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TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013

Amir urges citizens to ‘positively contribute’

SHAABAN 9, 1434 AH

Turkey could deploy army to quell protests

Airbus leads Boeing in battle of giants at air show

Nigeria thrash Tahiti in Confed Cup

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to take part in elections


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2Liberal8National 21 Alliance 20 Two police officers sentenced to death over torture By B Izzak KUWAIT: The National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the main umbrella of liberal groups, said yesterday it has decided to accept the ruling of the constitutional court in confirming the controversial electoral law amendment and announced it will take part in the next election. The announcement comes just one day after the main opposition alliance comprising Islamist, nationalist and other liberal groups and activists, said it has decided to boycott any future elections based on the single-vote amendment. The leftist Progressive

Movement insisted in a statement that the constitutional court rulings will not resolve the chronic political crisis in the country which can be solved only through true democratic reforms. The constitutional court on Sunday confirmed that the amendment to the electoral law introduced by HH the Amir last October is in line with the constitution. But the court cancelled the December election process, scrapping the National Assembly and ordering fresh elections. The NDA said in a statement that it has decided to accept the constitutional court verdict although it was against its ambitions

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“out of respect for court rulings”. The alliance insisted that it will take part in the coming elections, expected to be held within two months, and that it will work within the Assembly to introduce a series of reforms including legalizing political parties, a new electoral system, the independence of judiciary and preparing the ground to reach a full parliamentary system. The NDA, which had around six MPs in the 50-seat Assembly in the 2009 house, had boycotted the December election along with other opposition groups in protest against the electoral law amendment. Continued on Page 15

Rebels get Saudi missiles Ali vows to rid traffic ‘disease’

LAS VEGAS: Miss Connecticut USA Erin Brady poses onstage after winning the 2013 Miss USA pageant at PH Live at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on Sunday. — AFP (See Page 39)

KUWAIT: Interior Ministry Assistant Undersecretary Maj Gen Abdulfattah Al-Ali stressed that all traffic violationrelated deportations are in accordance with the law. Speaking at a press conference at the Kuwait Journalists Association (KJA) headquarters, Ali said that deporting people for traffic violations was also adopted by the US and other countries worldwide. “The problem is that we were very tolerant with violators and this does not mean that law violation is a right for motorists,” he underlined, urging all human rights organizations who have criticized Kuwait’s traffic police to examine human rights in their respective countries before talking about Kuwait. “We have filed over 70,000 traffic citations including 43,000 serious ones such as running red lights, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving on the wrong side and many others,” he elaborated, pointing out that those already deported did not want to respect the traffic laws they had repeatedly violated. Ali added that the results of studies of traffic problems revealed many and that once one problem was solved, another emerged immediately. “We

Maj Gen Abdulfattah Al-Ali have various problems... including the fact that motorists speak many languages and dialects which requires a large number of specialists to develop their traffic awareness,” he explained, noting that the traffic remedy strategy started by diagnosing the “disease” by studying random “specimens” at Continued on Page 15

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia, a staunch opponent of President Bashar Al-Assad since early in Syria’s conflict, began supplying anti-aircraft missiles to rebels “on a small scale” about two months ago, a Gulf source said yesterday. The shoulder-fired weapons were obtained mostly from suppliers in France and Belgium, the source told Reuters. France had paid for the transport of the weapons to the region. The supplies were intended for General Salim Idriss, leader of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), who was still the kingdom’s main “point man” in the opposition, the source said. The Gulf source said without elaborating that the kingdom had begun taking a more active role in the Syrian conflict in recent weeks due to the intensification of the conflict. A foreign ministry spokesman was not immediately available for comment. King Abdullah returned to Saudi Arabia on Friday after cutting short a holiday in Morocco to deal with what state media described as “repercussions of the events that the region is currently witnessing”. Diplomatic sources in the kingdom say Riyadh has grown increasingly concerned after the entry of Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah into the conflict and the subsequent rebel defeat in Qusair. Speaking to Reuters on Friday, Idriss urged Western allies to supply anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles and to create a no-fly zone, saying if properly armed he could defeat Assad’s army within six months. Idriss said his forces urgently needed heavier weapons in the northern city of Aleppo, where Assad’s government has said its troops are preparing a massive assault. Syria’s civil war grew out of protests that swept across the Arab world in 2011, becoming by far the deadliest of those uprisings and the most difficult to resolve. Just months ago, Western countries believed Assad’s days were numbered. But momentum on the battlefield has turned in his favour, making the prospect of his swift removal and an end to the bloodshed appear remote without outside intervention. Continued on Page 15

West rebukes Putin on Syria ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland: Western leaders rebuked Russian President Vladimir Putin for supporting Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad’s attempt to crush a two-year-old uprising, setting the stage for a tense G8 summit of the world’s most powerful nations. US President Barack Obama is expected to use his first face-to-face meeting with Putin in a year to try to persuade the Kremlin chief to

bring Assad to the negotiating table to end a conflict in which at least 93,000 people have been killed. British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is chairing the G8 summit in a remote golf resort in Northern Ireland, conceded there was “a big difference” between the positions of Russia and the West on how to resolve the war. Continued on Page 15

ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland: Demonstrators from the ‘IF campaign’ wearing masks depicting G8 leaders protest against tax avoidance during the G8 summit yesterday. — AFP

Four more die of MERS virus RIYADH: Four people have died from the MERS virus in Saudi Arabia, bringing the death toll from the SARS-like virus in the kingdom to 32, the health ministry said on its website yesterday. Two people died in the western city of Taif and the other two were pronounced dead in Eastern Province, where most cases have been registered, said the ministry. The ministry announced three more confirmed cases of people in Saudi Arabia infected with the virus, which the World Health Organisation has dubbed the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, or MERS. One case of infection was in Eastern Province and another in the capital Riyadh, while the third was of a twoyear-old boy in the western city of Jeddah who was suffering from a “chronic” lung problem. The other two cases are of a 63-year-old woman suffering from several chronic diseases and a 42-year-old man with chronic asthma, it said. The ministry said the total number of MERS infections in the kingdom now stood at 49, including the 32 fatalities. The World Health Organisation announced Friday that the global death toll from MERS had reached 33, with 28 of them in the kingdom. It had said 58 laboratory-confirmed cases were announced worldwide, the majority of them in Saudi Arabia. The virus is a member of the coronavirus family, which includes the pathogen that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). SARS sparked global panic in 2003 after it jumped to humans from animals in Asia and killed 800 people. Like SARS, MERS appears to cause a lung infection, with patients suffering from a temperature, cough and breathing trouble. But it differs in that it also causes rapid kidney failure. Scientists at the Erasmus medical centre in the Dutch city of Rotterdam have pointed to bats as a natural source for the virus. — AFP

TEHRAN: Newly-elected Iranian President Hassan Rowhani places his hand on his heart as a sign of respect after speaking at a press conference yesterday. — AP

Rowhani firm on nuclear rights, vows moderation TEHRAN: Iran’s newly-elected president Hassan Rowhani ruled out yesterday any halt to the nuclear activity that has drawn UN sanctions but said he hoped an early deal could be reached to allay the concerns of major powers. The moderate cleric, who won outright victory in Friday’s presidential election on the hopes of millions for an end to the economic hardship caused by Western sanctions, pledged greater transparency in the long-running talks. Rowhani, addressing his first press conference since winning the vote, said there would be no change in Iran’s longstanding alliance with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad that has been the source of additional Western concern.

But he said he would seek to thaw relations with the key Gulf Arab backers of the rebels fighting to oust Assad’s regime for more than two years. Rowhani, who led the nuclear negotiating team under reformist former president Mohammad Khatami from 2003-5, said there could be no return to the moratorium on uranium enrichment that Iran accepted at the time. “ This period is over,” he said. When Rowhani stepped down, outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad resumed uranium enrichment, triggering successive UN Security Council ultimatums to suspend it, some of them backed up with sanctions. Continued on Page 15

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013


Turkey is perfectly ‘safe’, envoy says By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Turkey is a perfectly safe country and there is no reason for anyone to be alarmed, the Turkish envoy has said. Speaking at a press conference yesterday at their embassy in Dasma, Murat Tamer, Ambassador of Turkey to Kuwait, said the protest which has been going on for days now in Istanbul is nothing but a demonstration calling for government’s intervention on the issue of green park located in Istanbul’s suburb of Taksim. Explaining why it blew into some sort of a national issue, he said it was connected to the manner in which police authorities reacted while dispersing the protesters. “ The reported excessive use of force became a national issue,” he reasoned, adding, “But the protest is all about retaining the green park as it is and not to turn it into an area for shopping malls or real estate properties. It is the only green area in that part of Taksim, so it became a national issue.” But he assured that the government is now handling the issue properly. “The people who used excessive force could face trial,” he asserted. “When the protesters use their democratic rights, the authorities also exercise their legal right so as to protect the civilians and the state. When both sides claim their rights, it usually results in clashes,” he explained. “But both are exercising their legal rights. That is one good thing about any vibrant democracy,” he pointed out. Tamer mentioned that government has already spoken to its national leaders about the issue and that both sides agreed that the only way to resolve the problem was to organize a plebiscite. “Both agreed to hold a plebiscite although no date has been set for the plebiscite.” He elaborated further that during the past seven years, Turkey only figured in the news for all the right reasons and news such as those about protests was something new for the country and made headlines in certain newspapers.

“This is all new for our media and the media around the world and it seems therefore as if we have a crisis in the country. It leads to headlines,” he added. Protesters, according to Tamer, were small groups of people and it would never affect the safety and security of the tourists. “Business was as usual and everything in Turkey is now normal. We have normal five times a week flight to Turkey from Kuwait and we are perfectly alright and safe. We want to assure our visitors that Turkey is very safe,” he reiterated. “We can say that there are some pockets of protests until now but even these are subsiding and are already contained,” he added, but admitted there were some small groups taking advantage of the situation. He called these as merely marginal groups who are a bunch of boys throwing stones and provoking clashes. He also confirmed there were a small numbers of protesters asking their president to step down, but said their PM has already spoken. “Our PM said the way to replace the government is through voting and peaceful elections. Nothing more,” he said. He denied rumors that it was all somehow connected to their policy against Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad government. “The protest currently on is mainly about the green park in Taksim, and was never about anything else or about our stand against the Bashar Al-Assad government. There is no truth that there is any direct intervention of foreign countries, and we would like to categorically state that,” he concluded. On Sunday, Turkish Prime Minister Recept Tayyid Erdogan told a crowd of more than 100,000 supporters, that it was his duty to order crackdown on Istanbul protest park, as police and anti-government demonstrators faced off in a fresh clash. The crisis began when a peaceful sitin to save Gezi’s Park’s 600 trees from being razed prompted a brutal police response spiraling the into countrywide demonstrations against the leader. The crisis claims four lives and 7,500 injured.

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah dances with other dignitaries at a dinner banquet held in his honour by Adwan Mohammad Al-Tawala yesterday. — KUNA

Amir urges citizens to shun sedition KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday called on fellow citizens to “positively contribute” their best in a drive to safeguard “our national unity” and reject sedition. “I call upon my brothers, sons and daughters to positively contribute to the best of their country, taking into consideration the critical circumstances in the region which you undoubtedly realize their threats,” Sheikh Sabah said in a speech during a dinner held in his honor by Adwan Mohammad AlTawala. The dinner banquet was attended by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Sheikh Sabah urged citizens to be “cautious and ... preserve our national security, protect and strengthen our national unity, and not to arouse sedition and

feud that shatter our unity.” Amir asserted that Kuwait was a genuine democracy with “an advanced constitution we are committed to, which preserves the rights and obligations and protects freedom.” Sheikh Sabah also praised the “just” judiciary and “clear laws which require “which should be respected and implemented by everybody. Sheikh Sabah also highlighted that Kuwait was safe, free and prosperous “and they are great blessings to which we should be grateful and seek to preserve.” Ahmad Mashaan Al-Jarba thanked, in a brief taped speech, the Amir and His Highness the Crown Prince for attending the dinner banquet. Al-Tawala commended His Highness the Amir for being the true guardian of the constitution throughout his service of the

country. He emphasized firm support for Sheikh Sabah in his leadership of the country and the safeguarding of “our country, constitution and national unity.” Al-Tawala praised the judiciary and the constitutional court’s ruling which validated the one-person, one-vote law. He said the court’s ruling “boost the confidence in the solid nature of the institutions of the State of Kuwait and its judicial system.” He said Al-Shammari tribe sought social justice, equality and implementation of the law. Al-Tawala, who praised His Highness the Amir’s relation with his people, urged Sheikh Sabah to address the problem of the illegal residents “whose cause are largely humanitarian, as well as solving the housing problem. — KUNA

Zain welcomes Sudan 3-year tax exemption KUWAIT: Kuwait Telecom Group Zain yesterday welcomed Sudanese government’s decision to scrap a 30 percent profit tax on telecom operators for three years, replacing it with a 2.5 percent levy on total net profit. “ We greatly appreciate the Sudanese government and president’s tax exemption decision which will help boost Zain investments and to fulfill its commitments towards Sudan and

KUWAIT: Murat Tamer, addresses the local media yesterday with a female interpreter. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Bader Al Kharafi

its national economy,” Zain Group Board Chairman Asaad Al-Banwan said in a press statement yesterday. Sudan announced Sunday the cancellation of a 30 percent profit tax on telecom operators until the end of 2015, replacing it with a 2.5 percent levy on total income in a move that should help a sector hurt by the plunging value of the Sudanese pound. The decision reverses a government tax increase in December 2011, which raised sales taxes on telecom companies to 30 percent from 20 percent and a profit tax to 30 per cent from 15 per cent. Zain Sudan Deputy Board Chairman Bader Al-Kharafi underlined that the decision shows the government understanding of the challenges facing telecommunication sector. “It also shows that the Sudanese government encourage and back investors,” Al-Kharafi said, adding that is encouraged to continue the development of its operations in Sudan. The statement unveiled that a senior delegation from Zain Group had recently visited Sudan and discussed with the Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir the

daunting challenges facing the mobile operators. “We have felt during our visit a clear understanding from President Al-Bashir and his government to help remove all hindrances and challenges facing Kuwaiti investments in Sudan,” AlBanwan said. Sudan’s three mobile operators - Zain Sudan, a 100 percent-owned subsidiary of Kuwait’s Zain, state -owned Sudani and South Africa’s MTN - typically buy

equipment in hard currencies, such as dollars or the Euro, so the pound’s plunge has upped expenditure at a time when average revenue per user (ARPU) - a key industry metric - is in retreat. Zain is the market leader with a 52 percent share of Sudan’s mobile subscribers, according to its first-quarter results, while South Africa’s MTN and state-owned Sudani each had 24 percent.— KUNA

Assad Al-Banwan

KUWAIT: Local reporters attend the press conference at the Turkish embassy.

Kuwait to execute ‘Hawally Monster’ KUWAIT: Kuwait is set to execute two persons today, including a man convicted for raping a multiple number of children in incidents reported in the Hawally district seven years ago. Earlier reports had suggested that five murder and rape convicts were to be handed the death penalty today, but Al-Rai newspaper reported yesterday that the decision to execute three offenders was put on hold after “disclaimers were discovered.” “An official in the Interior Ministry’s jails department discovered disclaimers in the

murder cases committed by two Sri Lankan and one Pakistani death row inmates, after which a decision was made to postpone their execution,” security sources told Al-Rai while speaking on the condition of anonymity. In addition to the Egyptian child rapist whose wave of crimes earned him the ‘Hawally Monster’ moniker, authorities are set to execute another Egyptian man who was convicted of murder. He and three other Asian death row inmates committed their crimes between 2008 and 2009.— Al-Rai

Al-Sawwagh urges Kuwaitis to ‘honor the court verdict’

Mohammed Al-Sawwagh

KUWAIT: Political activist Mohammad AlSawwagh has urged citizens to honor the Constitutional Court’s ruling, insisting in a statement to the press that the verdict came “to confirm the fact that my decision to contest in the elections under the single-vote system was correct”. Meanwhile, Al-Sawwagh held the government’s legal advisors responsible for “wrong procedures” based on which the court dissolved the parliament, and urged the Prime Minister HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah to “take necessary action” on that regard. In the meantime, Al-Sawwagh reiterated commitment to his ‘duty’ to keep “honoring the testament” that his voters have put in him, and vowed to continue being “loyal to members of the fifth constituency”. “I will continue consultations and communications for what serves Kuwait’s top interest, and hereby I reiterate the importance of honoring the Constitutional Court’s ruling and the law to thwart plots against Kuwait”, he added.

KUWAIT: Assistant Undersecretary Ministry of Interior Lt General Sheikh Faisal Nawaf Al-Sabah chaired a meeting yesterday at the Administration of Domestic Labors in the presence of General Director of Immigration Brig Adnan Al-Kandari and Director of Domestic Labors Administration Colonel Iskandar Al-Kandari and a number of head departments.

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013


Municipal Council elections in doubt after court ruling KUWAIT: The Constitutional Court verdict which ruled that an emergency decree to establish the National Elections Committee was unconstitutional has led to uncertainty about the Municipal Council elections which were set to be held on July 6. In this regard, a legal expert told Al-Qabas newspaper on Sunday that annulling the National Elections Committee as a result of the court verdict also meant that the elections were now on hold “because the letter calling candidates to submit their papers was issued by the committee.” To address this situation, the government can either postpone the elections while forming a committee to run the affairs of the Municipal Council, or it can decide to open doors for nominations again, said the source who preferred to remain anonymous. Meanwhile, president

of the now disbanded National Elections Committee Ahmad Al-Ujail said that a new decree would be required for Municipal Council polls. He further told Al-Jarida newspaper that the Ministry of Interior was the party that was required to examine the files of candidates who would have to submit their applications once again, after a new nomination period is announced. Al-Rai newspaper in the meantime requested constitutional expert Dr. Mohammad Al-Feeli for a comment, and he indicated that the decree calling for the Municipal Council elections was made “as per specific procedures” but was not issued by the National Elections Committee. He added that as per the law followed by the Kuwait Municipality, the Ministry of Interior was still required to supervise the Municipal Council elections.—Agencies

Corona virus alert KUWAIT: Even as the Supreme Technical Committee tasked with addressing the “Corona Virus” related incidents met recently, the World Health Organization, in its latest report on June 14 said it received reports about a case from Saudi Arabia in which a 21-year-old man was found infected by the virus. The Supreme Technical Committee’s meeting was led by Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health Dr Khalid Al-Sahlawi and will be preparing plans and training programs to educate doctors, nursing staff, and other employees in hospitals and health centers to deal with the virus infection. It will also suggest pre-

cautionary steps to be taken in this respect. The WHO said the report it received from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health about the 21-year-old patient was from the HAFRALBATEN governorate and the patient was one among three new cases detected. Kuwait health circles expected even more enhanced levels of awareness and readiness across all Kuwait hospitals, particularly those close to the Saudi border, to deal with any possible case that could require swift action. The Ministry of Health emphasized that hospitals were ready to deal with such cases and provide diagnosis and necessary treatment.

Kuwait cabinet vows to protect national unity KUWAIT: The Kuwait Cabinet vowed yesterday to put into effect all the instructions given by His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in his keynote speech to the nation late Sunday, especially those related to maintaining of national unity. “We will spare no effort to put in place these instructions and implement the national goals to protect our national unity, democratic experience and give great impetus to progress and development march in the state,” Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak AlSabah said in a statement read out following the weekly meeting of the Cabinet yesterday. During the meeting held at Bayan Palace and under the chairmanship of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the Cabinet reviewed the Amir’s speech and the Supreme Constitutional Council ruling on parliament. The ministers applauded the Amir’s confirmation that he and the state will respect the top court verdict which annulled the current parliament, elected in December 2012, and ordered the organization of new parliamentary elections in two-month period. The Cabinet also highlighted the Amir’s call on Kuwaitis to unite against “voices of

Morocco FM visits Kuwait KUWAIT: Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Morocco Dr Saad Eddin Othmani arrived in Kuwait yesterday to take part in the seventh session of the Joint Kuwaiti-Moroccan committee. A statement from Foreign Ministry said that the committee, headed by Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah, began its preparatory work through convening numerous technical meetings, which included a number of representatives of the official governmental organizations and representatives of the private sector in both countries in order to examine and discuss all areas of cooperation frameworks between the two sides. The preparatory meetings probed completion of the final versions of the agreements and bilateral memorandums of understanding to be signed at the conclusion of the ministerial meeting of the Committee. Kuwait’s Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Khaled Al-Jarallah said the Committee’s agenda includes several important issues pertinent to cooperation between the two countries including cooperation in the political, economic, investment, development, media, science and cultural domains. — KUNA

chaos,” sedition and democracy. Amir had voiced concern over “sick sectarian” signs in the Kuwaiti community which might trigger extremism and spark destructive discord, a matter rejected and condemned by every faithful Kuwaiti. Meanwhile, HH the Prime Minister briefed the Cabinet on the outcome of his recent visit to Baghdad which resulted in signing six agreements and memorandums of understanding to bolster bilateral cooperation in different domains, mainly education, economy, aviation, environment and culture. The PM expressed gratitude for Iraqi government hospitality and warm reception of the Kuwaiti delegation. He also noted that Iraq greatly appreciates the positive Kuwaiti role and efforts to end Iraq Chapter VII status and after its fulfillment of commitments towards Kuwait. The ministers welcomed the outcome of HH the Prime Minister’s visit to Iraq. They also announced that Kuwait is looking forward towards strengthening ties and expanding cooperation with Iraq to achieve the higher interests of both nations. The ministers also touched upon the latest developments on the Arab and international levels. In this regard, the Cabinet congratulated the Iranian President-elect Hassan Rohani and his election victory. — KUNA

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday received the President of State Audit Bureau, Abdulaziz Yousef Al-Adsani at Bayan Palace. — KUNA

Opinions vary amid turmoil over landmark court ruling Govt advisors blamed, tribes return to polls KUWAIT: A dissolved parliament, a decree to amend the electoral system being upheld, and a decision by the opposition to continue protesting: While the Constitutional Court’s ruling did not yield any unexpected results, opinions varied on whether it would put an end to Kuwait’s political crisis or cause more turmoil in the country. One newspaper described the ruling as signaling of the end of “a chapter of political conflict,” and the beginning of “a new stage in which balance is restored inside the Abdullah Al-Salem Hall and the political scene alike.” “First of all, the ruling eliminated the credentials based on which the opposition claimed that the singlevote decree was unconstitutional, which effectively closed all protest channels in front of them while bringing them face-to-face with legal verdicts that are far from political games,” Al-Qabas reported yesterday in an analysis that depicted that the ruling “paved the way for stability.” The daily further indicated that holding elections as per the singlevote system leads to a change in the methods that political forces use to influence the public “when electoral coalitions are eliminated,” in addition to the changed parliamentary formation “after tribal and other political groups which boycotted [December ’s] elections

return to the scene.” In its historic ruling, the Constitutional Court declared a state of emergency, after which HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah exercised his right, as per article 71 of the constitution, to issue an emergency decree to amend the electoral system. The ruling defends the single-vote system, which replaced the one that entitled each voter to four votes by saying that it “allows the minority to be represented in the parliament” and “frees voters from candidates’ pressure.” The ruling affirmed that the decree was necessary to “serve the national interest” by addressing an issue “that risked the unity and social fabric of the nation.” The ruling also led to a second Amiri decree to establish the National Election Committee unconstitutional on grounds that the state’s interest is “much greater than that of a committee,” an argument based on which the emergency decree was issued. “The ruling is a reaffirmation of the Constitutional Court’s important role in issuance of emergency decrees,” constitutional expert and Kuwait University Professor Dr Mohammad Al-Feeli told Al-Qabas. He was also quoted by Al-Rai yesterday as saying that the verdict was “a message to the government and political forces that leniency in

matters relating to emergency is unacceptable, and that the issuance of emergency decrees as well as determination of a state of emergency are still under the court’s watch.” With the controversy over the single vote system’s constitutionality appearing to be over, Dr. Al-Feeli explained that laws passed by the now-dissolved parliament remain intact “yet are open for review if they were challenged in the future.” He further indicated that elections must be held within 60 days of the parliament’s dissolution. However, an exact date cannot be determined until the dissolution order is published in Kuwait’s official gazette. If that happens next Sunday (June 21), the elections will be held before August 23, which falls right after the post-Ramadan “Eid Al-Fitr” holidays. The general mood in the dissolved parliament was optimistic, with most MPs calling for “honoring” the verdict, although they accused government advisors of making recommendations that spawned faulty procedures and led to the parliament’s dissolution. “We demand a decision to dismiss the chairman of the Fatwa and the Legislation Department who are responsible for the emergency decree establishing the National Elections Committee”, now former MP Abdulhameed Dashty said,

reflecting the opinion of many former MPs. And in a shift of position, Kuwaitis were called to head to the polls, and tribal chiefs announced their intention to take part in the upcoming elections after welcoming the Constitutional Court ruling. Leading figures from the Shemmar, Awazem, Mutair, Harb, Hajr, Anza and Ghanim tribes urged their tribesmen to honor the ruling, in statements made to Al-Rai. The same daily also spoke with representatives of student unions who called on the public to vote in the upcoming elections. In the meantime, most economists that Al-Rai contacted said the ruling will leave a “positive effect” on the national economy. However, some of them noted that economic growth could be slowed down due to the latest political developments. The parliament’s dissolution has raised many questions about the fate of social affairs and labor minister Thekra Al-Rashidi, who was the only elected member of the cabinet. In that regard, Dr Al-Feeli said Al-Rashidi’s position would remain safe until the new parliament is elected “at which point the cabinet is required as per the constitution to submit its resignation”. Dr AlFeeli reiterated, however, that AlRashidi would have to resign if she decides to contest in the upcoming elections.—Agencies

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013


Kuwait marks World’s Day to Combat Desertification National Committee tackles desertification KUWAIT: The National Committee on Combating Desertification, under the Environment Public Authority yesterday celebrated the World’s Day to Combat Desertification. According to the UN Convention to combat deser tification and mitigate the effects of drought in 1994, desertification is the degradation of land in dr y and semi-dr y regions due to human ac tivity and weather changes, while drought is a period of abnormally dry weather that causes serious hydrological imbalance in the area, due to lack of rain. The committee noted that Kuwait

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Kuwaiti claims first place in US Jet Ski tournament KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Jet-Skier Abdullah Al-Fadhil won the first place in two different categories in the third round of US Jet ski Seasonal Tournament, concluded in Wisconsin late Sunday. Al-Fadhil said yesterday, he is proud of this Kuwaiti achievement, especially with the severe exhaustion they suffered due to land travel of more than 2000 km. Al-Fadhil, who won in

the categories of Prom Am Ski Limited, and Pro Am Ski Open, praised the efforts of the technical staff in preparing his Jet Ski for the tournament. He noted that he looks forward to present his best performance during the remaining competitions which consists of seven rounds, scheduled to end in August. The Kuwaiti Jet-Skier who is the only Arab competitor in the tourna-

ment, thanked Kuwait Airways and Al-Ghanim Group of Shipping and Transport for supporting him in this international sport event. Al-Fadhil had previously won two trophies of second place in the second round of the tournament, in the categories of Prom Am Ski Limited, and Pro Am Ski. He also claimed gold medal of the king of Thailand’s tournament 2012 in the 1600 CC category.— KUNA

has suffered drought between 20072012, where the total amount of rain recorded throughout the whole year was between 35 to 75 mm, with expectations that drought will continue for the upcoming seasons. The committee said that a number of rules should be set and followed to fight drought in the country, including measuring and studying the quantities of rain, reducing the period of time allowed for camping, banning camping in certain drought-hit areas in the nor th western, and north eastern parts of Kuwait. The statement also noted to the

huge efforts of the committee to combat desertification and reduce the effects of drought in establishing four natural reserves near the northern and western borders of Kuwait. The committee added that establishing those reser ves which stretch over 1, 630 square km in total, will protect the various wild life areas. The National Committee on Combating Desertification consists of a number of experts representing different governmental and civil community organizations under the umbrella of the Environment Public Authority. — KUNA

Super Shop to handle racetrack construction KUWAIT: The leader of Super Shop team for car racing affirmed on Sunday his willingness to handle all expenses for construction of a private racetrack for drag racing contests in Kuwait. The major goal behind constructing the racetrack is to contribute in minimizing road accidents resulting from “negative” practices of this type of motorsports by some reckless individuals, which cost the country losses of lives, specifically the youth segment, team leader Jaber Al-Sarraf told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).

Al-Sarraf pointed out that the future of motorsports in Kuwait, particularly drag racing, has become everyone’s responsibility without any exception, asserting that it has also become an imperative on all, whether racers or representatives for Kuwaiti sports, to initiate in developing radical solutions and make all efforts to support Kuwaiti sports in a way that guarantees its development and continuation. In addition, he called on all to cooperate in supporting motorsports in Kuwait, affirming that he is putting his

financial and spiritual abilities at the disposal of constructing a racetrack of international standards in order to practice drag racing sport, which attracts a large segment of Kuwaiti youth. Furthermore, the Super Shop team leader expressed his confidence in the response of founders of motorsports in Kuwait, especially the Public Authority for Youth and Sport (PAYS), members of the Board of Directors of Kuwait Motor Sports Club, and members of the Board of Directors of the Kuwait Quarter Mile Club. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Under the auspices of the deputy PM and Defense Minister, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Khaled Al-Sabah, Mubarak Al-Abdullah Commandment and Staff College celebrated 17th batch graduation ceremony. The graduation ceremony was held at Ali Sabah Al-Salem Military College.

Kuwait participates in ‘Global Village’ MADRID: Kuwaiti students from the Spanish IE Business School participated in the Global Village activities held by the university in Madrid, with the participation of 20 different countries. The Kuwaiti corner, which was organized by Kuwait’s Embassy in Madrid with the presence of Kuwait’s Ambassador to Spain, Adel Hamad Al-Ayyar, attracted a large number of visitors. The Kuwaiti students offered traditional food such as (jerish), (rahash)

and Arabic coffee. Moreover, the visitors expressed their admiration for the national and folkloric Kuwaiti music. The Global Village is an annual event held by the university to showcase the different cultures and backgrounds of its students of about 85 countries. The students usually offer traditional dishes and music to get to know each other’s culture and traditions, in the presence of their friends and parents.

The IE Business School is internationally recognized and is considered to be one of the top European universities, claiming the first place in the Financial Times’ ranking of the best business schools in the world. Kuwaiti students, Mishal AlWazan and Fatma Al-Mutar have earned Master Degrees in Business Administration from this university last week, while eight other Kuwaitis are still enrolled in the program.— KUNA

KUWAIT: Gulf Bank staff pictured with Kuwait National English School students.

Gulf Bank hosts ‘More than Money’ sessions at KNES Bank paves way for future business leaders KUWAIT: Gulf Bank hosted a ‘More than Money’ sessions at Kuwait National English School as part of the Bank’s strategic partnership with INJAZ Kuwait in 2013, which aims to help both organizations progress towards their shared goals of investing in Kuwait’s future economic and social prosperity by directly creating and supporting youth education and development programs. During comprehensive sessions held, 31 students from KNES received

presentations from Gulf Bank personnel about the ways to earn and consciously spend, share and save money in a responsible way. Jamil Girgis, Manager - Human Resources, from Gulf Bank conducted the sessions at KNES, presenting the fundamentals for making sound financial decisions, identifying characteristics of positive work ethic, identifying ways of earning money through personal businesses or jobs, calculating operating expenses and income

for small businesses, and how to develop business plans based on job skills and interests. The ‘More than Money’ program aims to teach students about earning, spending, sharing, and saving money, as well as ways of earning money from their jobs or businesses. Gulf Bank seeks to equip students with practical business-related skills as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy. Gulf Bank’s 2013 CSR strategy is focused on the critical

areas of youth and education. The ‘More than Money’ program gives the Bank an opportunity to present itself to Kuwait’s future business leaders, increasing their understanding of the banking industry and demonstrating the importance of earning and saving money. Gulf Bank looks forward to building a prosperous future for Kuwait’s next generation and by joining forces with INJAZ Kuwait the Bank is confident of achieving great results.

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013


Dalia Wafai

Emad Al-Sharif

Munawer Al-Khatrash


Reem Barakat

Jamal Obaid

Farhan Hassan

TEC, Expo Tag announce Summer Festival KUWAIT: The Touristic Enterprises Company and Expo Tag for Conferences and Exhibitions announced holding summer exhibitions on June 21 and June 28 at the Ras Al-Ardh Sea Club and Al-Shaab Sea Club, respectively, featuring a variety of companies including AlMara’ei, Al-Refa’ie, Al-Alali, KEMS, Al-Hajri and Fine. “Through this fruitful cooperation, we look to benefit from the TEC’s experience in organizing family entertainment events,” announced Expo Tag CEO Dalia Wafai in a

recent statement. She added that the event would include showcasing products and services including food items, internet, and dentistry, apart from an entertainment program featuring musical displays and competitions for all family members. In the meantime, representatives of companies, who announced their plans to take part in the exhibitions, expressed appreciation for the opportunity to showcase their products and services for a large audience attending

the event. “We plan to introduce our latest products and services as well as our network of branches around Kuwait,” said the Head of the Catering Department in Al-Refa’ie Company, Farhan Hassan. Meanwhile, Public Relations Manager of Al-Mara’ei Abdul-Aziz AlUqail said that his company will sponsor the event “as part of our strategy to support local activities in all Gulf Cooperation Council countries.” Meanwhile, Assistant General Manager of

Kuwait, FAO discuss Africa food security FAO awards Kuwait for early MDGs fulfillment ROME: Head of the Economic Department at Kuwait Foreign Ministry Sheikh Ali Al-Khaled Al-Sabah has discussed with Chairman of the Africa Group of Permanent Representatives in Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Ambassador Carla Elisa Mucavi Kuwait’s contribution to development and food security in Africa. Sheikh Ali and Mucavi also discussed the proposed agenda of the upcoming Arab African Summit in Kuwait and the coordination between the FAO African Group and Near East Group, which Kuwait will chair shortly. The Kuwaiti official expressed his country’s support to the international efforts to achieve sustainable development and food security for the countries of the African continent. For her part, Mucavi greatly appreciated Kuwait’s contribution to development projects in Africa. She lauded Kuwait’s quick response and help to disasters-stricken areas, citing Kuwait’s initiative to establish the International Fund for Agriculture Development in response to the famine that hit Ethiopia in 1970s. Last week, FAO announced that 38 countries have met internationally-established targets in the fight against hunger, forefront of them Kuwait, chalking up successes ahead of a deadline set for 2015. “These countries are leading the way to a better future. They are proof that with strong political will, coordination and cooperation, it is possible to achieve rapid and lasting reductions in hunger,” FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva said. Graziano da Silva urged all countries to keep up the momentum, aiming for the complete eradication of hunger, in keeping with the Zero Hunger Challenge launched in 2012 by United Nations Secretary-General

Ban Ki-moon. “Globally, hunger has declined over the past decade, but 870 million people are still undernourished, and millions of others suffer the consequences of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, including child stunting,” the FAO chief said. “We need to keep up our efforts, until everyone can live healthy and productive lives.” FAO HONORS KUWAIT In another development, FAO has honored Kuwait for meeting the target of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and World Food Conference to curtail hunger and undernourishment. Kuwait was listed among 18 countries that were awarded during the 38th general conference of the FAO. Kuwait’s representative at the conference Sheikh Ali Al-Khaled Al-Sabah received the award from FAO Director General Jose Graziano da Silva during a ceremony at the FAO headquarters in Rome on Sunday evening. The ceremony was attended by heads of state, prime ministers, ministers and representatives of FAO member states reaching 197 in number. In a keynote speech at the event, the FAO chief highly applauded Kuwait and other 17 countries which have fulfilled the MDGs target of eradicating poverty and hunger, and the stricter goal of the World Development Conference which aims to eradicate undernourishment. He said the 18 countries had made such achievements thanks to their strong political will and coordination and cooperation for the fulfillment of world ambitions for a better future. For his part, Kuwait’s representative at the conference Sheikh Ali Al-Khaled Al-Sabah, the director of the economic department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, voiced much pleasure at this international award which proved the position of Kuwait internationally due to its pioneering role in encouraging and supporting international cooperation through development diplomacy. Speaking to KUNA on the occasion, Sheikh Ali said this fresh international recognition is the fruit of accomplishments led by His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and his pioneering initiatives for food security and fight against hunger and poverty through development programs, projects and plans in diverse regions, primarily a fund for decent life purposed to face world food shortage and surging food prices. He pointed to the role of Kuwait in calling for and sponsoring regional and international conferences, including an Arab economic cooperation summit and the third Arab-African food security summit due in Kuwait later this year. In this context, he lauded the keenness of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah AlKhaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah on Kuwait’s active and effective presence in all regional and international conferences and events. He also appreciated great contributions worth $16 billion by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) to different Arab and developing nations. The Kuwaiti representative finally spoke highly of Kuwait’s Public Authorit y for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAFR) for its great efforts to boost local production and spur the Kuwaiti private sector to play its due part in ensuring national food security. Among the other honorees are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cuba, Djibouti, Georgia, Ghana, Guyana, Kyrgyzstan, Nicaragua, Peru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Thailand, Turk menistan, Venezuela and Vietnam. — Agencies

Rashidi plans labor centers KUWAIT: Minister of Social Affairs and Labour Thekra AlRashidi said she briefed the Cabinet yesterday on a project to establish and administer labour offices in the six governorates in partnership with the private sector. The minister added that such measure will be open for public bidding to qualified companies. Al-Rashidi said the goal of the labour offices was to end negative aspects and improve performances through termination of all types of corruption while creating professional national workers. The minister noted that the project aims, among other things, at facilitating procedures for visitors, mostly business owners, and improve the type of services provided by the center. — KUNA

KEMS Munawer Al-Khatrash offered customers the opportunity to learn about the company’s latest offers for “high-speed, high quality internet at competitive prices,” whereas Marketing Director of Fine Napkin Products Tawfiq Al-Ali, and Reem Barakat of Al-Hajri Company, announced that their respective companies plan to distribute a variety of products free of cost to visitors during the event. Also, Marketing and Sales Manager of Emad Trading Compay Emad Al-Sharif, said

that his company, which is the official supplier of Al-Alali brand in Kuwait, “is looking forward to the opportunity to stay in touch with local costumers and introduce our latest lineup of top-quality food products.” Deputy Marketing and Public Relations Manager of Al-Maidan Dental Clinic announced in the meantime that her company plans to present gifts to visitors during the event including “free dental check up and opening files free of charge.”

CAIT, PAHW launch new e-services KUWAIT: The Central Agency for Information Technology (CAIT ) has launched a number of electronic services in cooperation and coordination with the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) via the official portal of Kuwait. CAIT’s deputy Director General of National Projects Magda Al-Naqeeb said in a statement yesterday that the introduction of a range of electronic services related to housing comes within the framework of coordination efforts and technical cooperation between CAIT and PAHW according to the development plans. It is aimed at upgrading the level of services provided to citizens. She added that the citizens can visit the official website of the portal either through the Internet or through smart phone applications to take advantage of those services. PAHW ’s Deputy Director-General for Development of Human Resources sector Nabil Al-Kharafi said that some 47 new services have already been launched during this period. Among the new services are queries about a residential request, opening of a new file, rent allowance and house ownership issuance. —KUNA

‘Longest day of the year’ KUWAIT: Astronomer Khalid Al-Jamaan has stated that Friday, the 21st of June, will see 14 hours and 2 minutes of sunlight, and will therefore be the longest day of the year in Kuwait and the Gulf region. Meanwhile, nighttime will last for 9 hours and 58 minutes, the shortest in the year. Speaking about weather, he said, “We are going through the season of ‘Bawareh,’ when the winds change direction, due to which dust rises during the day and subsides at night throughout the week.” The timing of the season is determined annually by the movement of the sun, which will reach its highest position in the sky (84.06 degrees) this year on June 21, marking the midpoint of summer.

Summer Culture 8 festival KUWAIT: Summer Culture (8) Festival, organized by the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL), kicked off on Sunday with participation from a number of artists, musicians and singers, coupled with cultural activities that would lasts until July 4th. The festival will include events dedicated to all ages, ranging from training courses, workshops, galleries and music shows, NCCAL Culture and Arts Director and director of the festival Sahel Al-Ajmi said, on the sidelines of the opening ceremony which was attended by NCCAL Secretary General Ali Al-Yoha and a number of diplomatic corps, and huge crowds. Al-Ajmi said that tonight witnessed the start of a great music event, with the famous Singer Abadi Al-Jowhar, with ten songs led by Maestro Ahmed Hamdan Al-Harbi. The official noted that the Council aims to invest the summer season in many varied activities and to create a cultural tourism for Kuwaitis and residents alike. — KUNA

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013

LOCAL kuwait digest

In my view

Iran- Extend a hand of peace

A Big Yes, and a Big No

By Abdullatif Al-Duaij


assan Rohani’s victory in Iran’s presidential elections is a proof of the goodwill and moderation of the Iranian people, and refutes the allegations of ‘Safavid hostility’ towards Arabs and Sunni Muslims. Nothing is definite of course, and history is replete with examples of moderate and tolerate presidents involving their countries in wars and feuds, but at this point I can only judge from what is apparent; which is that the election of the moderate Rohani is a testimony that Iranians who elected him strive to establish normal relations

By Labeed Abdal


It is perhaps no coincidence that the Iranian president-elect had mentioned during his election campaign his wish about ‘improving relations with Saudi Arabia’ in specific, which could mean that Iranians had better relationship with their neighbors in mind when they headed to the polls. with their neighbors, as do people all over the world. It is perhaps no coincidence that the Iranian president-elect had mentioned during his election campaign his wish about ‘improving relations with Saudi Arabia’ in specific, which could mean that Iranians had better relationship with their neighbors in mind when they headed to the polls. This peaceful gesture by the Iranian voters should - or at least hopefully it will - be enough to extinguish the fire of sedition that some people try to ignite between Iran and the rest of the Gulf states, or between Shiite citizens of the Gulf who are often accused of harboring loyalty towards Iran and their fellow citizens of other religious beliefs. Meanwhile, I hope that Kuwait’s government continues to adopt a balanced policy which it has so far maintained in respect to Iran, and avoid entering agreements designed to target Iran or in response to an alleged Iranian threat. The Iranian people have played their role and have extended a hand of cooperation by electing a candidate who calls for moderation and good relations with neighbors. Now, the neighboring countries are required to avoid sending negative signals to the people and leadership in Iran since such signals can easily spread nowadays, given the sectarian tensions and hostility due to the ongoing events in Syria. While the majority of these signals can be described as irresponsible negative remarks, God only knows what kind of a reaction they can trigger within Iran which surely has its own share of people looking for trouble. —Al-Qabas

kuwait digest

Directions above the law By Waleed Al-Ghanim


he general management process is still dominated by a chaotic legacy that can be summed up in a single word: directions. This word refers to verbal orders given to enforce the law with regards to a matter of general state affairs. Without these directions, the law remains unenforced. The Ministry of Interior enforces traffic regulations, after that a senior official comes out and announces that the latest procedures came as per directions of a higher-ranked official. So it seems like

The Ministry of Electricity and Water makes efforts to collect bills. After that, a ministry employee announces that these efforts were as per the directions of a senior ministry official who simply gave the orders that the ministry must start collecting dues. had the same official failed to demand that the law is enforced, chaos would have continued on the roads. The Ministry of Electricity and Water makes efforts to collect bills. After that, a ministry employee announces that these efforts were as per the directions of a senior ministry official who simply gave the orders that the ministry must start collecting dues. But what if the official had not issued these directions? The ministry’s indebtedness would have reached tens of millions of dinars by now. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor announces plans to fight visa traffickers (hypothetically speaking, that is), after which a senior ministry official announces that the procedures went underway as per the directions of his boss. Fine, but what if these directions had not been issued? Does that mean that visa traffickers would have remained free to practice their illegal activities for years until a ministry official one day decides to stop them? What is the need for laws if they are not to be immediately and consistently implemented? Why do we need laws in the first place if they are to be put on hold until a senior official gives directions to enforce them? What is the duty of government employees if the law remains frozen either intentionally or due to recklessness? What good are the laws if their enforcement is subject to certain people’s attitudes? The law becomes immediately effective in countries that stick to the rule of law, and these are implemented. That is why the laws are followed by everyone and no one has the power to suspend them, except through legislative means or a court order. People feel secure in society and know that their daily life requirements are guaranteed when they see the law fully implemented and respected. But if the law needs directions to come into effect, then it means that the situation in a country is one of total chaos. —Al-Qabas

kuwait digest

Kuwait traffic campaign By Sami Al-Kharafi


irst of all, I don’t want to speak about the traffic right lane? How many times have we written about our campaign being carried out by the traffic depart- streets being choked with an increasing number of cars, ment headed by Lt General Abdul Fattah Al-Ali, and that number still rising sharply? So far no solution who is making great efforts to implement the law fully, could ease these traffic jams. How many thousands of and has started making efforts that could ease the traf- driving licenses were issued to undeserving persons fic problem that all of us in Kuwait have been reeling who did not meet the conditions? We have been under for many years, and which no one has been able demanding a committee to review all such licenses. How many times have we demanded a solution to to solve. No citizen or expat can deny that the law is a pillar of the mess seen at the traffic lights, where the street turns into a five lane one the state and it is only of three, all because through law that a state can No citizen or expat can deny instead most of those drivers do not impose its will on everyone and regulate the society, that the law is a pillar of the know the basics of driving and traffic rules and while there are some who believe that it is a challenge state and it is only through law received their licenses and a courageous thing to that a state can impose its will through “Wasta” route? It is regrettable that what Lt break the law. They break the laws and despise all reg- on everyone and regulate the General Abdel Fattah Al-Ali is doing now is being critiulation, thus adding to a rise in accidents in which several society, while there are some cized by some. All he is people have lost their lives. who believe that it is a chal- doing is to implement the law, something we all Anyone who reads the daily reports in newspapers lenge and a courageous thing demanded in the first place. or watches them on other to break the law. They break the The man is working honestly to reduce some of our sufmedia knows that everyone has been reiterating the laws and despise all regulation, ferings and end this spate of and traffic jams, need to enforce the law, thus adding to a rise in acci- accidents and save people’s lives. especially traffic laws, on In a nutshell, I want to every one without excep- dents in which several people say that the campaign of Lt. tion, to instill the fear of the General Al-Ali to reduce the state. How many times have have lost their lives. traffic jams will not succeed we complained about cars speeding fast even in the safe lane, and still going unless we all lend a hand and join in the efforts alongside him to end the culture of Wasta, and give him a unpunished? How many times have we complained about trucks chance to restore the might of the law, something being driven in all lanes in total disregard of the traffic that Kuwait has been found wanting in for a very long laws which state that these should be driven only in the time. —Al-Anbaa

kuwait digest

have always been thinking of how to make it easier for expats living in Kuwait to live a dignified life. When I read the news reports about the helpline set up by the Indian Embassy to help Indian nationals, I realized how important the step would prove to be for the Indians living in Kuwait. Now, they will feel better and will know that the diplomats in this country are well aware of their plight and were keeping in close touch with the local officials to address any accidental hardships swiftly. Similarly, the moves by the Philippines Embassy to meet its country’s nationals and educate them about how to deal with the emerging situation was very welcome. The embassy gave certain tips to its nationals, asking them not to panic during any raid, to keep at hand all legal documents, not to worry and remember to contact the embassy whenever necessary through hotlines, website and social media etc. Such diplomatic efforts will surely go a long way to in assuring the foreigners here, especially when some perceived that even those who were legal immigrants may face unpalatable issues. As for Kuwait, which I expect to take the lead when it comes to safe-

I am also sure that our valued readers are rightfully sensitive about breach of human rights. They are not worried just about visas but also about issues of stability, security and respect. Furthermore, all citizens and expats like Kuwait and they do not want to be left behind, particularly when they compare the benefits accruing to them here in comparison to some rapidly changing and developing neighboring countries. guarding human rights as per international humanitarian standards, I said a big yes to the hotlines being set up by respective embassies but I would say a big no to anyone trying to threaten an expat’s human rights, or any innocent person for that matter. I am also sure that our valued readers are rightfully sensitive about breach of human rights. They are not worried just about visas but also about issues of stability, security and respect. Furthermore, all citizens and expats like Kuwait and they do not want to be left behind, particularly when they compare the benefits accruing to them here in comparison to some rapidly changing and developing neighboring countries. There is no other option except to ensure that we have harmony in our own country. No one should wonder that we are going to see immense development, thanks to His Highness the Amir’s support for more political and economic stability and his vision to transform Kuwait into a new regional financial hub. Once again, we will witness a new parliament and elections, big spending, huge infrastructure coming up for a new Kuwaiti Capital, new cities and much more. Well, guess what? Haven’t we been waiting for all this for so long? Hence, we must ensure a dignified life and stability for the expats and only then will we enjoy working together in a wonderful, responsible and harmonious fashion.

Kuwaiti oil is for Kuwaiti people

kuwait digest

Mistake in calculation By Waleed Al-Rujaib By Thaar Al-Rashidi


t seems that the International Monetary Fund After that, a so-called ‘Higher Economic Advisory (IMF), the protector of neoliberal economic policies Committee’ was formed only to come through a backin the world, will not rest until they force all nations door with demands to impose income taxes, increase to submit to the policies of globalized capitalism. public services’ fees, and end social security for citiThey continue to play the role of ‘ordering’ govern- zens, but making an exception for companies. Their ments of poor nations to lift social security and priva- efforts failed eventually since their demands were tize public sector in the service of the globalized unrealistic in a country with Kuwait’s characteristics. The third attempt came recently through a team imperialism that became a risk threatening people around the world with economic death, starvation, as that volunteered to come up with an initiative labeled with the promising slogan well as end of democracy, “Kuwait, the Oil Capital of principles of social justice The government of Kuwait tried of the World.” With its flashy and ever ything that the working class has earned in 2010 to follow a ‘destructive name aside, the initiative throughout human history. recipe’ in the form of selling all was soon exposed to be a ploy to give private firms in The new neoliberal policy in market mechanisms state departments to private Kuwait and outside a has restricted the role of companies in the country. But greater role in Kuwait’s economic life which would governments to being ‘guardians of the capitalist when the public stood against have phased out the public system’ within their respec- these procedures, the parliament sector through companies in which 80 percent of the tive nations. It put all the wealth of our planet in the excluded education, health and shares were to be owned by hands of major industrial- oil sectors from the purview of the the private sector. If it were to happen, this ized countries and their would lead to economic intercontinental compa- law in its second hearing. disasters starting from huge nies, laying the foundation of a new policy based on ‘dictatorship of the market layoffs in the oil sector as well as increasing poverty and unemployment rates in larger social sectors, in and globalization’. This policy often spawns undemocratic sayings like addition to putting the main source of income and “keeping into account social security and the needs of effectively the entire fate of the Kuwaiti people in the the poor has become an unbearable burden,” or hands of the private sector. It would be like taking a claiming that “a little inequality has become unavoid- step back to the time before nationalization of oil able.” By this approach, poor countries in debt are put companies in 1975; a step that would coincide with alongside high-income states that can create sustain- South American states nationalizing their own oil able development through which prosperity and jus- companies, and people in Europe and around the tice can be spread while poverty and unemployment world protesting against privatization policies. The Kuwaiti people are advised to stay alert about can be eliminated. The government of Kuwait tried in 2010 to follow a what is being plotted against their only natural ‘destructive recipe’ in the form of selling all state wealth. We must avoid letting the parasitic private departments to private companies in the country. But sector from taking over our future, and sharing our when the public stood against these procedures, the wealth with the foreigners. Kuwait’s oil must always parliament excluded education, health and oil sectors remain the sole possession of Kuwaitis and their from the purview of the law in its second hearing. future generations. —Al-Rai


n December 1 when the result of the election for the last council, now declared void by the constitutional court, came out, I wrote an article titled “Government...made a mistake in calculation” in which I mentioned that this council will be able to survive for a maximum of six months and its main object was to fix the decree of one man-one vote. At that time, I was criticized by some colleagues on the grounds that I was too quick to predict matters. The fact is that I was not quick but was only trying to envision a political situation. My stand remains unchanged. On December 15, 2012, I wrote an article titled, “Opposition and the trap of one man vote” in which I mentioned in the last paragraph that “this council will be declared as void and will not be dissolved, and it would be the second Council to be announced as void in the history of Kuwait and in my opinion, the government was betting on this council only to approve and fix the one man-one vote decree, and then it will have to leave.” That article I published after less than two weeks of the election results , prompting a rather unnatural reaction from a few observers including constitutional experts, who spoke to me about my article and said I was too quick and suffer from a “shortfall” in my legal vision. At that time, I told them that I do not deal with legal theories, but I work as per a political vision, and I get my information from decision making circles and through theories or assumptions. I knew for sure then that as per the available information, this council will be announced void, and as per all available information, it was born to die. On March 25 last, I wrote a column titled, “Elections with half vote” and it included as follows: “Personally, I am still betting on the fact that this council will be announced as void, and we are entering in a few months into a phase of new elections with one man-one vote system. That is because the one man vote will be a reality and a law, and will not remain a subject of political dispute and constitutional dispute as it is today.” I wrote three articles in which I predicted from a political point of view, not any other kind, that this council will be declared as void. I remember that one of the MPs used to ask me after each article: What is your legal point which supports this view? And I used to answer him that politics is sometimes above the law for several reasons and any good reader of events since the dissolution of 2009 council until today will find that legal theories and scientific assumptions all collapse at the political wall. One of those who objected to my articles told me, ‘you are not an expert in law, so how do you predict that the council will be declared as void?’, and I answered him, “Dear brother, it is not necessary that I be a specialized mechanic when I tell you that the car which has no engine will not move. Is that clear? And it is not necessary that I be a fire man officer to tell you that the house engulfed in flames is burning and at the same time, it is not necessary that I be a constitutional expert to tell you that this council was born to die or to be declared as void.” —Al-Anbaa

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013

Czech premier steps down after graft scandal

Early monsoon strikes India, 26 people dead

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ANKARA: Anti-government protesters demonstrate in central Ankara yesterday. (Inset) Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a meeting. — AFP/AP

Turkey warns to deploy army Unions had called for strike, but little disruption seen ANKARA/ISTANBUL: Turkey’s deputy prime minister said yesterday the armed forces could be called up if needed to help quell popular protests that have swept Turkish cities in the last two weeks, the first time the possibility of a military role has been raised. Bulent Arinc made the remarks in Ankara, where 1,000 striking trade union workers faced off briefly against police backed by several water cannon, before police retreated and the crowd left. In Istanbul, the cradle of protests that have presented Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan with the greatest public challenge to his 10-year leadership, several hundred union members also marched in sympathy with anti-government demonstrations. They were prevented from entering Taksim Square, the focal point of the unrest, but after workers had moved off, between 200 and 300 mainly young protesters, some of them throw-

ing stones from slingshots, fought with police. The violence was minor compared with the weekend, which saw some of the fiercest clashes so far when police fired teargas and water cannon to clear thousands of people from the square. “Our police, our security forces are doing their jobs. If it’s not enough, then the gendarmes will do their jobs. If that’s not enough ... we could even use elements of the Turkish Armed Forces,” Arinc told Turkey’s staterun TRT television. Any use of the army would be a dramatic step in Turkey, where Erdogan has pushed through democratic reforms including taming a military that toppled four governments in four decades. There were also clashes yesterday in the city of Eskisehir, around 200 km southeast of Istanbul, where police used teargas and water cannon to disperse crowds and cleared away hundreds of tents, the Dogan news

agency reported. Yesterday’s union marches were peaceful and small, and, while it was unclear how many of the 850,000 public workers answered union calls to strike, there were no signs of major disruption. What began late in May as a protest by environmentalists upset at government plans to build on a public park adjoining Taksim has grown into a movement against Erdogan, who opponents say is overbearing and meddles in their personal lives. The unrest has yet to seriously threaten Erdogan’s position. A new poll showed that 35.3 percent of people would vote for for his AK Party were an election to be held straight away, compared with 36.3 percent in April. In the first survey published since protests started, opposition groups also gained in popularity, most notably the CHP whose support jumped to 22.7 percent in June from 15.3 percent two months ago. European Union enlargement commis-

sioner Stefan Fuele expressed concern about developments in Turkey, whose negotiations to join the bloc have stalled, partly over worries about its record on human rights and freedom of speech. Germany has long harboured doubts about admitting Turkey to the EU. Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was “appalled, like many others” at Turkey’s tough response to the protests. “I would like to see those who ... have a different opinion and a different idea of society having some space in a Turkey that moves into the 21st century,” she told the German broadcaster RTL. “What’s happening in Turkey at the moment is not in line with our idea of the freedom to demonstrate or freedom of speech.” Erdogan sought to seize back the initiative over the weekend by holding huge rallies in Istanbul and Ankara. Hundreds of thousands turned up to see a leader who has won three

Damascus blast kills 10 soldiers BEIRUT: A car bomb targeting a checkpoint near a military airport in an upscale neighborhood of the Syrian capital killed 10 soldiers, activists said yesterday as President Bashar Al-Assad’s troops pressed ahead with an offensive to regain territory they lost to rebels trying to topple his regime. The army has scored major victories in key battlefields in western and central Syria in the past weeks, and is now setting its sights on the country’s largest city, Aleppo, in the north, parts of which have been opposition strongholds. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 10 soldiers died in the Sunday night attack in Damascus’ Mazzeh area and 10 were wounded. The neighborhood houses several embassies and a military airport. Syrian state media confirmed there was a blast near the military airport late Sunday but did not release any casualty figures. At least 93,000 people have been killed in Syria’s conflict since it erupted in March 2011, according to a recent U.N. estimate. Millions have been displaced and the civil war is increasingly being fought along sectarian lines, pitting Sunni Muslims against Shiites. It is also threatening the stability of Syria’s neighbors, including Lebanon and Iraq. Sunnis dominate the rebel ranks while the Assad regime is mostly made up of Alawites, an offshoot sect of Shiite Islam. Sectarian divisions deepened in the conflict a few weeks ago, when Lebanon’s Iranbacked Shiite militant group Hezbollah joined the fight inside Syria on the regime’s side. Earlier this month, Assad’s troops dealt a major blow to the opposition forces after they pushed the rebels out of the strategic town of Qusair near the Lebanese border, largely with

DAMASCUS: A member of the Syrian army checks the trunk of a car at a checkpoint yesterday. — AFP Hezbollah’s help. The fall of Qusair shifted the balance of power on the battlefield in favor of the Damascus regime, which is now looking to keep the momentum and aims to take back control of Aleppo, the country’s commercial hub. The rebels captured parts of the city last summer during an offensive in the north along the border with Turkey. While the rebels had been able to capture territory from the government in the past month, they have been unable to hold on and govern it effectively because of the regime’s superior firepower. Lack of services and aid

flow into the rebel-held areas in the north have caused problems for the opposition and resulted in infighting between ethnic Kurdish and Arab groups fighting against Assad’s regime in the predominantly Kurdish northern region of Afrin. Arab rebels imposed a siege in late May on the area that resulted in a humanitarian crisis, according to the Observatory, which relies on a network of informants on the ground. The region has a population of more than half a million, along with more than 200,000 internally displaced people, the Observatory said. —AP

successive elections, and whom they considered unfairly under siege. The blunt-talking 59year-old said the rallies were to kick off campaigning for local elections next year and not related to the unrest, but they were widely seen as a show of strength. A defiant Erdogan told a sea of flag-waving supporters in Istanbul on Sunday that the disturbances had been manipulated by “terrorists” and dismissed suggestions that he was behaving like a dictator, a constant refrain from protesters on the streets. Just a few kilometres away, police fought running battles with protesters in clashes that lasted well into the evening. The stark contrast between events in different parts of Istanbul highlighted how the protests have polarised Turkey, its conservative religious heartland largely backing Erdogan while Western-facing liberals swell the ranks of the protesters. — Reuters

Israel official blasts Palestine state idea JERUSALEM: The idea of Palestinians establishing a state in the territory they seek has “reached a dead end”, a senior Israeli official said Monday, in the latest remarks by hard-liners that appear to contradict the country’s official support for a “two-state solution” to its conflict with the Palestinians. The statements by Naftali Bennett, economics minister and leader of the Jewish Home party, chime with similar sentiments expressed by other officials in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government and come as the United States is trying to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. “The idea that a Palestinian state will arise inside the land of Israel has reached a dead end,” Bennett said Monday at a meeting of the Yesha settlement group. “Never in the history of Israel have so many people dealt with so much energy with something so pointless,” he said. Talks collapsed about five years ago over the core issue of Jewish housing in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, territory Israel captured from Jordan in 1967 and which Palestinians envision for a future state. The Palestinians refuse to return to talks unless construction there stops. Israel says settlements and all other issues like security can only be resolved through dialogue and has frequently called for peace talks to resume without preconditions. Some Israelis cite security, religious and historic reasons for their opposition

to a Palestinian state. Many Israelis are concerned that violent groups will fill the vacuum if Israel withdraws from areas it controls. The Islamic militant group Hamas eventually took over the Gaza Strip after Israel left it in 2005. Hamas is defined as a terrorist organization by the US, EU and others due to its suicide bombings, shooting and rocket attacks aimed at civilians that have killed hundreds. Bennett said that the policy of Israeli land concessions and withdrawals has failed. “Terrorists entered everywhere that Israel withdrew from. The most important thing in the land of Israel is to build and build and build,” he added. “Israel’s biggest problem regarding Judea and Samaria was and remains the lack of willingness by Israeli leaders to say in a simple way that the land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel,” Bennett said, referring to the West Bank territory by its biblical names. Last week, Netanyahu’s deputy defense minister and member of his own Likud party, Danny Danon, said “there is certainly no majority” in the Likud for establishing a Palestinian state based on Israel’s borders before the 1967 Mideast war. “A Palestinian state on the 1967 lines is something dangerous for Israel, and therefore I oppose that idea,” Danon told Channel 2 TV. He said it was possible that the broader coalition government, which includes other hard-line parties, also opposes a return to the 1967 lines.—AP


TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013

Protests to give new turn to Egypt revolution CAIRO: Does Egypt face a new revolution? Millions hope so, it seems; they have signed a national petition demanding the president resign and plan to take to the streets on June 30, when Mohamed Morsi marks a year in office. Their slogan is a call for revolt: “Tamarud - Rebel!” But for all the simmering discontent with the Islamist who has presided over political and economic paralysis, millions more are ready to defend Egypt’s first freely elected leader; they say those campaigning for him to quit are agents of the old regime and plan their own pro-Morsi rallies starting Friday. Their counter-campaign - “Tagarud” - calls for open minds. There is a risk of more of the violence that has punctuated the two and a half years since Hosni Mubarak was toppled by a blast of rage from Tahrir Square. “June 30” crops up endlessly in conversation. The Cairo bourse has shrivelled in anticipation and security forces say they are preparing to deal with trouble. “There is a strong chance of violence,” said retired general Sameh Seif Al-Yazal. “It could start from any side.” It is unclear what can end stalemate between the Islamists, whose organised electoral base has handed them the formal levers of power, and a diffuse opposition of liberals, Christians and secular conservatives united in fear of Islamic rule, plus a mass of the uncommitted, fed up with economic drift under Morsi. The “culture war” between elected Islamists and a secular opposition, with a once-political army in the background, has echoes of today’s unrest in Turkey, but deep economic crisis and a still unformed political system makes Egypt much more fragile. With world powers at odds over Syria, where Morsi has backed the Sunni Muslim revolt, and Washington funding an Egyptian army that honours Cairo’s peace treaty with Israel, any instability in the most populous Arab state has implications far beyond. The wealthy generals, once led by Mubarak but who sacrificed him to save themselves, have said they want no more political role. Islamists say it would mean civil war if the troops moved against them. Yet the army is still held in high regard by the vast majority and says it will intervene to maintain order. However June 30 ends - and few will bet with confidence on the outcome - it will help determine whether the Arab Spring eventually blossoms, or withers - not just for 84 million Egyptians but for would-be democracies across the Middle East. “This revolution is not over yet,” said Mohamed ElBaradei, a former top UN diplomat and one of the best known faces of Tamarud, whose keen young sidewalk volunteers say

their petition is close to gathering more signatures for Morsi’s - hypothetical - removal than the 13 million votes that elected him a year ago. ElBaradei spoke at a two-week-old sit-in by artists at the Culture Ministry. It was prompted by the new minister firing the head of Cairo Opera and by fears of a new puritanism after an Islamist lawmaker urged a ban on ballet, calling it “naked art”. Such threats grip the liberal media and ElBaradei said Islamist dominance must be

that this revolution has actually worked”, one aide called it - but must be peaceful. Morsi himself says he will react “fiercely” to trouble from “felloul” - ‘remnants’ of Mubarak - and calls the petition, which has no legal weight, “an absurd and illegitimate action”. There have been scuffles this month between groups gathering signatures; an apartment used by Tamarud was firebombed. A new test looms this Friday, when Islamists plan pro-Morsi rallies. The heart of the problem is a failure to

CAIRO: In this May 17, 2013 file photo, an Egyptian activist covers her face with a ‘Tamarud’ petition calling for the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and for early presidential elections during a protest in Tahrir Square. —AP stopped: “We ask every Egyptian to go out on the 30th, to free ourselves and reclaim our revolution.” For the millions of poor, for whom the ballet ranks low in their priorities, it is an economy caught in a vice of collapsed tourist income, rising world commodity prices and a growing population dependent on subsidised bread and fuel that matters. “We don’t want Morsi. We want change,” said Umm Sultan, working with her son at the family juice stall in Cairo’s Old City. “They must give us money so our children can live.” Echoing fellow Islamists governing in Turkey, Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood insists he has a democratic mandate and warn that protest is permitted - “a healthy sign

build consensus. With opponents in disarray, the Brotherhood and its allies won majorities in both houses of parliament and the presidency last year and rushed a constitution through a referendum. The opposition, partly backed by a judiciary the Islamists see as Mubarak holdovers, now reject most of those state institutions. Elections for a new lower house that might provide a forum for national dialogue are being held up by rows over the rules. Anchoring his power in the provinces, Morsi named Islamists to run several governorates on Sunday, including one from a group whose gunmen massacred 58 foreigners in Luxor and will now head the administration in the temple city, a hub for

Iran discontent unlikely to bring nuclear change Netanyahu says Rowhani ‘doesn’t count’ JERUSALEM: Iran’s election has exposed popular discontent with the Tehran government but is unlikely to bring about any change in Iranian nuclear policy, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Reuters yesterday. Acknowledging that economic sanctions were clearly taking their toll on Iran, Netanyahu said the pressure needed to be maintained and urged Western allies not to pin their hopes on the newly elected Iranian president, Hassan Rowhani. “He doesn’t count. He doesn’t call the shots,” Netanyahu said, adding that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made all the decisions regarding nuclear policy, which the West fears is geared towards developing an atomic bomb. “The Iranian election clearly reflects deep disaffection of the Iranian people

tourism. But, lacking broad popular support, the legislature and the executive have struggled to act decisively on an economy being kept afloat by soft loans from Qatar and other regional allies. There seems little prospect the Tamarud petition will induce Morsi to resign - and even some liberal commentators say that might set an unwelcome precedent. Morsi’s win seemed fair and a new presidential vote might produce a broadly similar result. Yet a Zogby poll yesterday showed only 28

with its regime, but unfortunately it doesn’t have the power to change Iran’s nuclear ambitions,” said the Israeli leader, who heads a centre-right coalition government. Iran denies that it wants nuclear weapons and says its atomic program is focused exclusively on civilian needs. Rohani was viewed as moderate by comparison with the other presidential candidates. His emphatic election victory on Sunday surprised many Western governments. Iran’s nuclear negotiator from 2003 to 2005, Rowhani said yesterday that Tehran would be more transparent about its nuclear activities in future. However, Netanyahu, who views Iran’s nuclear programme as an existential threat to Israel, quoted a 2004 speech in which Rohani openly acknowledged developing Iran’s

Nile dam politics: Egypt, Ethiopia officials meet ADDIS ABABA: The foreign ministers of Egypt and Ethiopia met in Addis Ababa yesterday in hopes of defusing tensions over a huge dam Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile River. Egypt and Ethiopia began a sharp exchange of words after Ethiopia last month started to divert Nile waters as part of the construction of its massive $4.2 billion hydro-electric project dubbed the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Egypt fears the dam will mean a diminished share of the Nile, which provides almost all of the desert nation’s water needs. Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr arrived in Addis Ababa on Sunday, where he is meeting counterpart Tedros Adhanom. Dina Mufti, a spokesman for the Ethiopia’s foreign ministry, said Ethiopia wants Egypt to understand that the dam is not going to harm Egypt. But in a possible sign that the talks are not sailing smoothly, the two ministers cancelled a scheduled news conference yesterday morning. “I cannot anticipate the outcome of the meeting . but our wish is that they would understand that the construction of the dam is not going to harm them in any way. We have always sought a win-win cooperation and relationship with Egypt,” Dina told AP on Sunday. Relations between the nations have quickly grown tense over the last two weeks. In a televised meeting June 3, Egyptian politicians suggested attacks against Ethiopia to sabotage the dam. A week later, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi warned that “all options are open” to challenge Ethiopia’s Nile project. In response, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn vowed “nothing” and “no one” will stop the dam’s construction. Then, last Thursday, Ethiopia’s parliament unanimously ratified a new accord that replaces colonial-era deals that awarded Egypt veto powers over Nile projects. The tensions are causing international concern. The head of the African Union urged dialogue and cooperation and U.N. SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon telephoned both Morsi and Hailemariam. Ethiopia downplays the prospect of military confrontation with Egypt. The president said Egypt would not attack unless its leaders “go mad.” Ethiopia insists it “will not bow to pressure” by delaying the construction of the dam. The Renaissance Dam has been under construction for two years on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia’s Benishangul-Gumuz region near Sudan. Currently more than 22 percent complete, the dam is expected to produce 6,000 megawatts, which will make it Africa’s largest hydroelectric power plant. The dam is expected to have a reservoir of around 70 billion cubic meters, which is scheduled to start filling next year. —AP

nuclear capabilities while all the while holding talks with Europeans. “They are using time. He himself admitted they were using time basically to continue Iran’s nuclear weapons program,” said Netanyahu, sitting in his Jerusalem office, a large map of the Middle East and Iran pinned next to the main doorway. The situation has changed dramatically in Iran since 2004, with increasingly rigid western sanctions damaging the local economy, forcing a sharp reduction in oil output and a deep fall in the value of Iran’s currency. “These sanctions actually produced the change we have seen today. They did not work counterproductively. They produced some change in Iran, but they have not yet produced the change that we need to see,” Netanyahu said. “So stay firm with the demands and firm with the sanctions.” Israel, widely believed to be the Middle East’s only atomic power, has signalled it could take military action against Iran if sanctions and diplomacy fail to bring about a change. In a speech to the United Nations last September, Netanyahu drew a “red line” for Iran’s uranium enrichment - the point at which it could swiftly upgrade its stockpiles to build a bomb. Officials put this at 250 kg of 20 percent enriched uranium. Since then, the Iranians have converted some of their enriched uranium into a powder, staying below the threshold set by Netanyahu, in a move that some experts say has enabled Tehran effectively to circumvent the Israeli threat. Netanyahu said he would not be setting any further red lines, but added that world powers had to persuade Iran to halt all enrichment and remove the uranium stockpiles. “The red line has not changed. Neither has the Iranian pursuit of approaching it gradually, running out the clock, buying time, putting up a more hospitable face. These are all tactics. Again and again and again,” he said. The United States has said it will not let Iran obtain the bomb, but in recent weeks the White House has been more focused on the civil war in Syria, announcing at the weekend that it was prepared to arm rebels fighting President Bashar Al-Assad. Netanyahu has previously cautioned against such a move, worried that the weapons could fall into the wrong hands and be turned against Israel, which shares a tense frontier with Syria. Asked about the US step, the Israeli leader said: “I can understand the decision of President Obama. What is happening in Syria is a tremendous tragedy.” —Reuters

percent of voters now see his election as positive or at least an outcome to be respected - down from 57 percent a year ago. The poll also showed, however, that no current opponent is clearly more popular than the bespectacled, bearded face crossed out with a red “X” on Tamarud’s ubiquitous posters. But if the protest movement seems like a leap into the unknown, that is not deterring large numbers from joining it. “Tamarud is a representative public reaction to the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi’s failure to run the state,” said Hassan Nafaa, a Cairo University political scientist who says Morsi must resign for his “stupidity”. “It has left people no option but the streets and so

they will come out - in large numbers.” The president’s allies will not give in so easily: “If Morsi ends up being ousted by violence or a coup by the army or police, there will be an Islamic revolution,” said AlGhaddafi Abdel Razek, manager of the proMorsi Tagarud campaign which he said had collected 7 million signatures backing Morsi. “We have our people in the army and the police, too, and we are ready,” added Abdel Razek, 37, a pharmacist once jailed for his membership of militant group AlGamaa al-Islamiya. “We know that if Morsi goes, we’ll all be in prison.” Over at the opposition campaign, spokesman Mahmoud Badr is grappling with piles of signatures and ID numbers that need to be verified against databases if Tamarud is to make the case it hopes to the United Nations that its petition is genuine. Even without international intervention, Badr argued, the weight of opinion could embarrass Morsi into stepping aside. Others say that at least it might push him to listen to them. “It is a new factor, this kind of mobilising effort with the numbers of folks involved,” said US pollster James Zogby. “We don’t know where it’s going, but we’re clearly turning a page. “This is a revolution still to be resolved.” And if Morsi goes? It seems hypothetical now, but Badr and his team have a postMorsi plan: the constitutional court chief would be interim head of state with a small technocrat cabinet. For many, exasperated by power cuts, shortage of fuel and rising prices, a return to army rule would be welcome - though the military insists it wants no such responsibility. Its chief, appointed by Morsi, has urged “a framework for consensus”. One military source told Reuters the army was ready for all eventualities after June 30 - “but we will not interfere unless the situation seems to be heading towards violent conflict”. Army chief Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has said troops will “defend the state and what is sacred to the people” that, the source said, included their rights to protest. As the rallies approach, Egyptians have decisions to make. Ahmed Mahmoud, 30, a labourer from Alexandria is already in the capital to make his voice heard: “I want to tell Morsi loud and clear he needs to go since he has failed to meet the demands of our revolution, for a better life and freedom,” he said. “We are tired and cannot take it anymore. We want to live.” But others, who fear yet more unrest can only plunge them deeper into poverty, are more patient. Mohamed Ali, 26, a waiter at a Cairo cafe, said Morsi should be given his chance: “We are new to democracy and we should give him time to work and learn.” —Reuters

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013


Parties contest South Africa’s richest province SOWETO, South Africa: South Africa’s two main political parties are setting out their stalls for the 2014 election, with the country’s key province Gauteng shaping up to be a key battleground. In recent days the African National Congress (ANC), in power for 19 years, and main opposition the Democratic Alliance (DA) have held town hall discussions and rallies in the region, which encompasses Johannesburg and Pretoria. The country ’s smallest and most populated province, it holds the seat of government and the economic heartland of Africa’s largest economy. President Jacob Zuma, on the hunt for a second term in office, on Friday visited the suburb where Nelson Mandela used to live in the iconic Johannesburg township Soweto. “Get well, Mandela, get well!” was a popular chant as he spoke to cheering students and school-

children, the day the global peace icon marked a week in hospital for a recurring lung infection. Meanwhile DA leader Helen Zille was clear on her party’s target for parliamentary and presidential polls. “The DA is marching towards victory in Gauteng next year,” she told a sea of supporters dressed in the party’s blue at a rally in Johannesburg on Saturday. “South Africa stands or falls on Gauteng’s success because of its economic might. If South Africa is to succeed, Gauteng must succeed.” This will be a key fight in upcoming polls, agreed political analyst C h e re l l A f r i c a . “G a u t e n g i s a ve r y strategic province. It is a very important province economically,” she told AFP. “It is strategic in terms of if they want to damage the ANC,” said Africa, who heads the politics department at the University of the Western Cape.

The ANC won 2009 polls with 65.9 percent nationally, against the DA’s 16.7 percent. But the opposition’s representation in Gauteng shot to over 33 percent in a municipal vote two years later. Though the ANC still firmly controls the province, protests over poor electricity, water and sanitation services have increased. A massive municipal mishap in the provincial capital Johannesburg provoked scandal as residents received erroneous utility bills amounting to thousands of rand. The DA, smelling blood, has thrown its weight and funds behind a mass civil society court battle against planned tolling on Gauteng’s main highway. The party said it wanted to win another key province after taking the Western Cape - which includes Cape Town - in the previous elections. Zuma has defended his track record,

slamming critics such as the DA who point out sluggish economic growth and 25 percent unemployment as well as massive labour unrest in the mining sector during his four years in office. “They’ve forgotten that this government is trying to fix problems that have been there for centuries,” he told students at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto campus on Friday. The ANC has drawn a lot of mileage from the DA’s image as a party for whites. Black DA supporters are “un-African”, the ANC has said. Zuma launched a charm offensive in mixed-race communities in Gauteng, focusing on an anti-drug campaign. Many commentators saw this as an attempt to lure them away from the DA, their likely voting choice. Both parties promise a better future, but ironically the apartheid past is prominent in the debate. Slogans in support of 94-year-

old Mandela, the country’s first black president, are an open reminder of the ANC’s past as liberation movement. It keeps referring to that history to appeal to voters. But the DA has hit back with a campaign showing its own leaders’ role in fighting against the white-minority regime. A big advertisement in Soweto recalls how Zille exposed the apartheid police killing of activist Steve Biko in 1977 when she was a young journalist. But the DA stronghold Western Cape is the only province where blacks are a minority. Gauteng is majority black, and in a country where race-based politics is an important factor in votes, the party has a battle on its hands. “I don’t see it will be likely the DA wins Gauteng,” said Africa. “The trend has been that where people are dissatisfied with the ANC they tend to opt out of voting. It’s not that they would move to the DA.” —AFP

Czech prime minister steps down after graft scandal Arrest of aide on bribery, spying charges pushed him out PRAGUE: Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas was forced to quit on Sunday by a graft and spying scandal involving his closest aide, pitching the European Union member state into a period of uncertainty over who will form the next government. Under the Czech constitution, the whole government will now have to step down, and

about the surveillance, but the charges were so toxic that his coalition partners signalled they could no longer support him. “I will resign as prime minister tomorrow,” Necas told a news conference after meetings with his Civic Democratic party and with the leaders of other parties in the governing coalition. “I am aware fully aware how

PRAGUE: Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas announces his resignation on Sunday at the Czech government headquarters. —AFP there is likely to be horse-trading between the governing coalition, the opposition and the president before a replacement is in place. Necas quit days after prosecutors charged the head of his office, Jana Nagyova, with bribing members of parliament and ordering intelligence agents to spy on people. The scandal has a personal element for the prime minister: one of the surveillance targets, according to lawyers involved in the case, was the prime minister’s own wife, Radka. The two are filing for divorce. Necas has said he knew nothing

the twists and turns of my personal life are burdening the Czech political scene and the Civic Democratic Party,” he said. He said his party would try to form a new government, led by a different person, to rule until a scheduled election next year. However, it was unclear if that plan could muster enough support in parliament. Two decades ago, Czech dissident Vaclav Havel led a “Velvet Revolution” that overthrew Communist rule and turned his country into a beacon of liberty. But in the years since then, the Czech Republic has been mired in corruption.

Necas and his administration will stay on as caretakers until a new government is installed. President Milos Zeman will have an important say in who takes over. If after three attempts there is no viable government, or the parliament agrees to dissolve itself, an early election will be held. Forming a new government will be tough for the current coalition because it does not have an outright parliamentary majority. At the moment, it falls at least two votes short. The only way to cobble together a majority is to win over independent members of parliament. Some independents have in the past voted with the cabinet, opening the possibility they may pledge their support. The constitution gives the president the authority to appoint a prime minister. He is a political opponent of Necas, and could refuse to endorse the coalition’s nominee for prime minister. “If the government has majority support, I believe that he (the president) would accept that majority. If that attempt is not successful, there should be a quick agreement on an early election,” said Miroslav Kalousek, deputy chairman of TOP09 and finance minister in the outgoing cabinet. An early election would favour the opposition Social Democrats, who, according to opinion polls, are more popular than the government. The anti-corruption operation that brought down Necas was the biggest in the Czech Republic, a country of 10.5 million people in eastern Europe, for 20 years. About 400 police officers raided government offices, bank safe deposits and other locations, conducted 31 house searches and seized at least $6 million in cash and tens of kilograms of gold. They did not say who it belonged to. A lawyer for the prime minister’s aide Nagyova, who is now in custody, says she denies some of the allegations against her, while on others she argues that she acted in good faith. Czechs have been increasingly irritated by media reports of kickbacks and tainted deals in the public sector and the inability of the police and justice to punish the perpetrators. Last week’s operation was, in part, the result of Necas’ own reforms: under his watch, newly appointed prosecutors were given a free hand to go after corruption cases. —Reuters

Ecuador, Britain fail to break Assange deadlock

LONDON: Britain’s Prince Philip waves as he leaves the London Clinic yesterday. —AP

Smiling Prince Philip leaves UK hospital LONDON: Queen Elizabeth II’s 92-year-old husband Prince Philip walked out of hospital yesterday “in good spirits”, 10 days after undergoing exploratory abdominal surgery. The Duke of Edinburgh, who went under the knife on June 7, smiled and waved as he left the private London Clinic in the centre of the British capital. “The duke is in good condition and good spirits. He’ll take a period of convalescence of approximately two months,” a Buckingham Palace spokesman said. “The duke has expressed his thanks and appreciation to medical staff at the London Clinic and the many members of the public who have sent good wishes.” The palace has not said why he needed the operation, only that it followed abdominal investigations the week before. Officials insist he is otherwise in robust health. Prince Philip is renowned for his no-fuss, “get on with it” attitude and is unlikely to take kindly to his enforced absence from duty. In recent days he has been asking for paperwork from his office. He emerged from hospital carrying the 1,000-page hardback book “Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 17541766”, by the US historian Fred Anderson. Wearing a double-breasted blazer, shirt and tie, the duke joked with nurses as he left and shook hands with senior hospital staff on the doorstep. Prince Philip then walked briskly to his waiting vehicle, getting into the passenger side unaided. He lowered the window to wave and smile at people waiting outside the hospital. He will initially spend time at Windsor Castle, west

of London, where the queen - an avid horse racing fan and a noted breeder - is staying during the nearby Royal Ascot races week. Prince Philip was admitted to hospital on June 6, checking in after a Buckingham Palace garden party. He underwent planned surgery the following day. The analysis of the operation results was expected to be completed last week. He spent his 92nd birthday in hospital on June 10 and has had a string of visitors, including the queen, their eldest son Prince Charles and his sons, Princes William and Harry. Prince Philip received more than 1,000 cards from well-wishers while in hospital, the palace said. Born a prince of Greece and Denmark, the naval officer is known for his forthright manner, impatience and off-the-cuff jokes that are occasionally deemed politically incorrect. With the duke now a nonagenarian and the queen 87, the royal couple have slashed their overseas travel, notably planning to skip the biennial Commonwealth summit to be held in Sri Lanka in November. In a BBC interview marking his 90th birthday, Prince Philip said he was easing back his schedule, gradually shedding his responsibilities and patronages. “I reckon I’ve done my bit. I want to enjoy myself for a bit now, with less responsibility, less frantic rushing about, less preparation, less trying to think of something to say,” he said. “On top of that, memory’s going, I can’t remember names and things. I’m just sort of winding down.” —AFP

LONDON: Ecuador said yesterday it will continue to grant WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange asylum at its London embassy after talks with Britain failed to achieve a breakthrough on the case. Ecuador Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said the Australian was prepared to stay at the embassy for another five years if necessary until a diplomatic solution was found, insisting there were no plans to smuggle him out “in the boot of a car”. Patino was speaking after talks with British Foreign Secretary William Hague in London ahead of the anniversary on Wednesday of Assange’s flight to the embassy. The 41-year-old former computer hacker sought refuge on June 19 last year after a British court ordered his extradition to Ricardo Patino Sweden, where he is accused of sex crimes. Hague and Patino “agreed to keep channels of communication open, but made no breakthrough” during the 45-minute meeting, said a statement from the British Foreign Office. “Ministers agreed that officials should establish a working group to find a diplomatic solution to the issue of Julian Assange, but no substantive progress was made,” it said. “The foreign secretary (Hague) was clear once again that any resolution would need to be within the laws of the United Kingdom.” Britain has refused to grant Assange safe passage out of the embassy, and so he remains stuck in the modest apartment indefinitely. Patino said Assange was “in good spirits and is ready to spend at least another five years in our embassy”, insisting there were no plans to smuggle him out of the building. “The government of Ecuador believes the reasons for granting him asylum have not changed,” he said. “Mr Assange is not going to escape from our embassy,” Patino said. “He is not going to get out through a tunnel or in the boot of a car. Ecuador will not act irregularly. He will leave through the main door - he will go out the front, and to freedom.” Assange denies the allegations of sexual assault made against him, saying they are politically motivated and linked to the release by WikiLeaks of thousands of classified US documents. He said he fears his extradition to Sweden would pave the way for his transfer to the United States, where he could be prosecuted for the whistle-blowing website’s actions. US Army Private Bradley Manning, who passed the hundreds of thousands of secret files to WikiLeaks, is currently on trial in the United States on charges that include include “aiding the enemy”. —AFP

LELYSTAD, Netherlands: The widow (pink shirt) and sons of linesman Richard van Nieuwenhuizen leave the courthouse yesterday. —AFP

Six teens, dad jailed for Dutch linesman killing LELYSTAD, Netherlands: A Dutch court yesterday jailed six teenage boys and a father for up to six years for brutally beating to death an amateur linesman in a case that shocked the football-mad nation. “The seven suspects are guilty of beating the linesman’s head and upper body,” judge Anja van Holten said of the killing of Richard Nieuwenhuizen, 41, last December. Nieuwenhuizen died following an attack by enraged youth players after officiating in a match near Amsterdam in which one of his sons was playing. A total of seven young suspects, aged 15 to 17 at the time, and the 51-year-old adult were charged with manslaughter, public violence and brutality. “The court decides that none of the suspects had the intention of killing the linesman,” the judge said. The only adult, also the father of one of the accused, Hasan D, was jailed for six years, while five teens were sent to youth detention units for the maximum of two years, six months suspended. A sixth adolescent convict, aged 15, was sent to a youth detention unit for a year with two months suspended. The seventh teen, also 15, was acquitted of the killing but convicted of hitting the rival team’s goalkeeper. “We’re happy with the high sentences, because the worst thing for me is that they never admitted what they did,” his widow Xandra Nieuwenhuizen told journalists outside the court, arm in arm with her three sons. “This verdict gives us some kind of closure,” she said on the verge of tears. “Enough of violence in football, enough of violence in Dutch football,” said his son Mykel Nieuwenhuizen, 16, who witnessed the deadly assault on his father. The eighth defendant was acquitted of the killing but ordered detained for 30 days, 17 of them suspended, because “he only hit the opposing side’s goalkeeper,” the court ruling said. “The conclusion is that the violence the suspects committed is the reason for Nieuwenhuizen’s death,” the judge said after an expert had said the death could be blamed on a genetic anomaly. Prosecution spokeswoman Susanne Terporten said she was “fairly satisfied” with the sentences. “The fact that they never confessed is hard for the family, because it means

that they will never know exactly what happened,” she said. “It looked like they were kicking a ball,” the judge quoted a witness as saying as she read out the verdict. This incident has shocked the footballing world, beyond our borders.” Nieuwenhuizen’s death led to much soulsearching in the Netherlands, where 1.2 million people out of a population of 16.5 million are members of the national football federation KNVB. The court heard testimony in May and June including allegations that members of the opposing team told them to “come and fight”. Hassan D said he had only tried to keep players apart, as the court was shown photographs of the brawl taken by spectators. But Van Holten said: “Instead of setting an example by speaking to the youngsters about their behaviour, he participated in kicking and beating the linesman.” Nieuwenhuizen’s DNA was found on the football boot of one of the young suspects. Lawyers for some of the seven said they would appeal the sentences. “The problem is that they took a couple of witnesses and based the judgement on them,” lawyer Marielle van Essen told AFP. “This (the judgement) is way too easy, they were under pressure and wanted to make an example, but you have to look at individual cases,” said fellow lawyer Geert-Iem Roos. Those convicted are all connected to, or are members of, the Nieuw Sloten football club, which was playing against Nieuwenhuizen’s Buitenboys Club in Almere, just east of Amsterdam, when the attack occurred. Nieuwenhuizen officiated as a linesman in the under-17 match and was set upon immediately afterwards by members of the Nieuw Sloten club. He was kicked several times in the head but got up and went home. He became ill a few hours later and died the following day in hospital with his family at his side. After his death, sign were put up around the country declaring: “Zonder respect geen voetbal” (Without respect, no football). Teams at the Club World Cup in Japan last year held a moment of silence in Nieuwenhuizen’s memory before the tournament kicked off. —AFP

Merkel demands answers from Obama on snooping BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday she was surprised by revelations of mass US online surveillance and that she would call for “transparency” on its scope in talks with President Barack Obama this week. Merkel confirmed in an interview with commercial broadcaster RTL that she would discuss with Obama an issue which has caused deep unease in Germany, where memories of the East German Stasi’s spying on citizens are still raw. “I will call for more transparency,” said Merkel, who grew up in the communist East. She was speaking ahead of a G8 summit opening in Northern Ireland yesterday and talks with Obama in Berlin tomorrow. She said Germans wanted to know if their online data was being sniffed out by the US National Security Agency (NSA). “We have to be clear what is being used, what is not being used,” she said. Merkel said that she was “certainly surprised” by the reports about the so-called PRISM program, while noting that she recognised that secret services needed to address the threat of terrorism with 21st century surveillance techniques. “However it must be proportional,” she said. The White House on Friday

sought to cool German fears over its secret Internet surveillance program, saying Obama would tell Merkel that it was purely aimed at thwarting terror attacks. But Ben Rhodes, a US deputy national security advisor, pointedly noted that Germany had served as a staging ground for some of the hijackers who plotted the Sept 11, 2001 attacks. Under the PRISM program that came to global attention this month, the NSA can issue directives to Internet firms such as Google and Facebook to gain access to emails, online chats, pictures, files and videos uploaded by foreign users. The European Union has expressed disquiet over the scheme and warned of “grave adverse consequences” to the rights of European citizens. Meanwhile German news weekly Der Spiegel reported that the country’s foreign intelligence service (BND) plans a Ä100-million ($130 million) program over the next five years to expand web surveillance with up to 100 new staff members. Spiegel said the BND aimed to monitor international data traffic “as closely as possible”, noting that it currently kept tabs on about five percent of emails, Internet calls and online chats while German law allowed up to 20 percent. —AFP

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013


Residents anxious to head back to Colorado fire zone Deadly wildfire now 65% contained COLORADO SPRINGS: With evacuees anxious to return, firefighters worked Sunday to dig up and extinguish hot spots to protect homes spared by the most destructive wildfire in Colorado’s history. The labor-intensive work is necessary because extremely dry grass and trees could quickly ignite if wind stirs up hot spots in the densely wooded Black Forest near Colorado Springs. Firefighters did get some help from the weather as steady rain moved through the area Sunday afternoon. But that weather came with some lightning, which sparked a small grass fire near one home. Nearly 500 homes have been burned by the 22-square-mile fire, which is 65 percent contained. Crews hope to have it fully under control by Thursday. Even though the fire was no longer

active enough on Sunday to produce a large smoke plume, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said it wasn’t safe for people to return home until roads and downed power lines were repaired. Additionally, the death of two unidentified people trying to flee the fire was still being investigated. Maketa said he was in no rush to have people return to an area that, at least for now, was still being considered a crime scene. “I’m not going to compromise the evidence by allowing people in too soon,” he said. Some evacuees outside the burn area have been allowed back home. Those with property in the burn area have returned with escorts to check on their property or to pick up items, but Maketa said some were then refusing to leave once they were done. He urged fire victims to cooperate or

COLORADO SPRINGS: In this photo, an American flag hangs in front of a burning structure in the Black Forest, a thickly wooded rural region north of Colorado Springs, Colo. — AP

risk being arrested. Trudy Dawson, 59, was at work when the fire broke out Tuesday and quickly spread in record-breaking heat and strong winds. Her 25-year-old daughter, Jordan, who was on her way from Denver to visit, spotted the smoke, called her mother and went to the house. With only 30 minutes to evacuate, she only had time to find a family cat and to open a corral gate so the horses could flee. Jordan and two adult siblings went to the property the next day with a sheriff’s escort and found the horses, unhurt, standing in their corral. “It was just skeletons of vehicles and ash everywhere. It’s haunting. It looks like it’s right out of a horror movie,” Jordan Dawson said. It’s unknown what sparked the blaze, but investigators believe it was human-caused and have asked for help from the state and the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as they sift through the ash. It’s only a few miles away from the state’s second most destructive wildfire, the Waldo Canyon Fire, which burned last summer. The memory of that fire may have made residents especially appreciative of firefighters. About 1,000 people turned out to line the road and cheer firefighters as they returned from lines Saturday night, fire spokesman Brandon Hampton said. Some of the aircraft used to fight the Black Forest Fire and other Front Range fires have been moved to fight a nearly 700-acre wildfire near Rifle Falls State Park in western Colorado. That fire erupted Friday from a smoldering lightning strike the day before, spokesman Pat Thrasher said. The residents of 12 homes were ordered to leave along with campers in the park as well as Rifle Mountain Park and the nearby White River National Forest. Crews were closer to containing other wildfires that broke out around the same time as Black Forest. In Canon City, 50 miles to the southwest, a fire that destroyed 48 buildings at Royal Gorge Bridge & Park was 85 percent contained and the park’s scenic railroad was running again. A lightning-sparked fire in Rocky Mountain National Park had burned nearly 500 acres and was 60 percent contained. In New Mexico, crews were trying to protect homes in a historic mining town from a 35-square mile wildfire that had prompted 26 people to leave their homes. — AP

Current, former officials back secret surveillance WASHINGTON: Top officials from the Obama and Bush administrations say the government’s newly exposed secret surveillance programs have been essential to disrupting terrorist plots and have not infringed on Americans’ civil liberties. The officials justify the massive trawling for phone and Internet data as new revelations add to public disclosures about the classified operations. Denis McDonough, President Barack Obama’s chief of staff, said the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, using “aggressive internal checks inside the administration, from inspectors general and routine audits, are overseeing how we do these programs.” McDonough, appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” added, “ The American people can feel confident that we have those three branches looking.” Officials from the George W. Bush administration, including former Vice President Dick Cheney and former CIA and National Security Agency head Michael Hayden, were among those who appeared on Sunday talk shows to back the government’s reliance on

data collection from Americans and foreign nationals. Like McDonough, they said the operations are constitutional and carefully scrutinized by authorities for any signs of abuse. The latest reassurances came as a Washington Post report on Sunday described the massive structure of four major data collection programs that have been set up by the government since the terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2011. The Post report follows earlier stories based on documents provided by NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Two secret programs, the Post reported in its new disclosures, are aimed at phone and Internet metadata, while two more target contents of phone and Internet communications. Metadata includes logs and timing of phone calls and lists of Internet communications, but does not include the actual contents of communications. Even without knowing those contents, intelligence officials can learn much from metadata, including likely locations and patterns of behavior. A previously reported surveillance program aimed at the phone logs and location information of millions of

Longtime govt lawyer to lead Gitmo closure effort WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has chosen a high-powered Washington lawyer with extensive experience in all three branches of the government to be the State Department’s special envoy for closing down the military-run prison at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. Clifford Sloan is the pick to reopen the State Department’s Office of Guantanamo Closure, shuttered since January and folded into the department’s legal adviser’s office when the administration, in the face of congressional obstacles, effectively gave up its attempt to close the prison. A formal announcement of Sloan’s appointment was expected Monday, according to officials briefed on the matter. They spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the appointment publicly before the formal announcement. Sloan has served in senior government positions in both Democratic and Republican administrations and is now a partner in the Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP law firm. For the past several years, he has been an informal adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry, who recommended him for the post, the officials said. “I appreciate his willingness to take on this challenge,” Kerry said in a statement. “Cliff and I share the presi-

dent’s conviction that Guantanamo’s continued operation isn’t in our security interests.” The move fulfills part of Obama’s pledge last month to renew efforts to close the military-run detention center at Guantanamo. That was a major promise in his 2008 presidential campaign, but it ran aground due to opposition from congressional Republicans. In late May, Obama lifted a selfimposed ban on transferring Guantanamo detainees to Yemen, in what was a step toward closing a prison that he said “has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law.” He said he would name envoys at both the State Department and Pentagon to try to unblock the closure process. The Pentagon envoy position has yet to be filled. Word of Sloan’s appointment follows the Republican-controlled House’s overwhelming passage Friday of a $638 billion defense bill that would block Obama from closing the detention facility. The House of Representatives acted despite a White House veto threat. The administration cited Guantanamo’s prohibitive costs and role as a recruiting tool for extremists. A hunger strike by more than 100 of the 166 prisoners protesting their conditions and indefinite confinement has prompted the fresh calls for the prison’s closure. —AP

Americans is called Mainway, the Post reported. A second program targeting the Internet contact logs and location information of foreign users is called Marina. A third program, which intercepts telephone calls and routes their contents to government listeners, is called Nucleon. A fourth program, Prism, exposed recently by Snowden, forces major Internet firms to turn over the detailed contents of Internet communications. Prism is aimed at foreign users but sometimes also sweeps up the content of Americans’ emails and other Internet communications, officials have acknowledged. “The metadata story does touch upon Americans in a massive way with phone records but not the content. The Prism story is about foreigners and it is about content,” Hayden told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Rep. Mike Rogers, who heads the House Intelligence Committee, said any phone metadata from Americans swept up in the surveillance is held under careful safeguards, kept in a “lockbox” that can only be accessed if it becomes relevant to terror investigations. US officials also said Saturday that gathered data is destroyed every five years. “This is a lockbox with only phone numbers, no names, no addresses in it, we’ve used it sparingly,” Rogers, R-Mich., said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” But one congressional critic of the secrecy surrounding the government’s surveillance raised doubts about the effectiveness about the widespread collection of Americans’ phone metadata. “I don’t think collecting millions and millions of Americans’ phone calls - now this is the metadata, this is the time, place, to whom you direct the calls - is making us any safer,” said Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo. Udall said he would introduce a bill this week to narrow the reach of that collection to only “those who have a link to terrorism.” Hayden said he worried that news reports about the programs have often provided erroneous information, “much to the harm of a rational national debate.” He did not specify those concerns. The disclosures, provided in recent days by both the Post and The Guardian newspaper, came from classified documents exposed by Snowden, 29, who was working as a private contractor with the NSA and later said he grew disenchanted by what he saw as a growing secret American surveillance apparatus. After working with the two newspapers, Snowden turned up in Hong Kong, prompting concern that he might cooperate with Chinese authorities. “I am very, very worried that he still has additional information that he hasn’t released yet, the Chinese would welcome the opportunity and probably be willing to provide immunity for him or sanctuary for him, if you will, in exchange for what he presumably knows,” Cheney said on “Fox News Sunday.” —AP

These file photos show Sen Lindsey Graham, R-SC (left) and Sen Robert Menendez, D-NJ. —AP

Immigration bill could decide 2016 WASHINGTON: Republicans’ hopes to reclaim the White House in the 2016 elections hinge on whether they support - or sabotage - the immigration overhaul being debated in the Senate, two lawmakers who helped write the proposal warn. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, on Sunday told conservatives who are trying to block the measure that they will doom the party and all but guarantee a Democrat will remain in the White House after 2016’s election. Sen Robert Menendez, D-NJ, went a step further and predicted “there’ll never be a road to the White House for the Republican Party” if immigration overhaul fails to pass. The Senate is moving forward with an overhaul and appears to be on track to have a vote from the full Senate by July 4. A timeline for a House proposal is less certain, although leaders say they are working on plans that more closely follow conservatives’ wish list. The Senate last week overcame a procedural hurdle in moving forward on the first immigration overhaul in a generation. Lawmakers from both parties voted to begin formal debate on a proposal that would give an estimated 11 million immigrants in the US illegally a long and difficult path to citizenship. The Senate legislation also creates a lowskilled guest-worker program, expands the number of visas available for high-tech workers and de-emphasizes family ties in the system for legal immigration that has been in place for decades. It also sets border security goals that the government must meet before immigrants living in the US illegally are granted any change in status. Meanwhile, one of the proposal’s authors, who is considering a White House campaign, refused again to pledge support for the measure without changes conservatives

have demanded. “I think 95, 96 percent of the bill is in perfect shape and ready to go. But there are elements that need to be improved,” said Sen Marco Rubio, R-Fla. Republicans are demanding tougher border security measures and stricter standards for who qualifies for government programs such as Social Security and health care. Rubio is trying to balance concerns from his party’s conservative flank, which has great sway in picking a nominee, with the political attempt to win over Hispanic and Asian-American voters who overwhelmingly favored President Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012. Further complicating Rubio’s presidential aspirations, the Republican-led House hews toward tea partyers. “After eight years of President Obama’s economic policies, and, quite frankly, foreign policy, people are going to be looking around,” Graham said. “But if we don’t pass immigration reform, if we don’t get it off the table in a reasonable, practical way, it doesn’t matter who you run in 2016. We’re in a demographic death spiral as a party and the only way we can get back in good graces with the Hispanic community, in my view, is pass comprehensive immigration reform. If you don’t do that, it really doesn’t matter who we run.” In 2012, Obama won re-election with the backing of 71 percent of Hispanic voters and 73 percent of Asian voters. A thwarted immigration overhaul could again send those voting blocs to Democrats’ side. That has led some Republican lawmakers to support immigration reform, but the party’s conservative base still opposes any legislation that would create a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living here illegally. Democrats are well aware of the numbers. —AP

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013


S Korea president flags risks in engaging North Obama calls S Korea’s Park to discuss China’s Xi SEOUL: South Korean President Park Geun-Hye yesterday warned against engaging North Korea in a token dialogue that would only allow Pyongyang more time to develop its nuclear weapons program. The warning came in a 20-minute telephone

were cancelled last week in a row over protocol. “Talks for the sake of talks will only help North Korea earn more time to advance its nuclear weapons,” a presidential Blue House spokesman quoted Park as telling Obama.

willingness to abandon its nuclear programme before a dialogue could begin. The South’s Unification Ministry, which deals with inter-Korean relations, made it clear that Seoul and Washington were firmly on the same

SEOUL: Pictures and diagrams of North Korean missiles are displayed in a street as part of a campaign to denounce North Korea’s nuclear threat yesterday. —AP call between Park and US President Barack Obama the day after North Korea proposed opening direct denuclearisation talks with the United States. The offer was widely seen as an effort to drive a wedge between the United States and its South Korean ally after planned North-South talks

The White House meanwhile issued a statement saying the two presidents “agreed to continue close communication and coordination on actions to pursue the de-nuclearisation of North Korea”. Washington had already responded warily to Pyongyang’s proposal, saying North Korea would have to show proof of its

page. “I’d like to explain our stance by repeating the comments from the White House ... that the window of dialogue is open but that the North should take concrete steps first,” said ministry spokesman Kim HyungSeok. During their 20-minute call, Obama briefed Park on his recent

summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, when both leaders agreed to work together on the de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. Park and Xi are due to hold their own summit in Beijing on June 27. North Korea has embarked on something of a diplomatic offensive of its own after months of heightened military tensions on the Korean peninsula, during which it had threatened nuclear strikes against the South and the US. In May, it received a top-level aide to Japan’s prime minister, and leader Kim Jong-Un sent his personal envoy to Beijing for talks with the Chinese leadership. Then it proposed high-level talks with South Korea which were called off at the last minute after the two sides argued over the rank of their respective chief delegates. Sunday’s proposal for direct talks with Washington insisted there could be no “pre-conditions”-an optimistic requirement given the US insistence that the North first demonstrate its sincerity about de-nuclearisation. South Korean media dismissed Pyongyang’s talks offer as a worn-out strategy to divide Seoul and Washington, with an editorial in the JoongAng Daily calling it “North Korea’s indecent proposal”. Last week, Glyn Davies, the US pointman on North Korea, repeated calls for the North to take steps to end its nuclear programme and said the recent surge in tensions on the Korean peninsula had reinforced US hesitancy to engage again. The last senior-level talks between North Korea and the United States in February 2012 resulted in a deal for supplies of US food aid in exchange for a moratorium on missile and nuclear tests. The agreement collapsed almost immediately when the North unsuccessfully launched a long-range rocket the following month. —AFP

US scientist hanged himself: Singapore

NEW YORK: In this file photo, Chen Guangcheng speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. —AP

Chinese activist says he’s being forced out by NYU BEIJING: Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, who was allowed to travel to the US after escaping from house arrest, said yesterday that New York University is forcing him and his family to leave at the end of this month because of pressure from the Chinese government. The university denied Chen’s allegations. Chen said in a statement that China’s Communist Party had been applying “great, unrelenting pressure” on NYU to ask him to leave, though he did not provide details or evidence to back his claim. Chen said Beijing’s authoritarian government has more influence on the American academic community than is perceived. “The work of the Chinese Communists within academic circles in the United States is far greater than what people imagine, and some scholars have no option but to hold themselves back,” he said. “Academic independence and academic freedom in the United States are being greatly threatened by a totalitarian regime.” NYU officials called Chen’s account puzzling, saying that his fellowship was meant to be a one-year position and had simply concluded as planned, and that school officials have been talking with him for months about what his next step might be. Chen sparked a diplomatic crisis between China and the US last year when he fled to the US Embassy in Beijing from house arrest. Since last May, he’d been a special student at NYU’s US Asia Law institute. He has been working on a book due out later this year. NYU spokesman John Beckman said in a statement yesterday that the conclusion of Chen’s fellowship had nothing to do with the Chinese government. “We are very discouraged to learn of Mr Chen’s statement, which contains a number of speculations about the role of the Chinese government in NYU’s decision-making that are both false and contradicted by the wellestablished facts,” Beckman said. Beckman said that even before Chen’s family’s arrival in the States the fellowship he was to take at the university was discussed as a one-year position. “NYU believes it has been generous in supporting this family, and we are puzzled and saddened to see these false claims directed at us,” Beckman said. The dissident said that as early as last August and September, three to four months after his family had arrived in the United States, NYU was already discussing their departure.

Beckman responded that the university began talking to the Chens “not because of some fictional ‘pressure’ from China, but so that they could use the months to make their transition a smooth one.” NYU said Chen has two offers for new institutional affiliations. Earlier, a spokesman for New York-based Fordham University confirmed that Chen was negotiating with Fordham Law School’s Leitner Center but said he didn’t know what kind of position was being discussed. The incident has highlighted the potential public relations benefits and risks that American universities face in engaging Chinese dissidents at a time when many are trying to expand in China and Chinese students are an increasingly important source of tuition income for colleges. Chinese students form the largest population of foreign students at American universities, with nearly 200,000 this year, up 25 percent since last year - and they often pay full tuition. NYU raised its profile and earned itself goodwill by offering a fellowship to Chen as a solution to last year’s diplomatic crisis. Beckman said the university provided housing, food, health care and insurance, special law tutorials, translation services, English lessons and connections to a publisher. To help him pursue his advocacy, Chen was also invited to speak at many events facilitated by the school, Beckman said. However, the university’s association with such a prominent dissident has brought greater scrutiny of the university’s engagement with China. A US newspaper, the New York Post, had earlier reported that NYU’s decision was related to the university’s development of a campus in Shanghai, though the university rejected the claim. NYU has said that its new campus in China’s financial capital will be a degree-granting, liberal arts and science college, with classes scheduled to begin this fall. Its partners are a Chinese university, the Shanghai city education commission and the government of the city’s Pudong district. Bob Fu, a US-based rights activist and one of Chen’s key supporters, said US academic institutions may shun outspoken Chinese dissidents on their own initiative due to growing economic interest in China. But, he said, in doing so they risk hurting their reputations as being havens for free speech that make them attractive to young Chinese who don’t experience those and other freedoms at home. —AP

SINGAPORE: The Singapore government yesterday rejected a conspiracy theory behind the death of an American scientist found hanged in the city-state last year, saying he killed himself after a bout of depression. Summing up its position at a coroner’s inquest into electronics engineer Shane Todd’s death in June 2012, a government statement said “it is clear from the medical forensic evidence that the medical cause of Shane’s death was asphyxia due to hanging.” Public hearings on the case were held from May 13-27. An independent coroner’s verdict on the cause of death is due to be handed down on July 8. Todd’s family, who believe Todd was murdered, stormed out of the hearings on May 21, saying they had “lost faith” in the proceedings and describing it as one-sided. They later said they may have the body exhumed in California for further tests. The head of the Singaporean legal team that assisted the family during the inquest told AFP that the Todds, now back in the United States, were still considering whether to file a formal closing submission to the coroner. “They have contacted us,” said Gloria James-Civetta. “A decision has not been reached on whether or not there will be a submission.” Lawyers for the Singapore government cited suicide notes left by Todd on his laptop computer, a psychiatrist’s testimony that he suffered from depression, and a browsing history showing he accessed suicide websites before his death. “The conspicuous absence of any evidence to support the next-of-kin’s homicide theory must be viewed in juxtaposition with the overwhelming evidence pointing inexorably towards suicide,” said a closing statement read in court by senior state counsel Tai Wei Shyong. “It is submitted that (the) homicide case theory is entirely misplaced and unfounded, and that Shane’s death was a suicide.” Tai said the scientist’s depression had likely worsened in the months before his suicide, as evidence showed he did not complete a prescribed course of anti-depressants or schedule follow-up appointments with his psychiatrist. “It is therefore highly likely his major depressive disorder was not being treated during the two months before his death,” he said. In earlier statements to the inquest, Todd’s parents said he feared he was being made to compromise US national security in a secret project involving a Chinese telecom firm accused of international espionage and a state-linked Singapore institute that employed their son. The two firms-the Institute of Microelectronics (IME) and China’s Huawei Technologies-said they only held preliminary talks on a potential project with commercial applications, but did not proceed. A US congressional committee last year labelled Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese telecom firm, as potential security threats that should be excluded from US government contracts and barred from acquiring US firms. In a separate closing summary to the coroner Monday, the IME said there was no evidence to support the family’s allegation that Todd was forced to disclose sensitive information that could harm US national security. During the hearings, the Todd family’s star witness, US pathologist Edward Adelstein, recanted an earlier theory that Todd was garroted with a cord in his own apartment. He presented a new theory: Todd was killed by assassins who used a stun gun before choking his neck and then hanging him to make it look like a suicide. But Adelstein presented no evidence and two other US pathologists testified in support of Singapore police findings that Todd hanged himself from his bathroom door. —AFP

TOKYO: In this picture, a 53-year-old former yakuza gangster shows off his silicone-made finger during a visit to prosthetics specialist Shintaro Hayashi’s office. —AFP

Fake fingers help Japan’s ex-yakuza lead lawful life TOKYO: Going straight after a lifetime spent as a member of Japan’s feared yakuza organised crime mobs poses a number of challenges. Chief among them is what to do about the fingers you chopped off. For one reformed wise guy, the answer lay in thousands of dollars’ worth of prosthetics crafted to look exactly like the three of his digits he hacked off to appease his one-time bosses. “You see how real these fingers are?” said Toru, 53, proudly showing off his artificial body parts-both little fingers and his left ring finger. “There was only one time that anyone ever knew they were fake. She was an old lady in her 70s. I told her I was injured in a factory.” Like the Italian mafia or Chinese triads, yakuza gangs engage in activities ranging from gambling, drugs and prostitution to loan sharking, protection rackets, and white-collar crime. The gangsters in Japan, who number 63,200, have historically been tolerated by the authorities, and are heavily romanticised in popular culture, spawning a vast catalogue of manga comics and movies. Observers say the strict code of honour of the yakuza, passed down from the samurai warriors of the 17th and 18th centuries, is largely gone and many are little more than brutal criminals. But even in the mob, Japan’s rigid societal rules play out. This means your peers are always supposed to look out for you and protect you. Likewise, it means you have to look out for them. Toru-not his real name-used to make his living offering “protection” to the bars and clubs of Tokyo’s Kabukicho red light district. He was a success, making sure the rival gangs stayed off his turf and keeping the money flowing up to his seniors. But then one of the men in his gang-a “brother”-fell foul of the strict prohibition on stealing and drug use. To assuage his boss’s anger and prove the group was truly penitent, Toru sliced off the top of his left little finger. Unfortunately, someone got the group into trouble again a short time later, and Toru had to take the knife to the second joint. “The first joint of a little finger can be sliced easily,” he said. “You tie the bottom of it with thread tightly and put your body weight on a kitchen knife. But the second joint was tougher than I thought.” Luckily, there was a brother to hand, who could stand on the knife and slice through the knuckle. The loss of the tip of the pinkie on his right hand was his own fault-he got drunk and started throwing furniture around in a bar. Unfortunately for him, the bar

belonged to a friend of his boss. Out came the kitchen knife again, and off came the top of his little finger. But his fourth amputation bore a whole different significance. “I met my wife,” he said. “I wanted to marry her, but she said she couldn’t possibly marry a yakuza guy. So I quit.” Of course, you can’t just resign from the yakuza. You need to offer a sacrifice. A ring finger, for instance. “I tried to do it as usual with a kitchen knife, but the blade didn’t go through because of the muscle. I had to ask a brother to take a hammer and a chisel to lop it off,” he said. “Oh, it was painful.” Where once the missing fingers were badges of honour, proving to fellow gangsters that Toru was loyal, hard-working and prepared to make sacrifices, they now worked against him. Life as a “katagi” (civilian) is tough when everybody knows how you used to make your living, with respectable companies unwilling to be connected to the yakuza. The only solution is to get your fingers back. That is where prosthetics specialist Shintaro Hayashi came in, crafting three silicone fingers, complete with the creases and lines of a natural digit. His works are so delicate that he even implants individual hairs taken from his subjects’ hands and arms to give each finger a really lifelike look. “I think of myself as being like Geppetto,” he said, referring to the woodcarver who created Pinocchio. “My job requires not only knowing the person well but also injecting his or her personality into the parts,” he said, adding that he keeps a photo of his client on his desk as he works. The bulk of Hayashi’s clients are people who have lost hands, feet or ears in accidents, or are born with something missing, but around five percent are former yakuza. Making a mould for the silicon casting is expensive-around 300,000 yen (about $3,000) for one fingerbut it means the prosthetics are easy, and relatively cheap, to replace when they look tatty or worn. “For me, these fingers are consumable items,” said Toru. “I have to renew them every three months.” And they have been well worth the initial outlay, allowing him to build a house renovation company that does legitimate work. “I now run two outlets for my business, making about 300 million yen a year,” he said. Asked why he granted the interview, Toru has a quick and easy answer-he wants to show yakuza stuck in a life of crime that there is another way. “They could do well if they work hard, even if they have lost some of their fingers. “Life is much easier this way.” —AFP

Snowden poses stress test for HK’s ties with China HONG KONG: Former spy Edward Snowden has exposed not only US cyber-espionage but also political fault lines in Hong Kong that are widening as the territory, a proud bastion of free speech and protest, chafes under Chinese rule. In retreating to Hong Kong and vowing to fight any US extradition attempt, the former CIA analyst is testing the former British colony’s civil liberties under its “one country, two systems” framework of semi-autonomy, experts say. “I’d be concerned if China oversteps its power because every time it does, it opens up more opportunities for it to do so in the future,” said Billy Leung, one of several hundred people who attended a raindrenched rally in defence of the self-styled whistleblower on Saturday. Hong Kong’s government is vowing to let the law take its course in its handling of Snowden, who arrived in the city in late May with a trove of documents on US cyber-spying that he has leaked to the press. While the US government has yet to file any formal extradition request, a weekend newspaper poll said that half of Hong Kongers opposed sending him back. Hong Kong, which retained a separate legal system after returning to China in 1997, has an extradition treaty with the United States but Beijing has the potential to veto any ruling, and suspicion is rife that it will step in. Many analysts say the US-China relationship is too important to be sacrificed over the 29-year-old contractor and anticipate a quiet deal to hand him over, regardless of whether Hong Kong courts rule to let him stay. “This is going to affect the Sino-US relationship, so Beijing will step in and ultimately, it will have a big say in terms of how this is going to be solved,” said Ma Ngok, a political scientist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Suspicion of Chinese meddling is stoked by popular concerns that Beijing opposes universal suffrage in Hong Kong and enforces policies in connivance with the city’s pro-business elite via a compliant local government.

“That fear of Beijing interference is always prevalent in Hong Kong on every front,” prodemocracy lawmaker Claudia Mo told AFP. “Most people would tend to suspect that there would be some form of Beijing intervention, not overtly of course,” she said. China last week stonewalled media questioning about the Snowden affair but issued its first substantive comments on Monday, saying that Washington owed the world an explanation about the reach of its cyber-snooping. The boot is now on the other foot after persistent complaints from the United Statesraised at a recent Sino-US summit in California-that China systematically steals secrets held online. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying also dismissed as “completely groundless” claims aired by former US vice president Dick Cheney that Snowden chose Hong Kong because he was an agent of China. Some Chinese state media say Beijing should in fact be governed by public opinion in the Snowden case. The Global Times said Monday that extraditing him would be a “betrayal” of his trust and a “face-losing outcome” for China. “The image of Hong Kong would be forever tarnished,” it said. Snowden timed his trip to Hong Kong well. In two weeks, pro-democracy groups will stage their annual July 1 march marking the anniversary of the Chinese takeover. Last year, hundreds of thousands turned out as anti-Beijing sentiment surged. Beyond the perennial debate about Hong Kong’s political system, ordinary citizens have vented anti-China anger on an array of issues ranging from high property prices to rude mainland tourists and shortages of baby milk powder. “My intention is to ask the courts and the people of Hong Kong to decide my fate. I have been given no reason to doubt your system,” Snowden told the South China Morning Post last Wednesday, in his first interview since unmasking himself to the Guardian newspaper on June 10. —AFP

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013


India’s Congress readies for polls amid oppn split NEW DELHI: India’s embattled ruling Congress party geared up yesterday for next year’s elections with a cabinet reshuffle, boosted by a bitter split in the opposition over the elevation of a hardliner. Congress was to swear in four new cabinet ministers, as it readies for a tough battle to try to win a third term in office amid a slew of graft scandals, policy malaise and the slowest economic growth in a decade. The reshuffle comes a day after Congress unveiled its campaign committee, with members picked from a diverse range of areas throughout the country. “It is a significant rejig as it marks a transition within the party ahead of the polls,” author and political analyst Rasheed Kidwai said of the reshuffle due later yesterday. The move comes as the Reserve Bank of India left its key lending rate unchanged, dealing a blow to the government and underscoring the challenges it faces as it tries to boost investment and kickstart the economy. The Reserve Bank of India held rates steady, saying the local currency’s sharp decline could adversely impact already high inflation in Asia’s third largest economy. The government has been dogged by

a string of corruption scandals which has derailed efforts to push through promised pro-market reforms, curtail inflation and revive the economy. But the left-leaning Congress has been bolstered by turmoil within the opposition coalition after the pullout of a key partner over the elevation of right-wing hardliner Narendra Modi to head its campaign for the elections due by next May. The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused its partner, the Janata Dal (United) party, of betrayal over the pullout after a 17-year alliance as the bitterness of the turmoil played out yesterday in the Indian media. “We will take revenge of this insult in the Lok Sabha (Lower House) elections next year,” Sushil Kumar Modi, a senior BJP official, was quoted as saying by the Times of India newspaper. The head of Janata Dal, Nitish Kumar, hit back, telling reporters that Modi’s elevation was unacceptable for his party and would prove disastrous at the polls. “They wish (us) long life but give medicines to kill,” Kumar said, referring to Modi. Modi, who is the chief minister of Gujarat state, was earlier this month named the BJP’s election committee chairman, and is likely to be tapped as the

candidate for the prime minister’s post should the party win elections. Modi has painted himself as a probusiness reformist who can revive the fortunes of the world’s largest democracy. But he remains a hugely divisive figure nationally after being accused of doing little to stop religious riots in his state in 2002 in which some 2,000 people-mainly Muslims-were killed. Kumar, the chief minister of eastern Bihar state, fears Modi could alienate voters, especially Muslim voters, not only in this state but nationally, at the election. But the BJP, which is planning to stage a “Betrayal Day” to protest the pullout, remains firmly behind Modi. Modi’s rise is likely to pit him against Rahul Gandhi, seen as the reluctant scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, which is at the helm of the Congress party, during the election campaign. As well as the four cabinet ministers, four other ministers are expected to be sworn in later yesterday including two key transport portfolios. A new railways minister is expected after the resignation of Pawan Kumar Bansal over accusations his nephew took a $160,000 bribe from an official in return for a plum post in the state-run network. — AFP

NEW DELHI: Indian United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government Chairperson and Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi (center) talks with rural women during the 2nd anniversary of India’s National Rural Livelihood mission in New Delhi. — AFP

Early monsoon strikes India, 26 people dead More than 50 missing in floods

HELMAND: Afghan policemen inspect the site of a suicide car bomb in Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan yesterday. — AP

Afghan convoy attack kills three drivers KABUL: Insurgents fired rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns into a convoy carrying goods to the Afghan capital yesterday, killing three drivers and wounding two others, an official said. Two of the container trucks caught fire and burned from the grenade blasts at about 2:30 am on the main highway about 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of Kabul, said Sarhadi Zwak, spokesman for Laghman province where the attack took place. It was unclear if the trucks were carrying supplies for the US-led military coalition or if they had commercial goods, Zwak said, but he added that no international troops or military vehicles were in the convoy. He said the drivers were Afghan. Attacks on supply trucks coming to Kabul are relatively common, as Taleban and other militants seek to disrupt both flow of the military goods and sow fear among the population. The latest attack comes in a period of intense violence, with the Taleban targeting police and civilian officials and attacking government positions around the country as Afghan police and army prepare to officially take over full responsibility for security from international troops. Insurgents are also waging a campaign of assassinations of government officials. Yesterday, the police chief of the southern province of Helmand survived a suicide car bomb attack on his convoy that wounded three officers. Police Chief Mohammad Nabi Elham sustained only minor injuries when the car bomber struck as he was on

his way to his office at about 7 am. Broken glass and the charred remains of the bomber’s car were strewn in a main road in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah after the attack. The force of the blast tore off the door of Elham’s vehicle. Three police officers traveling in the convoy were wounded, provincial spokesman Ummar Zawaq said. “Thanks be to God that it was so early in the morning,” Elham said later in an interview. “If it had been 8 or 9 in the morning, there would have been laborers here who are building a road for a mosque. Shopkeepers would have been here, and how many people might have been killed?” With Afghans for the first time taking the lead in fighting the Taleban in most of the country this year, the toll on Afghan forces has been high, more than doubling from last year’s spring and summer fighting season. In May alone, at least 271 police were killed in attacks, and total deaths for all security forces including the army and community-based forces known as the local police was 400 for the month. At the same time, casualties among the US-led military coalition have been reducing as the international forces pull back to let the Afghans take the lead. In May, 21 NATO troops were killed in the country, down from 44 during the same month last year. The coalition said that one of its service members died in a non-battle-related incident in southern Afghanistan on Sunday but released no further details. The death brings June’s toll for international troops to 20. — AFP

PNG girl beheads dad after rape SYDNEY: A teenage girl beheaded her father with a bush knife after he raped her at their home in Papua New Guinea, a report said yesterday, with community leaders protecting her, saying the man deserved to die. The Post-Courier newspaper said the 18-year-old chopped her father’s head clean off after he repeatedly raped her last Tuesday night in their village in the poverty-stricken Pacific nation’s Western Highlands. The report cited a pastor as saying the father, in his mid-40s, had three other children and raped his daughter when they were alone in the house after the mother and the other siblings visited relatives. Pastor Lucas Kumi said the man went to his daughter’s room in the night and raped her repeatedly. “The father wanted to rape his daughter again in the morning inside the house and that was when the young girl picked up the bush knife and chopped her father’s head off,” he said. Community leaders are now refusing to hand the girl over to police, vowing to protect her. “The people and leaders in our area went and saw the headless body of the father after the girl reported the incident to

the leaders and the people and told her story of why she had killed her father,” said Kumi. “ The daughter did what she did because of the trauma and the evil actions of her father so that is why we have all agreed that she remains in the community.” Violent crime, as well as witchcraft, is rife in Papua New Guinea with the government last month voting to revive the death penalty in a bid to deter offenders after a series of high-profile grisly incidents. Brutality against women, including domestic violence and rape, is also endemic in the country. Over the weekend, the Post-Courier reported that child prostitution is on the rise, particularly in the capital Port Moresby where many new nightclubs have sprung up, with young girls increasingly being forced into the sex trade. Some are being pushed into selling themselves by their parents to help them cope with rising costs of living, it said, citing non-government organisations. “Child prostitution is an issue so hidden from our public consciousness that the mere mention of it results in shock and denial,” said one NGO. “It’s true, and it’s here so we have to face it.” — AFP

NEW DELHI: Heavy rains lashed parts of north India yesterday, resulting in the deaths of at least 26 people, as the annual monsoon covered the country nearly two weeks ahead of schedule, officials said. Surprise showers struck the capital New Delhi over the weekend, flooding the arrival halls in the international and domestic airports and leading to traffic jams in some parts of the city. More than two dozen people lost their lives due to record downpours in Uttarakhand state, situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, a local official said. “Twenty-six people have died and more than 50 persons are missing, due to flooding, landslides and building collapses caused by heavy rain,” Piyush Rautela, director of Uttarakhand’s disaster management centre, said. Three members of a single family, including a boy died when their house collapsed, crushing them in the state capital Dehradun, Rautela told AFP. “Dehradun received a record 220 millimetres (8.7 inches) of rain in a 24-hour-period yesterday. It has been raining non-stop since Saturday morning,” Rautela said. Several houses were swept away as water flooded parts of Uttarakhand, burying people under debris, he said. “We fear that we will find many more bodies since so many people have been reported missing.” River water levels are continuing to rise across the state, clogging roads and leaving hundreds of pilgrims stranded on their way to visit Hindu shrines, he added. Four people died and five others are feared dead due to landslides in the neighbouring state of Himachal Pradesh, a local police official told AFP by telephone. “A family of five, including three children were buried alive when boulders fell on their house in Chagaon village of Kinnaur,” G.Shiva, the police chief of Kinnaur district, said. “The family was asleep... Rescue teams are on their way to the spot, but villagers say there is only a minimal chance of anybody surviving,” he said. A few villages close to the Tibet border have also seen unseasonal snowfall, leaving dozens of

UTTARKASHI: Bulldozer and other vehicles are drifted in a flooded river in Uttarkashi district yesterday. —AP shepherds and thousands of sheep stranded, a village headman told AFP. The rains also caused traffic snarls and delays in train services in India’s financial capital Mumbai. “This is the first time that the rains have covered the country so early. Before this, the earliest was on June 21, 1960,” BP Yadav, director of the India Meteorological Department told the Hindustan Times newspaper. The early onset of the annual monsoon has boosted hopes for the country’s farming sector and its slowing economy. The rains that lash the subcontinent from June to September are dubbed the “economic lifeline” of India, one of the world’s leading producers of rice, sugar, wheat and cotton. The weather department has forecast India will

Afghan women lose power as fears grow over future KABUL: A legal requirement that women make up at least a quarter of all provincial elected officials was quietly removed by conservative male parliamentarians, officials said, the latest in a series of decisions undermining advances in women’s rights in Afghanistan. The change, engineered in mid-May, was only discovered by women members of parliament a few days ago. The action has sparked fears among women’s rights activists that President Hamid Karzai’s government is increasingly willing to trade away their hard fought gains to placate the Taleban as part of attempts to coax them to the peace table. Activists said it could also reduce the number of women serving in parliament’s upper house, as most women are elected there via their role as elected provincial officials. “In negotiations you don’t gain anything unless you also give something up,” said prominent women’s rights activist and MP Farkhunda Naderi. “This is a political strategy: to please (the Taleban) in peace talks they’re willing to give up women’s rights.” Women entered Afghanistan’s male-only political arena in 2001 soon after the overthrow of the hardline Taleban regime by a US-led invasion. The law had previously set aside for women at least a quarter of seats in some 400 district and 34 provincial councils. Seventeen of 28 women in the upper house are appointed by Karzai. The remaining 11 must be chosen from among women sitting on district and provincial councils, but those positions are now under a cloud. The change was approved by parliament’s lower house, the Wolesi Jirga, on May 22. Prominent parliamentarian Fawzia Koofi said female members did not discover the change until last week. “(They) removed it without informing us. We trusted that the law we signed off on was the same as previous drafts,” she said, referring to the members who made the changes. The law still needs approval from the upper house and Karzai before being passed into law. Critics of the change told Reuters its removal will not only affect women’s ability to serve in the upper house, but also do away with more than 100 seats in local government bodies nationwide that were previously guaranteed to women. —Reuters

receive normal rains this year, raising prospects of a stronger performance by Asia’s third-largest economy. Last year India got below-normal rain in the first half of the wet season. The rains picked up in some areas later, but large areas of west and south India did not benefit. The monsoon will be crucial for parts of Maharashtra state, India’s biggest sugar-producer, which have been reeling from the worst drought in over four decades. Agriculture contributes about 15 percent to gross domestic product but the livelihood of hundreds of millions of Indians living in rural areas depends on the farming sector. A good monsoon is also vital for the ruling Congress party ahead of elections due in 2014 as it struggles to kickstart growth in the country of 1.2 billion people. — AFP

Australian court agrees that we’re not all male or female SYDNEY: A landmark ruling won by an Australian gender trailblazer which finds that sex does not just mean male or female could have broader implications as society becomes more accepting of diversity, experts say. Norrie, who does not identify as either male or female, last month won a bid to have a new gender category on the register of births, deaths and marriages in New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state. “I’m very happy that I have been told in no uncertain terms that what sex you are is not just male or female necessarily,” Norrie, who uses only a first name, told AFP. Born as a male, Norrie underwent gender reassignment surgery in 1989 to become a woman. However, the surgery failed to resolve Scotland-born Norrie’s ambiguity about sexual identity. The sexual equality campaigner made global headlines in February 2010 when an application to New South Wales’ department of Births, Deaths and Marriages

accepted that “sex non-specific” could be accepted for Norrie’s records. But soon afterwards, the office revoked its decision, saying the certificate was invalid and had been issued in error. At the time, Norrie said the decision left her feeling “socially assassinated”. “There was a lot of support for fighting for it,” the 52-year-old recalled. So began a series of appeals, ending with a decision last month in the New South Wales Court of Appeal which ruled that sex should not be limited to male or female, though it stopped short of defining other categories. “There are a few people, not many, who are like Norrie and don’t want male or female on their birth certificate,” said Norrie’s lawyer Emily Christie. “She feels that every time she has to sign a form, every time she has got to fill something out, and it says ‘What’s your sex?’ and it only has male or female, she feels that she is being forced to live a lie.” —AFP

REDFERN: In this photo, Norrie, who uses only a first name and does not identify as either male or female, poses for a photograph in Redfern near Sydney. — AFP


TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013



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Iran elections could be a game-changer By Catherine Rama he election of the moderate Hassan Rowhani as Iran’s new president is a game-changer which could set a new tone and soothe tensions with the West over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program, analysts said. Dubbed a “sheikh diplomat” for his negotiating skills in tortuous nuclear talks, the moderate cleric raised hopes internationally after he emerged as the victor of the key polls on Saturday. Rowhani has vowed to end the nuclear stalemate which has led to crushing Western sanctions on Iran. His policies under reformist president Mohammad Khatami were abandoned in 2005 when President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected and Rowhani quit his post over differences. “Rowhani’s victory is not regime change in Iran but it is a game changer,” said Foreign Policy magazine. Although the “Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) and the Revolutionary Guards continue to control all levers of power,” Rowhani’s election could see Washington “adopt a new approach to strengthen reformists”, it added. Tehran has been engaged since 2006 with the P5+1 - the UN Security Council permanent members, Britain, China, France, Russia, the US, plus Germany - over its controversial nuclear work, but with no breakthrough. Former British foreign secretary Jack Straw, who dealt with Rowhani in negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, called him a “very experienced diplomat and politician.” “What this huge vote of confidence in Dr Rowhani appears to show is a hunger by the Iranian people to break away from the arid and selfdefeating approach of the past and for more constructive relations with the West,” The Sunday Times newspaper quoted him as saying. The United States, which along with Israel and the West suspects Iran’s nuclear program is aimed at developing weapons - a charge Tehran vehemently denies - hailed the win as a “potentially hopeful sign.” “If he is interested in... mending Iran’s relations with the rest of the world, there’s an opportunity to do that,” White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough told CBS News’s “Face the Nation”. “If he lives up to his obligations under the UN Security Council resolution to come clean on this illicit nuclear programme, he will find a partner in us, and there will be an opportunity for that.” But others were far more cautious. “We are not expecting a quantum shift,” a European diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity, adding that “there will be no fundamental changes but perhaps a difference in style.” Genevieve Abdo, an Iran expert at the Washington-based Stimson Center think-tank, said there would be very little change on the nuclear issue or Iran’s support for Syria’s embattled leader Bashar Al-Assad. “I think that generally we might see a honeymoon in the beginning, because this historically has been the way the Iranians operate... But I’m very sceptical that there will actually be any progress on the nuclear issue and I think on Syria there will be no change whatsoever. The regime is concerned about its domestic situation... I think that they will try, perhaps, with this new president to appease the public, whatever that requires, for some time. But then I think it’s probably back to the status quo,” she added. Azadeh Kian-Thiebaut, a political science professor at Paris University, said the West was better off with Rowhani in its efforts to normalise ties with Tehran. Rowhani had not evoked “the extremely thorny question of Syria” during his campaign, she said. But he had indicated “he wanted to be in line with the Saudis on a number of issues.” Saudi Arabia has backed rebels fighting the regime of Assad, Iran’s ally. A French diplomat however cautioned that Iran had decided to back Syria for strategic reasons and was a “country that was serious about its long-term choices.” —AFP


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Change to come slowly after Rowhani win By Marcus George he victory of a moderate in Iran’s presidential election has kindled the hopes of liberals for a return to the “golden years” of reformist president Mohammad Khatami, when Iranians enjoyed more freedoms and Tehran had better relations with the West. But like Khatami, former nuclear negotiator Hassan Rowhani will face obstacles from the conservative establishement. He will be unable to move fast and may not want to move far since, unlike Khatami, he has close ties with the religious leadership. “Dr Rowhani and the Supreme Leader have been friends for more than four decades,” said Hossein Mousavian, who worked directly under Rowhani when he was chief nuclear negotiator. “It is a relationship of trust.” That trust is a clue to the puzzle of an overwhelming victory for reformist-backed Rowhani after a pre-election clampdown on reformists left many expecting a hardline victory. “This outcome more likely came about because, not in spite of, the Supreme Leader who allowed Rowhani to enter the race, gain momentum, and win,” said Ali Vaez, Iran analyst at International Crisis Group. While the president-elect is unlikely to seek such far reaching reforms as Khatami, his position at the heart of the Islamic Republic will provide him with a wider political base to get things done. Rowhani has said he intends to pursue


constructive interaction with the world and “more active” negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, after his predecessor’s belligerence was met with painful Western sanctions and military threats. He has said suspension of uranium enrichment was out of the question but his more moderate approach could lead to a part thawing of the frosty relations between the Islamic Republic and Western powers who suspect Tehran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, allegations it denies. Israel, fearful of such a thaw, made clear on Monday it foresaw no change in the nuclear policy of its longtime foe and few expect any early end to its support for Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in that country’s civil war. Khatami was director of the national library before his landslide election as president in 1997 ushered in an era when strict controls were relaxed and a vibrant press and flourishing arts scene sprang up. But entrenched conservatives fought a rear-guard battle, blocking further reforms and banning reformist newspapers. By contrast, Rowhani earned his revolutionary spurs through his closeness to the founder of Iran’s theocratic state, Ruhollah Khomeini, and former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who was disqualified from running in the election but regarded as a “pillar of the Islamic Republic”. Rowhani played a central command role in the Iran-Iraq war bolstering his status and influence, because of its overriding priority in

securing the future of the Islamic Republic. He was rewarded with a string of high-profile positions and remains a member of the Expediency council and the Assembly of Experts, two influential advisory bodies. Significantly, he is Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative on the Supreme National Security Council. “Compared with Khatami, he is in a better position to have Khamenei’s support while in office,” Vaez said. To this end, he is expected to draw up a team that includes reformists, conservatives and principlists but that excludes radicals from any faction, said Mousavian. Although elated that eight years under hardliner Mahmoud Ahamdinejad are drawing to a close, many reform-minded Iranians question whether their president-in-waiting can or wants to deliver what he promised and already sense disappointment. Chief among those concerns is whether he will take on the issue of the two reformist leaders who have been under house arrest for more than two years over what critics have decried as their seditious role in the post-election protests in 2009. Supporters stirred memories of 2009 during this campaign, chanting the names of the two men, Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi, at rallies and intensifying calls for their release. “We may see the release of Mousavi and Karoubi. After the election there could be no role left for them to play,” said Mehdi Khalaji, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute. Yet

the issue of the two leaders remains deeply sensitive. Rowhani’s first official news conference as president-elect was cut short after a slogan was shouted in favour of Mousavi. With his pre-election emphasis on rights and freedoms, Rowhani may also be forced to confront the issue of human rights and abuses by Iran’s notorious security agencies. Yet he may find little ability to extend his influence over them, especially after he beat their favoured candidates current chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili and mayor of Tehran, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, to the presidency. “Rowhani will be able to decrease tensions and slightly relax the security atmosphere which has gripped much of the country for four years,” said Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi, a researcher on modern Iran at Oxford University. “But he will not have much or any say over the Ministry of Intelligence, the Revolutionary Guards and will find himself hedged in.” When president, Khatami was faced with thousands of students in 1999 protesting against the closure of liberal newspapers. The reformist president was accused of standing by, allowing the hardliners to crush the dissent which left several dead. Several days after the protests, Rowhani, then head of the Supreme National Security Council, told a pro-government rally security forces would “deal with these opportunists and riotous elements if they dare to show their faces”. — Reuters

Iran president may help shield rulers By Brian Murphy or a lesson in what Hasan Rowhani’s reformist-backed presidency could mean for Iran, a promise Sunday by the ultra-powerful Revolutionary Guard to cooperate with him is a good guide. Like the rest of Iran’s ruling Islamic establishment, the Guard, which has kept a tight lid on any hints of opposition for years, is for the moment embracing Rowhani, even though he is almost certain to return once-silenced moderates into the political fold and restore the voice of liberal-leaning Iranians who danced in the streets after his stunning election victory. The reason is because - in one of the more curious twists of Iranian politics - the opposition’s accidental hero Rowhani also may become a lucky charm for the ruling system. His surprise victory allows the Islamic leadership to seek a bit of legitimacy among liberals and others who felt they exiled off the political map after the crackdowns following massive protests in 2009 over the disputed re-election of the now-exiting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. “They counted my vote!” some Rowhani supporters chanted in a mix of celebration and shock after the announcement of the results from Friday’s election. Rowhani’s mild manifesto - sprinkled with words like “moderation” and “dialogue” - also could provide a honeymoon period for the leadership as a whole. Factions in Israel and the US that have promoted military options against Iran’s nuclear program may find themselves in search of an audience with Rowhani playing the role of tension-easer. Interviewed on the American CBS TV network, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough called on Rowhani to follow through with his plan to improve relations with the West. “I see it as a potentially hopeful sign,” McDonough said. The ecstatic outpouring of Iranians dancing and celebrating in the streets Saturday night and Sunday reflected the hopes that Rowhani can bring an end to the domination of hard-liners for the past eight years under Ahmadinejad, with arrests against the opposition and restrictions on rights. Many saw the win as a slap to the ruling clerics, sending a message that they cannot keep the opposition bottled up. Rowhani does have a peoplepower mandate that certainly will be factored in by Iran’s rulers. But the scope of his win more than three times of votes of the runnerup - doesn’t give him any extra-credit powers.


Iran’s presidency is still without the tools to take any major initiatives without clearance from supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or, by extension, the Revolutionary Guard. The ruling clerics - not the president - hold all the cards in policymaking and make every make decision such as nuclear efforts, dealings with the West or Iran’s aid to its ally Bashar Assad in Damascus, who sent Rowhani a congratulations message Sunday that urged for the countries to remain united. On Sunday, Rowhani had his first meeting as president-elect with Khamenei, who offered

officials including the 64-year-old Rowhani - a former nuclear negotiator - insist the country’s only seek reactors for energy and medical use. “With a moderate in as president instead of Ahmadinejad, Israel has to change its tone,” said Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian-born political analyst based in Israel. “The sell-by date of repeating the same line of ‘all options remain on the table’ has expired.” The US and other world powers, meanwhile, are likely to move quickly to restart nuclear negotiations, which have failed to make any headway after four

Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (left) meets with the new president-elect Hassan Rowhani near a portrait of Islamic revolution’s late founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini at his office in Tehran on Sunday. — AFP “necessary guidelines” to Rowhani, state TV said, without elaborating. In reaction to the positive vibes, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Sunday against being lulled by “wishful thinking” and urged for increased sanctions to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Some Israeli commentators have even joked - with a dash of truth - that Israeli hawks will miss Ahmadinejad as the best salesman for their policies. The West and allies fear Iran could be moving toward a nuclear weapon. Iranian

rounds since last year. This sets up a potential quandary for Iran. The current nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, finished a distant third in the election and is something of Rowhani’s antithesis, insisting that Iran cannot give an inch to its foes. So far, Iran’s negotiating position has been that the West must ease sanctions up front as a first step before anything else can happen. What the Iranian president can offer is advice and attempt to nudge views in his direction. Rowhani has been at the negotiat-

ing table before as Iran’s envoy beginning in 2003, just a year after Tehran’s revived nuclear efforts were revealed. Rowhani has been highly critical of Iran’s leadership for not showing more nimble tactics and allowing the economic squeeze to become so painful, with inflation now galloping at about 30 percent and critical oil exports cut in half. In some ways, Rowhani’s rise may owe a bit to the sanctions and the predictions by Washington that they will embolden dissent. During the street celebrations for Rowhani on Saturday, there were many chants about Iran’s sinking economy and international isolation peppered among the calls for greater freedoms and political rights. Rowhani knew where to strike in the campaign, constantly returning to economic woes. “Which family today doesn’t have someone who isn’t unemployed?” he asked. “If the administration had a plan, couldn’t this be solved?” The pro-reform Etemad daily carried a front page image of the smiling cleric Rowhani flashing a V-for-victory sign: “A salute to Iran and to the sheik of hope.” “Rowhani may face problems like sanctions, inflation and so,” said Mirzababa Motaharinejad, a member of the pro-reform Mardomslari party. “But authorities will cooperate with him.” Up to a point. Iran has been here before and it didn’t end well for reformists. In 2001, reformist Mohammad Khatami steamrolled into his second term as president. The next four years were a stalemate as hardliners allied with Khamenei blocked attempts at political reforms in parliament. Authorities gave up some ground on social freedoms - letting women’s headscarves slide back and permitting more Western films and music - but there also were pinpoint strikes on dissent with arrests and newspaper closures. Now, the Revolutionary Guard and its nationwide paramilitary force, the Basij, are far stronger and more deeply integrated into every level of society, including monitoring social media. It’s unlikely Rowhani will push too hard anyway. He is moderate in the mold of his political patron, former President Akbar Heshami Rafsanjani, who wages selective battles against the Islamic establishment but manages to stay an insider with a post within the ruling hierarchy. Rowhani’s candidacy was something of a consolation prize after the ruling clerics barred Rafsanjani from running. Rafsanjani will now play the role of shadow president, advising from the wings.—AP


TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013

A sandstorm envelops camels in the desert region of Al-Hasa, some 370 km east of the Saudi capital Riyadh, on Sunday. — AFP

US convenience stores exploited immigrants NEW YORK: Nine owners and managers of 7-Eleven convenience stores were charged yesterday in a scheme to exploit immigrants from Pakistan and the Philippines, in part by paying them using the stolen Social Security numbers of a child and three dead people while stealing most of their wages. Most of the defendants were arrested early Monday as federal authorities raided 14 franchise stores on Long Island, New York, and in Virginia. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were executing search warrants at more than 40 other stores across the US suspected of similar infractions, authorities said at a news conference in Brooklyn. Four defendants who hold both US and Pakistani citizenship belong to a family that has participated in social events with Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, prosecutors said in court papers as they highlighted foreign ties while seeking to have the defendants held without bail until trial. Another defendant is a citizen of the Philippines. The government said the defendants pocketed tens of millions of dollars in the scheme, hiding some of the money. Federal indictments naming eight men and one woman allege that since 2000 they employed more than 50 immigrants who didn’t have permission to be in the US. They tried

to conceal the immigrants’ employment by stealing the identities of about two dozen people - including those of the child, the dead and a Coast Guard cadet - and submitting the information to the 7-Eleven payroll department. When 7-Eleven’s headquarters sent the wages for distribution, the employers stole up to 75 percent of the workers’ pay, authorities said. The defendants also forced the workers to live in houses they owned and pay them rent in cash, they added. “The defendants not only systematically employed illegal immigrants, but concealed their crimes by raiding the cradle and the grave to steal the identities of children and even the dead,” US Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement. “Finally, these defendants ruthlessly exploited their immigrant employees, stealing their wages and requiring them to live in unregulated boarding houses, in effect creating a modern day plantation system.” Lynch told a news conference the stolen identifications were “recycled from store to store and state to state” in a case driven by greed among defendants who bought big houses. The government seized the franchise rights of 10 stores in New York and four stores in Virginia. The stores will remain open under the parent company’s operation. Authorities said

West rebukes Putin on Syria Continued from Page 1 In some of his most colourful remarks on Syria, Putin described anti-Assad rebels as cannibals who ate human flesh and warned Obama of the dangers of giving guns to such people. Moscow also said it would not permit no-fly zones over to Syria. For their part, Western leaders have criticised Russia, Syria’s most powerful ally, for sending weapons to Assad forces and considering deliveries of a sophisticated missile system. “How can we allow that Russia continues to deliver arms to the Bashar Al-Assad regime when the opposition receives very few and is being massacred?” French President Francois Hollande said. Stung by recent victories for Assad’s forces and their support from Hezbollah guerrillas, the United States said last week it would step up military aid to the rebels including automatic weapons, light mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. In an apparent response to this development, Assad said Europe would “pay the price” if it delivered arms to rebel forces, saying that would result in the export of terrorism to Europe. “Terrorists will gain experience in combat and return with extremist ideologies,” he said in an advance extract of an interview due to be published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung today. Divisions over Syria dominated the atmosphere as global leaders streamed into the heavily guarded resort in Northern Ireland, a place once rocked by decades of violence but which Cameron now wants to showcase as a model of conflict resolution. Despite the disagreements over Syria, Putin and his Western counterparts appeared cordial in their public appearances. The Kremlin chief cracked a grin as he shook Cameron’s hand outside the venue, as police helicopters surveyed the site overhead. Moscow and Washington both agree that the bloodshed in Syria should stop and say they are genuinely trying

to overcome mistrust between them. They had earlier agreed to set up a Syrian peace conference in Geneva but progress has been slow. The European Union has dropped its arms embargo on Syria, allowing France and Britain to arm the rebels, though Cameron expressed concern about some of Assad’s foes. “Let’s be clear - I am as worried as anybody else about elements of the Syrian opposition, who are extremists, who support terrorism and who are a great danger to our world,” Cameron said. Syria aside, Cameron wants to focus on the formal agenda on tax, trade and transparency, dubbed “The Three Ts”, topics expected to dominate discussions today. As the summit kicked off on Monday afternoon, the United States and the EU opened negotiations for the world’s most ambitious free-trade deal, promising thousands of new jobs and accelerated growth on both sides of the Atlantic. The spotlight was on Obama and Putin who were due to meet at the Lough Erne golf resort about 10 km outside the Northern Irish town of Enniskillen, scene of an IRA bomb attack in 1987 that killed 11 people. Security was tight and the venue was surrounded by a 15-ft high steel fence. Unlike previous summits which have seen often turbulent anti-capitalist protests, the meeting failed to attract any crowds, possibly due to its remote location. In a speech in Belfast, Obama urged young people in Northern Ireland to finish making “permanent peace” and set an example to other areas of the world stricken by conflict. Cameron could also face some awkward questions at the G8 table after a Guardian newspaper report that Britain spied on officials taking part in two Group of 20 meetings in 2009. In a report published just hours before the G8 summit, the daily said some delegates from countries in the Group of 20 - which comprises top economies around the world - used Internet cafes that had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their emails. — Reuters

the stores had generated $182 million in profits shared by the defendants and 7-Eleven. Immigration officials detained 18 workers, including some who first notified authorities about the alleged fraud in 2010. Lynch said the workers would be processed through the system, with some who served as whistleblowers being able to remain in the country while the case is prosecuted. “Several workers came forward and complained,” she said of employees who were recruited from the same ethnic communities as the defendants. The defendants were to appear in court on Long Island and Norfolk, Virginia, later in the day to face wire fraud conspiracy, identity theft and alien harboring charges. They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy and other charges. Those arrested included a married Long Island couple who owned, co-owned or controlled a dozen 7-Eleven franchise stores on Long Island and Virginia. The couple bought their first franchise license in 1988. The government said the franchises were licensed by Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc, the US subsidiary of Seven & I Holdings, which operates, licenses or franchises 49,000 convenience stores worldwide, including 7Eleven stores in 16 countries. A 7-Eleven spokesman said the company was cooperating with the investigation, but declined

Rowhani firm on nuclear rights, vows... Continued from Page 1 Iran has since massively expanded its facilities for the enrichment of uranium, extending the process to 20 percent and raising the fears of regional foe Israel that the 90 percent required for a warhead is but a step away. The 64-year-old Rowhani said that the EU and US sanctions against Iran’s oil and banking sectors that have sent the economy into freefall were unjust but promised transparent talks to try to resolve the underlying issues. Iran will be “more transparent to show that its activities fall within the framework of international rules,” he said. “The idea is to engage in more active negotiations.” Rowhani has repeatedly promised to restore diplomatic relations with the United States, broken off more than three decades ago after the storming of the US embassy in Tehran by Islamist students. He has also expressed readiness for bilateral talks with Washington to allay its concerns that Tehran’s nuclear program is cover for a drive for a weapons capability. But he said those talks could not be without conditions. “The US should not interfere in our internal affairs, recognise the rights of Iran including nuclear rights and stop its unilateral policies and pressure,” he said. “The next government will not give up the legitimate rights of the country.” On a visit to Iran’s western neighbour Iraq yesterday, the chief negotiator of the major powers, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said she would take

Continued from Page 1 Other opposition groups, comprising Islamists, nationalists and other liberals, vowed after a lengthy meeting Sunday night that they will not take part in the forthcoming election in protest against the constitutional court ruling which “ended the rule of the constitution”. The opposition said it will take a series of actions in the near future to express its rejection to holding parliamentary elections on the basis of the single-vote law. The Progressive Movement in the meantime said that the chronic political crisis in the country has not been resolved or dealt with because its causes still exist. The crisis has not resulted from the single-vote amendment but from a trend in the country to adopt individualism in governing and decision-making, it charged. Among the reasons are the shortcomings in the 1962 constitution which lacks the most important democratic guarantees in legalizing political parties and a fair election system, it added. It called on opposition groups to adopt a program for true reforms that aims to achieve a full parliamentary system. In another development, the court of cassation, the highest court in Kuwait, yesterday sentenced two police officers to death for torturing a Kuwaiti citizen to death

at a police station. The court also sentenced four other policemen to 15 years in jail each, a fifth for two years in prison and fined two others KD 75 each. The court, whose rulings cannot be appealed, also acquitted 11 others including two foreign civilians who worked at the police station. The criminal and appeals courts had sentenced the two officers for life terms but the cassation court toughened the sentence to death. The officers were convicted of torturing to death Kuwaiti citizen Mohammad Al-Maimouni at a police station in Ahmadi in Jan 2011 on charges that he was selling liquor, a charge that was found to be fabricated. The policemen arrested Maimouni and tortured him mercilessly in a remote desert area for three days and then brought him to the police station and continued the torture. They refused his non-stop pleading that he was a cardiac patient and that he needed to take his medication. The torture and refusing to give him medicine led to his death. The deceased was rushed to Kuwait Oil Company hospital in Ahmadi after he collapsed at the police station. But he was dead when he arrived and doctors discovered he was tortured. The issue forced former interior minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Khaled Al-Sabah to resign after he was accused of providing false information to the Assembly.

Rowhani up on his promise of more constructive engagement. “I will continue to do my work to urge Iran to work closely with me.., to build confidence in the nature of their nuclear program,” she said. Rowhani said he would seek to mend difficult relations between Shiite Iran and Sunni-dominated Gulf Arab states, which have been further strained by the two-year conflict in Syria. “The priority of my government is to strengthen relations with neighbours... the countries of the...Gulf and Arab ones that are of strategic importance and our brothers,” he said. “Saudi Arabia is a brother and neighbour... with which we have historic, cultural and geographical relations.” But he said there would be no let-up in Iran’s support for its longstanding ally, Syrian President Bashar AlAssad, to appease Gulf states that back the rebels. “The government must be respected by other countries until the next elections and then it is up to the people to decide,” Rowhani said, referring to Assad’s term of office which does not expire until 2014. Rowhani won Friday’s election with more than 50 percent of the vote against a divided field of hardline conservatives. He told supporters yesterday that he would do all in his power to bring about “the change” they desired after eight years of conservative domination under outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. “God willing, this is the beginning of a move that will bring the change demanded by the people in the fields of economy, culture, social and politics,” he said, cautioning that could not happen “overnight.” — Agencies

Ali vows to rid traffic ‘disease’ Continued from Page 1

Liberal National Alliance to take part...

further comment. The case reflects stepped-up enforcement against employers using bogus documentation for immigrant workers. In the past two years, federal authorities have brought similar charges against more than 500 business-owners and managers, said James Hayes, head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s New York office. “There’s real teeth to these laws, and we’re using them now more than ever before,” Hayes said. Hayes said the workers in the 7-Eleven cases were not innocent victims in the scheme but also were exploited by bosses who paid them a fraction of what they were owed for working up to 100 hours a week. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc also came under investigation in recent years for hiring workers who were in the country illegally. Last year, federal prosecutors charged a Minneapolis man who ran a company that provides labor to large poultry farms with transporting and harboring illegal immigrants. Haeyoung Yoon, senior staff attorney for the National Employment Law Project, said that low-wage employers are more prone to not having the proper documentation for their workers. Once the fraud is exposed, the workers typically end up getting fired on the spot and sometimes deported, Yoon said. — AP

different times of the day at places with heavy traffic flows such as Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, Shuwaikh Industrial Area, Amman Street, Bnaid Al-Gar, Khaitan, Farwaniya and Fahaheel. “The specimens showed some major problems such as domestic drivers using private vehicles as taxis, taxi and large vehicle drivers who do not hold general driver’s licenses and people driving with-

out licenses at all,” he said, adding that this called for strict law enforcement. “Traffic in Kuwait is like an old sick man who once treated for one aliment develops another,” he noted, adding that 18 traffic inspection teams dressed in civilian clothes had been formed and deployed in various places. “Fortunately, traffic police only file 100 daily citations in Jleeb compared to 1,000-1,500 in the past”, he concluded.

Rebels get Saudi missiles Continued from Page 1 The reported Saudi supplies began shortly before its main Western ally the United States announced it would likely send arms to Syrian rebels, a development long encouraged by Riyadh. Top Saudi princes have been shuttling from one ally to another in recent weeks for meetings about Syria. The epicentre of this activity was Paris, visited by Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef in May, intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan and Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal this month. Saudi Arabian National Guard Minister Prince Miteb bin Abdullah is there this week after meeting Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara. Crown Prince Salman met British Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond in Jeddah in

early June. Diplomatic sources in Riyadh said Saudi Arabia, France and Britain shared common ground on pushing Washington to take more decisive action against Assad. Saudi Arabia has led Arab opposition to Assad since early in Syria’s revolution. It was the first country to cut diplomatic ties with Damascus last year and took an early lead in funding and arming the rebels and helping them logistically. However, its support has always been tempered by concerns of blowback from the more militant Islamist groups spearheading the battle against Assad, diplomatic sources in Riyadh say. Riyadh has spent years combating domestic militants who waged a bombing campaign against Saudi and US targets last decade, after they returned from fighting under the Islamist banner in Afghanistan and Iraq.— Reuters

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013


Isco gets Real, City offers

F1 seek contract extension

Animal Kingdom favorite

MADRID: Malaga’s Spain Under-21 playmaker Isco has confirmed that Real Madrid and Manchester City have made offers to buy him and said he will decide his future after today’s European championships final against Italy. The 21-year-old midfielder, valued at 20 million euros ($26.7 million) on website, helped Malaga reach the last eight of the Champions League last season and has caught the eye with several scintillating performances at the Euro Under-21 tournament in Israel. Asked about offers from Real and City, Malaga native Isco told Spain’s As sports daily on Monday they were “on the table”. “I know that both Manchester City and Real Madrid are two great clubs,” he added. “I want what is best for me and for Malaga.” Isco said he had not spoken to City’s new manager Manuel Pellegrini since the Chilean decided to leave Malaga and move to the Premier League at the end of last term. However, Pellegrini’s presence at City might help swing his decision the way of the Manchester club, Isco added. “He is a great coach who has done some impressive work at Malaga, as he did at other clubs, and I am sure things will go well for him (in England),” he said.—Reuters

MONTREAL: Canadian Grand Prix organisers say they are discussing a 10-year contract extension as Formula One seeks long-term deals with key races ahead of a possible flotation of the series. Francois Dumontier, promoter of the race in Montreal, told the website that an extension to 2024 was on the table. He said that was the longest agreement ever proposed to Canadian organisers, with previous deals being for five years with options. “All new agreements now being signed are for 10 years,” he added, saying that there were several reasons for that. “I believe they want to consolidate the good grands prix. Montreal is such a race, undoubtedly. We saw as much (this year) with the full grandstands and the comments made by the drivers and teams. “F1 has a project to enter the stock market. Ten-year contracts have a certain value when entering the stock market,” he added. Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said in April that the company behind the sport could be floated in Singapore at the end of this year if markets remained benign. Plans to raise up to $3 billion by listing the business were pulled last year amid market turmoil following the flotation of social network Facebook, whose shares plunged after their debut. Several grands prix are nearing the end of their current contracts, with Australia’s ending in 2015 along with Barcelona, while Bahrain’s runs out in 2016. Singapore signed a five-year extension in 2012.—Reuters

LONDON: Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom bids to follow in Frankel’s hallowed hoof-prints with the American raider providing the star billing on the opening day of Royal Ascot yesterday. Frankel enjoyed an imperious 11-length triumph in the Queen Anne Stakes last year on his way to becoming the world’s highest-rated racehorse. The memory of that explosive victory will have extra poignancy following the death last week of Frankel’s trainer Henry Cecil, who trained a record 75 Royal Ascot winners over four decades. Animal Kingdom will be the first Kentucky Derby winner to race at Royal Ascot since the Triple Crown winner Omaha, who raced in the Ascot Gold Cup in 1936. “I’ll never train another one like him. The horse has had a chequered career because of his injuries so it is all the more remarkable how he has kept his form,” Animal Kingdom’s British-born trainer Graham Motion said of the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner. “Royal Ascot is a bonus for me because I thought Dubai was his last race. I feel very fortunate that these guys have taken on this very sporting challenge at Royal Ascot. —Reuters

Mets win, Braves roll

BALTIMORE: Chris Davis No. 19 of the Baltimore Orioles beats the tag of Jose Iglesias No. 10 of the Boston Red Sox for a double in the fifth inning.—AFP

Orioles pound Red Sox ARLINGTON: Chris Davis hit his major league-leading 23rd home run and Nick Markakis had four hits and scored three runs as the Baltimore Orioles beat Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox 6-3 on Sunday. Manny Machado extended his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games and drove in a run for the Orioles, who took three of four from first-place Boston to move within 11/2 games of the AL East lead. Baltimore has won six straight series over the Red Sox. Davis gave the Orioles a 3-0 lead in the third inning with his 100th career homer and seventh in 10 games against Boston. Davis doubled in a run in the fifth to give him 60 RBIs. Will Middlebrooks hit a three-run homer for the Red Sox, 2-5 against the Orioles this season and 514 in the last 19 games between the teams. Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez (5-2) took a two-hitter and a 5-0 lead into the seventh. He allowed three runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings to improve to 3-0 against Boston. Jim Johnson earned his 25th save. Lester (6-4) fell to 14-2 against the Orioles, 7-1 at Camden Yards. The right-hander gave up five runs and nine hits in five innings. YANKEES 6, ANGELS 5 In Anaheim, Mariano Rivera struck out Albert Pujols with the bases loaded to end the Angels’ fiverun rally in the ninth inning as the New York Yankees ended their five-game losing streak with a wild victory over Los Angeles. CC Sabathia pitched five-hit ball into the ninth, and Travis Hafner hit a three-run homer off Jered Weaver, but the Yankees barely survived when Rivera fanned the Angels’ star slugger. New York’s famed closer gave up three hits and a walk, but still got his 24th save. Lyle Overbay and Jayson Nix also drove in runs during a five-run third inning for the Yankees, who salvaged the finale of their 10-game road trip by battering Weaver (1-3) early and hanging on late. Sabathia (7-5) struck out six and walked three, but tired in the ninth, leaving with two runners on. After reliever David Robertson left with a 6-1 lead, Rivera gave up Erick Aybar’s RBI groundout, Alberto Callaspo’s two-run single and Peter Bourjos’ RBI single. Rivera then walked Mike Trout to load the bases before getting Pujols, finally wrapping up the 632nd save. TIGERS 5, TWINS 2 In Minneapolis, Doug Fister held Minnesota hitless until the sixth inning and Torii Hunter connected for his 300th career home run, leading Detroit over the Twins. Fister (6-4) didn’t allow a baserunner until walking Ryan Doumit with two outs in the fourth inning, then lost his no-hit bid when Brian Dozier led off the sixth with a homer. Fister allowed two runs and two hits - both to Dozier - in 7 2-3 innings. He struck out seven, walked two and won for the first time in his last six starts. Joaquin Benoit pitched the final 1 1-3 innings, earning his fourth save. Hunter and Austin Jackson both hit two-run homers for Detroit. PJ Walters (2-2) gave up four runs on nine hits and three walks in 5 1-3 innings. ROYALS 5, RAYS 3 In St. Petersburg, Wade Davis stopped his fivegame winless streak and Jeff Francoeur homered as Kansas City beat Tampa Bay. Davis (4-5) gave up two runs and five hits in six innings for his first win since he beat the Los Angeles Angels on May 15. It was the right-hander’s first game against the Rays, who traded him to the Royals during the offseason. After Francoeur hit a solo homer in the fifth inning, Alcides Escobar and Alex Gordon had RBI singles to put the Royals ahead 4-2 in the sixth. Gordon added a sacrifice fly in the eighth. Francoeur had only 13 hits in 83 at-bats before delivering his third homer this season. Greg Holland, the fourth Kansas City reliever, earned his 14th save despite allowing a homer to Jose Lobaton in the ninth. Roberto Hernandez (4-7) allowed four runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings for Tampa Bay, which

went 4-6 on a 10-game homestand. ASTROS 5, WHITE SOX 4 In Houston, Jason Castro homered for the second straight game and Matt Dominguez hit a threerun double to help Houston top the Chicago White Sox for its fourth straight win. Dominguez put Houston on top 3-0 with a double in the second inning, and Castro hit a two-run shot to make it 5-2 in the seventh. The left-handed Castro hit his first career home run off a left-hander on Saturday night when he connected off John Danks, and made it two against Matt Thornton on Sunday. Alejandro De Aza tripled and scored in the sixth and Dayan Viciedo tripled and scored in the seventh to cut the lead to 3-2. De Aza added a two-out, tworun homer off Jose Veras to make it 5-4 in the ninth before Alexei Ramirez grounded out to give Veras his 14th save. Houston starter Dallas Keuchel (4-3) yielded four hits and two runs in 6 1-3 innings for the win. Hector Santiago (2-5) allowed five hits and three runs with eight strikeouts in 5 1-3 innings. The AL-Central-worst White Sox have dropped four straight overall and 12 of their last 13 road games. BLUE JAYS 7, RANGERS 2 In Arlington, Wang Chien-ming won for the first time in more than a year and Colby Rasmus homered for a third straight game as Toronto completed a four-game sweep by beating Texas for its fifth straight victory. The Rangers lost their sixth in a row and fell to 1-6 on a season-high, 11-game homestand. Texas has dropped six straight for the first time since April 15-21, 2010. Wang (1-0) allowed seven hits in seven shutout innings to win for the first time since last June 12 with Washington. Adam Lind hit a three-run homer, and J.P. Arencibia added a two-run shot for Toronto. The Blue Jays outscored the Rangers 24-4 to sweep a four-game series at Texas for the first time. Derek Holland (5-4) allowed four runs and 10 hits in six innings for the Rangers, who have only scored eight runs in their slide. ATHLETICS 10, MARINERS 2 In Oakland, Bartolo Colon worked seven strong innings to win his sixth straight decision and Josh Reddick homered and matched a career high with four hits as Oakland avoided a sweep with a victory over Seattle. Sean Smith and Brandon Moss each homered and drove in two runs for the Athletics, who moved three games ahead of Texas in the AL West - their largest lead since ending the 2006 season four games up. Josh Donaldson also went deep, and Yoenis Cespedes, Coco Crisp and John Jaso drove in runs for Oakland. Colon (9-2) allowed two runs on eight hits, didn’t walk a batter, and struck out three to extend his home win streak to seven. Hisashi Iwakuma (7-2) lost for the first time since April 23, giving up four runs on a season high-tying eight hits. INTERLEAGUE GAME INDIANS 2, NATIONALS 0 In Cleveland, Corey Kluber pitched eight shutout innings as Cleveland spoiled Stephen Strasburg’s return with a win over Washington. Kluber (5-4) escaped three big jams to win for the first time in 11 career starts at Progressive Field. He gave up seven hits, struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter. He wiggled out of trouble in the seventh after the Nationals loaded the bases with no outs. Strasburg (3-6), activated from the disabled list before the game, held the Indians to one run and one hit in five innings. Making his first start since May 31 when he strained a muscle in his back, the right-hander struck out four, walked four and threw 82 pitches. Carlos Santana’s RBI single with one out in the fourth - the only hit Strasburg allowed - gave Cleveland a 1-0 lead. Jason Kipnis’ sacrifice fly in the eighth scored the Indians’ run. Vinnie Pestano pitched the ninth for his first save of the season.—AP

Kuwait wins gold medal KUWAIT: Kuwait’s skeet shooter Abdallah Alturqi Al-Rashidi won the gold medal during the world championship that was held in Cyprus from June 8-17, 2013. Al Rashidi scored 123 hits and had to go through a shoot off round with the Swedish shooter Henrick Johnson and beat him to take first place while third place went to Spain’s Jose Juan. Head of Kuwait’s delegation Dr. Nidal Ahmad Alsayed Omar lauded the spirit of Kuwaiti shooters as they proved themselves in the presence of shooters from over thirty countries. He said that Kuwait shooting achievements will continue as he dedicated this win to HH the Amir, HH the Crown Prince and the Kuwaiti people, adding that Kuwait’s shooters

are always working hard to keep their country’s name in prominence in world arenas.

Abdallah Alturqi Al-Rashidi

NEW YORK: Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a three-run homer that capped a four-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning to help the Mets beat the Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Sunday, salvaging what had been shaping up as another sorry afternoon. Matt Garza pitched seven scoreless innings, and the Cubs scored twice on a madcap play that featured three bad throws by Mets infielders, giving Chicago a 3-0 lead. But New York came back against Carlos Marmol (2-4) in the ninth, starting with Marlon Byrd’s leadoff home run. Nieuwenhuis connected with one out. Bobby Parnell (5-3) pitched the top of the ninth. Mets starter Jeremy Hefner allowed one earned run and struck out five in five innings. Garza gave up three hits and struck out five, and was all set up for his second win in five starts this season. The Cubs had used closer Kevin Gregg on four consecutive days and manager Dale Sveum turned to Marmol, who had been unseated as closer earlier this season. BRAVES 3, GIANTS 0 In Atlanta, Freddie Freeman singled three times and drove in one run, and Julio Teheran pitched six innings to lead Atlanta over San Francisco. Teheran (5-3) allowed seven hits and one walk. The 22-year-old struck out eight and got a few stellar plays from outfielders Jason Heyward and Justin Upton in the fourth, and by Andrelton Simmons at shortstop in the sixth that kept a run from scoring with the Braves holding a two-run lead. Lincecum (4-7) gave up six hits and five walks in six innings. Two of his three runs were earned, and he struck out three. Braves closer Craig Kimbrel pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 19th save in 22 chances. Kimbrel struck out Andres Torres and Joaquin Arias before retiring Nick Noonan on a flyout. REDS 5, BREWERS 1 In Cincinnati, Johnny Cueto pitched six solid innings in his return to Cincinnati’s rotation and Jay Bruce homered in a win over Milwaukee. Donald Lutz drove in two runs with a pinch-hit single, and Zack Cozart and Joey Votto each had two hits as Cincinnati rebounded after losing 6-0 on Saturday. Cueto, activated from the disabled list Sunday, improved to 4-0 in his seventh start of the season. He allowed five hits and one run with three strikeouts and no walks as the Reds took two of three in the weekend series. Cueto made his first start since a 6-0 win at Pittsburgh on May 31. He was placed on the disabled list on June 5 for the second time this season because of a strained muscle in his right shoulder. Alfredo Simon allowed two hits and had six strikeouts in three innings of relief for his first save of the season and second in two years with Cincinnati. Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta gave up all five Reds runs - four earned - in 5 1-3 innings. The slumping Peralta (4-8) allowed seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts to fall to 1-6 in his last seven starts. MARLINS 7, CARDINALS 2 In Miami, Ricky Nolasco allowed one run and three hits in seven innings to help Miami take the last game of its three-game series against St. Louis. The NL Centralleading Cardinals lost a series for the first time since April 26-28 against Pittsburgh. The Marlins climbed above .300 at 21-47, still baseball’s worst record. They scored 19 runs in the series against a team with the lowest ERA in the majors. The abundance of offense was a refreshing change for Nolasco (4-7), who has endured the worst run support of any pitcher with at least 14 starts. Juan Pierre drove in two runs and had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 12 games, and Justin Ruggiano and Placido Polanco each had a two-RBI hit. The Marlins have won eight of 14, their best stretch this season. Tyler Lyons (23), making his fifth major-league start, lost for the third time in a row after winning his first two decisions. He gave up six runs in 5 1-3 innings. The Cardinals managed only five hits, all singles. PIRATES 6, DODGERS 3 In Pittsburgh, rookie Gerrit Cole won again, getting home run help from Pedro Alvarez and pitching Pittsburgh past Los Angeles. Cole (2-0) allowed three runs on seven hits and no

walks in 5 2-3 innings. The top pick from the 2011 draft won in his big league debut last week. Alvarez snapped a 2-all tie when he connected off Zack Greinke (3-2) for a three-run homer in the fifth. Alvarez leads the Pirates with 15 homers. The Pirates won for the sixth time in nine games. Alex Presley had three hits for the Pirates, including a home run, and Garrett Jones added a two-run single. Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig had three hits and raised his batting average to .479 in his first 48 at-bats in the majors. ROCKIES 5, PHILLIES 2 In Denver, Jhoulys Chacin came within an out of his second career shutout, and Colorado topped Philadelphia. Chacin gave up six hits, struck out three and didn’t walk a batter. His 8 2-3 innings marked the longest outing by a Rockies starter this season. Jimmy Rollins hit an RBI double with two outs in the Phillies’ ninth, and Ryan Howard followed with a single to finish Chacin (5-3). Rex Brothers got the final out for his second save of the season. Wilin Rosario and Carlos Gonzalez homered for Colorado. The teams combined for 30 runs and 55 hits in splitting the first two games of the series, but pitchers dominated the finale at Coors Field. Phillies starter Cole Hamels (2-10) was sharp early, but

Chacin was efficient throughout. Chacin needed just 74 pitches - 59 strikes - to get through the first eight innings. Hamels has lost two straight decisions and eight of nine. PADRES 4, DIAMONDBACKS 1 In San Diego, Kyle Blanks hit a three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning to a snap a tie and lift San Diego to its season-high sixth straight victory. Blanks’ eighth home run of the season came off Arizona reliever David Hernandez (2-4) and made a winner of Clayton Richard (2-5), giving the Padres a threegame sweep. Huston Street came on in the ninth to earn his 13th save in 14 opportunities for the Padres (35-34), who moved above 500. for the first time since closing the 2010 season with a 90-72 record. The Padres have gone 30-19 since May 1, are 21-7 in their last 28 home games and have pulled within two games of first-place Arizona in the NL West. Everth Cabrera opened the eighth with his third single of the game and Chase Headley walked with two outs before Blanks hit a 1-2 pitch 379 feet into the left-field bleachers. Until then the game had been an outstanding pitcher’s duel between Richard and Arizona’s Ian Kennedy—AP

NEW YORK: Carlos Marmol No. 49 of the Chicago Cubs pitches against the New York Mets during their game at Citi Field. —AFP

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

Boston Baltimore NY Yankees Tampa Bay Toronto Detroit Cleveland Kansas City Minnesota Chicago W Sox Oakland Texas Seattle LA Angels Houston

American League Eastern Division W L PCT 42 29 .592 40 30 .571 38 31 .551 36 33 .522 32 36 .471 Central Division 38 29 .567 34 34 .500 33 34 .493 30 36 .455 28 38 .424 Western Division 42 29 .592 38 31 .551 31 39 .443 30 39 .435 26 44 .371

GB 1.5 3 5 8.5 4.5 5 7.5 9.5 3 10.5 11 15.5

Atlanta Washington Philadelphia NY Mets Miami St. Louis Cincinnati Pittsburgh Chicago Cubs Milwaukee Arizona Colorado San Francisco San Diego LA Dodgers

National League Eastern Division 41 28 .594 34 34 .500 33 37 .471 25 39 .391 21 47 .309 Central Division 44 25 .638 42 28 .600 41 28 .594 28 39 .418 28 40 .412 Western Division 37 32 .536 37 33 .529 35 33 .515 35 34 .507 29 39 .426

6.5 8.5 13.5 19.5 2.5 3 15 15.5 0.5 1.5 2 7.5

Lexus defeat AMEC in final KUWAIT: Lexus defeated AMEC Diamond Cricket Team in the finals played at the Sulaibiya Cricket Ground organised under Kuwait Cricket. AMEC won the toss and elected to bat first on a pitch that looked inductive for batting. The openers of AMEC Could not give them a start they were looking for in the finals, within four overs both the openers were back in the pavilion with only 19 runs on the board. NIkhil was the top scorer for AMEC as he played an anchor role with a patient 31 runs of 24 balls. Wickets kept tumbling for AMEC as some good bowling from Lexus restricted AMEC to 141 runs in 20 overs, Roshan and Christopher were the pick of the bowlers for Lexus as they took 2 wickets each. Chasing a modest total, Lexus too had a shaky start losing three wickets in quick succession, some accurate bowling from Imtiyaz had put Lexus in some sort of trouble but the opener of Lexus Raghavendra played a vital role in achieving the target, as he along with Thomas put on a valuable 78 runs for the sixth wicket to

see his team through to an emphatic win in the 18th over. Raghavendra was declared man of the match for his match winning performance of 66 runs from 51 balls and also got a wicket conceding 23 runs in his allotted quota of 4 overs.

The presentation party was presided by Asad Baig who handed over the GCL Cup to the winning captain Anil Reddy of Lexus. The final was officiated by umpires Farid Dilwai and Imran Mustafa while Syed Nadeem was the official scorer of the match.

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013


Birthday heartbreak for Mickelson in Open ARDMORE: This wasn’t the way it was supposed to end, not on Phil Mickelson’s birthday and not at Merion Golf Club, where history will record with little fanfare outside of England that Justin Rose won his first major championship. When the rain began falling on the back nine Sunday after Mickelson pitched in for an eagle on the 10th hole to take the lead in the US Open, you half expected a rainbow to appear amid the clouds with a trophy at the end of it and bearing Mickelson’s name. He probably expected it, too, if only because the law of averages would seem to demand it. Five times before he had been runner-up in this tournament and no bookie in Vegas would offer odds of any player finishing second in the national championship six times. But golf is a cruel game and the Open seems even crueler to Mickelson, though some of the fault lies within. He desperately chased the best birthday present of all, only to kick it away once again in a way only Mickelson seems to lose golf tournaments. Two bad wedges from one of the greatest short game players ever. One more huge disappointment in a tournament Mickelson seems destined never to win. If he didn’t cry, surely some of his many fans did. This wasn’t so much a loss as it was a career encapsulating moment, and though Mickelson handled it with his usual grace that didn’t make it any easier to stomach. He began the week by flying all night to make his tee time just so he could watch his daughter speak at her eighth-grade graduation. He ended it by wondering why at he keeps being tortured by a tournament he loves but doesn’t love him back. “Heartbreak,” Mickelson said when asked what he would take from this one, and it was a word he used more than once. The fans who crowded into old Merion came expecting something special from a century-old golf course where history seems to come alive. So, too, did Mickelson on a day he hoped to remember for far different reasons than it being both his birthday and Father’s Day. Ben Hogan famously won here in 1950 after a near fatal car accident and Bobby Jones capped off his Grand Slam here 20 years before. Who among the thousands lining the fairways and greens didn’t expect Mickelson’s first Open win to write a new chapter in Merion lore? It was just 18 holes of golf, but it seemed much more than that. It could have been the story of his career, with Good Phil, Bad Phil, Unlucky Phil and Jubilant Phil all making cameos at some point during the round. When he pitched in from 75 yards on the 10th hole to retake the lead he leapt in the air with both arms raised high, much like he did in 2004 when he shook off the critics and his own self-doubt to win his

first Masters, cradling his daughter on the side of the green and telling her, “Daddy won! Can you believe it?” This one would have been almost as good, except there would be cake instead of a green jacket. All Mickelson had to do was play even par coming in to win and, though that’s a tough order in any Open, he had the easy 121-yard 13th hole that he would almost surely birdie as insurance against any bogeys down the stretch. But he hit a pitching wedge instead of a gap wedge to the hole, flying the green and leaving himself with a pitch from the rough he had no way of getting close to the hole. He made bogey, then compounded his error on No. 15 by quitting on a gap wedge and leaving it so short he had to chip from the front of the green for another bogey. This from a guy who had studied Merion so carefully that he carried five wedges in his bag and not one driver. “Thirteen and 15 were the two bad shots of the day that I’ll look back on where I let it go,” Mickelson said. What made it hurt even more was that Merion was Mickelson’s kind of course, a place where he could work the ball both ways and use his short game magic to trump the field. He knew it from the time he first played it, and became even more convinced of it the more he studied his notes and course pictures in the days ahead of the Open. He opened with a 67 on little sleep and had a one-shot lead going into the final round. Everything was going according to plan - you could almost see the newspaper headlines of “PHIL-a-del-phia” - but anyone who has ever seen Mickelson play knows that even his best plans sometimes have a way of unraveling with little warning. “This could have been the big - a really big turnaround for me on how I look at the U.S. Open and the tournament that I’d like to win after having so many good opportunities,” Mickelson said. “Playing very well here and really loving the golf course, this week was my best opportunity I felt, heading in, certainly the final round, the way I was playing and the position I was in.” There was still a chance at the end, though it wasn’t a good one. With no driver, Mickelson had to hit his 3-wood on the 511-yard finishing hole immortalized by Hogan’s 1-iron and he put it in the left rough with no chance of reaching the green. The crowd serenaded him with choruses of “Happy Birthday” as he came to the green needing to hole a pitch shot to force a playoff, but there would be no happiness this time. “This one’s probably the toughest for me because, at 43 and coming so close five times, it would have changed the way I look at this tournament altogether and the way I would have looked at my record,” Mickelson said. “Except I just keep feeling heartbreak.” A word he kept repeating. A feeling he knows all too well.—AP

ARDMORE: Justin Rose of England kisses the US Open trophy after winning the 113th US Open at Merion Golf Club. —AFP

English Rose blooms ARDMORE: England’s Justin Rose clinched his first major title with a nerve-jangling two-shot victory at the 113th US Open on Sunday after overhauling 54hole leader Phil Mickelson in the final round. Rose closed with a level-par 70 in difficult scoring conditions at Merion Golf Club, posting a oneover total of 281 to become the first Englishman to win the year’s second major since Tony Jacklin at Hazeltine in 1970. American Mickelson bogeyed three of the last six holes for a 74 to tie for second with Australian Jason Day (71). It was an especially emotional win for Rose, coming on Father’s Day, and he pointed a finger skywards after two-putting for par on the 18th green to acknowledge the memory of his own father Ken, who died from leukaemia in 2002. “It wasn’t lost on me that today was Father’s Day,” the 32-year-old Rose said during the trophy presentation after mixing five birdies with five bogeys in the final round. “For it to all just work out for me, on such an emotional day, I just couldn’t help but look up to the heavens and think that my old dad Ken had something to do with it,” said Rose, after winning his fifth title on the U.S. PGA Tour. Left-hander Mickelson, serenaded with ‘Happy Birthday’ chants from the fans on every hole after turning 43 on Sunday, had to settle for a record sixth runner-up spot at the U.S. Open after carding a 74. “For me, it’s very heart-breaking,” said Mickelson, who had previously finished second at the event in 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2009. “This could have been a really big turnaround for me on how I look at the U.S. Open and the tour-

nament that I’d like to win, after having so many good opportunities. “This week was my best opportunity, I felt, heading in, certainly the final round, the way I was playing and the position I was in.” Mickelson, a four-times major champion, had to hole out for birdie from a swale below the green at the par-four last to force a playoff but his shot ran through the back of the green from where he twoputted for bogey. Day shared second place with Mickelson at three over with Americans Hunter Mahan (75), Jason Dufner (67) and Billy Horschel (74), and twice former champion Ernie Els of South Africa (69), a further two strokes back in a tie for fourth. Tiger Woods, who teed off among the early starters, posted a two-over-par 74 for a 13-over total of 293, his worst finish after four rounds at a U.S. Open as a professional. Helped by consecutive birdies at the 12th and 13th, Rose edged one ahead on a tightly bunched leaderboard and, though he bogeyed 14 and 16, he was handed the lead for good when Mickelson and Mahan both stumbled at the tricky par-four 15th. Rose safely parred the short 17th before having to face the brutal challenge of the 511-yard, uphill last, the most difficult hole on the course during the week. He struck a superb tee shot down the middle, then hit his four-iron approach right at the flag for his ball to roll through to the back of the green before nestling on the fringe. From there, Rose used a three-wood to putt and very nearly sank the birdie attempt, his ball curling left-to-right before halting inches short of the cup.

After a muggy, overcast and breezy morning, the wind began to pick up, causing all sorts of problems for players already battling to cope with slick, sloping greens, narrow tilting fairways and heavy rough. South African Charl Schwartzel, Mickelson, Mahan, Rose and Day all enjoyed moments at the top of the leaderboard but it was Mickelson who provided the shot of the day when he stunningly holed out from the right rough to eagle the par-four 10th. Mickelson watched from 75 yards out as his ball bounced short of the pin before rolling up into the cup, then jumped up and down with both arms raised skywards. That briefly put him a stroke clear but Rose responded with birdies at 12, where he struck a superb approach to two feet, and at 13, where he drained an 18-footer. Mickelson’s title bid effectively ended with bogeys on 13 and 15. Woods, tournament favourite at the start of the week after winning four times in just eight starts on the 2013 PGA Tour, birdied the par-four first but then ran up a triple-bogey eight at the second after hitting his tee shot out-of-bounds. The three-times US Open champion added a further two birdies and four bogeys to finish in a tie for 32nd, his bid for a first major title in five years coming up well short. “I did a lot of things right, unfortunately I did a few things wrong, as well,” said world number one Woods, a 14-times major champion. “I didn’t make a lot of putts the first couple of days and yesterday.” Northern Irish world number two Rory McIlroy, the US Open champion at Congressional in 2011, finished a further shot back at 14 over after signing off with a 76.—Reuters

Idaho feed biz homes in on Taiwan’s racing pigeons MERIDIAN: Jos Zamzow was blasting southward on a train on the island of Taiwan last December, looking out the windows at colorful structures atop apartments and houses passing by in a blur. The train was traveling too fast to make out exactly what they were: Bird coops, it turns out. “When I got off, the first thing I did was ask what kind. Somebody told me pigeon racing in Taiwan was big business,” Zamzow recalled. Zamzow was in Taiwan working to expand existing sales of pet and commercial pork feed made by his family’s southwestern Idaho company, Dynamite Marketing. But he quickly realized there was a market for something different: High-performance racing pigeon chow, to create a super bird capable of flying faster than a mile a minute, some-

times for 200 miles. Now Zamzow is betting that Dynamite can transform Idaho-grown safflower and corn - and a top-secret, bloodboosting brew of mushroom powder and yeast cell wall extract it makes in its 102-year-old feed mill into an annual export business worth up to $15 million. In Taiwan, pigeon racing is a national pastime. There are racing clubs all over the island, and the sport is so lucrative - with race-winnings in the tens of thousands or more - that it is a top draw for illegal gamblers and crime rings that kidnap pigeons to demand steep ransoms. Bird-doping has even been alleged. Already, Dynamite makes feed for competitors at New York’s annual Westminster dog show and the Kentucky Derby. The company

expects its first test shipments of pigeon chow to head overseas later this summer, enough to feed 1,000 chicks slated to race in the coming season. “After they start winning races, we expect there will be significant demand. And not just in Taiwan. Pigeon racing is popular all over Asia,” said Zamzow, who returned to Taiwan in April with Idaho Gov. CL “Butch” Otter to meet with pigeon fanciers. Earlier this month, a Chinese businessman paid 310,000 euros (or about $400,000) for a single bird at an auction in Belgium, the cradle of European pigeon breeding. In all, 530 birds were sold at the event, yielding a record $5.6 million. Nine of the 10 top-grossing birds went to China or Taiwan. Racing generally involves taking trained pigeons to a location before

TAIPEI: In this Nov. 2, 2005 file photo, racing pigeons owned by the Chairman of the Taipei County Pigeon Racing Association, Yeh Cheng-shen sit in an elaborate set of rooftop cages in Taipei County, Taiwan. —AP

allowing them to fly to their respective homes. Older timing systems have given way to more sophisticated radio frequency identification tags and small GPS systems to track birds’ per formance. In Taiwan, pigeons are often taken via boats to platforms far offshore and then released. Just how big and how profitable Taiwan’s pigeon racing world is isn’t known, in part because gambling on the races is illegal. But between breeders, racers, gamblers and others, the industry likely generates several hundred million dollars a year. “There is no official record for this, because pigeon racing is in a gray area,” said Eddie Yen, Taiwanbased director of the Idaho Asia Trade Office and a key contact between Dynamite and the island’s pigeon industry. Once Zamzow’s test phase is done, the Taiwanese government must give its stamp of approval for commercial sales. Yen said that could take between three and six months, or longer if more testing is needed. If Dynamite-fed birds turn out to be fast, they could become targets. In 1998, a Taiwanese gang armed with nets collected ransom of more than $1.5 million after capturing birds mid-race, then using their numbered ankle rings to find and shake down desperate owners. Last year, Taiwanese police made multiple arrests for a similar bird-napping scheme. Others have even used performance-enhancing chemicals on their birds. In 2001, Belgian police raided 80 homes of breeders and feed and medicine suppliers, confiscating suspicious products. Zamzow won’t disclose the blend of his pigeon pellets, but maintains the concoction is natural. His dad, Jim Zamzow, the company’s founder and chief formulator, borrowed nutritional principles from his existing work with show dogs, champion 4-H livestock and thoroughbred racehorses, rushing to complete the test formula in time for racing in Taiwan this summer and fall.—AP

ZAGREB: Peter Joppich of Germany (right) competes against Andrea Baldini of Italy (left) during their Men’s Individual Fleuret semi-final match at the European Fencing Championship. —AFP

Doping was widespread among Dutch cyclists THE HAGUE: An independent commission that investigated doping by Dutch cyclists and their teams recommended yesterday that the responsibility for testing and sanctioning riders be taken away from the International Cycling Union to prevent the appearance of a conflict of interest. The commission’s report concluded that doping was endemic among Dutch cyclists for years and was only reduced by the introduction of measures such as biological passports and out-of-competition testing. Doping has overshadowed Dutch cycling for years. Rabobank last year announced it was pulling out of its long-term sponsorship of the country’s highest-profile men’s professional team and in March former rider Michael Boogerd admitted doping during his career. The Anti-Doping Approach Commission established by the Dutch Olympic committee and cycling union conducted anonymous interviews with dozens of riders and team staff.

Its final report said that the vast majority of riders felt they had little choice but to dope, particularly after the introduction of blood-booster EPO. Many riders “described it as a choice of do it or quit,” said the commission, which was headed by a former Dutch justice minister, Winnie Sorgdrager. It said that the governing body of cycling - along with those of other sports should consider handing off the primary responsibility for drug testing to an independent body. “We see that the interest the UCI has in a good image for cycling has possibly been a delaying factor in development of antidoping policy,” the report said. It suggested an independent organization for testing while the UCI and national cycling authorities would remain responsible for developing anti-doping policy and educating riders. The UCI did not immediately reply to an email seeking a reaction to the report’s recommendation.—AP

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013


Wade set to stand tall for the Lions SYDNEY: Shane Williams accepts that his stunning recall to the British and Irish Lions will be a one-night cameo but firmly believes fellow winger Christian Wade could go on to play in the test series against Australia. The pair have flown thousands of miles to bolster the cause and will start against the ACT Brumbies in Canberra today, giving respite to a bruised and battered Lions backline before the first test against the Wallabies on Saturday. The selection of Williams, four years after he bowed out of the 2009 Lions tour with a brilliant try against the Springboks and two years after he last played test rugby for Wales, was a decision that stunned everyone. Wade’s call up from England’s tour of Argentina was also a something of a surprise given that he had only made his full international debut the previous week. At 36 and 22 respectively, Williams and Wade are at opposite ends of their careers but the similarities do not end with the unlikelihood of their presence on the Lions tour. Bucking the international trend for hulking wingers, they are both a good deal under six foot (1.82m) and weigh in well under the 200lb (90kg) mark but are blessed with great balance, quick footwork and blistering acceleration. Williams said he had paid “close attention” to Wade’s progress and had kept tabs on him through his former Wales team mate Stephen Jones, who is now at Wade’s club London Wasps. “He’s a very talented player, new on the scene and already raising eyebrows,” Williams told reporters yesterday. “He’s obviously a massive talent, I enjoy the way he plays, he’s an aggressive runner, he’s very fast, enjoys taking defenders on, my kind of guy really. “I’m looking forward to playing with

him and seeing what he’s got. He’s more than capable of showing what he’s got and being part of this test series, I think.” The appreciation clearly cut both ways and Wade said it was a “massive

Christian Wade thrill” to be able to play alongside the former Wales winger, who scored 58 tries in 87 tests. “Shane’s one of those players who I’ve watched and tried to learn a lot off from a distance,” he said. “To be able to play alongside side him is probably beyond my dreams. “I probably wouldn’t have got the chance to play against him in my career and to play with him is taking it to the next level.” Wade clearly also has a good dose of the ebullient confidence that carried Williams through a career playing against much bigger men. “It’s just a massive honor to get the

call to come over here... I’m happy to be here and if I do get the chance to play in the test it would probably be the proudest moment in my life,” he said, pausing before adding: “So far.” Wade flew 7,500 miles (12,000km) to join up with the Lions after getting the call-up on at the weekend along with England centre Brad Barritt, who had a similar distance to travel from his holiday in California. “Luckily we have a brilliant backroom staff here at the Lions, they seem to find a way of making the impossible happen,” the South African-born centre, who will also star t against the Brumbies, said. “I had the boots delivered this morning and quite strangely I had a gum guard in my toiletry bag. Not sure how that got there.” Williams made the comparatively modest trek of 4,900 miles from Japan, where he has been playing club rugby, after getting the call from Lions backs coach Rob Howley on Saturday and was confident he would be able to make the step up on Tuesday. “Of course it’s going to be difficult but we’re professional rugby players,” he said. “We’ve all got to do our homework tonight and make sure we’re be mentally prepared because we don’t want to let anyone down. We want to go out there and give it 100 percent and do what we do best. “Hopefully it won’t be too much of a shock to the system (but) if I felt for one second I wasn’t going to be ready for this game, or good enough for this game, I’d have told Rob to stick it. “To be given this opportunity is a dream come true. If by me playing tomorrow, it can help the Lions recover and win that test on Saturday, then I’m really proud to be part of it.”—Reuters

Photo of the day

Ucchie performs at Red Bull Under My Wings with Ucchie at Jadhavgadh Fort in Pune, India.

Dream see off Sky ATLANTA: Angel McCoughtr y scored 23 points, and Erika de Souza had 16 points and 11 rebounds to help the Atlanta Dream beat the Chicago Sky 88-74 in the WMBA on Sunday. Tiffany Hayes also had 16 points for Atlanta (5-1), and Jasmine Thomas added 13. Elena Delle Donne led Chicago (4-2) with 25 points, Allie Quigley had 14, and Sylvia Fowles finished with 10 rebounds. The Dream led by 18 points in the first quarter, but didn’t pull away until going on a 20-10 run in the fourth quarter that included nine straight points after the Sky cut it to six.

ing the 2010 season with six straight. Shavonte Zellous led the Fever (1-5) with 17 points, and Tamika Catchings had 16, but the defending WNBA champions dropped their fifth straight game. STORM 78, SUN 66 In Uncasville, Tina Thompson scored 17 points, and Camille Little had 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists to lead Seattle past Connecticut. Tanisha Wright added 13 points and five rebounds for the Storm (23). Allison Hightower had 17 points and five rebounds for Connecticut (2-5). Tina Charles added 15 points and six rebounds.—AP

MERCURY 108, SHOCK 103 In Tulsa, Diana Taurasi scored 29 points and DeWanna Bonner had 23 in Phoenix’s victory over Tulsa. Candice DuPree added 20 points and 10 rebounds, rookie Britney Griner finished with 16 points, and Charde Houston had 10 for the Mercury (3-3). Glory Johnson had career-best 32 points for Tulsa (1-7). Riquna Williams added a career-high 28, hitting six 3-pointers, and rookie Skylar Diggins had a season-best 22. The second half featured eight ties and 11 lead changes before Taurasi took over, scoring eight points in the overtime period.

SAN ANTONIO: Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs vies for the ball with Mike Milelr of the Miami Heat during Game 5 of the NBA finals.—AFP

Spurs stun Heat in Game 5 SAN ANTONIO: With the old Manu Ginobili back, the San Antonio Spurs looked like champs again. Ginobili broke out of a slump in a big way with 24 points and 10 assists in a surprise start to spark San Antonio to a 114-104 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, giving the Spurs a 3-2 lead in the series and pushing them one victory away from their fifth championship. One more victory and the Spurs’ Big Three, not Miami’s, will be the one that rules the NBA. Tony Parker scored 26 points, Tim Duncan had 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Ginobili had his highestscoring game of the season as the Spurs became the first team to shoot 60 percent in a finals game in four years. Danny Green smashed the NBA Finals record for 3-pointers with six more and scored 24 points. Kawhi Leonard finished with 16, but the stage was set when Ginobili trotted out with Duncan, Parker and the rest of starters in what could have been the last finals home game for a trio that’s meant so much to San Antonio. The AT&T Center crowd roared when Ginobili was the last Spurs player announced and chanted his name in the second half, a familiar sight and sound in San Antonio but not during what had been a miserable series for the former Sixth Man of the Year. “He’s obviously very popular. He’s been here a long time. He’s helped us have a lot of success over the years,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade each scored 25 points for the Heat, who host Game 6 on Tuesday. They need a victory to force the first Game 7 in the

finals since the Lakers beat the Celtics in 2010. Miami’s Big Three formed a few weeks after that game, with predictions of multiple titles to follow. Now they’re a loss away from going just 1 for 3 in finals to start their partnership, while the Spurs could run their perfect record to 5 for 5. Duncan won his first title in 1999, and Parker and Ginobili were with him for three championships since. They have been the perfect partnership, keeping the Spurs in the hunt virtually every year while teams like the Lakers, Mavericks and Suns have all risen and fallen in the Western Conference during that time. They remained unbeaten in Game 5s, including two previous victories when the series was tied at 2-2. Of the 27 times the finals have been tied at 2-2, the Game 5 winner has won 20 of them. Miami was the most recent loser, falling to Dallas in Game 5 in 2011 before being eliminated at home the next game. San Antonio shot 42 of 70, right at 60 percent. The last team to make 60 percent of its shots in the finals was Orlando, which hit 62.5 in Game 3 against the Lakers in 2009, according to STATS. “They just absolutely outplayed us,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “At times they were just picking one guy out at a time and going at us mano-a-mano. That’s got to change.” Ray Allen scored 21 points on the night for the Heat as Green shattered his finals 3-point record. The Heat were within one with 3:05 left in the third before Green hit yet another 3-pointer and Ginobili followed with the stretch that turned the game into the fourth straight blowout of the

finals. The crafty lefty plays with a flair developed on the courts of Argentina and perfected in Europe before coming to the NBA. He sees angles other players can’t and takes risks few others would, but his style has been the perfect fit alongside Duncan and Parker. He converted a three -point play, tossed in a floater with his left hand as he drifted right, and found Tiago Splitter under the hoop with a pass to make it 85-74. He flipped in another runner with 2.9 seconds to go, sending the Spurs to the fourth with an 87-75 lead as fans chanted “Manu! Manu!” during the break between the third and fourth quarters. Ginobili had been averaging just 7.5 points on 34.5 percent shooting in the series, making only three of his 16 3point attempts. But Spurs Popovich made the finals’ second lineup change in two games, after the Heat inserted Mike Miller to start Game 4. Ginobili didn’t make a start this season and certainly hadn’t been playing like someone who belonged with the first five. But in the Spurs’ biggest game of the season, they remained confident he would break out, and they were right. It was the first time he scored 24 or more points since having 34 on June 4, 2012, against Oklahoma City, according to STATS. The AT&T Center crowd roared when Ginobili was the last starter announced, the cheers growing louder when he made a jumper - originally ruled a 3-pointer but later overturned by replay - on the first possession. He assisted on the Spurs’ next three baskets, and it was 15-10 when he later hit a 3 that did count. Parker picked it up from there, danc-

ing his way into the lane repeatedly and scoring seven points in a 12-0 run that made it 29-17. Leonard’s 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds left, on an assist from Ginobili, made it 32-19 and gave the Spurs 12 makes in 19 attempts (63 percent) in the opening 12 minutes. Green has 25 3s in the series. Allen made 22 3-pointers in six games in 2008 finals for Boston. Green’s third straight 3pointer made it 45-28 about 5 minutes into the second quarter, and it seemed the trend of blowouts would continue. But James suddenly got rolling during a 14-2 Miami spurt that cut it to five on his third consecutive Heat basket. San Antonio made 21 of 34 shots (62 percent) in the first half, opening a 61-52 lead on Parker’s drive with 0.4 seconds left. Miami then ran off eight in a row to start the second half and get within one. They cut it to one again later in the period before Ginobili led the flurry that finished the Heat for good. It was a fitting finish if it was the last home game in the finals for this San Antonio trio, which has combined for 101 playoff victories together. Ginobili has said he might think about retirement as he turns 36 next month, and Duncan is 37. Both coaches said it was difficult waiting two days between games Popovich said it was “like death” - though he did say it was great for the Spurs because they have some older players. The break seemed to help his team early, particularly Parker, whose energy sagged in the second of Game 4 as he struggled with a strained hamstring that he said could tear at any time and would’ve had him sidelined during the regular season.—AP

MYSTICS 64, FEVER 60 In Washington, Ivory Latta scored 17 points and Crystal Langhorne had all 16 of her points in the second half as Washington beat Indiana for its third straight victory. Monique Currie scored 10 points for the Mystics (4-1), riding their longest winning streak since clos-

Angel McCoughtry

Bolt’s coach calls for anti-doping lab KINGSTON: The Jamaican government needs to establish an accredited anti-doping laboratory to protect its world-class athletes from taking contaminated substances, the coach of world record holder and Olympic champion Usain Bolt says. Glen Mills, who mentors Bolt and world 100 metres champion Yohan Blake, said Jamaican athletes faced a minefield of substances and had little way of checking their validity. “It’s definitely a time for (the) nation to step forward and provide with a service that athletes can use to ensure the purity of substances that they have to use for treatment or whatever,” Mills said in an interview with RJR 94FM radio in Jamaica. His call follows reports that Jamaica’s most decorated female sprinter, two-time Olympic 200 metres champion Veronica Campbell-Brown, tested positive for a banned diuretic at last month’s Jamaica International invitational in Kingston.

Jamaican officials have confirmed an athlete failed a doping test at the meeting but have declined to give a name. “It just re-emphasizes the need for all involved to be extremely vigilant and the great need for Jamaica to establish an accredited lab so that athletes can have substances tested and verified before usage,” Mills said. “It’s a minefield out there,” the long-time coach added. “Any substance that you take up could be contaminated.” Samples from doping tests in Jamaica are currently processed in other countries, including the World Anti-Doping Agency accredited laboratory in Montreal. A dozen Jamaican athletes have received sanctions ranging from three months to life for doping violation in the past five years, officials have said. Jamaican 400m runner Dominique Blake was the latest to be sanctioned, receiving a six-year ban last Thursday for a second doping violation.—Reuters


TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013


It’s time to pay back to this generous country KUWAIT: Gaber Al-Saraf emphasizes his full readiness to fund the construction of a new track for drag race in Kuwait. Al-Saraf “Super shop team leader” emphasized that he is willing to bear the full costs to construct a new drag race track on the availability of the proper piece of land. About the nature of this initiative, Al-Saraf commented: “Yes, it’s our national duty towards this generous country, I emphasize my full readiness to provide all the possible financial and spiritual possibilities to construct a track with international standards here in Kuwait, “Kuwait deserves more”, AlSaraf added. He also indicated that the motor sport — especially drag race — future career in Kuwait became the responsibility of all without exception. However, this sport had exceptional circumstances in the past, we don’t

want to reflect on them at the time being, we all (competitors - officials) responsible for this sport, will set out radical solutions for this sport, as this sport records a long feedback since the beginning of 1980s, we still practice and achieve titles in the name of Kuwait, we as Super shop team or any other Kuwaiti participating team throughout the championships held in Qatar, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia up to the home of this sport “USA”. Al-Saraf said that, Kuwait has given so much and it’s time to pay back a little bit to this generous country. On the other side, we are now in urgent need to construct this track, this track would help much in reducing the volume of traffic accidents, due to the negative driving habits which are practiced by some careless drivers and reduce many death cases among the Kuwaiti youth, who are considered the most valuable

fortune of the country. Al-Saraf also expressed his full trust of the officials to accept this initiative , saying that” I’m sure that the officials of this sport headed by Ministry of Youth , Public Authority of Youth & Sports, and the members of Quarter Mile Club board of directors members will respond immediately to this initiative, and motor sport club board of directors members also will do the same, as they all realize the volume of responsibility, we all hope to co-operate together to accept this initiative, regardless of any other personal considerations, the name of Kuwait is the target behind my initiative” Al-Saraf said. On the other side, Super shop team under the leadership of Gaber Al-Saraf is ready to participate in the round of ADRL championship USA 2013, Abdullah Alsoori will drive a Camaro 68 after preparing the car with special

standards to participate in this competition. About the nature of the expected competition of Super shop team , Abdullah Alsoori stated that “ super shop team has been honored to represent Kuwait in USA 2012 championship , now we are seriously thinking to participate in this international championship, especially after the good results that the team has secured recently in this season , throughout the participation in Bahrain drag race 2012 championship and UAE drag race championship 2012 , in which the team scored the title of 10.5 class in both two championships. It’s worth mentioning that It was the technical errors behind the failure of clinching the title of the season, however the team scored the first and second positions in most of the rounds, as the championship consists of 5 rounds, all this given data pushes us

positively to participate in USA Championship. Al-Saraf also added that “the nature of the participation will act as a good practical training course in readiness to participate in the next Gulf championship’ where Super Shop team will participate in more than 3 Gulf championships, equivalent to more than 15 rounds. In the end Alsoori praised his team members as well as Tamdeen group at 360 mall and Cinescape for their special sponsorship, which was one of the most important motives behind these achievements. He also thanked the members of directors board of Motor Sport Club headed by sheikh Ahmad Al Dawood Al Sabah, “We promise the Kuwaiti fans that Super Shop team will continue to achieve more Kuwaiti victories locally and internationally, Alsoori concluded.

Tempers flare in Asian World Cup qualifying

LONDON: Australia’s Adam Voges (center) survives a run out attempt during the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy cricket match between Sri Lanka and Australia at the Oval. —AFP

Sri Lanka oust Aussies LONDON: Sri Lanka reached the Champions Trophy semi-finals with a 20run victory over holders Australia in the last league match at the Oval in London yesterday. The Sri Lankans, who needed a win to stay in the competition, relied on aggressive half-centuries from Mahela Jayawardene and Lahiru Thirimanne to score 253-8 after being sent in to bat. Seamer Nuwan Kulasekara then picked up three wickets, effected a run-out and took a catch as the Australians were bowled out for 233 in 42.3 overs. Sri Lanka and England finished level with four points each, but the hosts topped the group due to a superior net run-rate and will meet Group B runners-up South Africa in Wednesday’s semi-final at the Oval. Sri Lanka will clash with Group B winners India in the second semi-final in Cardiff on Thursday in a a repeat of the 2011 World Cup final in Mumbai which the Indians won. The final is at Edgbaston, Birmingham, on Sunday. Jayawardene, who became the eighth batsman to complete 11,000 oneday runs when he reached 62, anchored the middle-order with an unbeaten 84 off 81 balls. “It felt good to get to 11,000 runs, but winning this game was the icing on the cake,” said the 36-year-old former captain, who was named the man of the match. “We are playing hard and passionate cricket. That has been the mantra of our success in the past and I hope it continues in the future also. “We look forward to another tough match in the semi-final.” Australia, who needed to win in 29.1 overs to qualify, made a brave bid to secure their first victory in the tournament with belligerent batting led by Adam Voges’ top score of 49. The Aussies were 192-9 when the lastwicket pair of Clint McKay and Xavier Doherty gave Sri Lanka a fright by adding 41 amid mounting tension. Tillakaratne Dilshan ended the drama with a spectacular return catch to dismiss McKay, who made a career-best 30. Doherty remained unbeaten on 15. “It would have been nice to get over the line in the end,” Australian captain George Bailey said. “Our goal was to do it in 29 overs, but we never got going. But it was good to see the last two fight it out.” The

fightback would have been followed keenly by New Zealand, who would have joined England in the semi-finals if the last pair had scored the remaining runs. In the end, the Black Caps were stranded on three points, one behind both England and Sri Lanka. Australia finished with just one point through a rain-affected game. Glenn Maxwell, a million-dollar signee with Indian Premier League franchise Mumbai Indians, smashed 32 off 20 balls before he was bowled off his IPL teammate Lasith’s Malinga third delivery. Kulasekara, who bowled Shane Watson and had Phil Hughes caught behind, ran out Bailey with a direct throw from fine leg to make it 69-4 in the ninth over. Matthew Wade picked up the scoring rate with a 22-ball 31 that contained four boundaries and a six, adding 47 for the sixth wicket with Voges. Voges was ninth out, caught in the deep off Rangana Herath, before McKay and Doherty put on their defiant stand.—AFP

Champions Trophy table Champions Trophy table after yesterday’s last group match between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Oval in London (played, won, lost, tied, no result, points, net run-rate): Group A England

1 0 0 4 +0.31 - qualified for semi-finals Sri Lanka 3 2 1 0 0 4 0.20 - qualified for semi-finals New Zealand 3 1 1 0 1 3+0.78 Australia 3 0 2 0 1 1 -0.68 Group B India

3 2

3 3

0 0 0 6+0.94 - qualified for semi-finals South Africa 3 1 1 1 0 3+0.33 - qualified for semi-finals West Indies 3 1 1 1 0 3-0.07 Pakistan 3 0 3 0 0 0 -1.03 Semi-finals Jun 19, The Oval: England v South Africa Jun 20, Cardiff: Sri Lanka v India Final Jun 23, Edgbaston Note: Matches start at 0930GMT.

SCOREBOARD LONDON: Full scoreboard of the Champions Trophy group A match between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Oval in London yesterday: Sri Lanka K. Perera lbw b Johnson 4 T. Dilshan c Watson b Doherty 34 K. Sangakkara c Maxwell b McKay 3 L. Thirimanne c Watson b Johnson 57 M. Jayawardene not out 84 A. Mathews b Faulkner 12 D. Chandimal c Hughes b Johnson 31 N. Kulasekara run out 6 R. Herath run out 2 L. Malinga not out 2 Extras: (b5, lb7, w4, nb2) 18 Total (for eight wickets, 50 overs) 253 Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Perera), 2-20 (Sangakkara), 3-92 (Dilshan), 4-128 (Thirimanne), 5-159 (Mathews), 6-224 (Chandimal), 7-233 (Kulasekara), 8-244 (Herath). Bowling: Johnson 10-0-48-3 (nb1), McKay 101-51-1 (w3), Faulkner 9-0-60-1 (nb1, w1), Watson 4-0-14-0, Doherty 10-1-30-1, Marsh 20-12-0, Maxwell 5-0-26-0.

Australia S. Watson b Kulasekara 5 P. Hughes c Sangakkara b Kulasekara 13 G. Maxwell b Malinga 32 G. Bailey run out 4 A. Voges c Eranga b Herath 49 M. Marsh b Mathews 4 M. Wade c Dilshan b Kulasekara 31 J. Faulkner c Sangakkara b Herath 17 M. Johnson c Kulasekara b Eranga 4 C. McKay c and b Dilshan 30 X. Doherty not out 15 Extras: (lb11, w17, nb1) 29 Total (all out, 42.3 overs) 233 Fall of wickets: 1-9 (Watson), 2-45 (Hughes), 359 (Maxwell), 4-69 (Bailey), 5-80 (Marsh), 6-127 (Wade), 7-163 (Faulkner), 8-168 (Johnson), 9192 (Voges), 10-233 (McKay). Bowling: Eranga 8-1-40-1 (w2), Kulasekara 9-042-3 (w3), Malinga 9-0-60-1 (nb1,w9), Herath 10-0-48-2 (w3), Mathews 3-0-21-1, Dilshan 3.30-11-1 Sri Lanka won by 20 runs

SINGAPORE: An extraordinary row between South Korea and Iran highlights tensions in Asia’s final World Cup qualifying group matches, with Australia also urging caution before trying to book their ticket to Brazil. South Korea’s promise to “make life painful” for Iran and to force their captain to cry “tears of blood” have sharply raised the stakes before today’s clash between the Asian giants in Ulsan. South Korea, who lead Group A by a point, need only a draw to reach Brazil 2014 but victory for Iran would guarantee their fourth World Cup finals appearance. Third-placed Uzbekistan, two points behind Iran, must win in Qatar to stand any chance of automatic qualification. In Group B, Australia can join Japan, who have already secured qualification, in Brazil with a win over Iraq in Sydney. Oman, a point behind Australia in third, take on Jordan as they bid to snatch second place from the Socceroos. But South Korea and Iran, with 11 World Cup appearances between them, have added considerable emotional spice to their meeting with titfor-tat barbs between their coaches and players. After Korean boss Choi Kang-Hee’s vow to “make life painful” for Iran drew a strong response from their coach Carlos Queiroz and captain Javad Nekounam, the home players launched a fresh salvo. “I will make him (Nekounam) shed tears of blood,” said Germany-based forward Son Heung-Min, while Choi vowed that Queiroz would be watching the World Cup from his home in Portugal. The dispute follows South Korean accusations of ill-treatment during their visit to Tehran last October, with complaints including visa problems and poor training facilities. In a feisty encounter, South Korea lost 1-0. “Our players all remember the poor treatment they got (in Tehran). I think we must make life painful for Iran,” Choi said last week. Iran have won 10 of their 26 head-to-head games against nine victories for South Korea, but Team Melli’s visits to the Korean Peninsula also include a notorious World Cup qualifier in

Son Heung-Min neighbouring North Korea in 2005. Home fans hurled bottles and chairs on to the pitch during Iran’s 2-0 victory in Pyongyang, and angry spectators blockaded the visiting team inside the stadium afterwards. Australia will hope for a smoother outing against Iraq, especially after last week’s 4-0 drubbing of Jordan put them on the verge of their third successive World Cup. Iraq, the 2007 Asian Cup champions, are missing captain Younis Mahmoud and influential midfielder Nashat Akram. But Australia’s old heads have joined coach Holger Osieck in warning against premature celebrations. “The manager and the senior players have made sure no one’s talking about dancing the samba. Nobody’s in Brazil yet,” said Australia captain Lucas Neill. “We need one game, one win. Then we can start thinking about all the dreams coming true.” Time is catching up with the greying Socceroos, with goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer set to be 41 by

next year’s World Cup, while Neill, striker Tim Cahill and midfielder Mark Bresciano will all be 34. But the chance to contest a third World Cup together, after reaching the last 16 in 2006 and narrowly failing to go past the group stage in 2010, has proved powerful motivation for the Aussie veterans. “We really would love to play this World Cup together because it’s been such a great adventure being part of the Socceroos for so long,” Bresciano said. “For me personally and some of the other boys, we’d get to play in three World Cups if we get a result on Tuesday so it would be a massive achievement for a lot of us.” The top two teams in Group A and B earn automatic qualification. The two third-placed sides will face each other over two legs in September. The winner of that fixture will play an intercontinental play-off in November against the fifth-placed team from South American qualifying for the final place at Brazil 2014.—AFP

French footballers stand trial in underage prostitution case PARIS: French footballers Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema go on trial in Paris yesterday accused of paying for sex with a teenage call girl. Bayern Munich winger Ribery and Real Madrid striker Benzema have been under investigation in their home country for more than two years on allegations of paying Zahia Dehar, then a minor, for sex in 2008 and 2009. None of them are expected to appear at the criminal court for the trial that is expected to run until June 26. The ruling could come later. The scandal, which exposed footballers’ tastes for flings and partying, came ahead of the 2010 World Cup, further damaging the image of a French squad already tarnished by internal bickering, public tantrums and defeats. Algerian-born Dehar, now 21, has since become designer Karl Lagerfeld’s muse and protegee, launching her own lingerie line. The footballers could be sentenced to up to three years in jail and fines of 45,000 euros ($60,000) if found guilty of soliciting the services of an underage prostitute. State prosecutors have requested that the case be dropped, however, arguing the footballers did not know Dehar was a minor. Under France’s legal system, prosecutors,

who represent the state, can open an investigation and appoint independent judges to lead it. As the investigation moves along, prosecutors can change their mind and recommend dropping the case, but the judges can ignore this advice and call a trial anyway. According to court documents, Dehar had been a prostitute since the age of 15 or 16, but would tell clients she was 18. She said she was flown in from Paris to Munich in 2009 for Ribery’s 26th birthday party in a luxury hotel, and that he paid her 700 euros for sex. Ribery has acknowledged the encounter but said he did not know she was underage, nor that she was a prostitute. He said he only gave her 200 euros for a taxi ride to the airport. Ribery’s lawyer, Carlo-Alberto Brusa, said his client was innocent and should not be expected to show up in court. “In French law, it’s not forbidden to make love to a woman and even to pay her for it, what is forbidden is to do it with a minor,” he told Reuters. “When a woman travels around Europe by plane, can you imagine thinking for one second that she’s a minor?” Benzema is suspected to have paid 500 euros in May 2008 to have sex with Dehar, then 16, in the suite of a Paris hotel.

He has denied any encounter and his lawyer said he would not comment on the case before the beginning of the trial. Dehar’s lawyer did not respond to requests for comment.—Reuters

Matches on TV (Local Timings)

WC2014 Qualifying - Asia Australia v Iraq Al Jazeera Sport +2


Uzbekistan v Qater Al Jazeera Sport +1


South Korea v Iran Al Jazeera Sport +2


Jordan v Oman Al Jazeera Sport +1


CBK to sponsor women’s sports KUWAIT: The Commercial Bank of Kuwait has agreed to sponsor Kuwait’s national football team as well as activities of the first women’s sports league (athletics, table tennis, basketball) organized by the Kuwait Women’s Sports Federation. “The sponsorship comes as part of our responsibility to support events organized by civil society institution”, said Deputy Director of the Public Relations and Media Department Amani Al-Wara in a recent statement. She added that the CBK believes in the tournament’s benefits “of encouraging young women to practice sports for their positive advantages on the health and mental aspects”.

Sri Lanka oust Aussies

English Rose blooms at US Open

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013



Tempers flare in Asian World Cup qualifying

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BRAZIL: Tahiti’s Ricky Aitamai (left) and Nigeria’s Brown Ideye challenge for the ball during the soccer Confederations Cup Group B match. — AP

Nigeria thrash Tahiti in Confed Cup BELO HORIZONTE: Nnamdi Oduamadi claimed a hat-trick as Nigeria shook off the jet lag to thrash minnows Tahiti 6-1 in their opening Confederations Cup game in Belo Horizonte yesterday. The African champions only arrived in Brazil 36 hours before the game after a row over bonus payments, but they could even afford some wasteful finishing as they leapfrogged world champions Spain to the top of Group B. It was a predictably chastening experience for Tahiti, ranked 138th in the world, but they were nonetheless able to celebrate when Jonathan Tehau headed in their first ever goal at a high-profile international event. Tehau’s goal, early in the second half, trimmed Nigeria’s lead to 3-1 after a deflected Uwa Echiejile shot and a pair of goals from Oduamadi had put Nigeria in command. However, the south Pacific islanders’ hopes of a famous comeback were dashed as Tehau put through his own goal before Oduamadi and Echiejile added further goals to give Stephen Keshi’s men a spring in their step ahead of Thursday’s crucial showdown with Uruguay. A sparse crowd of just 20,187 made their way to the newly renovated Estadio Mineirao but they were vocal in their support of Tahiti, who registered the game’s first shot on target

through Vincent Simon. Fortune deserted the underdogs moments later, however. After the ball bounced off referee Joel Aguilar, Echiejile launched a speculative shot that deflected off Tehau and captain Nicolas Vallar and ricocheted past Tahiti goalkeeper Xavier Samin. Oduamadi added two more, neatly side-stepping a pair of challenges and sweeping home in the 10th minute, before tapping in his second when Samin spilled a low cross from Ahmed Musa. Nigeria made heavy work of putting the game to bed though, with Musa miskicking in front of an open goal before Anthony Ujah and Sunday Mba both allowed Samin to save when clean through on goal. Tahiti had already seen their one professional player, Marama Vahirua, drive a shot narrowly over, and they threatened to make things interesting as Steevy Chong Hue headed wide from a Ricky Aitamai cross. Musa miscued again from 12 yards early in the second half, before the goal that Tahiti had been threatening arrived in the 54th minute. The honor fell to Tehau, who headed in a deep corner kick from Vahirua at the back post and then led his ecstatic teammates in a canoe-paddling celebration.

The goal also sparked jubilation on the bench, coach Eddy Etatea leaping from the dug-out with his fists in the air, but Tehau’s day took a turn for the worse in the 68th minute when he inadvertently toed the ball into his own goal to restore Nigeria’s three-goal advantage. Oduamadi tucked in a cross from substitute Brown Ideye to complete his hat-trick in the 76th minute, with Echiejile adding a sixth shortly after as Tahiti’s reserves of resistance finally ran dry. Meanwhile, Brazil warned yesterday that it will not allow ongoing nation-wide protests against higher public transportation fares and the use of public funds to disrupt international football tournaments. “We will not allow any of these demonstrations to disrupt the events which we have pledged to host-the Confederations Cup and (next year’s) World Cup,” Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said. “The demonstrations will be tolerated within these limits,” he added. “The government assumed the responsibility and the honor to stage these two international events and will do so, ensuring the security and integrity of the fans and tourists.” Protesters in several major cities are up in arms over hikes in mass transit prices-from $1.5 to $1.6 — as well as over the

Brazil already has Spain on its mind

Spain cruise to 2-1 win over Uruguay RECIFE: Goals from Pedro and Roberto Soldado helped Spain cruise to a 21 victory over Uruguay in the Confederations Cup in Recife on Sunday and reinforced their position as tournament favorites. Luiz Suarez scored a late consolation for Uruguay but the World and European champions dominated the game from start to finish and could easily have won by more. “We were really tired towards the end of the match. When you are playing in temperatures like this it’s normal that should happen,” Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said in an interview with Spanish television broadcaster Telecinco. “We played an excellent first half and I think we also played very well in the second period but we suffered a bit at the end. “They are three magnificent points which put us in a very good position to get through to the semi-finals.” The FIFA tournament is being used to test Brazil’s preparations ahead of the World Cup they host next year and Spain dominated from the outset of their opening match. Fabregas, Pedro and Andres Iniesta all came close in the first quarter of an hour before a 20th minute corner was knocked out of the Uruguay box as far as Pedro whose fierce shot was deflected by Diego Lugano past a helpless Fernando Muslera. The goal roused Uruguay and they came close with an Edinson Cavani header before Iniesta and Fabregas orchestrated Spain’s second with Iniesta dragging defenders one way and Fabregas’ instead passed to Soldado who coolly slotted home. Spain relaxed in the second half but still controlled the game and almost scored a third in the 49th minute but Pedro narrowly failed to get a touch on Soldado’s cross. Neither side threatened seriously after that but Uruguay picked up a late consolation when Liverpool striker Luis Suarez curled home a free kick two minutes from time. The game was the first to be played at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife and most of the locals in the 42,000 crowd were vociferously behind their Latin American neighbours. However, Uruguay struggled to get out of their own half, particularly in a first half during which Spain had 78 percent of the possession, while Suarez and Cavani rarely threatened Iker Casillas in the Spanish goal.

$15 billion earmarked for the two sports events amid calls for more health and education funding. The Confederations Cup, a dress rehearsal for the 2014 World Cup that runs through June 30, got under way in Brasilia’s national stadium Saturday with Brazil trouncing Japan 3-0. But the kick-off was marred by weekend protests outside the Brasilia stadium, as well as at the iconic Maracana arena in Rio. In both cases, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse fans who tried to break into the stadiums. Some people were detained and others hurt. But the worst violence occurred late Thursday in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s economic capital and most populous city, when a police crackdown led to more than 230 arrests, with about 100 people, including reporters, hurt. A new demonstration was scheduled in the city of 11 million people later yesterday. In an effort to avoid a repeat of last week, Sao Paulo public security officials met early yesterday with protest organizers. Sao Paulo State Governor Geraldo Alckmin pledged that police would not use rubber bullets and would not intervene except in cases of vandalism or if provoked. — AFP

RECIFE: Spain’s Sergio Ramos and Uruguay’s Diego Godin go for a header as Uruguay’s Diego Lugano and Spain’s Gerard Pique (left) look on during the soccer Confederations Cup Group B match. — AP The win takes Spain’s unbeaten run to 23 matches. “We couldn’t relax for a moment even when we were winning 2-0. When they scored some doubts set in,” Soldado told Telecinco. “They were pushing forward and we were suffering in the final stages and it was a shame that we didn’t manage to take some of our chances. “We are very happy because we were able to beat a very tough opponent.” Spain’s next game is against Tahiti on Thursday, while Uruguay will face Nigeria on the same day. —AFP

FORTALEZA: Only one game into the Confederations Cup, Brazil is already talking about a possible matchup with Spain. A day after the Spaniards enjoyed an easy victory over Uruguay in its opener, the Brazilian players couldn’t avoid talking about the World Cup champions. Brazil and Spain first need to make sure they advance to the second round of the Confederations Cup, but Real Madrid left back Marcelo said it would be a “great match” if the teams end up playing each other in the World Cup warm-up competition. Defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo, who helped Bayern Munich eliminate Barcelona in the semifinals of the Champions League earlier this year, even tried to offer some tips on how to play Spain. Brazil, which hasn’t faced Spain in nearly 14 years, opened with a convincing 3-1 win over Japan on Saturday. Its next match is against Mexico, then it closes Group A against Italy. “We are not worried,” Marcelo said. “We haven’t played against them in a long time, but if we have to play them, it won’t be a problem. We have to be prepared to play everybody and it won’t be different if it’s against them.” Spain is in Group B, so the teams can meet either in a semifinal or in a final if they advance past the group stage of the eight-nation tournament among continental champions. Spain defeated Uruguay 2-1 on Sunday. “It’s not like Spain has already reached the final and is just waiting for us, the tour-

nament has just started,” Marcelo said. “We still have to play against Mexico and Italy. But if we do play them, I’m sure that it could be a great match.” Spain will play Tahiti on Thursday, then closes the group against Nigeria on Sunday. The last time Brazil and Spain met was in 1999 in a friendly in Spain that ended in a scoreless draw. In eight matches between the countries’ senior squads, Brazil have won four times and Spain two. The teams drew twice. “We are talking about two national teams with a lot of quality,” Luiz Gustavo said. “But to reach our goal of making it to the final we need to get past all these national teams, not only Spain.” In the Champions League, Luiz Gustavo played twice against Barcelona, which has nine players in the Spanish squad that is playing at the Confederations Cup. “ There’s no recipe,” the 25-year-old Brazilian said when asked about how to stop the Spaniards. “You have to be careful and you need the entire group to be united, motivated and committed. Spain has its own style and we have ours. The team which does a better job on the pitch will win.” Brazil had its first practice in the northeastern city of Fortaleza yesterday. The squad was greeted by nearly 8,000 fans at the President Vargas stadium. Although the fans were only allowed to enter the venue after the training session was completed, they showed their support and chanted the names of several players. The entire team took time to greet the fans. — AP


India’s central bank keeps rates steady Page 22 Clashes erupt at Indonesia demos against petrol hike Page 23

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013

Asian markets mixed ahead of Fed meeting

Sudan’s garbage economy a lifeline for scavengers

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LE BOURGET: An Airbus A380 flies over Le Bourget airport, north of Paris, yesterday on the opening day of the International Paris Air show which will be held until June 23, 2013. (Inset) Visitors watch a CFM56-7BE jet engine manufactured by CFM International on display. — AP/AFP

Big jets make a splash in Paris Qatar Airways buys up to 9 Boeing 777-300ER PARIS: Big finance waded into a rainsoaked Paris Airshow with more than $10 billion in orders for jumbo passenger jets as planemakers duelled over strategy for large aircraft yesterday. The world’s biggest aircraft lessor, a unit of General Electric, became the second buyer to endorse a larger version of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, weeks after the lightweight jet went back into service after a three-month grounding. Confirming a Reuters report, the GECAS subsidiary said it would sign up for 10 of the stretched 787-10 passenger planes, joining a $30 billion order haul that industry sources say Boeing is assembling to formally launch the jet today. And an influential German leasing company, Doric Asset Finance, little known outside the specialist world of aviation financing, splashed out on 20 Airbus A380 superjumbos worth $8 billion at list prices to anticipate rising demand. Total orders on day one of the world’s largest aerospace event swelled to more than $30 billion in three hours as heavy rain lashed the Le Bourget pavilions. But, despite the early flurry, the number of orders this year was expected to be down on the last Paris show in 2011, GECAS chief executive Norman Liu told reporters “It is shifting to more of a wide-body story,” he said, referring to long-haul jets seating anywhere from 200 people on small wide-bodies to 525 on the double-decker A380. Doric, which is already involved in

financing A380 jets for Emirates airline, the aircraft’s largest operator, said its deal would be finalised in months, with deliveries to start in 2016. “We see how airlines that do not yet have the A380 are interested in it and approach us and ask questions, which shows us that there is pent-up demand for this aircraft,” Mark Lapidus, chief executive of Doric Lease Corp, said. “If anything, we are perhaps under-ordering the A380.” It remained unclear whether Doric had already identified the eventual customers to whom it would rent out the planes. Lessors have until now been reluctant to back the A380 because it is highly customized and expensive to convert. The move is a boost for Europe’s Airbus which has struggled to sell the model in the past year haunted by wing cracks, and had recorded no sales so far in 2013. Boeing says airlines do not want to invest heavily in the largest jets above 400 seats, even though it originally defined the category with its 747, and would prefer to buy smaller planes built with new weight-saving materials. Airbus has stood by the industry mammoth, saying urbanization and airport congestion will drive traffic towards planes that can keep pace with demand for travel between hubs. Qatar Airways has signed an agreement to buy up to nine Boeing 777-300ER aircraft valued at $2.8 billion at list prices, the airline said at the Paris Airshow yesterday. Two of

the aircraft on firm order will be delivered in early 2014, airline Chief Executive Akbar AlBaker said. Options for the other seven are likely to be firmed up shortly after, and the delivery schedule will be decided then, he added. Next-generation jets Most attention at the air show, however, focused on a new generation of mid-sized long-range jets, seen as crucial to the future of both companies and their suppliers. Boeing said last week it sees a $1 trillion market over the next 20 years for mid-sized, twin-engined passenger jets, a category that includes its carbon-composite 787 Dreamliner. Days after it surprised the industry by making the first flight of its rival A350 before the show, Airbus will attempt a curtain call on Friday with a fly-by for French President Francois Hollande, on only the plane’s third test. Airbus and its US rival have placed bets worth tens of billions of dollars on the success of this market. Behind them Canada’s Bombardier Inc is betting the same technology will be suitable for smaller planes as it seeks to boost orders for its new CSeries, due to fly this month. For Boeing, the latest addition to its fleet, the 323-seat 787-10, is partly designed to serve dense routes within Asia - a region fast emerging as the world’s largest travel market. The company claims it will have the best economics of its kind, while Airbus sees it as a repeat of a

previous 767 flop. Singapore Airlines, British Airways and Air Lease Corp are expected to place orders for the 787-10. They will be joined by United Airlines, industry sources said. None of the companies could immediately be reached for comment. Boeing re-introduced the 787 Dreamliner to service in April after a threemonth grounding due to battery problems. Now it is also looking at a partial redesign of its 777 mini-jumbo too. Leasing companies and airlines, looking beyond the financial crisis, meanwhile, placed orders for more than $20 billion small narrow-body planes like the Boeing 737 MAX and the A320neo. Lufthansa confirmed a $10 billion order for 100 Airbuses and lessor ILFC signed up for $5 billion confirming moves earlier reported by Reuters - and Boeing got a finalized order worth $6 billion from Britain’s TUI Travel. The military side of the world’s largest aerospace event was muted by comparison with previous years. US arms firms have scaled back but all eyes will be on the return of Russian fighters, noted for dramatic stunt displays. Budget cuts prevented the US government from bringing F-16 jets, which usually show off their skills during the air show. Lockheed Martin Corp, maker of the F-16 and F-35 fighter jets, did not bring even the mock-up model of the F-35, the Pentagon’s largest program which faces concerns about costs. — Agencies

Greece holds crucial govt talks over ERT situation ATHENS: Prime Minister Antonis Samaras yesterday summoned an emergency meeting with his coalition allies as a furore over the shock shutdown of state broadcaster ERT threatened to bring down the government. Samaras will meet at 1630 GMT with the leaders of the smaller socialist and moderate leftist parties in his coalition, which strongly oppose ERT’s closure and have demanded its immediate and full restoration. At around the same time, main opposition party Syriza will hold a rally on central Syntagma Square to demand early elections. But other politicians cautioned against moves to oust the government, which last Tuesday suddenly made the broadcaster a casualty of its unpopular austerity drive. “I would find it completely crazy to push for new elections here in Greece,” said prominent Green Eurodeputy Daniel Cohn-Bendit, who is in Athens to support ERT. “They (Greek parties) are behaving like children, there is no responsibility for the common good,” he said during a meeting with bloggers. Also yesterday, credit ratings agency Moody’s warned that “fraying political consensus” and “slippage” in its privatisation programme could cost Greece another grade drop. The conservative prime minister’s allies have urged him to back down from the heavily criticised ERT cull, warning that the coalition could collapse if he persists. One of the allies yesterday hinted that another government-without Samaras as PM-

could emerge from the current parliamentary majority, if the coalition parties agreed to stick together. “The country should not be led to elections. Parliament can give solutions other than this government, this can be one eventuality,” moderate leftist party spokesman Andreas Papadopoulos told Skai Radio. “The country does not need elections,” socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos told Real News daily, but stressed that his party would not bow down to “blackmail” and “shows of force”. Some analysts noted that government cohesion has already been irreparably damaged. “Even if the leaders do not collide tonight, it will happen quite soon,” political columnist Panaghis Galiatsatos told Skai Radio. The Athens stock exchange opened yestedray down 3.13 percent but later recouped most of the losses. The three-party coalition was already a delicate balancing act, with the socialists and moderate leftists forced to accept additional job cuts to safeguard Greece’s massive EU-IMF loan lifeline. Three separate opinion polls on Sunday showed that Greeks rejected ERT’s closure by between around 64 and 68 percent-though a majority also opposed elections. Samaras on Sunday accused his coalition partners of “hypocrisy”, arguing that all three coalition party heads had agreed to chop 2,000 public sector jobs to help keep Greece afloat. “From where should we cut these jobs apart from the undeserving ERT... one of the

ATHENS: People walk past a graffiti in central Athens yesterday. — AFP bastions of obscurity and privileges?” Samaras told a conference of officials from his New Democracy party. Samaras on Friday offered to partially reopen the broadcaster with a slimmed-down news service to placate his critics, but his coalition partners rejected the proposal. Greece went through a harrowing double national ballot in May and June 2012, a by-product of which was the rise of violent neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn. The government says it will compensate ERT ’s almost 2,700 employees and has pledged to set up a new public broadcaster before the summer’s end with less than half the original staffing levels. However, ERT staff

members have occupied the broadcaster’s offices in Athens, Thessaloniki and other major cities since the closure was announced and kept up a rogue broadcast on the Internet, with assistance from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Greek radio stations. The EBU yesterday condemned a threat by the Greek government to take legal action against the unauthorised broadcasts. “We urge the Greek government to withdraw the threats made against satellite operators, and restore the continuity of public service media channels in Greece and across the world,” said EBU director general Ingrid Deltenre. —AFP

Saudi stocks rebound MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index recovered most of its early-week losses yesterday as investor concerns of a political conflict in Syria spreading wider to the region eased, while all other Arab markets also rose. The kingdom’s benchmark advanced 1.8 percent, its second consecutive day of gains since Saturday’s 4.3 percent plunge. “The MENA markets are attractive and political tensions have always been there,” said Ali Adou, portfolio manager at The National Investor in Dubai. “Despite the risk, the more the market drops, valuations become attractive and more buyers return.” Saturday’s panic sell-off on the Saudi bourse - dominated by retail investors was triggered by political tension in Syria intensifying; King Abdullah cut short a holiday abroad to deal with the issue. Egypt severed its democratic ties with Damascus, backing a no-fly zone over the country wrought by civil war. Heavyweight firms made a come-back. The petrochemical shares index rose 1.6 percent and the banking index climbed 1.9 percent. Real estate developers dominated trading; Emaar Economic City and Dar Al Arkan climbed 2.6 and 3 percent respectively. UAE markets also recovered losses from the previous session as selling on political worries proved shortlived and a bullish local economic outlook outshined. Dubai’s index rose 1.6 percent and Abu Dhabi’s benchmark climbed 0.4 percent. The United Arab Emirates has revived a proposal to merge its two main stock exchanges in a statebacked deal that could boost trade in the local market and attract more foreign investment to the Gulf state, sources familiar with the plan said. In Kuwait, the index gained 1.6 percent after a court ruling dissolved the parliament and called for fresh elections. Analysts said investors reacted positively to the dissolution of the parliament elected in December. Opposition boycott these polls in protest to a new voting system decreed by HH the Amir. The court upheld the voting rules. Traders said there was a widespread belief that state funds would intervene if needed to support the market during political uncertainty. The market is still up 36.2 percent year-to-date, in a rally driven mainly by retail investors, who have been encouraged by a government push on economic development and expected improvement in corporate earnings. Elsewhere, Egypt’s bourse mirrored the regional trend and rose 1.2 percent, cutting 2013 losses to 14.7 percent. Telecom stocks rallied with Orascom Telecom and Telecom Egypt up 6.1 and 6.7 percent respectively. “Investors want to buy Egypt in this shaky time and something that’s less risky - telecoms are defensive stocks that were hit badly so the rebound is as strong,” said Mohamed Radwan, director of international sales at Pharos Securities. Low trading value is indicative of risk-averse attitude ahead of June 30 President Mohamed Morsi’s one-year anniversary in office. Opposition parties have called for mass protests against the Islamist leader. — Reuters

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013


India’s central bank keeps rates steady ‘Global economic activity slows but risks elevated’ MUMBAI: India’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rates unchanged yesterday, after three successive cuts, citing inflationary concerns and a weak rupee in the face of a global economic slowdown. After meeting in the financial capital Mumbai, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said the benchmark repo rate, at which it lends to commercial banks, would be on hold at 7.25 percent, as expected by most economists. The cash reserve ratio-the percentage of deposits banks must keep with the central bank-was also kept unchanged at 4.0 percent. “Global economic activity has slowed but risks remain elevated,” said RBI governor Duvvuri Subbarao, explaining the decision. Subbarao said there were pressures from the impact of the “rupee depreciation, increases in fuel prices and imbalances relating to food (prices)”. “It is only the durable receding of inflation that will open up the space for monetary policy to continue to address

risks to growth,” the governor said in the statement released on the RBI website. The RBI’s decision to keep rates unchanged had been forecast by economists due to the weakening rupee, which hit a record low of 58.98 against the dollar last week. A cut in interest rates would lead to an even weaker rupee, push up the cost of imports and widen the current account deficit, which hit a record 6.7 percent of gross domestic product in the last quarter of 2012. Subbarao said while steps have been taken to contain the current account deficit, the bank needs to be “vigilant” about global uncertainty, rapid shifts in risk perceptions and the impact on capital inflows. “The RBI has taken a cautious stance and is non-committal about what it could do in its next policy in July,” said Siddhartha Sanyal, chief India economist with Barclays Capital. Economist Shubhada Rao, with private Yes Bank,

India cuts Iran oil imports 42% NEW DELHI: India cut its Iranian oil imports by more than 40 percent in the first five months of the year, replacing the crude with shipments from Venezuela, Iraq and Oman, and pushing Iran down four places to seventh among its suppliers. India’s imports of Iranian oil for May dropped 12.2 percent from a year ago to 213,500 barrels per day (bpd), tanker arrival data compiled by Reuters from trade sources shows. The cuts underline the effectiveness of US and European sanctions aimed at Tehran over its suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons. Those measures reduced Iran’s oil exports to the lowest in decades in May and have cost it billions of dollars in lost revenue per month since early 2012. Washington is now seeking to cut Iran’s oil shipments further through tighter sanctions. The Middle Eastern country’s economy has been battered as a result of the sanctions aimed at ending its nuclear activities, though there are hopes of better relations with the West after the election of moderate cleric Hassan Rohani to its presidency. But with Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, still deciding state policy, there is not expected to be a rebound in oil exports anytime soon. While India’s Iranian imports for May were up more than 80 percent from April, the year-to-date total was down 41.8 percent, the tanker data showed. Iran’s share of India’s total oil imports dropped to 5.5 percent over the January to May period, down from more than 10 percent in the same period last year, the data also showed. Earlier this month, Washington granted its third 180-day waiver to Asian countries including India for significantly reducing Iranian oil imports in the six months to May. Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals halted their Iranian oil purchases in April as it became difficult to insure refineries processing oil from the OPEC member, making the largest contribution to India’s cuts this year. Indian insurers worried about running afoul of sanctions have said they will not be able to pay claims at plants processing Iranian crude. That has left the country’s biggest refiner, state-owned Indian Oil Corp - whose insurance coverage is due for renewal only in November - and private refiner Essar Oil as Iran’s only Indian clients, according to sources. The data showed IOC bought two very large crude carriers of Iranian oil in May, and industry and government sources said the state refiner is not planning to lift any more Iranian crude until the fourth quarter of 2013. This means Essar Oil would be Iran’s sole customer in India from June to later this year, unless other Indian refiners find a way to insure plants processing Iranian crude or sanctions are eased. Other Asian countries have also been showing steady cuts in their Iranian crude imports. Customs data on Saturday showed that South Korea had cut its May oil imports from Iran by 8.3 percent from a year ago. India imported nearly 80 percent more oil from Latin America in the January to May period as it cut its dependence on Iran. The region accounted for about a fifth of India’s overall imports, up from 12 percent in the same period a year ago. Overall, Asia’s third-largest economy shipped in 12.6 percent more oil in May than a year ago, while imports for the January-May period rose about 8.8 percent, the data showed. —Reuters

said the bank’s tone remains “guarded”. “The door is open for a 25 basis points cut when the RBI meets next,” she told AFP, adding that a lot would depend on the currency movements and the monsoon’s impact on food prices. The RBI also expressed concern over inflation, although this cooled to a more than three-year low of 4.7 percent year-on-year in May, according to data last week. Business leaders however want the RBI to lower borrowing costs further to help kick-start the economy, which has been growing at a decade low of 5.0 percent. India’s manufacturing activity also dropped to a 50-month low in May, fuelling further concerns about the strength of Asia’s third largest economy. The Congress party government, led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has been battered by a spate of corruption scandals and is keen to revive economic growth before facing voters in general elections due in 2014. —AFP

UAE’s Etihad mulls equity stake in Serbia’s JAT Airways BELGRADE/DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Etihad Airways has signed a preliminary agreement with the Serbian government over a possible equity investment in the Balkan country’s loss-making JAT Airways. Serbia is looking to offload loss-making state enterprises, including JAT, pharmaceuticals firm Galenika and the Zelezara Smederevo steel mill in a bid to keep its budget deficit at about 4.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and secure growth of around 2 percent this year. Previous attempts to sell JAT have failed due to lack of interest from prospective buyers. Etihad, which has been expanding rapidly, did not specify the value of the potential deal, nor how much of a stake it could take in JAT, adding any transaction would be subject to a due diligence process and regulatory approvals. “The two airlines will now intensify discussions about collaborative efforts to further integrate their networks and help JAT Airways achieve efficiency, build revenue and reduce costs,” Etihad chief executive James Hogan told a news conference in Belgrade. In April, Etihad and JAT agreed to share route-booking codes but stopped short of an equity tie-up. Earlier this year, the Serbian government said it was ready to take on 170 million euros ($227 million) of JAT’s debt, which in 2012 stood at 3.68 billion dinars ($43.1 million), pay leases for six new aircraft from EADS’s Airbus and secure severance payments for redundant workers. Hogan said a minority equity investment could help JAT to secure savings through pilot and crew training and fuel costs, as well as through procurement and maintenance agreements for common engine types. “These are early days, but we are ... looking forward to explore the possibility of a much deeper strategic commercial partnership with JAT Airways,” he said. JAT currently operates 10 Boeing 737-300s and four ATR 72-200 turboprop aircraft on 30 routes within Europe and to the Middle East. Partnership with Etihad is part of Serbia’s bid to secure investments from sovereign lenders outside the recession-hit euro zone - the main trading partner of the European Union candidate country. Serbia has already borrowed from Russia, China and the UAE. This year, it has secured a $400 million sovereign loan from the UAE for agriculture investment and agreed more than $400 million in investment by the Al-Dahra agricultural firm based in the Emirate. —Reuters

KHARTOUM: A Sudanese youth collects plastic bottles from a garbage container yesterday. —AFP

Sudan’s garbage economy a lifeline for scavengers KHARTOUM: Just after the footpath beside the school passes into the cool late afternoon shadows, a gentle cracking sound signals that Doud Sebet has arrived. He sits on a piece of cardboard, with one long leg out in front of him and the other tucked underneath. From a white sack, Sebet retrieves metal drink cans that other people have thrown away. He slowly places each of them on one brick and hammers down on them with another. The flattened coloured circles collect in front of him. He and an increasing number of others are scouring garbage to make a living in the troubled economy of Sudan, a country ranked near the bottom of a United Nations human development index measuring income, health and education. “The people of this area are living in luxury,” Sebet says in his favourite hunting ground, the Khartoum 2 district where foreign ambassadors and wealthy business people live. “There are many restaurants,” he says, making it fertile territory for a scavenger like Sebet who also collects discarded plastic water bottles. He marvels that some people drink water from a sealed, disposable container. In poorer parts of the city, water is delivered in a tank pulled by a donkey. It is not just the rich areas that are targeted by scavengers-the more down-to-earth community of Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman is also rich pickings. A growing number of people are turning to the city’s rubbish for income in a “static economy” which is failing to create new jobs, says University of Khartoum economist Mohammed Eljack Ahmed. “Within this economic atmosphere this is a good alternative for them,” he says. Sudanese have struggled to cope with soaring inflation and a weakened currency since South Sudan separated in July 2011 with about 75 percent of united Sudan’s oil production. The lost crude accounted for most of Khartoum’s export earnings and half of its fiscal revenues. Inflation is close to 40 percent, and Ahmed estimates that unemployment exceeds 30 percent. “We are suffering,” says Sebet, who is over 60 years old. His breath smells of alcohol, and Khartoum’s ever-present desert sand has stained brown his white jalabiya robe. Sebet says he can earn 400 pounds (about $60) a month by recovering the cans and selling them to a company. A native of South Sudan, he says he lost his government employment many years ago and then turned to hauling goods for merchants until illness forced him to stop. Now, this is his main job, helping to support a teenage daughter who lives with him at their home made from grass and wood in the city’s south. Every morning Sebet travels by bus to scour the trash of Khartoum’s elite. When he is done, he sits in the shade of the school overlooked by a high rise apartment block where foreign diplomats live. He shakes the cola containers and if there is

anything inside he tilts his head back and drinks before methodically bearing down on the can with a brick. ‘I don’t want them to work like this’ Sebet is a veteran of this dirty business but others have turned to it more recently.”I have been collecting these things for seven months,” says 26-yearold Mohammed Adam, in Omdurman. Another young man, Osman Haroun, 25, says he can make 10 or 15 pounds a day scavenging.”We choose specific areas, where the rich people live,” he says atop a donkey cart which he and his work partner bought to make their job easier.”Before that, I didn’t have permanent work,” Haroun says. Another scavenger in Omdurman, Omar Muhajir, 56, said rubbish collection helps to support his five children-whom he hopes will have a better life than his. “I don’t want them to have to work like this, collecting things from the garbage. On the other hand, it’s better than sitting around without a job,” he says. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that Sudan’s economy would get a boost of nearly $500 million (375 million euros) this year and about $1.5 billion in 2014 under an agreement between the two countries for South Sudanese oil fees and a package to compensate for the loss of the South’s oil at separation. This could help ease the deterioration in living standards for ordinary Sudanese like Sebet. “If this windfall is used wisely... it will contain the rising cost of living which has been crippling everyone but especially the poorest,” an IMF official told AFP in May. But new economic uncertainty emerged this month when Sudan began to stop the flow of oil. President Omar Al-Bashir ordered the closure of the pipelines carrying South Sudanese crude because of alleged southern support for rebels in the north. After South Sudan’s separation, the oil refineries and export pipelines stayed under Khartoum’s jurisdiction. The South halted crude production early last year during a dispute over fees for its use of the infrastructure. Southern production resumed in April and the oil had been slowly making its way toward the Red Sea export terminal before Bashir’s surprise order to close the line within 60 days. If implemented, the oil compensation package would last for less than four years but the revenues would “provide a very valuable breathing space” for an economy which must be restructured, including through the revitalisation of neglected sectors like agriculture, the IMF official said. Unless the damaged farm and industrial sectors can assume a significant economic role generating employment, the long-awaited oil revenue, despite its fiscal importance, will not be enough to help Sebet and the other scavengers, says the university economist, Ahmed. Sebet has not heard about the now-uncertain oil deal with South Sudan. His left shoulder bears the weight of three sacks of garbage as he slowly staggers off, another day’s work done. —AFP

EXCHANGE RATES Malaysian ringgit Irani Riyal Irani Riyal

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 Thai Baht

ASIAN COUNTRIES 2.901 4.870 2.886 2.231 3.049 226.790 36.693 3.652 6.590 9.227

.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

Omani Riyal Qatari Riyal Saudi Riyal

94.271 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 75.990 78.290 740.160 756.880 77.605

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 284.850 Euro 379.140 Sterling Pound 445.220 Canadian dollar 280.640 Turkish lira 149.830 Swiss Franc 306.620 Australian Dollar 269.330 US Dollar Buying 283.650 GOLD 265.000 134.000 70.000

SELL DRAFT 276.14 283.39 312.97 382.43 283.40 449.28 3.08 3.655 4.931 2.209 3.083 2.877 77.23 754.29 39.91 403.34

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

Selling Rate 283.750 280.895 445.920 380.130 300.705 751.230 77.230 77.885 75.630 399.990 39.942 2.223 4.857 2.877 3.643 6.561 696.050 4.000 9.785 4.055 3.325 95.150

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY

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

748.000 79.500 76.000

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 39.950 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 40.068 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.329 Tunisian Dinar 175.830 Jordanian Dinar 402.420 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.912 Syrian Lier 3.096 Morocco Dirham 34.444

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

737.02 78.26 75.70

SELL CASH 284.000 282.000 312.000 380.000 284.500 448.500 3.300 3.670 5.050 2.550 3.250 2.900 78.800 753.000 38.80 410.000

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

SELL CASH Europe 0.4385459 0.0067169 0.0467706 0.3737158 0.0457018 0.4341150 0.0400591 0.3034377 Australasia 0.2621097 0.2207648 0.0001113 America 0.2723886 0.0001443 0.2816500 Asia 0.0035991 0.0031476 0.0452909 0.0163867

SELLDRAFT 0.4475459 0.0187169 0.0517706 0.3812154 0.0509018 0.4416150 0.0450591 0.3104377 0.2741097 0.2307648 0.0001113 0.2813886 0.0001623 0.2838000 0.0036541 0.0033776 0.0502909 0.0194867

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

0.0000440 0.0340195 0.0048687 0.0000238 0.0028329 0.0029338 0.0032678 0.0863871 0.0029300 0.0028520 0.0061723 0.0000725 0.2230032 0.0021664 0.0089038 Arab 0.7463592 0.0379239 0.0127229 0.1442921 0.0000789 0.0001724 0.3947072 1.0000000 0.0001740 0.0223261 0.0012034 0.7261310 0.0772976 0.0751467 0.0461426 0.0027430 0.1740625 0.0758409 0.0012801

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

Transfer Rate (Per 1000) 283.500 380.350 447.300 281.250 3.850 4.917 39.955 2.200 3.642 6.615 2.878 755.000 77.250 75.750

0.0000500 0.0371195 0.0049337 0.0000289 0.0038329 0.0031138 0.0034978 0.0933871 0.0031300 0.0028920 0.0066423 0.0000755 0.2290032 0.0022084 0.0095038 0.7548592 0.0399539 0.0192229 0.1460821 0.0000794 0.0002324 0.4022072 1.0000000 0.0001940 0.0463261 0.0018384 0.7371310 0.0780806 0.0757867 0.0466926 0.0029630 0.1800625 0.0772909 0.0013801

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013


Honda Alghanim launches best summer offer on Honda cars KUWAIT: Honda Alghanim, in cooperation with Alamana Investment, has launched an exclusive limited-time offer. Customers now have the chance to start payment in 2014 when they purchase one of Honda’s 2013 family cars. Family cars consist of the brand new Honda Pilot, Honda CR-V and Honda Odyssey. This exclusive offer allows anyone who would like to purchase a new Honda the opportunity to enjoy a flexible payment plan, and spend their money comfortably during

their upcoming summer vacation while enjoying the ownership of a brand new car. Comfortably seating 8 passengers, the VTM-4, 4-wheel drive Honda Pilot comes with ample spaciousness within its cabin. The Honda Pilot has become a leading competitor amongst other SUVs in its segment. Built with a rear DVD system and 15 GB hard disk memory, the 2013 Pilot is the perfect SUV for the entire family. The All-Wheel Drive Eco-friendly

Honda CR-V is one of the best in its class. The numerous safety features in the Honda CR-V makes it an ideal choice for the family. The modern safety features give the driver full control for all kinds of terrains for the ultimate driving experience. Another Honda vehicle in the exclusive offer is the all new Honda Odyssey. Comfortably seating eight passengers in its roomy cabin area, Honda Odyssey’s unique design conveniently allows for more storage options. Honda

Odyssey goes beyond being the typical family-friendly cars with its innovative design and modern additions that smartly complete the driver and passengers’ experience. Alghanim Motors, the sole distributor of Honda automobiles, power products and motorcycles in Kuwait is committed to providing customers with flexible payment solutions, as well as offering comfortable amenities in its new ser vice center located in Shuwaik h. The Alghanim Motors

Service Center provides efficient and cost-effective services at all times. The waiting lounge offers customers a wide array of amenities such as an electronic gaming area, digital satellite channels, free wireless Internet access as well as relaxing massage chairs. Honda’s customers will also enjoy excellent customer service, quality maintenance options and competitive prices on genuine spare parts, all of which are provided to you by a team of professional and highly skilled technicians.

Clashes erupt at Indonesia demos against petrol hike Unions opposed to cash handouts for poor

PAMPLONA: Two elderly women enjoy the day while they rest outside a shop, yesterday. — AP

Spain’s power industry overhaul set to affect companies, banks MADRID: Spain’s latest overhaul of its dysfunctional energy sector, due this month, will inflict pain on renewable power companies and utilities and force losses on banks and investors. Reform of the power sector, the fifth in as many years, is intended to eliminate a gap between the cost of producing energy and what consumers pay for it, which has built up a debt of 26 billion euros ($34.7 billion) over 13 years. That debt, which sits on the books of private utilities who paid the bill but is backed by taxpayers, has come under European Union scrutiny as Spain battles to keep its budget deficit in check. The government of centre-right Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is expected to unveil new rules on June 21 or June 28, including harsh cuts to a range of power subsidies in an attempt to close the gap - known as the tariff deficit - once and for all, industry and government sources said. Renewable energy firms such as Acciona and Abengoa , which have relied heavily on government support, will be hardest hit. Consumers will escape the pain for now, but a review of the formula for calculating power bills is expected to be finished later in the year. Spain, in its fifth year of on-off recession, has already cut back on lucrative subsidies for renewable energy that made it the world’s No. 4 wind power generator and the No. 2 solar power generator. Those policies as well as subsidies for providing power to remote islands, were largely responsible for the tariff deficit. The new round of cuts could make some solar projects unviable and sour loans that banks made to green energy projects at a time when the government promised consistent subsidies and stable returns, energy sector sources said. Months of tension over the likely reforms reached a climax this month when the government asked banks to refinance debt held by renewable energy firms expected to be hit by subsidy cuts, industry and banking sources said. Representatives of some of Spain and Europe’s biggest banks stormed out of a meeting with Spain’s secretary of state for energy, Alberto Nadal, furious over the proposal. The banks included Santander, BBVA, Barclays, BNP Paribas, and Espirito Santo , sources familiar with the situation said. Spain’s photovoltaic and solar-thermal sectors have total debt of about 28 billion euros, about two thirds of which is held by Spanish banks, according to estimates by sector trade

association UNEF. Banks, which have already had to write down more than 300 billion euros of toxic property assets and loans in Spain, face having to recognize billions of euros of further losses on loans to energy projects if the reforms force some solar projects to shut down. Small solar power producers have seen revenue drop 40 percent due to the impact of previous reforms, according to the National Association of Energy Producers, ANPIER, which represents more than 4,000 photovoltaic investors. Even after earlier cuts, renewable energy gets nearly half of all state support for the overall sector. Industry sources forecast additional cuts of at least 10 percent for renewables, hitting listed companies like Acciona and Abengoa and potentially triggering further lawsuits against the government by green energy investors already furious over a series of changes in the rules. Seeking legally safe formulas for reform, Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria said last week Spain could link guaranteed profit for renewable energy companies and other regulated power costs to treasury yields in the review. To stop the tariff deficit from expanding further Soria must still cut about 4 billion euros from total costs of 20 billion, which aside from subsidies for renewables, coal and nuclear include payments to big utilities to keep extra capacity on hand and for power transportation. Analysts forecast a 10 percent across-the-board cut to these payments, hitting profits at utilities Iberdrola, Enel-controlled Endesa and Gas Natural and electricity and gas grid operators Red Electrica and Enagas. Of the big utilities, Endesa may be the hardest hit because of its power generation on the Spanish islands, which also benefits from significant state subsidies. In a note to clients, Berenberg bank estimated such cuts to knock 14 percent off of Endesa’s earnings per share, followed by a 9 percent hit for Enel and 8 percent for Gas Natural and Iberdrola. The companies’ shares have mostly priced in regulatory uncertainty and analysts say the final outcome of the reform, barring particularly nasty cuts, could finally bring a safer investment climate to the sector. Madrid has been gradually paying back the tariff deficit through the issuance of government-backed bonds and the reform may contain plans for more securitisations. — Reuters

EU, US to launch talks for world’s biggest trade pact ENNISKILLEN: The EU and United States were set to launch negotiations yesterday to create the world’s biggest free-trade pact despite a hard line by France to protect its film and culture sectors from Hollywood. Such a deal is touted as a potentially huge boost to business, economic growth and job creation, but the culture issue is seen as potentially offering a bargaining chip to the US side. President Barack Obama and European leaders gathered at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland prepared to announce the formal start of talks on the pact, just days after the EU thrashed out a last-minute deal to keep the French happy. The head of the EU executive, Jose Manuel Barroso, told reporters that Obama and European leaders “will give the go-ahead” for the start of talks and said a deal would have huge potential. “Two years ago, very few would have bet that the US and the EU would have been able to launch this free trade and investment partnership,” Barroso said. “This can be a gamechanger, not just for the transatlantic area, the United States and Europe, but for the world,” he said. Barroso had earlier weighed in with an unusually outspoken criticism of France for its “reactionary” behaviour to defend its audiovisual and cultural industry. “Some say they belong to the left, but in fact they are culturally extremely reactionary,” the president of the European Commission said in an interview with the International Herald Tribune on Monday.

French President Francois Hollande reacted spikily as he arrived at the summit. “I do not want to believe that the president of the European Commission could have made these statements on France,” he told reporters. If the EU-US deal is done, it would be the world’s largest Free Trade Agreement (FTA): bilateral trade in goods last year was worth some 500 billion euros ($670 billion), with another 280 billion euros in services and trillions in investment flows. The EU says an FTA would add about 119 billion euros annually to the EU economy, and 95 billion euros for the United States. British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is hosting the G8 meeting of leading industrialised nations, made no mention of the row with France as he hailed the deal. “My focus is very clear-getting agreements, signing deals, making progress on issues that will help hardworking families right here in the United Kingdom. For me, that’s what the agenda of this G8 is all about,” Cameron said. The British prime minister’s spokesman said he expected it to take “twelve to eighteen months” for the EU and US to complete negotiations, dismissing speculation that it could take years for anyone to see the benefits. He added: “I think that what you are going to see today is really good important news with the launch of the EU-US trade negotiations.” He also played down the row over France’s so-called “cultural exception.” “I wouldn’t characterise it in those terms,” he said.—AFP

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s parliament debated measures yesterday to open the way for a jump in fuel prices after months of delay that have undermined confidence in the government and the ability of Southeast Asia’s biggest economy to continue rapid growth. The price hike of 33 percent would allow the government to cut costly fuel subsidies and could give support to the struggling rupiah after the central bank scrambled last week to prop up the currency, which was caught in an emerging market selloff. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono would have to sign off on the measures. The surge in fuel prices, which would boost inflation and in turn spark labour union wage demands, is testing Yudhoyono’s already uneasy ruling coalition of political parties, which are increasingly focused on next year’s general and presidential elections. One member of the coalition has very publicly opposed a proposal to protect the poor from the impact of higher fuel prices with cash compensation, a measure Yudhoyono had insisted on before he would agree to raise prices. The change has been seen as a key test of Yudhoyono’s commitment to economic reform in the final 1-1/2 years of his term as prospects for rapid economic growth soften. Thousands of protesters took to the streets in cities across the giant archipelago, but there were no reports of serious violence. “We reject the proposed cash handouts because it doesn’t address the real issue of poverty. Instead, they’re trying to be like Santa Claus before next year’s general election,” head of the largest labour union, Said Iqbal, told reporters. About 20,000 security officials had been placed on alert in the capital, the police said. Protests have marked previous attempts to raise fuel prices.

JAKARTA: Indonesian demonstrators rally outside parliament yesterday. — AFP On Saturday, about 70 percent of members of the parliamentary budget committee backed 2013 budget revisions, which includes some 9 trillion rupiah ($910 million) in compensation for the poor. These measures will pave the way for the fuel price rise if passed by parliament. “We support the cuts in fuel subsidies because Indonesia has to spend billions on fuel imports every year ... And make no mistake, we will withdraw support if the government doesn’t protect poor people,” said Teguh Juwarno, an MP with ruling coalition party PAN. Fuel subsidies last year cost the former OPEC member some $20 billion and is putting pressure on the current account deficit. The finance ministry has said the price rises could save the state about $4 billion if they are implemented this month. Rumours late last week that

Jakarta was about to raise fuel prices helped lift the rupiah off its lowest level against the dollar in almost four years as the currency came under fire from investors cutting their emerging market exposure over uncertainty in the future of US monetary policy. The pressure on the rupiah and concerns of the inflationary impact of costlier fuel, prompted surprise increases in two of the central bank’s key interest rates last week. It expects inflation to top 7 percent after fuel prices rise from the current level of around 5.5 percent. The finance ministry has warned that the growing subsidy cost of fuel, unless prices rise, could exceed 3 percent of GDP. The initial budget had put the deficit at just 1.6 percent. Pointing to concerns over stalling reform momentum, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s early last

month downgraded its outlook for Indonesia’s sovereign credit to stable from positive. The move was especially galling for the Indonesian government because at the same time S&P upgraded its rating for the neighbouring Philippines. While Indonesia’s technocrats have been shouting for fuel prices to rise, the issue has become largely hostage to politics ahead of next year’s elections. Of the three parties to oppose the measure in Saturday’s budget committee meeting, one was ruling coalition member PKS, the country’s biggest Muslim party. Analysts say the PKS is hoping to use the issue to divert attention from allegations that senior party members were involved in a beef import scam and sexual impropriety, charges which threaten to wreck its elec tion hopes nex t year. — Reuters

Asian markets mixed ahead of Fed meeting HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed yesterday despite a weak batch of US economic data boosting hopes that the Federal Reserve would put off announcing any winding down of its vast stimulus scheme at the end of a policy meeting this week. Traders were upbeat despite a soft lead from Wall Street while the dollar edged up after suffering a sell-off on Friday in New York. Tokyo jumped 2.73 percent, or 346.60 points, to 13,033.12, climbing for a second successive session after plunging more than six percent on Thursday. Sydney rose 0.71 percent, or 34.1 points, to 4,825.9, Hong Kong gained 1.22 percent, or 256.76 points, to 21,225.9 while Seoul lost 0.32 percent, or 6.14 points, to 1,883.10 and Shanghai closed down 0.27 percent, or 5.82 points, at 2,156.22. Mumbai climbed 0.77 percent, or 147.94 points, to end at 19,325.87, its second straight day of gains, even as the country’s central bank kept interest rates on hold, citing inflationary pressures. Global markets have see-sawed in recent weeks on expectations the Fed will soon start to reel in its $85-billion-a-month stimulus that has been credit-

ed with fuelling a stocks rally since September. “As US employment data has shown signs of a weak economic recovery, I think the Fed will stand pat on its easing policies, opening the door to more yen weakening,” Naoki Fujiwara, fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management, told Dow Jones Newswires. Selling pressure intensified last Tuesday when the Bank of Japan held off unveiling any more of its own easing measures. However, the latest figures out of Washington on Friday suggest the US economy is still too weak for the Fed to turn off the tap, with analysts saying it is unlikely this week will see any such announcements. Industrial production came in flat last month, there was a decline in the much-watched University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, and producer prices registered just a modest gain in May. “The data coming in are up and down, and unconvincing that the US economy is on a firm recovery track, leading to more jitters about central bank policy,” said SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi. On Wall Street the Dow fell 0.70 percent, the

TOKYO: A man walks by an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm yesterday.— AP S&P 500 lost 0.59 percent and the Nasdaq was down 0.63 percent. The dollar also slipped in New York Friday but bounced back in Asia, thanks to a more confident outlook for the Fed meeting. In Tokyo afternoon trade the dollar was at 94.73 yen against 94.22 yen in New York late Friday. The euro was at $1.3334 and 126.71 yen from $1.3346 and 125.74 yen.—AFP

Sheraton Kuwait welcomes Loyac trainees KUWAIT: The Sheraton Kuwait w a s p l e a s e d to we l co m e s t u d e n t s f ro m t h e Lo t h a n Yo u t h Ac h i e ve m e n t s Ce n te r ( Loya c ) during their summer program for t h e ye a r 2 0 1 3 , w h i c h i s a s i x weeks program that aims to provide youth during their summer holidays with practical training to a cq u i re v a l u a b l e wo r k i n g experience. Also, they connect positively with their society by volunteering cer tain hours in community centers or awareness committees in addition to regular week ly meetings, different a c t i v i t i e s a n d v a l u a b l e wo r kshops. Exposure to the working environment of the hospitality industry at the Sheraton Kuwait will enhance their growth potential and help them evolve into competent professionals. Thus, the Sheraton Kuwait once again provides a guiding force in the community and continues to have an active role in supporting youth

affairs. On this occasion, Fahed Abushaar, Area Director/General Manager of Sheraton Kuwait stated that “this training program has been carried out for years at the Sheraton Kuwait and we are

very happy to be welcoming diffe re n t s t u d e n t s e ve r y ye a r acknowledging them about the hospitality industry and its different departments and to be giving them a better understanding

o f t h i s d y n a m i c i n d u s t r y. We hope that with this condensed training we have helped develop their professional future and we look forward to train more students in the years to come”.

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013


Cash-strapped Europe pools defence, saves little so far Efficiency drive unlikely to halt squeeze on spending ZARAGOZA: At military exercises in northern Spain, French and Spanish fighters fly alongside Swedish and Czech transport aircraft while a multinational team of mechanics changes the engine on a Belgian plane. On display is “pooling and sharing” - the idea that cash-strapped European allies can retain their military muscle and keep their budgets in check by cooperating on how they buy and operate costly yet critical defence equipment. Launched in 2010 in response to the global financial crisis, it not only

aims to eradicate purchases of duplicate or overlapping materiel, but also to foster integration and make the continent more powerful than the sum of its parts. More defence cooperation is seen as a necessity in Europe, in many cases trumping concerns about national security or lost influence and fostering dreams of a common army seven decades after World War Two. But practical, organisational and financial considerations are giving some officials pause for thought. Defence experts

both in Europe and its ally the United States fear it may become an excuse for further defence spending cuts, in a continent that, since the demise of the Soviet Union, no longer sees itself as facing an imminent military threat. There are questions over how much money it saves, and the biggest Western military powers the United States, Britain and France - balk at picking up the bill for the biggest, most expensive items while providing a security shield for smaller nations. “What pooling and sharing

should not be is a way for member states to say ‘Oh, now we can do with less defence budget’,” said Rini Goos, deputy chief executive of the European Defence Agency, the EU’s defence arm, which advocates the policy. “We have to stop the rot in that sense,” he told Reuters. All European together In the clear skies above Zaragoza, where the 14-day military exercise continues this week, everything was designed to portray a picture of seamless pan-European cooperation. Aircraft from Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden took part, with a team of mechanics from all the countries working on one another’s planes, all conversing in English. French Lieutenant-Colonel Magalie Allard, the maintenance commander at the exercise, said the countries were even pooling spare parts and their tools. In many respects, that sort of cooperation is nothing new. France and Belgium already have joint pilot training, the Belgian and Dutch navies have all but merged and the two countries are looking to establish a joint helicopter command. France and Britain have agreed to set up a joint military force, share equipment and nuclear missile research centres. But in a sign of the problems that can befall even the best attempts at cooperation, a plane carrying military chiefs from Brussels to the event was delayed for four hours by an air traffic controllers’ strike in France, and a paratrooper drop was cancelled due to an engine problem with a Belgian C-130. Still, defence chiefs, especially those from smaller nations, see great scope in “pooling and sharing”, or what NATO, with its own desire for greater multinational cooperation within the alliance, refers to as “smart defence”. “I am not sure we will get to this European army one day because some big nations have their own agendas, but for smaller nations, definitely,” said Colonel Frederik Vansina, chief of staff of Belgium’s air force. “I see a Benelux army maybe in a few decades ahead. Why not?” Scant saving? The idea of a European army, first bandied around in the 1950s, remains a distant dream, but there is an ever-increasing level of cooperation among EU nations, as witnessed in Libya and alongside US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. “Pooling and sharing” has no overarching end goal, consisting rather of initiatives and projects identified by EU members, such as boosting the

air-to-air refuelling capacity found wanting during the 2011 Libya campaign. Three big European aerospace companies called on Europe on Sunday to launch its own independent military drone programme, a sector dominated by US companies. The concern for allies such as the United States, which believes European defence cuts have already gone too far, is that cooperation becomes a sticking plaster for European military weakness that means European states avoid reversing defence spending cuts once their economies recover. Countries that like the idea of sharing more resources are also concerned about what would happen if there were a national emergency - would they have access to the pooled equipment? And what happens to the vast number of jobs in the military and defence industry as the level of cooperation increases? Cuts to the Spanish and Greek militaries risk swelling their already vast ranks of youth unemployed. “Countries remain scared to pool capabilities because they don’t want to lose control and they don’t like the idea of having to sacrifice jobs,” said Clara Marina O’Donnell, senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform, a thinktank. And even when the logic of eight or 10 European countries - some with shared borders and histories - coming together seems incontrovertible, there is evidence that the financial gain, one of the main arguments in favour, is not always there. The European Defence Agency (EDA) said it had no estimate of savings from pooling and sharing so far. EDA Chief Executive Claude-France Arnould said in November EU members could save up to two billion euros over 15 years if they boost cooperation on military satellite communications and up to a further 500 million euros a year by standardising certification of military aircraft and other equipment. NATO has no estimate of savings to date, but expects “significant savings” in years to come from reducing duplication in managing new equipment programmes, a NATO official said. O’Donnell cites EU officials as saying that combined EU defence spending has fallen from around 200 billion euros in 2008 to 170 billion euros last year, a vast decline. But savings from cooperative defence projects over the same period were only 200 or 300 million euros, she said, due to high initial costs. “So we are looking at an order of magnitude that is 100 times smaller,” she said, underlining that while the goal may be sound, the benefits of the policy may be far less than hoped, especially when it comes to the money saved in the short term. — Reuters

KARACHI: Pakistani stockbrokers chat as they sit under share prices board at the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) yesterday. The benchmark KSE-100-Index closed at 22216.46, down 325.18 points at the end of the day. — AFP

Turkey’s economy is vulnerable LONDON: Tayyip Erdogan seems to like the concept of “choking” things. At the weekend, Turkey’s prime minister sent riot police into an Istanbul park with tear gas and water cannons to clear out the protestors. A week earlier, he had threatened to “choke” an alleged “high-interestrate lobby” of speculators who wanted to push interest rates up and suffocate the economy. Erdogan’s harsh actions against protestors and harsh words against investors could backfire economically. The country depends on foreign investors to fund its big current account deficit. If they turn tail in response to the mounting unrest, interest rates will indeed have to rise. The protests which began two weeks ago over Tayyip Erdogan’s alleged authoritarianism, triggered by the prime minister’s insistence on bulldozing one of Istanbul’s few public parks, initially alarmed investors. The stock market plunged, the lira fell and government bond yields spiked. Then, after the central bank intervened in the foreign exchange market and Erdogan offered concessions last week, investors calmed down. But the weekend’s use of riot police has stoked a conflict that seemed like it might be on the point of resolution. The problem is not so much that speculators have an incentive to jack up interest rates. This would be perverse. Foreign investors own $140 billion of domestic bonds and equities, according to Standard Bank. They will lose money if interest rates rise. The risk rather is that investors will pull out their money if they lose confidence. The US Federal Reserve’s indication that it may slow down its massive bond-purchasing programme has exacerbated that risk, as some of the money it has been pumping into US bonds has seeped into emerging markets such as

Turkey. What’s more, the Turkish miracle isn’t quite as good as it seems. The economy grew only 2.6 percent last year, down from 8.5 percent the previous year - after the central bank had to hike interest rates because the economy was overheating and inflation reached 8.9 percent last year. Turkey’s biggest economic weakness is its current account deficit - a sign that consumption has been growing faster than is sustainable. The deficit did fall to 5.9 percent of GDP last year, after a 9.7 percent gap the previous year, as the economy slowed. But it is rising again this year. The April trade deficit was $10.3 billion, up from $6.6 billion last year. Indeed, the selloff in Turkey’s financial markets began a week or so before the police crackdown on protestors in Istanbul’s Taksim Square on May 31. For example, two-year bond yields rose from 4.8 percent on May 17 to 6 percent at the end of the month; and the stock market fell 8 percent between May 22 and the end of the month. Until now, international investors have been happy to fund the deficit. Not only were they attracted by the strong economic growth. They also liked Erdogan’s pro-market approach, the political stability they thought he had brought and the prospect that Turkey’s march towards a market democracy would be anchored by negotiations to join the European Union, says Timothy Ash, Standard Bank’s head of emerging markets research. The “interest-rate lobby” also liked the fact that the government’s debt is only 35 percent of GDP and that banks have strong balance sheets, partly because they were seared by Turkey’s financial crisis at the start of the millennium. Meanwhile, both Moody’s and Fitch recently upgraded the country to investment grade. —Reuters

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013

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Hungary surprises with new bank, telecoms taxes OTP, Magyar Telekom stocks lead losses in stock market

DHAKA: In this file photo, Bangladeshi firefighters battle a fire at a garment factory in the Savar neighborhood in Dhaka, Bangladesh. — AP

Bangladesh disaster crushes owner’s ideal of clothes with a conscience SAVAR: When Spanish garment maker David Mayor arrived in Bangladesh a decade ago the fashion label he set up had the motto ‘clothing with a heart’. In an industry notorious for harsh working conditions he said he wanted to show it was possible to run an ethical business in which workers were trained well and treated with respect. The story of how that dream ended in the rubble of Rana Plaza, an eightstorey factory complex that collapsed in April killing 1,129 people in one of the world’s worst industrial accidents, is a cautionary tale for global retailers now scrambling to prevent another fatal accident in Bangladesh. Rana Plaza was built on swampy ground, with substandard concrete. It was designed as a five-storey shopping centre, but the owner of the building, a local political leader, rented it out to factory owners and built three more floors. ‘David tried to do something good, better than the locals, but finally he was overtaken,’ said Brother Massimo Cattaneo, a Roman Catholic missionary who runs a technical school in northern Bangladesh and worked with Mayor on a training programme he funded there. Despite repeated attempts in Spain and Bangladesh, Reuters was unable to contact Mayor for comment. He has made no public statements since the accident and it was not possible to establish whether he has hired a lawyer. Mayor had nothing to do with the construction of Rana Plaza. But as the part-owner of a factory in the building the Spaniard, who was not in Bangladesh at the time, is one of those named as under investigation in the police case launched after the disaster. He has not been arrested. All the other factory owners named by police, including his partner, are now in custody while the police complete their investigation. Although none have been charged, a government panel has recommended they face charges of culpable homicide, which carries a maximum life sentence. Interviews with former employees, clients and associates of Mayor show he invested in workers and appears to have been popular with his staff. But some staff also said that conditions in the factory gradually deteriorated as the company began to focus on winning larger orders. Ethical credentials Bangladesh’s garment industry employs some 4 million people, mostly women. While the jobs give the women economic power and an independence they did not have before, many work long hours in poorly ventilated, fire-trap factories. At first, Mayor thought he could change that, negotiating with buyers for longer deadlines to avoid excessive overtime, according to people who worked with him. He set up a fashion label, Tacsocial, that advertised its ethical credentials with the ‘heart’ slogan and motif. In 2007, aged 29, he started another clothing firm, Phantom TAC Ltd, a joint venture with local partner Aminul Islam, documents seen by Reuters show. ‘Workers’ conditions are not bad, but we want to improve them further,’ Mayor told Dhaka’s Daily Star in 2008. A few weeks later Phantom TAC opened the factory at Rana Plaza, in an industrial suburb of Dhaka. Brother Cattaneo said the factory seemed safe, and several workers interviewed by Reuters said at the start things were better than in many factories. ‘Our wages were paid on time every month, and we left work by seven or eight at night. The behaviour of the bosses was good at the beginning,’ said Rashida Begum, who crawled out of the ruined building. She is now unemployed, suffers chest pain and is scared to go back to a factory. ‘Healthy conditions’ One of Mayor’s steadiest clients was Spanish catalogue-sales company Cristian Lay, which worked with Phantom TAC from 2007 to 2012 and helped fund Cattaneo’s rural training programme aimed at the

poor, rural women who flock to Dhaka in search of work. Domingo Gonzalez, head of quality control for Cristian Lay, said he had visited the factory frequently and was impressed. ‘It was a totally normal factory with healthy conditions, with a lot of light,’ Gonzalez said. Other clients over the years included Inditex, owner of Zara, and Spanish department store El Corte Ingles, a former Phantom-TAC official said. In the Daily Star article, Mayor said he’d worked out he would have to charge an extra 10 cents per piece to really improve lives. His fashion label was meant to make that possible and he wanted to venture into retail, opening a boutique in a wealthy Dhaka neighbourhood. ‘When you are a manufacturer negotiating orders with buyers that 10 cents becomes very important, it is very competitive and 10 cents becomes a lot,’ he said. ‘However when you look at 10 cents on a retail price, it is nothing.’ At the beginning, Mayor lived in Dhaka’s diplomatic zone and came to the factory most days, two former employees said. He spoke a smattering of Bengali and called his staff ‘brother’, which was well received. But about a year after the Rana Plaza factory opened he moved back to Spain to focus on marketing, travelling to Bangladesh every few weeks with new clients, several employees said. That, some workers said, is when the problems began. The reason for the change is not clear, but a deteriorating economy in Europe, his principal market, almost certainly made it harder for Mayor to develop a dream of more ethical fashion. Eventually the ‘heart’ boutique closed. A plan to massively expand the training projects was dropped, Cattaneo said. Instead Phantom TAC began to focus on large export deals. In the days before the disaster, it was working flat out to complete a sample order for Spanish retailer Mango in the hope it would lead to a bigger, lucrative supply contract with the company, one of the world’s top buyers. Mango, which has over 2,600 outlets in 107 countries, said it had not finalised the order found in the rubble. The company, based in Barcelona, said that it would have gone ahead only had a trial sample been found to be up to standard and had Phantom TAC passed Mango’s checks on its labour practices and safety. Under pressure to meet mounting orders, line managers drove staff harder, sometimes making them work through the night, some workers said. Reuters was not able to speak to any line managers from the company. The increasing tensions on the factory floor were kept from Mayor, 20year-old seamstress Runi Akhter said. ‘When he came there was an announcement by loudspeaker,’ said single mother Akhter, speaking in the two-room house she shares with eight people, including her parents and two young children. ‘We were told by the managers that if we complained to him we’d lose our jobs.’ ‘Are they all dead?’ On the morning of April 24, managers ordered staff into work at the five factories in Rana Plaza, even though the building had been evacuated the day before after a crack appeared in a pillar. Minutes after they sat down the power went out in the building and heavy generators on the upper floors kicked in with a shudder. The building shook hard and crashed to the ground. Amarat Hossain, a merchandiser who had worked for Mayor since 2007 coordinating with buyers, said he was late to work that day, and by the time he arrived Rana Plaza had collapsed into a mound of broken concrete. As he frantically tried to contact colleagues his mobile phone rang. It was his boss, asking why he couldn’t reach Phantom TAC chairman Islam. When Hossain told him the news he said Mayor broke down, screaming ‘oh God, oh God’, into the phone and asking: ‘Are they all dead?” — AP

BUDAPEST: Hungary’s government raised taxes on the mostly foreign-owned financial and telecoms sectors yestedray to plug budget holes but also rattling investors who have already experienced three years of unpredictable policies. The new set of fiscal measures were a surprise. They included lifting the current financial transaction tax and raising existing charges on telephone calls and mining royalties for what some analysts said was around 100 billion forints ($459.68 million). The government said the moves were needed to make up a shortfall in the budget brought about because low inflation is hitting revenue. They will help Prime Minister Viktor Orban keep the deficit below the European Union’s 3 percent of GDP ceiling. Analysts said they may also create room for him to spend ahead of parliamentary elections next year. Since he won in 2010 elections, Orban’s policies have included the nationalisation of private pension funds and taxes on banks and selected business sectors. These have helped his government avoid outright austerity and still cut the deficit, while also retaining a lead over the opposition. “The early summer austerity measures are ... making room for late summer fiscal loosening measures in order to sweeten voters ahead of elections in April 2014 while keeping the budget deficit still below 3 percent,” said Zoltan Torok, an analyst at Raiffeisen. Many economists believe Orban’s policies may consign Hungary to years of bumping along with very low growth after a recession last year, as they say he has scared off some of the foreign direct investors whose cash is badly needed to fund a stronger recovery in the export-driven economy. Economy Minister Mihaly Varga said measures implemented earlier this year to cut state spending may not be enough to fully avert the threat of fiscal sanctions from Brussels because 38-yearlow inflation levels cut tax revenues, “One of the main causes of the measures is to ensure that Hungary gets out (from the EU’s excessive deficit procedure) once and for all, and avert the threat that we get back into it in a short time,” Varga told a news conference. The EU said it planned to end its excessive deficit procedure against Hungary last month, lifting it off the budget blacklist and acknowledging

government efforts to cut the deficit below 3 percent of economic output. It did this despite earlier criticism over the imposition of big windfall taxes on mostly foreign companies. The EU is expected to make the final decision on ending Hungary’s deficit blacklisting later this week. Banks hit Even though the government formally taxes the financial sector, blaming Brussels, banks have passed on most of the costs from the financial transaction tax, which was introduced last year, to their clients - households and firms. Varga said the country’s Banking Association had accepted the government’s proposals for the tax hikes. The group did not immediately comment on the announcement. In a separate draft bill submitted to parliament, the government also said commercial banks, which already pay Europe’s highest bank

tax, will have to pay a 7 percent charge on troubled municipal debt that the government will take over this year. This measure alone will put at least 43 billion forints into government coffers, as the state will assume 612 billion forints worth of debt, much of it denominated in foreign currency, from municipalities. Banks must pay the 7 percent charge in forints by December 20 this year. If they want to get rid of the remaining stock of around 500 billion forints worth of municipal debt, they can do that by indicating a willingness to pay the levy on this additional chunk as well, according to the bill. Hungarian stocks fell on the announcements. The Budapest Stock Exchange’s main index fell one percent with Hungary’s biggest bank OTP shedding 2.3 percent while telecoms firm Magyar Telekom lost 3 percent by 1232 GMT. The forint was largely unfazed while bonds firmed slightly. — Reuters

LISBON: Students gather in front of a banner reading “Students and teachers together on strike for the national exams” at Camoes High School in Lisbon yesterday. Portuguese teachers stage today a strike on the first day of the national exams, against the removal of staff in education and the extension of working hours laid down as part of the new austerity measures announced by the Portuguese government. — AFP

Fracking fuels water fights in dry spots SAN FRANCISCO: The latest domestic energy boom is sweeping through some of the nation’s driest pockets, drawing millions of gallons of water to unlock oil and gas reserves from beneath the Earth’s surface. Hydraulic fracturing, or the drilling technique commonly known as fracking, has been used for decades to blast huge volumes of water, fine sand and chemicals into the ground to crack open valuable shale formations. But now, as energy companies vie to exploit vast reserves west of the Mississippi, fracking’s new frontier is expanding to the same lands where crops have shriveled and waterways have dried up due to severe drought. In Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, the vast majority of the counties where fracking is occurring are also suffering from drought, according to an Associated Press analysis of industry-compiled fracking data and the US Department of Agriculture’s official drought designations. While fracking typically consumes less water than farming or residential uses, the exploration method is increasing competition for the precious resource, driving up the price of water and burdening already depleted aquifers and rivers in certain drought-stricken stretches. Some farmers and city leaders worry that the fracking boom is consuming too much of a scarce resource, while others see the push for production as an opportunity to make money by selling water while furthering the nation’s goal of energy independence. Along Colorado’s Front Range, fourth-generation farmer Kent Peppler said he is fallowing some of his corn fields this year because he can’t afford to irrigate the land for the full growing season, in part because deep-pocketed energy companies have driven up the price of water. “There is a new player for water, which is oil and gas,” said Peppler, of Mead, Colo, who also serves as president of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. “And certainly they are in a position to pay a whole lot more than we are.” In a normal year, Peppler said he would pay anywhere from $9 to $100 for an acre-foot of water in auctions held by cities with excess supplies. But these days, energy companies are paying some cities $1,200 to $2,900 per acre-foot. The Denver suburb of Aurora made a $9.5 million, fiveyear deal last summer to provide the oil company Anadarko 2.4 billion gallons of excess treated sewer water. In South Texas, where drought has forced cotton farmers to scale back, local water officials said drillers are contributing to a drop in the water table in several areas. For example, as much as 15,000 acre-feet of water are drawn each year from the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer to frack wells in

the southern half of the Eagle Ford Shale, one of the nation’s most profitable oil and gas fields. That’s equal to about half of the water recharged annually into the southern portion of the aquifer, which spans five counties that are home to about 330,000 people, said Ron Green, a scientist with the nonprofit Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. The Eagle Ford, extending from the Mexican border into East Texas, began to boom in 2011, just as Texas struggled with the worst one-year drought in its history. While conditions have improved, most of the state is still dealing with some level of drought, and many reservoirs and aquifers have not been fully replenished. “The oil industry is doing the big fracks and pumping a substantial amount of water around

dollars for each acre-foot of water he can sell. “I realized we’re not making any money farming, so why not sell the water to the oil companies? Every little bit helps.” The amount of water needed to hydraulically fracture a well varies greatly, depending on how hard it is to extract oil and gas from each geological formation. In Texas, the average well requires up to 6 million gallons of water, while in California each well requires 80,000 to 300,000 gallons, according to estimates by government and trade associations. Depending on state and local water laws, frackers may draw their water for free from underground aquifers or rivers, or may buy and lease supplies belonging to water districts, cities and

GREELEY: In†this photo farmer Kent Peppler stands next to a beet planter used by his grandfather in the 1940’s on his farm near Greeley, Colo. — AP here,” said Ed Walker, general manager of the Wintergarden Groundwater Conservation District, which manages an aquifer that serves as the main water source for farmers and about 29,000 people in three counties. “When you have a big problem like the drought and you add other smaller problems to it like all the fracking, then it only makes things worse,” Walker said. West Texas cotton farmer Charlie Smith is trying to make the best of the situation. He plans to sell some of the groundwater coursing beneath his fields to drillers, because it isn’t enough to irrigate his lands in Glasscock County. Smith’s fields, like the rest of the county, were declared to be in a drought disaster area this year by the USDA. “I was going to bed every night and praying to the good Lord that we would get just one rain on the crop,” said Smith, who hopes to earn several thousand

farmers. Some of the industry’s largest players are also investing in high-tech water recycling systems to frack with gray or brackish water. Halliburton, for instance, recently started marketing a new technology that allows customers to use recycled wastewater, calling it an “investment to further the sustainable development of the oil and gas industry.” The American Petroleum Institute, the principal lobbying group for the industry, said its members are working to become less dependent on fresh water, and instead draw on other sources. “Recycling wastewater helps conserve water use and provide cost-saving opportunities,” said Reid Porter, a spokesman for the group. In some states, regulators have stepped in to limit the volume or type of water that energy companies can use during drought conditions. —AP

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013


External growth critical for 3M By Sajeev Peter A brief interview with Manohar Raghavan, Area Leader - Middle East & Africa, 3M: Kuwait Times: Can you briefly tell us your expansion plans for the region, with special reference to Kuwait? Manohar Raghavan: Middle East is one of the key growth drivers for the broader Middle East and Africa region and we continue to see the growth momentum picking up in multiple industries. With our aggressive growth strategy for the region, we have made significant investment in the Middle East region by expanding our presence in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and are actively pursuing opportunities in other emerging economies, such us Iraq and Oman. We have been present in Kuwait for over five years and have added front end resources to increase our coverage in the market place. There are significant opportunities to further increase our penetration in some of the key markets, whether it is in oil and gas, healthcare, consumer or infrastructure. With the Middle East region poised for further growth in line with the government plans to increase the investments in key markets, we will continue to look at opportunities in certain segments, including the mega trends that are shaping the economies of the countries.

ASAR hosts leading seminar on implications of FATCA KUWAIT: ASAR - Al-Ruwayeh & Partners (ASAR), Kuwait’s leading and most prominent corporate law firm, and one of the region’s top tier firms hosted a leading seminar on the implications of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) across Kuwait’s financial services industry and other sectors. The event was held at the JW Marriott Hotel in Kuwait City and was attended by representatives of various leading banks, investment companies and other corporates in Kuwait and the broader GCC region. Guest speakers at the seminar included leading and internationally recognized FATCA practitioners from Washington DC and London who, amongst others, shared their insights on the technical aspects of FATCA as well as the practical implications and potential solutions based on their experience around the world. The seminar was specifically designed by ASAR to shed light on the issues that are faced by Kuwaiti, as well as GCC, based financial institutions, affected corporates, high net worth families and individuals, in an effort to gain a thorough understanding of different elements that aim at enabling them to make sound strategic decisions for their respective organizations. Sam Habbas, Senior Partner at ASAR Al-Ruwayeh & Partners said: “FATCA arrives at a time when financial institutions already face a number of regulatory compliance challenges, testing many organizations’ capability and capacity to manage change. The FATCA requirements introduce a series of business and systems requirements that appear simple in concept, but may be difficult and costly to operationalize. The aim for organizations (and other persons) affected by FATCA will be to meet the new compliance burden, while managing the associated compliance costs and risks. As

long as any dollar based transaction necessitates dealing with correspondent banks in the United States of America, Arab Banks are required to implement this law so as to avoid a 30 percent withholding of their deposits.” John Cunha, Partner at ASAR - AlRuwayeh & Partners said: “It is particularly important to note the level of readiness of banks and other financial institutions across Kuwait (and indeed throughout the broader GCC region) to comply with FATCA, and especially so given the different effective dates by when compliance with various provisions under FATCA is to be achieved. Banks and other financial institutions in Kuwait (and throughout the GCC) must be fully prepared to start becoming FATCA compliant and must ensure that a robust FATCA compliance framework is put in place upon which an organization’s FATCA compliance systems and processes can run in an efficient manner.” With dedicated offices in Kuwait and Bahrain coupled with its associated offices and relationships, ASAR provides clients across an extensive range of industry sectors with comprehensive legal advice and support for their business activities in Kuwait, across the GCC, and beyond. ASAR has been consistently rated as the leading corporate and commercial law firm in Kuwait by many of the world’s leading and reputable legal guides such as the Chambers Global Guide, International Financial Law Review, and the Legal 500. In 2012, ASAR was named as the “Best Law Firm in Kuwait 2012” by the International Financial Law Review (IFLR), the marketleading guide for financial law firms worldwide. The firm also won the “Best Equity Deal in the Middle East” award by IFLR during the same year.

KT: Does your expansion plan involve any major acquisitions as well? Raghavan: External growth is critical for 3M and we have acquired many companies in the last few years globally and will pursue further. We will continue to pursue opportunities within the region in some of the key countries and segments and look at the same when the targets are attractive, strategic fit of the target and time is right. KT: What is the growth potential for 3M in the MENA region in the context of increasing competition? Raghavan: MENA region has always been very competitive and with the western world softening, we will see increased competitive pressure in driving volume and the competition will use pricing to drive large volume, mainly in core areas. However, with the low penetration in several North African countries and some of the Middle East countries and the increased spending expected from Government, every company has room for increasing the penetration and accelerated growth. There are significant opportunities in healthcare, industrial, consumer, construction and oil and gas. In addition to all these, there are mega events that

are planned for the region, whether it is the World Cup in Qatar 2022 and the World Expo 2020, if UAE wins the same. All these will bring in opportunities for growth and we are very well positioned to leverage these opportunities. KT: I understand that Saudi Arabia is a major market for 3M. How do you propose to pursue yourbusiness strategy and expansion plans in the Kingdom? Raghavan: Saudi Arabia is one of the key countries for our growth in the Middle East & Africa Region. We have made significant investment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the last

KT: Can you give me a brief overview of the mega projects bagged by 3M in the region? Raghavan: We have been an active player in the infrastructure development whether it is in development of the new airports/airport expansion in the area or in the commercial buildings, providing advanced active and passive fire protection to oil and gas and commercial buildings, providing biometric solutions to multiple Government and private segments, connecting the world through structured cabling solutions, enhancing the aesthetics through an array of graphic solutions and meeting the emerging needs of the healthcare industries. Since we are a diversified technology company, with over 65,000 products coming out of 46 core technology platforms, it is very difficult to list all the projects as we would have made our presence in each and every industry, whether it is in large scale or limited to supply of some consumer products. KT: Explain 3M’s Middle East growth and profitability targets. Raghavan: Our strategy has been to outpace the economy by 2 to 3 times depending on the segments. We have been growing over 15 percent in the core industries and 10-12 percent on the non-core industries. Some of the emerging countries have also shown much higher growth rates and aspiration is to outpace the economy with a higher run than in the past and the strategies are laid out to meet the same.

Manohar Raghavan few years. We have recently moved to a much bigger office in Riyadh, opened a branch in Jeddah and currently looking at a customer innovation center in Riyadh. We have also invested in frontend resources, increased our local capability in the technical, regulatory, professional sales, supply chain and marketing areas. We are now actively looking at expanding our presence in the Eastern province. In addition to all these, we have also made investments in the two key growth drivers mainly oil and gas and government markets. Our key strategy has always been expanding our presence in the market place and making relevance to our customers. New products introduction at a faster pace will be key to our long term success and we are very well positioned to leverage the opportunities.

KT: Aviation and oil and gas are the fastest growing sectors in the region. What are the solutions 3M can specifically offer to the businesses in these sectors? Raghavan: 3M’s strength is in the 46 core technology platform that we own. With this 46 core technologies, we are able combine them and bring in products/solutions that will meet and exceed our customer needs. Customer inspired innovation is one of the core areas that we are focused on and our technical and R&D team are working towards bringing in more innovative solutions that are needed in the market place. 3M spends over $1.5 billion on R&D on an average per year and we work very closely with the markets and our customers to understand the needs. We offer thousands of products, such us the advanced bonding solutions, technologically superior abrasives, vast array of personal safety products, very advanced ceramic solutions, aesthetically pleasing matting solutions, improved slip and fall safety products, electrical solutions, advanced active fire protection products etc to oil and gas and aviation industries.

Jazeera Airways secures $90m in aircraft funding from NBK, DVB Bank KUWAIT: The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), DVB Bank, and Jazeera Airways Group (JAG) today announced a $90 million commercial facility for funding JAG’s aircraft purchases through a structured facility led by NBK and DVB Bank SE. The loan, which has a 12-year term, is employed to fund the purchase of three brand new Airbus A320 aircraft, one of which was already delivered earlier this month. NBK Kuwait CEO Sheikha K Al-Bahar said, “NBK’s relationship with Jazeera Airways Group dates back to the very early days of the company’s success. In 2008 NBK managed the company’s IPO and we’ve continued to support the company’s various funding requirements since then. Today Jazeera Airways is one of the few success stories to come out of the Middle East over the last decade. We are proud to be part of the airline’s success story.” DVB Bank SE Member of the Board of Managing Directors Bertrand Grabowski said, “Our relationship with Jazeera Airways Group dates back to June of 2005 when DVB Bank SE was part of the original group of banks to fund the airline’s first four aircraft. Eight years later, it is a pleasure to witness the very airline that we helped seed in 2005 transform into the market-leading and profitable airline it is today.” Jazeera Airways Group Chairman Marwan Boodai said, “With this deal, we have secured our funding requirements for the coming two years. NBK and DVB Bank SE are true long-term partners in our business and we are humbled by their continued support for our operations.” To date, Jazeera Airways Group has taken delivery of 13 Airbus A320s since 2005, as part of an order for 15 aircraft of the same type. The remaining two aircraft of the order are scheduled to be delivered in October 2013 and May 2014. The three new aircraft are in-line with the airline’s growth strategy to always operate new and modern aircraft, and to

take on new aircraft deliveries until the end of 2014 in parallel to Kuwait’s overall market growth. The Airbus A320 is the world’s best-selling aircraft. There are over 5,500 A320 aircraft in operation by airlines across the world, and over 3,900 aircraft scheduled for delivery over the coming years. The A320 single-aisle jetliner family is the world’s most eco-efficient single-aisle product line. It is used for a full range of services from very short-haul airline routes to intercontinental segments. Jazeera Airways Group is a Kuwait Stock Exchangelisted company with a fleet of 13 fully-owned Airbus A320s, through its airline business, Jazeera Airways (operating seven aircraft), and its fully-owned leasingarm Sahaab Aircraft Leasing (operating six aircraft). Sahaab has its aircraft assets placed with Virgin America, Sri Lankan Airlines, Nasair and Jazeera Airways. Jazeera Airways operates its seven fully-

owned Airbus A320s with a two-class cabin comprising a Business Class and an Economy Class. Business Class travelers get both an upgraded experience and exclusivity, starting with exclusive check-in lines, business lounge access, up to 60 kilograms in free baggage allowance, and an exclusive on-board cabin. The airline’s Economy Class offers travelers free baggage allowance of 40 kilograms and free on-board meals with a changing menu every month. Jazeera Airways is based in Kuwait and serves 19 popular destinations in the Middle East from Kuwait comprising high-demand business, leisure, family, and weekend destinations such as Dubai, Bahrain, Beirut, Alexandria, Amman, Istanbul, Sharm El Sheikh, Assiut, Luxor, Mashhad, Sohag, Jeddah, Riyadh, Cairo and AlNajaf. Jazeera Airways is an IATA-member airline and operates one of the youngest Airbus A320 fleets in the Middle East.

Kuwait Airways, Microsoft Kuwait sign agreement Assistant Governor for Banking Supervision Saeed Abdulla Al-Hamiz and NBK Group Deputy CEO Isam Al-Sager in a group photo with NBK officials at the new branch.

NBK opens new branch in Abu Dhabi, the second in UAE KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) yesterday opened its new branch in Abu Dhabi, the second in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), under the patronage of the UAE Central Bank. The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by the Assistant Governor for Banking Supervision Saeed Abdulla Al-Hamiz, NBK Group Deputy CEO Isam Al-Sager and NBK officials. “NBK is keen on strengthening its position in the regional and international markets with more focus on GCC operations”, said Al-Sager. “The UAE enjoys positive economic prospects and we are happy to expand our presence in the Emirati market.” Al-Sager added: “NBK remains committed to its strategy of balancing its revenues in Kuwait and outside. NBK’s expansion strategy has proved resilient in light of the challenging operating environment.” NBK-Abu Dhabi comes as part of the Bank’s expansion strategy in the UAE which started with its first branch in Dubai in 2008. NBK-UAE provides its customers with complete banking solutions including

Murabaha deposits, corporate FX hedging solutions and mortgage services. NBK has the widest banking presence with more than 170 branches worldwide. NBK’s international presence spans many of the world’s leading financial centers including London, Paris, Geneva, New York and Singapore, as well as China (Shanghai). Meanwhile, regional coverage extends to Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Turkey. NBK continues to collectively enjoy the highest ratings among all banks in the Middle East from the three international rating agencies; Moody’s, Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor’s. The Bank’s ratings are supported by its high capitalization, prudent lending policies, and its disciplined approach to risk management, in addition to its highly recognized and very stable management team. In 2012, NBK was also named among Global Finance’s list of the 50 safest banks in the world for the seventh consecutive time.

KUWAIT: Microsoft Kuwait and Kuwait Airways today signed an agreement under which Kuwait Airways will implement the latest Microsoft technologies, including Lync, SharePoint, Exchange, Lync Plus and Office 365, over a period of three years. Under the agreement, the national carrier of Kuwait will adopt Genuine Microsoft software which will enhance productivity, improve collaboration and maximize communications across the company. Microsoft services will enable Kuwait Airways to leverage powerful tools to increase efficiency amongst its employees. Kuwait Airways can take advantage of the cloud-based enhancements and technology capabilities to match their business ambitions. Captain Ahmad Mohammed Al-Kreebani, CEO of Kuwait Airways said, “The vision and future strategic plans of Kuwait Airways are based on expanding its fleet and enhancing its operations and infrastructure, which in turn will give the carrier a competitive advantage within the industry. The agreement not only standardizes our technology platform but offers us extra benefits in terms of enhanced support and training that help to make our staff more productive. It also offers us access to Microsoft’s latest products and technologies which help us address a wide range of important technical business issues.” Ali Faramawy, Vice President, Microsoft International added, “Microsoft will closely work with the Information Technology Unit in Kuwait Airways to use and apply the new technologies in accordance with the agreement, in order to achieve the goals and future plans set in the vision of

Captain Al-Kreebani. We are pleased to work with Kuwait Airways to address their technology requirements and drive additional value, by increasing operational efficiency and flexibility. Organizations today are facing complex issues and need to streamline operations and find ways to utilize resources more efficiently, without incurring extra costs. Microsoft’s technologies help address these needs by enabling companies to boost productivity and work smarter, thereby maximizing their effectiveness in driving their business forward.” Abdulmenam Abdulsalam, Director of Information Technology at Kuwait Airways said: “This agreement will help us build the required infrastructure and adapt latest technologies to sup-

port our operations. We believe that partnering with leading IT companies like Microsoft will help us build the right expertise and improve our services with less time and cost.” “Improving service and containing cost is high on the agenda of businesses in Kuwait,” commented Ehab Mostafa, Country Manager, Microsoft Kuwait. “The solutions adopted by Kuwait Airways will provide a robust platform for building highly scalable and functional technology infrastructure at significantly lower costs. We look forward to a long and strategic partnership with Kuwait Airways in order to develop an effective framework that will enable improved collaboration and decision making within the organization.”

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013


Obama does not feel Americans’ privacy has been violated WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama does not believe the recently disclosed top-secret National Security Agency surveillance of phone records and Internet data has violated Americans’ privacy rights, his chief of staff said on Sunday. Denis McDonough, appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program, also said he did not know the whereabouts of Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who said he was the source of reports in Britain’s Guardian newspaper and The Washington Post about the agency’s monitoring of phone and Internet data at big companies such as Verizon Communications Inc, Google Inc and Facebook Inc. The administration has said the top-secret collection of massive amounts of “metadata” from phone calls - raw information that does not identify individual telephone subscribers, was legal and authorized by Congress in the interests of thwarting militant attacks. It has said the agencies did not monitor calls. Asked whether Obama feels he has violated the privacy of Americans, McDonough said, “He does

not.” While he defended the surveillance, McDonough said “the existence of these programs obviously have unnerved many people.” He said Obama “welcomes a public debate on this question because he does say and he will say in the days ahead that we have to find the right balance, and we will not keep ourselves on a perpetual war footing.” Revelations of the NSA’s broad monitoring of phone and Internet data has drawn criticism that the Obama administration has extended, or even expanded, the security apparatus the George W. Bush administration built after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. “We owe it to the American people to have a fulsome debate in the open about the extent of these programs,” Senator Mark Udall, a Colorado Democrat a long-time critic of the surveillance programs, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Describing the surveillance overseen by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Udall said, “I just don’t think this is an American approach to a world in which we have great threats. My num-

ber one goal is to protect the American people, but we can do it in a way that also respects our civil liberties.” McDonough said Congress authorized the programs as a way to thwart plots against Americans and that lawmakers should stay up to date on how they are run. The administration has said the program collected only “metadata” - raw information that does not identify individual telephone subscribers and did not monitor calls. “The president is not saying ‘trust me.’ The president is saying I want every member of Congress, on whose authority we are running this program, to understand it, to be briefed about it, and to be comfortable with it,” he said. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, a defender of the surveillance efforts, said the NSA, as soon as this week, will release information on terrorism threats that were halted by the telephone surveillance program. “We know that there are dozens of them, and the reason they’re being careful is we want each of

the instances that will be provided, hopefully, early week ... to be as accurate as we can and not disclose a source or a method of how we disrupted the attack exactly,” the Rogers, a Michigan Republican, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program. Rogers said he expected Snowden, whose last known location was in Hong Kong, was still somewhere in China. FBI Director Robert Mueller said last week that authorities would move aggressively to track down Snowden and hold him accountable for leaking the details of extensive and top-secret surveillance efforts. Former Vice President Dick Cheney, interviewed on “Fox News Sunday,” said the United States might have been able to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks if the surveillance programs had been in place then. “As everybody who has been associated with the program’s said if we had this before 9/11, when there were two terrorists in San Diego - two hijackers - able to use that program, that capability against the target, we might have been able to prevent 9/11,” he said. — Reuters

Russian tycoon wants to move mind to machine

This video game image released by Ubisoft shows a scene from “Tom Clancy’s The Division.” — AP

‘Watch Dogs’ video game a sign of the times LOS ANGELES: Across the dizzying, colorful show floor at last week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, there were games on display where players could become all manner of things, like a throat-slashing 18th century pirate, zombie killer, a guardian of the last city on earth, music-making sorcerer, ruthless Roman general, shape-shifting creature, goblin slayer and Batman. However, the role that seems to have captured the most buzz from the gaming community is one that’s far less fantastical but surprisingly topical: an eavesdropping hacker. One of several surveillance-related games at E3, “Watch Dogs” casts players as Aiden Pearce, a vigilante who can tap into security cameras and listen in on phone calls across a virtual rendition of an automated Chicago. “Watch Dogs” is set amid an urban open world similar to that of a “Grand Theft Auto” game. As players move through the city as Pearce, they can scan computer-controlled passers-by with a smartphone to glean such details as income, age, credit score, employment, criminal and bank account records. (“Frequents fetish porn sites,” one particularly brazen description reads.) The timing of “Watch Dogs” is remarkable in light of recent revelations about the National Security Agency’s controversial data-collection programs. They were revealed in media stories by The Guardian and The Washington Post, leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Is “Watch Dogs” a case of a video game imitating life - or the other way around? “We’re just as surprised as everyone else,” said Dominic Guay, senior producer at Ubisoft Montreal. “We’ve been working on this game for the past five years and locked down the script last year. These events keep transpiring in the news - whether it’s the NSA or using a cellphone to hack into a car - that mirror the ideas that we have in the game.” Guay acknowledged Pearce’s morality isn’t called into question as players employ Chicago’s fictional Central Operating System, ominously called ctOS, to peep digital lives. Instead, players’ actions affect Pearce’s reputation. For example, if he hacks into traffic lights and causes havoc on the street, a TV news report about the incident might pop up on a nearby screen. A demonstration last week of “Watch Dogs” at Sony’s presentation at E3, the largest annual gathering of the gaming industry, showed Pearce hacking a gate open while driving through Chicago, eavesdropping on a man alerting 911 about Pearce’s presence as he exited a cafe, as well as inciting a city-wide

blackout when Pearce was confronted by police officers. “I think ‘Watch Dogs’ is appealing to people because they can relate to it,” said Laurent Detoc, North America president of Ubisoft. “It’s a very relevant topic and an extremely ambitious project for us. Because people have been talking about this game for the past year, it’s now up to us to confirm that ‘Watch Dogs’ is what people expected it to be.” In a sea of sequels and shooters at E3, “Watch Dogs” stands out as a game that could be reflective about contemporary culture, a feat many games can’t achieve given their long production schedules. While arguably provocative, the question remains whether gamers will actually want to play out the always-connected Orwellian situation Ubisoft has concocted. “We all want to know what will happen and what we should do with these machines that are becoming more and more intelligent,” said Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft. “We are organizing the world differently. Being able to go and virtually experience that is something we love to do, and we think it’s something our consumers will also love.” “Watch Dogs” wasn’t the only game hyped at E3 that features ripped-from-the-headlines realness. “Tom Clancy’s The Division,” another third-person action game from Ubisoft, is inspired by real-world US government directives about catastrophic emergencies. Players portray sleeper agents in New York following a bio-terrorist attack on Black Friday. “One of the things that we’re really interested in is this situation where the player actually only has 72 hours until they start running into problems themselves,” said David Polfeldt, managing director of Ubisoft Massive. “They will need water. There’s a survival mechanism in the game. Definitely, they will need to find better weapons, ammo and gear.” “Infamous: Second Son,” the third installment in Sony’s superhero “Infamous” series, tasks new protagonist Deslin Rowe with destroying surveillance equipment and battling agents of the fictional Department of United Protection. In the game, the government has set up a network of security cameras to keep track of a burgeoning population of superhumans. “We wanted to tell a story that asks important questions,” said Brian Fleming, co-founder of Sucker Punch Productions. “How much freedom should we sacrifice in the name of security?” Despite tackling such serious subject matter, Fleming noted that the game’s developers didn’t have “any preachy answers. We didn’t want a screed about how all this is bad.” — AP

Chinese supercomputer named as world’s fastest BEIJING: China has built the world’s fastest supercomputer, almost twice as fast as the previous US holder and underlining the country’s rise as a science and technology powerhouse. The semiannual TOP500 official listing of the world’s fastest supercomputers released yesterday says the Tianhe-2 developed by the National University of Defense Technology in central China’s Changsha city is capable of sustained computing of 33.86 petaflops per second. That’s the equivalent of 33,860 trillion calculations per second. The Tianhe-2, which means Milky Way-2, knocks the US Department of Energy’s Titan machine off the no. 1 spot. It achieved 17.59 petaflops per second. Supercomputers are used for complex work such as modeling weather systems, simulating nuclear explosions and designing jetliners.

It’s the second time China has been named as having built the world’s fastest supercomputer. In November 2010, the Tianhe-2’s predecessor, Tianhe-1A, had that honor before Japan’s K computer overtook it a few months later. The Tianhe-2’s achievement shows how China is leveraging rapid economic growth and sharp increases in research spending to join the United States, Europe and Japan in the global technology elite. “Most of the features of the system were developed in China, and they are only using Intel for the main compute part,” said TOP500 editor Jack Dongarra in a news release accompanying the announcement. “That is, the interconnect, operating system, front-end processors and software are mainly Chinese,” said Dongarra, who toured the Tianhe-2 development facility in May. — AP

NEW YORK: Can the City That Never Sleeps become the City That Never Dies? A Russian multimillionaire thinks so. Dmitry Itskov gathered some of humanity’s best brains - and a few robots - in New York City on Saturday to discuss how humans can get their minds to outlive their bodies. Itskov, who looks younger than his 32 years, has an aggressive timetable in which he’d like to see milestones toward that goal met: • By 2020, robots we can control remotely with our brains. • By 2025, a scenario familiar to watchers of sci-fi cartoon show “Futurama:” the capability to transplant the brain into a life-support system, which could be a robot body. Essentially, a robot prosthesis that can replace an ailing, perhaps dying body. • By 2035, the ability to move the mind into a computer, eliminating the need for the robot bodies to carry around wet, messy brains. • By 2045, technology nirvana in the form of artificial brains controlling insubstantial, hologram bodies. The testimony of the neuroscience experts invited to Itskov’s Global Future 2045 conference at Lincoln Center in the New York City’s Manhattan borough indicate that Itskov’s timetable is ambitious to the point of being unrealistic. But the gathering was a rare public airing of questions that will face us as technology progresses. Is immortality desirable, and if so, what’s the best way to get there? Do we leave behind something essentially human if we leave our bodies behind? If you send your robot copy to work, do you get paid? Japanese robotics researcher Hiroshi Ishiguro’s presentation started out with a life-size, like-like robot representation of himself on stage. The robot moved its lips, nodded and moved it eyes while a hidden loudspeaker played up Ishiguro’s voice. Apart from a stiff posture and a curious splay of the hands, the robot could be mistaken for a human, at least 10 rows from the stage. Ishiguro uses this android or

NEW YORK: Russian billionaire Dmitry Itskov speaks at the Global Future 2045 Congress, at Lincoln Center in New York. Some of humanity’s best brains are gathering in New York to discuss how our minds can outlive our bodies. The conference is funded by a Russian billionaire with an aggressive time schedule: immortality by 2045. —AP “Geminoid” (after the Latin word for “twin”) to meet with students at a research institute two hours away from the laboratory where he also has an appointment. He controls it through the Internet, and sees his students through a webcam. “ The problem is, if I use this android, the research institute says it cannot pay for me,” Ishiguro said, to laughter from the audience of hundreds of journalists, academics, Buddhist monks and futurism

enthusiasts. Ishiguro flew to the US with his robotic twin’s head, the most valuable part, in the carry-on luggage. The body rode below, in the luggage compartment. To Itskov, who made his money in the Russian Internet media business, the isolated achievements of inventors like Ishiguro are not enough. He wants to create a movement, involving governments and the United Nations, to work toward a common goal.

“We shouldn’t just observe the wonderful entrepreneurs √¢‚Ǩ1/8 we need to move ahead systematically,” Itskov said in an interview. “We are really at the time when technology can affect human evolution. I want us to shape the future, bring it up for public discussion, and avoid any scenario that could damage humanity.” Itskov says he tries to eliminate his “selfishness” day by day, and has spent about $3 million promoting his vision. He organized the first conference on the theme in Russia last year. But in bringing the idea to the US, a cultural difference is apparent: Itskov’s desire for a shared, guiding vision for humanity does not mesh well with the spirit of the American high-tech industry, which despises government involvement and prizes its freedom to pursue whatever projects it wants. Space entrepreneur and X-Prize Chairman Peter Diamandis articulated that spirit at the conference; the freewheeling capitalist system, he said, is one of the strongest engines for effecting change. “The rate of change is going so fast √¢‚Ǩ1/8 I do not believe any of our existing government systems can handle it,” he said. Archbishop Lazar Puhalo of the Orthodox Church in America, who has a background in neurobiology and physics, offered another critique at the conference. “A lot of this stuff can’t be done,” he said. If it can be done, that’s not necessarily a good thing either, the robed and bearded patriarch believes. “I’m not too fond of the idea of immortality, because I think it will be deathly boring,” he said, with a twinkle in his eyes. Giving up our bodies could also be problematic, he said. “There’s a lot of stuff in them that makes us human. I’m not sure they can be built into machines,” Puhalo said. Itskov acknowledges that his vision would leave part of the human experience behind. But he believes it would be worth it. “We’re always losing something for what we’re doing. We’re always paying,” Itskov said. — AP

Apple details govt requests for data NEW YORK: Apple says it received between 4,000 and 5,000 requests from US law enforcement for customer data for the six months ended in May. The company, like some other businesses, had asked the US government to be able to share how many requests it received related to national security and how it handled them. Those requests were made as part of Prism, the recently revealed highly classified National Security Agency program that seizes records from Internet companies. Prism appears to do what its name suggests. Like a triangular piece of glass, Prism takes large beams of data and helps the government find discrete, manageable strands of information. Prism was revealed this month by The Washington Post and Guardian newspapers, and has touched off the latest round in a decade-long debate over what limits to impose on government eavesdropping, which the Obama administration says is essential to keep the nation safe. Apple Inc. said that between 9,000 and 10,000 accounts or devices were specified in data requests between Dec. 1, 2012, and May 31 from federal, state and local authorities and included both criminal investigations and national security matters. It said that the most common form of request came from police investigating robberies and other crimes, searching for missing children, trying to locate a patient with Alzheimer’s disease, or hoping to prevent a suicide. The company also made clear how much access the government has.

SAN FRANCISCO: In this Monday, June 10, 2013 photo, people wait for the doors to open for the start of the keynote address at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. Apple says it received between 4,000 and 5,000 requests from US law enforcement for customer data for the six months ended in May. —AP

“ We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer content must get a court order,” Apple said in a statement on its website. Apple explained that its legal team evaluates each request and that it delivers “the narrowest possible set of information to the authorities” when deemed appropriate. The company said that it has refused some

requests in the past. Facebook Inc. has said that it received between 9,000 and 10,000 requests for data from all government agencies in the second half of last year. The social media company said fewer than 19,000 users were targeted. Apple’s stock rose $2.12 to $432.17 in morning trading yesterday. They have traded in a range of $385.10 to $705.07 over the past 52 weeks. — AP

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013

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

China seen facing uphill struggle against pollution BEIJING: China’s newly announced measures to combat pollution by slashing emissions from major polluting industries and holding local officials responsible could take 18 years to bring air quality within acceptable standards, analysts said yesterday. The problem of air pollution has stoked popular discontent across the country, with levels of particulate matter in Beijing measured at 40 times above World Health Organization limits this year. The measures announced by the State Council, including holding local officials responsible for air quality, and reducing emissions from key polluting industries by 30 percent within five years, amount to a “milestone in the country’s anti-pollution campaign”, Deutsche Bank said in a report. But the bank

cautioned that efforts to improve air quality “could last for 18 years, before Chinese cities’ average PM2.5 falls to 30”. PM2.5 is a measure of tiny particulate matter which causes smog and breathing problems. Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, one of China’s best-known environmental advocacy groups, said the measures announced late Friday were “a response to public concerns”, but cautioned that “it will be a huge challenge to put the measures into action”. “The main reason (for pollution) is that the local governments protect polluting industries for the sake of GDP,” he said. While China has long pledged to improve its environment, local officials are incentivized to rank economic growth above pollution

reduction. The new measures, which include a pledge to give local leaders targets for improving air quality, could provide them with “new motivation” to reduce pollution, Ma said, adding: “its not clear how important the environmental goals are in the overall system”. Ma praised a new requirement that heavy polluters such as power plants must release detailed environmental information to the general public. “This will change the dynamic,” Ma said. “It’s a big step forward for corporate disclosure, which has always lagged behind in China.” “I think that these measures are great, but the challenge is giving the government the motivation to enforce them,” he said. “The pressure needs to come from the public,

because the power of the public is large, and they can push forward air pollution control in China.” The China Daily, one of the country’s state-run newspapers which have grown increasingly outspoken on the issue of air pollution, said yesterday in an editorial that if local governments obeyed the new measures, “the day would not be too far away when we would be able to enjoy clean air”. Air pollution contributed to 1.2 million premature deaths and 25 million healthy years of life lost in China in 2010, the US-based Health Effects Institute reported in March, basing its figures on a global survey published in British medical journal The Lancet. China’s pollution problems are blamed on rapid urbanization and decades of dramatic economic development. — AFP

Improve your body alignment by adding some habits and losing others


e’ve been told to stand up straight as long as we’ve been able to stand, but sometimes it’s harder than it seems. We know why we should do it: Good posture looks good, feels good and makes us look slimmer. On the flip side, studies have linked poor posture with lower self-esteem, depression and back pain. But, sometimes, posture pointers are confusing. Remember when we were all supposed to use Pilates balls instead of office chairs? Well, claims that doing so improved posture were recently disputed by researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. They found that it didn’t help-or hurtposture. But there are still some things you can do

SINGAPORE: People walk on a pier overlooking Marina Bay Sands hotels as it is blanketed by haze yesterday. — AP

Singapore chokes on haze from Indonesia forest fires SINGAPORE: Air pollution from forest fires in Indonesia’s Sumatra Island reached severe levels in Singapore yesterday, triggering a health alert in the densely populated city-state. Skyscrapers including the famous Marina Bay Sands casino towers were shrouded in haze and the acrid smell of burnt wood pervaded the central business district. The Pollutant Standards Index soared to 105 at mid-afternoon, past the “unhealthy” threshold of 100, according to the National Environment Agency (NEA) website. People with heart and lung disease, those over 65 and children are advised to “reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion” even in moderate conditions, defined as a reading of 51-100. Business and air transport have so far not been affected. Singapore schools are on holiday. Singapore is one of the world’s most densely populated countries. Most of

its 5.3 million people live in high-rise apartment blocks. Malaysia has also been affected by the haze problem, which occurs in the dry season as a result of forest fires in the sprawling Indonesian archipelago, some of them deliberately started to clear land for cultivation. Haze reached unhealthy levels in Malaysia over the weekend. Yesterday, the Malaysian pollutant index showed unhealthy levels of between 102 and 121 in parts of the states of Pahang, Terengganu and Malacca. In the capital Kuala Lumpur, the sky was also hazy with a reading of 82 at midday. Southeast Asia’s haze problem hit its worst level in 1997-1998, causing widespread health problems and costing the regional economy billions of dollars as a result of business and air transport disruptions. —AFP

Effort to revive Galapagos tortoises once thought extinct ECUADOR: Scientists will try to revive two species of giant Galapagos tortoises thought to have been extinct by breeding genetic relatives in captivity, experts leading the effort said. The Galapagos Islands, located 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) off Ecuador’s Pacific coast, are famed for the large number of species that have developed there in isolation. New research techniques have revealed that at Wolf volcano on Isabela Island, 17 hybrid giant tortoises have been found with genes from the extinct Pinta Island tortoise, and about 280 hybrids have been found with genes from the extinct Floreana Island tortoise. Among those with Pinta genes, at least one pair has 80 percent of the original species’ genes, while among the Floreana hybrids, many have up to 90 percent of the original species genes. “That gives us the possibility, literally, of bringing back these species which at the moment are considered extinct,” Galapagos National Park applied sciences chief Washington Tapia told AFP. Giant tortoises have life spans of up to 180 years, growing to 1.8 meters (five feet nine inches) long and nearly 400 kilograms (880 pounds) in weight. Last year the body of “Lonesome George,” a giant Galapagos tortoise once believed to be the last of its kind, was sent to New York after its death to be embalmed and then returned home. A rare Pinta Island giant tortoise discovered in 1971, George was estimated to be a century old when he died June 24, 2012. At the time, he was believed to be the last of his kind. The Floreana Island tortoise was widely thought to have been extinct for more than 100 years. One of their last sightings was by British naturalist Charles Darwin when he visited the Galapagos in 1835. Darwin studied the tortoises, which

evolved in isolation, as he developed his theory of natural selection. Now Tapia’s team is eyeing something of reverse natural selection: bringing back to life animals technically considered to have died out. He said that experts will soon start trying to get pairs in captivity to produce offspring close to their genetic origin. But due to the lengthy lifespan of the animals, Tapia said that he will not live to see the results: true to the slow pace tortoises are famous for, it should take about 120 years to get all the data in. The female tortoises reach sexual maturity at around 20-25 years, and males at around 25-30. Tapia said that mating a female and male with 80-90 percent Floreana genes should produce offspring with about 95 percent of the genes of the original species. With the Pintas, “there is a chance, albeit remote, that we could end up with a male being produced with only original-species genes,” Tapia said. For now, the future of the Floreana lies with about 92 animals born in captivity since 2012. More testing has to be done to determine which have the greatest original-species genetic content so that those males and females can be bred. Tapia said that one of the main goals is for the tortoises to be released back into their natural habitats as soon as possible, even as hybrids, so that they can help bring the ecosystems of the islands back into balance after they were disturbed by imported species, such as goats. The Wolf hybrids have a salty story of their own: park officials believe the tortoises were taken to Isabela Island in the 17th and 18th century by pirates who picked them up to eat, but then decided they were no longer needed as a source of meat and tossed them overboard. — AFP

INDIA: Indian Red Cross Society employee, Jasbir Kaur poses with an abandoned baby boy, found at the pictured ‘pangpura’ (cradle) drop off box at the entrance to the Red Cross House in Amritsar yesterday. The premises contains a drop off location for unwanted babies, built in 2008, in an attempt to curb female infanticide. An average of 15 babies a year have been saved, according to the society. — AFP

ILLINOIS: When sitting at a computer your monitor should be 1 to 2 feet away from your face, and your eyes should be level with the top of the monitor. turn to one side by lifting your left arm and stacking your body over your right leg, keeping your right arm extended on the ground. You may bend your right arm if necessary. Then switch sides. Hurts: High heels Heels higher than 1 inch increase your sway backward, which can lead to lower back discomfort, Novak said. Your foot slides to the front of the shoe, which puts too much pressure on the ball of the foot and your toes. High heels also shorten the muscles and tendons on the back of your ankle, and stretch and weaken the muscles on the front of your ankle, which can lead to shin splints. Heels on shoes also get in the way of the natural stride, which is to place your heel down first, then roll through the ball of your foot. If you must wear heels, don’t wear them for longer than four hours at a time.

ILLINOIS: Competitive bodybuilder and fitness trainer Cornell Walker in this 2001 file photo in Chicago. —MCT photos to help your stance, as well as some things you can avoid to keep it from getting worse. Helps: Reposition your monitor Your monitor should be 1 to 2 feet away from your face, and your eyes should be level with the top of the monitor, said Janice Novak, author of “Posture, Get It Straight! Look Ten Years Younger, Ten Pounds Thinner and Feel Better Than Ever.” This will prevent your head from leaning forward and away from your shoulders. Lumbar rolls Place a lumbar roll behind the small of your back when you’re sitting in a chair, according to Dr. Richard Guyer, orthopedic surgeon and co-founder of the Texas Back Institute. “It helps to maintain the normal curvature in the back when sitting,” he said. “There is a tendency for the lower curve to flatten, which can cause fatiguing with prolonged sitting.” Reposition yourself in your car while driving Move your seat close enough to the pedals so that your knees are bent. A 90-degree angle would be too bent, and anything more than 130 degrees would be too straight. (Make sure your body is at least 13 inches away from the steering wheel in

ILLINOIS: For proper posture while driving, move your seat close enough to the pedals so that your knees are bent. case your air bag deploys.) Your lower back should be against the back of the seat. Sit in an upright or slightly reclining position. Adjust the headrest so your head is actually resting against it. This position places your head directly over your spine and allows your neck and upper back muscles to relax while you drive, Novak said. Finally, when holding the steering wheel, your elbows should be bent at 120 degrees. Strengthen your core muscles through exercise Do three sets of basic and side planks daily, holding each pose for 30 seconds, said Dr. Levi Harrison, orthopedic surgeon in Los Angeles and author of “The Art of Fitness: A Journey to Self Enhancement.” Start in a pushup position with your arms directly under your shoulders (you may bend your arms if necessary) for the center plank. Keep your head aligned with your neck. After 30 seconds,

Ottomans When you’re resting your legs in a straight extension you’re placing stress on your lower back, said Mary Ann Wilmarth, chief of physical therapy at Harvard University. Sitting this way can stress your sciatic nerve and may put you in a slouched position without supporting your back. A better alternative would be to rest with both knees bent. Soft couches You should not be able to sink into a couch, Wilmarth said. “It needs to be firm enough to give you support.” If your couch doesn’t support your lower back, you can use extra pillows to assist it. Obliviousness Notice where your head is at this very moment. “Is it completely focused on the page or the screen? What’s going on with your shoulders right now? Any tension there? Is your chin jutting forward?” said Lindsay Newitter, spokeswoman for the Alexander Technique and certified in teaching the Alexander Technique, an educational method studied by musicians, actors and athletes aimed at improving posture that’s been in practice for more than 100 years. “There’s a learning process involved in unlearning habits, but a great first step is to start developing an awareness of yourself in the midst of activity,” she said. — MCT

Final curtain for Europe’s deep-space telescope FRANCE: The deep-space telescope Herschel took its final bow yesterday, climaxing a successful four-year mission to observe the birth of stars and galaxies, the European Space Agency (ESA) said. The largest and most powerful infrared telescope in space, Herschel made over 35,000 scientific observations and amassed more than 25,000 hours of science data, it said. “Herschel has been turned off,” ESA director general Jean-Jacques Dordain told journalists at the Paris Air Show. “It is not a surprise, it was expected, it was scheduled,” he added. Herschel has run out of a supply of liquid helium required to cool its instruments to near absolute zero (minus 273.15 degrees Celsius or minus 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit) in order to make its observations. “As it heats up it becomes unusable,” said Dordain, explaining why the data link with Herschel was shut down at 1225 GMT Monday. Its mission officially ended on April 29, but the satellite was used in its dying weeks as an “orbiting test bed”, said an ESA statement. “We had a sophisticated spacecraft at our disposal on which we could conduct technical testing and validate techniques, software and the functionality of systems that are going to be reused on future spacecraft,” said Herschel’s spacecraft operations manager, Micha Schmidt. “This was a major bonus for us.” The satellite has now been placed in a safe, “disposal” orbit around the Sun. “The last thruster burn came today, ensuring that all fuel is depleted,” said the ESA statement. Launched in May 2009, Herschel carried 2,300 liters of liquid helium coolant, which evaporated over time. Its expected lifetime had been 3.5 years. At 7.5 meters (24.3 feet) high and four meters wide, Herschel had a launch mass of 3.4 tons. —AFP

This NASA illustration obtained yesterday shows a newfound reservoir of stellar fuel discovered by the Herschel space observatory (red). Stars are formed out of pools of gaseous hydrogen molecules. To locate these pools, astronomers have historically looked for carbon monoxide (CO), which is co-located with the hydrogen gas (orange). But this tracer molecule does not lead astronomers to all of the star-making material in our galaxy. By using Herschel to map ionized carbon (C+), scientists were able to find additional reservoirs of the hydrogen gas. — AFP

NASA picks 8 new astronauts, 4 of them women CAPE CANAVERAL: NASA has eight new astronauts - its first new batch in four years. The space agency announced its newest astronaut class yesterday. Among the lucky candidates: the first female fighter pilot to become an astronaut in nearly two decades. A female helicopter pilot also is in the group. In fact, four of the eight are women, the highest percentage of female astro-

naut candidates ever selected by NASA. The eight were chosen from more than 6,000 applications, the second largest number ever received. They will report for duty in August at Johnson Space Center in Houston. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says these new candidates will help lead the first human mission to an asteroid, and then Mars. — AP

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013

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

Head blow leaves Australian with French accent SYDNEY: An Australian woman who now speaks with a Frenchsounding accent after a head injury eight years ago has revealed the experience has left her feeling frustrated and reclusive. Leanne Rowe, born and raised on the southern Australian island of Tasmania, was in a serious car crash which left her with a broken back and jaw. “Slowly, as my jaw started to heal, they said that I was slurring my words because I was on very powerful tablets,” she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation late Sunday. As she regained her health, Rowe found that she had what sounded like a strong French accent. “It makes me so angry because I am Australian,” she said. “I am not French (though) I do not have anything against the French people.” The condition has had a deep impact on Rowe’s life, and her daughter usually speaks for her in public. “I prefer night time because it is very peaceful, not many people about,” she said. Rowe has not had a definitive diagnosis but her family doctor Robert Newton believes she is Australia’s second ever case of the rare condition Foreign Accent Syndrome. “She had a normal, if you like, Australian accent for the whole time I knew her before that,” he told the ABC. “She’d done French at school but she’d never been to France, didn’t have any French friends at all.” Only a few dozen people worldwide have been officially documented as suffering from the syndrome since it was first recorded in 1907. It is linked to damage to the part of the brain that controls speech. In 2010 a New Zealand woman with multiple sclerosis found her Kiwi tones turning into a mix of Welsh, Scottish and North London accents and a subsequent scan revealed two lesions on her brain. Other known cases include an English woman speaking with a French accent after having a stroke and a Norwegian woman who spoke with an apparent German accent after being hit by shrapnel in 1941. Three years ago a woman in England reportedly began speaking with a Chinese accent after suffering a migraine. — AFP

Boston hospital to offer hand transplants for kids BOSTON: A Boston hospital is starting the world’s first hand transplant program for children, and doctors say it won’t be long until face transplants and other radical operations to improve appearance and quality of life are offered to kids, too. The move shows the growing willingness to do transplants to enhance a patient’s life rather than to save it as donated hearts, livers and other organs have done in the past. More than 70 hands and at least 20 faces have been transplanted in adults, and doctors say it’s clear these operations are safe enough to offer to children in certain cases, too. “We feel that this is justifiable,” Dr Amir Taghinia said of the pediatric hand program he will lead at Boston Children’s Hospital. “Children will potentially benefit even more from this procedure than adults” because they regrow nerves more quickly and have more problems from prosthetic hands, he said. Only one hand transplant is known to have been done in a child - a baby in Malaysia in 2000. Because the donor was a twin who died at birth, her sister did not need to take drugs to prevent rejection. That’s the main risk in offering children hand transplants - the immune-suppressing drugs carry side effects and may raise the risk of cancer

BALTIMORE: File photo shows retired Infantryman Brendan M Marrocco participates in a news conference at Johns Hopkins hospital. — AP

over the long term. However, one independent expert thinks the gains may be worth it in certain cases. “We understand so much more about immune suppression” that it’s less of a risk to put children on it, said Dr Simon Horslen, medical director of the liver and intestine transplant program at Seattle Children’s Hospital. “This is never going to be done as an emergency procedure, so the families will have plenty of opportunity to weigh the options.”

Also, a hand can be removed if rejection occurs, and that would not leave the child worse off than before the transplant, Horslen said. Several types of kids might be candidates - those born without hands, children who lose them in accidents and children with infections that wind up requiring damaged hands to be amputated. Quality of life is a key concern for people missing arms and hands - prosthetics for those limbs are not as advanced as those for feet and legs. In

December, doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore did a double-arm transplant for former soldier Brendan Marrocco, who lost all four limbs while serving in Iraq. It was the seventh double-hand or double-arm transplant performed in the US. For a child missing two hands, “the quality-of-life issues are a big deal,” said Dr Douglas Diekema of the Center for Pediatric Bioethics at Seattle Children’s Hospital and a member of the American Board of Pediatrics’ ethics committee. “In terms of how we interact with the social world, it’s mostly our face and our hands,” so a transplant “is a reasonable thing to offer a family,” he said. Boston Children’s Hospital plans to make its first cases healthy children 10 or older who are missing both hands. “Some of them can’t feed themselves, they can’t go to the bathroom, someone needs to assist them with almost every activity,” Taghinia said. The hospital also will consider children missing one hand who already are taking immune -suppressing drugs because of transplanted organs, or those with only one hand that doesn’t work well. The hospital will cover the cost of the operation and care for three months afterward, then ask insurers to pay for immune suppression and follow-up. — AP

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013

W H AT ’ S O N

ICSK accomplishes outstanding academic feat SEND US YOUR INSTAGRAM PICS


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isreen’s father, mother, friends and family is congratulating her for graduating from the sixth grade with honors.

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. 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. Kuwait’s 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.


Indian Embassy sets up helpline he Indian Embassy in Kuwait has set up helpline in order to assist Indian expatriates in registering any complaint regarding the government’s ongoing campaign to stamp out illegal residents from the country. The embassy said in press release yesterday that it amended its previous statement and stated if there is any complaint, the same could be conveyed at the following (as amended): Operations Department, Ministry of Interior, Kuwait. Fax: 22435580, Tel: 24768146/25200334. It said the embassy has been in regular contact with local authorities regarding the ongoing checking of expatriates. The embassy has also conveyed to them the concerns, fears and apprehensions of the community in this regard. The authorities in Kuwait have conveyed that strict instructions have been issued to ensure that there is no harassment or improper treatment of expatriates by those undertaking checking. “The embassy would like to request Indian expatriates to ensure that they abide by all local laws, rules and regulations regarding residency, traffic and other matters,” the release read. It would be prudent to always carry the Civil ID and other relevant documents such as driving license, etc. In case an Indian expatriate encounters any improper treatment during checking, it may be conveyed immediately with full details and contact particulars to the embassy at the following phone number 67623639. These contact details are exclusively for the abovementioned purpose only.



t’s good to dream and have a vision, everyone does, but great are the leaders who see and translate these visions into reality. Without an iota of doubt, Ashok Kalra, Honorary Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Indian Community School Kuwait is amongst them who takes a look back on a very noble vision that, after years of toil, has become a dream realized. “The school was founded more than 50 years ago, in 1959 to be exact, by a group of visionary Indians who planted a sapling that has grown today into an institution called Indian Community School Kuwait. Commonly known among Indians as ICSK, the school boasts of four separate premises, has a teaching and non-teaching staff of over 500, and student strength in excess of 6,500,” said Kalra. Having faced many hurdles and challenges the ICSK family has pulled through to emerge as one of the best schools in terms of coaching, academic excellence and co-curricular achievements. Being the oldest and largest school in the country for the Indian community, it has, no doubt, a shining reputation that precedes it. From the very inception the school has been a community venture, enjoying the unstinted moral and financial support of the Indian community in Kuwait. Over the years, the bond between community and school strengthened by the school’s responsiveness to the community’s ideas in addressing complex educational issues and other challenges. This year ICSK has topped the CBSE Grade 12 examinations and the story behind its success is well worth sharing. “Success is only possible through a shared, combined effort on the part of students, faculty, parents, community and management. By joining hands, we have been able to sail great heights of achievement, in the last few years, culminating in being the highest scorers in the board exams,” proudly asserted the chairman. “With the collaboration of the community, the work of the faculty and the guidance and leadership of the Board of Trustees, ICSK is and will shine bright.” Unfazed by the school’s limited resources and ever increasing needs, the Board of Trustees, headed by Kalra, put all its energy to fulfill their respon-

sibilities in the most diligent manner. Committed to absolute transparency in all its dealings, the Board sought to implement whatever was best for the students, the faculty and the community with the available resources Kalra also praised the performance of the Academic Committee for the year 2012-13 headed by Bobby A Mathew, including all the honary members consisting of Dr Narayanan Nampoory, Sayid Mohammed Nasir, Thomas Thomas, Biju. P Abraham, Nizar K V and Abdul Hakim Siyali. Visibly happy Kalra explained that all segments have to work together like a well-oiled machine. “Behind the success of our students lay the hard work and commitment of many others.” “A chairman or vice chairman cannot do everything; neither can a single faculty member. Under the board exists 11 sub-committees, each of which is assigned to particular job area such as maintenance, transport, academics and more. These subcommittees report back to the board with ideas and suggestions which are then reviewed. It is never a one-man show,” he said. Befitting of its involvement and commitment to the community, ICSK even has a subcommittee that works exclusively with the Endowment Fund a system set up to accommodate free scholarships, financial support for economically under privileged students, sports scholarships and much more. “For the first time in the history of the school, we have been able to provide scholarships and funding. This is the third year running, and with each year passing, more and more of our students are able to further their academic goals and reach greater heights for brighter futures,” Kalra said . All students are eligible to apply with supporting documents which are then reviewed and decided upon by the executive committee of the Board. Rajan Daniel, Hon Vice-Chairman, Board of Trustees remarked that Parents of ICSK students have always been a backbone of the school and their supportive suggestions along with the school’s proactive responses forms the base of the strong relationship. Parent Advisory Councils (PAC) comprises of elected members from parents of students in all four branches

of the school have always been fully involved in the school activities. This driving force, which is put together in a truly democratic fashion, provides input, feedback and recommendations that are highly valued and, wherever possible, put into practice. He further added that “Rome was not built in a day,” Vijay Karayil, Hon Secretary of the Board of Trustees elaborated “We have 40 PAC members - 10 from each branch of which one is elected to the Board, so as one can see, all our success is clearly a collaborative effort and parents are an important part of the equation,” he said, while adding “PAC acts as a medium that bridges the Board to the parents, and the executive committee will very shortly put a program in place to interact one-on-one with individual parents once every two months.” Change - one of the most significant signs of growth and progress - recently made its way into the school, with a very successful merger. Bringing students of all senior classes under one roof was a much sought after development that was implemented to facilitate an equal learning environment and the same level of educational facilities and amenities, while at the same time optimizing the school’s available resources. “The merger created an effective learning environment where students can remain motivated while being provided with the same opportunities to compete on an equal footing and to develop their individual talents to the highest level, all under high caliber faculty that aids better preparation for the finals,” Kalra explained. “Despite the high capital expenditure, the merger has been a huge success for the school.” ICSK spares no expense when it comes to their students. Working on a ‘no-profit no-loss’ policy, the Board of Trustees along with the subcommittees have always kept infrastructural

and development plans on the table. The school recently refurbished their computer and science laboratories making them at par with international standards of technology. “Our labs are now among the best equipped in the country. We want our students to feel comfortable working in high-tech laboratories so that they will have an equal footing with their international counterparts should they choose to study abroad,” said Kalra. The school also boasts the first energy saving laboratories as well as smart board equipped classrooms which are being rolled out this year. With regards to elective stream choices, out of 242 schools that applied to the CBSE for new streams, ICSK is the only one is Kuwait to have received an additional 6 streams which add Humanities, Home Science and Physical Education to the prevailing Science, Math and Commerce streams. Special arrangements are also being made to provide coaching for JEE, AJPMT and AJEEE, including video conferencing with professors from IIT and other prestigious institutions across India. ICSK focuses all its attention on the all round development of its students, especially in the arena of sport. The school has bagged the CBSE Kuwait Cluster Championship for 11th consecutive year adding color to victory, 23 athletes have taken part in the National Sports Meet. According to the Chairman, none of these achievements could have been achieved without the input of every member that forms the organization. “During the past years we have been patiently laying the foundation for success that took around nine years of hard work and dedication. But the last 4-5 years has been smooth sailing. Even though it has been a struggle it has paid off now and the building blocks put in place continue to hold ICSK at the top.”

IMAX IMAX film program Tuesday: ** 9:30am Showtime Available for Groups Tornado Alley 3D 10:30am, 6:30pm, 8:30pm Flight of Butterflies 3D 11:30am, 9:30pm To The Arctic 3D  12:30pm, 7:30pm Born to be Wild 3D 5:30pm Wednesday: ** 9:30am Showtime Available for Groups To The Arctic 3D 10:30am Tornado Alley 3D11:30am, 6:30pm, 9:30pm Flight of Butterflies 3D 12:30pm, 7:30pm Journey to Mecca 5:30pm Born to be Wild 3D 8:30pm

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

Hot summer promotional offers at Continental Hotels!


uwait Continental Hotels has hot & great promotional offers this summer. The General Manager of the Hotels, Kamal Hussein announced the summer offers which include complimentary breakfast and dinner buffets with free facilities such as free transfer from I to airport, shuttle services to and from shopping centers, internet and business center facilities, and Hookah, pool and health clubs. The Hotel has tied up with Entertainment City, Aqua Park and Kids Land for free tickets for its guests.

Hotel offer also free use of mobiles during the guestís stay. The Hotel has also made arrangements with many Famous Companies such as Jovial Watch co, Ajmal Perfumes, Al-Mulla Renting Car Co, Qortuba Furniture, Al Hazeem Co, International Clinic, Al Misk international Mill & roaster, Lamode International ladies Saloon and Continental Men Saloon for fabulous discounts and special offers to its guests.

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013

W H AT ’ S O N

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

Kids World Kindergarten held a ceremony to mark the end of the school year 2013 featuring a Sinbad Operetta performed by the children.

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

McDonald’s floats into Summer


McDonalds Kuwait launches 1955 Burger


cDonald’s announced yesterday the launch of the 1955 burger for the first time in Kuwait, offering customers a choice to experience homemade goodness, featuring 100% pure and Halal tasty beef patties, sesame buns, with fresh and crispy lettuce, tomato slices, chicken roll, grilled onions ketchup and its signature 1955 sauce. George Khawam, Marketing Director of McDonald’s Kuwait said; “The 1955 Burger made its way into Kuwait, offering members of the Kuwaiti community a chance to

indulge in the taste of home-made burgers. This ‘Blast from the Past’ signature burger will definitely allow us to expand our menu offerings here in Kuwait and we are excited about the feedback that we will be receiving from our customers.” The 1955 burger was named the year Ray Kroc opened the very first McDonald’s in Des Plaines, Illinois to commemorate this historic occasion. It was then added to the McDonalds menu which took Europe by storm and now it’s in the State of Kuwait.

cDonald’s Kuwait yesterday announced the launch of its brand new McFloat, offering customers across the country a delicious and refreshing break from the summer heat. Available in three flavours - Coke, Sprite or Fanta - the McFloat offers a winning combination of refreshing soda, topped off with a dollop of McDonald’s creamy soft serve vanilla ice cream. George Khawam, Marketing Director of McDonald’s Kuwait said: “The McFloat is a new offering for our customers in Kuwait and is one we expect to be well-received during the summer months when customers are looking for some much-needed relief from the heat. The ice cream float is an iconic summer treat, and we’re excited to be putting a McDonald’s spin on it with our creamy vanilla soft serve. Our limited time summer products have been consistently well-received in Kuwait, and we are confident customers will enjoy this refreshing addition to our summer line-up.” McDonald’s operates in more than 375 restaurants in the GCC, all of which are owned and operated by localentrepreneurs. McDonald’s is the world’s

leading food service organisation serving 69 million people each day at more than 34,000 restaurants in 119 countries. For more information on McDonald’s in the Middle East, visit

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 ( - 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: nnnnnnn

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

EMBASSY OF VATICAN The Apostolic Nunciature Embassy of the Holy See, Vatican in Kuwait 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:

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 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 Industrial Junkie 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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Extreme Extreme

Extreme Extreme

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Empire Clash Of The Dinosaurs Great Planes Mystery Cars Mystery Cars I Shouldn’t Be Alive... The Real Inglorious Bastards Tattoo Hunter Egypt’s Top Ten Mysteries The Real Inglorious Bastards Death Machines Most Evil Mystery Cars Mystery Cars The Real Inglorious Bastards

14:20 14:45 15:10 16:00 16:55 17:45 18:35 19:00 19:30 20:20 21:10 21:35 22:00 22:50 23:40 00:05 00:30 01:00 01:50

Food Factory Food Factory Thunder Races Nextworld Mega World Comet Impact The Gadget Show The Tech Show Scrapheap Challenge Prototype This Food Factory Food Factory Scrapheap Challenge Body Spectacular Food Factory Food Factory How Do They Do It? Prototype This Body Spectacular

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American Pickers American Pickers American Pickers American Pickers American Pickers Ax Men 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. Glee Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show C.S.I. Royal Pains House Of Cards The Americans

Banshee Greek Glee Banshee The Americans

03:00 Samantha Who? 03:30 Malibu Country 04:00 Seinfeld 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Two And A Half Men 06:00 All Of Us 06:30 Til Death 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Seinfeld 08:30 Two And A Half Men 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 Two And A Half Men 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 Suite Life On Deck

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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 What Would Ryan Lochte Do? 18:00 Married To Jonas 18:30 Married To Jonas 19:00 THS 20:00 Chasing The Saturdays 20:30 Kourtney And Kim Take Miami 21:30 Playing With Fire 22:30 Fashion Police 23:30 Chelsea Lately 00:00 Opening Act 00:55 Style Star 01:25 THS

03:05 Coastal Kitchen 03:30 Food Poker 04:15 Bargain Hunt 05:00 House Swap 05:45 Cash In The Attic 06:30 Coastal Kitchen 07:00 Food Poker 07:45 Phil Spencer - Secret Agent 08:35 Bargain Hunt 09:20 Antiques Roadshow 10:15 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 11:00 MasterChef Australia 11:50 Come Dine With Me 12:45 Food & Drink 13:15 Food Poker 14:00 Bargain Hunt 14:45 Cash In The Attic 15:25 Antiques Roadshow 16:20 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 02:20 Cash In The Attic

03:00 Andy Bates Street Feasts 03:25 Food Wars 03:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 04:15 Unique Eats 04:40 Chopped 05:30 Iron Chef America 06:10 Food Network Challenge 07:00 Guy’s Big Bite 07:25 Guy’s Big Bite 07:50 Andy Bates American Street Feasts 08:15 Unique Sweets 08:40 United Tastes Of America 09:05 Barefoot Contessa 09:30 Food Network Challenge 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 - Back To Basics 17:00 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 17:25 Food Wars 17:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:15 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:40 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

03:45 Captain America: The First Avenger-PG15 05:45 A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song-PG 07:15 The Vow-PG15 09:00 Win Win-PG15 10:45 Captain America: The First Avenger-PG15 13:00 Perfect Plan-PG15 14:45 A Mother’s Choice-PG15 16:30 Win Win-PG15 18:30 The Avengers-PG15 21:00 The Descendants-PG15 23:00 The Five Year Engagement-18 01:15 Toast-PG15

07:00 The Dragon Chronicles: Fire & Ice-PG15 09:00 Just Crazy Enough-PG15 11:00 An Invisible Sign Of My OwnPG15 13:00 Second Chances-PG15 14:30 Madea’s Big Happy FamilyPG15 16:15 Call Of The Wild-PG15 17:45 Marion Jones: Press PausePG15 19:00 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel-PG15 21:15 Cleanskin-18 23:00 Final Destination 5-18 01:00 Second Chances-PG15

04:30 One Angry Juror-PG15 06:00 Glee: The Concert MoviePG15 08:00 Waiting For Forever-PG15 10:00 Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes-PG15 12:00 Dark Shadows-PG15 14:00 Project Nim-PG15 16:00 Waiting For Forever-PG15 18:00 The Odd Life Of Timothy Green-PG 20:00 Gone-PG15 22:00 The Bourne Legacy-PG15 00:15 The Perfect Host-PG15 02:00 Waiting For Forever-PG15

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International Rugby Union World Pool Masters World Cup Of Pool Trans World Sport Golfing World International Rugby Union Futbol Mundial World Pool Masters World Cup Of Pool Trans World Sport Futbol Mundial Golfing World AFL Highlights Super League ICC Cricket 360 Futbol Mundial Golfing World International Rugby League AFL Premiership


DUBAI: OSN is bringing viewers the ultimate TV entertainment experience this Ramadan showcasing an array of brand new and exclusive premium programming and a viewing experience unmatched in the region. Viewers will be spoilt for choice with nine brand new shows making their TV premiere exclusively on OSN Ya Hala!HD and OSN Ya Hala Shabab HD. From original Egyptian productions (Adam w Jamila, El- Kabeer S3) to brand new Khaleeji series (Ghssen Maksoor, Salim S2), OSN will also build on the success of its cookery themed drama introduced last year with a brand new season of the hugely popular Znood El Sitt and another fresh concept Alf Akla w Akla, an unconventional culinary show inspired by the legendary fairy tale 1001 Nights. A key highlight of OSN’s offering is undoubtedly the much awaited Season 3 premiere of the endearing and epic story of Hareem Al Sultan which makes its grand appearance on OSN screens from July 1. Khulud Abu Homos, Senior Vice President of Programming at OSN said: “Based on customer demand and programming research, we have carefully put together an unrivalled range of programming to suit all tastes and preferences. Exclusively premiering the hotly anticipated Hareem Al-Sultan Season 3 on July 1 is undoubtedly the jewel of our Ramadan programming. We are also confident that Adam w Jamila will be a huge hit creating a benchmark for drama production in the region and Ahmed Mekky’s popular El-Kabeer is back with Season 3 only on OSN.” “We understand that during the Holy Month, schedules change and vary from person to person. With OSN’s technology, viewers can enjoy the spirit of Ramadan and also rest assured that they won’t miss their favourite shows. In fact, OSN’s technology allows each viewer to create their very own personalised TV experience. This year, OSN’s Ramadan offering is not only about premium and exclusive content but also an exclusive viewing experience found nowhere else.”

The Speed Of Thought-PG15 Ice Quake-PG15 Fast Five-PG15 Hide And Seek-PG15 Ice Road Terror-PG15 Fast Five-PG15 Justice League: Doom-PG15 Ice Road Terror-PG15 Virtuosity-PG15 Hanna-PG15 Elfie Hopkins-18 Virtuosity-PG15

08:00 Police Academy 3: Back In Training-PG15 10:00 Ernest Scared Stupid-PG15 12:00 Sorority Wars-PG15 14:00 Bushwhacked-PG 16:00 Ernest Scared Stupid-PG15 18:00 While You Were SleepingPG15 20:00 Vampire In Brooklyn-PG15 22:00 Analyze That-PG15 00:00 Jackass: Number Two-R 02:00 Vampire In Brooklyn-PG15

09:00 Take Shelter-PG15 11:00 Loosies-PG15 13:00 My Afternoons With Margueritte-PG15 15:00 Take Shelter-PG15 17:00 The Conspirator-PG15 19:00 Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid-PG 21:00 The Door In The Floor-PG15 23:00 Ironclad-18 01:00 The Last Gamble-18


00:00 ATP Tennis 02:00 Super League 04:00 International Rugby Union 06:00 AFL Premiership Highlights 07:00 Super League 09:00 NRL Premiership 11:00 Futbol Mundial 11:30 UK Open Darts 15:30 PGA Tour Highlights 16:30 PGA European Tour Highlights 17:30 ICC Cricket 360 18:00 Live IRB Junior Championship 20:00 Live IRB Junior Championship 22:00 NRL Full Time 22:30 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 23:30 WWE Smackdown

00:00 NRL Premiership 02:00 AFL Highlights 03:00 UK Open Darts 07:00 ATP Tennis 08:30 ATP Tennis 10:00 ATP Tennis 12:00 ICC Cricket 360 12:30 Live British & Irish Lions 14:30 Super Rugby Highlights 15:30 International Rugby Union 17:30 AFL Highlights 18:30 ICC Cricket 360 19:00 British & Irish Lions 21:00 NRL Full Time 21:30 Futbol Mundial 22:00 Trans World Sport 23:00 IRB Junior World Championship

Exclusive Egyptian series Back by popular demand is a line-up of star-studded dramas. The heart-wrenching Egyptian love story, Adam w Jamila makes its return on OSN Ya Hala Shabab HD. This powerful series, starring Hassan Al Raddad and Yousra Al Louzy, follows a young couple’s love story as it encounters insurmountable obstacles. Screened every day at 22:00 KSA, Adam w Jamila will have OSN viewers gripped to their seats. The series will continue after Ramadan with the next season returning exclusively on OSN. Ahmed Mekky is a gifted comedian, writer and rapper and is one of the funniest men in Egypt. In El Kabeer, Mekky plays three separate characters in one sitcom - a father and his three extremely different sons. Humour at its best, tune into the brand new Season 3 of one of the best Egyptian comedy shows which portrays different views and different ways of living through hilarious moments inspired from both Eastern and Western cultures. The show will screen at 19:00 KSA exclusively on OSN Shabab HD. Exclusive Khaleeji content: Making its TV debut is Ghssen Maksoor, a romantic Khaleeji drama series that tackles and helps to find a delicate balance between human relationships. The series stars renowned Kuwaiti actor Naif Al Rasheed along with Huda Khateeb. Plus, tune into Salim Season 2, inspired by a verse in the Holy Quran, sees Mustafa Al Aidaroos return to OSN’s Ya Hala!HD with a new inspirational season. Aimed at improving the spiritual and physical aspects of our lives for harmony and enlightenment, Salim S2 will be broadcast every day at 18:00 KSA. OSN’s newly created genre of culinary-themed drama: Building on its great success last year and back by popular demand, Znood El Sitt will once again couple culinary delights with comedy and drama. With recipes guaranteed to get the taste buds tingling, this season brings together Wafaa’ Mousally and newcomer Samia Al Jazeari. Further expanding this newly created genre, OSN launches Alf Akla w Akla, a gastronomic extravaganza inspired by the legendary Arabian fairy-tale 1001 Nights. Featuring sisters Alia & Shorouk, there’s plenty of interesting tales and great tips on cooking and eating healthy this Ramadan. Tune in every day at 14:00 KSA, exclusively on OSN Ya Hala!HD. And more: Following on from the successful adaption of the US Disney drama hit series ‘Private Practice,’ comes the acclaimed Turkish version, Marhaba Hayat airing on OSN Ya Hala Shabab HD from Saturday to Wednesday at 21:00 KSA. Another popular Turkish series, Asmaytoha Feriha brings the charming and passionate love story between Amir and Feriha to viewers from Saturday to Wednesday at 22:00 KSA, on OSN Ya Hala!HD.

Ramadan is a hectic period where most flexibility is needed to enjoy the spirit of the Holy Month. OSN is putting the reins in the hands of the viewer so they have complete control over their entertainment and can create their very own personal TV experience. Viewers don’t need to be constrained by channels and show timings any more - they can enjoy the spirit of Ramadan, visit your family and friends and design a TV schedule that fits their routine. Nowhere else will viewers find this unique blend of world class, premium content and an exclusive viewing experience. In addition to enjoying every moment in stunning high definition, viewers can record their favourite shows or revel in the joy of pausing live television. Plus, especially for the Holy Month, OSN has launched its exclusive ‘Ramadan Catch up’ and ‘Ramadan On Demand’ services giving viewers even more ways to access and enjoy their favourite TV. Viewers also have the option to watch OSN’s fantastic content anytime, anywhere via OSN Play, the region’s first online TV viewing platform. OSN Play will give viewers access to show details, recipes and even behind-the-scenes footage and interviews complementing the TV viewing experience. OSN Ya Hala!HD +2, a time shifted channel will also be launched especially for Ramadan to provide even more viewing options and flexibility. Award-winning Turkish drama Kicking off this year’s Ramadan line-up is the award winning Turkish series, Hareem Al Sultan. The long-awaited third season, which centres on the fictional portrayal of life in the Ottoman royal court, is a visual masterpiece and has been a resounding success across the Middle East and Africa. The first episode will premiere on Monday, July 1 exclusively on OSN Ya Hala!HD and will be screened from Saturday through to Wednesday dubbed in Arabic with English subtitles.

Special OSN Movies HD family slot Underscoring the values of togetherness, OSN has developed a special family slot on OSN Movies HD at 15:00 KSA daily boasting a line-up of the most popular Hollywood animated blockbusters, family dramas and heart-warming comedies This and much more only on OSN this Ramadan. For more information on OSN’s Ramadan programming please visit

Classifieds TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013



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Inviting marriage proposal for Tamil Christian girl age 30, working in Kuwait, qualifications B.P.T + M Sc (UK). Contact Email:

I, NSE OKON AKPAN holder of Nigerian passport Number A01448202 do hereby change my name to NSE SAMUEL KASALI. 18-6-2013 I, Kamasani Damodaram holder of Indian passport No. E6147415 issued at Hyderabad on 26-08-2003, I wish to change my name Kamasani Damodar Reddy. (C 4443) 15-6-2013 (C 4441)


12-6-2013 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:

Mitsubishi Lancer GT 2012, red color, sunroof, Camera, CD, (full option), 7,500km, Price KD 3,250/-. Contact: 50994848. (C 4438) 10-6-2013

No: 15843


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

03:13 04:49 11:49 15:23 18:50 20:22

THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR CIVIL INFORMATION Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is

9:45 PM 12:30 AM

Invited for a Roman Catholic girl, 25/155cm, BSc Nurse working in Kuwait, ( Thrissur Dist.) proposals from God fearing, suitably educated and employed boys. Email: (C 4444) 18-6-2013



112 Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (



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s ta rs CROSSWORD 224

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) ARIES You are always out front and manage to spend a lot of time in the spotlight in social situations. However, it may be time to cool your entertaining urges and let others take the limelight for a while. Finances—purchases, investments and credit in particular—could stand some clear thinking. Getting in over your head where such things are concerned can happen before you know it, so keep an eye on the bottom line. You are a born teacher and others find you inspiring. You may be guiding new employees in the ways of the working world. There is a love of the sea and a great desire to take some time off for a while. Checking the calendar you may find some opportune times to do just that. Plan a new adventure.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) You could be feeling rebellious and independent regarding your current situation. Patience will win out, however. Remember, there are times that others may have to be patient with you. There is the possibility of new visions or sudden insights into your self-image or into your ideals and dreams. This is a time to reshape and renew your philosophy or religion, during which your imagination is at full tilt. There are breakthroughs in compassion and communion. You naturally gravitate toward positions of power. Others see in you a great practical ability and accept you as a leader or authority figure. Your career may be very important to you now. Management or a self-owned business could be a consideration soon.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

ACROSS 1. A wine bottle made of leather. 5. Not capable of being swayed or diverted from a course. 12. Ancient Hebrew unit of liquid measure = 1.5 gallons. 15. (Norse mythology) The primeval giant slain by Odin and his brothers and from whose body they created the world. 16. A clergyman. 17. A sweetened beverage of diluted fruit juice. 18. A Tibetan or Mongolian priest of Lamaism. 19. A person who fights duels. 20. A young woman making her debut into society. 21. (Zoroastrianism) Title for benevolent deities. 23. Being ten more than one hundred thirty. 24. Roman emperor and adoptive son of Nerva. 26. Straggling shrub with narrow leaves and conspicuous red flowers in dense globular racemes. 28. Muslims collectively and their civilization. 30. The income arising from land or other property. 31. German publisher of a series of travel guidebooks (1801-1859). 35. An abnormally large amount of this fetoprotein in the fetus can signal an abnormality of the neural tube (as spina bifida or anencephaly). 39. A person who evokes boredom. 40. Cheese containing a blue mold. 43. By bad luck. 44. Of a vivid red to reddish-orange color. 47. Pertaining to one of the small sacs (as in a compound gland). 50. A cut of pork ribs with much of the meat trimmed off. 51. A unit of absorbed ionizing radiation equal to 100 ergs per gram of irradiated material. 52. (meaning literally `born') Used to indicate the maiden or family name of a married woman. 53. A zodiacal constellation in northern hemisphere between Cancer and Virgo. 54. Wood of a sumac. 57. Informal terms for a mother. 59. An associate degree in nursing. 60. Any of various spiny trees or shrubs of the genus Acacia. 62. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 67. An awkward stupid person. 70. One or some or every or all without specification. 73. Having the head uncovered. 75. Relating to or characteristic of or occurring on the sea or ships. 76. A tricycle (usually propelled by pedalling). 78. Open-heart surgery in which the rib cage is opened and a section of a blood vessel is grafted from the aorta to the coronary artery to bypass the blocked section of the coronary artery and improve the blood supply to the heart. 79. Hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary gland (trade name Pitressin) and also by nerve endings in the hypothalamus. 80. The great hall in ancient Persian palaces. 81. A fencing sword similar to a foil but with a heavier blade.

DOWN 1. A rule made by a local authority to regulate its own affairs. 2. A member of the Siouan people formerly living in the Missouri river valley in NE Nebraska. 3. Mongolian ruler of Samarkand who led his nomadic hordes to conquer an area from Turkey to Mongolia (1336-1405). 4. The mountain peak that Noah's ark landed on as the waters of the great flood receded. 5. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 6. A small syringe with detachable nozzles. 7. A stock exchange in New York. 8. A unit of atmospheric pressure equal to one thousandth of a bar. 9. Black tropical American cuckoo. 10. Drawn or pressed close to someone or something for or as if for affection or protection. 11. The cardinal number that is the sum of three and one. 12. A pilgrimage to Mecca. 13. The content of cognition. 14. The compass point that is one point north of northeast. 22. Essential oil or perfume obtained from flowers. 25. Pertaining to or resembling amoebae. 27. A state in northwestern North America. 29. Durable fragrant wood. 32. Capital of Micronesia. 33. An implement used to erase something. 34. Seed again or anew. 36. Marked by casual disrespect. 37. Of or relating to punishment. 38. Found along western Atlantic coast. 41. Not having been read. 42. A platform raised above the surrounding level to give prominence to the person on it. 45. (in Gnosticism) A divine power or nature emanating from the Supreme Being and playing various roles in the operation of the universe. 46. A nonmetallic largely pentavalent heavy volatile corrosive dark brown liquid element belonging to the halogens. 48. Tropical American tree producing cacao beans. 49. A state in the Rocky Mountains. 55. 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. 56. Having two faces or fronts. 58. (of complexion) Blemished by imperfections of the skin. 61. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 63. An Indian nursemaid who looks after children. 64. A city in northwestern Syria. 65. The closing section of a musical composition. 66. A town in north central Oklahoma. 68. (Greek mythology) The goddess of youth and spring. 69. At or constituting a border or edge. 71. An accountant certified by the state. 72. A local computer network for communication between computers. 74. A reproach for some lapse or misdeed. 77. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group.

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013

You may be playing the role of healer, teacher or critic today. You will receive good news regarding your business or your position within a company. A raise or a boost in your income makes this a rewarding day. There could be a close relationship that may seem to be a bit shaky just now—perhaps a misunderstanding. It’s important to keep your perspective where such things are concerned. Feelings of love and needs for security must be expressed and addressed; otherwise they can drive a wedge between people. You may be sought after for your advice regarding very personal and emotional issues of a young person. You will be able to handle this matter successfully. You are able to cut through the red tape in order to find the needed results.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) New career opportunities may be the reason for a move soon. Fate sends opportunity your way if you listen to your instincts and give your natural sense of curiosity a free rein. The perfect house or apartment may be in the least expected place. Take your time before signing on the bottom line. Decisive action is the main order of business now. The way you respond to change and maintain your independence is a major focus. Someone in the family wants more independence—give them responsibilities and independence will come. With several members of your family having the same month birthday soon, consider a fun trip to a new area of town that nobody has

Leo (July 23-August 22) Mysterious or mystical information fires your imagination and there is a good chance that there is more imagination than knowledge for now. Keep an open mind and learn all you can, but do not take everything you hear for gospel. You are inclined to do things from outer necessity rather than for emotional or idealistic reasons. Your theories and mental activities may be fine, but you may also lack the heart or time to let things develop. Patience is the key word, particularly for today. This could affect your career direction or vocation. Your wish to be independent, to try new things, etc., comes at an inappropriate time but you will eventually find workable solutions. Your desires are strong and you will find contentment this evening.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) Situations and people you thought you could rely on might not be so solid after all. Talk things over and find out what is really happening—you should be able to enhance your security. There is a feeling that things will work out to your satisfaction very soon. You may be able to break through and move ahead with your ambitions and general life’s purpose. You could also receive unexpected help from someone in authority. In playing the mating game or match game, timing is everything. Today is a very important day for love. When that telephone call comes this afternoon, know ahead of time what days or evenings of the calendar will be available for dating and encourage or make a future date. Guides or angels work in your best interest.

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Libra (September 23-October 22) Your physical vitality, psychological or spiritual goals are in good shape. Now is the time to weed through and eliminate or in some way control difficulties that have come to your attention. This could be a professional or personal task. You are able to handle situations with confidence and set examples for others to follow without even realizing it. Your compassion to others is commendable. If you are the owner of a business, there are opportunities now to advance forward by making any changes you deem necessary. You will take matters into consideration and go with the statistically feasible and businesslike action. This evening you find constructive ways to relax that may include the care of animals. Family members bring much laughter tonight.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Your goals stand in stark contrast to the goals of others and an adjustment must be made. You will be able to compromise and come to a new understanding. There is a switch effect: you may alternate between very conventional behavior and sudden rebellious lapses. At these times you must be attentive to reflect your thoughts and words to others in the best possible ways. This is a time to be patient and tread lightly when it comes to indulgence and overextending your time. Relationships, whether partnerships, personal or the social scene in general, are very important now and can have a very strong influence on your career. This evening, you can forget the day and become lost in your loved one’s arms.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You are very independent in appearance and communication. Your spontaneity and unpredictability make you interesting to any group. You and a group of your co-worker friends are planning a big barbeque soon and you could provide some of the entertainment. You may feel that you are intuitively in touch with whatever comes across your path. Harmony, energy, enthusiasm and respect are easy to find. You have plenty of support for whatever you want to accomplish. The cycle that begins for you now will be marked by a more intense focus on mental and communicative activity. It’s a time of more involvement with a variety of people, a time for gathering information and a time when you’re apt to be more on the go than usual.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) You have great internal strength and lean toward independence, preferring to lean on yourself more than on those outside. The ability to work with those older and younger than yourself is a real gift and this talent makes you a natural mediator or go-between. You may find opportunities to be self-motivating—no dependency here. As it is most of the time, you work well by yourself or with others. This afternoon is great for a philosophical discussion. You may decide this is a good time to visit those friends that interact with you in fun and perceptive conversations. You are inspired. This evening, you may be teaching a child some very important things about goal setting and achieving those goals. Encourage short-term goals as well as the long-term ones.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You are very talkative and not just a little curious. You enjoy talking, speaking and writing and may be looking forward to a class in creative writing this evening. It is easy for you to be convincing and persuasive and today there is an important point you feel you need to make. With only a few words, others will understand. Study, research and investigations of all kinds appeal to you. If you are not traveling just now, you will be talking about it with co-workers. The best places to visit, stay and eat are topics of conversation during the noon meal. Educational projects require much study and may also involve travel. You may be performing research on the subject of a story you are writing. Fresh insight comes to you through mass media.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) This may be a frustrating day regarding practical or job-related activities. However, your key word is responsibility. You will be able to rise above these frustrations through your perseverance. You are able to find yourself in others, in relationships, rather than alone—a mirror or clear pool. You can be peaceful, calm and undisturbed regardless of what is going on around you. You are a genius at bringing out others and directing them into productivity. You are direct and candid and are encouraged to brush past appearances and settle on the truth. Ideas—philosophy and religion—are what life is all about. Travel opportunities come to your attention. You may travel, council and be a teacher to others. You spend time helping animals this evening.

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Yesterday’s Solution

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TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013

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

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

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013

lifestyle A w a r d s


ays of Our Lives” scored a rare win for best drama series at the Daytime Emmys in a show marked by an envelope mix-up, expletives and the constant din of audience chatter heard during the cable telecast that stretched beyond its time slot. NBC’s “Days” won just its second drama series trophy and first since 1978, upending such heavyweights as “General Hospital,” “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “The Young and the Restless” all of which had dominated the category in recent years. “Days” is one of four remaining soaps still airing on the broadcast networks, while another nominee “One Life to Live” has found new life on the Internet after being canceled. “Days” claimed one other trophy: Chandler Massey as outstanding younger actor. CBS claimed eight trophies during Sunday’s show, giving the network a leading 21 wins including those from last week’s creative arts ceremony. PBS was second with 14 wins. In a major gaffe, Aisha Tyler of “The Talk” was presenting outstanding talk show informative when she opened the envelope and quickly realized she had been given the wrong one. “Oh, interestingly enough this winner is not in this category,” she said. “If I read it out I’m going to give another category away.” The audience at the Beverly Hilton hotel gasped and Tyler vamped while waiting to be given the correct envelope from the wings. “There better be a cocktail waiting on my table,” Tyler said. She then announced “The Dr Oz Show” as the winner. “It’s like saying, ‘Whoops,’ in the operating room,” Dr Mehmet Oz said backstage about the goof-up. Corbin Bernsen uttered two expletives on-air when talking about his late mother, Jeanne Cooper of “The Young and the Restless,” during the in memoriam tribute. Doug Davidson of “The Young and the Restless” and Heather Tom of “The Bold and the Beautiful” won lead acting honors. Davidson earned his first career trophy as Detective Paul Williams, a character he’s played since 1978. Tom, who previously was on “Y&R,” repeated her win from last year. “I am overwhelmed,” he said, wiping his eye. Tom won for her role as Katie Logan, who struggled with post-partum depression and abandoned her baby in a major story line. Last year, she became the first person to win Daytime Emmys in the younger, supporting and lead categories. She expressed optimism for the future of daytime dramas, which have shrunk from a dozen airing on the broadcast networks in 1991 to just four still on TV. “Last year was kind of like, ‘Oh god, things are being canceled.’ Now our numbers are up and people realize there’s an audience for this type of entertainment,” Tom said backstage. “It’s an audience that can’t be easily swayed to something that doesn’t resemble a daytime drama. Our future looks good.” Reflecting the current era of dwindling daytime audiences, network budget-cutting and the cancellation of some soaps, the awards were aired by cable news channel HLN for the second straight year, having lost its longtime home on the broadcast networks last year. In an effort to liven up the proceedings, the night’s biggest winners were chatted up, sometimes awkwardly, on stage right after they accepted their trophies by celebrities whose favorite question was the clichÈd “How do you feel?”

The cast and crew of ‘Days of Our Lives’ accept the award for outstanding drama series at the 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards on Sunday in Beverly Hills, Calif. — AP photos “This is so strange,” Davidson said as he grabbed a mic and took a seat on a red sofa. “Good Morning America” weather anchor Sam Champion, along with HLN network’s A.J. Hammer and Robin Meade, hosted the 40th annual show, which stretched well past its scheduled two hours. Scott Clifton of “The Bold and the Beautiful” and Billy Miller of “The Young and the Restless” tied for supporting actor in a drama series. Julie Marie Berman of “General Hospital” won supporting actress honors. She has since left the ABC soap. Her former co-star, Kristen Alderson, won the younger actress category. In an upset, first-time nominee “CBS Sunday Morning” beat out heavyweights “Good Morning America” and the “Today Show” for outstanding morning program. “We snuck in while nobody was looking,” host Charles Osgood said. Ricki Lake, whose daytime comeback has been canceled, won outstanding talk show host. Ben Bailey of “Cash Cab,” which is no longer being produced, picked up his third win as outstanding game show host. “The Price is Right” won game show honors. “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” earned its seventh trophy as outstanding talk show entertainment. The show paid tribute to Lifetime Achievement Award winners Monty Hall of “Let’s Make a Deal” fame and the late game-show creator Bob Stewart. — AP Heather Tom accepts the award for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’.

Doug Davidson accepts the award for outstanding lead actor in a drama series for ‘The Young and the Restless’.

The crew of ìThe Ellen DeGeneres Showî accepts the award for outstanding talk show entertainment. Scott Clifton accepts the award for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’.

Charles Osgood accepts the award for outstanding morning program for ‘CBS Sunday Morning’.

Producer Mike Richards accepts the Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show award for ‘The Price is Right’. Actress Julie Marie Berman poses with the Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series award for ‘General Hospital’.

Scott Clifton, left, from the cast of ‘The Bold and the Beautiful,’ congratulates co-winner Billy Miller, from the cast of ‘The Young and the Restless,’ as they accept the award for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series.

Actress Kristen Alderson poses with the Outstanding Younger Actress In A Drama Series award for ‘General Hospital’.

Drama series: “Days of Our Lives.” Lead actress in a drama series: Heather Tom, “The Bold and the Beautiful.” Lead actor in a drama series: Doug Davidson, “The Young and the Restless.” Supporting actress in a drama series: Julie Marie Berman, “General Hospital.” Supporting actor in a drama series (tie): Scott Clifton, “The Bold and the Beautiful,” and Billy Miller, “The Young and the Restless.” Game show:“The Price is Right.” Informative talk show:“The Dr Oz Show.” Entertainment talk show:“The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Culinary program (tie):“Best Thing I Ever Made” and “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen.” Culinary host: Linda Bastianich, “Lidia’s Italy.” Morning program:“CBS Sunday Morning.” Original song:“Good Afternoon” from “Good Morning America.” Special class animated program:“Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” Younger actor in a drama series: Chandler Massey, “Days of Our Lives.” Younger actress in a drama series: Kristen Alderson, “General Hospital.” Entertainment talk show:“The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Drama series directing team:“The Bold and the Beautiful.” Drama series writing team:“The Bold and the Beautiful.” Talk-show host: Ricki Lake, “The Ricki Lake Show.”

Ben Bailey accepts the Outstanding Game Show Host award for ‘Cash Cab’.

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013

lifestyle M u s i c


n Pixar’s “Monsters University,” a prequel to 2001 “Monsters, Inc,” our expert “scarers” to be - the wisecracking pipsqueak Mike Wazowski and the burly James B. Sullivan - are college freshmen with high aspirations. Pixar, too, knows something about expectations. Thanks to the gentle poetry of “Up,” the cosmic romance of “WALL-E” and the unlikely artist portrait of “Ratatouille” (not to mention others), the mantle is high for Pixar, a paragon of pop culture.But lately, the studio hasn’t been living up to its uniquely high standard. “Monsters University” follows two subpar efforts, “Cars 2” and “Brave,” both of which lacked Pixar’s usual inventiveness. The digital animation outfit, it turned out, is human after all. “Monsters University” is neither a bold return to form nor another misfire, but a charming, colorful coming-of-age tale that would be a less qualified success for all but Pixar. The profusion of sequels is indeed dismaying for a studio that so frequently has prized originality. But “Monsters University” is nevertheless pleasant, amiably animated family entertainment. A big reason is because Wazowski and Billy Crystal remain one of the best toon-voice actor combinations in animation. A lime green ball with spindly appendages, he’s little more than one big eyeball. But it’s Wazowski’s mouth that’s his dominant feature. He’s ceaselessly chipper, with a stand-up’s penchant for sarcasm. He arrives on campus an eager, retainermouthed bookworm with his heart set on becoming a star pupil in Monster University’s prestigious and competitive Scare Program, and moving on to his dream

career at Monsters, Inc. (Monsters fuel their world by scaring human children through the nighttime portal of closet doors.) The professional scarers are like rock stars in Monstropolis, and Wazowski, blind to his diminutive size and total lack of fright-inducing menace, dreams of making the big leagues. For Sully (John Goodman), such a future is presumed. He’s “a Sullivan,” a legacy, the son of a famous scarer. Blessed with a powerful roar, he boasts all the natural talent Wazowski lacks. One a jock of privilege, the other a wide-eyed aspirant: Neither can stand the other. But both find themselves kicked out of the Scare Program by the cruel Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren), a kind of winged centipede. Shut to the doors of the cool kids frat, Roar Omega Roar (captained well by Nathan Fillion’s chest-pumping Johnny Worthington), Wazowski and Sully have no recourse but to join the motley gang of misfits at Oozma Kappa (“We’re OK!” they shout). Their only way back in is to win the Scare Games, a Harry Potter-like tradition of competing fraternities. If “Monsters, Inc” was workplace whimsy, “Monsters University” is campus comedy. Characters - widely varied in both skill sets and biology - are finding their path, often a happy deviation from their expected one. Director Dan Scanlon, a veteran Pixar storyboard artist, populates this collegiate life with rich detail and sly but not forced references. Ultimately, the film (which is preceded by a short, “The Blue Umbrella”) makes a surprisingly sharp lesson on the hard truths of limited talent (giftedness


M o v i e s

remains an intriguing Pixar theme seen previously in “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille”), but also of the great value in plucky determination. Pixar’s “Monsters University” might not be as gifted as some of its other movies, but sometimes it’s alright to be OK. “Monsters

University,” a Walt Disney release, is rated G. Running time: 103 minutes. Three stars out of four. — AP

This film publicity image released by Disney-Pixar shows a scene from ‘Monsters University.’ — AP


Kendrick Lamar performs on stage. —AP photos


emories are a jumble walking out of the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. Days blend together, sound memories clash and surface. Hipster moustaches made from pink glow sticks haunt your dreams. And that smell. The horror. A few things really stuck out this year, though, as we reviewed things following Tom Petty’s rain-drenched, festival-closing 2 1/2-hour set. Here’s a look at five: Rock ‘n’ roll will never die: Those who think rock ‘n’ roll is irrelevant or even dead need to pay a visit to the farm. It may be showing its age - eternally rocking Paul McCartney and Petty and The Heartbreakers were the two most prominent headliners - and electronica and hip-hop are elbowing their way in - witness start turns by Macklemore, Kendrick Lewis and A$AP Rocky, who brought more than

Tom Petty performs on Day 4 of the 2013 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn. 20,000 fans to a tent designed to hold 5,000. But it’s really still rock ‘n’ roo. Just ask Derek Vincent Smith, the DJ who performs as Pretty Lights. Smith had one of the most anticipated and well-attended events of the weekend early Saturday morning, spinning tunes for tens of thousands of wild, scantily clad and costumed revelers until nearly 4 a.m. He saw something interesting as he worked his way through his set, however. “From my perspective, I really noticed a massive response to my classic rock remixes,” Smith said. “So Bonnaroo hasn’t changed too much, you know what I mean? My Pink Floyd remix, my Led Zeppelin remix, my Steve Miller Band, stuff like that, people went crazy. I wasn’t initially planning on venturing into that territory, but I was trying to read the vibes.” Smith decided to spend parts of three days in middle Tennessee checking out the festival. He said it’s been one of his best experiences. “Everyone’s there,” Smith said. “It’s not Coachella where everybody leaves and they go to their condo or whatever. Everyone’s out there sweating, getting smelly together. Even with the electronica and hip-hop and all that really becoming a big part of it, it’s always going to be a hippy festival in the end. That’s awesome.” Macklemore is for real: Think the popularity of Macklemore &

Ryan Lewis is just a fad built on a novelty song? You should have seen their show Sunday at Bonnaroo. Filled with humor, non-stop energy and the duo’s recent hits, including “Thrift Shop,” the show was something of a revelation. “I like Mack,” Lamar said as Lewis’ bass rattled the walls of his backstage trailer. “I’ve hung with him a few times. Cool dude, man. He’s taking over.” And that’s just what he was doing outside. In a soon-to-be-classic YouTube moment, Macklemore saw a fan in the crowd sporting a spotted fur coat similar to the one the Seattle rapper features in the “Thrift Shop” video. “Can you take off that fur jacket and crowd surf it up here and let me take a look at it?” Macklemore said. The fan sent the coat toward the stage and security tossed it up to the rapper: “You know, this doesn’t smell as bad as I thought it would. It smells like weed and malt liquor.” He put the coat on and sent the crowd of 40,000-plus at the main stage into a frenzy with the help of a live horn section as he launched into “Thrift Shop,” the group’s breakthrough hit that’s launched a six-month run to pop stardom. Even a pop-up thunderstorm couldn’t slow things down and Macklemore wrapped it up by crowd surfing. HAIM is next: HAIM already had a little buzz rolling into Bonnaroo after time spent on the road with Mumford & Sons and anticipation for the sister act’s debut album building. Their well-attended Thursday afternoon set should add to the clamor building around Este, Alana and Danielle Haim. On their previous EP releases, the band came across as more a girl group with complex harmonies and a hip-hop influenced sound. On stage, though, they’re something very different. All three play instruments, have the ability to rock as they showed on a Fleetwood Mac jam and finished off their set with a rousing drum circle that fans were talking about a day later. The best moment, though, had nothing to do with music. Este Haim shut the group down about midway through the set and pointed at a sign in the crowd: “There’s a little boy holding a sign that says, ‘Kiss me, Este.” And she did, bringing the toddler who wore a large yellow noise-blocking headset onstage where she and her sisters posed for a picture with him. “I’m engaged now,” Este Haim said. Two by two: Jack White and The Black Keys have mostly moved on from that two-man band thing, but a wave of guitar-and-drums duos continues to roll through rock ‘n’ roll. At least four were on display at Bonnaroo - Japandroids, JEFF the Brotherhood, Deap Vally and Beach House. Vancouver, British Columbia-based Brian King and Dave Prowse of Japandroids turned in one of the festival’s most raucous performances Thursday, and they did it with just two guys bashing away. King plays guitar and sings most of the songs and Prowse plays drums. “There’s a lot of positives and negatives to it,” King said after the set. “Like there’s no third, fourth or fifth person to break a tie. It’s more like a relationship. You have to find some kind of middle ground to make it work or it doesn’t work.”—AP

orld War Z” promised to be some sort of ultimate zombie movie experience, and it’s hard to call it that. But the first 25 minutes or so of this “Contagion”-meets-”28 Days Later” thriller will leave you breathless. And the rest of it serves up novel and often entertaining solutions to the various “zombie problems” that this overexposed genre presents. Marc Forster (“Quantum of Solace”) hurls us straight into the action. Barely five minutes into the film, ex-UN trouble-shooter Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), his wife (Mireille Enos) and two kids are trapped in Philadelphia traffic when all heck breaks loose. Whatever hints there have been about this “rabies” outbreak on the news cannot prepare them for the melee a tidal wave of the undead unleash. They dash through an onslaught of zombies, streets of mayhem, stores filled with looters. Parents act like parents (To the kids: “Be NINJA quiet!”) and Gerry lets on that he knows more than we realize as he armors himself against being bitten and takes suicidal precautions when he is exposed. Gerry has special skills. He was a researcher / troubleshooter for the United Nations. His old UN boss (Fana Mokoena) says “I need you,” and that’s his family’s source of rescue. As cities fall and governments collapse, the “useful” and the powerful find themselves ferried to an offshore flotilla of survivors where the military and the UN help them regroup and start looking for answers. “The airlines were the perfect delivery system” for a virus, we’re told. “Attention, DC has gone dark,” a public address system aboard their safe-haven aircraft carrier announces. And then begins Gerry’s long, deadly search for clues, for “Patient Zero,” the first place this epidemic broke out and the “crumbs” that will point to a solution. An awful lot of the budget-that not reserved for special effects-must have gone to Pitt, as the supporting cast is seriously low-wattage, only a few name players in bit parts. David Morse has a chewy, toothless scene describing how North Korea may have saved itself. Mathew Fox and James Badge Dale are swaggering soldiers improvising their way through Armageddon, making sure they “get Zekes (zombies) on the ground.” Gerry Lane doesn’t swagger. He doesn’t panic, but Pitt never lets on that his character is sure of the outcome even if giving up is no option. “Gut up,” he tells a soldier. Pitt lets us see Gerry take his own advice. Forster keeps the gory stuff-bitings, bloodlettings, amputations-discretely off camera. But he rarely


os Angeles police say “Curb Your Enthusiasm” actor and comedian Jeff Garlin has been arrested on a felony vandalism charge after a dispute with another motorist over a parking space. Police Sgt Harry Rosenfeld says the 51-year-old actor was arrested for allegedly smashing the windows of the other person’s car. Rosenfeld says officers arrested Garlin in Studio City on Saturday. Garlin was jailed on $20,000 bail. It wasn’t clear from the Los Angeles County Sheriff ’s Department’s website if he had been released. Garlin’s publicists didn’t immediately respond to

lets the tension dissipate. Whatever message might be carried in the way fortress states like Israel and North Korea resist the virus is undercut by the best-laid plans of the living dead. (Who are, by the way, fast-moving, twitchy and just scary enough. Their tooth-clicking glee at pursuing new victims is a sure laugh, but the movie rarely becomes a “Mow them down” video game.) The “Contagion” vibe clings to it, with science straining to find an answer and the last vestiges of government grasping at a Hail Mary pass to save them all. So no, “World War Z” isn’t the ultimate zombie movie. But 11 years after “28 Days Later,” it’s reassuring to see the human race put aside its differences and share a little brain power to defeat those who-tradition and George A. Romero always told us-prefer their brains fresh and juicy. — MCT

This publicity image released by Paramount Pictures shows, from center left, Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane, Abigail Hargrove as Rachel Lane, and Mireille Enos as Karin Lanein a scene from ‘World War Z.’ — AP

phone and email messages Sunday. Garlin played Larry David’s friend and manager on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and was the show’s co-executive producer. He’s also appeared frequently on “Arrested Development” and numerous other television shows. TMZ first reported his arrest. — AP

File photo shows actor Jeff Garlin attends the HBO premiere of ‘Curb You Enthusiasm’ at the Time Warner Center in New York. — AP


This CD cover image released by Def Jam Recordings shows ‘Yeezus,’ the latest release by Kanye West. — AP

anye West, “Yeezus” (Def Jam/Roc-AFella) It’s hard to digest all of Kanye West on his new album. “Yeezus” is the rapper’s darkest, eeriest and most erratic album of his six solo releases. He is in militant form on the 10-track set, rapping over beats that are artsy, electronic and gloomy. It’s a far stretch from the contemporary rap and pop success he achieved with more than a dozen Top 10 hits, including “Gold Digger,” “Stronger” and “Heartless.” But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “Yeezus” continues on the dark and emotive path he set on 2010’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” and “808s & Heartbreak,” which was released two years earlier. The production throughout “Yeezus” is exceptional, with Rick Rubin, Daft Punk, No ID, RZA and more helping out. The album flows nicely, with songs including layered vocals and transitions that elevate them to great heights: “On Sight” starts the album with the right energy and West gets an epic and soulful assist from Charlie Wilson on the closing track, “Bound 2.” It’s a classic Yeezy effort and arguably the album’s best track. Lyrically, though, West isn’t always at his

best. The album lacks deep storytelling from the 36 year-old, which he powerfully delivered on past albums. He sounds random and frustrated at times, and at others, he’ll frustrate you. West raps about religion a good amount on “Yeezus,” which is his Jesus-like moniker. “If I don’t get ran out by Catholics, here come some conservative Baptists,” he says on “Black Skinhead.” And on “I Am God” - well, you get it. But religious folks won’t be the only ones upset with the album: While West has promoted “Yeezus” with performances on “Saturday Night Live” and video projections to match the album’s wild sound, he’s releasing it without a huge single on radio or on the charts. There isn’t even an official music video. — AP

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013

lifestyle F a s h i o n


hoppers in the 109 countries where Spanish fashion chain Mango has stores recognize its celebrity faces well, but few know much about the company behind the clothes modeled by Kate Moss, Gerard Pique and Scarlett Johansson. “Mango is from Spain, part of the Inditex group, isn’t it?” said Maria Lekae, 29, a Russian shopper browsing in the branch on Barcelona’s smart street Passeig de Gracia. Her misconception that Mango is one of Zara owner Inditex’s cluster of brands is common. In fact, the 30-year-old Barcelona-based company is private and unrelated to the world’s largest retailer, based in Galicia, northern Spain. That could change if Mango successfully implements a 10year plan to break out from under the shadow of its larger Spanish competitor and equal Zara’s current level of sales, which topped 10.5 billion euros last year compared with Mango’s 1.7 billion. “We began later than them, that’s why you need to give us 10 years to catch up!” Managing Director Enric Casi told Reuters in an interview at Mango’s headquarters and design centre on an industrial estate 30 km from downtown Barcelona. Mango has pushed out to even more markets than its larger listed peer, which opened its first store about 40 years ago. It aims to continue expansion at the rate of more than four new stores a week, entering four new countries this year. It also said

a new strategy to reduce production costs and prices of its clothes had halted a two-year profit fall, increasing net profit for 2012 by 82 percent to 113 million euros ($150.00 million). Casi described how the firm recaptured European customers battling austerity, with designers creating less expensive clothes, less evening wear and more casual garments. “In 2010, 2009, we made markdowns, but in 2011 we did so many we ate up half the profit,” he said. “We now start with a lower price but without discounts or markdowns later.” The dangerous mid-market Mango put prices alongside outfits in catalogues and advertising last year, in a similar way to H&M. Budget retailers such as Primark, owned by Associated Foods, have thrived during the economic slowdown as consumers buy cheaper clothes. Some luxury brands have also held up. But the mid-market is suffering. Mango makes 16 percent of sales and has 326 outlets in Spain, which is racked by high unemployment and recession. Even veteran department store El Corte Ingles is suffering. The market repositioning is paying off, with 2012 global sales up 20 percent and the firm back in profit after dropping 32 percent in 2010 and 38 percent in 2011. Cheap labor in China, source of 42 percent of Mango clothes, and countries including Turkey, South Korea, Morocco and Bangladesh will

remain a central strategy for the company, Casi said. The collapse of a building in Bangladesh, killing 1,129 people has raised questions about conditions in producing countries. Forms for a Mango sample order were found in April in the rubble of Rana Plaza. “Today, if you want to produce textiles, apart from the cloth, you know the countries of the world where you must buy and if you buy in other places you go wrong and you fail,” he said. “In China, they sew better than in Europe nowadays.” Mango’s founders, the Andic brothers, Isak and Nahman, opened their first store at 65 Passeig de Gracia in 1984, when Casi worked as a consultant for them. “It was an old fur shop and I remember we opened up so quickly we still had the name of the fur shop there and Mango’s sign in red letters,” he said. New ventures Since then, Mango has notched up about 2,600 stores. By comparison, H&M has over 2,900, while Inditex has more than 6,000, of which over 1,700 are Zara. The retail empire has made Mango President Isak Andic and his family the fourth richest in Spain, according to Forbes. Andic, who loves yachts and art, resists giving interviews. “We’re now in another market, we’re competing with Inditex, with H&M, and we’re very satisfied,” said Casi.

Models present creations by Sibling during the spring / summer 2014 London Collections Men’s fashion week in London yesterday. — AFP photos

Models present creations by YMC.

Key to Mango’s 10-year strategy lies in developing a group of brands for men, children and older women, building on its Mango Touch accessories line started in 2011 and H.E. by Mango. “It seems they want to use an umbrella brand and the doubt is whether they’ll have the ability to not only grow but also adapt their structure to this new strategy,” said Gerard Costa, marketing professor at Barcelona-based ESADE business school. In Mango’s 12,000-square-metre design centre El Hangar is a pilot shop where the display of the new formats is worked out. Samples for the line Mango Kids, launching this summer, include gold hotpants costing 27.99 euros. Mango also launches its Sport&Intimates underwear line this summer; next year, it plans to bring in lines targeting teens and mature women. It aims for group sales of 1.98 billion euros by year end. — Reuters

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013

lifestyle F e a t u r e s

The top fifteen Miss USA finalists pose onstage.


Miss Connecticut USA Erin Brady reacts after being crowned Miss USA during the 2013 Miss USA pageant at PH Live at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. — AP/AFP photos

he country’s newest Miss USA is leaving a white collar job behind for the glamour and excitement that goes with her new role - and she can’t wait. Moments after she was crowned at the Planet Hollywood hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip Sunday, Connecticut accountant Erin Brady said all she could think about was letting her bosses know she won’t be coming in tomorrow. Or ever again. As her family and fiancee looked on, Brady beat out other beauties from every US state and Washington DC to take the title, accepting the crown from outgoing queen Miss Maryland Nana Meriwether. She wore an orange bikini with a matching halter-top as she strutted to the Jonas Brother’s “Pom Poms.” Later, she donned a strapless gown with a spangled golden corset and long white train. In the pageant’s final minutes, she answered without hesitation a question about the US Supreme Court’s decision to uphold widespread DNA tests. “If someone is being prosecuted and committed a crime, it should happen. There are so many crimes that if that’s one step closer to stopping them, then we should be able to do so,” she said. Miss Utah, meanwhile, apparently stumbled in response to a question about income disparity, providing a rambling, halting answer included an invocation to “create education better.” As Miss USA, she will live in a swanky Manhattan apartment and travel the world raising awareness about breast cancer, but Brady has an additional goal of her own: Helping children cope with the effects of drug and alcohol abuse, which have marked those close to her. “I grew up in a family influenced by that and I think it’s really important to help the children of families that are suffering from those problems,” she told The Associated Press. Her father Francis said he always knew his math-oriented daughter was a glamour girl. She and her sisters used to strut around and pretend they were beauty queens. Her sister Audrey, 20, said with tears in her eyes that her grandmother, who was watching from home, would orchestrate the pretend shows. “She’d be like, ‘Prance around the pool like Miss America.’” The family was taken by surprise two years ago when Brady announced she would be entering the Miss Connecticut competition, but they cheered her on. “She just went up there on a whim, man. But it was like, ‘Just go for it. There should be more people like you who

are competing, where it’s not all about the hair and the makeup, but personality too,’” Audrey said. Brady told The Associated Press that she hopes her background will help dispel negative associations held by some toward pageants. “I think that now more than ever, they’re accepting that we’re all intelligent individuals and that it’s really not a stereotype,” she said. Unlike the rival Miss America pageant, Donald Trump’s Miss USA doesn’t ask its queens to perform a talent or choose a charity mission. As suspenseful music played on Sunday night before the winner announcement, Brady held hands with first runner up Mary Margaret McCord, of Alabama. McCord could be seen saying, “I love you.” Miss Illinois Stacie Juris was second runner up. Two of the six judges’ questions on Sunday touched on the controversial data-collection programs run by the National Security Agency brought to light earlier this month. In both cases, the queens took an unconcerned attitude. Miss South Carolina said the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden who leaked the information should not be charged with treason. Miss Alabama said the programs did not bother her. Beaming fiancÈ Tony Capasso said he advised Brady to compete without makeup. The Central Connecticut State University finance major will represent the US at the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow this winter. Last year’s Miss USA, Olivia Culpo, won that international crown, becoming the first Miss USA to ascend to Miss Universe in 16 years. Brady said she is determined to pull of the feat for the US again. For the next few days, though, she’s just hoping to unwind with a routine that sounded not very different from her training regime: hitting the gym and getting in her beauty sleep. Yvette Cruz contributed to this report. — AP

Miss USA 2012 Nana Meriwether crowns Miss Connecticut USA Erin Brady the new Miss USA.

Miss Texas Ali Nugent from Dallas.

Miss Connecticut USA Erin Brady walks onstage.

Hosts Nick Jonas (left) and Giuliana Rancic introduce the contestants.

(From left) Top 6 finalists Miss Texas USA Alexandria Nichole Nugent, Miss Connecticut USA Erin Brady, Miss South Carolina USA Megan Tyler Pinckney, Miss Illinois USA Stacie Juris, Miss Alabama USA Mary Margaret McCord and Miss Utah USA Marissa Powell appear during the 2013 Miss USA pageant .

Donald Trump, recording artist and host Nick Jonas and television personality and host Giuliana Rancic appear onstage.

From left, host Nick Jonas, Giuliana Rancic look on as Miss Connecticut Erin Brady answers a question from a judge.

Miss Illinois Stacie Juris

Miss Pennsylvania Jessica Billings from Berwyn.

Miss West Virginia USA 2013, Chelsea Welch, is announced as one of the 15 finalists.

Miss USA crown goes to Connecticut contestant


TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013

A leaf of a rubber tree photographed with macro lens 100mm, in Kuwait City yesterday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat


here’s no business like small business. Mix the high stakes of running a small business with a dash of family drama and throw in a camera crew and you get hit reality television shows such as “Pawn Stars,” “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” and “Duck Dynasty.” Turning small business owners into stars has become a winning formula for television producers, but some businesses featured in them are cashing in, too. Sales explode after just a few episodes air, transforming these nearly unknown small businesses into household names. In addition to earning a salary from starring in the shows, some small business owners are benefiting financially from opening gift shops that sell souvenirs or getting involved in other ventures that spawn from their new-found fame. Sales at Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas are five times higher than they were before “Pawn Stars” first aired in 2009. More people are pouring into the St. Louis restaurant featured in “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” to eat its jumbo-sized fried chicken wings and six-cheese macaroni and cheese. And Duck Commander, seen in “Duck Dynasty,” is having trouble controlling the crowds in front of its headquarters in the small city of West Monroe, La. “Sometimes it’s hard getting from the truck to the front door,” says Willie Robertson, who owns Duck Commander with his father and stars in the A&E series with his extended family. It’s a big change for a company that sells duck calls out of a

part-brick, part-cinder block warehouse on a dry, dead-end country road. Duck hunters use the whistles, which mimic duck sounds, to attract their prey. Since “Duck Dynasty” began airing in March 2012, Robertson finds at least 70 people waiting in front of the warehouse every morning asking for autographs and photos. Neighbors have complained about the mobs and the police have been called. Despite the trouble, the show has been good for the family business. Sales of the company’s duck calls, which range from $20 to $175, have skyrocketed. In 2011, the company sold 60,000 duck calls. In 2012, the year the show began airing, the company sold 300,000. “We saw a big difference as the Nielsen ratings went up,” says Robertson. Their income from doing the show may be going up along with the ratings. “Duck Dynasty” is the most watched documentary-style reality series on TV right now, according to Nielsen, which provides information and insight into what consumers watch and buy. April’s one-hour season three finale was watched by 9.6 million people, making it the most watched program in A&E’s 29year history. The Hollywood Reporter reported that the cast of the show is demanding a raise to $200,000 an episode to do a fourth season. Both the network and Robertson had no comment on the report. Cameras follow Robertson and his family as they make duck calls, hunt or go camping. One episode showed Robertson trying to prove to his dad, brother and uncle

Jedward pose on the red carpet during the 2013 MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto on Sunday. — AP photos

Chad Kroeger and Avril Lavigne arrive on the red carpet.

Marianas Trench pose on the red carpet.

Rich Kid and Sonreal pose on the red carpet.

that he could spend a night in a tent during a camping trip. (Robertson ends up bringing a big recreational vehicle and is ridiculed for it. “Once you bring something with wheels that’s enclosed, you’re no longer camping. You’re parking,” says Robertson’s brother, Jace Robertson, in the episode.) To keep up with rising sales, Duck Commander hired five more people. Every duck call has to be put together by hand. “It’s like a musical instrument,” says Robertson. “Each one needs to be blown into it to make sure it works.” To stop the crowds from disrupting business, and to make extra cash, Robertson opened a gift shop inside the Duck Commander warehouse. “It keeps the people out of my lobby,” says Robertson. The shop sells duck calls, Duck Commander Tshirts and bobblehead dolls that look like Robertson, his dad, uncle and brother, complete with their long beards. Rick Harrison, the star of “Pawn Stars,” opened a gift shop, too. He sells mugs, T-shirts, bobbleheads and refrigerator magnets, in the back of his Las Vegas pawn store. Harrison says the souvenirs bring in about $5 million in revenue a year. The pawn business brings in about $20 million a year, up from the $4 million before “Pawn Stars” aired. The show, which follows people as try to sell or pawn items ranging from gold coins to classic cars, also stars Harrison’s son, his father and an employee named Austin “Chumlee” Russell. People have been lining up outside the pawn shop since the

reality show began airing on History in 2009. The store installed misters above the line to keep fans cool under the hot, Las Vegas sun. Fame has disadvantages. Harrison says he wears a hat and sunglasses to disguise himself, even on visits to IHOP for pancakes with his kids. During an overseas vacation, he was swarmed by fans at the Tower of London”It amazes me,” says Harrison. “I’m just a fat middle-aged bald guy, but people still want to meet me.” Harrison is cashing in on his celebrity. He was hired as a spokesman for Procter & Gamble Inc’s Swiffer cleaning wipes and he wrote a book, called “License to Pawn,” about his life and business. (Harrison declined to say how much he made on those deals.) He also rents out a 1,300-square-foot area in the back of the pawn shop’s building for private parties. The fee can range anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000, depending on the number of people invited and whether Harrison or one of the shows stars to drops by.Despite his fame, and busy 40-week-ayear filming schedule, Harrison says that his pawn business comes first.—AP

PSY performs on stage.

Lauren Toyota and Taylor Swift speak onstage.

18th Jun 2013  

Kuwait Times

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