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TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
Amir urges citizens to be unified, cautious
Indian opposition leader resigns party posts
SHAABAN 2, 1434 AH
Smartphone life shakes up website world
Mourinho returns to Chelsea as ‘Happy One’
Woman jailed 11 years for anti-Amir tweets Assembly in semi-paralysis as it awaits ruling By B Izzak conspiracy theories
By Badrya Darwish
KUWAIT: The criminal court yesterday sentenced a Kuwaiti woman tweeter for 11 years in jail for insulting HH the Amir, calling to overthrow the regime and misusing her mobile phone by writing remarks on Twitter. Huda Al-Ajmi was accused of committing three violations by writing tweets to insult the Amir and undermine his status, calling for the overthrow of the regime and ﬁnally misusing her mobile phone. She was hand-
ed ﬁve years each for the ﬁrst two oﬀenses and one year for the third. HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah later yesterday urged “unity” from the people of Kuwait and for them to be “cautious” in the face of regional challenges that could aﬀect Kuwait. “The current regional circumstances and recurring developments we are prone to require us to be cautious, wary and ready for the challenge. This can only come through national unity, coordination and a united stand against
those who try to undermine this,” Sheikh Sabah said. The court ruling said Ajmi, who denied the charges, must start serving the jail term immediately even before the court of appeals begins to look into the case. Ajmi is not a well-known political activist and is not known to have participated in opposition protests, but the public prosecution pressed the charges against her based on tweets she had allegedly written against the regime and the Amir.
Max 43º Min 29º High Tide 02:31 & 12:29 Low Tide 07:22 & 20:22
The 11-year prison term is the harshest term against an online activist so far since the government launched its crackdown against opposition online activists in October last year. But the term is not ﬁnal as it will still be challenged before the court of appeals and the cassation court, whose verdicts are ﬁnal. During the clampdown, dozens of online activists and former opposition MPs have been handed prison terms or are still on trial, mainly for insulting the Amir. Continued on Page 15
hat is happening at Shaddadiya university? The university is still under construction. The skeleton of the place is erected. That is the only part of the project so far. Already all of you heard about the ﬁre which destroyed a large part of the completed construction last week. The amazing thing is that a bedoon posted online that he was responsible for the arson. He gave stupid reasons which I did not buy at all. He said that there will be more ﬁres in Kuwait. He said that he would continue to set places ablaze until the bedoon issue is resolved or until sharia laws are applied in the country. I couldn’t see what is the connection between the blaze and sharia laws? Or how could he help the bedoon issue by burning places here and there. I brushed the bedoon’s claims out of my head. To prove my theory, yesterday another ﬁre occurred in the same place. Whoever committed the arson was not satisﬁed with the results. I do not know the actual reasons for the ﬁre, but the person who ﬁrst set the place on ﬁre might have done it the second time too. We tried last week to reach the people in charge to provide the cause of the ﬁre and to ask about the investigation. We were told that it would take time and still the cause of the ﬁre remains unknown. Now I think they will need even more time to get back to us because of the second ﬁre. Of course, I am not going to jump into conclusions because there could be many reasons to set that place on ﬁre. I leave it to the authorities to decide for themselves. I am sure they are already doing that. I hope they will come back to us with a convincing statement even if it takes longer. I hope we will be told who did it and why. And not leave the nation open to wide speculations. KUWAIT: Firemen battle a massive blaze at Kuwait University’s new campus in Shaddadiya yesterday. — Photo by Fouad Al-Shaikh (See Page 3)
Source of US intel leak outs himself WASHINGTON: Reeling from the sensational revelation of its secret global Internet monitoring program, Washington stepped up its probe yesterday into the young private contractor who leaked the details. Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old technology expert working for a private ﬁrm subcontracted to the US National Security Agency, has become an instant hero for transparency advocates and libertarians around the globe. But his exposure of the NSA’s worldwide monitoring of private users’ web traﬃc and of US citizens’ phone records has infuriated US intelligence oﬃcials and embarrassed President Barack Obama’s White House. Continued on Page 15
Kuwait to issue new banknotes Indian rupee in ‘freefall’
Apple unveils radio service, revamps iOS SAN FRANCISCO: Apple Inc yesterday unveiled iTunes Radio, a free music streaming service that is a key part of overhauled mobile software that the company called the most revolutionary re-design of its operating system since the iPhone was introduced in 2007. As Apple kicked oﬀ its annual conference in San Francisco for its developers, executives also showed oﬀ a new line of Mac computers and
Nearly 3,000 Indians deported
said that updated Siri voice software used on the iPhone now incorporates Microsoft Corp’s Bing search engine. iTunes Radio, which will compete against Pandora Media Inc, allows users to customize by genre and personal taste. The service is free with ads across Apple’s devices, including Apple TV. It is free of ads for subscribers to iTunes’ Match, a digital content feature. Continued on Page 15
KUWAIT/MUMBAI: The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) announced yesterday that it will release new currency notes with “modern and enhanced security features” to cope with latest counterfeiting challenges in the printing industry. “The CBK has decided to release new Kuwaiti banknotes of all denominations to cope with the developments to improve hallmarks, security features and paper quality,” Governor Mohammad Al-Hashel said in exclusive statements to KUNA yesterday. “The Cabinet, upon a recommendation of the CBK, endorsed today the new issuance and the features and design of the notes,” marking “the sixth issuance of Kuwaiti currency notes since 1961”. The unit of currency in Kuwait is the dinar, divided into one thousand ﬁls, while notes are issued in denominations of quarter dinar, half dinar, one dinar, ﬁve dinars, 10 dinars and 20 dinars. Hashel pointed out that the CBK has started preparations for the printing and circulation of the new notes, expecting that they will be on the market within a year with the current ones continuing to be circulated as they are gradually withdrawn from the market. The CBK Governor expressed conﬁdence that the new banknotes will be to the liking of bankers and the public. There have been ﬁve issues of Kuwaiti currency notes since the introduction of a state legal tender in 1961. The ﬁfth and current issue was released in 1994. Continued on Page 15
KUWAIT: Indian Ambassador Satish C Mehta - flanked by Deputy Chief of Mission Vidhu P Nair (right) and Consular and Chief Welfare Officer Balram Kumar Upadhyay - addresses a press conference at the Indian Embassy yesterday. — Photo by Sajeev K Peter By Sajeev K Peter KUWAIT: Nearly 3,000 Indian workers have been deported so far this year following the crackdown on illegal residents in Kuwait, Indian Ambassador Satish C Mehta said yesterday. Addressing a press conference at the Indian Embassy, the ambassador said the number is roughly 28 percent of the total number of people deported. “As of today, the embassy has issued 930 emergency certiﬁcates this year which is double the number of ECs issued in 2012,” he said. According to the Kuwait government estimates, 11,800 people of diﬀerent
nationalities have been deported over the past two-and-a-half months. The government has made it clear that it wants to stamp out illegal residents from the country whose number stands at around 100,000. The ambassador said embassy oﬃcials are in constant touch with Kuwaiti oﬃcials. “In our regular interactions with the authorities, the embassy has conveyed the growing concern of the Indian community to them over the ongoing campaign,” Mehta said. “However, the situation is not as alarming as it has been portrayed,” the ambassador said. Continued on Page 15
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah inaugurating the national campaign “Senyar 7” that aims at the preservation of the marine environment. — KUNA
Amir inaugurates ‘Senyar 7’ campaign KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah inaugurated the national campaign “Senyar 7” that aims at the preservation of the marine environment. His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah also attended the event which
was held at Bayan Palace yesterday. The Amir received the Kuwaiti Voluntary Work Center Chairperson Sheikha Amthal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and members of Senyar 7 diving team who presented the Amir with a commemorative gift.
His Highness Sheikh Sabah expressed appreciation to the efforts exerted by the team who have played major role in preserving local marine environment. He encouraged them to persevere and become a role-model to be followed by others.
The National Assembly Speaker Ali Fahad Al-Rashed, Deputy Chief of the National Guard Sheikh Mishaal AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and senior state officials attended the event. — KUNA
UK Severn Trent bidder threatens to walk away Kuwaiti, Canadian firms eye British water supplier
TEHRAN: Kuwaiti members of the joint Parliamentary Friendship Committee with Iran meeting Iranian officials. — KUNA
Parliamentary delegation meets top Iranian officials TEHRAN: Kuwaiti members of the joint parliamentary friendship committee with Iran held talks with Speaker of the Iranian Parliament Ali Larijani and Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi separately on Sunday. The talks with Larijani dealt with ways to strengthen the parliamentary cooperation between Kuwait’s National Assembly and Iran’s Majles e-Shora (Islamic Consultative Assembly), said MP Ahmad Al-Mulaifi, head of the delegation. “We’ve conveyed to Larijani an invitation from National Assembly Speaker Ali AlRashed to visit Kuwait and he welcomed the invitation and promised to respond to it in the due time,” Al-Mulaifi said. The Kuwaiti law-maker urged enhancing the
political dialogue in order to resolve any problems in the bilateral ties or regional tensions peacefully. “The region is no longer able to tolerate tensions and the nations in the region expect a lot from us in manipulating the parliamentar y role in addressing the regional problems and defusing tensions,” Al-Mulaifi pointed out. He lauded as “very fruitful” the talks with Salehi, saying they discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues. Al-Mulaifi voiced hope that the two countries will be able to play a more active role in stabilizing the region and serving the common interests. The meetings were also attended by Kuwait Ambassador to Iran Majdy Ahmad Al-Dhafiri. — KUNA
KPC to expand private sector partnerships KUWAIT: Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) Managing Director for Government, Parliamentary, Public Relations and Media Affairs Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled Al-Ahmad AlSabah announced that the state company plans to expand partnerships with the private sector. In a speech at the Third Kuwait Oil Industrial Forum, organized by Kuwait Industries Union in cooperation with KPC, Sheikh Talal said that the KPC is planning to increase the private the sector involvement in the oil industry to help create job opportunities and improve performance. “KPC’s strategy aims to encourage national investors to pour $6 billion in direct investments in the petroleum sector,” he said, noting that the state development plan had adopted several reforms to enhance the private sector’s role in the local economy, especially the oil sector. He added that the KPC plays an active role in supporting the local economy through providing many opportunities for the local sector to work as main contractors in major projects, to participate in the engineering and construction works and to provide the corporation and its subsidiaries with materials and services. These projects will “create 1,600 new job openings for nationals over the coming few years,” said Sheikh Talal. He, furthermore, said that the private sector was
involved in the ownership of some leading projects, such as the first and second Olefins projects and the aromatics projects along with the allocation of some activities, such as fuel stations. “KPC has also developed several approaches to increase private sector participation in the petroleum project, the latest of which is the public-private-partnership (PPP) agreements,” he said. He underscored that the KPC looks forward to work in the future with the principle of engaging the private sector through more comprehensive view aiming at developing its role in the oil sector through the enhancement of the “local content” and settling the local industries that support the oil sector. “KPC has widened the scope of the activities and participants of the council on partnership with private sector to include all its major subsidiaries,” he said. Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) Mohammad Al-Mutairi said that there are plans to increase private sector’s share in major petroleum projec t to exceed 20 percent. He went on to say that “private sector’s participation in these projects has certain conditions and criteria to be set by the executive body of each”. — KUNA
LONDON: The Canadian-led consortium trying to buy Britain’s Severn Trent threatened to walk away after its third approach was rejected, prompting two of the water utility’s major shareholders to urge a return to talks. Shares in the British company dropped almost 6 percent yesterday after it rejected the consortium’s proposed $8.2 billion offer, ahead of a deadline today for a firm bid. Borealis Infrastructure, part of Canadian pension fund OMERS, a Kuwaiti sovereign wealth fund and Britain’s Universities Superannuation Scheme want to buy Severn Trent for its steady cash flows. But the utility, which has 7.7 million customers mainly in central and western England and Wales, said the latest offer of 2,200 pence per share failed to reflect its long-term value and future potential. A source close to the consortium told Reuters that no talks had been held since May 14. One of Severn Trent’s 10 biggest shareholders said yesterday the company should start engaging with the consortium with the aim of achieving an offer of more than 2,300 pence per share. “We certainly encourage them to engage and protect
between Q8, PetroVietnam and Japanese companies Idemitsu Kosan and Mitsui Chemicals, will be located in Thanh Hoa Province in North Vietnam, around 200 kilometers south of Hanoi. As Vietnam’s largest oil refinery, it is expected to contribute more than 30 percent of Vietnam’s demand for petroleum products. Although Vietnam is Southeast Asia’s third-largest producer of crude oil, its limited number of refineries has led to an almost total reliance on imported oil products. The new refinery will include a petrochemical complex, energy facilities, and pipeline and storage facilities. It will produce products such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel for the local Vietnamese market, together with other products for sale in neighboring countries. — KUNA
NO NEW OFFER, NO TALKS According to British takeover rules, the consortium has until 1600 GMT today to make a formal offer for Severn Trent or walk away. Severn Trent chairman Andrew Duff said the board had acted in the best interest of shareholders in rejecting the latest offer, which it said was only 3.5 percent higher than the previous approach. Shares in Severn Trent closed at 2,070 pence on Friday, after earlier hitting an all-time high of 2,200 pence. They fell further yesterday, down 5.9 percent at 1,949 pence by 1021 GMT, but still trading well above the level of about 1,820 before news of an approach was made public in May. The chief strategist at stockbroker Central Markets, Richard Perry, said the market had not completely ruled out a new approach for Severn Trent. “There have now been three bids in a row rejected,” he said. “However, the stock is still massively higher than the 1,830-1,840 (pence) level where it was in May, and the market still seems to be factoring in some new approach.” — Reuters
The Proteges powered by KIPCO KUWAIT: The Proteges - the mentorship program that provides young people with opportunities to learn life and leadership skills - is proud to announce strategic partnership with KIPCO (Kuwait Projects Company). Registration for the program is now open for all young people aged between 16 and 24. The program will start in the second week of August and continue for 4 weeks. Shamlan Al-Bahar, manager of The Proteges said, “We are honored to have KIPCO as our strategic partner and main sponsor for Generation 3. It is with great appreciation to Faisal Al-Ayyar that The Proteges is now powered by KIPCO and nine of its operating companies. Through this partnership, we will be given outstanding support from some of the best companies in Kuwait. Al-Bahar added, “This year, we wanted to take The Protégés to a whole new level, above and beyond whatwe did with generations 1 &2. With the cooperation of KIPCO and their participating companies, which include Burgan Bank, KAMCO, United Real Estate Co, Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company, Gulf Insurance Group, OSN, Kuwait Hotels Company, United Networks, and United Education Co (UEC), we have no doubt that this year’s program will be a truly life-changing experience for the 25 young people who will be chosen.” Commenting on the strategic partnership with The Protégés, Abeer Al-Omar, Corporate
Communications Manager at KIPCO said: “The Proteges program is an excellent way of preparing the next generation of leaders and KIPCO is proud to support such an initiative. KIPCO has a long-standing commitment to help the young people of Kuwait full their potential. All of our core companies will be involved in our sponsorship in some way. For example, the UEC will host
the ProtÈgÈes at the American University of Kuwait, while OSN will be providing broadcast expertise. By doing this, the KIPCO Group will be offering invaluable support to the leaders of Kuwait’s future. We look forward to working with the organizers to ensure a highly successful program.” The last day to submit applications for The Proteges, Generation 3 is June 20, 2013.
Arab woman arrested; Drugs, arms and ammunition seized By Hanan Al-Saadoun
Q8 refinery project in Vietnam KUWAIT: The construction work will start in July for the Kuwait Petroleum International (Q8) major joint refinery and petrochemical complex in Vietnam, Q8 Managing Director Bakheet Al-Rashidi announced yesterday. “We expect the work to be completed by late 2016 with the commercial production to commence in the second quarter of 2017,” added AlRashidi in press statements on the sidelines of a ceremony for graduates of a training program for Q8 employees at Rotterdam School of Management. “The project execution will go as scheduled and Kuwaiti staff will be present at the construction site as of next month,” he pointed out, on the project worth a total $9 billion. The Nghi Son Refiner y and Petrochemical Complex, a joint venture
the rights of shareholders,” the investor said, on the condition of anonymity. “(But) any price below 2,300 pence per share isn’t worth being considered. Let them walk away, they don’t deserve assets at this price.” A second investor, one of the 15 largest, said it was concerned Severn Trent was playing a “very dangerous game”. “The Severn Trent people are being a little pig-headed,” the investor said, also on the condition of anonymity. “I think we’re pretty much at a reasonable price and the fact they are not really engaging with them seems a bit strange. It’s not an unreasonable offer and the strength of the rebuttal doesn’t seem proportional to that.” Severn Trent, in common with Britain’s other water and sewerage firms, has stable cash flows and operates in a favorable regulatory environment. Michael Rolland, President and CEO of Borealis, speaking on behalf of the consortium, said yesterday that Severn Trent had shown no interest in discussing its latest proposal. “In the absence of any such engagement, there will be no further proposal from the consortium and no offer for Severn Trent shareholders to consider,” he said.
Arab woman pictured with various kinds of drugs, arms and ammunition.
KUWAIT: Drug enforcement agents arrested an Arab woman for being in possession of various kinds of drugs, arms and ammunition. Information was passed on to Lt General Abdulhameed Al-Awadhi about an Arab woman being involved in drugs trade. Further information was collected to verify the tip off and the woman was kept under surveillance round the clock. After taking necessary legal precautions, her residence was raided. A search of the place led to the recovery of four grams of Heroin, and 18 bottles of imported liquor of multiple brands. She claimed that the contraband found belonged to her but was meant for personal use. Despite intense interrogation, she avoided giving proper answers to the questions asked of her, but did confess to having a partner and that she possessed a key to the place. Police accompanied her to the other residence and after searching it, found four kilograms of opium, two kilograms of Hashish, 30,000 pills of drugs, 500 grams Ice drug, 20 grams of Heroin
and six pistols of different sizes, a golden automatic gun, and different kinds of ammunition. Her partner was identified and police were able to nab him. Both the suspects and the recovered drugs and arms were being sent to the concerned authorities. Car accidents A car accident at Al-Sabbia near the AlSabbia Bridge left a 58-year-old Kuwaiti man with multiple injuries and pain in the neck. Another 43-year-old Kuwaiti man also received multiple injuries and complained of pain in the head after being caught up in the same accident. Both were taken to the Al-Jahra Hospital. In a similar development, a car accident at the Cairo Street near Hawally and Al-Qadsiya crossing resulted in a head injury for a oneyear-old Kuwaiti child who was rushed to the Al-Amiri Hospital. Also, a car accident at Kabd near Ahmad Al-Jaber base roundabout left a 45-year-old Indian expat with injuries to both legs while a 51-year-old Pakistani expat suffered a head injury and also one to the shoulder. Both were taken to the Jahra Hospital.
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
Kuwait rejects Swiss interference, criticism GENEVA: Kuwait rejected yesterday Switzerland’s interference in Kuwaiti domestic affairs before the 23rd session of the UN Council for Human Rights, and its criticism of Kuwaiti court death sentencing last April. Kuwait’s permanent
Malik Hussein Al-Wazzan advisor to the United Nations, Malik Hussein Al-Wazzan, told the council, in response to the Swiss criticism, “The death penalty is an issue of the Islamic laws, as it represents the state’s sovereignty, and we forbid interference in our policies or politics.” Al-Wazzan stressed that Kuwait is committed to applying the provisions of Islam. Affirming that the death penalty was imposed after enough verifications, and not for political attraction. “The
Swiss delegation is well aware that death penalties have not been implemented in Kuwait since 2007 and is being implemented after passing through several judicial regulations, several cases take years of revision before ruling a death sentence,” the Kuwaiti diplomat stated. Switzerland denounced to the council the lifting of death sentences imposed by several states including Kuwait, with referral to three cases of death penalty last April. Switzerland called upon those countries to suspend those convictions and lessen the sentencing. Al-Wazzan stressed that eliminating the death penalty is not bound by international law and its implementation meets the requirements of international law as specified in the human rights bodies. He added, article six of the International Covenant, stipulates that “the death penalty may not be imposed arbitrarily and can be used for the most serious crimes” as is the case in many democratic countries, and there is no obligation to stop it. It is noted that the 23rd session of the UN Human Rights Council continues from May 27 to June 14, to discuss human rights issues, and reports of experts involved, reactions of states and non-governmental organizations. — KUNA
Govt approves setting up of tire recycling company KUWAIT: Kuwait has officially approved a proposal to establish a used tire recycling company, which will have an annual production capacity of seven million tires, a local daily reported yesterday, quoting sources familiar with the subject. Speaking to Al-Qabas on the condition of anonymity, the sources said an approval letter signed by Minister of Commerce and Industry Anas Al-Saleh was sent to the Public Authority for Industry (PAI), with instructions on steps to be taken for the company’s establishment. “The letter called for quick processes to be put in place to establish the company, in view of the growing environmental risk from the rising numbers of used tires collected annually ”, the sources said. Furthermore, the sources noted that the
PAI approved the project’s feasibility study “given its environmental importance and the potential benefit of using recycled synthetic rubber.” Allocation of land for recycling factories is currently awaiting the end of a process in which the PAI is taking back industrial lands previously allocated to other businesses. A Daily Mail report earlier this month claimed that there are more than seven million used tires buried under sand in what the repor t dubs as “the world’s biggest tire graveyard” in Sulaibiya. Last year, a huge fire engulfed millions of tires stored at a location in the Jahra desert, where an average of between 2,000 and 2,500 used tires are dumped every day, according to official estimations based on investigations during the time of the incident.
KD 51 billion budget deficit set for 2030 KUWAIT: Kuwait faces the risk of incurring a fiscal deficit of KD51 billion by 2030 even with a best case scenario of importing 4.5 million barrels a day at a price of $185 a barrel, a local newspaper reported yesterday quoting a government’s assessment repor t for the four th year (2013/2014) of the five-year Development Plan. Al-Qabas, which has been publishing details of the report since the beginning of this week, reported yesterday that the fourth year’s plan urges “everyone to take responsibility when it comes to procedures, decisions and sacrifices to sustain social welfare and protect the right of future generations to have access to a luxurious life.” Among ‘cost cutting’ steps the assessment report recommends are reconsidering the public sector ’s payroll and allowances, linking pay to productivity,
limiting demands for financial increases, and cooperation between the cabinet and parliament to improve non-oil incomes. Furthermore, the report recommends rationalization of government spending, reviewing public services’ cost and facilities, and increasing the private sector’s contribution in government activity. Meanwhile, the report notes that a Kuwaiti family costs the government an annual average of KD 17,000 in direct subsidies including electricity, gas, cooking gas, manpower allowance for private sector employees, social security and living allowances. Al-Qabas also reported a plan that the Civil Service Commission demonstrated to the cabinet recently, which suggests pay cuts for certain professions in the public sector as part of a strategy to resolve aberrations in the payroll and achieve equality in distribution.—Agencies
Kuwait Amir urges citizens to be unified, cautious KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday urged “unity” from the people of Kuwait and for them to be “cautious” in the face of regional challenges that could affect Kuwait. “The current regional circumstances and recurring developments, we are prone to, require us to be cautious, wary and ready for the challenge. This can only come through national unity, coordination and a united stand gainst those who try to undermine this,” Sheikh Sabah, accompanied by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, said during in a speech at a dinner banquet held in his honor by Mohammad Mefarrij Al-Musaileem. “My brothers and fellow citizens we have grave responsibilities towards our nation that require us to maintain it and to keep it secure, ushering all in our power to improve it and usher forward the wheels of development in order to achieve our ambitious goals. “Our democratic system we have opted for and trust, and constitution we hold on to and are proud of are things we have been entrusted with and will keep on maintaining.” HH the Amir went on to thank the host of the event, saying
he was “very happy at these visits and meetings that illustrate the scale of unity, devotion and commitment among the people of Kuwait and
their leaders, since the nation’s inception. “This portrays a path taken by our forefathers and one that our sons will no doubt inherit,” he said.
Seneres: Protection of OFWs ‘our top priority’ Filipino Congressman visits Kuwait By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Party List Representative Roy Seneres is set to file two highly awaited bills for the OFWs in the Philippine Congress once he joins the 16th national congress that is scheduled to open on July 1. Seneres’ party-list members, who won the recent mid-term elections, are in Kuwait to attend a pre-independence day gathering hosted by the Filipino community in Kuwait and the Philippine Embassy. He is the first OFW party-list member to enter the Philippine Congress carrying the banner of OFWs and the concern of approximately 12 million Filipino diaspora across the world. Speaking during a press conference yesterday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Seneres highlighted the two bills that he intended to file after assuming his position. “There are two important bills that I’d want to be prioritized once I join the congress this July. One of them would require ambassadors to prioritize the concerns of all OFWs abroad. I want them to regularly check on Filipinos who are incarcerated in foreign lands. I want them to pay regular visits to Filipinos who are in hospitals abroad,” he stated. “Filipinos who are in jail or in need of a family visit abroad must be helped by ambassadors. I will require the ambassador to do that because it is part of their mandate to protect OFWs. The first thing I would do is to meet with the secretary of foreign affairs to ask for the list of Filipinos who are in dire need of our assistance. Protection of OFWs must be our priority at all times,” Seneres added. He also pledged that within the limited period of his term, he would file all the 13 bills and fulfil the promises he had made during the campaign. “Part of my platform during the campaign were the 13 bills, which I intend to file once my party is elected. I will see to it that within the three-year period, I will be able to do that and
make a difference in the lives of Filipinos overseas,” he said. Another important bill that Seneres proposed involved obligating at least one of the parents to help or provide for their kids when they are divorced or separated. In other words, the bill is about the right of children to get financial assistance. “We have so many cases in the OFW family club in which the children
cially the father, obliged to provide for the family. Ambassadors can also exercise their right to cancel or not renew passports of such OFWs if there are complaints against them,” he added. “There is an existing law on this. In fact they (the neglected families) can file a case in the municipal trial court. But come to think of it, how can a wife without money file a case at the court.
KUWAIT: Congressman Roy Seneres (second left) pictured during a press conference yesterday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel with CDA/Consul General Atty Raul Dado, Philippine Labor Attache to Kuwait David Des Dicang and Welfare Officer Norlita Lugto. —Photo by Ben Garcia are neglected because both parents found happiness with other partners. Usually the children are at the receiving end of all this and suffer as a result. My proposal would be to oblige the father or the mother, whoever is abroad, to provide for their children. Many OFW’s families back here in Manila have to fight for their survival because the father or mother is no longer helping them. Sometimes they have no money to buy food, they no longer go to school because they were abandoned, or they cannot go anywhere at all because they have no money. So I want to help them by this proposal by making the errant side, espe-
The wife will have to get a lawyer and she will need money to do that. How is that possible if she cannot even buy food for her family? Therefore, the alternative would be to authorize the ambassador to summon the erring parties and force them to provide financial support to their family,” Seneres noted. “What for we are called the ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary if we do not have the power to do discipline our people? My advocacy is to strengthen the family, so family will always be my priority. It is in our constitution that the Filipino family should be solid. We have to protect the family, because the families makes up the society. And if the
society is solid, then we’ll have a solid country at the end of the day,” he mentioned. Asked whether he would endorse or support the creation of a new department or ministry for OFWs, Seneres said he does not support the idea, since he believes the phenomenon of OFWs is temporary. “I don’t support it because I believe the OFW phenomenon is temporary. How long does that mean, I don’t know. But if we make a separate department for OFWs, then we will be sending a signal that the phenomenon is permanent and overseas workers will be there forever. I don’t want it. I want our government to do something and create new jobs for Filipinos so that Filipinos will return to their homeland. I am dreaming of the day when all Filipinos will be home and would no longer consider working abroad, and be there for their families. I am even dreaming of the day when the OFW Family is no longer needed because there would no OFWs abroad anymore. The best country in the whole world is the Philippines, so why spend your life away from your family,” he pointed out. The Aquino government and the previous Arroyo government have been criticized for spending millions of pesos from the OFW fund to save lives of Filipinos in death row while usually overlooking the needs of Filipinos involved in minor cases. “I think the government fund is really falling short for all but I believe there are rich companies which can be asked to help the government. I don’t usually ask for help, but to beg for help for the sake of suffering Filipinos is something I don’t really mind. After all, these big malls, real estate developers and airlines are benefiting from OFWs, too. So I think it’s not bad to give something back for our heroes,” Seneres stated. “Many businesses in the Philippines flourished because of OFWs. A small amount won’t hurt them,” he added.
500 complaints against police
Fire at Kuwait University By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Few days after a huge fire ravaged the new university buildings under construction at Al-Shidadia, another fire broke yesterday at
Al-Shidadia site. Fire centers responded to the call and tried to put out the fire. Five ambulances and 10 technicians were sent to the site. One fire fighting vehicle turned upside down causing injuries to two firemen.
KUWAIT: Nearly 500 complaints have been registered against police officers this year, according to official statistics as of May end, marking a 13 percent increase compared to the same period last year. This was reported by Al-Qabas yesterday quoting security sources privy to the statistics with the General Department of Control and Inspection. “Forty-nine police officers of different ranks have been subjected to penalties after being convicted following investigations,” said the sources who added that nine of these policemen were sentenced to jail. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the statistics before the same were announced officially.
The majority of complaints were filed against rescue police, traffic police, police investigators and police station officers. The sources further indicated that investigations in 180 of the complaints concluded “with proper legal procedures taken,” while the rest were still pending, save a few complaints that were shelved due to lack of evidence. Some of the violations mentioned in the report included keeping detainees in jail after the expiry of their legal detention period, as well as overcrowding inmates in cells inside police stations. Meanwhile, the source revealed that at least 350 police officers were subjected to disciplinary measures during the same period for failing to report for duty.— Agencies
Hospital to pay KD 30,000 compensation for mistake KUWAIT: The Supreme Court has ruled that a well-known local private hospital will pay a compensation of KD 30,000 to a citizen who suffered due to a medical mistake by one of its doctors. The citizen, through his lawyer, had filed a case against the hospital, an expat doctor, and an insurance company. He had gone to the hospital as a patient to correct the vision in his left eye through laser surgery. A day after the operation, the patient started feeling continuous pain in his left eye. The doctor told the patient that the pain was a result of the surgery and that it was natural. However, due to the continuous pain in the patient’s eye, the doctor
gave him some treatment. But that did not help. Thereafter, the patient got his eyes checked at Al-Baher Hospital, where some problems were detected in his left eye. The problem was confirmed by another hospital as well. Then, the patient filed a case against the doctor and the hospital for mistreatment. A medical examiner issued a report that the patient had suffered a permanent defect in his left eye, which made him lose 15% of his vision. The court passed its verdict, giving due consideration to the defects that developed in his left eye as a result of the surgery.
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
LOCAL kuwait digest
It does not need media shows!
By Abdullatif Al-Duaij
By Hassan Al-Essa
here was nothing to cheer about as one watched the ‘Taw Allail’ TV program aired by the Al-Watan TV the other night as the world saw images of people huddled together in police dungeons in a most humiliating way for having committed traffic violations, though none of them was even convicted by a court of law. There was also no need to depict the long queue of people waiting to beg for forgiveness from the traffic director, Major General Abdul Fattah Al-Ali, and seek exemption from paying fines or being deported in a most humiliating fashion. In even more disgusting scenes, there were even longer queues of people waiting to hear the general’s final decision about their citations. It was as if General Al-Ali had become a judge and an accuser at the same time. The right thing to do if those people really violated any law was to follow the standard legal measures and take action as per applicable law. Any particular official’s personality should have no role to play in deciding the penalty or pardon in a country run through institutions. No person can be larger than the office. The state itself should not care about the personal traits of this or that official and should follow a set pattern and procedure which is binding when it comes to appointing senior officials and determining their duties and privileges. These ought to be clearly set out and defined for everybody in advance. Otherwise, it would not be rule of law or an institutional state. We would then only have tribal communities and favoritism. A lot is being said these days about Al-Ali and his role in resolving the traffic imbroglio in Kuwait in the matrix of a state torn between the rule of law and the chaos created by the personal idiosyncrasies of those in certain positions. It seems that the traffic director is so serious in fixing the innumerable traffic related problems because, coupled with the performance of the interior ministry in general, they reflect the state’s ability to enforce the law and safeguard individual’s freedoms and rights. Al-Ali’s promise to eradicate the ‘Wasta tumor’ from the traffic domain’s ‘body’ calls for respecting the man if he manages to keep it. So far, it seems his strategy is working. Therefore, the man does not need all the media backed propaganda to highlight how serious he is in enforcing the law. Someday, the people will judge for themselves the results and speak up either in his favor or against him. The most important thing now is to ensure the rule of law. This requires selecting the right people and excluding the opportunists and lickspittles with whom most government establishments have been stuffed. We need not link any success or progress to a particular individual or officer who could be a mere public servant doing his job. Success should, instead, be associated with the concerned office or establishment. Individuals will not be in office forever. The legal establishments last forever, regardless of who runs them. People will eventually remember the role played by officials who excel in their jobs and help ensure that the organizations they work in evolve. They do so by setting just and fair rules and laws to be followed long after their own tenures end. The test lies in ensuring that no injustice is meted to the people, and the security requirements are not underestimated at the same time. — Al-Jarida
Public policy, the 11th view
The single exception By Jassem Budai
et us be honest and objective in analyzing the present situation that concerns every Kuwaiti. A political crisis happened, sparking oppositionist movements of different views. Some of these views were expressed in a calm and rational way, while others bordered on banditry. Meanwhile, the government gave a mixed response, including bad decisions, awful reactions, calls for calm and opening the door for negotiations. In general, both the opposition and the government worked within the Kuwaiti framework, apart from one exception that crossed the lines of principles and covenants. Let me explain. Historically speaking, the opposition has always been an integral part of Kuwait’s political life. Since the ruling system was born from a pact with the people instead of being forced by sword, Kuwait has enjoyed accord, freedoms, democracy and a constitutional life. There is a ruling system and an opposition executive, judiciary and legislative authorities; and government control and decision, as well as partnerships. No matter how different both parties might be, their differences remain within the frameworks of the state and the society. The opposition is also credited for playing an essential role in the development of Kuwait’s political life. It managed to successfully fight for rights that some authority figures wished to monopolize. We always proudly remember the 1990-91 Iraqi Invasion experience. Although it happened in the middle of a deep political crisis in Kuwait, the invaders failed to find any Kuwaiti figure to stand on their side. Instead, all Kuwaiti political figures renewed their pledge of allegiance to their legitimate leaderships in their efforts to achieve unconditional liberation of Kuwait. This opposition trusts its people, and the people trust it. They know from experience that the opposition’s patriotism cannot be questioned, since it has always worked within the national framework. Kuwaitis have never been worried about the opposition-but today they are. Why? Let us be even more honest here because the issue goes beyond political debate or reform demands. It is common sense that Kuwait and other countries have political movements whose members follow the belief that they should not go against the national interest and give it the ultimate priority - no matter what. Theoretically, this is correct because heavenly missions remain a superior cause to defend compared with earthly loyalties. But practically, it would be incorrect to impose religion on politics or using religion as a means to achieve personal interests. This movement has a broad ideology that goes
By Thaar Al-Rashidi
ublic policy is an area as huge as an ocean. There are multiple dimensions, and endless arguments happen over intricate details. On every minor twist and turn, there are sometimes ten different views, if not more. None of those ten views are 100% correct. There is, however, one view that is correct, given the political realities in question, but that is the one which normally remains unsaid. It is the 11th view that no one talks about, no one defends because those who peddle their ten different views have their own interests or that of their backers, seats, families, or tribes at heart. The unexpressed view No 11 remains unclaimed. Amidst an ocean of competing interests, no one owns up to that view except those who have no motives, who are totally independent of any sectarian, tribal or political motives. Of course, there are such people but unfortunately, those proclaiming the virtues of ten different points of view, each with a modicum of half truth, have a louder and shriller voice. The poor 11th view is drowned in this cacophony. Everyone should be aware what the real truth is. Not everyone who defends the government is progovernment, and some people do defend the government and its various decisions because they believe in those decisions and not because they have any particular love lost for the government. Of course, as a corollary, not everyone who opposes the government is a popular person imbued with national interest and not everyone who wears the opposition’s robes is a person who survives on the oxygen of public interest. They say that June 16, falling on Sunday next, will be a key date in the history of Kuwait. Regardless of the results, it will not be a darker day than August 2 or worse than when the country’s constitutionally guaranteed political life was held to ransom in the 70s and the 80s. It is only a matter of a court verdict and there is no need to try and second guess a court verdict or view it through a pessimistic prism in advance. At the end of the day, it is one court verdict, and it will be followed by others. Neither the political authority nor the executive or anyone else can influence the court verdict. This is a truth that should not be contested, or politicized.
beyond national borders, and we can say that its views must be affected by the position of its central international leadership. This happened during the Iraqi Invasion when the movement expressed an opinion that matched its parent organization’s, with regard to supporting liberation through means that do not include international channels. In addition to that, this movement is not shy to express that its goal as a political party is to reach power. This is OK from theoretical and practical standpoints; and the movement is also credited for having the courage to say that it has an integrated ruling project, which is based on clear principles. Regarding Kuwait, however, the movement finds itself forced to adapt to certain particularities that do not go in line with the concept of alternation of power, since Al-Sabah dynasty has exclusive ruling rights as per a pact with the people. Therefore, the movement adopts an approach that enables it to stay focused on its unspoken goals so that it can be ready if any changes happen, or play an active role if the opposition stepped up its activities - in which case, the movement can benefit the most, given that it is the most organized and most capable of garnering public support. This movement is known for its ability to penetrate into certain social categories, as seen in other Arab countries. That is difficult to happen in Kuwait, however, because Kuwaitis are not short on wealth or democratic rights, and are not deprived of things that the movement used to garner public support in other Arab societies. Therefore, the movement is unable to utilize people’s needs for political gain. Yet, the movement is credited for having the remarkable ability to adopt alternating roles effectively, as you can find members talking about an Arab-Spring-like movement in Kuwait while their colleagues are simultaneously renewing their pledge of allegiance and criticizing public uproar. Kuwaitis, who were never deprived of their daily bread or right of expression, realize very well that such slogans reflect the movement’s political agenda, rather than being a reflection of political reality. Kuwaitis who live within the Kuwaiti framework also realize that this very movement is the one that benefits the most from any turmoil or change in the country. I pray to the Almighty God that He saves Kuwait, the Kuwaiti opposition, national unity, the people who demand true reform, and the ruling pact that no Kuwaiti can accept an alternative for. Furthermore, I pray that the political movement that has been the subject of this column is able to protect itself and rethink its approach in order to give Kuwait ultimate priority. — Al-Rai
Amir’s visits to the tribes By Dr Shamlan Y Al-Essa
H the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber’s visits to the heads of various tribes in Kuwait raised several questions about the real objective behind the move. Some said that these were just courtesy visits by the Amir to his brother members of tribes and their heads, and that they were a routine matter and a way of the leader to keep in touch with an important component of Kuwaiti society. Others associated the visits with a political dimension and said these were to gain the loyalty of the tribes in preparation for the new elections if the constitutional court ruled to pave the way for such a development. Meanwhile, yet another party associated political and social dimensions with the visits, and said these were part of an attempt to strengthen the tribal state, and this view was in agreement with the kind of division and splintering that dominates the Arab countries. The Arab elite which rules the Arab world failed in instilling the principles of the pluralistic democratic state that relies on the constitution, state of law, justice, and equality for all. What happened in the Arab world is that the failure to progress towards civility and modernity paved the way for the return of other kinds of loyalties, be these tribal as in the case of the Arabian Gulf Countries, or the return of sectarianism as in case of Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. In the case of Sudan, Egypt and Tunis, the narrow partisan loyalty in the name of religion (Muslim Brotherhood) is working. Initially, these groups were active, organized and religiously diverse and they used democratic slogans to attain power, but once they did, they tried to become the sole power and did away with all democratic ideas. Even in the occupied Palestine, the occupation did not unify the Palestinian factions. Rather the disputes between the Fatah and the Hamas Movements (Muslim
Brotherhood) became worse. Even in Syria, where the opposition is facing a tyrannical and strong regime, the resistance factions did not agree on a unified national program to rescue the country under the fiat that they should create a country based on a democratic ideology where Sunni and Shiites should work together with the Christians, the Jews and the rest of Syrian groups. What happened in Syria is the emergence of extreme religious movements including the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Nusra Jihadis and Al-Qaeda, along other extreme Jihadists who have no any project for a modern democratic state. It is no wonder that the world’s public opinion is not supporting the fighters because some Jihadists distorted the revolution’s image by eating human flesh. The question now is how is it possible to pull out of the tribal, religious, sectarian and partisan loyalties and work towards a nationalist, plural and democratic state? The experiences of people across the globe, especially those of the people in the democratized west, tell us about the importance of distancing religion from the state, which means religion is for God, and the state is for all, because it is not in the interest of any religious sect to fight their co-religionist brothers or those who differ with them on the basis of sect, religion or ethnicity. Achieving a modern democratic state is not easy, because it requires popular agreement on civil issues and constitution of the state without owing any loyalty to foreign powers. The problem is that the powers of political Islam are in control of the Arab street, including the Arab Gulf States. Those powers neither believe in democracy nor in the modern state, and the proof of that is their failure in achieving stability in the Arab spring states. What Kuwait requires is to reject the tribal loyalties and concentrate on the national principles by working towards a state of law.—Al-Watan
hey say that every tide has its ebb, which I think is true. Everyone makes mistakes or takes a position that is different from even their own beliefs or personal interests. Fellow columnist Ghanim Al-Najjar is known for his interest in the human rights and efforts to defend civil and political rights of individuals and groups. However, it seems that he has recently committed perhaps an unintentional error in defending a proposed security agreement among the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. In his recent column, Al-Najjar supported - perhaps unintentionally - the passage of the GCC agreement on the pretext that it would not add anything of substance to what already exists. In my opinion - and I could be the one who is wrong here - this is one of the most dangerous and ‘smartest’ justifications for approving the agreement, even though I believe that Al-Najjar’s views were prompted by good intentions when he went against his own principles and political history. I do not agree with Al-Najjar’s notion that restrictions on freedom were already present in the region, and therefore the agreement would not add new ones. This could be true, but the difference remains in the fact that these restrictions were not codified. As long as the restrictions lack legal cover, opposing them remains legitimate, and can also motivate efforts to object to those practices in the Gulf region which curb freedom. In our struggle to change many existing behaviors, no action or call to change the state of affairs can happen if we provide legitimacy to the very practice we want to alter. Many erroneously informed practices and misconceptions have unfortunately become a reality because they became some kind of a ‘tradition’ and were practiced as a virtue that ostensibly achieves public good. The prime example is the continuous suppression of the freedom of expression, as it has come to be accepted as step for ‘countering abnormal behavior’ in society. This was allowed to happen because some of us at some point failed to raise our voice against this oppression, or found it unnecessary to do so. Therefore, I believe that it is better to continue to object to what we believe are errors committed by governments in the region, and work towards changing them before they become accepted traditions.— Al-Qabas
‘Brotherhood network’ By Dr Shamlan Y Al-Essa
ven as preparations are on for the visit of UAE’s foreign minister to Kuwait to head the UAE - Kuwait joint committee - with the fear that the Emirates minister may submit a list of persons whose names figured during the investigations into the “Brotherhood network” members arrested in the UAE and currently on trial, the Islamic Constitutional Movement (Muslim Brotherhood) has issued a press statement on what it called “a motivated campaign” to give it a bad name. In the statement, it condemned the “motivated campaign targeting a group of symbols of charity activists in Kuwait and attempting to falsely link them with what was being termed “the secret lists of Brotherhood elements who supported the UAE cell, especially since the names that figured in these fabricated lists affected men who are known for their good reputation and sincerity.” We do not know until now what are the lies that the Brotherhood and the statement issued by the ICM are talking about? Are the published names not those of members of the Muslim Brotherhood? Explain to us what the charge is against your movement so that we can come to know whether it was true or a lie. What we know through our readings, academic and journalistic follow up, of all Brotherhood activities is that those whose names were published are among the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and played a major role in defending the role of the Muslim Brotherhood during the invasion, especially what late Sheikh Saud Al-Nasser, during his time as Kuwait’s Ambassador to the USA, published. Did not you, the Brotherhood, ask for $50 million to pay for Taleban and Jihadi groups in Afghanistan to liberate Kuwait? You, and only you, destroyed the education system, leaving it in a deplorable state due to which Kuwait is suffering. You did so by politicizing the education and distorting the image of Islam by brainwashing our children in schools, and the evidence lies in what was published across several columns in Al-Qabas about the state of religious education in Kuwait. The Brotherhood leaders, and no one else, are the people who allied with the government and joined several cabinets, with their leaders becoming advisors in the Amiri Diwan and to the Prime Minister. Despite that, and all the grants and gifts besides their members and students being employed in high ranking state jobs, they adopted an anti-government, anti-ruling family, and anti Amiri wish stand when it came to changing the voting mechanism from four votes per voter to a single vote. The Brotherhood may be able to cheat the government by claiming it was innocent and that it had nothing to do with the popular movement. They have sent clergymen to the social reform society to convince the government or the ruling establishment that they are not connected with the popular movement. The truth, nevertheless, is that the ICM through its leaders and former MPs, criticized the government and its leaders publicly. Were re you not the ones who urged the students of Kuwait National Students Union at the university to join the demonstrations of the so-called youth movement? Finally, what is this talk about the role of your partisan leaders during the period of the invasion and the talk about “Al-Morabitoon steadfast,” which is something known, but the question remains about your motivation to fight the invasion. Was it a patriotic Kuwaiti duty or not as you are also citizens like other society members who resisted the invasion? Or was your motivation an opportunistic Brotherhood partisan move through which you attempted to mix true national work and cheap partisan activity? Fear Allah for your country’s sake. We, as people, know all your moves and the fact that you have dominance over more than one ministry and the management of coop societies, and you played a role in the thefts in coops’ and NGOs’ funds. The social affairs and labor ministry published in its report the extent of corruption in the societies and Mabbarah’s (foundations). You may have been able to cheat the government but do not try to cheat the people all the time. — Al-Watan
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
Kuwait launches consumer awareness campaign KUWAIT: Kuwait is launching an intense media awareness campaign to protect consumers from commercial fraud, monopolization and price increase exaggeration, starting from June, 22. The campaign’s most important goal is familiarizing consumers with their right to replace or return unwanted purchased goods
according to the Ministerial Decree No 555 of 2012, said the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Assistant Undersecretary for Consumer Protection Abdullah Al-Enezi. One of these aspects will shed light on the dangers of energy drinks on health which could lead to death in some instances - thus discouraging their pur-
chase. During this time, the ministry also intends to popularize its consumer protection hotline: 135, in addition to periodically-updated smartphone applications that include the prices of internet goods, he added. Meanwhile, a team has been formed to follow up on the performance of the campaign, measuring its effective-
ness and writing up reports on its results on a regular basis according to the schedule prepared for it, noted the official. “The ministry is preparing another campaign that is to be launched immediately after the current one, which will be on the rationalization and improvement of consumption for both citizens and resi-
dents.” “Now that the holy month of Ramadan is coming, the ministry will set a plan to adjust the prices of goods in coordination with the Federation of Cooperative Societies to determine prices, provide all supplier goods and prevent monopolization and price exaggeration growth,” Al-Enezi concluded. —KUNA
Teen stabbed at Avenues Indian man commits suicide
FM receives Romanian envoy to Kuwait KUWAIT: The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah yesterday received at the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry the Romanian Ambassador to Kuwait Vasile Sofineti. Sofineti handed the Foreign Minister an official invitation to visit Romania to attend the 50th anniversary celebration of commencing diplomatic ties with Kuwait. They discussed means of enhancing bilateral relations, especially in
KUWAIT: Investigations are on to identify and arrest six people who left a teenager critically injured during a robbery outside the Avenues Mall. According to the police report, a 15-year-old was making his way out of the mall accompanied by a friend when six people stopped them. The suspects tried to snatch the youngster ’s cell phone at knifepoint, and stabbed him repeatedly when he refused to yield. They ran away when the victim’s friend went back into the mall to seek help. The teenager was rushed in an ambulance to the AlSabah Hospital and admitted to its intensive care unit. A case was filed at the Andalus police station.
Man commits suicide A man who was employed as a keeper at a private property in Kabad was found dead on the same property. The death was classified as a suicide. Police and paramedics rushed to the scene after the incident was reported, and found the Indian man hanging dead inside his room. The body was taken to the coroner after criminal investigators examined the scene. Investigations were on. Investigation in keeper’s death Investigations are on to unravel the mystery behind the death of an Asian man whose body was found
in Al-Wafra this past weekend. The man’s body was reportedly found inside a manhole near a private property where he worked as a keeper. A homicide investigation was opened after detectives found marks of blows on the victim’s head. Drunk driver caught A man was arrested recently for driving his truck at the Gulf Road under the influence of liquor. Police reached the site near the Kuwait Tower when a big truck caught fire because its driver continued driving despite the fact that a tire had burst. Firefighters reached the scene and brought the blaze under control. The officers arrested the
driver. The Egyptian man was referred to the proper authorities for further action. Robbers flee after shoddy robbery bid Search is on for two suspects who tried to carry out a robbery in Jahra recently but remained unsuccessful. A case was filed at the AlJahra police station where an Egyptian man accused two armed men of barging into his house located behind the area’s park, but who later fled when they found nothing worth stealing. The man explained he was unemployed and was living with friends. Investigations are on.
the economic, commercial, investments, and tourism fields. The diplomat presented Sheikh Sabah with a memorial gift on behalf of his government. The meeting was attended by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Office Director Ambassador Sheikh Dr Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad AlSabah, and Deputy Director of Europe Department in the ministry Advisor Rashed Hammad Al-Adwani. — KUNA
Kuwait-funded school inaugurated in E Sudan QADARIF: A grand ceremony was held in Qadarif to mark the inauguration of an integrated school funded by the Kuwaitbased International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO). The Barbar Al-Foqara Elementary School in Al-Qadarif State, east Sudan, covers an area of 15,000 sqm and costs up to $400,000. The funding is part of Kuwait pledges to the reconstruction projects in east Sudan. The inauguration ceremony attracted IICO representative and Kuwait’s former minister of Awqaf and Islamic affairs Mohammad Al-Humaidan, Ambassador to Sudan Dr Suleiman Al-Harbi, Director of the IICO Office in Sudan Dr Ahmad Al-Sennosi, and ruler of Al-Qadarif State Al-Dhaw AlMahi along with dozens of federal and provincial leaders as well as local people. Addressing the ceremony, Al-Mahi appreciated Kuwait’s role in backing the development in Sudan’s three eastern states and hosting the international donor conference for the region under auspices of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in late 2010. “The Kuwaiti contributions have positive impact on the development in the region. The State of Kuwait, under the wise leadership of HH the Amir, is a beacon of philanthropic action,” he said. On his part, Al-Humaidan voiced joy for “this great accomplishment” and extolled HH the Amir for his generous
pledges to Sudan. The IICO representative expects the inauguration of other projects in the region soon. Meanwhile, Ambassador Al-Harbi affirmed Kuwait’s commitment to support to Sudan in its efforts to stabilize the eastern region and revitalize the economic growth in the three eastern states. “This Kuwait-funded school is unique for being an outreach project in Sudan’s easternmost part near the borders with Ethiopia,” the ambassador noted. The IICO Office director Dr Al-Sennosi said the project is one of three IICO-funded projects in the three eastern states of Al-Qadarif, Kassala and the Red Sea. “The IICO pledged USD ten million to the three development projects of the region during the international donor conference in Kuwait; the other two projects are the building of a $150,000-worth water network for Kassala villages and a $95,000worth farm project in the Red Sea State,” he noted. Provincial Minister of Education Mahjoub Hassan applauded the inauguration of the school, saying it materializes the depth of the Sudanese-Kuwaiti ties. The International Investors and Donors Conference on East Sudan, hosted by Kuwait on 1-2 December, 2010, pledged up to $3.5 billion to the post-conflict reconstruction of the region, including $500 million from Kuwait. — KUNA
MPs: ‘Respect court rulings’ KUWAIT: Kuwait MPs are holding their breath in anticipation of a Constitutional Court ruling next Sunday about the amendment effected in the electoral law under which last elections were held. Most of the MPs counseled about ‘respecting the judiciar y ’ and expressed faith that the new voting system, under which each voter was empowered to cast a single vote instead of four, was going to be upheld. In the meantime, Parliament Speaker Ali Al-Rashid said that he received a request from lawmakers to hold a special session on Thursday in order to vote on five pending draft laws. “We hope to end the topics on schedule during (today’s and tomorrow’s) sessions so that next week, we can hold weekly sessions to discuss the state budget and the country’s fiscal condition,” he told the reporters on Sunday. Under the law, the parliamentary term, which otherwise is to end at the beginning of July, cannot come to a close before the MPs pass the state’s budget. Next Sunday, the Constitutional Court will determine whether an emergency decree released by HH the Amir last October was in keeping with the statute. If not, the court can rule that the elections held based on the single-vote system that the decree implemented as void. In that case, the parliament would ipso facto stand dissolved and new elections would have to be held as per the four-votes-per-voter system. “Court orders must be respected whether they turn out to be in favor of the incumbent parliament or not,” MP Adel Al-Khurafi told Al-Rai on Sunday. Meanwhile, MP Faisal Al-Kandari assured that the issue “is in the safe hands of the impartial Kuwaiti judiciary.” In the meantime, MP Hani Shams hoped that the parliament will not be dissolved “as a result of governmental mistakes,” insisting that the government had enough time following the dissolution of the past parliament in June 2012 “to ensure correct procedures.” MP Hesham Al-Baghli said in the meantime that the court is likely to uphold the decree based on the fact that the constitution gives HH the Amir an “exclusive authority to assess the level of emergency” when it comes to issuing a decree of emergency during the parliament’s absence.
Police raid Hawally area By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: A security campaign was carried on Monday 10th June at Hawally area, Al-Muthanna Street, opposite the commercial institute. The campaign resulted in the arrest of 125 persons details as follows: 35 prostitutes; 15 local liquor; 47 runaway maids; 4 persons wanted for civil cases; 16 persons without identification and 8 persons under arrest. This is the 1st raid which lasted from 12 pm till 3am. Fire engulfs building A fire broke out last night in a building in Hawally area. The operations room received a report at 6.35 pm about the fire in a building’s yard. As the firemen arrived, they discovered that the fire was
raging in the sheds being used as a store room. The fire spread to the second floor, but firefighters were able to prevent any casualties. There was some loss to property. Fire was brought under control in a short span of time. Security men were deployed at the site while medical personnel were also at hand to deal with any emergency. In another development, a fire broke out last night in a camel barn at Kabd. Responding to the distress call, fire centers from Kabd and Al-Jleeb rushed their personnel who found that the fire had engulfed a barn that was being used for carpentr y against the rules. The barn, spread over an area of 1600 square meters, was totally gutted. The Sulaibikhat fire center and
the support center also backed firefighting operations and helped bring it under control without suf-
fering any casualties. The fire started from a small room and spread to the rest of the building.
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
Qatar promotes US-Islamic world ties ‘Judaization of East Jerusalem’ slammed DOHA: Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Ahmad Al-Mahmoud has stressed on the need to push forward the relationship between the Islamic world and the US, and correct all related misconceptions and misperceptions. Al-Mahmoud was addressing the inaugural session of the 10th annual US-Islamic World Forum. The Forum has become a platform for constructive dialogue and fruitful discussions for a solid, well-established and positive relationship between the
Islamic world and the United States based on mutual understanding, cooperation, mutual respect and common interests. Al-Mahmoud said that the Forum has succeeded in achieving its primar y objective in enhancing dialogue, and promoting opportunities for cooperation between the Islamic World and the United States of America, as well as establishment of a positive relationship between the two parties, which is fully consistent with the vision of Qatari Amir
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. He stressed that the Palestinian issue has great impact on the course of relations between the Islamic world and the United States, especially as it is not an issue of the Palestinian people alone, but the issue all Arabs and Muslims who strongly reject all policies of the Israeli occupation authorities including expansion of settlements, the Judaization of East Jerusalem, and its ongoing violations of the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Al-Mahmoud welcomed the partici-
pants and said: “we are pleased for holding this Forum every year to follow discussions with interest, and see its positive effects, which is characterized by a deep understanding of the background of the relationship between the Islamic world and the United States of America.” The three-day event will discuss the changing landscape in Pakistan and Afghanistan and its effect on internal and regional security, the challenges of democracy and development. The Forum will also feature a discus-
sion on the conflict in Syria, noting the spiraling effects of the conflict on the Middle East region and the roles played by the United States and other outside actors. This year working groups will focus on advancing women’s political participation, supporting economic assistance and recovery in Egypt and Tunisia, examining the role of faith based leaders in mediating conflict and fostering diplomacy, and defining and understanding freedom of speech. — KUNA
E-legislation to speed up law-making process E-petition in the pipeline
NBK teaches employees how to use sign language KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait is training its employees to use sign language to assist hearing impaired customers in Kuwait. NBK’s ser vice for the Hearing Impaired customers is the first of its kind in the banking sector. “NBK is the first bank to offer services to customers with special needs. NBK strives not only to provide the best banking ser vices but also to continuously develop its services to include all segments of society,” Ahmad Al Mahmeed, NBK Public Relations officer. Al Mahmeed stated that the training will enable the staff to assist hearing impaired customers and offer them an efficient and individualized customer experience.
Sign language specialist at NBK Najat Mokhtar said: “NBK has proven its support to their hearing impaired customers, by starting something no other organization has initiated.” “As the premier financial organization in Kuwait, NBK takes its role in the community very seriously and never loses sight of the fact that it constitutes an integral part of Kuwait society,” Mokhtar added. NBK aims to train staff in all its branches in Kuwait to use sign language to ensure the service is widely available. NBK staff members who have successfully completed the training wear badges that carry the universal sign language icon so customers can easily recognize them.
KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Sabah said the National Conference on E-Legislation was a step forward towards the adoption of the system which could help speed up the law-making process. “The government started preparing for leveraging the e-services in early 1990s,” he said, noting that the government gateway offers up to 743 e-services for applicants and visitors of the website. Sheikh Salman made the press remarks following the third session of the conference. “The technical efforts aiming to reach better use of egovernment still need a suitable law to regulate the access to and handling of e-services,” he noted. On the session of conference, he said all speakers agreed that the country enjoys a state of constructive cooperation between the executive and legislative authorities which helped pass several laws and approve important agreements. Sheikh Salman voiced hope that the adoption of these legislations will give momentum to the economic development, appreciating the efforts of the organizers of the conference.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Sabah said the patronage of the Amir stems from his keenness on innovation in all fields. “As early as in 1994, the government developed a law on the e-legislations aiming to regulate the exchange of official data. The first law in this regard was adopted in 2009; it’s made up of 40 articles,” the minister said. The session is themed “cooperation among the three authorities to implement e-legislations;” these include the executive, legislative and judiciary authorities. “The state gateway ‘Kuwait Government Online’ offers up to 700 eservices to internet users,” Sheikh Mohammad said, noting that e-legislation will lay a firm ground for orderly e-tendering and other transactions with the community taking part. “The system of e-petition, adopted by many advanced countries, could be used by Kuwait to involve the citizens to the law-making process. “Through this system the National Assembly could specify a link for e-petition on its gateway in order to allow citizens express their views on
any matter. If 20 percent of the electorate approves a certain proposal, it must be put on the agenda of the Assembly,” he added. Meanwhile, Minister of Justice and Minister Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Shareeda Abdullah AlMuosherji thanked HH the Amir for his keenness on cooperation between the executive and legislative authorities. “The fruitful cooperation led to the passing of 14 decrees and 25 draft laws covering 60 percent of priorities items on the agenda of the legislature in addition to the endorsement of 95 agreements,” he revealed. On his part, coordinator of the conference MP Yaquob Al-Sane’ said the conference will help collect work papers and share viewpoints on how to leverage the applications of elegislation. He underlined the importance of the issuing a law to regulate e-legislation in order to cope with globalization and the revolution of information and telecommunication technology. MP Nasser Al-Marri highlighted the need of involving the citizens in the law-making process. He suggested that the National Assembly adopt the e-petition system. — Agencies
Kuwait keen on success of Arab-African summit CAIRO: Kuwait is keen on the success of the Arab-African Summit which will be held in Kuwait on November 18-20, a Kuwaiti diplomat said. The Gulf State’s representative to the African Union (AU) Ambassador Rashed Al-Hajri told KUNA on the sideline of the second preparatory meeting for the Arab-African Summit, that the meeting was part of several other events to be held in Cairo, Addis Ababa, and Kuwait in preparation for the summit. He indicated that representatives from Kuwait, the Arab League, and the AU would meet on June 22nd to set the final preparations for the Summit and the meetings that would be held at the level of ministers and senior officials on November 13 till the end of the summit. On his part, member of the Kuwaiti delegation to the preparatory meeting and head of African Affairs Department at the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry Hamad Al-Mashaan, said that the summit would focus on economic cooperation between the Arab world and Africa.
He noted that future projects aimed at the economic welfare of the African and Arab citizen would be focused upon during the meeting, affirming that the theme “partners in development and investments” was reflective of the summit’s goal. Meanwhile, Head of the Africa and ArabAfrican Cooperation Department at the Arab League Ambassador Samer Hosni said that the June 22nd preparatory meeting would focus on several files in investment, economic, agriculture, and food security domains. The establishment of ArabAfrican funds for relief aid and sustainable development would also be part of the meeting, said Hosni. Asked whether the Arab-African summit, which began in 1977 in Cairo and lastly held in Sirte Libya, ever achieved its goals, Hosni said that several projects were achieved since the summit was launched, noting that commercial exchange between the Arab world and Africa had increased from one to eight percent in recent years. — KUNA
The upcoming Day of Russia June 12 is the national day of the Russian Federation - the Day of Russia. It has been celebrated every year since 1994. The First Congress of People’s Deputies of the Russian Federation adopted the Declaration on Russia’s National Sovereignty on June 12, 1990. The National Sovereignty Declaration set the wheels in motion for the creation of what is now known as the Russian Federation or more commonly Russia. The declaration views sovereignty as a natural and indispensable condition of the Russian state with its centurieslong history, culture and traditions. The adoption of the declaration paved the way for the development of Russian statehood based on the principles of constitutional federalism, equality and partnership. Russian people choose to use Day of Russia to celebrate the history of their individual communities within Russia. Representatives from various regions show off the distinctive dress and dance styles of their respective communities, highlighting Russia’s cultural and ethnic diversity.On this day, we honor our motherland, our Russia. We
honor the country of more than thousand years history and unique heritage, the country which united on a huge space many peoples, territories and cultures.
KUWAIT: The Commercial Bank of Kuwait organizes a series of training programs on the governance policies that the Central Bank of Kuwait has recently introduced as a system for local banks to follow. The program includes workshops and sessions organized in cooperation with leading international consultation offices.
Unit of Immunology and Innovative Cell Therapy published two articles KUWAIT: The Unit of Immunology and Innovative Cell Therapy at Dasman Diabetes Institute, which was established by Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS), has recently published two research articles on the role of inflammatory markers on obesity and type 2 diabetes. Twelve abstracts have also been presented at various international scientific meetings. The Unit is headed by Dr Rasheed Ahmad, and is composed of eight qualified members: Dr Nadia Zghoul, Dr Amal Hasan, Rawan Edan, Fatmah Rasheedi, Sara Jasem, Cynthia Lehe, Munera AlGhanim and Dunia Mukhles. The aims of the Unit are as follows: (1) Identifying immunological factors and signaling pathways involved in the development of obesity-associated inflammation, diabetes and their complications; (2) Developing novel toleragenic tools such as Regulatory T Cells, Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Immunomodulatory adjuvants to prevent and treat diabetes, obesity and their complications. The units’ ultimate aim is to move these technologies from the laboratory to clinical testing by conducting early proof of principle in animal models, and eventually in patients
with obesity and diabetes. The unit is currently conducting research on three ongoing projects: two projects focusing on the cellular and molecular anti-inflammatory response in obese individuals subjected to a defined exercise protocol (in collaboration with the Biochemistry Unit and the Wellness and Fitness Center at Dasman Diabetes Institute), and
one project on the application of a breathing exercise program to improve obesity-associated asthma (in collaboration with the Wellness and Fitness Center at Dasman Diabetes Institute). The Unit will also be starting three research projects as a part of a comprehensive research program on childhood obesity (in collabora-
tion with the Biochemistry Unit) that will be carried out on children recruited from five different centers in Kuwait (Dasman Diabetes Institute, Mubarak Hospital, AlSabah Hospital, Farwaniya Hospital and Adan Hospital). In addition, the unit is also conducting a study on the role of obesity and diabetes in the metastasis of breast cancer.
KUWAIT: Dr Kazem Behbehani, Director-General of Dasman Diabetes Institute along with the team of the Immunology and Innovative Cell Therapy Unit at Dasman Diabetes Institute.
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
Iran hardliner drops out, narrows field for allies
Qatari leaders expected to step down Page 8
ANKARA: A beaten and shocked demonstrator is helped by other protesters late Sunday after being confronted by riot police on Kizilay square. — AFP
Erdogan warns protesters ‘will pay’ Demonstrators hold fast despite warning ISTANBUL: Turkish protesters refused to back down yesterday after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned they would “pay a price” for their unrelenting demonstrations against his Islamic-rooted government’s decade-long rule. As riot police doused of thousands of protesters in the capital Ankara with tear gas and jets of water for a second straight night, Erdogan fired up supporters of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) with combative rhetoric in rallies across the country. “Those who do not respect this nation’s party in power will pay a price,” he told thousands of cheering loyalists in Ankara, just a few kilometres from the clashes in downtown Kizilay Square, the latest violence in a second week of mass civil unrest. “We remained patient, we are still patient but there’s a limit to our patience,” Erdogan said. His fans relished the show of strength, frequently interrupting his remarks with bursts of applause and chanting: “ Turkey is proud of you.” Tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators stepped up their protests over the weekend, pouring into cities across the country including Istanbul, Ank ara and the western city of I zmir. Istanbul’s Taksim Square, the symbolic heart of the protest movement, attracted some of the largest crowds yet, with people dancing and chanting “Erdogan, resign!” into the early hours in a festive
atmosphere. The unrest first erupted on May 31 with a tough police crackdown on a campaign to save Istanbul’s Gezi Park, which borders Taksim Square, from demolition. The trouble spiralled into nationwide displays of anger against Erdogan and his party, seen as increasingly authoritarian. Nearly 5,000 demonstrators, scores of whom are young and middle-class, have been injured and three people have died in the trouble, tarnishing Turkey’s image as a model of Islamic democracy. Taksim, which has seen no police presence for over a week, was much quieter yesterday as demonstrators resumed their normal routines, though many vowed they would return. “We are going to school now, but we will come back later,” said 17-year-old Etem Yakin as she crossed the square, where a clean-up operation was in full swing. She said the premier was pouring oil on the flames with his confrontational stance. “If he keeps talking like this, we will keep up like this too.” Erdogan was to meet with government ministers in Ankara later yesterday, with the crisis expected to top the agenda. “I honestly don’t know where this is going,” said Akif Burak Atlar, secretary of Taksim Solidarity, a group representing the original Gezi Park campaigners. “It was his speeches and the police brutality that led the protests this far in the first place. He needs to take a step back.” “We want life on the square to return to normal,” said Eyup Muhcu, head of the Chamber of Architec ts and par t of the Taksim Solidarity Platform. “We are ready for dialogue...but the prime minister’s remarks indicate he is not open to dialogue.” Abdulkadir Selvi, a political commentator close to the government, wrote in Yeni Safak newspaper that Erdogan would stick to a tough line. “To summarise the new roadmap in short, Erdogan chose to fight. He will not reach an agreement with those who launched this movement against him or take a backward step,” Selvi wrote. He added a note of moderation. “He will distinguish between those who have just demands, voicing their criticism without violence ... from those who use violent means to try and overthrow him.” Opponents accuse Erdogan, in power since 2002, of repressing critics - including journalists, minority Kurds and the military - and of pushing conservative Islamic values on the mainly Muslim but staunchly secular nation. But the 59-year-old is also considered the most influential leader since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey, and remains the country’s most popular politician. His AKP has won three elections in a row and took nearly half the vote in the 2011 elections, having presided over strong economic growth. On his whistle-stop tour of three cities Sunday, the premier urged loyalists to respond to the demonstrators by voting for the AKP in local polls next year. “I want you to teach them a first lesson through democratic means at the ballot box,” he said. — Agencies
Indian oppn leader resigns NEW DELHI: Veteran Indian opposition leader Lal Krishna Advani resigned yesterday in apparent protest at the elevation of hardliner Narendra Modi to lead his party into next year’s elections. Advani, an 85-year-old stalwart of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a former deputy prime minister, resigned from all his positions in the party which he helped build into a national force. “He has submitted his resignation letter to the party chief,” a source in his office said on condition of anonymity. Indian media quoted from a resignation letter by Advani, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate for the 2009 general elections, which made oblique references to Modi without naming him. Advani said he was “finding it difficult to reconcile with either the functioning of the party or the direction in which it is going,” according to the Press Trust of India. “I have decided, therefore, to resign from the
three main fora of the party, namely, the National Executive, the Parliamentary Board and the Election Committee,” he said. “Most BJP leaders are concerned just
Lal Krishna Advani with their personal agendas,” he added. Controversial right-wing politician Narendra Modi who had willingly accepted the new role during the weekend, said
he had requested Advani to change his decision. Advani’s campaign to build a Hindu temple on the site of a 16th-century mosque in the northern town of Ayodhya helped bring the party to national attention but also led to deadly religious riots. Hindu zealots razed the mosque in 1992 which led to unrest in which over 2,000 people, mainly Muslims, died. BJP spokesman Srikant Sharma told AFP that “every leader of the party will make every possible effort to convince him (to stay). His resignation has not been accepted.” Other leaders of the party also stated that Advani’s resignation will never be accepted as his political guidance was needed at every stage by the party. Advani did not attend the meeting of the BJP’s national executive at the weekend which promoted Modi to election committee chairman, although the official reason given was illness. —AFP
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
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Qatari leaders expected to step down DOHA: Qatar’s powerful prime minister is preparing to step down as part of a wider power transition that may also see the country’s ruler ceding power to his son, Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim, Arab and Western diplomats said yesterday. Such a change could inject an element of uncertainty into the foreign policies of the US-allied gas exporter, which is a global investment powerhouse and a bankroller of Arab Spring revolts in alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood. “(The Emir) has had (this) in mind for quite a long time. The path has clearly been paved over the past year for authority to be transferred to Tamim,” a Doha-based diplomat told Reuters, referring to head of state Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. “The plan has always been for this to happen, but it’s been a
question of timing.” The diplomats said they understood the motive for the reported reshuffle was the desire of the leadership to have a smooth transition to a younger generation. Such a move would be relatively unusual in Gulf Arab politics: It is customary for Gulf Arab heads of state to continue in office until death. One source said the transition was expected to start with Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani, who also serves as the foreign minister, leaving his cabinet posts. The diplomats mentioned various timetables, from some time in the next few weeks to September. No Qatari government officials were immediately available to comment on the reports. Arab and Western diplomats in Doha
and elsewhere in the region said that countries, including the United States, Britain, France and Saudi Arabia had been briefed on the plan. They said they expected the reshuffle to take one of two courses - either Sheikh Tamim would replace Sheikh Hamad as the prime minister until he takes over as emir when his father eventually steps down, or the current Deputy Prime Minister, Ahmed AlMahmoud, would become the next prime minister when Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim steps aside. Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim, 53, has been prime minister since 2007 and has played a key role in positioning Qatar as power broker in the region. He is also chairman of the board of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), a position he is expected to retain. QIA has estimated
assets of $100 billion - $200 billion. Widely seen as a savvy dealmaker, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim has personally negotiated some of the sovereign wealth fund’s most high-profile investments, including talks with Glencore’s chief last year when the fund demanded better terms for backing the firm’s acquisition of Xstrata. The companies eventually merged to create Glencore Xstrata. The Emir elevated the country’s international profile in recent years through the launch and development of the al Jazeera television network, as well as its successful bid to host the 2022 soccer World Cup tournament. The Gulf state has played a substantial role in promoting the Arab Spring, lending significant support to rebels who ousted former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and to
an uprising seeking to topple Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad from power. A close US ally that hosts a large US military base, Qatar is the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and wealthiest nation per-capita. The tiny country whose economy once centred on pearl fishing now has a sovereign wealth fund that controls an estimated $100 billion in assets. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani seized power from his father in a bloodless coup in 1995. Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim played a key role in facilitating the coup, for which he was rewarded with influence for life. British-educated Sheikh Tamim is believed to be closer to the Muslim Brotherhood than many in the current leadership, and may pursue more socially conservative policies. — Reuters
Israel minister says Assad may prevail Strong Iranian, Hezbollah backing bolsters Assad
CAIRO: Supporters of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak hold his portrait outside the police academy yesterday where the retrial of Mubarak and his two sons Gamal and Alaa and six policemen included his former interior minister Habib AlAdli is taking place. — AFP
Egypt lawmakers slam PM over Ethiopia dam CAIRO: Angry Egyptian lawmakers accused the country’s prime minister and government yesterday of doing nothing to prevent Ethiopia from completing a dam that threatens to leave Nile-dependent Egypt with a dangerous water shortage. Prime Minister Hesham Kandil had just finished addressing parliament about how the government planned to work diplomatically, legally and technically to negotiate with Ethiopia over the dam when the session heated up. He called the dam’s construction an ‘act of defiance’ and stressed that Egypt will not give ‘a single drop of water,’ but then hurriedly left the chamber despite calls for clarification over how to handle the situation if Ethiopia rejects overtures. ‘Egypt will turn to a graveyard’ if the dam is completed, geologist and Egyptian lawmaker Khaled Ouda shouted to parliament. ‘The prime minister didn’t provide anything. We have to stop the construction of this dam first before entering negotiations,’ he said. Egypt in the past has threatened to go to war over its ‘historic rights’ to the waters of the Nile River. Last week, Egyptian political leaders caused uproar after proposing to aid rebels against the Ethiopian government or even sabotaging the dam itself. Ethiopia demanded an official explanation. Egypt faces the prospect of its current water shortage worsening when the socalled Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is completed. Ethiopia’s decision challenges a colonial-era agreement that had given downstream Egypt and Sudan rights to the
Nile water, with Egypt taking 55.5 billion cubic meters and Sudan 18.5 billion cu m of 84 billion cu m, with 10 billion lost to evaporation. That agreement, first signed in 1929, took no account of the eight other nations along the 6,700-km river and its basin, which have been agitating for a decade for a more equitable accord. Ethiopia’s unilateral action seems to ignore the 10-nation Nile Basin Initiative, a regional partnership formed in 1999 that seeks to develop the river in a cooperative manner. Ethiopia is leading a group of five nations threatening to sign a new cooperation agreement without Egypt and Sudan, effectively taking control from Egypt of the Nile, which serves some 238 million people. Experts estimate that Egypt could lose as much as 20 percent of its Nile water in the three to five years needed for Ethiopia to fill a massive planned reservoir. Abdullah Badr, who leads the ultraconservative Salafi caucus in parliament, held up a blank notebook after Kandil’s speech and said: ‘I have been taking notes and the page for solutions is blank.’ ‘Where are the studies? Where are the solutions?’ He added. ‘There is nothing more dangerous than this. This is about water security and there are enemies outside and inside -what is the role of the government and what did it do?’ he said. Ethiopian officials have downplayed the effect the dam will have on Egypt, saying it is needed to provide much-needed power for the country’s development. —AP
Indonesian dies in Saudi protest fire JEDDAH: An Indonesian woman died Sunday in a fire lit by workers outside her country’s consulate in western Saudi Arabia, where thousands converged seeking to resolve their immigration status, a consular source said. Some 8,000 Indonesians gathered outside the consulate in Jeddah trying to sort out their papers as illegal foreign workers in the kingdom face a deadline to regularise their position or leave. “Some of them lit a fire near the walls of the consulate seeking to enter by force, but leading to the death of a woman,” the source said. Before the fire, rocks and stones were thrown at the consulate by the Indonesian workers frustrated by long waits to get their cases dealt with. The action was “limited to the walls of the compound and did not touch the offices”, said the consular source. Police confirmed only that a fire had left some people injured, without mentioning any fatality. Jeddah police spokesman Nawaf Al-Booq said protesters had entered the consulate, causing a stampede. He said protesters had peacefully dispersed and a fire outside the consulate had been put out. Some 180,000 illegal foreign workers
have left Saudi Arabia since April 1 under an amnesty that allows them to try to sort out their papers or leave without paying a penalty, a newspaper report said on Sunday. This wave brings to 380,000 the number of foreign workers who have left Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the year. Workers without proper papers are becoming increasingly concerned as violators of the immigration rules in the oilrich kingdom will face penalties when the amnesty period ends on July 3, with punishment including imprisonment up to two years, and fines up to 100,000 riyals ($27,000). According to official statistics, eight million expatriates work in the kingdom. Economists say there are another two million unregistered foreign workers. Saudi Arabia is aiming to create job opportunities for its own unemployed by cutting the number of foreign workers, although many of those are in low-paid jobs that Saudis would not accept. The world’s largest oil exporter is a goldmine for millions of people from poor Asian and Arab countries that are reeling under high levels of unemployment. — Agencies
JERUSALEM: Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, backed by Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, may prevail in the more than two-year-old uprising against him, Israel’s intelligence minister said yesterday. Though the assessment was quickly disavowed by others in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government, it reflected the difficulties facing Israel and Western countries in predicting Syria’s destiny and weighing intervention. Yuval Steinitz, minister for international affairs, strategy and intelligence, was asked at a briefing with foreign journalists whether recent successes by Assad’s forces against outgunned rebels might herald victory for the Syrian leader. “I always thought that it might be the case that at the end of the day Assad, with a very strong Iranian and Hezbollah backing, might gain the upper hand,” Steinitz said. “And I think that this is possible and I thought that this is possible already a long time ago.” Steinitz, who is not a member of Israel’s security cabinet but does have access to intelligence updates as well as Netanyahu’s ear, said Assad’s government “might not just survive but even regain territories” from the rebels. He declined to comment further on a possible Assad victory, citing Israel’s policy of not meddling publicly in Syria. The defence and foreign ministries received Steinitz’s remarks coolly. “This is Steinitz’s personal informed - or rather, misinformed - position,” said one Israeli diplomat who asked not to be named. A senior Israeli official added: “Steinitz was giving his own assessment of the situation. The government of Israel is following the situation, while not taking any sides.” Asked if Israel had a formal intelligence forecast on Syria, the official said: “The situation changes almost daily and the assessments accordingly.” In June 2011, only three months after the Syrian uprising began with peaceful protests, then-Defence Minister Ehud Barak, the lone centrist in the previous government also led by Netanyahu, forecast Assad’s fall “within weeks”. Months later, after a full-fledged insurgency had developed, a senior Israeli official said Barak had been trying to “jump the gun” and encourage Assad’s foes to hasten his overthrow - an outcome that Israel viewed as inevitable at the time. Yet the current Netanyahu government appears more cautious, given the four decades of stability Assad and his father before him had maintained on the SyrianIsraeli frontline. Israel does not want chaos there, especially as it estimates that one in 10 of the anti-Assad rebels are radical Islamists. Government officials also say privately they have urged Western counterparts to consider any aid to Syrian rebels carefully, lest the weaponry end up being used against Israel. Israel has carried out at least three air strikes on Syrian sites that intelligence sources described as advanced weaponry in transit to Hezbollah. Israeli forces on the occupied Golan Heights have occasionally fired in response to Syrian gunfire when troops and rebels battle near the frontlines. Alluding to Israel’s superior military might, Steinitz said: “It is in his (Assad’s) interest not to provoke us so that we get involved.” — Reuters
IDLIB, Syria: Two Syrian men pull an unexploded rocket from a Syrian warplane yesterday. In Aleppo, activists said that rebels advanced inside the sprawling air base of Mannagh near the border with Turkey. The base has been under siege for months and rebels have been trying to capture it with no success. — AP
Somali warlord strengthens control of port after clashes MOGADISHU: Fighters loyal to Somali warlord Ahmed Madobe strengthened control of the key southern port of Kismayo, residents said yesterday, after days of clashes between rival militia forces. Heavy fighting broke out Friday when the Ras Kamboni militia of Madobe recently self-appointed “president” of the southern Jubaland region battled forces loyal to Iftin Hassan Basto, another leader claiming to be president. “The situation is quiet now and most parts of the town are controlled by Madobe’s men,” said resident Abdulahi Mire, adding that rival forces had been forced outside town, but “are not far away”. Several rival factions claim ownership of Kismayo, a former stronghold of the Al-Qaeda-linked Shabab where Kenyan troops in an African Union force are now based. The Kenyan troops, who invaded Somalia in 2011, back Madobe’s control of the strategic and economic hub, but neither the title of “president” nor the region of Jubaland is recognised by the weak central government in Mogadishu. “Business is slowly returning to normal, we can’t hear gunfire today... we hope the situation stays calm like this,” said Ahmed Moyale, another resident. Jubaland lies in the far south of Somalia, bordering both Kenya and Ethiopia, and control is split between multiple forces including clan militia, the Shebab and Kenyan and Ethiopian soldiers. Jubaland joins other semi-autonomous regions of the fractured Horn of Africa nation, including Puntland in the northeast - which wants autonomy within a federation of states -
and Somaliland in the northwest, which fiercely defends its selfdeclared independence. Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who holds little sway in the port city, said all sides should end the fighting. “ The time for fighting is over,” he said in a statement. “We must unite and seek to resolve our differences peacefully, we must unite for the fight against Al-Shebab.” The Kenyan and Somali presidents met last week, discussing among other issues Nairobi’s role in Jubaland, which has a lucrative charcoal industry,
fertile farmland and potential offshore oil and gas deposits. Many eye the economic, strategic and political profits of the region. Kenya views the region as a key buffer zone to protect its borders, but in Jubaland, it has ended up backing a warlord opposing the central government it is mandated - and funded by the UN and European Union - to support. In the past two years, AU troops have wrested town after town from the Shabab, hauling down their black Islamist banners and raising Somalia’s flag. But asserting the
authority of the central government - which until recently controlled just a few blocks of the capital Mogadishu - is a far harder task. Analysts warn the rivalries risk threatening the fragile progress made in Somalia. “The crisis...threatens to destabilise the entire country if not properly dealt with,” the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies, a Somali research group, wrote in a recent report, warning the clashes risk “creating an opening for Al-Shabab to reassert control in recently recovered areas.” — AFP
Bombings kill 23 in Iraq BAQUBA, Iraq: Four car bombs and a suicide attack targeting Iraqi markets and cafes yesterday killed at least 23 people, the latest in a surge in violence that authorities have struggled to control. Thirteen people were killed and 53 wounded when two nearsimultaneous car bombs and a suicide attack tore through a wholesale market north of Baghdad, a police officer and a medic said. The blasts went off in the predominantly Shiite town of Judaida al-Shat, which lies just west of Baquba, capital of Diyala province and one of the most violent areas in the country. The attacks targeted fruit and vegetable stall owners who were crowding the market, purchasing goods for the day’s trading. Another car bomb exploded near a fish market near Taji on the northern edge of Baghdad, killing at least seven people, while a vehicle rigged with explosives also went off in the northern town of Tuz Khurmatu, killing three others. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Sunni militants linked to AlQaeda often target Shiites, whom they regard as apostates, in simultaneous and mass-casualty bombings. “Al-Qaeda is behind this terrorist attack,” Mohammed Al-Zaidi, a vegetable vendor wounded
in the Judaida al-Shat bombing told AFP, adding that the extremist group was trying to “sow religious hatred in our region, as we live peacefully with the Sunnis”. The unrest comes amid a surge in attacks in Iraq, with violence in May pushing the month’s death toll to the highest such figure since 2008, raising concerns of a revival of the all-out sectarian war that blighted the country in 2006 and 2007. There has been a heightened level of attacks since the beginning of the year, coinciding with rising discontent among the Sunni Arab minority that erupted into protests in late December. Analysts say the failure of the Shiite-led authorities to address underlying frustrations among the Sunni community has given fuel and room for militants to increase their activities. The UN envoy to Iraq Martin Kobler has warned the violence is “ready to explode”. In a bid to ease tensions, Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki has in recent days met with two of his arch rivals the Sunni speaker of parliament and the president of the autonomous Kurdish region. While the country’s top politicians have pledged to address persistent political disputes, which analysts say are linked to violence levels, no tangible moves have yet been announced. — AFP
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
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Khamenei wants no one to jolt his power DUBAI: Five days from Iran’s presidential election, these are nervy times for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who as only the second Supreme Leader in the Islamic Republic’s 34-year history answers to God and not voters. The Shiite cleric was bruised by the protests that exploded after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s 2009 reelection and then affronted by the unruly ambitions of the man whose win he had endorsed. Now Khamenei has said he wants a high turnout on June 14 to bolster the legitimacy of the vote, while warning the eight candidates who have survived a vetting process he controls to avoid promising any concessions to the United States. Among the barred challengers is former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a political heavyweight and long-time rival of Khamenei. Rafsanjani’s influence has waned since Khamenei succeeded the Islamic Republic’s founding father, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, as supreme leader in 1989. Not even an ayatollah at the time, Khamenei has since lived in the shadow of his mentor, Khomeini. Struggling to impose his religious authority, he has instead built up a formidable security apparatus to extend his power. The exclusion of high-profile candidates has dented the poll’s relevance to a mainly young and restless population of 75 million. Many Iranians do not share Khamenei’s ideological confrontation with the West and a nuclear policy that has incurred harsh sanctions on Iran’s vital energy sectors. Yet the 73-year-old leader has proved resilient in the four years since the violently suppressed post-election
unrest that was the worst in the Islamic Republic’s history. As in 2009, Khamenei can turn to his sophisticated security structure, the hardline Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Basij, a paramilitary-religious force of hundreds of thousands of volunteers, to snuff out any revival of protests. Although Khamenei and the IRGC say they favour no candidate, behind the scenes the security apparatus may be gearing up again to sway Iran’s tightly constrained version of democracy and ensure the election of a loyal, obedient hardliner. “In both 2005 and 2009, the theocratic nature of the regime prevailed amidst allegations of election engineering. Security will likely trump legitimacy in 2013,” said US-based Iran expert Yasmin Alem. “By creating a colossal bureaucracy and establishing parallel institutions Khamenei has sought to concentrate power in his office,” she said. Khamenei’s influence on major policy and economic affairs starts with the 4,000 staff, all recruited from the IRGC or secret services, at his “Beit-e Rahbar”, or leader’s house. According to leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, the Beit acts as a powerful nerve-centre for an inner core of IRGC military, security and intelligence chiefs and hardline clerics in Qom. Yet Khamenei remains an enigma, shunning interviews and foreign travel. His son Mojtaba controls access to him. “Because Khamenei lacked Khomeini’s religious credentials, he sought legitimacy in the barracks rather than the seminary,” said Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International
Peace, referring to the new leader’s links with the IRGC as it emerged from the 1980-88 war with Iraq. Khamenei’s official website portrays him as initially unwilling to take the job, quoting him as saying “I cried and supplicated to Allah earnestly” to spare him the responsibility. Ironically it was Rafsanjani who backed him in the Assembly of Experts, the body that chose Khomeini’s successor, because Khamenei, unlike senior clerics at the time, was committed to the former leader’s doctrine of Velayet-e Faqih, or guardianship of the jurist, which underpins Iran’s political structure. Scholars abroad who have studied him paint a picture of a secretive ideologue who is deeply anti-Western, fearful of Iran’s democratic institutions and paranoid about betrayal. One of his childhood friends from Mashhad sounded a similar theme. “He is a conspiracy theorist and a true anti-American,” said Djavad Khadem, a minister under the ousted Shah. Few Iranians had tipped Khamenei as Khomeini’s heir. He is “an accident of history” who went from being “a weak president to an initially weak supreme leader to one of the five most powerful Iranians of the last 100 years”, Sadjadpour said. The supreme leader relies on the Vali Amr, a 10,000-strong personal security force, and wears a bullet-proof vest when appearing in public, said Mehdi Khalaji, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute who is researching a biography of Khamenei. Such heavy protection has contributed to the isolation of a man who is enormously powerful, but who is afflicted by depression and obsessive about personal security, Khalaji said. This concern may be
Ali Khamenei understandable for a leader who lost the use of his right arm in a 1981 assassination attempt. While president from 1981-89 he suffered several political betrayals. “He doesn’t trust a single person,” said Khalaji. “People are connected to him but not to each other.” Under Iran’s constitution, the leader wields supreme command of the armed forces, has the power to declare war and appoints and dismisses senior figures including armed forces commanders, judicial heads and the head of the state media network. He effectively controls the Guardian Council - the body that oversees elections and vets candidates. His
office nurtures clients throughout the bureaucracy and can rely on a conservative parliament to support its decisions. Foreign and nuclear policy are the domain of the supreme leader, who also controls vast funds, not least via “bonyads” or charitable foundations with a web of business interests - although the poetry-loving Khamenei is not reputed for personal greed and visitors to his residence say he lives humbly. “Khamenei crippled the democratic institutions like the presidency. That’s how he developed his power,” said Khalaji. “It’s a conflict between the positions of leader and president.” Elections for president and parliament provide legitimacy for the state and cover for the leader. If problems emerge, the government can be blamed, or, as Carnegie’s Sadjadpour put it: “ The Supreme Leader likes being the man above the fray. He’s been very effective at wielding power without accountability.” Khamenei sees threats by Israel and the United States to strike Iran’s nuclear sites if diplomacy fails to resolve the dispute as confirming his belief that the West is bent on overthrowing the Islamic Republic’s ruling system. As the presidential election looms, little suggests he has changed his views since 2009 when he addressed Iranians at Friday prayers a week after Ahmadinejad’s triumph and told them foreign hands lay behind the street protests shaking the nation. “You see the hands of the enemy,” Khamenei declared. “The hungry wolves which lurk are slowly changing the guise of diplomacy for their real faces. See them, don’t overlook them.” — Reuters
Iran hardliner drops out, narrows field for allies Vetting body denies plans to bar any more candidates
TEHRAN: Iranian presidential candidate and conservative former chief of the Revolutionary Guards Mohsen Rezai speaks during his campaign rally in downtown Tehran yesterday. — AFP
Campaign finally warms up on streets of Tehran TEHRAN: At the bustling Vali Asr intersection in central Tehran, pro-reform camp supporter Armin settled in for a heated showdown with supporters of a conservative frontrunner in this week’s Iranian presidential election. “I don’t want a president who lives a simple life, I don’t want a president who survives on bread and cheese and wants the same for us,” said the 30-year-old in jeans and a plaid pink-and-white shirt, pointing to a banner of top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili. “I want a president who eats pizza and wants to improve the economy,” said Armin, who did not give his first name, as he adjusted his rimless glasses. Jalili, a devout revolutionary and wounded war veteran, is running on a ticket that boasts opposition to dÈtente with the West. He is considered a frontrunner among the seven candidates, most of them conservative, vying for Iran’s highest elected office on Friday. His power-base stems from the paramilitary volunteer force Basij, whose young members are impressed by Jalili’s calm, low-key demeanour, as well as his uncompromising stance in talks with world powers over Iran’s disputed nuclear drive. He has managed to appeal to the same constituency, including the Basijis, that catapulted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad into power in 2005 and reelected in 2009. Responding to Armin’s rhetoric, Mehdi Sadghiani pointedly waved a large poster of Jalili, adorned with the slogan in bold letters: “Jalili, the most devastating response to sanctions.” Mehdi, a 22-year-old mechanical engineering student, said: “We don’t need to rely on other countries. This is the message of the revolution that Jalili has revived.” “He is an independent person, and God willing he will never bow to the demands of the enemies,” said Milad Rahmani, another 22-year-old university student, who joined in the conversation. Dressed in low cut, denim jeans, Milad argued that with Jalili in office, Iran would overcome all difficulties through “resistance” against the demands of the international community, which has been urging Iran to cut back on sensitive aspects of its nuclear program. The face-off on Vali Asr intersection was one of the livelier incidents in a calm run-up to the polls. This year’s election campaign has been a far cry from the last vote in 2009 when boisterous campaign rallies and street par ties attracted crowds, as supporters of pro-reform candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi faced off with those of the conservative-minded incumbent. The rallies led to an upsurge of emotion when
Ahmadinejad was announced the winner, as his opponents challenged the official results claiming massive voter fraud and staged street protests which were suppressed in a brutal crackdown by the regime. This year, the election campaign has been lacklustre as no heavyweight candidates from the moderate and reformist camps are on the ballot. Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a founding father of the revolution and two-time ex-president favoured by both camps, has been barred from running. The reformists have one candidate in the race, Mohammad Reza Aref, but their votes are expected to be divided between him and moderate hopeful Hassan Rowhani. Authorities have banned open-air rallies and most candidates have mounted low-cost campaigns, highlighted by three live televised debates that only managed to produce a few heated exchanges between the candidates. As crowd emerged at the intersection, Ramin, 23, was setting up shop to spread the word of Aref, sporting a t-shirt with a picture of his favourite candidate. “We should vote for a reformist government to salvage this mess of the economy,” he said, refusing to give his full name. “Only with that government can we have freedom of expression.” Another Aref supporter, Meysam, a 27-year-old electrical engineer, agreed.”Only a reformist can save this country,” he said, while expressing hope that Aref and Rowhani would unite under a single candidate to increase his chances. As crowds gathered, Meysam launched into one-on-one discussions with onlookers to persuade them to vote. “We have to convince people to vote,” he said. “Boycotting the election will yield no result. It would only translate into a repeat of the same situation.” Iran is at loggerheads with world powers over its nuclear ambitions, with draconian sanctions against its economy imposed by the United States and the European Union. Despite Iran’s insistence that it only seeks the peaceful application of the technology, the standoff has cost Tehran many of its friends in the international community as well as a hefty economic price. Amir, a 36-year-old employee of a private company and former Basij member, said regardless of who takes office, Iran “has to be friends with the rest of the world”. “The people want to have nuclear energy but at what cost?” he asked the crowd, waving an empty box of an imported breast cancer drug that he said had become scarce because of the sanctions. — AFP
DUBAI: A conservative former parliament speaker dropped out of the June 14 Iranian presidential election yesterday in a move to consolidate the hardline vote and lessen the chances of an upset favouring a moderate candidate. The 12man Guardian Council, largely under the sway of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had already barred all but eight of the 686 people who registered as candidates, including pragmatic ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. That left four hardliners, separated only by small differences on issues such as Iran’s nuclear stand-off with the West, facing a lone independent outsider and two relative moderates who may be able to generate popular support. Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, a close adviser to Khamenei related to him by marriage, had been one of three so-called “Principlist” conservative candidates alongside Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati before announcing on Monday he was dropping out. While he did not endorse any single candidate, Haddad-Adel urged voters to back his fellow Principlists, hinting that they were the ones also backed by Khamenei. The Shiite clerical leader, the most powerful man in the Islamic Republic, has not publicly endorsed any candidate and insists he has only one vote in the election. “With my withdrawal I ask the dear people to strictly observe the criteria of the Supreme Leader of the Revolution (Khamenei) when they vote for candidates,” Haddad-Adel said in a statement carried by the semi-official Mehr news agency. “I advise the dear people to take a correct decision so that either a Principlist wins in the first round, or if the election runs to a second round, the competition be between two Principlists,” he said. Friday’s presidential vote will be Iran’s first since 2009 when the excitement generated by large reformist election rallies turned to anger and protests when incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared winner. Reformers, after two landslide presidential election wins in 1997 and 2001, said the 2009 results
were rigged. Fearing a repeat, many of their supporters could stay home this time. The only remaining moderates in the presidential race are cleric Hassan Rowhani, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator under reformist president Mohamed Khatami, and the lack lustre Mohammad Reza Aref. Despite the odds stacked against him, Rowhani has still managed to rouse thousands
Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel of supporters in sometimes heated election rallies at which some of the old reformist slogans were chanted, such as calls for political prisoners to be freed. Several Rowhani staffers and supporters were arrested afterwards. But, with sanctions imposed on Iran over its disputed nuclear program compounding problems of economic mismanagement and corruption, the big issue overriding ideology for many voters is which candidate can best rescue the oil-
based economy from a slow, grinding collapse that some analysts predict. Mehr news agency, citing an unnamed source, said on Sunday the Guardian Council would consider barring Rowhani from the election for revealing what it said was classified information on Iran’s nuclear activity during a televised debate, and for the slogans uttered by his supporters. But the Guardian Council said yesterday that it was not considering barring any other candidate, denying the reports. While Rowhani only smiled when reporters asked him about the report that his candidacy may be up for review, he may have grasped that failure to curb his faithful could lead to him removal from the race. The report might also discourage a much-rumoured withdrawal by Aref that could widen a vote for Rohani. With nuclear issue and foreign affairs and national security all decided by Khamenei, there will be little substantial departure from current policy whoever becomes president, but the result could usher in a change of nuance and style. During a televised presidential debate on Friday, candidates clashed on Iran’s nuclear policy, with nuclear negotiator and potential election front-runner Saeed Jalili coming under fire from rivals over the lack of progress in talks with world powers. Rowhani said hardline stances taken since his time as nuclear negotiator had resulted in several rounds of UN sanctions. “All of our problems stem from this - that we didn’t make an utmost effort to prevent the (nuclear) dossier from going to the (UN) Security Council,” said Rowhani, who in 2003 negotiated a suspension in uranium enrichment with world powers, winning a relative respite in Western pressure on Tehran. Enrichment activity resumed after the hardline populist Ahmadinejad became president in 2005. “It is good to have centrifuges running, provided people’s lives and livelihoods are also running,” Rowhani said, referring to Iran’s campaign to develop advanced nuclear technology despite its worsening economic problems. — Reuters
Iran reformers seek comeback
TEHRAN: A female supporter of Iranian former vicepresident Mohammad Reza Aref holds a poster with his image during a campaign rally in the Iranian capital on Sunday. —AFP
TEHRAN: Iranian reformists are making a tentative return to mainstream politics with two candidates in Friday’s presidential election, despite the opposition being a shadow of the movement that briefly rocked the establishment in 2009. Protests by the so-called Green Movement four years ago, over the controversial re -election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, were harshly suppressed and its leaders condemned to house arrest where they still languish. Now the largely sidelined proreform camp is pinning its hopes on two candidates in the June 14 presidential race, moderate Hassan Rowhani and reformist Mohammad Reza Aref. In 2009, the conservative establishment cracked down hard on reformists after they cried foul when Ahmadinejad was returned amid allegations of electoral fraud. Main opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have now been under house arrest for more than two years. But pro-reform groups, whose representation in parliament also waned after a 2012 general election, are mobilising for this week’s presidential election. Their hopes of making a firm comeback were dealt a severe blow when moderate expresident Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who could count on the support of both moderates and reformists, was barred from standing. Another reformist former president, Mohammad Khatami, did not put his name forward following a veiled warning from the intelligence ministry for having backed
the 2009 protests. Rowhani, a 64-year-old moderate cleric, and Aref, 62, a former first vice president under Khatami, have emerged as the sole presidential standard bearers in the reformist camp. Despite being considered long shots because of stiff competition from the five conservative candidates, including two close aides of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Aref and Rowhani are urging voters to turn out on polling day. “In all my travels, I call on young voters to cast their ballots because not voting is not a choice,” said Aref during campaigning. As polling day draws closer, pressure is increasing on the two to join forces to boost their chances. Many reformist figures have asked Khatami and Rafsanjani to endorse one of the two. The call seemed to resonate at least with Aref, who said he would “obey their decision”. In 2009, Mousavi and Karroubi demanded a new election, but the regime showed no mercy as Ahmadinejad’s presidency was reinforced. Since then the reformists have been increasingly sidelined. Rowhani and Aref have inspired new hope among those people who had sworn not to vote, and who had even lambasted Khatami for voting in the 2012 parliamentary election. “The presence of Rowhani and Aref in televised debates and their criticism of lack of freedom have helped revitalise the political climate,” said one journalist close to the reformers, who asked to remain anonymous. — AFP
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
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Ukraine teens find way back into society MYKOLAYIV, Ukraine: Sasha, 17, hides her face under the brim of her baseball cap as she recounts how a lack of food and clothing in her boarding school three years ago forced her to turn to prostitution. She is one of many young women from the former shipbuilding hub and now depressed southern Ukrainian city of Mykolayiv who at a young age felt forced to provide sex for money or services. But along with dozens of others she now has a glimmer of hope and wants to get back to a normal life with the help of rehabilitation centres supported by UN Children’s Fund UNICEF. “My mom was a single mother and went to Russia when I was two years old. She left and never came back,” said Sasha, who declined to give her surname. Her grandmother was left to take care of her and her stepsister, but she could not handle the pressure. So the social services took the girl first to an orphanage, and then when she was six years old she went to a boarding school. Sasha says that starting at the age of 14 she periodically ran away from the boarding school, a tough “internat” that houses orphans and prob-
lem children. She and her friends would then be brought back by the police. The sense of utter destitution made her to work on the streets. “We needed the money. We wanted clothes, food, and we were often malnourished. Others had nice clothes but we had nothing to buy,” said Sasha. The risks of such work are clear: the Mykolayiv region has one of the highest levels in Ukraine of HIV-related fatalities in the age group of 15 to 24 years. Olena Sakovych, the adolescent development specialist at the UNICEF Office in Ukraine, said that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and practising unsafe sexual behaviour are more at risk of contracting diseases, including HIV. “They have a lack of knowledge, lack of information, they are left alone with themselves and do not know what to do.” Sasha recalled how a volunteer from the UNICEF-backed Unitus centre came to the boarding school to tell the young sex workers about the chances of another life. It brought her to the centre. “I liked being here, the people here are so kind, they
began to tell us what is possible, what is not, how to get out of any situation,” she said. Unlike Sasha, other girls at the centre are not so ready to say they were engaged in prostitution. Centre workers add that many are in a state of denial about whether they ever been prostitutes. “Girls do not call what they do prostitution,” Natalia Babenko, the project coordinator at the centre Unitus, said. She said some girls merely recount how men bought lipstick for them, tights, or just took them to the cinema in exchange for sex. All of the girls are from problem families and have little idea about basic sexual health, the social worker said. “By the age of 14 they have had half-a-dozen partners.” Babenko emphasised that the main objectives of the project are prevention and access to services. “We test for HIV, sexually transmitted infections, hepatitis. In parallel we conduct classes often in a playful way, because you cannot heal the body if you do not cure the soul.” According to Babenko, the girls are encouraged to bring friends and acquaintances to the centre and can also learn
how to explain their experiences to others. “If every one of them brought at least five of their friends or acquaintances - it would be very good.” When the project started four years ago, only a few dozen people joined the program. But now it covers 300-400 girls. “Now I am a student in a cultural college, I live in a dormitory,” Sasha said, adding that in the future she wants to become either a musician or a film director. She also has hopes now of a fulfilling, and safe, private life. “I met a guy two and a half years ago. Neither he, nor I have any infections. So maybe we get married in the future.” According to estimates by the UNICEF office in Ukraine, the number of underage girls involved in commercial sex in Ukraine is as high as 15,000. Meanwhile the number of young prostitutes engaging in unprotected sex is still high but falling sharply. The Ukrainian Institute of Social Studies said that of those teenage girls engaged in prostitution, those practising unprotected sexual contacts had decreased from 62 percent in 2008 to 40 percent in 2011.—AFP
MYKOLAYIV, Ukraine: Seventeenyear-old prostitute Sasha speaks on May 29, 2013 to a psychologist at the UNICEF-backed Unitus rehabilitation center in this southern Ukrainian city. —AFP
Dyke bursts as Germany battles historic floods Hungarian capital averts devastation
SOWETO, South Africa: A woman carrying a baby on her back walks behind fabric bearing a portrait of former president Nelson Mandela yesterday.— AP
Mandela remains in ‘intensive care’ JOHANNESBURG: Nelson Mandela remains in a serious but stable condition as he receives intensive care for a recurrent lung infection, the South African government said yesterday. The 94-year-old anti-apartheid hero was rushed to a Pretoria hospital in the early hours of Saturday. “Former president Nelson Mandela remains in hospital, and his condition is unchanged,” the presidency said in a statement. The government had described his condition as “serious but stable” on Saturday. “He is receiving intensive care treatment,” presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj, who served jail time with Mandela, told AFP. It is the fourth hospital stay in seven months for the man beloved as a global symbol of peace and forgiveness and the father of the “Rainbow Nation”. And with his latest health scare, South Africans are beginning to come to terms with the mortality of their antiapartheid hero and first black president. “He has done his part. We just pray that he recovers,” said Kennedy Moraga outside a private specialist heart clinic in Pretoria, where he is believed to be receiving treatment. Two of Mandela’s daughters and some grandchildren were spotted on Sunday entering the facility, although the government has not confirmed it is where he is being treated. “I’ve seen my father and he’s well. He’s a fighter,” Mandela’s daughter Zindzi told Britain’s Guardian newspaper on Sunday. Access to Mandela has been restricted to close family members in a bid to reduce the risk of further infections. In late April, President Jacob Zuma and top party officials were photographed with an unsmiling Mandela looking exceedingly frail at his Johannesburg home. The visit prompted allegations that the underfire ruling party was exploiting Mandela for political gain. The ANC - facing 2014 elections - has lost much of its Mandela shine amid widespread corruption, poverty and poor public services. The party and the government on Monday
denied local media reports that they had been barred from visiting Mandela in hospital by the former leader’s entourage. “There are general restrictions that permit only relevant people to have access,” said ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu. Maharaj told AFP the authorities wanted “to create a conducive environment for his recovery”. “Close loved ones are going to him for that reason, that’s all, nothing else,” he said. “He is receiving treatment and we want him to receive the treatment in the best condition for his family. They would like to limit the flow of visitors. The president will visit him when it’s appropriate,” he said, adding that Zuma does not want “to invade that space willy-nilly”. Mandela, who turns 95 next month, was back in hospital two months after being discharged in April following treatment for pneumonia. He has not been seen in public since the World Cup final in South Africa in July 2010. “It’s time to let him go,” was the stark front-page headline in the Sunday Times newspaper, reflecting the mood of many in the country. “They expect him to live forever, but we can’t live forever. It’s impossible, we can’t live forever,” said Maureen Lulu, a wellwisher outside the hospital. While Twitter users expressed sadness and urged a quick recovery, they were also prepared for the worst. “It’s time to let Nelson Mandela go. He has served his country. Let him rest with dignity and a legacy that will never die,” tweeted Ketha Msane. South African pulmonologist Guy Richards told AFP that recurring pneumonia was rare unless there was previous lung damage. “For example if you had tuberculosis, then often those damaged areas will be colonised with bacteria which are able to cause recurrent infections,” he said. Mandela was diagnosed with early-stage tuberculosis in 1988 and also has had treatment for prostate cancer and suffered stomach ailments. —AFP
Romania link in French shooting GRENOBLE, France: Police probing the murder of a British-Iraqi family in the French Alps last year are looking into telephone calls to Romania made from the phone of the brother of one of the victims, the prosecutor in charge of the investigation said yesterday. Annecy Prosecutor Eric Maillaud said Romanian authorities had been asked to help establish who Zaid Al-Hilli, the brother of Saad Al-Hilli, had apparently been calling but they had not been able to identify the numbers. “There were calls made from the phone of Saad Al-Hilli’s brother to Romania,” Maillaud told AFP. “A formal request for assistance was made to Romania several months ago but so far it has not produced anything.” Maillaud stressed that the Romania link was not being treated as a major new lead. “It is simply that we can leave no stone unturned,” he said. “This is part of the masses of data we are gathering month after month. “We know calls were made to Romania but we do not know who was at the other end of the line or why the calls were made.” Maillaud has in the past mooted the possibility of the shooting having been the work of a “low-cost killer” from eastern Europe, although he has always stressed the lack of any firm evidence
to back up that theory. Maillaud’s team believe that Saad Al-Hilli was embroiled in a dispute with his brother over a family inheritance which could have provided a motive for the murder. According to Maillaud, Saad and Zaid’s father wrote two draft wills, one of which left Saad with nothing and one which envisaged a fair split of assets worth several million euros. Zaid AlHilli denies any feud with his brother. British police have spoken to him as part of their inquiries but have given no indication that they consider him a suspect. Maillaud said that, for that reason, Zaid AlHilli had not been asked to explain the calls from his phone to Romania. “Those are the type of questions that cannot be asked of a witness in Britain,” the prosecutor said. “He would have to be considered a suspect.” Saad Al-Hilli, his wife Iqbal and her mother Suhaila Al-Allaf were shot dead in the family estate car at a beauty spot near Lake Annecy on Sept 5. Their two young daughters survived the shooting, in which a French cyclist was also slain. Police believe the cyclist, Sylvain Moller, was not a target and was shot because he was “in the wrong place at the wrong time”.— AFP
BERLIN: Germany battled yesterday against historic floods wreaking death and destruction across central Europe as a dyke burst forcing hundreds from their homes but the Hungarian capital averted devastation. Parts of northern Germany continued to be threatened by the swollen River Elbe where a dyke was breached overnight in SaxonyAnhalt state, adding hundreds to the already thousands of German residents to have been evacuated. Downstream in Magdeburg, more than 23,000 residents of the city and its surrounding areas had still not been given the green light to return to their homes after the Elbe rose to nearly four times its normal level. Levels had dropped to 7.30 m yesterday after reaching 7.48 m but authorities remained on edge. The normal level is around two metres. “ The situation in Magdeburg is under control for the moment... but there is still not cause yet to breathe a sigh of relief or to lift the alert,” a spokeswoman for the region’s emergency task force. The water level in Magdeburg exceeded that of previous record floods of 2002, local authorities said. Magdeburg lies downriver from where the River Saale spills into the Elbe, creating a water surge, a record 40 km long. Further downstream, towns including Lauenburg and the village of Hitzacker in Lower Saxony were preparing for the peak to hit in coming days while in Wittenberge, in Brandenburg state that surrounds the capital Berlin, officials were bracing for the Elbe to reach new record highs yesterday. Overnight near the village of Fischbeck, the torrent of water forced a 10-metre breach in the dyke which quickly grew to 50 m, sparking the order for the village’s 400-500 residents to leave, as well as those of three
neighbouring villages. The rupture also closed a railway bridge forcing a diversion in train services between Berlin and Cologne or Frankfurt. The torrent of flood waters in Germany has turned vast areas into a brown water world, sparked a mass mobilisation of emergency workers and caused billions of euros in damage in what one lawmaker termed a “national catastrophe”. After fearing the worst, Hungary breathed a sigh of relief yesterday after flood defences held firm in its capital Budapest, averting disaster and the mighty River Danube started to recede after reaching a historic high. As the situation in Budapest began to normalise, the focus of Hungary’s defence efforts moved to high-risk locations in the south
of the country, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said yesterday. “Budapest should be out of danger by Wednesday, and hopes to present a faultless record - no deaths or injuries due to the flood,” he said, after the Danube in Budapest reached a historic peak of 8.91 m on Sunday evening but had begun to fall early yesterday. The deluge has also sparked massive emergency responses in Austria, where the death toll has now reached five, and Slovakia. Across central Europe, the floods have killed at least 19 people, including 10 in the Czech Republic. In the Czech Republic more rain was expected yesterday after storms and heavy rain raised water levels on some rivers and brooks, causing local flood-
ing Sunday and police said the number of missing had risen to six. Slovakia was getting back to normal with water levels falling but forecasters had predicted rain for yesterday too. The rains have also severely swelled the Danube in southern Germany, especially the city of Passau, which has moved from alert to clean-up mode. Adding to tensions was a threat to attack dykes from a group calling itself the “Germanophobic Flood Brigade”. Aerial and ground surveillance had been stepped up, said Saxony-Anhalt state interior minister Holger Stahlknecht. But more rains were expected yesterday in Thuringia, Saxony and Bavaria, with as much as 50 litres per square metre expected within a few hours. — AFP
MEISSEN, Germany: A woman walks through a flooded street yesterday.— AFP
Italy local elections give boost to Letta ROME: Italy’s battered centre-left won the election for mayor of Rome yesterday and appeared set to do well in other cities, giving a lift to Prime Minister Enrico Letta as he strives to control an uneasy coalition with traditional rivals on the right. The centre-left candidate, former surgeon Ignazio Marino, took 63.8 percent of votes in a run-off ballot on Sunday and Monday, defeating the outgoing mayor Gianni Alemanno who won 36.2 percent, a partial Interior Ministry count
showed. “The fact is that Marino has won, we have to accept that,” said Andrea Augello, a close aide of Alemanno. With about six million Italians eligible to vote, the elections were the first major test of sentiment since the formation of the Letta government in April. However, popular disillusionment with Italy’s parties was evident from the dramatic slump in voter turnout in the capital to an all-time low of 45 percent, down from 63 percent in the run-off in 2008 when Alemanno became mayor. Despite the poor turnout, the result offers a welcome success for Letta’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD), which nearly imploded after throwing away a 10-point lead it held ahead of Italy’s inconclusive general election in February. The party then upset more voters by forming a government with centre-right adversary Silvio Berlusconi and Letta has struggled to convince many Italians that he is truly leading the administration and not the charismatic media mogul. Preliminary results yesterday showed some signs of voter confidence in the centre-left elsewhere too. It was well ahead in the cities of Ancona, Viterbo and Treviso and was on track to win in every provincial capital in the race. In Siena, a traditional stronghold of the left, voting was neck-and-neck after a scandal at the Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank tarnished the image of the centre-left city government. The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement of comic Beppe Grillo, which rode a wave of popular discontent to take almost a quarter of the national vote in February, fared
badly in the elections, with almost all of its candidates eliminated in the first round two weeks ago. The movement faces an even more telling test in Sicily, where a separate set of local balloting was held on Sunday and Monday. Sicily was the scene of one of its greatest triumphs last year and a springboard for its national success. The movement has been shaken by growing concern about Grillo’s authoritarian style. Last week two lawmakers abandoned the group, complaining about his control over decision-making. The low turnout reflected widespread discontent with corruption, waste and mismanagement at national and city levels. While good news for Letta, the result was a blow to the centre-right and could weaken some of Berlusconi’s more combative lieutenants who have been pressing the prime minister to make aggressive tax cuts. With constant internal bickering, the left-right coalition government’s popularity has dropped and few Italians have confidence that it can end economic stagnation or reform the country’s sclerotic and inefficient institutions. Letta has had to reconcile competing demands for tax cuts and job-creating measures to pull Italy out of recession with pledges to shore up public finances and cut state debt. Official data yesterday showed Italy ’s economy contracted by 0.6 percent in the first quarter of this year and industrial output was weaker than expected in April, falling for a third month running and offering no hope that the slump will end soon. — Reuters
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
I N T E R N AT I O N A L
Police identify gunman in Santa Monica rampage Santa Monica College reopens
NEW YORK: In this file photo, two ceiling-mounted video surveillance cameras are seen as a man awaits the arrival of a No. 1 subway train at the 34th Street station. —AP
NSA forces the question: What do we really want? NEW YORK: For more than a decade now, Americans have made peace with the uneasy knowledge that someone - government, business or both - might be watching. We knew that the technology was there. We knew that the law might allow it. As we stood under a security camera at a street corner, connected with friends online or talked on a smartphone equipped with GPS, we knew, too, it was conceivable that we might be monitored. Now, though, paranoid fantasies have come face to face with modern reality: The government IS collecting our phone records. The technological marvels of our age have opened the door to the National Security Agency’s sweeping surveillance of Americans’ calls. Torn between our desires for privacy and protection, we’re now forced to decide what we really want. “We are living in an age of surveillance,” said Neil Richards, a professor at Washington University’s School of Law in St Louis who studies privacy law and civil liberties. “There’s much more watching and much more monitoring, and I think we have a series of important choices to make as a society - about how much watching we want.” But the only way to make those choices meaningful, he and others said, is to lift the secrecy shrouding the watchers. “I don’t think that people routinely accept the idea that government should be able to do what it wants to do,” said Marc Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. “It’s not just about privacy. It’s about responsibility ... and you only get to evaluate that when government is more public about its conduct.” The NSA, officials acknowledged this week, has been collecting phone records of hundreds of millions of US phone customers. In another program, it collects audio, video, email, photographic and Internet search usage of foreign nationals overseas who use any of the nine major Internet providers, including Microsoft, Google, Apple and Yahoo. In interviews across the country in recent days, Americans said they were startled by the NSA’s actions. Abraham Ismail, a 25-year-old software designer taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi outside a Starbucks in Raleigh, NC, said in retrospect, fears had prompted Americans to give up
too much privacy. “It shouldn’t be so just effortless,” he said, snapping his fingers for emphasis, “to pull people’s information and get court orders to be able to database every single call, email. I mean, it’s crazy.” The clash between security and privacy is far from new. In 1878, it played out in a court battle over whether government officials could open letters sent through the mail. In 1967, lines were drawn over government wiretapping. Government used surveillance to ferret out Communists during the 1950s and to spy on Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders during the 1960s. But in earlier times, courts, lawmakers and the public eventually demanded curbs on such watching. Those efforts didn’t stop improper government monitoring, but they restrained it, said Christian Parenti, author of “The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America from Slavery to the War on Terror.” The difference now, he and other experts say, is that enormous advances in personal technology and the public’s broad tolerance of monitoring because of shifting attitudes about terrorism and online privacy have given government and private companies significantly more power - and leeway - to monitor individual behavior. The tolerance of government monitoring stems in large part from the wave of fear that swept the country after the 2001 attacks, when Americans granted officials broad new powers under the PATRIOT Act. But those attitudes are nuanced and shifting. In a 2011 poll by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 54 percent of those surveyed felt protecting citizens’ rights and freedoms should be a higher priority for the government than keeping people safe from terrorists. At the same time, 64 percent said it was sometimes necessary to sacrifice some rights and freedoms to fight terrorism. “Whenever something like 9/11 happens, it does tend to cause people to change their minds,” Richards said. “But I think what’s interesting is it has to be a long-term conversation. We can’t, whenever we’re scared, change the rules forever.” But up until now, there’s been only limited debate about where and how to redraw the lines on surveillance. — AP
Activist Brockovich arrested LAS VEGAS: Environmental activist Erin Brockovich, portrayed by Julia Roberts in a 2000 movie about her fight over the pollution of a California town, was arrested on suspicion of boating while intoxicated at Lake Mead near Las Vegas, authorities said. Brockovich was arrested late Friday after breath tests showed her blood-alcohol level was just over twice the legal limit of .08, Edwin Lyngar, spokesman for the Nevada Department of Wildlife, said Sunday. Brockovich, 52, was released from the Clark County Detention Center after posting $1,000 bail. In a statement issued Sunday, she apologized for her actions but stressed that she did not operate the boat in open waters. She only moved the boat within its own slip, she said. “At no time was the boat away from the dock and there was no public safety risk,” Brockovich said. “That being said, I take drunk driving very seriously, this was clearly a big mistake, I know better and I am very sorry. “After a day in the sun and
AGOURA HILLS: In this file photo, environmental activist Erin Brockovich sits in her home in Agoura Hills, Calif. — AP with nothing to eat it appears that a couple of drinks had a greater impact than I had realized,” she added. Authorities were unsure whether it was Brockovich’s first arrest on the charge. — AP
SANTA MONICA: Santa Monica College reopened under extra security Monday except for the library, where police shot and killed a heavily armed gunman after a rampage that left five people dead. Students who fled Friday would be able to resume final examinations and retrieve backpacks, car and other belongings, according to the college website. Counselors were on hand and a candlelight vigil was planned for Monday evening in front of the library. Investigators, meanwhile, were trying to determine why John Zawahri, 23, killed his father and older brother in a home near campus Friday, leaving the house in flames. He fired at a car, wounding the driver, took another motorist hostage and forced her to drive as he shot at people and a bus in the neighborhood. He shot a woman in the head on campus and was shot and killed by police in the college library after gunning down a total of five people in fewer than 15 minutes. Debra Fine was wounded when Zawahri opened fire on her car. She said the attacker had spiky hair, wore black clothing and a ballistics vest, and a cold, intense stare. There was “no hesitation, no flick of a muscle, nothing. Just absolutely staring and going onto the next step,” Fine recalled. “I just simply got in his way. And he needed to kill me. That was it.” She recognized the eyes in a 2006 high school yearbook photo of Zawahri shown to her by The Associated Press. Investigators were trying to determine whether Zawahri had mental health problems that may have sparked the rampage. Authorities hoped his mother, who returned early from a trip abroad and was interviewed Sunday by police, could help provide clues about what triggered the violence. “A big piece of the puzzle just came home,” Sgt Richard Lewis said. The killing began as a domestic violence attack when Zawahri killed his father, Samir, 55, and brother, Christopher, 24, in their home near Interstate 10 in a working-class part of town a few miles from the beachside attractions that draw tourists year-round. The gunman, carrying a duffel bag with 1,300 rounds of ammo, fired shots in the neighborhood and took his rampage on the road. Fine was the first stranger shot by Zawahri. She was using side streets after her singing lesson to avoid traffic from President Barack Obama’s visit three miles away when the gunman motioned at the car of the woman in front of her with his rifle, telling her to pull over. Fine thought the man was providing security for the president’s visit. Then he pointed the rifle at the woman and started to yell. Upset that he would yell at someone who cooperated, Fine accelerated. “He looked right at me,” Fine said. “Stared right at me and then shot. No hesitation.” Zawahri then walked toward her, shooting again. Fine was hit in the shoulder, arm and ear, and she lay on the passenger seat, pretending to be dead. Zawahri, meanwhile, carjacked the woman he’d
stopped and directed her to Santa Monica College, firing at bystanders along the way and shooting up a city bus. At the college, he blasted a Ford Explorer driven by Carlos Navarro Franco, 68, killing the driver and his daughter, Marcela Franco, 26, who died Sunday. The father was a longtime groundskeeper at the college and was taking his daughter to buy textbooks for summer classes. On foot, Zawahri headed for the library, spraying gunfire around campus as students, who were in the middle of final exams, took cover in classrooms or bolted for their lives. He fatally shot one woman in the head and then casually strolled past a cart of books into the library where he fired 70 shots without striking anyone. In a shootout with three police officers, Zawahri was struck multiple times. His body was taken outside, where he was pronounced dead.A small cache of ammunition was found in a room of the burnt house. The elder Zawahri brought his family to the neighborhood of small homes and apartment buildings tucked up against Interstate 10 in the mid-1990s, according to property records. Not long after arriving on Yorkshire Avenue, Samir Zawahri and his wife Randa Abdou, 54, went through a difficult divorce and split custody of their two boys, said Thomas O’Rourke, a neighbor. When the sons got older, one went to
live with his mother while the other stayed with the father. Public records show Abdou, who lives in an apartment a couple miles away, was the ex-wife of Samir Zawahri and former co-owner of the house where the first shooting took place. John Zawahri had a run-in with police seven years ago, but Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks wouldn’t offer more details because he was a juvenile at the time. She said the gunman was enrolled at Santa Monica College in 2010. Home from the hospital on Sunday, Fine recalled the moments after she was shot. Neighbors had come to help her, one holding towels to her wounds. Fifteen minutes later paramedics arrived. Her husband Russell Fine said he rushed to her side by using the family GPS tracking feature on his phone to pinpoint her location. “When I got ... into the trauma room and I heard one of the doctors say, ‘Two more have arrived but they’re DOA,’ that’s when I realized that this was part of something bigger, and that his intent had been to kill people,” Fine said. “I’m just, I feel very, very lucky to be here.”“I’ve always been right in the middle on the gun control issue, and I’m not anymore,” she added. “When are we going to get the guns out of the hands of the people who are mentally ill, or when is there enough proof that it’s very dangerous to have those types of weapons out there?” — AP
SANTA MONICA: Margaret Quinonez-Perez (left) speaks to reporters during a news conference, Sunday, June 9, 2013, about victims Marcela Franco and father Carlos Navarro Franco who were both killed in Friday’s deadly rampage shooting in Santa Monica, Calif. — AP
Disclosures on NSA spying alarm US lawmakers, tech companies SAN FRANCISCO: Recent revelations about the US National Security Agency’s expansive data-collection efforts have underscored the power of electronic surveillance in the Internet era and renewed an historic debate over how far the government should go in spying on its own people. A disillusioned former CIA computer technician named Edward Snowden, who had worked as a contactor at the NSA, identified himself on Sunday as the source of multiple disclosures on the government’s surveillance that were published by the Guardian and the Washington Post last week. The information included a secret court order directing Verizon Communications Inc to turn over all its calling records for a three-month period, and details about an NSA program code-named PRISM, which collected emails, chat logs and other types of data from Internet companies. These included Google Inc, Facebook Inc, Microsoft Corp, Yahoo Inc, AOL Inc and Apple Inc. Snowden cast himself as a whistleblower alarmed about overreaching by the US intelligence establishment, which was given broad powers after the Sept 11
attacks in 2001 and can take now take advantage of the huge growth in digital data. President Barack Obama and congressional leaders have vigorously defended the NSA’s efforts as both legal and necessary. US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper took the rare step of responding in detail to stories about PRISM. US Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department has launched a new round of investigations into media leaks, the very issue that consumed his department for the last month and led to renewed calls for Holder’s resignation. Intelligence officials and the technology companies say PRISM is much less invasive than initially suggested by stories in the Guardian and the Post. Several people familiar with negotiations between the Silicon Valley giants and intelligence officials said the NSA could not rummage at will through company servers and that requests for data had to be about specific accounts believed to be overseas. Still, the revelations alarmed civil liberties advocates and some lawmakers who had supported the Patriot Act, which gave intelligence agencies new powers after 9/11, and another
law granting telecommunication carriers immunity for evesdropping at the request of the government. “This is the law, but the way the law is being interpreted has really concerned me,” Democratic Senator Mark Udall said on ABC on Sunday. “It’s just to me a violation of our privacy, particularly if it’s done in ways that we don’t know about.” Of primary concern for Udall and others was that millions of Americans have had their phone habits and other records perused by computer programs and analysts hunting for connections to terrorists or foreign governments - even though the NSA is generally barred from spying on US citizens. One former high-ranking NSA official told Reuters that such broad assembly of records was essential to investigations. If “a known terrorist in Yemen calls someone in the US, why did he call them and what happened when the person in US starts making calls elsewhere in the US?” he asked. “On the surface it looks like the emergence of a terrorism cell.” Data-mining programs map such connections and provide grounds for further inquiry, potentially including the contents of calls, according to former operatives
and Justice Department officials. Among the remaining unknowns, even after four days of media coverage, is how much data beyond phone numbers is collected from US residents, how that data is “minimized” to prevent excess scrutiny, how it is analyzed and how long it is kept. The NSA “keeps the emails essentially forever. I don’t think there is any question about it,” said Mark Rossini, a former FBI supervisor who was assigned to a CIA counter-terrorism unit and who said he was briefed on PRISM. “They are not reading our data, they are storing it in bits and bytes that can be searched,” Rossini said. The same is likely true of the mass of phone calls copied from AT&T Inc offices to facilities controlled by the NSA, as disclosed by an AT&T whistleblower in 2006, he added. The revelations began on Wednesday with a Guardian report on a secret court order demanding all Verizon phone records over a three-month period. The scope of the request appeared to undermine the government’s contention that its surveillance efforts are highly targeted and do not involve large numbers of US citizens. — Reuters
Jury to be picked for Zimmerman’s trial SANFORD: Jury selection in the case of Trayvon Martin’s fatal shooting begins Monday in the Orlando suburb of Sanford, Florida, the scene of massive protests by people who were angered that police waited 44 days before charging neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman with second-degree murder. Other demonstrations were held around the United States, and the case drew worldwide attention as it fanned a debate about race, equal justice under the law and gun control. There is no dispute Zimmerman shot an unarmed Martin, 17, during a fight on a rainy night in February 2012. Prosecutors will try to show the neighborhood watch volunteer racially profiled the black teenager, while Zimmerman’s attorney must convince jurors Zimmerman pulled his 9 mm handgun and fired a bullet into the high school student’s chest because he feared for his life. Zimmerman is charged with seconddegree murder. He says he shot Martin in self-defense. If convicted, Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, could get a life
sentence. Under Florida law, Zimmerman, 29, could shoot Martin in self-defense if it was necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm. His lead attorney, Mark O’Mara, has to be careful how he characterizes Martin, said Randy McClean, an Orlandoarea defense attorney. “Mr. O’Mara’s challenge is to show Trayvon wasn’t profiled, that Zimmerman either saw something that looked suspicious or something else that caused him to make contact with Trayvon,” he said. McClean and another Orlando defense attorney, David Hill, predicted prosecutors will attack Zimmerman as a frustrated, would-be police officer who had a chip on his shoulder. Zimmerman was employed at a mortgage risk management firm. He had studied criminal justice at a community college and had volunteered to run his community’s neighborhood watch program. The Feb. 26, 2012, confrontation began when Zimmerman spotted Martin, whom he did not recognize, walking in the Retreat at Twin Lakes, the gated townhome community
where Zimmerman lived and the fiancee of Martin’s father also resided. There had been a rash of recent break-ins at the Retreat, and Zimmerman was wary of strangers walking through the complex. He was well-known to police dispatchers for his regular calls reporting suspicious people and events. Martin was walking back from a convenience store after buying ice tea and Skittles. It was raining, and he was wearing a hoodie. Zimmerman called police, got out of his vehicle and followed Martin behind the townhomes despite being told not to by a police dispatcher. “These a———s, they always get away,” Zimmerman said on the call. Zimmerman, who had a concealed weapons permit, was armed. The two then got into a struggle. Zimmerman told police he had lost sight of Martin, and that Martin circled back and attacked him as he walked back to his truck. Prosecutors say he tracked down Martin and started the fight. Zimmerman told police Martin punched him in the nose, knocking him down, and
then got on top of him and began banging Zimmerman’s head on the sidewalk. Photos taken after the fight show Zimmerman with a broken nose, bruises and bloody cuts on the back of his head. He said that when Martin spotted his gun holstered around his waist under his clothes, he said, “You are going to die tonight.” Zimmerman said he grabbed the gun first and fired. Martin died at the scene. Given the low visibility on the dark, rainy night of the shooting, few residents of the Retreat at Twin Lakes were able to give investigators a good description of what happened, and several offered conflicting accounts of who was on top of whom during the struggle. But police calls made by neighbors captured cries for help during the fight and then the gunshot. Martin’s parents say the cries for help were from their son, while Zimmerman’s father has testified they were from his son. Voice-recognition experts could play an important role in helping jurors decide who was screaming, provided they are allowed to testify. O’Mara had
raised questions about whether such prosecution experts would mislead jurors and Circuit Judge Debra Nelson has yet to rule. The shooting received little initial attention, but that changed after Martin’s parents hired Benjamin Crump, a prominent civil rights attorney. He began complaining to the news media, accusing the police and prosecutors of letting the murderer of a black child go free, and contacting other civil rights leaders, including the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, to get their support. Gov. Rick Scott appointed State Attorney Angela B. Corey from the nearby Jacksonville district to re-examine the case. She decided to charge Zimmerman. For the past year, Zimmerman has been free on $1 million bond and living in seclusion. O’Mara earlier decided not to invoke a “stand your ground” hearing in which a judge alone would decide whether to dismiss the case or allow it to proceed to trial. It’s not clear whether Zimmerman will take the stand, but he has already testified in pretrial hearings. — AP
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
I N T E R N AT I O N A L
Afghan group accuses police of violence against women KABUL: Afghanistan’s human rights commission has accused the police of a significant amount of violence against women, saying it threatened to undermine public trust in the security forces as they prepare to take full charge of the country. Though Afghan women have made gains since the collapse of the austere Taleban regime in 2001, violence against them remains widespread. There are fears the gains made could be lost when most foreign forces leave by the end of next year. Nearly 15 percent of so-called honour killings and sexual assaults were commit-
ted by police, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission said in a report, citing findings gathered from more than two years of data. “This issue can harm public confidence and trust (in our) national police,” the commission said. Honour killings are attacks by a member of a family or a tribe, usually carried out by a man, against another member, usually a women, because of a perception that the victim brought dishonour to the group. The commission said it had documented 163 cases of sexual assault and 243 honour killings throughout the
country from the beginning of 2011 to the end of May 2013. It said that given the high rate of under-reporting, the real number of cases was probably much higher. “Due to severe traditional sensitivities and cultural obstacles, a large number of such cases are kept secret.” The Interior Ministry, which is responsible for the police, rejected the report and said the force had made significant progress towards safeguarding human rights. The Afghan parliament last month failed to pass a controversial law banning violence against women, dealing another blow to fragile progress made on women
rights. President Hamid Karzai approved the Elimination of Violence Against Women Law by decree in 2009 but it required parliamentary approval before it could be enshrined. The decree banned forced and underage marriage, beatings and rape. Last month, the law was put before parliament but a rift between conservative and progressive members resulted in it being deferred, with conservatives warning of “blood on the streets” if it were ever passed. “The cultural impunity and the lack of follow up of these cases by different
organisations and authorities is something we’re very concerned about,” said rights commission chairwoman Sima Samar. Despite billions of dollars in foreign aid poured into the country Over more than a decade, Afghanistan is regularly declared to be one of the most dangerous places to be a woman. As the international presence shrinks, many women fear a return to the conditions they faced under the Taleban. Afghanistan’s 152,000 police are routinely accused of abuses and critics say their behaviour has pushed many villagers into the ranks of the insurgency. — Reuters
Taleban attack near Kabul main airport 7 attackers killed during 4-hour fight
KHYBER: Pakistani security personnel move the dead body of a driver of a NATO supply truck after an attack by armed militants in Khyber district yesterday. — AFP
Pakistan president to new leaders: Stop militancy ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s president, in what will likely be his last major speech to parliament, urged the new government yesterday to keep up the fight against militancy, one of the many problems facing the country. Asif Ali Zardari spoke hours after militants dressed as policemen and armed with assault rifles and rockets attacked trucks in Pakistan carrying supplies to US-led NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan, killing four people. The attack and the speech both drew attention to the continuing threat militants pose to the stability of Pakistan. The May 11 elections marked the first time in Pakistan’s 65-year history that a civilian government completed its full term and handed over power in democratic elections. Previous governments have been toppled by military coups or sacked by presidents allied with the army. Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party was badly beaten in the elections. The victorious Pakistan Muslim League-N party of new Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif campaigned primarily on fixing the country’s economy, while pushing for peace talks with the Pakistani Taleban and other militant groups. In a wide-ranging speech, Zardari, now a largely powerless figure who has already said he won’t run again for the ceremonial presidency, bid Sharif’s crew well on the economic front, but also urged them to clamp down on extremists who have killed thousands in Pakistan in the last decade. “Militancy, extremism and terrorism pose the greatest threat to our national security,” Zardari said. As he has done many times, he carried to the podium with him a picture of his late wife Benazir Bhutto, the former Pakistani prime minister who was killed in a gun-and-suicide bomb attack in late 2007. “The nation is united against militants,” the president said. “We need strong leadership to overcome the threat. We are ready to make peace with those willing to give up violence, but should be ready to use force against those who challenge the writ of the state.” In yesterday’s attack, the militants emerged from the mountains and fired rockets at the NATO trucks, burning two vehicles, local official Iqbal Khan said. The militants wore local police uniforms, and the four dead included truck drivers and their assistants, he said. The attack took place in the Jamrud area of the Khyber tribal region, along the main route into Afghanistan for the supply trucks.
Government official Jehangir Azam told DunyaNews TV that around 15 heavily armed militants were involved. “It was a very organized attack,” he said, adding that the trucks carried a NATO jeep, an ambulance and other materials. US-led coalition forces say such hired trucks transport only non-lethal supplies overland through Pakistan. The route through Khyber is one of two main entry points into Afghanistan used by the Western forces. Militant attacks on the road have frustrated NATO, and Pakistan has at times closed the route to vent its anger over NATO actions, including airstrikes that killed Pakistani soldiers. As a result, the US has increased its use of more costly routes through Central Asia to get supplies into Afghanistan. Relations with the US figured in Zardari’s speech yesterday. He condemned US drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal regions, saying Pakistan could not allow violations of its sovereignty, a stance shared by Sharif. Zardari’s speech was punctuated by applause, including some from Sharif. Zardari urged Sharif and his team to safeguard democracy in this nation of 180 million, where the army still retains vast power. He declared that “the subversion, abrogation and the suspension of the constitution is an act of high treason.” That appeared aimed at Pervez Musharraf, the one-time army chief who ousted an earlier Sharif government in a military coup in 1999. Both Sharif and Zardari despise him. Musharraf is currently under house arrest in Pakistan as authorities try to determine his fate, and it’s not yet clear if Sharif’s government will push for treason charges against the retired general, who led Pakistan for roughly nine years. Zardari further urged the new government to pay special attention to the poor and to the rights of women and minorities. He also called on it to stop the misuse of Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy laws. The laws call for death for those convicted of blasphemy, but have often been used to persecute religious minorities in this Muslim-majority country as well as to settle personal scores. “We need to further strengthen interfaith harmony,” Zardari said. Past government figures who have called for reforming the laws to prevent their abuse have been accused of blasphemy themselves and in two prominent cases have been assassinated. —AP
KABUL: Seven heavily armed Taleban fighters launched a pre-dawn attack near Afghanistan’s main airport yesterday, apparently targeting NATO’s airport headquarters with rocket-propelled grenades, heavy machine guns and at least one large bomb. Two Afghan civilians were wounded and all the attackers were killed after a four hours’ long battle. It was one of three attacks on state facilities in the morning by insurgents around the country, the third time in a month that insurgents have launched a major attack seeking high-profile targets in and around Kabul. It appears to be part of an effort to rattle public confidence as Afghan security forces take over most responsibility for protecting the country ahead of the withdrawal of foreign troops next year. In addition to the airport attack, six militants wearing suicide bomb vests tried to storm the provincial council building in the capital of southern Zabul province, while three attempted to attack a district police headquarters near the capital. Elsewhere, a roadside bomb killed a Polish soldier in the NATO force. Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi said that in Zabul, attackers wounded 18 people, including three police officers, when they detonated a car bomb outside the building in the city of Qalat, but security forces shot and killed them before they managed to enter. On the outskirts of Kabul, police killed one attacker and arrested two others who tried to storm the headquarters building in the Surobi district. The attack against the capital’s airport appeared aimed at creating a sense of insecurity among residents of the capital and sow panic in the population. The insurgents did not get close enough to attack aircraft and were not near the runway’s flight path. Even if they had managed to damage the airport, it would have affected civilian flights but not had an impact on military operations, which are carried out from a military airfield at Bagram about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of the capital. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said his government would not be deterred. “These cowardly terrorist attacks on the Afghan people cannot change the chosen path of the Afghan people toward progress, development, peace and elections,” Karzai said, referring to next spring’s poll to elect a new head of state. Karzai was not in Kabul during the attack. He was visiting the Gulf state of Qatar, where he was discussing his country’s stalled peace process and the possible opening of a Taleban office in Doha. Both Afghanistan and the United
KABUL: Afghan policemen stand guard in a building which was used for attack on Kabul airport yesterday. — AFP States support the opening of a Taleban political office in Qatar as part of an effort to rekindle talks with the insurgent group, which has been waging war against the government and US-led military coalition for nearly 12 years. But first, Kabul and Washington say, the Taleban must renounce all ties to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups and accept Afghanistan’s constitution. Sediqi said the attacks are motivated by the upcoming handover of the lead for security from the U.S.-led coalition to the Afghan army and police. Afghan forces are now leading 90 percent of the military operations against the insurgents and have the lead for security in areas where 80 percent of the country’s population lives. After the handover sometime later this month, the coalition will assist, train and mentor and provide military support only in emergencies. “Of course, in the coming days, there will be a transition, and security is going to be handed over to Afghan forces,” Sediqi said. “They are trying to sabotage that process and trying to bring the ability of the Afghan security forces into question, which they cannot because today’s incidents in three different parts of the country were all foiled without significant casualties.” He added that in the Kabul attack there was no need to “call coalition support because, you know, today the Afghan forces, especially police and special units, foiled the attack.” The Kabul airport itself was not damaged and reopened shortly after the fighting was over, said airport chief Yaqub Rassuli. “There was no damage to the runway. Some shrapnel fell nearby, but we have cleared it away,” Rassuli said. Police said that attackers wearing suicide vests occupied one or two buildings under construction on the
west side of the airport and began firing at the NATO facility, which was quite a distance away. It was unclear whether they hit anything inside that facility. Kabul police chief Ayoub Salangi said a minivan full of explosives parked outside the building in an effort to kill security forces did not blow up and was later safely detonated. Two Afghan civilians were wounded, but there were no deaths among either security forces or civilians, Sediqi said. Taleban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the insurgents were targeting NATO headquarters. The international military coalition said it was assessing the situation and had no immediate reports of casualties or damage. The US-led NATO coalition’s Joint Command headquarters at the airport runs the day-to-day operations of the war against insurgents. The airport’s military side is also used for NATO transport and other aircraft. The attack began with a loud blast at around 4:30 am. “It started just after dawn prayers and I counted about a dozen explosions, mostly RPG fire, coming from (near) the airport,” said Emayatullah, who lives next to the airport. Like many Afghans, he uses only one name. Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai said that after the initial blast, at least five insurgents then occupied two buildings in a single compound and started firing rocketpropelled grenades and automatic weapons. “Sometimes they are shooting from one building, sometimes from other,” he said during the fighting. “It is a residential area and the compound has been surrounded by Afghan security forces. The security forces surrounded the buildings and are being careful because it is a resi-
dential area.” Deputy Kabul police chief Dawood Amin said there were seven attackers. Two blew themselves up with suicide vests at the start of the assault, and five were shot and killed by police during the battle. The Taleban have launched intense attacks across the country, testing Afghan security forces as foreign combat troops pull back. In one such attack, Poland’s Defense Ministry said a Polish soldier died of wounds suffered in the explosion of a roadside bomb yesterday in the eastern province of Ghazni. He is the 18th international service member to be killed in Afghanistan this month. The last big attack in Kabul was May 24, when six suicide bombers attacked a guest house belonging to the United Nations-affiliated International Organization for Migration, killing three people - a police officer, a guard and a civilian. On May 16, a suicide bomber had rammed a car into a NATO convoy, killing 15 people, including two American soldiers and four civilian contractors. Also yesterday, Afghan government officials said they found the headless body of a 10-year-old boy who lived by collecting trash near a government checkpoint. They believe he was killed by militants who suspected he was a spy. Kandahar provincial spokesman Jawed Faisal said yesterday that the child used to pick up leftovers from police and soldiers in the Kandahar’s Zhari district. Provincial police chief Abdul Razaq said the boy’s body was found decapitated on Sunday. He condemned the “shameful act of the Taliban” but did not say how he knew the militants were responsible. The Taleban have not claimed responsibility for the killing, and it was not possible to independently confirm the incident. —AP
India’s election battle lines drawn as Modi rises Bangladesh says 7 failed to check doomed factories DHAKA: Bangladesh has suspended seven inspectors it accuses of negligence for renewing the licenses of garment factories in a building that collapsed in April, killing more than 1,100 people, a top Labor Ministry official said yesterday. The official, Mikail Shipar, said a ministry investigation found that the inspectors never even visited the five factories housed in the shabbily built eight-story Rana Plaza building. He said one of the factories, EtherTex, had been operating without any license from the factory inspection department since 2008, while the others were licensed through 2013. At least 1,129 people died when the building in the Dhaka suburb of Savar collapsed April 24, a day after cracks in the building prompted authorities to issue an evacuation order. Shipar said the ministry’s report was preliminary, and that if the accusations are proven the inspectors, all midlevel officials, will lose their jobs. Inspectors are required to visit factories before issuing licenses, but “in the cases of these five factories, the inspectors renewed the licenses sitting at their desks,” Shipar said. The number of factories in Bangladesh has soared in recent years to more than 240,000, while their safety is checked by only 50 government inspectors who issue operating licenses, said Obaidul Islam, a
senior official at the office of the Chief Inspector of Factories. Islam said the factories include 3,500 garment factories that employ more than 3 million workers, mostly women from impoverished villages. “There are too few inspectors for too many factories,” Islam said. Shipar said three of the suspended inspectors were also involved in renewing the license of a garment factory where 112 people were killed in a fire in November. He gave no details about whether the inspectors are accused of wrongdoing in that license renewal. Another government probe, formed by the Home Ministry, blamed the use of poor construction materials and unauthorized generators for the collapse of the Rana Plaza building. Sohel Rana, the owner of Rana Plaza, and five executives and owners of the factories it housed have been arrested and face possible charges of negligence and violation of factory and building codes. After weeks of questioning by police they have been jailed pending formal charges and a trial. It is still unclear what charges will be brought against the six suspects. If they are accused of causing deaths through negligence they could be sentenced to life imprisonment, said Khandker Mainuddin, a senior Home Ministry official. — AP
NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi’s elevation as opposition chief for India’s elections sets up a contest between a Hindu nationalist who must shed the taint of religious riots and the reluctant prince of the Gandhi dynasty. Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat state known popularly as “NaMo”, was named election committee chairman for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday ahead of polls scheduled for the first half of 2014. The choice marked a new era for the leadership of the BJP, which came of age in the 1990s, and lays the stage for what is expected to be a bitter and intensely personal rivalry. Rahul Gandhi, 20 years younger than Modi at 42 and with a vastly different background and personality, will be the BJP man’s opposite number as election coordinator for the ruling Congress party. While neither man is guaranteed to become prime minister even if their party wins the right to form the next coalition, they will front the campaigning in the world’s biggest democracy. “Our aim should be a Congress-free India,” Modi told cheering supporters after his appointment. “If we can free this country of the Congress, all our problems will be solved.” Beneath the display of unity at the BJP meeting in Goa, Modi’s elevation has divided his party and coalition allies-an effect likely to be repeated on the electorate. BJP patriarch LK Advani, who built the party into the only national opposition to Congress, snubbed the conclave and then issued a shock resignation letter yesterday. “Most BJP leaders are concerned just with their personal agendas,” Advani wrote in the letter in an apparent reference to his one-time protegee. The Indian Express noted yesterday how “the BJP has pledged to unite
behind its most divisive leader” in an editorial that analysed the “spectacular” rise of the son of a teastall owner. Modi’s immediate challenge will be to avoid a messy internal power struggle and keep his party together. He must then persuade voters he is fit to lead a secular nation which was born amid religious violence. Modi remains tarnished by 2002 riots in Gujarat in which as many as 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, died in an orgy of killing shortly
AHMEDABAD: In this file photograph, Chief Minister of the western Indian state of Gujarat, Narendra Modi speaks during a press conference on forthcoming state assembly elections in Ahmedabad. — AFP after he came to power in the state. While he has never been convicted of any offence, one of his former ministers was jailed last year for directing some of the violence and India’s top court once compared him to Nero, the emperor who fiddled while Rome burned. Boycotted for a more than a decade by European powers, he was
denied a US visa in 2005 because of “severe violations of religious freedom” in Gujarat, and has not visited since. India’s 177-million-strong Muslim population-about 15 percent of the electorateremains fearful and overwhelmingly opposed to him, as are many influential regional political parties who depend on Muslim votes. “We will think about it and present our stand on these new circumstances,” Nitish Kumar, a BJP coalition ally from the state of Bihar known to oppose Modi, told reporters yesterday. No Indian party has had an absolute majority in parliament since 1989 and Modi could be more of a hindrance than a help in trying to form a ruling national alliance, analysts say. In an editorial yesterday, The Times of India stressed Modi’s appeal among the young and his promise of strong leadership. “To take the BJP to victory in 2014 he will however need to unveil a hitherto hidden side: the ability to build coalitions,” it said. Under diffuse leadership and with an ill-defined policy agenda, the BJP has made little headway in recent years, losing its only toehold in the south of the country in state elections in Karnataka last month. But Modi can hope to exploit voter dissatisfaction over the economy which is at its weakest level in a decade, multiple corruption scandals and an uncertain election opponent. Rahul Gandhi, whose great-grandfather, grandmother and father were prime ministers, struggles to fire up his party’s grassroots supporters. Modi inspires feverish devotion from his followers. Gandhi declared recently he was not “a hard-nosed politician” and he is still seen as a reluctant leader despite being named Congress vice president and chief election strategist earlier this year.—AFP
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
I N T E R N AT I O N A L
2 Koreas to hold senior level meeting in Seoul Both Koreas mum on Pyongyang’s nuke weapons
Visit to Ski Resort on Masik Pass.
Kim Jong Un sends appeal to service personnel, people Marshal Kim Jong Un, First Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, First Chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission and Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army, provided field guidance to a ski resort on Masik Pass under construction by the KPA. He mounted an observation platform where he received a detailed report on its construction. He was greatly satisfied to see that soldierbuilders have built ski slopes covering hundreds of thousands of square metres, including primary, intermediate and advanced ski slopes with almost 110,000 metres in total length and 40-120 metres in width. He said that the ski resort is located in the best place as it has a long skiing season and easy access is ensured with the Pyongyang-Wonsan tourist motorway nearby. After learning about the progress of such projects as the construction of a gatepost of the ski resort, hotel, skiing apparatuses storehouse and heliport and installation of cable cars, he climbed up the summit of the ski resort over 1,360 metres above sea level. He set forth tasks and ways for stepping up the building of the ski resort. Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and first chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, on June 4 sent an appeal “Let Us Create the ‘Masikryong Speed’ and Usher in New Heyday on All Fronts for Socialist Construction” to all service personnel and people of the DPRK. Kim Jong Un said the construction of the Masik Pass Skiing Ground is a gigantic patriotic work initiated by the Workers’ Party of Korea to provide the people with better cultural conditions by translating into reality President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il’s noble idea of loving the people. The soldier-builders have achieved remarkable successes by cutting off natural rocks and steep mountain ranges and building skiing courses covering hundreds of thousands of square meters with more than a hundred thousand meters in a total length in a matter of less than one year since they had a ground-breaking ceremony, he said, and continued:
The construction of the skiing ground is such a huge project that it is hard for others to complete the project even in ten years. But the WPK remains unchanged in its resolution to build a world-class skiing ground within this year and provide the people and school youth and children with a highly civilized and happy living conditions to enable them enjoy all blessings. He expressed belief that the soldierbuilders would wind up the construction of the skiing ground within this year by creating the “Masikryong Speed” by dint of indomitable mental power and persevering charge and that all the service personnel and people across the country would bring about a great leap forward and signal innovations on all fronts for socialist construction in that spirit. The secret to completing the construction of the Masik Pass Skiing Ground ahead of schedule lies in giving fullest play to the mental power of the service personnel, he noted, adding Kim Jong Il’s patriotism is the core of the mental power to be cherished by the soldier-builders. He underscored the need to dynamically push ahead with the construction of the skiing ground by dint of great army-people unity, the mainstay of the Songun revolution and groundwork of society. It is the intention and resolution of the WPK to raise a hot-wind of great innovations and upswing throughout the country by letting all people learn from the indomitable fighting spirit and work style being displayed by the soldiers in the construction of the skiing ground, he stressed. He also underlined the need for the People’s Army to make thorough-going preparations for combat and bring about uninterrupted innovations in all major construction projects and in the work for sprucing up the provinces, cities and counties. He called on all the people including workers, farmers and intellectuals to further reenergize all the economic sectors of the country and positively contribute to implementing national economy plan by fully implementing the WPK’s line on simultaneously pushing forward economic construction and the building of nuclear force.
MOUNT HAGEN: In this file photo, hundreds of bystanders watch Kepari Leniata, a woman accused of witchcraft, being burned alive in the Western Highlands provincial capital of Mount Hagen in Papua New Guinea.— AP
Brutal witch hunts in PNG being linked to jealousy CANBERRA: On a tropical island in Papua New Guinea where most people live in huts, a mob armed with guns, machetes and axes stormed a wooden house by night. They seized Helen Rumbali and three female relatives, set the building on fire and took the women away to be tortured. Their alleged crime: Witchcraft. After being repeatedly slashed with knives, Rumbali’s older sister and two teenage nieces were released following negotiations with police. Rumbali, a 40-something former schoolteacher, was beheaded. Her assailants claimed they had clear proof that Rumbali had used sorcery to kill another villager who recently died of sickness: The victim’s grave bore the marks of black magic, and a swarm of fire flies apparently led witch hunters to Rumbali’s home. Violence linked to witch hunts is an increasingly visible problem in Papua New Guinea - a diverse tribal society of more than 800 languages and 7 million people who are mostly subsistence farmers. Experts say witch hunting appears to be spreading to parts of the country where the ruthless practices never took place before. There is no clear explanation for the apparent uptick in killings in parts of the South Pacific nation, and even government officials seem at a loss to say why this is happening. Some are arguing the recent violence is fueled not by the nation’s widespread belief in black magic but instead by
economic jealousy born of a mining boom that has widened the country’s economic divide and pitted the haves against the have-nots. “Jealousy is causing a lot of hatred,” said Helen Hakena, chairwoman of the North Bougainville Human Rights Committee, which is based in the area Rumbali was killed. “People who are so jealous of those who are doing well in life, they resort to what our people believe in, sorcery, to kill them, to stop them continuing their own development.” She said the witchcraft accusation against Rumbali was just an excuse. “That was definitely a case of jealousy because her family is really quite well off,” Hakena said. She said villagers were envious because Rumbali’s husband and son had government jobs, they had a “permanent house” made of wood, and the family had tertiary educations and high social standing. The United Nations has documented hundreds of cases of sorcery-related violence in Papua New Guinea in recent years and many more cases in remote areas are thought to have gone unreported. It found the attacks are often carried out with impunity. Until last month, the country’s 42-year-old Sorcery Act allowed for a belief in black magic to be used as a partial legal defense for killing someone suspected of inflicting harm through sorcery. The government repealed the law in response to the recent violence.— AP
SEOUL: North and South Korea agreed yesterday to hold senior-level talks this week in Seoul, a breakthrough of sorts to ease tensions after Pyongyang’s recent threats of nuclear war and Seoul’s vows of counterstrikes. The two-day meeting starting tomorrow will focus on stalled cooperation projects, including the resumption of operations at a jointly-run factory park near the border in North Korea that was the last remaining symbol of inter-Korean rapprochement until Pyongyang pulled out its workers in April during heightened tensions that followed its February nuclear test. The details of the upcoming talks were ironed out in a nearly 17-hour negotiating session by lower-level officials. Those discussions began Sunday in the countries’ first government-level meeting on the Korean Peninsula in more than two years and took place at the village of Panmunjom on their heavily armed border, near where the armistice ending the three-year Korean War was signed 60 years ago next month. That truce has never been replaced with a peace treaty, leaving the Korean Peninsula technically at war. The agreement to hold the talks was announced in a statement early yesterday by South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which is responsible for North Korea matters. North Korea’s official news agency, KCNA, also reported the agreement. It’s still unclear who will represent each side in what will likely be the highest-level talks between the Koreas in years. But dialogue at any level marks an improvement in the countries’ abysmal ties. The last several years have seen North Korean nuclear tests, longrange rocket launches and attacks blamed on the North that killed 50 South Koreans in 2010. The meeting that starts tomorrow will also include discussions on resuming South Korean tours to a North Korean mountain resort, the reunion of separated families and other humanitarian issues, officials said. The issue most crucial to Washington, however - a push to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons - isn’t on the official agenda. While there was broad agreement, Seoul’s Unification Ministry said in a statement, sticking points arose over the delegation heads and the agenda. Seoul said it will send a senior-level official responsible for North Korea-related issues while Pyongyang said it would send a senior-level government official, without elaborating. North Korea said that in addition to the rapprochement projects, the two sides would also discuss how to jointly commemorate past inter-Korean statements, including one settled during a landmark 2000 summit between the countries’ leaders, civilian exchanges and other joint collaboration matters. South Korea’s Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae proposed a minister-level meeting with the North last week. But Unification Policy Officer Chun Haesung, who led the South’s delegation at Sunday’s talks, told reporters it is not clear if Ryoo will represent South Korea. A minister-level summit between the Koreas has not happened since 2007. Neither Korea mentioned Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons. When asked yesterday by reporters if
South Korean delegates raised the issue during Sunday’s negotiations, Chun said it wasn’t appropriate do discuss issues that weren’t part of the agenda. Analysts express wariness about North Korea’s intentions, with some seeing the interest in dialogue as part of a pattern where Pyongyang follows aggressive rhetoric and provocations with diplomatic efforts to trade an easing of tension for outside concessions. Pyongyang is trying to improve ties with Seoul because it very much wants dialogue with the United States, which could give the North aid, ease international sanctions and improve its economy in return for concessions, said Kim Yong-hyun, a professor of North Korea studies at Dongguk University in Seoul. Nuclear matters won’t be on the table, Kim said, because Pyongyang wants issues related to its pursuit of atomic weapons resolved through talks
provocation with efforts to build trust and re-establish dialogue. Representatives of the rival Koreas met on the peninsula in February 2011 and their nuclear envoys met in Beijing later that year, but government officials from both sides have not met since. Sunday’s meeting follows a summit by US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping in California in which the White House said “quite a bit of alignment” was found on North Korea, including an agreement that Pyongyang has to abandon its nuclear weapons aspirations. China provides a lifeline for a North Korea struggling with energy and other economic needs, and views stability in Pyongyang as crucial for its own economy and border security. But after Pyongyang’s nuclear test in February, China tightened its crossborder trade inspections and banned its state banks from dealing with North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank.
PANMUNJOM: North Korean chief delegate Kim Song-Hye (right) shakes hands with her South Korean counterpart Chun Hae-Sung (left) at the end of the working-level talks at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone dividing the two Koreas yesterday. — AFP with Washington or in broader, now-stalled international disarmament negotiations. After UN sanctions were strengthened following North Korea’s third nuclear test in February, Pyongyang threatened nuclear war and missile strikes against Seoul and Washington, pulled its workers from the jointly run factory park at the North Korean border town of Kaesong and vowed to ramp up production of nuclear bomb fuel. Seoul withdrew its last personnel from Kaesong in May. The summit marks a political and diplomatic victory for South Korean President Park Geun-hye, who took office in February and has maintained through the heightened tensions a policy that combines vows of strong counter-action to any North Korea
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un late last month sent to China his special envoy, who reportedly told Xi that Pyongyang was willing to return to dialogue. President Park will travel to Beijing to meet Xi later this month. North Korea was probably motivated to hold talks with Seoul because it wants to ease a sense of crisis over its deepening isolation from the rest of the world, including ally China, said Chang Yong-seok, a senior researcher at Seoul National University’s Institute for Peace and Unification Studies. “Normally, China has been on North Korea’s side, but now the United States and China have joined hands to urge North Korea to denuclearize, which is a very tough situation for North Korea,” Chang said. — AP
Vietnam leaders face first confidence vote HANOI: Vietnam’s leaders faced a first-ever confidence vote in the communist-controlled parliament yesterday as the authoritarian regime seeks to allay growing public anger at corruption and a lack of political accountability. The vote-to be held every year-was approved by the one-party state’s rubberstamp legislature last November and requires most senior politicians, including the prime minister and the president, to win support from lawmakers. The process has been hailed in the official press as par t of a new commitment to transparency and accountability. But observers saw little threat to the communist hierarchy and expected the results to be decided in advance behind closed doors. It will not be “a proper vote”, said Nguyen Minh Thuyet, an outspoken former deputy who called for a confidence vote on Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in 2010. Even so, coupled with a recent government call for public consultation over proposed constitutional amendments, the vote indicates
that the party is trying to respond to rising public dissatisfaction, experts said. “This does represent an effort by the party and state to shore up its faltering legitimacy,” said Professor Jonathan London at Hong Kong’s City University. While it is highly unlikely that the vote will result in any change to the status quo, “even symbolically it is an important event, in Vietnam’s evolution and in the evolution of the National Assembly in particular”, he added. The results of the voting-which covers 47 top officials who yesterday submitted reports to lawmakers of their work performance-are expected to be announced today. According to state media, officials who win support from fewer than half of lawmakers for two consecutive years may be forced to resignbut this is a “complicated”, slow and effectively meaningless process, Thuyet said. “Everyone will win the vote,” he told AFP, describing widespread concerns that top officials would
close ranks behind the scenes to support each other regardless of per formance. The most closely watched vote will be for Prime Minister Dung, who was handed a second five-year term by the party in 2011 despite his widespread unpopularity among the public. Critics blame the 63-year-old premier’s policies and governing style for Vietnam’s economic malaise, endemic corruption and banking system riddled with toxic debt, mostly held by state -run enterprises. Top officials running state-owned companies frequently flaunt lifestyles incompatible with their official remuneration, fuelling public anger at corruption, inefficiency and waste in the sprawling sector. While the Communist Party tightly controls public debate and routinely imprisons dissidents who question the political system or call for change, Vietnamese are increasingly turning to the Internet to vent their frustrations. Dung has been the target of much public anger and has faced down repeated threats to his premiership,
including rare public criticism from senior party figures and even an unprecedented call from one lawmaker to resign. In May the Politburo-composed of the 14 most senior regime members-once again called for disciplinary action against him, according to party sources. But Dung survived thanks to strong support from the Central Committee-mostly from ministers, army officers, and provincial officials whom he appointed. “It was basically an unprecedented coup d’etat by the Central Committee over the Politburo,” Nguyen Van Hieu, 76, a former top party member turned political commentator, told AFP. After months of political wrangling behind the scenes, “the balance of power is clearly in favour of the prime minister”, Hieu said, adding that Dung himself is now “untouchable”. With the backstage battle apparently already won, many observers suspect the vote of confidence will simply be used to seal the party’s decision on this internal political dispute. —AFP
Thailand pet shop owner caught with rare lions BANGKOK: A pet shop owner was arrested after Thai police found hundreds of protected animals, including rare lions, in his warehouse near Bangkok, authorities said yesterday. Police Col Ek Ekasart said police found 14 albino lions from Africa, hundreds of birds, meerkats, tortoises, peafowls, capuchin monkeys and other species from overseas and Thailand. They said Montri Boonprom-on, 41, faces charges of possessing wildlife and carcasses and could face up to four years in jail and a fine of 40,000 baht ($1,300). Ek said Montri owns an exotic pet shop at Bangkok’s renowned Chatuchak weekend market and was previously convicted of wildlife trade. Thailand is a hub of the international black market in protected animals. While the country is a member of a convention regulating international trade in endangered species, Thai law does not extend protection to many alien species. Police also found a hornbill and a leopard, both protected by Thai law, which were packed in a box and were scheduled to be delivered to clients yesterday. “We have been monitoring the location for a few days after the neighbors complained about the noise from the animals,” Ek told reporters during the raid in a residential area of Bangkok’s Klong Sam Wa district. “And if you looked through the gate, you could spot lions in the cage.” Montri told reporters the lions were shipped legally to Bangkok from Africa and were waiting to be moved to a zoo in Thailand’s northeast. He did not explain why only 14 lions remained at his warehouse, while the documents showed he had imported 16. The animals were confiscated and will be under the care of the Department of Natural Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation. —AP
BANGKOK: A lioness bares its teeth inside an enclosure after a raid at a zoolike house on the outskirts yesterday. — AP
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Sunni-Shiite rift on Syria risks regional chaos By Lynne Al-Nahhas he foray into Syria’s civil war by Lebanon’s Hezbollah has fuelled a Sunni-Shiite polarisation that threatens to feed extremism on both sides and export the conflict to the wider region, analysts warn. The Iran-backed Shiite movement has openly said it is fighting alongside President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces, while Shiite Iraqi fighters are also reported to be in Syria, supporting the regime against the mostly-Sunni rebels. These interventions have prompted calls for a united Sunni stance against the Shiite groups involved, particularly Hezbollah. Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia’s top cleric Abdulaziz AlShaikh has urged governments to punish the “repulsive sectarian group” while Qatar-based Sunni cleric Yusuf AlQaradawi called on Sunnis to join the rebels. George Sabra, interim head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, charged Hezbollah, along with majority-Shiite Iraq and Iran, of pushing the situation towards a “sectarian conflict”. “What we are fearing now is that the whole region could drown in a sectarian-fuelled conflict which in effect is a series of civil wars including Lebanon, Iraq, and of course Syria itself,” says Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Centre. Fighters from Shiite Hezbollah openly spearheaded a 17day assault on the Syrian town of Qusayr near the Lebanese border which culminated on Wednesday with its recapture from the rebels by pro-government forces. The battle for Qusayr further stoked the already-simmering sectarian tension across the region, the analysts say. Assad’s regime is dominated by members of the Alawite minority, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, while Sunnis make up the majority in Syria and the Muslim world. Hezbollah’s “association with the conflict on sectarian lines is creating tensions in Lebanon and in the wider Arab world,” says Shaikh. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, whose Shiite government is facing a wide Sunni-led opposition, warned Sunday of “a storm passing through the region. It is a brutal sectarian storm.” Funerals were held in Iraq last month for men killed in Syria fighting alongside Assad’s forces. Emirati political science professor Abdulkhaleq Abdulla says that “the sectarian line-up has recently reached worrying levels.” Although a historical conflict, the Sunni-Shiite divide is “now different... because it has become based more on a political background than a religious one,” says Abdulla. Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites, is seen the regional power protecting Sunnis while Iran has become a reference for all Shiites, he says. Lebanese columnist Hazem Sagheye sees that the Syrian crisis “has morphed into a cross-border Sunni-Shiite line-up.” He argues that Damascus can stir trouble in surrounding countries through “holding cards” - groups loyal to Assad’s regime. Lebanon officially adopted a position of neutrality towards Syria’s conflict but its people are sharply divided with Shiites mostly backing Assad while most of the Sunnis support the rebellion. Fighters from both sects have joined the battle on opposite sides. This division is clearly reflected in frequent deadly clashes in Lebanon’s second-largest city, Tripoli, between Sunni and Alawite gunmen. The army warned on Friday of a plot to embroil Lebanon in the 26-month Syrian conflict. And while Sunni figures roundly condemned Hezbollah’s involvement, news of the fall of Qusair sparked celebrations in Lebanon’s Shiite districts. Reaction also came from the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain - the scene of unrest between a Shiite opposition and the Sunni monarchy - with the Shiite Unitary National Democratic Assembly issuing a congratulatory statement. “What is scary is that the rise in sectarianism could once more ignite Al-Qaeda and extremism, posing a danger to the region,” says prominent Saudi columnist Tariq Alhomayed. And a decades-long standoff between Iran and Saudi Arabia appears now to be playing out by proxy in Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and Lebanon, where the rivals are supporting opposing political strands. The Syrian opposition recently charged that the battle in their country has even attracted Shiite Zaidi rebels from Yemen to join the fight alongside Assad’s troops. Zaidis have denied the claims. But while Shiite armed groups fighting in Syria are openly backed by Iran, Sunni Islamist fighters trickle into Syria as individuals and mostly against the wish of their own states. Saudi Arabia has repeatedly warned its citizens against taking part in the conflict. Damascus’ brutal repression of protests, in addition to Iran’s full support to Assad and Hezbollah’s intervention, have “emphasised the Sunni character of the other side,” says Sagheye. With the stirring of sectarian sentiment across the region and the mushrooming of armed extremist Sunni and Shiite groups, the region risks “a collapse of the concept of the state, with every group having its own media outlets and militias,” warns Alhomayed. “We are moving closer towards chaos in the Arab world.” — AFP
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Building America’s secret surveillance state By James Bamford od we trust,” goes an old National Security Agency joke. “All others we monitor. First, the Guardian reported details on a domestic telephone dragnet in which Verizon was forced to give the NSA details about all domestic, and even local, telephone calls. Then the Guardian and the Washington Post revealed another massive NSA surveillance program, called Prism, that required the country’s major Internet companies to secretly pass along data including email, photos, videos, chat services, file transfers, stored data, log-ins and video conferencing. While the Obama administration and Senate intelligence committee members defend the spying as crucial in its fight against terrorism, this is only the latest chapter in nearly a century of pressure on telecommunications companies to secretly cooperate with NSA and its predecessors. But as stunning technology advances allow more and more personal information to pass across those links, the dangers of the United States turning into a secret surveillance state increase exponentially. The NSA was so flooded with billions of dollars from post-Sept 11, 2001 budget increases that it went on a building spree and also expanded its eavesdropping capabilities enormously. Secret rooms were built in giant telecom facilities, such as AT&T’s 10-story “switch” in San Francisco. There, mirror copies of incoming data and telephone cables are routed into rooms filled with special hardware and software to filter out email and phone calls for transmission to NSA for analysis. New spy satellites were launched and new listening posts were built - such as the recently opened operations center near Augusta, Georgia. Designed to hold more than 4,000 earphoneclad eavesdroppers, it is the largest electronic spy base in the world. Meanwhile, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, where top-secret work was done on the atomic bomb during World War II, the NSA is secretly building the world’s fastest and most powerful computer. Designed to run at exaflop speed, executing a million trillion operations per second, it will be able to sift through enormous quantities of data - for example, all the phone numbers dialed in the United States every day. Today the NSA is the world’s largest spy organiza-
tion, encompassing tens of thousands of employees and occupying a city-size headquarters complex on Fort Meade in Maryland. But in 1920, its earliest predecessor, known as the Black Chamber, fit into a slim townhouse on Manhattan’s East 37th Street. World War One had recently ended, along with official censorship, and the Radio Communication Act of 1912 was again in effect. This legislation guaranteed the secrecy of electronic communications and meted out harsh penalties for any telegraph company employee who divulged the contents of a message. To the Black Chamber, however, the bill represented a large obstacle to be overcome-illegally, if necessary. So the Black Chamber chief, Herbert O Yardley, and his boss in Washington, General Marlborough Churchill, head of the Military Intelligence Division, paid a visit to 195 Broadway in downtown Manhattan, headquarters of Western Union. This was the nation’s largest telegram company - the email of that day. The two government officials took the elevator to the 24th floor for a secret meeting with Western Union’s president, Newcomb Carlton. Their object was to convince him to grant them secret access to the private communications zapping through his company’s wires. It was easier achieved than Yardley had ever imagined. “After the men had put all our cards on the table,” Yardley later described, “President Carlton seemed anxious to do everything he could for us.’” Time and again over the decades, this pattern has been repeated. The NSA, or a predecessor, secretly entered into agreements with the country’s major telecommunications companies and illegally gained access to Americans’ private communications. In a much-cited story, the influential Republican statesman, Henry L Stimson, was described as deeply offended by the very notion of snooping into people’s private communications. As the new secretary of state in 1929, Stimson shut down the Black Chamber with the now immortal phrase, “Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.” But when President Franklin D. Roosevelt later appointed Stimson secretary of war during World War Two, Stimson changed his mind. He wanted to eavesdrop on every possible communication, especially on the Germans and Japanese. Once the guns of World War Two began falling silent, however,
the communications privacy laws again took effect. Thus, Brigadier General W Preston Corderman, the chief of the Signals Intelligence Service - another pre-NSA iteration - faced the same dilemma Yardley confronted after World War One: a lack of access to the cables flowing into, out of and through the country. So, once again, deals were made with the major telegraph companies - the Internet providers of the day - to grant the SIS (and later the NSA) secret access to their communications. Codenamed “Operation Shamrock,” agents would arrive at the back door at each telecom headquarters in New York around midnight; pick up all that days telegraph traffic, and bring it to an office masquerading as a television tape processing company. There they would use a machine to duplicate all the computer tapes containing the telegrams, and, hours later, return the original tapes to the company. The secret agreement lasted for 30 years. It only ended in 1975, when the nation was shocked by a series of stunning intelligence revelations uncovered by a congressional investigation led by Senator Frank Church. The illegality and vast breadth of this one operation stunned both the left and the right, Republicans as well as Democrats. The parties came together to create a new law to make sure nothing like it could ever happen again. Known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the legislation created a secret court, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, to ensure that the NSA only eavesdropped on Americans when there was probable cause to suspect they were involved in serious national security crimes such as espionage or terrorism. For more than a quarter-century, the NSA obeyed this law. The intelligence agency turned its giant ears outward - away from the everyday lives of Americans. But that all changed soon after Sept 11, 2001, when the Bush administration began its warrantless wiretapping program. Once again, an NSA director sought the secret cooperation of the nation’s telecom industry to gain access to its communications channels and links. Again, the companies agreed - despite violating the laws and the privacy of their tens of millions of customers. Eventually, when the operation was discovered, a number of groups brought suit against the companies, Congress passed
legislation granting them immunity. Thus, for roughly 100 years, whenever the government knocked on the telecommunications industry’s door and asked them to break the law and turn over millions upon millions of private communications, the telecoms complied. Why not, since they knew that nothing would ever happen to them if they broke the law. Now, as a result of these new revelations, it appears that the NSA has again gone to Verizon and other telephone companies, as well as many of the giant Internet companies, and obtained secret access to millions, if not billions, of private communications. There are still many questions as to what, if any, legal justification was used. But unlike with Yardley and the Black Chamber, the dangers today of secret cooperation between the telecom and Internet industry and the NSA are incomparable. Because of technology back then, the only data the government was able to obtain were telegrams - which few average people sent or received. Today, however, access to someone’s telephone records and Internet activity can provide an incredibly intimate window on their life. Phone data reveals whom they call, where they call, how often they call someone, where they are calling from and how long they speak to each person. Internet data provides e-mail content, Google searches, pictures, and personal and financial details. We now live in an era when access to someone’s email account and web searches can paint a more detailed picture of their life then most personal diaries. Secret agreements between intelligence agencies and communications companies should not be allowed in a democracy. There is too much at risk. In a dusty corner of Utah, NSA is now completing construction of a mammoth new building, a one-million-square foot data warehouse for storing the billions of communications it is intercepting. If the century-old custom of secret back-room deals between NSA and the telecoms is permitted to continue, all of us may digitally end up there. Contrary to what Simpson may have asserted, gentlemen (and women) do read each other’s mail - at least if they work for the National Security Agency. And in the future, given NSA’s unrestrained push into advanced technologies, the agency may also be able to read your thoughts as well as your mail. — Reuters
Brash Ahmadinejad presidency isolated Iran By Farhad Pouldi ahmoud Ahmadinejad’s eight years in power have isolated Iran internationally because of deep suspicions over its secretive nuclear program and unwavering support for Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, its closest regional ally, analysts say. After two consecutive four-year terms since first taking office in 2005, Ahmadinejad is now constitutionally barred from standing in Friday’s presidential election. His disputed re-election in 2009 plunged Iran into domestic turmoil, as the regime used force to quell street protests. The suppression led only to increased international pressure on Tehran. All-powerful supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the final say on all policy in the Islamic republic, including on its atomic ambitions and support for Assad’s regime. And most analysts agree that this left Ahmadinejad with no choice but to implement those policies. “Iran’s foreign policy is not the prerogative of the president,” Ali Vaez, the Brussels-based International Crisis Group’s senior analyst on Iran, told AFP. But Shiite Iran is also paying the price for Ahmadinejad’s fiery rhetoric, including his Holocaust denials and conspiracy theories about the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. Tehran’s friends in the region have dwindled as tensions mount with Sunni-ruled Arab monarchies over issues including prodemocracy protests in Bahrain and the Syria uprising. “Ahmadinejad was unable to achieve foreign policy goals because of the way he carried out policies,” Mohammad Saleh Sedghian, head of the Arabic Centre for Iranian Studies in Tehran, told AFP. Already strained relations with the West have worsened, mostly over Tehran’s defiant expansion of its nuclear program against the backdrop of international demands and pressure to curb its activities. Years of talks with world powers to defuse the nuclear stand-off - which has led to a raft of Western economic sanctions coupled with others adopted by the United Nations
Security Council - have failed. It is not clear how much Ahmadinejad is himself involved in the nuclear decision-making process, but he has repeatedly dismissed the international sanctions as “scrap paper”. Only in mid-2012 did he admit to economic “problems” caused by the sanctions. Sedghian said Ahmadinejad’s reliance “on slogans instead of clear-cut stances” to defuse tensions has only made things worse. He holds a record of eight appearances at the annual UN General Assembly during his tenure as president. His speeches there have outraged the international community, and his Holocaust denial also revived enmities with Israel, whose existence Tehran does not recognise. “Ahmadinejad got Iran into trouble. He could have not talked about the Holocaust - it did not concern Iran,” Sedghian said. “His intervention had a negative effect on dealings with the world community.” Reformist analyst Mohammad Sadeq Javadihesar agreed, arguing that Ahmadinejad’s public rants “only brought sanctions” for Iran. “He lacks expertise in foreign policy and diplomacy,” Javadihesar said of Ahmadinejad’s conduct at home and abroad. “His abilities were equivalent to those of a university graduate,” he said, criticising Ahmadinejad’s controversial decision to fire then foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki while on an official visit to Senegal in 2010. A major bone of contention between Tehran and Western and Arab countries, as well as Turkey, is Syria. The conflict has cost more than 94,000 lives since the civil war erupted in March 2011 after Assad cracked down on pro-democracy protests. Tehran, a traditional ally of Damascus, is accused by Western and Arab governments of supplying weapons and military advisers to the Syrian regime. It has repeatedly denied there are Iranian troops on the ground in Syria
where Ahmadinejad has insisted that a rebel victory would threaten the entire region. Analysts say that Ahmadinejad has no choice - he had to support Assad. “Ahmadinejad has merely been carrying out the regime’s policy to consolidate the axis of resistance” against Israel, Sedghian said of the stance in Tehran, Damascus, and in the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah towards the Jewish state. Despite his record, Ahmadinejad has become a popular icon at home for his firebrand oratory. It is a different story in the international arena, where he is seen as a pariah, except by some countries such as Venezuela. “His rhetoric turned him into a radioactive statesman. From that point on, all Western politicians were loath to deal with him, independent of his intentions,” Vaez said. Most of the eight candidates vying to replace Ahmadinejad have identified mending ties with the world outside as a priority. “Iran is left with fewer friends in the West and in the region,” Sedghian said. “Ahmadinejad’s foreign policy was not a strategic one, but a political show.” — AFP
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
Turkish soldiers march during a changing of the guards ceremony at the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, in Ankara yesterday. — AP
Nearly 3,000 Indians deported Continued from Page 1 He said the authorities have conveyed to him that the Indians are not speciﬁcally targeted in the crackdown. “The campaign is across the board and Indians are not speciﬁcally targeted. And there is no reason for us to doubt that,” he added. “The fact is that there are a large number of illegal residents from India here who are in violation of visa stipulations.” The ambassador said many Indians who arrived in Kuwait under Article No 20 later moved to work outside, a practice that is illegal as per the Kuwaiti law. “It is important that we have to respect the law of the land. It is completely legal on the part of the Kuwaiti authorities to take action against residency violators in the country,” Mehta said. According to rough estimates made by the embassy, there are more than 20,000 Indian illegal residents currently in Kuwait. Around 288,000 Indian domestic workers were in Kuwait as of the beginning of 2013. “By and large, the Indian community abides by the rules and regulations of the country. They are largely peace-loving, law-abiding and hardworking. The Kuwait government recognizes this,” he mentioned. “In view of the close bilateral relations between Kuwait and India and considering the presence of a large number of Indians here, we have also conveyed our concerns to the authorities over the handling of the arrestees. We have requested the authorities that the issue may be handled in a more digniﬁed manner,” Mehta said.
The ambassador said the Kuwaiti oﬃcials have conveyed to the embassy that the instructions regarding arrests and deportations are very clear. There have been media reports that many people - even with valid residencies - were being harassed and ill-treated during the course of the campaign. The authorities have assured the embassy that they would look into such complaints if they were brought to their notice with speciﬁc details, he said. The embassy has made certain proposals before the authorities in order to ﬁnd a solution to the issue. “We have communicated to them that many of the domestic workers are engaged in economically useful work in the country. It will be better if many of them were given some time to regularize their status instead of being deported, which is humiliating,” the ambassador said. Balram Kumar Upadhyay, Consular and Chief Welfare Oﬃcer at the embassy, who was also present during the press conference, said that embassy oﬃcials are regularly visiting deportation and detentions centers. “The authorities are providing all necessary amenities to the detainees. A doctor is available there 24 hours. Their only concern is that they have to go home at the earliest,” he said. Regarding the concern over the destination of the deportees, he said the embassy has arrived at agreements with some travel agents to provide tickets to people so that they can travel to their ﬁnal points from where they are deported. Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indian Embassy Vidhu P Nair was also present during the press conference.
Source of US intel leak outs himself Continued from Page 1 Obama’s spy chief, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, has described the leak as gravely damaging to US security, and referred the matter to the Justice Department, which has launched an investigation. Snowden is reportedly holed up in Hong Kong, which has an extradition treaty with the United States, and he is cooperating with the British-based Guardian newspaper, which revealed his identity at his own request. The whistleblower told the Guardian he hopes to win asylum in Iceland, but the head of Iceland’s Directorate of Immigration said it had received no formal request and said Snowden would have to be on Icelandic soil to make one. There was much speculation yesterday about Hong Kong’s likely stance in the event Washington asks for Snowden’s extradition, and analysts divided on whether the territory’s ultimate rulers in Beijing would intervene. The case has also turned the spotlight on the United States’ widespread use of outside contractors for sensitive intelligence work; Snowden is a former low level CIA employee now employed by private outﬁt Booz Allen Hamilton. Companies like Booz employ tens of thousands of technicians and analysts with top secret security clearances to work on lucrative contracts with US intelligence agencies, and some are asking if they pose a security risk. In a statement, Booz Allen Hamilton conﬁrmed Snowden had been an employee for “less than three months” and promised to help US authorities investigate the “shocking” claim that he had leaked classiﬁed information. Booz, which employs many former senior Washington intelligence oﬃcials and relies on government contracts, saw its shares fall sharply yesterday. Snowden and his many supporters, who have taken to the Internet to condemn the US government and the private web giants which cooperated with its secret surveillance, defended his actions as a blow for freedom. “My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them,” Snowden said, in a Guardian video. He said he had gone public because he could not “allow the US government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.” The Washington Post, the second newspaper to publish leaked information, also revealed details from its correspondence with Snowden, including his bleak assessment of his future, once the information was out. “I understand that I will be made to suﬀer for my actions, and that the return of this information to the public marks my end,” he wrote in early May, warning
the Post reporter he was in danger too. In naming Snowden on Sunday, the newspapers said he had sought to be identiﬁed. “The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything,” Snowden said in explaining his actions. “With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards,” he said. The Guardian said Snowden had been working at the NSA for four years as a contractor for outside companies. Snowden ﬂew to Hong Kong on May 20 after copying at the NSA’s oﬃce in Hawaii the documents he intended to disclose, the Guardian said. The US Consulate in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Security bureau refused to comment on the case, but a senior pro-Beijing lawmaker in Hong Kong told reporters Snowden should probably leave the city. Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, is “obliged to comply with the terms of agreements” with the US government, Regina Ip said. In a statement responding to Snowden’s decision to go public on Sunday, Clapper said the matter had been referred to the Department of Justice. “The intelligence community is currently reviewing the damage that has been done by these recent disclosures,” Clapper said. The Justice Department conﬁrmed that it was investigating the matter. Under the PRISM program, revealed by Snowden, the NSA can issue directives to Internet ﬁrms like Google or Facebook demanding access to emails, online chats, pictures, ﬁles, videos and more, uploaded by foreign users. The service providers deny they have given the government backdoor access to customer data, insisting they did so only when compelled by law. Clapper says the NSA applies to a secret court for permission to target individuals or entities and then issues a request to the service provider. Snowden, who said he had left his girlfriend in Hawaii without telling her where he was going, said he knew the risk he was taking, but thought the publicity his revelations had garnered in the past few days had made it worth it. “My primary fear is that they will come after my family, my friends, my partner. Anyone I have a relationship with,” he said. “I will have to live with that for the rest of my life. I am not going to be able to communicate with them. They (the authorities) will act aggressively against anyone who has known me. That keeps me up at night.” In the video interview, the bespectacled, lightly bearded Snowden looked relaxed. He said he was ultimately hoping that Iceland, which values internet freedom, might grant him asylum. — Agencies
Kuwait to issue new banknotes Continued from Page 1 Separately, India’s rupee slid to a record low against the dollar yesterday as dealers moved into the US currency following robust US jobs data and growing concern about the South Asian nation’s struggling economy. The partially convertible Indian currency ended the day at a new low of 58.15 to the dollar yesterday afternoon, sweeping past its previous low of 57.32 rupees hit on June 28. “This is a freefall,” Abhishek Goenka, chief executive of consultancy ﬁrm India Forex Advisors, told AFP. The rupee’s fall is the latest blow to the stuttering growth story of Asia’s third largest economy, which has been beset by sharply slower growth, worsening public ﬁnances and political turmoil. A scramble by oil and other importers to buy dollars to pay for imports in the US currency also weakened the rupee, which depreciated seven percent against the dollar in May alone. Analysts say that while other emerging market currencies have been aﬀected by the dollar’s increasing strength, the rupee is particularly hard hit due to the country’s troubled public ﬁnances and string of corruption scandals. The widening of India’s current account deﬁcit - the broadest trade measure - to almost ﬁve percent of gross domestic product in the last ﬁnancial year has also weighed on the rupee. Foreign exchange traders reported no signs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was intervening in the currency market to support the beleaguered rupee. “Large-scale intervention from the RBI to buck the trend is unlikely. They cannot stop the tide immediately,” said Siddhartha Sanyal, chief India economist with Barclays Capital. Analysts say the central bank cannot intervene heavily to buttress the currency as it must retain enough foreign
reserves for imports. Right now, it only has suﬃcient reserves for seven months of imports - the lowest cover in 13 years. The RBI has a policy of not commenting on movements in the foreign exchange market and of intervening only to curb volatility. New Delhi attempted to ease corporate concerns, saying it will take measures to curb the widening current account deﬁcit as imports outpace exports. India’s chief economic adviser at the ﬁnance ministry, Raghuram Rajan, said in televised remarks that “mediumterm” steps will be taken to ease rupee volatility. The weaker currency makes imports costlier, especially of foreign oil on which India heavily relies, and will fuel already high consumer inﬂation. “The dollar strengthening is hurting the rupee,” said Naveen Mathur, commodities and currencies associate director with Angel Broking, who added the local currency was showing “continuous weakness”. With the US economy improving, there is mounting speculation that the US Federal Reserve could “reverse” its monetary stimulus program sooner than expected, Mathur said, prompting the exit of funds from emerging economies in search of better US returns. Analysts believe the rupee will fall further, with Goenka forecasting that the currency will reach a 59-60 level against the greenback by the end of 2013. They say the currency’s slide puts a question mark over whether the central bank will cut interest rates further at its June 17 meeting, since lower rates usually translate into a weaker exchange rate. There have been loud calls from business for an interest rate cut to spur the economy, which has been growing at ﬁve percent - its weakest pace in a decade. The RBI has already cut rates three times in 2013 to boost growth. Shares closed virtually ﬂat at 19,441.07 points amid worries that the bank would keep interest rates on hold. — Agencies
Woman jailed 11 years for anti-Amir tweets Continued from Page 1 In another development, the National Assembly appears to be in semi-paralysis as it awaits a crucial ruling by the constitutional court next Sunday which could include dissolving the Assembly itself. Almost all committees did not hold meetings, especially the ﬁnancial and economic aﬀairs committee which could not meet for the second day in a row for a lack of quorum. Head of the panel MP Youssef Al-Zalzalah told reporters the committee decided to meet next week “unless the Assembly is dissolved”. The only committee that held its meeting was the foreign relations panel which discussed the controversial Gulf security pact with representatives of the interior ministry. Head of the committee MP Saleh Ashour
said it was decided to invite the foreign minister for a meeting on June 23 to discuss the pact in detail. He however added that it will be very diﬃcult for the Assembly to debate and pass the pact in the present term. The liberal National Democratic Alliance and Kuwait Democratic Forum called in a joint statement on the government to pull out of the Gulf security pact immediately and withdraw it from the Assembly in order “to preserve Kuwait’s identity and in respect of the constitution”. The two groups reiterated their rejection of the security agreement for fear of undermining the country’s sovereignty directly or indirectly and in defense of liberties against local or regional attempts to reduce them, besides safeguarding the 1962 constitution from any obligations or commitments under the Gulf pact.
Apple unveils radio service, revamps iOS Continued from Page 1 Called iOS 7, the smartphone and tablet platform redesigned by resident creative honcho Jonny Ive comes with a new edge-to-edge look that uses translucency to highlight underlying content, new typefaces, and new icons. Apple plans to make iOS 7 available in the fall. Kleiner Perkins venture capitalist Matt Murphy, who runs the ﬁrm’s iFund, tweeted that the new iOS platform “Looks livelier, happier, approachable.” It will also support multitasking for all apps, executives said. “It’s the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone,” said CEO Tim Cook. Apple also said that Siri, the voice-activated personal digital assistant, comes with all new male and female voices, a new look, and is now directly integrated with Bing. Some industry experts have criticized Apple’s mobile operating software, which has retained its general look and feel since its inception, for looking somewhat dated. Marketing chief Phil Schiller oﬀered the audience a sneak peek at Apple’s upcoming new Mac Pro - its topof-the-line computer with a sleek cylindrical chassis that he said will feature several times the processing and memory speed and power of the previous generation. It will be released later this year and be assembled in the United States, Schiller said. Apple’s stock has fallen 37 percent after touching a high of $705 in September as competition in the key smartphone market escalated. Some investors believe the company that invented the iPhone is struggling to
come up with original new products after cofounder and former CEO Steve Jobs died in 2011. “Can’t innovate any more, my ass,” Schiller said as he showed oﬀ the new Mac Pro. “This is a machine unlike anything we’ve ever made.” Apple also announced a new operating system for the Mac PC called “Mavericks,” moving away from its penchant for naming its computer software after big cats. The new OS can handle multiple display and “tagging” of documents, among other new features. In an unusual move, Apple also shared the stage with little-known startup Anki, which was given the opportunity to show oﬀ a game. The conference, whose tickets sold out in just over a minute when it opened up in April, comes as South Korean rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has solidiﬁed its lead in the smartphone market with a 33 percent share followed by Apple with 18 percent during the ﬁrst quarter, according to market research ﬁrm IDC. Cook is under pressure to show that the company that created the smartphone and tablet markets is not slowing down as deep-pocketed competitors such as Samsung and Google Inc encroach on its share. Investor concerns center around whether Apple will be able to come up with more groundbreaking products as smartphone and tablet market gets more crowded. In April, Apple reported its ﬁrst quarterly proﬁt decline in over a decade. Cook told the audience of developers at the Moscone Center in San Francisco that Apple’s App Store now has 900,000 apps, which have been downloaded a total of 50 billion times. — Reuters
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
S P ORTS
Paraguay coach quits
FIA to hear Mercedes
Ramdin banned for 2 ODI’s
ASUNCION: Paraguay coach Gerardo Pelusso has left his job with the team virtually out of the running for the 2014 finals in Brazil, the Paraguayan Football Association (APF) said yesterday. The APF has yet to name a replacement for Uruguayan Pelusso, Paraguay’s second coach in the qualifying campaign in which the team are bottom of the South American group with eight points from 12 matches and a goal difference of minus 14. “(The APF) informs that coach Gerrardo Pelusso has officially left the APF as trainer of the Paraguay football team at a meeting he held with the national teams director,” the APF said in a statement. Paraguay, beaten 2-1 at home by Chile on Friday in a match Pelusso had called “the last train to Brazil”, have a bye on Tuesday, their next qualifier coming against Bolivia in Asuncion on Sept. 6. Mathematically, the 2010 quarter-finalists could sneak into the Brazil tournament with four matches still to play. Pelusso took charge last July after Francisco Arce was sacked but he failed to improve a team whose South Africa 2010 veterans were past their best. He managed one win and one draw in seven matches.—Reuters
LONDON: Mercedes and Formula One tyre supplier Pirelli will appear before an international tribunal in Paris on June 20 to answer charges of breaking the rules by testing in Spain last month, the sport’s governing body said yesterday. The International Automobile Federation (FIA) said in a statement that a notification of charges against both parties had been sent to the president of the tribunal. “Pirelli and Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team have been convened by the President of the International Tribunal to appear before a judging panel of the International Tribunal,” it added. The verdict will be published ‘as soon as possible’ after the hearing. Mercedes, who finished third in Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix with 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton, risk stiff sanctions ranging from a fine to points deduction or even exclusion if found guilty. The rules bar teams from testing during the season with a current car. Champions Red Bull and Ferrari, the sport’s most successful team, made formal protests at last month’s Monaco Grand Prix when news of the test leaked out. Mercedes used their 2013 car at the ‘secret’ test in Barcelona, which came just before Germany’s Nico Rosberg won in Monaco for the team, but have said the move was approved by the governing body.—Reuters
LONDON: West Indies wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin has been banned for two one-day internationals for “conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game”, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said yesterday. Ramdin was also fined 100 percent of his match fee after claiming a catch off Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq in the West Indies’ two-wicket victory in a Champions Trophy Group B match at The Oval on Friday. Umpire Steve Davis initially gave Misbah out caught behind. But, after consulting with fellow umpire Nigel Llong, the decision was reversed because the pair decided the keeper did not have effective control of the ball after making the catch. Ramdin pleaded not guilty to the offence but was sanctioned following a hearing on Monday for a Level two breach of the ICC Code of Conduct. “This is regarded as a serious offence as it is the responsibility of all players to act in the spirit of the game,” said former England batsman Chris Broad, who adjudicated on the matter for the Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees. —Reuters
Braves thrash Dodgers LOS ANGELES: Dan Uggla had two homers and four RBIs and Freddie Freeman drove in three more runs with a double to help lead the Atlanta Braves to an 8-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. Mike Minor (8-2) allowed a run and six hits, struck out six and walked three while helping the National League East division leaders gain a split of the four-game series. Atlanta’s rotation has yielded four runs in 37 1/3 innings spanning the team’s last six games. Los Angeles rookie Matt Magill (0-2) was charged with seven runs and four hits over 3 2/3 innings in his sixth MLB start, none of which the Dodgers have won. DETROIT: Michael Bourn No. 24 of the Cleveland Indians beats the tag from shortstop Ramon Santiago No. 39 of the Detroit Tigers to steal second base in the eighth inning. —AFP
Tigers sweep Indians DETROIT: Jose Alvarez pitched six impressive innings in his Major League Baseball debut and Don Kelly hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the sixth to help the Detroit Tigers finish a three-game sweep of the skidding Cleveland Indians with a 4-1 victory Sunday. Alvarez (1-0) was starting because of Anibal Sanchez’s shoulder tightness, and he held Cleveland hitless until Ryan Raburn’s fifth-inning homer. The 24-year-old left-hander allowed three hits and a walk and struck out seven. Drew Smyly pitched two innings of relief and Joaquin Benoit finished for his third save. Cleveland has lost seven straight. Justin Masterson (8-5) allowed four runs in seven innings. He gave up a walk to Miguel Cabrera and a single to Prince Fielder to start the Detroit sixth. One out later, Kelly lifted a drive over the wall in right. The first-place Tigers lead Cleveland by 51/2 games in the American League Central division. RED SOX 10, ANGELS 5 In Boston, David Ortiz hit a three-run homer and Jarrod Saltalamacchia connected twice to power Boston past Los Angeles. Saltalamacchia and Mike Carp went deep on consecutive pitches from Joe Blanton (110) in the sixth inning, moments after Ryan Dempster (4-6) got his 2,000th career strikeout. The Red Sox took two of three in the series and have won six of eight. Los Angeles entered the weekend having won eight straight against the Red Sox after going 6-0 last season, but dropped the final two games after winning the opener of a daynight doubleheader Saturday. Albert Pujols and Alberto Callaspo each hit a solo homer for the Angels. Dempster gave up three runs in six innings. Ortiz has five homers and 14 RBIs in his last 10 games. YANKEES 2, MARINERS 1 In Seattle, Chris Stewart hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning and David Phelps matched Felix Hernandez for six innings to help New York beat Seattle. Ichiro Suzuki drew a walk from Yoervis Medina (1-2) to open the ninth and Jayson Nix sacrificed. With two outs, Stewart bounced a grounder through the left side and Suzuki scored easily against his former team to help the Yankees take three of four at Safeco Field. Mariano Rivera allowed two hits and a walk in the ninth but earned his 23rd save in 24 opportunities, extending his career record to 631. David Robertson (4-1) worked out of an eighth-inning jam and Brett Gardner had four hits and an RBI. ORIOLES 10, RAYS 7 In St. Petersburg, JJ Hardy, Adam Jones, Alexi Casilla and Nick Markakis had two RBIs apiece as Baltimore battered eight-game winner Matt Moore in beating Tampa Bay. The Orioles, held to one run and six hits in losing the first two games of the series, finished with 16 hits in this one. Moore (8-2)
allowed career highs of nine runs and 12 hits over five innings in his second consecutive loss. In his previous start, the left-hander gave up six runs over two-plus innings in a 10-1 loss at Detroit. Chris Tillman (6-2) yielded three runs and four hits in six innings to improve to 5-0 on the road. Jim Johnson got his 21st save, handing the Rays their fourth loss in 14 games. RANGERS 6, BLUE JAYS 4 In Toronto, Adrian Beltre hit a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning as Texas rallied from a four-run deficit to beat Toronto. A day after the Blue Jays beat Texas in 18 innings, Beltre hit an opposite-field shot to right off Neil Wagner for his 14th homer of the season. That helped the Rangers avoid a three-game sweep and their first four-game losing streak of the season. Nelson Cruz and David Murphy also homered for the Rangers, while Neal Cotts (2-0) worked one inning for the win. Joe Nathan escaped a ninth-inning jam for his 19th save in 20 chances. Adam Lind hit a three-run homer for the Blue Jays, who had won three straight. WHITE SOX 4, ATHLETICS 2 In Chicago, Alex Rios and Tyler Flowers homered and Hector Santiago pitched into the seventh inning as Chicago beat Oakland to split their four-game series. The White Sox appear to be waking up after dropping 10 of 11 and falling into last place in the AL Central division. They’ve won two in a row behind strong starts from Santiago (2-4) and John Danks. Flowers tied it 1-all in the third after Coco Crisp homered in the top half. The White Sox grabbed a 3-1 lead in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Conor Gillaspie and an RBI double by Gordon Beckham. Rios chased AJ Griffin (5-5) with a solo homer in the eighth to make it 42. Jesse Crain retired the side in the eighth, giving him 24 straight scoreless innings and 25 appearances in a row without allowing a run. Reed worked the ninth for his 19th save in 20 chances. ROYALS 2, ASTROS 0 In Kansas City, Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer each had a run-scoring single in the eighth and Luis Mendoza pitched seven innings of four-hit ball as Kansas City beat Houston for its fifth straight win. Aaron Crow (2-1) worked a scoreless eighth to earn a victory that gave the Royals their longest winning streak since taking seven in a row form Sept. 10-17, 2011. With one out in the eighth, Chris Getz singled and stole second off reliever Hector Amrbiz (1-3). Gordon, who was 1 for 18 on the homestand, singled for the first run. Gordon moved to third on center fielder Trevor Crowe’s errant throw home and scored on Hosmer’s single. Astros starter Lucas Harrell held the Royals to two singles by Salvador Perez in seven scoreless innings.—AP
ST. PETERSBURG: Outfielder Desmond Jennings No. 8 of the Tampa Bay Rays breaks his bat against the Baltimore Orioles during the game at Tropicana Field. —AFP
ROCKIES 8, PADRES 7 In Denver, Dexter Fowler’s single with two outs in the 10th inning scored DJ LeMahieu from third base as the Rockies rallied for a win over the Padres. Fowler finished with four hits and Troy Tulowitzki had two, including his 16th home run. Rockies starter Juan Nicasio retired his first 16 batters. Nick Hundley, Cameron Maybin and Mark Kotsay homered for the Padres, who missed an opportunity to take three of four in the series after blowing a three-run lead in the ninth. Rex Brothers (2-0) pitched the 10th for the win. Tyson Ross (0-3) took the loss. MARLINS 8, METS 4 In New York, the Miami Marlins needed extras to beat the New York Mets again, but only 10 innings instead of 20. Derek Dietrich hit a tying home run in the eighth and second baseman Daniel Murphy’s 10th-inning error allowed Logan Morrison to score the go-ahead run in his first game in 11 months, boosting the Marlins to a victory. Greg Dobbs added a sacrifice fly off Rob Carson and Miguel Olivo followed with a tworun homer in the four-run 10th, eliminating the need for a repeat of Saturday’s 6-hour, 25minute marathon, won by the Marlins 2-1. Bobby Parnell (4-3) was the loser. Chad Qualls (1-0) got his first win since last July, striking out Justin Turner and Anthony Recker with the potential winning run on base in the ninth. CUBS 4, PIRATES 1 In Chicago, Cody Ransom hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the seventh inning and Edwin Jackson pitched the Cubs to a victory over the Pirates. Ransom connected off reliever Justin Wilson (5-1) for his sixth home run of the season. Darwin Barney and Julio Borbon were on base after the Cubs were held hitless for 5 2/3 innings by Pirates starter Jeff Locke. Jackson (28) had his best and longest outing of the season, striking out eight in seven innings. He allowed four hits and a walk as the Cubs salvaged the finale of a three-game series. GIANTS 6, DIAMONDBACKS 2 In Phoenix, Chad Gaudin pitched six strong innings and Marco Scutaro and Brandon Belt homered as the Giants beat the Diamondbacks. Gaudin (2-1) had his second good start in place of the injured Ryan Vogelsong, allowing two runs on five hits in six innings. The Giants right-hander, normally a long-relief specialist, struck out seven and walked one intentionally. Scutaro and Belt each had a solo shot off Tyler Skaggs (1-1), who gave up five runs on eight this in five innings. The Giants won two of three in Arizona to move within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Diamondbacks in the NL West division. BREWERS 9, PHILLIES 1 In Milwaukee, Carlos Gomez hit a two-run homer, Scooter Gennett had a two-run triple and Kyle Lohse pitched eight strong innings for
LOS ANGELES: Mark Ellis No. 14 of the Los Angeles Dodgers attempts a throw in front of Nick Punto No. 7 off a groundball by Andrelton Simmons No. 19 of the Atlanta Braves during the sixth inning. —AFP his first win in eight starts to help the Brewers beat Philadelphia to take the final three games of the four-game series. Gennett’s triple highlighted a four-run second inning, and Gomez’s homer in the sixth off starter Jonathan Pettibone (3-2) was plenty of insurance for Lohse’s first victory since beating San Diego on April 22. Lohse (2-6) struck out six and gave up four hits, his only hiccup being Humberto Quintero’s first home run of the season. CARDINALS 11, REDS 4 In Cincinnati, Matt Holliday’s grand slam capped a seven-run 10th inning to help the Cardinals beat the Reds. JJ Hoover (0-5) walked Allen Craig to lead off the 10th. One out later, David Freese singled Craig to second, extending his career-best hitting streak to 19 games, tied with San Francisco’s Marco Scutaro for the longest in the National League this season. Daniel Descalso followed with his RBI double off the left field wall. Matt Carpenter added two insurance runs with a bases-loaded single before Holliday hit his homer, his 10th of the season. Trevor Rosenthal (1-0) had four strikeouts in two
perfect innings to get the win. INTERLEAGUE NATIONALS 5, TWINS 4 In Washington, Ian Desmond doubled home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning as Washington rallied past Minnesota to sweep a day-night doubleheader. Desmond’s drive completed a comeback from a three-run deficit - making it the Nationals’ biggest come-from-behind victory of the season - and pulled Washington back to .500. Jordan Zimmermann dominated the first game, allowing two hits over seven innings. In the nightcap, Adam LaRoche doubled off reliever Anthony Swarzak (1-2) ahead of Desmond, who then extended his hitting streak to a careerhigh 12 games. Tyler Clippard (5-1) pitched the seventh to get the win, Drew Storen handled the eighth and Rafael Soriano the ninth for his 16th save. In the opener, Zimmermann (9-3) struck out eight with a season-high 111 pitches while dropping his ERA to 2.00. He is tied for most wins in the majors. The Nationals scored a pair in the fourth and had a five-run fifth to chase starter Scott Diamond (4-5).—AP
MLB results/standings Texas 6, Toronto 4; Detroit 4, Cleveland 1; Miami 8, NY Mets 4 (10 innings); Boston 10, La Angels 5; Washington 7, Minnesota 0; Baltimore 10, Tampa Bay 7; Chicago White Sox 4, Oakland 2; Kansas City 2, Houston 0; Milwaukee 9, Philadelphia 1; Chicago Cubs 4, Pittsburgh 1; NY Yankees 2, Seattle 1; Colorado 8, San Diego 7 (10 innings); San Francisco 6, Arizona 2; Atlanta 8, LA Dodgers 1. American League Eastern Division W L Boston 39 25 NY Yankees 37 26 Baltimore 35 28 Tampa Bay 34 28 Toronto 27 35 Central Division Detroit 35 26 Cleveland 30 32 Kansas City 28 32 Minnesota 27 33 Chicago White Sox 27 34 Western Division Texas 37 25 Oakland 38 27 LA Angels 27 36 Seattle 27 37 Houston 22 42
PCT .609 .587 .556 .548 .435
GB 1.5 3.5 4 11
.574 .484 .467 .450 .443
5.5 6.5 7.5 8
St. Louis Cincinnati Pittsburgh Chicago Cubs Milwaukee
.597 .585 .429 .422 .344
0.5 10.5 11 16
Arizona San Francisco Colorado San Diego LA Dodgers
Atlanta Washington Philadelphia NY Mets Miami
National League Eastern Division 39 24 31 31 31 33 23 35 18 44 Central Division 41 22 37 26 37 26 25 35 25 37 Western Division 35 28 33 29 34 30 29 34 27 35
.619 .500 .484 .397 .290
7.5 8.5 13.5 20.5
.651 .587 .587 .417 .403
4 4 14.5 15.5
.556 .532 .531 .460 .435
1.5 1.5 6 7.5
Six Gulf Bank employees return from UEFA Champions League final KUWAIT: Gulf Bank announced the return of six employees who were nominated to attend the UEFA Champions League Final match between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, which took place in Wembley Stadium, London on 25 May 2013. The Bank’s employees who travelled to attend the UEFA Champions League Final were nominated by their department heads for their outstanding performance. The trip was fully sponsored by the bank in appreciation of the hard work the nominees have put in to achieve outstanding results for the bank despite the challenging targets. The Bank continuously seeks to reward its outstanding employees to encourage further excellence. As a leading bank in Kuwait, Gulf Bank’s philosophy for talent development advocates meritocracy and recognizing talent in firm belief that the Bank’s biggest asset is it’s people. The UEFA Champions League is the world’s most anticipated sporting event and Gulf Bank was keen to recognize and treat employees of outstanding performances to a fully paid package to watch the final UEFA Champions League final match.
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
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Will Nadal, Serena be unbeatable at Wimbledon? PARIS: Right now, French Open champions Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams are as good as it gets in tennis. The next time we see them competing, at Wimbledon in two weeks, Nadal will be merely a serious contender, while Williams will be the unquestioned favorite. Both have a won-loss record of 43-2 in 2013. Nadal has won 22 matches in a row. Williams has won 31 straight, the longest single -season run on the women’s tour in 13 years. Nadal’s Grand Slam title total now stands at 12, tied with Roy Emerson for the third-most in the history of the men’s game, behind only Roger Federer’s 17 and Pete Sampras’ 14. Williams is up to 16 major singles trophies, sixth-best among women, with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova right above her on the list at 18. Now comes the shift from the clay of Roland Garros to the grass of Wimbledon, and that is where the similarities end. Williams is a five-time champion at the All England Club, including a year ago, and the way she’s playing at
the moment, there is little reason to anticipate anyone beating her there this time. Nadal, despite his recent form, is only one of a group of men who can think of themselves as possible champions, along with No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic, No. 2 Andy Murrray and No. 3 Federer. “The objective now is to celebrate tonight,” Toni Nadal, Rafael’s uncle and coach, said Sunday, when his nephew won his eighth French Open championship by easily beating David Ferrer 63, 6-2, 6-3 in the final, two days after outlasting Djokovic 9-7 in the fifth set of a wonderful semifinal, “and then we will see if he plays well at Wimbledon.” Even the Nadals acknowledge that Rafa is not quite as superb on grass as he is on clay. How could he be? He is 59-1 in the French Open, with four titles in a row from 2005-08 and another four in a row from 2010-13, and the only man to claim eight titles at the same major tournament. That said, he’s done well at Wimbledon, winning it in 2008 and 2010, and losing in the final to Federer in 2006-07 and to Djokovic in 2011.
A year ago, though, Nadal fell in the second round against Lukas Rosol, who was ranked 100th at the time. That would be the last match Nadal played for about seven months because of a painful left knee, an absence that saw him skip the London Olympics, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open and is the reason he’s ranked No. 5 this week. “Some weeks I didn’t feel well, but the last couple of weeks I start to feel ... better,” Nadal said Sunday. “I am still going week by week, day by day.” He usually likes to prepare for Wimbledon by playing in a grass-court tournament during the week right after the French Open. But this time, Nadal withdrew from the field in Halle, Germany, and opted for rest, instead. “That’s not the ideal situation before a Grand Slam like Wimbledon that is on grass,” Nadal said. “The conditions are very different.” What he will do is head to the practice court, to keep on getting better, just as he’s done for years. His serve used to be a real weakness, for example, so Nadal and Uncle Toni studied ways to
speed it up and add variety. At first, he found grass to be problematic, but his accomplishments at Wimbledon are ample proof that he figured out a way to overcome that, too. “You can improve always, in every way,” Nadal said. “And in tennis, for sure, you can keep improving.” Williams expressed a similar sentiment after her 6-4, 6-4 victory over defending champion Maria Sharapova in the women’s final Saturday in Paris. Unlike Nadal, she’s had her issues with red clay: After winning the French Open in 2002, it took Williams 11 years to get her hands on a second trophy. And unlike Nadal, she’s excelled more on other sur faces, with those five Wimbledon championships, plus five on hard courts at the Australian Open, and four on hard courts at the US Open. Tough as her serve was to handle at the French Open these last two weeks she hit 10 aces against Sharapova, for example, including three in the last game - it should only be more effective on grass, where balls skid instead of clay’s higher bounces.
After her own stunning early exit at a Grand Slam tournament last year - at Roland Garros, in the first round, to a woman ranked 111th - Williams immediately went about fixing things. She stuck around Paris to practice for Wimbledon at coach Patrick Mouratoglou’s tennis academy and has gone 74-3 since, winning three of the last four major titles, plus gold at the Olympics. “It really was a shock for her. She really worked on rebuilding herself to become perhaps stronger than ever,” Mouratoglou said. And Williams insists that she is willing to find new areas to work on, which might not be comforting to other women hoping to knock her from No. 1. “The day I feel that I cannot improve, it’s going to be a problem for me. I’m going to have to really debate whether I should keep playing,” said Williams, who almost always skips Wimbledon tuneup tournaments. “But I feel like, as of now, I can do a lot of things better. I can be better. I feel like I can be more fit. There’s still a level of improvement that I can reach.”—AP
Park clinches playoff to win LPGA Championship
Frost bags first major title BIRMINGHAM: South African David Frost clinched his first major title on the over-50s Champions Tour with a one-shot victory at the Regions Tradition in Birmingham, Alabama on Sunday. A stroke in front going into a weatherdisrupted final round at Shoal Creek, the 53-year-old closed with a four-under-par 68 to hold off American playing partner Fred Couples, who also carded a 68. Frost, who began the season with five consecutive top-10 finishes on the Champions Tour, including a win at the Toshiba Classic, birdied three of the last eight holes to post a 16-under total of 272. Play was suspended for just over an hour
due to the threat of lightning with the leaders having completed 15 holes. After resuming, both Frost and Couples birdied the 16th before finishing par-par. United States Presidents Cup captain Couples briefly caught Frost in a tie for the lead after seven holes but had to settle for second place after the South African pulled away with three birdies in five holes around the turn. American John Cook signed off with a 66 to share third place at 13 under with Mexican Esteban Toledo (67), with Germany’s Bernhard Langer a further three shots back in a tie for 10th after firing a blistering, best-of-the-week 63.—Reuters
London Olympic Park to stage British title fight LONDON: London’s Olympic Park will host top-level professional boxing bouts from September, boosting efforts to ensure that Games venues remain a lasting part of the British sporting scene. Boxing promoter Frank Warren has signed an agreement to stage six fights in the 7,000-seater Copper Box Arena which was used for handball and modern pentathlon fencing during last year’s Games. British middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders will meet challenger John Ryder on Sept. 21 in the first of the fights planned for the venue. Britain spent around nine billion pounds ($14 billion) of public money to put on the Games. Politicians and sports administrators are keen to show that the money was a sound investment that will prove of lasting benefit. “The Copper Box is what all the
investment in the Olympics was about — legacy and giving London a fantastic arena,” Warren said yesterday. Proceeds from putting on the fights will be used to subsidise other sports such as swimming in the Olympic pool, officials from the London Legacy Development Corporation said. The Park, currently closed for conversion work, will host a series of rock concerts this year. Sprint champion Usain Bolt is scheduled to appear in a Diamond League athletics meeting in a sold-out Olympic Stadium at the end of July, one year on from the Games. Longer-term, the Olympic Stadium will stage World Cup rugby matches in 2015 before becoming the home of Premier League soccer club West Ham United the following year.—Reuters
NEW YORK: Park Inbee of South Korea won the LPGA Championship in a marathon Sunday finish, winning a three-hole sudden death playoff over Briton Catriona Matthew with a birdie on her 39th hole of play. It was the 24-year-old Park’s second major title of the season following her triumph in the Kraft Nabisco Championship and underlined her status as the women’s world number one. “It was one of the toughest days out there,” Park said after sinking an 18-foot birdie putt at the par-four 18th at Locust Hill outside Rochester, New York, to defeat Matthew after they both parred the first two holes of sudden death. “I’m so tired.” The entire third and fourth rounds were played on Sunday after Thursday’s opening round was wiped out by heavy rains and lightning. Tied for third place on fourunder-par 284 were American Morgan Pressel, who shot a finalround 75, and Norway’s Suzann Pettersen, who fired a seven-under 65 in the final round, the best score of the tournament. Park took a one-shot lead over 36-hole leader Pressel into the final round and led by as many as three strokes before losing her way off the tee en route to a 75. Matthew, 43, made up seven shots on Park in the final round, posting a bogey-free, four-under 68 to take a five-under-par total into the clubhouse and force a playoff after the Korean made three bogeys over the last five holes to tie her on 283. “I didn’t hit many fairways out there and I was scrambling really
PITTSFORD: Inbee Park of South Korea kisses the trophy after winning the Wegmans LPGA Championship at Locust Hill Country Club. —AFP well out there,” said Park. “I think I was actually really lucky to get in the playoff. “The amount of fairways I was missing it’s almost a miracle that I won today. I think I got a little lucky there, too. And I really tried to fight and tried not to give up. That really paid off.” In contrast to the final round, in which Matthew played impeccably and Park struggled finding the fairways, the Korean had the steadier hand in the playoff. Park, who missed eight fairways in the final round and struggled out
fying, the team were unusually slow, failing to advance to the last session for the 10 fastest cars. “We’ve won the last three here. This weekend nothing’s really gone right,” said Whitmarsh. “The car isn’t quick enough but we could have done a better job than we’ve done. “Both drivers are driving well, but we’re not giving them quite the car that they need to go out and get the job done.” To try and save time after the disappointment of qualifying, Button gambled on a one-stop pit strategy but the Englishman said it made no difference because the car was just not up to speed. The Briton hoped the car would be better for his home race, the next up at Silverstone, but conceded that there were unlikely to be any quick fixes. “We got lapped today and easily. So (there’s) a lot of work to do and it’s very difficult to know where to look,” he said. “It’s a big gap. We do have some things for Silverstone which are positive. We tried them here and they didn’t work for this type of circuit. But they should help us set the car up a bit easier in Silverstone.”—Reuters
probably didn’t realize I could win,” said Matthew, winner of the 2009 Women’s British Open. “So to play well and get into the playoffs was obviously pretty good. “She’s not the kind of player you’d expect to fall back.” After Park rolled in her birdie putt for her third career major and fourth victory of the year, she was doused with water by compatriot Chella Choi, who finished at three-under 285 and joined the celebration as Park extended a streak of nine successive women’s majors won by Asianborn players.—Reuters
English triumphs in Memphis
McLaren endure a weekend to forget MONTREAL: The Canadian Grand Prix has been a happy hunting ground for McLaren but Sunday’s race marked a low for the British Formula One team. At the same Montreal street circuit where McLaren had produced four of the last five winners, there was only disappointment. For the first time in 65 races, a span dating back to November 2009, the onceinvincible team failed to claim a single point after both drivers finished outside the top 10. “It was a weekend that I think we will try and quickly forget,” said McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh. “Qualifying was poor and then in the race, looking back at it with the data we’ve got, we made mistakes. We weren’t quick enough, that’s the starting point. But I think we should have been able to get into the points.” The surprise was not so much the team missed out on the points in an already difficult season for them, but the manner in which they did. Neither car was involved in a crash as both finished, just way behind. Mexican Sergio Perez finished 11th and 2009 champion Jenson Button was 12th, both a lap down on Red Bull’s race winner Sebastian Vettel. Even in quali-
of the deep rough, regained her swing off the tee in sudden-death. On the decisive playoff hole, Park split the fairway, while Matthew landed in the rough behind a large tree right of the fairway. After the Korean put her approach safely on the green, the Scot punched out through the fairway and into rough short of the green. Her next shot also failed to reach the putting surface and then she chipped up weakly below the hole. “When I started the last round I
MEMPHIS: Harris English holds the winner’s trophy after winning the FedEx St. Jude Classic at the TPC Southwind. —AFP
MEMPHIS: Harris English overcame a shaky start, then took advantage of a late collapse by fellow American Scott Stallings to clinch his maiden PGA Tour title with a two-shot victory at the St Jude Classic in Memphis, Tennessee on Sunday. The 23-year-old English birdied two of the last three holes at the TPC Southwind to close with a one-underpar 69, ending a roller-coaster final round where he and Stallings had duelled back and forth for the lead. Stallings and four-times major champion Phil Mickelson tied for second, two strokes back. A curling 17-foot birdie putt at the 17th put English two strokes clear and he safely parred the tricky final hole to post a 12-under total of 268 in the final PGA Tour event before next week’s U.S. Open. “I was feeling very good with my ballstriking all week,” a beaming English told CBS Sports greenside after twoputting for par on the 18th green, then pumping his right fist in delight. “I just had to get those putts to fall. I kept it together, had bad bogeys on eight and nine, but stuck with it and made some good birdies coming in.” Stallings had been two ahead when he hit his wedge approach into water at the 15th en route to a damaging double-bogey six and had to settle for a share of second place after bogeying the 18th for a 68. Level with Stallings at 10 under was Mickelson, who thrilled the crowd when he nearly holed out his approach at the par-four last for a tap-in birdie and a 67. “I hit some good wedges coming in and I thought that one on 18 might even go (in),” Mickelson said after a fivebirdie display on Sunday. “I hit a lot of good iron shots.” English, whose previous best finish on the PGA Tour was a tie for fifth at last
year’s Crowne Plaza Invitational, mixed six birdies with five bogeys as the leaderboard fluctuated wildly in the final round. PGA Tour rook ie Shawn Stefani began the day with a one-stroke advantage but bogeyed the opening hole and he never recovered on the way to a closing 76 and a tie for seventh at six under. Though English faltered at the parfour second where he missed the green with his approach, he immediately rebounded with birdies at the third and fourth to edge a stroke front. However, he then slid backwards with bogeys at the fifth, eighth and ninth to hand Stallings a two-stroke advantage. Stallings had charged up the leaderboard with four birdies on the front nine, a 25-footer at the ninth giving him the outright lead for the first time. English briefly cut the lead to one after making birdies at the 10th and 11th before surprisingly stumbling with a three-putt bogey at the par-four 13th. Stallings appeared to be in cruise control as he started the back nine with five consecutive pars but stunningly double-bogeyed the 15th after hitting his second shot into water to drop back into a tie with English. Stallings bounced back with a birdie at the parfive 16th, getting up and down from a greenside bunker, to regain a one stroke cushion before being caught in a tie at the top. English, playing in the group behind, also birdied the 16th after reaching the green in two and two-putting to join Stallings at 11 under. Stallings then bogeyed the last after missing the green to the right with his approach and hitting his chip shot fat for his ball to get no further than the fringe. Now one ahead, English effectively secured the title with his birdie at 17.—Reuters
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
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Bravo: Bring on India LONDON: West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo is confident of containing India’s batting firepower when the two sides meet in a key Champions Trophy match at the Oval today. The winner is almost certain to take one of the two semi-final berths from group B after both teams won their opening games, albeit in contrasting fashion. India, the reigning World Cup champions, brushed aside injury-hit South Africa by 26 runs in Cardiff after an impressive batting display saw them post a commanding 331-7. The West Indies shot Pakistan out for 170 at the Oval on Friday, but then showed their vulnerability while batting as they lost eight wickets while chasing the modest target. All-rounder Bravo, who replaced Darren Sammy as one -day captain ahead of the tournament, said the close result did not worry him as his side prepared to face the in-form Indians. “We came out on top and that’s more important,” said Bravo. “It does not matter if you lose eight or nine wickets, we got the two points that we wanted.” Bravo, whose side beat Sri Lanka by 17 runs in a practice match in Edgbaston last week, said winning two games in a row was the right moralebooster ahead of tougher encounters. Bravo, who plays for Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League, said the West Indies had the resources to take the world champions in their stride. “It’s another tough game against a team whose strength lies is their batting,” he said. “But we have the right
bowlers to control their batting. “Cricket is played on the day. India could turn up on Tuesday and be knocked over, or score a big total again as they normally do. “I have the right attack if I want to go with someone with raw pace. I have the reserve bench that is strong enough to actually come up with the 11 that I think will do well against the Indians.” Bravo said the opening win against Pakistan added to the joy of captaining the West Indies. “It is a great personal achievement for me,” he said. “But it is not all about me as a captain. It’s how we all come together and try to make the best decision for the team. “The West Indies normally do not start well in tournaments like this, so it was important that we get our first win out of the way and look forward to the rest of the games ahead.” India, who have won eight of their last 11 one-dayers against the West Indies over the past three years, will look to continue their fine batting form over the past week. They chased down Sri Lanka’s massive 333-5 with an over to spare in a warm-up game in Birmingham, with Dinesh Karthik making an unbeaten 106 and Virat Kohli slamming 144. India then rode on opener Shikhar Dhawan’s 114 off 94 balls to pile up another 300-plus total against a depleted South African attack missing injured strike bowler Dale Steyn. But the bowlers will have to deliver against a line-up that has match-winning batsmen like Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels and Kieron Pollard.—AFP
Rajasthan Royals’ Kundra suspended NEW DELHI: The Board of Control for Cricket in India has suspended Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra for betting on Indian Premier League games. “Raj Kundra has been suspended pending enquiry from participation in cricket activities under the aegis of BCCI,” the board said yesterday after an emergency meeting in which other aspects of an ongoing spot-fixing scandal were also discussed. The decision came after Delhi Police, which is investigating spot-fixing allegations during the IPL, claimed Kundra conceded that he gambled on IPL games during questioning last week. According to IPL rules, a team official can be suspended if he brings the tournament into disrepute. Kundra said he was being “made a scapegoat” and put under trial by the media based on unproven claims. “I am shocked and upset at the unilateral decision taken today by the BCCI and will fight the grounds of suspension,” Kundra said in a statement. “All sorts of accusations were made against me without proof, by people in powerful positions.” Kundra is the second team official to be suspended after Chennai Super Kings team principal Gurunath Meiyappan, who is the son-in-law of BCCI President Narainswamy Srinivasan. Srinivasan, who is also the managing director of the India Cements company that owns the Chennai franchise, was forced to step aside pending the probe into Meiyappan, who was granted bail last week. Former ICC and BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya is the interim president of the BCCI. Though Kundra was never arrested, his name came up in the scandal after a long-winding chain that started with the arrest of three Rajasthan Royals cricketers -
Rajasthan Royals IPL cricket team co-owner and British based entrepreneur Raj Kundra. test player Shantakumaran Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila - for allegedly conceding more than a minimum number of runs agreed upon in exchange for money from illegal bookmakers. However, all three players were granted bail by a Delhi court yesterday. The three had been arrested from Mumbai on May 16 and initially faced charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust. They were later also booked under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act for allegedly being part of an underworld syndicate, but the court rejected the police’s plea and said there is not enough evidence to book them under the act. Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said the police was yet to study the court order. “We’ll examine the order and consult legal experts before deciding on the future course of action,” he was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India. Another R ajasthan player, Sidhar th Trivedi, has also been questioned by police.—AP
Kotaro Tokuda performs during Wanna Panna at Marina Crescent, Kuwait City. www.redbullcontentpool.com
Frank takes yellow as Sagan wins stage MEIRINGEN: Swiss rider Mathias Frank claimed the overall leader ’s yellow jersey as Slovakian Peter Sagan took stage three honors at the Tour of Switzerland yesterday. The pair were part of a fourman break away who moved clear of a larger 12-man group on the final descent into Meiringen after a 203.3km run from Montreux. Cannondale’s Sagan proved too strong for his breakaway companions in the sprint for the line, finishing ahead of last year’s overall winner Rui Da Costa of Portugal and Czech Roman Kreuziger, with Frank fourth. An elite group formed on the final categor y one Hasliberg climb as American Tejay van Garderen pushed the pace for his BMC teammate Frank. That burst decimated the peloton until around a dozen riders were left but the next split happened on the descent when Italy’s 2011 Giro d’Italia winner Michele Scarponi crashed into a grass verge, holding up those behind him. Da Costa made an immediate dash to join the three ahead of him, but no- one else could bridge the gap and the stage win came down to the front four. With three of that group eyeing overall victory more than a stage success, Sagan was never in any danger of being challenge and he won the sprint at a canter. It was the 23-year-old’s 50th UCI win and seventh stage
victory in this event although it lef t him a little surprised. “Honestly I’m surprised to be able to take this win,” he said. “In the morning meeting we thought that this finale was too hard to try a move. The stage looked good when I stayed with the leaders on the final climb. “On the descent, the group got smaller and with the other three riders I pushed to go to the finish. “ The final sprint wasn’t so easy. I knew I was the faster rider of the group but my
legs felt tired due to the last climb. I preferred a two-up sprint with Rui Costa to not run any risks.” Sagan said that he was hear tened that his form was starting to improve with the Tour de France beginning at the end of the month. “I’m really happy for this win and to have found the first positive sign of my form. “Every day is a useful test to prepare for the Tour de France. There is only one target: be at the top to fight for the green jersey. If I find other chances here I’ll be
ready, but for me it’s important to see my form improving.” Previous leader Cameron Meyer of Australia was distanced on the final climb and finished 1min 47sec down, not only losing the yellow jersey but dropping out of the top 10 overall. Kreuziger moved up to second overall at 25sec with Da Costa third a further 10sec back. It was a terrible day for another GC contender as 2012 Giro d’Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal of Canada crashed out of the race.—AFP
Blackhawks, Bruins offer intriguing finals matchup CHICAGO: Two NHL franchises, rich in history, talent and star power. Two winning teams that know what it takes to bring home a title. Intrigue in the form of a schedule that kept them away from each other for an entire season. Oh, there’s plenty to love about these Stanley Cup finals. The series kicks off tomorrow when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Boston Bruins in the first finals matchup of “Original Six” teams that made up the league from 19421967 since Montreal beat the New York Rangers way back in 1979. The mighty Blackhawks, winners of seven of the last eight games, have a deep roster that really found its identity when pushed to the limit by the Detroit Red Wings in the second round of the playoffs. Then there are the playoff-tested Bruins, who rolled over favored Pittsburgh during an impressive sweep that gave them a chance for a second NHL title in three seasons. The matchup couldn’t be more perfect for a league still trying to recover from a bitter lockout that wiped out 510 games and pushed the start of the season back to Jan. 19. “The tradition of the Bruins and the Hawks is special,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “I’m sure, you know, the rivalry could return instantly come Game 1. I think it’s good for the league. It’s
good for hockey. Two great hockey markets. We’re very excited to be a part of it.” Chicago advanced with a 4-3 double-overtime victory over Los Angeles on Saturday, using a hat trick from Patrick Kane to eliminate the defending champion Kings in
five games in the Western Conference finals. Back in the Stanley Cup series for the first time since 2010, the Blackhawks are in search of another title to pair with their six-game victor y over the Philadelphia Flyers three years ago. “Everyone has that drive to win
the Cup,” Chicago forward Andrew Shaw said. “It’s going to be a long road ahead here. It’s surreal. I’ve wanted this since I was a kid. I’m excited to get started.” Boston is rolling again after losing its spot atop the NHL’s Northeast Division in the final days of the reg-
CHICAGO: The Chicago Blackhawks pose for a team photo with the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl in this file photo. —AFP
ular season. The Bruins have won five in a row and nine of 10, boosted by a familiar group of stars who led the way when they won the championship in 2011. David Krejci scored four times in the Pittsburgh sweep and leads Boston with nine goals and 12 assists in the playoffs. “The excitement is there,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said Sunday. “You’ve heard people say, ‘Once you’ve been there, you want to go back.’ It’s true, we really want to go back; we made it happen. We’re excited about it and we also know what kind of challenge lies ahead for us. It’s about acknowledging that and being ready for it.” While Boston and Chicago have kept an eye on each other for a while now, there’s no way for either team to know what to expect at the start of the series. That’s because the lockout-shortened schedule included no games between teams from opposing conferences. That’s right, the Bruins and Blackhawks haven’t played since Oct. 15, 2011, when Boston won 3-2 in a shootout in Chicago. There are no mutual opponents this year, not even an All-Star game to compare the players from each conference. “I think all the information is out there for both teams to understand how we both play,” Julien said. “There’s no secrets there. Again, like I said, it’s only the head to head, how the two teams are kind of
going to clash, what’s going to happen when we do. It’s as simple as that. “It’s about having confidence in what you plan on doing and going out there and executing it, that’s all you can do.” The Bruins were on the brink of elimination when they trailed Toronto 4-1 with less than 11 minutes left in the third period of Game 7 in the first round of the playoffs. But they managed to beat the Maple Leafs 5-4 in overtime. The Blackhawks had their own great escape in the second round, coming back from a 3-1 deficit to eliminate the rival Red Wings in seven games. The comeback included a three-goal flurry in Game 6 that erased a 2-1 deficit heading into the final period. The twin comebacks for Boston and Chicago increase the potential for a compelling series for the title. Now mix in a couple of the NHL’s best all-around forwards in Patrice Bergeron of the Bruins and Jonathan Toews of the Blackhawks, plus a slew of talented players on each side, and there are convincing arguments to be made for either team to win the Stanley Cup. “Here we are again,” Toews said. “We got a great chance to go back to where we want to be. We know there’s going to be some more tough moments that we’ll have to battle through. We’re confident we can do that as a team.”—AP
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
‘Cautious One’ Mourinho makes a low-key return
PORTO ALEGRE: Brazil’s defender Fernando Martins (left) vies with France’s forward Bafetimbi Gomis during the friendly football match at the Arena Gremio Stadium.—AFP
Brazil defeat France 3-0 PORTO ALEGRE: Brazil scrapped their way to a flattering 3-0 friendly win over France on Sunday in an ugly, disjointed match against opponents who are even worse off than themselves. Second-half goals from Oscar, Hernanes and Lucas gave the under-fire Confederations Cup hosts a timely pretournament tonic in the city where coach Luiz Felipe Scolari built his reputation. Brazil, who ended a six-match, 21-year winless run against France, had gone into the game under enormous pressure after only one win in six outings since Scolari returned for a second stint in the job last November. While the result, if not the performance, will give Brazil some relief, France were left to face the long flight back from their brief South American tour reflecting on their fourth defeat in five matches this year and their fifth in 11 outings under Didier Deschamps. Having rested Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery, the toothless French, beaten 1-0 by Uruguay on Wednesday, barely tested Julio Cesar as they completed their trip without scoring. “We didn’t have the head nor the legs,” Deschamps told TF1 television. “We played well for 20 minutes against Uruguay and for a short period against Brazil. Even in adversity, against superior teams, we should be able to do better.” Brazil’s win placated a restless 51,000 crowd at the Arena Gremio, which is not among the 2014 World Cup stadiums, after they had jeered forwards Neymar and Hulk during the game. But, with only Oscar showing any real invention and Neymar once again struggling against a European defence, it was still a far from memorable display “The team is still being put together,” Scolari, fondly remembered at Gremio where he won several trophies during the mid-1990s, told reporters. “We are working to have a competitive team that will win matches.” The teams belied their reputations as two of international soccer’s most graceful exponents, instead setting out to concentrate on nullifying each other, producing a soporific and undignified first half. Brazil often had four players - two central defenders plus two defensive midfielders - behind the halfway line even when they were attacking, severely limiting their creative options. The 2014 World Cup hosts’ chances mainly came from crosses into the area, which the French defence dealt with comfortably, and the occasional long-range shot which invariably went high and wide. France occasionally looked threatening when they came forward, yet never really tested Julio Cesar. Brazil defender David Luiz showed his wild side as he escaped a yellow card for hacking at Karim Benzema’s
leg near the halfway line, and was booked shortly afterwards for a needless high challenge in midfield. The five-times world champions, who had not scored in their last three meetings against France, finally broke the deadlock in the 54th minute when Oscar produced a virtuoso finish after Fred’s low cross found him in the middle of the penalty area. France had their best chance shortly afterwards though it came from a Brazilian player when David Luiz diverted a Mathieu Valbuena cross towards his own goal, forcing an excellent save from Julio Cesar. Scolari was jeered by the crowd when he took off Oscar in the 65th minute, yet two of his substitutes ended up on the scoresheet. Hernanes made it 2-0 in the 85th minute with a left-foot shot from outside the penalty area which went in off the post after the ball had been teed up to him by Neymar, who was generally disappointing. Lucas, who replaced Oscar, converted a penalty in stoppage time after a foul on Marcelo as he burst into the penalty area, completing Brazil’s first win over France since 1992. —Reuters
LONDON: Chelsea football club’s new manager Jose Mourinho poses for pictures as he addresses a press conference at Stamford Bridge. —AFP bold predictions about the years ago when I first became ing to Real where he won a La Champions League or Premier manager. Liga title and a King’s Cup. League on Monday, preferring to “I have the same nature, I am The Portuguese has never set his sights on more modest the same person,” said the title- stayed more than three years at targets. winning former Real and Inter one club but he hopes to at least “In 2004 Arsenal were the Milan manager before adding he see out his new deal with power,” said Mourinho who wore had the same heart and emo- Chelsea. a light blue shirt and light grey tie tions. “I’m prepared for that,” he said under a charcoal grey suit. “They “It is the first time I arrive at a when asked if he wanted more had won the league without los- club where I already love the club stability in his career. “Before I ing a game and were an - before I had to build an emo- wasn’t. “I have a contract for four absolutely fantastic team - now tional relationship and I only years. I hope to go to the last day the picture is different. came to love the club a little lat- of that. If the club then wants me “Manchester United are the er.” to stay, I’ll be more than happy.” champions, Manchester City were It was widely reported his relaMourinho inherits a side that the champions in 2012 ... you tionship with billionaire Chelsea again qualified for the have Arsenal and Tottenham owner Roman Abramovich broke Champions League, after finishcoming up and Liverpool with down in 2007, a claim Mourinho ing third in the Premier League. Brendan Rodgers will be up there rejected. They also won the Europa League for sure. “I read and I kept listening I but may need some restructuring “This competition starts with was fired, I was sacked,” he said. if they are to overhaul United and everyone trying to finish in the “That was not true. Many people second-placed City. top four, then the top three ... didn’t believe it but it was by “I didn’t choose for my career a then to try and win it. We go step mutual agreement. “At the time comfortable position because I’m by step.” Mourinho smiled we thought it was best for both returning to a house where I was throughout, clearly delighted to of us. Of course it was a sad happy and successful and where be back at the club he said he moment but I don’t regret that the fans love me,” he said. had always loved. decision.” “No. I’m coming with exactly “If I have to choose a nickname Since leaving Chelsea, the opposite perspective. I have for this period I would choose Mourinho spent two years at more responsibility because of ‘the Happy One’,” he declared. Inter where he won two Serie A that. The expectations are higher “Time flies, it seems like it was a titles, the domestic cup and the because people know what I can couple of days but it was nine Champions League before mov- deliver.” —Reuters
Matches on TV (Local Timings) WC2014 Qualifying Australia v Jordan Al Jazeera Sport +1 South Korea v Uzbekistan Al Jazeera Sport +2 Iraq v Japan Al Jazeera Sport +1 Iran v Lebanon Al Jazeera Sport +2
- Asia 12:00 14:00
Japan plan to make Iraq suffer for ‘Agony of Doha’
World Cup European Qualifiers Sweden v Faroe Islands 20:15 Al Jazeera Sport +4 Denmark v Armenia 21:15 Al Jazeera Sport +10
WC2010 S. American Qualifiers Colombia v Peru 23:00 Al Jazeera Sport +7 Wednesday 12, June 2013 Ecuador v Argentina 0:00 Al Jazeera Sport +2 Venezuela v Uruguay 3:00 Al Jazeera Sport +10 Chile v Bolivia 3:30 Al Jazeera Sport +1 N. American World Cup Qualifiers Mexico v Costa Rica 3:00 Al Jazeera Sport +4 Honduras v Jamaica 4:00 Al Jazeera Sport +9 United States v Panama 5:08 Al Jazeera Sport +5
Dominant Spain, Netherlands advance to Under-21 semis JERUSALEM: Spain and the Netherlands advanced to the semi-finals of the Euro Under-21 championships in Israel on Sunday with two convincing performances that eliminated Germany and Russia. Spain relied on a solitary goal from Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata to beat Germany in Netanya, while the Dutch were far more expansive in a 5-1 drubbing of Russia, who played most of the second half of their match in Jerusalem with 10 men. With one game still to play, Netherlands and Spain are now tied on six points at the top of Group B after two wins from their opening two matches while Germany and Russia are both out of contention with no points. Germany defended well for much of the match but did little to threaten the Spanish goal and eventually conceded in the 86th minute. Morata, who also headed the winner against Russia on Thursday, cut in from the left and found the net with a shot that deflected in off the leg of German goalkeeper Bernd Leno. “The team played a fantastic match against a great side and showed character,
LONDON: If ‘Jose Mourinho, The Chelsea Sequel’ had been a London West End theatre production yesterday, some of the audience may have left their seats by the intermission as the ‘Special One’ turned into the ‘Cautious One’. The outspoken Portuguese manager arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2004 amid a blaze of publicity, describing himself as ‘A champion, not one of the bottle’ and arrogantly forecasting the club’s first top-flight title for 50 years. Nine years on there was no controversy, no brashness and no headline statements as Mourinho addressed the media for the first time since leaving Real Madrid to sign a four-year contract to return to Chelsea. The 50-year-old’s news conference attracted 250 reporters from around the world, dozens of television crews and his arrival on stage was greeted by a hail of flashing camera bulbs. Mourinho normally revels in the spotlight but on this occasion he was low-key, giving measured responses to questions and even suggesting the whole paraphernalia surrounding news conferences was something he had little time for. “I don’t love this but it’s part of my job,” he told reporters. “I try to give you what you want but I cannot always give you a good line. “I try to be honest and give you what you’re expecting from me but at this moment what I want to do is work. I’m humble, sometimes it doesn’t look like I am, but I am.” When Mourinho arrived at Chelsea the first time, his mission was to transform a bunch of nearly men into winners and he did precisely that. The Londoners lifted back-toback Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006 and although the Portuguese left under a cloud in 2007, they continued collecting trophy after trophy until finally reaching the ‘Holy Grail’ 13 months ago by winning the Champions League for the first time. Mourinho did not make any
ambition and personality. I am very proud of the lads,” Spain coach Julen Lopetegui told a news conference. “I did not expect to qualify so soon. All our energy is focused on the Netherlands game now. We will prepare with a great deal of care.” Netherlands, who scored a 90th-minute winner to beat Germany 3-2 on Thursday, again showed their quality and discipline as they crushed Russia, who looked threatening early on. The breakthrough came in the 38th minute when talented right-sided midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum blasted a shot from 22 metres that beat Russian goalkeeper Nikolai Zabolotni. The Russians stayed in the encounter but their hopes of finding an equaliser were dealt a blow when Nikita Chicherin was shown a red card for a tackle from behind on Adam Maher in the 49th minute. The Dutch looked to have the match wrapped up when they scored again in the 61st minute as Luuk De Jong of Borussia Moenchengladbach headed in easily from a Wijnaldum cross from the right.—Reuters
DOHA: Iraq’s forwards Yunes Mahmud (center) and Hammadi Ahmed (left) pose for a picture with goalkeeper Jalal Hassan during a training session at the Al-Arabi Club Stadium on the eve of their 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian zone Group B qualifying football match against Japan.—AFP
DOHA: Japan booked their spot at the 2014 World Cup finals with a draw against Australia last week but the Asian champions have a score to settle in their final qualifier today and have no intention of going easy on Iraq in Doha. Iraq held Japan to a 2-2 draw in the Qatari capital 20 years ago in a game that denied the Japanese a place at the 1994 World Cup and was dubbed the “Agony of Doha” by the country’s media. Two decades on, it is Group B basement dwellers Iraq who must beat Japan in Doha to give themselves any realistic chance of qualifying for Brazil next year. Japan are unlikely to show any sympathy, however, particularly with the Confederations Cup on the horizon. “In Japanese football history, this is a place we can’t ever forget,” Kyodo News quoted Shinji Kagawa as saying. “But we are taking the necessary steps to move on toward the future.” Keisuke Honda, whose injury-time penalty sealed Japan’s World Cup finals spot, has been unable to train due to a thigh injury and Manchester United’s Kagawa could take over the playmaker role. “Wherever I play, I will be ready,” added Kagawa. “It’s really important for us to win and I hope we can finish the qualifying campaign on a high note before going to the Confederations
Cup.” Honda has been a vital cog in the Japan midfield and manager Alberto Zaccheroni was non-committal about the CSKA Moscow player’s chances of featuring in Tuesday’s match. “He hasn’t played a whole lot recently so he is in need of some fine-tuning,” Zaccheroni said. “Whatever playing time he can give me, I need to use it wisely. “I don’t think we’ve played as poorly as some say without Honda. Honda is an important player to us, but we do have people who can step up and fill in.” Japan took one of Group B’s two automatic qualification spots but all four remaining teams - Iraq, Australia, Jordan and Oman - are in the running for the second berth. Oman are second on nine points from seven games, while Australia and Jordan are on seven having played a game less. Iraq have five points with two games to play. Bottom side Iraq have to win on Tuesday to keep alive their hopes before they travel to Australia for their final match on June 18. “This is the last chance for Iraq to qualify for the World Cup and we will give it whatever we have,” Iraq coach Vladimir Petrovic said. “We respect Japan as the best side in Asia but we still plan on beating them.” —Reuters
Australia demands respect for Jordan MELBOURNE: Jordan deserves respect and Australia needs to raise their tempo against their opponents to get a positive result in today’s World Cup qualifier, Socceroos captain Lucas Neill said yesterday. Australia host Jordan with both teams on seven points in Asian qualifying Group B and needing wins in their final two matches to be assured of securing the second automatic berth to next year’s finals. Japan have already booked their ticket to Brazil by sealing the first automatic spot with a 1-1 home draw against Australia last week. Jordan stunned Australia 2-1 at home and the 35-year-old defender said their opponents had done enough in their World Cup qualifying campaign to command respect. “We’re all very excited, very focused and all understand what is required now. The Japan game has filled us with confidence, the priority and only focus is Jordan,” Neill told reporters. “Jordan are no mugs, they are a very good team, I don’t think you (media) are giving them enough credit. “They have beaten Japan and
Australia at home, they are a team that deserve your respect and they certainly have our respect, and we know if we don’t play our best there is a chance we won’t win the game.” While Jordan is also expected to play an attacking game to give themselves an opportunity to bag three points, Neill felt a high-tempo game might be the best way to break down their opponents at Melbourne’s Docklands stadium. “I have got experience enough in the region to know a quicker game will be the one to upset their rhythm but also get us into a good rhythm,” Neill said. “They don’t want tempo, they don’t want quick passing and that is sometimes the only way to break down a team.” Coach Holger Osieck was not prepared to dwell on last week’s qualifier, where Japan’s Keisuke Honda converted an injury-time penalty to earn his team a 1-1 draw against Australia, complicating matters for the Socceroos. “In football, you should never look back - the only thing you get is a sore neck,” the German coach said. “I look ahead. Jordan is a different
game (to Japan). “Everyone in our squad is ready to play, so it’s a good situation but a tough one for me as well to make the decisions.” Osieck expected a competitive outing on Tuesday but was happy that qualification was still in Australia’s hands. “It was very clear I think from minute one that this qualifying campaign would be a very tough one,” he added. “We are still in a positive space that we can manage the situation based on our own strength. “We focus on tomorrow and that is what counts, not what could have been or should have been.” Jordan coach Adnan Hamad said his team, who also beat Japan at home in Amman during their qualifying campaign, would settle for nothing less than a victory. “We know the Australian team is a strong team and we respect them, but we came here for a win,” he said. “We’re here for the win. Our aim is to earn three points in tomorrow’s match. “It’s the biggest match in the history of Jordanian football... (we) have all the intention of getting the best result from this match.”—Reuters
Japan plan to make Iraq suffer for ‘Agony of Doha’
Park clinches playoff to win LPGA Championship
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
Will Nadal, Serena be unbeatable at Wimbledon?
EDGBASTON: Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq (left) bats during the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy cricket match between Pakistan and South Africa at Edgbaston in Birmingham, central England. — AFP
S Africa defeat Pakistan BIRMINGHAM: Chris Morris took two wickets on his one-day international debut and Ryan McLaren a career-best four for 19 as South Africa returned to winning ways in the Champions Trophy with a 67-run success over Pakistan at Edgbaston yesterday. Pakistan, set 235 to win, ﬁnished on 167 all out as South Africa made light of the absence of premier fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel in winning with ﬁve overs to spare. McLaren’s return, which included a spell of four for ﬁve in 11 balls, saw him enjoy fresh success at an Edgbaston ground he’d once helped look after while with Warwickshire 2nd XI. In 2007, the seamer took a hat-trick at Edgbaston for Kent as they won English county cricket’s Twenty20 Cup. Both Pakistan and South Africa needed to win this day/night ﬁxture after losing their opening Group B matches to the West Indies and India respectively. But while this victory revived South Africa’s chances of a semi-ﬁnal spot, defeat left Pakistan’s hopes hanging by a thread. Pakistan did well to restrict South Africa to
234 for nine after man-of-the-match Hashim Amla, dropped before he reached double ﬁgures, made 81. But the question was whether Pakistan, who’d been bowled out for just 170 by the West Indies, could make a winning score against a South Africa attack missing Steyn, still to feature in this tournament because of a knee injury, and Morkel, whose Champions Trophy ended after he suﬀered a leg injury against India. Pakistan’s chase stalled from the outset when Morris, a late call-up to the squad after Morkel was ruled out, produced a new-ball burst of two wickets for 10 runs in 19 balls. The 26-year-old Highveld Lions seamer, struck with his ﬁfth ball when he knocked over left-hander Imran Farhat’s oﬀ stump. Morris, who’d previously played two Twenty20 internationals, then saw Mohammad Hafeez fail to get over the top of a bouncer and hole out to square leg. By the time McLaren took two wickets in ﬁve balls, with the aid of ﬁne catches by Colin Ingram and Faf du Plessis, Pakistan were 134 for
six oﬀ 39 overs. But Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who made a career-best 96 not out against the West Indies, completed a 69-ball ﬁfty with a straight six oﬀ left-arm spinner Robin Peterson. It was a shot greeted by huge cheers from the overwhelmingly pro-Pakistan 25,000 capacity crowd in Birmingham, which boasts one of the largest Asian populations of any English city. But the crowd was silenced when Misbah, on 55, pulled a Lonwabo Tsotsobe slower ball to Amla at mid-wicket and the skipper was booed at the post-match presentation ceremony. McLaren ended the match by bowling Junaid Khan. Amla was missed on seven when a cut oﬀ Mohammad Irfan ﬂew to backward point where Umar Amin dropped the tough chance. He made Pakistan pay with a typically stylish innings before he reverse-swept oﬀ-spinner Saeed Ajmal to Hafeez at short third man. South Africa conclude their group campaign against the West Indies in Cardiﬀ on Friday, with Pakistan facing arch-rivals India at Edgbaston on Saturday. — AFP
SCOREBOARD BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom: Final scoreboard in the Champions Trophy Group B day/night match between Pakistan and South Africa at Edgbaston yesterday: South Africa Umar Amin c Ingram b McLaren 16 C. Ingram lbw b Hafeez 20 Kamran Akmal c du Plessis b McLaren 0 H. Amla c Hafeez b Ajmal 81 Wahab Riaz b Phangiso 13 F. du Plessis c Malik b Irfan 28 Saeed Ajmal c Ingram b McLaren 5 AB de Villiers run out (Misbah) 31 Junaid Khan b McLaren 4 JP Duminy run out (Misbah) 24 Mohammad Irfan not out 0 D. Miller c Misbah b Khan 19 Extras (lb7, w8) 15 R. McLaren lbw b Malik 4 Total (all out, 45 overs) 167 R. Peterson not out 16 Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Farhat), 2-18 (Hafeez), 3-48 C. Morris run out (Riaz) 1 (Malik), 4-86 (Jamshed), 5-129 (Amin), 6-134 A. Phangiso run out (Akmal) 0 (Akmal), 7-148 (Misbah), 8-162 (Riaz), 9-167 Extras (lb5, w4, nb1) 10 (Ajmal), 10-167 (Khan) Total (9 wkts, 50 overs) 234 Bowling: Tsotsobe 9-1-23-2; Morris 7-0-25-2 Fall of wickets: 1-53 (Ingram), 2-122 (Du (1w); McLaren 8-3-19-4; Phangiso 10-0-50-1 Plessis), 3-145 (Amla), 4-186 (De Villiers), 5-195 (7w); Duminy 7-0-26-1; Peterson 4-0-17-0. (Duminy), 6-203 (McLaren), 7-231 (Miller), 8- Result: South Africa won by 67 runs 234 (Morris)m 9-234 (Phangiso) Man-of-the-match: Hashim Amla (RSA) Did not bat: L Tsotsobe Bowling: Irfan 7-1-27-1 (1nb); Khan 8-0-45-1 Group B standings (2w); Hafeez 10-0-38-1 (1w); Riaz 9-0-50-0 Champions Trophy Group B standings after (1w); Ajmal 10-0-42-1; Malik 6-0-27-1. South Africa beat Pakistan by 67 runs yesterday (tabulate under played, won, lost, points, Pakistan net run rate): Imran Farhat b Morris 2 Nasir Jamshed c and b Tsotsobe 42 West Indies 1 1 0 2 +0.830 Mohammad Hafeez c Miller b Morris 7 India 1 1 0 2 +0.520 Shoaib Malik b Duminy 8 South Africa 2 1 1 2 +0.410 Misbah-ul-Haq c Amla b Tsotsobe 55 Pakistan 2 0 2 0 -1.108
Heat scorch Spurs to tie NBA Finals MIAMI: Mario Chalmers marched toward midcourt with a message. “I felt like we had them on the ropes at the time. I told him, ‘Let’s go for the kill,’” Chalmers said. “He said, ‘I’m with you.’” And once LeBron James joined in, the Miami Heat were back with a blowout in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. Chalmers led the charge, James broke out to ﬁnish it with a ﬂurry and the Heat used a 33-5 run to rout the San Antonio Spurs 103-84 on Sunday night and even the series at one game apiece. James missed 10 of 13 shots through three quarters and the Heat trailed by a point late in the period before unleashing the lethal brand of basketball that led them to a franchise-record 66 wins this season. Chalmers ﬁnished with 19 points, and James had 17 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three blocks — the best on Tiago Splitter’s dunk attempt — while shooting only 7 of 17 from the ﬁeld. For two days following Game 1, the thought was that James needed to do more for his teammates. Turns out, it was Chalmers and the supporting cast who did something for James. “Honestly, for me, when I was struggling oﬀensively, my teammates continued to keep it in range,” James said. “ And we even had a lead at one point, especially late in the second quarter when we made that run and I was struggling a little bit. “So I think Rio more than anybody kept us aggressive, him getting into the paint, him getting those and-ones and making a couple of 3s. It allowed me to sit back and wait for my time.” The Heat made 10 of 19 3-pointers and got 13 points from Ray Allen, and 12 points and 10 rebounds from the previously slumping Chris Bosh. Danny Green made all six shots, including ﬁve 3-pointers, and scored 17 points for the Spurs. They host Game 3 on Tuesday night. Tony Parker had 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting for the Spurs, who were so precise in their 92-88 victory in Game 1 but threw the ball all over the white-surrounded court Sunday, committing 17 turnovers that led to 19 Miami points. “In the second half they just run us over,” the Spurs’ Manu
Ginobili said. “We didn’t move the ball at all. Their pressure really got us on our heels.” Tim Duncan shot 3 of 13 and ﬁnished with nine points and 11 rebounds. “We didn’t play well. We didn’t shoot well. I know I played awfully,” Duncan said. “Whatever it may be, they responded bet-
ter than us. So hopefully we can look forward to this Game 3 and regain some of our composure.” James insisted he wouldn’t force himself to do more after he had a triple-double in Game 1 but never seized the opportunity to take control of the scoring as the game was slipping away from the Heat.
MIAMI: Tony Parker (left) of the San Antonio Spurs goes to the basket against Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat during the second half in Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. — AFP
He didn’t need to. Not with Chalmers making big shots, the Heat’s defense forcing the Spurs to look shaky all over the ﬂoor, and a barrage of second-half 3-pointers. James ﬁnally got some openings late, hanging from the rim an extra second not long after a sensational blocked shot freed him up for a fast break. The often-maligned Chalmers is frequently found in Heat highlights being yelled at by James or another Miami veteran. But he’s as cocky as any of the superstars in Miami, and he has the big-moment plays to back up his bravado, from a tying shot for Kansas in the 2008 NCAA championship game to his 25 points in Game 4 of last year’s ﬁnals. “You have to have guts to play with our guys. If you don’t, you get swallowed up,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “The good thing about it is the other guys were ﬁne with him making plays.” The point guard sparked the Heat late in the third, after San Antonio had taken a 62-61 lead. He converted two three-point plays, Allen and Mike Miller nailed 3-pointers, and James made only his third ﬁeld goal of the game during a 14-3 ﬁnishing spurt that sent Miami to the fourth with a 75-65 advantage. They opened the fourth with nine straight points to make it 84-65, and capped the run at 94-67 when James made a 3-pointer, erasing any chance of their ﬁrst two-game losing streak in ﬁve months. “We were just a little bit more active today,” Bosh said. “We really just made an emphasis to continue to try to corral them.” The Spurs had only four turnovers in Game 1, tying an NBA Finals record low. But they surpassed that total in the ﬁrst quarter, Parker committing two of their ﬁve after not coughing it up once in the opener, and the Spurs looked more like the sloppy Indiana Pacers from Game 7 of the Eastern Conference ﬁnals than the Spurs of Game 1. The unrecognizable play continued, Parker ﬁring passes on the pick-and-roll right into a Heat player’s leg on multiple occasions and even getting yanked barely three minutes into the third quarter after his struggles continued. — AP
Yemen bank exceeds legal cap on govt loans by $1.6bn Page 22
Britain should hand over RBS, Lloyds Bank shares to public Page 23
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
ECB paying off staff who are stuck in a rut Page 23
Toyota Land Cruiser leads with off-road heritage, on-road comfort
DUBAI: An arial view taken on Dec 12, 2012 shows part of Dubai’s Marina. — AFP
Dubai loans lean on local banks Liquid local banks help drive fiscal recovery
LONDON: Dubai’s loan market has entered a new phase in its post crisis recovery, underpinned by a liquid local bank market, which is helping to fill the void left by European lenders still reeling from the emirate’s financial meltdown in 2008. Island resort Atlantis, The Palm is in the market with an $800 million refinancing, and luxury hotel chain Jumeirah Group is out with a six-year $1.4 billion loan, while fund Investment Corporation of Dubai has closed a $2 billion deal. The Arab Spring has resulted in an inflow of money into the region, which is now seen as a relative safe haven, and Dubai’s borrowers - many of whom were previously mired in the restructuring of their large conglomerate parent companies - are making the first cautious steps for new money and new investors. Pushed out at the height of the bubble in 2007-2008 by the inflow of cheaper international money into the region from the socalled ‘suitcase bankers’, liquid local banks are
now helping to drive the recovery. “Regional banks have been well capitalised since the 2009 crisis. Now they are not just participating in big tickets but becoming an important part of the deal structure,” said Simon Meldrum, director, CEEMEA loan syndicate at RBS. According to Thomson Reuters LPC’s UAE bookrunner league tables, local banks did not feature in the top ten in 2007, which consisted of eight European banks and two US banks. The switch to local banks is illustrated by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, which ranked number 22 in the table that year, having led just one deal, but which is a lead bank on all three new Dubai loans. ADCB is leading the Jumeirah deal, alongside HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank, and is also a mandated lead arranger on ICD alongside Citigroup, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Emirates NBD and HSBC on the conventional part of the deal. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank
and Standard Chartered are lead arrangers on an Islamic facility. ADCB is leading the Atlantis deal with National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Commercial Bank of Dubai and Union National Bank, alongside Barclays and HSBC. Still stung While local banks, long-term regional stalwarts such as HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank, and US lenders are enthusiastic lenders to Dubai’s borrowers, European banks that were caught up in the emirate’s crisis are more cautious. “If you take the slope to no activity, European banks are near the bottom of that,” said a London-based European banker. “There is absolutely no chance some of these banks will be looking to do deals in the region. They all piled into the market in 2007 and it is quite common to see European banks still stuck with a $500 million -$1 billion exposure to a single counterparty.” Another European banker said: “A number
of deals we did at the height of the market have had to be restructured or are being restructured: this is still a painful exposure for us; we will not be doing deals there in the near future.” US banks have fared better, taking a more measured and long-term approach to the region, according to bankers. Only two US banks - Citigroup and Morgan Stanley - appeared in the top 10 bookrunners for 2007, but are expected to help to fill the void left by the retrenched Europeans. “Many of the US banks have been long-term players in the region,” said the London-based European banker. “Pre and now post crisis they have regularly been touted as lead banks.” The appeal of bank balance sheets supported by the locally based wealth management units of these US banks is attractive for wealthy families and local businesses looking for dollar funding. “Dollar funding is key to financing and these banks are willing and able to step up and
S&P upgrades US outlook NEW YORK: A better outlook for the US government’s credit rating did little to impress investors yesterday. The US stock market edged higher in early trading yesterday after the Standard & Poor’s ratings agency raised its outlook for US government debt and predicted an improving economy. Stocks rose in the first 15 minutes after trading opened at 9:30 am (1330 GMT), then moved between small gains and losses. By 10 am, all the major US indexes were down. The S&P Ratings Service had downgraded the US government’s long-term credit rating in 2011 because of a contentious fight in Congress over raising government spending limits. The downgrade, an embarrassment to the US, also sent the stock market into a tailspin. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 634 points, or more than 5 percent, on the first trading day after the downgrade. The market suffered through big triple-digit swings for the rest of the fall. Yesterday, S&P upgraded its outlook on the US debt rating to “Stable” from “Negative.” It said that the US economy has started to improve. The agency cited the budget deal that Congress brokered late last year, which is meant to raise tax revenue and cut government spending. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 36 points at 15,211, a loss of 0.1 percent, as of 10:15 am The S&P 500 index was down four to 1,639. The Nasdaq composite index was down three to 3,466. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.20 percent from 2.18 percent late Friday. In commodities trading, the price of crude oil fell 28 cents to $95.75 and gold edged up 30 cents to $1,383 an ounce. On a day short on US economic news, the S&P upgrade was the center of traders’ attention. There were no major government reports on the U.S. economy, and no big companies announced earnings. Outside the US, Japan’s Nikkei stock index soared 5 percent after a report that the world’s No. 3 economy is growing faster than expected. But there were also reminders that the global
NEW YORK: In this file photo, Trader Gregory Rowe works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. — AP economy is far from cured. In the Netherlands, the central bank warned that the government needs to cut spending. Courts in Germany are poised to consider whether Germany is legally allowed to bail out struggling European countries as it’s been doing. Among companies making big moves: Information company IHS Inc. rose after announcing it would buy R.L. Polk & Co, the owner of the Carfax service that compiles history reports on vehicles. IHS rose $1.90, or 2 percent,
to $108.84. McDonald’s rose after reporting that sales were up at stores open at least a year, helped by the company’s focus on the Dollar Menu and other low-cost menu items. McDonald’s rose $1.32, or 1.6 percent to $99.60. B&G Foods, which makes foods under brands including Cream of Wheat and Mrs. Dash, jumped after announcing it would buy Robert’s American Gourmet Food, whose brands include Smart Puffs. B&G Foods jumped $1.65, or 5.7 percent, to $30.83.— AP
give large commitments to these deals,” said a second London-based banker. Local attraction As part of Dubai Holding, which is still in the process of a long-term restructuring, Jumeirah remains potentially sticky for international lenders. However, there is plenty of appetite from local banks and as a result the borrower has managed to secure an aggressive margin of 275bp over Libor. In comparison, Atlantis, The Palm’s refinancing, which is looking to attract international as well as local banks, is priced at 500 bps over Libor. “The Atlantis deal is priced to attract some newmoney investors to the financing, and also reflects in part the risk of the single asset lending,” said the first London-based loans banker. “Jumeirah is a punchier price. It is much more of a corporate relationship play on pricing: it is not priced to attract much, if any, new money or investors.” — Reuters
Solid growth lifts shares, dollar, China disappoints LONDON: The dollar bounced higher against the yen and Japanese stocks led a rise in world shares yesterday as signs of economic momentum in the United States and Japan outweighed worries about a slowdown in China. A central bank forecast that France’s economy will grow slightly in the second quarter and a rise in French factory output helped underline the sense of recovery, as did better euro zone investor sentiment for June. “The story is one of slow but steady growth, moving in the right direction but with headwinds still visible for the United States, euro area and China,” said Sarah Hewin, senior economist at Standard Chartered Bank. The improving outlook for major developed economies lifted MSCI’s world equity index by 0.25 percent, its third straight day of gains, with US stock futures pointing to further rises when Wall St opens. But investors are ultra-sensitive to the timing of any slowdown in the Federal Reserve’s huge bond-buying programme and markets are expected to remain volatile as each new data report is closely scrutinised for hints of when it may begin. Last Friday’s monthly jobs report, seen as the main gauge of future Fed action, offered little in the way of new clues, and the spotlight has shifted to this week’s retail sales and factory activity numbers and next week’s Fed policy meeting. “(The jobs data) hasn’t changed the market’s view much on the timing of Fed tapering,” said Kasper Kirkegaard, currency strategist at Danske Bank. The solid growth implied by the 175,000 new jobs created in May in the face of ongoing government cutbacks has helped the dollar recover some of its recent losses. The greenback gained 1.4 percent to 98.90 yen, extending a recovery from twomonth lows hit on Friday. Against a basket
of major currencies, the dollar rose 0.25 percent to 81.87 after suffering its biggest weekly fall since January 2012 last week. The yen’s fall, which improves the outlook for the country’s exporters, and data showing the economy growing at a quicker pace than previously estimated, lifted the Nikkei index by 4.9 percent for its biggest one-day gain since March 2011. The Nikkei has now swung by more than 3 percent in all but two of the last 11 sessions, five of those by more than 4 percent, making it one of the most volatile periods in Japanese stocks since the height of the financial crisis in 2008. Japanese data yesterday showed the world’s third-biggest economy grew at an annualised 4.1 percent rate in the first quarter, better than the initial estimate of 3.5 percent. That will help reassure nervous investors that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s bold stimulus policies are having an impact. China stumbles A batch of Chinese data at the weekend suggesting the world’s No. 2 economy weakened slightly in May undermined some of the positive sentiment by raising questions around Beijing’s 7.5 percent growth forecast for this year. Chinese imports fell 0.3 percent against expectations for a 6 percent rise, and exports posted their lowest annual growth rate in almost a year in May, at 1 percent. Imports of major metals such as copper and aluminium fell at double-digit rates. MSCI’s broad index of Asia-Pacific shares ended down 0.35 percent after the data although China’s markets were closed for a holiday and Hong Kong shares ended higher. European shares were flat by midday having first fallen when mining stocks took a hit from the weak Chinese data. “China is the elephant in the room.—Reuters
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
Saudi set to sell more crude to India in July NEW DELHI: Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is selling more crude to India in July as two refiners have asked for additional cargoes, industry and company sources familiar with the plan said, in part to make up for a loss of supplies from Iran. Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd stopped buying Iranian crude from April because local insurers said they cannot cover refineries that process oil from Iran as global reinsurers, mostly based in the West, may not honour claims.
US and European sanctions aimed at pressuring Tehran over its suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons have already more than halved Iran’s shipments, costing it billions of dollars in revenue since the start of 2012. Washington is now seeking to cut shipments further through tighter sanctions. India’s purchases from Iran could average about 190,000 barrels per day (bpd) spread over April and May, based on industry and preliminary tanker arrival data. That is about a quarter less than the 250,600 bpd imported on aver-
age in the first three months of the year. The company and industry sources did not want to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter. For July, HPCL will take 84,000 bpd from Saudi Arabia, more than double the 40,000 bpd it normally buys under annual contracts, the sources said. MRPL will take in 86,000 bpd in July versus its commitment to lift 55,000 bpd, a company source said. HPCL’s imports from Saudi Arabia will also rise in July as the company did not buy full volumes it
Yemen bank exceeds legal cap on govt loans by $1.6bn
Slovak euro-zone-focused industry picks up in April
Intense pressure on state finances from unrest
DUBAI: Yemen’s central bank exceeded the legal limit on how much it may lend to the government by 347.9 billion rials ($1.6 billion) last year, its annual financial statement showed. The disclosure underlines the severe financial pressures faced by Yemen as it struggles to rebuild its economy after years of war and political unrest. The central bank did not reply to a Reuters request for comment, and its officials were not available for comment. It was not clear whether the central bank would be penalised for exceeding its limit or whether it would change its lending policy this year. Under the law governing the central bank, it may provide temporary emergency financing to the government in exceptional circumstances if that is consistent with its monetary policy. Such loans may be granted if the total outstanding amount does not exceed 25 percent of the budget’s average ordinary revenue in the three previous financial years, the law says. Maturities of loans should not exceed six months. However, the central bank’s total financing to the government, including loans to state companies, stood at 937.9 billion rials in 2012, above the
authorised limit of approximately 590 billion, auditors Deloitte & Touche (ME) with Dr Hajar said. “In addition, the maturities of such loans and advances have exceeded six months, being extended from time to time,” the auditors said in the central bank’s financial statement for 2012, posted on its website (www.centralbank.gov.ye). Its board of directors discussed and approved the statement on May 7, the website said. Finances The government’s finances have struggled since protests against former president Ali Abdullah Saleh brought the economy to the brink of collapse in 2011, with attacks on oil pipelines squeezing vital budget revenues. The International Monetary Fund expects Yemen’s budget deficit to widen to 5.8 percent of gross domestic product, or about $2.3 billion, from 5.5 percent in 2012. Last year wealthy Gulf Arab states, Western governments and other donors pledged $7.9 billion in aid over several years to Yemen, the second-poorest Arab state after Mauritania, but only a small fraction of the money has so far arrived. Saudi Arabia boosted the central bank’s reserves with a
is committed to take from the kingdom for June because a crude processing unit at its Vizag refinery was shut following a fire. The unit may restart by the end of this month. Other Indian buyers of crude from Saudi Arabia - which include Indian Oil Corp and Reliance Industries will lift the same volumes committed under annual contracts, sources said. India’s total imports from Saudi Arabia average a little over 700,000 bpd. Two refineries in South Korea will also take in full contracted volumes, two separate sources said. — Reuters
12-year, $1 billion loan last September. The repayment is to start after four years. The central bank’s outstanding emergency loans to the central government amounted to 679.0 billion rials last year, down from 691.6 billion in 2011, the auditors said. Emergency loans and advances to state corporations stood at 258.9 billion rials in 2012, up from 156.5 billion. “We noted that all loans provided to the Public Sector Corporations... were denominated and made payable in United States dollars,” the auditors said. The central bank law stipulates that emergency loans granted to the government and actually utilised shall be denominated and payable only in rials. The loans to state-owned firms included $36.6 million to Yemen Economic Corp and a $385 million facility to the country’s Aden refinery for diesel imports. Both originated in 2008 and have been extended since then, the report said. Other facilities include $800 million to Yemen Petroleum Co for imports of unleaded gasoline, expanded from $200 million since 2011, and credit to Yemen Gas Co, which has been raised and extended since 2009 to total $121 million. — Reuters
Cyprus toilet protest over economy despair
It’s a train! It’s a plane! Wing kit for Paris Air Show GENEVA: The model of an adjustable plane, with wings that can be attached to for instance train compartments, will be shown at the Paris Air Show next week, the Swiss inventors said yesterday. The “Clip-Air” project is fresh off the drawing board and features a single flying wing that could be clipped onto for instance train “capsules” carrying passengers or cargo, the EPFL technical university in Lausanne said in a statement. “More than a new type of flying device, its innovative concept could revolutionise the airports of the future,” it said. In a future of ClipAir planes, people would be able to “go to the train station to take the plane. Board on a capsule to reach the airport by rail, and then without leaving (their) seat - fly to another city,” it said. EPFL acknowledged that the project it had been working on since 2009 remained “very futuristic,” but stressed that its scientists were convinced it was technically feasible. “We still have to break down several barriers but we do believe that it is worth (working on) such a concept, at odds with current aircraft technology and which can have a huge impact on society,” project chief Claudio Leonardi said in
group Volkswagen, France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen and Kia of South Korea, which pumped out a record 900,000 vehicles last year. Analysts say that even if auto plants continue to operate at full capacity this year, it would not significantly boost growth of overall industrial output. Electronics production, primarily by South Korean company Samsung and the Taiwanese group Foxconn, struggled meanwhile with 1.5-percent growth in April. Slovakia, which registered 2.0 percent growth last year, is one of the euro -zone’s most dynamic economies largely thanks to sizeable foreign investment in the export-orientated auto sector. But flagging exports to its recession-struck eurozone trade partners and weak domestic demand have seen 2013 growth forecasts sink as low as 0.6 percent. Slovakia joined the EU in 2004 and the euro-zone in 2009. — AFP
BRATISLAVA: Slovak industrial production-mainly German, French and Korean-brand auto exports to the euro-zone-picked up in April with 2.2percent growth on an annual basis after a 1.3-percent rise in March, official data showed yesterday. But on an adjusted basis, industrial output in the euro-zone member contracted by 1.9 percent in April after adding 0.3 percent in March, the Slovak Statistics Office said. “Slovakia’s economy is driven by exports of cars and spare parts to Germany, which has seen a moderate growth in the past months,” Slovenska Sporitelna analyst Martin Balaz told AFP. “But we don’t expect this year’s output to catch up with last year that saw a one-off boost as foreign-owned car plants in Slovakia launched new production lines,” he added. April industrial growth was driven by a 4.7percent expansion in car production at plants operated by the German
the statement. The model to be showed for the first time at the Paris Air Show next week will represent a flying wing which can hold up to three capsules, each with the capacity to carry 150 passengers. In addition to allowing “more efficient and flexible fleet management,” and allowing airlines to kiss the days of empty flights goodby, the engineers have also calculated that Clip-Air planes would be far more fuel efficient. “Clip-Air aircrafts’ conventional fuel consumption would be reduced since they can carry as many passengers as three A320 with half the engines,” EPFL said, adding that the scientists were also looking into alternative, less polluting fuels for the planes. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the project was the potential to “revolutionise airport configuration,” the Lausanne school said. The capsules, measuring around 30 metres and weighing about 30 tonnes, would fit in airports the way they are built today, but would also be compatible with rail tracks, it said, meaning “the boarding of either cargo or passengers in the capsule could be done not only at airports but also directly in rail stations or production sites.” — AFP
NICOSIA: Cypriot artist Andreas Efstathiou poses next to his artwork of plaster toilets displayed outside the Cyprus Central Bank yesterday. — AFP
NICOSIA: An artist put 20 plaster toilets on display outside the Cyprus Central Bank in Nicosia yesterday, in an unusual protest to signal the island’s bailout economy is going down the pan. Cypriot ar tist Andreas Efstathiou called it a “symbolic protest” to highlight the pain Cypriots have suffered since Cyprus secured 10 billion euros ($13 billion) in European Union rescue aid in return for an unprecedented bail-in from bank depositors. “Through this art installation I’m making a visual protest about the bad things that happened to Cyprus,” the 49-year-old artist told the Cyprus News Agency. “I think those people walking past the central bank seeing an array of toilets outside get the message and understand what has happened for the country to have reached this point,” he added. From the front, the installation looks like toilets but from behind it also resembles tombstones, Efstathiou said. Cyprus was forced to wind up failed lender Laiki and impose a massive levy on larger deposits in the Bank of Cyprus, the island’s largest. The unprecedented euro-zone “haircut” on deposits forced the government to close all the island’s banks for nearly two weeks in March and impose draconian controls when they reopened. International lenders don’t expect Cyprussuffering record 15 percent unemployment and a credit squeeze-to exit recession until 2015. — AFP
EXCHANGE RATES Commercial Bank of Kuwait US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian Dollar Australian DLR Indian rupees Sri Lanka Rupee UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi riyals Omani riyals Egyptian pounds
US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian dollars Danish Kroner Swedish Kroner Australian dlr Hong Kong dlr Singapore dlr Japanese yen Indian Rs/KD Sri Lanka rupee Pakistan rupee Bangladesh taka UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi Riyal/KD Omani riyals Philippine Peso
.2770000 .4310000 .3680000 .3020000 .2780000 .2940000 .0040000 .0020000 .0771240 .7513970 .3930000 .0720000 .7366120 .0370000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2841000 .4338920 .3707360 .3043390 .2795430 .0497330 .0443660 .2963730 .0365940 .2291130 .0029600 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0773800 .7538810 .0000000 .0757800 .7382100 .0000000
Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso
ASIAN COUNTRIES 2.888 4.934 2.891 2.246 3.104 227.850 36.730 3.563 6.683
.2880000 .4470000 .3760000 .3170000 .2920000 .3020000 .0069000 .0035000 .0778990 .7589480 .4110000 .0770000 .7440150 .0440000
.2862000 .4370990 .3734770 .3065880 .2816100 .0501010 .0446940 .2985640 .0368650 .2308060 .0028810 .0052870 .0022880 .0029190 .0036810 .0779520 .7594530 .4048090 .0763400 .7436660 .0069870
Thai Baht Malaysian ringgit Irani Riyal Irani Riyal
9.297 94.271 0.271 0.273
Omani Riyal Qatari Riyal Saudi Riyal
Egyptian Pound - Cash Egyptian Pound - Transfer Yemen Riyal/for 1000 Tunisian Dinar Jordanian Dinar Lebanese Lira/for 1000 Syrian Lier Morocco Dirham
748.000 79.500 77.000
Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd
GCC COUNTRIES 76.070 78.381 740.940 757.670 77.687
Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham
742.22 78.81 76.24
Rate for Transfer US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Bahrain Dinar UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupees Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Pesso Cyprus pound Japanese Yen Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees Malaysian Ringgit
ARAB COUNTRIES 39.950 40.118 1.331 176.130 402.840 1.914 3.099 34.273
EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 285.150 Euro 378.250 Sterling Pound 443.840 Canadian dollar 280.940 Turkish lira 151.550 Swiss Franc 305.300 Australian Dollar 269.320 US Dollar Buying 283.950
Selling Rate 284.900 282.585 444.595 377.550 304.360 754.280 77.545 78.200 75.935 401.615 40.120 2.247 4.943 2.888 3.658 6.793 698.875 3.895 9.385 4.070 3.195 91.110
Bahrain Exchange Company 20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram
GOLD 265.000 134.000 70.000
UAE Exchange Centre WLL COUNTRY Australian Dollar Canadian Dollar Swiss Franc Euro US Dollar Sterling Pound Japanese Yen Bangladesh Taka Indian Rupee Sri Lankan Rupee Nepali Rupee Pakistani Rupee UAE Dirhams Bahraini Dinar Egyptian Pound Jordanian Dinar
SELL DRAFT 275.96 283.06 313.19 382.40 285.40 448.60 3.04 3.676 4.990 2.240 3.132 2.890 77.77 759.61 40.24 406.18
SELL CASH 283.000 283.000 299.000 372.000 288.000 438.500 3.300 3.740 5.400 2.460 3.420 2.985 78.800 763.500 40.500 415.000
BUY Europe 0.4357464 0.0064025 0.0465240 0.3714696 0.0452981 0.4202528 0.0393613 0.2993874
0.4447464 0.0184025 0.0515420 0.3786996 0.0504981 0.4277528 0.0443613 0.3063874
Australasia 0.2583786 0.2154355 0.0001131
0.2703786 0.2254355 0.0001131
Canadian Dollar Colombian Peso US Dollars
America 0.2724204 0.0001450 0.2828000
0.2814204 0.0001630 0.2849500
Bangladesh Taka Cape Vrde Escudo
Asia 0.0036113 0.0031587
British Pound Czech Korune Danish Krone Euro Norwegian Krone Scottish Pound Swedish Krona Swiss Franc Australian Dollar New Zealand Dollar Uganda Shilling
Chinese Yuan Eritrea-Nakfa Guinea Franc Hg Kong Dollar Indian Rupee Indonesian Rupiah Jamaican Dollars Japanese Yen Kenyan Shilling Malaysian Ringgit Nepalese Rupee Pakistan Rupee Philippine Peso Sierra Leone Singapore Dollar Sri Lankan Rupee Thai Baht
0.0454461 0.0164500 0.0000442 0.0341420 0.0049330 0.0000241 0.0028441 0.0028429 0.0033194 0.0872890 0.0029864 0.0028631 0.0062778 0.0000727 0.2242216 0.0022088 0.0089197
0.0504788 0.0195633 0.0000502 0.0372677 0.0049544 0.0000292 0.0038465 0.0030055 0.0035519 0.0931699 0.0031476 0.0029037 0.0067208 0.0000758 0.2291965 0.0022497 0.0094867
Bahraini Dinar Egyptian Pound Ethiopeanbirr Ghanaian Cedi Iranian Riyal Iraqi Dinar Jordanian Dinar Kuwaiti Dinar Lebanese Pound Moroccan Dirhams Nigerian Naira Omani Riyal Qatar Riyal Saudi Riyal Sudanese Pounds Syrian Pound Tunisian Dinar UAE Dirhams Yemeni Riyal
Arab 0.7494092 0.0381058 0.0127995 0.1448818 0.0000793 0.0001733 0.3963338 1.0000000 0.0001748 0.0221776 0.0012108 0.7291191 0.0776134 0.0754533 0.0463312 0.0027545 0.1736770 0.07615411 0.0012855
0.7579092 0.0401358 0.0192995 0.1466718 0.0000798 0.0002333 0.4038338 1.0000000 0.0001948 0.0461776 0.0018458 0.7401191 0.0783964 0.0760933 0.0468812 0.0029745 0.1796770 0.0776041 0.0013855
Al Mulla Exchange Currency US Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Canadian Dollar Japanese Yen Indian Rupee Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupee Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso Pakistan Rupee Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal
Transfer Rate (Per 1000) 285.400 377.050 442.350 277.550 2.925 5.030 40.245 2.256 3.677 6.768 2.902 760.050 77.800 76.250
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
Toyota Land Cruiser leads with off-road heritage, on-road comfort 18,592 Land Cruisers sold in Q1 2013 in the Gulf KUWAIT: Toyota yesterday announced a steady growth in sales of its iconic Land Cruiser model in the first quarter of 2013 across the Gulf region to maintain its leadership status in the large SUV segment with a 40.4 percent market share. In terms of unit sales in the Gulf region, Toyota sold 18,592 units to grow by 15 percent in Q1 2013 while the overall growth of the large SUV segment was only 7 percent. In the Levant and Yemen, the Land Cruiser saw significant growth to record a 140 percent increase in sales in the same period. This reflects the broad appeal of the Land Cruiser across the region thanks to its legendary on-road as well as off-road capabilities. The Land Cruiser was the first model to be introduced in the Gulf region by Toyota back in the 1950s. Since then, over 2 million vehicles have
been sold in the region. Currently over 50 percent of Land Cruisers sold worldwide are in the Middle East. Nobuyuki Negishi, Chief Representative of Middle East & North Africa Representative Office, Toyota Motor Corporation said, “The Land Cruiser represents over 60 years of unmatched performance with its sophisticated blend of off-road prowess with uncompromising go-anywhere capability, on-road comfort and unparalleled refinement. With its rugged nature and powerful performance across the most challenging terrain, the Land Cruiser continues to delight our customers in the region and has become an integral part of their lives.” The Land Cruiser is equipped with a multiterrain select system offering 5 modes, which allows the vehicle to adapt to various road con-
ditions for excellent off-road ground covering performance, which also controls Wheel Spin and Wheel Lockup. This revolutionary system also supports the optimum traction needed to handle slippery surfaces like mud, sand and loose rock, or non-slippery surfaces like moguls and rock. The Land Cruiser also comes with other intelligent off-roading technologies such as a Crawl Control system which offers five speeds to maintain a constant low speed for a secure drive across different terrain by providing optimal throttle and brake control. The Turn Assist System is another unprecedented feature which enhances turning ability and minimizes the driver’s effort in tight Uturns. Through its multi-terrain monitor, four cameras
mounted on the front, rear, and sides of the vehicles enable the driver to have six different views of the terrain outside. This system supports the driver by enabling him to see the surrounding conditions even when cresting a hill or driving on extremely uneven ground that makes it difficult to see the terrain directly. The Land Cruiser is available across the region with a newly developed 6-speed automatic transmission with a Super ECT sequential shift control which allows the driver to choose the shift range in order to deliver the driving control of a manual transmission. It comes with a 5.7L V8 Engine, a newly developed 4.6L V8 Engine, an improved 4.0 V6 Engine and a V8 4.5L Diesel Engine, options that demonstrate the high power and performance of the Land Cruiser.
Britain should hand over RBS, Lloyds Bank shares to public Proposal includes sale of remaining shares to institutions
Canon ME signs two new partners in Libya DUBAI: Canon Middle East, leader in imaging solutions, yesterday announced two new partnership agreements in Libya with Al-Mutawasat and Al-Watania Companies. A move which is intended to further reinforce the company’s ‘closer to customer’ strategy in the region and enhance its presence by having on ground support across markets. The introduction of our two new partners is a testament to Canon Middle East’s intent on building a robust position within the Libyan imaging solutions market; a market which the company believes has the potential to grow in line with the wider Libyan economy. As recently as April 2013, The International Monetary Fund (IMF) published forecasts showing that the Libyan economy, as measured by GDP growth, would grow by over 20 percent in 2013 and over 10 percent in 2014 which follows a sharp rebound in Libyan GDP in 2011 and 2012. Other economic commentators, notably African Economic Outlook, have highlighted falling rates of CPI and rising levels of consumer spending. To accomplish this strategy, high standards of support and product knowledge must be put in place. Canon Middle East is committed to train its sales channels to be the most skilled in the industry by providing extensive product and solutions training to its partners and channels in Libya By combining Canon Middle East’s undoubted product and marketing knowledge with the on-the-ground experience of its new partners, the company believes that it can bring an unparalleled solution to the Libyan market’s imaging needs.
As one of Libya’s most important office suppliers, Al-Mutawasat Company extensively serves the corporate market. Canon Middle East partners with Al-Mutawasat Company to extend the Canon portfolio of production systems and meet growing demand for professional print technologies from the commercial as well as corporate sectors in the country. Canon Middle East will also extend its consumer imaging solutions offering to the Libyan market through Al-Watania Company, specialized in the field of photography in both retail and whole sale categories for more than fifteen years. The new partnerships will be further supported by Canon Middle East’s existing relationship with Avantech, who has been providing Canon products and services to clients across the Libyan market for 10 years Anurag Agrawal, Canon Middle East managing director said: “The new partnerships are in line with our strategy for 2013 to drive further growth through expansion. Canon views Libya as an important emerging market holding tremendous potential”. Through our new partners, the company is optimistic about building a strong image in the country and achieving its strategy to enter and develop future value through new business, particularly in emerging countries. “As a major global brand, Canon is keen to maintain positive relationships with key stakeholders in Libya, including its customers. We are keen to provide a host of new value added solutions to both existing and new customers in Libya and offer more comprehensive support to help them address their unique business needs,” added Agrawal.
ECB paying off staff who are stuck in a rut LONDON: The European Central Bank is offering payoffs that could go beyond 100,000 euros to staff whose careers have stalled, paid for by cheaper salaries for replacements. A “Career Transition Support” programme is allowing officials to leave the bank with up to fifteen months salary and additional help if they have been in the same salary band for between eight and 12 years. The ECB says the departure scheme was created to address “the specific demographic structures of the ECB” - an implication that it wants to lower its age profile - and to help staff who had failed to get promotions and “may want to pursue external career steps”. The average age at the ECB is now 43, up from an average of 36 a decade ago. Half the ECB’s staff are now in the 40-49 age bracket and the average length of service across the workforce is 9.8 years. The voluntary departure package also comes as the euro zone’s central bank prepares to add up to 800 supervisors to work as banking regulator, a new remit for the institution. These new officials will largely need different skill sets than the ECB’s current workforce, which is focused on economics and monetary policy. An ECB spokeswoman said it is expected to be “self-financing due to the difference in salaries between leavers and new-
comers” with full pay back over five to seven years. The scheme was launched in January 2013 to run for two years and fund a maximum of 50 departures.In its first five months, 19 have successfully applied, the spokeswoman said. All eligible applicants have been accepted. Careers on hold As well as one months’ pay for every year they’ve worked to a maximum of fifteen months, staff who take up the scheme also get unpaid leave equal to the probationary period of the new job, 10 days leave for “preparatory activities outside the ECB” and in house training that covers areas like application and interview skills. Staffers with the highest level of service could get well over 100,000 euros, based on the ECB’s average staff costs of just over 92,000 euros across its 1,600 strong work-force in 2012. The staff cost average excludes pensions, includes allowances, and exclude the salaries of the ECB’s six-member executive board, which would distort the figure upwards. There are no restrictions on the who can apply, provided they have remained in their salary band for the requisite eight to 12 years. —Reuters
LONDON: Britain should hand most of its shares in Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group to the public, an influential think tank said, in what would be the country’s biggest ever privatisation. The government, which pumped a combined 66 billion pounds ($102 billion) into the banks to keep them afloat during the 2008 financial crisis, wants to remove them from state control before the next parliamentary election in 2015. Prime Minister David Cameron last month said he was “open to all ideas” for returning the banks to private ownership, an apparent shift in government thinking. The Finance Ministry and UK Financial Investments (UKFI), which manages the government’s shareholdings, have been expected to favour selling the shares in blocks to financial institutions, such as pension funds. Think tank Policy Exchange said the government should sell a minority of the shares to institutions and hand the rest to the public via a mass distribution that could give individuals shares worth up to 1,650 pounds. “We urge the Chancellor to take this method and apply it to both RBS and Lloyds giving the taxpayer an opportunity to profit from both and get the banks back into the private sector, where they belong,” Policy Exchange said in a report yesterday, refering to finance minister George Osborne. Lloyds is currently valued at 44 billion pounds, while RBS is worth around 19 billion. The sale of both banks would dwarf that of Britain’s Royal Mail which, with a value of 2-3 billion pounds, is expected to become the country’s biggest privatisation for two decades later this year. Policy Exchange is known to have the ear of senior government figures, adding weight to the chances of its proposal being given serious consideration. Osborne hired Neil O’Brien, a former director of the Policy Exchange, as a special adviser last year. Osborne could address the issue in his annual Mansion House speech to financiers on June 19. He is also waiting for the publication later in June of a report from the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, before he decides on what to do with the RBS and Lloyds shares. Policy Exchange’s proposal would enable 48 million taxpayers to apply for shares at no cost and with no risk attached, the think tank said. A ‘floor price’ would be set and taxpayers would make a profit on any rise in the shares above that level. The Policy Exchange report didn’t indicate what the floor price for each bank should be. But, for example, the government could set it at 400 pence on RBS shares, and, if a taxpayer takes the shares and later sells them at 500p, they would get 100p per share and the Treasury would automatically get 400p back. Taxpayers would not lose money as the shares would be returned to government ownership after ten years should they not rise above the floor price. The think tank estimates only 20 to 30 million people would apply for the shares with many thinking it would require too much time and effort, despite applicants only needing to supply their name, address and national insurance number. Taxpayers would receive shares worth between 1,100 pounds and 1,650 pounds depending on how many people take up the offer. The government holds an 81 percent stake in RBS and 39 percent in Lloyds. Around 70 percent of the shares, currently worth 48 billion pounds, would be given to taxpayers under the proposal. Policy Exchange said the option of selling all the shares to institutions would take years to complete. The think tank said it had spoken to institutions who had indicated the government would not be able to sell shares worth more than 5 billion pounds at a time and would have to wait for a year between sales, so as to avoid flooding the market. A mass share distribution, by contrast, would enable both RBS and Lloyds to be fully nationalised in 2014. The report, written by James Barty, former head of global equity strategy at Deutsche Bank,
dismissed the idea of giving away shares to the public without the government claw-back, saying that would increase national debt by around 50 billion pounds. Shares in Lloyds are currently trading
marginally above the price which the government regards as break-even. However, the government is sitting on a loss of 9 billion pounds on its investment in RBS at current prices. — Reuters
KUALA LUMPUR: Chief executive officer of AirAsia X, Azran Osman-Rani (fifth right), holds a copy of the prospectus launch booklets as he poses for pictures together with AirAsia group chief Tony Fernandes (sixth left) during AirAsiaX’s prospectus launch yesterday. — AFP
AirAsia X plans fleet, and route expansion with IPO KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian long-haul carrier AirAsia X said yesterday it plans to use funds of up to $418 million from a public listing to more than triple its Airbus fleet and expand routes to meet demand in Asia-Pacific. The budget carrier founded by aviation tycoon Tony Fernandes hopes to raise the proceeds in an initial public offering (IPO) ahead of its July 10 debut on the Malaysian bourse. “The estimated amount based on the 1.45 ringgit ($0.47) per issue share is between 1.1 billion ringgit and 1.3 billion ringgit,” Nazir Razak, head of banking group CIMB which is running the IPO, told reporters after the prospectus launch. AirAsia X had earlier cited a conservative amount saying the IPO could raise RM859 million (US$277 million) from the sale of 592.6 million new shares for between 1.15 to 1.45 ringgit each. Analysts have said with last month’s general election over, investors are looking for a wide range of stocks in Southeast Asia’s third largest economy, sparking a fundraising fever in Malaysia. AirAsia X chief executive Azran Osman Rani said the proceeds from the IPO would finance fleet and route expansion to cement its position in its core markets in Australia and Asia. The carrier will take delivery of 23 Airbus A330-300 planes over the next four years beginning in July, while it has also placed a firm order for 10 A350-900s. Detailing the airline’s strategy, Azran said it will bolster its position in lucrative markets like Australia, China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. It would be followed by adding frequencies to current routes, opening new destinations including to Adelaide in Australia, Nagoya and Fukuoka in Japan and Busan in South Korea. AirAsia X previously scrapped London
flights because of the European debt crisis and focused on serving routes within AsiaPacific, where sustained economic growth has swelled the middle class. AirAsia X currently has 10 Airbus A330-300 planes and serves 14 routes across the region, including destinations in Australia, China, Japan and Saudi Arabia. Azran also said with the arrival of more aircraft it would allow the airline to set up hubs in Thailand and Indonesia. A hub in Thailand will allow AirAsia X to operate regular services from Bangkok to lucrative markets such as Australia, Japan and South Korea. A third of the funds raised in the listing will be used to repay debt while another third is slated for capital expenditure, with the balance going to working capital and listing expenses. Shukor Yusof, an aviation analyst with Standard & Poor’s Equity Research in Singapore, has predicted the AirAsia X listing will be a success and the cash raised was “a good start to fund their fleet expansion”. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has described Asia-Pacific as the world’s fastest growing market, with passenger traffic more than doubling since 1998, despite fuel costs surging 55 percent since 2006. Meanwhile Fernandes dismissed the threat posed by Malindo Airways, an affiliate of Indonesia’s budget carrier Lion Air, citing AirAsia’s position as Asia’s largest budget carrier with a strong balance sheet. “We are in a very strong position. It will be tough for new airlines or future entrants into the market,” he said. Malindo Airways, however, has already sparked a price war by offering competitive fares with free snacks and luggage allowance. It currently serves domestic routes. Profitmaking AirAsia was Asia’s first low-cost carrier to complete an IPO in 2004. — AFP
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
Kazakhs launch ‘Silk Road’ China-Europe rail route ASTANA: Kazakhstan has launched a new transit railway linking China to Europe, aiming to beat rival routes for journey time in the competition to handle a growing flow of goods along the ancient Silk Road trade route. “Kazakhstan is a virtual bridge linking the East and the West,” Yerkin Meirbekov, deputy railway department chief at Kazakhstan’s Transport Ministry, said in an interview. “You can actually say this is the revival of the Silk Road.” Centuries ago, it would take months for caravans of camels and horses from China to reach Europe across the sunscorched steppes and deserts of Central Asia to
exchange silk for medicines, perfumes and precious stones. Now it takes just 15 days for trains carrying containers with electronic goods, construction materials and other cargo to cover the 10,800 km (6,750 miles) route from Chongqing in southwest China to Duisburg in Germany’s industrial Ruhr region. Late last year, Kazakhstan completed construction of a 293-km (183-mile) stretch from Zhetygen to Korgas at the Chinese border, looping it in to the existing national railway network and opening the second China-Europe link across its territory.
Meirbekov said that the annual volume of freight turnover along the new route, guaranteed by China, was set to total 2 million tonnes this year and would rise eventually to 15 million tonnes. “The Chinese side, as well as the Kazakh side and European partners - everyone is ready (to handle these volumes) already tomorrow,” Meirbekov said. “All railways, as well as customs and border guards, are ready to assist fast passage of cargo across their territories.” Europebound trains from China cross from Kazakhstan into Russia. Then they go via Belarus and Poland before reaching Duisburg in Germany.
Lucrative business Transit routes are a major earner for Kazakhstan’s fast-growing economy, already established as a route for pipelines to pump Central Asian oil and gas to China, reducing the region’s dependency on former colonial master Russia. “In railways, transit cargo is considered to be net profit, because there are no costs involved - you take in cargo at one border and hand it over at the other. This is a tasty morsel, and all nations are vying for transits,” Meirbekov said. Kazakhstan, the world’s ninth-largest nation by area which is populated by just 17 million, inherited another railway route to China from the Soviet Union. This railway, with the Dostyk-Alashankou crossing at China’s border, handled a record 16.5 million tonnes of cargo to and from China in 2012, Meirbekov said, predicting that it would reach it maximum annual capacity of 25 million tonnes soon. “If you look at China’s prospects, large-
scale and intensive development of western China is under way, and output produced there should be exported elsewhere,” he said. “This is why the second (transit) route was built.” “Sending goods by sea is very cheap - of course, if the client agrees to wait for 45 days,” he said. “But markets are fickle, and you have to move fast.” Goods to be delivered to Europe from China via Russia’s Trans-Siberian railway would cover 12,000 km and transit time would take between 18 and 20 days, the Kazakh government says, touting its own route. Oil-rich Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s largest economy, forecasts its gross domestic product to expand by 6 percent this year after a 5-percent rise in 2012. Kazakh state railway company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) has estimated that cargo transit via its network would reach 35 million tonnes by 2020 and eventually rise to 50 million tonnes. KTZ handles 90-95 percent of all Kazakh transit cargo.—- Reuters
As guest habits change, NY hotel clears room service NEW YORK: Soon, the black-uniformed waiters wheeling trolleys of food will disappear from the halls of the Hilton Midtown. Will visitors to New York City’s largest hotel mind having to leave their rooms for sustenance? For some, a hotel without room service made no sense. “You’re on holiday, you’re away, you like being waited on,” said Claire Avery, a prison clerk from New South Wales, Australia, who was staying at the Hilton with her boyfriend. “Sometimes you don’t even have to move.” If she returns later in the summer, she will have to move at least as far as the lobby, where the hotel is building a selfservice food market to replace room service. The New York Hilton Midtown, a 2,000-room hotel in Manhattan’s commercial district filled with business travelers, tourists and conference-goers, confirmed this week that it would end room service. A Hilton spokesman, Mark Ricci, said up to 55 employees could lose their jobs. Hilton officials said the move - which is highly unusual for a full-service hotel was prompted by cutbacks in spending by business travelers, many of whom face tight expense-account rules, and the changing tastes of leisure travelers, who already pay rates at the Hilton that start at about $240 per night before taxes, going up to more than twice that. The change appealed to Aakriti Gupta, a recent college graduate from New Delhi visiting New York with her mother, who pointed out that the idea of room service doesn’t always match the reality. “The existing room service isn’t great,” she said. “If you ordered it once, I don’t think you would order it again. We ordered a pizza that was $55.” She added, unhappily, that it was delivered in a box. Ricci said pizza was listed on the Hilton’s room-service menu for $24, with $3 for each topping, but could not give the final cost once service charges, an in-room dining charge and taxes were added. Walking out the door Beth Scott, vice president of restaurant concepts at Hilton Worldwide Inc, conceded that room-service prices were high, as they tend to be at most hotels, in part because providing the service 24 hours a day is labor-intensive. The cost is magnified in New York City, where a strong union has secured higher wages for hotel employees compared to other hospitality industry workers and building cleaners. As a result, Scott said in an interview, guests have been heading out to diners and food carts in the neighborhood. “We were watching guests walk out the door to get those things at a much more reasonable price,” she said. “I’m sure we got more complaints about the price of bringing the hamburger up
to the room than we will for not bringing it up to the room at all.” The new lobby food outlet, called Herb n’ Kitchen, will be cheaper and will allow guests to get their food more quickly, she said. The decline in room service is not confined to the Hilton. Revenue from room service declined from 1.3 percent of total hotel revenue in 2011 to 1.2 percent last year, according to an annual survey of US hotels by PKF Hospitality. As hotel occupancy rates have returned to pre-recession levels, hotels have been able to charge more for rooms, forcing business travelers to save elsewhere, which can include skipping room service, said Robert Mandelbaum, a PKF analyst. The reasons are not only economic, he added. Guests are more inclined to roam beyond their rooms, with executives increasingly taking their laptops to coffee shops to work rather than spreading out papers on their hotel room desk. “Being caged in your room waiting an hour for a tray to arrive, it’s just not what people do,” Mandelbaum said. Paper bags and a knock Ian Schrager, who helped pioneer the idea of boutique hotels, said people’s idea of luxur y had changed, with a greater emphasis on value than on appearances. “They don’t care about getting coffee served in the finest bone china and sterling silver with waiters with white gloves on,” he said, describing the classic idea of room service as “dysfunctional and antiquated.” At the PUBLIC hotel in Chicago, which Schrager opened in 2011, food by the French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is delivered unceremoniously in brown paper bags, left outside guests’ doors with a knock. The waiters, trolleys and silver cloches are not likely to disappear entirely, however, even from the Hilton-owned Waldor f Astoria hotel in New York. Luxury hotels say their guests expect such service and are willing to pay a premium for fine food, flowers, candles and tablecloths in their room. It would be virtually impossible for a hotel to hang on to a high rating in the influential AAA hotel guide if it ditched room service, said AAA spokeswoman Heather Hunter. Fairmont Hotels and Resorts (which runs the Plaza in New York), Marriott International Inc and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group all said they had no plans to discontinue room service at their full-service hotels. But Scott, the Hilton vice president, said the company may expand the idea elsewhere if it works in New York, and believes competitors were studying the move. “It’s not a secret guest habits have changed these days, it’s not like we’ve figured out something that nobody else knows,” she said. “We’ve just decided to take action.” — Reuters
What could stall the China-Smithfield deal?
ecades-old laws barring foreign ownership of farmland in Iowa, Missouri and at least three other Midwest states may complicate Shuanghui International’s $4.7 billion planned purchase of US meat powerhouse Smithfield Foods. The deal, which would be the biggest purchase in the United States by a Chinese company, will face scrutiny from a federal government panel that assesses national security risks, but that is not expected to block the sale. A few politicians have raised concerns about food safety, and farmers groups have expressed worries about consolidation and potential damage to small farmers. The land laws could be invoked by those opposed to the deal, and at the very least may require some complex legal maneuvering by the companies. The statutes in question, some first adopted during the 1970s in response to fast-paced Japanese investment in US real estate, restrict foreign businesses or governments from owning or controlling US land used for livestock or crop production. The laws could provide Midwestern states legal recourse against the Smithfield deal. At least eight states - Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin have laws that prohibit foreign ownership of agricultural land. If the Shuanghui acquisition goes through, any poultry farms,
crop fields, manure lagoons or other land used for agricultural production and now owned by Smithfield in these states could invite legal challenges. Smithfield’s 11 slaughterhouses and meat factories in the eight states likely are exempt, legal experts said. However, some of those operations may rely on farm, feed or waste facilities that could be subject to legal challenge. Smithfield does not disclose specifics of its property holdings, and the company declined to comment for this story. But a source close to the deal told Reuters that dealmakers and lawyers were aware of the issues, and the foreign ownership laws in different U.S. states had been discussed leading up to the May 29 deal announcement. They believe the laws will not jeopardize Shuanghui’s ability to close its purchase as planned in the second half of this year. However, the restrictions could affect how Smithfield and its subsidiaries operate post-merger, the source added. The morning the deal was announced, Smithfield’s attorneys sent a letter to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller’s office, alerting the agency to the takeover. Since then, in Iowa and elsewhere, state officials, legal experts and industry critics are raising questions about whether Smithfield under Shuanghui ownership will comply with these little-known and rarely tested laws, Reuters has learned. — Reuters
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
Putin issues Russian economic warning MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin warned yesterday that Russia’s economic growth would slow down this year to less than the world average and ordered his government to act to reverse the trend. The Kremlin chief ’s comments came moments after the central bank was forced to hold its main interest rate unchanged at 8.25 percent for the ninth month running in the face of inflation that has jumped to the highest rate for 21 months. Putin confirmed at a cabinet meeting that Russia’s growth would slow to 2.4 percent this year from its downwardly revised forecast of 3.6 percent. The government had initially pencilled in 2013 growth of 5.0 percent. “This is lower than
the range necessary for sustainable development, for resolving social and other problems,” said Putin. “And second, this is lower than the IMF (International Monetary Fund) world growth forecast of 3.3 percent,” Putin stressed in televised remarks. Russia’s economy has suffered from lower domestic consumption and declining industrial production rates. Investment has also lagged as a partial consequence of Europe’s economic troubles and concern about corruption along with the state’s dominant economic role. Russia’s economy expanded 4.3 percent in 2011 and 3.4 percent last year-a radical cut from rates that approached 9 percent prior to the 2008-
2009 global financial crisis. The government’s inability to stimulate growth to earlier levels has frustrated Putin at a time when Russia is preparing to present its advances to the world at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. The Russian leader suggested yetserday that investments could be stimulated by reaching into the pension fund and using those assets to lay the groundwork for select state projects. The central bank has also been under intense pressure from ministers to lower rates in order to stimulate growth in a practice broadly adopted by the world’s developed nations. But the bank has been stymied by unexpectedly high inflation that in annualised terms
reached 7.4 percent in May-well ahead of the government’s target of 5.0 to 6.0 percent. “The maintenance of inflation above the target range over the course of an extended period may affect the expectation of the market, which is a source of inflation risk,” the central bank cautioned. It further noted that the overall economy “was indicating low growth rates.” The bank decided to leave the discount rate at which it repurchases government securities from the commercial institution steady at 5.5 percent while lowering some medium- and long-term borrowing rates. Market analysts immediately read this as a sign of a probable easing of monetary policy in the months to come. “The
turn towards the coming easing is clear,” BNP Paribas said in a research note. “We reiterate our call that the first cut is likely already in July.” Renaissance Capital also predicting a July cut and noted that the bank had issued “worrying signals on economic growth.” The change in rate policy is expected to come just as outgoing central bank governor Sergei Ignatyev is replaced by Putin’s new pick Elvira Nabiullina. “Outgoing Governor Ignatyev has been consistently arguing against lowering rates in the past six months or so, but the arrival of Nabiullina should change the policy bias at the central bank to a more accommodating position,” Renaissance Capital said. — AFP
Japan economy heats up in the first quarter IMF expects economy to grow 1.6% in 2013
With a computer tethered to his printing device, Tim Middleton watches intently as a dimmer switch he designed begins to build from the ground up, in Kansas City.
3-D printing predicted to mold our tomorrows KANSAS CITY: Tim Middleton lives and breathes now, but the mind of the 42-yearold Eudora, Kan., man often floats to the future, to what one might call the printable life. It is a time - with tangible signs popping up with increasing frequency around the globe - when nearly any product one needs is created by simply pushing a button and printing it out in usable three dimensions. A pair of glasses? Print it. A knee joint? Print it. Red taillight lens for a ‘65 Mustang? Print it. A birthday cake, a prom dress, a full-size house for a family of four? Print away. “I have attempted printing my own shoes,” Middleton said, laughing. He is a graphic designer who in the past two years has instructed more than 60 people on the art and science of 3-D printing in Saturday classes at Hammerspace, a community workshop in Kansas City for builders, hobbyists and inventors. “They’re kind of hard,” Middleton said of his shoes. “The material is a little uncomfortable. But it is absolutely a possibility.” More than possible: Such specialty 3-Dprinted shoes already exist, produced and sold along with 3-D-printed nylon bathing suits, jewelry and dresses by Continuum Fashion of New York. Cakes, cookies, sailboats, toys, architectural models, musical instruments, weapons, prosthetic hands and legs: All are items in recent years proved to be producible by 3-D printers. Interest is high enough that the federal government last year earmarked $30 million to help support a new public-private institute in Youngstown, Ohio, dedicated to promoting and funding 3-D printing research. It is a technology - although already considered overhyped in some circles - that many manufacturing experts say is even now only in its infancy, at a place similar to where personal and business computing was in the 1970s. Like computing, they said, 3-D printing not only is likely to change the things we make and how we make and sell them, but also change how we live in good, bad and inconceivable ways. “It is a bit tricky to predict,” said Hod Lipson, a professor of mechanical engineering at Cornell University and co-author with Melba Kurman of “Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing,” a 2013 book on the promises and perils of an emerging technology. “It is a little like trying to sit down in the 1970s and predict how computers were going to be used. Everyone could predict it would automate payrolls, but no one ever predicted social media.” Given that caveat, Lipson predicted of 3-D printing: “It is going to change everything.” Exactly when, how and how much, of course, is hard to say. A May article in The New England Journal of Medicine described how two Michigan doctors used a 3-D printer to save an infant’s life by printing a custom tracheal splint to support the baby’s airway. In the last year, meanwhile, one young man’s mission to use a 3-D printer to produce a workable handgun sparked immediate outcry from the public and concerned government officials who envision the technology being used to put caches of cheap and untraceable guns into the hands of criminals or terrorists. In May, Cody Rutledge Wilson, a Texas law student who describes himself as a crypto-anarchist, test-fired a rudimentary handgun he created on a 3-D printer he bought on eBay. He released his gun design online, prompting the US State Department to demand that he remove it. Business ethicist Kirk O. Hanson of Santa Clara University said that improved technologies frequently usher in fresh fears. Better 2-D printing fostered high-grade counterfeiting. The Internet’s role in money
laundering continues to reveal itself. Hanson said of 3-D printing: “This is simply the latest technological breakthrough that has great potential for good and great potential for harm.” Understanding 3-D printing and the future requires understanding how most products are made now. The range is broad, from printing to stamping, casting to injection molding. Many manufacturing processes involve tooling or machining parts - a subtractive process that produces a part by cutting or chipping or shaving away. “You start with a block of material and subtract things until you get what you want,” said Robert Landers, a professor of mechanical engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla. But the first word in 3-D printing’s alternative name, additive manufacturing, tells how it is different. Instead of chipping or cutting away at some material, a 3-D printer’s nozzle runs back and forth, over and over again, oozing out layer after layer of whatever material is inside. It could be spools of plastic, metal, ceramic or cookie dough. These printers have already been used to create a heart valve. Some predict the printers will use biological tissue to create entire replacement organs. Instructions for what to build are guided by software, much of which is free online. The 3-D printer builds a whole object in place, as if it were growing from the bottom up. Or it creates parts of an object that can be assembled. Printers can be small enough to fit on a desk, using spools of thermoplastic filament that looks like weed trimmer line. Or they can be huge, with nozzles pouring out stone-like material to create walls or 10-foot-tall sculptures. In Kansas City last year, Hammerspace founder Dave Dalton and others toyed with the idea of building a printer large enough to create a couch out of foam, until they realized it might be too squishy to hold anyone. A few quick clicks online reveal the range - from military drones to crazy motorcycle frames to specialty cookies to, in Canada, a three-wheeled, egg-shaped hybrid car prototype called Urbee. A YouTube video from the MIT Media Lab shows a quick-motion video of a 3-D printer creating a playable flute. In New Zealand, engineer Olaf Diegel’s experiments with 3D printing spurred for him a new market in intricate electric guitars with hollow, lacelike bodies. — MCT
One of the 3-D printed guitar bodies made by Olaf Diegel. — MCT photos
TOKYO: Japan’s economy grew faster than previously thought in the first quarter, offering renewed hope for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s growth-boosting plan after two weeks of stock market tumbles. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index had soared about 80 percent in the months since Abe campaigned for the nation’s top job in November, pledging to drag the world’s thirdlargest economy out of years of growth-sapping deflation. But the Tokyo bourse stumbled in recent weeks, plunging about 18 percent to near bear market territory as doubts emerged over the premier’s policy prescription of big government spending and aggressive central bank easing. Markets were unimpressed with the so-called “third arrow” of his sweeping fix for the economy-structural reforms-which Abe unveiled last week as part of a blueprint dubbed “Abenomics”. But the 58-year-old leader vowed to press on before mid-term elections next month that are likely to solidify his Liberal Democratic Party’s legislative power. “The upward revision (for economic growth) confirmed that the Japanese economy remains on a firm recovery track,” said Hideki Matsumura, senior economist with the Japan Research Institute. Earlier yesterday, the Cabinet Office said revised data showed annualised growth came in at 4.1 percent in January-March, up from a preliminary reading of 3.5 percent and well ahead of many other industrialised nations who are struggling to stoke their economies. The annualised figures, which show the level of growth if quarterly data were stretched over an entire year, comes as economists sift through recent figures for signs that Abenomics is taking hold. The IMF has said it expects Japan’s economy to grow 1.6 percent in 2013. The Cabinet Office also said revised figures for real GDP showed Japan’s economy grew 1.0 percent in the first three months of the year, slightly better than the preliminary 0.9 percent growth reading. The improvement was partly due to an upward revision in capital spending, a key measure of confidence among the nation’s producers.
In other upbeat data, consumer confidence improved in May over the previous month with the number of Japanese who expect prices to rise sitting at a near five-year high, as Tokyo works to reverse years of falling prices which have crimped private spending and business investment. “We expect the economy will continue to grow for now but consumer spending may be dampened in the current quarter after a sizeable adjustment in the Nikkei index,” Matsumura said, referring the recent drop in the Tokyo stock market. However, the Nikkei bounced back yesterday with a 4.94 percent jump, the biggest one-day boost since March 2011 when Japan was pound-
ed by a quake-tsunami disaster and subsequent nuclear crisis. Also yesterday, official figures showed Japan posted a surplus on its current account for the third straight month in April, as the weaker yen helped boost the value of income from overseas investments. Japan’s surplus doubled year-onyear to 750 billion yen ($7.6 billion) in its current account, the broadest measure of trade with the rest of the world, helping offset a widening trade deficit. Japan’s import bills have soared in the wake of the Fukushima atomic crisis two years ago, which saw Tokyo turn to pricey fossil-fuel alternatives after switching off the disasterstruck country’s nuclear reactors. — AFP
TOKYO: People walk by an electronic stock board of a securities firm yesterday. — AP
Threat of break-up looms over Mexican tycoon Slim MEXICO CITY: As Mexico gets ready to unleash a battery of regulations to curb the power of telecoms mogul Carlos Slim, the government is sending clear signals that it will not shy away from breaking up his business if necessary. Ever since President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government unveiled a landmark antitrust bill in March allowing regulators to make dominant phone and television companies sell off assets, many Mexicans have questioned whether it would go that far. Increasingly, though, officials say that option is no idle threat against Slim, who has held sway over the Mexican telecommunications industry for the best part of a generation. By 2010, that domination had made him the world’s richest man. The 73-year-old Slim kept that title until last month, when a sell-off in shares of his giant phone company America Movil helped cut his wealth to about $70 billion and put him behind Microsoft’s Bill Gates in the top spot. The dumping of America Movil stock was fed in part by uncertainty about Slim’s companies under Pena Nieto, who took office in December vowing to break the hold that a few families have maintained over key areas of Mexico’s economy. America Movil’s local fixed-line and mobile phone units, Telmex and Telcel, have for years used legal injunctions and appeals to thwart attempts by the state to cut them down to size. The reform, approved in Congress and due to be signed into law by Pena Nieto on Monday, aims to strip away much of that legal cover, create a stronger regulator and set new, tougher rules to help competitors catch up. To do that, a new regulatory body known as Ifetel is likely to make Slim’s companies share infrastructure and create a tariff regime that makes the billionaire charge rivals less to access the vast phone network he operates. Whether that will be enough remains to be seen, said Jose Ignacio Peralta, deputy minister for commu-
nications and transport, one of the architects of the reform. He stressed that the legislation gives authorities the power to totally reshape the industry, from ordering the sale of assets to possibly breaking up companies completely. “Even if it’s true that asymmetric regulation will help improve competition, it’s probably going to do so in a gradual way that needs to be accelerated. The possibility of asset divestment is in the constitutional text,” Peralta told Reuters. Through America Movil, which has more than 260 million wireless subscribers across the Americas, Slim controls around 80 percent of Mexico’s fixed-line market, and some 70 percent of mobile phone traffic. Meanwhile Televisa, the broadcaster run by Emilio Azcarraga, has over 60 percent of the TV market. Like Slim, it has used all legal means to keep the competition at bay, but could also soon feel the bite of a more testing regime. Balancing act After years of domination by the few, Peralta likened Mexico’s telecommunications industry to a building that needed to be “demolished” and rebuilt “brick by brick”. Ifetel is due to be created in the next three months and will then have another 180 days to rule which companies are “dominant.” America Movil and Televisa are the prime candidates. If the regulator then decided such firms had abused their power to stay on top, their Mexican operations could be broken up. When asked how that could work, Peralta said he had recently discussed the carve-up of phone giant AT&T and oil colossus Standard Oil with a US government official. “When talking about divesting assets, it means very similar things to what the United States did in these two cases, which, I insist, would depend on the regulator’s decision,” he added. John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil was divided into 34 firms in 1911, while the U.S. government split AT&T, which grew
out of the company Alexander Graham Bell created in 1877, into a long distance provider and seven regional “Baby Bells” in 1984. Both companies had become bywords for monopolistic power when they were taken apart, with US authorities arguing they were impeding the emer-
gence of new players. Most experts agree competition increased after the state intervention, though subsequent consolidation of the marketplace means that much of the original companies’ power now resides in their largest successors, Exxon Mobil Corp and AT&T Inc. —Reuters
Doughty Hanson sells Vue cinema chain for $1.5bn LONDON: Private equity group Doughty Hanson has sold cinema operator Vue Entertainment to two Canadian investors for 935 million pounds ($1.5 billion), cashing in on an industry where new technologies like 3D movies have helped it to thrive in recession. The sale, to OMERS Private Equity and Alberta Investment Management Corporation, will more than double Doughty’s original investment and is expected to close by late July, Doughty said in a statement on Monday. The buyout firm paid 450 million pounds to buy Vue in December 2010, and then embarked on an expansion drive beyond the chain’s UK home market, including acquisitions of rivals in Britain, Germany and Poland. Cinema ticket sales have remained strong in recent years, despite the recession sapping consumer spending power, with big box office hits such as James Bond film “Skyfall” and Batman flick “The Dark Knight Rises” boosting sales last year. This, combined with a shift to new digital technologies, has helped cinema operators to improve their profit margins. “As a leisure activity cinema going is very resilient, and it’s always proved itself to be very resilient,” Wayne Brown, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity, said. “The box office is doing very well and has benefited a lot from 3D technology.” As a rough estimate, Brown says Doughty is selling Vue at over 9 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation - more than the 8 times at which listed rival Cineworld is currently trading. At 1050 GMT, Cineworld shares were up 1.9 percent at 324 pence. Together with Odeon & UCI - set to be put up for sale or readied for an initial public offering by its private equity owner Terra Firma - Vue and Cineworld run around 70 percent of UK cinema screens between them. According to the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association, UK box office revenues rose 5.9 percent to 1.1 billion pounds in 2012. The purchase of Vue by two deeppocketed Canadian funds suggests the cinema chain will continue to build market share by acquisitions across Europe, Brown said. Tim Richards, founder and CEO of Vue, said in a statement he would grow “the Vue business through our continuing plan for organic growth supplemented by strategic acquisitions.” In a separate statement, Mark Redman, Senior Managing Director and Head of Europe for OMERS Private Equity, said the new ownership gave Vue “the distinct advantage of patient capital and deep pockets for organic and acquisitive growth.” For Doughty, the sale marks its second realisation from its fund V, which has now returned more than half of commitments to investors and has a further six investments still to realise. — Reuters
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
Al-Mazaya general assembly agrees against distribution of dividends
MSRY Behbehani shines at Isuzu Service Awards 2013 KUWAIT: Mohammad Saleh & Reza Yousuf Behbehani Company, the authorized distributors of ISUZU vehicles in Kuwait have outperformed other dealers from the region by winning a number of prestigious awards at the Middle East After Sales Conference organized by ISUZU Motors Ltd. in Dubai last week. The awards won by MSRY Behbehani include: 1. Gold Award - Middle East Isuzu Service Dealer of the Year 2013 2. Silver Award - Middle East Isuzu Dealer Grand Prix Competition 3. Top Rank for the Practical Test (Sole Recipient) 4. Good Team Work Award (Sole Recipient) 5. Best Performance Award (Sole Recipient) The triumph of Behbehani at this event coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the company which was established in the year 1963 by the two brothers, Mohammad Saleh Yousuf Behbehani and Mohammad
Reza Yousuf Behbehani who have taken this company from its modest beginnings into being one of the leading companies in the country with diverse business interests. “As a company, every award we receive makes us more humble and determined in our quest to achieving the highest level of customer satisfaction through our services in all quarters. We at Behbehani believe that the customers are the sole of our business and the fulfillment of their needs is the key to our success. We are grateful to our partners at ISUZU, as without their support this achievement would not have been possible. It gives us great pleasure to receive this recognition which comes to us as we celebrate 50 years of our establishment.” said, Talal Behbehani, Director. Mohammed Saleh & Reza Yousuf Behbehani Co have been the sole distributors of ISUZU in Kuwait since 1973 and have established a full-fledged service center in Al-Rai equipped with the latest technologies and factory trained staff to provide the best services to its customers round the year.
TRACCS launches ‘Enrich’ communications training KUWAIT: TRACCS, one of the region’s leading and largest public relations networks, has diversified its offering with the introduction of a dedicated communications training division, Enrich powered by TRACCS. The new regional division provides a wide range of interactive training intensives in Arabic, English and French conducted by seasoned, accredited training specialists, all of whom are professional public relations practitioners. The new division was set up in response to a rise in client demand for training across the region. “With the launch of ENRICH we are taking the training services we have developed over a decade to another level,” said TRACCS CEO Mohamed Al-Ayed. “When we launched TRACCS 15 years ago the public relations profession in the region was in its infancy. PR was seen as a promotional tool and an adjunct to advertising. As a result, we found it necessary to educate our clients on what PR is and what it can do for a business or government agency. Over the years we have evolved a wide range of training courses that have become increasingly sophisticated and effective. Today, our markets have matured to the point where public and private sector organizations are demanding extensive training for their people on a wide range of disciplines. We have trained hundreds of CEOs, company directors and spokespeople from across the region in Arabic, English and French. Enrich is an expansion of our training capacities.” In setting up Enrich, TRACCS has formed an alliance with the UK-based Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA), a leading training provider in the field. All
Enrich trainers have PRCA accreditation. Earlier in the year TRACCS and PRCA signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate on a series of projects to promote excellence and understanding of public relations in the MENA region. “The alliance with PRCA will keep Enrich at the leading edge of communications training in the region,” said Al-Ayed. “In addition, we are designing orientation courses for multi-national companies entering new Middle East and North African markets for the first time.” PRCA Director General Francis Ingham said, “Professional development is the key to the growth of our industry. So the PRCA is delighted to be linking up with TRACCS to offer cutting-edge training throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Our alliance will give thousands of PR practitioners the opportunity to maximise their skills in a modern manner. It is a great development for all of us.” Course titles offered include, An Introduction to Public Relations, Meeting the Press (giving interviews), Communicating in the Middle East and North Africa, Facing the Public (speech writing and delivery), Preparing for the Worst (crisis communications), Communicating and Implementing CSR and Building Communications Strategies. Other courses on offer include Public Relations Best Practice, How to Get the Best out of Your PR Agency, and High Impact Business Presentations. Bespoke training courses are also available on a range of disciplines, including Inter-Office Communications, Communicating with Callers, Internal Communications and setting up in-house PR and Corporate Communications departments.
KUWAIT: Al-Mazaya Holding Company yesterday morning held its Ordinar y General Assembly meeting for the year 2012 at AlMazaya Tower 1, part of its complex of three towers at the heart of the Kuwaiti capital. Attendance was 81.14 percent and the meeting was inaugurated by Rashid Yaqoub AlNafisi, chairman of Al-Mazaya Holding Company, in the presence of Board Members, CEO Ibrahim Al-Saqaabi, representatives from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, a representative from the auditing office , as well as executives from the company and a number of shareholders, investors, and media. Al-Nafisi opened the agenda of the meeting by reading the report of the board for the financial year 2012, stressing that the 2012 was a year of setting the rules and establishing a new phase of achievements that the company is strongly anticipating in the coming years, after the transition from loss to profitability. He stressed that Al-Mazaya is deeply embedded in the local and Gulf real estate sector, in the media, on the ground, in the analysis of the market, and in various other reports across the broader economy. He added that stability within the Gulf real estate market was not easy, especially since this medium has seen the highest levels of boom and bust over the year, so embarking on building the company internally and sustainably was an integral part of its long term establishment, not least the importance of projects already implemented, or in the process of implementation in the near future. Maintenance of the status quo in fact might need decisive action and careful decisions, and so it is considered that the internal building of the house, and ensuring ever ything is “in order”, is of the utmost importance. This is, he said, the company’s first permanent project upon which all other projects will be built.
most prominent and the most influential in the region: to achieve success after success. Assembly agenda Al-Nafisi then went through the rest of the Assembly agenda for the year 2012, where the audience listened to and approved the Auditor’s Report and financial statements for the fiscal year. They also approved the recommendations of the Board not to distribute dividends for the financial year 2012. The assembly also approved the waiver of directors of their remunerations for the fiscal year, and authorized the Board to purchase or sell shares of the company, but not to exceed 10 percent of the number of shares in accordance with article 175 of the law 25, allowing the company to deal with the relevant parties. The election of new Board of Directors Al-Mazaya Holding elected a new board of directors for the next three years. The members of the board were discharged related to their legal actions for the financial year 2012, the Assembly appointed or re-appointed auditors of the company, and authorized the board of directors to determine their remuneration. After the ratification of the Agenda, Al-Nafisi concluded the work of the Assembly and closed it upon the acceptance of the attendees. For his part, the CEO of Al-Mazaya Holding, Engineer Ibrahim Al-Saqaabi, said that his
tors are income-generating projects, which have successfully achieved high occupancy levels, such as the GLOVER medical project located inside Kuwait, with 100 percent occupancy, and the Al-Mazaya tower project that services the office sector in the heart of Kuwait City, with 95 percent occupancy in one of its towers, and a 20 percent occupancy level in the other two. Al-Mazaya has succeeded in attracting government agencies to rent in their towers alongside private sector companies. Al-Mazaya achieved an occupancy level of 100 percent in the Al-Meather towers located in Saudi Arabia, and occupancy level of 80 percent in the Sky Gardens tower in Dubai, and an occupancy level of 100 percent in the Indigo building in Dubai, alongside other projects that has been rented out in the past. Real estate assets for the purpose of selling: value KD 25.6 million. The second of these sectors are the real estate assets for sale, represented in offices space in Business Avenue project in Dubai, and villas in the Dubai Land projects (currently under construction), and apartments in the Palm Island in Dubai. A bank of distinct plots (under study for the purpose of sale or development) of value equal to KD 20 million. With regard to the third sector, Al-Saqaabi described it as a bank of distinct plots, about which Al-Mazaya is currently reviewing its visibility study in order to sell it or develop it with
Restructuring Al-Nafisi added that Al-Mazaya Holding is pursuing a plan of action based on financial and administrative restructuring, and in doing so the company has also sought to untangle some of its investments and to exit from others, while completing others, paying a large por tion of its obligations, and collecting arrears, to fulfill its obligations toward official authorities and investors, such as business avenue projects, the Villa project in Dubai, real estate portfolios such as “Dubai land portfolio”, the Lake Jumeira portfolio, the exit from AlMadar fund, and the acquisition of a stake in Oman Real Estate Development, all of which effected the positive outcomes at the conclusion of the last fiscal year. Financial results In a quick review of the financial statements for the fiscal year, Al-Nafisi said that the total assets of the company by the end of the year amounted to 221.1 million dinar, compared with a total value of 252.1 million for the previous year 2011, while shareholders’ equity stood at 83.3 million dinar in the year 2012 compared to a total value of 81.6 million in 2011. The financial year yielded total revenue of 35.7 million dinars, compared to 88.2 million in 2011. This was accompanied by the decline in the volume of the amount owed to creditors by more than half, from 36.3 million dinars to 17.4 million dinars. With regard to the company’s profits, it made 291,000 dinars in net profit in the year 2012 compared to a loss of 15.84 million dinars in the year 2011, which paved the way to the turning point from loss to profitability, due to the development of incomegenerating projects which raised the general operating profits of the company, including a 77 percent increase in rental revenue of 2.8 million dinars for the year 2012, compared with 1.6 million the year before. The company’s total indebtedness to banks reached 49.41 million dinars in the year 2012, compared to 53.97 million the previous year, which does not exceed 24.4 percent of the total assets of the company. Al-Nafisi noted that real estate is the engine of growth of civilization in the modern world. Real estate drives transportation, energy, construction, contracting, employment, engineering represented in engineering consultancy, banks and financial institutions, tourism, infrastructure and many other areas. He assured the General Assembly that AlMazaya Holding will continue through the year 2013 through its strong foundations which are based on internal and external pillars, especially the Board and the qualified executive management, and talented and experienced engineers, and technical, professional and engineering capabilities, and all the staff of the company, not to mention the vital role of the shareholders who gave the company strong support necessary for the company to be the
vision in the development and growth of the company focuses on the ability of the company in engaging in numerous projects and in new markets in leveraging its launch from solid ground and a solid financial position. He pointed out that the advancement of the company’s future requires putting the basic building blocks in place according to solid foundations, starting from developing the staff, and the renewal of the internal rules and regulations, which Al-Mazaya is currently working on in accordance with the competent authorities. The company contracted with HAY International Group in order to study the administrative structure of the company and develop it in line with present and future human recourses, in addition to a study of the salary and incentive system and to lay the foundations such that the company operates in accordance with international standards and specifications. In addition, Al-Saqaabi said that Al-Mazaya contracted with Protiviti to look at the current internal regulations and systems of the company in order to develop it in line with the next stage and future objectives of the company. The company has come a long way in this regard, and is expected to complete this step within the next few weeks. Al-Saqaabi introduced to the audience a presentation about the current status of the company, stressing that Al-Mazaya has a solid financial balance sheet containing considerable real estate assets, and a strong base of shareholders, as well as assets worth 221 million dinars, including real estate assets worth 168 million across four sectors inside and outside Kuwait, adding that the company’s total assets increased by 26 percent from 2004 to 2012, while operating income rose by 93 percent from the beginning of the work of the company until today. Income generating projects equivalent to KD 65 million Al-Saqaabi said that the first of these sec-
local or regional investors. These plots are distributed in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Lebanon, Oman, Sharjah and Dubai. Real estate projects under development worth KD 57.2 million The four th categor y is “projects under development and execution”, such as that which Al-Mazaya owns for projects under construction in the emirate of Dubai, including the Alliwan project - 22 buildings for the middle class, currently underway, and expected to be delivered to the customers by the end of 2013. He added that the balance sheet of the company has now become clean, after it had taken provisions and impairment losses exceeded KD 137 million in the past four years. With regard to the future projects of the company, Al-Saqaabi said that the company is currently work ing on a study with a view to investing in several real estate projects in Kuwait and outside, which will strengthen the economic cycle of the company and add to its real estate assets and operating revenue in the future. Al-Saqaabi concluded by saying that the real estate market is currently witnessing an acceptable revival which will lay the groundwork for real estate companies to invest in, especially those companies that have the experience and excellence in the real estate sector, like Al-Mazaya which and can distance themselves from risk factors, adding that the current era is an era “of solidarity among investors and those who are interested in diversifying their investment basket and engaging in the largest number of projects”, noting that the main strength of Al-Mazaya is the company’s track record of achievements in more than one market and more than one sector, alongside the support of the major owners and the experience of the executive management and employees, the confidence of the investors, contractors, and many other points that add to the balance of power in the company.
Protiviti’s Bob Hirth Named Chairman of Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of Treadway Commission (COSO) KUWAIT: Bob Hirth, a senior managing director with Protiviti (www.protiviti.com), a global consulting firm, has been named chairman of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO), the organization that provides thought leadership and guidance on internal control, enterprise risk management, and fraud deterrence. “I am thrilled to become the chairman of COSO and look forward to communicating with many organizations and individuals on the key enhancements to and benefits of the recently revised COSO Internal Control Framework,”said Hirth.”I also look forward to working with all of COSO’s sponsoring organizations and the many other firms and professionals who have contributed to COSO in developing and disseminating additional thought leadership materials on topics relevant to and aligned with our mission. My last eleven years at Protiviti have been a critical
part of preparing me for this leadership role and for delivering on COSO’s mission and focus on risk management, internal control and fraud deterrence.” “We congratulate Bobfor being selected to lead COSO, and I know he will do an outstanding job to help fulfill its mission,” said Joseph Tarantino, Protiviti president and CEO. “Bob’s extensive experience and knowledge of internal audit,plus his tireless work ethic, ensure that COSO is in good hands.” A founding member of Protiviti and leading industry voice on issues surrounding risk management and internal controls, Hirth’s selection was driven in part by his professional prowess, adept public speaking and leadership skills, and commitment to organizational success achieved through effective governance practices. Hirth was chosen by the committee following an extensive four-month search process. He will succeed
current COSO chair David Landsittel, who has served since 2009. Hirth will serve a three-year term, which began June 1, and will remain located in San Francisco. Hirth has more than 25 years of professional services experience working with a broad range of global, public and local private organizations in a variety of industries, helping them manage their most significant business risks and issues. During his career, he has served as executive vice president for global internal audit for Protiviti and is currently serving a two-year term(2012-2013) on the Standing Advisory Group of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). He is a member of Financial Executives International (FEI) and The Institute for Internal Auditors (IIA). In March 2013, Hirth was inducted into The Institute of Internal Auditors’ Hall of Distinguished Audit Practitioners. Bob Hirth
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
AT&T extends wait for new phone to 2 years NEW YORK: AT&T is extending from 20 months to 24 months the time it takes for customers on contract-based plans to earn a fully subsidized upgrade to a new phone. The move announced Sunday follows an identical one by Verizon Wireless in April. AT&T Inc.’s new policy applies to any customer whose contract expires in March 2014 or later. Extending the time between phone upgrades saves the phone companies money, since they subsidize each new phone by hundreds of dollars to make it available to customers for $199 or less. AT&T executives had said they planned to rein in spending on phone upgrades this year. The change reflects the growing popularity of expensive smartphones. Verizon
subsidized upgrades after just 13 months until January 2011, just before it introduced the iPhone, one of the most expensive phones on a wholesale basis. Carriers pay Apple over $600 for it. Dallas-based AT&T is the country’s second-largest cellphone carrier. It activated 6 million smartphones in the first three months of this year. AT&T shares rose 55 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $36 in morning trading. The shares hit a five-year high of $39 in April. Breaking with industry practices, No. 4 wireless carrier T-Mobile USA ditched its service contracts and phone-upgrade waiting periods in March. It now sells phones on installment plans, giving customers more flexibility on the timing of their phone upgrades.—AP
Cable operators buff up guides for Internet age WASHINGTON: After years of making money providing Internet service, cable TV companies are now tapping the power of the Internet to improve clunky program guides that are a relic of the 1990s. Over the past year or so, Comcast Corp., Cablevision Systems Corp. and other cable providers have introduced new program guides on television set-top boxes. These improved guides act more like websites, making it easier to find movies, live TV shows and on-demand video. It’s important progress for cable TV companies, which are often criticized for providing hundreds of channels that customers don’t watch. Making shows easier to find helps them justify all those channels. And that could help stave off defections to satellite and telephone companies, which have lured cable customers away with cut-rate TV services that use fancier interfaces. Retaining and winning back those subscribers - while defending against a new batch of Web video challengers such as Netflix and Hulu - will be the focus of the industry’s annual gathering, The Cable Show, which started in Washington on Monday and runs through Wednesday. Although using the Internet might seem like a no-brainer to the billions who use it worldwide, cable TV operators have been slow to adapt. For years, guides used the old X-Y axis, with channels on the left and times across the top. These were installed directly onto the set-top box. There was no way to change the format without replacing the box, which could take a year or more for all customers. By using Internet programming language and other tools common to the Web, newer boxes are far more flexible. These guides can now access software running on more powerful machines located elsewhere. They can make recommendations rather than simply show reams of show titles. Faster keyword searches are possible, and cover art brings life to what once were textonly program listings. The use of Internet programming language means smartphones and tablets can also be used to control the box. As important, updates can be done from afar and redesigns are as easy as changing a website. That means new features can be created and popular ones given more prominence. Comcast says it has already updated its guide 1,200 times since introducing its X1 set-top box in May 2012. Marcien Jenckes, general manager for Comcast’s cable TV services, says the difference between the old box and the new one is like the difference between an old IBM computer that ran on a text-based DOS system and today’s Google Chromebook, a laptop computer that gains most of its functionality from being able to access services online. “The prior boxes were limited by what they could carry on them,” he says. “The current boxes are essentially limitless in terms of what they can access remotely.” Since the X1 came out, Comcast says viewing time for video on demand has increased nearly 20 percent among users who have it, partly because it’s easier to find things to watch. Comcast says customers are watching more channels and discovering more shows. Comcast isn’t saying how many subscribers now have the new X1 boxes, but it did say that half of its 21.9 million TV subscribers are eligible, with the rest expected by the end of the year. Although the company still lost a net 359,000 TV subscribers in the 12 months through March, according to the latest figures, Jenckes says that when more customers are more engaged with their TV service, they should stick around longer. “It’s still early but every indication is posi-
tive,” he says. Time Warner Cable Inc., the second-largest cable T V provider behind Comcast with 12.1 million subscribers, is also planning to unveil an improved guide this year through new set-top boxes that also use Internet tools to make them more versatile and adaptable. “Traditionally each box generates its own guide and navigation,” says Mike Angus, Time Warner Cable’s senior vice president for video. “That’s been one of the shortcomings of the native guide technology.” In November, Cox Communications Inc. updated its Internet-enabled Trio guide to include personalized recommendations for up to eight members of a household. The service adds diamonds to programs in the channel guide that individual users might like, based on which movies and shows they’ve watched in the past and whether they clicked to “like” or “dislike” them. Another screen shows recommended videos, whether they are offered on demand or live. Some past episodes can be viewed right away, while viewers can choose to record future ones when they air. The company says that more than half of the 400,000-plus subscribers now using the guide say they became aware of content they didn’t realize was there before. Nearly a third of users say they enjoy watching TV more. Cox plans to offer the improved guide to more of its subscribers, estimated at around 4.5 million. “They’re asking for the experience to be much more personalized,” says Len Barlik, executive vice president of product development at Cox Cable. “ This is focused on attracting new customers but also retaining the base.” Customer retention is seen as increasingly important for the cable TV industry, which has lost about 10 million TV subscribers over the last decade - down to 56.4 million in 2012, from 66.9 million in 2001, according to research firm SNL Kagan. Most of them have switched to satellite companies such as DirecTV or Dish, or gone with TV services from phone companies including Verizon and AT&T. Overall, the number of pay TV subscribers across all providers is unchanged at about 100 million homes. A small proportion have “cut the cord,” or dropped pay TV service entirely, though about 50 million homes rely on cable companies for high-speed Internet service, a figure that is growing.The Nielsen Co. says about 5 million U.S. households had a TV but didn’t hook it up with a traditional pay TV provider or even an antenna last year. Those households are opting instead for Web video from Netflix and other providers. Nielsen calls these homes “Zero TV” households. Although online viewing generates advertising revenue on services such as Hulu, cable TV providers will lose TV subscription revenues if this group grows in size. In a saturated market that’s not expanding, the best strategy for cable TV providers is to hold onto its paying customers for as long as possible, says Bruce Leichtman, a TV consultant and head of Leichtman Research Group. “Retention becomes very important,” Leichtman says. “That’s really what Comcast and the other operators are looking at adding value to subscribers in order to retain them.” Many cable TV companies also offer hundreds of live TV signals and on-demand programs over mobile devices using Internet technology. These apps - such as Time Warner Cable’s TWC TV, Comcast’s Xfinity, and Cablevision’s Optimum - turn mobile devices connected to home networks into virtual TV sets on smaller screens. But customers have to be home to use these most of these services, and many aren’t aware of them.—AP
NEW YORK: This image provided by Cox Communications shows a program guide for television set-top boxes to make it easier to find programs available live or on demand. It is an important development for cable TV companies, as they face criticisms for providing hundreds of channels that customers don’t watch.—AP
NEW YORK: This combination photo shows (clockwise from top left) Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the Bill Graham Auditorium in an October 29, 2012 file photo in San Francisco; Google’s headquarters on 8th Avenue in New York in a January 11, 2013, file photo; people walking past the Apple Store at Grand Central Terminal in New York in a January 25, 2013 file photo; the “Like” icon at the Facebook main campus in Menlo Park, California, in a May 15, 2012, file photo. —AFP
Smartphone life shakes up world of websites SAN FRANCISCO: Internet giants from Google and Facebook to Yahoo and Zynga are scrambling to adapt to an online world where people reach for smartphones or tablets instead of traditional computers. Social games pioneer Zynga, which rose to stardom making titles played at Facebook’s website, is cutting nearly a fifth of its staff as part of a move to focus on titles for mobile gadgets. After taking over as chief executive at Yahoo last year, former Google executive Marissa Mayer laid out a turn-around strategy that made a priority of tailoring offerings to smartphones and tablets. The dismal performance of Facebook’s freshlylaunched stock last year was blamed in large part on fears that it lacked tools to cash in on members who are increasingly accessing the social network from mobile devices. Google has proved prescient by creating and giving away an Android mobile operating system that showcases its software and services on smartphones and tablets. Even the Mountain View, California-based technology titan’s seemingly offbeat “big bets” on Internet-linked Glass eyewear and Web-connected self-driving cars are seen by some analysts as shrewd moves to remain anchored in lifestyles. “The head-mounted display makes the mobile user much more valuable because you can serve ads as they are walking and make them locationbased,” independent Silicon Valley analyst Rob Enderle said of Glass. “With self-driving cars, the dashboard is a huge tablet; if the car is driving and someone is bored,
you can serve up whatever you want.” Companies that staked claims with websites visited by people using desktop or laptop computers risk obsolescence if they don’t adapt to Internet users switching to apps on smartphones or tablets. Industry data shows that people are moving “aggressively” to apps and away from traditional websites, according to Gartner analyst Van Baker. “It is important to cater to that mobile user,” Baker told AFP. “That is the driving force in the market right now; the one device a person carries everywhere - the smartphone.” Not only are the devices preferred by Internet users changing, so is their behavior. Gartner research shows that people using smartphones access the Internet an average of 20 times a day with sessions lasting about a minute, compared with four times daily for about 35 minutes a pop on traditional computers. “It is a big challenge, because the behavior associated with a smartphone is dramatically different from a notebook computer,” Baker said. “Your experience needs to be two clicks deep and be done in a minute,” he continued. “If it takes any longer, they are gone.” Smartphones in particular have small screens, raising the risk of people being annoyed by advertising. Mobile devices also allow location, calendar information and other contextual data to be woven into services to win people over with desirable information at just the right moments and places. “The opportunity to be relevant or helpful is much greater because of the contextual information,”
said Forrester analyst Charles Golvin. “If you interrupt me and adopt the old get-in-your-face approach of many marketers, you are much more likely to sour any potential relationship.” Internet companies don’t have the luxury of focusing on either mobile devices or traditional computers; they must tailor offerings for both, according to analysts. “Mobile first is correct, but it is not mobile only,” Golvin said. “You need to enable your customers to reach you where and when they choose to and on the device that happens to be in their hand at that moment.” Established Internet companies tend to be well-positioned to adapt to engaging people on mobile devices. “The fundamentals of delivering your experience digitally are still there at the core whether it is going to a PC or a browser or to a mobile device,” Golvin said, referring to established operations such as Facebook and Yahoo. “It is less of a disruption than it is a transition.” However, the ability to bypass running websites makes it easier for startups to blaze into the market with mobile apps. Zynga faces the added challenge of being in a hits-drive business in a world where loyalty to apps is fleeting. Most of the people who download a mobile app at launch abandon it within three months, according to Gartner. “The life of ‘Draw Something’ or ‘Farmville’ can be even more compressed in the mobile world,” Golvin said, referring to Zynga titles. “A game is a hit, people engage and then the next hit comes along and takes up their time.” — AFP
Mobile gaming still eludes industry SAN FRANCISCO: To get a sense of how investors view the promise of mobile gaming, one need look no further than Japan’s GungHo Online Entertainment. With just one game under its belt, its stock has risen tenfold since October and its market cap almost equals that of decades-old Nintendo. From veterans like Electronic Arts to rising stars such as “Clash of Clans” maker Supercell, the $66 billion video game industry is scrambling to devise games and experimenting with ways to appeal to a generation of players that spends more time on mobile devices than on computers or consoles. Most are having scant success in an industry peppered with one-hit wonders like OMGPOP and where even established players like Zynga are faltering, industry sources say. “I t ’s sor t of like all the chess pieces have been thrown in the air, and the industry has not yet landed on what the chess board looks like,” said Owen Mahoney, CFO of Japanese online gaming giant Nexon Co Ltd, which has in the past year bought two companies to accelerate its mobile foray. In recent years, the model has been to offer games for free, then encourage players to spend real money on in-game purchases - a system perfected by Zynga in its online games. But its rapid decline in just the past year illustrates the challenge of hooking new players, and loosening gamers’ purse strings. The company that shot to fame on the back of Facebook games like “Farmville” bought OMGPOP, developers of the mobile sensation “Draw Something” - for $180 million. After months of losing users that once peaked to 14.5 million players over a year ago, Zynga last week shut its New York-based studio, effectively laying off the OMGPOP team. Industr y executives say mobile gamers today are spoiled for choice as the industry has exploded. In 2007, when Apple Inc launched the iPhone, there were but a handful of developers. Today, there are hundreds, whose apps sell across the globe on Apple and Google Inc’s Android devices. “You see these rocket ships in the industry that explode on the
scene with a casual game that’s easy to develop with not much money and they gain users quickly. But users get bored or angry because they can’t progress without paying more money,” Nexon’s Mahoney told Reuters in an interview. Nexon has had some success boosting its mobile por tfolio, a likely factor behind revenue growth of 24 percent in 2012 to 108 million yen ($1.1 million). To stand out from the crowd, developers big and small are seeking ways to build a sustainable business. EA, as one of the best-funded competitors, is turning to data analytics to keep track of its players’ gaming patterns and behavior. Japanese gaming giant DeNA is
experimenting with on-the-spot tweaks to its games by employees, who adjust conditions depending on what players do, CEO of DeNA West Clive Downie said. Canadian indie studio Noodlecake, known for games like “Zombie Road Trip”, is employing loyalty programs similar to airlines with daily virtual currency rewards for first-time and frequent players. Others resort to tricks like seasonal deals and holiday-themed content to boost their rankings on app-download charts during the crucial holiday period. Up-and-coming GungHo, which has seen its shares rise tenfold since October as investors bet on its ability to rise above the fray with its sole
title “Puzzle & Dragons,” is turning to costly TV advertising to place its brand front-and-center. Japanese telecoms giant Softbank Corp owns a majority stake in GungHo. Even Rovio - backers of pop-culture phenomenon “Angry Birds” has reported that it now leans on stuffed toys, mugs and other merchandise for 45 percent of its revenue. “Ever ybody wants a manual” with the best user acquisition techniques, said Doug Smith, an independent developer who launched his kids game “Chugga Bugga” on the Apple App Store in early April but has had only about 3,500 downloads. He is disappointed that it’s becoming “harder and harder for new entrants to come in without a big budget.” As E3, the industry’s largest annual convention, kicks off in Los Angeles next week, console games going up against mobile games will be an underlying theme. Revenue from games on mobile and portable devices is expected to grow about 38 percent to $8 billion in 2013 and touch $20 billion in 2018, according to David Cole, an analyst at research group DFC Intelligence. That ’s why mobile developers won’t give up. Game publishers are now rushing to hire people with data science and analytics skills dedicated to acquiring users and analyzing their behavior, said Ville Heijari, European general manager for PlayHaven, which helps developers monetize and market games. EA has made investments in data analytics to build a suite of backend proprietary software to break down its players by region and preferences, to help development of future games, said EA’s President of Labels Frank Gibeau. For now, consumer spending remains concentrated on the decades-old console gaming industry. But the situation is fast changing: in just a few years, mobile gaming has grown to account for about 9 percent of overall revenue. Mobile is “an absolutely critical, if not ‘the’ growth driver for the industry for the next several years,” Gibeau said. Despite the success of a number of companies, “a lot of the industry is still in a learning phase,” PlayHaven’s Heijari said.—Reuters
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Middle East climate wreaking your skin? NIVEA skincare experts offer ways to help your skin glow KUWAIT: Are you struggling to keep up with the changing weather - air conditioning, sand storms, blazing sun, humidity and even the odd rain shower! Your skin is your body’s largest organ and faces these weather changes and at times it can be an upward battle to keep it looking beautiful. With your skin making up around fifteen per cent of your body weight1, NIVEA is encouraging women to look after their skin and remember that it is as individual as they are. Tried and tested tips to make your skin shine will never change, such as drinking at least two litres of water a day and cutting down on salt to help your skin feel soft and supple. Protect your skin from premature aging and wrinkles by staying out of the sun between 11am and 3pm and get plenty of beauty sleep. NIVEA has a few words of wisdom to add to help women in the Middle East. Jennifer Bell, Brand Manager for NIVEA Body & Sun Care in the Middle East says, “The basis of good skin comes from the inside out. The traditional diet in the Middle East includes the fabulous, skinfriendly tabouleh. The main ingredient parsley is a great source of vitamin C and A helps your skin produce collagen and repairs itself. Fattoush with its raw mixed greens and vegetables is another dish that can benefit your skin - if you go easy on the fried pita bread!” Jennifer adds that it is important to remember everyone’s skin is different. “If you suffer from dry skin you should be using a lotion that nourishes your skin to leave it smooth and supple, for example NIVEA’s Repair & Care. If you are looking to
Only 14 China H7N9 patients left in hospital BEIJING: Only 14 patients from China’s H7N9 bird flu outbreak are still in hospital, national health authorities said in their latest update on the disease. A total of 131 confirmed human infections of the virus have been recorded on the Chinese mainland, the National Health and Family Planning Commission said. Of those, 39 died and 78 had been released from hospital, with 14 still being treated, it said in a statement late Sunday, adding it would no longer report figures weekly, switching instead to monthly updates.
One other case was recorded in Taiwan. Experts fear the possibility of the virus mutating into a form easily transmissible between humans, with the potential to trigger a pandemic. Laboratory tests showed that in some patients the H7N9 virus was resistant to treatment drugs, researchers in China wrote in the medical journal The Lancet last month, adding that their findings were “concerning”. But flu viruses are often seasonal and much of China has experienced warmer weather following the end of winter.—AFP
fight the signs of aging, use the NIVEA firming lotion with Q10, which is a natural component of the skin and actively works to keep it firm. It’s a myth that there is one lotion that will suit everyone and because of this, we have developed a range of body lotions so for every skin there’s a NIVEA.” The NIVEA body lotion range available in the GCC contains 15 different body lotion ranges specially formulated by Beiersdorf’s research team in Hamburg, NIVEA’s parent company, and includes the following: NIVEA Creme - the beauty classic for all moisturizing needs, available from KWD 0.360. Like the feeling of a rich, caring cream on your skin? The world’s No.1 skin care cream, NIVEA Creme, provides the skin with all it needs to stay pure, fresh and smooth. It’s the best cream for rich nourishing care. NIVEA Soft - a light, fast absorbing general purpose cream, available from KWD 0.720 Do you want a caring cream that feels light and refreshing? A non-greasy, intensive moisturizing care for soft and beautiful skin that’s specially formulated with jojoba oil, vitamin E and is pH neutral. The lightest, freshest feeling moisturizing cream. NIVEA Nourishing Body Lotion - for dry to very dry skin, available from KWD 0.625 Is your skin thirsty for deep nourishing care? The rich formula of the NIVEA Body Lotion nourishes your skin with essential vitamins of Almond Oil and Vitamin E leaves the skin smooth and supple. Your
first choice for deeply moisturized skin. NIVEA Natural Fairness Body Lotion developed to enhance the skin’s natural radiance, available from KWD 0.625. Do you want your skin to have natural radiance? NIVEA’s innovative formula with liquorice and berry extracts gives the skin even-toned fairness and is left silky smooth. Your favorite lotion for fairer skin in 4 weeks. NIVEA Q10 Plus Firming Body Lotion for noticeably firmer and tighter looking skin, available from KWD 1.605. Skin looks visibly tighter and firmer with Firming Body Lotion Q10 Plus in just two weeks. NIVEA Repair & Care Body Lotion - for long-lasting relief from roughness and tightness, available from KWD 1.09. The first product by NIVEA to provide 48-hour relief from dry skin symptoms. The innovative formula with Dexpanthenol strengthens your skin’s barrier and supports the skin’s own hydration system to relieve dry, tight skin. NIVEA Smooth Body Lotion - for dry skin, available from KWD 1.09. Enriched with Shea Butter, Gingko Extract and Vitamin E, the NIVEA Smooth Body Lotion protects the skin from drying out. NIVEA Express Hydration Body Lotion provides skin with non-stop moisture, available from KWD 0.625. The ultra-light formula with Sea Minerals of the NIVEA Express Hydration Body Lotion leaves the skin immediately soft and supple and delicately enwrapped in a blue lotus scent.
Eco rivals battle to show who is cleaner, greener MALLE: Under an eco-friendly, flowering turf roof in an industrial park, the world’s largestmaker of green cleaning products is trying to figure out how to stay on top of a market that has big growth potential but also increasingly fierce competition. With big-name detergent and household cleaner manufacturers and retailers moving into the ecological market and consumers growing more savvy, Belgium’s Ecover must compete on price and prove it is greener than the rest. Global spending on green cleaning products is expected to rise to $9.3 billion in 2017 from an estimated $2.7 billion in 2012, according to Global Industry Analysts Inc - albeit still a fraction of the relatively stable $150 billion market for all household cleaning products. Founded in 1979 by a Belgian who left his job at a soap company to make a phosphate-free washing powder, Ecover became the world’s largest ecological cleaning firm last year when it acquired San Francisco-based Method, leapfrogging Burlington, Vermont-based Seventh Generation to the top spot. It plans to make and market Ecover in the United States and do the same in Europe for Method’s distinctive line of colourful liquids in colourless bottles. “We never really cracked the U.S. market and concluded a takeover was the best way forward,” said Ecover chief executive Philip Malmberg. “We wanted a company with the same principles, but one that targeted a slightly different group of consumers.” Ecover has been owned since 1992 by private investment vehicle Skagen, which manages the family assets of Jorgen-Philip Sorensen, the late founder of what is now the multinational security services company G4S. With last year’s takeover, sales doubled to some $200 million. But analysts say Ecover has gained more than scale. Combining Ecover’s scientific savvy with Method’s U.S. presence and innovation, such as pump-action laundry detergent, Malmberg sees sales doubling again in the next five years. Method outsourced production, so the combined company plans to build a third green-roofed plant in Chicago by 2015. “Ecover definitely punches above its weight in terms of brand awareness. Method is more design-focused,” said Ian Bell, analyst at Euromonitor. “It (the new company) has married innovative design with a green message.” Asia
could be the next frontier, although demand has yet to take off, partly due to price. In China, a half-litre bottle of green detergent can cost $15, some 10 times more than in Europe. Market explosion, financial crash The industry has struggled since the start of the financial crisis in 2008, which also marked the arrival of several new players: SC Johnson brought out Nature’s Source, Clorox its Green Works range and German Persil maker Henkel its Terra brand. Dozens of retailers like Tesco and US pharmacy chain Duane Reade have also since launched their own labels. Nature’s Source was discontinued in 2010 under the pressure. Green Works survived but has lost market share, according to research firm Packaged Facts, and plans to cut prices this summer. “While our research showed that consumers wanted to buy products made with natural ingredients, they largely went back to basics - price and efficacy - when money got tight,” said Kelly Semrau, SC Johnson’s chief sustainability officer. While Ecover’s sales also suffered, down 5-6 percent per year from 2007 to 2010, it believes it is ahead of the pack with products that really clean at a price aimed at no more than 10 percent above standard equivalents. “In terms of performance we are at the same level as the traditional brands and for some ... we are better,” Malmberg said in an interview at the company’s headquarters. Sales, flat in 2011, shot up 17 percent in 2012 and are now approaching peak 2007 levels. Which green product? One sector-wide problem is that although consumers may care about the environment, they aren’t really sure what it means to clean “green” and are overwhelmed by competing claims. It’s partly about what’s in the product. The first ecological cleaners did not contain phosphates, now banned in many countries because they promote the growth of algae, which starves fish of oxygen. Many now also shun bleach or ammonia, again largely due to their impact on wildlife. Green producers are also increasingly stressing the health risks consumers face by wearing clothes or using crockery washed with harsh chemicals, from scents to brighteners. But these
days it’s also about the way the producer runs its business. Ecover argues its customers are buying into an entirely green process. The roofs on its plants in Belgium and northern France allow them to use no heating or air conditioning. Next year, its bottles will contain plastic recovered from the sea. In recent years, major producers have also focused on cutting their carbon footprint, using less or more recycled packaging and selling cold-wash formulas, a big plus for consumers in an era of high energy bills. Ecover is among a number of producers that are developing surfactants - the compounds that act as the cleaning agent in most products by lowering the surface tension of a liquid - derived from plants rather than petroleum to sever their relationship with what is considered a polluting industry. Fragmented standards The industry also suffers from a lack of global standards and low consumer awareness of those that do exist. Directory Ecolabel Index lists more than 60 different eco labels from different organisations around the world. Certification in the European Union assures consumers that a product has been tested independently and shown to work and to contain few hazardous chemicals. But the label is not well known among consumers and there is no grading system like Europe’s energy consumption labelling for light bulbs, cars and other products, from least efficient G to best in class, A+++. Ecover is among critics that say the EU’s eco label, which says cleaners must be “largely bio-degradable”, is not strict enough. Ecover itself has not escaped criticism, however. The Vegan Society withdrew its vegan trademark over Ecover’s use of water fleas for testing. British consumer association Which in 2010 questioned whether “green” products in general were really more environmentally friendly than standard equivalents, as well as whether they actually worked. Environmentally aware consumers may be best off simply cleaning less, some experts say. “Really you can clean a whole house with two or three cleaners and you can do a lot with water, lemon, juice, vinegar and salt,” said Silvia Maurer, safety and environmental specialist at European consumer body BEUC.—Reuters
radioactive lead could beat cancer China pig farm ‘pumped dissolved carcasses into river’ BEIJING: Authorities are reportedly probing a pig farm in central China for dissolving dead pigs in a chemical solution and pumping the resulting remains down its drains, which empty into a river. Huasheng Online, a news website published by the Hunan Daily Press Group, said environmental protection and animal hygiene authorities in Changsha, Hunan province, were investigating the allegations. The farm claimed that using strong alkali to break down carcasses before flushing them away was a non-harmful method of disposal for pigs that died of disease, the report said. But users of China’s Twitter-like microblogs were disgusted. “It’s absolutely illegal and absolutely harmful,” wrote one using the name Quxiaolijie. “The only nonharmful way to dispose of dead pigs is to
burn them or bury them. They absolutely can’t be discharged into the river. Strictly investigate and strictly punish!” Food safety is a major issue in China following a string of scandals, including the discovery in March of thousands of dead pigs floating down a Shanghai river. No official explanation has been provided for the incident, which lasted for several days and was a major embarrassment for China’s commercial hub. Last month the public security ministry announced that 900 people had been detained for meatrelated crimes including selling rat and fox meat as beef and mutton. In another recent incident, US fast food giant KFC was hit by controversy after revealing some Chinese suppliers provided chicken with high levels of antibiotics, in what appeared to be an industry-wide practice.—AFP
BETHESDA: Atomic medicine has “fantastic potential” for fighting deadly, difficult to treat cancers, the head of French nuclear giant Areva’s medical arm told AFP in an interview. “We are interested in tumors against which the current therapeutic arsenal is very limited-like ovarian, gastric and pancreatic cancerswhere the needs are huge and patients are waiting,” explained Areva Med chief Patrick Bourdet. Based in a Maryland suburb of the US capital, not far from the National Institutes of Health, Areva Med is pitting its hopes on a rare radioactive isotope that may be capable of selectively annihilating cancer cells. This new weapon against these aggressive cancers is a variety of lead: the isotope Pb 212. It is extremely rare, extracted from an equally rare metal called thorium. Only the few major nuclear powers have stocks of the radioactive metal-France, being one of them, with a considerable cache, Bourdet told AFP. France’s stock can be traced
back half a decade to its nuclear subsidiary. At that time, the Commissary of Atomic Energy, or CEA, a government-funded research group, decided to hold on to thorium after it extracted uranium-which has become the principal material used in nuclear power plants. In 2003, researchers had the idea of extracting the isotope Pb 212 from the thorium, with Areva’s scientists among them, looking in part for possible applications against cancer. Convinced of the great medical potential of this isotope, Areva created its medical affiliate in 2009 in the United States, which, since then, hasn’t stopped growing. Extremely targeted cancer- treatment In 2011, Areva Med, working with researchers from the University of Alabama, got the green light from the US Food and Drug Administration to start a phase one clinical trial with Pb 212, using
radioimmunotherapy. The first patient, of 18 slated in the trial, was treated in April 2012. “The trials are advancing in a satisfactory way,” Bourdet said, adding that he couldn’t be more optimistic at this point. Backing up that optimism, Areva Med has gone into overdrive, putting in place the necessary components for the development and production of this new cancer-fighting tool, including in 2012 Areva Med inking an agreement with Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche, the world leader in oncology. At the same time, Areva launched the construction of a Pb 212 production laboratory, the world’s first, in Bessines-surGartempe, in the central French region of Limousin. The lab, set to open at the end of 2013, will extract nanograms-billionths of a gram-of the isotope from tonnes of thorium. In the regime currently under in preliminary trials, each patient needs just four nanograms of Pb
212 in a single day of treatment, explained Bourdet. The radioactive isotope is aimed at the cancer cells by chemically attaching it to an antibody crafted to recognize the tumor by it’s specific antigens, or chemical signals. “It’s truly an extremely targeted anti-cancer therapy” that could fight many forms of cancer, even metastasized, emphasized Bourdet. In addition, thanks to its precision, “there are no side effects,” he said. “Everything’s going well so far, we are confident and optimistic, but let’s wait the results of the science,” he cautioned, while adding: “I think our drug will be ready in 2016.” Martin Brechbiel, head of radioimmunotherapy research at the National Cancer Institute, is more “cautiously optimistic.” “The potential is very great” with Pb 212, he told AFP. “If this therapy can improve survival significantly this would be extremely important,” he said, but it’s “far too early to tell.”—AFP
H E A LT H & S C I E N C E
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
Spain hesitates on contentious abortion reform MADRID: Despite ramming through austerity measures that sparked popular protest in the streets, Spain’s right-leaning government seems to be hesitating on a potentially more divisive reform: tightening the abortion law. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s Popular Party promised, in a manifesto ahead of its 2011 election victory, “to reinforce protection of the right to life”. That was a nod to opponents of a landmark 2010 reform by the former Socialist government, which brought Spain into line with much of Europe by letting women freely opt for abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. But nearly 18 months after the Popular Party took power, the justice ministry, which is in charge of the reform, has still not drawn up any concrete proposals amid signs of internal dissent. “There is a lot of speculation that it is being slowed down by differences of opinion in the party itself and in the government,” said Ferran Requejo, a political scientist at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. “There is resistance in the party because they can’t agree on the criteria for aborting and there is no agreement in the government because of the image it gives of Spain in Europe.” Before 2010, abortion was a crime in Spain except in cases of rape, risk to the mother’s health or deformation of the foetus. Justice Minister Alberto Gallardon has indicated in press interviews and in parliament that he wants to return to a law similar to that one, but also to go further, curbing abortions in cases of deformation. A study by pollster Metroscopia published last month in centre-left newspaper El Pais indicated that 46 percent of Spaniards favoured keeping the law in its current form while 41 percent wanted a stricter system such as that planned by Gallardon. Pressure from the Church Last month, the head of the Roman Catholic
Church in Spain, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, called for an “urgent reform” of the 2010 law, which he said had “led to a rise in the number of abortions to terrifying levels”. Within hours, Gallardon announced that the government would pass the reform “promptly”, sparking speculation that he was under pressure from the Church, considered a powerful lobby in the party. “Gallardon at one time was the leader of the most liberal section of the party. He has made a U-turn since he has been in the government, and has become the leader of the most hardline section, those closest to the Catholic Church when it comes to abortion,” said Requejo. “Some people speculate that he is going to put himself forward as an alternative to Rajoy in the next election, when the most right-wing section of the PP wants to replace Rajoy.” The justice ministry and the Popular Party told AFP they would not comment on the reform since it was still being discussed. Rajoy as well as Health Minister Ana Mato and other members of the government have avoided commenting on details of the reform. Mato has defended Gallardon in parliament, however, and said the future law would have the backing of the whole government. The spokeswoman for the Spanish anti-abortion campaign group Right to Life, Gador Joya, said Gallardon “must know that Spanish society is backing him to carry out this reform”. “What we want is for no woman in Spain to have to go through this ordeal,” Joya said in a statement. Spain’s Constitutional Court has yet to rule on an appeal brought against the law by the Popular Party. “We cannot make the right to life subject to the decisions of one political party or another,” Joya said. “The right to life must be protected by the constitution.” On the other side, a platform of pro-choice women’s rights groups has launched a joint campaign to keep the abortion law as it is. “I am con-
vinced that Spanish society no longer agrees that judges, doctors, ministers and lawyers should make women’s decisions for them,” said the deputy leader of the opposition Socialist party, Elena Valenciano, at the launch of the campaign. “It is clear there is divi-
sion” in the Popular Party on the issue, she told AFP afterwards. “It is also clear there is pressure from the most conservative sections of the party. There must be tension in the government but we still don’t know where everyone stands.”—AFP
INDIA: Indian yoga practitioners participate in a session organized by the Bharatiya Yog Sansthan association on the outskirts of Amritsar yesterday. Yoga, which means union in Sanskrit, is a family of ancient spiritual practices and also a school of spiritual thought from the South East Asian continent, where it remains a vibrant living tradition and is seen as a means of enlightenment.—AFP
W H AT ’ S O N
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
Kuwait National English School Secondary Graduation SEND US YOUR INSTAGRAM PICS
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uwait National English School officially celebrated the graduation of the students class 2013 who have completed their secondary education and will be moving into the next step of tertiary education in the next academic year. The School Director Madame Chantal Al Gharabally and guests of honor Professor Basil Al Nakib, Vice President of Health and Science
Center, Kuwait University and Dr. Husain Al Khayat, Dean of the College of Engineering and Petroleum, Kuwait University, addressed the audience and Class 2013. The Head Boy, Osama Al Shatti, Head Girl Israa Abdulsalam, School Prefects, Tala Muassess and Dima Kheir and long school students, Abdullah Al Najem and
Shahad Shweikeh delivered speeches before their awards. The ceremony of graduating class 2013 ended up by cutting of traditional cake by the Guests of Honour, School Chairman, School Director and graduated students from Kuwait National English School Student Council. Congratulations to Kuwait National English School Class 2013!!!
appy birthday to Abubaker Nisharpampra as you celebrates his 10th birthday today. Greetings from dear and near ones.
Announcement The Meat Co Kuwait launches weekly Jazz Nights he Meat Co Kuwait will be bringing more than outstanding steak to the table with the launch of their new weekly jazz nights. Starting Wednesday 12 June, The Meat Co Jazz Nights will be treating its customers to the smooth sounds of the Kuwait Jazz Trio, who will be entertaining the crowd with their extensive repertoire of tunes, including the works of Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Hoagy Carmichael, Billy Strayhorn and George Gershwin. Kuwaitís premier jazz band will be performing every Wednesday from 8pm at The Meat Co, Kuwait - using the traditional jazz trio instruments of piano, bass and drums -thrilling the audience with the best of international jazz late into the evening.
IMAX IMAX film program Thursday: ** 9:30am Showtime Available for Groups Flight of Butterflies 3D 10:30am, 5:30pm, 8:30pm Born to be Wild 3D 11:30am Tornado Alley 3D 12:30pm, 7:30pm, 9:30pm To The Arctic 3D 6:30pm Friday: Fires of Kuwait Tornado Alley 3D3:30pm, 5:30pm, 8:30pm To The Arctic 3D 4:30pm, 7:30pm Flight of Butterflies 3D Born to be Wild 3D
Mother’s Tea Party brings a sense of community during time of need
Saturday: ** 9:30am Showtime Available for Groups Flight of Butterflies 3D 10:30am, 1:30pm, 8:30pm Tornado Alley 3D11:30am, 2:30pm, 5:30pm, 7:30pm, 9:30pm To The Arctic 3D 12:30pm, 6:30pm Born to be Wild 3D 3:30pm Journey to Mecca 4:30pm Notes: All films are in Arabic. For English, headsets are available upon request. “Fires of Kuwait”is in English. Arabic headsets are available upon request. Film schedule is subject to changes without notice.
T Write to us Send to What’s On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations by email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 24835619 / 20
he International and Private Patients Service at Great Ormond Street Hospital London recently launched a monthly tea party for mothers of children who are currently inpatients at GOSH. Many mothers of Kuwaiti children and those from across the world gather at the monthly tea party to share their experiences and help each other. Having a child in hospital is a very worrying time for families especially so if you are visiting GOSH from overseas, and English is not your first language. The monthly tea parties have had a resounding positive effect on the mothers, many from Kuwait. The meetings aim at creating a sense of strong community spirit amongst the mothers and GOSH staff. Mothers are
more supportive to each other, helping each other through the difficult times, sharing their experiences and helping each other to settle into ward life. The tea parties provide an opportunity to GOSH clinical staff to educate and train mothers around simple medical procedures that enable them to develop their own skills so that they can provide better care for their child. Al Marri, the mother of Ali Hamad from Kuwait who is 5 years old and is at GOSH for surgical procedures commented: “The tea parties are really good for us; we get the opportunity to properly socialize and create connections with other mothers on the wards. We can support each other and talk about our experiences, our child’s condition and treatment. It gives us a chance to
bring a bit of home spirit into the hospital and make me feel reassured that my child is getting the best treatment available.” “The nurses here try and make sure our stay at GOSH is as comfortable and pleasant as possible and they ensure that we are a valued member of our child’s health care team. The tea parties are not only about drinking tea, eating cakes and socializing, we get trained in certain medical procedures which helps us to look after our child better. We also have the opportunity to talk as a group about the ideas we may have to improve our stay at GOSH and to go over any concerns we may have.”
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
W H AT ’ S O N
Loyac launches its 12th annual summer program
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: email@example.com (VFS) firstname.lastname@example.org (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-gcccom for more information. Kuwait citizens can apply for tourist visas on-line at www.immi.gov.au/e visa/e676.htm. nnnnnnn
oyac launched its twelfth annual summer program in the presence of Loyac’s Board of Directors, and the managers and representatives of the companies that contribute to Loyac. Representatives from the volunteer centers and the student’s participating in the summer program were also present. Mohammed Ajraan, Supervisor of the Committee of Programs and Activities, presented the opening ceremony with a unique show prepared by Loyac Academy of the Performing Arts. Fadia Al Marzouq Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors delivered a speech welcoming the guests. Loyac also modified its awareness committees and those committees
were given the name “Students Humanitarian Initiatives.” Each committee will be named after a participating company that accepted a minimum of 30 students. These committees will be led by the youths themselves and their initiatives will be evaluated at the end of the program so as to chose the best initiatives according to their goals and how they were implemented. Every year at the end of the summer program, some of the students get a full-time employment at the company where they have been training. However, this year a student received an offer for a permanent job from one of the participating companies after his interview and before the
EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada in Kuwait does not have a visa or immigration department. All processing of visa and immigration matters including enquiries is conducted by the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Individuals who are interested in working, studying, visiting or immigrating to Canada should contact the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, website: www.UAE.gc.ca or www.goingtocanada.gc.ca, Email: email@example.com. The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, AlMutawakei St, Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at www.Kuwait.gc.ca. The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. The reception is open from 07:30 to 12:30. Consular services for Canadian citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00, Sunday through Wednesday. nnnnnnn
start of the summer program. Star comedian Faisal Al Basri presented a funny skit that engaged the students and volunteers. The skit was followed by a unique video displayed
by the Committee of Programs and Activities about the activities, trips and entertainment that await t Loyac’s achievements.
Annual Associate Week celebrated at Marriott Hotels
grand celebration of Marriott’s global Annual Associate Week was recently organized at the JW Marriott Kuwait City Hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott Kuwait Hotel, and Arraya Ballroom to express appreciation to their staff for their efforts throughout the past year. In celebration of its founding anniversary, Marriott hotels around the world set aside a week of fun-filled activities to commend its 700 associates for the ongoing dedication, commitment and outstanding service. “Celebrations this year were special, as 2013 marks the 86th anniversary of the founding of Marriott, now a truly global company,” said George Aoun, General Manager for Kuwait Marriott Hotels. “We do hope this week marked as a remarkable memory to each and every associate at the hotel with the exciting interactive program prepared for
them, which provided the opportunity to thank them for the continuing efforts .Their reliable service and hard work is the reason our operations run seamlessly with a loyal guest base and the communities we serve, are a better place.” During the week, the hotel also celebrated Cultural Appreciation Day, in honor of Marriott’s global workforce. This day builds on the hotels’ existing efforts to constantly promote and celebrate diversity and inclusion. At Marriott properties globally and in Kuwait, each day was eventful with a different theme and in true style; beginning with the ‘Mark your Fingerprints’ day that included a special themed lunch and games such as dinar race and basketball with tissue, moving onto ‘Cultural Day’ where the associates participated in the ‘Pingpong bounce’ game and ‘paper clown’.
To add to the excitement each associate was given the opportunity to win daily raffle draws at JW Marriott and Courtyard by Marriott. ‘Spirit to Serve our Associates’ day, followed with cleaning of guest rooms along with “Get Well Soon” wishes displayed and cake cutting. Moreover, during the “Thank you for all you do” day, appreciation notes were provided to all associates while games such as balloon blowing race, were also enjoyed, along with cleaning of the cafeteria’s stewarding section. “The 86th anniversary provided the ideal platform to celebrate Marriott’s core values that have been the drivers of our success, setting us apart: Pursue Excellence, Put People First, Serve our World, Embrace Change, and Act with Integrity,” added George Aoun.
Ernakulam District Association new office bearers
EMBASSY OF US Parents of Kuwaiti citizen children may drop off their sons’ and daughters’ visa applications - completely free of an interview or a trip inside the Embassy. The children must be under 14 years of age, and additional requirements do apply, but the service means parents will no longer have to schedule individual appointments for their children, nor come inside the Embassy (unless they are applying for themselves). The service is only available for children holding Kuwaiti passports. To take advantage, parents must drop off the following documents: Child Visa Drop-off cover sheet, available on the Embassy website (http://kuwait.usembassy.gov/child_visas.htm) - Child’s passport; The Child’s previous passport, if it contains a valid US visa; 5x5cm photo of child with eyes open (if uploaded into DS160, photos must be a .jpg between 600x600 and 1200x1200 pixels, less than 240kb, and cannot be digitally altered); A completed DS160 form; Visa Fee Receipt from Burgan Bank; A copy of the valid visa of at least one parent. If one parent will not travel, provide a visa copy for the traveling parent, and a passport copy from the non-traveling parent with a letter stating no objection to the child’s travel. - For children of students (F2): a copy of the child’s I20. Children born in the US (with very few exceptions) are US citizens and would not be eligible for a visa. Parents may drop off the application packet at Window 2 at the Embassy from 1:00 to 3:00 PM, Monday to Wednesday, excluding holidays. More information is available on the U.S. Embassy website: kuwait.usembassy.gov/child_visas.html 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 www.mfa.gr/kuwait. nnnnnnn
EMBASSY OF VATICAN The Apostolic Nunciature Embassy of the Holy See, Vatican in Kuwait presents its compliments to Kuwait Times Newspaper, and has the honor to inform the same that the Apostolic Nunciature has moved to a new location in Kuwait City. Please find below the new address: Yarmouk, Block 1, Street 2, Villa No: 1. P.O.Box 29724, Safat 13158, Kuwait. Tel: 965 25337767, Fax: 965 25342066. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
rnakulam District Association, Kuwait (EDA) conducted its Annual General Body Meeting on 26th April 2013, at Pravasi Auditorium, in Abbassiya. The meeting was presided over by EDA President Roy Yoyaki. The EDA General Secretary, Madhu Warrier, welcomed the distinguished guests, members and their families to the meeting. He also presented a detailed Report of the EDAís performance for the last 2 years term from 2011-2013. Abdul
Rahim, the Chairman of the Advisory Board, addressed the audience.† New Office Bearers for EDA Central Executive Committee and The EDA Mahila Vedhi were elected in the General Body Meeting. The elected new Office Bearers for EDA Central Executive Committee are Madhu Warrier (President), Varghese Paul (General Secretary), AD Gopinadhan (Treasurer) and Biju MY (General Coordinator). Johnson (Chairman of Advisory Board),
Sunil Kumar (Vice President), Santhosh A.C (Executive Secretary), Balakrishnan Mallya (Joint Coordinator), Kishorekumar P V (Joint Treasurer), Anilkumar P K (Website-inCharge), Tajuddin (Arts & Cultural Committee Secretary), Maxi Joseph (Arts & Cultural Committee Joint Secretary) Stanly (Social Welfare Committee Convener), Bipin Madhavan (Social Welfare Committee Secretary), Samson (Sports Committee Secretary), Sudish (Sports Committee Joint
Secretary). EDA Mahila Vedhi elected Lissa Varghese as its Convener, Radha Gopinadhan (secretary) and Sobha Nair (Treasurer) for the new term. EDA family members performed various cultural programs during this meeting. Balakrishnan (Chief Returning Officer), Johnson and Thajudeen (Returning Officers ) controlled the entire Election process.† The General Coordinator Geo Mathai expressed the vote of thanks.
EMBASSY OF TURKEY The Embassy of the Republic of Turkey announces that a new classes of Turkish language for beginners will start at the Embassy’s Tourism, Culture and Information Office on 17 February 2013. The lessons will be two times in a week for six weeks, for further details and registration please contact. Or fill the application form on http://kuveyt.bemfa.gov.tr and send it to the email: embassy.Kuwait@mfa.gov.tr
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
14:35 Border Security 15:05 Auction Hunters 15:30 Auction Kings 16:00 Ultimate Survival 16:55 Yukon Men 17:50 Mythbusters 18:45 Sons Of Guns 19:40 How Stuﬀ Works 20:05 How It’s Made 20:35 Auction Hunters 21:00 Storage Hunters 21:30 Oﬀ The Hook: Catches 21:55 Oﬀ The Hook: Catches 22:25 Extreme Fishing 23:20 Moonshiners 00:15 Oﬀ The Hook: Catches 00:40 Oﬀ The Hook: Catches 01:10 Extreme Fishing
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Reign Of The Dinosaurs Animal Armageddon HMS Ark Royal Mystery Cars Mystery Cars Hero Factor Hero Factor The Real Sherlock Holmes Tattoo Hunter Out Of Egypt The Real Sherlock Holmes Death Machines LA: City Of Demons Mystery Cars Mystery Cars The Real Sherlock Holmes
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American Pickers American Pickers American Pickers American Pickers American Pickers WWII: Secret Army Pawn Stars Storage Wars Ancient Aliens Storage Wars Storage Wars American Pickers Pawn Stars Storage Wars Ancient Aliens Storage Wars
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C.S.I. Kyle XY Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show C.S.I. Royal Pains House Of Cards
The Americans Banshee Greek Kyle XY Banshee The Americans
03:00 Samantha Who? 03:30 Malibu Country 04:00 Seinfeld 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Hope & Faith 06:00 All Of Us 06:30 Til Death 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Seinfeld 08:30 Hope & Faith 09:00 Samantha Who? 09:30 Hot In Cleveland 10:00 Parks And Recreation 10:30 Til Death 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 All Of Us 12:30 Seinfeld 13:00 Hope & Faith 13:30 Til Death 14:00 Malibu Country 14:30 Parks And Recreation 15:00 Hot In Cleveland 15:30 The Daily Show Global Edition 16:00 The Colbert Report Global Edition 16:30 All Of Us 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Last Man Standing 18:30 Raising Hope 19:00 Hot In Cleveland 19:30 Men At Work 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 The New Normal 22:30 Out There 23:00 Brickleberry 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 The New Normal 02:00 Out There 02:30 Brickleberry
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Brandy & Mr Whiskers Brandy & Mr Whiskers Prankstars Suite Life On Deck Shake It Up A.N.T Farm Jessie Good Luck Charlie Good Luck Charlie Doc McStuﬃns Mickey Mouse Clubhouse A.N.T. Farm A.N.T. Farm Jessie Jessie Good Luck Charlie Good Luck Charlie Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Shake It Up Austin And Ally A.N.T. Farm Jessie Shake It Up Suite Life On Deck Gravity Falls Good Luck Charlie Jessie Shake It Up A.N.T. Farm Austin And Ally Gravity Falls Suite Life On Deck Good Luck Charlie That’s So Raven Austin And Ally Jessie Gravity Falls A.N.T. Farm Good Luck Charlie
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Suite Life On Deck Austin And Ally That’s So Raven Shake It Up A.N.T. Farm Austin And Ally Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana Hannah Montana Brandy & Mr Whiskers Brandy & Mr Whiskers Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School Replacements Replacements
14:30 Style Star 15:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 16:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 17:00 Ice Loves Coco 17:30 Ice Loves Coco 18:00 Married To Jonas 18:30 Married To Jonas 19:00 E!es 20:00 E! News Special: Country Music Festival 20:30 Kourtney And Kim Take Miami 21:30 Playing With Fire 22:30 Fashion Police 23:30 Chelsea Lately 00:00 Dirty Soap 00:55 Style Star 01:25 E!es
03:05 Mitch And Matt’s Big Fish 03:30 Food Poker 04:15 Bargain Hunt 05:00 House Swap 05:45 Cash In The Attic 06:30 Mitch And Matt’s Big Fish 07:00 Food Poker 07:45 Food & Drink 08:15 Phil Spencer - Secret Agent 09:05 Bargain Hunt 09:50 Antiques Roadshow 10:45 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 11:30 MasterChef Australia 11:55 Come Dine With Me 12:45 Food & Drink 13:15 Food Poker 14:00 Bargain Hunt 14:40 Cash In The Attic 15:25 Antiques Roadshow 16:15 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 17:00 Phil Spencer - Secret Agent 17:55 The Roux Legacy 18:30 Home Cooking Made Easy 18:55 Baking Mad With Eric Lanlard 19:20 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 19:45 Come Dine With Me 20:35 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 21:20 Antiques Roadshow 22:15 Bargain Hunt 23:00 Phil Spencer - Secret Agent 23:55 Food Poker 00:40 Come Dine With Me 01:30 MasterChef Australia 01:55 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 02:20 Cash In The Attic
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Andy Bates Street Feasts Food Wars Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Unique Eats Chopped Iron Chef America Food Network Challenge Guy’s Big Bite Guy’s Big Bite Andy Bates Street Feasts Unique Sweets United Tastes Of America
09:05 Barefoot Contessa 09:30 The Next Food Network Star 10:20 Extra Virgin 10:45 Kid In A Candy Store 11:10 Charly’s Cake Angels 11:35 Unique Sweets 12:00 Amazing Wedding Cakes 12:50 Have Cake, Will Travel 13:15 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 13:40 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 14:05 Food Wars 14:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 14:55 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 15:20 Guy’s Big Bite 15:45 Chopped 16:35 Barefoot Contessa 17:00 Barefoot Contessa 17:25 Food Wars 17:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:15 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:40 Charly’s Cake Angels 19:05 Unique Sweets 19:30 Amazing Wedding Cakes 20:20 Chopped 21:10 Chopped 22:00 Food Wars 22:25 Food Wars 22:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 23:15 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 23:40 Food Wars 00:05 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 00:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 00:55 Unwrapped 01:20 Unwrapped 01:45 Food Wars
03:00 Something Borrowed-PG15 05:00 A Dog Named Duke-PG15 07:00 The Tourist-PG15 09:00 The Artist-PG 10:45 Battleship-PG15 13:00 A Fall From Grace-PG15 15:00 Page Eight-PG15 17:00 The Artist-PG 19:00 In Time-PG15 21:00 Young Adult-PG15 23:00 Horrible Bosses-18 01:00 How I Spent My Summer Vacation-PG15
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The National Tree-PG15 Enter The Phoenix-PG15 The Way-PG15 Golden Christmas 3-PG15 Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2-PG Dangerous Flowers-PG15 Leaves Of Grass-PG15 Morning-PG15 Arbitrage-PG15 Dangerous Flowers-PG15
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Perfect Plan-PG15 Flicka 3-FAM The Pirates! Band Of MisﬁtsThe Hairy Tooth Fairy 2-PG New Year’s Eve-PG15 Outlaw Country-PG15 The Pirates! Band Of MisﬁtsBig Miracle-PG The Woman In Black-PG15 Ted-18 Outlaw Country-PG15 Big Miracle-PG
04:00 Tomorrow, When The War Began-PG15 06:00 Brake-PG15 08:00 Blackthorn-PG15 10:00 Transformers: Dark Of The Moon-PG15 13:00 Green Lantern-PG15 15:00 Transformers: Dark Of The Moon-PG15 18:00 Blackthorn-PG15 20:00 Striking Distance-PG15 22:00 Breaking Point-PG15 00:00 Hostel: Part III-18 02:00 Striking Distance-PG15
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House Arrest-FAM Snow Day-PG Good Boy!-PG I Think I Do-PG15 Snow Day-PG Just Crazy Enough-PG15 Stripes-18 Slums Of Beverly Hills-18 A Few Best Men-18 Stripes-18
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The Perfect Man-PG Frozen-PG15 Would Be Kings-PG15 The Perfect Man-PG TT: Closer To The Edge-PG15 Dog Day Afternoon-PG15 Across The Universe-PG15 John Rabe-18
00:30 PGA European Tour Highlights 01:30 AFL Highlights 02:30 Super League 04:30 NRL Premiership 06:30 ICC Cricket 360 07:00 ATP Tennis 08:30 ATP Tennis 10:00 ATP Tennis 11:30 ICC Cricket 360 12:00 Live British & Irish Lions 15:00 Super Rugby Highlights 16:00 PGA Tour Highlights 17:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 18:00 AFL Highlights 19:00 British & Irish Lions 22:00 NRL Full Time 22:30 Futbol Mundial 23:00 Trans World Sport
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00:00 ICC Cricket 360 00:30 ATP Tennis 02:00 ATP Tennis
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ATP Tennis ATP Tennis Futbol Mundial Super League NRL Premiership Futbol Mundial ATP Tennis PGA Tour Highlights ICC Cricket 360 Live ATP Tennis Live ATP Tennis Live ATP Tennis Live ATP Tennis UFC The Ultimate Fighter WWE Bottom Line
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Super Rugby World Pool Masters World Cup Of Pool Trans World Sport Golﬁng World International Rugby Union Top 14 Highlights World Pool Masters World Cup Of Pool Trans World Sport Futbol Mundial Golﬁng World AFL Highlights Super League Futbol Mundial ICC Cricket 360 Golﬁng World Champions Tour International Rugby Union
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MORNING ON OSN CINEMA
hat a thrill it must have been to be present during artistic collaborations between performing arts legends like George Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky. Richard Nelson’s intimate, bittersweet new drama, “Nikolai and the Others,” about the immortality of art, showcases a purely imaginary country weekend in the lives of a group of famous Russian emigres in America that depicts those two great talents working together, surrounded by supportive friends. The richly detailed drama, which opened Monday night at Lincoln Center, is set in the spring of 1948, when the Cold War between former World War II allies America and the Soviet Union is under way. While the U.S. government is generously funding cultural activities of the group’s members, the menacing shadow of CIA agents with confusing agendas haunts everyone’s activities, public and private. Nelson skillfully encapsulates the complexities of these emigres’ lives as they struggle with artistic ambitions, memories of past loves, yearning for their longlost homeland, and current-day political issues that require strategic approaches to even minor activities. In all, 18 actors are deployed with assurance by director David Cromer on the compact thrust stage of the Mitzi E Newhouse Theater, which is beautifully designed with sophisticated period touches by Marsha Ginsberg. Cromer successfully creates a Chekhovian atmosphere with Nelson’s script, with some characters reminiscing out loud while others experience quiet, sometimes rueful epiphanies. The Russians are gathering at the comfortable, bohemian farmhouse of Lucia Davidova, (Haviland Morris, quietly resonant), in rural Westport, Conn. They plan to celebrate the name day of a beloved but extremely ill old friend, renowned set designer Sergey Sudeikin (Alvin Epstein, masterfully hamming it up.) The central ﬁgure in the play is composer Nikolai (“Nicky”) Nabokov, who now works with the State Department doing favors for his Russian friends regarding documents, permissions, and the like. Stephen Kunken emanates a slightly melancholy helpfulness as Nicky, whose time-consuming diplomatic role has distanced him from his art. As he watches the creative process of his friends Stravinsky and Balanchine, he becomes inspired to begin composing again. The group is privileged to enjoy a private rehearsal of the Stravinsky-Balanchine’s gestating avant-garde ballet “Orpheus,” which would soon premiere and be
hailed as a masterpiece. John Glover is an energetic, thoughtful Stravinsky. Feisty yet practical, Igor curries favor with the mistrusted CIA operative who turns up unexpectedly, while reminding Nicky it’s just what they have to do. Michael Cerveris is smooth and calmly imperious as Balanchine, whose impracticality and devotion to his artistic vision are subtly presented by Nelson through the “Orpheus” rehearsal process, as well as via anecdotes, called “George stories,” shared by his amused and admiring friends. The entire cast is excellent. Blair Brown radiates magnetism and warm authority as Stravinsky’s wife Vera, a former actress who is also Sudeikin’s ex-wife and a leader within the group. Kathryn Erbe gives a spirited portrayal of Natasha Nabokov, Nikolai’s cheerful, pragmatic ex-wife. Gareth Saxe is appropriately boorish as Chip Bohlen, the American CIA agent who intrudes upon the Russians’ gathering with clumsy bonhomie, his not-sosubtle threats putting a face to the general feeling of US government dominance. Illustrating the alienation immigrants feel in their adopted country is that the audience hears the cast speaking ﬂawless English whenever the characters are actually meant to be speaking Russian among themselves. The actors then switch into heavily Russianaccented English when speaking to the few Americans in their midst. Rosemary Dunleavy staged the ballet selections from “Orpheus,” which are gracefully performed by Natalia Alonso as Maria Tallchief, Native American ballerina and wife to Balanchine, and a puppyish Michael Rosen as her young American co-star. Nelson has created a beautifully moving look at a dark time in America, when government suspicion of even its most lustrous citizens could escalate into threats against their personal freedom and livelihoods. “We do what we have to do,” is a cautionary refrain among these emigres, weary of government manipulation yet determined to carry on with their artistic work. Sudeikin gives a lyrical summation in the text of a speech to his friends, “Art: our record that we have lived, the breath that gives us life.”— AP
Classifieds TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
Airlines BBC QTR JZR JZR PIA THY ETH GFA UAE ETD FDB RJA RBG KAC KAC KAC JZR JZR JZR MSR OMA QTR THY DHX FDB BAW FDB KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC JZR JZR UAE ABY QTR FDB IRA ETD GFA MEA TMA UAE MSR THY QTR FDB SVA UAE ETD QTR GFA QTR JAI FDB AIC UAL DLH JAI KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC JZR JZR JZR JZR JZR JZR JZR JZR JZR KNE SYR RJA QTR ETD UAE ABY UAL SVA GFA QTR FDB GFA AXB JAI RBG OMA FDB ABY MEA IRA MSR KLM ALK MSR THY JZR
Arrival Flights on Tuesday 11/6/2013 Flt Route 43 DHAKA 148 DOHA 267 BEIRUT 539 CAIRO 239 SIALKOT 764 SABIHA 620 ADDIS ABABA 211 BAHRAIN 853 DUBAI 305 ABU DHABI 67 DUBAI 642 AMMAN 555 ALEXANDRIA 416 JAKARTA 206 ISLAMABAD 412 MANILA 503 LUXOR 555 ALEXANDRIA 1541 CAIRO 612 CAIRO 643 MUSCAT 138 DOHA 770 ISTANBUL 170 BAHRAIN 69 DUBAI 157 LONDON 53 DUBAI 284 DHAKA 514 TEHRAN 546 ALEXANDRIA 332 TRIVANDRUM 302 MUMBAI 352 COCHIN 561 SOHAG 165 DUBAI 855 DUBAI 125 SHARJAH 132 DOHA 55 DUBAI 605 ISFAHAN 301 ABU DHABI 213 BAHRAIN 404 BEIRUT 213 BEIRUT 871 DUBAI 610 CAIRO 766 ISTANBUL 140 DOHA 57 DUBAI 500 JEDDAH 859 DUBAI 307 ABU DHABI 136 DOHA 217 BAHRAIN 146 DOHA 576 COCHIN 59 DUBAI 981 AHMEDABAD 981 BAHRAIN 636 FRANKFURT 574 MUMBAI 678 MUSCAT 562 AMMAN 774 RIYADH 786 JEDDAH 166 PARIS 542 CAIRO 104 LONDON 742 DAMMAM 674 DUBAI 618 DOHA 177 DUBAI 557 ALEXANDRIA 535 CAIRO 239 AMMAN 325 NAJAF 777 JEDDAH 135 BAHRAIN 189 DUBAI 185 DUBAI 472 JEDDAH 341 DAMASCUS 640 AMMAN 134 DOHA 303 ABU DHABI 857 DUBAI 127 SHARJAH 982 WASHINGTON DC DULLES 510 RIYADH 215 BAHRAIN 144 DOHA 63 DUBAI 219 BAHRAIN 393 KOZHIKODE 572 MUMBAI 553 ALEXANDRIA 647 MUSCAT 61 DUBAI 129 SHARJAH 402 BEIRUT 619 LAR 618 ALEXANDRIA 415 AMSTERDAM 229 COLOMBO 614 CAIRO 772 ISTANBUL 513 SHARM EL SHEIKH
Time 00:05 00:05 00:20 00:40 01:05 01:40 01:45 01:55 02:25 02:30 03:10 03:10 03:15 06:35 07:25 06:15 07:40 06:20 06:25 03:15 03:20 03:30 04:35 05:10 05:50 06:30 07:45 08:15 13:40 14:15 07:55 07:50 08:05 12:00 11:35 08:25 08:50 09:00 09:15 09:20 09:30 10:40 10:55 12:00 12:45 13:00 13:10 13:45 13:50 14:30 21:15 21:30 21:35 21:45 22:00 22:05 22:20 22:25 22:40 23:10 23:20 19:35 14:40 19:25 18:30 18:40 18:15 18:45 19:30 19:25 19:10 17:30 19:10 16:10 22:30 16:15 17:50 23:00 20:10 22:40 14:35 15:50 15:55 16:15 16:35 16:55 17:10 17:15 17:20 17:20 18:25 18:55 19:05 19:15 19:35 19:40 20:00 20:00 20:05 20:15 20:20 20:30 21:05 21:10 23:30 23:45 23:20
Airlines AIC AXB PIA JAI UAL DLH MSR KLM KAC JZR BBC PIA THY THY ETH UAE FDB RBG MSR OMA ETD QTR QTR JZR FDB RJA GFA THY KAC JZR BAW FDB JZR KAC KAC ABY UAE FDB QTR ETD IRA KAC GFA KAC KAC MEA JZR JZR JZR KAC KAC JZR TMA MSR THY UAE FDB QTR KAC KNE SVA KAC KAC JZR KAC SYR RJA JZR JZR QTR ETD JZR ABY UAE SVA GFA UAL JZR JZR QTR FDB GFA JZR KAC AXB RBG JAI FDB ABY OMA KAC KAC MEA IRA MSR DHX KLM ETD ALK UAE KAC QTR KAC GFA FDB KAC QTR JAI JZR JZR KAC JZR
Departure Flights on Tuesday 11/6/2013 Flt Route 976 GOA/CHENNAI 490 MANGALORE 206 LAHORE 573 MUMBAI 981 WASHINGTON DC DULLES 637 FRANKFURT 615 CAIRO 411 AMSTERDAM 283 DHAKA 502 LUXOR 44 DHAKA 240 SIALKOT 773 ISTANBUL 765 ISTANBUL 621 ADDIS ABABA 854 DUBAI 68 DUBAI 556 ALEXANDRIA 613 CAIRO 644 MUSCAT 306 ABU DHABI 139 DOHA 149 DOHA 560 SOHAG 70 DUBAI 643 AMMAN 212 BAHRAIN 771 ISTANBUL 545 ALEXANDRIA 164 DUBAI 156 LONDON 54 DUBAI 534 CAIRO 513 IMAM KHOMEINI 561 AMMAN 126 SHARJAH 856 DUBAI 56 DUBAI 133 DOHA 302 ABU DHABI 604 ISFAHAN 101 LONDON 214 BAHRAIN 541 CAIRO 165 ROME 405 BEIRUT 556 ALEXANDRIA 776 JEDDAH 324 AL NAJAF 785 JEDDAH 677 MUSCAT 176 DUBAI 223 DUBAI 611 CAIRO 767 ISTANBUL 872 DUBAI 58 DUBAI 141 DOHA 673 DUBAI 473 JEDDAH 501 JEDDAH 617 DOHA 773 RIYADH 188 DUBAI 741 DAMMAM 342 DAMASCUS 641 AMMAN 238 AMMAN 512 SHARM EL SHEIKH 135 DOHA 304 ABU DHABI 538 CAIRO 128 SHARJAH 858 DUBAI 511 RIYADH 216 BAHRAIN 982 BAHRAIN 184 DUBAI 266 BEIRUT 145 DOHA 64 DUBAI 220 BAHRAIN 134 BAHRAIN 283 DHAKA 394 KOZHIKODE 554 ALEXANDRIA 571 MUMBAI 62 DUBAI 120 SHARJAH 648 MUSCAT 343 CHENNAI 351 KOCHI 403 BEIRUT 618 LAR 607 LUXOR 171 BAHRAIN 415 DAMMAM 308 ABU DHABI 230 COLOMBO 860 DUBAI 381 DELHI 137 DOHA 301 MUMBAI 218 BAHRAIN 60 DUBAI 205 ISLAMABAD 147 DOHA 575 ABU DHABI 554 ALEXANDRIA 1540 CAIRO 411 BANGKOK 528 ASSIUT
Time 00:05 00:15 00:15 00:20 00:25 00:30 00:30 00:55 01:30 01:30 01:30 02:20 02:20 02:40 02:45 03:45 03:50 03:55 04:15 04:20 04:20 04:25 05:15 05:35 06:30 06:35 07:00 07:10 07:20 07:25 08:25 08:25 09:10 09:15 09:25 09:30 09:50 09:55 10:00 10:15 10:20 10:25 11:25 11:30 11:45 11:55 12:10 12:25 13:00 13:00 13:00 13:20 13:45 14:00 14:10 14:15 14:30 14:55 15:05 15:30 15:45 15:45 16:00 16:00 16:30 16:50 16:55 17:05 17:15 17:20 17:20 17:40 17:50 18:15 18:20 18:20 18:30 18:30 18:40 19:25 19:35 19:50 20:05 20:15 20:15 20:20 20:35 20:40 20:45 20:55 20:55 21:05 21:15 21:20 21:30 21:50 22:05 22:15 22:20 22:25 22:30 22:35 22:40 22:45 23:00 23:00 23:05 23:05 23:20 23:25 23:40 23:55
DIAL 161 FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (www.kuwait-airport.com.kw)
CHANGE OF NAME
MATRIMONIAL Inviting marriage proposal for Kerala Christian boy, age 29/ ht - 176cm, from Trichur district working as an Accountant in a reputed company in Kuwait. Contact: Email: email@example.com (C 4440) 11-6-2013 FOR SALE Mitsubishi Lancer GT 2012, red color, sunroof, Camera, CD, (full option), 7,500km, Price KD 3,250/-. Contact: 50994848. (C 4438) 10-6-2013 Toyota Yaris model 2008, red color, alloy rim fog lamp, R bumper sensor, CD, very excellent original condition, installment possible, cash price KD 1,950/-, negotiable. Contact: 99105286.
I, Pallath Halid, Passport No. F8706312, P.O. Vakkad, Malappuram (dt.) Tirur, Kerala, India have changed my name from Pallath Halid to Khalid Pallath. (C 4437) 10-6-2013 ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available in Farwaniya near Garden for a Filipina lady in a C-A/C building. Rent KD 55/-. Contact: 99076372. (C 4439) 10-6-2013 Sharing accommodation now available near big Jamiya, Bahrain Street, Salmiya (Gadeer Clinic building). Contact: 66792392/ 69664598. (C 4436) 9-6-2013
Kuwait SHARQIA-1 AFTER EARTH (DIG) FAST & FURIOUS 6 (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG) FAST & FURIOUS 6 (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG) FAST & FURIOUS 6 (DIG) NO SUN+ TUE+WED
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SHARQIA-2 EPIC (DIG-3D) TATTAH (DIG) EPIC (DIG-3D) TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG) NO SUN+ TUE+WED
12:30 PM 2:45 PM 5:00 PM 7:15 PM 9:45 PM 12:15 AM
SHARQIA-3 NOW YOU SEE ME (DIG) DISCONNECT (DIG) THE HANGOVER PART III (DIG) DISCONNECT (DIG) NOW YOU SEE ME (DIG) DISCONNECT (DIG) NO SUN+ TUE+WED
1:30 PM 3:45 PM 6:00 PM 8:00 PM 10:00 PM 12:30 AM
MUHALAB-1 EPIC (DIG) EPIC (DIG) DISCONNECT (DIG) DISCONNECT (DIG) DISCONNECT (DIG)
1:30 PM 3:45 PM 6:00 PM 8:15 PM 10:15 PM
MUHALAB-2 NOW YOU SEE ME (DIG) THE HANGOVER PART III (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG) NOW YOU SEE ME (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG)
12:45 PM 3:00 PM 5:00 PM 7:15 PM 9:45 PM
MUHALAB-3 TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG) FAST & FURIOUS 6 (DIG) TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG)
12:30 PM 2:45 PM 5:15 PM 7:45 PM 10:00 PM
FANAR-1 NOW YOU SEE ME (DIG) FAST & FURIOUS 6 (DIG) NOW YOU SEE ME (DIG) FAST & FURIOUS 6 (DIG) NOW YOU SEE ME (DIG) FAST & FURIOUS 6 (DIG) NO SUN+ TUE+WED
12:30 PM 2:45 PM 5:15 PM 7:30 PM 10:00 PM 12:30 AM
FANAR-2 AFTER EARTH (DIG) THE HANGOVER PART III (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG) THE HANGOVER PART III (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG) NO SUN+ TUE+WED
1:30 PM 3:45 PM 5:45 PM 7:45 PM 10:15 PM 12:15 AM
FANAR-3 YEH JAWANI HAI DEEWANI12:30 PM DISCONNECT (DIG) 3:30 PM DISCONNECT (DIG) 5:30 PM
Prayer timings Fajr: Shorook Duhr: Asr: Maghrib: Isha:
03:13 04:48 11:47 15:21 18:45 20:19
KNCC PROGRAMME FROM THURSDAY TO WEDNESDAY (06/06/2013 TO 12/06/2013)
YAMLA PAGLA DEEWANA 2 (HINDI) (DIG) 7:30 PM DISCONNECT (DIG) 10:30 PM DISCONNECT (DIG) 12:45 AM NO SUN+ TUE+WED
DISCONNECT (DIG) DISCONNECT (DIG) DISCONNECT (DIG)
9:00 PM 11:15 PM 1:15 AM
360ยบ 3 THE HANGOVER PART III (DIG) THE HANGOVER PART III (DIG) THE HANGOVER PART III (DIG) THE HANGOVER PART III (DIG) THE HANGOVER PART III (DIG) THE HANGOVER PART III (DIG)
1:45 PM 4:00 PM 6:15 PM 8:30 PM 10:45 PM 1:00 AM
AL-KOUT.1 AFTER EARTH (DIG) EPIC (DIG-3D) AFTER EARTH (DIG) THE HANGOVER PART III (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG)
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AL-KOUT.2 TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG)
12:30 PM 2:45 PM 5:00 PM 7:30 PM 10:00 PM 12:45 AM
AL-KOUT.3 FAST & FURIOUS 6 (DIG) NOW YOU SEE ME (DIG) FAST & FURIOUS 6 (DIG) NOW YOU SEE ME (DIG) FAST & FURIOUS 6 (DIG) NOW YOU SEE ME (DIG)
1:00 PM 3:30 PM 5:45 PM 8:15 PM 10:30 PM 1:00 AM
MARINA-1 DISCONNECT (DIG) DISCONNECT (DIG) NOW YOU SEE ME (DIG) DISCONNECT (DIG) NOW YOU SEE ME (DIG) DISCONNECT (DIG) NOW YOU SEE ME (DIG) NO SUN+ TUE+WED
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MARINA-2 AFTER EARTH (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG) FAST & FURIOUS 6 (DIG) FAST & FURIOUS 6 (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG) NO SUN+ TUE+WED
12:45 PM 3:00 PM 5:30 PM 8:00 PM 10:30 PM 12:45 AM
MARINA-3 TATTAH (DIG) EPIC (DIG-3D) THE HANGOVER PART III (DIG) TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG) NO SUN+ TUE+WED
1:00 PM 3:30 PM 5:45 PM 7:45 PM 10:00 PM 12:30 AM
AVENUES-1 NOW YOU SEE ME (DIG) NOW YOU SEE ME (DIG) NOW YOU SEE ME (DIG) NOW YOU SEE ME (DIG) NOW YOU SEE ME (DIG) NOW YOU SEE ME (DIG) NO SUN+ TUE+WED
1:45 PM 4:00 PM 6:15 PM 8:30 PM 10:45 PM 1:00 AM
BAIRAQ-1 EPIC (DIG-3D) EPIC (DIG-3D) FAST & FURIOUS 6 (DIG) FAST & FURIOUS 6 (DIG) FAST & FURIOUS 6 (DIG)
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BAIRAQ-2 TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG)
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BAIRAQ-3 AFTER EARTH (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG) DISCONNECT (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG)
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PLAZA TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG)
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LAILA FAST & FURIOUS 6 (DIG) TATTAH (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG)
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AJIAL.1 IDDARAMMAYILATHO (DIG) IDDARAMMAYILATHO (DIG)
6:45 PM 9:45 PM
AVENUES-2 TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG) TATTAH (DIG) NO SUN+ TUE+WED AVENUES-3 FAST & FURIOUS 6 (DIG) FAST & FURIOUS 6 (DIG) FAST & FURIOUS 6 (DIG) FAST & FURIOUS 6 (DIG) FAST & FURIOUS 6 (DIG) NO SUN+ TUE+WED 360ยบ 1 AFTER EARTH (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG) AFTER EARTH (DIG)
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360ยบ 2 DISCONNECT (DIG) DISCONNECT (DIG) DISCONNECT (DIG)
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stars CROSSWORD 217
STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) You are very skilled at working with people and you would make an excellent negotiator. These same skills make it possible for you to work with the public, in politics or wherever handling sensitive or hot issues are routine. You may find yourself representing your company in matters of importance. Communicating with others is in high demand—there are peaceful negotiations. Your timing should be perfect for whatever project or idea you want to present. As a natural socialite, you love decorum and etiquette, but friendships are the best. You have an urge to be free and you also love a challenge. You would rather travel far than be stuck in a routine. You have a strong drive to be known—to communicate yourself to others.
Taurus (April 20-May 20) You are born to love and care for others and may tend to worry over much. Your fear of being left out or not being fully used up in this life can be alleviated by much hard work. Jumping in with both feet and putting your thoughts into action are called for today. You have a natural insight and understanding as to what the public wants. Your career gets plenty of support from other people now and you feel at home making practical and management decisions. Your career may be built around the way you appear or present yourself. Your spontaneous personality and ability to fascinate others are key elements in being successful. You have a good mind for business as well as an ability to understand the spiritual. Peace.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
ACROSS 1. The local time at the 0 meridian passing through Greenwich, England. 4. A quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one). 12. (computer science) A computer that is running software that allows users to leave messages and access information of general interest. 15. (used especially of commodities) In the natural unprocessed condition. 16. The wife or widow of a czar. 17. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 18. Any division of quantity accepted as a standard of measurement or exchange. 20. A cigar made with light-colored tobacco. 21. A member of the North American Indian people of Oregon. 23. Any of various tropical shrubs widely cultivated for their showy drooping purplish or reddish or white flowers. 25. A tract of land with few or no trees in the middle of a wooded area. 27. Running away from (or as if from) danger. 28. Marked by intense agitation or emotion. 29. Food made from dough of flour or meal and usually raised with yeast or baking powder and then baked. 31. Mythical bird of prey having enormous size and strength. 34. A horse used to set the pace in racing. 37. An important question that is in dispute and must be settled. 41. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 42. Remote city of Kazakhstan that (ostensibly for security reasons) was made the capital in 1998. 45. Antibacterial consisting of any of several synthetic organic compounds capable of inhibiting the growth of bacteria that require PABA. 47. (the feminine of raja) A Hindu princess or the wife of a raja. 49. The capital of Western Samoa. 50. Soil that is plastic when moist but hard when fired. 51. A large elongated exocrine gland located behind the stomach. 52. A bag used for carrying money and small personal items or accessories (especially by women). 55. A highly unstable radioactive element (the heaviest of the halogen series). 56. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 57. Sole genus of the family Naiadaceae. 59. A mature blood cell that contains hemoglobin to carry oxygen to the bodily tissues. 60. A region of Malaysia in northeastern Borneo. 63. A disreputable vagrant. 66. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 70. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 71. A fatty deposit in the intima (inner lining) of an artery. 75. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 76. A self-funded retirement plan that allows you to contribute a limited yearly sum toward your retirement. 77. A cut of pork ribs with much of the meat trimmed off. 78. Any of various coarse shrubby plants of the genus Iva with small greenish flowers. 79. A metric unit of volume or capacity equal to 10 liters. 80. Thin-shelled freshwater mussels.
81. A long projecting or anterior elongation of an animal's head. DOWN 1. Brusque and surly and forbidding. 2. Small wildcat of the mountains of Siberia Tibet and Mongolia. 3. Two times. 4. A New England state. 5. Of or relating to the songbirds n. 6. A port city and resort in Andalusia in southern Spain on the Mediterranean. 7. A period marked by distinctive character or reckoned from a fixed point or event. 8. Consisting of or made of wood of the birch tree. 9. Eaten as mush or as a thin gruel. 10. A soft silver-white ductile metallic element (liquid at normal temperatures). 11. A genus of Psittacidae. 12. Pertaining to or constituting a base or basis. 13. Broken husks of the seeds of cereal grains that are separated from the flour by sifting. 14. North American woodland herb similar to and used as substitute for the Chinese ginseng. 19. 100 thebe equal 1 pula. 22. In or relating to or obtained from urine. 24. Formerly a contemptuous term of address to an inferior man or boy. 26. A very light brown. 30. French couturier whose first collection in 1947 created a style (tight bodice and narrow waist and flowing pleated skirt) that became known as the New Look (1905-1957). 32. Wildly disordered. 33. Ruffed grouse. 35. Scale-like structure between the base of the wing and the halter of a two-winged fly. 36. A drug (trade names Calan and Isoptin) used as an oral or parenteral calcium blocker in cases of hypertension or congestive heart failure or angina or migraine. 38. A blow from a flat object (as an open hand). 39. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 40. Lap at the front of a coat. 43. A family of Sino-Tibetan languages spoken in southeastern Asia. 44. A percussion instrument consisting of a pair of hollow pieces of wood or bone (usually held between the thumb and fingers) that are made to click together (as by Spanish dancers) in rhythm with the dance. 46. A major victory by the Romans over the Macedonians in 168 BC. 48. Allow to enter. 53. The dialect of Malay used as the national language of the Republic of Indonesia or of Malaysia. 54. A rare silvery (usually trivalent) metallic element. 58. A broken piece of a brittle artifact. 61. A city in northern India. 62. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 64. Chocolate cookie with white cream filling. 65. Brought into existence. 67. A quantity that is added. 68. A person who possesses great material wealth. 69. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 72. Administration of a nutritionally adequate solution through a catheter into the vena cava. 73. 10 hao equal 1 dong. 74. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth.
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
Right now, the key to career moves involves attending to nagging details— whatever you have neglected or delayed. Attention to matters of health and efficiency are important. Opportunities are plentiful and you may find yourself wanting to do almost everything. Things are working with rather than against you so, do not hold back. However, do not overdo and try to go too far too fast. Let things take their natural course; this should be an easy path now. Prosperous things result from new insights, inventions and an independent point of view. Circumstances may augment and stimulate appreciation and enjoyment of your life situation. Your mind may be very clear now and your thoughts brought to a sharp focus. Communication is productive.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) Your input and advice today seems very important to a special friend. You will be helpful as you penetrate and get to the very heart of a problem. Guard against doing for this person what this person can do unaided. Continual discovery, persistent search and continual change and transformation keep you on the move. There may also be many interruptions today. There is an emphasis on communication, expression of ideas and the connections between things, places and people. What goes on in your mind is the all-important motivation in your life. You tend toward mental pursuits and admire intelligence. This is a good time to reap the benefit of your past efforts. Life seems to run smoothly this afternoon. You are feeling good and enjoy your work.
Leo (July 23-August 22) You could be most persuasive with others. Career moves must be given special attention. Your own partiality for routine and the traditional may result in your feeling challenged by anything new or different. You could find yourself struggling against change and progress—clinging onto the status quo. Although a conformist, you may surround yourself with partners and friends who are themselves unconventional and offbeat. There is a love/hate relationship here with all that is unusual. Your tendency to compromise and settle for less than you dreamed can be a problem. Given the opportunity, you may choose the path of least resistance, willing to bypass some of the things you always wanted in favor of expediency.
Virgo (August 23-September 22) Because you may often be impulsive and spontaneous, you could find yourself representing your company, lecturing or teaching. You may even find yourself on a plane, traveling to some foreign country, ready to teach new technical skills. Today you may provoke a response from others and this could mean big business. You are able to make another person or group of people put on their thinking hat. There is something essential that starts or causes something else to happen—a reaction or response when you promote a product, instruct or lecture: enthusiasm! Your birth sign is in a good place to gain positive energy from the result of your actions that work to increase the income or finances. Keep up the good work.
Libra (September 23-October 22) You are gifted and lucky when it comes to career decisions. The day unfolds in a positive manner. There are some important facts to obtain before expressing your viewpoints; a little research is in order. Pace yourself—this is not the time to become involved in conversations with higher-ups. Your theories and mental activities may be fine, but you may lack the necessary patience to let things develop on their own—take a walk or climb stairs, your invigorated self will encourage clear thoughts. You will not forget what you want to say if you keep a logbook and write your ideas. You have plenty of enthusiasm today. You have an inner self-confidence that burns with its own light. A little extra pampering is healing this evening.
Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Your career is smooth these days. A career in communications of one kind or another is indicated—you are a kind of living channel. You love investigations, reporting, writing, speaking, broadcasting, advertising—networking. Forever curious, you love searching for answers and following leads. The good life and all that is fine and luxurious may be what you value just now. You could enjoy making your own way through whatever problems you have. This is a great time to be with others and to work together. Feel good about yourself this afternoon! This is a great day to partake in self-improvement activities. Start with a new hairstyle or outfit. Tonight you could get in touch with a friend or family member you have not talked with in a while.
Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Circumstances can throw you into positions where you must use your mind and deal with communications, service or secretive people. You may deal with education, psychology, spiritual enlightenment or teaching principles and techniques. You will find yourself more concerned with maintaining and strengthening your position, rather than pushing outward. Work on a request for a raise or job change, if that is what you want—a job review is coming up soon. There are new business opportunities opening up for you at this time. A feeling that anything characterizes the cycle you have just begun. There is optimism, faith and a tendency to take chances. Help your mind and physical well-being enjoy some leisure activity tonight.
Capricorn (December 22-January 19) CAPRICORN This is a time when support and recognition should be available from public, family and friends. You feel at home in the world and it more than takes care of you. You could have deep insights into your own feelings and inner spiritual nature. Your surroundings, circumstances and support system are the crucial spot or what-have-you in the chain of your life. When things get hectic, it is in these areas that you can expect pressure and great activity. You may find yourself being put to good use by your friends today. This is a great time to be with others and to work together. Creative endeavors and friendships make up most of your day. There is a chance to understand those around you and to have a special time with someone you love this evening.
Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Your sense of responsibility is clear and requires no training or education. However, you have an appreciation for education and are interested in becoming involved in some sort of continuing education. You have clarity and competence in practical and business matters today and others pay attention to what you have to say. There is a passion for inventions and electronics as some new equipment is available for your inspection. You will be concerned with issues of freedom and independence. Your privacy and the opportunities to carry out your work without too many restrictions are uppermost important today afternoon—so much so, you may find yourself doing research in a library during, and perhaps after, work hours.
Pisces (February 19-March 20) You may want to avoid the superficial people today—you hate small talk anyway. Exercise the talents you have to quietly investigate, search out answers and explore possibilities for new techniques in business. Uncomplicated explanations of your ideas may find better results than the technical explanation. Basic communication skills may be the only thing required now in order to get others to listen more attentively. You are, perhaps, a genius—at least others may think so. Computers and new methods of communication are for you. Improvements of existing circumstances into new possibilities are available. Inventions, electronics and computers are all fantastic voyages for you now. Self-confidence and self-discipline will help you succeed.
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
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TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
lifestyle A w a r d s
This theater image released by The O+M Company shows the cast during a performance of the musical ‘Kinky Boots.’ —AP /AFP photos
(Second right) Writer Christopher Durang winner of Best Play for ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’.
Actor Neil Patrick Harris, left, and Mike Tyson perform on stage.
1. Neil Patrick Harris opening the show with an insane amount of dancers, glitter and silliness. He joked about kiddie stars, ended up hanging high from a prop and made even Mike Tyson dance. 2. When Harris joined “Smash” star Megan Hilty, “Go On” star Laura Benanti (swigging a bottle) and former “The Book of Mormon” star Andrew Rannells to skewer theater stars who seek fame and fortune - on TV. Harris’ guests all recently tried their hands at TV, but only his “How I Met Your Mother” is still on the air. 3. That amazing kid tap-dancing in the “A Christmas Story, the Musical” segment. He’s 10- year-old Luke Spring and in his gangster’s pinstripe suit and lightningfast feet, he mowed people down.
4. Cyndi Lauper performing her song “True Colors” during the segment when dead members of the theater community are honored. It was moving, natural and fitting that Lauper, a first-time Broadway composer, make the nod to her predecessors. 5. The final song, when Harris teamed up with five-time Tony winner Audra McDonald to rework Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” - “In New York, singing all the lyrics we made up/There’s nothing we can’t do.” Harris rules again. — AP
Cyndi Lauper accepts the Tony award for best score for her work on music and lyrics in “Kinky Boots.”
Musician Cyndi Lauper, winner of the Tony Award for Best Original Score for ‘Kinky Boots.’
n a feel-good night for Broadway, it was only natural that the Tony Award go to its most feel-good musical, the joyous “Kinky Boots.” But most everything about Sunday’s Tony telecast was warmhearted, from inspiring speeches about the theatrical community to the inspired antics of Neil Patrick Harris, who should officially be awarded the host job on a permanent basis. It was an especially happy night for female theater artists: In a rare feat, women took home both directing prizes, for a musical (Diane Paulus for the high-energy “Pippin” revival) and for a play (Pam MacKinnon for the searing revival of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”). And Cyndi Lauper won best original score for “Kinky Boots,” a result that had many in the audience whooping with delight. “Girl, you’re gonna have fun tonight!” shouted presenter Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the “Modern Family” actor a reference, of course, to Lauper’s iconic “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” In winning best musical, “Kinky” scored something of an upset over the terrific but decidedly darker “Matilda the Musical.” And underscoring the sunny nature of this year’s ceremony, a comedy - Christopher Durang’s dysfunctional-family satire “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” - won for best play over the more typical dramatic fare. It wasn’t a great night for movie stars. In a season where a number of Hollywood personalities were snubbed for Tony nominations - Scarlett Johansson, Bette Midler and Jessica Chastain among them - best-actor nominee Tom Hanks (“Lucky Guy”) lost out to Tracy Letts, previously a Tony-winning playwright, for his wrenching performance in “Virginia Woolf.” As it was for women, it was a big night for African-American actors, with wins for best actor and actress in a musical, best actress in a play and featured actor in a play. The ebullient Billy Porter won best actor in a musical for playing a drag queen with a heart of gold and a taste for, well, kinky boots, in “Kinky Boots.” He graciously saluted his co-star and co-nominee, Stark Sands. “”You are my rock, my sword, my shield,” he said, adding: “I share this award with you. I’m gonna keep it at my house - but I share it with you.” And the effervescent Patina Miller won best actress in a musical for “Pippin,” in a role - the Leading Player - that also won Ben Vereen a Tony in 1973. Like Vereen, Miller sings and dances expertly in the role, but unlike Vereen, she also soars on a trapeze and sings while hula-hooping. Cicely Tyson, 88, had perhaps the evening’s most emotional win and not one but two standing ovations - for best actress in a play, in “The Trip to Bountiful.” She told the audience that at her age, she had “this burning desire to do just one more - one more great role. I didn’t want to be greedy. I just wanted one more.” And Courtney B. Vance won best featured actor in “Lucky Guy,” his first win in three nominations. “It’s a richer experience now,” he said at the Tony after-party. “Being nominated is a whirlwind. Now I know how to pace myself.” He was snapping photos of his wife, actress Angela Bassett, as fellow guests at the Tony after-party at the Plaza Hotel crowded around them. “Besides,” he said, “we’re the toast of Broadway now! That doesn’t happen very often.” Wins or losses, the guests at the Tony gala seemed intent on having a wonderful time. One of them was Billy Magnussen, who plays a studly young boyfriend to Sigourney Weaver’s character in “Vanya and Sonia.” He had lost out to Vance but couldn’t stop dancing (if you wanted to interview him, you had to twirl along.) “Who gets to dance at the Tonys?” he asked joyfully and rather rhetorically. “This guy!” He said it was “amazing to be honored for something that I would do for free anyway.” Shalita Grant, his colleague in “Vanya and Sonia,” was boogying on the dance floor, too. “Hey, it’s a great night,” she said. “Two months on Broadway and then a nomination? I can’t complain.” The winner in Grant’s category was Judith Light of “The Assembled Parties,” her second Tony in the category in two years. The former star of TV’s “Who’s the Boss?” gave one of the most poignant and admired speeches of the night, along with Letts, who made similar remarks about the Tonys being not about competition, but about collaboration. At the after-party, Light elaborated on her thoughts. “We are here to celebrate each other,” she said in an interview. “That is the magic. We root for each other. If we didn’t, our work would simply be too arduous.” “This is my family,” Light added, pointing to a ballroom filled with theater folk. “I’m so happy to be at a party with my family.” Light’s coun-
The cast of ‘Matilda The Musical’ performs.
terpart on the musical side was Andrea Martin, 66, who won best featured actress in a musical for “Pippin,” in which she plays the title character’s grandmother, Berthe, and stops the show every night by performing high-flying stunts that thrill the audience. Her co-star, Matthew James Thomas, who plays Pippin, said at the party that he was backstage watching Martin’s emotional speech, and found it so moving that he burst into tears. “She’s usually so together, so it was amazing to see her like that,” he said. “I’m so happy for her, and Diane, and the whole company.” Also accepting congratulations at the party was someone who never appeared onstage: the Tony-winning composer, actor, lyricist and rapper LinManuel Miranda, who co-wrote with Tom Kitt the terrific opening number performed by host Harris. Miranda, who wrote and starred in “In the Heights,” also wrote the rap number that Harris performed with Audra McDonald at the end of the show, with lyrics that referred to events that had happened only minutes earlier. Harris showed no sign of wear on his fourth go as Tony host, earning as many laughs as ever with routines like a running reference to boxer Mike Tyson, or a number about theater actors (like him) who move on to glory and wealth on TV shows - some of which then get canceled. Harris opened the show as the Irish “Guy” in the musical “Once,” holding a guitar in a pub and singing soulfully, but then quickly jumped into a flashy production number that showcased performers from almost a dozen musicals. Among other things, Harris jumped through a hoop, a la “Pippin,” vanished from a box and somehow appeared at the back of the theater, and promised a “truly legendary show” before glitter guns went off. Legendary or not, it certainly made its audience very happy; by the end of the number, the entire Radio City Music Hall crowd was on its feet. — AP
This theater image released by Philip Rinaldi Publicity shows Sigourney Weaver, right, during a performance of ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.’
The cast and producers from ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ accept the award for best revival of a play.
(From left) ’Pippin’ producers, from left, Barry Weissler, Fran Weissler, Janet Kagan and Howard Kagan accept the Tony award for best revival of a musical.
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
lifestyle A w a r d s
(From left) )Patina Miller, winner of the award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for ‘Pippin’, Cicely Tyson, winner of the award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for ‘The Trip to Bountiful’ and Billy Porter, winner of the award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for ‘ Kinky Boots’.
Best Play: “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.” Best Musical: “Kinky Boots.” Best Book of a Musical: “Matilda the Musical.” Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theater: “Kinky Boots.” Best Revival of a Play: “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Best Revival of a Musical: “Pippin.” Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play: Tracy Letts, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Best Performance by an Actress in Leading Role in a Play: Cicely Tyson, “The Trip to Bountiful.” Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical: Billy Porter, “Kinky Boots.” Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical: Patina Miller, “Pippin.” Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play: Courtney B. Vance, “Lucky Guy.” Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play: Judith Light, “The Assembled Parties.” Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical: Gabriel Ebert, “Matilda the Musical.” Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical: Andrea Martin, “Pippin.”— AP
Gabriel Ebert poses with his award for best performance by an actor in a featured role in a musical, for ‘ Matilda the Musical’.
Actress Judith Light accepts the award for Best Performance by an actress in a featured role in a play for her role in ‘The Assembled Parties’.
Diane Paulus accepts a Tony award for best direction in a musical for “Pippin.”
Reeve Carney, center, and the cast of ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’.
Billy Porter accepts the Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for his role in ìKinky Bootsî.
Actor Tom Hanks speaks onstage.
Actress Andrea Martin, winner of Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in ‘Pippin ‘.
Presenters Jesse Tyler Ferguson, left, and Jane Krakowski present the Tony award for best original score to Cyndi Lauper, right, for “Kinky Boots”.
Courtney B. Vance accepts the award for best featured actor in a play for ‘Lucky Guy’.
want to thank Harvey Fierstein for calling me up. I’m so glad I was done with the dishes and answered the phone.”-Cyndi Lauper, who teamed up with Tony-winning Fierstein, to create the best musical “Kinky Boots.” “Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s the portion of the evening where two actors who are not nominated for their performances on Broadway this season very graciously give a Tony to someone who was.”-Alan Cumming, presenting with Scarlett Johansson. “You are my rock, my sword, my shield. Your grace gives me presence. I share this award with you. I’m gonna keep it at my house! But I share it with you.”-Billy Porter to his “Kinky Boots” co-star Stark Sands, whom he beat for best leading man in a musical. “‘Please wrap it up,’ it says. Well, that’s exactly what you did with me: You wrapped me up in your arms after
Rob Howell receives an award for best scenic design for a musical for his work in “Matilda The Musical”.
Actor Tracy Letts, winner of Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play for his role in ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’
Patina Miller accepts the Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for ‘Pippin’.
Jerry Mitchell poses with his Tony Award for best choreography for “Kinky Boots”.
John Shivers accepts award for best sound design for “Kinky Boots”.
30 years.”-Cicely Tyson, who returned to Broadway after three decades and won for best actress in a play but ran afoul of the stage managers on Tony night. “I want to thank every woman that I am in this category nominated with: you have made this a celebration, not a competition.”-Judith Light after winning for best featured actress in a play, beating Judith Ivey, Condola Rashad, Shalita Grant and Carrie Coon. “It’s not bad for someone who can’t sing, can’t dance, and can’t act. Actually I’m a triple threat literally.”-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in response to Sigourney Weaver’s praise for his support of the Broadway community. — AP
Scarlett Johansson, left, and Alan Cumming present an award at the 67th Annual Tony Awards.
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
lifestyle F e a t u r e s
cottish author Iain Banks, best known for his novels “The Wasp Factory” and “The Crow Road”, has died aged 59, two months after revealing that he had terminal cancer, his publisher said. Banks died less than a fortnight before the scheduled publication of his final book, “The Quarry”, which focuses on the final weeks in the life of its cancer-ridden protagonist.
He was one of Britain’s most prolific writers and unusual in his talent for both mainstream novels and science fiction, which he wrote under the name Iain M Banks. “On behalf of Iain’s wife, Adele, it is with enormous sadness that Little, Brown announces the death of Iain Banks,” said a statement released by his publisher on Sunday. “Iain Banks’ ability to
combine the most fertile of imaginations with his own highly distinctive brand of gothic humor made him unique,” it added. “He is an irreplaceable part of the literary world.” Banks was presented with a finished copy of “The Quarry” three weeks ago, the publisher revealed. Born in Fife in Scotland in 1954, where he continued to live up until his death, Banks was regarded as one of the most innovative writers of his generation. He rose to prominence in 1984 with his first novel “The Wasp Factory”, the disturbing tale of a Scottish teenager who had murdered three children in his family before he was ten. He was known for his frenetic writing pace, often completing a novel in less than three months, and leaves behind a collection of more than two dozen novels. These include the “Culture” series, tales from a futuristic utopia of which he was particularly proud. In his last blog posting on April 20, the English literature graduate rejected suggestions that the sci-fi was a sideline intended to pay for his other, more literary ambitions afloat. “The SF novels have always mattered deeply to me-the Culture series in particular-and while it might not be what people want to hear (academics especially), the mainstream subsidized the SF, not the other way round,” he wrote. Publishers had worked to bring publication of his new book forward following his announcement on his website in April that he had only months to live. “I am officially Very Poorly,” Banks announced with trademark black humor, explaining that the cancer had started in his gall bladder and spread to his liver, pancreas and lymph nodes. With news that his time was nearly up, the previously divorced Banks asked his girlfriend Adele Hartley if she would “do me the honor of becoming my widow”. Hartley, who runs a horror film festival, shares his dark humor, signing one blog post
“Chief Widow-in-Waiting”. They had a honeymoon in Venice and Paris, but Banks was admitted to hospital in Edinburgh immediately on their return to Scotland. Banks was also known for his political views. He famously ripped up his passport and send it to prime minister Tony Blair in an act of protest against the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Before he died, Banks thanked his fans and supporters for all their kind words following his diagnosis, saying he was “knocked out by the love and depth of feeling”. “I want to say thank you to all of you for your messages, your memories, your wit, your sympathy and your kind, supportive thoughts,” he wrote, during a holiday on the Scottish island of Barra. Fellow author Ian Rankin said Banks had been “fascinating, curious and full of life”. “He didn’t take things too seriously, and in a way I’m happy that he refused to take death too seriously-he could still joke about it,” he told the BBC. “What made him a great writer was that he was childlike; he had a curiosity about the world.” Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond paid tribute to an “incredibly talented writer” whose work “brought pleasure to readers for over 30 years. “I have been in correspondence with him in the last few weeks and can testify to the extraordinary vitality with which he continued to approach life,” he added. — AFP
obbits, elves and dragons appear to be luring tourists to New Zealand as fans await their first glimpse of the second movie in “The Hobbit” trilogy. Figures released this month by government agency Tourism New Zealand show that international vacations to New Zealand rose 10 percent from January through April when compared to the same period last year. The agency said a survey indicated that 8.5 percent of visitors cited “The Hobbit” as one reason for coming and that 13 percent took part in some kind of hobbitthemed tourism like visiting a film set. Warner Bros announced yesterday it will release the first teaser-trailer of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” at 1 pm EDT Tuesday. The second film will premiere Dec 13 in Los Angeles. The trilogy is directed by New Zealand
filmmaker Peter Jackson and shot in his home country. The opener “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” was released December 2012. It received mixed reviews but proved extraordinarily popular with audiences, earning a little over $1 billion at the box office. In an email, Jackson’s spokesman Matt Dravitzki said fans can expect “a surprise or two” in this week’s trailer, “but I can’t say anything more than that!” A little over 500,000 tourists visited New Zealand for vacations in the first four months of the year. About the same number again visited for other reasons, such as for work or to visit relatives. — AP
The leading apparel retailer bested many retailers from across the globe
Splash announces grand winners of its 20th anniversary celebrations
plash the region’s most popular high-street retailer announced recently the names of winners of its 20th Anniversary celebrations. Kicking off the celebrations in glamour, the brand partnered with BMW to offer an eye catching Kuwait , other countries in the GCC, Jordan and Egypt wide promotion which came loaded with 20, 520i Executive 2013 model BMWs. The BMW promotion started from 1st April till 10 May and the Raffle draw took place on 30th May at the Splash Store in the Avenues where the two winners from Kuwait were announced. Osama Al-Sayed and Ahmed Mohd Mohamoud drove away the two BMW’s while Fathen Fayez AlSageh, Tamer Mohd Ahmed, Khadeja Abed Salem, Fathma Jassim, Mariam Adel, Gaurav Kumar, Alaa Makawi, Maaly Betal Al-Merjah, Mohd Hindi Mohd and Dalal Ali Mohammed won Iphone5, Ipad3, Samsung 32 inch LED TV , Samsung Galaxy Note II and Mac book Air. The promotion entitled customers who shop for 15 Kuwaiti dinars worth of trendy purchases from Splash, to participate in a raffle draw. Twenty lucky winners from GCC, Jordan & Egypt became proud owners of the cars. Born in the UAE with a single store, the brand’s journey has spanned 12 countries with over 200 stores and is all set to celebrate these two stylish decades. In Kuwait, Splash is available at all Centrepoint Stores in Al Rai, Salmiya, Kuwait City, Hawally, Fahaheel, Jahra, Fintas , Sulaibikhat and at The Avenues - Phase II.
n an exciting finale that brought the most talented Filipinos in the GCC region to Dubai to vie for the top spot of Kapatid TV5’s ‘Talentadong Pinoy Middle East,’ Haina Uddin was adjudged Middle East Grand Champion. All the buzz from the exciting contest will be showcased exclusively on OSN’s Kapatid TV5 channel. Hailing from Laguna, Philippines and a student of the Philippine School of Doha, 16-year old Haina will go on to represent the Middle East at the global Battle of the Champions in Kapatid TV5’s leading reality talent show. She also received a cash prize of US$10,000 for winning the Middle East contest. “I am totally surprised, I did not expect this!” said Haina. “I was just a wildcard entry and I am thrilled to have had this fantastic opportunity.” When asked with what she will do with her prize money, she said: “I intend to donate part of the prize to charity and the rest will be used to open a small business for my family in the Philippines.” Mesmerising judges with her powerful rendition of Jessie J’s song Mamma Knows Best, Haina had the audience on their feet, in a closely contested event that also saw Kesiah Ariteo, a student from Saudi Arabia, and the Dubai-based 5-member all-male dance group Watawat, emerging as first
iordano, the fashion retailer for everyday essential wardrobe, clinched the “2013 RLI Emerging Market Retailer of the Year” award in the recently concluded Global RLI Awards held in the National History of Museum in London. The recognition adds to a long list of accolades received by Giordano from prestigious award-giving bodies internationally. The leading apparel retailer was nominated for representing the essential retail qualities of entrepreneurship, originality and flexibility. Giordano bested three other international nominees shortlisted from many entries across the globe, as it has demonstrated a robust and growing retail format and essayed its role in the development of emerging economies where it operates. Receiving the award from Jayne Rafter, Publisher of RLI (Retail and Leisure International) were Dominic Irwin, Giordano International’s CFO and Ishwar Chugani, Managing Director of Giordano Middle East FZE and Executive Director of Giordano International. The Global RLI Award boasts a strong and prominent panel of judges including Theo Papthis, owner of Boux Avenue, Chairman of Ryman Stationery and star of BBC’s Dragons’ Den; Hamish Dodds, President and CEO of Hard Rock International; Peter Sharp, President of Walmart Asia Realty; and, Steve Sadove, Chairman and CEO of Saks Incorporated, among others. According to Rafter, the awards celebrate and reward the success and creativity of the industry’s most impressive developments, leading retailers, leisure operators and affiliated business partners, through concepts, initiatives and design excellence. Other winners from different categories were: Yongsan International Business District from Seoul, South Korea; Kidzania; Boux Avenue, Asics, McDonald’s and Burberry Flagship store from the UK. “ This award means a lot to Giordano International and Giordano Middle East FZE as it recognises our efforts in delivering not just quality products but innovative and creative retail entrepreneurship. Our business has expanded exponentially since 1981. Around the world, Giordano now boasts of 2,800 stores in 40 countries with continued focus on expansion into emerging mar-
and second runners-up who received US$5,000 and US$3,000, respectively. Award-winning host Ryan Agoncillo, and celebrity talent scouts Gelli de Belen, Arnell Ignacio and Marvin Agustin, were in Dubai for the inaugural Middle East regional talent search for Talentadong Pinoy. The Dubai event followed the first round of auditions and qualifying rounds held in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar. The celebrity talent scouts and host unanimously praised Haina. “We have seen a lot of talented Filipinos here in the Middle East and all over the world,” said Arnel Ignacio. “But aside from talent, we are also looking for the x-factor, which Haina definitely has,” he added. “I think it was her fate to win this contest,” celebrity talent scout Gelli de Belen said. “I can’t help but think that maybe she is really fated to win Talentadong Pinoy Middle East,” added De Belen. Several lucky OSN Pinoy subscribers had the exclusive opportunity to meet Ryan Agoncillo, Marvin Agustin, Arnel Ignacio and Gelli de Belen in person after the grand finale. Chuck Silva of OSN added: “We are extremely pleased with the positive response we had from the auditions and qualifying rounds including the
kets such as Africa, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America,” commented Chugani. Chugani added that Giordano’s passion is to continuously reinvent itself to offer customers essential and relevant collections as well as offer the best customer experience while shopping in each of its stores. Just in May 2013, Giordano was also ranked
fully-packed finale. Events such as this give our valued OSN Pinoy subscribers the opportunity to connect with what they watch on TV and experience it live and in person. We are happy to provide these opportunities as it enriches our customers’ experience with OSN.” Talentadong Pinoy Middle East will be broadcast exclusively on OSN’s Kapatid TV5 channel every Sunday from June 23. OSN offers premium Filipino entertainment through its dedicated Pinoy packages offering over 40 TV channels including Kapatid TV5 and Aksyon TV (the official and exclusive worldwide broadcaster of the games of the Philippine Basketball Association). OSN recently added four premium and leading ABS-CBN channels including TFC (The Filipino Channel), Bro, Cinema One Global and ANC (ABSCBN News Channel) further strengthening its Pinoy offering for Middle East viewers.
19th in Forbes Middle East magazine’s Top 100 Making an Impact in the Arab World, for companies which are leading an industry, contributing to societal development, or pouring finances into charity work or economic growth across the Arab world.
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
lifestyle T r a v e l
Mazatlan’s own cliff divers, a tradition begun in 1961, perform for visitors.
By Anne Z Cooke and Steve Haggerty
he atmosphere in the Plaza de Toros, hot in the afternoon sun, crackled like popcorn, leaving visitors wondering just how long the crowd, growing larger by the minute, would sit patiently and wait. But as late arrivals searched for the last free seats, their concerns melted away. Suntanned cowboys in bigbrimmed hats spotted distant friends and waved. Vendors selling drinks worked the aisles and ladies spread sunscreen on their children. Clean-shaven men, eyes hidden behind black Ray-bans, shook hands and strangers compared notes on the afternoon’s event, the Carnaval Week bull fight.
Music and al fresco dining, at Pedro and Lola’s, on the Plaza Machado in Mazatlan.
Weekly bull fights, a winter sport here in Mazatlan, on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, run from Christmas through April. But the bull fight held during Carnaval, featuring world-famous “rejoneador,” Pablo Hermosa de Mendoza, is the spectacle that packs the arena. Challenging the bull, the charismatic Hermosa and his horse he travels with six trained Lusitanos are super stars, leaping, dancing, and spinning, melding the crowd into a cheering, gasping, groaning, clapping, handkerchiefwaving mass. While we waited for the first bull to enter the ring, I overhead a conversation behind me, a couple discussing their new house on the hill overlooking the beach. Another family moving to Mexico, I wondered? Immigrants heading south, instead of Mexicans coming north? A favored beach retreat since the 1940s, Mazatlan has been shunned lately, tarred by the same brush that paints the country as crime-ridden and unsafe. But this couple seemed to be ignoring conventional wisdom. Why? I wondered. “Are you living here permanently?” I asked, turning around to introduce myself. “Maybe you’ve met my friends. They live in that neighborhood, too, up on the hill.” “Vacation for now, but permanently soon,” said Edward Klop, a company owner from
Taking the kayaks for spin, on the beach on Deer Island, in Mazatlan.— MCT photos
British Columbia, smiling and leaning over to shake hands. “Why? Because people here are so decent. Look at this crowd. “Mexicans are family people,” added Yvonne Klop. “They take their kids when they go out to eat or to a concert. The kind of restaurants we’d like to eat at in Vancouver, or San Francisco or New York, don’t allow kids. If there’s a bar or they serve alcohol, it’s illegal.” Right about then, the crowd broke into cheers and Hermosa cantered into the ring mounted on a white Lusitano stallion. Whether you condone bullfighting, it’s impossible not to watch Hermosa as he gets down to business, teasing the bull until it charges, then wheeling away, leaning and turning, whirling and circling the ring with the bull in hot pursuit, staying just inches away from the bull’s horns. At the conclusion, Hermosa took a victory lap and the ladies tossed red roses. The fight committee awarded prizes and the crowd collected their things and filed peaceably away to the parking lot. The Klops, when they do move, won’t be outliers, but part of a settled expat community, people that bring time, energy and expertise to the town. “There are more than 10,000 Americans and Canadians in Mazatlan,” said Francisco (Frank) Cordova, secretary of tourism for Sinaloa, speaking by phone from a meeting in Miami. “They rent apartments and some even own houses. Now, if it wasn’t safe, why would they be here?” Drug cartel murders are a fact, he conceded. They are, he said, the federal government’s most pressing internal security issue. But most violence occurs far beyond the Golden Zone (the town’s designated tourism area), in the mountains or along the US border. “There isn’t any crime in the Golden Zone, not that we’ve heard about,” agreed Paul Petty, a 12-year resident. “Nothing violent, no drive-bys, no school shootings like we had at home. We feel a lot safer than we did when we lived in Los Angeles.” It could be the bounce-back effect, but 2013 is shaping up as the town’s best year in a decade. According to Carlos Berdegue, President and CEO of Mazatlan’s four El Cid
hotels, $6 million has been allocated for tourism from the US and Canada, a promotion that’s already filling the town’s 12,000 beds. “Our group and convention programs have been very successful, the cruise lines are returning and the airlines are looking at creating more capacity,” he said. The cruise industry, often the first to fold up and run when bad news hits the wires, agrees. After pulling out abruptly 18 months ago, Holland America and Norwegian Cruise Lines are returning to Mazatlan, adding 10 port stops to their Mexican Riviera route this year (in November and December) and 35 more during the 2014 season.
opt for a stroll through the historic center’s narrow streets and shaded plazas, dating to 1837, won’t be sorry. It was these plazas where the first colonists gathered and where much of the time’s social and civic life played out. Still popular gathering places, this is where people meet to walk, talk, work, eat out or sit and watch the world go by. Wander around and you’ll find the Plaza Machado, the Cathedral, the elegantly restored Angel Peralta Opera House and the art museum. The Central Market, humming from early morning to late afternoon, is where housewives shop for food, teenagers for cheap purses and jewelry and travelers take photos.
“We’ll be ready for them,” said Cordova. “I’ve got a tourism budget of 400 million pesos (US $32,541,000), half for the new cruise port and the rest for restoration and improvements in the historic city center.” The cruise port and passenger terminal, a contemporary stunner designed for comfort and for passenger security has docking room for eight large passenger ships at once. Adjacent tour bus parking will allow passengers taking shore tours to board the buses without much walking. Travelers who’d rather stay on the ship or at the port will have shops, a restaurant, a tourist information center, and gift stores to explore. Shore tours in Third World ports, often the bete noir of cruise passengers, haven’t been forgotten. “Funds are set aside to train tour guides to make sure every tour is unforgettable,” said Cordova. Cognizant of first impressions matter, the adjoining neighborhood has also gotten a facelift. Seedy shacks are gone, cracked stucco was painted and vacant lots turned into gardens. “They’ve spent $3 million restoring the colonial buildings on the corridor between the port and the historic district,” said Berdegue. Shore tours will visit several nearby 16th and 17th century-era villages, and the ancient pictographs on the shoreline. But visitors who
Covering a city block, the two-story iron structure (think late Victorian), houses hundreds of stalls selling fruits of every color and shape, vegetables, nuts, bread, tortillas, cheeses, woven hats, souvenirs, fish, shrimp, chickens (whole and butchered), beef ribs, cakes, pies, cookies, puddings and candy, not to mention soap, brooms, buckets and dish towels. If the past is prologue, the outcome is already written. Some cruise passengers will make a beeline for the beach; sample real Mexican cuisine at Pancho’s and take the sightseeing boat to Deer Island. On the second trip they’ll dine by candlelight at Pedro & Lola’s, sit on the Plaza Machado, meet expats from home and play golf. On the third visit, they’ll check out the bullfights. After that, who knows?—MCT
A dance group, in alien-movie lookalike costumes, march in the Carnaval parade in Mazatlan.
ith its church and main street, Gravelbourg seems like just another Canadian prairie town. But it has a little known claim to fame-as prime producer of the world’s mustard seeds. And growing beneath its placid exterior is a movement to depose France’s Dijon as the globe’s condiment king. A two-hour drive through farm country from the Saskatchewan provincial capital Regina, the town of 1,200 established in 1906 by four brothers from Quebec “is now at the heart of mustard production,” boasts its mayor, Real Forest. Canada produces 35 to 40 percent of the world’s mustard seeds, with Gravelbourg at the core of this output. The mustard seed was only introduced in the Canadian province in the 1940s, five centuries after Dijon in eastern France, which made it famous. But France’s Burgundy region no longer mass-produces the seeds and the last big mustard manufacturing plant in Dijon was shuttered in 2008 after being taken over by Anglo-Dutch multi-
national Unilever. So Gravelbourg now has the chance to step up and seize mustard glory. The problem is “we sell the raw materials which go elsewhere... and the benefits also go elsewhere,” laments Forest, who is searching for investors to help locals kick-start their dreams. ‘Made in Saskatchewan’ More and more Canadian resource sectorssuch as forestry and diamond mining-are seeking to process raw materials into finished products for export to reap greater economic benefits. Acknowledging past failures to help farmers turn their crops into value-added products and struggles ahead, Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart is adamant: his government wants “more agriculture products to be processed here with brand names.” “We need to sell not only mustard but also to add value to more of our agriculture products,” he said. Some have already started getting
Gravelbourg’s name out. One local family, for example, started Gravelbourg Gourmet Mustard two years ago, offering a line of condiments made from local harvests. “Our objective was to use local resources,” says owner Val Michaud, who started the company with her husband. It is currently the only mustard maker in the province, but its wares are sold in specialty stores throughout Western Canada, and it is soon slated to expand nationwide and beyond. At present, however, it does not even own its kitchen. Instead, the mustards are prepared at facilities at the local school. “I’d really like to have our own kitchen next year,” said Michaud, offering tastes of her traditional wholegrain mustard, hot (Dijon) mustard, and a unique garlic and berries blend. “With our company, I hope to put Gravelbourg on the map.” — AFP
The matador uses his cape to lead the bull in a useless charge, Plaza de Toros, Mazatlan.
At Tonys, ‘Kinky Boots’ races out to early lead
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013
Performers present the Bodies in Urban Spaces project from Austrian artist Willi Dorner, not seen, at the Serralves Museum in Porto, Portugal, Sunday. ‘Party at Serralves’ it is a contemporary art festival that hosts over 200 events simultaneously on a non-stop 40-hour period, in the Gardens and in the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art. — AP photos
t the farthest end of the Great Wall, Yang Yongfu limps along the section he arduously restored, in effect “privatizing” it and putting himself on a collision course with the authorities. The farmer spent five million yuan ($800,000) and years of backbreaking work renovating several hundred meters of the national symbol deep in northwestern China, turning it into a tourist site. “At the beginning people didn’t understand why I took on this project. They called me crazy,” said the 52-year-old. The Great Wall is not a single unbroken structure-nor is it visible from space-but stretches for thousands of kilometers, from Shanhaiguan on the east coast to Jiayuguan in the windswept sands on the edge of the Gobi desert. In places it is so dilapidated that estimates of its total length vary from 9,000 to 21,000 kilometers (5,600 to 13,000 miles), depending on whether missing sectors are included. Construction first begun in the third century BC, but parts were still being built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), among them Yang’s section. It was little more than a ruin when he started work in 2000, but now 790 meters of ochre wall run
out from a small fort across a stony plain, snaking upwards over a bare hillside via several watchtowers. Built of bricks and rendered with earth, his wall averages around 4.5 meters high and is topped with battlements. “People were skeptical, because they thought renovating the wall was the job of the government,” said Yang. “I was surprised at the success I had. But this could also be considered an act of patriotism.” He set up an entrance area for tourists, complete with a car park and fishpond, and his wife Tao Huiping collects the 25 yuan admittance fee at the ticket booth-a table in the open air. “Today about 30 people came,” she said, holding up the ticket stubs, beaming proudly and praising her husband’s “phenomenal” work. “People call him Emperor Yang,” she said laughing. Their opportunity came about in 1999, Yang said, when local authorities called on residents to renovate the Wall themselves, and officials gave him authorization to do so. The money came from savings and loans from relatives. In recent decades the Wall has suffered the depredations of farmers stealing its stones for building, and construction crews cutting
through it with roads and railways. Some of the greatest damage came during the turmoil of the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution. But as China has become wealthier the government can better afford to take on the burden of restoration. At the same time the Communist Party uses nationalism to bolster its claim to a right to rule, and in recent years authorities have become keener custodians of symbols of China, from historic monuments to giant pandas. A 2006 law gave the government the exclusive right to manage national relicsmaking Yang’s project illegal. His business continues to operate but he and the local authorities have been through several rounds of negotiations over transferring the rights to the wall. They have so far failed to reach an agreement. “I never received any support from the government and they accused me of constructing a fake wall. That’s what makes me angry,” Yang said. One of the Wall’s most popular sections, at Badaling just north of Beijing, can see tens of thousands of Chinese tourists during public holidays. But even with 20,000 visitors a year, Yang’s site is a long way from being a viable business-and just across the valley an official attrac-
A general view of a section of the Great Wall restored by farmer Yang Yongfu.
tion listed as a World Heritage Site offers 7.5 kilometers of wall. Yang admits still owing one million yuan. “I have cried tears of despair,” he said, but insisted he “regretted nothing”. Jiayuguan city’s head of cultural heritage Ye Yong explained that Yang’s work was approved in a particular context. “It was a unique time in which the government did not have enough money to renovate or protect its heritage,” he said. “But going forward, with the new laws and regulations about the protection of cultural relics in place, individuals will no longer be able to do renovations themselves.” Even so, the farmer could yet reap a windfall from his investment if the government decides to “renationalize” it by including it in an official preservation project, Ye signaled. “We will consider buying it,” he said.—AFP
Tourists posing for photos at the entrance to a section of the Great Wall restored by farmer Yang Yongfu.