8 May 2013

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Dow receives $2.2bn in damages from Kuwait Amount does not include $300m interest for payment delay conspiracy theories

As usual, halfway solutions By Badrya Darwish

CLEVELAND, Ohio: Amanda Berry (center) is reunited with her sister (left) on Monday after Berry and two other women who had been missing for a decade were found alive in a house not far from where they were last seen. (Inset) Undated handout photos provided by the FBI show Berry (left) and Georgina ‘Gina’ Dejesus. — AFP



fter many years and many parliaments have come and gone, the housing allowance has reached an almost decision-making stage. I do not know why MPs waste our time and their time in solving problems halfway only. All of us in Kuwait, including MPs, know that the KD 70,000 which the government grants to Kuwaitis to build a house, is not enough to build even a room. The land is the actual problem in Kuwait although everyone pretends to close their eyes on this. Land in Kuwait is the most expensive on earth. It has exceeded the prices of land in Japan too. Who decided to price land in Kuwait for as much? What could somebody do with the land for such a price? Should someone buy land in Salalah for this amount of money? Parliament wants to do us a favour and tell us that they fight for us. They want to show us that they have increased the housing loan to KD 100,000. They know very well that even if they increase the housing loan to KD 150,000, this money will not be useful for anything. A simple calculation shows that even a plot of land is more expensive. Even if someone settles for a plot that is 350 sq m wide, which is the minimum to build a house, then how much would it cost him? I am not going to be picky and choosy saying: “I want Rawda or Khaldiya.” Land is a problem in Kuwait. When parliament first convened, we heard voices criticizing the price of land in the country. They promised to have an inquiry and discuss the price of land. Then what happened was “the silence of the lambs”. We have not heard anything after that. I do not know who told them to shut up on the topic. Obviously it is someone who has vested interest in land. If you want to help young Kuwaitis and Kuwaiti families who want to build houses and who meet the requirements to take a loan, it has to be bundled with getting a plot of land. Otherwise, forget it! Do not always settle with halfway solutions. This is the problem with every matter in Kuwait. I challenge all of you to discuss the price of land. I challenge you to discuss why is land so expensive to buy.

Three US women missing for decade found alive 3 brothers arrested in stunning case CLEVELAND, Ohio: Three brothers have been arrested in the US city of Cleveland in connection with the kidnapping of three women found safe in a home after being missing for a decade, authorities said yesterday. There were more questions than answers the day after the stunning turn of events that began with a frantic arm sticking out of a screen door, a woman screaming for help, and a neighbor kicking in the door to free her in a working-class neighborhood of the city in the American heartland. Authorities said it will be some time before the details of the ordeal come out, as FBI agents go about

the delicate task of interviewing Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight. Police did confirm that Berry, now 27, has a six-year-old daughter, apparently born while she was in captivity. The three Ohio women were abducted separately in 2002, 2003 and 2004 but were found in the home of 52-year-old Ariel Castro, not far from where each disappeared. Castro and his brothers - Pedro, 54, and Oneil, 50 - have been detained, authorities said. It was not immediately clear why the women were abducted and how they were held. Continued on Page 13

Morsi brings more Islamists to Cabinet


Max 36º Min 20º High Tide 10:48 & 23:57 Low Tide 04:52 & 17:38

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s state -owned Petrochemical Industries Co (PIC) said yesterday it reached a final settlement with US giant Dow Chemical and paid around $2.2 billion as a penalty for scrapping a joint venture. PIC said in a statement cited by the official KUNA news agency that the amount did not include $300 million of interest for delaying the payment awarded a year ago. “The settlement stipulates that PIC pays the value of damages and costs as per the ruling of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) without the interest of $300 million,” the statement said. The US company said on its website that it has received the cash payment, which “reflects the full damages awarded by the ICC, as well as recovery of Dow’s costs”. PIC confirmed it had made the payment and that it had “exhausted all possible challenges to the award”. Last May, the ICC acting as an international arbitration granted Dow Chemical around $2.2 billion in compensation for Kuwait pulling out of the $17.4 billion venture. “Dow and Kuwait share a long history, and payment of this award brings final and appropriate resolution and closure to the issue,” Andrew Liveris, Dow chairman and chief executive officer said in a statement. “Our partnership with Kuwait includes several industry-leading joint ventures, which are valuable assets in Dow’s portfolio and have consistently returned accretive equity earnings to Dow,” he said. “Receipt of this award enables Dow to accelerate actions that are in line with our stated priorities for uses of cash - foremost of which is paying down debt and remunerating shareholders,” Liveris said. In Dec 2008, the Kuwaiti government scrapped the deal between PIC and Dow to create a petrochemicals joint venture due to pressure from opposition MPs citing the global financial crisis. Under the deal, PIC was to pay $7.5 billion to form a petrochemicals firm known as K-Dow. The parliament elected in December has asked its public funds protection panel to investigate the implications of signing and then cancelling the deal with Dow. The panel has not yet completed its probe. Dow and PIC currently operate four other joint ventures, including ME Global, EQUATE, Kuwait Olefins Co and Kuwait Styrene Co. “The question is: why didn’t Kuwait deal earlier with Dow?” Kuwait-based independent oil analyst Kamel Al-Harami said, referring to the delay in paying the penalty, which resulted in interest costs. Even though the dispute is over, “a bitter feeling will remain here”, he said. — Agencies

Iranian presidential race gets underway


SARS-like virus kills 2 more Saudis GENEVA: Two more people in Saudi Arabia have died from a new strain of coronavirus that has emerged in the Middle East, bringing the toll in the kingdom’s latest outbreak to seven, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday. Six other people are infected, one of them critically ill, in an outbreak centred on a healthcare facility in Al Ahsa governorate in Eastern Province, WHO spokesman Glenn Thomas said in Geneva. Worldwide, there have been 30 laboratory-confirmed infections with the new virus, including 18 deaths, since it came to scientists’ attention last September, he said.

Other strains of coronavirus can cause common colds but also the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that emerged in Asia in 2003. There is no evidence yet of sustained human-to-human spread of the new virus, but there are concerns about clusters of cases reported by the WHO in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Germany and Britain. A retrospective study in Jordan found that there had been an outbreak of the new virus there as long ago as April 2012, with two confirmed cases and 11 probable ones, including 10 health care workers, Thomas told Reuters.

Imran Khan injured in fall

LAHORE: Suffering from head injuries, Pakistani politician and former cricketer Imran Khan is carried by rescuers as they rush to a hospital yesterday. — AFP

LAHORE: Pakistani politician and former cricketer Imran Khan was rushed to hospital with head injuries yesterday after falling off a lift taking him onto the stage for an election rally. He fell at least 5 m (15 ft), and it’s not clear what type of surface he fell onto. Television footage showed Khan, leader of the Pakistan Movement for Justice party (PTI), bleeding from the head as he was carried by aides through the crowd at the event in Pakistan’s second largest city Lahore. The dramatic development came at the end of a day that saw 17 people killed and dozens more wounded in bomb attacks in northwest Pakistan, taking the death toll in the bloody campaign for Saturday’s general election past 100. Khan, who won only one seat in 2002 and boycotted polls in 2008, has led an electric campaign, galvanising the middle class and young people in what he has called a “tsunami” of support that will propel him into office. The 60-year-old, who has undertaken a punishing schedule of daily rallies but who is known for his physical fitness, tumbled from a riser along with several of his staff, seemingly after one of them lost their balance. Witness Raza Zaidi told AFP that Khan was being lifted on a crane with five people but lost his balance and fell when a sixth one tried to climb up. Khan hit the lifter before falling on the ground. “Imran Khan has one head injury. We are conducting his CT scan and other tests. He is stable, he is conscious and he is recognising people. Continued on Page 13

Saudi Arabia has reported 23 confirmed cases in total, Qatar two, Jordan two, Britain two and the United Arab Emirates one, according to the WHO. “WHO does not advise special screening at ports of entry with regard to this event, nor does it recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied,” Thomas said. “Based on the current situation and available information, WHO encourages all member states to continue their surveillance for severe, acute respiratory infections and to carefully review any unusual patterns,” he added. — Agencies

MP wants citizenship for non-Muslims too Panel OKs raising housing loan By B Izzak KUWAIT: MP Khalil Al-Saleh yesterday submitted a draft law calling to amend the nationality law in a way to allow granting citizenship to non-Muslims, saying taking the religion factor in nationality affairs amounts to a form of discrimination. The Shiite lawmaker said that the Kuwaiti nationality law, first introduced in 1959, did not stipulate religious conditions in granting citizenship to foreigners. However, an amendment introduced in 1982 required that foreigners who may be granted Kuwaiti citizenship should be Muslim by birth or have embraced Islam for at least five years. “This condition involves a hated discriminatory factor that we never experienced,” in Kuwait, Saleh, a former pilot at Kuwait Airways, said. He said that his proposals calls to scrap the religious precondition in the nationality law so as to allow granting Kuwaiti citizenship to all foreigners regardless of religion. He said

the religious precondition for granting citizenship contradicts the freedom of belief and faith which is enshrined in the Kuwaiti constitution. Almost all the 1.2 million Kuwaiti citizens are Muslims but there are around 200 Christian Kuwaitis whose ancestors had migrated to Kuwait many years ago. It is not known if there are Kuwaiti nationals who belong to other religions. To become effective, the amendment must be first passed by the legal and legislative committee, approved by the National Assembly and then accepted by the government. In another development, the National Assembly’s financial and economic affairs committee yesterday approved proposals to raise the housing loan to KD 100,000 from the current KD 70,000, head of the committee said. MP Youssef Al-Zalzalah also said the committee approved other proposals to raise the monthly housing allowance for Kuwaiti Continued on Page 13



Makkah projects limit scope for raising pilgrim numbers KUWAIT: A proposal by Kuwait urging Saudi authorities to increase the number of its citizens and residents who can perform Haj this year from 8,000 to 14,000 is unlikely to receive a positive response. “There will be no increase in the quota because of the extension work being carried out at the Haram Mosque in Makkah,” sources from the endowments and Islamic affairs ministry said. “The figure will most likely remain at 8,000 people and this means that the fees to perform Haj will increase tremendously,” the sources told local Arabic daily Al Rai. Under the current quota, 7,000 Kuwaiti citizens are allowed to perform the pilgrimage while 1,000 places are reserved for stateless residents and foreign spouses of Kuwaiti nationals.

Muted response to Kuwait request Kuwait had hoped that a new quota would allow for a higher number of nonKuwaitis to perform Haj this year, in effect helping Haj operators take on more applicants. With approximately 70 Haj operators catering to pilgrims currently, the competition to attract wouldbe pilgrims is particularly tense and the ministry wants to ensure all parties are satisfied with the arrangements and proposals put forward in the country. Under one proposal, Kuwaiti pilgrims will be allowed to choose among Haj operators based on fees and quality of services. “An applicant planning to go to Haj first applies to the ministry and, once he or she gets accepted, selects the Haj operator and finalises his or her papers,”

the source who was not identified said. “However, some operators have rejected the proposal, arguing that the Haj operators with impressive capabilities will take most of the applicants, leaving only a limited number to the more modest ones.” Another proposal calls for allocating 100 would-be pilgrims to each of the Haj operators. “This proposal is still being studied and no final decision has been made yet.” Under Saudi regulations, no Muslim, regardless of his or her nationality can perform Haj without the sponsorship of a Haj operator. The rule applies to Saudis and residents living in the kingdom as well. A Haj quota was introduced in 1987 following an agreement by all member countries of the Organisation of Islamic

Cooperation (OIC) to limit the number of pilgrims allowed by each country to 0.1 per cent of its population. Several countries have requested an increase in their quotas, but Riyadh said that construction work in Makkah has put heavy pressure on the possibility to accommodate more than the three million pilgrims who congregate in the sacred city each year. Haj, based on the Muslim lunar calendar, is expected in mid-October this year. Pilgrims begin their Haj journey in the tent city of Mena, on the outskirts of Makkah, ending it four days later, on the third day of Eid. Islam requires all physically fit and financially able Muslims to perform Haj at least once in their life.

Gulf Bank concludes sponsorship of ninth annual AUK Career Fair


in brief

Cooperaives elections KUWAIT: Following several proposals by a number of MPs to change the voting system of cooperatives, and to stick to one unified system, cooperative activists opposed the move and a new proposed law for cooperative societies. The opposition came during a meeting of several coop representatives attended by MP Hani Shams, who said the government was inclined to approve the one vote system. This will be decided by members’ votes. Meanwhile, the President of Cooperatives Union rejected the one vote system, claiming that electing the required number of members in the board of directors was the right of shareholders. He also rejected some of the provisions in the new proposed law, including those that provided for stricter supervision and stiffer punishment against violators. Several cooperatives’ representatives spoke about the new law, and pointed to the inherent contradictions, such as stipulating the age of a candidate as 25 years, while a person of 21 years of age is allowed to be among the founders. They also criticized the cap on members’ allowance at KD 6000, instead of leaving to the SAL. Twitter offense KUWAIT: State Security summoned Twitter user Musaab Shamsah to question him for his posts on the micro-blogging website that were deemed insulting towards Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Lawyer Duwaim Al-Rashidi filed a complaint against Shamsah at Zahraa police station and accused him of insulting the Prophet (PBUH) over his Twitter account.

KUWAIT: Gulf Bank hailed the success of its premium sponsorship of the 9th Annual Career Fair at the American University in Kuwait (AUK). The Career Fair took place at the university campus whereby 28 companies participated. Gulf Bank’s participation provided students with information about the Bank, and discussions about future employment opportunities for AUK students. During the event, the Bank introduced its latest ‘Sniperhire’ training course to all students. Sniperhire is a world leading recruitment program which has been introduced to assist the Bank in recruit-

Places for small projects KUWAIT: Social Affairs and Labor Minister Thekra AlRashidi issued a decision asking coops to allocate places at the supermarkets for small and medium size projects, as well as cradles for cooperative workers. As per the decision, the allocated area must be at least six square meters to display products of small projects and workers’ cradles, and that coops must provide ensure that these are properly displayed. Al-Rashidi said rent for these areas should be KD 50 per month including the equipment.

ing the best new staff, as well as ensuring that existing quality staff are retained and developed. The Bank’s Learning and Development department believes in engaging its interns to use their creativity, potential, and dedication to stay on track and develop on a personal and professional level, and the Career Fair was the perfect opportunity to talk to students about their personal aspirations. Gulf Bank’s sponsorship of AUK’s Career Fair, is in-line with the Bank’s corporate social responsibility strategy that aims to support youth development.

Kuwaiti envoy in Sarajevo SARAJEVO: Albanian President’s political advisor Prince Leka II praised here on Tuesday the deep-rooted ties between Kuwait and Albania.Kuwaiti Ambassador to Albania, Najeeb Abdulrahman Al-Bader, met with Prince Leka II at the embassy headquarters in Tirana. Prince Leka II expressed his desire to boost bilateral relations with the state of Kuwait.He hailed efforts exerted by the Kuwaiti embassy to enhance cooperation between the two countries politically, economically and socially. Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti diplomat in remarks to KUNA said that the meeting tackled other issues of common interest. Al-Bader lauded the distinguished relations between the two nations.

Officers in street clothes to detect traffic violations KUWAIT: A traffic police unit dressed in civilian clothes has been assigned to detect violations as part of the Interior Ministry’s efforts to enforce the law on the roads around Kuwait. This was reported by Al-Rai yesterday quoting a security insider who indicated that General Director of the Traffic General Department, Major General Abdulfatah Al-Ali, had ‘carefully handpicked’ members of the squad whose job will be to detect traffic violators, note down their cars’ license plate numbers and report

their violations. “Maj Gen Al-Ali was helped by traffic directorates in respective governorates, but selected the squad members personally,” said the source who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Meanwhile, the source indicated that the unit began its activity earlier this week and has so far managed to detect “a large number of reckless drivers, especially in Wafra.” He added that a majority of violations detected were to do with driv-

ing on the street kerb and jumping red traffic lights, noting at the same time that the officers took photographs of the violators’ vehicles to serve as evidence. Traffic department officers have been busy in recent years with crackdowns on violators, during which more than 300 expatriates were reportedly arrested and subsequently deported for repeated serious violations that included driving without a license, jumping the red traffic light and ferrying passengers illegally.

Kuwaiti, Saudi border officials meet KUWAIT: Assistant Undersecretary Lt Gen Anwar Al-Yaseen received at the Nowaiseeb border a delegation from Saudi Arabia headed by Khafji border commander Brig. Saleh Bin Kaaban. The Kuwait delegation included borders administration director Lt Gen Mohammad Idris AlDawsari and his Assistant, Col Obaid Abdullah Abu Slaib, public relations director Col Adel Ahmad

Al-Hashash, Col Mohammad Ali AlAzemi, Col Khalid Mnahi Al-Deehani and Col Jaddon Mandeel AlAdwani. As the meeting began, AlYaseen welcomed the brothers from Saudi Arabia, emphasizing the strong ties between the two countries and conveyed to them the greetings of First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hmoud and

Acting Undersecretar y General Sulaiman Al-Fahad. Al-Yaseen emphasized that this meeting is the first of its kind, as both parties meet to coordinate and discuss the new work mechanism, and formalities observed especially during vacations and official holidays to reduce the expected traffic jams and make travel smooth at entry and exit points.



Kuwait: His Highness the Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah concluded a one-day official visit to Saudi Arabia yesterday. Ahead of his departure, he lauded relations with the neighboring country, thanking the Saudi leadership and people for their hospitality, in a press statement. Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak said that he had met with Saudi Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, conveying to him the greetings of the Kuwaiti leadership to the Saudi Monarch. He also indicated that his meeting with Prince Salman also focused on means to bolster bilateral relations, GCC cooperation and means to reinforce stability in the region. Relations between the six states of the GCC - Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - have reached “exceptional heights” and “integration (between them) has reached its climax”, he said. “Thanks to the unity of its people and the wisdom of its leaders, the GCC has become an effective and driving regional and international force and a fundamental pillar for stability in the region,” he added.— (KUNA)

New factories in Shuaiba to worsen situation Um Al-Haiman problem continues By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Residents of Ali Sabal Al-Salem (Um Al-Haiman) are still complaining about the pollution in their area, which has affected their health badly. This problem has been existing for more than 11 years, but it has not been solved yet. The residents are concerned about the situation getting worse with the establishment of more factories in the area. Ahmad Al-Sherei, Head of the Voluntary Environment Committee (VEC), was informed that the Public Authority for Industry is planning to build 30 new factories in the Shuaiba area, which is only 2 km away far from the Um Al-Haiman residential area. According to him, the setting up of more factories in the area will make it even more polluted and worsen the environmental situation there. A meeting was held recently, which was attended by the Minister of Commerce and Industry (MCI), General Director of the Public Authority for Industry (PAI), and the General Director of Environment Public Authority (EPA). Members of VEC who attended the meeting

were disappointed with the response of government officials present there, who dismissed their concerns by citing a World Bank report. “Unfortunately, the officials didn’t provide any scientific explanation other than what the report of the World Bank said. I see this as a trick, similar to the one used in 2004, when they first invited the Japanese environmental experts and then invited the American experts. And now they have brought a report from the World Bank to misguide the public and decision-makers. I won’t be surprised if the report described our polluted area, which has highly poisonous chemical composites, as meeting European environmental standards,” Ahmad AlSherei told the Kuwait Times. He also expressed his disappointment with a statement of EPA. “Dr. Salah Al-Mudhi, General Director of EPA, said EPA cannot determine what was an acceptable pollution level for Um Al-Haiman area because its residents are voyagers and majority of them are temporary tenants, who only stay for one or two years at the maximum. This statement is false as I have been living here for over 11 years, as have been the

rest on my neighbours - except one new tenant in the whole street,” added Al-Sherei. He accused the officials of MCI, PAI, VEC of corruption and cooperating with the factory owners for gaining personal benefits. Al-Sherei pointed out that the owners could invest money to improve the safety of their factories, but they do not do so. “There are many modern factories that don’t produce polluting gases and are safe, but these local factories don’t want to invest in such technologies, and they prefer to spend on improving their relations and connections with the officials so they won’t be penalized,” he explained. As the residents do not see the current situation improving in the Um Al-Haiman area, many of them are considering leaving their houses and going somewhere else. “I filed various cases against institutions and officials in charge, and didn’t get any result. There was no stopping the pollution in the area. Some cases are still going on, and the situation has not improved. I’m seriously thinking of moving to another area, far from this pollution,” he concluded.

Water consumption exceeds production in April KUWAIT: A Ministry of Electricity and Water official assured that water situation in Kuwait was stable notwithstanding the official figures confirming that consumption exceeded production rates during most part of last month. The official, whose identity was not disclosed in a statement made available to the press on Monday, indicated that April 22 registered the highest rate of consumption at 389545 million imperial gallons, adding that 356674 million gallons were produced the same day. In such cases, the ministry resorts to the state’s strategic water reserve in order to meet the demand. In this regard, the insider indicated that the reserve stood at 2801948 million gallons by the end of that day. Meanwhile, the source noted that electricity consumption also increased last month, reaching a high of 7760 megawatts on April 7, while the lowest rate was recorded the same day as well at 5780

megawatts. Electricity and water consumption levels usually peak during June and July as temperatures increase to as high as 50 degree centigrade. In the meantime, the Minister of Electricity and Water and Minister of Public Works, AbdulAziz Al-Ibrahim, chaired the first meeting of a committee set up to propose executive steps to rationalize electricity and water consumption in state departments. The meeting was basically formal and discussed the plans of each department regarding proposed steps to save energy. It was attended by representatives from the ministries of public works, information, defense, oil, education, health, Islamic affairs, finance, and social affairs, in addition to the Public Authority for Youth and Sports, Kuwait Fire Services Directorate, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Public Authority of Industry and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research.

Scientific Poster conference KUWAIT: The 18th Annual Scientific Poster Conference began here yesterday under patronage of Kuwait University ’s (KU) President Prof Abdullateef Al-Bader. After the opening of the conference, AlBader told the press that the event, which ends tomorrow, held at Health Sciences Center Auditorium in Jabriya, will feature scientific research in the field of basic and clini-

cal sciences, adding that there will be around 236 posters featured at the conference. On his part, Dean of College of Medicine Professor Adel Khadhar Aayed indicated that most of the presented researches involved the basic medical sciences and common diseases in the community such as diabetes, blood pressure and heart diseases.—KUNA


LOCAL kuwait digest

Letters to Badrya

Finding scapegoats in expatriates

Commitment to constitution

badrya_d@kuwaittimes.net By Abdullatif Al-Duaij Dear Badrya,


he new opposition was a reaction to the government’s decision to sever ties with tribal and religious groups, which happened immediately after the death of Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah, and in response to certain incidents unconnected with public affairs. When national democratic forces proclaim they were the foundation of the political system, it was neither an exaggeration nor injustice towards the right of others. These groups are the legitimate heirs of Kuwait’s democratic system that was put together by the founding fathers and approved by the late Amir Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem. Sheikh Saad had approved it alone, unlike other ruling family members who, according to the most common interpretation, chose not to take that step ostensibly to avoid any “intervention” or imposing their opinion on the Kuwaiti people. But this might have been a reasonable explanation if the Kuwaiti people had split on the question of 1962 constitution and the political system. However, the Kuwaiti people remained united at the time in their desire for democracy. That is why the only reasonable explanation that remained was that some members of the ruling family ‘refused’ to approve the constitution because it did not serve their political ambitions and plans. Fast forward to many years later, and one sees a clear ‘political’ change among a large number of ruling family members. This change was by virtue of political and social developments that Kuwait witnessed, as well as being a direct result of the 1990 Iraqi Invasion. Many of the ruling family members started believing in the constitution and the democratic system as the way forward to maintain the state’s stability and security, as well as a way to reinforce the ruling position of the Sabah family. Shortly after the Liberation, a group of young ruling family members released a document to the public in which they proclaimed commitment to Kuwait’s political system and the 1962 constitution, while criticizing the practices of some senior members who had tried to evade committing themselves to the democratic system. This document came as a reaction to the steps by some senior family members who had refused to approve the constitution back in 1962. By now weighing on the side of the statute, they only added to its historic position, albeit a little late in the day. The document was aimed at ‘correcting’ the position of the ruling family vis-‡-vis the constitution and the democratic system. But this step, which was nearly two decades late, was not enough; not after forty years during which some ruling family members had a hand in tampering with the electoral process. Therefore, a second step was required to correct the mistakes committed by the anti-democratic forces. The emergency decree released by HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to adjust the voting mechanism came as a preliminary step and was an attempt to stem the downward slide of our democratic system. It was therefore natural for the decree to encounter strong opposition from the very groups which were benefitting from playing around with the constitution. No wonder they demanded that status quo be retained as they found it a ‘legitimate’ situation. It was so simply because these groups were themselves the result of such an unusual situation. The single vote decree came to rectify the situation partially, and was an attempt to end the ‘constitutional tampering’ temporarily. But those who benefited from forging elections, questionable naturalization procedures and manipulation of electoral lists did not wish to give up what they had gained through the years. That is why they launched a war against the decree which they termed as ‘tampering with’ and ‘violation of’ the constitution. The strangest thing in all of this is that the majority of national groups who benefitted from the emergency decree have chosen to side with the groups that are against it. This is a step that goes against their constitutional concepts and democratic principles. They stood as mute witnesses when constitutional violations and undemocratic behavior were taking place, but strongly opposed the decree which came to correct the election process. When the government attacked the freedom of education by releasing the law banning coeducation, I wrote to request that democratic national groups must resign from the parliament in protest. However, they ignored my appeal and chose to ‘adapt’ their stance to the violations committed against democracy. Today, I find it strange to see democratic groups strongly standing against the single vote decree, despite it enjoying apparent legitimacy. The anti-democratic elements within the ruling authority allied themselves with the religious and tribal groups against the democratic system, civil society institutions and principles of constitutional regime as identified by the 1962 constitution. Of course, their alliance hid under the garb of ‘commitment to constitution and principles of democracy,’ but only when it served their personal agendas and political vision. This alliance went on to besiege the democratic approach and limit its power. The ruling authority eventually realized the threat that the tribal-religious groups posed to the political and economic domains. They started taking steps that can be described as ‘civil’ including privatization attempts, limiting some people’s control on charity, reducing rentier spending and planning to turn Kuwait into a financial hub. They saw Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad who graduated from Switzerland appointed as prime minister. All that led to severing the authority’s relationship with the tribal-religious alliance, which in turn assumed the frontline role in the opposition and went on to attack the government. At times, they also attacked the ruling authority and the democratic system. As the oppositionist movement finds itself losing today, the reason for this situation is closely related to the nature of this movement. The new opposition was a reaction to the government’s decision to severe ties with tribal and religious groups. Unfortunately, the tribal-religious alliance is defeated but not before it left a huge crack in the wall of national unity, and great frustration among the young people. The mistakes of the past years were a result of the national groups’ support to the tribal-religious alliance, and according ‘democratic blessing’ to its movement. Correcting such mistakes today requires young members of the democratic national forces to stand in the face of everyone who is against freedom, regardless of their positions, origins or claims. All these classifications are irrelevant when it comes to judging those who claim to be supporting democratic principles, but what is important is that their positions must be in consonance with the public freedoms and full political rights of the Kuwaiti people. —Al-Qabas

kuwait digest

I am a liberal

I salute you for your eye-opening columns, but I will tell you where the problem is. Politicians and government functionaries are looking for scapegoats and they have found them in the expatriates. I have a suggestion. Give all the expatriates a week off; ask them to stay home for an entire week. I mean all the expatriates, starting from a lowly street cleaner to the chief executive of an organization. This will include skilled workers, housemaids, drivers, waiters, cooks etc. Give me an honest answer. Will this country be able to function? I would like to share a parable. Snakes savor mice but if by mistake a snake grabs a mole, it does not know what to do with it. It neither wants to swallow it nor does it spit it back. This is exactly the situation of the expatriates in this beautiful country. I appeal to the policy makers and planners: please put on your thinking caps and be rational. Expatriates are not the reason for the problems that Kuwait faces. In fact, they help you solve your problems and run the country like a well-oiled machine. No pun intended! Sincerely, Khalid M. Khan, PhD Professor and Chair Department of Anatomy Faculty of Medicine Kuwait University

By Dr Ibtihal Al-Khateeb


am a liberal, and I believe in the freedom of troublesome place, but it is one thousand times betthought, belief and lifestyle. I believe that the only ter and more beautiful than walls that shade me with way towards peace is if we agree to disagree; to their own fear and selfishness. believe in the right of the other to express his or her I am a liberal, and I understand that I am more opinion - not as a favor from you, but as a belief in ignorant about things than I am knowledgeable, but I people’s right when it comes to ideological and am never restless when it comes to addressing my lifestyle freedoms. I totally understand that accepting ignorance. I realize that human excellence is manifestthe other’s opinion means accepting an opinion that ed in these continuous attempts. In my mind and sometimes is against my beliefs, but I believe coexis- heart, humans are equal. No one has an advantage tence can only happen by going beyond our differ- because of religion, race or social status. Every human ences. soul has its sanctity and unquestionable rights. I realI am a liberal, and I live by a strict moral code. I do ize that revering the sanctity of our humanity and our not allow for any wasta (connections - the act of active attempts to protect it is what differentiate us unlawful mediation or seeking people with influence from other beings, and what is going to maintain our for help) to interfere in my daily life activities. I never continuity as a species. I believe that we all want to extend my hand towards something that is not mine; live, we all believe that we are right, and we all believe even if it was a pen on my secretary’s desk. My liberal in our rights equally. We all make mistakes, and we all morality is found in every detail of my life - I have to deserve forgiveness. We all are totally different and at switch off the light when I the same time so much alike. pass by an empty room, and I I strongly believe in my princi- We came from ancestors who cannot waste water even in evolved physically and menpublic places. These are ples, but my belief in my mistakes tally for us to become what human duties towards our are stronger because I learn more we are today. This very land that are reinforced by from them. My liberalism taught thought puts me clearly in my free and liberated thinking me that all humans are right - universal place, and keeps which is based on strict prinreminding me of how empty thatís what they think, and that is and naive our classifications ciples. I am a liberal, and I believe what they defend strongly. This is and racial divisions are. It in the rule which says that all their approach. forces me to stay alert about human beings are good, and how humble my presence is, that evil is the exception. I and how great its evolution is believe that the human soul can recognize good and at the same time. even choose it. I never cross lines in feuds, and I realI am a liberal, and I am oriental. I wear my father’s ize that words can be as sharp as a sword which I name like I would wear an amulet around my neck, make sure not to use to hurt others. And when other and my husband’s name is safe within my chest as my people wield their swords towards me, I defend name is safe within theirs. In my mind I hold strict ethmyself by remembering that it is fear that drives peo- ical and life rules. I understand that honor, while ple to draw their swords. It is living in the shadows. It being a human invention, it is the most beautiful is moments of weakness. So I take their hits with love invention since it is a distinction of human superiority, if I could, and with mercy if I couldn’t love. and gives our existence a meaning that goes beyond I am a liberal, and I believe in goodness, justice, the physical dimension and towards being entities peace and brotherhood. I believe that humans are that not only want to survive, but also to live in dignimortal; there is no doubt about that, and so is the uni- ty. I am a liberal, and my ideological freedom unleashverse. Yes, the end of the universe is inevitable, but I es my mind to search, wonder and sometimes engage appreciate the time we are given on earth, and in self-struggles. I live by facts I believe in, and I leave believe in our ability to create beauty. I believe that the door open for new ones I might be wrong about everything in the universe leaves an impact or trail or unaware of. I strongly believe in my principles, but behind. Therefore, I believe that our very existence my belief in my mistakes are stronger because I learn and every action we do is going to leave an impact; more from them. My liberalism taught me that all which I hope reflects the goodness and beauty of our humans are right - that’s what they think, and that is souls. what they defend strongly. This is their approach. I am a liberal, and believe that my true value is in Furthermore, I believe that salvation lies in underwhat I can present to others, and that life gains mean- standing this difference and respecting it, for this is ing when I live in the middle instead of having my the only way by which we can live and survive our back against its walls. I realize that the middle is a very very limited time on earth.

kuwait digest

Unwise, biased govt decision By Dr. Bader Al-Daihani


otwithstanding the government’s earlier denial about any plans to increase or impose new fees on public services, the finance minister once more reiterated plans to increase the currently applicable charges and impose new ones using an overused excuse of ‘increasing non-oil revenue.’ The minister made this clear in his missives to all the other ministers and heads of governmental establishments and organizations. He has sought suggestions about increasing the current fees on public services, as mentioned by Aljarida in a May 4 report. As we have repeatedly said in the past, there is no doubt that the state’s public budget has been suffering from some structural imbalances resulting from mal-administration rather than caused by regular citizens who are already overburdened due to such bad policies. Nobody can deny the necessity to explore and increase ways to earn non-oil revenue in order to fix the state budget imbalance. Yet, the question here is from whom will this revenue be collected and who will benefit from it? Will such new fees be collected from citizens with limited and medium level incomes to serve the interests and benefits of gigantic capital owners as per the general trend of the current state budget?

If that is actually the goal behind ‘increasing nonoil revenues’ strategy, then the government should start re-pricing government property and lands along the coastline, ‘ The Sea Front’, Shuwaikh Industrial area, Rai and in other areas that provide commercial craft services, and re-offer new lands in those areas for public auctions to ensure it earns huge and assured financial revenues. What about those who violate commercial and industrial licenses connected to government property and lands and ‘legalizing’ the violations involved in major tenders processes? Does it not result in depriving the state’s public budget of huge and constant non-oil revenues? According to the annual auditing bureau reports as well the grilling motion filed last year against the finance minister that led to his resignation, the government has been incapable of stopping this endless waste of public funds and holding those responsible accountable for the considerable financial violations they committed. It surely resulted in wastage of billions of dinars worth of non-oil revenues. Therefore, there is no logical explanation for the government’s current policy of increasing fees and imposing new ones on goods or public services. The decision is economically unwise, biased and will surely have very bad social and economic consequences. —Al-Jarida

Hello Ma’am, I read your article in the Kuwait Times. It was a good article but I don’t understand one thing: why are Kuwaitis so much against the expats? Everywhere around the world, there are expats living in every country. I am sure there would be many Kuwaitis living abroad. What if those countries prohibit the Kuwaitis from entering? How would they feel? Anyway, it is only my personal point of view, of course, and Kuwaitis do not have to agree with me. My question for you is this: why did the Kuwait government ban visitor’s visa for families? My father has been living there for about 25 years now and his son, that is me, cannot visit Kuwait to see his family. Why is that? It would be nice if you can give me an answer. I am a Pakistani national living in The Netherlands. Thank you. Kind regards, Usama Malik

In my view

Right road for reform By Labeed Abdal



oming from the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, referring over 1,000 employers to the labor court is a good move that underlined that the labor law and ministerial decisions aimed at preventing any undesirable threats to employees, will be implemented. Furthermore, fining them at a rate of KD 100 to KD 200 per fake employee meant there will be more pressure now on any company acting irresponsibly as many such firms are not involved in any commercial activities but only sell visas and exploit the hapless workers. Also, increasing the inspection drives against companies to check any violations of the labor laws will strengthen the measures intended to clean up the work environment. Also, it will allow us to direct our energies towards attracting new investment, boost development and to ensure a shining Kuwait. One can only appreciate the efforts made by the new minister of Social Affairs and Labor, Thekra AlRashidi, who is also a good old lawyer, as also her new vision and determination to fight the deep-rooted corruption. While applying any new laws made by the parliament, the government’s decisions and administrative bylaws, one needs to ensure a balance between the rights of workers and employers. It is known that employees who live for and depend on their salaries must be protected, especially when they can be the weakest link in a system commanded by big employers. Also companies must not be over regulated by any unnecessary regulatory measures that would cripple their commercial health. The cooperation by the Ministry in Kuwait with International Labor Organization (ILO) to match the international labour standards and discussing these in workshops and seminars can be described as the right road for reform. Coordination with and reporting to the ILO about improvement in work hours, state of the environment, paid for holidays, night duty conditions for women workers, weekly off days, work place attrition rate, social welfare schemes etc are the things we all look for. Definitely, working shoulder to shoulder with this renowned organization will only mean that our labor laws will surely match the best industry practices. Surely, we will thus be able to safeguard the interests of our employees as well as employers with such best practice legislation, and avoid the imbalances sought to be created by competing stakeholders.



Mobile companies heading for fierce competition Phone number transfer service KUWAIT: Fierce competition is expected upon the official launch of the commercial ser vice that will allow clients to switch amongst telecom providers in Kuwait while keeping the digits of their purchased numbers intact. Speaking on separate occasions, clients viewed the service as a step that would lead telecom providers in Kuwait to boost their efforts in pleasing their customers, providing the best services in order to keep their clients from transferring their numbers. Adel Al-Shimmiri, a client to one of the telecom companies in Kuwait, said that his service provider would surely be looking into means to keep him pleased. One of the means

would be lowering the price of services given to the customers, said Al-Shimmiri, noting that the numbers transfer service would hopefully lead to breaking any kind of monopoly on telecom services here. Similarly, business owner Ahmad Al-Shatti said that he was very glad for the upcoming launch of the service. “It is very difficult to change my phone number to get better services especially after years of using the same digits for my business,” said Al-Shatti who expressed his enthusiasm for the new service. On his part, Mohammad Zainelldin, an employee at a private company, said that he would not be using the service, arguing that

offers by telecom companies in the country were almost the same. He hoped that the new service would contribute to lowering the price for phone calls per minute. The Ministry of Communication announced mid-April the test launch of the new service. The numbers transfer service is expected to officially launch next June with the National Technology Enterprises Company, funded by Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), being the one responsible for numbers transfer system. Telecom companies are expected to bear the expenses of transferring the numbers for clients with the service taking effect within a period of 24 hours. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Badrya Darwish, the General Manager of Kuwait Times, received at her office Charge d’Affaires and current Consul General of the Philippines to Kuwait, Atty Raul Dado, accompanied by the Philippines’ Labor Attache to Kuwait David Des Dicang. The two sides discussed a range of issues from politics to labor besides many other topics of mutual interest. Dado has been appointed Consul General to Kuwait but has been acting as Charge d’Affaires in the absence of the ambassador.

Call to drop ‘racist’ clause in Kuwait citizenship law

KUWAIT: NBK Public Relations team and Mohammed Akbar Assistant Professor of Communication at AUK in a group photo with the students.

NBK hosts AUK mass communication students KUWAIT: As part of its corporate social responsibility, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) arranged a field trip at its Head Office for Mass Communication Students at the American University of Kuwait (AUK). The visit aimed to introduce the students to the day-to-day duties of NBK’s Public Relations and advertising departments. “The purpose of the field trip is to introduce the students to NBK’s different communication departments and the professional services they provide in order to enrich

their academic and theoretical studies,” said Manal Al Mattar, NBK Public Relations Executive Manager. “The program included a presentation about PR and advertising functions at NBK and a brief of the different events, divisions and services that NBK’s PR and advertisingt departments provide,” Al Mattar added. Commenting on the conclusion of the visit, the students expressed their sincere thanks to NBK for the opportunity they have

been given to gain a better understanding of the function of the communication departments at the bank. 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.

Atlas of Awqaf documents Kuwait charitable acts KUWAIT: Secretary General of Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation Dr. Abdulmohsen Al-Jarallah Al-Kharafi unveiled the Atlas of Awqaf at a press conference Monday evening. “This is the first atlas that documents the various charitable actions in Kuwait and plots out the geographic locations of numerous projects undertaken around the world,” he said. “It’s the fruit of efforts made by a congenial team of professionals and art designers who adopted three methods for data and graph presentation,” Al-Kharafi pointed out. “These are the geographic method

to show the spatial distribution of awqaf sites countrywide; secondly, the objective method for setting forth the types and states of sites; and the historical context which shows the chronological order of the events as well as the coinciding political, economic and social events,” he explained. The Awqaf Foundation is planning to issue two publications of the Awqaf library namely the biographical dictionary of the awqaf icons around the Muslim world and the dictionary of awqaf idioms. “These two ambitious projects assert the status of Kuwait as coordinator of the awqaf (Islamic

endowment) action under the resolution of the ministers of awqaf of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), held in Jakarta in 1997,” Al-Kharafi affirmed. On her part, Foundation Deputy Director General Iman Al-Humaidan said the atlas is one of the most important scientific encyclopedic references that could hold researchers reach any information in this domain. The documents cover the development of awqaf and charitable actions between 1825 and 2010; this period was divided into six stages each of which is 20 years with the first being 75 years,” she added. —- KUNA

KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti lawmaker has called for dropping a “racist” clause in the citizenship law that limits granting the nationality only to Muslims. “Clause Five of Article Four of the Citizenship Law which stipulates that the nationality be given only to Muslims is unfamiliarly racist and abominable,” MP Khalil Al Saleh said. “I have a filed a motion to cancel the clause related to the religion of the applicant for the nationality. In the past, the conditions were confined to living legally in Kuwait, having a steady source of income and possessing a good knowledge of Arabic. In 1966, the clause of professional competence needed by the State of Kuwait was added to the conditions. The clause stating that the applicant must be a born Muslim or a convert to Islam for at least five year was introduced in 1982,” the MP told local daily Al Rai. The lawmaker said that not granting competent non-Muslims the nationality would deprive the country of outstanding assets or impressive services. “ The religion criterion in fact clashes with the freedom of creed which is clearly stated in Article 35 of the constitution,” he said. “My motion to drop the clause

that confines granting the Kuwaiti citizenship to Muslims is to uphold the spirit of the constitution. Islam as a divine religion has invariably promoted rapprochement between all divine religions. I do not call for opening the door to people who do

not believe in a divine religion, but those who do believe in a divine religion should be able to apply for the Kuwaiti citizenship if they meet all the other requirements,” he said in the remarks published by the newspaper yesterday.

Health delegation visits Slovakia, Belgium BRATISLAVA, Slovakia: Talks between Kuwait ’s Minister of Health Mohammad Barrak Al-Haifi and officials from Slovakia and Belgium on promoting health care were “successful”, an official from the Ministry of Health said yesterday. Assistant Undersecretar y of Public Health Affairs Dr. Qais Al Duwairi described the meetings as fruitful and achieves the desired goals. The three-day visit to Slovakia came upon an official invitation to bolster bilateral ties and enhance cooperation, especially in the medical and healthcare services. Al-Haifi, along with his accompanying delegation, made field visits to number of health and medical facilities in Slovakia, including a famous Physiotherapy center, which the Kuwaiti ministry partners

with medically for several years. The minister met with Kuwaiti patients receiving treatment in this center and got familiarized with their needs and listened to their comments. The minister signed with his Slovak counterpart Zuzana Zvolenska a memorandum of understanding in the health and medical fields, which includes exchange of expertise, visits and training programs. as well as training Kuwaiti doctors at the Slovak hospital and medical centers. Al-Haifi extended an invitation to Zvolenska to visit Kuwait which the latter accepted gladly. The Kuwaiti Minister also made a similar two-day visit to Belgium where he toured a number of hospitals and medical institutions. He also held a number of meetings at health care organizations in the European country. — KUNA



KFAED pledges $88m loan to Tunisia TUNIS: The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development will provide a loan worth KD 25 million to Tunisia for support in the financing the development of a transmission and distribution network for a natural gas project. Two agreements were signed including a loan agreement and a project agreement for the loan. The loan agreement was signed, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Tunisia, by Minister of Development and International Cooperation Lamin Al-Dughry, while the project agreement was signed, on behalf of the Tunisian Company of Electricity and Gas, by its Chairman Tahar Aaaribi. KFAED Director-General Abdulwahab Al-Bader signed both the loan and project agreements on behalf of the fund. “The project aims at the implementation and development of a transport and distribution network of natural gas produced domestically, considered one of the cleanest types of primary energy, instead of using other high cost types

that cause environmental pollution in the project’s areas,” said a KFAED statement. The project consists of establishing two gas compression capacity of about 600,000 cubic meters per hour each and extending steel pipes of a total length of about 220 km to transport gas, in addition to the necessary equipment for the project. It also includes networks for the distribution of gas customers from approximately 25 municipalities in the northern region of Bizerte and eastern region of the country and near the transportation network, and land and real estate ownership necessary for the project, it added. The agreement is the 32nd loan extended by KFAED to Tunisia, having already provided loans worth KD 139 million to finance projects accross various sectors. In addition, the fund has also provided Tunisia with technical assistance worth KD 100,000 to finance feasibility studies for a shore protection project in Agir-Gerba. — KUNA

Asian woman held for drugs trading By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Drugs enforcement agents arrested an Asian woman for possessing drugs meant for trading. Earlier information was received about her activities, and based on that, preliminary investigations were made. After obtaining legal permission, an under cover agent struck a deal with the suspect to buy two grams of heroin. Once she delivered on the deal in AlFirdous Area, agents arrested her red handed along with the numbered bank notes. A search of her residence led to the discovery of a nylon bag that contained two smaller bags, one in the name of a ministry with her name written on it. One of those bags further contained 11 smaller nylon packets containing white material suspected to be Ice drugs, each weighing 20 grams, while four nylon bags contained about 100 drug pills each. One bag contained 23 nylon packets each, stuffed with a substance suspected to be about 120 grams of heroin. The suspect and drugs were sent to the concerned authorities.

Economic committee talks with Hungary BUDAPEST: Kuwaiti ambassador to Hungary Abdulhameed Al-Failakawi extoled the first round of meetings of the Hungarian-Kuwaiti joint economic committee which started here yesterday and is scheduled to go on for two days. The Kuwaiti side to the meeting yesterday was presided by undersecretary of the ministry of finance Khalifa Hamada and the Hungarian side by state secretary for foreign affairs and external economic relations Peter Szijjarto. In remarks to KUNA, Al-Failakawi noted that the meetings of the committee afforded both countries the opportunity to boost their relations and create partnerships in several fields of bilateral interest. He said the Hungarian government has shown keen interest in developing its ties with the Arab world and with Kuwait, in particular, underscoring the fact that the committee meetings are the first of their kind between Hungary and Kuwait.

The Kuwaiti delegation to the joint committee meetings encompasses six groups of participants representing different ministries such as the finance, foreign, commerce and industry, defense, education, electricity and water ministries in addition to representatives from the Kuwaiti public authority for investment, the chamber of commerce, Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC), and the higher council for growth and development. Kuwait and Hungary have signed a number of bilateral agreements, among them those on preventing double taxation, protection of investments, and cooperation in civil aviation. Diplomatic relations between the two countries date back to 1964. In 1966 the Hungarian commercial bureau opened in Kuwait and in 1975 the Kuwaiti embassy in Austria became a non-resident embassy of Kuwait in Budapest until 2007 when a permanent embassy for Kuwait opened in Hungary. — KUNA

Al Tijari sponsors the Radisson Blu 18th Annual Art Competition KUWAIT: The Commercial Bank of Kuwait sponsored Radisson Blu’s 18th Annual Art Competition that was concluded on May 4 at the Abdul Husain Marafie Grand Ballroom. Children from numerous private schools in Kuwait from the ages of 12 to 18 years old were allowed to participate and the theme for this year was Think Nature. Al-Tijari customers of My First Account have participated

and competed with the private schools and centers for children with special needs. Commenting on this competition which has been going on successfully for the past eighteen years, Paul Daoud - AGM, Retail Banking Division said “This competition aims to encourage students from different schools in Kuwait to develop their artistic talent and creativity. The topic cho-

tion is derived by the forum’s objective of cultural dialogue, which gathers many countries that join Kuwait geographically in one continent, Sheikh Salman said. Also, he expressed hope in that the forum attains its desired goals of converging and knowing various cultures, to

Tijari received a cash prize that was deposited in their existing My First Account while the rest received new My First Account or @Tijari accounts with a cash deposit. It is worthy noting that all of the paintings are available to be bought and all the proceeds go to the World Childhood Foundation founded by Queen Silvia of Sweden.

Farwaniya cell phone shop robbed a second time ‘Important documents’ missing KUWAIT: Search is on for a thief who robbed a cell phone shop in Farwaniya Sunday, just ten days after a robbery at the same shop in which the shop owner was injured. Local police were approached on Sunday by the Egyptian shop owner who indicated that a person stormed his store located on the Habeeb Al-Munawer Street, and ran away with KD7000 worth of items. The man was hospitalized with several stab wounds after he was attacked late last month by four suspects who managed to steal a number of cell phones and prepaid recharge cards. Investigations revealed that the suspects were high school students, and police eventually managed to arrest one of them. Search for thieves Two men kidnapped a domestic worker in AlRoudha, snatched cash, jewelry and cell phone on her person, and then, in a most daring twist, drove her back to extort more money from her. The Asian woman, who was escorted to the area’s police station by her Kuwaiti employer, explained that two people forced her inside their car while she was taking out the trash outside her employer’s house. According to her

statements, the suspects drove to a remote location where they snatched KD200, a gold necklace and a cell phone from her, before driving back to her employer’s house after she promised she will give them KD500 they had demanded for her release. However, the suspects fled when the woman rushed towards her employer’s driver for help. Salmiya theft Salmiya police are trying to crack the mystery behind a case in which a man reported theft of documents pertaining to the state’s security. Detectives headed to an apartment in the area to lift fingerprints and carry out investigations after a tenant reported theft of important documents. The Egyptian man said that he discovered after returning home that the safe was broken and documents “pertaining to national security” which he had kept inside, were missing. Investigations are on. Drunk driver A motorist was arrested in Sulaibiya for possessing some ammunition and alcohol, as well as driving under the influence. The bedoon (state-

Tehran hosts Asian Cooperation Dialogue KUWAIT: Minister of Information, Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem AlHumoud Al-Sabah headed to Iran yesterday to take part in the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), set to kick off today. The significance of this participa-

sen this year highlights the importance of protecting the environment and recycling and living a healthy lifestyle.” Paul Daoud went on explaining that the selection committee chose 20 of the best paintings, including three from the special needs schools and five from the participants who have the My First Account out of more than 300 paintings. The 5 winners from Al-

which would assist in increasing cooperation among participating countries which share this geographic area in light of changing circumstances that the world is witnessing. Sheikh Salman’s accompanying delegation consists of Tareq Al-Merzam, Assistant Undersecretary of the

Ministry of Information for External Media, Yusuf Mustafa, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information for Radio Affairs, Adnan Al-Rashed, Director and Treasurer of Kuwait Journalists Association (KJA), and Jasem Mohammad Kamal, a KJA member. — KUNA

less) man was pulled over for reckless driving, but managed to drive away when he realized he was going to be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. The patrol officers managed to intercept him shortly afterwards and arrested him though he put up resistance and tried to attack an officer with a knife. Police searched his car and found 56 rounds of AK47 assault rifle, as well as a bullet used in hunting rifles. They also found a plastic bottle filled with homebrewed liquor. The man was referred to the proper authorities to face charges. Alcohol factory Three people were arrested and at least 38 liquor barrels were seized in an operation in which the largest alcohol factory in Wafra was shut down. The operation took place late Sunday night with a police unit raiding the place based on information which confirmed illegal activities were being carried out there. They arrested three Bangladeshis who tried to escape, and then searched the place only to find 38 barrels as well as 425 bottles filled with homebrewed liquor. Police also found paraphernalia used for brewing alcoholic drinks.

Dumping site at Subbiya KUWAIT: Kuwait Municipality has allocated a site to dump the material retrieved as a result of dredging operations at the sea. The dumping site was spread over an area of more than 10 million square meters at Subbiya. The General Director of Kuwait Municipality, Eng. Ahmad Al-Subaih, said in his letter, which the technical committee will discuss, that the “ministry of public works applied for allocation of a site meas-

uring 10 million square meters at AlSubbiya area to get rid of the material resulting from dredging operations at the Kuwait Bay for constructing Jaber Bridge (the main part).” Dredging operations will take place during August 2013 and may last till February 2014. The approval was subject to the nod from the environment authority with the condition that the land be paved after the project was over.

Scholarships increased to avoid KU admission crisis

KUWAIT: The Ahmadi governorate municipality has carried out an inspection in Fahaheel Industrial Area. The campaign started at 9 am and continued until midday. The inspection team came with six trailers, as many lorries, a forklift and a crane in order to remove vehicles violating parking norms. The inspection was conducted in response to instructions from General Director of Municipality Ahmad AlSubaih to remove neglected cars and identify illegal vendors and garages in Fahaheel Industrial Area. Director of Cleaning Administration Nawaf Nahar Al-Hamal said the administration was continuously making efforts to clean up roadside areas and other public places, in line with municipality laws. —By Hanan Al-Saadoun

KUWAIT: Kuwait will offer 1,200 more scholarships for those planning to study abroad this year, compared to the number of scholarships available in 2012, as the Gulf state continues to struggle to provide its high school graduates with adequate higher education facilities. Under the Kuwaiti constitution, the government is required to provide education to all citizens of the country. Although higher education is provided at Kuwait University, which was established in 1966, no other public university has been opened since then. This has resulted in increasing pressure on the university each summer as it tries to find ways to admit thousands of high school students who opt for public university education. In a bid to solve this problem, the Kuwait government came up with a scholarship program a few years ago, under which more students are sent off to prestigious universities abroad. In that regard, Undersecretary Assistant for Administrative and Financial Affairs at the Ministry of Higher Education Sami Al-Ahmad announced that the number of scholarships will be increased from 3,300 to 4,500 in the coming educational year. “The government has already informed cultural offices (in Kuwaiti embassies abroad)

about the increase in scholarships,” he told Al-Qabas on Monday. Al-Ahmad also indicated that the ministry was awaiting the approval of a budget of KD7 million for the ‘Amiri Scholarships Project’, under which students will be sent abroad to study specialist subjects. Meanwhile, MP Dr. Abdurrahman AlJeeran said the recurrent “KU admission crisis” was actually the result of “mismanagement in the education sector”. “It is wrong to say that all high school graduates must be accepted into the KU or otherwise be sent abroad with a scholarship,” he told reporters during a recent visit to the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training. In other news, the director of the Sabah Al-Salem University project in Shaddadiya, Dr. Rana Al-Faris, revealed that six out of a total of nine colleges are currently under construction, AlJarida reported yesterday. Speaking at a press conference held recently to discuss the project, Dr. AlFaris said the construc tion of the remaining three faculties is expected to be under way “in the upcoming few weeks”. Dr. Al-Faris admitted that the builders were delayed by “the multitude of procedures required to execute the project”, which when finished is expected to provide seats for at least 40,000 students.


Philippine volcano spews rocks, killing 4 climbers

Egypt appoints nine new ministers in reshuffle Page 8

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19 dead in Mexico gas tanker blast

ECATEPEC, Mexico: Burned cars are seen on a highway near Mexico City yesterday after a gas tanker exploded. — AFP MEXICO CITY: A gas tanker truck exploded on a highway in the Mexico City suburb of Ecatepec early yesterday, killing at least 19 people and injuring three dozen, according to the Citizen Safety Department of Mexico State, which surrounds Mexico City. Officials did not rule out the possibility the death toll could rise more as emergency workers continued sifting through the charred remains of vehicles and homes built near the highway on the northern edge of the metropolis. Residents pitched in to rescue people from the wreckage of crushed and burned cars and shattered homes. Television footage showed plumes of flame shooting out of homes in the pre-dawn darkness. Authorities did not immediately report a cause for the explosion. “We just pulled burned people, and put out the fire in the houses, but we don’t really know what happened,” said Rogelio Martinez, a resident of the neighborhood where the crash occurred. Emergency personnel at the scene pulled dead victims from their homes, some apparently burned in their beds. An Associated Press journalist at the scene saw rescue workers take three bodies, covered with white sheets, from one home. A huge piece of the truck’s gas tank was blown 50 yards by the force of the blast, landing atop the wall of a house and cars parked outside. Charred wreckage of cars littered the blast site. One small passenger van had been totally gutted by flames and tossed against the wall of one of the many improvised houses built next to the highway. Hundreds of police, ambulance drivers, paramedics, soldiers and firefighters gathered at the scene, where a giant plume of smoke rose over the area after the explosion around 5 a.m. yesterday local time. Pablo Bedolla, the mayor of Ecatepec, a mainly working-

class area, said 20 homes and one school had been damaged in the blast. The explosion happened before class hours, so there were no apparent injuries in the school. “People are very shaken, above all because of the injuries and the large number of dead,” said Bedolla. “I’ve spoken with the families of the victims, and they are just sobbing.” The explosion closed the highway between Mexico City and Pachuca for hours. The pre-dawn accident exposed two recurrent public safety issues in Mexico: extremely heavy trucks that are frequently involved in serious accidents, and the construction of improvised homes just feet away from major highways. Some of the cinderblock homes hit by the massive explosion were just steps away from the busy, four-lane highway. Other homes were mere shacks, built of sheet tin. Mexican trucks, often overloaded or unsafely operated, have been involved in a number of spectacular, deadly accidents in recent years. The truck involved in yesterday’s accident was a double tanker: one cab pulling two gas tanks. The driver was injured in the crash, and was under detention at a local hospital. One year ago, the Mexican government announced measures to tighten inspections and lower maximum allowed weights for freight trucks after protests over a string of deadly accidents involving double-trailer trucks. Mexico had allowed trucks to travel two-lane roads with loads of up to 80 metric tons and lengths exceeding 100 feet, compared to a US limit of is 80,000 pounds (40 tons) on interstate highways. It subsequently reduced that limit by about 4.5 tons. In April 2012, a double-trailer truck on a two-lane road in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz lost its rear trailer, which slammed into a bus carrying farm workers, killing 43 people. — AP

Qaeda in N Africa urges hits on French interests DUBAI: A leader of Al-Qaeda in North Africa has urged Muslims worldwide to attack French interests in retaliation for France’s military intervention in Mali, a threat President Francois Hollande said is being taken seriously. “It is your duty, all Muslims... to attack French interests everywhere,” Abu Obaida al-Annabi said in a video message posted online. Annabi, presented as the head of the council of dignitaries of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), called for “full mobilisation” to combat the “new crusade of France.” “Jihad (holy war) is now the duty of every capable among you,” he said in a recording dated April 25. France sent troops in January to Mali to quash Al-Qaeda-linked groups that had taken control of half of the country. French troops fighting alongside the Malian army and other African soldiers have largely succeeded in driving Islamist insurgents from the north, but pockets of resistance remain, particularly in the Gao region. France has begun withdrawing some of its 4,000 troops and said it will leave 2,000 soldiers on the ground throughout the summer. Last month, Paris assured Mali that it was not planning an overnight withdrawal and would provide a permanent support forces of 1,000 soldiers after elections slated for July. “If the French president wants his crusade to be quick, short and limited, to spare his country descending into a swamp like that faced by Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is your duty to foil his plan and drag him into an open war,” said Annabi. He said such a war should “drain France’s economy,

exhaust its capabilities, and push it into a recession and contraction.” Hollande offered a swift reaction to Annabi’s call. “We are taking seriously the threat by AQIM,” Hollande told reporters in Paris, adding that despite considerable losses inflicted on Islamists in Mali, “the terrorist threat has not disappeared.” “So we believe we must continue the operation in Mali for as long as it takes-even if we reduce our presence-and stay vigilant around Mali to continue the fight against terror.” Hollande said he had ordered measures to protect French installations abroad. The AQIM threat comes after a car bombing at France’s embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli last month, which wounded three people. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. It also comes days after Mohammed al-Zawahiri, the brother of Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, issued a similar threat. “France is playing with fire... By attacking Mali, France lit the fuse and will suffer the consequences,” Zawahiri told French weekly Le Point last month. “The reaction of jihadi fighters is likely to be strong, be it in Mali or on French territory. “France kills our children, we must respond. We have neither bombs nor planes, but our resources allow us to take hostages to defend ourselves,” said the Egyptian Islamist. Ayman al-Zawahiri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden as Al-Qaeda chief in 2011, had already warned France at the beginning of April that it would meet in Mali “the same fate as America in Iraq and Afghanistan”. — AFP



US soldier who killed fellow servicemen wanted Army exit TACOMA: A US soldier who pleaded guilty to shooting dead five fellow servicemen at a military counseling center in Iraq sought help from healthcare workers in securing an early exit from the Army but was rebuffed before the killings, a military prosecutor said on Monday. Army Sergeant John Russell pleaded guilty last month to killing two medical staff officers and three soldiers at Camp Liberty, adjacent to the Baghdad airport, in a 2009 shooting the military has said could have been triggered by combat stress. He faced the first day of an expedited court martial on Monday to determine the level of his guilt. Russell, who was attached to the 54th Engineer Battalion based in Bamberg, Germany, struck a plea deal to avoid the death penalty in a case that marked one of the worst episodes of soldier-on-soldier violence in the Iraq war.

At issue in his court-martial at Joint Base LewisMcChord in Washington state is whether he acted on impulse, as his defense attorneys argue, or with malice aforethought, as alleged by military prosecutors. Russell faces up to life in confinement without the possibility of parole, forfeiture of pay and a dishonorable discharge. At issue in the court-martial is whether he “had the ability to premeditate his intention to kill,” the judge, Colonel David Conn, said on Monday. Russell’s state of mind has been the focus of legal proceedings over the past year at LewisMcChord. Defense lawyers said Russell suffered a host of mental ailments after several combat tours and was suicidal before the attack. During his opening statement, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Stelle, a military prosecutor, said the time, distance and actions required for Russell to

carry out his attacks showed premeditation. “The accused had ... the design to bring about the deaths of five victims,” Stelle said, adding that Russell was looking for “revenge, payback.” In describing the day before the attack, Stelle said Russell had exhibited “goal-oriented, conscious behavior” as he sought a way out of the Army and was angered by a mental healthcare worker who said “that’s not you.” “But, doc, what would it take?” Stelle said, summarizing a conversation between a persistent Russell and the mental healthcare worker, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Jones, the day before the attack. Jones was not wounded in the shooting. Stelle said that Russell, angered after another, more heated exchange with Jones, stole a Ford sport utility vehicle driven by his base escort, loaded a 30-round magazine into an M16-A2 rifle,

and drove 40 minutes to the stress clinic area. There, he smoked a cigarette, removed identification tags and the gun’s optic, and slipped into the clinic through the back entrance closest to Jones’ office, and opened fire, Stelle said. Defense attorneys did not immediately make an opening statement but have said Russell suffered a host of mental ailments after several combat tours and was suicidal before the attack. An independent forensic psychiatrist, Dr Robert Sadoff of the University of Pennsylvania, concluded that Russell suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and psychosis at the time of the shootings. Sadoff suggested Russell was provoked to violence by maltreatment at the hands of mental health personnel at Camp Liberty. “My plan was to kill myself,” Russell said during his plea hearing. “I wanted the pain to stop.” — Reuters

Egypt appoints nine new ministers in reshuffle Mursi brings more Islamists into cabinet

SANAA: Pro-Syrian regime activists, one holding up a poster of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, march against the Israeli attacks on Syria as they rally outside the United Nations offices in Sanaa, yesterday. — AFP

Israeli attack exposes Assad’s air defence weakness: Rebels AMMAN: It was too late when air raid sirens wailed at one of Syria’s most fortified military compounds. Israeli jets were already attacking the Hameh complex and civilian employees in nearby housing were scrambling for cover with their families. Around Damascus the warplanes staged a series of raids in the early hours of Sunday including on President Bashar al-Assad’s air defences, opposition and rebel sources said. But none had more devastating results than at Hameh, a high-walled site linked to his chemical and biological weapons programme. “Families ran to basements and stayed there,” said one witness of the attack on Hameh that lit up the night sky and shook the ground kilometres (miles) away. “We heard ambulances. There were very few workers at the compound at that time but an attack of this scale must have killed a lot of soldiers among the guards and patrols.” The raids have raised fears that Israel could be drawn into Syria’s civil war, in which the United Nations says 70,000 people have died since an uprising against Assad family rule began two years ago. Damascus has accused Israel of effectively helping what it calls al Qaeda Islamist terrorists. Western intelligence sources said the attacks were designed to prevent Syria sending Iranian-supplied missiles to the Shi’ite Hezbollah group in neighbouring Lebanon for possible use against Israel. An Israeli general played down the consequences on Monday, saying: “There are no winds of war”. The witness said windows were blown out in workers’ flats several hundred metres (yards) from Hameh’s perimeter, even though the centre of the blasts was further away on the huge site, which is surrounded by air defences. Opposition sources said the warplanes also hit facilities manned by Assad’s Republican Guards on Mount Qasioun, which overlooks central Damascus, and the nearby Barada River basin. The area is believed to be a supply route to Hezbollah, according to residents, activists and opposition military sources. Their statements could not be verified due to restrictions on media operating in Syria. One rebel commander said Assad’s forces have been fortifying their positions on Qasioun since the uprising began in March 2011. “The Israelis still managed to get to the weapons stores. The secondary explosions indicate that they were right on target,” he

said, adding that Syrian air defences, already weakened by the civil war “could not do anything”. Other opposition sources also said the targets included air defences comprising Russian-made surface to air missiles and heavy anti-aircraft guns, deployed on Qasioun and overlooking the rebellious Damascus district of Barzeh. “The destruction appeared to be massive. We have heard that the army has asked rank and file personnel based in Qasioun and those on leave to stay away. The military usually does this sort of thing when there is a big mess to sort out,” said one activist in Damascus, who did not want to be named. Assad’s forces have fired on rebels from Qasioun, which is largely a closed military zone apart from a strip of restaurants, flattening areas of Damascus below. However, it was unclear whether Israel was effectively helping the rebels by raiding the Qasioun sites, as Damascus has said, or attacked the air defences purely to safeguard its own operations against Iranian-supplied missiles. The Syrian government has said that Israel raided three military sites. Several media published what they described as a photo supplied by the official Syrian news agency showing a huge pile of collapsed concrete at a flattened building in an unspecified site they said was targeted by the Israelis. Reuters could not verify the photo. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, a strong opponent of Assad, said on Tuesday the Israeli air strikes had given the Syrian government an opportunity to cover up its own killings. “The air strike Israel carried out on Damascus is completely unacceptable. There is no rationale, no pretext that can excuse this operation,” Erdogan told parliament in Ankara. Opposition sources familiar with the Hameh site said a large section of the compound housing missile systems appeared to have been hit. Mobile missile launchers, part of a Russian-supplied SA-17 air defence system deployed elsewhere on Qasioun, also appear to have been destroyed, they said Western intelligence agencies suspect work on chemical weapons has been conducted at Hameh. Assad’s government and the rebels have accused each other of carrying out three chemical weapons attacks, one near Aleppo and another near Damascus in March, and another near Homs in December. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition monitoring group based in Britain, said at least 42 Syrian soldiers were killed and 100 others are missing. —Reuters

Netanyahu curbing settlement expansion JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has quietly curbed new building projects in Jewish settlements, an Israeli watchdog group and media reports said yesterday, in an apparent bid to help US efforts to revive peace talks with the Palestinians. “We see there are fewer approvals for new construction in the West Bank since President Barack Obama visited (in March),” Yariv Oppenheimer, head of Peace Now, which monitors settlement activity in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, told Reuters. He said it was too early to give any numbers. Israeli Army Radio reported that Netanyahu had met Housing Minister Uri Ariel to order a freeze in issuing tenders for new housing projects in settlements in the West Bank, effectively delaying construction of hundreds of homes. The Haaretz newspaper, quoting unidentified senior officials, said Netanyahu had promised U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that he would refrain until mid-June from publishing new tenders in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, areas that Israel

captured in the 1967 Middle East war. In Jerusalem, a spokesman for Netanyahu, who is visiting China, had no immediate comment. Kerry is engaged in a fresh US diplomatic campaign to revive peace talks, which collapsed in 2010 over Israel’s continued expansion of settlements. Ariel, interviewed on Army Radio, declined to confirm or deny that a freeze was in place. “I am not commenting. A minister sits with his prime minister. If they want to go public, they have ways to go public. If they want for it stay between them, it will stay between them,” Ariel said. Ariel was pressed to say whether he was unhappy with the freeze order. “You can understand whatever you want,” he replied. Ariel is a member of the far-right Jewish Home party, whose leader, Naftali Bennett, has advocated annexing parts of the West Bank. The Palestinians, who demand a halt to settlement activity as a condition for returning to peace negotiations, want to establish a functioning state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital. —Reuters

CAIRO: Nine new Egyptian ministers joined President Mohammed Morsi’s Cabinet yesterday, including two members of his Muslim Brotherhood, in a reshuffle that officials said was aimed at addressing the country’s financial woes and securing a much-needed international loan. Morsi supporters claim he wants to reach out to other political blocs, yet the Cabinet reshuffle is unlikely to ease Egypt’s political polarization. The opposition complained that they were not consulted on the appointments, and said it would only further the “Brotherhood-ization” of Morsi’s government. Two of the nine new ministers hail from the Brotherhood political party. The latest reshuffle - the second since Morsi took office in June last year - increases to 10 the number of Brotherhood members in key posts in the 36-seat Cabinet. The previous reshuffle in January nearly doubled the number of Brotherhood members from five to eight. The Cabinet also includes a handful of Islamists and allies of the Brotherhood. In a statement, Morsi’s office said the Cabinet changes were made to “inject new blood,” including young ministers, at a time when improving the nation’s economic performance and security are a priority for the government. The youngest minister in the reshuffled Cabinet is the new investment minister, 35-year Yehia Hamed, a former Morsi aide and member of the Brotherhood. “The challenges Egypt faces require concerted and integrated efforts,” Morsi’s statement said. His statement called on all to avoid wasting time and look forward to the future to achieve quick results for the Egyptian people. “The world we live in has no room except for the strong,” the statement said. The new Planning and International Cooperation Ministry is now led by Amr Darag, a top leader in the Brotherhood. There are new finance and oil ministers, but the reshuffle did not affect security posts like the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of police. Prime Minister Hesham Kandil kept his job despite calls for his ouster from liberals and leftists as well as some Islamists. Ahmed Suleiman is the new minister of justice. According to biographies published in the media, Suleiman was a member of a group opposing a judicial boycott on a controversial Morsi-backed constitutional referendum in December. Morsi’s government has tangled with the judiciary on several occasions in the past year. New Finance Minister Fayad Ibrahim is an expert in sukuk, bonds that claim to be compliant with Islamic Shariah law. Morsi’s government is pushing such bonds as a way to attract investment. Kandil told reporters that the new economic team will build on what the outgoing ministers have accomplished, such as streamlining land investment laws and expediting investment proposals in

CAIRO: A handout picture released by the Egyptian presidency yesterday, shows Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi (C) posing for a group photograph with his Prime Minister Hisham Qandil (5th-L) and nine new ministers during a meeting in Cairo. Morsi appointed nine new ministers in a cabinet reshuffle in a shake-up that falls short of opposition demands. — AFP Egypt’s strategic Suez Canal region and port. “Change in this phase, we think, will be useful,” he said. Kandil, however, did not mention Egypt’s negotiations for a loan from the International Monetary Fund, which have dragged on for more than a year. The crucial $4.8 billion loan is expected to usher in widely unpopular austerity measures, but could open the door for much needed investment. Freedom and Justice deputy leader Essam alErian told Al-Jazeera Mubashir Misr TV network that the most prominent feature of the new reshuffle is the change to the economic portfolio in the Cabinet, a move made to spur negotiations with the IMF. The London-based consultancy Capital Economics said the reshuffle is a “complete overhaul of the government’s economic team,” which may add “fresh impetus” to the talks with the IMF. The group said, however, that the reshuffle had failed to realize broader political consensus that is needed to get approval on an economic reform package negotiated with the IMF. “The reshuffle of Egypt’s Cabinet ... doesn’t change the bigger picture that achieving support from across the political spectrum for much-needed economic reform will be extremely difficult,” the group said. “After all, the majority of Egyptian politicians will be unwilling to sign up to the widespread reform measures required by the IMF, at least until parliamentary elections are out of the way.” No date has yet been set for these elections. Egypt’s economy has been hard hit by more than the two years of political turmoil that followed the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising in 2011. Political polarization has deepened since last year, with Morsi and his Islamist supporters

under fire from leftists, liberals and others. Protests, which now regularly turn into deadly clashes, feed the country’s sense of lawlessness and crisis. “The party understands the difficulties facing the formation of cabinets in transition periods, and that it might not be up to all aspirations,” said Saad el-Katatni, head of the Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party. He said the party reached out to other groups because the “challenges facing our nation require collaboration of all efforts to lighten the negative impact of transition periods.” However, the opposition said the shuffle did not meet its demands. The opposition says it will boycott upcoming parliamentary elections if Morsi does not sack Kandil and form a national unity government along with other conditions. “Is the new reshuffle a new step toward complete Brotherhood-ization?” asked opposition leader Amr Moussa. The term is used by many Egyptians to indicate their fear that the Muslim Brotherhood seeks to monopolize power in the country. “Wouldn’t it be more effective to take a different step to reflect movement toward partnership and national reconciliation?” The opposition youth group April 6 called the reshuffle “disappointing.” The group said it failed to include national or Islamist figures from the ultraconservative Salafi groups, which emerged as the second political force in earlier elections after the Brotherhood. “It’s a sham reshuffle. ... The Brotherhood now totally controls the economic portfolio,” Mohammed Adel, a leading member of the group, said in a statement. — AP

Libya defence minister rescinds resignation TRIPOLI: Libya’s defence minister resigned yesterday but then changed his mind and the army chief of staff was sacked, as a political crisis deepened over gunmen besieging government ministries. “I find myself compelled, despite opposition from my colleagues in recent days, to present (my resignation) voluntarily and without hesitation,” Barghathi said, quoted by the official Lana news agency. “I cannot accept the policy of force used by armed groups in our new state,” he added. But just hours later, the government issued a statement saying Barghathi had changed his mind after Prime Minister Ali Zeidan asked him to stay on. “The chief of the government asked the defence minister to rescind (his decision) and the minister said he understands, given the circumstances the country is going through, that he should continue in office,” a statement said. Separately, members of the National General Congress (NGC), said it had sacked army chief of staff General Yusef al-Mangoush, who has long been accused of delaying the formation of a proper army. Other deputies said Mangoush would stay on for another month until a replacement is named. Militiamen, mostly former rebels who fought to oust Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, have surrounded the justice and foreign ministries since last week to demand the removal from public posts of former officials of the slain dictator’s regime. Initially, the gunmen intended to pressure the NGC, the highest authority in the country, to adopt the law on political exclusion. But they remained camped outside the ministries despite the adoption of the legislation, with some of them now calling for the resignation of Zeidan’s government. Yesterday, a dozen vehicles armed with antiaircraft guns and rocket-launchers were still parked in front of the foreign ministry, an AFP correspondent reported from the site. “We are

thuwars (revolutionaries) and we want to correct the process of the revolution,” said one of the gunmen who identified himself as Mohamed Ben Neema. “The employees and officials of the former regime who massacred the Libyan people continue to occupy important positions, especially the foreign ministry. The revolution has not come to this building.” Most of the gunmen had left the justice ministry, although five men in military fatigues posing as former rebels were still milling around the building’s closed front door.

“We ended our protest. After the adoption of the law on political exclusion, we reached our goal. We just expect a ministry official to formally enter the building,” said one of them. Questioned by AFP, Justice Minister Salah alMarghani said officials from his department would not return to work “as weapons are still there.” Marghani added that “if this siege continues, we will study the possibility of moving the department to another district or another more secure city”. The controversial law passed by the GNC is expected to take effect within a month. —AFP

BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki speaks to the press as Defense Minister Saadun Al-Dulaim (R) and Minister of Human Rights Muhammad Shiya al-Sudani (L) listen on as he talks about the flooding following heavy rains that hit the southern regions of Iraq and the Arabian Peninsular yesterday, in Baghdad. — AFP



Kerry in Moscow mission to sway Putin on Syria Visit coincides with anniversary of Putin’s return

LONDON: This is a Thursday Oct. 29, 2009 file photo of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, left, and India’s President Pratibha Patil attend the launch of the XIX Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games outside Buckingham Palace in London. Queen Elizabeth II will skip the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Sri Lanka later this year — the first time she’s missed the biennial gathering since 1971, Buckingham Palace said yesterday. — AP

Queen Elizabeth to miss Commonwealth meeting LONDON: Queen Elizabeth II will miss the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Sri Lanka in November, sending her heir Prince Charles in her place, the palace announced yesterday. It will be the first time the 87-year-old monarch has missed such a meeting since it was first held in 1971, and comes as she hands over some of her duties to younger members of the royal family. The queen was forced to cancel several public engagements earlier this year after being admitted to hospital suffering from gastroenteritis, her first hospital admission in 10 years. “The queen will be represented at this year’s Commonwealth heads of government meeting (CHOGM) by the Prince of Wales,” Buckingham Palace said in a short statement. A palace source said the decision was unrelated to the controversy over Sri Lanka’s human rights record, which has prompted Canada to threaten to boycott the meeting. There had been a question mark over British Prime Minister David Cameron’s attendance, but his office said he would be making the trip, while delivering a “very tough message” that Colombo must make progress on human rights. The queen attended the last Commonwealth meeting in Australia in 2011 in her role as the symbolic head of the 54-member organisation, which is made up

primarily of former British colonies. Her decision to stay away this year follows a gradual move to cut down her longhaul foreign trips, which last year saw some of the younger royals represent the elderly monarch on overseas tours to mark her Diamond Jubilee. Hosts Sri Lanka said that Prince Charles, who as heir to the throne will take over his mother’s Commonwealth role when she dies, would be warmly welcomed to the November 15-17 meeting. “Whilst paying enormous tribute to Her Majesty’s continuing dedication and deep sense of duty to the Commonwealth, Sri Lanka warmly welcomes... the Prince of Wales, to Colombo, Sri Lanka, for CHOGM 2013,” the government said in a statement. Prince Charles accompanied his mother to the heads of government meetings in Edinburgh in 1997 and Kampala in 2007, and also stood in for the queen at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 2010. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the decision not to send the queen to Sri Lanka had likely been taken “very, very carefully, because I know the queen cares enormously for the Commonwealth”. “We should respect that decision particularly because the queen has been so tireless in her service to the Commonwealth,” he told Sky News television. —AFP

MOSCOW: US Secretary of State John Kerry was yesterday to hold talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, seeking to narrow differences over the conflict in Syria and persuade the Kremlin to put more pressure on President Bashar al-Assad. Kerry is making his first trip to Russia since taking over as the chief US diplomat in February, on what is one of his most diplomatically delicate missions to date. Washington has long urged Moscow-Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s most powerful ally-to use its sway to halt the bloodshed, accusing Russian leaders of continuing to arm the Syrian regime. The visit also coincides with the first anniversary of Putin’s return to the Kremlin for an historic third term on May 7, 2012 which heralded a new chill in relations between Moscow and Washington. Syria is likely to top the agenda when the two men meet at around 1100 GMT with the 26-month conflict threatening to spill across the region. Later, Kerry will also meet Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “I don’t know if we will get an agreement or not, but we certainly think it is worth testing and trying to find some ways forward,” a senior State Department official said Monday. With events moving on the ground in Syria, it “is a time to talk to the Russians to understand that from our side we remain committed (to a political solution), and if they are as well then we need to think about how to work operationally to make that happen,” the US official said. US officials were keen to emphasise the importance of the one-on-one meeting with Putin, which will be a rare encounter between a top American official and the Russian strongman. Russia has long accused the West of worsening the Syria conflict by seeking to topple the Assad regime, and says Moscow is solely interested in seeing a peaceful solution to conflict that has claimed more than 70,000 lives in since March 2011. The US and other Western states have in turn accused Russia of failing to use its influence with the regime to halt the bloodshed and keeping up military deliveries to Assad. Kerry’s visit is taking place at a moment of particular tension after Israel launched air strikes in Syria which Israeli sources said targeted Iranian weapons destined for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. The Russian foreign ministry said it was “especially” concerned by the attacks, warning the violence threatened neighbouring Lebanon. According to the Kremlin, Putin spoke to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week by telephone about the Syria conflict but details were not disclosed. Lavrov has also sternly warned Washington not to use claims that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons as a pretext for launching military action along the lines of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Further complicating the picture, UN human rights investigator Carla del Ponte said at the week-

Italy came to brink before being saved by ‘King George’ ROME: On Saturday April 20, the leaders of Italy’s two biggest political forces climbed the Quirinal, highest of Rome’s seven ancient hills, and begged President Giorgio Napolitano to stay for a second term. Pier Luigi Bersani and Silvio Berlusconi were followed into the presidential palace by outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti, Northern League boss Roberto Maroni and finally the governors of Italy’s regions, in scenes that resembled schoolboys visiting the headmaster’s office. The fact that Italy’s leading politicians had to implore an extremely reluctant 87-year-old grandfather to be the first president in Italian history to serve a second term is a measure of the depth of the most turbulent and intractable crisis seen for decades, even in a country synonymous with instability. Since an election in February that left no group with enough support to govern alone, one political disaster had followed another like a motorway pile-up, culminating in the failure of 1007 “grand electors” from parliament and the regions to elect a new president after four attempts. The political drama had implications far beyond Italy. The euro zone’s third biggest economy had once before narrowly avoided being sucked into the region’s financial crisis. Political gridlock brought renewed danger. The group’s pleas flew in the face of Napolitano’s repeated and fierce rejection of the idea, going back months. With his 88th birthday two months away, the former communist was looking forward to retirement, playing with his two grandchildren and taking a holiday on the island of Capri with his wife Clio. s Napolitano was so sure of leaving that removal men had already taken away most of his personal effects. Sources with knowledge of the events inside the former papal palace on the Quirinal hill said his office was so bare that there were not even notebooks available when he received the delegations. He had told his aides the night before that he expected to hand over the presidency within days, the sources said. The presidential election was key to ending the two-month deadlock and installing Italy’s 64th post-war government with some hope of passing reforms vital to counter a deep recession, but the politicians were incapable of finding a way out of the impasse. Napolitano eventually agreed to stand again, was overwhelmingly elected and has installed a right-left grand coalition under centre-left politician Enrico Letta, bringing the crisis to an end, for now. While fragile, the government is given a reasonable chance of lasting for a while at least, thanks mostly to the president’s powerful protection, and his threat to resign immediately if the politicians go back to playing games. But before he conceded out of what close associates say was an overwhelming sense of duty and patriotism, Italy had come to the brink of disaster. “Napolitano has been decisive. No other president would have had enough authority to impose a government. If it had not been for him we would now be in a major constitutional cri-

sis,” said political science Professor Gianfranco Pasquino from Bologna’s Johns Hopkins University. Napolitano’s phone started ringing on the night of Friday April 19, shortly after a major rebellion in Bersani’s centre-left Democratic Party which sank his second candidate for president, former premier Romano Prodi, despite a unanimous party vote in a Rome theatre only that morning to support him. Bersani had the most electors after beating Berlusconi’s centre-right by a whisker in the February election but he had lost control of the party, which was close to collapse. Bersani resigned that night, after railing against around 100 “traitors” who voted against Prodi, and was the first to make the pilgrimage to Napolitano. Sources with knowledge of the meeting say Napolitano’s determination not to remain was weakened by the sorry sight of the broken Bersani. He was finally convinced by the pleas of the regional governors.He was also very worried that public anger against the politicians, fuelled by the diatribes of populist 5-Star Movement leader Beppe Grillo, could become violent. Napolitano had what one source described as an “animated” lunch with his wife and 43-year-old son Giulio, and finally at 3 p.m. agreed to stay on. But the drama was far from over. Napolitano went to parliament for his inauguration on the Monday morning, eschewing the normal pomp reserved for the occasion. He angrily excoriated the chastened politicians, accusing them among other charges of irresponsibility, exploitation and sterile political battles. He said their failure despite his repeated urgings last year to repeal a flawed electoral law that was largely responsible for the poll result was “unforgivable.” Then, unveiling his biggest weapon, he told them he would not hesitate to resign, “if I find myself again confronted by the kind of deafness with which I have collided in the past.” The reaction of the parliamentarians was little short of surreal. With the exception of Bersani, who held his head in his hands, the rest of the audience responded to their punishment with enthusiastic applause. The astonishing scene was caricatured in La Stampa newspaper by columnist Massimo Gramellini who said the politicians were like motorists carrying a traffic policeman in triumph on their shoulders after he had given them a sheaf of parking fines. One political official said Napolitano’s threat to resign was not an empty one. “His determination is very strong ...if the politicians try to mock him with their games,” he said. It was not long before Napolitano had to use this weapon. Two days after his own inauguration, he nominated Letta as prime minister, but coalition horse trading with Berlusconi ran into trouble in a dispute over the position of economy minister. Berlusconi wanted the job to go to his close ally, Renato Brunetta, a centre-right hardliner, but that was opposed by Letta’s centre-left. Political sources said Napolitano picked up the phone and called Berlusconi. One source says he threatened to resign if the dispute prevented a government being formed. Berlusconi conceded, allowing the job to go to Bank of Italy director general Fabrizio Saccomanni. High on Letta’s priorities are constitutional changes to fix the skewed electoral law, which grants a giant winner’s premium in the lower house of parliament even if the margin is tiny. It will be a long process and before it happens Napolitano has powerful leverage with his threat to resign or call a new poll. So as in November 2011, when Napolitano rescued Italy from a perilous debt crisis by replacing the discredited Berlusconi with technocrat Mario Monti, Italy’s fate once again depends on the man affectionately known as “King George.” But with the future deeply uncertain as far as the eye can see, Italians are wondering whether he will really be forced to stay for a full seven year term, by which time he will be 94, in order to keep the euro zone’s third-largest economy on track. — Reuters

end that the rebels may have used the deadly nerve agent sarin. But a commission of inquiry later said there was no conclusive proof and the United States said it

was “highly sceptical”. There are a host of other issues on the agenda of the talks, including last month’s Boston Marathon bombings blamed on two brothers of Chechen descent.—AFP

MOSCOW: US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Russian WWII veterans during a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier in Moscow, Russia, yesterday. — AP

Deadlock, instability loom after Bulgaria election SOFIA: A winter of discontent in Bulgaria, when mass protests forced out the government, could give way to a spring of political deadlock and instability after elections Sunday in the EU’s poorest country. The outcome is expected to be a fragmented parliament full of many of the same politicians who have run Bulgaria since the end of communism two decades ago. Voters are stuck in a blind alley, facing a “choice between the same parties they protested against this winter”, Ivan Krastev from the Centre for Liberal Strategies think-tank said. “The offer on the political market does not correspond to the demand,” added Zhivko Georgiev from pollsters Gallup. Up to 18.5 percent of people plan not to vote, a Scala poll showed. “Whatever the result of the elections, the political crisis will continue,” said Ognyan Minchev of the Institute for Regional and International Studies. “Forming a government in the next parliament will be almost impossible,” he added. Six years after joining the European

Union, monthly salaries in Bulgaria remain stuck at less than 400 euros ($524) and pensions at 138 euros-a fraction of the European average. Anger over falling living standards, deepening poverty, rising unemployment, corruption and cronyism exploded into a nationwide protest movement in the winter. Seven people set themselves on fire. It was just the latest period of bitter political and economic crisis to rock 7.4-million-strong Bulgaria since the advent of democracy in 1989 and EU membership in 2007. Rather than serve out the remaining four months of his premiership, Boyko Borisov threw in the towel on February 20. But three months on, many voters still feel reassured by the 53-year-old’s tough-guy charisma, even if his slippery convictions make him difficult to place on the political spectrum. His conservative GERB party is tipped to win the parliamentary vote with 23.0 to 25.6 percent of the vote, short of a governing majority and a far cry from the 39.7 percent he scored in 2009.— AFP



Cuban agent begins renouncement of US citizenship HAVANA: A Cuban agent who served 13 years behind bars in the United States for his role in an espionage ring began the process of renouncing his US citizenship on Monday so he can stay in Cuba. Rene Gonzalez was one of five men convicted in a controversial 2001 trial of conspiring to spy on Cuban exile groups and US military activities in Florida as part of an espionage ring called the “Wasp Network.” The case has long plagued US-Cuba relations. Gonzalez, who was born in Chicago and held dual US-Cuba citizenship, told reporters after emerging from the US Interests Section in Havana that he had filled out forms and answered questions, and that the process was not yet complete. He will still have to formally renounce his citizenship before officials at the U.S. diplomatic post and then await approval, which he said should happen before May 16. “I feel happy to be in Cuba, to be with my family and incorporate myself to the society I belong to,” he said as bystanders in the streets and on apartment balconies above applauded and called his name.

When he first arrived at the US diplomatic post in a black government car, Gonzalez waved to the three dozen or so onlookers and clasped his hands above his head in victory. He was dressed informally in a shortsleeve blue plaid shirt and black pants. He was the first of what Cuba calls the “Five Heroes” to complete his sentence and return to the communistled island. The 56-year-old Gonzalez, who has a wife and two children in Havana, left prison in October 2011 and has been serving a three-year probation in Florida. He returned to the communist-led island temporarily on April 22 to attend a memorial service for his deceased father. US District Judge Joan Lenard had granted the visit a few weeks ago on condition that he return to Florida within two weeks. But on Friday, in ruling on a motion by his lawyer, she said he could stay in Cuba for good if he renounced his US citizenship. By doing so, he foreswears the right to return to the United States, where he spent the first few years of his life. In a reversal of its previous position that Gonzalez

had to complete his full three years probation, the US government did not object. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, speaking to reporters on Monday during a visit to Brazil, gave no indication that the resolution of the case would effect the status of U.S. contractor Alan Gross, who is serving a 15-year sentence in Havana for illegally installing Internet service for Cuban Jewish groups. Some had hoped it might help Gross get more lenient treatment, but Rodriguez said Gonzalez had served his sentence, while Gross, jailed since December 2009, has not. “It’s a case of application of the law. I see no relation therefore between the two cases,” he said in Brasilia. Cuba has hinted at a possible swap of the “Cuban Five” for Gross, but the United States has rejected the idea. Rodriguez, repeating what the government has disclosed before, said Cuba has told Washington it is open to talks to find a humanitarian solution to the cases of Gross and the four Cubans. The Cuban Five case is little known outside the Cuban exile community in the United States, but the

Cuban government has made their release a national cause, plastering the country with pictures of the men, with the word “Volveran” - they will return - beneath their images. Cuba says the agents were unjustly convicted and excessively punished because they were only collecting information on Cuban exile groups planning actions against the island 90 miles (145 km) from Key West, Florida. The trial was held in Miami, center of the exile community and hotbed of opposition to the Cuban government, particularly former leader Fidel Castro and current President Raul Castro. One of Gonzalez’s co-defendants is serving a double life sentence for his part in the shooting down of two US planes in 1996 flown by an exile group that dropped anti-government leaflets over Havana. The other three are serving out sentences that range from 18 years to 30 years. “One has to continue fighting to get them out of jail. It’s an injustice, it’s a crime that they are prisoners,” Gonzalez said. “We need them in Cuba,” he said. — Reuters

US Senator says military plagued by sexual assaults ‘There are more than 70 sexual assaults every day’

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama, right, and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, left, during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, yesterday. — AP

Disabled couple seek life together in group home PORT JEFFERSON: With the beaming smiles of newlyweds, Paul Forziano and Hava Samuels hold hands, exchange adoring glances and complete each other’s sentences. Their first wedding dance, he recalls, was to the song “Unchained ...” “Melody,” she chimes in. They spend their days together in the performing arts education center where they met. But every night, they must part ways. Forziano goes to his group home. His wife goes to hers. The mentally disabled couple is not allowed to share a bedroom by the state-sanctioned nonprofits that run the group homes - a practice the newlyweds and their parents are now challenging in a federal civil rights lawsuit. “We’re very sad when we leave each other,” Forziano says. “I want to live with my wife, because I love her.” The couple had been considering marriage for three years before tying the knot last month, and they contend in their lawsuit that they were refused permission from their respective group homes to live together as husband and wife. The couple’s parents, also plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said they have been seeking a solution since 2010. “It’s not something we wanted to do, it’s something we had to do,” said Bonnie Samuels, the mother of the bride. The lawsuit contends Forziano’s facility refused because people requiring the services of a group home are by definition incapable of living as married people, and it says Samuels’ home refused because it believes she doesn’t have the mental capacity to consent to sex. Legal experts are watching the case closely as a test of the Americans With Disabilities Act, which says, in part, that “a public entity shall make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures ... to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability.” The group homes are licensed as nonprofits by the state and receive Medicaid funding on behalf of their clients. “This is a case that is moving into uncharted territory,” says George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. “If a state licenses the couple to be married, they are afforded all of the protections and privileges of marriage. The most fundamental right is to be able to live together as a married couple.” The couple’s attorney, Martin Coleman, says he has not come across any similar court cases. “What the group homes are saying is that for this class of people, you shouldn’t be married. ... What point of intellectual disability is too low for someone to be married?” Sara Gelser, an Oregon state legislator and member of the National Council on Disability board of directors, says Americans have increasingly come to recognize the rights of the disabled to choose to live their own lives, and marriage and sex is part of that. She says the couple’s sex life is nobody’s

business. “No one has a right to tell an adult what they can do,” Gelser says. “Sex is a healthy and full part of the human experience. I know it makes some people uncomfortable to think people with intellectual disabilities are engaging in sexual relations, but I don’t understand that.” A spokeswoman for the Catholic Health Systems, which runs the Maryhaven Center of Hope, has declined to comment, citing pending litigation. Maryhaven has 2,000 clients, ranging in age from 5 to 80, in facilities across Long Island. The facility in Manorville where Samuels lives is for women only. David Arntsen, attorney for the Independent Group Home Living program in Manorville, where Forziano lives, says that it doesn’t have facilities for married residents and that there is no specific legal requirement forcing the home to house them. The program’s residences have between three and 12 men and women; the home where Forziano lives is coed, according to his attorney. The lawsuit cites a letter from the director of program services at Independent Group Home Living, saying its homes “are not staffed or designed to house and supervise married couples or assist married couples with the dynamics of their relationships, sexual or otherwise.” Also named in the lawsuit is the state Office of Persons With Developmental Disabilities, which the couple claims sided with the agencies in refusing to accommodate their wishes and has not done enough to find a solution. The office has declined to comment on the lawsuit. Experts say it is difficult to estimate how many mentally disabled people are married, since states ask no questions about a person’s mental capacity on marriage licenses. Tiffany Portzer, a spokeswoman for the state developmental disabilities office, says the agency does not keep data on the marital status of its clients. “I can tell you that we know it’s a small minority of everyone in a group home, she says. The couple’s parents say they have reached out to other state-certified group homes to see if they had space. They were told that although other facilities welcome married couples, nothing was available anytime soon, according to the lawsuit. Their attorney says the couple needs to live near their parents on eastern Long Island, as well as the Maryhaven Day Program, which each has attended for years. Forziano, 30, is classified in the mild to moderate range of intellectual functioning, with recent IQ scores of 50 and 58. He has limited reading and writing skills and cannot manage money. Samuels, 36, is in the moderate range of intellectual functioning, with recent IQ scores of 50 and 44. She has a significant expressive language disability, which can make it difficult sometimes for others to understand her. —AP

PORT JEFFERSON: Hava Samuels, left, reacts playfully with her husband Paul Farziano as they visit a park on April 25, 2013 in Port Jefferson, N.Y. The developmentally disabled couple brought a lawsuit against the group facilities where they live for violating the Disability Act, by refusing them residence as a married couple. — AP

WASHINGTON: The sexual battery arrest of the Air Force officer who led the service’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response unit underscores how far the Defense Department has to go in addressing the plague of sexual crimes in the military, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said yesterday. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., told a committee hearing that a Pentagon report to be released later reportedly estimates that, on average, there are more than 70 sexual assaults involving military personnel every day. Authorities in Arlington County, Va., said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski was charged with groping a woman in a northern Virginia parking lot on Sunday. Krusinski was removed from his post in the sexual assault unit after the Air Force learned of his arrest. He started in the post in February “While under our legal system everyone is innocent until proven guilty, this arrest speaks volumes about the status and effectiveness of (the Defense) department’s efforts to address the plague of sexual assaults in the military,” Levin said. The Pentagon report says that the number of sexual assaults reported by members of the military rose from 3,192 to 3,374 in 2012, while the department estimates that as many as 26,000 service members were assaulted, based on anonymous surveys, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the report. Gen. Mark Welsh, the Air Force’s chief of staff, told the committee that he and Air Force Secretary Michael Donley were “appalled” by Krusinki’s arrest. Although the case is being adjudicated by the Arlington County police, Welsh said the Air Force has requested jurisdiction. A police report said that the 41-year-old Krusinski was drunk and grabbed a woman’s breast and buttocks. The woman fought him off and called police, the report said. The Arlington County Sheriff ’s office said Krusinski was released Sunday on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond. An arraignment is scheduled for Thursday. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has

WASHINGTON: The Senate Armed Services Committee hears from top officials of the Air Force during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, yesterday. From right are Sen. Roger Wicker, RMiss., Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. Besides funding for next year’s Pentagon budget, the Air Force is dealing with controversy over sexual assaults and how the military justice system handles it. — AP spoken with Donley about the matter and “expressed outrage and disgust over the troubling allegations and emphasized that this matter will be dealt with swiftly and decisively,” Pentagon press secretary George Little said in a statement. Two cases involving decisions by three-star generals to overturn guilty verdicts in sexual assault cases have outraged members of Congress and propelled a bipartisan push to change the military justice system to essentially strip commanding officers of their ability to reverse criminal convictions. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is holding up the nomination of Air Force Lt. Gen. Susan Helms,

tapped to serve as vice commander of the US Space Command, until the Missouri Democrat gets more information about Helms’ decision to overturn a jury conviction in a sexual assault case. Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin, commander of the 3rd Air Force at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, overturned the conviction against Lt. Col. James Wilkerson, a former inspector general at Aviano Air Base in Italy. Wilkerson had been found guilty last Nov. 2 of charges of abusive sexual contact, aggravated sexual assault and three instances of conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman. The incident had involved a civilian employee. — AP

Pope to visit Brazil slum, meet prisoners, on first trip VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis will visit the poor in a favela and meet young prisoners when he travels to Brazil on his first international trip as pontiff in July, the Vatican said yesterday. Francis, who has said he wants to make concern for the poor a hallmark of his papacy, will visit the Manguinhos slum in Rio de Janeiro on the fourth day of his July 22-29 trip to the world’s largest Catholic country. Manguinhos is one of Rio’s most visible favelas, wedged between a busy highway and a former oil refinery and near the main airport and large military bases. The shantytown, which the pope will visit on July 25, had a long history of drug-related violence, but a police occupation late last year kicked out many of the drug and gun traffickers. Manguinhos, home to about 35,000 poor people, is one of the communities that have been part

of a community policing operation that has reduced violence in the shantytowns of Rio de Janeiro. The pope will also meet young prisoners who will be brought to the archbishop’s residence for the occasion. The main purpose of the trip is for the pope to preside at the Catholic Church’s World Day of Youth, an international gathering sometimes dubbed a “Catholic Woodstock” that takes place in a different city every two years. The World Day of Youth celebrations start on July 23 and end on July 28. Francis, the first nonEuropean pope in 1,300 years on, arrives on the afternoon of July 22 and will rest the next day to overcome jet lag, according to the official programme of the trip released by the Vatican. On July 24, he will fly by helicopter to the city of Aparecida, about 240 km (150 miles) southwest of

Rio de Janeiro, to visit the national shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, whom the Church honours at the patroness of Brazil. That evening he visits a hospital in Rio that treats AIDS patients. nThe pope’s participation in World Youth Day events starts on the evening of July 25 in Rio’s famed Copacabana Beach area and culminates with a huge open-air Mass in the Guaratiba area of the city on July 28. During the trip he will also address Brazil’s political and business leaders. The trip is expected to be the only one abroad for the pope this year. The former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires is expected to visit his homeland early next year. He is expected to travel to the central Italian city of Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis, whose name Bergoglio adopted when elected pope on March 13. — Reuters

US immigration reform would cost $6.3 trillion WASHINGTON: A US political battle raged Monday over the cost of Senate-proposed immigration reform, with a conservative thinktank warning the plan to legalize 11 million undocumented workers would soar to $6.3 trillion. The Heritage Foundation, in a repor t released shortly before amendments are proposed to the bipartisan bill, said legalized immigrants’ costs such as Social Security, Medicaid health care for the poor, and unemployment insurance would stack up dramatically faster than many US lawmakers would realize. The report is certain to galvanize some conservatives in Congress who are opposed to the plan, seen as the most ambitious immigration reform effort in a generation and which was rolled out last month by a “Gang of Eight” senators, four Democrats and four Republicans. President Barack Obama envisions immigration reform as a major and viable secondterm accomplishment, after Republicans who lost last November’s election said it was crucial to reach out to minority communities such as Hispanics, the largest beneficiaries of any immigration deal.

But Heritage said the millions of immigrants who would be legalized through “amnesty ” would generate massive fiscal deficits over the long term, driven in large part by extra pressures on health care for lowincome Americans, public education and services like police, fire and roads. The bill creates a path to citizenship for the estimated 11.5 million people living in the country illegally, but under certain conditions like tighter border enforcement and after a 13-year wait, during which time they will not be entitled to government aid. The foundation’s study argued that while illegal aliens will start to pay taxes once they register legally, when they become citizens they will be net recipients of government funds. It said the legalized immigrants would receive those benefits for five decades, if their retirement pension is included, with their cost to government coffers pegged at $9.4 trillion, while they will pay just $3.1 trillion in taxes. “No sensible thinking person would read this study and conclude that, over 50 years, that it could possibly have a positive economic impact,” Heritage president Jim DeMint, a Republican former senator, said at a press conference.

Report co-author Robert Rector warned that the costs jump to about $160 billion per year about 35 years from today, when the bulk of the legalized immigrants reach retirement age. But pro-reformers immediately assailed the Heritage plan as ignoring the prospect that millions of immigrants would become substantial contributors to the nation’s economic prosperity. Doug Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office who now heads the American Action Forum, said the Heritage report did “mislead people about the genuine budgetary impact” of immigration reform. “The notion that 50 years from now all 12 million who are here illegally will be collecting full benefits is a vast overstatement,” he told reporters, adding that under Heritage’s formula, the immigrant experience begins and ends in poverty. “ There’s no American dream, there’s no upward mobility for anyone” according to Heritage, Holtz-Eakin said. The report more than doubles the cost estimated in a 2007 Heritage study, which said a Senate plan for immigration amnesty being considered that year-but which ultimately failed-would cost a net $2.6 trillion. — AFP



Pakistan election violence forces candidates behind high walls PESHAWAR: Mian Hussain is fighting for his political life from a deserted party headquarters, where two telephones sit silently beside him and the footsteps of a tea boy echo down the corridor. One of Pakistan’s most high-profile anti-Taleban politicians, Hussain hasn’t been to a single public event since campaigning for the May 11 election kicked off. A fiery orator who once electrified big rallies, he now makes short speeches by telephone to small huddles of supporters meeting in secret. For the spokesman of the Awami National Party (ANP), it’s just too dangerous to go out. Since April, the Pakistani Taleban have killed more than 70 people in attacks targeting three major political parties, preventing many of their most prominent candidates from openly campaigning. Hussain worries the Taleban want to rig the elections in favour of parties that will take a softer line with their determination to stamp a radical brand of Islam on the country. He says that is why the Taleban are targeting the ruling coalition that backed military operations against them - Hussain’s ANP, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), whose offices have been repeatedly bombed. The ANP has borne the brunt of the attacks because it is staunchly opposed to the Taleban. As a nationalist party, it competes with the militants for the support of ethnic minority Pashtun people along the Afghan-Pakistan border. The PPP and the MQM see themselves as liberal parties, long opposed to the influence of conservative religious forces and Islamist militancy.

The Taleban say they are targeting “secular” parties and that elections only “serve the interests of infidels and enemies of Islam”. However, they have mostly not attacked right-wing religious parties that have joined the election race, or former cricketer Imran Khan’s party, which advocates shooting down US drones and withdrawing the Pakistani military from insurgency-infested Pashtun areas along the Afghan border. A blast at a rally organised by the Jamiat Ulema-eIslam (JUI) religious party on Monday killed 26 people. The Taleban claimed responsibility but said their quarrel was not with the party but with the candidate who the rally was for, who they said had betrayed Arab fighters to US agents. Another blast at a JUI rally near the Afghan border killed four people yesterday, said a party official. It was not clear who was responsible. The Taleban have not attacked the main opposition party led by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, which has courted support from groups accused of supporting sectarian attacks across the country. “It’s pre-poll rigging,” Hussain says bitterly. The Taleban killed his only son three years ago, just before his wedding. The next day, militants attacked Hussain’s home, killing seven. “They will either have to elect the terrorists or elect those who oppose the terrorists,” he said, the studious face of his dead son staring up from campaign posters on a nearby table. But many voters do not see the contest simply as one that pits pro- and anti-Taleban parties against each other. Insecurity worries them, but so does the

sluggish economy, endemic corruption and power shortages that have cost millions of jobs over the five years of the last government. Many say it is that legacy, and not the Taleban threat, that makes them inclined to vote for a new guard in Islamabad. The main opposition party is led by two-times prime minister Sharif. It is widely seen as the front-runner for Saturday’s polls, portrays itself as businessfriendly and has promised to fix the country’s serious economic woes. His party denies that it is soft on the Taleban or militancy but says a new approach is needed, including an overhaul of the country’s anti-terrorism courts. The PPP and its coalition partners are the first civilian government to complete a full five-year term in a country whose history has been punctuated by military takeovers. Despite power shortages, tax shortfalls and corruption, they blame the shortcomings of their administration squarely on the Taliban. “Terrorism is the biggest problem, it took up so much of our resources,” said Zahir Shah, a former health minister and candidate for the PPP in the northwestern provincial capital of Peshawar. “We have done reforms and we will do more.” Shah said the Taleban threat meant he has only held small meetings in walled compounds. His sister and party activists are also holding clandestine gatherings. At one recent meeting, 40 women and children garlanded them with marigolds on a rooftop. “Long live Zahir Shah!” they cheered. Two armed police stood guard in the alley below, so narrow that politicians’ convoys could barely squeeze past each other without falling into the open drains running

with blood from nearby butcher shops. Shah said voters would elect him despite the campaigning restrictions because his party had defied the Taleban and helped the poor get free healthcare. Some of the poor he is counting on for votes are doubtful. A dialysis centre Reuters visited near Peshawar provides quality treatment for free. But at the state-run Khyber Teaching Hospital, grimy walls are crumbling, a mangy cat lurked in the trauma ward and a doctor said the hospital was dangerously short of basic intravenous equipment. This is where the injured and dying were brought after one of Peshawar’s recent string of bomb blasts. “No one is secure. There is bloodshed everywhere. The government should do something,” said Fazle Hayat, dabbing at an eye injured in the attack. He said he had not decided if he would vote. A short drive away, the remnants of another bombing are displayed in a glass case at Bilour House. They are the shoes and spectacles that Bashir Bilour, an ANP stalwart, was wearing when a Taliban bomb killed him in December. Another Taleban bomber targeted his brother and his son in April. They survived, but 18 others died. Some other parties did not even offer condolences, Bilour said angrily, because they were afraid of offending the Taleban. “The Taleban are targeting us because they want an administration that is soft on terrorism,” he said. But parties afraid of offending the Taliban should watch out, he said. “They are targeting us today but they will be targeting them tomorrow.” — Reuters

Pakistan suicide bomber kills nine, poll candidate injured Pakistani Taleban claimed responsibility

KANDAHAR: Afghan men march through downtown Kandahar, Afghanistan, yesterday chanting ‘Death to Pakistan’ and ‘Death to the ISI,’ a reference to Pakistan’s InterServices Intelligence, the country’s spy agency. Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been severely strained in recent months and the mountainous region in eastern Afghanistan has seen acrimonious exchanges of fire between the two sides over the demarcation of their border. — AP

Pakistan summons Afghan diplomat over border firing ISLAMABAD: Pakistan summoned the most senior Afghan diplomat in the country yesterday to protest over border skirmishes that it said left five security personnel wounded and strained relations. Exchanges of fire and ensuing protests are threatening to worsen already fractious ties between Kabul and Islamabad, despite renewed efforts last month by US Secretary of State John Kerry to get them to work more closely on peace efforts. Cross-border clashes flared on Monday between Afghan and Pakistani security forces for the second time in five days with Kabul summoning the Pakistani charge d’affaires to protest the “unprovoked attack by Pakistani forces”. The war of words over the porous frontier continued yesterday, with the foreign ministry in Islamabad summoning the Afghan charge d’affaires to warn against any repetition of what it too called “unprovoked firing”. Five members of the paramilitary Frontier

Constabulary were wounded in the firing on Monday morning, the ministry statement said. Both countries have blamed each other for starting the firing on the border, which is a crucial battleground in the fight against Taleban militants who operate in both countries. The border is unmarked in places and a key battleground in the fight against Taleban violence plaguing both countries. “The Afghan charge d’affaires was conveyed that in case of any further escalation as a result of this situation, the responsibility would be on the Afghan Government”, the said statement. Pakistan, which backed Afghanistan’s 19962001 Taleban regime, is seen by the West as having a central role in negotiating a political settlement with Taleban insurgents who shelter in Pakistan’s border districts. But ties have worsened this year with the Afghan government accusing Pakistan of dropping its support for the peace process. — AFP

India agrees to Chinese demands to end standoff SRINAGAR: India has agreed to a Chinese demand to demolish bunkers near their de facto border in the Himalayas, Indian military officials said, as part of a deal to end a standoff that threatened to scupper slowly improving relations. Indian and Chinese soldiers faced off 100 metres (330 feet) apart on a plateau near the Karakoram mountain range, where they fought a war 50 years ago, for three weeks until they reached a deal on Sunday for both sides to withdrew. The tension had threatened to overshadow a visit by the Indian foreign minister to Beijing on May 9. China’s Premier Li Keqiang is expected to visit India later this month. Details of the deal have not been made public but a senior official from the Indian army’s northern command said India had agreed to abandon and destroy bunkers in the Chumar sector, further south along the disputed border. “The bunkers in Chumar

were dismantled after we acceded to Chinese demand in the last flag meeting. These bunkers were live-in bunkers,” the army officer told Reuters on Tuesday. India said up to 50 Chinese soldiers intruded into its territory on the western rim of the Himalayas on April 15. Some Indian officials and experts believed the incursion signalled Chinese concern about increased Indian activity in the area. India said the Chinese soldiers were 19 km (12 miles) beyond the point it understands to be the border in the Ladakh region of Kashmir, a vaguely defined line called the Line of Actual Control, which neither side agrees on. China denied it had crossed into Indian territory. China won the border war they fought in 1962, which soured relations for decades, but ties between the Asian giants have been improving in recent years. China is India’s top trade partner. —Reuters

NEW DELHI: Indian Sikhs listen to a speaker, unseen, as they protest the acquittal of ruling Congress party leader Sajjan Kumar, in New Delhi, India, yesterday. An Indian court acquitted Kumar on April 30, of charges he incited mobs to kill Sikhs during the country’s 1984 anti-Sikh riots. — AP

PESHAWAR: A suicide bomber killed at least nine people and wounded a candidate campaigning in northwest Pakistan yesterday, taking the death toll in the nation’s bloody election build-up to more than 100. The latest attack in the town of Hangu, a flashpoint for violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, came a day after the deadliest bombing so far in the campaign for Saturday’s national and provincial polls. Ishtiaq Ahmed, a senior police official, told AFP that nine people had been killed and 40 wounded, though a senior civilian official in the district, Tahir Abbasi, said 10 had died. Authorities said it was a suicide attack but presented different accounts over whether the bomber had been on foot or riding a motorcycle. “He blew himself up near the vehicle of (parliamentary candidate) Syed Janan. He was injured but he is safe,” Abdul Hameed Khan, a senior government official in Hangu said. The bombing raises to 101 the number of people killed in attacks on politicians and political parties since April 11, according to an AFP tally. Janan is seeking re-election to the assembly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province for the right-wing Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, a religious party in the outgoing government coalition. He told AFP he had received injuries to his head and shoulder. “I was on my election campaign and coming to my vehicle when the bomber blew himself up. I received some injuries but survived. Two of my guards were seriously wounded,” Janan said. A joint rally for two other candidates from the same faction of the party was bombed in the tribal district of Kurram on Monday, killing 23 people in the deadliest single attack on the campaign so far. The Pakistani Taleban claimed responsibility, saying the target had been Munir Orakzai, a lawmaker in the national assembly who was in 2008 elected as an independent but allied to the outgoing government.

HANGU: Pakistani men push a strecher carrying an injured blast victim after a bomb explosion at an election rally in the northwestern town of Hangu yesterday. Bombs killed 17 people and wounded dozens more including an election candidate in Pakistan yesterday, raising to more than 100 the death toll from attacks on the campaign for Saturday’s polls. — AFP The insurgents have condemned Saturday’s elections as un-Islamic and directly threatened the main parties in the outgoing coalition, the Pakistan People’s Party, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and the Awami National Party (ANP). JUI-F and its leader, cleric Maulana Fazl-urRehman, have been mediators between the authorities and the Taleban, blamed for killing thousands of Pakistanis in a domestic insurgency over the past six years. Elections have been postponed in three constituencies where candidates have been killed. Those constituencies are in the southwestern

province of Baluchistan, in Pakistan’s biggest city of Karachi and in southern Hyderabad. The vote marks the first time that a civilian government in Pakistan has served a full-term in office and handed over to another at the ballot box. The nuclear-armed country has been ruled half its life by the military. The race has been dominated by the centreright-opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, head of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) and cricket star Imran Khan, looking to make a breakthrough for his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. — AFP

Bangladesh factory death toll passes 700 DHAKA: Hundreds of survivors of Bangladesh’s worst industrial disaster blocked a main highway to demand wages yesterday as the death toll from the collapse of a nine-storey building passed 700, officials said. More than 3,000 garment workers were on shift at the Rana Plaza complex at the time of the collapse on the morning of April 24, making clothing for Western retailers such as Britain’s Primark and the Spanish label Mango. Many of the staff were earning only around 38 dollars a month, a salary condemned as “slave labour” by Pope Francis. But with work having come to a complete halt, the employees are now demanding payment from factory owners, both for their wages and as compensation for injuries suffered when the complex caved in. While employees promised that money was on its way, survivors said they had still to receive any cash. Police said around 400 survivors blocked a highway connecting the capital with the country’s south and southwest yesterday by staging a sit-down protest. The workers were chanting slogans, demanding “unpaid salaries and compensation”, local police chief M. Asaduzzaman told AFP. Shahidullah Azim, a vice president of the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), told AFP the group would start paying out money in a matter of hours. “We will pay about 3,400 workers or their beneficiaries in line with our labour laws,” he said, adding that the average worker would receive around three months’ salary from the organisation, which is the umbrella body for the country’s 4,500 garment factories. The BGMEA is also bearing the medical cost of more than 1,000 workers who were injured in the disaster and has promised to compensate the families of those who died in the tragedy. Western retailers whose brands were being made at Rana Plaza have also promised to compensate the families of those who died. Mohammed Ibrahim, a union leader, told AFP

SAVAR: Bangladeshi rescue personnel carry stretchers with the remains of garment workers from the site of a collapsed building as heavy machinery clear the debris in Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka, yesterday. Hundreds of survivors of Bangladesh’s worst industrial disaster have received wages yesterday as the death toll from the collapse of a nine-storey building passed 700, officials said. — AFP from the scene that garment workers had been asked to provide details about their employment record to officials in Savar to qualify for payments but no one had received any money. The wage protest came as the army revealed that dozens more bodies had been pulled from the rubble. Army spokesman Captain Shahid Ahsan Bhuiyan told AFP the number of bodies recovered stood at 715 and warned the toll could rise further as the recovery teams had “only cleared the fourth floor”. Authorities say 2,437 people were rescued alive from the ruins of the building, which housed a total of five garment factories.

Efforts to identify the victims are being hampered by the decomposition of bodies. Recovery workers, who are drawn from the ranks of the army and fire service, have to wear masks and use air freshener. Fearful that Western brand names may turn their back on Bangladesh, the government announced a new high-level panel on Monday to inspect thousands of garment factories for building flaws. The government made a similar announcement after a devastating fire swept a garment factory in November last year, killing 111 workers, but subsequent inspections were widely derided as insufficient. —AFP



China rejects US Pentagon charges of military espionage WASHINGTON: China is using espionage to acquire technology to fuel its military modernization, the Pentagon said on Monday, for the first time accusing the Chinese of trying to break into US defense computer networks and prompting a firm denial from Beijing. In its 83-page annual report to Congress on Chinese military developments, the Pentagon also cited progress in Beijing’s effort to develop advancedtechnology stealth aircraft and build an aircraft carrier fleet to project power further offshore. The report said China’s cyber snooping was a “serious concern” that pointed to an even greater threat because the “skills required for these intrusions are similar to those necessary to conduct computer network attacks.” “The US government continued to be targeted for (cyber) intrusions, some of which appear to be attributable directly to the Chinese government and military,”

it said, adding the main purpose of the hacking was to gain information to benefit defense industries, military planners and government leaders. A spokeswoman said it was the first time the annual Pentagon report had cited Beijing for targeting US defense networks, but China dismissed the report as groundless. The US Defense Department had repeatedly “made irresponsible comments about China’s normal and justified defense build-up and hyped up the socalled China military threat,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said. “This is not beneficial to US-China mutual trust and cooperation,” Hua told reporters. “We are firmly opposed to this and have already made representations to the US side.” China’s defense build-up was geared towards protecting its “national independence and sovereignty,” Hua said. On the accusations of hacking, Hua

said: “We firmly oppose any groundless criticism and hype, because groundless hype and criticism will only harm bilateral efforts at cooperation and dialogue.” Despite concerns over the intrusions, a senior US defense official said his main worry was the lack of transparency. “What concerns me is the extent to which China’s military modernization occurs in the absence of the type of openness and transparency that others are certainly asking of China,” David Helvey, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, told a Pentagon briefing on the report. He warned of the “potential implications and consequences of that lack of transparency on the security calculations of others in the region.” The annual China report, which Congress began requesting in 2000, comes amid ongoing tensions in the region due to China’s military assertiveness and expansive claims of sovereignty over disputed islands and shoals. Beijing

has ongoing territorial disputes with the Philippines, Japan and other neighbors. Beijing’s publicly announced defense spending has grown at an inflationadjusted pace of nearly 10 percent annually over the past decade, but Helvey said China’s actual outlays were thought to be higher. China announced a 10.7 percent increase in military spending to $114 billion in March, the Pentagon report said. Publicly announced defense spending for 2012 was $106 billion, but actual spending for 2012 could range between $135 billion and $215 billion, it said. US defense spending is more than double that, at more than $500 billion. The report highlighted China’s continuing efforts to gain access to sophisticated military technology to fuel its modernization program. It cited a laundry list of methods, including “state-sponsored industrial and technical espionage to increase the level of technologies and expertise available to support military

research, development and acquisition.” Dean Cheng, an analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, said he was surprised by the number of cases of human espionage cited in the report. “This is a PLA (People’s Liberation Army) that is extensively, comprehensively modernizing,” Cheng said. “...China is also comprehensively engaging in espionage.” China tested its second advanced stealth fighter in as many years in October 2012, highlighting its “continued ambition to produce advanced fifthgeneration fighter aircraft,” the report said. Neither aircraft of its stealth aircraft was expected to achieve effective operational capability before 2018, it said. Last year also saw China commission its first domestically produced aircraft carrier. China currently has one aircraft carrier bought abroad and conducted its first takeoff and landing from the ship in November. —Reuters

Philippine volcano spews rocks, killing 4 climbers ‘It rained like hell with stones’ MANILA: Three German tourists and their Filipino tour guide were crushed to death when one of the Philippines’ most active volcanoes spewed a giant ash cloud and a hail of rocks yesterday, authorities said. Twenty-seven people, including at least nine foreigners, were climbing picturesque Mount

Filipino guides had begun hiking up Mayon just a few hours before the eruption, which sent a thick column of ash 500 metres (1,600 feet) into the air. Three Germans aged in their 30s, two men and one woman, and one of the guides from his group were killed, he said. A 22-year-old Spanish woman also sustained

ALBAY: Rescuers place Nicas Mabao Jr. on a spine board after surviving a steam-driven explosion of Mayon volcano, one of the Philippines’ most active volcanoes, yesterday in Albay province, about 450 kilometers (285 Miles) southeast of Manila, Philippines. —AP Mayon when it erupted without warning, and bad weather meant some of them would have to spend the night on its slopes, officials said. “It rained like hell with stones,” local tour operator Marti Calleja quoted an Austrian woman who was among the injured in the ordeal as saying. “The rocks that came crashing down on them were as big as dining (table) sets,” he told AFP by phone. Calleja said five foreigners and three of his

“life-threatening” injuries, while the Austrian woman suffered minor bruises, according to Calleja. Regional police spokesman Superintendent Renato Bataller confirmed the four fatalities, with seven others injured, including four Thais. Provincial governor Joey Salceda told AFP that while the volcano had calmed down, rescue helicopters were unable to land due to heavy rain and only four survivors had been taken off the mountain.

He said rescuers were forced to start climbing the mountain to reach the injured, and it was unclear when they would be brought down. Calleja said the foreigners paid about $100 each for an overnight adventure on the 2,460metre (8,070-foot) Mayon, which is famed for its near-perfect cone but has a long history of deadly eruptions. A six-kilometre (3 and 3/4-mile) radius “permanent danger zone” is supposed to be enforced around the volcano. But Calleja said the local government allowed people to climb when there were no signs of an eruption. “Between 300 and 1,000 climbers go here during the peak season from May to August,” Calleja said. Salceda confirmed the arrangement, but said tourists hiking up should still inform the authorities beforehand. “Mayon is just like any other mountain, and mountaineers assume the same risk as anywhere. But while we allow them to go, they should notify us and seek our approval. In this case, they did not,” he said. Volcanologists described the eruption as a 73second “steam-driven minor explosion” that was not expected to be repeated anytime soon. Chief state seismologist Renato Solidum said people living around Mayon did not need to evacuate. He said the explosion was triggered when rainwater made contact with hot ash deposits on the crater mouth. Residents in towns around the volcano said they were taken by surprise. “It was so sudden that many of us panicked,” Jun Marana, a 46-yearold bus driver and father of two, told AFP by telephone. “When we stepped out we saw this huge column against the blue sky.” Mayon, about 330 kilometres (200 miles) southeast of Manila, has erupted dozens of times in recorded history. In 1814, more than 1,200 people were killed when lava flows buried the town of Cagsawa. In December 2009 tens of thousands of villagers were displaced when Mayon spewed ash and lava. The volcano also erupted in August 2006. There were no direct deaths caused by the explosion, but the following December a passing typhoon unleashed an avalanche of volcanic mud from its slopes that killed 1,000 people. —AFP

Myanmar charges six for sectarian violence YANGON: A court in Myanmar has charged six Muslims with murder for their alleged role in the death of a Buddhist monk during an outbreak of sectarian violence that shook the country in March, authorities said yesterday. The charges issued Monday mark the latest legal action against minority Muslims in the central city of Meikthila, one of several recent flashpoints for antiMuslim violence that rights groups say includes an organized campaign of “ethnic cleansing” in the Buddhist nation. At least 43 people, most of them Muslims, were killed in Meikhtila, some of them hunted down and burnt to death by Buddhist mobs. Authorities have detained Buddhists allegedly involved in the ttacks, but so far none have been charged with crimes. Containing the violence has posed a serious challenge to President Thein Sein’s reformist government as it attempts to institute political and economic liberalization after nearly half a century of military rule. It has also tarnished the image of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been criticized for failing to speak out strongly in defense of the country’s embattled Muslim community. All six men charged Monday face the death penalty if convicted, said Advocate-General Ye Aung Myint. He said the men were among 50 people detained in connection with several days of violence in Meikhtila that also displaced more than 12,000 people, most of them Muslim. The March violence started after a dispute between a gold shop owner, who is Muslim, and some of his customers, who are Buddhists. The argument triggered a wave of anti-Muslim violence across the city that left entire Muslim neighborhoods in flames and charred bodies in the streets. The government declared a state of emergency and deployed the army to restore order. The gold shop owner and two employees, all Muslims, were sentenced by the same court in April to 14 years in prison on charges of theft and causing grievous bodily harm. Among those killed in the riots was a Buddhist monk who was reportedly pulled off his motorbike, attacked and burned. The six men accused of attacking him were part of a larger group, and authorities are searching for four more men, said Ye Aung Myint. The sectarian violence in Myanmar first flared nearly a year ago in western Rakhine state between the region’s Rakhine Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya.

Mobs of Buddhists armed with machetes razed thousands of Muslim homes, leaving hundreds dead and forcing 125,000 people to flee, mostly Muslims. New York-based Human Rights Watch has accused authorities - including Buddhist monks, local politicians, government officials, and state security forces of fomenting an organized campaign of “ethnic cleansing” against the Muslims in Rakhine state. The government has denied the charges. The Rohingya living in Rakhine state are widely seen as foreign intruders from neighboring Bangladesh, and are largely denied citizenship even though many of them have lived in Myanmar for generations. Since the Rakhine violence, religious unrest has morphed into a campaign against the country’s

Muslim community in other regions. The latest violence flared last week when several Muslim villages north of Yangon were burned to the ground. Thein Sein vowed Monday that his government would do everything it can to protect the rights of minority Muslims. In a speech broadcast on state television late Monday, Thein Sein said his “government will take all necessary action to ensure the basic human rights of Muslims in Rakhine state, and to accommodate the needs and expectations of the Rakhine people.” “In order for religious freedom to prevail, there must be tolerance and mutual respect among the members of different faiths,” he said. Only then, he added, “will it be possible to coexist peacefully.” —AP

PETALING JAYA: Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim answers a question during a press conference at his party head office in Petaling Jaya yesterday. Anwar called for a rally today, to protest at a victory he said was achieved via the “worst electoral fraud in our history” and which saw the ruling camp win with a minority of the vote. —AFP

Anwar calls mass rally to back charges of poll fraud KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim vowed yesterday to lead a “fierce movement” to reform the country’s electoral system and challenge the results of an election he lost, starting with a rally of supporters this week. Anwar has contested the results of the most closely fought election since Malaysia was engulfed in race riots in 1969, accusing the ruling party of fraud, including use of immigrants as proxy voters, charges the government denies. He has called for a mass rally outside the capital today. But his mobilisation of supporters, echoing the “reformasi” movement he led 15 years ago, is unlikely to prevent Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Barisan Nasional (BN) from extending its unbroken run as Malaysia’s government following independence from Britain in 1957. By yesterday afternoon, about 20,000 people had confirmed on a Facebook page that they would attend the rally. But the gathering is not backed by the Bersih (clean) civil society group that has mobilised tens of thousands of people in protests that have shaken the government in recent years. The rally, which Anwar emphasised was not a protest, is to take place in a stadium with a capacity of about 40,000 in Selangor state near Kuala Lumpur, retained by the opposition in state elections held alongside the national poll. The rally “will be the beginning of a fierce movement to clean this country from election malpractices and fraud”, the 65year-old former finance minister told a news conference. Anwar said the opposition had ample evidence to challenge the election result in up to 29 seats, enough to call into question the overall national result. The government rejected the opposi-

tion’s claims, saying the result which returned Najib to power with about 57 percent of the seats in parliament was in line with opinion polls in recent weeks. Najib’s BN, however, won only 47 percent of the popular vote, compared with the opposition’s 50 percent. “The opposition has made a host of unsubstantiated allegations about the elections,” a government spokesman said. The country’s Election Commission, which is a unit of the prime minister’s office and has been criticised by the opposition and civil society groups as biased, is unlikely to investigate Anwar’s charges. The opposition alliance won 89 seats in parliament compared to the BN’s 133, despite the ruling coalition receiving a minority of votes nationally for the first time in 44 years. Bersih has said it will hold a “peoples’ tribunal” to investigate evidence of fraud before deciding whether to hold another major protest. The rally offers a reminder of Anwar’s past efforts to challenge one of the world’s longest-serviving governments after his meteoric career came crashing down in 1998 when he fell out with the then-prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, his mentor and Malaysia’s longest-serving leader. He was sacked as deputy prime minister and imprisoned on what he says were politically motivated charges of sodomy and corruption after clashing with Mahathir over his handling of the Asian financial crisis that battered Malaysia. Many saw the events as a premature power play that failed badly for Anwar, who critics say is still motivated by intense personal ambition. However, his arrest sparked street protests calling for “reformasi”, or reform, that still resonate today, especially for a younger generation eager for change. —Reuters

Obama, S Korea to show united front on N Korea

NAYPYITAW: In this photo taken Monday, May 6, 2013, Myanmar President Thein Sein delivers a televised speech in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. Thein Sein vowed that his government would do everything it can to protect the rights of minority Muslims in the speech broadcast on state television. A court in Myanmar has charged six Muslims with murder for their alleged role in the death of a Buddhist monk during an outbreak of sectarian violence that shook the country in March, authorities said yesterday. —AP

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama and South Korea’s new leader Park Geunhye will seek to present a strong front against North Korea’s nuclear threats when they meet at the White House today. But they also want to leave the door open to talks with Pyongyang. Park has had something of a baptism of fire since she took office in February, two weeks after North Korea’s latest atomic test that has ratcheted up tensions on the divided Korean Peninsula and undermined her hopes of forging a more trusting relationship with a difficult neighbor. In Washington, Park’s assured of a warm reception on a visit that also marks the 60th anniversary of the US-South Korean alliance. Her Oval Office meeting, working lunch and joint press conference with Obama will be followed today by an address to a joint meeting of Congress. White House senior director for Asian affairs, Daniel Russel, said Obama would reaffirm the US commitment to the defense of South Korea. He said the joint appearance of the two leaders at the White House would make it crystal clear to Pyongyang that the allies stand shoulder-to-shoulder.

“In dealing with North Korea, it’s vital we show unity,” Russel told reporters. Park touched down in New York Monday, meeting first with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Kimoon - a former South Korean foreign minister - who praised her “firm but measured” response to North Korean provocations. Park, the first democratically elected female leader in Nor theast Asia, is no stranger to Seoul’s Blue House, as the residence of the chief executive is known. She’s the daughter of the late South Korean dictator Park Chung-hee and in her 20s took over the duties of first lady for five years after a gunman claiming orders from North Korea killed her mother in a botched attack targeting her father. While focused squarely on the North Korean threat, Park’s visit will be a chance to build a rapport with Obama, who enjoyed an unusually close bond with the previous South Korean leader, Lee Myung-bak. The two presided over the adoption of a USSouth Korean free trade pact in 2012 that expanded the scope of an alliance largely built on security ties and deterring an attack from the North. Some 28,500 US troops are still based in South Korea for that purpose. —AP



Russian fighter jets fly over the Kremlin cathedrals during a rehearsal of the Victory Day parade in Moscow yesterday. Russia celebrates the 1945 Soviet victory over Nazi Germany on May 9. — AFP

Iranian presidential race gets underway TEHRAN: Iran’s presidential race got underway yesterday as authorities officially opened the registration process for candidates in next month’s election that will pick a successor to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and offer a critical test for reformists battered after years of crackdowns. The campaign is also taking shape as open season on Ahmadinejad’s legacy and his combative style that bolstered his stature among supporters but brought increasing alarm from critics. Ahmadinejad is barred by law from seeking a third term due to term limits under Iran’s constitution. Many of the expected frontrunners have promised to seek more measured diplomacy with the West and work to end Iran’s nuclear standoff with world powers although such major policies are ultimately decided by the country’s ruling clerics. In his first comments after filing his candidacy, former nuclear negotiator Hasan Rowhani, pledged “constructive interaction with the world” to try to address concerns that Iran could move toward an atomic weapon - a charge Tehran denies. Meanwhile, the leaders of the reform movement four years ago are now under house arrests and liberal groups have faced relentless pressures since major unrest to protest Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election in 2009. Prominent pro-reform figures, such as former President Mohammad Khatami, will not seek

spots on the June 14 ballot. The news website nasimonline.ir quoted Khatami yesterday as saying he won’t run, which fits with his previous hints of staying out. That leaves opposition and liberal groups the option of boycotting the election or falling behind one of the candidates cleared by the ruling clerics, who will vet all hopefuls who submit their names during the fiveday registration period. Only a handful of candidates are expected to be approved when the final list is unveiled later this month by the Guardian Council, the group that supervises the election. The slate is almost certainly to be heavily stacked with candidates considered loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has been angered by challenges to his authority by Ahmadinejad and the president’s allies. Among the presumed front-runners is senior Khamenei adviser Ali Akbar Velayati, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf and Rowhani, who registered his candidacy in the first hours as the process got underway yesterday. Rowhani also said he wants a “government of prudence and hope” that will seek “reconciliation” with the West and ease sanctions that targeted Iran’s vital oil exports. He added that he wants to put Iran’s nuclear “case on the right track” through more active contacts with the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency to bolster Tehran’s claims that it only

has peaceful objectives. “Therefore, it shouldn’t remain in the Security Council, and the continuation of sanctions doesn’t make sense,” he said. Inside Iran, the ruling clerics seek an end to the political battles opened by Ahmadinejad and more coordination with the presidency in strategies on nuclear talks and efforts to confront international sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear program. All key policies are made by the theocracy and its inner circle, including the powerful Revolutionary Guard. But the president is the international face of the country and is responsible for increasingly important sectors, such as the nation’s stumbling economy. Most of the main candidates have vowed to shun Ahmadinejad’s bombastic style and seek to reduce tensions with the West and its allies. But all strongly support Iran’s ability to maintain a full-scale nuclear program, including uranium enrichment. The US and others fear Iran could eventually develop nuclear weapons, but Iran insists it only seeks reactors for energy and medical research. Another major subplot in the election is the fate of Ahmadinejad’s top political protege, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, who is expected to seek a spot on the ballot. Ahmadinejad has endorsed Mashaei as his personally groomed heir. But Mashaei’s reputation has faced

severe blows in the backlash over Ahmadinejad’s failed attempts to encroach on the Khamenei’s powers. Mashaei has been denounced as part of a “deviant current” opposing Islamic rule and some critics even claimed he used magic spells to cloud Ahmadinejad’s mind. It’s possible Mashaei would be rejected for the ballot and force Ahmadinejad who still has considerable support around the country - to align himself with another candidate. In a live TV broadcast, Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar urged presidential hopefuls to register quickly and not wait until the last moment. Leading candidates usually

wait until the last days of the registration period, which ends Saturday evening. Some presidential hopefuls, mostly little known, rushed to register yesterday morning. Among them were former housing minister Mohammad Saeedikia, former health minister Kamran Bagheri Lankarani and former Vice President Sadegh Vaezadeh. Reformists in Iran remain in disarray after the relentless crackdowns in the wake of the 2009 protests over claims their victory was stolen by vote rigging. In recent weeks, controls and blocks on Internet traffic appeared to be boosted in possible attempts to limit opposition voices during the elec-

tion period. Opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi have been under house arrest since early 2011. Along with Khatami, another former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, is not expected to seek comeback bids. The main liberal-leaning candidate considered by the Guardian Council could be former Vice President Mohammad Reza Aref, who served in Khatami’s administration. Another pro-reform hopeful, former parliament member Mostafa Kavakebian, said he picked his campaign color as green in a clear link to the now-crushed Green Movement of Mousavi. — AP

Three US women missing for decade found alive Continued from Page 1 The city heaved a sigh of relief at the happy ending to a horrible story. The women were released from a Cleveland hospital early yesterday. “For Amanda’s family, for Gina’s family, for Michele’s family, prayers have finally been answered,” FBI special agent Steve Anthony told a press conference. “The nightmare is over. These three young ladies have provided us with the ultimate definition of survival and perseverance. The healing can now begin,” Anthony said. Cleveland Director of Public Safety Martin Flask said police had not been alerted to anything untoward happening at the house on Seymour Avenue. Police came to the house twice over the years - once in 2000 when the detained owner Ariel Castro reported a fight in the street, and again in 2004 because in his job as a school bus driver, he had inadvertently left a child on board when he parked the vehicle at a lot. No charges were filed, Flask said. What went on in the house for the past decade or so will come out in time from the women themselves, deputy police chief Ed Tomba said. “They are going to have to tell us that,” he said. “Obviously, there was a long period of time where nobody saw them. So we have to wait until we interview them and hopefully they are going to tell us exactly what went on in there. They were the only ones there along with the suspects,” he added. Tomba said he has seen the women Monday night and they seemed to be in fairly good health, although he said “they needed a good meal”. The long nightmare ended when Berry - kidnapped 10 years ago at the age of 16, just shy of her 17th birthday, - reached her arm through a crack in the front door and called for help. “I heard screaming... And I see this girl going nuts trying to get outside of the house,” neighbor Charles Ramsey told the local ABC news affiliate. “I go on the porch, and she said, ‘Help me get out. I’ve been here a long time’.” Ramsey, a bystander now hailed as a hero, said he tried to get her out through the door but could not pull it open, so he kicked out the bottom and she crawled through, “carrying a little girl”. Authorities later confirmed the six-year-old child was hers. They gave no information about the identity of the father.

Berry went into a neighboring home and called police, begging them to come as soon as they could, “before he gets back”. “I’m Amanda Berry. (...) I’ve been kidnapped and I’ve been missing for 10 years and am here. I’m free now,” a frantic Berry says in the recording of her 911 call to emergency services. When police arrived, she said two other women were being held captive. Berry was last seen on April 21, 2003, when she left work at a fast food restaurant just a few blocks from her home. DeJesus was 14 when she vanished while walking home from school on April 2, 2004. Knight, who was 20 at the time of her disappearance, was last seen at a cousin’s house on Aug 23, 2002, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. There was no word on the fate of a fourth missing girl, Ashley Summers, who disappeared from the same vicinity in July of 2007 aged 14 and who police investigated as possibly linked to the Berry and DeJesus cases, according to the Charley Project website, which documents more than 9,000 missing-persons cases. Details about Ariel Castro started to emerge. Jannette Gomez, 50, who often visited family and friends on the street, said Castro would park his motorcycle and red pickup truck behind the house, lock the gate and enter the house through a back door, the Plain Dealer said. Sometimes he would turn on a dim porch light, but the house was always dark, Gomez said. Windows were blocked by shades and at least one window was boarded up, she was quoted as saying. The case immediately recalled some of the most notorious child kidnappings. Jaycee Dugard turned up 18 years after she was kidnapped at the age of 11 in the US state of California. She had been kept in a hidden backyard behind the house of her captor, Phillip Garrido, and had two children with him. Elizabeth Smart was 14 when she was taken from the bedroom of her home in June 2002 and repeatedly raped by a selfstyled prophet during nine months of captivity. Smart was rescued in March 2003 less than 30 km from her home. Her abductor, Brian David Mitchell, was jailed for life in 2011. Austrian Natascha Kampusch was kidnapped at age 10 by Wolfgang Priklopil, who held her captive in a cellar for eight years before she managed to escape in 2006. He threw himself under a train the night she got away. — Agencies

TEHRAN: Iranian Behrouz Vossoughi Rad, who claims to work in the film industry, poses for photographers as he registers his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election at the interior ministry yesterday. — AFP

MP wants citizenship for non-Muslims too Continued from Page 1 families waiting to get government houses from KD 150 to KD 250. Zalzalah said the government had no objection to raising the housing loan but said it will have to study the other proposal. The proposal entails Kuwaitis who had only got the KD 70,000 loan to seek the difference of KD 30,000. The Cabinet had already decided to raise the housing loan to KD 100,000 but

has not implemented the decision. Regarding the housing allowance, the government currently pays KD 150 monthly to every Kuwaiti family that is waiting for its turn to receive a government house. The committee decided to raise this to KD 250. Zalzalah said the government has been told to supervise the real estate market to prevent landlords from exploiting the expected raise to increase rents. The criminal court yesterday postponed until Sept 17 the case of several

former opposition MPs including Musallam Al-Barrak on charges of insulting the Jordanian monarch King Abdullah II. The insults were reportedly made at an opposition demonstration staged in November last year. The foreign ministry protested at the insults and took the case to court. The court also struck down a suspended one-month jail term against opposition activist Abbas Al-Shaabi and acquitted him on charges of taking part in illegal protests.

Imran Khan injured in fall Continued from Page 1 He is alright,” Faisal Sultan, the director of Shaukat Khanam hospital, told reporters. People at the rally venue, where thousands had gathered, expressed sadness. “Passion and love for Imran Khan brought all these people here. We are still here, all we can do is pray now,” said Sobia Khan, a PTI supporter. PTI spokeswoman Shirin Mazari told AFP Khan was injured on his forehead, but was conscious. Party officials had initially said Khan would be back to address the rally, but he was later transferred from a small private hospital to the Shaukat Khanam cancer hospital he set up in honour of his mother for specialist treatment. Television images showed Khan being transported on a stretcher, his head swathed in bandages. Khan’s former

wife Jemima Khan tweeted: “He’s in hospital & conscious now.” Khan earned legendary status in the country when he led the underdog national team to the 1992 cricket World Cup to a victory. He later joined politics but it wasn’t until just a few years ago that his PTI party gained a widespread national following. Hundreds of well wishers and party supporters gathered outside the hospital, chanting “Long Live Imran Khan”, an AFP reporter said. Khan’s main rival, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif tipped to win the election, conveyed his sympathies over Khan’s fall and was praying for his early recovery, his Pakistan Mulsim League-N party spokesman Siddiqul Farooq told AFP. Interim Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso expressed concern over Khan’s injury and wished him a quick recovery. — Agencies





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‘Chinese tsunami’ hits Malaysia By Dan Martin

alaysia’s Chinese minority has for decades gone about its business and left leadership to a Malay-dominated regime, but in weekend polls they deserted it in what the premier called a “Chinese tsunami”. Prime Minister Najib Razak’s term has since gone viral, touching off a debate over whether Sunday’s bitter election battle presages a deepening divide between increasingly assertive urban Chinese and the country’s majority Muslim Malays. “Overall, the results show a trend of polarisation which worries the government,” Najib said after declaring victory Monday, ruefully noting a “tsunami from the Chinese community.” Malaysia has enjoyed relative harmony among its main ethnicities for decades under the authoritarian template of the Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition, but the mere mention of racial tension remains a sensitive issue. The political and economic system is built on decades-old policies that prop up Malays to prevent dominance by the Chinese, who immigrated under British colonialism and control much of the economy despite making up just a quarter of the 28-million population. The ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which has towered over Barisan and the country since independence in 1957, routinely refers to deadly 1969 racial riots as a warning against minorities threatening this status quo. But minority Chinese and Indians increasingly reject their “second-class” status, egged on by an opposition that made its best showing ever Sunday. “For the very first time in Malaysia’s political history... the Chinese have decided to vote as a bloc and they have decided to vote the opposition,” said James Chin, a lecturer with Monash University. Chinese are angry about Barisan corruption and feel “marginalised”, he said. After an often racially divisive campaign by Barisan, which the opposition says was tainted by massive fraud, the regime largely held firm in the 222-seat parliament, retaining a solid majority as core rural Malay support held. But several urban, Chinese-heavy seats tumbled to the three-party opposition, whose Chinese-dominated Democratic Action Party (DAP) was the alliance’s big winner, gaining nine seats to end at 38. The results were a snub to Najib, who reached out to minorities after a 2008 election setback with a much-touted racial-unity program that is now in tatters. It is considered imperative in Malaysia for government to project at least a facade of diversity, and Barisan’s mix of 13 parties, several ethnic-based, were its claim to legitimacy. But voters continued to desert its minority parties, which political analysts said increasingly reveals Barisan as a Malay camp under UMNO’s thumb. “We’re lucky to still be in government at the federal level,” said Saifuddin Abdullah, a Barisan reform voice who lost his seat Sunday, citing the “Chinese tsunami”. “There needs to be a new BN (Barisan),” he told online media, adding it was worrying that Barisan won with only a minority of the popular vote. It held power thanks to a system of seat allocations that, critics say, unfairly favours Barisan strongholds. But analysts said Najib faces an uphill task wooing back a Chinese community that UMNO has routinely made a bogeyman to shore up Malay support. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has for years called for reform of policies that give Malays advantages in business, education and home-buying, which he says are abused by a rich Malay elite. Sensing the public mood, Najib also has promised some reforms. But top opposition figure Lim Kit Siang, an ethnic Chinese who heads the DAP, said the country was set for deeper racial trouble if Najib does not fundamentally change the regime’s ways. “So long as he refuses to admit that, so long as he wants to polarise and racialise (the vote results), then they themselves are guilty of a racist outlook and they are incapable of any national reconciliation,” he said. — AFP


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Regional players openly engaging in Syria war By Sara Hussein egional players are intervening more and more openly in Syria, some emboldened by the chaos created by the conflict, others desperate to prevent the fall of the regime, experts say. The conflict between President Bashar AlAssad’s government and rebel forces has divided the Middle East, with his allies - Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah - lined up against Gulf states which back the uprising. Israel has publicly refrained from backing one side or the other, but warned that the turmoil must not result in the transfer of advanced weapons to arch-foe Hezbollah. Over the past week, the Jewish state has reportedly twice carried out air strikes against Syrian military sites, with senior Israeli sources saying they targeted Iranian weapons bound for the Shiite group. The strikes followed an admission by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah that the group’s members are fighting in Syria. The leader also pledged that Assad’s “true friends” would not allow his regime to fall. “Many people are now starting to see this as a zero-sum game,” said Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Center. “If you look around the region, whether it’s the Jordanians, the Israelis, Hezbollah and the Iranians... this is becoming much more of an existential struggle.” Since the start of the conflict, the sectarian fault lines dividing the Sunni-led opposition from the regime, which hails from the Alawite minority, a Shiite offshoot, have made the civil war an attractive target for regional intervention. Sunni Arab states in the Gulf have openly backed rebel forces, while Shiite Iran and its partner Hezbollah have rallied to Assad’s side. Israel has watched with concern, reluctant to lose a reliable enemy in Assad while increasingly worried both by the Salafist role in the revolt and by the involvement of Iran and Hezbollah, its biggest regional foes. “We’re in a regional proxy war in Syria, it’s quite clear, particularly between the key Gulf states and the Iranians and its partners such as Hezbollah,” Shaikh said. Israel’s intervention in the conflict may be more opportunistic, analysts there said. “Israel is actually changing the equation and saying ‘From now on, I won’t allow what’s being going on for 20 years - the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah,” Syria expert Eyal Zisser told Israeli army radio. “I am exploiting the weakness of Bashar who really has his hands tied and who really can’t do anything to Israel, and every time that I hear that Iran is transferring weapons to Hezbollah, I won’t allow it.” For Hezbollah, which relies on Damascus as a weapons supply route and key regional backer, the fall of the Assad regime would be disastrous. Iran, which has invested heavily in the Syrian government, is equally intent on maintaining its key foothold in the Arab world. With the stakes so high and their roles increasingly exposed, regional players have little


choice but to admit their interventions and have little to lose by doing so, experts said. “Hezbollah has already declared that it is operational and active in Qusayr” in central Syria, Hezbollah expert Amal Saad-Ghorayeb told AFP. “The Iranians have admitted in the past that they have advisors there and yesterday we heard them say they were ready to train the Syrians... the involvement of these actors has become more open,” she said. “But I also think that it has increased.” The intervention raises the prospect of a dangerous “regionalisation” of the conflict, the analysts warned. “With all his problems, Assad does not want to start a war, but he could fire missiles at Israel,” the Jewish state’s former National Security Council head told Israeli radio. “Maybe we’re treading a very fine line.” Israel’s air strikes also raise the spectre of new violence between it and Hezbollah, which fought a devastating war in Lebanon in 2006, or a Syrian response that could swiftly escalate.

After an emergency cabinet meeting on Sunday, the Syrian government warned that the air raids had made the situation in the region “more dangerous”. “I don’t think Hezbollah’s going to respond to this,” Saad-Ghorayeb said. “What’s problematic is how Syria’s going to respond,” she said, adding that Damascus was unlikely to respond “conventionally” but would feel forced to produce some reaction to avoid emboldening Israel. “I think what’s required now is for them (Syria) to find a way to respond in an unconventional way that wouldn’t drag the region into a war.” For Shaikh, the crisis has already drawn in much of the region, and the opposing stands of the United States, which backs the uprising, and Russia, the regime’s strongest ally, pose an even greater threat. “The danger is that we may get into a global proxy war because we also have great powers... on opposing sides,” he said. “Containment should not be seen as an option here, it’s not a containable crisis.” —AFP

Spanish UN peacekeepers pass a poster of Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, as they patrol the Lebanese side of the Lebanese-Israeli border in the southern village of Kfar Kila, Lebanon yesterday. — AP

Kampusch, a scarred child kidnap survivor By Simon Sturdee he first words of the young Austrian woman who emerged in 2006 after eight years held captive in an underground bunker were eerily similar to those of Amanda Berry when she called police in Ohio on Monday. “My name is Natascha Kampusch. You must have heard of my case,” she told incredulous police more than 3,000 days since disappearing on her way to school. “I’m Amanda Berry. I’ve been kidnapped. I’ve been missing for 10 years,” said Berry, found on Monday with two others missing for years, according to a recording of her frantic 911 call. In perhaps the most notorious case of its kind, unemployed telecoms engineer Wolfgang Priklopil grabbed Kampusch from a pavement in Vienna and bundled her into his van on March 2, 1998. There he shut her in an underground room of less than six square metres he had constructed under his garage at his house in nearby Strasshof. He told Kampusch that the doors and windows of her dungeon were booby trapped and that her family had forgotten about her. Over the following years, he hit her repeatedly, gave her very little to eat sometimes nothing for days on end - and forced himself upon her once she reached puberty. “I never screamed... My body was unable to scream. It was a silent scream,” Kampusch, now 25, said earlier this year of


her ordeal. Taking advantage of a momentary lapse of concentration by Priklopil - he was talking on his mobile phone about selling the same white van he had kidnapped her with - Kampusch ran away on a summer’s day in 2006. Priklopil committed suicide by throwing himself under a suburban train the same day. He was 44. Just like Berry and her fellow prisoners

Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight, Kampusch also emerged into a media storm, making headlines around the world. She has since written a book about her experience, given several television interviews and earlier this year a movie, “3096 Days”, named after the length of her imprisonment, was released. But Kampusch appears to have struggled to readjust to

This May 15, 2008 file photo shows former kidnapping victim Natascha Kampusch as she arrives at the main court in Graz, Austria. — AFP

normal life, saying she has “grown apart” from her parents. She lives alone in Vienna with her pet fish and orchids, and likes watching crime series on TV. Having missed out on an education, Kampusch worked to complete her school studies and began training to be a goldsmith, which she then abandoned. In 2011, she opened a children’s hospital in Sri Lanka, funded by the many donations she has received and money earned from her autobiography. Her best friend, she said in an interview with German television this year watched by 4.7 million people, is her hairdresser. “The time I am most happy is when I am sitting in the chair and she is doing my hair,” she said in her tiny voice. “I try to go about every day in a positive way, to deal with what happened to me,” she said. “A carefree youth is something I will never be able to get back again. What helps me now is to communicate with other people and that these people share with me experiences from their youth.” Kampusch has also spoken of her confused feelings about mummy’s boy Priklopil, saying she cried when she heard he was dead. “With my escape, I hadn’t only freed myself of my tormentor. I’d also lost someone who was inevitably very close to me,” she wrote in her book. Kampusch said that Priklopil, “the man who beat me, locked me in his cellar and let me almost starve to death, wanted to be cuddled”. — AFP



Next Chelsea boss is an open secret, says Benitez LONDON: Rafa Benitez, one win away from sealing a top-four finish for Chelsea in the Premier League and one more from a European trophy, ruled out extending his stay at Stamford Bridge yesterday, saying the identity of his successor was an open secret. The Spaniard, still unpopular with a section of Chelsea’s support from his days with Liverpool, has impressed as the club’s interim manager and victory at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday would all but secure a place in at least the qualifying round for the Champions League. “You know that next year another manager will be here and I think every one knows who will be here,” Benitez said in a televised news conference, when asked if his success at the club could lead to a longer stay. Self-proclaimed “Special One” Jose Mourinho is the hot favourite to return to Chelsea from Real Madrid, having won two Premier League titles for the club during his first stint in charge which ended in 2007. “It’s not my concern what will happen here next season, I’m just concentrating on doing my job,” Benitez, who will lead the side against Portuguese club Benfica in the Europa League final in Amsterdam this month, said. Interim manager since the sacking of Roberto di Matteo in November, Benitez said he would not be considering his next move until his Chelsea mission was complete. “I’m just thinking about Tottenham now,” he said. “ Chelsea will have Eden Hazard available after he missed Sunday’s 1-0 win at Manchester United through injury.—Reuters

Shuttlers to get two challenges per match

Pacquiao returns to take on Rios in Macau

MUMBAI: Shuttlers will be allowed two challenges when badminton uses technology to rule on contentious decisions for the first time at next month’s Indonesia Open, the governing body of the sport said. The system, featuring ultra-slow motion cameras, will allow players to review line calls and umpire overrules, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) said in a statement. “Challenges must be made immediately after the shuttle has landed and the call made by the line judge and before the commencement of the serve for the next rally,” the BWF said. Badminton has joined tennis, rugby and cricket in adopting a review system. A successful appeal will mean the player retains the challenge while two failed reviews will leave the shuttler without another for the remainder of the match, the BWF said. Tennis players are allowed three successful challenges per set, with another one permitted in tiebreakers. Top shuttlers including Lee Chong Wei, Taufik Hidayat and Saina Nehwal, have already welcomed the use of the new system, which they feel will help eradicate heated line-call disputes from the sport. “Sometimes at crucial moments it is absolutely required, when you know that the decision has surely gone against you,” India’s doubles specialist and 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Ashwini Ponnappa, told Reuters last month. —Reuters

SINGAPORE: Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring to fight American Brandon Rios in a 12-round welterweight clash in Macau on Nov. 24, the Filipino’s publicist told Reuters yesterday. It will be Pacquiao’s first fight since he was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in December, a defeat that prompted many to suggest the 34-year-old should retire after being left unconscious, face down on the canvas by his Mexican rival. However, Pacquiao, winner of world titles at eight different weight divisions, has ignored the calls to quit and after the lengthy break will fight at the Cotai Arena in The Venetian Macao-Resort and Hotel, Fred Sternburg said. It will be a first bout outside the United States since 2006 for Pacquiao 54-5-2 (38 knockouts), who also lost to Timothy Bradley in his only other bout last year. The back-to-back defeats have seemingly ended all hope of a lucrative clash against undefeated American Floyd Mayweather Jr. Rios 31-1-1 (23 knockouts) is also coming off a loss, Mike Alvarado claiming a unanimous points decision in their March contest in Las Vegas. Pacquiao’s trainer Freddy Roach predicted a swift end to the non-title bout. “Manny is definitely going to get his mojo back with this fight,” Roach told ESPN.com. —Reuters

Blue Jays down Rays

LOS ANGELES: Cody Ross No. 7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks slides past catcher AJ Ellis No. 17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers to score a run in the ninth inning. — AFP

Diamondbacks thrash Dodgers LOS ANGELES: Trevor Cahill drove in Arizona’s first two runs with his first major league triple as the Diamondbacks sent the Los Angeles Dodgers to their fifth straight loss, 9-2 on Monday night. Cahill (2-3) allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings, improving to 5-0 with a 2.10 ERA in eight starts against the Dodgers. Chris Capuano (0-2) gave up six runs five earned - and eight hits in four-plus innings as Los Angeles dropped to a season-high five games under .500 at 13-18. Paul Goldschmidt and Cody Ross hit consecutive homers in the fourth after a glaring error by left fielder Carl Crawford, helping Arizona to just its second win in seven games. PHILLIES 6, GIANTS 2 In San Francisco, Cliff Lee (3-2) allowed two runs and five hits in eight innings, struck out six and walked none to outpitch fellow southpaw Madison Bumgarner. Lee is 5-0 with a 0.88 ERA in six regular-season starts against the Giants. Michael Young hit a two-run double, Hunter Pence hit a solo homer, double and single against his former club and Domonic Brown hit a solo home run as the Phillies stopped the World Series champion’s season-best six-game winning streak. Bumgarner (3-1) gave up five runs and eight hits in six innings. He is 0-1 in four outings following a 3-0 start. PADRES 5, MARLINS 0 In San Diego, Andrew Cashner (2-2) pitched a career-high 7 1-3 innings of fourhit ball and combined with Dale Thayer on a five-hitter in front of a season-low crowd of 14,596 at Petco Park.

Miami was shut out for the fifth time this season, tying Atlanta and Philadelphia for most in the majors. The Marlins are last in the big leagues with a .226 team batting average and 98 runs this season. Wade LeBlanc (0-5) allowed four runs - three earned - and four hits over five innings in his first career start against his former team. He is 0-7 with a 6.35 ERA in his last 12 appearances dating to last season. BRAVES 7, REDS 4 In Cincinnati, Andrelton Simmons homered twice and drove in a career-high four runs, helping stop Cincinnati’s threegame winning streak. Paul Maholm (4-3) allowed four hits and two runs in 5 2-3 innings, and Craig Kimbrel gave up a pair of singles in the ninth before fanning Joey Votto for his 10th save. Cincinnati stranded five runners in scoring position. Atlanta scored in four of five innings against Bronson Arroyo (2-4), who gave up four runs, eight hits and two walks in his shortest outing this season. CUBS 9, RANGERS 2 In Chicago, Scott Feldman (3-3) allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings against his former team before leaving with a cramp in his pitching hand. Chicago Cubs came within three outs of its first shutout since Aug. 26. Texas scored a pair of unearned runs in the ninth after a throwing error by third baseman Luis Valbuena. Anthony Rizzo had three hits, four RBIs and his ninth home run as the Cubs stopped a four-game losing streak. and set season highs for runs and victory margin. Tepesch (2-3) gave up six runs - five earned - six hits and four walks in four innings. —AP

England to play Ashes tour match in town called Alice SYDNEY: England will play a two-day match against a Chairman’s XI in Alice Springs between the first and second tests on their Ashes tour of Australia later this year, Cricket Australia announced yesterday. The match, originally scheduled for Canberra, will take place on Nov. 29-30 with the England team travelling to and from the Northern Territories by specially arranged direct flights. It will be the first match in the town for the full England side, although an England A fixture is among a handful of international fixtures previously played at Traeger Park. The last touring side to play in Alice was a West Indies team led by Jimmy Adams, who beat a Northern Territory Invitation XI by 57 runs in 2000. “It’s been 13 years since Traeger Park hosted an international cricket team and I’m delighted this drought will now be broken in November,” Northern Territory Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism Matt Conlan said. “We’ll be encouraging England supporters to make the trip to Alice Springs for the game, and Tourism NT will use the expo-

sure of the town to promote the Territory as a holiday destination in one of our key international markets, the United Kingdom.” Situated in the geographic centre of Australia, Alice Springs is a town of 25,000 people and hosts the annual Imparja Cup cricket tournament which attracts indigenous teams from around the country. Canberra was unable to host the match because the Manuka Oval ground will be undergoing resurfacing work at the time. “When we were informed that Canberra could not host this year’s Chairman’s XI fixture, we wanted to bring the match to an iconic part of Australia,” said Cricket Australia’s Andrew Ingleton. England tour schedule: Oct 31-Nov 2 Western Australia XI Perth Nov 6-9 Australia AHobart Nov 13-16 New South Wales XI Sydney Nov 21-25 First test Brisbane Nov 29-30 Chairman’s XI Alice Springs Dec 5-9Second test Adelaide Dec 13-17 Third test Perth Dec 26-30 Fourth test Melbourne Jan 3-7Fifth test Sydney. —Reuters

ST. PETERSBURG: JP Arencibia hit a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth inning off Fernando Rodney as the Toronto Blue Jays completed their comeback from a seven-run deficit, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 8-7 on Monday night. The last time Toronto rallied from at least seven runs down to win was June 5, 2007, when it overcame an 8-1 margin to beat Tampa Bay 12-11, according to STATS LLC. Tampa Bay last lost a lead of at least seven runs was May 25, 2009, when Cleveland came back from a 10-0 deficit to win 11-10. This time, Evan Longoria hit his third career grand slam as Tampa Bay built a 7-0 lead that Jeremy Hellickson and four relievers failed to protect before a season-low crowd of 9,952 at Tropicana Field. Toronto trailed 7-6 when Adam Lind drew a leadoff walk against Rodney (1-1). Pinch-runner Emilio Bonifacio stole second and continued to third on catcher Jose Molina’s throwing error with no outs. Rodney retired the next two batters before Arencibia lined a 2-2 pitch into the left-field seats. Darren Oliver (1-1) got the win and Casey Janssen worked a perfect ninth for his eighth save. RED SOX 6, TWINS 5 In Boston, Stephen Drew doubled in the winning run with two outs in the 11th inning as the Red Sox snapped a season-high, threegame losing streak. Drew, who entered the game batting .182, homered and had four hits. Dustin Pedroia hit a solo shot in the eighth for a 5-4 lead, but Joel Hanrahan gave up Brian Dozier’s homer in the ninth and left one out later with right forearm tightness. Clayton Mortensen (1-2) earned the win with 2 1-3 innings of scoreless relief. Pedroia and Shane Victorino had three hits apiece, and David Ortiz doubled in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 26 games. Jared Burton (0-1) retired his first two batters in the 11th, then gave up a swinging bunt single to Jarrod Saltalamacchia when the pitcher’s throw pulled first baseman Justin Morneau off the bag. Will Middlebrooks singled, and Drew hit a line drive to the base of the Green Monster in left-center. INDIANS 7, ATHLETICS 3 In Cleveland, Asdrubal Cabrera homered twice and Mark Reynolds hit one to the deepest reaches of Progressive Field, leading the Indians to the victory. Jason Kipnis and Cabrera hit consecutive homers in the first inning off Jarrod Parker (15). In the fifth, Cabrera homered again and Reynolds launched a 460-foot shot - his 10th this season - that nearly cleared the left-field bleachers. The four homers backed Ubaldo Jimenez (2-2), who had his second straight solid outing. Jimenez struck out a season-high eight in 5 2-3 innings as Cleveland won for the seventh time in eight games. Jason Giambi hit a clutch, two-run single and Ryan Raburn doubled home a run in the seventh for the Indians, who had their sixgame winning streak stopped Sunday. Yoenis Cespedes homered and hit a sacrifice fly for Oakland, which had won eight in a row over the Indians. WHITE SOX 2, ROYALS 1 In Kansas City, Jordan Danks atoned for a baserunning blunder in the ninth inning by hitting a solo home run in the 11th that lifted the White Sox to the win. Danks connected with two outs off Kelvin Herrera (2-3) for his first homer of the season.

ST. PETERSBURG: Pitcher Casey Janssen No. 44 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. — AFP

The White Sox avoided a three-game sweep and won for only the fifth time in 18 tries in Kauffman Stadium. The White Sox trailed 1-0 before loading the bases with no outs in the ninth. After Paul Konerko grounded into a home-to-first double play, Danks entered as a pinch runner at second base for Adam Dunn. Conor Gillaspie

was intentionally walked to load the bases. Alexei Ramirez followed with an infield single up the middle that made it 1-all, but Danks was caught in a rundown between third and home and tagged out, ending the rally. Jesse Crain (1-1) got the win and Addison Reed worked the 11th for his 11th save in 12 opportunities. —AP

MLB results/standings Chicago White Sox 2, Kansas City 1 (11 innings); Cleveland 7, Oakland 3; Boston 6, Minnesota 5 (11 innings); Atlanta 7, Cincinnati 4; Toronto 8, Tampa Bay 7; Chicago Cubs 9, Texas 2; Arizona 9, LA Dodgers 2; San Diego 5, Miami 0; Philadelphia 6, San Francisco 2. American League Eastern Division W L PCT Boston 21 11 .656 NY Yankees 18 12 .600 Baltimore 19 13 .594 Tampa Bay 14 17 .452 Toronto 12 21 .364 Central Division Detroit 19 11 .633 Kansas City 17 11 .607 Cleveland 15 14 .517 Minnesota 13 15 .464 Chicago White Sox 13 17 .433 Western Division Texas 20 12 .625 Oakland 18 15 .545 Seattle 15 18 .455 LA Angels 11 20 .355 Houston 8 24 .250

GB 2 2 6.5 9.5 1 3.5 5 6 2.5 5.5 8.5 12

National League Eastern Division Atlanta 19 12 17 15 Washington Philadelphia 15 18 NY Mets 12 16 Miami 10 23 Central Division St. Louis 20 11 17 14 Pittsburgh Cincinnati 18 15 Milwaukee 14 16 Chicago Cubs 12 20 Western Division San Francisco 19 13 18 13 Colorado Arizona 17 15 San Diego 14 18 LA Dodgers 13 18

.613 .531 .455 .429 .303

2.5 5 5.5 10

.645 .548 .545 .467 .375

3 3 5.5 8.5

.594 .581 .531 .438 .419

0.5 2 5 5.5

Zimbabwe look for rare series win in ODI decider BULAWAYO: Zimbabwe and Bangladesh go into today’s third and final one-day international in Bulawayo locked at one match apiece, yet it is the hosts who know they will need to improve their game if they are to claim a rare series victory. After being humiliated by 121 runs in the first match last week, Zimbabwe drew level with a six-wicket victory on Sunday, preventing Bangladesh from extending their unbeaten run in bilateral one-day series to three. However Zimbabwe have enjoyed the benefit of bowling first in both matches so far, with early morning starts giving their seam bowlers an advantage against Bangladesh’s strong top order - none of whom have registered telling scores as a result.

Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Ashraful, Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan remain some of the most dangerous batsmen on either side, yet none have passed 34 in the series thus far. “They are always a side that is very threatening,” Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor said. “Some of their big players have not fired so that’s a concern for us. “However if we can bowl well like we have been bowling up front it’s always going to be tough to score. Hopefully we can execute our skills better and get over the line.” Having shared the two-Test series 1-1, b o t h s i d e s w i l l s e e to d ay ’s m a tc h a s a n opportunity to confirm a modicum of superiority ahead of two Twenty20 internationals at the weekend. — AFP

Tamim Iqbal



McGaughey wins his way — the right way LOUISVILLE: It’s always tougher on a native son. Grow up in the heart of horse country the way Shug McGaughey did, and there’s only one race that ever really matters. McGaughey won big stakes all over the place for the better part of three decades, enough to fashion a Hall of Fame career in the meantime. But all that success meant only so much without the Kentucky Derby. “I may not have let anybody know about that but inside, inside that thought was always there,” McGaughey said. Moments earlier, a colt named Orb kicked up the spray with a stretch run through the slop and erased that worry forever. For the longest time, though, the big bay didn’t seem to have a chance. Under jockey Joel Rosario, Orb settled way back in the pack early and seemed content to stay there. In an odd way, his patience was a reflection of everything McGaughey is about. The trainer brought his first challenger to Churchill Downs in 1984, nearly won it with Easy Goer on a similarly slippery strip five years after that - losing to Sunday Silence and Charlie Whittingham - and then practically disappeared from the scene. For all the

good mounts McGaughey saddled in-between, he was too respectful of the race and too good a horseman to show up without a real contender. He came back exactly once after 1989, with Saarland in 2002, and finished 10th. Empty as it made him feel, McGaughey figured it was less painful to be somewhere else on the first Saturday than walk back to the Churchill barns with just another loser. But as the rain fell steadily on those same barns throughout the morning and much of the afternoon, McGaughey took it as an omen. “I said, ‘A day like today might have cost me one Kentucky Derby. Maybe it will turn around and help us today,” he recalled. The pause that followed almost made it seem like McGaughey was wrestling with his good fortune, like the pragmatist in him wasn’t ever going to let go. “This whole trip has been something that’s different for me,” he resumed. “I don’t know, the last five or six weeks has been as exciting a five or six weeks as I’ve ever had. And to come here the last 12 days and experience what we did, from the fans to the people that have watched him thrive, and then come over today and see the horse run the race he did, well, it’s something I can’t put into words.”

Someone asked McGaughey whether he was screaming when Orb hit the finish line. “I’m not a screamer,” he replied. “Even after this?” came a follow-up. “Well,” McGaughey replied, “when I wake up in the morning, I might scream.” If anything, that would have been most appropriate for the first 90 seconds of the race, as Orb idled in 16th place, apparently much calmer than his jockey. “I was really far back,” Rosario acknowledged afterward. “I said hopefully he can go faster than that.” “I was saying maybe I was too far back,” the jockey added, “but it was so easy.” The colt’s move around the final turn - when he picked off 11 horses and put himself in the race - said plenty about his trainer, too. McGaughey has been good at picking his spots, at least everywhere but in the Derby. He’s second among active trainers in Breeders’ Cup wins and 10th among trainers on the career earnings list, having just passed Whittingham. And just like Orb rolling down the stretch Saturday, once McGaughey gets going, he can be tough to stop. “I’ve seen some things that make me think there is more there,” the trainer replied when the inevitable

question about his colt’s chances at the Triple Crown popped up.McGaughey made the case by listing all the things Orb had to overcome to win the Florida Derby, the most impressive being how patient the colt was before he put down the hammer. “Then to see what I saw today was just ... was something different. I think,” McGaughey paused again, “I think we’ve got our hands on a pretty special horse.” Orb made winners of two of the sport’s most prestigious clans, the Phipps and the Janneys. Neither are Kentucky natives - both made their money long ago on Wall Street - but they never gave up on McGaughey, mostly because they liked the way he approached the sport. And so, when someone asked McGaughey if there was a right way to run a stable, Ogden Mills “Dinny” Phipps interjected, “Can I answer that instead of Shug? He does it the right way.” Asked to explain the “right way,” Phipps didn’t hesitate. “Take your time,” he said. “Let the horse bring you to the race.” It couldn’t have been tougher for McGaughey to do it that way, but for once, it didn’t matter. The right way is the only way he knows. — AP

O’Sullivan bags fifth world title SHEFFIELD: Ronnie O’Sullivan outclassed Barry Hawkins 18-12 on Monday to win his fifth world snooker championship and become only the third man to claim back-toback titles at the Crucible Theatre. The 37year-old Englishman, returning to the sport after a year-long absence, showed no signs of rustiness over the two weeks of competition, culminating in a comfortable win over world number 14 Hawkins. “I thought it was a brilliant final,” O’Sullivan told reporters after making a final-record six century breaks. “Overall, the snooker was really good. “In January/December, I’ll have a

SHEFFIELD: Ronnie O’Sullivan of England poses with the trophy after winning against Barry Hawkins of England in the final match of the World Snooker Championships at The Crucible. —AFP better idea of whether I will return to play here. I enjoyed my year out and I intend to play in some smaller events for the love of the game. “I do appreciate what snooker has done for me and what it’s given me but it’s the build-up I struggle with. It’s hard to keep a lid on what I go through sometimes. “At no stage did I feel relaxed in any

match. You just don’t here. You have to face your demons and that’s why it’s such a hard tournament.” O’Sullivan, 10-7 up overnight, watched his opponent win the opening frame of the day. Breaks of 76 and 55 lifted O’Sullivan to a fourframe lead at 12-8 but the gritty Hawkins produced a break of 90 to take the following frame before O’Sullivan responded with a 133. Hawkins reduced the deficit to four frames at 14-10 before O’Sullivan produced a clearance of 124. The unfancied Hawkins compiled a century of his own with a 127 and then made it 15-12 with a break of 66. Hawkins threatened to move to within two frames of O’Sullivan in frame 28 before a missed red on the cushion proved costly and O’Sullivan punished the error with a break of 77 to lead 16-12. A run of 88 enabled O’Sullivan to claim the following frame and he clinched the title with a fine break of 86. The 34-year-old Hawkins, who has won only one ranking tournament in his career, paid tribute to his fellow countryman O’Sullivan. “There’s no shame in losing 18-12 to him because he’s got to go down as the greatest ever player,” Hawkins said. “He’s a phenomenal talent. “The way he makes it look so easy is frightening. He’s unbelievable. I think I played well but I just made a few mistakes.” Hawkins believes O’Sullivan could go on to beat Stephen Hendry’s record of seven world titles. “If he wants it, I’m sure he could do it if he carries on playing like that,” he said. “I’d like to see him stay because the game is better with him in it.” Six-times world champion Steve Davis became the first man to win back-to-back titles at the Crucible in 1983 and 1984 before Hendry won five in a row in the early 1990s. Hendry holds the record of seven world titles since the tournament moved to its permanent base at the Crucible in 1977. — Reuters

Kuwait ready for shooting tourney By A Sharaa KUWAIT: A large number of Kuwaiti shooters registered to participate in HH The Amir Annual Shooting tournament to start tomorrow at Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Olympic Shooting Complex. Kuwait Shooting Sports Club Assistant Treasurer head of the financial committee, Adnan Nasser Al-Ibrahim said all participants have equal opportunity to win, as a large number of them had the honor to represent Kuwait in various categories during international, regional and Arab championships during the 2012/2013 season.

Shooter Mariam Erzouqi Al-Ibrahim thanked HH The Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad for his support of the shooting community, through moral and material incentives, to continue making their achievements, because his encour-

Shooter Salah Al-Mutairi

Adnan Al-Ibrahim agement is the strongest motive to go after more achievements in the name of Kuwait. Meanwhile Deputy Technical Director for Rifle and Pistol said HH The Amir championship is dear to all those involved in Kuwait shooting, in addition to being the last tournament of a successful local season, under HH The Amir. He said all preparations for the tournament are ready, as well as training schedules. Al-Dahesh expect the competition to be strong as several new shooters have showed great skills. Head of Rifle and Pistol referees Bader AlTannak said “all systems are go”, as the schedule is complete. He expected new records as more than 100 skilled shooters are participating, from the club, police, military and national guard associations. Head of shotgun referees Hamad AlRuwaisan said his department played a major role in preparing for this dear event. He said that 180 shooters registered in the trap, skeet, and double trap events. AlRuwaisan welcomed the participation of Gulf shooters in this tournament.

DETROIT: Jimmy Howard No. 35 of the Detroit Red Wings makes a second period save on a shot by Emerson Etem No. 65 of the Anaheim Ducks next to Jonathan Ericsson No. 52 in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. — AFP

Rangers hold off Caps, Red Wings down Ducks NEW YORK: The New York Rangers clawed back a much-needed 4-3 win against the Washington Capitals, while the Detroit Red Wings beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 in overtime to draw even in their first round playoff series Monday. The Boston Bruins downed the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 to lead their series 2-1, and the Los Angeles Kings edged the St. Louis Blues 4-3 to draw level at 2-2. New York’s Derek Stepan and Arron Asham both scored tiebreaking goals in the third period of Game 3. The Rangers still trail 2-1 in the Eastern Conference series ahead of Game 4 in New York today. Stepan gave the Rangers the lead for good with 6:25 remaining when he deftly tipped in a pass in front from Rick Nash. Asham had put New York in front 3-2 at 2:53, but Jay Beagle got the Capitals even again 4:26 later. Derick Brassard had a goal and two assists for the Rangers, who managed only one goal in the first two losses in Washington and hadn’t scored since the first period of Game 1 - a scoreless stretch of 124 minutes, 6 seconds. That streak was broken by Brian Boyle’s firstperiod goal that made it 1-1. Damien Brunner scored with 4:50 left in overtime to lift Detroit its series-evening win over Anaheim. Detroit defenseman Jakub Kindl started the winning sequence, passing the puck from behind Detroit’s net up the ice to Joakim Andersson. He tried to connect with teammate Gustav Nyquist only to have Hiller poke the puck away. Brunner, playing in his first NHL season, was in perfect position in front of the net and swatted in the puck to end the game. Game 5 is today in Anaheim and Game 6 is back in Detroit on Friday night. Pavel Datsyuk scored a second tying goal for the Red Wings with 6:33 left in regulation. Brendan Smith made it 1-1 early in the third. Matt Beleskey gave the Ducks their first lead 5:07 into the game and David Steckel put them ahead midway through the third period. Boston spoiled the return of playoff hockey to Toronto, scoring two quick goals in the second period to beat the Maple Leafs. Adam McQuaid, Rich Peverley, Nathan Horton, Daniel Paille and David Krejci, with an empty-net goal with 1:17 remaining, scored for Boston The win came before 19,746 fans inside the Air Canada Centre. Outside, a blueand-white throng watched on a big screen in Maple Leaf Square as playoff hockey returned to Toronto for the first time since 2004. After being beaten 4-2 in Boston on Saturday night, the Bruins upped their game. The Leafs, meanwhile, made mistakes and were punished, although they tried to close the gap with a busy third period in which they outshot the visitors 18-6. The Leafs finished with a 47-38 edge in shots. Game 4 is today in Toronto, with Boston leading 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. Jake

NEW YORK: Derek Dorsett No. 15 of the New York Rangers fires a shot against the Washington Capitals in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. —AFP

Gardiner and Phil Kessel replied for Toronto in a physical game. At Los Angeles, Anze Kopitar equalized with 12:46 to play, Justin Williams tipped home the go-ahead goal 76 seconds later in Los Angeles’ win over St. Louis. Jeff Carter and Dustin Penner also scored for the defending Stanley Cup champions. They erased an early two-goal deficit and a third-period deficit to earn their ninth consecutive home victory since March 23. Jonathan

Quick made 19 saves. TJ Oshie scored his first two playoff goals for the Blues, who had the champs on the brink of serious trouble before Kopitar and Williams beat Brian Elliott, who stopped 25 shots. Game 5 is today in St. Louis, with Game 6 back at Staples Center on Friday. Mike Richards had two assists for Los Angeles, which dropped the first two games of the series in St. Louis and barely survived for a 1-0 victory in Game 3. — AP

Swiss stun Czechs STOCKHOLM: Switzerland scored three quickfire goals in the third period to beat the Czech Republic 5-2 on Monday and continue their stunning start to the ice hockey world championships. Andres Ambuhl gave Switzerland the lead with a powerplay goal at the end of the first period before Nino Niederreiter doubled their advantage in the second. Jiri Hudler scored twice to bring the Czech Republic back into the game, but the Swiss turned up the heat in the third, firing three goals without reply to move to the top of the group on eight points. In the day’s second game, an ineffective Sweden limped to a 2-1 victory over Belarus. The Swedes fell behind in the first period but

Oscar Lindberg levelled the scores when he netted five minutes into the second. Fredrik Pettersson scored the winner for Sweden with eight and a half minutes left. Co-hosts Finland endured a frustrating first period against France in Helsinki but Juhamatti Aaltonen created one goal and scored another to turn the game in their favor and they ran out 3-1 winners. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare pulled a goal back for France at the start of the third period but Ville Viitaluoma netted eight minutes later for the Finns to put the game beyond reach. In the early game in Helsinki, Germany twice threw away the lead before losing 3-2 to Slovakia, Tomas Zaborsky scoring twice in the third period to help his team to victory. — Reuters



Should Newman be fined for comments? CHARLOTTE: Ryan Newman had to open his checkbook the last time he spoke out at Talladega. Fed up about the style of racing, he said in 2010 fans shouldn’t even bother going to the track. He was punished with a secret fine that didn’t come to light for months, and the true amount has never been revealed. But it’s precedent that could cost him following his strong rebuke of NASCAR on live television Sunday. Newman, no stranger to harrowing accidents at restrictor-plate tracks, had just witnessed Kurt Busch’s car barrel-roll on top of his at the end of a long and dreary day. The closing laps of a Talladega race are frantic by nature, and on Sunday it was wet and cold and getting darker by the second when the 12-car accident erupted on the backstretch with six laps remaining. Newman was as frustrated as anybody would be after a 3,400-pound car had just landed on top of their hood. But he was also fed up. So he stepped up to the live television camera and let it all out. “They can build safer race cars, they can build safer walls. But they can’t get their heads out of their (expletive) far enough to keep them on the race track, and that’s pretty disappointing,” Newman said. “I wanted to make sure I get that point across. Y’all can figure out who ‘they’ is.” He continued on to criticize NASCAR for restarting the race with 10 laps remaining despite the looming darkness. Rain had forced a three hour, 36 minute delay midway through the race and Talladega doesn’t have lights.

“That’s no way to end a race. That’s just poor judgment in restarting the race, poor judgment,” Newman said. “I mean, you got what you wanted, but poor judgment and running in the dark and running in the rain. That’s it, thank you.” Logic would say those comments are going to cost Newman some cold, hard cash this week. Only logic doesn’t apply anymore and NASCAR’s decisions seem to be changing on a daily basis. Remember, it was just two months ago that Denny Hamlin was slapped with a $25,000 fine for the fairly mild assessment that NASCAR’s new car at Phoenix “did not race as good as our generation five cars. This is more like what the generation five was at the beginning.” Roughly six weeks later, defending champion Brad Keselowski escaped punishment for essentially accusing NASCAR of unfairly targeting his team after inspectors confiscated parts from both Penske Racing cars before the Texas race. “The things I’ve seen over the last seven days have me questioning everything that I believe in, and I’m not happy about it. I feel like we’ve been targeted over the last seven days more than I’ve ever seen a team targeted,” he said. NASCAR also let Keselowski slide in February when he made wide-ranging and critical comments about the direction of the sport in a USA Today profile. He was, however, summoned to a meeting at NASCAR headquarters with chairman Brian France and International Speedway Corp. chairwoman Lesa France Kennedy. France has attempted to put

boundaries on what drivers can and can’t say, and the new car and the quality of racing are out of bounds. “I have been crystal clear in the meetings with all of the drivers and all of the owners about the fact that we are going to give them more opportunities to criticize more things than any other professional sport in America,” France told The Associated Press after Hamlin’s fine. “Having said that, there is one line that we are not going to tolerate and that’s going to be criticizing the quality of the racing product in any way, form or fashion. “No other professional sport lets you have at it, criticize anything, criticize me personally, calls we make, decisions we make, because those are judgment calls that we make week in and week out. The other sports don’t allow that - they look at it as infringement on the integrity of the officials. But we allow that, and only want them to be careful on one topic.” Under those guidelines, Kasey Kahne is safe. Kahne is the driver who reminded everyone on Saturday that NASCAR is terribly inconsistent in calling the last lap of races. An accident behind the leaders on the last lap of the Nationwide Series race at Talladega brought out the yellow flag that gave Regan Smith the win, but Kahne would have gone to Victory Lane had NASCAR let the drivers race to the finish line. “I was really surprised they threw that caution, so many times they wouldn’t in that situation,” Kahne said. “NASCAR always switches it up, you never know what’s going to happen.”

Criticism of a call. Allowed. Move along, Kasey. Newman? Eeek. That one is trickier. Everything he said is technically allowable under France’s guidelines, and after all the incidents Newman has experienced at plate tracks, his comments might even be justifiable. But he had a message he wanted to deliver in front of a live television audience. It was a similar message to the one IndyCar’s Will Power was trying to deliver with his two-handed obscene gesture at race control in 2011. Now we see if NASCAR is going to take it or shrug it off. NASCAR has been heavy-handed the last month with technical penalties, and senior management has a busy week of appeals. Penske Racing goes before chief appellate officer John Middlebrook on Tuesday to argue its $200,000 in fines and suspension of seven crew members for the Texas inspection. Then today, Joe Gibbs Racing begins the appeals process when it goes before the threemember committee seeking relief from the severe penalties NASCAR levied for a rod three grams too light in Matt Kenseth’s race-winning engine at Kansas. There’s been sympathy in the garage for JGR - and that’s fairly unheard of in this cutthroat series because the NASCAR penalties against the team were so harsh even though the infraction was manufacturer Toyota’s fault and did not create a competitive advantage. But again, it’s a case of NASCAR having the power to rule as it pleases. And now Newman waits to see which way the wind is blowing. — AP

Battaglin wins Giro thriller ITALY: Enrico Battaglin claimed his maiden Giro d’Italia stage yesterday with fellow Italian Luca Paolini retaining the leader’s pink jersey and race favourite Bradley Wiggins losing time after an epic 246km of racing from Policastro to Serra San Bruno. Battaglin, who rides for the Bardiani team, surged out of a small group of survivors from the day’s second and last climb to sprint to a well-earned victory after nearly 6hr 15min of racing to the southernmost point of the Giro’s 96th edition. Minutes earlier, Danilo Di Luca, the Giro winner in 2007, belied his 37 years to launch an audacious attack towards the end of the final climb and race into the lead with young Colombian Robinson Chalapud on his wheel. The pair came over the summit with barely 20secs on the main peloton but, despite Di Luca’s efforts on the rain-hit finale, they were agonisingly caught inside the final kilometre. Katusha veteran Paolini, who took the race lead with victory on stage three on Monday, was just behind and crossed the finish line in the company of overall victory hopefuls Vincenzo Nibali, Cadel Evans and Ryder Hesjedal. “I’m glad to still have the pink jersey but it was a tough day of racing,” said Paolini. Main race favourite, Team Sky leader Wiggins, however, lost time to his main rivals in the run-in. Tour de France champion Wiggins was held up by a crash involving Italian Cristian Salerno on the approach to the final kilometre. Race rules normally dictate that riders caught up in such inci-

dents in the final three kilometres are not penalised. However the race jury said after the stage that Wiggins had not been hindered by the crash, thus attributing him with his actual finishing time. “The crash was inside three kilometres to go so hopefully they will recognise that,” Sky ’s sports director Marcus Ljungvist told teamsky.com. “It’s one of those things that happens in bike racing. It’s certainly not the end of the world.” Wiggins began the race’s secondlongest stage in second place overall at 17sec. But despite a dominant display of riding by his Sky team on the 12.8km climb to the Croce Ferrata summit and, notably, the treacherous 7km descent to the finish, he lost time to his rivals, which could prove costly. Former Tour of Spain winner Nibali (Astana) turned his 14sec overnight deficit to Wiggins into a 3sec lead, while both Hesjedal and, notably, Evans, also claimed back lost time. “Everything was good today and that’s a good indicator,” said Evans, who had a strong finish also on Monday, a day after losing time in the team time-trial. “Most importantly, I got through the stage without any trouble or time loss.” Paolini now leads another Team Sky rider, Colombian Rigoberto Uran, by 17sec with Nibali at 31sec, Hesjedal and Wiggins fifth and sixth respectively at 34sec and Evans sitting 10th at 42sec. Today’s fifth stage is held over 205 km from Cosenza to Matera and, although mainly flat, it ends on an uphill which will suit the ‘punchers’ and other specialist climbers of the peloton. —AFP

ITALY: Italian Enrico Battaglin celebrates on the podium winning the 246km fourth stage of the 96th Giro díItalia. — AFP

SAN ANTONIO: Spurs’ Tony Parker, right center, of France, drives against Golden State Warriors’ Andrew Bogut (left center) during second half of Game 1 of a Western Conference semifinal NBA basketball playoff series. — AP

Bulls cool Heat in Game One MIAMI: The Chicago Bulls stunned the Miami Heat 93-86 on Monday night to take Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. Trailing 86-83 with 2 minutes left, the Bulls scored the final 10 points of the game to beat the Heat once again. At San Antonio, Manu Ginobili scored a 3-pointer from the wing with 1.2 seconds left in double overtime to lift the Spurs to a thrilling 129-127 victory over the Golden State Warriors in the West. Chicago’s Nate Robinson scored 27 points, and Jimmy Butler added 21 points and 14 rebounds while playing every second for the third straight game. Joakim Noah added 13 points, Taj Gibson had 12 and Marco Belinelli added 10 for the Bulls, who snapped a 27-game Miami winning streak during the regular season, and handed the Heat their first loss in their last 13 games in this one. LeBron James scored 24 points for Miami, which got 14 from Dwyane Wade. Game 2 is tonight in Miami. The Bulls were without Derrick Rose, as they’ve been all season. Kirk Hinrich was out again with a calf injury. Luol Deng isn’t even expected to rejoin the team until Tuesday, after dealing with an illness apparently so severe that a spinal tap - and other tests since - were needed to rule out things like meningitis. “I think when you’re facing adversity, you have to be mentally tough,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “But this is just one game. We have to play a lot better in our next one.” A pair of three-point plays by James - one of them coming when he just broke through a tackle attempt by Butler and muscled the ball to the rim anyway - gave Miami a 76-69 lead midway through the fourth quarter, the biggest deficit Chicago faced all night. The Bulls, predictably, were undeterred. Coming off a Game 7 road win in Brooklyn two nights earlier just to get into a series with Miami, the Bulls just kept grinding. When Ray Allen made a 3-pointer to give Miami an 8078 lead, Butler came back with one of his own to put the Bulls back on top. When the Heat went up by three after James made a free throw with 2:22 left, Belinelli connected for 3 - on a second-effort possession - to level the game. Then when Robinson connected on a 20-footer with 1:18 left, the Bulls had the lead and plenty of swagger. James was honored before the game, with a brief on-court ceremony to commemorate his fourth NBA MVP award. The Spurs trailed by 16 points with 4 minutes left in regulation - thanks largely to Stephen Curry’s 44 points - before going on an 18-2 run to close the fourth quarter and force overtime. They trailed 127-126 with 3.9 seconds left in the second overtime

before Ginobili hit his 3-pointer off a cross-court inbounds pass from Kawhi Leonard. “It’s only the second one I made all day,” Ginobili said. “Good timing though.” Golden State had one final chance but Jarrett Jack’s 3-pointer from the top of the key was off. After trailing by so many points late Ginobili wasn’t sure how his team rallied for the improbable victory.— AP

MANILA: A handout photo taken by the Office of the Vice President shows Philippine vice president Jejomar Binay (left) welcoming China’s Yao Ming (right) during a courtesy call at the Coconut Palace. Yao Ming with his Shanghai Sharks basketball team are in Manila for a friendly visit. —AFP

Al Zarooni appeals eight-year doping ban LONDON: Former Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni has lodged an appeal to reduce the length of his eight-year suspension for doping offences, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced yesterday. The 37-year-old Emirati was found to have given banned anabolic steroids to 15 horses — who have been barred from racing for six months — at his stables at British racing headquarters in Newmarket, eastern England, at a BHA hearing last month. Godolphin told AFP that it was a matter between Al Zarooni and the BHA. “He is no longer a Godolphin employee and the appeal is a matter between himself and the BHA. Godolphin has no involvement with this appeal,” a spokesperson said. Al Zarooni’s surprising decision to appeal will nevertheless not be music to the ears of Godolphin’s founder, Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who made it clear at the time of the

revelations how ‘appalled and angry’ he was that he and Godolphin had been tainted by such a scandal. The 63year-old Sheikh - who was present at Newmarket last Saturday to see Godolphin’s crack Irish-trained colt Dawn Approach win the English 2000 Guineas had ordered al Zarooni’s 200-horse stable to be locked down until further notice and was in no hurry to appoint a trainer as his replacement. Al Zarooni, who had made a good start to his tenure as a Godolphin trainer with victory in last year’s Dubai World Cup and English St Leger, looks to have little reason for optimism given the BHA’s stern assessment of his behaviour when they released their full judgement last week. “This was a widespread systematic misuse of illegal substances which are absolutely prohibited under the rules,” they said. “Nearly a quarter of the 45 horses tested at the stables had positive samples. These were horses in training, some

of which were entered into races in April and May. “The panel considered there was no excuse for Al Zarooni to be in any doubt as to the illegality of administering anabolic steroids... “Al Zarooni’s assertion that he did not know such administration was not permitted in the UK was simply not truthful.” Since the scandal broke the BHA have conducted tests on all the horses at Al Zarooni’s stables and their results should be revealed early next week. In his appearance before the BHA hearing, Al Zarooni also implicated a junior vet and two Godolphin stable foremen, while the BHA said that they had no plans to formally interview Sheikh Mohammed. Al Zarooni — who had all but superseded original Godolphin trainer and former policeman Saeed bin Suroor as the Sheikh’s favored handler - had brought the steroids into Britain on a flight

from Dubai, where horses in training can be given anabolic steroids and race 28 days later. In a brief statement released yesterday, the BHA said Al Zarooni had decided to contest the length of his ban, adding that a date for the appeal hearing would be announced in due course. Al Zarooni’s appeal, though, may force a rethink of Sheikh Mohammed’s desire to stay in the sport as his reasons for being involved differ markedly from his rivals, who treat it as a business. “It has to be fun for him, or it ceases to be worthwhile,” Godolphin’s racing manager Simon Crisford said at the weekend. Dawn Approach, though, remains the bright note for Godolphin and will attempt to add the Epsom Derby to his Guineas win on June 1 and if successful it would be the first time the Derby winner has sported the Godolphin blue silks, which has seen 203 Group One races fall to them in the 21 years of their existence. —AFP



Bayern boss Hoeness again shows survivor’s instincts BERLIN: Having survived a serious car accident and walked away from a plane crash, Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has again shown his ability to overcome adversity, this time in the face of the tax scandal which had threatened to engulf him. In Monday ’s meeting of Bayern Munich’s supervisory board, his offer to stand down as president and board chairman of the Champions League finalists, while he is investigated for tax evasion, was rejected by his peers. It was effectively a vote of confidence after the 61-year-old was arrested last month, then bailed for five million euros ($6.5 million), as part of an ongoing investigation into unpaid tax on a Swiss account in his name. With Bayern bidding to become the first German club to win the treble of European, league and cup titles, facing Borussia Dortmund at Wembley on May 25 in the Champions League final, keeping Hoeness at the helm is sure to attract more off-field controversy for the Bavarians. The 1974 World Cup winner became an election-year lightning rod in a debate on tax sinners since news broke on April 20 that he had admitted to stashing millions of euros in a Swiss bank account. Chancellor Angela Merkel summed up the nation’s feelings when she let it be known she was “disappointed” in Hoeness, a public figure who had often called on FIFA president Sepp Blatter to do more against corruption in world football’s governing body. Hoeness, who also co-owns a succesful bratwurst sausage factory, has long presented himself as an honest businessman and a man of character, not shy in criticising the way other European teams run their finances. Newspaper headline writers have now characterised Hoeness, known for his many acts of charity, as a fallen moral apostle who “preaches water and drinks wine,” a German phrase that suggests double standards. Hoeness admits the scandal has been “hell”, at a time when Bayern are enjoying unprecedented success, having won their 23rd league title in record time, with Hoeness as the driving force behind their rise as a European powerhouse. With Pep Guardiola to start as head coach on July 1, the same day Germany star Mario Goetze arrives from rivals Dortmund, fans hope Bayern will reach the same level of success which the ex-Barcelona coach

enjoyed with 14 titles in four years at Barcelona. Hoeness was instrumental in pulling off arguably the biggest signing in the club’s history in January when it was announced they had lured the Spaniard to Munich from under the collective noses of several English Premier League clubs. Since his arrival as an 18-year-old in 1970, Hoeness has never tolerated criticism of his beloved Bayern and many a reporter has received a blast of his unforgiving tones after a negative comment against his team. With 35 appearances for West Germany, Hoeness, alongside Franz Beckenbauer and goal-scoring ace Gerd Mueller, was at the heart of the Bayern team which won the European Cup in three consecutive seasons between 1974-76. Spending nearly nine years as a Bayern player, Hoeness won eight titles with the Bavarian giants, until a persistent knee injury forced him to retire when still just 27. When his career finished in 1979, he carried the same passion for success he had shown on the pitch to his new role as general manager and when Beckenbauer stood down as Bayern president in 2009, Hoeness was ready to succeed him after a 30-year apprenticeship. Under Hoeness, Bayern have developed a culture of helping teams in financial trouble by setting up friendlies and when current rivals Dortmund faced bankruptcy in 2005, Hoeness saw to it that Bayern lent them the two million euros to pay their players. Hoeness has gone out of his way to help players in distress: he made sure Gerd Mueller was treated in a clinic when hearing the ex-Bayern goal ace was battling alcoholism after he had retired in 1982. Mueller later became a reserve team coach at Bayern. Similarly, Hoeness intervened to get Sebastian Deisler professional help when he discovered the rising Bayern star was suffering from depression in 2003. Hoeness twice narrowly escaped death, first from a car accident in 1975 and then a plane crash in 1982, which killed three of his friends, while a dazed Hoeness was later found walking in nearby woods, suffering from shock. He may have survived the first round of calls for his resignation, but with the investigation set to take months to be concluded, his off-field ordeal is far from over. — AFP

SPAIN: British player Andy Murray returns the ball to German player Florian Mayer during their tennis match at the Madrid Masters. — AFP

Murray battles past Mayer in Madrid MADRID: Andy Murray said he was happy to have found his feet on the clay and in the altitude of Madrid after coming through a gruelling two-hour encounter with German Florian Mayer 7-6 (13/11), 7-6 (7/3). The World No.3’s only previous outing on the clay this season came last month in Monte Carlo, where he was disappointingly beaten by Stanislas Wawrinka in the third round, and despite being let down by his usually lethal returns, he felt his movement on the surface was much better on his first outing in the Spanish capital. “I felt like I hit the ball very well today, very few mishits. I just didn’t return so well. That was the only thing I would have liked to have done better.” he told a press conference on Tuesday. “I had a lot of chances on his service games, especially in the first set. A lot of 1530s, love-30s, 30-all points. He served well and hit a lot of aces on those points, but also I wasn’t reading the serve. So even when I was getting to it I was a little bit late and missed a few too many returns. “Apart from that, I moved very well, which I didn’t do in Monte Carlo, so that’s a big improvement.” With neither man able to break the other’s serve in the first-set it was decided in a marathon tie-break in which Mayer passed up

five set points before Murray eventually claimed it 13-11. The Scot had looked to be struggling physically towards the end that set, however, he believes that was just a combination of some gruelling points and dealing with the altitude. “Yeah, I was struggling. I think both of us were at the end of the first set, there were so many long points. “I was finishing a lot of the points very out of breath, and I think that’s a combination of the way the points were going, but also it’s different playing in altitude. It takes time to get used to that.” The US Open champion then finished the stronger of the two in the second set as he came back from an early break to take the second tie-break comfortably 7-3. And he believes his game on his least favoured surface is beginning to come together ahead of the French Open later this month. “It’s a surface that I didn’t grow up on, so I don’t feel as comfortable on it. But it’s not to say that without the right attitude and work ethic and the right mindset going into these events that I can’t play well at them. “I think my game should suit clay well. I just need to play a lot on it. I’d like to play a lot on it. So I would like to play more on it during the year. I think that would help me for the French Open.” — AFP

Benfica held by Estoril LISBON: Portuguese Premier League leaders Benfica were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Estoril on Monday that left second-placed Porto in touching distance ahead of a mouth-watering “Classico” between the teams next weekend. Sixth-placed Estoril, promoted this season, kept cool and resisted the home side’s early pressure before striking from a Jefferson free kick 15 minutes into the second half. Uruguay right back Maxi Pereira levelled through a neat volley 10 minutes later but Europa League finalists Benfica

were wasteful up front. Benfica had to play with 10 men in the last 10 minutes after midfielder Carlos Martins was dismissed for a second yellow card. “The important thing is that we are leaders. That is what counts. We go to Porto to win the championship,” coach Jorge Jesus told Portuguese television SportTV. With two matches left, Benfica failed to take a decisive step towards their 33rd championship title and champions Porto ar just two points behind going into the “Classico” on Saturday. — Reuters

Photo of the day

Ronnie Renner (USA) speaks with a local during a freeriding session in the Nazwa Desert outside of Dubai. www.redbullcontentpool.com

O’Shea rescues point to ease Sunderland relegation fears LONDON: John O’Shea scored a second-half equaliser as 10-man Sunderland rescued a 1-1 draw at home to Stoke City on Monday that moved them three points clear of the Premier League relegation zone. Jonathan Walters gave the visitors an early lead when he reacted smartly in the box to poke home from close range on nine minutes after his header had been blocked. Sunderland had a player sent off for the second week running when Craig Gardner was shown a straight red card for a lunging, studsfirst tackle on Charlie Adam with only 33 minutes on the clock. Stoke looked to be cruising to victory in a one-paced and slightly subdued encounter before defender O’Shea equalised after 63 minutes when he shifted his balance quickly to sidefoot home a dangerous Sebastian Larsson corner at the far post. Sunderland climbed to 15th, level on 38 points with north-east rivals Newcastle United and Norwich City and three clear of Wigan Athletic who are in the relegation zone but have a game in hand. “In some way we are a masochistic team,” said new Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio who also watched Stephane Sessegnon being sent off against Aston Villa last time out. “It is a massive point for us but it wasn’t easy. After 10 minutes we gave an easy goal away even if we knew before kick-off that they had five or six who are giants compared to our physical presence,” the Italian told Sky Sports. “The first corner kick we conceded we give a goal away. Then you saw Craig’s bad challenge. “ We have to be careful and to handle our aggression. We have to make sure we don’t repeat the same mistakes otherwise we are in real trouble.” After slumping to a 6-1 defeat by Villa when playmaker Sessegnon was sent off, Sunderland dug deep to find a route back into the match. They had looked to be dead and buried after the first half when they created little, but came close to winning the match late in the second half when a low shot from Danny Rose grazed the outside of post. Stoke stayed 11th on 41 points and should be safe. “We are pleased that we’ve got that point,” manager Tony Pulis said. “That takes us to 41. There are a lot of teams down there this time around. “I’m amazed it isn’t sorted out yet. It’s one of those funny seasons. It seems to have happened at all levels, not just the Premier LONDON: Sunderland’s English midfielder Craig Gardner (right) vies with Stoke City’s English striker Cameron Jerome (left) during an English Premier League football match. — AFP League.”— Reuters

Mourinho ignores Real president’s call for unity MADRID: Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has refused to tone down his rhetoric in response to a call from club president Florentino Perez for unity in an obviously divided dressing room during the final few weeks of the season. After some unsavoury sniping between Mourinho and members of his squad in recent weeks, Perez made a rare foray into the limelight on Monday when he called for the club to be “united for the fans” as they prepare for this month’s King’s Cup final against city rivals Atletico Madrid and seek to secure second place in La Liga. Mourinho raised eyebrows on Friday when he made a thinly veiled attack on goalkeeper Iker Casillas, whom he has dropped in favour of Diego Lopez, prompting club heavyweights Sergio Ramos and Pepe to speak out in support of their captain. The sense that all is not well has been heightened by speculation that Mourinho is poised to leave at the end of the season and the outspoken Portuguese has said little to contradict reports he is on his way back to Chelsea. At a news conference yesterday previewing today’s La Liga match at home to Malaga, he responded to Portuguese compatriot Pepe’s expression of support for Casillas, made after Saturday’s 4-3 La Liga victory at home to Real Valladolid. Pepe had spoken out because he was frustrated that team mate Raphael Varane had edged ahead of him in the pecking order to partner Ramos in central defence, Mourinho said.

“You just have to be a normal person like me or like almost everyone in this room to know that we are talking about frustration,” he said. “His problem has a name: Raphael Varane. It’s not easy for a man of 31 years, with status and history, to be trampled over by a kid of 19. “But that’s the law of life. On a sporting level Pepe’s life has changed. “I have no problem with him. I understand that it’s not an easy situation but I have to try to be honest and I think that there are very few people who don’t think that the future of Real Madrid in defence is Varane with Sergio Ramos.”

Real Madrid’s coach Jose Mourinho

Asked about his relationship with Casillas, Mourinho reiterated that he believed Lopez, who was brought in ostensibly as cover when Casillas broke a bone in his hand in January, was the better keeper. Casillas has been Real and Spain keeper for more than a decade and is a hero to fans of the club and the national team. “Let’s see if you understand it once and for all, I am a soccer coach,” Mourinho told reporters. “They hired me to be a soccer coach and a soccer coach has certain responsibilities, one of which is to pick the team. “I don’t do it by flipping a coin. I do it after discussion and lengthy analysis of my decisions. “For me, I like Diego Lopez better as a goalkeeper than Iker Casillas. I don’t do it to harm anyone. “I accept it if someone says that Casillas is better than Diego Lopez but you have to accept that I am the coach of Real Madrid.” Mourinho, who almost walked out of the news conference after repeated problems with the sound system, was again asked about his future at Real, where he has a contract until June 2016, and whether he was trying to provoke the club into sacking him so he could pocket a substantial payoff. “So that there is absolutely no doubt, I want to say that I will earn a salary until the final day I work for Real Madrid,” he said. “I don’t want a single euro more.” If defending champions Real fail to beat Malaga today, leaders Barcelona will have an unassailable lead and will secure their fourth La Liga title in five years. — Reuters



Ref’s death a consequence of lack of sportsmanship

Steven Gerrard

Gerrard out for season LIVERPOOL: Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard is to have an operation on his left shoulder which will rule him out of the rest of the season, it was announced yesterday. The operation means midfielder Gerrard will also miss England’s friendly internationals against the Republic of Ireland at Wembley on May 29 and 2014 World Cup hosts Brazil on June 2. Gerrard will undergo surgery later this week and is due to return in time for Liverpool’s pre-season programme. Gerrard has played with the shoulder injury for several months but following an early collision with Everton midfielder Leon Osman was in clear discomfort during the goalless draw at Anfield on Sunday.

However, he still stayed on the field for the full 90 minutes. But given Liverpool, after another disappointing campaign, have little left to play in their final two league matches against Fulham and QPR, Anfield chiefs have decided now is the best time for star man Gerrard, 33 later this month, to go under the knife. “Liverpool have confirmed Steven Gerrard will undergo surgery on a recurrent shoulder problem this week,” said a Liverpool statement. “The captain’s injury has progressively worsened in recent weeks and requires an operation to cure it. “Gerrard will now miss the final two games of 2012-13, but he is expected to be fit for the start of pre-season training this summer.” — AFP Preview

Tottenham out to crash Chelsea’s top-four party LONDON: Juan Mata’s decisive strike at Manchester United at the weekend means Chelsea can all but guarantee Champions League qualification by beating fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur at home today. The Stamford Bridge showdown looked destined to be a straight shootout for a top-four place until Mata struck with three minutes remaining at Old Trafford on Sunday to give Chelsea a precious 1-0 victory. The Spaniard’s goal, via a telling deflection off Phil Jones, lifted Chelsea three points above Spurs and means they will be virtually guaranteed a place in next season’s Champions League if they defeat their London rivals. The win over United was Chelsea’s 65th game of the season, but with Champions League qualification at stake and a Europa League final against Benfica still to come, Mata says there is simply not enough time for mental fatigue to creep in. “Three points here (at Old Trafford) is amazing, because now we are in third position. If we win against Tottenham we will be in the Champions League,” he said following Sunday’s match. “Mentally you don’t have time to disconnect. We play Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday, so mentally you are always focused. “We need to rest, to train and get ready. We want and need to win against Tottenham.” Had Mata and his team-mates failed to overcome United, Spurs would have travelled to west London knowing that victory would have taken them into the Champions League places at Chelsea’s expense. In any case, Spurs must win to take up a place in the top four. Victory would come with the added satisfaction of knocking eternal rivals Arsenal out of the Champions League qualifying berths, but Tottenham have not won at Stamford Bridge since February 1990 — a run of 25 matches. Their momentum has also slowed of late with just two wins in six games prior to Saturday’s 1-0 defeat of Southampton, which was only secured in the 86th minute through another stunning goal from man

of the season Gareth Bale. Wednesday’s game will mark manager Andre Villas-Boas’s first trip to Chelsea since he was sacked by the club in March last year, but he says he has not given much thought to the emotional implications of his return. “I’m not sure (what it will be like),” said the Portuguese, who also worked at Stamford Bridge as a member of former manager Jose Mourinho’s backroom staff. “I’m not sure if enough time has passed for me to feel anything. I was just another manager that passed by. “Obviously I spent three great years there when I was on the staff but when I was given more responsibility, I wasn’t given enough time. “I have great friends who I don’t want to undermine by what I am saying and the players gave everything for me. “It’s fine because sometimes the only option is for a manager to go and I have discussed this at length. “It would be excellent if we got the three points. At the moment it means absolutely nothing; it’s just another opponent in our quest to try to get the nine points that we have to play for.” Spurs are expected to confirm on Tuesday whether midfield trio Scott Parker, Mousa Dembele and Aaron Lennon will be fit to play a part at Stamford Bridge. Parker missed the Southampton game after injuring his ankle in training, while Lennon and Dembele both had to come off during the match due to muscle problems. Chelsea, meanwhile, hope Belgian attacking midfielder Eden Hazard will be able to feature after he sat out the trip to Old Trafford with a calf complaint. “I think he could be available, but it is not easy to say now,” said interim manager Rafael Benitez. “The physios are working with him, so we will see.” Benitez may also hand starting roles to captain John Terry and Fernando Torres, both of whom occupied the bench at the weekend. — AFP

Sociedad CL hopes dented MADRID: Real Sociedad’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in a decade suffered a setback when they surrendered the lead and lost 2-1 at fellow European hopefuls Getafe in La Liga on Monday. The Basque club’s reverse at Getafe’s Coliseum stadium in Madrid means they still occupy fourth and Spain’s final qualification berth for Europe’s elite club competition but their lead over fifth-placed Valencia has been cut to two points after Valencia’s 4-0 win at home to Osasuna on Saturday. San Sebastian-based Sociedad have 58 points with four matches left, Valencia are on 56 and Malaga 53 in sixth. Getafe are eighth on 47 points and still have a chance of securing a place in the Europa League. Carlos Vela gave Sociedad a fourthminute lead but the home side turned the match around thanks to goals from Pedro Leon in the 18th minute and Abdelaziz Barrada six minutes before halftime.

Under French coach Philippe Montanier, Sociedad have played some of the most entertaining football of the season and are the only team apart from Real Madrid to have beaten leaders Barcelona. They lacked inspiration in their latest outing, however, and were fortunate not to concede a third goal in stoppage time when Angel Lafita skewed a shot wide with the goal at his mercy. “We played really badly but there are always days like this,” Sociedad forward Antoine Griezmann said in an interview with Spanish television broadcaster Cuatro. “We are still two points ahead (of Valencia) and we have a crucial game coming up” (at home to Granada next Monday), the Frenchman added. Sociedad’s golden period came in the 1980s when they twice won La Liga and reached the European Cup semi-finals in 1982-83, where they fell to eventual winners Hamburg SV. —Reuters

NEW YORK: Pete McCabe was sickened, but not surprised, by Saturday’s tragic death of Ricardo Portillo, a week after the youth football referee was punched in the head by a 17-year-old player angry over a yellow card. McCabe knows only too well the dangers of officiating. Four years ago, two American Football teams were still on the field exchanging the traditional postgame handshakes when McCabe walked by. The veteran referee heard another official call his name and turned, only to be smashed in the face with a helmet by one of the players. Almost every bone in McCabe’s face was broken, his skull fractured in several places and his nose nowhere close to where it belonged. As he lay on the ground in Rochester, New York, the semi-pro player who assaulted him stood over him yelling, “Take that. Take that. This is what I’m all about.” “I have said since this happened to me that it’s going to happen again,” McCabe said, “and someone is going to get killed.” Just as Portillo’s family in Utah is now pleading for athletes to control their tempers, McCabe has spent the last four years preaching the importance of sportsmanship in and around Rochester. To limited success. “There’s no respect for officials now,” McCabe said Monday. “Go look at any game, and they’re yelling at the official. Pick a high school event, and go watch a couple of games. I guarantee you, you’ll see a coach get out of control on the sideline. Or a parent. Or a kid. It’s so rampant. “What happened in Utah, I knew it was going to happen. It was just a matter of time,” he added. “ Whether it was New York state, Massachusetts, Florida, it was going to happen somewhere in this country.” But the problem isn’t limited to this country. Several Dutch teens are awaiting trial in the beating death late last year of a volunteer linesman who was working his son’s youth football game. In Brazil last month, a referee was kicked in the chest after the final whistle of a third-division match of the Sao Paulo state championship. A referee in Kenya has filed a lawsuit against the national football federation, contending he is impotent after a coach grabbed his testicles in protest over a call. A Spanish football player was banned for three months last year after throwing a plastic water bottle at a referee. Also last year, a football player in New Zealand was banned indefinitely after he punched a referee and broke his jaw. And at hockey’s Under-18 World Championships in Estonia last month, a Lithuanian player hurled his stick at a referee, hitting him in the upper body. “Part of this isn’t a sport problem, part of it is a societal problem,” said Dan Gould, director of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University. “You watch TV, and the trash talking that’s accepted. If you’re famous, you’re almost supposed to get into trouble. Why is everyone infatuated with Lindsay Lohan when she seems like a spoiled brat?” Added Barry Mano, the founder and president of the National Association of Sports Officials, “We’ve become so loud and so brash. It’s about me and about being in the spotlight. All of those things play out in the games we play.” Part of the beauty of sports - and youth sports in particular - has always been its power to educate and transform. To instill in athletes skills and values they can use for the rest of their lives, in arenas that don’t have hardwood floors

or boundaries outlined in chalk. Talk to any CEO or other successful person, and odds are he or she can trace the lessons they learned about teamwork, fair play, leadership and overcoming challenges back to Little League, Pee-Wee football or some other youth sport. But just like passing, dribbling and hitting, those skills don’t come with the uniform and the practice schedule. They have to be taught and reinforced by league administrators, coaches and, of course, the parents who signed their kids up for a team in the first place. “Most Americans really want their kids to learn values through sports. And research has found we can teach kids to be good sports and enhance their moral development through sports if it’s done correctly,” Gould said. “But the big myth is it just happens.” Even referees and officials can do a better job, Mano said. Watch any college basketball game, and odds are you’ll see a coach not only stalking

Netherlands, the Dutch FA responded to Richard Nieuwenhuizen’s death with a “Respect” campaign targeted at players of all levels. And at i9 Sports, sportsmanship is valued so highly there are weekly rewards for it. The recreational youth league, which has programs in 280 communities in 28 states, designates a specific value of sportsmanship - being a good friend, humility, leadership - for coaches to emphasize each week. At the end of the week, the player on each team who best exemplified that value gets recognized. Parents also have to pledge to display good sportsmanship, and not use negative or derogatory language with officials, coaches, other parents or kids. They also pledge to keep fun as the main emphasis of the league. “We believe there’s great value in competition, healthy competition,” said Frank Fiume, founder and CEO of i9 Sports. “But learning how to win with grace and lose with dignity is key.” That’s a lesson that’s been ignored for too long,

SALT LAKE CITY: In this May 5, 2013, file photo, Johana Portillo-Lopez, daughter of Ricardo Portillo speaks about her father’s death during a news conference in Salt Lake City. — AP the sideline but coming onto the floor to protest a call. That’s a violation, Mano said, yet it’s almost never called. “We’ve softened too much by letting bad behavior go escaped,” he said. It may not seem like much. But add up all the little transgressions that have been overlooked or excused, and sports now has a big problem. “I really believe in the power of sport for changing people,” Gould said. “But it’s not going to happen if we just hope it happens. We need to train coaches, and the leagues need to be organized and have pretty defined rules of what’s tolerable and what’s not tolerable. “You also need to recognize good sporting behavior,” he added. “It’s not just about fixing the problem.” The US Anti-Doping Agency has developed a “True Sport” campaign to help parents, coaches and administrators return the emphasis in sports to the life lessons that don’t show up in the won-loss column. The program includes educational materials, codes of conduct and good behavior pledges, and the approach is individually tailored for athletes in elementary school, middle school and high school. In the

McCabe said. With devastating consequences. Four years after he was assaulted, McCabe still gets migraine-like headaches every day, has limited hearing in his left ear and has lost his sense of taste and smell. Yet he continues to referee - “I just love doing it so much” - hoping he can instill lessons of sportsmanship with the coaches and players he encounters. But he wonders if it has any impact. Though his assault was big news in Rochester when it happened and again when his attacker was sentenced to 10 years in prison, McCabe sees the same poisonous behavior everywhere he goes. At a state championship football game he worked recently, one of the coaches complained constantly and threw his clipboard. At a boys’ lacrosse game, McCabe heard a coach tell one of his players to “bury” an opponent. “Every time I try to talk to somebody I hit a brick wall,” McCabe said. “Unless something’s done in this country, it’s going to happen again,” he said. “Until we teach kids how to play and respect officials, it’s going to happen again.” — AP

Serie A’s fight for Europe begins in earnest MILAN: Juventus may have won their 29th Scudetto but the battle for Serie A’s lower placings, and the rich pickings they could offer at the end of the month will begin in earnest today. A full programme of Serie A action is on the cards and while Juventus travel to Atalanta knowing the Scudetto is theirs for the second successive year, for a handful of other clubs the season is far from over. Napoli, 11 points adrift of Juve with three games remaining, travel to Bologna hoping to grab the three points that would secure the runners-up spot which guarantees Champions League football next season. AC Milan, who are seven points behind the Neapolitans, are away to already-relegated Pescara knowing any kind of slip-up could give Fiorentina a chance of eventually pipping the Rossoneri to third place, for which the reward is a spot in the Champions League play-off round. For Roma, any such dreams faded months ago. But Aurelio Andreazzoli’s men, who remained fifth on Saturday thanks to a late 1-0 win at home to Fiorentina, have it all to do if they are to finish either fourth or fifth and claim a place in next season’s Europa League. Roma have a total of 58 points, and a cushion of one point on Udinese, three on city rivals Lazio and five on Inter Milan, who have dropped to eighth. Milan will kick off proceedings in today’s earlier match, and coach Massimiliano Allegri has called for nothing less than a win. “We picked up three very important points against Torino and now we have a match ball against Pescara in what is another crucial game,” Allegri said. “It won’t be easy ... but if we win in Pescara then we really stand an excellent chance of finishing third because we will have a four-point lead with just two games to play.” The thought of seven-time European champions Milan not qualifying for Europe’s premier club competition has riled club owner and president Silvio Berlusconi to the point that reports claim Allegri will be sacked if they finish outside the top three. Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella, meanwhile, gave Allegri a much-needed boost. “When you consider where we are right now, the Champions League looks tough for us,” said Montella. “All we can do is try to win our three remaining games.” Fiorentina have played some of the league’s most entertaining football this season and have a relatively easy run-in with matches against Siena (away), Palermo (home) and Pescara (away), while Milan’s final two games come against Roma (home) and Siena (away). However La Viola will be without forward

ITALY : Napoli’s Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani (center) celebrates after scoring with team mates in this file photo. — AFP In-form Udinese have won their last five league Alberto Aquilani for at least a week after he picked up a knee injury against Roma, and they suffered a outings, during which time veteran striker Antonio further blow on Monday when influential forward Di Natale has jumped up to second in the league’s Adem Ljajic was handed a two-match ban for scoring charts with 20 goals behind only Napoli’s insulting the referee at the weekend. Although Edinson Cavani (26). Inter, meanwhile, look to have Roma’s dreams of an unlikely late charge for a the toughest task of the lot. Andrea Stramaccioni’s Champions League spot were reined in by Milan’s side has been decimated by injury in recent weeks 1-0 win over Torino, Andreazzoli’s side need a win and months and host a Lazio side that put six unanover Chievo if they are to hold off Udinese, who swered goals past Bologna on Sunday, five coming courtesy of German veteran Miroslav Klose. — AFP travel to lowly Palermo.

Matches on TV (Local Timings)

English Premier League Chelsea v Tottenham ...........................21:45 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 5

Inter v Lazio .......................................... 21:45 Al Jazeera Sport +1 Palermo v Udinese ................................ 21:45 Al Jazeera Sport +9

Spanish League Celta v Atletico .................................... 20:30 Al Jazeera Sport +2

Bologna v Napoli .................................. 21:45 Al Jazeera Sport +7

Real Madrid v Malaga ......................... 22:30 Al Jazeera Sport +2

Siena v Fiorentina ................................. 21:45 Al Jazeera Sport +5

Italian League Pescara v Milan .................................... 19:00 Al Jazeera Sport +1

Torino v Genoa ...................................... 21:45 Al Jazeera Sport +6

O’Sullivan bags fifth world title



Battaglin wins Giro thriller


Bayern boss Hoeness again shows survivor’s instincts

Page 18

LONDON: Manchester City’s Bosnian forward Edin Dzeko (center) vies with West Bromwich Albion’s Swedish defender Jonas Olsson (left) and West Bromwich Albion’s English defender Craig Dawson during the English Premier League football match. — AFP

Man City edge West Brom Man City 1

West Brom 0

MANCHESTER: Carlos Tevez advanced a compelling case for a place in Manchester City’s FA Cup final team with an effervescent display in his side’s 1-0 win at home to West Bromwich Albion yesterday. The Argentine was one of eight players drafted into the team by manager Roberto Mancini and he created the game’s only goal in the

35th minute with a cross that was dispatched by Edin Dzeko. Tevez will now hope to get the nod on Saturday when City tackle Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium. Victory took City seven points clear of Chelsea in second place, 10 points below champions Manchester United, while West Brom, who have not won in seven games, remain eighth. West Brom manager Steve Clarke sent his team out in an unfamiliar 35-2 formation, but the visitors were nonetheless the first team to settle. On-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku carried the early menace, shooting narrowly wide from 25 yards and then heading straight at

goalkeeper Joe Hart after City failed to clear their lines from a free-kick. Gradually, however, the hosts began to assert themselves. Jack Rodwell hooked a shot over the bar after West Brom goalkeeper Boaz Myhill fumbled a free-kick, while Tevez shot just over and James Milner lashed wide from a Samir Nasri cross. Tevez was at the heart of City’s best football, and shortly after rattling the bar with a shot from 25 yards, he teed up Dzeko for the opening goal. Nasri robbed Youssouf Mulumbu in midfield and after Tevez was released down the right, the Argentine looked up and picked out Dzeko, who steered a difficult sidefoot volley past Myhill from 15 yards.

City were rampant, Milner hitting the post shortly before half-time, but West Brom flew back at them early in the second period. Markus Rosenberg saw a brilliant free-kick from 25 yards come back off the crossbar and from the rebound, Hart sprang to his right to parry a header from Billy Jones. Hart then had to turn a low shot from James Morrison around the post before City reacted, with Rodwell narrowly failing to convert a cross from Tevez and then testing Myhill in an ensuing scramble. Thereafter, Myhill thwarted Milner, while Hart saved a bobbling effort from Rosenberg, and West Brom substitute Shane Long spurned a good chance to equalise when he shot into the side netting. — AFP

Totti then unleashed a drive from 20 metres which took a deflection before hitting the crossbar, and Puggioni thwarted Destro from close range after a corner by Miralem Pjanic. Roma looked to be edging closer to the opener when Dodo combined well with Destro on the left but a superb sliding tackle by defender Marco Andreolli came to Chievo’s rescue. Lamela finally made an appearance, replacing Pjanic in the 72nd minute, and Destro made way for Bradley minutes later, however, Roma soon began to lose momentum. Andreazzoli’s men appeared fatigued when Chievo began to counter-attack and were given a first warning when Chilean midfielder Felipe Seymour stung Lobont’s palms with a drive in the dying minutes. As the match wound down to a close Roma crucially failed to pick up Senegalese defender Boukary Drame as he charged down the left and when he whipped in a cross from the left it beat the Roma defence and allowed Thereau to poke home into the net. — AFP

Swansea 3

ITALY: AS Roma Argentine forward Erik Lamela (left) fights for the ball against Chievo’s midfielder of Kosovo Perparim Hetemaj during the Italian Serie A football match. — AFP

Roma 0, Chievo 1 (Thereau 90). Italian Serie A standings after yesterday’s match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): 35 26

Napoli AC Milan Fiorentina Roma Udinese Lazio Inter Milan Catania Parma Cagliari Chievo

35 35 35 36 35 35 35 35 35 35 36


21 9 19 8 18 7 17 7 15 12 16 7 16 5 14 9 11 10 11 10 12 7

4 67 20 83 - Champions 5 67 33 72 8 61 38 65 10 65 43 61 12 69 55 58 8 49 40 57 12 46 40 55 14 52 49 53 12 46 43 51 14 41 43 43 14 41 53 43 17 34 49 43

English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Man Utd 36 27 4 5 79 37 85 Aston Villa 36 10 10 16 44 65 40 - champions Southampton 36 9 12 15 47 58 39 Man City 36 22 9 5 62 31 75 Sunderland 36 9 11 16 40 52 38 Chelsea 35 20 8 7 69 35 68 Norwich 36 8 14 14 34 56 38 Arsenal 36 19 10 7 67 36 67 Newcastle 36 10 8 18 43 66 38 Tottenham 35 19 8 8 61 43 65 Wigan 36 9 8 19 44 67 35 Everton 36 15 15 6 52 38 60 Reading 36 6 10 20 41 67 28 Liverpool 36 14 13 9 67 42 55 - relegated West Brom 36 14 6 16 48 48 48 QPR 36 4 13 19 29 57 25 Swansea 36 11 13 12 46 46 46 - relegated West Ham 36 11 10 15 41 49 43 Note: Top four teams qualify for Champions Stoke 36 9 14 13 32 42 41 League; bottom three teams relegated Fulham 36 10 10 16 46 57 40

Wigan 2

Italian League results/standings


Manchester City 1 (Dzeko 35) West Bromwich Albion 0; Wigan Athletic 2 (Espinoza 45+1, McCarthy 53) Swansea City 3 (Rangel 50, Shechter 59, Tiendalli 76).

Drop nears for Wigan

Chievo stun Roma MILAN: Frenchman Cyril Thereau scored a 90thminute volley for Serie A minnows Chievo to secure a 1-0 win over Roma and upset the capital club’s hopes of Europa League football next season. Roma remain in fifth place on 58 points but risk being overtaken by Udinese (57) if the northerners win at Palermo today when Lazio, in seventh on 55, will look to draw level with their city foes. Roma had a number of changes to contend with before bidding to boost their lead over their Europa League rivals ahead of the rest of the 36th match day today. Reserve ‘keeper Bogdan Lobont started despite fracturing his nose in the 1-0 away win to Fiorentina on Saturday because number one Maarten Stekelenburg is still injured. Coach Aurelio Andreazzoli, meanwhile, left some regulars on the bench, including striker Erik Lamela and American midfielder Michael Bradley, as he tested a 3-4-1-2 system and a new front pairing of Pablo Osvaldo and Mattia Destro. Chievo, who were looking to pull away from the relegation zone, came out on top, at least in defensive terms, after a fairly balanced first half in which Roma shaded the visitors for the few real scoring chances created. Chievo ‘keeper Cristian Puggioni was alert to prevent a threatening cross from reaching Destro, while Ivan Piris’s cut-back from the by-line following Francesco Totti’s smart through-ball set up Osvaldo, only for Puggioni to get low to smother the striker’s snap shot. In the dying seconds of the half Totti sent a freekick through a hole in the defensive wall to force Puggioni to block. Thereau came close for the visitors moments after the restart, but it was Roma who were most frustrated after missing a hatful of chances. Destro showed great control on the edge of the area by avoiding two tackles, but Puggioni did well to collect the striker’s shot.

EPL results/standings

Bologna Atalanta Sampdoria Torino Genoa Palermo Siena Pescara

35 10 10 15 44 49 40 35 11 8 16 36 51 39 35 10 9 16 39 46 38 35 8 13 14 43 52 36 35 8 11 16 38 52 35 35 6 14 15 31 47 32 35 9 9 17 34 52 30 35 6 4 25 26 74 22 - relegated 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.

WIGAN: Wigan’s hopes of pulling off another great escape act in preserving their Premier League status suffered a huge blow yesterday as they lost 3-2 at home to League Cup winners Swansea. Wigan — who play Manchester City in the FA Cup final on Saturday — only had themselves to blame as they twice let Swansea equalise and handed the visitors, who were winning their first game in nine, their third on a plate. Defeat leaves Wigan - whose manager Roberto Martinez made his name managing Swansea - third from bottom, three points adrift of Newcastle, Sunderland and Norwich with two games remaining. Wigan had the better of the first half hour against a Swansea side shorn of their leading scorer Michu, who was out injured. However, despite dominating their only clear cut chance fell to Ivorian striker Arouna Kone, whose shot came back off the legs of Swans’ goalkeeper Michel Vorm. Swansea’s best effort came from a freekick inside the Wigan penalty area - after Joel Robles picked up a back pass by Gary Caldwell - but from only a few yards out centre-back Ashley Williams blasted it high over the bar.

Wigan’s Scottish star Shaun Maloney found the target in the 41st minute with a trademark free-kick but unfortunately for him it was straight into the arms of Vorm. However, Vorm could do nothing right on half-time as Honduran Roger Espinoza who had come into the side for the injured Jean Beausejour - produced a superb volley for his first goal for the club. Swansea came out with a bit more ambition in the second-half and mounted some early pressure and it paid off in the 50th minute. Wayne Routledge put a superb ball into the area finding Angel Rangel and the Spanish player, one of the few remaining players at Swansea from the Martinez days, volleyed it home brilliantly, although he kept his celebrations muted out of respect for his former boss. It took just three minutes for Wigan to regain the lead with a delightful goal, Caldwell striding forward and producing a superb pass for the onrushing James McCarthy, who shot from the edge of the area beating the diving Vorm. It should have been 3-1 three minutes later as Kone played a superb ball into the penalty area but James McArthur, from only yards out, failed to connect. That looked ever more costly as Caldwell passed sloppily to Routledge and the ball eventually fell to Itay Schechter whose shot took a deflection off Emerson Boyce and flew past Robles for his first goal for the club. Wigan were denied retaking the lead for a third time in the 68th minute as Vorm produced a superb save to tip over Caldwell’s header which was going towards the top corner. — AFP


Africa powerhouses try to improve patchy ties Page 22 Bank of China closes key N Korea account Page 22


BMW turns the ordinary into extraordinary

Britain ‘should quit EU’: Ex-finance minister Page 23

Page 26

HANOI: Motorcyclists and cyclists ride on a street inside a newly developed residential quarter in Hanoi yesterday. High inflation and interest rates along with a government-imposed credit squeeze led to a fall in property prices. But Vietnam cut interest rates in March, 2013 for the seventh time in little more than a year, in a bid to spur bank lending and boost consumption after economic growth fell to a 13-year low of 5.03 percent in 2012. — AFP

Saudi subsidies distorting economy Kingdom finalizing rules for foreign stock ownership RIYADH: Saudi Arabia should cut energy subsidies that are burdening public finances, the economy minister and the head of the state-run utility said, a move that would also tackle the issue of erosion of crude exports. Rock-bottom prices for gas, power and gasoline have turned the world’s 20th biggest economy into its sixth-biggest consumer of oil, producing less than $3.70 of economic output for every kilogram of oil equivalent that it used in 2010, compared with the global average of $6.20, according to World Bank data. “This has become an increasingly important issue as these subsidies have become increasingly distorting to our economy. This is something we are trying to address,” Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Jasser said yesterday. “Rationalization of subsidies, particularly on fuels for non-targeted participants”, is needed to improve Saudi productivity, he told a financial conference in Riyadh. Jasser did not give details of how Riyadh would tackle fuel subsidies. Saudi Arabia keeps its domestic energy prices low for everyone, regardless of income levels, paying the subsidies out of the hundreds of billions of dollars that the kingdom makes from exporting crude oil. This practice limits the potential long-term returns from oil exports. Nearly 40 percent of Saudi electricity is still produced by burning oil. Energy-hungry industry has boomed over the past decade, thanks to energy costs that are a fraction of those in most countries. This growth increases the cost burden on state-run companies that supply fuel, power and gas.

“Subsidy is becoming a big part of the government budget ... Subsidy should be revised and done in a different way. It should be smarter and support low income people,” state-run Saudi Electricity Co Chief Executive Ali al-Barrak said. Jasser also said Saudi Arabia should also resolve imbalances in its labour market, including the low level of private-sector employment among Saudi citizens, particularly women. He said it was important for the country to diversify its economic base and develop more medium-sized companies. There has been talk before about raising low fuel prices, including domestic natural gas prices, for years, but there is no clear sign that it will happen. The government is wary of provoking social unrest by hiking gasoline or power prices, especially since the Arab Spring, or of scaring off gas-hungry industries that create jobs for a youthful population. Reducing subsidies available to higher income groups while maintaining cheap power supplies for millions of Saudis who are relatively poor could help lighten the burden on Riyadh without sparking unrest. “Over the last two years we have seen a real debate happening in government and among the wider public, so that’s a definite step forward,” John Sfakianakis, chief investment strategist at Masic in Saudi Arabia, said. “But now we need to look at how this can be addressed in terms of actual decisions.” FOREIGN STOCK OWNERSHIP Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is finalizing a regulatory framework

which will allow foreigners to directly own stocks in the kingdom, though the market has no need for liquidity from international investors, the head of the country’s market regulator said. “There are a number of government entities, including CMA, that are looking at that (direct foreign investment). We’re finalizing a regulatory framework with certain parameters,” Mohammed bin Abdulmalik Al Al-Sheikh, appointed head of the Capital Market Authority in February, said yesterday. “We are attracting foreign investment to come to the market for the technical expertise and human capacity,” he said without giving any time frame for the reform, which officials have been considering for years. Currently, foreign investors can only buy shares in the largest Arab market through swap deals involving international investment banks, and via a small number of exchange-traded funds. The regulator is also trying to limit “high levels of speculation” in the stock market, Al-Sheikh, previously a World Bank official, said on the sidelines of a conference. “The CMA should put a limit on this manipulation to safeguard investors. We are currently trying to address this issue.” Al-Sheikh said the CMA and other government bodies intended to encourage institutional investment in the market by diversifying investment instruments and funds, including sukuk (Islamic bonds) and other debt tools. “CMA is developing a strategy to promote institutional trading on the tadawul,” he said, adding: “While out of the total 47 billion stocks listed 45 percent are held by individuals, nearly 93 percent of daily trading is done by retailers.”— Agencies

China’s struggling automakers jump on SUV boom SHANGHAI: BYD is known for electric cars but this year’s flagship model is the S7, a gasoline-powered SUV. It comes with an air purifier, radar to help with backing and digital TV. An onboard hard drive can hold 1,000 films. This is China’s Year of the SUV. Whatever their specialties used to be, automakers ranging from global brands to China’s ambitious rookies are scrambling to cash in on the explosive popularity of sport utility vehicles. “We are selling vehicles that have extensive technologies,” said Isbrand Ho, BYD’s director of export sales. “These are all on ... premium models for European marques but we are making it available to the everyday person.” The SUV boom clashes with Beijing’s efforts to push automakers to develop electric cars and to sell smaller vehicles to help curb smog and demand for imported oil. But the SUV’s image of safety appeals to prosperous Chinese drivers who face chaotic city streets while electrics from BYD and other producers struggle to attract buyers. The fatter profit margins for SUVs are a financial lifeline to a Chinese industry that is being squeezed as global brands make inroads into their market for smaller cars. “You’ve got almost everyone targeting SUVs,” said analyst Namrita Chow of IHS Automotive. SUV sales in China rose 20 percent last year to 2.5 million vehicles, more than double the 8 percent growth of the overall auto market, according to LMC Automotive. SUVs made up 18 percent of all vehicles sold. That market share could rise as high as 25 percent in coming years, according to Yale Zhang, managing director of Auto Foresight, a research firm in Shanghai. That would be double the size of SUVs’ 12.5 percent share of the US market last year. Overall, Chinese drivers bought more than 19 million cars last year while Americans bought 14.5 million. The United States still is the biggest market in financial terms, though China is expected to pass that soon. By 2020, automakers and analysts expect China’s annual sales to rise from current levels by 13 to 14 million vehicles - more than all growth in the U.S., Brazil, India, Russia and the Middle East combined. In China, General Motors Co expects annual SUV sales to reach 4 million by 2020, said Bob Socia, president of GM’s Chinese arm. “We are focusing on two key markets - luxury cars and SUVs,” said Socia. “They used to be considered niche markets but now they are mainstream.” Global automakers are redesigning SUVs for China with

smaller engines in response to government taxes based on engine size. Ford Motor Co plans to manufacture two of its four SUVs, the EcoSport and the Kuga, in the southwestern city of Chongqing. Its Edge SUV will be imported from Canada and the Explorer from the United States. “We now have our full range of the SUV family here,” said David Schoch, Ford’s president for the Asia-Pacific region. Italy’s Fiat SpA, a latecomer to China, is hoping an SUV will help it gain a foothold in a market where it set up its first joint venture just three years ago. The Freemont, based on the Dodge Journey, was unveiled at last month’s Shanghai auto show. Also at the auto show, global automakers including Mercedes Benz and Nissan and local brands such as Geely Holding Group, which owns Sweden’s Volvo Cars, and Great Wall Motors Co showed new SUVs or SUV concept vehicles. The SUV boom is a detour from Beijing’s automotive master plan for China to become a leader in electric cars. Chinese leaders want to clean up smog-shrouded cities and rein in reliance on oil and gas imports they see as a strate-

gic weakness. Rising gasoline demand as auto ownership spreads pushed China past the United States to become the world’s biggest energy consumer. In 2009, Chinese leaders set a goal of producing up to 5 million electric vehicles a year by 2020 but have informally backed away from that after development proved tougher than expected. BYD, the Chinese leader in electric vehicles, sold just 1,700 electric cars and 700 electric buses in 2012 and says it expects to triple that this year. “They’re going to continue to push it. But it hasn’t taken off like they had planned,” said GM’s Socia. “Progress has been a little slow.” A few Chinese SUV buyers drive off-road, but most see them as protection against traffic. “Chinese consumers love SUVs. They see them as safe family cars,” said Chow of IHS Automotive. “The idea is, If I buy the best I can afford, I am buying the safest.” The SUV boom could be especially important to China’s own automakers, who are struggling as global rivals launch new models aimed right at their traditional lowprice market segment.—AP

SHANGHAI: In this file photo, visitors try various SUVs at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition (AUTO Shanghai) in Shanghai, China. — AP


in brief

Airbus ‘beats’ Boeing PARIS: French aerospace giant Airbus has shot ahead of US group Boeing in terms of net orders booked in the first four months of the year, taking almost twice as many, company data showed yesterday. Airbus, given a big boost by a deal last month with Turkish Airlines, said in a statement that it recorded 493 orders between January and April, compared with the 255 announced on Boeing’s website. The orders represent seven years of production, Airbus said. The deal with Turkey’s flag-carrier centers on Airbus’ A320 medium-haul family of aircraft, mostly on the new fuel-efficient Neo versions, and includes firm orders for 82 planes and an option for 35 others, to be delivered by 2020. During the period, the European aeroplane maker also said it had delivered 202 aircraft, a 10percent increase compared with the same four months a year ago. IMF criticizes US cuts AMSTERDAM: International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde criticized the US government’s budget policies as too tight yesterday, in an appearance in Amsterdam that was interrupted by student protesters. Lagarde said the US government’s debt reduction plans are too abrupt, including the $85 billion in federal budget cuts known as the sequester. She said the current policies, if maintained, could lead to a contraction of 1.5 percent in the US economy. The US “should consolidate less in the short term, but give...economic actors the certainty that there will be fiscal consolidation going forward,” she said. Lagarde had just begun speaking to students at the University of Amsterdam when the protestors began an organized, chanting disruption. One would call out “mic check!” and dozens more would yell back “Madame Lagarde!” Then individual students challenged her as believing “technocracy better than democracy” and mocked for saying that Greeks should “help themselves...by paying all their tax.” IPIC profit surges ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) said 2012 net profit surged on the back of better operational performance and a recovery in the market value of listed equities. The government-owned investment vehicle, with a main mandate to invest in energy-related assets, said net profit for 2012 jumped to 6.4 billion dirhams ($1.74 billion) from 164.1 million dirhams in 2011. IPIC has interests in a number of Europeanbased companies, including Spain’s CEPSA and Austrian oil group OMV. Through its Aabar Investments unit, it also owns a stake in Italian bank Unicredit. Past financial results have been hurt by losses on stakes tied to companies owned by Aabar. In 2011, IPIC booked a $3.42 billion loss on stakes in automaker Daimler and UniCredit. Aabar has since sold its Daimler stake. “The profit increase was attributable to the robust operational performance of CEPSA, NOVA Chemicals and Borealis along with the recovery of certain listed equities held by Aabar,” IPIC said in a statement.



Ministry of Awqaf honors FASTtelco

Powerhouses Nigeria and S Africa aim to boost ties Leaders try to improve patchy relations CAPE TOWN: The leaders of Africa’s two largest economies, South Africa and Nigeria, were meeting yesterday in an effort to improve sometimes patchy ties. South African President Jacob Zuma and his Nigerian counterpart Goodluck Jonathan are expected to sign several pacts in a display of

ing outside the National Assembly where Jonathan is due to make an address at 1200 GMT. “I think symbolically it’s very important to indicate a growing closeness between the leadership of the two countries,” said Dianna Games, honorary chief executive of the South Africa-Nigeria

CAPE TOWN: South African President Jacob Zuma (right) and Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, shake hands after a press conference at the South African Parliament in Cape Town. —AFP warming relations between the two African powerhouses on the heels of a trip last month by Zuma to Lagos. Zuma welcomed Jonathan-on the first state visit to South Africa by any Nigerian leader since 2009 - with red carpet pomp and ceremony including a 21-gun salute, navy band and guard of honor. Nigerian and South African flags lined the road to parliament in Cape Town and were also hang-

Chamber of Commerce. “There is a kind of a rivalry that has dogged the relationship over some time, and as a result the two countries are not speaking with a united voice on issues affecting Africa, let alone issues in the relationship itself.” While South Africa is still the continent’s biggest economy, Nigerian business activity is set to grow more than twice as fast, by 7.2 percent, this year, according to International Monetary

Fund estimates. Total two-way trade has risen to $4.1 billion, with a surplus in oil-rich Nigeria’s favor, according to South Africa’s department of trade. Nigeria is the continent’s most populous country and its biggest oil producer. The two states, which both want seats in an expanded UN Security Council, were at loggerheads last year over who would become head of the African Union’s commission. “It created a very frosty relationship between the two countries,” said Alfredo Tjiurimo Hengari, analyst at the South African Institute of International Affairs. “My view is also that South Africa has also been trying to overstretch its role on the continent by trying to play a very important role” in countries in Nigeria’s backyard such as Ivory Coast and Mali. An embarrassing tit-fortat row also broke out over yellow fever vaccinations that saw passengers turned away at airports in both countries in March last year. The fact that there had not yet been an official state visit between the two countries was “abnormal for two continental powerhouses”, said Hengari. “Ordinarily in his first year in office, Jonathan Goodluck should have been to South Africa and President Zuma should have been to Nigeria. That is a symbol of a very very strong bilateral relationship.” South Africa’s “charm offensive” pointed the way to a more cordial relationship where cooperation could be deepened and contentious issues discussed, he said. While courting the emerging BRIC marketsBrazil, Russia, India and China, South Africa has not shown the “same political eagerness on the continent” with Nigeria an obvious target, said Games. “If this is the start of a closer relationship, then I think that would be a very good thing all around for both countries and the continent as a whole because they are the two big powers in Africa,” she said. The two leaders will attend a meeting of a bilateral business forum, while Jonathan will also hold separate talks with the South African-based MTN telecommunications company, as well as representatives of car manufacturers Toyota and Nissan in South Africa. —AFP

KUWAIT: FASTtelco, the leading provider of internet services and innovative communications solutions in Kuwait, has been recently honored and awarded by the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs for its support in providing the Ministry with free internet connection and online streaming service for the latest 16th Edition of the Annual Kuwait Major Competition for Memorization & Recital of the Holy Quran. Based on its commitment to provide the ultimate support for all the constituents of the society, from households to businesses and government institutions, FASTtelco’s contribution to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs facilitated flow of the competition, and helped raise the awareness levels of this presitigeous competition. FASTtelco expressed its deepest gratitude to the ministry for having put its trust in its solutions, and emphasized that it will never back down on such important, fruitful, and prestigious event that contributes to the Kuwaiti society’s enrichment. FASTtelco also noted that this step stems from its responsibility towards the society it operates in, as it has to offer as much support as possible to all the events. Commenting on this occasion, Hamad Saleh AlSelmi, Public Relations Manager at FASTtelco, said “We thank the Ministry of Awqaf for such honorship and award. We are very proud to have contributed in facilitating the flow and awareness of the 16th Edition of Holy Quran competition Recitle and Memorization Competition, due to its importance and beneficial aspects to the society. FASTtelco spares no effort to provide full support for all the ministries and governmental institutions, and is keen to bring the

Bank of China closes key N Korea account BEIJING: Bank of China Ltd has shut the account of North Korea’s main foreign exchange bank, which was hit with US sanctions in March after Washington accused it of helping finance Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. The staterun Foreign Trade Bank had been told its transactions had been halted and its account closed, Bank of China, the country’s biggest foreign exchange bank, said in a brief statement yesterday. It gave no reason for the closure and the bank declined to comment further. The closure is the first significant, publicly announced step taken by a Chinese entity to curb its dealings with North Korea in the wake of international pressure to punish Pyongyang over its banned nuclear and ballistic missile programs. “I think it is indeed a very noteworthy action,” said Zhang Liangui, a North Korea expert at China’s Central Party School, adding Bank of China was probably concerned about its reputation and thus closed the account. “In taking this action I think there are political considerations as well as considerations about its own interests.” The US sanctions prohibit any transactions between US entities or individuals and the Foreign Trade Bank. Japan has followed suit while Australia is expected to do the same soon. Washington has also urged the European Union to impose sanctions on the Foreign Trade Bank and has raised the issue with China, although Beijing has not commented pub-

licly on the bank. Experts have said Washington’s move was designed to make foreign banks that do business in the United States think twice about dealing with the Foreign Trade Bank, in much the same way that banks have become wary about having ties with financial institutions in sanctionshit Iran. China is North Korea’s traditional ally and its biggest trading partner. It is unclear how much of the $6 billion in annual bilateral trade goes through the Foreign Trade Bank. Among China’s other large banks, a spokesman at China Construction Bank said the bank did not do any business with the Foreign Trade Bank. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China were not immediately available for comment. China has become increasingly frustrated with North Korea in recent months. It agreed to new UN sanctions after Pyongyang conducted its third nuclear test in February. Those sanctions, announced on March 7, target the North’s attempts to ship and receive cargo related to its nuclear and missile programs and tighten financial curbs, including the illicit transfer of bulk cash. The UN measures did not address the Foreign Trade Bank. Washington imposed its own sanctions several days later. EMBASSIES, NGOS USE BANK Not much is known about the Foreign Trade

Bank, whose assets and investments are a state secret. But foreign embassies, non-governmental organizations and UN agencies in Pyongyang all use it. Germany and France have expressed concern about the possible impact on aid groups as well as European embassies should the EU place sanctions on the bank, sources with knowledge of the matter have previously said. Washington has targeted North Korea’s limited financial links to the global community before. In 2005, some $25 million in North Korean money was frozen in a US Treasury-inspired raid on Macau-based Banco Delta Asia (BDA), which Washington alleged handled illicit funds for Pyongyang. Reuters reported in April that Chinese banks had to rate their clients’ risk of criminal conduct on a scale of 1-5 as part of the central bank’s moves to curb money laundering and fraudulent transactions estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars a year. The new rules come as some experts cite China as the world’s biggest source of “dirty” funds and as it faces growing foreign pressure to scrutinize its financial links with North Korea and block cash transfers tied to Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency in March said Beijing had warned North Korean banks to stay within the remit of their permitted operations in China or risk penalties. Chinese regulators have not commented on that report. —Reuters

best internet services and solutions for Kuwait”. Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, from their side, thanked FASTtelco for their valuable support and the efficiency of streaming this competition online on the website of the ministry. they noted that the services contributed by FASTtelco played an essential role for the progress of this contest and

Hamad Saleh Al Selmi hoped that both parties will have more successful collaborations in future projects and events. FASTtelco is always in the vanguard to contribute to all events and activities that are interesting and beneficial for the Kuwaiti society, for it believes that its success stems not only from the high quality of its services but also from the role it plays in the development of the society, assisting it to achieve its goals and highlight its the leading role in the Internet and Data Communications sector.

South African Airways fights to keep flag flying JOHANNESBURG: South African Airlines is one of the continent’s leading carriers, but financial battles and seemingly endless changes of leadership have put its future at risk. The loss-making state-owned airline has been stumbling from one crisis to another in recent years, with calls for privatization routinely rejected by its sole shareholder, the South African government. On Monday the company announced it would borrow about $170 million under a state guarantee to cover operating costs. This month, the beleaguered carrier welcomed its fourth chief executive in six months, after a string of walkouts and interim replacements. The government insists the airline is a strategic national asset, not a liability, and should not into fall private hands. But that policy comes at an increasingly steep price. Over the years, the South African treasury has dug deep to keep the airline afloat, and there is little sign the bleeding will stop soon. In its latest phase of financial turbulence, SAA reported operating losses of $147 million for the financial year 2011-2012, due to souring fuel prices and reduced passenger volumes. The ministry of public enterprises, which is handling the affairs of the flag carrier, has admitted that “further government support to SAA cannot continue.” Still privatization, partial or whole, may not be a panacea. According to aviation analyst, Joachim Vermooten, privatisation is not “a quick fix for SAA.” “It is doubtful whether there

would be investors that would be willing to risk substantial amounts of money in the short term when a reasonable return on investment is so uncertain and probabilities are against it,” Vermooten said. The airline recently submitted a 20-year turnaround plan to government, its tenth in 13 years, detailing ways to steer it into profitability. Vermooten says 20 years is too long a period from a normal investment perspective. “In the meanwhile SAA continues to incur losses and expand its activities utilizing loans backed by government guarantees... to achieve profitability of the nature taken by its peers in similar circumstances.” Independent analyst Linden Birns also dismissed privatization as a “red herring”, arguing that all the airline needs is the right leadership. “The issue here is not about being privately owned or state owned. It’s about having the right mandate, solid strategy and being adequately financed,” Birns said. “If you don’t have all of those, you are never not going succeed,” he said adding that there was nothing unusual about a business going back to shareholders for cash. Birns mentioned Singapore Airlines and Ethiopian as proof that state-owned carriers can achieve profitability. Despite its woes, SAA is head and shoulders above many airlines on the continent, which are grounded by debt and poor safety records. Its African network, boasting 28 destinations makes it one of the few airlines offering direct links within a continent notorious for limited air travel. —AFP

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

.2770000 .4310000 .3680000 .3020000 .2780000 .2940000 .0040000 .0020000 .0771240 .7513970 .3930000 .0720000 .7366120 .0370000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2841000 .4338920 .3707360 .3043390 .2795430 .0497330 .0443660 .2963730 .0365940 .2291130 .0029600 .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 2.881 5.259 2.899 2.253 3.291 232.220 36.778 3.651 6.980

.2880000 .4470000 .3760000 .3170000 .2920000 .3020000 .0069000 .0035000 .0778990 .7589480 .4110000 .0770000 .7440150 .0440000 .2862000 .4370990 .3734770 .3065880 .2816100 .0501010 .0446940 .2985640 .0368650 .2308060 .0028810 .0052870 .0022880 .0029190 .0036810 .0779520 .7594530 .4048090 .0763400 .7436660 .0069870

Thai Baht Malaysian ringgit Irani Riyal Irani Riyal

Omani Riyal Qatari Riyal Saudi Riyal

9.629 94.221 0.271 0.273

740.69 78.59 76.02

743.000 78.500 76.400

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd GCC COUNTRIES 76.137 78.450 741.590 758.340 77.744

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 40.350 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 40.570 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.332 Tunisian Dinar 176.830 Jordanian Dinar 403.190 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.915 Syrian Lier 3.102 Morocco Dirham 34.180 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 285.400 Euro 374.870 Sterling Pound 445.080 Canadian dollar 284.550 Turkish lira 158.720 Swiss Franc 305.570 US Dollar Buying 284.200 GOLD 298.000 150.000 77.500

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

SELL DRAFT 299.45 285.97 306.21 376.06 284.60 444.81 2.98 3.675 5.263 2.245 3.313 2.896 77.55 757.78 40.62 405.45

Selling Rate 285.000 286.360 444.895 374.265 305.150 754.545 77.570 78.230 75.965 401.755 40.465 2.254 5.294 2.894 3.652 6.952 699.120 3.875 9.680 4.060 3.395 93.855

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

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

SELL CASH 298.000 285.000 307.000 374.500 285.500 449.000 3.300 3.720 5.450 2.430 3.400 2.953 78.000 756.800 40.500 410.000

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

SELL CASH Europe 0.4362210 0.0061642 0.0460352 0.3680424 0.0448336 0.4334380 0.0395321 0.2991667 Australasia 0.2811058 0.2349915 0.0001130 America 0.2765657 0.0001451 0.2830500 Asia 0.0036123 0.0031636 0.0451801 0.0164800

SELLDRAFT 0.4452210 0.0181642 0.0510352 0.3755424 0.0500336 0.4409360 0.0445321 0.3061667 0.2931058 0.2449915 0.0001130 0.2855657 0.0001631 0.2852000 0.0036673 0.0033939 0.0501801 0.0195800

Guinea Franc Hg 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 0.0342000 0.0051937 0.0000243 0.0028494 0.0027987 0.0033519 0.0908586 0.0031345 0.0028721 0.0065194 0.0000728 0.2278404 0.0022133 0.0092410 Arab 0.7500723 0.0385556 0.0128886 0.1484588 0.0000793 0.0001735 0.3966874 1.0000000 0.0001749 0.0220469 0.0012114 0.7297687 0.0776821 0.0755200 0.0463721 0.0031824 0.1743832 0.0762221 0.0012866

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) 284.900 375.350 445.000 284.450 2.920 5.265 40.540 2.252 3.652 6.965 2.900 758.350 77.550 76.000

0.0000503 0.0373000 0.0052577 0.0000295 0.0038494 0.0029787 0.0035819 0.0978586 0.0033345 0.0029121 0.0069894 0.0000758 0.2338404 0.0022553 0.0098410 0.7585723 0.0405856 0.0193886 0.1502488 0.0000798 0.0002335 0.4041874 1.0000000 0.0001949 0.0460469 0.0018464 0.7407687 0.0784651 0.0761600 0.0469221 0.0034024 0.1803832 0.0776721 0.0013866



Brands risk image in varying Bangladesh responses MUMBAI: Global clothing brands involved in Bangladesh’s troubled garment industry responded in starkly different ways to the building collapse that killed more than 600 people. Some quickly acknowledged their links to the tragedy and promised compensation. Others denied they authorized work at factories in the building even when their labels were found in the rubble. The first approach seems to deserve plaudits for honesty and compassion. The second seems calculated to minimize damage to a brand by maximizing distance from the disaster. Communications professionals say both are public relations strategies and neither may be enough to protect companies from the stain of doing business in Bangladesh. Such experts say that with several deadly disasters and fires in Bangladesh’s $20 billion garment industry in the past six months, possibly the only way retailers and clothing brands can protect their reputations is to visibly and genuinely work to overhaul safety in Bangladesh’s garment factories. A factory fire killed 112 workers in November and a January blaze killed seven. “Just public relations is not going to do it,” said Caroline Sapriel, managing director of CS&A, a firm that specializes in reputation management in crisis situations. Over the past decade, major players in the fashion industry have flocked to Bangladesh, where a minimum wage of about $38 a month has helped boost profits in a global business worth $1 trillion a year. Clothing and textiles are 80 percent of Bangladesh’s exports and employ several million people. Yet the country’s worker safety record

has become so notorious that the reputational risks of doing business there may have become too great even for retailers and brands that didn’t work with factories in the collapsed Rana Plaza building or the Tazreen Fashions factory that burned late last year. “I don’t think it’s enough anymore to say ‘We’re not involved in these particular factories,’” Sapriel said. Many clothing brands were quick to distance themselves from the five factories that were housed in Rana Plaza. The building, which was not designed for industrial use and had three illegally added levels, collapsed April 24. Benetton said none of the factories were its authorized suppliers, although Benetton labels were found in the rubble. Spain’s Mango said it hadn’t bought clothing from Rana Plaza factories but acknowledged it had been in talks with one factory to produce a test batch of clothing. German clothing company KiK said it was “surprised, shocked and appalled” to learn its T-shirts and tops were found in the rubble. The company said it stopped doing business with the Rana Plaza factories in 2008. It promised an investigation. Wal-Mart said there was no authorized production of its clothing lines at Rana Plaza but it was investigating whether there was unapproved subcontracting. Swedish retailer H&M, the single largest customer of Bangladeshi garment factories, said none of its clothes were produced there. The Walt Disney Co. in March responded to publicity from last year’s fire at the Tazreen factory, where its branded clothing was found, by pulling out of

Bangladesh production altogether. Only a few companies, including Britain’s Primark and Canada’s Loblaw Inc., which owns the Joe Fresh clothing line, have acknowledged production at Rana Plaza and

short memories of Western consumers, who tend to focus on price and may not even check where a piece of clothing has been made. But that’s a risky strategy, said Rahul Sharma, public affairs execu-

ATLANTA: Lana Nguyen (right) holds up a shirt while helping friend Chris Ghiathi (left) shop in an H&M store in Atlanta. Global clothing brands involved in Bangladesh’s troubled garment industry responded in starkly different ways to the building collapse that killed more than people. —AP promised compensation. Loblaw’s CEO said there were 28 other brands and retailers using the five factories and urged them to end their “deafening silence.” Companies that are downplaying involvement in Bangladesh’s factory safety problems may be counting on the

tive with the India-based public relations firm Genesis Burston-Marsteller. “Reputation is built over a long period of time. But to lose it, it can take seconds,” Sharma said. Even companies that do make efforts to ensure they use only factories with

good safety records are now at risk of being lumped in with the problems that are rife in Bangladesh’s garment industry, he said. Sharma said that if he were advising any retailer doing business in Bangladesh, he would recommend swift action in the form of a concrete plan to overhaul the entire industry, working with government, factory owners and labor unions. “They need to send out the message that they are addressing this problem - and then they need to actually do it,” he said. In the wake of the Rana Plaza collapse, there have been tentative moves to do that. Last week, the Bangladeshi garment association met with representatives of 40 garment buyers including H&M, JC Penney, Gap, Nike, Li & Fung and Tesco. Others have called for retailers and brands to now embrace a union-proposed plan for all retailers to fund factory upgrades and independent inspections that would cover the entire industry in Bangladesh. That plan has previously been rejected by all but two major brands as too expensive for the corporations and Bangladesh’s responsibility to fix its own problems. PVH, the parent company of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands, and German retailer Tchibo were willing to sign up. But with the latest disaster, a potential loss of reputation could be far more expensive in the long run. “There is a perception when something terrible like this happens, that crisis communication is going to fix it,” Sapriel said. “But no, no. You have to go and fix the problem. And then, only then, can you can communicate that you’ve done something to fix the problem.” —AP

Britain ‘should quit EU’ Ex-finance minister says UK better off out LONDON: Britain should leave the European Union because Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan to claw back powers from Brussels is doomed, former finance minister Nigel Lawson said yesterday. Lawson’s intervention piles pressure on Cameron just days after his Conservative Party was shaken in local elections by the surging anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP). Cameron came to power in a coalition government in 2010 with a plea to his party to “stop banging on about Europe”, an issue that has divided the Conservatives for decades and helped bring down two of his predecessors, Margaret Thatcher and John Major. But his promise in January to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s EU membership and to hold an “in-out” referendum if he is re-elected in 2015 has failed to stop party squabbling over Europe or halt UKIP’s rise. Lawson, who served as Thatcher’s finance minister from 1983 to 1989, is the most senior member of Cameron’s Conservative Party to call for Britain to withdraw from the EU.

Cameron’s attempts to repatriate powers from Brussels would probably only secure “inconsequential” results, Lawson said, echoing warnings from France and Germany. Britain would be better off outside a 27-nation bloc that has become a “bureaucratic monstrosity”, he wrote in Monday’s Times newspaper. “I strongly suspect that there would be a positive economic advantage to the UK in leaving the single market,” Lawson wrote in an article that stirred memories of a Conservative civil war over Europe that raged for large parts of the 1980s and 1990s. “In my judgment the economic gains would substantially outweigh the costs.” Lawson, who voted to stay inside the EU’s forerunner in Britain’s last referendum on Europe in 1975, said the euro zone debt crisis had fundamentally changed the EU and he would choose to leave if another vote is held. Some Conservatives have called on Cameron to bring forward legislation enshrining his referendum pledge in law from the next parliament to this one.

Both sides on the debate over Britain’s EU future have been setting out their stalls since Cameron’s referendum pledge in January. More than 500 business leaders backed Cameron’s renegotiation policy in April, saying a new, looser relationship with Europe would boost the British economy. Others fear the referendum pledge has created years of dangerous uncertainty that will deter foreign investment in Britain and upset allies in the EU, Britain’s biggest trading partner. Cameron, trailing in the polls by around 10 points, supports Britain’s continued membership of a club it joined at the third attempt in 1973. Responding to Lawson’s article, Cameron’s spokesman said the prime minister wants the EU must change and “wake up to the modern world of competition”. “Europe has to reform,” his office said in a statement. “But our continued membership must have the consent of the British people, which is why the PM has set out a clear timetable on this issue.” —Reuters

China new leaders to quicken yuan reform

SYDNEY: People walk past a sign advertising home loans as Australia’s central bank cuts interest rates to a record low 2.75 percent yesterday. —AFP

Australia slashes interest rate to record low 2.75% SYDNEY: Australia’s central bank cut interest rates to a record low 2.75 percent yesterday, citing weak domestic inflation coupled with a persistently high dollar as investment in the key mining sector hits its peak. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s shock decision to slash 25 basis points takes the official cash rate to never-before-seen lows, and is aimed at priming those areas struggling as the economy transforms away from mining. “With the peak in the level of resources sector investment likely to occur this year, there is scope for other areas of demand to grow more strongly over the next couple of years,” said RBA governor Glenn Stevens. “( The bank) judged that a fur ther decline in the cash rate was appropriate to encourage sustainable growth in the economy, consistent with achieving the inflation target.” The Australian dollar slumped to US$1.0184 from $1.0238 immediately prior to the bank’s meeting, where it had been widely expected to leave rates on hold at 3.0 percent, reached in December. Rates have not been this low since the establishment of the reserve bank in 1959. Analysts said the Australian economy needed stimulus as mining exports to Asia, which helped it dodge recession during the global downturn, recede. “Mining investment has been the main driver of growth in recent years, but it is set to start declining within the next couple of quarters,” said Capital Economics analyst Daniel Martin, adding that he expected a further cut before the end of the year. “Other

sources of growth will be needed to avoid a significant overall slowdown.” Stevens said inflation was currently running “lower than expected”, with the exchange rate, on the other hand, “little changed at a historically high level over the past 18 months”. “(That) is unusual given the decline in export prices and interest rates during that time,” he said. “Moreover, the demand for credit remains, at this point, relatively subdued.” Stevens said domestic growth had slowed in the second half of 2012 and was running below long-term averages, with unemployment rising to 5.6 percent in March, its highest level in more than three years. The economy expanded 0.6 percent in the three months to December and 3.1 percent through 2012, with analysts warning that the key mining sector was covering up broader weakness as the resources boom nears its peak. Stevens said there were “prospects for some increase in business investment outside the resources sector over the next year”, with productivity improving and labor costs down. Globally, he noted that growth was expected to come in a little below trend, with the United States on a “moderate” trajectory and China at a “more sustainable but still robust pace”, but Europe weighing on the outlook. The Australian government downgraded its annual revenue forecasts yesterday, warning income had plunged Aus$17 billion due to a China-driven commodity slowdown and pressures from the dollar, paving the way for spending cuts. —AFP

BEIJING: China’s new batch of leaders may quicken the process of making the yuan fully convertible over the next few years to boost the currency’s global clout and support wider financial reforms, but the pace of market opening could disappoint as caution remains. A cabinet meeting on Monday called for “operational plans” to achieve yuan convertibility under the capital account, a seemingly bolder push for change after a new administration took the helm in March. As the world’s second-largest economy grapples with slowing growth, the government is keen to accelerate reforms to sustain momentum and boost investment opportunities. A tightly controlled yuan only impedes overall financial reforms and progress toward a market-oriented economy. Analysts’ best guess is that China will make the yuan convertible within five years but still retain some controls on short-term fund flows. The central bank could lead efforts to map out plans on yuan convertibility, which may even imply a deadline, although it will not be made public, according to Chinese economists familiar with internal policy discussions. Chinese officials, including central bank chief Zhou Xiaochuan, have never given a specific timetable on yuan convertibility, even though the government’s 12th five-year plan (2011-15) vaguely called for the yuan’s basic convertibility. In the near term, the government may boost two-way capital flows especially emphasizing outbound investment by Chinese individuals, they say. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) may further relax its tight grip on currency trading by widening the daily trading range for the yuan. In April 2012, Beijing doubled the yuan/dollar band to 1 percent either side of a midpoint. Deputy PBOC governor Yi Gang said at a forum in Washington in April that conditions were now appropriate to further open China’s capital account and widen the yuan’s trading band. “Yuan convertibility is an important link in financial reform which needs to be quickened, or it could hamper other financial reforms and the yuan’s internationalization,” said Xiang Songzuo, chief economist at Agricultural Bank of China. “They will probably get it done by the end of the tenure of the current government, or in the next five years.” The yuan is convertible under the current account, the broadest measure of trade in services and goods. But the government maintains tight restrictions on the capital account, particularly debt and portfolio investments, worried that freeing up the yuan too quickly could leave the economy vulnerable to rapid movements in capital in and out of the country. A restricted yuan, however, may hamper China’s drive to internationalize the yuan as foreign investors who hold the currency have limited access to the domestic capital market. BROADER REFORMS At the cabinet meeting, Premier Li Keqiang sent a clear signal that his administration will push forward key reforms, including market-oriented liberalization of interest rates and exchange rate regimes, to help revitalize the economy. China leaders have pledged to unleash fresh “reform dividends” to underpin the economy as annual growth unexpectedly slowed to 7.7 percent in the first quarter from 7.9 percent in the previous quarter despite a credit boom. —Reuters

DED, SIBA unveil ‘Visions 2 Reality’ second edition KUWAIT: The Business Excellence Department at the Department of Economic Development (DED), Dubai, in collaboration with the Sharjah Islamic Bank Academy (SIBA), will organize the second edition of the ‘Visions 2 Reality’ conference at the Dubai World Trade Centre on 22 May 2013, with the aim of promoting Emiratisation. Themed ‘Building Tomorrow’s Leaders Today,’ the one-day conference is a strategic joint initiative of DED and Sharjah Islamic Bank to proactively seek, develop, and engage high potential UAE nationals in support of the government’s efforts to create a readily available pool of Emirati talent in the local job market. His Excellency Abdullah bin Mohammed Ghubash, UAE Minister of State, said: “The UAE relies on the Emirati citizen to be a catalyst for the continued growth and development of the nation. We want to encourage young nationals to assume this mantle of responsibility, and to live up to the challenges ahead. This is the essence of the directives of Their Highnesses the UAE President, Vice President, Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates. “This approach has made the country and its citizens shining example of successful human development in the region and the entire world. The Visions 2 Reality conference is an initiative that brings the public and private sector together to support the vision of developing the capability of UAE nationals in the job market.” Ali Ibrahim, Deputy Director General for Planning and Development in DED, commented: “The Visions 2 Reality initiative is part of the UAE strategy towards exploring and developing the various capabilities of its citizens in a challenging world. The initiative reflects the country’s keenness to sustain its achievements and groom leaders who believe in the importance of comprehensive development and staying

abreast of latest information. The conference aims to turn ambitions into reality in the near future.” Mohammed Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer of Sharjah Islamic Bank, said: “The Visions to Reality comes in line with the great ‘Absher ’ initiative launched by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan last November, and in response to the announcement by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice -President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make 2013 the year of Emiratisation. Creating jobs for UAE nationals is a national duty that requires all of us to join forces and unite energies in dealing with Emiratisation as a national priority at all levels. Emiratisation is a national priority and investing in human capital is the best investment, urging all private businesses to join Emiratisation initiatives and support the government in its quest to strengthen Emiratisation. The conference, which will feature a series of sessions, seminars, and workshops will bring together business and government leaders, consultants, heads of human resource departments and the academia in discussions on proven and innovative strategies in developing national talent. Sponsored by Emirates Transport, Spearhead Training, AAFAQ, Hind Al Oud and Dana Gas, the conference will present new interactive models that will facilitate sharing of knowledge and business best practices. Reputed CEOs and award winning organizations will share their collective expertise with the attendees in an effort to encourage successful business approaches. Last year, DED and SIB signed an agreement to launch a series of conferences, seminars, workshops, and other initiatives related to major regional and international issues to help the business community pursue excellence and innovation.

EU targets universal bank account access BRUSSELS: The European Commission will set out today plans for universal access to current accounts with banks-seeking to remedy an exclusion that Brussels calculates affects nearly 60 million adults across the European Union. Legislative proposals on payment accounts also aim to make it easier to switch banks, similar to EU measures to open up utility markets in recent years. And finally, according to proposals seen by AFP yesterday, they will insist on transparent costs information for consumers. Turning the proposals into law will require the approval of EU member governments and the European Parliament, and only after detailed industry submissions. Payment, or current accounts, will, however, offer limited functionality-the ability to transfer money, but no credit-card and no overdrafts, as is frequently the case at present where banking restrictions are imposed on individuals with poor credit ratings. “Banks will not be allowed to

refuse to open a payment account guaranteeing the minimum essential payment services to a consumer with poor credit history or any other type of financial difficulty,” the Commission documents state. Exceptions to these rights would be where individuals are found guilty of breaches of money-laundering or anti-terror legislation, or if a similar account already exists in the country concerned. Consumers should be able to switch banks within 15 days if they chose one in the same country, and within 30 days if they look across borders, as political leaders seek to create a true EU-wide banking union. In some countries, the proportion of citizens without current accounts is especially high-the Commission estimates, for instance, that 25 million people in Bulgaria and Romania do not have payment accounts, meaning they operate largely on a cash or barter basis. —AFP



Oil heads towards $106 on data, bank policy LONDON: Brent crude oil reached its highest in nearly a month yesterday, heading towards $106 a barrel, supported by strong German data, central bank policy and tension in the Middle East. The benchmark also gained on Monday, on fears of supply disruption after the Israeli air strikes on Syria close to Damascus, though the effect of this has subsided somewhat, analysts said. Brent crude rose 15 cents to $105.61 a barrel by 1253 GMT, having earlier reached $105.94, the highest since April 11. Brent has rebounded nearly $7 a barrel since falling below $99 last Wednesday. US oil fell 57 cents to $95.59 by 1253 GMT, after ending 55 cents higher on Monday. Oil and

other risk-sensitive assets, such as equities, were boosted by renewed optimism about the global economy, thanks in part to supportive measures from central banks. The Reserve Bank of Australia cut its cash rate by 25 basis points yesterday to a record low of 2.75 percent. On Monday European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi said that the ECB would cut rates again if needed. “There’s a glow of comfort for investors, with central banks in Europe and the United States more supportive across the board,” said Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB in Oslo. Positive data also helped to lift prices, with German industrial orders rising again in March, confounding expectations for a drop

and helping to brighten a rather gloomy demand outlook. CHINA FOCUS Attention focused again on China, the world’s secondlargest economy, ahead of preliminary April trade data due today. China’s crude oil imports last month were expected to have held near March levels, which were 2.1 percent lower than a year earlier. Chinese inflation data tomorrow and money supply and loan growth figures expected from Friday will also be watched. Expectations of a further build in US commercial crude oil stocks, after hitting a record high, dragged on prices. A preliminary Reuters poll, taken ahead

of weekly inventory reports from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the US Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), forecast on average that crude stocks increased by 1.8 million barrels in the week ended May 3. Prices may rise in the second half of 2013, Morgan Stanley said in a research note. The bank said that the global oil balance looked much tighter this summer, with Brent likely to trade up to $110 to $115 in the second half. In the week to April 30, hedge funds and other large speculators increased bets on higher Brent prices, upping net long positions by 9,614 contracts to 108,741, data from the IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) show. —Reuters

FRANKFURT: A display showing the German Stock Market Index DAX is seen at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany yesterday. Germany’s blue-chip DAX 30 stock index topped an all-time intraday high yesterday, propelled by a raft of favorable corporate earnings reports, traders said. —AFP

World shares near 5-year high on growth optimism LONDON: World shares hit their highest level in almost five years yesterday as last week’s strong US jobs report continued to fuel optimism about the health of the global economy. Japanese stocks jumped in a delayed reaction to the data because Tokyo had been closed for a public holiday on Monday. The head of the European Central Bank added to the positive mood by saying it was ready to cut rates again if needed. Australia’s central bank also did its bit to help the economy, cutting rates to a record low yesterday and signaling it could do more, helping shares. “I think the markets are going to continue going higher, the S&P hit another record high yesterday, the DAX is getting closer,” said Neil Marsh, strategist at Newedge. “From a very low base, everyone is fairly optimistic that things are going to improve and if they don’t, you’ve got the added backdrop from (ECB President Mario) Draghi that he’ll do whatever it takes to push the euro zone economy forwards.”The Nikkei stock average soared 3.7 percent and the MSCI global index, which tracks stocks in 45 countries, rose 0.3 percent, both the highest since June 2008. European equities also nudged up as trading gathered momentum, bolstered by

a crop of better than expected corporate earnings and with the German DAX index closing in on its own record high of 8,151,57 set back in 2007. Monday’s comments from Draghi that the ECB would cut rates again if needed, including pushing its key deposit rate into negative territory, kept downward pressure on the euro as it hovered little changed on the day at $1.3075. The prospect of negative euro zone rates continued to underpin the bloc’s bond markets too with the benchmark German Bund a tick lower on the day at 146.15. The main focus for Asian currency markets was the Reserve Bank of Australia’s policy meeting, at which the bank decided to lower its cash rate by 25 basis points to a record low 2.75 percent. Markets had priced in a 50-50 chance of a rate cut, and the decision sent the Australian dollar down to a two-month low of $1.0810 and helped Australian shares trim earlier losses. Investors are now waiting for a batch of April data from China, the world’s secondlargest economy, for more clues on global growth. Chinese trade data will be released today, inflation tomorrow and money supply and loan growth expected from Friday. —Reuters

Gold ticks lower Equities gain, ETFs plunge LONDON: Gold eased yesterday, as its appeal as an alternative investment faded after stock markets rose on hopes for a steady US recovery and as exchangetraded funds slipped to their lowest in more than three years. It also came under pressure as Britain and Japan returned from a long weekend and looked to assess European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi’s comments on Monday when he said the bank would be ready to cut rates further, including the deposit rate currently at zero. Lower interest rates usually favor gold as they encourage investors to put money into non-interest-bearing assets such as the metal, but cyclical assets including equities seem more attractive at the moment, analysts said. “The monetary easing news will continue to support liquidity, favoring more cyclical assets like stocks rather than defensive ones like precious metals,” Credit Suisse analyst Karim Cherif said. “Moreover, the technical picture seems weak and $1,480 seems difficult to break,” he added. Gold eased 0.6 percent to $1,460.60 by 0950 GMT. It rose to a near threeweek high of $1,487.80 on Friday on safe-haven buying spurred by a cut in interest rates by the ECB and the US Federal Reserve’s decision to stick to its stimulus program. But it failed to hold onto gains. “Gold is struggling against the important resistance range at $1,469.8 and $1,504.33, the 50 percent and 62 percent retracements of the March 21 to April 16 sell-off,” UBS technical analysts said in a note. US gold for June delivery was at $1,460.40 an ounce, down 0.5 percent. European shares rose, bolstered by a crop of better-than-expected corporate earnings, while the euro remained under pressure versus the dollar. Gold plunged to $1,321.35 an ounce on April 16, its lowest in more than two years, after a drop below $1,500 and fears of central bank sales led to a sell-off that stunned

investors and prompted them to slash holdings of exchange-traded funds. The price drop ignited a buying frenzy in Asia and other parts of the world, leading to a shortage of gold bars, coins and nuggets in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo, and helping the metal stage a rebound. But gold’s failure to revisit the $1,500 level suggested that funds’ confidence was unlikely to be restored easily. Investment in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) has fallen more than 12 percent in 2013 after rising for each of the past 12 years. ETFs OUTFLOWS CONTINUE Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchangetraded fund, fell a further 0.3 percent to 1,062.30 tons or 34.15 million ounces on Monday - the lowest since August 2009. “ETF outflows continue to be gold’s key downside risk,” MKS Capital said. Meanwhile, hedge funds and money managers increased their bullish bets in gold futures and options in the week to April 30 as the price of the precious metal rallied 4.5 percent during the period, a report by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) showed on Friday. Interest for gold bars and coins remained at elevated levels, with the Chinese and Indian markets helping drive premiums higher, traders said. Hong Kong’s gold exports data showed flows to mainland China rose to 223.519 tons in March, more than doubling the 97.1-tonne level in February. “Physical supply is still a bit tight. The world is happy to buy gold, especially when prices were below $1,400. But gold is reluctant to go above $1,475 because of the ETFs,” said a dealer in Hong Kong. In other precious metals, platinum fell 1 percent to $1,486.99 an ounce. Palladium dropped 0.7 percent to $686,50, having hit a two-week high of $702.50 on Friday, and silver lost 1.4 percent to $23.65 an ounce. —Reuters



Samsung launches its 2013 Samsung Smart TV lineup Transforming the Home Entertainment Experience KUWAIT: Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies yesterday launched its 2013 Samsung Smart TV lineup that continues to push the boundaries of technology, with larger screen sizes and superior picture quality. The new F7500 and F8000 LED TVs are set to simplify how consumers search for and discover their preferred content, while raising the bar in picture quality, allowing them to enjoy a seamless, integrated and immersive entertainment experience. Commenting on the launch, Vinod Nair, General Manager TV Business, Samsung Gulf Electronics, said: “With the launch of our new range of SMART TVs in the Gulf, we are bringing a more immersive and intuitive TV experience to our consumers in the region, and continuing our commitment to introduce technology that not only enriches, but simplifies consumers’ lives. The F7500 and F8000 LED TVs offer more intuitive features, endless connectivity and content options, and larger screen sizes with true-to-life picture quality. Consumers can now enjoy the ultimate home entertainment experience, richer and easier than ever before.” Raed Bashir, General Manager of Al Andalus Trading Company said, “We are very excited about bringing Samsung’s 2013 SMART TV line up to our consumers in Kuwait. Both the F7500 and F8000 have been widely anticipated here, we have seen an increased demand from consumers wanting the latest SMART TVs so

that they can take advantage of the innovative features, such as its Smart Interaction and Smart View capabilities. We anticipate the lineup to do very well in our market.” The 2013 Smart TV lineup represents Samsung’s third generation of Smart TVs.

ty to update their models with some of the latest features from 2013 without having to buy a new set. A quad-core CPU enables quick app launching, web browsing and multi-tasking. Smart View lets consumers move content seamlessly from the TV to connected devices and back in

The easy-to-navigate interface enables content to be managed from one central location and organizes it into three dynamic panels. These panels include: PHOTOS, VIDEOS & MUSIC - allows consumers to organize personal content and files on Samsung Smart TVs and other

series, which is available in40-inch, 46-inch and 55-inch models. The F series offers cutting-edge technologies that deliver more vibrant and richer colors, higher contrasts and a brighter picture quality than ever before. In addition to the Micro Dimming Ultimate

Highlights of the 2013 features include: A redesigned Samsung Smart Hub that offers three dynamic menu panels to help consumers manage and navigate different types of content. Outstanding picture quality across the 2013 lines. Samsung’s new TVs offer brighter, more vibrant color. Smart Evolution Kit gives owners of flagship 2012 Samsung TVs the opportuni-

real-time, so consumers never miss a moment of their favorite shows using AllShare. Advanced Smart Interaction allows consumers to use everyday language and casual gestures to control the TV. PERSONALIZED VIEWING CONTENT: Samsung’s redesigned Smart Hub makes it easier for consumers to discover content.

linked devices SOCIAL - highlights user-created content from friends and family, popular videos from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and video call services. The apps - organizes downloaded Samsung Apps and recommendations for easy access. The F8000 series comes in size classes ranging from 46-inch to55-inch models and the F7500

technology, a slim bezel and a quad-core processor lets users toggle between apps, online services and on-air TV quickly and easily without missing a moment of their favorite entertainment. Samsung’s new Smart TVs are now available in all major electronics stores across all major retail stores in Kuwait and prices start from KD449.9 up to KD1099.9.

Iran faces fresh trade heat as more shipping firms exit A further blow to Tehran’s vital seaborne trade

90% of Kuwaitis trust Hyundai AC KUWAIT: Hyundai Electronics Co recently conducted a survey amongst a large group of air conditioners’ consumers in Kuwait which showed that 90 percent of them know, trust and use Hyundai air conditioners in addition to other Hyundai products. Accordingly, Hyundai Electronics marketing, sales and operations manager, Alamah said that ever since their emergence to Kuwait’s market, Hyundai had felt and shared a great challenge and competition with various international brands on local markets. “Therefore, we have been doing our best to win our clients’ trust and increase our market share through meeting clients need for quality goods, competitive prices and our two-year warranty that stands as proof of the quality of our products”, he said Alamah added that Hyundai managed to get a large market share of air conditioners’ sales in Kuwait in such a short period compared to other international brands. “Thanks to the high quality , competent cooling capability and the availability of our air conditioners at various major electronics outlets in Kuwait, this can be

easily depicted from the exceptionally gigantic growth of our annual sales”, he underlined. He also named some of these outlets who included Al-Ayyar and Asaker Co, AlTamran and Al-Sha’bi Co, Mohammed Assman Co (Jahra), Hetteen Establishment, all branches of Wahat Al-Bostan, Danat AlKuwait (Fahaheel), Aqmar Al-Khaleej Co (Kuwait, Hawalli), No’man Al-Humaidan Co, Al-Fuazan Co, Yousif Ahmed Al-Ghanim Co, Electrozan, Best, Eureka , Carrefour, Geant and Abyat. “Hence, we, the Standard Arabian Business and Electronics Co, the sole agent of Hyundai products in Kuwait, wish to thank all our resellers for their great cooperation in marketing and selling and installing Hyundai A/Cs within 24 hours of purchase as well as providing the best after-sale services”, Alamah stressed, pointing out that Hyundai A/Cs were almost the only ones equipped with cutting-edge genuine Japanese compressors that can function at up to 60 degrees centigrade and are accordingly very suitable for Kuwait’s weather.

LONDON: Foreign container shipping lines are giving up on Iranian business ahead of new US sanctions in July, dealing a further blow to Tehran’s vital seaborne trade. Iran’s economy is already reeling from the effect of measures imposed by the West to curb Tehran’s nuclear program. Its currency has lost two thirds of its value since late 2011, inflation is soaring, and unemployment is rising fast as manufacturing, starved of parts and international finance, has contracted. Many of Iran’s imports, including food and consumer goods, arrive on container, bulker and other ships. Feeder services, which transport ship containers to Iran especially from larger ports in the United Arab Emirates, are also used. The US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which comes into effect on July 1, blacklists Iran’s shipping, shipbuilding, energy and ports management sectors. While it has an explicit exemption for food, medicine and other humanitarian goods, foreign shipping firms are pulling out to avoid falling foul of its provisions. “Iran will become increasingly dependent on feeder services from nearby Gulf states for the import of its goods as major container shipping companies become ever more wary of transgressing against the numerous sanctions,” said Daniel Richards, with Business Monitor International (BMI). Kuwait-headquartered United Arab Shipping Co (UASC), which is among the world’s biggest 20 container lines, said last month it had suspended all services to and from Iran. “We now find ourselves in the peculiar situation where even if we are carrying non-sanctioned cargo to non-sanctioned entities, the cargo will eventually have to be handled by a party which the US

government considers as providing financial support to a sanctioned party,” it said. In a company memo seen by Reuters, UASC added: “With the passing of the NDAA ... the difficulties in shipping cargo to and from Iran have only increased.” Mark Dubowitz, who has advised President Barack Obama’s administration and US lawmakers on sanctions, said container lines transporting humanitarian goods would not face measures. “You may be seeing a short period of adjustment as these companies seek clarity on the new rules, but this trade should face minimal disruption,” he said. “The container lines can operate easily under the broad humanitarian exemptions available in every sanctions law.” Nevertheless, companies are uncomfortable. Dubai-based Simatech Shipping said this month it would cut services to and from Iran from June because of the new sanctions. A spokesman with Hong Kong-headquar tered Orient Overseas Container Line said its feeder service to Iran from the UAE would cease from June after ending direct business from Asia two years ago. A source at Hong Kong’s Wah Hai Lines said it would no longer send its vessels to Iran. APL, the container unit of Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines , said it would ensure “all applicable regulations governing shipments to Iran are adhered to”. PORT VOLUMES HIT Iran’s cargo trade has already faced earlier ruptures after the United States in 2011 blacklisted major Iranian port operator Tidewater Middle East Co, which operates seven terminals in the country including the biggest container port Bandar Abbas. Tougher conditions led to AP

Moller-Maersk’s Maersk Line, the world’s biggest container company, pulling out entirely from Iran last year, joining an exodus including the world’s number two and three MSC and CMA CGM and smaller groups like Germany’s HapagLloyd. BMI forecast annual container throughput growth at Bandar Abbas would average 2.7 percent between 2013 and 2017, below the 13 percent average between 2007 and 2011 before sanctions took their toll. India’s exports to Iran could also be hurt because of the new measures. A source at TransAsia, based in India, told Reuters the company would not go to Bandar Abbas from July. Three Indian freight for ward firms, which declined to be identified, said separately they were finding it difficult to arrange vessels from July for journeys from India to Iran. India, which is Iran’s second-biggest oil client after China, has aimed to boost exports to Tehran in order to balance out a huge trade deficit and help to smooth payments for oil. It has exported goods that do not come under sanctions including rice, sugar, tea, some engineering goods and medicines. This could mean that Hafiz Darya Shipping, which Washington says is a front company for Iran’s Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, which is subject to sanctions by the United Nations, the United States and the European Union, could be the only option left for Indian exporters, trade sources said. “Sanctions are coming to define both the country’s economy and its container shipping sector, and we do not envisage this changing to any great degree until the Islamic Republic bows to international pressure with regard to its nuclear program,” BMI’s Richards said.—Reuters

Iraq-Kurd oil talks break ice, long-term fix unlikely BAGHDAD: A lasting solution to Iraq’s dispute with its Kurdish north is unlikely even if recent talks between the two sides lead to a resumption of oil exports from the autonomous region. Kurdish crude used to be shipped to world markets through a Baghdad-controlled pipeline, but exports via that channel dried up last December due to a row over payment for oil companies operating in the northern enclave. The spat intensified in March when the Iraqi parliament passed the country’s 2013 budget despite a boycott by Kurdish lawmakers, who withdrew from the assembly in protest at the amount they were allocated. Kurdish lawmakers returned to Baghdad on Monday as part of an agreement that includes amending the budget and forming a committee to study the oil and gas law, which has been stuck in parliament for years due to a lack of consensus. “It was a visit to break the ice and start a new phase for serious talks,” Kurdish lawmaker Mahmoud Othman told Reuters. “No final agreement was reached to resume oil exports from the Kurdistan region yet, but I can confirm that both parties are very close to resolving this problem very soon.” In recent years, the Kurds have antagonized Iraq’s Shiite-led central government by signing deals on their own terms with international oil companies including Exxon Mobil, Total and Chevron Corp. Baghdad says it alone has the right to control exploration and export of the world’s fourth largest oil reserves, while the Kurds insist their right to do so is enshrined in Iraq’s federal constitution, drawn up following the US-led invasion in

2003. Previous efforts to resolve their disagreements have amounted to little. “We have had agreement after agreement and no action on implementation. So even if we do get a signed agreement, we need to be skeptical based on history that it will be implemented,” said a Kurdistanbased industry source. Even if a compromise were to be found, Kurdistan is already pursuing an increasingly independent oil policy and is building the last leg of its own export pipeline, in defiance of Baghdad and the United States, which fears it will precipitate the break-up of Iraq. At a news conference in Arbil following the meetings, Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said he did not expect

differences with Baghdad to be buried “overnight” and the Kurds had alternatives if negotiations were unsuccessful. “I hope we will be able to solve them with Baghdad and that is what we prefer, but we will not stand by with our arms folded and we have other options”. HISTORY OF MISTRUST Iraqi Oil Ministry sources said a technical delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), including finance and energy officials, would meet their counterparts in Baghdad this week. “Oil payments for the Kurdish region will have priority in talks before a deal to resume exports can be reached - that’s

GM makes $1.3 bn Cadillac bet on China luxury sector SHANGHAI: US auto giant General Motors will build a $1.3 billion Cadillac plant in Shanghai after China approved the project, it said yesterday as it seeks more luxury sales in the world’s biggest car market. Construction of the plant-which will have annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles-will start in June, GM said in a statement. The factory, the first in China dedicated to making Cadillacs, will come under Shanghai GM, a joint venture with China’s SAIC Motor. “Shanghai GM has received the NDRC’s (National Development and Reform Commission’s) approval to build a Cadillac plant,” the statement said. The huge investment marks a bet that GM, the largest US auto maker, will be able to win a larger piece of China’s rapidly-growing luxury vehicle market, in which German brands hold an estimated 80 percent share. Analysts say GM is a laggard in the segment, one of China’s fastest growing and most profitable given rising incomes in the country. “GM needs to build a relatively high-end brand in China in order to improve its overall product line,” said Jia Xinguang, managing director of industry group the China Automobile Dealers Association. —AFP

the message we received from Kurdish officials,” an Iraqi government official said on condition of anonymity. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki is also expected to pay a visit to Kurdistan, which he last came to in 2010, leading to the “Arbil Agreement” that paved the way for him to form a power-sharing government after months of wrangling. Although that agreement, like others, failed to last, politicians and analysts say conditions may now be favorable for a rapprochement between Baghdad and Arbil, at least in the near-term and possibly up to parliamentary elections next year. Facing an uprising by Iraq’s Sunni minority, Maliki’s Shiite-led government could prove more willing to make concessions to the Kurds so as to strengthen its own position. “Iraq’s Shiites cannot be fighting on two simultaneous fronts (Sunnis and Kurds), and it is in their interests to defuse one of them, even if temporarily,” said a KRG source. Political sources said Shiite Iran encouraged the latest dialogue to reinforce Maliki against the fallout of the conflict in neighboring Syria, where mainly Sunni rebels are fighting to topple a leader backed by Tehran. Leaders in Iraq and Iran worry a demise of Syrian President Bashar AlAssad will make way for a Sunni regime hostile to their interests and weaken Shiite influence in the region. Wathiq AlHashimi, the Baghdad-based chairman of the Iraqi Group for Strategic Studies, doubted the “history of mistrust” between Baghdad and Arbil could be overcome, and said an agreement was certain to break down as soon as Maliki felt less vulnerable. —Reuters



BMW turns the ordinary into the extraordinary Strikingly sporty M-Powered version joins the M6 family KUWAIT: Through expert engines, sport-tuned suspensions, and exceptional technology, BMW has once again turned the ordinary into the extraordinary with the development of the allnew BMW M6 Series Gran Coupe, which goes on sale in Kuwait this month (May). Following in the tracks of the BMW M6 Convertible and Coupe that were launched last year, the third body variant of the BMW M6 high-performance sports car is the new flagship of BMW M GmbH, a subsidiary of the world’s leading premium automotive manufacturer for sports and high performance vehicles. Representing the ultimate in four-door high performance sports CoupÈs, the new model occupies an exclusive position in the premium segment thanks to a unique combination of outstanding dynamics, hallmark M model harmony

and everyday practicality. Combining customary M performance characteristics with extra helpings of luxury and aesthetic appeal, the BMW M6 Gran Coupe is immediately recognizable as an elegant and sporty 6 Series, but with enhanced M styling design cues that make it look sportier and more powerful. These elements include wider air intakes, stunningly contoured headlight units, the newly designed M kidney grille, which bears an “M6” badge, and 20 inch M light-alloy wheels available with two different design choices. Under its bonnet, BMW’s motor sport technology ensures that the new model raises the bar in performance. The interplay of the high-revving 4.4 liter V8 engines and M TwinPower Turbo technology is accompanied by a seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic, Active M

Differential and model-specific chassis technology, all of which ensure you get the drive of your life. Delivering 412kW/560hp, it propels the BMW M6 Gran Coupé from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.2 seconds. On the exterior, classical proportions and the sporty yet elegant lines of the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé form the foundations for the new M model’s striking body. Combining superior elegance with the comfort and functionality of a four-door saloon and the prowess of a top-class high performance sports car, its dimensions and equipment features ensure that luxury does not come at the price of everyday usability. The roof of the BMW M6 Gran Coupé is made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic, a unique feature in this segment. This extremely lightweight design provides superior stiffness and reduces

weight by 25kg compared to that of a conventional glass sunroof. It also helps to improve the car’s handling even further, making the drive even more dynamic. Inside the cockpit of the BMW M6 Gran Coupé, ground-breaking ergonomic design guarantees perfect mastery of the vehicle in every situation. Standard equipment includes leather trim, heated driver and front passenger seats, automatically dimming rear-view and exterior mirrors, an alarm system and the BMW Professional radio with hi-fi loudspeakers. Available as an alternative to the standard 2zone automatic climate control is a 4-zone system with a control panel in the rear compartment. Other highlights of the options list include M multifunction seats, Comfort Access, the Soft Close Automatic function for the doors, electri-

cally operated sun blinds and the new generation of the Professional navigation system. Available as an option, the M Carbon Ceramic Brake System is an innovative new feature for all M6 model variants. Its brake disks, manufactured from an extremely durable and heat-resistant carbon-ceramics compound, are considerably more lightweight, wear-resistant and corrosion-resistant than conventional components. This makes steering on the front axle even more precise. When it comes to BMW ConnectedDrive assistance technology, the BMW M6 Gran Coupe boasts an impressive range of features which, when combined, enhance comfort and safety. Technologies include BMW Park Assistant, High Beam Assistant, Lane Change Warning, and Lane Departure Warning.

HSBC profits nearly double as costs and bad debts fall Bad debts charge halve; Costs fall 10% LONDON: HSBC aims to keep the pressure on costs after first-quarter earnings nearly doubled due to the bank’s three-year efficiency drive and a halving in bad debts charges. The jump in profits reinforces HSBC’s position as one of the strongest global banks after the financial crisis partly as a result of a radical overhaul to simplify its sprawling structure and improve profitability. Its strong focus on Asia, which generated around two-thirds of profit in the first quarter, has also helped offset a harsh business environment, particularly in the euro-zone. Europe’s largest bank moved faster and more aggressively than many of its peers to cut costs after the crisis. And it will continue to wield the knife with a further 6,000 job cuts expected this year from businesses already put up for sale, on top of 40,000 already culled. HSBC has closed or sold more than 50 businesses since 2011. “We’re moving into calmer waters but there are still challenges ahead,” Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver told reporters on a conference call. Gulliver declined to say whether he would announce any additional cost savings at a strategy update for investors on May 15. But he said: “Clearly you can expect us to continue to focus on our cost base.” The CEO said HSBC still expect-

ed the euro zone economy to contract during 2013 and that UK economic growth remained muted. Across Europe, HSBC’s smaller rivals are playing catch-up with cost cuts to help offset rising bad debts and weak loan demand. French banks Societe Generale and Credit Agricole yesterday said they would keep making cuts to cope with a weak domestic economy. In Germany, the cost of thousands of job cuts contributed to a net first-quarter loss at Commerzbank, which warned that earnings would be under pressure this year as loan-loss provisions rise. In contrast, HSBC posted a pretax profit of $8.4 billion, up from $4.3 billion a year ago and above the average forecast of $8.1 billion from analysts polled by the company. “We see these results as an endorsement of the strength of the franchise and its ability to generate earnings even in a sluggish macro environment,” said Chirantan Barua, analyst at Bernstein. He said HSBC’s strong capital position and capital generation meant it could increase its dividend by at least 30 percent this year. COSTS HSBC shares rose more than 3.3 percent to

737.4 pence, their highest level since mid-March, helping to drive the European benchmark nearly three percent higher. A $1.1 billion gain from disposals aided HSBC earnings as did a halving of bad debt provisions to $1.2 billion - its lowest quarterly level since before the financial crisis. The bad debt charge fell across all regions and in particular in the United States, where HSBC is winding down its consumer business. The US consumer book saw a decline in loanloss provisions of $430 million to $544 million. Costs in the first quarter were down 10 percent from a year ago and the bank is now saving $4 billion a year on an annualized basis, above the top end of its own target range of $3.5 billion. HSBC wants to get costs below 52 percent of income by the end of the year from just over 53 percent on an underlying basis currently. Analysts say the bank should be able to raise its cost savings target by $1 billion a year. The bank’s investment banking division posted a 16.5 percent increase in first-quarter pretax profit from a year ago, helped by a strong performance at its equities division. This mirrors strong results from Europe’s other major investment banks such as Deutsche Bank, Barclays, UBS and Credit Suisse. —Reuters

Global macroeconomic developments KUWAIT: The global outlook has become less uniform and risks to the outlook have increased as the IIF global risk measure increased 12.1 points to 46.8 in March, as reported by Capital Economics. Slower growth in China, from 7.9% y-o-y during Q4 2012 to 7.7% in 1Q 2013, may look depressing to the global economy. However the consequent decline in commodity prices have helped to keep inflation low and leave space for monetary policy easing to spur global recovery in Developed economies. The global economy grew by 2.3% qo-q, saar in Q1 2013 after a 1.3% moderate growth in Q4 2012, driven largely by the robust growth in Emerging economies, at 4.4%, with anemic growth of 1.3% in Developed economies. The US economy seems to have entered a soft patch in March, induced by the substantial fiscal tightening. The bold measures announced by the Bank of Japan to double the holdings of government bonds and equity funds in the next year should help in ending 15 years of deflation and further support growth in 2013. The Euro-area remains caught up in recession. Interestingly, the EC and the IMF warned of the dangers of excessive austerity, arguing that the negative effects of fiscal tightening on economic growth have been bigger than anticipated. The Euro area’s GDP fell by 0.5% in Q1 2013 after a 2.3% fall in Q4 2012, and show little signs of growth revival, with German IFO business confidence dropping for a second straight month in April. In turn, the ECB has cut its key rate by 25bps on May 2, as inflation remained largely muted, but the rate cut is unlikely to be adequate to get credit flowing back to corporate and SMEs, according to Capital Economics. Emerging economies are expected to accelerate in Q2 2013, growing at 5.7% from a 4.4% in Q1 2013. Asia Pacific and Latin

American economies are likely to remain the growth engines, as both grew by 5.7% and 4.0% respectively in Q1 2013. GCC MACROECONOMIC Applying time series analysis to GCC data that cover the period 1970-2011, GIC has produced forecast estimates of the likely future path of oil and non-oil sectors in the economies of the GCC. The findings suggest that oil will remain a significant contributor to GDP in the region on the back of resilient prices and fairly solid demand and especially supported by exports to Emerging markets. However, there remain intercountry differences: The share of oil in Kuwait’s GDP is forecast to increase to 78% in 2015, compared to 63% in KSA, 66% in Qatar, 61% in Oman while the share in Bahrain is 41%. The Mining & Manufacturing sectors in Bahrain are forecast to be the fastest growing sectors in the upcoming three years, growing at 8.5% and 8.8% respectively in 2013, but will likely slow down to 6.6% and 7.5% respectively in 2015. Construction & Transportation sectors are expected to grow at 6% and 6.7% respectively by 2015. Kuwait’s Mining, Manufacturing & Construction sectors lead the way in terms of sector growth at forecast rates of 9.2%, 5.2% and 6.7% respectively. During 2015, most sectors in Kuwait are expected to grow at a much slower pace than in 2014, with the Transportation & Communication sectors expected to grow by 3.7% in 2014 and 4.4% in 2015. Oman’s non-oil sectors will continue to witness significant growth, especially the manufacturing, construction and transport sectors averaging 8.5% in 2013. However, they will likely slowdown to an average of 7% in 2015, with manufacturing slowing to 7% in 2015. GCC MARKETS Global equity markets remained

positive, with MSCI World Index growing +2.90% during the month of April. Performance was driven by Developed markets as EM lagged returning only +0.44% (MSCI EM Index). Performance of GCC equity markets was marked by exceptional performance by the UAE that lead gains in the region. Overall, the S&P GCC Index added +3.46% during the month as the largest market, Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul lagged, weighing down on the index. The markets reacted positively to better than expected results from business segments focusing on domestic economies. YTD gains on the S&P GCC index stands at +9.93% driven largely by the UAE markets. UAE’s DFM (Dubai) was the top gainer during the month as it grew by +16.74% during the period under consideration. Abu Dhabi’s ADSM Index also witnessed strong growth, climbing +8.21% during the same period. Large-cap Banks and Telecoms were the main contributor to the gains made by both markets. Dubai’s Banking sector rose by an unprecedented +27.06% during the month, mainly driven by better than expected Q1 2013 earnings. UAE Banks earnings grew primarily due to improved non interest income and declining credit costs; accordingly, market seem to have rerated banks that were priced at a deep discount to fair value estimates. Saudi Arabia Tadawul was a mixed bag of decent performers, including Cement and Agriculture and the Retail sectors. Underperformers included the Petrochemicals and Energy sectors. Softening oil prices seem to have irked investors who sold petrochemical stocks despite improved earnings for Q1 2013. Banking stocks was under pressure amid concerns about faster than expected decline in sector margins. Saudi Banking sector grew merely +1.22% despite healthy Q1 earnings. Overall the Saudi Arabia Tadawul Index rose +0.76% extending YTD gains to +5.57%.

Kuwait performed well supported by small cap stocks as volumes recovered. The KWSE Price Index surged +10.55% making in one of the best performing indices during the year; YTD, the KWSE Price index has climbed +25.21%. The KWSE Weighted Index rose +5.13% during the month, mostly driven by the Banks and Real Estate Sectors that rose +4.28% and +14.11%. Global commodity prices continued to be under pressure amid concerns about the pace of economic recovery. Oil prices were under pressure as Brent crude declined by 6.67% to close at USD 102.4/bbl; WTI crude dropped -4.13% to close at USD 93.5/bbl, further narrowing the spread between the two benchmark prices. Gas prices recovered with Henry Hub rising +6.81% during the month. Major Metals declined during the month with Gold, Silver and Copper declining -7.63%, -14.50% and -6.85% respectively. UAE Banks have witnessed a rerating and are currently trading close to their consensus (Reuters) long term fair values. With the results season behind, the rallies witnessed in UAE may lose steam in the short term. As investors look to book profits and rotate for value, Saudi Arabia could benefit in the short term with Saudi banks likely to be the beneficiaries of such an event. In addition, growing impatience with Qatar’s lack of performance could also trigger reallocation to Saudi Arabia. Oil prices may continue to witness weakness during the summers. Any stability will be welcomed by investors and could benefit the regional stock markets. Investors are likely to take cue from oil prices in the short term for direction in the Saudi Petrochemicals sector that has lagged the index in performance and could play catch-up. In Kuwait, speculative activity may continue to benefit the market, specifically for small and mid-cap stocks.

Aspinal of London opens first international store at Avenues KUWAIT: Aspinal of London, an elegant, sophisticated and uniquely distinct UK brand for luxury leather creations has chosen the Middle East to open its first international store. This quintessentially English brand offers hand crafted handbags, wallets, jewelry boxes, vanity cases, cufflinks, business bags and cases, gloves and other accessories for both men and women. In addition the brand also has an impressive collection of travel, office and business accessories plus some remarkable leather stationary. Aspinal’s range of exquisitely crafted products in sumptuous classic and chic contemporary designs and the brand’s personalization and engraving service, make them ideal gifting ideas for men and women for all occasions. Mariya Dykalo - Creative Director working with English and Italian artisans have created covetable fashion classics which have been carried by a growing number of celebrities and icons. Catherine, Duchess of York has regularly carried her Aspinal bag on numerous public occasions as has her sister Pippa Middleton. Aspinal of London’s, vegetable tanned rich premium leather, set off with exquisite contrasting suede and silk lining has established the Brand’s

stand out signature look. With several flagship stores now in London including Bond Street and Aspinal handbag shops in Harrods and Selfridges, Aspinal is now expanding their mission of providing customers the most beautiful leather objects of unsurpassed quality. The first international store of Aspinal of London has opened at the Avenues mall in Kuwait in partnership with the Liwa Trading Enterprise, an experienced retail operator having exclusive franchise rights on many leading international brands in the region. This milestone of the brand and the addition of one more prestigious international brand to Liwa’s portfolio were celebrated with the local media and guests in a traditional yet chic manner through an invite only high tea event. The grand opening of the store was presided by His Excellency, Frank Baker OBE, British Ambassador to Kuwait. The evening took off with an avant-garde saxophonist playing in the background and profound design and art related conversation at the forefront. True to the nature and heritage of the Aspinal brand, the store looked elegant, serene and inviting, providing a wonderful and inviting atmosphere to browse and shop the collection.



Huffington Post launches Japan edition TOKYO: US news website and aggregator The Huffington Post launched a Japanese edition yesterday, the company’s first site in Asia, hoping to shake up the media landscape and generate discussion with readers. Founder Arianna Huffington said the site would offer a forum for “civil” debate on social, political and economic issues at what she said was a time of societal change. “This is truly a pivotal moment in the history of Japan,” Huffington told a press

conference in Tokyo, highlighting economic changes under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose big-spending and easy-money policies have brought optimism to Japanese markets and cheered investors in recent months. Abe has also decided to join a major free trade pact despite loud opposition from powerful farm lobbies and has pushed to amend Japan’s constitutionboth subjects of lively conversation. “We are particularly happy to be launching The Huffington Post at a such a

transformational moment for Japan,” Huffington said. The launch-a tie-up with the mass circulation Asahi Shimbun came after parliament lifted a ban on Internet electioneering, permitting candidates and their supporters to tweet, use Facebook and write blogs on the campaign trail. The first national elections under the new rules are expected in the summer, when half of the upper house seats will be contested. Editors and corporate officers behind the site said they aspired to direct

online conversations towards constructivity. “It might be difficult. But it doesn’t mean it cannot be done,” said Shigeki Matsuura, 39, the editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post’s Japanese edition. “I want people of my generation to participate in conversations.” Although they are slowly losing readers, Japan’s newspapers have suffered less attrition than their counterparts in other developed countries, with four out the world’s top six newspapers by circulation being Japanese, thanks in large part to an

efficient home delivery system. However, despite a well-developed Internet system throughout urban Japan, newspapers and other publications have been slow to make the shift to digital, and their websites remain relatively underdeveloped. Commentators note they have traditionally done little to promote two-way communication with readers and have been slow to react to the changing demands of younger, more wired generations. —AFP

New technology propels ‘old energy’ boom World awash in hydrocarbons

Dan Smith

Xerox’s DocuShare Mobile creates virtual office for on-the-go employees DUBAI: The average number of connected devices per knowledge worker in 2014 will reach 3.3 devices, up from 2.8 in 2012.1 To accommodate the explosion of smartphone, tablet and other mobile device use in the workplace, Xerox DocuShare(r), a Xerox enterprise content management (ECM) offering focused on content management and business workflows, introduces DocuShare Mobile, an offering that allows its existing customers the ability to edit, search and share business content in DocuShare from a mobile device. Mobile workers can access a DocuShare ECM repository securely from their mobile device to search, view and download documents, or share content as part of a business process. Owners of iOS devices will be the first to enjoy this great new offering on both their iPhones and iPads. DocuShare plans to provide an Android offering in the future. “Business activities increasingly take place outside the four walls of a company’s office, and around the clock,” said Dan Smith, Head of Integrated Marketing for the Middle East and Africa region of Xerox’s Developing Markets Operations. “Our customers have confirmed that the ability to tap into their documents in DocuShare from a mobile device, anywhere and anytime, dramatically improves their efficiency.” This is validated by Gartner who predicts that by 2015 more than half of workers will access their content from a mobile device.2 With the Xerox Mobile Client for DocuShare feature people can use their phone or tablet to capture images, meet-

ing notes and business documents. They can then easily share them with colleagues, or publish them to a secure DocuShare website. Mobile workers also have the option to print documents from DocuShare, with Xerox Mobile Client for DocuShare, when they have an emailbased print solution such as Xerox Mobile Print or Xerox Mobile Print Cloud installed on their DocuShare server. The new Xerox Mobile Client for DocuShare will be available in the App store second-quarter of 2013. A future version on an Android client offering is planned. With sales approaching $23 billion, Xerox (NYSE: XRX) is the world’s leading enterprise for business process and document management. Its technology, expertise and services enable workplaces - from small businesses to large global enterprises - to simplify the way work gets done so they operate more effectively and focus more on what matters most: their real business. Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., Xerox offers business process outsourcing and IT outsourcing services, including data processing, healthcare solutions, HR benefits management, finance support, transportation solutions, and customer relationship management services for commercial and government organizations worldwide. The company also provides extensive leading-edge document technology, services, software and genuine Xerox supplies for graphic communication and office printing environments of any size. The 140,000 people of Xerox serve clients in more than 160 countries.

NEW YORK: Technology created an energy revolution over the past decade - just not the one we expected. By now, cars were supposed to be running on fuel made from plant waste or algae - or powered by hydrogen or cheap batteries that burned nothing at all. Electricity would be generated with solar panels and wind turbines. When the sun didn’t shine or the wind didn’t blow, power would flow out of batteries the size of tractor-trailers. Fossil fuels? They were going to be expensive and scarce, relics of an earlier, dirtier age. But in the race to conquer energy technology, Old Energy is winning. Oil companies big and small have used technology to find a bounty of oil and natural gas so large that worries about running out have melted away. New imaging technologies let drillers find oil and gas trapped miles underground and undersea. Oil rigs “walk” from one drill site to the next. And engineers in Houston use remote-controlled equipment to drill for gas in Pennsylvania. The result is an abundance that has put the United States on track to become the world’s largest producer of oil and gas in a few years. As domestic production as soared, oil imports have fallen to a 17-year low, the US government reported Thursday. And the gushers aren’t limited to Texas, North Dakota and the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Overseas, enormous reserves have been found in East and West Africa, Australia, South America and the Mediterranean. “Suddenly, out of nowhere, the world seems to be awash in hydrocarbons,” says Michael Greenstone, an environmental economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The consequences are enormous. A looming energy crisis has turned into a boom. These additional fossil fuels may pose a more acute threat to the earth’s climate. And for renewable energy sources, the sunny forecast of last decade has turned overcast. Technological advances drove a revolution no one in the energy industry expected. One that is just beginning. The new century brought deep concerns the world’s oil reserves were increasingly concentrated in the Middle East - and beginning to run out. Energy prices rose to record highs. Climate scientists showed that reliance on fossil fuels was causing troubling changes to the environment. “The general belief was that the end of the oil era was at hand,” says Daniel Yergin, an energy historian and author of “The Quest: Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World.” As a result, Wall Street, Silicon Valley and governments were pouring money into new companies developing alternative forms of energy that promised to supply the world’s needs without polluting. But while the national focus was on alternatives, the oil and gas industry was innovating too. New technology allowed drillers to do two crucial things: find more places where oil and gas is hidden

and bring it to the surface economically. Large oil companies such as Exxon, Chevron, Shell and BP turned up huge discoveries offshore in ultradeep water with the help of faster computers and better sensors that allowed them to see once-hidden oil deposits. Onshore, small drillers learned how to pull oil and gas out of previously inaccessible underground rock formations. For most of the oil age, drillers have looked for large underground pools of oil and gas that were easy to tap. These pools had grown over millions of years as oil and gas oozed out of what is known as source rock. Source rock is a wide, thin layer of sedimentary rock like frosting in the middle of a layer cake - that is interspersed with oil and gas. An engineer named George Mitchell and his company, Mitchell Energy, spent years searching for a way to free natural gas from this source rock. He finally succeeded when he figured how to drill horizontally, into and then along a layer of source rock. That allowed him to access the gas throughout a layer of source rock with a single well. Then he used a process known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” to create tiny cracks in the rock that would allow natural gas to flow into and up the well. The United States, which was facing a gas shortage five years ago, now has such enormous supplies it is looking to export the fuel in large volumes for the first time. The common wisdom in the industry was that the process Mitchell had invented for natural gas wouldn’t work for oil. Oil molecules are bigger and stickier than gas molecules, so petroleum engineers believed it would be impossible to get them to flow from source rock, even if the rock were cracked by fracking. But Mark Papa, the CEO of a small oil and gas ompany called EOG Resources, didn’t accept that. “The numbers were too intriguing, the prize was so big,” he remembered. He thought there could be as much as a billion barrels of oil within reach in Texas, North Dakota and elsewhere - if only he could squeeze it out. In 2003, he had a “eureka!” moment while poring over pictures of rock. Sections of a 40-foot-long column of source rock had been run through a CT scanner, the same type used to peer into the human body. He saw something in the source rock sections the rest of the industry didn’t know was there: a network of passageways big enough for oil molecules to pass through. Papa believed the passageways could act like rural roads for the oil to travel through. Fracking could then create superhighways for the oil to gather and feed into a pipe and up to the surface. EOG began drilling test wells, and in 2005, Papa got some results from one in North Dakota that made him realize oil could flow fast enough to pay off. “It was kind of like holy cow,” he says. “My first thought was we need to replicate this, make sure it’s not a freak result.” It wasn’t.

Papa thought the Eagle Ford might hold 500,000 barrels of oil. The Department of Energy now predicts it holds 3.4 billion. Some even expect 10 billion, which would make it the biggest oil field in US history. But even after drillers figured out how to find oil and gas deep offshore and in onshore source rock, they still needed to develop technology that would make it economical. At the tip of every oil or gas drill is a rotating mouth of sharp teeth that chews through rock. In the past, these drill bits could only dig straight down. Now they are agile enough to find and follow narrow horizontal seams of rock. And behind the drill bit, attached to a long line of steel known as the “drill string,” is an array of sensors that collect data about the rock and underground fluids. The data, which is sent to engineers via fiber-optic cables, is run through supercomputers as powerful as 30,000 laptops to create a picture of the earth thousands of feet below the surface. “To the layman, it looks like dumb iron, but you’d be shocked about what’s inside,” says Art Soucy, president of global products and services at Baker Hughes. When the drilling is done, the rig itself can “walk” a hundred feet or so to another location and start drilling again. In the past, rigs had to be taken down and reassembled, which could take days. “It has made possible things that were unthinkable 10 years ago,” says Claudi Santiago, managing director at First Reserve Corp., a private-equity firm that invests in energy companies. Renewable technologies have had their successes. Solar now generates six times more electricity in the US than it did a decade ago, and wind produces 18 times more. Most major automakers offer some type of electric vehicle. But the outlook for wind, batteries and biofuels is as dim as it’s been in a decade. Global greenhouse gas agreements have fizzled. Dazzling discoveries have been made in laboratories, and some of these may yet develop into transformative products, but alternative energy technologies haven’t become cheaper or more useful than fossil fuels. It’s certainly possible the world will change direction again in the next five years. After all, experts didn’t see the oil and gas boom coming five years ago. There are hundreds of companies, including fossil fuel giants, working on renewable-energy projects. And despite growing supplies of oil, prices remain high because developing nations are consuming more. But EOG’s Papa says oil and gas companies will just invest in even more sophisticated technology. He estimates that current techniques pull only 6 percent of the oil trapped in source rock to the surface. Learning to double that would yield yet another enormous trove of hydrocarbons. “Now we go into the next phase of technology,” he says. “How are we going to get the rest of it out of the ground?” —AP

Microsoft touching up Windows 8 to address gripes SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft is retooling the latest version of its Windows operating system to address complaints and confusion that have been blamed for deepening a slump in personal computer sales. The tune up announced yesterday won’t be released to consumers and businesses until later this year. The changes, part of a software package given the codename “Blue,” are a tacit acknowledgment of the shortcomings in Windows 8, a radical overhaul of Microsoft Corp.’s ubiquitous operating system. With the makeover it released last October, Microsoft hoped to play a more prominent role in the growing mobile device market while still maintaining its dominance in PCs. But Windows 8’s design, which emphasizes interactive tiles and touch controls, seems to have befuddled as many people as it has impressed. One leading research firm, International Data Corp., says Windows 8 contributed to a 14 percent decline in worldwide PC sales during the first three months of the year the biggest year-over-year drop ever. Meanwhile, sales of smartphones and tablet computers are booming. The biggest beneficiaries have been Apple Inc., the maker of the iPhone and iPad, and Samsung Electronics Co., which sells the most devices running on Google Inc.’s Android software. Google is also benefiting from Android’s popularity through increased traffic to its services, creating more opportunities for the company to display ads. By contrast, leading PC makers such as Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc., which primarily sell Windows-powered machines, have been mired in a financial funk that has battered their stocks

and raised questions about their futures. Despite the troubling signs, Microsoft insists it’s pleased with Windows 8’s performance. The company, which is based in Redmond, Wash., says more than 100 million Windows 8 licenses have been sold so far, up from about 60 million licenses in January. The licensing volume “is in the same general ballpark,” as Microsoft’s previous operating system Windows 7 - at a similar juncture of its sales cycle, according to Tami Reller, who serves as the marketing and financial chief for Microsoft’s Windows business. In an interview, Reller said Microsoft still realized changes need to be made to make Windows 8 easier to navigate and capable of taking full advantage of technology improvements that have come out since October. “Are there things that we can do to improve the experience? Absolutely,” Reller said “There is a learning curve (to Windows 8) and we can work to address that.” For now, Microsoft isn’t saying what kind of changes will be introduced with the release of Blue, which the company plans to anoint with a different name when the update is available. Microsoft also isn’t saying whether it will charge existing owners of Windows 8 devices to get the fixes in Blue. The company plans to release Blue in time for the holiday season. Reller said more details about Blue will be released before Microsoft holds a developers conference in San Francisco in late June. Some of Blue’s features are expected to be previewed at that conference. If Blue is meant to make people more comfortable, the changes may incorporate more of the elements from earlier versions of Windows. A common

complaint has centered on the lack of a “start” button in the Windows 8 menu. Other critics have pined for an option that would allow the system to begin in a desktop mode suited for running applications designed for earlier versions of the operating system. Windows 8 currently starts off showing a mosaic of interactive tiles tailored for swiping through programs with a finger instead of using a computer mouse. Blue also might make it easier to find a set of controls - known as “charms” in Windows 8’s parlance - that currently must be pulled out from the right side of a display screen. Besides responding to customer feedback, Blue also will improve Windows 8’s ability to work on smaller tablets with 7- and 8-inch display screens, Reller said. She declined to say whether Microsoft intends to make smaller version of its own Surface tablets. In a conference call with analysts last month, Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein said the company was working with other manufacturers to make smaller tablets. One thing that Blue won’t fix: the relatively small selection of mobile applications tailored for Windows 8. Reller said the Windows 8 store now has more than 60,000 apps. By contrast, there are more than 800,000 apps available for Apple’s mobile’s devices and nearly that many for Android devices, too. In one of the most glaring omissions on Windows 8, Facebook Inc. still hasn’t designed an app to make its online social network more accessible on that system. Facebook has about 750 million mobile users. Microsoft’s decision to tweak Windows 8 so soon after it went on sale may reinforce perceptions that the

product is a flop. Reller is trying to frame the changes as evidence that Microsoft is becoming more agile and nimble as it responds to a rapidly evolving technology market. Smartphones and tablet computers have been at the epicenter of the upheaval, diminishing the demand for PCs as more people and businesses opt for the convenience of increasingly powerful mobile devices. The mobile computing movement is the main reason that Microsoft made the most dramatic redesign of its Windows operating system since 1995. Given how different that Windows 8 is from its predecessors, Reller said Microsoft always knew it might have to make some adjustments less than a year after the software came out. “It had to be a very big change to take advantage of the mobile opportunity,” she said. Analysts say one reason Windows 8 got off to a slow start is because there weren’t enough devices designed to take advantage of the system’s touchscreen features. But that is about to change as HP, Dell and other PC makers prepare to roll out a wide variety of laptops and tablets with displays that respond to touch. More than 2,400 devices have now been certified to run on Windows 8, up from 2,000 in January, Reller said. —AFP Most of the touch-screen laptops will sell at prices $50 to $250 below the first wave of comparable machines running on Windows 8, reductions that Microsoft hopes will prod more people to check out the system. “As we look at Windows 8, it’s important to remember a lot of its full potential won’t be realized until there are more touch devices on the market,” Reller said. —AFP

NEW DELHI: In this photograph taken on Feb 15, 2012, Delhi Metro passengers watch a policeman as he patrols with a sniffer dog on a train platform at a station during a mock drill conducted by the Delhi Police and Delhi metro authorities in New Delhi. New Delhi metro commuters will be breathalysed to detect whether they are drunk under a pilot scheme planned by the staterun transport network. —AFP

Delhi metro to breathalyse commuters to weed out drunks NEW DELHI: Some New Delhi metro commuters will be breathalysed to detect whether they are drunk under a pilot scheme planned by the state-run transport network, an official said yesterday. O fficers of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) will use breathalysers to screen travellers in the Indian capital and identify those under the influence of alcohol, said CISF spokesman Hemendra Singh. If the test “confirms the commuter is drunk, he will not be allowed to board the train” to avoid disturbing other passengers in the often congested carriages, Singh said. “Drunkenness is an unnecessary nuisance to other passengers. It’s uncomfortable if you have to share space with someone who is reeking of alcohol,” Singh said. Also drunken brawls have become a

problem on the metro, especially in the late evening, the spokesman said. Singh said the CISF which is in charge of metro security would only breathalyse people who show signs of being under the influence of alcohol. The scheme will be launched on an experimental basis to start with. Delhi’s rapid mass transit network was launched in 2002. It has proved hugely popular with commuters and has expanded to all parts of the city and suburbs. The hand-held breathalyser gadgets will generate slips of paper with the names of those whose alcohol levels are found to be high and this will help the CISF build a database of potential troublemakers, Singh said. New Delhi has already started a programme to breathalyse drivers to crack down on drunken driving and reduce the high number of road accidents each year. —AFP


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

300,000 day-old babies die each year in India Report blames political will, lack of funds

This photo released courtesy of Sundance Channel showing Isabella Rossellini in the Sundance Channel original short “Mammas”. — AP

‘Mammas’ is study in maternal instinct LOS ANGELES: Isabella Rossellini’s search for the meaning of maternal instinct in “Mammas” looks at nine animals where things like polygamy, lying and dying convince her that “anything goes.” The program timed to air Mother’s Day on the Sundance Channel is just the latest offbeat offering from the model-actress, who gets in costume and plays the parts of the animals. In “Mammas,” Rossellini dresses as a mother spider, wasp, hamster, toad, cuckoo, dunnock, oil beetle, piping plover and cichlid fish to show how each brings her young into the world. The shorts also launch on sundancechannel.com on Mother’s Day. “Mammas” is suggestive, but the episodes are mostly for comedy and entertainment, Rossellini said. They are also food for thought, the 60-year-old New Yorker believes. Several women biologists, challenging popular thinking about maternal instinct, recently studied how animals behave, Rossellini said. Many people believe all mothers are altruistic, nurturing, protective and unselfish but they are not, she said. “Some mothers eat their babies if there are too many in a litter, other mothers abandon their babies into other birds’ nests for mothers who are not even of the same species to raise; mothers do not get pregnant always with the belly, but sometimes hold the babies in their mouth, they are cheek pregnant or back pregnant,” she said. “This is what I am telling in the films. I’m saying that conventional idea we have that mothers are ready to sacrifice themselves has been proven incorrect.” Rossellini is enrolled at Hunter College in New York, working toward a master’s degree in animal behavior. “I have been interested in animals since I was a child,” she said. “Mammas” did not start out as a Mother’s Day project, Rossellini said. It was shown at the Berlin Film Festival in February. It usually takes about two months after a debut to get it out and that happened to be really close to Mother’s Day, which seemed like perfect timing, she said. “Mammas” is the third in a series requested by Rober t Redford for his Sundance Film Festival in Utah. “People were completely seduced by the series,” museum director Cathy Leff said. “From a scientific point of view, we learned a lot. She did a lot of research about mating. It was humorous and incredibly charming,” she added. There’s a playful connection to Mother’s Day, Sundance Channel General Manager

Sarah Barnett said. “Isabella gives you a different perspective and a sort of delicious new way of engaging with the idea of being a mother.” “Mammas” is a work of visual art told by “a distinct and remarkable story teller. She has this unorthodox form and at the same time it’s incredibly accessible and surprisingly funny,” Barnett added. Rossellini is the daughter of Oscar-winning actress Ingrid Bergman and director Rober to Rossellini. Mother ’s Day in Italy when Rossellini was a child wasn’t a big deal. The big holiday was Woman’s Day on March 1. “It was not just for mothers but for all women,” she said. Despite two children of her own and dual citizenship, things haven’t changed much for Rossellini. “I am lucky if my children say ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ and bring me some flowers,” she said. Rossellini did pay tribute to her mother in the “Mammas” story of the piping plover. It starts with Rossellini (as a human) doing a dying scene on stage and getting pelted by tomatoes. It switches to her as a piping plover, fooling a fox by pretending to have a broken wing and leading the predator away from her nest. The camera returns to the human, where it appears more tomatoes are hurled at Rossellini from the moving paper audience. She hides behind a stage curtain and says: “If I were as talented at pretending as the piping plover, I would be a Sarah Bernhardt, an Ingrid Bergman.” She used Bernhardt’s name because she wanted a name that was familiar to people in several countries. She used Bergman’s name “because I thought mom would be offended” if she didn’t. The simplicity of the bright, handmade costumes and paper props and the complexity of the techheavy delivery system added to the appeal of Rossellini’s first two series, Leff said. She hopes Rossellini will turn to the Wolfsonian if she decides to put “Mammas” on display. “She’s a real provocateur, which we love,” Leff said. Rossellini has done about 40 shorts now and hopes she can continue to do them. First though is her one-woman biology-themed tour through Europe and the United States in 2014. The actress lives near Long Island and has two dogs, a cat, chickens and a vegetable garden. She also volunteers at the nearby Guide Dog Foundation and for a couple of weeks is fostering a mother dog that just had 10 puppies. With so much focus on motherhood, does Rossellini have a message for “Mammas” viewers? “Yes,” she said: “Happy Mother’s Day.” — AP

NEW DELHI: More than 300,000 babies die within 24 hours of being born in India each year from infections and other preventable causes, a report said yesterday, blaming a lack of political will and funding for the crisis. India accounts for 29 percent of all newborn deaths worldwide, according to the charity Save the Children which published the findings at the launch of its annual State of the World’s Mothers report. The report on 186 countries showed South Asia-which accounts for 24 percent of the world’s population-recording 40 percent of the world’s first-day deaths. Bangladesh and Pakistan also have large numbers of yearly firstday deaths at 28,000 and 60,000 with chronic malnourishment of mothers one of the major factors for the fatalities in the region. “Progress has been made, but more than 1,000 babies die every day on their first day of life from preventable causes throughout India, Pakistan and Bangladesh,” said Mike Novell, the regional director of the charity. The charity identified three major causes of newborn deaths-complications during birth, prematurity and infections-and said access to low-cost, life-saving interventions could cut down the figures by as much as 75 percent. “What is lacking is the political will and funding to deliver these solutions to all the mothers and babies who need them,” it said. A decade of rapid economic growth has allowed India to boost spending on poor and rural communities but Save the Children said most such programmes had not benefited those most in need. More than half of all Indian women give birth without the help of skilled

health care professionals, leading to infections and complications. In far-flung areas, doctors and hospitals are rare and villagers often put the health of their children in the hands of poorly trained substitutes. But even in cities such as New Delhi with relatively better healthcare facilities women are delivering at home, said Sharmila Lal, a Delhibased gynecologist. “Even if hospitals are near at hand, the women are having babies at home in a highly unsafe and unhygienic environment just because of lack of awareness,” Lal added. Lal said

KOLKATA: A newborn baby lies inside a private hospital in Kolkata. —AFP

New satellite working flawlessly SIOUX FALLS: A new satellite hovering nearly 450 miles above the Earth appears to working flawlessly as it embarks on a 10-year mission to document the planet’s surface, scientists and engineers at the US Geological Survey ’s Earth Resources Observation and Science Center said Monday. Landsat 8 is sending more than 400 data-filled images per day back to the EROS center north of Sioux Falls, where they will be archived and made available for free download by scientists or anyone else who’s interested. The center’s mission requires images to be publicly available within 48 hours of their capture, those most will be ready within 24 hours, said project scientist Tom Loveland. The new orbiter has several advantages over its still-functioning predecessor Landsat 7, which captures just 250 images a day. Landsat 8 also boasts two new spectral bands, one to see deeper into oceans, lakes and rivers and another to detect cirrus clouds and correct for atmospheric effects, Loveland said. The new satellite’s infrared band is split into two, allowing for more accurate surface tempera-

ture readings, he added. “It should really make a difference in our ability to map and characterize changes going on in the surface of the Earth,” Loveland said. NASA launched Landsat 8 into space in February. Since then, teams have been running it through a barrage of tests before placing the satellite into orbit 438 miles above the planet’s surface. “The spacecraft has been extremely healthy,” said Jim Nelson, ground systems manager. “The instruments have performed really well.” The EROS Center, the main federal repository for satellite images, will officially take over the mission May 30 from NASA. Since 1972, Landsat satellites have been continuously snapping pictures across the globe as part of a 40-year mission to document the planet. Landsat 8, which is about the size of UPS truck with a 30-foot-long deployed sheet of solar panels, is stocked with a 10-year supply of fuel. It travels at a speed of 17,000 miles per hour. Landsat 8 will work in tandem with Landsat 7, launched in 1999, to take pictures of each inch of the planet’s surface every eight days. Landsat 7 continues to operate

our hypothesis. We will have final (scientific) recognition this year when we conduct drilling in the area to retrieve more samples of these rocks,” the G1 news website quoted Ventura as saying. Initially, the scientists thought they were mistaken, Ventura noted. But last month, their case was bolstered when team of Brazilian and Japanese scientists aboard Japan’s manned research submersible Shinkai 6500, observed the underwater geological formation located opposite the Brazilian coast, he added. “From an analysis, were began to see that the area could be a piece of the continent that disappeared into the sea millions of years ago,” Ventura said. — AFP

GUATEMALA CITY: Two Humboldt penguins (Spheniscus humboldti) — of 12 donated by France’s ZooParc de Bauval — swim at the Aurora Zoo in Guatemala City. — AFP

despite a faulty scan line corrector that leaves zigzag gaps in some images. Landsat 5, which dates back to 1984, worked decades past its expected mission end but began failing in November. Landsat 6 never reached orbit after its 1993 launch because of a ruptured manifold. Nelson said the EROS Center has been preparing for the wave of new data, upgrading its ground station near Sioux Falls as well as partner facilities in Alaska and Norway. It also overhauled its data processing and storage systems, “so we can get as much data as possible online for the users to get direct access to,” Nelson said. Loveland said there’s a huge demand for the images in the scientific community, giving an example of a recent Brazilian Remote Sensing Symposium that drew more than 800 people looking to tap into the data. “There’s a great deal of planning going on from people ready to use the images,” Loveland said. The center used to charge for the images, but for years now, they’ve been free. “When you put all this free stuff in universities, innovation happens,” Loveland said.” —AP

FDA eyes cancer warnings on tanning beds

Have scientists found Brazilian ‘Atlantis’? RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazilian geologists on Monday announced the discovery, 1,500 kilometers (900 miles) from Rio, of what could be part of the continent submerged when the Atlantic Ocean was formed as Africa and South America drifted apart 100 million years ago. Roberto Ventura Santos, a top official at Brazil’s Geology Service (CPRM), said granite samples were found two years ago during dredging operations in an area known as “Rio Grande Elevation”, a mountain range in Brazilian and international waters. Granite is seen as a continental rock. “This could be the Brazilian Atlantis. We are almost certain but we must bolster

India must invest in creating a pool of paramedical staff trained in childbirth to take the load off doctors “who often don’t have time or patience to explain simple life-saving measures to expectant mothers”. The charity said the problem of infant mortality could be addressed by closing the equity gap in a developing country like India where economic benefits have been shared unequally. “If all newborns in India experienced the same survival rates as newborns from the richest Indian families, nearly 360,000 more babies would survive each year,” the report said. —AFP

HELSINKI: This photograph shows a mother and her children at home in Helsinki. The Democratic Republic of Congo yesterday gained the unenviable distinction of being the worst place in the world to be a mother. —AFP

Congo named worst place to be mother LONDON: The Democratic Republic of Congo yesterday displaced fellow African nation Niger to gain the unenviable distinction of being the worst place in the world to be a mother, according to the annual repor t of Save the Children. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa took up each of the bottom 10 places for the first time in the 14 years that the report has been produced. In contrast, Finland took the top spot, with its Nordic neighbours filling the other leading positions. The London-based charity’s “State of the World’s Mothers” compared 176 countries in terms of maternal health, child mortality, education and levels of women’s income and political status. The group called for investment to close the “startling disparities” in maternal health between the developed and developing world and for a push to fight inequality and malnutrition. The report found that a woman or girl in the DRC has a one in 30 chance of dying from maternal causes-including childbirth. In Finland the risk is one in 12,200. “By investing in mothers and children, nations are investing in their future prosperity,” said Jasmine Whitbread, Save the Children International’s Chief Executive. “If women are educated, are represented politically, and have access to good quality maternal and child care, then they and their children are much more likely to sur-

vive and thrive - and so are the societies they live in,” she added. “Huge progress has been made across the developing world, but much more can be done to save and improve millions of the poorest mothers and newborns’ lives.” After the DRC, the next worst countries were listed as Somalia, Sierra Leone, Mali and Niger. The repor t blamed the high death rates for babies in sub-Saharan Africa on the poor health of mothers-citing figures which show 10 to 20 percent are underweight. It also highlighted the number of mothers giving birth “before their bodies have matured”, the low use of contraception, poor access to satisfactory healthcare and a dearth of health-workers. The study identified four potentially lifesaving products which it claims could be rolled out universally. They are corticosteroid injections to women in preterm labour; resuscitation devices to save babies who do not breathe at bir th; chlorhexidine cord cleansing to prevent umbilical cord infections and injectable antibiotics to treat newborn sepsis and pneumonia. The top countries af ter Finland were Sweden, Norway, Iceland and the Netherlands, with the USA trailing in 30th place behind Slovenia and Lithuania. The report blamed the poor placing on its “weaker performance on measures of maternal health and childwellbeing”. — AFP

WASHINGTON: Indoor tanning beds would come with new warnings about the risk of cancer and be subject to more stringent federal oversight under a proposal unveiled Monday by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA has regulated tanning beds and sun lamps for over 30 years, but for the first time ever the agency says those devices should not be used by people under age 18. The agency wants that warning on pamphlets, catalogues and websites that promote indoor tanning. And regulators are also proposing that manufacturers meet certain safety and design requirements, including timers and limits on radiation emitted. The government action is aimed at curbing cases of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, which have been on the rise for about 30 years. An estimated 2.3 million US teenagers tan indoors each year, and melanoma is the second most common form of cancer among young adults, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Recent studies have shown that the risk of melanoma is 75 percent higher in people who have been exposed to ultraviolet radiation from indoor tanning. While most cases are diagnosed in people in their 40s and 50s, the disease is linked to sun exposure at a young age. Physician groups have been urging the US government to take action on tanning beds for years, citing increases in the number of cases of skin cancer among people in their teens and 20s. “As a dermatologist I see the consequences of indoor tanning. I have to diagnose too many young people with melanoma and see the grief that it causes to these families,” said Dr Mar y Maloney of the American Academy of Dermatology, on a call with FDA officials. Maloney said the FDA action is an important first step, but that her group would continue to push for a ban on the sale and use of tanning beds for people under age 18. Earlier this year, a study of Missouri tanning salons found that 65 percent of 250 businesses surveyed would accept children ages 10 to 12, often without parental permission. The study was conducted by dermatologists at the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis. Currently the machines are classified as low risk devices, in the same group as bandages and tongue depressors. The proposal would increase their classification to moderate risk, or class II, devices. That would allow the FDA to review their safety and design before manufacturers begin selling them. “They don’t have to provide any data in advance before they go on the market, so we have no way of providing assurance that the tanning beds are performing up to specifications,” said Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, FDA’s director for medical devices. Safety standards are important because recent studies show that many devices can cause sunburn even when used as directed. A 2009 study found that 58 percent of adolescents who tan indoors had sunburn exposure. “If you get an indoor tan you shouldn’t be burning,” Shuren said. The Indoor Tanning Association said it supported any changes that improve its customers’ safety.— AP

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


Get CT screening for lung cancer NEW YORK: Stepping into the debate over who should be screened for lung cancer, a leading medical specialty group issued new guidelines yesterday recommending that doctors offer annual low- dose C T (computed tomography) scanning to people whose age and smoking history puts them at significant risk of lung cancer. That means current smokers aged 55 to 74 with more than 30 pack-years of smoking, or former smokers with that profile who have quit within the last 15 years, said the American College of Chest Physicians. That was the population in whom the largest-ever lung-cancer-screening study, the National Lung Screening Test, found CT screening cuts deaths from lung cancer. A packyear is a measure defined as smoking 20 cigarettes a day for a year or any equivalent, such as two packs a day for six months. That describes an estimated 7 million people, says chest physician David Midthun of the Mayo Clinic. The NLST, which studied 53,000 current or former heavy smokers, con-

cluded in 2011 that C T scanning reduced mortality from lung cancer in this high-risk group by 20 percent compared to no screening or to Xrays. CT finds small cancers, which can be cured with surgery, that X-rays cannot. But other medical groups that have weighed in on annual CT screening for lung cancers cast a wider net. Last year, for instance, the National Comprehensive Cancer Net work (NCCN) recommended that people 50 (not 55) or older who have at least 20 (not 30) pack years of smoking plus one additional risk factor, such as having chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder or a close relative with lung cancer, also be screened. Experts are divided on how primary care physicians will implement the recommendations. One concern is that CT screening for lung cancer will proliferate like PSA tests for prostate cancer, which are often given for free in such non-medical settings as spor ts events. Marketing for such mass screenings encourage men to get a test that, exper ts from the

American Cancer S ociet y to the American Urological Association now agree, should not be routinely offered to most men, since it leads to biopsies and surgeries that can cause impotence and incontinence but prevents few deaths from prostate cancer. “Where we have to be wary,” said Dr Frank Detterbeck, chief of thoracic surgery at Yale University School of Medicine, who helped develop the screening guidelines for the College of Chest Physicians, “is with entrepreneurs who decide to offer CT screening for free,” as some medical centers are already doing. That may seem like a generous public service, but Detterbeck says there is an “inherent conflict” in taking a loss up front and planning “to make up for it with profits from tests and procedures on things that you find. The problem is that you find a lot of things with screening,” but about 97 percent “are nothing. So (free screening) creates pressure to intervene more frequently, whereas doing the right thing dictates that you only intervene when it

is really suspicious for cancer.” Leading killer Lung cancer kills more people in the United States than any other cancer, claiming just under 160,0000 lives each year, more than breast, colon, prostate and pancreatic cancer combined. Only 16 percent of patients live five years after their diagnosis, an indication of how ineffective treatments are. By the time most patients are diagnosed, the cancer has spread to such organs as the bones and brain. In contrast, early-stage lung cancers “have not metastasized, so surgery is more likely to bring a complete elimination of disease,” said Mayo’s Midthun. CT screening is not without risks, however, which is why some experts are concerned about mission creep. Physicians expect worried smokers who fall just outside the new guideline - a 54-year- old with 30 packyears, for instance - to press their physicians for CT screening, which costs several hundred dollars. “Requests for C T screening from

smokers slightly outside the (chest physicians’) new guidelines is an issue we’ll face,” said Dr Peter Mazzone, a lung specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. “All you can do as a physician is try your very best to stick to the parameters.” Doing otherwise, by offering CT screening to people at lower risk for lung cancer, will find many more suspicious nodules but prevent many fewer lung cancer deaths, tipping the balance toward greater risk than benefit. “You find a lot of things and most of them are nothing,” said Detterbeck. Nevertheless these can cause worry, additional testing and an invasive biopsy, which is often done via a long needle inserted through the chest wall. Another risk is that CT itself can itself cause lung or breast cancer. On the benefit side, the NLST found that the number of high-risk smokers who had to be screened with CT to save one person from dying of lung cancer was 320. This compares to 780 women who need to get a screening mammogram for one to be saved from dying of breast cancer. — Reuters


W H AT ’ S O N

Equate continues its visits to schools and diwaniyas



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

Announcements The TIES Center’s ‘trip’ he TIES Center cordially invites those who are interested in its trip to the Historical, Vintage and Classic Car Museum, which is the first museum in Kuwait specializing in old cars on May 30th at 6:00 pm. Revisit past memories or learn something new. If you love cars then this is the trip for you. Even if you don’t love cars, come anyway; you will enjoy the trip. For more information/registration, log onto: www.tiescenter.net. GRAMOLSAV on May 10 ottayam Association, Kuwait is conducting Malayalam Arts competitions - Gramolsav’ 2013 on 10th May 2013 at United Indian School by 4:00pm. The winners of this prestigious competition will be awarded with trophies and medals. The competitions are for Solo Nadan Pattu, Poetry Recitation and Kadaprasamgam. The competitions are meant for children as well as adults. The group is divided as SubJunior, Junior, senior and Super Senior where as Kadaprasamgam is only for Junior and Senior groups. The closing date of receiving entry forms is 7th May, 2013. For entry forms please email to gramolsav2013@gmail.com and the entry forms are available at Family Super Market and Al-Watan Restaurant, Abbassiya.



NAFO ‘Samanwayam’ he 10th anniversary of NAFO Kuwait will be celebrated on May 10 at the American International School Auditorium from 6pm onwards. Indian Ambassador Satish C Mehta will inaugurate the event. Former Indian Ambassador to the US and the United Nations T P Sreenivasan and NSS Director Board Member Pandalam Sivankutty will be guests of honor. NAFO will also present an eclectic dance drama ‘Krishna’ which is conceived and choreographed by Padmashri Shobana. She will be accompanied by a 15-member troupe from Kalarpana Chennai and supported by Oscar winner Rasool Pookkutty. It has voiceovers in English by film personalities such as Irrfan Khan, Konkonasen, Shabaana Azmi, John Abraham, Prakash Raj, Stephen Devassy and P Rajeevan.



QUATE Petrochemical Company has conducted many lectures in schools and diwaniyas in several provinces in Kuwait to raise the awareness of home safety standards, through the various activities of its campaign “ Stay Safe”. The campaign continued meeting hundreds of students through visits to schools like “Cambridge english school “ in Mangaf area,”Lubna Bint Alhareth” in

Sabahiya area and “Saad Bin Abi Waqas” in Sabah Al Salem area, where multiple events established with the students to raise their awareness about maintaining their safety and the safety of their families in their homes. “Stay Safe” also visited diwan Eng. Fawaz Al Anizi in Jahraa area and Khaled Al Bedan in Eshbilia area to be in touch directly with citizens and residents to raise awareness of all the families of the

importance of attention to our daily home behavior. The Vice-President for Technical Affairs in EQUATE Mohammed Al Bin Ali: “ Stay Safe “ is working to deliver significant messages, as to abide the most important practices related to safety in the home, such as use of kitchen equipment and power tools, escalators, foods & liquids, observe the children always and installing adequate lighting inside and

outside the home, besides the emphasize of the need to use fire detectors in all homes floors.” The campaign is still conducting its activities through Kuwait major malls, schools and diwaniyas to deliver its important awareness messages to all families, to have a safer life at our homes with our families and kids.

Riyadh Marriott Hotel unveils new look rooms


iyadh Marriott Hotel is pleased to announce the completion of Phase I of its newly renovated rooms, representing one third of the hotel’s total room count. This follows the recently renovated hotel lobby, the hotel’s popular Najd Ballroom, and the opening of signature steak restaurant Terrace Grill. In an effort to better serve leisure and business travelers, the rooms have been designed to offer the highest levels of comfort and convenience for guests. Every room has been equipped with a unique jack pack technology which utilizes Picture in Picture (PIP) functionality allowing the guest to watch television and use the TV a laptop monitor at the same time. The ultracompatible plug it all in room from Marriott is fully compatible with the way the guest works, plays and get things done. The guests can check in, then plug in and watch as the room adapts to their own style. The LCD TV screens in the new rooms are 32” with a swiveling base and IP features. The internet has been upgraded with new fiber optic cables allowing super-fast connectivity in every room.

Konkani musical show nited Friends Club - Kuwait presents Kuwait Trio’s Konkani Songit Sanz (a Konkani musical evening) with fun filled comedy and songs, starring: Gracy Rodrigues, Clemmie Pereira, Irene Vaz, Lucy Aranha, Espy Crasto, Bab. Agnel, Katty de Navelim, Salu Faleiro, Gasper Crasto, Braz de Parra, Anthony D’Silva, Agnelo Fernandes, Seby & Seby, Zeferino Mendes, Lopes Bros., Comedian Nelson, Laurente Pereira & Cajetan de SanvordemMichael D’Silva-Mario de Majorda (Kuwait Trio). The show will be held on Friday, 10th May 2013 at 4 pm at the Indian Community School (Senior), Salmiya, Kuwait. Music will be provided by Maestro Shahu.


“This renovation provides today’s performance-driven travelers with the most up-to-date and desirable ambiance and amenities that they look for in a hotel when planning their trips,” said Khaldoun Hayajneh, General Manager of Riyadh Marriott Hotel. Strategically located from downtown districts, Riyadh Marriott Hotel offers 391 rooms, is just minutes away from major shopping malls, and is within easy access to the King Khalid International Airport. Leisure facilities include a heated indoor pool and a health club with a sauna and tennis court. With its Makarim Convention Centre consisting of 2 levels “A & B” respectively, it offers 1074 square meters of space on each level which can be divided into 3 sections with sound proof partition systems. In total, Riyadh Marriott Hotel offers 22 meeting rooms which can be set up in various styles, accommodating anywhere from 10 to 1350 persons. There are also 2 magnificent ballrooms with a seating capacity of up to 1500 guests, 2 large foyer areas for pre-event activities and coffee breaks, as well as state-of-the art audio-visual equipment.

Al-Jothen Academy holds training course


IMAX film program Wednesday: ** 9:30am Showtime Available for Groups To The Arctic 3D 10:30am Tornado Alley 3D 11:30am, 6:30pm, 9:30pm Flight of Butterflies 3D 12:30pm, 7:30pm Journey to Mecca 5:30pm Born to be Wild 3D 8:30pm Thursday: ** 9:30am Showtime Available for Groups Flight of Butterflies 3D 10:30am, 5:30pm, 8:30pm Born to be Wild 3D 11:30am Tornado Alley 3D12:30pm, 7:30pm, 9:30pm To The Arctic 3D 6:30pm Notes: All films are in Arabic. For English, headsets are available upon request. “Fires of Kuwait” is in English. Arabic headsets are available upon request. Film schedule is subject to changes without notice.

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


n collaboration with the Ministry of Information, AlJothen Academy recently held a training course on TV makeup, which was attended by several of the ministry’s makeup artists who graduated with flying colors and were awarded special graduation certificates. A special graduation ceremony was held and attended by Al-Jothen’s General Manager, Hazem Hasneh, Al-

Jothen Academy Manager, Nedhal Asa’ad and Mona AlShara’ from the Information Ministry. Speaking on the occasion, Al-Shara’ thanked AlJothen and expressed her highly appreciation of the upto-date training trainees received at the academy. On his part, Nedhal Asa’ad expressed wishes that cooperation with the information ministry would con-

McDonald’s Kuwait continues tastes of World Promotion


cDonald’sKuwait announced thenext destinationon its Tastes of the World Tour with a visit to France. The highly anticipated fourth sandwich - the French - is now available in stores across Kuwait. The French promises a satisfying taste of France with its 100% pure Halal beef patty dipped in black pepper sauce, garnished with slivered onions and nestled in a sesame seed bun. The French will be available in all McDonald’s Kuwait’s restaurants until stocks last. McDonald’s Kuwait also brings back its Camembert Bites, one of the most famous of French soft cheeses. Rich in flavour and taste, the Camembert Bites would be the perfect complement for the French sandwich. Arriving on the heels of the recently launched The Asian, The Turkish and The Mexican, The French sandwich now joins the line-up of what has been the brand’s most successful Tastes of the World cam-

paign to date. George Khawam - Marketing Director,said: “The fourth phase of our Tastes of the World campaign began with the debut of The French. This is a new product for our Kuwaiti customers, and we are confident they’ll enjoy the balance of its simplicity and bold punch of flavour from the delicious black pepper sauce. Our third Tastes of the World sandwich, The Mexican, was so well-received that we surpassed our projected targets, and we expect the French to be no different. “Our most popular Tastes of the World Promotion to date, McDonald’s has successfully paid tribute to exotic flavour profiles by offering a limited time range of sandwiches inspired by unique destinations around the world.”

tinue. He also expressed gratitude for the ministry’s valuable trust in the academy. Notably, Al-Jothen Academy, that is fully accredited by the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET), is the first of its kind in Kuwait that specializes in professional cosmetics and provides specialized diplomas on hair care, skin care and makeup arts.


W H AT ’ S O N


Sebamed on Instagram

House of Blessings Ministry headed by Sr.Pastor Arun.I.Dsouza marked its 2nd anniversary by holding a get together on 3rd May 2013 in Salmiya. The function started at 7 am in which they all prayed and thanked God for this country and its rulers, members of the congregation and for everyone so that God may bless them with peace and prosperity. The function was ended with a small celebration with Sr.Pastor Arun.I.Dsouza proposing the vote of thanks by thanking everyone for attending this 2nd anniversary function.


e are glad to inform you that we launched our site on instagram. Follow us on @sebamedkuwait and (hashtag)#sebamedkuwait and send us your shots involving all family members and be the lucky winner of a valuable prize from Sebamed products.

The Gell creative writing seminars and workshops

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

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


UST English Department hosted Creative Writing seminars and workshops under the tutelage of Cairo-based scholar, presenter and writer Sahar El-Mougy and London-based poet, artist and psychotherapist SeniSeneviratne. They were assisted by young Kuwaiti writers Nada Faris and Dhari Jassem Bu Yabes both of Kuwait University. The event was organized by Dr Ikram El Sherif, professor of English and American Literature at the department, and was funded by The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS). At the opening ceremony, Dr Piers Smith, Chair of the English Department, and Dr Ali Ansari, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences welcomed the audience and participants, thanked KFAS for its support and Dr

Ikram for her efforts. Dr Ikram El Sherif then explained that this Creative Writing event is inspired by last year’s GELL international Conference and the enthusiasm it inspired in students as well as the attendance it attracted; and it comes as part of the continuous efforts of the English Department to provide GUST students and the Kuwaiti community with opportunities of exposure to international academics and writers, especially that last year’s conference showed that many students have creative writing potentials and skills which the departmentand the university are keen to promote and support. The event was attended by a large audience and participants from GUST, KU, AUK and The Kuwait Writing Club and was a huge success.

Pakistan School & College celebrates graduation day

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, first-time applicants will have to appear in person when lodging the application, in order to provide their fingerprints. For subsequent applications within 5 years the fingerprints can be copied from the previous application file in the VIS. The Cypriot Presidency would like to assure the people of Kuwait and all its permanent citizens that the Member States and associated States participating in the Schengen cooperation, have taken all necessary technical measures to facilitate the rapid examination and the efficient processing of visa applications and to ensure a quick and discreet procedure for the implementation of the new VIS. nnnnnnn



akistan School & College Salmiya celebrated its Graduation Day for the kinder garten section in the Scouts auditorium, Hawally. The purpose of the ceremony was to flourish the potentials of young graduates. The encouragement of new talent is the tradition of Pakistan School Salmiya. The institution is making speedy progress in all of its departments after coming under the management of Kuwait British Educational Company which is already running renowned educational institutions in the Gulf state. The program was prepared under the kind and keen supervision of Mrs Zarina Ghulam Mohammad Khan. She is very conscious about the academic and extra cirrucular activities. This is her first session in the school as a principal and it is her moto to bring back the old glory of the Pakistan school. The program started by the welcome speech of Mrs

The Embassy of the Republic of South Africa will be closed on Tuesday, 28 May 2013, for an official event. The Embassy will resume it’s normal working hours on Wednesday, 29 May 2013, from Sunday to Thursday. Please note that the Working hours will be from 8h00 to 16h00 & the Consular Section operation hours will be from 8h30 to 12h30, for any emergencies please contact: 94924895.

Majida Rabbani followed by the co-host Mrs Hina. The Principal Mrs Zarina in her brief address thanked the chief guest Ziad al Sharhan, Chairman Kuwait British Educational Company and Vice Chairman Dr Esarr, Abdul Nasir, Mrs Amal, Ministry of Private Education, Shakir Mohammad director of Pakistan School Salmiya and the parents whose participation encouraged the young graduated. Shields were awarded among the honourable guests. The little laurels of UKG presented beautiful and colourful items. The audience fully appreciated their performance. The special surprise of the event was a beautiful shield which was awarded to Mrs Azra Hafeez titled “life time achievement” as she joined the school. All the LKG and UKG teachers and hosts of the program were awarded by the appreciation certificates. The program finished leaving a lot of pleasant memories.


Konni Nivasi Sangamam conducts eighth annual day celebration


onni Nivasi Sangamam conducted its eighth annual day celebration on May 2. The program started with various cultural events, such as, Kavitha ‘Kannaki’ by Ms Gayatri Devi, cinematic dance by Ms Sandra Susan, Kolkali by Saradhi Kuwait Hasawi Unit, Nadodi Nritham by Ms Gayatri Devi, solo song by Ms Sandra Anna Jerry, group song by Rijo Mathew & Ritty Mathew and funny questions by Thomas Mathew (Moncy). The public function was presided over by Samkutty George (President) and inaugurated by Raju Varghese (Patron). Felicitation speeches were

delivered by Rev. Fr. C.V. Simon - Vicar, St. John’s Marthoma Church, Hamza Payyannur, Sathar Kunnil & Oommen George (President Pathanamthitta District Association). Annual activity report was presented by Mathai Varghese (Secretary). Regi N. Samuel (General Secretary welcomed the gathering & Anandraj (Cultural Convener) rendered vote of thanks. Musical concert by Heart Throbes was performed as part of anniversary celebration. The programs were well compared by Rajan P. George. The program ended up with a delicious dinner.

EMBASSY GREECE The Embassy of Greece in Kuwait has the pleasure to announce that visa applications must be submitted to Schengen Visa Application Centre (VFS office) located at 12th floor, Al-Naser Tower, Fahad Al-Salem Street, AlQibla area, Kuwait City, (Parking at Souk Watia). For information please call 22281046 from 08:30 to 17:00 (Sunday to Thursday). Working hours: Submission from 08:30 to 15:30. Passport collection from 16:00 to 17:00. For visa applications please visit the following website www.mfa.gr/kuwait. nnnnnnn

EMBASSY OF SOUTH KOREA The Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Kuwait will organize 2013 K-POP Contest on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 6:00 pm. The aim of the contest is to provide an opportunity to the participants to showcase their exciting talents to the audience. Everyone is encouraged to participate in the contest. Application forms can be downloaded from the Embassy’s website: http://kwt.mofa.go.kr (Select English from the menu at the top of the page then Bilateral Relations) or visit the “Korean Culture Diwaniya” Facebook Group. Interested applicants must send their application forms to Kuwait@mofa.go.kr by 24 May 2013.



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Monsters Inside Me I’m Alive Roaring With Pride Glory Hounds Call Of The Wildman Cheetah Kingdom Dolphin Days Dolphin Days Wildlife SOS The Really Wild Show Karina: Wild On Safari Karina: Wild On Safari Cats 101 Chris Humfrey’s Wildlife Chris Humfrey’s Wildlife Roaring With Pride Animal Cops Houston Call Of The Wildman Wildlife SOS SSPCA: On The Wildside SSPCA: On The Wildside Animal Precinct Roaring With Pride Cheetah Kingdom The Really Wild Show Cats 101 Weird Creatures With Nick Groomer Has It Monkey Life Rescue Vet Call Of The Wildman Cheetah Kingdom Roaring With Pride Wildest Africa Wild France Animal Cops Houston

00:40 Come Dine With Me 01:30 Masterchef: The Professionals 02:20 Gok’s Fashion Fix 03:10 Coastal Kitchen 03:35 Cash In The Attic 04:20 Bargain Hunt 05:05 Holmes On Homes 05:55 Gok’s Fashion Fix 06:45 New Scandinavian Cooking 07:15 The Roux Legacy 07:50 Nigel Slater’s Simple Cooking 08:15 Homes Under The Hammer 09:05 Bargain Hunt 09:50 Antiques Roadshow 10:45 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 11:25 Masterchef: The Professionals 12:10 Come Dine With Me 13:00 The Roux Legacy 13:30 New Scandinavian Cooking 13:55 Bargain Hunt 14:40 Cash In The Attic 15:25 Antiques Roadshow 16:15 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 17:00 Homes Under The Hammer 17:55 Baking Mad With Eric Lanlard 18:20 The Good Cook 18:45 Baking Made Easy 19:10 New Scandinavian Cooking 19:40 Come Dine With Me 20:35 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 21:20 Antiques Roadshow 22:15 Bargain Hunt 23:00 Homes Under The Hammer 23:55 Cash In The Attic

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BBC World News America BBC World News America Newsday Asia Business Report Sport Today Newsday Asia Business Report Sport Today Newsday Asia Business Report Sport Today BBC World News Asia Business Report Sport Today BBC World News Asia Business Report

05:45 Sport Today 06:00 BBC World News 06:30 Hardtalk 07:00 BBC World News 07:30 World Business Report 07:45 BBC World News 08:00 BBC World News 08:30 World Business Report 08:45 BBC World News 09:00 BBC World News 09:30 World Business Report 09:45 BBC World News 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 World Business Report 10:45 BBC World News 11:00 BBC World News 11:30 Hardtalk 12:00 BBC World News 12:30 World Business Report 12:45 Sport Today 13:00 BBC World News 13:30 BBC World News 14:00 GMT With George Alagiah 14:30 GMT With George Alagiah 15:00 BBC World News 15:30 World Business Report 15:45 Sport Today 16:00 Impact With Mishal Husain 16:30 Impact With Mishal Husain 17:00 Impact With Mishal Husain 17:30 Hardtalk 18:00 Global With John Sopel 18:30 Global With John Sopel 19:00 Global With John Sopel 19:30 World Business Report 19:45 Sport Today 20:00 BBC World News 20:30 BBC Focus On Africa 21:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 21:30 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 22:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 22:30 World Business Report 22:45 Sport Today 23:00 Business Edition With Tanya Beckett 23:30 Hardtalk

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Wacky Races Duck Dodgers Duck Dodgers Dastardly And Muttley Dastardly And Muttley Dexter’s Laboratory Wacky Races Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Tom & Jerry The Garfield Show Bananas In Pyjamas Gerald McBoing Boing Jelly Jamm Ha Ha Hairies Bananas In Pyjamas Lazytown Krypto: The Super Dog Baby Looney Tunes Gerald McBoing Boing Cartoonito Tales Ha Ha Hairies Lazytown Baby Looney Tunes Krypto: The Super Dog Cartoonito Tales Jelly Jamm Gerald McBoing Boing Lazytown Baby Looney Tunes Jelly Jamm Tom & Jerry Kids A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Moomins Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries The Looney Tunes Show The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby-Doo Taz-Mania Tiny Toon Adventures Moomins Tom And Jerry Tales What’s New Scooby Doo The Looney Tunes Show The Garfield Show Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby-Doo Tom And Jerry Tales What’s New Scooby Doo Tiny Toon Adventures Puppy In My Pocket

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What’s New Scooby-Doo? Looney Tunes Dexter’s Laboratory Tom & Jerry Tales Pink Panther And Pals Pink Panther And Pals Moomins

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 Dreamworks Dragons Riders Of Berk 07:25 Johnny Test 07:45 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 08:10 Evil Con Carne 08:55 Adventure Time 09:45 Regular Show 10:35 Angelo Rules 11:25 Ben 10: Alien Force 11:50 Ben 10: Alien Force 12:15 Hero 108 12:40 Hero 108 13:05 Mucha Lucha ! 13:30 Angelo Rules 14:20 Evil Con Carne 15:10 The Amazing World Of Gumball 15:35 Adventure Time 16:00 Regular Show 16:30 Johnny Test 17:00 Ben 10: Omniverse 17:25 Dreamworks Dragons Riders Of Berk 17:50 Gormiti New 18:15 Young Justice 18:40 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 19:05 Total Drama: Revenge Of The Island 19:30 Total Drama: Revenge Of The Island 19:55 Mucha Lucha ! 20:20 Ben 10: Omniverse 20:45 The Amazing World Of Gumball 21:10 Adventure Time 21:35 Regular Show 22:00 Ben 10 22:25 Ben 10 22:50 Mucha Lucha ! 23:15 Mucha Lucha ! 23:40 Powerpuff Girls

00:00 Amanpour 00:30 World Sport 01:00 Piers Morgan Live 02:00 CNN Newsroom Live From Hong Kong 03:00 Anderson Cooper 360 04:00 Piers Morgan Live 05:00 Quest Means Business 06:00 The Situation Room 07:00 World Sport 07:30 News Special 08:00 World Report 09:00 World Report 10:00 World Sport 10:30 Inside Africa 11:00 World Business Today 12:00 World One 12:30 CNNGo 13:00 Amanpour 13:30 CNN Newscenter 14:00 Piers Morgan Live 15:00 News Stream 16:00 World Business Today 17:00 International Desk 18:00 Global Exchange 19:00 World Sport 19:30 CNNGo 20:00 International Desk


21:00 Quest Means Business 22:00 Amanpour 22:30 CNN Newscenter 23:00 Connect The World With Becky Anderson

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Dual Survival Yukon Men Ultimate Survival Mythbusters Border Security Auction Hunters Storage Hunters How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Sons Of Guns Mythbusters Ultimate Survival Flying Wild Alaska Border Security Auction Hunters Auction Kings How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Dual Survival Yukon Men Ultimate Survival Border Security Auction Hunters Auction Kings Futurecar Flying Wild Alaska Mythbusters Sons Of Guns How Machines Work How It’s Made Auction Hunters Storage Hunters You Have Been Warned Magic Of Science Magic Of Science Mythbusters

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How Tech Works Patent Bending Prototype This The Colony Unchained Reaction Prototype This Superships The Gadget Show How Tech Works Prophets Of Science Fiction Space Pioneer NASA’s Greatest Missions The Gadget Show How Tech Works Punkin Chunkin 2010 Ecopolis Man-Made Marvels Asia Race To Mars NASA’s Greatest Missions Patent Bending The Gadget Show How Tech Works Space Pioneer Da Vinci’s Machines What’s That About? Superships Prophets Of Science Fiction Space Pioneer NASA’s Greatest Missions The Gadget Show How Tech Works Space Pioneer The Colony The Gadget Show

00:00 Hannah Montana 00:20 Hannah Montana 00:45 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 01:05 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 01:30 Emperor’s New School 01:50 Emperor’s New School 02:15 Replacements 02:35 Replacements 03:00 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 03:20 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 03:45 Emperor’s New School 04:05 Emperor’s New School 04:30 Replacements 04:50 Replacements 05:15 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 05:35 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 06:00 Prankstars 06:25 Suite Life On Deck 06:45 Cory In The House 07:10 A.N.T. Farm 07:35 Austin And Ally 07:55 Jessie 08:20 Good Luck Charlie 08:45 Doc McStuffins 09:05 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 09:30 A.N.T. Farm 09:55 Jonas 10:15 So Random 10:40 Hannah Montana 11:05 Sonny With A Chance 11:25 Kim Possible 11:50 Shake It Up 12:15 Shake It Up 12:35 Wizards Of Waverly Place 13:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 13:25 Austin And Ally 13:45 Jessie 14:10 A.N.T. Farm 14:35 So Random 14:55 The Adventures Of Disney Fairies 15:20 Good Luck Charlie 15:45 Jessie 16:10 Shake It Up 16:35 A.N.T Farm 17:00 Austin And Ally 17:20 Suite Life On Deck 17:45 Suite Life On Deck 18:10 Cory In The House 18:30 Wizards Of Waverly Place 18:55 That’s So Raven 19:20 A.N.T. Farm 19:40 Good Luck Charlie 20:05 Jessie 20:30 Wizards Of Waverly Place 20:50 Wizards Of Waverly Place 21:15 So Random 21:40 Hannah Montana 22:00 Jonas 22:25 Sonny With A Chance 22:50 Sonny With A Chance 23:10 Wizards Of Waverly Place 23:35 Wizards Of Waverly Place

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Opening Act Style Star E!es E!es Style Star Extreme Close-Up

04:10 E!es 05:05 THS 06:00 15 Remarkable Celebrity Body Bouncebacks 07:50 Style Star 08:20 Opening Act 09:15 Opening Act 10:15 E!es 11:10 THS 12:05 Married To Jonas 12:35 Married To Jonas 13:05 Playing With Fire 14:05 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 14:30 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 15:00 Style Star 15:30 E!es 16:30 Extreme Close-Up 17:00 Chasing The Saturdays 17:30 Chasing The Saturdays 18:00 E! News 19:00 Fashion Police 20:00 E!es 21:00 Kourtney And Kim Take Miami 22:00 Chasing The Saturdays 22:30 E! News 23:30 Chelsea Lately

00:05 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 00:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 00:55 Unwrapped 01:20 Unwrapped 01:45 Food Wars 02:10 Food Wars 02:35 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 03:00 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 03:25 Food Wars 03:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 04:15 Unique Eats 04:40 Chopped 05:30 Iron Chef America 06:10 Food Network Challenge 07:00 Guy’s Big Bite 07:25 Guy’s Big Bite 07:50 Reza’s African Kitchen 08:15 Kid In A Candy Store 08:40 Unique Sweets 09:05 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 09:30 The Next Food Network Star 10:20 Extra Virgin 10:45 Extra Virgin 11:10 Cooking For Real 11:35 Food Crafters 12:00 Ultimate Recipe Showdown 12:50 Grill It! With Bobby Flay 13:15 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 13:40 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 14:05 Food Wars 14:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 14:55 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 15:20 Guy’s Big Bite 15:45 Chopped 16:35 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 17:00 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 17:25 Food Wars 17:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:15 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:40 Guy’s Big Bite 19:05 Reza’s African Kitchen 19:30 Chopped 20:20 Chopped 21:10 Amazing Wedding Cakes 22:00 Charly’s Cake Angels 22:25 Charly’s Cake Angels 22:50 Unique Sweets 23:15 Unique Sweets 23:40 Food Wars

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

00:15 Kimchi Chronicles 00:45 Somewhere In China 01:40 Market Values 02:05 Market Values 02:35 Banged Up Abroad 03:30 Banged Up Abroad 04:25 City Chase Rome 05:20 Departures 06:15 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 06:40 Earth Tripping 07:10 Delinquent Gourmet 07:35 Kimchi Chronicles 08:05 Somewhere In China 09:00 Market Values 09:25 Market Values 09:55 Banged Up Abroad 10:50 Banged Up Abroad 11:45 City Chase Rome 12:40 Departures 13:35 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 14:00 Earth Tripping 14:30 Delinquent Gourmet 14:55 Kimchi Chronicles 15:25 George Clark’s Amazing Spaces 16:20 Market Values 16:45 Market Values 17:15 Banged Up Abroad 18:10 Dive Detectives 19:05 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita

LARRY CROWNE ON OSN CINEMA 19:30 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 20:00 Delinquent Gourmet 20:30 Kimchi Chronicles 21:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 21:30 Earth Tripping 22:00 Departures 22:55 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 23:20 Market Values 23:50 Travel Madness

00:15 Exorcismus-18 02:00 Intruders-18 04:00 Carjacked-PG15 06:00 True Justice: Street Wars-PG15 07:45 Mission: Impossible-PG15 09:45 Constantine-PG15 12:00 The Scorpion King 3: Battle For Redemption-PG15 14:00 Mission: Impossible-PG15 16:00 Green Lantern-PG15 18:00 The Scorpion King 3: Battle For Redemption-PG15 20:00 AVP: Alien vs Predator-PG15 22:00 The Perfect Host-PG15

01:00 Larry Crowne-PG15 03:00 Adventures Of Sharkboy And Lavagirl-PG 05:00 Golden Christmas 3-PG15 07:00 Jane Eyre-PG15 09:00 Larry Crowne-PG15 11:00 Marley & Me: The Puppy Years-PG 13:00 Espions-PG15 15:00 Ike: Countdown To D-DayPG15 17:00 Second Chances-PG15 19:00 How I Spent My Summer Vacation-PG15 21:00 Powder Blue-18 23:00 The Sitter-18

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 The New Normal 02:00 Out There 02:30 The Big C 03:00 Last Man Standing 03:30 Friends 04:00 Seinfeld 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Til Death 06:00 Arrested Development 06:30 Samantha Who? 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Seinfeld 08:30 Til Death 09:00 Last Man Standing 09:30 How I Met Your Mother 10:30 Samantha Who? 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Arrested Development 12:30 Seinfeld 13:00 Til Death 13:30 Samantha Who? 14:00 Friends 15:00 How I Met Your Mother 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Arrested Development 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Ben And Kate 18:30 The Simpsons 19:00 Modern Family 19:30 The Mindy Project 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Weeds 22:30 It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia 23:00 The Big C 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

00:00 Breakout Kings 01:00 American Horror Story 02:00 The Americans

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

Treme House Of Cards Grey’s Anatomy Breakout Kings Emmerdale Coronation Street C.S.I. New York The Ellen DeGeneres Show Grey’s Anatomy The Americans Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show C.S.I. New York Breakout Kings Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show C.S.I. New York Touch Bones Castle The Client List Treme

00:00 End Of Days 02:15 Exorcismus 04:00 Intruders 06:00 Carjacked 08:00 True Justice: Street Wars 09:45 Mission: Impossible 11:45 Constantine 14:00 The Scorpion King 3: Battle For Redemption 16:00 Mission: Impossible 18:00 Green Lantern 20:00 The Scorpion King 3: Battle For Redemption 22:00 AVP: Alien vs Predator

00:00 Hard Breakers-18 02:00 Goon-PG15 04:00 The Marc Pease ExperiencePG15 06:00 Men In Black II-PG 08:00 Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol-PG15 10:00 Wayne’s World-PG15 12:00 The Marc Pease ExperiencePG15 14:00 Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach-PG15 16:00 Wayne’s World-PG15 18:00 Nacho Libre-PG 20:00 Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy-PG15 22:00 Hard Breakers-18

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Dying Young-PG15 Schindler’s List-PG15 Frozen-PG15 My Enemy’s Enemy-PG15 Backwash-PG15 Trust-PG15 Hindenburg-PG15 Backwash-PG15 Nomads-PG15 The Chorus-PG15 Walk The Line-PG15 Moneyball-PG15

01:00 What’s Wrong With VirginiaPG15 03:00 Ghost Machine-PG15 05:00 Blackthorn-PG15 07:00 A Dog Named Duke-PG15 09:00 Judy Moody And The Not Bummer Summer-PG 11:00 Three Inches-PG15 13:00 The Dragon Chronicles: Fire & Ice-PG15 14:30 The Help-PG15 17:00 Judy Moody And The Not Bummer Summer-PG 19:00 Crazy, Stupid, Love.-PG15 21:00 The Hot Potato-PG15 23:00 Killer Elite-18

01:30 Little Einsteins: Rocket’s Firebird Rescue 02:45 Freddy Frogface 04:30 Marco Antonio 06:00 Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil

08:00 10:00 11:30 13:15 Evil 14:45 16:15 18:00 19:45 Island 22:00 23:30

D’Fenders A Fairy Tale Christmas The Adventures Of Tintin Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Freddy Frogface 101 Dalmatians 2 A Fairy Tale Christmas Journey 2: The Mysterious D’Fenders 101 Dalmatians 2

01:00 Futbol Mundial 01:30 PGA Tour Highlights 02:30 PGA European Tour Highlights 03:30 NRL Full Time 04:00 NRL Premiership 06:00 AFL Premiership Highlights 07:00 Super Rugby 09:00 Super Rugby 10:00 Top 14 12:00 Snooker World Championship 16:00 NRL Full Time 16:30 Premier League Darts 20:00 Futbol Mundial 20:30 PGA European Tour Weekly 21:00 Inside The PGA Tour 21:30 Trans World Sport 22:30 AFL Premiership Highlights 23:30 Snooker World Championship

0:00 WWE Bottom Line 01:00 NRL Full Time 01:30 ICC Cricket 360 02:00 Snooker World Championship 06:00 Super Rugby 07:00 AFL Premiership Highlights 08:00 PGA Tour Highlights 09:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 10:00 AFL Premiership Highlights 11:00 Super Rugby 13:00 Super Rugby 14:00 NRL Full Time 14:30 PGA Tour Highlights 15:30 NHL 17:30 Futbol Mundial 18:00 Super League 19:30 Super Rugby 21:30 PGA Tour Players Champions 22:30 PGA European Tour Highlights 23:30 Super Rugby

00:30 Top 14 Highlights 01:00 World Pool Masters 02:00 World Cup Of Pool 03:00 Super Rugby 05:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 06:00 Trans World Sport 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 Asian Tour Highlights 09:00 World Pool Masters 10:00 World Cup Of Pool 11:00 Trans World Sport 12:00 Top 14 Highlights 12:30 ICC Cricket 360 13:00 Golfing World 14:00 Futbol Mundial 14:30 AFL Premiership Highlights 15:30 World Pool Masters 16:30 Asian Tour Highlights 16:30 World Cup Of Pool 17:30 Top 14 20:30 Super League 22:00 Super League 23:30 Golfing World

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Classifieds WEDNESDAY, MAY 8, 2013




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Sharing accommodation available for ladies or bachelor Filipino only near Big Jamiya Farwaniya. Available from May 10, 2013. Contact: 66158188. Accommodation available for non-smoking decent bachelors, with separate bathroom and C-A/C, sharing with Sri Lankan family in Khaitan near Carmel School. Contact: 66704630. (C 4409) 7-5-2013 3:00 PM



7:00 PM 10:00 PM 4:00 PM 7:00 PM

FOR SALE Jeep Mitsubishi (ASX) 2011, dark gray color, full options, excellent condition, 68000km, price KD 3,300/-. Contact: 66729295. (C 4406)

10:00 PM 5:45 PM 8:15 PM 10:45 PM


KIA Sorento - SE Jeep, model 2006, full options, sky blue color, excellent condition, price KD 1,750. Contact: 50994848. (C 4407) 7-5-2013

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Nissan Infiniti G37, 2009 model, 6 cylinder, automatic, 6 CD changer, mobile connectivity, rear view camera, sunroof, sand color, GPS, excellent condition, 60,000 Kms. KD 7,000. Contact: 99742340. (C 4394) 4-5-2013

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MATRIMONIAL Proposals invited for a Jacobite Christian girl, 27 years, 160cm, masters in occupational therapy, from parents of professionally qualified boys working in India or Abroad. Contact: lalu@kic.com.kw (C 4404) 5-5-2013

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Sharing accommodation available for decent bachelor/family, non-smoking, one big room, Amman Street, opposite to AlRashid Hospital. Contact: 66232356. (C 4408)

3:30 PM 6:30 PM

For sale car Corolla model 2000, price KD 700/-. Contact: 99017342. (C 4402) 2-5-2013

Rajaraman Sundarraj son of Sundarraj and Janaki bearing an Indian Passport No. K2091792 and having an address No. 4A-1, Moongikollai Street, Kumbakonam PO, Tanjore DT, Tamilnadu 612001 had embraced Islam and changed the name as Raja Mohammed. (C 4401) 4-5-2013

SITUATION WANTED Indian experienced generator operator/ mechanic seeking suitable job. Contact: 66368027. (C 4405) 7-5-2013 Storekeeper, experience 4 years, Civil ID expir y 4/8/2013. Contact: sanalkumartm12@gmail.com / 69966306. (C 4403)

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

03:34 05:02 11:45 15:20 18:28 19:53




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


481 58 792 141 6693 576 673 617 503 773 641 238 135 304 824 538 128 858 511 216 184 266 982 471 145 64 220 134 404 619 571 62 120 331 361 648 351 403 171 417 308 230 860 381 137 301 218 60 205 147 554 283 415 528


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stars CROSSWORD 183

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) Talking, writing, keeping a finger on the pulse of all that’s happening is fun and fast moving. A reporter or writer type of job keeps you very busy. Practice diplomacy when dealing with the public. Try to be fair. Of course, keeping with the truth is where you feel the best. You enjoy your job the best when you can obliterate any narrowmindedness and again, that is done with truth and facts. There is personal confidence and optimism regarding the subject of your attention today. This afternoon you may set up your own website or begin to learn about writing a computer program that could help make things more convenient for the things you do on a computer. Energies are building toward a new or deeper love relationship—pay attention.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Conversations may be hard to understand today; people keep forgetting to include the subject matter. It doesn’t hurt to ask questions, unless someone is impatient. Give the difficult people feedback with a sentence that asks them to repeat instructions or comments differently. And then mimic back the instructions or comments the way you understand them. This will help draw out anything out that you may have missed. Make it a point to be as low-key as possible and limit decision making until much later this afternoon. You may have animals to care for this afternoon and they are wonderful distractions to lift the mood and they are a great way to relax. A quiet evening can create a more rewarding end to a most busy workday.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

ACROSS 1. A dark-skinned member of a race of people living in Australia when Europeans arrived. 4. Not asked for. 11. An officer who acts as military assistant to a more senior officer. 15. An informal term for a father. 16. The branch of military science dealing with detailed maneuvers to achieve objectives set by strategy. 17. The rate of flow of energy or particles across a given surface. 18. A particular geographical region of indefinite boundary (usually serving some special purpose or distinguished by its people or culture or geography). 20. Cultivated in temperate regions. 22. A full skirt with a gathered waistband. 23. The 17th letter of the Greek alphabet. 24. Of or relating to or involving an area. 25. Tropical starchy tuberous root. 28. A luminance unit equal to 1 candle per square meter measured perpendicular to the rays from the source. 29. Not only so, but. 32. An idle slothful person. 35. An oily colorless liquid obtained by the condensation of two molecules of acetaldehyde. 37. (Old Testament) The first king of the Israelites who defended Israel against many enemies (especially the Philistines). 38. Other than what is under consideration or implied. 42. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 43. The capital of Morocco. 46. Noisy talk. 48. A legal document codifying the result of deliberations of a committee or society or legislative body. 49. The portion of the vertebrate nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord. 51. A slight amount or degree of difference. 54. Regarded with admiration. 56. Extinct order of jawless vertebrates. 57. Payment due by the recipient on delivery. 59. Imperial dynasty that ruled China (most of the time) from 206 BC to 221 and expanded its boundaries and developed its bureaucracy. 60. West Indian tree having racemes of fragrant white flowers and yielding a durable timber and resinous juice. 63. Of or related to the genital and urinary organs or their functions. 67. With rapid movements. 70. Any place of complete bliss and delight and peace. 72. A vote that blocks a decision. 74. Plant cultivated for its enlarged fleshy turnip-shaped edible stem. 75. Irritate or vex. 78. (Islam) The man who leads prayers in a mosque. 79. A strong solution of sodium or potassium hydroxide. 80. A group of Penutian languages spoken to the west of the Sacramento river. 81. A small cake leavened with yeast. DOWN 1. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 2. Capital city of the Apulia region on the Adriatic coast. 3. A European river. 4. The local time at the 0 meridian passing through Greenwich, England.

5. A port and tourist center in southwestern Italy. 6. (informal) Of the highest quality. 7. A dreamy romantic or sentimental quality. 8. A Bantu language spoken by the Chaga people in northern Tanzania. 9. The persistence of a sound after its source has stopped. 10. An honorary degree in science. 11. (old-fashioned) At or from or to a great distance. 12. A lake in northwestern Russia. 13. Port city in the United Arab Emirates on the Persian Gulf. 14. Praise, glorify, or honor. 19. A mechanical device that prevents a vessel from moving. 21. A flat-bottomed volcanic crater that was formed by an explosion. 26. A metric unit of volume equal to one tenth of a liter. 27. A constitutional monarchy in southeastern Asia on Borneo and the Malay Peninsula. 30. Either of two large African antelopes of the genus Taurotragus having short spirally twisted horns in both sexes. 31. A public promotion of some product or service. 33. A republic in northeastern South America. 34. A Mid-Atlantic state. 36. United States architect (born in England) whose works include the chambers of the United States Congress and the Supreme Court (1764-1820). 39. Of or relating to the ancient Latins or the Latin language. 40. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 41. An inactive volcano in Sicily. 44. English monk and scholar (672-735). 45. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 47. Boiled or baked buckwheat. 50. A gray lustrous metallic element of the rare earth group. 52. (Judaism) An eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem. 53. A cut of pork ribs with much of the meat trimmed off. 55. Small tropical American tree bearing edible plumlike fruit. 58. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 61. The act of mimicking. 62. Made of grated potato and egg with a little flour. 64. United States naval officer and historian (1840-1914). 65. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 66. (Jungian psychology) The inner self (not the external persona) that is in touch with the unconscious. 68. A chordophone that has a triangular frame consisting of a sounding board and a pillar and a curved neck. 69. Tree bearing large brown nuts containing e.g. caffeine. 71. Fallow deer. 73. The United Nations agency concerned with the international organization of food and agriculture. 76. One million periods per second. 77. A toxic nonmetallic element related to sulfur and tellurium.


There is a desire to free yourself from the hard work you may have set up for yourself this week. You will, however, need to pay attention to your mood so that you do not become impatient with others. If you can just focus on the business at hand, you may learn some new techniques that you can use for yourself. The more you learn, the more opportunities open up for you to help you step up the corporate ladder. Monetary rewards are forthcoming. Talking and writing keep you informed and you enjoy the connection with others that comes with writing—it draws out everyone’s imaginative talents. A social event involving friends and associates is quite fun this evening. You may be dancing to exotic music. Do not hesitate to network this evening.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) You show a propensity to engage in hard work and to obtain financial security these days. If you do not have a family to care for, you may find yourself working at a couple of jobs. Setting up a good foundation is something you actually have fun doing. You may also perceive how to proceed with plans and decisions regarding your life goals. This is a good time to examine and think about what is important and of lasting value. This may be one of those times when you can be home early enough to enjoy a sunset. You enjoy your home and the friends that are around you. Any emotional bridge has a short stay with your positive attitude. Movies and music are your choices for entertainment this evening. A good today Italian dinner may be in order tonight.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Your ability to think logically may be suppressed today so be careful of irrational actions. Your intuition is sharpened and if you listen to that inner voice, it could save you from getting into areas of business, or issues that are sensitive. If you need to talk about your concerns, look for someone that has insight into the subject matter. Look for new opportunities to grow. The spirit of cooperation and a sharp mental attitude makes it easy for you to move forward. You can relax this evening at a social event. Tonight may be the best time to gather information that will help you politically in your community. Don’t be afraid to network; there are associations available now that make all sorts of opportunities and possibilities available.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) You are apt to obtain success financially through the power of attraction. You may also spend a great deal of time interested in beautifying your surroundings at work and at home. You may be planning a party to improve your position in the world of moneymaking through a business associate or friend. Because of financial gains, you could also spend money very quickly. Be aware of this and take an attitude of easy does it. There could be sudden upheavals in your romantic sphere today. You may feel the urge to break out of monotonous patterns and engage in a spontaneous relationship with someone new. You could find that you are appreciated or valued for your feelings or your ability to act and get things done. This is a happy time.

Word Search

Libra (September 23-October 22) Someone older today may threaten your own inner need for change and growth. Be watchful and look for a motive; there could be some confusion behind the scenes. Tension of a psychological or political nature may be present. Financial responsibilities and investments need close attention. Play it safe where such things are concerned or you could find yourself in a hole. You may feel you are making slow progress, but remember that patience and hard work really does pay off in the long run. You could be most persuasive with others, through your intelligent ways of communication. A good conversation with close friends can be enjoyed when the workday is at an end. You draw emotional nourishment from ideals, friends and social involvement.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) This fast moving day may require a bit of wit to navigate. You are able to influence someone that needs encouragement. Clear decisions affecting others could also be successful. This is a period of great mental activity and heightened communication with others. Intellectualism and the exchange of ideas are the things that have special appeal today. Put your mind to work and take care of any details that you may have—mental discipline should come easily. You have lots of enthusiasm today and can easily accomplish anything you put your mind to now. It is fortunate that you are capable of keeping up with all the activities today. There are opportunities for outdoor activities and perhaps some group sports with your friends later in the afternoon.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Your attention to detail makes today a perfect day for working out contracts or other complex business negotiations. Difficulty comes with emotional plunges. The facts will usually clear up any confusion. Make sure the written word is understandable. If someone is just annoying, you try to get along, particularly if there are multiple distractions. Avoid needless stress to either body or psyche, whenever possible. You may find plans are being changed for some social affair this evening. Offer to do what you can to help. You are sure to make some new friends as well as a few new business contacts through this effort. There are special moments in a romantic involvement or in a marriage this evening.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) CAPRICORN Project in the workplace today will benefit from your input. You feel strongly about expressing your thoughts and you might consider a quick memo to the person in charge. Keep a record of your memo. Remember, no good deed goes forward without some responsibility. You may find yourself in charge of the next project if your ideas are approved—think about it. You find yourself talkative and quick-witted. Ideas are clear and easy to process. This afternoon, enjoy a bit of time in seeing the world through a child’s eyes. It is wonderful how true his or her thinking can be. Read to a child or look through a book of poems and find one to enjoy. Perhaps together, you can create a little poem. It would be to record the end result.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Vital day is ahead with lots of action. You feel focused and clear-minded. You know just exactly what is needed and you set about tending to those things. You will find your best opportunity for success this afternoon may come from applying your writing, speech and intellectual skills while making a summary or report. This may mean you are taking a class at a junior college or perhaps you are creating instructions or results from some difficult project. Use your powers of self-expression wisely as you talk about some memory of the past. Someone you may not know very well may want to know all about an old neighbor or boss. Someone else may cook for you this evening so change clothes and really relax and enjoy.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) You can’t feel blocked or frustrated today; there are too many things that need accomplishing. Because of allergies or the temperature of the room or some other source, there may be some reason for a slowdown in productivity. Step back and check out the cause; perhaps if you work with others, they may also be having some problems. By making a conscious effort to adjust environmental problems, you may be very helpful in stepping up production. Communicating is at a high this afternoon. Your timing should be perfect, much better than this morning. Those around you should be responding in positive ways as well. Perhaps it just needed to stop raining. It is time to enjoy your friends in laughter this evening; pizza time.

Yesterday’s Solution

Yesterday’s Solution

Daily SuDoku

Yesterday’s Solution


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


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital


Kaizen center















Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

23915883 23715414 23726558


Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622




Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967




New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638






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

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

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241



Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh

























Abdullah Salem




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Gar






Ayoun Al-Qibla










Maidan Hawally






W Hawally






New Jahra


West Jahra


South Jahra


North Jahra


North Jleeb








N Khaitan





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


Plastic Surgeons 22547272

Dr. Khaled Hamadi

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari


Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed

Dr. Abdel Quttainah


Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf

Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar


Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari


Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan


Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe


Dr. Verginia s.Marin

2572-6666 ext 8321



Dr. Zahra Qabazard

25340300 25710444

Dr. Sohail Qamar


Dr. Snaa Maaroof


Dr. Pradip Gujare


Dr. Zacharias Mathew


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




Dr Anil Thomas

Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami


Dr. Shamah Al-Matar


Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed


Dr. Salem soso


Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari


Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer


Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher


Internists, Chest & Heart Dr. Adnan Ebil Dr. Mousa Khadada


Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan


Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra


Dr. Mobarak Aldoub


Dr Nasser Behbehani


Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688

info@soorcenter.com www.soorcenter.com

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


Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees


Rheumatologists: 25330060





Dr. Ahmad Al-Ansari 25658888

Dr. Adel Al-Awadi

Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan

General Surgeons

Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman

Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri


Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly


Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali


Kaizen center 25716707

Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah


Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad

24555050 Ext 210

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


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

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

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


LIFESTYLE G o s s i p


he 26-year-old model feels “physically sick” when she sees the fastenings and was left particularly traumatised when she hugged a friend without checking her outfit first. She said: “I have a phobia of buttons - they make me feel physically sick. A girlfriend of mine once wore a pair of jeans with multicoloured buttons on the pockets. I was hugging her. I thought, ‘Oh my God, what’s that?’ When I saw them, I went green.” Poppy loves her work as a model, and was particu-

T Henry Cavill was called ‘Fatty Cavill’

he actresses are close friend and Drew loves spending time with Cameron because they have so many adventures together. She told Life and Style magazine: “She’s my sister but we bro out and have adventures. Most people don’t know this but she’s very eddy.” Drew who is married to art consultant Will Kopelman - has had to cut down on both work and the amount of time she spends with friends like Cameron since giving birth to her first daughter, Olive, last September, but knows the sacrifices are worth it. She said: “Unfortunately, I was raised in this like generation of like, ‘Women can

larly “overwhelmed” with happiness at a recent show because she thought the clothes were so beautiful. Asked when she last felt really happy, she said: “At the Chanel show in December. I wanted to wear every look on the catwalk and felt overwhelmed by the whole experience. The Scottish reeling and the clothes were out of this world. I’d like to float around my house in one of those babies.” Though Poppy enjoys modeling, she worries she has now left it too late to embark on an

acting career. She told Grazia magazine: “I wish I’d gotten into acting earlier. I started modeling because I wanted to make money and then I really fell in love with it. “But I forgot about what I’ve always wanted to do, which is make films, so I wish I had done it earlier. It’s never too late, I hope.”

have it all,’ and I don’t think you can. I think some things fall off the table. The good news is, what does stay on the table becomes much more important.” Talking about taking time off from acting, she added: “I would miss out on my daughter. I can’t do it... It was heartbreaking to let go [of acting], but it was a clear choice. “As my daughter gets older, I’ll slowly get back into it. I’m never not going to be who I am. I’ll never abandon ship completely. Life does take different turns and it’s really wild.”


he Hunky actor - who plays Superman in new superhero movie ‘Man of Steel’ - admits he had a constant battle with his weight as a child and was targeted by bullies because he was so overweight. Henry said: “I was overweight when I went to school. In fact, I was overweight when I left, just taller. Fatty Cavill was the nickname. And nobody wants to be Fatty Cavill. “Yes, I was bullied. But I’m not going to sit here and say, ‘Woe is me’... Kids are kids. Kids are mean.” The 29-year-old confessed he struggled to shake off the fat jibes after he left school, despite dating girls who were impressed with his new muscular physique. He said: “Yeah, it stuck with me for a while, actually. I was always conscious of my weight afterwards. I’ve had girlfriends in the past who have said, ‘No, really, your weight’s fine, you look great.’ But I just didn’t believe them.” Henry claimed the real turning point for him was when he auditioned for a role in ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ and producers told his mother that he would need to lose weight to win the role. He explained to GQ magazine: “I was like, ‘If I’m overweight, why can’t they tell me themselves?’ But I managed to lose a stoneand-a-half in a very short time.”




he model is currently dating her bodyguard Martin Kirsten and revealed she finds his casual style sexy. Heidi told People: “I love straightforward, ripped, washed-a-hundred-times jeans that just fit really well, and a cool t-shirt. I don’t like a guy when he’s overdressed or over-styled. I like it better rugged.” Heidi, 39, who raises kids Leni, eight, Henry, seven, Johan, six, and Lou, three, with Seal, who she split from last year after seven years of marriage, also revealed Martin has given her a ring with his name partially inscribed on it. She said: “This is a ring I got from my boyfriend. It’s a present.” Heidi previously admitted she has learned to be more guarded about her private life in the wake of the separation and now thinks she and Seal were too open about their marriage. She said: “I feel good. I’ve learnt from my mistakes a bit. That I’ve been very, very open with the relationship to my husband. And I think that will be more private in the future.”

he ‘Hea r Mr. Nas t Attack’ singe ty - is r r admit the ea st year-old British music lly nice behin hat her ‘X Fac m s t o a g r ul desp d the scenes tor’ USA boss told Co nobod an - who w it y m everyo gets to see. If pany magaz e having disa d she has a as once ne’s ha h g in r h e e e e : m “ w H ents w uge amount dubbed T V’s alked in nd.” De e’s a gr this sum ith m u o to ing out mer, previou i, who will ta this room, h mp. An old fa him on the f respect for show. T sly claim ke on h e’d trea of reha r t . B u t he 20ideal sit b. She er seco t every he has ed that s u b n maybe ation I would aid: “I don’t th she might ha d season as ody the sam a hear t that a e in v that wa h e than I c sn’t the ave maybe w k I was ready taken on the judge on the - he shakes o treatm uld have eve best idea at aited a year o when I starte role too soo talent show e n d r r t was a li nt facility to h imagined, so he time, but more. I dived on the ‘The X after checkthe pla elp her into wo I’m rea fe -chan F ce I am said: “A lly glad rk reall actor’. In an overco ging m .” y c m ple of h ouple of mon ove, especiall e her strugg Demi also re in today is so quickly and v le u y t I turned ndred people hs before I we because it p s with bulim ealed that ch much better e ia r n and ph my phone on there. It was t to rehab, I h oved who ac and self-har cking in to a full of p one call ming in tually c ad a bir after be e s. I had a t four tex ing in rehab fo ople who I co hday party, a red about he 2010 nd ther nsidere r. She ts. That r three ew d was a w m m ake-up onths, I expe y closest frie ere a couct call.” — n Bangsh ed lots of tex ds. “When t messa owbiz ges


he 38-year-old soccer star will receive the Global Gift Philanthropist Award from Global Gift Gala honorary chair Eva Longoria at the Global Gift Gala at the Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris on May 13 in recognition of his work with the Malaria No More UK Leadership Council, UNICEF and his role as patron for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Eva said; “The Global Gift Gala Philanthropist Award recognises prominent figures who dedicate their time and energy to helping those in need. David has worked extensively with a number of charities and we are delighted to be able to honor his humanitarian work at this special event.” The 2013 Global Gift Gala Paris will be hosted by Eva and event co-chairs Nikos Aliagas and founder of charitable organization The GREAT Initiative, Karen Ruimy. All money raised at the event will benefit The Eva Longoria Foundation and The GREAT Initiative. The Paris gala - which will feature a cocktail reception, entertainment, dinner, a live auction, special performances and tribute to award winners - will be the first in a series of events planned throughout the year. Other Global Gift Galas taking place include Marbella on August 4, Los Angeles in September - with the exact date still to be confirmed - in London on November 23 and Punta Mita in Mexico on December 7.

he b ru ne tt e b ea ut y w is he s sh e w as le behaved in pu ss w el l bl ch an ge an d be ic, and thinks it would be easy to co m e a ba d gi rl “rude” to her. Sh as pe op le are e said: “I wish so I say I’d been ar rested. Maybe was interesting enough to I need to put m being drunk an ore work into d out of it. Som disorderly; at least you get a good night e people are so ru I’ve never punc hed anyone, so de when we’re out and do. “People ju maybe that’s w st hat I should make them lo want to take it out on you ok bigger in fro in public to nt happened to of their friends man . recently landed ners?” Frankie’s band, Th Whatever e Saturdays, th ei r fir st U K About Us’, afte number one si r six years toge ngle, ‘What th it will be a lo ng time before er and Frankie, 24, thinks they top the Asked how long char ts again. sh she told Q mag e thinks the next number one will take, azine: “I’ll prob And asked ho w she thinks he ably be 100 at that point.” r death will be added: “I don’ t re m a has-been po ally think it will, will it? I’ll m arked, she p star by then os t likely be . Nobody will get my second care. number one th ough, posthum Maybe I’ll ously.”





n a rare public appearance, respected Japanese writer Haruki Murakami said his latest novel was an experiment and grew longer than expected as he developed a desire to expand on side characters while writing. “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and the Year of His Pilgrimage” has sold more than 1 million copies a week since it went on sale last month. The novel, whose story was a well-kept mystery up until the book’s release, is about a man healing from a sudden rejection by his friends. Murakami said it reflects his deep interest in real people and relationships rather than allusions. “At the beginning, I was planning to write something allusive, as in my past works. But this time I developed a great interest in expanding on real people. Then the characters started to act on their own. I was intrigued by the relationships between people,” Murakami said. The protagonist, Tsukuru Tazaki, a 36year-old railway station architect, returns to his hometown of Nagoya in central Japan and travels as far as Finland trying to learn why he was rejected 16 years earlier by his best friends - two boys and two girls - in hopes of making a fresh start in life. In the book, Tazaki’s girlfriend plays a key role in urging him to try to come to terms with his past trauma. Murakami said the girlfriend character, Sara Kimoto, also led him to write more about the four friends. Murakami said the significance of storytelling is to portray something invisible and deep inside in each person and help create a place where people

can sympathize and identify with others. “If a reader sympathizes with my story, then there is a network of empathy,” he said. The novel is the first in three years for Murakami and is only available in Japanese for now. Japanese media said his appearance Monday at Kyoto University was Murakami’s first public appearance in Japan in 18 years. The writer said he could sympathize with Tsukuru’s pain because he had a similar experience, although not as bad. “I can understand how painful it is to be rejected,” Murakami said. “When you get hurt, you may build an emotional wall around your heart. But after a while you can stand up and move on. That’s the kind of story I wanted to write.” Murakami, often mentioned as a Nobel Prize contender, has written such internationally known works as “Norwegian Wood” and “The WindUp Bird Chronicle.” Also an accomplished translator of contemporary American literature, Murakami counts among his influences F Scott Fitzgerald and Raymond Chandler. Murakami taught as a visiting scholar at Princeton University in the early 1990s. He is also a prolific nonfiction writer and has published a collection of interviews of survivors and bereaved families of a gas attack on Tokyo’s subways in 1995 by an apocalyptic cult, Aum Shinrikyo. A vocal opponent of atomic weapons, Murakami has been a critic of Japan’s pro-nuclear energy policies since the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Murakami’s reclusiveness has added to his appeal. The last time

he appeared in public in Japan was at a book reading after a disastrous 1995 earthquake in Kobe, near where he grew up. Monday’s event in his birthplace, Kyoto, was tightly controlled. He was interviewed by a veteran literary critic, and no recording or filming was allowed by the media or the audience of 500 who won seats by a lottery. Murakami, dressed casually in a plaid shirt, brickcolored jeans and navy sneakers, appeared relaxed, but admitted he is media shy. “When I woke up this morning I almost thought of taking a bullet train home,” he joked. “It’s not because I have a mental condition or purple spots all over my body. I’m just an ordinary person who lives an ordinary life.” He said his job is to write and he prefers to concentrate on that. Chiyomi Hirosawa, a 43-year-old architect in the audience, said she was delighted to see Murakami in person. “It was great to be able to see the real Murakami that we can never know from his novels. He has a great sense of humor and seemed more upbeat than the kind of person I was imagining,” she said. — AP

Haruki Murakami


This picture shows Jakarta’s governor Joko Widodo holding a maroon bass guitar gifted to him by Robert Trujillo of US band Metallica. — AFP


he sign above the bar in Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern warns visitors about the perils of sampling the $3.25 house specialty - a slab of Limburger cheese on rye bread slathered with onions and mustard. “Limburger: don’t eat it with your nose.” The sign might well add: Don’t eat it in close proximity to anyone you wish to remain friends with. Monroe is a tranquil town of 10,000 nestled in the rolling hills of southern Wisconsin, where pale brown cows graze soulfully from fields and silos dot the landscape. Settled by Swiss and German immigrants, it boasts a brewery, a cheesemaking museum, and a historic town square dominated by a 1891 Romanesque-style courthouse with a clock tower and bell that chimes on the hour. This charming place is also home to the stinkiest cheese in the world. In 1880, Limburger, which is smeared with a foul-smelling bacteria to make it age quickly, was described by local author John Luchsinger as “a premeditated outrage on the organs of smell.” Mark Twain wrote about “a most evil and searching odor” in his 1882 tale, “The Invalid’s Story.” In the 1918 silent movie “Shoulder Arms,” Charlie Chaplin played a soldier at the front who, after opening a package of Limburger, flings it into enemy lines, forcing the Germans to surrender. And in 2011, comedian Daniel Lawrence

he heavy metal-loving governor of Indonesian capital Jakarta has surrendered a guitar that was a gift from US band Metallica to anti-corruption authorities, an official said yesterday. A beaming Joko Widodo appeared on TV last week strumming the maroon bass guitar gifted to him by Metallica’s Robert Trujillo, which was autographed and bore the words “Giving Back!.. Keep Playin’ That Cool Funky Bass!”. But the powerful Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said that Widodo, widely considered clean in a notoriously graft-ridden country, had now handed the gift to them. “We will check if there is any conflict of interest or if there was an exchange of favours,” commission spokesman Johan Budi told AFP “The screening process takes up to 30 days, and after that we will decide whether to return the guitar to him or confiscate it.” During the TV appearance Widodo, an anti-establishment figure who was elected in September, said he was a huge fan of Metallica, whose hits include “Enter Sandman” and “Nothing Else Matters”. He also listed Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Napalm Death as among his favourite bands. His spokesman Eko Hariadi said the guitar was the first gift Widodo had received since becoming governor, he had handed it over voluntarily to be checked and there was no conflict of interest. “The governor loves rock music. So he was certainly happy to receive it, it’s like getting a tennis racket from Boris Becker,” the spokesman told AFP, referring to the German tennis great. “To him, it was a souvenir and there was no exchange for favours.” Corruption remains rampant in Indonesia, particularly among public servants, and the country last year slid to 118th of 176 countries in Transparency International’s annual graft index. — AFP

Whitney - also known as “Larry the Cable Guy” spit out a Limburger sandwich at Baumgartner’s while filming for the History Channel, declaring with a string of colorful expletives - that it tasted like a dead possum. But here in Monroe people love it. They take enormous pride in the fact that their town is the only place in the country where Limburger is still produced. It’s also the only place to have its own master Limburger cheesemaker - Myron Olson, 60, who started working in the Chalet CheeseCooperative at age 17 and has managed the plant for more than two decades. “It takes time, but it grows on you,” Olson says wryly, of the pungent, ammonia-like stench wafting through the plant, where huge vats of steaming curds eventually become blocks of Limburger. Employees then rub the fresh blocks by hand on aged pine boards coated in the prized 100-year-old bacteria that is recycled daily to ensure the flavor stays true. Visitors can’t tour the plant but there is a small store. The washed-rind cheese, made from cow’s milk, was first concocted by 19th century monks in the Duchy of Limburg, an area now divided among Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. Later in New York, Limburger sandwiches became a favorite working man’s lunch, cheap and nutritious and usually washed down with a

glass of beer. Prohibition hurt sales of the smelly cheese as much as sales of beer and production of Limburger dwindled. The Monroe cooperative now makes about 700,000 pounds (317,514 kilograms) a year. Olson, the master cheesemaker, introduces a visitor to the cheese gently. He offers a small piece of week-old Limburger on a cracker with strawberry jam. It’s mild and crumbly, the texture of feta. At two months, it’s rich and creamy, resembling brie. At six months, after fermentation has kicked in, it assaults the senses with an odor so overpowering that to compare it to smelly feet seems too kind. (In 2006 a study showing that the malaria mosquito is attracted equally to the smell of Limburger and to the smell of human feet won a prize called the Ig Nobel, a parody of the Nobel prize, awarded for humor as much as science.)—AP

This photo shows a sign above the bar in Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern in Monroe, Wis.

This photo shows owner Tony Zgraggen posing for a photo at the Alp and Dell artisanal cheese store in Monroe,Wis. — AP photos

David Butorac


SN, the leading pay-TV network in the Middle East and North Africa, recorded more than 30 percent subscriber growth in 2012 and similar growth levels are expected this year. Bringing exclusive content first to the region, OSN’s robust growth was also led by the launch of several industry leading innovations including OSN Play, the region’s first digital TV platform. David Butorac, CEO of OSN said: “The strong growth recorded in 2012 is a clear testament to the success of our compelling content offering, advanced digital innovations and our focus on leveraging the reach of the internet to offer customers more control, choice, content and convenience. OSN’s success is also fuelled by our steadfast commitment to invest in the latest technology to deliver the widest choice of premium and exclusive entertainment that reflects the varied preferences of viewers across the region.” He added: “Our goal for 2013, which has already started yielding results, is to sustain the growth momentum by enhancing our retail presence, providing more premium English and Arabic content and expanding the OSN HD line-up. We will also strengthen our OSN Play and OSN Plus HD digital services, which are a perfect fit to the changing requirements of the region that has a high and growing penetration of Internet. “These innovative services have made television even more accessible, providing customers the convenience of watching their favourite programmes anytime, anywhere.” OSN recorded the highest growth in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at 35 percent, underlining the strong inroads made in the fast-growing market. OSN’s current retail network spans over 420 touch points across the region and significant investments are being made by OSN to expand its presence by 20 percent this year, particularly in Saudi Arabia. The network is also focused on strengthening its presence in new growth markets including Qatar and Libya. Highlighting its demonstrated market leadership, OSN has the region’s largest number of HD channels at 36, which helped drive the subscriber base across all key markets. Offering an unparalleled entertainment experience, OSN is sustaining its growth momentum with five new channels, already launched in January this year, including two OSN Arabic HD channels. Building its unique value proposition through a focus on premium content, OSN works with regional production houses to create original and fresh Arabic concepts. This has helped boost subscriptions, particularly, in markets such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The network’s investment and partnerships with local production houses will add more regional flavour with innovative programming such as the Discover KSA Season 2 documentary series and Loubat Al-Shaitan, the first Saudi action thriller series. Further consolidating its leadership in providing premium Arabic content, OSN has introduced a special primetime that telecasts the latest Arabic films within two weeks of their theatrical release, and has the biggest library of Arabic and Turkish series. Underscoring its unmatched content, OSN guarantees viewers a lineup of the biggest and latest movies and series from Hollywood and beyond through the network’s exclusive deals with all seven major studios - Warner Brothers, Paramount, Fox, Disney, Sony, MGM and Universal. In 2012, OSN telecast 98 percent of the Top 100 box office hits, a trend that is set to continue in 2013, with a scheduled line-up of over 900 exclusive premieres, most of them reaching its viewers within three months of the films’ theatrical release. The value of the films telecast by OSN translates to over a billion dollars in box office receipts per month. Home to exclusive HBO content, OSN will also telecast over 40 new shows and 50 new seasons this year - several airing at the same time as the US - demonstrating its compelling content strength. Last year, OSN’s initiatives to bring the excitement of the London Olympics and the Paralympics also strengthened customer engagement, with subscriber numbers recording a strong increase during prime sporting events. In the coming months, OSN will telecast the 2013 Lions Tour live and exclusive; bringing all the excitement of the much-anticipated return of the British & Irish Lions to Australia for a series that has been 12 years in the making. Also lined up in the sports entertainment bouquet this year is the Double Ashes and Champions League cricket series, the Rugby Championships and PGA tour, to name a few.



A general view of the paintings.

By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Kuwait Times received major appreciation on Monday for its positive media campaign aimed at enhancing awareness about caring for and protecting Kuwait’s environment by holding an art competition. In a speech at the awards ceremony held to honor the students who participated in the recent Kuwait Times art competition, Yousef Mustafa Abdullah, the Assistant Undersecretary for Broadcasting Affairs, Ministry of Information, lauded the Kuwait Times for the initiative and best efforts to help empower the youth of Kuwait by honing their talent and making them aware of their role in protecting Kuwait’s environment. The ceremony was held at the Al-Baraka Ballroom of Crowne Plaza Hotel in Farwaniya. “Protecting the environment is everyone’s duty, but we need

Yousef Mustafa Abdullah, the Assistant Undersecretary for Broadcasting Affairs, Ministry of Information is pictured in conversation with Kuwait Times Editor-in-Chief Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan. such initiatives for our young people today to send a clear message to everyone on a greater scale about how to care for and protect our environment. I thank the Kuwait Times and their sponsor, Chevron, for this laudable initiative,” he said. “The art competition is a perfect opportunity for young people to express their creative side and showcase their talents. The event is just one example of positive media practices and Kuwait Times has been playing this role for long as it underlines the importance of green and clean environment,” he added. The well-attended gathering was graced by Yousef Mustafa Abdullah, the Assistant Undersecretary for Broadcasting Affairs,

The judges and officials are pictured at the event.

Ministry of Information. Hundreds of students, principals, head teachers and art enthusiasts from various schools in Kuwait attended. Over 10,000 students from public and private schools submitted their work under the theme ‘Keep Kuwait Beautiful and Green’. Before the program started, the undersecretary was led around the painting exhibition put up at the venue, accompanied by the Kuwait Times Editor-in-Chief Abd Al-Rahman AlAlyan and Kuwait Times Marketing Director Adnan Saad. He was also introduced to 10-year old Kuwaiti artist Al-Marri who is gradually being hailed as the youngest Leonardo da Vinci of Kuwait, and who painted what Adnan Saad termed and described as the ‘Kuwaiti Monalisa’. The panel of judges, who were all professionally inclined artists in their own right, was headed by Abul Karim Al-Enezi. Other judges were Svitlana Arndt, Abulazis Arti and Ellen Khabasi. The four judges admitted that selecting winners from thousands of paintings was the hardest part, as many of the paintings deserved awards and recognition. The art competition was divided according to age groups; 68, 9-11, 12-14 and 15-17 years. Each student was provided with a special recyclable sheet of paper (70x90 pristol 240 gm) to draw on, bearing in mind the subject about saving the environment, green lands and preventing human destruction of plants. The painting contest that started on March 5 and lasted till April 11 was sponsored by Chevron, a Saudi Arabia-based oil company, along with the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Adnan Saad, the man behind the Kuwait Times project, said the initiative would not have been possible without the support of Chevron and Crowne Plaza besides several other institutions including both, the private and public schools, in Kuwait. He said the schools, around 70 of them, received special certificates from the Kuwait Times, which were handed over during the ceremony. The 10,000 students, who submitted their work, will also receive individual certificates. “We are going to present the certificates complete with their names and these will be distributed by their teachers and principals. We recognized the efforts and contributions of the schools and students to this highly successful art competition,” he added. The awards ceremony was held under the patronage of Sheikh Salman Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah and was also attended by Ahmed Al-Omar, the CEO of Chevron Saudi Co, and Rami Haikal, General Manager of Crowne Plaza Hotel. “Thank you all for patronizing and sponsoring the awards ceremony for the winners in the painting competition. We also appreciate your attendance which will have a good impact on participating students and encourage them to work harder for a better and brighter future,” he added. Adnan said Kuwait Times believed that media and journalism was one of the pillars of any society. “Therefore we feel our obligation to contribute towards enhancing communal awareness activities, namely those promoting environmental issues and concerns in order to protect our nature and resources,” he

A view of the event.

Adnan Saad, Marketing Director, explains the paintings to Yousef Mustafa Abdullah, the Assistant Undersecretary for Broadcasting Affairs, Ministry of Information while Kuwait Times Editor-in-Chief Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan looks on during the event.

A special winner is pictured receiving her prize.



Kuwait Times Editor-in-Chief Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan is pictured with other Kuwait Times officials, judges, and special invitees at Al-Baraka Ballroom of Crowne Plaza Hotel in Farwaniya. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat and Joseph Shagra said. He stated that KSA’s Chevron Co, Crowne Plaza Hotel and the Kuwait Times have been organizing this painting competition for students of public, private and foreign schools in addition to those from Special Needs Schools for the past six years. “The competition aims at enhancing new generations’ awareness about the significance of all forms of environmental protection, the best use of the environment around us and shifting towards more environmentally-friendly options,” he mentioned. He said since countries around the world were now completely aware of the impact of global warming, it has become necessary for Kuwait to play its role by enhancing their environmental awareness, developing their ability to appreciate beauty, nature and creativity and eventually promoting public awareness of environmental issues in Kuwait as part of everyone’s duty towards beloved homeland. “Environmental protection is the responsibility of all the individuals living on this land. Parents should set a good role model for their children and bring them up with good values, including the significance of environmental protection,” he added. “Schools come next after families in shouldering the responsibility for developing students’ awareness about environmental issues through well-set curricula,” he said. He noted that the Kuwait Times art competition provided

Yousef Mustafa Abdullah, the Assistant Undersecretary for Broadcasting Affairs, Ministry of Information

Adnan Saad

Ahmed Al-Omar, CEO of Chevron Saudi Co

many ideas and solutions that would eventually help limit the impact of pollution. “All 10,000 participants in the competition, who were below 17 years of age, expressed this awareness through their artistic paintings that showed the kind of desert they are dreaming of - a green one with bright colorful roses and rivers”. Some painted Kuwait’s flag, map or skyscrapers surrounded by roses and tall palm trees that proudly overlook the Gulf

waters. “We had very inspiring creative paintings under the theme of ‘A Beautiful & Green Kuwait’ and want to recognize everyone of them,” he stated. Adnan also thanked the team of Crowne Plaza for their great hospitality accorded to over 500 students/teachers who attended the event, and to Ehab Sadeq,

General Manager for Motiva Advertising Agency who provided the audio-visual tools during the ceremony. Kuwait Times also thanked Khalil Mubarak, Chevron Vice President for Administration and Anuradha Kari, Marketing PR of Crowne Plaza.

The three winners for each category are: Category 6-8 yrs old 1.

Haneen Fares Othman Nafeesa Bent Al-Hassan School


Abeer Ali Indian Central School


Ameesha Talukdar Fahaheel Al-Watanieh Indian Private School

Category 12-14 yrs old 1. 2. 3.

Nandhakrishnan Mukundan IES Bhavans School


Fatima Foud Al-Radwan Meshref Primary school


Deevya Swain Fahaheel Al-Watanieh Indian Private School

Zainab Hussain Meerza Gulf English School

Category 15-17 yrs old

Category 9-11 yrs old 1.

Vasanthi Hariharan Fahaheel Al-Watanieh Indian Private School Layali Ahmad Al-Harbi Al-Nuzha School


Immanuel Adriana Rakshana Kuwait English School


Ruchitra Dinesh Indian Community School


Fatima Reda Nasser Mohammad Al-Esraa Secondary School for Girls

The winners’ reactions and thoughts about the art contest will be featured tomorrow. Watch this space! A special winner is pictured receiving her prize.

The winners of the Ages 15-17 category are pictured.

The winner of the Ages 6-8 category is pictured.

The proud school principals are pictured.

A winner of the Ages 9-11 category is pictured.

Murakami: Relationships in new book intrigued me




unk rockers wanted anarchy. They wound up with a $565 T-shirt. Thats the story told in a big new exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York called Punk: Chaos to couture. The exhibit, which opened to a crowded preview Monday, traces the unlikely merger of a movement known for primal music, drug-abuse and anti-establishment yells, with the glittering world of high fashion. The collection in the elegant halls of the Met, just down from a gallery of ancient Greek sculptures, presents a veritable time capsule of the deliberately destructive, often self-destructive musical genre. Shaky video clips of Sid Vicious and other rockers play

on giant screens. The air fills with snippets of music and pearls of wisdom from punks gurus. Theres even a life-size replica of the bathroom at the famed Manhattan nightclub CBGB, circa 1975. The room comes complete with the Ramones on the loudspeakers, DEAD BOYS RULE graffiti, and cigarette butts on the floorsomething youll never see in New Yorks smoke-free clubs today. The authentic smell and, of course, the people are absent: they wouldnt fit in at the Met, even if they were allowed past the door. Chaos to couture isnt about gritty, revolutionary punk. Its about pretty punk, about how a nihilistic subculture died, then came back to life as a catwalk fashion show. The exhibit argues that punks love of low-cost, impromptu fashion statementslike a rip in a Tshirt, or a toilet chain as jewelrywas in tune with the way modern designers work. In a bizarre twist of fate, their do-it-yourself ethos has become the future of no-future, according to notes for the exhibit. While the punk ethos might seem at odds with the couture ethos of made-to-measure, both are defined by the same impulses of originality and individuality. Mannequin after mannequin appears in the Met galleries wearing high-end, punk-inspired clothes.

A Versace evening dress from the spring/summer collection of 1994 sports huge safety pins. A chain-draped Balenciaga mini dress from autumn/winter of 2004 can be found near a pink silk chiffon Givenchy dress with gold zips from spring/summer 2011. The scene seems a far cry from the soundtrack to the exhibit where visitors are treated to the likes of the Sex Pistols band musing on the need to shock people and to be obscene and pointless as possible. However, as the exhibit points out, commercialization and fashion were never far from the punk experiment. Legendary impresario Malcolm McLaren is credited with virtually launching UK punk from the boutique SEX that he and his partner Vivienne Westwood ran on Londons Kings Road. And she went on to become a major designer. After half a dozen rooms, the Mets exhibit ends much in the same way as punk itself ended: with a gift shop. Here, the modern punk rocker can get kitted out in a $565 Givenchy T-shirt emblazoned with grafitti-style lettering, or one from Westwood herself, a relative steal at $100 for a white background and the words climate revolution. Want that safety pin accessory? Theres an out-sized one hanging on a chain for $165. Prefer your safety pins with pearls? For $775, theyre yours. — AFP

Fashion mannequins are on display during the “Punk: Chaos to Couture” exhibition preview of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, May 6, 2013. — AFP photos