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Fear grips Kuwait expats as crackdown intensifies

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Moyes in United hotseat See Page 46


Local FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

From the editor’s desk

Maestro of the theatre of dreams By Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan Editor-in-Chief

myopinion@kuwaittimes.net

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KUWAIT: A Kuwait-bred falcon is seen posing for a photo. — Photo by Joseph Shagra

s a Manchester United fan, the news of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement was a bit of a shock. After 27 years of managing Manchester United and all the trophies he has won, it is difficult to imagine anyone else taking his place. Sir Alex has won 13 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups, 4 League Cups, 2 Champions Leagues, 1 European Cup Winners Cup, 1 UEFA Super Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup and 1 FIFA Club World Cup. I think it is safe to say that David Moyes is a brave man to step into the job straight after Sir Alex Ferguson because he has a tough task ahead of him. This is not just an end of an era for Manchester United but it’s an end of an era for football. It is the end of classic no-nonsense managers that cared about their players’ performances and attitude on and off the pitch - managers who cared and lived for the club like it was their own. Unfortunately, these days managers have no loyalty to their clubs. They seek to go where the money takes them and that’s sometimes not enough as well. They chase other egoistic ambitions which sometimes work out and most times end up ruining their careers.

I hope that the Manchester United board remembers that it’s important to stand by the manager even if it means that success will not come instantly. The first four years for Sir Alex at United were miserable and credit goes to Sir Bobby Charlton who convinced the board to stick with the manager and look what happened later. These days no club will wait four years to create a legacy like Sir Alex Ferguson. This is life and with age all good things must come to an end. Yes his retirement is a shock, but it is also understandable that the man and his family has sacrificed a lot for football and for Manchester United and it’s about time he gives some time to himself and to repay the support his wife and family has shown him throughout his career. Thank you Sir Alex Ferguson for the great achievements that made Manchester United the giant it is today.


Local FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

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Local FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Conspiracy Theories

Local Spotlight

Occupational hazards... say what?

Things some can do: Sleep in the plane By Muna Al-Fuzai

muna@kuwaittimes.net

By Badrya Darwish

badrya_d@kuwaittimes.net

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he other day I decided to clean the ducts of my air conditioning for the first time since I had it fixed. Do not ask me how long ago that was. I think it was like three generations ago. I didn’t know you could actually clean the air ducts. I thought it was a kind of nuclear job. Some friends told me that there are companies specialized in air duct cleaning who could be hired. Two Indian guys came to my house in an hour after I inquired about their services. They were carrying two silverfish containers. They took out a computer, cameras and a hover. They looked like professionals who know what they were doing. I was told that it was easy to clean the air ducts. They said they would show me the status of the air ducts before and after they have cleaned them. I agreed. They rolled their sleeves. I was horrified when they started showing me on the camera the amount of dirt. I wondered how long my family has been breathing this. After the initial shock I started thinking about the man who went inside the ducts where he spent a good eight hours wearing just a simple dust mask on his face, the kind of mask we can buy a full box from any co-op for just KD 1. We wear them during dust storms. I never see Kuwaitis wearing this kind of masks maybe because we are immune. Bless the Filipinos and Bangladeshis who are very serious about their health. I always see them walking around or waiting at the bus stations with those masks on. Sorry, I drifted away. How come someone who spends a couple of hours in a duct full of bacteria and dust is wearing just a silly dust mask. If he was employed in any advanced country, he would be wearing a full-face mask with a cylinder on his back to help him breathe. That is besides a handsome salary, of course. I swear I felt sorry for the guy when he finished his job and came out of the ducts coughing. I thought that this hazardous job was compensated with a handsome paycheck. Guys, the guy cashes KD100 for breathing inside ducts all day long. Where is the social affairs ministry and safety for workers? Who should I ask about this occupational hazard? Is it the ministry of health? Who is responsible? When you fly on British Airways if your bag exceeds 32 kilos it has to carry a sign: heavy bag. This is because they care for the workers who load and offload luggage on planes. Bless the workers at Kuwait Airport. We make them carry any weight. Here is something else for the ministry. In any advanced country if someone is building a house he should provide helmets for the workers and should put a shield to separate the construction site. Why do neighbors have to breathe all the cement? When it is mixed with water the cement clogs our pipes too. There are many occupational hazards in Kuwait but I do not have space for them all here. I am giving a clue to ministers: Instead of chasing expats and barraging their offices to scare people like it’s an invasion, they should check the safety for workers. Let them check the holes on the streets, too. If anyone falls in one of those he doesn’t know who to sue. Thank you!

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here are a few things that some people can do on a plane that I can never do but wish I could - like sleeping on a plane. Some even slip into a deep slumber just as they do in their own bed. That really amazes me because I can never sleep as comfortably as I do in my own bed, no matter what class I travel in - economy, business or even the lovely first class. I think it is all in the mind. I usually try to have a long good night’s sleep to prepare myself to face the queues at the immigration and the customs; children who will not stop bawling; tired mothers and angry fathers; and on the top of that the possibility of unexpected delays in flight that could last hours. Three years ago I was travelling to Dubai on Kuwait Airways. The entire journey was supposed to take about 80 minutes, yet the delayed flight kept us stuck at the airport for about six hours. By the time I arrived there, I was so tired that the day turned out to be a casualty of the trip. A short flight had turned into a weekend trip.

As for long haul flights, it would be even nicer to sleep onboard because sitting in a chair for about ten hours or more means you need to sleep to pass the time. There are people who not only catch up with sleep but also snore while flying thousands of feet in the air. I know that helps to deal with the jet lag but it would not work in my case. I will remain alert till the very end. Perhaps, I act like a guard. The noise, the crowds, the sunlight, and the feeling of claustrophobia, thanks to the confined environs of the plane, make it difficult for many people like me to sleep onboard. Funny enough, sometimes I see women who are not dressed in comfortable clothes even on long haul flights and who are even wearing high heels, yet managing to sleep. I can never go to sleep if I am wearing uncomfortable clothes, least so if I am on a plane. A friend of mine gave me a tip: she said close your eyes. I love travelling and watching everyone enjoying their time. I have tried all the tricks in the trade, and have given up now on trying to sleep onboard. The only thing I take with me is a book that is usually a tome of more than five hundred pages to help me kill the time. To those who sit next to me and go to sleep, I look so weird when they wake up and find me doing the same thing from the beginning till the end of the flight. I wish I can tell them I am not keeping an eye on them, that’s just the way I am. I want to sleep, and just can’t.


Local FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2013

From

‘grass to grace’ Maids’ ‘success story’ By Ben Garcia

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ressed in a grey purple suit and armed with the biggest smile possible, Magelyn, who until recently used to clean the bathrooms and the kitchen at her kafeel’s house, has undergone vocational training in Kuwait and, thanks to the “generous and immense help” from her sponsor, is now employed in his travel agency as a ticketing officer. Magelyn’s story of social growth and personal success is not an isolated one. A classmate of hers, Cristie Pagad Tayaman, has had a similarly happy destiny. Magelyn Balagat and Cristie Pagad Tayaman are both from northern Philippines. Magelyn, 32, came from a poor family in Pangasinan, a province towards the north of Manila. Magelyn, one of 11 siblings, came to Kuwait to help her family and raise her only daughter. She has always been the most ambitious among her five sisters and six brothers. “I never stopped dreaming that one day I will not be so poor,” she said with a glitter in her eyes that showed that she has managed to attain her dream. “When I became pregnant with my daughter, I told myself that I will not allow her to experience the hardship that I went through when I was young. I was a freshman in the college of education when I became pregnant. It was really hard for me to stop because I was really dreaming of teaching in a class. I had to stop because I was pregnant already,” she said. Her wish to help her family took her to Kuwait in 2006 as a housemaid. “I was lucky with my good employer who

Magelyn Balagat

was supportive of me in everything I needed,” she says. “I worked hard for the family for two years cleaning the toilets, rooms and the kitchen every day,” she said. Her employer, an owner of several companies in Kuwait, had a travel agency where she used to run the cleaning chores in the mornings. It was then and there that her dreams started taking shape. “I would dream of sitting in one of the chairs there, doing office work. I told myself that one day I will be able to do an office job.” Her dream soon turned into reality. “I asked my kafeel if I could take computer classes so I can work as a secretary in the office,” she recalled her first steps outside of the kitchen. “My sponsor supported me until I finished my six months’ study in basic computer and office management,” she said. “I saw Kuwait Times advertisements about an International Institute of Computer Science and Administration (ICSA), and I immediately inquired about it, managing to join a class on the basics of a computer,” she

‘Now I am earning a better salary than when I was an office helper in a real estate company,’ she said. Her visa was also changed from domestic labor visa to 18 visa for skilled and professional workers. ‘I am now happily working as a ticketing specialist and I owe this growth specifically to my Kuwaiti boss,’ she said. said. “When I finished office management, I told my boss that I am going to transfer to another company but my boss told me she is ready to accommodate me in her own company. I was very happy because I was just dreaming about sitting in one of the chairs in the office. “Here I am, and my dream was going to happen, I told myself,” she recalled. After two and a half years in the house, Magelyn became a secretary in an office. “I even thought that I will be forever an office helper in one of the real estate property companies of my boss, but they also encouraged me to study more. So I took a ticketing course as well. This was when I was transferred to the ticketing section of another company owned by my boss,” she noted. “Now I am earning a better salary than when I was an office helper in a real estate company,” she said. Her visa was also changed from domestic labor visa to 18 visa for skilled and professional workers. “I am now happily working as a ticketing specialist and I owe this growth specifically to my Kuwaiti boss,” she said. A native of Cabugao, Apayao, another province in northern Philippines, Cristie Pagad Tayaman, 33, a housemaid turned office secretary came to Kuwait in 2007. Unlike Magelyn who only started BS Education, Christie managed to complete her four year-BS course but had to stop just before taking her board exams due to an incident in which her foster parents were involved. “My foster par-

Cristie Pagad ent who is my auntie was financing my study in Baguio City. She is from a family of politicians and was ambushed. She was seriously injured and remained paralyzed for months. I felt obliged to go back to Apayao to attend to her needs. I stayed there till she recovered. I looked after her for almost a year. When she finally recovered, I asked permission to go back to Baguio City, to resume my mission; the mission was not to resume study, but to work in a call centre.” “One day my cousin asked me to accompany her in her job search. We landed up at an agency in Manila hiring housemaids. Both of us signed application forms on the spot. After a day, the agency called me up and they wanted me to arrange all my documents for an immediate placement in Kuwait.” She said that in two weeks’ time, she was a fulltime maid in a Kuwaiti household. “Everything was new to me. I suffered a lot in the first four months at the house of my first employer. It was hell,” she mentioned. “They treated me as a slave. I had to clean a four-storey villa, with lots of shouting and cursing by my employer. So, I finally asked my employer to take me back to my agency. Eventually they complied,” she said. From the agency, she was transferred to a KuwaitiBritish family, where she was really pampered and was given everything she wished for. “I worked with them for five years until I finally asked them for a release. They were such kind hearted people and I really did not want to leave that household. But as a human being, I too wished for some growth in my career. So I requested if I could study computers. They agreed. In my free time, I studied Computer Secretarial at ICSA, and graduated nine months later,” she beamed. From the household of a very kind hearted employer, she was transferred as a secretary to one of the biggest companies in Kuwait. “My last wish is to have a loving husband one day and make a good family of my own,” she concluded.


Local FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Kajukenbo: The answer to women’s fear Martial arts rebuild women’s self-confidence and strength By Nawara Fattahova

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n attack abroad prompted Salmeen to take up a sport that would prepare her to defeat an attacker in the future. Three years later, she has helped women boost their confidence, fitness and strength. “I was attacked when I was studying abroad. I needed to be prepared in case it happened again. I don’t want to be scared while leaving the house,” said Maali Salmeen, the only Kuwaiti woman trainer in Kajukenbo (a martial arts sport) in Kuwait.

become stronger. Outside the hall, I am their best friend, but in the ring I am a trainer. They have to work hard,” she said. There were only a few girls in the beginning and they used to train together in the same hall with men, but separately. “Most women were not comfortable with this scheme of things and they left the class. I was the only one who remained behind and was trained with men for six months, after which they closed the club. I continued my training till I received the black belt. Then, I became a trainer, but I am still

Kenpo Karate, Eskrima, Tang Soo Do and Kung Fu. “The martial art itself focuses on self defense in everyday situations, and I personally feel it has been responsible for my success and overall well-being as it helped me keep fit and build self confidence besides relieving me of much of my life’s stresses. There is a common misconception that martial arts are violent, and I would like to personally stress that much of our art is founded on the concept of peace and only striking when attacked,” stressed Maali Salmeen. “Kajukenbo for women in Kuwait

ing group of female Kajukenbo artists. The dojo is a place of personal growth and release, and I hope others will understand how it feels to be at total peace,” she further said.

Kajukenbo, a self-defense art that improves body and spirit, seemed like the natural choice. It builds muscles, improves the body that becomes better honed and stronger.” We don’t want big muscles as we are girls, and this sport makes my body stronger rather than bigger. With this sport, my selfconfidence has gone up. I walk with my chin up and without any fear,” explained Salmeen before her class this week. Maali Salmeen started training Kajukenbo three years ago. Since then Kajukenbo has been attracting more women in Kuwait. Currently, there is only one place that holds training courses in Kajukenbo for women, and that is the Australian College of Kuwait (ACK). Salmeen trains women at the ACK three times a week for an hour and a half in a session. Today there are about eight women in the class. “This class requires a lot of discipline, so students should come on time. For every delay there is punishment, and they have do squats up to 100. The punishment will only help them

receiving further training so that I reach the highest level. There are ten levels in Kajukenbo, and black is the first level or Dan,” noted Salmeen. Shahad Salmeen is a new student of Kajukenbo who started taking the classes about a month and a half back. “Kajukenbo gave me selfconfidence, and I have changed in many ways, including my gait. Also, it has enabled me to channelize my anger and energy into training. Nothing is worthy to be angry. I become a weapon when I achieve a certain level as that changes me deep inside as well as on the outside. Also I become fitter, stronger and have more tolerance and resistance. It is all in your head to be stronger. I benefited mentally and physically. Earlier I was scared if somebody walked behind me, but now I feel much stronger and don’t look back much,” said Shahad Salmeen. Kajukenbo is the original hybrid martial art, developed in Hawaii in 1947. It combines a series of moves taken from Boxing, Judo, Jujutsu,

is a relatively new concept and our club is the only one that offers classes for women, only by a woman coach. We are under Sifu Abdullatif Al-Rujaib from Kuwait Kajukenbo Brothers. I believe many more girls will be joining our already expand-

THE KAJUKENBO Kajukenbo was created between 1947 and 1949 at Palama Settlement on Oahu, Hawaii. It developed through a group calling themselves the “Black Belt Society,” which consisted of black belt holders from various martial arts backgrounds who met to train and learn with each other. This was the begin-

ning of an evolutionary, adaptive style designed to combine the most useful aspects of the arts. Kenpo emerged as the core around which this new art was built. Although unaccredited by name, other influences included American Boxing (Choo was Hawaiian Welterweight Champion) and Escrima (Emperado also studied Kali and Arnis Escrima). In the late 1940s, Palama Settlement was a community center in a violent area of Oahu where fistfights or stabbings were commonplace. In this environment, the founders of Kajukenbo wanted to develop an art that would be readily useful on the street. As they trained and fought in and around Palama Settlement, the founders of Kajukenbo quickly gained reputations as formidable street-fighters. In 1950, Adriano Emperado, along with his brother Joe Emperado, began teaching the new art in an open class. They called the school Kajukenbo Self Defense Institute (KSDI). This sport entered Kuwait in 1993, when one American trainer brought it here and was providing courses in Kajukenbo. He then handed it over to Captain Ahmad Zakariya Hussein, who was then giving the training from 1998 till 2010 when he died, and here this game stopped for few months. One of Captain’s Zakariya best students is Captain Abdullatif Al-Rujaib, who brought the game again to Kuwait.


Local FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Fear grips Kuwait expats as crackdown intensifies Businesses feel the pinch lIllegal residents go into hiding By Sajeev K Peter KUWAIT: A growing number of expatriates in Kuwait appear jittery today after the government intensified its crackdown on foreign workers even as many in the marginal labor sector have reportedly gone into ‘hiding’ to avoid being caught or deported. Interestingly, motorists in Kuwait began to breathe a sigh of relief as the traffic on Kuwait roads, especially in peak hours, has become more regulated as a result of the campaign by the traffic department. “No doubt, there is a daunting fear among expatriates today, especially in the unskilled labor sector. I think the fear is justifiable considering the way the government has gone about it to drive the illegal residents out of the country,” a university professor told Friday Times on condition of anonymity. Expatriates in Kuwait make up about two-thirds of the country’s population which is numbering around 3.8 million. According to the statistics issued by the director general of immigration for 2012, there are around 93,000 illegal residents in Kuwait. Out of these, 38,000 are domestic workers. “We are worried. Two of my friends have been deported last week. Tomorrow it can happen to me also,” said Majeed, an Asian taxi driver, who believes that the authorities had been too harsh on his friends. While Majeed echoes the sentiment of many other Asian taxi drivers, his words also reflect the fear that has gripped the foreign workers in the country. Commenting on the ongoing traffic campaign, Boushra Mohammad Al-Barqawi, a Kuwaiti teacher in a bilingual school, told Friday Times, “It has two aspects. On the one hand, the people of Kuwait have to be safe and with the current road rash nobody is. It looks like there is car race everywhere including school zones. Regulations on who gets a driving license or who loses it must be fair and clear and applied to all, be it citizens or expatriates. All have equal rights to drive. Terms and conditions only for expatriates make them nervous and they don’t feel secure,” she pointed out. TRAFFIC FLOW The growing feeling of uneasiness and fear among the expat population can be very well gauged by the fact that there is a sharp drop in peak-hour traffic on Kuwait motorways. At the same time, many office-goers admit that the crackdown has become a blessing in disguise as it has helped ease traffic congestion on roads. “Kuwait roads look better now, after the government action. I think once the campaign is over, there will be better traffic flow on the roads,” said Ranith Abraham, a sales executive working in an automobile showroom in Shuwaikh. Many others who shared Ranjith’s view feel that the campaign would go a long way in regulating the labor market. “It is imperative to stamp out illegal residents. In fact, their presence will only jeopardize the position of other legitimate foreign workers in the country,” said Stanley D’Souza, an Indian expat, who works in Kuwait City. The Kuwait government has initiated sev-

eral measures including suspension of issuing new work permits to reduce the number of expatriates by 100,000 every year over the next ten years. Many observe that some of these measures taken by the government to balance the demographics of the country are unprecedented, especially the indiscriminate rounding up of traffic violators and their immedi-

ance their family budgets, compelling them to leave the country,” the professor explained. The new laws that target expats under consideration include restrictions in healthcare services and scrapping of subsidies for services such as water, electricity and gas. There is also a growing fear that visas of many workers will not be renewed on expiry.

to work due to fear of arrest and subsequent deportation as they are not permitted to work with anyone other than their sponsors. Grocery shops, restaurants, bakeries, textile shops, beauty salons, transportation services et al bear the brunt of the staff shortage. Several sub-contracting companies report that they find it difficult to supply unskilled workers to various construction and industri-

KUWAIT: Security forces check the papers of a taxi driver yesterday. —Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat ate deportation, sending shockwaves across the foreign population in the country. “We get lesser customers these days. People are scared of police checking,” said Rajamani, an Indian taxi driver. He also admits that taxi drivers would try to avoid certain ‘vulnerable locations’ such as Shuwaikh, Mirqab, Hasawi, Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, Sulaibiya etc when they engage passengers. “I think most of those people without proper residency status would have already gone into hiding. They will resurface only when things get a little bit better,” commented Fakruddeen Ali, an Indian engineer. While some opine that the measures will help the country purge illegal residents and fake manpower recruiting agents and streamline the labor market, many think that the random raids and deportation will only damage the reputation and goodwill of the country. “It is a two-pronged strategy. Number one, the aggressive crackdown you see around you today. Number two is the slew of new measures that are proposed to force the expatriates out of the country. If the new rules come into force, many of the middle class expat families will not be able to bal-

BUSINESSES HIT While authorities insist that the measures are part of the government’s efforts to regulate the labor market, especially the marginal labor, many small and medium businesses in the private sector are already worried about the cascading effect of the new measures on their businesses. Many sales executives and shop-keepers admit that there is a significant drop in their businesses in the last few weeks since people tend to avoid public places in fear of police crackdown. “Our sales have fallen at least by 10 percent in April over March,” said Imthias Hussain, a sales manager working at a department store in Farwaniya. According to him businesses are hurt because people do not frequent shopping malls or supermarkets as they did in the past. “Not because all are illegal residents or traffic violators. People want to avoid police questioning and harassment,” said Shajahan, a salesman with a well-known supermarket in Shuwaikh. LABOR SHORTAGE Many small and medium businesses are already feeling the pinch of labor shortage after several of their workers failed to report

al jobs. Similarly, many report shortage of housemaids after the authorities intensified checking in residential areas. “In a way, it is good if the crackdown helps the country clear of illegal residents. The government must also target visa traders and fake recruitment companies,” said Valero Fernandez, an executive with a travel agency in Kuwait city. His words underscore the importance of curbing the mushrooming of illegal manpower companies in Kuwait that continue to recruit and cheat hundreds of job-seekers, especially from Asian countries every year with the help of their ‘agent counterparts’ in those countries. However, many people view that the government is a little harsh on people. “No doubt the illegal residents and law violators must be penalized. But every day we hear different stories... stories of detention, deportation and all. I don’t think it is a good thing,” said Yusuf, a Syrian taxi driver. AlBarqawi, expressing a balanced view of the situation commented that the current crackdown does not reflect the real image of the country. “Laws must be for everyone, it is not right to punish some people by deporting them,” Al-Barqawi added.


Local FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Kuwait investment conference opens in London LONDON: A conference on investment opportunities in Kuwait kicked off here on Wednesday with a large number of government officials, economists and business leaders from Kuwait and the United Kingdom attending. The gathering aims to debate the economic legislations, recently adopted by Kuwait with a view to promoting investment and attract foreign capital particularly from friendly Britain. Addressing the opening session, Kuwaiti Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah said his country is working to create investment-friendly legal atmospheres and facilitate the procedures for foreign direct investment. “Kuwait wit-

nesses a qualitative transformation in the field of investment in terms in volume and value of mega projects listed on the country’s development plan,” he said. “The recently adopted laws provide a modern legal framework for the convenience of investors particularly from friendly countries such as Britain,” Sheikh Mohammad pointed out. “The Kuwaiti market is more attractive to British companies than other markets in the region thanks to relevant instructions of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The investment opportunities, available in Kuwait, amount in value to 700 billion pound sterling (GBP) in addition to mega projects to be developed in the coming three decades which

amount to GBP 200 billion - 250 billion,” he revealed. Kuwait enjoys transparent and democratic legal system and stability in all fields in additional to skilled workforce which provide together the conditions conducive to investment, he said, noting that the Kuwaiti economy enjoys an advanced rating by the world’s credit rating agencies. Sheikh Mohammad voiced Kuwait’s desire to push up its ties with Britain based on the special historical ties between the two countries and in keeping with the shared aspirations of both nations. On his part, UK Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, in charge of for the Middle East and North Africa affairs,

Alistair Burt said the two countries enjoy dynamic relationship in the political and economic domains. This dynamism is reflected in the strong presence of British investors in Kuwait and the major Kuwaiti investments in Britain, Burt said, noting that there are ample opportunities for British companies in Kuwait. The UK government, led by Prime Minister David Cameron decided to double the volume of trade with Kuwait from the present two billion to four billion dollars by 2015, he revealed. Burt added that the visit of HH the Amir to Britain in last November gave a strong momentum to the bilateral ties in the political, economic, commercial and investment domains. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Kuwait police arrested 35 violators yesterday near a school check point for various traffic offences. The youngsters were taken to the Traffic Department jail. — By Hanan AlSaadoun

KSSS opens library in southern Yemen SANAA: Kuwait library for technology and knowledge opened at the campus of Hadramaut University for Science and Technology in Al-Mukalla City in Yemen’s southern governorate of Hadramaut on Wednesday. The library donated by the Kuwaiti Society for Student Support (KSSS) was developed by Taleb Elm association, a Yemeni fund-raising agency. It houses a large number of books and references as well as the state-of-the-art computers which will be very helpful for students and researchers. Assistant Undersecretary of Hadramaut Governorate for the Coastal Area Affairs Nasser Salem Belbehith expressed gratitude to Kuwait for the generous assistance to key development projects in Yemen. “The library constitutes a quantum leap in building the capacity of the university students, particularly the students of medicine and engineering faculties,” he said. On his part, KSSS Secretary Talal Abdulkarim Al-Arab said his society was able to fund this year the construction of 12 libraries in Jordan, Palestine and Yemen as well as Kuwait with a view to boosting scientific research. “The Society will launch three libraries for the Syrian refugees in Jordan, “Al-Arab added. — KUNA

The Traffic Department informs all residents of Kuwait that King Faisal Motorway will be closed down from the Yarmouk area exit towards the airport starting from today till Sunday.

Minister questioned over Dow payment MP calls for banning community function By B Izzak KUWAIT: MP Faisal Al-Fuwaisan yesterday sent a series of questions to Oil Minister Hani Hussein about the payment of the $2.2 billion penalty to US Dow Chemical for unilaterally scrapping a multi-billion-dollar joint venture about six years ago. Duwaisan asked the minister about the legal reasons that made Petrochemicals Industries Co (PIC) pay the compensation to Dow Chemical now. PIC announced on Tuesday it has paid the penalty to Dow after reaching a settlement that spared PIC from paying a delay interest of around $300 million. The penalty was decided a year ago by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in its capacity as an international arbitrator. The payment was strongly criticized by MPs and former opposition lawmakers. There have been calls for an investigation and to send those involved in the issue to court. Duwaisan also said that based on a decision by the council of ministers in 1988, Kuwaiti government sides were banned from going to international courts in disputes over local contracts and asked why the PIC did not seek the help of Kuwaiti courts in resolving the dispute over the contract. The lawmaker also asked about the role of a ministerial committee formed last year to study ways of deal-

ing with the penalty ruling, and inquired about its findings and recommendations and if these recommendations were taken into account. Duwaisan asked the minister on who is responsible for accepting the penalty clause in the contract and if the percentage is similar to penalty clauses in similar contracts and if the huge penalty is normal in such deals or the amount is exaggerated. The lawmaker asked if those responsible for accepting the huge penalty have been identified and if they were punished in any way. Duwaisan also demanded copies of the contract between PIC and Dow Chemical both in Arabic and English and demanded the name of the Kuwaiti official who took part in formulating the contract. The lawmaker also demanded the names of the legal team in the Dow contract and if the team has presented any legal viewpoint on the issue, and the amounts paid to them. He also inquired if Dow Chemical employs any Kuwaiti advisors and demanded their names. In another development, Salafi Islamist MP Abdulrahman Al-Jeeran yesterday called on authorities to ban a function by a “foreign community” at Farah Land in Sabahiya, saying the function contravenes with Islamic and Kuwaiti values and laws. Jeeran claimed the function includes items that violate public order and the constitution.


FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Palestinian anger as Israel OKs 300 new settler homes

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Gunmen snatch former Pakistan PM’s son at rally

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Indonesia anti-terror squad kills 7 militants

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ROME: Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino (center left) and US Secretary of State John Kerry (fourth right) discuss during an official meeting in the Foreign Ministry building in Rome yesterday.— AFP

Syria’s Assad must go: Kerry Russian missile sale to Damascus ‘destabilizing factor’: US ROME: US Secretary of State John Kerry insisted yesterday Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad could play no role in a transitional government, on a third day of diplomatic talks seeking to help end the conflict. Kerry’s comments came as he met Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh in Rome to shore up US support for Amman, struggling under the weight of some 525,000 refugees who have fled across the border from Syria. Jordan was working with the United States to “effect a transition government by mutual consent of both sides, which clearly means that in our judgment President Assad will not be a component of that transitional government,” Kerry said. He also officially unveiled $100 million (76 million euros) in additional US humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees, some $43 million of which will go to support UN programs in Jordan. Kerry said the transfer of advanced missile defense systems from Russia to Syria would be a “destabilizing” factor for Israel’s security. Kerry says the US has expressed concerns about what the S-300 batteries in Syria would mean for Israel’s security. He wouldn’t address what the missiles might mean for Syria’s civil war. He spoke to reporters in Rome after the Wall Street Journal reported that Russia

was preparing to sell the weapons to President Bashar Assad’s regime. The report said Israel had warned the US Kerry praised Moscow for helping try to organize Syrian peace talks. Meanwhile, Israel has asked Russia to cancel an imminent sale of an advanced air defense system to Syria that could complicate further military intervention, Israeli security officials confirmed yesterday. The officials said Israel shared information with the United States in hopes of persuading Russia to halt the planned deal to provide S300 antiaircraft missiles. Disclosing the deal, the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters. Israel has largely stayed on the sidelines during the uprising against Syria’s President Bashar Assad, which erupted in March 2011, turned into an armed insurgency and finally a civil war. More than 70,000 people have been killed. Washington has now pledged about $510 million dollars in humanitarian aid to the Syrian people, and a further $250 million in non-lethal aid to the Syrian rebels fighting to oust Assad. Meanwhile, fierce clashes between rebels and fighters loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime raged yesterday around insurgent-held Qusayr in central Syria, a monitoring group said.

An army officer told AFP the military seized control of Shumariyeh village near the town of Qusayr. “The Syrian army seized back control of Shumariyeh in the Qusayr countryside, and troops are currently on their way to the village of Ghassaniyeh” which has been under rebel control for more than a year, the officer said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the report. “Backed by pro-regime militia and Hezbollah fighters, the army is advancing in the Qusayr area,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. “They have superior firepower and their campaign to take back Qusayr is fierce,” he added. Backed by fighters loyal to powerful Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, which supports Assad, the Damascus regime launched an intensified bid last month to retake Qusayr. The town fell out of regime control more than a year ago, but has faced daily shelling and frequent aerial bombardment. It is strategically located near the Lebanese border and just south of Syria’s third city, Homs, which lies on the road linking Damascus to the coast. Weeks after radical Lebanese Sunni sheikhs called on men from the country to join Syrian rebels fighting Assad and Hezbollah, two Lebanese fighters from the northern city of Tripoli were killed in Qusayr, a Lebanese security source said.—Agencies


International FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Palestinian anger as Israel OKs 300 new settler homes Move to sabotage peace talks seen

GAZA CITY: Influential Muslim cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi (left) talks as Gaza’s Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh listens, during their meeting in Gaza City yesterday. —AP

Cleric in Gaza rejects Israel’s existence GAZA CITY: A prominent Islamic scholar making a landmark visit to the Gaza Strip declared yesterday that Israel has no right to exist and voiced his support for rocket fire on Israel, giving a boost of legitimacy to the militant Islamist Hamas rulers of the Palestinian territory. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi is the latest of a few high profile figures visit Gaza, boosting the Hamas effort to break its international isolation. The US, EU and Israel brand Hamas a terror group, while the rival Fatah, which rules in the West Bank, enjoys Western backing. AlQaradawi issued the strongest anti-Israel declarations of any of the visitors to date. “This land has never once been a Jewish land. Palestine is for the Arab Islamic nation,” said AlQaradawi, a Qatar-based cleric made famous by his popular TV show and widely respected in the Muslim world. “The rockets made in Gaza are more powerful than the (Israeli) occupation’s rockets,” he added. Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 following several days of fighting against the rival Palestinian faction Fatah. Since then, Hamas militants have launched thousands of rockets into Israeli towns. Israel carried out two punishing military offensives, one in the winter of 2008-2009 and another late last year which killed the chief of the Hamas military wing. Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005, but imposes a maritime blockade and controls the flow of goods coming from Israel into the territory. Gaza’s Hamas rulers and their backers still refer to Israel as “the occupation,” referring to Israel’s control of the West Bank and reflecting a belief that the presence of a Jewish state in the Middle East is an illegitimate occupation. The Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority, which governs in the West Bank, condemned Al-Qaradawi’s visit, saying his presence is cementing the rift between the two Palestinian factions. Fatah and Hamas have tried to reconcile their differences in recent years but failed. Western leaders have demanded that a unified Fatah-Hamas government must recognize Israel and agree to enter peace negotiations. Hamas has refused. The Amir of Qatar also visited last year, and Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he’ll visit by the end of the month, despite a US plea that he delay the trip in order not to harm efforts to broker a reconciliation between Turkey and Israel. —AP

JERUSALEM: Israel has signed off on plans for nearly 300 new settler homes near Ramallah, angering the Palestinians who accused the Israeli government yesterday of trying to “sabotage” US moves to rekindle peace talks. The announcement came just days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly ordered a freeze on tenders for new West Bank settler homes to avoid harming efforts by US Secretary of State John Kerry to draw the sides back to the negotiating table. “The Civil Administration has given the green light for 296 housing units at Beit El,” said the spokesman for a defence ministry unit which administers the West Bank. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said the move sent a clear message to Washington that Israel was not interested in resuming the frozen direct talks. ”We condemn this new decision which is proof that the Israeli government wants to sabotage and ruin the US administration’s efforts to revive the peace process,” he told AFP. “This is a message to the American administration and a blow to the peace process,” he said, suggesting it would drag the region towards violence rather than peace. But his Israeli counterpart, Tzipi Livni, sought to play down the development, news of which reached her as she was meeting with Kerry in Rome on Wednesday afternoon. “There is no need for this to become a pretext for drama or anger,” she told army radio, saying she had

RAMALLAH: Israeli children walk at the West Bank settlement of Beit El yesterday. Israel has signed off on plans for nearly 300 new settler homes in Beit El near Ramallah, angering the Palestinians who accused the Israeli government of trying to “sabotage” US moves to rekindle peace talks. — AFP updated the Americans about the devel- Netanyahu of playing a double game. opment. “They listened and they under- “This initiative proves Netanyahu is deceivstood, and for the moment, there is no ing the world,” she told AFP. “On the one reaction.” The Civil Administration said hand, he lets us believe that he is putting the new homes were announced last the brakes on settlement and on the other, year as a compensatory measure after he gives the go-ahead for an enormous the government ordered the evacuation building project.” AFPEarlier this week, senof the unauthorized Ulpana outpost on ior Israeli officials quoted by Haaretz newsthe outskirts of Beit El. paper said Netanyahu had promised Kerry Hagit Ofran of Israel’s Peace Now settle- he would “rein in” settlement construction ment watchdog, who on Wednesday had in both the West Bank and annexed east confirmed no new tenders had been Jerusalem until mid-June in light of US issued since the start of the year, lashed efforts to renew negotiations between out at the announcement, accusing Israel and the Palestinians. — AFP

Libyan with explosives arrested in Tunisia TUNIS: Tunisian police have arrested a Libyan “terrorist” as he was trying to bring explosives into the south of the country, the interior ministry said yesterday. “The antiterrorism task force with the help of units from the national guard arrested on Wednesday, May 8 a Libyan trying to enter with a quantity of explosives... The arrest took place after this terrorist was closely followed,” it said. The ministry give no details about the quantity of explosives seized. But an investigator told AFP that 150 kilos of TNT equivalent were found on a Libyan boat in the port of El-Ketef, near the southern town of Ben Guerdane and several kilometers (miles) from the border. The ship, which was spotted by fishermen, contained six cases with 25 kilos of explosives in each, the source said. Three people were arrested, “two Tunisians in Ben

Guerdane and the Libyan owner of the boat in Djerba.” Southern Tunisia, because of its proximity to Libya, has become by the authorities’ own admission a hotbed of arms trafficking, which has thrived since the regime of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011. Algeria, Libya and Tunisia agreed in January to strengthen cooperation to secure their common borders, combat arms trafficking and crack down on organized crime. Tunisia has seized numerous arms caches in recent months, but Prime Minister Ali Larayedh told parliament on Wednesday that there were no trafficking networks, only “isolated individuals” bringing weapons into the country. He also said “the majority of arms caches” belonging to Tunisia’s jihadist groups had been seized. —AFP

Gaddafi ex-spy chief suffers ‘passive torture’ in jail: Daughter TRIPOLI: A daughter of Muammar Gaddafi’s jailed former intelligence chief accused Libya yesterday of denying him access to a lawyer, family visits and exercise and she likened his detention to “passive torture”. Abdullah Al-Senussi was one of the late strongman’s most feared associates until his 42-year regime was toppled by rebels in 2011. He was handed over to Libya in September by Mauritania, where he had been arrested with a false Malian passport after arriving on a flight from Morocco. Senussi is suspected of playing a central role in

the killing of more than 1,200 inmates at Tripoli’s Abu Salim prison in 1996. It was the arrest of a lawyer acting for relatives of the victims that sparked the uprising in February 2011. Senussi’s daughter Sarah appealed to Libyan transitional authorities on behalf of her family to grant him the right to see a lawyer and his family. “What are the legal guarantees that will be given to Senussi if his basic right to defence is neither respected nor guaranteed?” she said in an email distributed to media. “We, his family, have asked

the Libyan authorities several times to grant us a visit permission to him in order to check on him. But until this day we have not received an answer. “Isn’t this a sort of passive torture and slow death over a long period of time?” she said, referring to her father’s complaint that he was not allowed to leave his cell to exercise. Justice Ministry officials were unavailable for comment. Mohammad Al-Alaghi, president of Libya’s independent human rights commission, said any allegations would be thoroughly investigated

and no abuses would be tolerated. But he said Senussi had been subjected to no torture since his arrest. Human Rights Watch said in April it was concerned that Senussi had not yet seen a lawyer or been told what charges he faces. HRW pressed Libya to grant Senussi the rights that Gaddafi’s regime denied its people. The International Criminal Court (ICC) wants to try Senussi and Gaddafi’s son, Saif alIslam, also jailed in Libya on suspicion of war crimes. But the Tripoli authorities want the pair to face justice in the North African state.

They have not said when charges and trials will come. But Libyan authorities are now preoccupied with a crisis caused by armed groups besieging several ministries to press demands including the resignation of the prime minister. Human rights activists worry that a weak government in Tripoli and flimsy judicial standards mean that legal proceedings will not meet international standards. France, for its part, wants to try Senussi over a 1989 airliner bombing over Niger in which 54 of its nationals died. — Reuters


International FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Nigerian militants kill 46 police in ambush State governor says local cult behind attack

GENOA: Rescue workers inspecting the scene of a damaged control tower in the port of Genoa yesterday. —AFP

Italian port mourns nine feared dead in ship crash ROME: The Italian port of Genoa held a day of mourning yesterday as rescuers searched for survivors from a cargo ship crash that left at least seven people dead in what one of the pilots said was an accident caused by an engine malfunction. Flags flew at half-mast, bells rang out and shops shut down in Italy’s busiest port as city residents came out in their thousands for a gathering in solidarity with families of the victims led by mayor Marco Doria. Several dock workers disrupted the vigil in a city centre square, taking over a stage with political and religious leaders to protest against what they said were unsafe work conditions in the port. “Enough with workplace deaths!” one of them said. Four people were also injured and two people are still missing and feared dead after the cargo ship rammed into the port’s control tower late Tuesday in an accident that revived memories of last year’s Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster. The port pilot who was on board the Jolly Nero during the manoeuvre on Tuesday and is under investigation along with the ship’s captain said in an interview that he believed the crash was due to a technical engine malfunction. The ship, which was carrying trucks and containers bound for Naples, had been navigating backwards towards the control tower and was then expected to veer forward and steer into the open sea in a routine manoeuvre. “I told the captain that we were getting too close to the Giano dock. Then suddenly the ship no longer responded to commands. It was out of control,” pilot Antonio Anfossi was quoted by local daily Il Secolo XIX as saying. “We tried to stop but we couldn’t. We crashed into the control tower and that was the end,” Anfossi said, adding that the ship was reversing at a speed of around three knots. “The ship was not responding to commands. The engines could not be started up again. (Ship captain Roberto Paoloni) tried once, he tried again, then he communicated there was a problem saying ‘Fault, fault’!” Anfossi said. “We had to stop the Jolly Nero so we tried to put down the anchors” but it was already too late and the ship ploughed into the dock seconds later, bringing down the 50-metre (164foot) glass-topped control tower. “I do not feel guilty. For me, now is a time for tears,” Anfossi said. Paoloni was quoted by his lawyer Romano Raimondo as saying: “I am ashamed and shocked by what happened.” Paoloni, however, has so far not responded to prosecutor’s questions. Marco Ghiglino, the captain of one of the tug boats that had been towing the Jolly Nero, meanwhile recounted the moments of the crash. “The control tower started shaking and collapsed in a cloud of dust. We could do nothing,” he said. “Even if we had gone full speed in the other direction we would not have been able to stop the ship,” he said. The control tower oversaw maritime operations for the entire northwest of Italy and transport authorities have put in place a temporary system through the nearby port of Savona to ensure navigation can continue in the busy hub. Genoa port chief Luigi Merlo told La Repubblica that the turn the Jolly Nero was trying to perform happens 14,000 times a year in the port but acknowledged that the docks could be expanded. “The ships are getting bigger and bigger and this model of port goes back to the early 19th century. We have to expand it and equip it for new requirements,” Merlo said. Internationally-renowned architect Renzo Piano, a native of Genoa, told La Repubblica he had known the dock where the crash took place since childhood when he would watch the ships coming in. “What happened was anomalous and terrifying,” Piano said. — AFP

ONITSHA: Nigerian gunmen killed 46 police officers in an ambush in the central state of Nassarawa this week, police said yesterday, but the governor there believed a lesser-known local cult was behind the killings and not Boko Haram Islamists. Boko Haram has waged a threeyear insurgency in Nigeria, although it and other Islamist groups tend to operate further north than Nassarawa. It is suspected of launching a deadly assault on the northeastern town of Bama, also on Tuesday. President Goodluck Jonathan cut short his trip to South Africa and Namibia to return home on Thursday and oversee efforts to contain threats to Nigerian security, highlighted by this week’s bloodshed. “Forty-six police officers were killed about 10 km (6 miles) from Lafia by members of a militia who had ambushed them on their way to an operation to arrest the leader of the militia group,” police spokesman Sergie Ezegam said. Local media quoted Nassarawa State Governor Tanko Al-Makura as saying the

attack was carried out by a cult called Ombatse, meaning “the time has come” in the local Eggon language. The group has attacked officials, churches and mosques in the past, he said, but added that this week’s assault signified a marked escalation in the scale of its operations. “Two weeks ago, we discovered a certain militia group holding arms and carrying out cult activities in the state,” AlMakura was quoted as saying in local papers. “Since January, this thing has not abated and in the past two weeks, it has taken on a totally different dimension.” Two security sources also said they did not think the attack on Nassarawa was carried out by Boko Haram. The Ombatse group is motivated by ethnic rivalries within the state, one security source said. Boko Haram and offshoots such as the al Qaeda-linked group Ansaru, as well as associated criminal networks, are seen as the main threat to stability in Africa’s top energy producer. Although Boko Haram’s

attacks mostly occur in its northeast stronghold, its reach has grown in the last year, while Ansaru’s attacks included a siege on a police barracks in the capital Abuja and violence further south. Ansaru, dubbed a terrorist group by Britain, claimed responsibility for a January attack in Kogi state on a convoy of Nigerian soldiers en route to deployment with West African forces in Mali. Kogi is south of Abuja and borders Nassarawa. Western governments are increasingly concerned about Nigerian militants linking up with other jihadist groups in West Africa. Boko Haram wants to carve out an Islamic state in a country whose population of 170 million is split roughly equally between Christians and Muslims. Around 200 heavily armed suspected members of the group laid siege to the northeastern town of Bama on Tuesday, leaving 55 people dead, the military there said. Attacks by Boko Haram have killed more than 3,000 people since 2009, based on figures from Human Rights Watch. — Reuters

Eight due in court over Belgian diamond heist BRUSSELS: Eight people detained in an international sweep aimed at nailing those behind a spectacular $50million diamond heist at Brussels airport will appear in court next week, a report said yesterday. The Belga news agency, citing the prosecutors office, gave no details of the charges they could face. The authorities have released another 16 people picked up in connection with the dramatic February robbery after questioning, the agency added. More than 30 people were initially detained by police in Belgium, France and Switzerland in raids which recovered a large quantity of diamonds and cash, officials said Wednesday. The February 18 robbery at Brussels’ Zaventem airport was described as “one of the biggest” ever by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), the global dealers’ syndicate based in the Belgian port city. A heavily-armed and hooded gang pulled up in a car on a runway at around 8:00 pm where a Brinks’ armoured vehicle had just unloaded Antwerp diamonds into a Swiss passenger aircraft about to take off for Zurich. In an operation that lasted barely 10 minutes and without a shot fired, the men forced open the hold of the plane and removed some 120 boxes of diamonds. The gang, posing as police officers, had cut through the airport’s perimeter fence and made off with the haul of $50 million (38 million euros) in gems. A Swiss statement Wednesday said a businessman and a Geneva lawyer were among eight people being held there. — AFP

LJUBLJANA: Slovenian Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek (left) and Slovenian Finance Minister Uros Cufer give a press conference to present reforms and stabilization programs in Ljubljana yesterday. — AFP

Gunmen kill Yemen officer in Qaeda-style attack ADEN: Gunmen on a motorbike shot dead a police officer in south Yemen yesterday, a security official said, a day after three senior air force pilots were killed in a similar Qaeda-style attack. “Two gunmen on a motorbike intercepted the police officer, a member of the political security services,” in Huta, the provincial capital of Lahij, said the official. He said one of the two gunmen opened fire at the officer, killing him instantly, adding that the assailants fled the scene. “Al-Qaeda could be behind the attack,” he said. Yesterday’s assassination comes one day after suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen on a motorbike shot dead three air force officers from the strategic Al-Anad air base in Lahij, according to army sources. Al-Qaeda was driven out of most of its strongholds across south Yemen in an army offensive backed by US drone strikes last year. The weakened militants have withdrawn to mountainous regions in several provinces. Although weakened, police and army officers come under frequent hit-andrun attacks, with authorities blaming Al-Qaeda for the assaults which are usually carried out by gunmen on unregistered motorbikes. In a bid to clamp down on the increasing number of such attacks, authorities earlier this year launched a campaign ordering unlicensed bikes off the streets. Residents said militants linked to the Al-Qaeda affiliated Ansar Al-Sharia group have been distributing posters and leaflets in several towns across Lahij and Hadramawt provinces in the southeast, threatening members of the security forces and urging jihad holy war. “Ansar al-Sharia are coming,” read graffiti scrawled in Huta. —AFP


International FRIDAY, MAY 10 , 2013

Afghan president ready to let US have 9 bases KABUL: The US can keep nine bases in Afghanistan after the scheduled 2014 NATO combat troop pullout, the country’s president said yesterday, the first time he has made such an offer in public. Hamid Karzai insisted on “security and economic guarantees” first. Talks over a deal that would outline the American presence in Afghanistan after next year have been in progress for many months, and few details have been released. Speaking at a ceremony at Kabul University, Karzai said, “When they (the US) do this, we are ready to sign” a partnership agreement. Karzai said Afghanistan wants a US commitment to boost its security, strengthen its armed forces and promise long-term economic development. The US Embassy spokesman in Kabul, David Snepp, refused to address details of the agreement. “We have not and will not comment on specifics in the ongoing negotiations,” he said. “However, as President Obama has stated, the US does not seek permanent military bases in Afghanistan. We envision that the BSA (Bilateral Strategic Agreement) will address access to and use of Afghan facilities by US forces in the future.” Still, there was no reference to “existing” bases in Karzai’s comments. He said only that the US has

requested nine bases in the country. A senior US official familiar with the talks told The Associated Press earlier that the US and Karzai are at odds over his request that the United States guarantee it would side with Afghanistan if neighboring Pakistan poses

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai talks during a ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of Kabul University in Kabul yesterday. — AFP a threat. So far the US is refusing, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters. The negotiations over a strategic agreement have been protracted and at times acrimonious, reflecting

Washington’s relationship with Karzai, who has often had strong words of criticism for Washington. In March, when it appeared that the agreement was about to be signed, Karzai made a statement that suggested that the United States and the Taleban were benefiting each other and even in collusion to keep US troops in the country, though the US has been fighting Taleban insurgents in Afghanistan for two decades. As a result, the US put the agreement on hold. Some Afghans who are familiar with the Afghan president that his tough talk is a negotiating ploy to get more from the United States, particularly in relation to Pakistan. Tensions between the two countries have escalated dramatically in the last two weeks, with both sides accusing each other of unprovoked attacks. During his speech Thursday marking the 80th anniversary of Kabul University, Afghanistan’s premiere post-secondary educational institution, Karzai warned Pakistan against sending its forces across the border or trying to force Afghanistan to accept the old Durand partition line as the international border. This week Afghanistan accused Pakistan of crossing into its territory. Pakistan’s military flatly denied that. — AP

Gunmen snatch former Pakistan PM’s son at rally Kidnapping precedes Saturday’s voting

SAVAR: Bangladeshi relatives of a dead garment worker react after looking into the coffin, after an eight-storey building collapsed, in Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka, yesterday. — AFP

Bangladesh fire kills 8 as collapse toll hits 948 DHAKA: A fire in an 11-story garment factory in Bangladesh killed eight people, including a ruling-party politician and a top official in the country’s powerful clothing manufacturers’ trade group, as the death toll from the collapse of another garment factory building passed 900 yesterday. The fire Wednesday night engulfed the lower floors of the Tung Hai Sweater Ltd factory - which had closed for the day - said Mamun Mahmud, deputy director of the fire service. The blaze, fed by huge piles of acrylic products used to make sweaters, produced immense amounts of smoke, he said. The victims died of suffocation as they ran down the stairs, Mahmud said. “Apparently they tried to flee the building through the stairwell in fear that the fire had engulfed the whole building,” he said. Had they stayed on the upper floors they would likely have survived the slow-spreading fire, he said. “We found the roof open, but we did not find there anybody after the fire broke out. We recovered all of them on the stairwell on the ninth floor,” he said. The blaze comes just two weeks after the collapse of the eight-story Rana Plaza building, home to five garment factories, killed at least 948 people and became the worst tragedy in the history of the global garment manufacturing industry. The disaster has raised alarm about the often deadly working conditions in Bangladesh’s $20 billion garment industry, which provides clothing for major retailers around the globe. The identities of the victims of Wednesday’s fire showed the entanglement of the industry and top Bangladeshi officials. The dead included the factory’s managing director, Mahbubur Rahman, who was also on the board of directors of the powerful Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association. Along with him was senior police official Z.A. Morshed and Sohel Mostafa Swapan, head of a local branch of the ruling party’s youth league. —AP

ISLAMABAD: Gunmen attacked an election rally in Pakistan’s southern Punjab province yesterday and abducted the son of a former prime minister, intensifying what has already been a violent run-up to Saturday’s nationwide elections. Ali Haider Gilani, the son of ex-premier Yousuf Raza Gilani from the Pakistan People’s Party, is running for a provincial assembly seat in the district of Multan. He was attending an election event in the city of Multan yesterday - the last day of campaigning across Pakistan - when gunmen pulled up, started shooting, grabbed and threw him into a vehicle and drove off, officials and witnesses said. A resident of Multan who attended the rally told a local TV station that the attackers first pulled up in a car and motorcycle outside the venue where the younger Gilani was meeting with a few hundred supporters. When he came out of the building, two gunmen opened fire, killing at least one of the people in Gilani’s entourage. “One of the gunmen grabbed Haider who had blood splashed on his trousers,” said Shehryar Ali in comments aired by Pakistani television broadcaster Geo News. The former prime minister was not at the event when his son was taken. Speaking to reporters at the family’s home in Multan, the elder Gilani appeared shaken but composed. He said two of his son’s guards were killed in the attack, but he did not know whether his son was wounded. “His two guards were shielding him, and they died,” said the former premier in comments aired on Pakistani television. “I urge all of my party supporters to remain peaceful and participate in the vote.” It was not immediately known who abducted Gilani or why. Gilani’s father served for roughly four years as prime minister but was forced out of office last summer by the Supreme Court after refusing to pursue a corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari. Saturday’s election marks a historic milestone for Pakistan as one civilian government completes its term and prepares to hand off to another. But the race has been marred by a string of violent attacks against candidates and election events. Much of the violence has been at the hands of the Taleban, who have mainly targeted political parties that have supported military operations against the militants in northwestern Pakistan. The younger Gilani is running as a candidate for the Pakistan People’s Party, one of the three parties the Taliban has said it is focusing on. The PPP is the incumbent in this election but the security threats have forced it to curtail its

MULTAN: Pakistani police collect evidence at the site of the abduction by gunmen of Ali Haider Gilani, an election candidate and son of a former Pakistani prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, during his election campaign in Multan yesterday. — AFP

campaign activities. Instead of the large, outdoor rallies that the party used to rally thousands of voters in the past, they have been relying on television and newspaper advertisements and smaller, indoor meetings with supporters. Party officials have complained that a lack of protection means they have been left vulnerable. “We were screaming that we need security for our candidates. We were saying that we have received threats, but no one heard our pleas, and we did not get security,” said a party spokeswoman, Sharmila Farouqi. “Now see what has happened. The son of a former prime minister has been kidnapped.” — AP


International FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Malaysia rally speakers may be charged KUALA LUMPUR: Police said yesterday they may pursue sedition charges against speakers at a mass rally organized by Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to protest against alleged election fraud. The announcement was swiftly condemned by Anwar’s party as a “politically motivated threat” aimed at silencing opposition claims that last Sunday’s hard-fought elections were stolen by the ruling coalition. Vowing to “never surrender” as he addressed a sea of supporters at a rally in a Kuala Lumpur suburb, Anwar late Wednesday announced that a series of protest gatherings would be held around the country. Rafizi Ramli, an

official from his party, said two rallies were planned for the weekend in northern states including Anwar’s home state of Penang, with another two early next week on the east coast and in the south. During Wednesday’s rally attended by tens of thousands, dressed in black to protest the election outcome, Anwar denounced the Barisan Nasional (National Front) government of Prime Minister Najib Razak as “illegitimate”. “We will go to every corner of this country,” Anwar declared, prompting roars from the multiracial crowd, who filled a stadium and its football field and spilled out in surrounding neighborhoods. “We will continue to struggle and we will never

surrender!” Hisan Hamzah, police chief of the state of Selangor where the rally took place, told AFP he may pursue sedition charges against most of the 33 speakers at the rally. He would not confirm whether Anwar would be among them. “This is a very serious offence,” he said, declining to give further details. Sedition carries a penalty of up to five year’s jail. “This illegal police investigation is clearly intended to divert attention from the massive electoral fraud and irregularities that are being highlighted by Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Pact),” a statement by Anwar’s party said, using the name of the three-party opposition alliance. The huge turnout

and the charismatic Anwar’s call for similar rallies across the country upped the ante in an opposition campaign to paint the elections as a fraudulent victory for the coalition that has ruled Malaysia for 56 years. Anwar has said he would soon produce evidence to prove his claims. Najib has denied the allegations and urged opponents to accept the election result gracefully. In the United States, a spokesman for President Barack Obama congratulated Najib on the win but said: “We note concerns regarding reported irregularities in the conduct of the election, and believe it is important that Malaysian authorities address concerns that have been raised.” —AP

Indonesia anti-terror squad kills 7 militants All-night standoff at house in Central Java

BEIJING: Chinese policemen stand guard on a pavement near a clothing wholesale mall where a woman fell to her death on May 3 in Beijing yesterday. — AP

Show of police force after China migrant protest BEIJING: Hundreds of police lined the streets of a Beijing shopping district yesterday after a rare protest over a woman’s death in the Chinese capital, highlighting tensions between authorities and migrant workers. More than 15 police vans holding dozens of officers were visible outside the Jingwen clothing market in the capital’s south, after hours-long demonstrations on Wednesday which locals said saw hundreds take to the streets. Staff at the mall and surrounding shops said the protests were fuelled by police mishandling of the alleged suicide of a 22-year-old migrant worker from the povertystricken eastern province of Anhui. Online commentators claimed that she had been gangraped and thrown from the building to her death, but police say she jumped from the building and their initial investigations ruled out sexual assault and murder. Migrants have flocked to the capital for decades in search of higher incomes, but are denied the same access to health and housing services as Beijing residents and sometimes report discrimination from police. Police yesterday lined shop entrances around the Jingwen market, a maze of hundreds of tiny clothing stores, nearly all staffed by women who have moved to Beijing from poorer provinces. Family members of the 22-year-old, surnamed Yuan, accused police of withholding evidence, workers who witnessed the protest said. Images posted online showed hundreds of police, some armed, dispatched to disperse the protests on Wednesday. “There were hundreds of police of all kinds, even a helicopter,” said a market worker who asked to remain anonymous. “Basically the police mishandled the situation and made it worse,” said a tea vendor who gave his name as Wang. “They arrested some of the protest leaders, which made people even more angry. —AFP

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s elite anti-terrorism unit conducted several bloody operations to root out suspected Islamic militants, killing seven and arresting 13 others, police said yesterday as they continued to investigate an alleged plot to bomb the Myanmar Embassy. Investigators said the suspected militants robbed banks and committed other thefts to fund terrorism. Police were trying to determine whether any of the groups raided Wednesday and yesterday were connected to last week’s alleged plot to retaliate against Myanmar for recent attacks on Muslims in that country. Police shot and killed three suspected militants early yesterday after an all-night standoff at a house in the Central Java town of Kebumen. Four others were arrested, said National Police spokesman Brig. Gen Boy Rafli Amar. He said at a news conference that the militants had planned to carry out a robbery. He said those who were killed had refused to surrender and instead fired guns and lobbed homemade bombs at security forces. The day before in the West Java village of Cigondewah, three suspected terrorists were fatally shot after holing up for hours inside a house, said National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo. He said the men also

engaged in a shootout and hurled bombs. One suspect was taken into custody, and Amar said another had been arrested a day earlier. No officers were hurt in either incident. Police said they had acted on information obtained through interrogating an alleged gun maker arrested on Tuesday in the West Java village of Cipacing. Intelligence gathered from

subsequent arrests allowed authorities to quickly move in and storm hideouts in the separate areas, Amar said. A suspected militant was killed, and another arrested, in Central Java’s Batang town on Wednesday. Amar said in a text message that they were suspected in a March jewelry shop robbery in Jakarta. —AP

SEMARANG: Indonesian police escort a suspected terrorist at a police hospital in Semarang, Central Java, yesterday after they arrested the suspect during a raid in Kendal, Central Java. —AFP

40 years on, fleeing Vietnamese take to seas again HANOI: Nearly 40 years after hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese fled the country’s Communist regime by boat, a growing number are taking to the water again. This year alone, 460 Vietnamese men, women and children have arrived on Australian shores - more than in the last five years combined. The unexpected spike is drawing fresh scrutiny of Hanoi’s deteriorating human rights record, though Vietnam’s flagging economy may also explain why migrants have been making the risky journey. The latest boat carrying Vietnamese cruised into Australia’s Christmas Island one morning last month, according to witnesses on the shore. The hull number showed it was a fishing vessel registered in Kien Giang, a

southern Vietnamese province more than 2,300 kilometers (1,400 miles) from Christmas Island, which is much closer to Indonesia than it is to the Australian mainland. Many Vietnamese who have reached Australia have been held incommunicado. The government doesn’t release details about their religion and place of origin within Vietnam, both of which might hint at why they are seeking asylum. Truong Chi Liem, reached via telephone from the Villawood Immigration Detention Center on the outskirts of Sydney, would not reveal details of his case but said, “I’d rather die here than be forced back to Vietnam.” The 23-year-old left Vietnam five years ago but who was detained en route in Indonesia for 18 months. —AP


International FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Senate committee takes up immigration bill WASHINGTON: A bill to enact dramatic changes to the nation’s immigration system and put some 11 million immigrants here illegally on a path to citizenship is facing its first congressional test. The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday was to begin considering proposed changes to the 844-page legislation, with some 300 amendments pending on a wide range of issues that included border security and workplace enforcement, along with Democratic-authored measures to make the legislation more welcoming to immigrant families. A focus throughout the committee session, expected to last about two weeks, will be on whether the four committee members who are among the so-called Gang of Eight senators who authored the legislation can stick together to protect against efforts to chip away at the bill’s core provisions. The lawmakers in question are Democrats Chuck Schumer of New York and Dick Durbin of Illinois, and Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona.

Their legislation aims to secure the border, provide new avenues for workers to come to the US legally, crack down on employers who would hire people here illegally, and provide eventual citizenship to millions already in the country. Although the bill allows citizenship to go forward only after certain border security goals have been met, those “triggers” haven’t proven convincing enough for many GOP lawmakers. Early fights in the committee session are likely to center on that issue, according to the schedule laid out by Sen Patrick Leahy the committee’s chairman. Even one of the bill’s authors, Sen Marco Rubio has said border measures need to be stronger, so some changes may be accepted. But measures offered by some Republican senators would dramatically change the bill’s delicately crafted compromises in a way its authors are unlikely to accept. Rubio conceded in a broadcast interview Thursday that some amendments could be seen as attempts to thwart the legislation, but said he thought most were

intended to refine and improve it, saying “that’s the way the process is supposed to work.” He called the work of the Gang of Eight “an excellent starting point” and said there is overwhelming support among the American people, including social conservatives, for immigration changes as long as they tighten border security. He said in an interview on “CBS This Morning” that the public wants legislation that would ensure that “this illegal immigration wave doesn’t happen again.” Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the top committee Republican, has filed an amendment to prohibit anyone from obtaining legal status until the Homeland Security Department has maintained “effective control” of the border for six months - a potentially arduous standard to reach, depending upon how it is defined. Such measures are “designed to undermine critical components of the bill,” Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center, which supports the legislation, told reporters on a conference call Wednesday. — AP

US man arraigned on rape, kidnap charges ‘3 women suffered prolonged sexual abuse’

WASHINGTON: Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis testifies before the House Homeland Security Committee at a hearing on “The Boston Bombings: A First Look,” on Capitol Hill in Washington yesterday. Photos of those who were killed at the Boston Marathon bombing are at right. —AP

Dead Boston bombing suspect buried BOSTON: The body of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev has been buried in an undisclosed location outside the city of Worcester, where it had been held for a week at a funeral home, police said yesterday. “As a result of our public appeal for help, a courageous and compassionate individual came forward to provide the assistance needed to properly bury the deceased,” Worcester police said in a statement. Sgt. Kerry Hazelhurst said the body was no longer in Worcester and is now entombed. Police did not disclose where the body was taken. Tsarnaev’s body had been at the Graham Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlors for a week. Director Peter Stefan says he could not find a community willing to take the body, including Cambridge, where the family had lived for a decade. Tsarnaev’s uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, had custody of the body. Meanwhile, Tsarnaev’s widow continues to face questions from federal authorities and has hired a criminal lawyer with experience defending terrorism cases. Katherine Russell added New York lawyer Joshua Dratel to her legal team, her attorney Amato DeLuca said Wednesday. Dratel has represented a number of terrorism suspects in federal courts and military commissions, including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detainee David Hicks, who attended an al-Qaida-linked training camp in Afghanistan. Dratel’s “unique, specialized experience” will help ensure that Russell “can assist in the ongoing investigation in the most constructive way possible,” DeLuca said in a statement. He said Russell, who has not been charged with any crime, will continue to meet with investigators as “part of a series of meetings over many hours where she has answered questions.” Providence-based DeLuca and Miriam Weizenbaum have been representing Russell, who is from Rhode Island. They specialize in civil cases such as personal injury law.—AP

CLEVELAND: A man was arraigned yesterday on charges of rape and kidnapping after three women missing for about a decade were found alive at his home in the Midwestern US state of Ohio earlier in the week. Ariel Castro appeared in court yesterday morning. He looked down at the ground for nearly the entire proceeding, biting his collar and signing documents with his handcuffed hands. He didn’t speak. Bond was set at $2 million on each case. The women found alive after a decade in captivity endured lonely, dark lives inside a dingy home where they were raped and allowed outside only a handful of times in disguises while walking to a garage steps away, investigators say. The 52-year-old former school bus driver has emerged as the lone suspect. While many questions remain about how Castro maintained such tight control over the women for so many years before one of them made a daring escape Monday, the horrors they suffered are beginning to come to light. Police say the women were apparently bound by ropes and chains at times and were kept in different rooms. They suffered prolonged sexual and psychological abuse and had miscarriages, according to a city official briefed on the case. Castro has been charged with four counts of kidnapping covering the captives and the daughter born to one of them - and three counts of rape, against all three women. The women and Castro have given lengthy statements to police that have helped build their case, said Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba. None of the women, though, gave them any indication that Castro’s two older brothers, who have been in custody since Monday, were involved, Tomba said. Prosecutors brought no charges against the brothers, citing a lack of evidence. “Ariel kept everyone at a distance,” Tomba said. One thing that remains a mystery, he said, is how the women were kept in the house so long. “As far as the circumstances inside the home and the control he may have had over those girls ... I think that’s going to take us a long time to figure that

out,” he said. The women, now in their 20s and 30s, vanished separately between 2002 and 2004. At the time, they were 14, 16 and 20 years old. At a news conference, authorities would not discuss the circumstances of their kidnapping and captivity. City Councilman Brian Cummins earlier said: “We know that the victims have confirmed miscarriages, but with who, how many and what conditions we don’t know.” “It sounds pretty gruesome,” he added. They never saw a chance to escape over the last 10 years until this week when Amanda Berry broke through a door and ran to freedom, alerting police who rescued the other two women while Castro was away from the house. In newly released police audio tapes, an emergency dispatcher notifies officers on Monday that she’s just spoken to a woman who “says her name is Amanda Berry and that she had been kidnapped 10 years ago.” An officer on the recorded call says, “This might be for real.” After police arrive at the house, women can be heard crying in the

background. Then an officer tells the dispatcher: “We found ‘em. We found ‘em.” Tomba said of Berry, “Something must have clicked and she saw an opportunity and she took that opportunity.” He said the women could remember being outside only twice during their entire time in captivity. “We were told they left the house and went into the garage in disguise,” he said. Also in the house was Berry’s 6-year-old daughter. A paternity test on Castro was being done to establish whether he fathered the child. While prosecutors announced charges against Castro, federal agents searched a vacant house near where the women had been held. Officials would only say their search was an attempt to get evidence in the case against Castro, but they refused to say what they found or what led them there. Castro was in custody and couldn’t be reached for comment. A brother-in-law has said the family was shocked after hearing about the women at the home. —AP

CLEVELAND: Ariel Castro (left) talks with his public defender, Kathleen DeMetz (second right), during his arraignment on kidnapping and rape charges yesterday in Cleveland, Ohio. — AP


Business FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Kuwait rises as turnover surges, Gulf markets up PAGE 20

Nokia debuts $99 smartphone in emerging markets struggle page 22

SEATTLE: In this Tuesday, April 27, 2010, photo, job-seekers, including Sophonias Gizaw, center, of Seattle, wait in line to attend a job fair, in Tacoma, Wash. The Labor Department reports on the number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits for the first full week of May yesterday. — AP

US jobless claims fall to lowest level Claims lowest in nearly 5-1/2 years WASHINGTON: The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped to its lowest level in nearly 5-1/2 years last week, signaling labor market resilience in the face of fiscal austerity. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 323,000, the lowest level since January 2008, the Labor Department said yesterday. Claims for the prior week were revised to show 3,000 more applications received than previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications to rise to 335,000 last week. US stock index futures pared losses on the report, while Treasury debt prices trimmed gains. The dollar trimmed losses against the yen. The third straight weekly decline in claims pushed them further below the 350,000 mark, which economists normally associate with a firming labor market. Claims are showing no sign of a pick-up in layoffs even as other parts of the economy such as manufacturing start to show strain from tighter fiscal policy. “It’s nice to see improvement in claims. We are not worried about the separation side of the equation. We continue to be worried about the hiring side,” said Jacob Oubina, senior economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York. A Labor Department analyst said no states had been

estimated and there was nothing unusual in the state-level data. The four-week moving average for new claims, a better gauge of job market trends, dropped 6,250 to 336,750 - the lowest level since November 2007. Coming on the heels of data last week showing surprising strength in the labor market, the claims report could further assuage fears of an abrupt slowdown in the economy. Employers added 165,000 new jobs to their payrolls in April and hiring in the previous two months was stronger than initially reported. The unemployment rate dropped to a four-year low of 7.5 percent. The improvement in employment contrasts sharply with other data, including retail sales and manufacturing, that have suggested a cooling in the economy at the end of the first quarter, which persisted early in the April-June period. The slowdown in activity after the economy expanded at a 2.5 percent annual pace in the first three months of the year has been blamed on higher taxes which went into effect on Jan. 1 and $85 billion in government budget cuts known as the “sequester.” The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid dropped 27,000 to 3.0 million in the week ended April 27. That was the lowest level since May 2008. — Reuters

Emirates annual profit jumps 52% DUBAI: Dubai’s Emirates Airline said yesterday it posted $622 million in net profit in 2012-2013, a 52 percent boost on the previous year, as passenger numbers exceeded 39 million. The carrier’s profit was “at AED 2.3 billion ($622 million/471 million euros), representing an increase of 52 per cent over last year’s results,” a statement said. Emirates Group as a whole, which also includes Dnata travel services, posted 3.1 billion dirhams ($845 million) in net profit. Total revenues increased 17 percent to a record of 73.1 billion dirhams ($19.9 billion). “Achieving our 25th consecutive year of profit... with our largest ever increase

in capacity across the network is an achievement that speaks to the strength of our brands and our leadership,” said Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum. The Middle East’s largest airline, which has become a major carrier between Europe, Asia and Australia, transported 39.4 million passengers, 16 percent up from the previous year. Emirates said revenues from East Asia and Australasia remained the highest, rising 15 percent to $5.7 billion. Europe followed with $5.5 billion, up 18 per cent. Revenues from West Asia and the Indian Ocean increased by 13 percent to $2.2 billion. —AFP


Business FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

G7 finance chiefs to discuss bank reform push LONDON: Some of the world’s most powerful finance chiefs will meet in an English stately home today and tomorrow to try to speed up banking and finance reforms, with Cyprus’ near meltdown fresh in their minds. Finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of Seven industrialized economies probably will not break new ground on how to fix the weak world economy as discussions at the International Monetary Fund took place just three weeks ago. Officials from two of the G7 economies said the talks on Friday and Saturday at a 17th-century country house 40 miles northwest of London - were likely to focus more on the slow progress of reforms to banking and finance around the world. “It’s very rare for a G7 to focus on financial regulation,” one of the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The emergency rescue of Cyprus in March acted as a reminder of the need to finish an overhaul of the banking sector, five years after the financial crisis began. “It makes sense for the G7 financial leaders to send out a message, from high up, that global efforts to ensure financial stability via appropriate regulation must continue,” the official said. Germany may come under

renewed pressure to give more support to a banking union in the euro zone as it did at the recent IMF/G20 meeting in Washington. The idea was proposed last year to help strengthen the single currency area but Berlin worries it may foot the bill for future bank bailouts. While the first step - to create a single bank supervisor under the European Central Bank - looks set to be in place by mid-2014, a second pillar, a ‘resolution’ agency and fund to close failed banks, is in doubt. And there is little prospect that a third leg, a single deposit guarantee scheme, will ever see the light of day. “We welcome those discussions,” a senior US Treasury official told reporters in Washington. “I think Cyprus just further highlighted the importance of moving to break that feedback loop between sovereigns and bank balance sheets.” Another G7 official said new rules for derivatives trading and the Basel III plan for minimum bank capital levels were running behind schedule and would be among the issues the G7 would discuss, as well as the risk of a reversal in soaring share prices in some countries which contrasts with weak growth. But some of the officials said they said they did not know why Britain, which is chairing the G7, had called the meeting. “I am really annoyed that I’ve got to give up

my weekend for this,” one complained, adding the talks could have taken place on the sidelines of IMF’s meetings in Washington in mid-April. A British finance ministry official said there was value in informal talks among the world’s biggest industrialized economies but declined to comment on the agenda. G7 finance ministers and central bank governors used to hold global markets in their thrall when they met, given the combined financial firepower of the group’s members - the United States, Germany, Japan, Britain, Italy, France and Canada. But it lost its mantle as the main forum for thrashing out differences over the global economy in 2009 when responsibility was passed to the wider Group of 20 which includes emerging heavyweights such as China, Brazil and India. Since then, the G7 has met on the sidelines of G20 and IMF meetings but has held few standalone meetings although officials say the smaller grouping makes for more open discussion. “As often is the case, the G7 is a photo opportunity. But it’s important that it stays together as a forum to address the issues,” said Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York.—Reuters

Kuwait rises as turnover surges, Gulf markets up Kuwait economic, political climate improving

WASHINGTON: In this Aug. 8, 2011, photo, the Fannie Mae headquarters is seen in Washington. Fannie Mae reports its earnings for the January-March quarter yesterday. — AP

Fannie Mae posts record $58.7b net income for Q1 WASHINGTON: Mortgage giant Fannie Mae earned a record $58.7 billion from January through March, benefiting from a one-time accounting move that allowed the company to lower its tax liability. Fannie reported Thursday that $50.6 billion of its first-quarter net income came in part from losses on delinquent mortgages incurred during the housing crisis that Fannie applied to its 2013 taxes. That helped reduce what the company owed in taxes, and boosted its profit. The government-controlled company also reported earning $8.1 billion in the first quarter before taxes, mostly because of a better housing market. The first-quarter gain compares with net income of $2.7 billion in the first quarter of 2012. Fannie has now had five straight profitable quarters. Fannie will pay a dividend of $59.4 billion to the US Treasury next month. It requested no additional aid from the government. The government rescued Fannie and smaller sibling Freddie Mac during the financial crisis in 2008. Taxpayers loaned about $170 billion to rescue the companies. Of that, roughly $116 billion went to support Washington-based Fannie. With its latest dividend, Fannie will have repaid about $95 billion. Under a federal policy adopted last summer, Fannie and Freddie must turn over their quarter-

ly profits to the government in return for the taxpayer aid. They are required to pay everything above $3 billion of their net worth in each quarter to the Treasury. Fannie said its net worth in the first quarter was $62.4 billion Fannie is coming off its most profitable year ever, thanks in part to a recovery in housing that began last year. Home sales are up from a year ago, helped by a limited supply and record-low mortgage rates. Builders are more confident and have started to construct more homes. And home prices are showing consistent gains. For Fannie and Freddie, a better housing market means fewer delinquent loans on their books. The improvement also has allowed the companies to charge mortgage lenders higher fees to guarantee the loans. Fannie earned $17.2 billion in 2012 and says it expects to stay profitable for “the foreseeable future.” Fannie said Thursday that it decided apply the losses on the delinquent mortgages to its taxes this year because it is profitable again. As a result of the accounting move, Fannie could fully repay the government sooner than had been expected. In recent months, Fannie has been working out with federal regulators and its auditors the details of the tax benefit and to which quarter it could be applied.—AP

DUBAI: Kuwait’s bourse resumed its rally and trading value surged to a 44-month high yesterday, backed by investors’ sense that the economic and political environment for the country is improving. Most other regional markets rose. The Kuwaiti index added 0.6 percent, nearing a 43-month peak hit earlier this week; it is up 30.9 percent this year. Total turnover rose to 169 million dinars ($594.3 million), the highest daily figure since September 2009, according to bourse data. That figure outstripped combined trading on all other Gulf bourses on Thursday; Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest market, is closed for the weekend. “It’s clear there is money coming in from outside of Kuwait trading values are supportive of new foreign investors,” said Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage services at Global Investment House. “The new levels in the market indicate new players - portfolios from abroad and other government-related portfolios because of the economic gain.” Kuwaiti companies, led by banks which represent more than 50 percent of market value, reported strong fourth-quarter earnings, helped by a recovery in stock prices. Stocks are usually held as collateral against loans. Although underlying political and social tensions in Kuwait have not disappeared, last year’s vicious conflict between the cabinet and parliament has quieted down, allowing more economic policy-making to occur. The finance minister said last month that the government would spend $15.8-17.5 billion on development projects in the next 12 months. Commercial Bank of Kuwait ended flat on Thursday but accounted for more than half of total turnover. In the United Arab Emirates, heavyweight Dubai lender Emirates NBD led the rally in the emirate’s benchmark , which advanced 0.7 percent to a fresh 42-month high. ENBD, the thirdlargest stock by market value, rose 4.3 percent to its highest close since November 2008. The lender is up 89 percent year-to-date, making it the index’s best performer. A top official at state-owned investment firm Dubai Group on Thursday announced plans to secure a final agreement within weeks on its $10 billion debt restructuring. ENBD is one of the

biggest creditors of Dubai Group. “Dubai debt has performed exceptionally well in the last 15 months and the restructuring approval will be another factor in continuing that trend,” said Abdul Kadir Hussain, chief executive and fund manager at Mashreq Capital. “We’ve had an impressive rally in equities this year already, and a lot of that has been a catch-up in the rally on debt and reduction in credit risk. You’ll see it continue to rise but not at the same pace as before.” Abu Dhabi’s index climbed 0.8 percent. The index is back at November 2008 levels but still 34 percent below its peak in June of the same year. Elsewhere, Qatar’s bourse slipped 0.1 percent to 8,848 points, easing off Wednesday’s 13-month high. It faces major technical resistance between 8,875 and 8,910, its peaks in early 2012. Oman’s benchmark gained 0.4 percent, while Egypt’s main index moved little. THURSDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS KUWAIT The index rose 0.6 percent to 7,769 points. DUBAI The index gained 0.7 percent to 2,178 points. ABU DHABI The index climbed 0.8 percent to 3,369 points. EGYPT The index ended flat at 5,404 points. QATAR The benchmark slipped 0.1 percent to 8,848 points. OMAN The index advanced 0.4 percent to 6,252 points. BAHRAIN The measure gained 0.4 percent to 1,134 points. — Reuters


Business FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

IDB unit launches sovereign sukuk insurance SYDNEY: A unit of the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank, a multilateral lending institution, has launched an insurance product designed to boost the credit ratings of sukuk (Islamic bonds) for sovereign issuers. The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment & Export Credit (ICIEC), rated Aa3 by Moody’s, hopes its insurance policy can help issuers tap into strong investor demand for investment-grade sukuk. “Ideally the sukuk will have the rating of ICIEC - it is designed to enhance the rating of the issuer/obligor and then have a pricing and placement impact,” Bessem Soua, head of structured finance business at ICIEC, told Reuters. ICIEC declined to name specific countries with which it would work but it will approach those that have shown an interest in issuing sukuk in the past. Established in 1994, ICIEC has 40 member countries, including 13 in Africa and eight in Asia. “The focus will be more on those that have signalled plans to issue sukuk - we will work with those countries that have already prepared the groundwork,” Soua said. ICIEC will test the insurance product during a two-year pilot period, initially focusing on ijara sukuk, where one

China’s April auto sales rise 13% BEIJING: China’s auto sales rose 13 percent in April despite concern about a weak economic recovery and Japanese brands suffered less severe declines, an industry group reported yesterday. Customers in the world’s biggest auto market bought 1.4 million cars, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said. It said total auto sales showed “clear improvement” at 1.8 million vehicles but gave no details. Global automakers are looking to China to drive revenues but competition is increasing after sales growth that spiked to 45 percent in 2009 declined to more sustainable rates. “The data are a bit better than I expected but within a normal range. Demand in China is huge, so there is no problem with consuming capacity,” said Jia Xinguang, an auto analyst in Beijing. The sales gains came despite a decline in Chinese economic growth to 7.7 percent in the first three months of the year from 7.9 percent the previous quarter. Analysts say the recovery from the country’s deepest slowdown since the 2008 global crisis is being shored up by stateled investment and bank lending. Japanese automakers that have been hurt by tensions over a territorial dispute between Beijing and Tokyo suffered a 4.9 percent decline in overall sales from a year earlier. Still, that was an improvement over the previous month’s 17.8 percent decline. General Motors Co. reported earlier that April sales of GM-brand autos by the company and its Chinese partners rose 15.3 percent from a year earlier to 261,870 vehicles. GM said this week its main Chinese joint venture, Shanghai GM, received government permission to build an 8 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) factory to build Cadillacs. The company has said it will make a priority of increasing Cadillac’s share of China’s fast-growing luxury car market.—AP

party leases equipment, buildings or other facilities to a client for an agreed rental price. “We are targeting ijara sukuk at the outset. After the pilot phase we will assess our experience and market response, and then we will determine which other types of sukuk can be covered by ICIEC.” The expectation is that ICIEC could insure $300 million in the first year and $600 million in the year after, although the figures are not binding, said Soua. “For larger issuance, we would seek reinsurance or insuring a tranche of the issue.” The policy offers ICIEC member countries a risk management tool based on the risk-sharing concept of takaful (Islamic insurance), an approach that could serve as a model for other risk management products in the industry. Governments would buy the product in order to enhance their credit profiles; they would contribute to a common pool of funds that would be used to indemnify investors in their sukuk in cases of default. Soua said the product was fundamentally different from credit default swaps (CDS), which are commonly used in conventional finance; in those, investors pay a

premium to buy cover against default risk, and the instruments can be traded. “CDS is a credit derivative contract based on speculation. It is not sharia compliant,” he said. “Credit insurance provides an indemnity against the losses actually suffered by the policy holder on an underlying asset. By contrast a CDS provides an equal payout to all holders.” Although takaful is well-established in life and general insurance, the Islamic finance industry has rarely used the concept to manage other financial risks, instead favouring synthetic tools such as Islamic swaps and options. The maximum tenor for the ICIEC insurance is 15 years; in exceptional cases the cover could be extended to 20 years. ICIEC would insure up to 95 percent of the risk of a sukuk, with pricing determined on a case-bycase basis, Soua said. “We are currently developing the pricing mechanism for sukuk insurance which would depend on different things including the issuers, tenors, size, etc.,” he added. “In terms of pricing, we are trying to make it attractive for both investors and issuers and also in line with insurance industry practice.” — Reuters

Asian markets down, Seoul bucks trend on rate cut HONG KONG: Asian stocks were mostly lower yesterday as dealers took profits after recent impressive gains, but higher than expected inflation figures out of China had little effect on the markets. The falls came despite Wall Street recording another record rise and European shares closing strongly on Wednesday, following the release of figures showing a strong rise in German industrial output during March. Tokyo ended down 0.66 percent, or 94.21 points, at 14,191.48 — a day after hitting a near five-year high. Sydney closed flat, losing 1.4 points, at 5,198.4 despite data showing Australia’s unemployment rate fell in April. Seoul bucked the trend after the central Bank of Korea surprisingly shaved the benchmark interest rate by 0.25 percentage points to 2.50 percent, the first cut for seven months. The KOSPI gained 1.18 percent, or 23 points, to 1,979.45. Hong Kong slid 0.14 percent, or 32.87 points, to end at 23,211,48 while Shanghai fell 0.59 percent, or 13.33 points, to 2,232.97. Figures released yesterday showed that inflation in the world’s second-biggest economy accelerated to 2.4 percent in April from 2.1 percent in March. The consumer price index increased by 0.2 percent month-on-month in April, reversing a decrease of 0.9 percent in March, the National Bureau of Statistics said. The year-on-year figure was higher than the median forecast for a gain of 2.2 percent in a poll of 13 economists by Dow Jones Newswires. “It’s more likely the market fell on profit-taking after gains in previous sessions,” Haitong Securities analyst Zhang Qi told AFP. “Inflation was only slightly higher than expected, so it had limited impact on the market.” Daisuke Uno, chief market strategist of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, said that after Japan’s Nikkei rose nearly 600 points following the recent long weekend “the market had to take a breather”. In New York Wednesday the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.32 percent, or 48.92 points, to close at 15,105.12 — another all-time high following a number of strong sessions. The S&P 500 increased 0.41 percent, its fifth consecutive record, while the Nasdaq added 0.49 percent. Europe’s major stocks posted impressive results, with Frankfurt’s main index hitting another record level and London enjoying its most robust performance in more than five years. London was 0.40 percent higher at 6,583.48 points, its strongest since November 1, 2007.

Frankfurt’s DAX reached 8,249.71 points, beating the previous level set on Tuesday with a gain of 0.83 percent. The gains came after provisional seasonally adjusted figures showed industrial production in Europe’s largest economy rose by 1.2 percent in March compared with the previous month. On the forex market, the yen was firmer against the dollar in Asia, with few fresh leads before a twoday Group of Seven meeting of finance chiefs in Britain starting Friday. The dollar eased to 98.77 yen from 99.01 yen. The euro fetched $1.3171 and 130.14 yen against $1.3156 and 130.35 yen in US trade on Wednesday. Oil was down on profit-taking with New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in June, shedding 62 cents to $96.00 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for June delivery dropping 75 cents to $103.59. Gold was at $1,472.00 an ounce at 1030 GMT compared with $1,453.90 late Tuesday. In other markets Taipei rose 0.23 percent, or 18.8 points, to 8,285.89. TSMC was 0.44 percent higher at Tw$115.0 while Acer fell 1.41 percent to Tw$24.5. Wellington was flat, losing 0.9 points, to

4,639.33. Fletcher Building rose 0.5 percent to NZ$8.47 and Contact Energy slid 0.2 percent to NZ$5.60. Manila was 0.18 percent, or 13.13 points, higher at 7,194.43. Metropolitan Bank added 0.31 percent to 127.60 pesos while Philippine Long Distance Telephone rose 0.26 percent to 3,116 pesos. Singapore rose 0.58 percent, or 19.76 points, to close at 3,432.78. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation added 0.64 percent to Sg$11.08 and oil-rig maker Keppel Corp gained 1.14 percent to Sg$10.66. Kuala Lumpur fell 0.45 percent, or 7.93 points, to 1,766.07. CIMB lost 3.0 percent to 8.31 ringgit. Maybank slipped 1.8 percent to 9.98. Bangkok added 0.43 percent, or 6.97 points, to 1,621.12. Telecoms company Advance Info Service rose 3.21 percent to 289.00 baht and department store operator Central Pattana jumped 4.19 percent to 56.00 baht. Mumbai slid 0.26 percent or 51.14 points to 19,939.04. Mining giant Vedanta Group’s local arm Sterlite fell 2.28 percent to 96.55 rupees while Reliance Industries fell 1.33 percent to 818.10 rupees. Jakarta was closed for a public holiday. — AFP

SEOUL: Women walk past a currency exchange sign in a shopping district in Seoul yesterday. South Korea unexpectedly trimmed its benchmark interest rate by 0.25 percentage points yesterday the first cut for seven months aimed at boosting an economy hit by slumping exports. — AFP


Business FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Nokia debuts $99 smartphone in emerging markets struggle Nokia struggling to recover ground NEW DELHI: Struggling Finnish handset giant Nokia unveiled yesterday its next generation of lower-end mobile smartphones as it seeks to gain traction in a market expected to be worth $40 billion by 2015. Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop released the $99 Asha 501 touchscreen Internet-enabled model at a global launch in New Delhi that especially targets emerging market users moving up from their no-frills first mobile phones. India, the world’s second-largest mobile market after China, “is very important” for Nokia, Elop told reporters, fresh from a bruising meeting in Helsinki earlier this week with shareholders unhappy at Nokia’s poor earnings. The country of 1.2 billion people, Nokia’s second biggest market in 2012, is a “bellwether market that is a very leading indicator of some trends”, he said. The Asha 501 borrows some of its looks from Nokia’s higher specification Windows-based Lumia phone and is aimed at stopping consumers embracing Google’s Android software offered on cheaper handsets made typically in China. Elop, who took the reins of Nokia three years ago and is facing demands from shareholders to review his controversial move to switch to Microsoft’s Windows software, declined to comment directly on Nokia’s financial performance. Nokia, which reported a $355 million first-quarter net loss, is struggling to recover ground in the smartphone line after its number of smartphones

NEW DELHI: Nokia’s Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop, center, head developer Sangeeta Bavi, left, and design head Peter Skillman display Nokia Asha 501 smartphones during its launch in New Delhi, India, yesterday. — AP sold worldwide fell by 49 percent in The Asha 501 — Asha means the first quarter. “hope” in Hindi-claims to offer 17 Analysts say the future of the for- hours of talk time and 48 days of mer global leader may lie in selling standby time. Nokia will start shipping budget smartphones in emerging the device to vendors worldwide in markets such as India and Africa June and the phone will be available where penetration is still relatively in 90 countries. low. The new phone “raises the bar for But the Finnish company faces stiff what is possible in affordable smartcompetition from Apple and Samsung phone design”, Nokia mobile execuas well as from Chinese and tive vice president Timo Toikkanen Taiwanese handset makers. said. It is seeking to ramp up its smartThe Asha 501 will initially be a 2G phone portfolio in the sub-$100 phone “as 80 percent of the world smartphone market which the compa- operates in 2G environment”, said ny estimates will be worth $40 billion Elop, but Nokia will widen the range globally by 2015. to include 3G phones as well. — AFP

Australian unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent SYDNEY: Australia’s unemployment rate eased to 5.5 percent in April, data showed yesterday, beating expectations by creating 50,100 jobs despite a slowdown in the mining-driven economy. The Australian Bureau of Statistics said the jobless rate fell 0.1 percentage points from 5.6 percent in March, outdoing analyst forecasts that unemployment would hold steady. The number of jobs created — 50,100 — was well ahead of the 12,000 consensus, and saw the Australian dollar surge to US$1.0248 from US$1.0189, with the market perceiving it as proof of unexpected resilience. “Obviously the numbers have been very volatile in recent months, but if you look through that at the trend, employment does look as though its been improving since the beginning of the year,” said HSBC Australia economist Paul Bloxham, adding that further interest rate cuts now seemed less likely. Employment Minister Bill Shorten said an “impressive” 960,000 jobs had been created since the centreleft Labor government’s election in 2007, despite the global downturn and ongoing weakness in most advanced economies. Shorten conceded there were likely to be difficult times ahead as Australia undergoes a significant economic transition away from mining. “While Australia starts this transition from a position of impressive resilience, there may be bumps along the way in the labour market, as non-mining investment takes a bit of time to respond to lower interest rates,” said Shorten. The Reserve Bank of Australia slashed interest rates to 2.75 percent this week-a record low not seen since the establishment of the bank in 1959 — in a bid to stimulate the economy as it diversifies away from the mining sector. The bank expects investment in the historic mining boom which saw Australia dodge recession during the financial crisis to peak this year, and other sectors in the economy will need to pick up the slack. Central bank governor Glenn Stevens on Tuesday said domestic growth had slowed in the second half of 2012 and also cited rising unemployment as an indicator of sluggishness in the broader economy. Growth was 0.6 percent in the three months to December and 3.1 percent in calendar 2012, with economists warning of a significant slowdown if the non-mining economy continued failing to fire. —AFP

IMF likely to be next Pakistan govt’s first stop ISLAMABAD: Whoever wins Pakistan’s elections has a fight on their hands - not just against the Taleban, but negotiating with international backers to provide a multibillion-dollar bailout for a country that has habitually used aid as a crutch to avoid reform. Pakistan is gambling that the international community will not allow a nuclear-armed country of 180 million people to go bust, especially one that is a hot-house for anti-Western and anti-Indian Islamist militants. Unless the International Monetary Fund (IMF) provides another transfusion Pakistan’s finances could hit the wall in the next six months or so. Talks have already begun. “If they don’t get an IMF loan and happily muddle along the way things are, you could be facing a default later this year,” said economist Sakib Sherani. “But it depends on the counter-measures the government would take.” The loan probably will come through, though the IMF may make the gov-

ernment that wins Saturday’s vote sweat over the conditions attached. The IMF may stump up around $5 billion, Pakistani officials say, just enough to repay the outstanding debt on an earlier $11 billion package that was suspended in 2011 after economic and reform targets were missed. The new IMF loan would likely spread repayments over five to 10 years, said Shahid Amjad Chaudhry, financial adviser to the pre-election interim government. Pakistan requires between $6$9 billion to avoid a balance of payments crisis, the Asian Development Bank said. “A program is needed. That is universally recognised by all the parties,” said ADB country director Werner Liepach. For the extra money, Islamabad will have to turn to the ADB, World Bank and other multilateral lenders, along with countries with whom it has compelling foreign policy ties like the United States, China and Saudi Arabia. All sides have much at stake; Western forces need

Pakistan’s help to make an orderly withdrawal from neighbouring Afghanistan. The United States committed to providing non-military aid, not all of it government-togovernment, amounting to $1.5 billion annually between 2010 and 2014. Payments of military aid have been more erratic, often held up at times when ties between Washington and Islamabad were strained. In July 2012, Pakistan received $1.1 billion from the United States through the Coalition Support Fund, the first payment received since December 2010. The election is a milestone for democracy. A civilian government has served a full 5-year term for the first time after decades of sporadic coups and elections. The outgoing government, led by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) of President Asif Ali Zardari, has been quietly holding talks with the IMF for a new loan. But there is a strong chance that negotiations will be completed by a

government led by rival Nawaz Sharif, who have said they may take longer to negotiate a loan. The former prime minister’s Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) is regarded as the frontrunner in the polls. The winner will inherit a rupee currency

that has lost almost 40 percent of its value against the dollar since the last election in 2008, and a fiscal deficit that the ADB thinks will balloon to nearly 8 percent of gross domestic product compared with 5.3 percent two years ago. —Reuters

KARACHI: Pakistani stockbrokers are reflected in a mirror as they monitor share prices during a trading session at the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) in Karachi yesterday. The benchmark KSE-100 Index finished the day at 19661.46. — AFP


FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013


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

THE FASCINATING STORY OF THE 99 The Story So Far: Noora and Baseer respond to a call from Hafiz, in Brazil: A monster has been sighted running wild in the Amazon rainforest. THE 99 don’t believe it... until the monster appears right in front of them!

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

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THE99Comics


Opinion FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

US foreign policy, no good options O

ne feels sympathy for US President Barack Obama. Whatever he does in Syria, he is doomed. Had he intervened a year ago, as many pundits demanded, he might presently be in the midst of a quagmire with even more pundits angry at him, and with his approval ratings far lower than they are. If he intervenes now, the results might be even worse. Journalists often demand action for action’s sake, seemingly unaware that many international problems have no solution, given the limits of US power. The United States can topple regimes; it cannot even modestly remake societies unless, perhaps, it commits itself to the level of time and expense it did in postwar Germany and Japan. Indeed, Obama has onerous calculations: If I intervene, which group do I arm? Am I assured the weapons won’t fall into the wrong hands? Am I assured the group or groups I choose to help really are acceptable to the West, and even if they are, will they matter in Damascus in the long run? And, by the way, what if toppling Syrian leader Bashar Al Assad through the establishment of a no-fly zone leads to even more chaos, and therefore results in an even worse human rights situation? Do I really want to own that mess? And even were I to come out of it successfully, do I want to devote my entire second term to Syria? Because that’s what getting more deeply involved militarily there might entail. In the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, intervention did not provoke other powers in the region such as Russia, because Russia in the first decade after the Cold War was a weak and chaotic state unable to project its usual historical influence in the Balkans. But intervention in Syria could get the United States into a proxy war with a strengthened Russia and with Iran. In a media-driven world, holding power is truly thankless. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will have his term in office defined by three things: a withdrawal from Afghanistan, a serious reduction in the defense budget and responses to any overseas emergencies that crop up. There is no good way to accomplish the first two, and the third usually presents the same sort of awful choices the administration now faces in Syria.

Secretary of State John Kerry energetically engages in negotiations with Iran and Afghanistan, and with Israel and the Palestinian territories, not because he necessarily wants to, but because he must. Anything less would indicate an abdication of America’s responsibility as a great power. And yet the chances of good outcomes in all of those cases are slim. The overarching theme here is that the media assumes American policymakers have significant control over events overseas, whereas in truth they often have very little. The complex, messy realities of ground-level war and politics in Syria, Iran and Afghanistan - short of aerial and naval bombardments or tens of thousands of boots on the ground - are probably not going to be pivotally shaped by American officials. During the Cold War, when chaos was relatively limited and much of the globe was divided up into two ideological camps, it was at least possible to formulate creative diplomatic strategies through the mechanical manipulation of this or that country or group of countries against others. But in a world of weak and fragmented democracies, considerable anarchy and anemic alliance systems, it is much harder to manipulate reality. There is no night watchman. No one is in control, even as the media is more relentless than ever. (Indeed, could one imagine in today’s media climate a Henry Kissinger or a James Baker constructively and sternly pressuring Israel as they once did?) A relentless media means policies have little time to mature before they are declared failures. It means there is less secrecy because of so many leaks. And because so much is leaked, government officials themselves have less incentive to be candid, even in private meetings, on account of the assumption that no transcript stays secret forever, whatever the security classification given it. So the quality of discussion inside

government deteriorates, even as the public policy climate outside also worsens. In sum, the semi-anarchic, post-Cold War world narrows the space for foreign policy success at the same time that the quality of foreign policy itself wanes. Adding to the dilemma are the really hard problems - the ones that even the most creative diplomacy cannot solve. Every president of either party going back decades has failed on the issue of North Korea. Meanwhile, each administration gets blamed anew for the failure. In such a climate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ranks as the model diplomat. She often practiced activity for activity’s sake, circling the globe nonstop before adoring cameramen while having no real diplomatic accomplishment to her credit, despite a refreshing tendency to speak boldly on occasion. The media approved of her because she was, well, a celebrity. She did promote one useful idea, though: the “pivot” away from the Middle East and toward the Asia-Pacific region. For that and maybe for that alone will she be remembered. The pivot was less a brilliant idea than a natural, organic evolution of policy intent, given the winding down of two Middle Eastern wars and the rising strategic and economic importance of the Pacific. But as noncontroversial as it should have been, the pivot was attacked in the media as being both too weak-kneed (How come we don’t have more warships dedicated to Asia?) and too belligerent (against China). So what is an American leader to do in such circumstances? How can one be a statesman in the face of reduced American influence in a semi-anarchic world and in the face of an increasingly demanding media? The answer may be exactly what Obama is doing now in Syria: modestly assisting some of the rebel groups, but essentially avoiding the level of involvement that would make him henceforth responsible for events on the ground. In other words, let Iran get sucked deeper and deeper into the Syrian maelstrom, not the United States. The maintenance cost for Iran in a crumbling Syria will grow, even as Iran enjoys less influence there than it did during the era of a strong al Assad regime. At the same time, intensify the economic and diplomatic aid to Jordan, which, with its relatively small population and small economy, may well be possible to save. Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and so forth are all destined to be weak, quasi-chaotic states that the United States cannot put to rights without the kind of gargantuan effort that would undermine its interests elsewhere in the world and at home. It may be-barring some military attack on the United States or on a treaty ally that plainly justifies a commensurate military response-that successful administrations will go unloved during their tenures, even while they are granted grudging respect in the years and decades that follow. This has often been the case in American history. But owing to the nature of the media and the nature of the world overseas, it might become increasingly the norm. Remember that President George W Bush enjoyed high public approval ratings from the very beginning of his presidency, through 9/11 and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. But it was the very military actions that he took, popular in the media at the time, that led in his second term to becoming a tragically failed president. The lesson is this: When it comes to foreign affairs, there is usually no way to get good reviews. But once an American leader internalizes this, he might then begin to craft a strategy that is honorable and will ultimately secure his reputation. — Stratfor


FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013 www.kuwaittimes.net

A model wears a creation by Colombia's designer Andres Martinez at the "Circulo de la Moda de Bogota," or Bogota Fashion Circle in Bogota, Colombia.— AP


Food FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

By Lauren Chattman

T

he days are getting longer, the air is getting warmer, and the daffodils have started poking through the dirt in my yard. It definitely feels like the right time to put away the gingerbread and molten chocolate cake recipes and bust out some fruit desserts. There’s only one problem. The fruit selection at the supermarket is similar to what it was in the middle of February, dominated by mangoes from Mexico and grapes from California, with some shriveled Spanish clementines and a few bins of New York State apples left over from the fall. It’s not a crime to make a pie with peaches imported from Chile, although they won’t be as fragrant as farm stand peaches in August. Frozen fruit is another option, but frozen fruit just

doesn’t have the romance of fresh seasonal fruit at its peak. Instead, think about using a jar of jam to make a shockingly easy and satisfyingly fruity tart. With jam, there’s no peeling, no slicing, no cooking, no cleanup. Simply twist off the top, measure a cup and a quarter of your favorite flavor and spread it over your tart shell. Unlike canned pie filling, which contains ingredients many of us would like to avoid, such as modified food starch, food coloring and high fructose corn syrup, high-quality jams and fruit preserves are made with nothing more than fruit, sugar and natural fruit pectin. When my filling is coming from a jar, I don’t want to kill myself making a complicated pastry crust. A simple shortbread dough doesn’t require a rolling pin or even an electric mixer. Combine some ground nuts, flour, sugar and cornmeal with melted butter, and mush everything together with your hands (you can use a spatula if you don’t like getting your hands dirty) until large crumbs form. Then press some of the mixture into the bottom of the pan, spread the jam on top and drop the remaining crumbs over the jam. The cornmeal and nuts give the crust some flavor and character. The tart itself is cakey but sturdy, a great choice if you have to bring dessert to a friend’s house and want something that won’t fall apart in transit. If you don’t already have one, consider making a modest investment of between $10 and $15 in a tart pan with a removable bottom. In addition to jam tarts, you will be able to make a variety of sweet and savory tarts, all with the professional look that comes from the pretty fluted edge. I prefer a pan with a traditional shiny metal finish to a dark nonstick pan, since crusts tend to overbrown in darker pans. Finally, here’s a trick for removing the tart from the pan sides. Don’t try to balance the bottom on the palm of your hand. Chances are, the tart will wind up on the floor. Instead, place a large (24-ounce) can of beans or tomatoes on the countertop. Set the tart pan on top of the can, letting the ring fall to the counter. Then carefully lift the tart from the can and place it on a serving platter.

JAM TART WITH CORNMEAL-ALMOND CRUST A preheated rimmed baking sheet helps crisp up the bottom of the crust and catches any drips as the tart bakes. 1 cup whole almonds 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 cup yellow cornmeal 2/3 cup sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled 1\2 teaspoon pure almond extract 1\2 cup best-quality jam 1. Place a rimmed baking sheet on middle rack of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10inch tart pan with removable bottom with nonstick cooking spray. 2. Place almonds in bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse several times to grind. Do not over-process. 3. Combine ground nuts, flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and whisk to blend. Pour in melted butter and almond extract. Pick up handfuls of mixture and rub between your palms until all the ingredients are moistened and the mixture forms large crumbs. 4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and pat firmly into an even layer across bottom. Use a small metal spatula to spread jam over the bottom crust, about 1-inch from the edge all around. Scatter remaining crumbs over jam. Press lightly on them so they stick to the jam. 5. Bake until tart is light golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer tart pan to a wire rack and let cool completely in pan. When cool, remove the sides of pan, cut into wedges and serve. Makes 6 to 8 servings. — MCT


Food FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

By Susan Selasky

W

hen I saw today’s recipe for Shrimp Francese in the April issue of Food Network magazine, it was the spinach and tomatoes that caught my eye. Several recipes in this month’s lot of food magazines feature grape or cherry tomatoes and spinach. Many make use of cooked tomatoes because sauteing or even roasting grape tomatoes gives them an extra burst of sweetness. And the spinach? Well, it’s just a nutritional bonus. A dark leafy green, spinach is a good source of vitamins and minerals and is low in calories. When it comes to shrimp, a 4- to 5-ounce serving goes a long way. A good source of protein, shrimp is categorized by how many are in 1 pound. The lower the number, the bigger the shrimp. Look for the count listed on the package or a label next to the price at seafood counters. Choosing which size to buy depends on how you plan to use or serve the shrimp. For main-dish servings, I go with the larger, 16 to 21 count per pound. Nice and plump, they make for a nice presentation. Sometimes shrimp is labeled with terms like colossal, jumbo, extra-large, large, medium and small. I have found that when they are labeled that way, the sizes vary from store to store. For example, the original recipe called for 1 pounds extra-large shrimp or about 20 shrimp or 5 shrimp per serving. The shrimp labeled extra-large at my store had 26 to 30 per pound. I opted for the jumbos at 16 to 25 per pound, and they were decent-size shrimp. You can find most raw shrimp peeled and deveined. If they are not peeled, you might see the label EZ-Peel. This means that the shrimp are deveined and their shells are cut or split through the back, making them easier to peel. If they are not, use a small pair of scissors to cut along the back through the shell and into the flesh so you can remove the dark vein. For this recipe, the shrimp are butterflied, so you’ll want to cut a little deeper into the flesh along the back. Francese in this recipe means “in the French manner” and refers to food that is usually dipped in egg and then in seasoned flour and fried to golden brown. SHRIMP FRANCESE Serves: 4 / Preparation time: 15 minutes Total time: 40 minutes 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 20 shrimp) 3 large eggs Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, divided Olive or canola oil for frying 1 cup all-purpose flour 2/3 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth 1 cup dry white wine Juice of lemon 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 2 packages (5 ounces each) baby spinach Make a deep cut along the outer curved edge of the shrimp, then spread open like a book. Pat dry. Whisk the eggs with {teaspoon salt, 1\2 teaspoon pepper and 1 tablespoon parsley in a bowl. Heat about [ inch oil in a large skillet over mediumhigh heat. Put the flour in a shallow bowl. Working in batches, dredge the shrimp in the flour, dip in the egg mixture and add to the skillet cut-side down; fry, turning, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour out any oil from the skillet and wipe clean. Add the broth, wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and cook until the sauce is slightly reduced, 4 minutes. Push the tomatoes to one side; whisk in the butter a few pieces at a time. Stir in the shrimp and the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley. Meanwhile, put the spinach in a microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle with water and season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and pierce the plastic; microwave until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Divide the spinach and shrimp mixture among plates and top with the sauce. 478 calories (57 percent from fat), 31 grams fat (10 grams sat. fat), 20 grams carbohydrates, 32 grams protein, 658 sodium, 326 mg cholesterol, 3 grams fiber. — MCT


Tr a v e l FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Welcome to Legoland

Legoland Hotel is built, brick by brick, with kids in mind

Bricks is an all-buffet restaurant at the Legoland Hotel. — MCT photos By Christopher Reynolds

T

he Legoland Hotel, which opened April 5, got plenty of little things wrong in its first weeks. But its designers got one thing enormously right, and that will make this place a screaming success: kid-centricity. “The dragon is made out of Legos!” my daughter, Grace, who is about to turn 9, said as we approached the hotel entrance a week after the opening. Inside the lobby, Grace; my wife, Mary Frances; and I found a faux fountain, a play pit full of little plastic bricks and dozens of deeply absorbed children who were collaborating on a rainbow-hued monolith, constructing pretend weapons, hollering, whispering, running, jumping and dragging their parents from one discovery to the next. “It’s Legos!” Grace announced as she inspected the waterless fountain. “And they make a river! And flowers. Lego flowers, Daddy! And Daddy! Did you realize the bicycle wheels are magnifying glasses? And they zoom in on the little people on the wall!” So they did. We got our room keys (roughly $230 a night plus tax) and headed upstairs. I’m not going to tell you what Grace discovered near the elevator, but it was clever, it won her over, and afterward, I heard one boy say to his mom: “I need an electronic whoopee cushion.” Nor will I tell you what happens in the elevator, except that one father gave a stern order as the doors closed: “Kids in the middle. So they can dance.” I will tell you that the hotel has 250 rooms; two restaurants; a long,

shallow pool; and an admirably small gift shop. It’s three stories. And from its rear patio - where you can find another Lego dragon, speaking demurely and passing gas in a bathtub - it’s about 50 paces to the front gate of the Legoland theme park. Rates are typically $149 (standard room, winter weekdays) to $309 (premium room, summer weekends), with an annual passholders’ discount of 15 percent (or 25 percent for the next month or so). Each floor has a room

theme: Kingdom on the ground floor, Pirate on the second and Adventure on the third, where we were. Think Egyptian-looking ruins and golden tombs. We let Grace open the door. “There’s bunk beds and a monkey!” she yelled, tiptoeing forward. “And a parrot in the corner. And a beetle. And there’s a butterfly over there. And - oh, a Bible!” Actually, the Bible was standard issue from the Gideons, right in the drawer where you’d expect it. But

Mason Eugenio, 11, plays with a bow he made from Lego pieces.

The Legoland Hotel’s public spaces are dominated by kids’ play areas and thousands of Lego bricks.

G’s sense of wonder was now in overdrive. Legoland’s creative people have spent so many hours thinking like kids that our visit’s success was virtually assured within 20 minutes of arrival. Every room (310 square feet and up) has an area where up to three kids can sleep: two bunk-bed berths and a trundle bed. There’s also a kids’ safe (with toy treasures waiting inside), a kids’ TV and a bathroom separating the kids’ area from the grown-ups’ queen bed and TV. In the bathroom there’s an optional little toilet seat for little bottoms and a stool


Tr a v e l FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

The Legoland Hotel includes 250 rooms on three levels, and a pool.

to sit or stand on. In the front door, about 18 inches below the grown-ups’ peephole, is a kids’ peephole. All hotel guests get early access to the theme park and a few hundred Lego pieces to play with (and leave behind). At least eight Lego models are incorporated into each room’s design. Guests in premium rooms get extra thematic details. Meanwhile in the Bricks Family Restaurant, there’s a kids’ buffet table, about 18 inches shorter than the adult version. In the Skyline Cafe, our waitress dropped to one knee so she could take Grace’s order face-to-face rather than looking down. At 7 nightly in the lobby, Legoland entertainers declare winners of the day’s building contest. On the night we arrived, she-pirate Captain Calypso joined heexplorer Cobra Jones (so their name tags said) to josh with kids and review the competing

Lego models. This property is so devoted to kids that the Legoland people will face challenges other hoteliers won’t. How loud should the whoopee cushion be? How much lobby yelling, running, plastic-brick-swordbrandishing and plastic-brick-machine-gunfiring is too much? (The hotel did have an ample number of representatives circulating to maintain some order.) Now, things that went wrong: In the morning, our alarm sounded at 4:15. In the evening - a cool one the patio heaters weren’t working. The clues to the kids’ safe were fouled up. About 8 pm, my spies found that four stalls in the lobby ladies’ room were out of toilet paper. We shrugged it all off. Even when the Skyline Cafe’s macaroni-and-cheese dinner arrived needing twice as much macaroni and

The Legoland Hotel’s†Skyline Cafe includes an ever-changing city skyline, with moving parts and changing light, behind glass.

half as much cheese (and without the promised fruit on the side), we cut the kitchen some slack and shared our food. (My steak and Mary Frances’ flatbread pizza were very good.) I’ll bet most of these bugs will be banished before another month is over. I do, however, wish the hotel would drop the mandatory resort fee and just add $20 to the room rates. I know lots of hotels tack on those fees to make their rates look lower in Web searches, but it’s basically dishonest. I also wish Bricks would shave a few bucks off its buffet breakfast price of $23 for adults. That’s steep, especially when you’re not offering an a la carte alternative. But this is quibbling. The Legoland Hotel is a great, big box of wonder and fun. In my first eight waking hours at the hotel, I didn’t see a single kid turn to an electronic device for amusement. I saw

The Legoland Hotel’s 250 rooms come in three themes. This is the “Adventure” theme. scores of kids and parents sharing discoveries and making things together. I also saw lots of easy interaction among families. It’s like a reccenter playground in a ritzy neighborhood but you spend the night. — MCT

A dragon looms in the tower at entrance to the Legoland Hotel in Carlsbad, California.


Health FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

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hat part of your body helps you to digest your favorite foods, say “cheese,” and look great in pictures? A: Your teeth! It’s true. Your teeth are an important part of your smile, and they also help you chew foods like crunchy apples or yummy pizza. Brushing and flossing are important, but you also need to visit your dentist regularly to keep your teeth strong and healthy. Let’s learn more about what happens at the dentist’s office. What does the dentist do? The dentist is a doctor who is specially trained to care for teeth. When you visit for a checkup, your dentist will look at your teeth and gums to check for any problems. The dentist also wants to make sure your teeth are developing properly as you grow. It’s important to visit your dentist every 6 months to make sure you’re taking good care of your teeth and that your teeth and gums are healthy. What happens at the dentist’s office? After your name is called in the waiting room, you’ll go into an exam room and sit down in a big, comfortable chair that is like a huge recliner. The chair will have a place to rest your head and lots of room for you to stretch out your legs. Next to the chair may be a little sink with a cup that you can use to rinse out your mouth as your teeth are being cleaned. During the exam, your teeth will be cleaned, flossed, and checked for cavities. Cleaning and flossing One of the first people you’ll meet at the dentist’s office is the dental hygienist (say: hi-jeh-nist). A dental hygienist is a person who knows all about keeping teeth and gums clean and healthy. The dental hygienist will look inside your mouth to make sure your teeth are growing properly and your gums are healthy. A bright, overhead light will shine down into your mouth like a giant flashlight so the dental hygienist can get a good look inside your mouth. The dental hygienist will clean and polish your teeth, using

tiny dental tools like a tooth scraper, mirror, and special toothbrush. The tooth scraper removes plaque (say: plak) from your teeth. Plaque is a thin, sticky layer that coats your teeth and contains bacteria (say: bak-teer-ee-uh) that grow on your teeth over time. Plaque that isn’t removed from your teeth can cause decay, or a cavity (say: kah-vuh-tee). Next comes brushing and flossing. The dental hygienist will brush your teeth with a special toothbrush and toothpaste. The toothbrush has a small, round tip that moves around and around to clean your teeth. The toothpaste might taste like your own toothpaste at home, but it will feel a little grittier - almost like sand. Then the dental hygienist will floss your teeth and show you the proper way to brush and floss your teeth at home. Flossinginvolves using a piece of waxy string called dental floss to get in between your teeth and remove food particles that your brush can’t reach. Checking for cavities During your visit, the dental hygienist will take X-rays, or pictures, of your teeth. X-rays are like superhuman vision. They can show cavities hiding between your teeth and problems beneath your gums. A cavity is a decayed, or rotted, part of a tooth. It does not hurt to get an X-ray and it takes only a few seconds. The dental hygienist will place a thick blanket over your chest (to protect your body from the high-energy waves) and put a piece of plastic (that holds the X-ray film) into your mouth. As you gently bite down on the plastic, you’ll have to be very still for a few seconds while the dental hygienist snaps the picture. Fluoride treatments Next it’s time for your fluoride (say: floor-ide) treatment. Fluoride is a natural mineral that makes your teeth strong and helps prevent cavities. At the dentist’s office, a fluoride gel or foam will be applied to your teeth. Most dental offices offer fluoride treatments with flavoring, like bubble gum or grape. The fluoride treatment will take about 1 to 4 minutes. The dental hygienist will probably tell you not to eat or drink anything (including water) for 30 minutes after the fluoride treatment.

Meeting the dentist The dentist will look at all of your teeth and check your gums to make sure they’re strong and healthy. The dentist will also check the way your top and bottom teeth work together. This is called your bite. If there might be a problem with your bite, you may be referred to an orthodontist (say: or-tho-don-tist). This is a doctor who specializes in correcting the shape or positions of all your teeth through orthodontia, or braces. The dentist will study your X-rays (looking for cavities or other problems) and ask if you have any questions about your teeth. Your dentist may also prescribe fluoride drops or tablets for you to take every day at home. Presents from the dentist When your checkup is over, the dentist usually will have a present for you! The gift is often a free toothbrush or dental floss to use at home or some sugar-free gum. What happens if I have a cavity? If you have a cavity, you’ll probably have to come back to the dentist’s office for another visit. At that time, the dentist will remove the decayed part from your tooth with special dental tools. Then the decayed area will be filled with materials that will keep your tooth strong and healthy, like tooth-colored or silver fillings. As soon as you sit down in the dental chair, the dentist will give you a tiny shot of an anesthetic (say: ah-nus-theh-tik), a medicine that numbs the area around the tooth. Your mouth may be numb for a little while after you leave the dentist’s office, but the anesthetic will soon wear off and you’ll be left with a beautiful smile! www.kidshealth.org


Lifestyle FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

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ihanna was booed for turning up late at a concert in Boston, but the audience in New York cheered her on even though she didn’t start on time the following night. Boston.com reported that fans at the TD Garden on Monday booed the singer for starting her concert at 10:30 pm EDT instead of her scheduled 9 pm, and without opening act A$AP Rocky. Doors had opened at 7:30 pm. A representative for Rihanna didn’t respond to an email about the singer’s late-

ness. On Tuesday, Rihanna hit the stage at 10:15 pm to cheers at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, where A$AP Rocky also performed. She sang a number of her hits, including “We Found Love,” “Diamonds” and “Umbrella.”— AP Singer Rihanna performs at the Barclays Center on Tuesday in New York. — AP

Shakira on her post-baby body: ‘I look decent’

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ustrian filmmaker Michael Haneke yesterday won one of Spain’s highest honours, the Prince of Asturias prize for arts, with the panel hailing him as one of leading figures in European contemporary cinema. The 71-year-old Oscar winner edged out 32 other contenders to take the 50,000-euro ($65,000) award, one of eight given in different fields by the Asturias Foundation each year. The prize jury praised Haneke for “his relentless, personal exposure of reality”. “His penetrating, radical gaze on society has allowed him to explore uncharted terrain to become one of the leading auteurs of contemporary European cinema,” it said in a statement. Haneke’s latest film “Amour”, about a couple trying to come to terms with sickness and old age, won the Oscar for best foreign movie in February after winning the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival last year. The movie stars two French film legends, Emmanuelle Riva, 85, and Jean-Louis Trintignant, who is 81. They play a loving, elderly Parisian couple. When Anne, played by Riva, has a stroke, her husband is left to care for her. Haneke achieved international fame in 1997 with “Funny Games”, a psychological thriller about two young men who hold a family hostage and torture them with sadistic games. “When I make a movie, I want people to feel emotions and if I achieve this I am happy,” he told reporters in Madrid in February during the presentation of another project, his staging of Mozart opera “Cosi Fan Tutte”. Cuban choreographer Carlos Acosta Quesada, Serbian artist Marina Abramovic, Estonian composer Arvo Part and US painter Bruce Nauman were among the other contenders for the award. The prize is awarded each year to a person, group or institution whose work in cinema, dance, music or other forms of art “constitute a significant contribution to mankind’s cultural heritage”. Last year it went to Spanish architect Rafael Moneo. Other previous winners include Oscar-winning Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, Grammy-winning US singer Bob Dylan and British architect Norman Foster.—AFP

Michael Haneke

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olombian superstar Shakira is learning how to balance her demanding work schedule with being a new mom one day at a time. “It’s part of motherhood you know,” she said of juggling personal and professional life. “You got to figure it out as you go.” The 36-year-old singer and her soccer star boyfriend Gerard Pique welcomed their first child, Milan Pique Mebarak, on Jan 22. “He’s great. He’s so mellow, but he’s very alert too,” she said in an interview Wednesday night at House of Blues in West Hollywood, Calif. “It’s like he knows what’s going on around him. He knows when someone comes in the room or comes out. He’s something.” Shakira joined fellow “The Voice” coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Usher at a red carpet event celebrating the NBC signing competition’s top 12 finalists. “The Voice” host Carson Daly said baby Milan has been a welcome addition to the kid friendly set, which features regular visits from Daly’s young brood, Usher’s children and Levine’s nephews. “With Milan it’s a full blown nursery!” Daly said of Shakira’s baby-proofed double-wide trailer. “It’s just like Shakira’s door opens and ‘It’s a Small World’ starts playing. It’s built for Milan. And it’s really special and it’s cool. We’re like a little family.” But according to Shakira, it’s not the children who cause the most trouble. “It’s like a kindergarten because these guys are already babies. They’re babies!” she joked of her fellow coaches. When it comes to getting those famous hips back into pre-baby shape, Shakira said she’s still working on it. “I still have a long way to go. I still have a few pounds over to lose,” she said. “I look decent.”— AP

Shakira arrives at ‘The Voice’ season 4 red carpet event at the House of Blues on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 in Los Angeles. — AP


Lifestyle FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

This undated publicity photo released by Warner Bros Pictures shows Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby in Warner Bros.

This undated publicity photo released by courtesy Warner Bros Pictures shows, from left, Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan and Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan in Warner Bros.

Fitzgerald’s Hollywood ending followed sad death H

as-beens in Hollywood usually stay that way. Yet one writer who died there nearly forgotten 73 years ago had one of the most remarkable posthumous revivals in literary history. F Scott Fitzgerald is back on the big-screen with Leonardo DiCaprio and director Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby,” a story adapted for film and television more than half a dozen times since the silent-movie era, when it was published to scant sales in 1925. Within a couple of decades after Fitzgerald’s death in 1940, “Gatsby” was acknowledged as a masterpiece and the author was recognized as one of America’s greatest for a body of work that includes “Tender Is the Night,” “This Side of Paradise” and “The Love of the Last Tycoon,” the unfinished Hollywood saga he’d been writing when he died. A huge irony considering no one was reading Fitzgerald when he was scrambling for screenplay work toward the end of his life. There’s even a small irony in the place he died of a heart attack at 44. It was the home of his companion, gossip columnist Sheila Graham, in the heart of an industry town where his supreme art never meshed with the studios’ need for product. It’s also half a block from where the Directors Guild of America headquarters now stands. “God is a great stage manager. God is the greatest director of all time for images of pathos,” Luhrmann said. “Fitzgerald, just think for all that he gave to us, he had a very rough trot. It is very sad. If he could only know how many people went on to read that novel and how universal it has become.” Luhrmann’s “Gatsby” stars DiCaprio in the title role as the fabulously rich mystery man who’s really a hopeless, doomed romantic, befriending impressionable neighbor Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) to help revive a lost love with Nick’s cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan). Fitzgerald himself had several unsuccessful stints as a screenwriter in Hollywood, the last beginning in the late 1930s, when he was under contract with MGM, contributing fitfully to scripts to pay off debts and cover medical bills for his wife, Zelda, who was in a mental hospital. His reputation for boozing and carousing were Fitzgerald’s undoing; though he worked on a number of films, including “Gone with the Wind,” his only screenwriting credit came for the 1938 war romance “Three Comrades.” “I don’t think that anyone would argue that Fitzgerald wasn’t the architect of his own failure in Hollywood,” said Robert S. Birchard, an editor at the American Film Institute who wrote a cover story on “Gatsby” screen adaptations for the May issue of the group’s American Film journal. A disastrous collaboration with admirer Budd Schulberg on the screenplay for a film called “Winter Carnival” was Fitzgerald’s final downfall in Hollywood, Birchard said. Schulberg used the experience as the basis for his novel “The Disenchanted,” chronicling a young writer’s disillusionment as

his literary idol, now a Hollywood hack, sinks into an alcoholic breakdown. “As Schulberg wasn’t able to keep him on the wagon, and in fact got dragged into the drunken spree, that maybe suggested to other producers that Fitzgerald not only was unreliable but a bad influence on those he worked with,” Birchard said. “Even with the best of intentions, it was not a wise thing to hire him.” Like many prose authors, Fitzgerald could not adapt to studio formulas and collaborative projects. His dialogue often was stylized speech that read well on the page but might ring false on screen, while he wrote long descriptive passages that were useless in a screenplay. “Part of the answer is, he truly was an artist. He was in it at that point of time for the money, but he had visions of truly being a literary writer rather than grinding out a script that had this many lines,” said Donelle Dadigan, president of the Hollywood Museum. “He couldn’t turn his art into a craft.” Fitzgerald wrote about what he knew, so his hard partying and slacker ways were reflected in his fiction, including his Pat Hobby stories featuring a screenwriting alter-ego, a scheming scribbler always angling for paying gigs that required no work. That contributed to his reputation as an undependable scribe. He even chronicled his decline from literary wonder boy to despondent failure in a series of essays published as “The Crack Up.” “He was his own worst publicist,” said FX Feeney, a film critic and screenwriter (Roger Corman’s “Frankenstein Unbound”) who is trying to interest the makers of “Boardwalk Empire” in a set of episodes featuring Fitzgerald as a character during a trip to Atlantic This undated photo shows City to open a play in the author Francis Scott Fitzgerald. 1920s. “Catholic boys have the confessional urge of confessing their sins, so any time he screwed up, he put it in a story.” The truth was that toward the end, Fitzgerald was struggling to give up the booze, much as depicted in the 2002 TV movie “Last Call,” starring Jeremy Irons as the author as he works on “The Last Tycoon.” “He generally was fighting for sobriety,” Feeney said. “He had a few lapses, but he was threefourths sober the way the earth is three-fourths water.” Adapted into a film itself, starring Robert De Niro, “The Love of

This is a 1926 file photo of American author F Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, and daughter, Scotty, in their Paris apartment. — AP photos the Last Tycoon” was inspired by studio wunderkind Irving Thalberg and could have restored Fitzgerald’s reputation had he lived to finish it. Instead, it took a gradual rediscovery by readers and Hollywood alike to pull Fitzgerald out of oblivion. Since the author’s death, Alan Ladd and Robert Redford preceded DiCaprio in the title role of versions of “The Great Gatsby,” while Brad Pitt starred in 2008’s Fitzgerald adaptation “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” based on one of his short stories. “In some ways, it’s the kind of ending, a reclamation that he probably would have appreciated,” said Kirk Curnutt, an English professor at Troy University in Montgomery, Ala., and author of “A Historical Guide to F. Scott Fitzgerald” and “The Cambridge Introduction to F. Scott Fitzgerald.” “He certainly would have rather died famous and at the top of his craft, but there was something very self-defeating about Fitzgerald. He tended to perpetuate his failures in some ways. So story-wise, his revitalization of the past 60 years, it’s a fitting sort of Gatsby-esque ending.” — AP


Lifestyle FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Jackson estate blasts child sex ‘monster’ lawsuit

Elena Zhidkova in the role of Venus and Daniel Frank as Tannhaeuser playing a scene of the opera “Tannhaeuser”.

File photo shows Michael Jackson waving as he arrives at the Santa Barbara County courthouse in Santa Maria, California. — AFP

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ichael Jackson’s estate has slammed a new lawsuit filed in Los Angeles claiming that the late King of Pop, who died in 2009, was a “monster” and child molester. Australian choreographer Wade Robson has filed a claim alleging “childhood sexual abuse,” despite testifying at a 2005 molestation trial that the star never touched him, the Los Angeles Times reported. Lawyers for Robson, who stayed at the singer’s Neverland Ranch as a teenager, filed the lawsuit on May 1 asking an LA judge to let him make a late claim as creditor in Jackson’s estate, it said. “Michael Jackson was a monster and in their hearts every normal person knows it,” Robson lawyer Henry Gradstein told AFP in a statement claiming Robson had a breakdown last year. “He collapsed under the stress and sexual trauma of what had happened to him for seven years as a child. He lived with the brainwashing by a sexual predator until the burden of it all crushed him.” Jackson, dogged for years by child molestation charges, was acquitted after a high-profile trial in 2005. But his career never recovered, and he died in 2009 while rehearsing for a doomed comeback tour. Gradstein cited Jackson as having told the young Robson: “If anyone ever finds out about what we did, we will go to jail for the rest of our lives” and “our lives will be ruined forever.” “This kind of intimidation of a child by a sexual predator is tragically characteristic and effective, keeping them quiet about the abuse-often for a lifetime,” said Gradstein. Howard Weitzman, a lawyer for Jackson’s estate, called Robson’s claim “outrageous and pathetic. “This is a young man who has testified at least twice under oath over the past 20 years and said in numerous interviews that Michael Jackson never did anything inappropriate to him or with him,” Weitzman added. “Now, nearly four years after Michael has passed, this sad and less than credible claim has been made. We are confident that the court will see this for what it is.” Robson’s lawyer said the lawsuit was filed “under seal”meaning details are not revealed. “The irony here is that we were the ones who filed under seal and still tried to keep it secret. Amidst all the accusations of a financial motive, no amount of damages is even listed in our papers,” he said. “There are significant legal issues involved in this case that have the potential to impact lives beyond just our client. But the Jackson money machine, in which everyone is indeed financially motivated, is at it once again to keep the truth from coming out. This time, it won’t work.” Jackson’s mother Katherine is currently suing AEG Live, the promoters of his would-be tour, for negligently hiring doctor Conrad Murray, convicted over the star’s death from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol. The 82-yearold Jackson family matriarch has been in court most days since the wrongful death trial, expected to last at least three months, started last week. — AFP

This undated recent handout picture released by the Deutsche Oper am Rhein opera house shows actors playing a scene of the opera “Tannhaeuser” by German composer Richard Wagner at the Deutsche Oper am Rhen in Duesseldorf, western Germany. — AFP

Nazi version of Wagner opera shut down in Germany

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Nazi-themed production of Richard Wagner’s “Tannhauser” opera has been cancelled in Duesseldorf after realistic death scenes distressed audience members, the opera house said yesterday. The Rheinoper said it was aware that the concept and its implementation would be “controversial”. “But it was with great astonishment that we noted that some scenes, in particular very realistic execution scenes, caused physical and psychological distress to a number of spectators who had to seek medical help,” read a statement on the Rheinoper’s website. One scene showed a family getting

undressed and having their heads shaved before being murdered by Nazi henchmen, while another made a vivid allusion to gas chambers, with naked figures in glass cubes slowly engulfed in artificial fog, German media reported. Theatre director Burkhard Kosminki refused to make changes to the show and the opera house explained it could not continue presenting it in its current form. The opera will instead be shown as a concert performance from yesterday. In Wagner’s original the opera takes place in Venusberg-mountain abode of the Roman goddess and a symbol of hedonis-

Richard Madden Cast as Prince in Disney’s ‘Cinderella’

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isney has cast “Game of Thrones” actor Richard Madden in the role of the Prince in its upcoming liveaction movie “Cinderella,” the company said Wednesday. Madden, who plays Robb Stark in HBO’s hit dragons-and-swords fantasy series, joins a cast that includes Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother. “Wrath of the Titans” and “Downton Abbey” actress Lily James is playing the title role. Kenneth Branagh is directing the film. Producing duties are being handled by Alli Shearmur and Simon Kinberg. Disney bought the pitch for the bigscreen take on the classic folk tale from writer Aline Brosh McKenna, whose credits include “The Devil Wears Prada,” in 2010. In addition to “Game of Thrones” and, now, “Cinderella,” Madden will star in the upcoming romantic drama “A Promise.” Set in Germany in the days prior to WWI, the Patrice Leconte film focuses on a married woman who falls in love with her husband’s teacher. — Reuters

tic love. The nixed version transforms Venusberg into a Nazi crime scene, provoking boos from the audience 30 minutes into the premiere. Michael Szentei-Heise, head of the Duesseldorf Jewish community said the adaptation was “in bad taste”, without calling for it to be cancelled. He told German press agency DPA that while Wagner was certainly an “ardent anti-Semite ... he had nothing to do with the Holocaust.” This year marks the 200th anniversary of the German composer’s birth, and the bicentennial is being celebrated in various parts of the world. — AFP

Impressionist ‘chef’ cooks up record art sale

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n Impressionist oil painting depicting a chef in his white uniform fetched a tasty $18 million on Wednesday, the most ever paid at auction for a work by the artist Chaim Soutine. Soutine’s “Le Petit Patissier” (The Little Pastry Chef), was the highlight of the Christie’s auction in New York. It was estimated before “Le petit patissier” by the sale to be worth $16-22 Chaim Soutine is on display million. Christie’s said during a preview of Soutine’s rosy-cheeked chef, Christie’s Impressionist and the sixth of a renowned series Modern Art sales in New painted in about 1927, set an York on May 3, 2013. — AFP auction record for the Russian-born French artist. The previous highest result for any of his works was $17.2 million in London in 2007. Marc Chagall’s unusual “Three Acrobats” was the second most expensive work at the sale in Manhattan, selling for $13 million, well over the $6-9 million estimate. However, Andre Derain’s 1905 “Portrait de Madame Matisse au kimono,” estimated at $15-20 million, notably failed to find a buyer. Christie’s had heralded the painting of Matisse’s wife is “the most important portrait” ever auctioned by Derain, the cofounder of Fauvism. There was better news for Egon Schiele’s “Selbstbildnis mit Modell (Fragment),” from 1913. —AFP


Lifestyle FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Punk finds its place

in hallowed halls of Met

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unk and high fashion can now share the same stage, and a new Costume Institute exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Punk: Chaos to Culture,” celebrates that influence. It’s an enduring irony that probably makes punk’s rebellious originators cringe - and might make those wearing expensive couture dresses with heavy hardware and sexy slashes a little uncomfortable, too. But when you rip back the shock value of dresses made with garbage bags, others held together by safety pins or staples, skirts with strategic slashes and T-shirts fronted with provocative sayings, punk largely stood on the principles of individuality and authenticity, both so greatly valued in a DIY, Internet-savvy culture. “Despite its best intentions, punk has come to symbolize integrity and authenticity,” said

newsprint, even mailing envelopes. Again, there’s a paradox in that the rebellious punks could have inspired all the politically correct slogans that remind us to “reduce, reuse and recycle.” Top designers certainly tapped into them, too, with Gareth Pugh’s dress that uses bits of garbage bags for a featherlike effect,

A design, center, by Christopher Bailey for Burberry. accoutrements that dot the recreated Westwood-McLaren’s Kings Road shop, Clothes for Heroes, in London, including a heavy-handset telephone, cassette tape and big-box TV set. And the site of a recreated - and dirty - rock club CBGB’s bathroom inside the hallowed Met is equally impactful and interesting. Bowles said punk was the forerunner to grunge, which also made some tastemakers cringe when Marc Jacobs first put it on the runway in the early ‘90s.

Vivian Westwood and Lily Cole attend the Costume Institute Gala for the “PUNK: Chaos to Couture” exhibition.

A late 1970’s ensemble of fashion by Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren is shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibit, “Punk: Chaos to Couture,” Monday, May 6, 2013 in New York. — AP/AFP photos Andrew Bolton, curator of the exhibit, at a preview Monday. The exhibit opened to the public yesterday. Punk was born in the 1970s out of a movement that embraced anarchy, and its fashion reflected that. “Punk fashion started from the street and percolated up, and suddenly couture seemed out of touch and not relevant,” said Hamish Bowles, Vogue’s international editor at large. “Designers had to find a way to get in on it.” By now, the Dolce & Gabbana graffitisplashed ball gowns or Burberry leather jacket covered in ultra-sharp spikes worn over a delicate lace cocktail dress would be very much at home on the catwalk or in the pages of Vogue. And as the collective eye has adjusted to some of the distressed looks that seemed so revolutionary then, leading designers of the day, including Vivienne Westwood, who with partner Malcolm McLaren put naked men on shirts that gave literal meaning to graphic Ts, have since designed Oscar gowns for the likes of Helen Mirren. What might be more unsettling to exhibit visitors is how nostalgic they might feel for the

StefanoGabbana, Domenico Dolce.

Linda Evangelista

Katy

Perry

and

Just look at where the flannel shirt and henley T - and Jacobs’ prestige - are now, however. “Punk was so potent and powerful, it was a movement that just clicked,” said Bowles. “Even if it was subliminally, it changed how we all think about dressing, even to people who might have been revolted by it at the time.” Bolton said he wanted to represent the two driving forces of punk fashion: the angrier, political statements coming from London punks and the more music-centric, club-kid predecessors in New York. They eventually came together to wear leather garments that played on the themes of peace, love, war, pornography and bondage; hardware decorations such as grommets, studs, zippers and spikes that made them seem tough and untouchable; chaotic silhouettes that put pants where the sleeves should go, fronts where the backs belong and bare spots where one is expecting a little coverage; and materials that quite literally came from the street, including plastic trash bags, discarded

John Galliano’s Christian Dior newsprint dress and the bubble-wrap looks from Alexander McQueen’s 2006 Rubbish Collection. Overt sexuality certainly was part of the punk culture, and how could dramatic designers resist that? Gianni Versace’s safety-pin dress practically made Elizabeth Hurley a household name in 1994, and the red harness gown that Hilary Rhoda wore in the Dior 2007 haute couture show also on display certainly turned heads. Then, there is the barely there finale look by Maison Martin Margiela. To call it minimalist doesn’t do it justice. Rhoda hosted the joint red-carpet report by Vogue and the Met for Monday night’s fundraising gala that gave a sneak peek of “Chaos to Couture” to celebrities, designers and top models. She said she tried to go with a punk-inspired look, a sheer sparkly top and leather pants by Wes Gordon, that would capture the edgy spirit of punk without looking like a costume. Singer Debbie Harry of Blondie and designer Westwood, both key punk players, attended, and both were represented in the exhibit inside. (Harry wore a studded Tommy Hilfiger jacket and a skull hair accessory. Westwood was dressed in a pastel ballgown and cape covered with a “Truth” pin of Bradley Manning, the army private involved in the Wikileaks espionage case.) “Some people, including punks, would probably wonder if this (exhibit) belongs here in the museum, but it has had an enduring impact on fashion and everything in the arts, so they’re here, even if they’re kicking and screaming,” said Bolton. — AP


Lifestyle FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Beyonce

British actress Kate Beckinsale

Madonna

British actress Kate Beckinsale

Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen

Katie Holmes

Actress Uma Thurman

Patriarch of fashion brand Missoni dies in Italy

O

ttavio Missoni, the patriarch of the iconic fashion brand of zigzag-patterned knitwear that has added a classy touch of color and style to countless well-dressed women, died yesterday in northern Italy. He was 92. A statement issued by Missoni SpA said he “passed away serenely” in his home in the town of Sumirago yesterday. The town, near the city of Varese, is also home to the company headquarters. It was a second sorrow for the family in a matter of months. Earlier this year, Ottavio’s eldest child, company CEO Vittorio Missoni, 58, disappeared with his wife and four others while flying in a small plane during a vacation to a Venezuelan island. They were never found, and the cause of the disappearance remains a mystery. Ottavio Missoni founded the company in 1953, along with his wife, Rosita Jelmini, who survives him. They went on to create a fashion dynasty, with the couple’s three children and their offspring involved in expanding the brand. The company’s creative director is the couple’s daughter, Angela, while a third child, Luca, works in a technical role in the company. Family-run companies are a hallmark of Italian businesses, commonly beginning with a small company and slowly expanding with the help of often fiercely loyal employees. Born on Feb 11, 1921, in what is now Dubrovnik, a picturesque Adriatic coastal city in Croatia, Missoni was fond of saying he came into the fashion business practically by accident. His wife’s family owned a

textile factory and produced shawls. The couple started their own business with an artisan’s shop producing knitwear in Gallarate, near Milan. At the beginning, they produced athletic wear, likely inspired by Missoni himself, who had been a track-and-field star, specializing in 400-meter races and hurdles. He won several national medals, and competed in the 1948 Olympics.The company

its fashion output, on the runways of Milan and in stores worldwide as their brand went global. The Missonis, who often wore their own creations in everyday life, first showed their collection in Milan in 1966. The next year, a show in Florence of transparent tops sparked outrage, but they were ahead of a fashion trend that would later sprout in Europe. Their sig-

In this photo taken on March 22, 2012 Italian fashion designer Ottavio Missoni is flanked by his wife Rosita Jelimini in Milan, Italy. —AP/AFP photos

This file picture taken on February 27, 2011 during the Women’s fashion week in Milan shows Italian designer Angela Missoni acknowledging the audience together with her father Ottavio at the end of the Missoni FallWinter 2011-2012 ready-to-wear collection. expanded, eventually constructing its nature fashions have a reputation for main factory in Sumirago. But the philos- wearability and for surviving many seaophy of applying an artisan’s eye to sons of changing fashion whims. Among detail and precision continued to shape the exhibits honoring them was one by

the Whitney Museum in New York. New York’s Metropolitan Museum has also showcased their creations. The Missoni fashion house has also created costumes for La Scala, the Milan opera house. Expanding the fashion dynasty, Ottavio and Rosita Missoni’s granddaughter, Margherita, has promoted Missoni perfume and starred in advertising campaigns. D’Emilio and AP Fashion Writer Daniela Petroff contributed from Rome. — AP


FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

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Pe t s FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Woof! It’s a family reunion of a different breed Tabitha Kelly (center) and her friend, Ben Brackman, watch a flurry of activity in the living room as a reunion of dogs play in Minneapolis, Minnesota. — MCT photos

(From left) Pets Weston, Sony, Harlow, Roman and Lucy pose for a group photo with their owners at the dog party.

By Morgan Mercer

F

ive brothers and sisters crowd into a quaint yellow house on a chilly February afternoon for the most unorthodox of family reunions. The festivities seem familiar: A banner decorates the doorway, food is laid out on the dining-room table, and parents struggle to take group pictures. But there are no hugs exchanged, no cheek-pinching from Grandma. Instead, the guests run around in circles, lick each other’s faces and get personal with their sniffing snouts. This party has gone to the dogs. “When you first say, ‘I’m having a (reunion) party for my dog,’ people look at you like you’re that crazy dog lady. But when you explain it to them, people think it’s cool,” said Allison Rase, one of five adopters who helped organize this reunion _ a first birthday party for her rescued pit bull mix, Lucy, and four of the dog’s siblings. Pets are often considered a part of the family _ but what about their real family? Thanks to social media and dedicat-

ed pet-rescue groups, more dog owners are attempting to reconnect their pooches with long-lost litter mates. While it might sound extreme, adopters say socializing a dog with other four-legged playmates _ especially their siblings _ can have a positive impact on both animal and owner. For the humans in this equation, the reunions breed trust among protective owners who are concerned about all aspects of their dogs’ lives. Jenn Fadal, a pet wellness expert from Tampa, Fla., said she’s seeing an uptick in the number of clients reuniting their furry companions with brothers and sisters. How does

this happen? Often a rescue organization will help bridge the gap. About nine out of 10 people who get their dog from Secondhand Hounds want to share their contact information with adopters from the same litter, said Rachel Mairose, founder of the Edina-based rescue group. Mairose said she’s happy to play the go-between. Secondhand Hounds is the reason Lucy’s litter was reunited this month. At the party in north Minneapolis, Harlow, one of Lucy’s sisters, raced into the house, snuck a piece of bread off the counter, then dashed outside to wrestle with Sonny, another sister. “I love watching them play because I know the story,” said Suzanne Berg, Sonny’s “mom.” For the owners, the reunion is a true celebration _ a happy ending for a litter of puppies that started out in life with many strikes against them. The pups were almost euthanized at a crowded shelter in Missouri last year after being found, motherless, along a highway. Secondhand Hounds rescued the puppies and placed them in various homes throughout the Twin Cities. “I’m a momma now,” Berg, 41, said of Sonny. It’s no secret that many dog owners treat their pets like children. Fadal, the wellness expert, said it’s only natural for dog parents to seek out friends for their “children.” Especially when those playmates are siblings. “They just picked up where they left off,” Rase, 28, said. Rase, who lives in St. Louis Park, Minn., adopted Lucy _ one of three chocolate-brown pups. Normally shy and cautious, Lucy barreled into the back yard when she saw her brothers and sisters. Like proud parents, the owners pointed out the dogs’ striking similarities and noticeable differences. Lucy and Harlow are uncontrollable lickers; their barks sound identical. Roman and Weston love to cuddle. Weston is the odd one out with his curly tail. “We are all very different,” said Berg, of Minneapolis. “But we all love our dogs the same.” That shared love builds trust within a group of nearstrangers. Rase used to travel three hours so her fiance’s mother could watch Lucy. She didn’t trust anyone else. Now the protective parent needs to drive only 20 minutes to drop off Lucy with one of her siblings. “That’s a crazy thing for me,” she said. Just as Facebook has allowed Grandma to better connect with her tech-savvy grandchildren, the social network has had an integral role in bringing dog families together. Several times a year, Eileen Hill helps plan play dates for her black lab, Millie, and two of the dog’s siblings, Teeny and Stanley. It’s like a “Mommy and Me” group, she said. Initially, Hill connected with the litter’s other black lab owners on Facebook after tagging photos of their dogs. Facebook made it easy to share pictures and reach out to each other on a daily basis. “We’re crazy dog people,” said Hill, of Lake Elmo, Minn. The women turn to each other for clues on how to fix an upset dog stomach. They support each other on anniversaries of former pet passings. They come together over advocacy issues dealing with animal mistreatment. “It’s a friendship like no other I’ve ever had,” Hill said.— MCT


Stars

FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Aries (March 21-April 19) There is a drive to work through some strong internal changes. You may be ready to move into new directions with regard to work or education. Obstacles to self-discipline or to your sense of organization may appear—careful—move slowly. Authorities and red tape may stand between you and your goals, so planning is the key for now. Easy does it today! Your mind tends to settle on issues of security— home, family and such. Your sense of beauty and grace is heightened. Your self-awareness is increased as well as your interaction with others. Beautify your life with art and flowers—surround yourself with harmonious vibrations. Your thoughts have great substance and you could find yourself involved in deep discussions with loved ones this evening.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) This is actually a good time to settle down to the process of work and rising above any challenges. This is also an excellent time for dealing with people in positions of power and leadership. At this time you will be inclined to dig deep into mysteries such as why the human psyche is motivated. Also, you may seek for the key that makes people want to purchase an item and what it is that catches the eye. If you are in some form of teaching or working with others, you could work up some sort of questionnaire that will give your clients or students insight into many life situations. Conversations with others have the potential to profoundly affect your own beliefs. You may look to your social connections to improve your professional standing.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You might spend a great deal of time communicating with co-workers and people outside the workplace today. You have enough enthusiasm to do your work well. There could be an air of seriousness to your business dealings or with superiors today. Give yourself time to complete projects. Say “no” if you are asked to do extra work that will cause you less sleep. You enjoy correct and neat results and you may decide to stay a little later today to make sure your desk is in order before leaving work. You are good at organizing and are always improving. A list will create a plan and before you know it, you will have everything in its place. Visitors may request a pamphlet or book to show others how to organize—think this possibility over.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Work on new ideas today. It is time for enthusiasm and new beginnings. Everything points to your taking the initiative. However, you could find yourself in the midst of highly emotional individuals that slow your progress. You can be troubled by all that gets too pushy, physical and gushy. You will find ways to help others and this is comforting. This is an optimistic time; better things to come are indicated. Now is the time to consolidate your ideas. If you want a permanent home, today is a good day to deal with real estate. It is also a perfect day to become engaged. Marry a person that you love to talk with—it will be important in old age. A loving atmosphere in your home is so important to you now and you will do all you can to create tranquility.

Leo (July 23-August 22) This is a great time to clear up any unfinished business and look to the future with shrewd speculation. Take time to examine all aspects of your dealings in order to be successful. This is the best time for becoming involved with new things and for planting the seeds of your future successes. You take on a new interest toward your creative endeavors. During this period, additional responsibilities may be placed on you in the context of the home setting. Also, you should open up to relatives since it is a good time to give or receive emotional support. This could be the perfect time to indulge a little. Romance is strong and the opportunity to express affection is great. Your powers of creativity are good. Laughter fills the air this evening; enjoy.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) You are career-oriented and your personal reputation and honor are of the utmost importance. You possess a natural sense of organization and practical insight and may find you are managing or supervising others. At least that opportunity will be opened to you. A career in one of the service or health occupations is where you might find yourself now. You may find yourself automatically taking care of the needs of others today. Your occupation involves health, food and all attempts to restore, salvage and make the best out of things. Be careful this afternoon as you may be under a lot of pressure to perform quickly. This is actually one of your best days this month—much can be accomplished and realized. This evening is for fun!

COUNTRY CODES Libra (September 23-October 22) This seems to be a very superficial morning. It may not be possible for you to comprehend anything remotely meaningful or moving. Considering you are very seldom lazy or idle, you will probably do well to rearrange your desk or prepare for the next project. This afternoon you are better able to contend with any work issues and carry through with any responsibilities. Fortunately, this is all short lived as the energies this evening call for a pleasant evening. You may see value in or feel love for an older person or someone in authority. It is good to take the time to be helpful. Everything works together to bring out your exceptional qualities. Robust, healthy and good in sports, you may be planning your next physical challenge.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) There may be an air of seriousness with your partners or co-workers today. People that come to know you, value your ability to make practical decisions. You have a natural sense of what the public wants and can put together advertisement ideas at the drop of a hat— most of the time. If you are not in advertising, some form of advertising work is advisable. Perhaps you would be interested in a job as a manager for entertainment personalities or a casting director. You may spend a great deal of time communicating with co-workers and people apart from work this evening. You are so sensitive that you may appear psychic and tonight is a great time to tell the future of others or to learn how to develop your own psychic talents.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) There are lots of activities in the home before you even prepare for work. Perhaps young people need help or a loved one needs your emotional support. Whatever the case, there is a strong feeling that you are needed and can contribute to those around you. Work should go rather smoothly today. If you pay attention to what others are saying to you, you will probably find that you are appreciated in the workplace as well as on the home front. You are wise to remain humble and can teach others what the word, “self-esteem” really means. This afternoon is a good day to purchase a new appliance, begin a new relationship, pull in a favor or obtain a loan. You may have the urge to work in the yard for a while this evening.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) There is time to reflect and understand your own job situation. Your emotions, as well as the emotions and feelings of others, may be very clear. Clear decisions affecting others could be made. Someone could challenge you, but instead of jumping to conclusions—you have learned to look at the whole picture. Given time, someone will set things right and you will not have to enter into any sort of emotional dialogue. Your inner nature seems sensitive to the outward nature today and you could find yourself benefiting from soaking up good sunshine or some good music during the noon hour break. Your purchasing power is strong and you may consider a new investment, such as a piece of art. Someone compliments your tastes this evening.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) The type of mental stimulation from others this morning is contagious. A round table discussion or some other way to encourage participation in a conversation is strong and competitive. There is a great deal of attention to your own ideas. This is a fine time to try out some new type of business dealings or investments. Your inner resources and emotions are accented—you can expect a sense of support and goodwill. You are buoyed with confidence now to succeed at any project you attempt. Lovers, children and other people dear to your heart are emphasized this evening and your good day seems to carry right over to the evening hours. You enjoy the positive feedback and admiration from people that are close to you.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) You may feel like being different and trying something new and unusual today. This is a perfect time for new ideas, a breakthrough in thinking. Another who may not know your practical side could challenge your actions today. Harsh energies could leave you feeling emotionally blocked. You draw emotional sustenance and a sense of security from ideals, friends and social involvement. You have a great interest in matters that concern society and the environment and you may be able to help make a positive difference with an ecology project around your living area. Since you enjoy beautifying your surroundings, you might consider working in or owning a health spa or gym, selling beauty products and perhaps teaching young people’s beauty care.

Afghanistan 0093 Albania 00355 Algeria 00213 Andorra 00376 Angola 00244 Anguilla 001264 Antiga 001268 Argentina 0054 Armenia 00374 Australia 0061 Austria 0043 Bahamas 001242 Bahrain 00973 Bangladesh 00880 Barbados 001246 Belarus 00375 Belgium 0032 Belize 00501 Benin 00229 Bermuda 001441 Bhutan 00975 Bolivia 00591 Bosnia 00387 Botswana 00267 Brazil 0055 Brunei 00673 Bulgaria 00359 Burkina 00226 Burundi 00257 Cambodia 00855 Cameroon 00237 Canada 001 Cape Verde 00238 Cayman Islands 001345 Central African Republic 00236 Chad 00235 Chile 0056 China 0086 Colombia 0057 Comoros 00269 Congo 00242 Cook Islands 00682 Costa Rica 00506 Croatia 00385 Cuba 0053 Cyprus 00357 Cyprus (Northern) 0090392 Czech Republic 00420 Denmark 0045 Diego Garcia 00246 Djibouti 00253 Dominica 001767 Dominican Republic 001809 Ecuador 00593 Egypt 0020 El Salvador 00503 England (UK) 0044 Equatorial Guinea 00240 Eritrea 00291 Estonia 00372 Ethiopia 00251 Falkland Islands 00500 Faroe Islands 00298 Fiji 00679 Finland 00358 France 0033 French Guiana 00594 French Polynesia 00689 Gabon 00241 Gambia 00220 Georgia 00995 Germany 0049 Ghana 00233 Gibraltar 00350 Greece 0030 Greenland 00299 Grenada 001473 Guadeloupe 00590 Guam 001671 Guatemala 00502 Guinea 00224 Guyana 00592 Haiti 00509 Holland (Netherlands)0031 Honduras 00504 Hong Kong 00852 Hungary 0036 Ibiza (Spain) 0034 Iceland 00354 India 0091 Indian Ocean 00873 Indonesia 0062 Iran 0098 Iraq 00964 Ireland 00353 Italy 0039 Ivory Coast 00225 Jamaica 001876 Japan 0081 Jordan 00962 Kazakhstan 007 Kenya 00254 Kiribati 00686

Kuwait 00965 Kyrgyzstan 00996 Laos 00856 Latvia 00371 Lebanon 00961 Liberia 00231 Libya 00218 Lithuania 00370 Luxembourg 00352 Macau 00853 Macedonia 00389 Madagascar 00261 Majorca 0034 Malawi 00265 Malaysia 0060 Maldives 00960 Mali 00223 Malta 00356 Marshall Islands 00692 Martinique 00596 Mauritania 00222 Mauritius 00230 Mayotte 00269 Mexico 0052 Micronesia 00691 Moldova 00373 Monaco 00377 Mongolia 00976 Montserrat 001664 Morocco 00212 Mozambique 00258 Myanmar (Burma) 0095 Namibia 00264 Nepal 00977 Netherlands (Holland)0031 Netherlands Antilles 00599 New Caledonia 00687 New Zealand 0064 Nicaragua 00505 Nigar 00227 Nigeria 00234 Niue 00683 Norfolk Island 00672 Northern Ireland (UK)0044 North Korea 00850 Norway 0047 Oman 00968 Pakistan 0092 Palau 00680 Panama 00507 Papua New Guinea 00675 Paraguay 00595 Peru 0051 Philippines 0063 Poland 0048 Portugal 00351 Puerto Rico 001787 Qatar 00974 Romania 0040 Russian Federation 007 Rwanda 00250 Saint Helena 00290 Saint Kitts 001869 Saint Lucia 001758 Saint Pierre 00508 Saint Vincent 001784 Samoa US 00684 Samoa West 00685 San Marino 00378 Sao Tone 00239 Saudi Arabia 00966 Scotland (UK) 0044 Senegal 00221 Seychelles 00284 Sierra Leone 00232 Singapore 0065 Slovakia 00421 Slovenia 00386 Solomon Islands 00677 Somalia 00252 South Africa 0027 South Korea 0082 Spain 0034 Sri Lanka 0094 Sudan 00249 Suriname 00597 Swaziland 00268 Sweden 0046 Switzerland 0041 Syria 00963 Taiwan 00886 Tanzania 00255 Thailand 0066 Toga 00228 Tonga 00676 Tokelau 00690 Trinidad 001868 Tunisia 00216 Turkey 0090 Tuvalu 00688 Uganda 00256 Ukraine 00380 United Arab Emirates00976


Stars

FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Word Search

Yesterdayʼs Solution

C R O S S W O R D 1 8 5

ACROSS 1. A hormone produced by the anterior pituitary gland. 4. A person who escapes into a world of fantasy. 12. Top part of an apron. 15. 10 hao equal 1 dong. 16. One species. 17. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 18. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 19. A pad placed under a carpet. 20. Any of numerous hairy-bodied insects including social and solitary species. 21. English theoretical physicist who applied relativity theory to quantum mechanics and predicted the existence of antimatter and the positron (1902-1984). 23. East Indian cereal grass whose seed yield a somewhat bitter flour, a staple in the Orient. 25. British informal term. 27. Any of the radiating leaflike spore-producing structures on the underside of the cap of a mushroom or similar fungus. 28. Of or relating to or characteristic of Tibet or its people or their language. 32. A member of an Iroquoian people formerly living on the south shore of Lake Erie in northern Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania and western New York. 35. A conveyance (railroad car or trailer) for transporting racehorses. 37. A pendent spear of ice formed by the freezing of dripping water. 39. Make editorial changes (in a text). 40. (often followed by `for') Ardently or excessively desirous. 42. (Babylonian) God of wisdom and agriculture and patron of scribes and schools. 43. The capital and chief port of Qatar. 44. Submerged aquatic plant having narrow leaves and small flowers. 47. Seed vessel having hooks or prickles. 48. The compass point midway between northeast and east. 50. Historical and literary materials relating to Judaism. 54. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 57. Relating to the veins of plants. 58. Place a value on. 62. Cut the head of. 63. A soup made with chopped tomatoes and onions and cucumbers and peppers and herbs. 65. Inability to perceive written words. 69. Norwegian mathematician (1802-1829). 70. A domain in which something is dominant. 73. A manner of speaking that is natural to native speakers of a language. 74. The arch of bone beneath the eye that forms the prominence of the cheek. 75. The state of being behind in payments. 77. Goddess of criminal rashness and its punishment. 78. A friendly nation. 79. Large family of important mostly marine food fishes. 80. (British) Your grandmother.

Daily SuDoku

DOWN 1. Bony flesh of herring-like fish usually caught during their migration to fresh water for spawning. 2. A sock with a separation for the big toe. 3. Showing characteristics of age, especially having gray or white hair. 4. Give an education to. 5. Estrangement from god. 6. (of a young animal) Abandoned by its mother and raised by hand. 7. (informal) Of the highest quality. 8. A kind of heavy jacket (`windcheater' is a British term). 9. Make lighter or brighter. 10. A cut of pork ribs with much of the meat trimmed off. 11. A language spoken by a Malaysian people on Formosa. 12. A coffee cake flavored with orange rind and raisins and almonds. 13. The United Nations agency concerned with atomic energy. 14. A submachine gun operated by gas pressure. 22. Sacred text of Zoroastrianism. 24. German mathematician who created the Klein bottle (1849-1925). 26. A small tent used as a dressing room beside the sea or a swimming pool. 29. A nonmetallic element belonging to the halogens. 30. A woman who has recently been married. 31. A star that ejects some of its material in the form of a cloud and become more luminous in the process. 33. Any of various plants of the genus Albuca having large clusters of pale yellow flowers. 34. Of or relating to the nervous system. 36. Denoting a quantity consisting of 12 items or units. 38. Small room on a ship or boat where people sleep. 41. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 45. A person who announces and plays popular recorded music. 46. Consider as ideal. 49. Flat tableland with steep edges. 51. The part of the eye that contains the iris and ciliary body and choroid. 52. Having help. 53. Something (especially a game) that is played again. 55. On a ship, train, plane or other vehicle. 56. A light strong brittle gray toxic bivalent metallic element. 59. American dwarf fan palms. 60. United States conductor (born in Hungary) (1897-1970). 61. Lean end of the neck. 64. Queen of the Olympian gods in ancient Greek mythology. 66. A city of central China. 67. A tiny or scarcely detectable amount. 68. A primeval personification of air and breath. 71. Flower arrangement consisting of a circular band of foliage or flowers for ornamental purposes. 72. (informal) Roused to anger. 76. An intensely radioactive metallic element that occurs in minute amounts in uranium ores.

Yesterdayʼs Solution

Yesterday’s Solution


Sports FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Back to work for Masters champion Scott PONTE VEDRA BEACH: Winning the Masters was the ultimate high for Australian Adam Scott. But after taking a few weeks off to bask in the glow of a cherished accomplishment, the 32-year-old Scott said on Wednesday it was time to come down from cloud nine and build on his legacy at the Players Championship starting late yesterday. “I’ve had a really nice break since the Masters, which I had planned anyway, but it was even better because I was floating around on the clouds the last three weeks,” he said. “It’s been an overwhelming time for me, especially in the immediate period after winning the Masters. Just so many people reached out to me, I was blown away. “That comes from everywhere, especially Australia, but over here as well.” His dramatic playoff victory over Argentina’s Angel Cabrera produced his maiden major triumph, a breakthrough resonating all the more as it marked the first Masters won by an Australian. Scott said he normally likes to take about a week off to decompress after a major, but this time added another week before returning to practice. “The swing was still feeling good, and you get itchy feet and you’re ready to get back out here and compete,” said Scott, who won the prestigious Players Championship at the

McIlroy tries to change his fortunes at Sawgrass PONTE VEDRA BEACH: Rory McIlroy won two major championships at age 23. He was the youngest player since Tiger Woods to reach No. 1 in the world. He was won the money titles on the PGA Tour and European Tour in the same season. Now if he can just break par on the TPC at Sawgrass. Or at least make it to the weekend. McIlroy keeps showing signs that his game his emerging from an early season slump. His next stop is Thursday in The Players Championship, a tournament that hasn’t been kind to him in his three previous trips. He has missed the cut every time, never posting a score better than 72. So what’s the problem? “The first year I came here, I was in Vegas the week before. That didn’t help,” McIlroy said with a boyish smile. “The second year was my 21st birthday. That didn’t help.” And last year? “I don’t have an excuse,” he said. Upon leaving last year, he said his career was young and he would have another 20 years, hopefully, playing this tournament. And if didn’t get the hang of it by then, something would be wrong. He’s still learning, though a few holes in his practice round Wednesday also showed he was picking up some of the nuances. McIlroy was perplexed while playing the sixth hole Wednesday. He hit two shots off the tee, one in the fairway and one in the rough, about the same distance. He hit an iron with the ball in the fairway, pin-high about 15 feet PONTE VEDRA BEACH: Rory McIlroy of Northern left of the flag. He used the Ireland plays a shot from same club from the rough and watched it sail over the green. the 11th tee during round one of The Players That’s the trouble with this rough. It’s not very high, and Championship. —AFP the ball can jump out of there. As he played the par-5 ninth, caddie J.P. Fitzgerald reminded him that it’s best to lay up on the hole. McIlroy smashed his tee shot and his caddie told him, “You have 266 (yards) to the front. Perfect 5-iron.” McIlroy followed his instructions, hit the shot and then threw down another ball and asked for the 3wood. He missed to the right of the green, shrugged and said, “Just wanted to get it out of my system.” In discussing the course, McIlroy is coming to the same conclusion. It’s OK to be aggressive, as long as he picks the right spots. “I think you’ve got to find a balance around here of being conservative, but also you have to take on things, as well,” he said. “There is no point in not hitting the driver anywhere around here because you’re not going to make enough birdies to contend, but you don’t want to be hitting driver everywhere either because you’re going to find trouble. So you have to find a balance. —AP

TPC Sawgrass in 2004 as a 24-year-old. “I hopefully can take my head out of the clouds and come back down to earth and play some good golf,” added the Australian, who is grouped with world number two Rory McIlroy and Steve Stricker for the first two rounds. “It could be the start of a great year for me out here on the tour.” With that in mind, world number three Scott decided to put off a trip back home to celebrate his Masters victory. “I wanted to see my mom and my sister and my friends and also share in the celebrations with all the golf fans in Australia,” he said. “It was an incredible response to winning. The Prime Minister of Australia called me. I was overwhelmed. “But we have a plan in place and it’s hopefully not going to stop with the Masters. I want to keep focused while I can and try to make this my biggest year yet. I think we can rustle up some celebration when I get home at the end of the year.” A protege of Australian great Greg Norman, who came agonisingly close on several occasions to winning the Masters, Scott showed great promise early in his career but may just now be poised to fully realise that potential. Scott rose up at Augusta National nine months after squandering a four-shot lead at the British Open with four holes to play through a string of four successive bogeys that allowed

Ernie Els to seize the Claret Jug. “Golf is a very fine line. I think we all know that,” Scott said. “The difference between winning and not for the last couple of years for me has been balancing on a knife’s edge. “I felt last year like I could have won three of the majors with pivotal moments going my way or not, and I didn’t win any of them. “Overall the biggest difference for me is I’ve had a real belief in my ability that I can win big tournaments.” Scott said he did not think winning his first major would change his life, but recognized the impact his Masters win would have on his professional status. “Maybe in the history books it is because you’re written into that history book of winning a major and it will never be taken out of there,” he added. “For me, it’s probably going to be the pinnacle of my career...as first Australian to win the Masters. But it’s also not the end for me.” Scott said he does not still wake up thinking about his Masters triumph. “But when I walk in the closet and I put the green jacket on every morning, I do,” he said, laughing, though he admitted to having some postpartum pangs. “I’ve missed it the last couple of days. It’s the first couple of days I haven’t had it with me. That’s been a lot of fun just wearing it around the house.” — Reuters

Bruins drop Leafs TORONTO: David Krejci scored his third goal of the night at 13:06 of overtime Wednesday, giving the Boston Bruins a 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs and a 3-1 lead in their playoff series. Krejci beat James Reimer with a shot from the faceoff circle after coming down the left wing. The Bruins are 15-2 when leading a best-of-seven series 3-1. And Toronto is 2-12-1 in its last 15 games in Boston. Joffrey Lupul, Cody Franson and Clarke MacArthur scored for Toronto. Patrice Bergeron added a goal for Boston, with captain Zdeno Chara collecting four assists. Goalies Tuukka Rask and Reimer were both busy in an end-to-end overtime, with Toronto’s Matt Frattin hitting Rask’s goalpost. RANGERS 4, CAPITALS 3 In New York, Dan Girardi and Derek Stepan scored third-period goals for the York Rangers, who squandered a two-goal lead and then held on to get even in the best-of-seven series. Girardi ripped a shot from above the left circle, off a feed from Derick Brassard, to give the Rangers the lead again with a power-play goal 59 seconds into the third. The advantage was created by Jason Chimera’s interference penalty at the end of the second. Stepan made it 4-2 at 6:02, scoring into a wide-open net at the end of a give-andgo play in front with Carl Hagelin, who had a goal and two assists. Game 5 will be back in Washington on Friday before the series returns to Madison Square Garden on Sunday. The home team has won all four games in the first-round Eastern Conference matchup. KINGS 3, BLUES 2 In St. Louis, Slava Voynov scored on an odd-man rush eight minutes into overtime and the Los Angeles Kings beat the St. Louis Blues for the third straight time, 3-2 Wednesday night. The win put the defending Stanley Cup champions on the verge of surviving the first round, leading 3-2 heading to Game 6 in Los Angeles on Friday night. Alex Pietrangelo scored on a wrist shot from the point with 44.1 seconds remain-

TORONTO: Cody Franson No. 4 of the Toronto Maple Leafs watches an incoming shot against the Boston Bruins in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. — AFP ing in regulation and goalie Brian Elliott off for an extra attacker. That forced overtime for the second time in the series. The Kings’ Justin Williams scored in the final minute of Game 1, also in St. Louis. Jeff Carter scored in the opening minute of the second and third periods for the Kings, who became the first road team to win in the series. RED WINGS 3, DUCKS 2 In Anaheim, Nick Bonino scored 1:54 into overtime, and the Ducks moved to the brink of the second round. Defenseman Ben Lovejoy took the puck behind the

Detroit net and fed it in front. Bonino scored for the Ducks, who took a 3-2 series lead. Game 6 is Friday night at Joe Louis Arena, where the Ducks will attempt to close out just their second playoff series victory since winning the Stanley Cup in 2007. Johan Franzen and Mikael Samuelsson scored for the Red Wings, who had two brief leads. Jimmy Howard stopped 31 shots. Captain Ryan Getzlaf tied it, Kyle Palmieri also scored, and Jonas Hiller made 29 saves in Anaheim’s first victory in three overtime games in the series. —AP


Sports FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Phillies fall, Padres advance SAN FRANCISCO: Andres Torres lined a gameending single to right field with two outs in the 10th inning, lifting the San Francisco Giants to a 4-3 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday to avoid a sweep. Javier Lopez (1-0) pitched the 10th for the win after Sergio Romo blew his second save in 14 opportunities, failing to finish off Barry Zito’s gem. Buster Posey hit a pinch-hit single to start the 10th against Antonio Bastardo (1-1) and was sacrificed to second by Joaquin Arias. Posey advanced to third on a wild pitch before Torres came through with his fourth career game-ending hit. The Giants earned their fifth walkoff victory. Hunter Pence homered against his former club for the second time during the three-game series, but Romo wasn’t his usual spot-on self in the ninth. Pence sent a 2-2 pitch into the stands in left field leading off the second for his seventh homer. Marco Scutaro hit a go-ahead single in the fifth to score Gregor Blanco after he singled and stole second. PADRES 1, MARLINS 0 In San Diego, Jason Marquis outpitched Ricky Nolasco, Yonder Alonso had a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning and San Diego completed a threegame sweep of Miami. Marquis (4-2) allowed five hits, walked one and struck out three in eight innings, his longest stint since last Aug. 11th when he had a 5-0 shutout at Pittsburgh. Huston Street pitched the ninth to pick up his eighth save in eight chances. The Padres have won four straight and 11 of their last 14. Nolasco (2-4) gave up one run and four hits, with one walk and a season-high nine strikeouts in seven innings. He had won his four previous decisions at San Diego, where he dropped to 4-2 with a 2.11 ERA in his career. CARDINALS 5, CUBS 4 In Chicago, Carlos Beltran and Jon Jay drove in two runs apiece, and St. Louis won for the seventh time in eight games to improve to a major league-best 14-7 on the road. Beltran also had three hits as St. Louis went 5-1 on a six-game swing to Milwaukee and Chicago, with the lone loss coming Tuesday in their first game of the season against the last-place Cubs. The Cardinals trailed 4-3 before Beltran singled in Matt Carpenter in the seventh, and Jay drove in Yadier Molina with a tiebreaking single against Michael Bowden (1-2) in the eighth. Four St. Louis relievers combined for 3 2-3 innings of two-hit ball after Jake Westbrook had his worst start this season. Seth Maness (2-0) got five outs to get the win and Edward Mujica worked the ninth for his ninth save in nine opportunities. BRAVES 7, REDS 2 In Cincinnati, Dan Uggla hit a pair of solo homers and Juan Francisco added his first career grand slam as Atlanta recovered from a stunning last-swing loss the previous day. Atlanta took two of three, the first series the Reds lost at home this season. Devin Mesoraco and Shin-Soo Choo hit two-out homers in the ninth for Cincinnati’s 5-4 win on Tuesday. A day later, one of the NL’s top power teams got the better of it. Uggla had solo shots in the fourth and sixth off Mike Leake (2-2). Francisco’s slam off J.J. Hoover highlighted a five-run eighth. The Braves got Francisco from the Reds last year for Hoover. Mike Minor (4-2) allowed four hits in seven innings, including Zack Cozart’s solo homer. DIAMONDBACKS 3, DODGERS 2 In Los Angeles, Paul Goldschmidt homered twice, including a tie-breaking shot for the second straight game, lifting Arizona over slumping Los Angeles. The D-backs completed a three-

game sweep of the Dodgers, who have dropped a season-high seven straight games. Goldschmidt homered to left field in the eighth with two outs. He also hit a two-run shot off Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in the sixth. Wade Miley (3-1) outlasted Kershaw in a matchup of two of the best left-handed starters in the NL over the past two seasons.

Miley allowed two runs and seven hits in 7 2/3 innings, struck out four and walked none. Heath Bell pitched the ninth to earn his third save in four chances. INTERLEAGUE YANKEES 3, ROCKIES 2 In Denver, pinch-hitter Brennan Boesch hit a

tiebreaking infield single with the bases loaded in the ninth off closer Rafael Betancourt and New York snapped a five-game skid at Coors Field. Vernon Wells had a two-run homer in the first and scored the decisive run when third baseman Nolan Arenado couldn’t throw out a hustling Boesch after a diving stop. David Robertson (2-0) earned the win by working out of a jam in the eighth and Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 12 chances. It’s the first time New York has won in the Mile High City since June, 19, 2002. RANGERS 4, BREWERS 1 In Milwaukee, Derek Holland allowed one run over seven shaky innings and the Texas Rangers benefited from two Milwaukee baserunning blunders to beat the Brewers 4-1 Wednesday night. Holland (3-2), who struck out six and walked none, yielded 10 hits - including two in the second, three in the third and three in the sixth. He escaped with the help of some sloppy baserunning by the Brewers, who had a runner thrown out at the plate to end the third and another thrown out at third base in the sixth. Tanner Scheppers pitched the eighth and Joe Nathan finished for his ninth save. The Rangers remain the only team in either league without a blown save, 10 for 10. Ian Kinsler hit a two-run shot for Texas.

SAN DIEGO: Nick Hundley No. 4 of the San Diego Padres throws to first base to turn a double play as Derek Dietrich No. 51 of the Miami Marlins is out at the plate during the third inning. — AFP

Indians see off Athletics CLEVELAND: An apparent game-tying homer by Oakland’s Adam Rosales was ruled a double by umpires in the ninth inning, and the Cleveland Indians held on to beat the Athletics 4-3 on Wednesday night. Rosales sent a drive off Indians closer Chris Perez that looked as if it cleared the left-field wall. However, second base umpire Angel Hernandez called it a double, and the crew concurred with the original ruling after leaving the field to review the videotape. When the umpires returned and told Rosales to stay at second, A’s manager Bob Melvin sprinted onto the field and was immediately ejected. TV replays appeared to show the ball cleared the yellow stripe and hit a metal railing above the 19-foot high wall. Perez wound up loading the bases before getting the final out as the Indians won for the ninth time in 10 games. Nick Swisher and Carlos Santana homered for Cleveland. TWINS 15, RED SOX 8 In Boston, Pedro Florimon had a solo homer and a two-run double in Minnesota’s seasonhigh, seven-run second inning that carried the Twins to a rout over Boston. David Ortiz went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts and three groundouts to snap his 27-game hitting streak, dating back to last season. Ortiz had hit safely in his first 15 games this season, giving him Boston’s longest since Manny Ramirez also hit in 27 straight in 2006. Ryan Doumit had a two-run homer, Oswald Arcia went 4 for 5 with three singles and a double, and Trevor Flouffe drove in three of the Twins’ season-high runs. Minnesota also had a season-high 19 hits. Jonny Gomes hit his fourth career grand slam - first with the Red Sox - and drove in five runs. Shane Victorino added a solo homer for Boston, which lost for the fifth time in six games. Ryan Pressly (1-0) pitched four shutout innings of relief for the win. Boston’s Allen

Webster (0-1), making his second career start, gave up eight runs, six hits and walked three while getting only five outs. RAYS 10, BLUE JAYS 4 In St. Petersburg, Matt Moore won his sixth straight decision to start the season, Evan Longoria drove in three runs, and Tampa Bay beat Toronto. Moore (6-0) overcame control issues, allowing two runs, six hits and four walks in five innings. The left-hander threw 104 pitches, including 56 strikes, during his seventh start of the year. Longoria had a two-run homer and RBI single, and Kelly Johnson had three hits, including a two-run shot. The Rays lost the first two games of the series, blowing a seven-run lead Monday and a three-run advantage Tuesday. Struggling Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero (02) gave up three run-scoring singles and got just one out during his second outing this year. ASTROS 3, ANGELS 1 In Houston, Bud Norris pitched into the ninth inning and Chris Carter homered for the second straight game to help Houston over Los Angeles. The victory gives Houston its third series win of the season. The Angels dropped to 4-13 away from Anaheim. Marwin Gonzalez and Jimmy Paredes hit RBI doubles in the third before Carter connected on his team-leading eighth homer in the fifth inning to make it 3-0. Norris (4-3) allowed nine hits and one run in eight-plus innings. He was chased by consecutive singles by Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to start the ninth. Closer Jose Veras retired Mark Trumbo before plunking Josh Hamilton to load the bases. But Houston turned its fourth double play of the game to end it and give Veras his fourth save. Angels starter Joe Blanton (0-6) allowed eight hits and three runs in 6 2-3 innings to remain winless this season.—AP

NATIONALS 3 TIGERS 1 In Washington, Bryce Harper hit a solo homer and drove in another run with a sacrifice fly, Jordan Zimmermann won his NL-leading sixth game and Washington for the fifth time in six games. Denard Span added a triple and a single for Washington, which has won five of six. Zimmermann (6-1), whose scoreless streak was snapped at 20 innings in the third, allowing a run on seven hits over seven innings. He fanned seven and lowered his ERA to 1.59 in winning his third straight start. Rafael Soriano pitched a scoreless ninth for his 11th save. Jhonny Peralta had two hits for the Tigers, who had won four straight and nine of 10. Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez (3-3) allowed three runs, two earned, on eight hits and struck out eight. WHITE SOX 6, METS 3 In New York, Jake Peavy pitched three-hit ball in his return from a balky back, Alejandro De Aza had a leadoff homer and Chicago earned a split of the two-game interleague series. Alex Rios homered among his three hits and knocked in two runs for the White Sox. Conor Gillaspie blooped a two-run double off Jeremy Hefner (0-4) as Chicago’s struggling hitters finally found a few holes. Rios also had an RBI double and Paul Konerko a run-scoring single to help the last-place White Sox take the finale of a 4-4 road trip. Peavy (4-1) got some prime help on defense from shortstop Alexei Ramirez and center fielder Dewayne Wise. MARINERS 2, PIRATES 1 In Pittsburgh, Felix Hernandez scattered six hits and Jesus Montero broke a tie with a solo home run in the seventh inning off AJ Burnett to lead Seattle. Hernandez (5-2) struck out five and walked one to improve to 4-0 in his last five starts while shaving his ERA to 1.53. The righthander shook off a shaky first inning then settled down to allow four base runners in his final seven innings of work. Tom Wilhelmsen worked the ninth for his ninth save. Burnett (3-3) was almost as sharp, giving up just two hits over seven innings while striking out nine. Yet he also walked four batters and gave up Montero’s third homer of the season with one out in the seventh. — AP


Sports FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Heat stop Bulls charge MIAMI: Ray Allen scored 21 points in only 19 minutes, LeBron James finished with 19 points and nine assists, and the Miami Heat led by as many as 46 on the way to a 11578 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night that tied their Eastern Conference series at a game apiece. It was the largest margin of victory in the Heat’s postseason history, topping a 35-point win over Orlando on April 24, 1997. Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson were ejected in the fourth quarter for Chicago, and the league will almost certainly review some of the things said and done in a game that was close for the first 20 minutes before turning into an embarrassment for the Bulls, who were called for six technicals - the most by any team in a playoff game since Boston had that many against Indiana in 2005. Game 3 is today in Chicago. Dwyane Wade added 15 points and Chris Bosh had 13 for the Heat, who led 42-38 with 3:42 left in the first half, before going on an absurd 62-20 run. Yes, 62-20. Marco Belinelli scored 13 points for the Bulls, who were without Luol Deng (illness) and Kirk Hinrich (calf). Carlos Boozer and Nate Robinson combined for 19 points on 6-of19 shooting. WARRIORS 100, SPURS 91 In San Antonio, Klay Thompson scored 34 points, Stephen Curry added 22 and Golden State withstood another furious rally by San Antonio to even their Western Conference series 1-1. Thompson, who scored 29 points in the first half, added 14 rebounds for Golden State, which snapped a 30-game losing streak in the Alamo City. The Warriors had not won in San Antonio since Feb. 14, 1997. Harrison Barnes had 13 points, Carl Landry 10 and Andrew Bogut had six points and 11 rebounds. Tim Duncan scored 23 points and Tony Parker added 20 for San Antonio. Manu Ginobili had 12 points and Kawhi Leonard had 11 points and 12 rebounds. The Warriors host Game 3 tonight. — AP

SPAIN: Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany (left) looks towards Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain, during a news conference at the Catalunya racetrack. — AP

Dusty Barcelona race to provide crucial title clues BARCELONA: Formula One returns home this weekend for the first European race of the 2013 season with a familiar scenario unfolding amid hopes of an upset to match last year’s unexpected dramas at the Spanish Grand Prix. Defending triple world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull, who was victorious at the Circuit de Catalunya in 2011, leads the title race again, this time with 77 points and a 10-point margin ahead of second-placed rival Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus and a 27-point advantage on third-placed Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes. Each will arrive at the track, around 25 kilometres inland to the north of the Catalan capital, with high hopes that the upgrade packages on their respective cars can bring them victory in Sunday’s 66-lap race on a circuit they know better than any other because it is used so much for testing and hosted two-thirds of the pre-season work for the 2013 title race. Last year’s winner, Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado is currently without a point in the championship after the four longhaul season-opening ‘flyaway’ events in Australia, Malaysia, China and Bahrain and not expected to ignite again the widespread celebrations of a Williams victory that ended with a serious blaze in the team garage. But a tightly-contested scrap between the leading teams at the front of the field is expected and that should go some way towards indicating which drivers are likely to emerge as the most serious con-

tenders for glory this year. Vettel, and his Red Bull team, are already setting the pace, albeit after a spate of intra-team scraps initiated by the 25-year-old German’s decision in Kuala Lumpur to ignore team orders and steal victory from his team-mate Mark Webber. That drama set the tone for much of the season to date as it arose from the teams’ need to preserve tyres and car performance in demanding conditions-a stage that may be replicated this weekend if hot conditions play havoc with Pirelli’s supply of rubber and turn the race into a strategic contest again. Since the Catalan track was introduced to the calendar in 1991, replacing a Spanish race held at Jerez, it has earned a reputation for offering a broad examination of the cars and drivers, thanks to its mix of medium and high-speed corners, a lowspeed complex and a long straight. In 16 of the last 22 seasons, the winning team in Spain lifted the Constructors’ Championship. Additonally, in 18 of those races, the driver who started from pole position was triumphant. Maldonado won, from a ‘lucky pole’, only after Hamilton had been excluded from qualifying last year after clocking the fastest lap, but suffering fuel problems afterwards. Demanding, predictable and exhaustive, the circuit is also usually hot, dusty and dull-producing races with little overtaking and not much incident. It is sure to create fervour around home favourite, two-time champion Fernando Alonso of

Ferrari, but may not deliver a contest to remember. Alonso, however, fourth in the title race and enjoying the prospect of racing in a competitive car this year, is expected to mount a challenge to Vettel, Webber, Raikkonen and Hamilton at the front of the field. Raikkonen, whose future has already become the subject of much conjecture, will hope that Lotus have found the developments they need to stay in the title race after a promising start but this week’s loss of technical director James Allison, who has been approached by a host of teams including Ferrari, McLaren and Williams, may be a blow. He has been replaced by the promotion of Nick Chester from within the ranks and it remains to be seen if that change has any effect on the Lotus performance as the season unfolds, or the future of Raikkonen, one of five world champions in the field this year. Lotus team chief Eric Boullier said promoting Chester from his current role as engineering director would minimise the damage. “Nick is well known to everyone at Enstone having been with the team for over 12 years,” said Boullier. “He is already directly involved with this and next year’s cars, ensuring a smooth transition which has been underway for some time. It’s an illustration of the strength and breadth of talent at Enstone that we can draw on personnel of the calibre of Nick and it’s something of an Enstone tradition for new technical directors to be promoted from within.”— AFP

Bolt wins 100m in photo finish

MIAMI: Norris Cole No. 30 of the Miami Heat drives past Nazr Mohammed No. 48 of the Chicago Bulls during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs. — AFP

GEORGE TOWN: Six-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt edged teammate Kemar Bailey-Cole in a photo finish to win the 100 metres at the Cayman Invitational track meet on Wednesday. Jamaica’s Bolt kicked his 100-metre season off Wednesday with a less than impressive time of 10.09 seconds at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex. Bailey-Cole, who finished with the same time, is one of Bolt’s training partners. Antiguan Daniel Bailey finished

third with a time of 10.23. Bolt has been battling a hamstring problem but said that wasn’t to blame for the slow time. “It was just a bad race,” he said. “I just have to go back and figure out with my coach what went wrong. “I felt it (hamstring injury) slightly. It wasn’t a bothering pain so I can’t blame it on that.” In the women’s events, American Carmelita Jeter became the first to finish in under 11 seconds in the 100 metres, winning with a time of 10.95. — AFP


Sports FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

MADRID: Russian player Maria Sharapova returns the ball to German player Sabine Lisicki during their women’s singles third round tennis match at the Madrid Masters. — AFP

Serena, Sharapova ease into quarters MADRID: World No.1 Serena Williams cruised into the Madrid Open quarter-finals as she dismantled 13th seed Maria Kirilenko 6-3, 6-1 in just an hour and four minutes yesterday. Williams didn’t even face a break point during the match as she steamrollered the Russian, dropping only one more game from 3-3 in the first set. The second set was straight forward for the 15-time Grand Slam champion as she raced into a 5-0 lead and then served out in style to book her place in the quarters, where she will face Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues. And Williams believes taking some pace off her serve to get a higher percentage of first serves into court helped her relax and play more fluently than in her earlier rounds. “I’ve just been missing a little bit of my serve

when I was hitting it harder, so I took some pace off and just didn’t hit it as hard as I usually do,” she said. “It was better today. I just felt really relaxed today. I felt like I was just taking my time so hopefully I can keep calm and relaxed.” The American is unbeaten on clay in eight matches so far this season, but after a similarly positive start to last season on the clay was followed by shocking loss in the first round of the French Open, she says she has learned not to get overconfident ahead of Paris, where she will head at the end of this month. “I think more than anything I learned not to become overconfident. “I think I’ll just take that with me to the French this year. I think I was a little confident last year and I felt really good; this year I’m going to take every moment like it’s my last.” World No.2 Maria Sharapova, who has yet

to drop a set, continued her stroll into the quarter-finals as she overcame Sabine Lisicki 6-2, 7-5. The Russian, who could overtake Williams at the top of the rankings should she win the title this week, broke the German’s serve four times to prevail in a disjointed opening set. Serve was more dominant in the second set with both players exchanging just the one break early on before Sharapova secured a crucial second break at 5-5 and served it out to take her place in the last eight. And the reigning French Open champion believes her game on the clay is rounding into shape nicely as she prepares to begin the defence of her title. “I think when you win a Grand Slam on a surface, it would be pretty mean of me to say that I’m not comfortable on the surface,” she told a press conference yesterday.

“It took me many years to get to the level of where I am today. It certainly didn’t happen overnight. “I worked extremely hard on getting stronger and recovering better, moving better on the court, giving myself a better position on the court, especially after being on the defensive and trying to play aggressively as I always do on quicker surfaces. “Winning the French Open was an incredible memory and one that I’ll have for the rest of my life. “Sometimes when you feel like you have everything or you won everything, it can be pretty easy to just say, why do I need it again? But I find a lot motivation in going back and trying to defend my title. “Over the years, it’s brought me a lot of great memories and a lot of tough ones. I did win last year but years before I had tough losses there as well.” — AFP

Chance to move up as big guns rest in Super Rugby WELLINGTON: The Queensland Reds and Bloemfontein-based Cheetahs have a chance to improve their regional standings in Super Rugby as the ACT Brumbies and Bulls sit out the weekend’s 13th round. The Brumbies, occupying top place in Australia, and the Pretoria-based Bulls, atop the South African conference, will each take four points from weekend byes, as will the Christchurchbased Crusaders. The Reds, who are two points adrift of the Brumbies in the Australian standings, are at home to the Durban-based Sharks at Brisbane, and the Cheetahs, two points behind the Bulls in South Africa, host the faltering Hurricanes later tomorrow. The defending champion Chiefs have the chance to draw level or even overtake the Brumbies at the top of the overall Super Rugby table if they take a full five points from their match in Hamilton on Friday against the Western Force. The Chiefs will start the match five points behind the Brumbies but would close that gap with a four-try victory and a superior win record. The Cheetahs could cut the Bulls’ lead in South Africa to one point with a four-try win over the Wellington-based Hurricanes, who were beaten 48-14 by the Bulls last weekend. The Hurricanes are now without their influential captain, center Conrad Smith, who suffered a serious concussion in that match. There are also opportunities in the 13th round for the fifth-placed Blues, the eighth-placed New South Wales Waratahs, the ninth-placed Sharks and 10th-placed Stormers to move up while the conference and tournament leaders are idle. The Auckland-based Blues play the Melbourne Rebels on

Saturday and the Waratahs face the Stormers in Sydney later the same day. The Dunedin-based Highlanders, who posted their first win of the season last weekend when they beat the Sharks 25-22, have the chance to win again when they play the Kings at Port Elizabeth. Sharks coach John Plumtree has responded to his team’s loss to the last-placed Highlanders by making four changes to his lineup for the match against the Reds, which has gained importance as the Durban-based club tries to stay in touch with the Bulls and Cheetahs in South Africa. Center Frans Steyn and backrower Lubabalo Mtembu are both unavailable because of injuries and have been replaced by JP Pietersen and Jean Deysel respectively. Pietersen will start at outside center, opening a place for Piet Lindeque on the right wing, while captain Keegan Daniel will move back to No. 8, allowing Deysel to start on the flank in all-Springboks loose forward trio. JC Janse van Rensburg will start at loosehead prop, letting Wiehahn Herbst start to play in his favored position at tighthead while lock Willem Alberts returns from injury to take his place on a bench which includes three Springboks. Plumtree said the Sharks were determined to break a string of recent losses to the Stormers, Cheetahs, Chiefs and Highlanders. “It hasn’t been easy losing personnel and combinations keep changing which makes life difficult for us,” he said. “But the boys have gone out there and looked to play adventurous rugby, playing with ball in hand, building up some real pressure on the opposition. “People who know rugby will see that. But ultimately we didn’t get the results, they just haven’t gone our way. We’re just going

JP Pietersen from week to week. We want to take the pressure off, play for each other, play for jersey, that’s important.” The Reds, coming off a scrappy 11-11 draw with the Western Force, are facing the Sharks for the first time since their loss to the South Africans in last year’s semifinals. They will be without skipper and lock James Horwill, who was ruled out late Thursday to continue his recovery from a head knock. Reds coach Ewen McKenzie said the Reds faced a challenging period in which they will play three consecutive matches against South African teams, following the match against the Sharks with games against the Cheetahs and Stormers in South Africa. —AP


Sports FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Spanish League Preview

Photo of the day

Barca have La Liga crown in sight MADRID: Real Madrid have stubbornly refused to capitulate in recent weeks but La Liga leaders Barcelona finally have their fate in their own hands and can secure a 22nd La Liga crown with victory at Atletico Madrid (1700 GMT) on Sunday. Barca need two points from their remaining four matches to wrest the title back from their arch rivals, who have played a game more and need to win at Espanyol on Saturday (2000) to keep the title race alive. It would be the Catalan club’s fourth domestic league title in five years, an achievement that comes close to matching the “Dream Team’s” four consecutive triumphs in the 1990s, and their first under new coach Tito Vilanova, who took over from Pep Guardiola at the end of last season. Atletico have already made sure of third place and a berth in the Champions League group stage. They will also be looking ahead to their King’s Cup final clash against Real in just over a week’s time but coach Diego Simeone said he and his players would not be distracted by the chance to ensure their city neighbours end the season without major silverware. “We cannot allow ourselves to be lose sight of the next game because we’ve never approached things differently, we need to focus on Barcelona,” Simeone told a news conference On Wednesday. “We know it will be a difficult game on Sunday but the fans can get together and celebrate making it into the Champions League,” added the Argentine, who has transformed the team since taking over midway through last season. “It will be a challenge and we’ll see tomorrow how the lads are feeling ahead of the game.” Real’s 6-2 win at home to Malaga on Wednesday trimmed the gap to Barca to eight points and although a win at Espanyol would cut the deficit to five, a Barca victory at the Calderon would give them an unassailable lead as Real will only have two games left and six points available. Atletico’s 3-1 win at Celta Vigo on Wednesday put them 14 points clear of fourth-placed Real Sociedad, who are well placed to secure a place in Champions League qualifying ahead of their game at home to Granada on Monday. Another league title for Barca would help ease the pain of this month’s reverse to Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals, when they crashed to a 7-0 aggregate defeat, their worst result in European competition. —Reuters

Mineiro crush Sao Paulo 6-2 BUENOS AIRES: Ronaldinho set the tone and Jo scored the goals as Atletico Mineiro lived up to their billing as Libertadores Cup favorites with a crushing 6-2 aggregate win over fellow Brazilians Sao Paulo on Wednesday. Atletico won 4-1 on the night to advance to a quarter-finals along with Brazilian champions Fluminense, who won 2-0 to edge their duel with Ecuador’s Emelec 3-2. An exciting last-16, second leg contest in Belo Horizonte was decided by Atletico’s brilliant finishing with Jo bagging a hat-trick and Diego Tardelli also scoring. Atletico, looking for their first Libertadores Cup triumph, will meet either fellow Brazilians Palmeiras or Mexico’s Tijuana in the last eight. It was Sao Paulo’s worst defeat in South America’s elite club competition, which they have won three times. “It was a team effort because from the first minute we showed that at the Independencia we are strong,” said Jo, who opened the scoring in the 18th minute with a low shot from the edge of the box. “Once again we managed to win with these marvellous fans, it’s not any team that puts four past Sao Paulo,” the former Everton and Manchester City striker told reporters. Jo’s second came in the 63rd minute when he beat the offside trap to take Donizete’s headed pass and steer the ball between goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni’s legs. Atletico scored again almost from the restart with Tardelli chasing a poor headed back pass from Rafael Toloi meant for Ceni and lobbing the goalkeeper. Ronaldinho laid on Jo’s hattrick in the 69th when he pulled the ball back close to the goalline for the striker to steer it home. —Reuters

David Lama climbs a mountain at Chamonix. www.redbullcontentpool.com

Moyes in United hotseat LONDON: David Moyes faces the daunting task of following in the footsteps of Alex Ferguson after being officially confirmed as the manager of Manchester United on a six-year contract yesterday. Ferguson’s shock retirement announcement the day before left United looking for a new manager for the first time since the legendary Scot succeeded Ron Atkinson in November 1986, but the Premier League champions moved quickly to appoint Moyes. The 50-year-old, who has been at Everton since 2002, will take over from Ferguson on July 1. Ferguson, who has won 38 trophies during a recordbreaking 26-year spell at Old Trafford, revealed that he had personally recommended his fellow Glaswegian as his successor. “When we discussed the candidates that we felt had the right attributes, we unanimously agreed on David Moyes,” said Ferguson in a statement. “David is a man of great integrity with a strong work ethic. I’ve admired his work for a long time and approached him as far back as 1998 to discuss the position of assistant manager here. “He was a young man then at the start of his career and has since gone on to do a magnificent job at Everton. There is no question he has all the qualities we expect of a manager at this club.” Moyes has only presided over two matches in the Champions League and has failed to win a trophy in his 11-year tenure at Goodison Park, but he is widely admired for having led Everton to six consecutive top-eight finishes in the Premier League despite operating on a shoestring budget. “It’s a great honour to be asked to be the next manager of Manchester United,” he said in a statement released by his new employers. “I am delighted that Sir Alex saw fit to recommend me for the job. I have great respect for everything he has done for the football club. “I know how hard it will be to follow the best manager ever, but the opportunity to manage Manchester United isn’t something that comes around very often and I’m really looking forward to

taking up the post next season.” United director Bobby Charlton, captain of the club’s 1968 European Cup-winning team, hailed Moyes as “a genuine Manchester United man”. “In David Moyes, we have someone who understands the things that make this such a special club,” he added. “We have secured a man who is committed to the long-term and will build teams for the future as well as now.” Earlier, Everton confirmed that Moyes would leave the club at the end of the season, after he quickly emerged as the frontrunner to succeed Ferguson. “The manager met chairman Bill Kenwright early yesterday evening (Wednesday) and confirmed his desire to join Manchester United,” read an Everton statement. “The chairman, on behalf of the club, would like to place on record his thanks to David for the massive contribution he has made to Everton since his arrival in March 2002. He has been an outstanding manager.” Kenwright has confirmed that Moyes will take charge of Everton’s two remaining matches of the Premier League season, at home to West Ham United on Sunday and away to Chelsea on May 19. Moyes thanked his former club, saying: “I have had a terrific job at Everton, with a tremendous chairman and board of directors and a great set of players. Between now and the end of the season, I will do everything in my power to make sure we finish as high as possible in the table.” Moyes will lead United for the first time on their pre-season tour of Thailand, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong in July, with his first official game set to be the Community Shield against the FA Cup winners at Wembley Stadium on August 11. United co-chairman Avram Glazer, son of American owner Malcolm Glazer, said incoming chief executive Ed Woodward would meet with Moyes as quickly as possible to draw up a blueprint for his time at the club. “Alex was very clear with his recommendation and we are delighted that David has agreed to accept the job,” Glazer said. —AFP


Sports FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Italian League PREVIEW

Uncertainty clouds Napoli’s celebrations ITALY: Napoli’s joy at qualifying for next season’s Champions League has been clouded by uncertainty over whether they can keep the team together for next season. The futures of coach Walter Mazzarri, who has transformed the team since replacing Roberto Donadoni in October 2009, and Serie A leading scorer Edinson Cavani will both be in the balance once the season ends. “It’s difficult to think of a Napoli without Cavani and Mazzarri; we would lose a player who has scored more than 100 goals and a coach who has turned us into challengers for the Scudetto,” said forward Marek Hamsik. “I hope Mazzarri and Cavani don’t go, so that we can make this Napoli great,” the Slovakian told reporters after Wednesday’s 3-0 win at Bologna assured Napoli of a secondplace finish behind champions Juventus. “In the last three years, we have obtained great results and we want to continue like that.” Mazzarri, whose side host Siena on Sunday (1300 GMT), declined to contemplate the future. “I want to get as many points as possible and then I will talk to myself and decide what to do,” he said. “I want us to play well and win against Siena and AS

Napoli’s football club head coach Walter Mazzarri Roma and give a chance to those who haven’t played so often and have deserved more.” There can be no doubting the influence of Mazzarri, who enjoyed two good seasons at Sampdoria before moving south nearly four years ago. He led Napoli to sixth place in his first season in charge, followed by a third place the next season which earned them their Champions League debut. That itself proved impressive as they reached the last 16 at the expense of bigspending Manchester City. Uruguay forward Cavani joined the squad at the start of the 2010/11 season and has scored 102 goals in 136 appearances in all competitions since then. He has a 63-million-euro

($82.79-million) buyout clause in his contract and there is speculation that Manchester City and Real Madrid are among the clubs prepared to cough up. Keeping the team together is a constant struggle for Napoli who lost forward Ezequiel Lavezzi before the start of the season when he joined Paris St Germain. Only the top two teams in Serie A qualify for the Champions League group stage with the third-placed side having to go into the final qualifying round. AC Milan will clinch third spot if they beat AS Roma at home on Sunday (2045) or if Fiorentina, four points behind in fourth, lose at home to relegation-threatened Palermo (1300). With two games each to play, Palermo, 18th in the 20-team table with 32 points, will be relegated if they lose that match, or if both Genoa and Torino, the only teams they can catch, win. Genoa, who are 17th and host Inter Milan, have 36 points and Torino, who visit Chievo (both 1300), are one place and one point above them. Siena, who are 19th with 30 points, are virtually certain to follow Pescara into Serie B next season. —Reuters

German League PREVIEW

4 clubs still sweating on Bundesliga survival BERLIN: Four sides are fighting for survival in the Bundesliga’s penultimate round of games tomorrow, with European qualification places also at stake. Augsburg, in the relegation play-off place, faces the daunting challenge of a visit to Bayern Munich, which will want to celebrate receiving the championship trophy with its 28th win. Fortuna Duesseldorf is level on points with Augsburg and hopes to end its 10-game run without a victory against visiting Nuremberg, which has nothing but pride at stake. Werder Bremen, three points ahead, faces a tough game at home against Eintracht Frankfurt, which can secure Europa League football for next season with a win. Hoffenheim, second from bottom and two points adrift with the worst goal difference among the four, also hosts a side with European ambitions, Hamburger SV. Despite a frustrating season, Hamburg is just three points off Freiburg in sixth. Freiburg has a much better goal difference, however, and would almost certainly claim the last Europa League place with a win at already-relegated Greuther Fuerth. It’s Fuerth’s last chance to avoid being the only side never to have won a home game in 50 years of the Bundesliga. Fuerth captain Mergim Mavraj said the players want “to bring things to a decent end and give the fans the three points that mean so much to them. A matter of honor.” All games are to be played simultaneously, with second-place Borussia Dortmund visiting

Wolfsburg, third-place Bayer Leverkusen hosting Hannover, Schalke defending fourth place and the last Champions League spot at home against Stuttgart, and Mainz hosting Borussia Moenchengladbach, which maintains a very slim chance of European football next season. Bayern wrapped up the title in record time, with six games to spare, and had won every league game this year until last weekend’s ill-tempered 1-1 draw at Borussia Dortmund. The sides will meet again on May 25 for the Champions League final in Wembley, London. It was only the fifth time Bayern had dropped points this season, and put an end to the champion’s record 14game winning streak. Augsburg is aiming to be just the second side - after Bayer Leverkusen last October - to inflict defeat on its Bavarian rival in the league. “The pressure couldn’t be greater,” said Augsburg captain Paul Verhaegh. “But we’re used to that for the last few months. Why can’t we spring a surprise?” Bayern defender Rafinha is banned for the rest of the season following his red card and subsequent cheek-poke at Dortmund’s Jakub Blaszczykowski. Fellow defender Jerome Boateng is also out after accumulating five yellow cards, as is Augsburg midfielder Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker. Duesseldorf’s poor recent form is shared by Nuremberg, which has lost its last four games in succession. Bremen’s form is even worse that Duesseldorf’s. —AP

Shaun Maloney

History favors City in FA Cup final LONDON: Wigan Athletic will have to defy recent history as well as shrugging off the specter of relegation if they are to cause one of the biggest FA Cup final upsets for years and beat Manchester City tomorrow. City, FA Cup winners in 2011 and Premier League champions last season, start as the overwhelming favourites for the match at Wembley (1615 GMT kickoff) but Wigan have shown at times this season, especially in their 3-0 FA Cup quarter-final win over Everton, they can spring a surprise. However, not only are Manchester City better in every position than Wigan, they have won the last seven matches between the sides without conceding a goal, outscoring Roberto Martinez’s men 13-0 since March 2010. The last time Wigan beat City was nearly five years ago when goals from Antonio Valencia and an Amr Zaki penalty gave them a 2-1 league win in September 2008. A few weeks later the billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi bought City and nothing much has been the same since he began ploughing his wealth into the former serial under-achievers. While Wigan, third from bottom in the league, go into their first FA Cup final with two matches left to save themselves from relegation to the Championship, Manchester City head to Wembley Stadium with nothing to fear. Having relinquished their title to Manchester United two weeks ago, they ensured they will qualify for the Champions League next season by beating West Bromwich Albion 1-0 on Tuesday. It seems all that can stop them from adding more silverware to their recently acquired collection is a return to the listlessness that damaged their title defence or a sudden collective loss of form. After the two sides won their semi-finals last month, City struggled to beat Wigan in the Premier League at the Etihad Stadium on April 17 until an excellent late winner from Carlos Tevez. However, since then Wigan have been hit by injuries. Those, plus some poor defending in a 3-2 defeat to Swansea City on Tuesday, do not augur well for their chances in the final. Wigan will be without the authoritative Maynor Figueroa in midfield while centre back Ivan Ramis is still out with a knee injury. Antolin Alcaraz is a doubt after missing the midweek match and Ronnie Stam suffered a suspected broken leg against Swansea. Martinez though, aiming to become the first Spanish coach to win the FA Cup since Rafa Benitez in 2006 with Liverpool, believes his team can save their season. Talking about Wigan’s chances of Premier League survival, he said: “We will never give up and we will never throw the towel in. We have a lot of injuries at the back and it showed.” —Reuters


FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Barca have La Liga crown in sight Page 46

www.kuwaittimes.net

Serena and Sharapova ease into quarters

PAGE 45

MADRID: Serena Williams from US during the match against Maria Kirilenko from Russia at the Madrid Open tennis tournament in Madrid yesterday. — AP


10 May 2013  

Friday Times

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