild pitches, hit a batter and had a fielding error when he missed the bag in an

attempt to cover first base. Feldman gave up four runs, five hits and four walks in 4 2-3 innings. Upton also had a sacrifice fly. MARLINS 7, METS 5 In New York, Alex Sanabia won for the first time in more than two years and Miami gave Mike Redmond his first victory as a major league manager by beating New York. The Marlins began the day 0-3 and were the only team in the majors without a win. Sanabia (10) had been absent from the majors since late in the 2011 season. He pitched six shutout innings, working around six hits, three walks and a hit batter. Miami took advantage of shortstop Ruben Tejada’s error to score five runs in the seventh for a 6-0 lead. The Mets rallied and brought the potential tying run to the plate a couple of times, but couldn’t catch the Marlins. Greg Dobbs’ homer off Jeremy Hefner (0-1) leading off the second gave the Marlins their first lead of the season - and only their second run overall. Miami was 1 for 20 with runners in scoring position before Placido Polanco’s two-run single in the seventh. DIAMONDBACKS 3, BREWERS 1 In Milwaukee, Wade Miley and Kyle Lohse were locked in a pitching duel through six innings before Arizona spoiled Lohse’s debut with Milwaukee by scoring two runs on a wild pitch from reliever Michael Gonzalez in the seventh. Lohse allowed five hits and struck out six. Miley (1-0) gave up five hits and struck out eight, one shy of his career high. The Diamondbacks went ahead on a hit, three walks, a sacrifice bunt and Gonzalez’s errant pitch. JJ Putz pitched the ninth for his first save. Burke Badenhop (0-1) took the loss. ROCKIES 5, PADRES 2 In Denver, Wilin Rosario and Dexter Fowler homered to back Jeff Francis as Colorado beat San Diego in a festive home opener at Coors Field. Francis (1-0) scattered five hits over six sharp innings. The soft-throwing lefty nearly became the first Rockies starter to eclipse the 100-pitch mark in 106 games, but was pulled after striking out Nick Hundley on his 97th offering to finish the sixth. Rafael Betancourt pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save. Troy Tulowitzki broke a tie with a two-run double in the third. Jason Marquis (0-1) was cruising along early before a costly error by shortstop Everth Cabrera paved the way to a three-run third for the Rockies. Marquis lasted six innings and gave up five runs, two earned. INTERLEAGUE ROYALS 13, PHILLIES 4 In Philadelphia, Alex Gordon and Chris Getz each hit a bases-loaded triple, and Kansas City rallied to spoil Philadelphia’s home opener. The interleague matchup was a rare one between teams that first met in the 1980 World Series - the Royals’ only other visit to Philadelphia came in 2004. After getting a total of 17 hits in their first three games against the Chicago White Sox, the Royals had 19 against the Phillies. Eric Hosmer was 4 for 5 with three RBIs, and the Royals overcame a 4-0 deficit to surge past Kyle Kendrick (01) and the Phillies. Domonic Brown and Erik Kratz hit solo homers for the Phillies, who are off to a 13 start. Bruce Chen (1-0) struck out two in a perfect fifth in relief of Wade Davis to earn the win. Davis allowed four runs and nine hits in four innings in his first start for Kansas City. Four Royals relievers combined to toss five hitless innings. Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and George Brett, rivals when the Phillies beat the Royals to win their first championship 33 years ago, threw out the first pitches. —AP

ARLINGTON: Ian Kinsler hit a goahead single with two outs in the eighth inning and the Texas Rangers gave their fans plenty of reasons to cheer in the home opener, beating Josh Hamilton and the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 Friday. Hamilton was a five-time All-Star and the 2010 AL MVP with Texas before going to the AL West rival Angels with a $125 million, five-year contract last winter. He finished 0 for 4 and is 1 for 16 this season. The slugger was booed when he was introduced, then cheered when he struck out twice. Kinsler’s sharp single to right was fielded by Hamilton, who shorthopped a throw to the plate as speedy Craig Gentry slid home for the tiebreaking run. Tanner Scheppers (1-0) pitched an inning in relief of starter Derek Holland. Joe Nathan worked the ninth for his first save, an inning that started with him retiring Albert Pujols and Hamilton on flyouts. Gentry reached with a one-out single off Scott Downs (0-2) and stole second base. TIGERS 8, YANKEES 3 In Detroit, Prince Fielder hit a goahead, three-run homer in the fifth inning and added a soaring, tworun shot in the seventh to lift Detroit over New York in the Comerica Park opener. Fielder connected for his first two home runs of the season before a crowd of 45,051, the most on opening day in the 14 years since the ballpark opened. Doug Fister (1-0) allowed three runs and six hits - including Kevin Youkilis’ two-run homer - over five innings. Drew Smyly struck out five in four perfect innings for his first career save. Ivan Nova (0-1) gave up four runs and five hits over 4 2-3 innings. Fielder greeted Boone Logan with a three-run shot that put the Tigers up 5-3. Alex Avila homered off Shawn Kelley in the sixth. The banged-up Yankees took another hit, too. Eduardo Nunez, filling in for injured shortstop Derek Jeter, was hit on his right biceps by Fister’s pitch in the fourth and left the game. X-rays were negative. ORIOLES 9, TWINS 5 In Baltimore, Chris Davis extended his torrid start with a grand slam and five RBIs, and the Baltimore Orioles used a five-run eighth inning to beat Minnesota in their home opener. Davis became the fourth player in major league history to homer in his first four games of the season, joining Willie Mays, Mark McGwire and Nelson Cruz. He is 9 for 15 (.600) with four homers and 16 RBIs. The Orioles trailed 5-4 before loading the bases with one out in the eighth against Casey Fien (0-1). After Adam Jones tied it with an RBI single, Davis greeted Twins reliever Tyler Robertson with an oppositefield shot to left on the first pitch. Luis Ayala (1-0) worked 1 2-3 scoreless innings for the Orioles. Brian Dozier drove in three runs for the Twins. RED SOX 6, BLUE JAYS 4 In Toronto, Mike Napoli hit a tworun homer and drove in the goahead run in the eighth inning, and Boston beat the Blue Jays in manager John Farrell’s return to Toronto. Will Middlebrooks added a solo shot for the Red Sox and Junichi

ARLINGTON: Los Angeles Angels right fielder Josh Hamilton is unable to make the play on a double by Texas Rangers’ Lance Berkman in the fifth inning of a baseball game. —AP

Tazawa (1-0) got the win despite allowing a tying homer to Jose Reyes in the seventh. Andrew Bailey pitched the eighth and Joel Hanrahan finished for his second save. A crowd of 45,328 booed Farrell all night. The former Toronto manager left the Blue Jays last fall to replace Bobby Valentine in Boston. Reyes went 4 for 5 with two RBIs and Josh Johnson gave up nine hits over six innings in his Toronto debut. Mark DeRosa hit his first home run in three years. Pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes drew a one-out walk from Esmil Rogers (01) in the eighth and went to third on Dustin Pedroia’s double before Napoli followed with a grounder to third. Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista was held out of the lineup with a sore right ankle.

his final eight batters and was pulled after 100 pitches. Zobrist, who has driven in a team-leading seven runs in four games, did most of the damage against Zach McAllister (0-1) with a pair of doubles. Jake McGee and Brandon Gomes each worked a perfect inning for the Rays. Joel Peralta finished the twohitter with a 1-2-3 ninth.

tiebreaking double in the 10th inning and Jesus Montero tacked on a run-scoring single to lead Seattle over Chicago. Franklin Gutierrez sparked the winning rally when he led off with an infield single. He advanced on Michael Saunders’ sacrifice and came home when Morales drove the next pitch from Nate Jones (0-1) down the first-base line. Montero then singled in pinchrunner Robert Andino as Seattle earned its fourth win in its last 20 games at Chicago dating to the 2008 season. The Mariners have only 11 wins in their last 44 games against the White Sox overall. Gutierrez also homered and drove in three runs for Seattle, which blew a 6-1 lead on a chilly night at US Cellular Field. Kameron Loe (1-0) pitched a perfect ninth and Tom Wilhelmsen held on for his second save. Dewayne Wise hit a two-out RBI single for the White Sox in the 10th and Alexei Ramirez walked to load the bases before Tyler Flowers struck out to end it. Alejandro De Aza and Alex Rios homered for Chicago, which went 8-1 against Seattle last season. —AP

ATHLETICS 8, ASTROS 3 In Houston, Coco Crisp hit a leadoff homer and added two doubles in Oakland’s big fifth inning against Houston. Crisp sent the fourth pitch of the night over the wall in the right-field corner for his ninth career leadoff homer. Dan Straily (1-0) allowed five hits and struck a career-high 11 in 6 2-3 solid innings. The Athletics were up 1-0 when Crisp doubled with one out in the fifth to chase Astros starter Brad Peacock (0-1). Crisp’s second double drove in two runs later in the seven-run fifth. Josh Donaldson added a two-run single in the inning.

RAYS 4, INDIANS 0 In St. Petersburg, Matt Moore pitched six sharp innings and Ben Zobrist drove in three runs to lead Tampa Bay over Cleveland. Moore (1-0) limited the Indians to a pair of hits by Michael Bourn, walked two and struck out eight. The 23-year-old left-hander retired

MARINERS 8, WHITE SOX 7 In Chicago, Kendrys Morales hit a

MLB results/standings Detroit 8, NY Yankees 3; Texas 3, LA Angels 2; Baltimore 9, Minnesota 5; Kansas City 13, Philadelphia 4; Colorado 5, San Diego 2; San Francisco 1, St. Louis 0; Boston 6, Toronto 4; Cincinnati 15, Washington 0; Miami 7, NY Mets 5; Tampa Bay 4, Cleveland 0; Atlanta 4, Chicago Cubs 1; Seattle 8, Chicago White Sox 7 (10 Innings); Arizona 3, Milwaukee 1; Oakland 8, Houston 3; LA Dodgers 3, Pittsburgh 0.

Baltimore Boston Tampa Bay NY Yankees Toronto

American League Eastern Division W L 3 1 3 1 2 2 1 3 1 3

Central Division Chicago White Sox 2 2 Cleveland 2 2 Detroit 2 2 Kansas City 2 2 Minnesota 2 2

Texas Oakland Seattle Houston LA Angels

Western Division 3 1 3 2 3 2 1 3 1 3

PCT .750 .750 .500 .250 .250

.500 .500 .500 .500 .500

.750 .600 .600 .250 .250

Atlanta Washington NY Mets Miami Philadelphia

National League Eastern Division 3 1 3 1 2 2 1 3 1 3

.750 .750 .500 .250 .250

1 2 2


Cincinnati Chicago Cubs Milwaukee Pittsburgh St. Louis

Central Division 3 1 2 2 1 3 1 3 1 3

.750 .500 .250 .250 .250

1 2 2 2

0.5 0.5 2 2

Arizona Colorado San Francisco LA Dodgers San Diego

Western Division 3 1 3 1 3 1 2 2 1 3

.750 .750 .750 .500 .250

1 2

GB 1 2 2

ABK’s 2nd Football Competition KUWAIT: Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait is holding an exciting event, “ABK’s 2nd Football Penalties Competition”, in lieu of its commitment and interest in sporting activities, also within the framework of its ongoing CSR campaign “Our Society, Our Responsibility”. This unique competition will be held on the April 14 and 15, 2013, at the GOAL playground in Discovery Mall. At the announcement of this tournament, Ms. Sahar Al Therban, Public Relations Manager at ABK said that the Bank has been at the forefront of supporting sporting

activity, encouraging sports persons to excel, in the belief that it is a part of their social responsibility. “We are proud to organize this competition, where 64 teams will be competing over 2 days. The teams will be distributed into 4 groups, each team consisting of a player and a goal keeper.” Ms. Al Therban added “We invite you all to take this opportunity and contact our call center Ahlan Ahli at 1899899 to participate in ABK’s Football Penalties Competition, and be the lucky winner of cash prizes. We wish good luck to all the participants.”

Sahar Al Therban



Tiger Woods aims to end long drought at Augusta AUGUSTA: Tiger Woods in a green jacket once felt like an annual celebration of spring, as regular as the azaleas bursting with color at Augusta National. Now it’s more like a fading memory. It has been eight years since Woods rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt to win the Masters in a playoff for his fourth green jacket. He appeared to be well on his way to living up to the audacious prediction made by Jack Nicklaus, who played a practice round at Augusta with Woods - then a 19-year-old amateur - and Arnold Palmer. Nicklaus came away so impressed that he considered his six Masters and the four won by Palmer and said, “This kid should win more than that.” But the major Woods was supposed to dominate has become the major he can’t seem to win anymore. “It’s been one of those things where I’ve been close there so many times on that back nine on Sunday, and I just haven’t won,” Woods said. “I’ve

been in the mix. Been on the periphery and played myself into the mix. I’ve been right there with just a few holes to go, and it just hasn’t happened. Hopefully, this year it will be a different story.” This might be his best chance to end the drought - not only at the Masters, but in the majors. His last victory in one was the 2008 US Open. Woods is fully healthy for the first time in years. He appears happy after a scandal that ruined his marriage and his image, announcing a few weeks ago that he’s dating Olympic ski champion Lindsey Vonn. He is winning again at an alarming rate six out of his last 20 on the PGA Tour, including consecutive wins heading into the Masters. And he is back to No. 1 in the world. Also back is his swagger. “Everyone is waiting for the first major. I don’t know why they’re waiting for that,” Hunter Mahan said. “I think he’s done enough this

year to realize that he’s still really good and he’s still better than everyone else. He set the bar so high, I don’t know what is going to make everyone go, ‘He’s back to that time.’ “It seems hard to be intimidating in golf,” Mahan said. “But I think he’s the closest thing to it.” Now all Woods needs is another green jacket. He has only worn the jacket for the Champions Dinner since last winning in 2005, and as defending champion at the trophy presentation a year later. Woods had six three-putts in 2006, twice missing eagle chances inside 15 feet on the back Sunday when he finished three shots behind Phil Mickelson. Those close to Woods suspected he was simply trying too hard, knowing it would be the last time his father watched the Masters. Earl Woods died a month later. “Just really wanted to have him be a part of one last major championship victo-

ry and I didn’t get it done,” Woods said. “It hurt quite a bit. ... There’s never been another defeat that has felt like that.” But the losses kept piling up. Woods couldn’t catch Zach Johnson in 2007, hurt by a bogey-bogey finish in consecutive rounds. A cold putter stopped him in 2009, and in his last great chance in 2011, he was tied for the lead going to the back nine on Sunday and played it even par. “Why has Tiger not won there in eight years? I don’t know,” Graeme McDowell said. I guess the style in which guys play nowadays, guys are long and aggressive, and it’s not like Tiger back in ‘97 when he dominated people with his length. He was playing a completely different golf course from everyone else. I think there are so many guys now who can decimate a golf course like that when it’s playing benign.” One of those guys is Rory McIlroy, though golf’s next big star hasn’t looked like one lately.

The 23-year-old from Northern Ireland won the PGA Championship in August for his second major - more than Woods had at that age - and then became the first player to win back-to-back tournaments with Woods in the field during the FedEx Cup playoffs a month later. He closed out the year by capturing the money title on the PGA and European tours, and he was the undisputed best player in golf. That’s no longer the case. With so much scrutiny over swapping out all of his equipment under a massive Nike endorsement, McIlroy has languished. The missed cut in Abu Dhabi. A first-round loss in the Match Play Championship. Quitting after 27 holes of the Honda Classic. McIlroy added the Texas Open a week before the Masters, desperate to shake the rust out of his game and replace it with some confidence. “All the pieces are there,” he said. “It’s about putting them all together. And once I put them together, I’ll be fine.”—AP

Park fires into lead of Nabisco Championship

SAN JOSE: Tommy Wingels No. 57 of the San Jose Sharks shoots on goal getting his shot past Chris Butler No. 44 of the Calgary Flames in the second period at HP Pavilion. —AFP

Penguins edge Rangers PITTSBURGH: Newly acquired forward Jussi Jokinen scored a goal in regulation in his Penguins debut and then added the only tally in the shootout as Pittsburgh edged the New York Rangers 2-1 on Friday night. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 34 shots and then stopped Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello and Ryan Callahan in the shootout as Pittsburgh snapped a two-game losing streak following a 15-game winning run. Fleury was at the top of his game just two nights after he allowed all the goals in the Rangers’ 6-1 home victory over the Penguins. Jokinen, acquired in a trade with Carolina just before Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline, beat Henrik Lundqvist with a wrist shot 32 seconds into the third period. Nash’s 14th goal tied it with 4:49 remaining, but the Rangers couldn’t complete the sweep of the home-and-home series. Lundqvist made 26 saves through overtime in his 500th NHL game, for the Rangers, who are tied with the rival New York Islanders at the postseason cutoff in the Eastern Conference. SHARKS 2, FLAMES 1 In San Jose, Joe Pavelski scored on a rebound with 2:06 remaining to lead San Jose over Calgary and give the Sharks their seventh straight victory. Dan Boyle scored the tying goal early in the third period and Antti Niemi made 23 saves for the Sharks, who matched their season-opening, seven-game winning streak. San Jose remained perfect through six games of a seven-game homestand and has moved from ninth place to fourth in the Western Conference during this streak. Mikael Backlund scored and Miikka Kiprusoff made 39 saves for Calgary, which has lost 12 straight road games. SABRES 4, SENATORS 2 In Buffalo, Brian Flynn and Jochen Hecht scored third-period goals 12 seconds apart, and Buffalo rallied to beat Ottawa. Steve Ott and Luke Adam also scored for Buffalo, and Ryan Miller stopped 35 shots. Defensemen Adam Pardy and Mike Weber each had two assists for the rebuilding Sabres. Buffalo (15-17-6), now 12th in the Eastern Conference, was coming off a 4-1 victory at Pittsburgh on Tuesday that snapped the Penguins’ 15-game winning streak. Marc Methot and Eric Gryba scored for the Senators, who have lost three straight in regulation for the first time this season. Mika Zibanejad had two assists for Ottawa (19-12-6). BLUES 3, BLUE JACKETS 1 St. Louis, Jake Allen made 26 saves, and David Backes scored for the second straight

game to lead suddenly surging St. Louis over Columbus. The Blues have won three in a row after a three-game skid. St. Louis has won all three meetings with Columbus this season and 10 of 11 overall. The Blue Jackets failed to earn a point for only the third time in 19 games. Backes, who broke a 15-game goal-scoring drought in Chicago on Thursday, has nearly doubled his goal total in two days. He has five goals this season. Chris Stewart scored his team-leading 16th goal for St. Louis, and Patrik Berglund added an empty-netter with less than a second remaining. The Blues are 15-2-1 when Stewart has at least a point. Allen (9-3-1) gave up just a late second-period goal to Artem Anisimov. Marian Gaborik had an assist, giving him three points in his first two games with Columbus after being acquired from the New York Rangers on Wednesday. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 16 shots for the Blue Jackets. RED WINGS 3, AVALANCHE 2 In Denver, Pavel Datsyuk knocked in a rebound at 4:45 of overtime, and Detroit beat Colorado to hold onto seventh place in the Western Conference. Datsyuk, who had two goals, ended the game after Henrik Zetterberg put a shot on net that goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere didn’t cover. Datsyuk reached out to poke in the puck as defenseman Matt Hunwick was draped all over him. Jimmy Howard had 32 saves, and Gustav Nyquist had a goal for the Red Wings, who are locked in a tight fight for a playoff spot. Detroit had lost three of four. P.A. Parenteau and Mark Olver scored for Colorado, which gave Detroit all it could handle before losing for the 11th time in 13 games. STARS 3, DUCKS 1 In Anaheim, Alex Chiasson scored his first NHL goal, Lane MacDermid netted his second in two games since being promoted from the minors, and Eric Nystrom had a short-handed goal for Dallas in a victory over Anaheim. Kari Lehtonen made 27 saves to help end Dallas’ three-game skid. The Stars, whose fouryear playoff drought is the longest in franchise history, are five points behind eighth-place St. Louis in the Western Conference. Andrew Cogliano scored for Anaheim, and Viktor Fasth stopped 22 shots in his third straight start. It was the third consecutive game between the teams in five days, following 4-0 and 5-2 wins by the Pacific Division-leading Ducks (25-8-5). Nystrom and Chiasson scored less than 5 12 minutes apart to give Dallas a 3-1 lead with 48 seconds left in the first period.—AP

NHL results/standings Buffalo 4, Ottawa 2; Pittsburgh 2, NY Rangers 1 (SO); St. Louis 3, Columbus 1; Detroit 3, Colorado 2 (OT); Dallas 3, Anaheim 1; San Jose 2, Calgary 1. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division

Pittsburgh NY Rangers NY Islanders New Jersey Philadelphia

W 29 18 18 15 17

Montreal Boston Toronto Ottawa Buffalo

24 24 20 19 15

Washington Winnipeg Carolina Tampa Bay Florida

18 18 16 16 12

L OTL GF GA PTS 10 0 127 95 58 15 4 89 89 40 16 4 109 117 40 13 9 89 101 39 17 3 105 114 37 Northeast Division 8 5 118 90 53 8 4 101 77 52 13 4 115 105 44 12 6 93 83 44 17 6 102 116 36 Southeast Division 17 2 109 105 38 19 2 94 119 38 18 2 96 111 34 18 2 117 106 34 19 6 91 127 30

Western Conference Central Division Chicago 27 5 4 122 80 58 Detroit 19 14 5 99 100 43 St. Louis 20 14 2 105 98 42 Columbus 16 15 7 91 101 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 19 4 97 128 30 Colorado 12 20 5 89 117 29 Pacific Division Anaheim 25 8 5 117 95 55 San Jose 20 11 6 94 89 46 Los Angeles 21 13 3 107 91 45 Phoenix 16 15 6 101 104 38 Dallas 17 17 3 99 113 37 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L)

CALIFORNIA: South Korean Inbee Park fired a fiveunder 67 to surge into a one-shot lead after the second round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first major of the women’s golf season on Friday. The 2008 US Open champion notched six birdies and just a lone bogey to move to sevenunder for the tournament at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage California, one clear of American Lizette Salas. “I’m very happy with my play today on a tough golf course I think I handled myself very well especially with the wind,” Park told reporters. “The back nine was pretty tough but I hit the ball where I wanted to and I putted very well today so that’s why I got a good score today. “I’m really excited that I could play for a win this weekend,” she added. “That’s just something really special but I’m not trying to think too far ahead, there are two more rounds so hopefully I can do my best and it’s going to be enough.” Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall (68) and Italian Giulia Sergas (69) share third at five-under. Salas enjoyed plenty of local support and managed five birdies to one bogey as she stayed on the heels of Park. Salas has three top-10 finishes this season and is hoping to ride her form to a maiden major championship. “I’m very pleased. I’ve been pleased with my ball striking all week,” she said. “I missed a few short putts on the front nine and I knew the wind was going to kick in on my back nine so I just really tried to stay patient and focus on those irons. “I’m looking forward to more birdies. It’s nice to

RANCHO MIRAGE: Inbee Park, of South Korea, watches her tee shot during the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship golf tournament.—AP be in contention at a major but I can only take it one shot at a time.” Overnight leaders Choi Nayeon and Suzann Pettersen both struggled to three-over 75s to drop back to one-under and a tie for 21st while world number one Stacy Lewis card-

ed a 71 to be even-par and tied for 28th seven shots off the pace. “I did a lot of good things but the score just didn’t really show it,” Lewis said. “I’m only a few back going into the weekend and on this golf course I’m right in it.”—Reuters

Hurricanes blow away Waratahs

Jason Woodward

Rebels stun Force PERTH: The Melbourne Rebels produced a stunning form reversal to beat the Western Force 30-23 in their Super 15 rugby clash in Perth yesterday. The Rebels arrived in Perth a rabble, after a horror tour of South Africa. Thrashed 64-7 by the Sharks and 34-16 by the Cheetahs, the Rebels also endured off-field problems with two players sent home early, Kurtley Beale and Cooper Vuna, after a drunken altercation. However, they bounced back to notch their second win of the season, both coming against the hapless Force, who paid the price for a slow start. A brace of tries to the impressive Jason Woodward, who also had a third try denied by the video referee, enabled the Rebels to hold on after it twice looked like they might squander a commanding lead. The Rebels hit the ground running to lead 15-0 after 20 minutes, and again led 23-11 midway through the second half. However, they never quite managed to put the Force away and the home team fought back to level the match at 23-all in the 67th minute. Woodward then scored his second try, and his team’s fourth, in the 70th minute to give the Rebels a lead that they were able to hold until the final hooter. Scott Higginbotham, captaining the Rebels for the first time, said it was a much-needed confidence boost for his team. “It is a great way to finish the tour,” he said. “Probably not the exact way we wanted to play, but it is good to win all the same. “The last few rounds we have been playing well in the first half and then dropping off.

“The boys need a bit more confidence and we showed that at the end.” Force skipper Matt Hodgson lamented his team’s poor start.”You can’t give sides a start in this competition and 15 points is a lot,” he said. “We need to be a lot better than that, we didn’t play as a team.” The Rebels’ Hugh Pyle scored the game’s first try in the eighth minute, before Woodward capitalised on a horror bounce for the Force’s Will Tupou after a Rebels grubber kick and strolled in for an easy try as they opened up a 15-0 lead. It wasn’t until the 33rd minute that the Force scored their first try, through Winston Stanley, and a succession of penalties conceded by the Rebels enabled the home side to bridge the gap, trailing 15-11 at the break. Former Force star James O’Connor tormented his old side when he produced a slick pass to Richard Kingi for the first try of the second half in in the 49th minute. When O’Connor converted a penalty in the 58th minute, his side was ahead 23-11, but the Force then struck back through a try to Tupou just two minutes later. Woodward looked like he had sealed the result in the 60th minute when he was on the end of an O’Connor pass and scored what appeared an easy try, but the pass was ruled forward. The Force’s Patrick Dellit then levelled the scores again when he ran onto a Stanley grubber kick. However, Woodward’s match-winner try came out of nothing when he picked up a wayward pass, saw an opening, chipped ahead and dived on the ball for the try.—AFP

WELLINGTON: A second-half burst gave the Wellington Hurricanes maximum points over the New South Wales Waratahs with a 41-29 victory in their Super 15 clash yesterday. At half-time a bonus point seemed out of the question as a lack of discipline by both sides saw rival kickers Beauden Barrett and Brendan McKibbin dominating the scoreboard. The Hurricanes led 19-16 at the turn from four penalties and a converted try to three penalties and a converted try for the Waratahs. But after the resumption of play, the game burst open as the Hurricanes pounced on turnover ball to punish the Waratahs with three quick tries to take a commanding lead. The Waratahs recovered to bag two tries of their own but were denied a fourth try and the prospect of two bonus points when Michael Hooper was forced out in the corner on full-time. It was the fourth consecutive win for the Conrad Smith-led ‘Canes and propelled them from ninth to fifth on the congested ladder while the Waratahs remain in 10th place. Smith said the game-changing first 15 minutes of the second half was the clinical performance his side had been threatening to produce all season. “We’ve got plenty of fire power to take those opportunities and it just meant we racked up points pretty quick. We probably sat on it a little and softened up at the end and let

them in for a bit more than we would have liked,” he said. Waratahs skipper Dave Dennis blamed the high turnover rate after the break for his side falling off the pace. “That’s what’s been killing us all season. We gave them too much ball in our half and it hurt us. They scored two or three quick tries in the second half and it’s hard to come back.” There were only two tries in the first half, one apiece, as neither side was able to asset any dominance. Julian Savea scored when Waratahs wing Drew Mitchell spilled a high kick and the Hurricanes forwards pounced on the ball to send the flying wing over in the corner. The Waratahs replied when a TJ Perenara clearing kick landed in the arms of fly-half Brendan Foley who weaved his way 40 metres to the line leaving a trail of defenders sprawled behind him. South African-born prop Reggie Goodes scored first after the break when he reached behind him to gather in a misdirected Smith pass and galloped 20 metres to the line. A Barrett chip kick put hooker Motu Matu’u in for a try and then Savea deftly caught a deft fly kick to score his second try and the Hurricane’s fourth. Adam Ashley Cooper and Israel Folau both scored late tries for the Waratahs but their desperate bid to claim a bonus point ended with a diving Hooper forced into touch.—AFP

Beauden Barrett in action in this file photo



Final Four: It’s Louisville and The Other Guys ATLANTA: Tip-off time is nearing. Time to see if Louisville can live up to the hype or one of those other guys can turn the Final Four into their party. The Cardinals are not only the favorites to win the national championship, they’ve become sentimental favorites, as well, after rallying around Kevin Ware, the guard whose compound leg fracture in last week’s regional final turned stomachs, while also warming hearts and setting the story line for this week in Atlanta. “With Kevin going down, especially the way he did, it’s just making us play harder,” Louisville forward Wayne Blackshear said Friday. In late yesterday’s opening national semifinal at the Georgia Dome, the Cardinals - No. 1 seeds in the entire tournament - play ninth-seeded Wichita State, which has sprung upsets of Gonzaga and Ohio State en route to that program’s first Final Four appearance since 1965. The second semifinal pits a pair of No. 4 seeds, Michigan and Syracuse, two programs with plenty of tradition but largely considered subplots in a

week dominated by Louisville and Ware. (To say nothing of the news going down at Rutgers, where video of coach Mike Rice hitting players led to his ouster, the departure of the athletic director and other problems.) “I’m just glad to know Kevin Ware now even more because he’s probably the most famous person I know,” Louisville guard Peyton Siva said. “You know, when you have Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama call you, it’s pretty good to say you know that person.” Wichita State has one player (Carl Hall) who salvaged his career after working in a light bulb factor y and two more (Ron Baker and Malcolm Armstead) who paid their way to come to school and started on the team as walk-ons. Its coach has invited fans into the locker room after big wins. In most years, this would be the school with all the makings of a team the whole country can get behind. Problem is, in this case, Louisville and Ware are already tugging on America’s heart strings. “We’re brothers for life,” swingman Luke Hancock

said. “I have that guy’s back in any situation. I know he has mine.” Louisville (33-5) is a 101/2-point favorite against the Shockers (30-8). The second semifinal is expected to be more competitive. Michigan (30-7) is a 2-point favorite against Syracuse (30-9). The Wolverines are back at the Final Four for the first time since the Fab Five led them there in 1993. Syracuse returns on the 10-year anniversary of its only title, led by Carmelo Anthony. The featured players in this game: For Michigan, Trey Burke, The Associated Press Player of the Year. And for Syracuse, well, it’s coach Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone defense. How will Boeheim try to stop Burke, whose longrange 3-pointer against Kansas sent the game into overtime and set the stage for the Wolverines run to Atlanta? “I don’t pay attention to matchups,” Boeheim said. “It’s teams. Teams play.” Indeed, during interviews Friday, the Syracuse players sounded plenty confident that their team could stop Burke and the rest of the Wolverines, who followed their victory

over top-seeded Kansas with a 20-point blowout of Florida in the regional final. “It’s tough to go against our zone when you’ve never seen it before,” forward C.J. Fair said. “We want to force him to do some things he’s not done before.” While Burke may be the most-watched player in the second game, all eyes figure to be on Ware in the opener, even though he’ll never touch a basketball. He lives near Atlanta and traveled with the team for the Final Four. When the Cardinals arrived Wednesday night, he was in a wheelchair and the plan is for him to be on the bench for the game. Louisville faces some practical concerns not having Ware in the lineup. He was the main substitute for Russ Smith and Siva, the guards who guide the Louisville press and its offense, as well. “Our players totally understand the challenge that lies ahead with this Wichita State team,” coach Rick Pitino said. “We understand with Kevin out that we not only have to play very hard, we have to play very, very smart.” — AP

Knicks win as Thunder roll

2014 FIFA World Cup Winner’s Trophy attracts thousands of followers on NBK Instagram KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) hosted the 2014 FIFA World Cup Winner’s Trophy on Its first visit to Kuwait recently. Many football fans participated in welcoming the trophy at NBK’s Head Office, took a photo and shared it on NBK page on Instagram. Children from NBK Hospital and many other social organizations joined this event and had a chance to see the golden 2014 FIFA World Cup Winner’s Trophy, one of the most valuable and famous global awards. Thousands of followers interacted with this event that NBK hosted in Kuwait for the

first time ever. Followers shared their photos on NBK page on Instagram @NBKPage. And twitter @NBKPage using the hashtag #NBKVisaFifa. NBK is keen to support customers through all channels and views social media networks as important aspects for supporting the lifestyle and banking habits of NBK customers. For more information regarding banking transactions, events and competitions check out National Bank of Kuwait official facebook page NBK - Official Page or follow NBK on Twitter @NBKPage, and on Instagram @NBKPage.

Shiming wins debut pro fight MACAU: China’s Zou Shiming celebrated victory in his debut professional fight yesterday in Macau, but he did it the hard way, defeating little-known Mexican Eleazar Valenzuela on points. The two-time Olympic champion and China’s first boxer to make it to the world stage won on a unanimous points decision, with all three judges giving him victory 4036. Wearing gold trunks, Zou, 31, let his opponent do all the work in the first round. Valenzuela went after the home hero, who danced and dodged past and under the Mexican’s wild shots. Zou grinned broadly at one point as yet another Valenzuela swing hit nothing but air at a feverish CotaiArena at The Venetian resort-hotel. But if Zou, his US promoters and the millions in China watching the fight live on tel-

evision had been expecting a first-round victory for their man, they were disappointed. The second round followed the same script, Valenzuela doing the work and Zou ducking and diving his way out of trouble, challenging his opponent to bring on more. Halfway through the scheduled four rounds and things were not exactly going to plan for Zou and an electric home crowd, who had hoped for a quick win. But the Chinese fighter showed plenty more in the third, rocking Valenzuela twice, first with a strong right and then a clubbing left, bringing the patriotic home support to its feet. In the fourth and final round, Zou finally showed more ambition as he connected with some impressive body shots and hunted down a spectacular finish against the stubborn Valenzuela. —AFP

NEW YORK: Carmelo Anthony scored 41 points, tying a franchise record with this third straight 40point game, and the New York Knicks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 101-83 on Friday night for their 11th straight victory. Anthony, who had 50 points and 40 in his previous two games, equaled Bernard King’s 1984-85 mark. New York matched the thirdlongest winning streak in franchise history. JR Smith added 30 points for the Knicks, who used a huge third quarter to turn around the game after a lackluster first half on the night they honored their 1972-73 NBA championship team. Brandon Jennings scored 25 points for the Bucks and JJ Reddick had 18. After scoring just 36 points in the first half and trailing by nine, the Knicks poured in 42 in the third quarter, with Anthony scoring 18 and Jason Kidd ending the period with a 59-foot heave at the buzzer. THUNDER 97, PACERS 75 In Indianapolis, Kevin Durant overcame a bruised left calf to score 34 points and Russell Westbrook added 24 points, leading Oklahoma City over Indiana. Oklahoma City (56-20) has won three straight to move into a tie with San Antonio for the top seed in the Western Conference. The win capped an impressive back-to-back sweep for the Thunder, who beat the Spurs on Thursday night. They arrived at the team hotel in Indy on Friday at about 4 a.m., then went out and prevented the Pacers from clinching their first Central Division title in nine years. But the Pacers (48-28) can clinch the title with a win Saturday at Washington. Indiana, which had its five-game win streak ended, was led by Roy Hibbert with 22 points and David West with 17. LAKERS 86, GRIZZLIES 84 In Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant had 24 points and nine assists, Pau Gasol added 19 points, and Los Angeles stayed in the final playoff position in the Western Conference with a victory over Memphis. Dwight Howard hit a free throw with 4.1 seconds left for the Lakers, who have won three straight in the final weeks of their desperate push for a postseason spot. Los Angeles also avoided getting swept in its season series with the Grizzlies, whose four-game winning streak ended. Mike Conley scored 21 points before missing a potential goahead jumper with 5 seconds left and another layup before the buzzer for playoff-bound Memphis, which fell one game behind Denver for the fourth seed in the West. The Grizzlies couldn’t score in the final 21/2 minutes. Dwight Howard had nine points and 10 rebounds, while Earl Clark and Antawn Jamison contributed 13 points apiece off the bench as the Lakers won without injured starters Steve Nash and Metta World Peace. Memphis’ Marc Gasol had 11 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while facing his brother. Zach Randolph added 15 points. HEAT 89, BOBCATS 79 In Charlotte, Mike Miller scored a season-high 26 points on seven 3pointers, and injury-depleted Miami beat Charlotte. The Heat won despite playing

two 3-pointers during that stretch, and Robinson capped it with a long jumper as he crashed to the floor with 3:51 left. The Bulls did not score again, but they managed to pull this one out, anyway, sending the Magic to their 12th loss in 13 games. 76ERS 101, HAWKS 90 In Atlanta, Evan Turner had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and Philadelphia opened with its highest-scoring quarter of the season and beat Atlanta. Spencer Hawes added 19 points and 12 rebounds for the 76ers, who made 16 of 22 shots to lead 40-26 after the first quarter. Thaddeus Young had 14 points and 12 rebounds. Josh Smith, who led Atlanta with 19 points, scored to cut Philadelphia’s lead to 54-45 late in the first half. A basket by Hawes pushed the lead back to double figures for good. Al Horford had 18 points and 10 rebounds for Atlanta, which lost its second straight home game. Ivan Johnson had 17 points. Damien Wilkins had 16 points for the 76ers, who have won four of five.

PORTLAND: Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge (left) drives to the basket against Houston Rockets forward Greg Smith during the second half of an NBA basketball game. —AP without stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen, who were held out while recovering from injuries. The 33-year-old Miller was 7 of 11 from beyond the 3point arc. Chris Bosh chipped in with 18 points and eight rebounds, and Rashard Lewis added 14 points for Miami, which improved to 3-2 since Chicago snapped its 27-game winning streak. Miami (59-16) is within three victories of setting a new franchise record for wins in a regular season. Rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Bobcats, who lost for only the second time in their last seven home games. WARRIORS 111, SUNS 107 In Phoenix, Stephen Curr y scored 18 points and matched his career high with 15 assists, sinking two late free throws to seal Golden State’s victor y over Phoenix, extending the Suns’ losing streak to a season-worst eight games. Jarrett Jack’s 3-pointer with 31.6 seconds to play pulled the Warriors out of serious trouble. Klay Thompson scored 15 of his 25 points in the third quarter, when the Warriors stormed back from an 18-point first-half deficit. David Lee added 22 points and 14 rebounds for Golden State. Goran Dragic tied his career high with 32 points and Michael Beasley added 25 for the Suns, who shot a season-best 61 percent from the field. The Warriors have won three straight and five of six. CAVALIERS 97, CELTICS 91 In Boston, Tristan Thompson had career highs with 29 points and 17 rebounds and Cleveland ended a 10-game losing streak. Alonzo Gee also had a doubledouble with 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who held Boston to 16 points in the third quarter and held on for their

first win since March 12. The Cavaliers avoided their 11th straight loss, which would have been the second-longest streak under coach Byron Scott. Wayne Ellington scored 12 points and Kyrie Irving added 11 points for Cleveland in his third game back since missing eight with a sprained shoulder. Jeff Green scored 23 points for Boston and Shavlik Randolph had 16 points before fouling out with 6:57 left in the fourth. Brandon Bass scored 12 and Avery Bradley had 10 points for Boston. RAPTORS 95, TIMBERWOLVES 93 In Minneapolis, Rudy Gay had 26 points and five rebounds to lead Toronto to a rare road victory in the Western Conference. DeMar DeRozan had 25 points and Kyle Lowry added 11 points and seven assists for the Raptors, who beat the Timberwolves for the 16th time in 17 games and prevented Minnesota coach Rick Adelman from recording his 1,000th win. Nikola Pekovic had 24 points and eight rebounds and Andrei Kirilenko added 20 points and six rebounds for the Timberwolves, who led by as many as 11 in the second half. But they missed 10 free throws, including one from Ricky Rubio with 1.7 seconds to go that would have tied the game. BULLS 87, MAGIC 86 In Chicago, Nate Robinson scored 12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, Luol Deng finished with 19 after a slow start, and Chicago beat Orlando. Robinson, who scored the goahead basket the previous night in a two-point win at Brooklyn, came up big down the stretch, offsetting a 27-point per formance by Orlando’s Beno Udrih. He scored nine points during a 15-4 run that turned a five-point deficit into an 87-78 lead. Deng hit

ROCKETS 116, TRAIL BLAZERS 98 In Portland, James Harden had 33 points and short-handed Houston edged closer to clinching a playoff spot with a victory over Portland. Jeremy Lin added 22 points to help the Rockets to their fourth straight victory. Houston (43-33) remained in seventh place in the Western Conference - three games in front of the Los Angeles Lakers for their first playoff appearance since 2008-09. LaMarcus Aldridge returned from an ankle injury with 32 points and 13 rebounds for the Blazers (33-43), who matched their seasonworst slide with a seventh straight loss. JAZZ 95, HORNETS 83 In Salt Lake City, Gordon Hayward scored 23 points and Utah beat New Orleans. Utah led by just four entering the fourth but opened the quarter on an 8-0 run, capped by Hayward’s 7-foot jumper. He scored 10 straight as Utah surged ahead 87-73 with 4:47 remaining. The Hornets got no closer than 10 and scored just 16 in the fourth. Derrick Favors added 10 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high six blocked shots for the Jazz. Anthony Davis scored 24 and Greivis Vasquez added 21 for the Hornets. MAVERICKS 117, KINGS 108 In Sacramento, Shawn Marion had 25 points and 12 rebounds, and Dallas snapped a two-game losing streak with a victory over Sacramento. The Mavericks (37-39) used a 41point second quarter to gain control of a game they desperately needed. They came in three games behind the Lakers in the chase for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference. Dallas, which scored 99 points over the final three quarters, swept all four games from the Kings this season and has defeated Sacramento in 15 of last 16 meetings. Isaiah Thomas had 29 points and Tyreke Evans added 26 points and nine rebounds for the Kings, who dropped their third straight game. Jason Thompson had 16 points and 16 rebounds. —AP

Olympic gold medalist Rutherford leaps to glory

MACAU: China’s Zou Shiming (right) competes against Mexico’s Eleazar Valenzuela during their flyweight bout at the ‘Fists of Gold’ boxing event. —AFP

MELBOURNE: Olympic long jump gold medalist Greg Rutherford of Britain has repeated his London Games triumph over Australian Mitchell Watt at the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge. Rutherford won with a leap of 8.10 meters yesterday in the fourth round, while London silver medalist Watt jumped 8.01 to again finish second. Fellow Australian and reigning Commonwealth Games champion Fabrice Lapierre was third with 7.99. “Every competitor always wants to win. Mitch is a friend of mine, so it is not like a bad competition ever,” said Rutherford. “Ultimately, he wants to beat me and I want to beat him but we are

always still mates. “An 8.10 meter isn’t anything massively special but blimey we are in the early part of the year, and waking up this morning I didn’t expect to be able to jump that well so early.” Six-time Australian champion Josh Ross won the 100-meter race while American Wallace Spearmon, fourth in the 100, won the 200. The 100 race was supposed to feature former world record-holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica, but he withdrew earlier in the week with a left hamstring injury. It was the same ailment that forced Powell to pull up in the 100 final at last year’s Olympics, which was won by fellow Jamaican Usain Bolt. Calvin Smith Jr. of the United States

won the 400 in 46.25 seconds to maintain some family racing history in Australia. His win came 28 years after his father - former 100 world record-holder and two-time 200 world champion, Calvin Smith Sr.- won the 100 at the 1985 Australia Games in Melbourne. Newly crowned world cross-country champion Japhet Korir of Kenya won the 5,000 yesterday in 13 minutes, 31.94 seconds. Other international men’s winners included James Magut of Kenya in the 1,500, Justin Gaymon in the 400 hurdles and fellow American Dusty Jonas in the high jump. Susan Kuijken of the Netherlands won the women’s 1,500. —AP


S P ORTS Photo of the day Preview

Terry expects Di Canio to revive Sunderland LONDON: Chelsea captain John Terry has backed Paolo Di Canio to revive Sunderland as the controversial Italian prepares to take charge of his struggling side for the first time at Stamford Bridge today. Di Canio’s arrival on Wearside as successor to the sacked Martin O’Neill triggered a storm of negative headlines about the Italian’s notorious political views. The Italian’s support for right wing extremism, summed up by his declaration in 2005 that he was a fascist but not a racist, didn’t go down well among sections of the Sunderland fanbase and convinced the club’s vice-chairman David Miliband to resign in protest. As well as fending off some searching questions about his politics, Di Canio has also had to deal with accusations that his volatile personality and lack of experience as a top-flight manager make his appointment a massive gamble by Black Cats owner Ellis Short. Di Canio has just seven games to save Sunderland from relegation. And making the task even harder, his

LONDON: Chelsea’s English defender John Terry controls the ball during training session. —AFP

team, currently only one point and two places above the bottom three, face Chelsea, Newcastle and Everton in their next three matches. But Terry, a man who is no stranger to controversy himself, has fond memories of Di Canio and is convinced the former Lazio, West Ham and Celtic forward will make an instant impact. “He was just a really nice guy on the pitch and I spoke to him after games,” Terry said. “He said to me ‘maybe you should do this and do that’, which was really nice at the time. “There were just certain things, like when he made certain movements he said maybe I should have been tighter. I was only young at the time and from an opposition player it was quite nice. A two-word sentence was enough and something I learned from. “He would always give a battle and if there was a little tussle he would get up and shake your hand afterwards. “He was very fair and very passionate, as we’ve seen with his character. His ability was fantastic and he was a really tough player to play against. I can only speak highly of him.” Terry expects Di Canio to thrive at Sunderland, having propelled Swindon from League Two to the brink of a return to the second-tier before resigning in frustration at the club’s financial problems earlier this season. “He will show passion,” Terry added. “I have read a few things, that he has told them ‘tell your wives and families there are going to be a lot of long days and hard work’ and that’s what they need. “They will certainly be fighting and they will be coming here hoping to pick up something.” Sunderland arrive in west London on a dismal run of eight games without a win, but Di Canio, never short of self-belief, is relishing the chance to stun the Blues. “We’re playing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in my first game. What can you say? I can’t wait to get started,” he said. “As a manager it is my first time at the top, I mean the very top level. It’s fantastic. “We always have to remember that the main protagonists are the players, but with my help and my staff’s help we can go there and get a result.” Unfortunately for Di Canio, his first game has coincided with a minor revival from Chelsea, who have recovered from last weekend’s defeat at Southampton by beating Manchester United in the FA Cup and Rubin Kazan in the Europa League. Even so, Terry knows Rafael Benitez’s fourth placed side cannot afford to drop any more points as Arsenal are just two points behind them in the race to qualify for the Champions League. “We must win and keep winning games in the league and really push,” Terry said. “Because that is what this club feeds off - the Champions League. We must be involved in that.” —AFP

Reds boss focuses on West Ham LIVERPOOL: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers claims he has put the prospect of qualifying for Europe to the back of his mind ahead of his team’s meeting with West Ham at Anfield yesterday. The Reds trail fifth-placed Arsenal by five points having played a game more than the Gunners so will need a strong finish to the season if they are to qualify for the Europa League. “I am not even thinking about it,” Rodgers said. “We just need to win the next game. We’ve won six out of our last seven in all competitions. Hopefully we showed the Southampton performance was a blip. “We’ve come back and showed great determination and will last week, as well as quality, to beat Aston Villa, and we want to continue with that. “West Ham will be a difficult game for us. They’re a tough team to play against, they’ve some very good players, so we’ll need to be at the top of our game, physically, mentally, tactically, to get something from it. “But how the players have been in training, how they’ve been for the last few months, gives us great hope we can finish strong.” Rodgers also revealed that Steven Gerrard’s contract will be discussed

soon and the 32-year-old could be offered a long-term deal. The Liverpool and England captain’s current deal expires at the end of the 2013-14 season and, with his form exceptional again in recent months after a dip at the start of the campaign, Rodgers is keen to ensure he finishes his career at Anfield. “I, as a manager, want to make sure he stays here because he’s very important for what I want to do,” said Rodgers. “Can I still see him playing at the top level in five years time? Yes, why not. He’s a brilliant professional. Look at the likes of Javier Zanetti at Inter Milan, and Andrea Pirlo, these guys who are still talked about as top European players. “Steven currently is that at the moment, and I can see him being that for the next number of years.” Meanwhile, West Ham manager Sam Allardyce admits he is frustrated he must do without Andy Carroll on Sunday, a week after the on-loan Liverpool forward, who cannot play against his parent club, scored two in the 3-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion. Instead, one of the less than prolific pair of Carlton Cole and Marouane Chamakh must lead the line at Anfield, where the Hammers have not won since

September 1963. “It is frustrating and it’s frustrating for him as well, but that’s the way the fixtures have fallen,” Allardyce said. “We’ve got Carlton and Chamakh who could step into the team and hopefully they can deliver the sort of performance Andy can deliver, because that’s what we’ll need. “It’s frustrating for him and for us, but that was the terms of the agreement. “Our weakness has been scoring goals. We have to get the chances first and we have to show the sort of quality we showed against West Brom to try and get anything against Liverpool.” Allardyce is keen to make the Carroll deal permanent at the end of the season, but that can only happen if West Ham, currently six points above the bottom three, retain their Premier League status. “There’d be a lot to be discussed between ourselves, Liverpool and Andy before that could be the case,” Allardyce added. “But once secure and once safe and once we’ve done all we need to do with everybody at the end of the season given, touch wood, we’re in the Premier League, then we’ll move on with that business as quickly as we possibly can.” —AFP

Bale injury puts Spurs under the microscope LONDON: Tottenham’s Champions League credentials are set for a stern examination today when they take on Everton at White Hart Lane without top scorer Gareth Bale. Wales winger Bale, who had contributed 22 goals for Andre Villas-Boas’s side this season, suffered an ankle injury towards the end of the 2-2 draw against Basle in the Europa League on Thursday. It was immediately feared the 23-year-old had suffered a season-ending setback and Tottenham fans were anxiously awaiting the results of scans that they hoped would confirm the manager’s pronouncement soon after the final whistle that Bale’s condition “shouldn’t be as bad as it looks”. Bale will nevertheless be missing for the foreseeable future, and with Aaron Lennon also injured against Basle, Lewis Holtby and Gylfi Sigurdsson are likely to come in the starting line-up as the main attacking midfielders. Tottenham have had to cope with suggestions all season that they are a one-man team because of Bale’s brilliance, but they have far more quality than that, as Jan Vertonghen’ Premier League Player of the Month award for March proved. The 25-year-old Belgian, a £12 million recruit from Ajax, has contributed four goals in six appearances for his club in March and also excelled at both centre-back and left-back. An injury to William Gallas, who was unable to complete the Basle match, means Vertonghen will be used in the heart of defence against the Toffees. Vertonghen made no secret of the role Bale played during March however. “I’m very proud to win this trophy,” he said on being handed the award. “It was an unbelievable feeling when I was told about it. “Perhaps opponents forget to give defenders the attention. Actually, my secret is probably Gareth Bale giving me three amazing assists. I’m very happy to score

and I’m sure it helped me to win this trophy.” Everton were also March winners as David Moyes won the managerial prize and Vertonghen knows they will pose a major test to his team’s ambitions. Third placed Spurs are currently six points ahead of Everton, who lie sixth, but a win for David Moyes’ team would give them renewed hope of Champions Leage qualification via a top-four finish. “We will have to be right at the top of our game against Everton, they are a tough side to beat but we’ll be ready,” Vertonghen added. “We have big players who are used to the pressure. It’s like a final for us every game now, so we have to perform every week and every midweek. “We know we have to win every game to be in the top four and to move into the next round of the Europa League. It’s a good pressure and a good motivation. Hopefully, I’ll score a few more goals as well.” It is not impossible that Everton could snatch a place in the Champions League, which might persuade Moyes to remain at Goodison Park after he was linked with a move to German club Schalke. But, with trips to Arsenal and Chelsea still to come, Moyes knows it is not going to be easy. “You hear me keep talking about how much I want to be back in Europe all the time,” he said. “Europe does take its toll in league fixtures and if we made it, we would have to find a way of dramatically getting more players into our squad. “But it can galvanise your club as well. Tottenham have had some unbelievable results in Europe and some great nights. Think about their games against Inter Milan. “Unfortunately Tottenham have lost a couple of players to injury. But that can happen to anyone.” Everton’s cause isn’t helped by the absence of suspended duo Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar. “That would be a blow to anybody’s team,” Moyes added. —AFP

Edwin Delarosa rides his bike through New York.

Redknapp won’t give up on QPR survival bid LONDON: QPR manager Harr y Redknapp insists his side can still avoid relegation from the Premier League if they beat fellow strugglers Wigan in a crucial clash at Loftus Road today. Redknapp’s team are seven points adrift of safety in 19th place but can move to within four of Wigan, currently out of the bottom three on goal difference, with a victory. The other side of the coin for QPR is the fear that defeat could see them faced with an almost insurmountable challenge to beat the drop. Redknapp, keen to sending as bullish a pre-match message as possible, made it clear he wouldn’t quit even if QPR are relegated, but the former Tottenham boss is determined to ensure that never becomes an issue. “When I stop believing, the players will stop believing,” he said. “If I send out the wrong message they’ll down tools, thinking we’ve had it.

“I don’t feel we’ve had it. I couldn’t tell you the pleasure keeping QPR up would give me. It would be fantastic. “We have to keep going - we’ve got to beat Wigan. There’s nothing else for it, we have to beat them. “Nothing else but a win would be any good to us. We need to win and keep winning. We need to win four or five games. It’s a tall order, but not impossible.” QPR owner Tony Fernandes has indicated he intends to stand by Redknapp should the club be playing in the Championship next term and that is music to the manager’s ears. “It’s up to the owners and the chairman if I stay on,” Redknapp added. “I’m happy here, it’s a good club with good people. I love it here. If Tony Fernandes wants me to stay I’ll stay. I’ve not been one for moving around that much. “If I could have four years at QPR I’d be delighted, but I’d have to be suc-

LONDON: Queens Park Rangers’ English manager Harry Redknapp gestures in this file photo. —AFP

cessful to stay here. If I can do well here I’d love to stay.” If QPR do manage to pull off an unlikely escape they will have to do so without former England winger Shaun Wright-Phillips, who has undergone surgery on an ankle injury and will not play again this season. Meanwhile, Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has argued that Sunday’s game is not as significant as many people are making out. Victory for the Latics could move them three points clear of the relegation zone should Aston Villa lose to Stoke on Saturday, but Martinez believes a win would be only part of their journey to safety. “It is not a pivotal weekend,” he said. “We are all set for the final eight games of the season and this period of eight games will be pivotal. “QPR is not pivotal in that it will define our season. Instead it is one game in a period of games which allows you to win as many games as you can. And when you’re in this position, the margins of error are very small. “Away from home this year we have been strong - we’ve only had one defeat away in 2013. “That will be tested against QPR and we must be ready for that. We’re in the moment of the season where you need to reach your highest performance levels and we need to make sure we are as good as we can be today.” Callum McManaman is Wigan’s only slight concern but the forward should be recovered from an ankle problem, while Martinez hopes top scorer Arouna Kone can add to his 10 league goals so far. “He’s a very important player for us and he’s someone who has that knack of making the right decision to score a goal,” Martinez added. —AFP

Kazakhs cut Czechs’ lead ASTANA: Yuriy Schukin and Andrey Golubev beat Radek Stepanek and Jan Hajek 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-3 in doubles yesterday to cut the Czech Republic’s lead against Kazakhstan in the Davis Cup quarterfinals to 2-1. The defending champion Czechs took a 2-0 lead on Friday after Hajek beat Mikhail Kukushkin and Lukas Rosol defeated Golubev in their opening singles matches on clay. “The Kazakh pair played better, especially Golubev, who was the best one on the court,” Czech captain Jaroslav Navratil said. “But we are still 2-1 ahead and we have all chances to win.” Kazakhstan is the last team to beat the Czechs, upsetting the hosts 3-2 in the first round of the World Group in 2011. Golubev defeated Tomas Berdych and Kukushkin beat Hajek in the reverse singles then. The sixth-ranked Berdych is missing this time because of a shoulder injury, while Stepanek was rested from the opening singles as he appears in his first competition since

a neck operation in January. Both team captains made changes for the doubles. Hajek substituted for Ivo Minar, while Golubev came in for Evgeny Korolev. After rallying from a break down to win the first set, the Kazakh pair broke decisively in the ninth game of the second. They led by two sets by breaking Stepanek in the ninth game and saving four breakpoints in the next. The hosts dominated the third set after an early break and sealed victory on their first match point, breaking Stepanek when Hajek failed to return Schukin’s forehand. “Tennis is the game where it’s very important not only to create opportunities but also be capable to capitalize on them,” Stepanek said. “Our opponents did it better - they played much stronger and deserved the victory.” The reverse singles are today. The winner of the best-of-five series plays France or Argentina in September. —AP

ASTANA: Radek Stepanek (right) and Jan Hajek of Czech Republic in action during a Davis Cup quarterfinal doubles match between Kazakhstan and Czech Republic. —AP



Rosicky’s brace fires Arsenal into top four West Brom 1

Arsenal 2

TURIN: Juventus French midfielder Paul Pogba (right) vies for the ball with Pescara’s Ferdinando Sforzini during a Serie A soccer match. —AP

Juve’s double trumps Pescara heroics MILAN: A brace from Mirko Vucinic helped Juventus to a 2-1 victory over a heroic Pescara and a 12-point lead over Napoli in Italy’s Serie A yesterday. Four days ahead of a crucial Champions League quarter-final second leg at home to Bayern Munich, Juventus - with 59 goals boasting the league’s best attack prior to this fixture - were up against the league’s bottom side, who had shipped 61 in 30 games. And the loss of defenders Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini, through suspension, and ‘keeper Gianluigi Buffon, who was suffering from flu, never looked likely to give the visitors any hope of scoring an upset. Under attack throughout, Pescara had ‘keeper Ivan Pelizoli to thank for keeping a clean sheet until Vucinic scored from the penalty spot on 72 minutes. The Montenegrin added a second minutes later, however the hosts were pegged back by a superb 25-metre drive from Emmanuel Cascione which sailed over the flailing arms of Marco Storari and into the net on 83 minutes. Juve started strongly and should have had several goals in the first half hour as they set up camp in Pescara’s end. Their first opportunity came after 12 minutes when Swiss midfielder Stephan Lichsteiner ’s cross found Emanuele Giaccherini, but Pelizzoli stopped his flying effort on the volley. Four minutes later Pelizzoli was forced into action again to stop Sebastian Giovinco after the striker collected Arturo Vidal’s pass on the right. Vucinic then broke through on goal but prodded the ball too far. Barely two minutes later an inch-perfect ball across goal found Vidal unmarked but his volley was blocked by Pelizzoli. Juve went in for the break frustrated but that was to continue after the restart, with Vucinic missing a great chance for the opener from Kwadwo Asamoah’s cross when he spun his volley wide with the goal at his mercy. Striker Fabio Quagliarella, who replaced Giovinco on the half hour, then forced a parry from Pelizzoli after volleying a wayward header from a defender. Vidal then tested Pelizzoli with a drive through traffic from 20 metres but his effort was straight at the keeper. Moments later Pelizzoli got down low to block Vucinic’s angled drive from cloe range. From a corner Leonardo Bonucci rose to meet the ball but his header flashed wide. Juve came even closer when Vucinic worked the ball through the defence and sent Giaccherini through on the right, but his pass across goal towards Quagliarella was thwarted by a diving Pelizzoli. Juve had to rely on a penalty to finally beat the ‘keeper, Vucinic stepping up to slot home after Giuseppe Rizzo saw red for impeding Vidal in the box. Vucinic celebrated in unconventional fashion, taking off his shorts - instead of his shirt - and waving them around his head, earning him a yellow card. Six minutes later Vucinic doubled Juve’s lead from open play, skipping past Bianchi

Arce before curling a superb right-foot shot round Pelizzoli from eight yards. Juve looked to be heading for more when Alessandro Matri, who replaced Vucinic late on, fired wide from a good position. Minutes later Matri lost possession, sparking a counter-attack from Pescara which allowed Cascione to unleash his superb goal. Napoli can restore their ninepoint deficit when they host Genoa today, when third-placed Milan are away at Fiorentina.—AFP

Matches on TV (Local Timings)

English Premier League Liverpool v West Ham Abu Dhabi Sports HD Tottenham v Everton Abu Dhabi Sports HD Newcastle v Fulham Abu Dhabi Sports HD Chelsea v Sunderland Abu Dhabi Sports HD QPR v Wigan Abu Dhabi Sports HD


4 5 7 9 10 10 11 11 8 12 12 14

61 55 53 54 47 39 60 40 38 39 37 39

20 29 32 37 39 36 51 38 38 39 49 38

71 59 57 51 50 50 47 45 42 38 38 36

Norwich 2 (Snodgrass 40, Turner 60) Swansea 2 (Michu 35, Moore 75); Reading 0 Southampton 2 (Rodriguez 34, Lallana 72); Stoke 1 (Kightly 80) Aston Villa 3 (Agbonlahor 9, Lowton 87, Benteke 90); West Brom 1 (Morrison 71-pen) Arsenal 2 (Rosicky 20, 50). English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Man Utd Man City Tottenham Arsenal Chelsea Everton Liverpool West Brom Swansea Fulham Southampton

30 30 31 31 30 30 31 32 32 30 32

25 18 17 16 16 13 13 13 10 10 9

2 8 6 8 7 12 9 5 11 9 10

3 4 8 7 7 5 9 14 11 11 13

70 55 53 61 59 47 59 42 43 43 46

31 26 38 34 32 35 40 43 42 46 53

77 62 57 56 55 51 48 44 41 39 37


13:00 18:00 20:00 22:00

Italian League Fiorentina v Milan Aljazeera Sport +1 Sampdoria v Palermo Aljazeera Sport +1 Catania v Cagliari Aljazeera Sport +4 Udinese v Chievo Aljazeera Sport +5 Siena v Parma Aljazeera Sport +7 Napoli v Genoa Aljazeera Sport +9 Inter v Atalanta Aljazeera Sport +1



Norwich 2


Swansea 2 21:45

16:30 18:30

French League Etienne v Gaillard Aljazeera Sport +4 Remis v Lyon Aljazeera Sport +4 Lille v Lorient Aljazeera Sport +4

Swansea keep Norwich in relegation danger


German League Nuremberg v Mainz Dubai Sports Hannover v Stuttgart Dubai Sports

LONDON: Swansea City’s Wayne Routledge (centre) and Norwich City’s Bradley Johnson battle for the ball during their English Premier League match at Carrow Road. —AP

13:30 16:00

15:00 18:00 22:00

Sampdoria 30 10 7 13 35 35 36 Torino 30 8 12 10 37 41 35 Chievo 30 10 5 15 31 45 35 Atalanta 30 10 6 14 30 42 34 Genoa 30 6 9 15 31 47 27 Siena 30 8 8 14 31 42 26 Palermo 30 4 12 14 25 43 24 Pescara 31 6 3 22 22 63 21 Note: Sampdoria (one point), Torino (one point), Atalanta (two points) and Siena (six points) all docked points for involvement in the “Calcioscommesse” illegal betting scandal.

West Ham 30 10 6 14 35 44 36 Norwich 32 7 14 11 30 49 35 Stoke 32 7 13 12 28 39 34 Newcastle 31 9 6 16 41 56 33 Aston Villa 32 8 9 15 35 59 33 Sunderland 31 7 10 14 33 43 31 Wigan 30 8 6 16 36 56 30 QPR 31 4 11 16 28 51 23 Reading 32 5 8 19 36 63 23 Note: Top four teams qualify for the Champions League and the bottom three teams are relegated

Saints push Reading towards drop zone

Spanish League Celta v Rayo Aljazeera Sport +2 Osasuna v Espanyol Aljazeera Sport +1 Getafe v Atletico Aljazeera Sport +2 Valencia v Valladolid Aljazeera Sport +7

moments. Lukaku should have shown more composure in the 83rd minute when he smashed the ball wide from a good position, while Long blazed over the bar a matter of minutes later. —AFP

EPL results/standings


Italian Serie A table after yesterday’s early match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): 22 5 17 8 17 6 15 6 15 5 15 5 14 5 13 6 10 12 10 8 10 8 10 6

guessed correctly, the shot had too much power and went under him. With the extra man advantage, Clarke’s side dominated the remainder of the half in pursuit of the equaliser, but Arsenal’s defence stood firm despite some nervous


Juventus 2 (Vucinic 72, 78) Pescara 1 (Cascione 83)

31 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30

LONDON: Arsenal’s French defender Laurent Koscielny (right) vies with West Bromwich Albion’s Irish striker Shane Long (left) during the English Premier League football match. —AFP


Italian League result/standings

Juventus Napoli AC Milan Fiorentina Inter Milan Lazio Roma Catania Udinese Parma Cagliari Bologna

WEST BROMWICH: Arsenal enhanced their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League with a 21 win over West Bromwich Albion yesterday thanks to two goals from Tomas Rosicky. The Czech Republic international scored either side of half-time in an enthralling Premier League clash at The Hawthorns that saw the Gunners climb to fourth place in the table. Arsene Wenger’s side were coasting to victory until Per Mertesacker was sent off after he brought down Albion striker Shane Long inside the box. James Morrison converted the resulting penalty but despite a sustained period of pressure, the home side were unable to find an equaliser. West Brom threatened with a succession of corners in the early stages and almost grabbed the lead when Chris Brunt’s delivery was glanced towards goal by Claudio Yacob at the near post, but Rosicky nodded off the line. A neat passing move in the 16th minute saw Long released down the right flank, only for the Republic of Ireland international to drag his shot wide. Wenger’s side remained patient, though, and were rewarded with the opening goal slightly against the run of play four minutes later through Rosicky. Mikel Arteta used his vision to pick out Gervinho on the left edge of the penalty area and he twisted and turned Gareth McAuley before picking out Rosicky, who directed a power ful header in from close range. Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski made an important save shortly afterwards when he dived to save a low Brunt free-kick struck through the wall. The visitors’ neat passing created an opening for Ivory Coast forward Gervinho in the 28th minute and he managed to angle a shot through a

crowd of bodies that Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster saved with his foot. West Brom’s defence struggled to cope with Arsenal’s intricate style and their back line was opened again shortly before half-time. A brilliant move involving several Arsenal players left Wales international Aaron Ramsey with a golden opportunity from close range, but he screwed his shot wide. Arsenal maintained their intensity after the interval and increased their advantage five minutes in when Rosicky claimed his second of the game. Ramsey ’s clever ball found the Czech, who saw an initial shot parried by Foster, but he was quickest to react and buried a low shot under the body of the goalkeeper. West Brom had a penalty appeal turned down by referee Howard Webb moments later when the ball seemed to strike the arm of Mertesacker while he was on the ground. Albion manager Steve Clarke introduced on-loan Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku in a bid to freshen up his side’s attack. The Belgium striker soon curled a dangerous free -k ick over the Arsenal wall on the hour mark, but Fabianski had anticipated it and gathered well. West Brom were then given a foothold in the game in the 71st minute when Mertesacker was shown a straight red card by Webb after he chopped down Long inside the penalty area. Morrison struck the resulting spot-kick to Fabianski’s right and although the Arsenal goalkeeper

NORWICH: Norwich City remain a relegation risk after a 2-2 draw at home to Swansea City yesterday left Chris Hughton’s side five points above the Premier League’s bottom three. Michu put the visitors ahead with his 21st goal of the season 10 minutes before halftime, but Norwich turned the game around with goals either side of the break from Robert Snodgrass and Michael Turner. However, Luke Moore restored parity 15 minutes from time as League Cup winners Swansea avoided a fourth consecutive defeat. Norwich have now won just once in their last 15 league games and, although there are four teams between them and the relegation places, they have played at least a game more than four of the sides below them in the table.

Norwich goalkeeper Mark Bunn was making his return to the starting XI after serving a one-match ban and he was quickly into action, getting down to his right to repel a low shot from Spanish forward Michu in the eighth minute. Michu saw a goal disallowed for a foul by Moore, before Bunn had to leave the fray in the 16th minute after appearing to injure his hamstring, with Lee Camp coming on. Swansea made the breakthrough in the 35th minute, Jonathan de Guzman scuttling to the byline and pulling the ball back for Michu, who found the roof of the net from six yards. The goal yielded boos from the home fans but they were cheering five minutes later when Snodgrass met Elliott Bennett’s lofted cross at the back post to nod home the equaliser. Swansea continued to dominate possession after the change of ends, but Norwich completed the turnaround on the hour when Turner ghosted in to slam home Bennett’s tantalising free-kick from wide on the right. Kei Kamara should have made it 3-1 in the 73rd minute but his failure to attack Snodgrass’s cross allowed Dwight Tiendalli to make a vital tackle.—AFP

READING: Southampton dealt former manager Nigel Adkins a heavy blow Reading 0 in his bid to guide bottom club Reading to Premier League safety with an Southampton 2 impressive 2-0 away win yesterday. Jay Rodriguez gave Southampton the lead against the run of play towards the end of the first half at the Madejski Stadium and, as the hosts’ early momentum faded, Adam Lallana wrapped up victory in the 72nd minute. It was Reading’s seventh consecutive defeat and left them seven points from safety with six games left, despite having played at least a game more than all the teams immediately above them. “It’s a situation we don’t want to be in, but we’re in it,” Adkins told Sky Sports. “You can hide away or you can face up to the reality of it.” While Adkins was left to contemplate the size of the task before him after defeat on his home debut, his successor at Southampton, Mauricio Pochettino, appears to have succeeded in steering the Saints to safety. The south-coast club have now won three games in succession and sit seven points above the bottom three in 11th place. “It’s massive,” said man-of-the-match Rodriguez. “Every game we’re coming to now is a big game and we just need to carry on working hard and improving to the end of the season.” Danny Guthrie is one of the players to have benefited from Adkins’ arrival at Reading and he almost created the opener in the fourth minute with a free-kick that Sean Morrison headed over the bar. Striker Adam Le Fondre was also handed a start by Adkins but he was culpable of a horrendous miss midway through the first half, hoisting the ball high and wide after a posse of visiting defenders failed to clear the ball. Reading winger Hal Robson-Kanu had a penalty appeal waved away after going down under the challenge of Jos Hooiveld, before Guthrie teed up Adrian Mariappa for a header that was well saved by Southampton goalkeeper Artur Boruc. The visitors spent much of the first half hour penned inside their own half, but in the 34th minute they hit Reading with a classic sucker-punch. From a central position, Rodriguez sprayed a pass wide to Rickie Lambert and then drove into the box to meet his team-mate’s lobbed return pass. Adam Federici charged out to meet him but Rodriguez got there just before the Reading goalkeeper and bravely prodded the ball home. Suddenly the Reading defence was full of holes. Rodriguez smacked a shot against the crossbar and then worked Federici with a low shot that the goalkeeper had to palm away. The rebound fell kindly for Gaston Ramirez, but he somehow contrived to place the rebound wide of the open goal.—AFP

Villa sink Stoke to boost survival bid Stoke 1

Aston Villa 3

STOKE-ON-TRENT: Aston Villa improved their chances of avoiding relegation as they climbed out of the bottom three after a dramatic 3-1 win

at Stoke City yesterday. Paul Lambert’s team kicked off at the Britannia Stadium third from bottom of the Premier League and looked set for a frustrating draw after Gabriel Agbonlahor’s opener was cancelled out by Michael Kightly’s late equaliser. But young defender Matthew Lowton produced a stunning strike with three minutes remaining before a stoppage-time goal from Christian Benteke sealed a vital victory. Villa are now three points above the drop zone, while slumping Stoke

are only one point better off as their miserable run extended to one win in 13 games. It could have been different had Stoke been awarded the penalty they wanted after barely two minutes when Jon Walters smashed the ball into Nathan Baker’s arm from close range. Referee Mark Clattenburg deemed the contact unintentional, much to Potters boss Tony Pulis’ obvious disgust on the sidelines. Stoke looked up for the fight at that point but their optimism was

pierced after just nine minutes as Lowton and Jordan Bowery combined from a throw-in to cut through the home defence. Lowton reached the byline all too easily and pulled back for Agbonlahor in front of goal and the striker rolled in at the second attempt after his initial effort was blocked. The anxiety among the home fans was obvious and alarm bells were ringing again when Villa forward Andreas Weimann broke clear and struck the post with a low shot.—AFP

Knicks win as Thunder roll



Rosicky’s brace fires Arsenal into top four


Tiger Woods aims to end long drought at Augusta Page 16

FRANKFURT: FC Bayern Munich team celebrate with team coach Jupp Heynckes after the German First Division Bundesliga football match against Eintracht Frankfurt. — AFP

Bayern seal historic Bundesliga title BERLIN: Bayern Munich set the record for the earliest Bundesliga title win yesterday when they were confirmed as German champions for the 23rd time with a 1-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt. Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger scored the decisive goal to give Bayern their 24th win from 28 league games this season and seal their first major silverware since May 2010. “We’re a strong team with a great coach, it’s fantastic to have won the title,” said goal-scorer Schweinsteiger. With Bayern facing Juventus on Wednesday in the Champions Leaguequarter-final leading 2-0 from the first leg, the win came despite coach Jupp Heynckes resting several key players. “The fact that we have won the title after 28 games is extraordinary, it’s simply fantastic,” said Heynckes, having been hoisted into the air by his team after the final whistle. “0ne of the things FC Bayern have demonstrated this season is that we’re a top side, but we have done it with harmony in the team. “We can be confident we will achieve something in the Champions League.” Second-placed Borussia Dortmundchampions in each of the last two seasons — won 4-2 at home to Augsburg, but could not prevent Bayern from setting a Bundesliga record for the earliest confirmed title win. “I have no problem congratulating Bayern, they have had

an outstanding season,” said Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin. Frankfurt coach Armin Veh was equally gracious. “I don’t begrudge Heynckes the title at all,” said Veh, whose team remain fifth in the league for now. “For me, he is a great role model and I hope that Bayern win more titles.” With six games left, Munich have an unsurmountable 20point lead and have won their 22nd Bundesliga title. It is their 23rd national title overall, with the Munich club also winning the old-style German championship in 1932. Following a frantic start, Bayern defender David Alaba missed a 26th-minute penalty when he fired wide after Thomas Mueller was brought down in the area, but Schweinsteiger’s second-half back-heel flick gave them three more points. With Bayern pushing forward, captain Philipp Lahm fired in a pass for his deputy to delicately flick a shot past Frankfurt goalkeeper Oka Nikolov with his heel on 52 minutes for the decisive goal. Dortmund host Malaga in Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg with all to play for after the first leg finished 0-0, and Juergen Klopp’s side had to come from behind to beat Augsburg at the Signal Iduna Park. Goalkeeper Roman Wiedenfeller, striker Robert Lewandowski, captain Sebastian Kehl and star attacking duo Mario Goetze and Marco Reus were all left out of the starting line-up.

Jonas Hofmann, 20, made his Bundesliga debut while Leonardo Bittencourt, 19, started for the first time in the league as the pair were both promoted to the midfield, and striker Julian Schieber also made a rare appearance. Schieber needed just 22 minutes to rifle home Dotmund’s opening goal against Ausgburg, who are locked in a battle with Hoffenheim — 3-0 winners against Duesseldorf on Friday-to avoid automatic relegation. Augsburg went ahead with two goals in 80 seconds just before the half-time break, but Klopp responded by bringing on Lewandowski and Goetze early in the second half. The changes had an immediate impact, as Lewandowski put Hofmann away on the right wing to square for Schieber to equalise with his second of the day on 52 minutes. The Poland star then netted in the 92nd minute to extend the club record of having scored in his last 10 league games. By doing so, he equals Klaus Allofs’ overall Bundesliga record, set in 1984. Bayer Leverkusen remain third after their 1-1 draw at home to Wolfsburg while Schalke hold fourth after their 2-0 win at Werder Bremen and Moenchengladbach moved up to sixth with a 1-0 win at home to bottom side Fuerth. Hamburg missed the chance to get back amongst the top six-and the European places-when they lost 1-0 at home to Freiburg yesterday while Nuremberg are at home to Mainz and Hanover host Stuttgart today. — AFP

Five-star Real make light work of Levante MADRID: Gonzalo Higuain scored a goal of the season contender as Real Madrid kept up their pursuit of Barcelona with a 51 win over Levante at the Santiago Bernabeu. The visitors had taken a shock lead through Michel just after the half-hour mark, but their lead only lasted five minutes as Higuain swivelled brilliantly to volley in Xabi Alonso’s cross. Kaka then put the hosts ahead before the break from the penalty spot and Cristiano Ronaldo made the game safe with his 29th league goal of the season six

Spanish League results/standings Real Sociedad 4 (Vela 21, Alberta De la Bella 24, Griezmann 30, Martinez Berridi 51) Malaga 2 (Morales 43, Santa Cruz 70); Real Madrid 5 (Higuain 36, Kaka 39-pen, Ronaldo 84, Ozil 87, 90+1) Levante 1 (Herrero 31). Spanish league table after yesterday’s early matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Barcelona Real Madrid Atletico Madrid Real Sociedad Malaga Real Betis Valencia Getafe Rayo Vallecano Levante Sevilla Espanyol Athletic Bilbao Valladolid Osasuna Grenada Real Zaragoza Celta Vigo Real Mallorca Deportivo

29 30 29 30 30 30 29 29 29 30 29 29 29 29 29 30 29 29 29 29

24 20 19 14 13 14 13 12 13 11 11 9 10 9 8 7 7 6 6 5

3 5 4 9 8 5 7 7 2 7 5 9 5 8 7 7 6 6 6 8

2 5 6 7 9 11 9 10 14 12 13 11 14 12 14 16 16 17 17 16

90 77 51 55 43 44 42 38 38 35 43 35 33 37 26 27 26 29 32 35

33 29 25 39 32 43 41 44 49 46 41 39 51 41 33 45 43 43 58 61

75 65 61 51 47 47 46 43 41 40 38 36 35 35 31 28 27 24 24 23

minutes from time. Substitute Mesut Ozil twice scored from close range in the dying moments as Madrid cut the gap on Barca to 10 points ahead of the Catalans meeting with Mallorca late yesterday. Jose Mourinho had kept his pre-match promise by making seven changes to the side that beat Galatasaray 3-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday with Tuesday’s return-leg in mind. Sergio Ramos and Alonso were included as they will be suspended for the trip to Istanbul, whilst Iker Casillas returned to the squad for the first time in three months but only made the bench with Diego Lopez continuing in goal. For only the second time this season, Higuain and Karim Benzema started a league match together and, despite playing in a deeper role, it was the Argentine who was creating much more of a threat. A driven cross from Jose Maria Callejon just evaded Higuain before he and Benzema saw efforts from outside the area drift off target. Kaka then forced Gustavo Munua into his first serious save with a rising drive after a trademark burst into the box. However, Madrid were stunned on 31 minutes when Levante broke with the sort of efficiency that they normally punish teams. Michel fed Pedro Rios down the right and when he cleverly cut the ball back, Michel took a touch before seeing his shot deflect beyond Lopez. The goal seemed to awake Madrid and they were level five minutes later thanks to a stunning strike from Higuain. Alonso’s measured cross found the former River Plate man free in the area, but he had to

German League results/standings Werder Bremen 0, Schalke 04 2 (Draxler 51, Marica 69); Borussia Dortmund 4 (Schieber 22, 52, Subotic 64, Lewandowski 90+2); Augsburg 2 (Baier 43, Vogt 45); Borussia M’gladbach 1 (de Jong 74) Greuther Fuerth 0; Bayer Leverkusen 1 (Schuerrle 12) VfL Wolfsburg 1 (Kjaer 70); Eintracht Frankfurt 0, Bayern Munich 1 (Schweinsteiger 52); Hamburg 0, Freiburg 1 (Schmid 69). German Bundesliga table after yesterday’s late match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Bayern Munich

28 24

3 1 79 13 75 - champions Borussia Dortmund 28 16 7 5 66 34 55 Bayer Leverkusen 28 14 7 7 51 36 49 Schalke 04 28 13 6 9 48 43 45 Freiburg 28 11 9 8 36 33 42 Eintracht Frankfurt 28 12 6 10 42 40 42 Borussia Moenchengladbach 28 10 11 7 36 37 41 Mainz 05 27 10 9 8 34 30 39 Hamburg 28 11 5 12 32 44 38 Hanover 96 27 11 4 12 49 46 37 Nuremberg 27 8 11 8 31 34 35 VfL Wolfsburg 28 8 9 11 33 43 33 VfB Stuttgart 27 9 5 13 29 46 32 Werder Bremen 28 8 7 13 43 54 31 Fortuna Duesseldorf 28 7 8 13 33 43 29 Augsburg 28 5 9 14 25 44 24 Hoffenheim 28 6 5 17 33 52 23 Greuther Fuerth 28 2 9 17 18 46 15 Note: Top four clubs qualify for Champions League, bottom two are relegated while third-bottom goes into play-off against third-placed side in Bundesliga 2.

Celtic defeat Hibs but title party put on ice

SPAIN: Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain (left) from Argentina scores a goal under pressure from Levante’s Christian Lell, during a Spanish League. — AP show great technique to hook the ball on Yet, Levante came within inches of an the volley into Munua’s top right-hand cor- equaliser just before the hour mark as ner. Moments later the comeback was Roberto Aquafresca’s volley from Ruben complete as Cristian Lell was somewhat Garcia’s cross whistled just past the post. harshly penalised for handball as the ball Munua then made a string of fine saves ricocheted around the Levante area and from Pepe, Higuain Ronaldo and Ozil to Kaka stepped up to score his first league keep his side in the game. But Ronaldo goal at the Bernabeu in over a year. eventually sealed the three points when Ronaldo was introduced at half-time for he volleyed home from Higuain’s and the Callejon and was quickly in the heart of Portuguese then teed up Ozil to slide into the action as Real tried to kill the game off. an empty net two minutes later. And some Benzema had a low header well held by fine wing-play from Angel di Maria then Munua, whilst the keeper also parried a laid another goal on a plate for Ozil in snap shot from Ronaldo and Kaka curled stoppage time as Madrid rounded off a an effort just over. highly satisfactory week in style. —AFP

GLASGOW: Celtic came within touching distance of clinching the Scottish Premier League with a 3-0 win over Hibernian but James McFadden’s late equaliser for Motherwell against St Mirren stopped the title party at Parkhead. Yesterday’s win, Celtic’s first over Hibs this season, increases their lead at the top of the table to 15 points over Motherwell with just five games remaining as they inch closer to their second successive league championship. Kris Commons had fired Celtic ahead in the 14th minute as he showed good skill to collect a Gary Hooper pass and roll it past Ben Williams. The Scotland international made it a double six minutes after the break when he drilled a low shot past the keeper from seven yards out. Mikel Lustig completed the scoring in the 61st minute as he bulleted a header in from close range. The home fans thought they had a title to toast when Lewis Guy put St Mirren 2-1 ahead in the 75th minute. But McFadden’s 84th equaliser for Motherwell meant the champagne was put back on ice until April 20 when the SPL resumes after the Scottish Cup semi-final matches next weekend. Dundee United claimed the final spot in the top six with a late winner over Aberdeen as they leapfrogged Kilmarnock who slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Dundee. Celtic manager Neil Lennon was pleased to get back to winning ways after last week’s draw with St Mirren. “The important thing was to get back to the sort of form we know that the team’s capable of,” Lennon said. “I was really pleased with that performance. We were dominant and the strikers were a lot better. We played some really good football and but for better finishing we could have won by more.” Hibs manager Pat Fenlon, whose side had needed a win to claim the final spot in the top six before the split, said he couldn’t take any positives from the defeat. “I thought we started off ok but I don’t think we had a belief that we still had a chance of getting into the top six,” Fenlon said. — AFP


Gulf Bank leads Sponsor of 5th Euromoney Conference Page 22 Budget to reinvigorate middle class: Obama Page 23


Gulf Investment Corporation posts $131m net profit Page 25 Page 26

S Sudan restarts oil production

Italy to pay €40bn owed to business Desperate move to jumpstart growth ROME: The Italian government yesterday gave its goahead for a bill to pay back 40 billion euros in debts owed to the private sector in a bid to boost businesses and stimulate growth as the country endures its longest post-war recession. “The cabinet meeting today approved an urgent decree to pay back the debts of the public sector to the private sector,” Prime Minister Mario Monti told a press conference after the talks. The bill had been eagerly awaited by the business community in the euro-zone’s third largest economy, where many companies are suffering from the slump in demand and a lack of credit from banks. The decree recognizes “the extreme importance, necessity and urgency in paying public sector debts to businesses as a precondition for an economic and labor market recovery,” said Antonio Patuelli, head of the main banking lobby ABI. The bill’s timetable is for 40 billion euros ($52 billion) in payments over one year instead of over two years, the period proposed previously-another expected boon for businesses. On average 215,000 companies are affected and the average debt is 422,000 euros. Some two-thirds of the debts are owed to medical companies supplying the public health sector. The payments also include the building of roads, repairs of schools etc. Finance Minister Vittorio Grilli said that the payments could begin as early as Monday and that the oldest debts would be repaid first. The parliament still must give final approval. Monti said total debts were 80 billion euros at the end of 2011 and that banks estimated they had since risen to more than 100 billion euros. “This means costs for businesses and for the whole country. It is an unacceptable situation that has taken on ever greater dimensions,” Monti said. The interim prime minister, who is in charge awaiting the formation of a new government following elections in February, said the payments would not breach the deficit threshold of 3.0 percent of GDP mandated by the European Union. The repayment increases Italy’s forecast deficit to 2.9 percent from 2.4 percent earlier, Grilli said, adding that this had been given the go-ahead by the EU since it did not constitute new spending. The finance ministry will carry out special monitoring in

September to ensure that the 3.0-percent threshold is not breached, Grilli said. “This was very needed,” Paolo Buzzetti, head of the National Association of Construction Companies, told news channel Sky TG 24. “We can definitely go to Europe and ask to be able to go over that three-percent threshold. Other European countries have done it,” he said. But Carlo Sangalli, head of the business lobby Rete Imprese Italia, said the bill showed the government had “not understood” that the business community “risks collapse”.

Sangalli said the payments should be made immediately and the procedure for obtaining payments should be made much simpler. Monti stressed that the bill did not mean that his government was easing its budget discipline or had plans to stay in charge, adding that Saturday’s cabinet meeting “could be the last one”. A general election yielded no clear winner, and the main political forces Pier Luigi Bersani’s centre-left, Silvio Berlusconi’s centreright and a new protest party-have failed to find an agreement to form a new government.

The economy is forecast to shrink by 1.3 percent this year, although government officials have said the result could be even worse with a contraction in gross domestic product of up to 1.7 percent. The economy shrank by 2.4 percent in 2012. Unemployment is close to record highs, and many Italians have been put under unprecedented pressure by successive rounds of austerity measures and tax hikes, sparking an increase in suicides by small business owners and pensioners. — AFP

TULLE: French President Francois Hollande leaves after a visit in Tulle, southern France, yesterday. Critics have rounded on Hollande and his cabinet over the scandal which saw Jerome Cahuzac — once the minister responsible for tackling tax evasion ñ charged with tax fraud after he admitted to having an undeclared foreign bank account containing some 600,000 euros ($770,000). —AFP



Gulf Bank lead sponsor of 5th Euromoney conference report

Tips for giving effective employee feedback

CEO Michel Accad to speak at conference KUWAIT: Gulf Bank has announced that it will be the lead sponsor of the forthcoming 5th Euromoney Conference, which is taking place on April 8, 2013 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Kuwait. The conference will be run in partnership with the Ministry of Finance and will be inaugurated by Mustafa AlShamali, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and His Excellency Dr. Mohammad Al-Hashel, Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait. This year, the Euromoney Conference will discuss a diverse range of topics, including balance sheet management, sources of

funding, sukuk issuance, the role of international business and Kuwait’s position in the region. The conference will also examine the current global investment and economic outlook, including topics such as: global investment issues, investor appetite for the region, and the key opportunities for local and international investors. Michel Accad, Gulf Bank’s Chief Executive Officer commented: “ The Euromoney annual conference in Kuwait offers an excellent platform to discuss possible local and global developing markets, particularly with respect to Kuwaiti banks. It

By Lama Ataya

will engage some of Kuwait’s leading financial professionals as well as regional and global ones. At Gulf Bank, we are committed to being fully involved in these presentations and discussions and hope they will serve to provide deeper insight and understanding into the local and world economic outlook.” Euromoney is the world’s leading organizer of conferences for cross-border investment and capital markets for portfolio and direct investors, financial intermediaries, corporations, governments, banks and financial institutions.


Gulf Bank’s Chief Executive Officer Michel Accad

Morocco cuts investment, may plan subsidy reform RABAT: The Moroccan government has decided to cut its investment spending this year by 15 billion dirhams ($1.8 billion) to reduce pressure on state finances, the finance ministry said in a statement. The government originally planned in its national budget for this year to invest 180 billion dirhams; in the 2012 budget, public investment was to be 188 billion dirhams. “It is not austerity - I prefer to talk about rigor. We are just trying to optimize our spending,” finance minister Nizar Baraka told Reuters late on Friday. The cuts will be proportional to the budget of each ministry, officials said without elaborating. The country faces heavy financial pressures after it boosted spending to contain social discontent amid uprisings elsewhere in the Arab world, and as the euro-zone debt crisis has hit its main source of trade and investment. Before the announcement of the investment cut, the government had estimated its budget deficit would drop to 4.8 percent of gross domestic product in 2013 from 7.1 percent in 2012; the central bank had estimated a fall to 5.5 percent from 7.6 percent. The 15 billion dirham cut is equivalent to nearly 2 percent of GDP. Morocco has also been considering how to save money through reforms to its system of subsidies for food and energy, starting this year. State subsidies on food and energy shot up to 53 billion dirhams in 2012. However, official sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday that because of the political sensitivity of the reform, the government might not proceed with it, at least immediately, but could instead raise taxes and cut investments. “It’s too sensitive. The government would not touch the basic foodstuffs, or at least the first version of the reform would be discarded,” one official told Reuters, declining to be named. Baraka told Reuters that subsidy reform wasn’t being discarded, but that the government was taking a broad approach to addressing the deficit. It was not clear whether any slowing of the subsidy reform would meet with the approval of the International Monetary Fund, which agreed last year to extend Morocco a $6.2 billion precautionary credit line and is believed to have made budget reforms a condition of the loan. —Reuters

Katounas to run QInvest’s investment bank DUBAI: QInvest, a Doha-based investment bank, has appointed Michael Katounas, previously with Swiss lender Credit Suisse, to run its investment banking division, QInvest said in a statement yesterday. Katounas, most recently a Dubai-based director at Credit Suisse, worked in the investment banking division of the Swiss lender for more than eight years and has been involved in some of the largest transactions in the Middle East and North Africa, the statement said. Credit Suisse, in which Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is the secondlargest shareholder, has seen several of its investment bankers in the Middle East leave in recent months as the bank relies more on private banking to drive business growth. The Zurich-based bank planned to trim its investment banking team in Dubai and move some of its staff to Qatar, as part of efforts to cut costs and focus on niche markets, sources told Reuters last September. —Reuters

SANAA: Unemployed Yemeni wait for work offers on a sidewalk in Sanaa yesterday. Unemployment rates among young people in Yemen can reach as high as 40 percent and a new World Bank project is designed to help by providing work opportunities for unemployed youth and women and improving access to basic social services in poor communities. —AFP

MF Global gets court approval to liquidate NEW YORK: MF Global’s parent company has won court approval for its liquidation plan. Judge Martin Glenn approved the plan Friday in US bankruptcy court in Manhattan. MF Global Holdings Ltd. collapsed in late 2011 after a calamitous $6.3 billion bet on bonds issued by debt burdened European countries. MF Global had $41.05 billion in assets. Its collapse was the eighth-largest corporate bankruptcy in US history and the biggest on Wall Street since the September 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers that set off the financial crisis. More than $1 billion in customer money was discovered to be missing. The plan approved Friday lays out how MF Global will pay back some of its creditors. As for MF Global’s customers, about 89 percent

of the money owed to US customers has been distributed, and 18 percent for foreign customers. That’s according to one of the MF Global trustees, James Giddens, who has overseen the liquidation of the firm’s operations and distributed recovered funds to customers. The judge’s approval comes a day after another trustee in the case, former FBI director Louis Freeh, filed a report lambasting MF Global’s former CEO Jon Corzine and other top managers, saying they had ignored warnings of their chief risk officer. Freeh is tasked with trying to recover money for creditors and others that MF Global might owe. A spokesman for Corzine on Thursday strongly refuted Freeh’s report, saying “there was “no basis for

the suggestion that Corzine breached his fiduciary duties or was negligent.” Instead, he blamed the failure of banks and other firms that MF Global traded with. Corzine, who had been co-chairman of Goldman Sachs as well as a former Democratic US senator and governor of New Jersey, stepped down as MF Global CEO in November 2011. Giddens last year joined a lawsuit against Corzine and other former executives brought by MF Global customers. MF Global shareholders also have sued Corzine and other executives. No one has been charged in the MF Global case. Federal regulators, Congress and a federal grand jury in Chicago have investigated MF Global’s failure and the disappearance of customers’ money. —AP

he process of giving feedback to your team should be an ongoing affair and should not only be reserved for annual performance appraisals. In order to have a healthy working relationship with your direct reports, it is important that your feedback is specific, timely, ongoing and constructive. Taking all this into consideration, here is what HR experts from, the Middle East’s #1 Job Site, recommend to ensure that your feedback to your team is effective: Specific: Make sure that your feedback is information-specific, issue-focused and based on observations. Aim to deliver both positive and negative feedback, along with information on what needs to change and why. Ideally, give specific examples of when the behavior in question was noticed. Timely: Give feedback as soon as possible, preferably right after the behavior is exhibited. Research indicates that when feedback is given well after the occurrence, the value of the constructive feedback is lessened. However, for instances where emotions are running high, it’s best to give yourself some time to let them settle so that you can communicate effectively. Ongoing: As mentioned earlier, don’t reserve your feedback for annual appraisals, make them a weekly, if not daily, occurrence. While relaying feedback, make sure you express the right emotion. If what you have to say is positive, express appreciation. If what you have to say is negative, express concern. Some behavior may be the result of habit, so you need to be patient while trying to change or redirect it. Constructive: Always remember - the goal of feedback is to help the employee improve their performance. So you need to ensure that you include helpful coaching and suggestions for how to act differently next time. One example would be using the ‘Improve and Praise’ model to give constructive feedback. This can go something like “Ahmed, you need to make sure that you send across your sales reports on time like everyone else. And by the way, good job on closing the deal with XYZ account!” Data from our research surveys prove that effective communication is essential. Here are some statistics from’s ‘Employee Motivation at the ME Workplace’ poll (January 2013): l 71 percent of professionals across the MENA region believe that levels of internal communication are high in their company and state that they are either ‘fully informed’ or ‘fairly well informed’ of their company’s short and long term goals plus recent plans and developments. l64 percent of MENA respondents consider their companies to be transparent. l Respondents from the MENA also believe that 54 percent of line managers consult with them enough on matters of importance; 53 percent challenge their employees to achieve their best and 50 percent give formal appreciation following a job well done.

EXCHANGE RATES Commercial Bank of Kuwait US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian Dollar Australian DLR Indian rupees Sri Lanka Rupee UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi riyals Omani riyals Egyptian pounds US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian dollars Danish Kroner Swedish Kroner Australian dlr Hong Kong dlr Singapore dlr Japanese yen Indian Rs/KD Sri Lanka rupee Pakistan rupee Bangladesh taka UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi Riyal/KD Omani riyals Philippine Peso

.2770000 .4270000 .3620000 .2980000 .2780000 .2950000 .0040000 .0020000 .0771240 .7513970 .3930000 .0720000 .7366120 .0370000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2841000 .4288630 .3645710 .2999050 .2799010 .0489150 .0436500 .2967280 .0366030 .2291870 .0029850 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0773800 .7538810 .0000000 .0757800 .7382100 .0000000

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

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.027 5.207 2.897 2.261 3.274 230.990 36.785 3.640 6.952

.2880000 .4410000 .3720000 .3170000 .2920000 .3020000 .0069000 .0035000 .0778990 .7589480 .4110000 .0770000 .7440150 .0440000 .2862000 .4320330 .3672660 .3021220 .2819700 .0492760 .0439720 .2989220 .0368740 .2308810 .0030070 .0052690 .0022780 .0029210 .0036810 .0779520 .7594530 .4048090 .0763400 .7436660 .0070260

Thai Baht Irani Riyal - transfer Irani Riyal - cash

Omani Riyal Qatari Riyal Saudi Riyal

9.731 0.271 0.273

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 40.550 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 41.259 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.332 Tunisian Dinar 179.560 Jordanian Dinar 403.330 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.916 Syrian Lier 3.103 Morocco Dirham 33.787 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 285.500 Euro 366.300 Sterling Pound 431.820 Canadian dollar 282.200 Swiss Franc 302.760 US Dollar Buying 284.300 GOLD 298.000 150.000 77.500

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

SELL DRAFT 301.50 285.80 307.94 371.90 284.90 437.33 3.03 3.665 5.200 2.267 3.257 2.901 77.64 758.58 41.05 405.87

Rate for Transfer US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Bahrain Dinar UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupees Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Pesso Cyprus pound Japanese Yen Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees Malaysian Ringgit

Selling Rate 285.250 284.335 432.185 367.475 301.880 755.205 77.640 78.300 76.030 402.105 41.274 2.259 5.222 2.897 3.628 6.955 699.735 4.015 9.800 4.030 3.370 92.705

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY

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

740.000 78.500 76.500

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

GCC COUNTRIES 76.164 78.477 741.850 758.600 77.772

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

741.47 78.67 76.17

SELL CASH 300.000 283.000 305.000 368.000 286.250 437.000 3.300 3.740 5.400 2.450 3.450 2.980 78.500 758.500 41.300 413.000

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

SELL CASH Europe 0.4242726 0.0061692 0.0451035 0.3609680 0.0451035 0.4207760 0.0398829 0.2970149 Australasia 0.2886128 0.2320864 0.0001117 0.2741451 0.0001486 0.2831500 Asia 0.0036019 0.0031651 0.0448615 0.0164867

SELLDRAFT 0.4332726 0.0181692 0.0501035 0.3684680 0.0503035 0.4282760 0.0448829 0.3040149 0.3006128 0.2420864 0.0001117 0.2831451 0.0001666 0.2853000 0.0036569 0.0033951 0.0498615 0.0195867

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

0.0000443 0.0342129 0.0051590 0.0000243 0.0028506 0.0029627 0.0033030 0.0880719 0.0031168 0.0028717 0.0064963 0.0000729 0.2265140 0.0019603 0.0093102 Arab 0.7503375 0.0397736 0.0129643 0.1485113 0.0000793 0.0001736 0.3968289 1.0000000 0.0001750 0.0214846 0.0012130 0.7300286 0.0777095 0.0755467 0.0479712 0.0031836 0.1778254 0.0762494 0.0012871

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

Transfer Rate (Per 1000) 284.900 370.900 436.100 283.500 3.000 5.202 41.255 2.267 3.638 6.925 2.898 758.650 77.630 76.130

0.0000503 0.0373129 0.0052239 0.0000294 0.0038506 0.0031427 0.0035330 0.0950716 0.0033168 0.0029117 0.0069663 0.0000759 0.2325140 0.0022603 0.0099102 0.7588375 0.0418036 0.0194643 0.1503013 0.0000798 0.0002336 0.4043289 1.0000000 0.0001950 0.0454846 0.0018480 0.7410286 0.0784925 O.0761867 0.0485212 0.0034036 0.1838254 0.0776994 0.0013871



Budget to reinvigorate middle class: Obama Blueprint to be unveiled next week

WASHINGTON: Citizens United President David Bossie talks on his cell phone outside the Supreme Court in Washington after the court’s ruling on the campaign finance reform case. The emergence of super PACs and other outside groups, emboldened partly by the court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, has done more than anything else to reshape the contours of campaign fundraising. —AP

US FAA to delay closure of air traffic towers WASHINGTON: Putting off one of the most high-profile consequences of the broad US “sequester” budget cuts, the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday delayed plans to close air-traffic control towers at 149 smaller airports. The FAA, which oversees the nation’s air-traffic system, said it would keep funding the towers until June 15 in order to resolve legal challenges brought by airports. “This has been a complex process and we need to get this right,” Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said in a prepared statement. The tower closures had prompted a fierce backlash from industry groups and some lawmakers, who accused the Obama administration of jeopardizing air safety in order to build political pressure to rescind $85 billion in spending cuts, known as the sequester, that kicked in on March 1. The FAA must trim roughly 10 percent of its budget by the end of the Sept. 30 fiscal year. The tower closures, which would have started on Sunday, were part of that effort. With the towers closed, pilots at those facilities would have to coordinate takeoffs and landings on their own. The FAA said the decision would not compromise safety because the smaller airports handle only about 1 percent of commercial air traffic. But industry officials said the FAA’s decision would inevitably create more safety risks by removing much-needed supervisors where all sorts of aircraft, from propeller-driven student planes to military jets, share the same airspace. Several airports filed legal

challenges arguing that the FAA had bypassed its own safety and environmental review process. “For us, it really is good news. We’ve got some time to continue to work out the problem,” said Spokane, Washington, airport manager Larry Krauter, who was one of the first to take legal action. Those airports will now have several months to find a solution - either through negotiation with the FAA or through Congress. Kansas Republican Senator Jerry Moran, who fought to exempt the control towers from the sequester in March, said he would introduce legislation next week with Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal that would prevent the Transportation Department from closing any towers. The FAA will have to look elsewhere to find at least part of the $45 million to $50 million in savings it would have realized by closing the control towers this month. About one-third of the airports that would have lost their controllers had planned to keep them open with local funds, the FAA said. The agency must find a total of $627 million in savings from its annual budget of about $16 billion. The agency already plans to force most of its 47,000 employees, including traffic controllers, to take unpaid time off. That could lead at times to flight delays of up to 90 minutes at major hubs, LaHood has warned. —Reuters

Portugal court rejects aspects of 2013 budget LISBON: Portugal’s constitutional court yesterday rejected several aspects of the country’s belt-tightening budget for 2013, seen as crucial to austerity efforts promised to creditors by the centre-right government. The court ruled that some measures in the budget were unlawful, including the scrapping of a 14th month of salary for civil servants and retirees, as well as cuts to unemployment and sickness benefits. The rulings-at a time of mounting public anger over the deepening austerity-could compromise the government’s need to apply tough budget measures to meet the terms of a 78-billion-euro ($100 billion) EUIMF bail-out that was granted in 2011. Local media said the court decision would see the state lose out on about 1.2 billion euros in savings. “It’s the laws that need to conform to the constitution and not the other way around,” court president Joaquim Sousa Ribeiro said in a statement, adding that the decision covers all of 2013

and therefore carries retroactive powers. Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho’s office said a an extraordinary ministerial meeting would be held on Saturday “to analyze the content of the constitutional court ruling”. The 2013 austerity budget, approved by parliament last year, was expected to bring Portugal 5.3 billion euros in savings, 80 percent financed by tax increases that Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar has called “enormous” but indispensable to pull the bailed out euro-zone country out of the crisis. The court’s budget decision comes as the Portuguese government is being buffeted on several fronts. Unemployment has reached a record high amid a deeper-than-expected recession, and the budget deficit has swollen alarmingly. On Wednesday, the government survived a no-confidence motion in parliament that had been brought by the opposition Socialists to highlight growing discontent over austerity measures. —AFP

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama said yesterday his budget blueprint due to be unveiled next week will aim to reinvigorate America’s middle class while introducing reforms to curb the mushrooming deficits. “Our top priority as a nation, and my top priority as president, must be doing everything we can to reignite the engine of America’s growth: a rising, thriving middle class,” Obama said in his weekly radio address. “That’s our North Star. That must drive every decision we make.” The comments followed reports that in his budget proposal, Obama will make key concessions to Republicans by offering to cut some entitlement programs like the Social Security retirement program and Medicare, a health care plan for the elderly. According to a senior administration official, the president’s fiscal blueprint will slash the deficit by $1.8 trillion over 10 years, in what the official described as a “compromise offer” that cuts federal spending, finds savings in Social Security and raises tax revenue from the wealthy. While the annual budget deficit is projected at 5.5 percent of gross domestic product for the

fiscal year ending in September, under the Obama budget, that would decline to 1.7 percent of GDP by 2023. Combined with the $2.5 trillion in savings already achieved since negotiations in 2010, the Obama budget would bring total deficit reduction to $4.3 trillion over 10 years, slightly higher than the overall goal agreed to by both parties for stabilizing the national debt. But the plan has drawn fire from both conservatives and liberals. Republican House Speaker John Boehner warned that Obama had “moved in the wrong direction” by making skimpier entitlement cuts than he had offered in negotiations with Republicans last year. Liberals immediately were upset by what they saw as Obama caving in to Republicans, with left-wing Senator Bernie Sanders pledging to “do everything in my power to block” Obama’s proposal. But the president defended his ideas, saying his budget will reduce deficits not through spending cuts that will hurt students, seniors and middle-class families, “but through the balanced approach that the American people prefer, and the investments that a growing economy demands.”

Obama said his budget blueprint would reduce the deficits by nearly $2 trillion. According to the president, that will surpass the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that many economists believe will stabilize US finances. The proposal will also include closing tax loopholes for the wealthy, the president said. “It’s a budget that doesn’t spend beyond our means,” he argued. “And it’s a budget that doesn’t make harsh and unnecessary cuts that only serve to slow our economy.... And we’ll keep our promise to the next generation by investing in the fundamentals that have always made America strongmanufacturing and innovation, energy and education.” In a Republican address, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback said that Washington was broke and big spending programs were running out of money. He called for boosting the entrepreneurial spirit of America to achieve growth. “Our Republican message is a belief in the power of the people more than the control of government,” Brownback said. “This unleashes the creativity of entrepreneurs and the strength of hope and dreams.” —AP

Dropouts: Discouraged Americans leave labor force WASHINGTON: After a full year of fruitless job hunting, Natasha Baebler just gave up. She’d already abandoned hope of getting work in her field, counseling the disabled. But she couldn’t land anything else, either not even a job interview at a telephone call center. Until she feels confident enough to send out resumes again, she’ll get by on food stamps and disability checks from Social Security and live with her parents in St Louis. “I’m not proud of it,” says Baebler, who is in her mid-30s and is blind. “The only way I’m able to sustain any semblance of self-preservation is to rely on government programs that I have no desire to be on.” Baebler’s frustrating experience has become all too common nearly four years after the Great Recession ended: Many Americans are still so discouraged that they’ve given up on the job market. Older Americans have retired early. Younger ones have enrolled in school. Others have suspended their job hunt until the employment landscape brightens. Some, like Baebler, are collecting disability checks. It isn’t supposed to be this way. After a recession, an improving economy is supposed to bring people back into the job market. Instead, the number of Americans in the labor force - those who have a job or are looking for one - fell by nearly half a million people from February to March, the government said Friday. And the percentage of working-age adults in the labor force what’s called the participation rate - fell to 63.3 percent last month. It’s the lowest such figure since May 1979. The falling participation rate tarnished the only apparent good news in the jobs report the Labor Department released Friday: The unemployment rate dropped to a four-year low of 7.6 percent in March from 7.7 in February. People without a job who stop looking for one are no longer counted as unemployed. That’s why the US unemployment rate dropped in March despite weak hiring. If the 496,000 who left the labor force last month had still been looking for jobs, the unemployment rate would have risen to 7.9 percent in March. “Unemployment dropped for all the wrong reasons,” says Craig Alexander, chief economist with TD Bank Financial Group. “It dropped because more workers stopped looking for jobs. It signaled less confidence and optimism that there are jobs out there.” The participation rate peaked at 67.3 percent in 2000, reflecting an influx of women into the work force. It’s been falling steadily ever since. Part of the drop reflects the baby

boom generation’s gradual move into retirement. But such demographics aren’t the whole answer. Even Americans of prime working age 25 to 54 years old - are dropping out of the workforce. Their participation rate fell to 81.1 percent last month, tied with November for the lowest since December 1984. “It’s the lack of job opportunities - the lack of demand for workers - that is keeping these workers from working or seeking work,” says Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the liberal Economic Policy Institute. The Labor Department says there are still more than three unemployed people for every job

leaves her weak and unable to work a full day. The application is pending a medical review. “I feel like I have no choice,” says Marriott, 47. “It’s just really sad and frightening.” During the peak of her job search, Marriott was filling out 10 applications a day. She applied for jobs she felt overqualified for, such as those at Home Depot and Petco but never heard back. Eventually, the disappointment and fatigue got to her. “I just wanted a job,” she says. “I couldn’t really go on anymore looking for a job.” Young people are leaving the job market, too. The participation rate for Americans ages 20 to 24 hit a 41-year low

an academic award for earning top grades. But one obstacle has emerged: Under a recent change in state law, his unemployment benefits will now end July 1, six months earlier than he expected. He’s planning to work nights, if possible, to support himself once the benefits run out. Dropping out of school is “out of the question,” he said, given the time he has already put into the program. “I don’t want a handout,” he says. “I’m trying to better myself.” Many older Americans who lost their jobs are finding refuge in Social Security’s disability program. Nearly 8.9 million Americans are receiving disability checks, up 1.3 million

RICHMOND: Photo shows a help wanted sign at a barber shop in Richmond, Virginia. Many discouraged Americans are giving up the job hunt for school, retirement and disability. —AP opening. Cynthia Marriott gave up her job search after an interview in October for a position as a hotel concierge. “They never said no,” she says. “They just never called me back.” Her husband hasn’t worked full time since 2006. She cashed out her 401(k) after being laid off from a job at a Los Angeles entertainment publicity firm in 2009. The couple owes thousands in taxes for that withdrawal. They have no health insurance. She got the maximum 99 weeks’ of unemployment benefits then allowed in California and then moved to Atlanta. Now she is looking to receive federal disability benefits for a lung condition that she said

69.6 percent last year before bouncing back a bit. Many young people have enrolled in community colleges and universities. That’s one reason a record 63 percent of adults ages 25 to 29 have spent at least some time in college, according to the Pew Research Center. Older Americans are returning to school, too. Doug Damato, who lives in Asheville, NC, lost his job as an installer at a utility company in February 2012. He stopped looking for work last fall, when he began taking classes in mechanical engineering at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Next week, Damato, 40, will accept

from when the recession ended in June 2009. Natasha Baebler’s journey out of the labor force and onto the disability rolls began when she lost her job serving disabled students and staff members at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., in February 2012. For six months, she sought jobs in her field, brandishing master’s degrees in social education and counseling. No luck. Then she just started looking for anything. Still, she had no takers. “I chose to stop and take a step back for a while ... After you’ve seen that amount of rejection,” she says, “you start thinking, ‘What’s going to make this time any different?’ —AP

Starwood Hotels & Resorts concludes month-long immersion in Dubai DUBAI: Marking the conclusion of Starwood’s month-long relocation to Dubai, Frits van Paasschen, President & CEO of Star wood Hotels & Resor ts Worldwide, Inc, shared highlights and insights from the company’s immersion in the Middle East. Throughout the month of March, van Paasschen and members of Starwood’s Senior Leadership Team met with 3,000 associates, conducted nearly 50 owner meetings and visited all 14 Starwood hotels in Dubai, which is the company’s second largest hotel market behind only New York City. The team also took advantage of Dubai’s strategic location to travel to 19 cities across 12 countries, meeting with government officials and potential development partners in fastgrowing markets, including Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and India. During the five-week relocation, the team travelled 61,000 kilometers (38,000 miles) the equivalent of circling the globe one and half times. Over the course of the month, more than 200 of Starwood’s senior leaders and General Managers travelled to Dubai as the company ran

day-to-day operations almost 7,000 miles and an eight-hour time zone difference away from the company’s global headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. During the relocation, Star wood executives also met with more than 150 corporate and leisure customers who drive business to hotels globally. The Middle East is an increasingly important outbound travel market, and regional membership in Star wood Preferred Guest, the company’s loyalty program, has increased 140% over the last five years. “It is hard to overstate the potential for our business in this region of the world. By bringing our executives here and spending time with our partners and local teams, we are uniquely positioned to take advantage of this oncein-a-lifetime growth opportunity,” said van Paasschen. “I have no doubt that our time spent here will drive future hotel contracts in the region, accelerate Starwood’s position as the most global high-end hotel company and further define our culture.” Last month Starwood announced that it will increase its Middle East and

Frits van Paasschen, President & CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Africa (MEA) portfolio by more than 60 percent with nearly 50 new hotels set to open over the next five years, adding more than 14,000 guest rooms to the region and creating thousands of local

employment opportunities. With 82 operating hotels and over 20 hotels expected to open by the end of 2015, Starwood is on track to reach a milestone 100 hotels across MEA.

“ With 80 percent of Star wood’s pipeline coming from rapidly growing markets, it’s important for us to remain at the forefront of new travel demands and changing travel patterns,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development, Star wood Hotels & Resorts. “The Middle East is experiencing rapid economic growth, a growing middle class and ever greater global connectivity, and the Dubai relocation will help us expand all of our brands across this important region.” The company also announced a comprehensive renovation strategy for its Le MÈridien brand, for which Starwood and its ownership groups will invest more than $200 million in the renovations of 13 hotels and resorts in the MEA region over the next 3 years. Following the company’s successful relocation to China in June 2011, this second leadership move reflects Starwood’s innovative management approach to cultivating a more global culture by understanding, appreciating and leveraging different societal and associate perspectives and approaches to business and hospitality.



Kuwait bourse gains on positive sentiment BAYAN WEEKLY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended last week in the green zone. The price index ended last week with an increase amounted to 1.44 percent, and the weighted index advanced by 1.22 percent compared to the closings of the week before. In addition KSX-15 index increased by 1.48 percent. Furthermore, last week’s average daily turnover increased by 6.46 percent, compared to the preceding week, reaching KD54.62 million, whereas trading volume average was 562.46 million shares, recording decline of 20.07 percent. Kuwait Stock Exchange was able to realize gains last week despite its unstable performance in the last period. The Price Index returned to the 6,800 point level, which was lost due to the selling operations during the last week supported by the good performance of many listed stocks, especially the smallcap ones, where it is witnessing a speculating activity during this period, and positively impacted the market performance. In addition, the market witnessed a return to the purchasing activity on blue chip and operational stocks, especially after the positive results and dividends distributions announced by such companies, which pushed the three market indices to realize gains, mostly Weighted Index and KSX-15, since it is the most affected indices by such activity. Moreover, last week the market witnessed the decision of stopping 17 companies from trading due to its failure to submit its 31 December 2012 financial results, however, the market was able to overcome this situation and realize gains for all its indices, supported by the purchasing power executed on many listed stocks. For the annual performance, the price index ended last week recording 14.88 percent annual gain compared to its closing in 2012, while the weighted index increased by 4.85 percent, and the KSX15 recorded 3.36 percent increase.

was second on the losers’ list, which index declined by 1.19 percent, closing at 887.58 points, followed by the Oil & Gas sector, as its index closed at 1,220.65 points at a loss of 0.92 percent. The Insurance sector was the least declining as its index closed at 973.84 points with a 0.29 percent decrease.

By the end of the week, the price index closed at 6,817.38 points, up by 1.44 percent from the week before closing, whereas the weighted index registered a 1.22 percent weekly gain after closing at 437.89 points. Moreover, the KSX-15 index closed at 1,042.96 points,

increasing with 1.48 percent. Seven of KSE’s sectors ended last week in the green zone, while the other five recorded declines. Last week’s highest gainer was the Real Estate sector, achieving 3.41 percent growth rate as its index closed at 1,162.55 points.

Whereas, in the second place, the Banks sector’s index closed at 1,065.98 points recording 2.46 percent increase. The Consumer Goods sector came in third as its index achieved 1.47 percent growth, ending the week at 1,012.64 points. The Technology sector was the

least growing as its index closed at 1,028.02 points with a 0.42 percent increase. On the other hand, the Healthcare sector headed the losers list as its index declined by 1.52 percent to end the week’s activity at 1,049.29 points. The Telecommunications sector

Sectors’ activity The Financial Services sector dominated total trade volume during last week with 1.22 billion shares changing hands, representing 43.32 percent of the total market trading volume. The Real Estate sector was second in terms of trading volume as the sector’s traded shares were 35.07 percent of last week’s total trading volume, with a total of 986.27 million shares. On the other hand, the Financial Services sector’s stocks were the highest traded in terms of value; with a turnover of KD74.88 million or 27.42 percent of last week’s total market trading value. The Real Estate sector took the second place as the sector’s last week turnover of KD72.63 million represented 26.59 percent of the total market trading value. — Prepared by the Studies & Research Department Bayan Investment Co.

Now Boarding: Two new around-the-world trips

Earnings another hurdle for bulls as rally slows

Four Seasons style


KUWAIT: Departure. Few words in the English language carry such excitement and promise (especially when spotted at an airport). It means you’re going places - in more ways than one. Now, after selling out all three Around the World by Private Jet tours to date, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts reveals a boarding pass for two new 2014 itineraries that promise a departure from ordinary travel with a oncein-a-lifetime experience. l Rediscover the Americas takes flight from February 24 to March 13, 2014, and touches down in seven of the most stunning Four Seasons destinations in the Americas: Miami, Nevis, Buenos Aires, Carmelo, Costa Rica, Punta Mita and Beverly Hills. l Around the World is a 23-day itinerary sure to fill a passport with exotic stamps as travellers explore 10 legendary destinations across the globe starting March 14, 2014: from the idyllic islands of Hawaii, Bora Bora and Bali to the vibrant city streets of Sydney, Mumbai, Istanbul and London. Adventure-loving passengers will travel free of worry and full of wonder as they board a Boeing 757 built for luxury, operated by private jet partner TCS & Starquest expeditions. With just 56 guests on each journey (22 fewer than previous trips), there’s even more room to unwind and enjoy the impeccable services of an experienced flight crew, private chef, physician, and a veteran Four Seasons concierge who’ll be

onboard for the duration of the trip to help customize each traveller’s experience - from booking spa appointments and sightseeing tours to arranging anniversary dinners or picking out the perfect gift. The possibilities are as endless as the view of the horizon from the spacious leather seats. On travel days, guests will enjoy expedited boarding, luggage handling and assistance with customs and immigration formalities, where possible. Once comfortably on board, travellers can stay connected with Global Wi-Fi or tune out with supplied Bose headphones. And though the seats are comfortable enough for afternoon naps, there are no overnight flights. Instead, guests end each day enveloped by the downy luxury of a famous Four Seasons bed - and what a day each one will be. Rediscover the Americas guests may wish to greet the sunrise with a beachfront yoga session at Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita one day, and take a horseback ride through the rolling grasslands that surround the lakeside golf course at Four Seasons Resort Carmelo the next. Around the World travellers might cool off in the pool at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney after climbing the city ’s famous Harbour Bridge, unlock the secrets of Balinese cuisine with a cooking class at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan or bathe, feed and ride an elephant in

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NEW YORK: The stock market’s robust rally was slowing even before Friday’s jobs report, but the red flag sent up by the weak payrolls data makes the path to more gains less secure. It means the bulls will have to look to earnings for a way to keep the rally going. The S&P 500 hit an all-time closing high on Tuesday, but lately defensive stocks have been leading the charge, and notable growth indexes are slipping. This rotation has many thinking the long-awaited market correction is nigh. A 3 percent decline in the Russell 2000 index this week seemed to be a confirmation of the trend. “Momentum I think has been slowing a bit, and it would be interesting to see if this is just a one-session sell-off,” said Bruce Zaro, chief technical strategist at Delta Global Asset Management in Boston, about Friday’s decline. In the first quarter, the benchmark’s healthcare index added 15.2 percent and utilities gained 11.8 percent, besting the broad S&P 500’s 10 percent gain. The transition into defensive stocks may respond to investors’ taking into account the effect of higher payroll taxes this year and the $85 billion in government spending cuts that started to trickle at the beginning of the year. The shift is “a rotation into sectors less affected by a short-term slowdown in the consumer,” said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer at North Star Investment Management Corp in Chicago. Earnings season starts in earnest next week, with the highlight coming from

JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co on Friday. Details on Wells Fargo’s earnings will be dissected for clues on the health of the housing market. Overall, S&P 500 earnings are expected to have risen 1.5 percent last quarter, down from a 4.3 percent gain expected at the start of the year, according to Thomson Reuters data. Investors “are really waiting for the earnings season on balance to disappoint,” said Zaro. Companies have caught up on the lowered expectations, and negative outlooks have been predominant ahead of earnings season. In fact, the negative-topositive guidance ratio from S&P 500 companies is at its highest since the third quarter of 2001, according to Thomson Reuters data. At 4.7, the ratio is the sixth-highest among 69 readings dating to 1996. “Companies understand that since the economy is weak there’s no reason to be a hero and give guidance you can’t beat,” said Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at the ConvergEx Group in New York. F5 Networks was the latest and one of the most dramatic examples of lowered earnings expectations. The network equipment maker partly blamed lower government sales for its profit warning late on Thursday, which erased almost a fifth of its market value on Friday. In past quarters, revenue beats have taken the focus off the bottom line as investors were expecting the stronger economy to translate into more sales,

but that may not be the case this time around. “At this point earnings are going to be perhaps more important than revenues only because we know Q1 was only a so-so quarter for the economy,” said Colas. “It’s not going to be a surprise if revenues are a little bit light. Where we really have to make sure the numbers work is at the earnings level.” The Federal Reserve could be next week’s wild card. Indications of renewed support for loose monetary policy - or the slightest hint in the direction of tightening - have triggered wild moves in the market. The minutes of the March FOMC meeting are due on Wednesday and market participants will look for insight into the debate regarding the amount and duration of bond purchases the US central bank is executing monthly. The hawkish argument - a reduction of stimulus - was dented by Friday’s job report, so any mention of it in the minutes may not trigger panic. But more than a dozen speeches by various Fed officers next week could stir things up. The economic reports calendar is light except for consumer data. Retailers are expected to post a 1.9 percent rise in sales for last month, compared with a gain of 2.9 percent in March last year when same-store sales figures are published Thursday. The Commerce Department posts its own retail sales figures on Friday, followed by the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey of consumers. —Reuters



Elliott Wave principles in action applied to gold By Kamel Mansour GOLD - At $7,700 An Ounce Early 2020s When I published my “Elliott Wave Principles in Action Applied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average” in September 2011, the Dow was at around 11,000. With Elliott Principles as my sole basis of analysis, I forecasted that the Dow would reach 16,000. At that time it was imaginary and unthinkable; yet in 2013 and at the time this publication was issued, the Dow was hovering at 14,600 level and market news were predicting prices to soar beyond the projected target. “It is clear, then, that wisdom is knowledge having to do with certain principles and causes. (Aristotle, Metaphysics, 340BC)”. By the same method of analysis, using the same Elliott Principle, Gold is expected to reach 7,700 by early the third decade of the twenty first century. Is this fantasy or a dream? Neither. I deem it as a reality. I would not have the slightest doubt that Gold is building momentum for the future which has been fueling up throughout history in its very long consolidations, its subnormal retracements, the recent Top in 01/1980 which did not materially cross over the Top in 03/2008, and last but not least, the most recent extensive Irregular correction. Recap In my article in October 2010, I noted the following: “If this upper trend line is extended in time, it will cap the five waves of this Irregular Wave .... With the strength embedded in Gold, I would not be surprised to see prices at 1,700 ... Thereafter, the market is then expected to retrace to ...around the levels of 650 mark.” The market made a high on 5th of September 2011 at 1,920.80. From a market jargon perspective, this was the All Time High on Gold, at least up to the time of this writing. From an Elliott Principles, the final sub wave of the Irregular wave the most extended B wave in the history of Gold - materialized on 20th of October, 2012 at 1,795.80; a sign of weakness per se since the fifth sub wave fell short of the third sub wave. The time I first published the article in October 2010, Gold was hovering around 1,300 marks area. From there to forecast the Top, in Elliott terminology, required good insight which materialized with a good price precision. The market took plenty of time and so did the irregular wave which started in October 2008 at 680.80 and peaked at 1,795.80. In hindsight, the waves will be relabeled to suit the current finding. But the overall major uptrend has not changed. In the short term, Gold will decline down to the Top of Primary I of Cycle 5 at around 1,000 level which coincides with the support channel coming up from the bottoms that defined the bottoms of Intermediates I and II waves of Primary I of Cycle V. This support is quite strong, yet if the market showed extended weakness, it may fall further up to a max extent of 700; the beginning of Intermediate A of Primary II of Cycle V before Gold commences its Third Primary. The long term prices on Gold will see levels around 7,700. Labeling the Historic Waves The historic yearly closing cash prices of Gold available for analysis were from 1824 till 1967. Thereafter, the high low close spot cash data was used. I want to re-iterate that I have expanded on one of these Principles, the only additional approach I devised and invented outside the original Elliott parameters. It was the re-plotting of full data series in a new graphical methodology that discounted the inflation factor embedded throughout the price history. The price of Gold went in 5 sub waves from 1864 to 1932. The high reached in 1864 could not have been the peak of Super Cycle I of Grand Super Cycle III since all cycles must end in a C wave composed of 5 waves. Since the analysis was based on yearly closing prices, there could have been embedded waves if we had the high low close during that span of time to place 1864 as the peak. Irrespective of whether 1864 or 1863 was the peak, Super Cycle I of Grand Super Cycle V climaxed during this time. To project backwards, if 89 years were deducted from 1863, Gold would presumably have commenced its Super Cycle wave in 1774; two years prior to the birth of the Industrial Revolution from which many things commenced yet could not be directly applied to Gold since it was used as a monetary exchange for many centuries prior to 1776. This backward span of time deduction was based on the fact that Fibonacci undeniably fitted Gold in both price and time as substantiated in this article. Elliott, in his magnum opus “Nature’s Law”, analyzed Gold since the year 1250 and delineated its waves. Elliott noted in Chapter 8 in graphical format whereby I estimated the wave endings:

Wave I started around the year 1250 and went up to around year 1460. Wave II consolidated till around year 1525 Wave III continued up till around year 1685 Wave IV consolidated till around year 1932 and we were in Wave V since then. I do agree with the Wave labeling till end of Wave III, but I will re-label Wave IV and V and break them down into different wave structures based on the Fibonacci findings that have applied to Gold for more than a Century. Thereafter is the new labeling taking into consideration that Wave IV terminated in 1776. The nomenclature “Grand Super Cycle” originated by Elliott perfectly fitted into the historic Gold prices since the waves swayed up and down for many centuries. Grand Super Cycle I started around the year 1250 and went up to around year 1460. Grand Super Cycle II consolidated till around year 1525 Grand Super Cycle III continued up till around year 1685 Grand Super Cycle IV consolidated till around year 1776 Grand Super Cycle V is still in the making and was made up of: Super Cycle I commenced in 1776 and ended in 1863 at a price of 31.5 Super Cycle II retraced till 1932 in 5 waves to reach a price of 20.70 Super Cycle III commenced in 1932 and was composed of: Cycle I commenced at 20.67 in 1932 went up to 43.00 in 1947 Cycle II retraced to 35.50 in 1967 Cycle III went up till 03/1980 to end at 835 in Five Primaries with subsequent Five Intermediates delineated as follows: Primary I ended at 43.25 in 05/1968 Primary II retraced to 34.95 in 01/1970 Primary III was composed of: Intermediate I ended at 65.15 in 06/1972 Intermediate II retraced to 61.55 in 09/1972 Intermediate III went up to 126.45 in 07/1973 Intermediate IV retraced to 90.30 in 11/1973 Intermediate V reached 177.80 in 03/1974 Primary IV was composed of: Intermediate A retraced to 134.30 in 07/1974 Intermediate B went up to 195.50 in 12/1974 Intermediate C retraced to 102.20 in 08/1976 Primary V was composed of: Intermediate I went up to 153.55 in 03/1977 Intermediated II retraced to 137.35 in 06/1977 Intermediated III went up to 252.62 in 02/1979 Intermediate IV retraced to 230.50 in 04/1979 Intermediate V peaked at 835 in 01/1980 Cycle IV retraced till 12/2001 to end at 271.20 in Three Primaries and was composed of: Primary I was composed of: Intermediate A retraced to 292.75 in 06/1982 Intermediate B went up to 509.20 in 02/1983 Intermediate C retraced to 284.20 in 02/1985 Primary II went up to 498.25 in 12/1987 Primary III was composed of the following: Intermediate I retraced to 325.10 in 03/1993 Intermediate II went up to 417.70 in 02/1996 Intermediate III retraced to 251.70 in 08/1999 Intermediate IV went up to 338 in 10/1999 Intermediate V retraced to 271.20 in 12/2001 Cycle V, which is in the making, was composed of: Primary I was composed of: Intermediate I went up to 426.90 in 01/2004 Intermediate II retraced to 417.90 in 07/2005 Intermediate III went up to 730 in 05/2006 Intermediate IV retraced to 641 in 08/2007 Intermediate V went up to 1,030.80 in 03/2008 Primary II, in the making, is composed of three major intermediates Intermediate A retraced to 680.80 in 10/2008 Intermediate B extended and was composed of the following: Minor (A) went up to 1,005.40 in 02/2009 Minor (B) retraced to 864 in 04/2009 Minor ( C ) went up till 10/2012 to end at 1,795.80 and was composed of the following: Minute i went up to 989.80 in 06/2009 Minute ii retraced to 905.80 in 07/2009 Minute iii went up to 1,194.90 in 11/2009 Minute iv retraced to 1,043.75 in 02/2010 Minute v extended and was composed of the following Minuette i went up to 1,264.90 in 06/2010

Minuette ii retraced to 1,156.90 in 07/2010 Minuette iii extended and went up to 1,920.80 in 09/2011 Minuette iv was composed of Sub Minuette (a) retraced to 1,522.50 in 12/2011 Sub Minuette (b) went up to 1,790.55 in 02/2012 Sub Minuette ( c ) retraced to 1,554.83 in 07/2012 Minuette v went up to 1,795.80 in 10/2012 (Irregular B wave final high) Gold with its Fibonacci Delineation The very important factor visualized in the analysis of Gold since 1932 was the remarkable Fibonacci relation amongst the waves. It has been a very perfect market to apply Fibonacci. Why 5-3 Wave Structure? Fibonacci, an Italian Mathematician, disclosed in the 13th Century a Summation Series that started with these numbers: 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21 etc... whereby the sum of the previous two digits equaled the next upper digit, ad infinitum. A special characteristic of this Series is that any digit divided by the previous one gives a ratio of 1 and a leftover of 0.618. Similarly, any digit divided by the one before the previous will give a ratio of 2 and a leftover of 0.618. Last but not least, a digit divided by the third digit before it will give a ratio of 4 and a left over 0.236. The inverse of 4.236 is 0.236. Where does Gold fit into Fibonacci and Elliott Wave Principles? The Primary Wave (P series) is a bigger cycle degree than the Intermediate Wave (I Series) and the former is one lesser degree than the Cycle Wave (C Series). There is a very close proximity between Gold and Fibonacci series in terms of time and price elements since year 1932. From a time element analysis, we can see remarkable findings. C1=15 years from 1932 to 1947, a non Fibonacci Series. C2=20-21 years from 1947 to 1967. C3 = 13 years from 1967 to 1980. C4 = 21 years from 03/1980 to 12/2001. P1 of C5 from 12/2001 to 03/2008 was 88 months, close to Fibonacci digit 89. As regards to the price movements, interesting facts about Gold using Fibonacci were revealed. C3 = 4.311 of C1, approximately near 4.236. C4 = 0.356 of C3, approximately near 0.382. P4 of C3 = 0.344 of Distance from beginning of P1 of C3 to end of P3 of C3, approximately near 0.382. IA of P2 of C5 was around 0.311 of P1 of C5, less than 0.382. Had it gone down by 0.382, it would have ended very close to I4 of P1 of C5, the range of the Fourth sub wave of the Previous Wave. P1 of C5 = 0.361 of distance from beginning C1 to end of C3. Intermediate B of Primary II was exactly 2.338 or circa 2.382 the distance of Intermediate A of Primary II. If the market retraces 61.8% of the price distance of the peak of Intermediate B at 1,920.80 of Primary II (re-plotted data), it will end at 1,010 on Gold. Historical Strength Signs in Gold The history of the Gold since 1932 was embedded with subnormal retracements and elongated Major Corrections of Cycle Degrees. The Second and Fourth Cycles consolidated, in time, for 21 years respectively; a very long period which acted as a spring to the consequent waves. The strength of the moves after the Second Cycle was clearly delineated in the shooting of prices. Similarly, this Fifth Cycle is expected to follow suit especially that the end of Primary I of Cycle V did not materially exceed Cycle III and that Primary II of Cycle V was irregular in nature to show that the markets are surely building for a very strong Third Primary impulsive. With such strengths in the market throughout time, Irregular Tops formed. These are higher tops than the fifth wave which form part of the Consolidation Move after an Impulse wave. Short Term Projected Wave Path - Gold @ 1,000 The waves that subsequently followed P1 of C5 were not impulsive in nature. They were corrective. Minuette v of Intermediate B of Primary II of Cycle V fell short of the All Time High of 1,920.80, a sign of weakness per se which was visualized with the subsequent first five downward impulse sub waves that followed suit and has, on April 4, 2013, broken the end of the Sub Minuette ( c ) of Minor C of Intermediate B of Primary II of Cycle V at 1,554.83 which certainly signaled lower prices. Gold is currently completing the last Intermediate C of Primary II which commenced at 1,795.80 in 10/2012. It will be composed of five Minor waves. We will see a temporary bottom forming in April 2013 which will be broken again to reach a price around 1,480 to mark the end of Minor (1).

The short term projection of waves is most likely to be delineated as follows: Minor (1) is expected to finish at 1,480 Minor (2) is expected to retrace 38.2% to 1,591 Minor (3) is expected to move down by 161.8% of Minor (1) to 1,170 Minor (4) is expected to retrace by the same extent as Minor (2) to 1,259 Minor (5) is expected to equal in price Minor (1) to reach 1,040 The significance of the end of Intermediate C of Primary II of Cycle V at around 1,000 is very strong. It is the Top of Primary I of Cycle V. It is 61.8% of the distance from (Intermediate A of Primary II to Minuette iii of Intermediate B of Primary II) subtracted from the latter top to end at 1,010. The calculation is based on the re- plotted data. Since October 2008, Gold moved upward till October 2012, a four year upward trend. Its composition waves were bounded by parallel channels that played important roles in defining the various waves and sub waves. In February 2013, the market registered a low of 1,555 which stood at an important fulcrum that was the end of the last channel support of the market movement since 2004. The market is currently hovering around the bottom of the last big channel whose upper resistance level capped Intermediate III and Intermediate V of Primary I of Cycle V and the lower support, if extended from Intermediate A of Primary II would mark a flipping point at a price of 1,555 on the Gold. This level was broken on April 4, 2013. Weakness in the market has been substantiated and lower prices are to be seen. Long Term Projected Wave Path - Gold @ 7,700 With the elongated Fourth Cycle in time, the move from Dec 2001 to the high reached at 1,030.80 in 03/2008 did not materially bypass the high of Cycle III reached in 01/1980. The former could not be considered as the end of Cycle V but would pave the beginning of a new cycle which would be the first of five primaries that would definitely take prices to new highs never have been seen before. If Fibonacci had applied throughout Super Cycle III that commenced in 1932, the estimated next Fibonacci time target would have been 21 years from Dec 2001. We are already 11 years and four months in this phase and hence, Gold is expected to post a Major historic High around the year 2022. If we add 89 years (Fibonacci Digit) to the beginning of the year 1932, Gold will also end up in year 2021 which closely coincides with the target from Dec 2001. Since the strength of the market has been embedded in Cycle IV and in Primary II of Cycle V, the ensuing Primaries of Cycle V are most likely to unfold in the following manner projection of waves delineated as follows: Primary I started at a price level 271.20 and peaked at 1,030.80 Primary II peaked at a price level of 1,795.80 and is expected to go down to levels of 1,000. Primary III is expected to be 138.2% of the distance of Primary I to peak at 6,330. The channeling techniques have an important significance in the historic movements of waves in Gold. If the beginning of Cycle II and end of Cycle IV are connected by a support line, and the upper parallel channel is projected from the Top of Cycle III, there will be a cap at the level 6,500; an intriguing resistance that coincides with the projected Primary III of Cycle V. At such high levels, the market is expected to be abrupt and the retracement will be to the maximum price extent of Primary II which is the previous consolidation within the same degree wave. Primary IV will be expected to retrace as much as the maximum length of Primary II or the distance from Intermediate A of Primary II of Cycle V to highest point reached by the Intermediate B of Primary II of Cycle V, i.e. the distance from 680.80 to 1,920.80 respectively. This is expected to end at a price level 2,204. Moreover, if Primary IV retraces 61.8% of Primary III, it will end at a level of 2,024, which is the top of Intermediate B of Primary II of Cycle V; a logical resting support point. In this case, and knowing that the market will be very volatile, Primary IV is expected to retrace to around a level of 2,024 on Gold . Finally, Primary V is expected to cover the same distance as that of Primary I and is projected to peak at a price level 7,693 on Gold. To correlate the price projection with that of the Stock Market during the upcoming Decade, if the stock market is heading to the doldrums, then Gold, would surely become a better alternative investment.

Kyrgyzstan fighting over gold at top of the world Biggest foreign investment in C Asian state at risk KUMTOR: In an impoverished young nation with a habit of overthrowing its rulers, the future now balances on a mountain of gold at the top of the world, where the air is so thin collapsing visitors may be rushed to a pressure chamber for oxygen. After two revolutions in eight years, nationalists in Kyrgyzstan are threatening to return to the streets to topple another government unless it expropriates the Kumtor goldmine, a treasure they say was sold off too cheaply to foreigners. Parliament in the remote ex-Soviet Central Asian state has set a deadline of June 1 for the government to renegotiate - or repudiate - a deal struck in 2009 with Canadian firm Centerra Gold to operate the mine. A state commission said the Canadian firm has been paying too little to run the mine, and accused it of inflicting environmental damage leading to $457 million in fines. Three lawmakers were convicted last week of trying to seize power in the country by force after leading demonstrations late last year demanding the mine be renationalized. Prime Minister Zhantoro Satybaldiyev, who took his job last September as a technocrat pledging to alleviate poverty in the country of 5.5 million, says compromise is vital and banishing Centerra would dash hopes of winning more foreign investment. “Our investment climate will directly depend on how successfully we resolve the Kumtor issue,” the 57-year-old told Reuters in an interview. GOLDEN CRUCIBLE A landlocked country half way between Moscow and Beijing, Kyrgyzstan holds its national treasure at the mine 4,000 metres (12,000 feet) up in the Tien Shan mountains, near one of the world’s remotest borders, the old Soviet frontier with China. Trucks the size of three-storey houses chug in a gigantic open pit to deliver rocks to a gold-extracting mill, which runs 365 days a year. Inside a guarded room, two workers move slowly in silvery heat proof overalls, pouring bright orange molten gold from a crucible into moulds. Minutes later, four shiny bars worth $2.6 million are stamped and sealed in vaults. Under the deal reached with ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev before he was toppled in a 2010 revolution, the mine’s operating company pays 14 percent of its gross revenue to the Kyrgyz state. The state commission that investigated the deal concluded that the royalty is far too low, leading to parliament’s call for the deal to be revised or repudiated. The dispute has reached the streets. Last October, three nationalist lawmakers led a crowd of supporters trying to storm the government headquarters,

demanding Kumtor’s nationalisation. The trio, from Kyrgyzstan’s poor, volatile and ethnically mixed south, were jailed last week for up to 18 months. “We only voiced the will of the people to return Kumtor to our nation,” their leader, Kamchibek Tashiyev, parliamentary head of the nationalist Ata Zhurt party, said before he was sentenced. Supporters, who rallied in the southern city of Jalalabad last month, have demanded they be freed by April 7 - third anniversary of Bakiyev’s fall - or they will launch nationwide protests. NO SWITZERLAND Kyrgyz leaders have long seen Kumtor as the country’s ticket to stability and prosperity. In 1995, independent Kyrgyzstan’s first president, mathematician Askar Akayev, visited the mine and declared: “We are transferring gold from the mountains to the banks, and this will help us become the Switzerland of Central Asia.” Akayev was toppled in 2005, and his hopes of making his country into a new Switzerland have long since become a cruel joke. With its per capita GDP of $1,100, Kyrgyzstan is 12 times poorer than its former Soviet neighbour Kazakhstan, which has oil, gas, metals and grain-producing farms. Kumtor, which means Sand Peak in the Turkic national tongue, accounted for 12 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s gross domestic product in 2011, and more than half of its total exports. Last year, glacial ice flowed into its giant open mining pit, causing its output to collapse by 46 percent to 315,238 ounces of gold and revenues to fall to 43 percent to $534 million, sending the entire country’s economy into recession. While the head of the Kumtor Operating Company (KOC), Michael Fischer, expects output to rebound to between 550,000 and 600,000 ounces this year, there is no sign of a recovery in its relations with some hostile politicians. “We’ve gone through two revolutions, the first democratic parliament was elected, and we’ve managed with several governments,” said the New Zealander, who since arriving in 2009 has overseen exploration work that has added enough reserves to extend the mine’s expected lifespan by more than a decade. “We believe that we are part of the fabric in Kyrgyzstan, and we’ll still be here up to the mine’s closure in 2026.” The mine, discovered in Soviet times, produced a total of 8.7 million ounces of gold from 1997 through 2012. According to its own data, the operating company expects to produce as much as 9.5 million more ounces of gold before the mine runs out.—Reuters

A view of an oilfield in Bentiu, South Sudan. South Sudan restarted oil production yesterday ending a 15-month bitter row with former civil war foe Sudan and marking a major breakthrough in relations after bloody border clashes last year. — AFP

S Sudan restarts oil production, ending row with Khartoum THAR JATH, South Sudan: South Sudan restarted oil production yesterday, ending a 15-month bitter row with former civil war foe Sudan and marking a major breakthrough in relations after bloody border clashes last year. “The oil is now flowing,” South Sudan oil minister Stephen Dhieu Dau shouted as he flicked a switch to restart production at a ceremony in the Thar Jath field in Unity state. Sudan and South Sudan came close to a return to all-out conflict last year in bitter fighting along their un-demarcated border in April and March, a conflict prompted partly by their arguments over oil. “This is a sign of peace,” Dau said, as crowds danced in celebration. “No way are these sisterly countries to live without peace, and oil will play a great role to keep the peace in Sudan and South Sudan.” South Sudan halted crude production in early 2012, cutting off most of its revenue after accusing Khartoum of theft in a row over export fees. At talks in Addis Ababa last month, the two countries finally settled on detailed timetables to ease

tensions, after months of intermittent border clashes, by resuming oil flows and implementing other key pacts. South Sudan won independence in July 2011 after a referendum set up under a 2005 peace agreement that ended more than two decades of bloody civil war. At independence, South Sudan took with it roughly 75 percent of the 470,000 barrels per day of crude produced by the formerly unified country. But while South Sudan took with it the bulk of the oil fields, the pipeline infrastructure all runs north through Sudan. Before the shutdown, oil provided South Sudan with 98 percent of its revenue. At talks in Addis Ababa last month, Sudan and South Sudan finally settled on detailed timetables to ease tensions, after months of intermittent border clashes, by resuming the oil flows and implementing eight other key pacts. The deals had remained dormant after signing in September as Khartoum pushed for guarantees that South Sudan would no longer back rebels fighting in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.—AFP



Gulf Investment Corporation posts $131 million net profit Healthy results despite challenges

Muayad Al-Faresi

EQUATE sponsors GPCA PlastCon 2013 KUWAIT: EQUATE Petrochemical Company said that Gulf petrochemical investments will exceed $250 billion by 2015. On the occasion of EQUATE’s sponsorship of the Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association (GPCA) 4th International Conference for Plastics Conversion (PlastCon 2013), EQUATE Procurement Director Muayad Al-Faresi said, “Currently, most petrochemical downstream industries in the entire Gulf are somewhat basic and not that sizable due to these countries being mainly exporters of basic petrochemical products.” Al-Faresi, who is also the Vice Chairman of GPCA Plastics Committee, added, “Having an ambitious and productive downstream industry requires having a suitable local market to consume the output or ensuring that these exports will find sustainable markets.”

With the participation of over 250 persons representing the global petrochemical industry, PlastCon 2013 will take place during April 7-9 in Dubai to discuss several topics including challenges facing plastic manufacturers and exporting plastics to international markets. Established in 1995, EQUATE is an international joint venture between Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), The Dow Chemical Company (Dow), Boubyan Petrochemical Company (BPC) and Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company (QPIC). Commencing production in 1997, EQUATE is the single operator of a fully integrated world-scale manufacturing facility producing over 5 million tons annually of high-quality petrochemical products which are marketed throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.

KUWAIT: The Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) announced yesterday that during the year ending December 31 2012, delivered a healthy net profit of $131 million despite challenges that characterized the year including the continued sluggish global economy and widespread policy and market uncertainties and the massive sovereign and banking debt crises in the euro-zone and fiscal contraction in the US economy. Commenting on the GIC performance, Khalid Al-Khattaf, the Chairman of the Gulf Investment Corporation Board said: “GIC maintained a good per formance under adverse global economic and financial conditions. Virtually all GIC realized key financial indicators are well above target levels. With a capital base in excess of $2.3 billion at 31st December 2012, Tier 1 capital ratio was at a solid 31 percent, well above regional and international minimum requirements. Other positive attributes of the balance sheet included high liquidity levels and a strong funding profile, and assets grew moderately at 7 percent. Sound enterprise risk management, effective internal control frameworks and good corporate governance will continue to be important elements of corporate strategy”. Al-Khattaf added: “In addition to commitments made to ventures in existing sectors, the GIC business team is also exploring the viability of investments in novel sector niches including agri-business, healthcare and education. Through its strive and determination, We will continue to be a key player in the sustainable development and advancement of the GCC economies while concomitantly realizing competitive returns on its investments. He concluded by stating that “GIC will continue to contribute significantly to human resource development in the GCC region by providing exemplary on-the-job training opportunities through the transfer of knowledge from our diverse global counterparty pool, and by establishing requisite training programs for young professionals. It is our

objective to introduce and impart international best practice concepts to the regional talent pool”. Established in 1983, Gulf Investment Corporation is a regional financial institution owned entirely and equally by the six GCC states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. GIC provides a comprehensive set of financial services that support the development of the private enterprise and foster economic growth in the Gulf region. GIC has emerged as a regional leader in its chosen fields, and has successfully promoted and developed projects in the GCC across a range of sectors, including financial services, petrochemical, metal, power, utilities, and, communications.

Khalid Al-Khattaf

Abdulwahab Mohammed Al-Sallal Al-Danah’s KD 200,000 winner KUWAIT: Gulf Bank announced Abdulwahab Mohammed Al-Sallal as the First Quarterly AlDanah KD200,000 draw winner of 2013. Abdullah Mahmoud Dashti was the winner of KD125,000 and Mubarak Maen Farhan won KD25,000 respectively. The draw announcing the winners was the highlight of a special AlDanah event that took place at the Bank’s Sabah Al-Salem branch on 28 March, held under the supervision of a Ministry of Commerce representative and hosted by 103.7 FM’s Al-Gayla Show with Hadeel AlFadhli Senior Manager in the Bank’s External Relations Department co-hosting. A large group of customers gathered at the branch and customers who opened or deposited into their Al-Danah account at the Bank’s Sabah Al-Salem branch before the 28th March were also able to win valuable prizes during the event. Reacting upon hearing the news the AlDanah KD200,000 winner Abdulwahab

Mohammed Al-Sallal , accompanied by his father, said that he was “extremely happy and surprised”. Gulf Bank would also like to congratulate Abdulwahab Al-Sallal, Abdullah Mahmoud Dashti (KD125,000 winner), Mubarak Maen Farhan (KD25,000) and all the Al-Danah Daily winners. The next Al-Danah Quarterly draw will be held on 27 June for draw prizes of KD25,000, KD125,000 and KD250,000. The Al-Danah daily winners for the week of March 24th to 28th are: (Sunday 24/3): Najiba Abdulmohsen Hussein Al-Qattan, Mahmoud Mustapha Bazah (Monday 25/3): Ranish Shandra Shankar, Ahmed Saad Furaij AlMutairi ( Tuesday 26/3): Ghannam Nasser Owaid Al-Shulai, Awatif Bin Shakour (Wednesday 27/3): Muna Jawad Mullah AlNasser, Qassem Ali Sulaiman Al-Mejadi (Thursday 28/3) Haytham Mohammed Aleid, and Essam Mahmoud Khalil.

How will consumers communicate in 2020? ERNST & YOUNG REPORT By Nadeem Shafi


ew technologies, changes in customer behavior and increasing regulatory requirements have transformed the communications industry in recent years. It is hard to predict how the sector will develop, and at what speed. To be able to cope with this kind of uncertainty, respond appropriately and strengthen their position in tomorrow’s market, businesses must gain insight into the future role of communication and information in our personal lives and our work. Such insight can help businesses build their strategy. Looking at the telecommunications industry, it is apparent that the boundaries between content and service providers have become blurred or even disappeared and competition has intensified. At the same time, consumers are increasingly using the internet to communicate in new ways. It is extremely difficult to forecast when and how these developments will affect business strategy. Ideally, you would look into the future to see what the world will be like in 5 or 10 years’ time, to understand what the role of communication would be and how we would gather and share information. In the absence of a crystal ball to allow us to read the future, Ernst & Young has developed a scenario study for the telecommunication industry. The focal question of this study is: “How will consumers communicate in 2020?” Scenario 1: full speed ahead Successful self-regulation of privacy and security has ushered in the seamless integration of the virtual and physical worlds. Scandals and serious data breaches made customers more aware of the risks of cyber crime. They joined forces to demand openness and transparency. A combination of consumer pressure and the threat of government intervention encouraged companies to reach cooperation agreements and establish principles that promote integrity, openness and transparency. A consensus is reached that it is impossible to “clean up” the current internet, in order to make it a safe environment. The only way to solve the security issues is to build a second internet. The traditional internet is used for low-risk services, such as reading news or listening to music. The secure, premium internet is used for services involving personal or financial data. Consumers are empowered. They provide input for the development of new products. The boundaries between companies, industries and products are blurred. If customers want to buy a new product, they first get in touch with their personal “crowd,” or find out from trend-setters what is “hot.” Voice- and gesturebased commands make interaction with machines more natural. Even when people are not at home, they are able to control a wide variety of domestic systems, such as heating. These systems can be controlled by cloud intelligence, which combines data and personal preferences, or by people themselves Challenges and opportunities in this scenario It is vital that brands embrace the shift in consumer power. As customers gain more power to choose where and how they interact, they will begin to choose a smaller number of organizations with which they want to maintain primary relationships. Organizations will expand their horizon to include communications markets and industries unrelated to

their core business. Technological advances will offer companies new opportunities to connect with their customers. As a result, competition will increase. Significant investments in infrastructure are needed because of the ever-increasing data consumption by consumers, and the high number of devices in the home requiring an internet connection. The big challenge is to include the extra revenue streams in the business case for the internet provider, because a lot of the benefits of these investments will go to other companies, such as power suppliers, retailers and insurance companies. Brands will have the opportunity to be on consumers’ “like” list, and the challenge is to make an emotional connection, to please the consumer and not annoy them. Co-creation is an opportunity to build strong relationships with customers. Businesses will have to find new and original ways to involve customers in the product development process, and reward them for the co-creation of new products. Scenario 2: Roller coaster The integration of the virtual and physical worlds is gaining ground, but it is not perfect. Due to a lack of cooperation within the industry and the absence of adequate privacy regulation and security provision, it is chaotic and uncontrollable. Companies routinely store,

analyze and distribute personal data to gain insight into their customers and maximize profits. Cyber criminals target companies and consumers. Smart meter data shows when people are out, and burglar alarms can be switched off by a mouse click. Stolen identities are used to produce a false ID to the police at the point of arrest meaning innocent people are prosecuted. People are worried, but ignorance and denial prevail. Technology makes their busy lives easier and more comfortable. This outweighs the lack of privacy and security. The speed of innovation is very high and there is no time to align standards. Some companies from different industries work together and use the same technological standards. The products produced by such a consortium integrate quite well, but products from different consortia are often incompatible. With 24/7 connection bringing a bombardment of information, overloads of information and advertisements have made us immune

to the lies and half-truths of companies. Unreliable information, in combination with a wide range of products to choose from, makes the buying decision difficult. People make arbitrary choices and consumers don’t know how to make a good comparison due to the lack of reliable and transparent information. Challenges and opportunities in this scenario It is very likely that this scenario would produce winning and losing consortia of companies that develop compatible products. It is crucial to select the right partners. With customers indifferent to advertisements, it is essential to be distinctive in the way you approach your customers. The opportunity is to distinguish yourself from the crowd by offering high-quality products. The challenge is to become and be recognized by your customers as an honest and reliable guide, who serves as a “portal” to new services. New internet insurance providers will emerge. They will dictate which sites and services their customers may use, and which are not covered by the insurance policy. As companies want to be included on the “allowed list of services,” they will start to behave better and improve their security. Scenario 3: Speed limit control Governments have imposed heavy regulation in order to control internet safety and security. This regulation has slowed down innovation, and integration of the virtual and physical worlds has been brought to a halt. The internet has been split up into a traditional internet for low-risk services and a heavily protected internet for more sensitive services. On the heavily protected internet, identification often involves a combination of iris and fingerprint scanning. As data exchange is prohibited between companies, people have to perform multiple operations. For example, if they want to pay for online shopping, they have to go to a different secured banking site. Some people prefer going to traditional stores because that is more efficient than shopping online. Global security systems are in place to monitor, intervene and punish violations of the rules. Penalties are heavy. Customers show immense trust in these new regulations and are prepared to spend money on digital services because they think the environment is safe. Organizations, therefore, must implement these costly new regulations and show compliance in order to gain customer trust. This limits the resources and incentive to develop innovative products. Homes have become more modern and efficient. People have smart trash bins and smart refrigerators. But they don’t work very well together. Since they are not allowed to store, reuse or analyze personal data, devices can only work independently Challenges and opportunities in this scenario The big challenge for companies in this scenario is to develop products and services as easy to use and as convenient as possible, within the regulatory restrictions. In addition, companies will have to deal with governments having a larger influence over the commercial environment. Every digital service will have complex legal terms and conditions, which customers will need to read and agree. The challenge for businesses is to explain these policies in simple language. The upside is that, by doing this, it will increase transparency and strengthen the client relationship. Customers will tend to choose companies that have a positive and proven

record on security and privacy, and favor brands with a reliable reputation and a solid history over new unknown entrants. This gives an opportunity to the settled brands to distinguish themselves from the new entrants Scenario 4: Gear down Neither government nor industry has been able to provide a solution to the growing abuse of consumer information. As a result, customers have turned against innovation and virtualization. Further integration of the virtual and physical worlds has stopped. Cyber criminals earn millions of dollars. Billions of terabytes of data are being stolen every year. They always remain one step ahead of the police and regulators. The absence of a worldwide industry authority means that attempts to regulate failed. Consumers have lost confidence completely. People are afraid of digital services and use the internet only for low-risk pursuits, never sharing personal information. Social media and online shopping have lost popularity, and people prefer to go to physical stores and to pay in cash. The adoption rate for new innovative products is very low, as people don’t trust these products. Mass consumption has made people unhappy. They long for authenticity and wallow in nostalgia. In a climate of suspicion and fear, consumers want to know where products are made, how they are made and whether they can trust them. They trust local and national products and brands rather than international products and brands. Challenges and opportunities in this scenario The main challenge is to (re)gain the trust of the customer. It is essential to improve the company’s reputation as a reliable organization that can be trusted. People have an increasing trust in authentic products and services that are made in their own region or country. The challenge is to present yourself as a local company, rather than a global company. Use local distinctiveness when you approach customers. At the same time, focus on fair and authentic products and services, and be transparent about the origin, ingredients, production and source of each product. People are reluctant to have private conversations on the internet. This resistance can be reduced by introducing closed and secured communication networks for specific communities. Consumers are reluctant to make online payments and prefer to pay in cash. It is key to make their preferred payment methods convenient for them. Customers are sensitive to social responsibility. This makes it important to show your customer what you contribute to society. Facing the future Building scenarios enables companies to operate successfully in an uncertain environment. Continual assessment of the impact of changes on the business environment and the ability to establish strategic control requires a dynamic monitoring system. This will provide up-to-date insight into future market developments and their consequences for your business, enabling you to anticipate these developments and make appropriate adjustments. I wish you a peaceful week! — Nadeem Shafi, Ernst & Young Training Center.



Judge defers class action in US tech ‘poaching’ case

HONG KONG: In this photograph taken on October 18, 2005, an office lady checks out the India map on Google’s satellite image service on a website in Hong Kong. India’s national surveying agency has filed a police complaint against Google over a contest organised by the firm for its Map Maker application, a senior official said on Friday. — AFP

India files police complaint over Google mapping: Official NEW DELHI: India’s national surveying agency has filed a police complaint against Google over a contest organised by the firm for its Map Maker application, a senior official said on Friday. The software giant organised its “Mapathon 2013” competition from February to March, asking Indian users to send in details of restaurants, hospitals, shops, addresses and street names using the Google Map Maker service. R.C. Padhi, major general of the Survey of India, told AFP that his office had filed a police complaint against Google in Delhi last week because of a possible security risk. “We filed a complaint against Google because Mapathon 2013 is not in accordance with Indian law or our national mapping policy and it has serious security implications,” Padhi said. Padhi said that Map Maker users might send in information revealing sensitive details of security installations and defence establishments. “How will the common man know what is an installation or not, what is a security risk or not? You cannot just publish a map online using any data without getting clearance from the right government authorities,” he said. He added that he had not yet seen any Google maps showing sensitive addresses or buildings. A Google India statement released to

AFP said that the company organised the contest to encourage Indians to use Map Maker, which was launched in the country in 2008. “Relevant Indian authorities, including the ministry of science and technology and the surveyor general of India, have been briefed on Map Maker, which complies with all applicable laws,” the statement said. “We take security and national regulations very seriously, and we’re open to discussing specific concerns with public authorities and officials.” A senior police official in Delhi told AFP they had received the complaint, but had not registered an first information report (FIR) which is the first step in a criminal case. “We have received the complaint and have passed it on to our cyber crimes cell. No investigation has been launched yet,” Chhaya Sharma, a deputy commissioner of police in south Delhi said. Google has run into problems with Indian authorities in the past, particularly over its mapping services. Indian police in the software hub of Bangalore ordered the company to stop taking photographs of the city in June 2011 for its Street View product because of fears the images could be used by militants. Street View, which allows users to see places around the world from a 360degree view is currently unavailable for India. —AFP

SAN FRANCISCO: Workers with the San Francisco Water Power and Sewer’s SFGreasecycle program pump used cooking oil from a truck into a tank to be filtered on Friday in San Francisco, California. Launched in 2007, SFGreasecycle is a program that will collect used cooking oil from San Francisco restaurants to be recycled into biofuels and also keeps oils from entering the city’s sewer system. According to a recent report by San Francisco based nonprofit group Next 10, California continues to be the nation’s leader in venture capital funding for green technology, green tech patents and the growth in clean power generation, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions despite a growth in population. —AFP

3D printer used to make tissue-like material WASHINGTON: British scientists have used a custom-made 3D printer to make living tissue-like material that could one day serve medical purposes, according to findings released last week. The material is made up of thousands of connected water droplets, encapsulated within lipid films, that can carry out some of the functions of human cells. These “droplet networks” could be the building blocks of a new technology used to pass on drugs and, down the road, could even replace damaged tissue, said a statement from Oxford University, where the scientists are based. Their findings were published in Friday’s issue of the US journal Science. Since the so-called droplet networks are completely synthetic, don’t have a genome and and don’t replicate, they lack the problems linked with other methods of creating artificial tissues-such as those using stem cells. “We aren’t trying to make materials that faithfully resemble tissues but rather structures that can carry out the functions of tissues,” Hagan Bayley, a professor at Oxford’s Chemistry Department who headed the research, said in a statement. “The droplets can be printed with pro-

tein pores to form pathways through the network that mimic nerves and are able to transmit electrical signals from one side of a network to the other.” According to fellow Oxford scientist Gabriel Villar, “the printed structures could in principle employ much of the biological machinery that enables the sophisticated behavior of living cells and tissues.” Each droplet measures about 50 microns in diameter (0.05 millimeters), or about five times the size of living cells. However, the researchers believe “there is no reason why they could not be made smaller.” This synthetic material can be designed to take on different shapes once printed. In this way, a flat shape can be programmed to fold itself into a “hollow ball,” the statement said. As for the 3D printer used, it was custom built at Oxford. In February, researchers said they had engineered artificial human ears that look and act like the real thing thanks to 3D printing. Cornell biomedical engineers and Weill Cornell Medical College physicians said the flexible ears grew cartilage over three months to replace the collagen used to mold them. —AFP

SAN FRANCISCO: A federal judge struck down an effort to form a class action lawsuit to go after Apple, Google and five other technology companies for allegedly forming an illegal cartel to tamp down workers’ wages and prevent the loss of their best engineers during a multiyear conspiracy broken up by government regulators. US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, Calif., issued a ruling Friday concluding that the companies’ alleged collusion may have affected workers in too many different ways to justify lumping the individual claims together. She denied the request to certify workers’ lawsuits as a class action and collectively seek damages on behalf of tens of thousands of employees. The allegations will be more difficult to pursue if they can’t be united in a single lawsuit. Koh, though, will allow the workers’ lawyers to submit additional evidence that they have been collecting to persuade her that the lawsuit still merits class certification. “Plaintiffs appreciate the court’s thorough consideration of the evidence and are prepared to address the court’s concerns fully in a renewed motion,” employee attorney Kelly Dermody wrote in a Friday email. Apple Inc., Google Inc. and the other companies targeted in the lawsuit have been vigorously fighting the allegations. More is at stake than potentially paying out significant damages to more than 100,000 workers. If the lawsuit proceeds, it could also expose secret discussions among prominent technology executives who

entered into a “gentlemen’s agreement” not to poach employees working at their respective companies. The case, filed in San Jose federal court, already has disclosed emails raising questions about the tactics of Apple’s former CEO, the late Steve Jobs, and Google’s former CEO, Eric Schmidt. Other sensitive information has so far been redacted in various court documents, including parts of Koh’s 53-page ruling, but more dirty laundry could be aired if the lawsuit proceeds. The lawsuit is trying to hold the companies accountable for an alleged scheme that cheated employees by artificially suppressing the demand for their services. The complaint hinges on the contention that the workers would have gotten raises either from their current employers or at other jobs if an anti-poaching provision hadn’t been imposed. In most instances, the recruiting restrictions were in place from March 2005 through December 2009, according to the lawsuit. Besides Apple and Google, the lawsuit is aimed at computer chip maker Intel Corp., software makers Intuit Inc. and Adobe Systems Inc., and film makers Pixar and LucasFilm, both of which are now owned by Walt Disney Co. With the exception of LucasFilm, all the companies being sued settled similar allegations of an anti-poaching conspiracy with the US Justice Department in 2010. The government opened its investigation in 2009 after finding evidence

that the companies had reached behind-thescenes agreements not to recruit each other’s employees without permission. Apple, Google and the other companies lifted their poaching prohibitions without acknowledging any wrongdoing, as part of their settlement with the Justice Department. Documents filed in the lawsuit indicated executives knew they were behaving badly. Both Schmidt and Intel CEO Paul Otellini indicated that they were worried about the anti-recruiting agreements being discovered, according to declarations cited in Koh’s ruling. Nevertheless, Schmidt still fired a Google recruiter who riled Jobs by contacting an Apple employee, according to evidence submitted in the case. Sometimes, workers who applied for a vacant position of their own volition were turned away if they were employed by one of the companies already adhering to the recruiting restrictions. In her ruling, Koh said there’s evidence that some of the employees working at the companies named in the lawsuit probably didn’t earn as much money as they would have in a completely free market. “The sustained personal efforts by the corporations’ own chief monitor and enforce these agreements indicate that the agreements may have had broad effects on (their) employees,” she wrote. The problem with the lawsuit, Koh said, is that the circumstances for each employee differ too widely to qualify as a class action. —AP

HP’s chairman steps down SAN FRANCISCO: Hewlett-Packard Co. Chairman Ray Lane is stepping down and two other board members are leaving in a shake-up spurred by disgruntled stockholders stung by the personal computer maker’s downfall. The housecleaning announced Thursday comes just two weeks after HP barely rebuffed a shareholder rebellion aimed at Lane, the company’s chairman since November 2010, and John Hammergren and G. Kennedy Thompson, the two longest serving members on the board. Although he is relinquishing the chairman’s role, Lane will remain on HP’s board. He will be replaced on an interim basis by Ralph Whitworth, a shareholder activist who has been on the board for less than 18 months. Whitworth, whose firm owns 34.5 million HP shares, hinted the board would be overhauled under questioning from testy shareholders during the company’s March 20 annual meeting. Hammergren, the CEO of pharmaceutical drug distributor McKesson Corp., and Thompson, the former CEO of troubled bank Wachovia Corp., will depart after HP’s board meeting next month. Their exodus means none of HP’s directors will have been on the board for longer than four years. Hammergren joined the board in 2005 and Thompson was appointed in 2006. HP intends to name two new directors to replace Hammergren and Kennedy by the end of this year. Until then, HP will have nine directors on its board. During last month’s shareholder meeting, Lane’s re-election as a director was backed by just 59 percent of the vote compared with 96 percent for Ralph Whitworth. Hammergren’s re-election was opposed by 46 percent of the votes while Thompson was rejected on 45 percent of the ballots. CtW Investment Group, an HP shareholder at the forefront of the rebellion, applauded Thursday’s fallout. “Shareholders stand ready to assist the board in bringing in effective, independent directors to help restore this icon of US innovation,” Dieter Waizenegget, CtW’s executive director, said in a statement. Shareholders had targeted Hammergren and Thompson for removal primarily because their roles on the board gave them oversight over HP’s acquisition strategy. Most of the company’s major deals in recent years have gone badly, saddling HP with losses of more than $17 billion since 2010. The most vexing of the bunch has been Autonomy, a business software maker bought for $10 billion in 2011. Late last year, HP alleged it uncovered financial chicanery within Autonomy that the company says drove up the acquisition price by at least $5 billion. Autonomy’s former CEO Mike Lynch, who was fired from HP last year, has vehemently denied the allegations. The claims are under investigation by the US Justice Department and financial fraud authorities in the UK, according to HP. At least 12 lawsuits revolving around the handling of the Autonomy deal have been filed against HP. Lane, a former Oracle Corp. executive turned venture capitalist, also has been blamed for the botched acquisitions. He also was closely aligned with former HP CEO Leo Apotheker, who was fired in more than 17 months ago. The Palo Alto, Calif. company is now being run by Meg Whitman, who is hoping to engineer a turnaround within the next two to three years. “After reflecting on the stockholder vote last month, I’ve decided to step down as executive chairman to reduce any distraction from HP’s ongoing turnaround,” Lane, 66, said in a statement. Beyond its troubled acquisitions, most of HP’s other woes stem from a decline in PC sales as more technology spending shifts to smartphones and tablet computers. The upheaval has caused HP’s revenue to fall from the previous year in six consecutive quarters. To offset the drop-off in PC sales, Whitman has cut about 15,300 jobs in the past year and is still planning to eliminate about 14,000 more positions. HP’s woes have cut the company’s market value in half in less than three years, wiping out $45 billion in shareholder wealth. The damage would be even worse, if HP’s stock had not rebounded during the past two months on hopes that Whitman has the company headed in the right direction. The stock rose 39 cents to close at $22.30 Thursday before the board changes were disclosed. In an open letter Thursday, Whitworth, told HP shareholders, “there is palpable energy and excitement at every level of the company to get our business turned around.” He pledged to find a “worldclass” chairman to replace him. —AP

SINGAPORE: A woman takes photos using a compact digital camera at the Merlion park in Singapore. Tourists, using digital cameras that enable users to immediately post pictures on the web, have risen sharply in Asia despite stiff competition from smartphones, an industry survey showed April 4. — AFP

Sales of web-ready digital cameras up SINGAPORE: Sales of digital cameras that enable users to immediately post pictures on the web have risen sharply in Asia despite stiff competition from smartphones, an industry survey showed. Market research company GfK said sales of WiFi-enabled cameras in 13 major Asian markets including Japan and China rose 52 percent from the year before to 8.44 million units in 2012 with a total value of $2.74 billion. While WiFi-enabled digital stills cameras have been around since 2005, GfK said sales have only picked up in the past two years as manufacturers widened the range of models available and prices fell due to competition. There are currently 160 models of WiFi-

ready cameras in the market, it said. “The introduction of the WiFi feature in cameras is definitely a right step forward to stimulate and boost the camera market in this Internet age,” Gerard Tan, account director for digital technology at GfK Asia, said in a statement. Another emerging battleground is the market for WiFi-enabled “mirrorless” cameras, which can be made nearly as small as compact cameras but with picture quality that rivals that of their bulkier DSLR counterparts, the report said. The GfK survey showed an eight-fold increase in the sale of WiFi-enabled mirrorless cameras last year compared to 2011, with a total of 765,600 units sold in the 13 countries surveyed. —AFP

CALIFORNIA: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a media event at Facebook’s Headquarters office in Menlo Park, California on Thursday. —AFP

US drivers talk and text as much as ever WASHINGTON: Americans are using cellphones and other gadgets behind the wheel as much as ever, despite widespread awareness of the risks involved, a federal government agency said Friday. Citing a 2011 survey, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said 660,000 Americans are talking or texting while driving at any given moment, a number unchanged from the previous year. At the same time, 74 percent of American drivers support a ban on hand-held cellphone use on the road, and 94 percent favor a prohibition on texting while driving, it said, citing a 2012 survey.

Thirty-nine of the 50 states now ban text messaging behind the wheel, and 10 states forbid heldheld cellphone use-although observers say those bans are frequently ignored. In a statement Friday coinciding with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called distracted driving “a serious and deadly epidemic” on US roads. According to NHTSA data, more than 3,300 people were killed and 387,000 injured in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2011, the most recent year for which statistics were available. —AFP


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

US judge strikes age rules for ‘morning-after’ pill Pediatricians recommended access for younger girls

HEFEI: This picture taken on Friday shows a Chinese boy getting flu treatment at a hospital in Hefei, in eastern China’s Anhui province. The number of confirmed H7N9 flu virus infections rose to 16 with two new ones in neighbouring Jiangsu, as health experts are concerned that the virus appears to have spread across a wide geographical area, with people sickened not only in Shanghai, but also the nearby provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui. — AFP

China closes live poultry markets on bird flu fear SHANGHAI: Chinese officials have found traces of a new bird flu virus in more areas in Shanghai and in the nearby city of Hangzhou, news reports said yesterday, as authorities slaughtered birds to stop the spread of the virus that has killed six people. State-run Xinhua news agency said authorities planned to cull birds at two live poultry markets in Shanghai and another in Hangzhou after samples of the H7N9 virus were detected in birds at the three sites. More than 20,000 birds have been culled at another Shanghai market where traces of the virus were found this week. Officials in Shanghai, China’s financial hub, ordered all live poultry markets in the city closed on Saturday, leaving food stalls empty. Authorities also banned all poultry trading in Nanjing, another eastern city, although officials said they had not found any trace of the bird flu virus and chicken on the retail market was safe to eat, official media reported. The new strain of bird flu has infected 16 people in China, all in the east of the country. Six people have died and the outbreak has spread concern overseas and sparked a selloff in airline shares in Europe and Hong Kong. There were no signs of panic in Shanghai, where four of the six deaths have taken place, and people said they were not worried. But the culling, which has been widely publicised, did underline for some how close to home the issue had become. “Now it’s just downstairs,” said Liu Leting, a user of Weibo, China’s version of Twitter

which has more than 500 million users. “Suddenly I discover that I’m living in an epidemic zone!” In one city restaurant, a waitress said they planned to stop serving chicken because of the outbreak. “After we sell out the chicken in stock, we will not buy new chicken and will stop serving chicken dishes for the time being,” said the waitress, who declined to be identified. While the strain does not appear to be transmitted from human to human, authorities in mainland China and Hong Kong said they were taking extra precautions. Hong Kong’s government said it is intensifying surveillance of travellers and poultry coming into the city. China’s Food and Drug Administration said it had fast-tracked approval for intravenous anti-influenza drug Peramivir, developed by U.S listed biotechnology firm BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. Peramivir is in medical trials to prove its effectiveness against type-A and type-B influenza, the administration said in a statement. The H7N9 strain belongs to the type-A group. Shanghai authorities have stressed the H7N9 virus remained sensitive to the drug Tamiflu and those who were diagnosed early could be cured. Tamiflu is made by Roche Holding AG. China and Hong Kong were badly hit by a 2002-2003 epidemic of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome that started in China and killed about one-tenth of the 8,000 it infected worldwide. — Reuters

NEW YORK: A federal judge on Friday ordered the US Food and Drug Administration to make “morning-after” emergency contraception pills available without a prescription to all girls of reproductive age and criticized the Obama administration for interfering with the process for political purposes. The ruling in a Brooklyn court is the latest step in the years-long legal saga over the pill known as “Plan B,” a drug that has also sparked political and religious battles. Reproductiverights groups cheered the decision as overdue, while anti-abortion and religious groups condemned it. The order reverses a December 2011 decision by US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to limit the pill without prescription to women age 17 or older, a surprise move that countered an FDA recommendation for access at all ages and that President Barack Obama supported by invoking his daughters. In his ruling, US District Judge Edward Korman said the FDA’s rejection of requests to remove age restrictions was “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.” “The motivation for the secretary’s action was obviously political,” Korman wrote. One expert in administrative and medical law said the judge may have actually done the Obama administration a favor, though, giving it cover to back down on restricting the controversial drug without having to make a politically unpopular decision. “This may be a free pass for them. You can say, ‘our hands were tied, we were forced to cave in.’ They may appreciate what (Judge) Korman did,” said Lars Noah, a professor at the University of Florida College of Law. “Whatever the political calculus is, I’d be shocked if they appealed this. They are probably just going to walk away from this one, and maybe thank their lucky stars this is how they got to the right outcome.” White House press secretary Jay Carney said on Friday that Obama maintains his backing for the Sebelius decision. “The president supported that decision after she made it,” Carney told reporters, adding, “and he supports that decision today. He believes it was the right common sense approach to this issue.” FDA spokeswoman Erica Jefferson declined to comment on the ruling, saying it was an ongoing legal matter. The Justice Department said it was reviewing the judge’s opinion. The Center for Reproductive Rights and other groups had petitioned the FDA to strike down age and access limits, saying there was no scientific proof that girls younger than 17 could not safely use the drug without supervision. Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, hailed the ruling. “Women all over the country will no longer face arbitrary delays and barriers just to get emergency contraception,” she said. The ruling is also likely to be well received by medical groups like the American Academy of

Pediatrics, which recommended last year that pediatricians write advance prescriptions for patients under 17. But opponents of abortion decried the ruling and warned that the pill’s widespread availability could spur criminal activity. “When these are right out there with the bubble gum, they’re going to be part of the date rape cocktail,” said Karen Brauer, president of Pharmacists for Life. Some pharmacists across the United States have refused to dispense emergency contraceptives because it violates their religious faith. Making the pills available over the counter removes the pharmacist’s role in dispensing the drug, which Brauer welcomed. In 1999, Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd’s Plan B became the first emergency contraceptive available for prescription use in the United States. The company also markets Plan B One-Step, a one-pill version of Plan B. Actavis Inc also markets a generic version of the drug; its shares rose nearly 1 percent Friday on what was otherwise a broadly lower day for stocks. “Teva has received the Court’s decision and we are currently reviewing it,” said company spokeswoman Denise Bradley. “We have no additional comment at this time.” As of February, Plan B US sales over the past 12 months were about $79 million, according to data compiled by IMS Health, which tracks pharmaceutical sales. That is a relatively small amount by pharmaceutical industry standards, but one that also understates the importance of the drug to young women. Emergency contraceptives generally sell for $10 to $80. Although they can work as long as

120 hours after unprotected sex, they are most effective in the first 24 hours. In 2005, the FDA declined to approve over-the-counter sales of the drug overruling its panel of outside experts as well as its own scientists. In December 2011, the FDA reversed that stance and moved to approve over-the-counter sales with no age limits. But Sebelius overruled it, ordering that girls under 17 could only get the pills with a prescription. As a result of that policy, women well beyond their teens are often asked to present proof of age to show that they are old enough to purchase the pills without a prescription. In his ruling on Friday, Korman said Sebelius’ actions were clearly political. “Nevertheless, even with eyes shut to the motivation for the secretary’s decision, the reasons she provided are so unpersuasive as to call into question her good faith,” he wrote. One FDA veteran praised the decision. “This has been a 10-year saga during which the FDA was not allowed to do its role properly, not allowed to make science-based decisions,” said Susan Wood. Wood resigned from the FDA as assistant commissioner for women’s health in 2005 over its decision not to approve over-the-counter sales of emergency contraception. She is now director of the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health at George Washington University in Washington. “This decision gives the FDA the chance to reclaim its ability to make decisions based on science, medicine and evidence,” Wood said, “not politics.” —Reuters

NEW DELHI: A roadside dentist cleans the teeth of an Indian man on the eve of World Health Day, in New Delhi, India, yesterday. Thousands of people rely upon roadside quacks for treatment of various ailments at a low cost. — AP

Science and research hit hard by US sequester cuts

LA SEYNE-SUR-MER: This file picture taken on January 17, 2001 in La Seyne-surMer, southern France, shows the President of Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) breast implants company, Jean-Claude Mas, holding an implant. The now-bankrupt PIP was shut down and its products banned in 2010 after it was revealed to have been using industrial-grade silicone gel that caused abnormally high rupture rates. Marseille’s criminal court will launch PIP’s trial on April 17, 2013. — AFP

Kenya to toughen poaching sentences to save elephants NAIROBI: Kenya plans to bolster current lenient sentences for convicted wildlife poachers or ivory smugglers in a bid to stamp out a spike in elephant killings, the government said yesterday. “We intend to fight poachers at all levels to save our elephants,” government spokesman Muthui Kariuki said in a statement. A major obstacle to this is that Kenyan courts are currently limited in their powers to jail or fine those convicted of wildlife crimes, he said. “One of the major setbacks are lenient penalties and sentencing for wildlife crime by the courts,” he said. “The government is concerned about this and has facilitated the process of reviewing the wildlife law and policy with a view to having more deterrent penalties and jail terms.” Poaching has recently risen sharply in east Africa, with whole herds of elephants massacred for their ivory. Rhinos have also been targeted. Passing tougher wildlife laws will be made a priority for Kenya’s parliament, elected last month but which has yet to begin business. “We look forward to... parliament giving priority to passing of a new wildlife law and policy,” Kariuki added. Kenya’s current wildlife act caps punishment for the most serious wildlife crimes at a maximum fine of 40,000 Kenyan shillings (470 dollars, 365 euros), and a possible jail term of up to 10 years. Last month, a Chinese smuggler caught in Kenya with a haul of ivory was fined less than a dollar (euro) a piece. The smuggler, who was arrested carrying 439 pieces of worked ivory while in transit in Nairobi as he travelled from the Democratic

Republic of Congo to Hong Kong, was fined $350 (270 euros) and was then set free. Such fines pose little if any deterrence, with experts suggesting a kilogramme of ivory has an estimated black market value of some $2,500. Last year poachers slaughtered 384 elephants in Kenya, up from 289 in 2011,according to official figures, from a total population of around 35,000. This year, poachers have already shot dead 74. Tourism is one of Kenya’s most important foreign currency earners. In addition, a thousand new wildlife officers “will soon be recruited to beef up the ranger force” as part of strengthening operations “with a view to stamping out the poaching menace”, Kariuki added. The illegal ivory trade is mostly fuelled by demand in Asia and the Middle East, where elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns are used to make ornaments and in traditional medicine. Trade in elephant ivory, with rare exceptions, has been outlawed since 1989 after elephant populations in Africa dwindled from millions in the mid-20th century to some 600,000 by the end of the 1980s. Africa is now home to an estimated 472,000 elephants, whose survival is threatened by poaching as well as a rising human population that is encroaching on their habitat. Kenya is also a transit point for ivory smuggled from across the region. In January, officials in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa seized more than two tonnes of ivory, which had reportedly come from Tanzania and was destined for Indonesia.—AFP

WASHINGTON: Automatic spending cuts have hit America’s science and research sectors especially hard, according to experts, who warn of potentially dire implications for the nation’s overall competitiveness. As the “sequester,” a package of spending cuts imposed last month, begins to pinch, many research projects will be slowed or scuttled, from cancer therapies to efforts to convert medical breakthroughs into marketable therapies. US government spending on scientific research is to fall from $140 billion to $130.5 billion this year, a nearly seven percent reduction, according to experts at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “The current budget situation for research and development in the US

does not portend well for the future of the American economy,” said AAAS head Alan Leshner, whose group publishes the respected journal Science. Leshner said the cuts, which were hard to notice when they went into effect last month, are beginning to put a squeeze on grant monies given out by US agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH). “National Science Foundation will fund between 800 and 1,000 fewer research grants,” he said. The sequester, Leshner added, “is beginning to deteriorate the quality of American science, and will unquestionably have a dramatic effect of innovation and the economy.” Last month, President Barack Obama, was obliged to implement huge cutbacks to government

spending, after failing to get Congress to agree on a less severe approach to reducing the federal deficit. The cuts have seen funding levels at NIH reduced to those of 2002, said Leshner, adding that such cuts have not just a devastating impact on the scientific community, but on overall economic vitality as well. “Over 50 percent of the US economic growth has come from science and technology advances since World War II,” he said. The impact is being felt most dramatically at the NIH, which with $31 billion accounts for more than a fifth of the overall US scientific research budget. NIH Director Francis Collins said that the field can expect to lose about 20,000 highly skilled jobs as a result of the cuts. He said 430,000

jobs depend on funds for biomedical research provided by the NIH, which comprises 27 separate institutes. And that comes on top of about 20 percent in effective reductions over the past decade due to flat budgets reduced by inflation. “Undoubtedly, this will result in slowing down some projects that are particularly at an exciting juncture,” said Collins, warning that cancer and Alzheimer ’s research would be among the affected fields. “That will delay therefore those discoveries and ultimately the ability to turn those into new targeted therapies.” The cuts will also “discourage” young researchers, who will interpret the move as meaning that scientific research is no longer a national priority and is a poor carrier path, according to Leshner.— AFP

US plans to donate cash instead of food to anti-hunger efforts WASHINGTON: International anti-hunger activists expect the Obama administration to propose major reforms to its food aid efforts in which the United States would donate cash instead of shipping US-grown food to trouble spots around the world. The White House declined to comment on Friday on its plans. But people who have heard the plans said the administration has discussed the strategy with interest groups and lawmakers and touted it as a way to save money while still keeping the United States the global leader in food aid. Many anti-hunger groups back the new strategy, but other groups, including domestic producers who sell food to the program, oppose the change. Several food aid groups said the switch to cash from food donations will be part of the administration’s budget proposal next week. Such a switch would be the biggest change in US food aid programs since they were created during the Cold War. Funding for food aid would drop by roughly 25 percent under the proposal, said activists familiar with the plans. However, cash donations, coupled with purchase of food near the trouble spots, are a speedier and less costly way to deliver assistance, backers of the so-called local purchase approach said. Up to 45 million people a year are helped through the Food for Peace pro-

gram, funded at $1.4 billion this year. Food for Peace was created in 1954 to help fight poverty overseas while also unloading domestic farm surpluses. Nowadays, the government buys the food that it donates. Aid groups say Food for Peace would be mothballed along with the $170 million-a-year Food for Progress program, designed to encourage free markets in agriculture in developing nations. Instead, $1.3 billion would go into State Department accounts for disaster relief and local development. The State Department also runs Feed the Future, an Obama administration initiative for government and private sector work toward local food security. While most of the Food for Peace funding is spent on emergency hunger relief, up to $450 million a year is earmarked for projects to boost local food production, to reduce the need for ongoing hunger relief. US funding for food aid and international agricultural development has come under pressure in recent years as deficit reduction has became a paramount goal in Congress. “We have to look for every efficiency we can,” said Eric Munoz of Oxfam America, a prominent supporter of cash donation and local purchase. With lower delivery costs, local purchase “is a doubling of efficiency in our food aid programs,” he said. About half of the cost of US food aid comes in paying to haul the commodities from U.S. ports. As a rule, at least 75 percent of US food

aid must travel on US-flagged vessel, which can drive up costs. A 2012 Cornell University study said local purchase “can often afford valuable cost and times savings.” Grain can cost half as much, it said, although processed foods sometimes cost more locally or offered smaller savings. Care, Actionaid, American Jewish World Service and Church World Service join Oxfam in support of cash donation. But US farm groups, shippers and aid groups such as World Vision, International Relief & Development and Planet Aid say food donation is a proven system that should be kept. “Be wary of claims that great sums will be saved and recipients will be better served by shifting all food aid funds to a flexible cash account,” said Ellen Levinson, speaking for a coalition that supports food donation. Levinson said local purchase has its limits. Food may not be available in the quantity, quality or variety that is needed for massive food programs. The administration may guarantee US-produced food a share of the revamped program rather than totally end food donation, according to groups on each side of the debate. Nearly two dozen senators and an array of farm, maritime and aid groups wrote the White House in February to oppose a change in policy. “Food aid programs have enjoyed bipartisan support for 60 years because they work,” said one of the letters.— Reuters



W H AT ’ S O N

Austrian ambassador lectures at GUST


s a part of the Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST ) community-focused activities, Dr Mohammed Hasanen’s class organized a lecture by the Austrian Ambassador in Kuwait, Ulrich Frank, to talk about Austria’s history and its relations within the European Union and with Kuwait and the Arab World. Ambassador Ulrich first spoke about Austria’s rich and complex history, where it changed from being a big regional power to a



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small, poor country and back again - all within 60 years. “It is important to understand its history in order to understand the Austria of today,” he noted. Ambassador Ulrich then touched on Austria’s relations in the EU where it considered a gateway for Central and Eastern European countries and the first and second largest investor in many of those countries. Ambassador Ulrich then spoke about the advantages and disadvantages of being part of the EU

with its challenges and many rewards. Following this segment, Ambassador Ulrich moved to Austria’s relations to the Middle East where alliances were formed through mutual respect and constructive communication. These relationships are an important part of Austria’s foreign policy and hope that the good relations with Kuwait and the Middle East continue onward and develop even more in the future.

Announcements Kalanjali presents instrumental fusion nstrumental 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 riends 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.


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


Don Bosco Oratory & Indian Striker soccer team seen before the kick-off in CRC Chinchinim 9-a Side Soccer Tournament 20th Edition which was held at MOH ground on Friday.

BSK’s robotics team wins two prestigious awards

Aye Mere Humsafar n 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.


KWS-AGM date revised


he Executive Committee of Kokan Welfare Society would like to inform that KWS will conduct Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday, 12th April 2013. The program will start at 6:30 pm. All members are requested to attend the same. The venue shall be Salmiya, Block #10 Ministry of Education, Private Education Department auditorium.

Charity golf day


adisson Blu Charity Golf Day Friday 26th of April - 7 am Kuwait International Golf & ountry Club Four Person “Texas Scramble” Shotgun Start 8 am - BBQ - Prizes. Longest Drive ~ Nearest to the Pin To register and ensure your spot in the tournament Email:

Bridge Results


he game was played on Wednesday Evening 4th April 2013

First - Mohammed Tafik - Numan Turki Second - Mohammed Merchant - Sudir Dumra Third - Mustafa - Al Roumi Fourth - Imran - Sam Jacobs Fifth - Bianca Mousalli - Ahmed Tawfik Sixth - Rola - Samia Boukharis We conduct duplicate Bridge tournament every Sunday and Wednesday at 20:00 hours; played at the Graduates Club. Next to Kuwait Engineering Society.

NAFO to present ‘Samanwayam’


tudents from The British School of Kuwait returned from another successful season BSK competing in the annual Educational Robotics tournament, held at Carnegie Mallon University, Qatar. The robotics team were competing against over 20 other teams from around the Gulf and were delighted to be selected for the Judges Choice award for the third consecutive year in a row, the judging panel commended the team on their “outstanding teamwork” and “positive attitude”. The second award was in recognition for the high quality of project documentation and paperwork throughout the build process. The tournament was exciting and fast paced, the seeding rounds started early when the teams pit their robots head-tohead, The British School of Kuwait were eventually knocked out in the afternoon having made it to the final 16 in a nailbiting round which they won by just two points! As part of their extensive extra-curricular programme the BSK Educational Robotics Programme engages students


AFO Kuwait, on the auspicious occasion of its 10th anniversary celebration ‘Samanwayam,’ proudly presents an eclectic dance and English musical show by renowned film actress and acclaimed danseuse Padmashree Shobhana along with the pulsing talents of team Kalapana, Chennai on May 10, 2013 at American International School, Maidan Hawally. Entry through invitation only.

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from Years 9 to Year 13 in an educational robotics club that works towards the team-oriented robotics competition based on national science education standards. This is an after school club where students are given the opportunity to use cutting edge technology in designing, building, programming, troubleshooting, simulation and documenting robots using science, engineering, technology, maths, and writing skills in a hands-on project that reinforces their learning. The BSK students that travelled to Qatar to represent the 30 student members of the school robotics club were: Abdul Razzak Summaq (Year 9), Ahmed Mohamed (Year 9), Dawood Al Mekhled (Year 9), Mohammed Alshael (Year 9), Jared Vaz (Year 9), Thomas Holgate (Year 9), Jamil Summaq (Year 10), Leena Al Bader (Year 10), Simon Pollayil (Year 10), Joshua Smith (Year 10), Abbas Ali (Year 11), Mohammed Abu Rouss - Technical Build Manager (Year 11), Zeyad AlTamimi - Programming Manager (Year 12), Amro Gazlan (Year 13), Savitri

Butterworth - Team Leader (Year 13). This is fourth year that the school robotics team, ‘BStroniKs’ have competed and their success is a reflection of the hard work and dedication that the stu-

dents have shown throughout the year. In the build up to the tournament students and teachers have been working most evenings and weekends to ensure that the robots were ready for battle!

Memac Ogilvy appoints new regional technology chief


emac Ogilvy Public Relations, the Middle East & North Africa division of leading global communications firm Ogilvy & Mather, announced the appointment of Mark Jackson to the role of Regional Technology Practice Director. In this role, he will provide leadership for the company’s roster of technology clients across the MENA region. “We have a very strong heritage in the technology sector and this appointment shows our commitment to delivering the very best consultancy to our clients,” said Saada Hammad, Memac Ogilvy PR’s Group PR Director. “Mark will be based in Bahrain, the place where the

entire Memac Ogilvy story began 29 years ago.” Jackson brings more than twenty years’ experience to the role having worked on some of the world’s largest technology brands including Microsoft, IBM, Apple and Sony. Aside from his work on some of the industry’s most notable launches including the Apple iMac, Intel Pentium and Microsoft Windows 95, Jackson has also worked with a wide range of other companies including Phillips, TAQA and General Motors. “The rates of technology adoption in the Middle East and North Africa are among the highest in the world,” said Jackson. “I’m really excited to be joining

Memac Ogilvy PR and helping our clients tap into the excitement that technology brings to people in this vibrant market.” Jackson joins Memac Ogilvy PR after two years building a technology and corporate practice at UK-based agency Lucre. Prior to that, Jackson ran his own consulting firm where, among other challenges, he helped a global consumer electronics company reposition itself as a leading force in healthcare. “I’m delighted to be based in Bahrain. Not only is the Kingdom one of the most cosmopolitan countries in the region, it’s rich history and its role as a financial hub are an inspiration as we build our business.”


W H AT ’ S O N

Gulf Bank’s Open Day at Hilton hailed as one of the best to date

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


ulf Bank held its Annual Staff Open Day at Hilton Mangaf on 23 March 2013, organizing a memorable daylong event for the Bank’s employees and their families to enjoy a variety of activities, competitions and great prizes in a carnival like day that catered to all attendees. The Open Day preparations required intricate planning and attention to detail from the Bank’s Human Resources department to ensure that

this day sets the standard in terms of employee enjoyment and raises the bar for future employee centric events locally. The event was an enormous success by all accounts and everyone involved enjoyed an exceptional day with their friends, families and co-workers. A variety of activities took place to make sure everyone got involved in the fun including a ‘Treasure Hunt’, and an employee talent show dubbed ‘Gulf Bank’s Got

Talent’. Boney Moses, an employee in the Bank’s Investment Department, won first prize after performing a medley of acoustic songs and was rewarded with a trip that includes airfare and accommodation worth KD 1,000. Wrapping up the event was the Bank’s annual raffle draw for the grand prize of a brand new Ford Focus 2013, donated by the Arabian Motors Group, which was won by Khalid Al-Qadi, who was presented with his car keys by Ms

Salma Al-Hajjaj, General Manager, Human Resources at Gulf Bank. Other valuable raffle prizes included I-Pads, IPhones and chalet accommodations from Hilton Mangaf. Gulf Bank values the dedication of its employees, and expresses its appreciation for their hard work and loyalty by regularly holding various events throughout the year, as well as creating numerous exclusive Gulf Bank employee offers for staff to enjoy.

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada in Kuwait does not have a visa or immigration department. All processing of visa and immigration matters including enquiries is conducted by the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Individuals who are interested in working, studying, visiting or immigrating to Canada should contact the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, website: or, E-mail: The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakei St, Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. The reception is open from 07:30 to 12:30. Consular services for Canadian citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00, Sunday through Wednesday. nnnnnnn

EMBASSY OF CYPRUS In its capacity as EU Local Presidency in the State of Kuwait, the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus, on behalf of the Member States of the EU and associated States participating in the Schengen cooperation, would like to announce that as from 2nd October 2012 all Schengen States’ Consulates in Kuwait will use the Visa Information System (VIS). The VIS is a central database for the exchange of data on shortstay (up to three months) visas between Schengen States. The main objectives of the VIS are to facilitate visa application procedures and checks at external border as well as to enhance security. The VIS will contain all the Schengen visa applications lodged by an applicant over five years and the decisions taken by any Schengen State’s consulate. This will allow applicants to establish more easily the lawful use of previous visas and their bona fide status. For the purpose of the VIS, applicants will be required to provide their biometric data (fingerprints and digital photos) when applying for a Schengen visa. It is a simple and discreet procedure that only takes a few minutes. Biometric data, along with the data provided in the Schengen visa application form, will be recorded in the VIS central database. Therefore, as from 2nd October 2012, firsttime applicants will have to appear in person when lodging the application, in order to provide their fingerprints. For subsequent applications within 5 years the fingerprints can be copied from the previous application file in the VIS. The Cypriot Presidency would like to assure the people of Kuwait and all its permanent citizens that the Member States and associated States participating in the Schengen cooperation, have taken all necessary technical measures to facilitate the rapid examination and the efficient processing of visa applications and to ensure a quick and discreet procedure for the implementation of the new VIS. EMBASSY OF KENYA The Embassy of the Republic of Kenya wishes to inform the Kenyan community residents throughout Kuwait and the general public that the Embassy has acquired new office telephone numbers as follows: 25353982, 25353985 - Consular’s enquiries 25353987 - Fax Our Email address: nnnnnnn

Radisson Blu Hotel receives culinary awards at Horeca Kuwait


he Kitchen team of at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Kuwait participated in Horeca Kuwait 2013 competition. An international cooking competition saw many young talented chefs battle for the winning title in 11 categories under the judging eye of several Kuwait and 7 International chefs. Participants raced against time to create their culinary masterpieces for all to enjoy. More than 50 companies participated in the exhibition and saw over 5000 visitors. The Management team of the Radisson Blu Hotel, Kuwait cheered all the chefs for their participation and to bag the below prizes with their creativity in different categories: - BRONZE MEDALS in category Live cooking (from mystery box) - Dil Bahadur Magar & Anil Chelora Veedu - BRONZE MEDAL in category 3 Plated Deserts - Dil Bahadur Gurung - SILVER MEDAL in category Live Sandwich Preparation - Jophin Kuzhukandathil Jose The Radisson Blu Hotel, Kuwait Executive Chef David Harnois is pictured here with his team celebrating after scooping not one, but four awards at the Horeca Kuwait 2013 competition.

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

EMBASSY OF SOUTH AFRICA On the occasion of Easter Sunday and Family Day, the South African Embassy will be closed from Sunday, March 31 to Monday, April 1, 2013. The Embassy will resume it’s normal working hours on Tuesday, 2 April 2013, from Sunday to Thursday. Please note that the working hours will be from 8:00 to 16:00 & the Consular Section operation hours will from 8:30 to 12:30. nnnnnnn

EMBASSY OF ALBANIA The Embassy of the Republic of Albania to the State of Kuwait would like to inform that on 03.04.2013, the new Albanian Ambassador, Kujtim Morina presented credential letters to His Highness, the Amir of the State of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah. The address of the embassy is the same: Al - Zahra, Block 8, Street 802, Villa 169, Kuwait,P.O.BOX 3090, Safat 13131. The ebassy offers consular services as well. Working hours are from 9:00 to 14:00, Sunday through Thursday.



00:45 Running With Wolves 01:35 Animal Airport 02:00 Animal Airport 02:25 Wildest Africa 03:15 My Cat From Hell 04:05 Baboons With Bill Bailey 04:30 Baboons With Bill Bailey 04:55 Animal Airport 05:20 Animal Airport 05:45 Wildest Africa 06:35 Wildlife SOS International 07:00 Meerkat Manor 07:25 Dogs 101 08:15 Crocodile Hunter 09:10 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 10:05 Monkey Life 10:30 Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild 11:00 Bondi Vet 11:25 The Really Wild Show 11:55 Wildest Africa 12:50 The Animals’ Guide To Survival 13:45 Speed Of Life 14:40 Shamwari: A Wild Life 15:05 Shamwari: A Wild Life 15:35 Bondi Vet 16:00 Bondi Vet 16:30 Bad Dog 17:25 My Cat From Hell 18:20 Gator Boys 19:15 Venom Hunter With Donald Schultz 20:10 Great White: The Impossible Shot 21:05 Wildest Africa 22:00 Wildest Islands 22:55 Into The Pride 23:50 Untamed & Uncut

00:20 Homes Under The Hammer 01:15 Homes Under The Hammer 02:05 Homes Under The Hammer 03:00 Homes Under The Hammer 03:50 Homes Under The Hammer 04:45 Perfect Day 05:10 The Good Cook 05:35 French Food At Home 06:00 French Food At Home 06:20 Baking Mad With Eric Lanlard 06:45 Baking Mad With Eric Lanlard 07:10 Glamour Puds 07:35 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials 08:50 Cash In The Attic 09:15 Cash In The Attic 09:45 Bargain Hunt: Famous Finds 10:30 Perfect Day 10:55 Baking Mad With Eric Lanlard 11:20 Baking Mad With Eric Lanlard 11:45 The Good Cook 12:10 French Food At Home 12:30 French Food At Home 12:50 Glamour Puds 13:15 Come Dine With Me: Supersize 14:45 Bargain Hunt: Famous Finds 15:30 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 Gok’s Fashion Fix 21:20 Antiques Roadshow 22:15 Bargain Hunt: Famous Finds 23:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials

00:00 BBC World News 00:10 The Intelligence Squared Debate 01:00 BBC World News 01:30 BBC World News 02:00 BBC World News 02:10 World Features 02:30 Middle East Business Report 03:00 BBC World News 03:10 World Features 03:30 BBC World News

04:00 BBC World News 04:30 Dateline London 05:00 BBC World News 05:10 The Intelligence Squared Debate 06:00 BBC World News 06:30 Click 07:00 BBC World News 07:30 Newsnight 08:00 BBC World News 08:30 India Business Report 09:00 BBC World News 09:30 Fast Track 10:00 BBC World News 10:10 World Features 10:30 BBC World News 11:00 BBC World News 11:10 World Features 11:30 Dateline London 12:00 BBC World News 12:10 BBC World News 13:00 BBC World News 13:10 World Features 13:30 BBC World News 14:00 BBC World News 14:30 Newsnight 15:00 BBC World News 15:10 World Features 15:30 BBC World News 16:00 BBC World News 16:15 Sport Today 16:30 Click 17:00 BBC World News 17:30 Horizons 18:00 BBC World News 18:10 The Intelligence Squared Debate 19:00 BBC World News 19:30 India Business Report 20:00 BBC World News 20:30 Our World 21:00 BBC World News 21:15 Sport Today 21:30 BBC World News 22:00 BBC World News 22:30 BBC World News 23:00 BBC World News 23:10 World Features 23:30 Horizons

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Duck Dodgers Wacky Races What’s New Scooby-Doo? What’s New Scooby-Doo? The Flintstones Tom & Jerry Tales What’s New Scooby-Doo? Taz-Mania The Looney Tunes Show Tom & Jerry Tales Johnny Bravo Bananas In Pyjamas Jelly Jamm Ha Ha Hairies Baby Looney Tunes Cartoonito Tales Krypto: The Super Dog Lazytown Gerald McBoing Boing Bananas In Pyjamas Jelly Jamm Ha Ha Hairies Baby Looney Tunes Cartoonito Tales Krypto: The Super Dog Lazytown Bananas In Pyjamas 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 Grim Adventures Of... 01:20 Johnny Test 02:10 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 02:35 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 03:00 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 19:10 19:35 20:00 20:25 20:50 21:40 22:00 22:25 22:50 23:15 23:40

Total Drama Action Total Drama Action Total Drama Action Total Drama Action Total Drama Action Starwars: The Clone Wars Evil Con Carne Ben 10 Ben 10 Mucha Lucha ! Mucha Lucha ! Powerpuff Girls

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


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World Sport Living Golf International Desk African Voices International Desk Cnngo Fareed Zakaria GPS World Report World Sport

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Auction Kings Auction Kings Auction Kings Auction Kings How Do They Do It? How Do They Do It? How Do They Do It? How Do They Do It? How Do They Do It? How It’s Made How It’s Made How It’s Made How It’s Made How It’s Made How It’s Made Crash Course Crash Course World’s Top 5 Dirty Great Machines Gold Rush Jungle Gold Jungle Gold How Do They Do It? How Do They Do It? How Do They Do It? How Do They Do It? How Do They Do It? Baggage Battles Baggage Battles Baggage Battles Baggage Battles Baggage Battles Border Security Border Security Border Security Border Security Border Security Soul Food Family Superhuman Showdown James May’s Man Lab Costa Concordia: The Whole Building Sea City I Escaped: Real Prison Breaks

00:05 How Tech Works 00:30 Weird Connections 01:00 Smash Lab 01:50 Smash Lab 02:45 Smash Lab 03:35 Smash Lab 04:25 Smash Lab 05:15 Gadget Show - World Tour 05:40 How Tech Works 06:05 X-Machines 07:00 Meteorite Men 07:50 Finding Bigfoot 08:40 Gadget Show - World Tour 09:05 How Tech Works 09:30 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 10:25 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 11:20 Meteorite Men 12:10 Meteorite Men 13:00 Meteorite Men 13:50 Weird Connections 14:20 Gadget Show - World Tour 14:45 How Tech Works 15:10 Food Factory 15:35 Food Factory 16:00 Engineering Thrills 16:55 Prototype This 17:45 NASA’s Greatest Missions 18:35 Building The Future 19:30 Storm Chasers 20:20 X-Machines 21:10 Gadget Show - World Tour 21:35 The Tech Show 22:00 Storm Chasers 22:50 Dark Matters: Twisted But True 23:40 Gadget Show - World Tour

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Stitch A Kind Of Magic A Kind Of Magic Replacements Replacements Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School A Kind Of Magic A Kind Of Magic Replacements Replacements Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School A Kind Of Magic Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates Suite Life On Deck A.N.T. Farm 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 Double Teamed Prank Stars 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 Den Brother 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 E! Investigates 03:15 E! Investigates 04:10 E!es 05:05 Extreme Close-Up 05:30 Extreme Close-Up 06:00 15 Remarkable Celebrity Body Bouncebacks 07:50 Style Star 08:20 E! News 09:15 Extreme Close-Up 09:45 Extreme Close-Up 10:15 E!es 11:10 Opening Act 12:05 E! News 13:05 Married To Jonas 13:35 Married To Jonas 14:05 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 15:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 16:00 THS 17:00 Fashion Police 18:00 E! News 19:00 Giuliana & Bill 20:00 Kourtney And Kim Take Miami 21:00 Kourtney And Kim Take Miami 22:00 Chasing The Saturdays 22:30 Opening Act 23:30 Opening Act

00:05 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 00:30 Heat Seekers 00:55 Outrageous Food 01:20 Unwrapped 01:45 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 02:10 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 02:35 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 03:00 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 03:25 Unique Eats 03:50 Food Crafters 04:15 United Tastes Of America 04:40 Chopped 05:30 Chef Hunter 06:10 Unwrapped 06:35 Unwrapped 07:00 Everyday Italian 07:25 Everyday Italian 07:50 Everyday Italian 08:15 Everyday Italian 08:40 Extra Virgin 09:05 Extra Virgin 09:30 Extra Virgin 09:55 Extra Virgin 10:20 Giada’s Italian Holiday 11:10 Food Network Challenge 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 Reza’s African Kitchen 14:30 Reza’s African Kitchen 14:55 Reza’s African Kitchen 15:20 Reza’s African Kitchen 15:45 Chopped 16:35 Kid In A Candy Store 17:00 Kid In A Candy Store 17:25 Kid In A Candy Store 17:50 Kid In A Candy Store 18:15 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:40 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 19:05 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 19:30 Chopped 20:20 Chopped 21:10 Iron Chef America 22:00 Iron Chef America 22:50 Iron Chef America 23:40 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives

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The Haunted Dr G: Medical Examiner Deadly Affairs Stalked: Someone’s Watching Stalked: Someone’s Watching On The Case With Paula Zahn The Haunted Dr G: Medical Examiner Disappeared 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 Who On Earth... Who On Earth... Couples Who Kill Scorned: Crimes Of Passion

00:45 Bangkok, Thailand 01:10 Taipei, Taiwan 01:40 African Rough Road 02:05 Congo Chaos 02:35 Going Local 03:30 The Chicken Chronicles 03:55 The Noodle And Dumpling Chronicles 04:25 Caldicot 04:50 Bluelist Australia, 1 05:20 Jakarta, Indonesia 05:45 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 06:15 India - Mumbai 06:40 Ep 13 07:10 07:35 08:05 The Last European Aborigines 09:00 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita, 1 09:25 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita, 2 09:55 Johannesburg 10:20 Lagos 10:50 Bolivia 11:15 Brazil 11:45 Africa Island Hop

BEL AMI ON OSN CINEMA 12:10 Pyramids Or Bust 12:40 Kicked Out of Gansu 13:35 The Pork Chronicles 14:00 The Street Food Chronicles 14:30 Jamaica 14:55 Bluelist Australia, 2 15:25 On The Shores of The Caribbean 16:20 The Last European Aborigines 17:15 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita, 1 17:40 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita, 2 18:10 Johannesburg 18:35 Lagos 19:05 Jakarta, Indonesia 19:30 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 20:00 India - Mumbai 20:30 Ep 13 21:00 21:30 22:00 Jamaica (aka Reggae Marathon) 22:55 Best of 23:20 Swept Away 23:50 Wine And Renegades

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The Perfect Host-PG15 Exorcismus-18 Blank Slate-PG15 True Justice: Dark Vengeance-

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Take Shelter-PG15 This Means War-PG15 Mrs. Miracle-PG15 The Decoy Bride-PG15 Take Shelter-PG15 Hidden Crimes-PG15 Golden Christmas 3-PG15 Stolen Lives-PG15 Call Of The Wild-PG15 Joyful Noise-PG15 Bel Ami-18 The Thing-18

Barricade-PG15 Do No Harm-PG15 Goal!-PG15 Barricade-PG15 Mission: Impossible-PG15 Goal!-PG15 A Dangerous Man-18 The Shining-R

03:00 Parks And Recreation 03:30 Happy Endings 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 The Neighbors 10:00 The Office 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 13:00 Hope & Faith 14:00 Happy Endings 14:30 The Office 15:00 The Neighbors 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Hot In Cleveland 18:30 1600 Penn 19:00 Two And A Half Men 19:30 The Office 20:00 The Cleveland Show 20:30 Breaking In 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 23:30 The Cleveland Show

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The Glades Six Feet Under The Glades Necessary Roughness Eureka Grimm Scandal

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Switched At Birth Sons Of Anarchy The Mob Doctor Greek The Glades Criminal Minds

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Switched At Birth Emmerdale Coronation Street White Collar Criminal Minds The Mob Doctor The Glades Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show White Collar Switched At Birth Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show White Collar Necessary Roughness Eureka Grimm Scandal Greek

Three Kings The Perfect Host Exorcismus Blank Slate True Justice: Dark Vengeance Barricade Do No Harm Goal! Barricade Mission: Impossible Goal! A Dangerous Man

00:00 Grabbers-PG15 02:00 Reno 911!: Miami-18 04:00 Mean Girls 2-PG15 06:00 While You Were SleepingPG15 08:00 The Perfect Catch-PG15 10:00 Just Crazy Enough-PG15 12:00 Mean Girls 2-PG15 14:00 Police Academy 3: Back In Training-PG15 16:00 Just Crazy Enough-PG15 18:00 Nacho Libre-PG 20:00 Bridesmaids-18 22:15 Grabbers-PG15

00:45 Neds-PG15 03:00 Sleeping Beauty-18 05:00 Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid-PG 07:00 The Natural-PG 09:15 Terms Of Endearment-PG15 11:30 Courage—PG15 13:15 Page Eight-PG15 15:00 Terms Of Endearment-PG15 17:15 Henry’s Crime-PG15 19:00 Tora! Tora! Tora!-PG15 21:30 Arc-18 23:30 The Company Men-PG15

00:00 Cleanskin-18 02:00 Like Crazy-PG15 04:00 Johnny English Reborn-PG15 06:00 Jane Eyre-PG15 08:00 Kings Ransom-PG15 09:00 The Adventures Of Tintin-PG 11:00 Marley & Me: The Puppy Years-PG 13:00 Dead Lines-PG15 15:00 HappythankyoumorepleasePG15 17:00 The Adventures Of Tintin-PG 18:45 Battleship-PG15 21:00 The Ides Of March-PG15 23:00 Final Destination 5-18

01:00 The Apple & The Worm 02:45 Ploddy Police Car 04:30 Tommy & Oscar 06:00 The Wild Thornberrys Movie 08:00 The Three Bears: Dreadful Dangers 10:00 Princess Lillifee 11:30 Tommy & Oscar 13:00 Dragon Hunters 14:30 Journey 2: The Mysterious Island 16:15 Shark Tale 18:00 Princess Lillifee 20:00 Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 22:00 Dragon Hunters 23:30 Shark Tale

00:00 Tomorrow, When The War Began-PG15 02:00 Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol-PG15 04:15 Justice League: Doom-PG15 06:00 Bound By A Secret-PG15 08:00 Kung Fu Panda 2-PG 10:00 Sgt. Bilko-PG 12:00 Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol-PG15 14:15 One Angry Juror-PG15 16:00 Kung Fu Panda 2-PG 18:00 The Beaver-PG15 20:00 The Change Up-18 22:00 The Debt-18

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European Challenge Cup Super Rugby Super Rugby Live NRL Premiership Super Rugby Futbol Mundial Live NRL Premiership NRL Premiership NRL Premiership ICC Cricket 360 Live Super Rugby Live PGA Tour

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

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Super Rugby NRL Premiership Total Rugby AFL Premiership European Challenge Cup Asian Tour Golf Show Live Asian Tour Golf ITU World Triathlon Asian Tour Golf ITU World Triathlon NRL Premiership

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Mobil 1 The Grid NHL UFC The Ultimate Fighter US Bass Fishing NHL WWE Bottom Line Live AFL Premiership WWE Experience WWE This Week Mobil 1 The Grid NHL Adventure Challenge WWE SmackDown WWE Bottom Line UFC NHL

01:05 FAM 03:10 05:10 07:00 08:45 11:00 12:55 FAM 14:45 17:00 18:30 20:15 22:00 23:30

The Unsinkable Molly BrownLust For Life-FAM The Pirate-FAM A Patch Of Blue-PG The Prize-PG Les Girls-PG Please Don’t Eat The DaisiesThe Women-PG The Fastest Gun Alive-PG Until They Sail-PG Rogue Cop-PG Westworld Shaft

Classifieds SUNDAY, APRIL 7, 2013


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I, Tarun Kanti Paul and I, Mithu Paul parents of Supriti Paul, her Passport No. J6954961 hereby will change our daughter ’s name as Zeta Supriti Paul. (C 4369) I, Tarun Kanti Paul and I, Mithu Paul parents of Swaswati Paul, her Passport No. J6954985 hereby will change our daughter ’s name as Luna Shashati Paul. (C 4370) Sangam Sivakumar Raju, S/o Sangam Kodandarama Raju Indian Passport No. K3372636 issued at Hyderabad, India, date 02/04/2013 Passport resident 9/130 Rly Kodur YSR District 516001 (A.P) India, hereby change to Sangaraju Sivakumar Raju. New resident 7/21 D,

Gangireddypalem, Rajampet, Kadapa, A.P, 516001 India. (C 4371) 7-4-2013 SITUATION WANTED Need a job in Kuwait, having MBA Degree + Indian driving license, K. Suresh Babu MBA. Contact: 00919440707761 or Mr. Balu 66195135. (C 4368) 6-4-2013

112 Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is


No: 15771




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787 134 303 341 71 857 127 510 215 982 177 777 502 542 144 786 166 63 219 618 393 674 606 102 572 415 647 61 129 481 402 562 514 417 229 172 859 307 136 217 6130 372 146 59 981 239 185 981 135 636 574 205 772


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Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (


673 6508 473 561 617 503 513 641 238 135 304 72 538 342 128 858 511 216 184 266 982 145 64 220 134 394 619 571 62 120 415 648 403 171 417 308 230 860 343 137 301 218 373 60 205 147 351 6131 411 283 415


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stars CROSSWORD 152

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) You can afford to be avant-garde today-let the progressive revolutionary in you roam at will. Today is filled with thought-provoking discussions about controversial topics, unusual or offbeat ideas, or “whacky” concepts. The tempo of your life is increasing and may leave you feeling frazzled today however. Because you are quite restless at present, you may say things which leave others stunned. Take a break today if you can. You might be more distressed than usual over any disharmony in personal relationships, and you are inclined to avoid serious discussions or real disagreements with others. Keep them in mind for a later time, avoidance for a short time might be best.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) It should be easier to establish and maintain a maximum stride and this is the time to establish the ideal cruising speed for anything you’ve got underway. Everyone’s energies are more likely to be in synch so that the whole system kicks in and puts out without leaning too heavily on a single component. Someone could challenge you on a very sensitive issue, resulting in an argument or, at the least, a very intense and uncomfortable discussion. You may touch upon very emotional parts of you and find yourself analyzing why and how to handle it. If it pushed your buttons maybe it’s time to figure out why.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

ACROSS 1. (trademark) A tinned luncheon meat made largely from pork. 5. Type genus of the family Mustelidae. 12. (British) A waterproof raincoat made of rubberized fabric. 15. The basic unit of money in Bangladesh. 16. A diuretic drug (trade name Esidrix and HydroDIURIL) used in the treatment of hypertension. 17. A benevolent aspect of Devi. 18. Surpassing the ordinary especially in size or scale. 19. An Italian poet famous for `The Divine Comedy'--a journey through hell and purgatory and paradise guided by Virgil and his idealized Beatrice (1265-1321). 20. Realistic Norwegian author who wrote plays on social and political themes (18281906). 22. A woman who wears clothes to display fashions. 24. A commercial center and river port in western Germany on the Rhine River. 26. The capital and largest city of Bangladesh. 28. A city in southeastern South Korea. 29. Made steady or constant. 34. A subsidiary proposition that is assumed to be true in order to prove another proposition. 35. Distinctive and stylish elegance. 38. A male monarch or emperor (especially of Russia prior to 1917). 40. The executive agency that advises the President on the federal budget. 41. Being nine more than ninety. 42. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 44. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 48. The longer of the two telegraphic signals used in Morse code. 50. Failing to speak or communicate etc when expected to. 51. Foot pain. 54. Title used for a married Frenchwoman. 56. A deep orange-red variety of chalcedony. 59. An ancient region on the coast of southwest Asia Minor. 60. A mountain peak in the Andes in Bolivia (21,391 feet high). 63. Severe hypoxia. 65. An inhabitant of ancient Thebes. 66. In a rueful manner. 70. A sensation (as of a cold breeze or bright light) that precedes the onset of certain disorders such as a migraine attack or epileptic seizure. 72. Type genus of the Sulidae. 73. Irritate or vex. 77. Providing enjoyment. 78. Time for Earth to make a complete rotation on its axis. 79. An early Christian church designed like a Roman basilica. 80. A federal agency established to regulate the release of new foods and health-related products.

DOWN 1. (linguistics) The form of a word after all affixes are removed.

2. An informal term for a father. 3. Similar or related in quality or character. 4. Covered with paving material. 5. Aristocratic Italian family of powerful merchants and bankers who ruled Florence in the 15th century. 6. (commerce) The period of time permitted by commercial usage for the payment of a bill of exchange (especially a foreign bill of exchange). 7. Estrangement from god. 8. (astronomy) A measure of time defined by Earth's orbital motion. 9. Upright in position or posture. 10. Being one more than fifty. 11. (botany) Relating to or attached to the axis. 12. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 13. A primeval personification of air and breath. 14. A stick that people can lean on to help them walk. 21. Capital and largest city of Colombia. 23. A family of Sino-Tibetan languages spoken in southeastern Asia. 25. Profane or obscene expression usually of surprise or anger. 27. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 30. (music) The speed at which a composition is to be played. 31. To fix or set securely or deeply. 32. Shrub bearing round-fruited kumquats. 33. A Ukrainian peninsula between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. 36. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 37. Experiencing or showing sorrow or unhappiness. 39. Wood of a sumac. 43. The civil and religious leader of a Muslim state. 45. Melon having yellowish rind and whitish flesh. 46. A resource. 47. (Greek mythology) Goddess of the earth and mother of Cronus and the Titans in ancient mythology. 49. Before noon. 52. A Tibetan or Mongolian priest of Lamaism. 53. The father of your father or mother. 55. God of the sky. 57. Unwind from or as if from a reel. 58. Large South American evergreen tree trifoliate leaves and drupes with nutlike seeds used as food and a source of cooking oil. 61. (Zoroastrianism) Title for benevolent deities. 62. Not having a steady rhythm. 64. Being deficient in moisture. 67. Sailing close to the wind v 1. 68. (Welsh) A warrior god. 69. A member of an extinct North American Indian people who lived in the Pit river valley in northern California. 71. The sixth day of the week. 74. A metallic element having four allotropic forms. 75. A very poisonous metallic element that has three allotropic forms. 76. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group.


Your drive for personal freedom and insistence on your rights is pressing, and a confrontation in which you have to stand up for yourself is likely. A tendency to try to do too much too fast are attitudes you need to carefully monitor at this time. Inspiration, eccentricity, and imagination are the key issues in your love life. You are likely to feel the urge to do something completely out of character now, eclectic, maybe even a bit crazy. Don’t fight the urge if it won’t cause harmful consequences, go for it, you might be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Your drive for personal power, achievement, or control over your life is very strong at this time. Also, you can be unmerciful with yourself and your own weaknesses. You are likely to push yourself much too hard. Verbal battles, disputes, and heated debates are very likely at this time because you speak your mind without much thought or consideration. Unless you slow your pace down a bit, this time period can be quite a headache and may take more time to mend than it took to break.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Say what you feel, it’s easy now and you can do so with little fear of getting into trouble. This is also a time you can better understand what others are trying to tell you at the gut level. Words come easier now and seem to have more meaning, take a risk and extend your normal boundaries. A good time to take care of emotional issues you may be having with someone you are involved with. Working through them now will allow you to move on past any barriers you’ve built because of these issues. Take some time to look ahead at the next few days to see how quickly you can follow through with any plans you are considering.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) Due to the action of a very intelligent person, something you have been anticipating occurs in a fashion that is beneficial to all concerned. Don’t, whatever you do, start taking a mentor for granted, because they are not ones to give second chances. A younger person may require a favor. A little brashness can go a long way in getting you what you want today, but too much can do more damage than good. Let your romantic interests know what you want in subtle ways. Don’t demand. Instead use lighthearted banter and a good dose of flirting to get what you want.

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Libra (September 23-October 22) Someone could provoke you to behave in a manner that’s way out of character. Of course, you won’t be disappointed that some of your fantasies are finally being lived out, but there could be a morsel of awkwardness to deal with in the aftermath. Never mind, you’ll get what you want. Resist the temptation to go overboard emotionally, to the point of burning yourself or someone else out. It’s easy to get carried away today so watch your step. Your initial assumption will require refinement, so don’t expect to understand everything that’s going on with your first attempt.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) There is a revolutionary atmosphere around you, but expansion and contraction are part of the cocktail that could muddle your head and make it difficult for you to know what it is you’re fighting for. Don’t rush forward without applying a little foresight. Don’t burn any bridges right now. This is a good time for relaxing recreation and rejuvenating yourself, to do the things you most enjoy doing. Good humor and optimism are the energy that prevails at this time and you are able to get a larger perspective on your life. This is also a good time to approach someone who you’ve been admiring.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) This is a good time to let your hair down and enjoy before someone else lets it down instead. Let urge carry you, as tight schedules will get snarled if you fight it. R&R is not just time off, its renewal, putting more in the pipeline on return. Upsets and unexpected changes in relationships are extremely likely at this time. Feeling the need to be free spirited and independent arises in you, making you more selfish, independent, and unwilling to tolerate being stifled or put down by others. You also rebel against others who are domineering or rigid in their way of dealing with other people and especially you!

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) You can only gloss over the problems for so long and then it gets too hard keeping up a show. You may be avoiding some hurts from the past and can’t adequately address how they are impacting current relationships in your life. You know that these events have passed and nothing more can be done about them, yet they still haunt you. Now is an ideal time for you to start shedding negative baggage from the past. Your future is bright and there is no reason for you to allow the past to taint it.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18)

Something that’s been building up cannot be ignored for much longer - so make a point of sitting down and discussing the item with your nearest and dearest. Some urgent accounting needs to take place if you want your budget to meet your high expectations. back and forth flow of communication between yourself and your romantic interest is likely today. You may engage in interesting and informative discussions or flirt your time away in silliness. Play a game or share a fantasy, or do something you both might enjoy where verbal foreplay is brought out.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) You may be challenged today by a lack of time and the need to essentially make important decisions on the fly. While these are not in the best circumstances to make hard choices, your instincts are good and your assessment of the situation is accurate, so go with what you sense is right and all should be well. Be prepared to face some opposition to your ideas from unexpected sources. If your love life has been a little flat lately today is the day to do something about it. For those in a romantic relationship now is the perfect time to do something out of the ordinary. Possibly set up a romantic rendezvous in an unusual place. Creating a little mystery will make you very attractive to your mate at this time. Those who are flying solo at the moment need to get out in the world and do some socializing. Meeting someone you can start a fulfilling romance with is likely during this period.

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LIFESTYLE G o s s i p

Carrie Underwood’s husband isn’t romantic


he ‘Before He Cheats’ singer - who has been married to hockey player Mike Fisher for over two years - often has to prompt her spouse to do nice things for her, but says what he does do is “very special”. She revealed: “He never was romantic. His brain is like most men’s; he just doesn’t think that way. But it makes those little gestures he does very special. Sometimes I prompt him and say, ‘For my birthday I want something romantic’ and he then has to figure out what to do and put effort in. I don’t care what it is, you don’t have to buy me anything - just do something romantic.” The 30-year-old country star added that the couple’s hectic careers mean they rarely get to see each other, but when they are together, she finds date nights important to keep their relationship going. She told Britain’s OK! magazine: “We’ve only been married three years in July, so we’re still in our honeymoon phase and because he’s a professional hockey player, we both travel so much so when we do see each other, it’s really nice. We might only be together for two or three days after a month apart, but it makes it fun. “I get dressed up and we go out to dinner and flirt with each other. I enjoy getting dressed up and I love it when he does and he puts cologne on. We make an effort for each other. It’s fun to flirt with your husband. I love it when you’re out in a restaurant full of other people but really it’s just the two of you.”

Justin Timberlake is the latest celebrity victim of ‘swatting’


olice were called to the ‘Suit & Tie’ singer’s Hollywood Hills home on Friday after the Los Angeles Police Department received a call claiming four men entered the house and shots were fired, according to gossip website TMZ. The incident at Justin’s home comes just one day after Rihanna was the victim of a similar prank and two days after more than a dozen police cars and two helicopters swarmed Diddy’s Los Angeles home when they received a hoax phone-call also informing them that someone had been shot inside the property. Comedian and actor Steve Carell’s home was also secured as it is located next door to Diddy’s, whose real name is Sean Combs. Upon searching the mansion, officers found no evidence of criminal activity or a shooter. A law enforcement source said they are taking the incident very seriously and intend to prosecute the perpetrator to the fullest extent of the law once they are tracked down. The trio are the latest in a number of celebrities to fall victim to a ‘swatting’ prank, following a similar incident at Paris Hilton’s home last week and Tom Cruise’s Beverly Hills home in January when a prank caller claimed an armed robbery was taking place, but officers found no crime had been committed. A 12-year-old child also previously targeted Ashton Kutcher and

Kendra Wilkinson quit ‘Splash’ out of fear


he 27-year-old reality TV star walked away from the ABC diving show earlier this week and admitted she was so worried about the dangers of it, she couldn’t stop shaking. She told People: “I feel like the world is off my shoulders now. Every morning I would wake up and be shaking. It’s a really risky show. I related jumping off the high board into the water to jumping to my death. That’s how big of a deal it was. To me, it really meant risking my life.” After walking away from ‘Splash’ following her refusal to dive from a 23-foot platform, Kendra admitted she was disappointed with herself. She said: “One thing I don’t do is quit. This is the first time in my life I’ve quit something. This will haunt me for the rest of my life.” While Kendra is upset about leaving the show, she recently admitted she has never felt more body confident. The former ‘Girls Next Door’ star who has a three-year-old son Hank Jr with her husband of almost four years Hank Baskett - claims she recently lost 10 pounds in 10 days and is thrilled with her current figure. The 27-year-old ex Playboy star said: “This is the first time in three years that I haven’t been stressed about my fitness. People are saying: ‘I’ve never seen you look so good!’ and I’m like, ‘Wow! Well, then I guess what I’m doing is working!’”

Rihanna planning a wild party in the south of France

T Amanda Bynes thinks she is looking pudgy


he 26-year-old troubled starlet - who recently refused to move back to Los Angeles from New York so her family can keep an eye on her - has sparked further concern after suggesting she is unhappy with her current weight. The super slim ‘Easy A’ actress posted a picture of herself in a tight top and skirt on Twitter on Tuesday morning with the caption “Looking pudgy and I broke my nail.” Last month Amanda revealed her plans to lose 21 pounds and drop down to 100 pounds by pounding the streets of New York. The 5’8” actress - who was recently forced to move out of her New York apartment, after being threatened with eviction - previously said: “I moved to New York City and I love it! I lost 4 lbs. since I moved. I’m 121 lbs. - my goal is 100 lbs. I gain weight quickly so I need to work out constantly.” Amanda has had a series of legal troubles in the past few months and in December settled two hit-and-run cases after reaching a civil compromise with her victims, saving herself from a potential 12 months in jail. Along with her legal troubles, Amanda, 26, was involved in two bizarre episodes in September 2011, locking herself in a store changing room for nearly two hours and refusing to come out and stripping off during a gym class and friends say her parents don’t know what to do as Amanda has cut contact with everyone.

John Mayer’s dreams have come true twice


he 35-year-old singer - who recently split from his girlfriend of seven months Katy Perry - was forced to use an iPad to communicate and worried he would never sing again after being “terrorised” for two years by throat problems that left him with no voice. He told “I thought I’d just take a pill and it would go away, but the problem got worse and worse and grew and grew. “I probably had contiguously three, maybe four months of not saying a word. The endurance was tough for me, but I started a new life.” Doctors initially tried to treat the problem by injecting his vocal cords with a huge amount of Botox, which left them paralysed and him unable to speak for weeks. He said: “I was forced to type on my iPad to communicate anything. It wasn’t liberating. Is breaking your leg liberating? No. All complexity is gone when you don’t have a choice. “I spent so long being terrorised, I had all but shut down the fantasy of playing music again-just so I could, you know, survive.” But John was relieved when the condition slowly started to improve when he took some time off and meant he didn’t need to undergo surgery. He said: “It’s hard to believe that I’m healed, but just to make sure, I keep going back every two weeks for a look, and it’s the same - if not better. “The greatest gift I now have in my life is the opportunity to play again, which is also the opportunity to dream again. My dreams were in escrow, but when I found out these things in my throat had receded, the most exciting thing for me was having a second chance at a new life. My dreams have come true twice. That’s really cool.”

he ‘Stay’ hitmaker wants to relive the mayhem of last summer’s boozy antics on the Latitude yacht and has invited her boyfriend Chris Brown along for the ride on the 24/7 party cruise. A source told The Sun newspaper: “She’s warned Latitude crew to prepare themselves for the party of the century and requested they install a stripper pole. “They’re telling pals it’s going to be a wild joint stag and hen do ahead of them tying the knot. It will be a 24-hour-a-day party. It’s going to be absolute mayhem. The crew are going to have to sleep in shifts.” Rihanna spent last summer sunning herself on the $250,000-a-week, 34ft Latitude Benetti yacht, which includes accommodation for up to 12 people, two dressing rooms, massage and beauty salons and five decks for sunbathing and dining. She is thought to have invited Chris to join her on a two-week tour of France, Monaco and Corsica to celebrate the end of the European leg of her tour, despite recently being advised to stop partying after contracting laryngitis. The couple reunited at the end of last year following months of speculation about their relationship status, and Chris - who is still on probation for beating Rihanna in 2009 - is “extremely grateful” the singer has forgiven him and is willing to trust him again.

Ellen DeGeneres wants to move to Australia


he talk show host - whose actress wife Portia de Rossi hails from Melbourne - has revealed she can see them relocating Down Under from Los Angeles once she retires from television. The 55-year-old comedian said: “I shouldn’t put it out there but I can see us living here one day. “I’ve wanted to come to Australia for a long, long time, before meeting Portia.” Ellen has been spending time in Melbourne after visiting Sydney earlier this week to film segments for her show ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ in front of a packed audience of 3,000 people, including ‘Les Miserables’ star Russell Crowe. She admitted she had fallen head over heels in love with the country and told the crowd: “I’m moving here, it’s so beautiful.” Ellen and Portia, 40, also paid a visit to the ‘Arrested Development’ star’s old school, Melbourne Girls Grammar, in recent days where they spent two hours filming. Ellen’s mother Betty also accompanied them on the trip. The funny woman took to her Twitter page on Tuesday to express how much she enjoyed their stay in Australia, writing: “I had heard Aussies were incredible people, but this week I experienced it for myself. Thank you, Australia. I’m glad I married one of you.” — Bangshowbiz




Ancient mysteries revealed in

Turkmen desert sands O

ver four millennia ago, the fortress town of Gonur-Tepe might have been a rare advanced civilisation before it was buried for centuries under the dust of the Kara Kum desert in remote western Turkmenistan. After being uncovered by Soviet archaeologists in the last century, GonurTepe, once home to thousands of people and the centre of a thriving region, is gradually revealing its mysteries with new artifacts being uncovered on every summer dig. The scale of the huge complex which spans some 30 hectares can only be properly appreciated from the air, from where the former buildings look like a maze in the desert surrounded by vast walls. Just 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the celebrated ancient city of Merv outside the modern city of Mary, the ruins of Gonur-Tepe are an indication of the archeological riches of Turkmenistan, one of the most isolated countries in the world. Around 2,000 BC, Gonur-Tepe was the main settlement of the Margush or Margiana region that was home to one of the most sophisticated, but little-known Bronze Age civilisations. The site-which until the last century was covered by desert and scrub-was uncovered in Soviet times by the celebrated archeologist Viktor Sarianidi who, at the age of 84, is about to spend another summer working on the site. “I remember so well my joy when I first encountered this archaeological Klondike. A sensation right under your feet,” the Russian professor told AFP. Every digging season at Gonur-Tepe yields new discoveries showing the quality of the craftsmanship of the Bronze Age artisans in the town which at the time would likely have been home to thousands of residents. The town’s craftsmen could mould metal, make silver and

gold trinkets, create materials for cult worship and carve bone and stone. “It’s amazing to what extent the people possessed advanced techniques. The craftsmen learned how to change the form of natural stone at a high


Consequence of war: deep distrust The campaign of “ethnic cleansing” led by Bosnian Serbs against Bosnian Muslims, including the July 1995 Srebrenica mas-

tres from the capital Ashgabat, is a typical Turkmen provincial city, home to 200,000 people and largely built in the Soviet style with a railway connection and low-rise apartment buildings. Some 30 kilometres (19 miles)

Mongols in 1221 in a deadly conquest that left tens of thousands dead. Its ruins are as deserted as those of Gonur-Tepe. Its greatest treasure is the still preserved mausoleum of the Seljuk Sultan Sanjar under

A view of the excavated and restored ancient fortress town of Gonur-Tepe 50 km outside the modern city of Mary in the Kara Kum desert in remote western Turkmenistan, on April 2, 2013. —AFP temperature and then glazed it so that it was preserved,” said archeologist Nadezhda Dubova. “This year, Gonur has given us another surprise, a fantastic mosaic,” she said, noting that such an object pre-dated the standard era of mosaic-making in Greek and Roman antiquity.

Multi-ethnic couples reflect Bosnia’s growing diversity andra Zaimovic, a Catholic Bosnian Croat and her husband Rusmir, a Bosnian Muslim, are looking forward to celebrating both Eid and Christmas with their new baby this year. Couples of different ethnicity like the Zaimovics were a rarity in the years following the 1992-1995 war which divided Bosnia along ethnic lines, but today they are slowly reappearing, reflecting the country’s growing diversity. “It is an advantage for children to grow up in two cultures and I am very happy that, while I am a Catholic, my last name is Muslim,” says Sandra, a 32-year-old charity worker. Rusmir and Sandra, herself a child of a mixed marriage between a Bosnian Croat mother and Serb father, met in 2003 at a friend’s party. They were married two years later, one of the rare ethnically mixed marriages in Bosnia to take place since the war. “Ours is a marriage of love-we have never asked any questions about our ethnicity or our faith,” says 33-year-old computer engineer Rusmir Zaimovic. Their families had no objections, but many others have queried their relationship. “I often meet people who ask me how my mother has reacted, how the two of us manage everything. Remarks like that remind me where we live,” says Sandra. Over the years, however, Sandra and Rusmir have made a tight network of friends, many of whom are also ethnically mixed couples, or those who find no fault with their life choices. The former Yugoslav republic was once a shining example of diversity, but Bosnian society was torn apart during the war that pitted its three main ethnic communities Serbs, Croats, and Muslims - against each other. Many mixed couples were unable to resist the pressures of the time and either split up or left the country. Most have never returned. Today the country has a population of just 3.8 million, of which 40 percent are Muslim, 31 percent Serb (mainly Orthodox Christian) and 10 percent Bosnian Croat. Over two million people were forced from their homes during the war, in which 100,000 died. In 1992, before war broke out, nearly 13 percent of all married couples in Bosnia were multi-ethnic, but today they number just four percent. While there are no reliable statistics for the years immediately following the war, the current figure is likely to be an increase on the late 1990s and early 2000s, when ethnic divisions remained deeply entrenched.

‘Anticipating Brunelleschi’ The ruins of Gonur-Tepe are the centrepiece of a network of towns and settlements in the delta region of the river Morghab that flows through Turkmenistan from its source in

sacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys-designated as genocide by two international courts-destroyed any veneer of peaceful coexistence between communities. The ethnologist Ugo Vlaisavljevic confirms that the psychological scars of the war run deep. “As a consequence of the horrors of war that we experienced in the 1990s a deep distrust between the people emerged... and of course this has had a considerable impact on people’s personal lives.” Neda Perisic, an anthropologist, points out that couples like the Zaimovics face more than societal pressure, highlighting the institutional discrimination inherent in the political system imposed by the 1995 peace accord. “In Bosnia, there are no individual, but only collective rights,” she says, explaining that almost all jobs in public administration or state-controlled companies are reserved for members of the three so-called constituent communities. According to Bosnia’s constitution, the country is made up of three constituent peoples: Muslims, Serbs and Croats - and ‘others’, a category which encompasses all other ethnic groups living in the country. In a system based on the rights given to each of the three main ethnic groups, those who are considered to be ‘other’ face fewer opportunities, she warns, continuing “in a system like this, children from mixed marriages are marginalised.” As children of mixed ethnicity are classified as ‘other’, Perisic says that as adults they will have little chance of finding work in the public sector, which is by far the largest employer in the country. Given that Bosnia currently struggles with unemployment of over 40 per cent, this is a significant handicap. Nearly a generation may have passed since the war but prejudices persist, as a recent article by well-known Bosnian Serb actor and director Nikola Pejakovic shows. In his weekly column in the biggest Bosnian Serb daily, Pejakovic described mixed marriages as a “misfortune”, writing: “They were a part of the (former) Yugoslav communist regime plan to play with people and genetics.” The multi-ethnic actor Sanin Milavic, who is himself in a mixed marriage, retaliated: “Get the hell out of my bedroom!” in a post on his Facebook page which went viral. “Here, you’re given an identity at birth, like a cow branded with a hot iron, as if identity is not something we construct,” Milavic said. Summing up the problems faced by children of mixed ethnicity, he said: “I am not worried about myself, but for my son who, according to the constitution of this country, does not exist.” —AFP

Afghanistan. Gonur-Tepe is a three-hour drive from the provincial centre of Mary-two hours along a bumpy asphalt road that passes former collective farms that have now fallen into disuse, and then another hour-long slog through the desert scrub. Mary, 380 kilome-

outside Mary lies the other great glory of the region-the great ruined city of Merv, whose importance goes back to the time of the Achaemenid Persians and reached a peak under Turkic rule in the 12th century AD. Merv went into terminal decline after it was sacked by the

whose rule Merv was a city of 200,000 people and briefly one of the most heavily populated settlements in the world. The mausoleum, which is crowned by a cupola with a diameter of over 17 metres, was revolutionary in its design, Turkmen architectural historian Ruslan

Muradov told AFP. The design of the dome “anticipates by 300 years the ideas of the great Renaissance architect Filippo Brunelleschi” who designed the great dome of the cathedral in Florence, he said. Unlike the ruins of GonurTepe, ancient Merv was excavated as far back as Tsarist times when today’s Turkmenistan was a far-flung outpost of the Russian Empire. It has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1999. Archaeologists have only just begun to scratch the surface of the huge riches of the Mary region, said Viktor Turik, a historian who works at the Mary history museum. “In the region there are 354 archeological monuments, 95 percent of which have, until now, not been studied by experts,” he said. Turkmenistan remains one of the most isolated countries in the world but still sees a trickle of foreign tourists every year, mostly on organised special interest tours. Mary has just three hotels although President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has recently ordered the construction of a new 350-bed hotel in an apparent bid to boost tourism. Meanwhile the question remains about what to do with the extraordinary silver and gold artefacts that are being unearthed in the region but which need painstaking restoration and conservation. An employee of Turkmenistan’s national heritage department said a joint project had been mooted with the antiquities department of the Louvre in Paris, but had fallen through. “Many unique discoveries which are like nothing in the world are waiting their moments in the storage departments of Turkmen museums,” said the employee who asked not to be named. —AFP

Halle Berry expecting new baby at 46


scar-winning actress Halle Berry is expecting her second child at the age of 46 with French actor fiance Olivier Martinez, her spokeswoman said Friday. Celebrity news website TMZ reported that she is three months pregnant and that Berry knew its sex, a boy. “I can confirm that Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez are expecting a child,” Meredith O’Sullivan told AFP, but added: “We will not be commenting on or confirming any additional details.” Martinez, who is 47, confirmed the couple’s wedding plans last March. The couple met each other in 2010 on the set of the film “Dark Tide.” Berry has been married twice before and has a five-year-old daughter, Nahla, with Canadian model Gabriel Aubry. Since Berry and Aubry’s separation, they have repeatedly tussled over access and visiting rights for their daughter. On Thanksgiving Day last November, Martinez and Aubry brawled on the doorstep of Berry’s home after her ex turned up to see his daughter. Aubry was left with cuts and bruises including a black eye. Berry was the first African-American actress to win a best lead actress Academy Award in 2002 for “Monster’s Ball.” Her latest movie is the thriller “The Call.” Martinez’s last movie was “Dark Tide,” released in March 2012 in the United States. —AFP

This file photo shows actors Olivier Martinez (left) and Halle Berry at the Los Angeles premiere of Berry’s film, “Cloud Atlas,” in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. —AP

Kanebo launches ‘Ultimate’ cream from Sensai Range M

awarid Trading Company, the exclusive distributor of Kanebo Cosmetics, the leading Japanese skincare brand launched its new product “Ultimate Cream” from Sensai Range, at Vavavoom showroom in Marina Mall Kuwait. With ‘Ultimate’, SENSAI combines Koishimaru Silk with another Japanese legend, the divine sakura tree, or cherry blossom. Although well-known as a herbal remedy, the sakura tree holds a deeper secret now unlocked within the Sakura Eternal Complex, a new ingredient able to support the genes to change skin’s destiny. As we age, our genes’ ability to repair themselves diminishes, leaving them vulnerable to the onslaught of UV rays and Reactive Oxygen Species. The Sakura Eternal Complex is the world’s first skincare ingredient able to tackle both these sources of genetic damage, increasing skin’s ability to repair itself, and restoring silkier skin from within, delivering an ultimate anti-ageing skincare experience for supremely silky skin that glows with timeless radiance. Why are the hands of Japan’s silk spinners so beautiful? It was this intriguing question that led SENSAI to unlock the secret of Koishimaru Silk. Originally reserved for the exclusive use of the imperial family, this silk of silks turned out to hold the power to beautify the skin. Deeply hydrating and able to stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid, Koishimaru Silk surrounds skin cells in an ‘endless ocean of moisture’. Bathed within this life-giving environment, the skin is restored to health and profoundly moisturised.




merican pop star Beyonce and rapper husband Jay Z celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary this week in Havana, where big crowds greeted them as they strolled hand in hand through the Cuban capital. They ate at some of the city’s best restaurants, danced to Cuban music, walked through historic Old Havana and posed for pictures with admiring Cubans, who recognized them despite the past half-century of ideological conflict that separates the United States and Cuba. They were the latest and perhaps greatest big-name American stars - actors Bill Murray, Sean Penn and James Caan among them - to visit the Caribbean island in the past few years, but the first to cause such a stir everywhere they went. Fans in the street below cried out Beyonce’s name as she and Jay Z and their mothers dined at the upstairs restaurant La Guarida, famed as the location for the hit 1993 Cuban film “Strawberry and Chocolate.” A crowd of several thousand people swarmed around them in the main square of Old Havana, which prompted their security team to put a

halt to their visit to the site. “I was in the eye of the whirlpool. We had to cut it short because it got so crazy,” said architect Miguel Coyula, who gave the couple a tour of the 16th century heart of the city. They also visited a children’s theater group called La Colmenita, a source close to the group said. On Thursday night, they dined at La Fontana, one of the city’s more established private restaurants, or paladares, and a favorite of visiting foreigners, but police blocked off surrounding roads to prevent onlookers. Later, they went to El Gato Tuerto, a famous Havana nightclub, then to the Casa de la Musica in the Miramar district where the source said they “danced until dawn” to salsa and other music by the band Havana D’Primera. On Friday, they toured Cuba’s famous art school, Instituto Superior de Arte, and, according to government blogger Yohandry Fontana, Beyonce was to have lunch with “important figures of Cuban culture.” His blog ran several photographs of her and Jay Z under the headline “Beyonce Rocks Havana.” Jay Z, in shorts, a short-sleeve shirt and straw hat, looked like a typical tourist, puffing on a big Cuban cigar. Beyonce, camera in hand, wore a colorful print mini-dress, big sunglasses, dangling ear-rings and her long braids piled high. The Grammy winner posed for a photograph with a group of smiling Cuban schoolchildren. The couple declined to talk to the media to explain the purpose of their visit. The source close to the group said they were invited by Cuba’s tourism ministry. The longstanding US trade embargo against Cuba prevents most Americans from traveling to the island without a license granted by the US government, though President Barack Obama’s administration has eased restrictions on travel to Cuba for academic, religious or cultural exchanges. In Washington, the State Department said it had no prior knowledge of the visit. A spokeswoman at the US Interests Section in Havana said she did not know if the two stars obtained a license for their trip, which if they did not could expose them to a fine. Publicists for the couple did not return emails or phone calls seeking comment. The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which handles licenses for travel to Cuba, said it does not comment on individual cases. — Reuters

US singer Beyonce leaves the Saratoga Hotel in Havana, on April 5, 2013. — AFP

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

ollywood actor Robert Downey Jr has traveled to Beijing to promote “Iron Man 3,” which was filmed partly in China and features well-known Chinese actors. At a news conference Saturday, Downey - who reprises the role of Tony Stark in the upcoming movie - said he’s fascinated with Chinese culture and loves Chinese movies, while urging the local audience to see the superhero film. “Iron Man 3” was financed in part by the Chinese company DMG, which has cre-


ated for the movie the role of Dr Wu, played by the Chinese actor Wang Xueqi. DMG chairman Xiao Wenge said introducing Chinese culture to the world is a core mission of his company. China also is a major overseas market for Hollywood movies. “Iron Man 3” opens internationally later this month. — AP


the film “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” The group of nearly 80 students came from Watkins Mill in Gaithersburg, Md., Thurgood Marshall Academy in Washington, DC, TC Williams High School in Alexandria, Va, Amino Jackie Robinson Charter High School in Los Angeles as well as collegelevel Jackie Robinson Scholars. Following the screening, they attended a Q&A with Robinson’s 90-year-old widow, Rachel Robinson; the film’s director, Brian Helgeland; actor Chadwick Boseman, who plays Robinson in the film; and Harrison Ford, who plays Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey.—MCT

ackie Robinson’s story hits close to home for Watkins Mill High School senior varsity baseball captain Brandon Roberts. So a visit to the White House Tuesday for an interactive teaching event with first lady Michelle Obama and the stars of the new Jackie Robinson biopic, “42,” was especially poignant. “I love the game of baseball. It’s always been in my life ... and the film really does inspire me to play as hard as I can and keep at it and never give up,” Roberts, 18, said after the event. Students were invited to the White House for a screening of the new film to be released April 12 about the first black player in Major League Baseball. Robinson endured blatant racism, often in the form of name-calling and physical harm, as he built a record-breaking baseball career. Obama said that she and the president were moved by the film and that they hoped to expose students to the film’s message of overcoming adversity. In February, the first lady held a similar interactive workshop on



A Canadian Sphinx cat waits for its turn to be evaluated by a judge during an international feline beauty competition in Bucharest, Romania yesterday. The contest, far less enjoyed by the cats than by the numerous visitors, was entered by more than 200 felines. — AP photos

A Sphinx cat waits to be evaluated by a judge.

Colorado, the Russian Blue cat is seen.

A British Shorthair kitten plays with a toy mouse.

A Sphinx cat rubs chins with its owner.

A Canadian Sphinx cat is not amused by a judge’s toy.

The owner of a Norwegian forest cat displays the feline.


he smell hits first as you descend the short flight of steps into the basement. It’s sharp and overpowering, a mix of rubber and old leather. This is where old shoes go to be reborn. The basement workshop in Tamas “Zen” Pomazi’s Waconia, Minn., home is filled with shoes: Red Wing work boots, wingtips and loafers overflow the shelf space and sprawl across the floor. Each aging shoe will go through the same process Pomazi pulls them apart, then stitches them back together, and finally, outfits the bottom with an eye-popping custom-colored sole. “I take what is destitute, obsolete and not wearable - and make it wearable,” said Pomazi, 43, whose customers often bring him shoes passed down to them by their fathers or grandfathers. By the time GQ and Esquire began calling colored soles a trend to watch last year, Pomazi had firmly established himself as the color-obsessed cobbler of the Twin Cities. He sets himself apart by bringing old-world craftsmanship to an industry filled with disposable fast fashion. Yet like the

A shoe is pictured.

shoes he customizes, the brash, New York-born shoemaker went through his own process of rebirth. He ran afoul of the law as a young man, but now spends his days outfitting groomed professionals who want to rethink classic footwear. His two-man company, Greenwich Vintage, is primarily an online operation, but the soles are now popping up in men’s boutiques such as Martin Patrick 3 in Minneapolis, as well as at stores in Chicago and Charlotte. His service has become a fixture at NorthernGrade, the Twin Cities’ annual men’s pop-up market dedicated to American-made goods. Katherine McMillan, NorthernGrade’s co-founder, said Pomazi has cornered the market in Minnesota. “There’s nobody out there doing what he does,” she said. Cobbled together At a time when most shoes are constructed on the other side of the world, a local cobbler may seem like an antiquated notion. “Nobody wants to get their hands dirty and make shoes anymore,” said Pomazi, who likes to attribute his bluntness to his New York roots. His process is meticulous. In his workshop, Pomazi has four minutes to pour the liquid rubber from the mixing bowl into the mold before it starts to harden. On a recent afternoon, the chosen color is blood red. Ninety minutes later, he pops the crimson sole out of the mold and heads to his second workspace at Papa’s Shoe Repair in downtown Waconia. He glues the new sole onto the bottom of the shoe, then grinds the excess rubber off the curved edges. Bellied up to the large machine, even Pomazi’s linebacker build looks small. “If you look away for a millisecond you’re going to lose a finger,” he shouted over the drone of the grinder’s spinning wheel. Fully assembled, a pair of his colored-sole shoes usually costs $225 to $275. If you don’t have old shoes in need of resoling, he’ll source a vintage pair for you. Pomazi’s hands-on approach is what has got him noticed in the Twin Cities fashion scene, said Erick DeLeon, manager of Martin Patrick 3. “He’s straight-upfront and honest. He’s got his own style and will tell you like it is,” DeLeon said. “A lot of people know about him. If they don’t know him, they know of him.” DeLeon thinks that same assuredness translates to people who want to tweak their brown and black footwear. “Having a little color on the sole of your shoe displays great confidence,” he said. When Pomazi steps outside, he’s typically “suited and booted” as he likes to say - his dark gray hair combed back, wearing a dress shirt, vest and pants cuffed at the bottom. Colored soles on his feet, of course. “He’s got a great idea of how a gentleman should dress,” said Max Miller, Pomazi’s business partner in Greenwich Vintage. But his look belies his past. Gone is the graffiti artist who wore sneakers, baggy clothes and tracksuits. The son of Hungarian immigrants, the New Yorker moved as a teen to Los Angeles, where he took to spray-painting buildings with his moniker, “Zen.” The hobby spilled over into sneaker

culture, where he got his first taste of custom shoes. Along the way, he tested the law far beyond graffiti. “I remember coming home every other day in cuffs,” Pomazi said. In the 1980s, he began selling drugs, eventually landing a five-year sentence for drug trafficking and possession in the Florida Department of Corrections. “That was the darkest point in both of our lives,” said his mother, Ria Rogers, 62, who lives in Hallandale, Fla. More than 10 years later, the cobbler leads a quieter life in Waconia with his wife and their Chihuahua, Biggie Smalls. After moving to Minnesota, his discovery of a pair of shoes from his stepfather’s old-school wardrobe sparked the cobbler’s color-soles endeavor. Pomazi had inherited a pair of old wingtips, but he couldn’t get past how rigid they felt. The shoes needed a new sole. The former sneakerhead thought they could use some color - and his shoe business was born. Over the past year, several mainstream men’s shoemakers have jumped on the colored-sole bandwagon, including Sperry, Cole Haan, Aldo and Rockport. All the while, Pomazi’s resoling business has been taking shape from his suburban basement, adding him to the ranks of the Minnesota-made menswear movement. A Greenwich Vintage flag hangs on a concrete wall in his workshop; spray paint marks the other. But the cobbler has his sights set on moving out of his basement and to a bigger workspace, where he can produce his products “in a big way.” But while Pomazi said he wants his shoes in every “mom and pop shoe shop across the country,” he wants them made here, in Minnesota. “People are seeing what (I’m) doing is coming from a genuine, bottom-of-my-heart place,” Pomazi said. Indeed, he treats each shoe sale like a handshake agreement, letting customers know they can call him personally if anything goes wrong. Maybe that’s the Minnesotan in him. “The one thing about Minnesota - whenever we (travel) anywhere, on the way back I have a little smirk on my face,” Pomazi said. The cobbler smiles because he’s returning to what he calls his little “secret.” He’s not coming back to one


ose Juan Bigas Luna, a Spanish director and screenwriter who gave Penelope Cruz her first big screen break, has died aged 67 after a long struggle with cancer, Spanish media reported yesterday. Bigas Luna, as he was simply known, directed more than a dozen films over his 35-year career. Perhaps his best-known for international audiences was “Jamon Jamon” (1992), a raunchy comedy which starred newcomer Cruz and up-and-coming fellow Spanish actor Javier Bardem. Both Cruz and Bardem went on separately to Hollywood careers and later became a real-

Tamas “Zen” Pomazi, a former troublemaker turned sneakerhead, and now a master cobbler, boats an extensive workshop in his Waconia, Minnesota, basement. — MCT photos

of the country’s highbrow fashion meccas. He’s coming back to humble Minnesota - back to his basement. — MCT

life couple, marrying in 2010. A decade before “Jamon Jamon”, Bigas Luna had tried his own hand in Hollywood, making “Reborn” with Dennis Hopper in the lead, but the movie garnered little notice. Bigas Luna kept working in Spain up to his death. In recent months he was preparing to film in his native city of Barcelona a movie called “Second Origin”, a science fiction tale about Earth after an apocalyptic alien attack. — AFP

Ancient mysteries revealed in Turkmen desert sands


This file photo shows actors Channing Tatum and his pregnant wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum at the 85th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. — AP photos

This file photo shows singer Fergie, pregnant with her first child at the 26th annual Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards in Los Angeles.


im Kardashian: Take note. To be stylish and pregnant, you need to embrace your new shape. You have to celebrate it. But you also need to be aware of it, and not keep wearing your regular wardrobe - even if it’s a size up. Kardashian, who is expecting her first child with Kanye West in July, has taken heat from the tabloids and armchair fashion critics for her maternity look, which seems a continuation of her usual parade of body-hugging dresses - many of which have a hard-to-wear hemline that hits below the knee - tucked-in blouses, complicated couturelike details and super-high heels. Lately, though, it seems she’s taken the plunge into maternity clothes, sometimes wearing stretch-waist maternity jeans (designer, of course) and leggings, which Pea in the Pod design director Olivia Capone Myers says are the No 1 must-have item for a successful pre- and post-baby wardrobe. Leggings, along with side-ruched T-shirts and dresses, preferably made of stretch jersey, are the first things to buy when the bump starts showing, and they’re the last ones you’re wearing after mom and baby are settled in at home, Myers says. Myers, herself 8 months pregnant, says the current wave of celebrity moms-to-be has reignited interest in this corner of the fashion world, which is sometimes more relatable to shoppers than the runway. The key, experts say, is to stay true to your personal style, but not be so stubborn that you won’t tweak it. “Jessica Simpson... she’s really done an amazing job of looking fabulous. She has tweaked her style, moving from heels to flats but still polished. She’s kept her sense of style even with her changing body, and she isn’t afraid to sport trends,” Myers says. “She’s wearing maxi dresses and lace.” Baukjen de Swaan Arons, designer of the British-based maternity label Isabella Oliver, has been watching star style, too. She liked the fitted couture black lace gown Jenna Dewan Tatum wore at the Oscars earlier this year, but she says that it’s equally stylish to be “out and about” in a jersey top. And she gives kudos to a then-pregnant Kristen Bell for doing a rock ‘n’ roll leather jacket and bright purple dress at the Sundance Film Festival. (Bell has since given birth to a daughter.) The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton possesses what might be the world’s most famous baby bump, and she has made a seamless transition into her slightly revamped look. She already wore “mostly pretty, flattering and simple silhouettes - dresses, coats, hats and monochromatic color,” exactly what style expert Amy Tara Koch would suggest. “She gets the balance, proportion, simplici-


In this file photo, singer Jessica Simpson, pregnant with her first child, poses at the 25th Annual Footwear News Achievement Awards at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

ty. It seems her nature, so it will already be easier for her to look good every day throughout her pregnancy,” says Koch, who wrote the book “Bump It Up.” But that’s not how Kardashian dresses, so there are other tips, says Koch: Kimono sleeves instantly create the bohemian vibe that works well in maternity wear, and so do tunic tops with a blousoned dropped waist. The high necks and below-the-knee hemlines Kardashian sometimes wears do not. Dangling earrings would draw the eye to the slope of the neck and shoulders, and a chunky necklace worn against a jewel neck or slightly scooped or V-neck shirt would emphasize the bustline upward. “You want to create a focal point that will take attention from elsewhere,” Koch says. “Kim’s face looks so pretty now. She has that glow. That’s what we should be looking at.” Fit is also important. Stay away from extremes - whether it’s too tight or too loose, says designer Rebecca Minkoff, who blogs for Oversized clothes might fit the bump, but will work against everywhere else, agrees de Swaan Arons. Consider this the time to show off nice legs or a bit of cleavage. Jersey fabric with its tightweave stretch is good camouflage (and not just for pregnant women). Designer Abi Ferrin says good jersey will stretch and shrink with the body, and that the weight of the fabric smooths bumps. The garment should be cut to give a little bit of structure because the jersey is so forgiving, Ferrin says. Minkoff got through her first trimester by looping a hair band around the button loop of her pants, but, she says, eventually moms-to-be turn to maternity clothes. Also, it’s OK if they eventually need a little confidence boost to alleviate doubts about a changing figure, she says. Her easy fix? Invest in “great shoes, great jewelry and a great jacket.” Researcher MyungHee Sohn, an assistant professor of textile and apparel management at the University of Missouri, has found that, based on body scans, most pregnant women should be moving into maternity clothes in their fifth month, although shoppers typically put it off longer, and the industry uses a 7-month model for most of its measurements. By the time they are five months pregnant,

This file photo shows pregnant actress Kristen Bell at the premiere of “The Lifeguard” during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

it’s not just their belly that has grown, but also their bust, waist and hips, Sohn says. “It’s definitely a new shape. It’s not just the body of a woman who gained weight.” Pea in the Pod’s Myers notes that what’s in maternity stores now reflects broader fashion trends. You’ll find the tunic-andblazer combination, the cardigans layered with nice Ts, and even the bright pops of color and springtime prints. “The mistake I see most is the mentality that they think they have to stay away from stripes, or florals or prints because they fear them to be unflattering, but I think the opposite is true,” she says. A clean, sharp nautical stripe, for example, will break up the bump. An “it” look, like a peplum, which she dubs “an arrow to your hips,” can be harder to pull off, Koch says. Instead consider of-the-moment accessories, such as a shoe-bootie with a stacked heel or a candy-colored, oversized handbag. Just don’t overstuff it - yet. “Pretty soon that will turn into a heavy diaper bag,” Minkoff says. — AP

This image shows a model sporting shorts and a black and white striped top.

In this file photo, Kim Kardashian attends the Topshop Topman LA Opening Party at Cecconi’s in Los Angeles.

This file photo shows Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, pregnant with her first child, during her visit to Great Tower Scout camp, Newby Bridge, Cumbria, northern England.

7 Apr 2013  

Kuwait Times