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Former leader Rudd ousts Australia’s first female PM

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Sharapova, Federer crash out on black Wednesday

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Dashti withdraws request


150 FILS

7Elections 21 on27 20 July 27 after Human rights body slams mistreatment of expats

Max 47º Min 32º High Tide 03:01 & 13:55 Low Tide 08:31 & 21:20

By B Izzak

Kerry reassures Kuwait on Gitmo KUWAIT: Kuwait’s request to release its two nationals held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp is “taken very seriously” and there will be a full review process in conjunction with the justice department to appropriately address the issue, said US Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday. At a joint press conference with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Kerry reaffirmed that US President Barack Obama was committed to the closure of the detention camp and added that the president would seek measures so that no detainees were held any longer than required. “We had a good conversation about it and we are very aware of the concerns here in Kuwait ... President Obama is committed to close Guantanamo,” said Kerry, adding that he was appointed as a special representative to achieve this goal on a fulltime basis. Commenting on the same issue, Sheikh Sabah AlKhaled said that the Kuwaiti government had, as always, given guarantees to the US administration that the detainees’ release would not result in any negative outcomes. He expressed to Kerry “the Kuwaiti concerns over the health conditions of the detainees,” affirming that Kuwait was calling for their release in order to receive a “fair” trial. “This humanitarian issue should be addressed within the context of the strong ties linking Kuwait and the US,” said Sheikh Sabah. In their meeting yesterday, the two officials went over several key issues pertaining to bilateral relations, the Mideast peace process, and the peaceful resolution of the crisis in Syria. Sheikh Sabah said that Kerry met earlier yesterday with HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and discussed with him issues regarding boosting mutual ties. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled indicated that preparations for the upcoming visit by the Amir to the US this fall were also discussed during the meeting. The foreign minister added that his meeting with Kerry reviewed Iraqi-Kuwaiti efforts to normalize relations, stressing that both countries tackled several topics pertaining to the development of bilateral ties. The deteriorating situation in Syria was also discussed during the meeting, said Sheikh Sabah, who noted that Kuwait wants a peaceful resolution to end the crisis in that country. He also stressed that any kind of aid directed to the Syrian people was through official channels, making sure that necessities would reach the people and not fall in the wrong hands. Continued on Page 15

KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah welcomes US Secretary of State John Kerry at Bayan Palace yesterday. — KUNA

Kuwaitis campaign to arm Syria rebels KUWAIT: At a traditional evening meeting known as a “diwaniya”, Kuwaiti men drop banknotes into a box, opening a campaign to arm up to 12,000 antigovernment fighters in Syria. A new Mercedes is parked outside to be auctioned off for cash. They are Sunni Muslim and mainly Islamist like many Syrian rebels who have been trying for

two years to overthrow President Bashar Al-Assad, a member of the minority Alawite sect that is a branch of Shiism. Syria’s war has widened a faultline in the Middle East, with Shiite Iran and Lebanese militia Hezbollah backing Assad and Sunni-ruled Gulf Arab nations supporting his opponents. Continued on Page 15

Morsi warns Egypt could be ‘paralysed’ CAIRO: Islamist President Mohamed Morsi warned yesterday that political divisions in Egypt “threaten to paralyse” the country, as at least one person was killed and scores were hurt in clashes between his supporters and opponents. In a televised speech to mark his turbulent first year in power, “Egypt faces many challenges. The polarisation has reached a stage that could threaten our democratic experience and paralyse the nation.” Just hours before he spoke, Islamists had been holding a rally in his support in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura when opponents began throwing rubbish at them and fighting erupted, a security official said. In addition to the one person killed, another 237 were hurt, the health ministry said. Two of the injured were taken to the intensive care unit of Mansoura International Hospital with live bullet wounds, medics there said. The clashes come amid widespread tension ahead of planned anti-Morsi rallies on Sunday, at

CAIRO: An Egyptian protester wears a scarf reading ‘Morsi leave’ during a protest in front of the Ministry of Defense yesterday. — AP which the opposition will again demand that he step down and that early elections be called. Organisers of a campaign dubbed Tamarod (rebellion in Arabic) say they have collected more than 15 million signatures in support of a snap presidential election. And with Islamist parties having called for their own rallies to support the president on Friday, there are fears of more unrest. Continued on Page 15

KUWAIT: The Cabinet yesterday approved a decree setting parliamentary elections on July 27, two days after the earlier day set last week after a request to the constitutional court to explain parts of its June 16 ruling was surprisingly withdrawn. The court was scheduled to issue its explanation yesterday, but during the jury deliberations, member of the dissolved Assembly Abdulhameed Dashti, who filed the request, surprisingly withdrew the request and the court accepted the withdrawal and decided not issue any explanation. In his request, Dashti said that parts of the June 16 ruling which scrapped the National Assembly and confirmed the amendment to the electoral law, were unclear and needed more elaboration. He specifically asked if the ruling required reinstating the 2009 Assembly which was dissolved on Oct 7. After setting the election date on July 25 last Thursday, the government decided to put the election decree on hold until the court made its explanation as a precautionary measure in order to make sure that legal procedures on the election were in line with the constitution and to prevent any possible challenges that may force dissolving the Assembly for the third time in less than a year. The two-day delay was required because of the election law which requires that the election decree must be issued at least one month prior to the election date. Since the election decree is expected to be issued today, the election cannot be held on July 25 because of the one-month period. The election decree is expected to be published in the official gazette Kuwait Al-Youm today, which means that registration of candidates will start the following day. The candidate registration process will continue for 10 days and withdrawal of nomination papers will continue until 10 days before the election date. The election will be held on the basis of one-man-one-vote, down from a maximum of four in the previous elections. Meanwhile, the Kuwait Association for Human Rights yesterday issued a statement in which it criticized what it called mistreatment of expatriates in Kuwait, including deportation of those who commit grave traffic offences. The association criticized the reported appointment of a retired senior police officer as the chief of the newly established Manpower Public Authority which will be given the power to supervise the recruitment of expatriates from abroad and supervise their affairs in the country. The statement said that it is illogical to appoint a police officer who has been dealing with criminals as the chairman of the manpower authority, which may give the impression as if it is going to deal with criminals.

Qatar emir extends hand to ‘all’, replaces premier Self-immolation exposes Saudi bedoon plight RIYADH: When a watermelon seller set himself on fire in Riyadh last month, it may not have set off an Arab Spring, but it did call attention to a rarely discussed issue - the plight of stateless Arabs living in the world’s top oil exporter. Mohammed Al-Huraisi doused himself in petrol and set himself alight on May 15, echoing the act of desperation by Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi in Dec 2010 that was the catalyst for the Arab revolt. Relatives said local officials had stopped him from selling his produce on a street corner in a poor Riyadh neighbourhood because he didn’t have a permit. “He threatened to burn himself six months ago as well. He had pressure from debt and thought he might lose everything,” the dead man’s father, Ali AlHuraisi, told Reuters. The Huraisi family, originally from the Saudi-Yemeni border area, now lives south of Riyadh. Their ramshackle house lies down a road that passes date farms and rubbish-strewn plots, where stray dogs scamper between broken trucks. Their poverty is familiar to many Saudis, but their situation is different because they are bedoon, the Arab word for stateless. What to do with the large number of undocumented immigrants in Saudi Arabia, drawn from across the world by the country’s wealth, is an urgent issue as Riyadh tries to reduce a black market in labour. The Saudi labour ministry said this week more than 1.5 million foreign workers have changed their residence status since April ahead of a planned crackdown on illegally registered expatriates. Continued on Page 15

DOHA: Qatar’s new emir yesterday said his country seeks strong ties with “all governments” in his first speech since taking power, as he swept aside the powerful prime minister who had served his father before him. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, in a short televised address to the nation, said Qatar “rejects divisions in Arab societies on sectarian lines”, in reference to Sunni-Shiite tensions convulsing the region. “We seek to preserve relations with all governments and countries and we respect all sincere, active and effective political directions in the region but we do not support one side over the other,” said the 33-year-old emir. Sheikh Tamim came to power after his father Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani abdicated in his favour on Tuesday, becoming the youngest Gulf Arab ruler. The new emir made no reference in his speech to the Syrian conflict, which has left more than 100,000 people dead since it erupted in March 2011 and has spilled over into neighbouring states. The outgoing emir had strongly backed rebels fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, and his prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al-Thani did not hesitate to take the lead among Arab states in the Libyan and Syrian uprisings. But Sheikh Tamim replaced Sheikh Hamad, who also served as the previous monarch’s foreign minister, with the minister of state for internal affairs, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani. Sheikh Abdullah was also appointed interior minister, while Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Khaled Al-Attiyah was promoted to foreign minister, a statement Continued on Page 15

Sheikh Hamad Al-Thani

Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani



Prime Minister patronizes Loyac event KUWAIT: Loyac Academy of Performing Arts held its cultural event on Tuesday, under patronage of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. HH the Premier said the government pays much attention for encouraging talented youth, adopts their proposals and ideas in social, scientific, cultural and arts’ fields, adding that there are many skilled Kuwaiti youth, involved in developing arts in a way that serves the society. The event, which was held at the National Museum theater, was attended by sheikhs, ministers, officials of the State, namely the Diwan of HH the Prime Minister. — KUNA

By-elections set for next week KUWAIT: Major tribes are all set to hold byelections, otherwise outlawed, next week in order to select candidates to represent the entire tribe in the parliamentary elections to be held on July 27, a local newspaper reported yesterday quoting sources privy to the developments. Speaking to Al-Qabas on the condition of anonymity, the sources said that ‘organizing committees’ have been formed by the Awazem, Anza and Shemmar tribes with more expected to follow, adding that a fee ranging between KD4000 and KD7000 has been fixed to enter as candidates in the by-elections. In other news, members of the erstwhile parliament, dissolved as a result of a Constitutional Court ruling on June 16, are reportedly discussing the option of suing

the government to demand compensation for the expenses they incurred during their election campaign. “Members of the dissolved parliament have the right to sue for damages, and I would sign any petition prepared in that regard,” member Tahir Al-Failakawi told AlRai, adding that he would not carry out this step on his own. Al-Failakawi was asked about the estimated volume the ex-MPs could seek in compensation, amid rumors that they might demand amounts as high as KD20 million. “We haven’t settled on a number yet because the issue is subject to estimation by each candidate depending upon how much they spent,” he said. “In general, we seek to hold accountable those responsible for the dissolution.”

Officials ‘stunned’ as education ministry braces for reshuffle Efforts to infuse ‘new blood’

KUWAIT: Minister of Education Dr. Nayef Al-Hajraf reportedly told senior ministry officials with at least 30 years of service under their belt that they have to retire before the end of the month or he would be left with no choice but to relieve them of their duties on July 1. This was reported by Al-Qabas yesterday quoting sources familiar with the proceedings of the council of undersecretaries’ meeting on Monday. These sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to provide details about the meeting that the ministry did not announce officially. Senior officials in the public sector, including undersecretaries, directors, supervisors and heads

of departments, have been served an ultimatum until June 30 to put in their request to seek retirement and benefits, amounting to financial privileges in the form of incentives to encourage officials who have served for over 30 years to retire. Beyond the specified date, officials would lose the opportunity to obtain the additional pension, but the cabinet did not stipulate immediate retirement after this month-end. That is why the MOE undersecretaries were left ‘stunned’, according to the sources, after minister Al-Hajraf notified them that they will lose their jobs either way by July 1. The new stipulations come as part of government’s efforts to infuse ‘new blood’ into the public

sector as well as fight unemployment rate which according to latest figures has reached five percent of the national workforce. Meanwhile, sources within the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor revealed that the ministry was struggling to fill nearly 80 senior posts after several directors, supervisors and heads of departments were referred for retirement. In that regard, the sources who also preferred to remain unnamed indicated that minister Thekra Al-Rashidi could resort to recruit qualified people to replace those relieved from outside since a sufficient number of competent employees within the ministry were not available for promotion. —Al-Qabas




in brief

New bank notes KUWAIT: Sources revealed that new local bank notes will be ready and will arrive in Kuwait on April 1, 2014 and will be in circulation by July 1 next year. They pointed out that the size of the currency which will be brought into circulation will be in the region of KD 5 billion worth of notes of all denominations. The new currency would be in line with the advanced developments in currencies around the world. Sources said that specialized committees are now meeting to decide about the shape, color and materials which will be used in the new bank notes in order for these to be approved by the Central Bank’s board of directors. A committee will soon leave for Germany and London to finalize all formalities in this regard. Meetings will also be held between the Kuwaiti delegation and the leaders of the organization tasked with printing the new bank notes to discuss conditions of the contract and decide the quality of the paper so that the notes are hard to forge or imitate. Best international standards would be followed in this respect. Gunshot victim KUWAIT: Security sources said a young Saudi man aged 19 shot at his 28-year-old brother’s head. The gunshot victim was taken to Jahra hospital and admitted to its intensive care unit. The younger brother handed himself over to police, saying that he shot his brother because the latter was addicted to alcohol and was always assaulting his parents. He also admitted that he threw the pistol outside the house after shooting his brother. Police searched outside the house and found the pistol wrapped in a piece of cloth in his father’s car. The pistol was confiscated and a case of attempted murder was filed. Bahraini minister hails Kuwait MANAMA: Bahraini Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Khaled Bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa yesterday lauded Kuwait’s keenness on strengthening relations and boosting cooperation with Manama and the other member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The historic ties bounding the State of Kuwait with the Kingdom of Bahrain have been improving in a continuous manner, due to resolve of leaderships of the two countries, said Sheikh Khaled, who received the Kuwaiti ambassador to the kingdom, Sheikh Azzam Mubarak Al-Sabah. For his part, the ambassador underlined during the meeting the common basis of these close bilateral relations between the countries, bonded with a common history, rank and destiny. Kuwait has maintained very warm and close ties with Bahrain. Both are members of the GCC, which includes Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman and Qatar. These regional countries have maintained close ties and coordination in various spheres since establishment of the bloc in the early 80s.

KUWAIT: US Secretary of State John Kerry and Sheikha Hussah Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, the director general of Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyyah, a cultural organisation based around her and her husband’s private art collection, tour the museum in Sharq yesterday.— Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Mass deportations serve interests of visa traffickers KUWAIT: Mass deportation of expatriates serves the interests of visa traffickers who use the freed job openings to recruit even more labor forces illegally, a local newspaper reported yesterday quoting a security source who was commenting on the ongoing crackdowns against illegal residents. Visa traffickers often exploit loopholes in the labor sponsorship system to release work permits in the name of fake companies or nonexistent job openings, then sell them to unskilled labor forces looking for a chance to work in the oil-rich Gulf region. Once they reach Kuwait, workers in most cases end up with no tangible jobs, resort to accepting hard labor and often live without valid visas. Such workers are

KUWAIT: The National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL), part of its summer cultural festival this year, organized a lecture Tuesday about NASA’s new and future projects, which included a display about the new space dome. Kuwait astronomer Adel Al-Saadoun, speaking to KUNA on sidelines of the lecture, held at the Space Dome at Kuwait National Museum, said NASA would be holding many space trips in the next 10 years. Al-Saadoun, also a historian, said a space ship would be launched in 2013 that would orbit the Moon to study the environment surrounding it, while December would witness the launch of a space ship that to study the atmosphere of Mars and why the planet was lacking water.—KUNA

KJA praises Interior officials

Adnan Al-Rashid KUWAIT: The Kuwait Journalists Association appreciates the quick response by the Interior Ministry officials to requests to understand the nature of work of journalists and newspaper distributers whose job involves working through late night hours and often till the wee hours of morning. KJA Treasurer Adnan AlRashid reassured that local press institutions remain committed to ensure that all employees have valid visas and driving licenses.

pursue such rogue visa traffickers simultaneously with the Interior Ministry’s ongoing crackdowns?” the source questioned. According to a recent report, at least 6,000 people were deported for illegal residency permits and traffic offenses in six months of the crackdowns, since the beginning of the year. Furthermore, the insider who spoke to Al-Qabas on the condition of anonymity indicated that visa traffickers use their connections within the MSAL to bypass being blacklisted so that they can recruit more workers. Kuwait is home to 2.6 million expatriates who account for 68 percent of the country’s 3.8 million population, and the country has been the subject of criticism by international organizations in the past

few years over human right violations and lack of serious efforts to tackle visa trafficking. Many have argued that the main reason behind the lack of efforts to tackle visa trafficking were allegations that most visa traffickers were actually senior government officials or people connected to them who can help them bypass the law. In this regard, the security source told AlQabas about a recent incident which exposed a fake company owned by the brother of a current minister. This firm used to sell a new visa for KD1000 and collected KD700 to renew an expiring one. The source added that the Immigration General Department blocked the company’s file until further notice.

Inspection campaigns in Salmiya, Ahmadi By Hanan Al-Saadoun

Summer cultural festival highlights NASA projects

often called euphemistically by the government as ‘marginal labor forces’. This was exactly the section of workers identified by Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Thekra Al-Rashidi as being the target of a plan announced last March to deport 100,000 foreigners each year as part of a plan to cut the country’s expatriate population by one million in a decade. There are nearly 90,000 people living illegally in Kuwait, according to official figures. Crackdowns against illegal residents resulted in arrest of thousands in the past two months, but there have been no reports about investigations to pursue traffickers who sold visas obtained illegally to the same labor forces. “Why isn’t the MSAL making efforts to

KUWAIT: An inspection campaign by Hawally security was carried out in Salmiya lead by Brig Ghloom Habeeb and Salmiya area commander Col Bader Al-Mutairi and South Surra Commander Col Sanad AlSanad and Hawally area commander Col Mohammad Al-Mowaizri and detectives

and patrols of Hawally governorate. The campaign lasted from 10 pm Tuesday up to midnight and resulted in the arrest of 233 persons for different charges including 9 women for immoral acts, 2 for pregnancy outside marriage, 42 with expired residencies, 125 “free laborers” and for consuming alcohol, 54 persons without identification and 9 runaways. Two local liquor “factories”

were also raided. All arrested persons were sent to concerned authorities. Meanwhile, Ahmadi security personnel carried out an inspection campaign yesterday under the supervision of Brig Maatooq Al-Aslawi and Col Abdul Aziz Saleh AlMutairi. The campaign resulted in the arrest of 212 people, of which 120 were found without identification papers, 50 free labor-

ers, 30 were found working in violation of the labor law while 12 persons were carrying expired residency permits. A total of 192 bottles of locally brewed liquor was confiscated from Sabah Al-Ahmad area while five people of Asian origin were arrested on charges of stealing metal objects from state property and selling it as scrap. Twenty-four traffic citations were handed out.



ABK workshop on corporate governance KUWAIT: ABK held an awareness workshop on corporate governance for its middle management team on June 22 at Hotel J W Marriott. Welcoming the participants Jamal Ahmad, Executive General Manager-Risk Management, stated that the workshop was designed to raise the understanding of the participants on corporate governance and their contributory roles in implementing the corporate governance framework in the bank. Technical support for the Workshop was provided by Ernst & Young. Sessions covering concepts, framework, roles and responsibilities under corporate governance were handled by Ahmed Kisswani of the firm. Participants included Unit Heads and Branch Managers. The sessions were lively and the clarifications sought by participants were answered by Ahmed and Jamal.

API chief affirms vital role of limited enterprise KUWAIT: Small and medium enterprises are necessary to enhance role of the private sector and tackle defects of the national economy, said the DirectorGeneral of the Arab Planning Institute. Such ventures can contribute to tackling structural flaws in the economy, namely problems related to the public finance, the labor market and the national product, said Dr. Bader Malallah, addressing a seminar, organized by Kuwait Small and Medium Enterpise Forum at the institute headquarters late on Tuesday. Initiative of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, establishing the Arab fund for financing small projects at the 2009 Arab Summit for Economic and Social Development and issuance of the law for supporting small businesses constituted two major steps that depicted the government concern for the vital economic sector, he added. Forecasting, he indicated that Kuwait would be compelled to find jobs for up to one million workers in 2030, noting as well soaring public expenditure, at a rate of seven percent per year. The hefty spending has added to the state burden, said Malallah, adding that that state strategists had to lift the projected oil price when setting up the state budget. He drew a bleak picture as to prospects of employing nationals, saying the public sector “has become saturated with forecast soaring masked unemployment.” The head of the forum, Dr. Mustafa Behbehani, affirmed that the body was tasked with creating the adequate environment and conditions for boosting small and medium enterprises in the country. The team is charge with crafting policies for upgrading skills of free labor and entrepreneurs. He also praised the government and the top leaders for backing its activities.—KUNA

KUWAIT: Participants of the ABK awareness workshop pose for a group photograph.

Niqab-wearing woman held for impersonation, forgery Man tries to blackmail ex-girlfriend KUWAIT: A woman with her face veiled was arrested at a telecom company’s office where she tried to buy a smartphone using another person’s ID that she had found. An employee who handled the request to purchase a new phone with a one-year subscription plan grew suspicious when the Kuwaiti woman refused to cooperate with identification authentication procedures. He asked the woman and her male companion to wait and made them believe that he was going to finalize the deal, but instead called the police who arrived and escorted the two to the police station for questioning. Police found out that the civil ID submitted by the woman had been actually reported missing. At this point, the woman admitted that she had found the ID at a shopping center and then thought about using it to buy a new phone. The two were referred to the proper authorities to face charges of forgery and impersonation.

spot. His body was taken to the forensic department. Meanwhile, police arrested the trailer’s driver, a 45year-old Pakistani national, for questioning. A case was filed at the Saad Al-Abdullah police station and investigation was on to determine what led to the accident.

Road accident A middle-aged driver of a pickup truck died when his vehicle collided with a tractor trailer on Tuesday at the Wafra road. Paramedics, accompanied by the police, rushed to the site of the accident, and pronounced the 48-year-old Iranian man as dead on the

Suicide attempt A domestic worker was hospitalized in a critical condition following an unsuccessful suicide attempt, as per a case reported in Ghernata on Tuesday morning. Police and paramedics rushed to the scene where the woman was found lying motionless outside a

Workplace mishap The Hawally prosecutor pressed charges of manslaughter against officials of a real estate company following a death reported at one of their under construction buildings in Salmiya. Workers at the scene told the police that they had gone to investigate when they heard something heavy hitting the floor in the stairway of the building and found their coworker lying motionless on the ground. The Egyptian man was pronounced dead on the scene while preliminary investigations indicated that he lost balance and fell from a high place due to lack of proper safety measures.

Kuwaiti family’s house. The woman was rushed to the nearest hospital and admitted to its intensive care unit. Preliminary investigations revealed that the housemaid had climbed atop her employer’s house and jumped in a suicide bid. Police are waiting for the maid’s condition to stabilize to question her about her motives. Blackmail attempt Hawally police arrested a man who tried to blackmail his ex-girlfriend for money to fund a summer trip with his friends. Investigations went underway after a girl approached the local police and accused a man she was romantically involved with of threatening to post her private photographs online unless she parted with KD3000. The girl had sent the man the pictures during the course of their relationship. The man was arrested in Jabriya but denied the accusations at first. He later admitted to blackmailing the girl after he was confronted with text messages that he had sent to her. He explained that he was in desperate need of money to join his friends on a trip outside the country, and decided to call the girl almost two years after they broke up. The man was referred to the proper authorities for further action.

Three-year strategy to fight graft in Arab countries KUWAIT: The Arab Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ARABOSAI) has approved a three-year strategy to aggressively crackdown on corruption and protect public money in Arab countries. In press statements on the second day of the 11th General Assembly of ARABOSAI, held here, Acting Undersecretary of Kuwait Audit Bureau Ismail Al-Ghanim announced that the assembly has taken a number of resolutions and set a number of recommendations to raise the efficiency of the audit agencies in Arab countries. “The general assembly has ratified the three-year strategy for graft fighting as well as the technical and financial plans of the corresponding time,” AlGhanim said. He underlined that ARABOSAI is keen on continuing relentless efforts aiming to protect public money and Arab people’s wealth. Al-Ghanim revealed that the coming general assembly will be held in Iraq in 2016. Kuwait Audit Bureau is hosting ARABOSAI’s 11th General Assembly as well as the 48th and 49th meetings of the ARABOSAI Executive Council during the period from 23-27 June.

In statements to KUNA, ARABOSAI’s 11th General Assembly and Chairman of Saudi General Auditing Bureau Usama bin Jaffar Faqih lauded the pan-Arab audit agency as a highly professional and independent organization. “ARABOSAI aims to achieve the higher interests of Arab people,” Faqih said citing the agency’s role in ameliorating the financial control bodies and institutions in member states. The Arab Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ARABOSAI), whose membership includes all supreme audit institutions in the Arab countries, was established in 1976 to achieve the following objectives: Structuring and fostering cooperation in all its forms among the member institutions and strengthening their mutual ties. Encouraging the exchange of views, ideas, experiences, studies and researches in the fields related to audit among the member institutions, and raising the standard of this profession both in theory and practice. * Provide the necessary assistance to the Arab countries planning to establish audit institutions or to enhance their existing institutions.

* Unifying the scientific precepts and terminology used by the member institutions in their fields of activity. Spreading audit awareness among the public in the Arab countries, as this will result in consolidating the role of the audit institutions and give them more efficiency in accomplishing their missions. * Channeling and enhancing cooperation between the members of the Organization and the specialized bodies of the Arab League, as well as with the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) and other international and regional bodies related to financial audit. Undertaking the necessary steps in order that the Organization be officially entrusted with appointing the financial institutions which will audit the accounts of the Arab League and the organizations, institutions and companies it supervises or finances, as well as any other such organizations, institutions or companies financed directly by Arab countries. In so doing, the Organization will work for the improvement of financial auditing within these organizations, institutions and companies. —KUNA

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Dive Team released a statement warning people about a 25-feet ship which sunk recently two kilometers east of the Julaiah Coast near the wreckage of another ship that too had sunk at the same place three months ago. Navigation coordinator of the team, Faisal Al-Harban, gave the wreckage’s coordinates as N 28 55.913 - E 48 13.736.

Kuwait supports children cancer center BEIRUT: The Kuwaiti Government has granted $one million to Children Cancer Center of Lebanon, the center announced yesterday. The center chairperson, Salwa Salman, after she received the donation from the Kuwaiti embassy in Beirut, praised the Kuwaiti aid for the center which treats sick local and Arab

children without fees. Salman, on behalf of the center board of trustees, expressed appreciation to the State of Kuwait, government and people for the generous assistance that brought smiles on faces of the young patients. Cost of treating a patient per year amounts to some USD 50,000, she said, and the treatment may last

between a year and a half and five years. The center hosts 100 new cases annually, she said, adding that its accommodation reaches 250 beds for patients whose age ranges between two months to 18 years. The former head of the center, Paul Edde, expressed identical sentiments of gratitude for Kuwait.— KUNA



Kuwaiti, GCC youth at interaction event in Turkey ISTANBUL: Youth delegations from Kuwait and other GCC countries are taking part in the currently held World Youth Congress hosted by this ancient Turkish city. Yousef Al-Saeedi, the head of the Kuwaiti delegation, said the team had been involved in meetings aimed at boosting interaction and promotion of the culture of peace and mutual understanding and respect. The delegation is scheduled to visit a number of Turkish associations, Al-Saeedi said, noting that these activities also involved teams from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Turkey. This youth congress is designed to

strengthen bonds between the youngsters of Kuwait and those of the other involved countries, he said, adding that the gathering constituted an opportunity to promote progress in the Gulf countries namely Kuwait. The youngsters, as part of the activities, have jointly planted a tree in Sultangazi park, with attendance of the mayor and GCC officials. The event, including an exhibition to promote heritage of the Gulf countries, is due to proceed till July 1. The participants will also visit universities, cultural, tourist and economic landmarks in Istanbul and the city suburbs. — KUNA

London mayor welcomes PM’s visit for KIO anniversary Kuwait-Britain ties well-established LONDON: “As one of our oldest trading partners with a history dating back to trades in saffron and silks in the 18th century, the City of London was honoured to host a state banquet for His Highness the Amir of Kuwait last November ... I am honoured, therefore, that the Prime Minister His Highness Sheikh Jaber AlMubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah will be visiting the Guildhall this week,” said Lord Mayor of the City of London Roger Gifford. The lord mayor was speaking as Kuwait Investment Office in London marks its 60th anniversary. He noted, “I am privileged to have the chance to strengthen our bilateral ties and develop new business relationships.” Lord Gifford said, “The UK’s relationship with Kuwait is well-established, and our flourishing economic ties underscore this. We are on track to meet Prime Minister David Cameron’s target of 4bn in bilateral trade by 2015, and the news that exports on goods from the UK rose 17 percent for the first 8 months of 2012 compared with the same period in 2011 shows this positive trend continues. “However, to continue to grow our bilateral trade, we must continue to strengthen and deepen our partnerships and our friendship, across all sectors, especially by tapping into key areas of UK expertise such as infrastructure financing and legal services. London 2012 demonstrated our ability to deliver major high-quality projects on time and on budget.” “Kuwait is a rapidly growing country with the scope and ambition that will require high quality infrastructure, and the vast expertise and resources of the City of London can support our Kuwaiti friends and partners in providing exactly that ... just as we can work together to educate talented young people, equipping them with the skills they need to thrive in a globalised economy - the business leaders of the future. “Students from across the world are welcome in London, a truly global city ... and one with a strong and thriving Kuwaiti community in London, with around 15,000 properties owned by Kuwaiti nationals in London,” Lord Gifford pointed out. On expectations regarding his meeting with the Kuwaiti Premier, he said that “Much has been achieved to strengthen our 300 year old ties over the last few years, but I believe there is more we can do to strengthen our friendship by exchange of talent,

ideas, and capital. I look forward to discussing how much we can achieve together with the Prime Minister today.” Kuwait Investment Office (KIO) is the branch office of Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) in the City of London and manages funds on behalf of the State of Kuwait. It was set up in 1953 with the aim of investing surplus oil revenues to reduce the reliance of Kuwait on its finite oil resource. The State of Kuwait transfers 10 percent of oil revenue into the Reserve for Future Generations each year, which is the overall responsibility of KIA in Kuwait, the parent organization of the KIO. KIO manages its funds as a global investor, with investments in all main geographical areas and asset classes managed by portfolio managers on an active basis. It is a long term investor and the inhouse investment management team covers equities, fixed income, treasury, private equity, and property. KIO aims to produce superior performance relative to its benchmark and within specific risk parameters. A diverse range of people work at KIO, including Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti nationals, with a total staff of approximately one hundred. Meanwhile, Kuwaiti Ambassador in the UK Khaled Al-Duwaisan said the KIO was a main tool for Kuwait’s overseas investment. Al-Duwaisan, who is the dean of the diplomatic corps in the UK, the KIO plays a vital role in the promotion of distinguished relations between Kuwait and the UK and has made successive accomplishments over 60 years thanks to carefully considered blueprints and distinguished staff performance. Al-Duwaisan’s remarks come just one day before a planned visit by His Highness the Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad AlSabah to London to commemorate KIO’s 60th anniversary celebration. HH the premier will address the ceremony on Friday, with several British officials, including London Mayor Boris Johnson, to be attending, he said, considering this British participation a great recognition by the British government of the big role played by the KIO in London. HH the premier will be accompanied by a highlevel delegation that comprises Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mustafa Al-Shimali, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Sheikh Mohammad AlAbdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, Central Bank of

Egypt to bolster educational ties with Kuwait

Inspection of food outlets in Jahra By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: In anticipation of the month of Ramadan, the Jahra Municipality carried out a field tour to check a number of food outlets in the governorate. Follow up director Saleh Al-Kandari said that inspectors were keeping an eye on shops and market owners to see whether they abide by municipality instructions aimed to guarantee that only safe food items reach the consumers in a hygienic fashion. Supervisor Musharie Al-Mutairi said that the teams check out all activities and cover all the food markets in the governorate, while supervisor Sahood Al-Mutairi said that inspectors examine the food items, record samples and send these to the labs for tests to find if these are suitable for human consumption. He added that the campaign, which started at 9 am, lasted until midday and resulted in 35 samples being recorded. These were sent to the Ministry of Health’s labs to find out whether the contents were suitable or not for human consumption.

Meanwhile, organized under the patronage of Sheikha Fareeha Al-Ahmad, the campaign titled “We want it in every house” took off on June 17 and will last for three weeks at the cooperative societies. The campaign aims at educating the public about dangers posed by fire incidents and how to protect themselves from such an exigency and also to reduce the extent of damage suffered in such instances at private residences. The campaign will be divided into two phases to cover the largest possible number of cooperative societies in all the governorates. The campaign was appreciated by the people on its second day as firemen explained the dangers involved in fire incidents. Some brochures were distributed to the people, and director of public relations Colonel Khalil Al-Amir made a round of some cooperative societies. He thanked the cooperative societies’ management for their participation in this campaign, and thanked the firemen for the efforts they have put in this campaign.

KUWAIT: Egypt is looking forward to strengthening educational relations with Kuwait, especially with the official educational institutions and professional syndicates, represented by Kuwait Teachers’ Association, said Egypt’s Teachers Syndicate head Dr. Ahmad Al-Halawani. The meeting with Kuwait’s Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Nayef Al-Hajraf was constructive and fruitful, said Dr. Al-Halawani, who is currently visiting Kuwait in response to an official invitation received from the Teacher’s Association. He was speaking at a news conference held on the sidelines of a seminar hosted by the Egyptian cultural office Tuesday evening on the development of the educational process in Egypt. Al-Hajraf expressed readiness to cooperate to overcome obstacles that Egyptian teachers may face in Kuwait, Dr. Al-Halawani noted, adding that he reviewed with the minister the Teacher’s Association’s possibility of establishing a league to follow up with the Egyptian teachers’ concerns in order to be addressed, as well as the teachers’ contracts. The Egyptian Teachers’ Syndicate will discuss with Egypt’s Minister of Education and Minister of Manpower and Emigration working on preparing a fixed form for a unified work contract for Egyptian teachers working abroad to ensure their rights as it will be presented for consultation to the national educational syndicates to fit the rules and local laws of each country, he added. On the seminar, he said that Egypt needs to be promoted by education initially according to the vision of a future strategy of clear goals, noting that since the inception of the syndicates in the mid-fifties, they will be contributing in the development of Egypt’s new constitution for the first time. As a member of the Constituent Assembly of Egypt (CA) for the creation of a new Constitution, the Syndicate has made education materials such as establishing the National Council for Education and Research to set a strategy for various national levels of education as well as developing standards for a better quality of education and scientific research, he said. Al-Halawani noted that students with GPAs of 66 percent in Egypt head to technical education, as “they are the workforce that Egypt’s prosperity depends on,” and it is a percentage that puts the ministry in front of a big challenge in the development of clear standards that guarantee the quality of educational outputs as well as keeping up to date with the modern curricula. —KUNA

Kuwait (CBK) Governor Mohammad Al-Hashel and Managing Director of the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) Bader Al-Saad, he noted. The Kuwaiti ambassador remembered late Amir Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem who had suggested the idea of establishing the KIO in London and signed a relevant agreement with the British government in 1953, he said. The KIO’s invested money is subject to the oversight of the British central bank in line with the agreement, he said, adding that the role of the KIO has not only developed investment in the UK but it has contributed to boosting the British economy. The KIO is a key world investor and uses London as a head office that runs billions of pounds worldwide, he said, adding that it is part of money and assets run by the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA). The fact that the KIO enjoys the British government’s sovereign immunity has enabled it to boost its investments in the UK, he boasted. Al-Duwaisan thanked the British government for having provided the KIO with many facilities during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. He pointed to the willingness of Kuwaiti and British governments to promote and develop bilateral relations to new horizons, saying that both countries enjoy strong historical ties based on firm friendship and mutual respect. Meanwhile, an official of the UK Foreign Office spoke highly of the KIO’s role in the promotion and development of economic relations between Kuwait and Britain through its mammoth investment projects. The KIO enjoys a distinguished status and role in the British market as it runs investment projects worth 150 billion pounds, thus reinforcing and cementing trade relations between Britain and Kuwait, the official, speaking to KUNA, said. The visit by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to the UK in November 2012 had given a strong push to historical relations between both nations, he said. He added that the UK-Kuwait Joint Steering Group (JSG), which convenes biannually, would play a key role in the development of bilateral cooperative relations. He noted that the next meeting of the ISG would be held in London in December, pointing to mutual willingness to boost two-way trade exchange before 2015. — KUNA

UN chief calls for joint action against drug abuse KUWAIT: The United Nations secretary general sent a message on the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking yesterday. The message reads: “This year I visited the San Patrignano drug rehabilitation centre in northern Italy where more than 1,200 young women and men from 28 countries are learning how to free themselves from the curse of addiction and enjoy dignified, productive lives. Their road is not easy. It demands courage, commitment and the compassion of dedicated mentors. But the members of this inspiring community understand that they are fortunate. All over the world, drugs threaten the health and welfare of youth and children, families and communities, and the billions of dollars generated by the drugs trade feed corruption, enhance the power of criminal networks and create fear and instability. Illegal drug trafficking is a clear obstacle to development. This cross-border problem requires a robust and coordinated law enforcement response within and

among countries. Tackling organized crime and the illicit drugs trade is a shared responsibility. But the rule of law is only part of the equation. For instance, farmers dependent on the cultivation of illicit drugs such as coca, marijuana and opium must be offered alternative livelihoods, while drug users and addicts need help not stigmatization. A human rights and science-based public health approach is the only sound basis for preventing and treating addiction and related consequences such as HIV transmission through unsafe injecting practices. We must also address threats such as the emerging problem of new psychoactive substances, many of which are not under international control. Young people, in particular, must be made aware of the dangers of these drugs. On this International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, I call on governments, the media and civil society to do everything possible to raise awareness of the harm caused by illicit drugs and to help prevent people profiting from their use.”

KUWAIT: The National Committee for the Prevention of Drugs celebrated the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking under the patronage of its Chairman, the First Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud AlJaber Al-Sabah, who was represented by Assistant Undersecretary for criminal security Maj Gen Abdulhameed Al-Awadhi. Director General of Criminal Detectives Brig. Mahmoud Al-Tabbakh, Director General of Drugs Fighting Department Brig. Saleh AlGhannam, secretary general of the NCPD Dr. Ahmad Al-Samdan along with other leaders were also present at the ceremony.



In my view

In my view

Our right to dream

Turkish-Iranian partition of the Middle East


By Labeed Abdal


wanna be a billionaire. This hit song by the 25year-old singer Bruno Mars who won tens of awards and now lives in his own house in Hollywood and has really made it to the Forbes magazine, is indeed an inspirational story. There was a time when he was unable to manage a breakfast and a lunch for himself, and dreamt about being a billionaire to overcome his tough circumstances. The innumerable changes happening in the region prove that there is a severe competition from within and outside. Once again, one can also see the giants still watching from behind, while on the ground, some are choosing the radical path of extremism. They are going down the road of radicalism. We all hope that one day we will be able to fashion a world without destruction or vicious power games. The age of information must bring us hope about there being many advantages, better governance and effective administrative control. There are certain search engines, which can make smart predictions, given the advances in filtering and categorizing every single word written since these engines have huge computational powers and can trawl through mammoth amounts of data. We are way past a world of free internet and now we live in a world of universal mobile networks that are kind of a true electronic network which instantly links each part of the world. Definitely, such a well networked age can be a good thing for everyone, hopefully for the good and prosperity of humanity and not just to the contrary. After all, we all have a right to dream ‘I wanna be a billionaire’, or ‘We wanna live in a peaceful world.’

kuwait digest

A grain of salt


By Abdullah Al-Naibari

have maintained my stance that upholding the singlevote system will not lead to an end to the political turmoil or a return to normalcy at the constitutional institutions. Instead, debate will continue in Kuwait’s polity because the root causes remain. However, I did not expect that the legal controversy over the Constitutional Court’s ruling would start so early, and that too with regards to the verdict’s ambiguous details. Not only are politicians engaging in the ongoing debate, but legal experts have also started to do the same as witnessed at a recent seminar of the Kuwait Lawyers Association. In 1982, the Constitutional Court upheld an emergency decree that altered the electoral law and expanded the number of constituencies from five to 25. The verdict encountered strong opposition back then from the politicians. Legal experts Dr. Othman Abdulmalek and Dr. Adel Al-Tabtabaei argued at the time that the electoral law cannot be amended through an emergency decree. Likewise, the recent Constitutional Court ruling is subject to examination and debate and, like the precedent, will continue to be a subject of controversy for years to come. Now, amid the rival calls to participate in or boycott the elections, opinions vary as there are people in favor of the decree since they argue that the ruling should be respected, while there are others who believe it is a violation of the constitution and promotes autocracy. Meanwhile, there are certain opinions that take the middle path. These are people who disagree with the singlevote system but believe that the only way to amend it is through the parliament. In the meantime, there is a section that believes that participating in the elections is useless because the chances to amend the law inside the parliament are all but completely nonexistent. As for my own opinion, I find myself among the latter which is also the opinion that the Kuwait Democratic Forum has adopted. While national reformist groups that comprised the opposition in 1981 participated in the elections that year despite objecting to the amended electoral law, the oppositionists were able to lead the efforts which thwarted the government’s attempts to pass draft laws to amend the constitution. On that basis, certain opinions are being peddled today arguing that the parliament should not be left to the ‘corrupt elements’. In an article published by Al-Jarida on Tuesday, Dr. Aseel Al-Awadhi asked: “Is it not better to participate in the elections and form a national front to change the decree?” Meanwhile, columnist Salah Al-Hashem urged for participation in “forming a front or group that works as per a program to amend the single-vote system.” But here, I have to ask the following: Is there even the slightest chance that participating in the elections under the current circumstances would lead to forming a front with a program to amend the electoral system while at the same time defend freedoms and rights, tackle corruption and restore the power of law? I believe that this is unlikely to happen under the current circumstances because the single vote system is designed as a way to establish a government-friendly parliament. And today, after tribes have been won over to participate, any hopes to form a national front such as those Dr. Al-Awadhi and Mr. Al-Hashem harbored, are slight if not nonexistent. While public participation is expected to exceed 60 percent of voters during the upcoming elections, the results are almost certain to lead towards formation of a parliament similar to the recently dissolved one. Some acceptable faces have a chance to win, but their numbers would be too little to have the ability to amend the single-vote system or even protect freedoms or fight corruption. They would be like a grain of salt that would fall way of making the food taste better. —Al-Qabas

In my view

Good terror, bad terror


By Muhammad Sahimi

alcolm X said, after the assassination of President world going back decades, and as recently as January John F. Kennedy, that “the chickens have come 2010, when it killed Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai. Israel home to roost,” by which he meant that the vio- claimed that the Lebanese Hezbollah was involved in the lence of American interventionist foreign policy had come attacks. If so, this would represent a blowback for Israel’s back to haunt the country. The exposure of a possible assassination of Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus in February Iranian bomb-making cell in Thailand, and the coordinated 2008. Hezbollah has denied involvement - which again attacks against Israeli targets in India and Georgia, remind might be self-serving - making it clear that any possible us of the truth behind Malcom X’s remark. It may be no revenge attack for Maghniyeh’s death will be “spectacular,” accident that the attacks occurred only days after US offi- for which Hezbollah will take full responsibility. It is misleading for the media to report that last week’s cials confirmed in an MSNBC report that Israel’s Mossad and the Iranian terrorist group Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) attacks targeted Israeli “civilians.” While we oppose such have been collaborating on assassinating Iranian scientists attacks against both Iranians and Israelis - indeed against anyone and any nation - the recent assassination of an and attacking military bases. The attacks appear to represent tit-for-tat responses to Iranian scientist and his driver, and the 2010 near-fatal a long-term covert war against Iran by Israel, along with wounding of another scientist and his wife, were no less logistical support offered by the US, including technical attacks on “civilians.” Somehow Israel’s supporters miss this support for the development of the Stuxnet computer element of the story, though Iranians certainly have not. Israeli military and diplomatic worm that targeted Iran’s nuclear personnel serving in foreign facilities last year. Even the method of attack in Israel’s “outraged” response to assignments are frontline troops in their nation’s covert India mimics Israel-MEK assassinations in Iran, with a motorcyclist the recent attacks and its blaming of war against Iran. If Israel does sticking a magnetic bomb to the Iran drip hypocrisy. Israel has assas- not want its own civilians tarit must not target car of an Israeli military attachÈ sinated Iranian scientists in Iran and geted, Iranian civilians. while his wife was stuck in traffic. Israel considers itself Iran has denied any involve- Palestinian figures around the world ment. Though the plot in Thailand going back decades, and as recently immune from the immutable law of terror: What goes appears utterly amateurish, and there are questions as to why Iran as January 2010, when it killed around comes around. Israelis might choose India - one of the Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai. such as Defense Minister Barak have in the past most important importers of its oil Israel claimed that the Lebanese Ehud downplayed the possibility of - to attack the Israeli diplomats, the denial might be self-serving. Hezbollah was involved in the Iranian blowback, saying that Israel does have a well-developed attacks. If so, this would represent a Iran would not wish to widen the war and risk the overmilitary relationship with Georgia, as it does with India, and has tried blowback for Israel’s assassination throw of its regime. The to use Georgia, Azerbaijan and the of Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus in strikes in India and Georgia and the plot in Thailand Kurdish region of Iraq to spy on February 2008. counter such claims. Iran, and presumably exploit their The fact is that the Iranian territory for its covert war against regime is under domestic pressure by its democratic Iran. Iran’s presumed involvement is meant as an explicit opposition, and is threatened by Israel and the United warning not just to Israel, but also to the U.S., of what is in States on a daily basis. Tough sanctions have been store if the covert war against the Islamic republic contin- imposed on Iran that have hurt the lives of ordinary Iranians. Thus, the Iranian regime may feel compelled to ues or if Israel attacks it militarily. We are entering a dangerous new stage of the con- strike back at some point. At the same time, the assassinafrontation in which Iran feels it must respond in kind to tion of the Iranian scientists did not provoke a word of attacks against it. When two nations begin to engage in protest by almost anyone in the West. Israel - and by extension the US - seem to believe that such patterns of attacks and counterattacks, it becomes much easier for a mistake or misjudgment to lead to a dis- there is good terrorism (committed by them and their allies) and bad terrorism (committed by their foes). The US aster. All it would take is an attempt to blow up an Israeli State Department expressed concerns only for Iran’s possiembassy or the killing of an official to provoke a full-scale ble involvements in the terror campaign but did not utter regional war. This is precisely what happened in 1982, a single word about Israel’s covert war against Iran. But when terrorists attempted to assassinate Israel’s ambassa- there is only one type of terrorism, terrible for humanity. If dor to London. Israel’s defense minister at the time, Ariel we do not condemn terrorism universally - regardless of who has or which state commits it - then we should not be Sharon, used the attempt as a pretext to invade Lebanon. Israel’s “outraged” response to the recent attacks and its surprised when our adversaries adopt it as a strategy to blaming of Iran drip hypocrisy. Israel has assassinated counter the terrorism committed by us and our allies Iranian scientists in Iran and Palestinian figures around the against them.

kuwait digest

The turmoil goes on By Ibrahim Al-Awadhi


he Constitutional Court ended the controversy over the legal status of the single-vote system, and at the same time ruled that the parliament elected last December be dissolved. These developments signaled fresh elections which have become a recurrent feature in the past few years. With this has returned the debate about whether to participate in the polls or boycotting these. A notable difference this time is that many figures who boycotted the previous elections have decided to contest this year. Yet, the number of boycotters remains pretty high. The team which opted to participate after boycotting the last elections believes that the Constitutional Court’s ruling must be honored since laws and institutions of the state must be respected. Moreover, they argue that true reforms can only be achieved through participating in elections and electing candidates capable of putting the legislative and supervisory tools to good use. Furthermore, they believe that the verdict eliminates the absolute powers of the government to issue emergency decrees. Meanwhile, there are people who decided to boycott the upcoming elections though they had participated earlier. They believe that the state’s institutions have lost faith in the democratic system, and that the whole issue was a ploy by the government to pass some laws that it was unable to pass during the tenure of the previous parliaments. This argument

makes some sense when seen in the context of the government’s history of working systematically against the democratic system. In the meantime, people who remain committed to boycott believe that the Constitutional Court’s ruling was not based on a sound legal basis, but was more in the nature of a political decision. They argue that their reasons for boycott remain the same, and they reject the government’s alleged “political tampering and autocratic ambitions.” They demand that the government should repose its faith in the people’s role as partners in governance and the source of all authority. The boycotters often question whether any assurances have been received that the government will no more amend the electoral system through emergency decrees in the future, or change the system to ensure the election of a government-friendly parliament. On the other hand, people returning to the elections reiterate the belief that participation is a national duty and agree with the reasons cited to justify the single-vote decree. Moreover, they acknowledge the Constitutional Court’s ruling as “reinforcing the role of Constitutional state.” Opinions vary but one thing remains for sure: the political scene will not see the turmoil ending, at least not anytime soon. —Al-Rai

By Ibrahim Saleh

uring the last decade many right-wing American and Israeli analysts have described the geo-strategic struggles unfolding in the Middle East as a new “Cold War” pitting the United States against Shiite Iran. They have warned of an Arab “Shiite Crescent” - stretching from Lebanon to Iraq - connected to Iran via ties of religion, commerce and geostrategy. The new year has started with an attempted Shiite power play by Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki to dominate the Iraqi government, and an Iranian demonstration of missile and nuclear fuel rod capacity coupled with threats to close the Straits of Hormuz if Iranian oil exports are blocked. These events can be interpreted as ample evidence of Iranian expansionism and combined with fears that Iran will obtain a nuclear weapon, rendering its present regime and regional clients untouchable. What this view of the Middle East overlooks is the fact that both the US and Iran are mired in internal political and economic difficulties. Simultaneously, inside the region, both are being outmaneuvered by an ascendant Turkey. Moreover, Western observers have missed the primary thread of events - namely, the ongoing asymmetric Turkish-Iranian soft partition of the Arab Republics. Concomitantly, the American position as regional hegemon is vanishing. Today, only the Arab monarchies and Israel continue to look to the US as their primary patron. To investigate how these changing dynamics are seen by actors within the region, Pack spent his Christmas holidays in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Following the US withdrawal from Iraq, KRG officials bemoaned their need of a regional patron to protect them from dominance by Baghdad. Landlocked Iraqi Kurdistan also needs a conduit to export its oil to the West. The only country that can fulfill both roles is Turkey. That is why KRG officials, instead of supporting their ethnic brethren inside Turkey, have often sided with Ankara against the Kurdish separatist PKK. All this explains why the bombing on December 28th, in which the Turks killed 35 Kurdish smugglers whom they mistook for terrorists, provoked little outrage in Iraqi Kurdistan. On the streets of Erbil there are no signs of protests against Turkey. Instead, one notices Turkey’s ubiquitous presence in the form of construction, investment, consumer goods and tourists. Should more pipelines leading from Iraqi Kurdistan to the Mediterranean via Turkey be built, the result will be the de facto creation of an Iraqi-Kurdish buffer state. Dependent on Turkey for its survival, such a state would also form a barrier to Iranian (or American, or PKK) interference in Turkish affairs. In the Southern part of Iraq, the situation is just the opposite. There, a Shiite Arab buffer state, buttressed by Iran as a bulwark against Turkish, American or Saudi encroachments, is being created. The last two weeks’ events have removed any doubt that Al-Maliki is “Iran’s man” in Baghdad. Yet despite this de facto partitioning of Iraq over the last month, Turkey and Iran are not challenging each other’s spheres of influence. Thus, Iraq has reverted to its traditional position as the Poland of the Middle East. In post-Arab Spring North Africa, too, Turkey and Iran have essentially partitioned the resurgent Islamist movements between themselves. The Turks support the victorious “Moderate” Islamists from Tunisia to Egypt. Iran backs the Salafist spoilers, even though they are Sunni. In the Egyptian and Tunisian elections, and in Libya’s inter-militia civil strife, both wings of Islamist opinion have supported each other against Western-backed secularists and neo-liberals. Since North Africa lacks indigenous Shi’a populations and the “Moderate” Islamists have now emerged as the main players in the region, it is Sunni Turkey, along with Qatar, that appears to be the rising political and commercial patron in North Africa. Turkey ’s approach to the problem of Israel/Palestine has also been converging with that of Iran. From the 1950s until 2002, secular military elites in Ankara enjoyed a privileged political and economic relationship with the West. They also developed intimate defense ties with Israel and NATO. Since then, however, Turkey has drifted out of the Western security orbit. First it opposed the 2003 Iraq War; next, after the 2010 Gaza Flotilla resulted in the death of nine Turks in international waters, it increasingly switched to the Palestinian side of the conflict. Only in Syria are Turkey and Iran seemingly on opposite sides of a military conflict. Whereas Iran and its client Hezbollah back the Assad regime, the Turks arm, train and provide safe haven to the Syrian rebels. However, this conflict may be more apparent than real. In a fragmented post-Assad Syria, Turkey will support the Sunnis, while Iran will remain the patron of the Alawites. Moreover, both will surely find a way to protect their strategic and financial interests in whatever regime emerges. Throughout 2011, the continued Western obsession with the Iranian nuclear menace prevented policy makers from grasping the most salient dynamic at play in the new Middle East. Those who, like Mohammed Ayoob, have warned that “Beyond the Arab Democratic Wave” lies a “Turko-Persian Future” have been mostly ignored. The Arab Spring has vastly weakened the Arab states, leaving them open to fragmentation, increased federalism and outside penetration. With hindsight, 2011 may come to represent as sharp a rupture in the political landscape of the Middle East as 1919 did. Back then, following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, the British and French divided the Arab Middle East amongst themselves, with the British as the senior partner. In today’s soft partition of the region, the weaker, less stable partner is Iran. The true victor of the Arab Spring is surely a resurgent Turkey. And those who ignore that fact do so at their peril.


Syria toll passes 100,000 as peace meet prospects fade

Whistleblower Snowden stuck at Moscow airport

Page 8

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Rudd ousts Australia’s first female PM Party dumps Julia Gillard ahead of elections

CANBERRA: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard speaks to the media after her defeat in a party room vote to former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (right) at Parliament House, Canberra yesterday. — AFP

SYDNEY: Australia’s former leader Kevin Rudd ousted Prime Minister Julia Gillard as Labor chief in a dramatic internal ballot yesterday, deposing the country’s first female premier as the party fights desperately to head off defeat in September elections. The embattled Gillard-who vowed to quit politics in September if she lost-called the vote after a day of internal party maneuvering to dump her in favor of her arch-rival and predecessor, whom she had ruthlessly deposed in 2010. Rudd won the vote of Labor lawmakers 57 to 45, the official returning officer announced, amid mounting unease in the party over an expected rout by Tony Abbott’s conservative opposition at the national polls scheduled for September 14. Gillard must now advise Governor General Quentin Bryce that she is resigning as prime minister, which is expected to happen today, before Rudd can be sworn into office and build on his previous vows to reorient Australia’s resources-fuelled economy towards the Asia-Pacific region. At a pre-ballot news conference, Rudd said he had decided to heed the demands of MPs

and challenge Gillard “because of the parlous circumstances we now face”. “The truth, if we’re all being perfectly honest about it right now, is that we’re on course for a catastrophic defeat unless there is change,” said the Mandarin-speaking 55-year-old, who alienated some colleagues when in power with his volatile temper. “So today I’m saying to you, the people of Australia, I’m seeking to respond to your call that I’ve heard from so many of you to do what I can to prevent Abbott from becoming prime minister.” Gillard dispatched her rival in a 2010 party room coup but he remains popular with the public and is seen by many as Labor’s best hope of salvaging the elections, despite a series of policy mis-steps leading to his ousting three years ago. Reports said he could build on the initiative of his leadership win and move the election date forward to August. The reports said that Treasurer Wayne Swan, a key Gillard supporter and her deputy, had also resigned, along with a number of other frontbenchers including Trade Minister Craig Emerson. “The mood

was quite sombre,” said returning officer Chris Hayes of the nearly one-hour meeting, adding that Gillard addressed the caucus on “the strength of her vision for the nation”. It was the third time since the 2010 election that Gillard’s hold on power was tested. The charismatic Rudd himself launched an unsuccessful challenge in early 2012 while foreign minister, but was routed 71 votes to 31 and was forced onto the backbenches. Then in March this year, Labor elder statesman Simon Crean made an abortive attempt to reinstall Rudd, who refused to stand and said at the time he would not challenge Gillard “under any circumstances”. In the aftermath, several ministers who backed Rudd resigned while Crean was sacked. In confirming he would challenge this time, Rudd vowed to rebuild the faction-riven Labor Party. “If I win this ballot, every effort I have in my being will be dedicated to uniting the Australian Labor Party,” he said. “No retributions, no paybacks, none of that stuff. It’s pointless, it’s old politics.” — AFP



Fears grow of clashes between Morsi supporters, foes CAIRO: “In Egypt, there is the Muslim Brotherhood on one side and the rest of Egyptians on the other,” says Mahmud Badr, who founded a campaign for the resignation of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. Badr said his campaign, dubbed Tamarod (rebellion in Arabic), had collected more than 15 million signatures in support of a snap presidential election just a year after Morsi took power. Several opposition groups, including the National Salvation Front (NSF), have rallied around Tamarod and joined its call for mass protests on June 30 to coincide with the anniversary. In just a matter of weeks since its launch, Tamarod is on everyone’s lips and its members are seen collecting signatures all around the country. It has capitalized on the low spirits caused by a severe economic crisis, fuel shortages, power cuts and soaring inflation to win support for its campaign to bring down Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, which it accuses of monopolizing power. But the campaign has also deeply divided the public. Morsi’s supporters say he is an elected president who is working to root out decades of corruption in state institutions. Any attempt to remove him from office would be a coup against democracy, they say. His opponents accuse him of concentrating power in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood and of failing the aspira-

tions for freedom and social justice that inspired the revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak in 2011. “Collecting signatures for or against the president has no binding legal impact. It’s political pressure, no more,” said Judge Mohammed Hamed, the former head of the State Council-a judicial body that groups several administrative courts. Badr said Tamarod was launched because “Morsi has failed the country politically, economically and socially and has been unable to achieve the goals of the revolution. “Tamarod did not create this polarization, it existed long before. Tamarod grouped Egyptians of all segments around the idea of getting rid of Morsi,” he said. Shopkeeper Ismail Amr said he voted for Morsi in the June 2012 presidential election. LEGITIMACY IS A RED LINE But he said he signed the Tamarod petition “because Morsi didn’t keep his promises.” Tamarod hopes its petition will eventually lead to Morsi’s resignation, the handover of power to the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court and the formation of a government of technocrats-something Morsi’s supporters roundly reject. Morsi said he will act decisively against “those who think they can destroy stability”, accusing remnants of Mubarak’s regime of trying to steer the country towards violence and chaos.

Analysts said there was a risk the polarization could lead to military intervention. Ahmed Abd Rabbo, a political science professor at Cairo University, warned it would be “the end of democracy in Egypt if Morsi falls and the army takes power.” Last week, the Muslim Brotherhood gathered tens of thousands of supporters “to defend the legitimacy” of the elected president. Islamist parties have called for mass protests next Friday under the slogan “legitimacy is a red line.” The political divide has also taken on religious overtones. Salafist leader Mohamed Abdel Maqsud described those who opposed Morsi as “unbelievers”, to the raucous applause of thousands at a conference attended by the president. Sunni Islam’s highest seat of learning, Cairo’s Al-Azhar, said peaceful opposition was allowed but “has no links to religion.” May Mougib, professor of political science at Cairo University, warned: “If there are no confrontations on June 30, they will come later because the polarization only needs a spark to explode.” Memories of bloody clashes between Morsi’s supporters and opponents in December are still fresh in the minds of many Egyptians, causing mounting anxiety in the run-up to the weekend’s demonstrations. “I’m scared about June 30. I won’t let

CAIRO: Egyptians walk below a banner of Tamarod, Arabic for “rebel,” with Arabic that reads, “tamarod, Egypt now is free” - a campaign calling for the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, in Cairo. Organizers of Tamarod had announced that they have collected millions of signatures supporting Morsi’s ouster and early presidential elections. — AP my children take to the streets that day,” one mother in her fifties said. On Sunday, Egypt’s defense minister warned that the army will intervene if violence breaks out. “The armed forces have the obligation to intervene to stop Egypt from plunging into a dark tunnel of con-

flict and infighting,” Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said. He urged Egyptians to set aside their differences, saying it was the army’s duty to act to prevent chaos. “It is the national and moral duty of the army to intervene... to prevent sectarian strife or the collapse of state institutions.” —AFP

Syria toll passes 100,000 as peace meet prospects fade Syria accuses Saudi of being behind uprising

TEXAS: Hundreds line up to enter the Senate Chamber as Sen Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, filibusters in an effort to kill an abortion bill in Austin, Texas. — AP

Texas’ Democrats block abortion bill AUSTIN: Texas state Democrats blocked a drive for new abortion restrictions yesterday after a marathon speech in the capitol in Austin caused some Republican backers of the bill to cast votes after a midnight deadline. Democrat Senator Wendy Davis spoke for more than 10 hours in a bid to pull down the voting window on a measure that would place a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Her filibuster attempt stalled about two hours short of the deadline over a complaint that she violated rules, and the Republican-controlled Senate then began voting on the bill to cries of protests from spectators. Republicans said they met the deadline but Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, after meeting with lawmakers, said some of their votes came in after midnight (0500 GMT), the effective close for the 30-day special session. Dewhurst also bemoaned the “unruly mob” at the capitol, according to the Dallas Morning News. The bill called for stricter standards for abortion clinics. Republican backers said it would protect women’s health and that the ban on lateterm abortions would protect the fetus, based on disputed research that suggests pain is felt by 20 weeks of development. Opponents said it would force nearly all Texas abortion clinics to close or be rebuilt. Gilberto Hinojosa, chairman of the Texas Democratic party, said Davis displayed courage in her filibuster bid. Davis, who began speaking at 11:15 a.m. local time, was prevented by procedural rules from deviating off-topic or taking a break by eating, leaning against her desk, sitting down or using the rest room. Republicans tried to disrupt her by charging that she

meandered off-topic and, at one point, received help adjusting a supportive back brace. Davis whittled away chunks of time by reading testimony and messages from women and others decrying the legislation, reciting previously suggested changes to the bill and tapping into her own life history as a single mother at 19. She said the bill would have choked off her own access to a local Planned Parenthood clinic. “I was a poor, uninsured woman, whose only care was provided through that facility. It was my medical home,” said Davis, now 50, several hours into her speech. Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst, who is Senate president, suspended the filibuster after roughly 10 hours, to cries of “let her speak” from supporters. Democrats appealed the ruling, sparking a row over parliamentary rules. After the session, Davis said on social media: “An incredible victory for Texas women and those who love them.” But Republican Governor Rick Perry, a strong opponent of abortion, could still revive the proposal by calling the legislature into a new special session. The US Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide in 1973, but conservative states have enacted laws in recent years that seek to place restrictions on the procedure, especially on abortions performed late in pregnancy. Twelve states have passed 20week bans, including two states where the bans take effect later this year, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights. Courts have blocked the bans in three of the 12 states - Arizona, Georgia and Idaho. Earlier this month, the Republican-controlled US House of Representatives passed a bill banning abortions 20 weeks after fertilization. —Reuters

Lebanon’s police torture detainees BEIRUT: Lebanese police are torturing vulnerable people being held in custody, including drug users, sex workers and homosexuals, Human Rights Watch charged in a new report yesterday. “Abuse is common in Lebanon’s police stations, but it is even worse for people like drug users or sex workers,” the New Yorkbased group’s deputy Middle East director Nadim Houry said. The rights group interviewed more than 50 people arrested in the past five years for suspected drug use, sex work or homosexuality, most of whom reported various types of abuse and torture. “They took me to interrogation naked, poured cold water on me, tied me to a desk with a chain and hung me” in a stress position, Mohamed, who was arrested for drug possession, told HRW. “They broke all my teeth and nose, and hit me with a gun until my shoulder was dislocated.” Other detainees described being denied food, water and medication as well as phone calls to family members and access to legal representation. Women, particularly those accused of prostitution, reported a range of sexual abuse, including rape. “It’s normal. They don’t see us

as human beings,” Soumaya, a sex worker who described being sexually assaulted by police officers, told HRW. “At first I protested, I fought back, then I understood that it’s useless,” she said. HRW said existing mechanisms intended to prevent such abuse were failing detainees, noting that in some prisons where cameras are installed, police officers would simply move detainees out of the camera’s line-ofsight before beating them. The Internal Security Forces’ human rights committee is understaffed and has no real power, the group said, adding that the judiciary “regularly ignores” complaints about police abuse. The group urged Lebanon to uphold the Convention against Torture and create an independent body to monitor detention centers. It also called on the government to “revise its Code of Criminal Procedure to better safeguard the rights of detainees and repeal laws criminalizing homosexuality, drug use and sex work.” HRW said donor countries that have invested money to equip and train Lebanon’s security forces “should ensure that their aid supports the development of internal oversight and accountability mechanisms.” —AFP

DAMASCUS: More than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria, a watchdog said in a new toll yesterday, as diplomats said a proposed peace conference in Geneva will likely be delayed. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists, lawyers and doctors on the ground in Syria, said the death toll was now 100,191 people. That figure includes at least 36,661 civilians, more than 3,000 of them women and more than 5,000 of them children under the age of 16. On the regime side, the group reported the deaths of at least 25,407 army soldiers, 17,311 proregime militia and 169 members of the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, which has dispatched fighters to battle alongside the Syrian army. The group counted another 2,571 unidentified people killed in the fighting throughout the war-torn country up until June 24. The figures are a testament to the levels of violence wracking the country, which has been ravaged by a civil war that began with peaceful demonstrations calling for regime change. The new toll came after the United States and the UN’s peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said a timeline for a proposed peace conference in Geneva would almost certainly slip. The conference to discuss a political resolution to the Syrian conflict has been backed by the United States and Russia, despite their support for opposing sides in the war. But the initial optimism over the proposal has given way to increasingly skepticism. The meeting was initially expected to take place in June, a date then pushed back to July, but Brahimi said Tuesday that further delays were likely. “Frankly, I doubt that the conference will take place

ALEPPO: The bodies of dead and injured rebel fighters (inset) lie under a bridge during clashes with progovernment forces in the Suleiman Al-Halabi neighborhood in Aleppo. —AFP in July,” he told reporters in Geneva ahead of a meeting with US and Russian diplomats. In Washington, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said the United States was eager for the meeting to go ahead but could not “put a timeline on it.” “We want to have this as soon as possible, we’ve been clear about that,” Ventrell said. “Clearly, the situation on the ground, clearly, the regime’s continued avoidance of this real discussion, are serious impediments.” “I’m just not going to put a timeline on it, but we think that it’s an important process, and we’ll continue to pursue it.” The Syrian regime has said it is willing to attend any peace meeting, but

Chavez relatives rise in power, keep myth alive CARACAS: Relatives of Hugo Chavez have taken powerful posts since he died three months ago, helping keep the late Venezuelan leader’s mythical image alive, but analysts see little chance of another Chavez taking power. His sonin-law and former science minister, Jorge Arreaza, was appointed vice president by President Nicolas Maduro after Chavez’s death. His oldest daughter, Rosa Virginia Chavez, is heading one of the firebrand leftist’s popular social programs, the “Miracle Mission,” which offers free eye surgery to the poor. Argenis Chavez, the late leader’s youngest brother, holds a top position in a branch of the supreme court. His oldest brother, Adan Chavez, has been the governor of his home state of Barinas for the past four years, taking over from their father Hugo de los Reyes Chavez. “This keeps the Chavez myth alive-his name and image in a ‘Chavismo’ that lacks the type of leadership that Nicolas Maduro has not been able to incarnate,” said Rafael Simon Jimenez, a former lawmaker who was a childhood friend of Chavez until distancing himself in 2002. “It’s a very united clan,” said Jimenez, now a member of the New Time opposition party. He said breaking with the Chavez family is not in the interest of the ruling party. Alberto Barrera Tyszka, co-author of the biography “Hugo Chavez Without Uniform: A Personal History,” said Chavez relatives’ roles in the government were part of the mythbuilding by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela to stay in power. “It has given the country an unusual feeling of seeing a monarchy. It would appear that the Chavezes have the right for something just for being the blood heirs of the dead president,” Barrera Tyszka said.—AFP

has insisted it will not be going to Geneva to hand over power and that President Bashar al-Assad will not resign. Assad’s resignation is a key rebel demand, and the opposition has said it will not attend the meeting unless certain conditions are met, including the withdrawal of Hezbollah from the country. Syria’s government meanwhile lashed out yesterday at Saudi Arabia, after the kingdom urged global action against Assad’s regime, saying the Syrian war had turned into a “genocide.” “The violence in Syria is being caused by Saudi arms, Saudi money and terrorists linked to Saudi Arabia,” Syrian Information Minister Omran Al-Zohbi was quoted as say-

ing by Syrian media. Syria’s conflict has left the country with few allies in the Middle East, and spilled over its borders, particularly into neighboring Lebanon, where the fighting has raised tensions. Yesterday, at least 20 Syrians were injured when they were attacked by men armed with knives in an eastern neighborhood of Beirut. “Three cars with tinted windows intercepted a minibus carrying 25 Syrians in the Jisr AlWati neighborhood. Eight men attacked the passengers with k nives, injuring 20 of them,” a police source said. The National News Agency said the group was headed to a studio to record Syrian folklore music. —AFP

In US, Asian immigrants better off than whites WASHINGTON: Asian immigrants tend to live in highly segregated enclaves in the United States and their income level is often higher than that of white Americans, said a US study out yesterday. The nearly 18 million Asian immigrants to the United States are the country’s fastest growing minority group, more than doubling since 1990, said the research by Brown University. Data from the US Census provided a snapshot of the Chinese, Indian, Filipino, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese living in the United States and how trends have changed. The report, “Separate but Equal: Asian Nationalities in the US,” found that Indians and Japanese were the most economically advantaged nationalities, while Vietnamese had the lowest incomes and the least education among Asian groups. Still, Vietnamese tended to live in neighborhoods that were about on par with average whites, said the report. Every other Asian nationality lived on average in neighborhoods with higher incomes and more college-educated residents than non-Hispanic whites did, it said. “We are so aware of the disadvantaged situation of blacks and Hispanics that we tend to assume that segregation results in unequal neighborhoods for minorities,” said John Logan, a sociology

professor at Brown University. “This isn’t the case for any major Asian nationality. And that means there is very little incentive for Asians to assimilate into white neighborhoods.” Chinese were the single largest national group, with more than four million people or a quarter of the Asian total, followed by Filipinos (3.4 million) and Indians (3.2 million). “Indians and Japanese are the more advantaged nationalities, while Vietnamese have the highest unemployment, lowest income, and least education among these groups,” said the report. Indians had the highest median household income among Asians, at $89,600 in 2010 compared to non-Hispanic whites at $54,000. Filipinos were second highest, followed by Chinese and Japanese. “Asians live separately but in some respects they live in better than equal neighborhoods compared to whites,” said the report. “Although there are variations among the Asian national origin groups (with Vietnamese living generally in the least affluent neighborhoods, and Japanese, Koreans and Indians in the more affluent areas) the findings are similar for all groups.” Los Angeles and New York have the highest number of Asian immigrants, with nearly 1.5 million in each metro area. —AFP



Obamas to confront ancestry on Senegal slave island DAKAR: When Barack and Michelle Obama visit Goree Island, a potent symbol of the slave trade off the Senegalese coast, it will be a moment to reflect not just on a dark period of American and African history, but on the First Family’s personal story. The horrors faced by thousands of Africans transported from Goree on journeys to the New World will be keenly felt by Obama, whose father was Kenyan, but the tales of their suffering will be even more poignant for his wife, who is descended from slaves. The First Lady is thought to have grown up with little knowledge of her origins, but US genealogist Megan Smolenyak revealed in a 2009 investigation with the New York Times that Michelle Obama’s great-great-greatgrandparents were a slave girl from South Carolina and an unknown white man from Georgia. A great-great-grandfather was also a former slave from South Carolina. “So there’s this link between Obama, an American originating from Africa through his father, and his wife, an AfricanAmerican originating from Africa through her ancestors,” said Eloi Coly, curator of Goree’s “Maison des Esclaves” (“Slave

House”) museum. “I think with all these ingredients gathered together, this visit by the Obamas should be very special.” The Obamas will make a stop at Goree today, during their three-country tour of sub-Saharan Africa. It is the president’s second official visit to the region, which will also take in South Africa and Tanzania. The island of Goree, four kilometers off Dakar, processed many of the estimated 12 million Africans who over three centuries crossed the Atlantic Ocean bound in chains, their lives and liberty traded in the US slave market. The Obamas will be shown the cramped cells at the former slave house built by the Dutch in 1776, and the “Door of No Return” which slaves are said to have passed through to board ships taking them on their nightmarish journeys westwards. Doubts about the famed house’s history have been circulating for at least 50 years among skeptics-and even local guides-who say Goree Island was never a major slave centre. But they haven’t stopped thousands of visitors each year taking the 20-minute ferry ride to the island. Visitors to the salmon-coloured Maison des Esclaves-and its famous stone door, high above a bank of black rocks

cascading into the Atlantic Ocean-have included other US presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, and former South African president Nelson Mandela and the late pope John Paul II. Notable African-Americans visiting Senegal, such as veteran civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, often make a point of stopping by. Settled by the Portuguese in 1444 and ruled subsequently by the Netherlands, England and then France, Goree was named by the Dutch who captured the island in the early 17th century, for whom “Goede Reede” meant “safe harbour”. Some of its modern-day inhabitants have complained that the heavy security accompanying the presidential visit feels like another invasion, but most of the locals are looking forward to the occasion. “We are happy to receive Mr Obama here in Dakar, in Africa and on Goree Island,” said street cleaner Pape Diallo. “I think when Obama comes here, it is good publicity too. Although tourists will not be coming today or tomorrow, many will come later because where the president of the United States goes, everyone will want to go.”“We love Obama. He is a black American, he’s nice, he smiles... On elec-

Whistleblower Snowden stuck at Moscow airport Russia rejects handover MOSCOW: US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden yesterday spent a fourth day at a Moscow airport with his onward travel plans still a mystery after Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected calls for his extradition to the United States. The United States told Russia it has a “clear legal basis” to expel Snowden but anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, which helped organize his flight from Hong Kong, said he risks being stuck in Russia “permanently”. Meanwhile Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, who by coincidence is expected in Moscow next week for an energy summit, said Caracas would consider any asylum request from Snowden just as Ecuador is doing. In his first comments on the chase for the former contractor that has captivated world attention, Putin on Tuesday confirmed that Snowden had arrived in Moscow but said he had never left the airport’s transit zone. “He arrived as a transit passenger... He did not cross the state border,” Putin said at a news conference in Finland late Tuesday. “For us, this was completely unexpected,” he added. “Mr Snowden is a free man, the sooner he selects his final destination point, the better for us and for himself,” he said. Snowden who leaked revelations of massive US surveillance programs to the media, had been expected to board a flight for Cuba on Monday, reportedly on his way to seek asylum in Ecuador. But he never did and Putin hinted that his onward travel plans were still

unknown. His US passport has been cancelled but WikiLeaks says he left Hong Kong with a refugee document supplied by Ecuador. Snowden’s extended stay in Moscow has prompted comparisons with the Tom Hanks hit film “The Terminal” about a man living in an airport, while British gambling website William Hill has opened betting on his final destination. “Cancelling Snowden’s passport and bullying intermediary countries may keep Snowden permanently in Russia,” WikiLeaks said in a statement on Twitter. A LOT OF SQUEALING The US urged Russia to use all means to expel Snowden, who arrived at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on a flight from Hong Kong on Sunday despite the US issuing a request for his arrest in China. “While we do not have an extradition treaty with Russia, there is nonetheless a clear legal basis to expel Mr Snowden,” National Security spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said. Hayden said that Snowden could be expelled on the basis of his travel documents and the pending charges against him. However Putin insisted that Russia could not extradite Snowden as it has no extradition agreement with the United States. Putin said he would prefer not to deal with cases such as those of Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London to avoid allegations of sexual assault in Sweden. “It’s the same as shearing a piglet:

MOSCOW: Transit passengers eat at a cafe with a TV screen with a news program showing a report on Edward Snowden, in the background, at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow yesterday. — AP

there’s a lot of squealing and not much wool,” he said. But Putin dismissed speculation that Snowden-a potential intelligence goldmine-was being purposely held up at the airport to be interrogated by Russian spies. WikiLeaks also denied he was being debriefed by the Russian security services and confirmed that British activist Sarah Harrison from its legal team “is escorting him at all times”. Snowden had been expected to travel on with the state carrier Aeroflot on Monday to Havana, but never appeared on the flight. He has not been spotted in the airport, located northwest of Moscow, and is speculated to be inside a capsule hotel in the transit zone. There is no scheduled flight from Sheremetyevo to Havana yesterday. The RIA Novosti quoted unidentified sources as saying that Snowden had also booked on Tuesday’s flight to Havana but the reservation had been cancelled a few hours before take-off. MOSCOW-BEIJING TIES The Interfax news agency cited an unnamed source in Snowden’s entourage claiming he is in limbo because his passport was cancelled by the US. “Snowden’s American passport is annulled, he has no other ID with him. Therefore he is obliged to stay in the Sheremetyevo transit zone, since he can neither enter Russia nor buy a ticket,” the source said. Snowden abandoned his high-paying intelligence contractor job in Hawaii and went to Hong Kong on May 20 to begin issuing a series of leaks on the NSA gathering of phone call logs and Internet data, triggering concern from governments around the world. Hong Kong, a special administrative region under Chinese rule that has maintained its own British-derived legal system, said the US government request to arrest him did not fully comply with its legal requirements. But White House spokesman Jay Carney lashed out at Beijing, saying its failure to “honor extradition obligations” had dealt a “serious setback” to efforts to build trust with new President Xi Jinping. The United States is applying “ill-considered pressure” that will only serve to “bring Moscow and Beijing closer together,” Alexei Pushkov, head of the Russian lower house of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, wrote on Twitter yesterday. —AFP

The ‘Snowden Effect’: US spies say militants change tactics WASHINGTON: Even as US intelligence agencies and their global partners assess potential damage from Edward Snowden’s disclosures about surveillance programs, militants have begun responding by altering methods of communication, a change that could make it harder to foil attacks, US officials say. Intelligence agencies have detected that members of targeted militant organizations, including both Sunni and Shiite Islamist groups, have begun altering communications patterns in what was believed to be a direct response to details on eavesdropping leaked by the former US spy agency contractor, two US national security sources said. The officials said it was too early to tell whether the recent changes in communications methods had caused a loss of critical intelligence or if there was now a greater risk of missing warning signs about future attacks. “You don’t know what you lose until after you’ve lost it,” one of the sources said. Previous dire warnings of leaks causing huge damage to US national security interests have proved overplayed. The leaking of tens of thousands of US diplomatic cables by Wikileaks in 2010 appears to have had far less impact than Washington initially warned. And militants changing the way they communicate could actually hinder plots as they resort to different methods to avoid detection. The charge that Snowden’s leaks are causing damage, made by officials speaking on condition of anonymity, comes as the Obama administration mounts a campaign to pressure Russia to extradite him. Russian president Vladimir Putin on Tuesday confirmed Snowden was in the transit area of a Moscow airport, but ruled out handing him

to Washington. The officials declined to specify what changes were spotted among militant groups, fearing that the more details provided on what was known about their behavior the easier it would be for them to adapt. One US telecommunications expert said privately that the militants’ latest adjustments likely included reduced electronic transmissions and more frequent switching of cell phones while they seek new encryption methods. Flashpoint Global Partners, which monitors Islamist militant websites, has noted increased discussion of the NSA leaks. “The simple rule is that ‘don’t be a fool’ dont give ur real information on internet through email u use for jihadi activities. just use fake names and TOR browser is must,” one person posted, referring to an Internet browser that can help the user remain anonymous and avoid surveillance. Exactly how serious the damage might be is difficult to measure as intelligence agencies do not know how much more sensitive material Snowden possesses that has not yet been published. Militants have a long history of trying to cover their electronic tracks. Largely using written messages and trusted couriers, al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden hid for years until he was killed by US forces in 2011. He advised militants to exercise extreme caution over electronic communications. Thumb drives and sim cards used to carry information should be destroyed after use, he told them. Intelligence analysts around the world are working to determine the operational impact of Snowden’s exposure of methods used by the US National Security Agency and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters agency to tap into telephone and Internet traffic. —Reuters

tion day in the United States we all clapped and cheered,” added a souvenir shop worker who gave her name as Amina. “Even if they make us close our shops I don’t mind. Nothing will spoil the day. We can make it up later... If we make

this into good PR for us, customers will come after him. “There were not so many Americans before. Maybe with Obama’s visit, when he comes and he sets foot on the soil of Goree, it will encourage Americans to come.” — AFP

ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE: President Barack Obama and family walk toward Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md yesterday before their weeklong trip to Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania. — AP

Obama embarrassed as Snowden tours US foes WASHINGTON: Few scenarios are as distasteful to US presidents as being snubbed by peers on the world stage. But Barack Obama is enduring a Cold War-style cold shoulder over the refusal of China and Russia to return fugitive intelligence leaker Edward Snowden. Snowden, after blowing the lid off US phone and Internet surveillance programs, has evaded the combined might of the White House, the US intelligence community and the long arm of US justice. After sifting their political options, Beijing and Moscow apparently decided that bailing Washington out was not in their best interests-and refused to expel him to America after he landed on their soil. The optics are uncomfortable for a White House lashed by critics for presiding over ebbing US power abroad. The drama exacerbates the deep embarrassment Washington is feeling after seeing its National Security Agency (NSA) eavesdropping programs exposed to the world by Snowden’s leaks. Obama’s personal discomfort is compounded since he sat down with both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin recently, hoping to smooth perilous relations. Putin on Tuesday said Russia had no grounds to expel Snowden-from his latest bolt-hole in Moscow airport-as it did not have an extradition treaty with the United States.

He also said authorities had no idea in advance that Snowden would flee from Hong Kong from Moscow-a comment met with skepticism in Washington where it is assumed China and Russia have drained Snowden of useful intelligence. “The bottom line is the United States and the Obama administration are left holding the bag, looking straight at a major breach of intelligence with few tools if any to resolve the situation,” said Andrew Kuchins, a Russia analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “The whole thing is very embarrassing.” It seems unlikely the White House seriously expected either rival to return Snowden, but politically, it has little option but to put up a fight. On Tuesday, it chose to extend the standoff with Moscow, telling Putin there was a clear legal basis for Moscow to expel him. Domestic pressure on Obama meanwhile is mounting. Republican Senator John McCain said Russian behavior was reminiscent of the Cold War and blamed Obama’s “leading from behind” statesmanship. “(Putin) is an old KGB colonel apparatchik that dreams of the days of the Russian Empire and he continues to stick his thumb in our eye,” McCain told CNN. Former Bush administration official Peter Wehner declared on the Commentary website that Putin had exposed Obama as an “irresolute amateur.” —AFP



Liberian women’s war wounds fester, 10 years on MONROVIA: It is over a week since Ruth Flomo was last able to walk, the bullet lodged in her leg an agonizing reminder of the terror of being shot in crossfire during Liberia’s bloody civil war 10 years ago. Flomo, then just a teenager, was caught in an exchange of fire between the rebel Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy and troops loyal to ex-president Charles Taylor as the conflict was nearing an end in 2003. “I am living with a bullet in me,” the 28year-old said, her voice gentle and supplicating, as she held the back of her scarred thigh while resting in an armchair at her home in the Liberian capital, Monrovia. “We were fleeing when a stray bullet penetrated my right leg. I was rushed to the hospital where doctors conducted an xray and said that the bullet that pierced my leg was still in my flesh and was just an inch away from my bone.” The medics in the Monrovia hospital were ill-equipped to deal with gunshot wounds and had to discharge Flomo in the hope that the bullet would work its own way out. Ten years later, it regularly causes her serious pain. “After a week in the hospital I was discharged and sent home. I was advised to keep taking antibiotics, ampicillin or penicillin, with the hope that the (bullet) would have come out but to this date it is still in me. “Every now and then I feel pain in my leg and my entire body. I don’t have the mon-

ey to go to hospital to remove it. I do not have the means of paying the bill,” she said. Deep psychological and physical wounds remain in Liberia after two backto-back civil wars which ran from 1989 to 2003 and left a quarter of a million people dead. Numerous rebel factions raped, maimed and killed, some making use of drugged-up child soldiers, and deep ethnic rivalries and bitterness remain across the west African nation of four million people. There is no official figure for people living with poorly-treated gunshot and explosives wounds but charities estimate that Flomo is among 5,000 women and children coping with the pain of shrapnel they cannot afford to have removed. ‘They did not pick up arms. They did not fight war’-Miatta Gayflor was just 12 when a bomb exploded near her as she fled a gun battle between government troops and rebels in Monrovia, sending white-hot shrapnel searing into her buttocks. “It is sometimes difficult for me to sit. I feel rotten pain in my buttocks for at least a week every two months. The only treatment I can afford is a painkiller,” the 23-year-old told AFP, breaking into sobs. “I was not armed, my mother did not have weapons and we were only running for our lives and that is the crime we committed. I can still remember my mother holding me in her arms crying for help

while I was bleeding,” Gayflor said. She and thousands like her have formed a Liberian branch of the Association of Disabled Females International to demand compensation from the government for their suffering. “The association is about only women and children because we did not pick up arms to fight. We were harmless but we suffered most,” the group’s executive director, Meima Hoff said. “We have been going from office to office to cry for help but no one has come to our rescue.” A glance at the group’s membership provides a gruesome snapshot of the privations women suffered during the civil wars, with many of the activists made blind, missing limbs or suffering mental or neurological disorders. A Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)was set up by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to probe war crimes and rights abuses between 1979 and 2003, and particularly during the brutal conflicts that raged in 1989-96 and 1999-2003. The commission said a compensation scheme should be set up alongside a war crimes court to prosecute eight ex-warlords for alleged crimes against humanity but the government is yet to implement the recommendations. Ten years after the war, no money has been made available and the only Liberian to face trial is Charles Taylor, and that was for his role in neighboring Sierra

MONROVIA: A file photo shows people carrying a woman, who was wounded in a mortar attack outside the US Embassy in Monrovia. — AFP Leone’s civil conflict, not that in his own country. The former leader is appealing a 50-year prison sentence handed down in April last year for supporting rebels in Sierra Leone in exchange for blood diamonds during a civil war that claimed 120,000 lives between 1991 and 2001. “It is time for all of us to fight for our rights... especially women that were made disabled because of the war. We have lots of women and children that are

disabled as a result of the war in Liberia,” Hoff added. “They did not pick up arms. They did not fight war. Out of wickedness, they were made victims of the war. You see in Sierra Leone they have got their reparation. This was part of their reconciliation process. “But since the TRC process ended in Liberia, the government has not opened that chapter. It is time for us to demand reparation for war-made victims in the country.”— AFP

Qantas, BA, Emirates mired in Chinese prison labor row Airliners buy headphones made in notorious jail

BRDO PRI KRANJU: Kosovo’s foreign minister Enver Hoxhaj (left) meets with his Slovenian counterpart Karl Erjavec yesterday in Brdo pri Kranju, near Ljubljana. —AFP

EU’s eastern experience: rewards and a little pain LJUBLJANA: “You’ll be joining us in hell soon!” Slovenians like to joke as neighboring Croatia prepares to enter the European Union, the first new member in six years and the second only from the former Yugoslavia. In truth, most of the 10 eastern European countries that joined the bloc in 2004 and 2007 are overwhelmingly positive about a union that has brought them infrastructure money, a higher standard of living, more freedom of movement and an escape from Russia’s sphere of influence. Compared to the older EU members, the newcomers-from Estonia in the north to Bulgaria in the south-consistently top Eurobarometer surveys looking at public opinion of the EU. Infrastructure in countries that once stood behind the Iron Curtain has been radically improved in many places, thanks to EU funds. “For the first time, there’s a rubbish collecting service in my grandmother’s village,” Cristian Ghinea, a Romanian political analyst said. Poland, the largest recipient of structural and cohesion funds with an allocated 67.3 billion euros ($88.65 billion) in 2007-2013, has built or renewed over 10,000 kilometers of roads and 1,600 kilometers of railways. Next door in Hungary, the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban-usually so critical of Brussels-has worked hard to bring its deficit in line for fear of losing EU funds that are crucial to its construction sector. Judiciary reforms and continued pressure by Brussels, even after entry into the bloc, have meanwhile helped bring top politicians and businessmen to justice in corruption-plagued countries like Bulgaria and Romania. As a result, trust in European institutions is sometimes higher than in the national government. “EU entry has been a very good thing as it forced politicians to carry out reforms,” said Atena, a Bucharest bank employee. “What EU membership did for all those countries was this tremendous transition process, it was unprecedented,” Anton Rop, the prime minister who took Slovenia into the bloc said. “Slovenia had to change substantially... it moved towards the living standards of the most developed countries in the EU.” Another cherished benefit has been the ability to move freely across EU borders. Two million Poles and as many Romanians currently work and live abroad, sending billions of euros back home. Lithuanians have also left in droves and up to 500,000 Hungarians have departed since 2010. In Bulgaria, over 70 percent of families encourage their children to study abroad, with 36 percent pushing them to leave definitely, according to the NCIOM institute. TOO MANY IMPORTS On a summer’s day in Ljubljana, the

bells of St. Nicholas Cathedral cheerfully play Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”-the EU’s anthem-as the clock strikes noon. Around the city, ministries, courthouses and other official buildings proudly fly the EU’s blue flag with the ring of stars. For small countries long dominated by the Soviet Union, EU membership has meant recognition as democratic states, a bigger role in international affairs and escape from Moscow. “Lithuania is much safer now,” noted Petras Austrevicius, an MP who helped negotiate Lithuania’s accession to the EU. But the picture is not all rosy and at Ljubljana’s central market, amid mounds of leafy salads, luscious apricots and mouthwatering cherries, vendors complain of the EU’s impact on the economy and their own pockets. “There are too many imports. People have stopped trusting vendors, they always ask if the vegetables are really local,” Marinka, a 64-year-old woman selling courgettes and potatoes, says without losing her smile. “We were ok before joining, we didn’t have to join.” Tanja, 26, a tourism student, says it’s hard to get a job and she is considering moving to neighboring Austria. “Prices went up 100 percent or more but paychecks stayed the same. Coffee used to be 50 cents now it’s 1.30 euro,” she says. While the EU has facilitated trade and investments to some extent, foreign competition and strict regulations caused the closure of thousands of Bulgarian food companies that failed to respect EU standards. Bulgaria and Romania-the most recent newcomers in 2007 - remain the bloc’s poorest members and in Hungary and the Czech Republic, eurosceptic rhetoric from the government is common, dampening enthusiasm also among the population. Grumblings are meanwhile heard from Prague to Bucharest that the eastern newcomers have too little weight in Brussels, compared to Berlin or Paris. “Poland (is) one of the five or six countries without which no decision can be taken in the EU,” Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski insisted recently to the daily Gazeta Wyborcza. The newcomers say their location and history give them an advantage in dealings with Russia and prospective EU candidates in the Balkans. With the global economic crisis causing higher unemployment and austerity, and given the high hopes before entry, some disillusionment has been inevitable. But more benefits could yet come from the EU, for instance through better use of its funds, a large proportion of which is never used. “We cannot say that we have managed to make the best use of all the political, economy and security benefits stemming from our membership,” Romanian President Traian Basescu admitted earlier this year. — AFP

SYDNEY: Australian flag carrier Qantas launched an investigation yesterday into claims it purchased headphones made in a Chinese jail where inmates who miss production targets are reportedly beaten and held in solitary confinement. The Australian Financial Review said other big companies also allegedly used products made at Dongguan prison in the southern province of Guangdong, including British Airways and Emirates. Two inmates recently released from the jail, including New Zealander Danny Cancian, told the newspaper they made disposable economy-class earphones for all three airlines. Cancian, who was serving a four-year jail sentence for manslaughter, said failure to meet production targets meant prisoners were “taken outside and tasered”. “It’s a very cruel environment. You wake up every morning wondering if you are going to survive the day,” he said. Another inmate, who asked not to be named, said he made inductors used in electrical appli-

ances as well as the headphones. “Yes, I made them for the Australian airline Qantas, the one with the kangaroo as its logo,” he said. “We also made them for Emirates, British Airways and lots of others.” Cancian claimed prisoners were paid eight yuan (US$1.30) a month, and worked more than 70 hours a week. “If they want to call me a liar then they should go there and have a look,” said Cancian, adding that the headphones were placed in boxes with the company’s names on them. The report cited a representative from the Dongguan City Joystar Electronic Company as saying his firm used prison labor for big orders and made 300,000 sets of headphones for Qantas early last year. They were allegedly made to fill an order for Airphonics, the Vietnamese company Qantas confirmed was its main supplier. Qantas said it had been unable to substantiate the allegations but had suspended arrangements with Airphonics and launched an investigation. “Qantas is very concerned by allegations

in today’s media and we have immediately suspended our current sourcing arrangements until we can investigate more fully,” it said in a statement. It added that the claim its supplier used a third-party company in China to help fill orders “contradicts the verbal and written assurances we’ve had from this supplier that their supply chain process met our standards - including the ethical treatment of workers”. “Qantas places very strict conditions on suppliers and we conduct regular audits of factories ourselves to ensure those conditions - which include no forced labor - are met.” British Airways could not be reached for comment but the newspaper cited a spokesman as saying its suppliers “are subject to a rigorous procurement process prior to appointment”. “We enforce compliance to a robust labor-standards policy throughout the duration of the contract.” Emirates said it was satisfied there was “no evidence of any unethical practices in the headset manufacturing process”.— AFP

EU demands answers from Britain amid spying scandal BRUSSELS: The European Commission has written to British Foreign Secretary William Hague demanding answers by the end of the week on leaked reports that Britain’s spy services are tapping cables that carry the world’s phone calls and Internet traffic. “I have sent a letter to express my concern,” the EU’s Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding told a briefing yesterday, adding: “I have asked for a very urgent reply by the end of this week.” The claims, published by The Guardian newspaper, are based on leaked documents from US ex-intelligence technician Edward Snowden, who is now at a Moscow airport on the run from US authorities. The report on the British program code named Tempora has sparked a fresh outcry from privacy campaigners. German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said that if true it would be “like a nightmare out of Hollywood”. Reding said she had asked Hague to clarify the extent of the program, whether the data stayed in Britain or was passed to other countries, whether the spying was limited to individual cases and what the possibilities for legal redress were. “It is a very clear signal that we need... the right balance between the protection of data and the processing of data for security

reasons,” Reding said. The Guardian reported on Saturday that Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has started processing vast amounts of personal information including Facebook posts, emails, Internet histories and phonecalls-and was sharing it with its US partner the National Security Agency (NSA). In reaction, however, GCHQ said it was “scrupulous” in its compliance with the law and declined to comment further. Citing Snowden, The Guardian said that GCHQ was able to tap into and store data from the cables for up to 30 days. The Guardian claimed Tempora had been running for 18 months and GCHQ and the NSA were able to access vast quantities of communications between entirely innocent people. It also said that the intelligencegathering directly led to the arrest and jailing of a British terror cell, the arrests of others planning acts of terror, and three London-based people planning attacks prior to the city’s 2012 Olympic Games. The Guardian said the documents it had seen showed that by last year, GCHQ was handling 600 million “telephone events” each day, had tapped more than 200 fibre-optic cables, and was able to process data from at least 46 of them at a time.— AFP

Kevin Rudd: A volatile but polished politician SYDNEY: Ever the man of the people, Kevin Rudd made a polished return as Australia’s prime minister-elect yesterday appealing directly to the public on his “proven leadership”. Rudd, a charismatic ex-diplomat, stormed to power in 2007 with a landslide victory that ended a decade of conservative rule, campaigning for generational change with an emphasis on issues such as global warming. He was for years a darling of the public, but his confidence with voters translated to egotism-even megalomania-behind the scenes, according to ruling Labor party colleagues who had, by mid-2010, lost faith in the Mandarin-speaking prime minister. A series of policy mis-steps provided the pretext for party members to swoop, deposing him in a shock coup in favor of his deputy, Julia Gillard, just weeks before the 2010 election. History flipped yesterday when, as parliament prepared to rise for the final time before September’s national elections, Rudd threw his hat in the ring for a third leadership showdown in little more than a year. “The truth, if we’re all being perfectly

honest about it right now, is that we’re on course for a catastrophic defeat unless there is change,” Rudd said of the September 14 polls, in which Labor is facing obliteration according to opinion surveys. “ Tens and thousands of ordinar y Australians, members of the Australian public have been asking me to do this for a very long time.” Gillard must now advise Governor General Quentin Bryce that she is resigning as prime minister, which is expected to happen today, before Rudd can be sworn into office. Known for his volatile temper, the 55-year-old came from humble beginnings to lead the Labor Party and oust long-serving conservative leader John Howard. Rudd promised closer engagement with Asia, made a landmark apology to Australia’s Aborigines for their treatment under white rule, and ratified the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. The assured, if bookish, leader unraveled Howard’s harsh immigration policies and kept Australia recession-free throughout the financial crisis, something no other advanced economy achieved. —AFP

Australia’s Julia Gillard

Australia’s first woman PM fought her way to the top SYDNEY: Julia Gillard rose to the top in the male-dominated world of Australian politics, winning acclaim for a fiery denunciation of misogyny, but ultimately she lost the faith of voters and her own party. While the trailblazing feminist became Australia’s first woman prime minister, Australia never fully embraced her. She ousted Kevin Rudd from the leadership in 2010 in the uncompromising fashion that characterized her climb to power, but Gillard had to fight off repeated challenges. She called another leadership ballot yesterday and lost to her arch-rival, a defeat that will see her quit politics at the next election. But Gillard believes she achieved some of her goals. “I came into politics believing government could be about providing opportunity and it wouldn’t matter whether you came from a rich background or a poor background, you’re a migrant, you’re an indigenous Australian, you were entitled to lead a life of opportunity partnered with your own endeavor and hard work,” she said. “That’s how I’ve lived my life and that’s how I’ve brought the reforms that we’ve focused on as a government, nothing more important than the school funding reform. “I’m not interested in public accolades, I’m not interested in applause,” she added. Getting things done was never straightforward for Gillard, who won only the narrowest of victories in the 2010 election, resulting in a hung parliament which forced her to cobble together a minority government with the support of independents. But she was tough, most famously displaying her hard exterior in a speech in October 2012, when she ripped into conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott in an extraordinary outburst watched by millions on YouTube. “I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man, I will not,” stormed Gillard, who had to scale the male-dominated ranks of the Australian Labor Party. The speech was an overnight sensation and briefly boosted her in the polls. But the former industrial relations lawyer always struggled to win over public opinion, and according to pollsters was never in a winning position since assuming the prime ministership. Everything from her Australian drawl to her penchant for white jackets was criticized, often to the extreme. She was once called “deliberately barren” for her childlessness and only this month was faced with a menu from a Liberal Party fundraiser offering a dish called “Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail - Small Breasts, Huge Thighs & A Big Red Box”. —AFP



Brazil’s reluctant revolutionaries in spotlight SAO PAULO: Brazil’s reluctant revolutionaries are struggling with success. The Free Fare Movement, which advocates for the elimination of all transit fees, didn’t expect to become the focal point of what some Brazilian media are calling the most impor tant mass demonstrations in the nation’s history. Nor did they imagine they’d be tapped as one of the few groups, if not the only one, to decide whether the protests grow or fade away in the coming days and weeks. But that’s the rapid evolution facing this “horizontally” organized wing of mostly young university students, who have been calling for the elimination of bus and subway fares since 2003. They’ve already won the cancellation of fare hikes that triggered the explosion of mass protests more than a week ago. Now, even after meeting with President Dilma Rousseff on Monday, the movement is sticking to its original platform: the complete zeroing out of transit fares. More than anyone in this formless protest movement, the group has the power to extend the unrest that has shaken Latin America’s biggest country and since wrapped in a litany of grievances, from woeful health services to the sky-high cost of hosting next year’s World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. “Look, we’re not the owners of these protests across Brazil nor are we the only group behind them,” said Caio Martins, a rail-thin 19-year-old university student helping orchestrate a Tuesday protest suppor ted by the Free Fare Movement. “That said, we are one of the most organized groups involved in

what’s going on. I think that’s why people have looked to us.” Outside watchers said now is the time for the group to press its demands, while it has the Brazilian government back on its heels. Doing that, however, will mean becoming an actual movement capable of expanding beyond its single-issue base, said Guillermo Trejo, a professor at the University of Notre Dame in the US whose research focuses on social protests in Latin America. “This is a crucial week for the movement because they’re so strong right now,” Trejo said. “The height of the power of the movement is this week. Whereas the leaders of the movement initially represented the transportation issue, they’re now in a position to represent a much larger constituency.” Before police cracked down on a June 13 rally, the Free Fare Movement was a relatively obscure group carrying out protests but not gaining much national traction. Its first transport protests did manage to briefly paralyze the northeastern Brazilian city of Salvador a decade ago, and its cause spread to the city of Florianopolis in the south the following year. In 2005, a national movement was born at the anti-capitalist World Social Forum held in Porto Alegre. That low profile officially ended when Sao Paulo police fired rubber bullets, canisters of tear gas and stun grenades at the group’s protest last week in a congested central area of the country’s biggest city. One of Brazil’s top newspapers had suggested the police crack down after an earlier Free Fare action destroyed buses, shattered storefront

BELO HORIZONTE: A little group of young demonstrators attempt to block the road from the airport to the city in Belo Horizonte. Brazil is currently facing unprecedented social unrest, marked by almost daily street protests to demand better public services and an end to rampant political corruption. — AFP windows and blocked traffic. More than 100 group members ended up injured in the police sweep, along with several newspaper reporters, two of whom were shot in the face at close range with rubber bullets. National outrage over the violence, fanned by social media, opened a Pandora’s box of Brazilian discontent. With the whole country now up in arms, some question the group’s ability to continue winning concessions, like it did this week from several city and state governments that reversed public transport fare hikes. For one thing, Free Fare’s insistence on eschewing any leadership

Rousseff’s referendum plan for Brazil runs into trouble Lawyers question legality of proposal BRASILIA: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s bid to defuse a sudden outburst of national discontent by proposing a referendum on political reforms ran into stiff opposition on Tuesday from politicians and lawyers who questioned its legality. Tens of thousands of Brazilians have taken to the streets this month in the biggest protests in 20 years, fueled by an array of grievances ranging from poor public services to the high cost of World Cup soccer stadiums and corruption. The demonstrations against Brazil’s political establishment have jolted politicians of all stripes and clouded the outlook for Rousseff, who is expected to seek re-election next year. The national capital, Brasilia, braced for more protests yesterday, with some schools cancelling classes. New demonstrations were also expected in Belo Horizonte during a game between Brazil and Uruguay for the Confederations Cup, a warm-up for the World Cup in 2014. In an emergency meeting with Brazil’s governors on Monday, Rousseff proposed a national plebiscite to ask voters whether they agree to holding a constituent assembly to reform Brazil’s political system. The bold move was seen as an attempt by a popular president to bypass the country ’s unpopular Congress with an appeal to the peo-

ple. Legal experts said that was unconstitutional. The head of the Brazilian Bar Association, Marcus Vinicius Furtado, proposed in a meeting with Rousseff that political reforms be adopted by Congress based on a popular petition. Politicians - including the head of the lower chamber of Congress Henrique Alves, a member of the governing coalition of parties - said political reforms should be decided by Congress. Former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso said that under Brazil’s constitution Rousseff could not call an assembly to amend the charter. He said political reforms should be drawn up by Congress and then submitted to the country ’s approval in a plebiscite. To hold a referendum to decide what to reform would “take up what is left of this presidential term and have repercussions for the economy that are hard to predict,” Cardoso said in a post on the FHC Institute’s Facebook page. Political analysts saw Rousseff’s referendum proposal as a ploy to gain time and spread the political risk of the crisis. “Rousseff’s intention is to address the public’s huge disaffection with the political class by separating herself as an agent of change,” Washington-based Eurasia consultancy said in a note to clients. “In practical terms, however, the proposal is

unlikely to lead to any meaningful political reform.” Eurasia said it was not a lack of legal mechanisms that has hampered political reform in Brazil, but the absence of will across the political class. The same point was made by the president of Brazil’s Supreme Court, Joaquim Barbosa, who weighed into the debate with a news conference after meeting with Rousseff on the issue. “Proposals have been sitting for years in Congress, which has shown no interest in reforming the political system. And that lack of interest, in part, has led to the crisis of legitimacy we have now,” Barbosa told reporters. It was unusual for a chief justice to be publicly giving his opinion on a matter he might have to rule on if it is brought before the Supreme Court. But Barbosa is highly respected in Brazil for leading the country’s biggest political corruption trial, which led to the conviction last year of several leaders of the ruling Workers’ Party. Barbosa said the Brazilian people should be consulted directly because they were tired of political deals negotiated behind their backs by the political elites. Brazil’s democratic system was not endangered by the current wave of protests, he said. “Brazil’s democracy is solid enough to weather this turbulence.” —Reuters

Bigger posts absorb cuts as US military downsizes LOUISVILLE: In axing a dozen combat brigades in the face of steep spending cuts and the wind-down of two wars, the Army says it is trying to ease the sting by spreading it around. But one post stands out on the list of 10 installations targeted in Tuesday’s announcement of a major restructuring that has been a long time coming: Kentucky’s Fort Knox. In losing the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, the famed post an hour south of Louisville will soon know what it’s like to be an Army post without a combat brigade. The elimination of 3rd Brigade means a 43 percent cut to Fort Knox’s active duty force. That’s far beyond the level of cuts elsewhere, but it could be a precursor to what other communities may feel if Congress allows billions in automatic budget cuts to continue next year, Army leaders warned. “This decision will likely remove nearly 10,000 military employees and dependents from the area, which will have a profound economic impact not only on Fort Knox, but the surrounding region as well,” Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said in a news release. Officials said they will slash the number of active duty combat brigades from 45 to 33 as the service moves forward with a longtime plan to cut its size by 80,000. As many as 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 m o re a c t i ve - d u t y, National Guard and Reserve soldiers could be lost if Congress does not restore funding, the Army said. Gen Ray Odierno, Army chief of staff, said one additional brigade will likely be cut, but no final decisions have been made. “I know in the local communities it will have its impact,” Odierno said. “But we’ve done our best to reach out to them so they understand what the impacts are. We’ve tried to make it as small an impact as possible for as many communities as we could.” Larger installations with other brigades will, as Army officials noted, be better able to absorb the losses as the Army reverts to pre-9/11 troop levels. Fort Campbell, on the Tennessee-Kentucky line, will remain the home of the 101st Airborne Division and other units despite losing the 4th Brigade Combat Team, which like Fort Knox’s 3rd Brigade, currently has soldiers deployed to Afghanistan.

Fort Bliss and Fort Hood in Texas are losing brigades but, thanks to reassignments of many of those troops, will suffer net losses in their forces of less than 10 percent. That’s also true for Fort Drum in upstate New York and Fort Stewart in southeast Georgia. Under the plan announced Tuesday, the Army will increase the size of its infantry and armor brigades by adding another battalion, which is 600 to 800 soldiers. Adding the battalion was a recommendation from commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan who said it would beef up the fighting capabilities of the brigades when they go to war. Fort Benning, Ga, on the Alabama line, will even see a slight gain in the size of its force thanks to the changes. Overall, however, the military’s largest branch is trimming itself by 14 percent over the next six years, from a high of about 570,000 during the peak of the Iraq war to 490,000. Besides cutting the brigades themselves, which number roughly 3,500 to 5,000 troops apiece, the Army will eliminate thousands of other jobs across the service, including soldiers in units that support the brigades, and two brigades in Germany that have already been scheduled for elimination. And it will relocate thousands of soldiers and cancel $400 million in construction projects. Odierno said Fort Knox scored the lowest in military value, but insisted the reduction was not the first step toward closing the post. He noted that about 4,000 civilians workers had been added there, as well as the Army’s recruiting command. The total workforce of Fort Knox is about 20,000, including active duty and civilians, post spokesman Ryan Brus said. Fort Knox has only been home to the 3rd Brigade since 2009, when it was relocated under the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure. The governor questioned the fiscal savings when the Pentagon spent more than $500 million for new facilities for the brigade and improvements to the installation to accommodate their families. “While I understand that the Departments of the Army and Defense must adjust to the current budget realities, this decision seems to focus on shorter-term savings at the expense of longer-term readiness,” Beshear said. —AP

structure while encouraging the direct participation of all members has made it more difficult to put out a unified message. As a result, on Friday, one member had said the group was calling off all future protests, only to be contradicted two days later by another in the group, who insisted the demonstrations would continue. When asked whether the organization’s unconventional structure works, Martins stifled a laugh as he stood at the side of the small march in Sao Paulo. “We reversed the fare hike! It works, it works,” he said. “Well, at times some members have presented themselves to the media as if they were lead-

ers of the movement when they’re not. We don’t have leaders. That aside, we have few problems.” Mayara Vivian, a member who met with Rousseff, showed no signs of backing down on pressuring the government despite Free Fare’s structural challenges. “It’s one thing to talk, but we’ve got to see concrete action,” she said. “Dialogue is an important step, but without action that guarantees improvements for the population, there will be no advances.” Street vendor Edmundo Pereira da Silva watched Tuesday’s protest crawl down a main Sao Paulo road while peering from a hole in the wooden door of his tiny, disheveled concrete shack. Like most people in the metropolitan area of 20 million people, he spends several hours and a large chunk of his disposable income on bus and subway fares. For that reason, he said he backed Free Fare’s campaign. “I hope for a better Brazil, of course. I want a different Brazil, with more quality, more confidence, with honest politicians and people who cast conscientious votes,” he said, the stench of sewage strong at his door. “That’s their fight - and we’ve got to at least try.” As a cold rain drenched the few hundred marchers, Martins skirted in and out of the crowd, quietly conferring with other group members at the front of the march before moving back into the mass. “We’ve always maintained that we are solely focused on the issue of free transport,” he said. But now, after the mind-blowing protests of the past week, that is already changing, he said. “Our fight is for the transformation of society.” —AP

Food-throwing protesters block Bulgaria parliament SOFIA: An angry crowd of around 1,000 Bulgarian demonstrators, some throwing eggs and tomatoes, blockaded parliament yesterday in a 13th straight day of anti-government protests. Because only 112 out of 240 lawmakers braved it through the protesters who were shouting “Mafia!” and “Resignation!” outside the parliament building in central Sofia, the session was cancelled. Deputy parliamentary speaker and Socialist party lawmaker Maya Manolova was pelted with missiles after trying to address the angry crowd, who then prevented MPs from leaving even after the session was scrapped. “This instability can continue indefinitely, I am afraid. Of course, we will not be able to work without parliament,” Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski told journalists on leaving the legislature escorted by police. Between 7,000 and 10,000 people have protested ever y evening since June 14 in the European Union’s poorest country after the controversial

appointment of a media mogul as head of a powerful security agency. This move, angering people fed up with corruption and cronyism, has since been withdrawn but the protests have turned into demonstrations against the government and politicians in general. In February mass protests prompted the previous rightwing government of Boyko Borisov to resign. Elections in May were inconclusive and the non-partisan Oresharski was named premier of a Socialist-backed administration. The Socialists and their partners, the Turkish minority MRF party, have 120 MPs. But in order to function, parliament needs the presence of at least one more lawmaker from the unpredictable ultra nationalist formation Ataka, who failed to show up yesterday. Borisov’s opposition conservative GERB party has boycotted parliamentary sessions since last week. —AFP



Chopper crash kills 20; India flood rescue forges on Rotting corpses spark fears of epidemic amid India floods DEHRADUN: India’s military vowed yesterday to press ahead with evacuations from the country’s flood ravaged north after 20 airmen and paramilitary members were killed when their helicopter crashed during a rescue mission. Soldiers, backed by some 60 helicopters, were leading the rescue of thousands of Hindu pilgrims and tourists still stranded after flash floods and landslides hit the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, killing some 1,000 people. One of the helicopters, carrying soldiers, police and rescue workers, crashed on Tuesday afternoon near the temple area of Kedarnath, which has become the epicenter of the disaster.” Twenty warriors have died. It is a loss for the entire nation,” Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne, the head of the airforce, said in the state capital Dehradun, adding that an investigation was under way into the cause of the crash. “We have to finish the mission and finish it right. We will make sure that the job is done,” he said during an inspection of rescue operations. Raging rivers swept away houses, buildings and even entire villages on June 15 after torrential rains hit the state, which was packed with tourists and pilgrims travelling to Hindu shrines. More than 1,000 bridges have been dam-

aged along with roads, cutting off villages and towns. Survivors have recounted harrowing stories of their loved ones plummeting to their deaths or being washed away in the deluge. Shachi Dobhriyal said she watched helplessly as her family of nine was swept away by the waters, as she clung to a wooden bar in a hotel in Ram Bada, a base camp for pilgrims travelling to Kedarnath. “What can I say? I lost my two children, husband, nephews and my in-laws. The river swallowed them alive,” the 45-yearold told AFP from a hospital bed in Dehradun where she is being treated for trauma. Manish Kumar, 45, said he was trying to walk out of the remote Jungle Chatti area near Kedarnath shrine with his wife and six-year old son when a landslide hit the road. “We were trying to cross one of the badly-damaged roads by foot two days after the rains struck,” Kumar said. “Suddenly there was a massive landslide. My wife fell into a deep gorge and I could do nothing to save her,” he said, holding his son in his arms. Kumar, who was eventually rescued by an army chopper and brought to Dehradun, refuses to return home in Jabalpur in the central state of

Madhya Pradesh in case his wife is found. ROTTING CORPSES Meanwhile, rotting corpses contaminating water sources and poor sanitation

amid devastating floods in northern India could lead to a serious outbreak of diseases such as cholera and dysentery, aid groups warned yesterday. The floods, triggered by heavy monsoon rains more than

AHMADABAD: Indian students of Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidhya Pratishthanam (SGVP) along with saints raise their hands as they perform rituals during a “yagna,” or a fire ritual, to pray for the Uttarakhand flood victims yesterday. — AP

10 days ago, have killed at least 822 people in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand and forced tens of thousands from their homes. Officials say the death toll may cross 1,000 and thousands are still reported missing. Authorities have so far been focusing on rescuing thousands of pilgrims who visit the region for its sacred Hindu temples and shrines, but aid agencies, struggling to get past roads choked by landslides to local villagers, warned of another disaster unfolding in form of an outbreak of diseases. Aid workers said they were concerned that a combination of heavy rains and corpses lying out in the open would contaminate streams and rivers. “We are getting reports from the field that there are rotting bodies lying around, many of them semi-buried in soil and rubble that came down from the mountains,” said Zubin Zaman, Humanitarian Manager for Oxfam India, which is working in Rudraprayag, one of the worst affected districts. “There are also carcasses of livestock in rivers and streams and this has, of course, contaminated so many of their water sources. But people are desperate and are being forced to consume water they wouldn’t otherwise.”— Agencies

Mongolians vote in presidential election Incumbent battles champion wrestler, woman

PYONGYANG: North Koreans march on Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea as they hold an anti-US demonstration to mark the 63rd anniversary of the outbreak of the three-year Korean War, from 1950 to 1953. —AP

Satellite shows tunneling at North Korean test site SEOUL: Satellite imagery has revealed new tunneling work at North Korea’s nuclear test site, but nothing that points to an imminent detonation, a US research institute said yesterday. The activity appears to have begun in late April-at the height of a recent surge in inter-Korean tensions-and gathered momentum over the next few months, the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University posted on its 38 North web site. The tunneling at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site-evidenced by a large new dumpsite-was taking place near the West Portal where the North’s 2009 and possibly 2013 nuclear tests took place. The purpose of the work was either to construct a new test tunnel that would take several years, or to repair or clean out an existing tunnel, the closely-followed website concluded. “These activities do not appear to

be part of preparations for a nuclear test in the near-term,” it said. “Rather, they seem to be long-term projects-a conclusion reinforced by the presence of installed cart rails-that may be necessary for the conduct of future tests,” it added. North Korea conducted its third and most powerful nuclear test at the Punggye-ri site in February this year. North Korea said the test was of a miniaturized device, and hinted that the fissile material involved may have been uranium, as opposed to the plutonium used in its two previous tests in 2006 and 2009. Pyongyang has made it clear that it plans to conduct further tests sometime in the future. The February detonation triggered tightened UN sanctions and a cycle of escalating military tensions on the Korean peninsula that lasted for two months.— AFP

Washington and Kabul reaffirm support for Taleban peace deal KABUL: Kabul and Washington reaffirmed yesterday that they seek peace with the Taleban despite attacks on a CIA base and the Afghan presidency, repairing a row over the Islamists’ office in Qatar. US President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai held a 90-minute conference call to try to revive early efforts to start peace talks as NATO troops prepare to withdraw in 2014 after more than 12 years of fighting against the Taleban. The level of violence still raging in Afghanistan was highlighted when the Taleban launched an assault Tuesday in the heart of Kabul in which three security guards and all five assailants were killed. Gunmen and bombers using fake NATO identification attacked an entrance to the Afghan presidential palace and a nearby building known to house a CIA base in one of the most brazen assaults in Kabul since Karzai narrowly escaped assassination in April 2008. Tentative steps towards talks were wrecked last week when a new Taleban office in Qatar provoked anger from Afghanistan and the US because it styled itself as the embassy of a government-in-exile. Karzai refused to send representatives to Qatar and pulled out of separate talks on a security agreement with the US that would allow Washington to keep some troops in Afghanistan after 2014. Washington launched an intense diplomatic effort to pacify Karzai, with telephone calls and dispatching US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, James Dobbins, for face to face talks. “Both presidents talked about the security agreement between Afghanistan and the US, the peace process and Taleban Qatar office,” Karzai’s office said in a statement after the call with Obama late Tuesday. The US president appeared to have persuaded Karzai to renew peace efforts after the Afghan leader’s furious response to the Taleban’s Qatar office opening under the formal name of the movement’s hardline 19962001 regime. The two leaders agreed that “an Afghanled and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process is the surest way to end violence and ensure lasting stability in Afghanistan and the region,” the White

House said. “They reiterated their support for an office in Doha for the purpose of negotiations between the (Afghan government’s) High Peace Council and authorized representatives of the Taleban.” Dobbins said Monday that Washington had also been “outraged” at how the Taleban opened the office, which had been intended to help foster a peace deal to end the decade-long war in Afghanistan. The Taleban hoisted the rebel group’s white flag and referred to themselves as the “Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan”. The Afghan government insists the Taleban’s office in the Gulf state must only be used for direct talks with Karzai’s appointed negotiators. Karzai has previously opposed directly contacts between the Taleban and the US, which focused on securing a prisoner exchange until the rebels’ suspended the talks last year. The contentious sign, flag and flagpole unveiled at the opening of the office last Tuesday have now been moved. Dobbins on Tuesday flew onto Islamabad for talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on efforts to launch negotiations with the Taleban, which have long maintained rear bases in Pakistan. Sharif assured Dobbins of “Pakistan’s full commitment to an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process,” his office said. A senior Pakistani official said that “thought he would be left out” of peace talks but said Islamabad “strongly believed there will be nothing of the sort”. “The Doha process is an effort to bring the Taleban to the negotiating table... there will be hiccups and difficulties at the beginning but we will have to show patience,” the official said. Although Islamabad is at war with a Pakistani offshoot of the Taleban, it is accused of sheltering Afghan Taleban and was one of only three countries to recognize their 1996-2001 regime in Kabul. Pakistani Taleban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan has also released a video message, pledging to follow any decision taken by Afghan Taleban leader Mullah Omar with regard to talks with the Americans. About 100,000 foreign combat troops, 68,000 of them American, are due to exit Afghanistan by the end of 2014.—AFP

ULAN BATOR: Mongolians voted yesterday in a presidential election pitting the front-running incumbent against a champion wrestler and a woman, amid calls for a fairer distribution of the former Soviet satellite’s spectacular mining wealth. The exploitation of Mongolia’s vast coal, copper and gold reserves has helped transform an economy once characterized by nomadic lifestyles not far removed from its famous empire-building hero, Genghis Khan, 800 years ago. But rising inequality in the cities and environmental damage in rural areas are dominating the political debate, while recent falls in commodity prices and slowing demand in the key market of China have sparked uncertainty ahead of the election. “I call upon citizens to participate actively in the election,” President Tsakhia Elbegdorj said after casting his vote. “Let the blessings be upon the people,” added the incumbent, a former journalist who played a leading role when Mongolia peacefully threw off 70 years of communist rule in 1990. Voters appeared to be out in force in the hours after polls opened at 7:00 am, with national television showing huge queues in some polling stations. Voter turnout by around mid-afternoon was 43 percent amid heavy rains in some regions that hindered road travel, according to the General Election Commission (GEC), though the figure was about the same as the last presidential election in 2009. Final turnout for that vote came to about 73 percent. At one site in the capital Ulan Bator visited by agencies, electronic voting machines were experiencing glitches, which meant voters could not be identified by their fingerprints. Accusations of vote-rigging in 2008 parliamentary elections resulted in deadly riots, and led to Mongolia adopting an electronic voting system. But GEC chief Sodnomtseren Choinzon said the computer problems were confined to two voting stations and were “not widespread”. Results of parliamentary polls last year were delayed by complaints about the electronic system. However, the election was largely considered a success. Recent polls suggest that Elbegdorj, who became president in 2009 after twice serving as premier, will secure a second term to continue his policy of using foreign cash to drive the rapid development of Mongolia’s economy, which is galloping ahead at double-digit rates. The growth has been boosted by the arrival of foreign mining giants, which have moved in to exploit huge and largely untapped reserves of

coal, copper and gold that China and other customers need to fuel their industries. A June 14-16 survey carried out by the Ulan Bator-based Sant Maral Foundation-a traditional stronghold of the ruling Democratic Par ty-suggested that 54 percent of Mongolians will vote for Elbegdorj. Any candidate who wins more than 50 percent of the vote will claim victory and avoid a run-off on July 10. Elbegdorj’s main challenger is likely to be Badmaanyambuu Bat-Erdene, a champion wrestler and candidate from the opposition Mongolian People’s Party. “Let people participate and vote actively and let their choice be wise,” Bat-Erdene said after voting. “I wish you all success.” The third candidate, Natsag Udval from the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, is reportedly the country’s first female presidential contender. The first elections after 1990 saw dozens of candidates standing. “People are participating very actively in this historic election and participating in designing a new state,” Udval said at the polling place where she voted. Udval is a supporter of former president Nambar Enkhbayar, who is serving a two-and-half year jail term for corruption. “I have voted for Udval because she is the first woman presidential candidate,” said

Munk huu Zul, a retired professor at the Mongolian National University, after voting in Ulan Bator which was grey and colder than usual for the summer months. He predicted a close vote.”I think this time there will be a runoff election or public violence,” he said. Both of Elbegdorj’s challengers want to amend the contract for the Oyu Tolgoi mine, amid concerns over the social inequality that has arisen from Mongolia’s breakneck development. Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto and Canada’s Turquoise Hill Resources have jointly led construction of the $6.2 billion mine, which is expected to produce 450,000 tons of copper concentrate a year and generate up to onethird of government revenue by 2019. The first shipments from the mine were blocked by the government days before the polls and still remain grounded, Rio Tinto spokesman Bruce Tobin told agencies, without giving a reason. A previous delay earlier this month followed a government demand that Rio Tinto keep all export revenue in Mongolia, Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag said. The government has not commented on the recent delay. Polls close at 10:00 pm, and while results could arrive overnight, many pundits expect an official announcement later this week.—AFP

ULAN BATO: Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party’s Presidential candidate and current Health Minister Udval Natsag (center) waits in line to cast her vote at secondary school No 6 of the Sukhbaatar district in Ulan Bator, Mongolia yesterday. — AP

Violence kills 27 in restive west China BEIJING: Assailants attacked police and other people with knives and set fire to police cars in China’s restive far-western region yesterday in violence that killed 27 people, one of the bloodiest incidents since unrest in the regional capital killed nearly 200 in 2009. The early-morning violence - described by state media as riots - also left at least three people injured in a remote area of the Turkic-speaking Xinjiang region, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Police stations, a government building and a construction site were targeted in the attacks, it said. Xinhua said the attackers stabbed victims and set fires, killing 17 people including nine police or security officials, before officers shot and killed 10 of the assailants in Lukqun, a township in Turpan prefecture. The agency cited officials with the region’s Communist Party committee. Xinjiang (shihn-jeeahng) is home to a large population of minority Muslim Uighurs (WEE-gurs) but is ruled by China’s Han ethnic majority. The region borders Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan and has been the scene of numerous vio-

lent incidents in recent years, including ethnic riots four years ago in Urumqi, the regional capital. Xinhua did not provide details about the cause of the unrest and it was impossible to independently confirm the report. Information is tightly controlled in the region, which the Chinese government regards as highly sensitive and where it has imposed a heavy security presence to quell unrest. However, forces are spread thin across the vast territory and the response from authorities is often slow. An official reached by phone at the press office of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau, the region’s police, said she had only seen news of the violence on the Internet and had no information. Other officials at the county’s propaganda department and police said they also had no details. Calls to the region’s government spokeswoman, Hou Hanmin, rang unanswered. Though it remained unclear what caused yesterday’s violence, police stations, government offices and other symbols of Han Chinese authority have been targets of attacks in the past.

The attack occurred at 6 am, when most residents would still be asleep. The report said three assailants were seized, and that police pursued fleeing suspects, though it did not say how many. It said three people were injured by the unrest and were being treated. A man in Lukqun contacted by phone said the area has been cordoned off and armed police officers were posted at road intersections. Police, anti-riot forces and paramilitary police were patrolling the town armed with pistols and machine guns, said the man, who refused to give his name out of fear of government reprisals. “People are not being allowed to walk around on the streets,” he said before disconnecting the call. The violence came two months after a deadly clash in a town near Kashgar, elsewhere in Xinjiang, killed 21 people, including 15 police officers and community workers. Uighur activist Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the Germany-based World Uyghur Congress, said yesterday’s violence was triggered by Chinese government policies of “sustained repression and provocation” of the Uighur community.

Many Uighurs say they suffer discrimination in jobs and in obtaining loans and passports, and that Beijing imposes tight restrictions on their religious and cultural life. Children and women are barred from attending mosques, and fasting is discouraged during the Muslim month of Ramadan, which starts this year in early July. The Chinese government says all ethnic groups are treated equally and points to billions of dollars in investment that has modernized Xinjiang, a strategically vital region with significant oil and gas deposits. Duncan Innes-Ker, an analyst at Economist Intelligence Unit, said the latest unrest shows that the government needs a new strategy to resolve ethnic and religious tensions in Xinjiang. “Its past effor ts to address them with tight security and economic development have been a manifest failure,” Innes-Ker said. The township of Lukqun is about 250 kilometers southeast of Urumqi along the ancient Silk Road connecting China to Europe. It is part of an area that includes Turpan, a tourist destination with distinctive Central Asian architecture. —AP





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Rousseff tries to turn protest tide By Yana Marull


ith a call for a referendum on political reform, President Dilma Rousseff has regained the initiative after two weeks of mass street protests and turned the heat on Brazil’s discredited Congress. But her plan to placate the street and halt a slide in her poll numbers a year before seeking re-election has been greeted with skepticism by experts and by her opponents-and mocked by protesters on social media. After talks with state governors and city mayors, she called for a popular plebiscite to set up a constituent assembly that would lead political reform. She proposed earmarking $25 billion for public transport and urged bigger investments in health and education and tougher penalties for corruption. “The president assumed the leadership in the face of the protests and divided the responsibility with Congress, the governors and mayors,” said Alberto Carlos Almeida, an expert at the Analise Institute. But the problem, according to Almeida, is that building quality public services and agreeing political reform are “slow and complicated” while the demonstrators are “impatient”. Rousseff’s proposals have been greeted with skepticism on social media networks, although some have welcomed the plebiscite idea. “We are not interested in promises,” said Anonymous Rio, a hacktivist group that is playing a key role in the street demonstrations. “Rousseff took on the new agenda which is on the streets... The problem is her style: she made a proposal which is not in her hands, but in those of Congress - the only body that can call a referendum without prior negotiations and with the risk that it may be rejected,” said Ricardo Sennes, an expert at the Prospectiva consulting firm. The proposed political reforms aim to end endemic problems in Brazilian politics such as corruption scandals and lack of transparency in election campaign finance. It is an old project of Rousseff’s leftist Workers Party which, despite being in power for the past 10 years, has never been able to push it through Congress. Tuesday, Rousseff began efforts to sell her proposals, in meetings with Senate Speaker Renan Calheiros and Supreme Court President Joaquim Barbosa. Barbosa, the first black president of the court, gained popularity last year as he led the socalled Mensalao trial, in which former ministers and ex-leaders of the Workers Party were sentenced in connection with a congressional vote-buying scheme during Lula’s first term. Rousseff faces many hurdles. “It would be very interesting for Brazil to have a constituent assembly for the changes we need. But the Constitution does not call for it and does not allow it. Reforms are made with amendments, not with plebiscite and Constituent Assembly,” said Joao Antonio Wiegerink, a professor of constitutional law. The opposition meanwhile accused the president of diversion and refusing “to assume her responsibilities” in tackling social problems. After two years of sluggish economic growth and rising inflation, Brazilians began taking to the streets two weeks ago to protest hikes in mass transit fares in major cities. The unrest then spread like wildfire nationwide and mushroomed to encompass a variety of gripes including criticism of the huge cost of staging the 2014 World Cup. “Rousseff is faced with a double challenge: economic (with the country’s anemic growth and soaring inflation) and political, with the street protests and her popularity, which remains high but can fall,” said Sennes.— AFP

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Egypt protesters look to army backing By Hamza Hendawi


ust a year ago, Egypt’s liberals and prodemocracy youth movements were demanding the military, which took over from the ousted Hosni Mubarak, leave power. But after a tumultuous year under a freely elected Islamist president, many of them are hoping for the army’s protection as they try to force out Mohamed Morsi with protests this weekend. Morsi’s opponents calculate they can push him to go through the sheer number of people they bring into the streets Sunday - building on widespread discontent with his running of the country - plus the added weight of the army’s backing. After that, they believe that the Islamists have misruled so badly that a new election would yield a different result. Morsi’s backers, in turn, say the mainly liberal and secular political opposition is fomenting a coup to remove an elected leader because they can’t compete at the ballot box. Central to whatever happens on June 30 - the anniversary of Morsi’s inauguration - is the stance of the military. Last Sunday, Egypt’s army chief gave the president and the opposition a week to reach an understanding to prevent bloodshed and warned it would intervene to stop the nation from entering a “dark tunnel”. Gen AbdelFattah El-Sissi also gave a thinly veiled warning to Morsi’s backers that the military will step in if the protesters are attacked during the planned protests, as some hard-liners have threatened. In the days since, there’s been no movement toward a resolution. Morsi has given no signs of making any concessions. He invited all sides to a meeting yesterday, when he planned a national address. The opposition in turn rejects talks, saying they come “extremely late.” It is boycotting the meeting, saying it is not serious, and will only join a dialogue if Sissi convenes it - a sign of how it sees him as the only reliable arbiter. “There is

just no time left. It is too late and anything the president tries to do now will in reality be an attempt to discourage people from coming out on Sunday. We have no confidence in the president,” said Khaled Dawoud, the spokesman for the National Salvation Front, the main opposition grouping. In his comments, Sissi said the two sides must reach a “genuine” reconciliation, seeming to acknowledge the opposition’s argument that Morsi’s past calls for dialogue were empty gestures. The opposition has laid out a post-Morsi road map that would have the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court step in as interim president, a non-partisan figure as prime minister heading a small Cabinet of technocrats, an expert panel to amend the Islamist-backed constitution and new presidential elections six months later. How to get to that point is less clear. If the protesters are attacked by hardcore Morsi supporters and the army sides with the protesters, it would add significant pressure on the president. At the least, the army is likely to deploy to protect vital institutions like the state TV, parliament, the Cabinet, and the media complex that houses a multitude of TV networks, some critical of Morsi. The opposition seems confident it can have army intervention without the generals actually taking power like they did after Mubarak’s fall. “Unlike last time in 2011, the military will not intervene to rule but to protect a people against a regime that is no longer wanted,” said Ammar Ali Hassan, a prominent analyst and author. “There seems to be agreement by the military over the road map charted by the protest movement.” Morsi’s office has depicted his comments as a sign of support for the president’s “legitimacy”. Presidential spokesman Omar Amer underlined to reporters that Morsi is supreme commander of the armed forces and said “there is complete agreement and coordination” between him and Sissi. Another Morsi spokesman, Ihab Fahmy,

said Sissi’s comments were made in coordination with the presidency and “were intended to defuse tension”. But some of Morsi’s Islamist backers saw Sissi’s statement as a slap and were furious. “The comments made by Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi ... are extremely reckless, a blatant and public aggression and a prelude to a coup that is unacceptable to anyone with dignity and self-respect,” Hazem Abu Ismail, an ultraconservative Salafi who backs Morsi, wrote on his Facebook page. An opinion piece posted on Tuesday on the website of the Freedom and Justice Party, the Brotherhood’s political arm, berated the opposition for wishing for a military coup. “You are urging the army, as represented by Gen El-Sissi, to stage a coup against legitimacy and to return to power. You have forgotten that you were the first to chant for the fall of military rule,” Said El-Ghareeb wrote in the article. Questions remain whether the military has enough motive to jump back into the political fray. The military has secured its special status in the new constitution as a selfruled institution with little outside oversight over its finances or massive business interests. It also is likely loath to expose itself to the harsh criticism and blow to its prestige it suffered during the nearly 17 months after Mubarak’s fall when the generals directly held the reins of power. Chants of “down with military rule” and personal insults directed at the army’s top brass were common amid protests over its perceived mishandling of the nation’s transition to democratic rule and over its human rights record. Still, perceptions of the armed forces have dramatically changed in the year since Morsi took office. The US and British-trained Sissi was named as defense minister and army chief by Morsi in August after the newly inaugurated president forced out the Mubarakera head of the military, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi. Sissi has worked to show he is not beholden to Morsi, with a charm offen-

sive and a series of subtle but telling hints betraying his unhappiness with the turmoil roiling the country under Morsi. On several occasions, he sought to reassure Egyptians the military will spring to their defense if needed and at times appeared to do things just to spite the president and ingratiate himself to the opposition. For example, he sent a military aircraft to airlift to hospital a TV show host who is a harsh Morsi critic when involved in a road accident in southern Egypt. Responding to criticism by Islamists of Tantawi’s leadership, Sissi publicly showed a documentary lavishly praising Tantawi as an able and patriotic general. He also remained silent on a series of leaks to the media by unnamed military officials on the army’s growing unhappiness with Morsi and his backers. The military may also have other reasons to throw its weight behind those seeking an end to Morsi’s rule - concerns over the security implications of rising Islamic extremists. Sissi has cited sectarian and internal strife as well as the collapse of state institutions as justification for intervention by the military. In the past year, hardline Islamists have enjoyed a significant measure of tacit support from the Morsi administration. Militants, for example, have carved territory they virtually control in the strategic Sinai Peninsula bordering Gaza and Israel. Militants also received implicit administration approval to travel to Syria and wage jihad, or holy struggle, on the side of the rebels, raising the prospect of their eventual return with a more radical ideology and enhanced combat capabilities. The military is also known to be wary of Morsi’s close ties to Hamas, the Palestinian chapter of his Muslim Brotherhood which it views as a threat to Egypt’s security. Sectarian hate speech by Morsi allies has swelled, and on Sunday a mob lynched four Shiite men in what was seen as a dangerous and unprecedented development.—AP

Roberts realizes longstanding vision

By Joan Biskupic


or an often enigmatic figure at the US Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts spoke to the essence of his legal philosophy on Tuesday in eliminating a voting-rights provision enacted to protect blacks and other minorities. His opinion for the court marks the culmination of an effort by conservatives, many of whom, like Roberts, cut their teeth in the Ronald Reagan administration, to ensure that federal voting requirements on the states be limited and race-based rules fade in contemporary America. In a tenure-defining decision, the Roberts majority undercut a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that requires states with a history of racial discrimination to obtain US approval before changing election laws. The court struck down the formula used to determine which states were affected. Nine mostly Southern states had been covered. The decision was the most significant racial ruling since Roberts, 58, became chief justice in 2005. Announced on the next-to-last day of term, Shelby County v Holder was one of the most awaited of the current session and as Roberts spoke from the bench, the hushed courtroom felt quieter than usual. Last year at this time, Roberts defied many people’s expectations when he provided the fifth vote to uphold the healthcare overhaul sponsored by President Barack Obama. But some legal analysts observed that such a case, testing federal commerce and taxing power, did not touch on his long-held conservative priorities. When Roberts served as a lawyer in the Reagan administration, he sought to curtail government’s use of racial remedies and specifically narrow the reach of

the Voting Rights Act. In 1982, for example, Roberts advised the president to oppose pending legislation to enhance a section aimed at intentional voter discrimination. Roger Clegg, who worked with Roberts at the Justice Department in the 1980s, said Roberts, like other young Republican lawyers, was inspired by a broad socially conservative agenda that included such subjects as abortion, religion and race. “These were the bigticket items back then,” said Clegg, now president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a conservative think tank. Clegg added that he did not think Roberts, who grew up in Indiana and was educated at Harvard, was motivated in his quest for race-neutral policies by especially Southern sympathies. “This is not driven by the fact that his great, great grandfather was with (Confederate General Robert E) Lee at Appomattox,” said Clegg, referring to one of the final battles of the Civil War. “It’s from his belief in federalism,” that is, a limit on what Congress may constitutionally impose on the states. Once he joined the high court, as an appointee of Republican President George W. Bush, Roberts asserted his opposition to racial policies. In a 2006 case involving the drawing of “majority minority” voting districts to boost the political power of blacks and Latinos, Roberts referred to “this sordid business divvying us up by race.” In a 2007 dispute over school integration plans, Roberts wrote, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” In a 2009 case, in which the court ultimately declined to review the constitutionality of the key Voting Rights Act section, Roberts warned that the screening provision

may no longer be constitutional because “things have changed in the South”. He questioned why Congress would still target Southern states when widespread blatant racial discrimination had ended. Can members of Congress “impose this disparate treatment forever because of the history in the South?” he asked during oral arguments in the 2009 case. “When do they have to stop?” On Tuesday, Roberts provided an answer: Now. In his 24-page opinion for the court, Roberts criticized Congress for leaving in place the criteria for targeted states that traced to the 1960s and early 1970s, despite the gains in voting equality since then. Voicing irritation that lawmakers had not acted on the court’s warning in 2009 to revise the formula used to determine which states were covered, Roberts said it had no choice but to strike it down. As he wrote about the changes across the country in recent decades, the chief justice noted that voter registration rates for blacks and whites now approach parity and blatant discrimination is rare. “Our country has changed, and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions,” Roberts wrote, joined by his four fellow conservatives. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, speaking for the four liberal dissenters, said the states targeted four decades ago still had the worst voting-rights violations. She invoked the words of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr: “ ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, he said,

but ‘it bends toward justice,’ if there is a steadfast commitment to see the task through to completion. That commitment has been disserved by today’s decision.” In the cool marble courtroom on a scorching June morning, Roberts was expressionless. After decades of tension over the scope of voting rights, he had his majority. — Reuters



TEHRAN: An Iranian man who was fixing explosive wires runs away after setting ablaze 50 tons of drugs seized in recent months to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking yesterday. — AFP

Kuwaitis campaign to arm Syria rebels

Morsi warns Egypt could be ‘paralysed’

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“The world has abandoned the Syrian people and the Syrian revolution so it is normal that people start to give money to people who are fighting,” said Falah AlSawwagh, a former opposition member of Kuwait’s parliament, surrounded by friends drinking sweet tea and eating cakes. In just four hours the campaign collected KD 80,000 ($282,500). The box moves to a new house each day for a week. Sawwagh estimates this type of campaign in Kuwait, one of the world’s richest countries per capita, raised several million dollars during the last Ramadan religious holiday. Sunni-ruled Kuwait has denounced the Syrian army’s actions and sent $300 million in humanitarian aid to help the millions displaced by the conflict in which more than 90,000 have died. Unlike Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Kuwaiti government policy is against arming the rebels. But the US ally allows more public debate than other Gulf states and has tolerated campaigns in private houses or on social media that are difficult to control. Kuwaiti authorities are nevertheless worried that the fundraising for Syria could stir sectarian tensions - Kuwait has its own Shiite minority. The West is concerned that support will bolster Al-Qaeda militants among the rebels. Some opposition Islamist politicians and Sunni clerics have openly campaigned to arm rebel fighters, using social media and posters with telephone hotlines in public places. Former MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, a conservative Salafi Islamist, posted pictures of himself on Twitter clad in combat gear in Syria. “There is a great amount of sympathy on the part of the Kuwaiti people to provide any kind of assistance to the Syrian people whether inside or outside Syria,” Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled AlSabah said when asked about the Reuters report. Official Kuwaiti fundraising for humanitarian aid goes through United Nations channels, he said, at a news conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry. As for unofficial fundraising, he emphasised that any collection of funds requires a special permit to make sure the money “is going to the right side or to the right party”. Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Al-Mubarak AlSabah, said what was happening in Syria was “heartwrenching” and understood why Kuwaitis wanted to help. “Human nature is such that you cannot control what people believe in and how they want to act,” he said. “What is happening in Syria just inflames the emotions on both sides. That’s why we are trying to steer a middle ground.” Syria is blocked from international bank transfers from Kuwait because of sanctions, so former MP Sawwagh visited the Syrian town of Aleppo last month with cash in his luggage for rebel fighters. He did not say how much he took. “Our only rule is to collect money and to deliver this money to our brothers which are helping the Syrian people,” said Sawwagh, a member of a local group linked to

the Muslim Brotherhood which is in power in Egypt and is influential in other Arab states. Sawwagh and others in his campaign also travel to Turkey and Jordan to hand over money to intermediaries. “They have absolute freedom to spend this money. If they can recruit mujahideen for defending themselves and their sanctity with this money, then this is their choice,” he said, referring to fighters who engage in jihad or holy war. Washington is worried the money may help strengthen fighters with links to Al-Qaeda who are hostile not just to Assad but also to the United States and US-allied Gulf ruling families. It wants Western and Arab allies to direct all aid to Syrian rebels through the Western-backed Supreme Military Council. A fiery speech by Kuwaiti Sunni Muslim cleric Shafi Al-Ajami raised alarm earlier this month with a call for more arms. “The mujahideen, we are arming them from here, and from the Arabian Peninsula, the Gulf states, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey,” he said. The speech was laced with references to the sectarian nature of the conflict and unnerved authorities in Kuwait where Shiites make up an estimated 15 to 20 percent minority of the population. Parliament, the Cabinet and HH the Amir issued strong rebukes. “I do not hide from you feelings of anxiety about what emerged recently ... manifestations and practices that carry the abhorrent breath of sectarianism which should be denounced,” Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah said on state television. Such acts could “lure the fire of fanaticism and extremism,” he said. Ajami spoke following a call by prominent cleric Sheikh Youssef Al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian based in Qatar, for jihad in Syria after fighters from Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militant group, intervened to help Assad’s army. The calls to holy war by several influential clerics in the region only encouraged more donations, Kuwaitis said. “Women have also been donating their gold,” said Bader Al-Dahoum, a former Islamist opposition MP. “After the fatwas (edicts), people are giving more.” The men at the diwaniya said one large Kuwaiti family planned to equip 28 mujahideen in Syria, estimating the cost at KD 700 per fighter. Smaller families sponsor two or three, while a member of one of Kuwait’s powerful merchant families donated KD 250,000. Weapons supplied by Qatar and its allies include small arms such as AK-47 rifles, rocket propelled grenades, hand grenades and ammunition, according to a Qatari official. Qatar also provides instructions on battlefield techniques. Campaigning for funds to arm the rebels makes certain politicians more popular in Kuwait, said Osama AlMunawer, a former opposition MP. “I was a member of the National Assembly and people were blaming us - why don’t you give them weapons?” he said. “They said, food they have it, but they need to defend themselves because the situation is very bad.” — Reuters

Kerry reassures Kuwait on Gitmo Continued from Page 1 On his part, Kerry lauded relations with Kuwait, adding that both countries were willing to pursue development in all possible spheres. On the Kuwaiti contributions to humanitarian aid and the peaceful resolution of the Syrian crisis, the US official stressed the important role played by Kuwait in aiding the Syrian people. “With the Amir, we had a very long and very in-depth conversation regarding Syria, Iran, Egypt, and the Middle East peace process ... I found it extremely helpful and constructive in respect to my efforts to survey the situation in the region,” said Kerry. The Kuwaiti government, said Kerry, expressed its views for a political solution through the Geneva 2 conference and other measures. The US Secretary of State thanked the Kuwaiti government for the UN donors’ conference to aid the Syrian refugees in January, an event which raised $1.6 billion for the refugees with Kuwait contributing a sum of $300 million to the process. Kerry lauded the Kuwaiti contributions to humanitarian aid and support of development around the globe, saying that such gestures were typical considering Kuwait’s long history within such domains. As for a solution for the Syrian crisis, Kerry said that a peaceful approach was necessary to end violence there, adding that the situation in Syria was different and unique. Kerry called on regional players to seek peace in Syria instead of supporting war, noting that Iran and

Hezbollah should pull out their troops from Syria. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled and Kerry both expressed their support towards the Arab Middle East peace plan as a step to resolve the long-going conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Sheikh Sabah affirmed that Kuwait was eager to see the Arab plan being implemented to end the suffering of the Palestinian people, saying it was time to stop the dire situation facing the Palestinians for over 60 years. Kerry expressed similar sentiments in regards to the Arab Mideast peace process and noted that the Israeli and Palestinian politicians were keen on peace in the region; however, he indicated that necessary steps should be taken to avoid “disappointment” on both sides. The official also affirmed that all parties involved should take decisions to ensure that peace was made. He expressed his admiration towards the Arab peace plan and said it was worth the effort. After stops in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, Kerry departed for Jordan where he was to focus his energies on drawing Israel and the Palestinians back into direct negotiations after a hiatus of nearly three years. On his fifth trip to the region in as many months, Kerry was to hold talks in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today, then meet Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in Amman a day later. “I wouldn’t be here now if I didn’t have a belief that this is possible. But it’s difficult - we all know how difficult,” Kerry told reporters in Kuwait shortly before taking off for Amman.— Agencies

Gatherings for and against the president were being held around the country yesterday, but confrontations only erupted in Mansoura, a security official said. In Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the 2011 revolt that toppled president Hosni Mubarak, hundreds of anti-Morsi protesters gathered to watch the president’s speech. Some have announced they will begin a sit-in there. Others gathered outside the defence ministry, waving Egyptian flags and chanting against the president. In Alexandria and several Nile Delta provinces, Islamist groups have held rallies in support of him. Morsi promised reforms and called for dialogue in a bid to placate protesters ahead of Sunday’s rallies. He insisted he was working for the goals of the revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak in 2011, which he is accused of failing. “For the revolution to reach its goals, there must be reforms at the root,” he said. Morsi repeated his call for dialogue with the opposition, amid deep tension and anxiety ahead of the Sunday protests to call on him to step down.

“We Egyptians are able to overcome this phase and overcome the challenges... All I ask of you now is to sit and discuss... to look for the positives and build on them; and to fix the negatives.” The president admitted to making mistakes and vowed to correct them. “I have made many mistakes, there is no question. Mistakes can happen, but they need to be corrected,” he told a packed auditorium. Morsi’s supporters say he is an elected president who is working to root out decades of corruption in state institutions. Any attempt to remove him from office would be a coup against democracy, they say. His opponents accuse him of concentrating power in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood from which he hails and of failing the aspirations for freedom and social justice that inspired the revolution against Mubarak. Egypt’s powerful army, which has been on the sidelines of politics since Morsi’s election, warned it would intervene if violence breaks out in the country. The military has brought in reinforcements of troops and vehicles in key cities in order to protect vital establishments in case of potential unrest, security officials said. — Agencies

Self-immolation exposes Saudi bedoon plight Continued from Page 1 More than 180,000 have left the country. But when it comes to the bedoon, there is almost no publicly available information, little press commentary and close to zero public awareness. The Saudi situation is a sharp contrast with the tens of thousands of bedoons living in neighbouring Gulf Arab states, who have gained new attention in calls for reforms in the wake of the Arab Spring. Stateless activists in those countries have been energised to seek more rights. Like illegal immigrants, Arab stateless lack the identification documents given to Saudi citizens, which renders them ineligible for state benefits such as free healthcare and education or government jobs, or to legal foreign residents. But unlike most other stateless in the kingdom, however, the bedoon are given temporary identification documents that have to be renewed every five years. Some are descendants of peoples from nomadic tribes who were not officially registered when modern borders were set and nation-states created last century. Others migrated to Saudi Arabia more recently in search of a share of its oil wealth, shedding old national identities along the way. Saudi officials contacted by Reuters declined to comment on the issue of the bedoon or on Huraisi’s specific case. There are no public official figures for the number of Arab stateless in the country but the United Nations estimates there are 70,000 stateless from around the world, although activists say this figure is very conservative. “The procedures and mechanisms taken by the government to handle the issue of the bidoon need to be made faster and more intensive to urgently end this issue,” Khaled Al-Fakher, secretary general of the National Society for Human Rights, a government-licensed body, told Reuters. One bedoon who belongs to the large Onaiza tribe that inhabits Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait told Reuters he cannot fly, get a driving licence, open a bank account or own a house or business. A resident of the down-at-heel Nadhim

neighbourhood of Riyadh, where many other bidoon live, the man asked not to be named because he feared it might jeopardise his attempts to find work and access government services. Relatives have had to register their property in the names of Saudi friends or associates, he said. “We all hope to get Saudi citizenship,” he said. The Huraisis say they are part of a large clan from southern Jizan Province that had Saudi nationality decades ago. Wearing the ornate dagger customary in Yemen and southern Saudi Arabia, Ali Al-Huraisi produced photocopies of his old Saudi national identification card and driving licence, which he said demonstrated he had once been officially registered as a Saudi citizen. They showed his date of birth as 1950. “Without Saudi identity papers we cannot even find work. But I was a Saudi citizen. I was in the army,” he said. The authorities say the Huraisis were always Yemeni, according to the family’s lawyer, Ahmed Al-Rashid. He said he has pushed the government for years to resolve their status, but without success. Relatives described Mohammed AlHuraisi’s mounting debts and frustration over his stateless status. In past confrontations, local officials fined him and confiscated his identity papers and even his car, his father said. A former colleague and relative, Mohammed Ali Hakami, 34, said Huraisi phoned him shortly before killing himself to say he was having another argument with officials. Hakami drove to the scene in time to see the dying watermelon seller being lifted into an ambulance. A photograph on his phone that he said was of Huraisi’s pick-up truck showed watermelons piled high in the back and scorch marks on the side. Two photographs taken by family members show Huraisi lying in bandages, surrounded by medical equipment and with burns visible across his face, in the hospital bed where he died later that day. A few metres around the corner from the scene of the immolation, a Yemeni man had parked his pick-up truck and was offering fruit for sale. Asked if he knew about the incident a week earlier, he shook his head, shrugged and turned back to his watermelons. — Reuters

Qatar emir extends hand to ‘all’, replaces... Continued from Page 1 said. Mohammed Al-Sada retained the post of energy minister, a key position in the gas-rich Gulf emirate, the official QNA news agency reported. The director of the influential Al-Jazeera television network, Ahmed bin Jassim Al-Thani, was appointed minister of economy and trade. Sheikh Ahmed, a member of the ruling family, announced his resignation as Al-Jazeera head, a post he had held for two years, in a statement just minutes before the new cabinet was announced. The historic transition of power from father to son in a region where autocrats cling to power for decades was widely welcomed by the Qatari press as “a first and unprecedented” decision. The change is not expected to affect the general policies of US-ally Qatar, which has solidly backed the Arab Spring uprisings. “There will be no substantive change in Qatar’s foreign policy,” says Ibrahim Sharqieh, deputy director of the Brookings Doha Center. “Sheikh Tamim is the product of his father’s political process, which has continued since his accession to power in 1995.”

The departure of the flamboyant Sheikh Hamad, known for his controversial personality as chief diplomat since 1992, “will certainly result in a change in style but not substance,” said Sharqieh. “Qatar has built bridges with emerging forces in the region, such as Islamist movements including the Muslim Brotherhood, who made their breakthrough in Arab Spring countries,” rising to power in Egypt and Tunisia, he said. This “will not change during the reign of Sheikh Tamim,” said the analyst. Such a message would not go down well in Iran, which yesterday urged the new emir to reconsider Qatar’s support of rebels fighting Assad’s regime in Syria, Tehran’s ally. Among Arab leaders who jetted to Doha to congratulate the new emir were Kuwait’s Amir HH Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Sabah, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Saudi Arabia’s second deputy premier Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, as well the crown princes of Bahrain and Abu Dhabi. US Secretary of State John Kerry, travelling in the region, too extended his greetings. A US official accompanying Kerry on his visit yesterday to Kuwait said the top US diplomat had called Sheikh Tamim and voiced hope for further cooperation with the increasingly active nation. — AFP



Lions coach hails kickers

Concern over French stadium

Pep’s 1st Bayern training

SYDNEY: British and Irish Lions assistant coach Neil Jenkins labelled his kickers as the ‘best of the best’ after backup flyhalf Owen Farrell followed Leigh Halfpenny’s example by producing another impressive display with the boot on their tour of Australia. Englishman Farrell improved his record to 18 successes from 19 attempts by slotting three kicks as the Lions dismantled the Melbourne Rebels 35-0 on Tuesday in their final warm-up ahead of the second test against the Wallabies on Saturday. Halfpenny has nailed 27 from 29 on tour and contributed 13 points as the Lions beat the Wallabies 23-21 in the first test on Saturday to put them in pole position to claim a first series win since 1997. Saturday’s outcome in Brisbane could have been different, though, had Australia not missed several kicks at goal, with replacement Kurtley Beale pushing one late effort and then slipping as he attempted a last minute penalty that dropped short. “The importance of goalkicking was seen on Saturday and generally (the result) does come down to goalkicking,” Lions kicking coach Jenkins told reporters on Wednesday. “We are very lucky to have the kickers we have, they are the best of the best and they just need to keep doing what they’ve been doing.—Reuters

PARIS: UEFA is confident France will be ready to stage the 2016 European soccer championship even though stadium construction has yet to start, officials said yesterday. The countdown to the tournament began as Euro 2016 organisers unveiled the logo of the continental competition which twice winners France will host for the third time, after the first edition in 1960 and a home triumph in 1984. The qualification draw will take place on Feb. 23 next year, with 53 national teams competing to be among the 24 finalists. France had to build or refurbish most of the stadiums for the tournament but that was not a concern for the European governing body, UEFA president Michel Platini told reporters. “I think that all the stadiums will be ready,” Frenchman Platini, who scored a record nine goals in the 1984 event, told reporters. “Lyon (stadium) is going to be built, Lens looks like it will be done, I don’t think there will be a problem,” he added. While the St Etienne, Marseille and Bordeaux venues, used for the 1998 World Cup, are being refurbished, work has barely begun in Lyon. The future Stadium of Lights, which will have a capacity of 60,000 and is the first venue to be 100 percent funded by private investment, is expected to be ready by late 2015. —Reuters

MUNICH: Some 25,000 Bayern Munich fans are expected for Pep Guardiola’s first training session in charge of the team yesterday. Such is the interest in seeing the 42-year-old Spanish coach in action, that Bayern has taken the unusual step of holding open training sessions at its 69,000-seat stadium yesterday and today. No more than 25,000 can attend on each day, however, due to restrictions caused by work on the local train line. Former Barcelona coach Guardiola was to have most of his new squad available, including the German national team members, but excluding Brazilians Dante and Luiz Gustavo as well as Spain’s Javi Martinez who are at the Confederations Cup. Former Borussia Dortmund forward Mario Goetze is out with a muscle injury, defender Holger Badstuber is out long term with a cruciate injury, and Bastian Schweinsteiger was only to take part in light training after an operation on his foot. “I have to get used to the players and the opponents as soon as possible,” Guardiola said at his presentation to the media on Monday. “I hope to maintain the level of the side from last season,” he added, referring to Bayern’s Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup triumphs. Guardiola won the Champions League, Spanish league and Copa del Rey in his debut season as Barcelona coach after taking over from the club’s reserve side.—Reuters

Yankees get past Rangers

WASHINGTON: Gerardo Parra No. 8 of the Arizona Diamondbacks dives for and misses a double in the eighth inning by Steve Lombardozzi No. 1 (not pictured) of the Washington Nationals. —AFP

Nationals pound D’backs WASHINGTON: Adam LaRoche hit a threerun homer and Gio Gonzalez won for the first time since May 5 as the Washington Nationals defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-5 Tuesday. Jayson Werth added a double, RBI-single and two walks for Washington, which led 6-0 after five innings and snapped a two-game skid. Gonzalez (4-3) went 6 1-3 innings, giving up two runs and nine hits. He struck out four and walked one. Rafael Soriano allowed an RBI single to Miguel Montero in the ninth, but earned his 20th save. Martin Prado homered and Paul Goldschmidt had three hits for Arizona. Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill, playing his first game since going on the disabled list April 14 with a broken left hand, went 2 for 4 with a double, single and walk. Washington matched its season high for runs in an inning with the five-run third off starter Trevor Cahill (3-9). BREWERS 9, CUBS 3 In Milwaukee, Rickie Weeks homered twice and drove in four runs as Milwaukee beat the Chicago Cubs. Jonathan Lucroy added a two-run double, and Juan Francisco also homered for Milwaukee, which has defeated Chicago 19 of the last 21 times at home, including nine in a row. Kyle Lohse (3-6) gave up eight hits and three earned runs in seven innings. He struck out three and didn’t walk a batter. Chicago’s Edwin Jackson (3-10) allowed six earned runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings to fall to 0-3 against Milwaukee this season. Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, mired in a 13-for-98 (.133) slump, had his streak of 269 consecutive games played end. It was the longest active run in the National League. MARLINS 4, TWINS 2 In Miami, Marcell Ozuna drove in two runs and Derek Dietrich homered to help Miami top Minnesota. AJ Ramos (2-2) pitched two scoreless innings in relief, and Steve Cishek worked the ninth for his 13th save for the Marlins, who have won four of five.

Miami starter Jose Fernandez allowed one run and four hits in five innings. The 20-year old Fernandez struck out three and walked three. He is 2-1 with a 1.67 ERA in five June starts. Kevin Correia (6-5) held the Marlins scoreless through five innings before running into trouble in the sixth. PHILLIES 6, PADRES 2 In san Diego, Domonic Brown hit his 20th home run and tied a career high with four RBIs as Philadelphia beat San Diego. Kyle Kendrick (7-4) went eight innings, allowing two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and no walks to earn the victory. Jason Marquis (9-3), who had won eight straight decisions over 11 starts, went 4 1-3 innings, giving up six runs on six hits, walking five and striking out four to take the loss. He allowed back-to-back walks on eight pitches to Ryan Howard and Brown in the fifth inning, which led to Marquis’ exit from the game and contributed to three more runs by the Phillies, who took their 6-2 lead. DODGERS 6, GIANTS 5 In Los Angeles, Matt Kemp made a marvelous catch for the final out in his first game back from the disabled list to preserve the Los Angeles Dodgers’ victory over slumping San Francisco. Mark Ellis and Hanley Ramirez each hit a two-run homer for the Dodgers, and rookie Stephen Fife pitched effectively into the seventh inning. Los Angeles handed the defending World Series champions their third loss in a row and eighth in 11 games, dropping them under .500 for the first time since losing to the Dodgers on opening day. It is the latest the Giants had a losing record since 2008, when they finished 72-90 in Bruce Bochy’s second year as manager. Fife (2-2) allowed three runs and four hits, including solo homers by Brandon Belt and Buster Posey. He struck out three and walked two in his 11th major league start. It was only the second time he gave up more than two runs. Mike Kickham (0-2) yielded six runs - five earned - and eight hits over 5 1-3 innings in his second big league start. —AP

America’s Cup champs cut short 2-boat testing SAN FRANCISCO: America’s Cup champion Oracle Team USA sustained damage to its newest catamaran just minutes into the first day of its two-boat testing program on San Francisco Bay. The damage to the headstay was enough to force the high-performance boat back to the dock Tuesday morning. The syndicate’s older boat went back out on the water for training with skipper Jimmy Spithill at the helm. “We had a pretty nice afternoon of training,” Spithill said in a phone interview. “The boys will be able to fix it tonight and we’ll be able to be out there in two boats tomorrow.” Spithill was at the helm of Oracle’s newest boat when the damage occurred to a strut on the headstay near where the jib attaches. Spithill said it wasn’t worth the risk to continue to sail the 72-foot (23-meter) catamaran, which was launched in late April. The buildup to the 34th America’s Cup already has been marred by the death of Andrew “Bart” Simpson on May 9 when Artemis Racing’s 72-foot catamaran capsized, trapping the British sailor underneath. In mid-October, Oracle’s first boat capsized and was swept under the Golden Gate Bridge. The churning of the waves smashed the 131-foot mainsail, which looks and performs like an airplane wing. The syndicate was sidelined for about four months until a new wing sail arrived from Auckland, New

Zealand. Spithill was at the helm of the newer boat when the damage occurred Tuesday. Ben Ainslie, a four-time Olympic gold medalist from Britain, was at the helm of the other boat. Spithill said two-boat testing is a big endeavor. “It’s a big ask to put two of these boats in the water together to make it happen,” he said. But it’s the kind of work the syndicate has to do to try to keep the America’s Cup in the hands of the Golden Gate Yacht Club. “In Formula One and NASCAR, they have racetracks that don’t change. Our racetrack changes every single day,” Spithill said. “The wind and water are always different. It’s hard to do one-boat testing. For us, it’s best to keep one boat constant and make changes to the other boat.” Since there won’t be defender trials, twoboat testing will help prepare Oracle for the America’s Cup match, which begins Sept. 7 against the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup for challengers. The Louis Vuitton Cup begins July 7 with a race between Emirates Team New Zealand and Italy’s Luna Rossa. Artemis plans to launch its new boat in early July and be racing by late in the month. Russell Coutts, the CEO of Oracle Team USA, said the syndicate has started following safety recommendations made after Simpson’s death.—AP

NEW YORK: Ichiro Suzuki homered off Tanner Scheppers with two outs in the ninth inning, lifting the New York Yankees to a 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday. Suzuki’s drive to right-center was the Yankees’ fourth home run of the game, three coming off Japanese ace Yu Darvish, and it helped New York improve to 4-3 on a homestand that ends after two more games against the Rangers. Travis Hafner, Brett Gardner and Jayson Nix each homered off Darvish, who hasn’t won in seven starts. Leonys Martin connected twice off Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda. Mariano Rivera (1-1) worked a scoreless ninth for New York, which ended the Rangers’ five-game winning streak. Scheppers (5-1) pitched a perfect eighth before being touched up by Suzuki in New York’s first walk-off win this year. ORIOLES 6, INDIANS 3 In Baltimore, Chris Davis and Alexi Casilla homered in a five-run seventh inning as Baltimore beat Cleveland to end a four-game losing streak. Davis tied the game at 3 with his major league-leading 28th home run, a two-run shot, and Casilla added a three-run drive. Both homers were off Justin Masterson (96), who took a three-hitter into the seventh. Chris Tillman (9-2) gave up three runs, four hits and four walks in seven innings to win his fifth straight start. The right-hander is 6-0 in seven starts since May 19. Jim Johnson pitched the ninth for his 27th save. Jason Kipnis homered, walked twice and singled for the Indians, who were seeking a fourth straight road victory for the first time since April 2012. RAYS 5, BLUE JAYS 1 In St. Petersburg, Matt Moore overcame control problems to allow one run in six innings as Tampa Bay beat Toronto. Moore (10-3) tied career highs with six walks and 11 strikeouts en route to his 10th win this season and second straight after a three-game skid. The left-hander gave up four hits. Tampa Bay rookie Wil Myers had an RBI single during a three-run fourth. He has eight RBIs in nine games since being called up on June 18 from Triple-A Durham. Mark Buehrle (4-5) gave up four runs, eight hits and four walks in five innings for the Blue Jays, who have lost two in a row since winning 11 straight. Toronto, by dropping the first two games of the three-game set, has not won a series at Tampa Bay since April 2007, a stretch of 19 series. BRAVES 4, ROYALS 3 In Kansas City, Kris Medlen outpitched the Royals’ Ervin Santana over seven innings and Jason Heyward hit a goahead homer as the Atlanta bullpen hung

NEW YORK: Robinson Cano No. 24 of the New York Yankees tags out Elvis Andrus No. 1 of the Texas Rangers as he tries to steal second base in the eighth inning. —AFP

MLB results/standings NY Yankees 4, Texas 3; Washington 7, Arizona 5; Baltimore 6, Cleveland 3; LA Angels 14, Detroit 8; Boston 11, Colorado 4; Miami 4, Minnesota 2; Tampa Bay 5, Toronto 1; Chicago White Sox 5, NY Mets 4; Atlanta 4, Kansas City 3; Milwaukee 9, Chicago Cubs 3; St. Louis 13, Houston 5; Oakland 7, Cincinnati 3; Pittsburgh 9, Seattle 4; LA Dodgers 6, San Francisco 5; Philadelphia 6, San Diego 2. National League American League Eastern Division Eastern Division W L PCT GB Atlanta 45 33 .577 Boston 46 33 .582 Washington 38 38 .500 6 NY Yankees 42 34 .553 2.5 Philadelphia 37 41 .474 8 Baltimore 43 35 .551 2.5 NY Mets 30 43 .411 12.5 Tampa Bay 41 37 .526 4.5 Miami 26 50 .342 18 Toronto 38 38 .500 6.5 Central Division Detroit 42 33 Cleveland 39 37 Kansas City 35 39 Minnesota 34 39 Chicago White Sox 32 42

Texas Oakland LA Angels Seattle Houston

Western Division 44 33 45 34 34 43 34 44 29 49

on for a victory in the team’s first visit to Kansas City. Medlen (5-7) limited the Royals to a run in the first and Eric Hosmer’s two-run homer in the fifth while striking out five. He turned the game over to Jordan Walden, who survived a leadoff walk in the eighth inning to get the game into the hands of Craig Kimbrel, who earned his 22ns save. Heyward drove in a pair of runs with a double in the fifth, and then broke open a

.560 .513 .473 .466 .432

.571 .570 .442 .436 .372

3.5 6.5 7 9.5

St. Louis Pittsburgh Cincinnati Milwaukee Chicago Cubs

Central Division 48 29 47 30 45 33 32 43 31 44

.623 .610 .577 .427 .413

1 3.5 15 16

10 10.5 15.5

Arizona Colorado San Diego San Francisco LA Dodgers

Western Division 41 35 39 39 39 39 38 39 34 42

.539 .500 .500 .494 .447

3 3 3.5 7

tied game with his solo shot off Tim Collins (2-2) with one out in the seventh inning. The Royals had played 142 games against NL teams at Kauffman Stadium without a visit by Atlanta. ANGELS 14, TIGERS 8 In Detroit, Albert Pujols doubled, singled, scored a run and drove one in - all in an eight-run fifth inning - as the Los Angeles Angels routed Detroit again. The Angels have won seven straight

against Detroit, by a combined score of 48-17. C.J. Wilson (7-5) allowed five runs and seven hits in five innings for Los Angeles. Rick Porcello (4-5) gave up seven runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings. The Angels scored nine runs off him in twothirds of an inning in April. This start looked better at first, but Los Angeles broke through in the fifth. Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the third for the Tigers, but he also made two of Detroit’s six errors. —AP

Toyota racing makes a thrilling entry onto the winner’s podium at Le Mans TOYOTA Racing achieved an emotional runners-up finish in the 90th anniversary edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours after a rollercoaster race which saw drivers and team overcome immense challenges in this third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The No. 8 TS030 HYBRID of Anthony Davidson, SÈbastien Buemi and StÈphane Sarrazin finished second while the No. 7 of Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima completed a satisfying week for the team by taking fourth. That second place equals TOYOTA’s best finish at Le Mans as the TS030 HYBRID matched the results of the TS010 (1992), 94C-V (1994) and TS020 (1999). According to Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President: “ I am very proud of our team today since we never gave up or lost focus, even in difficult circumstances. To get both cars to the finish and to stand on the podium was a very satisfying result. So I would like to say thank you to the team and also the drivers, who gave everything for us. I am happy with this result but my dream is to win Le Mans so I am determined we will come back even stronger next year.” A chaotic race featured regularlychanging weather causing treacherous track conditions which con-

tributed to 11 safety car periods and made driving extremely difficult for the drivers. The #7 HYBRID car overcame a turbulent 24 hours which saw it face several challenges, including a loss of fuel pressure early in the race, a slow in-lap to conserve fuel and two precautionary tyre changes when sensors indicated slow punctures. A day of perfect reliability for the HYBRID #8 car saw it push for victory before eventually completing the 24 hours. Toyota first competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 1983, marking the start of a long period of participation in endurance rac-

ing which included several editions of the Le Mans 24 Hours. Toyota cars have raced in 14 Le Mans 24 Hours races, with a total of 38 vehicles taking part. For 2012, Toyota returned to endurance racing as a full-time entrant with a hybrid LMP1 car making history by becoming the first manufacturer to build a team entirely around a hybrid powertrain. The TS030 HYBRID had a successful first season winning three of the six races it entered. Off the race track, Toyota Motor Corporation has been a true pioneer in the hybrid car category starting in 1992 and then moving onto mass

production of hybrid vehicles in 1997. Toyota has continued to reap the benefits of its innovative technology and hybrid car expertise with cumulative global sales of its hybrid vehicles topping the 5 million unit mark as of March 31, 2013. Toyota Motor Corporation will launch a total of 18 new hybrid vehicles worldwide by 2015 and is committed to augmenting its product lineup even further and increasing the number of countries and regions where it sells hybrid vehicles to meet the needs of customers and offer them the most fuelefficient and environmentally friendly vehicles available across the globe.



Two majors down, 3 to go for Inbee Park NEW YORK: The toughest test in women’s golf would figure to be a piece of cake for the No. 1 player in the world. She already had six wins, and the LPGA Tour season was barely at the halfway point. She stamped her dominance by winning the first two majors of the year. The gap between her and the next best player was even larger than what Tiger Woods enjoyed in men’s golf. Her swing was reliable. And she had the experience as a past U.S. Women’s Open champion. If she had a weakness, it wasn’t apparent. A third straight major almost seemed inevitable. But it didn’t work out that way in 2005 for Annika Sorenstam. She tried to ignore a month of hype only for jangled nerves to join her on the first tee at Cherry Hills. She was behind from the opening round, and the harder she tried, the farther behind she fell. “It was a lot of pressure,” Sorenstam recalled last week about her bid for the Grand Slam. “I wanted to not necessarily ignore it, but I was trying to not let it get to me. I wanted to just focus. It’s another major. It’s the US Open, and at the time, I had won two before. And I thought, ‘I can do this.’” She can appreciate better than most what Inbee Park faces this week. The 24-

year-old South Korean didn’t win the first two majors as convincingly as Sorenstam did in 2005, but she won them. Park is coming off back-to-back wins, including the LPGA Championship in a playoff, to widen her lead at No. 1 in the world. She won the Women’s Open just five years ago at Interlachen. “I’m looking forward to seeing how Inbee handles this,” Sorenstam said. “She has the major experience and she’s the No. 1 player in the world, so she’s not necessarily brand new in this role. ... We’ll see how she handles Sebonack and the conditions that await.” Sorenstam didn’t make it clear if she was talking about external conditions - such as wind coming off Atlantic waters on Long Island - or whatever emotions are roiling inside Park. The US Women’s Open starts today at Sebonack Golf Club, and Park is the latest to challenge history. Sorenstam was only the most recent player who tried - and failed - to win three straight majors to start out the season. Woods had a chance in 2002 until he was blown away by the wind, cold and rain of Muirfield on Saturday of the British Open. Pat Bradley was going for three straight in

1986, but she shot 76 in the first round of the US Women’s Open and never caught up. Jack Nicklaus was on the verge of winning three straight majors in 1972 until Lee Trevino beat him at Muirfield. Arnold Palmer, who created the modern version of the Grand Slam in 1960, lost out by a shot to Kel Nagle that year at St. Andrews. The last player to start the season by winning three straight majors was Babe Zaharias in 1950, back when the LPGA Tour only had three majors. Ben Hogan won all three he could play in 1953, when the PGA Championship was held at the same time as British Open qualifying. It’s different now. Sorenstam said of Park, “I’ve been in her shoes,” but only as it relates to her bid to win three straight majors. Sorenstam was going after the Grand Slam in 2005. The LPGA Tour now counts the Evian Masters, which gives it five majors. Trouble is, a grand slam only scores four runs. Or as Jeff Sluman so famously said in 2003, “When you go to Denny’s and order the Grand Slam breakfast, they don’t give you five things, do they? They give you four.” What do you call winning five majors in one year? That’s a question Park would love to have someone answer. The next stop is

Sebonack, whether nothing figures to be easy - not the course, not the competition, not the pressure. “I think there is no way that you won’t feel the pressure,” Park said Tuesday. “Because you will always feel the pressure. But it’s just the more you experience it, you just feel it a little less and less over the time. Now when I’m in the position where I am, and when I’m in the winning position - and I’ve been there a lot - it’s just knowing what I have to do. I think that’s been a big help for me.” A bigger help is how she’s playing. “This is the best I’m playing in my career so far,” Park said. “I’m trying to keep this going.” Park is coming off a year in which she won the money title, and she is happy to see her game get even better. She replaced Stacy Lewis at No. 1 in the world just over two months ago, and there has been nothing to suggest she is ready to give it back. What might help her in this case is her lack of experience compared with the other players going for three in a row. Bradley was 35 and Sorenstam was 34 when she went to the U.S. Women’s Open trying for three straight majors. Sorenstam seemed to be fully equipped for the

moment. She had played on the PGA Tour at Colonial only two years earlier. She stated her goal at the start of the year was to win the Grand Slam. Park is still young enough to see only the next shot instead of wondering where it might lead. “I’ve watched her a lot on TV, and she’s very calm. She does not get rattled,” Bradley said. “That’s the key, to keep your mind calm and just get out of your own way. Youth might serve her very well. Annika and I knew the history of it, the importance of it. We knew the buzz that would be created. This young lady, I’m not sure. It might be to her benefit to take it as a regular tournament. Don’t look at the signage that says, ‘US Open.’ Just look at the hole. Just do your thing.” Bradley believes it will happen. She sees a player dominating the game, at least in the first part of the season. She sees a simple, repeatable swing. She sees a calm hand over the big putts. She sees no reason why another LPGA major will end on Sunday with someone other than Park holding the trophy. Then again, she has seen this before. “But I thought Annika was going to do it a few years ago,” Bradley said, “and that didn’t quite happen.” —AP

N Zealand edge England

Al-Khater of Qatar is the inaugural GT Academy Middle East winner DUBAI: Having beaten thousands of competitors in the virtual world of the PlayStation Gran Turismo GT Academy qualifying rounds and proven his skills behind the wheel of a Nissan 370Z in the real racing world, Salman Al-Khater from Qatar has been crowned the winner of the inaugural GT Academy Middle East challenge. The 29-year-old Mechanical Engineer is now looking forward to his first professional race in a Nissan 370Z GT4 Nismo race car at a 6-Hour Endurance race to be held at the world famous Silverstone circuit located in the UK, in September. “GT Academy has made my dream of becoming a professional racing driver come true” said Salman. “I had no professional motorsport experience, but I did have the passion to follow my dream. It was tough as the standard of my competitors was very high but that makes winning even more rewarding. “I want to thank everyone who has helped me, but especially Nissan and Sony PlayStation for this life-changing opportunity.” Every GT Academy winner has a story to tell, and Salman is no exception. ‘When GT Academy Middle East was announced, I was so glad to hear the news that I started training on the same day. I have been playing Gran Turismo(r) ever since I was a kid and until today Gran Turismo is my favorite game.’ Now he’s won, he’s moved to the United Kingdom and is living in the small village of Silverstone, next to the circuit so that he can train as much as possible, to take maximum advantage of the opportunity GT Academy has offered him. Samir Cherfan, Managing Director, Nissan Middle East commented: “GT Academy demonstrates Nissan’s belief in delivering innovation and excitement in

everything we do - the programme is both unique and thrilling. Wherever it is run in the world, GT Academy’s selection process and driver development programme has produced genuinely fast racing drivers. We have every confidence Salman will add to this legacy and raise the region’s interest in motorsport.” Robert Fisser, General Manager of Sony Computer Entertainment in Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India said: “GT Academy offers PlayStation Gran Turismo racers a great chance to move from virtual racing to real life professional racing! Congratulations to our Qatari Champion, Salman, who proved to the world that a racing career can start on a PlayStation at home. Salman’s victory is special to us as he is the first winner to represent the Middle East region in the GT Academy program. GT6 is coming soon! Get ready Salman to receive one of the first copies in the ME so you can practice your racing skills on the GT6 Silverstone virtual racing track.” Laurence Wiltshire, Managing Director, GT Academy Global Ltd, said: “Every GT Academy has highlighted the huge talent pool of drivers waiting to be discovered the inaugural Middle East competition was no exception. The standard of competition was high but Salman’s skill and commitment to every aspect of training really shone through. We’re convinced he will be another strong ambassador for GT Academy, the unique route to professional motorsport.” GT Academy now has more than 500 million miles of virtual racing in its rearview mirror and every single winner of the contest has tasted real racing success, including class wins at 24 Hours of Dubai and gamers going all the way from their lounge to Le Mans, standing on the podium of the world’s most toughest and most famous race.

LONDON: New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum praised Hamish Rutherford for an “outstanding” innings as the Black Caps beat England by just five runs to win the first Twenty20 international at The Oval on Tuesday. McCullum may have topscored with 68 but it was left-handed opener Rutherford’s dashing 62 that caught the eye during the pair’s second-wicket stand of 114 after Boyd Rankin struck early on his England debut to leave the Kiwis one for one. Defeat meant England had again lost by five runs after going down by that margin in a Champions Trophy final against India reduced to 20 overs per side by rain at Edgbaston on Sunday. England needed six for a tie off the last ball that would have forced a ‘super-over’ but that proved beyond Ravi Bopara, who finished on 30 not out as New Zealand took a 1-0 lead in this two-match series. “Hamish Rutherford was outstanding, the way he struck the ball,” said Brendon McCullum. “Boyd Rankin was getting steep bounce and to see Hamish strike the ball so well settled the whole batting line-up.” Rutherford, one of six players who made ducks as Essex were dismissed for just 20 by Lancashire in a County Championship match earlier this month, said: “It’s nice to get a few out of the middle. “Anything over 200 is competitive but it was only a par score considering the flat pitch and the short boundary,” added Rutherford. Meanwhile for England stand-in captain Eoin Morgan it was another case of so near and yet so far after Sunday’s heart-breaking loss against India left the side still searching for their first major global one-day international title. “We got off to a flyer but we couldn’t continue it until the end. We were only two blows away from winning the game so the margins are very small. “It’s not as frustrating as against India. That was an opportunity missed but this was a great effort and we can take a lot of positives.” England fielded just four players from Sunday ’s side in Morgan, Bopara, Jos Buttler and James Tredwell. After Morgan won the toss, it took fellow Irishman Rankin just four balls to take a wicket when James Franklin was out for a duck, wicket-keeper Buttler holding an inside edge. Brendon McCullum saw a topedge off Rankin fly 83 yards for a six over Buttler’s head and Rutherford was even luckier when, on 25, a mistimed cut off Jade Dernbach was dropped by Bopara at point. Rutherford used his reprieve to slog-sweep and drive off-spinner Tredwell for two sixes in as many balls. But, going for another big hit, off medium-pacer Wright, he holed out having faced just 35 balls including four sixes and six fours.

LONDON: England’s Alex Hales plays a shot watched by New Zealand’s wicketkeeper Tom Latham (left) during the first T-20 International cricket match. —AFP

SCOREBOARD LONDON: First innings scoreboard in the first Twenty20 international between England and New Zealand at The Oval yesterday: L. Wright c Latham b McClenaghan 52 New Zealand H. Rutherford c Hales b Wright 62 E. Morgan c Taylor b Butler 7 J. Franklin c Buttler b Rankin 0 R. Bopara not out 30 B. McCullum b Wright 68 J. Buttler run out (Latham) 17 R. Taylor not out 32 B. Stokes not out 9 T. Latham c Bopara b Dernbach 22 Extras (lb8, w4, nb1) 13 C. Munro not out 0 Total (5 wkts, 20 overs) 196 Extras (b1, lb5, w11) 17 Fall of wickets: 1-50 (Lumb), 2-105 (Hales), 3-134 Total (4 wkts, 20 overs) 201 (Morgan), 4-139 (Wright), 5-184 (Buttler) Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Franklin), 2-115 (Rutherford), 3-161 (B Did not bat: C Woakes, J Tredwell, J Dernbach, B Rankin McCullum), 4-200 (Latham) Bowling: McClenaghan 4-0-37-1 (1nb, 1w); Butler 4-0-35Did not bat: N McCullum, C Anderson, I Butler, R Hira, M 1; N McCullum 3-0-37-1 (1w); Hira 4-0-34-1 (1w); McClenaghan Bowling: Rankin 4-0-24-1 (1w); Woakes 1-0-19-0; Anderson 4-0-40-0 (1w); Franklin 1-0-5-0. Dernbach 4-0-31-1 (1w); Stokes 3-0-26-0 (1w); Tredwell Result: New Zealand won by five runs Man-of-the-match: Hamish Rutherford (NZL) 2-0-32-0; Bopara 2-0-32-0 (8w) Wright 4-0-31-2. Series: New Zealand lead two-match series 1-0 England Remaining Fixture M. Lumb b N McCullum 29 June 27: 2nd Twenty20, The Oval A. Hales c Franklin b Hira 39

Wright, who led the bowling with two for 31, struck again when he yorked Brendon McCullum before Ross Taylor’s rapid 32 not out helped New Zealand beyond 200. England openers Michael Lumb (29) and Alex Hales (39) posted a fifty stand inside four overs before Lumb played on to off-spinner Nathan McCullum. However, the runs kept coming from a side still missing star batsman Kevin Pietersen, set to return to England duty in the second

match of this series at The Oval on Thursday. Brendon McCullum’s move to bring a slip in as late as the 14th over was rewarded when Taylor took a brilliant leaping one-handed catch off a fiercely edged cut by Morgan as the dangerman fell for just seven. Wright, who made 52 off just 34 balls to complete a fine all-round match, was then caught behind by Tom Latham, off Mitchell McClenaghan. England needed 26 off the final 12 balls under the floodlights in

front of a capacity crowd of 23,500. Buttler then produced his trademark ‘ramp’ shot for a six off Ian Butler but, three balls later, missed with the same stroke and was run out after Latham, who didn’t take his gloves off, hit the bowler’s end stumps with an underarm throw. England needed 16 off the final over, bowled by Corey Anderson. Ben Stokes promptly hoisted Anderson for a huge legside six to make the target 10 off five balls only for the bowler to hold his nerve. —AFP

Morgan tips Pietersen to help level T-20 series Sheikh Talal Al-Mohammad

Mini World Futsal tourney By Abdellatif Sharaa KUWAIT: Chairman of the higher organizing committee of Kuwaiti Mini World Futsal Club Tournament (KMWFCT ) Sheikh Talal AlMohammad held a meeting with representatives of ministries that are directly connected with organizing the tournament. Sheikh Talal expressed satisfaction and

said “I am pleased with the procedures taken by each ministry to join us in this major event”. He added that “their efforts will have a major role in our organizational performance and I thank the ministers and leaders who deal with us either directly or indirectly”. He said that the ministries presentations covered all points, and “we will cooperate with them to enable them perform at their best.”

LONDON: England stand-in skipper Eoin Morgan is backing Kevin Pietersen to help turn around his side’s fortunes in the second Twenty20 international against New Zealand. Two days after losing the Champions Trophy final to India, England were back in action at the Oval on Tuesday in the first of two matches, falling five runs short of New Zealand’s imposing total of 201 for four. Pietersen is expected to return to the England team for the first time since March, when he was forced out of the tour of New Zealand with a knee injury. He returned to the crease for Surrey on

Sunday, hitting an unbeaten 177 against Yorkshire in the Country Championship, and is expected to be available for the second Twenty20 match on Thursday, also at the Oval. “Kevin is a huge part of English cricket and has been for a long time,” Morgan, captain in place of the rested Stuart Broad, told the England and Wales Cricket Board website ( “What he brings to the table, probably very few people at the world can. “He can take the game away from you at any stage and we saw during the week the way he performed. “He

takes a lot of pride in when he goes out there and bats. He looks in good form. “It’s a very relaxed environment that we have going on at the moment and hopefully he’ll come in and do well.” Pietersen’s return will also give England a boost ahead of the Ashes series against Australia, starting at Trent Bridge on July 10. Australia, who sacked their coach Mickey Arthur on Monday and failed to reach the Champions Trophy semi-finals, start the first of two tour matches against Somerset late yesterday. —Reuters



100th edition: Tour rides wheels of change PARIS: Maurice Garin, winner of the inaugural Tour de France in 1903, belonged to an era of adventurous pioneers and so-called amateurs in a world without television and little press coverage. In contrast, the 2012 champion Bradley Wiggins and his Team Sky partners embody modernity and high tech in the multimedia age. Yet as the race prepares to celebrate its 100th edition, it appears the first and the last Tour winners are not entirely worlds apart. Garin, a former chimney sweep from the Italian valley of Aosta, was

strongholds of Six-Day Racing, the cycling discipline in which his father Gary made his reputation as a solid yet maverick track rider. Both men hardly knew their fathers, which might explain their motivation and an explanation of their hunger to win. Cycling has undergone many tranformations in the years between the two men’s victories and, with all due respect to the 198 riders starting the Tour in Corsica on June 29 - Wiggins will be missing through injury -, the 60 brave men who embarked for the unknown in 1903 probably had more merit.

FRANCE: A file picture taken on July 22, 2005 shows German Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile/Ger) waiting on the podium to register for the 19th stage of the 92nd Tour de France cycling race. —AFP known as a hard-training perfectionist, who took great care of his machine. The White Bulldog, as the FrancoItalian was known, made the arduous decision to give up wine and even cigarettes to achieve his goal of winning the Tour. Wiggins, who started his career as a pursuit specialist and won three Olympic golds, went on a strict diet to lose seven kilos in his bid to become a Grand Tour winner. Both men were brought up across two cultures, prefiguring the globalisation of cycling’s showcase event. Like many boys from his valley, Garin left to become a chimney sweep in France, ending up in the north of the country where he developed his taste for cycling. Wiggins was born in the Belgian city of Ghent, one of the

Stages were twice as long, with a 471-km ride from Nantes to Paris, and often started at night. Bikes were gearless, three times as heavy - about 20 kilos - and riders were not allowed to receive any assistance so were forced to carry spare tyres around their neck in case of punctures. And punctures were common, as roads were covered with gravel and dust, while cobbles were usual in the north. As a result, riders reached the finish line blackened by soot and dust mixed with their sweat. Crowd favorite Honore Barthelemy lost an eye in a crash in 1920 and used to remove his glass one while racing to avoid it being covered in dust. Riders were allowed to give up in one stage and start the next, although they did not compete for the general

classification. The race was also open to strictly amateur riders, who usually spent most of their savings for the chance to compete on the Tour. One such amateur named Napoleon Paoli took part in the Tour in 1919 and 1920 and was forced out each time, first when he was stopped by a landslide and then when he rode into a donkey. While such events are improbable nowadays, modern Tour riders still have to deal with the occasional bizarre incident. Last year, the race was halted during a stage in the Pyrenees when tacks and nails were spread over the tarmac, causing havoc in the peloton. The same thing happened in the second edition of the Tour in 1904, which was so marred by incidents that race founder Henri Desgrange considered cancelling the event forever. Not only were nails an everyday fixture of the race that year, competitors were attacked and beaten up by fans of rival riders and the men who reached Paris in the four top placings were all disqualified for various offences, including taking the train. Unfortunately, as the case against seven-times winner Lance Armstrong, who was last year stripped of his titles for doping, has shown, cheating has also been a feature of the modern Tour. Founder Desgrange ended the original formula of teams sponsored by bicycle manufacturers in 1930 when it turned out they were making arrangements to earn victory for the best man for their business at the expense of sporting concerns. The Tour was then raced by national teams, which revived interest in the event and forced the organisers to find new means to fund it as sponsors no longer paid to enter their riders. This is how the publicity caravan that has now become a crowd favourite and a vital feature of the Tour was invented. Sponsored teams returned in 1969, just as doping controls became systematic after the death of Britain’s Tom Simpson on Mont Ventoux in 1967. As Wiggins’s victory showed last year, the Tour is now much more an international event than a piece of French national heritage. In 2012, 31 nations were represented at the start, compared with five in 1903. —Reuters

Photo of the day

Dany Torres poses for a portrait at a kids playground in Madrid, Spain. —

Franklin cruises to 100m freestyle win at US trials INDIANA: Four-times Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin cruised to victory in the 100 meters freestyle at the US national trials in Indiana on Tuesday, booking her spot at the upcoming World Championships in Barcelona. Franklin, who won four golds at the London Games last year, was the star attraction on the opening night of the event, which serves as the US trials for the July 19-Aug. 4 World Championships. The 18-year-old set a personal best, and championship record, time of 53.43 to win her race. “Coming home, (my coach) Todd (Schmitz) told me to look at the field coming off the 50 wall and just put my head down and swim it my own

way,” Franklin told reporters. “That’s what I did.” Shannon Vreeland finished second in 53.83, followed by Simone Manuel and Megan Romano, who all booked their ticket to Spain. On the men’s side, Nathan Adrian, who won the 100 freestyle gold in London, won his race in 48.10, a time that did live up to his expectations. “I would have loved to be under 48, but it wasn’t there tonight,” he said. Other national champions crowned on the night included Cammile Adams and Tom Luchsinger in the 200m butterfly, Katie Ledecky in the women’s 800m freestyle and Connor Jaeger in the men’s 1500m. —Reuters

Tour de France starts and ends at the table PARIS: Like most things French, the Tour de France starts and ends around a lunch or dinner table. In 1903, when Geo Lefevre told Henri Desgrange, his boss at sports newspaper L’Auto about his idea of a cycling Tour de France, Desgrange summoned him to explain the details of his plan at Zimmer’s, one of Paris most famous Alsacian brasseries. The deal was struck between cheese and desert and the crazy idea, probably fuelled by a little bit of wine, was so good that it celebrates its 100th edition this year. The start of the first Tour was in front of a bar, Le Reveil Matin in Montgeron, near Paris, and several of the races most famous episodes took place around a good meal or a few glasses. The greatest cycling show on earth lost its innocence in 1924 in a restaurant in Coutances, in Normandy, when the Pelissier brothers, and among them defending Tour champion Henri, decided to call it quits in protest at what they believed was the harsh treatment imposed on them by Desgrange. At the table was also renowned French reporter Albert Londres — he gave his name to the most prestigious journalism award in the country — who listened to what the Pelissiers had to say. While the menu and wine list have been long forgotten, the contents of the Pelissiers’ bags have not: strychnine, cocaine and various doping substances to help the riders face their ordeal. “We ride on dynamite,” Henri Pelissier told Londres as the world discovered doping, 80 years before the Lance Armstrong scandal. In 1998, doping almost cost then Tour director JeanMarie Leblanc a presidential invitation. Leblanc was about to attend dinner with French president Jacques Chirac in his family castle in Bity when news broke that Festina team director Bruno Roussel had confessed to organised doping within the French outfit. “We decided to kick them out of the Tour and I arrived at the presidential table at 11 pm. Chirac still insisted on

cooking me a big steak to hear all the details of the case,” Leblanc told Reuters. Food is, and always has been, a vital part of the race. Decisions are made over a glass of wine at dinner or a cup of coffee at breakfast. Gastronomy is such a part of the way of life in France that a tour of the country’s regions has to reflect the diversity of the cuisine. Every morning at the Village Depart, riders in their racing gear, VIPs in suits and journalists in shorts and tee-shirts gather around huge buffets for a taste of the local specialties and wines - the cheese of Corsica, the oysters of Cancale, the foie gras of the Pyrenees or the fondue of the Alps. And every evening, when the race is over, the whole Tour crew - known as suiveurs or “followers” - stage their own race to make it to the best local restaurants before closing time. It cannot be totally fortuitous that the editor in chief of the Michelin Guide, Jean-Francois Mesplede, used to be the Tour de France correspondent for Lyon daily Le ProgrËs. Culinary surprises along the road are often delicious but sometimes less so. One year, French novelist Antoine Blondin, arguably the best writer the Tour has known, found himself treated to guinea fowls at three dinners in succession. “We should give this bird a bike and a bib,” he said. Riders, by contrast, are supposed to follow a strict diet and rely mostly on omelettes and pasta. They should be happy to reach Mont St Michel home of France’s most famous omelette at restaurant La Mere Poulard. Not always have riders been so rigid about their diet though. Five-times Tour winner Jacques Anquetil was also known as a bon vivant and sometimes joined journalists to savour wine and greasy sausages at rest day barbecues. Reporters covering the Tour will be glad to know that several three-star restaurants are the route this year; from Passedat in Marseille to Bocuse in Lyon, Marc Veyrat in Annecy or the 10 in Paris. —Reuters

Dreams down Fever ATLANTA: Erika De Souza scored 17 points and Angel McCoughtry added 16 to lead the surging Atlanta Dream to a 76-60 victory over the Indiana Fever on Tuesday. The Dream, winners of four straight, lead the WNBA with a franchise-best 8-1 record. Shavonte Zellous finished with 18 points and Karima Christmas had 16 for Indiana, which dropped to 1-7. The Fever are without injured scoring threats Tamika Catchings and Katie Douglas, who have back injuries. The seven-game losing streak is Indiana’s longest since its inaugural season in 2000. The defending WNBA champions had just eight available players, with Catchings sidelined for the second straight game and Douglas out for the sixth. The Dream took their first doubledigit lead at 32-22 on Jasmine

Thomas’ 3 with 3:27 left in the second quarter. Indiana cut the lead to three early in the third on Christmas’ threepoint play, but Thomas added another 3 a few minutes later to make it 46-36. DREAM 76, FEVER 60 In San Antonio, Brittney Griner had 26 points, seven rebounds and five blocks as the Phoenix Mercury outlasted the San Antonio Silver Stars 8377 on Tuesday night for their fifth win in six games. Shameka Christon, Danielle Adams and Danielle Robinson each had 15 points for San Antonio, which has lost five of six. DeWanna Bonner had 14 points and Candice Dupree had 12 rebounds for Phoenix. Diana Taurasi, who came in averaging a league-leading 24.6 points, was limited to 18 points for the Mercury, but Griner more than made up for it. —AP

Erika De Souza

INDIANAPOLIS: Missy Franklin competes in the women’s 100m freestyle during the 2013 USA Swimming Phillips 66 National Championships and World Trials. —AFP

James not thinking about 2014 yet MIAMI: LeBron James has this summer on his mind, and is already starting to plan for the next NBA season. The summer of 2014, that can wait. James says he’s not thinking about the possibility of becoming a free agent in 12 months, though he did acknowledge that the prospect of competing with Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Erik Spoelstra and Pat Riley for several more championships with the Miami Heat is more than a tiny bit intriguing. “That’s the goal,” James said. “That’s the ultimate finish. And we all hope that can happen, obviously.” James’ final interview session of this season on Tuesday revealed plenty in 17 minutes, including that he’s already feeling an itch to get back on the basketball court after just a few days off, that he’ll stop at nothing to give longtime girlfriend Savannah Brinson anything she wants on their wedding day in a couple of months, and that he’s making no secret of his hope that the Heat bring back at least the majority of this year’s championship roster. The most interesting news, however, was when he spoke of his short- and long-term plans. First, he’s vowing to come back better next season, which is no small promise from someone with four MVP awards, two Finals MVP awards and who carries the tag of “best player in the world.” And then next summer, it certainly sounds as if he’s going to give the prospects of staying in Miami a good, long look. “This is what we came here for, so

that would be the ultimate,” James said. “But you can never ... I don’t know, life changes, things happen, and we have to be prepared for that. But this is what we all want to be here for, that’s to be able to compete for a championship each and every year. And if we can do that, then it’d be awesome.” James scored 37 points in Game 7 of the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs, carrying the Heat to their second straight championship in a season where he picked up his fourth MVP award. He’s reached the finals in all three of his seasons with Miami, falling to Dallas in 2011, then beating Oklahoma City last season and the Spurs this year. The team gathered for physicals and a quick meeting on Tuesday, and began the process of scattering for vacation and other business. James will make his annual trip with Nike to China next month, not long after Wade does some business there. And already, James sounds like he’s missing the group that he spent the past nine months with. “It’s like, ‘Damn, I wish we could come back in the locker room, have another practice, take another flight, have another bus ride with those 15 guys,’” James said. “That’s what it’s all about. You miss the guys throughout the summer. I know my family probably doesn’t want to hear that, but it’s the truth.” The Heat are expected to announce by Sunday that they will pick up an option on point guard Mario Chalmers, one of three potentially departing players - Ray Allen and Chris Andersen being the oth-

ers - identified by James on Tuesday as being “huge parts of our team.” James, who was completely exhausted after Game 7, said he’s already feeling rejuvenated physically and is eager to get back to work. “I’m going to come back a better player,” James said, “because I owe it to my teammates. ... I’m obsessed with success.” If Riley, Spoelstra, managing general partner Micky Arison and salary-cap guru Andy Elisburg find a way to improve the roster, then James - who plays just about every position on offense and defends them all on defense - certainly wouldn’t complain. Still, it says something that he’s not demanding upgrades, either. “My mindset is at a point where there is no relief,” James said. “I love the burden. I love what I have to do for this team to win. If it happens and we get someone who relieves something from me as far as a big or a wing guy or something, then it’d be good for our team. But I’m not going up to those guys or approaching this summer saying ‘I need help.’ I’m coming back saying if we come back with this roster, we’re going to compete for a championship.” The new season, however, will also raise the same questions he heard going into his infamous ‘Decision’ summer of 2010, when he left Cleveland for Miami. “I’ve been in this position before,” James said. “I’ve heard it before. It can’t get any worse than my season before I became a free agent in 2010.” —AP




Brazil riots raise questions over sporting mega-events BERNE: Brazilian anger against the cost of staging the World Cup could undermine the argument that host countries benefit from sporting mega-events as they become too big for most countries to handle. UEFA’s idea of splitting the Euro 2020 championship into minitournaments hosted in 13 different countries could be one of the alternatives which organisers could follow in the future, analysts say. Brazil has been hit by a wave of nationwide protests as it hosts the eight-team Confederations Cup, a dryrun for next year’s World Cup which will be staged in 12 different cities. Although the protesters have a multitude of grievances, one of their main complaints has been the contrast between shiny new stadiums and shambolic state of public services including health, education and transport. They are also angry that Brazil has broken a promise not to spend public money on stadiums, while failing to build many of the planned infrastructure projects. “The stadiums for the World Cup will be built with private money,” Orlando Silva, sports minister at the time, said in 2007 when Brazil was confirmed as the

host nation. “There will not be a cent of public money for the rebuilding of the stadiums.” Instead, building work fell behind schedule and the state and federal governments had to come to the rescue. Meanwhile, at least five host cities will miss out on promised bus lanes, metro lines or tram services and cities are now likely to declare public holidays on match days to reduce traffic, a move which critics says reeks of typical improvisation. “What is happening right now in Brazil should be a watershed for FIFA and the World Cup,” said Simon Chadwick, professor of sports marketing at Coventry University in central England. “It should respond by working more strategically to ensure that future World Cups are not just two-week showcases, but have a longer-term legacy for host nations. “It some ways, it’s an acid test for FIFA and its ability as an organisation to adapt, respond and learn.” “FIFA has never been especially open, direct or vociferous in accentuating legacy as an element of bidding and hosting,” he added. “Such discussions are often centred on the number

of people playing the game and the development of grassroots and competitions.” While Brazil, which also stages the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, struggles to cope with the World Cup, other countries appear to be losing the appetite to stage major sporting events. Switzerland, one of the world’s most prosperous countries, backed down from bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics after residents of the proposed host cantons voted against it in a referendum. The 2020 Olympics games drew only five formal bids, from Istanbul, Madrid, Tokyo, Baku and Doha. “It is showing that major sporting events have reached a point where you need to rediscuss what is being done and what is really a legacy,” said Sylvia Schenk, senior advisor for sport at anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International. “Even the bidding itself has become very expensive and costs millions of euros.” Chadwick warned of “industrial concentration” where “the same small group of nations repeatedly host sporting mega events.” “This clearly would not be good for the public and for democracy in sport,” he said. “The glob-

al economic downturn of recent years needs to sharpen people’s sense that sporting mega-events have spiralled out of control.” Last month, a UNESCO-organised meeting of sports ministers in Berlin issued a declaration which warned of the way events such as the World Cup, European championship, Olympics and winter Olympics were awarded and staged. It said that “many oversized stadia are not financially viable post-event” and said increasing demands on host nations “may act as a disincentive to bid for major sport events and risk excluding certain countries from the bidding for or hosting of such events.” It also noted the trend of overbidding, described as “incurring higher costs than necessary in order to outbid competitors....and a corresponding escalation of hosting costs.” UEFA made a radical move after it received only three bids to host the 24team European championship in 2020, instead deciding to stage the contest in 13 cities around the continent, each hosting three or four games. “There are reasons to commend it, most notably the spreading of financial risk and cost,”

said Chadwick. Host countries needed only one stadium, in some cases holding only 30,000 people. “It could be the right direction, even smaller countries usually have one stadium where they can stage two or three games,” said Schenk. FIFA, which has already awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia and 2022 tournament to oil-rich Qatar, has more immediate worries, as it is seen as the villain of the piece in Brazil due to the conditions it has imposed on the host nation. Countries can only stage the World Cup if they agree to tax exemptions and enforce FIFA’s marketing rules, among other things. In Brazil’s case, this has included lifting a ban on alcohol sales in stadiums, prompting former Brazil forward Romario, now a Congressman, to say that FIFA had set up “a state within a state.” “FIFA has been caught napping,” said Chadwick. “The global political agenda has been turbulent for some time now.....FIFA should have seen what was coming. It has advertently, although entirely predictably, become embroiled in a geo-political debate.”—Reuters

Italy plan innovations against Spain in semis

Carlos Tevez

Tevez set to leave EPL MANCHESTER: Five months after waving goodbye to Mario Balotelli, Manchester City is preparing to offload another enigmatic striker to Italian football and bring an end to one of the most divisive and controversial careers in the Premier League’s 21-year history. When Carlos Tevez - sporting a hair band and a broad grin - stepped out at Upton Park in 2006 to be paraded as one of West Ham’s two big-name Argentine signings that summer, English football was warned to expect a striker of great potential but one already with plenty of baggage. He sure lived up to his billing. As he made his way to Turin yesterday to wrap up his expected move to Juventus, Tevez will likely look back on his seven years in England with a mixture of fondness, bemusement and, to some extent, regret. He will go down as one of the best forwards the Premier League has had, dovetailing a relentless workrate with an eye for goal that saw him score 84 times in the league for West Ham, Manchester United and City combined. From 2006-13, only four players have scored more. He won three league titles - two with United and one with City - and also a Champions League with United. His time in England, however, will be better remembered for the chaos he caused off the pitch. He was under huge scrutiny from the moment he left Corinthians, where he was refusing to play, and signed for West Ham along with Argentina teammate Javier Mascherano. They were the subject of third-party ownership, which is against Premier League rules. Tevez scored the goal that kept West Ham in the Premier League in 2007 - at Old Trafford, no less - but the London club was hit with a fine of 5.5 million pounds (now $8.5 million) for infringing regulations and will never be forgiven by fans of Sheffield United - the team that was relegated instead of West Ham. Tevez’s time at United from 2007-09

Matches on TV (Local Timings)

FIFA Confederations Cup Spain v Italy Al Jazeera Sport +9 Al Jazeera Sport HD 1


was trophy-laden but had an acrimonious ending after then-United manager Alex Ferguson decided not to keep the striker. That summer, Tevez made the move to the blue side of Manchester for an undisclosed figure - some reported a fee of 47 million pounds (now $72 million) - and was greeted by City fans with the incendiary poster “Welcome to Manchester,” infuriating United supporters. An already-fierce city rivalry had gone up a notch. It was at City, though, where he really made the headlines - and not necessarily for the right reasons. True, he played an integral role in City’s rise as a force in the Premier League and was captain for a spell, but his four years at Etihad Stadium were marred by repeated transfer requests for various reasons, and his decision to not warm up when asked to by then-City manager Roberto Mancini while a substitute during a Champions League match at Bayern Munich. It led to Tevez spending six months off the team - three of those on unauthorized leave in Argentina where he improved his golf swing and was hit in the pocket to the tune of almost 10 million pounds in fines, missed wages and sacrificed loyalty bonuses. He was welcomed back at the end of the 2011-12 season and helped City win its first English league title in 44 years. But it is amazing to many how he has stayed at the club for so long after such insubordination in Munich. His off-the-pitch antics didn’t stop there, either - in April, Tevez was banned from driving and ordered to carry out 250 hours of community service for driving while his license was suspended and without insurance. A transfer - worth up to 12 million pounds ($18.5 million) when bonuses are thrown in - to Juventus seems a decent result for both teams. Juventus gets a world-class striker, still only 29, on the cheap on a threeyear deal as it bids to defend its Serie A title, and City gets a high-earner off the wage bill and a combustible, wantaway striker out of the squad. Having also dispatched Balotelli to AC Milan in January, life at City will certainly be calmer under new manager Manuel Pellegrini, who has taken charge this offseason in place of the fired Mancini. In Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko, City still has stellar strikers at its disposal but the X-factor that Balotelli and Tevez bring will be sorely missed - by City fans and lovers of the Premier League around the world.—AP

FORTALEZA: Weakened by injury and chastened by the memory of a crushing loss to the same opponents 12 months ago, Italy have vowed to use their imagination when they meet Spain in Thursday’s Confederations Cup semi-final. The match at Fortaleza’s Estadio Castelao is a repeat of last year’s Euro 2012 final, when Spain cruised to a 4-0 win to claim an unprecedented third consecutive major international title. Having swept through the group phase at the Confederations Cup with three consecutive wins, the world and European champions were the favorites to advance to the final even before Italy’s injury problems struck. Right-back Ignazio Abate and key striker Mario Balotelli have both been ruled out of the tournament, although midfielders Riccardo Montolivo and Andrea Pirlo are both expected to feature against Spain. Pirlo missed Saturday’s 4-2 loss to Brazil with a calf injury, while Montolivo took a blow to the head in the same game, but both players have since resumed training. Balotelli’s early departure from the tournament with a thigh injury is a heavy blow, the AC Milan striker having emerged in the last 12 months as coach Cesare Prandelli’s most important attacking player. Experienced Bologna striker Alberto Gilardino is in line to deputise. In the expectation that Spain will dominate possession as they habitually do, Prandelli has stated that Italy may have to do “something innovative” tactically. Italian media reports suggest the former Fiorentina manager will deploy a compact 3-5-2 formation, with an all-Juventus back three of Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli. The system helped Italy stymie Spain in their opening match at Euro 2012, which ended in a 1-1 draw, and when Prandelli reverted to a four-man defence in the final, his team were swept aside. Although the two teams remain similar in terms of both style and personnel to the sides that faced off at Kiev’s Olympic Stadium, Spain defender Sergio Ramos says it does not necessarily follow that today’s game will produce a similar outcome. “We’ve practically kept the same style of play and the same players, and so have they, so they’re fairly similar to us in that respect,” said the Real

FORTALEZA: Spain’s midfielder Andres Iniesta (center) and forward Roberto Soldado take part in a training session at the Castelao stadium on the eve of their FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 semifinal football match against Italy. —AFP Madrid centre-back. “They have young players and veterans, and they’re extra motivated because they’re out for revenge. “At stake is the final of an important competition, and everyone dreams of playing in a final at the Maracana. “Italy have a very strong competitive mentality and have always shown that, despite their last result against us.” Spain have concerns over Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas and Valencia striker Roberto Soldado, both of whom had to go off due to muscle injuries in the 3-0 win over Nigeria on Sunday. The two players trained apart from the rest of their colleagues during a training session in Fortaleza on Tuesday evening. Coach Vicente del Bosque has hinted that Iker Casillas will start in goal, having also given playing time to Pepe Reina and Victor Valdes during the group phase. “They are three great goalkeepers, but the one

with the most starts is Casillas,” he said. “If you are looking for the starter, Casillas has the most.” Del Bosque’s team have not lost a competitive game since a shock defeat by Switzerland at the 2010 World Cup, but Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio believes his side have the tools to undo them. “They’re the strongest team, the (world and European) champions, who have won everything, but we’re not playing to lose,” said the Juventus man. “We got to the final of the European Championship and we have the possibility to get to the final of the Confederations Cup, which is a big motivation. “Spain haven’t changed much. We know their style of play perfectly. We sometimes change our tactical system, but we always play in the same way.” The winners of Thursday’s game will contest the final against either Uruguay or hosts Brazil, who face off in Belo Horizonte yesterday.—AFP

Citroen to enter the FIA WTCC with Sebastien Loeb in 2014


fter first mentioning that it was considering taking part in the FIA WTCC at the opening of last year’s Paris Motor Show1, Citroen can now confirm it will be joining the championship in 2014. Holder of five Cross Country Rally World Cups2 and eight World Rally Championship Manufacturers’ titles3, Citroen will therefore be entering an international track racing championship for the first time. This strong message underlines the importance of motorsport for Citroen, a technological laboratory for the French manufacturer, and the Brand’s determination to continue its fantastic relationship with

Sebastien Loeb by taking on this new challenge together. “Citroen Racing has spent the last few months looking in detail at the opportunity of going ahead with this programme,” revealed Frederic Banzet, CEO of the Citroen Brand. “The WTCC is based on several aspects that are essential to Citroen: extensive media coverage, regulations that keep costs down and a genuinely global race calendar. Our involvement in this championship will give us not only another chance to showcase our CrÈative Technologie but it will also help us to develop the Brand in promising, growth markets such as China, Russia and South America. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our longstanding partner, Total, who will remain at our side for this new adventure.” Citroen Racing’s entry into the world of track racing will coincide with the introduction of a new generation of cars, which are more spectacular than the current crop. “Competing in a category for the first time, starting from scratch, gives our division a superb challenge,” confirmed Yves Matton, Citroen Racing Team Principal. “Having said that, we will be able to re-use a large part of our existing expertise, starting with the DS3 WRC’s 1.6-litre direct injection turbo engine. Work has already begun in our Versailles technical

center and is set to be stepped up in the coming weeks, with the first tests of our car and the start of our development programme to prepare for the 2014 season. Obviously, we’re still committed to rallying and we’ll continue to work hard to try and get the best possible result in 2013. Our partnership with Abu Dhabi is set to be reinforced, enabling us to continue to be involved in WRC with a new system and with new objectives.” Citroen Racing will be taking part in the entire 2014 FIA WTCC season. Obviously, the name of the first driver is already familiar: after

winning nine World Rally Championship Drivers’ titles4 in a Xsara, C4 and DS3 WRC, Sebastien Loeb has made no secret of his enthusiasm about tackling this challenge with his favorite team: “First of all, I am pleased that this has been confirmed. It’s a bit of a dream to think that we are going to write a new chapter in our history. I can’t wait to get out on track in the car and start testing. I have used this transitional year to try out various experiences and to improve my track driving skills. I don’t expect to win straight away, but I am determined to get there one day.”

Dreams down Fever in WNBA action

N Zealand edge England in first T-20




Italy plan innovations against Spain in semis

Page 19

BELO HORIZONTE: Brazil’s midfielder Paulinho (second right) scores against Uruguay during their FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 semifinal football match, at the Mineirao Stadium. — AFP

Brazil in Confed Cup final

BELO HORIZONTE: A towering Paulinho header saw Brazil edge out Uruguay 2-1 yesterday in an ill-tempered Confederations Cup semi-final in Belo Horizonte to set up a final with either world champions Spain or Italy. Fred scored from close range two minutes from halftime to calm home nerves for the five-time world champions and Confederations title holders after Diego Forlan had first missed a penalty for Uruguay. But Edinson Cavani pulled a poachers strike out of the bag three minutes after the restart and thereafter the Samba stars were rocking before Paulinho rose high to plant a firm close-range header past Fernando Muslera in the Uruguay goal to cement a barely deserved victory. Matches between the South American neighbors have long been tense affairs not least since the Uruguayans shocked the Brazilians in the 1950 World Cup final in Rio to deny their hosts a first title. But what gave this meeting added spice as both nations limber up for next year’s World

Cup were pre-match comments by Uruguayan skipper Diego Lugano labelling Brazilian starlet Neymar a diver. The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) issued a furious rebuttal of the claim, but there was clearly no love lost between the sides as they snapped into tackles and scrapped for every smidgin of territory. Brazil made a sluggish start and Lugano was to the fore as he won a penalty for the Uruguayans after 16 minutes. The veteran defender tussled with Chelsea centreback David Luiz in the box and went down - but Chilean referee Enrique Osses quickly spotted that Luiz had tugged on his rival’s shirt and gave the spotkick. Uruguay’s record goalscorer Forlan stepped forward but placed his low kick too close to Julio Cesar, the Brazilian keeper diving away to his left to push the ball round the post and elicit a deafening cheer from a 60,000 crowd at the Estadio Mineirao. Around twice that number were in the streets, kept out by a police cordon as they joined yet another protest

against crumbling public services and government corruption as well as the multibillion bill for staging major sporting events. Police said beforehand they expected trouble but Brazil, mindful of coach Luiz Felipe Scolari’s urging them to make their countrymen proud, finally awoke from their nervy slumbers and took the lead two minutes before the break with their first chance of note aside from a speculative Oscar effort over the top. Neymar chased a long punt down the left and stretched to flick the ball across goal for Fred to poke home a scissor kick finish from the edge of the six yard box, sparking pandemonium in the crowd. By then, Neymar had certainly spent some time on his back - yet the Barcelona-bound 21-year-old was a marked man as Cavani earned a booking for yanking him back. Yet Brazil were still nowhere near to finding the flowing form which had brought three wins and nine goals in the group stage and three minutes after the restart Uruguay were level through Cavani, the Napoli man threading a left-

foot strike past Cesar. Some dreadful defending saw the hosts fail to clear their lines as Luiz, Thiago Silva and Luiz Gustavo lost their bearings and Cavani drilled in hard and low to stun the home support. Forlan then had a half-chance to atone for his earlier faux pas but fired straight at Cesar. Scolari reacted to a increasingly leaden showing taking off Hulk, replacing him with local favourite Bernard. Scolari also took off Oscar and sent on Hernanes in an attempt to inject some fresh drive. Yet it was Uruguay who were turning the screw with first Luis Suarez heading fractionally over from a Forlan cross on 73 minutes before Cavani turned Hernanes inside out and slid an effort just wide as the Uruguayans attacking trident almost embarrassed a shaky home back four. But with four minutes remaining Neymar whipped over a corner from the left and Paulinho outjumped Martin Caceres and seal their place in the final. — AFP

Federer, Sharapova crash out, injury exodus at Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON: Portugal’s Michelle Larcher De Brito returns on her way to beating Russia’s Maria Sharapova during their second round women’s singles match against on day three of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships. — AFP

LONDON: Seven-time winner Roger Federer and 2004 champion Maria Sharapova suffered humiliating Wimbledon defeats on an injury-cursed black Wednesday which turned the All England Club upside down. Defending champion Federer, the third seed, lost to Ukraine’s world number 116, Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5), 7-5, 7-6 (7/5) in his worst Grand Slam defeat for a decade. Sharapova, the third seed, slumped to a shock 6-3, 6-4 loss to Portuguese qualifier Michelle Larcher De Brito, the world 131. The defeats came just two days after Rafael Nadal had exited in the first round. They also occurred on a day when the famed grass-courts of Wimbledon came under fire after seven players either withdrew or retired with injuries. Women’s world number two Victoria Azarenka and men’s sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga were amongst the casualties which eased the title paths of Serena Williams and Andy Murray. Federer’s defeat ended his run of 36 consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final appearances, having not gone out of a major before the last eight since the 2004 French Open. It was his earliest Wimbledon defeat since he was knocked out

in the first round in 2002 by Mario Ancic. The following year he lost in the first round of the French Open to Luis Horna. “I’m still in disbelief that it actually happened,” 27-year-old Stakhovsky said. Federer, who will be 31 next month, said: “I won’t panic. I will go back to work. This wasn’t supposed to happen but I will be back next year.” Sharapova’s defeat out on Court Two came after she fell on three occasions and needed a medical timeout to treat a painful left hip. The Russian’s dramatic loss came on a day when there was a Grand Slam record seven withdrawals either through retirements or walkovers. That could have been nine had Sharapova given up or even Caroline Wozniacki, a former fellow number one, had surrendered to an ankle injury picked up in a fall during her loss to Czech qualifier Petra Cetkovska also on the troublesome Court Two. “I don’t think I’ve ever fallen three times in a match before in my career, so that was a little strange,” admitted Sharapova who was heard on the T V monitors telling umpire Alison Hughes that the court was dangerous. “Well, after I buckled my knee three times, that’s obviously my first reaction.” Larcher De Brito,

based at the same Bollettieri centre in Florida, admitted the conditions had been testing. “There’s a lot of grass that’s been cut that didn’t get swept off so there’s a lot of dead grass on the top and it made it quite slippery,” said Larcher De Brito after taking victory on a fifth match point. World number two and Australian Open champion Azarenka withdrew just minutes before she was due on Centre Court to face Italy’s Flavia Pennetta. A right knee injury, suffered in a fall during her first round win over Maria Joao Koehler on Monday, put paid to her hopes after an MRI scan showed extensive bruising to the knee. French sixth seed Tsonga quit his match with Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis with a knee injury at the end of the third set. Also withdrawing were Steve Darcis, the conqueror of Nadal, Croatian 10th seed Marin Cilic and Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova. John Isner and Radek Stepanek both quit during their second round matches. Azarenka’s fall happened on Court One, the same arena where Darcis fell and hurt his right shoulder in his defeat of Nadal. “The court was not in a very good condition My opponent fell twice; I fell badly; there were some other people who fell after,” said

WIMBLEDON: Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky celebrates beating Switzerland’s Roger Federer in their second round men’s singles match on day three of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships. — AFP Azarenka, a semi-finalist in the last Taiwan’s Lu Yen-Hsun. Tsonga and Cilic were Murray’s two years. An All England Club most likely quarter-final oppospokesman denied the courts nents. Murray hit 41 winners and were dangerous. “There has been served 11 aces to set up a last 32 some suggestion that the court clash with Spanish 32nd seed surface is to blame. We have no Tommy Robredo. “I thought I kept my concentrareason to think this is the case. Indeed, many players have compli- tion well on serve and gave him mented us on the very good con- very few opportunities after the dition of the courts,” said a first set,” Murray said. Two former world number ones were knocked spokesman. “ The court preparation has out. Lleyton Hewitt was dumped been to exactly the same meticulous standard as in previous years out by German qualifier Dustin and it is well known that grass sur- Brown, the dreadlocked former faces tend to be more lush at the Jamaica player winning 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2 Ana Ivanovic was start of an event.” Meanwhile, Murray emerged k nocked out by Canada’s unscathed as the world number Eugenie Bouchard, the reigning two eased into the third round Wimbledon girls’ champion, 6-3, with a 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 win over 6-3.— AFP


Zain Group signs MoU with Samsung Electronics Page 26 Firms seek grads who can think fast, work in teams Page 25


X-cite launches Touch Screen Festival

Stocks rise even as US economic growth slows

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MUMBAI: An Indian man looks on at a local currency exchange shop yesterday. —AFP

India’s rupee hits new record low India’s rupee falls 1.88 percent MUMBAI: India’s rupee touched a new record low of more than 60 to the dollar yesterday, deepening the abrupt slide in the currency as overseas funds continue to pull out of emerging markets. Despite government efforts to slow the fall and interventions from the central bank in recent weeks, the rupee slid past its previous low of 59.98 against the dollar, struck last week. In evening trade, the partiallyconvertible Indian currency hit a new record low of 60.76, before finally ending Indian trading at 60.72, down 1.88 percent intraday from an opening level of 59.60. “What we saw on the screens was really bad. No level was holding,” said Naveen Mathur from Mumbai’s Angel Broking. Dealers said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may have intervened several times in recent days, particularly yesterday as the

rupee inched closer to the 60 mark. Asian currencies, including the Indian rupee, have been falling against the strengthening dollar as the US Federal Reserve looks set to scale back its stimulus plans as the US economy recovers. The stimulus, which has seen the US central bank buy billions of dollars of assets to increase the money supply, had fuelled investment flows into emerging markets. “Foreign investors have taken a view to get out of emerging markets,” said Sonam Udasi, head of research with IDBI Capital. The rupee has also been hard hit by concerns about India’s economy-Asia’s third largestwhich is growing at a decade-low rate of 5.0 percent amid worsening public finances. The Indian currency, which after today’s slide has fallen 10.8 percent in 2013, is the worst performing currency amongst major Asian countries. Its tum-

ble raises import prices of everything from oil and fertilisers to food staples such as pulses, stoking already high consumer inflation and causing hardship for India’s poor millions. Weak local share markets have put additional pressure on the rupee as overseas funds sell Indian stocks. Foreign investors have become net sellers of Indian equities, selling $1.39 billion on balance in June after buying stock worth $4 billion in May, regulatory data shows. They have also pulled out $4.8 billion from India’s debt markets in June, partly to take advantage of US yields. India’s government has insisted it is “not short of action” to protect the rupee, but it has been unable to prevent the slide. “This is a worrying sign. If not controlled, it (the rupee’s fall) will have a deeper impact on the economy,” said

Mathur. Analysts say the RBI cannot intervene heavily to buttress the currency as it must retain enough foreign reserves for imports. It currently only has sufficient reserves for seven months of imports-the lowest cover in 13 years. The RBI has a policy of not commenting on movements in the foreign exchange market and of intervening only to curb volatility. Indian shares closed down 0.41 percent or 77.03 points at 18,552.12 after the 60 mark was breached. The weakening of the rupee will also impact India’s current account deficit the broadest trade measure-which ballooned to just under five percent of g ro s s d o m e s t i c p ro d u c t i n t h e l a s t financial year. Economists say the scope for further interest rates cuts to spur India’s growth will be difficult if the rupee weakens further. — AFP

High costs, foreign troubles challenge Saudi telecom giant DUBAI: Saudi Telecom Co (STC) is a company with a market capitalisation of $21 billion but no permanent chief executive. It has spent billions of dollars to buy foreign assets, but competitive pressures may force it to focus more on domestic business. Annual profits at Saudi Arabia’s biggest telecommunications operator have fallen 43 percent from their 2006 peak, and its part-privatisation has had only limited success in spurring it to make the cost cuts which analysts believe are needed to reverse the slide. STC’s experience has implications for governments in the Gulf which aim to sell shares in state companies as a way to subject them to market discipline and make them more efficient. The Saudi government has begun to privatise parts of Saudi Arabian Airlines, listing shares of its catering unit on the local stock market last year. State-owned Qatar Petroleum plans to offer shares in four of its units in coming years, Qatari officials have said. But STC’s difficulties suggest the benefits of privatisation can be difficult to achieve, as companies may still find it hard to limit staff numbers, streamline operations and compete with private sector rivals. “While revenue for the STC group is trending up, profit is trending down,” said Paul Budde, managing director of Sydney-based telecommunications consultancy BuddeCom. “The reality is that they will have to significantly change their cost base in order to stay competitive and profitable. So far, very few telcos have been able to do this.” The Saudi government spun off the telecommunications arm of its Ministry of Post, Telegraph and Telephone to create STC in 1998; it sold shares to the public four years

later, and the company is now 84 percent owned by government institutions. The share sale offered a chance to modernise what had been an inefficient, slow-moving fiefdom of the state. Initial results were promising; STC nearly quadrupled its profit between 2002 and 2006. But in 2005, the government ended STC’s monopoly on mobile services in the kingdom and the company has found the going harder since then. Profit plunged 79 percent from a year earlier in the fourth quarter of 2012, and this year has begun inauspiciously, with first-quarter profit down 39 percent because of writedowns on foreign operations and a 17 percent rise in operating expenses. The company’s share price is down 8 percent so far this year, underperforming by a big margin a 10 percent gain by Saudi Arabia’s main stock index. According to STC’s annual report, “other costs” - largely consisting of predictable expenses such as utility bills and rent of equipment, property and vehicles - rose by more than two-thirds in 2012. Much of the cost problem seems linked to STC’s high staffing levels, a legacy of its state-owned past. Analysts estimate its head count at about 16,000, equating to domestic revenue of 641,808 riyals ($171,100) per employee in the first quarter, according to Reuters calculations. This compares with 1.61 million riyals for each of the 3,500 workers at Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), the country’s second biggest operator. Rapid changes in the executive line-up at STC, which did not respond to questions about its business, may have distracted it from efforts to strengthen operations in

recent months. Chief executive Khaled AlGhoneim, who had joined the company in June 2012, abruptly resigned in March this year; a company statement on his departure gave no reason. Chairman Abdulaziz AlSugair then became managing director, but STC has not named a permanent successor to Ghoneim as chief executive. STC also saw the heads of its domestic and international operations, strategic affairs and finance, as well as Ghoneim’s predecessor as chief executive, leave their posts in less than a year from April 2012. Inside Saudi Arabia, Mobily, an affiliate of the United Arab Emirates’ Etisalat, is the leader in data services, which is the sector’s main source of growth as customers switch to low-cost, Internet-based communications from conventional calls and texts. STC’s dominant position in fixed-line services means it can offer bundled packages that include television, Internet and mobile services. Using these to win customer loyalty is a key plank in its domestic strategy. But Mobily is in talks to buy a stake in fixed-line operator Atheeb Telecom. Abroad, STC has adopted the same strategy as other big Gulf firms such as Etisalat; it has tried to offset competition in its home market by using its extensive cash reserves and cheap borrowing to buy stakes or licences in foreign markets. But the foreign strategy has so far had only mixed success. Among its foreign assets, STC owns only indirect stakes through affiliates in the most important: Turk Telekom and Malaysia’s Maxis. The two firms together have provided about $1.4 billion in dividends to

STC since 2009, according to Reuters calculations, but because it only has minority interests in them, it does not have management control. STC bought mostly into Islamic countries to capitalise on foreigners visiting Saudi Arabia on religious pilgrimages. But its domestic market still accounted for 89 percent of its first-quarter revenue; in the past, it has said it wants to obtain half of its revenue from abroad. The firm now appears to be focusing on strengthening its domestic operations, said a person who is familiar with STC from doing business with company. He declined to be named because of commercial sensitivities. “Right now, the international operations will be on autopilot, and management has put the question of what to do with these assets on the back burner,” he said. But this could be a risky strategy at a time when some of the foreign units are struggling. Saudi Arabia’s NCB Capital wrote in a research note: “The international business has led to higher risks for the overall STC business. This has come in the form of FX exposure, higher taxes, as well as operational problems at its international businesses.” For example, STC bought 25 percent of Malaysia’s Binariang, which owns 74 percent of India’s seventh biggest operator Aircel, for $5.87 billion in 2007. The Indian firm had accumulated losses of 14.6 billion riyals as of March this year. “STC’s main foreign risk comes from its exposure to India - it’s a market that is likely to consolidate and STC might have to invest substantially more to remain there,” said Alexander Griaznov, an analyst at credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s.— Reuters

Qatari bourse rises on leadership transition MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS DUBAI: Qatar’s benchmark rose yesterday as trading resumed after a one-day holiday during which the Emir handed over power to his son in a smooth transition, calming investor nerves. Doha’s index climbed 0.9 percent; its biggest one-day gain in two weeks that extended 2013 gains to 10.8 percent. Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani said on Tuesday he was abdicating in favour of his son, Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim. “I am confident that Tamim will put the interest of the nation and its people as his priority and that the happiness of the Qatari people will be his main goal at all times,” he said in a speech on Tuesday. “The message from the outgoing emir gave confidence and sent the right political and economic signals,” said Yassir Mckee, wealth manager at Al Rayan Financial Brokerage in Doha. “Investors were a bit concerned about the transition.” No dramatic change is expected to economic and foreign policies, according to analysts, but Mckee said new cabinet members will give indications of how the country will move ahead with mega-projects in preparation for the 2022 soccer World Cup. The new leader, Sheikh Tamim, was expected to address the nation at 1500 GMT yesterday; there is some speculation that he could announce positive economic news, such as additional benefits for local citizens. Banks led gainers; Qatar National Bank (QNB) rose 3 percent to a record closing high. In Egypt, shares in Orascom Construction Industries surged 10 percent after Dutch-listed OCI NV received Egyptian regulatory approval to buy out shareholders. The tender offers OCI NV shares or 255 Egyptian pounds in cash for each ordinary Egyptian share in the construction and fertilisers company; it will end on July 28. OCI shares closed at 238.1 pounds. The 10 percent move is the market’s oneday upward limit for shares. “Given that this price still offers an upside of 7.1 percent over a one-month horizon versus around 1 percent offered by one-year treasury bills and roughly 0.5 percent on savings accounts, we recommended investors to buy at today’s limit up, if there are sellers,” Mona El Shazly of Pharos Holding said in a note. Cairo’s index climbed 2.4 percent, its second straight gain since it slumped to a one-year low because of uncertainty over the political situation. The overall outlook for Egypt remains shaky, ahead of mass protests against President Mohamed Morsi expected on June 30. Foreigners were net sellers, extending their recent change in stance on Egypt equities as tensions in the country worsen. Most other regional bourses declined; Saudi Arabia’s measure slipped 0.2 percent, heading into a sideways trend on a lack of catalysts. —Reuters



Al-Tijari promotes its card campaign at 360 Mall KUWAIT: The Commercial Bank of Kuwait continues to promote its card campaign; this time everyone has the chance to get a taste of their campaign’s grand prize; Audi R8 Coupe. Commercial Bank is inviting everyone to 360 Mall, where the campaign’s grand prize, an Audi R8 Coupe, will be displayed for a week. The Audi R8 will be at 360 Mall starting from Sunday June 23rd 2013 until Saturday June 29, 2013. The event offers a great opportunity for everyone who is interested in the campaign to get more

familiar with the campaign and CBK’s prizes. CBK’s Sales team will also be at 360 Mall, and they will be promoting the campaign through giving out flyers and discussing the campaign with the mall’s visitors. In this regard, Commercial Bank of Kuwait revealed that the grand prize will be displayed in a group of well - known malls during the campaign period where next week it will be displayed in “ˆAlHamra Luxury center”, with a view to provide customers with a chance to see their dream car and get more informa-

tion on the campaign and the benefits offered by Tijari credit and Prepaid cards. The credit card campaign will be running until November 30th 2013, and will include three draws in total; an Audi A5, Audi A7, and Audi R8. Everyone has a chance in winning any of these cars by simply using their CBK credit or prepaid cards. Each KD 10 spent on a credit or prepaid card or withdrawn from an ATM locally will amount to one chance, and the chances will double when using any of the cards internationally.

Myanmar moves to delay telecom deals

Britain’s bankers look forward to Carney era

Govt aims to push cellphone usage to 80% YANGON: Foreign companies hoping to tap into one of the world’s final telecom frontiers grappled with lingering political uncertainties yesterday after Myanmar’s lower house of parliament ruled that licenses for two new cellphone networks should be delayed until a law governing the sector is passed. The winners of the hotly contested bid were supposed to be announced today, and officials were unable to say if that would change. Currently fewer than 6 million of country’s 60 million people have cellphones, putting it on par with North Korea when it comes to connectivity. The government hopes it will be able to push cellphone usage rates to 80 percent within three years by releasing its grip on the industry. Those are the kinds of numbers that have left international telecom consortiums salivating. Of the 90 that initially submitted bids, 11 have been shor tlisted including Singapore Telecommunications, Bharti Airtel of India, KDDI Corp. of Japan, Telenor of Norway and Digicel of the Caribbean - some opening offices and even recruiting staff in gleeful anticipation of the announcement. “It’s a great first start,” said Richard Dobbs, director of the McKinsey Global Institute. “My only hope is that the winners will move quickly to get broadband - either 2G, 3G or 4G - rolled out countrywide.” He said the government views the opening of telecommunications to foreign investment as an opportunity to spur the type of rapid economic growth that has raised living standards in other developing countries. “This should not just be about profit maximizing,” he said. “It should be about enabling other services.” By using mobile banking and e-commerce the country may be able to spread banking and other consumer services more widely and at a reduced cost. Mobile telecommunications could also extend health and education services to even the remotest villages. Myanmar, located in the heart of one of the fastest growing regions in the world, became one of the most isolated and poorest nations during its half-century of iron-clad military rule. After taking control of a quasi-civilian government in 2011, former general Thein Sein started implementing promised political and economic reforms. But the country faces monumental development challenges. Some roads are almost unnavigable, with pot holes several meters (yards) wide. Electricity blackouts are routine. Real estate prices in the commercial capital, Yangon, rival New York City due to limited supply and a surge in demand brought on by the country’s

YANGON: In this photo, a roadside sign advertises a phone call facility in Hmawbi, on the outskirts of Yangon, Myanmar. — AP emergence from isolation. The communications industry, long-neglected by the country’s military rulers, is in need of a complete overhaul. That’s in part because the original network was intended for only a tiny number of subscribers - mostly the rich. Up until a few years ago, the cost of SIM cards could reach $2,000. Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, says there are tremendous advantages to starting from scratch. “You all will have an opportunity to skip all the previous ... generations of technology,” he told a group of young business leaders during a visit to Yangon earlier this year. “You’ll have fiberoptic cable in your cities. You’ll have 3G and 4G networks that will connect to smartphones. You will literally leapfrog 20 years of difficult to maintain infrastructure.” Experts are quick to point out, however, that while the potential returns for the winners of the bidding are staggering, so are the risks. Investors preparing to invest billions of dollars are rightly nervous about how political reform will evolve, whether the government can maintain the fragile peace between ethnic groups, and how regulation and ownership rights will develop. That was hammered home to the bidders late yesterday night when the lower house of parliament unanimously agreed that - with the tele-

com bill to set the legal framework for the industry not yet approved - the decision about the two new mobile licenses should be delayed. Lawmaker Thein Nyunt, the chairman of the New National Democratic Party, said the proposal will bypass the upper house and go directly to the president for review. It remained unclear if any decision would be made ahead of today’s planned announcement. The government also insists a new industry regulator will take over within the next few years, but the job is still effectively in the hands of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. Foreign companies are “entering the market while the process is still taking place and major reforms are yet to happen,” said Peter Evans, a senior analyst at the telecom research group, BuddComm. It’s also unclear what role the state-owned incumbent telecom operator, Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications, will be playing. The idea is that it will eventually be divorced from state control but what its structure, funding and role will be at this time remains unclear. Yatanarpon, which is majority governmentowned and primarily an Internet ser vice provider until now, has a much smaller network. And also newly on the scene is the army-owned Myanmar Economic Corp. — AP

LONDON: To many in the City of London financial centre, incoming Bank of England governor Mark Carney looks and sounds like one of them. His instincts for finance were shaped at the outset by 13 years working for Goldman Sachs - a contrast with his predecessor Mervyn King, an academic economist. King, like many in the country, has barely disguised his disdain for bankers. Britain’s banks helped bring the $2.5 trillion economy to its knees by racking up risky bets that forced the government to bail them out when the financial crisis erupted. The banks are now hoping for a better working relationship with Carney. He starts his new job on July 1 with sweeping new powers to kickstart an economy that is suffering its slowest recovery from recession on record. “Mervyn is seen as hostile and sometimes contemptuous of bankers and that will change,” said John Gieve, a former Bank of England deputy governor in charge of financial stability. “Carney is likely to be someone who speaks the same language as the bankers.” But Carney will be no soft touch. The 48 year-old, who once said he gears up for big meetings by listening to Hell’s Bells by rockers AC/DC, is quick tempered and not afraid to ruffle feathers. He has shown little patience for pleas to slow the pace of banking reform, as head of the Bank of Canada and of the Financial Stability Board that leads global efforts to improve regulation and supervision. “He will see himself as tough and nononsense but he is coming at it from a fundamentally different history and that will be a big change,” Gieve said. Britain’s banking sector remains fragile more than five years after the crash. The combined balance sheet of Britain’s largest banks is five times the size of the economy, despite some radical downsizing. Lending to businesses, a lifeblood for the economy, is still shrinking as banks remain fearful of risk and companies say they don’t want to borrow because demand is so weak. Carney has a chance to meld British monetary and financial policy in a way he couldn’t in Canada. He tried in 2009 to win more powers, suggesting the central bank play a lead role in a new financial risk watchdog. Other regulators feared a power grab and the finance minister backed the status quo. Even so, Canadian bankers say Carney didn’t hesitate to raise sensitive issues with them. “He certainly pushed the boundaries a little bit

there,” one banking industry official said. Carney immersed himself in financial crisis management early in his governorship of the Bank of Canada when he had to broker an emergency deal to fix Canada’s money markets. Former colleagues recall him working the phones at a staff Christmas party to clinch the involvement of big foreign banks. Few were surprised when the world’s central bankers selected Carney to run the Financial Stability Board, the global body charged with making sure that the lessons of the financial crisis resulted in tougher new rules for the banking industry. New Powers For BOE Carney is taking over the Bank of England just as it assumes greater powers over Britain’s banking sector. Finance minister George Osborne tore down the previous, sprawling regulatory system which failed to head off the credit crisis. When he named Carney as King’s successor last November, he stressed Carney’s banking expertise. Economists say Carney will want to act quickly to get the ailing British economy up to what he calls “escape velocity.” “George Osborne has really bet the ranch on Carney. This puts Carney in an immensely powerful position,” said Rachel Lomax, a former Bank of England policymaker. Yet, despite his reputation for bold thinking, Carney may struggle to introduce sweeping changes in monetary policy. He is expected to push the bank to give a clear idea of how long interest rates will stay at rock-bottom levels. That could encourage businesses and households to spend more. But some fellow policymakers are worried about making such a commitment, probably limiting how far Carney can go with that option. Carney has endorsed the bond-buying programmes of the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan as appropriate for those economies. But if he tries to revive the BoE’s asset purchases, he will also have to overcome opposition in the MPC. Signs that Britain’s economy is clawing its way out of two years of stagnation have slightly lessened the urgency for a monetary policy revamp. And, given the massive debt hangover from the financial crisis, there can be no quick fix. Yet economists say an outsider can change the tone of the Bank of England and the way it deals with banks is a perfect way to do it. — Reuters

EXCHANGE RATES Commercial Bank of Kuwait US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian Dollar Australian DLR Indian rupees Sri Lanka Rupee UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi riyals Omani riyals Egyptian pounds

.2770000 .4310000 .3680000 .3020000 .2780000 .2940000 .0040000 .0020000 .0771240 .7513970 .3930000 .0720000 .7366120 .0370000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2841000 GB Pound/KD .4338920 Euro .3707360 Swiss francs .3043390 Canadian dollars .2795430 Danish Kroner .0497330 Swedish Kroner .0443660 Australian dlr .2963730 Hong Kong dlr .0365940 Singapore dlr .2291130 Japanese yen .0029600 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0773800 Bahraini dinars .7538810 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0757800 Omani riyals .7382100 Philippine Peso .0000000

.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

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Malaysian ringgit Irani Riyal

ASIAN COUNTRIES 2.928 4.781 2.883 2.210 2.994 224.360 36.811 3.660 6.558 9.218 94.271 0.271

Irani Riyal


Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

GCC COUNTRIES 74.164 78.477 741.850 758.600 77.782

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 39.200 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 40.140 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.332 Tunisian Dinar 174.460 Jordanian Dinar 403.330 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.916 Syrian Lier 3.103 Morocco Dirham 34.274 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 285.500 Euro 376.290 Sterling Pound 441.950 Canadian dollar 272.290 Turkish lira 146.860 Swiss Franc 306.990 Australian Dollar 263.800 US Dollar Buying 284.300 GOLD 244.000 123.500 64.000

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

SELL DRAFT 266.58 275.63 310.16 377.86 285.10 441.75 2.97 3.684 4.777 2.216 2.986 2.888 77.69 758.81 40.15 405.76 741.44 78.73 76.16

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 CURRENCY

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 Omani Riyal Qatari Riyal Saudi Riyal

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

SELL CASH 266.000 275.000 310.000 380.000 287.800 445.000 3.000 3.700 5.110 2.800 3.600 2.990 78.200 760.700 40.200 410.900 747.600 79.100 76.400

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

BUY Europe 0.4333738 0.0066933 0.0460088 0.3681020 0.0429605 0.4311265 0.0385448 0.2995408

SELL 0.4423738 0.0186933 0.0510088 0.3756020 0.0481605 0.4386265 0.0435448 0.3065406

Australasia 0.2545264 0.2139138 0.0001119

0.2665264 0.2229138 0.0001119

America 0.2648646 0.0001453 0.2834000

0.2738648 0.0001633 0.2855500

Asia 0.0036333 0.0031680 0.0455768 0.0165033

0.0036883 0.0033980 0.0505768 0.0196033

Guinea Franc Hg Kong Dollar Indian Rupee Indonesian Rupiah Jamaican Dollars Japanese Yen Kenyan Shilling Malaysian Ringgit Nepalese Rupee Pakistan Rupee Philippine Peso Sierra Leone Singapore Dollar Sri Lankan Rupee Thai Baht

0.0000443 0.0342589 0.0047107 0.0000237 0.0028535 0.0028406 0.0032683 0.0846384 0.0028354 0.0028595 0.0061301 0.0000729 0.2208028 0.0021748 0.0088100

0.0000503 0.0373569 0.0047757 0.0000289 0.0038535 0.0030206 0.0034983 0.0916384 0.0030354 0.0028995 0.0066001 0.0000759 0.2268028 0.0022168 0.0094100

Bahraini Dinar Egyptian Pound Ethiopeanbirr Ghanaian Cedi Iranian Riyal Iraqi Dinar Jordanian Dinar Kuwaiti Dinar Lebanese Pound Moroccan Dirhams Nigerian Naira Omani Riyal Qatar Riyal Saudi Riyal Sudanese Pounds Syrian Pound Tunisian Dinar UAE Dirhams Yemeni Riyal

Arab 0.7510005 0.0381338 0.0128007 0.1451895 0.0000794 0.0001780 0.3971825 1.0000000 0.0001752 0.0220305 0.0012146 0.7306782 0.0777782 0.0751467 0.0464295 0.0019461 0.1724154 0.0763174 0.0012883

0.7595005 0.0401638 0.0193007 0.1469795 0.0000799 0.0002380 0.4046825 1.0000000 0.0001952 0.0460305 0.0018496 0.7416782 0.0785612 0.0757867 0.0469795 0.0021661 0.1784154 0.0777674 0.0013883

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

Transfer Rate (Per 1000) 284.920 376.550 442.150 273.250 2.965 4.780 40.120 2.209 3.657 6.523 2.883 758.650 77.600 76.100



Trade and investment major focus of Obama’s Africa trip WASHINGTON: Leveraging the power of the huge US market to spur increased trade and investment with Africa will be a major focus of President Barack Obama’s trip to the continent this week, US Trade Representative Mike Froman said on Tuesday. “Much of what the president will be doing on this trip - from meeting with jurists about the rule of law and governance to conferring with leaders about some of Africa’s key security challenges - is tied back to trade and investment as key drivers of Africa’s economic growth story,” Froman said in a speech. Obama left yesterday for his first extended trip to Africa since taking office. It comes as members of Congress are urging his administration to step up

engagement with the region in response to increased competition from China. The trip will take Obama to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania, all countries with functioning democracies that will help him make the point that democratic institutions are a building block for sustained economic growth. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday passed a bill intended to boost trade with Africa by forcing better coordination between US government agencies and departments, establishing comprehensive strategic goals, and marshaling private investments to improve US exports to Africa The bill, which has still to approved by the full Senate and the House of Representatives to become law, “will put

Draghi: Up to governments to help euro-zone economy PARIS: European Central Bank head Mario Draghi said yesterday that the bank “stands ready to act” with measures to boost the struggling European economy while at the same time warning national governments to take their own steps to promote growth by reforming their economies. Draghi told French lawmakers in a speech that governments “need to do all they can” to make their economies more competitive. He said they could streamline excessive labor market regulations that have contributed to high levels of youth unemployment. Along with the appeal to governments, he repeated earlier comments that the bank itself “stands ready to act again when needed” to support the fragile euro-zone economy, which shrank 0.2 percent in the first quarter - its sixth straight quarterly decline. Draghi told the legislators that the bank’s low rates would remain in place “for as long as needed” and that any withdrawal of its emergency measures was far off. “As I said before, exit is distant,” he said. Draghi’s comments provided a contrast with the US Federal Reserve, which has said it could begin phasing out its extraordinary stimulus measures this year if the stronger US economy grows as it anticipates. The Fed comments have shaken financial markets around the world, including the market for eurozone government bonds. Some indebted governments are seeing higher borrowing costs as a result. Nomura analyst Nick Matthews said Draghi “is being very careful in trying to emphasize the ECB is in a different place to

where the Federal Reserve is.” So far the ECB has cut its key interest rate to a record low of 0.5 percent, offered unlimited cheap loans to banks and outlined a plan to buy government bonds issued by indebted countries. Analysts say the bank could cut rates again sometime this year. Another measure could be an effort along with the European Investment Bank to encourage more lending to small companies, which are having trouble getting credit from banks. However that could take months to put in place. Draghi repeated earlier warnings that the central bank alone could not solve Europe’s problems with slow growth and too much government debt. “It is important to acknowledge that there are limits to what monetary policy can achieve,” he said. “The ECB has done as much as it can to stabilize markets and support the economy,” he said. “Now governments and parliaments need to do all they can to raise growth potential, strengthen competitiveness and build a stronger, more stable European monetary union.” ING economist Carsten Brzeski said the ECB was juggling two messages at once: “To policymakers, it’s clearly, ‘don’t always rely on the ECB.’ And when they talk to the markets, they shift their stance and say, ‘trust us, we’re going to take care of it.’ This is the balancing act they have to do.” Draghi also said it was “indispensable” for the European Union to strengthen banking regulation by adding an EU-wide agency that could wind down and restructure failed banks. —AP


Middle East should nurture CSR for economic prosperity By Ramez Shehadi, Salim Ghazaly, Mounira Jamjoom


or many years the approach to achieving long-term prosperity and stability in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has been economic growth. That approach has to change. Instead, governments should be pursuing sustainable development. Unlike previous policies, sustainable development is a strategy for economic progress that aims to create jobs, alleviate poverty, provide education, and carefully manage the environment. Companies have a particularly important role to play in the sustainable development through corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Many MENA companies are increasing the scale and range of their CSR projects, part of a global trend and an extension of longstanding cultural traditions. Unfortunately, too many companies conduct these initiatives on an ad hoc basis that limits their effectiveness. For maximum impact, companies need to align CSR projects with national development goals and coordinate with governments, academia, and civil society. Such a coordinated effort is critical to tackle regional sustainable development, including the main challenge of training and educating young people for jobs. Just keeping employment at 2011 levels will require an additional 75 million jobs by 2020-a 43 percent increase on the number of jobs in 2011, according to the World Economic Forum. Until recently, too many MENA companies consider CSR initiatives an optional extra and define such work too narrowly, and too few governments fully comprehend how CSR can dovetail with national development. One sign that the tide is turning is the number of regional companies that have joined the UN Global Compact-a strategic policy initiative for businesses committed to ten principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. The list of signatories from the MENA region has grown from just three in 2003 to 262 by the end of 2012. As more companies conduct CSR projects, they are establishing best practices that other companies can follow. These best practices include ensuring high-profile support and engagement of senior leaders, and practicing more transparent corporate governance to encourage candid discussions and create clear guidelines for tackling CSR issues. These CSR leaders also integrate CSR with their operating model by, at the very least, coordinating the activities of their company’s businesses, functional units, and partners. They also focus on a few CSR themes that leverage the com-

pany’s expertise; and they tap the credibility and expertise of civil society organizations, public-private partnerships and social business ventures. Finally, these CSR pioneers measure CSR results to assess and refine their initiatives. In tandem with companies aligning their CSR projects with national development goals, governments need to help define these goals and create an environment in which CSR is encouraged and, indeed, expected from companies. Encouragingly, MENA governments have become more active in their promotion of CSR. Almost all Gulf Cooperation Council members now have corporate governance codes or guidelines in place for publicly listed companies. Eventually, when the CSR environment is mature, MENA governments may not need to intervene, except to offer encouragement. For the time being, however, given the region’s substantial development needs and the undeveloped nature of CSR, governments need to play a more active role in setting CSR priorities. At the very least, governments can define and mandate minimum standards for business performance through legislation. Governments can also facilitate CSR by naming a ministry or department to coordinate CSR strategies and policy making. The authorities can also offer incentives for companies to pursue CSR. Governments can provide funding and research around CSR, and can spearhead training and promotional campaigns. The education sector also has an important role to play in shaping the attitudes of future business leaders. Universities and business schools can influence the mindset of tomorrow’s managers and entrepreneurs by introducing CSR-related concepts into the curriculum. Civil society organizations, for their part, can form partnerships with private companies to lend credibility to CSR initiatives, and can monitor the performance of the private sector on issues ranging from child labor, to fair trade, to community involvement, and environmental protection. While there is an important role for government, and to an extent civil society and academia, the main burden of CSR and sustainable development falls on companies. By aligning their CSR work with national development goals, MENA companies can be good corporate citizens, and by supporting sustainable development can contribute to the betterment of the societies in which they operate. By Ramez Shehadi, Par tner, Salim Ghazaly, Principal with Booz & Company, and Mounira Jamjoom, Senior Research Specialist at Booz & Company’s Ideation Center

the restoration of American competitiveness in Africa at the forefront of our business and development goals,” Senator Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said in a statement. The United States already provides duty-free access for most exports from sub-Saharan African countries under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, first passed in 2000 under former President Bill Clinton. The program is up for renewal in 2015 and Froman pledged on Tuesday to push for a “seamless renewal.” The United States also plans to make an existing trade initiative with the East Africa Community - which includes Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda the centerpiece of its strategy to reduce barriers to trade and investment on the

continent, Froman said. “Right now, red tape, roadblocks and redundant border procedures create lengthy transit times which can make trade with and within Africa prohibitively expensive,” he said. “Under our strategy, we will work to help integrate the EAC market, move toward single border crossings, harmonized customs systems, and better border infrastructure. Because having access to markets has little value if you can’t get your products there on a competitive basis,” Froman said. Meanwhile, the US Export-Import Bank will announce agreements to support exports to South Africa and Ethiopia during Obama’s trip, another senior administration official said, speaking on condition he not be identified.

“Ex-Im Bank has made it a priority to help increase US exports to sub-Saharan Africa,” he added, noting that the bank financed about 7 percent of U.S. merchandise exports to the region last year, compared to about 2 percent to the rest of the world. The bank also reached an historic high of over $1.5 billion in authorizations for sub-Saharan Africa last year, he said. Last August, Ex-Im signed an agreement with the Industrial Development Corp of South Africa to help finance up to $2 billion in US technologies and products to South Africa’s clean energy sector. The bank also approved a loan guarantee of more than $1 billion in May 2012 to help Ethiopian Airlines finance its purchase of Boeing 787 aircraft. — Reuters

Stocks rise even as US economic growth slows Economy grows at 1.8% rate in Q1 NEW YORK: US stock indexes moved higher in early trading yesterday, despite news that the US economy has been growing more slowly than first estimated. In early trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 116 points, or 0.8 percent, to 14,879. The Standard & Poor’s 500 was up 14, or 0.9 percent, to 1,602. The gains were broad. All 10 industry sectors in the S&P 500 were up, led by health care and bank stocks. The government reported yesterday that the US economy grew at an annual rate of 1.8 percent in the first three months of the year, significantly lower than the previous estimate of 2.4 percent. The Commerce Department said that consumers spent less than previously estimated, a troubling development in a country where consumer spending makes up more than 70 percent of the economy. Investors, however, might have been pushing the market higher because they decided that they pushed it too low last week, a sentiment that investors credited for Tuesday’s stock gains. Or they may have decided that the slower-growing economy will influence the Federal Reserve to delay any plans to pull back on stimulus measures. Those measures, which include buying bonds to push investors into stocks, and keeping interest rates low to spur borrowing, are meant to prop up the economy. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke set off a stock market plunge a week ago when he said the Fed could rein in the bond-buying program starting as early as this year. It wasn’t that investors were surprised that the Fed will pull back on its stimulus programs: Most everyone expects that to happen eventually. It was more that they were worried that the Fed might pull out too soon, before the stock market could stand on its own without the Fed propping it up. Other Fed officials have also scrambled to reassure investors that the central bank won’t pull out of stimulus measures until it’s sure the economy can handle it. Dallas Fed president Richard Fisher and Richmond Fed president Jeff Lacker are both scheduled to testify at a hearing with the U.S. House’s banking committee

NEW YORK: In this photo, specialist Stephen Ruiz (left) and trader Michael Smyth work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. — AFP The price of gold fell sharply. Gold for August Wednesday morning. While the Fed isn’t the topic - how to prevent bank bailouts is - either could delivery fell $36, or 2.8 percent, to $1,239 an take the opportunity to speak on where they ounce. Crude oil slipped 27 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $95.08 a barrel. At 1.8 percent, the country’s think Fed policy should go. US government bonds rallied early economic growth for 2013 would be less than Wednesday, sending yields lower. The yield on 2010 or 2012, and in line with 2011. And while the 10-year Treasury note, a benchmark for investors are glad for growth - after all, the US many kinds of loans, fell to 2.53 percent from economy shrank in 2008 and 2009 - most say 2.61 percent late Tuesday. The yield has risen they’d like to see an annual rate of 3 or 4 percent sharply over the last week as traders sold bonds before they can feel comfortable about the pace in anticipation of the Fed winding down its of the economic recovery. In other stock trading, bond-buying program. It was 2.19 percent June the Nasdaq composite index was up 29 points, or 0.9 percent, to 3,377. — AP 18, the day before the Fed outlined its plans.

Asian shares up HONG KONG: Asian markets mostly rose yesterday as dealers welcomed another batch of strong US data while China’s central bank said it had moved to ease a liquidity crisis that has gripped the country’s financial markets. Traders breathed a sigh of relief after the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) late Tuesday said it had made money available to some firms in a bid to prevent a cash crunch that had sent shares into a tailspin. However, Japanese shares gave up initial gains and ended in negative territory as the dollar’s rally against the yen petered out, while Shanghai remained on edge. Hong Kong added 2.43 percent, or 482.83 points, to end at 20,338.55 while Sydney ended 1.63 percent higher, climbing 75.7 points to 4,731.7, while Seoul rose 0.16 percent, or 2.82 points, to close at 1,783.45. Philippine stocks led the rally in emerging markets, which have tumbled in recent weeks on expectations of an end to the surge in investment that had been attributed to the US Federal Reserve’s stimulus scheme. Manila jumped 5.70 percent, or 329.88 points, to 6,118.94, while in the afternoon Jakarta was up 3.72 percent. However, Tokyo fell 1.04 percent, or 135.33 points, to 12,834.01 and Shanghai lost 0.41 percent, or 8.01 points, to end at 1,951.50. Mumbai meanwhile fell 0.41 percent or 77.03 points at 18,552.12 points, as the local rupee tumbled to a fresh lifetime low. The rupee hit

60.51 against the dollar in afternoon trade yesterday, past its previous record low of 59.98 to the greenback last week. Capital Securities analyst Jacky Zhang told Dow Jones Newswires: “Investors are worried about financial risks if more problems pop up in the banking system.” Global markets-already reeling after the Fed last week indicated it would soon begin to wind up its stimulus-have tumbled as China’s lenders were hit by a credit squeeze, stoking concerns for its wider economy. The PBoC had as recently as Monday ruled out providing fresh cash and ordered banks to put their financial houses in order. But on Tuesday it said in a statement it had offered funds to some financial institutions in recent days and would continue to do so. A central bank official said earlier Tuesday that it would “guide market interest rates (that banks charge to lend to each other) into a reasonable range”. The move came after shares tanked almost six percent in intra-day trade on Tuesday, which added to the previous day’s 5.3 percent plunge. Shanghai ended Tuesday just 0.19 percent lower. Interbank rates surged into double figures late last week but have since eased. In New York, Wall Street’s three main indexes enjoyed a positive day thanks to data showing more strength and confidence in the US economy and as worries over China abated. —Reuters

TOKYO: A man stands in front of the electronic stock board of a securities firm yesterday. — AP

Europe looks to training to fight youth unemployment BRUSSELS: European leaders will use a summit this week to examine how to use billions of euros to fight soaring youth unemployment, though economists say the sum is a fraction of what is needed to prevent the EU’s young people becoming a lost generation. Leaders agreed in April to set aside 6 billion euros from their long-term budget, which runs from 2014-2020, to combat youth joblessness, with more than half of under-25s in Greece, Spain and some other regions out of work. The fear is that, without a solution, an entire generation of young people - one of the best-educated Europe has produced - will be sucked into a quagmire of unemployment or underemployment, with long-term social and economic consequences. “It is not a good time to be a young person looking for a job,” said Theodore Sparreboom, a senior economist with the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva. “And prospects do not look like they are getting better.” The EU’s idea, to be discussed at a summit on June 27-28, is to use the 6 billion euros to offer a “guarantee” of a job, training or apprenticeship within four months of someone becoming unemployed or leaving formal education - a safety net for the 5.6 million young people who are unemployed. But it’s a goal that is likely to exceed the available budget. “Six billion euros over seven years and for 28 countries is too small - even if the youth unemployment problem is not that pressing in some countries like Germany,” said Zsolt Darvas, a policy expert at Bruegel, a Brussels think-tank. The ILO, a UN body responsible for promoting work and employee rights, estimates that the EU would need around 21 billion euros over the same period to make a real dent in the average youth unemployment rate of 23 percent. EU diplomats acknowledge that 6 billion is a symbolic figure. Mostly, Europe needs to be seen to be confronting the problem, even if throwing money at it will not necessarily make it go away more quickly. The key is growth, something the region has lacked for most of the past four years. “It’s not possible to create jobs in a recessionary environment - you need growth to pick up,” said Carsten Brzeski, an economist at ING in Brussels. Analysts agree that unless a Europe currently in recession can achieve real growth of 1.5-2.0 percent, it will struggle to bring average unemployment down from its record 11 percent. For now, EU leaders hope a programme of training and apprenticeships, using a model that has worked in Austria, will provide a bridge to a time when growth has picked up. Austria has the lowest unemployment in the EU at less than 5 percent, as calculated by the EU statistics agency, Eurostat, and has long used mentoring and training as a way to get young school leavers and graduates into jobs. By part-subsidising the employment or skills training, the government gives employers the confidence to hire. —Reuters



China fears may see Australia tighten scrutiny of farm sales CANBERRA: Australia could significantly tighten scrutiny of foreign investment in farmlands, over concerns of growing interest from China, if conservative opposition parties win September elections as expected. An opposition-dominated Senate report yesterday called for the threshold for scrutiny of foreign farm purchases to be slashed to A$15 million ($13.87 million) from the current $248 million minimum. “To be realistic the threshold clearly needs to be much lower for farmland and agribusiness,” said Bill Heffernan, inquiry chair, senior opposition senator and farmer. Any move to tighten foreign investment rules is likely to upset

China, Australia’s biggest trading partner, and possibly hinder farmland investment at a time when Canberra is seeking to boost its agricultural output to become the food bowl of Asia. China is encouraging its firms to expand overseas to increase food security for its 1.3 billion people. Chinese investors last year bought Australia’s biggest cotton farm Cubbie Station and China’s Shanghai Zhongfu Group has approval to invest around A$700 million to build a sugar industry in northwest Australia. The Australian Senate inquiry was set up after farmers complained that foreign investors were buying up

smaller holdings and avoiding Foreign Investment Review (FIRB) scrutiny. Australia is the world’s second largest wheat exporter and third largest exporter of beef and raw sugar, with agricultural exports worth around A$36 billion a year. The conservative opposition, which includes a National rural-based party, has yet to detail its foreign investment policy, but will likely pay close attention to the report to shore up support from farmers ahead of national elections. Elections are due on September 14, with opinion polls showing the Labor government will be swept from power. Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey, who will be Treasurer if

the conservatives win power, has said the opposition is considering a threshold as low as A$15 million. “These proposals are not intended to discourage foreign investment in any way. Rather they are designed to improve transparency and to reassure the Australian people that foreign investment is not contrary to the national interest,” Hockey told business leaders in a speech on Tuesday. Current data shows concerns in Australia over Chinese investment are largely misplaced, with FIRB approving just A$27 million of investments from China in the year to June 30, 2012.—Reuters

LOS ANGELES: In this Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 photo, a Barnes & Noble bookstore is seen in Los Angeles. — AP

Barnes & Noble’s loss doubles NEW YORK: Sales plummeted at Barnes & Noble bookstores in the latest quarter and its Nook e-book devices failed to keep up with competitors, pushing the company to a net loss that more than doubled from a year ago. The largest traditional US bookseller said Tuesday that it will stop making its own Nook color touchscreen tablets as a result, a move intended to stem the losses it’s suffering from its digital unit. It said it will continue to make its more basic, black-and-white e-readers but farm out the tablet manufacturing to a thirdparty. “We know this is a sizable change from our existing strategy,” CEO William Lynch said in a call with analysts. He declined to give specifics on how the tablet partnership would work because the company is in discussions with “a lot of interested parties.” The about-face troubled investors, who sent Barnes & Noble’s stock price down more than 17 percent Tuesday to close at $15.61. Barnes & Noble Inc. had been pouring money into developing its Nook devices to keep up with changing reading habits and beat back competition from retailers such as Amazon, which makes the popular Kindle readers. It hasn’t worked. According to research firm IDC, Barnes & Noble’s tablet shipments fell to 1 million in the fourth quarter, down from 1.4 million a year earlier. At the same time, sales of Kindle e-readers have kept growing. Michael Norris, senior analyst in the trade books group at Simba Information, said Barnes & Noble didn’t differentiate its product aggressively enough. At an analyst presentation, for example, he noted that Barnes & Noble had Kindle devices on hand to demonstrate how much lighter its Nooks were. But it failed to do that in stores for customers, he said. The company also didn’t have as much money to spend on advertising as its rivals. “It’s kind of unfortunate,” Norris said of the decision to outsource tablets but continue making its e-readers. “They’re getting out of the hardware business that has the most potential and hanging onto the business that has the least.” Whether the change will help Barnes & Noble remains to be seen, but Norris warned that it could be going down a dangerous path. “That’s where Borders got it so wrong,” he said. “They had a bunch of devices lined up like Formula One race cars. You’d ask an associate about it, and they wouldn’t have a clue about them.” There were signs that

Barnes & Noble was seeking to exit the hardware business. This month, the company slashed prices on its Nook readers, leading some to suggest that it was clearing out its stock of tablets. On Tuesday, the company said it planned to sell its remaining inventory at the reduced prices. Some have speculated that Microsoft, which has a 6.8 percent stake in the Nook unit, could offer to buy it outright. For the quarter, the company booked inventory and impairment charges for its Nook unit. It said it sold fewer devices and that sales of digital content for the readers also fell 9 percent. It blamed the decline of e-book sales partly on the tough comparison from a year ago, when “The Hunger Games” and “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogies boosted results. In the broader e-book market from the largest publishers, Barnes & Noble has said it has about 25 percent of content sales. But it admitted that figure has been under pressure from Apple Inc. and Amazon lately. “We’re holding our own, but it’s declined slightly,” said Michael Huseby, chief financial officer. The company declined to say how its device sales split between tablets and dedicated ereaders. But it said its “biggest readers” use ereaders, which drive a majority of its content sales. Meanwhile, its bookstores also saw sales decline. Revenue at stores open at least a year, a key metric, fell 8.8 percent during the period. It also warned it expects that figure to decline in the “high-single digits” for its fiscal 2014, partly as a result of tough comparisons with last year. Overall retail sales, which include Barnes & Noble bookstores and online sales, declined 10 percent, in part because of store closings. Barnes & Noble declined to provide an update on the possibility of taking the retail business private. Leonard Riggio, the founder of Barnes & Noble, has offered to buy the company’s physical bookstores and website, but not the Nook unit. The company also said it’s reviewing previous financial statements that may result in a revision. For the February-to-April quarter, Barnes & Noble Inc. said its net loss totaled $118.6 million, or $2.11 per share. That compares with a loss of $56.9 million, or $1.06 per share, last year. Revenue fell 7 percent to $1.28 billion. Analysts expected a loss of 97 cents per share on revenue of $1.33 billion.—AP

Jobless Spanish nurses jump at Dutch breaks SEVILLE: Nurse recruiting firm Roca-BHR drew more than 800 applicants in Spain last year when it offered guaranteed jobs in the Netherlands caring for the elderly to those who were willing to take an intensive course in Dutch. Of the 20 young nurses accepted to the programme - financed by Dutch companies that need nurses - 11 completed the seven months of training and tests in the southern city of Seville and flew to The Hague, where they start work in July. With full nursing degrees, they are all over-qualified for their nursing aide positions. But given that more than 18,000 nurses are out of work in Spain, the compromise is worth it. Hiring is frozen in Spain’s national health system and almost at a standstill in private hospitals and clinics thanks to drastic spending cuts to trim the public deficit. Some 1,000 trained nurses have never found work in their field, according to Spanish nursing union Satse. “It’s very, very difficult to find a job in Spain,” said Maria Angeles Luque, 25, one of the group of 10 women and one man who will be working in the Netherlands for 1,784 euros ($2,300) a month. Maria Jose Marin, who joined the training group with her twin sister Maria Teresa, said that when they began nursing school several years ago, most graduates found jobs the summer after they graduated. “But the situation got worse and worse. I never imagined things would end up like this,” the 23-year-old told Reuters. The two have been looking for work since they graduated in 2011. A Reuters photographer accompanied the twins for a week as they traded the room they shared in their parents’ home for a dorm in a temporary residence in The Hague. From a family of eight siblings in the town of Paradas, 50 km (30 miles) outside Seville, it was their first visit to the Netherlands. “This is at least an opportunity to do something. For better or for worse, it’s an opportunity,” said Maria Jose. The chance these nurses have seized is a solution for many young people around Europe trying to weather a recession and joblessness currently at 23.5 percent - moving to where the jobs are, often helped by their employers-to-be and now, possibly the European Union itself. One of the worstoff in the EU, with more than half of its 16-24 year olds out of work, Spain is calling on Europe to speed up the disbursement of 6 billion euros earmarked to help young people find jobs.

The European Commission has backed the idea of spending the funds over the next two years, rather than the next seven. Among its recommendations - which EU leaders will review at a June 27-28 summit - is to spend money to help young people move for jobs, and to encourage employers to take on young people and train them while they start to work. Youth joblessness is costing the EU up to 150 billion euros a year, or around 1.2 percent of economic output, the Commission calculates. The lost productivity and unemployment benefits are more costly than training programmes and job subsidies. Plenty in Spain, dearth in Netherlands Just five years ago, there was full employment for Spanish nurses and new graduates immediately stepped in to jobs covering summer holidays for established nurses, said a spokesman at Satse, who asked not to be named in line with union policy. Now, when a nurse goes on holiday, the other nurses in the hospital do double shifts to cover, he said. Satse recently identified 4,000 nursing jobs available around Europe and published a “practical guide” to help members find work abroad. But while there is a nursing oversupply in Spain, the Netherlands has the opposite problem, especially when it comes to filling jobs for less-qualified care professionals known as nursing aides or health care assistants, such as those that often work with the elderly. This is despite the fact that the Netherlands has more than 10 nurses per 1,000 people, compared to just under five per 1,000 in Spain, according to Eurostat data from 2008. When caregiving personnel such as nursing aides are included, the Netherlands’ ratio still doubles Spain, with 21.4 per 1,000 people, compared with 10 per 1,000. “It’s very difficult in the big cities in Holland to find enough nurses with the right level of qualification,” said Theo Stoffels, a manager at private healthcare group Respect Zorggroep Scheveningen. “Today when nurses leave school, they prefer to go to work in a hospital. It’s more interesting, more exciting, whereas care of elderly people is a different kind of work.” Stoffels’ company will hire the Spanish nurses trained by Roca-BHR to work at hospices and nursing homes that it operates in and around Scheveningen, a seaside resort district of The Hague. —AP



X-cite launches Touch Screen Festival KUWAIT: Being the largest electronics retailer in Kuwait and the region, X-cite by Alghanim Electronics has furthered its leading position in the electronics market by providing its customers with a strong and valuable offer with its Touch Screen Festival, an exclusive promotion that brings to the table the latest touch screen laptops. X-cite by Alghanim Electronics carries the widest range of touch screen laptops in Kuwait that start as low as KD 119. Discover the latest touch screen devices first hand at any of X-cite’s showrooms before you enjoy owning one that suits your lifestyle best. The featured touch screen laptops are renowned for their ease of usage and fast receptiveness in comparison to their counterparts. The touch screen laptops conveniently operate without the use of a mouse or track pad. Any of the promoted, user-friendly laptops would perfectly suit anyone who utilizes smartphones and tablets. Modern technology has been reinvented to suit the constant evolution of touch screens, a cycle that provides solutions to every technical problem. The result is a diverse range of touch screen laptops that have their very own fan base who are continuously thrilled and enthralled with the sophisticated experi-

ence touch screen laptops bring as well as the simplicity of their usage. The featured touch screen laptops include many models that suit every type of user. One of the touch screen laptops is the Dell XPS 12 that allows its user to transform it into a tablet due it its fluid flip-and-fold motion with its premium flip-hinge design. Other featured

Firms seek grads who can think fast, work in teams WASHINGTON: They can get good grades, earn a diploma and breeze through that campus rite of spring, the job interview. But college graduates still might not land a decent job. The world’s top employers are pickier than ever. And they want to see more than high marks and the right degree. They want graduates with so-called soft skills - those who can work well in teams, write and speak with clarity, adapt quickly to changes in technology and business conditions and interact with colleagues from different countries and cultures. “Soft skills tend to differentiate good college graduates from exceptional college graduates,” says Joseph Krok, university research liaison at Britain’s Rolls-Royce. To find out what employers are seeking from university graduates around the world, The Associated Press talked to dozens of corporate recruiters, university career counselors, economists and students. What’s clear is that companies increasingly want skills that don’t show up in a college transcript or a sit-down interview. “What the employers want is a wellrounded student,” says Jean Manning-Clark, director of the Colorado School of Mines’ career center. “The ones that get 10 to 12 job offers are the ones who have strong soft skills.” And companies are going to ever-greater lengths to identify the students who have the right mix of skills by observing them in role-playing exercises to see how they handle pressure and get along with others, relying more on applicants who have already proved themselves in internships and co-op jobs in which students work while attending school, and organizing contests that reveal how students solve problems and handle deadline pressure. “It used to be that the interview itself was where you made or broke your chances with a company,” says Dan Black, head of campus recruiting in the Americas for the accounting and consulting firm Ernst & Young. “Now the assessment is a much longer and broader process.” Looking for more than a major The hiring process is more intense because employers the world over are more demanding. They’ve always needed people with specific technical skills. Those remain important, but employers want something more - the soft skills that determine whether recruits can get along with co-workers, articulate ideas, engage in critical thinking and solve problems on the fly. In short, whether employees can make the transition from classroom to workplace. Globally, employers say it’s hard to find that right combination of hard and soft skills. Just 43 percent of the 2,832 employers McKinsey surveyed in nine countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas said they could find enough skilled entry-level workers. Mona Mourshed, leader of the education practice at the global consultancy McKinsey & Co., remembers one employer saying: “ ‘I have never fired an engineer for bad engineering, but I have fired an engineer for lack of teamwork’ ... People have to work together. They have to collaborate.” A

survey of employers released in April by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that 93 percent of the respondents reported that a capacity to think critically, communicate clearly and solve complex problems was more important than an undergraduate major. “Many technical programs around the world have historically focused more on technical depth,” says Paul McIntyre, vice president in charge of global recruiting at oil giant BP. “We’ve been communicating to universities the importance of soft skills.” Mixing it up Knowing that college transcripts don’t tell the whole story, companies are looking for creative ways to identify the talent they need. “The old approach doesn’t find them,” says John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University. British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline likes to see first-hand how students mix with others, think on their feet and handle pressure. After it narrows its job applicants, Glaxo brings in groups of 10 to 12 for a full day’s assessment. Glaxo managers observe as recruits interact with each other, solve problems and give presentations. Usually, half get hired. Having a successful internship with Glaxo increases the odds; interns have shown whether they fit in. “We love our internship and co-op programs,” says John Sweney, who heads Glaxo’s talent program. “ We want to fast-track those people.” Indeed, companies are becoming more reliant on internships. Rolls-Royce’s Krok calls them “threemonth interviews.” Manning-Clark, of the Colorado School of Mines, says former interns used to account for about half the recruits companies wanted to hire; now, it’s about 75 percent. Tata Technologies, the Singapore-based engineering arm of India’s Tata Group conglomerate, hires 500 graduates every year in India and another 15 to 20 in North America. “We always look for the ones that have co-op experience or internship experience,” says Giulio Desando, a human resources manager at Tata. “They have the soft skills.” At Denmark’s Maersk Oil, global recruiter Lee Paul Milligan advises students to let employers know if they’ve spent a lot of time abroad. “An international mindset is important to us,” he says. “You go to any office in the world, and you’ll find a huge variety of nationalities. I think I’ve got 10 in my own office ... Some students forget to put down that they’ve traveled to 10 countries.” Milligan is especially impressed with foreign exchange students, saying it takes courage to uproot yourself and study abroad, perhaps learning in a language that is not your own. One of Maersk’s recent hires is Luzana Costa, who left her native Angola at age 13 to attend school in Philadelphia. She wound up with a master’s in applied geosciences from the University of Pennsylvania and joined Maersk last July as a geologist, working first in the Angolan capital Luanda and later at Maersk headquarters in Copenhagen. —AP

PHILADELPHIA: In this photo, recent La Salle University graduate Sean Christman of Westmont, NJ, attempts to hand out resumes to passing motorists in Philadelphia. — AP

touch screen laptops such as the ATIV XE700 allow users to completely separate the screen from the keyboard. The Toshiba Satellite U920 and Sony VAIO Duo 11 both offer you the best of both worlds as a user can simply convert the laptop into a tablet mode with the sliding design and stable slide-and-tilt hinge. Other foldable, touch screen lap-

tops that comprise the convenient sliding design include the Lenovo Yoga, an Ultrabook powered by Windows 8 that folds 360 degrees into four versatile modes, providing flexibility to move between work and fun. Users who prefer a conventional laptop with an immobile touch screen can benefit from the offer by choosing between the HP, Dell, Acer,

Asus and other available models. Most of the featured laptops’ touch screens measure from 10 until 13.3 inches. The Touch Screen Festival is running in all of X-cite showrooms. The promotion itself offers a wide range of touch screen laptops that allow everyone to discover the newest technological innovations in the world of laptops.

French economy clouded by weak growth, deficit doubts Economy contracts by 0.2% in Q1 PARIS: The weak state of the French economy and uncertain outlook for budget targets was in focus on yesterday after official data confirmed that the country is in recession. Meanwhile, amid a row over the outlook for respecting EU conditions for the budget, a lawmaker hinted at a further relaxation of the rules. Weak growth and public finances in France are of acute concern to the European Commission and to Germany which is the main powerhouse in the euro-zone. The figures are also watched closely on nervous financial markets. The latest figures from the national statistics institute INSEE showed that the economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the first quarter. This followed shrinkage of the same amount in the last quarter of last year, meaning that France fell back into recession as defined by two quarters running of contraction in output. INSEE warned that if output is flat in each of the last three quarters of this year, France would post a recession of 0.3 percent for the year. INSEE had said on Thursday that the economy was set to remain sluggish throughout 2013, and gave its own assessment that for the whole year it would shrink by 0.1 percent. Weak growth in an economy usually means falling tax receipts, and the right-wing opposition has launched an offensive against the Socialist government this week, arguing that tax receipts are lower, and the outlook for the public deficit higher, than the government says. In March, President Francois Hollande acknowledged that France would not achieve its initial target of reducing the deficit to the European Union ceiling of 3.0 percent of output in 2013, and said the target was now 3.7 percent. But a report in the newspaper Les Echoes said yesterday that the public accounting office, in an audit to be published today, would say that the public deficit this year is heading to be 3.7-4.2 percent of gross domestic product. The outcome depended on how the economy performed, but on the basis of the government’s 0.1 percent growth forecast, the deficit would be 3.7-4.0 percent of output. ‘Deadlines could be reviewed’ On Tuesday, the president of the finance commission in the lower house National Assembly, Gilles Carrez, said that tax revenue this year would fall 15.0 billion euros ($20 billion) short of targets. State spending was overshooting by 5.0 billion euros, he asserted. Budget

Minister Bernard Cazeneuve hit back, saying that this ran counter to the facts and that the government was exercising budget rigour. However, on Tuesday the member of the assembly responsible for reporting on the budget, a Socialist Christian Eckert, said he wanted the targets for France to reduce its structural deficit to be “reviewed”. The difference between the structural deficit and the overall deficit is that the overall figure includes the effects of cyclical downturn, for example the extra cost of any temporary rise in unemployment benefits and fall in tax revenues which will be corrected when the economy picks up. The structural deficit is a measure of underlying weakness in tax revenues and of overspending. Saying that he had just seen Finance

Minister Pierre Moscovici, Eckert commented: “ We are in the process of discussing with Brussels (the EU) on what is known as the structural deficit”. He told a press conference by the Socialist group at the assembly: “Here again, the deadlines could be reviewed, in any case I hope so.” At the end of May, the European Commission allowed France an extra two years to meet the 3.0 percent deficit target. But this was on strict condition that France pursue structural reform of the economy, notably of the pension system and of employment laws. Cazeneuve said in April that France hoped to reduce the structural deficit by one percentage point in 2014, saying that this would bring the total structural reduction to 4.0 percentage points in four years. — AFP

STRASBOURG: A woman looks at clothes in a shop window yesterday in Strasbourg, eastern France, on the first day of summer sales. — AFP

Focus on Japan economy: Abe TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday said he will spend the next three years rebuilding the nation’s fragile economy, having banished the gloom that covered Japan when he came to power. Marking his sixth month since taking office, the conservative ideologue told a press conference that he was determined to gain full control of the legislature by winning an upper house election next month, giving him elbow room to push for reforms. Abe’s ruling bloc is expected to bag a comfortable victory in the poll, slated for July 21. The likely win would give his Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner New Komeito the majority of the both chambers of the Diet, essentially taking away legislative obstacles for the premier for three years until the next national vote. “A country that has lost economic strength cannot sustain its strength as a nation state. It cannot exercise its diplomatic and security strength,” Abe said. “To regain the country’s strength, to regain national pride, I think I must focus on regaining our economic strength,” he said. “In the three years of stable politics, I will basically focus on it,” Abe said. Since taking office in December, Abe has launched an economic policy blitz dubbed “Abenomics”, which blends massive monetary easing, big fiscal spending and a series of reforms aimed at freeing up businesses. Japan’s sleep-walking economy-the world’s third largest-has been given a jolt by the moves, with the yen shedding some of its export-sapping strength and the stock market putting in the best performance in the developed world this year. “The gloomy atmos-

phere that blanketed Japan half a year ago has changed dramatically,” he told yesterday’s press conference. “The economy is getting better. Our policies are not wrong. I am sure this is the only way,” he said. Some analysts argue that improving the economy is a means to an end and a win in July will see Abe getting back on his hobby horse somewhere

down the line, drafting a new constitution, promoting patriotism among schoolchildren and reassessing Japan’s wartime history. His detractors say this risks further irritating already inflamed relationships with China and South Korea. But over the last half-year he has largely side-stepped contentious issues like these, staying mainly on the economic message. — AFP

Direct Line to axe 2,000 jobs in sluggish insurance market Britain’s Direct Line Insurance Group Plc, the motor insurer spun out of Royal Bank of Scotland, said it plans to axe about 2,000 positions, joining fellow insurers looking to trim costs and boost profits in a sluggish and competitive market. The company said the cutbacks would allow it to save a further 130 million pounds ($200 million) annually by 2014, targeting a cost-base of about 1 billion pounds in 2014. Britain’s biggest car insurer, which has about 15,000 employees, has been cutting costs and avoiding high-risk drivers since 2010 to protect itself from stiff competition, and new regulation in the British motor insurance market. “If you go back 20 years, a lot of the paperwork was done by brokers. As insurers have gone more direct and more automated, they’ve needed fewer and fewer people,” Barnard said. Several insurers, including Aviva Plc, AXA and Standard Life, have cut their workforce in recent months in an effort to reduce costs and prepare for new regulations that include higher capital

requirements. Direct Line, whose brands include Churchill, Privilege and the Green Flag roadside recovery service, said it continued to expect the migrating of its IT infrastructure to cost about 100 million pounds. The company said the job cuts announced yesterday would include head office and support positions. RBS in October floated almost one-third of Direct Line’s shares, fulfilling conditions of a government bailout during the 2008 financial crisis, which left the bank 82 percent state-owned. “Direct Line was very unprofitable for many years, part of the upside of the IPO was that they were going to restructure the organisation,” Berenberg’s Sami Taipalus said. Last year, Direct Line said it would cut nearly 900 jobs as part of a plan to make it more profitable ahead of its stock market listing. “It wouldn’t surprise me if there’d be more (cuts) from Direct Line, but they’ll probably do at most one of these a year,” Oriel Securities analyst Marcus Barnard said. —Reuters



Zain Group signs MoU with Samsung Electronics Deal will see both companies cooperate on device releases

KUWAIT: The winner receives his prize from Mazin Al-Nahedh, NBK’s General Manager, Consumer Banking Group.

Al-Duaij wins KD 250,000 in NBK’s Al-Jawhara draw KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) announced Tareq Ahmad Ali Al-Duaij the winner of KD 250,000, NBK’s Al-Jawhara quarterly prize. Al-Duaij expressed his gratitude and appreciation, explaining that this gave him the chance to finally purse his dreams. NBK has re -launched Al-Jawhara account by offering customers more chances to win bigger prizes; NBK customers have chances to win KD 5,000 weekly, KD 125,000 monthly and a grand prize of KD 250,000 quarterly. Al-Jawhara account offers numerous benefits to NBK customers. Not only is it an

interest-free account with regular deposit and withdrawal privileges, but also entitles account holders to enter the weekly, monthly and quarterly Al-Jawhara draws. Each KD 50 in an Al-Jawhara account entitles the customer to one chance in any of the draws. All prizes are automatically credited to the winners’ accounts the day after the draw. The more money held in your AlJawhara account, the greater your chances of winning. Al-Jawhara accounts are available to both Kuwaitis and expats and can be opened at any one of NBK’s branches around Kuwait.

KUWAIT: Zain Group, a pioneer in mobile telecommunications in eight markets across the Middle East and Nor th Africa, today announces the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Samsung Electronics a leader in mobile technology and digital solutions, aimed at raising the two companies’ levels of cooperation. Working towards a framework agreement with Samsung, Zain Group will benefit from a closer relationship with Samsung Electronics, resulting in preferential and timely access to a wide range of the manufac turer ’s devices, as well as input and support from Samsung Electronics in specific areas of Zain’s device marketing and retail execution activities. Samsung Elec tronics has grown to become a leader in mobile technology, with its smartphone and tablet por tfolios including the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy S4 proving to be extremely popular across all age groups and market segments. The MoU with Zain means the two companies will be in a position to identify and exchange success factors across the markets in which Zain operates, reinforcing the operator ’s ability to deliver Samsung’s latest devices, smartphones, tablets and cameras on the market in a timely and costeffective manner. Zain Group Chief Commercial

Officer, Jawdat Dajani said: “For our customers, this agreement means they will have access to a wide array of Samsung products matched by very appealing and competitive plans. This agreement with Samsung also showcases Zain Group’s drive to push economies of scale to the benefit of its operating companies.” Dajani added, “Samsung is a

remark able company that has been doing exceptionally well in the mobile device space in recent years. The popularity of their products across our markets is huge, and strengthening our relationship with them will be an added value to Zain on several levels.” “We are pleased to partner with Zain Group. The future of this rela-

tionship is already proving to be fruitful. Samsung will work with Zain operators across the MENA region to provide state of the art products to its customers and we look for ward to promoting it throughout the Zain markets,” said Abdel K arim Sawan, Regional Head of Corporate and Operator Sales at Samsung MENA Regional Head Quarters.

WPP celebrates Cannes hat-trick WPP, the world’s leading communications services group, was tonight named holding company of the year at the Cannes Lions Festival for the third time in as many years after a stellar performance from its agencies. The win follows the news earlier this week that the Effie Index has ranked WPP as the world’s most effective holding

company - for the second year in a row. Cannes Lions is the premier global showcase for excellence in communications. The overall prize

is based on the total number of awards won by holding companies’ agencies. WPP registered 2067 points (2012: 1554.5), followed by Omnicom with 1552 (2012: 1375.5) and Publicis with 989.5 (2012: 1032). Consumer insight (market research) agencies - which form 25 percent of WPP’s business - are excluded from Cannes Lions and in

terms of qualifying revenues for the festival WPP is smaller than Omnicom. WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather became the first network ever to

win more than 100 Lions as, in a repeat of 2012’s result, it was named network of the year. WPP companies from more than 40 countries won Lions, across all marketing disciplines. Ogilvy Sao Paulo was named agency of the year. The Group’s agencies were behind many of the stars of the festival. Too numerous to list in full, they

included Ogilvy Brasil’s all-conquering “Real Beauty Sketches” campaign for Dove, Y&R Dubai’s “Sale” work for Harvey Nichols,

Grey London’s “Hard, Fast And Effective” for the British Hear t Foundation, Ogilvy Australia’s “Share A Coke”, Y&R Macedonia’s “10 Meters Apar t ” for the Government of Macedonia, Grey New York’s work for DirecTV, Coke’s “Sharing Can” from Ogilvy France/Singapore, Ogilvy Amsterdam’s “Why Wait Until It’s Too Late?” for Dela, Ogilvy France’s “Outdoor As Utility ” for IBM, “Immortal Fans” for Sport Club Recife by Ogilvy Brasil, “Kleenex Catches Colds” for Kimberly-Clark by Mindshare UK, JW T China’s press work for Samsonite and AKQA’s “Nike+ Kinect Training” innovation. Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, said: “WPP agencies have put in a stunning performance at this year’s festival, where the quality of work has been hugely impressive across the board. I’d like to thank and congratulate everyone who made this result possible. As Cannes Lions and the Effies have recognised, our people are creatively effective, and effectively creative. We’re ver y proud of them all.” John O’Keeffe, Worldwide Creative Director of WPP, said: “The holding company Cannes Lion for WPP, for the third consecutive year, is of course very gratifying. But the Effie award is every bit as satisfying. What we do, we do not for ourselves, but in the service of our clients’ brands the world over. To be judged the best in terms of both creativity and effectiveness is a wonder ful achievement by our people and a great tribute to their talent.”

Marriott Hotels boldly envisions future of travel DUBAI: Reflecting the transformative change happening at its properties, the iconic Marriott Hotels, the signature brand of Marriott International, Inc yesterday launched a new multi-year global marketing campaign. Called “Travel Brilliantly,” it is a bold move amplifying the brand’s dedication to leading the future of travel. The dynamic campaign reflects the lifestyle of the next generation of travelers, who seamlessly blend work and play in a mobile and global world. The campaign includes TV, digital and mobile advertising, a new brand look and logo, and enhanced social media platforms. In addition, Marriott is launching a new website -revealing innovations under development, as well as a co-creation platform to solicit user-generated ideas. At its core, the campaign disrupts the traditional industry idea that a hotel is bound by its four walls. Rather, the campaign shifts the focus, celebrating how the global travel experience opens minds and is inspirational. As the advertising proclaims, “This is not a hotel. It’s an idea that travel should be brilliant... It’s not only about where you’re staying. It’s about where you’re going.” From culinary to design to technology, the new campaign draws on the personal passion points and values of the next generation guest, to create a visual that is emblematic of the new Marriott experience. “The iconic Marriott Hotels brand is transforming itself and reasserting its position as an innovation leader,” said Mara Hannula, vice pres-

ident of global marketing, Marriott Hotels. “Therefore, the campaign had to be bold in not only staking our claim, but also engaging the next generation of travelers to join us in co-creating the future of travel.” To signal change, Marriott created a new brand logo, keeping its iconic “M,” while modernizing its overall appeal. Grey NY, one of the world’s leading advertising and communications agencies developed the integrated campaign and the new brand voice. “The ‘Travel Brilliantly’ campaign re-establishes Marriott’s role as a pioneer in the travel industry,” says Jan Egan, Executive Creative Director, Grey New York. “Beyond creating new industry advancements, Marriott is shifting the process of how these innovations are ideated. By fostering dialogue with guests and engaging the modern traveler to co-create the travel experience through, Marriott will define the future of travel.” The new website, www.travelbrilliantly.comwill be a platform for portraying Marriott’s past and future innovations and soliciting similar, future-forward ideas from influencers, experts and traveling consumer enthusiasts. Visitors to the website are invited to share their groundbreaking ideas to improve the modern travel experience across design, culinary, wellness and technology. Ideas submitted through the end of September will be entered into a Co-Creation contest, where three judges, Shira Lazar, host of “What’s Trending,” Marc Kushner, Co-Founder of

Architizer and Matthew Von Ertfelda, Vice President of Innovation at Marriott will identify top ideas that could truly change the future of travel. Fifteen first prize winners will be chosen and the judges will choose the creator of the best overall idea, who will have the opportunity to travel with and design future innovations alongside Marriott experts, impacting travel for the next generation. Marriott’s new campaign will run online in prominent news and lifestyle outlets, such as Fast Company, Mashable and Wired, and in key mobile placements beginning in June. Television spots featuring ads from the campaign will begin in September. On property elements representing 30 touch points, including key cards, flags, “do not - disturb” hangers, inroom directories will embrace the brand’s new visual look. These will feature a series of topographical maps and travel-inspired patterns, inviting travelers begin their journeys with and then beyond the hotel. As a part of Marriott Hotel’s transformation, the iconic brand has been innovating throughout its hotels globally. Re-designed lobbies and public spaces known as Greatrooms are being rapidly deployed for the next generation of travelers who blend work and play, demand style and substance, and require technology. As the industry leader in hosting meetings, Marriott is introducing new concepts designed for the new mobile worker including Workspring at Marriott, Red Coat Direct and Workspace on Demand.

Help families reunite this Ramadan with Lufthansa KUWAIT: Lufthansa German Airlines is calling on all caring souls this Ramadan to nominate a friend or colleague who they think would love to be reunited with their family. From June 25 to August 9, the public can nominate and vote via Lufthansa will provide the 10 nominees with the most votes with free tickets to fly them back home. “The world is connected and it should be a simple thing to travel from one destination to another. But sometimes, for people who are overseas it’s not always so easy. At Lufthansa, we believe everyone should be able to spend time with the people they love, and we can help make the world a smaller, happier place. That’s why this Ramadan, Lufthansa is taking the initiative to encourage people to see and do something good for others,” said Carsten Schaeffer, Lufthansa Vice President, Sales and Services for Southeast Europe, Middle East and Africa. “It is rewarding to help. So, join the campaign and play an important role in

supporting someone to reunite with their loved ones.” Anyone from Kuwait can nominate someone they know through anytime during the campaign period. Once the nominated person consents to being part of the initiative, voting then begins. Deadline to vote is on 09 August 2013, at 22:59 Kuwait time (reference at 23:59 UAE time). The 10 people with the highest number of votes will get to fly to their families via Lufthansa German Airlines. The top three will fly Business Class while the remaining seven will travel Economy Class. Terms and conditions apply. Lufthansa Group - including Lufthansa German Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines and Brussels Airlines flies to over 280 destinations in more than 100 countries. Specifically, Lufthansa operates daily flights between Kuwait and Frankfurt.

Marriott Rewards takes off with airline partner ‘Saudia’ Airlines KUWAIT: Marriott Rewards members traveling throughout the Middle East can now earn ‘Saudia’Airlines - Alfursan Miles for stays at more than 3,700 Marriott International hotels in 70 countries across 14 distinctive brands. Marriott Rewards(r) points can also be redeemed for Alfursan Miles. Saudia is the flagship carrier airline of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is based in Jeddah. It operates domestic and international flights to over 92 destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, and by recently joining the SkyTeam Global Airline Alliance it expanded its flight connections to over 1,000 international destinations via 19 partner airlines. Alfursan is the Frequent Flyer program of Saudia with one of the largest membership bases in the Middle East region. Alfursan was the first frequent flyer program to launch in the region, catering predominantly to the residents of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Alfursan offers highly attractive global rewards and privileges to its members including unrestricted access to reward seat and upgrades on more than 15,000 daily flights. There are43hotels in Marriott’s family of brands in the Middle East, including eight hotels in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where members can earn and redeem Marriott Rewards points. Brands include JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels& Resorts, Renaissance Hotels,

Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, Marriott Executive Apartments, and Marriott Rewards’ luxury hotel partner, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC. Marriott Rewards has no blackout dates and members can earn and redeem points at more than 3,700 Marriott International hotels around the world. In addition to hotels and frequent flyer miles, members can also redeem points for merchandise, cruises, car rentals and more. Marriott Rewards won the Freddie Award for “Best Hotel Rewards Program in the Americas” five years in a row and won the 2010 and 2009 Frequent Traveler Award for “Best Hotel Program in the Americas” and has been named best hotel rewards program by the readers of Business Traveler, Global Traveler, Executive Travel and BusinessWeek magazines.



High-tech tombstones let loved ones live on, virtually PHILADELPHIA: Rick Miller kneels in front of a grave and uses his cell phone to scan a small barcode on a tombstone. Within seconds, he’s looking at photos and videos of a lost loved one. But that’s not all. Without leaving this vast cemetery in a suburb of Philadelphia, he can listen to the deceased’s favorite music, read remembrances, write in a guest book and even share pictures and feelings on Twitter or Facebook. Here at Sunset Memorial Park, ever yone equipped with a smartphone or tablet can do the same, provided they download the proper app. All it takes is a simple scan of a QR code - a square, black barcode stuck to the tombstone - to learn about Lance Clinton Erb, laid to rest beneath a bronze plaque engraved with the years of his birth and death - “1947-1990” and a picture of his beloved pet Labrador. For almost a year now, Miller and his wife Lorie - Erb’s stepdaughter have specialized in the sale of QR memorials through their “Digital Legacys” business - one of just a few to

offer such a service in the United States. Giving a grave that high-tech edge doesn’t take much. All one has to do is email the couple photos, videos, documents and music linked to the departed, which they then assemble into a tribute on a secure website. Surviving family members then get a tag with the QR code - complete with a heavy duty, weather-resistant adhesive - in the mail. The installation takes a mere 30 seconds. “It’s very simple,” Miller told AFP. “It is a great idea for a lot of reasons, particularly for young children who have had family members that they never got to know.” Using this technology, their young daughter can become familiar with her grandfather who passed away several years ago, he said. “She can be at the cemetery and scan and remember somebody that she never met, and be able to see that person and learn about that person.” If loved ones want to update their online memorial, the Millers can take care of that, too. “People love the idea,” Miller said in the grassy, peaceful setting

marked by dozens of miniature US flags fluttering near the final resting places. “It is such a great way to mix technology with the legacy of somebody, and have the ability to remember them and see them up close.” “It’s a kind of lighthearted way to remember,” Lorie Miller added. “People come to the grave, talk to people, look at the pictures, and say ‘I remember that wedding,’ or ‘I remember that suit’...” And the price tag for this digital legacy? A lifetime subscription sells for $149.99 and encompasses the QR code and the online memorial. A year is $99.99. Buyers can add a password so that only family members have access to the material. The Millers started the project to memorialize their loved ones in a different way, but don’t plan to stop there. Since starting their business, they have received inquiries from around the United States - and even as far afield as Australia. Some older cemeteries have an interest in the technology because they can display tags on historic graves, enabling visitors to learn about events

PHILADELPHIA: Rick Miller, co-founder of Digital Legacys, reads a QR code attached to a memorial plaque at Sunset Memorial Park on June 16, 2013. — AFP long ago associated with those laid to to tell the stories of celebrities. “People rest there, according to Rick Miller. Lorie give us ideas, ask us about different posMiller is also considering using QR codes sibilities,” she said. — AFP

Mexicans turn to social media as drug war rages

Robot says space mission ‘big stride’ for androids TOKYO: A talking robot that will accompany a Japanese astronaut in space this summer says the cosmic tour will be one giant leap for androids everywhere. In a scene straight out of Star Wars, the pint-sized Kirobo fielded questions from curious journalists who asked what it was going to do in space. “This may look a small step, but it will be a big stride as a robot,” the blackand-white humanoid robot outfitted with bright red boots told a press briefing in Tokyo. Its creators said they were sending the robot into space to act as a chatting partner for astronaut Koichi Wakata, who is set to arrive at the International Space Station (ISS) later this year. Kirobo is to arrive in August in what its handlers say is the first visit for a robot at the space station. Wakata will also be the first Japanese astronaut to command the ISS. “Kirobo will remember Mr Wakata’s face so it can recognise him when they reunite up in space,” said creator Tomotaka

Takahashi. “He will be the first robot to visit the space station.” Standing at just 34 cm tall and weighing about one kilogram, the little android is programmed to communicate in Japanese and keep records of its conversations with Wakata. The robot, which has a wide range of physical motion, will also play a role in some missions, relaying messages from the control room to the astronaut, Takahashi said. Back on earth, twin robot Mirata will be on the lookout for any problems encountered by its electronic counterpart. Takahashi, who said he was inspired by legendary animation character Astro Boy, said he now wants to create a miniaturised robot that owners could carry in their pocket like a smartphone. “By bringing a robot into space, the development of a symbiotic robot is expected to move along much faster,” Takahashi said, referring to effor ts at making robots even more human-like. — AFP

SK Telecom introduces world’s fastest network SEOUL: South Koreaís SK Telecom announced yesterday the launch of a new generation mobile network that offers speeds twice that of its existing long term evolution (LTE) network and 10 times that of 3G services. The new LTE-Advanced, which will be immediately available in Seoul and 40 other cities, will allow users to download an entire movie in about 40 seconds. The network was launched in conjunction with a new LTE-A capable version of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone, and SK Telecom said half-a-dozen other compatible smartphones were expected to be offered in the second half of 2013. “LTE-A will... give birth to new mobile value-added services that can bring innovative changes to our customerís lives,” said Park In-Sik, president of Network Business

Operations at SK Telecom. The company plans to use the new network to launch a group video-calling service for up to four users which it claims will boast 12 times better video quality and audio quality twice as clear than any existing service. One of the most wired countries on earth, South Korea already has around 20 million 4G users. In May, researchers at Samsung Electronics said they had successfully tested super-fast 5G wireless technology that would eventually allow users to download an entire movie in one second. The South Korean giant said the test had witnessed data transmission of more than one gigabyte per second over a distance of two kilometres. However, the new technology will not be ready for the commercial market before 2020 at the earliest. — AFP

SEOUL: A South Korean model shows Galaxy S4 smartphones displaying wireless data speed via SK Telecom’s new mobile network, LTE-Advanced, yesterday. — AFP

MEXICO CITY: They tweet and blog about street gunfights and murders in Mexican regions plagued by the drug war, keeping people informed about gangland crimes which local newspapers are too afraid to report on. With traditional media often intimidated by drug cartels, social media has given Mexicans a way to stay appraised about the dangers lurking in their towns and cities. “They are killing like crazy! There’s a shootout in the Lazaro Cardenas neighborhood. Steer clear of that area,” read a warning tweeted by a writer in the northern city of Monterrey, the country’s industrial heart now beset by drug violence. Monterrey, which has found itself caught in the crossfire in a turf war between the Zetas and the Gulf cartel, is just one city where reporting on drug crime is moving to social media. Analysts from, led by Mexican researcher Andres Monroy Hernandez, followed for 16 months the Twitter activity of people in Monterrey, Reynosa, Saltillo and Veracruz-all cities heavily affected by drug cartels. Their report, “The New War Correspondents: The rise of civic media curation in urban warfare,” noted a prevalence of words like “bomb blasts,” “gunshots” and “gunmen” on the microblogging site between August 2010 and November 2011. Just one-third of Mexicans have access to the Internet, and only 20 percent of them write daily on Twitter. But in the four cities studied by, there are “twice as many retweets” than in US cities like Seattle, Monroy Hernandez said. The study found that the day with the heaviest Twitter activity was on August 25, 2011, when alleged members of the Zetas torched the Casino Royale of Monterrey, leaving 52 people dead. Pictures from the deadly attack and names of victims were shared 7,000 times. The analysts have identified a half dozen Twitter accounts seen as must-follow sources on the latest development in the drug war. From the greater safety of anonymity with no bylines, these “social media curators” spend as much as 15 hours each day gathering information about particularly horrifying acts of violence. “They have a lot of visibility in these cities but they try to stay anonymous,” said Monroy Hernandez, who interviewed the curators and found that most are ordinary citizens reporting on crime for altruistic reasons. One curator who only gave her name as Claudia said: “It’s as if I had a new beat covering social media covering the urban warfare that we are currently experiencing.” The epidemic of drug violence that has claimed more than

70,000 lives in Mexico since 2006 has made this one of the most dangerous countries for journalists. Since 2000, 86 journalists have been killed and another 18 have gone missing, according to Mexico’s Human Rights Commission. The rise of social media reporting is a result of “the role of the press as a provider of information being hampered, the increased pressure it finds itself under, the lack of protection afforded journalists-and the dangerousness of the drug traffickers,” said Octavio Islas, director of strategic digital communication at the Monterrey Institute of Technology. Despite their efforts to stay in the shadows, some bloggers have faced the wrath of drug gangs. A government official who works in the intelligence field said cartels have ways to access information, intercept phone calls and determine the identity of a site’s administrator. In September 2011, the decapitated body of a 39-year-old mother of two was found in Nuevo Laredo, which borders the United States. Next to her body, police found a keyboard and a note

explaining that she was killed for her online writing about organized crime. A few days earlier, the bodies of a man and a women-both bloggerswere found hanging from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo. The victims were correspondents “who regularly sent us information,” said a woman who goes by the name Lucy and who edits “El Blog del Narco,” which publishes stories, graphic photos of headless bodies and videos about the daily violence. Lucy was forced to flee to Spain after the disappearance of her partner, who had been in charge of maintaining security for the site. She used online posts from journalists, police, soldiers, taxi drivers, housewives and even members of the crime gangs, all of whom provided photos, videos and other documentary evidence of the heinous drug trafficking business. Another blogger uses a Facebook page, “Valor de Tamaulipas,” to report on one of Mexico’s most crime-plagued states. Crime syndicates offered nearly $47,000 for information about the blogger, but the page’s administrator has refused to stop posting about crime. —AFP

This screen grab from social network website Twitter shows information provided by Mexican civilian vigilantes. Social network websites have become a new platform for civilian vigilante groups in areas overrun by drug cartel-related violence, where traditional media has been silenced. — AFP

Mobile malware hits corporate networks WASHINGTON: Smartphone users have seen an explosion of malware in the past year, dominated by schemes targeting Google’s Android operating system, a survey showed yesterday. The attacks are also starting to hit corporate networks, possibly as part of broader espionage efforts, according to the Juniper Networks Mobile survey. The report showed a 614 percent jump in mobile malware in the 12 months to March 2013, with Android attacks accounting for 92 percent. The prevalence of Android malware is not surprising in light of its dominance of the global smartphone market - around 75 percent - Juniper said the open platform with less regulation makes it more prone to attacks. “Android does not have as rigorous a vetting system” as rival platforms such as Apple’s iOS and BlackBerry, said Karim Toubba, a Juniper vice president. “But the reality is that all the operating systems have vulnerabilities.” Toubba said the dominant scheme to “monetize” the attacks involves SMS text messages which infect a smartphone and surreptitiously deliver new messages to a “premium” SMS service, for a fee. These services, which mimic legitimate ones such as those for voting on TV programs, can charge small fees such as 10 cents or 50 cents. The hackers can quickly cash in by infecting large numbers of devices, and can easily shut down and set up new numbers to avoid detection. “They can spin it down and leave no trace,” said Toubba. The typical SMS Trojan takes in a quick $10 for the attacker, with profits multiplying as the schemes are repeated. Many users are tricked into installing malware by messages or emails disguised as software updates. Toubba said some malicious software gets into official channels such as Google Play and the Apple App Store, but that third-party vendors have much more malware. “These marketplaces are popular targets which provide little to no review process,” Toubba said. Not surprisingly, the survey found many of these malicious apps stemming from sites in Russia and China. Apple users who “jailbreak”

their iPhones to use on unauthorized carrier networks often use these third-party networks because they may get locked out of the App Store. Many users fail to even notice when their device is infected, because it may result in a charge of just a few cents on their phone bill. Juniper found that more sophisticated attacks are starting to emerge, including those that create “botnets” to expand the infections, and other schemes which can be part of a broader corporate or government espionage effort. “They can use the mobile device to do reconnaissance and

go deeper into the corporate network,” Toubba said. This is particularly worrisome for companies which allow employees to use their own devices for corporate networks. Juniper’s report said it “saw several attacks that could potentially be used to steal sensitive corporate information or stage larger network intrusions.” “It is clear that the threat of mobile malware to corporate devices is no longer a theoretical one. We expect the presence of mobile malware in the enterprise to grow exponentially in the coming years,” the report said. — AFP

Kaspersky and partners fine-tune racing strategy DUBAI: Over 70 Kaspersky Lab partners from Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America gathered in Kiev for the 5th regional partner conference for emerging markets early in June 2013. A bit like a Formula One race (Kaspersky Lab has longstanding partnership with Ferrari and its racing team), the partners’ meeting is a kind of pit stop, a brief opportunity to update our plans and goals, pull the team together and to set off once again with renewed vigor. Kaspersky Lab has always considered its partners an integral part of its bigger international team and attributes the lion’s share of the company’s success in the world IT market to them. As a result, the company pays close attention to local projects and initiatives, giving our partners freedom to implement their own business plans and helping to maximize opportunities for development. The pit stop in Kiev discussed several key issues - joint marketing, new projects, cutting-edge products and services - to help our partners to stay ahead of the competition. The meeting paid

special attention to the strategy of Kaspersky Lab and its partners in the corporate segment. This is a key area of development in the emerging markets. Currently, Kaspersky Lab is the third largest vendor of corporate security sales in the macro-region; in the near future the company and its partners expect to strengthen the brand’s position throughout all emerging markets. Kaspersky Lab is ready to offer its corporate customers not only the new, integrated Kaspersky Security for Business platform, but also a range of specialized services to protect against specific cyber threats. In addition to discussing the current situation and future plans, Kaspersky Lab paid tribute to the partners who had demonstrated outstanding achievements in 2012. Westcon Security from the Republic of South Africa became the Partner of the Year. The prize for the best project was awarded to GMS, our partner from Ecuador, for its work on protecting online payments to the region’s largest banks using the Secure Payment technology.


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

Finnish teens drinking and smoking less HELSINKI: Finnish teens are drinking and smoking less, a study published yesterday showed, attributing the decline to adver tising restrictions, increased controls and higher sales taxes on the products. The trend was welcomed in Finland, where “binge-drinking and alcohol consumption remains relatively high” compared to the rest of Europe, the authors of the study, from

the University of Tampere, said. The report is conducted every two years and submitted to the government. The number of teens between the ages of 14 and 18 who said they smoked daily fell from 26 percent in 2001 to 12 percent. And 12 percent said they drank alcohol to get “very drunk” at least once a month, compared to 22 percent in 1997. The share

of teens who said they never drank alcohol rose to 39 percent, the highest level recorded since 1983. The authors of the study said the decline was the result of stricter regulations on advertising for alcohol and tobacco, increased controls, and higher taxes. In Finland, where consumers must be 18 years old to buy alcohol and cigarettes, shopkeepers are now required

to ask for identity papers for anyone who looks to be under the age of 30. And since 2012, shopkeepers are not allowed to display cigarettes openly, keeping them out of view instead. Advertising of weaker alcoholic beverages, such as beer, has also become more strictly regulated. The government plans to extend a ban on advertising to include public

spaces such as bus stops and social media networks on the I nternet. “Advertising alcohol gets people to start drinking at a younger age,” the study said. The authors hailed the government for systematically raising taxes on alcohol and tobacco, with three hikes since 2009. “This development should be supported by every means,” the study said.—AFP

Tableware color influences food flavor PARIS: British hospitals use red trays in a program to combat malnutrition, but may have chosen the worst possible color, according to a study yesterday linking the tinge of tableware to food enjoyment. Researchers from the University of Oxford contributed data to the growing body of evidence that the color, size, weight and shape of eating utensils, cups and plates have a big influence on what people taste. Their findings on cutlery tally with previous research for crockery colors, including the discovery that red tends to limit food intake, they said. “Red could... be used to serve food to people who need to reduce their food intake, but should certainly not be used for those who are underweight,” the team wrote in the journal Flavor. British hospitals use red trays to make it easier for nurses to identify people who need help eating. “Red appears to be the worst possible tray color... for those individuals who are being encouraged to eat more,” the researchers warned. In a series of experiments, the team used utensils of different colors, shapes and weight to gauge the impact on the perceived taste of the same food among dozens of volunteers with normal vision. Among other things, they found food eaten from a

knife tasted saltier than eaten with a spoon, fork or toothpick, and “more expensive” when eaten with lightweight plastic spoon. Such outcomes may be explained by the role of advertising and packaging or an individual’s personal associations with certain colors said the team. “How we experience food is a multisensory experience involving taste, feel of the food in our mouths, aroma, and the feasting of our eyes,” the authors wrote in a statement. “Even before we put food into our mouths our brains have made a judgment about it, which affects our overall experience.” Such knowledge could be used to subtly influence the eating patterns of people who ingest too much or not enough, said the authors. In January this year, researchers at the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the University of Oxford said a group of volunteers had rated hot chocolate tastier when ser ved in orange- or cream-colored mugs, compared to white or red. Previous research had found that yellow containers boost the perception of lemon flavor in soft drinks; beverages with cold colors, like blue, seem more thirst-quenching than warm colors like red; and pink drinks are perceived as more sugary.—AFP

Doctor claims breakthrough in race for spinal ‘cure’ HONG KONG: A leading researcher into severe spinal cord injuries yesterday said trials for stem-cell therapy showed groundbreaking results in giving immobile patients the ability to walk again. After progress in a second round of tests using stem cells to regrow nerve fibres, the China Spinal Cord Injury Network (ChinaSCINet) has applied for regulatory approval in China for a third and final phase, which it hopes to start in the autumn. “This will convince the doctors of the world that they do not need to tell patients ‘you will never walk again’,” US-based doctor Wise Young, chief executive officer of ChinaSCINet, told AFP. He said that 15 out of 20 patients in the Chinese city of Kunming, who received umbilical cord blood cell transplants and intensive walking therapy, were on average able to walk with minimal assistance seven years after complete spinal cord injury. “It’s the first time in human history that we can see the regeneration of the spinal cord,” Young said. The treatment involves injecting umbilical cord blood mononu-

clear cells into patients’ damaged spines to help regenerate nerves, while lithium is used to promote the growth of the nerve fibres. Each component of the combination therapy will be tested in the third phase, which Young said would involve 120 patients in China and another 120 across India, Norway and the United States. “If the phase three trial is successful, we should have achieved worldwide regulatory approval by the beginning to the middle of 2015,” he said. ChinaSCINet, a non-profit organization that calls itself the world’s largest clinical trial network for spinal cord therapies, was established in Hong Kong in 2005. “Hong Kong is going to be way ahead of all the other countries if the spinal cord injury trial turns out to be positive,” Young said. “That means Hong Kong will be the centre for stem-cell therapies.” Young also said China is investing heavily into stem-cell research, while the technology remains highly controversial in the United States because of the anti-abortion camp’s concerns about cells derived from human embryos.—AFP

BANGKOK: (Left) In a picture taken on June 24, 2013, a Thai traffic policeman directs traffic on a street. (Right) Traffic policeman, sergeant major Nitas Saisaard, joins colleagues in an exercise program at a hospital in Bangkok.—AFP photos

Thailand’s traffic cops battle the bulge BANGKOK: Bellies wobbling and chubby limbs swinging, dozens of sweaty traffic cops exercise to the rhythm of Thai pop songs as part of a scheme to reduce the number of overweight police in Bangkok. Poor diets and long hours in a sedentary job on the city’s gridlocked streets have left the Thai capital’s traffic police prone to piling on the pounds. But their health-and the public image presented by potbellied officers-has become such a worry that police bosses have laid on free fat-busting classes, enlisting nearly 60 volunteers for a twomonth ‘Fit and Firm’ program. After barely a fortnight on the course, Senior Sergeant-Major Nitas Saisaard says he now weighs a still hefty 138 kilograms (304 pounds) but has shed six kilos and reduced his waistline by three inches. “When I work, it is definitely difficult... when I am directing the traffic-in the centre of roads, between cars-I sometimes get hit, brushed by wing mirrors,” the 48-year-old explains, sweat rolling down his forehead after a class. But twiceweekly sessions-including yoga and aerobics-are so far working for Nitas, along with a new diet of fruit and soups that banishes his favourite fried street food and bowls of white rice. “I gained weight because I eat a lot at late night... we (traffic police) have uncertain schedules,” says Nitas, who has joined similar schemes before but never quite managed to win his personal battle of the bulge. Bangkok’s Metropolitan Police Bureau wants

cops with waistbands over 36 inches to consider doing the course, enticing them to lose over 10 kilos with prizes of nearly $160 for the best performers. “Senior policemen saw that our officers are too chubby... too fat, so they decided they should lose weight”, said Lieutenant Colonel Sujit Suksamai, who is also taking part in the course. “When police are too fat, they can’t work quickly. Reducing the fat makes them stronger, healthier and faster.” Police chiefs have frequently tried to encourage their colleagues to tackle their expanding paunches by running regular fitness classes including a ‘Fat Fighters’ course earlier this year. Slimming down is also an issue of public confidence in the

police, says health expert Kawita Kruenjit who leads some of the exercise and health sessions at a Bangkok private hospital. “When the general public see fat police they wonder ‘how are they going to run after the bad guys?’” she added. In their defense, police say the stress of 15-hour shifts guiding traffic in one of the world’s most congested cities, where they receive little love from motorists who routinely stew in hour-long traffic jams, makes the job incompatible with a healthy lifestyle. But it is the traffic police’s proclivity for the cheap, fatty treats dished out by Bangkok’s ubiquitous street stalls that are doing the most damage, according to Doungrut Wattanakitkraileart, who researches

BANGKOK: Traffic policeman, sergeant major Nitas Saisaard, joins colleagues in an exercise program at a hospital in Bangkok.

the health of police officers at Bangkok’s Mahidol University. More than half of 265 traffic police she surveyed in 2011 in one Bangkok district suffered high cholesterol. “Food on sale near police stations is unhealthy, it is oily and saltycoconut milk curries and fattening dishes... officers can just walk to the front of their police stations and buy their food”, she said, adding low wages deter many from a healthier diet. Fit and Firm is changing habits and some attitudes, even among those who are only marginally on the wrong side of scales. “The first time after 45 minutes of aerobic dance non-stop, my whole body was stiff. But now... I can do it non-stop,” senior sergeant major Wichien Noppan, who is just over 90 kilos, said proudly. “We have to appear in public, so looking smart comes first and our look and shape should be firm,” he added. But for others the prospect of slimming down remains distant as long as Bangkok’s street food stalls continue to tempt with delicious, if calorie-heavy, meals. Scoffing a lunch of white rice and a Thai curry in a traffic booth at a busy intersection in central Bangkok, Sub Lieutenant Banyong Wannawong admits it is hard to change the eating habits of a lifetime. Weighing in at a scale-tipping 130 kilos that means his uniform sticks tightly to his paunch, Banyong pithily explains why he is unlikely to trim down anytime soon. “My favorite foods are fattening... I could eat them less but I won’t enjoy them as much.”—AFP

Scientists find neighbor star with 3 planets in life-friendly orbits FLORIDA: A neighbor star has at least six planets in orbit, including three circling at the right distance for water to exist, a condition believed to be necessar y for life, scientists said on Tuesday. Previously, the star known as Gliese 667C was found to be hosting three planets, one of which was located in its so-called “habitable zone” where temperatures could support liquid surface water. That planet and two newly found sibling worlds are bigger than Earth, but smaller than Neptune. “This is the first time that three such planets have been spotted orbiting in this zone in the

same system,” astronomer Paul Butler, with the Carnegie Institution in Washington, DC, said in a statement. Scientists say the discovery of three planets in a star’s habitable zone raises the odds of finding Earth-like worlds where conditions might have been suitable for life to evolve. “Instead of looking at 10 stars to look for a single potentially habitable planet, we now know we can look at just one star and have a high chance of finding several of them,” astronomer Rory Barnes, with the University of Washington, said in a statement. Additional

observations of Gliese 667C and a reanalysis of existing data showed it hosts at least six, and possibly, seven planets. The star is located relatively close to Earth, just 22 light years (129 trillion miles/207 trillion km) away. It is about one-third the size of the sun and the faintest star of a triple star system. In addition to the three well-positioned “superEarths,” two more planets may orbit on the fringe of the star’s habitable zone and also could possibly support life. The research will be published this week in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.—Reuters

Heart disease deaths show dramatic decline in Europe CONCORD: In this image taken on June 10, 2013, patriotic lemonade is shown.—AP

A healthy lemonade chilled with a patriotic glow NEW YORK: If you’ve never tasted fresh lemonade, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s just so much more vivid than the supermarket stuff, much more about the lemon and less about the sugar. True, juicing the lemons can be a pain, but the process becomes very near painless if you star t by softening the lemons in the microwave for 30 seconds. Then all you have to do is add sugar syrup - a mixture of sugar and water, heated until the sugar is dissolved - and some cold water. Done. In short, it’s hard to top fresh lemonade all by itself. Still, for those so inclined, there are plenty of ways to gild this lily. You can infuse the sugar syrup with fresh herbs. You can add seltzer. You can com-

bine it with other fruit juices, including cranberry, apple and pomegranate. Or you can glorify it with flavor-packed ice cubes. My favorite ice cubes for lemonade (or iced tea) are pureed fruit cubes. Almost any fruit will work. Just puree it, pour the puree into ice cube trays and freeze them. The right tool for this job is a blender, which purees the fruit more completely than a food processor or an immersion blender. Of course, you can still use those other tools if they’re the only ones you have at hand. By the way, if you want to get all fancy, you’re welcome to strain the puree before you freeze it, though the gain in smoothness will also mean a loss in fiber.—AP

Rising rates of obesity, diabetes may cancel out gains LONDON: The number of people dying from heart disease in Europe has dropped dramatically in recent decades, thanks largely to the success of cholesterol-lowering drugs and drives to persuade people to quit smoking, scientists said yesterday. Cardiovascular disease death rates have more than halved in many countries in the European Union since the early 1980s, according to their study in the European Heart Journal. Yet heart disease - which can lead to fatal heart attacks and strokes - remains a leading cause of death in the region and rising rates of obesity and diabetes could soon start to reverse progress made in the past 30 years. “For the most part and for most countries this is good news the death rates have come down quite substantially in the last 30 years,” said Nick Townsend of Britain’s Oxford University, who worked on the study. “But what we don’t want to say is that the job is done, because we know by looking at trends

in other conditions that they could reverse the trends we’ve worked so hard to achieve in heart disease.” According to the World Health Organisation, cardiovascular diseases kill around 17 million people globally each year. Townsend’s team looked at deaths from coronary heart disease between 1980 and 2009 in both sexes and four age groups: under 45, 45 to 54, 55 to 64, and 65 years and over. They found that almost all EU countries had a large and significant decrease in death rates from heart disease over the last three decades in both men and women when all the age groups were considered together. Britain, Denmark, Malta, The Netherlands and Sweden had the largest declines in death rates for both sexes, while among men in Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, the decreases were small and not statistically significant. In Romanian men, there was a small but statistically significant increase. Although the study did not look specifically for causes, Townsend said the

progress was probably mainly due to better drugs - such as statins to treat high cholesterol and anti-hypertensives to treat high blood pressure - as well as lower rates of smoking in the region overall. He warned, however, that other risk factors, such as obesity and diabetes, were a real concern: “It could lead to a future time bomb, whereby these fantastic gains in terms of heart disease mortality could start to reverse with the impact of rises in obesity and diabetes.” Commenting on the study’s findings, Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the British Heart Foundation charity, said while the picture of heart disease mortality is improving “we’re an awful long way from back-patting and handclapping”. “More than 2 million people are battling coronary heart disease in the UK and while our work in science labs and (in) improving prevention and care has made a huge difference, that’s 2 million people too many,” he said in a statement.—Reuters

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


Space capsule returns from mission to Chinese lab BEIJING: A Chinese space capsule with three astronauts landed safely yesterday on the country’s northern grasslands after a 15day trip to a prototype space station, marking the latest success for China’s manned space program as it enters its second decade. The Shenzhou 10’s descent module landed by parachute in the vast territory of Inner Mongolia early yesterday with the three crew members smiling and waving on live television after wriggling through the blackened capsule’s narrow hatch.

“Space is our dream, the fatherland is our home. Thanks to all compatriots who supported us and best wishes for the wealth and success of our fatherland and the ever greater happiness of our people,” mission commander and two-time space traveler Nie Haisheng said to the cameras. Wang Haiping, China’s second female astronaut to complete a mission, said the trip had been especially worthwhile for the opportunity to conduct China’s first science class in space, beamed live to 60 million schoolchildren

BEIJING: In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, the re-entry capsule of China’s Shenzhou 10 spacecraft lands in Siziwang Banner, north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region yesterday.—AP photos

across the country. “I hope all our young friends may wish beautiful dreams and may their dreams come true,” said Wang, who, like her two colleagues, was still clad in her space suit and seated under bright sunshine in white folding chairs in front of the roundedged module. Back at the Beijing command center, manned space program director Zhang Youxia declared the mission China’s longest to date - a “complete success” and said all three astronauts were in perfect health. He was followed by the Communist Party’s seventh-ranked official, Zhang Gaoli, who conveyed congratulations from the party leadership and declared that the manned program was entering a new and more challenging stage. The program has “tremendous significance for the advance of our country’s economic and technological strength and ethnic unity, and displays the great Chinese path, spirit and power,” Zhang said. China’s military-backed space program is a source of massive national pride, and the successful mission stands as the latest milestone in the party’s smooth consolidation of support under its new leader, President Xi Jinping, who also commands the armed forces. China sent its first astronaut into space in 2003, becoming the third nation after Russia and the United States to achieve manned space travel independently, and has powered ahead in a series of methodically timed steps. Meanwhile, the American program, now in its sixth decade of putting people into space, routinely works on the International Space Station and has longterm plans to go to an asteroid and Mars. The latest Chinese mission was the sec-

BEIJING: (From Lleft) Chinese astronauts Zhang Xiaoguang, Nie Haisheng and Wang Yaping celebrate after getting out of the re-entry capsule of China’s Shenzhou 10 spacecraft. ond crewed trip to the Tiangong 1 experimental space station, launched in 2011. It’s due to be replaced by a three-module permanent station, Tiangong 2, seven years from now. The future station will weigh about 60 tons, slightly smaller than NASA’s Skylab of the 1970s and about one-sixth the size of the 16-nation International Space Station. China was barred from participating in the ISS, largely because of U.S. objections over political differences and the Chinese program’s close military links. Work on Tiangong 2 is going according

to plan, and the station’s laboratory module should be launched around 2015, another leading manned space program official, Wang Zhaoyao, told a news conference yesterday. He said its core module would be launched around 2018 and the entire station assembled by 2020. Alongside the manned program, China is developing the Long March 5 heavier-lift rocket needed to launch the Tiangong 2. It also plans to send a rover to the moon, possibly followed by a crewed lunar mission if officials decide to combine the human spaceflight and lunar exploration programs.—AP


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Announcements Issue of online visa by Indian embassy oreigners requiring visas for India need to apply it online from 16th June 2013. Applicants may log on to the Public portal at After successful online submission, the hard copy, so generated, has to be signed by the applicant and submitted with supporting documents in accordance with the type of visa along with the applicable fee in cash at any of the two outsource centres at Sharq or Fahaheel. It is essential that applicants fill in their personal details as exactly available in their passports. Mismatch of any of the personal details would lead to non-acceptance of the application. Fees once paid are non-refundable. All children would have to obtain separate visa on their respective passports.


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.


8th Expo Pakistan to commence in September he 8th Expo Pakistan will be held from Sept 26 to 29 in Karachi. Held annually, Expo Pakistan is the biggest trade fair in the country showcasing the largest collection of Pakistan’s export merchandise and services. Foreign Exhibitors also use the event to launch their products. Expo Pakistan 2012 was visited by delegates from 52 countries and generated a business of over $ 518 million. A 16 member delegation from Kuwait including reputable companies like Al-Yasra Foods also took part in the last exhibition. Expo Pakistan 2013 is being held under the auspices of the Trade Development Authority Pakistan. Details about the event can be viewed Further information and details of sponsorship can be obtained from the office of Commercial Secretary, Pakistan Embassy, Jabriya (25356594) during office hours.


Citi volunteers in Kuwait mark Annual Global Community Day


iti employees, alumni, family and friends around the world reinforced the company’s commitment to supporting and improving communities by turning out in force during Citi’s eighth annual Global Community Day. InKuwait, Citi volunteers, their families and friendsgot together and donated blood to people in need. The activity was organized in conjunction with the Kuwait Central Blood Bank and falls after the World Blood Donor Day which falls on June 14, 2013. In the days leading up to and including Global Community Day, more than 60,000 Citi volunteers gathered in 95 countries around the world and participated in more than 1,200 service projects to benefit local communities. Volunteerism is a central part of the Citi employee experience, with Citi volunteers regularly engaging in community service year-round. Global Community Day spotlights and reinforcesa shared commitment among Citi employees, clients, alumni, family and friends around the world to collaborate anddedicate

their time and expertise to local community needs, including literacy and education, housing, environmental stewardship, health and human services, and disaster relief. Last year’s Global Community Day on June 16, 2012, was a cornerstone of Citi’s year-long 200th anniversary celebration, and resulted in an extraordinary demonstration of the company’s commitment to service. Continuing that enthusiasm, this year Citi volunteers are contributing more than 300,000 hours of service in 473 cities. As part of Global Community Day, among other efforts, Citi volunteers will serve more than 14,200 meals to the hungry, build 240 houses, and revitalize more than 200 parks, beaches and green spaces. “Since our first Global Community Day in 2006, this company-wide initiative has quickly become a Citi tradition,” said Citi CEO Michael Corbat. “Last year ’s Global Community Day saw the largest participation to date, and we are excited to carry that momentum into this year as we work side-by-side with local organizations to strengthen the communities

where we live and work.” Ozgur Kutay, General Manager of Citibank Kuwait, said: “Global Community Day is a very important day to Citibank. Every year, each country organizes an event with the

objective of giving back to the local community. As this day is falling shortly after the World Blood Donor Day, we are proud of our staff who donated their blood in the hope of saving a life”.

The Embassy of Russia he Embassy of Russia has launched its official page on Facebook social network which can be found by following address: wait All necessary information about Russia, bilateral relations between Russia and Kuwait and information for those who are going to apply visa can be found there. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We’ll be happy to help you.


IMAX IMAX film program Thursday: ** 9:30am Showtime Available for Groups Flight of Butterflies 3D 10:30am, 5:30pm, 8:30pm Born to be Wild 3D 11:30am Tornado Alley 3D 12:30pm, 7:30pm, 9:30pm To The Arctic 3D  6:30pm Friday: Fires of Kuwait 2:30pm Tornado Alley 3D 3:30pm, 5:30pm, 8:30pm To The Arctic 3D  4:30pm, 7:30pm Flight of Butterflies 3D  6:30pm Born to be Wild 3D 9:30pm

English Madrasa for Islamic Studies holds PTA gathering


he English Madrasa for Islamic Studies run by the Educational Board of KIG Kuwait conducted its annual PTA Gathering and Award Ceremony at the Madrasa premises in Darul Quran Salmiya on Saturday June 8, 2013. The Meeting Started with Quran recitation by Master Syed Abdurahman of class 3rd. The Principal Faisal Manjeri presided over the function who briefed the overall achievements of the Madrasa and expressed his gratitude to the PTA office bearers and parents for their valuable criticism, guidance and advice towards creating a successful Madrasa in

Kuwait. He announced the plan of starting a new branch of this institution in next academic year. The Madrasa that was started with an aim to provide Islamic Education to non-Arab speaking expatriates in Kuwait has indeed turned to reality. The Madrasa that functions in Salmiya under the permission of Auqaf Ministry at the premises of Darul Quran has total student strength of around 200 students from various parts of the world including Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, Philippines, USA and Indonesia. It also has an International teaching staff consisting of teachers from

India, Zambia, Singapore and Ghana. It has also introduced a new curriculum that fits all the students from various walks of life and the subjects taught include Fiqh, Tafsir, Hadis, Quran, Islamic History and Islamic Studies. The administrator Nassar Oravinkal welcomed the gathering and expressed the management’s gratitude to all the parents and students for their presence and support. He advised the parents to have an effective partnership between Madrasa and Parents to provide a platform and foundation for any young child to succeed.


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

EMBASSY OF CANADA he 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, U.A.E. 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 will be closed on Monday July 1st 2013, for Canada Day, and will resume its duties on Tuesday 2 July 2013. 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.


These photos taken during Kuwait National Day Liberation Day celebrations, February 2013 show a colorful face of Kuwait and the art of photography by Jleeb based photographer Sijo Abraham.

Dinner held to honor Jordan’s Counsel


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 OF 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

KUWAIT: Royal Jordanian’s Regional Manager in Kuwait Mohammad Al-Atari held a dinner in honor of Jordan’s Counsel Mohammad Al-Khalidi on the occasion of the end of this tenure in Kuwait. The dinner was attended by the military, cultural and labor attaches in the Jordanian Embassy. Al-Khalidi thanked RJs Al-Atari for the dinner and thanked all those present.

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:


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Combat Countdown Reign Of The Dinosaurs Great Planes Chasing Classic Cars Chasing Classic Cars How Not To Become Shark American Car Prospector Alone Against The Tasman Nile: River Of Gods American Car Prospector Legend Detectives Most Evil Chasing Classic Cars Chasing Classic Cars American Car Prospector

14:20 Food Factory 14:45 Food Factory 15:10 Thunder Races 16:00 How Stuff Works 16:55 Mega World 17:45 The Sun 18:35 The Gadget Show 19:00 How Tech Works 19:30 Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger 19:55 Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger 20:20 Fire In The Sky: A Daily Planet Special 21:10 Food Factory 21:35 Food Factory 22:00 Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger 22:25 Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger 22:50 Stuck With Hackett 23:15 Stuck With Hackett 23:40 Food Factory 00:05 Food Factory 00:30 Weird Connections 01:00 Fire In The Sky: A Daily Planet Special 01:50 Stuck With Hackett

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Storage Wars Storage Wars Storage Wars Storage Wars Storage Wars Storage Wars Storage Wars Storage Wars Storage Wars Storage Wars Ax Men Pawn Stars Storage Wars Ancient Aliens Counting Cars Counting Cars American Restoration American Restoration Pawn Stars Storage Wars Ancient Aliens Counting Cars

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Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Switched At Birth Fairly Legal Suits The Hollow Crown Greek Glee The Hollow Crown

03:00 Ben And Kate 03:30 The Simpsons 04:00 Seinfeld 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Two And A Half Men 06:00 All Of Us 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Seinfeld 08:30 Two And A Half Men 09:00 Ben And Kate 09:30 Modern Family 10:00 The Mindy Project 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 All Of Us 12:30 Seinfeld 13:00 Two And A Half Men 14:00 The Simpsons 14:30 The Mindy Project 15:00 Modern Family 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 All Of Us 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 New Girl 18:30 Family Tools 19:00 Community 19:30 Parks And Recreation 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 The League 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 The League

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Marchlands The Syndicate Moving On The Jeremy Kyle Show USA 60 Minute Makeover Emmerdale Coronation Street Coach Trip Come Dine With Me Ireland Vera Dirk Gently The Jeremy Kyle Show USA 60 Minute Makeover Emmerdale

05:15 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 05:35 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 06:00 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 06:30 Doc McStuffins 06:45 A.N.T. Farm 07:10 A.N.T. Farm 07:35 Jessie 07:55 Jessie 08:20 Shake It Up 08:45 Shake It Up 09:05 Austin And Ally 09:30 Austin And Ally 09:55 Good Luck Charlie 10:15 Good Luck Charlie 10:40 A.N.T Farm 11:05 A.N.T Farm 11:25 Jessie 11:50 Jessie 12:15 Austin And Ally 12:35 Austin And Ally 13:00 Shake It Up 13:25 Shake It Up 13:45 The Adventures Of Disney Fairies

14:10 The Adventures Of Disney Fairies 14:35 Suite Life On Deck 15:00 Gravity Falls 15:25 Good Luck Charlie 15:50 Jessie 16:10 Shake It Up 16:35 A.N.T. Farm 17:00 Austin And Ally 17:20 Gravity Falls 17:45 Suite Life On Deck 18:10 Good Luck Charlie 18:30 That’s So Raven 18:55 Austin And Ally 19:20 Jessie 19:40 Gravity Falls 20:05 A.N.T Farm 20:30 Shake It Up 20:50 Suite Life On Deck 21:15 Austin And Ally 21:40 That’s So Raven 22:00 Shake It Up 22:25 A.N.T Farm 22:50 Austin And Ally 23:10 Wizards Of Waverly Place 23:35 Wizards Of Waverly Place 00:00 Hannah Montana Forever 00:20 Hannah Montana Forever 00:45 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 01:05 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 01:30 Emperor’s New School 01:50 Emperor’s New School 02:15 Replacements 02:35 Replacements

14:30 Style Star 15:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 16:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 17:00 What Would Ryan Lochte Do? 17:30 What Would Ryan Lochte Do? 18:00 E! News 19:00 THS 20:00 Kourtney And Kim Take Miami 21:00 Married To Jonas 21:30 Fashion Police 22:30 E! News 23:30 Chelsea Lately 00:00 Scouted 00:55 Style Star 01:25 THS

03:05 Coastal Kitchen 03:30 Food Poker 04:15 Bargain Hunt 05:00 Mitch And Matt’s Big Fish 05:25 Mitch And Matt’s Big Fish 05:50 Cash In The Attic 06:35 Coastal Kitchen 07:00 Food Poker 07:45 Planet Cake 08:15 Phil Spencer - Secret Agent 09:05 Bargain Hunt 09:50 Antiques Roadshow 10:40 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 11:25 MasterChef Australia 12:10 Come Dine With Me 13:00 Planet Cake 13:30 New Scandinavian Cooking With Claus Meyer 13:55 Bargain Hunt 14:40 Cash In The Attic 15:25 Antiques Roadshow 16:15 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 17:00 Phil Spencer - Secret Agent 17:55 The Good Cook 18:20 The Hairy Bikers Come Home 19:20 New Scandinavian Cooking With Claus Meyer 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 Unique Sweets 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 Red, Hot And Yummy 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 Red, Hot And Yummy 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 Red, Hot And Yummy 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 Network Challenge 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 Network Challenge

03:00 Snow White And The Huntsman-PG15 05:30 Every Jack Has A Jill-PG15 07:30 The 16th Man-PG15 09:00 Three Inches-PG15 11:00 Stealing Paradise-PG15 13:00 A Monster In Paris-PG 15:00 Glee: The Concert MoviePG15 17:00 Three Inches-PG15 19:00 Like Crazy-PG15 21:00 Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter-18 23:00 The Amazing Spider-ManPG15 01:15 Marley-PG15

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Now Is Good-PG15 Footloose-PG15 The Darkest Hour-PG15 Winx-FAM Twins Mission-PG15 The Tourist-PG15 And Soon The Darkness-PG15 The Vow-PG15 The Inbetweeners-18 The Tourist-PG15

04:00 Batman: Year One-PG15 06:00 A Mother’s Choice-PG15 08:00 Another Harvest Moon-PG15 10:00 Arthur Christmas-PG 12:00 Johnny English Reborn-PG15 14:00 A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song-PG 16:00 Another Harvest Moon-PG15 18:00 Damsels In Distress-PG15 20:00 Summer Coda-PG15 22:00 The Samaritan-18 00:00 Another Harvest Moon-PG15 02:00 Damsels In Distress-PG15

04:15 Ice Quake-PG15 06:00 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider-PG15 08:00 Iron Sky-PG15 10:00 Transformers: Dark Of The Moon-PG15 13:00 Romancing The Stone-PG15 15:00 Iron Sky-PG15 17:00 Transformers: Dark Of The Moon-PG15 20:00 Primal-PG15 22:00 Amphibious-18 00:00 The Shining-R 02:15 Primal-PG15

08:00 Rookie Of The Year-PG 10:00 Shark Tale-PG 12:00 Larry Crowne-PG15 14:00 Barnyard-PG 16:00 Shark Tale-PG 18:00 Sorority Wars-PG15 20:00 The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard-18 22:00 30 Minutes Or Less-18 00:00 The Janky Promoters-18 02:00 The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard-18


09:00 11:00 13:00 PG15 15:00 17:00 19:15 21:00 23:15 01:00

Me And You-PG15 Win Win-PG15 Taken Back: Finding HaleyMe And You-PG15 Here-PG15 Carmel By The Sea-PG15 A Very Long Engagement-18 Toast-PG15 Sleepy Hollow-18

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ICC Cricket 360 Cricket T20 Super League Futbol Mundial Trans World Sport British & Irish Lions AFL Highlights IRB Junior


Championship 12:00 NRL Full Time 13:00 Live Rugby League State of Origin 15:00 British & Irish Lions 17:00 Cricket T20 20:00 Rugby League State of Origin 22:30 PGA European Tour Weekly 23:00 Inside The PGA Tour 23:30 Trans World Sport

00:30 British and Irish Lions Tour 02:30 WWE Smackdown 04:30 WWE Bottom Line 05:30 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 06:30 NRL Full Time 07:00 Cricket International Twenty20 10:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 11:00 British and Irish Lions Tour 13:00 Champions Tour Highlights 14:00 International Rugby Union 16:00 NRL Full Time 16:30 Rugby League State Of Origin 19:00 Futbol Mundial 19:30 PGA European Tour Highlights 20:30 ICC Cricket 360 21:00 Live Cricket International Twenty20

00:00 Futbol Mundial 00:30 Trans World Sport 01:30 AFL Premiership 04:00 World Cup Of Pool 05:00 World Cup Of Pool 06:00 Trans World Sport 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 Champions Tour Highlights 09:00 Asian Tour Highlights 10:00 Ladies European Tour Highlights 11:00 European Challenge Tour Highlights 12:00 World Cup Of Pool 13:00 World Cup Of Pool 14:00 Golfing World 15:00 Trans World Sport 16:00 ICC Cricket 360 16:30 Ladies European Tour Highlights 17:30 Asian Tour Highlights 18:30 International Rugby Union


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NHL Mass Participation Mass Participation UFC The Ultimate Fighter NHL

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WWE Vintage Collection WWE NXT Ping Pong World US Bass Fishing NHL WWE Smackdown Mass Participation Motor Sports 2013

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Motor Sports 2013 WWE Vintage Collection Mobil 1 The Grid UFC UFC The Ultimate Fighter Motor Sports 2013




ne difference between film noir and more straightforward crime pictures is that noir is more open to human flaws and likes to embed them in twisty plot lines. "The Samaritan" isn't a great noir, but it's true to the tradition and gives Samuel L. Jackson one of his best recent roles. He plays Foley, a con man who was forced to kill his best friend and fellow grifter. He did 25 years in prison for murder, and as we meet him, he's just getting out on parole. He makes a promise to himself that he will never go behind bars again, and that means having nothing to do with crime in any form. He gets a job working construction. It's not that easy. A man named Ethan (Luke Kirby) approaches him with an offer: An easy "Samaritan" con, which means the con man poses as a friend doing the mark a favor. Foley says no. Ethan continues to follow him, turning up everywhere. Foley tells him go to hell, using that anger beneath lowered brows that Jackson does so well. The film takes place in Toronto, not a city often identified with noir, but then noir has no geographical requirements. Perhaps that accounts for the mid-Atlantic polish of a crime boss like Xavier (Tom Wilkinson), who has given Ethan a compelling reason to mastermind the con: He will kill him if he doesn't. Here, as so often, Wilkinson has a compelling screen presence. He's a British actor I first remember particularly noticing in "In the Bedroom" (2001), but he was in many films before and since — more than 100 credits in all. You may recall him from "Michael Clayton," and he has the most touching role in the current "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."

ON OSN PREMIERE Anyway, Ethan has his reasons to recruit Foley. And he eventually reveals another one, which I won't reveal. The strategy is to make it necessary for Foley to return to a life of crime, and Ethan has cards in his hand that Foley doesn't even suspect. The film does a good job of establishing Foley's lonely single life. He works, he lives in a little flat, he hangs out at a bar from the old days, he learns most of his onetime pals are dead or locked up. And now there must be a woman. All noirs have one, usually one with secrets. In the bar, he befriends Iris (Ruth Negga), a slight, sweetfaced girl who needs defending. There's something about her vulnerability that appeals to him. She's like a wounded bird. Hers isn't an erotic appeal, at least not obviously, but who knows where it could lead? I think we're at the point in the story now where I'd better make my excuses and leave. In a proper noir nothing is at it seems, and I'll leave it at that. I will observe, however, that director David Weaver, who co-wrote the script with Elan Mastai, does a precise job of springing his surprises and drawing all the plot threads together into a knot, which he yanks in one of those delicious showdown scenes where personal urgencies and moral compulsions get all mixed up with death and blood. Jackson was a co-producer on this film, probably because he liked the complexity of the role. "The Samaritan" has the patience to establish its setup, and that's important in a noir, in which action deferred is more important than action indulged. The final resolution is perhaps a little hasty. But there's something here.

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Tuition for IGCSE/ TOEL/ IELTS/ GMAT/ SAT and for American, English, Bilingual Schools and University students. Spoken English for all. English teacher - call: 66948099. (C 4446) 24-6-2013 CHANGE OF NAME I, HASEENABIBI Manorsha Fakir holding passport No. J4436269 wish to change my name to Mrs. Hasinabibi Fakir Mohammad Diwan. I, FAKIR Manorsha Pirusha, holding passport No. F8463173 wish to change my name to Fakir Mohammad Pirusha Diwan. (C 4450) 26-6-2013 I, Eshfak Esmailbhai Huseiny, holder of passport No. H2611280 have changed my name to Mustafa Esmailbhai Huseiny. (C 4445) 24-6-2013 FOR SALE Mercedez Benz E230, 1998 model, white color in excellent condition for sale, well maintained, insured up to June 2014. Contact: 99797826. (C 4451) 26-6-2013 Mitsubishi Pajero, 2007 model, single man driven, maintained by Mitsubishi, for immediate sale. Contact: 66101542. (C 4447) Nissan Tiida, 2011 model, silver color (1.8), hatch back, 60,000km, price KD 1,750/-. Contact: 66729295. (C 4448)

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (



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Time 00:05 00:15 00:20 00:25 00:30 00:30 01:30 01:30 02:20 02:30 02:40 02:45 03:05 03:40 03:45 03:50 03:55 04:15 04:20 04:25 05:15 05:55 06:30 06:35 07:00 07:10 07:10 07:20 07:25 08:00 08:20 08:25 08:25 08:50 09:10 09:25 09:25 09:30 09:35 09:40 09:45 09:50 09:55 10:00 10:10 10:15 10:25 11:10 11:10 11:20 11:25 11:30 11:45 11:55 12:25 12:50 13:00 13:20 13:30 13:35 13:40 14:00 14:10 14:10 14:15


58 141 122 673 473 646 617 773 188 471 505 8058 613 252 641 238 512 135 304 538 128 858 216 511 982 184 266 328 558 145 64 220 134 283 394 554 571 62 120 331 648 343 351 403 415 404 619 543 475 171 402 8054 308 230 860 137 301 218 60 205 147 575 554 1540 411 415 528


14:30 14:55 15:05 15:05 15:30 15:40 15:45 16:00 16:00 16:00 16:00 16:30 16:35 16:50 16:55 17:05 17:15 17:20 17:20 17:40 17:50 18:15 18:20 18:20 18:30 18:30 18:40 18:50 19:00 19:25 19:35 19:50 20:05 20:15 20:15 20:20 20:35 20:40 20:45 20:50 20:55 20:55 21:05 21:15 21:20 21:25 21:30 21:30 21:45 21:50 22:00 22:10 22:15 22:20 22:25 22:35 22:40 22:45 23:00 23:00 23:05 23:05 23:20 23:25 23:40 23:50 23:55


stars CROSSWORD 233

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) This is good time to examine and think about what is important and of lasting value. This could be a period of great material gain; it is certainly a time when material things have a great deal of importance. Consider the competition and look at ways to express your own talent regardless of whatever demands may be upon you now. Your career or life-path may depend on your talent for responding and making something out of ideas and insights, whatever is new and challenging. The business world today may call for your ability to react and build on opportunities. You have a clear vision into your own inner sense of values, how you appreciate and love. Today could be a very lucky day for you in many areas of your life.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Your sense of direction and guidance will be helpful to everyone today. You will be called upon to solve problems by using your good sense of direction. In other words, you should be well versed in landmarks, lowlands, highlands, when to move into a different direction, etc. It could possibly be that you are on a ski vacation or you most likely are helping out in some important deliveries. Today, you will be called upon to use those natural homing instincts. There is an innate capacity to negotiate with the law and authorities. You are a good person to give direction or to tell what direction a suspect has traveled. At heart, you have a deep sense of responsibility and purpose and this seriousness is genuine and felt by everyone.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

ACROSS 1. Nocturnal bird of prey with hawk-like beak and claws and large head with front-facing eyes. 4. Write upon. 12. Lacking self-confidence. 15. Liquid excretory product. 16. Irish playwright remembered for his satirical comedies of manners (1751-1816). 17. The corporate executive responsible for the operations of the firm. 18. Jordan's port. 20. United States cartoonist who drew intricate diagrams of very complicated and impractical contraptions that accomplished little or nothing (1883-1970). 22. Australian shrubs and small trees with evergreen usually spiny leaves and dense clusters of showy flowers. 23. Fiddler crabs. 25. Port city on Atlantic coast. 26. Red pear-shaped tropical fruit with poisonous seeds. 28. A field of cultivated and mowed grass. 31. Wild or domesticated South American cudchewing animal related to camels but smaller and lacking a hump. 35. Overgrown with ivy. 37. A former agency (from 1946 to 1974) that was responsible for research into atomic energy and its peacetime uses in the United States. 38. An unwholesome atmosphere. 41. The vein in the center of a leaf. 44. Nocturnal mouselike mammal with forelimbs modified to form membranous wings and anatomical adaptations for echolocation by which they navigate. 45. A sock knitted or woven with a diamondshaped pattern. 47. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 48. A colorless volatile water-soluble liquid aldehyde used chiefly in manufacture of acetic acid and perfumes and drugs. 50. (Greek mythology) A river in Hades across which the souls of the dead were carried by Charon. 53. A Mid-Atlantic state. 54. Low stingless nettle of Central and South America having velvety brownish-green toothed leaves and clusters of small green flowers. 58. A light touch or stroke. 59. United States writer of poems and plays about racial conflict (born in 1934). 64. The size of a book whose pages are made by folding a sheet of paper twice to form four leaves. 68. Being nine more than ninety. 70. A constitutional monarchy in northern Europe on the western side of the Scandinavian Peninsula. 71. A kind of person. 72. A member of the Iroquoian people formerly living east of Lake Ontario. 75. Fleshy spore-bearing inner mass of e.g. a puffball or stinkhorn. 76. The compass point that is midway between north and northeast. 77. In or relating to the duodenum. 79. A rotating disk shaped to convert circular into linear motion. 80. An anxiety disorder characterized by chronic free-floating anxiety and such symptoms as tension or sweating or trembling of light-headedness or irritability etc that has lasted for more than six months. 81. Of or relating to or characteristic of Assam or its people or culture. 82. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth.

DOWN 1. Large elliptical brightly colored deep-sea fish of Atlantic and Pacific and Mediterranean. 2. Flightless New Zealand rail of thievish disposition having short wings each with a spur used in fighting. 3. An accidental hole that allows something (fluid or light etc.) to enter or escape. 4. (Old Testament) The second patriarch. 5. A state in New England. 6. Any abnormality following or resulting from a disease or injury or treatment. 7. A hard brittle blue-white multivalent metallic element. 8. Port city that is the capital and largest city of Latvia. 9. An artificial language that is a revision and simplification of Esperanto. 10. A field game played with a ball (especially baseball). 11. Give qualities or abilities to. 12. The place where some action occurs. 13. A group of cattle or sheep or other domestic mammals all of the same kind that are herded by humans. 14. A Hindu theistic philosophy. 19. A baseball deliberately thrown at the batter's head. 21. A Japanese cheer of enthusiasm or triumph. 24. Widely cultivated herb with aromatic leaf stalks that are eaten raw or cooked. 27. Before noon. 29. Fly a plane. 30. The extent of something from side to side. 32. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 33. (psychoanalysis) An idealized image of someone (usually a parent) formed in childhood. 34. Hungarian choreographer who developed Labanotation (1879-1958). 36. English aristocrat who was the first wife of Prince Charles. 39. A state in the Rocky Mountains. 40. A mark left by the healing of injured tissue. 42. Broken husks of the seeds of cereal grains that are separated from the flour by sifting. 43. Small beads made from polished shells and formerly used as money by native Americans. 46. Showing or causing joy and pleasure. 49. South American armadillo with three bands of bony plates. 51. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 52. Register formally. 55. Informal terms for a mother. 56. In the same place (used when citing a reference). 57. Dried out by heat or excessive exposure to sunlight. 60. The space between two lines or planes that intersect. 61. Any of several tall tropical palms native to southeastern Asia having egg-shaped nuts. 62. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 63. Small terrestrial lizard of warm regions of the Old World. 65. The inner and longer of the two bones of the human forearm. 66. A member of a pastoral people living in the Nilgiri hills of southern India. 67. An onerous or difficult concern. 69. A stick that people can lean on to help them walk. 73. (Greek mythology) The winged goddess of the dawn in ancient mythology. 74. An agency of the United Nations affiliated with the World Bank. 78. A very poisonous metallic element that has three allotropic forms.


Everything external and business-oriented should prosper at this time. Honesty and truth are your guides and you set good examples. You are reaching a peak regarding outward success. Conditions are favorable and it should be easy for you to complete any business or projects in all areas of your life. Things may seem almost magical in the way they work out in your favor. This is a great time to organize and rise above any challenge. Do not procrastinate where health challenges are involved; whether it is you or someone else in your family—make that appointment. Checkups are important for everyone and it may be time to see the dentist or someone is past due for an annual checkup. Plan to stop at an ice cream shop this afternoon.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) This is a great time to reflect and understand your own situation. Work and career should be a primary focus. There is an opportunity to make good decisions. Your employment situation is due for reorganizing and reconstruction. Positive changes are happening. You are at your most practical and what happens now may have a lasting effect on your life direction. Your most essential quality has to do with the very real love and compassion you radiate. Your sense of values and sheer appreciation for life are communicated to all who come to know you. Beyond whatever external considerations may be present, you exude a contagious thankfulness and fondness for things and people. You spend special time with friends tonight.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Today is a day of action and embarking on new projects. You will begin to feel more and more confident and outgoing, a sense of confidence that grows stronger with each passing day. Things that may have been suspended in only a vision for many years will now take on speed, structure and shape. You should plan to work hard and give shape to the ideas you have pored over these last six or seven months. You are beginning to move forward with your dreams and goals and can expect your career to expand and possibly take on a new phase. In summary, from this time forward, expect a more confident, outgoing attitude, for you have brought to close a time of inward examination. There is a growing sense of direction and self-worth now.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) You could be asked to help with some project today. If you already have a great deal of work going on now, you might want to request supervising the project. Careful here—when you have stress, it may affect your sense of independence and originality—for better or worse. Consider coordinating others so that you do not have to worry about the constant little errands. Home life can be most satisfying now. You do not have to leave home to escape from the rat race. Family, home and security seem just about ideal to you. You may be very imaginative with your home and domestic setup. This evening would be a good time to enjoy a dip in the pool or hot tub—yours, your friend’s or the community. A child follows your example this evening.

Word Search

Libra (September 23-October 22) You naturally gravitate toward positions of power and authority. Others see in you a great practical ability and accept you as a leader or authority figure very easily. Your career may be very important to you now, even at the expense of home life—careful here. You have a knack for always finding assistance in whatever career moves you decide to make. If home life needs more attention, it would not be unreasonable to ask you to think about a professional change. Your ability to rally support makes some form of public career quite probable. You may be working with young people this evening in the realm of teacher or coach. Young people feel a kinship toward you and respond to your requests. Make time for your loved ones this evening.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) You could be most persuasive with others and today you find the opportunity to coax or convince a person or persons into your way of thinking. The situation is a natural for having your particular ideas and thoughts understood. You can appreciate the difficulties of others and be understanding of any problems. You could possibly find a position in some type of mediation work. You can discriminate between superficiality and the reality that is hidden. Your mind is naturally interested in all that is psychological. You look to improve working conditions and may find ways to serve and help customers in a timelier manner. You are careful and considerate. A good conversation with those you love is possible this evening.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You may be thinking about how you express yourself and what you want to accomplish in life. Don’t be afraid to project your image. Ideas of group cooperation and communion could further your career. Everything seems to be working together for a change. One of the reasons this is happening is because you are not staying too very long with the nonessentials. In other words, if something does not fit or is not part of your work goals, you set the matter aside for another time. Outer circumstances are favorable and it should be easy for you to push forward in projects and in all areas of your life. Home and family are what holds your attention this evening and the more you interact with family, the more you want contact with them.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) CAPRICORN

You need to feel useful and wanted and are never happy unless you are active and involved. In a business setting today, you may notice that authority figures will be asking your opinion. You could find ways in which to salvage a project through your expertise with a customer or business partner. You are determined to get at the heart of things, whatever is under the surface or behind the scenes. Others will accept your suggestions and ideas. You will find problems or challenges are easily solved this day. Your pursuit of anything secret makes you a researcher or investigator bar none. You can demonstrate great understanding and sensitivity to the needs of others in the workplace or at home and are in a good position to communicate clearly.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Ideas of group cooperation could further your career. Your surroundings, circumstances and support systems are the key link in the chain of your success as well as your peace of mind. When things get hectic, it is in these areas that you can expect to be challenged. You hate a lack of clarity, especially when it comes to your feelings and emotions. Clarity is your priority, however. You work today to make projects move along in a smooth manner. Any misunderstandings will be quickly corrected. You prosper by pursuing your ideals and most deep-seated dreams of how life could be. Don’t be afraid to project your image—make those dreams real. Use your sense of humor this evening—laugh and encourage others.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) Your own basic drive may be at odds with the direction your life is taking. Your home environment, friends and surroundings in general become uncomplicated. Your work or career is in real harmony with the rest of your life, but you may want more. Are we bored you may find, after review and plans are made, that this is a time of good fortune when things open up for you. Your time of reassessment will be rewarded and it will become easy to see which path is the one to take. Opportunities are available and you may find that you want to do almost anything; pace yourself. The home and family scene is likely to be in something of a state of change—this may mean moving, an addition to the family, or some such. An eccentric relative attracts some notice.

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


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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



LIFESTYLE M o v i e s


M u s i c

Mendes’ Chocolate Factory has gala London opening


Festival goers arrive at the Glastonbury Music Festival site, Glastonbury, England yesterday. —AP

Glastonbury festival kicks off with megastars, music but no mud


lastonbury, the world’s largest music festival known for megastars and mud, opened its gates yesterday to 135,000 fans with the Rolling Stones and more than 2,000 other acts set to perform at the sprawling, five-day event. Now in its fifth decade, Glastonbury has grown from a gathering of 1,500 hippies on a dairy farm in 1970, each paying one pound and receiving free milk, to a fami-

ly-friendly festival costing 205 pounds ($315) a ticket with an average age of 36. Campers reluctant to rough it can opt for a more glamorous stay known as “glamping” with accommodation companies offering readypitched tents, golf buggies to navigate the 900 acre site, champagne on ice, and private toilets and hot showers. A major talking point ahead of Glastonbury is Britain’s fickle summer weather with photographs of mud-covered revelers coming to typify the event held on a working farm in southwest England that turns into a huge tented city.

Over the years the event has survived floods, lightning and become known as the origin of “mud-surfing” but this year the outlook for the festival which ends on Sunday looks fair. “The good news is that the weather looks set to be kind to festival goers,” said a spokeswoman for Britain’s national weather service, the Met Office. Early yesterday the site opened to music fans who missed out last year when Glastonbury

skipped a year as control barriers and portable toilets were needed at the London Olympics. For the resources needed at Glastonbury are staggering. Thirteen miles (20 kms) of fence is installed around the site where there are about 350 food stalls, 198 pubs and bars, and up to 1,000 stalls selling everything from blankets to new-age gadgets, with 4,500 toilets and an army of 34,000 workers.

years in music last year and are performing at a list of US and British venues this year. Festival founder Michael Eavis, who now runs the event with his daughter Emily, has publicly expressed his delight in bringing the Rolling Stones’ line-up of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood to Glastonbury. “There’s always a wishlist, and only the best bands are on it - about 20 of ‘em. And we’ve been ticking ‘em off and ticking ‘em off. The Rolling Stones were the only ones that were left,” Eavis told magazine the Radio Times this week. Other headline acts are Britain’s Arctic Monkeys on Friday and British folk band Mumford & Sons on Sunday who confirmed on Tuesday that bassist Ted Dwane is well enough to perform after undergoing surgery this month for a blood clot on the brain. Pop pundits have singled out acts including rapper Dizzee Rascal, indie rock quartet Alt-J, Malian musician Rokia Traore, and US hip hop artist Nas as ones to watch across the 58 stages alongside more eclectic acts such as some exiled Tibetan monks. Despite the draw of the Rolling Stones, the festival was sold out before the veteran rockers were even added to the lineup, snapped up in a record one hour and 40 minutes. For although Glastonbury is part of an increasingly crowded live music calendar in Britain, its popularity remains strong while poor ticket sales have forced other festivals to cancel. British performance rights group PRS for Music estimated there were a record 157 music festivals in the UK in 2012 with ticket sales worth around 180 million pounds. Research by website MSN found music festivals are no longer just a rite of passage for students, with an average age at Glastonbury now 36 and festival-goers spending 425 pounds each. “The festival experience has become a very different affair than it was 10 years ago,” said James McCoy from market research firm YouGov, which conducted a survey on festival-goers’ spending. —Reuters

Record ticket sales This year’s major act at Glastonbury is the Rolling Stones on Saturday who celebrated 50

Singer Chris Brown charged in hit­and­run traffic accident

scar-winning director Sam Mendes has followed “Skyfall” with a sky’sthe-limit return to the stage - a technically spectacular musical version of “Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.” The Mendes-directed musical, based on Roald Dahl’s much-loved - and twice film-adapted - children’s book, got an enthusiastic reception from its opening-night audience Tuesday at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Early reviews were also positive, with critics in the Guardian, Independent and Daily Mirror newspapers and Time Out magazine all awarding “Charlie” four out of five stars. The show features new songs by “Hairspray” duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, along with extravagant sets and costumes by Mark Thompson designed to bring to life the magical confectionary factory run by the flamboyant yet secretive Willy Wonka. Thompson draws on a bag of tricks that ranges from animation to shadow projections, and fans of the book will find most of its flights of visual fantasy recreated onstage, from the factory’s chocolate waterfall to Wonka’s great glass elevator. Playwright David Greig has adapted Dahl’s story of poor but imaginative Charlie Bucket, who finds a golden ticket that allows him a tour of Wonka’s top-secret facility alongside the far less wholesome children Augustus Gloop, Violet Beauregarde, Mike Teavee and Veruca Salt. Douglas Hodge, one of Britain’s leading musical-theater performers, stars as a charming and unsettling Willy Wonka, while Nigel Planer, a former star of 1980s comedy “The Young Ones,” is the cast’s other big name as Charlie’s Grandpa Joe. Tuesday’s premiere was a red-carpet affair, attended by a host of British celebs as well as actresses Uma Thurman and

In this undated theater image released by The Corner Shop shows Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka during a performance of the “Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.” —AP Photos Sarah Jessica Parker, who arrived with her husband Matthew Broderick and their son, James. Producers are hoping “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” - which is booking until May 2014 - will be a stage hit to match Mendes’ screen James Bond blockbuster. —AP

Sarah Jessica Parker, husband Matthew Broderick and their son James, arrive for the opening night of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’ —AP

‘Lone Ranger’ stars have historic roots in justice


ohnny Depp and Armie Hammer fight for justice in their upcoming film, “The Lone Ranger,” but their ancestors did it for real. Genealogy research website revealed Wednesday the two actors descend from historic American freedom fighters. Hammer plays the Lone Ranger and Depp portrays his Native American sidekick, Tonto. Yet the site’s historians discovered that it’s Hammer with the native roots. The 26year-old actor is a descendent of Cherokee

leader and peace advocate Chief Kanagatucko, who was known as “Old Hop” or “Stalking Turkey” because of his age and gait. Researchers said Depp’s eighth greatgrandmother was Elizabeth Key, the first slave in the American colonies to sue for her freedom and win. It happened in 1656 in Virginia, where some of Depp’s ancestors have lived since the early 1600s. —AP

R Palestinian winner of “Arab Idol” Mohammed Assaf, is given an award by a member of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), during press conference at the in Headquarters in Gaza City yesterday. —AFP

Tatum posts his baby’s photo to stop paparazzi


ather than go the route of some celebrity parents, Channing Tatum and his wife Jenna decided to release their newborn daughter’s baby picture. According to Tatum, the choice was simple: be hounded by paparazzi, or control the release of the picture. He chose the latter and posted a family photo on his official Facebook page. While promoting his new action film, “White House Down,” with Jamie Foxx, the 33-year old actor said it was important to take “stalking photographers” out of the equation. “We have paparazzi out in front of everything trying to get the first picture,” he said. “And we didn’t want to sell it.” Tatum added: “We just wanted to let the fans and whoever wanted to see it, and that’s it.” —AP

Actors Jamie Foxx, left, and Channing Tatum attend the “White House Down” premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Tuesday in New York. —AP

&B singer Chris Brown, on probation for beating his former girlfriend, was charged on Tuesday with a hitand-run and driving without a valid license in connection with a May 21 traffic accident in Los Angeles. Brown, 24, allegedly rear-ended another car and faces up to six months in jail on each misdemeanor charge, LA City Attorney spokesman Frank Mateljan said. He will be arraigned in Los Angeles Superior Court on July 15, Mateljan said. Brown called the charges “ridiculous” on Twitter and posted a photo of the car he said was involved in the accident, saying it was “just a dirty car.”“It’s not a hit and run if u get out the car, exchange information (who has NO DAMAGE to either cars). This is really ridiculous,” he wrote on Twitter. “I have a valid drivers (sic) license and I gave the woman the right info. She saw cameras and wanted to make a scene,” Brown said. “I will not stand for this bullying and yellow journalism!”The “Kiss Kiss” singer was sentenced to five years probation, 180 days of community service and domestic violence counseling after pleading guilty to beating singer Rihanna on the eve of the 2009 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Brown, also accused by prosecutors of having cut corners on his court-ordered community service, could be sent to prison if a judge decides that he violated the terms of his probation, which is being handled by a Los Angeles County court. “We will forward the violation on to the county district attorney and they will handle it from there,” Mateljan said. Los Angeles County District Attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison said the office was aware of the charges against Brown but had yet to receive them from the city. “When we are informed by the city attorney, we will consider it,” Robison said. Brown has been involved in a number of highly publicized altercations, including a night club brawl with rapper Drake last year and a fight with R&B singer Frank Ocean outside a West Hollywood, California, recording studio in January. —Reuters

This undated publicity photo from Disney/Bruckheimer Films shows actors, Johnny Depp, left, as Tonto, a spirit warrior on a personal quest, who joins forces in a fight for justice with Armie Hammer, as John Reid, a lawman who has become a masked avenger, The Lone Ranger, from the movie, “The Lone Ranger.” —AP






M o v i e s

Jackson son to testify, day after death anniversary

ichael Jackson’s son Prince was set to take the stand yesterday at his family’s trial against tour promoter AEG Live, a day after fans marked the fourth anniversary of the singer’s death. A family spokesman confirmed that the 16-year-old, the eldest of the late star’s three children, will testify at the civil trial in which AEG Live is accused of negligently hiring the doctor convicted over Jackson’s death. “He is ready for it! He is very confident,” family spokeswoman Angel Howansky told AFP late Tuesday, ahead of the scheduled 9:45 am (1645 GMT) start of testimony in a Los Angeles court-

Fans visit the final resting place of Michael Jackson at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the pop superstar’s death.

Prince Jackson arrives at the Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour in Los Angeles, California, in this January 27, 2012 file photo.

room. Prince Jackson will be by far most prominent witness so far at the wrongful death trial, which started at the end of April. Jackson died at his rented Holmby Hills mansion in Los Angeles on June 25, 2009 of an overdose of surgical anesthetic propofol, administered by his personal doctor Conrad Murray to help him sleep. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 over the death of the 50-year-old self-styled King of Pop. Jackson’s mother Katherine is suing AEG Live, alleging that they negligently hired Murray, a cardiologist, and should have known that he was unsuitable to care for the singer. The current trial, and the 2009 court case, have aired details of Jackson’s long-time struggle with insomnia and abuse of a number of drugs,

including propofol. Jackson’s daughter Paris was also listed before the AEG trial as among witnesses due to be called. But it is now thought unlikely she will testify, after she was hospitalized earlier this month following a suicide attempt. Fans of the singer gathered Tuesday at the Forest Lawn celebrity cemetery, just north of Los Angeles, where Jackson’s body is buried. Huge numbers of flowers were placed on his mausoleum. “You are not alone. In a distance we are apart. Thoughts of you are always in our hearts,” read a banner held aloft by one of hundreds of fans, many dressed in black. As well as thousands of roses, there were hundreds of cards with poems, portraits of Jackson, little banners in front of the mausoleum, and

A quilt made by Japanese fans is seen at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale. —AFP photos paintings of roses, sunflowers and hearts. A couple of people had Jackson umbrellas, one had a silver right glove, while a couple of Jackson impersonators had pictures taken with fans. Yoli Leung, from Hong Kong, said she came every year on the anniversary of Jackson’s death. The manager of a Canadian electronics company, she was there with four other Chinese fans. “It is a long long flight, too tired. We love Michael, we want to be with him,” she told AFP. Asked why they love him, she said: “Not only for his music and performance, but also for his message of love and his heart.” Back at the courtroom downtown, a handful of fans turned up, as many of them have almost every day since the AEG trial started. Spanish fan Raquel Tormo, 35, said she

Bands urge fans to put the phone down T

here are few experiences which compare to the life-affirming thrill of a live music event, knowing that you are one of a privileged few being treated to a display of raw artistic skill and power. But just as the atmosphere reaches fever pitch, a sea of illuminated smartphones obscures the view and shatters the intimacy, reducing your memories to a shaky YouTube clip drowned out by off-key gig-goers. Artists and fans are now speaking out against the rising trend of filming concerts on phones. “People who would rather record a gig than actually look with their own eyes” are challenging the “very essence of the ‘live experience’”, said Glenn Max, a producer who has worked with Massive Attack, John Cale and Patti Smith. “It is clear to artists that audiences

are moving away from experiencing the music directly, preferring to feel it through their phone.” Tim Burgess, who in April released memoirs detailing his 20 years as lead singer of indie band The Charlatans, urged music fans to use the “recording device in our brains”, which “have far better effects than you can get on a phone”. Footage “filmed from half a mile away with the ‘director’s’ mates singing at the top of their voice” cannot capture the emotion of a gig, he told AFP. Max, artistic director of London’s Village Underground cultural project, added that as well as affecting the crowd’s enjoyment, those on stage were also bothered. “It affects the artist’s experience tremendously and on many levels,” he said. “Artists work hard and very carefully to be represented as they

Lebanese fans using their mobile phones take pictures of US rapper 50 Cent during his concert at Biel hall in downtown Beirut. —AFP photos

A picture dated April 16, 2013 shows young fans of Canadian singer Justin Bieber holding their mobile phones to take pictures and record videos during his concert as part of the ‘Believe Tour’ at Telenor Arena in Fornebu, Norway.

conceive their own work. Imagine singing your heart out to an audience that’s stripping you of this dignity.” Iconic British indie performers Ian Brown and Jarvis Cocker have also spoken out about the craze, but it is not confined to the world of popular music. Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman recently stormed off stage at the Ruhr Piano Festival in Germany after spotting an audience member filming his performance. “The destruction of music because of YouTube is enormous,” Zimerman said on returning to the stage. Up to the music industry to act But should anything be done to limit the trend? After all, thanks to online amateur footage, fans in countries not served by the travelling live music circus now have a chance to sample the concert experience. Russia and India were recently highlighted by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) as huge potential markets for this. Singer Burgess also points out the benefits to those who cannot afford tickets and “kids who maybe aren’t able to get to a gig” due to age restrictions. But many artists remain opposed. US artrockers Yeah Yeah Yeahs took matters into their own hands, posting notes on the doors of New York’s Webster Hall asking fans not to film “as a courtesy to the person behind you and to Nick, Karen and Brian (the band)”. The power to enforce a ban ultimately rests with the battered music industry, which has already seen technology decimate its revenues from record sales. Record companies own exclusive rights to record their artists’ music, meaning promoters have to do “what they can” to prevent unauthorized filming, explained Chris Cooke, legal expert and co-founder of online news provider Complete Music Update. Although not “specifically illegal”, promoters could sue transgressors for breach of contract if filming is forbidden by the ticket’s terms, he said. Apple meanwhile mooted plans in 2011 to block its smartphones from recording at concerts, but such moves risk creating a consumer backlash. For all those who fear amateur recordings could lead to live DVD sales going the same way as record revenues, there are others who sense an opportunity. Most attempts to create subscription-based or ad-funded live music websites have failed, but many are still hopeful of developing a profitable model “and that may contribute to resistance in the business regards phonebased gig recordings”, said Cooke. Some labels are “dabbling with the idea” of creating websites which would combine crowd-sourced footage with “a decent capture of the sound from the sound desk”, he added. However, phone-wielding directors appear to pose little threat to the industry’s live music revenues, which have risen globally every year since 2006, hitting $23.5 billion in 2011, according to As Jem Finer of punk band The Pogues told AFP: “You can’t experience a live show without being at a live show.” —AFP

came from Madrid with her 16-year-old daughter Graciela, to pay tribute to Jackson. Her dream was to see Katherine Jackson, who has also been in court regularly, including on Tuesday. “Michael is not dead, it’s all a game,” she told AFP. “Michael staged a fake death.” Asked why she thinks he is still alive, she replied: “Because I am a believer.” —AFP

The top 10 songs albums on the iTunes Store iTunes’ Official Music Charts for the week ending June 24, 2013: Top Songs: 1. “Blurred Lines (feat. T.I. & Pharrell),” Robin Thicke 2. “Radioactive,” Imagine Dragons 3. “Get Lucky (feat. Pharrell Williams),” Daft Punk 4. “Treasure,” Bruno Mars 5. “We Can’t Stop,” Miley Cyrus 6. “Cruise (Remix) (feat. Nelly),” Florida Georgia Line 7. “Can’t Hold Us (feat. Ray Dalton),” Ryan Lewis, Macklemore 8. “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up),” Fall Out Boy 9. “Counting Stars,” OneRepublic 10.“I Want Crazy,” Hunter Hayes Top Albums: 1. “Yeezus,” Kanye West 2. “Born Sinner,” J Cole 3. “Watching Movies With the Sound Off,” Mac Miller 4. “Talk a Good Game,” Kelly Rowland

5. “Random Access Memories,” Daft Punk 6. “The 20/20 Experience,” Justin Timberlake 7. “The Complete Season 4 Collection (The Voice Performance),” Danielle Bradbery 8. “Native,” OneRepublic 9. “Night Visions,” Imagine Dragons 10.“Here’s to the Good Times,” Florida Georgia Line —AP

File photo shows Neil Diamond singing “Sweet Caroline” in the eighth inning of a baseball game in Boston between the Boston Red Sox and the Kansas City Royals, playing at home for the first time since the Boston Marathon explosions. —AP

Neil Diamond records charity song for Boston


eil Diamond visited Boston in the days following the marathon bombings and left convinced he should do something to help. “I was moved by the unity and the attitude of the people in Boston,” Diamond said. “And that’s really all a songwriter needs, is to be inspired. It doesn’t happen very often but when it does you have to follow that muse and I did.” The result is “The Freedom Song (They’ll Never Take Us Down),” a new patriotically themed song Diamond will release through iTunes and Amazon on July 2. All proceeds from the song will go to benefit the Boston One Fund and The Wounded Warriors Project. Diamond watched coverage of the April 15 bombings unfold from afar, then visited the city the following Saturday. The Red Sox, the city’s Major League Baseball franchise, adopted the 72-year-old singer’s hit “Sweet Caroline” as an eighth-inning anthem some time ago and had invited him to perform it live. The city was still reeling from the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three and injured more than 250 just five days earlier and the ensuing manhunt, but its residents responded to the attacks defiantly. Diamond returned home and began work on “The Freedom Song.” He said in a phone interview it took about six weeks to write and record. He will perform the song live for the first time July 4 in Washington, DC, at a Washington Nationals-Milwaukee Brewers baseball game and during PBS’ “A Capitol Fourth,” broadcast from the west lawn of the US Capitol. “I didn’t know exactly what would happen with this song, but I did know I had to write it,” Diamond said. “So I set out on that creative journey of writing something that would lift people up, lift their spirits in the way that mine was lifted when I flew to Boston to sing at the Red Sox game.” —AP


lifestyle F a s h i o n

offers its stylish wedding guide T

This promotional image released by Vogue shows the cover of Vogue’s ‘The Wedding Guide,’ just in time for summer nuptials. —AP

here are the stylish brides who wear the beautiful gowns and have their hair and makeup just so, and there are the stylish weddings, where everything from the bridal ensemble to the parting presents has the touch that makes it all seem special. put together a wedding guide just in time for all those summer nuptials. The Associated Press asked editor Jessica Sailer Van Lith to put together a list of signs that the affair will be one to remember: It’s personal. The wedding, from beginning to end, should seem like it belongs to the bride and groom, not like they’ve plugged into someone else’s dream. Maybe the bride carries her

grandmother’s handbag, maybe she doesn’t take off that necklace she wears every other day of the year. The “perfect” look and feel will come from authenticity, not trends - and certainly not what everyone else is doing. They’ve gone local. Couples can embrace the place they were so thoughtful in choosing by offering touches of local cuisine, decor or music. “Don’t truck in flowers or caterers who’ll be driving for hours,” says Sailer Van Lith. “Immerse you and your guests in the place you are and have chosen to be.” The bride looks like herself. She shouldn’t look for a “perfect dress” because there are too many of those, says Sailer Van Lith. What a bride should

want is the right dress, and from there it should be easy to pick everything that goes with it, she says. The seating chart makes sense. The seating chart is - and sort of should be one of the most stressful parts of planning a wedding, but the payoff of success is huge. “At a stylish wedding, where someone has been thoughtful of the seating chart, all the guests will know the bride and groom have put them there for a reason: because they want these people from other parts of their lives to make a connection.” Less can be more, especially with the head count. “Everyone invited is someone the bride and groom want to have there,” says Sailer Van Lith. Period.

There isn’t a set schedule. A wedding isn’t a science, it’s an art, and, she says, the only people it all needs to make sense to are the bride and groom. If they like a daytime wedding with formal dress, it’s OK, and the same goes for the wedding that moves straight to dancing from the cocktail hour. Her advice to couples looking to achieve these goals and more: “Think of the wedding you want, and work backward.” —AP

Model, pin-up photographer

Photographer Bunny Yeager poses with a camera similar to one used when she worked as a photographer in the 50’s and 60’s at the Bunny Yeager Studio in Miami.

returns to spotlight

In this photo taken in1955 by photographer Bunny Yeager, models pose at a fire station in Miami Beach, Fla. —AP photos

Photographer Bunny Yeager describes a self portrait photograph taken in 1965 at the Bunny Yeager Studio in Miami.


unny Yeager was a photographer at a time when men dominated that profession, but the model turned pin-up photographer used that to her advantage when photographing women in the 1950s and ‘60s. She was able to make everyday women, from stay-at-home mothers to airline attendants, feel comfortable enough to bare it all. In the mid-1950s, she helped jump-start the career of then-unknown Bettie Page with her

photo in Playboy. More than five decades after shooting the well-known stills of Page in a leopard-print bathing suit standing next to a real cheetah, 40 framed prints of her work are now on display in a gallery in Wynwood, Miami’s arts district. “They all wanted to model for me because they knew that I wouldn’t take advantage of them,” Yeager, now 83, said of her models. “And I wouldn’t push them to do nude if they didn’t want to do nudes. It wasn’t a day when

nude photography was prevalent.” Wes Carson, a photography instructor at the Miami International University of Art & Design, said the way women were “surveyed” in Yeager’s photographs was distinct from her male counterparts. “When I look at her work, the women have a different demeanor,” he said. “They are more confident. They are in charge of their sexuality, where if you look at someone else’s work the women are much more dismissive and

demure.” Last year, Yeager published the coffee table book “Bunny Yeager’s Darkroom” and is working on another book that will include her photos of Page. The German fashion house Bruno Bananai has a new line of swimwear based on the bikinis she designed for her models and she plans to photograph models again in her studio, if requests come in. Yeager, whose real name is Linnea Eleanor Yeager, was one of the most photographed models in Miami during her early career. Soon after taking a photography course at a local college, Yeager turned the camera on herself as she posed in bathing suits she handmade for her 5-foot-9 (1.75 meter) frame. Her self-portraits were turned into a book, “How I Photograph Myself,” in 1964 and many of those photos including Yeager in a red-striped low Vcut bathing suit and a white bikini cov-

ered in real daisies she glued on one by one - adorn the walls of her Miami gallery. The prints range in price from $1,200 to $3,000. During the 1950s and 1960s, Yeager was one of the top fashion models and photographers, publishing about a dozen books. She shot stills of the Swedish actress Ursula Andress, who was starring in the 1962 James Bond film “Dr No.” The famous shot shows the actress in a white bikini, a knife sheathed at her side. Yeager continued to work, but over the last decade, several magazines began to struggle or went out of business. Yeager was no longer in demand. “There was a big portion of time where I hadn’t been doing anything,” Yeager said of her hiatus. “It wasn’t that I was retired, it’s just that nobody wanted my photos. I had no requests. No inquiries. Nothing. It was like I didn’t

Photographer Bunny Yeager is shown at the Bunny Yeager Studio. even exist.” But in 2010, the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh held an exhibition of her work. Now, there is the Miami exhibition. “I haven’t gotten used to it yet,” Yeager said of the recent attention. “And I still get that little tingle when I see the photos on the wall.” In her studio, Yeager keeps a stash of photos no one has seen in cabinets. Some she plans to save for her next book. Others will serve as a snapshot of what’s yet to come for Yeager and the next generation of female photographers. “I’m still feeling like a little child and excited over everything new that comes along in my life. I don’t know where it will lead to yet, but it sounds good to me.” —AP


Fashion week

Models display creations as part of Frankie Morello Menswear Spring-Summer 2014 collection on June 25, 2013 during the Men’s fashion week in Milan. —AFP photos


lifestyle F a s h i o n

Paris fashion week kicks off A

fter London and Milan, Paris yesterday picked up the fashion baton with the start of nine days of catwalk collections for 2014 kicking off with menswear and ending with haute couture. The week began notably with shows by Tokyo-based French designer Julien David and Belgium’s Raf Simons, the artistic director of Christian Dior who will be showing his own label’s latest collection. Five days of menswear for spring/summer 2014 will round off on Sunday with Saint Laurent designer and champion of the pencil-thin skinny suit Hedi Slimane’s second menswear collection for the label following a grunge dominated debut. The intense interest in the French designer’s work comes as men’s collections become ever more important commercially. “Before men’s was in retreat (compared to womenswear) but today brands are making a lot of money thanks to men’s,” fashion consultant Jean-Jacques Picart told AFP. The season’s most unmissable collection, however, is scheduled for Monday, the first of four days of haute couture for autumn/winter 2013/2014, when Christian Lacroix returns to Paris fashion for the first time in four years. The darling of 1990s fashion editors will present 18 pieces paying tribute to Elsa Schiaparelli, the Italian designer who died in 1973 and famed for her collaborations with Salvador Dali and Jean Cocteau. The label, which closed in 1954 after failing to adapt to post-war austerity, was officially reopened in July 2012 having been purchased in 2006 by Diego Della Valle, head of the Italian leather goods company Tod’s. Lacroix lost his fashion house in December 2009 when a Paris bankruptcy court approved a plan to end production of the classic label’s haute couture and ready-to-wear lines. The house had run up losses of 10 million euros (about 15 million dollars) in 2008 after being hit by the sharp downturn of the luxury market.—AFP

Models wear creations by Japanese fashion designer Tatsuro Horikawa forJulius’ men’s fashion Spring-Summer 2014 collection, presented yesterday in Paris. —AP photos

Women compete in a high heels race organized by a fashion magazine in Bucharest, Romania, Tuesday, June 25, 2013.—AP

Max announces launch of the Cherokee Brand M

ax Fashions, the largest value fashion retailer in the Middle East, has announced that beginning this June it will carry Cherokee products, in addition to its Max-branded merchandise, across stores throughout Kuwait as part of an exclusive partnership with Cherokee Inc. The Cherokee collection is slated to debut in 48 stores across the Middle East this June, with additional store rollouts over the coming months. Following a license agreement signed in July 2012, Cherokee-branded products will now join Max’s select roster of affordable, high-quality clothing and accessories across the retailer’s women’s, men’s, and kids’ collections. Henry Stupp, Chief Executive Officer of the Cherokee Group expressed his enthusiasm toward the upcoming launch: “The

unveiling of Cherokee at Max is a perfect example of our 360 degree approach brought to life. By leveraging our exceptional in-house team of designers, marketers, and financial experts, we were able to offer Max a completely turnkey solution including a debut collection of men’s, women’s and kids’ clothing fully designed in-house by the Cherokee team. We are very excited to share our family lifestyle brand with Max shoppers and want to thank all of Max’s management for their continued support of the Cherokee brand.” Ramanathan Hariharan, CEO, Max Fashions, shared Stupp’s excitement: “We are delighted to be able to announce the official launch of Cherokee products in our stores. When we entered into a partnership with Cherokee last July, we were confident

that the Cherokee brand would be an excellent addition to our product offering. With the upcoming launch, we remain convinced that Cherokee’s unique design and family-lifestyle appeal will be a hit with our customers as well as reinforce our brand promise, ‘More Fashion, More Value.’” Max was launched in 2004 by the Landmark Group, one of the largest retail conglomerates in the Middle East and India. Max provides customers with a distinctive offering of fashion clothing, footwear, accessories and household products in a comfortable and inviting shopping environment. Max currently operates in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Lebanon, Nigeria, Libya, Iraq and India.

Jackson son to testify, day after death anniversary



Revelers pose at the 2013 Mermaid Parade at Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Coney Island was hard hit by Superstorm Sandy but parade organizers, whose offices were flooded, were able to raise $100,000 on Kickstarter to fund the parade. The Mermaid Parade began in 1983 and features participants dressed as mermaids and other sea creatures while paying homage to the former tradition of the Coney Island Mardi Gras, which ran annually in the early fall from 1903-1954.—AFP photos

Myanmar mystics give supernatural help to Asia’s elite


iny, frail and barely able to speak, Myanmar’s most famous fortune tellerknown as ET-has for years whispered predictions to Asia’s rich and powerful, from generals to foreign politicians. The soothsayer, whose popularity has inspired a recent Thai biopic, is one of a plethora of mystics in Myanmar, where generations of rulers have sought ethereal advice. Sprightly despite a range of disabilitiesincluding, her family say, that her internal organs are all on the wrong side of her bodyET looks every bit the mystic when accompanied by her sister Thi Thi, whose penchant for shawls and elaborately embroidered frocks enhances the spiritualist image. “My sister (is a) very, very grand and special one,”Thi Thi told AFP in a recent interview in Bangkok, adding that her guidance has been sought across the region. “Some is politician, some is business people... Everybody happy, became very famous,” said Thi Thi, who acts as an interpreter for her sister. Myanmar’s fortune tellers are thought to be behind several unexplained occurrences in the country, from the abrupt decision by the former junta to relocate the capital in 2005, to bizarre episodes when the generals appeared wearing women’s longyi-a sarong-like skirt. Normally sartorially conser-

vative, the top brass resorted to cross-dressing “so that a woman would not become president in the country”, said Aung Zaw, editor of the Irrawaddy, a news magazine started by Myanmar exiles, referring to the junta’s fear of democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi. “They are very superstitious,” he said. Mystics have been ascribed great influence in a country where the workings of the secretive junta were kept hidden from the public for decades. Aung Zaw said that amid the wilder speculation were strong indications that the army chiefs did dabble in the dark arts to try to reinforce their power. “There is a lot of interpretation... but they do these things quite often,” he said, adding that the practice of consulting astrologers dated back hundreds of years, with Myanmar’s former kings regularly consulting fortune tellers. Ne Win, the strongman who ruled Myanmar for around three decades, was notorious for his reliance on fortune tellers and their “yadaya”-an occult practice where a symbolic act is performed to influence the future. Rumours about the former junta chief’s use of yadaya to ward off adversity include that he stood in front of a mirror and shot a gun at his own reflection, according to one foreign observer who has long studied the old regime.

ET, Myanmar’s most famous fortune teller, sits on a wheelchair as she attends a local television program in Bangkok. —AFP Even Myanmar’s new reformist President Thein Sein has indicated his openness to heed the predictions of mystics. “I don’t know a lot about astrology, but there are many people who know astrology very well in Myanmar,” he said in a recent documentary “Un oeil sur la planËte” (An Eye on the World)

by French broadcaster France 2. “Sometimes they give me advice on how the situation of the country could be affected from the astrological point of view. I willingly take this advice into account.” Thi Thi said her sister, who is in her 40s, had also met former Thai prime minister

Thaksin Shinawatra and predicted his rise to power. “He come and see my sister, before politics. At that time he is (in the) telephone business,” she said. Thaksin reportedly visited ET just days before he was ousted in a 2006 coup, but Thi Thi declined to give details of the relationship, saying only that her sister’s predictions over the years were “80 percent correct”. In three decades on the road, she said ET has travelled to “many many countries”, including Japan, China, Singapore and Thailand, and now ploughs a portion of her income into a hospital foundation at home. While her clients include the occasional Westerner, most are local businessmen and wealthy Asians. “It’s definitely hard to get an appointment,” said one Western diplomat, who said prices have now risen to a hundred dollars a session. ET begins her consultations with theatrical flair by writing out the serial number of an apparently unseen banknote in the client’s wallet-a “convincing” start, the diplomat said. Soon after Suu Kyi was released from her last bout of house arrest in 2010, amid uncertainty about how much freedom the Nobel peace laureate would be allowed, the diplomat asked ET for a prediction of the veteran activist’s future. “In spite of a warning that she doesn’t predict politics or the lottery, she did

say that ‘Aung San Suu Kyi would be more free, very free’,” the diplomat said. Suu Kyi has since been elected to parliament and is eyeing a bid for the presidency. ET-whose name is also written E Thi-has predicted her own early death from heart failure, but her sister says it does not worry the soothsayer because she will be “very pretty” in her next life. Her family say her powers, including visions of ghosts and future events, were discovered after she was struck by fever while praying at a pagoda as a small child. Others took a more prosaic route to otherworldly insight and international popularity. Hein Tint Zaw says he studied for five years under a famous Myanmar soothsayer, learning astrology, tarot and numerology with around 100 other pupils before graduating in the mystic arts and moving to Thailand to set up shop among the many migrants from Myanmar. His little studio in the industrial town of Mahachai mainly attracts workers from his homeland, who staff local factories in their thousands, but Thais also seek his services and bring along their own interpreters. “I have never had to advertise,” he said. —AFP

Granddaughter puts Picasso muse nudes on show


The granddaughter of Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, MarinaPicasso, poses in her house ‘Pavillon de Flore’, on June 19, 2013, in Cannes, southeastern France. —AFP

s a child, Pablo Picasso’s granddaughter Marina often found herself shut out of his sumptuous Cannes villa “La Californie”. Four decades after his death, the gates of the house she inherited, along with thousands of his art works, are always promptly opened to visitors. “Living in this house, unconsciously perhaps it’s a way of recapturing lost time in a place where we were once excluded,” says Marina, who for many years struggled to accept “an inheritance given without love”. To mark the 40th anniversary of Picasso’s death this year, Marina has opened up her private collection to help stage an exhibition exploring the recurrence of nudes in the great Spanish artist’s work. “Picasso, Nudity Set Free” features 120 works. Around 90 come from Marina’s collection, some of which have never before been on public display. But Marina, who was in her early twenties when her famous grandfather died, is matter-of-fact about the loan. “This comes from my inheritance, I don’t make anything special of it,” she tells AFP with an air of detachment. Marina and her elder brother Pablito’s childhood was punctuated by rare and unhappy visits to see their grandfather, who spent most of his life in France. These often featured “long waits behind the gate” while “the master” woke up, she says.

Picasso’s second wife “Jacqueline used to order that we wait; she rejected anything that disturbed him”, Marina recalls. Born in 1950, Marina is the daughter of Paulo Picasso, son of Picasso, and his first wife, Russian ballerina Olga Khokhlova. Marina grew up in poverty despite her illustrious lineage and Paulo, an alcoholic, died in his fifties two years after the artist. “He was always a bit the toy of his father. He was never able to grow up,” she says. As an adult, Marina underwent years of therapy and poured her painful childhood memories into her 2001 memoir “Picasso: My Grandfather”. “At the beginning, I couldn’t bear to see his paintings. It took me a lot of time to make the distinction between the artist and the grandfather,” she says. “He was not a real grandfather, or a benevolent father (to Paulo)...” The legacy of childhood rejection took a terrible toll on Pablito. Following Picasso’s death at the age of 91 in April 1973, he swallowed bleach after Jacqueline refused him permission to see his grandfather. He died three months later. According to Marina, “my brother wanted to embrace him for one last time and Jacqueline threw him out”. “He went home and killed himself by drinking bleach.” But if Picasso’s grandchildren suffered as a result of their relationship with him, the fate of his muses-bronze busts of whom

dot the villa-was equally tragic. Marie-Therese Walter hanged herself. Jacqueline Picasso shot herself. Dora Maar suffered depression and became something of a recluse. Marina’s grandmother Olga died in Cannes in 1955 unvisited by her estranged husband. “He loved women and used them in order to be creative,” she says flatly. Four decades on, Marina has tried to overcome the bitter legacy of the past. The Cannes house, long since renamed Pavillon de Flore, has been restored and is now filled with paintings, sculptures and ceramics by Picasso, and other artists. Funding projects such as an orphanage in Vietnam has also helped the mother-of-five feel she has put her inheritance to good use and she now plans to turn her attention to philanthropic work in France. With children, she says, it is what happens at the start of their lives that is the most important. “The more that one can help (when they are) young, the better they will live later,” she adds. “Picasso, Nudity Set Free” runs until October 27 at the Centre d’art La Malmaison at Cannes. —AFP

27th Jun 2013  
27th Jun 2013  

Kuwait Times