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NO: 15853- Friday, June 28, 2013

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Hopefuls Hopefuls on on the the hunt hunt PAGE 9


Local FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Local Spotlight

Kuwait’s my business

I met Kuwait’s future in New York City By John P Hayes

local@kuwaittimes.net

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or more than 25 years I’ve taught The A to Zs of Buying a Franchise at the International Franchise Expo (IFE), which attracts visitors from across the world. At the end of my seminar in New York City, three young men walked up to say hello. “We’re all from GUST!” they announced. Isn’t it a small world? I knew of one student by reputation: Suhaib Alsenan, an accounting major, had created Trolley, a convenience store, at Gulf University for Science & Technology (GUST) in Kuwait. Joining him were Hamed Alkhamis, a finance major, and Abdullah Al-Sheeha, a public relations major. Unfortunately I had not taught any of the three until my seminar, but I was thrilled to meet them at the IFE. They traveled to the expo to find a franchise that they could develop in Kuwait, and once I understood their mission I offered to visit their franchisor of choice and put in a good word for them. During their earlier chats with the franchisor, it seemed to them that the franchisor wasn’t all that interested in talking to three students. Of course, not many franchisors want to speak to students because students don’t buy franchises. Capabilities of Kuwait Trio To the franchisor’s credit, he already was working a lead from the Middle East, and while the students were interested in developing Kuwait initially and the Middle East secondarily, the franchisor was hoping to find a licensee who would develop several countries simultaneously. It’s an ambitious goal, and it usually doesn’t pan out, so just in case he needed a backup plan (and I was certain that he would) I urged the franchisor to take a close look at the capabilities of the Kuwait Trio. Most students do not have the capabilities required of a franchisee, but the Kuwait Trio brings as much if not more to the bargaining table than do many prospective franchisees. Every business needs accounting, finance

and public relations, their academic majors. Every business needs operational capability, and the trio’s got it, including knowing something about how to replicate a business. After he successfully established Trolley at GUST, Alsenan opened multiple locations around Kuwait. Additionally, Alkhamis is the founder of Entrepreneur General Trading, and owns a restaurant. These are not merely students who are earning a college degree, which, frankly, doesn’t count for much today. These are students who are acquiring life-changing skills, including a college degree. That combination makes a huge difference. Building private enterprise The important point here is not buying a franchise (even though I hope the Kuwait Trio succeeds), but that people in Kuwait recognize that some students are not merely students. Some are not lazy, clueless or goal-less. Some sit in classrooms dreaming about a future that they intend to help shape. The Kuwait Trio values private enterprise, and we need more students with their values. “We don’t want to work for the government or anyone else,” one of trio explained. “We want to build our own businesses and depend on ourselves.” Isn’t that what Kuwait wants to hear and see? Isn’t that what Kuwait needs to transform the country in the next 25 years? These three students - perhaps “entrepreneur” defines them more accurately - are Kuwait’s future. There are more of them in Kuwait than most of us know, and they are searching for opportunities to change the world. Of course, no matter how successful they become, the world will remain small. It’s about to get even smaller between America and Kuwait because during the weekend the Kuwait Trio heard from the franchisor. They got an offer to develop multiple units in Kuwait. It’s too early to announce the brand, but wait a few months for an update about the trio’s success. Meanwhile, Kuwait, look for ways to reward student entrepreneurs! Dr John P Hayes heads the Business Administration department at GUST. Contact Dr Hayes at questions@hayesworldwide.com, or via Twitter @drjohnhayes.

KUWAIT: Girls perform at an anti-drugs event to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on Wednesday. — Photo By Joseph Shagra

Satire sells By Muna Al-Fuzai

muna@kuwaittimes.net

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l Bernameg’ is an Arabic satirical show that monitors media coverage in Egypt right since the early days of the Egyptian revolution from Jan 25, 2012. By now, the show has risen to become one of the most popular shows not only in Egypt but in the Arab world as well. It criticizes the misleading stances and flaws of the Egyptian leadership. Until a year ago, I was not familiar with the name of Bassem Youssef. At least not until recently when a friend of mine told me about his weekly show. At first I thought it was just one more satirical program, like the many other Arabic comedy shows that desperately try to elicit some laughs. However, after watching a couple of episodes, I knew I was wrong. In fact, these kind of shows help analyze the exact nature of some groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and where they want to drag us. The show is like playing a puzzle in which they depict for the benefit of the audiences parts of certain speeches or acts that were made or done but which simply are in contradiction to the ostensible claims of the Muslim Brotherhood. This show explains the contradiction bearing in mind that there are Muslims Brothers all over the world, not only in the Arab world. They are there even in the Western world, except that they are sleeper cells. Every week, this show comes up with some surprises and one of the biggest was when wellknown US satire show host Jon Stewart featured as a guest star in Youssef’s show ‘Al Bernameg’, or simply, ‘The Program’. Jon Stewart is in the Middle East to direct his film “Rosewater” and it was the right time for him to stop by at the show hosted by his friend and Egyptian counterpart Youssef. Stewart used a few Arabic words that he knew. For Stewart, it was the perfect show since he is a star in the world of satire. He even said satire is a law in US. Youssef was also a guest on Stewart’s “The Daily Show” in April this year to discuss his arrest. He was arrested for allegedly insulting Islam and Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi on his program. I think having such shows in the Arab world is like a whiff of fresh air. I think Bassem Youssef is a great example of the kind of political satire which is not accepted or welcomed in many Arab countries. I think most countries would not welcome such shows because no regime likes to see its political figures being exposed to public criticism or becoming a butt of jokes. However, in this age of technology, no one can control such satire. The power of the media is huge and if anyone tries to do so, people would only feel more pressurized and we will only witness more suppression. Youssef’s show is great fun since it shows the reality of the Muslim Brotherhood in political life.


Local FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

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Local FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Speaking for the voiceless By Ben Garcia

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olunteering work is not just a vocation but a gift from God that humanity is badly in need of in this age. There are groups of people, and often just individuals, who are doing their best to extend help and perform charitable and benevolent actions for other people. One such person is Ghadeer Al-Saqabi, a lawyer and arbitrator at Kuwait’s Ministry of Justice who provides free lawyers and legal consultancy to Asian embassies in an attempt to ensure that the most vulnerable sections of the society - domestic helpers receive justice. Her work is evident across a number of Asian embassies, including those of the Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka. She has been recognized and gratefully appreciated for her work. Saqabi has a proven track record in carrying out many voluntary initiatives ranging from environmental concerns to human rights. She has helped bring to a logical end many cases dealing with issues of maltreatment, abuse, rape and more. Saqabi is particularly concerned about vulnerable and exploited workers in Kuwait, especially domestic helpers from the Philippines. She deals with empathy with Filipino Overseas Workers

Ghadeer Al-Saqabi selflessly and tirelessly works to ameliorate the suffering of abused domestic workers

(OFWs) and those from countries from which most household workers come from. In order to make sure that she is able to extend help appropriately to an even greater number of Filipinos, she had asked for approval from former Philippines’ Ambassador Shulan Primavera to assist Filipinos, especially on the legal front. Even before seeking Primavera’s approval, she started her work at the embassy by donating sanitary napkins, food and even cash to housemaids in order to help them buy plane tickets and for the hospitalization of sick runaway housemaids. After receiving a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) signed by the then Head of the Assistance to Nationals Unit, she started her voluntary work at the legal desk. Saqabi and her team were permitted to litigate the cases filed by the embassy, including permission to defend, plead and sign papers of different types of cases of Filipinos that she

Ghadeer Al-Saqabi represented. Indeed, she has been a great help to the Filipinos and deserved a salute from everyone for extending her professional advice without seeking anything in return. “I cannot attend to individual cases, and in fact, I am not allowed to take up any cases privately since I work as an arbitrator at the Ministry of Justice. But in order to help and assist the Filipinos, I hire lawyers to attend to individual cases. I do this for charity and I have never collected any money. I pay the lawyers from my own pocket and from the money collected through donations by my compatriots,” she told Kuwait Times. “I want innocent people to be spared the false accusations crafted against them by their abusive employers. There are many innocent domestic helpers lan-

guishing because of false accusations. I am telling you that most of them turn out to be invented cases. So I really want to help as much as I can,” she said. Saqabi disclosed meeting higher justice officials and Ministry of Interior officers to ask for their support and help for many cases. She also pays regular visits to the hospital and takes down the names of the Filipinos who are in need of assistance and provides a copy to the embassy.

Calls for ICT to reconnect in Kuwait

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imited uptake of new technology has had an impact on economic development in Kuwait, according to a recent report. In its “Growth and Jobs in a Hyper-connected World”, released in April, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said that despite some advances, Kuwait is finding it difficult to fully utilise the economic potential of information and communications technology (ICT) and is not keeping pace with others in the region in the race to get connected. Kuwait is ranked 62 out of the 144 countries covered by the WEF study, the same ranking as in 2012. “Stable at 62nd place, Kuwait continues to lag behind in the region in terms of leveraging ICTs, with low levels of both social (85th) and, especially, economic impacts (125th),” the report said. “Despite a very sharp rise in ICT uptake in terms of Internet users (26th) and households with computers (38th), as well as internet access (44th), the country still suffers from a shortage of skills (71st). This shortage, coupled with a low capacity to innovate (113th) and an environment that is less business friendly (71st) than those of other GCC states, result in the low economic impacts.” According to Anas Merza, CEO of Kuwait’s National Technology Enterprises Company, a subsidiary of the Kuwait Investment Authority, the inability to maximise the economic benefits of ICT is, in part at least, the result of the low priority given to information technology in the workplace. “Businesses sometimes hesitate to invest in ICT unless there is a sense of urgency. However, this is changing as vendors work to make buyers more aware of the benefits of next-generation solutions,” Merza said in a recent interview with OBG. Hasibat Information Technologies CEO Mazen Ishbib agrees, saying one of the biggest challenges facing Kuwait’s high-tech industry is to sell the idea of ICT to businesses, even before the product or service. “They have no idea that there is a system out there that can make their lives easier,” Ishbib told OBG. “To implement a new system you must first understand the culture, second come with a convincing angle and third make them feel the urgency.” Nonetheless, both Merza and Ishbib noted that they expect the private sector to begin to embrace technology in the near future, with the greatest uptake likely to occur in finance, health, energy (both conventional and renewable) and aviation. These and other sectors will increasingly need next-generation ICT if they are to stay linked with their partners and keep pace with their competitors. Meanwhile, in the public sector, vendors are facing some of the same challenges. In a 2012 report published by the London School of Economics, researchers Hendrik Kraetzschmar and El Mustapha Lahlali found that Kuwait’s e-government service development has been slowed by lack of cross-agency cooperation on eservices delivery, and observed an overall reluctance by civil servants to change the way ministries interact with the public. These issues will be increasingly important as the GCC member states move to create an integrated egovernment platform to facilitate intra-regional trade, in part through the efforts of the Ministerial Committee of GCC E-Government, of which Kuwait is a member. The committee met in Bahrain in March 2013 to move forward on its plan for multilateral e-government services, and Kuwait will host the next meeting, scheduled for March 2014. In the meantime, Kuwait can regain its competitive edge in ICT development by promoting its e-government services as well as doing more to encourage hightech firms to set up shop locally. However, while the government can promote greater understanding of the economic benefits of information technology solutions, it may be up to service providers themselves to provide the hard sell needed to restart Kuwait’s climb up the international rankings. — OBG


Local FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

10 arrested for smuggling subsidized diesel By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: The Interior Ministry announced yesterday the arrest of 10 persons - two Iranians, two Egyptians,

four Indians and two Kuwaitis - on charges of smuggling subsidized diesel and polluting the environment, as well as entering and leaving the country illegally. The ministry said in a press statement

that the group was under surveillance by the Criminal Investigations Department, adding that the group stored the diesel in a chalet in Doha and smuggled it out onboard a ship. The ministry said that the

gang had been smuggling diesel for a long time, and their crude methods of collecting, storing and smuggling diesel led to the contamination of the surrounding environment.

UN recognizes better Iraq-Kuwait relations UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council brought Iraq one step closer yesterday to ending United Nations sanctions imposed on Baghdad more than two decades ago after former President Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait In 1990. The 15-member council unanimously agreed that the issue of missing Kuwaiti people, property and archives should be dealt with under Chapter 6 of the UN Charter - which urges countries to peacefully resolve any conflicts - instead of Chapter 7. Chapter 7 of the charter allows the Security Council to authorize actions ranging from sanctions to military intervention if states do not abide by council demands. The move by the council is a significant political boost for Baghdad as it struggles to restore its international standing a decade after a US-led invasion of Iraq toppled Saddam in 2003. The Security Council resolution recognized ìthe importance of Iraq achieving international standing equal to that which it held prior to (1990).’ US-led troops drove Iraq out of Kuwait in the 1991 Gulf War. The only issues linked to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait that remain under Chapter 7 are an arms embargo and Baghdad’s payment of $52 billion in compensation to Kuwait, diplomats say. Iraq still owes $11 billion and has said it expects to pay by 2015. There are still a range of Chapter 7 issues imposed on Baghdad after Saddamís ouster in 2003, diplomats say, including the freeze and return of Saddam-era assets and trade ban on stolen Iraqi cultural property. UN Secretary-General Ban Kimoon has recommended that the UN political mission in Iraq should take responsibility for facilitating the search for missing Kuwaitis, or their remains, property and the country’s national archives. — Reuters

KUWAIT: Acting National Guards Undersecretary Maj Gen Eng Hashim Al-Rifae held a meeting with the support command of the American Army to set up a coordination mechanism for their next training season. The two sides also discussed the means to improve the level of joint training and exercises.

DUBAI: Kuwaiti delegates are seen at the 9th International Forum on Drugs Issues. — KUNA

Kuwait hails joint effort against drug traffickers ‘Giras’ success story highlighted at forum DUBAI: World countries are showing determination to unite efforts in the fight against illegal drugs with all means possible, Head of Operations at Kuwait Interior Ministry’s Drug Control Department Colonel Mohammad AlHazeem told KUNA. The official was speaking on the sidelines of the 9th International Forum on Drugs’ Issues, which opened Wednesday under the slogan “International Smuggling and Control Mechanisms”. The event is organized by Dubai Police under the aegis of Lt Gen and chief of the Dubai Police Force Dhahi Khalfan. The police chief attended the launch of the event on Wednesday, which coincided with International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. In his remarks to KUNA, Hazeem noted that the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry is keen on taking part in all such events, stressing this forum is an important meeting place of a number of international bodies leading the fight against drugs. The participating bodies include the Regional Office of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for the Gulf Cooperation

Council, as well as the Anti-Narcotics Arab Bureau of the Council of Arab Ministers of Interior. Also taking part is the Criminal Information Centre to Combat Drugs, also a GCC body. Although the Gulf Cooperation Council countries are key targets for traffickers, their integrated effort and their cooperation with both Arab and international bodies enables them to foil many attempts to smuggle narcotics into their boundaries, the official said. Also speaking to KUNA, Legal Advisor at Kuwait’s Saad Al-Abdullah Academy for Security Sciences Tahani Al-Obaidli said the forum discusses an important aspect of the drugs problem. She said she contributed a working paper on breach of customs regulations in drugs trafficking from a legal perspective with reference to the GCC’s unified customs law. The two-day forum discusses the laws and regulations in place in the Arab region and how effective they are in the battle against organized drug trafficking. Attendants also make comparisons between the laws in the

region and those in other regions or countries and those adopted by international organizations in this regard. The participants in the sessions represented 23 countries, and the organizers held an exhibition on the sidelines with the aim of raising public awareness on the issue and on the role and services and functions of specialized bodies. A delegation representing Kuwait’s regional success story - the National Project Against Drug Abuse (Giras) - was among key participants in the exhibition. The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is a United Nations International Day against drug abuse and the illegal drug trade. It has been held annually since 1988 on June 26. Marking this day, the UN’s website shows a message from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. “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,” it reads. — KUNA


Local FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Candidates register for polls KUWAIT: Candidates began registering yesterday for Kuwait’s second parliamentary election in eight months amid a political crisis that has stalled development in the wealthy Gulf state and a boycott by the opposition. Hopefuls prayed that Kuwait’s sixth election since mid-2006 would bring political stability and put development back on the right track. On June 16, the nation’s top court dissolved parliament on the grounds that the last election was unconstitutional. However, it upheld controversial changes to the electoral law that sparked a standoff with the opposition. “We are passing through a very difficult political situation affected by high regional tension,” former MP Saleh Ashour said after filing papers. “The Kuwaiti people have the responsibility of safeguarding their country and achieving political stability.” Another former MP, Abdullah Al-Maayouf, expected a bigger turnout in the July 27 polls than in the December 1 election, when a widespread opposition boycott kept it to under 40 percent. Kuwait has 435,000 eligible voters who elect a 50-member parliament for a four-year term. None of the past six legislatures have completed their terms because they were dissolved either by the emir or by court order. Leading opposition figure Musallam Al-Barrak reiterated at a gathering late on Wednesday that the opposition will not participate in the election because the reasons for boycott still exist. “Today, we are at a crucial crossroads... They (the regime) want to build a sheikhdom state and we want a state based on institutions and the constitution... The next election is a crime and a conspiracy against the constitution,” Barrak said. But the main liberal opposition group, the National Democratic Alliance, and the country’s largest bedouin tribe, the Awazem, said they are taking part after boycotting

the December election. Kuwait, OPEC’s fourth largest producer pumping about 3.0 million barrels of oil per day, has been rocked by a series of political crises over the past seven years between MPs and the government. Despite accumu-

lating massive assets exceeding $400 billion from high oil prices, development projects have been stalled because of the political turmoil. Registration will continue for 10 days. — AFP

Abdulhameed Dashti

Salah Ashour

Abdullah Al-Maayouf

KUWAIT: Interior Minister and acting PM Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah tours the election registration office yesterday. Candidates began registering for Kuwait’s second parliamentary election in eight months amid a political crisis that has stalled development in the state and a boycott by the opposition. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat and Fouad Al-Shaikh

Saadoun Hammad

Faleh Al-Ajmi

Rawdhan Al-Rawdhan

Youssef Al-Zalzalah

Reham Al-Jlewe

Faisal Al-Duwaisan


FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Morsi stands ground amid crisis

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Snowden free to leave: Russia

Turkey PM to visit Gaza soon: Hamas

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AMMAN: US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Jordan’s King Abdullah II at Al-Hummar Palace in Amman yesterday. —AP

Kerry resumes tough Mideast peace drive US official to meet Palestinian, Jordanian and Israeli leaders AMMAN: US Secretary of State John Kerry’s drive to revive Middle East peace talks hit familiar warning signals yesterday as Israel’s prime minister stressed security needs and a Palestinian negotiator denounced Israeli settlement building. Kerry, on his fifth visit to the region, will hold separate talks with Jordan’s King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem over the next three days. Israeli settlement building on occupied land Palestinians seek for a state remains a main stumbling block to the resumption of peace talks that collapsed over the issue in 2010. Kerry’s arrival in Amman on Wednesday coincided with news that Israel had approved 69 new housing units in a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, while building continues elsewhere. “Obviously steps like this are unhelpful, but we remain hopeful that both parties will recognize the opportunity and the necessity to go back to the table,” the State Department said. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has long

demanded that settlement activity stop before peace talks resume, despite US and Israeli calls for negotiations without preconditions. “Settlement activity in and around occupied East Jerusalem is one of the main reasons why the two-state solution is disappearing, as without East Jerusalem there will be no Palestinian state,” Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, professing his support for creation of a Palestinian state, which he says must be demilitarized, has quietly frozen housing starts in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. But in a speech yesterday, he appeared to put the United States on notice that he would stick to his security demands even at the risk of failed peace efforts should they resume. Israelis, he said, “do not want a binational state” but they understand that security is a “fundamental condition for our existence”. Netanyahu has called for an Israeli military presence along the eastern border of a Palestinian state, a demand opposed by Abbas, and spoken of the danger of rocket fire at Israel

from the West Bank unless tough security arrangements are agreed. Kerry has revealed few details of his strategy to bring the sides together. But he has said he wants to show progress before September, when the United Nations General Assembly, which has already granted de facto recognition to a Palestinian state, resumes its debate over the Middle East. Israel is concerned that the Palestinians, in the absence of peace talks, could use the UN session as a springboard for further unilateral statehood moves. Israeli newspapers expressed skepticism that Kerry’s mission would achieve anything substantial. “Kerry is still not trying to twist the leaders’ arms to get them to sign a painful historic peace, but only to sit down together,” said an editorial in Israel’s popular Maariv daily. “The fact that the Americans have become bogged down in the attempts to resume the talks is telling, in and of itself, of American weakness, and projects pessimism as to the process itself, which has not yet begun,” it said. Kerry has again called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to

take hard decisions for peace. “It is urgent because time is the enemy of a peace process,” he said in Kuwait on Wednesday. In a possible trial balloon related to Kerry’s mission, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper quoted an unnamed minister from Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party as saying the prime minister knew a peace deal would mean giving up most of the West Bank. “Netanyahu understands that for a peace agreement, it will be necessary to withdraw from more than 90 percent of the West Bank and evacuate more than a few settlements,” he said. “He knows this is one of the things that will be discussed.” In an address to the US Congress in 2011, Netanyahu talked of a land-for-peace bargain, but gave no percentages. The bulk of Israeli West Bank settlers live in blocs that take up 5-6 percent of the territory, so a pullout on the scale envisaged by the minister could leave most of them in place. A spokesman for Netanyahu said he had no comment on the Haaretz report.— Reuters


International FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Morsi stands ground amid crisis President’s friends and foes gear for showdown CAIRO: Egypt faces a showdown in the streets after President Mohamed Morsi failed, in an address to the nation, to satisfy the demands of opponents who want the Islamist to step down after a year in office. Days of brawling between his supporters and their rivals have already left several dead and scores injured and the camps now plan mass rallies, raising the risk of bigger clashes that the army warns could prompt it to take command again. Today, Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and their allies will gather in Cairo, as will some opposition groups. On Sunday, the opposition hopes millions will heed their call, a year to the day since Morsi became Egypt’s first freely elected leader. “I am more determined than ever to go out on June 30 to demand the removal of an absolutely irresponsible president,” Khaled Dawoud, spokesman for a coalition of liberal parties, said on Thursday after Morsi’s marathon late-night address. The army, which helped protesters topple Hosni Mubarak in 2011, says it will act if politicians cannot reach consensus. The United States, which continues to fund the military as it did under

Mubarak, has urged Egypt’s leaders to pull together. Morsi described his opponents as “enemies” and “saboteurs” loyal to the ousted dictator, whose “corruption” had thwarted him and driven the economy into crisis, though he conceded he had made some mistakes and promised reforms. He also offered talks on “national reconciliation” and constitutional change to end the polarization and paralysis that he said threatened democracy. Opponents dismissed that as nothing new. Morsi and his allies complain that their opponents, defeated by the highly mobilized Islamist groups in a series of elections last year, are bad losers who have repeatedly snubbed offers to cooperate. They in turn say Morsi makes such proposals in bad faith, accusing him of usurping the revolution by entrenching Brotherhood control of the state and “Islamising” society to the detriment of more secular Egyptians and religious minorities. “I feel ashamed that this man has become a president of my state,” said Mahmoud Badr, the 28-year-old journalist behind a petition which he says has garnered 15 million signatures calling on Morsi to quit or face mass sit-

ins from Sunday. “Our demand was early presidential elections and since that was not addressed anywhere in the speech then our response will be on the streets

on June 30,” said Badr, who told Reuters he had voted for Morsi in last year’s presidential run-off against Mubarak’s last prime minister. — Reuters

CAIRO: Egyptians shop for food at a popular market in Cairo yesterday. Opponents of the country’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi are hoping to bring out massive crowds Sunday, saying they have tapped into widespread discontent over economic woes, rising prices and unemployment, power cuts and lack of security. — AP

Rights groups: Islamists in UAE jails tortured

DAMASCUS: Syrian detainees who took part in anti-government protests sit in a courtroom before their release, in Damascus. Syrian activists said yesterday a prominent rights lawyer believed to be in government custody for more than eight months is suffering from deteriorating health and called for his immediate release. —AP

Health of detained Syrian deteriorating BEIRUT: Syrian activists said yesterday a prominent rights lawyer believed to be in government custody for more than eight months is suffering from deteriorating health and called for his immediate release. The lawyer, Khalil Maatouk, was abducted while driving to his Damascus office in October and hasn’t been heard from since. The 54-year-old is one of thousands of Syrians who have disappeared since the uprising against President Bashar Assad began more than two years ago, and many of them are believed to be held in government detention centers. Amnesty International estimates that tens of thousands of Syrians are being held incommunicado by the Assad regime but does not have exact figures. The Syrian government denies such cases exist, and says all arrests are carried out legally. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Maatouk, who is known to have lung disease, is being held in an underground Syrian intelligence detention facility. The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists on the ground in Syria to gather information, said Maatouk’s health is deteriorating and called on the United Nations high commissioner for Human rights to help secure his release. —AP

DUBAI: Islamists detained in the United Arab Emirates for allegedly plotting to overthrow the regime have been subjected to systematic mistreatment including torture, three human rights groups said yesterday. Ninety-four Islamists who are members or supporters of Al-Islah group linked to the Muslim Brotherhood are on trial in the UAE and expecting a verdict on July 2 from the Court of State Security. In a joint statement, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Alkarama said they received 22 handwritten letters sent by some of the detainees citing “systematic mistreatment and torture”. “The mistreatment described in the letters is consistent with other allegations of torture at UAE state security facilities, and indicates that torture is a systematic practice at these facilities,” the groups said. They said that on March 4, at their first trial hearing, some defendants told the judge they had

been “seriously ill-treated during months in detention”. The groups called on the UAE authorities to “ensure prompt, independent, and impartial investigations into allegations of torture and other illtreatment, enforced disappearances and other serious human rights violations”. The detainees, arrested between March and December 2012 and eight of whom are being tried in absentia, are accused of being part of an “illegal secret group plotting to take power”. On June 19, the UAE authorities also announced they were charging a group of 30 Egyptian and Emiratis with setting up an illegal branch of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. The United Arab Emirates is one of the most stable countries in the Middle East and has so far not seen any attacks by Al-Qaeda. It has also been spared in the wave of Arab Spring uprisings. — AFP

Tensions high in Libya as capital hit by battle TRIPOLI: Tension was palpable in the Libyan capital yesterday, a day after deadly fighting broke out between groups of ex-rebels, highlighting the country’s continuing insecurity nearly two years after dictator Moamer Kadhafi fell. Much of Libya’s recent unrest has centred on the eastern city of Benghazi, the cradle of the 2011 uprising against Gaddafi, where attacks blamed on Islamists have targeted both the authorities and Western interests. But it now seems to be spreading to Tripoli, where brigades of ex-rebels remain entrenched despite government efforts to disarm them and impose its authority. Since the fall of Gaddafi’s regime, militia groups,

mostly ex-rebels, have managed border controls, prisons, strategic facilities in the country and vital institutions. Coming from different parts of the country, representing different tribes and with varying ideologies, they have received salaries and perks from the authorities, and some have even benefitted from smuggling and extortion. Deadly events on Tuesday and Wednesday epitomized the sense of lawlessness that surrounds them. A group of armed men from the city of Zintan who had been guarding oil facilities in the southern desert, attacked the Tripoli headquarters of the petroleum industry security force on Tuesday. — AFP


International FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Tribal clashes kill 50 near gold mine in Darfur KHARTOUM: Fighting between two Arab tribes vying for control of a gold mine has killed around 50 people in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region, a tribal leader and a UN source said yesterday. The clashes erupted on Wednesday, pitting the Bani Hussein against the Rizeigat, tribal groups which began fighting in January over the use of the gold mine near El Sireaf in North Darfur, Masar Al-Duma Atim, a Bani Hussein leader, told Reuters. “Between 40 and 50 people were killed in El Sireaf on Wednesday,” he said. “They attacked us at 9 am.” A UN source said 54

members of the Bani Hussein had been killed and 24 wounded when Rizeigat tribesmen attacked them while they were grazing cattle in two villages outside El Sireaf. A spokeswoman for the international peacekeeping force UNAMID said both tribes had suffered casualties, without giving figures. The Rizeigat and the army could not be reached for comment. Years of international peace efforts have failed to end conflict in the westerly region of Darfur, where mainly African tribes took up arms in 2003 against Sudan’s Arab-led

government, which they accuse of discriminating against them. Violence is down from its peak in 200405, but has picked up again this year as Arab tribes, many of which were armed by government early in the conflict, are now fighting among themselves over resources and land. Around 300,000 people have been forced to leave their homes in Darfur this year due to fighting between the army, rebels and rival tribes, according to the United Nations. The initial fighting over the gold mine in January killed 500 people and destroyed

more than 68 villages, a pro-government Sudanese lawmaker said in February. Gold has become Sudan’s top export and earner of foreign currency. Half a million people dig for gold in mostly unlicensed mines and sell it to traders and the central bank. The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir and some aides on charges of masterminding war crimes in Darfur. They deny the charges and refuse to recognize the court. Events in Darfur are hard to verify as Sudan restricts travel by journalists, aid workers and diplomats. — Reuters

Nuke solution ‘easy,’ says Iran top leader TEHRAN: Iran’s supreme leader said a solution to the nuclear impasse with the West would be “easy” if the United States and its allies are serious about seeking a deal, Iranian media reported yesterday. The remarks by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are his first on the nuclear issue since the presidential election earlier this month of Hasan Rouhani, who supports direct talks with Washington. It suggests Khamenei also could endorse bolder diplomacy by Tehran if talks resume with world powers. Several newspapers, including the hard-line Jomhouri Eslami, quoted Khamenei as saying “the solution to Iran’s nuclear case is an easy and smooth job” if Western powers want to strike a deal. “The opposition front against Iran does not want the nuclear issue to be solved,” Khamenei told a group of judiciary officials Wednesday. Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, singled out the US for what he called “new excuses” to block possible headway on negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program. No other details were given in the press reports, but Rouhani has suggested greater openness on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions. The West suspects Iran seeks a nuclear weapon. Tehran denies the charge, saying its nuclear activities aim at peaceful purposes such as power generation and medical isotopes. Khamenei also urged all governmental bodies to support Rouhani, a former nuclear negotiator who has the backing of reformist leaders. He formally takes over from outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in August. “Managing the country is a difficult job, indeed,” Khamenei said. “All individuals and bodies must help the president-elect.” Also Wednesday, Iran’s foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, said Iran supports direct flights to the US as a way to serve the large Iranian community in Southern California and elsewhere. There have been no direct air routes between the two countries since the US broke ties after the storming of the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979 in the wake of the Islamic Revolution. Previously, Iran’s national carrier Iran Air operated the longest nonstop flight at the time between Tehran and New York.—AP

TEHRAN: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei casts his ballot in the presidential election without publicly endorsing a candidate, in Tehran. Iran’s supreme leader says a solution to the nuclear impasse with the West is “easy” if the country’s foes are serious about reaching a deal. —AP

ANKARA: Swedish chemical weapons expert Ake Sellstrom (second right), who is leading the investigation team on Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons poses next to Turkey’s Foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu prior to a meeting, yesterday in Ankara. UN-appointed inspectors, blocked from entering Syria, are in Turkey to gather information about possible use of chemical weapons in the civil war. — AFP

Turkey PM to visit Gaza soon: Hamas Edrogan’s office denies July 5 date GAZA CITY: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Gaza next week, a senior official in the ruling Hamas movement told a newspaper yesterday, although Ankara insisted a date has not yet been set. “The visit of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan is to take place on July 5,” Abdelsalam Siyyam, secretary general of the Hamas government said in an interview with Falestin, a daily considered very close to the Islamist movement. But the Turkish leader’s press secretary denied the trip had been planned for July 5, saying the date was still undecided. “The announced date is not correct. The prime minister has other scheduled programs in Turkey around those dates,” the aide said. “The visit will take place, but its date has not yet been decided.” The Turkish leader has long pledged to push ahead with plans to visit the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, despite opposition from the United States which says it would be a “distraction” from efforts to revive the peace process. Washington also fears such a visit could damage the rapprochement

between Israel and Turkey which was personally brokered by President Barack Obama in March. “Two Turkish delegations, one governmental and one press, arrived in Gaza two days ago and met with prime minister (Ismail) Haniya and deputy foreign minister Ghazi Hamad to look into the details of the visit,” Siyyam told the paper. “They informed us about the timing of the visit.” Last week, Haniya and exiled Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal met with Erdogan in Ankara to discuss the planned visit. The Turkish leader has previously said his visit to Gaza would be aimed at pushing for an end to Israel’s blockade on the tiny coastal territory which has been in place since 2006. In May 2010, a six-ship flotilla of proPalestinian activists, many of them Turkish, tried to reach Gaza by sea in defiance of the blockade. Israeli commandos tried to stop them, sparking a bloody showdown which left nine Turkish nationals dead and the Jewish state’s once-close ties with Ankara in tatters. Repeated attempts to bridge the divide between Washington’s two key

regional allies went nowhere until March when US intervention brought about an Israeli apology which paved the way for a reconciliation. However, bilateral talks over Israeli compensation for the families of the victims-a key element of the reconciliation-ran aground, a source close to the Turkish delegation told AFP yesterday. Last month, on a trip to Washington, Erdogan said he would also be visiting the West Bank in a step he linked to peace moves. “It will not be a visit only to Gaza. I will also go to the West Bank,” Erdogan said. “I place a lot of significance on this visit in terms of peace in the Middle East. I’m hoping that that visit will contribute to unity in Palestine.” The planned visit will take place as US Secretary of State John Kerry pushes ahead with a five-month campaign to draw Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table after a hiatus of nearly three years. It also comes as Erdogan faces the biggest challenge to his decade-plus rule in the form of mass anti-government demonstrations which have prompted a brutal police crackdown. — AFP


International FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Mandela ‘still there’: Daughter Makaziwe raps media vultures, hints at racism PRETORIA: Former South African President Nelson Mandela is still clinging to life, his eldest daughter Makaziwe said yesterday, but she blasted foreign media “vultures” for violating his privacy as he lay critically ill in hospital. Makaziwe’s outburst came after the government reported another downturn in the condition of the 94-year-old antiapartheid hero, who is admired across the world as a symbol of resistance against injustice and of reconciliation. A deterioration in Mandela’s status after 20 days of treatment for a lung infection forced South African President Jacob Zuma to cancel his participation in a regional summit in neighboring Mozambique yesterday. “I won’t lie, it doesn’t look good. But as I say, if we speak to him, he responds and tries to open his eyes. He’s still there. He might be waning off, but he’s still there,” Makaziwe told state broadcaster SABC after visiting her father at the hospital in Pretoria where he is being treated. Accompanied by a group of grandchildren, she angrily criticized the “bad taste” of foreign media she said were intruding on the privacy of Mandela and his family at this difficult time.

“There’s sort of a racist element with many of the foreign media, where they just cross boundaries,” she said, after running the gauntlet of the pack of camera crews and reporters gathered outside the hospital. “It’s truly like vultures waiting when the lion has devoured the buffalo, waiting there for the last of the carcass. That’s the image we have as a family,” Makaziwe added. Her criticism followed several sharp rebukes from Zuma’s spokesman against some foreign media reports that have given alarming details of Mandela’s deteriorating condition. Spokesman Mac Maharaj declined to comment on the latest report by a major US. TV news network that South Africa’s first black president was on life support. He said this was part of Mandela’s confidential relationship with his doctors. Daughter Makaziwe said: “If people say they really care about Nelson Mandela, then they should respect that. They should respect that there is a part of him that has to be respected.” She compared the massive media attention on Mandela, who has been in and out of hospital in the last few months with a recurring lung infection,

with the coverage of the death in April of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. “We don’t mind the interest but I just feel it has gone overboard. When

Margaret Thatcher was sick in hospital, I didn’t see this kind of media frenzy around Margaret Thatcher,” she said. “It is only God who knows when the time to go is.” —Reuters

PRETORIA: Children pray in front of the Medi Clinic Heart hospital in Pretoria yesterday. South African President Jacob Zuma said that the condition of ailing anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela had improved overnight and was now critical but stable. — AFP

Bulgaria parliament resumes business

DAKAR: US President Barack Obama, center, accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama, center left, greets Senegalese dignitaries as he arrives at the airport in Dakar, Senegal. —AP

No wheeling dealing on Snowden: Obama DAKAR: President Barack Obama said yesterday he had not spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping or Russian President Vladimir Putin about the US request to extradite former American spy agency contractor Edward Snowden because he “shouldn’t have to”. Speaking at a press conference in Senegal, where Obama started a three-country tour of Africa, the US president said normal legal channels should be sufficient to handle Washington’s request that Snowden, who left Hong Kong for Russia, be returned. “I have not called President Xi personally or President Putin personally and the reason is...number one, I shouldn’t have to,” Obama said. “Number two, we’ve got a whole lot of business that we do with China and Russia, and I’m not going to have one case of a suspect who we’re trying to extradite suddenly being elevated to the point where I’ve got to start doing wheeling and dealing and trading on a whole host of other issues,” Obama said.

Almost four centuries after Africans started being shipped to North America as slaves, the first US president of African ancestry will on Thursday visit an infamous embarkation point for those destined for lives in chains. In his first - and, many Africans say, long-overdue extended tour of the continent, President Barack Obama will focus on political and economic issues, but is also paying homage to a painful chapter in American history. On the first leg of his eight-day visit he is taking his family to the House of Slaves, a fort built in the late 18th century on Goree Island, off the coast of Senegal, as a transit point for the human traffic and now a museum. The visit will be a sombre reminder of a shameful period in US and world history and provide a powerful contrast between Obama’s stature as leader of the world’s most powerful nation and the historical status of Africans, once treated as property in the country he governs. — Reuters

SOFIA: Bulgarian lawmakers succeeded in opening parliament for the first time this week yesterday, defying vegetable-throwing protesters posted outside. As many as 300 angry Bulgarians besieged the legislature in central Sofia in pouring rain to try to prevent lawmakers from entering and to press for the government’s resignation, hoping for a repeat of the protest that forced the cancellation of Wednesday’s session. Tomatoes and cucumbers were thrown at the building as protesters shouted “Mafia!” “Red Garbage!” and “Resign!”, but police fences barred the crowd’s access to lawmakers. During the session, parliament approved the appointments of two new vice premiers, Daniela Bobeva to oversee the economy and Interior Minister Tsvetlin Yovchev as vice premier for interior and security affairs. Thousands of Bulgarians-sick of a political

class they see as too dependent on shadowy oligarchs-have taken to the streets every night since June 14, just four months after anti-poverty and corruption rallies ousted the previous conservative cabinet. Public outrage this time was sparked by Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski’s appointment-which has since been withdrawn-of a controversial media magnate as head of the country’s top security agency. In office for less than 30 days, Oresharski, known as a stern technocrat, has so far refused to resign. But Wednesday’s blockade showed his cabinet’s dependence on the unpredictable ultranationalist party Ataka, when its deputies’ refusal to brave the crowd forced the cancellation of the parliamentary session. Yesterday, Ataka’s flamboyant leader Volen Siderov urged the interior ministry to take harder action, including arrests, against what he called “a crowd of raging hooligans.” — AFP

SOFIA: Protesters pelt lawmakers with tomatoes on Wednesday in a sign of mounting frustration over the government’s refusal to quit over a security scandal. —Reuters


International FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Snowden free to leave: Russia Confusion reigns over documents

LONDON: Sarah Harrison, assistant to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, thanks supporters outside Ecuador’s embassy in west London.—Reuters

WikiLeaks advisor Sarah ‘helping Snowden flee’ LONDON: Holed up with a fugitive computer expert and negotiating a legal minefield to avoid the US authoritiesWikiLeaks staffer Sarah Harrison has been here before. As one of Julian Assange’s closest aides, the blonde, willowy Briton is uniquely qualified to help US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden avoid extradition to the United States for exposing a massive surveillance program. Snowden and Harrison have been stuck together in the transit zone of a Moscow airport since the weekend, after she accompanied him on a flight from Hong Kong as part of efforts by anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks to help the American. Harrison has been closely involved in Assange’s own battle to avoid extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault, which he fears will lead to transfer to the United States and possible prosecution over his whistleblowing activities. She virtually lived with the Australian WikiLeaks founder when he was under house arrest in the English countryside, and there have been reports that they were in a relationship. Harrison now acts as a kind of gatekeeper at the Ecuadorian embassy in London where Assange sought asylum last year-a move which personally cost her £3,500 ($5,300, 4,100 euros) she had put up for his bail. Friends said the researcher, believed to be in her late 20s, was an obvious choice to help Snowden. “She’s completely trusted,” said Vaughan Smith, a video journalist who owns the house in Norfolk in eastern England where Assange lived under strict bail conditions between December 2010 and June 2012. Harrison had her own room and was at the house most of the time, but Smith rejected suggestions she was simply Assange’s adoring lackey. “I don’t think I ever saw her washing socks,” Smith told AFP, referring to one newspaper report from the time. “She’s a key part of the team, she’s one of the people who makes everything happen. “She was very committed to the idea of greater government openness, very hard-working-and put up with conditions of a very difficult job under great pressure.” Smith refused to comment on rumors that Harrison was Assange’s girlfriend. “I know everything about it, but I’m not prepared to talk about that,” he said. Both are fiercely committed to their cause and Harrison appeared to complement Assange during a recent visit to the embassy by AFP, seeming organized and efficient where he is dreamy and remote, and helping him to find documents he has misplaced. Harrison has worked for WikiLeaks since late 2010 as a researcher, media organizer and occasional spokeswoman, and is now Snowden’s constant companion as he seeks refuge from US law. A former WikiLeaks intern who asked not to be named described her as “formidable”. “Miss Harrison has courageously assisted Mr Snowden with his lawful departure from Hong Kong and is accompanying Mr Snowden in his passage to safety,” WikiLeaks said of her role. — AFP

MOSCOW: Russia said fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden was free to leave the Moscow airport where he has been holed up for the last five days but confusion reigned Thursday over whether he had the appropriate documents allowing him to travel. Snowden, who is wanted by the US authorities for leaking sensational details of US surveillance to the media, is said by the Kremlin to have been at the transit zone of Sheremetyevo airport since arriving on a flight from Hong Kong Sunday. But in a mystery that has captivated the world, there has not been a single sighting of Snowden at the airport and his onward travel plans remain an enigma after he failed to board a flight on which he was booked to Havana on Monday.Citroen “He has not violated Russian law, he has not crossed the border, he is in the transit zone of the airport and can fly anywhere that he wants,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. Echoing comments by President Vladimir Putin indicating that Moscow is keen to see the back of its unexpected visitor, Lavrov added: “The sooner this (he flies onwards) happens, the better”. The United States has told Russia that it has a clear legal basis to expel Snowden but Putin has flatly rejected the idea, saying Moscow has no extradition treaty with Washington. But according to the White House, the two sides are in contact over the former National Security Agency (NSA) technician. “We are having conversations with Russian government officials. I’m not at liberty to get into the details of those conversations, but we’re having the conversations,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney. Ecuador, whose embassy in London is already giving refuge to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as he faces extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges, has said it is considering an asylum request from Snowden. But senior Ecuadorean foreign ministry official Galo Galarza denied claims by the anti-secrecy website that Quito gave Snowden a

MOSCOW: The Airbus A330 aircraft being used Aeroflot flight SU150 from Moscow to Havana, is prepared at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow yesterday. A dozen of Russian and foreign journalists continued to occupy the transit zone of the Sheremetyevo airport as yet another Havana-bound flight left Moscow with no sight of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden who is believed to remain at the transit zone. —AP travel document after his US passport was cancelled. “He doesn’t have a document supplied by Ecuador like a passport or a refugee card as has been mentioned,” Galarza said. Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino warned earlier during a visit to Malaysia that it could take weeks to decide whether to grant asylum to Snowden. But he later backpedalled, writing on Twitter that reporters had misinterpreted him and that it could take “one day, one week or, like it happened for Assange, it could take two months.” Meanwhile Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that Venezuela would “almost certainly” grant political asylum to Snowden if the fugitive US intelligence leaker applied for it. Maduro, who like Ecuador President Rafael Correa is a leftist anti-American populist, is by coincidence expected in Moscow next week for an energy summit. Snowden had been expected to leave Moscow on an Aeroflot flight on Monday to Havana, from where he could have caught a connection to Quito. He missed another flight on Tuesday and there was no service on Wednesday. A Moscow-Havana flight is sched-

uled at 1005 GMT Thursday but there have been no reports that he has a booking. The next direct connection is then on Saturday. But the confusion over his travel documents and Snowden’s failure to leave the transit zone has raised the prospect that he could be in limbo for weeks or even months while a solution is found. WikiLeaks has confirmed that he is being “escorted at all times” by British WikiLeaks staffer Sarah Harrison, a blonde who is one of Assange’s closest aides. Putin has also denied suggestions that Russia could be holding up Snowden deliberately to allow an extensive debriefing at the hands of Russian special services. He arrived in Moscow on Sunday on an Aeroflot flight from Hong Kong, a special administrative region under Chinese rule, prompting anger from Washington over how the local authorities there allowed Snowden to travel. Snowden abandoned his high-paying intelligence contractor job in Hawaii-which he himself described as “living in paradise, making a ton of money”-and went to Hong Kong on May 20. —AFP

Gibraltar protests to Cameron GIBRALTAR: The tiny British-held territory of Gibraltar, known as The Rock, has protested to British Prime Minister David Cameron of repeated Spanish incursions into its waters as a diplomatic row grows over allegations that Spanish police fired shots at a jet ski. Spain’s government has flatly denied accusations that its police fired shots while chasing a jet ski on Sunday in waters off Gibraltar and it has criticized Britain for giving credence to rumors. As the dispute mounted, Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo sent a letter to Cameron, according to a statement late Wednesday by the territory’s government. In it, he complained that Spanish incur-

sions into British territorial waters at Gibraltar “constitute a serious challenge to Gibraltar’s jurisdiction and British sovereignty”. Picardo said Spanish military-linked Guardia Civil police shot at the jet ski inside British territorial waters, an incident he described as “dangerous and wholly unacceptable”. “Diplomatic action to date appears to have had no material effect and I fear that Spain will not be deterred by yet another verbal protest no matter how robust,” he said. “It is important that Spain feels the true weight of British reaction to continuing violations of our sovereignty.” Britain’s Minister for Europe David Lidington

protested the “illegal incursion” to his Spanish counterpart during a European Union meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday. And the British embassy’s number two man in Madrid, Daniel Pruce, has demanded from the Spanish foreign ministry a “full explanation”. But a spokesman for Spain’s foreign ministry told AFP there was no shooting and expressed disquiet that Britain was repeating an “unverified and unfounded rumor”. In Gibraltar, the man reportedly at the centre of the incident, 32-year-old David Villa, told online news site Olive Press that he had been testing his new jet ski with family and friends on Sunday when the Spanish police gave chase.—AFP


International FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

India steps up grim search for bodies Mass cremations after devastating floods

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s former President and military ruler Pervez Musharraf arrives at an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad, Pakistan. —AP

Pakistan names investigators in Musharraf treason case ISLAMABAD: Pakistan yesterday moved a step closer to putting former military leader Pervez Musharraf on trial for treason, appointing a committee to investigate him for subverting the constitution. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar told parliament that a four-member committee had been set up to probe charges that Musharraf committed treason under article six of the constitution while in office from 1999-2008. “It is a four-member committee or commission. This committee shall keep the interior ministry posted about the progress of the inquiry on a weekly basis and should submit its findings within a short space of time,” Nisar said. The committee will be made up of officers from the Federal Investigation Agency, he said. The retired general, who returned from four years of selfimposed exile in March, has been under house arrest at his villa on the edge of Islamabad since April 19. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who made an astonishing comeback in May by winning elections 13 years after being deposed by Musharraf, said Monday that the ex-leader should be tried for treason. The offence carries the death penalty or life imprisonment. Musharraf faces a slew of other cases relating to his 1999-2008 rule, including conspiracy to murder former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who died in a gun and suicide attack in 2007. The government yesterday informed the Supreme Court of its intention to investigate Musharraf for treason. Pakistan’s highest court has been hearing a petition from lawyers demanding that Musharraf be tried for subverting the constitution by imposing emergency rule and sacking judges in 2007. Musharraf’s lawyer Ibrahim Satti urged the Supreme Court to give his client a fair trial, accusing the media and Sharif of being biased against him. “In this background the answering respondent is expecting and having full hope that this bench will safeguard and protect the interest and civil right of him regarding fair trial,” said Satti, speaking in English. —AFP

DEHRADUN: Rescue workers stepped up the search for bodies yesterday in India’s flood-ravaged north and mass cremations took place as fears grew over outbreaks of disease, officials and reports said. More than 100,000 mainly pilgrims and tourists have been evacuated from the disaster zone while some 4,000 remain in relief camps after the flash floods and landslides that hit the state of Uttarakhand on June 15. Rivers swollen by monsoon rains have swept away houses, buildings and entire villages in the Himalayan state, which was packed with tourists and pilgrims travelling to Hindu shrines. Around 1,000 people have died, the state government has told AFP, although officials have warned the death toll could rise as more victims are found. Persistent bad weather is hampering evacuations from the relief camps, officials said, and their focus is increasingly on recovering bodies to prevent the spread of disease. “The remaining people will be evacuated as and when the weather clears,” a senior officer overseeing rescue operations told AFP. “The bigger worry is finding the scores of dead bodies that may be still buried under debris,” said the officer, who did not want to be named as he is not authorized to speak to the media. Health officials have warned locals against drinking river water on concerns of contamination from rotting bodies. Six bodies were found floating in the Ganges in Allahabad on Wednesday, some 650 kilometers (404 miles) downstream from Kedarnath, according to reports, highlighting the difficulty of locating all those who perished. Rescue workers are clearing away large amounts of debris and scouring remote areas for victims. More than 1,000 bridges have been damaged along with roads, cutting off villages and towns. A team of police, doctors

Bangladeshi jailed for Facebook threat on PM DHAKA: A Bangladeshi university lecturer was sentenced to jail in absentia yesterday for threatening to kill Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and defaming her on Facebook, a prosecutor said. A court sentenced Hafizur Rahman Rana, a lecturer at a prestigious university, to seven years in jail for posting the comments last April during a protest on campus, prosecutor Tapash Kumar Pal said. Rana, 28, who has gone into hiding in recent months, is the second Bangladeshi to receive a prison sentence for making threatening comments on Facebook against the premier, the prosecutor said. On the social network site, Rana likened Hasina to a hyena who had also destroyed the country and was trying to destroy his

employer, the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). “First I will shoot you (Hasina) in the head and in the stomach,” the prosecutor quoted the post as saying. “Then will put (your) head on display in front of the BUET to ward off other hyenas,” the post said. Bangladesh authorities launched a series of prosecutions last year over material on Facebook pages mocking or threatening Hasina, and her father, the country’s founding leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. In January last year, a 29-year-old Bangladeshi man, a lecturer at another public university, was sentenced in absentia to six months in jail after posting a Facebook message that appeared to wish for Hasina to die in a car accident. — AFP

and firemen has been deployed to the worst-hit Hindu temple area of Kedarnath Valley to recover bodies there, the officer said from the state capital Dehradun. All survivors in that area have already been picked up. “They are carrying saws, plate-cutters and also saline water which is needed to preserve body parts,” the officer said. The team includes mountaineers to retrieve bodies found in the jungle, valleys and gorges, and help carry them out on foot, as well as photographers who will send pictures to the police to speed up the identification process. Mass cremations of victims were under way in the Kedarnath area, to prevent outbreaks of disease, said Ravikanth Raman, a rescue operations officer in Guptkashi, a village near Kedarnath. “We are now quickly cremating the bodies which have been recovered,”

Raman told the Press Trust of India news agency. “But given the scale and nature of the tragedy, there is a likelihood that many bodies could still be lying in open spots, where rescue personnel have not been able to find or reach them,” he said. DNA samples from the bodies are being taken before cremation and are being preserved by the authorities, officials said. The search for bodies and the cremations came as villagers accused authorities of ignoring the needs of local residents and instead focusing rescue and relief efforts on visiting pilgrims and tourists. “There were 67 houses in our Chandrapuri village out of which 63 were washed away by the Mandikini river,” Birendra Singh, a former army officer, told AFP at a relief camp in Dehradun. “Not a single official has visited our village as yet. We have nothing to go back to,” he said. — AFP

PANDUKESHWAR: Members of Indo Tibetan Border Police revive a stranded person at Pandukeshwar in Uttarakhand. —AFP

US sees more Taleban attacks despite talks NEW DELHI: The United States said yesterday that it expected the Taleban to continue to mount attacks in Afghanistan even as the rebels hold peace talks from their new office in Qatar. Taleban 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 on Tuesday, leaving three security guards dead. “Frankly I anticipate that Taleban will continue to try to negotiate from a position of strength,” US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, James Dobbins, told reporters in New Delhi. “The Taleban will want to continue to put pressure on, to make it look like the United States is leaving as a result of that pressure rather than a result of its success,” he added. Dobbins, who is on the last stop of a tour through South Asia, said he had briefed his Indian counterparts about the uncertain

peace process, which has caused concern in New Delhi. “They clearly had anxieties, anxieties that we all have. Nobody knows how this is going to progress,” Dobbins said. India, which has spent more than $2.0 billion of aid in Afghanistan, fears any return of the influence of the Taleban, hardline Islamists that are aligned with Pakistan. India and Pakistan are locked in a fight for influence in Afghanistan, but Dobbins saw the prospect of improved relations between the neighbors which have fought three wars since independence. In foreign policy matters, Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has made improving relations with India his “top priority,” said Dobbins after his talks in Islamabad on Tuesday. “Any improvement in India-Pakistan ties will almost automatically improve Afghanistan’s situation,” he added. —AFP


International FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Rudd sworn in as Australian PM Gillard overthrown as voters welcome change CANBERRA: Kevin Rudd was sworn in as Australian prime minister for the second time yesterday, a day after toppling Julia Gillard and three months ahead of elections in which opinion polls show the ruling Labor Party faces a devastating defeat. Rudd’s return as prime minister follows three years of squabbling within the Labor leadership and as the world’s 12th largest economy faces challenges stemming from a slowdown in top trade partner China. Rudd, a Mandarin-speaking former diplomat, has highlighted the difficulties associated with “the end of China’s resource boom” and said he would work to rebuild the government’s strained relations with the business community. He left open the option of changing the September 14 election date, telling parliament that prime ministers had the right to choose the date. “There is not going to be a huge variation one way or the other,” he said. Australian business was scathing of the political instability and urged Rudd to abandon laws that strengthen trade union access to the workplace and tighten rules for temporary skilled

immigration.“Our tolerance factor with instability in the leadership of Australia’s government is at breaking point, matched only by a swathe of anti-business policies which have brought business frustration to boiling point,” said Peter Anderson, chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “The economic challenges facing Australia, especially our declining competitiveness, high cost structure and low confidence, are serious.” The favourite to win the coming elections, opposition leader Tony Abbott, has promised to scrap a carbon tax and a 30 percent tax on iron ore and coal mine profits if he wins power. He has also promised tighter control of public spending, a speedier return to surplus budgets and stronger economic growth. Rudd’s first task will be a major cabinet reshuffle after a string of senior ministers loyal to Gillard resigned, including former deputy prime minister and treasurer Wayne Swan, Trade Minister Craig Emerson and Climate Change Minister Greg Combet. Former Immigration Minister Chris Bowen was

China, South push for North Korea talks BEIJING: China’s president welcomed his South Korean counterpart yesterday as an “old friend of China” and agreed to make a push for new talks with North Korea yesterday as two of Asia’s newest leaders met for the first time. Park Geun-hye, one of Asia’s few women leaders, took office in Seoul in February amid war threats by North Korea, while China’s Xi Jinping was appointed in November and has sought to rein in the North’s nuclear weapons program, backing tougher economic sanctions against Beijing’s traditional ally. “The two leaders shared a common view on denuclearizing North Korea, maintaining peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and resolving issues through dialogue and negotiations,” Park’s office said in a statement after they met. China backed North Korea in the 195053 Korean War with late leader Mao Zedong’s eldest son dying in the conflict with the South. The 60th anniversary of the end of the war is July 27. Beijing is the main economic and diplomatic lifeline for the impoverished and isolated state, whose three nuclear weapons tests since 2006 have threatened Asia’s security. China has boosted sanctions on its ally, which this year conducted a nuclear test in defiance of international criticism. It has also closed access for North Korean banks in China. Xi was appointed Communist Party chairman, China’s most powerful position, last November and named president in March. In April, he told an international forum in southern China that no country “should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gain”. While Xi did not name North Korea,

his comment came amid the highest tension on the peninsula in years, with daily threats from Pyongyang to attack South Korea and the United States. Xinhua, China’s state news agency, appeared to criticize Pyongyang ahead of the visit, saying that “hard-earned trust among concerned parties has been evaporating following unfortunate incidents one after another” since 2009. In 2009, the North walked out of denuclearization talks brokered by China, carried out its second nuclear test and in 2010 was accused of sinking a South Korean naval vessel and shelling a South Korean island. — Reuters

SEONGNAM: South Korean President Park Geun-hye waves before leaving for China at the Seoul Military Airport in Seongnam, South Korea yesterday. —AP

sworn in as Treasurer and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese was sworn in as deputy leader yesterday. Financial markets see few implications for the $1.5 trillion economy, which is struggling to cope with the end of a historic mining boom as commodity prices fall and a record pipeline in resource investment starts to falter. Manufacturing has been hurt by a strong Australian dollar and other sectors of the economy are struggling to

CANBERRA: Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd speaks during question time at Parliament for what is likely to be its last day before elections in Canberra yesterday. —AP

pick up the slack as the mining bonanza fades. “While some bounce in the polls and possibly confidence is expected, the political games will be largely a sideshow to deeper issues in the Australian economy,” Nomura interest rate strategist Martin Whetton said of Rudd’s re-appointment. Illustrating the challenges, almost 1,000 jobs were cut from Australian coal mines this week alone. Voters welcomed back Rudd, always among the most popular of politicians. “I am glad that we’ve now been given the opportunity to have the prime minister we voted in several years ago,” said Peter Mayson, who works in the building industry in Sydney. Rudd, who was prime minister from late 2007 until 2010, said thoughts of the good of the nation had spurred him to abandon a promise this year never to run for office again, following a failed bid to unseat Gillard. Opinion polls had shown Gillard’s minority government could lose up to 35 seats, giving the conservative opposition a massive majority in the 150-member parliament. — Reuters

Police block site of deadly China Xinjiang riot TURPAN: Armed police in China’s ethnically divided Xinjiang blocked the road yesterday to the site of riots that left 27 people dead a day earlier, in the restive region’s deadliest violence in years. Officers stationed 40 kilometers (25 miles) outside Turpan city’s Lukqun township checked car passengers’ IDs and barred journalists from entering, citing safety concerns. A visitor in Turpan-which lies about 250 kilometers from the regional capital Urumqi-said he saw another roadblock with armed officers and about 20 police vehicles. The Xinhua state news agency said Wednesday that “knife-wielding mobs” attacked police stations and other locations, and nine police or security guards and eight civilians were killed before police opened fire. A resident surnamed Chai said a helicopter arrived on the scene along with many police and soldiers. Xinjiang is home to around 10 million members of the mostly Muslim Uighur ethnic minority. Many complain of religious and cultural repression by Chinese authorities. Authorities deny that and have pushed investment in the resource-rich region in an attempt to boost development and growth. A handful of residents in Turpan interviewed yesterday said they had heard about the incident but declined to elaborate. Life went on as normal as residents napped on the side of the road near mudbrick homes and grape fields. The reason for Wednesday’s violence was not immediately clear. A verified Twitter account by state-run broadcaster CCTV called the incident a “riot”, saying it was correcting an earlier message which

XINJIANG: Chinese security forces demonstrate how they stop protests in Urumqi, China’s farwest Xinjiang region. —AFP described it as an “insurgent attack”. According to official figures, 46 percent of Xinjiang’s population are Uighur, while another 39 percent are Han Chinese, after millions from the majority group moved there in recent decades to find work. The Han settlement drive has caused friction with the existing community. Similar tensions have arisen in Tibet, which neighbors Xinjiang to the south. Both are home to sizeable ethnic minority populations and are officially “autonomous regions” despite close oversight by Beijing. Xinjiang saw its worst ethnic violence in years in July 2009 when riots involving Uighurs and Han settlers in Urumqi left around 200 people dead. Chinese authorities closely restrict information about unrest in Xinjiang, blocking access across the region for several months after the violence in 2009. —AFP


International FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

7 aboard US schooner missing in South Pacific Phone calls, texts ended June 4

HUNTSVILLE: Donna Aldred (left) and her daughter Leslie Lambert (right), listen during a news conference after the execution of Kimberly McCarthy at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Huntsville Unit, where the death chamber is located on Wednesday in Huntsville, Texas. —AP

Texas carries out 500th execution since 1982 HUNTSVILLE, Texas: Texas marked a solemn moment in criminal justice, executing its 500th inmate since it resumed carrying out capital punishment in 1982. Kimberly McCarthy, who was put to death Wednesday evening for the murder of her 71-year old neighbor, was also the first woman executed in the US in nearly three years. McCarthy, 52, was executed for the 1997 robbery, beating and fatal stabbing of retired psychology professor Dorothy Booth. Booth had agreed to give McCarthy a cup of sugar before she was attacked with a butcher knife and candelabra at her home, south of Dallas. Authorities say McCarthy cut off Booth’s finger to remove her wedding ring. It was among three slayings linked to McCarthy, a former nursing home therapist who became addicted to crack cocaine. She was pronounced dead at 6:37 p.m. local time, 20 minutes after Texas prison officials began administering a single lethal dose of pentobarbital. In her final statement, McCarthy did not mention her status as the 500th inmate to be executed or acknowledge Booth or her family. “This is not a loss. This is a win. You know where I’m going. I’m going home to be with Jesus. Keep the faith. I love you all,” she said, while looking toward her witnesses her attorney, her spiritual adviser and her ex-husband, New Black Panther Party founder Aaron Michaels. As the drug started to take effect, McCarthy said, “God is great,” before closing her eyes. She took hard, raspy, loud breaths for several seconds before becoming quiet. Then, her chest moved up and down for another minute before she stopped breathing. Friends and family of Booth told reporters after the execution that they were not aware that Texas had carried out its 500th execution since 1982. They said their only focus was on Booth’s brutal murder. Five-hundred is “just a number. It doesn’t really mean very much,” said Randall Browning, who was Booth’s godson. “‘We’re just thinking about the justice that was promised to us by the state of Texas.” Donna Aldred, Booth’s daughter, reading a statement to reporters, said that her mother “was an incredible person who was taken before her time.” Texas has carried out nearly 40 percent of the more than 1,300 executions in the US since the Supreme Court allowed capital punishment to resume in 1976. The state’s standing stems from its size as the second-most populous state as well as its tradition of tough justice for killers. Texas prison officials said that for them, it was just another execution. “We simply carried out the court’s order,” said Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark. With increased debate in recent years over wrongful convictions, some states have halted the practice entirely. However, 32 states have the death penalty on the books. Though Texas still carries out executions, lawmakers have provided more sentencing options for juries and courts have narrowed the cases for which death can be sought. In a statement, Maurie Levin, McCarthy’s attorney, said “500 is 500 too many. I look forward to the day when we recognize that this pointless and barbaric practice, imposed almost exclusively on those who are poor and disproportionately on people of color, has no place in a civilized society.” Outside the prison, about 40 protesters gathered, carrying signs saying “Death Penalty: Racist and Anti-Poor,” “Stop All Executions Now” and “Stop Killing to Stop Killings.” As the hour for the execution approached, protesters began chanting and sang the old Negro spiritual “Wade in the Water.” In recent years, Texas executions have generally drawn fewer than 10 protesters. A handful of counter-demonstrators who support the death penalty gathered in another area outside the prison Wednesday.—AP

WELLINGTON: A New Zealand meteorologist took the last known calls from the seven people aboard an American schooner, “The weather’s turned nasty, how do we get away from it?” The phone calls and texts ended June 4. More than three weeks later, searchers said yesterday they have grave concerns for the crew on the classic 85-year-old wooden vessel that went missing while sailing from New Zealand to Australia. Attempts to contact the crew by radio and an aerial search this week have proved fruitless. Authorities say the skipper of the 70foot (21-meter) vessel Nina is American David Dyche. They say there are two other American men and three American women aboard, aged between 17 and 73. Also aboard is a British man, aged 35. Messages posted online by friends indicate the boat originally left from Panama City, Florida. Meteorologist Bob McDavitt said he took a satellite phone call from the boat June 3. A woman named Evi asked how to get away from the weather. He said to call back in 30 minutes after he’d studied a forecast. She did. “She was quite controlled in her voice, it sounded like everything was under control,” McDavitt said, adding that the call itself indicated she was concerned about the conditions. McDavitt said he spoke only briefly to Evi, advising her to head south and to brace for a storm with strong winds and high seas. The next day he got a text, the last known communication from the boat: “ANY UPDATE 4 NINA? ... EVI” McDavitt said he advised the crew to stay put and ride out the storm another day. He continued sending messages the next few days but didn’t hear back. Friends of the crew got in touch with McDavitt soon after that, and then alerted authorities June 14. Kevin Banaghan, who is spearheading search efforts by Maritime New

The yacht Nina is tied at dock at a unidentified location. Searchers said yesterday they have grave concerns for seven people aboard the American schooner that has been missing for three weeks between New Zealand and Australia. — AP Zealand’s Rescue Coordination Centre, said rescuers weren’t worried at first because there had been no distress call from the boat and its emergency locator beacon had not been activated. He said rescuers on June 14 initiated a communications search, in which they tried contacting the boat over various radio frequencies as well as contacting other vessels in the area to see if they’d spotted the Nina. This week, he said, rescuers escalated their efforts. An Air Force plane on Tuesday searched the area where the boat went missing. A second search by the plane on Wednesday went as far as the Australian coast but again turned up nothing. Banaghan said searchers are considering their next options. The boat left the Bay of Islands in northern New Zealand on May 29 bound for the port of Newcastle, near Sydney. The last communication was from 370 nautical miles west of New Zealand. Banaghan said the crew hoped to

arrive in Australia mid-June but that, given the conditions, he considered a realistic arrival date to be about June 25. He said Dyche is a qualified captain and the crew has varying degrees of experience. “We’re very concerned for their safety and wellbeing,” he said. Authorities say the storm three weeks ago saw winds gusting up to 110 kilometers (68 miles) per hour and waves of up to 8 meters (26 feet). Banaghan said the Nina is a “lovely old craft” which won races when it was new and had been maintained in excellent condition. He added that it had a new engine installed in recent months which had apparently created some initial leaking problems. He said there are several possible scenarios, including the boat losing communications, drifting off course, or the crew taking to lifeboats. He said there’s also a possibility the boat suffered a catastrophic failure and sank before anybody had time to react. —AP

Ecuador waives US trade rights over Snowden case QUITO: Ecuador said yesterday it was waiving preferential rights under a US trade agreement to demonstrate its principled approach to the asylum request of former American spy agency contractor Edward Snowden. Officials in Quito added that the US fugitive’s case had still not been processed because he had not reached any of its diplomatic premises. In a deliberately cheeky touch from the leftist government of President Rafael Correa, Ecuador also offered a multimillion donation for human rights training in the United States. Snowden, 30, is believed to be at Moscow’s international airport. “The petitioner is not in Ecuadorean territory as the law requires,” government official Betty Tola said at an early morning news conference in Ecuador.

Bristling at suggestions Quito was weighing the pros and cons of Snowden’s case in terms of its own interests, officials also said Ecuador would not base its decision on its desire to renew the Andean Trade Preferences Act with Washington. “Ecuador gives up, unilaterally and irrevocably, the said customs benefits,” said another official, Fernando Alvarado. “What’s more, Ecuador offers the United States economic aid of $23 million annually, similar to what we received with the trade benefits, with the intention of providing education about human rights,” Alvarado added. “Ecuador does not accept pressure or threats from anyone, nor does it trade with principles or submit them to mercantile interests, however important those may be.”— Reuters

QUITO: Fernando Alvarado, Ecuador’s communications minister, arrives to announce that Ecuador is renouncing trade preferences that are up for US congressional renewal during a news conference in Quito yesterday.—AP


International FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Gay couples cheer high court moves Wedding bells may be weeks away

MANILA: US destroyer USS Fitzgerald arrives at the former US naval base in Subic Bay, Olongapo City, north of Manila yesterday to join the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercises close to a flashpoint area of the South China Sea. — AFP

Body of NYC storm victim lay undetected for months NEW YORK: In the chaotic days after Superstorm Sandy, an army of aid workers streamed onto the flood-ravaged Rockaway Peninsula looking for anyone who needed help. Health workers and National Guard troops went door to door. City inspectors checked thousands of dwellings for damage. Seaside neighborhoods teemed with utility crews, Red Cross trucks and crews clearing debris. Yet, even as the months dragged by, nobody thought to look inside the tiny construction trailer rusting away in a junk-filled lot at the corner of Beach 40th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. If they had, they would have found the body of Keith Lancaster, a quiet handyman who appeared to have been using the trailer as a home the night Sandy sent 5 feet of water churning through the neighborhood. It took until April 5 before an acquaintance finally went to check on the 62-year-old’s whereabouts and found his partially skeletonized remains. His body lay near a calendar that hadn’t been turned since October and prescription pill bottles last refilled in the fall. New York City’s medical examiner announced this week that Lancaster had drowned, making him the 44th person ruled to have died in New York City because of the storm. Neighborhood residents described Lancaster as a loner and something of a drifter, and police said he had never been reported missing. No one stepped forward to claim his body from the city morgue, either, after he was finally discovered this spring. He was buried in a potter’s field on an island in Long Island Sound, the medical examiner’s office said. A police missing-person squad is still trying to identify any relatives. —AP

Alabama senator leads immigration opposition WASHINGTON: Day after day, Sen Jeff Sessions argues against an immigration overhaul bill that GOP party leaders, and a sizable share of his Republican colleagues, say is critical to any chance of a national comeback for the party out of power in Washington. The legislation headed for passage in the Senate would cost the nation jobs and depress wages, Sessions says in the Judiciary Committee, on the Senate floor, in hallway interviews and to just about anyone who asks. It’s not paid for, he argues. Nor, Sessions adds, would it guarantee better border enforcement. Lawmakers don’t really know what the bill does, seeing that it consumes 1,100 pages, according to Alabama’s junior senator. The 66-year-old former prosecutor used a similar approach to help defeat an immigration overhaul in 2006 and 2007, when a president of his own party, George W Bush, declared it a priority. Now that Democrat Barack Obama has it atop his domestic agenda, Sessions is again the face of Republican opposition to a path to citizenship for millions of people living in the US illegally. The playing field has changed since then, but the path toward a bill actually becoming law is no clearer than it was six years ago now that a sizable tea party faction holds sway in the House. —AP

SAN FRANCISCO: Backed by rainbow flags and confetti, thousands celebrated in California’s streets after US Supreme Court rulings brought major advances for gay marriage proponents in the state and across the country. Though wedding bells may be weeks away, same-sex couples and their supporters filled city blocks of San Francisco and West Hollywood on Wednesday night to savor the longawaited decisions as thumping music resounded. “Today the words emblazoned across the Supreme Court ring true: equal justice under law,” said Paul Katami, one of the plaintiffs who challenged California’s gay marriage ban, as he celebrated in West Hollywood. In one of two 5-4 rulings, the high court cleared the way for gay marriages to resume in California, holding that the coalition of religious conservative groups that qualified a voter-approved ban for the ballot did not have the authority to defend it after state officials refused. The justices thus let stand a San Francisco trial court’s ruling in August 2010 that overturned the ban. In the other, the court wiped away part of a federal anti-gay marriage law, the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, putting legally married gay couples on equal federal footing with all other married Americans, allowing them to receive the same tax, health and pension benefits. The court sidestepped the larger question of whether banning gay marriage is unconstitutional, and states other than California and the 12 others where gay couples already have the right to wed were left to hash out the issue within their borders. As the sun set on San Francisco, a crowd surged from hundreds to several thousand in

the city’s Castro neighborhood, with rainbow flags and confetti filling the air. James Reynolds, 45, was among the revelers, saying he had been married to his partner of 23 years several times, including once in California. “It’s been taken away from us,” Reynolds said as he stood in a crosswalk near the barrier blocking off the street for the celebration. “But we’ll be married again.” In Southern California, an all-day celebration in West Hollywood grew to hundreds by night, including many gay couples dressed in red, white and blue and one sign that read “Today we are American.” Brendan Banfield, 46, stood on the very spot under a tree in West Hollywood Park where in 2008 he married his partner, Charles, becoming one of an estimated 18,000 couples that got married during the 41/2 four months when gay

marriage was legal in California. “I want to cry,” Banfield said. “It’s been a long journey. I’m grateful I’m alive to see it.” It remained unclear, however, when California’s gay marriages might start again. Backers of the ban known as Proposition 8 have 25 days to ask the Supreme Court to reconsider. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals also must lift a hold it placed on the lower court order before the state can be free to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Still, state officials moved quickly. Gov. Jerry Brown said he had directed the California Department of Public Health to start issuing licenses as soon as the hold is lifted, and state Attorney General Kamala Harris went even further, publicly urging the appellate court to act ahead of the final word from the Supreme Court. —AP

OREGON: Kara Mineehan, 27 (left) and Kim Walsh, 28, celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision to rule the same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional. The event was hosted by Oregon United for Marriage with several guest speakers. — AP

Canada charges ex-Qaeda unit leader Belmokhtar OTTAWA: Canada lodged charges against Mohktar Belmohktar, former head of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), for his role in the kidnapping of two diplomats five years ago, a spokesman said. AQIM is known for May suicide bombings in Niger that killed at least 20, as well as the dramatic January seizing of a desert gas plant in neighboring Algeria in a siege that left 38 hostages dead, also in retaliation for intervention in Mali. Back in December 2008 AQIM, snatched Canadian Robert Fowler, UN special envoy to Niger, and his assistant Louis Guay west of Niamey. AQIM claimed responsibility in February 2009 for the kidnapping of the Canadian diplomats, and of four European tourists snatched in January 2010. After more than four months in detention at the hands of the group, the Canadians were finally released after a Malian mediator spoke with Belmohktar. Federal police (RCMP) filed charges of kidnapping with the intent to raise money for terror against Belmohktar and Omar Ould Hamahathe for

snatching the Canadians in Niger in 2008, said RCMP spokesman Laurence Trottier. While the hostages were abducted in Niger they were released in northern Mali close to the border. Both Mali and Niger have been plagued by Tuareg uprisings in the region making military control of the zone more difficult. The Sahel, with vast stretches of inhospitable desert, is notoriously difficult to control. Rebel movements and other armed groups roam largely unhindered over borders between the countries. Al-Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb has said it intended to unify armed Islamist groups in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, as well as emerging groups in countries bordering the Sahara like Niger and Mali. It has also claimed a series of deadly suicide bombings in Algeria, other attacks in the region and several kidnappings. Born in the Algerian Sahara in 1972, Belmokhtar led the AQIM for years before leaving to lead a splinter group in late 2012. — AFP


Business FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

India’s current account data boosts rupee

Ireland in recession as bailout exit approaches PAGE 21

PAGE 20

LONDON: A child poses for photographs on a Clydesdale Prancing Pony during a photocall at Hamleys toy shop in London yesterday. Hamleys unveiled the ‘must have’ toys for Christmas 2013@ at the company’s flagship Regent Street store in London. — AFP

EU agrees on new bank rescue rules Deal to shift burden from taxpayers BRUSSELS: European finance ministers yesterday agreed a deal on new rules to shift the burden for future bank rescues from taxpayers to the financial sector in a bid to quell public anger over massive bailouts in recent years. The measures, which still have to be adopted by the European Parliament, will force bank owners and bond holders firstly and then depositors with more than 100,000 euros ($130,000) to bear the losses. “Our aim is to have a common approach throughout Europe so our taxpayers no longer have to shoulder the burden,” said Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan, who chaired the talks as current holder of the EU presidency. Noonan said governments would no longer have to save banks that were “too big to fail” as the deal would end the “vicious link” that forced countries to step in and rescue lenders in order to prevent wholesale collapse. The agreement on a key stumbling block for European integration came just ahead of the start of a summit of EU leaders that will aim to tackle another aspect of the crisis fallout-the sharp rise in youth unemployment. The crux of the issue was who should foot the bill when a bank fails, and what room

for manoeuvre governments can have to decide on a rescue strategy after the widely differing experiences seen in Europe in recent years. Under the proposed rules, public funds to rescue banks would only be allowed exceptionally after a minimum level of losses equal to eight percent of the total liabilities. “This establishes ‘bail-ins’ as the new rule,” Noonan said, referring to a term for forced losses put on the bank instead of “bailouts” which use public funds. The Irish presidency said it hoped the new rules would be finalized by early next year at the latest and the plan is that they would then come into effect from 2018. “This is very important for financial stability in the European Union,” French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici told reporters as he came out of the talks. His Dutch counterpart Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who is also head of the Eurogroup, said: “If a bank gets in trouble we will now throughout Europe have one set of rules on who pays the bill.” “The financial sector itself will now to a very, very large extent become responsible for dealing with its own problems,” he said. The resolution mechanism is a key

step toward a “banking union”, the new overall European Union regulatory framework meant to restore the banking sector to health and so prevent any repeat of the bloc’s debt crisis. Up to now, the taxpayer has paid for most of the state and bank bailouts-a massive sum put at 4.5 trillion euros for the 2008-11 period which has stoked growing popular disquiet and added to debt levels. To address this problem, the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund in March agreed a Cyprus rescue which ‘bailedin’ larger depositors in its two biggest banks to pay for their restructuring. Further steps towards banking union and greater integration between euro members are not expected any time soon however as most analysts are expecting a pause for Germany’s general election in September. An EU diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity said that the easing of the euro-zone debt crisis meant there was no longer the same sense of urgency for reforms. “The project seems to be moving forward but much slower. There is a realization that they have to go ahead with integration but it’s not happening at breakneck speed.” — AFP

Dubai Duty Free repricing $1.75bn loan LONDON: Airport retailer Dubai Duty Free (DDF) is set to reprice a $1.75 billion, six-year syndicated loan that signed in July 2012, banking sources close to the deal said. The original loan was split between a dirham-denominated tranche and a US dollar denominated facility, which were both priced at 325 bps (basis points) over LIBOR. As part of the repricing exercise, margins will be reduced by 100 bps on the dirham-denominated tranche and by 75 bps on the US dollar tranche, the sources said. “Pricing in the loan market in the UAE is now coming in,” said one of the banking sources. “This is just a mark to market exercise.” The repricing for the world’s largest single airport retailer is expected to close next week. The original senior unsecured financing was led by coordinators, mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners Citibank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD and HSBC Bank Middle East. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank pre-committed to the facilities as a mandated lead arranger and bookrunner. DDF was established in 1983 as the sole duty free operator at the departure and arrival areas of all terminals at DIA. DDF could not be reached for comment. — Reuters


Business FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

India’s current account data boosts ailing rupee Chidambaram warns deficit may widen

AFGHANISTAN: An Afghan farmer harvests wheat on the outskirts of Mazar-i-Sharif yesterday. Only about 15 percent of Afghanistan’s land, mostly in scattered valleys, is suitable for farming with about 6 percent of the land actually cultivated with wheat being the most important crop. — AFP

Abu Dhabi’s Sorouh up; most stocks rise MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS UBAI: Abu Dhabi’s Sorouh Real Estate rose yesterday in its last trading session before being delisted as part of its statebacked merger with Aldar Properties, while all regional markets gained ahead of the weekend. The tie-up, aimed at reviving the emirate’s battered real estate sector, creates the second-largest listed property firm in the United Arab Emirates and one of the biggest in the Middle East with assets of about $13 billion. “The merged company is attractive at this stage; the backlog of Abu Dhabi projects is strong,” said Ali Adou, portfolio manager at The National Investor. “I’m bullish on the contracting, construction and cement sectors in the UAE so it’s a good play to be in over the next two years.” Sorouh shares rose 4.6 percent to 2.72 dirhams ($0.74), while Aldar gained 2.9 percent to 2.14 dirhams per share. Under the merger proposal, Sorouh shareholders will get 1.288 Aldar shares for every share they own. Sorouh will be dissolved and delisted from the local bourse. The merged entity’s shares will open on Sunday at 2.14 dirhams with a total paid-up capital of 7.86 billion dirhams. Abu Dhabi’s benchmark climbed 1 percent, heading into a sideways trend since hitting a 56-month peak on June 13. Dubai’s index added 0.4 percent, its second rise in the last six sessions, to take year-to-date gains to 37 percent. Investors began booking profits on sharp early-year gains late last week, tracking the move on global markets after the US Federal Reserve said it would end its stimulus program. In Kuwait, the measure ticked up 0.2 percent, but has lost 4.7 percent this month in a bout of profit-taking after sharp earlyyear gains. The market is up 33.3 percent in 2013. The Kuwaiti government on Wednesday set a fresh date of July 27 for a parliamentary election, delaying by two days the sixth assembly contest in seven years in the politically volatile Gulf country. “Many retail investors aren’t here - transactions and trading value have shrunk,” said Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global Investment House, pointing to selling ahead of summer vacations and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, due to start around July 9, as well as due to political uncertainty. Qatar’s bourse added 0.4 percent, extending gains since the smooth transfer of power to the new ruler, Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. In Egypt, local investors bought blue-chips that have been hammered in recent weeks but trading volumes were thin due to near-term political uncertainty. The opposition has planned protests against President Mohamed Morsi on June 30 - the one-year anniversary of him taking office. Two people were killed and 90 wounded in street clashes on Wednesday between Morsi’s supporters and opponents. Investors are largely staying away from trading because of renewed political tensions and foreign investors that were net buyers in this month’s sell-off have changed their stance and are reducing risk as Egypt’s outlook worsens. Orascom Construction Industries rose 0.8 percent, extending gains after a buyout offer from Dutch-listed parent OCI NV received regulatory approval. OCI shares closed at 240 pounds ($34.21), presenting further upside due to the tender offer price being 255 poundsper-share. Cairo’s index rose 1 percent, its third straight gain since Monday’s one-year trough. — Reuters

MUMBAI: India’s current account deficit narrowed to 3.6 percent in the first quarter of 2013, data showed yesterday, helping to reverse a dramatic slide in the rupee to historic lows. The better-than-expected figures eased pressure on the currency, which lost nearly 2.0 percent on Wednesday when it touched a record 60 to the dollar. The current account data came a day earlier than expected and dealers speculated its release might have been moved forward by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to boost sentiment. The rupee, which hit a lifetime low of 60.72 to the dollar on Wednesday, strengthened to 60.33 after the data was released. It was trading at 60.53 by at 0630 GMT. The deficit for the three months to March was $18.1 billion, compared with a record $32.6 billion, or 6.7 percent of gross domestic product, for the previous quarter, the RBI said in a statement. The imbalance in the current account, which measures the gap between inflows of foreign currency and outflows and is the broadest gauge of trade, is the biggest risk to the economy, according to the bank. After the data, India’s Finance Minister P Chidambaram yesterday warned that the deficit “may widen” in the current quarter because of recent money outflows. “The data has calmed the (forex) market somewhat,” said Shubhada Rao, chief economist with private Yes Bank. She said the deficit numbers for the March quarter improved as non-oil and

non-gold imports declined. India’s deficit stems mainly from large oil and gold imports and weaker exports amid the global economic downturn, which has raised inflation concerns. Foreign investors have been pulling out money from India-besides other emerging markets-in June, to safer havens such as US Treasury bills. The deficit figures come as India’s Congress-led government struggles to stimulate the economy, which

grew at a decade-low of five percent last year, ahead of elections due next year. For the full fiscal year ended March, the current account gap was $87.8 billion, or 4.8 percent of GDP, compared with $78.2 billion a year earlier. “The data was well above our expectations, as the services sector performed better than expected in the March-end quarter,” said Siddhartha Sanyal, chief India economist with Barclays Capital. — AFP

NEW DELHI: A commuter walks near a shop dealing in foreign currency exchange in New Delhi yesterday. The rupee touched an all-time low of 60.72 against the dollar Wednesday, but rose 0.3 percent to 60.5350 per dollar yesterday morning. —AP

Qatar lifts GDP growth forecast to 5.3% DUBAI: Qatar’s government yesterday raised its forecast for real gross domestic product growth in 2013 to 5.3 percent from 4.8 percent, citing changes to its expected output of oil and gas. The General Secretariat for Development Planning predicted growth of 4.5 percent next year. In 2012, GDP rose 6.2 percent. Pipeline gas production will rise this year and unscheduled shutdowns, which limited energy output in 2012, are unlikely to be repeated, the secretariat said in a report. “In 2014, upstream oil and gas is expected to contract as output from maturing oil fields tapers off and gas production hits installed-capacity limits,” it said. The government’s fiscal surplus in Qatar, the world’s top exporter of liquefied natural gas, is expected to drop to 4.7 percent of GDP in 2014 from an upwardly revised 8.1 percent this year, the secretariat said. In its previous report last December, it had forecast a 2013 surplus of 5.4 percent. “The overall surplus is expected to narrow in 2014 in the wake of the substantial increases in capital spending needed to keep Qatar’s capital projects on track,” it said. Qatar plans to spend some $140 billion on infrastructure in the next decade, partly in preparation to host the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament. Inflation is expected to be 3.6 percent in both 2013 and 2014, up from 1.8 percent last year, the secretariat predicted. “This forecast is consistent with somewhat higher inflation in the second half of 2013, but also anticipates that the accelerating inflationary trend seen since the second quarter of 2012 will peter out by end-2013,” it said. — Reuters

UAE’s ADNOC plans new Das crude blend SINGAPORE/DUBAI: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company is planning to blend its Lower Zakum and Umm Shaif oils into a new export crude called Das from early 2014, oil market trade sources said yesterday. “From April, Lower Zakum and Umm Shaif will be combined into one grade. The API will be about 39 and the grade will be called Das,” a trade source familiar with the plan said. “It makes sense to consolidate as they are of relatively small volumes and of similar quality.” A source at state-run ADNOC said the plan was still being finalized but said that “everyone will benefit” from blending the two similar crude streams which are already exported from the same terminal on Das Island. Oil output from Lower Zakum, which has an API gravity of 40.5 degrees and a sulfur content of 1.04 percent, is around 350,000 barrels per day (bpd), while around 280,000 bpd of Umm Shaif crude has a similar weight of 36.9 degrees and 1.44 percent sulfur. A buyer of ADNOC crude said there has been a lot of market talk about the two United Arab Emirates crudes being blended, but that ADNOC had not informed traders of the plans. “We haven’t received anything officially from ADNOC. They also haven’t shared any plans about merging the grades so far with us,” the north Asian buyer said. It is not clear how the Das Island blend crude would be priced. The UAE typically sells Lower Zakum at a premium to Umm Shaif, while the benchmark Murban crude is usually sold at a premium to both. — Reuters


Business FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Spain loses influence in IAG as Bankia sells stake MADRID: Spain has lost its direct influence in International Airlines Group in the midst of its controversial restructuring, after nationalized lender Bankia sold its stake in the airline company for 675 million euros ($877 million). Bankia, bailed out to the tune of 24 billion euros by the state last year, sold the 12 percent stake on Thursday as part of a recovery plan agreed with the government and the European Union. International Airlines Group (IAG) was formed in 2011 by the merger of British Airways and Spain’s Iberia. Losses at the Spanish airline, however, have led IAG to launch a restructuring at Iberia which includes thousands of lay-offs and sparked strike action earlier this year in a country where over a quarter of the workforce are jobless. “A forced sale like this one tends to have dangerous implications. The

(Spanish) government should be able to have a say in its only national airline, which has a major role in the economy,” said Jose Maria Marin, a professor at the state-run National University of Distance Education (UNED). As a result of the stake sale, the Spanish government - through Bankia will lose a seat on IAG’s board. However, certain safeguards for Iberia’s business that were put in place at the time of the merger - such as the routes it can fly remain in place until 2016. “Spain’s influence in IAG is reducing,” said Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Robin Byde. “Iberia now accounts for around 26 percent of IAG’s capacity ... maybe those who said the merger was more of a BA takeover were right.” The buyers of Bankia’s stake are unknown, though financial sources told Reuters that bookrunner Merrill Lynch had sold the

224 million shares to a wide range of investors. Bankia and IAG said in statements only that the shares had been placed with “institutional investors”. Last year IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh said there was no strategic value in having Bankia as a shareholder and that the group was open to another airline taking Bankia’s stake, though analysts doubted a rival would step in. There had been speculation Qatar Airways may be interested in the stake but both Walsh and Qatar Air CEO Akbar Al Bakar dismissed the possibility. Iberia has become unprofitable in all markets, including long haul, and its problems are critical, IAG said last week. The Spanish airline reported an operating loss of 202 million euros in the first quarter. Staff staged two five-day walkouts in

February and March but halted industrial action after IAG reduced the number of lay-offs at the Spanish flag carrier to 3,141. Bankia’s stake in IAG was sold at 256 pence per share, Bankia said, a 3 percent discount to Wednesday’s closing price, and bringing in a 167 million euro capital gain for the lender. “There was a bit of fear about the sale because 12 percent of the company’s capital is quite a lot ... but the discount was pretty small,” said Renta 4 analyst San Felix. IAG’s shares were down 1 percent to 261.4 pence by 1303 GMT, versus a 0.1 percent decline for European travel stocks. Bankia’s recovery plan following its state rescue last year targets 8 billion euros from the sale of stakes in listed companies, which also include a 5.1 percent stake in utility Iberdrola and 20 percent of tech firm Indra. — Reuters

Ireland in recession as bailout exit approaches Revised data shows 3 quarters of shrinkage

BERLIN: A man looking at ads for job vacancies at the employment centre “Agentur fuer Arbeit” yesterday in Berlin. German unemployment registered a surprising fall to 6.8 percent this month when the labor market in Europe’s biggest economy proved robust, official data showed yesterday.—AFP

Merkel open to future EU ‘solidarity fund’ BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday said she would be open to a future euro-zone “solidarity fund” for crisis-hit nations, once the zone has agreed a unified financial and economic policy. But she did not define how such a body would look, and stressed that Europe did not needs another fund but structural reform. In particular the European Union needed to invest in education and research to stay globally competitive. The first priority was for euro-zone countries to agree on “the content and substance” of joint financial and economic governance, which would have to be settled and then approved by national parliaments. “Given such a context, I could imagine a solidarity mechanism, tightly linked to conditions, for example in the form of a fund for the euro-zone,” Merkel told the German parliament. However Merkel, who faces elections in September, was quick to stress that Europe’s biggest economy does not want to dole out money but make sure the entire bloc is economically competitive. “I will say quite clearly: whenever Europe speaks of a solidarity mechanism, it is immediately increased and broadened, and in the end no-one speaks about the parameters for competitiveness anymore, but only about a new source of funding-and this is something Germany won’t stand for.” She said Berlin “insists that the problems in Europe and the euro-zone are tackled at the root and solved step by step so that the monetary union will finally become a stability union. “For that, in Europe, we need a solid financial policy, to boost growth through structural reforms, and more investment in education and research.” Speaking hours before the start of an EU summit in Brussels, she also struck a hopeful note: “I am more convinced, more than ever, that if Europe learns from its mistakes and sticks to the path it has chosen, we will achieve our goals, a strong Europe ... stability and growth”. — AFP

DUBLIN: Ireland’s economy slid into recession late last year and continued to contract sharply in early 2013, new and revised figures showed yesterday, just months before it is due to exit its EU/IMF bailout program. Gross domestic product shrank 0.6 percent in the first quarter of this year from the previous three months, confounding analysts’ expectations of 0.3 percent growth - a shock reading that shows the euro member is recovering from financial crisis much more slowly than previously thought. Revised data also showed a quarterly contraction of 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, meaning Ireland’s economy has shrunk for three successive quarters and is in its first recession since 2009. “It clearly shows that we’re not immune to what’s going on globally. Given these numbers you’d be hard pushed to have growth for the year as a whole,” said Alan McQuaid, economist at Merrion Stockbrokers. Ireland has been one of the few euro zone countries to have eked out mild growth as the currency bloc’s debt crisis has unfolded, despite harsh spending cuts and tax hikes imposed to help bring down one of Europe’s highest budget deficits. Though Irish people have not protested against austerity as angrily as

those in other indebted states such as Greece and Spain, many have endured salary cuts of up to a fifth and big tax rises. Unemployment has more than tripled, to 14 percent. The second euro-zone country to be rescued, in November 2010, it is due to complete its bailout later this year and has made a limited return to bond markets, although yields on its debt have recently started to rise again. Analysts say the country has enough cash to cover most of its funding needs through next year, however, and should exit the aid deal on schedule, providing the European Union with a badly-needed success story for austerity. The poor economic data rounds off a bad week for Ireland, where public anger is growing over leaked tapes of bankers laughing about a government rescue of the financial system that led to the bailout and years of austerity. Three years on, a split in society is becoming clearer - property is selling fast in upmarket areas of Dublin, while shells of unfinished houses litter ghost estates and suburbs around the country. Overall, house prices have fallen by half. “Dublin is booming, but I go to my home town and most of the shops are closed down,” said human resources worker Lynn, who did not want to give

her second name. “It’s heartbreaking. Here it’s completely different. I can’t find properties to rent for people who are relocating.” Thursday’s data showed the economy grew by just 0.2 percent last year, rather than the 0.9 percent initially thought, and an export-led recovery stalled in the second half of 2012, largely because of the slowdown in the rest of the euro-zone. The Irish government is targeting growth to bounce back this year to 1.3 percent and return towards the level seen in 2011, when the economy expanded by 2.2 percent - a figure that was revised upwards yesterday. But that now looks unrealistic after personal consumption fell 3.0 percent in the first quarter, its sharpest drop in four years. Exports of goods and services had an even steeper decline of 3.2 percent, the most since Ireland’s economic crisis began. The prospect of easing up a little on austerity, which the government has been considering given leeway offered by a deal which eased the terms of debt repayment, now looks trickier. “It’s very fragile and it probably means we have to be very careful about the scale of adjustment in budget 2014,” said KBC Ireland economist Austin Hughes. — Reuters

Russia scales back privatization drive MOSCOW: Russia unveiled yesterday a scaled-down state assets privatization drive that is now valued at $50 billion (38 billion euros) and keeps the Rosneft oil giant under firm government control. The new three-year plan through 2016 emerged after the energy-export-driven country’s top economic officials went through a list of all the big enterprises that still remain in state hands. Economists said the scale of the project is about half the size of the original plan. Privatization is emerging as a vital source of income for Russia because of its recent

economic underperformance, with many fearing that the country may slip into recession by the end of the year. But top ministers and other officials have been loath to part with industries over which they exercise control. One of the most notable revisions of the medium-term program was the decision not to see the government’s control of the Rosneft behemoth-Russia’s biggest oil company and the largest listed energy firm in the worldfall to less than 50 percent. The firm is headed by Igor Sechin-one of Russia’s biggest powerbrokers and a close associ-

ate of President Vladimir Putin. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev appeared to take an open swipe at Sechin for managing to save his company from going mostly private. “We should say this out in the open,” news agencies quoted Medvedev as saying. The failure of past privatization programs “can be traced to the pro-energy lobbying of specific government agencies and individual officials,” said Medvedev. “These people are ready to kill themselves before they allow something to be sold off, seeing them lose control of the corresponding property.”— AFP


Business FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

US consumer spending rises, jobless claims fall Income jumps 0.5%, saving rate up

LISBON: Two men wait at Santa Apolonia station during the general strike in Lisbon yesterday. Public transport crawled to a standstill in Portugal as unions staged their fourth general strike in two years against government austerity measures adopted in return for an international bailout. — AFP

Anti-austerity strike hits Portuguese transport LISBON: Portuguese unions halted public transport yesterday in a peaceful one-day strike against austerity measures which have led to the worst economic slump since the 1970s and sent unemployment to record levels. Trains, metro services and many public offices shut down. But restaurants and shops opened as hard-up Portuguese who could not afford to miss a day at work opted to go by car, clogging many entry points to Lisbon with traffic jams. Strikes and protests over the tough terms of a 78-billion-euro bailout by the European Union and IMF in 2011 have been mostly peaceful in Potugal, unlike the unrest in countries such as Greece, or more recently Brazil and Turkey. The Portuguese are fed up with austerity and the sharpest tax rises in living memory this year but they are more fearful of losing their jobs with unemployment at record levels near 18 percent and three years of recession. “It’s simple - if I don’t work, I don’t eat. The government disgusts me, the austerity is stifling us, but protesting won’t feed my family,” said Augusto Nery, a 53-year-old electrician. Unions hope the fourth general strike in two years will force the government to boost economic growth and ease the belt-tightening. The government won an easing of tough budget deficit goals from creditors in March and has said it could request further flexibility if the economic outlook worsens. “What we have is an exceptionally large strike,” said Armenio Carlos, head of the CGTP union. — Reuters

WASHINGTON: US consumer spending rebounded in May and new applications for unemployment benefits fell last week, suggesting the economy remained on a moderate growth path. The Commerce Department said yesterday consumer spending increased 0.3 percent last month after a revised 0.3 percent drop in April. Consumer spending in April was previously reported to have declined 0.2 percent. Last month’s spending increase was in line with economists’ expectations. When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending rose 0.2 percent last month after dipping 0.1 percent in April. In a separate report, the Labor Department said initial claims for unemployment benefits fell 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 346,000. The fourweek moving average for new claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 2,750 to 345,750. US stock index futures slightly added to earlier gains after the data. US Treasuries prices extended price gains and yields fell to session lows, while the dollar pared gains against the yen. Recent data, including housing, regional factory activity, business spending plans and consumer confidence, have pointed to an economy that is regaining some speed after

MONTPELIER: A shopper looks over the clothes at the Vermont Trading Company in Montpelier, Vermont. Consumers spent more in May as their income increased, encouraging signs after a slow start to the year, according to data released by the Commerce Department yesterday. —AP stumbling early in the second quarter. That is broadly supportive of the view the Federal Reserve expressed last week that the downside risks to the economy’s outlook have waned. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the U.S. central bank could start scaling back on the pace of its monthly bond purchases this year. Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of US economic activity. Though the pace of

Britain’s double dip recession fears ease LONDON: Britain did not suffer a double-dip recession early last year as previously thought, but household living standards suffered their biggest drop in a generation at the start of 2013. The Office for National Statistics said yesterday that following a major annual revision of historic economic data, figures now showed that output flat-lined in the first three months of 2012 rather than contracting. This meant Britain did not suffer the two consecutive quarters of contraction which commonly define a recession - fillip for finance minister George Osborne, whose spending cuts since 2010 are blamed by political opponents for causing unnecessarily slow economic growth.

British monarchy costs taxpayer £1m more LONDON: The public cost of the British monarchy rose by just under £1 million last year to £33.3 million ($51 million, 39 million euros) but fell in real terms, palace accounts revealed yesterday. Diamond jubilee celebrations marking Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th year on the throne made the 2012/13 financial year “challenging”, Buckingham Palace said. But it added that the British taxpayer was paying £3 million less for the monarchy than five years ago once the figures were adjusted for inflation, due to falling travel costs and a rise in royal incomes. The 87-year-old monarch has been scaling back the gruelling travel schedule that has kept her jetsetting for six decades, and is increasingly handing over duties to younger royals. The queen’s official expenditure rose by £900,000 in 2012/13, when the grant was set at £31 million including an extra million pounds to pay for the diamond jubilee. An additional £2.3 million was drawn from reserves. —AFP

spending has slowed from the 2.6 percent annual rate notched in the first three months of the year, consumers will likely continue to drive growth in the second quarter. The firming growth theme held as other details of the Commerce Department report showed income grew 0.5 percent last month, the largest gain since February, after nudging up 0.1 percent in April. —Reuters

DAK LAK: A group of hilltribe ethnic Ede farmers preparing land to grow cassava in the Central Highlands’ province of Dak Lak. All land in the communist nation is owned by the state and usage rights are frequently opaque, allowing corrupt local officials and well-connected businessmen to seize land with impunity, according to activists. —AFP

However, other figures from the ONS were almost unremittingly grim. Britons’ real disposable income fell by 1.7 percent in the first three months of 2013, the biggest quarterly drop since 1987, driven down by an outright fall in wages and rising prices, causing households to reduce their savings to the lowest share of income since early 2009. Britain’s current account deficit with the rest of the world unexpectedly widened to 3.6 percent of gross domestic product and business investment slumped by 16.5 percent on the year, casting doubt on government hopes for an economic recovery driven by exports and capital spending. “Overall it does look as if UK economic history has been revised in a negative direction,” said Victoria Clarke, an economist at Investec. “It certainly looks as if the UK is a step further away now from ‘escape velocity’. We suspect that this, coupled with some inflation projections in August, will be enough to tilt the balance for the (Bank of England) to sanction more QE,” she said, referring to asset-buying quantitative easing. Further historic revisions now also show that the recession between the second quarter of 2008 and the second quarter of 2009 inclusive was deeper than thought, leading to a 7.2 percent fall in output, compared with previous estimates of a 6.3 percent fall. Britain’s slowest economic recovery on record since then means that output is still 3.9 percent below its pre-recession peak - compared with an earlier estimate of 2.6 percent below. The one figure that was not revised was the estimate of 0.3 percent quarterly growth in the first three months of 2013, a figure that surprised many economists who had been fearing a ‘triple-dip’ recession before it first came out in April. Other recent data and surveys have also pointed to a strengthening of growth in the second quarter, with the Bank of England forecasting a 0.5 percent expansion. However, the economy remains fragile and many economists expect the central bank to restart its quantitative easing asset purchases of provide other stimulus soon after former Canadian central bank chief takes Mark Carney takes over from governor Mervyn King on July 1. —Reuters


FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013


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

THE FASCINATING STORY OF THE 99 Baghdad lies in ruins, destroyed by the marauding armies of Hulagu Khan. The brave librarians of the great Dar Al-Hikma rush to save the glory of the ancient world’s accumulated wisdom, little knowing that centuries later their efforts will bear strange fruit. While the Noor Stones were created to save the library, their power

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Opinion FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Emir to change style, keep father’s policy

Any Afghan deal will do? By Ben Sheppard

By Taieb Mahjoub

Q

atar’s young new emir is likely to stay the course on most of his father’s policies while opting for a less assertive approach on pressing diplomatic matters, including the Syrian war, analysts said. In his first address to the nation late on Wednesday, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani focused on what he called his government’s “top priority” of promoting development in the Gulf state. He made no mention of the Syria conflict which has killed more than 100,000 people and which was a core policy of the past few years under the rule of his father, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. 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 took the lead among Arab states in the Libyan and Syrian uprisings. “Qatar will not change its policy. But it’s normal for a new team to choose a new style in the exercising of power,” said Emirati analyst Abdulkhaleq Abdulla. “In the short term, domestic political imperatives will overwhelm foreign diplomacy, as Sheikh Tamim’s government will be listening to the people in its quest for popularity,” said Abdulla. As a result, he added, the important role played by Qatar in Arab Spring countries, among them Syria, would “diminish in the absence of the two main pivots of Qatari diplomacy: the former emir and his prime minister,” the driving force behind Qatar’s rise to global prominence. “Qatar’s experience will not be repeated elsewhere in the Gulf,” said Abdulla, pointing out that Sheikh Hamad’s abdication on Tuesday was “not politically convincing” as it took place at a time when the gas-rich state was rocketing towards the peak of its glory. At the age of 33, Sheikh Tamim became the youngest Gulf monarch. In his moderate 15-minute speech on Wednesday, he said that “the change in the person of the emir, does not mean that the challenges and responsibilities have changed”. Qatar “has sided with the Arab people in their desire for freedom and dignity, and against corruption and tyranny,” and it will remain “the Kaaba of the oppressed”, he said in reference to Islam’s holiest site towards which Muslims across the world pray. “The emir will continue (with his father’s policy) but in a different style,” according to London-based analyst Abdelwahab Badrkhan. “The lack of reference to Syria in the sovereign’s speech does not mean a change in policy, although the emir may reconsider Qatar’s support to

Islamists” who came to power in Arab Spring countries such as Tunisia and Egypt. For Ibrahim Sharqieh, deputy director of the Brookings Doha Center, “Sheikh Tamim deliberately avoided mentioning difficult matters, including the Syrian conflict, however, he reiterated Qatar’s fixed policies Arab-wise, including its support for the Palestinian question.” “It’s normal that he has focused on internal political matters during his first address to Qataris, who had just pledged allegiance to him,” said Sharqieh. “The line drawn by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa’s policy will be maintained, but in a different style

A Dec 24, 2012, file photo shows then Qatari Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani smiling as he arrives in the Bahraini capital of Manama to attend the annual Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit. — AFP after the departure of Hamad bin Jassem,” he said. Khaled Al-Attiyah, who was promoted to foreign minister in the new government from minister of state for the same portfolio, “ran the major issues in the region for years”. “It will be the same policy, but with less aggression,” said Sharqieh. “However, we will miss Hamad bin Jassem’s frank, direct and sometimes inflammatory remarks,” he said, speculating that the former premier would “one day emerge as a major player on the international arena, like Algeria’s Lakhdar Brahimi,” the international peace envoy to Syria. But in the meantime, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem, who heads the Qatar Investment Authority at a time when Qatar’s gas and oil wealth is generating billions of dollars that are being invested in energy and infrastructure projects, will continue to oversee the country’s investments and assets abroad, according to several sources in Doha. — AFP

Rudd boomerang opens up polls By Barry Parker

T

he stunning return to power of Kevin Rudd has thrown open upcoming Australian elections the conservative opposition was so long tipped to win at a canter. With the resurrection of the 2007 general election victor, the Labor Party hopes to have given itself a fighting chance for 2013, if the pundits are to be believed. Polls had consistently tipped Rudd to increase Labor’s vote by up to a third or more if he returned to the leadership. And the first post-return survey duly reported an immediate swing to the Labor Party. Research firm Morgan Poll questioned 2,530 Australians by SMS on Wednesday night after Rudd defeated Prime Minister Julia Gillard in a caucus ballot for the party leadership. The result gave Labor 49.5 percent - up five percent on Morgan polling last week-

end. The Liberal-National Party coalition lost five percent to 50.5 percent. “If a federal election were held today the result would be too close to call,” Morgan predicted after months in which Labor feared an electoral wipeout. “Suddenly Abbott faces an opponent far more popular than himself,” said the Sydney Morning Herald, referring to opposition leader Tony Abbott. “The opposition leader’s assured run to election victory has been radically disrupted,” added the daily’s Peter Hartcher. Rudd spoke directly to voters declaring that he had to come back, despite firm vows never to challenge for the leadership again, to halt Abbott’s “destructive” intent. “What literally thousands of Australians have said to me over the last year or so is that they are genuinely fearful of what Mr Abbott could do to them if he’s elected with a massive majority,” said

Rudd. Abbott demanded yesterday in parliament that the Sept 14 election be brought forward to the earliest possible date to let the people decide. “When will they get the chance to decide who is the prime minister of this country?” he asked. The ousted Gillard, gracious in defeat, urged the Labor Party not to “lack the guts” to win the election. “I know that it can be done ... That will best be done by us putting the divisions of the past behind us and uniting as a political party,” she said. Politics professor John Wanna told AFP Labor badly wanted Rudd’s electioneering talents and populism to stave off crushing defeat. “His message is much better than Gillard’s, that’s been very clear,” said the Australian National University academic. “He is a populist. “He is much better at campaigning. They are the skills they (Labor) are looking for. — AFP

T

he United States, the government in Kabul and Taleban insurgents are all scrambling for advantage as the clock ticks down in the search for an unlikely peace deal before foreign military intervention ends in Afghanistan. US troop numbers will halve to 34,000 within eight months. The British operate just 13 bases in the hotbed province of Helmand, down from a peak of 137. Other NATO allies have already withdrawn. But the Dec 2014 deadline to leave increasingly looks like a hostage to fortune as the Taleban ramp up attacks in Kabul and pose as the government-in-exile at their new office in Qatar. “The Americans need this negotiation, not the Taleban,” said Waheed Mujda, an analyst who worked as a foreign ministry official in the 1996-2001 Taleban government. “Without a peaceful settlement, the situation will worsen. The Taleban will intensify attacks, more rural areas will fall under their control, and the highways and main roads will become insecure. “They think that this way they will have the upper hand in any peace talks. As they often say ‘the Americans have the watch, but we have the time’.” US President Barack Obama was accused earlier in his presidency of being slow to seek a political solution to end the 12-year conflict, but concerns are rising that a deal must now be bought at any cost. When the Taleban opened their office in Qatar last week, raising their flag and using the name of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, a furious President Hamid Karzai broke off security talks with the Americans and threatened to boycott any peace process altogether. Bruce Riedel, director of the Brookings Intelligence Project, said that the US failure to orchestrate a smooth opening of the office reinforced suspicions about Obama’s bottom-line. “The perception in the region is that Washington is so desperate for a political process that it’s willing to sacrifice the interests of its Afghan partner,” he said. “That’s a very dangerous perception now sitting out there.”It’s got to become a process in which Afghans talk to Afghans. And Karzai has said he’s not going to talk. He wants negotiations with a Taleban that reinvents itself as a political party.” Pakistani author Ahmed Rashid, who has written extensively about Afghanistan and the Taleban, said Karzai’s intransigence partly reflected wider Afghan anger but accused him of being part of the problem. “He has always envisaged a kind of Taleban surrender to him or a Pashtun meeting of tribes in which the Taleban would acknowledge Mr Karzai as their leader and tie the traditional turban around his head,” Rashid wrote this week in The Financial Times. “Clearly, none of this is going to happen. Why would the Taleban surrender when they had beaten the US military to a standstill or bow before the Afghan they most despise? Yet Mr Karzai refused to accept anything less.”Only hours after the Qatar office opened, a Taleban rocket attack killed four Americans on the largest military base in Afghanistan. Just days later, a suicide squad targeted the presidential palace and a CIA office, in the most audacious assault in Kabul in years. “The insurgents’ primary mode of political expression in the near future will remain fighting, not party politics,” said a paper released on Wednesday by the International Crisis Group think tank. Amrullah Aman, a former Afghan general turned popular TV pundit, said that as 2014 gets closer, the Taleban are convinced that “their success is directly proportional to American withdrawal”. “Their political office in Qatar has emboldened them to do more operations to put pressure on the government to give in to their demands,” he told AFP. But others do not believe the Taleban hold all the aces, despite the fast-approaching US exit and a weak Afghan government that faces a tricky presidential election in April. —AFP


FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

www.kuwaittimes.net

A South Korean Taekwondo performer breaks a wooden plate during an event for tourists in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, June 26, 2013. — AP


Food FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

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cold drink on a hot day is one of summer’s pleasures. Multiply your refreshment with some new drink ideas. A soda is just a beverage, but a homemade soda is cartoon character reaction good. One sip and your eyes will pop out of their sockets and your mouth will get “WOW” big. That’s how good it is. Ripe cherries in the back yard inspired this version, but a soda made with blackberry, peach or strawberry syrup will have you dreaming of putting summer’s fruits to good use. Fix and stash a batch or two in the freezer. The sugar content keeps the syrup from freezing hard, so it’s always ready to mix with seltzer. If cooking syrup seems like a tad too much work, then turn it into a chiller by combining 1 cup seltzer with 3 tablespoons fruit puree. For peach puree, “The Lee Bros. Charleston

Kitchen” (Clarkson Potter, $35) recommends combining 1 pound ripe peaches, peeled and pitted, with 1\2 cup lime juice (three limes), 1 teaspoon sugar and } teaspoon salt. Puree the ingredients in a blender. For each drink, pour 6 ounces (} cup) seltzer water over ice into a highball glass. Stir in 3 tablespoons peach puree and garnish with a peach slice. A squirt of lemon in water is just the starting point for refreshing the palate and quenching your thirst. Steeped and infused water, with or without tea, offers even more choices. The tamarind water is a wake-up call to go outside your comfort zone in reaching for a cold one. It’s tart and sweet and most important - refreshing. Tamarind in pliable bricks can be found in Asian markets. Herbs add another element when slaking your thirst. Steep rosemary, lemon verbena, basil, lavender or chamomile and chill and drink, or freeze in trays and add to drinks as ice cubes. And don’t forget spices. Cinnamon sticks, a pinch of saffron and sweet fennel are more flavor options. Finally, there’s no better way to end an evening than with an ice cold egg cream. This soda, consisting of chocolate syrup, milk and seltzer, probably dates to the 19th century, according to “New York Sweets: A Sugarhound’s Guide to the Best Bakeries, Ice Cream Parlors, Candy Shops, and Other Emporia of Delicious Delights,” by Susan Pear Meisel (Rizzoli International, $29.95). “The modern versions contain neither egg nor cream, although earlier versions did include eggs in the ingredients,” according to the book. Whatever its origins, it sure hits the spot. SOUR CHERRY SYRUP Makes 2 cups Ingredients: 2 quarts fresh sour cherries, pitted


Food FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

2 cups sugar Juice of 1 lemon Instructions: In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine the cherries, sugar and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the fruit solids. Store the syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to seven days. Pour over ice cream or stir into milk. Cherry soda: Fill tall glass with ice. Add 3 tablespoons syrup and add a few dashes citric acid solution or acid phosphate. Top with seltzer and mix gently. Cherry cream soda: Fill a tall glass with ice. Add in 3 tablespoons syrup, pour in seltzer until the glass is almost full. Stir. Top with 3 tablespoons milk and serve. Cherry lassi: Add 3 tablespoons yogurt to a pint glass. Stir until smooth. Add 3 tablespoons cherry syrup and stir until syrup and yogurt are incorporated. Fill three-quarters full with water, stir and top with ice. Bourbon and cherry chocolate: Add 1} ounces Maker’s Mark bourbon, 1 tablespoon cherry syrup and dash of chocolate bitters to a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice. Shake and strain over fresh ice cubes or into a rocks glass, or serve neat in a martini glass. Cherry ice cream soda: Fill a tall glass with ice. Add 3 tablespoons syrup. Add enough seltzer until the glass is two-thirds full, stirring briskly. Add 1 scoop vanilla ice cream, then top with more seltzer, taking care that it doesn’t run over. The syrup recipe and most of the serving suggestions are from “Make Your Own Soda: Syrup Recipes for All-Natural Pops, Floats, Cocktails and More,” by Anton Nocito (Clarkson Potter, $14.99).

pour the chocolate syrup into the glass, then stir again, taking care to stir mostly at the bottom of the glass to incorporate. Garnish with a straight pretzel rod. This recipe is from “New York Sweets: A Sugarhound’s Guide to the Best Bakeries, Ice Cream Parlors, Candy Shops, and Other Emporia of Delicious Delights,” by Susan Pear Meisel (Rizzoli International, $29.95).

TRADITIONAL CHOCOLATE EGG CREAM Serves 1 Ingredients: 1 cup (3 ounces) whole milk About 1 cup (6 ounces) very cold seltzer 3 tablespoons (1 ounce) chocolate syrup Straight pretzel rod for garnish Instructions: Pour the milk into a 12-ounce glass and add the seltzer. Using a long spoon, stir vigorously for a few seconds. Gently

LEMON AND MINT INFUSION Serves 1 Ingredients: 2 slices lemon and 2 sprigs fresh mint Instructions: For a refreshing start to the day, place the lemon and mint into a heatproof glass and cover with boiling water. Allow to steep for two minutes before drinking. This recipe is from “Share: The Cookbook That Celebrates Our Common Humanity” — MCT

INFUSED AND FLAVORED WATERS Cool cucumber, pungent rosemary and tart tamarind. Ingredients/instructions: Cucumber water: 1 cucumber, peeled and seeded; juice of 1 lime; 5 cups water; sugar, to taste; 1 lime, sliced, for garnish In the jar of a blender, blend the cucumber and lime juice and then strain through a fine-mesh sieve for an hour. Add the juice to the water, along with a little sugar to taste. Serve garnished with a lime slice. Rosemary lemon iced tea: 1 bunch rosemary, well washed; zest of 2 lemons; juice of 2 lemons; 1 cup sugar; 5cups water Put the rosemary, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar in a heatproof container. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil and then pour it over the rosemary. Stir and let infuse for two hours. Strain and serve cold. Tamarind tea: 5 cups water; 1 cup tamarind paste; 1 cup sugar In a small saucepan, bring the water to a simmer over medium heat. Add the tamarind and sugar and stir for about five minutes, then let soak for two hours. Strain through a finemesh sieve and serve cold. This recipe is from “Mediterranean Cooking,” by The Culinary Institute of America and by Lynne Gigliotti (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $34.99).


Tr a v e l FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Euro trippin’: Top 10 destinations in Europe

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0 selected towns competed for the prestigious title of Best European Destination 2013. Istanbul is elected the Best European Destination 2013 and won the title ahead of 19 big European cities. Lisbon (with only 439 votes behind the winner), Vienna, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Madrid, Valletta, Nice, Milan and Stockholm are the next best destinations for a holiday or city-trip in 2013.

Istanbul

ISTANBUL, TURKEY The only city in the world to straddle two continents, Turkey’s fabled city of Istanbul is the historic crossroads between East and West, a city of minarets and palaces and the perfect choice for a refreshing city break. 2013 will be a landmark year to visit Istanbul, marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic by Ataturk, with celebrations including the opening of the Marmaray tunnel under the Bosphorus linking Europe and Asia and the Ataturk Cultural Centre in Taksim.

Vienna

LISBON, PORTUGAL The good weather and long days are an irresistible invitation to discover and experience the city with a relaxed and leisurely walk of its seven hills, taking breaks at the various sightseeing spots along the way. The viewpoints of GraÁa, Senhora do Monte, Santa Luzia, Sao Jorge Castle or Sao Pedro de Alcantara are just some of the scenic spots of Lisboa, where you can admire the most beautiful panoramic views of the Portuguese capital, also known as “Cidade da Luz Branca” (City of White Light). VIENNA, AUSTRIA Vienna invites you to participate in comprehensive enjoyment in 2013: the coffee house, Viennese cuisine stands for the enjoyment culture of the city on the Danube. Vienna is also globally known as a metropolis of art and culture. No fewer than three new cultural institutions are set to enrich the city in 2013: the Chamber of Art and Wonders in the Kunsthistorisches Museum shines with a new splendor, the MuTh - the new concert hall of the Vienna Boys’ Choir in the Augarten invites visitors to regular performances, and the Stadtpalais Liechtenstein offers art of the Biedermeier and Classicism periods.


Tr a v e l FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Lisbon

BARCELONA, SPAIN In Barcelona, you don’t have to choose between going shopping or sightseeing. Wherever you go, you’ll see that shops are part of city life. And while you discover unforgettable sights, you’ll be welcomed by the window displays of leading international brands, modern designer shops and traditional shops that have been there since time immemorial. AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS It’s likely you’ve seen a picture of Amsterdam’s winding waterways. Perhaps you’ve heard it’s home to almost as many bikes as residents. Or maybe you’re aware of its tolerant and laid-back atmosphere. But there’s more to Amsterdam than meets the eye.

Milan NICE, FRANCE A seaside city in the centre of Europe, Nice has been enjoying, in recent years, a genuine economic, cultural, artistic and architectural revolution. Creative, dynamic, cosmopolitan, young, Nice is bubbling with innovative realizations worthy of Europe’s greatest capitals. Innovation is everywhere. Nice is on the move, constantly growing and evolving, always excelling. MILAN, ITALY Milan is the hub of Italian culture and media. While you visit, let the atmosphere of Italy’s most modern and advanced city seep in. You will be captured by the elegance and style; by the energy and the international flair. An incredible shopping experience for all tastes and pockets, in a place where design and fashion have made their home.

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN Stockholm is a ground breaking, welcoming and innovative trendsetter. Fashion, technology, music, film, design and the game industry thrive here like never before. It is a place where creativity grows, and where dreams and new ideas are realized. But most of all - A city open for everyone!

Madrid

— www.europeanbestdestinations.org

MADRID, SPAIN Madrid is one of the world’s liveliest, most entertaining and vibrant cities during the day, but even more so at night. The Spanish capital does not only offer art, shopping, nightlife and excellent gastronomy but it also presents both visitors and locals with all imaginable options for leisure. The Spanish capital makes everyone feel right at home while providing them with some of the world’s most interesting tourist attractions. VALLETTA, MALTA Europe’s smallest capital it may be, but Valletta has the vibrancy and diversity - not to mention the rich cultural and historical offering-of a city many times its diminutive size. Valletta’s most compelling charms come to you slowly, in snippets: during a lazy walk through its tangled sun-bleached streets, where you’ll catch a glimpse of the harbors through silhouettes of 16th-century homes.

Barcelona


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Health FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Kick it up with cardio exercise B

efore you jump on that Stairmaster or start pounding the pavement, make sure you have a cardio exercise plan that will give you the most bang for your muscle burn. Whether it’s pounding the pavement, logging miles on the bike, or climbing those stairs that seem to go nowhere, it’s all about cardio exercise. But other than a sweaty tshirt, what do you have to show for your workout? A slimmer stomach? Killer quads? Are you exercising for the right amount of time to reap the full health benefits of cardiovascular fitness, or often enough? Exercise experts, including fitness maven Denise Austin, answer cardio questions for WebMD, so you can make the most of your muscle burn.

Austin, and that’s your zone. “If your heart rate halfway through your workout is over that 70% mark take it down a level, and if under, pick up the pace.” Not a math wiz? There are easier ways to figure it out. “Another great way to find out your zone is to get a pulse monitor, which takes the math out of it,” says Austin. “Or very simply, take the talk test: while you are doing aerobics, talk a sentence. If you are too winded to finish the sentence, you are overdoing it, or if it’s too easy to say, kick it up a notch!”

your recovery time, such as bicep curls or tricep toners, to reap the benefits of both cardio exercise and weight training, and along with interval training, add dedicated weight sessions to your regimen to burn fat and sculpt muscle at the same time. “Do cardio four days a week for 30 minutes, and add a weight-training workout at least two times a week at 20-minute sessions,” says Austin. “Cardio will burn the fat, and it’s the weight training that gives you the toned sculpted look that will have you bikini ready.”

Getting cut with cardio

Cardio’s best fat burner

If you’re looking for ripped abs and toned arms, interval training will help get you there-especially if you throw in some weights. “I love interval training because it consistently jump-starts your metabolism,” says Austin. “Let’s say you are walking-you could power-walk really fast for three minutes to get the burst of calorie burn, and then walk calmly and slowly for one minute, which offers recovery? By switching back and forth, you push the muscle and let it relax over and over and this gives you maximum results.” You can do interval training on any type of cardio exercise machine-alternating a high intensity with a more moderate level. Austin suggests doing weights during

So you want the bottom line: Which cardio exercise will fat-bust the best? “Running is the best option for calorie burning, in my opinion,” says Niki Kimbrough, personal fitness expert with Bally Total Fitness. “Whether it’s outside or on a treadmill, it’s the best exercise because you’re burning calories and you’re strengthening your legs and heart-it’ll get you nice and lean.” Beginners should start with 20 minutes, explains Kimbrough, and work their way up. “It takes about 20 minutes for your body to get going, and then your body starts to kick it to another level,” says Kimbrough. “Ideally, you want to run for about 30 or 45 minutes.” For those with bad knees,

Kimbrough recommends the elliptical machine as a good second choice. In case running isn’t your game, Kravitz takes another track. “I really feel the most important message is to chose a cardio modality or modalities that you like,” says Kravitz. “Because in the final outcome, if a person enjoys a mode of exercise, that is what all research shows they will choose.” Splitting it up While it may not be the fastest way to a body built for the beach, splitting up your cardio exercise still has its benefits. “In order to achieve the best results, and also in order

Cardio exercise: The heart of the matter “Cardiovascular exercise is any type of exercise that increases the work of the heart and lungs,” says Tommy Boone, PhD, a founding member of the American Society of Exercise Physiologists. “Walking, jogging, and running are common forms of cardiovascular, or aerobic, exercise.” From running and walking, to swimming, elliptical cross-training, biking, Stairmaster, and rowing-to name a few-the physical benefits of cardio exercise abound, explains says Len Kravitz, PhD, senior exercise physiologist for IDEA Health and Fitness Association. They include: Reduced risk of heart disease Improved blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels Improved heart function Reduced risk of osteoporosis Improved muscle mass “The American College of Sports Medicine and the CDC recommend, for health, that adults should accumulate 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week,” says Kravitz, who is also a coordinator of exercise science at the University of New Mexico. “And to improve cardiovascular endurance, they recommend 20 to 60 minutes on three to five days per week.” Now that you know the benefits of cardio exercise, where should your heartpumping fitness plan begin? Getting into the zone To help you make the most of your cardio exercise workout-help your heart, increase muscle, and lose fat-Denise Austin, fitness expert, author of seven books, including Shrink Your Female Fat Zones, and star of 50 fitness videos, gives WebMD some tips. “To reap all the benefits of a cardio workout, you should sustain your workout for 20 minutes or more-I do 30 minutes myself-on a schedule of about three to four times per week,” says Austin. Not only that, but you need to get in the zone, which calculates into burning calories and fat. “The best way to find out if you are burning fat is to take your pulse halfway into your cardio workout for six seconds, then add a zero to that number,” Austin tells WebMD. This number is your heart rate per minute. Next, calculate your zone “Take the number 220, then minus your age, then calculate 70 percent of that number for your target beats per minute,” says

to maintain a healthy heart, it is best to not split up your cardio workouts,” says Austin. “You need the consistency of 20 minutes or more of an elevated pulse to ensure great results. However, something is better than nothing.? If all the time you have is 10 minutes or even five minutes, it is better than sitting still; you will still be garnished benefits and lose weight.” — www.webmd.com


Lifestyle FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

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An employee of the Kunstverein Hannover art association poses next to the work ‘Into the Groove Vol II’ by German artist Oliver Blomeier yesterday during a preview of the show ‘Vom Hier und Jetzt’ (About Here and Now) in Hanover, central Germany. From June 29 to August 25, 2013, the exhibition will be presenting works from more than 40 regional artists.—AFP

Singapore gripped by Hello Kitty frenzy

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This photograph made available by The Straits Times newspaper yesterday shows people waiting in a queue to purchase a Hello Kitty toy in a skeleton outfit at a Mcdonalds restaurant in Singapore. — AFP

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irector Joe Carnahan continues to assemble an impressive ensemble for his action-comedy “Stretch,” adding Ray Liotta, David Hasselhoff and Shaun Toub. Patrick Wilson stars in the Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions film as a down-on-hisluck limo driver named Stretch who discovered he only has one shift left to pay off a big debt to a bookie. When the chauffeur picks up a reclusive billionaire (Chris Pine) with some deviant appetites, Stretch vows to fulfill his every request, no matter how weird, to score the big tip that could settle his score. As the night grows stranger and Stretch is pushed into some dangerous encounters, he worries that the freak in his back seat might just be his final fare. Toub will play the no-nonsense owner of the limo company that employs Stretch, while Liotta and Hasselhoff are expect-

empers flared and police had to be called yesterday as anxious Singaporeans rushed to McDonald’s outlets to buy Hello Kitty plush toys being sold by the fastfood chain as a promotion. Hundreds had begun queueing from Wednesday night to get their hands on a kitten in a skeleton outfit, depicting a character from the German fairy tale “The Singing Bone”. It was the last of a series of six limited-edition Hello Kitty characters dressed in different outfits from popular fairy tales which were being sold by McDonald’s this month. In some outlets, chaos broke out amid rampant queue jumping as supplies of the toys ran out soon after the stores opened for business yesterday. One video uploaded on YouTube showed police officers mediating between two customers in front of a McDonald’s counter. Another showed an irate man asking an agitated crowd “Is he Singaporean? Is he educated?”, apparently in reference to someone who had gotten a queue ticket ahead of others.—AFP

ed to cameo as themselves, according to an individual familiar with the project. Ed Helms and James Badge Dale co-star alongside Brooklyn Decker. Blumhouse’s Jason Blum will produce with Tracy Falco and Carnahan, while Leon Corcos and Nila Najand will co-produce. Charles Layton will executive produce. Universal will release the low-budget movie in North America on March 21, 2014. Production begins June 30 in Los Angeles. Liotta recently starred in “The Place Beyond the Pines” and has several movies on the horizon including the Disney sequel “Muppets Most Wanted” and “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” in 2014. He’s repped by UTA, Untitled Entertainment and attorneys Stewart Brookman and Craig Jacobson. Hasselhoff is best known for his heroic portrayal of Mitch Buchannon on “Baywatch,”

elevision talk show queen Oprah Winfrey was named the most powerful celebrity in the world on Wednesday as Forbes.com released its annual list of the top movers and shakers in the entertainment industry. Winfrey, 59, who was ranked in the top spot despite her signature daytime television show Oprah ending its 25-year run in 2011, headed a 100-strong list which featured six women in the top 10. Forbes.com uses a complex methodology to come up with its list, taking into account various factors including earnings, the number of mentions each celebrity gets in print and television and their Internet presence before deciding the rankings. The website also gives each celebrity a marketability score out of 100 developed by a California-based market research form. Winfrey made an estimated $77 million between June 2012 and June 2013, significantly less than other rivals on the list but came out on top after scoring well in areas such as press mentions and social networking power, Forbes.com said. In second place was eccentric pop star Lady Gaga, who earned $80 million in the same period, while Hollywood titan Steven Spielberg was third. The legendary director and producer earned a cool $100 million in the past year. The next three spots were occupied by women from the music world, with Beyonce Knowles in fourth ($53 million), Madonna in fifth ($125 million) and Taylor Swift ($55 million). Rock band Bon Jovi took seventh with $79 million while Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer was the only athlete to make the list as he came in eighth. Federer, sensationally dumped out of Wimbledon in the second round on Wednesday, pocketed $71 million. Rounding out the top 10 were singer Justin Bieber ($58 million) and television comedienne Ellen DeGeneres ($56 million). — AFP

which holds the Guinness World Record for most watched television series in history. He’s currently in pre-production on the indie comedy “Killing Haselhoff,” which he’ll produce and star in. He’s repped by manager Eric Gardner of Panacea Entertainment. Toub co-starred in “The Last Airbender” as well as “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 3.” He’s currently in production on the Ernest Hemingway movie “Papa,” which reunites him with his “Crash” producer Bob Yari. Toub is repped by Abrams Artists Agency.


Lifestyle FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

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This publicity image released by Paramount Pictures shows a scene from ‘World War Z.’ — AP

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o this was the deal: For $50, you got to see Brad Pitt’s hotly anticipated zombie thriller “World War Z” before all your friends. You also got 3D glasses to keep, popcorn and sodas, a poster, the DVD when it comes out, and an intimate dinner with Brad. Just kidding! No dinner with Brad. But hundreds of fans did pay $50 for the other stuff last week in a small-scale marketing experiment in five theaters - and the studio, Paramount Pictures, says it worked well. With all the recent talk about future movie ticket prices climbing into the stratosphere, is it a harbinger of things to come? Before you scoff, it’s worth noting that premium pricing happens all the time: in Broadway theaters, where you could get second-row seats for Tom Hanks in “Lucky Guy” this week if you paid $300 a pop, or at concerts, where you could pay well over $1,000 for, say, a Rolling Stones VIP package. At Yankee Stadium, a toptier Legends seat can also top $1,000 per game, but season holders can get perks like a free trip to spring training. Still, the idea of $50 for a movie strikes a lot of fans the wrong way. “That’s my dinner,” noted a Philadelphia moviegoer, Cheyanne Farmer, 15. “That’s my allowance,” added Rahyaan Hall, her friend. “For a month.” In New York though, one fan did some quick calculating and saw a reasonable value. “With the DVD and all those other things you mention, it probably comes to more than $50,” said Alex Leighton, 24, who’d just bought tickets to “World War Z.” “So you’re getting more than the movie.” That’s the point that Paramount wants to make. “This ended up being a headline that didn’t really represent what the offer was,” says Megan Colligan, the studio’s president of domestic distribution and marketing. “These people stepped up and made their commitment to us, and we gave them a great experience.” That experience, which involved just one show each at five theaters across the country, included not merely seeing the film two days early and the free stuff; the “mega-ticket” buyers also got to bring friends along at regular price and they got a party atmosphere, including a DJ and photo booths. Colligan says that four of the theaters sold out - they averaged 250 seats each - and one was 80 percent full. She wouldn’t get more specific in terms of revenue, but said: “It was a fun, positive experience for everyone.” The offer might have gone largely unnoticed, had it not been for its timing: The special showings came just a few days after Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, speaking at the University of Southern California, issued dire predictions about the future of movie prices, with Lucas estimating tickets could end up at “$50, maybe $100, maybe $150,” and Spielberg predicting differentiated pricing according to a film’s budget - with the next “Iron Man” costing $25 perhaps, but the next “Lincoln” costing $7.

How realistic were those projections? As for the Lucas estimates, there’s no way prices could reach that high, says Tom Adams, analyst and director of US media for IHS Electronics & Media. “I just don’t see what we could add to the experience to make it worth that much,” he says. But differentiated pricing is much more realistic, he says. “When you think of it, it’s strange to have an industry where every product costs the same, no matter how good or popular,” he says. “I think consumers are smart - they can figure out that ‘Avatar’ costs a lot more to make than a romantic comedy. And we see with 3D movies that price flexibility is possible, for a different viewing experience.” At Paramount, Colligan points out that her studio’s $50 experiment is not really about Lucas’ dire price projections, but about the need to find new, creative ways to market the movie experience, both in theaters and at home. “This is all part of wanting to take risks, to develop new strategies of how we do business,” she says. “There’s going to be more experimenting to come. You can’t do what you did 10 years ago and have the same results.” The advantages of a “mega-ticket”-like scheme, if people go for it, are clear for the studio (Paramount partnered with Regal Entertainment Group, the large movie-theater circuit). First, you get customers buying the DVD at the same time they see the movie, rather than buying it later and only if they really loved the film. Perhaps even more important, you help generate early buzz, with moviegoers spreading the news on social networks two days before opening. It’s like having theaters full of critics ready to post their reviews - but here, the critics are fans, predisposed to loving the film. The upside for fans? They get to see the film early - not a small thing, depending on the fan and the movie. It may work even better for installments of huge franchises, mused Leighton, the New York movie fan, and his friend, Florian Baier, 22. “I wouldn’t have done it for this movie, but maybe for the next ‘Star Wars’ film or maybe ‘Lord of the Rings,’” Leighton said. “I’d also be checking the online reviews - I’d have to know the movie was good.” Added Baier: “I wouldn’t do it for the DVD. That is not a draw.” Leighton agreed: “There are easier ways to watch online. If I even have the time.” Note to studios: Maybe you should think about offering that dinner with Brad, after all. — AP

hanning Tatum has been enjoying a stellar rise to movie stardom over the last few years, and even if “White House Down” isn’t the explosive hit he’s hoping for, his career is showing no signs of flaming out any time toon. While “White House,” Roland Emmerich’s $150 million exercise in the art of CGI destruction, is only on track to rake in around $30 million at the domestic box office this weekend, Tatum has at least three other potential moneymakers in some level of production. The biggest of the three, at least in size and scope, is “Jupiter Ascending,” the next sci-fi spectacular from “Matrix” directors Lana and Andy Wachowski. Tatum stars opposite Mila Kunis in Warner Bros.’ summer 2014 release, which follows a destitute woman (Kunis) targeted for assassination by the Queen of the Universe because her very existence threatens to end the Queen’s reign over the cosmos. Tatum will expand his action star power as a genetically engineered exmilitary hunter who arrives on Earth to track Kunis down. Although Tatum’s showbiz success has been steadily increasing since he made young women swoon as a troubled breakdancing janitor in 2006’s “Step Up,” the 33 year old proved his comedic chops in last year’s breakout comedy hit, “21 Jump Street,” which he also executive produced. Following a hilarious cameo in Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s “This Is the End,” Tatum hopes comedy fans will once again flock to see him go undercover alongside Jonah Hill in “22 Jump Street” - another project that should assure Tatum has a strong summer showing next year. And just as Tatum proved his worth as a funny person, “Foxcatcher” - a wrestling drama based on a tragic true story should elevate his thespian status in the eyes of the most serious filmmakers. Tatum stars in “Moneyball” director Bennet Miller’s next film as Olympic Wrestling Champion Mark Schultz, whose brother, Olympic Champion Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), is killed by paranoid schizophrenic John duPont (Steve Carell). Columbia Pictures is releasing the Annapurna Pictures production on Oct. 15. Tatum is also busy building his producing credits, which began with the 2010 documentary “Earth Made of Glass,” followed by the 2011 ensemble high school reunion flick, “10 Years.” Tatum’s company, 33andOut Productions, is developing Peter Pan origin adventure, “Neverland,” which Gavin O’Connor (“Warrior”) will direct for for Sony Pictures. Most recently, Tatum has set his ambitions toward making it on the small screen, too. He is attached to executive produce a television pilot written by actor Nick Zano. Still untitled, the project is in very early stages of development at Warner Bros. Television. The half-hour, multi-camera comedy is based on Zano’s own experience being raised in a multigenerational house of seven women in New Jersey. Still want more Tatum? Cross your fingers 20th Century Fox can close a deal with him to appear alongside Joseph GordonLevitt in the theatrical adaptation of classic musical, “Guys and Dolls.” So with a bevy of projects on the heels of release, entering production, or graduating from development, the “Magic Mike” star’s future appears to be brighter than a strobe light flashing in a Florida strip club. — Reuters

Actor Channing Tatum attends the ‘White House Down’ premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Tuesday. — AP


Lifestyle FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

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n exhausted Michael Jackson warned that tour promoters AEG Live were going to “kill” him as he rehearsed for a marathon concert tour shortly before his death, his son Prince testified Wednesday. The 16-year-old also recounted the harrowing scenes on the day Jackson died in 2009, recalling how his younger sister Paris was “screaming” as doctor Conrad Murray was trying to revive her father. “He just wished he had more time for rehearsals,” he told the wrongful death trial, in which the Jackson family accuses AEG Live of negligently hiring Murray to care for the star for his doomed “This Is It” shows. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 for having given Jackson an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, to help him cope with chronic insomnia as he rehearsed for the series of 50 planned London shows. Previous testimony at the manslaughter trial, and at the current civil case, has heard details of how the self-styled King of Pop���s state of health deteriorated rapidly in the months before his death. On Wednesday-a day after the fourth anniversary of Jackson’s death-his son Prince said the singer was upset on the phone “a lot of time,” most of the time with AEG Live chief Randy Phillips. “He would cry sometimes. He said: ‘They’re gonna kill me, they’re gonna kill me.’” Asked who he was talking about, he said: “People in AEG, Randy Phillips.” The teenager was dressed in a dark suit and tie, with long hair brushed behind his ears. He appeared reasonably relaxed, smiling as some videos and photos of the family were shown in court. The 16-year-old, the highest-profile witness to testify since the civil trial started in late April, recalled June 25, 2009, the day his father died at his rented Holmby Hills mansion outside Los Angeles. “I was downstairs

in the sitting room. I heard screaming upstairs. I saw Dr Conrad, (personal chef) Kai (Chase) looked nervous and said ‘Dr Murray wants you upstairs.’ “I ran upstairs and I saw Dr Murray doing CPR on my dad. Dr Murray was screaming while doing CPR. Then my sister came upstairs. She was screaming all the time saying she wants her dad,” he added. Appearing to fight back tears, he recalled how the children followed the ambulance which took Jackson to hospital, in a separate car. “My dad always told us that angels were looking after him. At the hospital, “Dr Murray said ‘Sorry kids, dad is dead. We just cried,” he told the jury. Jackson’s lawyers have called a series of AEG executives-including Phillips-and experts as witnesses over the last two months, and are expected to hand over to the AEG defense in the near future. His son’s powerful testimony was likely an attempt to make a personal appeal to the 12-person jury before main Jackson family lawyer Brian Panish closes their side of the case. During the testimony Wednesday, Panish showed a lot of pictures of the children, including a video shot at Christmas in which they are asked what they want to do when they are grown up. In one clip Blanket-now 11 years old-says “I don’t know,” and Paris talks about gymnastics and “helping the poor.” Prince told the court he wants to study film and business or mechanical science and business at the University of Southern California (USC). Of his father, he said: “He wanted to know what we were learning, how we were doing at school and how we would use that to better the world. He always said you have to be creative and think with the right side of your brain.” Jackson’s 15-year-old daughter Paris was also originally listed among witnesses due to be

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called. But it is now thought unlikely she will testify, after she was hospitalized earlier this month following a suicide attempt. Her elder brother was asked about his sister at Wednesday’s hearing. “She was my dad’s princess,” he recalled. — AFP

ionsgate will bring exclusive video of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “I, Frankenstein” to Comic-Con, the studio announced on Wednesday. Lionsgate is the first film studio to reveal its plans for the fan confab in July; its panel will take place Saturday July 20. Lionsgate’s decision to bring “The Hunger Games” is a no-brainer. The first film was one of the most successful films in recent years, catering to the often underserved but equally rabid female fans who swarm the San Diego Convention Center every summer. Fans crave new footage and stars at each panel, and they’ll get the new footage. Lionsgate said it would provide an exclusive

File photo shows from left, Prince Jackson, Prince Michael II ‘Blanket’ Jackson and Paris Jackson arrive on stage at the Michael Forever the Tribute Concert, at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.—AFP

trailer and never-before-seen footage from “I, Frankenstein,” which stars Aaron Eckhart in an adaptation of Kevin Gevioux’s graphic novel. Yet it remains unclear whether “Hunger Games” star Jennifer Lawrence will be in attendance, as Wednesday’s announcement merely said “talent from both films will be in attendance.” A spokesperson for Lionsgate had no comment when TheWrap inquired, and Lawrence’s publicist said it had yet to be determined as she is currently filming the latest X-Men movie, “Days of Future Past.”— Reuters

Festival goers look out from a viewing tower on the first day of the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts near Glastonbury, southwest England yesterday. The festival attracts 170,000 partygoers to the dairy farm in Somerset, and this year’s tickets sold out within two hours of going on sale. The Rolling Stones will perform at the festival for the first time, headlining tomorrow night. — AFP


Lifestyle FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

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Models present creations by Raf Simons during the men’s spring/summer 2014 ready-to-wear fashion show. — AP/AFP photos

elgian designer Raf Simons on Wednesday got Paris fashion week off to an unconventional start, bussing hundreds of people out to the distinctly less than fashionable Paris suburb of Le Bourget. But the designer, who as well as his having his own label is also artistic director at Christian Dior, made up for the hour-long trek on the Paris ring road and A1 motorway with a highly experimental collection with some pieces creating the impression the models were wearing minidresses. In one look, a bare legged male model sported what appeared to the uninitiated to be a shortsleeved button-up black minidress teamed with black shoes and calf length socks. Fashion website fashion.com, however, praised the outfit as “unquestionably the drop crotch short-short onesie of the season”. Other ensembles had a similarly feminine feel including black shorts that looked like a miniskirt worn with a black and white striped belt and long-sleeved pink shirt. Motifs were embroidered with sequins and tunic tops came in pink and purple stripes. Unusually, the event was held outside Paris at US art mogul Larry Gagosian’s cavernous art venue, northeast of the city. Opened in 2012, it is the first major gallery to be set up inside airport grounds, aiming to showcase works too big to be accommodated by inner city Paris or London locations. Simons’ label said the Gagosian Gallery was chosen so the collection could be unveiled alongside the work of artists he “intensely relates to”, adding that it would continue his “ongoing exploration of a young man in the city”. Earlier, on the first of five days of menswear collections, young designers Julien David and Guillaume Henry gave the fashion world a taste of what’s in store for spring/summer 2014, from socks with sandals to bow ties with boiler suits. Tokyobased Frenchman David presented a reggaeinspired mix of casual and formal. Long “stadium” and military-style jackets were worn over shorts, again creating a skirt-like look, while flamboyant neckwear was teamed with one-piece suits.


Lifestyle FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Elsewhere shirts and t-shirts were emblazoned with tropical motifs or the words “madness”, “peace” and “war” and combined with low rise, jacquard or chino trousers. At Carven, creative director Henry, who like David is in his mid-thirties, opted for short cut jackets and cropped trousers in dusty green, mustard, orange or grey, with models sporting floppy hats and an androgynous look. It was the French designer’s footwear, however, that stood out-strappy blue and beige leather sandals worn with socks. One Twitter user commented: “Anyone else feeling conflicted about the sandals and socks styling?” The men’s collections wind up 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. Indeed, until last year, menswear at London fashion week was restricted to a single day at the end. It has now been allocated four.

Then, on Monday, the highlight of the season — Christian Lacroix’s return to Paris fashion for the first time in four yearswill mark the start of four days of autumn/winter 2013/2014 haute couture. The darling of 1990s fashion editors will present 18 pieces paying tribute to Elsa Schiaparelli, the Italian designer who died in 1973 and who was 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 present creations by Rick Owens during the men’s spring/summer 2014 ready-to-wear fashion show.


FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

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Pets FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

‘Donkey farm’ helps adults mentor young offenders A

boy at the Compass Center proudly showed a Summit County, Ohio, judge the eggplants he was tending in the center’s garden. He was learning how to grow the vegetables - even though he didn’t know what to do with them, said Juvenile Judge Linda Teodosio, who had sentenced the boy to an Ohio Department of Youth Services detention center. “He didn’t know much about eggplant, so I made the boys a tray of eggplant parmigiana. I think the ability to connect with caring adults is always a benefit for youth,” Teodosio said of the faith-based center more commonly known as the “donkey farm.” The farm, where young felons learn to trust those in authority by working with live animals, is the centerpiece of the True North Ministries program. The nonprofit ministry offers young felons from all of Ohio’s 88 counties an opportunity to learn new skills through outreach programs, vocational training and mentoring. The donkeys, bees and chickens the boys and young men care for are merely conduits for learning how to trust, True North Executive Director Becky Retzer said. Some of the ministry’s 45 mentors, through their faith in God, are teaching youths to do jobs required on a working farm - skills they can use in the future, she said, but the lessons go much deeper. “It’s more than about saving them. It’s more about building relationships,” Retzer said. “I want the kids to find their faith and to find God, but I also want them - whether they get to that point or not - to look at themselves as to who they can be and not what they’ve done.” It’s one of the reasons volunteers use only first names when addressing the boys and don’t ask about the crimes they have committed. For a young felon to be eligible for the program, a detention center official must deem him ready for off-ground privileges, which is achieved by exhibiting a certain level of good

Donkeys roam in a pasture at True North Ministries in Green, Ohio. — MCT photos behavior. In Summit County, Teodosio then decides which young felons would benefit from signing on to work at the farm. “Most of the kids that participate in the program have done well at the Department of Youth Services and are able to attend as a positive incentive,” said Teodosio, who said she views the program as a privilege to be

A Project Achieve participant (left) feeds Joanie, a 22-year-old miniature donkey, a carrot.

earned. Retzer, who formerly worked with youth offenders at the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center, established the ministry in 2002 and leased the property for the Compass Center on Boettler Road in Green in 2007. The program has 200 volunteers who work with incarcerated young people throughout the state and makes more than 2,500 contacts each year through mentoring, outreach programs and the donkey farm. Youths can participate in the program one to three days a week up to three months, Retzer said. The ages of participants range from about 17 to 21 years, said Shayne Rowlands, parole supervisor with the Ohio Department of Youth Services. “The volunteers at the farm work on selfesteem and career readiness. They have employed three of our kids as landscapers who are on parole. They are able, besides paying them, to also mentor them as well,” he said. Grants from foundations and donations from local businesses and more than 60 church-

es finance the program. On a recent day, a young man from Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility in Warrensville Heights collected five freshly laid eggs from the farm’s chicken coop - a daunting task for someone who had never before been close to a live chicken. After gathering the eggs in a basket, he updated the figure - the number of eggs collected from the farm’s eight hens in a year’s time - on a chalkboard hanging on the coop to 890. Nine miniature jennies (female donkeys) were roaming in the pasture unaware that Rusty, the only jack in the pack, was in a separate pen recuperating from surgery that would prevent him from making any more little donkeys. Rusty has earned a reputation of sorts. For the past seven years, each young man that shovels manure or grooms or feeds the small burros leaves with a T-shirt that reads: “I survived a day with Rusty.” Property manager Dave Duffey is in charge of maintenance at the 15-acre farm, handing out assignments and teaching the young men how to do the work. He said the youths aren’t the only people benefitting from the program. “Not only does it help the kids, it helps me. I’ve learned that God can give you strength and help you learn to be more patient. It enables me to understand and help them,” he said as he worked alongside his charges last month. Antonio Boalden, a general activity therapist from Warrensville Heights who accompanied five youths, some from as far away as Cincinnati and Columbus, said the experience teaches the boys there are people who care about them. “The program has a very positive effect on these kids. Most of them think people don’t care. But they learn through mentoring and faith in God that people they never before met in their lives really do care,” Boalden said. — MCT


Stars

FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Aries (March 21-April 19) You take an attitude of gratitude today as you move forward with your career plans--loved ones support your ideas. Your system of values may deepen, providing you with a better sense of discrimination and good taste. You will begin to make good choices in the area of investments now. There is a lot of mental energy to complete your plans but there must be a balance maintained so you are not too stressed. At home you get down to the business of cleaning up your act, taking care of loose ends and attending to any details you may have neglected up to now. Health, food and physical condition come under scrutiny and you work to care for these matters. Perhaps you will encourage loved ones to join you in some new and fun daily exercise

Taurus (April 20-May 20) There could be some restrictions on your activities at work today--you may find yourself pacing the floor much of the morning. Inactivity can be just as stressful as too much activity. Repairing machinery or perhaps taking inventory would be beneficial. Perhaps you could find ways in which you can be of help to someone. This will speed things along and then you will find a busy afternoon. Your ambitions are admirable but sometimes one has to take small steps before a leap forward can be beneficial. Things are beginning to look better in the financial realm and this would be a good time to seek financial advice on investments. Honest, frank and to the point, you hate routines and love the outdoors, travel and sports. It is time to consider a vacation.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Your outward seriousness and no-nonsense approach to things are obvious to all. This deliberate sense of responsibility comes across and is central to your personality and the way you relate to other people. Everything is run through your checkpoint to see if it holds up and can pass the test. You can be a stickler with details today. Today, circumstances occur that create the urge for you to be more driven than usual and it may be a time element. You gather your strength and move forward and others pile in beside you to help you complete whatever task is before you. After work there is time for each of you to receive a little pat on the back from each other. A dinner to take home would be best this evening. Perhaps a nice long shower as well.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) When it comes to your work or home, your conservative values clash with whatever is unconventional and different. You may not care for the furniture or appliance someone has chosen. You do not value novelty and do your best to ignore changes. Ignoring the changes may be best for now and within your own space you might be able to create a color splash with a few flowers from your own garden. Perhaps a child's drawing or a fun calendar would help. There are regular infusions of change, which you may find disturbing. Occasionally, you surprise others with your positive response. You may find yourself pursuing very different methods of responding to others. There are breakthroughs in relationships and the social life in general.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Others may find you especially witty and eccentric at this time. Much of your personal life hinges on pursuing your own growth and success. Your sense of favoritism and the ability to recognize a shift is a crucial element in your personality. Today you may find yourself in charge of people that you like very much and you do not care to be aggressive with them. Therefore, this talent to sense a shift will save you many upsets. This can be a creative time as you observe others and see where requests are important to write down and report back to the supervisors or department head. Tonight you can enjoy a relaxed evening and if you are dating, perhaps a romantic time. If you have a mate, you may find that he or she is contemplating your wishes.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) You are a cheer leader for whoever needs support, always moving into the important facts of importance. It is amazing that you can draw the best out of people of all ages. Your energies run effectively toward making yourself felt in the world of matter. An artistic presentation or mathematical work sheet is something with which you have spent much time. You can be an action person if you want to be. You gain attention and will encourage others to become motivated in positive ways. Some circumstances of your life suggest extroversion. You may find it more convenient to neglect your mental, conceptual and organizational abilities as social opportunities arise. People value your ideas and guidance. You are a good mentor.

Libra (September 23-October 22) You are a very feeling person and can sense the drift of a situation without a lot of study or wasted time. This immediate hands-on approach might be contrasted with one that is more deliberate. You could be left with a bit of an inferiority complex when it comes to matters of education, philosophy and conceptual ability. In a word, you revere this kind of stuff, not because it is natural to you, but rather because it may not come easily. You have to work for it--but then--you are to be congratulated for aiming high and continuing to stretch and learn. Do not be afraid to promote your own abilities. Feel good about yourself. This evening is a great time to continue in your self-improvement activities, which may mean new clothes or reading a book.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Try not to worry so much--your abilities are much more accurate than you realize. Your general sense of concern for everything makes you valuable when anything needs doing but, if left unoccupied, you have been known to worry needlessly. Given only a few facts, you are able to take in a situation and come up with a real picture of what is happening. Today your checklist is much too long and it may take the help of two or three other people to knock the list down. With permission, a group of you will be able to accomplish quite a lot and the higherups are quite pleased. This could mean a display needed to be moved or a project initiated. So, be realistic and use your worry energy productively. Take a walk this evening and enjoy the out-of-doors.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You have an instinctive urge to save, salvage and conserve. You could and probably will teach others the secret of your success-whatever that might be. You always want to help, to be of service, and to be fully useful. You hate waste and are very thorough and precise. For the most part, you are accepting. There is a need to be the center of attention this afternoon when you discover an investment you made was a good choice. Careful--you could defeat your purpose. Emotionally, you are also hot stuff, rushing into areas and handling subject matters that others would never come near. Vulnerable issues, sensitive areas of the self and psychology are the first places you head. This amounts to a passion with you. You have ideas that will help others.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) The support you need is within your reach. This is a good time to solve problems and make important decisions. You will find a way around almost any obstacle and are in control and able to guide yourself with ease. Your sense of inner direction is good and should lead to many opportunities. You model the type of employee that you want to be and that you want to work with. You may find that soon you will be in charge of many employees. The higher-ups trust you to join them in leading others in extraordinary ways. This may take a while or it will happen quickly; just keep being the best you can be and you will go far in your business. Everything brings out your unique and unusual qualities. A new book or music can be enjoyed this evening.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You will tend to enjoy socializing at work today. You can always put your ideas into words and describe or analyze situations for yourself and others. Your theories may be fine, but you may lack the patience to let things ripen. Write down your ideas and present them to an administrator instead of talking about them to co-workers. You will get credit for your own ideas and the people in control of business production will appreciate your input. Work on patience; new opportunities are present. Careful attention to finances will help you to see where you do not need to spend money just now. This will ease soon. You have made some discoveries today that warrant attention. You are the center of attention tonight.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) There may be confusion today over a professional or career decision. You do not like making career decisions any more than the rest of us--this time you might consider some professional advice. Otherwise, the question at hand could become somewhat more complex. Making your mark on the world has special significance for you. Achievement, ambition and authority take on a greater importance. Organizing and administering people and projects will become central to your lifestyle. This may mean a more prestigious or powerful job or it could mean you now have your own business. The cycle that begins for you now will be marked by a more intense focus on mental and communicative activity than you may ever have experienced before.

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

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


Stars

FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Word Search

Yesterdayʼs Solution

83. A small cake leavened with yeast.

C R O S S W O R D 2 3 4

ACROSS 1. The most common computer memory which can be used by programs to perform necessary tasks while the computer is on. 4. Red Asian weaverbirds often kept as cage birds. 12. 100 puls equal 1 afghani. 15. An agency of the United Nations affiliated with the World Bank. 16. Round gourd of the calabash tree. 17. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 18. A soft-finned fish of the family Gadidae. 20. In or of a state of physical or nervous tension. 21. Lacking in light. 22. A large fleet. 23. Angular distance above the horizon (especially of a celestial object). 24. A port city in southwestern Iran. 26. An edge tool with a heavy bladed head mounted across a handle. 27. A unit of length equal to one thousandth of an inch. 29. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 32. Large herbivorous tropical American arboreal lizards with a spiny crest along the back. 33. A soft white precious univalent metallic element having the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. 34. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 36. A complete metric system of units of measurement for scientists. 37. Petty quarrel. 41. A state of northeastern India. 42. (informal) Very tired. 45. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 46. A radioactive gaseous element formed by the disintegration of radium. 47. A federal agency established to coordinate programs aimed at reducing pollution and protecting the environment. 48. (Greek mythology) The goddess of youth and spring. 50. An undergarment worn by women to support their breasts. 51. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 54. Sudden mass fear and anxiety over anticipated events. 56. A condensed but memorable saying embodying some important fact of experience that is taken as true by many people. 59. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 60. Trade name for an alloy used to make high-energy permanent magnets. 64. The basic unit of money in Bangladesh. 68. The periodic rise and fall of the sea level under the gravitational pull of the moon. 71. Advanced in years. 72. Made over usually with changes. 75. Lacking sufficient water or rainfall. 76. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 77. One of the most common of the five major classes of immunoglobulins. 78. Large South African oryx with a broad black band along its flanks. 81. A wooden pin pushed or driven into a surface. 82. Tranquilizer (trade name Dalmane) used to treat insomnia.

Daily SuDoku

DOWN 1. Port city that is the capital and largest city of Latvia. 2. The sixth month of the civil year. 3. An insane person. 4. Harsh or corrosive in tone. 5. A woman of refinement. 6. A silvery ductile metallic element found primarily in bauxite. 7. An imaginary line on the surface of the earth following (approximately) the 180th meridian. 8. Norwegian mathematician (1802-1829). 9. Artists or writers whose ideas are ahead of their time. 10. The slender spear of the Bantu-speaking people of Africa. 11. An inhabitant of ancient Thebes. 12. A genus of Ploceidae. 13. Bearded reddish sheep of southern Asia. 14. A genus of Lamnidae. 19. A city of southeastern Mexico. 25. By bad luck. 28. A wrongful dispossession. 30. Growing old. 31. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 35. Lower in esteem. 38. A metabolic acid found in yeast and liver cells. 39. A city in northern India. 40. An official language of the Republic of South Africa. 43. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 44. The branch of engineering science that studies the uses of electricity and the equipment for power generation and distribution and the control of machines and communication. 49. Small and round and shiny like a shiny bead or button. 52. A bag used for carrying money and small personal items or accessories (especially by women). 53. A farewell remark. 55. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 57. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 58. Functioning correctly and ready for action. 61. Owing or owed feudal allegiance and service. 62. The syllable naming the fourth (subdominant) note of the diatonic scale in solmization. 63. American professional baseball player who hit more home runs than Babe Ruth (born in 1934). 65. Small terrestrial lizard of warm regions of the Old World. 66. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 67. A city in southern Turkey on the Seyhan River. 69. A set of tags and rules (conforming to SGML) for using them in developing hypertext documents. 70. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 73. One of the five major classes of immunoglobulins. 74. A unit of length of thread or yarn. 79. A gray lustrous metallic element of the rare earth group. 80. A Russian river.

Yesterdayʼs Solution

Yesterday’s Solution


Sports FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Cruz, Beltre lead Rangers to 8-5 win over Yankees NEW YORK: Nelson Cruz homered and the Texas Rangers got consecutive two-run doubles from Adrian Beltre and AJ Pierzynski in an 8-5 victory over the New York Yankees on Wednesday night. Rangers rookie Justin Grimm pitched just well enough to beat Andy Pettitte, and the AL West leaders won for the seventh time in nine games following a six-game slide their longest of the season. Texas improved to 6-12 against the Yankees since the start of 2011. Lyle Overbay and Ichiro Suzuki homered for New York on a hectic day at Yankee Stadium, where baseball’s most storied franchise announced that first baseman Mark Teixeira needs season-ending surgery on his right wrist. Manager Joe Girardi and GM Brian Cashman also discussed the latest Alex Rodriguez drama, and the team said all parties involved are on the same page about posting injury updates on Twitter after A-Rod called Cashman for a clarification chat. Grimm (7-5) allowed three runs in five-plus innings. Joe Nathan got three quick outs for his 26th save in 27 tries. Pettitte (5-6) settled in after a rocky third but dropped his third start in a row since earning his 250th win. INDIANS 4, ORIOLES 3 Scott Kazmir took a no-hitter into the seventh as the Indians scored two ninth-inning runs off Baltimore closer Jim Johnson to pull out the victory. A leadoff double in the seventh by Manny Machado was the only hit allowed by Kazmir, who gave up one unearned run in seven innings. He came out to the mound for the eighth but left with an apparent injury before throwing a pitch. Baltimore promptly scored twice against Joe Smith (4-0) to take a 3-2 lead, but the Indians rallied against Johnson (2-6) in the ninth. After Michael Brantley drew a leadoff walk, Jason Giambi hit his 400th career double. An intentional walk loaded the bases for Lonnie Chisenhall, who hit into a run-scoring fielder’s choice. Drew Stubbs also hit into a fielder’s

choice to bring home pinch-runner Mike Aviles and chase Johnson. Vinnie Pestano worked the ninth for his fifth save. ANGELS 7, TIGERS 4 Mike Trout homered and drove in three runs, and Erick Aybar’s two-run shot gave Los Angeles the lead for good in its eighth consecutive win over the Tigers. The Angels have outscored the Tigers 55-21 during the streak. Miguel Cabrera and former Angels outfielder Torii Hunter homered for Detroit. Los Angeles emergency starter Billy Buckner gave up three runs and three hits in three-plus innings. He replaced Tommy Hanson, who was scratched after feeling tightness in his right forearm while warming up in the bullpen before the game. Dane De La Rosa (2-1) pitched two innings for the win and Ernesto Frieri got three outs for his 18th save. Detroit starter Jose Alvarez (1-1) allowed four runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings. BLUE JAYS 3, RAYS 0 R A Dickey pitched a two-hitter for his first complete game of the year, helping Toronto to its 12th win in 14 games. Dickey (7-8) retired his first 13 batters before James Loney grounded a single between shortstop and third base with one out in the fifth. Yunel Escobar had a one-out single in the sixth, and then was erased when Matt Joyce hit a double-play grounder. Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion homered for the Blue Jays, who had lost two in a row after tying their team record of 11 straight wins. Jose Reyes went 0 for 4 in his return from a two-month layoff due to a severely sprained left ankle. Tampa Bay’s Roberto Hernandez (4-9) gave up three runs and six hits in eight-plus innings. INTERLEAGUE ATHLETICS 5, REDS 0 AJ Griffin pitched a two-hitter for his first win

in more than a month, and Josh Donaldson hit a three-run homer for Oakland. Griffin (6-6) struck out seven and walked two in a 108-pitch gem for his first career complete game, helping the A’s sweep the two-game series. The shaggyhaired right-hander had been 0-3 in five starts since winning at Houston on May 25. He didn’t allow a hit until Devin Mesoraco’s one-out single in the fifth, and Xavier Paul added a two out double in the seventh for Cincinnati. Reds starter Homer Bailey (4-6) allowed four runs and six hits in six innings. He also struck out seven and walked two. PIRATES 4, MARINERS 2 Jordy Mercer hit a go-ahead single with two outs in the ninth inning, leading Pittsburgh to the victory. The Pirates (48-30) moved 18 games over .500 for the first time since 1992, their last winning season. Neil Walker hit a two-run homer off Felix Hernandez to put Pittsburgh ahead in the fourth. Seattle tied it in the sixth on Raul Ibanez’s team-leading 18th home run. Mercer put the Pirates in front with his clutch hit off Yoervis Medina, and Travis Snider scored on a wild pitch. Vin Mazzaro (42) picked up the victory with two innings of scoreless relief. Mark Melancon earned his second save. Charlie Furbush (1-4) got the loss. RED SOX 5, ROCKIES 3 John Lackey struck out a season-high 12 over seven strong innings and Daniel Nava drove in two runs, powering Boston to a sweep of the two-game series against Colorado. Shane Victorino had three hits and Dustin Pedroia was 2 for 4 for the Red Sox. Colorado got two solo homers from Michael Cuddyer, who extended his hitting streak to 23 games -matching Dante Bichette’s club record set in 1995. The Rockies finished a road trip in which they lost seven of nine. Lackey (5-5) gave up two runs and eight hits without walk-

ing a batter. Koji Uehara worked a perfect ninth for his second save. Roy Oswalt (0-2), making his second start since being recalled from Double-A, allowed five runs and nine hits in six innings for the Rockies. ROYALS 4, BRAVES 3 Alex Gordon drove in David Lough in the 10th inning, giving the Royals a split of their two-game series against the Braves. Lough had entered the game the previous inning as a pinch hitter, but was still up because Elliot Johnson was picked off first base to end the ninth. Lough singled off Alex Wood (0-2) to start the 10th and then reached second when Miguel Tejada laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt. That set the stage for Gordon, who hit a solo home run earlier in the game. He dropped a base hit into shallow left field, allowing Lough to score easily as the Royals spilled from their dugout. Aaron Crow (4-3) worked the 10th inning for the Royals, who had lost five of six. METS 3, WHITE SOX 0 Shaun Marcum pitched eight crisp innings for his first win of the season, and Eric Young Jr had three hits and drove in a run for the Mets. Marcum (1-9) won for the first time since Oct 1, 2012, while pitching for Milwaukee. He avoided becoming the first to start a season 0-10 since St Louis’ Anthony Reyes did it in 2007. Marcum had lost his previous four starts and posted a 9.58 ERA in his last two outings. The veteran right-hander faced just three batters over the minimum. He scattered four hits and pitched around two walks. Bobby Parnell pitched a perfect ninth for his 13th save. Chicago’s John Danks (1-5) allowed three runs - one earned - and seven hits. He struck out seven and didn’t walk anyone in 7 1-3 innings. Alexei Ramirez had two of Chicago’s four hits.—AP

Dodgers overpower Giants LOS ANGELES: Clayton Kershaw outpitched Tim Lincecum in the seventh regular-season matchup between the former Cy Young Award winners, rookie Yasiel Puig as the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied to beat the San Francisco Giants 4-2 on Wednesday night for a three-game sweep of the defending World Series champions. Kershaw (6-5) allowed two runs and four hits in eight-plus innings and had seven strikeouts. Lincecum (4-8) gave up four runs and 10 hits in 5 1-3 innings and struck out four. The Giants have lost four in a row and nine of 12, putting them a seasonworst two games under .500. NATIONALS 3, DIAMONDBACKS 2 Jordan Zimmermann dominated after a shaky start and rookie Anthony Rendon had his third three-hit performance as the Nationals defeated the Diamondbacks. The NL West-leading Diamondbacks have lost three straight. Zimmermann (11-3) surrendered two runs in the first inning, but held the Diamondbacks scoreless with one hit over his final six innings. He allowed three hits overall, retired the final 10 batters he faced and improved to 13-0 at home dating back to May 17, 2012. Wade Miley (4-7) allowed three runs, including an unearned run in the fifth. Denard Span scored on Ryan Zimmerman’s double play after Tyler Moore’s solo homer in the fourth tied the game. CUBS 5, BREWERS 4 Scott Feldman pitched six solid innings, Anthony Rizzo had a key two-run single and

the Cubs held on to beat the Brewers. Feldman (7-6) gave up just three runs and six hits while striking out three and walking none for his first victory this season against an NL Central Division opponent. He retired 11 of the last 14 batters he faced. Kevin Gregg got the last three outs for his 12th save in 12 chances. Starlin Castro returned to the Cubs’ lineup with two hits and a run after sitting out Tuesday’s game which snapped his 269 consecutive games played streak. Yovani Gallardo (6-7) struggled with his command early and often, giving up five runs - three earned - and eight hits in four innings. He walked four and struck out five. PHILLIES 7, PADRES 5, 13 INNINGS Second baseman Logan Forsythe bobbled Ben Revere’s grounder in the 13th inning and then threw home wildly, leading to two unearned runs in the Philadelphia Phillies’ 7-5 win over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night. Chase Utley, who was hit by a pitch, and Domonic Brown, who walked against Tommy Layne (0-2) scored the decisive runs. Forsythe bounced a throw as he tried to prevent Utley from scoring. The ball bounced away from catcher Nick Hundley, allowing Brown to score also. Joe Savory (1-0) worked one inning and Jonathan Papelbon got the final three outs for his 15th save in 19 chances. The Phillies, who trailed 5-2 after six innings, rallied to tie it with an unearned run in the seventh and two runs in the eighth on a two-run home run by Delmon Young off Luke Gregerson.— AP

LOS ANGELES: Los Angeles Dodgers’ AJ Ellis (right) is forced out at second as San Francisco Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro throws out Juan Uribe at first during the eighth inning of their baseball game in Los Angeles. — AP


Sports FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Super15 Preview

Waikato Chiefs set to reclaim Super 15 lead JOHANNESBURG: Waikato Chiefs will reclaim top place in the Super 15 standings today by winning a New Zealand derby against visiting Wellington Hurricanes. Title-holders Chiefs trail Australian side ACT Brumbies by three points in the southern hemisphere provincial championship, but have played two matches less. Third-place Northern Bulls can also go above the inactive Canberra outfit if they collect a bonuspoint victory on Saturday at home to struggling fellow South Africans Southern Kings. Otago Highlanders host record seven-time champions Canterbury Crusaders in another New Zealand showdown and Western Stormers have home advantage against Central Cheetahs in a second all-South African affair. The lone fixture with an international flavour pits the South African Coastal Sharks, who parted ways with coach John Plumtree this week after a poor season, against the Auckland Blues from New Zealand in Durban. None of the five Australian franchises are involved this weekend or next because of Test matches against the British and Irish Lions in Melbourne and Sydney. Chiefs, who overwhelmed travel-weary Sharks in the previous final, have made three changes to the side that conquered Crusaders 28-19 last month ahead of the three-week Test window. Right-wing Lelia Masaga, outside centre Tim Nanai-Williams and tight-head prop Ben Afeaki are drafted in as Chiefs seek a double over the ‘Canes’ after a five-point win last month. “Hurricanes are still in the competition mathematically and have everything to play for. It will be pretty physical-two positive teams on the field having a real arm wrestle,” said Chiefs coach Dave Rennie. The ‘Canes’ are seven points behind sixth-place Crusaders, who occupy the last play-offs place, and skipper and outside centre Conrad Smith is among seven returning All Blacks in the starting line-up. Coach Mark Hammett ducked questions about snatching an improbable place in the knock-out stage, saying his aim was simply to defeat Chiefs, Otago Highlanders (home) and Crusaders (away). Highlanders have had a rotten season, lying bottom with only two wins from 13 outings, but a 38-28 early June success over the Blues proved they are capable of much better than the place on the standings suggests. While the men from Dunedin play for pride, a Crusaders team stacked with All Blacks back from a 3-0 series whitewash over France cannot afford any slips as they seek to consolidate a top-six place. “It is a huge game for us,” admitted veteran scrum-half Andy Ellis, “as the next three are must-win matches. Highlanders really stood up against the Blues and played some stunning rugby.” Although the Blues lie eighth, they are best placed of the teams outside the top six to squeeze into the play-offs, provided they can overcome the Sharks and Cheetahs on a two-match South African tour. “We are still in the hunt,” stressed veteran Blues hooker Keven Mealamu. “Our aim is to go over there (South Africa) and make sure we push the team a bit further in this competition.” Sharks and 2012 semi-finalists Stormers have flopped this season-losing seven of 13 games each-and the Cape Town-based side will lack unfit centre and skipper Jean de Villiers for the visit of fifthplace Cheetahs. The revelation of this season, the Cheetahs will look to stars like hooker Adriaan Strauss, centre Robert Ebersohn and right-wing Willie le Roux to secure a win that would greatly boost hopes of a first top-six finish. A bicep injury has sidelined Bulls No. 8 and skipper Pierre Spies for the rest of the season and Springboks JJ Engelbrecht (centre), Morne Steyn (fly-half) and Juandre Kruger (lock) start on the bench against the Kings.— AFP

All Blacks eye World Cup sevens title MOSCOW: New Zealand will be aiming to translate their worldbeating form on the IRB sevens circuit into a title tilt at the June 2830 Rugby World Cup Sevens, with one eye on the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. The abbreviated sport of rugby sevens has received a massive boost after its inclusion as one of the new sports at the Rio Games, with newly-tapped Olympic funding increasing funding and player interest. One of the reasons behind its inclusion is the unpredictability of the sport, with much closer competition between teams than in the 15-a-side game, albeit that the All Blacks have won 11 of the 14 IRB World Sevens Series titles. Wales are the unlikely world sevens champions, winning the last Cup in Dubai in 2009 at startling odds of 80-1 after the four favorites fell by the wayside in four dramatic, breath-taking quarterfinals. “It’s in the back of our minds,” admitted Wales coach Paul John, who has just playmaker Lee Williams remaining from his squad four years ago. “We’re trying to treat this as just another tournament, but the title defence is an added incentive that the boys are aware of, and as a World Cup it’s a special occasion anyway.” Inspirational captain DJ Forbes will be back for the All Blacks, as one of three players in Gordon Tietjens’ squad that also appeared in Dubai, alongside veteran Fiji-born Tomasi Cama and Lote Raikabula. “We really want to do well as we haven’t won the Cup since 2001,” said Tietjens. “This is also the last World Cup before the Olympics so Moscow is also going to be very valuable in terms of our planning to ensure we are in the best possible shape for Rio in 2016.”

Twenty-four teams will contest the men’s title, with Australia seeking to defend their title in a 16-strong women’s competition. With the wider spaces available to players, all eyes will be on Carlin Isles when the United States run out on to the paddock to play Georgia on Friday. Isles became an internet sensation after scoring a raft of tries that showboated the speed that saw him ranked in the top 40 US 100-metres sprinters with a personal best time of 10.13 seconds. “I stay humble and don’t let it get to me,” Isles said. “I try to keep it more about the team.” The Ohio native only switched to rugby last summer with an eye on the Olympics, and the IRB can only rub their hands at the likes of the might of sporting powerhouses the United States and Russia fixing their sights on sevens glory at the Rio Games. Not only are the USA and the hosts playing alongside the traditional rugby powers, but there are the likes of Tunisia and the Philippines in the men’s competition and Brazil and the Netherlands in the women’s. Brazil’s women’s captain Julia Albino Sarda said she and her teammates had a rare opportunity to promote a sport in a country where football rules. “The game of rugby in Brazil is growing really well,” she said. “Now young girls often see rugby on television and two years ago that would never have been the case. “For us our focus is to grow and grow for 2016. A lot of our players will be able to get better funding after the World Cup to build towards that and that is important to us because we need to be together more and train more like the teams we are up against in this World Cup.”— AFP

MELBOURNE: British and Irish Lions rugby union player Tom Youngs (second left) goes through his stretching exercises during training as the team prepares to take on the Australian Wallabies, in Melbourne yesterday. — AFP

Lions sniff rare series victory in Melbourne MELBOURNE: Mindful of a wounded Australia backlash but intoxicated by the whiff of a rare series victory, the British and Irish Lions will aim to ramp up the intensity in tomorrow’s crunch second test in Melbourne even as both sides recover from the bruising opener. The Lions stumbled over the line at a heaving Lang Park for tomorrow’s heart-stopping 23-21 win, aided by the wayward boot of Wallabies fullback Kurtley Beale, that exacted a huge physical toll on both sides. Now another 80 minutes of gut-busting punishment looms under the closed roof of Docklands Stadium where coach Warren Gatland has demanded the tourists finish the job and win their first series since 1997. “This is a do-or-die match for Australia. It’s going to be a real battle out there,” the New Zealander told reporters. “We can win this series by winning tomorrow, that’s what our whole focus needs to be. The last thing we want to do is think about going and being 1-1 and having to go and play another game in Sydney.” Australia’s backline was torn asunder in the Brisbane thriller, with three taken from the ground by stretcher, but the hosts showed enormous grit to claw their way back. A business-as-usual attitude has pervaded the Wallabies camp, with the coaching staff

re-assembling another backline dripping with glittering talent. Robbie Deans may well be coaching for his job at Docklands Stadium, and again at Sydney should the Wallabies survive, but remains as unfazed as ever, having long stared down the axe. “I thought the boys did incredibly well under the circumstances (last week), particularly as it was a domino effect that went from there to the extent where we had to play a forward in the backline,” he told reporters. “Clearly this week we’ve had the benefit of some more preparation and hopefully we’ll have a lit bit more fluency in our game.” Australia head into game two with history as inspiration, having come back from a match down to overhaul the Lions in 2001 and 1989. They will be mindful that the John Eales-captained side dropped the opener in Brisbane but leveled the 2001 series at the same venue before closing it out in Sydney. Their preparations have not been ideal, however, with off-field distractions caused by three of other their backs. Winger Digby Ioane was ruled out of the series with a shoulder injury on Monday but not before news broke that a warrant had been issued for his arrest for missing a court appearance related to an assault charge.—Reuters


Sports FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Wolves face ‘massive month’: Waterhouse LONDON: Trent Waterhouse and his Warrington Wolves teammates made a huge statement with their win over Wigan on Monday but the former Australian international insists it is the next month that will define their season. Table toppers Wigan came to the Halliwell Jones stadium on Monday on the back of a 13-game winning run that had seen them open up a five-point lead at the top of the Super League table. But they ran into an inspired Wolves side and in the most entertaining game of the season so far it was the Wire who emerged 22-12 winners after two late tries. It does not get any easier for Waterhouse and company however as in the next month they face a trip to Bradford, welcome defending champions Leeds and have a Challenge Cup quarterfinal against Huddersfield to contend with. But having closed the gap at the top of the league table with their win against Wigan, Waterhouse insists he and his teammates still have another gear to go to when the going gets tough. “The next month is massive for us so to have kicked off such an important set of games with the win over Wigan is fantastic,” he said. “But we are not going to get carried away with that result, it was a fantastic game and the fans were great. There was a real intensity in training so to come out and get the result was important. “I still feel that there is another level for us to go to as a team, there are a few areas we can still

improve on but that’s a good sign. “Two big games in Super League and then the Challenge Cup game with Huddersfield Giants where we want to defend our title, this is a crucial month for us. “But these are the sort of games I came over here for, this is a great club and we want to be playing in the big games come the end of the season.” First up for the Wolves is a trip to Odsal to take on Bradford and Bulls full-back Brett Kearney has called on his teammates to up their game or risk missing out on the play-offs. “We expect to be in the top eight and we are not at the moment,” said the former Cronulla Shark. “Every team has a flat spot in a season and we are having ours in the middle but we want to finish the season strongly like we started it to get that top-eight spot that we feel we deserve.” And St Helens head coach Nathan Brown insists he is planning for the future after announcing the signing of Penrith Panthers prop Mose Masoe. Masoe will join up with Saints next season alongside teammate Luke Walsh who is also leaving the Panthers and Brown cannot wait for their addition to the squad. “Mose is a big forward who will add a lot of size to our pack next year,” said the former St George Illawarra Dragons head coach. “He is young, still developing and will complement the squad we are putting together for 2014.”— AFP

Photo of the day

Tom Schaar does a 900 on the Mega Ramp at Woodward West in Tehachapi, Ca., USA

Webber to leave F1 for Porsche Le Mans SILVERSTONE: Mark Webber will leave champions Red Bull and Formula One at the end of the season to join Porsche’s new Le Mans sportscar program, the Australian driver announced yesterday. “I’m very much looking forward to this new challenge after my time in Formula One. I can hardly wait to pilot one of the fastest sports cars in the world,” he said on his website (www.markwebber.com). Porsche said he had signed a multi-year contract. Red Bull said a decision on his replacement would not be made until later in the season. The oldest driver on the starting grid, who will be 38 next year and is in his 12th season, Webber has yet to win a race in 2013 but has a good chance to rectify that at this weekend’s British Grand Prix. The straight-talking Australian - who drives a Porsche for private use - has won two of the last three races at Silverstone, including last year’s, and has finished on the podium at what amounts to a home race every year since 2009. He has won nine grands prix, all for Red Bull, since his debut with Minardi in 2002 but has been eclipsed in the championship by German team mate Sebastian Vettel who is chasing a fourth successive title. Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 world champion with Ferrari, has been strongly tipped to take Webber’s place. That move would replace one of the sport’s most outspoken drivers with the most taciturn and, at 33, second oldest after Webber. In a separate statement, Red Bull thanked Webber for his extensive contribution in his seven years with the team and their three successive constructors’ crowns. “I am sure Mark

thought long and hard before making what has no doubt been a very difficult decision,” said principal Christian Horner, who co-owns a GP3 team with Webber and is close to the Australian. “His achievements in Formula One are extensive and I am sure he will continue to push hard and build on that record until the end of the season,” added the Briton. “We support Mark’s decision, he has been an excellent addition to the team since joining us in 2007 and we wish him all the best in the next stages of his career.” Webber has renewed his Red Bull contract on a year-by-year

Mark Webber of Australia basis for some time and his decision to call it a day came as no surprise. Speculation that this would be his last season moved up a notch or two after the Malaysian Grand Prix, when Vettel disregarded ‘team orders’ to stay behind Webber and finish in one-two formation. That ‘betrayal’ led to an even frostier relationship - or lack of one between the two Red Bull drivers who have kept matters strictly professional for some time. Webber has long complained that Vettel, still only 25, is the

Austrian-owned team’s favourite and that position will only be enhanced for the remaining 12 races now that he has decided to leave. The Australian had hoped to become his country’s first champion since Alan Jones in 1980 but the closest he came was 2010 when he went into the final race in Abu Dhabi second overall and eight points behind Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. Vettel, who had been a further seven points adrift of Webber and had not led the championship all year, won that race and snatched his first title as the strategy unravelled in nightmare fashion for the Australian and Alonso. Webber ended up third overall, repeating the feat in 2011. At Minardi, Jaguar and Williams he did his best in largely uncompetitive cars, beating a string of team mates including Nico Rosberg now a winner with Mercedes. Webber has twice raced at Le Mans, with not entirely fond memories. With Mercedes in 1999 his car flipped into the air twice in practice and the warm-up before the team withdrew for safety reasons. “I’m very pleased to have secured Mark Webber for our LMP1 (Le Mans prototype) project as one of the best and most successful Formula One pilots of our time,” Porsche board member for research and development Wolfgang Hatz said in a statement. “Mark is without doubt one of the world’s best race drivers, he has experience at the Le Mans 24 hour race and on top of that he’s been a Porsche enthusiast for many years.” Webber will compete in the world endurance championship with Switzerland’s Neel Jani, Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas also confirmed in the Porsche lineup.— Reuters

Home hopes on Hamilton at Silverstone SILVERSTONE: Lewis Hamilton carries the hopes of home fans and several leading championship contenders when he bids to halt Sebastian Vettel’s seemingly-irresistable surge towards a fourth drivers world title at this weekend’s British Grand Prix. The 28-yearold Englishman, who won the race for McLaren on the way to his championship triumph in 2008, is the only British winner on home soil in 12 years since Scot David Coulthard succeeded twice in succession for the same team. That experience, and the potential competitive performance of his much-improved Mercedes car-he has qualified on the front row of the grid four times in the last five races-suggest he is the best hope of home success again. In the wake of last week’s controversial ‘secret tyre testing’ tribunal hearing, Hamilton and his Mercedes team-mate and friend, Monaco winner Nico Rosberg of Germany, will be crowd favorites as they seek to stop the Vettel express. But Vettel, the defending triple world champion, has won three of this year’s seven races in his Red Bull machine - built in nearby Milton Keynes-and not been outside the top four this season as he has built up a formidable 36-points lead ahead of Fernando Alonso of Ferrari. Alonso, like everyone else, knows that another Vettel demonstration of supremacy at the exhilarating high-speed Silverstone track could give him a truly significant advantage even before the 19-race season reaches the halfway mark. Alonso, like Vettel’s Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber, has won twice at the famous old former war-time airstrip, which was an original part of the inaugural 1950 world championship, in recent years and will be seeking to complete a personal hattrick. But he knows that it is almost more important to end Vettel’s run, and so restrict his chances of increasing his lead, than to grab more personal glory. —AFP


Sports FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Franklin, Lochte shine at World Champ trials INDIANAPOLIS: Olympic stars Missy Franklin and Ryan Lochte shared the spotlight Wednesday night, both claiming a pair of titles at the US swimming championships and World Championships trials. Franklin’s night began with a win in the women’s 200-meter freestyle at the Indiana University Natatorium. Ahead by a body length at the halfway mark, she touched the wall in one minute 55.56 seconds followed by Katie Ledecky in 1:57.63, Shannon Vreeland in 1:58.13 and Jordan Mattern in 1:58.27. The win qualified Franklin-the winner of four gold medals and one bronze at the 2012 London Olympics-for the 200 free at the World Championships in Barcelona, July 28-August 4. She also made the American 4x200 freestyle relay team, along with Ledecky the winner of Tuesday’s 800 free event-Vreeland and Mattern. Less than 90 minutes later, the recent high school graduate won the women’s 200 backstroke in 2:05.68, the world’s fastest time this year and an American open record as the best-ever performance in the US. Franklin maintained a lead throughout to finish ahead of Elizabeth Pelton, whose 2:06.29 clocking was the world’s secondfastest of 2013. “That last fifty hurt so much,” she said. “I’m ecstatic with the 2:05. But I’m definitely hurting now.” With three days to go at nationals, Franklin is eligible for five events at Worlds. Her first-place finish in Tuesday’s 100 free earned her a berth in that event as well as a spot the American 4x100 relay squad. Lochte, the winner of five Olympic medals in London (two gold, two silver, one bronze), won the men’s 200-meter free and came back an hour-and-a-half later to finish first in the 200 backstroke. Swimming in lane two in the 200 free, Lochte led at the first turn and was never headed. He finished in 1:45.97 ahead of Conor Dwyer, Matt McLean and Charlie Houchin. The quartet will comprise the US men’s 4x100m relay team at Worlds. In Lochte’s second event of the night, he outdueled 2012 Olympic champion Tyler Clary in the 200 backstroke. Lochte won in 1:55.16 with Clary the runnerup in 1:55.58. “I knew just from the lack of training this year that I had to go out fast,” said Lochte. “I knew I was going to die either way, so I might as well just go out fast and hope for the best. I don’t want to go through that pain again. That double was hard.” Tuesday night, Lochte made the US 4x100 relay team with a fourth-place finish in the men’s 200 free. He’s now eligible for four events (200 free, 200 back, 4x100 and 4x200 freestyle relays) in Barcelona. Kevin Cordes brought the crowd to its feet in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke. Cordes, 19, was on world-record pace at the halfway mark. He finished short of the world mark (2:07.01 by Japan’s Akihiro Yamaguchi in 2012), but settled for the year’s top performance with a time of 2:08.34. Breeja Larson stroked into the lead in the women’s 200 breaststroke on the final turn and won in 2:23.44. In major surprise, Allison Schmitt failed to qualify for the women’s 200 freestyle final. Schmitt, the American record holder in the event, was the 2012 Olympic champion. She also swam on the gold medal-winning US 4x200 freestyle relay team in London. The 50-meter butterfly was contested for the first time at the national meet. Christine Magnuson won the women’s title in 26.08 while the men’s race went to Eugene Godsoe in 23.29. — AFP

CORSICA ISLAND: Spain’s Alberto Contador (second position left) rides with his Saxo-Tinkoff teammates during a training near Porto Vecchio, southern Corsica island, France yesterday. — AP

Contador promises more exciting Tour de France PORTO VECCHIO: Alberto Contador has promised a more exciting Tour de France this year after Bradley Wiggins’s Team Sky dominated all the way to the Champs-Elysees in the 2012 edition. Double champion Contador of Spain, back in the race after a one-year hiatus because of a doping suspension, is unlikely to settle for second against Team Sky leader Chris Froome, the overwhelming favorite. “We are not the only two actors in this film,” Contador, who won the Tour in 2007 and 2009, told a packed news conference at his team hotel on Thursday. “There will be more action than last year.” Last year, Wiggins’s rivals seemed to quickly abandon hope of winning the Tour as the Briton dominated the time trials and relied on Team Sky’s conservative tactics in the mountains. Wiggins is out of the race, which starts on Saturday, for health reasons but Team Sky directors are likely to use the same methods to help Froome to reach Paris with the yellow jersey. Australian Michael Rogers, who was Team Sky’s road captain last year but has switched to Contador’s Team SaxoTinkoff this season, knows a thing or two about the British outfit’s way of

operating. “I think Sky are more advanced in training, in sports science they know exactly what’s required from domestiques to do the job properly in the last week, they know so much more about the internals of the sport, in my opinion, than any other team,” he told reporters. “I think Alberto uses his emotions in the races, whereas I think Chris is very calculated and Brad was very calculated last year. (At Team Sky) you know what you’re capable of and you don’t go outside of that.” ATTACKING OPPORTUNITIES Contador, instead, is a hot-blooded racer who is able to turn around desperate situations. In last year’s Vuelta, he launched a devastating surprise attack in the 17th stage to snatch the overall lead from fellow Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez. In the 2011 Tour, although he did not win the race, Contador attacked 92 kilometres from the finish at l’Alpe d’Huez as he tried to make up for lost time against Australian Cadel Evans. He is ready to use the same approach this time if needed. “We will think about tactics after the second time trial. It will depend on the overall standings,” Contador said. “Depending on my posi-

tion, we will be more aggressive or more conservative. However, there will be more movement than the previous year. “This year’s race gives opportunities to attack far from the finish.” The odds are that Contador, one of five men with titles in all three grand Tours, will be behind Froome after the 11th stage, an individual time trial to Mont St Michel. Froome has beaten Contador in all their confrontations in stage races this season, but the Spaniard is not concerned. “At the (Criterium du) Dauphine (this month), I was at 75 percent,” he said. “Now I’m around 90 percent, which was my goal a few days before the start of the Tour.” Contador will have a much better team than in 2011, with Rogers, Czech Roman Kreuziger and Irishman Nicolas Roche. “Michael has a lot of experience, he will be our road captain,” he explained. “He knows how Sky work so it will be helpful. “Having a stronger team gives me tranquility because I know I have the riders to put me in a good position in the mountains.” The Tour starts from Porto Vecchio in Corsica, an island that could give Contador a few attacking opportunities. “Anything is possible,” he warned.—Reuters

Cycling prepares for 100th Tour de France PARIS: Cycling’s greatest race, the Tour de France, begins tomorrow, hoping to cast off the recent cloud of suspicion and scandal of doping with a celebration of its historic 100th edition. A total of 198 riders from 22 teams will line up for the 212-kilometre first stage from Porto-Vecchio to Bastia on the Mediterranean island of Corsica. Three weeks, 3,403.5 kilometers and 20 stages later, only the very best-and most fortunate-will finish.

Last year’s runner-up behind Britain’s Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, is favorite to win the race after successes in Oman, the Criterium International, Tour of Romandie and the Criterium du Dauphine. But the 28-yearold Team Sky rider is likely to face stiff competition from 2007 and 2009 Tour winner Alberto Contador of Spain, despite his lack of victories this season. Challenging both men include Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez, who was

runner-up in the Giro d’Italia in May, and Australian outsider Cadel Evans, the 2011 winner, who could become the Tour’s oldest victor at 36. This year’s race is the first to be held after the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, which sent shockwaves through cycling and the world of sport. The US rider, who was unmasked as a serial drug cheat in a devastating US Anti-Doping Agency report last year, was subsequently stripped of his record seven

Tour wins between 1999 and 2005. Race organizers have refused to nominate a winner in his place, as cycling was plunged into a period of deep introspection about the extent of drug use in the peloton in the 1990s and 2000s. The spectre still looms large over the Tour, after the 1997 winner and three-time runner-up Jan Ullrich of Germany admitted doping last weekend-and said it was widespread. —AFP


Sports FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Blanc tasked with taking PSG to Europe’s elite PARIS: Laurent Blanc was officially confirmed as Paris Saint-Germain’s new manager on Tuesday, an appointment that came with the mandate of steering the ambitious French champions towards Europe’s elite. Former French star Blanc, 47, was handed a two-year deal by the Qatari-owned club, four days after BeInSport, a television channel belonging to the club’s owners, let slip news of an “agreement” between the two parties. “The Board of Paris Saint-Germain has given Laurent Blanc the mission to build on last season and to continue the club’s ascendancy towards the summits of the European game,” read a statement on psg.fr. Blanc is set to be presented to the media at a news conference yesterday and will officially take charge of the squad on July 1 for the start of pre-season training. The French Ligue 1 winners’ announcement of his appointment came just moments before Real

Madrid said that outgoing PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti would take over from Jose Mourinho at the Santiago Bernabeu. Ironically, Ancelotti won’t have to wait long before renewing acquaintances with his former employers with the clubs scheduled to play a friendly in Sweden on July 27. However, Blanc’s managerial CV pales in comparison to that of Ancelotti, whose highlights include two European titles with AC Milan and a Premier League crown with Chelsea as well as a French championship, with the Frenchman evidently not initially a leading candidate for the post. PSG were caught off guard by Ancelotti’s plea to leave the club in May and subsequently saw a host of potential successors such as Jose Mourinho, Rafael Benitez, Fabio Capello and Andre Villas-Boas land elsewhere or elect to stay put. Blanc himself, who had been out of a job since leaving his role as coach of the

French national team following their disappointing quarter-final exit at Euro 2012, had been linked with the vacant managerial post at Roma before the Serie A side opted for exLille boss Rudi Garcia. A decorated player for both club and country, with whom he won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000, Blanc’s only other professional coaching experience came at Bordeaux, where he was in charge from 2007 to 2010 and led the club to a French championship and league cup title in 2009. He also led them to the quarterfinals of the 2009/10 Champions League, matching PSG’s progress the season just finished when they bowed out on away goals despite a valiant two-legged display against Barcelona, but the man nicknamed “Le President” will be expected to take the capital club, bolstered by their considerable financial might, to the next level. UEFA president and French great

Tevez joins Juventus, takes Del Piero’s shirt MANCHESTER: Carlos Tevez sealed his move to Juventus on Wednesday after four controversy-filled years at Manchester City and was handed the unenviable task of trying to emulate club hero Alessandro Del Piero. Italian champions Juve announced his arrival with a picture of the Argentine striker holding up Del Piero’s old number 10 jersey alongside club president Andrea Agnelli. A statement said he had reached a deal to sign a three-year-contract. There was no word on the transfer fee but media reports have put it at 12 million euros ($15.60 million). “The Argentine is used to winning. He has done so wherever he has been,” Juve’s website (www.juventus.com) added. Del Piero spent almost 20 years at Juve, helping them win the 1996 Champions League and sticking by the club when they spent one season in Serie B in 2006/07 after being demoted for match-fixing. He left for Australia’s Sydney FC last year having broken almost every Juve record in the book. Michel Platini and Roberto Baggio also famously wore Juve’s number 10 shirt. Handing Tevez the ex-Italy striker’s former shirt is a mark of intent from Juve, who have won the Serie A twice in a row without a big name forward but are now targeting renewed European glory. Coach Antonio Conte has rotated between any two of Sebastian Giovinco, Alessandro Matri, Mirko Vucinic and Fabio Quagliarella, who have shared the goals evenly between them. Athletic Bilbao forward Fernando Llorente joins Juve next month. Matri could now be sacrificed to suitors AC Milan, who had been tracking Tevez. Earlier Tevez was whisked to Turin after hundreds of fans greeted him amid chaotic scenes at Milan’s Malpensa airport. Television pictures showed Tevez being mobbed by fans before being taken back into the terminal by Juventus staff and put into a car via a side entrance. During his seven years in England the spotlight, whether positive or negative, was never far from the 29-year-old. Tevez, along with fellow Argentine Javier Mascherano, arrived at Premier League side West Ham United in 2006 from Brazilian club Corinthians and had an immediate impact. West Ham, struggling to remain in the top flight, were rescued from relegation by Tevez who scored the only goal in a win against Manchester United on the final day of the 2006-07 season. CONTROVERSIAL MOVE Despite the success of Tevez and Mascherano, their regis-

TURIN: Argentina’s striker Carlos Tevez poses with his new Juventus’ jersey, during his official presentation yesterday. — AP trations were owned by third parties - a contravention of Premier League rules. West Ham were fined for their role in the transfer deals, but Tevez had worked his magic and was promptly on his way to Manchester United. At Old Trafford, Tevez helped the side to two league titles, the 2008 Champions League and 2008 FIFA Club World Cup. But his relationship with manager Alex Ferguson soured and he sealed a controversial move to United’s arch-rivals Manchester City in July 2009. Following his arrival, an infamous billboard stating ‘Welcome to Manchester’ with a picture of Tevez in a City shirt made his former employers at United boil. Tevez’s first two seasons at City were highly productive and he wore the captain’s armband during the 2011 FA Cup victory against Stoke City, which broke a barren run of 35 years without a major trophy for the club. Having previously handed in a transfer request to leave City, Tevez had a public falling out with manager Roberto Mancini in September 2011 when he refused to warm up as a substitute during a Champions League match against Bayern Munich. Fined two week’s wages, Tevez returned to Argentina for almost four months where he was often pictured playing golf. It looked likely he would be sold in the January transfer window, but the talisman returned to England in February 2012 and contributed to Manchester City’s first Premier League title in 44 years. — Reuters

Michel Platini praised Blanc’s hiring, saying: “It’s a good challenge for him and it’s good that PSG have a French coach. “He has some good players, so he has a good chance to win,” added Platini. However, key to Blanc’s success will be the future of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swedish striker plundered opposing defenses for a league-best 30 goals last term, but there remains a question mark over his status at the club after he said in May that he would consider leaving if Ancelotti departed Paris. Ibrahimovic, who has two years left on his contract, said last month: “When they ask me what my future will be if Carlo leaves, I know nothing, it’s not (an) easy (situation).” He also said that if Ancelotti were to leave that PSG would “need a coach who’s not only going to manage a French team but an international one with world-class players. It’s not easy for a manager and only a big one can come in (to take over)”. —AFP

Real, Isco ink deal MADRID: Real Madrid secured the transfer of midfielder Francisco “Isco” Alarcon from Malaga yesterday, adding one of Europe’s most prized young players to its already star-studded squad. Madrid announced on its website that the 21-year-old Isco had agreed to a five-year contract. He will be presented on Wednesday after a medical exam. Isco helped Malaga reach the Champions League quarterfinals last season and guided Spain to the European Under-21 title this summer. Malaga said in a statement that it wanted “to thank Isco and his family for their commitment, implication and impeccable behavior while being a Malaga player.” Neither club released the financial details of the transfer. Manchester City was reportedly also interested in drawing Isco away from Malaga, especially after hiring his former coach Manuel Pellegrini. But Madrid club president Florentino Perez could hardly let another desired player slip away after losing the bidding war for Brazil star Neymar to Barcelona. After Malaga lured him away from Valencia in 2011, Isco quickly blossomed into a well-rounded attacking threat with his incisive passing, skilled dribbling and goal-scoring. He netted 12 goals in all competitions for the Costa del Sol side last season. Isco will now have to compete for playing time with a group of attacking players that features Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, and Luka Modric, while media reports also point to the possible arrival of Uruguay forward Luis Suarez from Liverpool. Isco had said this summer that he would have to think long and hard about joining Madrid, where he could get stuck on the bench alongside former world player of the year Kaka and thereby join a list of young Spanish players who failed to earn a spot in Madrid’s rotation like Sergio Canales and Pedro Leon. Madrid hired Carlo Ancelotti as manager on Wednesday to replace Jose Mourinho after he returned to Chelsea following a season without a major trophy. The former Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and AC Milan coach said at his presentation that Isco was a talented player. “He is very good,” said Ancelotti. “Spain’s under-21 side has fantastic players, (but) he has the most quality of all of them. Isco can play for any club.” Isco is Madrid’s second signing this offseason after it paid Bayer Leverkusen to recover right back Daniel Carvajal. Isco is the last in a growing line of players which includes Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal that Malaga have sold over the past year since its Qatari owners drastically changed course after a spending spree to build a team that qualified for the Champions League for the first time in club history. — AP


Sports FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Ageless Kimiko turns back time at Wimbledon LONDON: Kimiko Date-Krumm set up a potential Wimbledon showdown with defending champion Serena Williams as the Japanese veteran defeated Romania’s Alexandra Cadantu 6-4, 7-5 in the second round yesterday. At 42, Date-Krumm is the oldest player competing in the main draw at the All England Club, but age hasn’t eroded her talent as she enjoyed her second consecutive straight sets win. She is back in the last 32 at Wimbledon for the first time since her run to the semi-finals 17 years ago. And the reward for Date-Krumm, who also reached the third round at the Australian Open in January, is a likely clash with world number one Serena. Barring a major upset, Williams should

brush aside French qualifier Caroline Garcia and give Date-Krumm a first career meeting with the five-time Wimbledon champion. Cadantu is ranked just three places below world number 84 DateKrumm and had shocked Austrian 28th seed Tamira Paszek in the first round. But the 23-year-old was appearing in the second round of a Grand Slam for the first time. In contrast, Date-Krumm was playing in her 104th Grand Slam match and competing at Wimbledon for the 12th time. Date-Krumm enjoyed a fairytale run to the Wimbledon semi-finals in 1996 before suddenly announcing her retirement. She returned to the tour 12 years later and enjoyed two notable landmarks, becoming the oldest player to

beat a top-10 opponent and the second oldest to win a WTA Tour title when she triumphed in Seoul aged 38. Date-Krumm took just 44 minutes to rout German teenager Carina Witthoeft in the first round and made the perfect start with a break in the opening game against Cadantu. Cadantu looked to have control of the set when she broke twice for a 4-2 lead. But Date-Krumm’s wealth of experience paid off as she clawed her way back into the match with a pair of quick-fire breaks, clinching the first set by winning four successive games. Date-Krumm was broken at 5-4 when she served for the second set, but she recovered to take the next two games and seal the win. — AFP

Murray challenges Serena to Vegas showdown LONDON: US Open champion Andy Murray has challenged women’s world number one Serena Williams to a showdown in Las Vegas that would evoke memories of the famous ‘battle of the sexes’ 40 years ago. Murray threw down the gauntlet to Serena after responding to a Twitter follower who claimed the American could beat her male counterpart. The world number two’s proposal, however light-hearted he intended it to be, sparked thoughts of the time when 55-year-old Bobby Riggs, a tennis superstar of the 1930s and 1940s, took on female greats Margaret Court and Billie Jean King. Those matches in 1973 drew huge worldwide attention, with Riggs easily beating Court in the first clash. That prompted King to challenge Riggs to a match in Houston and this time it was the woman who won an historic meeting which is now regarded as a defining moment in the rise in popularity of the feminist movement. In 1992, Jimmy Connors defeated Martina Navratilova in Las Vegas. And the idea of a similar clash in America’s self-styled ‘Sin City’ seems to appeal to Murray. “I have been challenged by someone on Twitter to taking on Serena Williams. I’d be up for it, why not?” Murray wrote in his column on the BBC’s website. “I’ve never hit with her but she’s obviously an incredible player and I think people would be interested to see the men play against the women to see how the styles match up. “It’s happened in the past with Jimmy Connors and Martina Navratilova. How about Las Vegas as a venue?”— AFP

Federer faces down lessons of the Wimbledon history LONDON: Roger Federer was confronting the collapse of his tennis world yesterday, desperate to avoid the Wimbledon fate suffered by his hero Pete Sampras, whose All England Club career ended in a punch-drunk haze. Federer’s bid to become the first man to win the title eight times was ended by Russian literature fan Sergiy Stakhovsky, the world number 116, whose 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5), 7-5, 7-6 (7/5) secondround win has possibly ended one of the sport’s greatest stories. His earliest exit from a major since a second-round loss at the 2003 French Open and his worst defeat at the All England Club in 11 years came on the 10th anniversary of his first Wimbledon title. The defeat also ended his astonishing run of 36 consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final appearances, a streak stretching back nine years. Federer, the winner of a record 17 majors, is adamant that he will be back next year when he will be six weeks short of his 33rd birthday. However, his failure to defend his title already means he will fall to number five in the world rankings after the tournament-his lowest place since June 2003. If he were to win a record eighth Wimbledon in 2014, he would become the oldest man to clinch the title, surpassing Arthur Ashe who was six days away from his 32nd birthday when he triumphed in 1975.—AFP

LONDON: Japan’s Kimiko Date-Krumm celebrates beating Romania’s Alexandra Cadantu during their second round women’s singles match on day four of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament at the All England Club in Wimbledon, southwest yesterday. Date-Krumm won 6-4, 7-5. — AFP

Date-Krumm: Oldest woman to reach Wimbledon last 32 LONDON: Kimiko Date-Krumm set up a showdown with defending champion Serena Williams as the Japanese veteran defeated Romania’s Alexandra Cadantu 6-4, 7-5 yesterday to become the oldest woman to reach the third round at Wimbledon in the Open Era. At 42, Date-Krumm’s presence in the last 32 means she has surpassed Britain’s Virginia Wade, who reached the same stage aged 39 years 362 days in 1985. The Japanese player is back in the last 32 at Wimbledon for the first time since her run to the semi-finals 17 years ago. And the reward for Date-Krumm, who also reached the third round at the Australian Open in January, is a clash with world number one Williams, who brushed aside French qualifier Caroline Garcia to give the Japanese player a first career meeting with the five-time Wimbledon champion. Williams admitted she has tremendous respect for Date-Krumm’s longevity, even if the 31-year-old insists there is no chance she will still be playing at the same age as the Japanese star. “I’ve never played her but I have so much respect for her,” Serena said. “She’s so inspiring to be playing such high level tennis at her age. And she’s a real danger on the grass court, I know that. “I didn’t see myself playing at 31, so I definitely do not see myself playing at 42.” As well as admiring Date-Krumm’s passion for the game, Serena also has a healthy awareness of the potential threat she poses to her title bid. “Kimiko has great hand eye coordination. She returns unbelievable

shots,” Serena said. “It doesn’t matter how hard you hit it, she sees the ball and gets it back. “She has great hands, has a wonderful great volley, comes to the net a lot, which on grass can be tricky. She plays really flat, so the ball stays really low. “I definitely will have to be ready. It’s for sure not going to be easy, but I’ll be ready.” While Serena has never faced DateKrumm before, she will seek advice from her sister Venus, who is absent from this year’s tournament due to injury but won an epic three-set battle against the veteran at Wimbledon in 2011. “I did see that match. I think I lost four years of my life watching that match,” Serena added. “So I will definitely be talking to Venus and figuring out what I can do to do the best that I can in my next match.” Cadantu is ranked just three places below world number 84 DateKrumm and had shocked Austrian 28th seed Tamira Paszek in the first round. But the 23-year-old was appearing in the second round of a Grand Slam for the first time. In contrast, Date-Krumm was playing in her 104th Grand Slam match and competing at Wimbledon for the 12th time. Date-Krumm enjoyed a fairytale run to the Wimbledon semi-finals in 1996 before suddenly announcing her retirement. She returned to the tour 12 years later and enjoyed two notable landmarks, becoming the oldest player to beat a top-10 opponent and the second oldest to win a WTA Tour title when she triumphed in Seoul aged 38. — AFP


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