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SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013

US leaker Snowden’s hopes rise on asylum offers

Gunmen kill 42 in Nigeria school attack

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SHAABAN 28, 1434 AH


Runaway train explodes, levels center of Canada town


Bartoli routs Lisicki to win first Wimbledon title


Salafists scuttle bid to appoint ElBaradei as PM Islamists mass again • Qaradawi: Egyptians should back Morsi

418 hopefuls in race as oppn boycotts polls

Jet crash-lands in US

By B Izzak KUWAIT: Registration for the July 27 election closed yesterday after 418 candidates filed nomination papers including only eight women as the opposition remained steadfast by almost completely boycotting the second polls in a row in protest against the amendment of the electoral law. Withdrawal of candidacy will remain open until seven days before the election day, or on July 19. In the Dec 1 election, 387 candidates signed up but only 279 were left in the race for the 50-seat National Assembly. As many as 42 members of the Assembly that was nullified by the constitutional court on June 16 are seeking re-election in addition to 15 members from the previous Assembly that was elected in February last year and dissolved by the same court four months later. In addition, 35 former MPs are bidding for a fresh mandate, some of whom have been absent for more than four terms. Among those who decided not to contest were prominent Shiite MP Hussein Al-Qallaf and Minister of Social Affairs and Labour Thekra Al-Rasheedi. Continued on Page 15

SAN FRANCISCO: An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 is seen on the runway at San Francisco International Airport after crash-landing yesterday. There were no immediate reports of casualties and one apparent survivor tweeted a picture of passengers fleeing the plane. The jet had 292 passengers and 16 crewmembers on board. — AFP

Max 48º Min 35º High Tide 00:20 & 10:20 Low Tide 05:01& 18:37

CAIRO: Egyptian state television said the interim prime minister had not yet been chosen, after named officials and state media earlier said Mohamed ElBaradei would be appointed yesterday. The late-night report followed Egypt’s second biggest Islamist group, which had initially backed a military-led political roadmap to guide the country to new elections, opposing the nomination of liberal politician ElBaradei. The military ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday, and his Muslim Brotherhood movement has led protests in which dozens of people have been killed. The Tamarod movement, which engineered mass protests culminating in the overthrow of Morsi, had earlier announced the appointment of Nobel Peace laureate ElBaradei after talks with Egypt’s new interim leader Adly Mansour. The news was greeted with cheers outside Cairo’s Ittihadiya presidential palace, where Mohamed ElBaradei opponents of Morsi frantically waved Egyptian flags and honked car horns. “Interim president Adly Mansour has tasked Mohamed ElBaradei with forming a new government,” the official MENA news agency also reported. Reporters gathered at the presidential palace had been ushered into a room where they were told by officials to wait for the president who would arrive shortly to announce ElBaradei’s appointment. Continued on Page 15

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013


Information ministry implements special election coverage plan ‘Clear road-map’ drawn up

Kuwait model village for Syrians in Turkey highlights philanthropic role KUWAIT: The Kuwait model village for relief of Syrian refugees in Turkey’s border province of Kilis is one of the many Kuwaiti efforts aimed at aiding people of urgent humanitarian needs worldwide. The village was established by a Kuwaiti government donation and under direct instructions from His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah. It was completed under the supervision of the Kuwaiti Embassy in Turkey in cooperation with Kuwait’s International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO) and Turkey’s Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH). The model village is unique in terms of providing distinctive accommodations for Syrian refugees in Turkey, who are undergoing the agony of alienation, poverty, displacement and harsh weather conditions around the year.

Built in a carefully chosen area, the village comprises more than 1,000 mobile homes, four schools, two health centers and two fully equipped mosques, which in addition to prayer quarters offer other religious services to the refugees. The mobile homes have two rooms each and a restroom, and can accommodate up to six individuals. These homes are fully furnished and equipped with necessities to shield residents from the heat of the summer, the chill of the winter, and heavy winds. Moreover, each school in the village consists of 12 classrooms — each accommodating 32 pupils - in addition to a lecture hall, an administration room, a library, a pharmacy, two mosques - that accommodate around 150 worshipers - and two medical centers that include six specialized medical departments. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Ministry of Information’s electoral media committees have already begun implementing a scheduled broad plan for parliamentary elections due on July 27, said a ministry undersecretary yesterday. Electoral steering committee has already held meetings at level of assistant undersecretaries, discussing the ministry strategy to cover “this democratic event, affirming the state media capacity to cover such events,” said Salah Al-Mubaraki, the ministry undersecretary and the chairman of the steering committee. The higher commission has drawn up “a clear road-map upon directions of Minister of Information and Youth Sheikh Salman Sabah AlSalem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah who has put all the ministry technical and human resources at the disposal of performing this media mission with assistance of a group of skilled and trained young staff,” Al-Mubaraki said. The ministry is offering candidates for the upcoming polls free promotion of the their manifestos and views, Al-Mubaraki said, alluding to the audio-visual program, “candidate of the assembly 2013,” which was first produced during the 2012 polls. Team in charge of the promotion program will receive candidates, after end of nomination, as of July 7 till the 17th of the month, during the official working hours, to record their views for broadcast according to a set timetable. Media coverage of the polling process will be a distinguished one, the undersecretary added, noting that the assigned teams, news personnel and technicians, are working diligently to finalize the program and ensure transparency of the process. This plan includes recorded and live programs and documentaries, he said, also noting

Electoral committees reduced, may delay result announcement KUWAIT: A judicial committee assigned to supervise parliamentary elections set for July 27 held a meeting chaired by president of the court of appeal Ahmad Al-Ujail to discuss the latest preparations which according to sources familiar with the meeting are “very good”. Meanwhile, the sources who spoke to Al-Qabas on the condition of anonymity said that the committee reduced the number of electoral committees from 666 in the past elections to 457 after several judges declined to take part in supervising the elections. “Reducing the number of electoral committees means an increase in the number of voters per committee, and subsequently the sorting process and announcing the results will take longer,” the sources added. Meanwhile, an Interior Ministry source told Al-Qabas that vote-buying activity has been detected in all five electoral constituencies, adding that authorities are currently working on pursuing ‘middlemen’ who work for certain candidates looking for voters willing to ‘sell’ their votes. Observers who preferred to keep their identity anonymous explained to Al-Qabas that vote buying and other illegal activity could increase in the coming couple of days before the beginning of Ramadan “in which voters could be more deterred by the holy month’s atmosphere”. The countdown for election day began yesterday with the end of the registration period with 418 candidates including 8 women. Candidates have until a week before the elections to withdraw their nomination, and many observers expect withdrawals as tribes hold consultative meetings to narrow down the number of candidates and increase their chances to be represented in the parliament. Meanwhile, sources familiar with the

general atmosphere in the electoral scene told Al-Rai daily that the first constituency is likely to feature a notable change in MPs compared to the parliament elected last December after the Hadar and Awazem who boycotted the previous elections returned strongly. The sources predict the Awazem to control two out of ten seats in the first constituency and added that the Hadar are expected to be strongly featured with the presence of heavyweight candidates such as Abdullah Al-Roumi, Abdullah Al-Turaiji, Kamel Al-Awadhi and Essa AlKandari. The sources also predicted a significant change in the third constituency “with participation of notable candidates such as Faisal Al-Shaya, Dr Ahmad Al-Munais, Roudhan Al-Roudhan, Yousuf Al-Jassem, and Abdul-Aziz Al-Samhan. As for the fourth constituency, the sources believe that the Mutair and Rashaida tribes have almost but guaranteed six or even seven seats, while the Anza tribe is strongly expected to take two seats, leaving one or two seats for the Shemmar, Thufair and other tribes. A similar situation is also seen in the fifth constituency where the Awazem and Ajman have reportedly guaranteed six seats on paper according to the source. In other news, Al-Rai reported quoting legal sources in Egypt that the Kuwaiti government had used the services of Ali Awadh Saleh, who was most recently hired by interim president Adly Mansour as a constitutional consultant, to provide legal insight for the upcoming parliamentary elections. The government sought highly experienced opinion in this matter in order to avoid falling into legal errors which caused the dissolution of two consecutive parliaments since June 2012.

GCC reassures Lebanese residents in Gulf region KUWAIT: Undersecretaries of interior ministries of the Gulf Cooperation Council states agreed during a recent meeting in Riyadh to distinguish between Lebanese residents working in the Gulf region and Hezbollah members who are to be subjected to actions against the militant group’s interests in the GCC countries. This was reported by Al-Rai yesterday quoting sources familiar with the meeting which they said had focused on the status of nearly 400,000 Lebanese living in the six GCC nations amid preparations to take actions against Hezbollah members. “The undersecretaries emphasized the importance of separating between Lebanese nationals who work side by side with GCC citizens and are partners in building GCC societies; and between Lebanese residents who are members of Hezbollah,”

said the sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity. According to the sources, the actions against Hezbollah members include suspending residency transactions, monitoring financial transactions and coordinating to prevent the members from moving freely between the GCC countries once they are deported from any member state. Furthermore, the procedures include creating a liaison office to investigate suspected individuals and their transactions, while immediately deporting anyone convicted of committing suspected partisan activities. The proposed procedures will be discussed during the upcoming meeting of interior ministers of the GCC states before being approved and put into effect, the sources added.

that young citizens would have a role in such activity to shed light on their aspirations. Moreover, the ministry is planning news conferences, with participation of many government departments to portray the civil servants’ efforts in the polling process and ensure “success of this democratic ceremony,” in addition to educating the electorate about their constitutionally-guaranteed franchise, “as well as sound practice of this right.” Some of the scheduled programs will shed light on demands of the voters, in line with the ministr y strategy to publicize the public demands for service of the citizens and the homeland. Joint committees grouping staff of the ministry of information and other departments have been set up, he said, explaining that the schemes envisage live TV talk shows with elite experts and analysts. Some of the programs are designed to promote democracy, calm dialogue, based on means of serving higher national interests. The ministry, he elaborated, has already produced flash audio-visual messages promoting patriotism and law abidance. Officials of all concerned sectors will hold regular meetings to ensure smooth execution of the strategy, he said, hoping that the balloting day on the 27th of the month will be marked with a qualitative shift at the media level. Al-Mubraki also indicated that the eventful elections will be covered by Arab and foreign journalists and that the relevant authorities have already concluded preparations for hosting them. He praised the minister of information for his unlimited support for the mission, affirming that his full backing will impact positively on the media coverage of the polling.

Meanwhile, the role of Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) will extend locally to support its international humanitarian efforts to combat poverty and natural disasters worldwide. This comes after KRCS has said its volunteer recruits will be on hand at voting centers around Kuwait to provide necessary aid to voters during the July 27 parliament elections. Qualified male and female volunteers will be equipped with first aid kits and will be distributed accross voting centers to assist the elderly and handicapped voters, as well as to assist official bodies in their tasks, Khalid Al-Zaid, head of public relations in KRCS said. So far, applicants for the volunteeer role, mostly youngsters, have reached 101 males and 81 females, said Al-Zaid, who indicated the possibility of this number increasing. He mentioned that humananitarian efforts carried out by KRSC on voting day aim to highlight the society’s message of standing by the Kuwaiti public and facilitating their needs, especially as the elections this year will be held during extremely hot tempratures on the holy fasting month of Ramadan. These volunteers are set to recieve training courses aimed at enabling them to carry out this role, he added, expressing KRCS’s commitment to local as well as international efforts. KRCS is known for its philanthropic global efforts since being established in 1966, financing projects that target the infrastructure like building roads, schools and hospitals and providing humanitarian and relief efforts. It has also taken it upon itself to ensure poverty-stricken people around the world are offered adequate housing, food and clothing during urgent humanitarian situations like political strife and natural disasters. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Different views of the Kuwait National Assembly building.

National Assembly building represents Kuwaiti unity KUWAIT: In downtown Kuwait City and overlooking the blue shores of the Arabian Gulf is the National Assembly building, which was built in 1985, can still be regarded today a clear model of architectural splendor. Designed by renowned Danish architect Jorn Utzon 10 years before its completion, the architect who brought us the Sydney Opera House made the Kuwaiti parliament building to resemble an old hospitable Arabian kiosk. O verlook ing the countr y ’s trendy Arabian Gulf Street, the cr ystal white building sways upwards from back to front, as the ceiling gives way to the appearance of fabric hitched on to 12 pillars that hold up the building at the front. The main entrance is located at the front of the building - regarded the southern exit - just behind the pillars and under the highest point of the dominating curve. “We had the idea of constructing the building around a central hall, a bazaar street, in such a way that all departments met in side roads off the bazaar road, just as we know from the bazaars in the Middle East and North Africa,” the architect, who passed away in 2008, once said of his creation. Utzon’s original plans went through several amendments, including the annulment of a conferences hall and the transfer

of the entrance of an accompanying mosque from outside to inside the building, but despite these minor alterations the building kept its identity. Some regard the building a link between the sea, where pre-oil era citydwelling Kuwaitis headed to extract and exchange riches, and the desert, where their Bedouin peers raised essential cattle and aided the transportation of necessary drinking water. With a total cost of around KD 26 million, the hub of Kuwaiti democracy is situated over a 120,000 sq/m premises. Despite being completed in 1985 lawmakers, voted in on the sixth legislative term of the same year, held their session in the new building a year later. The building was seriously damaged during the Iraqi invasion of February 1991, when retreating Iraqi troops set it on fire, but it has been restored since. Some 45,000 books and publications were also found missing from its library. Restoration of the building began impressively five months later, the cost of which amounted to KD 19.5 million (USD 68.5 million), with the work completed in October of the following year - immediately ushering in elections. It includes a basement, a ground and first floor - both of which have entrances to the meeting room, later dubbed Abdallah Al-Salim Al-Sabah Hall

after the late amir. The ground floor hosts the offices of HH the Amir, HH the Crown Prince and parliament secretariat employees, a ceremony chamber, a cafeteria, a library, a mosque, a resting room and several separate meeting rooms. The building has four entrances, two in each of the building’s northern and southern wings, as the southern wing is the entrance of senior officials, lawmakers and esteemed guests. Abdallah Al-Salim Hall has two floors, the first of which hosts lawmakers and cabinet members in addition to the press, while the second hosts spectators. Some 120 seats have been assigned for delegates, with 222 for the press, as spectators are given 736 seats. Due to the ever-increasing number of employees expansion plans were adopted in 2008 for a supplementary building over a 70,000 sq/m area, costing KD 30 million (KD 105 million) - with bridges linking it to the main structure. The new building, which is 78pct completed but has been stalled due to contractual differences - includes a basement and five floors. It has been equipped with 100 offices, spread across the numerous building’s floors, a parking lot in the basement, a library, an IT centre and a theatre. — KUNA

53 dead, 297 injured in three months: KFSD KUWAIT: Fifty three people died in more than 2,900 reported incidents that firefighters handled in Kuwait during the first three months of 2013, a local daily reported yesterday quoting a senior Kuwait Fire Services Directorate official. Meanwhile, Deputy General Manager for Combat and Human Resources

Affairs, Brig Gen Khalid Al-Mekrad said that 297 people including 40 firefighters were injured in 2,922 incidents which include fires and car accidents reported as of the end of March. Out of the 53 deaths, the senior official indicated 31 died in car accidents. According to Mekrad, investigations revealed that electric

short circuits resulted in 362 fires reported in the first quarter of 2013, while 119 were deliberately started. He further indicated that firefighters handled 841 rescue missions during the same period including 270 of people stuck in elevators, 128 incidents to hospitalize injured people as well as 114 cases to free people trapped

in car wrecks. Mekrad also indicated that the Hawally governorate had the largest number of reports that firefighters handled during the first three months of 2013 with 623, followed by the Capital with 532, Ahmadi with 511, Farwaniya with 470, Jahra with 420 and Mubarak Al-Kabeer with 302.

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013


Ahmad Omran Al-Jumma

Anwar Musaed Al-Abdulrazzaq

Hussein Ghloum Jamal

Hussein Kathem Al-Qallaf

Ahmad Dhafi Al-Enezi

Ahmad Musaed Al-Med'aj

Ahmad Naser Al-Mershed

Awadh Khalf Al-Enezi

Khaled Refai Al-Shlaimi

Mohammed Rashed Al-Hfaiti

Eight women among hopefuls for parliamentary seats 418 candidates in Kuwait elections KUWAIT: More than 400 people have signed up to run as candidates in the Kuwaiti parliamentary elections on July 27. The list of 418 hopefuls at the end of the 10-day registration process yesterday afternoon includes eight women, Kuwait News Agency reported. Under election rules, candidates who wish to pull out of the race must do so at least one week before the elections. The high number of candidates seemed to indicate that the election boycott calls issued by some opposition figures went largely unheeded as the country looked ready to start a new chapter after months of political and constitutional turmoil. The opposition has been pushing for a

boycott to protest against a decree that amended the 2006 controversial electoral law and reduced the number of ballots a voter could cast from four to one. For the opposition, mainly conservative and tribal figures, the decree issued in October was meant to reduce its power and limit its influence while securing the election of a rubber-stamp parliament. However, for the government, the amendment fixed an anomaly that often resulted in challenges to election results and brought the local election law in line with international standards. A long standoff between the opposition and the government ended on June 16 when the Constitutional Court, whose rul-

Traffic dept continues inspection campaigns KUWAIT: The traffic department carried out several sudden campaigns in the six governorates during the past week starting from June 30 till July 6. The campaigns resulted in handing 23,984 traffic citations, impoundment of 537 vehicles and the arrest of 212 persons. The statistics indicated that citations were distributed as follows: * Capital governorate: 4,911 citations and 32 vehicles impounded and five persons arrested. * Farwaniya governorate: 3,859 citations, 100 vehicles impounded and 42 persons arrested. * Hawally governorate: 6,517 citations, 75 vehicles impounded and 75 persons arrested.

* Ahmadi governorate: 3,876 citations, 22 vehicles impounded and 14 persons arrested. * Mubarak Al Kabeer governorate: 369 citations, 19 vehicles impounded. * Jahra governorate 1,350 citations, 59 vehicles impounded and 32 persons arrested. Operation administration for traffic handed 2,926 citations during the week, impounded 228 vehicles and arrested 39 persons. At Kuwait International Airport region, 176 traffic citations were handed and two vehicles detained. The traffic department urged all drivers and road users to abide by traffic regulations for their own safety.

Al-Othaina weighs in on retirements, privatization KUWAIT: Minister of Communications and State Minster of Housing Salem AlOthaina said that renewing the contracts of eight out of nine undersecretaries in the Public Authority for Housing Welfare will be decided after the new Cabinet is sworn in following the parliament’s elections. Al-Othaina made these statements to Al-Jarida daily in response to unconfirmed reports that suggested that he could have renewed the officials’ contracts. Furthermore, the minister informed that only one senior official in both the communications and housing ministries retired before a June 30 deadline to benefit from financial privileges the government put as incentives. That official is the Undersecretary Assistant for the Post

Department in the MoC, Rashid Al-Mei’a. Separately, Othaina said that the mobile number portability project has been “a huge success” as he indicated that no problems have so far been reported since the service launched in the middle of June. In other news, Othaina indicated that Kuwait is expected to feature a “boom in privatization” following political stability with several public sector institutions moved to the private sector. “This process helps move the development process forward and give the private sector the opportunity to be more involved in the economic cycle and contribute in efforts to turn Kuwait into a financial and economic hub in the region and the world,” the minister said.

Zain offers free high school results service KUWAIT: Zain Telecom announced a partnership with the Ministry of Education to offer a free service to high school students through which they can receive their finals results through SMS. The ministry is set to make the results available today, after which a student can simply send a text message containing their seat number to 99909, and Zain will send their result directly to their cell phones. “Zain offers this free service as an annual initiative to share the joy of graduation with students,” said Executive Director of Added Value Services, Nadiya Al-Saif, in a recent statement. Zain, the largest telecommunications network in Kuwait, hopes that this service adds a new dimension to its message towards its social commitment in supporting the education field, Saif added.

Crime gang in custody KUWAIT: Immigration detectives arrested a gang for immoral acts and cheating the public. Seventeen maids of an African nationality were arrested and all of them have reports against them for absconding from their sponsors. Earlier, the immigration administration received information about several citizens cheated by a bogus recruitment office that charged them KD 150 for getting a maid, who then ran away the next day. Necessary investigations were made and five apartments were discovered in one of the areas used by the gang. After taking necessary legal action, the apartments were raided and 17 maids were arrested, of whom 14 have absentee reports against them.

ings cannot be challenged, kept the decree although it dissolved the parliament and called for new legislative elections. The performance of women in the elections will be monitored closely amid expectations that they will do better than in 2009 when for the first time in the country’s history four women won seats. Their elation lasted until February 2012 when no woman won in the parliamentary elections. However, women made a comeback in December 2012 when three were elected in the national polls boycotted by a large segment of the opposition. — KUNA

47 ex-MPs represented 4th constituency since 1981 KUWAIT: Forty-seven members of parliament represented the Fourth Constituency at the National Assembly between 1981 and December 2012. Mesallam Al-Barak, who is the longest-serving MP in the Fourth Constituency, was elected in six legislative terms apart from the annulled February 2012 assembly. Talal Mubarak Al-Ayar and Mubarak Al-Khreinj represented the constituency in five legislative terms; Mubarak Al-Dowailah, Hussein Al-Dihani, Daifallah Buramia, Ali Salem Al-Deqbasi (four terms); Ahmad Al-Shreiaan, Mohammad Al-Buseiri and Mohammad Al-Khalifa (three terms). Falah al-Hajraf, Abbas Al-Meseilam,

Barrak Al-Noun, Faisal Al-Dowaish, Meneizel Al-Enezi, Ghannam Al-Jomhour, Mohammad Sherar, Mefrej Al-Muteiri, Talal Al-Said, Said Al-Rashidi, Mohammad Al-Muteiri and Mubarak Al-Walan represented the constituency in two legislative terms. Khalid Al-Mesab, Fayez Al-Rashidi, Mohammad Al-Barrak, Nayef Al-Muteiri, Abdulkarim Al-Jehedli, Metlaq Al-Shelaimi, Metlaq Al-Masoud, Mohammad Al-Enezi, Mohammad Al-Msailem, Yusuf Al-Mekhlid, Ali Al-Said, Mohammad Al-Mehmel, Saud AlRashidi, Mubarak Al-Haifi, Eid Al-Rashidi and several others represented the constituency in one legislative term. — KUNA

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013


United efforts needed to increase road safety Traffic accidents fifth leading cause of death

KUWAIT: Kuwait Municipality continued its inspection campaign as Ramadan is coming closer. Farwaniya municipality branch director Ahmad Al-Hazeem said that they carried a campaign in Farwaniya and Dajeej. The campaign resulted in handing 47 citations for ads in violation of the law and the removal of 131 ads from the streets. Masoud Hassan Dashti urged the public not to place ads on the streets contrary to municipality regulations, adding that the municipality regularly undertakes inspection campaigns and takes legal action against violators.—By Hanan Al-Saadoun

Kuwaiti passes away on flight KUWAIT: A 73-year-old Kuwaiti national passed away on a Kuwait Airways flight to London last Wednesday, the national airlines said yesterday. The citizen passed away an hour and a quarter after the plane took off in Kuwait. He was flying to London for medical treatment, said Khaled Al-Kheleifi, the manager of public relations, in a statement.

Al-Afasi to lead Ramadan prayers KUWAIT: Internationally renowned reciter Kuwaiti Mishary Al-Afasi will head prayers at Abu Dhabi’s iconic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan. Al-Afasi has been invited by the Emirate to imam the Taraweeh and Tahajjud prayers from day 11 to 15 of the holy month of fasting, and has been selected for the honour amongst a list of renowned reciters from the Arab and Islamic worlds known for their “over-powering and humbling voices”, revealed a statement issued by the mosque’s media office. The Kuwaiti is scheduled to take off from Yemeni reciter Faris Abbad (Ramadan 1-10) and will be followed by Saudi Idrees Abkar (Ramadan 16-19). On the last 10 days and nights of Ramadan, regarded the most holiest in terms of prayers and rewards, Abdulwali Al-Arkani - the imam of Saudi Arabia’s King Fahad bin Abdulaziz Mosque - is scheduled to imam Taraweeh prayers, with compatriot Idrees Abkar responsible for Tahajjud prayers. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is set to host daily religious lectures, immediately after Taraweeh prayers, presented by a number of Islamic scholars hailing from different parts of the world. The fourth largest mosque in the world has also prepared an initiative to provide 700,000 needy people with meals during the fasting month. Opened to prayergoers in 2008, its prayer halls can accommodate up to 40,000 people. —KUNA

The Kuwaiti was accompanied by family members and a nurse. Three on-board doctors tried in vain to salvage his life when his health sharply deteriorated, he said. The captain, after determining death of the citizen, decided to proceed with the flight and notified Heathrow Airport authorities of the case. Due to his early notification, they arranged hasty flightback home for the deceased. — KUNA

KUWAIT: According to the World Bank, road crashes kill 1.2 million people and cripple or injure more than 10 million others every year. In fact, at current rates, traffic accidents will become the fifth leading cause of death globally by 2030, up from 10th place in 2010. And, in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the figures are particularly alarming; traffic accidents kill between 17 to 22 people per 100,000 of population every year, compared with an OECD average of 6.2 per 100,000. In line with this, Management consulting firmBooz & Company has found that, in order to reduce this high rate of traffic accidents, MENA governments must-imperativelyadopt a holistic approach to road safety. Today, governments tend to structure responses to traffic collisions on the Haddon Matrix- a commonly used paradigm in the injury prevention field. In effect, the Haddon Matrix covers various phases related to traffic accidents, including pre-crash, crash, and post-crash. In the MENA region, however, each element of the Matrix has its shortcomings. * Pre-crash: Most investments and interventions related to traffic accidents are directed at crash prevention. “Road authorities have to apply and comply with global road design guidelines; and, in parallel, traffic authorities must enforce adequate speed limits and regulate road user behavior” said Dr. Ulrich Koegler, a Senior Advisor with Booz & Company. “The truth is, both education and awareness can have a significant impact in reducing crashes. In many MENA countries, over 70 percent of accidents result from driver error or negligence, sometimes due to inadequate driver education”, he added. Vehicle standards also play a major role in preventing accidents given the significance of lighting, braking, and handling, along with other active and passive safety systems. Thisis yet another primary concern in the region. * Crash: This phase centers on preventing injury during a crash using human and vehicle elements, such as restraints-in the form of safety belts and airbagsand vehicle technologies,including impact bars and increasingly digital technologies. More cars in

the MENA region need to have these systems installed, as this can help foster safe driving practices and decrease the number of crashes. * Post-crash: The main focus in this phase is sustaining life through rapid and effective treatment of injuries. Most of theregion has insufficient medical coverage, weak insurance systems, poorly designed and equipped emergency services, and a lack of qualified paramedics. “In some MENA countries, over 80 percent of deaths occur before the casualty reaches the hospital, compared with averages of 50 to 60 percent in North America and Western Europe,”said Koegler. “Emergency response-from call to dispatch to the quality and equipment of ambulatory care -is important to ensure that the emergency services can reach accidents and transport and treat casualties to hospitals effectively and expeditiously.” Koegleralso added: “The root of the problem in the Middle East is the lack of a unified vision among concerned ministries and authorities, leading to insufficient coordination and ineffective interventions.Governments and other stakeholders - such as the private sector and civil society conduct interventions without any clear individual ownership or accountability and with minimal, or poorly defined, community involvement.” According to Booz & Company, Middle East governments mustimplement a holistic Road Safety approachso as to ensure asignificant reduction in traffic accidents. This strategy rests on six pillars: 1. Urban and Transport Planning deals with basics such as safety considerations and the impact of public transportation during the design of urban communities. 2. Roads and Infrastructure includes the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of roads, bridges, and tunnels to the highest standards for road safety. 3. Traffic Management regulates road user behavior, road network management, and traffic regulations - functions typically exercised by interior ministries. 4. Vehicles involves adopting and implementing policies to ensure high standards for vehicle quality and performance - includ-

ing active passive safety systems. The ongoing invention of more and better active and passive safety systems even into small cars by the automobile industry makes significant improvements feasible. To benefit from those, it is important that older cars are made obsolescent. Further, the advent of connected or semiautonomous cars will enhance safety. 5. Road User Behavior involves civil society, which can use the media to raise awareness of road safety, and provide safe driving and first aid training programs. Further, traffic safety education needs to start at the kindergarten level and needs to be an integral part of all curriculae of schools

Ulrich Koegler of Booz & Company and universities 6. Emergency and Medical Services saves lives and treats serious injuries by improving the coverage, speed, quality, and effectiveness of emergency services. Subsequently, this strategy requires four cross-functional enablers that span the pillars and ensure that the various components of the road safety system have the necessary resources and tools. These enablers include: • Institutional and Regulatory streamline traffic safety governance and align regulations with the sector strategy. • Human and Technological build a balanced set of capabilities in the sector. They ensure that the required resources - both technological and human - are on

hand. • Research and Evaluation provide decision makers with updated and rigorous research on traffic safety and institutionalize performance metrics to constantly evaluate the Road Safety Strategy’s impact. • Funding Management enables sufficient funding and prioritized spending, such as through special budgetary allocations, to sustain the strategy. Finally, MENA governments should embark on a six-step program to enhance road safety. This entails identifying an entity to own the strategy or program; setting up a Program Management Office responsible for performance oversight and liaison with relevant ministries and authorities; adopting robust coordination mechanisms to guarantee ample communication among stakeholders; securing the necessary funding for the duration of the strategy;engaging the private sector and civil society to assist formally with implementing aspects of the strategy; and, lastly, launchingand sustaining a high-profile campaign to raise awareness of the importance of road safety. Booz & Company is a leading global management consulting firm focused on ser ving and shaping the senior agenda of the world’s leading institutions. Our founder, Edwin Booz, launched the profession when he established the first management consulting firm in Chicago in 1914. Today, we operate globally with more than 3,000 people in 58 offices around the world. We believe passionately that essential advantage lies within and that a few differentiating capabilities drive any organization’s identity and success. We work with our clients to discover and build those strengths and capture the market opportunities where they can earn the right to win.We are a firm of practical strategists known for our functional expertise, industry foresight, and “sleeves rolled up” approach to working with our clients. To learn more about Booz & Company or to access its thought leadership, visit Our award-winning management magazine, strategy+business, is available at

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013


Letters to Badriya

In my view

The never ending housing problem

Good for you, Egypt!


By Labeed Abdal



he overthrow of Egyptian President Mohamad Morsi which followed massive protests is an organic and natural product of Egypt’s youth. For sure the whole world will support them to get back their stolen revolution after losing it in favour of a new form of deceptive and unwanted style of dictatorship. Millions took to the streets after bloodshed and strange and radical ballgames. This is not what the people expected. The rebirth of the people’s pulse is a normal human reflection of the genuine will of the people to fight for real freedom, salvation and independence. The experience of the past 12 months was extremely negative and in contrast to simple expectations. The situation in Egypt meant that listening to the people and considering their opinion was vital. The former president Morsi acted without basic leadership. He prioritized his party’s interests and didn’t listen to the people’s voice. He dominated for getting 51 percent of the votes and forgot about the remaining 49 percent of the people. Many neighbours of Egypt - Arab or not - should consider the situation in Egypt and learn from what was seen in the streets and what was reported from there on TV channels. No one on earth can keep fooling the people. People must feel and touch the sense of change even if they have to sleep in tents on the streets. This key achievement is one of its kind in our modern history. This was so iconic. It will surely be remembered as the top historical non-violent revolution of the 21st century. This is a great lesson for all freedom-seekers everywhere. The will of the people shouldn’t be ignored - be it in the East or the West. Having 22 million signatures asking for the departure of any politician is indeed a hard force for change that any ignorant president or blind prime minster should not ignore. The people of the world must stop any political, economic or environmental corruption. Come up with genuine, clear and real solutions for the people without fooling anyone, sooner rather than later!

In my view

How can all of this happen?

By Abdallah Bwair


daily newspaper recently reported a story which adds to the spate of negligence and problems that the Ministry of Health suffers from. The story says that the ministry paid KD 1140 to buy a stamp worth not more than KD 30. This story further supports claims of abuse of power for personal gains at the expense of national funds. Another story was published recently about a Kuwaiti patient who visited a medical facility complaining from coughing, and came out with a visual impairment. In a new episode of the ongoing series of negligence practiced by doctors at public medical facilities, the unfortunate patient recounted his ordeal which he said started when he took a prescribed medicine for coughing that intensified his pain. He went back to the hospital and after some tests was told that he needed surgery because of complications that the medication had on his kidneys. The patient’s suffering did not stop there, as complications from the surgery left him blind. This young Kuwaiti man who is still in his twenties is the newest victim of the ongoing problem of medical errors in local hospitals and clinics. The frightening part about it is that such stories have no longer become something new in Kuwait. It is a natural result of carelessness which is also the reason why hospitals have become so neglected. At Adan Hospital for example, the floor inside the intensive care unit is cracked, and the cracks can be seen on the floor right beside patients’ beds. Meanwhile, a Kuwaiti doctor says that he came across all kinds of creatures including cats, dogs, rats, and insects during his time working in different public hospitals around the country. How can all of this happen in a country considered one of the wealthiest in the world? When is the Ministry of Health going to stop being so careless? When are we going to see officials held accountable for their shortcomings? Until when is the Health Ministry going to continue being reckless when it comes to people’s lives and safety?

kuwait digest

‘Legitimacy of the street’ By Rashed Al-Radaan


vents in Egypt will have a direct effect on Syrian events and on the European decision makers — the failure of the Egyptian experience will not encourage them to support any future Arab revolution, especially since Tunisia is still involved in an internal struggle and the same situation is seen in Libya. All these factors will definitely have an effect on the White House, whose official spokesman said Egypt’s situation requires the authorities’ understanding and consideration. No one denies that the Egyptian president came through the ballot boxes and not on top of a tank. He as far as the constitution is concerned is a legitimate president, but there are those who believe that people who took to the streets removed this legitimacy, and Egypt now has a new principle called “legitimacy of the street”. It means that if the street does not want you, you go home. This improvised theory in Egypt will echo in many Arab countries in the coming days, so instead of the “Arab Spring”, we will hear the phrase “Street Legitimacy”, and whatever people want can be fulfilled through demonstrations and protests in

No one denies that the Egyptian president came through the ballot boxes and not on top of a tank. He as far as the constitution is concerned is a legitimate president, but there are those who believe that people who took to the streets removed this legitimacy, and Egypt now has a new principle called ‘legitimacy of the street’.

streets and neighborhoods. Everybody is asking today about the truth behind what is going on in Egypt — is it an American-Zionist conspiracy to topple the Muslim Brotherhood, or are there regional powers behind the events, or what?! The good answer is what I heard an elderly Egyptian say when he was asked about his opinion of the Muslim Brotherhood. He said they brought their groups and shaikhs over the people, cared for their own children and left the people’s children behind; gave their own people bread and ration cards and left the other people; they expor ted gasoline to Gaza and Hamas and left the people standing in lines at gas stations; they want to bring Iranians to Egypt and build shrines for them; they made shaikhs swear at people, saying ‘this is an infidel, this is a believer and that is a Muslim’; they divided people...they dug their own graves with their hands! I believe these things are the real fuel of the revolution that is taking place in Egypt today. Add to it Morsi’s latest speech, which added to his weakness and led millions to turn against him. - Al-Watan

kuwait digest

Tough time for retired people By Hamad Al-Sarie


he state encourages the citizen to retire, then dumps him in a “life coffin” until he physically moves to the “dead coffin” through decisions which makes the concerned person amazed. He who reaches 45 years is considered to be in his full power. He is fully experienced and ready to take up responsibility, if he hasn’t received it already. The state has started implementing the plan of retiring those who have served 30 years, although some of them have not reached the age of 50. Also, the state gives offers and “golden” privileges and financial allowances to those who wish to retire. Of the thousands of retired persons, few can get a job after retirement — the rest are either sleeping at home, in the diwaniya spending their free time, and one who owns a farm spends most of his time there. There is a big difference between a government employee and retired person — the former gets his full salary with all allowances and promotions. These officials have cars and mobiles from the government, in addition to traveling to conferences, When

they retire, all these privileges are halted and they will have settle to basic retirement salaries, which does not exceed KD 2,000 at the most, without any other privileges. The retired person’s responsibilities increase and his needs are doubled. Children grow up and their demands increase, like cars, expenses, university education and huge marriage expenses. The cost of living is rising every day in unbelievable jumps. One who used to enter the cooperative society and pay KD 50 has today started paying KD 100 for same cartload. And for a person who goes to the bank to take a loan, the strange decisions of the Central Bank drive him crazy while reviewing the hard conditions for getting a loan. The installment percentage doesn’t have to exceed 30 percent of his salary with calculating all interests of credit cards, even if not used. His agony starts when he applies for a loan to buy a car. He will be surprised to find he has reached the ceiling due to that. Also companies are committed not to give facilities to any application, even if asked to repay in cash as it was before. — Al-Anbaa

kuwait digest

Running in circles

Education in danger

By Dr Aseel Al-Awadhi


Dear Badrya, I heard rumors about the lifting of a ban on visit and family visas for selected nationalities which were earlier restricted. Being deprived of family status, I rushed to Jawazaat Farwaniya in the hope that I will finally get the long-awaited family visa. However, earlier my application was not accepted at the counter despite a profession of accountant and a monthly salary of KD 500. Later, a friend told that me applications are being accepted and another friend told me that he saw a Pakistani family visa issued on May 30, 2013 with his own eyes. Again I went to the Jawazaat, where the applications are being collected in the basement. However, the system for acceptance seems very unconventional and haphazard. This I say because no acceptance receipt is being issued and names are being called out loud by the officials present there. Moreover, registration for accepting applications is being written on a plain piece of paper with the understanding that these names will be called tomorrow for case submission. My request to you is that can you kindly confirm that is there a “formal announcement” for lifting the visa ban or is it just something to appease suffering individuals. This I say because I am a regular newspaper reader but such news has not passed before my eyes. Please help me out by clarifying the status of this issue through your official resources/information. Kind Regards, Abdullah

kuwait digest

Education minister’s decision By Waleed Al-Ibrahim

kuwait digest

n the first part of my article, I said that winning a parliamentary seat is not the only way to achieve reform, as many people believe. Now, after half a century of constitutional practices in Kuwait, we are still running in circles besides the severe stagnancy we are suffering in development, deterioration of various services and the lowly manners prevailing in various fields. All of this calls for reassessing the mechanisms we have been using in order to achieve faster and more positive changes. We all agree that something is wrong and that we can still fix it if certain people have the will to do so. But, do we really have the proper environment to politically achieve this? 0We are currently working in a futile political environment dominated by exchange of accusations and wasta and personal favors, where instead of the number of laws he helps get passed in parliament, a lawmaker gets evaluated by the number of statements and press releases he makes. It is an environment where those getting the people busy with trivialities win while those really busy solving their problems are punished; an environment that hails oppositions for the sake of opposing only while describing those who reason and think before judging of being hesitant and government-controlled; it is an environment that favors loud voices and slogans to reason and objectivity which allows the corrupt to reach the highest positions. —Al-Jarida

ctually you should thank Allah as your government grants KD 70,000 for building a house. I understand that generally Kuwaitis have a large family and it is difficult to live comfortably in apartments or small villas. I am writing this to point out an anomaly in this regard. As more and more buildings are rising in place of spacious 3-4-storey buildings, the flats are getting smaller and rents dearer without any raise in income of us expatriates. The kitchen, the bath and the entity we have learnt to accept as a ‘hall’ is pathetic. Many owners have now started partitioning the socalled hall into two and renting it as a two-bedroom flat! Then there is a haris mafia. He takes “commission” for ensuring that when emptied, the flat would be ours. A majority of buildings do not undergo maintenance. Even when a tenant moves in, the flat is not refurbished in most buildings. And shifting to another building is a nightmare. We have to vacate on the 25th while the other flat will not be available before 26th! So what do we do? There is absolutely no sympathy or professionalism. No parking place. What’s worse, many harises have the audacity to deny flats to people with children. So Badriya, when you gripe about KD 70,000, remembering us will make you happy. Thanks for standing up for expats. Regards, Khalid

By Dr Shamlan Al-Essa


hanks to Education Minister Dr Nayef Al-Hajraf for taking decisive decisions to stop cheating during the secondary school exams. Yet there remains the question — can the young minister curb the spread of this phenomena? The problem remains deeper than fighting cheating in schools and is not linked to education alone — which needs development and modernization to enable us to catch up with challenges and international advances in education — because it is not possible to deal with education issues and problems without facing political, cultural and administrative factors that hinder reform projects to redraw the education system. An example is when Al-Hajraf attempted to change the annual work grades from 30 percent to 10 percent and tried to shift exams

from schools to education centers or the ministry due to the spread of wasta, influence and cheating, we all know what happened. Students protested led by members of parliament headed by Musallam Al-Barrak. Parents were angry and everyone attempted to interfere. Nobody denies that there is a hidden struggle between ambitious powers to modernize education and develop it to be at par with the march of globalization, and backward social powers that fear anything new and are afraid of modernization. The problem in our opinion is not limited to the spread of the cheating phenomenon, rather it is linked to the education system that forces a young student to carry a schoolbag full of heavy books on his back daily when he goes to school and returns home at the end of the school day.

These school books are not updated or modernized to make them enjoyable for our students to read. These stuffy books force a student to remember what he was given at school by heart, then repeated to instill the information in the student’s cerebrum, so success and failure totally depend on the amount the student can learn by heart. I say it frankly and clearly out of my long experience in university education that education in Kuwait is in danger if we do not deal with the issue from its roots. Is it realistic for a student to get to the university with an average of 80-85 percent and cannot write three lines, or express his opinion on any problem freely.Let us all stand with the reformist education minister, so he may take a large step in the field of modernizing education in this country. — Al-Watan


inister of Education Dr Nayef Al-Hajraf did the right thing by firmly handling the case of group cheating during the final exams at a local high school, which became a topic of national debate after a video of the cheating process that a student recorded using his cell phone spread through social networks and was featured during newscasts. The minister’s prompt decision to dismiss teachers who were watching over students when the scandal happened, as well as the supervisors and the school’s director is the least he could do regarding the issue. This cheating incident is definitely not the only one, nor will it be the last. There are similar incidents that have been happening almost every day for a long time but it happened that no one was there at the time to record a video of it! And to avoid putting the blame on one party and excluding the others, we first have to point out that cheating wouldn’t have spread to become a phenomenon if it wasn’t for leniency on the part of the Education Ministry itself.

Some teachers share the blame for failing to commit to their duties properly, and instead focus their efforts on private tuitions that happen under the ministry’s watch despite being illegal. Furthermore, some teachers share the blame for failing to commit to their duties properly, and instead focus their efforts on private tuitions that happen under the ministry’s watch despite being illegal. Of course, school managements and ministry officials who supervise their work share the responsibility for failing to stop cheating and allowing the phenomenon to spread because of a lack of firm decisions. And of course, we cannot ignore the responsibility that the students themselves and their families share. They are mostly to blame for cases of disorder inside the classroom which in most cases happen when students show disrespect to their teacher or school administrator. Also, lack of measures from school administrations to support teachers struggling to put troublemaking students under control often drives teachers to become indifferent. Despite his prompt action regarding the cheating scandal, Dr Hajraf found himself the target of criticism from people who questioned the true motives behind his decisions and put pressure on him to retract his judgment. I do not find this surprising because every corrective measure in our country is met with protests and pressure fueled by personal interests. Hopefully the education minister’s decision would be a first step in his long road to tackling the snowballing problems in his ministry. — Al-Rai

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013


Drunk duo survives car crash on Fifth Ring Road Worker dies in mishap KUWAIT: Two people were arrested after they survived an accident on the Fifth Ring Road while they were under the influence of alcohol. Patrol officers were in pursuit of a luxury car whose driver ignored orders to pull over for reckless driving. The car eventually hit a palm tree on the side of the road and caught fire, but the driver and his companion were able to get out unharmed. The two men were put under arrest and taken to the authorities for further action. Worker dies A construction worker died in Sabahiya in an incident reported Friday. Paramedics and police headed to a house under construction in the area where the incident was reported. The Egyptian man was pronounced dead on the scene and preliminary investigations indicate that he lost his balance and fell from a high place. The body was taken for an autopsy after crime scene investigators examined the scene. A case was filed for further investigations. Search for harasser A search is on for a plumber who disappeared after sexually harassing a domestic worker inside a Fahd Al-Ahmad house according to the housemaid’s testimonies. The

Filipina was alone in the house when the plumber came in on an appointment with the homeowners. In her statements later to local police, the woman said that the man harassed her sexually and escaped when she cried for help. The maid was helped to the police station by her employer who rushed to the house as soon as she called him after the suspect’s escape. A case was filed.

KUWAIT: For the second consecutive year Zain, the leading telecommunications company in Kuwait, celebrated the annual Social Media Day with over 400 online influencers, bloggers and media identities at the Hotel Missoni. The event dazzled all attendees with entertaining performances and shows where simultaneously, Zain highlighted the importance of the ongoing digital revolution and acknowledged the involvement of the online community in Kuwait.

Duo rescued Shuaiba Lifeguard Center firefighters saved two people whose boat drifted off the Julaia shore Friday night. Search operations went underway after a Kuwaiti man made an emergency call reporting that two friends went missing after entering the sea. The two were found unharmed shortly afterward and taken to safe shores. Cheque bounces A search is on for a male suspect who gave a dud cheque to a local company to complete a KD 31,000 purchase. In his statements to police, the company’s Kuwaiti owner indicated that he went to the bank after the sale was completed to discover that the Palestinian had given him a bad cheque. Investigations are ongoing.

France salutes Kuwait’s decision to join Conventional Weapons Convention PARIS: France yesterday praised Kuwait’s decision to adhere to the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCWC) and the five attached protocols that restrict or govern the use of certain types of armament, a senior official said here. The Convention’s protocols, which were adopted in 1980 and came into force in 1983, seek to eliminate weapons that use fragments, like in cluster bombs, and also to restrict the use of landmines and booby traps. The CCWC Protocols also restrict use of incendiary bombs, laser weapons and oblige belligerents to help clear areas of explosive remnants and the end of wars. The objective of the UN Convention is to rid the world of weapons that are considered “excessively injurious or whose effects are indiscriminate,” the UN says. The decision by Kuwait to support this initiative was signalled here as especially noteworthy as Kuwait is the latest country to join the UN Convention and also because the Gulf country was exposed to these types of weapons during the invasion by Iraq in 1990 and the military operation to free the country from Iraqi occupation in 1991. “Kuwait’s adherence is particularly important

Zain celebrates Social Media Day

as it means another country joining the array of international conventions which govern armament in a general way,” French Foreign Ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot said. There are now close to 120 countries which have adopted the CCW Convention and Protocols. “Kuwait’s signature bolsters this international regime and extends its perimeter,” the French official added. “Secondly, it is particularly important because Kuwait was contaminated during the first Gulf War, notably by mines and explosives left over afterwards. If there is a country in the international community that is directly concerned or has been impacted by this subject it is Kuwait,” Lalliot said. Indeed, France, which took place in the military operation to liberate Kuwait, was heavily involved in clean-up initiatives after the war and had a first-hand role in de-mining and ridding the country of other explosives and ordinance left by the Iraqi occupier. “We are delighted today to see Kuwait join us in this campaign that France is leading on different fronts to allow the world to get rid of all these types of weapons, firstly the conventional ones in question, then cluster bombs and then chemical weapons,” the Foreign Ministry official remarked. —KUNA

A partial view of the attendees.

Omar Al-Omar During the celebratory event, Zain shed light on the various young influencers and bloggers who have played a big role in today’s Kuwaiti social media engagement. The overall event theme and atmosphere has driven creativity and innovation within the crowd, which resulted in admirable feedback by the bloggers and media who attended. Commenting on this occasion, Omar AlOmar, CEO of Zain Kuwait said, “Social Media Day is one which honors the technological and societal advancements that have allowed us to engage, connect and to communicate with each other and with our customers. Zain Kuwait is a company that managed to put its customers at the forefront of its priorities, and with social media, Zain has endorsed its leading position and successfully played a big role, as the first telecom company to launch social media channels.” The Social Media Day celebration was firstly organized by; the number one Social Media blog in the world in more than 398 cities in the world. This international celebrated day has been identified by all social media channels to make social media technology accessible and relevant to all users and this includes mentoring new and innovative usage as well as encouraging people to think more about how they can use social networks.

NBK to distribute 100,000 Iftar banquets during Ramadan Al-Obaid: Brilliant example of ambitious Kuwaiti youth

NBK’s tent near the Grand Mosque KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) will distribute more than 100,000 Iftar banquets during the holy month of Ramadan at NBK’s tent held near the Grand Mosque and via special convoys to numerous mosques, hospitals and crowded locations in Kuwait. The Iftar banquets are part of NBK’s Ramadan program “Do Good Deeds in the Holy month of Ramadan”. Talal Al-Turki, NBK public relations officer said: “NBK Iftar banquets, an annual NBK philanthropic tradition and a landmark activity within the bank’s corporate social responsibility, acquires much more momentum this year distributing more than 100,000 Iftar banquets.” “The distribution scale of Al-Watani Iftar banquets this year also includes hundreds of fast-breaking meals via special convoys to Talal Al-Turki numerous mosques, hospitals and crowded locations in Kuwait,” Al-Turki said. A large number of NBK staff volunteers will be ready to serve the fasters. NBK volunteers annually take part in all NBK’s social initiatives and will be available in the tent as well as visiting hospitals and mosques to distribute Iftar banquets. “By ‘Doing Good Deeds’ NBK hopes to encourage a greater sense of community and charity during Ramadan,” Al Turki concluded.

KUWAIT: In spite of his young age, Fares Al-Obaid recently shot to fame after being chosen as a member of the international committee of the New Leaders of Tomorrow, which is affiliated to the Brussels-based Crans Montana Forum. “Being elected to this international committee, encourages me to excel more to raise Kuwait’s flag high in international forums,” the 25-year-old Al-Obaid said. The Crans Montana Forum of New Leaders of Tomorrow is a unique community of young leaders from Africa, the Arab World, Far Eastern Europe, Central Asia, SouthAmerica and the Far East selected thanks to their exceptional professional achievement and leadership experience in Businesses and Governments. The New Leaders of Tomorrow enjoy, for a three years period, the free strong support of the Crans Montana Forum to strengthen their regional and international network in the framework of the South-South Cooperation that the Forum has continuously promoted as a key tool of a renewed international dialogue fostering the SouthSouth Belt Countries’ recognition worldwide. Al-Obaid’s selection by the committee was for his exceptional professional performance and his high qualifications. He is working as advisor to the Secretary General of the Kuwait-based Supreme Council for Planning and Development, holds a MSA degree in international media from the American University in Paris and is an ambassador to the LOYAC, a Kuwaiti-based regional non-profit organization working towards the overall development of the youth. He was also nominated by the British Embassy in Kuwait to work at the British House of Commons and works for the US Congress. Al-Obaid described the 15-member New Leaders of Tomorrow committee as an international platform which aims at studying youth related issues and setting recommendations for preparing the new leaders of the world. “Participation in the activities of the international forum, which is headed by Ambassador to the Organization of the United Nations Educational, Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Jean-Paul Carteron, is an honor for young leaders,” he said. —KUNA

Kuwait grants 300,000 euros to Arab-Islamic Institute BERLIN: Kuwait has granted 300,000 euros worth of aid for the historical Arab-Islamic Institute of Science at Frankfurt University, the ambassador said. Musaed Al-Haroun said in a statement he had delivered the financial support during the annual meeting of the institute board of trustees, noting it would be used for publication and documentation of books on Arab and Islamic history and heritage. Fuat Sezgin, the head of the institute,

and Dr Mohammad Taleb Al-Ibrahimi, the former Algerian foreign minister, who attended the session, praised Kuwait’s backing, hailing in particular the late Amir HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah for contribution to its founding in 1982. Zezgin, a German of Turkish origin, said he had sought help of the late Abdul AzizHussein, who was a minister of state in Kuwait, in the 80s, when he first pondered establishment of the institute. Zezgin added that he had visited Kuwait

at the time and revealed to the late Amir that he was in need for 7.5 million deutsche marks to build the institute. Only two months later, HH the late Sheikh Jaber ordered disbursement of the fund and buy a building to house the institute. Historical Arab-Islamic Institute of Science at John Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt was founded on May 18, 1982. It aims to research and promote awareness the history and culture of ArabIslamic heritage. —KUNA

Sheeyaab band With the biggest social media following in Kuwait, Zain has over 200 thousand followers on various channels in Kuwait. For more information about Zain’s numerous competitive promotions, customers are advised to visit any

of Zain’s 76 branches located across Kuwait, visit the company’s website on, contact its 24 hour call center at 107, or visit the company’s social media channels on: and and

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013

Mandela still critical

Two Koreas hold rare talks on Kaesong zone

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GAZA CITY: A Palestinian fisherman carries his grandson in front of boats at the port yesterday. The Egyptian authorities closed the Rafah border crossing with Gaza on Friday, after Egyptian Islamist militants fired rockets and directed heavy machine gun fire at a police base in the restive Sinai peninsula, security officials and witnesses said. —aAFP

3 Latam leaders offer Snowden asylum CIA leaker’s hopes rise on refuge offers LA PAZ/CARACAS: Bolivia offered asylum yesterday to former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, joining leftist allies Venezuela and Nicaragua in defiance of Washington, which is demanding his arrest for divulging details of secret US surveillance programs. Snowden, 30, is believed to be holed up in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo international airport and has been trying to find a country that would take him since he landed from Hong Kong on June 23. Bolivian President Evo Morales had said earlier this week that he would consider granting asylum to Snowden. But he took a harder line on Saturday, angered that some European countries banned his plane from their airspace this week on suspicion it carried Snowden. “I want to tell ... the Europeans and Americans that last night I was thinking that as a fair protest, I want to say that now in fact we are going to give asylum to that American who is being persecuted by his fellow Americans,” Morales said during a visit to the town of Chipaya. “If we receive a legal request, we will grant asylum,” he said. Bolivia’s Foreign Ministry was not immediately available to comment on whether a formal asylum request had been received. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro also offered refuge to Snowden late Friday and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said his country had received an asylum request and could agree to it “if circumstances permit.” Russia has kept the former National Security Agency contractor at arm’s length, saying the transit area where passengers stay between flights is neutral territory and he would be on Russian soil only if he went through passport control. It was not immediately clear how Snowden would react to the new offers from Latin America, nor reach the countries if he accepted. There are no direct commercial flights between Moscow and Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, and the usual route involves changing planes in Havana. It is not clear if Cuban authorities would let him transit, however, and there was no sign of Snowden aboard the flight to Havana on Saturday. To obtain refugee status in Bolivia, Snowden would have to submit a request to the Bolivian Embassy in Russia and would not have to be physically in Bolivian territory, said former Foreign Minister Armando Loayza. Ecuador, which also backs Snowden, has said it could only consider granting asylum once the fugitive landed on Ecuadorean soil. Given the dramatic grounding in Vienna of Morales’ plane, using European airspace could prove problematic. Russia has shown signs of growing impatience over Snowden’s stay in Moscow. Its deputy foreign minister said on Thursday that Snowden had not sought asylum in that country and needed to choose a place to go. Moscow has made clear that the longer he stays, the greater the risk of the diplomatic standoff over his fate causing lasting damage to relations with Washington. Both Russia’s Foreign Ministry and President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman declined to comment on Venezuela’s offer. “This is not our affair,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Reuters. But senior pro-Kremlin lawmaker Alexei Pushkov, head of the international affairs committee of Russia’s lower house of parliament, said asy-

lum in Venezuela would be Snowden’s best option. The White House declined to comment. But one US official familiar with the matter, who asked for anonymity, said: “It’s fair to say in general that US officials have been pressuring governments where Snowden might try to go to do the right thing here.” WikiLeaks, the antisecrecy organization, said on Friday that Snowden had asked six more nations for asylum, bringing to about 20 the number of countries he has appealed to for protection from US espionage charges. WikiLeaks said on Twitter it would not reveal which six new countries Snowden had applied to for asylum, due to “attempted US interference.” Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous leader and a former union leader for the country’s coca leaf farmers, and Maduro both condemned the US spy programs that Snowden revealed and said he deserved protection. “Who is the guilty one? A young man ... who denounces war plans, or the US government which launches bombs and arms the terrorist Syrian opposition against the people and legitimate President Bashar Al-Assad?” Maduro asked, to applause and cheers from ranks of military officers at a parade. “Who is the terrorist? Who is the global delinquent?” Since narrowly winning a presidential election in April that followed the death of his mentor, Hugo Chavez, from cancer, Maduro has often lambasted the United States - even accusing the Pentagon and former US officials of plotting to kill him. But the former bus driver and union leader has at times also struck a much more conciliatory note, saying he is ready for better relations with Washington, based on mutual respect. Already one of Snowden’s most vocal supporters on the world stage, Maduro has sharpened his rhetoric in recent days. Latin America’s leftist leaders denounced the diversion of Morale’s plane over European airspace as a disgrace and a serious breach of protocol, and Maduro said the CIA, the U.S. spy agency, was behind it all. Snowden had revealed that the United States was spying on its European allies, Maduro said on Friday, and yet European leaders still caved under U.S. pressure to ground Morales’ jet. “The European people have seen the cowardice and the weakness of their governments, which now look like colonies of the United States,” the Venezuelan president said. Venezuela’s opposition leader, Henrique Capriles, accused Maduro of making a fuss about Snowden to distract voters from a dismal economic picture at home, and a host of other problems including one of the highest murder rates in the world. “Nicolas, you can’t use asylum to cover up that you stole the election. That doesn’t give you legitimacy, nor make the people forget,” Capriles said on Twitter. Speaking in Managua, Ortega said he would gladly give Snowden asylum in Nicaragua “if circumstances permit.” He did not say what those circumstances might be. Nicaragua, one of the poorest countries in the Americas, has benefited greatly from financial support from Venezuela, and Ortega was a staunch ally of Chavez. A bid by Snowden for Icelandic citizenship hit an impasse on Friday when the country’s parliament voted not to debate the issue before its summer recess. —Reuters

Gunmen kill 42 at Nigeria school KANO, Nigeria: Gunmen believed to be Islamists from Nigeria’s Boko Haram insurgent group killed 42 people, mostly students, in an overnight attack on a secondary school in restive Yobe state, a medical worker and residents said yesterday. According to witnesses who escaped, the attackers rounded up students and staff of the school and placed them in a dormitory, then threw explosives inside and opened fire, said Haliru Aliyu of Potiskum General Hospital. “We received 42 dead bodies of students and other staff of Government Secondary School (in) Mamudo last night. Some of them had gunshot wounds while many of them had burns and ruptured tissues,” Aliyu told AFP. “From accounts of teachers and other students who escaped the attack, the gunmen gathered their victims in a hostel and threw explosives and opened fire, leading to the death of 42.” Aliyu said security personnel were combing the bushes around the school in search of wounded students who were believed to have escaped. “So far six students have been found and are now in the hospital being treated for gunshot wounds,” he said. Mamudo is some five kilometres from Potiskum, the commercial hub of the northeastern state of Yobe, which has been a flashpoint in the Boko Haram insurgency in recent months.

MAMUDO, Nigeria: In this photo taken with a mobile phone, a doctor attends to a student from Government Secondary School at the Potiskum General Hospital following an attack by gunmen yesterday. —AP A local resident who did not want to be named confirmed the attack. “It was a gory sight. People who went to the hospital and saw the bodies shed tears,” he said. “There were 42 bodies, most of them were students. Some of them had parts of their bodies blown off and badly burnt while others had gunshot wounds.” He said the attack was believed to be a reprisal by

Boko Haram for the killing of 22 of the Islamist group’s members during a military raid in the town of Dogon Kuka on Thursday. A senior police officer said the gunmen started “shooting sporadically and subsequently set the students’ hostel abaze”. He said the students were asleep when the attackers stormed their school. Residents said the latest incident has

sparked panic among students in the area and many of them have left their dormitories for home even though schools are still in session in the state. Mobile phone lines have been cut in much of the northeast since the start of a military offensive targeting Boko Haram on May 15, and access to the area is limited. Residents of Potiskum and adjoining towns and villages reportedly have to go to Dagauda near Bauchi state to make and receive telephone calls. Nigeria declared a state of emergency in three flashpoint states Yobe as well as Adamawa and Borno - in mid-May as it launched a major offensive to end Boko Haram’s insurgency. Boko Haram, which means“Western education is sin”, has killed hundreds of students in attacks on schools in the tense region in recent months. On June 17, Boko Haram extremists shot dead nine students as they sat an exam in a private school in Maiduguri, a stronghold of the group. A day earlier, Boko Haram gunmen opened fire on a secondary school in Damaturu, the capital of neighbouring Yobe state, killing seven students and two teachers. Two of the attackers were also killed, the army said. Violence linked to the Boko Haram insurgency has left some 3,600 people dead since 2009, including killings by the security forces, who have come under major criticism for alleged abuses. —AFP

Syrian oppn chooses Saudi-backed leader Rebels battle army around Homs, Damascus ISTANBUL/BEIRUT: Syria’s fractious opposition elected a new leader yesterday but rebel groups were reported to be fighting among themselves in a sign of growing divisions on the ground between factions trying to topple President Bashar Al-Assad. The Syrian National Coalition chose Ahmad Jarba as its president after a close runoff vote that reinforced the influence of Saudi Arabia over a perpetually divided opposition movement that has struggled to convince its Western and Arab allies that its fighters are ready to be given sophisticated foreign weaponry. Jarba is a tribal figure from the eastern Syrian province of Hasaka who has Saudi connections. He defeated businessman Mustafa Sabbagh, a point man for Qatar, which has seen its influence over the opposition overshadowed by the Saudis. “A change was needed,” Adib Shishakly, a senior official in the coalition, told Reuters after the vote held at an opposition meeting in Istanbul. “The old leadership of the coalition had failed to offer the Syrian people anything substantial and was preoccupied with internal politics. Ahmad Jarba is willing to work with everybody.” The Muslim Brotherhood, the only organised faction in the Syrian political opposition, has seen its mother organisation in Egypt thrown out of power in Cairo this week along with President Mohamed Morsi. But the Brotherhood representative, Farouq Tayfour, was elected

one of two vice-presidents of the Syrian National Coalition in a sign the group still retains influence in Syrian opposition politics. In northern Syria, rebels clashed with an opposition unit linked to Al-Qaeda, activists said, in a battle that signals rising tensions between local people and more radical Islamist factions. Fighting between rebel groups and government forces was reported in Homs and around Damascus in a war whose casualty toll has now topped 100,000. The rebel infighting comes as forces loyal to Assad have made gains on the battlefield and drawn comfort from the downfall the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), a new Al-Qaeda franchise, has been working to cement power in rebel-held parts of northern Syria in recent months. ISIS units have begun imposing stricter interpretations of Islamic law and have filmed themselves executing members of rival rebel groups whom they accuse of corruption, and beheading those they say are loyal to Assad. As hostilities drag on and resources grow scarce, infighting has increased, both among opposition groups and the militias loyal to Assad, leaving civilians trapped in the middle. The latest internecine clashes were in the town of AlDana, near the Turkish border, on Friday, local activists said. An opposition group known as the Free Youths of

Idlib said dozens of fighters were killed, wounded or imprisoned. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition monitoring group, said that the bodies of a commander and his brother, from the local Islam Battalion, were found beheaded. Local activists working for the British-based group said the men’s heads were found next to a trash bin in a main square. The exact reasons for the clashes have been hard to pin down, but many rebel groups have been chafing at ISIS’s rise in power. It has taken over the once dominant Nusra Front, a more localised group of al Qaeda-linked fighters that had resisted calls by foreign radicals to expand its scope beyond the Syrian revolt to a more regional Islamist mission. Residents of rebel-held territories in the north once welcomed hardline Islamist groups as better organised and less corrupt. But locals are now growing more wary of them as they impose their austere version of Islamic law. Protests against radical Islamist groups are becoming more common. The Observatory said the Al-Dana clashes were set off at an anti-ISIS protest when some Islamist militants fired at the demonstration. But other activists said the clashes were more about local power struggles. ISIS units are believed to be buying up land and property, and they also have tried to control supplies of wheat and oil in rebel areas. —Reuters

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013


Sudan demos fade but regime threats intensify Tensions have continued with South Sudan KHARTOUM: One year after an eruption of Arab Spring-inspired demonstrations against President Omar AlBashir’s government, the movement has faded but armed rebellion and other challenges have intensified. One way or another, though, Bashir ’s regime is going to fall, activists say. Rebels in April widened their offensive to topple the government, pushing into a previously peaceful part of the country in what analysts called a humiliation for the authorities. In farwest Darfur, security has also deteriorated, and late last year the government said it disrupted an attempted coup which analysts see as reflecting a political struggle within the regime. Tensions have continued with South Sudan, further weakening the economy. Sudan’s popular protest movement, however, has not been sustained, in contrast to Arab Spring uprisings against authoritarian leaders in the region, including in nextdoor Egypt. A crackdown by government security forces, divisions among the political opposition, an absence of inspiring alternative leadership, and fears of chaos if the Bashir government falls are among the reasons activists cite. “They see what is happening in Syria, for example,” a veteran activist said, asking not to be named for security reasons. “And they don’t want that to happen in Sudan.” A businessman, who last year gave “underground” support to the protesters, expressed concern over anarchy if the regime collapses. Every political faction is armed, he said, while the military could not intervene because it has become weak and politicised under the National Congress Party (NCP) government. “Another Somalia

or another Syria” are possible alternatives to the current regime, said the businessman, who too asked not to be named. But activists are convinced the Bashir government is going to collapse with or without major protests. “ The regime will fall by peaceful demonstrations or by armed change, or it may change internally,” said a youth activist from Haq, the New Forces Democratic Movement opposition party. On June 16 last year a protest movement lasting more than a month began when students demonstrated against high food prices outside the University of Khartoum. The rallies, often involving groups of 100 or 200, spread to a cross-section of the population and to other parts of the country, becoming the longest-running challenge to Bashir who seized power in an Islamist-backed coup on June 30, 1989. Activists threw stones and blocked roads in a call for regime change met with police tear gas and rubber bullets. Then the demonstrations flickered out, like the fires protesters had set in the street. The movement lacked coordination and suffered from disunity among opposition political parties which could have provided momentum, the businessman said. Activists also say the government’s crackdown, which involved the power ful National Intelligence and Security Service, was a factor in suppressing public dissent. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said scores of peaceful protesters were arrested. Sudan’s economy worsened in subsequent months, with inflation exceeding 40

percent, yet no mass movement emerged. “We haven’t gotten to the point where people are starving in the streets yet,” the businessman explained. Protests over various issues since then have not been sustained as they were in June and July last year. “ We cannot say that there were ‘demonstrations’ against the government. Only a few people,” says Rabbie Abdelatti Ebaid, a senior NCP official. “ There is no concrete reason for demonstrations.” The Haq activists, who cite diverse inspiration from the French Revolution to the militant Femen women’s group known for its topless protests, say many Sudanese see political activism as a luxury. Their focus is on getting enough to eat - or on emigrating from the country where estimates of unemployment exceed 30 percent, one activist said. Too many Sudanese lack an analysis of why they are suffering, according to the activist who sees “a crisis of consciousness” that helps to explain the lack of widespread anti-government action. At the same time the government has divided the political opposition and the broader society on tribal and other lines, activists say, adding that the ruling group itself is now fracturing. “The regime is so weak and so isolated and hated by everybody,” said the veteran activist, who too asked not to be named for security reasons. Ebaid of the NCP rejects such charges and says the party represents diverse points of view. “We are not (a) oneman show. Even for me, sometimes I say something different within the political bureau of the NCP, and sometimes I find supporters and sometimes I don’t.” — AFP

Sabahi backs military, sees short transition CAIRO: Egypt’s leading left-wing politician endorsed military intervention to oust elected Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and said he expected a short transition to a new democratic president and parliament. Hamdeen Sabahi, leader of the Popular Current movement, who came third in last year’s presidential election, said the army had implemented the will of the people and was not seeking power for itself. “This action has led to a reconciliation between the people and the army after a long time of estrangement,” he told Reuters in an interview on Friday as pro- and anti-Morsi demonstrators clashed in central Cairo. Those who called Morsi’s removal this week a military coup were insulting the Egyptian people, who had turned out in their millions to demand his ouster, Sabahi said. He called for former UN nuclear watchdog Mohamed ElBaradei, a prominent liberal politician, to be appointed prime minister for an interim period he hoped would not last longer than six months until an amended constitution was in place. The armed forces suspended the constitution, placed Morsi in detention and appointed the head of the supreme constitutional court, Adli Mansour, as interim head of state. Sabahi, a firebrand orator who models himself on former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser,

spelled out the sequence of steps he said had been agreed for the transition. “We have agreed on a roadmap that has a new constitution that will be drafted by a committee to amend the suspended constitution and change the disputed articles, after which people will vote on it in a referendum. Then, there will be a presidential election, then a parliamentary election,” he said. Sabahi accused Morsi of having pursued the same wrong foreign policy of following the West as ex-president Hosni Mubarak, toppled in a 2011 popular uprising. He blamed the United States for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood long after Egyptians had turned against the Islamist president. “The Egyptian people hold the United States responsible for supporting a rule that was rejected by the people who took legitimacy away from it, and the American administration has to realise that,” he said. He defended the action of armed forces chief Gen Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, saying he had sided with the people and sought no position for himself. “Where is General Sisi’s position now? He’s not the president or prime minister. He is protecting the will of the people and we should salute him for that,” Sabahi said. “This is what a national army is for, not to make coups.” — Reuters

OMDURMAN, Sudan: Holding a banner that reads in Arabic, “The people want the fall of the regime”, supporters of former prime minister (1986-1989) and now head of the National Umma Party (NUP), religious leader Sadiq AlMahdi, rally in Khalifa Square in Sudan’s twin capital in this June 29, 2013 photo. — AFP

Police fire tear gas at Istanbul protesters ISTANBUL: Turkish riot police fired tear gas and water cannon yesterday to disperse some 3,000 demonstrators who tried to enter flashpoint protest spot Taksim Square in Istanbul. The group had gathered on the Istiklal Avenue pedestrian way that leads to the square, the site of nearly three weeks of protests against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamic-rooted government that left four people dead and some 8,000 injured. Several people were arrested. Protesters said they wanted to reclaim nearby Gezi Park, the birthplace of the unrest, which authorities announced earlier yesterday would reopen to the public after it was shut

in mid-June. Authorities warned however that no further protests there would be tolerated. “We intend to reopen Gezi Park on Sunday or Monday at the latest so that it is available for people to use,” said Istanbul governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu. But, he continued, “parks are not places for protests. They must serve as a place of calm and tranquility for all people.” A brutal police crackdown on May 31 against a peaceful sit-in to save 600 trees in the park sparked June’s nationwide protests against Erdogan. Protesters occupied the small park day and night before being evicted by police on June 15. Since then, the park has been closed. But in the face of public anger, authorities planted

additional trees and a Turkish court annulled a government decision to redevelop the park, saying locals had not been sufficiently consulted about the project. A statement from protest group Taksim Solidarity yesterday said: “We are returning to our park to deliver the message to those who stopped us from accessing it that the courts have dropped a redevelopment project designed to rob the park of its identity, of its users and to turn it into concrete.” Residents feared the redevelopment plan would turn the area into a shopping district, while urban planners and ecologists said the proposals did not respect the environment. — AFP

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013


Displaced Cypriots still dream of going home KYRENIA, Cyprus: Like the tens of thousands of Greek Cypriots who fled when Turkish troops invaded the country in 1974, Demetris Eliades still dreams of returning one day to the property he left behind. “This is the property we built, and we don’t even have the right to visit it”, says Eliades on a visit to Kyrenia in the occupied north of the east Mediterranean island. The government says some 170,000 Greek Cypriots fled to the south in 1974, with many leaving behind all their possessions. Around 45,000 Turkish Cypriots also left for the north after Turkey invaded in response to an Athens-engineered coup in Nicosia aimed at union with Greece. Since then, Cyprus has been split into the internationally recognised government on the Greek Cypriot side and the selfproclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern

Cyprus, which only Ankara recognises. But after the opening of the first crossing on the so-called Green Line in April 2003 to residents, refugees have been able to visit the other side to see what has become of their birthplace. Tulin Koseoglu, a Turkish Cypriot in her 50s whose home in the southern port city of Limassol was destroyed, says returning was very emotional. “The most important thing was not the houses or streets, but the memory of the people and things experienced,” she says. But at the same time, changes also made it a difficult journey. “I realised that people I remembered are no longer there,” Tulin sighs. Eliades also finds it difficult returning to the town he was forced to flee nearly four decades ago. “Everything has changed. I feel very sad,” says Eliades after being denied entry into the hotel

he owned until Aug 1974. Dressed in his Sunday best for a visit to Kyrenia, the 67year-old is uncomfortable meeting the new residents of the picturesque harbour town on the north coast, mostly settlers from mainland Turkey. The issue of returning or agreeing compensation for property seized during and after the invasion is one of the main stumbling blocks in Cyprus reunification talks set to resume in October. An ongoing economic crisis has dried up funds that may have helped reach a compromise. In March, Cyprus secured a Ä10-billion ($13 billion) financing deal from eurozone lenders to stabilise its battered economy. Desperate Greek Cypriots have to wait for an umbrella solution to get their properties back or go through a commission set up by Turkey in the north to

compensate on a case by case basis. This solution is unpopular with the Greek Cypriot authorities, but one which is increasingly used by property owners who have given up hope of returning. Some, however, eagerly await reunification in the hope of going home. Cleanthis Adamou is one: he crossed through the buffer zone almost every week with his cousin Theotokis to the streets of their village, Potamos tou Kambou, now named Gemikonagi in Turkish. “What we like is to walk, breathe in the sea air, pick wild asparagus, capers and mushrooms,” says the teacher who fled at the age of just 17. “We take pictures of the village and post it on Facebook for former residents or their descendants” worldwide “so they can keep the village in their hearts”, he says.

Over time he has built up relationships with the people now staying in his home, Turkish Cypriots forced out of their own homes near Paphos in the south who offer him coffee whenever he visits. “I still feel at home,” he says, hoping that one day reunification will allow him to go back to live in his house. Theotokis says his children like the village but do not want to live there. “My son came several times - he loved the village. But there is nothing that connects him to this place. My children don’t want to live here,” he says. Michel Bonnardeaux, the spokesman for the UN mission in Cyprus, says that after four decades of division “it is difficult to envisage a large-scale return of internally displaced people”. “People will not return to the north in a place that has changed its name, where nobody speaks their language,” he says. —AFP

Mandela still critical Grandson to lodge complaint JOHANNESBURG: Nelson Mandela remained hospitalised in a critical state for a fourth weekend Saturday after doctors ruled out turning off his life support unless he suffered massive organ failure. Meanwhile his grandson’s lawyers were planning to lodge an offi-

stabilising him until he recovers.” The 80-year-old Goldberg was convicted along with Mandela in 1964 for their fight against white-minority rule. He visited the former president in hospital on Monday. A court document filed by a lawyer for Mandela’s fam-

PRETORIA: A little girl touches a Nelson Mandela portrait outside the Medi Clinic Heart hospital where former South African president Nelson Mandela lay in critical condition yesterday. —AFP cial complaint over a court document which they say falsely claimed he was “in a permanent vegetative state”. The anti-apartheid hero’s health condition was unchanged over the weekend, South Africa’s presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj told AFP. He is in a critical but stable condition after his June 8 admittance for an obstinate pulmonary infection and relies on machines to help him breathe. A close friend of the former statesman had said turning off life support was discussed and ultimately dismissed. “I was told the matter had been raised and the doctors said they would only consider such a situation if there was a genuine state of organ failure,” Denis Goldberg, who has known Mandela for over 50 years, told AFP on Friday. “Since that hasn’t occurred they were quite prepared to go on

ily 10 days ago stated the 94-year-old was “assisted in breathing by a life support machine”. “The Mandela family have been advised by the medical practitioners that his life support machine should be switched off,” the court filing read. “Rather than prolonging his suffering, the Mandela family is exploring this option as a very real probability.” The document - which was designed to press a court to urgently settle a family row over the remains of Mandela’s children - also stated that Mandela was “in a permanent vegetative state”. South Africa’s presidency has said that is not the case, but refused to give further details of his condition, citing the need to respect Mandela’s privacy. President Jacob Zuma, Mandela family members and his close friends have reported since last week his condition has improved. Maharaj told AFP

on Friday that Zuma’s office “had not been party” to the court material and would not speculate on its content. “We did not file any document and we are not saying that it’s true or not true,” he said. Earlier Goldberg said Mandela was “clearly a very ill man, but he was conscious and he tried to move his mouth and eyes when I talked to him”. “He is definitely not unconscious,” he added, saying “he was aware of who I was”. Mandela spent 27 years in prison for fighting white-minority rule and went on to lead the process of racial reconciliation as South Africa’s first black president. Meanwhile an acerbic feud between his relatives showed little sign of abating. Lawyers for his grandson Mandla would lodge a formal complaint against his relatives’ legal team who they claim gave a false version of Nelson Mandela’s health. “They relied on certain affidavits in particular with regards to the health of the (former) president which wasn’t true,” Mandla’s lawyer Gary Jansen told Sapa news agency. The statesman’s three deceased children were buried at his proposed burial ground in Qunu, his childhood village, on Thursday. Fifteen family members had won a court order against Mandla after he moved the graves two year ago without their consent. But the fallout from the dispute continued to reverberate. In nationally-televised news conference Mandla accused one of his brothers of impregnating his wife and said others were born out of wedlock. The family had laid a charge of grave tampering against him, and investigators were wrapping up the case, a spokesman told AFP. “The police are finalising the investigation and the docket will be handed over to the senior prosecutor for his decision on Tuesday,” said police spokesman Mzukisi Fatyela. Leading South Africans urged Mandela’s family to end their increasingly acerbic feud over the gravesites. South African Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu pleaded with them not to “besmirch” the former president’s name. “Please, please, please may we think not only of ourselves. It’s like spitting in Madiba’s face,” said Tutu in a statement, using Mandela’s clan name. Maharaj also urged the family to solve the increasingly bitter dispute “amicably”. —AFP

S Africa’s shocking ‘soap opera’ JOHANNESBURG: A grave-digging dispute has added to the bitter family feuding, over sex, money and power, among Nelson Mandela’s heirs which has set South Africans on edge as the antiapartheid icon lies critically ill in hospital. The Nobel peace laureate is famous the world over for spending 27 years in jail and then reconciling with his white oppressors after he became the nation’s first black president. But as the 94year-old Mandela fights for his life, a legal battle among feuding relatives over his eventual resting place has descended into a messy public soap opera. Mandela’s three deceased children were reburied Thursday after 15 family members, including his three daughters and wife Graca Machel, won an urgent court order against Mandela’s oldest grandson, Mandla. The family said the 39-year-old Mandla, who is the clan’s traditional chief had moved the remains from Mandela’s childhood home in 2011 without the consent of the rest of the family. Shortly before the remains were re-buried, Mandla, in a nationally televised news conference Thursday, launched a tirade against the rest of the family. He accused his aunt, the antiapartheid hero’s daughter Makaziwe, of trying to “sow divisions and destruction”. After saying he wouldn’t air the

family’s “dirty linen” in public, Mandla went on to say his brother Mbuso had “impregnated my wife”. He also said his two other brothers were born out of wedlock. The dispute has earned the Mandelas the doubtful accolade of being seen as South Africa’s Ewings, a comparison with US soap opera Dallas which recounts a wealthy Texas family’s intrigues and conspiracies. “Mandla Mandela has become the veritable JR Ewing of the Mandela family,” internet website Daily Maverick wrote, comparing him to the show’s antihero. The grave dispute touches on Mandela’s own eventual resting place. In the past he had said he wanted to be buried in Qunu, his rural childhood village and retirement home in the country’s rolling southern hills. The former statesman’s parents lie here, as do Mandela’s three children, who died in 1948, 1969 and 2005. His family argued Mandla wanted to change Mandela’s gravesite to Mvezo and so moved the children’s remains to stake his claim for a new burial site. South Africans have reacted with shock at their disagreements. “The public is trying to give them space to run their affairs but they are busy displaying their dirty linen for all to see,” wrote Michael Mokoena in a letter local daily The Times. “I should think they can come together and try to resolve this

matter and not take each other to court,” a woman named Johanna told AFP. The tiff has also elicited comments from the country’s moral compass and another Nobel peace laureate, Desmond Tutu. “Please, please, please may we think not only of ourselves. It’s almost like spitting in Madiba’s face,” Tutu pleaded in a statement, referring to Mandela by his clan name. Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj called the dispute “regrettable” and urged the Mandela damily to resolve their differences “as amicably and as soon as possible”. But the scandal does not stop there. Mandla, 39, has had two traditional marriages interdicted by his estranged first wife, and is locked in land dispute with his neighbours. He has also disappointed in parliament, where he serves under the ruling African National Congress, the movement his grandfather led. Another lawmaker, Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, was convicted of kidnapping a youth in 1980 who her bodyguards later killed. A court convicted her of fraud in 2003, and a posh private school almost had her assets seized in May this year over $10,000 debt over a relative’s school fees. The Mandela family, which includes the anti-apartheid hero’s three daughters, 17 grand-children and 12 great-grandchildren, avoided the media spotlight during his

political career. But after his last public appearance in 2010 some seemed to find their family name’s value irresistible. While Mandela always strictly limited commercial use of his name to charities, four of his grandchildren in 2010 set up the clothing brand LWTF Clothing, acronym for their grandfather’s famous autobiography Long Walk to Freedom. The line’s t-shirts liberally display his signature and photo. His eldest child Makaziwe and her daughter Tukwini later launched the “House of Mandela” wine label. In another episode that jars with the global peace icon’s image, two other granddaughters recounted their high-society life in a reality television show, dubbed “Being Mandela”. Zenani and her half-sister Makaziwe made headlines this year trying to remove three directors Mandela appointed to the trust fund that holds the family fortune. At stake is the $1.7 million the global icon has made through royalties of his autobiography and art works carrying his hand prints and prison number, 46664. The sisters accused the trustees, including respected lawyer George Bizos - a close friend who defended Mandela in the case that sent him to prison - of interfering in family affairs. The three trustees for their part told the court Mandela didn’t want his daughters to manage his affairs. —AFP

GAO, Mali: A file photo taken on June 13, 2013 shows Malian soldiers patrolling the streets. —AFP

Mali state of emergency lifted ahead of election BAMAKO: Mali lifted a nearly six-month state of emergency yesterday, the eve of the start of a presidential campaign for a July 28 election in the troubled west African nation, the security ministry said. The removal of the state of emergency marks a gradual return to normality in Mali, a once stable democracy emerging from some 18 months of political crisis and conflict. The decree enforcing a curfew and forbidding public gatherings was put in place on January 12, a day after France launched a surprise military intervention to help Mali’s weak army drive out Islamists who had taken over its north for nine months. The move by Mali’s former colonial ruler came as Al Qaeda-linked Islamists holding key towns in the vast arid north pushed farther south towards the capital Bamako. The Islamist groups had piggybacked on a separatist rebellion by ethnic Tuareg - which started in January 2012 - to take control of the north, where they imposed a harsh form of sharia law and eventually kicked out their former separatist allies. Bamako meanwhile was crippled by political crisis after a March 2012 coup by soldiers furious at their rout at the hands of the rebel groups, a defeat they blamed on ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure. With the Islamists driven into the desert by the French-led intervention, Mali is pinning its hopes for stability on the July 28 polls - a date set under pressure from the international community. However, with some 500,000 people still displaced after the conflict, many observers have raised concerns over the difficulty of holding an election so soon. Malian troops on Friday entered the last rebel stronghold, the key north-

ern city of Kidal, which had been held by the Tuareg separatist National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) since the Islamists were driven out. The lack of government control in the city was seen as a major obstacle to organising the election. Yesterday scores of people hostile to the Malian army protested in front of their military camp in Kidal, where an African security source said “peace is fragile”. The minority Tuareg of northern Mali - who have long complained of being marginalised by Bamako - have waged several rebellions in past decades, seeking autonomy for what they see as their homeland. Tiebile Drame, architect of a peace deal enabling Malian troops to enter Kidal and secure the polls, told AFP on Thursday it was “very clear” that the elections would be “botched”. “The government is not ready, the minister of territorial administration is not ready, contrary to what he said, and the (election commission) is not ready,” Drame said. The election will end a transition government put in place in April 2012 following the coup. Mali’s constitutional court released a list on Friday of the 26 candidates, featuring four former prime ministers and an array of political heavyweights including the chief negotiator in the ceasefire accord with the Tuaregs - but just one woman. The European Union has begun deploying election observers in Mali ahead of the polls. Some 3,200 French soldiers are still in Mali, but are slowly winding down their mission to around 1,000 men to support a UN peacekeeping mission put in place on July 1, currently made up of 6,300 African troops. —AFP

‘World’s biggest cocaine dealer’ deported to Italy ROME: An Italian mafia capo alleged to be the He could manage fleets of ships to bring it to biggest cocaine trafficker in the world will be Europe.” In April, Colombia captured another susdeported to Italy yesterday, a day after being pected top mafioso, Domenico Trimboli, alleged arrested in a Colombian shopping mall, prosecu- to be a lynchpin between the Medellin drug cartors said. Roberto Pannunzi, 65, who fled from a tel and the ‘Ndrangheta. Pannunzi has to serve Rome prison in 2010, was detained in Bogota out a 16 and a half year prison sentence in Italy. with a fake Venezuelan identity card in a joint He had escaped from a private clinic in Rome operation by Colombian police and the US Drug which he managed to have himself transferred to Enforcement Administration (DEA). “He is the from prison because of a heart condition biggest cocaine importer in the world,” said repeating an earlier flight in the same way in Nicola Gratteri, deputy chief prosecutor in Reggio 1999. He was previously detained in Colombia at Calabria in southern Italy - a bastion of the a mafia funeral in 1994, when he reportedly offered the arresting officers a million ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate dollars in cash to walk away. Pannunzi belonged to. Italian media reported that “He is the only one who Pannunzi had close ties with the leadcan organise purchases and erships of Colombian and Mexican sales of cocaine shipments of drug cartels, as well as historic Sicilian 3,000 kilos (6,600 pounds) Cosa Nostra godfathers like Bernardo and up,” Gratteri told Provenzano. He reportedly mediated reporters. “Pannunzi is the in the release of a Sicilian mafia boss only one who can sell both who was being held hostage by to the ‘Ndrangheta and to Colombian drug traffickers over a deal Cosa Nostra. He is definitely gone bad. He is known for his impecthe most powerful drug brocable dress sense and during the ker in the world,” he said. 1980s one of his covers while he was Gratteri said Pannunzi was rising in the heroin trade was working being deported since “an Roberto Pannunzi in an upmarket fashion boutique in extradition order would have taken several months”. He was expected to land Rome that he named “Papavero” (“Poppy”). He also used to work for Italian flag-carrier Alitalia. at Rome’s Fiumicino airport later yesterday. To organise a major shipment from Colombia The arrest of Pannunzi, known by his associates as “Bebe” (“Baby”), is being hailed as a major to Europe he once bought a Greek container victory. “Bebe is not a mafioso, not a killer, Bebe is ship in cash, the Mirage II. The shipment was illa broker,” said Roberto Saviano, an Italian inves- fated as it sank with all its lucrative cargo lost, tigative journalist who published a book on the the reports said. Gratteri said that during Friday’s global cocaine trade earlier this year. “His arrest arrest, Pannunzi had told the police he was ill but could change the history of drug trafficking in he said he hoped the alleged trafficker would Italy and internationally,” he said. “He was a sort of not be granted house arrest in a hospital in Italy Copernicus of cocaine. He changed the way the again. “I hope that he is not given house arrest a business works, he understood the new dynam- third time because he could attempt a third ics of the cocaine market,” Saviano said. “He col- escape. It’s exhausting having to go around the lected money from the various families, often world to find him every time he escapes,” Gratteri rival families, and bought cocaine in Colombia. said. —AFP

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013


Crime makes comeback as a US political issue DENVER: The ad seems like an artifact from an earlier political era - a grainy mug shot of a convicted murderer, flashing police lights, a recording of a panicked 911 call and then a question about Colorado’s Democratic governor, up for re-election next year: “How can we protect our families when Gov Hickenlooper allows a cold-blooded killer to escape justice?” The online spot from the Colorado Republican Party appeared only hours after Gov John Hickenlooper in May indefinitely suspended the death sentence of Nathan Dunlap, who killed four people in 1993 and was scheduled to be executed in August. The governor cited problems with the concept and application of the death penalty. Eclipsed by economic issues and other social concerns, crime is slowly re-emerging as a campaign issue. From the 1960s to the early 1990s, Republicans hammered Democrats on crime for focusing too much on rehabilitation and not enough on punishment and imprisonment. That changed as crime rates plunged in the 1990s and Arkansas Gov Bill Clinton inoculated Democrats by being an avid death penalty supporter, interrupting his 1992 presidential campaign to preside over an execution. Now increasing numbers of states are turning away from mandatory prison sentences and embracing rehabilitation programs to thin out inmate populations and

save taxpayer money. The shift has been particularly pronounced in conservative, Republican-dominated states like Georgia, Texas and South Carolina. That growing consensus is facing its first test in two political bellwether states where demographics have pushed Republicans into a political corner. In Colorado, Republican Rep Mike Coffman held his seat last year partly by attacking his challenger for failing to support a proposed state law to take DNA samples from people arrested on suspicion of committing felonies, and the GOP is hoping crime issues will help them unseat Hickenlooper and win back control of the state legislature in 2014. They have attacked Democrats for rejecting legislation to impose mandatory sentences of 25 years to life on sex offenders, and for passing a law limiting prosecutors’ ability to charge juveniles as adults. GOP leaders are trying to persuade the district attorney whose office prosecuted Dunlap to run for governor. Republicans say they have no shortage of issues to run on in Colorado. But one, they say, stands out for its potency. “Crime, justice, law and order, public safety resonate in a more personal way than a chart and graph of GDP growth,” said Ryan Call, chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. In California, which has conducted the most ambitious criminal justice overhaul in the nation,

Republicans are targeting Gov Jerry Brown and legislative Democrats over the state’s policy that sends lower-level offenders to local jails rather than state prisons. The law went into full effect in late 2011, but already there have been several highly publicized cases of convicts released from prison committing crimes like rape and murder. The most prominent Republican to emerge as a possible challenger to Brown, former Lt Gov Abel Maldonado, in May launched a ballot campaign to reverse the prison overhaul. Frank Zimring, a University of California-Berkeley law professor who has written widely on crime and politics, noted that crime rates appear to have leveled out after a two-decade decline. He called the recent GOP efforts “the test run as to whether there could be a resurgence in hard-right, punitive” crime politics. In California, the Republican Party has no statewide office-holders and less than one-third of the seats in the state legislature. In those circumstances, Zimring said, “you consult your greatest hits playbook from previous eras”. It’s unclear if those attacks will resonate in an era that still features historically low crime rates and one in which voters have shown a willingness to reconsider tough crime laws. In California, for example, a ballot measure to roll back part of the state’s controversial 1994 three-strikes law - it requires 25 years to

life in prison for people convicted of a third felony - passed with 70 percent support in November. “There certainly are signs that politicians are trying to use it as a wedge issue,” said Marc Levin of Right on Crime, a Texas-based group that pushes flexible sentences and rehabilitation programs from a conservative perspective. “But I’m struggling to see a legislator who got voted out of office in the last several years for supporting criminal justice reform.” The change in crime policy dates back to 2007, when Texas legislators balked at building three new prisons. They instead passed laws giving judges greater flexibility to send offenders to local facilities or probation. As tax revenues cratered during the recession, other states scrambled to cut incarceration costs. “It used to be ‘how do we demonstrate that we’re tough on crime?’” said Adam Gelb, director of the Public Safety Performance Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts. “Now it’s ‘how do we get taxpayers better returns on their criminal justice dollars?’” In California, legislative Republicans opposed Brown’s prisons plan, but that did not matter because Democrats have such overwhelming numbers in the statehouse. The plan was the governor’s response to a federal court order that required the state to reduce its overcrowded prison population. Since Brown’s plan became law the population has

dropped nearly 10 percent, but federal judges last month ordered the release of 9,600 more inmates to comply with previous rulings. Brown has refused to release more prisoners and said that he will take the case to the US Supreme Court first. His office declined to comment for this story. Amid that backdrop, several crimes have been blamed on the early releases. Michael Rushford, president of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation in Sacramento, said the controversy reminds him of California’s perennial back-andforth on crime. In the 1960s, state prison populations began to shrink, with the greatest reduction coming during the first term of Gov. Ronald Reagan. But by the end of that decade the numbers were on the rise again. “We’ve seen this before,” said Rushford. “The policy swings one way and it goes too far. People get unhappy about it, it swings another way. Now people feel guilty, it swings again.” Rushford’s group released a study this month that found preliminary FBI crime statistics indicate an abrupt rise in crime in California last year. But skeptics say the early numbers are not reliable and more time is needed to get a sense of the impact of the prison shift. Politically, Democrats are preparing for a fight. They have not had to worry much in recent years, as the state has become a stronghold for their party. — AP

NSA leaks raise concerns on background checks Snowden cleared two hurdles WASHINGTON: Before Edward Snowden began leaking national security secrets, he twice cleared the hurdle of the federal government’s background check system - first at the CIA, then as a systems analyst at the National Security Agency. Snowden’s path into secretive national security jobs has raised concerns about the system that outsources many of the government’s most sensitive background checks to an army of private investigators and pays hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracts to companies that employ them. “You can’t outsource national security,” said Robert Baer, a former CIA veteran who worked in a succession of agency stations in the Mideast. “As long as we depend on the intel-industrial complex for vetting, we’re going to get more Snowdens.”

percent are handled by the US Investigations Services, or USIS, according to the US Office of Personnel Management, the agency overseeing most of the government’s background checks. USIS, which started out with 700 former government employees in 1996 and is now run by a private equity fund, dominates the background check industry, taking in $195 million in government payments last year and more than $215 million already this year. The OPM turned to private security screeners in the late 1990s because of growing backlogs that were snarling the government’s hiring process. A force of 2,500 OPM investigators and more than 6,700 private contract screeners has sliced into those backlogs, reducing the time it takes on average for background screening by 9 percent in 2010.

LANGLEY, Virginia: In this March 3, 2005, file photo a workman slides a dust mop over the floor at the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters near Washington. — AP The company with the biggest share of contracts is under a federal investigation into possible criminal violations involving its oversight of background checks, officials familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation. Even with fresh congressional scrutiny, the federal government appears wedded to the incumbent screening system. Nearly three-quarters of the government’s background checks are done by private companies, and of those, more than 45

As of 2012, more than 4.9 million government workers held security clearances. Senior federal appointments are still carefully investigated by FBI agents, and the FBI and the CIA still maintain strong in-house screening staffs to vet their own sensitive positions. But privatization efforts started during the Clinton administration keep farming out work to contractors. The Defense Department turned over its screening work to OPM in 2004 and even intelligence agencies that conduct their own investigations relegate some checks to private companies.

The OPM’s success has come with mounting government expenditures. The average cost of a background investigation rose from $581 in 2005 to $882 in 2011, according to the Government Accountability Office. At the same time, a $1 billion “revolving fund” paid by federal agencies for most background checks has remained off-limits to outside audits. The White House pledged only recently to provide money for an inspector general’s office audit of the fund in the 2014 budget. The inspector general appointed to watch over the OPM, Patrick McFarland, said at a Senate hearing last month that there were problems with Snowden’s most recent screening before he was hired to work for defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton Inc as an NSA computer systems analyst. McFarland did not specify the problems, but he said Snowden was screened and approved last year by USIS. McFarland’s office, aided by the Justice Department, is investigating whether USIS exaggerated the extent of its internal reviews of background checks, said two government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of the two-year inquiry. Ray Howell, a spokesman for USIS, declined to confirm or discuss the investigation. The company recently said in a statement that it was “not aware of any open criminal case against USIS.” Howell did say the company “is cooperating and will work closely with the government to resolve the matter”. Sen Claire McCaskill cited the “criminal investigation” of USIS during a June 21 hearing by a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee. Drew Pusateri, a staff spokesman, said McCaskill “stands by her characterization to the subcommittee that we were informed the company is the target of criminal investigation.” McCaskill and other senators are pressing for more answers on Snowden’s screenings and USIS’ performance. The Washington Post reported that the investigation is focused on whether USIS skipped mandatory internal reviews for at least half its cases between 2008 and 2012 and did not notify the OPM. USIS said it performed nearly 2 million background checks for the government in 2011 alone. The Post also reported, citing anonymous sources, that McFarland’s office is considering advising the OPM to sever its massive government contract with USIS. USIS is one of three top security companies the others are KeyPoint Government Solutions Inc. and CACI Premier Technology Inc - working under a five-year contract with the OPM worth a total of $2.4 billion. —AP

Mothers center-stage in Trayvon trial MIAMI: The anguished screams on a 911 call echoed through a Florida courtroom Friday as prosecutors wrapped up their case at the Trayvon Martin trial. The mother of slain 17-year-old Martin testified to prosecutors that the cries on the recording belonged to her son, who was shot dead by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in February last year. But just hours after Sybrina Fulton’s gripping testimony in the raciallycharged case, Zimmerman’s defense countered by calling the 29-year-old’s mother Gladys to the stand. Gladys Zimmerman insisted the screams picked up in the recording were those of her son, who says he shot Martin in self-defense after being attacked by the black teen. Asked whose voice she thought she could hear, she replied: “My son George.” Asked if she was certain, she added: “Because he’s my son.” The identity of the person screaming on the 911 call has become a pivotal piece of evidence in the trial,

which has garnered widespread coverage in the United States. Prosecutors say the screams belong to Martin, supporting their case that Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, was the aggressor in the incident. Defense attorneys have argued however that it is the accused on the tape, backing their client’s claim that he acted in selfdefense. Martin’s mother however told jurors earlier Friday she was in no doubt that it was her son after being played the tape. Asked who

Gladys Zimmerman

she thought it was, she replied: “Trayvon Benjamin Martin.” The slain youth’s older brother, Jahvaris Fulton, 22, also said he was certain that the person shouting was Trayvon. Defense attorney Mark O’ Mara however replayed a statement tape during a deposition in which Fulton said he was not entirely sure who was yelling. “I guess I didn’t want to believe that it was him, that’s why during that interview I said I wasn’t sure,” Fulton said, when asked about

Sybrina Fulton

his earlier statement. “Listening to it was clouded by shock and denial and sadness.” Meanwhile Judge Debra Nelson denied a defense motion for an acquittal following the conclusion of the prosecution case. O’Mara argued that the case should be dismissed on the grounds that evidence was “at least 98 percent circumstantial”. Prosecutor Rich Mantei fired back immediately however, noting that only two people were involved in the case. “One is dead; the other is a liar,” he said. Martin had been visiting a family friend in the neighborhood and was coming back from a convenience store just before his altercation with Zimmerman. Zimmerman has denied any racial motive in the killing, saying he shot Martin only because he feared his life was in danger. Zimmerman said he phoned police when he saw Martin walking in a hooded sweatshirt in a gated community in Sanford, Florida which had seen a string of recent robberies. —AFP

SPRING MOUNTAINS, Nevada: Smoke and flames from the Carpenter 1 fire are seen along a ridgeline in the Spring Mountains range early yesterday in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. — AFP

Nevada fire flares up PHOENIX/LAS VEGAS: Even as crews in central Arizona made progress on Friday toward containing the deadliest US wildfire in 80 years, another blaze burned out of control in the mountains northwest of Las Vegas, threatening 400 homes. The 9,000acre Nevada blaze, like the Arizona fire that killed 19 firefighters last weekend, was sparked by lightning and fueled by dry conditions, strong winds and high temperatures, said Marty Adell, incident commander for the federal Bureau of Land Management. Five days after it was ignited on Monday, the Nevada blaze was still completely uncontained, Adell said, although there were no reports of injuries or damaged buildings. The Nevada fire forced the closure of two state highways on Friday. The night before, the Red Cross set up emergency shelters in Las Vegas and Pahrump, a community about 55 miles (88.5 km) to the northwest. Smoke from the blaze was visible as far away as the Las Vegas strip. In Arizona, where residents and emergency crews alike remain in shock over the loss of an entire elite firefighting team last week, the 8,400-acre Yarnell Hill fire has been 90 percent contained, officials said. The Arizona blaze also destroyed 114 buildings, many of them homes, since it was sparked by lightning on June 28. US Senator John McCain, who represents Arizona, said on Friday that the federal government should pump more money

into clearing flammable brush in fire-prone areas, and expressed concern that the federal automatic spending cuts would affect wildland firefighting programs. “We need to clear these forests and we need to make it so that the damage done by these fires is not as catastrophic as what we just saw, McCain said at a news conference in Prescott, the home base of the slain firefighters. Weather forecasts called for cooler temperatures, which should help firefighters working to fully extinguish the blaze, about 113 km from Phoenix. “We had a really good day yesterday and things are in place ... to have good success today,” deputy incident commander Jerome McDonald told a news conference. Officials said most of the hundreds of area residents were still unable to return home. McDonald said considerable work must be done before gas and electricity service can be restored. Nineteen firefighters in a specially trained unit called the Granite Mountain Hotshots were killed while battling the blaze. It was the greatest loss of life from a wildfire since 1933, when at least 25 men died in 1933 battling the Griffith Park fire. A memorial service to honor the 19 firefighters is scheduled for Tuesday at an arena in Prescott Valley, Arizona. US Vice President Joe Biden is expected to attend. Officials plan to set up an overflow area to handle the crowd, expected to exceed the arena’s seating capacity of nearly 5,000. —Reuters

US immigration system a red tape nightmare LOS ANGELES: A new system that would require all US employers to check if job applicants are authorized to work risks being a bureaucratic nightmare for immigrants and US citizens alike, critics said. The E-Verify system, included in a comprehensive immigration reform package passed by the US Senate last month, draws on official databases to decide if an individual has the right to work in the United States. The reform package - which must still be approved by the House of Representatives - calls for the US-Mexico border fence to be bolstered, creates a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, and requires E-Verify, currently an optional system, to be used nationally. Pro-immigrant groups said they are willing to agree to E-Verify as part of an overall reform package. But, they emphasized, the system stands to be improved. “The problem is that the government databases on which the system relies have a lot of errors within them,” Joshua Stehlik, a workers’ rights attorney with the Los Angeles-based National Immigration Law Center, told AFP. “Those errors particularly impact non-US citizen workers, as well as female workers and workers who have non-traditional last names,” he added. At the moment, E-Verify is used in some 20 US states and by seven percent of employers (about 411,000). Under the proposed

reform, all firms would have to use E-Verify within four years of it becoming law. When an employer uses the system, an applicant’s details are sent for verification to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Of the 20.2 million people who went through the system last year, 1.09 percent were barred from working. Another 0.26 percent were initially turned only, only to be cleared after appeal, according to official DHS figures. The 0.26 percent error rate amounts to 52,520 people wrongly classified as unfit for work. Those tens of thousands of US workers must “face a daunting bureaucracy and contest the decision before making a living again,” said the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The mistakes risk costing a job opportunity for the applicant involved, whether immigrant or non-immigrant, Brent Wilkes of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) told AFP. “Employers are kind of lazy, and if they are interviewing 20 people, and one of them comes up with a hit saying that he’s not eligible, they’ll just say well, let’s not bother to call for a second interview,” he said. If EVerify becomes obligatory, that same 0.26 percent error rate, over all 52 million new jobs filled each year (based on 2012 figures), would equate to 135,200 people having to get through a bureaucratic maze to prove they can work. —AFP

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013


Two Koreas hold rare talks on Kaesong zone Little signs of making headway

TOKYO: Hideko Hakamada, sister of former boxer Iwao Hakamada who has been on death row in Japan for 47 years, shows a picture of Iwao during an interview outside the Tokyo Detention House on May 20, 2013. — AFP

Japanese man nears half century on death row TOKYO: Iwao Hakamada worked at a soybean processing factory east of Tokyo when he was arrested and later sentenced to death for the grisly murder of his boss and the man’s family. Hakamada was 30 years old. The year was 1966. The United States and the Soviet Union were locked in a Cold War space race, Star Trek was in its first season and Japanese factories were busy pumping out a consumer product that would power its economic boom: colour televisions. Nearly five decades later the Soviet Union is a relic of history, Star Trek is a global franchise, while Japan’s world-beating economy is recovering from 20 years of tepid growth. And Hakamada, once a professional boxer, is a frail old man who spends his days in a solitary prison cell. The 77-year-old is believed to be the world’s longest-serving condemned inmate, a man supporters say has lost his grip on reality while awaiting death by hanging - or old age - even as questions over his guilt emerge. “What I am worried about most is Iwao’s health. If you put someone in jail for 47 years, it’s too much to expect them to stay sane,” Hakamada’s now 80-year-old sister Hideko told AFP outside the Tokyo Detention House. Hakamada now refuses monthly visits from his sister and “talks nonsense”, she said as rain fell outside the imposing prison in the Japanese capital, one of seven institutions across the country where condemned inmates are sent to the gallows. She last saw her brother almost three years ago. “Before, when I asked him ‘are you okay?’, he said ‘yep’. I only want to hear that single world,” she

said. Apart from the United States, Japan is the only major industrialised democracy to carry out capital punishment, a practice that has led to repeated protests from European governments and human rights groups. The death penalty in Japan is usually reserved for multiple murderers, including the masterminds of the 1995 sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway which left 13 dead and thousands more injured. It carries out a handful of executions every year. Japan’s 134 death-row inmates face an austere existence, usually confined to their cells with little or no contact with other inmates. The strict regimen includes limited daily exercise and occasional entertainment such as being allowed to watch television. Prisoners are typically notified about their impending deaths just hours before they are hanged. Their families are told only after the execution. “Part of the problem in Japan is everything is still a little bit too secretive about the process,” said Roseann Rife, Amnesty International’s East Asia chief. Sachie Monma, among a group of Hakamada’s supporters gathered at the prison, added: “We must tell people how the death penalty works in Japan. If the public understood how cruel the system is, things would change.” Despite a handful of death-row exonerations in Japan, capital punishment still draws broad support, although meaningful public debate on the issue is rare. In 2010, then-Justice minister Keiko Chiba for the first time allowed media to see the Tokyo prison’s gallows in a bid to stoke a national discussion on the issue. —AFP

SEOUL: North and South Korea held rare talks yesterday on reopening a joint industrial zone seen as the last remaining symbol of cross-border reconciliation. But the meeting dragged on into late yesterday, showing little signs of making headway. Negotiations got off to a faulty start, with the two sides talking across each other over what to discuss first. Although the opening session was attended by a full contingent of three delegates from each side, both the North and South’s chief delegates had to repeatedly meet separately in an attempt to narrow down their differences. The talks - delayed by nearly two hours - follow months of friction and threats of war by Pyongyang after its Februar y nuclear test attracted tougher UN sanctions, further squeezing its struggling economy. Kaesong was the most high-profile casualty of the elevated tensions on the Korean peninsula but neither side has declared the complex officially closed, instead referring to a temporary shutdown. Both nations say they want to reopen the Seoul-funded industrial zone on the North Korean side of the border but blame each other for its suspension. “There are a multitude of issues to discuss but the issue of preventing damage to facilities from monsoon rains should take precedence”, the North’s chief delegate Pak Chol-Su was quoted as saying at the start of the meeting by a press pool report. His South Korean counterpart and senior Unification Ministry official, Suh Ho, said: “We’ve come here with a heavy heart as the Kaesong industrial zone has been shuttered down. I hope we settle the issue through mutual trust and cooperation.” Pyongyang, citing military tensions and the South’s hostility toward the North, in April withdrew its 53,000 workers from the 123 Seoul-owned factories at the Kaesong park. Until then the industrial park - a valuable source of hard currency for the impoverished

TONGILGAK, South Korea: Suh Ho, the head of South Korea’s working-level delegation (left), shakes hands with his North Korean counterpart Park Chol Su during their meeting yesterday on the North Korean side of Panmunjom which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War. — AP North - had proved remarkably resilient to the regular upheavals in inter-Korean relations. At yesterday’s talks - which took place in a conference building in the North Korean side of the neutral border village of Panmunjom - the South reproached the North for suspending the operation of Kaesong unilaterally, calling for a clear-cut guarantee aimed at preventing a recurrence, a Unification Ministry official told journalists. The official added that the Seoul had urged the North to take responsibility for losses suffered by South Korean firms there, a Unification Ministry official told journalists. The North, however, will likely find it hard to accept such a demand as it would amount to Pyongyang accepting full responsibility for the suspension. The South suggested the meeting should first deal with the issue of moving finished products and raw materials held up at Kaesong to the South.

But the North called for the reopening of the zone at the earliest possible date without preconditions. It suggested that the talks should urgently address the issue of checking on facilities and preventing them from receiving further damage from monsoon rains. South Korean officials earlier said the South would not agree to restarting Kaesong “as if nothing had happened” and thus let the North get away with taking unilateral action. At an access road to Panmunjom, Suh encountered a group of businessmen with plants in Kaesong. They carried banners expressing hope that the talks would be successful. One read: “We want to work again. Restart Kaesong.” The meeting comes after a surprise move on Wednesday from North Korea, which restored a cross-border hotline and promised to let South Korean businessmen visit the estate and check on their closed factories.

Representatives of the South Korean companies in the zone have repeatedly urged the two sides to open talks to revive the moribund industrial park. The South wants its businessmen to be able to bring back finished goods and raw materials. But some firms have threatened to withdraw from Kaesong, complaining they have fallen victim to political bickering between the two rivals. After repeatedly threatening Seoul and Washington with conventional and nuclear attack, Pyongyang has appeared in recent weeks to want to move towards dialogue. Analysts say North Korea is mindful of a US demand that it improve ties with Seoul before there can be any talks with Washington. After plans for highlevel talks last month on the future of the Kaesong estate collapsed over a protocol dispute, Pyongyang proposed direct, high-level dialogue with the US. — AFP

Pak train accident kills 14 LAHORE: At least 14 people, including two children, were killed yesterday when a train collided with a packed motorcycle rickshaw in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province, officials said. The passenger train travelling from the country’s financial hub Karachi to Punjab capital Lahore crushed the rickshaw on a road crossing which had no barrier. “The accident occurred in Khanpur town of district Sheikhupura, around 40 kilometres northwest of Lahore,” Salim Niazi, a local police official, told AFP. Officials said at least two children were among the dead. “Twelve people died on the spot. Four people with critical injuries were taken to hospital, of whom two expired,” Muhammad Asim, a senior doctor at the local hospital, told AFP. “Two of them were children under 12 years old,” he said adding that many bodies were mutilated and unable to be identified. Police said the rickshaw was over capacity and drove onto the train track moments before the Lahorebound train passed through, smashing into it. “There was no gate at this crossing, (nor) a man to stop the traffic to clear a way for the train,” said

Niazi. Pakistan has a poor railway system with a track dating back to British rule and old coaches. Many

Pakistanis avoid travelling by train due to low safety standards and poor facilities. — AFP

KHANPUR, Pakistan: The mangled wreckage of a motorcycle rickshaw lies on the ground after a train collided with the vehicle in this town in Sheikhupura district yesterday. — AFP

Dumped Aussie PM opens up on sexism SYDNEY: Australia’s first female premier Julia Gillard has opened up for the first time on the sexism that plagued her leadership and her famous misogyny speech in her final interview before being ousted. Gillard, an unmarried, atheist lawyer, was dumped as Australia’s prime minister by her ruling Labor party last month, almost three years to the day since she toppled Kevin Rudd - now reinstated as PM - in a shock coup. Her time in office was marred by slights on her gender and sometimes violently sexist commentary, including from members of the conservative opposition, prompting a fiery speech about misogyny last year that went viral and earned her global accolades. The galvanising speech on the floor of parliament saw her become a torchbearer for women around the world. Welsh-born Gillard opened up for the first time at length about the sexism she faced in what would ultimately be her final interview as prime minister, telling author Anne Summers you “wouldn’t be human if you had no reaction to it”. Australia’s first female leader said conservative leader Tony Abbott had tipped her over the edge, portraying himself as “some convert, or someone with a real understanding about what it’s like to face the world as a woman and to feel the weight of that?” “I just wasn’t prepared to suffer through that in anything that looked like silence,” Gillard said in the June 10 interview published late on Friday, adding that she had been energised by the response to the speech. “The reac-

tion to the misogyny speech did give me that sense that there are moments when I can talk about it that will have that resonance in other women,” she said. “However they vote or whatever they think of me, they will actually say, ‘Yep, I know exactly what she’s talking about’.” Gillard revealed that she had spoken to former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the travails of female leadership. “She said to me that she never really felt that issue about gender when she was a senator. It’s when she put herself forward for executive office that she felt it very acutely, and so she talked about the crack she put in the glass ceiling,” she said. They had also discussed the loss of privacy that came with public office and an “obsessive” media poring over every detail of their past lives, Gillard said, recalling how Clinton advised her “to stand up to it”. She also described her affinity with US President Barack Obama, forged in part over their place as “The First” - she Australia’s first female premier; he the first AfricanAmerican president. “I think there is a little bit of a spark there about the sense of being ‘The First’ and consequently having to deal with things that someone else who’s in your position has never had to,” she said. In remarks foreshadowing her fate just two weeks after the interview, Gillard said the constant leadership speculation which ultimately brought her undone had been the worst aspect of her time in office. —AFP


SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013



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Coup highlights challenges facing Arab Islamists By Antoine Lambroschini he military coup in Egypt has starkly illustrated the failure of Islamist parties elected in the wake of the Arab Spring to adapt to the practicalities of power and respond to popular expectation, analysts say. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the closely connected Ennahda (Renaissance) party in Tunisia, which both shot to power in the 2011 uprisings that unseated long-standing dictators, were largely absent from the mass protests and therefore unable to take ownership of them, the experts say. “The Islamists were surprised by the revolutions. They never thought that they would govern or would end up having to take charge of a state whose legacy is corruption and dictatorship,” said Sami Brahmi, a Tunisian expert on Arab and Islamic civilisation. “If any political party (in Egypt or Tunisia) is really ready to govern, to create the hallmarks of democracy, the Islamists most redouble their efforts to convince” people that they can, Brahmi said. Since well before the massive protests that led to the Egyptian army’s ouster of president Mohamed Morsi this week, the so-called modernists in both countries often proclaimed their sharp opposition to the Islamists, accusing them of seeking to establish an Islamic dictatorship. “The refusal of president Mohamed Morsi to offer concessions that could have resulted in a less dramatic outcome makes the task of his adversaries much easier,” said Ahmed Manai, president the Tunisian Institute for International Relations. The work of the Islamist governments has also been complicated by the mistrust of the administrative elites, argues Michael Ayari with the think tank International Crisis Group. “They took over in countries which each have a well-established state apparatus, a former administration in place that has been reluctant to serve these new people, because they feel threatened by them. They did not arrive by the same route, they do not share the same culture,” Ayari said. So when the Muslim Brotherhood and Ennahda tried to purge the systems they inherited, in a more or less unilateral manner, it was perceived “as proof of their controlling tendencies,” he added. “In short, the Islamists have democratic legitimacy, but not the technocratic and revolutionary legitimacy.” But the experiences are not identical, and while Brothers in Egypt were less conciliatory, partly explaining the huge popular protests that finally drove them from power, Tunisia’s rulers have been more open to dialogue. Often against their will and always after lengthy debate, Ennahda has made key concessions, most notably in agreeing to omit Islamic sharia law from the new constitution, to not punish sacrilegious acts, and to recognise equal rights for women. In taking such decisions “they set themselves in opposition to preachers from their own movement”, Ayari said. Not having an outright majority in Tunisia’s National Assembly, Ennahda had to ally itself with two secular parties and negotiate with hostile opposition groups to draft the country’s new constitution. The unfinished project has already been heavily delayed and has stoked political tensions in Tunisia, but the situation there has never provoked confrontations of the kind witnessed in Egypt. Tunisia’s president Moncef Marzouki, who heads a secular party allied to Ennahda, said the “Egyptian scenario” would not be repeated in Tunisia because the army “has never got mixed up with politics” and because the political forces were trying to “live together in dialogue” despite their differences. But he also stressed that the new regimes needed to respond to the “serious” demands of the people, referring to the poor living conditions that were a driving factor behind the uprisings in both Tunisia and Egypt. “We must understand this signal (from Egypt), pay attention, realise that there are serious economic and social demands.” — AFP


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Morsi ouster dents Turkey role model claims By Fulya Ozerkan urkey’s assertive foreign policy, promoting itself as a role model for the Muslim world, has received a setback after the military intervention that unseated Egypt’s Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, analysts say. Turkey’s Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP), which faced down the most widespread protests in its 10-year tenure, had forged close alliance with Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptian army’s ouster of the country’s first democratically elected leader has raised eyebrows in Ankara, which has ambitiously promoted itself as a regional powerhouse and model democracy in the Middle East. “Working myself in the Middle East, I doubt there ever was a global ‘Turkish model’ in the eyes of the Egyptians,” Marc Pierini, a scholar at Carnegie Europe, told AFP. “The only model Egyptians see in Turkey is the economic policy where Turkey has indeed achieved both discipline and growth since 2001,” he said. Under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s control, seen as increasingly authoritarian, the AKP has won three election victories in a row since 2002 having presided over a burgeoning economy, ending an era of rocky and unstable coalition governments punctuated by military coups. Once Israel’s closest ally in the Muslim world, Erdogan’s government has taken advantage of an Arab vacuum in the wake of popular uprisings in the region to foster its soft power and a supposedly successful model of blending democracy with Islam. At his party’s annual congress in September, Erdogan told a crowd packed in an Ankara sport hall: “We have shown everyone that an advanced democracy can exist in a predominantly Muslim country. We have become a role model for Muslim countries.” Morsi was among more than 100 foreign guests at that congress which gave Erdogan the ticket for party leadership for a third and final time as the Turkish strongman is expected to run for president in elections next year. A day after the army ouster of Morsi, Erdogan cut short a holiday to hold an emergency meeting with his intelligence chief and ministers. On Friday, he condemned the Egyptian army intervention, saying: “Those who rely on the guns in their hands, those who rely on the power of the media cannot build democracy.... Democracy can only be built at ballot box.” Ozdem Sanberk, a veteran diplomat and former foreign ministry undersecretary, believes that Turkey has not lost its credentials to become a role model “but the AKP’s foreign policy diagnosis toward the Muslim world has proved to be wrong”. “In the Middle East... Turkey has been alienated. It is clear as of today that Turkey does not know the Middle East unlike it claims,” he told AFP. Turkey’s key Middle Eastern allies, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, were quick to congratulate Morsi’s successor, caretaker president Adly Mansour. Under the AKP’s rule, Turkey established partnership councils with Syria, Iraq and Egypt. But now Turkey has cut off ties with Syria, after its former ally President Bashar Al-Assad’s deadly crackdown on popular dissent. It is also bogged down in ten-


sions with Iraq after refusing to hand over fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tariq Al-Hashemi, found guilty of running death squads. “It’s very risky to make diplomacy in the Middle East,” said Sanberk. “The reason is that relations are being established not with the peoples but with the dictators and when the rug gets pulled right from under dictators, problems emerge.” Despite their harsh criticism of the army’s actions, Turkish leaders hinted they would not break ties with the new leadership emerging in Egypt after the military uprising. Analysts said what happened in Egypt after days of bloodshed and protests demanding Morsi’s resignation, would put the AKP and Erdogan on the defensive, especially after mass antigovernment demonstrations by mainly secular Turks opposing creeping Islamism and the government’s increasingly authoritarian agenda. Henri Barkey, professor of international relations at

Lehigh University, insists though that the AKP remains a formidable party “and still an effective one”. “In some ways Morsi’s failure demonstrates and emphasises AKP’s unique success,” he told AFP. Erdogan’s AKP has sought to curb the powers of the military, which has long considered itself as the self-appointed guardian of Turkish secularism and staged four coups in half a century, throwing hundreds of army officers behind bars for alleged coup plots. But the number one lesson from Morsi’s failure that all governments and movements need to heed is that confining democracy to elections does not work, according to the analysts. “The interim lesson we can take from the last 12 months in Egypt is that the ballot box cannot resolve the country’s complex issues without being complemented by an inclusive dialogue between the various segments of the society,” Pierini said. —AFP

Hamas dreams crushed he ouster by the army of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi has crushed the dreams of Gaza’s Hamas rulers, who will now have to build ties with the new Egyptian authorities, analysts say. Hamas, which is affiliated to the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood from which Morsi hails, has lost a valuable ally in the deposed Egyptian president after feting his election to office in June 2012, they say. “What happened in Egypt is a nightmare for Hamas which it did not expect,” said Mukhaimer Abu Saada, political science professor at AlAzhar university in Gaza. On Wednesday the Egyptian army ousted Morsi, after just one year in office, following days of popular protests against him in Cairo and other cities. “Over the past year Hamas had established a good relation with Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood” in Egypt, said Saada. Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal and Gaza’s premier Ismail Haniya have both had a series of meetings with Morsi over the past year, establishing “official cooperation” between the two governments, he said. “The new Egyptian government will not have good relations with Hamas which can no longer rely” on its support when it comes to Gaza, he said. Saada noted that Hamas had been the target of a ferocious campaign in the Egyptian media, which accused it of meddling in Egypt’s internal affairs before and after the 2011 uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak. On June 23, an Egyptian court ruled that Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement had with the Muslim Brotherhood been involved in facilitating the escape of prisoners, including Morsi, from a jail during the anti-Mubarak uprising. Soon after Morsi was detained by Egypt’s army after it announced his overthrow on Wednesday following days of mass streets protests, a military official said he may be charged over the jailbreak. “What happened in Egypt is a blow to the Muslim


Brotherhood, especially in the Gaza Strip,” said Palestinian political analyst Hani Habib. “The security situation in Sinai serves as justification (by Egypt) to put pressure on Hamas,” he said. “Egyptian security measures could affect Hamas through imposing restrictions on movement of its members.” On Friday, Egyptian authorities closed the Rafah crossing to Gaza following attacks in the Sinai peninsula in the wake of Morsi’s dismissal. Haniya on Friday tried to strike an upbeat note despite the setback to Islamists in the region. “Do not fear for the Palestinian cause or for the resistance (against Israel) or for Gaza. Egypt is behind us, as are the Arab and Islamic countries,” Haniya said in a Friday sermon. “We believe good will emerge from this Arab Spring, these revolutions and this rebirth. We expect the Arab Spring cycle to continue until its objectives are attained, including our own cause.” In its favour, Hamas, aware that it could become a “pawn” in the internal political battle in Egypt, had established contacts with the opposition there, Moussa Abu Marzuk, a leader from the movement in Cairo told AFP in April. Analysts predict that Hamas will manage to find a modus vivendi with the new authorities in Egypt, as it did during the Mubarak era. “Hamas is not obliged to be with the Muslim Brotherhood, after all it has long been on the side of the Syrian regime,” said political science professor Saada. The Muslim Brotherhood is one of the forces ranged against Assad’s regime. “Relations will not be as bad as during Mubarak’s rule whatever the new situation in Egypt will be,” said Mustafa Sawaf, political analyst and former editor of a newspaper close to Hamas. “The Palestinian file and the Gaza Strip is a security issue dependent on the Egyptian intelligence services which have not changed since the Mubarak era.” — AFP

US hopes aid will lure army back to democracy By Ivan Couronne wo days after Mohamed Morsi was deposed, Washington has still not termed his ouster “a coup”, hoping warnings of cuts in US aid will prove enough leverage to force the Egyptian military to restore democracy. The law is clear: under legislation dating back to 1985, US military and economic assistance to another country must be suspended if a legitimately elected government is overthrown by the army. But the verbal acrobatics by the US administration to avoid the “c” word show President Barack Obama’s desire not to undermine the generals amid the chaos of Morsi’s ouster, hoping that, as they did in 2011 after the toppling of Hosni Mubarak, they will steer Egypt back toward democracy. “None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available... shall be expended to finance directly any assistance to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup d’etat or decree,” states the law. A special clause on Egypt also states the government must be supporting a transition to civilian government, but gives the secretary of state the right to grant a waiver and allow the aid anyway if it is in “US national security interests”. The US contributes military aid each year of some $1.3 billion - out of a total aid package of about $1.5 billion - covering about 80 percent of the cost of material and equipment for the Egyptian army. In practice, that has meant the US funds multi-year contracts with American manufacturers, particularly of


tanks and fighter jets. “It’s not as though we give the Egyptians a cheque ... what they get is essentially their procurement material for the year, and it’s valued at that amount of money,” said Robert Satloff, director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “Now the administration can hold up deliveries of items if it chooses to do so, but the money itself has already been appropriated and much of it has already been expended.” A contract was signed for 20 F-16 fighters in 2010 with aeronautics giant Lockheed Martin, of which four were delivered in January,

according to an independent congressional report. Since 1980, the Egyptian military forces have taken delivery of some 220 F-16s. In the hours after Morsi was toppled, Obama said the US administration was “deeply concerned” by the turn of events, adding he had ordered a review of “the implications under US law for our assistance to the government of Egypt”. “The administration wants to see as quick as possible a return to civilian elected authority, and it’s signaling that it has in its pocket the threat of suspending aid,” Satloff explained to AFP. Tamara Cofman Wittes, director of the

Protesters cheer upon the arrival of the Egyptian security forces during clashes between supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and anti-Morsi protesters near Egypt’s landmark Tahrir Square on Friday in Cairo. — AFP

Brookings Saban Center, told AFP the State Department would have to work through a “legal determination whether or not what happened in Cairo fits the definition of a coup established by Congress”. “So yes, that does provide time for the US government and the Egyptian government to have a set of conversations about what the military’s intentions are, what the roadmap is, what the timeline is,” she said. “If they want to toss out last year’s constitution and start over, that’s going to take more time then if they just want to come up with some amendment to what they’ve got.” She recalled that, under direct military rule after Mubarak was ousted and before Morsi was elected, it was a “very fraught period,” and there had been real concerns “about the way the military was governing Egypt and the rights abuses”. Democratic and Republican lawmakers have also avoided using the term “coup d’etat”, waiting to see how things play out and what will be in the best interests of US national security. Such interests include the Suez canal guarded over by Egyptian soldiers, recalled Michael Rubin, an expert with the conservative American Enterprise Institute think-tank, saying he did not “see a situation in which the Americans would antagonize the military to that extent”. “All of the ships from our East coast fleet which pass through the Mediterranean on the way to the Gulf go through the Suez canal,” he told AFP. But time could be on Washington’s side, as US aid for the fiscal year 2014, set to start from Oct 1, is not due to be voted on by Congress until after its summer recess. — AFP


SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013

LAC MEGANTIC, Canada: Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing yesterday. — AP

Runaway Canada train explodes, levels town

LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec: A driverless freight train carrying tankers of petroleum products derailed at high speed and exploded into a giant fireball in the middle of a small Canadian town early yesterday, destroying dozens of buildings and leaving an unknown number of people feared missing. The disaster occurred shortly after 1 am (0500 GMT) when the runaway train with 73 cars sped into LacMegantic, a picturesque lakeside town of about 6,000 people near the border with Maine, and came off the rails. Witnesses said the town center was crowded at the time. Four of the pressurized tank cars caught fire and blew up in a fireball that mushroomed many hundreds of feet up into the air. Although police said they could not yet get close enough to determine the number of vic-

tims from the still-burning fires, an aerial photograph showed widespread devastation in the town center. Police also said that some in the town were worried because they could not reach missing family or friends by phone. An official from Montreal, Maine & Atlantic, the firm that operated the train, said the train had been parked some distance away from the town and no one on board when it derailed. “We’re not sure what happened, but the engineer did everything by the book. He had parked the train and was waiting for his relief ... somehow, the train got released,” vice president of marketing Joseph R McGonigle told Reuters. “There appears to be extensive damage in buildings, but we haven’t got full report yet of injuries. But we understand that

there likely are some,” he said. The rail tracks pass next to a bar popular with young people. Eyewitness Yvon Rosa said he had just left the bar when he saw the train speeding into the middle of the town. “I have never seen a train traveling that quickly into the center of LacMegantic,” he told French-language broadcaster Radio-Canada, saying he watched as the train hurtled around a bend. “I saw the wagons come off the tracks ... everything exploded. In just one minute the center of the town was covered in fire.” Residents told reporters they had heard five or six large blasts. Nearly 12 hours after the derailment, one rail car was still burning. “Many parents are worried because they haven’t been able to communicate with a member of their family or an acquaintance,”

418 hopefuls in race as oppn boycotts polls Continued from Page 1 Although, the opposition remained steadfast and is boycotting the polls for the second time, a few of its members have decided to run. They include former members of the opposition-dominated Assembly of Feb 2012 Riyadh Al-Adasani, Abdullah Al-Turaiji and Ahmad Al-Azemi who decided to run after the constitutional court confirmed the controversial amendment to the electoral law. A number of groups and sections who joined the opposition in boycotting the polls last December are taking part too. A number of influential liberal figures and former MPs like Abdullah Al-Roumi, Marzouk Al-Ghanem, Faisal Al-Shaye and Mohammad Al-Abduljader are running. They represent the Labour Action Bloc and the National Democratic Alliance which decided to take part in the polls. Part of the Salaf Islamists are also taking part because of a split in the group. Among Salaf candidates are former MP Ali Al-Omair and Abdulrahman Al-Jeeran, a member of the dissolved house. Almost all the tribes are also taking part and have fielded the largest number of candidates, especially in the tribal

fourth and fifth districts. A large number of former independent and progovernment MPs have registered. They include Hussein Al-Huraiti, Mukhled Al-Azemi, Abdullah AlAradah, Roudhan Al-Roudhan, Jamal Al-Omar, Nasser Al-Duwailah, Barrak Al-Noun, Hussein Al-Mutairi and Mohammad Al-Fajji, in addition to Turki Al-Azemi, Hussein Al-Dossari, Mohammad Al-Huwailah, Abbullah Mahdi Al-Ajmi, Share Al-Ajmi and Ghanem Al-Azemi. The fifth constituency topped all districts with 154 candidates, followed by the fourth district with 114 hopefuls, 59 in the third, 51 in the first and only 40 candidates in the second district. There are no women candidates in the second and fourth districts. The next election will be the second in less than eight months and the sixth since June 2006. During this period, the Assembly was dissolved on seven occasions either by the Amir or by the constitutional court. Kuwait has 440,000 voters, of whom 53.2 percent are females. The number of female voters is higher than males because servicemen in the military and the police force, almost all men, are barred from voting.

Salafists scuttle bid to appoint ElBaradei... Continued from Page 1 A senior opposition official, Munir Fakhry Abdelnur, told AP that the reversal was because the ultraconservative Salafist Al-Nour party objected to ElBardei’s appointment and mediation was underway. It came as the Muslim Brotherhood staged a new show of force to demand that the military restore Morsi, after dozens of people died and hundreds more were injured in 24 hours of violence. Tamarod, which has called for demonstrations today to counter the Islamists, had nominated ElBaradei to represent the grassroots movement in transitional negotiations with the military. ElBaradei, now 71, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for his work as the head of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency. He returned to Egypt in 2010 and became a prominent opponent of veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak in the lead-up to the 2011 uprising that overthrew him. Meanwhile, leading Qatar-based cleric Youssef AlQaradawi said in a religious edict, or fatwa, yesterday that Egyptians should support Morsi and the military should withdraw from the political scene. The Egyptian-born Qaradawi, one of the most prominent Sunni clerics in the Middle East, said the military’s intervention to depose Morsi was against democracy and the constitution. He added that many scholars from Cairo’s Al-Azhar Islamic university, the country’s preeminent Muslim institution, agreed with him. Aya Hosni, a member of Tamarod’s central committee, told AFP that “the interim president and Tamarod had agreed on Mohamed ElBaradei’s nomination as prime minister”. She said former interior minister Ahmed Gamal El-Din would be in charge of security affairs and economist Ahmed Al-Naggar would be the new finance minister. The reports came as an Islamist protest to demand the reinstatement of Morsi petered out at nightfall, following 24 hours of ferocious violence that killed 37 people and injured more than 1,400. Tears flowed freely as thousands of supporters of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood mourned four members of the movement killed during protests the Islamist movement called to reject the military coup. The imam told mourners gathered outside Rabaa Al-Adawiya mosque in the Cairo neighbour-

hood of Nasr City, where the Islamists have camped for the past 10 days, to pray for the “martyrs of legitimacy”. Wearing green headbands, Islamists in their thousands, including many fully veiled women, waved Egyptian flags and pictures of the deposed president. Morsi, who has been in detention since overnight on Wednesday, had issued a defiant call for his Brotherhood supporters to protect his elected “legitimacy”, in a recorded speech aired hours after his removal. Yesterday’s funerals follow shooting between soldiers and Morsi supporters outside the Republican Guard headquarters on Friday that the official MENA news agency said killed four demonstrators. Friday’s violence erupted despite talk of peaceful protests. Residents of one Cairo district reported that bearded Islamists armed with machineguns, machetes and sticks clashed with them as they passed through their district overnight. “The Brotherhood attacked the area with all kinds of weapons,” said Mohammed Yehya, who said he lost three friends in the mayhem. His claim could not be verified, but many other residents gave similar accounts. In response, a spokesman for the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party told AFP: “Not everyone with a beard belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood.” The bloodletting continued yesterday with gunmen killing a Coptic Christian priest by dragging him from his car and riddling him with bullets in the restive north of the Sinai peninsula, security sources said. That killing came after armed Morsi supporters stormed the provincial headquarters in the Sinai town of El-Arish and raised the black banner of Al-Qaeda-inspired militants on Friday night, an AFP correspondent said. Morsi’s first year of turbulent rule was marked by accusations that he failed the 2011 revolution by concentrating power in Brotherhood hands and letting the economy nosedive. The United States joined UN chief Ban Ki-moon in calling for a peaceful end to the crisis. “We call on all Egyptian leaders to condemn the use of force and to prevent further violence among their supporters,” a State Department spokeswoman said. But Republican Senator John McCain called for a suspension of US military aid to Cairo because Egypt’s army had “overturned the vote of the people”. — Agencies

Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche told RadioCanada. “We can’t give out any information on what’s happening right now because the firemen haven’t been able to get close.” Fire officials said they feared more of the tanker cars were at risk of exploding. Around 30 buildings in the town center were destroyed, some by the initial blast and others by the subsequent fire, they said. Police imposed a 1-km security zone around the blast and evacuated about 1,000 people from their homes. “When you see the center of your town almost destroyed, you’ll understand that we’re asking ourselves how we are going to get through this event,” a tearful Roy-Laroche told a televised news briefing. Prime Minister Stephen Harper made an initial statement via Twitter: “Thoughts & prayers are with those

impacted in Lac Megantic. Horrible news.” Lac-Megantic is part of Quebec’s Eastern Townships region, an area popular with tourists that is close to the border with Maine and Vermont. Quebec is a predominantly French-speaking province in the eastern half of Canada. Fire officials said they had asked for help from fire services in the United States. Around 20 fire engines were fighting the blaze. Police said some of the tanker cars had spilled their contents into the river that runs through the town. “I can say absolutely nothing about victims... We’ve been told about people who are not answering their phones, but you have to understand that there are people who are out of town and on holiday,” police spokesman Michel Brunet told the briefing. — Reuters

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013


Onions in England Ashes

Stankovic leaves Inter Milan

Altidore to join Sunderland

LONDON: England have included pace bowler Graham Onions in a 13-man squad for the first Ashes test against Australia starting at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Wednesday. Onions joins Tim Bresnan and Steven Finn in a battle to decide the final place in the XI to start England’s Ashes defence. The trio played in England’s warmup match against Essex for which James Anderson and Stuart Broad were rested. Joe Root will open the batting with captain Alastair Cook in place of Nick Compton who opened in the home and away series against New Zealand. “This is an incredibly exciting period of cricket coming up against Australia and we know we will need to play to our full potential throughout the entire Ashes Series if we are to retain the Ashes,” national selector Geoff Miller said in a statement yesterday. “We are satisfied with our preparations so far ahead of the first test with both Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad recovering well from the injuries they picked up earlier this week.” England - Alastair Cook (captain), Joe Root, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Steven Finn, James Anderson, Graham Onions. —Reuters

ROME: Dejan Stankovic has terminated his contract with Inter Milan after nine years at the club, saying goodbye to fans in an emotional letter on the club’s official website ( yesterday. “This is your ‘Drago’ speaking, with a sense of emotion but also with great pleasure. I don’t know if I can find the right words to say goodbye and to thank you properly for everything you have given me, your affection, your trust and your honesty,” the Serbian midfielder said. “The last 10 years have been the best of my life. I have grown both as a man and, with immense joy, as a footballer.” The 34-year-old former Serbia international, who spent much of last season injured, won a host of trophies after joining the club in 2009, including five league titles, the Champions League and the Club World Cup. He was a key figure in the Inter side that won the treble in 2010. He terminated his contract by mutual consent with Inter a year before it was due to expire. “The thought that I won’t be pulling on the Inter shirt anymore brings tears to my eyes but I’ve always been frank and the tears are real. Unfortunately, in life there comes a time when you have to move on and look forward. “During my time in Milan I’ve played alongside some wonderful footballers and above all some wonderful people. It’s hard to find the words to thank them all. —Reuters

LONDON: American striker Jozy Altidore is set to join Premier League side Sunderland from Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar after the clubs agreed terms for his transfer, the Press Association said yesterday. An initial bid from the Black Cats was rejected by Alkmaar, but manager Paolo Di Canio maintained his interest and a deal was finally hammered out. What remains is for the 23-year-old player’s personal terms to be settled with Sunderland. Altidore has previous English Premier League experience having spent the 200910 season on loan from Villarreal at Hull. He scored one league goal as the Tigers headed for relegation, and his English experience came to a premature end when he was sent off against Sunderland in the penultimate match of the season. He had joined Villarreal from New York Red Bulls in 2008 but spent much of his contract with the Spanish side on loan elsewhere, with Xerez, Hull and then Bursaspor. The striker agreed a permanent move to AZ in July 2011 and finished his first campaign in the Netherlands with a haul of 22 goals in all competitions before adding 23 goals for the 2012-13 Eredivisie season, helping the club to a first KNVB Cup in 31 years. Altidore has also scored 17 goals in 60 appearances for his country after making his senior debut in 2007. Having failed to score since November 2011, he ended a lengthy goal drought in an international friendly victory over Germany in Washington DC last month. —AFP

Yankees roll over Orioles

PHILADELPHIA: Ryan Howard No. 6 of the Philadelphia Phillies tips his hat to the sky after the National Anthem as Delmon Young No. 3, Domonic Brown No. 9 and Ben Revere No. 2 look on before the game against the Atlanta Braves. —AFP

Phillies edge Braves PHILADELPHIA: Humberto Quintero and Ryan Howard hit home runs to give Cliff Lee a five-run cushion as the Philadelphia Phillies held on for a 5-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves in the National League on Friday night. Dan Uggla hit a three-run shot, and the Braves ended Lee’s streak of 11 straight games pitching at least seven innings and allowing three earned runs or less. But Lee (10-2) still won his eighth straight decision. He allowed four runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings. JC Ramirez and Antonio Bastardo combined for five outs. Jonathan Papelbon finished for his 18th save in 22 tries. Right fielder John Mayberry Jr. helped Papelbon with a sliding catch on Brian McCann’s sinking liner for the second out. Paul Maholm (9-7) gave up five runs - four earned - and nine hits in six innings. Tim Hudson was scheduled to start for the Braves, but he was pushed back one day because of a stiff neck. PIRATES 6, CUBS 2 In Chicago, Francisco Liriano pitched a fourhitter for his first complete game in more than two years as Pittsburgh beat Chicago for its 11th win in 13 games. Liriano (8-3) went the distance for the first time since he tossed a no-hitter for Minnesota against the White Sox on May 3, 2011. He struck out seven and walked four to improve 5-1 in his last six starts. He also had an RBI single. The Pirates, meanwhile, continue to roll. They came in with the best record in Major League Baseball and a two-game lead over St. Louis in the NL Central division, and they had little trouble with Jeff Samardzija (5-8) and the Cubs. Starling Marte had three hits, scored two runs and stole two bases for the Pirates.

ing a five-game homestand. The Marlins totaled three hits and lost for just the third time in 11 games. Jacob Turner (2-1) surrendered four runs on seven hits in six innings. The 22-year-old entered with a 1.76 ERA his first six starts of the year and threw his first career complete game his last time out. METS 12, BREWERS 5 In Milwaukee, Kirk Nieuwenhuis drove in a career-best five runs and Zack Wheeler allowed one earned run over five shaky innings to pace New York to its victory over Milwaukee. Nieuwenhuis entered the game hitting .179 in 56 at-bats since early June, but raised his average to .233 with his first four-hit game, getting two singles, a triple, a double and two walks. Wheeler (2-1) gave up three runs on seven hits and walked three. Brewers starter Johnny Hellweg (0-2) allowed seven runs in 3 2-3 innings, but only three were earned. He also walked five. Carlos Gomez had four hits for the Brewers, including two RBI doubles, and robbed pinch hitter Marlon Byrd of a home run in the seventh with a leaping grab above the center-field wall. DIAMONDBACKS 5, ROCKIES 0 In Phoenix, Tyler Skaggs pitched eight innings of three-hit ball in his return to the rotation as Arizona opened a 10-game homestand with a victory over Colorado. Skaggs (2-1), who turns 22 next week and is considered one of the top pitching prospects in the game, struck out five and walked one. Paul Goldschmidt drove in two runs with a double and single, raising his NL-leading total to 71 RBIs. AJ Pollock had two hits and scored three times, and Aaron Hill had a two-run single. Colorado’s Jorge De La Rosa (8-5) gave up three runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. He had allowed three runs combined in his previous three starts.

NATIONALS 8, PADRES 5 In Washington, Wilson Ramos drove in three runs and Gio Gonzalez won his third straight start as Washington defeated San Diego for its second straight win. Jayson Werth had three hits and Denard Span added a two-run double for Washington. Ramos has driven in eight runs in two games since coming off the disabled list on Thursday. Chase Headley homered, doubled and drove in two runs, and Carlos Quentin had a three-run homer for the Padres, who’ve lost seven straight. Gonzalez (6-3) went 6 2-3 innings, allowing three runs and eight hits while striking out five and walking one. Padres starter Andrew Cashner (5-4) had his worst start of this season, lasting just two innings while giving up six runs and five hits. He had three walks and no strikeouts.

DODGERS 10, GIANTS 2 In san Francisco, Juan Uribe matched his career high with seven RBIs, helping Los Angeles send struggling San Francisco to its fourth straight defeat. Uribe chased Matt Cain with a bases-clearing triple in the third and also had a two-run homer in the seventh. He also had seven RBIs in a game in 2004 when he played for the Montreal Expos. The Dodgers won for the 11th time in 13 games. Hanley Ramirez had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 16 games, and Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched into the seventh inning in his first win since May 28. The Giants have lost 12 of 14. Hunter Pence and Tony Abreu each drove in a run for the World Series champions.

CARDINALS 4, MARLINS 1 St. Louis, Jake Westbrook worked seven strong innings and Allen Craig had two RBIs in St. Louis’ victory over Miami. Matt Holliday doubled twice with an RBI and Edward Mujica rebounded with the save for the Cardinals, who had lost eight of 11 and plummeted from having MLB’s best record to second place in the NL Central division enter-

INTERLEAGUE MARINERS 4, REDS 2 In Cincinnati, Aaron Harang pitched six innings in the ballpark where he still holds the strikeout record and Nick Franklin and Michael Saunders homered to lead Seattle over Cincinnati in the Mariners’ first visit to Great American Ball Park. —AP

ANAHEIM: Vernon Wells singled in the winning run with one out in the ninth inning, helping a marvelous Ivan Nova and the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 in the American League Friday night for their season high-tying fifth straight win. Nova (3-2) gave up a two-run homer to Matt Wieters in the second inning then stifled the Orioles the rest of the way in a spot start for Hiroki Kuroda. He allowed three hits in his first career complete game and struck out 11 and walked one. Baltimore closer Jim Johnson (2-7) took over the ninth with a 2-1 lead and gave up a leadoff single to David Adams. Brett Gardner reached when Johnson failed to field his bunt for an error in front of the mound. Robinson Cano was walked intentionally to load the bases for the second time. Manager Buck Showalter made a mound visit and Johnson promptly walked Travis Hafner to tie it. The struggling Wells then grounded a single past a diving third baseman Manny Machado and ran toward first with his arm raised in the air. RED SOX 6, ANGELS 2 In Boston, Shane Victorino scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning on a dropped fly ball by right fielder Josh Hamilton and David Ortiz had a pinch-hit two-run homer to help AL East divisionleading Boston beat Los Angeles for its fifth straight win and ninth victory in 10 games. Victorino singled leading off the seventh against C.J. Wilson (8-6). Wilson retired the next two batters before Jonny Gomes hit a towering fly toward the right field line that should have ended the inning. Hamilton ran a long way and stuck out his glove, but the ball bounced off it, allowing Victorino to score from first base. Wilson was replaced by Dane De La Rosa, who ended the inning by picking off Gomes. Felix Doubront (5-3) allowed two runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings, struck out five and walked two. The left-hander retired 10 in a row after giving up a gametying homer to Howie Kendrick leading off the fourth. TIGERS 7, INDIANS 0 In Cleveland, Rick Porcello pitched seven sharp innings and Jhonny Peralta drove in two runs as Detroit beat Cleveland for the sixth consecutive time, extending their lead in the AL Central division over the second-place Indians. Porcello (5-6) allowed five hits and was never really threatened until Carlos Santana flied out in center field to end the sixth. With their fourth straight win, Detroit moved 21/2 games ahead of Cleveland. Ramon Santiago had a two-run single in the second inning off Justin Masterson (10-7), and Victor Martinez went 3 for 3 with two RBIs. BLUE JAYS 4, TWINS 0 In Toronto, Jose Bautista hit his 20th home run and Mark Buehrle pitched seven shutout innings to win for the first time in three starts as Toronto ended a threegame losing streak with the victory over Minnesota. Jose Reyes had three hits, two RBIs and a stolen base as the Blue Jays won for just the fourth time in 12 games since matching a franchise record with an 11-game winning streak. Buehrle (5-5) allowed six hits, walked none and struck out five. The left-hander is 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his past five home starts. Brett Cecil worked the eighth and

NEW YORK: Right fielder Ichiro Suzuki No. 31 of the New York Yankees hits a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the ninth inning to move runners to second and third against the Baltimore Orioles. —AFP Dustin McGowan finished as Minnesota allowed five runs and nine hits in 1 2-3 Kinsler and Murphy and put Texas up 6-0. innings. was shut out for the seventh time. ATHLETICS 6, ROYALS 3 In Kansas City, Tommy Milone carried a RANGERS 10, ASTROS 5 RAYS 8, WHITE SOX 3 In Arlington, Nelson Cruz hit a grand shutout into the ninth inning and Grant In St. Petersburg, Jeremy Hellickson won his fourth consecutive start and Jose slam and Nick Tepesch took a shutout into Balfour held on for the save, securing Molina had a two-run homer during a five- the sixth inning as Texas won the first Oakland’s victory over Kansas City. Milone (8-7) was in complete control run second inning as Tampa Bay won for American League game at home between the in-state rivals. David Murphy and before Alcides Escobar and Eric Hosmer the sixth time in seven games. Hellickson (8-3) gave up one run, six Adrian Beltre also homered for the drove in runs with one out in the ninth. hits and struck out nine in seven innings. Rangers, who beat Houston for the 10th Balfour came on and gave up a run-scorThe right-hander was coming off a strong time in 11 games overall. Tepesch (4-6) had ing single to Billy Butler, but he managed five strikeouts the first time through the to retire Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas June when he went 5-1. Molina hit his two-run drive and the Astros’ lineup and had a career high of to end the game. It was the 22nd save of following batter, Kelly Johnson, connected nine by the fourth inning. The rookie right- the season and the 40th straight for for a solo shot three pitches later off Dylan hander’s previous best of eight strikeouts Balfour, who matched the Oakland record Axelrod (3-5) to start the second-inning came in his last win - nine starts ago for consecutive saves set by Dennis Eckersley from Sept. 15, 1991-Aug. 7, 1992. against the Astros on May 12. surge that saw the Rays go up 5-0. Milone, who had been battered in his Lucas Harrell (5-9) walked four in the Later in the inning, Evan Longoria had an RBI single before Wil Myers ended first two innings and three of them last three starts, outpitched Wade Davis (4scored. Cruz’s 21st homer - a drive into 7), who gave up three runs in seven Axelrod’s night with a run-scoring double. Axelrod, who has given up 10 homers the Houston bullpen in left-center field - innings in a respectable outing of his in 22 1-3 innings over his past five starts, came after consecutive walks to Ian own.—AP

MLB results/standings Pittsburgh 6, Chicago Cubs 2; Detroit 7, Cleveland 0; NY Yankees 3, Baltimore 2; Washington 8, San Diego 5; Philadelphia 5, Atlanta 4; Toronto 4, Minnesota 0; Seattle 4, Cincinnati 2; Tampa Bay 8, Chicago White Sox 3; Texas 10, Houston 5; Oakland 6, Kansas City 3; NY Mets 12, Milwaukee 5; St. Louis 4, Miami 1; Arizona 5, Colorado 0; Boston 6, LA Angels 2; LA Dodgers 10, San Francisco 2. NATIONAL LEAGUE American League Eastern Division EASTERN DIVISION W L PCT GB Atlanta 49 37 .570 Boston 54 34 .614 Washington 44 42 .512 5 Baltimore 48 39 .552 5.5 Philadelphia 42 45 .483 7.5 NY Yankees 47 39 .547 6 NY Mets 36 47 .434 11.5 Tampa Bay 47 40 .540 6.5 Miami 32 53 .376 16.5 Toronto 42 44 .488 11 CENTRAL DIVISION Detroit 47 38 .553 Cleveland 45 41 .523 Kansas City 40 43 .482 Minnesota 36 47 .434 Chicago White Sox 34 49 .410

Oakland Texas LA Angels Seattle Houston

WESTERN DIVISION 51 36 .586 50 36 .581 41 45 .477 38 48 .442 31 56 .356

2.5 6 10 12

0.5 9.5 12.5 20

Pittsburgh St. Louis Cincinnati Chicago Cubs Milwaukee

CENTRAL DIVISION 53 32 .624 51 34 .600 49 37 .570 36 48 .429 34 51 .400

2 4.5 16.5 19

Arizona Colorado LA Dodgers San Diego San Francisco

WESTERN DIVISION 45 41 .523 42 45 .483 41 44 .482 40 47 .460 39 46 .459

3.5 3.5 5.5 5.5

Every takes charge as Mickelson misses cut WEST VIRGINIA: American Matt Every birdied his final hole to break clear of a congested leaderboard as fan favorite Phil Mickelson missed the cut after Friday’s second round of the Greenbrier Classic at White Sulphur Springs in West Virginia. Every, who has yet to win on the PGA Tour, coolly rolled in a 10-footer at the par-four ninth to complete a blistering eight-under-par 62 at The Greenbrier’s Old White Course for a nine-under total of 131. The 29-year-old, who has twice been a runner-up on the US circuit, piled up eight birdies in a flawless display but declined to speak to reporters after signing his card as he wanted to be with his wife, Danielle, who was not feeling well. Johnson Wagner, one of two co-leaders overnight, carded a 70 to finish one stroke off the pace, level with fellow Americans Daniel Summerhays (67), Bill Lunde (66) and Russell Henley (65), and Australian Steve Bowditch (67). While players were able to take advantage of preferred lies for a second day in a row, four-times major winner Mickelson again struggled with his distance control before exiting the tournament after following his opening 74 with a 68.

“I played well today, hit a lot of good shots and my game feels good, even though the scores were not very good,” world number six Mickelson told Golf Channel after missing the cut at The Greenbrier for a third year in a row. “I hit a lot of good shots and as I look back on these last three years where I have struggled here, that’s been the biggest issue for me, is distance control with the irons. “I have been surprised by every iron shot where it lands relative to where I expect it to land. And it’s not just a yard or two off like it normally is ... it’s 10 or 12 yards off. I haven’t been able to adjust.” While Mickelson was unable to adjust at The Greenbrier, Australian Bowditch was delighted to put himself in foreign territory he has long dreamed about occupying - being in contention for a maiden PGA Tour title. “I really haven’t put myself in position my whole career, so it’s going to be a new experience for me,” said Bowditch, who has recorded only one top-10 on the circuit after three full seasons. “I’ve gained a little bit of experience but not quite at this level ... so I’m just going to go out there and

play my game. My golf swing feels probably the best it’s felt in a long time now. I’m sort of freewheeling it, which is nice. “It’s obviously everyone’s dream at this level to try and win,” Bowditch said after mixing four birdies with a lone bogey. “Just keep giving myself chances and hopefully on the back nine I’ll have a chance to do well.” Henley, who won his first PGA Tour title at the Sony Open in Hawaii in January, was also in an upbeat mood after surging into contention with a seven-birdie display. “I hit the ball great all day,” said the 24-year-old, who ended his round by draining a 14-footer to birdie the ninth. “Made a lot of good putts and just stayed patient. Got one there at the very end so it feels pretty good.” Swede Jonas Blixt (67) was two shots off the lead, along with Americans Ben Curtis (66) and Tommy Gainey (71) and Englishman Greg Owen (66), while 63-year-old Tom Watson rolled back the years with a 69 to sit a further four strokes back. The cut fell at one-under 139 with Fiji’s ex-world number one Vijay Singh and fellow former major winners Lucas Glover, Trevor Immelman and Mike Weir among those missing out. —Reuters

Matt Every in action in this file photo.

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013


America’s Cup regatta strains to reach starting line SAN FRANCISCO: Sunday was supposed to be when the controversy and tragedy that have surrounded the 34th America’s Cup regatta would finally give way to a breathtaking spectacle of 72-foot catamarans racing around San Francisco Bay, barely touching the water, at speeds once unheard of in sailing. However, in keeping with an event where little has gone as planned, the skipper of Italian competitor Luna Rossa Challenge said Friday that - as a matter of principle - his team may not show up for the match with Emirates Team New Zealand that was supposed to kick off the summer of racing. “We’re here to race, but with fair rules,” declared Max Sirena, the Luna Rossa captain. Bickering over the rules is an America’s Cup tradition. Both Luna Rossa, backed by Prada fashion mogul Patrizio Bertelli, and New Zealand have objected to boat design changes that were put in place in the wake of a May accident that killed British Olympic sailor and Artemis Racing crew member Andrew Simpson. An international jury is considering the arguments, but a formal hearing was not scheduled until Monday. Cancellation of the opening race of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the winner of which

will face off against Oracle Team USA for the America’s Cup, may ultimately have little impact on the competition. Still, it would be a symbol of how Oracle Corp software mogul Larry Ellison’s ambitious effort to re-shape what critics deride as a rich man’s yacht race has gone awry. Russell Coutts, a New Zealander who led his nation’s successful America’s Cup campaign a decade ago before defecting to head Ellison’s Oracle racing team, had some choice words for the protesting Italian team. “It’s a bunch of spoiled little rich kids dressed in Prada gear,” he said. Ellison, who won the cup in 2010 and with it the right to set the rules for this year’s race, hoped to make the 162-yearold competition more accessible to everyday sports fans and push the boundaries of high-tech boat design. The result was a competition featuring huge, lightweight twin hulled boats made of carbon fiber, with hard “wing” mainsails. The AC72s, as they are called, have the ability to lift up out of the water on hydrofoils to reach speeds near 50 miles per hour (80 km per hour), the upper range for many fast motor boats. With San Francisco Bay forming a natural amphitheatre, the races will be visible from shore. The goal was to give viewers a

show that would be closer to Formula One motor sports than to a traditional yacht race. But the aggressive design helped push the cost of fielding a strong challenge above the $100 million mark, and the number of teams has dwindled from the 12 to 15 originally anticipated to just four. The economic benefits for the city of San Francisco are now expected to be much less than the $1.4 billion originally projected, and local residents who had opposed the event from the start now worry that the city could be on the hook for millions in expenses. The technical risks inherent in the boat design came tragically to the fore in May, when Swedish team Artemis Racing’s boat capsized and broke apart, trapping Simpson underneath. Investigations into the accident are not yet complete, but the incident — which followed a non-fatal wreck of an Oracle boat last fall — prompted an urgent review of boat design and safety protocols. The result was a package of 37 new safety rules and equipment modifications, including several affecting the design of wing-like device attached to the bottom of the boat rudders known as a rudder elevator. Luna Rossa and Emirates Team

New Zealand have refused to agree to some of the rudder elevator changes and maintain that race director Iain Murray does not have the authority to alter such rules. They argue that the modification gives an unfair advantage to Oracle. The rhetoric has grown heated in recent days. Luna Rossa went so far this week as to say Murray, an Australian sailor widely respected in the sport, enacted the changes deliberately to make its boat illegal, an accusation he sharply rejected on a conference call with reporters. “The claims that they have been done to suit a team are farcical,” Murray said. “These boats not only have to steer like a normal boat, they have to fly like an airplane.” Murray warned that if the jury rules against his measures, he will have to tell the Coast Guard that the races are no longer safe - an action that could scuttle the event altogether. Meanwhile, Artemis, which is still working to get its second boat ready and will join the competition later in the summer, said Friday that it would be forced out of the competition if the rule changes were rolled back. On top of all that, the new rules include lower wind speed limits, which could create another kind of havoc. A scheduled

time trial on Friday was called off because of high winds. Despite all the troubles, an opening day event on Thursday suggested that the Cup could still be plenty of fun for San Francisco residents and tourists. Visitors to one of the two main America’s Cup venues along the city’s waterfront strolled through a exhibit explaining the science behind the boats, sipped California wine while watching an airshow and gawked at the line-up of VIP megayachts. Organizers said 30,000 people turned out for the opening day ceremonies. The schedule calls for round-robin races between Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa to continue through July, with the winner taking a spot in the Louis Vuitton Cup finals and the loser than facing off against Artemis Racing for the second spot in the finals. The winner would then challenge Oracle for the America’s Cup, beginning Sept. 7. Stephen Barclay, head of Ellison’s America’s Cup Event Authority, shrugged off concerns that the event had yet to capture the imagination of local residents and sports fans. “The interest builds. We start off now and it builds and builds and builds until we get to the crescendo of the Americas Cup match,” Barclay said. —Reuters

Kohli’s ton keeps India alive with win over West Indies

MELBOURNE: This file picture shows leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed bowling at the indoor cricket nets at the MCG in Melbourne. —AFP

Australia batsmen hold key to Ashes LONDON: England will find themselves in the unusual position of firm favourites when they begin the defence of the Ashes against Australia at Nottingham’s Trent Bridge ground next week. The hosts are bidding for a third successive series win over their arch-rivals-something they last achieved back in the 1950s. While an Australia attack featuring Peter Siddle and James Pattinson could yet prove a match for England seamers such as James Anderson and Stuart Broad, provided they remain free of injuries, the outcome of the series is likely to hinge on the performance of the tourists’ batsmen. Australia captain Michael Clarke apart, the visitors’ top-order does not boast another proven world-class run-scorer. When England won the last Ashes series in Australia in 2010/11 3-1, all three of their victories were by an innings-a reflection of their batting strength and Australia’s batting weakness. The hope expressed this week by former Australia all-rounder Tom Moody was that, just as in 1989 when Australia were written off ahead of the Ashes only to win 4-0, a new star batsman will emerge just as Steve Waugh did 24 years ago. But former Australia captain Ian Chappell was gloomy about Australia’s prospects of regaining the urn. “I just don’t see any way Australia can beat England,” Chappell, who added he also expected England to win the return series in Australia starting in November, told the Guardian’s website in an interview. Australia sacked coach Mickey Arthur just 16 days before this Ashes series and replaced him with Darren Lehmann after poor results, including a 4-0 series loss in India in March, were compounded by off-field problems. South African Arthur, controversially dropped four players from the Test team in India, including then

vice-captain Shane Watson, for failing to complete ‘homework’ while the early part of the tour of England was overshadowed by the ban, which expires with the first Test, given to batsman David Warner for punching home batsman Joe Root in a Birmingham bar. Chappell, long distrustful of the influence of coaches, was keen to stress former Australia batsman Lehmann’s limits by writing in his Cricinfo column: “The coach doesn’t make any runs or take any wickets. “Many a player has felt positive and strong sitting in a hotel lounge, listening to a rousing speech. The problem comes the next day when, under intense scrutiny, he actually has to find a way to score runs against the swing of a Jimmy Anderson and the guile of (off-spinner) Graeme Swann.” Chappell added Australia had an attack capable of taking 20 wickets economically - “the toughest task in cricket”. But it was a batting lineup missing not only former captain Ricky Ponting but also Michael Hussey, who unlike his old skipper retired when still in form, that most concerned Chappell. Clarke cannot be expected to do all the run-scoring by himself and that means at least a couple out of the recalled Chris Rogers, Watson-who has only scored two Test hundreds-Phil Hughes, Warner and possibly Usman Khawaja if given the chance, must come good if Australia are to win the series. “No matter the strength of the Australian attack, they can’t conjure up victory without considerable help from the batsmen. That’s where the big improvement must come from,” Chappell said. While it’s possible that individual members of England’s top order could have poor series, the chances are that a line-up featuring skipper Alastair Cook, the reliable Jonathan Trott and star batsman Kevin Pietersen, not to mention wicketkeeper Matt Prior, failing to deliver competitive totals are slim. —AFP


Windies without Bravo for Sri Lanka match PORT OF SPAIN: West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo has been suspended from his team’s encounter with Sri Lanka in the fifth match of the Tri-Nation Series at the Queen’s Park Oval today. In a decision handed down by the International Cricket Council match referee Jeff Crowe and released on Saturday, it was explained that the all-rounder faces the sanction due to his team’s second minor over-rate offence in a 12-month period. The West Indies were determined to be one over short of the required over-rate during the fourth match of the series against India on Friday. It follows on a similar infraction less than a month earlier during the final group match of the Champions Trophy against South Africa at Cardiff on June 14. Bravo pleaded guilty to the offence and as the West Indies team did not contest the charge, there was no need for a formal hearing on the matter. Coming hard on the heels of a 102-run loss to the Indians in that rain-affected fixture, Bravo’s suspension represents a further setback to a home side that is now in danger of losing momentum completely after they concluded the first half of the league schedule with two wins from two matches at Sabina Park in Jamaica. While they remain at the top of the standings with nine points, another heavy defeat to the Sri Lankans followed by an Indian victory

over Angelo Mathews’ side in the final preliminary match on Tuesday could, depending on the net run-rate calculations, see the West Indies squeezed out of the July 11 final. This will be the second occasion that Bravo has missed action in the brief competition as he was ruled out of the first encounter against the Indians in Kingston with a mild groin strain. Kieron Pollard, who led the hosts to a onewicket victory in his compatriot’s absence, is now expected to be at the helm once again with Devon Smith the automatic replacement for Bravo in the batting line-up. Sri Lanka will be brimming with confidence after they annihilated India by 161 runs in the last match played at Sabina Park before the tournament shifted to Trinidad and will be keen to capitalise on a West Indies team that was thoroughly outplayed by Virat Kohli’s men on Friday. They are expected to field an unchanged eleven in pursuit of a victory that will pull them level with the Caribbean side at the top of the standings. While the loss of Bravo may not be perceived to be a significant bowling setback, given that he conceded 57 runs off just seven overs as India raced to 311 for seven on Friday, head coach Ottis Gibson is now faced with an additional challenge in sorting out his bowling options, most of whom wilted under the pressure from Kohli and company. —AFP

PORT OF SPAIN: Stand-in skipper Virat Kohli struck 102 off 83 balls as India beat West Indies by 102 runs (Duckworth-Lewis method) in Port of Spain on Friday to get their first victory of the Tri-Nation Series. After defeats to the hosts and Sri Lanka, Champions Trophy winners India badly needed a victory at the Queen’s Park Oval to have a chance of reaching the final of the series on Thursday. West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo won the toss and elected to put India in to bat on a grassy looking wicket but the hopes he had of early breakthroughs failed to materialise. Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan put on 123 in 23.1 overs for the first wicket before Dhawan holed out to Darren Bravo at midwicket off Kemar Roach having made 69 from 77 balls. Sharma (46) then edged Tino Best to West Indies keeper Denesh Ramdin and West Indies seemed to be making progress with two cheap wickets. Suresh Raina (10) was caught by Darren Sammy at slip off the spin of Marlon Samuels and Dinesh Karthik was caught down the leg side by Ramdin off Best. But then Kohli and Murali Vijay put on 42 runs in the five over ‘power play’ and despite lacking a strong partner after Vijay’s departure, Kohli took full advantage of some loose bowling. Kohli, captain in the absence of the injured MS Dhoni, hit 13 fours and two sixes on the way to his 14th one-day international century before he went on the final ball of the innings - finding Sammy at deep midwicket off Dwayne Bravo. A target of 312 was going to be a tough challenge for West Indies and it quickly got tougher when they lost opener Chris Gayle and Darren Bravo, both to seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar. A 90-minute rain delay reduced the game to 39 overs and the target to 274 but only Johnson Charles, with a lively 45 from 39 balls, managed to build any sort of innings. Marlon Samuels was caught behind off Ishant Sharma and then Kumar removed Kieron Pollard first ball. When Charles pulled Sharma to Raina at square leg, West Indies were 69 for five and then Umesh Yadav then ran through the middle order getting rid of Dwayne Bravo, Ramdin and Sammy cheaply. The game was virtually over by the time Kemar Roach (34) and Sunil Narine (21) were able to provide some token resistance at the end. West Indies have nine points from three games with India now on five from three and Sri Lanka also on five but from just two games. Sri Lanka face West Indies today and then India two days later.—Reuters

PORT-OF-SPAIN: Indian cricketer Ravindra Jadeja (left) celebrates with team captain Virat Kohli after bowling out West Indies cricketer Kemar Roach during the fourth match of the Tri-Nation series. —AFP

SCOREBOARD PORT OF SPAIN: Scoreboard of the rain-shortened fourth match of the Tri-Nation Series, India against the West Indies, at Queen’s Park Oval on Friday. The match was shortened to 39 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis System. India Innings R. Sharma c wkpr Ramdin b Best 46 S. Dhawan c D.M. Bravo b Roach 69 V. Kohli c Sammy b D.J. Bravo 102 S. Raina c Sammy b Samuels 10 D. Karthik c wkpr Ramdin b Best 6 M. Vijay c Charles b Pollard 27 R. Jadeja run out 2 R. Ashwin not out 25 Extras (4b, 7lb, 13w) 24 Total (7 wickets, 50 overs) 311 Fall of wickets: 1-123 (Dhawan), 2-141 (Sharma), 3156 (Raina), 4-168 (Karthik), 5-210 (Vijay), 6-221 (Jadeja), 7-311 (Kohli) Did not bat: B. Kumar, I. Sharma, U. Yadav. Bowling: Sammy 8-1-28-0 (1w), Roach 10-2-69-1 (2w), Best 10-0-51-2 (5w), D.J. Bravo 7-0-57-1 (4w), Narine 5-1-35-0, Samuels 8-0-39-1, Pollard 2-0-211 (1w). West Indies Innings (Revised target: 274 off 39 overs)

C. Gayle c wkpr Karthik b Kumar 10 J. Charles c Raina b I. Sharma 45 D.M. Bravo c Ashwin b Kumar 1 M. Samuels c wkpr Karthik b I. Sharma 6 K. Pollard c Ashwin b Kumar 0 D.J. Bravo lbw Yadav 14 D. Ramdin c Kumar b Yadav 9 D. Sammy lbw Yadav 12 K. Roach b Jadeja 34 S. Narine c I. Sharma b Jadeja 21 T. Best not out 0 Extras (1b, 10lb, 8w) 19 Total (10 wickets, 34 overs) 171 Fall of wickets: 1-14 (Gayle), 2-25 (D.M. Bravo), 3-64 (Samuels), 3-65 (Pollard), 3-69 (Charles), 6-91 (Ramdin), 7-108 (D.J. Bravo), 8-113 (Sammy), 171-9 (Narine), 10-171 (Roach). Bowling: Kumar 8-1-29-3 (1w), Yadav 8-1-32-3 (4w), Sharma 7-1-30-2 (3w), Jadeja 7-1-44-2, Ashwin 4-0-25-0. Result: India won by 102 runs on D/L Method Man of the Match: Virat Kohli

Alfredsson joins Detroit on busy free agency day NEW YORK: Swede Daniel Alfredsson ended his 17season career with the Ottawa Senators and signed for the Detroit Red Wings on Friday as National Hockey League’s free agency opened with a flurry of player movement. Alfredsson, a 40-year-old All-Star right wing, was captain of the Senators and his decision not to re-sign with the team was a surprise. “We had a lot of discussions here with our family leading up to this the last few days and it pretty much came down to a selfish decision in terms of I have not won the Stanley Cup,” the Swede told reporters. “I feel with Ottawa, they’re getting closer and closer and definitely going in the right direction and have a really bright future in front of them, but at this stage of my career I just don’t have the time to wait for that.” Alfredsson, a six-time All-Star who won the Calder Trophy as the league’s rookie of the year in 1996, will join a Red Wings roster featuring fellow Swedes Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Gustav Nyquist, Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson. Media reports said Alfredsson had signed a oneyear $5.5 million deal. The Red Wings also added former Florida Panthers center Stephen Weiss, who agreed to a five-year, $24.55 million contract. There were 20 signings in the first hour of free agency, including forward Nathan Horton going to the Columbus Blue Jackets on a seven-year contract. Horton had spent the past three seasons with the Boston Bruins and is facing time off for shoulder sur-

gery in the off-season. Ottawa responded to the loss of Alfredsson by acquiring left wing Bobby Ryan from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for wing Jakob Silfverberg, prospect Stefan Noesen and a first round pick. The Senators also brought in left wing Clarke MacArthur on a two-year deal after he scored eight goals and 20 points for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. Toronto, meanwhile, agreed to deals with center Tyler Bozak and right wing David Clarkson. The highly sought Clarkson signed a seven-year deal worth $36.75 million. Bozak accepted a five-year, $21 million deal. The Edmonton Oilers snapped up defenseman Andrew Ference on a four-year deal, reported to be

Daniel Alfredsson

worth $13 million. The 34-year-old Ference, born in Edmonton, entered free agency after playing with Boston for seven seasons. Forward Ryan Clowe moved from the New York Rangers to the New Jersey Devils on a five-year deal that will net him $4.85 million per season. Finnish forward Valtteri Filppula accepted a five-year, $25 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Boston Bruins, defeated by the Chicago Blackhawks in this season’s Stanley Cup finals, were busy making deals of their own with a ‘blockbuster’ trade with the Dallas Stars. The Bruins signed forwards Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser and defenseman Joe Morrow from Dallas for centers Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley and defenseman Ryan Button, the teams announced on Thursday. Phoenix also was busy, signing center Mike Ribeiro to a four-year, $22 million deal and keeping forward Lauri Korpikoski with a multi-year deal. The Philadelphia Flyers agreed to an eight-year, $64 million extension with center Claude Giroux and added goaltender Ray Emery from Chicago with a one-year deal. Kazakh goaltender Evgeni Nabokov is staying with the New York Islanders after accepting a one-year contract. The Carolina Hurricanes agreed to a one-year deal with former Boston goaltender Anton Khudobin and signed defenseman Mike Komisarek on another one-year deal after Toronto allowed him to enter free agency. —Reuters

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013

S P ORTS Photo of the day

FRANCE: Britain’s Christopher Froome celebrates his overall leader’s yellow jersey on the podium at the end of the 195 km eighth stage of the 100th edition of the Tour de France cycling race. —AFP

Froome rides into yellow FRANCE: Britain’s Chris Froome secured the Tour de France yellow jersey after a “dream” stage eight win on the first day in the mountains which proved costly for his rivals yesterday. Sky team leader Froome launched an audacious solo attack 5km from the race’s first summit finish at Ax-Trois-Domaines and crossed the finish 51sec ahead of teammate Richie Porte to underline his overall victory credentials. Spain’s former two-time winner Alberto Contador finished 1min 45sec behind while the victory hopes of 2011 champion Cadel Evans all but faded when the Australian trailed home 4:13 in arrears. Froome, last year’s runner-up behind teammate Bradley Wiggins, now leads the race with a 51sec lead over Porte, with Spain’s Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in third at 1min 25sec. Contador (Saxo) is 1:51 off the pace while Australian Evans (BMC) is 23rd overall at 4:36. “The objective for us today was to go for the stage and go for the jersey, but to finish one -two is just fantastic,” said Froome, who took the race lead from South African Darly Impey. “This is really a dream come true.” Froome, remarkably, now appears to have only one real rival for the race, which does not end until July 21, in Contador. But even he was surprised at how he and Sky performed in comparison to his rivals: “Yes I am a little bit surprised. I expected more of the GC (general classification) contenders to be more prevalent in the final. “But I know that me and Richie have been training for months to be in this condition.” Porte, the last rider from Sky to set the pace on the 7.8km climb to the Pyrenean ski resort, said the order to hit full gas came from Froome after the Kenyan-born rider had realised Contador was in trouble. “ When Chris told me Alber to was no longer there, I just tried to give it everything I had,” said the Australian. “When I looked back and saw the other guys were really struggling on the wheel.... I just thought, this is the right moment to

push on and get a bit of time,” added Froome. Despite an early four-man attack forming, the stage was lit up by a little Colombian who seems intent on grabbing a mountain stage win on his debut. As Sky’s climbing pace dropped most of the peloton off the back on the 15 km climb to Pailheres, Nairo Quintana attacked and passed the frontrunners to launch an ambitious solo bid for victory. The Movistar rider crested the 2,001metre summit-the highest in this year’s 100th edition-with a 27sec lead on Frenchman Pierre Rolland (Europcar) and 5,000 euros richer, thanks to a prize on offer by organisers. However Peter Kennaugh led Sky over the summit barely 40sec later and then drove hard on the descent to reduce the gap to Quintana and Rolland, the latter having caught the Colombian by the foot of the final ascent, to 28sec. Quintana launched a last-ditch solo bid for victory but Porte’s pace proved too much, for Quintana, Evans and then Contador. Quintana lamented: “I thought I was going to win but the others were too strong. The whole Sky team were very good.” While the Colombian will look forward to further opportunities, Contador admitted he could have finishd even worse off. “I t wasn’t my best day,” said the Spaniard. “I didn’t feel good on the last climb and it was thanks to (team-mate Roman) Kreuziger that I didn’t lose more time.” Evans, meanwhile, was at pains to explain his performance. “Sky, they just rode a tempo that was really consistent, from when they started on the Pailheres to the bottom of the following climb. Not many people could match it,” said the Australian. “It’s my worst day at the Tour while I’m healthy. I certainly didn’t expect to be this far off.” Today’s ninth stage is a 168.5km ride from Saint-Girons to Bagneres-deBigorre.—AFP

Vayer theory sparks row in cycling circles ALBI: Controversy is in the air at the 100th Tour de France amid claims by a prominent former coach that riders who dope can be detected simply by calculating the power generated while on their bikes. Antoine Vayer, a coach at the Festina team between 1995 and 1998, has used maths and physics to calculate a rider’s power, which is measured in watts. The results provided make for irrefutable proof in the eyes of some, but are dismissed by others. “Analysing power helped me to optimise training (at Festina) but also allowed me to observe the effects of doping,” Vayer said. “In certain race situations it is clear that a rider should not be able to use as much power.” Vast swathes of data are used to make his calculations-from the length of a race to the weight of a rider and his bike, air resistance, gravity and air density-and help bring the performances of riders of all body types together. However, the weight of 78kg is taken as a benchmark. Vayer’s work has led him to consider that there is a threshold beyond which the performances of a rider are abnormal-at 410 watts, he says, a performance is considered “suspicious”, at 430 watts it is “miraculous” and at 450 watts it is “humanly impossible”. As an example, during his recordbreaking ascent of the Alpe d’Huez in 1995, Marco Pantani produced 468 watts, while Lance Armstrong registered 455 watts cycling the Hautacam in 2000 and Alberto Contador 491 watts on the Verbier in 2009. Vayer says his work should be considered as an alternative to attempts to detect doping offences using traditional testing methods, which can sometimes miss certain substances, such as EPO during the 1990s. “Using watts does not reveal the cause but rather the consequence of doping,” he says. His figures, published by the press worldwide, have sparked controversy. “It’s pseudo science,” dismisses Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford. “In our team, we can already see how difficult it is to get precise and direct data (gathered from power meters on bikes) which we can use. “To do it from distance

is even more complicated. “To trace a line through a moment in history and say, ‘Beyond that is doping’ is a rather dramatic way of thinking. “The history of human sport has shown that you can go faster by your own means.” David Millar, who was arrested in 2004 for possession of doping products and served a ban before eventually returning to the sport, said: “It is a useful tool. The methodology is not perfect-it gives an idea but you cannot say that it’s black and white.” Meanwhile, Frederic Grappe, a French coach and biomechanical researcher says that fixing a threshold and declaring that anything beyond that is doping is “scientifically and intellectually dishonest.” “Antoine Vayer wants us to believe that he has come up with an infallible technique to detect drug cheats,” he said. “These are basic equations of physics, it is not pioneering. The problem is knowing how to interpret these things. You cannot say that, because someone goes beyond 410 watts, he is doped.” Grappe also believes that his methods are not completely reliable. “Between a 20-minute push like Verbier and a onehour climb like the Tourmalet, there is a difference, and altitude is a factor too. “His results are accepted and nobody verifies them.” “The thresholds are very generous,” retorts Vayer. “At 410 watts, in other words according to the laws of physiology, you have the best athlete in the world who we have never seen before. “Our indirect calculations are shown to be exact. “Our margin of error is two percent. We receive direct data, like from (Jurgen) Van den Broeck, who was fourth on last year’s Tour. “We compared that to what we had done and we were less than one percent out in our calculations.” On this year’s Tour de France he will collect data from six “hill radars” with the first of those on the climb to Ax 3 Domaines, scheduled for yesterday. The data from those should add to the controversy while the researchers wait in the hope that all riders will publish their own data, validated by independent laboratories, in order to create a concrete basis from which to work.—AFP

Sebastien Loeb waits on the top of Pikes Peak and prepares to drive down again after one test session with the Peugeot 208 T16 pikes peak in Colorado, USA.—

Lions end barren 16 years with crushing 41-16 victory SYDNEY: The British and Irish Lions made a blistering start, overcame a spirited Australian fightback and finished with four tries in a record 41-16 win in the third test yesterday which ended a 16-year wait for a series triumph. After just three points separated the two sides in the first two matches, the Lions built their emphatic victory on the back of a dominant scrum to join the hallowed teams of 1971, 1974, 1989 and 1997 as series winners in the modern era. Prop Alex Corbisiero, flyhalf Jonny Sexton, winger George North and centre Jamie Roberts scored the tries and fullback Leigh Halfpenny, named player of the series, added 21 points with his boot to give the Lions their highest tally in a test match. “These guys have done themselves proud, have done that jersey proud and they deserve a huge amount of credit for that performance and what they’ve achieved,” coach Warren Gatland told a news conference. “I thought the scrum was brilliant...and four tries tonight was a vindication of how well we have played on this tour.” Gatland said the virulent reaction to his decision to drop Irish centre Brian O’Driscoll for the deciding match had removed some of his enjoyment of the victory but he was unable to disguise his delight with his players. After tight tests in Brisbane and Melbourne, the decider looked like being a demolition job after 25 minutes with the home side reduced to 14 men, their scrum in disarray and the Lions 19-3 up. The first five minutes were disastrous for the Wallabies with scrumhalf Will Genia spilling the kickoff, their pack twice penalised at the scrum and flanker George Smith leaving the pitch after a head clash with Lions hooker Richard Hibbbard. The fumbled kickoff and a quickly taken free kick had the Lions charging at the home try line and Corbisiero carried the ball low and hard to reach over and touch down inside the first 90 seconds. Halfpenny converted and added another huge penalty from halfway to give the tourists a 10-0 lead inside the first 10 minutes, drawing huge cheers from the red-clad Lions fans in the crowd of 83,702. Smith, returning after four years out of international rugby to win his 111th cap, reentered the fray and the Wallabies hit back with a penalty from Christian Leali’ifano two minutes later. The problems with the pack remained for

SYDNEY: British and Irish Lions player Sean O’Brien (bottom) tries to grab the ball during the third and final rugby union Test against Australia. —AFP the home side and referee Romain Poite called a free kick and two penalties against them at the next three scrums, allowing Halfpenny to extend the lead to 13 with two more spot kicks. Poite ran out of patience at the next scrum and prop Ben Alexander was sent to the sinbin for 10 minutes for collapsing the set-piece, Halfpenny added three more points from the resulting penalty. “I mean, obviously, it was a horrific start,” said Australia coach Robbie Deans. “They used their set piece to great advantage and once they had the momentum, they took their opportunities and they went back to set piece to punish us.” The Wallabies looked down and out two minutes later when winger Israel Folau, who scored tow tries on his debut in the first test, pulled up with what looked like a hamstring injury to bring Jesse Mogg on for his first test. Instead, though, the home side managed to endure the remaining period with just 14 men - Sexton’s missed dropped goal the only real threat - and started to put together some backline rhythm. Mogg’s first burst up the middle was stopped by a brilliant tap tackle in open field from lock Geoff Parling but the Wallabies kept coming. From a scrum just before halftime they finally made the breakthrough with

O’Connor jinking past Sexton and taking scrumhalf Mike Phillips over the line with him to score. Leali’ifano converted to leave the Lions with just a 19-10 lead at the break and the centre reduced it by six more points with two penalties in the first five minutes after the break. A huge shove through tighthead Adam Jones gave the Lions regained dominance at the scrum and the Wallabies crumbled before it, allowing Halfpenny to extend the lead to 21-16 after 51 minutes. Five minutes later and the Lions attacked up the left flank with Jonathan Davies releasing Halfpenny who got the ball back inside for Sexton to run round and score under the posts. The slight fullback added the extras for a 29-16 lead and eight minutes later set up the coup de grace, slipping past Genia on the counter-attack to set North on his way for his second try of the series. Halfpenny failed with the conversion - his only miss in nine kicks on the night - but it was made academic after 68 minutes when Roberts ran onto Conor Murray’s pass at a great angle to cut through the defence for the fourth try. “You can’t sugarcoat it or anything like that we weren’t good enough today and they were,” said Australia captain James Horwill. “The better team won.”—Reuters

Highlanders hang on to defeat Hurricanes WELLINGTON: The Otago Highlanders almost squandered leads of more than 20 points but hung on to pip the Wellington Hurricanes 49-44 in their Super Rugby clash at Wellington Regional Stadium yesterday. The Highlanders led 27-6 and 49-27 during the match, which had little riding on it as both sides will miss the playoffs, and just held on when the Hurricanes stormed back. The visitors appeared to have put the game beyond doubt in an 11-minute first half spell when they scored 24 unanswered points through three converted tries to Mose Tuiali’i, Tamati Ellison and Aaron Smith and a Colin Slade penalty to give them a 27-6 lead. The Hurricanes, who had shown plenty of enterprise without much penetration, finally gave the small crowd of 8,427 a sliver of hope they could stage a second half comeback when hooker Ash Dixon crashed over

just before halftime. That optimism vanished almost immediately when Highlanders’ winger

Kade Poki brushed aside several poor tackles to clinch a bonuspoint try after the halftime hooter

Mose Tuiali’i

had sounded, giving his side a 3213 lead at the break. Slade added his third penalty shortly after halftime and the visitors looked to be heading for a comfortable win before Aaron Smith was sinbinned for a professional foul. The home side got back in the game and Ben Franks and Julian Savea scored tries to narrow the score to 35-27. The Highlanders again padded their cushion thanks to tries from Hosea Gear, who counterattacked from 60 metres out, then Elliot Dixon and at 49-27 with less than 20 minutes left the visitors looked home and dry. However the Hurricanes were far from done and stormed back with conver ted tries to Chris Smylie and James Broadhurst and a penalty to Beauden Barrett as the game opened up but they were unable to snatch an improbable win when they were penalised in the final move of the game while on the attack.—Reuters


SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013

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US aims to end Mexico’s dominance on Gold Cup MIAMI: Mexico are aiming for a record seventh CONCACAF Gold Cup title when the tournament kicks off today but Juergen Klinsmann’s United States, with Landon Donovan back in their squad, believe they can stop El Tri from a third straight tournament win. The championship for North and Central America and the Caribbean, played every two years, features 12 teams in three groups, before an eight-team knockout stage, with games played across the United States. The tournament also marks a chance for CONCACAF to move on from the body’s report into fraud involving resigned officials Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer. “We are looking forward to an exciting tournament, we have seen in World Cup qualifying how competitive the level of play is in our region and we are looking forward to seeing the same in the Gold Cup,” CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb told Reuters. This year’s competition comes after an intense series of World Cup qualifiers in June meaning the leading teams have been forced to rest some of their key players. The past three finals have involved the United States against Mexico and while the pair begin as favourites, there will be an unfamiliar look to both teams. Mexico, who also played in the Confederations Cup in Brazil, have named a youthful squad featuring players exclusively drawn from their domestic competition. The US also have a weakened squad, without key European based players such as Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey, but there is plenty of experience with Donovan back in the fold along with Malaga defender Oguchi Onyewu and Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden. His country ’s all-time top scorer, Donovan lost his place in Klinsmann’s squad after taking a break from the game and missing key qualifiers in March, but the Gold Cup is a chance to get back in the frame for next year’s World Cup in Brazil. “For me, it is just an opportunity and I want to do well,” said the 31-year-old. “I want the team to succeed here, that part for me is the most important. If I do my best and it is not good enough, then so be it. Hopefully at the end of the month, we are lifting a trophy together,” he said. The US kick off their campaign against Belize in Portland on Tuesday and also face Cuba and Costa Rica in Group C. Mexico have a tougher start when they face Panama at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena today following the opening game in Group A between Canada and Martinique. The toughest group to predict is Group B which features old rivals Honduras and El Salvador along with Trinidad and Tobago and a Haiti team that put in impressive performances in recent friendlies against Spain and Italy. In a new element to the tournament this year, the winner will qualify to face the champion of the 2015 Gold Cup for a place in the next Confederations Cup, to be held in Russia in 2017. — Reuters

Howard opts for Rockets LOS ANGELES: The tug-of-war between five teams to sign Dwight Howard finally ended on Friday when the seven-time All-Star center confirmed he would leave the Los Angeles Lakers to join the Houston Rockets. “I’ve decided to become a member of the Houston Rockets,” Howard, who is expected to sign with the Rockets on July 10 when the NBA’s free-agent signing period begins, said in a statement. “I feel it’s the best place for me and I am excited about joining the Rockets and I’m looking forward to a great season. I want to thank the fans in Los Angeles and wish them the best.” The Lakers earlier confirmed they had lost the battle to retain the 27-year-old, who moved to Los Angeles from the Orlando Magic in a blockbuster 12-player trade in Aug. 2012. “We have been informed of Dwight’s decision to not return to the Lakers. Naturally we’re disappointed,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “To Dwight, we thank him for his time and consideration, and for his efforts with us last season. We wish him the best of luck on the remainder of his NBA career.” Free agent Howard, who had also been courted by the Dallas Mavericks, the Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors, favoured a move to Houston despite the prospect of a substantial paycut. He would have been eligible to sign for five years and $118 million with Los Angeles or four years and $88 million with any other team. Howard had also informed the Mavericks, the Hawks and the Warriors earlier on Friday that he would not be signing with any of them. A three-time NBA defensive player of the year, popularly known as ‘Superman’ for his athletic prowess, Howard consulted all five teams earlier this week. The Lakers met with Howard on Tuesday and their pitch focused on how they would be able to embellish his brand off the court while returning on-court greatness to a franchise that has piled up 16 NBA championship titles. Lakers All-Star Kobe Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, played a key role in the woo-ing. However, Bryant and Howard did not always see eye-to-eye last season under the guidance of coach Mike D’Antoni, and the Lakers were eliminated from the first round of the playoffs. The prospect of being the kingpin on an ambitious Rockets team which also includes James Harden, Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin and promising center Omer Asik was always likely to be an alluring one for Howard. His arrival in Houston makes the Rockets genuine contenders for the Western Conference championship. — Reuters

NURBURG: Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton drives during the qualifying session at the Nurburgring race track ahead of the German Formula One Grand Prix. — AFP

Hamilton on German pole NUERBURGRING: Briton Lewis Hamilton stormed to pole position at the German Grand Prix on a mixed day yesterday for Mercedes, whose misjudgement left last week’s Silverstone winner Nico Rosberg 11th on the grid for their home race. Hamilton won the last race at the Nuerburgring in 2011 with McLaren and delighted his new bosses by putting his Silver Arrows on the front of the grid at one of the homes of German motorsport. “It’s really overwhelming. P2 and P3 (the second and third practice sessions) were just disasters and it got worse this morning, we were miles off,” the 2008 world champion told a news conference. “We made lots and lots of changes and just hoped that it would work. I’m grateful for the work the guys put in for me,” he said after a 29th career pole. Red Bull’s triple world champion Sebastian Vettel, who leads this season’s standings, had to be content with second on the grid as he bids to win his home race and a July grand prix for the first time. “It was quite close. I tried everything I had. It looks like we are much closer to them (Mercedes) here than we were at Silverstone. I think we did our homework,” said the German. Team mate Mark Webber - the 2009 winner here will start third in his final German Grand Prix before switching to endurance racing at the end of the season. Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen, a likely replacement

for the Australian at Red Bull, was fourth fastest on a sunny afternoon in the wooded Eifel region. Temperatures were much higher than Friday practice and Hamilton basked in the glory of pole after being one of the drivers hit by the tyre explosions in Britain last weekend that threw the sport into crisis. The Grand Prix Drivers’ Association announced on Thursday that they would withdraw from Sunday’s race if the blow-outs happen again. However, all three practice sessions and qualifying in Germany have been free of incident. After the intervention of the governing FIA, Pirelli has brought upgraded rear tyres to the Nuerburgring with an inner belt made of the synthetic fibre Kevlar rather than steel. Practice appeared to prove that the cooler tyres would aid Red Bull and Mercedes, but Rosberg failed to make it into the final session after his team thought he had set a good enough time and kept him in the garage to save tyres. Others then went faster, knocking him out of the top 10. “It was quite a shock really,” Rosberg told reporters. “I didn’t see it coming. The team didn’t expect the track to ramp up that much. It really is a big disappointment. Unbelievable. I can’t believe I’m standing here. We just didn’t judge it correctly.” Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo, also fighting to replace the retiring Mark Webber at parent team Red Bull for next season, did his hopes no harm by bag-

ging a superb sixth on the grid. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, second in the standings and 21 points behind Vettel, finished only eighth in qualifying with team mate Felipe Massa outpacing him in seventh after Ferrari made a strategic decision to start on the medium tyres and not fight for pole. “We took a decision thinking only to the race” said team principal Stefano Domenicali. Spanish double champion Alonso has not managed the front row since Germany last year but has won twice this season. Jenson Button showed a mild improvement for McLaren by taking ninth having been 10th on the grid at Silverstone but team mate Sergio Perez was down in 13th as the once mighty British outfit continues to struggle. “It definitely got hotter today which changed the balance of the car, so it’s been a tough afternoon for me,” the Mexican said. Nine-times champions Williams, without a point in their worst start to a season, also had another miserable day with Pastor Maldonado’s KERS giving off smoke in the garage early in the morning and prompting fire marshals to come to the rescue. The Venezuelan took part in the third practice session after frantic work by the struggling British team but he and Finnish rookie team mate Valtteri Bottas will start 18th and 17th respectively on today’s grid. The race will be Williams’ 600th grand prix. — Reuters

Kenseth wins Nationwide race DAYTONA BEACH: Matt Kenseth pulled away from traffic on the final restart of Friday night’s Nationwide Series race, cruising to a comfortable win at Daytona International Speedway. The race was on pace to be one of the fastest in Daytona history until a late accident brought out a red-flag stoppage that lasted nearly 10 minutes. There were only two laps remaining when the race resumed and Kenseth paired up with defending Truck Series champion James Buescher on the restart. The two easily broke away from the pack, leaving everyone else racing for third place. Kenseth and Buescher weren’t challenged to the finish, with Kenseth taking the win and Buescher finishing second. It was a turn of events after the tandem of Sam Hornish Jr. and Joey Logano had dominated to lead 64 of the 101 laps. “It didn’t matter who I was pushing or who was pushing me, we couldn’t run with those two,” Kenseth said of Logano and Hornish. “But with (Buescher) pushing me, we could. We had speed. So it was important to keep him with me. He did a really good job up getting us up to the lead and putting us in a position to try to win, so I wanted to make sure I stuck with him. “He did a really, really good job pushing there.” Buescher stayed put once on Kenseth’s bumper. “We got together and went right to the front. I knew then I had to stay committed to him until the end of the race or as long as we could with the restarts,” Buescher said. “He was the first car all weekend we’ve been able to push for a long period of time.” Third went to Elliott Sadler, who picked up a $100,000 bonus from series sponsor Nationwide as the highest finishing driver in the “Dash 4 Cash” program. The cooling box in Sadler’s car broke right before the race, forcing him to finish on a steamy summer night with no air conditioning. “It’s hot, but that’s what we train for. That’s what we get ready for,” said Sadler, who admitted to feeling nauseous while sitting in the car during the red flag. Kurt Busch finished fourth in a car designed with the beloved City Chevrolet paint scheme from the “Days of Thunder” movie. He and the Phoenix Racing crew spent much of the race in character with Busch as Cole Trickle reciting Tom Cruise’s movie lines. “It was a great race, a lot of fun focusing on strategy, drafting partners and then switching over to the movie quotes and having fun,” Busch said. “It was a shame we didn’t get into Victory Lane. I wanted to have a foot race ... all the way down pit road to Victory Lane.” The race was moving on at a rapid pace with just three cautions in the first 90 laps - one was for debris, one was for fluid on the track and one was for Mike Wallace’s stalled car. The Wallace caution set up a restart with seven laps to go, but racing halted when Travis Pastrana seemed to cut down on Cole Whitt, causing Whitt to turn Pastrana and trigger a multi-car accident. Caught in it was Jason White, who dropped to the grass after climbing from his crumpled car. White was tended to by emergency personnel in the grass, then walked to a waiting ambulance on his own. “Kind of took the breath out of me a little bit. It was a hard hit,” he said. “I’m feeling fine. Just got to get a little rest, I’ll be fine tomorrow.” — AP

DAYTONA BEACH: Travis Pastrana (60) crashes into Jason White (24) in turn 4 of the NASCAR Nationwide auto race at Daytona International Speedway. —AP

DAYTONA BEACH: Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 18 GameStop Toyota, celebrates with the trophy in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Subway Firecracker 250. — AFP

Froome rides into yellow

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013


Howard opts for Rockets


Lions end barren 16 years with crushing 41-16 victory

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WIMBLEDON: Marion Bartoli of France (left) and Sabine Lisicki of Germany pose during the trophy ceremony after Bartoli won the Women’s singles final match against at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships. — AP

Lisicki weeps as Bartoli sweeps crown LONDON: Sabine Lisicki broke down in floods of tears after crippling stage fright condemned her to a 6-1, 6-4 defeat to Marion Bartoli in yesterday’s Wimbledon final. Bartoli, 28, is the fifth oldest woman to become a first-time Grand Slam winner in the Open Era. Six years after losing to Venus Williams in the Wimbledon final, Bartoli returned to Centre Court and finally ended her long wait for a major crown with a supreme display of power hitting. She took just 81 minutes to rout 23rd seed Lisicki, who broke down in tears as the match slipped away in the second set. “Honestly I just can’t believe it, as a little girl I dreamt of this moment for so long,” Bartoli said. “Finishing with an ace to win Wimbledon, even in my wildest dreams I couldn’t have imagined that. I’m just so happy to be holding this trophy. “I missed out here in 2007. I know what it is like and I’m sure Sabine will be here one more time, no doubt about it.” Lisicki,

who was undone by 25 unforced errors, said: “I was just overwhelmed by the whole situation, but credit to Marion. She handled it perfectly. She’s been on the tour for a long time and deserves this. “I still love this tournament. I just hope I get another chance as well.” By finally winning her maiden major title in the 47th Grand Slam appearance of her career, Bartoli surpassed the previous record set by Jana Novotna, who won Wimbledon in 1998 after 45 appearances at the majors. Bartoli, who will climb to seventh when the latest world rankings are released on Monday, didn’t drop a single set in her seven matches and is the first Frenchwoman to win a Grand Slam singles title since Amelie Mauresmo at Wimbledon in 2006. Ironically, Mauresmo has played a key role in Bartoli’s remarkable renaissance over the last two weeks. Bartoli’s career had been on a downward spiral in recent years and she hit rock bottom in February when she struggled with the emotional decision to move on from her dad Walter, who had coached her

since childhood. She eventually turned to Mauresmo for help after failing to strike up a rapport with a series of coaches and her compatriot has brought a calmer approach to Bartoli’s preparations. Bartoli was broken in the first game, but Lisicki then surrendered her own serve in error-strewn fashion. Lisicki, 23, was a shadow of the bold stroke-maker who stunned defending champion Serena Williams in the fourth round. But Bartoli had shaken off her early anxiety and took advantage of Lisicki’s nerves to break again for a 3-1 lead. Throughout her career Bartoli’s game has been marked by bizarre routines as she jumps, skips, shuffles and twirls her racket before serving or returning. And her quirky routine was on full display as she took the attack to Lisicki in the sixth game, breaking to seal the set thanks to a series of punishing forehands. Lisicki had every reason to hang her head as she trudged off court to gather her thoughts during a bathroom break before the start of the second set.

The German finally held serve for the first time in the match when she returned to start the second set. She then mounted her only serious threat to Bartoli’s dominance, earning four break points in the second game, only to see the Frenchwoman come up with a series of blistering winners. Bartoli had scented Lisicki’s discomfort and landed the decisive blow with a break to move 2-1 ahead. Lisicki’s beaming smile and all-action style had made her the darling of the Centre Court crowd this year, but this was a miserable end to her fairytale run and she was in tears when she served at 3-1 down. Bartoli showed no mercy, breaking again as she took a 5-1 lead. With the title within touching distance, tension crept into Bartoli’s game and Lisicki was able to prolong the battle longer than expected. But Bartoli eventually settled back down and sealed the biggest win of her life with an ace before climbing into stands to share a joyous embrace with Mauresmo and her father. — AFP

Kuwait clinches silver at 20th Asian championships PUNE: Dilshod Nazarov of Tajikstan clinched the men’s hammer throw with a heave of 78.32m, even though the throw fell below his personal best of 80.71 achieved in May at the 20th Asian track and field championships in Pune yesterday. Ali Zenkawi of Kuwait finished second at 74.70m, while Oi Dakai of China took the bronze at 74.19m. Hong Kong won the men’s 4x100 metres relay to pick up their first gold medal, as Chinese athletes set two new meet records. Hong Kong’s quartet of Tang Yik Chun, Lai Chun Ho, Ng Ka Fung and Tsui Chi Ho won the relay in 38.94 seconds, ahead of second-placed Japan (39.11 secs) and China (39.17 secs). Li Ling of China scaled 4.54 metres in the women’s pole vault, surpassing the previous meet record of 4.53m set by compatriot Gao Shuying in the 2005 edition in Incheon, South Korea. Ren Mingqian made it a 1-2 for China in the event by grabbing the silver medal with a throw of 4.40m, while Thailand’s Sukanya Chomchuednee took the bronze with 4.15m. China’s woman javelin thrower Li Lingwei won gold with a new meet record of 60.65 metres, erasing the previous mark of 58.35m by Buoban Phamang of Thailand in 2007. Silver-medallist Nadeeka Lakmali of Sri Lanka also went past Buoban’s mark with a throw of 60.16m. China also won the women’s shot put through Liu Xiangrong and cruised to victory in the women’s 4x100m relay ahead of Japan and Thailand.

With 30 titles already decided in the 42-event meet, China lead the rest of the pack with 12 gold medals, followed by Bahrain with four golds, and Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan with three each. Gold medallists in the meet are assured of a direct entry at next month’s world championships in Moscow. Meanwhile, in Berlin, hammer world record-holder Betty Heidler warmed up for next month’s world athletics championships in M oscow with her ninth German title in succession yesterday. The 29-year-old threw 73.93m to win the German championships in Ulm by nearly four metres from her nearest rival, but Heidler knows she has to improve ahead of the world championships. Heidler, the 2007 world champion, has a season best of 76.48m, behind world leader Oksana Kondrateva of Russia, who threw 77.13m at the end of last month. The German set the world record of 79.42m in 2011 and having won gold at Osaka 2007, silver at Berlin 2009 and silver again at Daegu 2011, Heidler is bidding for her fourth straight world championship medal. Meanwhile, 2009 world bronze medallist Ariane Friedrich withdrew from the high-jump at the German championships with a knee injury. The 29-year-old faces a nervous wait to recover in time to clear the world championships qualification mark of 1.95m, for which she is five centimetres short. Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium hosts the world championships from August 10-18. — AFP

WIMBLEDON: A combination of photographs show Serbia’s Novak Djokovic (left) and Britain’s Andy Murray (right) during their men’s singles quarter-final matches at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament. — AFP

Murray, Djokovic in Wimbledon showdown LONDON: Andy Murray will today again attempt to finally rid Britain of one of its most painful sporting millstones when he bids to become his country’s first Wimbledon men’s champion since 1936. Not since Fred Perry 77 years ago, in the days of amateurism, flannel trousers and wooden raquets and when the storm clouds of the Second World War gathered in Europe, has Britain had a men’s champion at the All England Club. Murray’s 2012 campaign ended in a tearful final defeat to Roger Federer, a deluge of sobbing on live television which instantly won over a British public previously skeptical of the tough-as-teak Scot. Today, he takes on world number one Novak Djokovic who beat him in the Australian Open final in January although Murray won the pair’s only meeting on grass at Wimbledon at last year’s Olympics when he went on to win gold. “I think I learnt a lot from last year’s Wimbledon,” said the 26-year-old. “The one thing that stands out is I knew how I needed to play the sort of big matches, or try to play the big matches after Wimbledon, because I didn’t come away from that final doubting myself or the decisions I made on the court, because

I went for it. “I lost, but I didn’t have any regrets as such.” This will be Murray’s seventh major final with his only Grand Slam title coming in New York last year when he defeated Djokovic in a five-set final. The Serb, the Wimbledon champion in 2011, will be playing in his 11th major final and seeking a seventh title. Djokovic beat Murray in the title matches in Melbourne this year as well as 2011. “I think I’ll be probably in a better place mentally. I would hope so just because I’ve been there before. I have won a Grand Slam. I would hope I would be a little bit calmer today,” added Murray, who will be playing in his fourth successive Grand Slam final having skipped Roland Garros with a back injury. “But you don’t know. I might wake up today and be unbelievably nervous, more nervous than I ever have been before.” Murray needed five sets to beat Fernando Verdasco in the quarter-finals and four sets to see off giant Pole, Jerzy Janowicz in a badtempered semi-final. Djokovic had cruised to the semi-finals but needed five sets to defeat Juan Martin del Potro on Friday in the longest ever last-four clash at Wimbledon. Despite the four-hour, 43-minute epic, Djokovic,

who spent a record five hours and 53 minutes beating Rafael Nadal in the 2012 Australian Open final, insists that fatigue will not be a problem. “I’m not the first time in this situation. I was in worse situations actually before, like in the Australian Open 2012, or several occasions where I managed to recover, managed to win the title, managed to feel fresh and play another six hours,” he said. “Of course, when you feel good physically, when you know you’re fit and you don’t feel a huge fatigue, that gives you mental confidence and the strength that is necessary when you’re playing a top player. “ Djokovic also believes he is destined to win a second Wimbledon title in honor of his first coach, Jelena Gencic, who passed away during the French Open. The 77-year-old Gencic, who Djokovic described as a “second mother”, nurtured the Serb’s talent when he was six years old, training him for five years before he left for further coaching in Germany. “She was the mentor and she was the lady that kind of made me understand this life. I inherited that passion and love towards the sport from her,” said Djokovic. — AFP


Slow days at work: Keep yourself busy Page 22 Nigeria seeks to break oil curse Page 25

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013

VIVA announces winners of ‘Win a car every week’ Page 26 Page 24

Turf wars: Vietnam’s land rights crisis

BEIJING: Federal Councilor and Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs of Switzerland Johann Schneider-Ammann (2nd left) and Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng (2nd right) attend a signing ceremony in Beijing yesterday. China and Switzerland signed a free trade agreement-Beijing’s first with a continental European country-in a deal reached against the backdrop of trade tensions between the Asian giant and the European Union. — AFP

China, Switzerland ink free trade agreement Beijing’s first FTA in continental Europe BEIJING: China and Switzerland yesterday signed a free trade agreement (FTA) - Beijing’s first in continental Europein a deal that comes against a backdrop of trade tensions between the Asian giant and the European Union (EU). Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng and Swiss Economy Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann inked the accord in a ceremony at the Commerce Ministry in Beijing before officials and reporters. Afterwards, they clinked glasses of champagne in celebration of the agreement, which aims to liberalize trade in goods and services and increase the $26.3 billion in bilateral commerce they rang up in 2012. China in April signed its first FTA with a European country-non-EU member Iceland-but yesterday’s deal marks the first with an economy in mainland Europe. Gao, at a postsigning press conference with Schneider-Ammann, said the agreement would promote trade cooperation with Europe in general. “China should launch similar cooperation with other countries in Europe, even the European Union,” he added, signaling China’s desire for an FTA with the 28-nation bloc. Switzerland ranked as the world’s 19th-largest economy

in 2012, according to the World Bank. China is the world’s second-biggest. “This free trade agreement has an important significance for the relationship between the two countries,” Schneider-Ammann said after yesterday’s signing ceremony. He noted that China is the world’s single biggest developing market with a growing middle-class. Fiercely independent Switzerland is not a member of the EU and even waited decades to join the United Nations. Nonetheless, it is an economic heavyweight known for high-value luxury goods, such as its world famous watches, pharmaceuticals and as a financial centre. Switzerland mainly sells watches, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, as well as machinery to China, which ships mostly textiles and machinery back to Switzerland. In an interview with Swiss paper Neue Zuercher Zeitung, Schneider-Ammann said tariffs imposed on luxury watches could fall by 60 percent, while Switzerland will remove similar taxes on Chinese textiles and shoes. Unlike most western countries, Switzerland enjoys a huge trade surplus with China, amounting to $22.8 billion last year. Switzerland and China had signed a preliminary

Brazil, Egypt, Turkey unrest a wake up call: World Bank SANTIAGO: Massive protests in Brazil, Egypt and Turkey should jolt governments across the globe into ensuring they are providing crucial public services and opportunities to their citizens, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in an interview on Friday. Frustration with the political establishment, a lack of opportunity and unmet expectations for better living standards have helped galvanize millions of people in those countries to march in the streets and demand change. “These social movements are not going to go away. And in my view they’re simply going to grow,” Kim said. “Every country in the world has to really think hard about whether or not it’s effective or not at delivering services, at whether or not people really do have a chance. Because Twitter and Facebook and social media have become incredibly powerful tools for civil society,” Kim said. The protests that have swept Brazil in recent weeks have sent shockwaves through the country’s political establishment, prompting a flurry of promises to improve public services as well as concrete measures aimed at quelling the unrest. In Turkey, unrest began at the end of May when police used force against campaigners opposed to plans to redevelop a central Istanbul park. The protest spiraled into broader demonstrations against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his government. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people marched across Egypt on Friday in what deposed President Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement called a “Friday of Rage” to protest against his ouster and an interim government set up to prepare for new elections. “Our view at the World Bank Group is: look, this makes it even more important that countries get the macroeconomics right, because getting the macroeconomics right means you’re able to weather economic crisis,” Kim said. “You’ve got to get serious about investments in human capital: health, education, social protection. These are really critical,” he said, stressing the importance of

also addressing the issue of income inequality. BRAZIL INVESTMENT MAY BE UNHURT The marches in Latin America’s largest economy have rallied Brazilians angry about a range of issues from corruption and poor public transportation to billions of dollars being spent to host the soccer World Cup next year. “I think that depending on the government responses to those protests, we may not see a drop in investment,” Kim told Reuters during a visit to Chile. While lauding Brazil’s efforts at social inclusion, Kim underlined large and unmet demands for equality of opportunity. “The Brazilian people have been very focused. They’ve been very specific about what they want. They want better hospitals, they want better educational opportunities, they want better controls on prices, they want lower prices for bus rides and other things,” Kim said. “The inflation levels in Brazil are related to the protests that we’ve (seen). It’s really hard to tell whether those numbers are going to go up or down,” he added. Brazil’s inflation climbed at the fastest pace in 20 months in June but rose less than forecast, supporting hopes that increases in consumer prices could start to slow even after a sharp currency sell-off. UNCERTAINTY IN EGYPT The World Bank is keeping a close watch on the situation in Egypt and is focused on the safety of its over 200 employees there, but hasn’t yet decided on the future of its programs there, Kim said. “Things are changing moment by moment. We’re collecting as much intelligence as we can ... we hope to continue (with our program in Egypt), but we’ll know a lot more literally in the next 24 to 48 hours,” Kim said of the World Bank’s 24 projects and total commitments of over $4.5 billion there. “We have to see how the government shapes and whether or not we can continue. It’s still up in the air we’re not sure,” Kim said. — Reuters

FTA agreement in May during a visit to the landlocked, alpine European nation by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Schneider-Ammann said the deal is also important for hedging risks. “We get a chance to spread out the risk of the Swiss economy a little bit over the borders of our European neighborhood,” he said. “It has a great importance.” The EU economy has experienced serious turmoil over the past several years in the wake of the global financial crisis and due to sovereign debt instability that engulfed Greece and other member states including Spain, Italy and Portugal. The EU and China have jousted over mutual claims of unfair trade practices in sectors including Chinese solar panels and European wine, leading to worries that the dispute could spiral out of control. Total trade between China and the EU last year exceeded $500 billion when the EU had 27 members. Croatia joined this month. A visit to Beijing last month by the EU’s trade chief, who held talks with Gao, helped damp down tensions and increased optimism the two sides can come to terms on their differences. Schneider-Ammann said doing so was vital for smaller countries like his own. “It’s absolutely important

that the bigger economies find ways to keep open their markets because (the) more open the global market... the better the chances to do business,” he said. The deal, for which negotiations formally began in January 2011, still needs approval by the Swiss parliament to take effect. Schneider-Ammann told Neue Zuercher Zeitung: “If all goes as planned, from our point of view, the agreement can be implemented by mid-2014.” Separately, Schneider-Ammann expressed concern about the value of the Swiss franc, which he said remained too strong. “The Swiss franc is still overvalued,” he told reporters after the signing. The purchasing power of the Swiss franc against the euro, he said, is about 131-132 francs to the single currency, weaker than Friday’s exchange rate of about 123. “That’s the overvaluation of our currency,” he said. The franc is a traditional haven for investors in times of international turmoil, which drives up its value and can weaken the competitiveness of Switzerland’s exports. The Swiss central bank set a minimum exchange rate of 1.20 francs to the euro in September 2011 amid global financial instability. — AFP

Federal Reserve adopts tougher capital requirements for banks WASHINGTON: The Federal Reserve has adopted tougher requirements for banks - part of an international agreement designed to prevent another financial crisis - and opened the door to even stricter rules for the nation’s biggest institutions. The new standards, part of the Basel III accord, require banks to hold more and higher-quality capital to offset potential losses. The rules also change the way the risks of certain types of assets are calculated. “With these revisions to our capital rules, banking organizations will be better able to withstand periods of financial stress, thus contributing to the overall health of the US economy,” Fed Chairman Ben S Bernanke said. The Fed’s Board of Governors approved the new rules unanimously. The rules also must be approved by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp and the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, which are expected to do so next week. The new requirements would be phased in starting next year for large banks and in 2015 for small banks. The vast majority of banks - 95 percent of those with less than $10 billion in assets and all of those with more than that - would meet a key new minimum capital requirement, the Fed said. That requirement is to hold at least 4.5 percent of assets in high-quality capital, up from 2 percent. But about 100 banks would have to raise a total of $4.5 billion by the time the phase-in period ends in 2019 in order to meet another new requirement that allows them to return capital to their shareholders through dividend payments and stock buybacks. That requirement is to hold an additional 2.5 percent of assets in high-quality capital, bringing the total needed to 7 percent. Other capital requirements also were increased. “While strong capital requirements alone cannot ensure the safety and soundness of our financial systems, they are central to good financial regulation, precisely because they are available to absorb all kinds of losses, no matter how unanticipated,” said Federal Reserve Gov Daniel K Tarullo. “Adoption of these rules assures that, as memories of the crisis fade, efforts to build and maintain higher capital levels will not be allowed to wane,” he said. The new rules are tougher on large banks that are “internationally active.” And the Fed is close to proposing tougher rules than required under the Basel agreement on the ratio of leverage that the eight largest banks could have. Those banks, designated as systemically important financial institutions after the 2010 Wall Street reform law, include Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo. Smaller community banks successfully lobbied the Fed to go easier on them in adopting some of the new requirements. In particular, the Fed ditched new proposed risk calculations for mortgages that would

have forced small banks, which do a lot of home lending, to raise more capital. Federal Reserve Gov Elizabeth A Duke said the Fed was concerned that small banks would be overly burdened by new mortgage risk calculations and that the rules could limit the availability of loans. Fed officials also said they wanted to wait until some other new mortgage regulations are implemented to see what changes might be needed. Small banks still would be covered by the new capital rules, the Fed said. But because the rules require banks to hold more common stock and retained earnings as capital - the most common capital used by small banks - they will not be burdensome, Duke said. — Agencies

TEHRAN: A picture shows US 100-dollar bills bearing the portrait of US statesman, inventor and diplomat Benjamin Franklin next to Iran’s various Rial banknotes, bearing a portrait of Iran’s late founder of Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in the Iranian capital. Iran’s central bank yesterday drastically devalued the national currency’s fixed subsidized rate against the dollar, as the Islamic republic struggles to shore up its faltering economy. — AFP ( See Page 26)

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013


Slow days at work: Keep yourself busy With Ramadan just around the corner, most professionals will be rejoicing the advent of shorter workdays and a relaxed atmosphere at work. However, if you want to make sure none of your workdays during Ramadan are “taskless” or unproductive, follow these tips by our career experts at, the Middle East’s #1 job site, to help you stay motivated and productive at all times: RESEARCH AND READ When was the last time you did some research and read the latest literature in your field to stay abreast of the latest happenings and updates? We all know that this should be done on a daily basis but sometimes our busy schedules have us multitasking not to miss any deadline and leave us with very little or no time to check the news we care about; and this

is exactly what not-so-busy days are for! Take advantage of every free minute you have on your schedule to do your research and catch up on the latest updates in your field of work or even to look up training opportunities you might want to take part in. The ‘Employee Motivation in the MENA’ survey, January 2013, showed that 45% of professionals in MENA agree that training and development opportunities are very important motivation drivers.

always have something to do.

BALANCE YOUR SCHEDULE When your to-do list is flooded with tasks, you don’t have to finish them all at this very moment. Organize your tasks and give priority to urgent ones and those on a tight deadline, while postponing less pressing ones to another day. This will guarantee that you

INVEST IN OFFICE RELATIONSHIPS Did you get a chance to meet the new hire in your company? When was the last time you checked on your colleague in the sales department? Busy schedules tend to trap us behind our computers for long hours, sometimes for weeks in a row, leaving us no time to

ORGANIZE YOUR DESK With documents piled up left and right and memo notes pretty much everywhere, busy days, more often than not, leave your desk in quite a mess. Take advantage of calmer days to bring back some organization to your desk or even your computer folders. This will help you clean your desk and de-clutter your mind.

catch up with our colleagues. According to the ‘Employee Motivation in the MENA’ survey, 46% of MENA professionals say they have stressful days at work. Thus, taking the time to invest in your office relationships when you get a chance can help you break your work routine and alleviate your work stress/pressure. CREATE YOUR OWN CHALLENGES If you know your job inside out and find your tasks now too easy to carry out, it’s time you thought outside the box. The ‘Employee Motivation in the MENA’ survey again shows that 25% of MENA professionals say they always have the freedom to seek out solutions to their work challenges and 42% very often have the same freedom. So, remember that the solution is entirely or

partly in your hand as there is always space for innovation and creativity and it’s up to you to find a way to grow beyond the limits of your tasks, expanding their scope and developing new ideas. ASK FOR NEW TASKS The ‘Employee Motivation in the MENA’ survey revealed that 40% of professionals across the region have managers who always or very often listen to their suggestions and concerns. So, if all of the above is not sufficient, take it up to your management and ask for new tasks to be added to your current job role. If a promotion is not possible at the moment, maybe you can delegate some of your tasks and acquire new ones that will increase your motivation levels.

Strong GCC non-oil growth NBK’S LATEST GCC BRIEF KUWAIT: A combination of elevated public spending levels and improving private sector conditions will see real GCC non-oil GDP growth of close to 6% per year in 2013 and 2014, similar to 2012 and nearly 1% point higher than previously forecast. The revision is due to upgrades in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, where growth has more

momentum than previously thought. Overall economic growth, however, will average a more modest 4% per year, thanks to policy-driven declines in oil sector output. Despite the solid growth environment, attention may increasingly focus on the need to address the region’s ever more critical economic challenges - notably job

creation and fiscal reform. We maintain our forecast for oil prices at $100 per barrel, on average, for 2013 and 2014. Oil prices have dropped to around this level from $113 in 1Q 2013. Some of this may have been driven by seasonal factors. But given an uncertain outlook for demand and rising nonOPEC supplies, the risks to market fundamentals in 2H13 are evenly balanced. GCC oil production has already been cut quicker than we had expected, and real oil sector GDP is seen declining 2% this year and unchanged in 2014. This will still leave oil output at historically elevated levels, and combined with $100 oil prices should - in the near term at least - be enough to finance rising government spending without draining financial reserves in most countries. A deeper than expected slowdown in global economic growth is the main downside risk to this forecast. Oil prices could fall well below $100 for a sustained period, pressuring regional governments to curb their spending plans, thus removing one of the main pillars of economic growth. An alternative (if less likely) risk is that solid consumer sector growth combined with rapid execution of the GCC’s vast project pipeline ultimately leads to overheating, price and wage pressures, and challenges for monetary and exchange rate policy. For now, GCC inflation remains low. Weighted consumer price inflation edged up from 2.0% in mid-2012 to 2.5% by March 2013, driven by rising housing rents in Qatar, and rising ‘core’ inflation in fast-growing Saudi Arabia. But even in these countries, inflation stands no higher than 4%. The low base, stable international food prices, a relatively strong US dollar (which will help to contain import prices) and low inflation rates in major trading partners are expected to keep GCC inflation at just 2-3% in 2013 and 2014. Fiscal policy is likely to remain expansionary, with aggregate GCC government spending forecast to rise by 6-7% per year in 2013 and 2014. This is lower than in recent years, but - owing to a slight dip in oil revenues - the region’s aggregate fiscal surplus is set to decline from 12% of GDP in 2012 to 5% in 2014. Meanwhile, monetary policy also remains accommodative, with key policy lending rates in most countries at 2% or lower. The slow return to higher interest rates in the US - still some way off - means that any tightening of policy in the GCC is likely to be gradual, and not occur this year.

NBK reveals Azimut Yacht - its Summer campaign Grand prize KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) presented the grand prize of its Summer Campaign the Azimut 40 Flybridge Yacht for bloggers. Celebrities and public figures in Kuwait attended the special ceremony held recently. The Azimut 40 Flybridge is one of the most luxurious yachts that NBK will give away this year as the grand prize of its annual summer campaign. All NBK Cardholders can use their Cards during the summer to enjoy this exclusive promotion that lasts until September 15th and earn unlimited chances in the three various draws throughout the summer. In addition to the grand prize draw for the Azimut 40 Yacht, 18 winners will be reimbursed for all their spending using NBK Cards up to KD 10,000. For every cumulative KD20 spent in Kuwait with NBK Credit or Prepaid Cards, Cardholders will earn a chance to enter the draws. Cardholders will triple their chances by using their NBK Credit, Prepaid and Debit Card abroad or by shopping on international sites. NBK is the first bank in Kuwait to offer huge and ongoing campaigns. In the past years, NBK gave away a McLaren MP4-12C and a number of luxurious Mercedes cars. Many blog-

gers, celebrities and public figures attended the ceremony and enjoyed the night.

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

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

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

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

ASIAN COUNTRIES 2.840 4.765 2.869 2.196 3.002 226.800 37.056 3.683 6.616 9.248 0.271

.2880000 .4470000 .3760000 .3170000 .2920000 .3020000 .0069000 .0035000 .0778990 .7589480 .4110000 .0770000 .7440150 .0440000 .2862000 .4370990 .3734770 .3065880 .2816100 .0501010 .0446940 .2985640 .0368650 .2308060 .0028810 .0052870 .0022880 .0029190 .0036810 .0779520 .7594530 .4048090 .0763400 .7436660 .0069870

Irani Riyal


Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

GCC COUNTRIES 76.657 78.986 746.650 763.520 78.286

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 42.200 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 40.303 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.341 Tunisian Dinar 173.570 Jordanian Dinar 405.950 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.929 Syrian Lier 3.123 Morocco Dirham 34.496 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 287.350 Euro 374.420 Sterling Pound 432.460 Canadian dollar 275.770 Turkish lira 147.700 Swiss Franc 304.240 Australian Dollar 266.370 US Dollar Buying 286.150 GOLD 239.000 121.000 63.000

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

SELL DRAFT 264.43 275.97 306.62 375.10 286.10 441.06 2.94 3.694 4.751 2.190 2.976 2.866 77.96 761.47 40.21 407.18 744.04 79.00 76.42

Selling Rate 286.950 275.210 437.525 375.370 302.810 757.065 77.830 78.490 77.115 403.095 40.095 2.187 4.819 2.869 3.672 6.593 701.455 3.880 9.360 4.085 3.145 90.365

Bahrain Exchange Company CURRENCY

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

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

SELL CASH 274.000 282.000 312.000 380.000 284.500 448.500 3.300 3.670 5.050 2.550 3.250 2.900 78.000 753.000 38.800 410.000 748.000 79.500 76.000

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

BUY Europe 0.4279593 0.0067165 0.0460877 0.3685768 0.0428033 0.4261050 0.0388036 0.2979178

SELL 0.4369593 0.0187165 0.0510877 0.3760768 0.0480033 0.4336050 0.0438036 0.3049178

Australasia 0.2538020 0.2155465 0.0001123

0.2658020 0.2255465 0.0001123

America 0.2651640 0.0001455 0.2838500

0.2741640 0.0001635 0.2860000

Asia 0.0036273 0.0031732 0.0456122 0.0165333

0.0036823 0.0034032 0.0506122 0.0196333

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

0.0000444 0.0343150 0.0047582 0.0000238 0.0028588 0.0027922 0.0032638 0.0856349 0.0028686 0.0028495 0.0061512 0.0000730 0.2216917 0.0021477 0.0088695

0.0000504 0.0374150 0.0048232 0.0000289 0.0038588 0.0029722 0.0034939 0.0926349 0.0030686 0.0028895 0.0066212 0.0000760 0.2276917 0.0021897 0.0094695

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

Arab 0.7521940 0.0381406 0.0128144 0.1454203 0.0000795 0.0001813 0.3978190 1.0000000 0.0001755 0.0219909 0.0012174 0.7318475 0.0779018 0.0757333 0.0465033 0.0019493 0.1721534 0.0764400 0.0012904

0.7606940 0.0401706 0.0193144 0.1472103 0.0000800 0.0002413 0.4053190 1.0000000 0.0001955 0.0459909 0.0018524 0.7428475 0.0786848 0.0763733 0.0470533 0.0021693 0.1781534 0.0778900 0.0013904

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

Transfer Rate (Per 1000) 285.850 371.100 430.250 274.450 4.745 40.280 2.190 3.680 6.600 2.868 763.000 78.050 76.500

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013


Tiny Chinese enclave remakes gambling world Center of gambling world shifts to East Asia LAS VEGAS: Most people still think of the US gambling industry as anchored in Las Vegas. They might think of vestiges of the mob, or the town’s ill-advised flirtation with family-friendly branding in the 1990s. But they would be wrong. The center of the gambling world has shifted 16 time zones away to a tiny spit of land on the southern tip of East Asia. An hour’s ferry ride from Hong Kong and an afternoon flight from half the world’s population, Macau is the only place in China where casino gambling is legal. Each month, 2.5 million tourists flood the glitzy boomtown to try their luck in neon-drenched casinos that collect more winnings than the entire US gambling industry. The exploding ranks of the Chinese nouveau riche sip tea and speak in hushed tones as they play at baccarat, a fast-moving game where gamblers are dealt two cards and predict whether they will beat the banker. The textile factories that stood shoulder to shoulder with small-time gambling halls as recently as the early 2000s have given way to hulking American-run enterprises larger than anything found in the states. The gangs, prostitutes and money-launderers that once operated openly in this town half the size of

stone anti-corporate bribery law. The quest for Asian riches is changing Las Vegas as well. Casino bosses are tweaking their flagship casinos to look and operate more like Macau-style properties. As they succeed, hints of organized crime are returning to Sin City, this time in the form of Chinese gangs. But the moguls are undeterred, increasing their investment at every opportunity. “This industry is supply driven, like the movie Field of Dreams: ‘Built it and they will come.’ I believe that,’” Adelson, racing ahead of his attorney on the witness stand in Las Vegas, where he is being investigated for bribing Macau lawmakers and collaborating with the Chinese mafia. “Nobody wanted it. Everybody thought that I was crazy.” At 80 and greatly enriched now by his growing field of five Macau casinos, the diminutive GOP super donor adopted a professorial tone and explained that in 2003, Macau officials gave him a plot of land far from what passed at the time for a main drag. They encouraged him to fill in the surrounding bay. “I thought, ‘Do they want us to fail?’” Adelson asked, patting the ring of brown hair arranged across his round head. When China reassumed sovereignty of Macau

MACAU: Photo shows a top view of the Crown Macau, the complex of hotel and casino in Macau. —AP Manhattan have at least receded from public eye. “It was a swamp,” said Sheldon Adelson, CEO of Las Vegas Sands, as he looked back on his early, risky venture in the forgotten colonial outpost. “They wanted to change the face of Macau from the gambling dens to that of conventions and resorts,” he added during recent testimony, flashing a jack-o-lantern grin and boasting that it would have taken a genius to imagine the profits that he could reap there. Macau now powers three of the four largest American casino companies. Sands, Wynn Resorts Ltd and MGM Resorts International rode out the recession thanks to the gambling appetite of a region where notions of luck and fate are baked into the culture, and there is no religious taboo on games of chance. But as US corporations have remade Macau, Macau has remade them. The town’s criminal undercurrent has resurrected the specter of corruption the industry worked for so long to escape. MGM has lost its license to operate in Atlantic City, while Sands and Wynn are under federal investigation for violations of a touch-

from Portugal in 1999 and abolished a longstanding gambling monopoly, US companies rushed in to try their luck. Since then, annual revenue in the former backwater has grown tenfold, stacking up to $38 billion; four times that of Las Vegas and Atlantic City combined. Wynn Las Vegas now makes nearly three quarters of its profits in Macau. CEO Steve Wynn, dubbed the “King of Las Vegas” for his role in shaping the contours of the Strip, stirred a minor scandal in 2010 when he said he might ditch Sin City and move his corporate headquarters to China. Sands, which owns the Venetian and Palazzo on the Las Vegas Strip, earns two thirds of its revenue in Macau. Adelson’s first casino opening there caused a stampede that ripped doors off their hinges. He now describes Sands as “an Asian company with a presence in Las Vegas and the US.” When regulatory troubles forced MGM Resorts to pick between Macau and New Jersey, the choice was obvious. “The Macau market is now larger than the entire US gaming market. Unfortunately for Atlantic City, it’s gone the other way. It’s smaller now than

Gulf Bank launches Ramadan Program KUWAIT: Gulf Bank has announced its extensive program of special activities that will be held throughout the Holy Month of Ramadan. These activities aim at shedding light on the true Ramadan spirit and celebrating this special time of the year with the local community. For the 7th consecutive year, Gulf Bank in coordination with KAACH will be distributing Girgaian bags to kids and their families in various hospitals. These hospitals include: Ibn Sina, Jahra,

Farwaniya, Zain, NBK hospital, Al Razi and Al Amiri. The Bank will also be hosting the first Girgai’an event at Bait Abdullah’s outpatient clinic. During these visits, children will be treated to a variety of entertainment including: cartoon characters, face painting, hair braiding, henna, singing traditional songs and a magic show. Gulf Bank will be sponsoring the Al Kharafi Activity Kids Center’s annual girgai’an event which will be an operetta called ‘A message from the special needs community’. The event will take place in the Center’s location in Mishref where Gulf Bank will participate by distributing bags to the children, Suhoor, as well as enter-

taining them throughout the evening. The Bank will also sponsor Iftar for needy families through Mabbarat AlRahma Al Khairiya, who will be providing orphans across Kuwait with Girgaian, Ediya and new clothes for Eid. Every year Gulf Bank shares the joy of Ramadan with the community through a special TV commercial, which will be shown from the first day of the Holy Month of Ramadan. In addition to the external activities, Gulf Bank has organized an internal program for its employees, who will receive a preRamadan gifting item and Imsakiya timetable. Gulf Bank has always been committed to proactively giving back to the community as even the smallest gesture can make a difference therefore the Bank has organized the “Pay it Forward” initiative as part of its pre-Ramadan package to staff. This initiative will encourage each employee to be the change by sharing the blessings of the Holy Month with someone in need by giving them an Iftar voucher from Gulf Bank. The Bank will also be highlighting the old Kuwaiti Girgaian tradition to encourage the spirit of giving, where each staff member is provided with a red bucket filled with old traditional treats along with Girgai’an bags on the 15th of Ramadan to give to the children living in their area. Gulf Bank continues to integrate itself within the Kuwaiti community. The Bank’s Ramadan initiative serves to reflect the spirit of compassion amongst the society, and to provide moral support to various underprivileged segments in the community.

when we entered it. The fortunes of the two couldn’t be more different,” MGM CEO Jim Murren said. Macau is in the midst of one of the greatest gambling booms the world has ever known. To rival it, Las Vegas would have to attract six times as many visitors; essentially every man, woman and child in America. But like early Las Vegas, Macau has a long history of ties to crime syndicates, in this case sinister brotherhoods that first came into being on the mainland more than a century ago called triads. The magnate who controlled gambling in Macau for four decades, Stanly Ho, did little to discourage gang warfare on the peninsula. Sleepy town squares became incongruous backdrops for machine-gun shoot-outs, bombings and even assassinations of top-level government officials. In the late 1990s, a senior police official tried to reassure tourists by saying that Macau had “professional killers who don’t miss their targets.” The history and regulations governing the enclave continue to make it tricky for modern casinos to avoid gangs, illegal money transfers, and at least the appearance of bribery. “There are some countries where you either have to pay to play and break the law, or you have to not do business there. I think the jury’s still out on Macau,” said Steve Norton, an Atlantic City veteran who now runs a casino consulting firm in Indiana. Adelson himself seemed to confirm this point on the stand this spring, when he casually mentioned that Sands had forgone a partnership with a successful Hong Kong-based casino operator because of a disagreement about organized crime. “They had expressed their judgment that they were going to do business with either reputed, or-triad people, and we couldn’t do that,” Adelson said, sipping from an oversized coffee cup. Local policies are partly to blame. China bans its citizens from transferring more than $50,000 off the mainland each year; a pittance at many high roller tables, and nowhere near enough to account for the towers of chips that change hands in Macau. It also bans casinos from pursuing gambling debts. Partly as a result, a thriving junket system has sprung up, with supercharged travel agents whisking VIPs to the gambling tables, lending them money, and then settling up on the mainland. Junket operators sometimes work on commission, but more often assume management of a private VIP room. Casinos provide the gleaming marble facilities, dealers, and chips in return for a cut of the profits. Two-thirds of Macau gambling revenue is won from baccarat played in VIP rooms. The informal banking and debt collection system provides a veil and an impetus for criminal activity, according to experts and diplomatic cables. Junkets “allegedly work closely with organized crime groups in mainland China to identify customers and collect debts” and “work directly with Macau casinos to buy gaming chips at discounted rates, allowing players to avoid identification,” according to a memo posted by Wikileaks. The memo, which was apparently sent from the American Consulate in Hong Kong in 2009, continues, “Government efforts to regulate junket operators in Macau have been aimed at limiting competition, rather than combating illicit activities.” Operating off the books, junkets pay out winnings in Hong Kong dollars, which players can then funnel to another location. As a

result, Macau is seen as a conduit for money flowing out of China, with wealthy individuals and corrupt officials suspected of moving funds abroad. At least 15 government officials have been executed for pillaging public funds and taking the money to Macau. The enclave has also seen a spate of killings and kidnappings associated with debt collection, including one grizzly case last year in which two men were stabbed to death in their four-star hotel room, discovered by a friend who had come to give lend them the money they needed. And while many of the approximately 200 junkets active in Macau are law-abiding, some have documented ties to organized crime. The case of Cheung Chi-tai, a major investor in the publically traded junket operator Neptune Group, is a prime example. In 2011, a Hong Kong appeals court judgment said Cheung was a “triad leader” who ordered the death of a casino dealer at Sands Macau. He had previously been identified as high-ranking gang figure in a 1992 US Senate report on Asian organized crime. A witness testified that Cheung was “the person in charge” of one of the VIP rooms at the

desert metropolis, up from 2 percent in 2008. And the Strip is preparing to welcome its first Asian-owned casino; a $5 billion Chinesethemed extravaganza called Resorts World, complete with pandas and pagodas. But some of the crime associated with Chinese gambling halls may be migrating to the Strip as well. Last year, the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network warned casinos to monitor junkets operators and report “all available information” on any suspicious activity. Sands reportedly allowed a junket operator named as a triad member in the 1992 Congressional report to move a $100,000 gambling credit from Las Vegas to one of its Macau casinos. Las Vegas is also beginning to see occasional outbursts of triad violence. In March, 26 yearold Xiao Ye Bai began serving a life term for stabbing a man to death in a crowded karaoke bar near the Strip. Prosecutors said Bai was a martial-arts trained enforcer for the Taiwanbased triad United Bamboo, sent to collect a $10,000 gambling debt. Unlike some other states, Las Vegas allows junket operators to work in casinos without the full background checks required for virtually every other

MACAU: Music fountain performs at the Wynn Macau. Macau is in the midst of one of the greatest gambling booms the world has ever known. —AP Sands Macau, the oldest of the Adelson’s Macau casinos. He wasn’t charged in the case, but a subordinate was sentenced for conspiracy to commit murder. “There’s no way you can do business over there without having allegations made against you, most of them are untrue,” said Bill Weidner, who was president of Sands until 2008. Casino bosses are now working to lure their Macau customers to Las Vegas, in part because Nevada imposes one fifth of China’s 39 percent tax on winnings. The biggest casinos on the Strip have imported baccarat, now Nevada’s biggest moneymaker, Asian pop sensations and Chinese delicacies. They’ve outfitting their hallways in red, and set up Macau-style VIP rooms that employ junkets and cater to high rollers. “The Las Vegas casinos are adopting that new Macau look, trying to appeal to the high-end Asian gambler. They can make a lot more money from a big gambler here,” said David Schwarz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Asian visitors now account for 9 percent of tourists to the

employee, from blackjack dealers to CEOs. Some of Hong Kong operators licensed in Nevada have been found unsuitable by other jurisdictions, including Singapore. Steve Vickers, who spent 18 years in the Royal Hong Kong Police Force and commanded the its criminal intelligence bureau, believes that nearly all junkets that cater to Chinese tourists must tangle with organized crime. “You won’t find the triad names listed as the junket operators, but they are behind it, because who is it that can reach into China and enforce the debts, move the money? Only one kind of person can do that,” he said. Authorities in Nevada, New Jersey and Washington DC are investigating all three of the US companies with properties in Macau. New Jersey regulators objected when MGM teamed up with Stanley Ho’s daughter, Pansy, because of the senior Ho’s triad links. The state found the partnership “unsuitable” in a blistering 2010 report, and forced MGM to sell its stake in the Borgata casino in Atlantic City. MGM and the family of Pansy Ho deny the allegations. —AP

For stocks, there is no need to fear good news Wall St Week Ahead NEW YORK: Wall Street doesn’t hate good news after all. The June jobs figures were stronger than expected and caused a big selloff in the bond market. That further underscored expectations that the Federal Reserve will be chopping back its big bond-buying program sooner rather than later. This kind of occurrence in the past would have caused the stock market to freak out. But the three major US stock indexes climbed 1 percent on Friday, possibly pointing the way to more gains ahead. The stock market has been in an odd spot for some time. Fear that the Federal Reserve would reduce its monthly bond-buying stimulus, designed to boost borrowing demand and help the US economy, put investors in the position of rooting for just-OK data, the kind of figures that would keep the spigot open while still pointing to decent growth. This report may have definitively changed that outlook. In June, a total of 195,000 jobs were created - much stronger than the forecast for 165,000. Government data also showed that the US labor force has increased for three straight months now. The 10-year US Treasury note’s yield jumped to a two-year high above 2.70 percent from 1.60 percent in a matter of weeks. In that time, equities have barely budged. Sure, the S&P 500 has drifted off its all-time closing high of 1,669.16 reached on May 21. It’s still less than 3 percent from that mark despite the sharp rise in interest rates. Light volume in the stock market, however, means that the move up should be taken with a grain of salt. And it makes the next several days that much more important. “Good news is good news, but there’s so much uncertainty about how payrolls could impact markets,” said David Kelly, who helps oversee $400 billion as chief global strategist for JPMorgan Funds in New York. “The market is schizophrenic about this.” Good news in the form of bullish economic data has recently been taken as a negative, causing market selloffs on the theory that it means the Federal Reserve will slow its stimulus. While comments from Fed officials helped relieve those concerns last week, June’s strong payrolls data refocused investors’ attention on the uncertainty. The June nonfarm payrolls report raises the stakes for

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who will be speaking on Wednesday before the National Bureau of Economic Research. Investors will closely scrutinize his comments for any hint about whether the jobs report could mean a faster end to the Fed’s bond-buying stimulus program. Some strategists said the bond market’s selloff was in part because of thin volume exacerbating wild swings. Because of that, “it is unlikely that (yields) will rise any more than they already have,” said Alec Young, global equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ in New York. “That means that if we get good news, it will come without an accompanying rise in rates, which is great for stocks.” Major signals for the market will come from areas with an outsized sensitivity to macroeconomic growth and higher interest rates. Those areas have done relatively well since May 21, when the Dow and the S&P 500 ended at record highs. Small-cap stocks jumped in their best week since mid-May, with the S&P 600 small-cap index closing on Friday at 568.15, an all-time high. Financial stocks were the strongest sector on Friday, with the S&P financial sector index up 1.8 percent. Regional banks such as SunTrust Banks were among the S&P 500’s biggest percentage gainers because those companies benefit from rising rates because it boosts their ability to profit from lending at higher rates while borrowing at lower rates. IN SEARCH OF CLARITY On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve will release the minutes from its June 18-19 meeting. Those minutes are likely to attract heightened attention from Wall Street since they are coming out on the same day that Bernanke speaks to the National Bureau of Economic Research. The consensus on when the Fed will start cutting back its stimulus sits firmly in September of this year, with 11 of 16 primary dealers believing that, according to a Reuters poll, compared with seven of 17 in the June 19 Reuters poll. On May 22, Bernanke said the quantitative easing program would be slowed if economic growth met the Fed’s targets. Investors interpreted that as an indication of an early exit, sparking a steep slide in stocks and a surge in US Treasury yields

that prompted Goldman Sachs to close its recommendation that investors buy rate-sensitive names. “The market is so inundated with voices from Fed officials - some far more reassuring than what we heard from Bernanke - that there’s a lot of confusion,” said Kristina Hooper, head of portfolio strategies at Allianz Global Investors in New York. “Hearing him next week will settle things, especially on the heels of the jobs report,” she said. “This is such a data-driven environment that to get a sense of how the Fed is viewing things is critical.” Stocks have stabilized after the recent decline. On Friday, the S&P 500 closed above its 50-day moving average for the first time since June 19. For the week, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.5 percent, the S&P 500 gained 1.6 percent and the Nasdaq jumped 2.2 percent. Friday’s close marked the end of the first trading week in the third quarter, although it was cut short by the market’s closure for the Independence Day holiday. For the year so far, the Dow is up 15.5 percent, while the S&P 500 is up 14.4 percent and the Nasdaq is up 15.2 percent. The Fed probably will be the major driver for equities next week, although geopolitical tensions will also be in focus. The unrest in Egypt has generated concerns about oil supply, pushing crude prices to 14-month highs. Fundamentals will return to the forefront as companies begin to release second-quarter results next week. Expectations call for S&P 500 earnings growth to rise 1.6 percent in the second quarter from a year ago, while quarterly revenue is forecast to increase 2.9 percent from a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters data. Dow component Alcoa Inc will post results after the market closes on Monday. JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo are also set to report results later in the week. Second-quarter revenue outlooks for S&P 500 companies - with three negative forecasts for every one that’s positive - are among the most negative of the economic recovery, according to Thomson Reuters data. “We think companies will exceed and beat that low bar. So while Bernanke can always change the conversation, we think the news flow next week should be decent,” S&P’s Young said. —Reuters

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013


KSE ends in the green zone BAYAN WEEKLY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended last week in the green zone. The price index ended last week with an increase amounted to 0.63%, and the weighted index advanced by 0.88% compared to the closings of the week before. In addition KSX-15 index increased by 1.68%. Furthermore, last week’s average daily turnover decreased by 15.26%, compared to the preceding week, reaching K.D 35.69 million, whereas trading volume average was 408.41 million shares, recording increase of 1.26%. Kuwait Stock Exchange was able to end the first few weeks of the second half period of the current year in the green zone, supported by the return of the purchasing operations to many blue chip and small cap stocks, among an active and quick speculative operations focused on small cap stocks, whereas the stock market realized its gains despite the drop in the trading value, which it recorded in one session its lowest level since the end of last February. In addition, the purchasing operations focused on the companies’ stocks of which are expected to have good financial results for the last six months period, amidst the continuation of the watch state for such results, plus the stocks prices that declined in the previous period due to the correction action witnessed by the market during June. On the contrary, the selling and profit collection operations were present to affect the stock market performance last week, whereas it caused the market indices to decline in some occasions and limit its gains in others, however it did not succeed in dragging the market to the red zone on the weekly level. Moreover, Kuwait Stock Market indices declined sharply in the beginning of the week session, especially the Price Index which dropped by 1.77% by the end of the same session,

1.96% increase. The Technology sector came in third as its index achieved 1.61% growth, ending the week at 1,118.06 points. The Basic Materials sector was the least growing as its index closed at 1,152.58 points with a 0.12% increase. On the other hand, the Real Estate sector was last week’s only loser as its index declined by 0.42% to end the week’s activity at 1,517.47 points.

affected by the strong selling pressures that included many large cap and small cap stocks, however the market was able compensate its loss in the sessions thereafter in light of the return of the purchasing power again, which included many listed stocks. For the annual performance,

the price index ended last week recording 34.18% annual gain compared to its closing in 2012, while the weighted index increased by 9.10%, and the KSX-15 recorded 4.81% increase. By the end of the week, the price index closed at 7,962.50 points, up by 0.63% from the week before

closing, whereas the weighted index registered a 0.88% weekly gain after closing at 455.64 points. Moreover, the KSX-15 index closed at 1,057.67 points, decreasing by 1.68%. SECTORS’ INDICES All of KSE’s sectors ended last week

in the green zone except for one sector. Last week’s highest gainer was the Health Care sector, achieving 4.85% growth rate as its index closed at 1,160.69 points. Whereas, in the second place, the Consumer Services sector’s index closed at 1,139.08 points recording

SECTORS’ ACTIVITY The Financial Services sector dominated total trade volume during last week with 872.67 million shares changing hands, representing 42.74% of the total market trading volume. The Real Estate sector was second in terms of trading volume as the sector’s traded shares were 40.37% of last week’s total trading volume, with a total of 824.46 million shares. On the other hand, the Real Estate sector’s stocks were the highest traded in terms of value; with a turnover of KD 58.17 million or 32.60% of last week’s total market trading value. The Financial Services sector took the second place as the sector’s last week turnover of KD 55.90 million represented 31.33% of the total market trading value.

Turf wars: Vietnam’s land rights crisis BUON MA THUOT: Thi Sieu says her family lived for generations on a small plot of land studded with cashew trees until they fell victim to an alleged land grab by powerful local elites, a fate shared with many indigenous farmers in Vietnam’s lush central hills. 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. The Central Highlands have long been a hotbed of discontent over land rights, thanks in part to government schemes luring big agricultural firms and lowland migrants seeking their fortunes in booming cashew, coffee and rubber industries. Official figures show the area’s population surged from 1.5 million in 1975 to around six million in 2010, prompting complaints from indigenous minorities of forced evictions by newly arrived ethnic Kinh, who make up 90 percent of the population. Thi Sieu is a M’Nong, one of a patchwork of indigenous minorities which make up the remaining 10 percent of Vietnam’s roughly 90 million people. She said her family’s trees were felled and ancestral graves destroyed in 2011 to make way for a rubber plantation run by a private company operating with the support of local officials. “They said if we did not go they would beat us and kill us. There was no compensation at all. They cut down our trees. We lost everything-our land and our crops,” Sieu, 42 said. “Most of the land in our area now belongs to those who have money. Many of them are Kinh people,” she said. “Our M’Nong community does not have much land now. We’ve been kicked out of

areas that we had been living in for generations. We’re forced to become farm laborers,” Sieu added. Many such local tribes-collectively known as Montagnards-sided with the USbacked south during Vietnam’s decadeslong war. Some are calling for more autonomy, while others abroad even advocate independence for the region. The last major protests against the loss of traditional lands to large-scale plantations was in 2004, and the government is still hunting down those involved. Eight men were recently jailed for up to 11 years for a demonstration in 2002. ‘ROBBING VILLAGERS’ Three decades ago, before Vietnam abolished collectivisation and began a process of market reforms, land disputes were largely based on demographics and history, and concentrated in “diem nong” hot spots like the Central Highlands. But as the country developed and land values rose, the trouble spread to cities where land values are higher. People realized that by owning land close to cities they could “make seriously more money” than from remote coffee plantations, said Professor Adam Fforde, a Vietnam expert at Australia’s Victoria University. According to octogenarian activist Le Hien Duc-who began working on land issues in the 1980s-once-isolated cases of land grabbing have become “rampant”. “Local officials are robbing the villagers’ land for profit,” said Duc, who once worked for the country’s revered founding President Ho Chi Minh. Villagers have no way to seek redress, as local authorities-their first avenue for complaint-are usually involved in the cor-

rupt land deals, she said, calling for a clear land law and a serious anti-graft drive. Nationwide, some 70 percent of complaints filed to authorities concern land. “But there is no solution,” Duc said. “The people get kicked around like a ball between different levels of governmentlocal, district, province. Then finally, they go to Hanoi.” DAILY PROTESTS IN CAPITAL Sieu has travelled to Hanoi three timesat great personal expense-to file complaints to get her land in the Central Highlands back, without success. She is far from alone in making the attempt. Come rain, shine or police crackdown, protesters can be found standing on a busy street corner near several government buildings in central Hanoi, holding handwritten signs detailing their land grievances. “I have been here four months. The police have tried to remove me many times. But I will not leave-we will not leave-until they fix this problem,” said Do Thi Ngoc Nguyen from southern Dong Nai province. With all land owned by the state, people must rely on land use rights certificates, but in reality they offer limited protection. The problem is set to become more acute this year with the expiry of 20-year land use leases, which give many farmers some legal claim to their land. The government has not made it clear how the issue will be addressed. “The robbery of the land, by local government, officials and enterprises, is the root of all the instability we see,” one leading Hanoi-based Vietnamese academic said on condition of anonymity, citing a growing number of protests in the capital. “ The villagers always lose,” he said, explaining that

authorities commandeer the land in the name of “public interest” only to sell it to developers who build expensive houses and shopping malls. Public opinion is firmly on the side of the land protesters. Farmer Doan Van Vuon became a folk hero after using homemade shotguns to resist forced eviction last yearan incident that prompted one popular blog to name him “Person of the Year 2012”. He was jailed for five years in April.

Other land defenders have paid a different price. Le Thach Ban, 74, walks with a limp after being attacked by thugs last year when he refused to give up his land for a development in Hung Yen province near Hanoi. “I had a punctured lung, head injuries, three broken ribs and spent 23 days in hospital,” he said, vowing to stay despite the efforts to remove him. “We will defend the land that belonged to our ancestors,” he said.— AFP

JALALABAD: An elderly Afghan woman milks a cow at her home on the outskirts of Jalalabad. Only about 15 percent of Afghanistanís 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

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013


KANSAS: Ben Estes (left), who works for a Google contractor, and Matthew Marcus, CTO of Local Ruckus, do a walk-through of a house to see where to run the wire and install the hardware at KC Startup Village.

CHICAGO: Chicago venture capital firm Lightbank has steered numerous startups through the pivot process. — MCT photos

Help-for-hire Internet startups clicking with customers CALIFORNIA: Dawn McCoy used to have to call a handyman for home repairs, a taxicab for a ride to the airport, a caterer to help out at a dinner party. Now, she turns to mobile apps and websites that quickly connect her with folks who complete the tasks for a fraction of the price charged by professional services. “You feel like it’s your peers helping you out,” McCoy, 35, said. “And you don’t have to be a millionaire to have someone help you.” In a city filled with personal assistants and others willing to do odds-and-ends jobs, it’s no surprise that a slew of help-for-hire startups are taking off in Los Angeles. Such companies are built on the premise that most people have things they need done - pet-sitting, a car ride, a place to stay, house cleaning, errand runs - and the assumption that there’s probably an average Joe nearby willing to do it for a price. The startups are bridging the two sides with simple ways to find, book and pay for such services, making it easy for users to never have to call a professional. Going out of town for the weekend? With Santa Monica, Calif., Internet startup DogVacay, you can drop off your pooch at the home of a fellow dog lover; hosts watch your pet and set their own rates, starting at $15 a night. From there, you can hitch a ride to the airport via a ride-sharing app such as Lyft, Uber or Sidecar. Once you get to your destination, you can crash in a stranger’s spare bedroom that you booked on Airbnb, a popular website that people use to temporarily rent out their apartments or homes to travelers. Forgot your toothbrush? Hire someone on TaskRabbit to run to the nearest grocery store and pick up one for you. The startups are disrupting long-standing business

models, catching some business owners and even city officials off guard. But techies say the trend known as collaborative consumption or the sharing economy isn’t a fad. “At its core, it’s access trumping ownership and sharing underutilized assets,” said Johnny Brackett, a spokesman at TaskRabbit in San Francisco. McCoy, a Los Angeles writer and actress, uses TaskRabbit as often as five times a month, setting her own prices for tasks she needs done; users can also accept bids from TaskRabbits who want the job. She has hired people to give her rides, hang photos and install kitchen cabinet knobs in her home, design her website, wait on guests at a party, put up and take down Christmas decorations, and pick up food. “I end up using it for everything,” she said. More than 12,000 people have signed up to be “TaskRabbits” who run errands such as delivering a sandwich, assembling furniture or waiting in line for the latest iPhone, and the company is adding 1,000 new TaskRabbits a month, Brackett said. Such startups are catching on with busy, tech-savvy consumers who want things done efficiently and cheaply. In many cases, the prices are much lower than what one would spend for the same task or service through a conventional company thanks to low overhead costs and an on-demand, Web-based business model. For those worried about hiring a stranger they met on the Internet, the start-ups conduct background checks on hosts and task completers and strongly urge both sides to review each other after every transaction. Payment is done online so users don’t have to deal with cash, and the companies typically take a cut of each transaction. Users say hiring regular people from sharing compa-

nies has also resulted in friendlier service and more comfortable interactions. Drivers for Lyft - whose motto is, “Your friend with a car” - drive around town with a giant pink mustache affixed to their cars and greet passengers with a fist bump; pet owners say they feel more comfortable knowing their dogs are staying in a real home instead of caged up at a pricey kennel. On the other end, the startups are enabling people with time on their hands to make some extra cash and work flexible hours. As they’ve grown in popularity, the companies have, intentionally or not, pushed aside conventional businesses such as taxis and hotels. In some cases, the startups have butted heads with local governments and business owners. Last week, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation sent cease-and-desist letters to Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, accusing the “rogue taxi apps” of illegally operating in the city without the proper permits and licenses and ordering them to stop picking up passengers. The next day, taxi drivers drove around City Hall to protest the companies. Airbnb, which has become a hit among travelers, has encountered similar challenges. In May, a judge in New York fined an Airbnb host $2,400 after he temporarily rented out his apartment to a traveler via the site. The judge ruled that the host violated a law designed to dissuade landlords from operating their buildings as illegal hotels; the decision is being appealed. Officials in San Francisco, where Airbnb is based, have also voiced concerns about the service. Business owners, too, have expressed skepticism that the new players can provide the same level of service as an old-school company. One of the newest service startups to launch in LA is

Homejoy, a maid service that charges $20 an hour for a house cleaning. Co-founder Aaron Cheung said he and his sister, Adora, came up with the idea for the company which uses professional cleaners - when they ran into logistical hurdles trying to hire a cleaner. “There was literally no way to book a house cleaning online,” Cheung said. “If you Google ‘house cleaning in West Los Angeles’ and you call up the first 10 cleaning services, 8 out of 10 won’t even answer their phone on a Wednesday afternoon when they should. There’s a lot of friction on the consumer end.” The duo were also turned off by the pricing quotes they received - as much as $40 an hour - which Cheung said was too high, considering most companies pay their maids close to minimum wage. By using an online booking system and implementing a loyalty program, Homejoy was able to cut prices by about half. That mystified Jennie Lim, owner of the LA-area franchise of The Maids, a traditional cleaning service that charges $40 an hour per cleaner. “It just doesn’t make sense. It does not,” Lim said of Homejoy. “I don’t know how they can stay in business charging $20 an hour.” But for many users, the days of scouring Craigslist for help or waiting on hold for a taxi operator are behind them. Eileen Morouse, 27, a frequent user of TaskRabbit, recently signed up to try Lyft and also uses Uber, an ondemand car service booked via a mobile app. “I’m definitely transitioning into the less-traditional services that are available, especially as they keep coming up with more ideas that make things easier,” the sales operations manager from Marina del Rey, Calif., said. “It’s more niche, and that’s what the customer wants.”— MCT

Nigeria seeks to break oil curse Agriculture accounts for 40% of GDP, 70% jobs

BANGKOK: A Thai man updates his passbook at Krungsri Ayudhya Bank in Bangkok, Thailand. — AP

Prosecutions of offshore banks may turn tide against secrecy BROOKLYN: On a cold winter’s day in the storied borough of Brooklyn, a car rolled to a stop at an appointed time on an appointed street. An attentive adult sent out a scurrying 5year-old child to hand over a brown paper bag. Inside that bag was about $150,000 in cash. The person receiving the cash was known only as Client 2, who got a transfer from Client 1. Both were apparently unknown to each other. Their clandestine transaction was arranged by Josef Beck, according to a federal indictment. The US accused the Swiss adviser of working closely with Swiss banks to help Americans access their undeclared money. It sounds like the stuff of a Hollywood movie, but it’s just one of many eye-popping tales buried in thousands of pages of court documents reviewed by McClatchy and used in the prosecution of Wegelin & Co, Switzerland’s oldest bank, the origins of which date to 1741. Wegelin officials pleaded guilty in January to helping Americans shelter taxable income in Switzerland, and sentencing was March 4. It marked a major victory for Preet Bharara, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York. Wegelin was ordered to pay about $58 million on top of $16.3 million in forfeitures already obtained by US authorities. From clandestine meetings to phony foundations described in federal indictments, the secret world of offshore banking and the lengths to which Americans have gone to avoid taxes point to the complexities Congress will confront as it embarks on comprehensive tax restructuring. Fully 45 percent of Americans who have taken advantage of the IRS’s tax amnesty program held accounts in Switzerland. The issue of offshore bank accounts has trailed politicians in recent years. A $3 million declared Swiss account and a number of holdings in the Cayman Islands dogged the campaign of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney last year. Missouri Democratic Sen Claire McCaskill wrestled with criticism on the campaign trail that her husband, Joseph Shepard, maintained an offshore tax haven in Bermuda. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew faced tough confirmation-hearing questions over an investment in an offshore fund. What makes the Wegelin prosecution intriguing is the voluminous court documentation describing how the Swiss bank aggressively courted American account holders at rival Swiss giant UBS, which eventually reached a settlement with US prosecutors: There’s Client Q, a California man who sent his son to Switzerland to move $7.1 million into Wegelin and not report it to US tax authorities. There was Client A, a naturalized US citizen in Boca Raton, Fla., who on instructions from Wegelin communicated about the offshore account only during trips to the Caribbean island of Aruba, where she and her husband could access the $2.3 million they had stashed in Switzerland. Aruba markets itself to tourists as “One Happy Island.” In 2005, Wegelin held about $245 million in undisclosed accounts owned by Americans, according to prosecutors. In charging documents, they said the sum had grown to more than $1.2 billion in 2010 thanks to American depositors who fled UBS during its prosecution and eventual settlement. Coming after the February 2009 deferred prosecution settlement with UBS, the Wegelin prosecution may mark a turn-

ing point. “It’s a significant step forward in the US war against bank secrecy. Really, the concept of hiding accounts in Switzerland is over,” said Bryan Skarlatos, a tax attorney at the New York law firm of Kostelanetz & Fink LLP who works with clients to disclose their offshore financial holdings. A former prosecutor who was involved in the UBS and Wegelin cases said that was mostly true about large banks but not necessarily the 24 government-owned cantonal, or state, banks in Switzerland. “My best guess is that a lot of the behavior has moved to the canton banks,” which are smaller and can avoid detection more easily, said the former prosecutor, who demanded anonymity in order to speak freely. Switzerland has long enjoyed a unique global status, with strict bank secrecy laws that encourage citizens everywhere to skirt paying their taxes at home because tax evasion is a crime in the host countries but not to the Swiss if it didn’t occur in their country. Wegelin’s sentencing left some loose ends. The Swiss bank held 684 accounts that belonged to American citizens, 245 of whom took advantage of an Internal Revenue Service voluntary disclosure program and paid back taxes with interest totaling more than $13 million, according to court filings. That leaves 439 accounts belonging to Americans who, as of March, hadn’t claimed ownership and who prosecutors aver owe more than $23 million in back taxes. A federal judge in January allowed prosecutors to have the IRS issue a summons in order to require UBS to produce information about US taxpayers with accounts that transferred to Wegelin and other Swiss banks. “This summons is the latest step in our efforts to identify and prosecute US taxpayers who think they can evade their legal responsibility to pay taxes by secreting their money away in anonymous offshore accounts at Wegelin and other banks,” Bharara said in a January statement. The Justice Department issued a similar “John Doe” summons April 30 that allows the IRS to seek records about US offshore accounts that were transacted through a special account at Wells Fargo, used by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce FirstCaribbean International Bank. The former federal prosecutor said that many Americanowned accounts at Wegelin appeared to involve inherited wealth, where parents had established but never declared the accounts that had since passed on to their children. “There was a distinction between some who had passively held accounts there, and others who took affirmative actions” to hide funds, said the former prosecutor. It still leads to questions: Who are these Americans hiding money abroad? Are some involved in organized crime? Do they have links to US politics? Bharara’s office won’t comment. The Wegelin charging documents refer to dozens of unidentified co-conspirators “not named as a defendant herein.” Those names have never made public, yet there’s no explanation of why they’re not being prosecuted. They’re not listed as cooperating witnesses. McClatchy asked the same questions of the IRS. Spokesman Dean Patterson declined to discuss how many participants have been in the IRS voluntary disclosure program or how many belatedly declare holdings from Swiss bank accounts versus offshore holdings elsewhere.—MCT

SAULAWA: Down a winding dirt track in this sleepy village in northern Nigeria lies a corn farm which looks much like the dozens that surround it. The difference is, this one is turning a profit. “I can barely lift my 8-year-old. He’s the fattest in the village,” said Ibrahim Mustapha, 50, drawing laughter from his fellow farmers as he pretends to lift up his chubby son. The Babban Gona or “Great Farm” project, in northern Kaduna state, is one of a handful where private investment is helping former subsistence farmers like Mustapha make profits for themselves and the companies backing them. When President Goodluck Jonathan was elected two years ago, he pledged reforms that would transform the lives of tens of millions of farmers who live on less than $2 a day despite occupying some of Africa’s most fertile land. Oil remains the main source of foreign currency and state revenues, but agriculture is by far the biggest contributor to GDP, making up 40 percent of Africa’s second largest economy. With 170 million mouths to feed and a growing food import bill thanks to the disarray in the farming sector, agriculture ministry officials say there’s no time to lose. If productivity does not improve Nigeria could face a food crisis within a decade, its current account surplus would be wiped out and the credit worthiness of Africa’s second biggest debt issuer would be under threat. “If we did nothing, it would be a disaster,” Agriculture Minister Akinwumi Adesina told Reuters in the capital. “We don’t eat oil, we don’t drink it ... We cannot sustain the amount of money we use to import food,” Adesina said, a Nigerian flag hanging behind his office chair. In some cases, the imports substitute for things Nigerians are growing but can’t get to market or lack the means to process. The country is the second largest grower of citrus fruit in the world after China and yet it spends $200 million a year on imported fruit juice while its own produce rots, Adesina said. It also produces 1.5 million tons of tomatoes annually of which 45 percent perish, while consumers spend $360 million on tomato paste imported from countries such as Italy and China. CURING DUTCH DISEASE To succeed, Adesina’s reforms will need to reverse the inadvertent damage done to the sector by Africa’s earliest and biggest oil and gas boom, which crowded out other commodities. In the 1960s, Nigeria was the biggest exporter of peanuts in the world and had 27 percent of the palm oil trade. It remains one of the world’s top cocoa growers, but production and bean quality have declined since their heyday in the 1970s. While an elite allied to a series of military dictatorships grew rich on the spoils of the energy sector, millions of mostly subsistence farmers were given little or no help at all. The result: Nigeria is now the world’s second largest importer of rice and the biggest buyer of US wheat, while much of its own fertile land lies fallow. A booming population has sent its food import bill rocketing to around $11 billion a year - equivalent to more than a third of the federal budget.Agriculture also offers the best chance to cut unemployment, which feeds an Islamist insurgency in the north and oil theft in the south. Unemployment is 23 percent and youth unemployment double that, national statistics suggest. “Poverty is the source of a lot of the insecurity problems we have. A hungry man is an angry man,” Adesina said. The minister plans to create 3.5 million new jobs in agriculture and boost food production by 20 million tons by 2015, the year of the next national election. To achieve this, he wants to boost access to microfinance for farmers and draw in $10 billion of foreign investment into farming and food processing. He has received tentative praise for early successes from foreign diplomats, bankers and aid agencies, but big agro-business projects have yet to take off. Adesina took a corrupt fertilizer subsidy out of

politicians’ hands and now farmers are texted subsidy vouchers directly to their mobile phones so they can recoup from fertilizer sellers, a policy used in Kenya’s farming reforms. Seventy percent of farmers now receive subsidized fertilizer and seeds, compared with 11 percent under the corrupt program previously run by state governments, Adesina said. LONG ROAD AHEAD Production of rice, cassava, wheat, sorghum, and corn are rising and cocoa, Nigeria’s most important export crop, looks set to go up by more than a third this season. In 2012, agriculture exports rose by 128 billion naira ($788 mln) and food imports fell by 850 billion, Adesina says. Foreign investors such as food giant Cargill, seed company Syngenta, brewer SABMiller and Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote are planning to build everything from fertilizer plants to food processing factories. Yet rice imports still soak up $7 million a day, while poor infrastructure and policy flipflopping have in the past seen farming potential wasted. Farmers needs infrastructure to get goods to market-and rural Nigeria’s is as woeful as it gets. Nigerian billionaire Dangote has pledged to spend $35 million on a tomato paste plant in the northern city of Kano and $45 million in Cross River state to process pineapple juice. Adesina says he has received $8 billion in commitments but such promises are often not kept in Nigeria. Cargill and SABMiller told Reuters they are only “considering” investing. “I would estimate that no more than one dollar of investment actually occurs for every $100 of announced commitments,” said Fola Fagbule, an Africa-focused investment banker in Lagos. A central bank initiative has issued guarantees on around 25 billion naira of agriculture loans since it began in July last year, lifting lending to the sector to around 4 percent of total loans, from 1.5 percent at end2009, the bank says. The World Bank is putting in $100 million into agriculture, while British and US aid projects pump in tens of millions. This barely scratches the $10 billion Adesina says the sector needs by 2015. Smallholders say banks still don’t lend to them, while the scheme doles out cheap money to big firms. “We’ve heard it all before and I have never seen it get better,” says Alhaji, a farmer wrestling with two scrawny long-horned cows dragging a rusty plough through a field. “I have 15 children and ... we barely get enough food to feed ourselves,” he said. BEARING FRUIT? A few success stories nonetheless give cause for optimism. Farmer Mustapha says he made $1,350 per hectare from his harvest after paying back private firm Doreo Partners, which runs the Babban Gona project, compared to previous years where he might earn $200 per hectare. “Now I want to grow my farm, I have so much space I never used. Now I will send my children to school,” he said, while behind him mostly unused farmland stretched to the horizon. Doreo is working with 600 farmers. It has ambitious plans to boost this to 500,000 by 2020, and 5 million by 2030. “I know it sounds ambitious but it’s been done elsewhere and Nigeria has so much easy-to-reach potential,” said Kola Masha, the company’s head. Masha is attempting to emulate giant food cooperatives like CHS in the US or India’s dairy franchise Amul, who make huge profits while helping millions of smallholder farmers. He gives farmers high-quality fertilizer, seeds, equipment and expertise on credit to massively increase their yields, while negotiating with firms like Nestle to buy the produce at higher prices than the farmers could get themselves. Farmers working with Masha, he said, are using 40 times more fertilizer than neighbors who could never afford that amount. “It’s early days but I’m more optimistic than I’ve ever been,” he said.— Reuters

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013


Nokia Asha 501 smartphone launched in Kuwait KUWAIT: Nokia yesterday announced that the Nokia Asha 501, the first of a new generation of smartphones to run on the new Asha Platform, is available for purchase in Kuwait. The Nokia Asha 501 features distinctively Nokia design, a faster and more intuitive user interface and smarter Internet experiences - all at an affordable price. “The new Nokia Asha 501 helps people quickly access everything they love with just a simple swipe,” said Tom Farrell, VP of Nokia Middle East. “Coupled with beautiful design, it’s a smartphone with both style and substance, offered at a great price.” The Nokia Asha 501 retails for KWD 25.5/- and is available at various retailers in Kuwait. Standout colour and design. The Nokia Asha 501 is available in a choice of five striking colours: cyan, bright red, yellow, black and white. Its

seamless design comes in just two parts: a durable, removable “shell” and the scratch-resistant, tempered glass display. The compact, easyto-use Nokia Asha 501 weighs only 98 grams, for the ultimate in portability. FAST, INTUITIVE USER INTERFACE The Nokia Asha 501 works with just a simple swipe. Swipe unlocks the phone, closes apps and is used to shift between two screens: ‘Home’ and ‘Fastlane’. Home makes full use of the three-inch capacitive touchscreen, displaying a traditional application launcher. Fastlane is the second screen that adapts to display recent activity on the phone as well as upcoming events, helping people multi-task. Fastlane also supports social integration with Facebook and Twitter, by allowing

people to post directly from within Fastlane. INSTANT ACCESS TO APPS The new Asha comes with the Nokia Xpress Browser pre-loaded, which compresses Internet data by up to 90%, making mobile browsing faster and more affordable. People can enjoy a world of entertainment on the Nokia Asha 501, including pre-installed social apps like Facebook and Twitter; chat services like Line, Nimbuzz and WeChat; as well as up to 40 free EA games available to download, such as Plants vs. Zombies. Even more free apps and games are available from Nokia Store, including HERE Maps1 and the new Nokia Xpress Now content discovery web app. Device images are available at

Iran’s central bank eliminates subsidized, cheaper dollar rate Rial under pressure from sanctions DUBAI: Iran’s central bank has eliminated a subsidized, cheaper rate for foreign currency and reported a weaker official rate in its place, according to Iranian media and the central bank’s website yesterday. The Iranian rial has lost much of its value in the last two years, under pressure from international sanctions over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program that have limited the country’s oil sales, cut its access to the global banking system, and made it more difficult for it to earn foreign exchange. Yesterday, the central bank on its website listed the price of a dollar at 24,779 rials. Iran’s Mehr and ISNA news agencies said that rate would replace the previous official “reference” rate of

12,260 rials to the dollar. There was no statement from the central bank yesterday explaining the change. The new rate is still far stronger than the value of the rial in Iran’s unofficial market of small currency traders, where most Iranians can access hard currency. The rial was trading for about 33,000 to the dollar in the open market yesterday, currencytracking websites said, less than half of its value in 2011. Since January 2012, the Iranian government had maintained a subsidized rate of 12,260 rials to the dollar, meant to be used for importing the most vital goods such as food and medicine. But critics of outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Parliament have accused his

CFC announces its Ramadan timings KUWAIT: Commercial Facilities Company (CFC) announced yesterday its working hours during the holy month of Ramadan where CFC branches will be open from 10:00 am to 3.30 pm, Sundays to Thursdays to receive clients’ applications, facilitate

Nasser Ali Al Mannai

their transactions and installments while providing premium services. Nasser Ali Al Mannai, Assistant Managing Director Marketing, CFC, said, “We would like to express our warmest wishes during Ramadan to our clients, local residents of Kuwait and expats. We welcome our clients to our head office in Sharq, in addition to our other branches in Hawally, Fahaheel, and Jahra.” “Clients can also reach CFC through its representative offices available at 21 car showrooms and agencies across Kuwait as per their morning and evening shifts as means to foster our communication channels with them.” Customers can submit applications very easily at any of the company’s branches across Kuwait and through sales employees who are available in all car agencies and suppliers. In addition they can also pay monthly installments, enquire about their account balance and next installment due date through the company’s website and through smart devices which are compatible with systems “App Store” and “Google Play that are secure and flexible hence saving time.

government of misusing the cheap dollars, including by allocating them for the illegal import of luxury cars. And health officials have accused the government of failing to provide billions of cheap dollars earmarked for medicine imports, driving up their cost at home. Iranian media said the newly announced rate means the government now recognizes only one official rate for the rial. At times in the last year, the government had recognized multiple rates in a tiered system designed to provide dollars at prices depending on what class of imports they were being used to purchase, with basic goods prioritized over what were considered luxury items. —Reuters

Nissan publishes its sustainability report DUBAI: Nissan Motor Co Ltd has issued its Sustainability Report 2013. The report is available for download at the company’s website. Nissan offers increased CSR detail in the Sustainability Report 2013, mainly in the environmental field, providing greater corporate transparency. The report includes the Nissan CSR Scorecard, which tracks the progress made on annual CSR objectives. It also outlines the achievements that were attained during fiscal year 2012. Nissan’s CSR efforts are described based on eight sustainability strategies. The first page of each strategy shows the company’s approach, priorities, and key figures. Nissan President and CEO, Carlos Ghosn said: “As one of the world’s leading automakers, Nissan has a responsibility to help build a sustainable society. We take this responsibility seriously. Enriching People’s Lives is not just our corporate vision, it’s an important part of our culture and daily business activities. Whether we’re taking steps to conserve resources, enhance safety and fuel-efficiency or expand our philanthropic investments, we are working to create economic value and making a positive, lasting impact in every market we serve.”

VIVA announces winners of ‘Win a car every week’ KUWAIT: VIVA, Kuwait’s fastest-growing telecom operator, yesterday announced the winners of the ‘Win a car every week’ campaign. The lucky draw winners were Mohammad Shameem Kham, Omar Kuya, Bandar Mubarak and Shahina Sheikh Mahboub and Mohammad Ali Rasool who each won a Camaro V6 2013 and Divabalan Malayandi, Othman Mohammad Al Qabandi, Abdullah Naser and Mubarak Al Mutairi and Naser Ahmad Al-Balat who each won KD 10,000. The winners drawn on 3rd of June had until 3rd of July 2013 to claim their prize, winners drawn on 10th June 2013 will have until 10th July 2013 to claim their prize, winners drawn on 17th June 2013 will have until 17th July 2013 and winners drawn on 24th June 2013 will have until 24th July 2013 to claim their prize, otherwise the prize will be given to the alternate winner. VIVA congratulated the lucky winners and invited its customers to participate in the longest on-going campaign of its kind. With the continuous success this campaign is witnessing, VIVA is keen to further engage its customers and therefore; developed further means to facilitate the process of entering the draw, where the next draw prize will be one car, a Cadillac CTS 2013. Entering the draw can be done through one of the following options. The first option is to subscribe with 500 Fils per day giving customers infinite minutes and SMS to any VIVA line. This option entitles the customer to one chance to enter the draw each week. The second option is to subscribe to the BlackBerry KD3.9 service, which gives customers full and unlimited BlackBerry Services. This option provides customers with 7 automatic chances to enter the draw

each week. The third option is to purchase the KD 2 prepaid line. Upon activating the line, customers should simply send ‘GO’ to 535, and will be presented with four chances to enter the draw each week. The fourth option is to recharge for 500 Fils or more, and this entitles the customer to one chance to enter the draw for every 500 Fils. In addition, customers can also enter the draw by subscribing to the 500 fils local bundle which presents customers with 60 local minutes per day. This can be done by sending ‘3’ to ‘232’, and entitles the customer to one chance, or by subscribing to the 500 fils international SMS bundle, which presents customers with 100 international SMS to any country for the duration of seven days. This also entitles the customer to one chance. Last but not least, customers who choose to enjoy the prepaid internet service will receive either one chance upon subscribing to the 500 fils ‘Surf On’ service, which offers 500 MB for a day, or two chances upon subscribing to the 1KD ‘Surf On’ service, which offers 500 MB for five days, automatically upon activation. Customers can also subscribe to more than one of the eight options, increasing their chances each week to win the valuable prizes. In the case a customer does not win, the points will be accumulated and carried on to the next draw. Prepaid customers interested in the full, unlimited, local KD3.9 BlackBerry offer, can send an SMS with the number ‘2’ to ‘535’. For the full menu of the prepaid offers, send an SMS with the word “GO” to number ‘535’. To find out more about VIVA’s numerous competitive promotions, products and packages visit any of the 14 VIVA branches or visit our website at

Technology improves, but ‘smart’ cities still a hard sell DALLAS: On the flat-screen monitor on the wall, a simulated college campus operates in seamless efficiency. Sensors pick up minor changes in temperature or humidity that could signal an air-conditioning unit malfunctioning. Motion sensors act as power switches. Building managers use their iPads to see if the lights were mistakenly left on in a lecture hall. Once the realm of science fiction, automated computer systems controlling buildings and even whole cities are coming on the marketplace, offering efficiencies in everything from electricity to traffic flow. Touring through his company’s sales expo in Dallas recently, Jim Sandelin, a senior vice president with French energy conglomerate Schneider Electric, said the only problem is selling it. “The adoption is slower than we would like,” Sandelin said. “The technology is there. The platform and the analytics, which tell you how the building and the equipment is performing, it’s really come on in the last three to four years, and it gets better and better all the time.” Soaring computing and data processing capabilities now make possible “smart cities,” where office buildings, arenas, highways and apartment blocks are run through integrated computer networks that can track and reduce power use. And while some companies and government agencies are embracing advances offered by contractors such as Schneider and German engineering giant Siemens Industry, the majority of building owners remain reluctant to invest in the technology, experts say. In high-rent areas, it might take an energy-efficient building to attract corporate tenants with an eye on an environmentally friendly image, said John Dawson, regional director of engineering with Lincoln Property, which manages office buildings around the Dallas-Fort Worth area. But many buildings operate on decades-old equipment, he said. “A lot of investors don’t want to hear it. They don’t want to spend the money,” Dawson said. “They figure the electric’s passthrough, so why should they pay for it?” In Dallas, where local governments’ annual electricity bills run in the tens of millions of dollars, politicians have steadily upgraded buildings through a loan guarantee program paid for by reductions in electricity bills - if the upgrades don’t produce a 30 percent savings, the system provider pays. Courthouses, the Dallas Museum of Art, City Hall, parking garages and dozens of other structures have been upgraded in the past decade with modern climate-control systems, motioncontrolled lighting and automated thermostats.

Dallas County is projecting that combined with a new, cheaper electricity contract, it will cut a $15 million-a-year electricity bill almost in half in the next two years. One facility’s rooftop cooling system was so inefficient that maintenance workers had to spray it down with a hose to keep it from overheating. “It’s our own little mini-stimulus,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said. “The only complaints I’ve gotten are from particularly lethargic elected officials who say if they don’t move for 15 minutes, the lights go out.” American cities have been slow to adopt the efficiencies, said Steven Moore, an architecture and planning professor at the University of Texas-Austin.

In many European countries, energy efficiencies are required by law, something US politicians have been reluctant to do, Moore said. With so many of US office buildings constructed in the 1950s and ‘60s, even ardent supporters admit the work to bring them up to modern standards will be costly. “There are always early adopters. But by and large, most people are resistant to change (that) they don’t see benefits them immediately,” Moore said. “Change is coming, and there will be increasing incentives to get institutions and governments to adopt.” For those that do sign on, the realization quickly hits that keeping a building energy-efficient is not a one-time fix. As cooling systems and other equipment

ages, the building begins to bleed energy and electricity bills creep back up. Ten years after Dallas City Hall was overhauled for almost $10 million, city politicians are considering a $5 million upgrade to take advantage of new technology. “If they pay back within five to seven years, that’s our threshold,” said Jesse Dillard, energy manager for the city of Dallas. Sandelin, the Schneider Electric executive, admits that committing to keeping a building energy-efficient is like hopping on a hamster wheel - forever replacing aging equipment and chasing new technology. “But what’s the other choice?” he asked. “One thing is certain: Energy is not going to get any cheaper.”—Agencies

DALLAS: Contractor Danny Moran, pictured in the boiler room at the George Allen Court Building in Dallas, Texas. According to Moran the new energy system will save $900,000 per year in energy costs. ‘It’s like going to DVDs from VCRs,’ Moran said. —MCT

Gulf Bank Al Danah winners announced KUWAIT: Gulf Bank held its Al Danah daily draws on June 30 2013, announcing the names of its winners for the week of June 23th to June 27th. The Al Danah daily draws include draws each working day for two prizes of KD1000 per winner. The winners were: (Sunday23/6): Sadat Allah Yad Allah lqterafi, Bader Mohammed Ibrahim Al-Muhareb; (Monday 24/6): Esam A S A Al-Sariei, Jameela Ali Faraj Bahzadi; (Tuesday 25/6): Rabab Sayed Al-Mousawi, Abdulrahman Fawaz Ali Baqer; (Wednesday 26/6): Maher Abdullatif Khalil Bin Naji, Yousef Mohammed Abdulla Al-Ameer; (Thursday 27/6): Fahad Fhaid Fahad Al-Dosari, Salim Mohammad Najem Mohsen. Gulf Bank’s Al Danah 2013 draw lineup includes daily draws (2 winners per working day each receive KD1000), as well as three draw prizes per quarter. Al Danah’s 3rd Quarterly draw will be held on - 26 September (KD500,000, KD125,000, and KD25,000) and the final draw held on 9 January, 2014 announcing winners of KD50,000, KD250,000 and the Al Danah Millionaire. Gulf Bank’s Al Danah allows customers to win cash prizes and simultaneously encourages them to save money. Chances increase the more money is deposited and the longer it is kept in the account. Al Danah also offers a number of unique services including the Al Danah Deposit Only ATM card which helps account holders deposit their money at their convenience; as well as the Al Danah calculator to help customers calculate their chances of becoming an Al Danah winner. To be part of the Al Danah draws, customers can visit one of Gulf Bank’s 56 branches, transfer on line, or call the Customer Contact Center on 1805805 for assistance and guidance. Customers can also log on to, to find out more about Al Danah and who the winners are.

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013


Five new features that could be on your next car

TOKYO: Honda Motor Co.’s interactive robot Asimo talks with visitors at a demonstration event in Tokyo. The walking, talking interactive robot ran into glitches in its new job as a museum guide in Tokyo. —AP

Honda’s robot museum guide runs into glitches TOKYO: Honda Motor Co.’s walking, talking interactive robot is running into glitches in its new job as a museum guide in Tokyo. The bubble-headed Asimo machine had problems telling the difference between people raising their hands to ask questions and those aiming their smartphones to take photos at the Miraikan science museum. It froze mid-action and repeated a programmed remark, “Who wants to ask Asimo a question?” The robot guide, shown to reporters on Wednesday, is connected by wireless to six sensors in the ceiling to discern where a crowd is gathering. It has no voice recognition and responds to written questions selected from a touch-panel device, meaning that interacting with Asimo was even less natural, or entertaining, than the typical deadend conversation with a smartphone. Honda’s robotics technology, although among the most advanced for mobility, has come under fire as lacking practical applications and being little more than an expensive toy. Asimo was too sensitive to go into radiated areas after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, and Honda had to do new work to develop robotic arms that could be used in reactors. Satoshi Shigemi, who oversees Honda’s robotics technology, acknowledged that more work was needed. He said the goal is to have Asimo recognize who is talking to it, such as an adult versus a child, and respond accordingly. It has a long way to go. “Right now, it can recognize a child waving to it, but it’s not able to compre-

hend the meaning of the waving,” he told reporters. A possible future use for Asimo would be to help people buy tickets from vending machines at train stations, Shigemi said, speeding up the process for any humans unfamiliar with the process. “The tasks that any child can perform, such as language interpretation, are among the most challenging for a computerized agent, whether robotic or not,” said Ingrid Zukerman, professor of information technology at Australia’s Monash University. The effort is complex, including making out speech and then connecting it with knowledge to make out meanings, and so the state-of-the-art language interpretation is still limited to specific requests such as bus schedules and airline bookings, Zukerman said. In a demonstration, the robot walked around and gesticulated while it answered a question about its own features while projecting diagrams on a big screen. Honda said it was programmed to reply to about 100 questions. Four were chosen randomly and popped up on the touch panels for the audience to choose. Honda’s humanoid prototype was first shown in 1996, and it has grown smaller and nimbler over the years. In previous demonstrations, Asimo has shown it can run, hop on one foot and kick a soccer ball. It has fingers with joints and can open a thermos lid and pour a drink. It has image sensors and can make its way through objects in a room. —AP

Morningstar: Client credit card data may be leaked NEW YORK: Morningstar Inc. says it discovered an illegal intrusion into its systems that may have compromised some of its clients’ personal information, including email addresses, passwords, and credit card numbers. The Investment research provider said the breach took place around April 3. The intrusion affected about 2,300 users whose credit card information was stored in the Morningstar Document Research system, formerly known as 10-K Wizard. An additional 182,000 clients who had email addresses and user-generated passwords in the system may have been affected, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Morningstar said it shut down old servers and moved data to a more secure system earlier this year in a move unrelated

to the incident. It maintains it has taken additional steps to prevent unauthorized access to its systems to protect client information. The company said it is also working with law enforcement officials and credit card companies, as well as investigating the incident on its own. Morningstar sent notices to clients and reset their passwords. It is offering 12 months of free identity protection to clients whose credit cards may have been compromised. “At this point, we don’t have any evidence to suggest that any of the information that was compromised has been misused,” the company said in the filing. It doesn’t believe any other Morningstar products were affected. Shares of Morningstar Inc. closed Friday unchanged at $78.07. —AP

EU threatens to suspend data-sharing with US BRUSSELS: The European Union is threatening to suspend two agreements granting the United States access to European financial and travel data unless Washington shows it is respecting EU rules on data privacy, EU officials said on Friday. The threat reflects European disquiet about allegations that the United States has engaged in widespread eavesdropping on European Internet users as well as spying on the EU. Cecilia Malmstrom, the EU’s home affairs commissioner, wrote to two senior US officials on Thursday to voice European concerns over implementation of the two agreements, both struck in the wake of the Sept. 11, 21 attacks and regarded by Washington as important tools in the fight against terrorism. “Should we fail to demonstrate the benefits of (the agreements) for our citizens and the fact that they have been implemented in full compliance with the law, their credibility will be seriously affected and in such a case I will be obliged to reconsider (whether) the conditions for their implementation are still met,” Malmstrom said. EU-US relations are going through a “delicate moment”, she wrote in the letter to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and David Cohen, Treasury under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. “Mutual trust and confidence have been seriously eroded and I expect the US to do all that it can to restore them,” she said in the letter, seen by Reuters. Malmstrom is sending a team of officials to Washington next week for previously scheduled reviews of both information-sharing agreements. The Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme ( TFTP) provides the U.S. Treasury with data stored in Europe on

international financial transfers. The Passenger Name Record agreement covers data provided by passengers when booking tickets and checking in for flights. All such information is passed to the US Department of Homeland Security. The United States and the EU need to show that the two data-sharing agreements “continue to bring benefits to our security and that the robust safeguards attached to them are respected to the full. We need complete transparency and a maximum of information on both programmes,” Malmstrom wrote. The European Parliament, some of whose members have long worried that the agreements granted the United States too much access to European data, called on Thursday for the scrapping of both accords unless Washington revealed the extent of its electronic spying operations in Europe. Many of the eavesdropping reports were based on leaks by fugitive former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden. Last month, US officials confirmed the existence of an electronic spying operation codenamed PRISM, which according to Snowden collects data from European and other users of Google , Facebook, Skype and other US companies. In a separate leak, the United States was accused of eavesdropping on EU offices and officials. France initially urged the EU to delay talks on an ambitious trade pact with the United States over the alleged spying. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said Europe would begin the trade talks on Monday as planned but would set up EU-US working groups to examine the scope of US intelligence-gathering. —Reuters

DETROIT: Cameras that check around the car for pedestrians. Radar that stops you from drifting out of your lane. An engine able to turn off automatically at traffic lights to conserve fuel. Technology that saves lives - and fuel - is getting better and cheaper. That means it’s no longer confined to luxury brands like Mercedes and Volvo. It’s showing up in mainstream vehicles like the Nissan Rogue and Ford Fusion. “What we see today as slightly elitist technology is changing very, very fast,” said Steven Lunn, chief operating officer for TRW Automotive, which supplies electronics and other parts to carmakers. TRW says its newest radar is a quarter of the price of the model it sold 10 years ago. Its cameras are smaller and cheaper, too, making it easier to put multiple ones on each car. High-tech options can still cost a few thousand dollars more, but those costs will come down as technology improves and automakers add them to more and more vehicles. Here are some up-and-coming features that drivers can expect on their next cars: COLLISION WARNING WITH AUTOMATIC BRAKING New cars have radar and camera systems that warn you, with beeping sounds, of a possible front-end crash. Some even stop the vehicle, or at least slow it enough to make a crash less severe. More sophisticated systems apply the brakes if a car veers off the road and heads toward a moving or fixed object. The systems are the outgrowth of adaptive cruise control, which came out 15 years ago and helps keep cars a safe distance from vehicles in front of them. Mercedes, Honda, Toyota, Infiniti, Volvo and other brands offer automatic braking to avoid a collision; more automakers will follow soon. The systems seem to be working. David Zuby, the chief research officer at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said collision warning systems alone reduced crashes by 7 percent in a study of insurance claims for several thousand Mercedes vehicles with the technologies. Adding automatic braking doubled that benefit. ADVANCED CAMERAS Automotive cameras are showing up on more cars ahead of a government requirement to install backup cameras, which is expected by 2015. But with cameras getting smaller and cheaper, automakers aren’t just putting them on the back of the car anymore. Honda has side cameras that come on automatically when a turn signal is employed, so drivers can spot obstacles while turning. Nissan’s around-view monitor blends images from four cameras tucked in the mirrors and elsewhere around the car into a composite, bird’s-eye view to help the driver back out of a parking spot. The system is available on a high-end Rogue, which costs $6,000 more than the base model. Volvo and Subaru have front-mounted cameras that can apply brakes to avoid hitting pedestrians. According to Mobileye, an Israeli maker of automotive cameras, car companies are adding

cameras that can read wrong-way road signs, detect large animals such as deer, and even note the colors of traffic lights. All that technology is coming by 2015. The next wave? Nissan and TRW are working on a system to automatically steer the car away from an obstacle. Expect that by 2016. LANE CENTERING A camera can follow the road and gently nudge a car - using the brakes - to stay in the center of a lane. These systems - dubbed Lane Keep Assist - are available on most MercedesBenz vehicles as well as the Ford Fusion, Ford Explorer, Toyota Prius, Lexus GS and Lincoln MKZ. They aren’t cheap. A combined lane-keeping and lane-centering system is a $1,200 option on the Fusion SE. Prius owners must spend $4,320 to get the system, packaged with cruise control and an entertainment system. Lane-centering is an outgrowth of lane-keeping systems, which first appeared on commercial trucks a decade ago. Those systems - now offered by Honda, Buick, Cadillac, Nissan and other brands sound a beep or vibrate the driver’s seat if a camera senses that a car is swerving out of its lane. ADAPTIVE HEADLIGHTS Headlights don’t have to be round any more to accommodate bulbs, so designers have more flexibility on where to put lights. And LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, are letting automakers cram more brightness into smaller spaces. Audi, Mercedes, Acura, Mazda and others have socalled adaptive headlights that swivel in the direction the car is going to help drivers see

around corners as they turn. And many cars now have high-beam lights that sense oncoming traffic and dim automatically. The Ford Fusion and other mainstream cars have them, and drivers can buy after-market kits to add automatic high beams to cars without them. STOP-START By 2025, new cars and trucks sold in the U.S. will have to average 54.5 miles per gallon (4.3 liters per 100 kilometers) of gasoline, up from the current 30.8 mpg (7.6 liters). One feature will almost be a must-have: A “stop-start” device that shuts off the engine at a stop light and automatically turns it on when the driver releases the brake. Alex Molinaroli, a vice president with Johnson Controls Inc., which makes batteries that power the systems, estimates they raise gas mileage by a minimum of 5 percent. Stop-start first surfaced in Europe, where gas prices are far higher. Now, nearly all gas-electric hybrid vehicles have it, as do some cars and trucks with conventional engines. The BMW 3Series has a simple system, helping the fourcylinder version with an automatic transmission get 28 miles per gallon (8.4 liters per 100 kilometers) in combined city and highway driving. A high-mileage version of Chrysler’s Ram pickup also has it, boosting combined mileage by 1 mpg to 21 (11.2 liters per 100 kms). Currently, 5 percent of new US cars have the systems as standard or optional equipment, up from just 0.5 percent two years ago, according to the automotive website. Johnson Controls predicts that to rise to 40 to 45 percent by 2016. —AP

DETROIT: This photo provided by TRW Automotive shows a radar and camera systems that warn you, with beeping sounds, of a possible front-end crash is highlighted. The systems are the outgrowth of adaptive cruise control, which came out 15 years ago and helps keep cars a safe distance from vehicles in front of them. —AP

When we’re all connected, online privacy is tough to achieve CALIFORNIA: Services that offer secure Web browsing and search have been enjoying a surge in popularity since the revelations about National Security Agency monitoring of domestic phone calls, email and Internet activity. “We always knew people didn’t want to be tracked, but they didn’t know what to do about it,” said Gabriel Weinberg, founder of the Pennsylvania-based DuckDuckGo, which allows users to search the Internet anonymously. “Now there are private alternatives you can switch to and never look back.” But how secure can we really be in an age of social networking, e-commerce and the cloud? We now store our documents and photos in the cloud, where a determined hacker might find them. Federal authorities armed with a search warrant can read our texts in real time, as Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam learned when he was charged with insider trading. And we spill out our lives on Facebook and our opinions on Twitter. Experts say that while sites offering online anonymity can conceal part of your Internet activity from prying eyes, they can’t hide all of it. Even when you use a secure Web searcher, by clicking on one of the links it displays, you leave privacy behind, and your information is visible to whatever Web page you land on. “There are limits to what they can do,” said Seth Schoen, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s senior staff technologist. Jeff Chester, executive director

for the Center for Digital Democracy, says most Americans “have already sacrificed their privacy” by shopping, signing up for discounts and engaging in other online activities that people take for granted. That makes it easier for the government to spy on us, Chester said, if that’s what it wants to do. Still, there are many ways to increase your online privacy. You can tinker with the privacy settings on your browser; add encryption and ad-blocking extensions to it, and search anonymously with several search engines. You can encrypt emails and mobile phone calls and the data you store in the cloud. For browsing, for example, Chrome’s “incognito mode” doesn’t save a history of where you have been, and deletes cookies after you’re done with a Web page. Firefox and Internet Explorer have similar settings. A browser extension called HTTPS Everywhere defaults to the encrypted version of a Web page if it’s available. The Tor Project is considered by some to be the ultimate in protecting your identity on the Internet. The project provides a free bundle of software, including a special browser, that it says prevents the tracking of the source and destination of your Internet activity, which could be used to track your behavior and interests. Tor routes your activity through three randomly selected computers around the globe out of a total of more than 3,200 staffed by volunteers. HTTPS Everywhere is built into the browser. For searching, DuckDuckGo provides anonymous Web searches and Blekko has its

SEOUL: Visitors tour a Samsung Electronics’ showroom at its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. Even after setting a record high profit, Samsung Electronics disappointed investors who increasingly doubt its mainstay smartphone business can maintain rapid growth. —AP

own proprietary “spam-free” search engine so it doesn’t send your queries to other search engines, as many “anonymizing” platforms do. The Netherlands-based Surfboard Holding’s Ixquick and Startpage let you continue to Web pages via a proxy server, which substitutes its address for yours, masking your identity. But Jeremiah Grossman of WhiteHat Security says “proxies and Tor are the way to go” but warns “the value provided by proxies is completed voided when using sites like Gmail and Facebook when you voluntarily hand over your data _ something that pretty much everyone does.” If you’re worried about government snooping, the Dutch company that makes Ixquick and Startpage is beyond reach of a US court subpoena and doesn’t save your data anyway. “It’s a lot harder to force a Netherlandsbased company to cooperate with programs like PRISM than it would be with a US-based company,” said Ixquick CEO Robert Beens. For phone calls and emails, PGP by Symantec and the free GPG offer public key encryption for email and data, while RedPhone and TextSecure by Whisper Systems encrypt your mobile Android phone and text messages. Both people have to be using the software. For the advertising averse, Adblock Plus lets users filter ads on websites. It claims 40 million users. Yahoo allows visitors to its Web pages to opt out of ads through its Ad Interest Manager. Some search sites filter content, blocking out most advertising. Blekko searches are pretty much free of unwanted clutter. And Yippy is a search engine that blocks malicious and objectionable content and is considering moving to a subscription-based model with no ads. “Advertising is Big Brother,” said CEO Rich Granville. On the other hand, Google likes to remind people that advertising pays for the many services it offers. ONLINE SECURITY TIPS Here are a few ideas for specific situations where you want more privacy than is afforded by your native software and system, courtesy of Seth Schoen, senior staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. 1. You want to keep your browsing private at work: Use a browser made by the Tor Project or a paid VPN (for virtual private network) link, or a personal hotspot. Don’t use an employer-provided or administered computer if company policy allows surreptitious monitoring. 2. You want to avoid government surveillance: Install HTTPS Everywhere on your browser and consider the Tor Browser Bundle. 3. You want your mobile calls to be shielded from eavesdroppers: Install an encrypted VoIP application such as RedPhone or Silent Circle. 4. You want your information in the cloud secure from snooping: Encrypt your data before uploading it. Some services actually require data to be encrypted before it is uploaded: SpiderOak, Wuala and Tarsnap.—MCT

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013

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

Wisconsin Gov signs abortion bill requiring an ultrasound

LAMBARENE: A picture taken on June 17, 2013 in Lambarene, on the bank of the river Ogooue, shows Alain Deloche, grand nephew of German, and later French, doctor Albert Schweitzer (1885-1965) posing in the hospital where Schweitzer worked as a medical doctor at his own expense.—AFP

100 years on thousands still flock to legendary doctor’s Gabon hospital LAMBARENE: Deep in the African rainforest, the small town of Lambarene this weekend marks the arrival 100 years ago of Franco-German medical missionary Albert Schweitzer whose still existing hospital now struggles to survive in spite of its 20,000 patients annually. Born in Alsace, then part of Germany, Schweitzer, a Lutheran, set foot on the mosquito-infested shores of the Ogooue river with his wife in 1913 in what was then one of the most isolated parts of France’s colonial empire. Today patients from all over Gabon are still being treated at the hospital he founded, a few metres (yards) away from the old corrugated structures where he practised for more than 50 years. “I am proud to head this hospital,” Antoine Nziengui told AFP. “We’re among the few people in the world to work in a facility that is at the same time medical and humanitarian and also does research.” Schweitzer, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952, set up his first small hospital in an old corrugated henhouse, formerly owned by a nearby Protestant mission post. Over the years the site developed into a proper hospital village where he worked until his death in 1965. Schweitzer’s belongings, including many letters and German-language bibles but also an organ which he played every day to be fit for fund-raising concerts in Europe,

are kept at his former home, now a museum. His tomb overlooks the river. Gabon has asked the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) to include the site in its World Heritage List, but some wonder what will become of the hospital which has become rundown and is lacking 21st-century equipment. Funds raised by the hospital foundation and Gabon’s annual subsidies of about 1.5 million euros are far from sufficient to run the hospital properly. It does not provide magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and in spite of a high birth rate in the region has only four incubators that according to Doctor Nziengui “do not really work” as they should. “The hospital should be run like a company... We’re treating patients even if they can’t pay,” said Nziengui. “It’s good to have a social sensibility but it comes with a price.” In 2009 a new hospital with state-of-the-art equipment opened on the other side of town, after President Ali Bongo Ondimba pushed for Lambarene to become a major medical centre so that Schweitzer’s legacy “will continue to shine”. By the end of the year authorities also hope to open an international clinical centre that will carry Schweitzer’s name and also do research into tropical diseases.—AFP

China takes aim at prices of milk, medicine BEIJING: China took aim last week at prices of two high-profile necessities - first baby formula, then medicines - as the country’s communist leaders try to contain surging living costs that threaten to inflame political tensions. A probe into possible price-fixing by foreign milk suppliers prompted at least two companies - Nestle SA and FrieslandCampina - to announce a price cut. On Friday, news reports said a Cabinet agency is looking into the cost of drugs made by 60 foreign and domestic suppliers. There was no indication of wrongdoing, but the probe could be a prelude to a cut in government-set caps on prices. The action could help the new Communist Party leadership that took power last year show its solidarity with a public frustrated by skyrocketing costs for housing, education and health care that have outpaced income gains. “Imported infant formula has been so expensive that the government feels it needs to take measures to ensure Chinese children can afford the milk powder that they need,” said Zheng Fengtian, a professor of agribusiness management at Renmin University in Beijing. Inflation is politically dangerous for the unelected communist leadership because it erodes the economic gains that underpin the party’s monopoly on power. The ruling party also has tried to curb soaring housing costs with controls on lending and purchases, but prices are still rising. Both medicines and milk are industries in which scandals over faulty and sometimes deadly products have given foreign and Chinese producers with a reputation for better quality an unusual degree of leverage to charge higher prices. Imported milk formula that can cost up to three times the price of Chinese competitors is popular because of widespread distrust of

domestic dairies following product quality scandals. Chinese authorities did not accuse baby formula suppliers of collusion in setting prices, which can be hard to prove. Instead, the investigation focused on prices they required retailers to charge. In response, Nestle SA announced it would cut infant formula prices in China by an average of 11 percent starting Monday. FrieslandCampina, a Dutch dairy cooperative, said it would reduce prices by 5 percent for all its products in China. Other companies including Danone Dumex, Abbott Laboratories, and Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. said they were cooperating with the investigation but did not immediately respond to questions about whether they would cut prices. The government has more leverage over drug prices because of official controls. Beijing sets price caps for hundreds of drugs and has been able to force reductions in recent years. The Cabinet’s economic planning agency is gathering information on drug costs to support “development of drug price adjustments,” the newspaper China Business News said Friday, citing agency officials. Similar reports appeared in other major newspapers and on the website of Hong Kong-based broadcaster Phoenix Satellite Television. Phone calls to the planning agency were not answered and there was no announcement of the drug probe on the agency’s website. An agency spokesman confirmed the milk formula probe earlier in the week. Last week, police in the central city of Changsha said they detained several employees of British-based drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline to investigate possible unspecified “economic crimes.” The company said it did not know details of the investigation but would cooperate.—AP

UN chief tells US it will combat cholera in Haiti UNITED NATIONS: Secretary-General Ban Kimoon told members of the US Congress Friday that the United Nations is committed to helping Haiti overcome a cholera epidemic even though it is refusing to pay compensation to victims who blame UN peacekeepers for starting the outbreak. Health officials say more than 657,000 people have fallen ill and more than 8,000 people have died from cholera since it was likely introduced to Haiti by UN troops from Nepal in 2010. More than 30,000 people have fallen ill and 440 have died in the neighboring Dominican Republic. Ban was responding to a May 30 letter from US Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, and 18 other Congressional “friends of the people of Haiti” who expressed concern at the U.N.’s rejection of the claims by 5,000 cholera victims and their families. The lawmakers urged the UN to take responsibility for introducing cholera into Haiti and take the lead in funding the Hispaniola Initiative, which requires $2.2 billion for Haiti and $70 million for the Dominican Republic over the next 10 years to improve access to clean water, develop sanitation infrastructure, and address the cholera epidemic. “We are dismayed that the United Nations

has committed only $23.5 million for this initiative,” the members of Congress said. Ban sent separate letters to the 19 lawmakers outlining measures the United Nations has taken and supported, saying it has devoted more than $140 million to cholera treatment and prevention activities since 2010. “These efforts have helped to decrease the rate of new infection by 90 percent since the outbreak began,” he said. “The mortality rate has been brought down to around 1 percent. Still, further progress must be made.” He did not address the issue of responsibility for the epidemic, and he reiterated that the U.N. rejected the compensation claim in February on grounds that the world body has legal immunity from such lawsuits. “I would like to assure you that the legal decision does not in any way diminish my personal commitment, and that of the United Nations, to do all we can to help the people of Haiti overcome the cholera epidemic,” Ban said. “Achieving this goal will not be easy, but it is possible.” The secretary-general agreed with the lawmakers that funding is “far from sufficient” and expressed concern that “the austere fiscal climate” could affect new financial commitments from U.N. member states to combat cholera.—AP

MADISON: Gov. Scott Walker quietly signed a contentious Republican bill Friday that would require women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound and ban doctors who lack admitting privileges at nearby hospitals from performing the procedures. Opponents contend legislators shouldn’t force women to undergo any medical procedure and the bill will force two abortion clinics where providers lack admitting privileges to shut their doors. The law takes effect tomorrow. Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit within hours of the signing alleging the bill is unconstitutional and asking for a temporary restraining order blocking the measure. “What the Legislature has done is to set up a system where the ability to provide abortions is contingent on the decision of a private institution and that’s unconstitutional,” Planned Parenthood’s attorney, Lester Pines, said in an inter view. A spokeswoman for the state Department of Justice, which defends state laws, said agency attorneys would review the lawsuit and respond in court. The bill is part of a broad GOP push to dramatically curtail abortions nationally. North Dakota’s governor, Republican Jack Dalrymple, signed a law this spring that outlaws abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, making North Dakota the most restrictive state in the nation to get an abortion. The state’s lone abortion clinic has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block the law. Republicans in Arkansas this spring passed a law that bans most abortions after 12 weeks. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas and the Center for Reproductive Rights. A federal judge has temporarily blocked that law. A trial has been tentatively scheduled for next year. Alabama passed a law similar to the Wisconsin bill in April requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit contending the law would shut down three clinics because doctors at the clinics haven’t been able to get admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. A federal judge temporarily blocked the law in June. Another federal judge has temporarily blocked Mississippi officials from closing down that state’s only abortion clinic because providers there lack admitting privileges. Under the new Wisconsin law, any woman seeking an abortion would have to get an ultrasound. The technician would have to point out the fetus’ visible organs and external features. Abortion providers would have to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles to perform the procedures. Supporters argue ultrasounds will help the woman bond with the fetus and convince her to save it. The admitting privileges requirement

ensures a woman who suffers an abortion-related complication has an advocate who can explain what happened when she reaches a hospital, they say. Opponents maintain the law authorizes the government to dictate medical procedures. They’ve blasted the admitting privileges as ridiculous, saying an ambulance would take an ailing woman to the nearest hospital regardless of whether the abortion provider has admitting privileges. Walker, a Republican, didn’t sign the bill in public, instead sending out a statement early Friday afternoon saying the bill was now law. “This bill improves a woman’s ability to make an informed choice that will protect her physical and mental health now and in the future,” the statement said. The fight now shifts to court, just as it has in other states. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU allege the admitting privileges will force a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Appleton to close as well as the Affiliated Medical Services abortion clinic in Milwaukee to close. The physicians in both clinics lack local admitting privileges and don’t have time to secure any before the law takes effect, the lawsuit alleges. Hospitals often grant privileges only to physi-

cians who guarantee a minimum number of annual referrals, a requirement the abortion providers can’t meet because abortion problems that require hospitalization are rare, according to the lawsuit. And some hospitals won’t grant admitting privileges to abortion providers out of political, ideological or religious reasons, the lawsuit added. Without a clinic in Appleton northern Wisconsin women will have to travel hundreds of miles to obtain abortions at Planned Parenthood’s remaining clinics in Madison and Milwaukee, the lawsuit said. The case fell to US District Judge William Conley. It was unclear whether he would take any action before tomorrow. Barbara Lyons, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life, praised Walker for following through on promises to sign the bill. She said the law is on solid legal ground, noting eight other states have similar admitting privileges requirements for abortion privileges. “It’s no surprise they’ll be challenging,” she said of Planned Parenthood. “They see their livelihood threatened, their income threatened. We don’t think in the long run they’ll be successful.”—AP

AUSTIN: Women’s rights protesters react in gallery of the House of Representative Chambers as State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker, works on the second reading of Senate Bill 5, the bill she sponsored, during debate on abortion held on the House floor of the State Capitol. —AP

Health insurers fear youngsters feel coverage is waste of money MIAMI: Dan Lopez rarely gets sick and hasn’t been to a doctor in 10 years, so buying health insurance feels like a waste of money. Even after the federal health overhaul takes full effect next year, the 24-year-old said he will probably decide to pay the $100 penalty for those who sk ir t the law ’s requirement that all Americans purchase coverage. “I don’t feel I should pay for something I don’t use,” said the Milwaukee resident, who makes about $48,000 a year working two part-time jobs. Because he makes too much to qualify for government subsidies, Lopez would pay a premium of about $3,000 a year if he chose to buy health insurance. “I shouldn’t be penalized for having good health,” he said. Persuading young, healthy adults such as Lopez to buy insurance under the Affordable Care Act is becoming a major concern for insurance companies as they scramble to comply with the law, which prohibits them from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions and limits what they can charge to older policy holders. Experts warn a lot of these socalled “young invincibles” could opt to pay the fine instead of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars each year on insurance premiums. If enough young adults avoid the new insurance marketplace, it could throw off the entire equilibrium of the Affordable Care Act. Insurers are betting on the business of that group to offset the higher costs they will incur for older, sicker beneficiaries. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that about six million people of various ages will pay the tax penalty for not having insurance in 2014, the first year the law championed by President Barack Obama will be fully implemented. It’s hard to estimate how many of those will be the young and healthy adults insurers are trying to reach, but that subgroup makes up a very small portion of the overall market. Even though it’s small, experts say it could be enough to throw the system’s financing off-kilter. About 3 million 18-24 year-olds in the U.S. currently purchase their own insurance. Many pay high prices for scant benefits, with high deductibles and co-pays because they make too much to qualify for Medicaid and have no coverage options from their employers or parents. The Urban Institute estimates

that the majority of adults in their 20s will qualify for government subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. Premium hikes could be a disincentive for young people weighing their options. Premiums for people aged 21 to 29 with single coverage who are not eligible for government subsidies would increase by 42 percent under the law, according to an analysis by actuaries at the consulting firm Oliver Wyman. By comparison, an adult in his or her early 60s who would see about a 1 percent average increase in premiums under new federal health rules. Insurers including America’s Health Insurance Plans and The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association recently wrote to federal health officials warning that they feared low enrollment by young adults and proposed beefed up penalties for opting out. Insurers worry the $100 penalty might not be a strong enough deterrent. The penalties jump to $695 or 2.5 percent of taxable income - whichever is more by 2016. “The key to keeping health care affordable is you really want to balance the pool, where you have enough young and healthy people to balance off the care of the older, sicker people who are likely to utilize much more health care services,” said Justine Handelman, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s vice president for legislative and regulatory policy. She said younger people use about a fifth of the services that older beneficiaries do. Jonathan

Gruber, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who helped craft that state’s law, said he thinks the firstyear federal penalty should be higher. The penalty under the Massachusetts law, which served as the model for Obama’s overhaul, was $218 the first year in 2007. Gruber said that amount proved effective. “People hate paying money and getting nothing for it,” he said. Roughly 40,000 of about 6 million Massachusetts residents paid the penalty the first year, he said. Many young adults have chosen relatively bare-bones health plans before the Affordable Care Act, but the new law requires all plans to offer a minimum set of benefits, thus raising the price for coverage. The cost of health coverage is difficult to estimate because it includes so many factors, but a 27year-old making $30,000 a year in 2014 will have a $3,400 premium and will be eligible for subsidies that cover about 26 percent of the bill. That person would end up paying $2,509, or about $209 a month. That does not include deductibles, co-pays and other variables which can vary widely. The estimates come from the nonpar tisan K aiser Family Foundation’s online Health Reform Subsidy Calculator. Francois Louis, a 20-year- old college student in South Florida who works part-time, can’t remember the last time he went to the doctor and gets by on over-the-counter medication when-

CHICAGO: In this March 28, 2013 photo, medical resident Stephanie Place examines 2-month-old Abigale Lopez at the Erie Family Health Center, in Chicago. As clinics gear up for the expansion of health insurance, they’re recruiting young doctors.—AP

ever he’s sick. He’d love to get a check-up, but says it’s too expensive on his income of less than $15,000 a year. “I probably would do the $100 fine because it’s just cheaper and you don’t have to worry about paying off monthly costs,” said Louis, a student at Broward Community College near Fort Lauderdale. Louis would get a $2,718 tax credit and have to pay $300 toward his premium, according to the calculator. Health advocates note that many people who have difficulty affording health insurance now will qualify for federal subsidies. The financial assistance will go to those making less than $48,000 a year who cannot get affordable coverage through their job. That includes 27-year-old Emily Nicoll of Dallas, who makes $20,000 a year working in customer service for a sports team. She said she pays a lot of money for basic health benefits, including $80 a month for two prescriptions and a $100 co-pay for each doctor’s visit. But the memory of being in a car accident in high school lingers, so she will continue to pay for health insurance once the new law takes effect. “That’s the fear that makes me pay out that $151 a month,” said Nicoll, who says most of her friends do not have insurance. She would receive a $2,100 tax credit under the Affordable Care Act and pay about $83 a month for her premium. While Nicoll stands to save money on health insurance under the new law, many young people who make more money would not. The potential for skyrocketing prices caught the attention of a Democratic state lawmaker in New Jersey, Assemblywoman Celeste Riley. She is so worried about the cost for young people that she helped pass legislation to remove a requirement that students at two-year colleges have health insurance to attend class. But Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the bill last week. Riley said the low-cost, limited plans currently offered to students cost about $600 a year, but prices could rise up to $2,000. The Affordable Care Act allows people to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26, but many parents also lack insurance in the current economy. “In this one small situation, I have students that really are going to be hit so hard financially,” she said. “I think that really some of them will decide not to go to school.”—AP

H E A LT H & S C I E N C E “We are physicians from different specialties with a specific interest in public health advocacy and promotion. We, also, aim to increase awareness among the Kuwaiti public regarding a variety of diseases and

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013

conditions and to rectify the misconceptions they may have. Since our group consists of multiple physicians we decided to write under the pen name of L’homme en Blanc.”

Symptoms and treatment for bipolar disorder


ipolar disorder is characterized by the experience of mania, hypomania, and major depression. Individuals need not necessarily experience all types of episodes to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. For instance, some patients may experience a mixture of all types while others may have a condition characterized by two types of episodes only. It is a common misconception that patients with bipolar have to experience a manic phase; on the contrary, a patient may be diagnosed with this disorder in the absence of a manic episode. Mania symptoms include: euphoria, sudden or extreme irritability or rage, unrealistic beliefs in one’s abilities, hyperactivity, excessively risky behaviour (for example reckless driving, outlandish spending sprees, foolish business investments), and less need for sleep. A hypomanic episode manifests as a less severe form of mania; in contrast to a manic episode where hospitalization is usually required, hypomania does not necessitate hospital admission. An episode of depression may include: Intense sadness or despair feeling of helplessness, hopelessness, and/or worthlessness, lack of interest in activities they once enjoyed, fatigue, altered sleeping pattern (either sleeping too much or not at all), changes in appetite, difficulty concentrating, and/or thoughts of death or suicide.

Once a person is suspected to be suffering from bipolar disorder, s/he should seek professional advice for further assessment, as diagnosis is based upon a medical and psychiatric history and a physical and mental status examination - there is no diagnostic test for bipolar disorder. Once a patient is diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, it is of utmost importance that they are started on the appropriate treatment. Medication alone, or in combination with psychotherapy is the mainstay of man-

common to guilt patients into feeling better; this approach is neither helpful nor recommended;on the contrary it is counterproductive and harmful. Bipolar disorder if left untreated, is greatly detrimental to the patient and his/her family’s life. Patients who are depressed are less likely to perform at work as is expected of them; however, as published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, even a mild response to treatment can lead to an increase in productivity.

It is vital to be able to recognize the signs of mental disorders, whether it’s in ourselves or our loved ones. A patient suffering from unrecognized and/or untreated bipolar disorder may experience disruptions in mood, energy, sleep, cognition, and/or behavior, leading to struggles in maintaining employment and interpersonal relationships; accordingly, today we’re going to examine some of the alarming symptoms and some of the treatment modalities available for patients with bipolar disorder. agement. Psychotherapy is of equal importance to medication is psychotherapy, which may include family sessions, for social support is of great value in bipolar disorder treatment. For the support to be genuine, one should understand that a person can no more “will” themselves normal than a diabetic can will their pancreas to work. It is

Additionally,The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that suicide is the third leading cause of death among persons aged 15-24 years.Among 15- to 24year olds, suicide accounts for 20% of all deaths annually. A meta-analysis of a number of observed studies showed that the number of suicides in those diagnosed with Bipolar disorder

was 15 times the expected value. An approximate of 10 to 15 percent of bipolar patients die by suicide. As previously mentioned, bipolar disorder causes a major decline in the quality of life of those afflicted; on a larger scale, it damages societal structure. Moreover, it is one of the leading causes of death among

young adults. Therefore, it is considered a serious condition that requires immediate attention and assessment by experts. Once diagnosed, treatment is commenced, more often than not, on a long term basis. Early detection and management of Bipolar disorder is key to lead aquality life. Stay healthy, Kuwait! — L’homme en Blanc

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hat’s more fun than clicking a beautiful picture? Sharing it with others! Let other people see the way you see Kuwait - through your lens. Friday Times will feature snapshots of Kuwait through Instagram feeds. If you want to share your Instagram photos, email us at

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


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


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

It was an emotional moment at the NECK premises on Friday as The Life Abundant International Fountain Church (LAIF) organized a Shiloh Hour and Send Fort Party for the Noberth family who left for Canada yesterday for good. The event featured praise worship, prayers and other exciting activities.

Prof Ghassan Aouad BSc, MSC, PhD, FCIOB, FHEA, hopeful president of CIOB



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

Venmoney Pravasi Association elects new office bearers


he Venmoney Pravasi Association conducted an annual general body meeting on June 13 at Hi Dine Auditorium, Abbasiya to elect new office bearers for the year 2013-2014 and unanimously elected the following members: President: George Varghese, General Secretary: Manu T John, Treasurer: Varghese Koshy, Vice President: Binu George, Joint Secretary: Jojo John Patron : Rajan Daniel The advisory board members are Babu Varghese, Abraham David and Rajan K Mathew. Abraham Thomas presided over the meeting. Annual report presented by Ramesh Puthiamadom and financial report presented by George Mathew for the year 201213 were approved at the meeting.

rof Ghassan Aouad is the immediate past president of the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD). During his time at UOWD, he led the development of the Strategic Plan 2013-2018 and the preparation of the documentation for the institution licensure renewal and the University achieved an increase of 13% in student recruitment. Prior to his role at UOWD, he was the Pro-ViceChancellor for Research and Innovation and Dean of the College of Science and technology at the University of Salford in the UK. He joined the University of Salford in 1992 as a Research Fellow and has progressed through to the role of Pro Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation and Dean of the College of Science & Technology, responsible for some 400 staff and 6,000 students before he left the university to reside in Dubai. Prior to joining Salford, he spent five years in the Department of Civil and Building Engineering of Loughborough University, where he obtained his MSc in Construction (1987) and his PhD entitled Integrated Planning Systems for the Construction Industry (1991). During his time at Salford and before becoming Pro-ViceChancellor in July 2008 (left this position at the end of December 2011), Prof Aouad was Dean of the Faculty of Business, Law & the Built Environment at the University (August 2006-July 2008), and prior to this he held the position of

Director of the Research Institute of the Built & Human Environment which achieved the Research Assessment Exercise 6* status in 2001. Between 2003 and 2006 he

Principal Investigator and £8M as Co-Investigator, published 92 papers in top rated refereed journals, delivered more than 50 keynote speeches and invited lectures, and present-

was Head of School of Construction & Property Management (since renamed to the School of the Built Environment) at Salford. During his time in Salford, Prof Aouad successfully supervised 23 PhD students, externally examined 52 PhD students, authored 3 major research books and co-authored one book, generated more than £10M in research funding as

ed his work in more than 42 countries. Prof Aouad was appointed as Vice President of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) in March 2010 and will become President in 2014. Prof Aouad has been very active in community work raising funds for Kidscan, The BBC Children in Need and the Mayor of Salford nominated charities amongst many others.

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

EMBASSY OF CANADA he Embassy of Canada in Kuwait does not have a visa or immigration department. All processing of visa and immigration matters including enquiries is conducted by the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. Individuals who are interested in working, studying, visiting or immigrating to Canada should contact the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, website: or, E-mail: The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakei St, Block 4 in Da’aiyah.Please visit our website at The embassy will be closed on Monday July 1st 2013, for Canada Day, and will resume its duties on Tuesday 2 July 2013. The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. The reception is open from 07:30 to 12:30. Consular services for Canadian citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00, Sunday through Wednesday.

T ‘Quality Tools for Managing Construction Projects’ book launched in Kuwait


uality Tools for Managing Construction Projects” published by CRC Press, Florida and authored by Dr. Abdul Razzak Rumane was launched in presence of prominent dignitaries and large number of audience representing different sectors of industry during Book Release Function held at Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) Mishref. The function started with singing of national anthems of both State of Kuwait and Republic of India. The function was inaugurated by Shri Vinod Kumar, First Secretary representing Ambassador India to Kuwait Satish C. Mehta by lighting the lamp. Sheikh Naif Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, DrFadel AlSafar, Ahmed Al-Mershed, Hashim M. ElRifai, Yaseen Farraj, Engr. Mohammed Hussain, representing Staff Major General Engr. Hasim Al-Refaree and many other dignitaries were present with him to mark the inauguration of function. Abdul Azeem welcomed Ambassador of India to Kuwait, Sheikh Naif Jaber Al Sabah,Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Dar Alkuwait

Alkhaleejia. He said the presence of Sheikh shows the support and importance Govt of Kuwait and Kuwaiti people give to the creative works of expatriates. Azeem also welcomed Dr. Fadel Al Safar, former minister, Ahmad Almershed-Undersecretary MSNA and Deputy Chairman of Voluntary Work Center, Hasim El Rifaai, President PMIAGC, Dr. Hasan Al Sanad, Prof Kuwait University, Yaseen Farraj, Naemah Al Hay, dignitaries from Govt. and Oil sector, consultants and contractors representatives, Engineers from different field and non engineering guests. Mohammed Shaker introduced the author Dr. Abdul Razzak Rumane. Dr. Rumane in his presentation elaborated the features of the Book. He said the book is concise and easy to read. He elaborated different categories of tools and gave examples how these tools are applicable in construction projects. He gave example applications of cause and effect diagram, interrelationship diagraph, benchmarking, mind mapping, mistake proofing and many other tools. He said the book contains quick refer-

ence tables and a wealth of figures, presents valuable quality related data and guidelines, He said the book covers six sigma applications in construction projects. It is a practical oriented book meant for all the participants involved to implement project management practices in construction project. He further said that the book provides sufficient information that will also prove valuable for cutting-edge instructors who wish to provide engineering/management student with an in-depth knowledge about application of quality tools for managing construction projects from the inception till handing over of the projejt. The book was released by Sheikh Naif Jaber Al-Sabah and the first copy was handed over to Vinod Kumar, All the honorary guests were presented the book by the members of organizing committee. First secretary, Embassy of India, Vinod Kumar in his speech said that it is matter of pride for Indians in Kuwait that today a concise and informative book containing many reference tables and wealth of figures has been

released on Kuwait soil. He praised IndoKuwait relationship and said the book will be beneficial to entire engineering community not only in India and else where but especially in Kuwait where many new construction projects are in horizon. Ahmad Al-Mershed in his speech said that the book covers quality tools for all the disciplines in construction industry and is unique book of its kind. Hashim M.El-Rifaee, President PMI,-AGC thanked author for bringing out practical oriented book which will be useful for all construction professionals. Mementos were presented to the honorary guests in appreciation of their support. Memnto was also presented to Dr. Sabiha Bilgrami for compeering the function in a very nicely manner. Engr. Mohammed Haroon proposed vote of thanks. He thanked Amassador of India, Sheikh Naif, honorary guests, dignitaries from various sectors and all the guests for attending the function. He thanked GUST for providing the auditorium to conduct book release function. Dinner was served.


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

EMBASSY OF SOUTH AFRICA During the holy month of Ramadan, the South African Embassy will be open to the public, Sunday through Thursday from 09:00 am to 14:00 pm. Please note that the Consular Section operation hours will be from 09:30 am to 12:00 pm, Sunday through Thursday. nnnnnnn

EMBASSY OF US Parents of Kuwaiti citizen children may drop off their sons’ and daughters’ visa applications - completely free of an interview or a trip inside the Embassy. The children must be under 14 years of age, and additional requirements do apply, but the service means parents will no longer have to schedule individual appointments for their children, nor come inside the Embassy (unless they are applying for themselves). The service is only available for children holding Kuwaiti passports. To take advantage, parents must drop off the following documents: Child Visa Drop-off cover sheet, available on the Embassy website ( - Child’s passport; The Child’s previous passport, if it contains a valid US visa; 5x5cm photo of child with eyes open (if uploaded into DS-160, photos must be a .jpg between 600x600 and 1200x1200 pixels, less than 240kb, and cannot be digitally altered); A completed DS-160 form; Visa Fee Receipt from Burgan Bank; A copy of the valid visa of at least one parent. If one parent will not travel, provide a visa copy for the traveling parent, and a passport copy from the non-traveling parent with a letter stating no objection to the child’s travel. - For children of students (F2): a copy of the child’s I-20. Children born in the US (with very few exceptions) are US citizens and would not be eligible for a visa. Parents may drop off the application packet at Window 2 at the Embassy from 1:00 to 3:00 PM, Monday to Wednesday, excluding holidays. More information is available on the U.S. Embassy website: nnnnnnn

EMBASSY OF VATICAN The Apostolic Nunciature Embassy of the Holy See, Vatican in Kuwait has moved to a new location in Kuwait City. Please find below the new address: Yarmouk, Block 1, Street 2, Villa No: 1. P.O.Box 29724, Safat 13158, Kuwait. Tel: 965 25337767, Fax: 965 25342066. Email:

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013


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Border Security Auction Hunters Auction Kings License To Drill One Man Army Mythbusters Sons Of Guns Deconstruction How It’s Made Auction Hunters Storage Hunters Sons Of Guns Nothing Personal Hellriders Sons Of Guns Nothing Personal

The Gadget Show How Tech Works Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger How Stuff Works Superships Thunder Races Through The Wormhole Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger Oddities Oddities The Gadget Show How Tech Works Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger Oddities Oddities The Gadget Show How Tech Works Weird Connections Space Pioneer Space Pioneer

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Born To Kill Private Crimes My Ghost Story The Haunting Of... Escaping Evil: My Life In A Cult Crime Stories The FBI Files Snapped: Women Who Kill Snapped: Women Who Kill Beyond Scared Straight Crime Stories Nightmare In Suburbia

03:15 The Way-PG15 05:30 A Fall From Grace-PG15 07:00 The Lucky One-PG15 09:00 Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol-PG15 11:15 Joyful Noise-PG15 13:15 A Mother’s Choice-PG15 15:15 Into The Wind-PG15 16:30 Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol-PG15 19:00 What’s Your Number?-PG15 21:00 Waiting For Forever-PG15 23:00 21 Jump Street-18 01:00 Playdate-PG15

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Best In Show-PG15 Falling Star-PG15 Adventures In BabysittingElf-PG Falling Star-PG15 Beware The Gonzo-PG15 The Guard-PG15 Eurotrip-18 Cedar Rapids-18 The Guard-PG15

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10:30 Xtreme Waterparks 11:00 Trip Flip 11:30 Trip Flip 12:00 Eden Eats 13:00 Bizarre Foods America 14:00 International House Hunters 14:30 International House Hunters 15:00 Inside Luxury Travel - Varun Sharma 16:00 Wild Carpathia

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17:00 Bert The Conqueror 17:30 Xtreme Waterparks 18:00 Off Limits 19:00 Departures 20:00 Globe Trekker Around The World 21:00 Off Limits 22:00 The Blue Continent 23:00 Inside Luxury Travel - Varun Sharma

Britain’s royal baby will have surprising family tree



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Ben And Kate The Simpsons Brothers The Tonight Show With Jay Friends Hope & Faith Arrested Development Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Brothers Friends Ben And Kate Modern Family Parks And Recreation Arrested Development The Tonight Show With Jay Hope & Faith Brothers Friends Arrested Development The Simpsons Parks And Recreation Modern Family The Daily Show The Colbert Report Hope & Faith Late Night With Jimmy Fallon New Girl Family Tools Hot In Cleveland Parks And Recreation The Tonight Show With Jay The Daily Show The Colbert Report The League The League The Office Late Night With Jimmy Fallon The Daily Show The Colbert Report The League The League The Office

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Marchlands The Syndicate Moving On The Jeremy Kyle Show USA 60 Minute Makeover Emmerdale Coronation Street Coach Trip Come Dine With Me Ireland Foyle’s War At Water’s Edge The Jeremy Kyle Show USA 60 Minute Makeover Emmerdale

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Brandy & Mr Whiskers Brandy & Mr Whiskers Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Doc McStuffins A.N.T. Farm Dog With A Blog Jessie Jessie Shake It Up Shake It Up Austin And Ally Austin And Ally Good Luck Charlie Good Luck Charlie A.N.T. Farm A.N.T. Farm Jessie Jessie Austin And Ally Austin And Ally Shake It Up Shake It Up A.N.T Farm A.N.T Farm Good Luck Charlie Good Luck Charlie Jessie Jessie Dog With A Blog A.N.T. Farm Austin And Ally That’s So Raven Suite Life On Deck Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Austin And Ally Jessie

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A.N.T Farm A.N.T Farm Shake It Up Suite Life On Deck Austin And Ally That’s So Raven Jessie A.N.T Farm Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana Hannah Montana Brandy & Mr Whiskers Brandy & Mr Whiskers Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School Replacements Replacements

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

03:15 Coastal Kitchen 03:40 Cash In The Attic 04:30 Bargain Hunt 05:15 Daily Cooks Challenge 05:45 How Not To Decorate 06:30 Coastal Kitchen 07:00 Tareq Taylor’s Nordic Cookery 07:25 Planet Cake 07:50 Baking Made Easy 08:15 Phil Spencer - Secret Agent 09:05 Bargain Hunt 09:50 Antiques Roadshow 10:40 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 11:25 MasterChef Australia 11:50 New Scandinavian Cooking With Claus Meyer 12:15 Come Dine With Me 13:05 Planet Cake 13:30 New Scandinavian Cooking With Claus Meyer 13:55 Bargain Hunt 14:40 Cash In The Attic 15:25 Antiques Roadshow 16:15 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 17:00 Phil Spencer - Secret Agent 17:55 The Good Cook 18:25 Hairy Bikers’ Bake-ation 19:20 New Scandinavian Cooking With Claus Meyer 19:45 Come Dine With Me 20:35 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 21:20 Antiques Roadshow 22:15 Bargain Hunt 23:00 Phil Spencer - Secret Agent 23:55 Cash In The Attic 00:45 Come Dine With Me 01:35 MasterChef Australia 02:00 New Scandinavian Cooking With Claus Meyer 02:25 How Not To Decorate

03:00 Unique Sweets 03:25 Food Wars 03:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 04:15 Unique Eats 04:40 Chopped 05:30 Iron Chef America 06:10 Food Network Challenge 07:00 Unwrapped 07:25 Unwrapped 07:50 Andy Bates American Street Feasts 08:15 Unique Sweets 08:40 Red, Hot And Yummy 09:05 Barefoot Contessa 09:30 Amazing Wedding Cakes 10:20 Extra Virgin

10:45 Kid In A Candy Store 11:10 Charly’s Cake Angels 11:35 Unique Sweets 12:00 The Next Iron Chef 12:50 Red, Hot And Yummy 13:15 Barefoot Contessa 13:40 Barefoot Contessa 14:05 Tyler’s Ultimate 14:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 14:55 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 15:20 Guy’s Big Bite 15:45 Chopped 16:35 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 17:00 Red, Hot And Yummy 17:25 Reza’s African Kitchen 17:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:15 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:40 Guy’s Big Bite 19:05 Charly’s Cake Angels 19:30 Amazing Wedding Cakes 20:20 Chopped 21:10 Chopped 22:00 Staten Island Cakes 22:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 23:15 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 23:40 Food Wars 00:05 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 00:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 00:55 Unique Eats 01:20 Unique Eats 01:45 Staten Island Cakes

00:00 Trabant Trek 00:30 Trabant Trek 01:00 Off Limits 02:00 Departures 03:00 Globe Trekker 04:00 Inside Luxury Travel - Varun Sharma 05:00 Bizarre Foods America 06:00 Eden Eats 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Departures 09:00 Off Limits 10:00 Bert The Conqueror

ven before the birth of the new British royal baby to Prince William and his wife Kate, genealogists are looking into its family tree, and are coming up with many surprises. The baby’s relations will stretch from a simple Parisian actress via the Dracula princes in Romania, to even an Islamic sultan from Seville in Spain, who descended from the Muslim Prophet Mohammed, experts say. The family tree of the baby’s father Prince William, who is second in line to the throne, is strongly tied to the European Gotha line. There one finds, alongside all Britain’s kings, the sovereigns of Greece, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Austria, Spain and a good number of German sovereigns. The British family was called Saxe-Coburg-Gotha until 1917, date on which, mired in a war with Germany, it opted for the name Windsor. On the side of the mother-to-be Kate Middleton, on the other hand, there is a majority of commoners. The late “Queen Mum”, the mother of Queen Elizabeth II, and Princess Diana, William’s mother, were not born princesses. But “William’s alliance with Kate Middleton really managed to democratize the baby’s family tree,” the famous genealogist Jean-Louis Beaucarnot, who dissected the baby’s ascendance in July in the “La Revue Francaise de Genealogie” (the French genealogy review) said. The future king or queen of the United Kingdom will be cousin with a large number of his or her subjects. The paternal forefathers of Kate, who is known as the Duchess of Cambridge, were relatively well off. However, “on her mother’s side she has largely working class ancestry from the English north,” Scott Steward, member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and the co-author in 2011 of a book on Catherine Middleton’s family tree told AFP. MITTERRAND, WASHINGTON,... MOHAMMED Her family tree contains coalminers, a linen maid, bakers, and a London street sweeper. One also comes up with a certain Arthur Lupton who taught English to German poet, playwright and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. More unexpected, is the discovery of Edward Thomas Glassborough, who was put behind bars in 1881 in London’s Holloway prison. The reason for his imprisonment remains a mystery to this day. But there are other surprises in store in the royal family’s family tree. Through Queen Mary, the wife of King George V, who ruled from 1910 to 1936, the line stretches back, according to Beaucarnot, right to the princes of Transylvania and Walachia in Romania. That leads back in the fifteenth century to the Princes Dracula. Among them figures the Voivode Vlad III, also known by his patronymic name Dracula, who was was posthumously dubbed Vlad the Impaler. He inspired, by his cruelty, the Irish writer Bram Stoker’s famous vampire. Another discovery: a certain Hyacinthe-Gabrielle, an actress at Paris’ Palais Royal, brought to England during the revolution by her lover then husband, the Marquis of Wellesley and a direct ancestor of the “Queen Mum”. Via another French woman, a protestant noblewoman born in 1639 in France’s region of Poitou, the child will even be a cousin of late French president Francois Mitterrand, while her mother is related to the first president of the United States, George Washington. Through its grandmother Diana, the royal baby will have a link with the families of Winston Churchill and Lord Marlborough, who inspired a popular French folk song. On the side of celebrities, there are links to the American actress Ellen DeGeneres and the British film director Guy Ritchie, the former husband of Madonna. But the most astonishing discovery is a little-known ascendancy of one of its distant ascendants, the queen of France, Marie de’ Medici, descendant of Alphonse VI of Castillia, who died in 1109. His fourth wife Zaida, who was an Islamic princess converted to Roman Catholicism, had as an ancestor, according to Beaucarnot, “a king of Seville considered a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed”. — AFP


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1889988 CHANGE OF NAME I, Huzaifa Shabbir Gulamali, holding Passport No. F0010303 wish to change my name to Huzaifa Shabbir Amjawala. (C 4453) 4-7-2013 FOR SALE Mitsubishi Galant, model 2013, excellent condition, 10,500 km, registration up to end of 2015, price KD 3,150/-. Contact: 97487330. (C 4452) 1-7-2013

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stars CROSSWORD 243

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) You might like to ignore responsibilities and do some socializing, but realities may demand that you tend to some personal business today and forget your friends. There is time later to run and play in the summer breeze. When you have breakthroughs, they often come as insights into your immediate surroundings and home and environment—your support system in general. This could manifest itself by your finding new and different ways to make a living. Perhaps an extra income that could eventually turn into a real moneymaker is on the horizon. Writing a short story for a well-known magazine would be a good start. This afternoon you may find yourself enjoying long conversations with friends and loved ones, writing letters and making special phone calls.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) You may be able to enjoy and value your own life situation today or feel especially kind toward a friend or loved one. This is a good day to spend with a loved one. Emotions are up and you may even find yourself pondering a bit on the meaning of life. You feel at one with your life situation. Outer circumstances and the flow of events make it easy for you to make clear decisions, see the road ahead and move forward. Situations fall into place and progress is easy. Be careful not to overextend or bite off more than you can chew, so to speak. This is a productive and potentially satisfying day. There is a basic drive to appreciate and taste life. Your desires are strong and you will want to enjoy yourself. Enjoy the company of your loved ones.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

ACROSS 1. A defensive missile designed to shoot down incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles. 4. The condition of having no arms. 12. A form of address for a married woman. 15. Towards the side away from the wind. 16. A member of a Kannada-speaking group of people living chiefly in Kanara in southern India. 17. A former agency (from 1946 to 1974) that was responsible for research into atomic energy and its peacetime uses in the United States. 18. Conqueror of Gaul and master of Italy (100-44 BC). 20. Relating to or derived from the sun or utilizing the energies of the sun. 21. A nucleic acid that transmits genetic information from DNA to the cytoplasm. 22. Wild sheep of northern Africa. 24. A serving of drink (usually alcoholic). 26. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 28. Tree of low-lying coastal areas of southeastern United States having glossy leaves and racemes of fragrant white flowers. 29. Someone who travels about selling his wares (as on the streets or at carnivals). 32. Coming next after the first in position in space or time or degree or magnitude. 36. Of or relating to or characteristic of Israel or its people. 39. Of or relating to or characteristic of Thailand of its people. 40. Not far distant in time or space or degree or circumstances. 41. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 42. An extraordinary writ commanding an official to perform a ministerial act that the law recognizes as an absolute duty and not a matter for the official's discretion. 44. A member of an Athapaskan people that migrated to Arizona and New Mexico and Utah. 46. A Chadic language spoken in northern Nigeria. 47. Money in the form of bills or coins. 48. Used of a single unit or thing. 49. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 51. A three-year law degree. 53. A unit of force equal to the force exerted by gravity. 55. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 58. Cut the head of. 60. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 64. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 65. The striking of one body against another. 66. Aroused or activated. 72. Tasting sour like a lemon. 73. 1 species. 76. Long coarse hair growing from the crest of the animal's neck. 77. A member of the Siouan people inhabiting the valleys of the Platte and Missouri rivers in Nebraska. 78. Sharpness of vision. 79. A material effigy that is worshipped as a god. 80. Having or showing a tender and consider-

ate and helpful nature. 81. Characterized by dignity and propriety. 82. Young of domestic cattle. DOWN 1. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 2. A man who is the lover of a girl or young woman. 3. (archaic) A fitting reward. 4. The academic world. 5. A room or establishment where alcoholic drinks are served over a counter. 6. A radioactive gaseous element formed by the disintegration of radium. 7. An associate degree in applied science. 8. The yield from plants in a single growing season. 9. (medieval Europe) A person who is bound to the land and owned by the feudal lord. 10. Old World genus of annual to perennial herbs. 11. Expose to fresh air, as of old clothing. 12. A member of a rural Finnish people living in eastern Russia. 13. A city in western Nevada at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. 14. The act of scanning. 19. A town in northern Egypt. 23. An irrational but irresistible motive for a belief or action. 25. Steady recurrent ticking sound as made by a clock. 27. The basic unit of money in Panama. 30. An association of nations dedicated to economic and political cooperation in southeastern Asia. 31. Have a craving, appetite, or great desire for. 33. The ohmic resistance of a conductor. 34. The state that precedes vomiting. 35. Shaped like a dish. 37. A benevolent aspect of Devi. 38. An official language of the Republic of South Africa. 43. Agency of the United States government charged with mediating disputes between management and labor. 45. An ugly evil-looking old woman. 50. A unit of absorbed ionizing radiation equal to 100 ergs per gram of irradiated material. 52. A beckoning gesture. 54. Having winglike extensions. 56. A rare silvery (usually trivalent) metallic element. 57. A port city in southwestern Turkey on the Gulf of Antalya. 59. Relating to of containing or affecting blood. 61. Italian violin maker in Cremona. 62. A garment of cloth or leather or plastic that is tied about the waist and worn to protect your clothing. 63. (Greek mythology) A Titan who was forced by Zeus to bear the sky on his shoulders. 67. A unit of power equal to 1 joule per second. 68. Make amends for. 69. A quantity of no importance. 70. An organic compound that contains a hydroxyl group bonded to a carbon atom which in turn is doubly bonded to another carbon atom. 71. (British colloquialism) An excavation. 74. (informal) Of the highest quality. 75. A partially opened flower.

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013

An important relationship, perhaps with a young person or someone in your near environment, may come into focus today. There could be an emotional overtone to all of this that may require understanding and flexibility on your part. You have the best results when you listen. When it comes to choices this afternoon, find out all your options and then weigh them carefully; you will be glad you took so much time before making a decision. Creative endeavors can be quite rewarding this afternoon and bring about a fun stress relief. You may be teaching your craft to a friend or sharing space together, enjoying your own artistic projects; everyone is smiling. Music fills the air this evening; music, food and games promote happy times.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) You are full of wit and sharp insights. You may find you enjoy helping to guide others. Breakthrough flashes of insight with tremendous originality and independence are typical. There is a natural sense of invention and a love of all things electrical and of communication in general. Since you are great at bringing out the best qualities of others, you may discover a hidden talent in a friend today. You feel spontaneous and want to be on the move. You are independent and will be making travel plans soon to embrace a new experience. Adventuresome, you could be taking a class in skydiving, scuba diving or learning to fly a glider. This is not an ordinary day or a dull day. An animal around your home gains your attention tonight.

Leo (July 23-August 22) You are very gifted, having great magnetism and warmth and also a keen and powerful mind. You can do anything you want to do in this life, if you can manage to get moving in one direction and keep at it. Perhaps you are finally enjoying an unusually easygoing morning. It is likely that you will lose yourself in a great book or movie today. This is a time of rest and relaxation. Later you could be encouraged to be out with your friends or loved ones. Garage sales, country fruit stands, a walk or skate in the park could provide a healthy diversion away from stress. You could be invited to a social function this evening. You can relate to all types of people with equal ease and opportunities to network will be obvious during this social.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) This is a great time for imagination and creativity when it comes to ideas and thinking. This, coupled with the ability to put your thoughts into words, allows you to grab your audience and charm them. This may mean that you have volunteered to read at story time for some charity or part-time job you have today. You may appear very expressive and ably communicative. Young people enjoy your guidance. You will find yourself listening to all sorts of interesting opinions of the young—or perhaps, the elderly. You are great at bringing out the best qualities of others—discovering hidden talents. Innovative ideas can be gained from these young people today. You will probably enjoy some quiet time with your own hobby this evening.

Word Search

Libra (September 23-October 22) Ambitious schemes and the pursuit of success take on a high priority. This brings a focus on the practical, the successful, the pragmatic—whatever it takes to get you ahead in the end. You could feel much more intuitive and psychic than previously. Very workable and successful plans can be put into effect now. You may sense and feel things that others do not which could put you in the limelight, especially with superiors or business associates in relation to your work or work plans. Working on Saturday may mean you have increased responsibilities, which is a temporary situation but welcome in order to meet some financial requirements. You enjoy this job or the responsibility it entails more than usual. You concentrate on areas of home this evening; smile.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Nurturing is where your energies are focused. You enjoy making things grow and taking care of them, planting seeds that will develop and survive far into the future—that’s what it is all about today. This is a great time to reflect and understand your own situation—just how you feel about yourself. You may be moved to appreciate and discover the beauty in your life and may spend a great deal of time photographing a special rose in your backyard. You may want to do a bit of paperwork this afternoon—paying bills and such. There could be talk of adjusting the budget. Neighbors and friends may find you especially witty and unconventional just now. You can find the humor in everything today. You enjoy a get-together with friends tonight.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Others may find you full of fascinating ideas and plans. You will encourage anything from being on an adventure to writing a story, song or jingle. You may have insights or breakthroughs with regard to your living situation or life circumstances. Your drive to innovate, invent and find new ways to use things is both well coordinated and intense. You have a strong urge to be different or to do something differently today. Others value you for your sense of freedom and your distinctive qualities. Exchanging pleasantries is relaxing this afternoon. Being more involved with neighbors or siblings this evening satisfies a deep emotional need. Communicating feelings becomes more important. Perhaps sharing a bit of homemade ice cream would be fun.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) CAPRICORN You could find yourself in charge of some group activity today—perhaps a neighborhood, religious organization or school’s garage sale or some such. Your need to be respected can be emotionally charged. Your knack for organizing things and people gives you the recognition you need. Some volunteer work or helping with group achievement means a lot to you. You may find that you are appreciated and valued for your ideas, feelings and the ability to act and get things done. You may enjoy working with a group of others where you can exercise your discrimination. You love a social life—friends and relationships play a major role in your makeup. You love to communicate and enjoy discussing ideas with others.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Having a free weekend ahead of you for travel, visiting, relaxation or walking through a park, checking out a museum, the library or zoo, etc., is a most pleasant time. All indications point to entertaining out-of-town friends for a little while this afternoon. Memories of past activity and pictures to show the progression through the years are fun and captivating for everyone. Feeling appreciated, needed and part of a group is comfortable. This should be a fun day, filled with all sorts of communications and sharing times. Be sure to take plenty of pictures. Later this afternoon is a great time to reflect and perhaps, revise your goals. Emotions in particular are very clear today. A friend invites you to enjoy some quiet time this evening at his or her house.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) Having and appreciating things of beauty and value play a big role in your life and you may find yourself at a “flea market” or some other fun gathering where people sell their creative work. Provided you do not spend it all on the fancy things that catch your eye, this can be a financially favorable time—you have a good eye for value. Personal issues later this evening may take some time to consider. It is possible that there is a lack of support for your ideas or for what you think. The home and family scene is likely to be in something of a state of change soon—this may mean moving, an addition to the family, or the life. High-tech equipment impinges on the domestic environment somehow. An eccentric relative attracts some notice.

Yesterday’s Solution

Yesterday’s Solution

Daily SuDoku

Yesterday’s Solution

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013

i n f o r m at i o n For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128 GOVERNORATE Sabah Hospital


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SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013

lifestyle G o s s i p


he 35-year-old singer and the Formula 1 driver called time on their five-year on/off relationship because they barely got to spend time together due to their hectic work schedules, and the ‘X Factor’ judge opened up for the first time during auditions in Cardiff on Wednesday. After watching a wannabe perform an emotional song, Nicole said it “pulled on my heartstrings” and then empathized with the teary tune’s lyrics about the end of a relationship. She said: “It sucks doesn’t it? Really sucks.” Despite feeling moved, she enjoyed the song, adding: “It’s so depressing but it’s so good. I would buy your album.” Following the poignant moment, Nicole - who turned 35 last Saturday - put on a brave face during the auditions, and at one point she showed off to her fellow judges Gary Barlow, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh by performing the splits. An insider told The Sun newspaper: “Even though Nicole is going through a tough time she was determined to get on with things.


he 26-year-old actor - who plays John Reid in ‘The Lone Ranger’alongside the A-list star - says Johnny helped develop the relationship between their characters, and was never out to “steal” scenes. Armie said: “Johnny seemingly has no ego. He doesn’t think he’s Johnny Depp. He’s never thinking, ‘How am I going to steal this scene?’ It’s always, ‘Let’s make this funnier, bigger, more!’ “The film is a remake of the classic 1950s TV show of the same name and while Native American spirit warrior Tonto - who Johnny plays in the remake - was relegated to being the Lone Ranger’s sidekick in the original, Armie believes the duo have equal billing on the big screen. Speaking to Empire magazine, he explained: “In this version Tonto and the Lone Ranger actually have a relationship. It’s a two-way street this time. They’re jammed together by extenuating circumstances and it’s made very clear to them: neither of you has anybody else in the entire world but the other.


he ‘Hart of Dixie’ actress claims her mom, Janice - who is a sex therapist - doesn’t have boundaries when it comes to discussing her personal life and could intuitively tell when the brunette beauty had intercourse for the first time. Rachel explained: “My mom is a relationship counselor so she’ll still slip in comments whenever she can. I’m like, ‘Mom!’ “After my first time, she just knew. She didn’t ask questions, she just told me things - she doesn’t wait for permission to speak! She’s a very open personal and she made it comfortable for me whenever I needed to talk. “She’s taught me all sorts of things about relationships, like how important it is to be honest and have trust.” The 31-year-old star admits she’s a “big romantic” and although her parents divorced when she was nine, isn’t pessimistic about one day settling down with her long term boyfriend, ‘Jumper’ co-star Hayden Christensen.



he hair - which was sold by the Rolling Stone singer’s former girlfriend Chrissie Shrimpton - was bought by an anonymous buyer for twice what Bonham’s auction house predicted it would fetch. The winning bidder will receive the lock of hair along with an envelope with the words “Mick Jagger’s hair after being washed + trimmed by Chris at Rose Hill Farm (sic)” written on it. The hair was cut almost 50 years ago by Chrissie, whose grandmother stashed it away only for it to be discovered after her death. All proceeds from the sale will be donated to the charity Changing Faces, supporting people with facial disfigurements. Meanwhile, Mick and the rest of the band - which includes Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts - threw a star-studded afterparty to celebrate their Glastonbury gig last weekend.

he former ‘Desperate Housewives’ actress met the Miami-based entrepreneur and philanthropist when he was cast in ‘Ready For Love’, the dating show she produced last year and while they were friends first, Eva has revealed their relationship recently turned romantic. She told “I think that’s why our relationship is so special - we truly started as friends.” While the couple were linked together almost immediately, Eva joked: “I guess we have the press to thank for pushing us to see something we didn’t see!” Meanwhile, friends are thrilled the pair have finally started dating. A source said:

“Eva and Ernesto are a perfect match. They both speak Spanish, have the same religion and the same cultural background. “Their friendship and their similar philanthropic interests laid the foundation for their new romance. They’re very much in love.” Eva, 38, who was previously married to Tony Parker, has been single since splitting from NFL star Mark Sanchez last year.


he ‘Now You See Me’ star is a vegan and raw foodist which means he does not eat meat, dairy, sugar or flour and he eating the wrong meals is more deadly to people than drugs or alcohol. Speaking to ShortList magazine, he said: “Of the crucial areas - if you consider that people have self-destructive activities - their food is probably number one I mean, the road to the grave is through the mouth.” The 51year-old actor has become known for his environmental work and his support for the legislation of marijuana. Woody insists he is active and vocal about these topics because he is passionate about them and he isn’t concerned if his beliefs detract from his acting success. When asked if he thinks his sometimes controversial views have overshadowed his work, the former ‘Cheers’ star explained: “But who could I attribute that to? If it’s a bother, I have to blame myself, because I have talked about it. “I like to think I’m doing good work as an actor and that I’ve helped a few people.”

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013

lifestyle G o s s i p


he couple recently welcomed daughter North and want to make sure one of them is with her at all times so they have agreed for the first six months of her life, they won’t take on work at the same time as they want to be hands on parents. A source told HollywoodLife: “They made a deal that for the first six months to a year, the baby has to be with either one of them. So if Kanye is out working, Kim has the baby. And if Kim’s working, Kanye’s on duty. They’re not trying to leave the baby in somebody else’s hands. They are hands on parents and will be that way forever!” While it has been claimed Kanye, 36, hasn’t

been changing diapers, friends insist he wants to be involved in all areas of North’s life and has been trained by Cedars Sinai hospital on how to care for the baby. The insider added: “Every new mom and dad that leaves here with their newborn baby is fully prepared on how to take care of their little one. It doesn’t matter if they are famous or not, both mom and dad are taught by the nurses how to properly change a diaper.

James Gandolfini left $50,000 to friend s child with autism


he late ‘Sopranos’ star - who died of a heart attack in Italy last month - made the generous donation to the son of his former college roommate Doug Katz, who he often helped out during his lifetime. Katz told the New York Post: “He’s my son’s guardian angel. “He always said, ‘How can we help? How can we make it better?’ And none of it was lip service. You could never meet a nicer guy in the world.” Meanwhile, James, 51, left the bulk of his $70million estate to his children, 13-year-old Michael from his first marriage to Marcy Wudarski and eight-month-old Liliana, his daughter with wife Deborah Lin. In his will dated December 19 and filed on Tuesday in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court, it was revealed James arranged for Micheal to inherit through a trust which will be set aside for when he turns 21. Part of his inheritance includes the star’s Italian property which Michael will split with his halfsister when she turns 25. In James’ 17 page will he urged his children to keep the estate in the family for as long as possible. He wrote: “It is my hope and desire that they will continue to own said property and keep it in our family for as long as possible.”


he ‘Candy Shop’ hitmaker, 37 - whose real name is Curtis Jackson - has been accused of kicking an unnamed ex-girlfriend, who police say has a child with him, and destroying some of her things during a dispute at her condo in Toluca Lake, California, on June 23 but 50 Cent claims to have no knowledge of the incident. His New York attorney, Scott Leemo. Said: “Curtis Jackson denies these allegations as made against him. It is important to note, Jackson has not been arrested and there is no warrant outstanding for his arrest. (We) are currently conducting our own investigation into these allegations.” However, City Attorney Mike Feuer said in a statement: “Regardless of perceived celebrity or notoriety, domestic violence is a serious crime, and alleged perpetrators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law by this office.” Police officers were called to the property, where the woman claimed she locked herself in her bedroom after she got into an altercation with 50 Cent but alleged he kicked down the door and kicked her, resulting in an injury. The rapper, who is facing five charges, including one count of domestic violence and four counts of vandalism, reportedly left the house before police arrived.


he couple - who recently welcomed daughter Everly - met on the set of 2006 movie ‘Step Up’ and while Channing has gone on to become a global superstar, he admitted he knew Jenna was the woman for him when she supported him during the tough times when he couldn’t pay his rent. The 33-year-old actor told “I was broke and I couldn’t pay my half of the rent when we were first together. She was basically my sugar mama for six months.” Channing also revealed a vacation to Hawaii, early in their relationship, made him see that Jenna was the perfect woman for him because even when things got tough, she never doubted him. He explained: “We were on our first trip together, in Hawaii, trying to find this waterfall. There was a trail with markers and stuff, but we had to walk for about four and a half hours [to find it]. Then I look up-we don’t have four and a half hours of light to get back. We don’t have flashlights. We don’t have anything. It starts to get dark, so we’re jogging back a little quicker. You couldn’t see your hand in front of your face.


he famously health conscious star admitted she can’t fully give up smoking but says she would never have a cigarette in front of her children, Apple, nine, and son Moses, seven. She told the August issue of Good Housekeeping magazine: “‘I smoke one cigarette a week. The girlfriends I smoke with know about it, but I would never do it in front of my kids.” Gwyneth also opened up about her family life, calling the children her “best achievement” and admitting marrying their father, Chris Martin, was her “best decision to date”. She said: “I was really lucky to have two healthy children, and I enjoy the process of raising them and watching these amazing human beings start to come out and be themselves.” The 40-year-old actress also revealed she is never happier than when spending time with her family. She said: “[My best Saturday morning would be] sleeping in and then having a really lazy day with the family, cooking, laughing and hanging out.”

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013



Mathew Knowles, father and former manager of singer Beyonce Knowles, poses at his Music World Entertainment headquarters in Houston. Knowles married former model Gena Charmaine Avery, 48, in Houston, Texas on Sunday, June 30, 2013. — AP


ohnny Depp and the makers of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise have swapped the high seas for the wild west in “The Lone Ranger,” as they seek to reboot an American pop culture icon. Having earned more than $3.6 billion at the box office with the “Pirates” blockbusters, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and studio giant Disney wanted to give a new take on the traditional western adventure. The Lone Ranger, a masked crusader who rights wrongs in the name of justice, was born on the radio in 1933 before being turned into a popular US television series from 19491957.

Actor Johnny Depp The film, out Wednesday in the United States for the July 4 national holiday, is the fourth big-screen adaptation of the story of the mythical hero and his faithful sidekick Tonto. Depp-whose “Pirates” character Captain Jack Sparrow was famously inspired by Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards-plays the native American Tonto with his usual quirky brio. He personally insisted on Tonto’s idiosyncratic look, notably basing the make-up on a painting by native American artist Kirby Sattler, with a winged crow as a hat.

eyonce has a stepmother. Her father and former manager, Mathew Knowles, got married last Sunday. His representative said on Friday that he has wed former model Gena Charmaine Avery in Houston, Texas. The pair had been engaged for a year and a half. The 48-year-old Avery is a real

The title role is played by Armie Hammer, the 26year-old actor who played the Winklevoss twins-with a little computer-generated imagery (CGI) help-in the 2010 Facebook movie “The Social Network.” Hammer admits he didn’t know much about the iconic character before he made the movie. “The character is before my time. The only reason I was familiar with the Lone Ranger character at all was because my dad was such a big fan,” he told AFP ahead of the film’s release. “He would enjoy watching the show on re-runs every now and then, stuff like that. I watched it a little bit with him but I was very loosely, loosely, aware of Lone Ranger.” In typically explosive Bruckheimer styleand with a budget estimated at over $200 million-the film tells the story of why lawyer John Reid swapped his suit for a black mask and white hat, to become the anonymous hero. Hammer says he was intensely aware of the iconic nature of the character. “There’s a sense of respect, more than anything else. I know that this character means a lot to a lot of people,” he said. “A lot of people grew up with him in their home, and trusted the Lone Ranger enough to make him part of their life, and we wanted to be sensitive about that. We wanted to show those people that we do appreciate their nostalgia.” He added: “I wanted original elements of the character in there. His value of human life, his hesitance to kill anybody, his very strict moral code, all of those things from the TV show I wanted all those things.” But to resonate with a modern audience-notably young movie-goers targeted by Bruckheimer and the studio behind the movie-the filmmakers had to add in some modern touches. When the original radio show aired, America “had just come out of the Great Depression, and for the TV show we just finished World War II and were starting the Korean War conflict,” said the actor. “So people just wanted a hero, they wanted to be able to turn on the television and not worry about anything and just see somebody do the right thing and be a good hero-a good American good guy. “That doesn’t work for audiences these days. Audiences now are much more discerning, so we wanted to make him human, we wanted to give him a struggle,” he added. The young actor said he learned a lot from Bruckheimer, Depp, and director Gore Verbinski, who won an Oscar for 2011 animated film “Rango,” which also starred his 50-year-old A-list costar, in voice at least. “From Jerry I learned: stay calm, you’ll figure it out, it’ll be OK,” he said. “From Johnny I learned to pay attention to everything that’s going on around you and remember it. And from Gore, I learned that anything can be done, it just might take a little more hard work than you think,” he said. —AFP

estate broker. The 61-year-old Knowles guided his daughter to superstardom with the group Destiny’s Child and later in her solo career; she released her father as her manager in 2011. Knowles, head of Music World Entertainment, still manages several gospel acts including Grammy-winner Le’Andria

Johnson. Knowles and Beyonce’s mother, Tina, divorced in 2009 after 29 years of marriage and two children - Beyonce and her sister, fellow singer Solange. — AP

Indian Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit Nene performs during the 4th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) at The Venetian hotel yesterday.

Indian Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan performs at the 14th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) at The Venetian hotel in Macau yesterday. — AFP

‘Despicable Me’ tramples ‘Lone Ranger’ at theaters


scar-winning writers Nat Faxon and Jim Rash first explored a father’s journey with George Clooney in their 2011 hit “The Descendants,” and now they turn their focus on a teenager’s coming-of-age story with an all-star cast in their latest film. Faxon and Rash explore dysfunctional family dynamics in independent comedy “The Way, Way Back,” out in US theaters on Friday, drawing on their own childhood experiences to follow the journey of a teenage boy on his summer vacation. The film, which has garnered mainly positive reviews and earned a score of 65 out of 100 on review aggregator, stars Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney and Maya Rudolph, and centers on 14-year-old Duncan, played by newcomer Liam James. Shy and socially awkward, Duncan must spend a summer with his mother (Collette) and her new boyfriend (Carell), and finds a mentor in quirky, carefree Owen (Rockwell), the owner of a local water park. “I think there’s a fear of disconnect sometimes, communication is a huge issue for all of us from adults to kids, as far as our face-to-face time and our ability to interact with each other without isolating itself to a phone. I think that has to be something that’s very challenging,” Rash told Reuters. SPOTLIGHT ON INDEPENDENT COMEDY James, now 16, said he connected to Duncan’s coming-of-age story and felt audiences would be drawn to his character’s journey to find his place in the world. “(Faxon and Rash) made the boy that lots of people have experienced when they’re younger ... everybody has to go through this awkward stage,” James said. Carell, who is well-known for playing socially awkward characters such as the lead in “The 40 Year Old Virgin” and bumbling manager Michael Scott in mockumentary TV series “The Office,” changes track to play a stern, unlikeable step dad. “I see him as a guy who’s trying the best he can with the tools that he has at his disposal, but he doesn’t come off as the greatest guy,” the actor said. “The Way, Way Back,” released by Fox Searchlight Pictures, the independent film arm of News Corp’s 20th Century Fox studios, was produced on a reported budget of $4.6 million according to movie database — Reuters


he Lone Ranger” seems to be riding into the sunset on its debut weekend. The Disney Western starring Armie Hammer as the titular character and Johnny Depp as Tonto was outpaced 3 to 1 by Universal’s “Despicable Me 2,” which also opened Wednesday. The animated sequel collected $59.9 million in ticket sales so far, while “The Lone Ranger” earned a paltry $19.5 million. While Disney is likely to recover based on its other strong offerings this summer, including Pixar’s “Monsters University” and Marvel’s “Iron Man 3,” the masked man’s dismal box-office showing may spell trouble for Depp and all but ends any hope for a Lone Ranger franchise. “This is one and done,” said Stuart Oldham, editor of the industry trade site “You’re not going to see another Lone Ranger movie after this.” It’s a “big disappointment” for Disney, said media and entertainment analyst Martin Pyykkonen of Wedge Partners. Although the film had been set up for a sequel, “it’s obviously not even going to come close to covering the production costs,” the analyst said. Years in the making, “Lone Ranger” filming was shut down for weeks in 2011 because of soaring costs that still ended up in the $250-million range. Poor reviews for the film may have contributed to the sluggish ticket sales. Chicago SunTimes critic Richard Roeper called it “slick trash,” while the AP’s Jake Coyle said the two-and-a-half hour spectacle “finally, exhaustingly collapses in a scrap heap of train wreckage.” “”The Lone Ranger’ is, alas, a runaway train,” Coyle writes. It’s a serious misstep for blockbuster producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski and megastar Depp, who partnered profitably on the first three “Pirates of the Caribbean” films.

Depp’s take on Tonto has been compared unfavorably to Captain Jack Sparrow in face paint. “(The studio thought) if we have Johnny Depp and we transfer him over to another funny hat and call him Tonto, we’re going to be OK, but it’s not OK,” said Gene Del Vecchio, author of “Creating Blockbusters. Part of the problem, he said, is that children aren’t nearly as familiar with the Lone Ranger as they are with the animated characters in “Despicable Me 2” and last week’s first-place film, “Monsters University.” “Kids really need to be reintroduced to the Lone Ranger,” he said. “Instead, they were introduced to Tonto in the marketing.” The failure of “The Lone Ranger” could impact studio decisions about what to green-light going forward, and not just at Disney. “From a film-industry standpoint, when you peel back the onion, you’re not going to take a big risk on a big-production film that doesn’t have a proven franchise,” Pyykkonen said, especially in light of other recent bombs including “John Carter,” “Battleship” and “After Earth.” “What’s going to take a hit is creativity in Hollywood,” Oldham said. “You’re going to see more sequels and more remakes after these big bombs.” Pyykkonen said the future of the proven “Pirates” franchise could even be in question. “There’s probably going to be some head-scratching in the Disney film studio board rooms,” he said. “Like, ‘We’ve had a few in a row here that didn’t win at the box office, do we really want to do a ‘Pirates’ 5?”— AP

Indian Bollywood actors Ayushman Khurana (right) and Parineeti Chopra perform during the 14th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Award ceremony at The Venetian hotel in Macau yesterday. The annual IIFA Awards, India’s Hindi language film industry, Bollywood’s glitziest awards ceremony, which have been held overseas for the last 13 years, is one of the world’s most-watched annual entertainment ceremonies, broadcast to nearly 500 million viewers in 110 countries. — AFP

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013



n what can only be described as a stunning spectacle, OSN, the region’s leading pay-TV network, set the stage for the premiere of Season 3 of Hareem Al Sultan, the highly-anticipated Turkish series, with an almost-real, thematic parade by actors adorning elaborate costumes and jewelry as seen on the show. Held at Marina Mall, the royal display boasted rich colors and attire that is reflective of the epic show, Hareem Al Sultan, bringing the magic of TV to life. A significant first for the region, the spectacle paraded to the sounds of drum beats attracting fans and visitors at the mall who were able to pose with their favorite characters and take photos in what was described as an unforgettable experience. Fans who missed the opportunity have yet another chance to view their favorite on-screen personalities. OSN will bring Hareem Al Sultan to life again from July 4 to 6, from 6pm to 10pm. One of the most sought-after shows, Season 3 of Hareem Al Sultan promises to be even more compelling, shining the light on the life of ‘Suleiman the Magnificent,’ and survival in the Harem. The new series premiers exclusively on OSN Ya Hala!HD from July 1st at 21:00 KSA.


ET is apologizing to a fashion blogger who says it made him tone down his feminine look to appear on the network’s pre-awards show. The network called the incident with B. Scott, which took place before Sunday’s BET Awards, a “miscommunication.” On his blog Monday, Scott, who is openly gay, said he was told to change his outfit - a flowing black tunic and black pants - to a more conservative suit. He also said he was asked to pull his long black hair back in a ponytail and not to wear heels. He did appear on the show, which aired just before the awards, wearing a suit with no shirt,


here’s no business like small business. Mix the high stakes of running a small business with a dash of family drama and throw in a camera crew and you get hit reality television shows such as “Pawn Stars,” “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” and “Duck Dynasty.” Turning small business owners into stars has become a winning formula for television producers, but some businesses featured in them are cashing in, too. Sales explode after just a few episodes air, transforming these nearly unknown small businesses into household names. In addition to earning a salary from starring in the shows, some small business owners are benefiting financially from opening gift shops that sell souvenirs or getting involved in other ventures that spawn from their new-found fame. Sales at Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas are five times higher than they were before “Pawn Stars” first aired in 2009. More people are pouring into the St Louis restaurant featured in “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” to eat its jumbosized fried chicken wings and six-cheese macaroni and cheese. And Duck Commander, seen in “Duck Dynasty,” is having trouble controlling the crowds in front of its headquarters in the small city of West Monroe, La. “Sometimes it’s hard getting from the truck to the front door,” says Willie Robertson, who owns Duck Commander with his father and stars in the A&E series with his extended family. It’s a big change for a company that sells duck calls out of a part-brick, part-cinder block warehouse on a dry, dead-end country road. Duck hunters use the whistles, which mimic duck sounds, to attract their prey. Since “Duck Dynasty” began airing in March 2012, Robertson finds at least 70 people waiting in front of the warehouse every morning asking for autographs and photos. Neighbors have complained about the mobs and the police have been called. Despite the trouble, the show has been good for the family business. Sales of the company’s duck calls, which range from $20 to $175, have skyrocketed. In 2011, the company sold 60,000 duck calls. In 2012, the year the show began airing, the company sold 300,000. “We saw a big difference as the Nielsen ratings went up,” says Robertson. Their income from doing the show may be going up along with the ratings. “Duck Dynasty” is the most watched documentary-style reality series on TV right now, according to Nielsen, which provides informa-

makeup and his hair pulled back. Scott said he was hurt and embarrassed by the situation. “It’s not just about the fact that BET forced me to pull my hair back, asked me to take off my makeup, made me changed my clothes and prevented me from wearing a heel,” he wrote. “It’s more so that from the mentality and environment created by BET made me feel less than and that something was wrong with who I am as a person.” BET was regretful of the incident in a Monday statement to The Associated Press. “BET Networks embraces global diversity in all its forms and seeks

tion and insight into what consumers watch and buy. April’s one-hour season three finale was watched by 9.6 million people, making it the most watched program in A&E’s 29-year history. The Hollywood Reporter reported that the cast of the show is demanding a raise to $200,000 an episode to do a fourth season. Both the network and Robertson had no comment on the report. Cameras follow Robertson and his family as they make duck calls, hunt or go camping. One episode showed Robertson trying to prove to his dad, brother and uncle that he could spend a night in a tent during a camping trip. (Robertson ends up bringing a big recreational vehicle and is ridiculed for it. “Once you bring something with wheels that’s enclosed, you’re no longer camping. You’re parking,” says Robertson’s brother, Jace Robertson, in the episode.) To keep up with rising sales, Duck Commander hired five more people. Every duck call has to be put together by hand. “It’s like a musical instrument,” says Robertson. “Each one needs to be blown into it to make sure it works.” To stop the crowds from disrupting business, and to make extra cash, Robertson opened a gift shop inside the Duck Commander warehouse. “It keeps the people out of my lobby,” says Robertson. The shop sells duck calls, Duck Commander T-shirts and bobblehead dolls that look like Robertson, his dad, uncle and brother, complete with their long beards. Rick Harrison, the star of “Pawn Stars,” opened a gift shop, too. He sells mugs, T-shirts, bobbleheads and refrigerator magnets, in the back of his Las Vegas pawn store. Harrison says the souvenirs bring in about $5 million in revenue a year. The pawn business brings in about $20 million a year, up from the $4 million before “Pawn Stars” aired. The show, which follows people as try to sell or pawn items ranging from gold coins to classic cars, also stars Harrison’s son, his father and an employee named Austin “Chumlee” Russell. People have been lining up outside the pawn shop since the reality show began airing on History in 2009. The store installed misters above the line to keep fans cool under the hot, Las Vegas sun. Fame has disadvantages. Harrison says he wears a hat and sunglasses to disguise himself, even on visits to IHOP for pancakes with his kids. During an overseas vacation, he was swarmed by fans at the Tower of London. “It amazes me,” says Harrison. “I’m just a fat middle-aged bald guy, but people still want to meet me.”

to maintain an inclusive workforce and a culture that values all perspectives and backgrounds,” the statement read. “The incident with B Scott was a singular one with a series of unfortunate miscommunications from both parties. We regret any unintentional offense to B. Scott and anyone within the LGBT community and we seek to continue embracing all gender expressions.” Messages left Monday seeking comment from B Scott were not immediately returned. — AP

Harrison is cashing in on his celebrity. He was hired as a spokesman for Procter & Gamble Inc’s Swiffer cleaning wipes and he wrote a book, called “License to Pawn,” about his life and business. (Harrison declined to say how much he made on those deals.) He also rents out a 1,300square-foot area in the back of the pawn shop’s building for private parties. The fee can range anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000, depending on the number of people invited and whether Harrison or one of the shows stars to drops by.Despite his fame, and busy 40-week-a-year filming schedule, Harrison says that his pawn business comes first. “I do realize that television shows end,” he says, even though the show is coming back for a new season May 30. “I want to make sure I have a business when people are saying, ‘Hey, do you remember that show about four fat guys in a pawn shop’” A show may end, but it’s not quickly forgotten. Hair stylist Elgin Charles, whose salon was featured on VH1’s “Beverly Hills Fabulous,” says he is still benefiting from the show even though it hasn’t been on the air for nearly two years. Fans of the show still stop into Elgin Charles Beverly Hills to get their hair done, some from as far away as Australia and Nigeria. “The phone didn’t stop ringing for eight months after the show aired,” says Charles, who has owned the salon for 15 years. Charles was recently cornered by fans at a Dallas nightclub trying to get a picture of him on their smartphones. “I can’t even walk the streets of New York without being approached,” he says. (Charles is hard to miss. He often wears shiny, dark, straight shoulder-length hair.) He has been paid to make appearances at hair shows and conventions. “Many doors have opened,” says Charles. “The whole reason I did it was to make Elgin Charles Beverly Hills a household name,” says Charles. He’s says he’s putting his name on a school, called the Elgin Charles Universal Beauty College, which is expected to open this summer in downtown Los Angeles. — AP


SN, the leading pay-TV network in the Middle East and North Africa, set the platform for two new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS titles for Saudi Arabia, a first of its kind feat for the Kingdom. All it took was 55 seconds for Shahan Haved, a resident of Saudi Arabia, and 1.15 minutes for an Arab contestant from Jeddah, to set two newly created GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS achievements. Marking a significant first for the Kingdom, at the inaugural GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS Challenge Fair organized at Mall of Arabia, Jeddah, the new world record was for the Fastest time to arrange movie titles (English and Arabic) in alphabetical order. The challenge, which was open to anyone who wished to contend for a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title, was organized by OSN. Underlining the broadcaster’s status as the network of choice for movies and the best family programming, a dedicated OSN Challenge area served as the first round for the competition. The fastest contenders were chosen from the OSN Challenge area to go on stage every hour to attempt the official GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title. From the 26 movie titles, jumbled up randomly by an independent witness, the contender had to arrange the movie titles in

alphabetical order in the fastest time. Hundreds of participants took part in the two-day challenge, trying their dexterity and knowledge of movies first at the OSN Challenge area, with Shahan Haved beating all contenders with his unmatched speed. Abdul Mohsen Al Joyan, General Manager of OSN Saudi Arabia said: “We are delighted with the overwhelming turnout at the OSN Challenge area. From kids to teenagers to parents, everyone wanted to test their skills to set a new record for Saudi Arabia. Audiences enjoyed OSN’s initiative which is part of our continued commitment to bring fun family events and experiences to Saudi residents. “Big congratulations to our Saudi record setters who have made us all very proud and we thank our partners Arabian Centres Co Ltd and Guinness World Records for organizing this experience”. With the largest line-up of the biggest and best movies from Hollywood and beyond through the network’s exclusive deals with major studios, OSN’s movie portfolio has a wide fan-following in Saudi Arabia. This year alone, over 900 exclusive movie premieres have been scheduled on OSN, most of them reaching customers within three months of the films’ theatrical release.

Shahan Haved holding his official Guinness World Records certificate.

Beyonce gains stepmom as father gets married


SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013

Picture shows dancers during a rehearsal at the Song and Dance festival in Riga, Latvia. — AFP photos


ot your usual mothballed folk festival, a songfest more than a century old with a choir of thousands enjoys near mythical status for the role it played in little Latvia’s battle for freedom. The weeklong Latvian Song and Dance Celebration culminates Sunday when 12,000 people deliver old folk songs in pitch-perfect unison at a forest amphitheatre in Riga. “It’s an experience I would recommend to anyone!” conductor Romans Vanags says, gasping and dripping with sweat as he leads the giant choir in sweltering summer heat. The songfest is an experience that takes place only every five years and boasts UNESCO World Heritage status. Hopping down from the podium after a final rehearsal of “Saule, Perkons, Daugava” (Sun, Thunder, Daugava River) - an unofficial national anthem for many Latvians-Vanags was still on a high. “I started doing this 20 years ago. Every time feels like the first time, yet every time is different. It’s an amazing thing to feel the power of all those voices a capella,” the 50-year-old said. Vanags is one of an elite group of “dirigenti” or conductors entrusted with leading this highly important event of Latvian heritage, celebrating its 25th edition. Since the 19th-century the festival has been one of the few constants in the turbulent history of the Baltic nation of just two million people. Under Tsarist and then Soviet occupation, it was a lifeline for Latvian national identity. “There is a war in which Latvia can win without weapons: choir wars,” Culture Minister Zanete Jaunzeme-Grende said at the June 30 kickoff. “In the 140-year history of the Song and Dance Celebration, we have become a superpower.” The festival started in 1873 as a rare opportunity for Latvians to use their own language in public under Tsarist Russian rule. It quickly turned into a showcase for “dainas” or generations of peasant songs passed down by word of mouth. After the communist revolution brought down the Tsar, Latvia declared independence on November 18, 1918, but the freedom was short-lived. Alongside Estonia and Lithuania, Latvia


red-and-white ocean of revelers packed the Spanish city of Pamplona yesterday to launch the San Fermin festival, a nine-day mix of partying and fleeing huge, sharp-horned fighting bulls. The alcohol-soaked bedlam sets off at noon with a traditional shout from the balcony of city hall of “Viva San Fermin!” and the launch of a rocket known as the “chupinazo”. Under a hot sun, partygoers and daredevils from Spain and around the world most dressed in white with red scarvesjammed the streets, dancing and spraying each other with sangria and cheap wine, turning white shirts pink. Many onlookers peered from balconies overlooking the huge celebrations. “It’s one of those big things you need to get done before you die,” said Alison Windsor, a 27-year-old Australian

was reoccupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, seized by Nazi Germany in 1941 and again taken over by Moscow in 1944. “In most places people associate choirs with something religious or old fashioned,” says Daina Rudusa, 26, who will sing at the grand finale, the culmination of three years of rehearsals. “For us Latvians singing is cultural, historical, it is something we do on a daily basis,” she explains. “It is also historically important: during the years of the occupation choral music was a way to maintain a national identity, but also a means of creative resistance.” Under the Soviets, Latvians were allowed to sing in their native tongue but under the banners of Marx and Lenin. The tone changed in June 1988 when the so-called “Singing Revolution” began in Estonia, as tens of thousands raised their voices in anti-Soviet anthems in Tallinn. The sound of freedom then rang out in neighboring Lithuania and Latvia, where long-banned national songs and flags reappeared in the 1990 edition of the festival as the Soviet Union crumbled, restoring independence in the Baltic states. The national love affair with the song festival has boomed ever since. Nearly 40,000 people or two percent of Latvia’s population take to the stage-a per capita equivalent of one million singers and dancers in France. — AFP

Photo shows singers during a rehearsal at the Song and Dance festival.

who came just for the festival. “I needed to come once in my life” she said. “I am not sure I will run with the bulls.” The festival, which dates back to medieval times, features religious ceremonies in honor of San Fermin, the patron saint of Pamplona, as well as concerts and round-the-clock drinking, with bars open until 6:00 am. But the highlight is a bracing, daily test of courage against a pack of half-ton fighting bulls thundering through the northern city’s cobbled streets. Each day at 8:00 am hundreds of people race with six huge bulls, charging along a winding, 848.6-metre course through the narrow streets from a holding pen to the city’s bull ring where the animals will be killed in a bullfight. The bravest-or most foolhardy-festival-goers run as close as possible to the tips of the horns, hopefully without being gored. The first bull

Revelers are sprayed with water thrown from balconies during the launch of the ‘Chupinazo’ rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2013 San Fermin fiestas yesterday. — AP photos

Dancers are pictured during a rehearsal at the Song and Dance festival in Riga.

run, which traditionally draws the largest number of participants, is today. The bull runs are believed to have started when butchers began running ahead of the beasts they were bringing from the countryside to the San Fermin festival. A run takes on average just under four minutes. Last year 38 people were taken to hospital at the festival’s eight bull runs, including four men who were gored by bulls. Several hundred more were treated for minor injuries at the scene, emergency services said. Most of the injuries are not caused by bull horns but by runners falling or getting knocked over or trampled by the animals. Fifteen people have been killed in the bull runs since records started in 1911. The most recent death took place four years ago when a bull gored a 27-year-old Spaniard in the

A reveler jumps from a fountain after the launch of the ‘Chupinazo’ rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2013 San Fermin fiestas yesterday in Pamplona, Spain.

neck, heart and lungs. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to the city of 200,000 residents each year for the festival, which was made famous worldwide by Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises”. The festival has not escaped the economic downturn gripping Spain. Pamplona city hall has slashed the budget for the fiesta this year by 13.8 percent to 2.1 million euros ($2.7 million).— AFP

Revelers pour wine into the mouth of a girl during the launch of the ‘Chupinazo’ rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2013 San Fermin fiestas yesterday.

7th Jul 2013  

Kuwait Times