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SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013


150 Fils

Traffic issues 28 tickets, seizes 23 roaming taxis

RAJAB 8, 1434 AH


No: 15812


US: Russia sends Syria advanced anti-ship missiles

Atletico stun Real to win their 10th King’s Cup

Bombings at mosque, funeral kill 51 in Iraq Bloodbath raises specter of tit-for-tat killings

WASHINGTON: Prisoners’ photos are seen during a protest outside of the White House yesterday in Washington on the 100th day of a hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay to protest the military prison where the United States has been holding suspects captured in the so-called war on terrorism. —AFP

Cannes Fest rocked as Chopard jewels stolen CANNES: Jewelry worth more than $1 million due to be loaned to stars at the Cannes Film Festival was stolen from a local hotel in a predawn heist yesterday but the coveted Palme d’Or trophy was safe, officials said. In a scenario itself worthy of a movie, thieves entered the hotel room of an American woman employee of Swiss bijoutier Chopard and ripped out the strongbox in the wardrobe, according to police reports. They then made off with the safe and the jewels inside. The robbery took place before 5:00 am (0300 GMT) at the Novotel hotel, which is located about 15 minutes from the festival venue, they said. Police are looking at footage from the city’s security cameras to hunt for clues, they added. Chopard is one of the official sponsors of the festival, and one of its stores, complete with its own red carpet, lies on the palm-fringed beachfront, just opposite

CANNES: An anti-riot police officer patrols outside a Chopard store in downtown Cannes yesterday. — AFP the venue. The jeweler redesigned the Palme d’Or trophy and each year lends out jewelry to stars for their walk up the red-carpeted steps at the Palais des Festivals. The photo-calls are hugely valuable to makers of gowns and jewelry, providing media exposure around the world. — AFP

Max 36º Min 24º

BAQUBA: Two bombs near a Sunni mosque and another targeting a Sunni funeral procession killed 51 people in Iraq yesterday, officials said, after two days of attacks against Shiites that killed dozens. The surge in violence raises the specter of tit-for-tat killings common during the height of sectarian bloodletting in Iraq that killed tens of thousands of people, and comes at a time of simmering tension between the country’s Sunni minority and Shiite majority. One bomb exploded as worshippers were departing the Saria mosque in the city of Baquba, north of Baghdad, while a second detonated after people gathered at the scene of the first blast, killing a total of 51 people and wounding 57, police and a doctor said. “Authorities should stop these daily explosions and car bombs against innocent people,” Abbas al-Zaidi, 47, said near the scene of the blasts. Omar Mohammed, 35, said the government itself was behind the violence. “It is the politicians and the government who target us with roadside bombs and car bombs, not armed groups,” he said. Security forces cordoned off the scene of the explosions and the main hospital in Baquba, an AFP journalist said. A string of ambulances carried victims from the scene of the blasts to the hospital, and police and soldiers also helped transport the wounded and dead. In Madain, south of Baghdad, a roadside bomb exploded near a funeral procession for a Sunni man, killing eight people and wounding at least 25 others, security and medical officials said. And in the northern city of Kirkuk, gunmen killed a government employee and one of his relatives, police and a doctor said. Security forces and other government employees are often targeted by militant groups in Iraq. Continued on Page 8

Hackers sabotage Saudi govt websites RIYADH: Several government websites in Saudi Arabia were sabotaged in a series of heavy cyber attacks from abroad in recent days, disabling them briefly until the attacks were repelled, the government said. An investigation traced the “coordinated and simultaneous attacks” to hundreds of Internet protocol addresses in a number of countries, an unnamed source at the Saudi Interior Ministry told state news agency SPA. The interior ministry website crashed on Wednesday after it received a “huge amount” of service requests, but was back online less than two hours later after the “necessary technical drills” were performed to counter the attack, the source said. The report made no mention of a possible motive. Businesses, government agencies and critical infrastructure operators face unprece-

dented challenges from increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks launched by criminals, hacker activists and foreign governments. An attack last year on national oil company Saudi Aramco - the world’s biggest oil company - damaged some 30,000 computers and was one of the most destructive cyber strikes conducted against a single business. That attack used a computer virus known as Shamoon. A group that claimed responsibility said Saudi Aramco was the main source of income for the Saudi government, which it blamed for “crimes and atrocities” in several countries including Syria and Bahrain. Yesterday, the website and Twitter feed of the Financial Times newspaper were hacked, apparently by the “Syrian Electronic Army”, a group of online activists who say they supported Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. — Reuters


Quality care at the heart of Dar Al-Shifa’s philosophy Leading hospital hosts nutrition workshop By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Nutrition and dietary requirements for the critically ill were the pivotal topics discussed at a two-day seminar organized by Dar Al-Shifa Hospital. The Dietary Department at the Dar Al-Shifa Hospital (DASH) held a two-day workshop on Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition Therapy for critically ill patients on May 15 and 16. The workshop was held in keeping with the organization’s philosophy of always practicing quality care. A strong commitment to a holistic understanding of healthcare integrates naturally in overall activities at the institution. “Today’s conference workshop brings together experienced professionals from multidisciplinary fields involved in nutritional management of patients. We do strongly hope that we can use this conference to

Mirey Karavetian

‘Event aims to extend our knowledge in nutrition related practices, access best practice and scientific opinion and information, and aims to develop the best strategies for combating identified challenges while caring for a patient as a physician, a nurse, a pharmacist, a dietician or even as a healthcare student.’ We would like to extend our gratitude to ABBOTT Company, being always keen in sponsoring such educational events.” She further thanked DASH’s Higher Committee members for their continuous support. She extended a warm gratitude to the committee represented by Bader Jareq, the hospital’s CEO Ahmad Nasrallah, for his guidance and mentoring, to the Medical Director Yousif Al-Zaffiri, to CME Coordinator Dr Mohammad Ismail and to all the departments that supported the initiative. The Head of Dietary Department, Nadeene Al-Jawhary has been managing devotedly the hospital’s dietetic program for past

seven years. She is the engine behind the vision and the great effort exerted to organize this workshop. Mirey Karavetian was the main lecturer at the workshop which had the objective to bring together experienced professionals from multidisciplinary fields involved in nutritional management of the critically ill patients in order to identify the best practices in these specialties and accordingly improve or standardize clinical practices. The event was designed for healthcare providers working with enteral, parenteral nutrition administration from the following disciplines: Dietitians, nurses, physicians, pharmacists, senior nutrition students and researchers. After the completion of the workshop all participants will be able to conduct all of the following regarding enteral and parenteral nutrition: First, they will be able to understand when to choose artificial nutrition and which type, and its implication for nutritional status. Secondly, they will be able to conduct adequate nutritional assessment according to the most recent guidelines. Thirdly, they would proficiently plan and calculate all nutritional requirements/restrictions for the critically ill. Fourthly, they will be able to choose and administer the optimal formula and method for each patient and manage any complications. Karavetian earned her degree in dietetics from American University of Beirut. She has extensive experience in the advanced clinical nutrition practice in critical care units in hospitals in Lebanon, teaching Clinical Nutrition and Health Quality in Lebanese Universities, community nutrition in the school nutrition field and health quality management. She is currently a lecturer in Zayed University UAE and is perusing her PhD in “Health Promotion” in Maastricht University, Netherlands. Her thesis aims to advocate ‘the role of a specialized dietitian in the Hemodialysis unit with cost effectiveness analysis: Tackling both the healthcare budget and patient outcomes’ in Lebanon. She has shared her experience at national and international conferences. Biography of organizer This workshop was organized by the Dietary Department of Dar Al-Shifa Hospital in line with celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment. The organizer, Nadeene Al-Jawhary Mohtar, head of Dietary Department, earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Dietetics from the American University of Beirut. She has more than 11 years of experience in nutrition and dietetics out of which seven years were hospital-based. She is managing the hospital’s clinical dietetic and community programs. She initiated school educational programs on the basics of healthy eating, dieting for teens and others. She also started a TV program for weight management.

Nadeene Al-Jawhary (left) and Tina Baramekian examine the issues before us and pursue our ultimate shared aim of providing EBP nutritional care to our patients for optimal outcome,” said Tina Baramekian, Patient Care Administrator during the opening ceremony. “We could use this conference to extend our knowledge in nutrition related practices, access best practice and scientific opinion and information, and aim to develop the best strategies for combating identified challenges while caring for a patient as a physician, a nurse, a pharmacist, a dietician or even as a healthcare student,” she added. The need of training and education is acknowledged and highly appreciated by DASH. According to Baramekian the CME accredited workshop is in line with other remarkable events in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the hospital’s establishment. In this relation she explained that, DASH Dietetic Program will be soon announcing details of a scientific conference to be held in October this year. She went on to say, “DASH management extends its deepest gratitude to the heads of Dietetic Program/department in Ministry of Health and Kuwait University, particularly to Dr Nawal AlHamad, Dr Fatma Habib, Dr Dalal Al-Qazzem, for their support and enthusiasm in deciding the topic and consistent encouragement.

Participants seen at the Dietary Department at the Dar Al-Shifa Hospital (DASH) where a two-day workshop on Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition Therapy for critically ill patients was held. — Photos by Joseph Shagra


SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

Signing of Dow deal was an unforgivable mistake Heads roll at oil establishment over Dow penalty KUWAIT: Chairman of the Board of Al-Shall Consultations Company Jassim Al-Saadoun commented on the changes that took place in Kuwait Petroleum Corporation’s Board of Directors by saying “I cannot comment now, because that may be the result of doubts in the involvement of some persons in the Dow issue, as well as the penalty clause that public funds had to bear which may lead to a reshuffle and new policy”. He said the coming days may witness things with which the reasons behind the changes may become clearer. About the Dow deal he said “if we knew the size of information that are being disclosed now, before the deal was signed in December 2008, our decision would have been not to sign the deal. He said the signing of the deal under an international economic crises was an unforgivable mistake, in addition to what became clear that there is no economic return from the deal, such as job opportunities, training of Kuwaitis and bringing in modern technology. He said that what is being talked about now is “how much would we have gained if we went ahead with that deal”, is a wrong evaluation method. He said although there is an opinion within KPC that openly rejects the deal, and that “Dow Chemical is the beneficiary, as shown by the report on the London meeting that was attended by five members from KPC, in addition to six from Kuwait Investment Office in London, in addition to the advisors of KPC portfolio including Morgan Stanley advisors, the report was changed to be in favor of the deal. Al-Saadoun said, the Dow deal was a failed one, while a penalty clause of more than one third of its value represents a crime by itself. Earlier on Thursday, the council of ministers suspended an unspecified number of senior officials at state-owned Petrochemicals Industries Co. (PIC) and also replaced the chief executive officer of Kuwait Petroleum Corp. (KPC) over the payment of the $2.2 billion penalty to US Dow Chemical. The measures were announced following two high-level emergency meetings by the Supreme Petroleum Council and the Cabinet, both of which are headed by the prime minister, to study the implications of the penalty payment which has already resulted in a political standoff with the national assembly. The meetings were held on Thursday. The Cabinet also asked the Fatwa and Legislative Department, the government’s legal authority, to take the whole issue to the public prosecution to launch a full judicial investigation into the deal with Dow and its cancellation and the payment of fine. A statement issued by the Cabinet said the suspension of PIC leading official comes to ensure a fair inquiry and investigation into the issue. Last year, the International Chamber of Commerce ordered Kuwait to pay $2.2 billion in compensation to Dow Chemical after the government scrapped a joint multi-billion-dollar deal with the US giant firm. The Cabinet also decided to appoint Nezar Al-Adasani as the deputy chairman and chief executive officer of KPC, the country’s most important oil position after the oil minister. The sudden payment of the fine last week shocked the country and three MPs on Sunday filed a request to grill Oil Minister Hani Hussein over the payment which triggered a political standoff between the government and the National Assembly. The government has boycotted this week’s parliament sessions in what was seen as a protest against the grillings. Speaker Ali Al-Rashed yesterday informed a number of MPs about the details of his meeting the day before with Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah. Rashed reiterated after the meeting with MPs that the government has not demanded that the two grilling be pulled out or postponed for more than two weeks. He also said that the government is highly expected to attend the next assembly session on May 28 amid reports the two ministers may ask for a further two-week delay to the debate of the grilling. Several MPs insisted that the grilling will not be withdrawn and that its debate was necessary, blaming the government for boycotting the assembly sessions.


SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

KUWAIT: Traffic Department carried out several traffic campaigns in Ahmadi governorates on Thursday.

Traffic issues 28 tickets, impounds 23 taxis Fire department holds exercise at Shuwaikh By Hanan Al-Sa’doun KUWAIT: Traffic Department sector carried out several traffic campaigns in Ahmadi governorates on Thursday under the supervision of Assistant undersecretary for traffic affairs Maj General Abdelfattah Al-Ali. The campaign began in Makkah Street resulting in issuing 28 tickets, and impounding 23 roaming taxis. In Aqaila the violations including the breaking of red traffic lights, and 14 cars were impounded. Another campaign was launched in Wafra, using radars, where 245 direct citations were issued, in addition to impounding of 18 vehicles, and 4 persons were sent to traffic detention area, and three others were sent to Wafra police station as their Iqama were expired. Fire dept holds drill Asima fire department, under the instructions of Deputy Director for Fighting and Human Resources Brig. Khalid Al-Mikrad, carried out an exercise for Industrial Shuwaikh fire center. The exercise was about a fire in the first floor of the chest hospital. The team arrived at the scene in record

time, evacuated the area, and two injured persons were handed to medical emergencies, who participated in the exercise, then the fire was brought under control. 1.73 ton of fish destroyed Kuwait Municipality’s assistant manager for Farwaniya and Ahmadi municipality affairs, Faisal Sadeq Al-Jum’a, announced that Farwaniya food and market inspectors seized 1.73 ton of foul fish and shrimps in Ardhiya Industrial area. Al-Jum’a explained that the confiscated fishery products were destroyed, including 1,130 kilos of expired frozen shrimp, 200 kilos of expired frozen Nuwaibi fish in addition to 400 kilos of extremely foul smelling fish. Drug suspect arrested Two Arab expatriates were recently arrested for being in possession of 20,000 Tramadol tablets, security sources said. Case papers indicated that narcotic detectives were tipped off about one of the suspects selling drugs. A raid at the suspect’s residence led to the recovery of 100 pills. He led the police to a compatriot of his who was his supplier. A raid on the supplier’s house resulted in the police find-

ing 19,900 more pills. A case was filed and both suspects were referred to the relevant authorities. Argument over ranch Two citizens indulged in a verbal argument in the presence of Kabed police station officers over the ownership of a ranch, security sources said. Case papers indicated that a 50-yearold citizen accused another Kuwaiti of impersonating as a police detective and breaking into his ranch, tying up the Asian guard and making an inventory of whatever was there. He also accused him of stealing some objects. However, when the suspect was summoned, he claimed the ranch belonged to his father and a case was already being heard in court about the ownership. Shoplifters arrested A woman citizen in her twenties was arrested along with another for shoplifting at a famous department store, security sources said. The store’s surveillance cameras caught the two girls on tape while shoplifting goods worth KD 22. A case was filed and further investigations were still in progress.


in brief

Drunk American fires at jet ski riders KUWAIT: An American expat fired his weapon towards jet ski riders near Jlaiah beach. Policemen found him drunk and took him to Mina Abdallah police station. A security source said that a man on the beach told them he was surprised by a man firing his air weapon towards several persons riding a jet skis near the beach. Policemen rushed to the scene and arrested the man who was found to be an American who recently came to the country on a visit visa and found him drunk. Chase on 5th Ring Road A man deliberately collided with a citizen’s car as she rejected his advances while chasing her on the 5th Ring Road, before escaping and making an obscene gesture to her. A security source said the woman told police that she tried to avoid the harassment of the man who chased her for a long time on 5th Ring Road, and then when he gave up on her responding to him, she was surprised by him colliding with his car before escaping while making an obscene gesture. Police are investigating. Civil marriage offer rejected Salmiya police arrested a citizen on charges of urging a Kuwaiti woman to commit adultery. A security source said that the woman who works with the suspect in the same department rejected his offer for a civil marriage. She went to the police station and filed charges. Employee insulted An employee at the Ministry of Social Affairs was insulted for insisting on applying the law by a citizen who did not like her rejection to process a transaction. A security source said the citizen was trying to process a transaction so the employee asked him to bring some missing papers. The man became angry and started shouting insults at her. The woman went to Sharq police station and filed charges. Robbery at gas station Jahra policemen arrested a bedoon in his twenties as they stormed his home to question him over an armed robbery at a gas station. A security source said the bedoon (23 yrs) committed the theft at Sulaibiya gas station and took money at gun point before escaping. Police identified him after reviewing tapes. He is being questioned.

Asima fire department carries out an exercise for Industrial Shuwaikh fire center. — Photos by Hanan Al-Saídoun

Citizen duped Charges were filed against a bedoon who told a citizen that he was able to process some transactions through his friends from various departments in exchange of KD 750. When the bedoon received KD 750, he disappeared. But when the man did not show up for a long time, the victim resorted to police.


SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

Arab press award enhances journalists’ morale: Behbahani KUWAIT: Arab Journalism Award (AJA) is necessary for encouraging Arab journalists and media personnel and boosting this sector in the Arab world, affirmed the Chairman of Kuwait Journalists Association yesterday. Ahmad Behbahani, also Chairman of the Federation of Arab Journalists, told KUNA after attending the 12th chapter of the award in UAE, said it was granted for various categories such as excellence in written and electronic journalism and the year media personality. The award, one of the most important media prizes in Arab countries,

was launched in Dubai in 1999 as a result of an initiative by UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Dubai Ruler, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashed Al-Maktoum. Behbahani is a board member of the annual award. For his part, Adnan Al-Rashed, member of the general secretariat of the Gulf Press Association, deputy chief editor of the Kuwaiti daily newspaper, Al-Anbaa, said more than 4,000 Arab journalists had submitted applications for contending for the award this year. Twenty-percent of the contesters were young, 10 percent took part for

humanitarian press works and 40 percent were women, Al-Rashed said, affirming that continuation of the award signaled Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed’s keenness on encouraging talented young writers and media personnel. The 12th edition of the Arab Journalism Award (AJA) was held on the closing day of the two-day Arab Media Forum in Dubai. Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashed Al Maktoum honored the winners, and a special award was given to Khalfan Mohamed Al Roumi, chairman of the AJA board, for his efforts and contributions to pro-

pel the award to prominence. The media personality of the year 2013 award went to Hamdi Qandeel, an Egyptian author, lecturer, diplomat and political activist who has dedicated his career to Arab media and defending Arab causes. Best columnist award went to Hazem Sagheya of Lebanon, while the investigative reporting award went to Abdul Wahab Aleiwa of Al-Wafd. Other categories were economic journalism, political journalism, press interviews, humanitarian journalism, sport Journalism, best picture and outstanding cartoon. —KUNA


in brief

Swine flu in Kuwait KUWAIT: The Director of the Infections Diseases Hospital Dr. Jamal Al-Duaij said the hospital received a case of swine flu, that was referred from a private hospital. He said that a lab test was conducted to ensure the flu strain was not a “Corona” kind.

JAKARTA: Kuwaiti Ambassador to Indonesia Nasser Barih Al-Enizi seen with top Indonesian oil industry officials. — KUNA Kuwait participates on regulating E-trade UNITED NATIONS: Kuwaiti officials have taken part in meetings of a special committee of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNICTRAL) examining a host of issues and rules regulating electronic commerce at the international level. The head of the Kuwaiti delegation, Chancellor Hind Bou-Ekri, said the meeting of UNICTRAL’s Working Group IV addressed a document, presented by the Secretariat including regulations that govern files’ transfer. The Kuwaiti team has taken part in the meeting in the observer capacity. The Gulf State is scheduled to assume full membership in Group IV in July. Bou-Ekri said the Kuwaiti participation in the meeting of the special commission “emanated from keenness on staying abreast of latest developments related to the electronic commerce” at the international level. The meeting, due on May 13-17, was held in response to an invitation by the chairperson of the special commission. Meanwhile, the delegation took part in a ceremony held by the Kuwaiti Permanent Delegate at the UN, Ambassador Mansour Ayyad AlOtaibi, on Tuesday, marking the 50th anniversary of Kuwait’s joining the UN. — KUNA Family support fund KUWAIT: High ranking sources said a government meeting was held Tuesday evening that included representatives from finance ministry, central bank and local banks along with some financing companies and officials from the delinquents funds to implement the family support fund which is designated to solve the citizens loans. The sources said the meeting finalized the mechanisms to implement the executive rules and prevent any clash during the execution according to central bank instructions to local bank. The sources said the meeting discussed several views in regards to banking aspects. The sources said Kuwait Central Bank said during the meeting that banks are ready to implement the rules after examining more than 50% of the consumer loans funds which was previously installed according to central bank instruction.

Kuwait partakes in oil conference in Indonesia JAKARTA: Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) is participating in the Indonesian Petroleum Association’s (IPA) 37th convention and exhibition which aims at increasing oil and gas investments in the country and the Asia-Pacific region. The three-day event, themed “Promoting Investment in a Challenging Environment”, was opened by Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and was held at the Jakarta Convention Center. Kuwaiti Ambassador to Indonesia Nasser Barih Al-Enizi said, via a telephone, that KUFPEC is exerting tremendous efforts in developing bilateral ties in the fields of oil and gas with the Southeast Asian country. Al-Enizi, who attended the event’s opening, asserted the solid Kuwaiti-Indonesian relations in all

domains especially in the oil industry. He wished to widen investments of both countries in this particular field. The Kuwaiti envoy met, on the fringes of the event’s exhibition, many Indonesian figures interested in the oil industries. Views have been exchanged and oil collaborations have been, also, discussed. The Indonesian Petroleum and Association Convention and Exhibition is expected to facilitate dialogue among stakeholders to find solutions to the existing problems in the oil and gas industry. The event is also expected to show the potentials of the oil and gas sector in the long term for Indonesia and other countries in the AsiaPacific region. Meanwhile, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) said yesterday that the price of Kuwait’s crude oil rose by USD 0.88 in Thursday’s trading to settle at USD

99.68 per barrel (pb) compared with USD 99.80 a day earlier. On the international markets, however, oil prices continued their downward trend due to the rise of the US dollar exchange rate against other major currencies on the back of the US Federal Reserve’s hints about mulling an exit to its quantitative easing (QE) stimulus policy, the KPC said. It added that the international crude price plunge was also triggered by weak manufacturing data from the United States and China in April, the highest in eight months, which prompted fears of a fresh downturn in the global economy as well as weak performance of the Eurozone economies in the first quarter of 2013. Moreover, the US fuel consumption dwindled last week by 584,000 barrels per day to stand at 18.5 million barrels per day, its lowest since March. — KUNA

MoH refutes reports on validity of medicines KUWAIT: The Health Ministry on Thursday refuted news report circulated by a number of media outlets recently on the validity of the use of the drug for three months beyond the expiration date written on the packet. Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for medicines and medical equipment, Dr Omar

Sayed Omar said that the importance of abiding by the medicine validity dates as written on the packet, indicating that the statement, which was attributed to one pharmacist and published in the media was “completely baseless”. Omar urged all to save the medicines the right way as written on the

packet to avoid ineffectiveness of the medication and to get rid of the drug at the end of the period of validity. He said that the international drug agencies did not issue any formal proof of the validity of the use of medicine after the expiration date stated on the packaging of the drug. — KUNA


SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

Logistics in MENA undergoes a transformation as demand grows Interview with Nour Suliman - CEO of DHL Express MENA Has the Arab Spring forced a rethink of your strategy for the region? Undoubtedly recent political developments across the region have changed the way the game is played in some areas but we continue to evolve our services in such a way that every package and consignment reaches where it has to go by any means. How would you evaluate your business in the region that is undergoing tremors? The MENA region is full of potential and the need for reliable and efficient logistics solutions is always growing. We have been the market leaders in Kuwait and the region as reflected in our studies. We as a company always try to find a solution for every crisis as our bottom line remains our goal — to deliver every package to every customer in the best possible means and time. What part of your know how within DHL’s global network is applicable to Kuwait? The world today is a much smaller place than it was 10 years ago. Every lesson learnt and every breakthrough and advancement we as a company have made is implemented all over the world to advance not just our local offerings but the logistics industry. What is the size of DHL business in Kuwait? And is it growing? We have seen a massive growth in demand for reliable logistics services in the MENA region as the world’s economies globalize and the need for connectedness increases. We have been in the region for a better part of four decades and have always been the market leader with the highest market share. How would you evaluate logistics business in Kuwait? Kuwait has always been a global market with a growing need for quality logistics services. This trend has steadily increased and the outlook looks very promising as reflected in our numbers. We are very optimistic about this market and the development of the industry here. Why Kuwait ranking on your Connectedness Index fell down to 61st out of 140 countries? There are several factors that influence our

Connectedness Index including political stability, market influx, reliability of service, etc. This is how we gauge our markets and continuously update the list to reflect the most recent numbers. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Kuwaiti logistics market? Kuwait has always been an integral connector in the region. Its borders with the Kingdoms of Jordan and Saudi Arabia, as well as Iraq make it a vital stop and location for DHL. The Kuwait International Airport has a very solid infrastructure which supports the massive needs of the industry and it is very friendly to international aircrafts making it an ideal destination. There is always room for improvement and DHL is committed to upgrading and keeping up with the increased demand for reliable logistics services.

What are your predictions for the sector for 2013? We are confident that the region will continue to grow and prosper in 2013 and we as a company have very high expectations for our investments here as we work to improve our services and offerings, increasing our capability for the growing demand.

What is your advice to Kuwait with regards to its plans to become a real hub for logistics in the region? Kuwait’s geographical location and its borders with other key markets in the region make it an ideal location for any global company. It is also a very ‘business-friendly’ market that welcomes international investment and operation. We have been in Kuwait for over 30 years and continue to improve on our services and facilities here as we recognize the potential and look to offer the best possible logistics solutions for our loyal customers here. Has the logistics domain been hurt by the advancement of technology today? Technology is a gift to mankind and a way to make our life easier and our tasks simpler. Similarly, logistics is an industry that makes life easier for our customers. We at DHL embrace technological advancements and utilize its potential to better our services and the lives of our customers and staff. What makes DHL standout in the market you operate vis-a-vis your competitors? DHL is a global company which has been operating all over the world for decades. We have been in the MENA market for close to 40 years. We have always been committed to the market we operate in and pride ourselves on knowing the country and its

sidered supporting youth an essential part of its social and philanthropic outreach which comes in line with the bank`s commitment to encourage a merit-based educational system that promotes the best and the brightest the country has to offer and rewards students for their hard work and excellence.” NBK annually promotes a range of philanthropic missions and social welfare programs as part of the humanitarian dimensions of its corporate social responsibility. KASA helps in advancing the interests of architectural students vocationally, academically, socially and culturally. It aims at presenting a clear view of architects activities through providing lection, seminars, meeting and visiting different projects or participating in exhibitions, circulars, magazines and conventions.

Nour Suliman

Which is the most active country in GCC in Logistics Services? The GCC in itself is a very active area with every country focusing on developing itself in a specialized industry. KSA for example has the need for reliable, safe and convenient logistics for its oil and gas industry, the UAE, focuses on re-export. DHL serves all of the GCC with our main hubs located in Bahrain and Dubai.

Employees of MSAL to hold sit-in on May 26

NBK sponsors KASA KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) sponsors Kuwait Architecture Student Association (KASA) established by the students of the Department of Architecture, College of Architecture, Kuwait University. KASA organizes today (Saturday, May 18) its annual exhibition that showcases the graduating work of the students of the Department of Architecture for the years 2011 -2013. The design of NBK`s new Headquarters Project as well takes part in this exhibition. “NBK’s sponsorship and support to KASA comes in line with the bank’s customary and ongoing spirit of corporate citizenship as well as the vital role it plays in supporting all students, youths and educational initiatives,” said NBK Public Relations Manager, Abdul Mohsen Al Rushaid. Al Rushaid added “NBK has always con-

people. This kind of local insight coupled with our fantastic knowledge and know-how with logistics makes us the best.

Abdul Mohsen Al Rushaid

KUWAIT: Informed sources at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour said employees at the social care sector of all levels will hold a sit-in at the social care sector on May 26, to coincide with the visit of Minister Thekra Al-Rashidi and Undersecretary Abdelmohsen Al-Mutairi at the Social Care Homes to open Farah Center. The sources said the sit-in is in protest of the injustice towards this sector in addition to the way it is dealing with the sector’s employees by ministry officials. The sources said employees will not listen to promises from officials or the union and May 26 will be the start of a new move until justice is served. Meanwhile, informed sources in MSAL said a recommendation was issued to withdraw the evaluation authority from department’s directors in regards to employees’ dues in the outstanding performance lists due to the increased complaints by employees against their directors. They said the recommendations will be implemented starting from next year, as the employee will be evaluated according to his production, activity and plans he presents to his administration.

SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

Hints of political change on Algeria horizon


Pakistan twin bombs kill 13 near mosques


Idaho man charged in Uzbek terrorism plot


JERUSALEM: Palestinians chant slogans during a demonstration to mark the Nakba or the “Day of Catastrophe”, at Al-Aqsa mosque following Friday prayers outside the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem’s Old City yesterday.— AFP

UN, Russia call for urgent Syria meet Russia sends Syria advanced anti-ship missiles: US MOSCOW: UN chief Ban Ki-moon and Russia agreed yesterday that a peace conference on Syria should be held “as soon as possible”, even as Moscow defied growing global pressure over its arms supplies to the Damascus regime. Ban met Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov before starting talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin about an impending international meeting on Syria that should include representatives of the two warring parties for the first time. “There are high expectations and the meeting should be held as soon as possible,” Ban told reporters alongside Lavrov. Russia’s top diplomat added: “The sooner this conference is held, the better.” But Lavrov still cautioned that it was too early to name the date of the Geneva meeting-now expected for the first half of June-because the actual makeup of the Syrian delegations had not yet been set. “We have to come up with a decision about the Syrian delegations and the group of this conference’s participants,” Lavrov said. “Nothing is possible without this.” The new talks are meant to include both

the fiercest rebels and members of the regime-a difficulty considering some opposition members’ refusal to recognize Assad as a negotiating partner. Moscow is also calling for the inclusion on this occasion of its trading partner Iran and US ally Saudi Arabia as a counterweight. Putin later told Ban that he expected the United Nations to play the decisive role in this and all other international disputes. “Today we (Russia), as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, are defending the UN’s central role in international affairs,” Putin told Ban in televised comments in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. The Geneva talks were agreed during a May 7 visit to Moscow by US Secretary of State John Kerry and are seen as a rare joint peace push by the two former Cold War rivals some 26 months into the Syrian war. But US President Barack Obama admits that mistrust lingers between Moscow and Washington and the world community remains particularly concerned by Russia’s arms deliveries to its longstanding ally Assad.

Russia has sent Syria advanced anti-ship missiles, US officials told Reuters yesterday, bolstering Syrian defenses despite pleas from Washington and elsewhere to stop

Ban Ki-moon

supplying President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces. One of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the latest Yakhont surface-to-air missiles were delivered recently. The transfer of the missiles was first reported by the New York Times. There was no immediate comment from the Russian government. The disclosure comes just over a week after US Secretary of State John Kerry suggested that he raised the issue of arms transfers to Syria during talks in Moscow this month. The first US official also confirmed a report that Russia has deployed a dozen or more warships to patrol waters near its naval base in Syria. “This is not necessarily a deterrence approach designed specifically for Syria. It’s probably a broader power projection for the Russian navy,” the official said. The twoyear-old civil war in Syria between Assad’s forces and rebel fighters has killed an estimated 80,000 people and forced more than 1.5 million to flee the fighting. The United States and Russia have agreed to convene a conference to try to stop the war, but no date has been set. — Agencies


SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

Hints of political change on Algeria horizon ALGIERS: The Arab Spring may finally be en route to Algeria. With the president in a French hospital recovering from a stroke, the generation of aging politicians and generals that has run Africa’s largest country for a half-century is reaching its end. Adding to the mix, Algeria’s overwhelmingly young population is increasingly vocal in its demands for jobs and housing that its oil-dependent economy isn’t providing. What comes next is of vital importance to Algeria - and the West. Algeria has the most powerful and best-equipped military in North Africa and the Sahel and is an important bulwark against terrorist groups linked to Al-Qaeda. Any further instability in North Africa, where Tunisia, Libya and Egypt are already struggling, could embolden the armed militants. So far Algeria has been buoyed by high oil prices and, with almost $200 billion in foreign reserves, it has spent lavishly to try to buy off the discontent. But critics maintain that short-term approach does not take into account

the volatile energy market or of Algerians’ deep-seated need for a new political vision. Algeria has been more stable than its neighbors, but that may not last. In a country where the age of the average government official is the 70s, the biggest driver of political change has been the funerals, as one by one the grand figures of Algeria’s revolutionary generation die off. In the past year, the country’s first president, Ahmed Ben Bella; Chadli Benjedid, the third president; and Ali Kafi, an interim leader after the 1992 military coup have all died. During a moment of silence for Kafi at a soccer game last month, the crowd started chanting “Bouteflika next.” President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 76, has been ill since he disappeared into a French hospital in 2005 to treat what was called a bleeding ulcer. US State Department cables at the time said it could possibly be stomach cancer. Yet despite his apparent frailty and his frequent absences from public life,

Bouteflika is widely believed to be aiming for a fourth presidential term in the 2014 election. He has been in Paris since April 27 recovering from a mini-stroke. Chafiq Mesbah, a former member of Algeria’s intelligence service and now a politi-

ALGIERS: Tahar Belabes, one of the few activists in Algeria that has succeeded in mobilizing the youth, during a meeting in Algiers. Belabes denies being a revolutionary “I am a simple activist demanding his rights,” he said,. — AP

cal analyst, said Bouteflika’s ministroke should mean that Algerians in 2014 will finally get to truly elect a leader. He said Bouteflika’s insistence on going for another term and growing reports of corruption in his entourage have aggravated Algeria’s powerful military and intelligence circles. What happens next depends on the shadowy head of the intelligence service, Gen Mohammed “Tewfik” Mediene, the power behind the throne since 1990. “The head of intelligence - he was my boss, so I know him - could take the path of Andropov or Beria,” Mesbah said, referring to Soviet-era KGB heads Lavrentiy Beria, who was notorious for his repressive methods, and Yuri Andropov, who began opening up the superpower in the 1980s. But if the choice is made for rigged elections and more of the same, the results could be dire, Mesbah warned. “If there is not real democratic transition, there will be an uprising ... we will return to the violence of the 1990s,” he said. —AP

10 die as fuel tank from Syria blows up in Turkey Ankara detains prime suspect in car bombings

RAMALLAH: A masked Palestinian throws back a tear gas canister at security forces during a protest against the expansion of the nearby Jewish settlement Ofra outside the village of Deir Jarir near Ramallah yesterday. —AP

Bombings at mosque... Continued from Page 1 With the latest attacks, 240 people have been killed in violence so far in May, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources. The bombings near the mosque are the latest in a series of attacks that have targeted both Sunni and Shiite places of worship in the past few weeks, and come after two days of attacks targeting Shiites. On Thursday, a suicide bomber killed 12 people at the entrance of Al-Zahraa husseiniyah, a Shiite place of worship in Kirkuk, where relatives of victims from violence the day before were receiving condolences. Car bombs hit three Shiitemajority areas of Baghdad on Thursday, killing 10 people, while 21 people died in a series of bombings that mainly hit Shiite areas of the capital the previous day. Gunmen also shot dead the brother of a Sunni MP in Baghdad on Thursday. Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki blamed the violence plaguing Iraq on religious intolerance. “The bloodshed... is a result of sectarian hatred,” Maliki said. “These crimes are a natural result of the sectarian mindset.” Tensions are festering between the government of Maliki, a Shiite, and members of the Sunni minority who accuse authorities of targeting their community, including through wrongful detentions and accusations of involvement in terrorism. Protests broke out in Sunni areas of Iraq almost five months ago. — AFP

ANKARA: Officials said a container of fuel being smuggled into Turkey from Syria has exploded, killing 10 people. The governor’s office in Hatay province said yesterday’s blast occurred in Tunisma village when the smuggler set the tank on fire after realizing Turkish security forces had rushed to the scene. Hatay is the Turkish border province where two car bombs exploded in the town of Reyhanli last week, killing 51 people. Turkish authorities have blamed Syrian intelligence for that terrorist attack, the deadliest there in years. But no such claim was being made yesterday. Arms and household supplies have long been smuggled across the border in Hatay province, even before Syria’s civil war began more than two years ago. The identities of the 10 people killed were not immediately known. Turkish

police have detained a man they believe to be one of the main perpetrators of car bombings that killed more than 50 people near the Syrian border, officials said yesterday. Turkey has accused Syria of involvement in the two bombings last weekend in the town of Reyhanli, which fanned fears that Syria’s civil war is dragging in neighboring states. Damascus denies any role. Local governor Celalettin Lekesiz said police had detained a man identified only by the initials M G shortly before midnight on Thursday in Samandag district, near the Syrian border, and that he was being treated as a prime suspect. Huseyin Celik, deputy chairman of Turkey’s ruling AK Party, said the two vehicles used in the bombings were registered to the man who was detained, and that he had driven one of them to

one of the blast sites in Reyhanli. Lekesiz said police were still searching for two other suspected perpetrators, who along with M.G. had been trying to cross over into Syria from Samandag but had failed because of stepped-up security along the border. He said the two men were believed to be still inside Turkey. A total of 16 people were in detention in relation to the bombings, Lekesiz said, four of whom had been formally arrested. It was not clear what charges they faced. Interior Minister Muammar Guler has said the bombings - one of the deadliest attacks in Turkey’s modern history - were carried out by a group with direct links to Syrian intelligence. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said the perpetrators were from an “old Marxist terrorist organization” with ties to the government of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. — Agencies

Blast damages school in Benghazi TRIPOLI: An explosion inside a school in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi caused damage but no injuries yesterday, the weekend when the facility was empty, the state-run news agency Lana reported. It said an initial investigation found an explosive device had been placed inside the school, apparently targeting national army members in charge of security. Benghazi, cradle of the 2011 uprising against former leader Muammar Gaddafi, has seen several attacks against security forces and Western interests in recent months, highlighting the inability of the authorities to establish effective security in Libya. The attacks are usually blamed on radical Islamists, such as the group which raided the American consulate in Benghazi last September 11, killing four Americans including ambassador Chris Stevens. — AFP

BENGHAZI: Members of the Libyan security forces arrest an alleged suspect during an operation to seize explosives and arrest the perpetrators of several bomb attacks on security forces over the past months yesterday. — AFP


SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

Mali leader says Tuareg rebels ‘ready for talks’ PARIS: Tuareg separatist rebels who held a chunk of Mali’s vast north and still occupy the key town of Kidal are ready for talks to end the west African country’s crisis, President Dioncounda Traore said yesterday. Traore, who met French counterpart Francois Hollande at the Elysee presidential palace, also pledged that elections would be held on July 28 to replace his interim government. The Malian leader “repeated that the elections will be held on the scheduled date and that is our position as well,” Hollande told journalists. Traore meanwhile said the demand for the autonomy of the region of Kidal, held by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), was not a real stumbling block. The MNLA has refused to give up its weapons or take part in the July elections until negotiations have taken place with the Mali government. “I am sure that at this moment, the MNLA is ready to enter into a sincere and meaningful dialogue with the rest of Mali,” he said. “The MNLA is made up of Malians, compatriots whom we treat dif-

ferently than the manner reserved for jihadists and we can talk and discuss with them,” Traore said. In an interview to Euronews on Thursday, Traore had said he was “ready” to talk to the MNLA but rejected any demands for autonomy. The crisis in Mali began when Tuareg rebels relaunched a rebellion in January 2012 for independence of the vast desert north. Their insurgency overwhelmed Mali’s troops and led to a coup in Bamako. This opened the way for hardline Islamists to chase out their former Tuareg allies and seize key northern cities. France intervened in Mali in January and has since pushed the Al-Qaeda-linked militants into desert and mountain hideouts, from where they are staging guerrilla attacks. France has begun withdrawing its 4,500 troops deployed in Mali and handing over the reins to an African force, the International Mission for Support to Mali (MISMA). Paris has said about 1,000 soldiers will remain in Mali beyond this year to back up a UN force that is to replace MISMA. — AFP

GAO: France’s first lady Valerie Trierweiler and Malian First Lady Mintou Traore seated during a visit in Gao. Trierweiler began a tour of Mali on Thursday with a visit to Gao, one of several northern cities liberated by a French-led military operation against an Islamist occupation. — AFP

Tunis to decide today on Salafist rally ban Death threats ‘not to be tolerated’

CAIRO: An Egyptian protester shouts anti-President Mohammed Morsi slogans under posters of protesters killed during uprising, during a protest in Tahrir Square, the focal point of Egyptian uprising, in Cairo yesterday. —AP

Egypt police close Gaza border to protest kidnap CAIRO: Dozens of disgruntled border policemen forced the closure of Egypt’s main crossing point into the Gaza Strip yesterday to protest the abduction of their colleagues by suspected militants, underscoring the country’s lawlessness and its crisis of authority two years since the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. The police protest comes one day after masked gunmen ambushed two taxis at gunpoint outside the city of El-Arish, the capital of North Sinai governorate, fleeing with four border policemen working at the Rafah crossing, a riot policeman, and a military border guard. Officials have not identified a seventh captive. At Rafah terminal, one of the protesting policemen said that they will keep it closed until their colleagues are freed. “We are not leaving until those men return. We want Sinai to be secure. We need more police and army. Sinai is under control of the jihadists. The state is absent,” he said over the phone from the crossing. “We are not safe here. The police are afraid. Since the revolution until this minute, nothing has changed or improved.” He spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. Authorities say the kidnappers were reacting to the alleged torture of a militant sentenced to death in prison, and are in contact with mediators to obtain the captives’ release. It is not clear what the kidnappers want, but a security official says the police officer accused of torturing the militant has been summoned for questioning while the imprisoned militants were reportedly transferred to another prison. —AP

TUNIS: Tunisia’s government will decide by today whether to allow or ban Salafists from holding their annual congress, the interior minister said yesterday, warning however that “death threats” from radical Islamists will not be tolerated. “The final decision will be taken today or tomorrow,” Lotfi Ben Jeddou told Kalima radio. “The government will not be swayed by death threats,” he added. Rached Ghannouchi, who heads the moderate Islamist ruling party Ennahda, said earlier this week that the government had banned the hardline Salafist movement, Ansar al-Sharia, from holding their congress in the historical central city of Kairouan tomorrow. Angered by the comments, the group vowed to go ahead with the gathering and warned that the government would be responsible should violence erupt. “We are not asking permission from the government to preach the word of God and we warn against any police intervention to prevent the congress from taking place,” Ansar al-Sharia

spokesman Seifeddine Rais told a news conference in Tunis on Thursday. “The government will be responsible for any drop of blood spilt,” he said, adding that more than 40,000 people were expected at the Sunday gathering, the group’s third, in Kairouan. Prime Minister “Ali Larayedh will answer for his policies before God,” Rais said, adding that “the Salafist movement is the object of systematic discrimination. Minister Ben Jeddou on Friday warned that the government would not tolerate unrest. “We have special forces to protect Tunisia,” he said. “We do not accept death threats or incitement to hatred. We do not accept to be treated as tyrants.” He also insisted that Ansar alSharia had not applied to the government for the permit necessary for such a meeting. “We told them there should be no violence, physical or verbal, and that they should limit themselves to preaching (Islam). But so far they did not request a permit,” to hold the congress, he said.

Ben Jeddou said the Salafists, who refuse to accept the atate’s authority, should embrace “wisdom, integrate political life, accept others and renounce physical and verbal violence.” “God willing,” Ben Jeddou said, “we will not have to resort to violence” against the Salafists if they break the law. “We don’t want a confrontation with them. They are Tunisians. We did not close their mosques, we did not prevent them from preaching. They are they ones who are raising the stakes.” Salafists advocate an ultra-conservative brand of Sunni Islam, and Ansar alSharia is considered the most radical of the extremist groups that emerged in Tunisia after the 2011 revolution that overthrew veteran strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Since the uprising, Tunisia’s security has been severely challenged by the rise of militant Islamists, who are blamed for a wave of violence across the country, including an attack on the US embassy last September that left four assailants dead. —AFP

Bodies of Iraqis killed in Syria war arrive home BASRA: The bodies of two Iraqi Shiites killed fighting in neighboring Syria alongside President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces arrived home yesterday, providing more evidence that members of Iraq’s Shiite majority have joined the war. The bodies, in coffins wrapped in Iraqi flags, were brought to the southern city of Basra by four-wheel-drive vehicle, an AFP correspondent reported. People shouted: “We sacrifice for you, oh Zainab,” when the bodies arrived in the city’s Al-Andalus area, a reference to Sayida Zainab, granddaughter of the Prophet Mohammed and a figure revered by Shiites. Abboud Abbas al-Maliki said that his son Mohammed was killed fighting for the Sayid AlShuhada Brigades at the Sayida Zainab shrine, near Damascus,

and that the second man, Hassan Ali Farhoud, was killed alongside his son. The bodies were brought to Iraq via Iran, he said. Tribal chiefs, local officials, and police and army officers were present when the bodies arrived. Some fired pistols and Kalashnikov assault rifles into the air in a sign of mourning. Assad’s forces have been battling rebels seeking his overthrow in a bloody civil war that has reportedly killed more than 94,000 people since March 2011. Assad is a member of the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, while most of the rebels are Sunni Muslims. The Sayid Al-Shuhada Brigades are fighting alongside Assad’s forces in the area of the Sayida Zainab shrine, which was a major Shiite pilgrimage site before the civil war. —AFP


SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

Over 20 perish as mine collapses in east Congo KINSHASA: At least 20 people were killed when a mine collapsed in mineral-rich but conflict-plagued eastern Democratic Republic of Congo following heavy rains, the government said yesterday. The accident occurred on Thursday at the mine near the village of Rubaye in the country’s North Kivu province. Local officials were attempting to recover bodies still believed buried on Friday. “We’re still digging at the site, so the death toll could rise. The provincial government is handling the rescue,” government spokesman Lambert Mende told Reuters. Congo’s eastern borderlands have some of the world’s largest deposits of tin ore and coltan, which is used in electronic devices like mobile phones and video game consoles. But the region is a patchwork of rebel and militia fiefdoms left over from a 1998-2003 civil war that killed millions, and the insecurity has discouraged large-scale industrial mining. —Reuters

Ritual circumcision kills 23 males in South Africa JOHANNESBURG: South African police said yesterday they had launched a series of murder inquiries after 23 males died while undergoing circumcision during traditional rites of passage into manhood. The 23 — aged between 13 and 21 — died in various places across the country’s northeastern Mpumalanga province over the course of a week. “We have opened 22 cases of murder and one of inquest,” regional police spokesman Leonard Hlathi told AFP. One of the deaths was labelled inquest because the boy reportedly had an existing health condition. There have been no arrests yet as police compile statements and await post-mortem results. Ritual circumcision is common among South Africa’s ethnic Xhosa, Sotho and Ndebele ethnic groups. Deaths at so-called initiation schools in South Africa are common, with several hundred cases recorded in recent years due to bleeding and infections. Boys spend around a month in secluded bush or mountains areas for the sessions that also include lessons on the virtues of masculine courage and discipline. There are usually two circumcision seasons - in winter during the months of May through July and in summer between November and December. Government and the ruling African National Congress Party have expressed concern at the deaths which have nonetheless sparked little public outrage. Government spokeswoman Phumla Williams called on the initiation schools “to ensure that precautionary health measures are exercised during this period to minimize illnesses and death.” —AFP

A video distributed to Nigerian journalists in the country’s north in recent days through intermediaries and obtained by AFP reportedly shows Abubakar Shekau (center), the suspected leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, flanked by two armed and hooded fighters in an undisclosed place. (Inset) Briton Chris McManus posing at an undisclosed location— AFP

Nigerian forces bombard militant camps, many die Kidnappers kill British worker in Nigeria MAIDUGURI: Nigerian forces used jets and attack helicopters to bombard Islamist militant camps in the northeast yesterday, in their biggest military offensive since Boko Haram launched an uprising in 2009. “A number of insurgents have been killed,” the defense headquarters spokesman said, including at the Sambisa game reserve in Borno state, the epicentre of the insurgency. “It is not just Sambisa, every camp is under attack. But we have not done the mopping up operations on the ground to determine the numbers killed,” Brigadier-General Chris Olukolade said by telephone. A military source, who declined to be named, said at least 30 insurgents had been killed. Nigerian forces are trying to regain territory controlled by increasingly well-armed Boko Haram Islamist insurgents in their northeastern stronghold states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, put under a state of emergency by President Goodluck Jonathan

on Wednesday. More troops arrived in the Borno state capital Maiduguri on Friday, witnesses said. “I saw more than 20 trucks loaded with soldiers fully kitted for battle towards Marte. I wish them luck in ending this BH (Boko Haram) madness,” resident Ahmed Ibrahim said by telephone. Beyond the region covered by the state of emergency, gunmen stormed a police station and a bank, the army said, a sign the offensive could provoke violence by smaller militant cells across the north. It was not clear who carried out the attack. Boko Haram, other Islamist militant groups such as Al-Qaeda linked Ansaru and associated criminal gangs have become the biggest threat to stability in Africa’s top oil producer. Thousands have been killed since Boko Haram launched an uprising almost four years ago in an effort to create an Islamic state in a country of about 170 million split roughly equally between Christians, who are the major-

ity in the south, and Muslims, who predominate in the north. Violence has mostly happened far from the commercial hub Lagos or political capital Abuja, and hundreds of miles away from oilfields in the southeast. Military jets, helicopter gunships and thousands of troops are involved in the current offensive, which may answer some critics who accuse Jonathan, a southern Christian, of underestimating the severity of the crisis in the Muslim north. Meanwhile, a British construction worker taken hostage in Nigeria was shot dead by his Islamist kidnappers minutes after the start of a joint UK and Nigerian rescue operation at the compound where they were held, his inquest heard yesterday. Chris McManus, 28, was shot six times through a toilet door just as the joint raid by British special forces and Nigerian troops authorized by British Prime Minister David Cameron began in March 2012. —Agencies

Pro-Assad hackers attack FT

PORT ST JOHNS: An unidentified initiate, with his face caked in white lime clay, eats rice from his blanket during his rite of transformation from a boy to manhood near Port St John’s, South Africa. South African police say 23 youths have died over a period of nine days at initiation ceremonies that include circumcisions and survival tests. —AP

LONDON: The website and Twitter feed of British newspaper the Financial Times were hacked yesterday, apparently by the “Syrian Electronic Army”, a group of online activists who say they support Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. The group posted links on the newspaper’s Twitter feed to a YouTube video, uploaded on Wednesday, which purports to show members of the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front Syrian rebel group executing blindfolded and kneeling members of the Syrian army. The video could not be independently verified. Hacking attacks on verified Twitter accounts of media organizations have triggered urgent calls for the micro-blogging website to increase account security, particularly for news outlets. “Various FT blogs and social media accounts have been compromised by hackers and we are working to resolve

the issue as quickly as possible,” a statement from the FT press office said. The paper is owned by Pearson Plc Twitter was not immediately available for comment. Stories on the FT’s website had their headlines replaced by “Hacked By Syrian Electronic Army” and messages on its Twitter feed read: “Do you want to know the reality of the Syrian ‘Rebels?’”, followed by a link to the video. The group has previously targeted the Twitter account of the BBC’s weather service, and those of Human Rights Watch and French news service France 24. In the most disruptive incident so far, someone took control of the Twitter feed of US news agency the Associated Press last month and sent a false tweet about explosions at the White House that caused financial markets to plunge. — Reuters


Berlusconi’s alleged call-girl testifies MILAN: The woman alleged to have had sex for money with Silvio Berlusconi when she was just 17 and he was the prime minister testified in court for the first time yesterday at a trial of three people accused of pimping for the billionaire tycoon. Karima ElMahroug described “sensual” soirees in a discotheque at Berlusconi’s villa that invitees called the “bunga bunga”, saying she was paid 2,000 or 3,000 euros ($2,600 or $3,900) a night. The woman, better known by her nickname Ruby the Heart Stealer, said she saw up to 20 girls stripping for the prime minister but had never seen physical “contact” between the host and the young women. El-Mahroug said Berlusconi would call her up to invite her and she would sometimes stay the night. She has said in the past that she never had sex with the host. The trial at which El-Mahroug was testifying is of Lele Mora, a former show business agent, Emilio Fede, a

network anchor for Berlusconi’s television empire, and Nicole Minetti, a showgirl and politician. The three are accused of supplying girls for the allegedly raunchy “bunga bunga” parties in 2010 but Berlusconi says they were “normal dinner parties” followed by “burlesque contests”. El-Mahroug said she first met Fede at a beauty contest in Sicily when she was 16 and he had asked her for her phone number. She said she had also worked for Mora as an “image girl” at parties. El-Mahroug said Minetti was a regular attendee at the parties and she had once seen her perform a strip show for Berlusconi dressed as a nun. Berlusconi’s separate trial for allegedly having sex with an underage 17-yearold prostitute, El-Mahroug, and for abuse of office is due to conclude next month after more than two years. El-Mahroug had been due to testify at that trial but initially said she could

Bulgarian parliament to convene Tuesday SOFIA: Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev said yesterday that he will convene the nation’s newly elected Parliament next week to begin trying to form a government, a task complicated by the refusal of three parties to enter a coalition with the former governing party which has the most seats. Parliament will assemble on Tuesday. In the following days, Plevneliev will give former premier Boiko Borisov’s GERB party, winner of 97 of the 240 seats in parliament, a chance to form a government. Plevneliev said yesterday that Bulgaria needs “stable institutions instead of party bickering, to regain the trust of the people.” The secondplace Socialists with 84 seats, the mainly Turkish MRF party with 36 seats, and the nationalist Ataka party with 23 seats have ruled out joining a coalition with Borisov. The Socialists have said they were ready to seek broad consensus for a cabinet of technocrats to be headed by a former nonpartisan finance minister, Plamen Oresharski. Socialist leader Sergei Stanishev said yesterday that his party was ready to meet with all parties except Borisov’s, as well as with citizens’ organizations, to assemble such a cabinet. “The only option is a programmatic government with strong expert participation and with a clear program,” he said. Leaders of the two smaller parties say they are prepared to support a government committed to a jointly accepted program. — AP

not attend as she was in Mexico and was subsequently struck off the witness list by both the prosecution and defense. Berlusconi is accused of pressuring police to have El-Mahroug released from custody when she was arrested for petty theft so she would

Former Lombardy region councilor Nicole Minetti sits in her office in Milan. — AP

not reveal their liaison. His defence says he thought she was the niece of then Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and only wanted to avoid a diplomatic incident. El-Mahroug on Friday said she had made up a story about her life the first time she met with Berlusconi at his home in February 2010 and told him that she was “a relative of Mubarak”. Prosecutors have requested that Berlusconi serve six years in prison and be banned from holding any public office for life in that trial, also in Milan, in which the verdict is expected on June 24. The former prime minister is a senator and as leader of the People of Freedom party is a key player in a grand coalition government with the centre left Democratic Party unveiled last month. Berlusconi denies all charges and his supporters say the trial as well as several other legal cases against him are an attempt by biased left-wing prosecutors to eliminate him politically. — AFP

Brussels, Berlin lukewarm on Hollande’s euro vision French president wants euro-zone ‘economic govt’ BRUSSELS: European officials gave a lukewarm response to French President Francois Hollande’s sweeping proposals for deeper euro-zone integration yesterday, noting that many of his ideas were already in circulation. In a 2-1/2-hour news conference at the Elysee Palace on Thursday, Hollande set out plans for an “economic government” for the 17 euro zone countries, including its own budget and a full-time president. The sweeping vision also encompassed a harmonized tax system and the ability for the euro zone to borrow money by issuing its own bonds, a proposal that has been raised repeatedly over the past three years and been roundly rejected by Germany. “It is my responsibility as the leader of a founder member of the European Union ... to pull Europe out of

this torpor that has gripped it, and to reduce people’s disenchantment with it,” Hollande said, casting himself as something of a savior. “If Europe stays in the state it is now, it could be the end of the project.” The European Commission, the EU executive which presented detailed plans for closer integration in a “blueprint” published last November, said it was pleased Hollande was engaged on the same issues, calling it “food for thought”. “We see that the Commission and France share the common ambition for Europe, a more integrated Europe from a political and economic point of view,” Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly told reporters. “We welcome their desire to get involved in this discussion regarding the economic deepening and political union, and their ideas are

welcome, and we have our ideas, of course.” Other officials cast Hollande’s comments as an attempt to regain the initiative in the European debate, after criticism in recent months that France has lost its voice in Europe and no longer has the same influence and stature as Germany. Political analysts argue the EU can only function successfully when France and Germany, who fought two world wars before overcoming their differences to forge the foundations of the EU 60 years ago, stand together and work in consort. But the economic malaise that has gripped France over the past two years, including slipping into recession at the start of this year, has undermined Hollande’s clout and left the nation lagging Germany, the euro zone’s largest economy. —Reuters

Church supporters block gay rally in Georgia

TBLISI: Georgian police officers cordon off the area in central Tblisi yesterday where Orthodox believers and anti-gay activists demonstrate to protest gay rights activists’ plans to stage a rally marking the International Day against Homophobia. — AFP

TBILISI: Thousands of Georgian ultra-conservative Orthodox supporters led by priests yesterday broke through heavy police cordons to prevent a gay rights rally from taking place in the deeply religious ex-Soviet state. Scores of gay rights activists were evacuated by police on buses as crowds of chanting anti-gay protestors from Georgia’s influential Orthodox church charged after them hurling stones at the vehicles and beating on the windows. Organizers of the attempted gay rights rally-which was supposed to mark International Day against Homophobiasaid that police had managed to escort them to safety and that no activists had been reported hurt. “To the best of my knowledge everyone made it away safely,” Irakli Vacharadze,

director of gay rights organization Identity, said. Several police officers and a journalist were injured in the scuffles, local media reported, although police could not immediately confirm this. “The people do not want propaganda from minorities,” said Orthodox priest Father Ioanne, standing among jubilant anti-gay demonstrators on Tbilisi’s Freedom Square. “When these people want to demonstrate then it becomes a problem.” Homosexuality is still highly stigmatized in Georgia, a deeply socially conservative ex-Soviet state in the Caucasus where the Orthodox Church retains immense clout. Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili pledged earlier this week to protect gay rights and said that police would defend the pro-gay rally. —AFP


China’s Li heads for South Asia, Europe BEIJING: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang embarks this weekend on his first foreign trip since taking office, heading to India, Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany as Beijing seeks to address security and economic disputes. Li’s journey follows one by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Russia and three African nations in March after the two men assumed their new positions, concluding China’s once-adecade leadership transition. Since then a long-running border dispute with New Delhi has flared up with an alleged incursion by Chinese troops into Indian-claimed territory in the Himalayas, while trade disputes with the EU have intensified. The official Xinhua news agency said the trips illustrate Beijing’s “overall diplomatic

strategy, with which the new Chinese leadership aims to show the outside world its commitment to peaceful development”. Li starts his nine-day journey in India tomorrow. “There are some historical issues between China and India, including the boundary question,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao told reporters, but stressed their similarities as “ancient civilizations and emerging markets”. “I think we have the wisdom and resourcefulness to properly manage our differences,” he said at a briefing this week. “And we have the ability to prevent these differences from affecting the overall growth of China-India relations.” The Asian giants are the world’s two biggest countries by population, accounting for more than

one-third of the world’s seven billion people. China is India’s secondlargest trading partner, with two-way commerce totalling $66.5 billion last year, according to Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Jiang Yaoping. It was targeted to reach $100 billion by 2015, he told reporters, adding the goal was “expected to be realised on schedule”. The two countries are both members of the BRICS group of emerging economies, which also includes Brazil, Russia and South Africa. But geopolitical relations between the nuclear powers have been characterized by a mutual wariness with its roots in a Himalayan border war in 1962. During the frontier row New Delhi accused Chinese soldiers of setting up camp nearly 20

kilometres (12 miles) inside a region claimed by India. Beijing rejected the claim as “speculation” and denied any trespass, but an Indian army source said earlier this month it had withdrawn its forces. The frontier has never been formally delineated and India said recently it was working with Beijing on a new border defense cooperation agreement. Pakistan, meanwhile, is India’s South Asian rival but an old ally of China, described by Song as an “all-weather strategic partner”. Li’s visit will be the first by a global leader to the country in the wake of this month’s general election, in which the party of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif ousted the ruling Pakistan People’s Party. —AFP

Pakistan twin bombs kill 13 near mosques Attacks ahead of Imran’s govt formation

HYDERABAD: Members of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) march during a ceremonial parade of some 697 Sub Inspectors and Executives at the National Industrial Security Academy (NISA) in Hyderabad yesterday. — AFP

Bangladesh cleans up after killer cyclone CHITTAGONG: Bangladesh and Myanmar cleaned up yesterday after a killer cyclone wrecked thousands of homes, relieved that the damage was not much worse after the storm weakened as it made landfall. At least 46 people were either killed by Cyclone Mahasen or while trying to flee its impact, including 31 Muslim Rohingya whose bodies washed up on the shores of Bangladesh after their boat capsized while sailing from Myanmar. Fifteen people were confirmed as having been killed in Bangladesh by Mahasen, which lashed the southern coast with winds of up to 100 kilometres (62 miles) per hour before being downgraded to a tropical depression. But there was relief that the toll was not higher, given that cyclones have killed hundreds of thousands of people in both countries in recent decades. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has “expressed gratitude to the Almighty” in Mahasen’s aftermath and asked people to “offer thanksgiving prayers”, her spokesman Abul Kalam Azad told reporters. At one stage, up to a million people had taken refuge in makeshift shelters along the Bangladeshi coast, mainly in the densely-populated stretch between the second city of Chittagong and the Cox’s Bazaar tourist region. Most people however returned home after the storm passed over, heading towards India as its strength waned. Hundreds of thousands of people who live in low-lying areas and islands in the vast Meghna river estuary were the most affected. “At least 15,000 mud-built houses were damaged by the cyclone in our district,” Sirajul Islam, government administrator of Noakhali district, told AFP, adding villagers and fishermen in remote river shoals were the worst hit. —AFP

PESHAWAR: Twin bomb attacks yesterday killed at least 13 people outside mosques in northwest Pakistan, where the party of cricket star Imran Khan is forming a coalition government, officials said. The blasts targeted the two mosques in the Baazdara area of northwestern Malakand region, senior local administration official Amjad Ali Khan told AFP. “The two blasts killed at least 13 people and wounded 48 others,” Khan said. “Eight of the injured people are in a critical condition,” he added. The bombs were detonated by remote control but information was slow to filter through from the far-flung, mountainous area where there is no mobile phone coverage. Administration official Imran Khan also confirmed the death toll had risen to 13. “One blast took place inside a mosque and the second one occurred at the main gate of the second mosque,” he told AFP. Officials had earlier put the death toll at eight. Survivors told AFP that the bombs exploded as people were leaving the mosques at the end of the weekly Friday sermon. Iqtidar Khan, 28, said he sustained head injuries. “I came out of mosque after saying

DARGAI: An injured Pakistani blast victim receives assistance at a hospital following twin bomb attacks in the Dargai area in northwestern Malakand region yesterday. —AFP prayers when something pulled me with full force,” he told AFP by telephone from hospital after the attack. “A piece of brick hit my head after a big bang. I could see nothing but

smoke and blood on the stairs of the mosque,” he added. He said the front gate and the roof on the veranda of the mosque were destroyed by the blasts. — AFP

Kashmir man accused of terror attacks gets bail NEW DELHI: A Delhi court yesterday granted bail to an exKashmiri rebel, Syed Liyaqat Ali Shah, who was arrested by Delhi police months ago on charges for carrying terror attacks in the capital. Shah’s case had been taken up by the country ‘s National Investigation Agency (NIA), which, according to agency sources, hasn’t found anything incriminating against Shah. District Judge I S Mehta of special NIA Court granted him bail on a personal bond of Rs 20,000 with a surety of the like amount.

Earlier, his arrest on March 20 had led to a confrontation between the Delhi Police and the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Police, which says Shah was returning to surrender. Later on the request of J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had assigned the investigation to the NIA. Delhi Police had claimed Shah was planning fidayeen (suicide) attacks around the festival of Holi at the national capital and also claimed to have seized arms and ammunition, including an AK rifle, allegedly kept for him by a contact at a hotel near Jamia Masjid in New Delhi. —KUNA


Philippine ‘massacre clan’ enjoys poll win Fear grows justice may never be served

SINGAPORE: Rick Todd (left) and his wife Mary (right) leave the subordinate courts for a lunchbreak in Singapore yesterday. Singapore has asked the parents of a US man found hanged in the city-state last year to provide evidence for their claim that he was murdered, rather than committing suicide as medical experts said. — AFP

62 injured in accident on HK light railway HONG KONG: Over 60 people were injured when a two-car train derailed on Hong Kong’s light railway in the north of the city, throwing passengers onto the floor. Groups of passengers sat dazed on the pavement near where the train derailed, some bleeding and being treated by medics. Others were taken away on stretchers by paramedics, television news footage showed. Three people who were seriously injured have already been taken to hospital according to state-run broadcaster RTHK. “It was driving too fast,” a female passenger told Cable TV News adding that the train lost control when it was making a turn. “It was very chaotic inside the train, there was some blood,” she said. “All the passengers fell flat on the floor,” a young boy told the channel. “It was like a ball game where everybody was bouncing around...we didn’t even know what happened and then we all fell onto the floor,” another passenger told the channel. Footage showed the derailed train with its front car angled to one side with a smashed windscreen. “There was a derailment on the light rail,” a police spokeswoman told AFP, confirming that 62 people were injured. Police said the incident happened in the early afternoon at the Tong Fong Tsuen stop in the rural Tin Shui Wai district of the city. The Hong Kong Light Railway is part of the city’s complex public transport system of trams, buses and underground metros. The light rail links 68 stops along 36 kilometres (22 miles) of track in the northwestern New Territories, a semi-rural region in the north of Hong Kong. Its single-decker cars, which can take around 200 passengers, are connected to overhead electric cables and run along tracks on the streets which also branch off into the surrounding countryside. Accidents are rare on the southern Chinese city’s public transport system, which it promotes as one of the best infrastructures in the world. But the safety of Hong Kong’s waterways has remained under scrutiny since 39 people were killed when a high-speed ferry and a pleasure boat crashed, in the worst maritime accident the city had seen in 40 years in October. A report into the incident near Lamma Island found a “litany of errors” contributed to the crash and slammed the city’s marine department for “systemic failings” in safety standards. In November two chefs who worked at top British chef Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck restaurant were killed in Hong Kong when their taxi was crushed between two buses. And in December, 24 people were injured, four seriously, after a bus collided with a coach near Hong Kong International Airport. — AFP

MANILA: A clan whose chiefs are on trial for the Philippines’ worst political massacre secured big wins in local elections this week, results showed yesterday, deepening fears that justice may never be served. Leaders of the Ampatuan family and their gunmen are accused of massacring 58 people, including 32 journalists, in the southern province of Maguindanao more than three years ago in a bid to quash a rival’s challenge to become governor. Wives of three senior clan figures who are on trial for the murders were re-elected for town mayor posts in Maguindanao in Monday’s mid-term elections, according to the official results website. At least 16 other members of the Ampatuan family were elected or re-elected as town mayors, vice mayors and councillors in the province, according to the Commission on Elections website. “This could really crush the people’s hopes that those responsible for the massacre will be punished,” Noemi Parcon, whose journalist husband died in the massacre, told AFP. Another of those re-elected as a town mayor in Maguindanao was Benzar Ampatuan, 27, a grandson of Andal Ampatuan Snr, who is the patriarch of the family and is among those

detained in Manila while on trial for the massacre. Local rights groups and election monitors said the strong performance of the Ampatuans was not a surprise, citing the well-known clan power structure in the Muslim-dominated southern provinces such as Maguindanao. “It doesn’t matter that the massacre happened... as long as you’re the leader of the municipality, the respect is still there even if you are

doing wrong,” said Bobby Taguntong, spokesman for a local election monitor. Andal Ampatuan Snr was the governor of the province at the time of the massacre. Then president Gloria Arroyo helped fund a personal army for him that was used as a proxy force against Muslim separatist rebels. Aside from Ampatuan Snr, five of his sons and two of his grandsons are on trial. —AFP

A soldier standing guard as he mans a check point along a highway as part of heightened security on election day in Shariff Aguak town, Maguindanao province, in southern island of Mindanao, where clan leaders of the province and their armed followers are accused of abducting and shooting dead the kin of a local rival as well as a large group of journalists reporting on the contest ahead of the 2010 elections, burying the victims in mass graves. — AFP

Indonesia executes 3 inmates on prison island

Japan PM aide in Beijing after Pyongyang trip

JAKARTA: Indonesia has executed three death row inmates who were convicted of mutilating a man and murdering a family. Attorney General Office spokesman Untung Arimuladi says the three Indonesian men were executed by firing squad yesterday at a high-security prison on Nusakambangan island. A court in South Sumatra province had sentenced 48-year-old Jurit bin Abdullah and 52-year old Ibrahim bin Ujang to death in 1998 after they were found guilty of beheading and mutilating a man. The third inmate, 47-year-old Suryadi Swabuana, was convicted of killing an entire family at a house in the province in 1991. Arimuladi said six other convicts are to be executed this year. More than 140 people are on death row in Indonesia, mostly for drug crimes and about a third of them are foreigners. — AP

TOKYO: An aide to Japan’s premier said yesterday he had held “sincere” talks with North Korean officials during his controversial visit to the country. Isao Iijima, a senior adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was tightlipped about the subjects of his discussions when he arrived at the airport in Beijing. “By visiting there, I was able to hold sincere talks for a long time,” Iijima, a political fixer, told reporters in the Chinese capital, according to Jiji Press. “I have no plan to grant interviews. I want to closely examine (what was discussed) and consider it,” he said. The Japanese government has refused to discuss Iijima’s visit, despite coverage of it by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). South Korea dubbed the trip “unhelpful” to international efforts to forge a united front against Pyongyang, while the United States expressed its surprise and urged Japan to share information. Iijima was a senior aide to Japan’s former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, and is known to have played a role in organising his trips to Pyongyang in 2002 and 2004 for talks with then-North Korean leader Kim JongIl. The North’s state media showed footage of Iijima’s talks Thursday with Kim Yong-Nam, North’s Korea’s ceremonial head of state, according to Japan’s national broadcaster NHK yesterday. In it, Kim said he appreciated Iijima’s work on bilateral relations. “I am well aware that you have made efforts for a while. I value it highly,” Kim told Iijima in Korean, according to NHK. Kim’s translator was also seen saying in Japanese that Iijima returned to Pyongyang with an extremely important mission, NHK said. —AFP

OSAKA: Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, right, a founder and co-leader of the Japan Restoration Party, speaks to journalists in Osaka yesterday. — AP


Storm over IRS scandal shifts to US Congress WASHINGTON: A US House of Representatives panel yesterday opened the first in a series of investigative hearings in Congress on the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups for extra tax scrutiny, as the political storm over the scandal shifts to Capitol Hill. Lawmakers from both parties are expected to grill the outgoing acting head of the agency, Steven Miller, and the Treasury Department inspector general for tax administration, J Russell George, about the growing scandal that threatens to eclipse President Barack Obama’s secondterm agenda. Miller was forced to resign on Wednesday, and Obama has since appeared in public twice to condemn the IRS’s actions and promise full cooperation with three congressional investigations and a Justice Department probe.

Members of the House Ways and Means Committee are expected to press Miller at the hearing about why he did not disclose the practice of targeting conservative groups after learning about it in 2012, even when he was questioned about it by members of Congress. Republicans, who have demanded more answers and angrily accused the administration of using government powers to target political foes, also are likely to question whether other groups or donors were singled out because of their political views, and whether the White House knew of the practice. And as some Republicans use the scandal to raise questions about the IRS’s ability to oversee parts of Obama’s overhaul of the US healthcare system, they may turn their attention to Sarah Hall Ingram, who led the agency’s tax-exempt section

Argentine ex-dictator Videla dead at 87 BUENOS AIRES: Jorge Rafael Videla, an austere former army commander who led Argentina during the bloodiest days of its Dirty War dictatorship and was unrepentant about kidnappings and murders ordered by the state, died yesterday at age 87. The first president to head the military junta that “disappeared” thousands of leftists from 1976 to 1983, Videla spent his final years behind bars for human rights crimes including the systematic theft of babies born to political prisoners in secret torture centers. He died of natural causes in his jail cell, a government spokesman said, where we was serving a life sentence in a prison outside the capital, Buenos Aires. “He spent his life doing great damage, which left a mark on the life of the country,” Argentine human rights activist and Nobel Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel told Reuters. “His death ended his physical presence but not on what he did to the country.” — Reuters

Handel jumps into US Senate race ATLANTA: Karen Handel, the former Susan G Komen for the Cure executive at the center of last year’s public clash with Planned Parenthood, says she’ll be running for an open US Senate seat in Georgia. Handel’s announcement yesterday shakes up an already crowded contest among Republicans vying for the seat held by US Sen Saxby Chambliss, who’s retiring next year. Three of Georgia’s Republican congressmen have announced plans to run. Handel, a former secretary of state, narrowly lost the GOP primary for governor in 2010 and is expected to tap quickly into her statewide network of supporters. Handel was a top Komen executive when the charity announced plans to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood. It later reversed course amid a public outcry, and Handel Georgia gubernatorial resigned earning support candidate Karen Handel from conservatives. —AP

when the targeting of conservative groups began and now is in charge of the IRS division handling healthcare. “There are still far too many unanswered questions and until we know what truly happened, we cannot fully fix what is wrong,” said Committee Chairman Dave Camp, a Republican from Michigan. “The IRS has demonstrated a culture of cover up and has failed time and time again to be completely open and honest with the American people,” Camp said. George, who investigated the complaints against the IRS, issued a public report earlier this week that blamed ineffective management and bureaucratic confusion at the IRS for the agency’s inappropriate targeting of conservative political groups for extra scrutiny when considering applications for tax-exempt status. —Reuters

WASHINGTON: J Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration listens at left as ousted IRS Chief Steve Miller testifies on Capitol Hill, in Washington yesterday before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) practice of targeting applicants for tax-exempt status based on political leanings. —AP

Idaho man charged in Uzbek terrorism plot Kurbanov to appear in court BOISE, Idaho: An Uzbekistan national living in Boise has been arrested on federal charges from Idaho and Utah that he gave support, cash and other resources to help a recognized terrorist group in his home country plan a terrorist attack there. Fazliddin Kurbanov, 30, was expected to make his first appearance in US District Court yesterday morning, one day after federal agents arrested him during a raid of his small apartment. Kurbanov was charged after an extensive investigation into his activities late last year and this year. The Idaho indictment charges Kurbanov with one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and possession of an unregistered explosive device. It alleges that between August and May, Kurbanov knowingly conspired with others to provide support and resources, including computer software and money, to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which the US has identified as a terrorist organization. The group’s purpose is to overthrow the government of Uzbekistan, said David B Barlow, US attorney in Utah. The alleged co-conspirators were not named. The indictment also alleges Kurbanov provided material support to terrorists, knowing that the help was to be used in preparation for a plot involving the use of a weapon of mass destruction. On Nov 15, Kurbanov possessed an explosive device, consisting of a series of parts intended to be converted into a bomb, according to the indictment. Those parts included a hollow hand grenade, a hobby fuse, aluminum powder, potassium nitrate and sulfur. A separate federal grand jury in Utah charged Kurbanov with distributing information about explosives, bombs and weapons of mass destruction. For 10 days in January, Kurbanov taught

and demonstrated how to make an “explosive, destructive device, and weapon of mass destruction,” the document states. The Utah indictment alleges that Kurbanov provided written recipes for how to make improvised explosive devices and went on instructional shopping trips in Utah showing what items are necessary to buy to make the devices, Barlow said. Kurbanov also showed Internet videos on the topic, Barlow said. The prosecutor declined to say whom Kurbanov took on the shopping trips in Utah but said that information will come out as the case proceeds. The indictment from Utah also alleges that Kurbanov intended that the videos, recipes, instructions and shopping trips be used to make an explosive device for the “bombings of a place of public use, public transportation system, and infrastructure facility.” The arrest shows that “there is no priority that is

more important than the protection of the public and the prevention and disruption of alleged terrorist activities wherever they might occur,” Barlow said. Wendy Olson, the US attorney in Idaho, said Kurbanov is the only person charged, and any potential threat was contained by his arrest. “He was closely monitored during the course of the investigation,” she said. “The investigation has been underway for some time.” Olson declined to share any specifics of Kurbanov’s alleged activities, including whether any potential terrorist threat or targets were domestic or abroad. A statement from the US attorney’s office said Kurbanov is in the United States legally, but Olson declined to give specific details about his immigration status. It was unclear when he moved to Idaho. An Idaho telephone number registered to Kurbanov has been disconnected. — AP

BOISE: Federal authorities search an apartment in Boise, Idaho on Cassia Drive on Thursday afternoon. — AP

Union threatens to bring S Africa to a ‘standstill’


Gold slumps as Fed comments lift dollar



Rio Tinto puts largest ‘red’ diamond on market


SyrianAir booked out as war imperils roads


SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

NICOSIA: In this file photo, Cypriot students protest against the bailout package outside the Presidential Palace. — AP

IMF sees Cyprus growth in 2015 Cyprus needs to raise another 13bn euros WASHINGTON: Cyprus should return to growth in 2015 after three years of deep recession, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday, but will need to ensure that its sweeping austerity programme does not slip off the tracks. The IMF agreed in March to provide Cyprus with some 1 billion euros in aid, along with another 9 billion euros from the European Union, to stave off a meltdown of the cash-strapped economy. A staff report issued yesterday backed that decision, praising the government for the steps it has taken to restructure the economy but warning that it must go even further to achieve long-term stability. The report said real GDP should grow by a modest 1.1 percent in 2015, after plunging 8.7 percent this year and a further 3.9 percent in 2014. At the same time, it forecast that already high unemployment should reach 15.5 percent in 2013 and peak at 16.9 percent next year before easing to 14.6 percent in 2015. The IMF’s forecasts for 2013 and 2014 are virtually the same as those in the European Commission’s recently published spring outlook, which did not give estimates for 2015.

On April 30, the parliament in Nicosia narrowly approved the 10-billion-euro ($12.9-billion) bailout, in the form of a low-interest loan, agreed with the IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank. Cyprus will have to raise another 13 billion euros through a wide range of measures, most already adopted, that include a restructuring of the bloated banking sector, tax increases, spending cuts and the part privatisation of state companies. The IMF report praised the government of President Nicos Anastasiades for having showed “exceptional resolve in addressing the crisis”, which it said “averted a potential accident with unknown consequences for the euro-zone”. But it said “time will be needed for the economy to adjust to the deep structural changes to its financial sector and adapt its business model”. And it said the “macroeconomic risks remain unusually high, given the uncertain impact of the banking crisis and fiscal consolidation on economic activity and the adaptation of the business model. “Financial sector risks to the programme are particularly acute, including lingering con-

cerns about the high reliance of the largest bank (Bank of Cyprus) on central bank support, the system’s rising non-performing loans and the future impact of administrative restrictions, but also the potential consequences of their premature lifting.” It also said “political resolve to implement all aspects of the policy programme could falter, adding to risks”. In that case, the country’s debt situation could deteriorate, “leading to the need for additional financing measures to ensure debt sustainability”. The IMF said Cyprus faces two major challenges going forward-the need to stabilise the banking sector and to put public finances on a sustainable path. It said the newly restructured Bank of Cyprus “needs to be put on a sound footing by completing an asset valuation and ensuring sufficient capitalisation. “Other banks and the cooperative sector, which were found viable but undercapitalised, will be recapitalised with public funds, and restructured as needed.” The report also referred to emergency capital controls that were imposed, saying they were “inevitable to avert a meltdown of the finan-

cial sector”. But it said they could “choke real activity if prolonged”, and that it is “paramount to monitor (them) and relax them in line with the capacity of banks to build liquidity buffers.” The IMF also encouraged the government to strengthen banking supervision and regulation. As for public finances, the IMF applauded the government’s “impressive steps” by passing a budget with measures for the next three years, but said further steps will be needed, with a focus on reduced spending. It also said that “privatisation will not only help to reduce financing needs, but will also enhance economic efficiency”. In the end, it said “there is no room for implementation slippages”. “The recession could be deeper than projected, which could put debt sustainability at risk. The banking sector could come under renewed pressure, if asset quality deteriorates more than expected and liquidity pressures mount.” And if the programme is not timely and comprehensively implemented, and risks to debt sustainability materialise, “additional financing measures may be necessary”. — AFP


SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

Turkey eyes seat at US-EU trade table Turkey-US trade doubles to $20bn WASHINGTON: Turkey is pushing for involvement in a proposed free trade pact between the United States and Europe which it fears could leave it sidelined and hamper its ambitions to become a top 10 economy over the next decade. Trade was high on the agenda in a meeting on Thursday between US President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish leader is worried a deal could hurt his nation’s commerce with Europe and the United States. Erdogan wrote to Obama earlier this year raising concern about the impact of such a deal on Turkey, most of whose trade is with Europe, and urged Washington to work in parallel on a similar deal with Ankara, Turkish officials said. “As the United States pursues a new trade and investment partnership with the EU, I want to make sure that we also keep deepening our economic ties with Turkey,” Obama told a joint news conference with Erdogan at the White House. He stopped short of saying any sort of free trade agreement was under discussion with Turkey, but said Washington and Ankara had created a

“new high-level committee” aimed at increasing mutual trade and investment. Washington and Brussels are expected to begin talks on the proposed trade pact in July and hope to finish in one to two years. If successful, the final agreement would cover half the world’s economic output and about a third of global trade. Turkey has a customs agreement with the European Union under which a third country signing a trade deal with the EU gets automatic access to Turkish markets, but Turkey does not get the same reciprocal benefit for its exports. “We’re already suffering because every free trade agreement the EU signs with third countries ... we are asked to give the exact same kind of facilities. Then we’re in an uphill battle,” said a Turkish government official. “That’s why we’re appealing both to the United States and to the European Union: if you’re going to create a transAtlantic economic space, then Turkey should definitely be part of it.” Several options were under discussion, the official said, including a separate bilateral agreement with the United States or giving Turkey a seat at the table in the EU negotiations, although one

diplomat said that looked unlikely. “I understand the Turkish concerns. We have a customs union with Turkey where our economies are considerably integrated. An agreement like this will have consequences for Turkey,” an EU diplomat said. “I know that Turkey wants to discuss with the American side how to move forward on their bilateral relationship and I think that’s only normal,” the diplomat said. Carol Guthrie, a spokeswoman for the US Trade Representative’s office, said the new Turkish-US committee would assess the impact of Washington’s discussions with the EU on its trade relationship with Turkey but did not comment on whether a separate deal with Ankara might be explored. Erdogan said trade with the United States had more than doubled to $20 billion from $8 billion when he first took office a decade ago but said it still needed to be boosted further. “There’s huge potential in many areas,” a source close to the Turkish government said. “The US doesn’t have quotas for many sectors and products that even the EU, with which we have a customs union, applies.” — Reuters

SyrianAir booked out as war imperils roads DAMASCUS: International sanctions have piled up against SyrianAir but the carrier is operating at full capacity as civil war has made domestic road travel perilous and Syrian expatriates have few alternatives to get home to see family. The US Treasury imposed new restrictions on the airline on Thursday accusing it of ferrying weapons for the military but SyrianAir’s domestic flights all have long waiting lists as it offers civilians the safest way to get around. SyrianAir has been barred from operating flights to the European Union since July last year. But its fleet of six Airbus 320s and two ATR 72/500s, still flies to the Gulf, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan and Algeria as well as key Damascus ally Russia. The services provide a lifeline for the large number of Syrian expatriates around the region who have been left with few other ways of getting home after most Arab and Western airlines halted their flights. “We operate around 20 domestic and international flights a day which means we are carrying around 3,000 passengers,” ground operations director Tareq Wahiba, told AFP in his office at Damascus airport. “There is not a single empty seat and it’s true that we routinely overbook,” he said. “Now that the summer has arrived, we going to increase our flights from the Gulf as many Syrians want to come home for the holidays despite the situation.” But it is SyrianAir’s internal flights that have

World stocks mostly higher AMSTERDAM: World stock markets shrugged off suggestions the US Federal Reserve may begin to reverse some of its asset purchase programs by the end of the summer, and were mostly higher yesterday. John Williams, head of the Federal Reserve’s San Francisco branch, sparked a minor sell-off on US markets late Thursday by saying the housing market is recovering and the Fed should consider ending purchases of mortgage-linked bonds. At one time, evidence of a recovering US economy would have a positive effect on financial markets. But at the moment investors believe the current rally has been mostly driven by easy monetary policy. So an end to it would hurt stocks. “Such suggestions are not to be taken lightly and it is hard to believe that equities will not experience a ‘realignment’ of sorts once the Fed does finally start to close the spigot,” said analysts from Charles Stanley in a note. Jane Foley of Rabobank agreed, but said Williams’ remarks should be taken in context. “Yesterday’s housing data were weak.” She said. “Initial claims and output data have also disappointed this week, meaning that there is reason for the Fed doves to remain in control” of policy. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent to 6,704.57. Germany’s DAX climbed the same amount to 8,392.18. France’s CAC-40 was up 0.2 percent to 3,986.56. Wall Street appeared ready to recoup Thursday’s losses: Dow Jones industrial futures rose 47 points to 15,233 and S&P 500 futures rose 5.25 points to 1,650. The key event expected yesterday is the release of the Conference Board’s US index of leading indicators for April, due after North American markets open. Analysts hope the figures will balance out several discouraging economic reports released Thursday, including a jump in unemployment aid applications to their highest level in six weeks. Earlier in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.7 percent to close at 15,138.12, reversing a lower open. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.3 percent to 5,180.80, pushed up by gains in BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company. The stock rose 1.9 percent on bargain-hunting. —AP

Spain posts 1st trade surplus since 1971

SYRIA: SyrianAir flight attendants present security measures to passengers during a flight between the capital Damascus and the Mediterranean port city of Latakia. — AFP seen the biggest surge in demand as travellers have abandoned the coaches and shared taxis that used to be the preferred means to get around and taken to the skies. “The troubles have changed the mindset of Syrians,” Wahiba said. “Before, they’d have never thought of taking the plane. Now it’s the other way round, they’d not even think about travelling by car.” A team of AFP journalists made a return trip on one of the multi-leg services that have become a mainstay for the carrier, flying from Damascus to Qamishli in the far northeast, then west to Latakia on the Mediterranean coast and back again by the same route.

Tha airline operates 40 domestic flights a week, serving Deir Ezzor in the east as well as Latakia and Qamishli. It used to fly to the main northern city of Aleppo too but rebel fire has closed the airport for several months. Mutlaq alAbbas, a local official from a village outside Qamishli, was flying to Latakia to see his doctor, accompanied by his wife, Farah. “We chose the plane because road travel is not safe,” Abbas said. “There are armed groups and if we go by car, they’ll steal it; if we go by bus, they’ll stop it and strip us of all our possessions.” Co-pilot Firas Smaeel is proud of the service the airline provides to civilians who have to travel. —AFP

MADRID: Spain announced yesterday its first monthly trade surplus since 1971 as imports slumped because of a collapse in demand in the midst of a recession and record unemployment. The euro-zone’s fourth biggest economy posted a surplus of 634.9 million euros ($817 million) in March, compared to a deficit of 3.245 billion euros a year earlier, the Economy Ministry said. Imports in March plunged by 15 percent from a year earlier to 19.653 billion euros while exports grew two percent to 20.288 billion euros. But the surplus is not in fact a sign of health in the Spanish economy, said Jose Garcia Montalvo, professor of economics at Barcelona’s Pompeu Fabra University. “Since the domestic economy has come to an abrupt stop, imports also have come to an abrupt stop,” he told AFP. “It is easy to get a trade deficit like that but the good news would have been that that imports were not falling, or only falling a little, and that exports were climbing a lot.” Grappling with a deep recession, stubborn public deficit and banks ridden with bad loans, the Spanish government seized on the trade surplus as a sign of strength despite difficult European markets. “Exports to our European Union partners fell by 8.1 percent, reflecting the weak economy in the region,” the Economy Ministry said in a statement. However, “Spain is continuing its marked process of reorientating its sales to other markets where the economic outlook is more favourable,” such as the Middle East, Africa and United States, it said. Exports to countries outside the European Union surged 20.8 percent from a year earlier in March, accounting for 41.47 percent of all exports, the ministry said. —AFP


SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

UK pension funds take on leveraged loans LONDON: UK pension funds are dipping a toe into the specialist market for high yielding but risky bank loans in an effort to offset poor returns in their traditional investment portfolios. After years of slow economic growth and record low interest rates, UK pension funds have this year for the first time turned to leveraged loans: they now average 2 percent of their total portfolios since the start of 2013, pension consultants say. Buying up these kind of loans is commonplace in the US, where pension funds and insurers have been investing in them since the early 1990s. They currently allocate up to 5 percent of their entire portfolio to leveraged bank loans. But some experts caution that UK pension funds are venturing into a market historically dominated by specialist investors without fully considering the high levels of management required to look after the assets they are buying, which often involve struggling companies or homeowners. Leveraged loans are giv-

en by banks to companies and individuals that already have high levels of debt and because of the higher risk of default they carry a higher rate of return. So far pension funds have steered clear, sticking to investment-grade rated bonds on the grounds that leveraged loans’ yields were not sufficiently high to counter their risk profile. But now several factors are tempting them in. For starters government bonds and gilts are giving such lacklustre returns, that pension funds are under pressure to look for alternatives. On top of that, pension funds find they can negotiate good buyers’ terms because so many banks are obliged to sell these loans on getting rid of high-risk assets in accordance with new “Basel III” rules which tell lenders to have higher levels of capital to set against the lower-risk loans they do make. Returns from leveraged loans are typically around 500 basis points, or 5 percentage points, over Libor, the daily

Change looms for Ethiopia’s ancient ‘white gold’ trade HAMAD-ILE: Ibrahim Mohammed was 15-years-old when he began trekking with caravans of camels to collect salt in a sun-blasted desert basin of north Ethiopia that is one of the hottest places on earth. Now 51 and retired, he has passed his camels to his son to pursue this centuries-old trade in “white gold” from the Danakil Depression, where rain almost never falls and the average temperature is 94 degrees Fahrenheit (34.4 Celsius). But the tradition of hacking salt slabs from the earth’s crust and transporting them by camel is changing as a paved road is built across the northern Afar region. Although the road being cut through the Danakil Depression is making it easier to transport the salt, the region’s fiercely independent local salt miners and traders are wary of the access it might give to industrial mining companies with mechanised extraction techniques that require far less labour. “Most of the people who live here are dependent on the salt caravans, so we are not happy with prospective salt companies that try to set up base here,” said Abdullah Ali Noor, a chief and clan leader’s son in Hamad-Ile, on the salt desert’s edge. “Everything has to be initiated from the community. We prefer to stick with the old ways,” he added. The tarmac road will link the highland city of Mekele with the village of Dallol in the Danakil Depression, a harsh but hauntingly beautiful geographical wonder of salt flats and volcanoes once described as “a land of death” by the famous British desert explorer Wilfred Thesiger. The road has cut from five hours to three the drive from Mekele to Berahile, a town two days’ trek by camel from the Afar salt deposits that are one of Ethiopia’s main sources of the crystalline food product. New roads like these are gradually helping to transform this landlocked Horn of Africa state, which has a unique culture and history but has been racked by coups, famines and droughts, into one of the fastest-growing economies on the continent. As Africa’s biggest coffee producer, Ethiopia’s economy remains based on agriculture, which accounts for 46 percent of gross domestic product and 85 percent of employment. But its nearly 94 million population - the second biggest in Africa - is attracting the attention of foreign investors hungry for new markets. Access to market Further south in the Danakil Depression, at the salt reserve of Lake Afdera, industrial salt production is already under way. A company named Berhane and Zewdu PLC came to the desert plains near Hamad-Ile in 2011 aiming to produce salt there, according to Noor. Clan leaders saw the threat to their ancient trade and lined up to oppose the project. Fearing sabotage of its equipment, the company left the following year, local people said.— Reuters

published rate at which banks lend money to each other. 10-year UK government bonds, or Gilts, are currently yielding around 1.8 percent, while German Bunds are returning around 1.3 percent. Further growth The Western European leveraged loan market is worth around 418 billion euros according to Credit Suisse fixed income research, and growing, say pension experts. Some of the larger European pension funds are already allocating between 1-1.5 percent of their portfolios to loans via specialist fund managers, says Axa Investment Managers. “In the last nine months, we saw 400 million euros of inflows come into our loan funds from pension funds and insurers,” Jean Philippe Levilain, head of structured finance US at AXA Investment Managers, said. He expects weightings from investors to increase to 2-3 percent of their portfolio in the next couple years.

Dutch pension administrator PPGM has been targeting loans in the US and Western Europe since 2012. The firm currently allocates 13 percent of its high yield investment mandate to bank loans in emerging markets, and 15 percent for US and Western Europe. Overall, loans in both regions represent 2 percent of its 133 billion euro portfolio. “The skills needed are not much different from those required to successfully invest in high yield bonds,” Guillaume van der Linden, head of emerging markets credits at PGGM, said. The loans are not as risky as they appear on first glance. The default rate on leveraged loans is 2.8 percent, data from Moody’s Investors Service shows. Furthermore, the loans are structured so that pension funds are paid back before other investors if the company defaults. However, the work involved in owning these assets is not to be underestimated, some experts warn.— Reuters

Gold slumps as Fed comments lift dollar Palladium, platinum outperform after Platinum Week LONDON: Gold fell for a seventh straight session yesterday, its longest losing streak in four years, after comments from a Federal Reserve official that the bank may soon rein in monetary easing lifted the dollar. The US unit approached a 10-month high against a basket of currencies after San Francisco Fed chief John Williams said the US central bank could begin easing up on stimulus this summer. While Williams is not a voter this year at the Federal Open Market Committee, his views carry weight as his is considered close to top Fed officials. That stunted a brief rally seen in gold prices late on Thursday after a batch of soft US data, putting it on track to fall 4.8 percent this week, its biggest weekly drop in four. Spot gold was down 0.6 percent at $1,378.50 an ounce at 0937 GMT, while US gold futures for June delivery were down $10.20 an ounce at $1,376.70. “In the main, the current price weakness is to be attributed to strength in the dollar and massive selling in exchange-traded funds,” Sharps Pixley chief executive Ross Norman said. “We’ve had some poor data out of the United States, yet the dollar still continues to rise. Clearly a correction in the US dollar would be massively supportive for gold.” ETFs - popular investment vehicles that give investors exposure to the gold price through issuing securities backed by physical metal - have seen massive outflows this year. The largest, New York’s SPDR Gold Trust, reported an outflow of another 5.7 tonnes on Thursday, bringing the drop in its holdings this week to more than 10 tonnes. Physical demand for the metal, which spiked after prices posted their biggest two-day drop in 30 years in April, showed signs of softening. Buying in India, the main consumer of the precious metal, had fallen significantly from Monday, which saw the celebration of

Akshaya Tritiya, considered an auspicious day to buy gold, one gold trader in Singapore said. Palladium shines Platinum group metals outperformed

selves sooner rather than later,” it added. “We expect dips to be bought and for PGMs to stay supported overall.” Spot platinum was down 0.3 percent at $1,474.24 an ounce, while spot palladium was down 0.4 percent at $733.22 an

SINGAPORE: This photograph shows an employee weighing a gold necklace at a newly opened Moneymax outlet, locally owned by jewellery firm Soo Kee Group at the Woodlands SMRT train station.— AFP this week, with palladium rising 4 percent, as refiners, recyclers, analysts, traders and consumers gathered in London for Platinum Week. “The outperformance of PGMs, and particularly palladium, is consistent with overall positive views expressed by majority of industry participants with whom we’ve spoken,” UBS said in a note. “Preference for palladium is more evident than ever.” “Investors appear to be banking on the strong fundamental story and the implications this has on the medium and long term, perhaps choosing to position them-

ounce. Platinum has benefited from concerns over industrial unrest in major producer South Africa. Miners at South Africa’s Anglo American Platinum reported for work yesterday, a company spokeswoman said, despite earlier calls for a strike by some union leaders. Platinum extended its premium over gold to a 21/2 year high at $94 an ounce, having maintained a historically unusual discount to the yellow metal for much of the previous two years. Silver prices tracked gold lower, falling 5.4 percent week-onweek to $22.53 an ounce. They were down 0.6 percent on the day. — Reuters

business SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

ANA reports fault on modified Dreamliner ‘Minor’ incident not connected to battery issues

TOKYO: A man stands in front of a share price board of the Tokyo Stock Exchanges yesterday. — AFP

Japan minister lauds good economic news TOKYO: Japan’s finance minister trumpeted bright economic news yesterday as figures showed firms were ramping up investment in a possible sign that government stimulus was working. “Capital spending will increase from now on,” Taro Aso told reporters after official data showed core machinery orders soared 14.2 percent on-month in March. The jump is the highest increase since April 2005 when comparable data started to be collected. Core orders are regarded as a leading indicator of corporate capital spending. Economists say movements in the figure may reflect the outlook for the broader economy. The data is good news for Japan’s aggressive-spending government, who have unleashed a vast stimulus plan intended to help turn around an economy that has been treading water for years. It came the day after the Cabinet Office said the economy expanded by 0.9 percent on quarter in the three months to March, giving a respectable annualised growth rate of 3.5 percent.The government said in a report yesterday that machinery orders were showing “moves of a gradual recovery”, but figures show it expects core orders to fall 1.5 percent quarter-on-quarter in the April-June period. Some observers say the numbers over the last few days, along with a roaring stockmarket and a sliding yen, are proof that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s bid to light a fire under the economy is working. Dubbed “Abenomics”, the big-spending and massive monetary easing from the central bank mark a renewed assault on the deflation that has plagued Japan for years, crimping private spending and business investment. The stock market is up around 70 percent since late last year, while the yen has lost around a quarter of its value over the same period. A cheaper currency has been good news for exporters, who have seen their products become more competitive overseas and the value of their repatriated profits swell. While the mood in corporate Japan and among consumers has taken a positive turn, some observers say it is too soon to tell if Abenomics will have a long-term effect. “A real recovery in domestic demand will not come until Japan achieves 2-3 percent economic growth for several years and overcomes deflation. It is too early to expect a revival of domestic demand now,” said Takeshi Minami, economist at Norinchukin Research Institute. But, he added, the exporter bounce from the sliding yen was trickling through the system. “There are rising expectations that exports will increase on the back of the weaker yen and that consumer spending will expand on higher stock prices.” Japanese companies, which were squeezed by a ersistently strong yen, are “becoming positive towards investing more on plants and equipment”, he said. “If overseas economies are good, it will lead the Japanese economy.” However, he cautioned, the reverse could easily prove to be the case. “The situation can turn back if foreign demand is weak and risk aversion becomes prevailing in financial markets.” Analysts say Japan needs to put some flesh on its policy bones if it is to move beyond the initial rush of enthusiasm for Abenomics, with eyes turned to a speech the prime minister is scheduled to give later yesterday. — AFP

TOKYO: Japan’s All Nippon Airways yesterday said a modified Dreamliner had experienced a fault earlier this month, but insisted it would not affect the restart of the high-tech planes. A company spokeswoman said discolouring on an electrical panel had been caused by vibrations from an insufficiently tightened nut during the flight on May 4, but added the incident was not connected to previous battery issues. “The problem occurred in one particular airplane alone, and we have already fixed the trouble,” the spokeswoman said. “We believe the incident will not affect the safety of 787 flights.” The incident, which ANA characterised as “minor”, is the first fault to be reported since regulators gave the green light to Boeing to get its nextgeneration aircraft back in the skies after a months-long hiatus. Dreamliners worldwide were grounded after two separate incidents on Japaneseowned planes involving overheating in the

lithium-ion battery packs in January, one of which provoked a fire on a parked plane in Boston. After months of investigations into the plane’s powerpacks, US authorities last month issued formal approval of Boeing’s battery fix, followed by a similar move from Japanese regulators. ANA said there had been no risk to the plane and it had landed normally after what it said was a “training flight” from Tokyo’s Haneda airport to Chitose in the northern island of Hokkaido on May 4. The airline, the single biggest customer of the lightweight plane, which operates around a third of the 50 that Boeing has delivered, said the glitch would not affect the resumption of flights planned for June. ANA began testing its Dreamliner fleet at the end of April, with a two-hour flight from Haneda Airport that had ANA chairman Shinichiro Ito and Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner aboard as part of a push to reassure Japan’s consumers

the plane was safe. “After three months it’s a terrific feeling to have an ANA 787 back in the air, and I am very pleased to say that it was a perfect flight on a perfect day,” Conner told reporters at the time. “As is evident by the fact that we are here today, we are very confident in the solution that we developed... and I can tell you that we put our family on this airplane on any day of a week, and any time.” ANA and Boeing have been anxious to put the damaging crisis behind them and have been looking to turn the page. The airline subsequently announced it would resume use of the Dreamliner on international and domestic routes, including those linking Tokyo’s Narita airport to San Jose, California, and between Haneda and Frankfurt. The plane’s manufacturer said Tuesday it had resumed deliveries, with ANA the first company to get the keys to a new jet, which arrived in Japan on Thursday evening.—AFP

TOKYO: A Dreamliner passenger plane (top) of Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) is towed on the tarmac at Haneda Airport. — AFP

Bangladesh fiscal growth slows to four-year low DHAKA: Troubled Bangladesh’s economy is forecast to have grown at a four-year low of 6.03 percent in the fiscal year to June, more than a percentage point below the government target, officials said yesterday. Analysts have said that a crisis in the disaster-strewn garment sector and a series of strikes could do lasting damage to the economy but yesterday’s forecast by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) showed it is already in trouble. The government had projected a 7.2 percent growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the 2012-13 financial year, but a meagre two percent expansion in the key agriculture sector means growth has fallen short of expectations. It was the lowest growth since 2008-9 when the economy

grew by 5.74 percent, according to BBS, which is a government agency. “We have estimated that the economy will grow at 6.03 percent in the current financial year,” Satya Ranjan Mondal, a director of BBS, told AFP. The BBS has also revised its final figures for 2011-12 growth downwards to 6.23 percent from a provisional estimate of 6.32 percent. Mondal said manufacturing remained the main driver of growth, expanding by about 10 percent despite the key garment sector being hit by a series of disasters that killed about 1,250 people in the current financial year. “But growth in the farm sector, especially the crop output has slowed down to 2.18, although fisheries have done well,” he said. Government officials have consistently said farm growth would remain slug-

gish as the small country is losing huge tracks of cropland to accommodate habitation and factories every year. Most aid agencies have projected less than six percent growth in the current fiscal year with the International Monetary Fund saying that political unrest over the war crime trials of leading Islamists were affecting the economy. The country was also hit by one of the world’s worst industrial disasters last month after a nine-storey garment factory complex collapsed outside the capital killing at least 1,127 people. A devastating fire also killed 111 garment workers in November, highlighting safety issues in the country’s main industrial sector, which accounts for 80 percent of its $24.3 billion exports and 40 percent of its industrial workforce.— AFP


SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

Union threatens to bring S Africa to a ‘standstill’ Rand slides to four-year low against dollar

SYDNEY: Argyle Pink Diamonds manager Josephine Johnson inspects the biggest ‘red’ diamond produced by mining giant Rio Tinto’s Australian mine yesterday. — AFP

Rio Tinto puts largest ‘red’ diamond on market SYDNEY: Rio Tinto said yesterday it was putting up for sale the biggest “red” diamond ever produced by its Australian mine amid an “explosion” in demand from Asia for the rare pink-hued stones. The Argyle Phoenix, a 1.56 carat gem, is one of three red diamonds on offer at the annual Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender-the first time in the 30-year history of the exclusive sale that it has included three red stones. “This is the largest red that has ever come from the Argyle diamond mine,” Argyle Pink Diamonds manager Josephine Johnson told AFP as she held the stone. “Never seen before, likely never seen again. “The diamond world will be talking about this diamond for the next few months intensely. And there will be lots of discussion about the rarity of it, the value of it.” The 2013 pink diamond tender comprises 64 diamonds, including 58 pink stones, three blue ones and the three fancy reds. Such jewels routinely fetch $1-2 million a carat. As a basic rule of thumb, a pink diamond is worth about 50 times more than a white diamond. After previews in Sydney, New York and Tokyo, there will be tender viewings in Hong Kong and Perth, to allow clients and experts to see the gems and make offers for individual stones. “The tender every year has great interest-when you think there’s only 60 stones each year, that’s about 12 grams of diamond weight-we tour it around the world because each one is like selling a Picasso,” Johnson said. “Each one is unique. They will find different markets. “With a red diamond the colour itself is extraordinary, but what really transcends the appeal of the colour is just the outrageous rarity of something like this.” The Argyle mine in Western Australia produces virtually the entire world’s supply of pink diamonds, with the red seen as the pinnacle of the colour scale. It is not known how the diamonds acquire their pink tinge but it is thought to come from a molecular structure distortion as the jewel forms in the earth’s crust or makes its way to the surface. Japan is the largest consumer of pink diamonds, with the lighter “Cherry Blossom” shades in strong demand, but Johnson said Argyle diamonds were growing in popularity in other markets. “There’s an explosion of interest in China and India. We’re certainly seeing that in the rare diamond world,” she said. “I am quite surprised at how quickly they have moved from a desire for large, white clean goods to an appreciation for the value of rarity and fancy coloured diamonds.” With the Phoenix, she said: “It being red is very interesting because that’s a highly symbolic colour in Asia.” But she said with few reference points and increasing interest in coloured diamonds, particularly rare pinks and reds, it was impossible to know where the stone would end up. “Our last diamond that came anywhere near close to this actually ended up in the US, so it’s hard to say,” she said. — AFP

RUSTENBURG: The leader of South Africa’s biggest platinum mining union threatened yesterday to bring Africa’s No. 1 economy “to a standstill” and demanded a meeting with President Jacob Zuma, ramping up the rhetoric in an 18-month labour crisis. The rand, which tumbled to a four-year low against the dollar on Thursday on fears of a strike at Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), extended its slide on concerns about further disruptions to an already struggling economy. The currency fell as low as 9.4334, its lowest since April 2009 when emerging markets were still reeling from the effects of

the global financial crisis. Joseph Mathunjwa, head of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), said Zuma’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) was ignoring violence against its members in the platinum belt near the northwest city of Rustenburg. “We are going to write another last letter to the office of the president that we need a meeting in order to talk about these issues at Rustenburg, of the killing of our members,” he said on Johannesburg’s Talk Radio 702. “This is the show of AMCU’s commitment to peace,” he said. “We said we are

going to bring the economy to a standstill.” AMCU’s emergence since early 2012 as the most powerful platinum union has turned mining labour relations on their head and sparked fears of a wave of worker militancy stretching from the car plants of Durban to the vineyards around Cape Town. The crumbling of the decades-long monopoly of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has also opened the door to an array of worker committees and anti-capitalist activists opposed to the ANC and South Africa’s post-apartheid economic status quo. — Reuters

‘Future kid’ attracts a million visitors in Kuwait KUWAIT: The Chairman and Managing Director of Future Kid Entertainment and Real estate company ‘Future Kid’ Khalid Ahmed Saud Al-Khaled stated “the company succeeds in improving its operational activity during 2012 by increasing the areas of its entertainment facilities in Kuwait to about 20,000 square meters and increasing the number of visitors 7 percent to around one million visitors.” In a press conference held after the AGM By the presence of 85.76 percent and endorsing the recommendation of the Board of Directors to distribute 6 Files per share to all shareholders in the company records in 2012, Al-Khaled added “ the company, that has a number of agencies and brand names and subsidiaries such as (the Future Kid, Night Work Cartoon Planet, Aqua Park, Discovery Company, Global Casper agency, Saudi Joy Land, Emirates Joy Land), was able to continue its expansion in Kuwait and abroad as planned by inaugurating Casper branch in Alquilla with an area of 1,331 square meters.” As for external activity of the company, Al-Khaled stated “the company has fulfilled the expansion plans of Saudi joy land. It opened Hafr Al-Batin branch with an area of 1,700 m2, Taiba land branch in Medina with an area of 8,000 m2 and Intercontinental Madinah branch with an area of 3,000 m 2 . Theses expansions increased the total area of Saudi joy land more than 27,000 m2.” “The company intends to expand and increase its investment in the future to keep up with the growing demand for entertainment products in Kuwait and the region. The achievements of the company during 2012 reflect the company’s determination to keep its leadership in the safe family entertainment industry. This clearly appeared through the results of the financial year ended on 31 December 2012.” Al

Khalid Al-Khaled Khaled stressed. “The company managed, by the grace of Allah the Almighty, improving programs and the hard efforts of its team work, to increase its revenue 12 percent to be 7. 181 million KD in 2012. It increased its operating profit to 2.392 million KD, net profit to KD 842,000, the book value per share to 180 fils while it increased the return on equity to 4.41 percent compared to 4.36 percent in 2011.” Al-Khaled said. “The company is going to pursue strong operational and financial performance in the coming years to achieve the interests of the shareholders, through the implementation of new strategies and insights based on upgrading performance; in the family entertainment market, locally and regionally. It is going to assert its leadership in the safe entertainment industry , keep excellence in service delivered, improving sites, creating an integrated entertainment system , expanding supplementary food services , signing agreements with trusted and credible parties in the same field, investing in human resource to improve the educational level of students at the State of Kuwait, sponsoring pioneer expansion plans based in Gulf countries and extended to Arab coun-

KUWAIT: The Future Kid officials are pictured.

tries, creating new sources of income and varying financial recourse to support improving plans.” Al-Khaled predicted. “The company had made many achievements since it was enrolled in Kuwait stock exchange market in 2008. The latest one was made by the end of 2012. Such achievements enabled the company to confirm its leadership in the safe entertainment industry, especially indoor family entertainment and increased its effects on the children and youth of Kuwait who lived during 1990s up to the present time. Entertainment industry has become an industry and integrated system that attracts not only the attention of the children but all family members as well. Playing and entertainment are not limited to a certain age.” AlKhaled asserted. “By 2013, the company, which was founded in 1999, was able to operate 14 sites, equipped with the latest equipments and games that simulate the latest modern techniques, all over Kuwait governorate. All this has been achieved by the grace of God and the efforts of high qualified managers and engineers and experienced technicians and specialists.” AlKhaled added. “The management of the company had sought to adopt ambitious expansion strategies in the entertainment market. The company did its best to increase its capital to KD 11.624.633.800 million and to have the exclusive operating rights to a number of international brands so as to be one of the largest and most prestigious Kuwaiti companies specialized in the field of family entertainment centers.” AlKhaled added. The General Assembly of the company has received the report of the Board of Directors and the auditor’s report of the financial year 2012 .It ratified the balance sheet, profit and loss account and the release of the members of the Board of Directors. It approved the distribution of 6 fils per share. It approved the proposal of the Board of Directors to cut 10 percent of its net income to the reserve account. It authorized the Board of Directors to purchase up to 10 percent of the company shares and to sell them in whole or in part according to the terms and conditions of the law. It elected two members of the board namely Mohamed Soliman Al-Marzok and Ahmed Mahmoud Mohamed Abdallah.

business SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

Central bank chief turns recovery skills on Somalia NAIROBI: When Washington DC was in financial crisis in the 1990s, Somali-born Abdusalam Omer joined a team that turned its “junk” bonds into investment grade paper. Now, as governor of the Central Bank of Somalia, he wants to transform a “failed” state. There is no escaping the scale of his new assignment. His office in Mogadishu is surrounded by the bombed out shells of former banks, symbols of Somalia’s shattered economy and its broken financial system after two decades of conflict. “We have to build brick by brick and person by person,” Omer told Reuters by telephone from the smartly painted central bank, which stands out against nearby wrecks that once housed Banca di Roma, Commercial Bank of Somalia and other institutions. “The task is so daunting,” said Omer, 58, a dual Somali-US national who left Somalia at 16 and returned this year. But he is undeterred. Omer aims to issue licences to commercial banks by the year end, a new currency to replace the tattered Somali shilling may be on the cards and data is being gathered to build a picture of prices and other indicators to chart the informal economy that has emerged in the anarchy. Omer’s decision to take the central bank job is one more sign of a delicate recovery underway in the Horn of Africa nation since its new parliament elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud last year. Success is not assured. Islamist Al-Shabaab militants continue to launch attacks from rural strongholds, clan divisions run deep and the government has limited control beyond Mogadishu’s boundaries. But creating a new economic order is seen as vital to shoring up the shaky peace. “The absence of commercial banks is a major hindrance ... to any reconstruction and development,” said Omer, who as deputy chief financial officer helped balance the budget of the district government of cash-strapped Washington DC. The central bank is now offering “provisional licences” so commercial banks can prepare to comply with anti-money laundering rules and the other regulations that must be met when full licences are issued, which Omer plans for the last quarter of 2013. “We want to do it methodically and right,” said Omer, adding foreign banks were interested in licences but did not name them. Yet years of chaos add complications to that careful approach. Dahabshiil, a Somali money transfer firm with an Islamic bank in Djibouti, already offers Islamic banking services in Somalia under a licence issued by a past regime, though its management says it will comply with any new code. Robust informal economy Dahabshiil is among several money transfer operations, telecoms firms and others that have survived and even thrived since the fall in 1991 of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, whose Marxist-inspired rule gave way to anarchy under rival warlords and stringent codes imposed when Islamists militants took over. “That informal economy is a robust economy,” said Omer, who has previously said it was growing at 5 to 7 percent a year. Indicating a growing confidence, Somalia’s battered shilling has strengthened by about 80 percent in the past two years since Islamist militants were ejected from Mogadishu by an African peacekeeping force. It now trades at about 18,000 to the dollar. But the well-thumbed and ragged notes are in short supply because they were last printed before 1991 and the biggest denomination is 1,000 shillings, worth about 5 US cents. A new currency could be on the way. “There is a unanimous understanding and agreement on the part of the Somali leadership that there is a need for a new currency and the central bank of Somalia will be working on that in due time,” Omer said. He did not give details, but the former World Bank employee who trained the Shanghai municipality on bond issues said he expected support on the issue from the International Monetary Fund, which in April formally recognised Somalia’s government. In the vacuum, many Somalis have relied on dollars and found innovative ways to work without a formal banking system. Mobile firm Hormuud lets clients make payments or transfers of a few US cents by text message, vital when the smallest unit available in Somalia of the US currency is a dollar bill. “One of the problems in a dollarised economy is breaking down the one dollar,” said Omer, adding this enterprising spirit needed to be harnessed as the formal economy was created. —AP

BOE’s Weale sees chance of stimulus after Carney arrival UK economy may be returning to modest growth BIRMINGHAM: The Bank of England may have more scope to boost the economy after Mark Carney starts as governor because of tentative signs of lower inflation ahead, a member of its policymaking body said yesterday. Finance minister George Osborne has Canadian Mark Carney, who starts as the next governor in July, the task of reviewing whether Britain should give more detailed guidance on future monetary policy, considered a way to help growth. Martin Weale, who serves on the BoE’s rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee, said yesterday the central bank’s ability to support demand had recently been constrained by its need to keep public confidence in its commitment to get inflation back to 2 percent. Inflation has exceeded its target for most of the past five years, something Weale said made him - and the majority of the MPC - reluctant to approve more economy-stimulating bond purchases. “Failure to damp sufficiently any new shock pushing up on inflation would result in inflation expectations becoming more entrenched. That, in my view, limits the scope we have to support demand at the

current juncture,” Weale said in a speech. However, things may be starting to change. Earlier this week the central bank forecast inflation would fall faster than it predicted three months ago and that growth this year would be a shade higher. “The situation does look as though it is getting rather better at the moment, both in terms of what looks like an improving growth outlook and possibly ... inflation pressures may be somewhat weaker than they have been,” Weale said in a questionand-answer session after his speech. “So it is quite possible that (Carney) will be coming to the Bank at a time when there is more room for manoeuvre than there has been for some time,” he added. Osborne, when he revised the mandate of the MPC in March, set out more clearly the trade-offs he expects policymakers to make between their inflation target and helping Britain’s economy to grow more strongly. The change in the wording was seen as paving the way for Carney to take a more aggressive approach to getting growth going again after he begins work. In his current role running the Bank of Canada, Carney has advocated that cen-

tral bankers make long-term commitments to low interest rates similar to the US Federal Reserve, conditional on unemployment staying high and inflation being low. Weale noted that Britain’s inflation had been above target much more often than in the United States, and warned that labour market bottlenecks were a more common source of inflation than in other countries. He declined to comment on whether he would back a change in BoE policy to make more formal commitments to low rates - something Weale has questioned in the past - saying only that the central bank was researching the issue. However, he did note there was a “strong steer on future interest rates” in the BoE’s bank’s latest economic forecasts, which showed market interest rates could stay very low until 2016 while still allowing inflation to return to 2 percent. Weale added that he saw signs that the British economy was recovering its footing. “No one can be certain but it is possible that the near-stagnation of the past three years is being replaced by a move to modest growth,” he said in his speech to a conference organised by the BritishAmerican Business Council. — Reuters

HAMBURG: CEO of Daimler Dieter Zetsche stands next to the new S-Class Mercedes. — AP

European car sales up MILAN: The European auto industry may be showing the first signs of a slowdown in its sales free-fall, according to data from the European automaker’s association. New car registrations in April were up 1.7 percent on the same time last year, the ACEA’s latest figures show. Although the April rise has more to do with the two extra work days last month due to an early Easter, sales figures for the year so far gave some cause for hope. Last month, the ACEA showed registrations for the first three months of 2013 were down 10 percent on the year before. Latest figures show that sales for the first four months of the year were 7.1 percent less than in 2012. “Is this the ‘slowdown-

in-the-collapse’ that the industry is awaiting for? Let’s hope so,” said Carlos Da Silva of consultancy IHS Automotive. The auto industry has been victim of the region’s deepening recession and rising unemployment, and Europe’s carmakers are looking to see when the bottom will hit. Many have had to announce factory closures or put off new car launches in bids for survival. The fortunes of the car industry have a big impact on the rest of Europe. According to the ACEA, the auto industry directly employs 2.3 million people, mainly highly skilled workers, and supports about another 10 million jobs among the carmakers’ suppliers. The declining car market in Europe has been

weighing on global carmakers’ bottom lines. Last year, four of the biggest automakers based in Europe - Ford, PSA Peugeot, Fiat and General Motors - together posted operating losses of 5 billion euros ($7 billion) for the region. In April, 1.038 million new cars were registered in the European Union, up from the historic low for April of 1.021 million reached in 2012, the ACEA said. Sales rebounded in Germany, posting a 3.8 percent gain in April compared with the previous year. Sales also were up in Spain, helped by new incentives, and continued strong in Britain. France and Italy, the No. 3 and No. 4 markets, posted declines of 5.3 percent and 10.8 percent respectively. — AP

SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

Indian circuses struggle to adapt after court bans PAGE 25

Candice Glover wins 12th season of ‘American Idol’ PAGE 27

A visitor of a Wave-Gothic meeting poses for a photo yesterday in Leipzig, eastern Germany. Organisers expect some 20,000 visitors from all over the world for the “dark” music and arts festival running until May 20, 2013. — AFP

SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013


he former Victoria’s Secret model’s enviable lingerie collection was specifically targeted by the notorious gang of celebrity-obsessed teen burglars, it has been revealed. Nancy Jo Sales, who first exposed the famecrazed teens in an article, told Vanity Fair: “They wanted to look sexy. Looking sexy in a celebrity’s clothes, well that’s even sexier. “Especially Miranda Kerr, who [was] a Victoria’s Secret model. The fact that they stole the underwear just seems so weird, but it’s not weird when you think about it, because they’re growing up at a time when their culture is constantly telling them to be hot. “Everything from toys to video games to music to fashion is hypersexualised for girls. Stealing their underwear was part of a whole trend to emulate these celebrities. They don’t just want expensive

underwear; they want Paris Hilton’s underwear.” The events have been made into a film by Sofia Coppola and starring Emma Watson called ‘The Bling Ring’ about the materialistic thieves, who also targeted Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Megan Fox. Paris has a cameo in the film but admits she is still traumatised by what happened. She said: “They came to my house five times, stole millions of dollars of my things: Birkin bags, family heirlooms, jewellery that was in my family for years, and then they sold it on Venice Beach like a yard sale. “I didn’t get a cent back in insurance money, and I will never be able to replace those things.”


he Oscar-winning star is currently discussing transferring the critically-acclaimed Nora Ephron Broadway play from New York City to the West End. But if the 56-year-old actor agrees to the transition and the show gets the go ahead, it won’t be up and running until spring 2014 and will only be available for a limited amount of time, according to the Daily Mail newspaper. Hanks plays the lead role of controversial tabloid journalist Mike McAlary and covers the highs and lows of the career of the reporter, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for his coverage on the police brutalisation of Abner Louima and died from colon cancer later that year. Hanks landed the part after forming a close bond with Nora and he was overcome with emotion at the show’s opening night last month saying he missed the late writer, who died of leukemia aged 71 last year. Speaking after the first performance, he said: “That was a tough moment. We were going to do this, and Nora and [show director] George C Wolfe were going to walk out on stage. I miss her. What more can you say? “Nora was ... fascinated by everything. She was always doing things that were so interesting. She told me, ‘Never turn down a front-row seat for human folly.’”


he ‘Gypsy’ hitmaker - who recently announced she was leaving the talent show to focus on her family - and the ‘Scream’ singer are in negotiations with NBC to sign a deal for the sixth series in spring 2014, Entertainment Weekly reports. Original judges Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green have been confirmed to be taking their places on the panel for the next season later this year as part of a alternating judges routine, with Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine and Blake Shelton remaining in place for both upcoming competitions. A source said: “It is almost all done and the network is looking to make the official announcements in the next few days.” Executive producer Mark Burnett previously expressed his interest in seeing the judging panel vary over each season. Shakira who has four-month-old son Milan with soccer star boyfriend Gerard Pique - revealed her decision to temporarily depart from the show yesterday (16.05.13), adding she wants to

continue her own music career. She said: “I’m not going to be able to do next season because I have to get back to my motherhood and also get back to the studio, the recording studio, to finish my album, the one that I started working on before I had to deliver a baby and before I took this gig with ‘The Voice’. “So yeah, I have to take a little break. But you never know, I might come back!” As for Usher, the singer is said to have signed onto an upcoming film project which clashes with the next series. A source said: “Usher is doing a movie, so he couldn’t do season five if they wanted him to.”

SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013


he ‘Place Beyond The Pines’ star - who is dating British model Suki Waterhouse - loves being in a relationship and having a special bond with someone and believes friendship is the key to a successful romance. He told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “I consider myself to be a romantic. I love the company of a great woman. “I think a relationship works best when both partners have a certain ease in the way they relate to each other and


there’s a level of harmony that goes beyond just physical attraction. “There’s nothing better when you’re able to share that kind of closeness.” Bradley, 38, met Suki, 20, at the Elle Style Awards in London in February and has been wooing her ever since, despite the age gap and distance between them, recently whisking her off to Paris for a romantic mini-break. In fact, the Hollywood hunk - who split from ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ star Zoe Saldana last year admits he often gets carried away with his feelings, and likes to spoil girls by copying big romantic gestures from movies. Bradley said: “I’m trying to be more reflective because I have a tendency to lose perspective. “But that’s probably a good thing. Romance is an art form and we probably shouldn’t try to manipulate our affections. “I’ve learnt a lot by watching movies and how they present the idea of romance and trying to take the best things about how a couple can enjoy being together.”

he Australian supermodel thinks the fashion designer who has sons Brooklyn, 14, Romeo, 10, Cruz, eight, and 21-month-old daughter Harper with her husband David Beckham - is an inspiration to women everywhere because of her ability to juggle a high profile career with her commitment to her family. She told The Hunger magazine: “I have come across many women who commit their heart to raising their family, and to helping others who are less fortunate. “They continue to be a huge inspiration to me - also women, like Victoria Beckham, who seem to have maintained the balance between work and family, and have forged a brilliant career doing what they love.” Elle, 49, was nicknamed ‘The Body’ by TIME magazine in 1989 thanks to her many Sports Illustrated bikini-clad appearances and the moniker has followed her everywhere since, but she insists has no regrets about it. She joked: “People often ask me if I have ever been offended by being called ‘The Body’. All I can say is, ‘It’s been a very handy name over the last 30 years. Thank you!’ “ Bangshowbiz


he ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ star was spotted with Italian artist Marco Perego at a private party for the new sci-fi blockbuster in Los Angeles, California earlier this week and although their romance is still quite new, friends say she hasn’t been this happy in some time. A source told E! News: “They have known each other for quite some time, but obviously things changed for them recently. “They aren’t calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend just yet but Zoe is super-happy right now. She’s in a really happy place. “Marco is a really good guy. He has a really good energy.” The 34-year-old actress - who split from ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ actor Bradley Cooper last year - recently insisted she wouldn’t date


another movie star, but her new beau is said to have a striking resemblance to ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star Johnny Depp. Long-haired Marco has even been nicknamed “Pirate Perego” by pals because of his likeness to the star’s iconic ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ character Captain Jack Sparrow. The artist is a former professional football player but after his career was cut short due to a leg injury, he tapped into his creative side and impressively sold a piece to fashion icon Giorgio Armani at his very first art show.

he 23-year-old actress starred as Hermione Granger in the movie adaptations of the popular wizard book series and while she loved working on them she is happy to be branching out into different roles. Speaking at the Cannes Film Festival, she said: “I’m not trying to run away from it. I’m very proud of the work that I did. I’m just really enjoying having the chance to transform into new roles. “It’s strange for me because ‘Harry Potter’ seems like such a long time ago. So much has happened over the last three or four years. But obviously it’s very present in people’s minds and living rooms.” Emma also revealed she loved working on Sofia Coppola’s ‘The Bling Ring’ because she could improvise her lines. She said: “I am used to really having to stick to my lines. Because people really [the ‘Harry Potter’ dialogue] by heart. So it was lovely to ad-lib or improvise. It was really special.” Meanwhile, Sofia spoke out about how impressed she was with Emma’s performance. She said: “It’s interesting to see actors that you see in other films transform into characters that are so different from themselves. It’s exciting.”

SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

A detail section from the Photography of Arne Svenson is seen as it hangs inside the Julie Saul Gallery on Thursday, May 16, 2013 in New York. — AP photos


n one photo, a woman is on all fours, presumably picking something up, her posterior pressed against a glass window. Another photo shows a couple in bathrobes, their feet touching beneath a table. And there is one of a man, in jeans and a T-shirt, lying on his side as he takes a nap. In all the photos, taken by New York City artist Arne Svenson from his second-floor apartment, the faces are obscured or not shown. The people are unidentifiable. But the residents of a glass-walled luxury residential building across the street had no idea they were being photographed and they never consented to being subjects for the works of art that are now on display - and for sale - in a Manhattan gallery. “I don’t feel it’s a violation in a legal sense but in a New York, personal sense there was a line crossed,” said Michelle Sylvester, who lives in the residential building called the Zinc Building, which stands out with its floor-to-ceiling windows in a neighborhood of cobblestone streets and old, brick warehouse buildings. Svenson’s apartment is directly across the street, just to the south, giving him a clear view of his neighbors by simply looking out his window. “I think there’s an understanding that when you live here with glass windows, there will be straying eyes but it feels different with


ilmmakers in Gaza have finished making what is believed to be the first Palestinian animated feature in 3D in a bid to show a fresh perspective on life through a child’s eyes. Called “The Scarecrow”, the 40-minute production tells the story of a nine-year-old orphan named Rima and the scarecrow she was given by her parents who died in a car crash. One day, the scarecrow-who represents the guardian of Palestinian land is taken away by an Israeli soldier from the family’s land near the border, and Rima sets off with her school friends on a mission to find it. It is a story which evokes some of the suffering of Palestinian refugees, says director Khalil al-Mazen. “The world is used to seeing Palestinian children surrounded by death, destruction and war, but this film focuses on their simple dreams,” he told AFP. “Judgement (on the conflict) is left to the viewer,” says Mazen, who holds a diploma in filmmaking from the Saint Petersburg Academy in Russia and has already made several films and documentaries. For designer and lighting specialist Usayd Madi, 23, the main aim of the featurette is to communicate the “brutality of occupation, which doesn’t spare children”. It took a team of 12 local animators and designers nine months of training in direction and production to complete the World Bank-funded film, at a cost of $147,000 (112,500 euros). Zainab Bakri, who designed Rima’s home, her village and clothing worn by the character and her friends, as well as her grandmotherwho appears dressed in a traditional embroidered robe-is confident the project will be well received “because the message of the film is humanitarian”. “Imagination and animation are more accessible than documentaries,” she told AFP after working for months

A modern luxury glass apartment building (left) sits across the street from an older red brick apartment, the home of photographer Arne Svenson in New York.

someone who has a camera,” Sylvester said. Svenson’s show, “The Neighbors,” opened last Saturday at the Julie Saul Gallery in Chelsea, where about a dozen large prints are on sale for up to $7,500. His exhibit is drawing a lot of attention, not for the quality of the work, but for the manner in which it was made. Svenson did not respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press, but says in material accompanying the exhibit that the idea for it came when he inherited a telephoto lens from a friend, a birdwatcher who recently died. “For my subjects there is no question of privacy; they are performing behind a transparent scrim on a stage of their own creation with the curtain raised high,” Svenson says in the gallery notes. “The Neighbors don’t know they are being photographed; I carefully shoot from the shadows of my home into theirs.” That explanation has done little to satisfy some residents of the Zinc Building, where a penthouse was once listed at nearly $6 million. In an email circulating among the building’s owners and renters this week, a resident whose apartment was depicted in Svenson’s photographs suggested legal recourse against the artist. “I am not an expert in this area of the law, but I do think we may

with her team in a small, improvised studio in Gaza to complete the project. “Imagination is a wonderful way of putting a message across,” agrees her colleague Aya Abu Hamra, who drew several of the characters. But first, they want to show the film to a local audience-no small feat in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip where there is not a single working cinema. There is not yet a date for a first screening which the directors say is likely to take place in a town hall or some other local venue. It is not the first time that Gaza has made a foray into the high-tech world of 3D. Three years ago, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the ruling Hamas movement, released a short 3D animation online about the possible fate of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier whom they had been holding since 2006. The three-minute cartoon showed Shalit’s father visibly ageing as he walks through empty city streets past billboards of former and future Israeli leaders vowing to free his son. In the end, the body of the soldier is shown being returned in a flag-draped coffin as part of a prisoner exchange, when suddenly the father wakes up and realises it was just a dream and that there is still time to bring his son back alive. Shalit was eventually freed in a prisoner swap in October 2011. But those involved in “The Scarecrow” are hoping that their film will go a lot further, with Abu Hamra saying she believes it will eventually make it big internationally. “We’re working to distribute the film (abroad) once it has been shown in Gaza,” says Nur Al-Khudari, director of the Gaza-based Zeitun Foundation, which started the project. First stop is the Arab world. “We’re in talks with Arabic-language satellite TV channels to sell it,” he told AFP. Mazen says the idea is to throw a creative

have some rights and the ability to stop this,” the email reads. “I love art, but find this to be an outrageous invasion of privacy.” Civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel said that according to New York civil rights law, there may be a way for Svenson’s subjects to challenge him in court but the case will depend entirely on context. “The question for the person who’s suing is, if you’re not identifiable, then where’s the loss of privacy?” he said. “These issues are a sign of the times. How do you balance the right of privacy vis-‡-vis the right of artistic expression?” Linda Darcia, an exchange student from Colombia living with a family on the sixth floor facing Svenson’s studio, said she had no idea whether or not she was depicted in any of the pieces but she was anxious to go to the gallery and find out. “I’m not really upset about it because that’s his job,” she said. “But maybe he should have asked before the gallery opens. Everybody’s talking about it.” — AP

light on the Palestinian situation. “We just want to show the world the suffering of the Palestinians, particularly children, in a human and creative way.” — AFP

A picture shows employees working on the production of a 3D animated film in Gaza City. — AFP

SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

In this photo, a circus artist performs with an elephant at the Rambo Circus.


n the early morning heat and dust, daily practice at the Rambo Circus is in full swing. A trapeze creaks as two performers perfect their throws. A Colombian daredevil shouts to his colleagues scrambling atop a giant set of spinning wheels called the Ring of Death. Looking on with worry is circus manager John Matthew. For 38 years, he has been in the business of entertaining people throughout southern India. But there’s little to smile about these days. The big top set up in a desolate field outside Mumbai seats 3,000 people. Recently, there have been less than 100 tickets sold. While circuses in other countries struggle to compete with an ever-increasing array of entertainment options, India’s have faced a cataclysm. In the 1990s, 300 circuses operated throughout the country. That number has dwindled to about 30, says Matthew. And many of those are being hammered by the rising rents for field space, shrinking revenues and - crucially - two Supreme Court rulings that took away the industry’s main attractions. “After 10 or 15 more years, there may not be any circus at all in India,” Matthew says, sitting at a folding table outside the canvas tent he uses as both office and living quarters. Circuses once held legendary status in India as entertainment for everyone from princes to pariahs. The biggest names pitched their tents in town centers, drawing huge crowds night after night. The modern circus here is a 130-year-old tradition that according to local lore began when a southern rajah’s horse trainer was taunted by the leader of a visiting Italian show, who said India couldn’t build its own circus. The trainer, Vishnupant Chartre, founded The

In this photo, Biju Nair, principal clown at Rambo Circus, looks at a mirror before a performance on the outskirts of Mumbai, India. — AP photos

Great Indian Circus within months, spawning a national love affair with clowns, wild animal acts and death-defying feats. In the 1990s, India’s Supreme Court banned the use of wild animals in circuses, citing widespread neglect of lions, bears, monkeys and panthers. Then, two years ago, it banned child performers. “There are instances of sexual abuse on a daily basis, physical abuse as well as emotional abuse. The children are deprived of basic needs of food and water,” the activist group Bachpan Bachao Andolan said in the lawsuit charging exploitation of young children that led to the ban. Matthew, however, disagrees with both court bans. He remembers fondly his early days in the circus when there was a menagerie of trained tigers, elephants and other exotic animals that were the main draw for audiences. “We loved our animals, and our business depended on them. So we took good care of them,” he insists. Now, the circus only has four elephants, and Matthew says the Ministry of Environment is considering taking them away too. As for child labor, he says, circuses used to give a skill and livelihood to poor children unable to go school. Biju Nair was once one of those children. At age 10, he literally ran away and joined the circus. Fleeing an abusive home, he stowed away on a train to Mumbai - then called Bombay - and wandered the streets. Hungry and desperate, he wandered into a circus and was given a plateful of food and a job as a ticket taker. In his teens, he used to sneak into the tent to watch the performance, particularly fascinated by the clown acts. Eventually, he persuaded the clowns to teach him their trade.

A circus artist wears a Spiderman costume before a performance at the Rambo Circus on the outskirts of Mumbai, India.

Now 42, Nair is the principal clown at Rambo Circus, a job he takes pride in. He says he scours YouTube for videos of international clowning acts to give him new ideas with help from other performers who know how to read and write, since he never learned. “It’s a hard life in many ways, yes, but it gave me a chance,” he says. “And there is a good feeling in making people laugh.” Still, he is glad his two children, who live with his late wife’s parents in Kerala, are getting an education in school, instead the circus. Nair, too, doesn’t see much of a future for circuses in India now that child apprenticeships are banned. Skills like acrobatics and tightrope walking have to be taught young, he says, but there are no students anymore. “You don’t just wake up at 20 and learn to do these things,” he says. With a shortage of homegrown performers, Indian circuses have turned to foreign acts. That’s how the three Colombian performers and their Ring of Death come to the Rambo Circus. In the midday lull between practice and the afternoon’s performance, 26-year-old Colombian Jhean Carlos lounges in the plywood cubicle the travelling crew builds for him each time they set up camp. The generator-powered air conditioner signifies his status as the star of the show.—AP

In this photo, Indian spectators watch a performance at the Rambo Circus.

SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

Fans hold signs asking for tickets for movies being screened as part of the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes yesterday. — AFP


scar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi premiered his latest tightly wound family drama at Cannes yesterday, confirming critics’ advance buzz it would prove a contender for the film festival’s top prize. The prestigious festival on the French Riviera - where the sun finally emerged on day three - is looking to spot its Palme d’Or winner among the 20 entries in the main competition and early reviews were enthusiastic for “Le Passe” (“The Past”). The intense psychological drama, shot in Paris in French, is Farhadi’s first to be filmed outside his homeland, where Iranian censors have allowed the movie to be distributed. “Le Passe” stars well-known Iranian actor Ali Mosaffa as an Iranian man who returns to Paris to finalise a divorce with his wife, Mariel, played by French actress Berenice Bejo (“The Artist”). Among the many warm reviews, The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw called the film: “A finely crafted, sinewy drama that anatomises clotted and complex relationships.” Back in his former home, “Ahmad” (Mosaffa) is thrust into a complex drama involving Mariel and her new partner, whose wife is in a coma, and a resentful teenage daughter struggling to come to terms with her own guilt. “There is nothing more universal than family. That is a bond between my spectators and myself,” Farhadi told reporters. “The relationship ... between a couple is perhaps the oldest relationship in the history of humanity. There is so much suffering and pain linked to a couple, yet this suffering and pain is always different, unique.” Farhadi’s last film, “A Separation”, which also centred around a divorce, swept the awards

circuit in Europe before winning an Oscar for best foreign language film last year, the first Iranian film to win an Academy Award. In “Le Passe”, Farhadi creates tension that does not let up from start to finish. Much of the drama takes place in enclosed spaces - whether inside a car, where accidents can occur at any moment, or a kitchen, where family secrets are revealed. Asked about censorship by Iranian authorities, Farhadi told reporters that even more dangerous was selfcensorship. “I’m sure I have assimilated many of these restrictions, they are part of me. What I try to do is not to see this as a form of obstacle but as an asset. I try to find some source of creation in this kind of a situation.” “No justice!” Also premiering yesterday was “Tian Zhu Ding” (“A Touch of Sin”) by director Jia Zhangke, China’s sole entry for the top prize. Whereas Farhadi’s film steers clear of politics, Jia’s look at China’s confrontation with modernity points the finger at the authorities. Jia said censorship was not an issue, as the film was based on real events widely covered in the Chinese press. Coal miners fighting against regional corruption; migrant workers constantly on the move; abused prostitutes and suicides by frustrated assembly-line workers are all elements Zhangke weaves into a mosaic of contemporary life. “No justice!” cries one of the characters in the film, when thwarted in his quest to stop regional bosses from bribe-taking. —Reuters

(From top left) Iranian actor Ali Mosaffa, Argentinian-born French actress Berenice Bejo, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, French actor Tahar Rahim and (from bottom left) actors Elyes Aguis and Jeanne Jestin pose yesterday during a photocall for their film “The Past” presented in Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. — AFP

In this photo, actors Blanca Suarez, (left) and actor Jeremy Irvine arrive for the opening ceremony and the screening of The Great Gatsby at the 66th international film festival in Cannes. — AP

Chinese actors Meng Li (left) and Luo Lanshan pose yesterday during a photocall for the film “Tian Zhu Ding” (A Touch of Sin) presented in Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. — AFP


isgusted by corrupt local leaders, an angry miner picks up a shotgun. A migrant worker returning home looks to armed robbery to escape a life of relentless bleakness. A pretty receptionist at a sauna is driven to the limit when a gangster tries to rape her. And a young man drifts nightmarishly from job to job to try to make ends meet. These tableaux would not be out of place in a gritty European art-house movie, but at the Cannes Film Festival, they feature in one of the boldest works to emerge from China in years. The only Chinese contestant in the running for this year’s Palme d’Or, “A Touch of Sin” (Tian Zhu Ding) reaped enthusiastic applause at a press screening on Thursday. It portrays China in the throes of brutal change-a damaged society where corrupt officials, petty criminals and greedy bosses from Hong Kong and Taiwan hold sway. Living in the cracks are the country’s anonymous army of migrant workers. Uprooted, alienated and exploited, they struggle to repair damaged relationships with their distant families, or save up for the pilgrimage home at the Lunar New Year. In one shocking scene, the sauna receptionist is battered around the head by a club of banknotes wielded by her assailant who screams: “I will kill you with my money!” In another, Hong Kong businessmen are bizarrely entertained by teen prostitutes dressed in sexed-up Communist uniforms, who march around in thigh-high boots as they chant a proletarian anthem. All four narratives are inspired by tales that happened in real life, and

make reference to events-including a highspeed train crash and suicides in foreign-owned factories-that have darkened China’s reputation around the world. When the trailer of the film was uploaded on Wednesday to Youku-China’s Youtube-the message boards buzzed. “I don’t know if it will be shown in China ...,” wrote a person under the user name anqionganchouannongcun. “It can be shown at Cannes, but certainly not in Chinese theaters,” predicted a user posting under the name blooper on China’s Twitter-like service, Sina Weibo. Not so, said director Jia Zhangke. In an interview with AFP, he said the film has not only been officially approved. It was also part-funded by a state-owned organisation, the Shanghai Film Group Corporation. And it will be seen in China uncensored. Asked whether “A Touch of Sin” was for foreign consumption only, he said: “The film is going to be seen in China. “I got the authorisation before coming to Cannes, which is good news for me. The version that will be presented in China is the one you have just seen.” The film stars Jiang Wu, Zhao Tao, Wang Baoqiang and newcomer Luo Lanshan, with Jia providing the script. “A Touch of Sin” is the seventh feature film made by the 43-year-old, who has a record of commentary on the social cost of China’s dash for prosperity.—AFP

SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

(From left to right) American Idol judges Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson and Nicki Minaj are seen onstage during Fox’s “American Idol 2013” Finale Results Show at Nokia Theatre LA Live in Los Angeles, California.

(From left) Adam Lambert, Angie Miller and Jessie J appear onstage.


American Idol Season 12 Winner Candice Glover performs.

Psy performs onstage.

he third time’s the charm for Candice Glover on “American Idol.” The booming 23-year-old R&B vocalist from St Helena Island, SC. won the Fox singing competition after auditioning a trio of times and making it to the finals this year. Glover looked stunned when “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest announced she bested soulful 22year-old country singer Kree Harrison from Woodville, Texas. Glover said backstage after winning she learned to “have fun, live in the moment and be confident.” “Because in previous years I wasn’t, so that’s definitely the key if you want to audition for the show or have a career,” she said. After her crowning, an emotional Glover sobbed her way through her new single “I Am Beautiful.” Glover’s win marks the first time a female and a nonwhite singer has won the competition since Jordin Sparks dominated the sixth season in 2007. The previous five winners - Phillip Phillips, Scotty McCreery, Lee DeWyze, Kris Allen and David Cook - were all Caucasian guitar players, known to “Idol” fans as WGWGs, or white guys with guitars. The lack of a female champion for the past five years was mocked in a finale bit featuring the female finalists, in cahoots with Sparks, jokingly sabotaging this season’s five male contestants. “The good news is ‘Idol’ leftovers have been doing really well on ‘The Voice,’” Sparks teased. Besides the coronation of Glover, Thursday’s finale also served as a farewell for Randy Jackson, the show’s last remaining original judge who

Judges Nicki Minaj (left) and Keith Urban walk onstage.

announced last week that he’s leaving “Idol” to focus on his record label and other business opportunities. Jackson served as a judge on all 12 seasons of “Idol.” He first appeared on the panel alongside Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul when the competition debuted in 2002, becoming famous for his easygoing “yo, dawg” rapport with contestants. “I love everybody that walked on this show,” Jackson said. He added, “Hopefully, I touched their lives a little bit. They certainly

touched mine.” Grammy- and Oscar-winning former “Idol” finalist Jennifer Hudson returned for Thursday’s finale to duet with Glover on Natalie Cole’s “Inseparable.” “I look up to her and, honestly, she is so successful after this show, and I really admire her,” said Glover backstage. “I finally got a chance to not only meet her but sing with her.” Hudson was among the guest stars who helped fill out the two-hour finale show, including Psy, Frankie Valli, Emeli Sande, Jessie J, Aretha Franklin and former “Idol” judge Jennifer Lopez. Current “Idol” judges Keith Urban and Mariah Carey - along with Jackson on bass - also performed. Jackson previously declared Wednesday’s threesong showdown a dead heat between Harrison and Glover, who have both once been among the show’s low vote-getters during the finals. “The title is freaking amazing, and I’m so proud of Candice, but for me, I’m so thankful I could even stand next to her on the finale,” said Harrison, who now lives in Nashville, Tenn. Last year’s finale between Phillips and budding pop diva Jessica Sanchez brought in 132 million votes. The vote totals for Thursday’s finale weren’t shared with viewers. — AP

Singer Jennifer Lopez performs onstage.

Contestants perform onstage during Fox’s ‘American Idol 2013’ Finale Results Show at Nokia Theatre LA Live on May 16, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. — AFP photos

SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013


ctor Sanjay Dutt, one of Bollywood’s biggest stars, returned to prison yesterday to serve the remainder of a five-year sentence for firearms offences during the Mumbai bombings 20 years ago, forcing at least one film onto the back burner. Dutt, popular for his role as a do-good gangster in the “Munnabhai” films, was sentenced to six years jail in 2007 for acquiring illegal weapons from men convicted for the 1993 attacks that killed 257 people. He served 18 months but then was out on bail, fighting the conviction until a court in March ordered him back to jail. Projects worth up to 2.5 billion rupees ($46 million) and the fate of several Bollywood movies hung in the balance after the March ruling, but the actor was said to have wrapped up filming for most pending projects in the last few weeks. But at least one film, the third “Munnabhai” comedy in which Dutt was to reprise his role, has been put on the back burner. Dutt returned to prison late on Thursday night. He was later expected to be moved to a jail in the western city of Pune. Clad in white kurta pyjamas and sporting a traditional Hindu “tilak” mark on his forehead, Dutt waved at waiting reporters before leaving his house amid heavy security. The actor was accompanied by his wife and sister. Television showed Dutt being taken to

a Mumbai court. He was swamped by media at the court complex and had to beg reporters to move back so that he could get out of his car. “I have to surrender,” the actor said, gesturing with folded hands. “Please move back! I need to go upstairs.” The beefy action hero was the most high profile of 100 people involved in the Mumbai bombings trial, which ended in 12 people receiving the death penalty and lifetime sentences for others. In 2007, Dutt was cleared of conspiracy charges in the attacks but found guilty of illegal possession of an AK-56 rifle and a pistol, which he claimed he required to protect himself and his family during a period of rioting in Mumbai. In March, the Supreme Court reduced the 53-yearold actor’s sentence to five years and ordered him back to jail, but in April it gave the actor four extra weeks of freedom to finish some of his Bollywood films. A last-ditch petition was dismissed by the court on Tuesday. Dutt is best known for his turn in “Lage Raho Munnabhai”, a comedy about a gangster espousing Gandhian values that won the popular film prize at the National Film Awards for 2006. — Reuters Indian Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt (center) is flanked by his wife Manyata (left) and film director Mahesh Bhatt as he leaves his residence in Mumbai before surrendering to a special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (TADA) court. — AFP


A logo of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest is seen at a public viewing area in downtown Malmo, on May 16, 2013. — AFP


hen Finnish singer Krista Siegfrids ended her Eurovision Song Contest rehearsal performance last week by kissing one of her female dancers, few members of the audience raised an eyebrow. Eurovision has been a staple of gay culture for decades in western Europe, where gay bars and nightclubs traditionally screen the event and drag queens often pay tribute to the kitsch outfits seemingly made for them. But if the lesbian kiss stays part of the act in the Swedish city of Malmoe, it could pose a problem for public broadcasters in the socially conservative nations of eastern Europe. Russia, winner of the contest in 2008, last year blocked plans for a gay pride parade in Moscow, and in neighbouring Ukraine, which clinched the top spot in 2004, lawmakers are mulling a bill that would ban “pro-homosexual propaganda”. It is a gamble Finland’s Siegfrids may be willing to take: courting the pink vote could also boost support for disco anthem “Marry Me”, which has already spawned a samesex marriage-themed parody on YouTube.

“I absolutely love the video. It’s really funny,” Siegfrids told AFP. The former reality show contestant said she hoped Helsinki would legalise gay marriage “as soon as possible”, after the issue became the subject of a so-called citizens’ initiative garnering hundreds of thousands of signatures. In Sweden, which has been a pioneer in gay rights, the city of Malmoe has worked with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community to promote the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s a far cry from last year’s bizarre row between Azerbaijan and its more staunchly Muslim neighbour Iran, which reacted angrily to an unlikely rumour that the country would hold a gay parade during the event. A senior presidential administration official retorted that Azerbaijan does not even have a word for gay parade-unlike Iran. But although the competition’s appeal to gay men is widely known, explaining it has never been easy.—AFP

hat’s a wrap! Dunder Mifflin Paper Co. lives on, but “The Office” has closed shop. The NBC workplace comedy, set at the fictional company’s Scranton, Pa, branch, aired its finale Thursday to end an eight-year run. As expected, office manager Dwight wed tempestuous coworker Angela, with whom he previously shared a secret affair. He had abruptly proposed to her on last week’s episode. And as a welcome surprise, former manager Michael Scott was back to serve as Dwight’s best man. It was an answered prayer not only for Dwight (who greeted him with a choked-up “I can’t believe you came”), but also for viewers who were hoping that Michael might make a surprise visit in the person of Steve Carell. NBC had stayed mum on whether Carell, the star of “The Office” until his departure two seasons ago, would be in the finale or not. “I feel like all my kids grew up and then they married each other,” said Michael to the camera at the wedding reception. “It’s every parent’s dream!” “The Office” premiered in 2005. It was based on the British comedy of the same name, which premiered in 2001. It starred and was co-created by Ricky Gervais. During its run on NBC, it picked up four Emmys and a prestigious Peabody award. Other Dunder Mifflin alumni who were back for the finale included Kelly (Mindy Kaling) and Ryan (BJ Novak). Set a year after last week’s

episode, the finale provided comfortable and affectionate closure for the characters and the viewers who love them. For instance, Andy (Ed Helms), who had left the company to chase stardom, hadn’t gotten very far, beyond becoming a laughingstock from a viral video of him bursting into tears when he auditioned for a talent competition. He had since landed an administrative job at Cornell University. A “where-are-they-now?” panel reunited the subjects of the Dunder Mifflin mockumentary, whose make-believe production had consumed the run of “The Office” and functioned as its narrative frame. “Do you feel that your life is pointless, now that nobody is filming you anymore?” one audience member asked. “Yes,” replied Toby (Paul Lieberstein) sadly. In response to another question, Pam (Jenna Fischer) described her relationship with husband Jim (John Krasinski) as being “like a long book that you never want to end, and you’re fine with that, because you just never, ever want to leave it.” “Like ‘Harry Potter,’” cooed the questioner as the audience went, “Awwwwwwwww.” —AP

Rainn Wilson jumps on home plate after running the bases at PNC Field when he was introduced during “The Office” Wrap Party in Scranton, Pa. — AP

SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

“I This undated publicity photo shows actor Dustin Hoffman as Dorothy Michaels in the 1982 Columbia Pictures’ film, “Tootsie.” — AP


he thriller “Black Rock” is about a trio of childhood friends (Kate Bosworth, Lake Bell and director Katie Aselton) who travel to a remote island off the coast of Maine to work through past issues and reconnect. But when it turns out they’re not the only ones on the island, they end up having to fight for their lives. Aselton’s film, playing in select cities this weekend and through video on demand nationwide, celebrates the inner strength and resourcefulness women can summon when they’re called upon to find it. So it’s only fitting that the actress and filmmaker, perhaps best known for her supporting work on the FX comedy series “The League,” should choose five favorite movies about strong women who take charge. It’s also a pleasure to have her here since her husband, writer-director-actor Mark Duplass, took over the Five Most space last year with a list of great time-travel movies when “Safety Not Guaranteed” debuted. Here’s Aselton, in her own words: “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991): You cannot talk female heroines and not acknowledge Sarah Connor, a character faced with not just the challenge of preventing a nuclear war, but protecting her son. The girl is textbook bad-a**. And she has the guns to prove it. “Thelma & Louise” (1991): I love everything about this movie, but more than anything, this film illustrates a beautiful, authentic friendship between two women and how deeply fierce a bond like that can run. I love that these two women took the wheel of their lives and take us, as an audience, on an amazing ride. “Bull Durham” (1988): Susan Sarandon, again, I know! But the woman epitomizes bad-a** to me perfectly in that she never com-

Katie Aselton

promises her sensuality by being strong and smart. The woman makes no apologies in her characters or her performances. As Annie in “Bull Durham,” she delivers another one of these amazing performances and cemented her place as “who I want to be when I grow up.” “The River Wild” (1994): And then there is Meryl Streep. Who is amazing in everything. And while “The River Wild” may not be the highest moment in cinematic history, she plays an amazing mother who finds herself in the extraordinary situation of having to save her husband and son from deranged thieves on the run. Crazy, I know, but it’s Meryl, and she does it all on a river raft while navigating rapids in mom jean shorts! “Tootsie” (1982): And finally, my favorite kick-a** girl is ... a dude? But Dustin Hoffman’s character, Dorothy Michaels, taught us more about being a strong, powerful, compassionate woman in this world than most actual female characters could ever try to do. Dorothy Michaels is certainly a bad ass role model for us all. And I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes of hers: “Oh, I know what y’all really want is some gross caricature of a woman to prove some idiotic point that power makes a woman masculine, or masculine women are ugly. Well, shame on you for letting a man do that, or any man that does that.” — AP ]

Fans with Daft Punk helmets pose for pictures on the eve of French group Daft Punk’s album launch in Australia’s tiny town of Wee Waa yesterday. Wee Waa better known for cotton-picking than culture, was relishing the limelight as thousands of electo-pop fans descended for French group Daft Punk’s album launch. The cotton town’s population will more than double for the event — being billed as an “official album playback” — with 4,000 tickets sold and police expecting crowds of up to 6,000. — AFP

ron Man 3” was soaring past $1 billion at the worldwide box office Thursday, in a display of world domination that would make one of Marvel’s super villains proud. The boxoffice bounty - roughly $700 million from abroad and $300 million domestically - is a major triumph for Disney, which bet big on comic book superheroes when it bought Marvel Studios for $4 billion in 2009. And its decision to bring aboard a Chinese partner for “Iron Man 3” and focus the Disney marketing machine on the booming foreign market looks pretty good right now, too. “To an extent, It’s a sign of the times,” Disney’s head of distribution Dave Hollis told TheWrap Thursday, referring to the huge recent growth of the international market. “But we had a great movie that was embraced all around the world as the summer’s first blockbuster. We had that incredible May Day, the word of mouth was terrific and we’re still seeing the effects of that.” Disney made China the cornerstone of the international campaign, despite its protectionist policies and tough censors. The studio partnered with that country’s DMG Entertainment on the film, shooting extra footage for a special edition featuring Chinese actress Fan BingBing that was released in that country. The plan worked - in a big way. “Iron Man 3” scored the biggest opening day ever and has taken in more than $102 million in China, making it by far the movie’s most lucrative foreign market. The next biggest were Korea ($56 million), the U.K. ($49 million), Mexico ($43 million), Russia ($39 million), Brazil ($38 million), France ($36 million) and Australia ($33 million). Only 15 other movies have hit the $1 billion plateau. Disney and Marvel’s superhero sequel did it in 24 days, not as quickly as their blockbuster “The Avengers,” which managed the feat in 19 days of release last year. “Iron Man 3,” which stars Robert Downey Jr as billionaire Tony Stark, wrote itself into the box-office record books. Its $175 million US debut was the second-largest ever, behind only “The Avengers.” To get to the No. 16 slot on the all-time list, “Iron Man 3’ passed “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” ($963 million), “Jurassic Park” ($967 million) and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” ($975 million). “Iron Man 3” is the sixth Disney film to reach $1 billion globally. Besides “The Avengers,” the others are “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” “Toy Story 3,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” and “Alice in Wonderland.” No other studio has more than two. — Reuters

This publicity image released by USA Network shows Dule Hill, (center left) and James Roday (center right) performing a musical number at the 2013 USA Network Upfront at Pier 36 in New York on Thursday, May 16, 2013. — AP


SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

NASA craft’s planet-hunting days may be numbered LOS ANGELES: NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler telescope is broken, potentially jeopardizing the search for other worlds where life could exist outside our solar system. If engineers can’t find a fix, the failure could mean an end to the $600 million mission’s search, although the space agency wasn’t ready to call it quits Wednesday. The telescope has discovered scores of planets but only two so far are the best candidates for habitable planets. “I wouldn’t call Kepler down-and-out just yet,” said NASA sciences chief John Grunsfeld. NASA said the spacecraft lost the second of four wheels that control its orientation in space. With only two working wheels left, it can’t point at stars with the same precision. In orbit around the sun, 40 million miles from Earth, Kepler is too far away to send astronauts on a repair mission like the way Grunsfeld and others fixed a mirror on the Hubble Space Telescope. Over the next several weeks, engineers on the ground will try to restart Kepler’s faulty wheel or find a workaround. The telescope could be used for other purposes even if it can no longer track down planets. Kepler was launched in 2009 in search of Earthlike planets. So far, it has confirmed 132 planets and spotted more than 2,700 potential ones. Its mission was supposed to be over by now, but last year, NASA agreed to keep Kepler running through 2016 at a cost of about $20 million a year. Just last month, Kepler scientists announced the

discovery of a distant duo that seems like ideal places for some sort of life to flourish. The other planets found by Kepler haven’t fit all the criteria that would make them right for life of any kind from microbes to man. While ground telescopes can hunt for planets outside our solar system, Kepler is much more advanced and is the first space mission dedicated to that goal. For the past four years, Kepler has focused its telescope on a faraway patch of the Milky Way hosting more than 150,000 stars, recording slight dips in brightness - a sign of a planet passing in front of the star. Now “we can’t point where we need to point. We can’t gather data,” deputy project manager Charles Sobeck told The Associated Press. Scientists said there’s a backlog of data that they still need to analyze even if Kepler stopped looking for planets. “I think the most interesting, exciting discoveries are coming in the next two years. The mission is not over,” said chief scientist William Borucki at the NASA Ames Research Center in Northern California, which manages the mission. Scientists who have no role in the Kepler mission mourned the news. They said the latest loss means the spacecraft may not be able to determine how many Earth-size planets are in the “Goldilocks zone” where it’s not too hot or too cold for water to exist in liquid form on the surface. —AP

Lawmakers raise Google Glass privacy concerns WASHINGTON: A group of US lawmakers has asked Google to answer questions on the privacy implications and possible “misuse of information” of its Google Glass project. Eight lawmakers in the Congressional Privacy Caucus sent a letter Thursday saying they are “curious whether this new technology could infringe on the privacy of the average American.” The lawmakers asked Google to provide information about how it would collect and use data from the Internet-linked eyewear, which has been tested by a small group of users and is expected to hit the market later this year. Caucus chair Joe Barton said in a statement the lawmakers “are concerned about possible misuse of information gathered by Google Glass.” “When using Google Glass, is it true that this product would be able to use facial recognition technology to unveil personal information about whomever and even some inanimate objects that the user is viewing?” the letter asked. “Would a user be able to request such information? Can a non-user or human subject opt out of this collection of personal data? If so, how? If not, why not?” The lawmakers also asked whether Google Glass has the capacity to store any data, if it will have user authentication and whether any privacy protections for non-users would be in place. Google has faced privacy investigations on both sides of the Atlantic. European officials are pressing the Internet giant on data protection and privacy. In the US, Google has been fined for collecting people’s personal data without authorization as it combed neighborhoods for its Street View service. Glass connects to the Internet using Wi-Fi hot spots or, more typically, by being wirelessly tethered to mobile phones. Pictures or video are shared through the Google Plus social network. Google co-founder and chief Larry Page depicted Glass this week as part of an ongoing effort to get computers “out of the way” so people can focus on lives enriched by what the Internet has to offer. The letter was signed by Barton and Representatives John Barrow, Steve Chabot, Henry Johnson, Walter Jones, Richard Nugent, Bobby Rush and Loretta Sanchez. — AFP

This photo provided by NASA shows the Kepler Space Observatory during assembly. A view of the backside of the solar array on the left and the spacecraft and photometer without the sunshade are shown on the right. NASA officials announced Wednesday that a part that helps aim the spacecraft stopped working and that Kepler had gone into ‘safe mode.’ — AFP

Facebook, Twitter build apps for Google’s Glass Facebook outlook still muddled one year after IPO SAN FRANCISCO: Google says it’s still figuring out the best ways to use Glass, but the company announced Thursday that Facebook, Twitter and several other media firms have built their own applications for the futuristic-looking wearable computer. Facebook confirmed that its members can take pictures with Glass and post them to their Facebook timelines, with an app that allows them to add comments or even change their minds and delete the photo later. Twitter also said its users can share photos from Glass, as well as receive and reply to tweets. CNN and Elle magazine have joined The New York Times in developing apps that will send news alerts and photos to Glass wearers. And Evernote lets users create lists or notes on different computers and view them on Glass. Google has acknowledged that some people are still baffled, or even worried, about the potential for its Internet-connected headset device. That’s why it’s working to encourage some well-known brands to build apps that show how Glass can be used. “Examples are really important right now,” said Timothy Jordan, Google’s senior developer advocate for Glass, during a session at the company’s I/O software conference Thursday. “We are all collectively ... figuring out what the best experience is on Glass.” Glass is a popular fashion accessory at the I/O conference, which runs through Friday. Many attendees could be spotted wearing them in meeting rooms, hallways - and yes, even in restrooms, sometimes in disregard of an emerging rule of etiquette that suggests tilting the device and its camera toward the ceiling in such surroundings. Google has only sold the gadget to a limited number of techies, but it’s hoping to enter the consumer market by next year. And many developers are eager to work on creating new uses for the gadget. They packed the mid-sized conference room where Jordan was speaking, while more crowded around a large video screen in an overflow area where his talk was being streamed. “I think that it’s quite exciting,” said Peter O’Shaughnessy, a London-based software developer for a publishing company, who is attending the I/O conference. While he has not yet had a chance to buy his own Glass device, O’Shaughnessy said it reminded him of the first iPhone. “A lot of people look at something new like this and they dismiss it,” he acknowledged. “They say it’s stupid. But you have to try these things out to explore how to use them. It’s a chance to think about technology in a different way, to find different outlets for sharing content.” Jordan showed off the newest Glass apps while also demonstrating basic functions such as taking pictures, sending email and

asking Google’s translation app how to say “welcome” in German. In addition, he offered some tips that were both technical and philosophical for people who want to write software for the device. Make sure you’re showing timely information, and don’t make it too disruptive, he urged. “You don’t want Glass to get in the way,” Jordan explained, adding that showing a 30-second video is reasonable, but 30 minutes is too much. “It’s not about staring up all day” at Glass’s tiny screen, which sits in the upper right of a wearer’s field of vision. “It’s about living your life. FACEBOOK OUTLOOK A year after a nightmarish share offering, Facebook still has its ardent backers and detractors. The world’s biggest social network, which now has more than 1.1 billion users, has managed to boost its earnings since the initial public offering, including from its mobile platform, important in countering its critics. The IPO on May 18 last year sparked a series of crises for Facebook, with the shares plunging from $38 to as low as $17.73 in September. Shares closed Thursday at $26.13. A year ago, the company faced doubts on whether it could boost revenues and adapt to the shift to mobile computing. The IPO also sparked accusations on whether investment banks withheld key data, and a trading glitch led to claims of tens of millions of dollars in damages against the Nasdaq exchange. Since then, however, Facebook has lifted its profits, and boosted the mobile segment to 30 percent of ad revenues in its most recent results, which generally beat Wall Street estimates. Facebook’s share price has stabilized in a range of $25 to $28, and even some of its early critics are offering grudging praise. “It has a better strategy. It seems a little more mature,” said Trip Chowdhry at Global Equities Research, a skeptic at the time of the Facebook IPO. Chowdhry has an “equal weight” rating and a price target of $28, suggesting Facebook has some potential to rise if it executes well. “Facebook is the undisputed leader in the segment. Nobody even comes close,” Chowdhry said. He maintained that Google+, the social network from Facebook’s Silicon Valley rival, “has not put even a single dent on Facebook.” Still, the analyst is cautious on Facebook, saying it needs to keep innovating to find ways to keep users engaged. “They can’t be too greedy,” he said. “They need to put product before monetization.” Chowdhry said that if Facebook goes too heavy on ads, it will turn users away “and they could become the next MySpace,” the failed social network which led the sector before Facebook.—Agencies


SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

Pet lovers take blogging to the next level TYSONS CORNER: When Dexter the cocker spaniel tore a ligament in his hind leg a few weeks ago, he didn’t suffer in silence. Instead, his owner wrote a blog post. “The vet told me my dog needed surgery, and I thought, ‘You know, there’s got to be something else’,” said Carol Bryant, who writes a “canine-centric online magazine” called A Fidose of Reality. Responding to her blog entries, readers told Bryant that Dexter didn’t have to go under the knife. He had options, like laser therapy and a leg brace he’ll be wearing for the next six months. So good is his progress that Dexter has come with Bryant from rural Pennsylvania to this Washington suburb for the biggest US gathering ever of pet bloggers-people who embrace social media to rave about pets. The Fifth Annual BlogPaws Conference, with 500 participants and perhaps as many critters, is a chance to network, swap ideas and maybe win a coveted Nose-to-Nose Pet Blogging and Social Media award

(for which The Intrepid Pup, about a peripatetic Vizsla called Tavish, is nominated in three categories). Workshops include a primer on using Google Analytics to gauge online readership, building bridges between bloggers and veterinarians, and Schmitty the Weather Dog demonstrating a justreleased Sony canine video harness. In its online community, BlogPaws has 2,200 members, said co-founder Yvonne DiVita, who writes about her cat and three dogs in Colorado on a blog titled Scratchings and Sniffings. “I would guess we’re going to hit close to 3,000 by the end of the year,” she told AFP as bloggers (predominantly female) and their pets (predominantly dogs) took over the lobby of the Sheraton hotel on Thursday. With Americans spending $53.33 billion on their pets last year, according to the American Pet Products Association, and 62 percent of households owning a pet, the pet care industry is taking the bloggers seriously.

In an exhibition hall, big hitters like pet food maker Nestle Purina rub shoulders with upstarts like the Spoiled Pup Boutique, a New York area canine couturier, wooing bloggers to test and endorse their products. “The followers and readers of pet blogs are so loyal, and they trust the word of bloggers,” said Bridget Evans, a San Diego publicist attending BlogPaws for VetIQ, a newcomer to the pet medication and health supplements business. It’s come to the point, DiVita said, where some popular bloggers with solid track records and substantial followings can give up their day jobs and earn a good middle-class income-or better-through online advertising. “I know bloggers that are making upwards of six figures,” she said, while others are content with just a few hundred dollars. “We’re kind of the rock stars of the pet industry,” added Bryant, who cautions that the key to blogging success is finding a unique voice and then keeping it real: “You need to be yourself when you blog.”—AFP

War for mobile messaging is on Apps could rival Facebook, Google SAN FRANCISCO: WhatsApp is one of Silicon Valley’s most buzzed-about companies, yet it actively avoids the spotlight, operating out of a small office in Mountain View, Calif, with no sign on the building entrance or on the office door. Unlike most startups eager for media attention, WhatsApp Inc says it doesn’t want or need it. Its popular mobile messaging application has spread so quickly by word of mouth that in just four years it has amassed hundreds of millions of users who collectively send as many as 18 billion messages a day. WhatsApp belongs to a new generation of messaging services that are revolutionizing 20year-old text messaging technology and escalating the mobile messaging wars. “In many countries, consumers have decided they prefer these mobile messaging apps,” said Tero Kuittinen, an analyst with mobile diagnostics firm Alekstra. Now they are taking the US by storm. That’s particularly worrisome to wireless carriers that have already lost billions in revenue from customers shifting from text to so-called instant messages such as Apple Inc.’s iMessage service, which each day delivers 2 billion messages free of charge. But the growing popularity of these mobile apps is not good news for the Silicon Valley tech giants either. Analysts say people use the apps to connect with their closest friends and relatives, creating a new more intimate social network that could rival Facebook Inc and Google Inc for the attention of hundreds of millions of users and, eventually, advertising dollars. Messages sent using the mobile apps, which are offered by third-party developers and downloaded to smartphones, are not limited to 160 characters the way text messages are. They also enable users to be more creative with scribbled notes, doodles and emoji pictograms that express thoughts and emotions that the typed word sometimes cannot. Some apps are adding games and other distractions to hold people’s attention even longer. Many of the apps are free or charge a small subscription fee - WhatsApp charges $1 a year. When Nick Meyer, a 22-year-old graduate student at North Carolina State University, is on his iPhone 4, he’s mostly using an app called Kik to chat with friends, he says. Each day he sends a few hundred messages, yet never messages friends on Facebook unless he’s sitting at his computer. “Mobile is going to be the main form of communication. In some ways, it already is,” Meyer said.

With the explosion in worldwide sales of smartphones, these apps are already the go-to messaging tool in Europe and Asia, where they have taken a big bite out of texting traffic and profits that text messages generate for wireless carriers. Wireless carriers lost a total of $23 billion in texting revenue as of the end of 2012, research firm Ovum estimates. Research firm Informa says people are now sending more messages over mobile apps such as WhatsApp than they are text messages and the trend is accelerating. By the end of this year, traffic from mobile messaging is expected to be more than double that of traditional SMS texts. CTIA, a wireless communications industry group, recently found that Americans sent 2.2 trillion SMS text messages last year, down 5 percent from 2011. The trillions of messages from around the globe that run through WhatsApp alone each year already surpass the texting volume of all top four US wireless carriers combined, telecommunications consultant Chetan Sharma said. MessageMe, a free app, launched in March. A week later it had 1 million users. Its most active users send 30,000 messages a day, the San Francisco company said. “I didn’t know that was physically possible,” MessageMe co-founder Arjun Sethi said. In mobile, messaging has emerged as the “killer” app, said Ted Livingston, chief executive of Kik Interactive Inc, a Canadian startup that last month announced it had raised an additional $19.5 million in funding. Kik has 50 million users and adds 200,000 users each day, Livingston said. Popular apps in the US include WhatsApp, Kik and MessageMe. Kakao Inc’s KakaoTalk and Tencent Holdings Ltd’s WeChat are hot in Asian markets. One popular Asian app is making aggressive moves into the North American market. Line, an app with which users can play games and send virtual “stickers,” reached 100 million users in 19 months. Facebook took about three times as long to reach that level. Both Facebook and Google reportedly approached WhatsApp about a possible buyout. WhatsApp declined to comment on that but said it plans to remain independent. Mobile messaging apps work like this: Users download the app to their smartphone and set up a personal profile. They invite friends and family members to download the app to their devices. Then they send one another elaborate messages, which travel over Internet data networks, not over cellular networks the way standard text messages do.—MCT

URBANA: A camera lens that mimics the bulging eyes of insects is shown next to a penny in a lab in the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois. — AP

Tiny camera in Illinois offers bug’s eye view URBANA: A tiny new camera developed at an Illinois university is giving researchers a bug’s eye view. The camera created by a research team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is about the size of a penny and mimics insects’ bulging eyes. It features 180 micro-lenses, giving it a panoramic field of view and the ability to focus simultaneously on objects at different

depths. Team leader John Rogers is a professor of material science and chemistry and says he’s been fascinated by bug’s eyes since childhood. Their wide field of view helps insects like bees and flies escape dangers like humans who want to swat them. The bug’s eye camera is likely to be developed for uses ranging from security cameras to surgical endoscopes. — AP

URBANA: John A Rogers, director of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois, displays a camera lens that mimics the bulging eyes of insects in a lab in Urbana, Ill. — AP

TV listings

SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

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

Monster Bug Wars I’m Alive Safari Vet School Safari Vet School Sharkbite Beach Whale Wars Shamwari: A Wild Life Cheetah Kingdom Animal Airport Animal Airport Wildlife SOS Meerkat Manor Dogs 101: Specials Crocodile Hunter Baby Planet Monkey Life Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild Bondi Vet The Really Wild Show Wildest Arctic My Cat From Hell My Cat From Hell My Cat From Hell My Cat From Hell My Cat From Hell My Cat From Hell Speed Of Life Speed Of Life Lions Of Crocodile River Roaring With Pride My Cat From Hell Karina: Wild On Safari Karina: Wild On Safari Untamed & Uncut

00:40 Food Poker 01:30 Masterchef: The Professionals 02:15 Gok’s Fashion Fix 03:05 Coastal Kitchen 03:30 Cash In The Attic 04:15 Bargain Hunt 05:00 Holmes On Homes 05:45 Gok’s Fashion Fix 06:35 Coastal Kitchen 07:00 Homes Under The Hammer 07:55 Homes Under The Hammer 08:50 Homes Under The Hammer 09:45 Homes Under The Hammer 10:40 Cash In The Attic 11:25 Come Dine With Me 12:15 Perfect Day 12:40 Baking Mad With Eric Lanlard 13:05 Baking Mad With Eric Lanlard 13:30 Food Poker 14:15 The Roux Legacy 14:50 Food And Drink 15:15 Bargain Hunt 16:00 Antiques Roadshow 17:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials 18:20 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 19:00 Celebrity MasterChef 19:55 Vacation Vacation Vacation 20:20 Come Dine With Me 21:15 Antiques Roadshow 22:15 Bargain Hunt: Famous Finds 23:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 23:45 Ty Pennington’s Homes For The Brave

00:00 00:30 01:00 01:30 02:00 02:30 03:00 03:10 03:30 04:00 04:30 05:00 05:10 Reeve 06:00 06:30 07:00 07:10 08:00 08:30 09:00 09:30 10:00 10:10 10:30 11:00 11:10 11:30 12:00

17:55 18:20 18:45 19:10 19:35 20:00 20:25 20:50 21:15 21:40 22:00 22:25 22:50 23:15 23:40

Ben 10: Ultimate Alien Ben 10: Ultimate Alien Total Drama Island Total Drama Island Total Drama Island Total Drama Island Total Drama Island Star Wars: The Clone Wars Star Wars: The Clone Wars Evil Con Carne Ben 10 Ben 10 Mucha Lucha ! Mucha Lucha ! Powerpuff Girls

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

Amanpour World Sport Piers Morgan Live World Report Backstory Anderson Cooper 360 Piers Morgan Live News Special The Situation Room World Sport On China World Report CNN Marketplace Africa Backstory World Report CNN Marketplace Middle East I Report For CNN World Sport Open Court The Best Of The Situation Room World Report The Brief Amanpour Inside Africa News Special World Report Leading Women Fusion Journeys News Special Backstory International Desk African Voices CNN Marketplace Europe CNN Marketplace Africa The Brief World Sport Winning Post The Gateway International Desk Inside Africa International Desk On China The Best Of The Situation Room News Special

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

Wheeler Dealers Wheeler Dealers: Trading Up Fifth Gear Mythbusters Border Security Auction Hunters Storage Hunters How Machines Work How Stuff’s Made Sons Of Guns James May’s Man Lab You Have Been Warned Mythbusters Mythbusters Glory Hounds Glory Hounds Dual Survival Dual Survival Dual Survival Dual Survival Dual Survival Dual Survival Wheeler Dealers: Trading Up Gold Divers: Under The Ice Alaska: The Last Frontier Heroes Of Hell’s Highway Storage Hunters Storage Hunters Storage Hunters Storage Hunters Storage Hunters Extreme Drug Smuggling

00:05 00:30 01:00 01:50 02:45

How Tech Works Sci-Fi Science The Future Of... Sport Science Tech Toys 360

BENEATH THE DARKNESS ON OSN ACTION HD BBC World News BBC World News World Features Newsnight BBC World News Our World BBC World News Weekend World BBC World News BBC World News Sport Today Fast Track BBC World News Dateline London BBC World News Indian Ocean With Simon

BBC World News America BBC World News America BBC World News Newsnight BBC World News Our World BBC World News Weekend World Talking Books BBC World News Horizons BBC World News Indian Ocean With Simon

12:10 13:00 13:10 13:30 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:10 15:30 16:00 16:15 16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00 18:10 Reeve 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:10 21:00 21:15 21:30 22:00 22:30 23:00 23:10 23:30

BBC World News Fast Track BBC World News Art Of Germany BBC World News Middle East Business Report BBC World News Click BBC World News Weekend World Talking Books BBC World News Football Focus Horizons BBC World News

00:45 01:35 02:00 02:25 02:50 03:00 03:30 03:55 04:20 04:45 05:00 05:25

Wacky Races Duck Dodgers Duck Dodgers Dastardly And Muttley Dastardly And Muttley Dexter’s Laboratory Wacky Races Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Tom & Jerry The Garfield Show Bananas In Pyjamas Gerald McBoing Boing

BBC World News Final Score BBC World News Art Of Germany BBC World News Sport Today Fast Track BBC World News Click BBC World News World Features Dateline London

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

Jelly Jamm Ha Ha Hairies Baby Looney Tunes Cartoonito Tales Krypto: The Super Dog Lazytown Gerald McBoing Boing Bananas In Pyjamas Jelly Jamm Ha Ha Hairies Baby Looney Tunes Cartoonito Tales Krypto: The Super Dog Lazytown Ha Ha Hairies Gerald McBoing Boing Baby Looney Tunes Jelly Jamm Tiny Toon Adventures Tiny Toon Adventures What’s New Scooby Doo Tom And Jerry Tales The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby-Doo The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby-Doo Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries What’s New Scooby Doo Tom And Jerry Tales The Looney Tunes Show The Looney Tunes Show Taz-Mania Taz-Mania The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby-Doo The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby-Doo Tom And Jerry Tales Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Moomins Duck Dodgers

00:30 Grim Adventures Of... 01:20 Johnny Test

02:10 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 02:35 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 03:00 The Amazing World Of Gumball 03:25 Regular Show 03:50 Ben 10: Omniverse 04:15 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 04:40 Powerpuff Girls 05:05 Evil Con Carne 05:30 Cow & Chicken 06:00 Casper’s Scare School 06:30 Angelo Rules 07:00 Thundercats 07:25 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 07:50 Young Justice 08:15 Hero 108 08:40 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 09:05 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 09:35 Ben 10: Omniverse 10:00 Dreamworks Dragons Riders Of Berk 10:25 Johnny Test 10:50 Gormiti New 11:15 Evil Con Carne 11:40 The Amazing World Of Gumball 12:05 Adventure Time 12:55 Regular Show 13:45 Angelo Rules 14:10 Ben 10: Omniverse 14:35 Dreamworks Dragons Riders Of Berk 15:00 Gormiti New 15:25 Young Justice 15:50 Ben 10: Omniverse 16:15 The Amazing World Of Gumball 16:40 Adventure Time 17:05 Regular Show 17:30 Johnny Test

03:10 Tech Toys 360 03:35 The Future Of... 04:25 Superships 05:15 The Gadget Show 05:40 How Tech Works 06:05 Meteorite Men 07:00 James May’s Man Lab 07:50 X-Machines 08:40 The Gadget Show 09:05 How Tech Works 09:30 Superships 10:25 Superships 11:20 Superships 12:10 Superships 13:00 Superships 13:50 Sci-Fi Science 14:20 The Gadget Show 14:45 How Tech Works 15:10 X-Machines 16:00 Unchained Reaction 16:55 Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design 17:45 Tech Toys 360 18:10 Tech Toys 360 18:35 X-Machines 19:30 James May’s Man Lab 20:20 James May’s 20th Century 20:45 James May’s 20th Century 21:10 The Gadget Show 21:35 How Tech Works 22:00 James May’s Man Lab 22:50 Dark Matters: Twisted But True 23:40 The Gadget Show

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

Hannah Montana Hannah Montana Brandy & Mr Whiskers Brandy & Mr Whiskers Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School Replacements Replacements Brandy & Mr Whiskers Brandy & Mr Whiskers Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School Replacements Replacements Brandy & Mr Whiskers Brandy & Mr Whiskers Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jake & The Neverland Pirates Suite Life On Deck Cinderella II Hannah Montana Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Jessie A.N.T Farm A.N.T Farm Code: 9 Let It Shine Prankstars Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Good Luck Charlie A.N.T Farm A.N.T Farm Code: 9 Shake It Up Austin And Ally Jessie A.N.T. Farm High School Musical 3 Prankstars Code: 9 Jessie A.N.T Farm A.N.T Farm Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Jessie Hannah Montana Jonas Sonny With A Chance Sonny With A Chance Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place

00:00 00:55 01:25 02:20 03:15 03:40 04:10 05:05 06:00 07:50 08:20 09:15

Dirty Soap Style Star THS THS Style Star Extreme Close-Up THS THS THS Style Star E! News Keeping Up With The

TV listings

SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013 Kardashians 10:15 THS 11:10 THS 12:05 E! News 13:05 Scouted 14:05 Playing With Fire 15:00 Chasing The Saturdays 15:30 Chasing The Saturdays 16:00 Ice Loves Coco 16:30 Ice Loves Coco 17:00 Married To Jonas 17:30 Married To Jonas 18:00 E! News 19:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 20:00 Playing With Fire 21:00 Chasing The Saturdays 21:30 Fashion Police 22:30 E! News 23:30 Chelsea Lately

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

Dr G: Medical Examiner A Haunting Scorned: Crimes Of Passion Most Evil I Almost Got Away With It Dr G: Medical Examiner A Haunting Nightmare Next Door Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? True Crime With Aphrodite Murder Shift Disappeared Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Street Patrol Forensic Detectives True Crime With Aphrodite Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? Disappeared Murder Shift Forensic Detectives True Crime With Aphrodite

17:50 18:15 18:40 19:05 19:30 20:20 21:10 22:00 22:25 22:50 23:15 23:40

Barefoot Contessa Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Chopped Chopped Ultimate Recipe Showdown Food Wars Food Wars Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives

00:45 International Open House 01:10 International Open House 01:40 Earth Tripping 02:05 Earth Tripping 02:35 David Rocco‚Äôs Dolce Vita 03:00 David Rocco‚Äôs Dolce Vita 03:30 Market Values 03:55 Market Values 04:25 Somewhere In China 05:20 On Surfari 05:45 On Surfari 06:15 Roam 06:40 Graham’s World 07:10 Extreme Tourist Afghanistan 08:05 Treks In A Wild World 08:30 Treks In A Wild World 09:00 Cycling Home From Siberia With Rob Lilwall 09:25 Cycling Home From Siberia With Rob Lilwall 09:55 Don’t Tell My Mother 10:50 International Open House 11:15 International Open House 11:45 Earth Tripping 12:10 Earth Tripping 12:40 David Rocco‚Äôs Dolce Vita 13:05 David Rocco‚Äôs Dolce Vita 13:35 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 14:00 My Sri Lanka With Peter

Kuruvita 14:30 Somewhere In China 15:25 Scam City 16:20 Treks In A Wild World 16:45 Treks In A Wild World 17:15 Cycling Home From Siberia With Rob Lilwall 17:40 Cycling Home From Siberia With Rob Lilwall 18:10 Don’t Tell My Mother 19:05 On Surfari 19:30 On Surfari 20:00 Roam 20:30 Graham’s World 21:00 Extreme Tourist Afghanistan 22:00 Scam City 22:55 Finding Genghis 23:20 Finding Genghis 23:50 Don’t Tell My Mother

00:00 Quarantine 2: Terminal-18 02:00 Striking Distance-PG15 04:00 True Justice: Dead Drop-PG15 06:00 True Justice: Violence Of Action-PG15 08:00 Ice Road Terror-PG15 10:00 The Man Inside-PG15 12:00 Killer Mountain-PG15 14:00 Ice Road Terror-PG15 16:00 The Presence-PG15 18:00 Killer Mountain-PG15 20:00 Beneath The Darkness-PG15 22:00 The Big I Am-PG15

01:00 The Marc Pease ExperiencePG15 03:00 The Dragon Chronicles: Fire & Ice-PG15 05:00 The Winning Season-PG15 07:00 Blackthorn-PG15 09:00 The Marc Pease ExperiencePG15 11:00 Joyful Noise-PG15

13:00 Princess Lillifee-FAM 15:00 Second Chances-PG15 17:00 Judy Moody And The Not Bummer Summer-PG 19:00 The People vs George LucasPG15 21:00 Margaret-18 23:30 The Thing-18

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Unsupervised 02:00 Unsupervised 02:30 Legit 03:00 Breaking In 03:30 Friends 04:00 Seinfeld 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Emily’s Reasons Why Not 06:30 Samantha Who? 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Seinfeld 08:30 Emily’s Reasons Why Not 09:00 Breaking In 09:30 Go On 10:00 Cougar Town 10:30 Samantha Who? 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Arrested Development 12:30 Seinfeld 13:00 Hope & Faith 14:00 Friends 14:30 Cougar Town 15:00 Go On 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Arrested Development 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Breaking In 18:30 Happy Endings 19:00 The Neighbors

Disappeared Nightmare Next Door Couples Who Kill I Was Murdered Stalked: Someone’s Watching Stalked: Someone’s Watching On The Case With Paula Zahn

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

19:30 The Office 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Saturday Night Live 23:00 Legit 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

00:00 01:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00

Eureka Survivor: Caramoan Smash American Idol Eureka Smallville C.S.I. New York American Idol Smallville C.S.I. New York Eureka Smallville C.S.I. New York The Glades Criminal Minds The Mob Doctor Sons Of Anarchy

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

Hell Quarantine 2: Terminal Striking Distance True Justice: Dead Drop True Justice: Violence Of Action Ice Road Terror The Man Inside Killer Mountain Ice Road Terror The Presence Killer Mountain Beneath The Darkness

00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:15

Sightseers-18 Analyze That-PG15 Men In Black II-PG Hey Arnold! The Movie-PG Lying To Be Perfect-PG15 A Heartbeat Away-PG15 Men In Black II-PG Problem Child-PG A Heartbeat Away-PG15 The First Wives Club-PG Bridesmaids-18 Sightseers-18

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:15 15:00 16:45 18:45 21:15 23:30

Manolete-18 Burning Man-18 Sleepy Hollow-PG15 L’ Eleve Ducobu-PG15 Restless-PG15 Le Divorce-PG15 Unmatched-PG15 Restless-PG15 The Perfect Man-PG The Help-PG15 Mahler On The Couch-PG15 Wuthering Heights-18

00:00 One Day-18 02:00 Flicka 3-FAM 03:45 Think Like A Man-PG15 05:45 Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2-PG 07:15 Rising Stars-PG15 09:00 Journey 2: The Mysterious Island-PG 10:45 Think Like A Man-PG15 13:00 Alpha And Omega-PG 15:00 Rise Of The Planet Of The ApesPG15 17:00 Journey 2: The Mysterious Island-PG 19:00 Men In Black 3-PG 21:00 Butter-PG15 23:00 Your Sister’s Sister-18


01:15 Alex & Alexis 02:45 Valentina 04:30 Little Einsteins: Rocket’s Firebird Rescue 06:00 Cinderella 3: A Twist In Time 08:00 The Adventures Of Don Quixote 10:00 Tinker Bell And The Secret Of The Wings 11:30 Spooky Buddies

13:15 The Adventures Of Scooter The Penguin 14:45 Valentina 16:15 Lady And The Tramp 18:00 Tinker Bell And The Secret Of The Wings 20:00 Everyone’s Hero 22:00 The Adventures Of Scooter The Penguin 23:30 Lady And The Tramp

00:00 MSNBC Hardball With Chris Matthews 01:00 MSNBC Politicsnation 02:00 Live NBC Nightly News 02:30 ABC World News With Diane Sawyer 03:00 MSNBC All In With Chris Hayes 04:00 MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show 05:00 MSNBC The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell 06:00 NBC Nightly News 06:30 ABC World News With Diane Sawyer 07:00 Live NBC Nightly News 07:39 ABC Nightline 08:06 Live MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show 10:00 MSNBC Morning Joe 13:00 MSNBC Caught On Camera 14:00 Live NBC Saturday Today Show 16:00 MSNBC Up With Steve Kornacki 17:57 Live MSNBC Hardball With Chris Matthews 18:38 Live MSNBC The Ed Show 19:19 Live MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show 20:00 Live ABC 20/20 21:00 MSNBC Weekends With Alex Witt Saturday 23:00 MSNBC News

01:00 08:00 10:00 10:30 12:30 13:00 21:00 22:00

Cricket Live Champions Tour Futbol Mundial Live NRL Premiership ICC Cricket 360 Live Cricket Trans World Sport Live PGA Tour

00:30 01:30 03:30 07:00 10:00 11:00 11:30 13:30 15:30 16:30 19:00 21:00 23:00

WWE Bottom Line WWE SmackDown PGA Tour Live AFL Premiership Trans World Sport ICC Cricket 360 Live Super Rugby Live Super Rugby Trans World Sport European Challenge Cup Live Super Rugby Live Super Rugby NRL Premiership

00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 07:00 09:30 10:00 13:00 18:00 20:00 21:30

NRL Premiership NRL Premiership Super Rugby Trans World Sport European Challenge Cup NRL Full Time Live AFL Premiership Live PGA European Tour Champions Tour Live PGA Tour AFL Premiership

00:30 02:30 03:30 04:30 05:00 07:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 12:30 14:30 16:30 18:30 19:30 21:30 22:30 23:00

WWE SmackDown WWE Bottom Line WWE NXT Mobil 1 The Grid NHL WWE SmackDown WWE Bottom Line WWE Vintage Collection Mass Participation Ironman NRL Full Time Live NRL Premiership Live NRL Premiership WWE SmackDown WWE Bottom Line NHL Mass Participation Ironman Mobil 1 The Grid Live Prizefighter


Indian writer offers KD 16 for new book’s opinion By Sunil Cherian KUWAIT: In a ‘readerless’ age, a writer is trying his financial best to make his book read for a price. Preman Illath, Mangaf based Indian writer is offering Rs 3,000 (KD16) as first prize for ‘the best opinion’ of his new short-story collection from the readers. The Malayalam book, titled Love in the Time of Invasion, inspired by Latin American legend Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s bestseller Love in the Time of Cholera, will be published on May 19 in Mumbai where the writer’s family is based. “No I don’t mean cash gift as a marketing gimmick”, said Preman Illath before leaving for Mumbai. “I want people to read my stories and sometimes we have to buy the readers”, he said. There is also a second prize of Rs 2,000 (KD 11) for the second best opinion which will be collected in a month’s time after the book release. The short stories essay about expats’ life in Kuwait, nostalgia and humanitarian love, the writer said.

Public Auction


t the US Embassy Kuwait, Bayan on Saturday, June 1, 2013. Viewing begins at 8 am and the auction begins at 9 am. Sale items include used household/ office furniture, 40kva diesel generator, heavy duty steel shelves, office equipment, computers, appliances, carpets, welcome kit items, building materials, and more. Auction list can be viewed on the Embassy website after May 27, 2013. All items will be sold “as is” to the highest bidder and all sales will be in local currency (cash or K-net).

Places of interest

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

Sadu House Al Sadu House stands on Arabian Gulf Street near the National Museum, representing one of the last preserved pre-oil -era dwellings in Kuwait. Al Sadu House became a centre for Bedouin art and the sale of traditional goods In 1979. Visitors can observe Bedouin women weaving at their looms, handmaking carpets, camel bags and tent screens. Opening hours are Saturday to Thursday from 8:00 am to 1:00 p.m and from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m daily except Friday. (Tel: +965 2243.2395) Admission is FREE. The Dickson House The house of the first British political agent In Kuwait is still standing. The Dickson House, located across from the dhow harbour east of Sief Palace, was originally a Kuwaiti home built in 1870, but was given to Britain to use as residential headquarters. The compound was expanded several times over the years, but stands as an excellent example of early Kuwaiti architectural styles. Opening hours are from Saturday to Thursday 8:30 a.m-12:30 p.m and 4:30 a.m-8:30 p.m Friday 4:30 a.m - 8:30 p.m. Admission is FREE. Science & Natural History Museum A wealth of education awaits the visitor to the Science and Natural History Museum on Abdulla Al Mubarak Street. Each gallery contains either a collection or an exhibit covering a wide range of themes. Collections on display Include fossils, stuffed animals, skeletons, and dried flowers. There are exhibits on health, petroleum, space travel, and electronics, among others. Forming part of the National Museum complex, the wonderful, modern Planetarium In the museum complex has shows at around 18:00 daily: local children, convinced the room is spinning, clap In syncopated beats every time the accompanying music begins. A museum planetarium shows: Mornings: 1st Show: 10:00 a.m; 2nd Show: 11:00 a. m; 3rd Show: 12:00 p.m Evenings: 1st Show: 5:00 p.m; 2nd Show: 5:45 p.m; 3rd Show : 6:00 p.m. Note: Friday & Saturday no morning shows. (Tel: +965 22451195; +965 22456534). Admission is FREE. Al-Qurain Museum Located in the residential suburb of Qurain, This small museum is a memorial to a cell of young Kuwaiti patriots who tried to resist arrest in February 1991. Early In the morning, Iraqis bombarded the house for hours with machine guns, bombs and eventually a tank. Monday to Saturday 8.30 a.m - 12.30 p.m; 4.30a.m -8.30 p.m Friday morning off. Afternoon: 4.30 a.m-8.30 pm. Winter Visiting hours: 48.30 pm. 1st Day of Eid off. Tel: +965 25430343 Al Hashemi Marine Museum The World’s largest wooden dhow, owned and build by Hussein Marafie,Al Hashemi is a ‘Baghalah’ of monumental proportions. Baghalah is a large wooden cargo vessel which sailed the seas in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Constructed next to Radisson SAS Hotel, the double-decked Al-Hashemi II is dry-docked next to pre-oil era Kuwaiti village and marine museum containing models of extinct and modern dhows The lower deck has the grand ballroom - one of the finest in Kuwait. Al-Hashemi II has earned the distinction of being listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. The museum is opened Sat. Thu. from 9 am till 5 pm. Admission is FREE. Oil Display Centre The Oil Display Centre at Kuwait is located 20 kilometers in the

southern direction from main city of Kuwait. Oil display center In Kuwait is set In the Ahmadi area, which is the primary hub of Kuwait’s oil production where many oll-fields and oil wells are located. This center is a learning ground for all those who wonder how oil processing is done. It gives an opportunity to the tourists to know all about the history beginning from how oil was explored, drilled, produced and processed In Kuwait. The Oil Display Center Is located 20 kilometers away from Kuwait City, in the southern direction. This small center throws an insight into Kuwait’s oil business and the work of the Kuwait Oil Company, which owns it. It is definitely worth a visit. Opening hours Sat - Wed 07:00 am -3:00 pm. It is open by appointment. Tel: +965 23982393; 23989111; 23981678. KOC can also arrange for groups to tour the oil fields themselves. Kuwait Memorial Museum Before the Iraqi invasion, the museum housed a collection that has been acclaimed by International art historians as one of the most comprehensive collection of Islamic arts. Located near the National Assembly, comprising of four buildings and a planetarium. In 1997, the Muhallab II, the replacement for the magnificent trading dhow from the 1930 that graced the front yard of the museum before it was burned by the Iraqis, was constructed on site and now is open to visitors. Tel (2451195) Tareq Rajab Museum Tareq Rajab opened his private collection of Islamic art treasures to the general public in 1980. The Tareq Rajab Museum in Jabriya features ceramics, silver and gold jewelry, and musical instruments. It also houses one of the finest collections of old Qurans and at her Arabic manuscripts in the world. All artifacts are of Arab or Muslim origin and are labeled for easy viewing. Visiting hours are from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Saturdays through Thursdays. On Fridays, the museum is open to the general public only in the mornings, with afternoons reserved for tours. Opening hours 9:00 -12:00 noon; 4:007:00 pm; Ramadan open on weekdays: 09:00-12:00; noon 7:00 pm10:00 pm; Fridays usual time. (Tel: +965 25317358) Entry is KD2 / Adult. Children and students are FREE. Al Shaab Leisure Park Located on Arabian Gulf Street, this park has variety of games & amusements for young & old including carousels, dodmegs, bowling hall, billiards, snooker and tennis as well as a theatre and a cinema. All the amusements are linked by paths that meander through gardens and around water fountains. There is a restaurant block containing branches of most fast food outlets in Kuwait. Open daily from 4 pm to midnight (from 10 am on weekends), entry is 500 fils a head and games cost 250 to 750 fils a go, though a full ticket may be purchased for a KD 2.500 (Tel: 5613777) The Scientific Center Kuwait Scientific Center in Kuwait is located on the waterfront at Ras Al Ardh in the Salmiya region in Kuwait which serves as a center for environmental education of the gulf region. Kuwait Scientific Center at Kuwait was initiated by late Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah and its compound covers an area of over 80,000 square meters with the building itself covering over 18,000 square meters. The major attractions of the Kuwait Scientific Center in Kuwait which the tourists must see are the Aquarium and the interesting Discovery place. There is also a 250 seat IMAX film theater. (Tel: +965 1848888) Courtesy: Dispatches Magazine

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

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

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

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


Viaggio into Graphic Art


abrizio Nicoletti, Ambassador of Italy to Kuwait, will inaugurate the premiere exhibition today (May 18) for various graphic art pieces entitled “Viaggio into Graphic Art”. Organised by “Sartoria Italia” with the partnership of Salhia Complex , the 6-day unique and exciting event will be open to the public until May 23, where the opening will commence at 7 pm, and the remaining five days from 10 am to 10 pm at Salhia Complex. The exhibition will showcase precious graphic art works from various artists such as Miro, Lichtenstien, De Chirico, Paladino and more. These art works are a result of a long and attentive research of Dr Claudio Bassi (Art Collector) which we have collaborated with in this magical adventure. Around 30 art pieces will take part in this event and the public interested in some of the piece, can discuss them with Dr Bassi who will attend personally the event.

A warm and welcoming atmosphere will be done with the collaboration of the creativity of MFlowers, Lazurd’s finest degustation and the setting design by P&E International. From Sartoria Italia, the idea is to continue on their mission that started from 2009 with the first art event, proposing new expressions of art, creating a gathering where the connoisseurs can meet, and share their passion. Dr Claudio Bassi, was so happy to collaborate on this project giving us the opportunity to exhibit some pieces from his own private collection also. His accurate work in selecting from several private collections is what will give this event value. His idea is to continue to provide “Sartoria Italia” with a selected collection of Graphic Art to offer to the Kuwaiti market. Salhia Complex his proud to continue their adventure in collaboration with “Sartoria Italia” offering to their selected

clientele, events related with art and design. These fields make the Salhia Complex famous around the GCC and more. Sartoria Italia will have available in the carnet collection the Pablo Picasso “La danza” 1957, which means “the dance”. With the collaboration of Toronto Co. the painting will be presenting with the animation under the note of the song “Take five” of the Legendary Dave Brubeck Quartet. We called this event “Viaggio” ( which means journey in italian) because our intention is to carry on this journey through a full year of art exhibitions. The next event will be concentrated on paintings with a “performance” of a painter, which we will keep secret for now. On the reaction of our attendees, we will be orienting the successive event in the program trying to satisfy the request of art from the local connoisseurs. We hope to welcome you in our event.


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AIP shaam-e ghazal he Association of Indian Professionals (AIP), Kuwait, forthcoming event has been scheduled for the evening of May 25, 2013 at 6 pm at the auditorium of Indian Community Senior School, Salmiya and is titled as AIP Shaam-e-Ghazal. We have invited Raghuram Krishnan, a Ghazal singer from Cochin, India to make this evening more melodious and vibrant. He will be supported by few local musicians also. Ambassador of India, Satish C. Mehta will be the Chief Guest. Admission is by invitation and children below 10 years of age will not be allowed.




The TIES Center’s ‘trip’ he TIES Center cordially invites those who are interested in its trip to the Historical, Vintage and Classic Car Museum, which is the first museum in Kuwait specializing in old cars on May 30th at 6:00 pm. Revisit past memories or learn something new. If you love cars then this is the trip for you. Even if you don’t love cars, come anyway; you will enjoy the trip. For more information/registration, log onto:

Raghav Juyal show on June 7 he Dancing Divas is organizing its 5th Annual Jubilation on the 7th of June 2013 at Cambridge School, Mangaf, between 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The program will be attended by Raghav Juyal (Dance India Dance Fame) who will be judging the show as well as entertaining the audience with his dance performances. Another highlight of the show is the presence of Raja Sagoo (Comedy Circus Fame) who will be anchor for the event. Raghav will also be conducting a dance workshop on the 8th of June at the Salmiya Model School. Workshop will be for participants within the age group of 8 and 30 and will be open for registration till the 30th of May.

Photography exhibition he Embassy of India, Kuwait in association with National Council of Arts, Culture & Letters is organizing an exhibition of photographs of Islamic monuments of India by Benoy K Behl, Art - Historian & Photographer at Al-Edwani Hall, Dahiyat Abdullah AlSalem. The exhibition is being inaugurated at 1900 hrs on 21 May, 2013. The exhibition shall be kept open till 27 May 2013 from 0900 hrs to 1230 hrs and 1700 hrs to 2100 hrs. All are cordially invited to the exhibition.

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

T ebamed contest is going on and gaining steam...go ahead and take a snap of Sebamed product with your family using your digital device and send it via instagram to (#sebamedkuwait), (@sebamedkuwait) or email it to: and be one of the lucky winners. The three winning pictures will be chosen by a committee and selected products from Sebamed will be given as prizes.

My Experience in Kuwait he Aware Diwaniya on Tuesday, May 21 will be given by two German Expats, Jan Koeppen and Detmar Ruediger. They will talk about their experience in Kuwait as well as intercultural aspects including sharing their tips and advice on spending leisure time in Kuwait. Please join us at 7 pm at Aware Center, Villa 84, Street 50, Block 3, Surra. For more information please call 25335280 or visit





SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

Crisis not all bad for doting Greek moms ATHENS: In a society where family ties traditionally play a prominent role, Greece’s deep economic crisis apparently offers a few Greek mothers a reason to be happy. While financial hardship may have forced many to seek their fortune abroad, it has also obliged an increasing number of young people to return to the family nest, where they are fed and provided for by parents often more than happy to have their children back. The old jibes that used to taunt grown adults-and men in particular-who still relied on their mum’s cooking are starting to lose their edge, as it becomes more acceptable to return home. “I think most young people today don’t choose to live on their own... and it is very nice for us parents to have our children close by. Even if some of them move out, they return to the family for financial reasons,” Matoula Dovinou, a 38-year-old mother from Athens said. For mothers whose children are living independently, there is still the option to dote on their offspring, thanks to one young start-up. Founded in September, the small family-run company Vanakias has found a niche in delivering to students and young people freshly made, healthy nosh lovingly made by their mums-with the added benefit of steering them away from their takeaway habits. “Instead of sending money to their children every week, parents can save money by sending packages with food [that will last longer],” Vanakias co-founder Dimitris Balomenos said. “The venture kills two birds with one stone: saving money and eating healthily.” “Sending fresh food that I have cooked is definitely healthier and cheaper than sending money,” said Dovinou, who uses Vanakias to send food to her only son, a first-year university student in the western city of Patras. Traditionally, young people have been keen to move out of home, “but now, students living on their own feel the crisis”, Balomenos said. “Children accepted into schools in places away from home often cannot go for financial reasons.” Jobs are also hard to come by, with the unemployment rate for young Greeks aged 15-24 now standing at a whopping 64.2 percent. With economic circumstances curbing their freedom, young Greeks are having to change their ways. Balomenos points to a popular television advert for a mobile phone company where a young man shamelessly drops in for his mother’s cooking, after boasting about the benefits of living “independently” in the attic of his parents’ house. “Five years ago, you would have called this guy an idiot!” he said. —AFP

Stem cells recovered from cloned embryos A longstanding goal could lead to diabetes treatment NEW YORK: Scientists have finally recovered stem cells from cloned human embryos, a longstanding goal that could lead to new treatments for such illnesses as Parkinson’s disease and diabetes. A prominent expert called the work a landmark, but noted that a different, simpler technique now under development may prove more useful. Stem cells can turn into any cell of the body, so scientists are interested in using them to create tissue for treating disease. Transplanting brain tissue might treat Parkinson’s disorder, for example, and pancreatic tissue might be used for diabetes. But transplants run the risk of rejection, so more than a decade ago, researchers proposed a way around that: Create tissue from stem cells that bear the patient’s own DNA, obtained with a process called therapeutic cloning. If DNA from a patient is put into a human egg, which is then grown into an early embryo, the stem cells from that embryo would provide a virtual genetic match. So in theory, tissues created from them would not be rejected by the patient. That idea was met with some ethical objections because harvesting the stem cells involved destroying human embryos. Scientists have tried to get stem cells from cloned human embryos for about a decade, but they’ve failed. Generally, that’s because the embryos stopped developing before producing the cells. In 2004, a South Korean scientist claimed to have gotten stem cells from cloned human embryos, but that turned out to be a fraud. In Wednesday’s edition of the journal Cell, however, scientists in Oregon report har-

vesting stem cells from six embryos created from donated eggs. Two embryos had been given DNA from skin cells of a child with a genetic disorder, and the others had DNA from fetal skin cells. Shoukhrat Mitalipov of the Oregon Health & Science University, who led the research, said the success came not from a single technical innovation, but from revising a series of steps in the process. He noted it had taken six years to reach the goal after doing it with monkey embryos. Mitalipov also said that based on monkey work, he believes human embryos made with the technique could not develop into cloned babies, and he has no interest in trying to do that. Scientists have cloned more than a dozen kinds of mammals, starting with Dolly the sheep. The new work was financed by the university and the Leducq Foundation in Paris. Dr George Daley, a stem cell expert at Children’s Hospital Boston who didn’t participate in the work, called the new results “one landmark step in a very long journey” toward creating DNA-matched transplant tissue. Now, Daley said, scientists must compare the embryo-cloning approach with another technology that reprograms blood or skin cells directly into substitutes for embryonic stem cells. This reprogramming approach is technically simpler and doesn’t involve embryos or require the donation of human eggs, and it was widely acclaimed when it was reported in 2007. Its Japanese developer shared a Nobel Prize last year. But these substitute cells show some molecular differences compared to embryonic ones,

which has led to questions about whether they can safely be used for treating patients. So it’s essential to compare the cells from the two methods, Daley said. The new results mean “we have another tool,” he said. “We have to learn more about this tool.” Daley said he believed scientists will prefer using the reprogramming approach unless it can be proven “beyond a shadow of a doubt” that embryo cloning produces better cells for treating patients. Mitalipov said he believed his technique would present a particular advantage for treating patients with a certain type of rare diseases. These are caused by mutations in genes of the mitochondria, the power plants of cells. He noted his technique, unlike the cell-reprogramming approach, would supply tissue with new mitochondrial genes that could replace defective ones. Those new genes would come from the egg. The Rev Tad Pacholczyk, director of education for National Catholic Bioethics Center, an independent think tank in Philadelphia, reiterated his opposition to embryo cloning, calling the approach unethical. “It involves the decision to utilize early human beings as repositories for obtaining desired cells,” he said. “You’re creating them only to destroy them.” Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society in Berkeley, Calif., said she was glad that Mitalipov doubted the embryos could be used to clone babies. She said the report still provides a good opportunity for the federal government to ban the use of cloning for reproduction.— AP

Psychiatrists unveil long-awaited diagnostic ‘bible’ NEW YORK: The long-awaited, controversial new edition of the bible of psychiatry can be characterized by many numbers: its 947 pages, its $199 price tag, its more than 300 maladies (from “dependent personality disorder” and “voyeuristic disorder” to “delayed ejaculation,” “kleptomania” and “intermittent explosive disorder”), each

limning the potential woes of being human. But to the psychiatrist who shepherded the tortuous creation of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” perhaps the single most important number is the “5” in its title: This is the DSM-5, not the DSM-V. That may seem like a cosmetic change, but the

NANGARHAR: A mentally ill Afghan patient sits chained to a wall at the Mia Ali Baba holy shrine in the village of Samar Khel on the outskirts of Jalalabad. At the Mia Ali Baba sanctuary the patients, presumed to be possessed by jinns (demons), are chained by the wrist inside, or in the open air to a tree, for 40 days. —AFP

American Psychiatric Association, which will release the book on Saturday at its annual meeting, decided to use Arabic instead of Roman numerals because “we want it to be a living document,” said Dr David Kupfer of the University of Pittsburgh, the chairman of the task force that produced the DSM-5. Rather than waiting another generation to revise the manual - the DSM-IV was published in 1994 - psychiatrists will regularly update it with, for example, findings from genetics and neuroscience, labeling the revisions DSM-5.1 and DSM-5.2 and so on. “We used ‘5’ because V.0 and V.1 just don’t look good,” said Kupfer. The fact that the world’s most powerful psychiatrists (their decisions determine what counts as a mental disorder, and thus what insurers cover and which children receive special services in school) are already building in ways to change the manual is commendable, even its critics say. But it is also emblematic of the DSM-5’s failures, they argue, which include turning normal human behavior and feelings into mental illnesses, and expanding the criteria for disorders until an astonishing one in four US adults has a diagnosable mental illness every year - and even more do over a lifetime. The latest revision began in 1999 with high hopes for putting mental illness on a scientific footing, using neuroscience in particular to tell the difference between,

say, normal sadness and major depression. That reflected persistent criticism that “drawing a line between sickness and disease is a special problem in psychiatry,” said psychotherapist Gary Greenberg, who participated in the “field trials” that tested the DSM-5’s proposed diagnostic criteria before they made the final cut. “We don’t have blood tests or other objective criteria to distinguish mental sickness from health. So you have a set of criteria that are very common, which means the potential for many people being diagnosed as mentally ill when they’re not.” STILL WAITING FOR SCIENCE The 1,500 experts who contributed to the DSM-5 would have liked nothing better than to base diagnoses on genetics or neuroscience, rather than on subjective judgment and lists of mostly self-reported symptoms such as fear of acting “in a way that will be negatively evaluated” (social anxiety disorder) or approaching and interacting “with unfamiliar adults” (disinhibited social engagement disorder in children). “It would be great if we had been able to have a paradigmatic shift” by basing the diagnosis of mental illness on biology, as the APA hoped to when it began the DSM5 process, said Dr Jeffrey Lieberman, chairman of psychiatry at Columbia University and president-elect of the APA.—Reuters

health & science SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

Hospitals Sabah Hospital Amiri Hospital Maternity Hospital Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital Chest Hospital Farwaniya Hospital Adan Hospital Ibn Sina Hospital Al-Razi Hospital Physiotherapy Hospital

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FOR SALE Nissan Infiniti G37 2009 model, 3.7 liter, excellent condition, automatic, original paint, 6 cylinder, 6 CD changer, mobile connectivity, rear view camera and scanner, sunroof, sand color, cruise control, GPS, as good as new. Has run 60,000 kms, Price KD 6,500/-. Contact: 99742340.

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

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information SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013



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Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (

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SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

Word Search

Yesterdayʼs Solution

C R O S S W O R D 1 9 3

ACROSS 1. An adult male person (as opposed to a woman). 4. Of or related to albite feldspar. 11. Goddess of fate. 15. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 16. Enact or perform again. 17. A cape at the southern tip of Norway. 18. A run that is the result of the batter's performance. 19. A region in central Italy. 21. Not only so, but. 23. An assertion of a right (as to money or property). 24. Sour or bitter in taste. 25. A city in north-central India. 27. Having a dusky brownish gray color. 29. A radioactive transuranic element. 31. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 32. The Palestinian uprising (beginning in 1987) against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 36. Scottish philosopher whose sceptical philosophy restricted human knowledge to that which can be perceived by the senses (1711-1776). 40. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 41. A large vase that usually has a pedestal or feet. 42. A person who holds a commissioned rank in the United States Navy or Coast Guard. 44. Liquid containing proteins and electrolytes including the liquid in blood plasma and interstitial fluid. 46. (Greek mythology) A Titan who was forced by Zeus to bear the sky on his shoulders. 48. How long something has existed. 49. A protocol (utilizing TCP) to transfer hypertext requests and information between servers and browsers. 51. Reduce in scope while retaining essential elements. 53. Term used in some classifications as nearly equivalent to the order Coraciiformes. 55. Decapod having eyes on short stalks and a broad flattened carapace with a small abdomen folded under the thorax and pincers. 56. Angular distance above the horizon (especially of a celestial object). 57. A gray tetravalent metallic element that resembles zirconium chemically and is found in zirconium minerals. 58. A long noosed rope used to catch animals. 60. A distinct part that can be specified separately in a group of things that could be enumerated on a list. 62. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 65. Stairway in India leading down to a landing on the water. 67. The state of being unsure of something. 69. The amount of something (as whiskey or oil) lost in storage or transportation. 74. The ball-shaped capsule containing the vertebrate eye. 75. Islands in the Atlantic Ocean belonging to Portugal. 77. Of or relating the the Vedas or to the ancient Sanskrit in which they were written. 79. A fatal disease of cattle that affects the central nervous system. 80. Lead someone in the wrong direction. 82. American prizefighter who won the world heavyweight championship three times (born in 1942). 83. The fatty flesh of eel. 84. A great raja. 85. Having undesirable or negative qualities.

Daily Sudoku

DOWN 1. The mother of Jesus. 2. A French abbot. 3. Submerged aquatic plant having narrow leaves and small flowers. 4. A human limb. 5. The process of leaching. 6. French composer (1803-1869). 7. A ruler of the Inca Empire (or a member of his family). 8. An island in the south Pacific. 9. Someone who cuts and delivers ice. 10. A New England state. 11. An agency of the United Nations responsible for programs to aid education and the health of children and mothers in developing countries. 12. A feeling of intense anger. 13. A male monarch or emperor (especially of Russia prior to 1917). 14. A plant lacking a permanent woody stem. 20. Pig-sized tailless South American amphibious rodent with partly webbed feet. 22. A populous province in northeastern China. 26. A white soft metallic element that tarnishes readily. 28. A reptile genus of Iguanidae. 30. The taxonomic kingdom of lower plants. 33. A Scottish word. 34. Silver-coated candy bead for decorating cakes. 35. Italian Benedictine monk who was archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109. 37. One thousandth of a second. 38. (prefix) Opposite or opposing or neutralizing. 39. A native American tent. 43. A releasing factor that accelerates the secretion of growth hormone by the anterior pituitary body. 45. A piece of information about circumstances that exist or events that have occurred. 47. The inner and thicker of the two bones of the human leg between the knee and ankle. 50. A felt cap (usually red) for a man. 52. Confederate general during the American Civil War who was defeated by Grant in the battle of Chattanooga (1817-1876). 54. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 59. A filmmaker who has a personal style and keeps creative control over his or her works. 61. (astronomy) A measure of time defined by Earth's orbital motion. 63. Very spiny and dense evergreen shrub with fragrant golden-yellow flowers. 64. United States neuroscientist noted for his studies of the neural basis of vision (born in 1926). 66. Small genus of South American trees yielding latex. 68. Russian physicist (1895-1971). 70. The capital and largest city of Mongolia. 71. The largest continent with 60% of the earth's population. 72. A river that rises in western New Mexico and flows westward through southern Arizona to become a tributary of the Colorado River. 73. Harsh or corrosive in tone. 76. An independent agency of the United States government responsible for collecting and coordinating intelligence and counterintelligence activities abroad in the national interest. 78. A light touch or stroke. 81. A person who announces and plays popular recorded music.

Yesterdayʼs Solution

Yesterday’s Solution

sports SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

Middlebrooks’ 3-run double lifts Red Sox ST PETERSBURG: Will Middlebrooks had a threerun double off closer Fernando Rodney with two outs in the ninth inning that lifted the Boston Red Sox past the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 on Thursday night. Middlebrooks lined a shot to left on a 1-2 pitch from Rodney (1-2) with the base loaded, giving the Red Sox the lead. Rodney, who blew just two saves last year, is 7 for 10 in save opportunities this year. After walking Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz, Rodney struck out Mike Napoli before loading the bases with a walk to Daniel Nava. Stephen Drew struck out, but Middlebrooks then came up with his basesclearing hit. Junichi Tazawa (3-2) pitched two scoreless innings for the win. He retired James Loney on a grounder with two on and two outs in the ninth. RANGERS 10, TIGERS 4 Geovany Soto ended Justin Verlander’s night with a three-run homer that capped a seven-run third, and Yu Darvish lasted eight innings in a pitching duel that fizzled in the Rangers’ victory over the Tigers. Soto’s drive just over the wall in left field came after Verlander walked in two runs - he had three previous bases-loaded walks in his career. Mitch Moreland’s two-out double broke a 3-all tie before Soto’s drive put Texas ahead 8-3. Darvish (71) won his fifth straight decision despite allowing two home runs for the third start in a row. Verlander (4-4) gave up six hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 2 2-3 innings, his shortest outing since going two innings in a 14-6 loss to the New York Mets on June 22, 2010. MARINERS 3, YANKEES 2 Andy Pettitte and Chris Stewart became the latest Yankees to get hurt, and emergency Seattle starter Hector Noesi pitched into the fifth inning in place of ailing Aaron Harang to lead the Mariners over New York. Pettitte (4-3) left after 4 2-3 innings because of an injured back muscle near his left shoulder. New York said Pettitte hurt his trapezius muscle, and there was no immediate word on his prognosis. Chris Stewart, who took over as the Yankees’ starting catcher when Francisco Cervelli broke a hand last month, limped off after the seventh inning and was replaced by Austin Romine. Harang, Seattle’s scheduled starter, felt a twinge in his back Wednesday and notified the Mariners, who in turn told Noesi to prepare for his first big league start of the season. Noesi gave up an unearned run and three hits in 4 1-3 innings, leaving with two on. Lefty Oliver Perez (1-0) was the winner. WHITE SOX 5, ANGELS 4 Jeff Keppinger walked with the bases loaded to drive in the go-ahead run - his first base on balls in 141 plate appearances this season - and the White Sox rallied with three runs in the eighth to beat the Angels for their season-high third straight road win. The Angels’ bullpen wasted a two-run lead as the club lost its second straight and dropped to 8-12 at home. Matt Lindstrom (2-2) got the victory after facing one batter in the seventh, getting Mike Trout to fly out to right to end the inning. Addison Reed pitched the ninth to earn his 13th save in 14 chances. Dane Del La Rosa (1-1) took the loss, giving up all three runs in the eighth. Chicago closed to 4-3 after Alejandro De Aza scored when De La Rosa threw a wild pitch on a strikeout by Alex Rios. Alexei Ramirez tied the game 4-all on a single by Adam Dunn.— AP

DENVER: Colorado Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez dives for but misses a ball hit by San Francisco Giants’ Gregor Blanco during the third inning of a baseball game on Thursday, May 16, 2013. — AP

Strasburg goes eight to beat hometown Padres SAN DIEGO: Stephen Strasburg pitched a career-high eight innings against his hometown Padres, and Bryce Harper and Adam LaRoche homered to lead the Washington Nationals to a 62 victory against San Diego on Thursday night. Strasburg’s 54th big league start was his first professional appearance at Petco Park. The big right-hander went to high school in suburban Santee and pitched for Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn at San Diego State before the Nationals took him with the first overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft. He pitched twice at Petco Park for SDSU. He allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits while striking out four and walking three. He got the final out of the eighth on his 117th pitch. Strasburg (2-5) had gone seven innings 10 times, including three this year. In Strasburg’s only other appearance against the Padres, he lasted just four innings in a 6-1 loss at Washington on May 15, 2012. Edison Volquez (3-4) took the loss.

three runs in six innings but Milwaukee’s offense sputtered. The Brewers have lost 11 of 13. GIANTS 8, ROCKIES 6 Angel Pagan broke a tie with a two-run single in the sixth, Matt Cain settled down after a shaky start and the Giants won their 10th straight over Colorado, rallying from a six-run deficit to beat the Rockies. Brandon Crawford added a three-run double to help San Francisco and Marco Scutaro extended his hitting streak to 15 games. The NL West-leading Giants also extended their mastery over the Rockies, improving to 31-9 since 2011. Cain (3-2) struggled early, giving up homers on consecutive pitches to Todd Helton and Nolan Arenado in the second, along with a three-run homer to Wilin Rosario an inning later.— AP

METS 5, CARDINALS 2 Daniel Murphy and David Wright combined for five hits and three RBIs against Adam Wainwright and the Mets snapped a sixgame losing streak with a victory over the Cardinals. Jonathan Niese (3-4) allowed two runs on six hits in 7 1-3 innings, his longest outing of the season. He ended his four-game losing streak over five starts since a win at Minnesota on April 12. The Mets avoided a four-game sweep by getting to the Cardinals ace. Wainwright (5-3) was coming off a two-hit shutout in which he no-hit the Rockies for 7 1-3 innings. Murphy went 4 for 4, doubled twice and walked, and was 9 for 15 in the series. Wright doubled, singled and drove in two runs. The Cardinals have never swept the Mets in a four-game series at home, almost always playing three-game sets. REDS 5, MARLINS 3, 10 innings NL RBI leader Brandon Phillips homered in the sixth inning and drove in the go ahead run with a sacrifice fly, helping the Reds complete their second three-game sweep in a row by beating the Marlins. Mat Latos and two relievers combined on a six-hitter. Aroldis Chapman (3-1) blew a save for the first time in nine chances. JJ Hoover gave up a run in the 10th but earned his third save. Pinch-hitter Donald Lutz led off the 10th with a single against Steve Cishek (1-4). Following a walk, a bunt and an intentional walk, Phillips lifted a flyball for his second RBI of the night and 36th of the season. Jay Bruce followed with a two-run double and finished with three RBIs. PIRATES 7, BREWERS 1 Travis Snider homered for the first time in nine months and drove in three runs to lead the Pirates past the reeling Brewers. Snider finished 3 for 5, including a 458-foot blast off Hiram Burgos (1-2) in the sixth inning that gave the Pirates the lead. The home run sailed over bushes in right-center field at PNC Park, bounced on a sidewalk outside the stadium and landed in the Allegheny River. Francisco Liriano (2-0) allowed one run on six hits over 5 2-3 innings, striking out seven and walking three. Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte, Garrett Jones and Russell Martin had two hits for Pittsburgh. Burgos gave up

DENVER: San Francisco Giants’ Angel Pagan (16) and Brandon Crawford (35) celebrate a win against the Colorado Rockies following a baseball game on Thursday, May 16, 2013. — AP

sports SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

Ji and Thompson share Mobile Bay LPGA lead MOBILE: South Korea’s Ji Eun-Hee fired a bogey-free seven-under 65 on Thursday to grab a share of the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic first-round lead alongside American Lexi Thompson. Thompson, trying to improve on her runner-up finish in the same tournament last year, had eight birdies and a bogey. They were one stroke in front of Jessica Korda, who had six birdies in her six-under 66. Nicole Castrale, Mina Harigae, Dewi Claire Schreefel, Thidapa Suwannapura Park Hee-Young, Jennifer Johnson and Chella Choi were tied on 67. Defending champion and world number two Stacy Lewis, looking for a solid showing to gain ground on absent world number one Park In-Bee, carded a twounder par 70 that gave her a share of 33rd place. Ji, the 2009 US Open champion, made five birdies on the front nine. “I felt really good with my putting today,” she said. “If I had five- or 10-foot putts, I felt like I could make it. So I was really focused on it and I was really positive with my putter.” Ji got to seven-under with her last birdie of the day, on the par-five 16th. She left a 15-foot birdie attempt at 18 just short. “I just like a really fast green,” she said. “This is really fast and in really good shape on the course. I just like it.” Thompson teed off on 10 and nabbed her first birdie of the day at the par-five 13th. “I love the par-fives here, I get to hit pretty much driver on every hole out here so it’s definitely an advantage for me,” said Thompson, who birdied three of the four par-fives. She made the turn at four-under, and after her lone bogey of the day at the par-three second hole she strung together three birdies from the fifth hole, and added one more at the ninth. Lewis capped her round with a double-bogey at the parfour ninth hole, where she hit her tee shot into the trees. “I didn’t really have anything go right today,” said Lewis, who re-teed and the fired to the base of a grandstand. “I had one ball hit the sprinkler and go in the trees and one hit the cart path and go in the trees. Just kind of got some bad breaks with lies and really just didn’t have any bounces go my way. So I guess to shoot what I did was pretty good.”— AFP

Bradley sets record pace with 60 at Byron Nelson TEXAS: Former champion Keegan Bradley shrugged off two bogeys around the turn to set a course record with a blistering 10-under-par 60 in Thursday’s opening round of the Byron Nelson Championship in Irving, Texas. Taking advantage of preferred lies on a rainsoftened layout at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas, the 26-year-old American piled up 10 birdies and an eagle at the par-five seventh to grab a three-shot lead in the PGA Tour event. Winner here in 2011 before going on to claim his first major title at the PGA Championship just three months later, Bradley covered his final nine holes in six-under 29 after storming home eaglebirdie-birdie. Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa opened with a seven-birdie 63 while Americans Harris English and Ted Potter Jr. and Swede Robert Karlsson carded 64s. “Today I matched up unbelievable ballstriking with great putting, which is very rare,” Bradley told Golf Channel after hitting 15 of 18 greens in regulation and totalling only 24 putts on a course softened by overnight rain. “You needed to go out this morning and shoot a good number if you could. I drove the ball great so I had the ball in my hand pretty much every hole. And I was hitting some really good iron shots. It felt really good. “Just a really fun round,” added the American, who started his day at the par-four 10th. “It kind of felt like a Saturday morning round with my buddies.” Bradley tied the tournament record of 60 held jointly by Sam Snead (1957) and Arron Oberholser (2006) while improving on the course record of 61 shared by Cameron Beckman, Justin Leonard and Charlie Rymer. MAGICAL FIFTY-NINE? Asked whether he had entertained thoughts of shooting a magical 59, Bradley replied: “Not really because I played my last three holes in four-under.

“But I made two bogeys that were pretty poor and I had two pretty big lip-outs so it could have (been a 59) but I guess any time you shoot 60 it could.” Bradley made a fast start with five birdies in his first seven holes before bogeying the par-four 18th to reach the turn in fourunder 31. Though he dropped another shot at the par-four first, he rebounded with birdies at the second, fourth and fifth before covering his last three holes in four under. A three-times winner on the PGA Tour, Bradley has yet to taste victory this season despite recording five top-10s in 13 starts. His best finish was a tie for third at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March. “It’s just real exciting, it’s an exciting feeling,” he said of his title prospects this week. “First and foremost, I want to try to win the tournament and this puts me in a good position to do that.” South African world number seven Louis

Oosthuizen, the highest-ranked player in this week’s field, opened with a fourbirdie 67 while Germany’s former world number one Martin Kaymer returned a 68. Defending champion Jason Dufner, who sensationally clinched last year’s title by one shot after sinking a 25-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole, carded a level-par 70 playing in the company of fellow Americans Matt Kuchar (69) and Bradley. China’s 14-year-old Guan Tianlang, who made his second consecutive cut on the PGA Tour at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans last month, also started out with a 70, offsetting two birdies with two bogeys. Competing this week on a sponsor’s exemption, Guan has been one of the biggest talking points in golf since he became the youngest player to make the cut in a major championship at the Masters five weeks ago.—Reuters

TEXAS: Keegan Bradley hits a shot during the first round of the 2013 HP Byron Nelson Championship on May 16, 2013 in Irving, Texas. — AFP

McIlroy to set up his management group NEW YORK: Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy is leaving Dublinbased Horizon Sports Management to set up his own management group, The Associated Press has learned. It will be the second time since October 2011 that McIlroy has changed management. A person with knowledge of the decision said McIlroy will create his own team with his father, close friends and associates. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because McIlroy has not announced the change. McIlroy, who started the year in a slump and still hasn’t won, is to play next week in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. “We cannot make any comment,” Conor Ridge at Horizon Sports said in an email. McIlroy denied speculation last week at The Players Championship about leaving Horizon, and he was accompanied by

Sean O’Flaherty of Horizon, when he left Sunday after tying for eighth place. The Irish Independent first reported that McIlroy was leaving. McIlroy appears to be following a model set up by Adam Scott, who set up his own company with a small group around him. The change was a surprise, much like when McIlroy left Chubby Chandler of International Sports Management in 2011, just four months after the 24-year-old from Northern Ireland won the US. Open by eight shots with a tournament record 16-under 268. He knew Ridge and the Horizon staff through his close friendship with fellow US Open champion Graeme McDowell. McIlroy last year won the PGA Championship by a record eight shots among his five wins worldwide, which made him No 1 in the world and allowed him to win the

money title on the PGA Tour and European Tour. Horizon negotiated a mega deal with Nike Golf, which is said to be worth upward of $20 million a year. Horizon also brought sponsorship deals with Bose and Omega, structured in such a way that McIlroy’s apparel and golf bag were not splashed with logos. With Nike and Omega, he was able to end his previous contracts with Titleist and Audemars Piguet. He has Santander Bank on his bag, a deal that began under Chandler. McIlroy signed a long-term deal with Horizon Sports, which stands to earn commission from the length of the recent endorsement deals. The shakeup is another example of how McIlroy calls the shots. His split from Chandler and ISM occurred on the flight home from Bermuda for the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, which

McIlroy said was the “hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life.” But he shared no details on why he needed to change. “Sometimes to go forward in your career, you need to make a decision,” McIlroy said in Shanghai after joining Horizon. “I thought it was a decision I needed to make. I felt like for four years, Chubby was the best guy. But sometimes to progress you need to have a different view and a fresh view of things. It’s about me trying to play my best golf. That’s all there is to it. With a new environment around me, it might enable me to play even better.” His father, Gerry, was with McIlroy during the Florida swing before heading home to Northern Ireland. McIlroy is selling his home outside Belfast and lives primarily in a house he bought in south Florida, when he’s not traveling to see Caroline Wozniacki.— AP


SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013


Finland look to spoil Swede party STOCKHOLM: Co-hosts Finland and Sweden continue their long-standing rivalry today with a place in the world championship gold medal match at stake while the USA will hope to halt Switzerland’s eight-match winning streak in the second semi-final. Sweden, who booked their last-four birth by edging 2010 Olympic champions Canada 3-2 in a penalty shootout, are attempting to become the first team to win the gold medal on home ice since the former Soviet Union in 1986. But to do that, they need to avenge a 6-1 defeat against their Scandinavian neighbors when they fought for the gold at Bratislava in 2011 which gave the Finns only their second world title. “I’m really happy,” Sweden coach Par

Marts said after winning the quarter-final. “They (Canada) are a tough team to beat. But everything worked well today.” “We knew we had to play our best game of the tournament. I’m happy for Swedish hockey because you have to play for the medals in your home tournament.” Meanwhile, the Finns are set to shrug off the bitter memories of their previous world championship campaign when they failed to earn a medal on home ice in 2012. Fonder memories for Finland date back to 1995 when they clinched their first ever world crown beating the host Swedes at the Globe Arena.”As the tournament goes on, you grow as a team, and that’s what’s happened with us,” said Finland defenseman

Ossi Vaananen. “We’re a fairly old team, but a lot of players are in their first tournament. It’s a good mix of guys and we are counting on success here.”The US team, who won their last world championship medal nine years ago, reached the last four for just the fourth time in 15 years with an impressive 83 win over defending champions Russia. Last year, the USA lost at the quarter-final stage against Finland, but this time the Americans are confident they can go all the way to the title. “We expected to win this game (against Russia). It’s another feather in our cap. But we want to roll forward,” New Jersey Devils forward Ryan Carter said. “We’re a confident team. We think we can win a medal, and we want to win the gold

Ailing Wiggins, Hesjedal abandon Giro d’Italia Italy’s Nibali leads as Uran takes over BUSSETO: This year’s Giro d’Italia claimed two major victims when pre-race favorite Bradley Wiggins and defending champion Ryder Hesjedal withdrew prior to yesterday’s 13th stage, the pair citing illness as the reason for abandoning the tour. Wiggins enjoyed a stellar 2012 when he became the first Briton to win the Tour de France and backed that up with a time trial gold medal at the London Olympics before turning his attention towards adding to those titles in Italy. He looked strong early in the 21-stage race but gradually slipped out of contention, blaming his poor performance on a chest infection that eventually led to his withdrawal. “Due to a worsening chest infection, the decision was taken for Wiggins not to start the race’s 13th stage yesterday from Busseto to Cherasco,” his Team Sky said in a statement, adding that Colombian Rigoberto Uran, third overall, was the new team leader. “We monitored Bradley overnight and this morning we’ve withdrawn him from the Giro after consulting the team doctor,” team principal Dave Brailsford added. “His chest infection has been getting worse and our primary concern is always the health of our riders. “Bradley will return to the UK today for treatment and to rest and we hope to have him back on the road as soon as possible. As a passionate racer he wanted to continue but he is simply unable to do so on medical grounds.” After losing more than three minutes on the main contenders on a wet 12th stage, Wiggins was lying 13th overall, 5:22 adrift of leader Vincenzo Nibali of Italy. The Briton’s withdrawal came shortly after defending champion Hesjedal also abandoned the race, with the Canadian’s Garmin-Sharp team announcing the news earlier yesterday. HEARTBROKEN HESJEDAL Hesjedal had slipped to 38th place, 32 minutes and 55 seconds down on Nibali after suffering badly in the first mountain stages of the race last weekend. “It’s heartbreaking,” Hesjedal said in a news release. “I want to be here for my team and for all the people who have supported me to get me here to this point. “I built my entire season around the Giro and I came here feeling great, but I have been suffering since the (stage eight) TT (individual time trial). “We’re working on it but we’re not sure what’s wrong. There’s a virus that’s been going around, so it could be that, or severe allergies.” Hesjedal became his country’s first Giro d’Italia winner when he edged out Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez by 16 seconds after a ferocious two-week duel through the mountains, with the Canadian gaining the upper hand on the final day’s time trial in Milan. Wiggins and Hesjedal’s withdrawals follows that of France national champion Nacer Bouhanni, who announced on Thursday evening that he was quitting the race. Yesterday’s 254-km stage favors the sprinters and runs from Busseto to Cherasco with this year’s race finishing in Brescia on May 26. — Reuters

British Bradley Wiggins

medal here.” However, Switzerland, who earned their last world championship medal as far back as 1953 have been the team of the tournament so far winning all eight of their matches and will provide a stern test. The Swiss rose from their disappointing 11th position at the last year’s championshps to the last-four of the event for the first time since 1998 under their Canadian coach Sean Simpson. “It is a real team,” Simpson said of his side. “Whatever happens on the ice, they react to it.” “Our team stood together under big pressure in the quarter-finals against the Czechs. With that win, the team did something very special for its country.” The bronze medal game and the final will be played in Stockholm tomorrow. — AFP

LA Kings shock Sharks LOS ANGELES: Stanley Cup champions Los Angeles fought back from a goal down with less than two minutes to play to stun the San Jose Sharks 4-3 in a frenzied finish to Game Two of their Western Conference semi-finals on Thursday. With the Kings on a five-on-three powerplay, captain Dustin Brown tied the score with a backhand shot at 18:17 in the third period to spark thunderous roars from a sellout crowd of 18,527 at Staples Center. Just 22 seconds later, center Trevor Lewis pounced on a loose puck from the left side of an open net for the go-ahead goal and the Kings held on to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Goaltender Jonathan Quick, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player during last season’s playoffs, made 28 saves for Los Angeles, who have now won 12 straight games on home ice since March. Antti Niemi stopped 27 shots for the Sharks, who will have to rebound when the series shifts to San Jose for Game Three on Saturday. “We found a way,” Kings head coach Darryl Sutter told reporters after his team had won their sixth straight playoff game. “You know what? The power play was on. We’ve been talking about it. “We’ve been getting good looks and good opportunities and not finishing but we got it (tonight) from different guys. I didn’t like how many penalties we took, our penalty killing did a good job and the power play came through for us.” San Jose coach Todd McLellan said he had been impressed by the overall performance and character of his players on Thursday night as they came back from an early 0-2 deficit. “I liked our game,” McLellan smiled. “We’ll meet tomorrow at the rink and I’ll tell our team that. “The thing I like about our team, maybe in the past this would have bothered our team more, but with the group of guys we have I think we can recover from this. We’ll take our chances just like we did tonight.” FAST START The fifth-seeded Kings made a fast start when center Jeff Carter opened the scoring with a wrist shot from the right at 3:06 in the first period. It was his fourth playoff goal this season, and the 25th of his career in the playoffs. Though the Sharks were initially much busier on offense, the Kings went 20 up when defenseman Drew Doughty scored on a powerplay with a slap shot into the upper-left corner at 4:10 in the second period. San Jose, who swept the third-seeded Vancouver Canucks in the previous round, cut the deficit when center Patrick Marleau scored with a tip-in on a powerplay a little more than five minutes later after a brilliant sequence of fourway passing. The sixth-seeded Sharks then stunned the Staples Center crowd into near silence by tying the game at 2-2 when defenseman Brad Stuart netted with a slap shot at 14:21 in the second period. As the towel-waving home fans chanted “Go Kings Go”, San Jose defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic was credited with the goal that put the Sharks 3-2 up at 8:56 of the third, the puck having been deflected through a tangle of bodies. The Sharks appeared to have the game under control but they paid a heavy price for two late penalties as first Stuart, for tripping, and then Vlasic, for delaying the game by sending the puck over the glass, were both sent to the penalty box. “Power play got it done in the end when we needed it most,” Lewis said after scoring his first goal in the postseason. “We got some work to do to clean things up but it’s a big win for us.” Los Angeles are aiming to become the first team to repeat as champions since the Detroit Red Wings in 1998. —Reuters


SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

Parker, Spurs hold off Warriors Knicks avoid elimination with win over Pacers Photo of the day

Cedric Dumont flies over the Nazca lines at Nazca, Peru. —

OAKLAND: The San Antonio Spurs booked a return trip to the NBA Western Conference finals on Thursday, holding off the Golden State Warriors 94-82 to win their second-round playoff series. San Antonio’s Tony Parker endured a difficult night of 3of-13 shooting, but two of those baskets were crucial three-pointers in the final four minutes to help the Spurs fend off the determined young Warriors team. The Spurs won the best-of-seven series four games to two and will face the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference finals for a place in the league’s championship series. San Antonio will host the Grizzlies in game one on Sunday. Two years ago, the Grizzlies shocked the Spurs in the first round. The Spurs returned to the Western Conference finals last season, but fell to Oklahoma City. Tim Duncan scored 19 points to lead the Spurs. Parker and Manu Ginobili both struggled with their shooting but combined for 19 assists. Ginobili scored five points on 1-of-6 shooting-his only basket of the night a driving layup to stretch the Spurs lead back to five points after Golden State’s Klay Thompson had drained a three-pointer to trim the deficit to three points with 10 minutes remaining. Back-to-back jump shots by Thompson and Stephen Curry cut the Warriors’ deficit to 77-75 with 4:52 to play. A Spurs turnover then gave Golden State a chance to tie, but Curry was off-target with two attempts. A three-pointer by Parker saw the Spurs regain some breathing room. Kawhi Leonard also made a big three-pointer for San Antonio in the waning minutes, while Golden State’s Thompson and Curry both saw three-point attempts rattle around the rim and fail to fall. Parker, meanwhile, drained another three-pointer to put the Spurs up 88-79 with 1:15 to play. “As we’ve said a lot in the playoffs, sometimes in the end it comes down to making shots. Down the stretch we made a couple of threes ... we did make some shots down the stretch and they didn’t,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. Parker scored 10 of his 13 points in the final four minutes. “I was just tired, obviously,” Parker said of his shooting woes. KNICKS 85, PACERS 75 The New York Knicks came alive in front of their home crowd and avoided elimination by beating the Pacers 85-75 on Thursday, sending their NBA Eastern

Conference semi-final series back to Indiana for Game Six. Led by 28 points from league scoring champion Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks played with desperation and fierce determination on defense to narrow the deficit to 3-2 in their best-of-seven series, which resumes on Saturday. New York forced 19 turnovers and registered a dozen steals, double that of the Pacers, answering the Madison Square Garden chant of “Defense, Defense.” “We played with a sense of urgency tonight, knowing what was at stake,” said Anthony. “We played like we really wanted it. We had to win and we went out there and did that.” The Knicks’ bench outscored the undermanned Pacers 35-10 with J.R. Smith coming out of a slump to contribute 13 points and 29-year-old rookie Chris Copeland adding 13 points and a dose of high energy. Playing without starting point guard George Hill, who suffered a concussion in Indiana’s Game Four victory, the Pacers were led by Paul George’s 23 points with David West adding 17. Should the Pacers fail to finish off the Knicks with a victory at home on Saturday, the series would return to New York’s Madison Square Garden for a deciding Game Seven on Monday. DESPERATION GAME New York coach Mike Woodson said winning in Indianapolis was a tough task as his team went 0-4 there this season, but the challenge could be met with the defensive intensity the Knicks brought in Thursday’s do-or-die game. “It was our defense,” Woodson said about the key to Game Five. “We didn’t give up a lot of second-chance buckets, we made it tough for them to score. “It was a total team effort and we’re going to have to have that same effort when we play at Conseco Fieldhouse.” Woodson gave special mention to Copeland, who had been used sparingly in the series, but gave New York a spark by hitting 3-of-4 from beyond the threepoint line and grabbing a pair of steals. “Cope was big for us with the way he played tonight,” Woodson said. New York started fast in a physical first half, scoring the first seven points of the game. They led by four after the first quarter and by 40-34 at halftime. The Knicks extended their lead to 10 after three quarters, carrying a 67-57 advantage to the fourth quarter. — Agencies

Williams breezes into Rome Open semi-finals ROME: Top seed Serena Williams booked her place in the semi-finals of the WTA Rome Open yesterday after a comfortable 6-2, 6-0 win over Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro. Williams took just over 56 minutes on Central Court to brush aside the Spaniard, who offered little in reply to the American’s all-round more powerful game. The world number one, who will claim her 51st WTA title if she triumphs this weekend, will meet the winner of the quarterfinal between Jelena Jankovic and Simona Halep. Williams’ path to victory has arguably been smoothed by the withdrawal yesterday of world number two Maria Sharapova due to illness prior to the Russian’s quarterfinal against Sara Errani.Williams admitted the scheduling of the Rome tournament between the Madrid Open and the French Open could be problematic if players, as with Sharapova, suffered ailments

that could hamper their bid for the victory in the year’s second Grand Slam. “It’s definitely taking a chance and sometimes you might feel like preparing well for the Roland Garros, which is probably the most difficult Slam to win, and you want to give yourself the best chance and sometimes this is what you have to do,” said Williams. Asked whether she felt she was in the prime of her career despite turning 30 years old, she added: “Maybe, I have been pretty consistent and healthy-knock on wood-so maybe yes. “Never felt better, or healthier or younger.” If successful in her semi-final, Williams will meet the winner of the second semi between Errani and Samantha Stosur or Viktoria Azarenka. Williams earned her 49th career singles title, and third of the year, by beating former world number one Jankovic in the final of the Family Circle Cup last month. — AFP

ROME: US Serena Williams returns a ball to Spanish Carla Suarez Navarro during their quarter-finals match yesterday at the Rome Masters. — AFP

sports SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

Kuwaiti shooters grab silver and bronze medals in Cairo Abdellatif Al-Sharaa and Agencies KUWAIT: Kuwait National Shooting Team have won silver and bronze medals during the first day of competition of Arab Championship, being held in Cairo with the participation of more than 150 shooters from seven countries. Kuwait’s head of delegation to the championship Dr Nedal Al-Sayed Omar said that Kuwait won the teams’ silver in the 10M air rifle. He said the team is made of Khalid AlSubaie, Abdallah Al-Harby and Sultan AlOsaimi. Egypt won Gold and Iraq won Silver. Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Ambassador in Cairo Rashid Al-Hamad has described that organization of the Arab Shooting

Championship in Egypt as clear evidence of the security and stability of the most Arab populous state. “Egypt is always an oasis of security and stability,” the Ambassador told KUNA after participating in the opening ceremony of the Arab championship here. Rashid cheered Kuwaiti shooters’ participation in the championship, wishing them great success and triumph. “We hope victory for Kuwait shooters and encourage Kuwaiti players and athletes to partake in sports activities and contests organized in Egypt,” he said. The Ambassador lauded high level of professionalism of Kuwaiti shooters and their recent achievements. He spoke highly

Rebels claim first South African win MELBOURNE: Australia’s Melbourne Rebels celebrated their first victory over South African opposition with a rousing 30-21 Super 15 win over the Western Stormers in Melbourne yesterday. The Rebels stormed home from 21-20 down with six minutes left to down the Cape Town-based Stormers with a contentious penalty try ruling to finish victors. Scrum-half Nick Phipps was ruled to have been held back by Martin Bezuidenhout chasing after a kick ahead and the TMO recommended a penalty try as Phipps dived for the ball with Springbok winger Bryan Habana. Bezuidenhout, who could be clearly seen in replays tugging at Phipps’s jersey, was sent to the sin bin leaving the Stormers a man down for the final minutes. It was the Rebels’ first win over a South African team in their third season of Super Rugby and the players were jubilant after the full-time whistle. And they did it without their big names-injured Wallaby playmaker James O’Connor and suspended Kurtley Beale. Both teams scored three tries with Jason Woodward proving the difference with three conversions and three penalties. The Stormers, who lost to a late try against the New South Wales Waratahs in Sydney last weekend, paid the price for their uncustomary loose defense. Number eight Scott Higginbotham was again outstanding for the Rebels and scored his sixth try of the season in the 13th minute, before converted tries from scrum-half Louis Schreuder and Springbok winger Bryan Habana’s first touchdown of the season put them ahead 14-10. Phipps came off the bench for the second half and provided the spark for the Rebels, playing a key role in the 54th-minute try by lock Hugh Pyle and then the central figure in the controversial penalty try ruling. “That’s fantastic. Credit to the Stormers, they pushed us but we hung in and we played a great brand of rugby tonight,” skipper Higginbotham said. “This is great positive thinking for the boys and we’ll take it into next week.” Stormers skipper Jean de Villiers said it was an embarrassing defeat for his side. “That was embarrassing tonight. From a team point of view that’s just not good enough and hard decisions need to be made now,” de Villiers said. “We can’t fault our preparation. Defensively, we were very poor. There was no commitment on defense giving them momentum every time they carried the ball and that’s not what we stand for as a team.” The upset defeat has virtually finished the Stormers’ chances of reaching this season’s Super Rugby playoffs. It was deflating finish to their Australasian tour and the Stormers now return home to prepare for next week’s match against the Queensland Reds in Cape Town, while the Rebels shape up for an Australian derby at home against the NSW Waratahs next Friday.— AFP

about Kuwaiti leadership’s non-stop support to Kuwaiti sports, particularly shooting. The support to Kuwaiti shooters has resulted in great achievements for Kuwaiti sports, the latest of which was Kuwait’s shooter Fuhaid AlDaihani’s win of his second Olympic medal in London Olympic Games, he said. Meanwhile, President of Arab Shooting Federation Duaij Khalaf AlOtaibi pointed out that seven Arab countries, namely Egypt, Kuwait, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Sudan, Iraq and more than 150 shooters, including 10 Kuwaitis are participating in the championship. Al-Otaibi hoped great success for the Arab championship and partici-

pating teams and players. For his part, Head of Kuwaiti delegation to the event, Nidal Al-Sayyed Omar said in statements to KUNA that Kuwaiti shooters have the ability to compete and win medals in the championship. He, however, expected that the competition will be ferocious due to the participation of distinguish shooters from Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Iraq. He noted that the Kuwait team have prepared well for the tournament and is determine to achieve victories. Omar expressed gratitude for Kuwaiti Ambassador to Egypt attendance at the opening ceremony as well as his support to the Kuwait shooters.

The All-French European Cup final an international affair DUBLIN: Iconic English fly-half Jonny Wilkinson will seek to add a continental crown to his honors when his Toulon club take on French rivals Clermont in the European Cup final today. The match at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium might be between two French Top 14 clubs, but on paper it is a truly international clash, with top players from across the globe ready to battle it out for the ultimate honor in northern hemisphere club rugby. Clermont, with eight wins on the bounce and a squad of international superstars, are slight favorites, leading Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal to claim he has already accepted second place. “We are up against a very impressive team,” Boudjellal said. “We would be stupid to think we are better than Clermont. So we are preparing to lose. We will be the runners up and it’s not that bad.” Of course, the outspoken comic book tycoon is nothing if not mischievous with his words, and nobody else in the red and black will be expecting a loser’s medal today evening. Clermont won 24-21 in the first league meeting this season, but the pair shared to spoils in a 26-26 stalemate in Toulon, indicating there’s not much between these two wealthy units. Wilkinson scored 10 points when the sides last met, and the playmaker who booted England to a memorable World Cup victory in 2003 is certain to have a say in the outcome today. “There aren’t many teams in Europe that can claim anything like the amount of bulk Clermont have, but Toulon are definitely one of them,” said former Munster and Ireland backrower Alan Quinlan. “If they can keep it nip and tuck, they have an ace up their sleeve, because for all their vast array of talent, I still come back to one man. I come back to Wilkinson. He just stands out. “Clermont are a better-balanced team but Toulon have the match-winner in the number 10 shirt.” Clermont, making a first appearance in the European Cup final, may feel destined for victory, but coach Vern Cotter admits his side can’t afford to let Wilkinson’s left boot dominate a game that may be decided by kicking. “For us, it is about being able to get fast ball, play a high tempo, keep them moving,” said the Kiwi. “That’s our basic game plan. They are a very physical team, they dominate and then create gaps and

exploit them.”Clermont can count on the trusted boot of Morgan Parra should it come to a kicking duel, with the French scrum-half leading Wilkinson in the tournament’s top points scoring charts, with 109 so far. While both teams boast incredibly physical packs, the neutrals will be salivating at the talent on show in the backs. Clermont’s Napolioni Nalaga and Wesley Fofana have bagged 12 tries between them, while Delon Armitage, Rudi Wulf and Mathieu Basteraud will

keep Clermont’s defenders on their toes. “I am very eager to do battle against Toulon,” said Fofana, a standout performer for France in their poor Six Nations showing. “This is a final and if we win that will be an exceptional achievement. “We are playing another French club but we are preparing for a European Cup final and we know more about Toulon than a foreign team because we’ve already played two games this season against Toulon. For me that is a positive.— AFP

DUBLIN: Toulon’s rugby union captain Jonny Wilkinson (centre left) attends a training session with team-mates at the Aviva stadium in Dublin, in Ireland on the eve of the European Cup final match between Clermont Auvergne and Toulon. — AFP

Chiefs back on top after downing the Hurricanes WELLINGTON: Defending champions the Waikato Chiefs moved back into top spot on the Super 15 ladder yesterday after holding on to beat New Zealand rivals the Wellington Hurricanes 17-12. The Chiefs scored the only try in wet conditions and produced a mighty defensive effort to smother a Hurricanes fightback as both teams notched four penalties in a match where scoring opportunities were scarce. “Any game against the Hurricanes is a tough local derby and the conditions added to that,” captain Craig Clark said. The Chiefs first win in Wellington since 2001 puts them three points clear of the ACT Brumbies, who can overtake them again with a victory in their match against the NSW Waratahs in Sydney today. It also extends their lead in the New Zealand conference, putting pressure on the Auckland Blues and Canterbury Crusaders, who face off in Christchurch today. The Hurricanes will now face an uphill struggle to make the play-off after posting six wins and six losses for the season.—AFP

sports SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013

Fergie heads into retirement seeking 1 more win CARRINGTON: Alex Ferguson is looking forward to a retired life of luxury holidays, watching horse racing, eand perhaps studying languages. Before that, though, there’s one final challenge to overcome beating West Bromwich Albion on Sunday in his 1,500th and last game as Manchester United manager. “One thousand five hundred matches - it’s quite incredible,” Ferguson said Friday, shaking his head in wonder at his own longevity. The end of the road in Ferguson’s 39year coaching career comes at The Hawthorns, an unassuming stadium in central England. He has already had one emotional farewell - at Old Trafford on Sunday after a 2-1 win over Swansea that marked his final home match as United manager. On that occasion, there was a guard of honor, a five-minute speech to fans and relentless waving of red flags by

United supporters who can’t quite believe their manager of nearly 27 years is stepping aside. There’s also been United’s trophy parade through the streets of Manchester on Monday, when tens of thousands of people came out in force for one more glimpse of the legendary man and his Premier League title-winners. This weekend’s match promises to be another tearjerker, although all Ferguson wants is a win. It’s typical of him. “Every team wants to win their last home game - that’s a fact of life,” said Ferguson, who was named the Premier League’s manager of the year on Friday. “And also I want to win this one more than last week’s even.” His coaching life began in 1974, with unheralded East Stirlingshire in the Scottish lower leagues. Ferguson remembers having “eight players and no goal-

French League Preview

Euro fight intensifies as Beckham signs off PARIS: David Beckham is set to steal many of the headlines in Ligue 1 this weekend as he prepares to make the penultimate appearance of his glittering career for Paris Saint-Germain, while elsewhere the battle for France’s final Champions League qualifying berth intensifies. After wrapping up the Ligue 1 title with victory at Lyon last weekend, PSG return to the Parc des Princes to face Brest. The game itself is a dead rubber as, while PSG are already champions, Brest are already certain to be relegated. But the focus will be on Beckham, and on the atmosphere at the Parc des Princes after the capital club’s trophy presentation in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower on Monday was ruined by violence. PSG will get another chance to celebrate with their fans todday, and Beckham-who has only made one start and eight substitute appearances in France’s top flight since arriving in January-will surely be given the chance to wave goodbye to the club’s fans before his final appearance at Lorient on Sunday, May 26. “Today, for his last game at the Parc des Princes, we count on all of you to show your joy for having seen him in Paris under the colours of Paris Saint-Germain as well as to celebrate the entire team for its fantastic victory in French Ligue 1,” was the message of club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi after hearing of Beckham’s decision to retire, although he added that PSG are hopeful of continuing to work with the Englishman in some capacity in the future. Elsewhere, Marseille are guaranteed to finish second and will go straight into next season’s Champions League group stage, but the battle for third place, which carries the reward of a spot in the third qualifying round of Europe’s leading club competition, is still alive. Lyon currently sit third, and are three points clear of both Lille and Nice and four points clear of Saint-Etienne coming into the final two games. However, OL must travel to the Cote d’Azur this weekend to face Nice while Lille travel to Montpellier and Saint-Etienne entertain Marseille. “The best thing for us is to try and win both of our remaining matches and get the points we need as quickly as possible,” said Lyon coach Remi Garde. “But a draw would not be a bad result.” Saint-Etienne have enjoyed a magnificent campaign, capped by their victory in the League Cup final last month, but they appear to be running out of legs as the finish line approaches. Les Verts lost 3-1 at Lorient last weekend to end a 16-match unbeaten run in the league and must beat in-form Marseille at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard and hope Lyon slipup. “The defeat at Lorient has had an impact on people at the club, but we can’t throw it all away yet,” Saint-Etienne captain Loic Perrin told L’Equipe on Thursday. “We are just not getting the breaks at the moment but we are creating chances, which is a good sign.” Lille, who entertain Saint-Etienne on the final day, appear in the best condition to profit from any Lyon slipup. Only PSG have collected more points than Rudi Garcia’s side since the start of February and no team has scored more goals in that time. —AFP

keeper.” Now he has six goalkeepers and around 100 players to oversee. “It’s a different life,” Ferguson acknowledged. “Change is inevitable - you have to manage that. “There have been big changes in this club in terms of number of staff, sports science, modern technology has come into it. When I started as a manager there were no agents, media was different then too. ... The changes are all there, integrated over a long period. But I don’t think I’ve changed much.” Things are set to change in Ferguson’s life, however. No more getting up in the early hours and being the first person into Carrington, United’s vast and impressive training complex in west Manchester. No more picking teams, coaching world-class players, doing draining media duties. But that doesn’t mean he’ll be enjoying regular 10-hour

sleep-ins, as he did after the parade on Monday. “It’s the first time in my life that I’ve had 10 hours’ sleep - (wife) Cathy kept making sounds round about me,” Ferguson said. “I think she was just checking to see if I was alive.” Ferguson’s new life will likely see him having a closer involvement in his second passion of horse racing and spending more time with his family and on holiday, particularly to his favorite destinations of New York and the south of France. He’s then scheduled to have hip surgery in July. “I’m driven to take on some challenges and some other things right away,” he said. “I’ve got a league managers meeting on Monday, I’m going to Newmarket (for horse racing) on Tuesday and Wednesday ... I’m going on holiday on June 4, it’s the (English) Derby on June 1, I’m going on holiday for a month.—AP

What next for Becks? LONDON: David Beckham will not be short of work offers after he ended a playing career that made him a globally recognized celebrity, with sponsors and sporting bodies jostling to secure his services. The former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Los Angeles Galaxy star expressed the hope as he announced his retirement on Thursday that he would be best remembered as a footballer, rather than a celebrity. The 38-year-old said it “hurt” when people considered him little more than a famous face and said it was the right time to retire because he was “leaving as a champion” after winning the French league title with Paris Saint-Germain. But Beckham’s tattoo-covered body and ever-changing hairstyles have been plastered on advertising billboards around the planet for years and his retirement from competitive football, and the commitments it entails, is expected to only increase his value to sponsors. The photogenic boy from modest beginnings in east London has already amassed a fortune of £165 million ($252 million, 195 million euros), and currently has sponsorship deals in place with Adidas, H&M, British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, watch company Breitling and COTY fragrances. “Brand Beckham” also includes his pop star-turned-fashion-designer wife, Victoria-who long ago nicknamed him “Goldenballs”-and their four children are no strangers to the limelight. The fact that the three older children have been in schools in England since they returned from Los Angeles last year suggests that the Beckhams intend to base themselves in London. Aside from his lucrative commercial tie-ins, Beckham is also in demand as an ambassador, glad-handing officials and spreading the bonhomie with a ready smile that he has mastered. PSG, the super-rich Qatari-owned club who recruited him for the final few months of his career, are in talks with his representatives about continuing their relationship in some form. Club president Nasser El-Khelaifi said yesterday: “He is very interested in the idea of remaining involved in this project, which he believes in. We are in discussions. “We hope to reach an agreement.” Beckham is also likely to increase

David Beckham pictured during a training session his involvement in a deal he signed in March to be the ambassador for football in China, where his brief is to inspire young players in a country where the sport has been plagued by match-fixing. He has also signed up to become ambassador for Britain’s Sky Sports television channel, a partnership reported to be worth £20 million over five years. The Beckham magic has not always worked, though. He teamed up with second-in-line to the throne Prince William and now British Prime Minister David Cameron to promote England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup but it ended in humiliating failure. England’s bid attracted just two votes as surprise choice Russia were handed the honor in 2010. Yet Beckham was a highly visible presence in the bid team when London was awarded the 2012 Olympics. For the opening ceremony, he even delivered the Olympic flame to the east London stadium by speedboat. Chief organizer Sebastian Coe said he would like to see him involved again in a similar role. “I think he can do anything he wants to do. I would genuinely hope

that if England ever really does attempt to put another proper bid together to win a World Cup that he is the first port of call, because he came into Olympic sport, understood it very quickly,” Coe told Sky Sports News. “I can’t imagine that David won’t be in very high demand in all sorts of areas. I hope he gets used in the right and proper way because he is a very influential figure now in world sport.” The English Football Association appear to be listening. FA chairman David Bernstein spoke about his desire to form a “close association” with England’s most-capped outfield player. One career avenue that appears unlikely is that he will follow other former players into managing a football club, pulling on a tracksuit to direct a team from the sidelines on a chilly today in the lower tiers of the English Football League. However, Beckham has admitted that his stint with LA Galaxy has left him with the longterm ambition to own a franchise in Major League Soccer in the United States-the current buy-in fee is $40 million.— AFP



Bayern eye more records in league finale BERLIN: Bayern Munich wrap up their record-breaking Bundesliga season today at Borussia Moenchengladbach with 20 records in their sights and with coach Jupp Heynckes to end his German league career at the club where he began in 1963. While Bayern’s Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund in Wembley on May 25 looms ever larger, Heynckes’ side finish their league campaign having already lifted the Bundesliga shield with a massive party in Munich last Saturday. Bayern can finish with 23 Bundesliga records having already achieved the key landmarks for most league points in a season (88), most wins (28) and they are set to break the record of 21 goals conceded in a season with the current tally on 15. Their 22-point lead over second-placed Dortmund in the

league table is also a record, but while their fans finalise their Wembley plans, Heynckes is focused on claiming their 29th win from 34 league games at ‘Gladbach. “Moenchengladbach is my home town, I spent 23 years at Borussia, so this is no normal game for me and it’ll be my last Bundesliga game as a coach,” said 68-yearold Heynckes, who played for ‘Gladbach as a striker, then later coached the club. Heynckes will be replaced by ex-Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola next month, but the current squad are hungry for titles. Bayern held their Champions League media open day on Tuesday with 190 reporters from 18 countries quizzing stars Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Arjen Robben and Thomas Mueller about what will be their third European final in four years.

Heynckes held a team-talk on Tuesday morning to motivate his team in their bid to win the treble of European, cup and league titles having also reached the German Cup final on June 1 against VfB Stuttgart in Berlin. “Yes, of course, the Champions League final is already in a few minds,” said Bayern captain Lahm. “We have gone close in recent years and want to bring the trophy to Munich, that’s clear. “But it’s not as though you think about it every minute, we have celebrated the league title and the hard work begins again now.” Dortmund host relegation-threatened Hoffenheim today with the guests needing a win and hoping rivals Augsburg, who host bottom side Greuther Fuerth, and Fortuna Duesseldorf, who are at Hanover 96, both lose so they can stay in Germany’s top flight.

SPL preview

Champions Celtic aim to end with rare away win GLASGOW: Champions Celtic will wrap up their Scottish Premier League campaign tomorrow by looking to end a six-game run without an away league win. The Hoops won the league title at a canter but haven’t claimed victory away from Parkhead since their defeat of Inverness Caledonian Thistle on February 9. The Glasgow giants want to bring that dismal run to an end when they face Dundee United at Tannadice, with places in the team for the following weekend’s Scottish Cup final against Hibernian up for grabs. One player aiming to claim a place in the side to run out at the national stadium for the Cup final is winger James Forrest, who scored in last week’s 4-0 win over St Johnstone. Injury has wreaked havoc with his campaign, although the youngster believes that he will finish the season off in style - and be ready to hit the ground running this summer. “It’s been hard but I know that once I get a run of games again I will be back to playing well,” Forrest said. “I want to play against Dundee United and then I’ll start thinking about the cup final, obviously we all want to play in that one. “At the start of the season we wanted to win the league and we’ve done that. It’s been a top season for us and the Scottish Cup final will round it off. “I’m feeling good and want to stay fit now. It’s been a frustrating season for me but I’ve still managed to play a lot of Champions League games so it’s been good on that front. It’s still been a good season to look back on when I’m older.” Elsewhere tomorrow, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and St Johnstone will both attempt to secure third spot and the final European place on offer in the SPL. Inverness are in pole position - sitting one point above St Johnstone - and will clinch third if they can win away to Ross County in the Highland derby. Meanwhile, Motherwell are the opponents for St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park. The Fir Park side have already secured second place in the SPL but boss Stuart McCall assured his Inverness counterpart Terry Butcher that his side would not lie down in the match. “There is one more game left and there is a lot to play for with St Johnstone going for that European place,” the Motherwell manager said. “No doubt Terry will be on to me, making sure we play a fullstrength team. “Obviously we want to win and we want to get into double figures for away wins, we have nine already so we have an aim as well.” Today, Celtic’s cup final opponents Hibernian are at home to relegated Dundee and manager Pat Fenlon admits he will rest players in preparation for their trip to Hampden. “We’ll change it again at the weekend. It’s three games in a week,” said the Hibs manager, whose side won 3-1 at Kilmarnock in a rearranged game in midweek. “We rested a few at Rugby Park and they will come back into contention

for the weekend.” Hearts will bring down the curtain on a troubled season with a trip away to Aberdeen while Killie host second-bottom St Mirren. — AFP

Matches on TV (Local Timings) SPANISH LEAGUE Getafe v Valencia Al Jazeera Sport +2


Granada v Osasuna Al Jazeera Sport +7


Sevilla v Sociedad Al Jazeera Sport +2


ITALIAN LEAGUE Sampdoria v Juventus Al jazeera Sport +1


GERMAN LEAGUE Dortmund v Hoffenheim Dubai Sports


M’gladbach v Bayern Dubai Sports


Nuremberg v Bremen Dubai Sports


Freiburg v Schalke Dubai Sports


FRENCH LEAGUE Gaillard v Valenciennes Al Jazeera Sport +10


Saint Etienne v Marseille Al Jazeera Sport +5


Montpellier v Lille Al Jazeera Sport +9


Nice v Lyon Al Jazeera Sport +8


Paris Saint v Brest Al Jazeera Sport +4


“A miracle worker was not ordered yet,” quipped coach Mark Gisdol before the trip to Champions League finalists Dortmund with Hoffenheim having spent the last five seasons in Germany’s top flight. “Borussia will play at full strength, it will not make the task easier, but there is a chance in each game and we have to exploit it when ours comes.” Either Augsburg or Fortuna, who are just two points clear of Hoffenheim, could yet be relegated depending today’s results. “I will be informed about what is happening in the other places, but I have it in my mind that above all we must win,” said Gisdol. There is a lifeline for the team who finishes 16th in the league-currently Augsburg-who face a twolegged promotion/relegation play-off against Kaiserslautern, who finished third in the second division, on May 23 and 27. — AFP


Barcelona’s Pedro targets 100 points MADRID: Barcelona winger Pedro Rodriguez has claimed he and his teammates are targeting Real Madrid’s league record of 100 points after sealing the title last weekend. The Catalans were handed their 22nd league crown when Madrid could only manage a 1-1 draw with Espanyol, but they stayed on course for a century of points with a late come from behind win at Atletico Madrid 24 hours later. And with nothing else left to play for this season, Pedro said winning their last three games to match Madrid’s treasured total from last season can be a motivating factor. “The 100 points are a motivation, an objective that the team has in mind,” he said. “We know that it will be difficult because the opponents that we have left are still playing for things, but we will try to do it.” The Spanish international also insisted it has still been a successful season for Barca despite their eliminations to Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in the Champions League and Copa del Rey respectively. “The league is the most important title in the season because it is the one of consistency. “I am very happy with the league and for the work of the team.” However, the 25-year-old has been slightly disappointed with his own return of just eight goals this season and understands why his place may be under threat by new faces arriving in the close season. “Personally, I would have liked to be able to offer a little more, but I am happy with the opportunities I have had. “Next season it will return to being very difficult. It is normal that in this team they talk about reinforcements. “Barca needs goals and a lot of offensive contribution. Therefore, every year the frontline suffers alterations.” The likes of Pedro, Alexis Sanchez and David Villa will get the chance to prove their worth between now and the end of the campaign as Lionel Messi has been ruled out for the remaining weeks of the season with the hamstring injury that has dogged him in recent months. Barca’s opponents tomorrow, Valladolid, have also achieved their goal for the season by mathematically sealing survival, but their manager Mirsolav Djukic is looking forward to the challenge of facing the champions. “The two teams have achieved their objectives, but I have never played easy games,” he said. “I think this is a good opportunity to see how we are in comparison to the best team in Spain. “We can win against anyone and with our style we are confident that we can win, although we know it is very difficult because they will want to celebrate the title.” Meanwhile, today the focus is on the fight for the final Champions League place with Valencia and Real Sociedad both locked on 59 points. Valencia are first up as they travel to Getafe before Sociedad face an awkward looking trip to Sevilla on in the evening. —AFP

SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013


Knicks stay alive; Spurs hold off Warriors


MADRID: Atletico Madrid’s midfielder and captain Gabi holds the trophy after winning the Spanish King’s Cup (Copa del Rey) final football match Real Madrid vs Atletico de Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu stadium yesterday. — AFP

Atletico grab 10th King’s Cup Mourinho, Ronaldo sent off as Atletico stun Real MADRID: Atletico Madrid won their 10th Copa del Rey as goals from Diego Costa and Miranda saw them beat Real Madrid 2-1 in extra-time as both Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo were sentoff. Real had been unbeaten in the previous 25 meetings between the two rivals dating back 14 years and Mourinho’s men got off to the perfect start when Cristiano Ronaldo headed in Luka Modric’s corner. However, Diego Costa levelled for Atletico 10 minutes before half-time and Los Rojiblancos then rode their luck as Mesut Ozil, Karim Benzema and Ronaldo all hit the post for Real. Mourinho was sent from the touchline 13 minutes from normal time for taking his protestations towards the officials too far before Miranda headed Atletico in front eight minutes into extra time. And there was even more drama to come as Ronaldo was then shown a straight red card for reacting angrily to a late challenge from Gabi with six minutes of extra time remaining. Mourinho, who could well have sat on the Real bench for the

last time as he is now likely to receive a four-game touchline ban, continued to controversially freeze out Pepe after his outspoken comments against the coach. Raul Albiol was preferred alongside Sergio Ramos in central defense. However, buoyed by the confidence that they had won all eight derbies during Mourinho’s reign, Real took just 13 minutes to make the breakthrough as Ronaldo was given far too much room by Diego Godin and Radamel Falcao to register his 55th goal of the season with a precise header. Gabi responded for Atletico with their first shot on goal moments later that flew over the bar, but despite enjoying a decent spell of possession, Diego Simeone’s men were finding it difficult to create a clear-cut opening. However, when it did arrive on 35 minutes they took full advantage as Falcao called Mourinho’s decision to field Albiol into question as he turned the Spanish international on halfway and then released Costa to fire in his eighth goal in the com-

petition with a low drive past Diego Lopez. The equalizer sparked Real into life in the final throws of the opening half as Modric drilled a low shot just wide from the edge of the area before Ozil struck the inside of the post with a half-volley from similar range. It was Atletico though who had the clearer openings in a lively start to the second period as Filipe Luis fluffed a decent opening when he dribbled a shot into Lopez’s arms and the full-back had another effort on goal moments later when he fired Gabi’s cross just wide of the target. Real ought to have been back in front on the hour mark as Ronaldo burst down the left and his cut back was fired against the post by Karim Benzema before Juanfran somehow blocked Ozil’s follow-up effort on the line. Real then struck the post for the third time as Ronaldo surprised the Atletico wall with a free-kick struck along the ground that came back off the upright. Mourinho was then sent from the touchline for protesting after a number of marginal decisions

went against his side. Mourinho’s message did still reach the Real bench before extra time kicked off as he made a triple substitution with Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria and Alvaro Arbeloa introduced. However, it was Atletico who had the first great chance in extra time as Costa was released clean through on goal but this time placed his effort too close to Lopez who made a comfortable save. From the resulting corner though they did take their chance as Koke’s second attempt at a cross from the right was flicked in at the near post by Miranda. Falcao nearly settled matter minutes later when a free-kick that just landed on the roof of the net, but Atleti were grateful to two incredible saves from Courtois to see them over the line. Atletico’s task in the final minutes was made far easier when Ronaldo kicked out at Gabi and saw a straight red card. Gabi was then also shown a second yellow as both sides finished with 10 men, but Simeone’s team held on to seal their third trophy in little over a year. — AFP

18 May 2013  

Kuwait Times