Page 1


MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013

Britain deports Abu Qatada after legal marathon

150 FILS NO: 15863

Vettel finally wins at home and in July

8 40 PAGES

SHAABAN 29, 1434 AH


Splits in leadership amid Egypt protests Islamists, opponents take to streets as politics hits snag

Court to rule on freezing polls July 14

Murray ends 77-year wait

By B Izzak KUWAIT: The administrative court yesterday set July 14 as the date to issue its ruling on a petition demanding that the July 27 election should be suspended because the current Cabinet is illegal. Lawyer Adel Abdulhadi, who filed the petition last week, argued in the court yesterday that the government’s composition is not in line with the constitution which requires that at least one of its members must be an elected MP. He said that after the June 16 historical ruling of the constitutional court which nullified the election process and dissolved the National Assembly which was elected in December last year, the only elected MP in the Cabinet, Minister of Social Affairs and Labour Thekra Al-Rasheedi, is no longer a member of the Assembly. Accordingly, none of the Cabinet members is an elected MP which violates article 56 of the constitution which renders it “illegitimate” and as a result any actions taken by the Cabinet will be illegal and unconstitutional. One of those actions was approving an Amiri decree inviting voters to elect a new Continued on Page 15

LONDON: Britain’s Andy Murray poses with the winner’s trophy on the clubhouse balcony after beating Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in the men’s singles final on day thirteen of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament at the All England Club in southwest London yesterday. Murray won 6-4, 7-5, 6-4. — AFP (See Page 20)

Max 48º Min 35º High Tide 00:59 & 11:30 Low Tide 05:44& 19:08

CAIRO: Feuding erupted within Egypt’s new leadership yesterday as secular and liberal factions wrangled with ultraconservative Islamists who rejected their choice for prime minister, stalling the formation of a new government after the military’s ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. At the same time, the shows of strength over the removal of Egypt’s first freely elected president were far from ending, with tens of thousands in the streets yesterday from each side. The military deployed troops at key locations in Cairo and other cities amid fears of renewed violence. The Muslim Brotherhood pushed ahead with its campaign of protests aimed at forcing Morsi’s reinstatement, bringing out large crowds in new rallies. Its officials vowed the group would not be “terrorized” by arrests of their leaders and the shutdown of their media outlets. Demonstrators at the Republican Guard barracks, where three people were killed on Friday, shouted “Morsi, Morsi, God is greatest!” and “Peaceful, peaceful!” as soldiers and policemen looked on from behind barbed wire. “We will not leave until Morsi returns. Otherwise we’ll die as martyrs,” said 55-year-old Hanim Ahmad Ali Al-Sawi, wearing a veil over her face in the searing midday sun. “This was a coup against democracy.” The Brotherhood’s opponents, in turn, called out large rallies in Tahrir Square and other squares in Cairo and several cities to defend against an Islamist counterpush. Military warplanes swooped over the crowd filling Tahrir, drawing a heart shape and an Egyptian flag in the sky with colored smoke. Two days ago, clashes between the rival camps left at least 36 dead and more than 1,000 injured nationwide. Continued on Page 15

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


Kuwait follows situations in Egypt closely: FM Italian minister in town


in brief

Election preparations KUWAIT: Interior Ministry Undersecretary Lt Gen Ghazi Al-Omar yesterday chaired a meeting to discuss security preparations for the parliamentary elections on July 27. A press release issued by the ministry said that Omar reviewed coordination between various security leaders and the preparations and procedures to be followed in order to facilitate the process for voters in all six governorates. Omar stressed that First Deputy PM and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Sabah had given strict orders to provide all services needed to secure the elections. Elections Field Commander Maj Gen Mahmoud Al-Doussary stressed that the ministry would provide the needed troops and support to ensure the success of the elections. Crescent watch KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Crescent Sighting Authority is to convene 7:30 pm today to watch for the crescent of the new lunar month of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fast. A statement by the authority, under the Ministry of Justice, said yesterday that the authority would be presided over by Chairman of the Court of Cassations Chief Justice Yusif Al-Mutawwa. The statement said the ministry meanwhile encourages anyone who sights the crescent to come forward and record an official testimony to this effect before the authority.The ministry sought this occasion to extend its best wishes to the Kuwaiti leadership and people on the advent of the holy month. KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received yesterday at Seif Palace, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah accompanied by Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino and her accompanying delegation on the occasion of her visit to the country. The meeting was also attended by Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah.

KUWAIT: Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah asserted here yesterday that Kuwait is following closely the situation in Egypt “due to its importance and its pioneering leadership,” expressing hope that Egypt would return to exercising its leading role and fulfill the aspirations of its people. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid expressed, in a joint press conference with Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino, hope that Egypt would soon determine the time frame needed for amending the constitution and holding presidential and parliamentary elections. He pointed out that Bonino met today with H is H ighness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah and His Highness the Prime M inister Sheik h Jaber Mubarak AlHamad Al-Sabah, adding that HH the Amir conveyed his greetings to Italian

President Giorgio Napolitano and his aspirations for further bilateral cooperation for the benefit of the two countries. The Kuwaiti Foreign Minister praised the first official visit by the Italian minister to the region, due to “the importance of the strategic par tnership between Italy and Kuwait”, noting that he held official talks with Bonino and her entourage which covered overall fields of bilateral relations. He explained that the formal talks reemphasized on the “excellent relations” and the importance of communicating with each other at all levels as well as emphasis on working together for the security, stability and prosperity of the region. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid said the two sides reviewed the many important files, most notably the Kuwaiti-Iraqi ties, Palestinian issue and the deteriorating

and dangerous situation in Syria, stressing the need to work together to support efforts to reach a peaceful solution to this tragedy, in addition to supporting humanitarian work to alleviate the suffering of the brotherly Syrian people. He said that the talks also touched on the ongoing developments in Egypt, stressing Kuwait’s support for Egypt in all its efforts to achieve the hopes and aspirations of its people. For her part, Bonino said her visit was aimed to prepare for the prospective visit to Kuwait by Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta in October and for the joint bilateral committee meeting in Rome during the month of November. She added that countries of the Gulf are linked to the Mediterranean region, adding that bilateral relations between the two countries have evolved in recent years in various fields, especially in the economic and political domains.

17.5 percent of total High success voters in first rate reignite KU constituency KUWAIT: The total number of voters registered in the 14th admission fears term of the Kuwait National Assembly elections is 439,715 KUWAIT: With exceptionally high success rates that reached up to 90 percent in the scientific section in the public sector alone, educators reiterated concern regarding the Education Ministry’s plans to encompass all Kuwaiti high school graduates into the already overcrowded Kuwait University. Kuwait’s only public university struggled in the past few years to accept new students and could very well face the same problem this year with nearly 17,000 expected to graduate from public high schools. Meanwhile, a source in the Ministry of Higher Education reassured that plans are already in place to take in all expected graduates in four different academic destinations: the Kuwait University, the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training, as well as scholarships in private universities inside Kuwait and abroad. On speculations that the Ministry of Education could discuss demands of repeating final tests whose model answers were leaked, the source who spoke to Al-Rai on the condition of anonymity said that the ministry cannot take action against students without having a solid evidence against them. A cheating scandal sparked by video footage said to have been taken by a student during one of the exams and sent to social networks have led to nationwide reactions, after which Minister of Education Dr. Hayef Al-Hajraf terminated the contracts of many senior officials.

— including 206,096 males and 233,619 females — with the first out of five constituencies occupying 17.56pct. The first constituency includes 77,245 voters (36,079 male and 41,166 female). Since the last December 2012 elections the number of voters has increased by 2,369, representing a 3.16pct rise, according to Interior Ministry figures. It includes 19 areas, with the dominant being Rumaithiya and with the least voters found in Al-Matabba. It includes, in order of voter numbers, Rumaithiya 174,444 voters (8,935 male, 8,509 female), Bayan 13,795 voters (6,131 male, 7,664 female), Salwa 12, 092 voters (4,849 male, 7,243 female), Mishref 10,424 voters (4,383 male, 6, 041 female), Dasma 5,884 voters (3,143 male, 2,741 female), Al-Daiya 4,922 voters (2,538 male, 2,384 female), Salmiyah 4,390 voters (1,710 male, 2,680 female). Shaab 3,601 voters (1,817 male, 1,784 female), Mubarak Al-Abdallah 1,322 voters (586 male, 736 female), Bneid AlGar 966 voters (659 male, 307 female), Sharq 876 voters (433 male, 443 female), Hawalli 702 voters (213 male, 489 female), Failaka Island and the rest of the Kuwaiti islands 224 voters (224 male, 0 females). Al-Ras 202 voters (202 male, 0 female), Dasman 161 voters (54 male, 107 female), Al-Bidaa 115 voters (77 male, 38 female), Nugra 86 voters (86 male, 0 female), Maidan Hawalli 38 voters (38 male, 0 female) and Al-Matabba one voter (one male, 0 female). — KUNA

Tent industry in Kuwait thriving ahead of elections KUWAIT: As forthcoming parliamentary elections are to be held in the approaching holy month of Ramadan, tent industry is thriving thanks to high demand by candidates, mosques and charities. Ten manufactures are struggling to provide all tent orders due to tight time and specific require ments required to be met in order to avoid problems like fire and hot we a t h e r. Eve n u s e d te n t s a re ordered for Ramadan and elections

due on July 27.Hassan Eweida, an election tent business manager, said the fact that the next legislative polls will be held during the fasting month has led to high tent s a l e s. Ca n d i d a te s a n d m o s q u e s have ordered a large number of tents, causing a shortage of shelters at companies, Eweida said. H owe ve r, s o m e c a n d i d a te s believe that they do not have to hire elec tion shelters thanks to their well-guaranteed public sup-

KUWAIT: Election time is approaching. The streets in Kuwait become coloured with posters and advertisements for the candidates. The image illustrates a poster for MP candidate Dr Rabah Al-Najadda from First electoral district. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

port, he said. An election tent costs between KD 15,000 and 30,000 at present compared to KD 50,000 and KD 70,000, Eweida pointed out. A Kuwaiti municipal official said a candidate can have two election premises; one for men and the other for women. To have election shelters, candid a te s h ave to f u l f i l l re l e v a n t requirements in order to obtain required municipal licenses, Rashed Al-Hashan, the manager of the Kuwait Municipality’s public relations, said. A te n t should be at least 200 meters away from the other and 500 meters from voting stations, he said. Election ads are restricted to headquar ters and tents, rather than means of transport, he remarked, adding that tents can be removed after one month and a half of placing. K halid Al-Ajmi, a Jahra Governorate official, said candidates should obtain the approval of the fire administration for fixing electoral tents for electioneering. Electoral headquarters should be away from power transformers and high voltage lines, with tents having to be made of flame resistant material, the official urged. —KUNA

Bonino welcomed the recent developments between the State of Kuwait and the Republic of Iraq, expressing her countr y ’s readiness to help in this regard to achieve mutual cooperation. She noted that there is an opportunity for I talian companies to invest in Kuwait, especially that Italy is proud to possess modern technology in the field of infrastructure. She pointed out that Italy is also looking forward to open an Italian cultural center in Kuwait, as well as Italian universities and exchange of missions and students. On the situation in Syria, she said that there is no alternative to a political solution as the only solution and Italy is working actively to ensure the convening of the (Geneva 2) conference, and hope after the selection of a new head of the Syrian National Coalition, the situation would improve. — KUNA

No visit visa suspension KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior dismissed yesterday recent reports claiming that it had suspended visit visas to Egyptians due to the current situation in Egypt. “Such reports are totally untrue. All visa applications are handled according to relevant procedures and conditions,” the ministry said in a release. But, he said as the holy month of Ramadan is approaching, immigration departments received a large number of visit applications, a matter which needs to be carefully handled and checked. Baseless report KUWAIT: Kuwait Airways Corporation has denied media reports circulated recently over the demise of a passenger on board of a KAC flight, saying the incident occurred on board of a Gulf plane operating at Kuwait International Airport and was arriving from Riyadh. Director of the Department of Public Relations and Media in the KAC Khaled Al-Khulaifi said in a statement today that “there is no flight bearing the number 510 on the flights schedule of Kuwait Airways,” referring to the flight number, which reportedly witnessed the event of death. Al-Khulaifi called on the media to be accurate and objective while disseminating news related to Kuwait Airways Corporation for the sake of the reputation of the national air carrier.

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


KUWAIT: The outgoing ambassador of Bangladesh Syed Shahed Raza hosted a reception at his residence. Diplomats, higher officials and media persons attended the function. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

Burgan Bank announces new branch timings for Ramadan KUWAIT: Burgan Bank announced yesterday its new branch timings which will be applicable throughout the holy month of Ramadan. All Burgan Bank branches will commence work in one shift from 10 am to 1:30 pm. Additionally, the Airport branch will be open 7 days a week in the mornings from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm

and in the evenings from 9:30 pm to 11:30pm. Moreover, customers can also contact the call center on 1804080 at any given time during the Holy month for more updates on the bank’s products and services. On this occasion, Burgan Bank extends its best wishes to everyone during the holy month of Ramadan.

Commercial Facilities Company announces Ramadan working hours KUWAIT: Commercial Facilities Company (CFC) announced 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 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.

Govt plans to regulate Private clinics charges Talks about reduced hospital fees By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Amidst unregulated charges for services and treatment in private medical facilities in Kuwait, the Ministry of Health is reportedly considering a new decision to be released within days to enforce reduced charges for medical treatment and services. Many expats and Kuwaitis alike argue that the common problem at government hospitals in Kuwait is related to the slow service, long queues and perhaps lack of privacy. “Every time I go to the clinic, I have to wait in long lines and when I am finally seen by a doctor, it is too late,” said a thirtysomething expat who recently had a dental emergency and was referred to a dentist for after two months. “I had to go private,” she said. Private medical facilities provide services needed in the healthcare field in Kuwait, in addition to government hospitals that are under the Ministry of Health. The positive side of being checked in a government hospital is the free service. Most of their services are free only if you show them the civil ID, which means you have paid your compulsory health insurance. Every visit to the government hospital costs a patient KD 2 (KD 1 at polyclinics). In private hospitals, charges vary from the registration to actual services and treatment. For instance at a big, well-known hospital in Kuwait, patients are charged for opening a file for the amount of KD 30. Another private hospital in Kuwait charges KD 15 to open a file. Smaller clinics, however, could charge as much as KD 5. There are no specific government rules that regulate private clinic charges. In fact in some laboratory services, some private hospitals/clinics charge their customers odd amounts, patients argue. According to a research by this reporter, laboratory

High school exam results approved KUWAIT: Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Nayef Al-Hajraf has approved high school exam results for the 2012-2013 academic year. The minister told a news conference that His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad AlSabah had already congratulated the first-class students of high schools. HH the premier personally informed the first-class students in both literary and scientific branches about their high degrees, the minister said. During the press conference, the minister put the success percentage of public school students for the scientif-

ic branch at 90.1 percent, 91.3 percent for private school students and 59.4 percent of adult learning centers. Concerning the first-call students of the literary branch, the success percentage hit 86.4 percent for public schools, 82.3 percent for private schools and 62.1 percent for adult learning centers, the minister added. Boroj Amer Meskeen of Syria is the first-class student for the scientific branch, obtaining 99.95 percent, while Samaa Salem Al-Janzouri of Egypt got the highest marks of 99.52 percent for the literary branch. A ceremony is to be held today to award the first-call students of high schools, the minister pointed out. — KUNA

Kuwaiti MoH, Canadian academics discuss ties WA S H I N G TO N : K u w a i t i H e a l t h M i n i s t e r D r Mohammad Al-Haifi discussed means to bolster ties within the health service sector with a number of Canadian academics. During his visit to the cities of Montreal and Toronto, Al-Haifi met with the dean of medicine at the McGill University Dr. David Eidelman, discussing with him measures to reinforce and improve the training of Kuwaiti medical students at the university. Minister Al-Haifi also took a tour of the faculty where he was provided with a briefing on each department’s duties and services. Al-Haifi also paid a visit to the University Health Network (UHN), a medical center that includes the four facilities of Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto General Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Center, and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. The UHN is affiliated with the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine. During his visit, the Kuwaiti Minister was accompanied by the UHN’s President and CEO Dr. Robert Bill who briefed Dr. Al-Haifi on the services provided by the network. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Narcotics officers arrested two Arab expats for possessing 2,600 tablets of Tramadol. Information was received about one of them trading in drugs and after collecting necessary information and obtaining legal permission, the suspect’s house was raided where they found 100 tablets of Tramadol. He confessed he had a partner who supplied him with the drugs. The other suspect’s house was also raided, where they found 2,500 tablets of Tramadol. The suspect confessed to trading in these drugs.

KUWAIT: A fire broke out in Farwaniya behind Crowne Plaza hotel yesterday in a pile of timber near a residential building. The fire also reached a small bus parked there. Firemen brought the fire under control before it could spread to the building’s basement where inflammable materials were stored. Such kind of storage is in violation of the law, and legal action has been taken by the fire legal department. —Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

KUWAIT: A dentist is checking a patient’s dental problem at a clinic in Kuwait. The image is used for illustrative purpose only. charges could vary - KD 28, in one clinic/ in hospital to be made by Minister of Health Dr -Haywf after he they charged KD42. Urinalysis: 3KD, in one clinic hospi- was expected to return from an official North tal it cost around KD10. Blood Test (Blood grouping American trip yesterday. “It will absolutely help us patients. Like for me, I don’t have any choice but get charges): 3 KD, other clinics charge KD5. Sources familiar with this issue indicated that the the services of my trusted doctor in that private hospisubject has been discussed during a recent meeting tal. At the end of the day whatever the bill is, I need to between Undersecretary Assistant for Private Sector pay, if not how could I be discharged,” one patient talkServices Dr. Mohammad Al-Khashty, and officials in ing to Kuwait Times commented. “It’s about time that the ministry’s medical licenses departments. During the government will set the standard for the private the meeting, the officials concluded to recommend medical treatment, after all they (private measures to cut the costs of treatment/services at pri- hospitals/clinics) are partners in caring and giving vate hospitals and medical facilities through a decision treatment to people of Kuwait,” one doctor said.

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


‘Beating the NBA’ takes sports fans on a wild ride for bargains and basketball Kuwaiti author combines Arab culture and New York Street Smarts

KUWAIT: Residents in Kuwait get creative as to how to circumvent the effect of the heat in the summer months in Kuwait.— Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Multimillion fund to ‘control’ parliament New map for political work KUWAIT: A local daily yesterday claimed that prominent politicians “with high influence” on the decision making process in Kuwait have allocated large funds to support certain candidates with the hope of securing a loyalist majority in the upcoming parliament, according to informed sources. Speaking to Al-Jarida on the condition of anonymity, the sources said the group have set up a “nearly KD 13 million fund” in order to “draw a new map for political work” in Kuwait based on securing at least five candidates in each of the state’s five constituencies in the parliament - which if successful would be sufficient to secure a majority in the 50-seat house. “The group wants to create a majority that can control decisions and committees of the parliament,” the sources said. This goal was one of three which the sources said that the unspecified group targets, with the other two being “pressure to select certain candidates as ministers” and “tip the voting for speaker in favor of a certain candidate”. According to the source, the fund is going to be used to support candidates by paying them an average of KD 350,000 for first and third constituency candidates, KD 250,000 for second constituency candidates, and 500,000 for fourth and fifth constituency candidates based on voter density. “The group set their sights early on the speaker’s post given its importance in opening direct channels of communications with the political leadership, giving access to a lot of information and details that are inaccessible to others, in addition to the ability to influence laws,” the sources added. They further argued that the potential majority bloc could enter negotiations with the government in order to secure six ministers from its allies in exchange of protection from grilling motions. “The Cabinet’s formation is another target for the group, especially that multibilliondinar projects are prepared to be put for tender after the elections,” the sources said. Registration

for the June 27 elections closed Saturday with 418 candidateswho have until one week before election day to withdraw. The source suggested that funds will also be used to convince candidates to drop out in favor of competitors whom the group wants to support. Al-Jarida’s front-page story came out simultaneously with statements of an opposition ex-MP published by Al-Rai, in which he reiterated calls to vote in the elections “in order to combat corruption”. “Voting is necessary to avoid having the parliament controlled by dishonest hands which tamper with its Islamic identity and national gains,” Mohammad Hayef said. Notably, the politician who is not running for parliament, argued that the Assembly is likely not going to survive more than two months, without providing specific reasons to support his claim. In other news, the final day for candidates’ registration saw Anwar Al-Tabtabaei sign up in the third constituency, who insisted that he respects the opinion of his brother, leading oppositionist and former MP Dr Waleed AlTabtabaei, who is boycotting the elections. “I believe that participation in the elections is a legitimate demand in order to avoid having a parliament that legislates laws that violate Islamic sharia,” Anwar Al-Tabtabaei said on Saturday. Meanwhile, Waleed took on Twitter after registration closed to reiterate that he is not going to support any candidate, seemingly in response to speculations suggesting that he might support his brother in some shape or form. Acting Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah gave statements to Al-Rai in the meantime expecting a large turnout in the upcoming elections and hoping that the outcome “paves the way for cooperation between the [legislative and executive] authorities and less tension which is an approach that experience has proven does not build nations”.

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Motez Bishara is the author of Beating the NBA: Tales from a frugal fan, which documents his wild ride across the United States in search of tickets to see America’s most celebrated Pro Basketball teams. The launch of Bishara’s first book last month coincided with the NBA Finals, which were held in Miami. Millions of basketball fans would have loved to witness the tip-off at American Airlines Arena in person, but only 19,600 ticket holders made it there. Many of them paid a fortune for the privilege, but not everyone needed to. When Motez Bishara is not rushing to hit another music gig or sporting event, he spends his time in London freelancing as a journalist. On the side, he tries to revive the Notting Hill hippie movement through Ashtanga yoga and acoustic guitar. Enter Motez Bishara, aka “The Frugal Fan,” an NBA aficionado and professional deal-maker. When the face value for NBA tickets became the equivalent of a mortgage payment, Bishara sprang into action with an experiment to see if he could equal the playing field. Fans should be able to get into any game without paying a fortune - that’s Bishara’s premise. His journey from NBA town to NBA town chronicles his skills and the savvy tactics he uses to ultimately save an average of 25 per cent (and often much more) every time he enters a basketball arena. Bishara is every fan in search of a little live sports entertainment for less than the price of a new car. Inside the arena, he brushes with the cultural elite -Kanye West, Donald Trump, Ben Stiller, Will Smith, Jack Nicholson, etc. while witnessing the genius of a who’s who of NBA icons. Outside the arena, he was looking not to get himself beat up while wheeling and dealing for the best prices.

Political stability necessary KUWAIT: Political stability in Kuwait is necessary for pushing national development and making achievements, Kuwaiti political analysts said here yesterday. Kuwaiti eligible voters are required to participate in the forthcoming parliamentary election and to vote for efficient candidates, they said. The desire to achieve development in the country should be a motive for voters to cast their ballots in order to handpick efficient hopefuls who are able to push forward the national development process in the nation, Ibrahim Dashti said. He hoped that the next National Assembly would play a significant role in boosting national development and achieving major accomplishments, expecting that the holy month of Ramadan and scorching summer would not affect turnout. He even cited expectations as showing that there would be heaving polling during the next legislative polls. For his part, Dean of Kuwait University College of Technological Studies Dr Wael Al-Hasawi predicted high turnout in the election out of potential competition. He said there could be no link between the annulled assembly’s achievements and expected turnout for the forthcoming parliamentary polls. Many candidates and voters are satisfied with the current voting system, and aware of the fact that the boycott of elections would negatively affect the electoral process, AlHasawi added. — KUNA

“For the sports fan, nothing compares to seeing the finest athletes in the world live and inperson. And NBA teams know it,” says Bishara. “And it’s not just the NBA, sports fans in America shell out a mind-boggling $25.5 billion per year to watch the likes of the Lakers, the Yankees and Cowboys play. That’s $82 a year for every man, woman and child in the country. With that kind of product and that kind of demand, there’s a natural tendency for teams to price as high as possible. I was confident, however, that I could show other fans how to avoid paying far more than they should,” he added.

ing fans of live events watch their favorite entertainers at a reasonable price.” Beating the NBA is the ultimate guide to experiencing the professional basketball, as Bishara visits many of the premier cities in the nation for the first time. He also takes advantage of his time between games to partake of the “local flavor” on offer at NBA cities by hitting quirky restaurants, checking out live music, and testing the glitzy to grotty nightlife, offering an engaging travel aspect to the reader. When Craigslist, StubHub, and eBay can’t offer the price he needs, the frugal fan takes his

“On the one hand I wanted to open new doors for those on a budget; on the other, I wanted to save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year, for those already spending a fortune on tickets. Fortunately, as an Arab who grew up in Manhattan, I had the advantage of combining inherent Middle Eastern haggling skills with New York street smarts to nab some amazing deals. But, given the right insight and some practical advice, anyone can do it. That’s what the book is all about: helping fans of live events watch their favorite entertainers at a reasonable price.” Taking the point further Bishara said, “That’s the intention behind Beating the NBA, on the one hand I wanted to open new doors for those on a budget; on the other, I wanted to save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year, for those already spending a fortune on tickets. Fortunately, as an Arab who grew up in Manhattan, I had the advantage of combining inherent Middle Eastern haggling skills with New York street smarts to nab some amazing deals. But, given the right insight and some practical advice, anyone can do it. That’s what the book is all about: help-

campaign to the streets, dealing with hustlers, ex-cons and goons, testing his bargaining prowess with scalping pros, avoiding major red flags, walking away from questionable tickets, and fighting fiscal complacency in order to get the one thing he takes very seriously...his money’s worth. The scalping game is a grind, but Bishara has perfected the art of negotiation. Bishara is not one to back away from a challenge and challenged he was, with a litany of flights (ten of them transatlantic), bug-infested motels, rental cars, and relying on arena food for sus-

tenance. But his solo journey grants readers such a fresh perspective on the game and its different incarnations as he travels from South Beach to Atlanta, and then to Orlando, then to New Orleans, to Memphis, to Oklahoma City, to Denver, to Salt Lake City, to Phoenix and on. Beating the NBA also covers: Scalping etiquette, the collusion of scalpers, the inherent racism in the world of scalping as well as a candid interview with a national scalper. The book also includes his attendance at the first regularseason game in his hometown of London, why showing up at the last minute isn’t always the best strategy for getting low-price tickets, why Chicago is probably the roughest place to hustle tickets and his take on the 2011 NBA lockout. Bishara’s prose is sharp and funny, and ultimately proves that deals can be had at just about every arena in the USA. You just need to read the book to find out how. Beating the NBA is now available for sale on For more information visit

Motez Bishara

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


Local Spotlight

In my view

Constructive Dialogue

Egypt in Chaos By Labeed Abdal By Muna Al-Fuzai


he calls from many countries for the government and opposition in Egypt to engage in constructive dialogue and prevent violence are important voices from good friends of the region and Egypt. Bloodshed and killings during rallies shouldn’t be a reason for more dilemmas, as the revolution was about change and more liberties, not the opposite. The protesters are envisaging a normal, open-minded Egypt and not new rules that will pretend to be the real Islam. Egypt has long roots of democracy, an old Latin/French system and a strong judiciary that should keep the new challenges within the rule of law and maintain public rights and liberties . Reconciliation and round tables must take place ASAP, guaranteeing security for all and shouldn’t have double edges - no need for dangerous alternatives. The repetition of another Syria will be a mistake. The land of the pyramids is far complicated, not easily bought and requires wise peacemakers. The people there clearly do not want to see their revolution stolen by someone who does not give solutions to the people, or more unwanted restrictions that would make the situation far worse than before...

kuwait digest

Suicide of Muslim Brotherhood By Abdullatif Al-Manawi


joke that has been going around in Egypt after the toppling of the one-year old Muslim Brotherhood regime: “MB is a group that was born in a cafe in Ismailia and died at a traffic light in Rabea Al-Adawiya Square”. A lot felt it was like an endless year. The joke, of course refers to Ismailia city where Hassan Al-Banna launched the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928. The traffic light refers to the square where Brotherhood demonstrators rally to defend the group after its leadership insisted on pushing things towards the current situation. When the Muslim Brotherhood took over, everybody thought that it was a the tart of an endless reign while some optimists believed their reign would not be less than ten years. Others said that Egypt has mounted the religious reign train, going backwards or forward, for tens of years before it would come to a stop. Some people even started adapting to seeing faces that seemed there to stay with the belief that choices were limited between coping with the changes, suffering or fleeing Egypt. Some thought that their flight would be for ever. Yet, to everybody’s surprise, the Egyptian people, who went out on street until the Muslim Brotherhood left, did what the most optimistic people failed to predict. It seemed that everybody was filled with anger that they themselves did not realize was there and that it was time to steam it out. The Muslim Brotherhood succeeded in creating a state of anger and rejection amongst a majority of Egyptians, which calls on Muslim Brotherhood members keen on the group’s future to study this phenomenon. Why did Egyptians hate the Muslim Brotherhood so much in just one year? I think their stubbornness, arrogance and feeling that they are ‘God’s chosen group’ was behind such hatred and rejection. There was a disagreement between the Muslim Brotherhood’s international organization and the group in power in Egypt as the former realized from day one that all odds were against them and asked the group to make quick concessions before the June 30 demonstrations and yield to the possible public demands. That was a logical request because losing one battle was better than losing the whole war. Therefore, they advised Morsi to step down and the group to start reorganizing using all its financial assets in bridging the gaps they created with the Egyptian people. They believed that Muslim Brotherhood’s defeat in Egypt would finish them in the whole region. Luckily for the Egyptians, the Brotherhood’s local leadership did not get the message and were blinded by arrogance and decided to go on with confrontations with the people after the ‘lure of power’ got them and Morsi out of their minds and they only saw the millions demonstrating across Egypt as a hundred and sixty thousand, as Morsi told General Sisi and his Western allies when demonstrations began. He was controlled by denial and obstinacy in addition to his fast developing taste of power and unwillingness to give it up, which led to the Brotherhood’s downfall including Morsi and the group’s powerful man who was actually running Egypt - Khairat AlShater. It is not a matter of losing a battle anymore; they have lost the war that will cost the organization a lot in the near future. Morsi’s decision to defy the people and cling to power was a political, public and organizational suicide for the group. Their continued pushing towards clashes and terrorizing the people by having demonstrators stay in Rabe’a square will surely win them more hate from the Egyptian people and exclusion from taking part in building the new Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood’s successes in coming to power and the incidents in Tunisia, Libya and Syria gave indications that more religious (political Islam) reigns would take over in the region. This made people skeptical about the group’s next target. All indictors pointed that the Brotherhood was working on taking over any GCC state to ensure steady finance. The problem is that all this was strongly supported by the US and the West who thought it would solve lots of their problems and put the basis for new techniques in running the region. That was very clear in their shock when the Egyptians and their national army succeeded to topple the Muslim Brotherhood’s reign or, rather say, nightmare. The Muslim Brotherhood committed suicide, the West is shocked and Egyptians restored their country! — Al-Jarida


kuwait digest

A rebellion or a coup? By Abdullatif Al-Duaij


t is wrong to assume that the situation in Egypt has been settled or is going towards stability after the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. The questions raised simultaneously with the recent Egyptian rebellion remain standing and regardless of the results - still demand answers and perhaps a strong stand from everyone. Was it a rebellion or a coup? Was it a coup against an elected president, against the Muslim Brotherhood or against religion in general as some people expressed in the Tahrir Square? The answer, ironically, requires more questions to be asked. Was the ousted president a legitimate one to begin with? Was his legitimacy correct or something that he and his political party imagined? And what is more legitimate - the nation which has permanent sovereignty and power or a president elected for a fixed term? In Kuwait, people who protested to defend the authority of the people are the same people who reject the people’s authority in Egypt. Meanwhile, the people who defended the legitimacy of the 2009 parliament and the Cabinet at the time are the same ones who rejected Morsi’s legitimacy as the president of Egypt. The contradictions here had led many politicians in Kuwait to remain silent and ignore what is going on in Egypt after they used to comment on everything that happens locally and internationally. On the international level, things are almost laughable as those who toppled their regimes with protests are rejecting the Egyptians’ overthrowing of their president. On the other hand, some of those who suppress protests and public freedoms are congratulating the Egyptian people for their ‘glorious revolution’. Only the Europeans were to some extent more in coherence with their beliefs and political systems in addressing the issue. Public and official Arab groups are either influenced by vindictive sentiments or their own personal conditions, yet despite this find the audacity and even the motive to interfere in Egypt’s interior affairs. I am not very much concerned with the situation in Egypt because that country belongs to the Egyptians, but I am interested in the fate of democracy anywhere. From that standpoint, I say that despite how unusu-

al the situation in Egypt is, and despite the heroic stand of the Egyptian armed forces in handing the authority back to the people, the fact remains that the situation in Egypt was legitimate, and that overthrowing the first elected president in Egypt - regardless of his errors - is a setback in democracy, and an unprecedented step that could become a tradition not only in Egypt, but the entire region. Many people among us in the Arab world look up to Egypt as the model to follow. There is a huge difference between the rebels’ apparent goal of holding early elections and force it as a fait accompli whether the president agrees to it or not, and between overthrowing the president and then electing a replacement. Was the situation in Egypt completely legitimate? Ousted president Morsi came to power following ostensibly legitimate elections, and therefore things like the fact that the results were so close or doubts concerning the authenticity of the election process do not justify overthrowing him. What justifies this however is the fact that the elections were not rightful. Much like all elections in Third World countries, the elections in Egypt were held - and perhaps will continue to be held - under lack of freedom of expression and religious domination. Therefore, the elections which brought Morsi to Egypt’s presidency, while legitimate, are not technically rightful. Oppression practiced by the military leads to limiting the activity of all public movements, saving those which depend on religion who instead find a better environment in similar situations to work and prosper. While all public opinions are restrained, only religious speech remains politically active and a legitimate means in front of which dictatorships stand helpless. Under a tyrant’s rule, everyone loses the ability to express and move, unless those promoting the religious agenda who instead find more room to speak up and act. When elections are held under religious domination, it is only normal to see religious parties make strong gains. Therefore, the rule of President Morsi, or rather the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has lost some of its legitimacy and even more of its democracy. It is a rule that contained little aspects of a civil state, especially that it reigned during the absence of a demo-

cratic constitution based on the democratic principles of freedom, justice and equality. These three principles are yet to find their way to Egypt. Many people, especially in Kuwait, wrongfully believe that a constitution is a contract between the people and their rulers. This could have been the case a long time ago. Today, a constitution is a pact between all people. Likewise, many people believe that democracy is the rule of the majority. This could have been the case a long time ago as well. Democracy is the rule of the plurality. What is the difference? First, let me explain the constitution being a pact between all people. In a democratic system, rule and sovereignty reside in the people, not the ruler. The constitution is a pact between the people who agree to honor its articles and the agreed upon general democratic principles of freedom, justice and equality. Therefore, no one has the right to take away any person’s right or any gains guaranteed by the democratic system and the constitution. Even if 99 percent of the people vote against them, these rights remain constants that must be honored as per the pact (the constitution) that all people agreed upon. As a result, a majority of people has no right to violate or amend such rights on the pretext that they are a majority - they are only a plurality that rule in accordance with the constitution. And as such, they have the power to make legislations to be followed by the public only if these legislations remain in accordance with the constitution. In the end, sovereignty remains the possession of the people who signed the constitutional pact. The Egyptian president was not elected as per a constitution agreed upon by the people. He was not elected in accordance with the democratic principles of freedom, justice and equality. Instead, he was elected under religious dominance and following decades of military rule during which the principles of freedom, justice and equality were completely absent. Despite this, his presidency remains legitimate and agreed upon. We can sympathize with the millions who protested against him, and we can find an excuse for the armed forces for responding to the people’s calls, but in the end the ousted Egyptian president was still the first elected president of Egypt. — Al-Qabas

kuwait digest

Arab Spring, Islamic Winter, Military Summer By Amir Taheri


ven before it was fully under way, the Arab Spring was seen by some Western analysts as the prelude to an Islamic Winter. The insidious subtext was that Arabs must choose between military dictatorship and despotism in the name of religion. The coup against President Mohamed Morsi in Egypt hints at a third possibility: a Military Summer of Chaos. Speculation regarding the causes of the turmoil has been going on for weeks with Morsi featuring as central character. Morsi was criticized in three ways. His non-Islamist opponents, including the “remnants” of the previous regime, claim that he is trying to create an “Islamic” caliphate. Morsi, they said, was placing Brotherhood acolytes in as many key positions as possible while weakening institutions, such as the various courts, that dare challenge his options. The second criticism, coming from some liberals, was that Morsi has been a do-nothing president, a puppet in the hands of the Brotherhood’s Star Chamber. Shunning the country’s real problems, such as mass unemployment and the breakdown of public services, Morsi has been shadow-boxing against imaginary “plotters against the nation.” The third criticism came from some Islamists, including the Khomeinist propaganda machine in Iran. According to them, Morsi failed because he was not “Islamic enough”. On Tuesday, the daily Kayhan, published by Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei’s office, lambasted Morsi for having “missed revolutionary opportunities.” According to the editorial, Morsi should have set up a “Revolutionary Coordination Committee”, modeled on that created by Ruhollah Khomeini during the uprisings against the Shah. In a Khomeinist system, critics of the regime would be executed, imprisoned, or driven into exile. Militias would be created to crush protests against the regime. The regime would conduct fake elections, deciding who stands and who wins. The problem with the analyses built around the con-

cepts of an Arab Spring or an Islamic Winter is that they focused on the way a government is formed. The current Egyptian crisis, however, poses a different, and possibly more important, question: How is a government changed? A glance at the contemporary history of most Arab states would reveal the importance of that question. In most cases change of government has occurred in three ways. One way has been through the assassination of the ruler, a classic method that dates back to the dawn of Islam having reached its perfection under the Abbasids. The second way is through military coup. That method, too, has a long history in the Arab and Islamic world. Numerous dynasties, including the Fatimids, the Dailamites, the Seljuks, and the Mamelukes seized power thanks to their control of armed groups within or on the margins of the system. With the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire and the emergence of several new Arab states centered on newly created armies, changing governments through military coups became an established method. Since the 1920s, Arab nations have experienced around 40 coups-from Oman and Yemen to Algeria, Syria, and Egypt. The fall of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt was also due to the same method because the Tunisian and Egyptian armies pulled the rug from under their respective despot’s feet. The third method of changing an Arab government is through foreign invasion, an example of which was the removal of Saddam Hussein in Iraq in 2003. The Arab Spring created the hope that another method might be developed: change of government through reasonably clean elections. Before the Arab Spring only Iraq had experienced changes of government through this new method. After the fall of Saddam Hussein, Iraqis managed to change government three times through election. However, today it is no longer certain they will be able to do so a fourth time.

gypt has always taken the lead in the Arab world. But when the Muslim Brotherhood took power, within a year they turned everything into a mess. They even confronted the legal system and wanted to colour the whole country in black and covered with a beard. Transforming a civil and historic nation country like Egypt into a conservative country run with the same system as the Taleban was the theory of former president Morsi and his people. This theory is impossible to implement, but in the minds of the Muslim Brotherhood it was accessible and they tried too. They surely failed. I think the dilemma now is the conflict between those who suppor t M orsi and those who are against him. I think it will take some time to calm things down and until that happens, we need to consider that Egypt will be in a state of confusion for a while. All Arabs feel sorry but no one should be angry because many are happy over the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood. They were never popular and their supporters are not wanted by many systems around the world . Moreover, Islam is not about or within the circle of the Muslims Brothers. Muslims don’t need to be fooled that if they are not par t of the Muslim Brotherhood, then they are not real Muslims. Islam is not about a beard or being conservative or suicidal or killing those who disagree with your opinion. In Kuwait there are some centers for new Muslim converts whom I think need to learn not only about the rituals of Islam but to understand that Islam is not specified or represented by groups like the Muslim Brotherhood because they are after power. Kuwait has urged its citizens in Egypt to leave “at the earliest” and warned against travel to the country. Kuwait was the first Arab country to issue a travel warning for Egypt. I think this was a wise decision and no country should be lax over the safety of its citizens .We should also not be naive to assume that the situation will cool down shortly. Egypt is passing through a very delicate situation and needs our support to overcome many issues and I see no harm in Gulf governments offering aid. I think this is a noble idea and we all should give a hand along with international organizations. We need Egypt to be strong, peaceful and take its position again. Inshallah. Ramadan Kareem.

kuwait digest

Apology alone is not enough By Dr Yaqoub Al-Sharrah


he negative side of education in Kuwait continues to outgrow the positive one and has already expanded to a point that it has become a threat to the society. There are indicators requiring immediate efforts to address the errors in the education process which has resulted in poor ratings for Kuwait in international human development indices. The problems in education translate into obstacles put in education’s way to contribute to the state’s development process. Repeated talk about outdated educational programs and ways of teaching, as well as flaws with regards to teachers’ competencies are also affected by signs of administrative corruption and mismanagement. How else can we explain current efforts to investigate the source of the leaks of high school exam questions? And what does the spread of the cheating phenomenon mean? While cheating during exams in general is not new in schools and universities, what is strange is the fact that this time students cheated openly and seemingly without fear as evident by the video footage that a student recorded during exams and posted on social networks. Students were seen trading pieces of paper containing model answers, and boasting about what they were doing as if it was considered a victory. The video was very hard to watch because it reflects total disrespect to education and its noble message. Minister of Education Dr Nayef Al-Hajraf issued a formal apology in a press conference held in the wake of the video. He announced measures against senior ministry officials be held accountable for the cheating scandal. However, these measures alone are not enough to contain the problem which continues to escalate as long as efforts to improve the high school system remain inadequate with the advancements in information technology. The cost of errors in the high school exams as mentioned in news reports is very high, and is a responsibility that the minister and ministry officials concerned with the exams share. Political responsibility should not be taken partially as per the options available in front of decision makers. It is an integrated responsibility that comes with political and legal obligations for which a minister should be held accountable. Test leaks and cheating are dangerous practices that once they spread are going to lead people to lose faith in the education process as a whole, and dampen efforts to reinforce morals within children. The minister’s apology was a bold step and a civilized behavior on his part, yet it is not enough to address the needs for an improved educational system that sets an example that cannot be easily breached or tampered with. — Al-Rai

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


Kuwaiti man shot at over money-related disputes Son damages father’s car KUWAIT: Police are looking to arrest a Kuwaiti man who faces attempted murder charges after he shot another man over money-related disputes in Saad Al-Abdullah. The incident reportedly happened outside the shooter’s house where the Kuwaiti victim had headed to demand repayment of KD 3,000 he had previously lent him. The victim was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance which carried him from a location where the suspect left him with a severe rifle shot wound on his foot. The suspect escaped before police arrived at the scene. Driver hangs self A man was found dead in Shuwaikh recently in a case classified as suicide according to prelimi-

nary investigations. Police and crime scene investigators headed to a house in the area where a Kuwaiti man repor ted finding his driver dead inside his room. The Indian man’s body was seen hanging from a rope tied to the ceiling of the room, and was taken for an autopsy after investigators examined the scene. A case was filed at the Shuwaikh police station. Son charged A man filed a case at the Adan police station accusing his son of damaging his car. In his statement to police, the Kuwaiti national said that he came out of his house and found out that his car’s tyres were hacked and all its windows smashed. He pressed charges against his son, say-

ing that the youngster had previously threatened him when he refused his plea to buy him a new car. Police are looking to summon the young man to hear his side of the story. Drunk driver held Salmiya police arrested a man on Saturday after he damaged seven vehicles while driving under the influence of alcohol. Investigations are underway in search for the suspect after seven people reported their cars being hit while parked near a shopping center in Salmiya. Police eventually pulled over a vehicle that had its front bumper damaged, and found out that its driver was drunk. The man was taken to the authorities to face charges after he admitted responsibility for the

reported damages. Domestic violence A search is on for a man who faces charges that he beat up his wife and stole her jewelry at gunpoint according to the woman’s statements to police. Officers at the Ayoun police station were approached by a woman who requested to file a case against her husband. She said that the man started beating her following a dispute, then decamped with her jewelry after threatening her with a gun. When contacted by police, the man denied the charges and even denied having any relations with the complainant before hanging up on the officer. Investigations are ongoing to put the man under arrest for questioning.

VIVA Sponsors Circuit’s+ ‘CrossFit Kids’

Municipality holds clean up campaigns By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: The service administration at Kuwait Municipality held a number of campaigns supported by equipment to clean up the areas behind dairy companies in Sulaibiya. The campaigns resulted in removing 200 truckloads of refuse and tyres in June. Director of Service Administration Ahmad Al-

Shriedeh said these campaigns are part of the initiatives taken by the municipality which is continuous and is not limited to locations or timings for the sake of protecting the environment from waste to make places safe and healthy. “The protection of the environment is a national duty, before it is a duty that we do as officials or employees.” He added participation in such campaigns is a necessity, and one should con-

sider it a principle and conduct for all sectors of the society. On his part, inspector Hamad Al-Jarrah, who supervised the campaigns, said that tracking environmental pollution is continuous, especially in desert and remote areas and areas next to expressways and close to coasts. He pointed out that “protecting Kuwait’s environment is a responsibility and it is our duty to do all what we can to keep our country clean”.

KUWAIT: During a farewell celebration on June 26 hosted by the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany Frank M. Mann and Andrea Mann, the board of the German Business Council Kuwait offered the ambassador a farewell gift and expressed the gratitude of the GBCK members for his continuous support and friendship throughout his tenure of office here in Kuwait. The German Business Council Kuwait was founded in 2005 and is a non-governmental and nonprofit seeking association representing various German, Austrian and Swiss companies operating in Kuwait as well as German, Austrian and Swiss business people and specialists working for local companies.

Kuwait, Okinawa prefecture discuss bolstering ties TOKYO: On an invitation from Governor of Okinawa prefecture Hirokazu Nakaima, Kuwaiti Ambassador to Japan Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi visited the southern Japanese Island on July 2-5 as step to further bolster relations between Japan and Kuwait. Governor Nakaima lauded the strong role played by Kuwait within the regional and international arenas, commending the strong ties linking Kuwait and Japan. He also expressed Japan’s gratitude towards Kuwaiti efforts in supporting his country during the Tsunami, which hit northern Japan in 2011. The Governor of Okinawa called for efforts to further boost relations especially within the energy, tourism, and science domains. He invited Kuwaiti tourists to visit Okinawa and affirmed that the prefecture would embark on steps to facilitate visitation. On his part, Ambassador Al-Otaibi stressed the strong relations between Kuwait and Japan. He affirmed that three years prior to the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1961, the two countries were engaged in commercial activities which reflect strong historical ties between the two countries. The Kuwaiti diplomat added that Japan and Kuwait were both eager to further pursue the development of relations. During his stay in Okinawa, Ambassador Al-Otaibi visited the Okinawa Institute for Science and Technology (OIST) and Kyushu Okinawa Agricultural Research Center (NARO/KARC), discussing with officials opportunities to exchange expertise and enhance relations between the state of Kuwait and the two facilities. —KUNA

KUWAIT: VIVA, Kuwait’s fastest-growing telecom operator, announced yesterday its sponsorship of Circuit’s+ ‘CrossFit Kids’ Summer Program; a program that offers fitness and educational lessons to children between the age of 8-13 years, with the aim to prevent and minimize obesity among youth and to encourage physical fitness at an early age. The program ran from June 23 to July 5. Prevalence of obesity among children, and youth in general, is increasingly high in Kuwait and has become a nationwide concern. Recent studies have shown that more than 50% of Kuwaiti children suffer from obesity, resulting in the increase of major health risks. Commenting on this sponsorship, VIVA said, “Our support of Circuit’s+ CrossFit Kids Summer Program falls in line with our objective to raise awareness of obesity among children; a condition that has prevailed in invading the lives of our youth. Through such sponsorships, we are highlighting the importance of incorporating physical fitness into our children’s daily routine, and ultimately,

saving their lives.” “At this young stage in life, children require the proper guidance and supervision in order to lead active healthy lives. Mentally, they are open to new ideas and to adopting new systems and it is imperative that we build their sense of responsibility towards their physical well-being and encourage them to lead healthier lifestyles.” The daily program Circuit+ offers through its CrossFit Kids program is made up of three main sessions; the first comprises of a 45 minute workout, followed by a 30 minute educational session, and concluded with another 45 minute workout. The program focuses on educating children about the health risks of being obese, healthy nutritional habits and most importantly, how to control obesity at an early stage. VIVA is committed to supporting Kuwait’s youth through different initiatives that encourage both mental and physical activity, and will continue to demonstrate its commitment through the support of youth related programs.

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013

Logistical nightmare clouds Snowden’s asylum hopes

Japan set to restart reactors after crisis Page 12

Page 10

BODH GAYA, India: An Indian policeman looks at debris left after several low intensity explosions took place at the Bodh Gaya Buddhist temple complex yesterday. (Inset) An injured Buddhist monk receives medical treatment following the blasts at a hospital. —AFP

Blasts hit India Buddhist sites PATNA, India: Multiple small bomb blasts at one of Buddhism’s holiest sites - the Bodh Gaya temple complex in eastern India - wounded two monks yesterday but the historic temple was undamaged, police said. The Indian government called the blasts a “terror attack” after nine bombs exploded at the complex in Bihar state which attracts Buddhists and other visitors from all over the world. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but police said they earlier warned officials that Islamist militants could target the site as revenge for Buddhist violence against Muslims in neighbouring Myanmar and Sri Lanka. “Four blasts took place inside the temple complex,” Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde told reporters. “Three blasts took place near the Karmapa monastery while one each happened near the Buddha statue and a tourist bus stand outside.” Two more bombs were found and defused at the complex, one of them near the temple’s celebrated 24-m statue of the Buddha, the minister said. Along with temples, dozens of monasteries housing monks from around the world are located near the complex, which is believed to contain the tree under which the Buddha reached enlightenment in 531 BC. “The holy bodhi tree is safe and there is no damage to it,” Bihar police chief Abhayanand, who goes by one name, told AFP.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the blasts at the complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and said that “such attacks on religious places will never be tolerated”. Junior home minister R P N Singh told reporters “it is clear that this was a terror attack”and teams of investigators were probing the incident. Police in New Delhi had warned state officials last winter that Islamist militants from the Indian Mujahideen group were planning to attack the complex, an official focused on anti-terror operations told AFP. “We told state police that the Indian Mujahideen planned to carry out an attack as retaliation for Buddhist violence against Muslims in Myanmar,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “We told them that Bodh Gaya is a probable target for attack,” he said. The Indian Mujahideen has admitted carrying out numerous bomb blasts in recent years, and is often listed as a suspect in attacks across the country. Attacks on Buddhists are rare in India but there have been tensions in the wider region recently following clashes between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Additional security forces were deployed to guard the complex after the blasts, which wounded two monks, a 50-year-old Tibetan and a 30-year-old Myanmar national,

who were taken to hospital. Windows were shattered at one of the buildings, while a wooden door at a small temple was destroyed and debris was strewn inside another building. Sri Lanka Buddhist monk Gomarankadawala Hemarathana, 28, who raced to the scene after the blasts, said one of the bombs had been placed at the base of the statue. “It is a miracle that the Buddha statue was not harmed. The bomb was placed at the foot of the statue but it did not go off,” he told AFP.The Bodh Gaya complex, 110 km south of the state capital Patna, is one of the earliest Buddhist temples still standing in India. The first temple was built in the 3rd century BC by the Buddhist Emperor Asoka and the present temples date from the 5th or 6th centuries, according to UNESCO. The complex houses the holy bodhi tree as well as the giant Mahabodhi statue of Buddha, and multiple shrines marking the places where he is believed to have spent time after his enlightenment. Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama makes frequent trips to the complex, which attracts visitors during the peak tourist season from October to March. After his meditations beneath the tree, Buddha is said to have devoted the rest of his life to teaching and he founded an order of monks before dying aged 80. —AFP

UK deports Abu Qatada after legal marathon LONDON/AMMAN: A radical cleric once called “Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe” was deported from Britain to Jordan yesterday, ending years of British government efforts to send him back home to face terrorism charges. A police convoy collected Abu Qatada from London’s Belmarsh prison after midnight and drove him through the streets of the capital to a military airport. Soon after arriving in Jordan, he was taken under heavy guard to a nearby military court. The legal battle to deport Abu Qatada has embarrassed successive British governments. Prime Minister David Cameron said he was “absolutely delighted” it was over. “It’s an issue that ... has made my blood boil that this man who has no right to be in our country, who’s a threat to our country, that it took so long and was so difficult to deport

him,” Cameron told reporters. Jordanian judicial officials said the state security prosecutor charged Abu Qatada with conspiring to carry out terrorist attacks in Jordan in 1999 and 2000. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia on those charges but will now be retried. Abu Qatada, whose real name is Omar Mahmoud Othman, denied the charges. “My client denied all the allegations, and he asserts that his return to Jordan was out of his own free will, in order to be with his family,” Tayseer Diab, his lawyer, told Reuters. The prosecutor of the military court ordered his detention in Muaqar prison in a suburb of the capital for 15 days pending questioning. “His spirits are high and we hope to get him bail soon,” said Mahmoud Othman, Abu Qatada’s father, outside the court.

LONDON: Radical Islamist cleric Abu Qatada waits with an escort to board a privately chartered jet at the RAF Northolt base early yesterday as he gets deported to Jordan. —AFP

Many civic groups have criticised Abu Qatada’s trial in a military court, saying it is illegal under the constitution and lacks proper legal safeguards. They demand he be tried in a civil court. Jordan is seeking to improve its civil rights image but has long been accused by rights groups of widespread abuse of Islamist prisoners, which it denies. Lawyers say many Islamists have been tried in the last decade with much fanfare to curry favour with the United States and bolster the kingdom’s credentials as a player in the US declared war on terrorism. Jordan’s Minister of State Mohammad Al-Momani told Reuters Abu Qatada would have a fair trial “with the Jordanian judiciary respecting human rights”. Britain had said the preacher posed a national security risk, but courts had repeatedly blocked his deportation. His return was made possible by an extradition treaty adopted by Jordan and Britain last week that satisfied the concerns of British judges about the use of evidence obtained through torture. Sermons of the heavily bearded Abu Qatada were found in a Hamburg flat used by some of those who carried out the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. Abu Qatada was deported on the anniversary of the July 7, 2005 suicide attacks on London’s subway and bus network that killed more than 50 people. Linked by a Spanish judge to the late al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, Abu Qatada has been in and out of jail in Britain since first being arrested in 2001. He was sent back to prison last March for breaching his bail conditions. —Reuters

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


Gunfire, looting in Sudan city after aid worker dies KHARTOUM: Residents of a Sudanese city ran for their lives during fresh fighting and looting yesterday, after a worker for aid group World Vision died of wounds suffered in earlier battles. The latest violence adds to what the United Nations says is a worsening security situation in Sudan’s vast western region. “They have started looting the market,” a resident of Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state, told AFP. He reported armed men raiding shops in the commercial area, and said residents were “running in the street” for safety as explosions and shooting were heard again. Urban battles, which state officials blamed on “differences” between members of the security forces, first broke out on Wednesday

night and continued on Thursday. A Sudanese World Vision employee “suffered head injuries in Thursday’s attack and succumbed to his injuries yesterday (Saturday) noon,” said one humanitarian source, asking for anonymity. A second World Vision staff member was killed during Thursday’s clashes. Ali Al-Za’tari, chief of the United Nations in Sudan, confirmed in a statement that “two Sudanese staff members from the humanitarian non-governmental organisation, World Vision International” were killed. “A third World Vision staff member was also critically injured,” he said. The fighting in Nyala was sparked by the killing of a notorious local bandit who was also an officer in the paramili-

tary Central Reserve Police. Initial combat had left the city’s best hotel damaged, according to the local resident, while humanitarian sources reported the looting of foreign aid agencies. The World Vision office was caught up in crossfire. A suspected rocket-propelled grenade hit the top of the World Vision building, came down “and exploded on the ground”, one humanitarian source said. Rebels in Darfur have been fighting the government for 10 years, but instability has been complicated by inter-tribal fighting, kidnappings, carjackings and other crimes, many suspected to be the work of government-linked militia and paramilitary groups. The “shoot-out in an urban area of Darfur’s most populated

city” highlights the region’s unstable security environment, Za’tari said. “If humanitarian work in Darfur is forced to scale back because of the unsafe and insecure conditions for our staff and partners, then many more people in Darfur will suffer,” he said. The UN’s World Food Programme ( WFP) told AFP that because World Vision was one of its partners in South Darfur, and because of the security situation, there will be a disruption of food aid. “We estimate that around a little over 400,000 people will be affected,” mainly in Nyala, said WFP spokeswoman Amor Almagro. Schoolchildren and pregnant and nursing mothers were among those receiving WFP assistance through World Vision, she said. In February, a UN

panel of experts reported “some incidents in which former members of government militias have forcibly expressed their discontent with the current government, especially against the backdrop of rising inflation and unemployment”. The United States charge d’affaires to Sudan, Joseph Stafford, later said Washington was worried “about the deteriorating security situation in Darfur and the conflict between the government forces and the militia”. The UN says an estimated 300,000 people have been forced to flee their homes because of fighting in Darfur this year, more than in the past two years combined. There were already 1.4 million people in camps for Darfuris displaced by the decade-long conflict. — AFP

Kurdistan chief on rare Baghdad visit Ties between Kurds and federal govt improve BAGHDAD: The president of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, Massoud Barzani, visited Baghdad yesterday for the first time in years for landmark talks with Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki on an array of disputes. Barzani met Maliki, after which the two held a joint news conference in the capital’s heavily-fortified Green Zone - a major change from last year, when the Kurdish leader was advocating the premier ’s removal from office. The improvement in relations between the Kurds and the federal government is a rare bright spot for Iraq, which has been hit by a wave of violence that has killed more than 2,400 people this year, and long-running protests by Sunni Arabs who accuse the Shiite-led government of marginalising their community. “We discussed disputes and we agreed to work on passing frozen laws in the parliament, especially the oil and gas law,” Maliki said, referring to long-stalled legislation governing the exploitation of Iraq’s rich energy resources. Barzani said his message was to send a message saying “we are brothers and we are keen to communicate and collaborate”. “We agreed to cooperate and work together and to face everything

that threatens Iraq and the (Kurdish) region, and we consider this a national duty,” he added. Barzani admitted that there are “problems and different opinions between the (Kurdish) region and the federal government” in Baghdad. But “today there is real political willingness to solve the problems,” he said. Kurdish leaders want to incorporate a swathe of land stretching from Iraq’s eastern border with Iran to its western frontier with Syria into their autonomous region over the objections of Maliki’s government. The federal and regional governments also disagree over the appor tioning of oil revenues. Baghdad has also been displeased with the Kurdish region for signing contracts with foreign energy firms without its approval. Diplomats and officials say the dispute over territor y is one of the main long-term threats to Iraq’s stability. The at-times lighthearted atmosphere of the news conference contrasted sharply with tensions that marked the relationship so far between Barzani and Maliki. Last year, Barzani was a leading critic of the premier, advocated his removal from office and said that Maliki could not be trusted with F-16 warplanes that are on order from the United

States. Later in 2012, the establishment of the Tigris Operations Command, a federal military command covering disputed territory in the north, drew an angry response from Kurdish leaders. And a deadly firefight during an attempt by Iraqi forces to arrest a Kurdish man in a disputed town pushed tensions higher, with both sides deploying military reinforcements. But more recently, the two sides have moved to patch up their differences. Kurdish ministers and MPs ended a boycott of the cabinet and the parliament in May, which was begun in March over objections that the new federal budget did not allocate enough money to pay foreign oil companies working in the region. And in June, Maliki chaired a landmark cabinet session in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan region, and the two sides agreed to form joint committees to deal with disputes. Kurdistan’s deputy prime minister Emad Ahmed said in a statement on the region’s official website that Barzani’s visit was a follow-up to Maliki’s trip to Arbil. Barzani was to be accompanied by Ahmed, as well as the ministers in charge of natural resources and the Kurdish peshmerga security forces, the statement said. — AFP

Two thirds of Homs rebel area destroyed BEIRUT: Intense fighting in the central Syrian city of Homs has left 60 to 70 percent of a besieged rebelheld district damaged, destroyed or uninhabitable, a monitoring group said yesterday. The estimate from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights came nine days into an all-out assault by troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad on the rebelheld Khaldiyeh and Old City

neighbourhoods, which have been under siege for more than a year. Yesterday, new air strikes, tank shelling and rocket fire hit the city, said the Observatory. “Sixty to 70 percent of buildings in Khaldiyeh are either totally destroyed, partially destroyed, or unsuitable for habitation,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. Homs is Syria’s third-largest city, and tens of

thousands of its residents have fled the fighting. “Of all Syria’s cities, Homs has suffered the highest levels of destruction... Images of Homs make it look like a world war has hit the city,” Abdel Rahman added. Amateur video posted online by activists yesterday showed flames and thick black smoke rising from several empty burnt-out buildings already riddled with

BAB AL-HAWA, Syria: A wounded man is brought into hospital near Syria’s rebel-controlled border with Turkey on Saturday. —AFP

holes. Some structures shown in the video are barely standing. “Even if the regime takes the neighbourhoods back, there’s barely a house left standing to return to,” said Abdel Rahman. Yesterday, government troops used mortars, rocket fire and heavy artillery to target rebel areas in the city, the Britain-based Observatory said. “We’re under heavy pressure, especially on the Khaldiyeh front. The fighting is fierce and we are living off very scarce supplies,” said anti-regime activist Abu Khaled. “We have run out of nearly all fuel and medical equipment after more than a year under siege,” he told AFP via the Internet. Regime forces have made slow progress, seizing several buildings on Khaldiyeh’s edges in recent days, “tightening the siege” on the rebels, he added. “Homs has important symbolic value for the revolution, and if the regime takes it over, it will score a big victory,” he said. Homs lies in central Syria, straddling supply routes to all the country’s provinces. According to the United Nations, some 2,500 to 4,000 people are trapped in the besieged areas of the city. In Damascus, regime warplanes targeted Jubar in the east of the capital, while tanks hit Qaboon in the northeast, said the Observatory. Several mortar rounds hit Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp in southern Damascus, it added, as rebels and troops clashed nearby. In northern Damascus, the army tried to storm Barzeh, where rebels are still holed up, the watchdog said. Elsewhere, a blast hit a regime post in the heart of Aleppo, Syria’s commercial capital, said the Observatory, without elaborating on casualties. Syria’s 27-month war has killed more than 100,000 people, the group estimates. On Saturday alone, at least 69 people were killed nationwide, it said. — AFP

SITRA, Bahrain: Policemen stand guard at a checkpoint yesterday. —AP

Bahrain violence kills one cop, wounds five DUBAI: Two attacks outside the Bahraini capital Manama killed one policeman and wounded five, the interior ministry and police said yesterday, in the latest unrest to rock the Sunni-ruled Shiite-majority Gulf state. A bomb killed one policeman and wounded two in a Shiite village near Manama, Bahrain’s head of public security said. “Terrorist groups targeted a police station in Sitra” late on Saturday, General Tariq Hasan said in the statement carried by the official BNA news agency. “As police attempted to secure the area... the terrorists blew up an improvised bomb against security forces in an attack that killed policeman Yasser Dhaib and wounded two others.”

In Janabiya, another Shiite village outside the capital, a “group of terrorists attacked a security patrol with Molotov cocktails,” the interior ministry said on Twitter. “The patrol was burnt and three policemen were injured,” it added. Bahraini authorities often use the term “terrorists” to refer to Shiite demonstrators who have kept up pro-democracy protests despite a 2011 crackdown backed by Saudi-led Gulf troops, sparking repeated clashes with security forces. In mid-February, a police officer was killed by a petrol bomb during clashes with protesters, after a teenager was shot dead during a demonstration marking the second anniversary of the launch of the protests. —AFP

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


Bringing up baby, the British royal way LONDON: The imminent birth of Britain’s royal baby will be announced on a golden easel and hailed by cannon fire - but royal-watchers say that behind the pomp Prince William and Catherine will be trying to balance tradition with modern parenting. The couple, both 31, have been widely portrayed as a 21st century royal

couple who will deal with the dirty diapers and sleepless nights like any ordinary mother and father around the world. But observers warn that even if they avoid dispatching the baby to the nursery like earlier generations of “The Firm”, the responsibilities and pressures of monarchy will still get in the way.

LONDON: Members of the media add to a sweepstake on the royal baby’s sex and arrival time outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s hospital yesterday. —AFP

“We keep being told that their parents want to give them a normal upbringing,” Patrick Jephson, the former private secretary to William’s late mother Princess Diana, told AFP. “In some vague sense we are supposed to approve of the notion. But I’m afraid the truth is they’re not normal and never can be normal.” Britain’s royal family are famed for their stiff upper lip, but by all accounts in the generations before William that was largely forged by childhoods spent with nannies and in boarding schools instead of with parents. Reports that Kate and her baby would spend the first six weeks at her parents’ home fuelled the idea that Britain’s newest royal might begin life like any other child, although security fears have raised doubts over whether this will happen. While the Middletons are millionaires, they earned their money in business and appear to be a close-knit family with none of the formality of the royals. Until now, William and Kate have been living relatively modestly in a remote farmhouse in Anglesey, north Wales, where William works as a Royal Air Force search-and-rescue helicopter pilot. The couple will eventually move into Kensington Palace in London, but building renovations - which have already cost taxpayers £1 million - are not expected to be finished before the birth. Wherever the baby first lays its head, commentators

agree that William and Kate will want to be “hands on” parents. Kate is seen as a natural with children. She once toyed with the idea of setting up a junior fashion label, and spent her second wedding anniversary visiting a children’s hospice. But whether she chooses to break with royal tradition and forego a full-time nanny remains to be seen. “Although Kate has professed that she doesn’t want nannies, and wants to do it on her own, that’s before she’s facing six months of sleepless nights,” Claire Irvin, Editor-in-chief of Mother & Baby magazine, told AFP. “But she is quite modern and doesn’t seem to want huge entourages of help.” Phil Dampier, a royal reporter for 28 years and author of “ What’s in the Queen’s Handbag”, believes the couple may have little choice. He expects William will soon increase his royal duties, as his elderly grandparents Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip ease theirs, and says the couple will need support at home. “William will want to do his share of changing the nappies,” he said, but added: “I think they will have to have a full-time nanny even if they don’t want one.” Gone are the days, however, when royal children seldom saw their parents and lived in virtual seclusion. The queen and her sister Margaret were educated at

home by a governess while William’s father Prince Charles was not only said to have been starved of affection as a boy but also famously miserable at the tough Scottish boarding school Gordonstoun. Diana can take much of the credit for breaking that mould. She took William on a royal tour to Australia when he was still a baby and made sure he and his younger brother Harry did “normal” things - even though they both went to Eton College, one of Britain’s most exclusive boarding schools. “She took them to see the homeless and gave them normal treats like trips to Alton Towers (theme park)... I’m sure Will and Kate will want to do the same,” Dampier said. Diana’s legacy will doubtless also affect Kate and William’s relationship with the press, and their determination to weigh privacy against public expectation. William was 15 when his mother died in a car crash in Paris while being pursued by photographers. But with the global appetite for William and Kate’s story showing no sign of fading, keeping their offspring out of the spotlight could prove a test even for the media-savvy young royals. “The interest in this baby is already absolutely off the scale,” said Dampier. “I have never known so much interest in the royal family. It’s an extraordinary real life soap opera and it’s not going to stop any time soon.” —AFP

Logistical nightmare hits Snowden’s asylum hopes Leaker claims NSA spies in bed with Western states MOSCOW: Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden was staring at the logistical nightmare of escaping Russia for a safe haven in Latin America yesterday after three leftist leaders offered him asylum in their states. Bolivia on Saturday became the third country to extend an offer of asylum to the 30-year-old former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor sanctuary after similar guarantees from

other Western governments who are now complaining about its programs. In comments made before his exposure of US espionage practices, Snowden told German news weekly Der Spiegel that NSA spies are “in bed together with the Germans and most other Western states”. Washington has urged Russia to hand over Snowden as a gesture of good will because the two sides have

plane being grounded by a European country as happened to Bolivian President Evo Morales when he was suspected of trying to smuggle the American from Moscow earlier this week. The mercurial Bolivian leader said that incident had convinced him his country had nothing left to lose by irritating Washington. Morales declared that Bolivia had “no fear” of either Washington and its European allies.

PARIS: A demonstrator holds up a picture of the former technical contractor of the US Central Intelligence Agency Edward Snowden during a demonstration in support of Snowden at the Place du Trocadero in front of the Eiffel tower yesterday. Around forty people, mostly activists from organizations defending rights and freedom on the Internet, gathered in support of Snowden. —AFP Venezuela and Nicaragua. All three nations have strained ties with Washington and represent Snowden’s best options after his rejection by most of the 21 nations he had applied to for protection last week. The fugitive himself remained hidden out of sight in a Moscow airport transit zone for the 15th day yesterday after arriving there upon spilling his US surveillance secrets in Hong Kong. But Snowden was back in the press yesterday, claiming that the NSA operates broad secret spying partnerships with

no extradition agreement. President Vladimir Putin - a former KGB spy who has often sparred with the White House during his 13 years in power has flatly refused and suggested that Snowden had better quickly decide himself where he wanted to go. But Snowden’s options at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport are limited because the only flights to Latin America are routed through Cuba - a country that has remained conspicuously silent throughout the dispute. Snowden also faces the risk of his

Bolivia will “give asylum to the American, if he asks”, said Morales. Bolivia was one of 21 countries to which Snowden had applied within the past week, according to the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website. Two others included Venezuela and Nicaragua - nations that also spelled out their intentions over the weekend. Maduro said on Saturday that “as head of state of the Bolivarian republic of Venezuela, I have decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the young Snowden”. Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega

voiced a slightly more toned down message only minutes earlier that same day. “We are open, respectful of the right to asylum, and it is clear that if circumstances permit it, we would receive Snowden with pleasure and give him asylum here in Nicaragua,” Ortega said at a public event. But Venezuela’s foreign ministry made clear on Saturday that it had not made any contact with Snowden since Maduro’s invitation. That makes it uncertain just how much currency a verbal commitment has with Russian authorities who are seeking clear documented evidence of Snowden having a legal future destination point. Snowden never boarded his plane out of Moscow for Cuba on June 24 for unexplained reasons. But analyst said it was likely that he was simply not allowed to board by the Russians because he had no valid transit papers after his US travel passport had been revoked. Neither do countries such as Bolivia and Venezuela have consular sections in Sheremetyevo that could issue Snowden with the required papers. The possibility of the American leaving Moscow with a foreign delegation meanwhile is also slim given that dignitaries all fly to and from a separate airport called Vnukovo on the other side of Moscow to which Snowden has no access. Even the possibility of Moscow diplomats from Venezuela or some other country handing Snowden his travel papers at Sheremetyevo would not resolve all his problems. Morales’ plane was grounded in Vienna on Tuesday because several EU states suspected that he was smuggling Snowden out of Moscow after paying a visit there for a gas summit. But all the flights to Cuba pass through the same EU air space and there is no guarantee that Snowden’s jet would not be stopped and searched. Cuba itself has preferred to stay out of the conflict and has issued no indication of being willing to receive the American fugitive at its Havana airport. “He’s dead, in a figurative sense,”said French espionage historian Sebastien Laurent. “Given the seriousness of what he has done, he will never find a safe haven.”—AFP

NEW DELHI: Indian protestors show their support for NSA leaker Edward Snowden at India Gate yesterday. —AP

Snowden: A very 21st century spy PARIS: In the good old days of the Cold War, when spies wanted to defect, they sneaked into a secret door of an enemy embassy with a briefcase stuffed full of state secrets. Then came Edward Snowden. Is he a traitor, a defector or a human rights activist? Snowden defies traditional classification of a rogue agent, say experts. Sebastien Laurent, a French espionage historian, said Snowden was “not typical in terms of the history of espionage” but could become the model for disaffected spies in the future. The 21st century defector is no longer a top-level agent with a set of encrypted documents, but a computer geek armed with a portable hard drive. “That’s the problem with privatising the security services,” said Laurent, referring to the recent trend of the American intelligence agencies to farm out work to “contractors” like Snowden. “They employ people that were in the secret services and therefore already cleared. But in fact, that’s the main weakness. If these contractors have personal problems, they are armed with digital weapons of mass destruction,” he said. Indeed, instead of defecting to a rival power, Snowden - a former contractor for the powerful National Security Agency (NSA) - flew to Hong Kong and handed over a USB stick full of top secret documents to journalists from British daily The Guardian. The end of the Cold War and the breakdown of traditional rivalries means Snowden is more of a global defector, said James Andrew Lewis, former US diplomat and now analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “In the Cold War, there were two types of Western defector: Americans who defected for money and Britons who did it for more ideological reasons,” he said. But instead of moving East or West, Snowden has become a global sensation for uncovering “a world

in which everything I say or do is recorded” by the secret services, he added. “He’s confused, idealistic, not very sophisticated,” judged Lewis, adding he was a product of “a very anti-government American popular culture”. Unlike the spies of old, however, Snowden has left himself without an escape route, noted the American expert. “Why defect if you don’t even know where you’re going?” he asks. “He left without any safety net apart from his information. He had no promise of protection,” agreed Laurent. This apparent lack of forward planning has led the 30-year-old, now one of Washington’s most wanted, to be stranded in the transfer zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo international airport after the US revoked his passport. In recent days, his hopes of escaping the clutches of the American authorities have risen after Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia offered him asylum. However, it is unclear how he will actually be able to fly to one of these countries without a passport. He would also have to fly through the airspace of several US allies which might order the plane grounded. “He’s dead, in a figurative sense,” said Laurent. “Given the seriousness of what he has done, he will never find a safe haven.” Unlike the shadowy agents of the past, Snowden is a product of the Facebook, Twitter and reality TV age and was not afraid to show his face before eventually going to ground at the airport. “He got what he wanted: a sort of glory,” said Lewis of the man whose face has been splashed over the front pages of the global media for weeks. Moreover, this will probably not be the last case of its kind, given the importance of computer experts, hackers and programmers in the secret services, said Laurent. “ There will probably be other Snowdens.” —AFP

Campaigning begins for Mali elections BAMAKO: Campaigning for Mali’s watershed July 28 presidential election officially began yesterday, with the nation struggling to move on from war and return to desperately needed constitutional order after an 18-month political crisis. The ballot will be the first since a coup in March last year that ousted the democratically elected president, just months before he was due to step down at the end of his final term in office. The transitional government lifted a nearly six-month state of emergency on Saturday, marking what officials hope will be a gradual return to normality ahead of the nationwide polls. But critics of the process argue that it is being rushed and, far from restoring democracy, it threatens to plunge the deeply divided west African nation further into chaos. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described the

preparations last week as an “enormous undertaking”. “The situation in Mali is of great concern... It is vital that these elections be credible and peaceful, with an outcome accepted by all Malians,” Ban told reporters in Geneva. The coup toppled President Amadou Toumani Toure and created an opening that allowed groups allied to Al-Qaeda to seize northern Mali. A UN peacekeeping mission integrating more than 6,000 west African soldiers into its ranks is charged with ensuring security during and after the elections, and will grow to 11,200 troops, plus 1,400 police, by the end of the year. The deployment allows France to start withdrawing most of the 4,500 troops it sent to Mali in January to stop the Islamists from advancing towards the capital, Bamako, from their northern strongholds.

France plans to have just 1,000 troops on the ground before the end of 2013 and has been pushing for a quick election in the hopes of restoring order to the country, under the control of an interim government since the coup. But Mali’s election commission has expressed doubts it will be ready to hold the vote on July 28, with some 500,000 people still displaced after the conflict, and many observers have raised concerns over the security challenges in the conflict-scarred vast desert north. Malian troops on Friday entered the last rebel stronghold, the key northern 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. On Saturday 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”. 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. A European Union mission, made up of 90 observers, has begun work in Mali, and will report on whether the elections, which will go to a second round on August 11 if required, should be seen as credible a few weeks after the result is announced.

Headed by Belgian MEP Louis Michel, the observers are analysing each phase of the process, from the scheduling of the date and registration of candidates, through the campaign, election day itself and the count and announcement. Mali’s constitutional court released a list on Friday of the candidates, featuring four former prime ministers and an array of political heavyweights - but just one woman. Haider Aichata Cisse, a legislator for a constituency near the northern city of Gao, will go head-to-head with 25 men, including past premiers Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Cheick Modibo Diarra, Modibo Sidibe and Soumana Sacko. Keita, prime minister from 1994 to 2000 and president of the National Assembly for five years from 2002, was due to hold a news conference announcing his candidature later yesterday. —AFP

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


Heated NYC mayor race ‘a star-studded affair’ Super-competitive campaign

RIO DE JANERO: Catholics cheer during mass at the Cathedral in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, yesterday. Pope Francis will travel to Brazil and participate in World Youth Day events July 22-28. — AP

A day without pay ahead for Pentagon workers WASHINGTON: A day without pay, the first of 11 through September, comes next week for more than 650,000 people who hold civilian jobs with the Defense Department. Officials worry that the Pentagon will be hit even harder by layoffs in 2014 if automatic budget cuts continue as planned. Roughly 85 percent of the department’s nearly 900,000 civilians around the world will be furloughed one day each week over the next three months, according to the latest statistics provided by the Pentagon. But while defense officials were able to shift money around to limit the furloughs this year, thousands of civilian, military and contract jobs could be on the chopping block next year. Defense Secretar y Chuck Hagel is expected to provide senators with more details early next week on how the next wave of across-the-board budget cuts will affect the department, said Pentagon press secretary George Little. But while defense officials have not yet released details on the impact of the cuts, Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army’s chief of staff, has warned that as many as 100,000 more active -duty, National Guard and Reserve soldiers could lose their jobs if Congress allows billions of dollars in automatic budget cuts to continue next year. Initial hopes that the number of furlough days could be reduced have largely been dashed. Instead, talk is

focused more on how to slash spending in 2014. The department can only force workers to take 22 furlough days per year, thus the need for possible layoffs. In the coming weeks, however, civilian employees ranging from top-level policy advisers to school teachers and depot workers will not be answering their phones or responding to emails for one day a week through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. The department estimates the savings will be between $1.9 billion and $2.1 billion. Managers across the department have been given some flexibility in how they schedule the days off during each twoweek pay period. But they also are dealing with complex legal requirements that in many cases prevent them from using military personnel to fill in for the absent civilians. “There’s going to be perhaps some degradation of mission across the department, and because of reduced work schedules for 650,000 employees,” Little said. “We knew that going in, and we knew that would be a problem, and we’ve tried to take steps to ensure that top-priority missions across the department aren’t disproportionately affected. In some cases, supervisors will try to accommodate workers who manage to find some other part-time, temporary job to help ease the fiscal pain, although they are limited in the types of employment they can take. — AP

NEW YORK: One makes a video with Steve Buscemi and rockers Vampire Weekend. Another gets shout-outs from Whoopi Goldberg and Brooke Shields. A third hobnobs over cocktails with an actor from “The Sopranos.” No, it’s not an awards show weekend. It’s the New York City mayor’s race, featuring a cast of celebrities like few other municipal elections. Last weekend, Democratic mayoral contender Christine Quinn unfurled a star-dusted list of pro-gay-rights backers of her bid to become the city’s first female and first openly gay mayor. Among them: singer Lance Bass, actor Neil Patrick Harris, director Rob Reiner and “Project Runway” style czar Tim Gunn, who said Quinn would “make the position of mayor the bully pulpit it needs to be to fight for all New Yorkers. “ Ten days earlier, Alec Baldwin announced that he’d raffle off two dinner invites to anyamount donors to Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio. “There are few things I enjoy more than a good meal with good company, particularly when an issue as urgent as the New York City mayoral election is up for discussion,” the “30 Rock” actor told de Blasio supporters in an email, saying the candidate “understands the inequality crisis facing our city.” And in May, a fundraiser for Republican hopeful Joe Lhota spotlighted as “special guest” Steve Schirripa, best known as gentle-spirited goodfella Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri on “The Sopranos.” With the super-competitive campaign to lead the nation’s biggest city in high gear since spring, the day-to-day menu of candidate forums, policy speeches and endorsements from political figures and interest groups has increasingly been sprinkled with a healthy dash of glitz. One day, it’s a video from hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons praising de Blasio, now the city public advocate. Another day, it’s Goldberg posting on her Facebook page to cheerlead for City Council Speaker Quinn, who also counts Shields as a backer. Or salsa star Willie Colon tweeting a link to a song he wrote lauding Democratic contender Bill Thompson, a former city comptroller. Indeed, the race can sometimes seem like something of a ballot-box version of “Battle of the Network Stars.” De Blasio’s “LGBT for BdB” gala is headlined by Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon of “Sex and the City” fame and Tony Award-winning actor Alan Cumming? Well, here comes the “LGBT for Quinn” team, with actor-playwright Harvey Fierstein and actors Cheyenne Jackson and George Takei, along with Bass, Harris, Reiner and Gunn. Republican candidate George McDonald,

Hurricane Erick barrels up Mexico’s Pacific coast MEXICO CITY: Hurricane Erick barreled up the western coast of Mexico yesterday, bringing with it the danger of flash floods and landslides, forecasters said. As of 0001 GMT, Erick packed winds of 130 km per hour as it moved to the northwest along the Mexican coastline about 85 miles south of Manzanillo, Mexico. Heavy rains were falling over parts of southwestern Mexico, the US National Hurricane Center in Miami said, as the storm churned up the Pacific coast at about nine miles per hour. A hurricane watch was in effect from Punta San

Telmo to Cabo Corrientes, with tropical storm warnings for areas further west. “Hurricane conditions are possible in the hurricane watch area tonight and Sunday,” the NHC said in its latest bulletin. “Tropical storm conditions are likely to spread westward across the Mexican coast in the warned area today through Sunday,” it added. “Swells generated by Erick are affecting the coast of southwest Mexico. These swells are likely to cause lifethreatening surf and rip current conditions,” it said.

The storm was expected to remain steady overnight and then weaken without making landfall as it approached southern Baja California. Mexico’s national weather service has recommended the coastal population of Oaxaca, Guerrero, Michoacan, Colima and Jalisco get ready for torrential rains, powerful waves, flooding, landslides and strong winds. The storm could drop up to eight inches of rainfall in some spots, the NHC warned, saying “these rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.” — AFP

China state media identifies two plane crash victims BEIJING: The two people who died in an Asiana Airlines plane crash at San Francisco International airport were Chinese schoolgirls, Chinese state media said yesterday. Ye Mengyuan and Wang Linjia,

students at Jiangshan Middle School in eastern China, died in the crash, state broadcaster China Central Television said, citing a fax from the airline to the Jiangshan city government.

SAN FRANCISCO: A Boeing 777 airplane lies burned near the runway after it crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday. An Asiana Airlines passenger aircraft coming from Seoul, South Korea crashed while landing, killing two people and injuring scores of others. — AFP

The South Korean airline said in a statement that Ye and Wang were both 16. A group of 29 students and five teachers had set off from the highly competitive school in Zhejiang, an affluent coastal province. A woman from Zhejiang’s education department had said earlier that they had lost contact with two students. The woman gave only her surname, Tang. Of the 291 passengers onboard, 141 were Chinese. At least 70 Chinese students and teachers were on the plane heading to summer camps, according to education authorities in China. The flight slammed into the runway while landing at the airpor t Saturday and caught fire, forcing many to escape by sliding down the emergency inflatable slides as flames tore through the plane. Officials said 182 people were taken to area hospitals. — AP

Immigration, student loan top congressional agenda WASHINGTON: Republicans and Democrats put goodwill to the test as Congress returns this week to potentially incendiary fights over nominations, unresolved disputes over student loans and the farm bill, and the uncertainty of whether lawmakers have the political will to rewrite the nation’s immigration laws. The rare cooperation on display in the Senate last month with passage of a bipartisan immigration bill could be wiped out immediately if Majority Leader Harry Reid, frustrated with minority Republicans’ delaying tactics on judges and nominations, tries to change the Senate rules by scrapping the threefifths majority for a simple majority. Republican leader Mitch McConnell has indicated it is a decision Reid could regret if the GOP seizes control in next year’s elections. “Once the Senate definitively breaks the rules to change the rules, the pressure to respond in kind

will be irresistible to future majorities,” McConnell said last month, looking ahead to 2014 when Democrats have to defend 21 seats to the GOP’s 14. McConnell envisioned a long list of reversals from the Democratic agenda, from repealing President Barack Obama’s signature health care law to shipping radioactive nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain in Reid’s home state of Nevada. Recently elected Democrats have clamored for changes in Senate rules as Obama has faced Republican resistance to his nominations. Two Cabinet-rank choices Tom Perez as Labor secretary and Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency - could be approved by the Senate this month after a loud debate over administration policies. The GOP also has challenged Obama’s three judicial nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. — AP

meanwhile, has links to actor Ethan Hawke, a longtime supporter of the Doe Fund, the homelessness-services nonprofit McDonald runs. GOP rival John Catsimatidis has been cultivating a theatrical tie of his own - the billionaire businessman has been underwriting performances of “The Little Flower,” actor Tony Lo Bianco’s oneman show about former New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia. Entertainers, athletes and other pop culture icons have lent star power to national politics since at least 1920, when singer and comedian Al Jolson wrote a campaign song for Republican nominee Warren Harding and ushered dozens of theater performers to a rally at Harding’s Ohio home. Later, show business would pave the path for several stars to win office themselves, most prominently President Ronald Reagan. And celebrities’ politics can be local, too, particularly in such fame havens as New York and Los Angeles, where the recent mayoral contest drew in Salma Hayek, Moby, Jimmy Kimmel and Magic Johnson, among other buzzerati. In places where voter rolls are stuffed with boldface names, candidates can almost feel pressed to get celebs on their side, says former New York mayoral candidate Tom Allon, a newspaper publisher who dropped his campaign in March. He doesn’t think stars’ political opinions carry much weight with New Yorkers, but if he’d kept running and could tap some famous endorsers, “I’m sure I would have tried,” he said. While celebrities’ imprimatur may not sway voters, stars can help campaigns more indirectly, political observers say. “The crude notion that celebrities are persuasive, most of the time, for how people vote is just wrong. But I think celebrities are very important in certain situations: fundraising, attracting crowds and interest where it otherwise might not exist,” says North Carolina State University political science professor Michael Cobb, who has researched whether celebrity endorsements affect voters. A star might get more people to a rally or fundraiser, generate press coverage or write checks and round up wealthy friends to do likewise. (Several celebrities are bringing their pocketbooks to bear on the New York mayoral campaign, including Quinn donors Tom Hanks and Jon Bon Jovi and de Blasio contributors Paul Simon and John Turturro.) And a celebrated backer can contribute to voters’ view of a candidate, especially if the star’s known for political activism. Baldwin, for example, is so outspoken about city matters that he flirted with a mayoral run

himself. Buscemi, a former city firefighter, got arrested alongside de Blasio in 2003 while protesting plans to close a firehouse - and in April appeared in a video with Vampire Weekend in which the candidate professes his love for the band and jokingly agrees they could write an official song for the city in return for their votes. Such supporters “may be famous, but they are also progressive New Yorkers and passionate activists who care deeply about the future of our city and believe we need real change” after Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 12 years, de Blasio said in a statement. His campaign’s famous friends also include Susan Sarandon. Campaigns can run the risk that celebrity supporters will distract from their message instead of amplifying it. Just ask Mitt Romney about Clint Eastwood’s Republican National Convention speech to an empty chair or query President Barack Obama about Robert de Niro’s crack about some GOP candidates’ wives at a fundraiser earlier in 2012. De Blasio faced questions last week after Baldwin lashed out at a British journalist with a vulgar Twitter tirade using an anti-gay term. Baldwin apologized in a statement to the gay rights group GLAAD, and a de Blasio spokesman called the actor’s language “clearly unacceptable.” And Quinn was on the spot when illustrious feminist Gloria Steinem publicly threatened to forsake Quinn’s mayoral campaign if Quinn kept preventing the council from voting on requiring many businesses to provide paid sick time. Quinn ultimately backed the proposal, and Steinem endorsed her. Some candidates say their campaigns aren’t courting stars. Average New Yorkers’ votes “are way more valuable than the endorsement of the ‘Sex and the City’ cast,” said Todd Brogan, a spokesman for Democratic contender Sal Albanese, a former city councilman. Another candidate is well-known enough in his own right, for good or ill: Anthony Weiner, the Democratic former congressman felled by smutty tweets. Weiner hasn’t announced any endorsements since he jumped into the race roughly six weeks ago. Campaigns that are embracing luminaries say they’re keeping fame in perspective. “We’re always so appreciative to have them,” said Jessica Proud, a spokeswoman for Lhota, an ex-Metropolitan Transportation Authority boss. But ultimately, Proud said, “people want to know what you’re going to do with them in office.” “You’re not running for ‘American Idol,’” she added. “You’re running for mayor.” — AP

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


Both Koreas agree to reopen joint zone ‘when ready’ SEOUL: North and South Korea yesterday made a crucial step forward in winding down months of high tension, agreeing to reopen a joint industrial zone seen as the last remaining symbol of crossborder reconciliation. The deal follows months of friction and threats of war by Pyongyang after its February nuclear test attracted tougher UN sanctions, further squeezing its struggling economy. At the end of a gruelling 15-hour talk, the two sides said in a joint statement that they had agreed to let South Korean firms restart their shuttered plants at the Kaesong complex near the border when conditions are ripe. “The South and the North will let business companies at Kaesong resume operation when (they are) ready to do so,” said the joint statement. The two sides will meet again on Wednesday at the Kaesong industrial

zone to discuss details over reopening the zone, including a demand from Seoul that the North guarantees it will never again unilaterally shut down the estate. 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 complex-built in 2004 about 10 km north of the border as a rare symbol of inter-Korea cooperation-had previously remained largely resilient to turbulence in relations. But the North, citing military tensions and Seoul’s hostility, pulled out all its 53,000 workers from the 123 Seoulowned factories in April, prompting the South to withdraw the managers of around 120 companies in early May. After signing the agreement, Suh Ho, Seoul’s chief delegate for the latest talks, said the North’s officials had appeared “very enthusiastic” in negotiations to res-

cue the complex-a valuable source of hard currency for the impoverished communist state. Neither side declared the complex officially closed, instead referring to a temporary shutdown, while blaming each other for its suspension. “I’ve got an impression that the North was making very active efforts to solve the issue of the Kaesong complex,” Suh told journalists. Under the agreement Seoul businessmen will be allowed to cross the border to check on their facilities at Kaesong from Wednesday. The news was warmly welcomed by the South Korean firms at Kaesong. “I was overcome with emotions and shed tears for a while,” Moon Chang-Seop, a top representative of the 123 companies said. But other businessmen expressed concern that it would be difficult for them to solicit buyers who have left them during the past three months of

suspension. The zone had become the most high-profile casualty of recent elevated tensions on the peninsula. Representatives of South Korean companies based there had repeatedly urged the two sides to open talks to revive the moribund industrial park. 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 direct talks with Washington. The North made a surprise move last Wednesday by restoring a cross-border military hotline and promising to let South Korean businessmen visit the

Kaesong complex. “The talks are boiled down to this: North wants to restart Kaesong up front while the South calls for a guarantee against such unilateral actions to suspend Kaesong,” Professor Yang Moo-Jin of the University of North Korean Studies said. The two sides have so far been unable to resolve this question but it is significant that they have discussed the issue and set a date for a further round of talks, he said. “Wednesday’s talks will serve as a good indicator to see where the two Koreas are headed-restoration of dialogue or build-up of tension.” Sunday’s concurrence was a reversal from the collapse of high-level talks last month on the future of the Kaesong estate. The high-level talks collapsed even before they took off over a dispute who should lead each other’s delegation. — AFP

Japan set to restart reactors after crisis Return to nuclear energy

AMRITSAR: President of Bharatiya Janata Party, Rajnath Singh (2R), Punjab state chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and president of Punjab BJP, Kamal Sharma pay their respects at the Sikh Shrine Golden temple in Amritsar yesterday. Rajnath Singh visited the city to attend a two-day meeting with the executive body of the Punjab state BJP at a resort on the outskirts of Amritsar and paid his respects at the Sikh Shrine, Jallianwala Bagh and Durgiana temple. — AFP

Toxic radiation again in groundwater at Fukushima TOKYO: Toxic radioactive substances have once again been detected in groundwater at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, its Japanese operator said yesterday, the latest in a series of incidents at the tsunami-battered complex. Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said tests showed that tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen used in glow-in-the-dark watches, was present at levels 10 times the permitted rate. “From test samples on July 5... we detected a record high 600,000 becquerels per litre” of tritium, 10 times higher than the government guideline of 60,000 becquerels per litre, TEPCO said in a statement. “We continue efforts to prevent further expansion of contamination by construction works... and will strengthen monitoring of pollution comprehensively,” it said. The new readings came after TEPCO said in late June that it had detected the highly toxic strontium-90, a by-product of nuclear fission that can cause bone cancer if ingested, at levels 30 times the permitted rate. At the time it had detected tritium at around eight times the allowed level, or 500,000 becquerels per litre. The substances, which were released by the meltdowns of reactors at the plant in the aftermath of the huge tsunami of March 2011, were not absorbed by soil and

have made their way into underground water. Subsoil water usually flows out to sea, meaning these two substances could normally make their way into the ocean, possibly affecting marine life and ultimately impacting humans who eat sea creatures. However, a TEPCO official said last month that seawater data showed no abnormal rise in the levels of either substance as the company believed the groundwater was largely contained by concrete foundations and steel sheets. The revelations are the latest in a growing catalogue of mishaps at the crippled plant, more than two years after the worst nuclear disaster the world has seen in a generation. TEPCO said last week it would ask Japan’s nuclear watchdog for the green light to re-fire two of the seven units at the world’s biggest Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata prefecture, a move rebuked by local leaders. Tens of thousands of people were forced from their homes by the threat of radiation after the tsunami and Fukushima disaster, with some still unable to return. Although the nuclear accident is not officially recorded as having directly killed anyone, the natural disaster claimed more than 18,000 lives and was one of Japan’s worst ever peacetime tragedies. — AFP

Whale knocks surfer unconscious in Australia SYDNEY: A Sydney surfer had a lucky escape yesterday when he was hit by a whale frolicking off Bondi Beach and knocked unconscious. New South Wales Ambulance said several whales were close to the iconic beach. Paramedics were called in to help when one of the large animals hit, or flicked with its tail, the male surfer or his board, knocking him out. “He was knocked unconscious very briefly,” the spokesman said, adding that the man was rescued by fellow surfers and is now in a stable condition in hospital. He said the man had pain down one side, but was not seriously injured.

“He is lucky people were there (to help him), but we were also lucky that he’s the only one (needing help),” the spokesman said. One witness told the ABC that the whale was “the size of a bus” and had been frolicking with a group of surfers. “I mean, it was 40 feet long - it was huge,” Lachlan Harris told the broadcaster. “They were playing and the whale was frolicking with them and having a lot of fun and sort of popping its head out. “It just flicked its tail and some surfers were in the wrong (place) and the next thing, you know, a surfboard is flying in the air... It was unbelievable.” — AFP

TOKYO: Japan is moving a step closer to restarting nuclear reactors as utilities are set to ask for safety inspections at their idled reactors, the clearest sign of a return to nuclear energy nearly two and a half years after the Fukushima disaster. With all but two of its 50 reactors off line since the crisis, Japan has been without nuclear energy that once supplied about a third of its power. Four of nine Japanese nuclear plant operators - supplying the regions of Hokkaido, Kansai, Shikoku and Kyushu - will apply for inspections by the Nuclear Regulation Authority for 10 reactors at five plants Monday, when new safety requirements take effect. Applications for two more reactors are expected later in the week. Reactors that pass the stricter rules will be allowed to reopen possibly early next year, with each inspection expected to take several months. Critics say the rules have loopholes, including grace periods for some safety equipment. Hit by soaring gas and oil costs to run conventional power plants to make up for the shortfall, Japanese utility companies have desperately sought

to put their reactors back online. Nearly all the utilities owning nuclear power plants reported huge losses last fiscal year due to higher costs for fuel imports. Hokkaido Electric Power Co., for example, said it has been hit with additional daily fuel costs of 600 million yen ($6 million) to make up for three idled reactors. Nuclear operators have requested rate hikes or plan to do so. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pushed for restarts since taking office in December, freezing the previous government’s nuclear phase-out plan. Resumption of nuclear power plants is part of his ruling party’s campaign platform in parliamentary elections in two weeks. New rules for the first time require plants to guard against radiation leaks in the case of severe accidents, install emergency command centers and enact anti-terrorist measures. Operators are required to upgrade protection for tsunamis and earthquakes, as well as tornadoes and aviation accidents. Safety was previously left up to the operators, relying on their selfinterest in protecting their investments as an incentive for implementing adequate measures. Tokyo

Electric Power Co. came under fire for underestimating the risk of a tsunami and building a seawall that was less than half the height of the wave that hit Fukushima Dai-ichi and caused multiple meltdowns and massive radiation leaks. About 160,000 evacuees still cannot return home. “We decided to apply because we’re confident about the safety measures we’ve taken,” said Shota Okada, a spokesman at Hokkaido Electric Power Co., filing for the triple-reactor Tomari plant. “We’ll do everything to accommodate a smooth inspection process.” Critics say the requirements have loopholes that make things easier for operators, including a five-year grace period - given to reactors known as PWRs that come with larger containment chambers considered less likely to suffer from pressure buildup than ones like those ravaged at Fukushima - for taking some mandated steps. This means half of the 48 reactors that use a pressurized water system could operate without the features for up to five years. All 10 reactors set for inspections are PWRs, and filtered vents and

command centers are reportedly still under way at many of them. The approvals are aimed at resuming reactor operations even though nearby communities lag in enacting needed emergency and evacuation procedures, and the restarts will cause more nuclear waste, plutonium stockpiles and other safety and environmental risks, said a group of experts headed by Hosei University sociologist Harutoshi Funabashi. The critics say running nuclear plants will eventually become a financial burden, as safety upgrades under the new requirements add up and the cost of decommissioning aging reactors and waste cleanup jump. Even initial safety upgrades are estimated to exceed a combined total of 1 trillion yen ($10 billion). TEPCO, struggling with huge compensation and disaster cleanup costs, wanted to apply to restart two reactors in Niigata, central Japan, but was forced to postpone that amid local protests. Niigata Gov. Hirohiko Izumida on Friday accused TEPCO President Naomi Hirose of ignoring the local communities: “Money or safety, which is more important?” — AP

Bomb analysis lab in Kabul hunts for killer clues KABUL: In a discreet laboratory in Kabul, a French military officer scans a long list of telephone numbers scrolling down a computer screen. “This is the call that triggered the explosion,” he says, pointing. The French-run facility is the nerve-centre of NATO efforts to analyse and trace how thousands of homemade bombs made by insurgents are evolving and becoming more sophisticated. The team of 15 forensic specialists puzzle over how the devices are designed and how to prevent them from being detonated-clues that could also lead back to the rebel bomb-makers themselves. The IED (improvised explosive device) came to widespread public attention during the Iraq war and has also become the signature guerrilla tactic in Afghanistan, where the Taliban and other insurgent groups have fought US-led forces since 2001. The device typically uses old battlefield ordnance, explosives from mining or agricultural fertiliser, and is detonated by an electronic signal such a telephone call, a manual trigger line or a pressure plate. Cheap, relatively-easy to make and adaptable, it is the militants’ weapon of choice, killing US and Afghan soldiers, government officials, and civilians on a daily basis, often planted in dirt road tracks. The Multi-National Theatre Exploitation Laboratory is located inside the Kabul airport military complex, a large highlysecure area that is a major base for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Clean, calm and quiet, the laboratory is a far cry from the frontlines where the IEDs are picked up. The devices are investigated in small rooms containing computers, monitors, spectrum analysers and oscilloscopes measuring voltage. It is here that electronic experts Adjutant Olivier, who gave only his first name in line with French military policy, says he makes hard drives,

KARACHI: A Pakistani driver sits on his trailer carrying NATO military equipment parked near the sea port of Karachi yesterday. The US military has started to withdraw equipment from Afghanistan through Pakistan ahead of next year’s deadline for combat troops to leave the war against the Taliban. Pakistan is a key transit route for the NATO mission in landlocked Afghanistan, from where it is driven to the border from the Arabian Sea port of Karachi. — AFP USB memory sticks, data cards and mobile phones “talk to him”. “You can retrieve calendar items, incoming and outgoing calls, contact lists, text messages, multi-media content and even erased images, videos and files,” he said enthusiastically. He also tracks the frequencies used to detonate IEDs remotely-a life-or-death calculation as it allows signal jammers to be set correctly and prevent bombs being triggered near ISAF vehicles. Although the lab specialists employ the latest hi-tech equipment to fight against the IED threat, they face a difficult challenge, with the insurgents constantly re-inventing their fatal designs. “They adapt, they are clever, they man-

age to combine techniques. And on the Internet, you will find many of the plans,” said the adjutant. One recent graphic example shows the rebels’ ability to come up with deadly new ideas. “In late February, an American soldier saw an American radio placed on the road,” said Lieutenant Colonel Charles, head of the centre. “The soldier recovered the radio, put it in his vehicle and a few seconds later it exploded, leaving many dead.” With materials for making IEDs freely available, their use is hard to counter. The devices were responsible for 60 percent of ISAF fatalities in 2009, though the figure fell to 42 percent last year.— AFP

12 killed as Filipino troops, rebels clash

AHMEDABAD: Indian shepherds plunge into a canal near Araniya village, some 65 km from Ahmedabad yesterday. Owing to recent heavy and timely rains the shepherds and farmers of many regions of Gujarat state are happy. Over 70 percent of Indians depend on farm incomes and about 65 percent of India’s farms depend on rains that fall between June and September. — AFP

MANILA: More than 100 breakaway Muslim guerrillas launched attacks against army troops in the southern Philippines, sparking clashes that killed five soldiers and at least seven insurgents in an apparent attempt to spoil peace talks between the government and the country’s largest Muslim rebel group, the military said yesterday. The daylong clashes involving the hardline Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters erupted Saturday in the marshy hinterlands of Datu Piang town in Maguindanao province and in villages of nearby North Cotabato province, said regional army spokesman Capt. Anthony Bulao.

Army forces were firing artillery rounds against the rebels Sunday in a mountain encampment, he said. Hundreds of villagers fled from Datu Piang, an impoverished rural town about 900 kilometers (560 miles) southeast of Manila, officials said. The Muslim guerrillas involved in the fighting broke off from the largest Muslim rebel group in the country, the 11,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front, two years ago. The rebel faction, led by commander Ameril Umbra Kato, has rejected the talks between the main rebel group and the government, saying they have gone nowhere, and has vowed to con-

tinue a rebellion for a separate Muslim homeland in the southern Philippines. Despite the rebel infighting, the peace talks have progressed in recent years and were scheduled to resume Monday in Malaysia to try to iron out differences in a wealth-sharing pact that would be a pillar of an emerging Muslim autonomy deal. “There have been reports that they wanted to commit atrocities to sabotage the talks,” Bulao said of the breakaway guerrillas. “They’re one of the spoilers of the peace talks.” Suspected fighters of the rebel faction detonated a power ful bomb on a roadside as an army

truck drove by in Datu Piang, killing an army lieutenant and two soldiers and setting off a gunbattle, militar y officials said. The attackers later withdrew and were being pursued by reinforcement troops. Another group of rebels, waiting in ambush behind coconut trees on the coast, opened fire on about 30 army troops aboard three approaching motor boats, killing two soldiers and sparking a gunfight in the nearby village of Paidu Pulangi in Pikit town in North Cotabato province. At least seven rebels were killed and seven others were wounded, Bulao s aid, citing repor ts from the army troops. — AFP


MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013



Founder and Publisher

YOUSUF S. AL-ALYAN Editor-in-Chief

ABD AL-RAHMAN AL-ALYAN EDITORIAL : 24833199-24833358-24833432 ADVERTISING : 24835616/7 FAX : 24835620/1 CIRCULATION : 24833199 Extn. 163 ACCOUNTS : 24835619 COMMERCIAL : 24835618 P.O.Box 1301 Safat,13014 Kuwait. E MAIL Website:


Abu Qatada a human rights test for Jordan By Mussa Hattar he deportation from Britain to Jordan of radical Islamist cleric Abu Qatada poses a human rights test for Amman as it faces the challenge of ensuring he gets a fair trial, experts say. The terror suspect was deported on Sunday after the two governments formally approved a treaty guaranteeing that evidence obtained by torture would not be used against the 53-year-old cleric in any trial. Although torture and ill-treatment in detention are illegal in Jordan, complaints about such practices have marred its human rights record. But it has proved difficult and sometimes impossible to hold alleged torturers accountable. “The Abu Qatada case has provoked a great deal of scrutiny and debate regarding Jordan’s record on torture,” Adam Coogle, Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch, told AFP. “The assurances and guarantees Jordan has provided in this individual case are not a substitute for putting a complete stop to all instances of torture or ill-treatment in the kingdom.” Abu Qatada pleaded not guilty to terror charges pressed by Jordanian military prosecutors just hours after his deportation from Britain, his lawyer Taysir Diab said. In 1999, Abu Qatada was condemned to death in Jordan for conspiracy to launch terror attacks, including on the American school in Amman, but the sentence was immediately reduced to life imprisonment with hard labour. And in 2000, he was sentenced to 15 years for plotting to carry out terror attacks on tourists during millennium celebrations in Jordan. “Jordan has made some progress over the last few years in addressing the torture problem, but complaints continue to emerge,” Coogle said. “No official in Jordan has ever been successfully prosecuted for torture, and until Jordan ends the atmosphere of impunity for torture and ill-treatment we can never say that there is zero risk.” Jordan’s Adaleh Centre for Human Rights Studies will monitor the authorities’ treatment of Abu Qatada, who was once described by a Spanish judge as the right-hand man in Europe of Osama bin Laden. Abu Qatada denies ever having met the now slain AlQaeda leader. “The case of Abu Qatada will test Jordan on its human rights records and the government will seek to show utmost transparency to improve the country’s image,” Hussein Omari, a lawyer at Adaleh, told AFP. “I do not think Abu Qatada will face torture or mistreatment. Jordan has provided guarantees and the case will be closely monitored by the media as well as Britain.” But reporters were not allowed into the courtroom to hear the charges being read, despite a government pledge of transparency in handling Abu Qatada’s retrial on charges that have already earned him a life sentence passed in absentia. Omari said a 25-member team from Adaleh, including doctors, psychiatrists and lawyers, will follow up on the case, examine Abu Qatada’s testimony and attend his trial. “The team will issue a neutral report on his deportation, trial and verdict. Even if he is declared innocent, we will keep following up on his situation.” Born Omar Mahmud Mohammed Otman in Bethlehem in the now Israeli-occupied West Bank, the father of five has Jordanian nationality because the town was part of Jordan at the time of his birth. “I do not think that Abu Qatada will face a fair trial in Jordan,” said Musa Abdallat, a Salafist lawyer who represents Islamist groups in Jordan. “Jordan’s human rights record is well known. Torture, mistreatment and similar practices still exist. The country does not respect human rights, particularly when it comes to Islamists.” MP Khalil Attieh, the deputy lower house speaker, disagreed. “Parliament will not accept unfair trial of any Jordanian,” he told AFP. “The country has provided enough guarantees to ensure a fair trial and that he will not face any kind of mistreatment or torture.” For Coogle, the case gives Jordan the chance to show that it can conduct a fair hearing for a terrorism suspect. “State security court officials should uphold Jordan’s pledge not to introduce any evidence obtained through torture or ill-treatment, and they should open the trial and allow independent monitoring organisations and the media to attend and ensure that the proceedings comply with fair trial standards,” he said. “Jordan will not be able to put a complete stop to instances of torture and ill-treatment until it holds those who commit these acts accountable.” —AFP


All articles appearing on these pages are the personal opinion of the writers. Kuwait Times takes no responsibility for views expressed therein. Kuwait Times invites readers to voice their opinions. Please send submissions via email to: or via snail mail to PO Box 1301 Safat, Kuwait. The editor reserves the right to edit any submission as necessary.

US in quandary amid Egypt upheaval By Jo Biddle he United States yesterday was left eyeing the political turmoil in Egypt from the sidelines, insisting it was not taking sides, yet increasingly concerned about a key ally descending into chaos. The US administration has been caught in a semantic nightmare about whether to call Wednesday’s ousting of the nation’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi by the military a coup. Under US law, that would mean some $1.5 billion in military and economic assistance to Egypt would have to be frozen, risking undermining the powerful army at a time when the country’s future direction has yet to be determined. But standing on the fence is leaving the administration of President Barack Obama looking increasingly weak both domestically and in Egypt, where many Egyptians see the US as trying to prop up the Morsi administration. One US lawmaker suggested Obama should go before Congress to argue why the United States needs to keep up its assistance to the Egyptian military. “I think the law is very clear on this, and I think we ought to be honest with ourselves. And I don’t think that skirting the law here is the right thing to do. The president should come to Congress and make the case,”


argued Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House intelligence committee. He told CNN Sunday the US should “continue to support the military, the one stabilizing force in Egypt that I think can temper down the political feuding”. Influential Republican Senator John McCain has called for a suspension of US aid “because the Egyptian military has overturned the vote of the people”. “We cannot repeat the same mistakes we made at other times in our history by supporting the removal of freely elected governments,” he said Friday, adding the generals needed to set a timetable for new elections and a new constitution. But Egypt’s ambassador to the US, Mohamed Tawfik, insisted on ABC television: “Egypt has not undergone a military coup, and it is certainly not run by the military. Today, there is an interim president in place.” “So now we want new elections. We’re going to get new elections. We’re going to get a new parliament,” Tawfik said, adding the process must be inclusive. Behind the scenes top US cabinet officials have been in constant contact with Egyptian military and political leaders, calling for a peaceful transition back to civilian rule. Obama on Saturday convened a meeting of his National Security Council and again condemned the violence seen on Egyptian streets and stressed the United

States is “not aligned” with any side. “The United States categorically rejects the false claims propagated by some in Egypt that we are working with specific political parties or movements to dictate how Egypt’s transition should proceed,” a White House statement said. Former US ambassador to Egypt, Abil Fahmy, who is rumored to be the possible foreign minister in a new Egyptian administration, told NBC: “We are trying to establish a government, an interim president, consulting to try to get the widest possible support for the new prime minister.” He added it was hoped a new prime minister would be named within hours, and a roadmap would then be set out for elections. “The military acted in response to the people,” he said. “They did oust the president, that’s true. But then they handed over government immediately to the interim president.” Nobel peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, who has been named as a possible interim prime minister, had been due to appear on NBC television yesterday but abruptly canceled saying he had “laryngitis and a fever” and was under doctor’s orders not to do any television interviews. The official MENA news agency said on Saturday that caretaker president Adly Mansour had appointed ElBaradei, only for his office to later deny any final decision had been taken.— AFP

Merkel’s road to third term could be rocky By Noah Barkin he German election is still more than two months away but for many the vote’s final chapter has already been written. Angela Merkel, it is widely assumed, is cruising to a third victory at the polls. When she wins, the thinking goes, there will be few, if any, major changes to German policy. The vote could well play out according to script. Merkel’s conservatives hold a dominant 16-19 point lead over the next strongest party, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), and recent polls suggest she may be able to renew her centre-right coalition with the Free Democrats (FDP) after Sept. 22nd. But should she fail to secure a parliamentary majority with the FDP, the election aftermath is likely to be far messier than many casual observers of German politics presume. In this scenario, Merkel would probably have to pay a very heavy price in terms of policy concessions to stay in the Chancellery. And her exit could not be ruled out. In a note this week, J P Morgan analyst Alex White put the chance Merkel will be booted out of office after the election at 20 percent. “If the election result produces neither a centre-left or centre-right majority, which seems very likely, then we will witness the most difficult, protracted and dramatic coalition negotiations in the history of the Federal Republic,” Heribert Prantl wrote in an editorial in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily. “The winner takes it all? That may work for Abba but not in German politics,” he wrote, referring to a song by the Swedish pop band. “The chancellor will not necessarily be the one that comes out on top.” Under the German political system, leaders must secure a majority in the Bundestag lower house of parliament to rule. Merkel’s conservatives may be far ahead of the SPD in opinion polls, but they are unlikely to win more than 40 percent of the vote on election day, meaning she will have to find a partner to stay in power. If she can’t do that with the FDP, which may not reach the 5 percent threshhold to enter the Bundestag, the likelihood is that she turns to the


SPD, with whom she ruled in her first term between 2005 and 2009. The problem this time around is that the SPD is dead-set on avoiding a “grand coalition” under Merkel. That’s because the party is still haunted by their previous partnership, when Merkel co-opted many of her rival’s policy ideas, coaxed away its supporters and left the SPD with its worst election result in the postwar era four years ago. Senior members of the party are vowing to prevent a repeat in September - even if it leads to months of post-election uncertainty. “Anyone who believes the SPD is going to jump right back into a grand coalition doesn’t know the mood in the party nor the power of the states,” said a leading figure in the SPD who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. After a string of regional victories in recent years, the SPD now governs in 13 of Germany’s 16 states. The party’s regional barons are particularly worried about another “grand coalition” and are exerting huge pressure on the SPD leadership to explore other options after the vote. “There are a lot of people in our party that would prefer to see Merkel partner with the Greens than do another grand coalition,” the SPD leader said. Despite the reluctance, Frank Decker, a political scientist at Bonn University, believes the SPD will not be able to avoid partnering with Merkel if she fails to get her preferred centre-right majority. That’s because all other coalition combinations seem farfetched. With her decision to pull out of nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster in Japan, Merkel removed the biggest hurdle to a partnership with the environmentalist Greens, a combination that has been tried at state but never at the federal level. But the cultural divide

and policy gap between the parties, particularly on economic issues, are seen as too big to overcome. The same holds true for a so-called “traffic light” coalition between the SPD, Greens and FDP, or what Germans call a “Jamaica” coalition between the CDU, FDP and Greens, because the colours of the respective parties match those of the Jamaican flag. An additional variant involving the SPD, Greens and far-left “Linke”, or Left party, has been definitively ruled out by the SPD. And the option that has some in Merkel’s entourage worried - a minority government of the SPD and Greens, with the tacit

support of the Left in parliament - is also seen as a no-go in stability-obsessed Germany. Still, if the election result is not clear-cut, the expectation is that the major parties will sound each other out on most of these combinations. Everyone will be talking to everyone, meaning talks on forming a new government could stretch well into November, as they did in 2005 when incumbent Gerhard Schroeder initially refused to concede defeat to Merkel because of her razor-thin margin of victory. If the SPD does buckle and link up with Merkel again, the consensus is that it will demand - and eventually get - its pound of flesh in terms of policy concessions. This could lead a new Merkel government to take a tougher line on banks, push up spending and raise taxes on high earners, even if she has ruled this out during her campaign. On the margins, it could also lead to a more pro-growth approach in Europe. “The SPD will try to find one theme that they can really force on Merkel,” said Peter Loesche, professor emeritus at Goettingen University. “Taxes is a good place to start. Merkel will have no other alternative.” A poll this week for public television station ARD showed that 81 percent of Germans expect Merkel to remain chancellor after the vote, compared to just 13 percent who see her SPD challenger Peer Steinbrueck taking power. But the complexities of coalitionbuilding and the possibility that other parties, like the anti-euro “Alternative for Germany”, make it into parliament, mean that Merkel may have a bigger fight on her hands than is commonly assumed. “ This won’t be as easy as it looks,” said a top aide to the chancellor. “If we don’t get a majority with the FDP, it’s going to be messy. It will be very, very difficult.” — Reuters


MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013

CAIRO: The Egyptian air force puts on a show as opponents of Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi rally in Tahrir Square yesterday. — AP

Court to rule on freezing polls July 14 Continued from Page 1 Assembly issued last month. According to Abdulhadi, this decree is illegal and the whole election process will also be illegal. Abdulhadi demanded that the court should halt the election scheduled for July 27 in order for the government to rectify the constitutional errors. The lawyer also told the court that even if the govern-

ment claims State Minister for Assembly Affairs and Planning Rola Dashti is the elected MP in the Cabinet, this would mean that the dissolved 2009 Assembly must be reinstated. Dashti was a member of parliament elected in 2009 but this Assembly was dissolved on two occasions, the first time in December 2011 after which it was reinstated by the constitutional court, but was dissolved again in October last year. Abdulhadi said that in both cases, the Cabinet is

Splits in leadership amid Egypt protests Continued from Page 1 Senior Brotherhood members Saad Emara said there was no possibility for any negotiations with the new leadership after “all betrayed us”, and following the military’s clampdown on the group. “We are not regressing to a Mubarak era but to ... a totalitarian regime,” he told AP. “Anything other than protest is suicide.” Morsi and five top Brotherhood figures are currently in detention, and around 200 others have arrest warrants out against them. The group’s TV station and three other pro-Morsi Islamist stations were put off the air. Among those detained is Badie’s deputy Khairat AlShater, seen as the most powerful figure in the group and its main decision-maker. The wrestling over the prime minister spot underlined the divisions with the collection of factions that backed the military when it pushed Morsi out of office on Wednesday and installed a senior judge, Adly Mansour, as an interim president. At center stage of the feuding is the ultraconservative Salafi Al-Nour Party, the sole main Islamist faction that sided with the mainly secular groups that led the charge against Morsi. On Saturday, the party blocked the appointment of reform leader Mohammed ElBaradei, a favorite of liberal, leftist and secular groups, as prime minister. Another member of the coalition, Tamarod, the main organization behind the massive protests last week calling for Morsi ouster, said ElBaradei was still its candidate for the post. It railed against Al-Nour yesterday, accusing it of “blackmail” and “arm-twisting”. Showing the outside pressures on Al-Nour, Emara of the Brotherhood said Al-Nour “has lost credibility and trust after they sided with the takeover” - a sign the Brotherhood hopes to draw the party’s Salafi supporters behind it in the streets alongside other Islamists. The prime minister is to be the real power in whatever interim government emerges, since the president’s post will be largely symbolic. The prime minister will also likely have strong influence on the process of writing a new constitution. That’s a major concern of Al-Nour, which pushed hard for the Islamic character of the charter pushed through under Morsi’s administration, which was suspended after his ouster. Mohammed Aboul-Ghar, the leader of the liberal Egyptian Socialist Democratic Party, said Al-Nour initially agreed to ElBaradei taking the post, but then shifted its position for unknown reasons. He said talks are still ongoing through mediators. Abdullah Badran, a leading Al-Nour lawmaker, said there was “a misunderstanding” and that it hadn’t accepted ElBaradei. The party has asked for 48 hours to propose alternatives, he said, adding that it will finalize its position but will not back ElBaradei. “This sensitive period requires an independent who can win consensus not cause more divisions and polarization,” he told AP. “We don’t want prejudices because it would only lead to more divisions.” He said that objections to ElBaradei are rooted in his lack of popularity not only among Islamists but among a large sector of Egyptians. ElBaradei, a 71-year-old Nobel Peace

laureate for his time as head of the UN nuclear watchdog, is an inspiring figure among the leftists, secular and revolutionary youth groups behind the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Word on Saturday that he would be appointed prime minister sparked cheers among many of their ranks, believing he can push a strong reform agenda. But he is deeply distrusted as too secular among many Islamists and seen by much of the public as elite. Walid Al-Masry, of Tamarod, said Al-Nour is using the ElBaradei issue to press liberals on the constitution, worried about changes to the Islamist-drafted charter. “They are afraid about the articles that concern the state’s Islamic identity,” he said, adding that the liberals assured Salafis that they won’t touch these articles. AlNour was once an ally of Morsi but broke with him over the course of his year in office, saying his Brotherhood was trying to monopolize power, even over other Islamists. When the June 30 wave of antiMorsi protests began, the party called on its followers to stay neutral. But it supported the military’s intervention to remove the president, joining in talks with army chief Gen Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. Meanwhile, the Brotherhood and their opponents sought to show their power in the streets. The Islamists have denounced the removal of Morsi as an army coup against democracy. Their opponents have argued the president had squandered his electoral mandate and that the Brotherhood was putting Egypt on an undemocratic path. Tamarod, Arabic for “Rebel”, called on its supporters to turn out to defend “popular legitimacy” and “confirm the victory achieved in the June 30 wave.” By yesterday evening, large crowds filled Tahrir Square and the streets outside the Ittihadiya presidential palace. Pro-Morsi rallies turned out in several places around the city, centered outside the Rabaah Al-Adawiya Mosque where they have been holding a sit-in for more than a week. In a Facebook posting yesterday, the Brotherhood’s supreme leader Mohammed Badie said the “leaders of the unconstitutional coup continue flagrant violations against the Egyptian people”. A Brotherhood spokesman, Gehad Al-Haddad, said the military is not giving any positive signals for the group to be willing to talk, pointing to the arrests of the leadership figures and shutdowns of media. “They are trying to terrorize us,” he said. Outside Rabaa Al-Adawiya, Brotherhood supporters waved flags as young men wearing makeshift helmets jogged in place and did calisthenics, as part of security teams the group says are to defend its rallies from attack. “Do we not deserve democracy, aren’t we worth anything?” said an emotional Alaa Al-Saim, a retired army engineer in a broad-brimmed hat to protect from the sun. He pointed to the shooting by troops on Friday of pro-Morsi protesters. “It’s the first time I’ve seen that, the army shoots at us with weapons they bought with the taxes I paid.” Khaled Galal, a young bearded man in a skull cap, called the army’s actions the “rape of legitimacy”. “Muslims aren’t allowed democracy, and when we pick up weapons to defend it we get called terrorists,” he said. —Agencies

either illegal or the 2009 Assembly should be revived in order for it to become legal. The court yesterday received a similar petition and set tomorrow to start reviewing it. In another development, Al-Jarida newspaper claimed yesterday that a group of influential people, including members of the ruling family, have established a KD 13.5-million fund to influence the outcome of the election. The daily said that the fund will pay KD 350,000 to candidates who will be

supported by the fund and running in the first and third constituencies, KD 250,000 in the second and as much as KD 500,000 for certain candidates in the fourth and fifth electoral districts. The paper said the fund aims at electing at least 25 MPs in the 50-seat Assembly to have a formidable bloc that can influence the Cabinet’s composition. The fund also plans to spend as much as KD 13 million to influence the election of the new Assembly speaker.

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


Raikkonen bides his time

Mob decapitates referee

NUERBURGRING: Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen is in no rush to make a decision over his team for 2014 despite speculation linking him to a move to champions Red Bull with Mark Webber stepping away from Formula One at the end of the season. Raikkonen, who is third in the standings, is out of contract after this season having been one of the most impressive drivers since returning to F1 last year. The Finn spent two years in rallying after being dumped by Ferrari in 2009 to accommodate Fernando Alonso, only two years after his world title with the Italian team. “I have no idea,” he told the official Formula One website when asked when he would decide about his future. “I will obviously decide at a certain point but there are still a lot of things that have to be right and good things always take time. I have no deadline.” He is one of three drivers who are not members of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association which threatened to withdraw from yesterday’s German Grand Prix if the tyre explosions witnessed in Britain last weekend happened again.—Reuters

SAO PAULO: One man has been arrested in northern Brazil after a referee who fatally stabbed an amateur player over his refusal to leave the field was decapitated by a mob, police said on Saturday. Referee Octavio da Silva, 20, stabbed player Josenir dos Santos, 30, on June 30 after dos Santos refused to heed his order to leave, police spokesman Kena Souza told Reuters. A mob then turned on da Silva, killing him before severing his head in the remote town of Pio XII, named after a former pope. A 27-year-old man was arrested on July 2 and police in the regional headquarters of Santa Ines will continue to investigate the incident, Souza said. Brazil has made significant strides in lowering homicide rates in recent years, as millions were lifted from poverty, but it faces mounting pressures to show it is a safe place for tourists before 12 Brazilian cities host the 2014 soccer World Cup and Rio de Janeiro the Olympic Games in 2016. In Rio de Janeiro on the day of the brawl, Brazil’s national team handily defeated Spain in the Confederations Cup, considered a test run for next year’s molyuch bigger championship. The eight-team tournament was marked by an unexpected wave of demonstrations, some violent, in part to protest the $14 billion being spent on World Cup preparations amid a lack of adequate public services.—Reuters

Lecavalier joins Flyers NEW YORK: Four-time All-Star Vincent Lecavalier was signed on a multiyear contract by the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, the biggest name to be scooped up on the second day of the National Hockey League’s free agency. The 33-year-old Canadian will join the Flyers after spending his entire 14-year league career with the Tampa Bay Lightning, with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 2004. “It is a great honor for me to be a part of the Flyers,” Lecavalier said in a statement. “This is a great hockey team with a great history which I’m very proud to be a part of. I’m going to do my best to help lead this team to another championship.” Drafted number one overall by the Lightning in 1998, Lecavalier was released last week by Tampa Bay to clear space under a smaller salary cap. He had signed a five-year deal with the Flyers worth $22.5 million according to local media. Lecavalier has scored at least 20 goals in each of his full seasons in the league, with last year’s lockout-shortened campaign the only exception. In 1,037 career games for Tampa Bay, he scored a franchise-high 383 goals.—Reuters

Yankees, Angels advance

CHICAGO: Kevin Gregg No. 63 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the 9th inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates on his way to his 15th save of the season at Wrigley Field. —AFP

Cubs see off Pirates CHICAGO: Alfonso Soriano hit two-run homers in consecutive innings to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-1 on Saturday. Edwin Jackson and three relievers combined on a five-hitter, and the Cubs handed the Pirates their third loss in 14 games. Pittsburgh came in with baseball’s best record and a seven-game, road-winning streak. Soriano hit a drive off Charlie Morton in the fourth and a shot into the bleachers in left to make it 4-1 in the fifth. That was enough for Jackson (5-10), who won his second straight start. He held the Pirates to one run and four hits in 5 2-3 innings. Matt Guerrier worked two scoreless innings, and Kevin Gregg came on in the ninth for his 15th save in 16 chances. Morton (1-2) pitched six innings for Pittsburgh, allowing four runs and seven hits. He struck out six and walked three. CARDINALS 5, MARLINS 4 In St. Louis, Jon Jay scored from first on right fielder Giancarlo Stanton’s throwing error on Shane Robinson’s single with two outs in the ninth inning, giving St. Louis a win over Miami. Edward Mujica (1-1) worked a scoreless ninth for the Cardinals after Matt Adams’ pinch-hit, two-run homer tied it two innings earlier. Jay drew a full-count walk off A.J. Ramos (3-3) with two outs in the ninth and took third easily on Robinson’s pinch-hit single. He scored without a play after Stanton hesitated before throwing a relay that skipped under Logan Morrison’s glove at first base. The Marlins got homers from Derek Dietrich and Morrison but their run of four straight series wins ended after they lost their second straight to the Cardinals. Morrison has four homers in six games against the Cardinals. NATIONALS 5, PADRES 4 In Washington, Bryce Harper drove in three runs after talking his way into the lineup, Ryan Zimmerman knocked in the goahead run, and Washington rallied to beat San Diego. Adam LaRoche homered, and Denard Span and Ian Desmond added two hits apiece as the Nationals won their third straight. Since returning from the disabled list and homering in his first at-bat Monday night against Milwaukee, Harper had gone 0 for 18 before his RBI single. Jesus Guzman hit a three-run homer and doubled for San Diego, which has lost eight straight. Ross Ohlendorf (2-0) got the win and Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth for his 24th save. Nick Vincent (2-1) took the loss after getting only one out in the Nationals’ two-run seventh inning. BRAVES 13, PHILLIES 4 In Philadelphia, Jason Heyward hit a threerun homer to lead an Atlanta offense that scored in all but two innings, Tim Hudson pitched seven strong innings, and the Braves set season highs for runs and hits in a rout of Philadelphia. Andrelton Simmons and Dan Uggla also homered for Atlanta, which amassed 19 hits and snapped a three-game skid. Brian McCann had four hits, and Simmons was a double shy of the cycle. Hudson (5-7) allowed one run and five hits to earn his first victory since May 5. The righthander had been 0-6 with a 4.50 ERA in his last 10 starts. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter. Michael Young homered for Philadelphia, which fell 81/2 games behind the first-place Braves in the NL East. Kyle Kendrick (7-6) gave up six runs and 12 hits in five innings. GIANTS 4, DODGERS 2 In San Francisco, Madison Bumgarner drove in two runs and struck out nine in seven innings, and San Francisco overcame an embarrassing lineup mistake to beat Los Angeles. The Giants were caught batting out of order in the first inning, wiping away Buster Posey’s RBI double. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy submitted a lineup with Posey

batting fourth, but the reigning NL MVP and batting champion hit third. On the day he earned his first All-Star selection, Bumgarner (9-5) helped erase Bochy’s big blunder by retiring his first 14 batters. Tim Federowicz’s two-run homer off Bumgarner accounted for each of Los Angeles’ runs. Gregor Blanco had three hits and an RBI to end an 0-for-25 skid, and Marco Scutaro drove in another run to help San Francisco stop a four-game losing streak. Sergio Romo pitched a perfect ninth for his 20th save. Stephen Fife (3-3) allowed seven hits and four runs - although only one was earned - in 4 1-3 innings. The Dodgers committed three errors and never got going offensively. BREWERS 7, METS 6 In Milwaukee, Jonathan Lucroy homered and Yovani Gallardo scattered six hits over six innings and had two hits and scored two runs to lead Milwaukee over the New York Mets. Gallardo (7-8) allowed four earned runs, struck out six and walked three. In his previous outing Monday against Washington, Gallardo gave up nine hits and eight earned runs in three innings. Francisco Rodriguez recorded his eighth save of the season and 302nd of his career. Gallardo had a single and a double, and scored both times. He also had a key sacrifice bunt. The Brewers jumped on Mets starter Shaun Marcum (1-10) for a run in the first inning. Milwaukee added two runs in the second and Lucroy made it 4-0 with a solo homer in the third. John Buck and Marlon Byrd hit solo homers for the Mets, who never got even after the early deficit. Marcum, who went 2011 with Milwaukee in the 2011 and 2012 seasons, allowed 11 hits and five earned runs in five innings. DIAMONDBACKS 11, ROCKIES 1 In Phoenix, Wade Miley pitched eight effective innings and had a three-run double, first-time All-Star Paul Goldschmidt hit a tworun homer, and Arizona jumped on Colorado early en route to a rout. Coming off a shutout in the series opener, the Diamondbacks roughed up Drew Pomeranz (0-2) for five runs in the first three innings and finished with 12 hits. Miley (5-7) hit his third career double in the second inning, and Goldschmidt, named to the NL All-Star team earlier in the day, hit his 21st homer in the third. Miley stretched his scoreless streak to a career-high 13 2-3 innings - 16 overall by Arizona pitchers - before Carlos Gonzalez led off the seventh with his NL-leading 24th homer. Miguel Montero added a three-run homer, Martin Prado hit a two-run shot, and Cody Ross tied a team record with a careerhigh five hits for the NL West-leading Diamondbacks, who have won four straight. Gonzalez had four hits after missing Friday’s game with a sore back. INTERLEAGUE REDS 13, MARINERS 4 In Cincinnati, Cesar Izturis drove in three runs, matching his season total, and Mat Latos doubled home two more for Cincinnati, which rallied for a win over Seattle. The Reds earned only their second victory over Seattle. The Mariners are 9-2 overall in the interleague series. Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker decided to give Izturis his ninth start at shortstop so he could get some atbats and stay sharp. Izturis singled home a run in the second and doubled home two more in the fifth off Jeremy Bonderman (1-3). The Reds scored more runs than in any game since a 13-7 win over Milwaukee on May 11. It was the second-most runs allowed by the Mariners, trailing a 16-9 loss to Houston on April 9. Latos (8-2) matched his season high with four walks in six innings, but also doubled his RBI total by driving in a pair of runs with a double. He allowed six hits and fanned 11. Kyle Seager drove in three runs off Latos with a homer and a sacrifice fly.—AP

NEW YORK: Andy Pettitte stopped the Orioles once again, Eduardo Nunez returned with a goahead hit and the New York Yankees beat Baltimore 5-4 Saturday for a season-high sixth straight win. The Yankees overcame Chris Davis’ major league-leading 33rd home run and yet another double from Manny Machado, who was celebrating his 21st birthday. The Orioles have lost four of five. The 41-year-old Pettitte (6-6) earned his 251st win, tying Hall of Famer Bob Gibson for 44th place on the all-time list. Pettitte stretched his unbeaten streak against Baltimore to 11 starts dating to 2007, winning eight times. Overall, he is 28-6 against the Orioles only Yankees great Whitey Ford (30) has beaten the Birds more often since the franchise moved from St. Louis to Baltimore for the 1954 season. Mariano Rivera worked the ninth for his 29th save. Nunez came off the 60-day disabled list before the game and played for the first time since a strain on his left side slowed him in early May. His key hit helped end a seven-game winning streak by Chris Tillman (10-3). Nunez had a sac fly in the second, singled and scored in the fifth and knocked in the go-ahead run with a single in the sixth. ANGELS 9, RED SOX 7 In Anaheim, Josh Hamilton hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning, after the Angels rallied to tie it with four runs in the ninth, and Los Angeles beat Boston to snap the AL East-leaders’ five-game winning streak. Brad Hawpe singled with one out in the 11th against Craig Breslow (2-2). Hamilton drove the next pitch out to right-center for his 12th homer and second dramatic blast in three nights. Dane De La Rosa (4-1) earned this victory with a scoreless inning. Boston was leading 7-3 in the seventh when Andrew Bailey relieved injured pitcher Andrew Miller with one out and runners at the corners. He retired Mike Trout on an inning-ending double play. Bailey then pitched a scoreless eighth before the Angels loaded the bases with two out in the ninth against Alex Wilson. Red Sox closer Koji Uehara gave up a two-run single to Albert Pujols and an RBI single to Hamilton before Howie Kendrick hit a grounder to third baseman Brandon Snyder. But Snyder’s throw to second base sailed into right field, allowing Collin Cowgill to score the tying run. It was Uehara’s third blown save in eight chances. TIGERS 9, INDIANS 4 In Cleveland, Torii Hunter drove in three runs, Miguel Cabrera cracked a two-run homer and Detroit dominated Cleveland for its fifth straight win. Hunter hit a two-run homer, tripled and doubled as the Tigers won their seventh straight over the Indians and increased their lead in the AL Central to 31/2 games. Detroit is 8-2 against Cleveland, and the Tigers have outscored the Indians 16-4 in winning the first two of the fourgame set. Anibal Sanchez (7-5) returned from the disabled list and pitched five innings for his first win since June 4. Cabrera and Prince Fielder homered in the third off Carlos Carrasco (0-4), who was recalled from the minors to face the AL’s best hitting team. TWINS 6, BLUE JAYS 0 In Toronto, Brian Dozier hit a three-run home run, Mike Pelfrey and three relievers combined for a four-hitter and Minnesota beat Toronto. Dozier had two hits and four RBIs, connecting off knuckleballer R.A. Dickey for his eighth homer as the Twins snapped a six-game skid and won for just the fourth time in 14 games. Minnesota came in having lost 17 of 23 to Toronto, including eight of nine at Rogers Centre. Pelfrey (4-6) snapped an eight-start winless streak to earn his first victory since May 5 at Cleveland. He allowed three hits in six innings, walked three and struck out two. Dickey (8-9) gave up six runs and seven hits in seven innings. He struck out three. ROYALS 4, ATHLETICS 3 In Kansas City, Jarrod Dyson delivered an infield single with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning, giving Kansas City a scrappy victory

ANAHEIM: Shortstop Jose Iglesias No. 10 of the Boston Red Sox flips over Erick Aybar No. 2 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after tagging out Aybar at the end of a pickoff play at first in the 10th inning. —AFP over Oakland. The Royals had rallied to tie the game on a sacrifice fly by Eric Hosmer in the seventh, and then loaded the bases on an error and a pair of walks by reliever Ryan Cook. Dyson, hardly known for his power, showed bunt on his first pitch from Cook (1-2) before hitting a grounder deep behind second base. Shortstop Adam Rosales fielded it cleanly but didn’t even bother with a throw as pinch runner Alcides Escobar scored the go-ahead run. Aaron Crow (6-3) worked the eighth and Greg Holland handled the ninth for his 20th save. RAYS 3, WHITE SOX 0 In St. Petersburg, Matt Moore won his fourth consecutive start to help Tampa Bay beat All-Star selection Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox. Moore (12-3), who could still become an All-Star as an injury replacement, gave up five hits, two walks and struck out six in 6 1-3 innings. The Rays have won seven of eight, improving to a season-best eight games (48-40) over .500. Fernando Rodney, the third Tampa Bay reliever, pitched the ninth for his 19th save - completing the six-hitter. Sale (5-8) allowed three runs, six hits, one walk and had nine strikeouts in seven innings for the White Sox, who have lost eight of 10. The left-

hander, despite giving up just 20 runs - 17 earned over 49 1-3 innings, is 0-6 in his last seven starts. ASTROS 9, RANGERS 5 In Arlington, Jason Castro hit a tiebreaking three-run homer hours after being chosen for his first All-Star team, and Houston beat Yu Darvish and Texas. The catcher’s drive came off Robbie Ross in the seventh inning but made a loser of Darvish (8-4), who had a rough night after earning his second AllStar nod in two years in the majors. The Astros built a 4-0 lead on a two-run homer by Brandon Barnes in the fourth and a two-run single from fellow rookie Marc Krauss an inning later. Geovany Soto pulled the Rangers even in the sixth, following Mitch Moreland’s sacrifice fly, with a three-run homer off Wesley Wright. Travis Blackley (1-0) got the win with 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief. Darvish came out after walking Jose Altuve to start the seventh, and Brett Wallace was hit by a pitch from Ross. Castro, who had two hits and scored twice, followed with his 12th homer. Wallace reached base five times, adding two doubles and two walks. Darvish, the major league strikeout leader, had six in six innings, but gave up six hits and a seasonhigh five earned runs.—AP

MLB results/standings NY Yankees 5, Baltimore 4; Minnesota 6, Toronto 0; Kansas City 4, Oakland 3; St. Louis 5, Miami 4; Detroit 9, Cleveland 4; Chicago Cubs 4, Pittsburgh 1; Washington 5, San Diego 4; Cincinnati 13, Seattle 4; Milwaukee 7, NY Mets 6; Houston 9, Texas 5; Atlanta 13, Philadelphia 4; San Francisco 4, LA Dodgers 2; Tampa Bay 3, Chicago White Sox 0; LA Angels 9, Boston 7 (11 innings); Arizona 11, Colorado 1. American League Eastern Division W L Boston 54 35 NY Yankees 48 39 Tampa Bay 48 40 Baltimore 48 40 Toronto 42 45 Central Division Detroit 48 38 Cleveland 45 42 Kansas City 41 43 Minnesota 37 47 Chicago White Sox 34 50 Western Division Oakland 51 37 Texas 50 37 LA Angels 42 45 Seattle 38 49 Houston 32 56

PCT .607 .552 .545 .545 .483

GB 5 5.5 5.5 11

Atlanta Washington Philadelphia NY Mets Miami

.558 .517 .488 .440 .405

3.5 6 10 13

Pittsburgh St. Louis Cincinnati Chicago Cubs Milwaukee

.580 .575 .483 .437 .364

0.5 8.5 12.5 19

Arizona Colorado LA Dodgers San Francisco San Diego

National League Eastern Division 50 37 45 42 42 46 36 48 32 54 Central Division 53 33 52 34 50 37 37 48 35 51 Western Division 46 41 42 46 41 45 40 46 40 48

.575 .517 .477 .429 .372

5 8.5 12.5 17.5

.616 .605 .575 .435 .407

1 3.5 15.5 18

.529 .477 .477 .465 .455

4.5 4.5 5.5 6.5

Wagner takes control of Greenbrier Classic

WEST VIRGINIA: Johnson Wagner watches his second shot on the 16th hole during round three of the Greenbrier Classic. —AFP

WEST VIRGINIA: American Johnson Wagner moved a step closer to winning his fourth PGA Tour title by seizing a two-shot lead after Saturday’s third round of the Greenbrier Classic at White Sulphur Springs in West Virginia. One stroke off the pace overnight on a tightly bunched leaderboard, Wagner took over at the top as he fired a sparkling sixunder-par 64 on a sun-splashed day at The Greenbrier’s Old White Course. The 33-year-old Texan, who played the course several times a year when he was a student at nearby Virginia Tech, mixed seven birdies with a lone bogey to post a 14-under total of 196. “Today my goal was to go out and make as many birdies as I could, and I did that,” Wagner told Golf Channel after sinking a 12-

foot birdie putt at the par-three last and pumping his right fist in delight. “Now I’ve got to take the same attitude into tomorrow.” Fellow American Jimmy Walker, seeking his first victory on the PGA Tour, was alone in second after matching Wagner for the day’s best score, storming home with five birdies in the last nine holes. Swede Jonas Blixt (67) was a further two strokes back at 10 under, a shot better than Australians Steven Bowditch (69) and Matt Jones (66), and American teenager Jordan Spieth (67). American Matt Every, the 36hole leader after opening with scores of 69 and 62, tumbled backwards with four bogeys in the first seven holes on the way to a 74 and a five-under total of 205. Wagner, co-leader after the

opening round, was delighted to maintain his long overdue return to form, having struggled for much of the past year. He came into this week on the back of six missed cuts in his previous seven PGA Tour starts. “I had a boot camp with my coach about two weekends ago after I missed the cut by about 30 shots at Hartford,” he said, referring to last month’s Travelers Championship in Connecticut. “We just got my game kind of back to where it was leading into Hawaii last season and I just feel more comfortable over the ball right now.” Wagner won the most recent of his three PGA Tour titles at the 2012 Sony Open in Hawaii. This year, he has missed 11 cuts on the U.S. circuit without recording a single top-10 in 18 starts.—Reuters

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


Sheikh Talal Al-Mohammad delivering his speech.

Sheikh Salman and other dignitaries

Kuwait Mini World Futsal kicks off By Abdellatif Sharaa KUWAIT: Minister of Information and State Minister for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah opened the Kuwait Mini World Futsal Club Tournament yesterday on behalf of tournament patron HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah. Bahrain’s Sheikh Essa bin Rashid along with diplomats and dignitaries attended the opening ceremony. Chairman of the higher organizing committee Sheikh Talal AlMohammad welcomed guests and Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud, who thanked Sheikh Talal, President of Kuwait Football Association for

his support and assistance. He also thanked the media for its continued full coverage. Sheikh Talal said the tournament is full of surprises and prizes as matches will be between famous teams from around the world under the auspices of FIFA. Meanwhile, the opening ceremony used electronics and a huge screen which formed the background for all shows, which were interconnected without any breaks in between. An electronic display showed how the earth was formed and how things evolved until we reached the Islamic era, as a mosque and a Kuwaiti house appeared. Acrobatics reflected physical fitness, while a football was being exchanged

between a boy and an adult. A musical presentation introduced participants as dancers and violent players performed. A picture of the Sphinx came on the screen as two dancers were performing the tanoura (skirt) dance, which is unique to Egypt. A matador (bullfighter) represented Spain, while the champs, Elysees, represented France. The closing piece had all participants perform together. Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud then declared the tournament open and wished all participants success. In a statement following the opening ceremony, Sheikh Talal thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber, Sheikh Salman and all committees for their efforts. He

Sheikh Salman in a group photo with performers.

said, “I tell everyone that Kuwait is present in sports and can be a pioneer, and we can host world championships.” President of the Saudi Federation Ahmad Eid said he is glad to be present along with other Gulf sport leaders, as Kuwait showed beautiful scenes of intellectual development in football. When asked about chances of AlNasser team, he said, “I do not think that AlNasser has a chance, but its participation will form a nucleus for complete cooperation between Gulf teams.” Meanwhile, Sheikh Salman said the opening ceremony was magnificent, and “we are proud to organize this championship with this

A boy and an adult playing during the ceremony.

An Egyptian dancer performs during the opening ceremony.

Egyptians performing the tanoura dance.

kind of preparation”. He said we should thank Sheikh Jaber for patronizing the tournament and Sheikh Talal. He added that the organization of this tournament comes within the strategy and interest of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to care for the youth. Meanwhile Bahrain’s Sheikh Essa said the opening ceremony was fantastic and reflected all participating teams, and “I believe it is a good start for this world event”. He said Bahrain’s Al-Muharraq team is participating, and it prepared very well, “but we cannot predict how results will be until we see teams play”.

A boy hands the ball to Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud.

Acrobatic performance during the ceremony.

KSSC targets new shooting season

Sheikh Salman in a group photo with male shooters.

Sheikh salman with female winners.

By Abdellatif Sharaa

board members, shooters and their parents, as KSSC celebrated the first tournament in its new calendar. He gave special thanks to the family of Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem and Sheikh Salman who always contributed to the development of Kuwait shooting until it became a prominent sport at the international level. He said Sheikh Saad Olympic Shooting Academy continues its successful performance through the large number of Kuwaiti youths who want to enroll and learn shooting according to modern and developed scientific methods. Otaibi said that 30 shotgun shooters in the skeet and trap along with 65 shooters in the 10m air pistol and rifle competed fiercely for first places. Otaibi thanked parents who were keen on encouraging

KUWAIT: Kuwait Shooting Sports Club has begun preparations for its new season with an important tournament that proved through the years that many talents exist among the youth who join the shooting school and Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Academy. KSSC held the tournament of the late Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah in Olympic skeet, trap, 10m rifle and pistol on Saturday. The closing ceremony was under the patronage of President of Asian and Kuwait Shooting Federations, Vice -president of the International Shooting Sport Federation Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, who was present at the ceremony along with the chair-

man of Sheikh Saad Academy for Olympic Shooting Duaij Khalaf Al-Otaibi, Assistant Secretar y Mohammad Al-Ghurba, Assistant Treasurer Adnan Al-Ibrahim and other officials. This tournament is considered a prelude for a very busy season for Kuwait Shooting Sport Club and provides a very good opportunity to discover promising talents among academy members. Technical and administrative departments prepared the tournament’s program carefully, as many shooters wanted to participate and get the opportunity to represent Kuwait in various arenas, and this was reflected in the strong competition and showed several shooters who can be considered second in line behind the national team members. Chairman Otaibi welcomed Sheikh Salman,

their children to use their spare time for something good. He also thanked the academy staff and the media for their role in covering the sport. Results of the tournament are as follows: Skeet-men: Ali Saad Al-Rashidi, Fahad Al-Ajmi, Abdelrahman bin Hassan. Trap-men: Abdelmohsen Al-Sagheer, Abdallah Ahmad, Talal Al-Azmi. 10m air pistol men: Nayef Al-Enezi, Theeb AlMahan, Abdelrahman Al-Balood. 10m air pistol women: Asmaa Al-Dhafeeri, Fatima Al-Ali, Malak Al-Sarraf. 10m air rifle men: Abedlmalek Al-Enezi, Mohammad Al-Rashidi, Mohammad Al-Otaibi. 10m air rifle women: Heba Sabti, Heba Khaldi, Fanar Al-Refae.

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


Lions must make changes for continued success: Gatland SYDNEY: The British and Irish Lions must be allowed adequate preparation time if they are to build on the success of their 2-1 series win over Australia when they travel to face New Zealand in 2017, coach Warren Gatland said yesterday. The dust had barely settled on the tourists’ first series triumph in 16 years, sealed with Saturday’s crushing 41-16 victory over the Wallabies in Sydney, when thoughts turned to the next tour against the All Blacks in four years’ time. The Lions have only won one series in New Zealand, back in 1971, and Gatland said his experience over the last two months proved to him that there must be changes to the scheduling if they are to have a chance of another victory there. “I think it’s important that the Lions and the home unions get together in terms of adequate preparation time,” he told reporters in Sydney. “The season needs to be adjusted a little bit so we can spend a couple of weeks in the UK and Ireland preparing properly. “There needs to be some negotiations with the southern hemisphere to push things back a bit in terms of lead-up games. “To be successful, you want to have the best possible opportunity, in New Zealand in four years time poses a different challenge to Australia. “I’m not saying it’s harder, it’s different from a logistical point of view. “They’ve got make sure they’ve got the proper processes in place to give the Lions the best opportunity to be successful.” Gatland did not dismiss out of hand the suggestion that he might return as Lions coach for that tour, saying: “it’s something that potentially I’d look at”. As a successful New Zealander, however, he could just as easily be All Blacks coach in 2017. Despite the satisfaction of a win on Saturday which vindicated his selection, Gatland was clearly still digesting the reaction to his decision to drop Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll for the decisive test and pack his

team with Welshmen. “A lot of you made a point about the number of Welsh players that were selected but I think you missed the story,” the 49year-old Wales coach said. “The story was about the finishing team and the guys that came off the bench and the job they did. I thought they were absolutely outstanding “It came down to the wire, that’s why you’re involved in professional sport, you want it to be tough, you want it to be close, you want it to be exciting and you want it to be nailbiting, and it definitely fulfilled all those elements.”As for O’Driscoll, who tour manager Andy Irvine said he rated as the greatest Lion of all, Gatland reiterated that he had made the decision for the right reasons. “To be honest, if we had selected Brian, we would have won the game with that performance as well,” he said. “But I felt at the time that the call was the right rugby decision, not a sentimental decision. “Spoke to Brian after the game and said, I know how disappointing it was, but he was part of a winning series.” Gatland said he would be delighted if the series triumph played a part in continuing Lions tours in the future. “It’s something that we need to preserve for the modern game,” he said. “It’s special, just the fans and so on, it’s been a privilege for me to be a part of it and to experience it. “It’s not just in Britain and Ireland, I’ve had texts from friends back in New Zealand with people were more interested in the Lions than the French being in New Zealand because of the excitement it created.” Lions tour captain Sam Warburton missed the final test with a hamstring injury and spoke perhaps for all the squad players outside the matchday 23 at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday night. “It put a smile on my face when I woke up this morning,” he grinned. “I looked over to my roomy and we both said ‘test series winners’ and that’s what it’s all about.”—Reuters

SYDNEY: British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton holds the Tom Richards Cup in front of the Sydney Opera House, the day after defeating the Australian Wallabies. —AFP

Defending champion Chiefs have Super Rugby setback WELLINGTON: The Chiefs’ defense of their Super Rugby title became more tenuous when they were trounced 43-15 by the Crusaders in the weekend’s 19th round, allowing South Africa’s Bulls to move atop the table with a cliff-hanger win over the Sharks. After leading the New Zealand conference by as many as 15 points, the Hamilton-based Chiefs found themselves only five points ahead of the Crusaders with one regular season round remaining, in danger of losing their home playoffs advantage. The Crusaders scored five tries to clinch their own place in the playoffs and to keep alive their bids for a first-place finish in New Zealand and an eighth Super Rugby title. The Pretoria-based Bulls came from behind twice to beat the Sharks 20-19 with a 73rd-minute try to replacement Jano Vermaak. The three -time champions then watched nervously as Sharks fullback Riaan Viljoen missed a last-minute penalty which would have snapped their winning streak at eight games and left the Chiefs clinging to the top of the table. With one regular season round left, the six teams that will contest the playoffs have now been found. The Chiefs and Crusaders from New Zealand, the Bulls and Cheetahs from South Africa and the ACT Brumbies and Queensland Reds from Australia have all clinched playoffs places. Next weekend’s 20th and final regular season round, in which Australian teams rejoin the competition after being inactive during the tour to Australia by the British and Irish Lions, will now determine which teams hold home advantage in playoffs beginning July 19. Of the top six teams, only the Bloemfontein-based Cheetahs, who have reached the playoffs for the first time, have never won a Super Rugby title. The Crusaders have won the tournament seven times, the Bulls three times, the Brumbies twice and the Chiefs and Reds once each. The Cheetahs sealed their place in the playoffs with a 34-13 home win over the Auckland-based Blues who dropped to ninth place and are the only previous champions to miss out on a top six finish. Among the former champions, none was more impressive in grasping a playoffs place than the Crusaders who ran in five tries to two to overwhelm the defending champion Chiefs, ending their six-match winning streak. All Blacks captain Keiran Read returned to the starting lineup after his absence for June test matches and scored a try in each half to turn what had been a modest Crusaders’ lead late in the first half into an unassailable advantage. Read burst from a scrum to score under the posts in the 40th minute then scored

from a damaging break by fullback Israel Dagg in the sixth minute of the second half to put the Crusaders ahead 31-6 and to place the outcome of the match beyond doubt. The Chiefs beat the Crusaders 28-19 when the teams met at Hamilton in this season’s 15th round and then looked a more complete team. But the Crusaders have been significantly strengthened by the return of their All Blacks and they simply overpowered the Chiefs on Friday to move to fourth place on the championship ladder. “We got smashed from the kickoff,” Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said. “We were out-muscled, out-thought, outplayed...out-everything. “They were really up for it, got into us and we made a lot of errors, got penalized and struggled to get into the game. “They got quick ball and were able to stretch us and whe we carried we barely got to the gain line, got slow ball and made errors.” Rennie must now find a way to turn around his team’s performance when they face the Blues in their last match of their regular season, to ensure one loss doesn’t become a form slump which jeopardizes their title defense. “What (a loss) forces you to do is look at everything you’re doing, your individual preparation and mindsets and the things that were key that week to make sure you get it right this week,” he said. “We’ve been here before. A lot of it’s about making sure we’ve got the attitude right on the day and got clarity in what we’re doing.” The Bulls were also below their best form him their home clash with the Durban-based Sharks but drew on resources of composure and experience to snatch their ninth-straight win with a late try to Vermaak. Ultimately, Vermaak’s score and Morne Steyn’s conversion meant the South African team champion will have the crucial advantage of a home final if both of the top two keep winning. “Jeez, my nerves were shot there at the end,” Bulls captain Dewald Potgieter said. The Bulls go to the Cape Town-based Stormers in the final round after the Chiefs visit the Blues in their New Zealand derby. The top two teams in the league standings automatically qualify for home semifinals. Wing Bjorn Basson and Vermaak scored tries for the Bulls, while center Pat Lambie and wing Odwa Ndungane went over for the Sharks in a South African rivalry that was brutally physical and in the balance right until the end. The Sharks, the 2012 finalists, ignored the fact that they were out of the running for the playoffs by producing one of the best performances by a visiting team to Pretoria this season and they nearly became the first to win at Loftus this season.—AP

Photo of the day

Flying Bulls Aerobatics Team performs during the AirPower13 in Zeltweg, Austria. —

Martin wins Tour stage FRANCE: Irishman Dan Martin beat Denmark’s Jakob Fuglsang at the line to win yesterday’s ninth stage of the Tour de France, and race favorite Chris Froome withstood early attacks to defend the yellow jersey on another hard day of climbing in the Pyrenees. Garmin-Sharp rider Martin and Fuglsang were alone to fight for the stage win, and Martin surged past with about 150 meters to go. It was the first Tour stage win for Martin, who is the nephew of 1987 Tour champion Stephen Roche and a cousin of fellow cyclist Nicolas Roche. “I was confident in the final stretch because I know I have some speed,” the 26-year-old Martin said. “I knew I had to be ahead in the last two corners and, when I saw that I was, I knew I could win.” Martin praised the effort by Astana rider Fuglsang. “I was very lucky to have Jakob with me because he was super strong and we shared the work,” Martin said. “We really wanted to destroy the race ... Luckily I had the legs to finish the job.” Froome had launched a devastating attack in the final climb to win Saturday’s eighth stage and move nearly two minutes ahead of two-time Tour champion Alberto Contador in the overall standings and four minutes clear of 2010 champion Andy Schleck. Froome preserved a comfortable lead over his rivals after the 168.5-kilometer (105-mile) trek from Saint-Girons to Bagneres-deBigorre in southwestern France took the peloton over four category 1 climbs. The Briton’s closest challenger is Spaniard Alejandro Valverde, who is 1:25 behind in second place. Contador is sixth overall and trails by 1:51. Froome, Contador and Schleck rolled in 20 seconds behind Martin, whose win moved him up to eighth overall, 2:28 behind. Colombian climber Nairo Quintana tried four attacks on the final climb but Froome responded to them. But the fact there were none of his teammates around to help Froome will give the other teams encouragement that the seemingly unbeatable Sky team may have

weaknesses. Perhaps tired from their efforts on Saturday, the other Sky riders fell back early on and Froome was left to fend for himself. “That was one of the hardest days I’ve ever had on a bike,” Froome said. “I’m really happy with how I came through today.”

favorites to win Wednesday’s time trial on stage 11. With temperatures once again well into the thirties Celsius (above 90 Fahrenheit), Froome found himself isolated on the day’s first category 1 ascent up to Col de Mente. The 2011 Tour champion Cadel Evans fell 40 sec-

Gendt and Jan Bakelants. They were about 40 seconds ahead of Froome’s group at the top of Peyresourde. Quintana’s Movistar teammates drove hard at the front of the 20-man yellow jersey group as they chugged toward the third climb in the blazing sun.

FRANCE: Daniel Martin of Ireland crosses the finish line ahead of Jakob Fuglsang of Denmark to win the ninth stage of the Tour de France cycling race. —AP The British rider went straight to an anti-doping control after the race. It is the first Tour since Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace after he was stripped of his seven Tour titles from 1999-2005 for serial doping. Froome vouched after his win on Saturday that he was “100 percent” clean and was asked on French television after Sunday’s stage if he has ever taken a per formance enhancing product. “No,” Froome said. “I trained for many months to arrive here in this form.” Martin and Fuglsang broke free with around 35 kilometers (21 miles) remaining and were too far ahead to be caught on the long descent to the finish in southwestern France. Monday is a rest day, followed by a flat stage for sprinters on Tuesday. Froome will be among the

onds behind the yellow jersey group. A breakaway group featuring Ryder Hesjedal, Tom Danielson and Pierre Rolland forged ahead. Froome’s chasing group included Alberto Contador, flanked by his Saxo-Tinkoff teammates, while Quintana sat behind Froome. Once they got over Col de Mente, Valverde attacked on the descent and chased after the breakaway group, prompting Froome to go streak after him. The second tough climb was the day’s longest - about 13 kilometers (8 miles) up the famed Col de Peyresourde - and a new breakaway took the initiative. Hesjedal, last year’s Giro d’Italia winner, and climbing specialist Rolland were still there, joined by Frenchman Romain Bardet and Belgians Bart De Clercq, Thomas De

Australian Simon Clarke joined the leaders as the seven-man breakaway started to up the tempo and then broke away on his own up the Col de Val Louron-Azet - a 7.4kilometer (4.5-mile) ascent. Clarke was 1:10 ahead of Froome’s group when he completed it and sped down a sharp descent to the day’s last climb - 10 kilometers (6 miles) at 7.5 percent up La Hourquette d’Ancizan. Froome, meanwhile, tucked in behind four Movistar riders - with Quintana riding his wheel - for the last few kilometers until the last climb, where the breakaway riders were caught up. French President Francois Hollande was among spectators protected from the heat in Tour director Christian Prudhomme’s car.—AP

Italian team opt out of America’s Cup SAN FRANCISCO: The Italian syndicate Luna Rossa has announced it will not sail in yesterday’s opening race of the America’s Cup challenge series due to an ongoing dispute about rule changes. Luna Rossa and Team New Zealand have protested regatta director Iain Murray ’s authority to change rules as part of his 37 safety recommendations made after Artemis Racing crew member Andrew Simpson died in May. The most contentious is a technical change to the rudders that Murray says will make the boats more stable. While the opening race was scheduled for late yesterday, the protest isn’t scheduled to be heard until Monday. Murray said the jury is from the International Sailing Federation and sets its own schedule. He said the jury members are in San Francisco and there was a chance the issue could be mediated before yesterday’s scheduled racing. However the Luna Rossa syndicate announced Saturday that it would not race while the challenge to the rules remained unresolved. Opponent Team New Zealand will only have to sail around the course by itself to get the first point in the Louis Vuitton Challenge. “This isn’t unexpected, but it’s still disappointing,” said America’s Cup chief executive

SAN FRANCISCO: Emcee Ted Robinson speaks with the skipper of the Italian team Luna Rossa Challenge, Max Sirena (fourth from right) during the opening ceremonies for the America’s Cup sailing event. —AP

Stephen Barclay. “It’s a case of won’t race, not can’t race. “The people really hurt by this are the fans, who have waited for more than two years to

see the first race in these spectacular AC72 catamarans. “This is particularly disappointing considering Luna Rossa was out sailing on the race course on Saturday.”—AP


MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


Will Sochi be secure in wake of threats? SOCHI: Until recently, the most interest about the Black Sea resort of Sochi was the staggering $51 billion tab the Russians are picking up to host the Winter Olympics in President Vladimir Putin’s backyard. It’s a pricey party that will go down as the most expensive Olympics in history. It’s also a pet project for Putin, whose prestige will be on the line in February when the traveling carnival show that is the Olympics takes place just a snowball’s throw from his luxurious presidential palace. And, despite pledges by Russia to make the games “the safest Olympics in history,’” it’s also the biggest target imaginable in a region unsettled by an Islamist insurgency. If the prospect of going for the gold in Sochi wasn’t making Olympians nervous before, it should be now. Anyone planning to watch the show might think twice, too, no matter how often Russian authorities assure every-

one that things will be just fine. That was made clear this week when a top Chechen rebel warlord called on militants to disrupt the Olympics, describing them as “satanic dances on the bones of our ancestors.” Doku Umarov told his followers to do everything possible to cause havoc at the games, a particularly chilling statement considering his group is blamed for bombing a Moscow airport, two subway stations and a train in different attacks over the last three years. The response to the threat was both predictable and quick, with organizers and government officials saying 37,000 police officers and a complex and multilayered security system will protect both athletes and spectators in Sochi and its surrounding mountains. “We get threats before every Olympics,” former Olympian JeanClaude Killy, who heads the International Olympic Committee

coordination commission for Sochi. “This cannot be taken lightly. I think the Russians are well equipped to face the challenge.” They may well be. Olympic security has been an evolving science since Palestinian terrorists massacred Israeli athletes after invading the Olympic village in Munich in 1972. Aside from the bombing in Atlanta in 1996 that killed one person, the games have for the most part been extremely safe. And, so far at least, US athletes aren’t exactly panicking about the prospects of competing in Sochi. “At this point we haven’t had anyone express concern,” said Patrick Sandusky, spokesman for the US Olympic Committee. “Security is always a top concern for us and our athletes and we take it all very seriously.” Still, you have to wonder whose idea it was to plunk an Olympics into a region beset by an insurgency - no matter how much money is spent to

protect it. The Russians will undoubtedly pull out all stops to make the games secure - athletes at test events in January and February talked about patrols of guards with assault rifles but these won’t exactly be the laidback Winter Games of 2010 in Vancouver. Security questions weren’t even at the top of the list when Sochi won the Olympics in 2007, beating out Pyeongchang, South Korea, and Salzburg, Austria, in a secret vote by IOC members. Putin traveled to the meeting in Guatemala to personally lobby the members and lead the final presentation. But the Islamic insurgency active in the North Caucasus mountains that tower over the seaside resort of Sochi presents a very real challenge, even for a security plan backed by the full weight of the Russian government. The two Chechen brothers charged with the Boston Marathon bombings

showed that rudimentary bombs that are relatively easy to make can cause terrible damage even in a tightly secured area. Big sporting events can make attractive targets, and they don’t get any bigger than an Olympics. Thankfully, Sochi has something going for it that Rio won’t when Brazil hosts the Summer Olympics in 2016 - a government security apparatus devoted to making the games incident free. You won’t see it while watching on television and, in the end, the Olympics are just one long television show. Assuming there is snow in the mountains - another worry of the games - Sochi should look beautiful on TV and Putin will realize his goal of showcasing the aging resort city to the world. No, it may not be the wisest place to hold an Olympics. But Olympic officials don’t always make the wisest choices.—AP

Johnson first driver since 1982 to sweep Daytona DAYTONA BEACH: A flawless race gave Jimmie Johnson a perfect year at Daytona International Speedway and put him on another exclusive list. Johnson became the first driver in 31 years to sweep Daytona International Speedway, accomplishing the feat with a dominating run Saturday night for his fourth win of the season. The Daytona 500 winner is the first driver since Bobby Allison in 1982, and the fifth overall, to win both races in a season at Daytona. “I don’t think I made a bad move tonight. I’m pretty proud of that,” Johnson said. “Gosh, growing up in Southern California and watching Bobby Allison ... to do anything Bobby has done is pretty special.” The five-time NASCAR champion was the leader on the restart for a two-lap sprint to the finish in overtime Saturday night. He held off Kevin Harvick on the restart, and then pulled out front to a sizeable lead. Tony Stewart moved into second and may have been timing his attempt to make a pass for the lead when a caution in the middle of the pack froze the field. “We knew it was coming,” Johnson said of the late accident. “Getting down to the end of these things, we knew it was going to get exciting.” Stewart was second, followed by Kevin Harvick in a Chevrolet sweep. Both thought Johnson’s fast car, once able to get out front, was untouchable. He led 94 of the 161 laps. “These things are such a crapshoot ... all 43 guys have a shot at winning the race,” Stewart said. “They definitely had a fast car. I mean, they had a fast car at the 500, they had a fast car here, so it makes sense.” Harvick thought the outcome would have been different if anyone had been able to get a push past Johnson. “I think we could have done the same thing in clean air,” Harvick said. “I think the front car is in a lot better control.” Clint Bowyer was fourth and team coowner Michael Waltrip fifth in a pair of Toyotas. Then came Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray and Dale Earnhardt Jr. as Chevrolets took six of the top eight spots and seven of the top 10. Casey Mears was ninth in a Ford, followed by Ryan Newman. But NASCAR was reviewing the finishing order long after the race ended. The race was stopped for almost nine minutes for a six-car accident with 11 laps remaining that included yet another vicious hit for Denny Hamlin. Hamlin’s car inexplicably turned right

and spun hard into the frontstretch wall. It then turned back into traffic and Hamlin was tagged hard by AJ Allmendinger in a hit that caused his car to lift off the ground. Both he and Allmendinger had to collect themselves after climbing from their wrecked cars, but both were evaluated and released from the infield care center. Hamlin missed four races earlier this season with a compression fracture in a vertebra in his lower back, and took a hard hit last Sunday at Kentucky. He tested Monday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but had to be evaluated by a doctor on site before he got in the car. And his race-ending accident came after he had climbed back from a lap down from an earlier incident involving fellow Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. Also involved in the late accident with Hamlin and Allmendinger were Matt Kenseth, Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, and Jeff Gordon. “I saw the wreck and tried to slow down and miss it, but just not much I could do,” Kenseth said. The race resumed with seven laps remaining and Johnson leading teammate Kasey Kahne. Johnson then made a strange move to the high line to block Marcos Ambrose and it might have cost him the race as it put Kahne out front in the bottom lane of traffic. But as the two Hendrick drivers dragraced around Daytona, Ambrose clipped the side of Johnson as he attempted a sudden lane change. He slammed into the side of Kahne, causing Kahne to spin and hit an inside retaining wall for another caution with five laps remaining. “Jimmie got a little loose or he just didn’t see my move coming, and I split him coming off of (turn) two,” Ambrose said. “He came down to check the spot and I was already there and he just bounced us straight into (Kahne).” Kahne angrily tossed his head-andneck restraint into his car after climbing from the wreckage. The race resumed in overtime with Johnson leading Harvick, Bowyer, Stewart and McMurray. He wasn’t challenged as neither Stewart nor Harvick could make a move before the race-ending caution. “Jimmie just was good,” Stewart said. “Jimmie was just really, really good. We were just a little bit off of him.” Added Harvick: “I really thought we were in the right spot. ... Our line just never developed. I’m a little disappointed because I really thought we were in the right spot.”—AP

FRANCE: (From left) Jamaica’s Warren Weir, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and France’s Christophe Lemaitre cross the finish line to win the men’s 200m at the IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting. —AFP

Bolt races to year’s fastest 200m time PARIS: Olympic champion Usain Bolt sent out a warning to his rivals ahead of the world championships by running the fastest time of the year to win the 200 metres at the Paris Diamond League on Saturday. The world record holder eased to the line in 19.73 bettering American Tyson Gay’s world lead by 0.01 seconds and then said there was more to come. “I came out to try and execute the best I could. I did a few things wrong but all I have to do is go back to the drawing board and get it right,” Bolt, who was dogged by a hamstring injury earlier in the season, told a news conference. “I lost one 100 metres and a lot of people are making a big deal out of it, and it doesn’t really bother me,” the Jamaican said in reference to his defeat by Justin Gatlin in Rome last month. “I am a championship person, I’m not worried, as long as I’m in great shape.” Home favorite Christophe Lemaitre, who won the world bronze two years ago, finish third in 20.07 with Jamaica’s Olympic bronze medallist Warren Weir second in 19.92. Twice Olympic 100 metres champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce held off Nigeria’s fastfinishing Blessing Okagbare for a thrilling win

in 10.92 seconds, 0.01 ahead of her rival who beat her over 200 last weekend. “Today it was not the best race technically but I still managed to win,” Fraser-Pryce told reporters. “I did not feel Blessing coming, I just ran my own race,” said the Jamaican who is planning a sprint double in Moscow. There was a world leading time of 14:23.68 for Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba in the 5,000 metres as she bids for a third world title over the distance in Moscow next month before turning to the marathon. “It’s a good test before Moscow,” Dibaba told reporters. “It was my last race before the world championships where I’ve decided to race the 5,000 and the 10,000,” added the twice 10,000 metres world champion. Fellow Ethiopian Almaz Ayana stunned the crowd by taking second place in 14:25.84, smashing her personal best by more than 26 seconds and becoming the sixth fastest woman of all times. Olympic and world champion Kirani James produced a superb effort to win the 400 metres with a world-leading time of 43.96 seconds, the second quickest of his career. LaShawn Merritt of the US was second in 44.09. Aries Merritt, 110 hurdles world record

holder, showed he was starting to run into form following a hamstring injury, with victory in 13.09. France’s Mahiedine Mekhissi, gave the home crowd something to cheer about with a European record of 8:00.09 in the 3,000 metres steeplechase but the twice Olympic silver medallist still finished second to London 2012 champion Ezekiel Kemboi who won with a world-leading time of 7:59.03. Kenyan Kemboi seemed more excited by Mekhissi’s performance than his own, pulling the Frenchman off the floor after the finish to celebrate with him. Britain’s Olympic champion Greg Rutherford pulled out of the long jump during the competition complaining of a hamstring problem, however he later played down the injury. “Just realised worlds is still 5 and a half weeks away. Plenty of time for this old hand,” Rutherford tweeted. France’s Renaud Lavillenie, who became Olympic champion last year but is still seeking his first world crown, won the pole vault with a meeting record of 5.92 metres, two days after failing at his opening height at the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne. —Reuters

Gatland’s decisions vindicated by third test triumph

DAYTONA: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Dover White Chevrolet, performs a burnout in celebration of winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. —AFP

SYDNEY: A record third test win provided emphatic vindication for British and Irish Lions’ coach Warren Gatland’s decision to rely on muscle to overcome Australia after enduring 72 hours of vilification for his team selections. The four tries that helped the Lions to a 41-16 win and a first test series triumph since 1997 put a considerable gloss on the result but there can have been few test victories more solidly built on the engine room of the pack. A Wallabies’ scrum that had held their own in the tight first two tests were pulverised in the set-piece at the Olympic Stadium, conceding penalty after penalty as they crumbled before the red onslaught. In the breakdown and around the fringes, openside Sean O’Brien and number eight Toby Faletau - both brought into the beefed up pack for the decider - tackled like demons and crashed repeatedly into the home defence with ball in hand. Gatland had been subjected to a furious backlash for picking a starting team with 10 players from Wales and, in particular, for dropping Irish hero Brian O’Driscoll in favour of a Jamie Roberts-Jonathan Davies centre combination. “I’ve always stuck to my guns and said sometimes you have to make tough calls,” the New Zealander, who now coaches Wales, told a news conference. “And sometimes that’s why you are put in a position to put your balls on the line, sometimes you have to be prepared to do that. “I was absolutely shocked at the vitriolic terms of the criticism,” he added. “I haven’t taken a lot of pleasure out of tonight in terms of

feeling vindicated. I haven’t enjoyed the last 72 hours, it’s been pretty tough personally. “That’s why you’re in the job and you have to make some tough calls and hopefully every now and then one of them comes through and you get it right.” When the Australians fought back to 19-16 down early in the second half, it was again the pack who reasserted the Lions’ dominance with another huge effort at the scrum to bag another

Warren Gatland three points from the almost unerring boot of Leigh Halfpenny. There was no respite for the Australians even when deep in the second half, the likes of tighthead prop Adam Jones and O’Brien headed for the bench, their bodies spent. “We spoke about being prepared to go to a place that not many players go to in terms of pushing your body to the limit,” Gatland said. “The players did that and ran themselves into the ground. I thought the bench were fantastic

and gave us impetus.” Alun Wyn Jones, who captained the side in place of the injured Sam Warburton, was clearly exhausted but also paid tribute to the replacements. “I was digging in in the last 20 I’m not afraid to say that,” said the lock. “When you’ve got boys coming on and picking you up, it’s a great feeling.” The Australians, who had levelled up the series in Melbourne last week after the Lions won the Brisbane opener, undoubtedly contributed to their own demise. Will Genia spilling the opening kickoff contributed to a horror start but it was the problems at the scrum, culminating in the sinbinning of prop Ben Alexander after 25 minutes, that lost them the game. “We didn’t start well, that set piece,” said coach Robbie Deans. “That gave them the confidence to dictate whichever way they chose. “And as a result because of the momentum, you tend to get things go your way under that circumstance and it compounds. “You let the ref into the game there and you then make a couple of other errors which contribute to the scoreboard and all of a sudden you’ve got a bigger challenge on your hands and that’s essentially what happened. “And credit to the Lions they used that momentum very well and it suited the way they play the game.” Deans said another defining difference on the night had been the six changes his fellow New Zealander had made to his side from the team who lost in Melbourne last week.—Reuters

Martin wins Tour stage

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


Bolt races to year’s fastest 200m time


Will Sochi be secure in wake of threats?

Page 19

WIMBLEDON: Andy Murray of Britain kisses the trophy after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia during the Men’s singles final match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships. — AP

Murray ends Britain’s 77-year agony LONDON: From the lawns of Wimbledon to the lochs of Scotland, all of Britain can celebrate. Andy Murray made it possible yesterday, winning his country’s hallowed tennis tournament to become the first British man in 77 years to raise the trophy at the All England Club. Murray’s 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 victory over top-seeded Novak Djokovic was a fitting close to nearly eight decades of British frustration in its own backyard: A straight-setter, but a hard-fought, 3-hour, 9minute affair filled with long, punishing rallies and a final game that may have felt like another 77 years, with Murray squandering three match points before finally putting it away after four deuces. Certainly, the endgame must have felt like torture to the 15,000 watching on Centre Court, the thousands more watching on a big-screen TV on the grounds and, of course, the millions of British watching on TV. “Imagine playing it,” Murray said in his on-court interview. But he closed it out on this warm, cloudless day on Centre Court. He put his name beside that of Fred Perry, the last British man to win Wimbledon, back in 1936. Those words don’t have to be written again. “He’s someone that I’ve obviously never met, but is quite relevant in my career really,” Murray said. The second-seeded Murray beat the best in

Djokovic - top-ranked and a six-time Grand Slam winner known for both a mental and physical fitness built to handle what he faced Sunday: A crowd full of overheated partisans rooting against him, to say nothing of Murray himself. “The atmosphere was incredible for him. For me, not so much, but this is what I expected,” Djokovic said. Since falling to Roger Federer in the final last year, Murray had shed some baggage by winning the Olympic gold medal on Centre Court, then following that with his first Grand Slam title at the US Open. The US Open win ended a 76-year drought for the British in the Grand Slams. This one? Even sweeter. “The pinnacle of tennis,” Murray called the Wimbledon win. “I worked so hard in that last game, the hardest few points I ever played in my life.” When he finally wrapped it up, he let his racket fall to the turf, took his hat off and pumped his fist toward the crowd. Later, he climbed to the guest box where his girlfriend, Kim Sears, and his coach, Ivan Lendl, were among those sweating this one out. Born a week apart in May 1987 - Djokovic in Belgrade when it was part of Yugoslavia, and Murray in Glasgow, Scotland - these top two players are building the best tennis rivalry of the 2010s. This was their third meeting in the last four

Grand Slam finals and all have been riveting affairs. Djokovic went up a break in both the second and third sets and, both times, appeared to have grabbed at least a bit of control and quieted a crowd that included Prime Minister David Cameron. But Murray dug out of both holes. In the second set, he set up break point with a sharply angled forehand that Djokovic couldn’t handle, and the Serb responded with a doublefault, one of four on the day. In the third set, Murray lost four straight games to fall behind 4-2, but got the break back and eventually - closed it out by winning the last four games as the roars from every corner of Centre Court grew louder. “The atmosphere today was different to what I’ve experienced in the past,” Murray said. “It was different to last year’s final, for sure. And then, the end of the match, that was incredibly loud, very noisy. I’ve been saying it all week, but it does make a difference. Especially in a match as tough as that one, where it’s extremely hot, brutal, long rallies, tough games. They help you get through it.” Trailing 5-4 in the third, Djokovic rushed out to the court after the break - a man who seemingly wanted to get it over with. Murray quickly went ahead 40-0 and it looked to be all but over. But the next few minutes felt like forever. Djokovic

saved the first three championship points, then had three break opportunities of his own. Couldn’t convert any. Then, finally, Murray put it away when Djokovic rifled a backhand into the net. A few minutes later, the 26-year-old Murray was kissing the trophy. How might things have progressed if Djokovic had pulled out that game? “I don’t know,” was all he offered. Djokovic came into the match on the heels of a 4-hour, 43-minute semifinal victory over Juan Martin del Potro in similarly parched conditions on Friday. He conceded that match took a lot out of him but “I’ve been in these situations before. I felt OK.” Indeed, he rarely wears out, but Murray and the linesmen combined for a one-two punch, and punctured the 2011 Wimbledon champion’s typically calm, almost robotic, demeanor. Murray’s withering groundstrokes and his patience from behind the line helped him take the first set. Then slowly, Djokovic shifted his strategy, mixing in drop shots with frequent trips to the net - neither of which are considered his specialty. He won 30 of 52 trips to the net, compared to 26 for 37 for his opponent. “I wasn’t patient enough in the moments when I should have been,” Djokovic said. The impatience resulted in 40 unforced errors

against 31 winners - an uncommonly average ratio for the world’s top-ranked player - compared to 36 winners and 21 unforced errors by Murray. Meanwhile, Djokovic found himself in what, at times, felt like an ongoing dialogue with chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani, as a number of close calls went against him. Djokovic had used up all three of his second-set challenges by the middle of the eighth game. At the end of that game, after another close call on the baseline went against him, Djokovic raised his hands toward the heavens, showing another trace of frustration that rarely hits him. Murray, meanwhile, kept his cool through it all, even if the sweat that drenched his Wimbledon-white shirt made it nearly seethrough at times. In addition to the trophy, Murray earned 1.6 million pounds ($2.4 million) and got that long-awaited invitation to the blacktie champion’s dinner, set for later Sunday night. “It was a privilege to watch @Andy_Murray making history at #Wimbledon, and making Britain proud,” tweeted the prime minister. Indeed, on this day, the hoorahs were coming from every corner of the kingdom. “I can confirm,” a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said, “that the Queen has sent a private message to Andy Murray following his Wimbledon victory.” — AP

Vettel finally tastes home success NUERBURGRING: World champion Sebastian Vettel was pushed all the way but finally tasted Formula One victory on home soil yesterday in a German Grand Prix that sent him 34 points clear of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. Championship rival Kimi Raikkonen was second for Lotus, only a second adrift, after a late tyre change left him hunting down the Red Bull in a thrilling final few laps while team mate Romain Grosjean was third. Alonso, who started eighth on an adventurous tyre strategy, finished fourth. The Spaniard now has 123 points to Vettel’s 157 after nine of 19 races. Raikkonen has 116. There were none of the explosive tyre failures that raised safety fears at last weekend’s race in Britain, with the subsequent threat of a driver boycott, but there were still moments of concern on a hot afternoon at the Nuerburgring.

GERMANY: Drivers race at the Nurburgring race track yesterday during the German Formula One Grand Prix. —AFP

A stray wheel from Mark Webber’s car injured a cameraman in the pitlane, costing Red Bull a 30,000 euro ($38,500) fine from the FIA while, on track, Jules Bianchi’s car momentarily caught fire and then rolled towards oncoming traffic after the Frenchman had scrambled out. That incident brought out the safety car but Vettel hung on for his 30th grand prix win. The triple champion had never won in Germany or in July but, days after his 26th birthday and a week after mechanical failure forced an agonising retirement at Silverstone, ripped up the statistics to the delight of thousands of flagwaving fans. “Thank you boys, that was a tough one. They gave me a run for my money. Yes, yes, yes and yes again,” he shouted over the radio. He later said: “I’m very happy the race ended at 60 laps not 61 or 62.” Fernando Alonso, who like Raikkonen had quicker tyres than Vettel in the closing stages after starting on mediums, chased Grosjean home. The main drama happened in the first 25 laps of the race. Both Red Bulls jumped polesitter Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes at the start, coming close at the first corner but avoiding contact, and Vettel took command from Australian Mark Webber. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa also got past Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo into sixth place but spun at the same tricky turn one at the start of the third lap and, with the engine cutting out, had to retire. Paul Di Resta and Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso then almost collided in the pits with Force India releasing the Briton as the Frenchman was coming in. The incident was probed by stewards and Force India fined 5,000 euros. Hamilton — the 2011 winner here — came into

the pits for his first tyre change on lap seven, earlier than the other contenders, and Vettel followed him after the next trip round. Vettel’s team mate Webber then entered the pits on lap nine but the rear right wheel was not attached properly and came away as he accelerated, hitting the cameraman and knocking him over. An FIA statement said the Briton was conscious and had been taken to hospital by helicopter and was under observation. Webber’s wheel was put back on and he returned well down the field. The Australian, who quits for endurance racing at the end of the year, ended up seventh on the track where he first won a grand prix in 2009. “We always need to improve safety. We need to learn from it,” said Alonso, almost hit by tyre debris at Silverstone. While fans at the rural west German track - famous for the old Nordschleife loop no longer used in Formula One were coming to terms with the Webber incident, Bianchi’s Marussia came to a halt and flames flared out of the back. The Frenchman quickly jumped out but before a tractor could remove the car, the Marussia rolled back onto the track into the path of drivers. Fellow French driver Grosjean, who started fifth, enjoyed a superb race and came out second behind Vettel after his first pit stop with his pace surprising almost everyone. However, when the safety car went back in he failed to put pressure on Vettel at the front and had to settle for third and his second podium of the season after allowing Raikkonen past under team orders. Alonso had a superb early battle for fifth with Hamilton, who despite problems with the Mercedes managed to slow the Ferrari after the Italians took a gamble in qualifying to save tyres for the race. — Reuters

GERMANY: Red Bull Racing’s German driver Sebastian Vettel kisses the trophy on the podium at the Nurburgring race track after the German Formula One Grand Prix. — AFP


ECB cannot solve euro-zone crisis, says Bundesbank chief Page 23 Cellphone lots become a key airport feature Page 25

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013

Greece, lenders close in on deal to unlock aid

Toyota Prius’ worldwide sales top 3-million mark Page 24

Page 23

FUENTE DE PIEDRA: Workers take a break in a social orchard in Fuente de Piedra, near Malaga. The Alameda City Council has launched a project on social orchards. The consistory leased recently sixteen hectares of land to plant and employing 150 people of the municipality. —AFP (See Page 22)

Prices go high as war rages Economic disaster adds to Syrians’ woes DAMASCUS: Damascus taxi driver Abu Ali works practically non-stop but barely makes ends meet, like many Syrians who are struggling to weather the economic effects of the bloody conflict raging in their country. “Prices are exorbitant, my earnings are barely enough to feed my family,” the father of five says, adding that he has limited his spending to key necessities. “I don’t have the means to cover other expenses. We’re getting by on the minimum.” His story is a familiar one in Syria, where anti-government protests that began in March 2011 descended into a bitter civil conflict that has ravaged the economy. “The war has impoverished the great majority of Syrians and led to a serious reduction in their purchasing power,” says Jihad Yazigi, editor in chief of the economic news and analysis site Syria Report. According to the official press, the cost of basic items has risen by between 200 and 300 percent since the uprising began. The last figures for inflation, published in December 2012, put it at 55.2 percent. The Syrian pound, meanwhile, has been in an unchecked freefall, losing three quarters of its value since the uprising began and falling from 50 pounds to the dollar to more than 200. Salim, a government employee, complains that the 15,000 Syrian pounds ($75) he earns a month barely covers his food. “My salary is worthless,” he says. Mustafa, a demoralized toy shop employee, is suffering the same problem. “Our currency is no longer worth anything,” Mustafa laments. The govern-

ment has raised the cost of fuel on multiple occasions, contributing through a knock-on effect to the rise in the cost of most other items. Ahead of the fasting month of Ramadan, expected to begin around July 9, Mustafa has stocked up on rice, sugar and oil “before the prices go up again”. “Everyday the prices increase,” one mother says in despair after spending 1,300 Syrian pounds ($6.50) on a chicken that would have cost her just 250 Syrian pounds

($1.25) a few months ago. “You have to queue up just for a bag of bread, and of poor quality as well,” adds Omar, in front of a Damascus street kiosk. The violence in Syria has pushed more than 1.7 million people abroad, and more than four million others are displaced inside their country. It has also brought international sanctions against Syria, which are aimed at putting pressure on the regime in Damascus, but have had knock-on economic impacts that effect all Syrians. Each twist in the con-

ALEPPO: Photo shows homes destroyed by Syrian government airstrikes and shelling, in Aleppo, Syria. — AP

flict brings new economic shocks, Yazigi said. “The sudden fall in the Syrian pound against the dollar last week was probably tied to US President Barack Obama’s decision to arm the opposition,” he said. For some, the only option left is begging, and a World Food Program survey of seven Syrian governorates found at least nine percent of the 105 families they talked to admitted resorting to begging in April and May. The survey also found 82 percent of those interviewed had decided to cut their food costs by buying less fresh produce and meat. On the macro level, Syria faces a massive economic crisis, experts say. Investments and tourism stand at practically zero, and oil production-a major source of foreign currency for Syria-has plummeted by 95 percent. Foreign trade alone fell by over 97 percent in 2012, and the World Bank says Syria’s GDP dropped by 30 percent last year, and anticipates another 10 percent drop in 2013. But the Syrian regime has had some help from allies. Iran has extended lines of credit worth $4 billion to help prop up the government, which insists the economy is coping. Syria’ state news agency SANA quoted Raslane Khadour, an economic expert, saying the country’s economy remained strong “despite the crisis... and the sabotage operations launched by armed groups,” using the regime’s term for rebels. He pointed to a recent hike in the salaries of bureaucrats as “evidence that the economy is resisting and can weather the negative consequences of the crisis”. — AFP

US-EU trade talks kick off amid spying rancor Ambitious talks to create world’s largest free-trade zone WASHINGTON: Ambitious talks to create the world’s largest free-trade zone between the US and Europe open today amid friction over America spying on its allies. The negotiations will have to bridge deep differences over protected industries on both sides of the Atlantic if the goal to reach a deal by late 2014 is to be achieved. Top negotiators from the two sides begin meeting today in Washington under the shadow of European furor over snooping by the US National Security Agency on its allies, unveiled in recent weeks by a computer expert who was working there. On Wednesday France called for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations (TTIP) to be put off while talks on the spying, also to begin today in the US capital, take place. But ultimately the 28 countries of the European Union agreed to go ahead with the trade discussions, saying the two issues could be dealt with in parallel. USEU free trade talks remain the “highest priority”, German

chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said Thursday after Merkel spoke on the telephone with US President Barack Obama about the spying furor. Theoretically everything is on the table in the negotiations, which aim to remove barriers to trade and investment. While direct tariffs are already low, non-tariff barriers (NTBs), such as regulatory and safety standards, inspection procedures, and preferences for domestic business, can significantly raise the costs of exporters trying to sell to the opposite side of the Atlantic. The push for a deal comes amid frustration with the stalled Doha round of negotiations on revising global trade rules under the World Trade Organization. But the US-EU talks face significant hurdles, and pre-opening salvos have already laid down some red lines. In June France demanded that its strong protection of its film and television industry be excluded from the talks. Only after it was agreed that the negotiating team from the European Commission would not be mandated to discuss audio-visual issues did Paris give its okay. If the

United States pushes the issue-and it possibly will notthe European negotiators will be forced to bring it back for consideration by EU member states. Europe will raise the widespread preferences that US states, cities and federal government departments officially give to local contractors and suppliers, including in the lucrative defense sector. And Washington will push Europe to open up to US biotechnology products like genetically modified foods, which many European consumers consider dangerous. In Washington, analysts diverged on the potential for success. Joshua Meltzer of the Brookings Institution downplayed the pre-talks spying drama. EU governments “have to be seen to be pushing back against the US a little bit,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s going to have any long-term effect on the agreement.” But Gary Hufbauer of the Peterson Institute for International Economics said it could lead to European efforts against big US technology companies that shared data with the NSA. —AFP

Europe’s central banks ring in rates revolution FRANKFURT: When the European Central Bank maintained its key interest rates at record lows last week, as expected, it also sent a far bigger message that a central bank revolution was underway. ECB chief Mario Draghi felt compelled to spell it out to reporters at his regular monthly news conference. “You haven’t really listened very carefully to my statement,” Draghi scolded a journalist. “The governing council has taken the unprecedented step of giving forward guidance in a rather more specific way than it ever has done in the past,” he said. “The governing council expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time.”In the world of central banking, where a governor’s every word is weighed and pored over by analysts, the comments were dynamite. Stock markets across Europe rallied strongly and the euro fell against the dollar. After 15 years of saying that it will never “pre-commit” to future interest rate moves, the ECB was giving an assurance that interest rates will not rise for quite some time. Less than an hour earlier, the Bank of England’s new chief, Mark Carney, had rung in a mini-revolution of his own. In a much more coded statement, the Canadian-who had been in the job barely a week-said that market expectations of rate rises in 2015 were “unwarranted.” ECB chief Draghi was at pains to point out there was no coordination between the statements. But central bank watchers see them as a response to the US Federal Reserve which triggered renewed tensions in the financial markets recently by hinting that the prolonged period of easy money is coming to an end. CENTRAL BANKS FIGHT THE FED Financial markets have been spooked by the announcement last month that the US Fed is preparing to phase out its bond-buying or so-called “quantitative easing (QE)” loose monetary policy. And political turmoil in Portugal had sparked concern at the prospect of a new flare-up in the eurozone crisis. In response, interest rates on sovereign debt have risen across the euro area-and in emerging markets-and financial conditions have tightened. “The ECB and the BoE are answering back,” said analysts at UniCredit. “European central banks are starting to fight the Fed. The ECB is rewriting history,” said Commerzbank’s Rainer Guntermann. For Carsten Brzeski at ING DiBa, the turnaround amounted to a “mini revolution” and was a sign of the ECB’s coming of age. “In fact, over the last months, the ECB has been following the Fed’s footsteps: more focus on growth with explicit mentioning of high unemployment and now the forward guidance,” the expert said. ETX Capital trader Ishaq Siddiqi said that the ECB and BoE would cool market volatility because now “investors will not have to speculate the central banks will hike rates any time soon.” And while one central bank-the US Fed-”may be stepping out of the quantitative easing game ... accommodative easing is not over in the UK and Europe for at least another two years,” Siddiqi said. But others were more critical. “This preoccupation with forward guidance is a load of old nonsense, it does nothing to boost company profits and only serves to drive asset bubbles,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson. “It may keep interest rates low but this is not a liquidity crisis in Europe, it’s a solvency crisis. If markets need comfort from mere words, it merely serves to highlight the abject failure of politics and economic policy globally.” Research published recently by economists at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland-the so-called central bankers’ central bank-commented that “adopting QE was the easy part.” In a paper, they warned of the eventual effects on long-term interest rates when central banks eventually begin to withdraw the massive funding they have injected during the recent crises. The easy money had depressed rates and enabled governments to refinance growing debt on the cheap, they said. The “practical and political difficulties” of eventually causing a significant increase in interest rates “are not to be underestimated” and that “there will be lots of complaints.”— AFP

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


Jobless dig for work in Spain’s neglected farmland ALAMEDA: For years, Antonio Sanchez worked as a carpenter, sawing and planning wooden furniture for houses that sprang up along the Andalusian coast in Spain’s construction boom. Now his tools are different: a wooden-shafted hoe and his hands, white-gloved for unearthing garlic bulbs and picking weeds from asparagus in the red earth around his home town of Alameda. “I had my own company for 35 years, then the crisis took it all away. So I went to work in the fields,” says Antonio, a tanned man of 58 with a grey moustache. “The work is very different-out in the open air, with the mosquitos. It is very tough work, not like in a factory.” Ruined, like many Spaniards, by the collapse of the decade-long building boom in 2008, Antonio saw his business fail in 2011. Now he has turned for salvation to what has traditionally been this region’s biggest asset-the land. Alameda’s town hall this year launched a “social allotment”, investing 60,000 euros ($77,000) from its budget in leasing 16 hectares and paying unemployed people to cultivate garlic, asparagus and melons that will then be sold. In the summer heat the plots are now yielding their crops, along with several weeks of paid work for locals, allocated

to the job by drawing lots at the town hall. The surrounding province of Malaga, on the Costa del Sol, has one of the highest unemployment rates in Spain-nearly 37 percent, high above the national rate of 27 percent. “In the circumstances, the town hall has few resources to create jobs. But we can’t just spend four years saying, ‘I can’t help you,’” says Alameda’s mayor, Juan Lorenzo Pineda, of the left-wing IU party. “So we are trying to make the most of the resources we have, and what we have above all is farmland.” The initiative this year has created a few weeks’ sowing and harvesting work for 35 people-a small project which he hopes will grow over the years. “Before the boom, farming was a major resource in our district but it was abandoned to some extent because people bet heavily on construction. Now construction has collapsed, we have to recover that resource.” As many jobless Spaniards have returned to the countryside, towns like Alameda have no choice but to dig for work in the earth. “Spain is very much a farming country, so the circumstances have led people to return to their country villages,” says Sandalio Gomez, an expert on labor

relations at IESE business school in Madrid. “People have used the money from being laid off by their companies and even their unemployment benefits to start little allotments and revive their relationship with farming.” Similar initiatives by town halls such as Alameda’s, meanwhile, “are a good idea that help people get back into farming,” he said. “ These projects are going gradually from strength to strength. It is a good solution and should be encouraged so that it happens more.” For a town like Alameda-population 5,500 - the initiative is a lifeline since the mainstream agricultural sector has woes of its own, professional farmers say. “A lot of people have come back to their villages, but this does not mean the farming sector is creating jobs,” says Lorenzo Ramos, secretary general of the Union of Small Farmers. “Farmers cannot balance the books because of the low prices they get for the produce. Subsidies are not making up for the loss of income.” The solution of small-scale social allotments, “in this difficult situation we are in, offers an alternative,” he adds. “It could be a way for a lot of people to make a living.” Antonio is paid around 45 euros ($58 dollars) a day for his labour-

FUENTE DE PIEDRA: A man works in a social orchard in Fuente de Piedra, near Malaga. The Alameda City Council has launched a project on social orchards. The consistory leased recently sixteen hectares of land to plant and employing 150 people of the municipality. — AFP limited for now to two weeks of summer harvesting work, after which he will apply again to the town hall’s labor lotter y. It ’s a small boost to his usual income of 800 euros a month in unem-

Europe a hotchpotch of testing bankers’ regimes Countries now vet bankers before they take key posts LONDON: Five years after mismanagement brought the global financial system to the brink of collapse, a Reuters survey reveals yawning differences in the way European Union countries assess whether bankers are up to the job. In a continent where executives have made headlines for contributing to the failure of their banks - British CEOs Fred Goodwin of RBS and James Crosby of HBOS were stripped of their knighthoods, and in Spain former Caja Madrid chairman Miguel Blesa was briefly jailed as part of an investigation into the bank - most countries now vet bankers before they take on key roles. But a lack of coherence across the block in how nations decide whether senior banking figures are “fit and proper”, how many bankers they assess and how likely they are to get a clean bill of health, demonstrate a work still very much in progress, and show just how hard it will be for the EU to create a banking union with a level playing field for all 28 members. The European Banking Authority (EBA) lacks the power to insist upon convergence, and there is no guarantee that the European Central Bank will be much better placed when it assumes supervision of the euro zone’s banks next year. The most striking difference in the 23 countries examined by Reuters is how deep into the organizations the checks go. While some examine only the most senior managers and directors, others go all the way down to traders and other risk takers. In theory a senior banker drummed out of the industry after failing an assessment in one country could flit to a similar role in another EU member where he or she might face no

scrutiny at all, even for a key function such as chief financial officer. The UK, which has the largest financial services industry in the EU, puts everyone in a “control” function through the tests, a definition that can encompass more than a thousand staff in the largest banks, capturing anyone taking on significant risk. More than 225,000 financial services workers spanning bankers, insurers and asset managers - were assessed there in the four and three quarter years to end 2012. The UK’s financial and professional services sector employs over 2 million, according to TheCityUK, which represents the industry. In Sweden, where about 140,000 are employed in the industry, according to the Swedish Bankers Association, just 424 have gone through the tests in the five years to end 2012. In Slovenia the average runs at 12 a year, and in the Czech Republic, where the tests only extend to board members, an average of 150 bankers are assessed every year. Twelve countries only examine top management and board, implying no more than a dozen per institution. The EBA brought in new guidelines late last year calling for EU countries to extend some checks to all “key function holders”, a group far bigger than most have been examining. It defines such people as “staff members whose positions give them significant influence over the key direction of the credit institution ... (which) might include heads of significant business lines, EEA branches, third country subsidiaries, support and internal control functions”. “We took the liberty to extend as far as we could the scope

The efficacy of even the strictest regime is moot. One senior banker with recent experience of the fitness and probity tests in the UK and in Ireland, which modeled its regime on the UK’s and tested 3,105 in its first full year, said it was hard to conclude that either was particularly robust. “The regulations are not really a deterrent,” he said. “Not enough preliminary work is done on the assessment, the firms are left to their own devices after approval (of a candidate by the regulator), and the rules are only reviewed after they have failed.” The regimes have also been criticized for their relatively low failure rates, particularly in the UK, where just 0.01 percent of all applicants fail. Eleven countries disclosed their pass/fail rates to Reuters, with failures and withdrawals ranging from 0.17 percent in Portugal to 15 percent in the Netherlands. “The (Irish) statistics don’t capture withdrawals from the process,” said Ireland’s financial regulator Matthew Elderfield, who was surprised to find no testing regime to speak of when appointed in 2010. He introduced a new fitness and probity system in 2012, which 3 percent of applicants failed in its first year. “Applicants tend to withdraw if there are problems,” he said. “The system is more effective than the statistics show.” In the UK, 3.3 percent of all applicants withdrew over the four and three quarter year period. A UK advisor who deals with board appointments also said his impression didn’t match the reported statistics. “We can actually find it very tough to fill NED (non executive director) roles, to get people the regulator will accept,” he said. —Reuters

to span the management body and key function holders,” the EBA’s director of regulation Isabelle Vaillant told Reuters. “This has been a harsh discussion with our members.” All bar three of the EU’s member states have said they either already comply or intend to. Slovakia, Sweden and Italy have indicated they will partially comply. The EBA wants harmonization on testing at this level, but Vaillant accepts it might not happen. “On balance you could accept more flexibility on this layer, which is an extra layer compared to the legal requirement to assess the management body,” she said. MAKING THE GRADE Bankers deemed to warrant an assessment can face very different processes. Interviews by the regulators are allowed in only a minority of countries, including the UK, Ireland and Slovenia. In most, it’s a form-filling exercise. Honesty and integrity are identified as desirable qualities in most. Several also like their bankers to be solvent, trustworthy and of good reputation. Austria and the Czech Republic disqualify bankers with a criminal conviction. Most take it into consideration but don’t automatically blacklist. Denmark alone specifically rejects bankers who have “caused a loss/writedown to a financial institution”. The EBA guidelines are less specific, with general provisions requiring experienced managers “of good repute” with the right education. Some countries allow for the reexamination of those already in place. In Ireland, the only three executive directors who survived their banks’ bailouts were reexamined in 2011. They all passed.

ployment benefits, but better than nothing. “It gives you hope, to work and not be idle,” he says. “It’s very important psychologically. It encourages you to keep fighting.” — AFP

Nissan corporate average fuel economy jump 24.9% DUBAI: Corporate average fuel economy at Nissan Motor Co, Ltd improved by 24.9 percent in fiscal year 2012 compared to fiscal 2005. The figure marks Nissan’s best fuel economy performance since fiscal 2005, and represents a 10.2 percentage points year-on-year improvement from fiscal year 2011. Nissan continues to work toward achieving the ambitious environmental targets set in its action plan, Nissan Green Program 2016 (NGP2016). Strong sales volume of the Nissan Note in Japan, the Altima - with its best-in-class fuel economy - in the US, together with the Sylphy and Teana in China contributed significantly to the solid improvement in corporate average fuel economy. Under the NGP2016, Nissan aims to achieve a 35-percent corporate average fuel economy improvement compared to its fiscal year 2005 baseline by fiscal 2016. In particular, the program is focused on reducing CO2 emissions by expanding a wide range of new products featuring advanced, fuelefficient, environmentally-friendly technologies called “PURE DRIVE.” In FY2012, sales of PURE DRIVE models in Japan, the US, Europe and China rose to approximately 41.5 percent of sales in those markets. Also, global sales of vehicles equipped with Nissan’s fuel-efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT) climbed to 2.28 million units. Nissan aims to further improve its corporate average fuel economy numbers in fiscal 2013 by expanding the PURE DRIVE line-up with fuel-efficient cars that match customer needs, such as the all-new Nissan Dayz minicar that was recently launched in Japan. Nissan yesterday also announced that corporate CO2 emissions were reduced by 8.3 percent (tCO2/vehicle) compared to fiscal year 2005. They fell 0.3 percentage points compared to fiscal year 2011 through better loading efficiency during transport and promotion of a modal shift in logistics, even though CO2 emissions accruing to added global production capacity increased. Nissan aims to reduce CO2 emissions from corporate activities by 20 percent compared to fiscal year 2005. Accordingly, upgrades to high-efficiency manufacturing equipment continue. Overall, Nissan has steadily reduced CO2 emissions on the corporate side by implementing more efficient production technologies and procedures.


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


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) 285.600 375.850 436.850 274.000 4.790 40.160 2.185 3.663 6.595 2.870 760.550 77.800 76.300

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


European regulator preparing database on bankers LONDON: The European Union will soon begin sharing information on how bankers fare in ‘fitness and probity’ tests in member states, making it harder for errant bankers to evade regulatory scrutiny by crossing national borders. The European Banking Authority’s regulation director Isabel Vaillant said that work will begin on the new fitness and probity database next year, ending the current system of ad hoc sharing between national authorities. The database will contain details of national supervisors’ assessments of newly appointed bank directors, senior management, divisional heads and some other key functions like internal control. In the wake of the global financial crisis, when bankers were blamed for taking their institutions and in some cases their

national economies to the brink, the register is part of a wider effort by the EBA to standardize the way countries across the EU 28 decide which bankers are fit and proper for the job. The EBA lacks the power to compel countries to set the same standards for bankers across the EU but has brought in new guidelines on how countries should evaluate bankers’ suitability and will “name and shame” countries that don’t comply, Vaillant said. The EBA was given the power to collect the information under the latest version of new European banking regulations dubbed CRD IV. “We will build a database here only for the purposes of this,” she said, adding that while the database could not include information obtained from the police it

In Middle East, energy asset integrity is becoming critical By James McCallum, CEO, Senergy


ike it or not - but the world’s thirst for energy isn’t going to let up any time soon. On the contrary, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA), global energy demand will roughly double by 2050 driven largely by the expanding economies in Asia but also in Africa and parts of South America. As the world demands more energy, the oil industry is

taking on new, harder-to-access hydrocarbon reserves - including unconventional ones such as North American shale that have become economically feasible to develop in recent years while at the same time seeking to extend the working life of existing assets to maintain output. This in turn has put a firm focus on asset integrity, making it a top priority for many operators around the globe. Ensuring asset integrity in the oil and gas industry is particularly critical because failure to do so jeopardizes production, people’s safety and the environment, and thus may have a negative impact on companies’ operations and profitability. In the Middle East, where national oil companies (NOCs) are entering a new era of post-easy oil and starting to venture into technically more complex projects and hydrocarbon reservoirs, managing the integrity of new and existing assets is therefore becoming increasingly important for operators. Many existing operating assets in the region - in particular in offshore locations - are 30 to 40 years old and are producing at their maximum installed capacity, often under harsh conditions. Many wells are being used beyond their lifespan, which introduces significant uncertainty about their integrity during the remaining service life. Unlike in other hydrocarbon-rich regions, oil and gas resources in the Middle East were in the past very easy to access. For operators, this has meant high productivity and low costs, which has allowed them to absorb any business inefficiencies that may have resulted from poor asset integrity management. As costs rise or supply continuity becomes more critical, however, so does the significance of asset integrity and

efficiency, which has led to increasing global use of digital oilfield techniques. Some NOCs have recognized the importance of establishing a clear picture of the well status for example so that uncertainties and risks can be managed better in the long term. Still, this approach isn’t universally applied in the Middle East yet. One of the risks NOCs in this region might run into - just like national operators in other parts of the world - is failing to acknowledge the need to change their strategy in order to manage ageing wells and infrastructure, and invest accordingly. The U.K., for example, has produced an industry-leading set of standards for well-related activity, which is recognized internationally. So far, this type of investment in the future of the industry is not seen in the Gulf region on a larger scale. The issue is one of particular relevance in Abu Dhabi, where Adnoc is seeking to renew its onshore oil concession by early 2014 and its offshore concession by 2018. One of the key questions here is whether the requirements for any new license holder will include management of well integrity to a specific standard. For the oil industry at large, there are other critical issues to be looked into, including how companies can ensure that those individuals with a stake in asset integrity truly understand the core concepts involved in effective integrity management and how their actions and decisions can have a major impact on a company’s ability to operate safely and efficiently. As such, constant training and education of the workforce is seminal in order to ensure a thorough understanding of the risks on the one hand and to enable them taking personal ownership on the other. At the same time, there is a need to increase the focus on quality during the procurement process so that long-term reliability can be a significant part in any commercial evaluation. Moreover, at a time when the industry is facing a global skills shortage that’s going to worsen over the next 10 years, there are signs that knowledge and skills required for satisfactory management of well integrity are increasingly in short supply too. This is a particular challenge given that the specific skill set needed to address integrity management issues is typically acquired over a prolonged period of relevant work experience. It is therefore essential that the industry constantly works towards developing and training a capable labor force. Among the initiatives that could be implemented across the Middle East is building research and developing (R&D) facilities dedicated to asset integrity. This could be of particular interest in the Gulf region, where Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have already launched energy R&D centers with global aspirations. The advantage of developing local R&D capabilities would have a number of benefits, notably raising specialist technical capabilities and steering R&D to resolve issues relevant to the Gulf region. It would also support regional countries’ ambitions to build knowledge economies.

would include other information collected by supervisors, including whether candidates had received the regulatory nod for a role. All the authorities will have to consult the database when they are assessing candidates who present themselves for new roles that are captured by that country’s fitness and probity regime, a group that usually includes directors, senior managers and heads of major divisions. National authorities will have to submit information to the centralized system, but a regulator’s refusal to allow a candidate to take a position in one country will not automatically mean a rejection in another, Vaillant said. “It (the result) has to be circumstantiated and scrutinized,” she said. “Why did you have a refusal? Was it because you were not

an investment banker, but a retail banker in a small bank? Is it because you were not of good repute? This has more weight, probably, and may ban you everywhere. But you need to consider the individual case; there is no tick box approach.” NON-BINDING Most EU countries have signalled their intention to comply with the guidelines, and Vaillant hopes they will be implemented effectively within the next two years. Though the guidelines are not binding, Vaillant said the ability to name and shame was a form of policing. It is not yet clear whether the European Central Bank will be able to enforce fitness and probity rules once it takes over

supervision of the euro-zone’s banks. Philippe-Emmanuel Partsch, partner at Luxembourg-based law firm Arendt & Medernach, told Reuters the ECB would have no more power than the EBA has. Pierre-Henri Conac, an expert in EU banking law with Luxembourg’s university, said the ECB could go further under a clause of the single supervisory mechanism legislation that empowers the ECB to establish adequate corporate governance at the banks it supervises. “If you don’t control this, you don’t control anything in the bank; it would make no sense if you could not control this,” Conac said. “The ECB is entitled to make a new review of fitness and probity, and I think they will do it.” The ECB declined to comment. —Reuters

ECB cannot solve euro-zone crisis, says Bundesbank chief Tighter fiscal rules needed AIX-EN-PROVENCE: The European Central Bank cannot solve the euro-zone crisis, Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann told economists yesterday, pressing the bloc’s governments to get their economies in shape and tighten their fiscal rules. Weidmann addressed an economists’ conference in Aix-en-Provence, southern France, only three days after the ECB broke with precedent by declaring that it intended to keep interest rates at record lows for an extended period and may yet cut further. “Monetary policy has already done a lot to absorb the economic consequences of the crisis, but it cannot solve the crisis,” Weidmann said in his speech. “ This is the consensus of the Governing Council. The crisis has laid bare structural shortcomings. As such, they require structural solutions.” Weidmann, widely recognized to be the most hawkish member of the ECB’s 23man Governing Council, does not want the bank to intervene too strongly in tackling the bloc’s economic crisis, thereby allowing governments to soft-pedal reforms. He spoke a day after fellow ECB policymakers Christian Noyer and Benoit Coeure said the bank’s decision to abandon its customary insis-

tence that it never precommits on policy was a change in communication but meant no change from its strategy, which is based on monitoring inflation, real economy and monetary developments. “The euro-zone is on the mend, it must be at peace, protected, be allowed to heal,” Coeure told the same conference on Sunday to explain the ECB’s decision to issue such forward guidance, while urging governments to tackle structural problems. The EU’s top economic official, Olli Rehn, welcomed the ECB’s move, saying the step - taken in response to turbulence caused by the US Federal Reserve’s plan to slow monetary stimulus - was needed to preserve recovery in Europe. “The United States and Europe are at different points of the economic cycle. While the US has a more restrictive approach, Europe needs to continue with a more accommodative policy,” the EU monetary affairs commissioner said. FISCAL RULES While he does not see sufficient support in the euro-zone for governments to give up sovereignty on fiscal matters to forge a fiscal union to prevent such crises in the future, Weidmann

pressed them to stiffen Europe’s fiscal rules. “To fully unleash the common currency’s potential, efforts are needed on two fronts: structural reforms as well as the abolition of implicit guarantees for banks and sovereigns (government bonds),” Weidmann said. “In addition to stronger rules, we need to make sure that in a system of national control and national responsibility, sovereign default is possible without bringing down the financial system. Only then will we really do away with the implicit guarantee for sovereigns.” The Bundesbank chief also called for euro-zone governments to sever what he describes as the “excessively close links” between banks and sovereign governments, saying that European banks hold too many of their own governments’ bonds. “This is because banks do not have to hold any capital against their government debt, as the risk-weight assigned to sovereign bonds is zero. To counteract excessive investment in sovereign bonds, Weidmann believes that the capital rules need to be changed to take account of risk and exposure levels. “Only then will banks be able to cope with the repercussions of sovereign default.” —Reuters

Greece bailout, Portugal crisis top agenda at euro-zone talks BRUSSELS: Finance ministers from the 17-nation euro-zone are meeting today to decide if Greece has done enough to get a new slice of loans, and to deal with the political crisis in Portugal, which has raised fears of fresh pressure on the single currency bloc. The ministers will gather in Brussels for their last meeting before the summer break. International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde is also expected to attend. Top on the agenda is a progress report drawn up by Greece’s so-called troika of international creditors-the European Union, the European Central Bank and the IMF-which will detail if Athens is indeed undertaking reforms pledged in exchange for rescue funds. A positive report would lead to the release of the next tranche of aid worth 8.1 billion euros ($10.4 billion) to Greece, including 6.3 billion euros which are to be put up by the Europeans. The funds are necessary as Greece needs to redeem bonds worth 6.6 billion euros by mid-August. On Sunday, Greek officials said they were close to a deal with the three creditors over a new package of reforms required in exchange for the aid, including thousands of job cuts in the public sector. The marathon talks moved from Athens to Brussels on Sunday, and are expected to go on to the last minute before the Eurogroup meeting is due to open. Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said he was “optimistic that today we will have an agreement”, according to the state-run Athens News Agency. Athens had pledged to axe 4,000 state jobs by the end of the year,

ATHENS: Klaus Masuch of the European Central Bank, arrives at the finance ministry for a meeting with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras in Athens yesterday. —AP as well as redeploy 25,000 civil servants across its vast bureaucracy. Eurogroup ministers are also due to discuss the situation in another bailed-out countryPortugal, which sunk into a political crisis over the shock resignations of two key ministers this month. “Portugal respects all of its engagements and has not asked for anything,” said a European diplomat ahead of the meeting. But European leaders, including Eurogroup chief and Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, have asked Lisbon to clarify the political situation quickly, fearing that any uncer-

tainty could throw the country off its course to exit the troika’s rescue program by 2014. Portugal’s doggedness in implementing required reforms has won praise from the international creditors but the painful austerity measures have been immensely unpopular at home. It was disagreements over the reforms that sparked the latest crisis, as foreign minister Paulo Portas had resigned because he disagreed with Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho’s decision to hold fast to the path of austerity. After a series of negotiations with Portas, Passos Coelho

announced details of a deal on Saturday to keep the shaky coalition together. Under the accord, Portas would stay in the coalition and have a bigger role. He becomes deputy prime minister and is in particular tasked with coordinating the country’s economic policies as well as relations with the country’s international creditors. The finance ministers from all 28 European Union countries are expected to give the final green light to Latvia to join the euro-zone. They would also have to set an exchange rate between the Latvian lats and the euro. —AFP

The ‘Smartest Man’ is bullish on Europe


very year I meet with the person I refer to as “The Smartest Man in Europe.” In my mind he earned that title by seeing major shifts in the investment landscape long before his peers on both sides of the Atlantic. Among these were the rise and fall of the Japanese stock market in the 1980s, the end of the command economies in Russia and China, the opportunities afforded by the emerging economies and the importance of gold as an asset class. Dinner table conversation from the time he was a young boy centered around investment opportunities. In his ninth decade he still derives excitement from a fresh idea, and it is inspiring to watch. “Everyone thinks Europe is hopeless and I can understand why. The European Union (EU) is a flawed concept and it may not survive in the long run. There needs to be more convergence, both economic (which is possible) and political (which is impossible), but a major change in attitude has taken place this year. Until recently, policy makers believed that increasing taxes and reducing spending was needed for the weaker countries to solve their deficit problems, but that was clearly the wrong idea. From a political point of view the austerity

approach was impossible because the people in these places wouldn’t accept what their governments were trying to impose on them. Europe was in a recession and the austerity policies were making conditions worse. Unemployment was becoming a serious social problem and job creation had to be a priority. As we moved into this year, policy makers began to understand that austerity was the wrong course and that restoring growth had to be an objective. “I think current conditions in Europe might drive the United Kingdom (UK) out of the EU. France and Germany might want more transparency on taxes. The UK has the opportunity to become even more of a tax haven than it is now. Business conditions in the UK aren’t good and the prospects for major economic improvement are dim, but if they adopted a more friendly policy toward wealthy foreigners, there could be a huge boom. There is tremendous pent-up demand in Europe and I think you could see positive growth in 2014. “The important factor is that almost no investor likes Europe now and that enhances the opportunity. Two years ago everyone was worried that the EU was going to break apart. That was never going to happen over the near term

because everyone had too much to lose, especially Germany, which has been the biggest beneficiary. Now most people realize Europe is going to muddle through at least for a while, but few people are buying European stocks to take

Byron Wien advantage of this conclusion. “The charm that gold held over investors is broken. Central banks in the developed world the United States, Europe and Japan - are still printing money and demeaning their currencies

so you would expect that something real, as gold is perceived to be, would increase in value. You have to ask yourself the question: Where did all the gold that was sold this year go? The answer is Asia, primarily India and China. The people who bought it are going to hold it, not trade it. Next year, when interest in gold picks up again because of the continued expansive policies of the major central banks, gold will be in short supply and the price will rise, perhaps as sharply as it fell. On currencies I expect the Swiss franc to stabilize around current levels and the euro to strengthen against the dollar. “The situation in the Middle East is troubling from a humanitarian standpoint but Bashar alAssad will probably endure. Most Westerners thought he would not last this long, but he has the support of the Christian population, the Alawites, business, the army and Iran. The rebels are getting help from Sunnis in the region who view Syria as a buffer against Shiite Iran. I think Iran will eventually have a nuclear weapon. Israel will not bomb the country because Iran is in a position to send too many missiles in retaliation and the destruction and loss of life would be devastating. The United States (US) policy toward Iran is more unpredictable in my opinion.

“The major geopolitical problem in the world today is that the US doesn’t have a coherent foreign policy. It has the most powerful military force in the world but it cannot decide whether to use it. Does it want to be the leader of the free world or not? How does it define its selfinterest? I think the wars with Iraq and Afghanistan were lost before they began. It is naÔve to think you can bring democracies into these countries when they have been torn by tribal factions for centuries. You need a powerful leader, a dictator if you will, to run these places and the United States cannot bring itself to support that. Americans have to ask themselves whether they are in a better position since the Arab Spring came to Egypt than they were when it was under Mubarak’s rule. “The US cannot simply walk away from the Middle East because if it does, the Russians will step in and become the dominant western power. The region is likely to remain volatile and in continued conflict. In the Middle East, power is not hamstrung by humanitarian considerations. Maliki is a de facto dictator and Iraq is thriving economically. Karzai is another example of a powerful leader who has built a supportive cadre around him.

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


Saudi shares up to fresh 15-mth high Egyptian shares slip off DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s bourse rose to a fresh 15month high yesterday as investors bought on second-quarter earnings optimism and most other Gulf markets also rose, while Egyptian shares slipped off a one-month high. The Saudi benchmark rose 0.6 percent to its highest level since April 2012 but trading volumes were thin in typical summer doldrums. Most petrochemical shares gained, lifting the sector’s benchmark up 0.7 percent. “We have an optimistic forecast for petrochemicals with expectations of growth between 15 and 20 percent year-on-year for the second quarter,” said Abdullah Alawi, assistant general manager and head of research at Aljazira Capital. Alawi said Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) has underperformed and its diverse portfolio would give it a competitive edge and a larger growth potential. Shares in the world’s largest chemical producer rose 0.5 percent. Riyad Bank posted estimate-beating 5.9 percent gain in its second-quarter net profit, helping lift sentiment across the sector. Bank shares, however, slipped 0.2 percent, trimming 2013 gains to 8 percent.

“The combination of good loan growth and lower provisions led to the good results,” NCB capital said in a note. “The read across for the other banks is that fee income is likely to be high while provisions for most banks will decline.” In the UAE, Dubai’s measure added 0.7 percent, extending 2013 gains to 40.5 percent but trading volumes dropped to their lowest in 11 weeks. Abu Dhabi’s index climbed 0.5 percent, trading in a tight range since it edged off a 56-month peak in June. Investors are waiting for second-quarter earnings, which will start later this month. The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, beginning mid-week, is likely to keep a damper on volumes. “Banks in general will show strong results and higher quarter-on-quarter will encourage investors accumulate shares because they will justify higher profit for the year,” he added. The banking sector has seen a recovery in recent quarters as loan growth picks up and lenders restructure government-related debt that has been weighing on investor sentiment since the 2008 credit crunch.

In Egypt, Cairo’s benchmark retreated 0.4 percent to 5,312 points from a one-month high as the index faced chart-resistance and investors booked gains from a recent rally. The market rose to 5,413 points intraday, near the June peak. An uncertain political outlook remains following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi as the military struggles to appoint an interim prime minister and death toll from mass protests rises. Local investors, who were buyers in the recent rally, joined foreigners as net sellers on Sunday, according to exchange data. Analysts say local sentiment is mixed as worries of further protests outweigh optimism on the awaited appointment of a new prime minister. Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement called for fur ther protests on Sunday after dozens of people were killed and more than 1,000 wounded on Friday in clashes between his supporters, opponents and the military. Egypt’s foreign reserves fell by $1.12 billion in June to $14.92 billion, the central bank said yesterday, heightening the dire state of the country’s finances.—Reuters

Toyota Prius’ worldwide sales top 3-million mark DUBAI: Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that as of the end of June, worldwide cumulative sales of the “Prius” gasolineelectric hybrid vehicle passed the 3-million mark. In 1997, TMC launched the Prius, which was the world’s first mass-produced hybrid passenger car. The second generation followed in 2003, and the third generation in 2009. From the first to third generation, TMC greatly reduced the cost of the hybrid system by two-thirds and increased fuel efficiency from 28 km/L to 38 km/L. In addition, TMC applied for 1,261 patents relating to the thirdgeneration Prius, achieving progress worthy of the Prius name (derived from a Latin word meaning “to go before”). Nobuyuki Negishi, Chief Representative of Middle East & North Africa Representative Office, Toyota Motor Corporation said, “The sustained growth in sales of the Prius signifies the success of TMC in addressing the need for hybrid vehicles from environmentally conscious customers. With our state-of-the arttechnology and hybrid car expertise, we will continue our emphasis on environmental technologies to build the best vehicles for our customers.” Since the development of the first-generation Prius, TMC has positioned hybrid technology as a core technology required for the development of various types of environ-

ment-friendly vehicles and has placed emphasis on the development and production of core components such as motors, inverters, batteries and electronic control units (ECUs), giving rise to substantial investment. TMC will launch a total of 17 new hybrid vehicles worldwide by 2015 TMC will continue to conduct R&D and invest in facilities for the development of hybrid and other cutting-edge technologies and achieve sustainable growth by deploying these developed technologies across the globe. In line with this commitment, in 2012 TMC also brought hybrid technology to the race track by returning to endurance racing as a full-time entrant with a hybrid LMP1 car making history by becoming the first manufacturer to build a team entirely around a hybrid powertrain. The car had a successful first season winning three of the six races it entered. In the fiscal year ending March 2014, TMC expects to spend a consolidated 890 billion yen (790 billion yen unconsolidated) on environmental technology development, as well as on strengthening new platform and major component development. In the same period, TMC also plans to make consolidated capital expenditure investments of 910 billion yen (up seven percent year-on-year), with 440 billion yen invested in Japan (up nine percent year-on-year).

China manufacturing sector remains weak KCIC WEEKLY ANALYSIS ON ASIA KUWAIT: The Chinese economy continued to slowdown in May as most macro data continued to worsen. This month, the HSBC purchasing managers’ index (PMI) indicated that the manufacturing sector was still weakening as it fell from 49.2 to 48.2, continuing its downward trend that started in March. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction while one above, an expansion. China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) also publishes their official PMI index. The indicator fell from 50.8 to 50.1 in June, showing that manufacturing activity was flat. The NBS PMI has been over 50 since September 2012. As usual, the NBS PMI was more optimistic than its HSBC counterpart. One reason for the discrepancy is that it focuses more on larger state-run firms. However, the two PMI indicators are now more in line with each other, both trending downwards. The HSBC manufacturing PMI declined due to various reasons. The “output” component fell below 50 for the first time in eight months in June due to lower demand, as highlighted by the “new orders” component which contracted for the second month in a row. Both domestic and foreign orders fell, with the latter declining by its fastest pace since last September, mostly due to lower demand from the EU and US. The “employment” component also weakened by its fastest pace since last August. Falling stocks of intermediate goods, for the fifth month in a row, and increasing stocks of final goods, suggest a dim outlook for China’s manufacturing sector. The PMI is an index composed from data based on monthly questionnaires answered by purchasing executives in different sectors. The index monitors seasonally adjusted month-on-month changes in the managers’ views on business conditions (ie business conditions are better, the same, or worse than last month). A reading of above 50 means that more than 50 percent of managers see conditions as better than last month, hence an expansionary business environment. The HSBC flash estimate is released a week before the beginning of the month, when official and final HSBC PMI are released, and it covers 85 to 90 percent of the data included in the final HSBC PMI reading. The manufacturing PMI is often used as a lead indicator on the condition of the economy, since China’s industrial sector makes up approximately

half of the economy. China’s HSBC PMI is not the only indicator showing that the manufacturing sector is weakening. Industrial production, which measures the industrial sector’s output, eased from 9.3% to 9.2% in May. Fixed asset investments, a key indicator of the country’s physical investments, slowed from 20.6% to 20.4% YoY in May, mainly because of softening manufacturing investments which makes up about a third of total investments and slowed from 17.9% to 16.5% YoY. Also, export growth, which is heavily linked to manufacturing activity, dropped from 14.7% to 1% YoY in May. May’s manufacturing-related indicators all point to a slowdown in the sector, and given the forward-looking feature of the PMIs, it is strongly believed that those economic indicators will continue to witness a downward trend. For instance, the rise in the stocks of final goods suggests that demand is coming down, and that manufacturing activity will slow down in the short-term. This is also evident in the decline of intermediate goods’ stocks which, due to lower factory orders, entails lower manufacturing activity ahead. Interbank rates also rose in June due to the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, struggling to tighten parts of the country’s financial sector. The higher rates reduced the flow of credit to companies, making it more expensive for companies to borrow money. This will reduce the company’s expansion plans, which will put more pressure on manufacturing output going forward. Besides, global demand has still not recovered. The country’s liquidity condition needs to improve for the manufacturing sector to recover. However, interbank rates are not projected to fall to their previous levels as the central bank is not expected to undergo any major stimulus: authorities are willing to accept lower growth for more structural reforms, as well as potentially introduce more market liberalizing policies that will keep interbank rates volatile in the shortterm. Overall, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) is still expected to grow around 7.5% YoY due to (a) a resilient services sector, as indicated by the stable retail sales growth and both services PMIs still expanding, and (b) continued infrastructure investments led by the government.

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


Cheap Canadian oil for Midwest refiners not reflected in pump prices TEXAS: For nearly two years, refineries in the Midwest have been buying crude oil at steep discounts, thanks to a glut of US and Canadian oil. But drivers in the Midwest haven’t seen a corresponding decrease in gasoline prices. In fact, they sometimes pay more at the pump than people in other parts of the country, even as windfall profits flow to BP, Koch Industries Inc and other large Midwestern refiners. “It’s good to be a refiner,” said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, a company that tracks energy markets. “For 20 years, the rule of thumb was that if you made $5 a barrel east of the Rockies, that was a good profit for a refinery. Recently, we saw a period in the Midwest where refiners were making $40, or $50, or even $60 a barrel on gasoline.” The disparity of fortunes between Midwest refiners and consumers isn’t a surprise to industry analysts. In today’s complex fuel market, retail gasoline prices are no longer just a reflection of the cost of oil. A host of other factors - such as refinery fires, power outages, and damage from extreme weather events now have an increasing impact, in part because there are fewer refineries fulfilling the nation’s thirst for fuel. The correlation between the price of oil and the price of gasoline has become so skewed that analysts say it calls into question one of the central benefits touted by supporters of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline: that the project would lower US gas prices by providing Gulf Coast refiners with a steady flow of cheaper oil from Canada. “Now there are all sorts of wild cards - all sorts of additional complexities,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at, which helps drivers find low gas prices. “Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you’re putting $100 oil into that refinery or $60 Canadian oil, because we’re becoming more subject to these refining limitations and outages.” Nowhere has this shift been more obvious than in the Midwest, where ramped-up tar-sands oil production and construction of new and expanded pipelines helped create an oil glut that first surfaced in 2011. Although Midwest pump prices have

periodically dipped a bit, refiners that bought the cheaper crude kept most of the gains for themselves. Earnings reports show they processed the discounted oil, then sold the resulting fuel to distributors and consumers at prices that were pushed up by Midwest fuel shortages and by the higher cost of other kinds of crude oil. In mid-December, for instance, when the discount peaked, refiners could buy Canadian heavy oil for about $44 per barrel - almost half the going price of $88.32 per barrel for West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark oil. Gas prices in the Midwest sank to the year’s lowest average, $3.14 a gallon. But that was still 10 cents more than drivers were paying on the Gulf Coast and only 11 cents cheaper than the national average, according to figures from the US Energy Information Administration. So far this year, retail gas prices in the Midwest have been mixed. They were below the national average until the end of April, but in late May, additional refinery problems sent them soaring to 20 cents above the national average. The price spike dissipated after some of the problems were solved. But industry-watchers expect the gyrations at the pump to continue. “We’ve had crazy up and we’ve had crazy down in the Midwest,” said Kloza, of the energy price tracking company. “Everything we’ve seen so far in 2013 in the Midwest has had nothing to do with crude. It’s had nothing to do with (uncertainty around the) Keystone.” The biggest factor in the region’s gas prices has been the partial shutdown of the Midwest’s largest refinery - BP’s plant in Whiting, Ind - so it can be upgraded to process larger amounts of Canada’s heavy crude. The project is taking longer than planned, and analysts expect it to be at least a few more months before the refinery runs at full capacity. Several other Midwest refineries have also had problems. A maintenance project in Joliet, Ill. took almost twice as long as planned. There was a fire in Detroit. Lightning struck a plant in Lemont, Ill. There were pipeline spills in Wisconsin. “The Midwest has just had a lot of bad luck,” said Phil Flynn, a Chicago-based energy trader at the Price Futures Group. “We also had power outages during a storm that

slowed production. We had that pipeline in Minnesota, because of the floods, knocked out of commission.” Because of those glitches, gasoline inventories in the Midwest fell close to 25-year lows. The region’s refiners aren’t complaining, though. Even though Canada’s heavy crude has gotten a lot more expensive in 2013 - it’s now trading above $80 per barrel compared to about $98 per barrel for US benchmark oil - refiners that buy it still pocket a double-digit discount that doesn’t get passed along in lower gasoline prices. The strongest profit margins have been in the Midwest, but refiners elsewhere also benefited from snags in gasoline supplies that sent pump prices soaring well above production costs. Refinery problems on the West Coast last year triggered California’s fastest and largest spike in gasoline prices. When Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast, it led to gas lines, fuel shortages and higher gas prices that lasted long after normal fuel flows were restored. The Energy Information Administration estimated that despite cheaper oil imports from Canada, higher domestic production and lower gasoline demand, Americans spent almost 4 percent of their household income on gas in 2012. That’s the highest percentage in nearly 30 years, and puts it in a tie with 2008, when oil prices neared $150 a barrel and gasoline prices set record-highs that were recently eclipsed in many regions. Oil and fuel markets have grown more complex in other ways, too. Energy traders now play a significant role in setting market prices, and so do things like currency exchange rates and the ebb and flow of fuel exports. In addition, every gallon of US gasoline contains an increasing amount of ethanol, making corn prices an increasingly important element in determining what consumers pay at the pump. What’s more, surprise developments such as the recent surge in US oil production - have disrupted longstanding price relationships between different types of crude as well as between oil and gasoline. At times, US crude prices and gasoline prices have even moved in opposite directions. The price of “crude is still crucial, but ... gasoline is ultimately what we need to

burn,” said Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service. For that reason, refinery glitches and other events that put a crimp in gasoline supplies have made US fuel prices “much, much more bipolar than crude.” Refinery hiccups have been around as long as refineries themselves. But the ripple effects of a single outage are more immediate and more dramatic now because of an accelerating trend toward fewer, larger, and more complicated refineries. In addition, refiners and others in the industry now keep as little extra oil, gasoline and diesel on hand as possible. Crude oil gets delivered to refiners essentially on an as-needed basis. Gasoline and diesel are carried from refineries to gas stations in a similar just-in-time fashion, whether the fuel is being moved across town or from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast. Gasoline stockpiles in the Rocky Mountain region, for example, amounted to 24.9 gallons per person last year, a 42 percent drop from 43 gallons per person in 1980, according to the Oil Price Information Service. The change is even more striking on the West Coast, where gasoline inventories that stood at 38.5 gallons a person in 1980 fell by almost half, to 19.8 gallons per person, last summer. Low inventories help refiners cut operating costs and reflect a distribution system that’s become more efficient over the years. But they also can lead to magnified and immediate price spikes at the pump if there’s a problem in the supply chain. Another constantly shifting element that affects pump prices is the lure of higher profits for refiners that export fuel - especially diesel - from the United States to countries where demand is growing. The focus on exports has accelerated so much that the US recently became a net exporter of fuel for the first time. Because diesel exports are particularly lucrative, many Gulf Coast refiners are making more diesel and less gasoline from each barrel of oil. All these changes are still transforming the industry, making it harder than ever to make assumptions about energy prices. Just a few years ago, it was possible to reliably predict the rough cost of the nation’s gasoline merely by observing the price of benchmark crude on the New York

Mercantile Exchange, where traders buy and sell contracts for North Sea Brent and West Texas Intermediate crudes based on actual conditions and speculation about oil prices, supply and demand. The connection between oil and gasoline prices was so ingrained and so consistent that politicians, the oil industry and the public have equated the two for decades. Drawing on that well-established link, it made sense to assume that building the Keystone XL would directly affect gasoline prices. After all, the project would boost the nation’s imports of cheap crude from Canada, and more oil would translate into lower fuel prices. In this new world, however, it’s just not that simple, analysts say. Although it’s hard to predict whether all these trends will continue to hold such sway over gasoline prices, they say the dominant and unshakable correlation between oil and gasoline prices has been severely weakened, if not broken altogether. “Crude oil versus your prices for refined products ... I think they’re separate and distinct entities now,” said Andre van der Valk, who worked at an oil company and now owns four gas stations in Southern California. Still, many politicians cling to the notion that importing more of Canada’s tar sands oil through the Keystone would lower US gas prices. The project’s effect on gas prices is expected to be one of the factors that the Obama administration considers when determining whether the pipeline is in the national interest. No matter which way the decision goes, refiners expect their good fortune to continue. If the Keystone isn’t built, the supply of heavy Canadian crude won’t be as robust for Gulf Coast refiners, but it will continue to flow via rail and other pipelines. If the Keystone is built, their profits will get an extra boost. They’ll be able to buy even more of the cheaper Canadian crudes, along with crude from North Dakota and West Texas, and then sell the byproducts at prices that don’t reflect the oil discount. “Right now, if you’re a refiner, whether you’re on the Gulf Coast, the East Coast or whatever, you’re saying to your fellow refiners, ‘Pinch me, I want to make sure this is not a dream,’“ Kloza said. —MCT

Sub-par US economy suggests no rush to withdraw stimulus China, euro-zone PMIs to test G8 economic optimism

CHUKHA: A Buddhist temple sits near an electricity grid main of the Chukha hydro power station in south-eastern Bhutan. Home to meditating monks and Himalayan nomads, the sleepy kingdom of Bhutan has set its sights on becoming an unlikely energy powerhouse thanks to its abundant winding rivers. Hydropower plants have already harnessed the country’s water flows to light up nearly every Bhutanese home, generating electricity that is sent to remote villages by cables strung through rugged mountain terrain. —AFP

Cellphone lots become a key airport feature PHILADELPHIA: It used to be you’d circle the airport loop, get chased away from baggage claim by police, or park precariously on the shoulder of ramps and roadways. That was before Philadelphia International Airport opened a convenient 150-space cellphone waiting lot in December 2009 on airport property - just one minute from the terminals. Great. Terrific. Handy. Easy to find. And, best of all, free. Since tighter post-Sept 11, security, cellphone lots - free parking areas where people picking up travelers can wait - have sprung up at many of the largest US airports. “The word has gotten out, and it’s been very wellreceived,” said Keith Brune, deputy director of Philadelphia airport operations. Drivers interviewed recently among about 80 to 100 cars streaming into the lot were enthusiastic. “It’s wonderful to have this and not have to go into short-term parking, and worry that if the flight is delayed, you will have to pay extra,” said Jamie Kravec of West Chester, Pa, waiting for the “I’m here” call from her boyfriend, flying in from Seattle. “There’s less hassle. We used to sit out on the highway waiting for people,” said Joyce Miller of Townsend, Del., who with her husband, Arthur, was picking up a family member from Tennessee. “It’s beautiful that they’ve got all these flight display boards,” she said. “It’s a sign of the times. We all use cellphones.” Improving traffic safety and congestion was a key motive for the lots. Since 9/11, the Transportation Security Administration has not allowed cars to dwell at baggage claim. Cellphone lots range from a paved lot to a complex with portable toilets, electronic flight display screens, food, and free Wi-Fi. The Charlotte, NC, airport has two cellphone lots; Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport has three. Pittsburgh International offers the first hour of parking for free in the “extended-term” parking lot; the second hour costs $1. Some airports impose a time limit to discourage drivers from lingering. Others require drivers to be with their cars at all times. The airport in Portland, Ore., is seeking a developer to build a fuel, convenience store, and fast-food “travel center” where those wait-

ing for flights can grab coffee and fill up their gas tank while keeping tabs on a flight’s status. Cincinnati’s airport plans to put a gas station at its entrance road with a larger waiting area, convenience store and a Subway or Dunkin’ Donuts, said Paul Hegedus, the airport’s vice president of commercial management. Denver International Airport will relocate its cellphone lot next to a gas station and a Wendy’s. “When the new waiting area opens this fall, it will have a food court with a Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts, Baja Fresh Mexican Grill, and Zpizza,” said airport spokeswoman Julie Smith. The Tampa, Fla, airport’s cellphone lot features food trucks, Wi-Fi, and a pavilion with restrooms and vending machines. “Some people will come just for the food truck, not even to pick up a passenger,” said airport spokeswoman Janet Zink. A list of food trucks is posted weekly on the airport’s Facebook page. Many cellphone lots are basic parking areas, lighted at night and patrolled by police but without concessions or restrooms. They include Baltimore-Washington International, Los Angeles, Washington Dulles, and Reagan National airports. Between 4 and 10 pm, when Philadelphia airport is busiest, the cellphone lot consistently has 75 or 80 cars - and is 100 percent full around holidays. The lot was packed before 5 pm on a recent weekday and an overflow of a dozen cars were parked on Route 291, just outside the cellphone lot. In one of them, Derrick Gray of Lumberton, NJ, said he drove through the lot once and, not finding a space, looped around and parked on 291. “It’s an overflow crowd here. I think it could have been a little bigger,” he said, referring to the lot. “It beats riding around the airport.” With a dozen signs directing motorists to the spot, Pennsylvania state police are issuing fewer tickets to drivers parked illegally on ramps. But old habits die hard - and some cars still congregate haphazardly on roadways. “I am told that we are still having an issue with people parking on the side of roads,” said State Police Capt James P Raykovitz. “Our guys consistently are moving people along and occasionally writing tickets.” —MCT

LONDON: Like a father who has told his son the tooth fairy does not exist, Ben Bernanke must find a way to soothe investors who feel betrayed since he told them it was also a fantasy to hope he might keep printing free money for ever more. Financial markets, of course, knew deep down that the Federal Reserve would have to start withdrawing its extraordinary monetary stimulus once the US economy was out of the emergency ward. But bond yields have climbed and share prices have sagged globally since the Fed chairman shocked investors on May 22 by saying the bank might ‘take a step down’ in the pace of bond purchases in coming months. Bernanke has the opportunity to recalibrate expectations when he briefs the media on Wednesday after a two-day meeting of the central bank’s policy-making panel. The Fed chief cannot disavow last month’s remarks. But, given the scale of the subsequent asset-market selloff, he is expected to indicate that the economy is still too poorly to justify slowing the pace of bond buying, now $85 billion a month, right away. And as for raising interest rates from near zero, that day remains distant. “The confusion since May 22 will force them to make clarity a high priority at this upcoming meeting,” said Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies in New York. A TAPERING TIMETABLE? To that end, McCarthy speculated that the Fed might map out its base-case starting date for reducing bond buying along with a preliminary schedule of the wind-down, subject to the usual caveats on growth, inflation and financial markets. “The problem is they can’t use a light switch. They have to have discretion because nobody knows what the future bears, so they will never give up their flexibility - and nor should they,” he said. Manufacturing surveys from New York and Philadelphia due this week, as well as a national poll of home builders, are unlikely to suggest the need for a swift tapering of the Fed’s accommodative stance. McCarthy reckons the economy is expanding at a pace of about 2 percent, but that might falter unless inventory accumulation picks up. Indeed, many economists expect the

Fed to nudge down its central forecasts for 2013 growth and inflation. “All in all, conditions for a self-sustaining recovery are not yet in place,” said Douglas Roberts, an economist with Standard Life in Edinburgh. “If anything, weak inflationary pressures are giving the Fed a clear mandate to focus on getting economic growth up and running again.”

European official. Somewhat is the operative word. Data provider Markit’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for China on Thursday is likely to provide further evidence of a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. The euro-zone’s PMI is expected to have edged higher in June but will still point to shrinking output in the 17country bloc zone, which has been in recession

AIX-EN-PROVENCE: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde (center) leaves after attending the last day of the 2013 Economic Forum in Aix-en-Provence yesterday. —AFP G8 OPTIMISM, PMI PESSIMISM The tightening in financial conditions represented by lower share prices and higher bond yields is an additional headwind for a global economy still growing well below trend due to the after effects of the great financial crisis. But leaders of the Group of Eight major powers, meeting in Northern Ireland today and tomorrow, can be expected to try to bolster confidence by accentuating the positive. The G8 communiquÈ was likely to reflect a “somewhat better situation in the global economy” than the year before, according to a senior

for the past six quarters. “The pace of deterioration has declined. That’s the best thing that can be said,” according to Jens Larsen, chief European economist at Royal Bank of Canada in London. Recent indicators were consistent with a modest recovery in either the third or fourth quarter, he said. “It’s not a lot more than that. I’m not particularly confident about the euro area. Equally, I feel more comfortable that the euro area is not heading south at a pretty fast rate and the chances of a large-scale monetary response from the ECB are now pretty small,” Larsen said. —Reuters

QE2 ocean liner to be a luxury hotel in Asia DUBAI: Dubai will spend another $90 million to refurbish the ocean liner QE2 before it steams out of the emirate in October to be moored in Asia as a 400room luxury hotel, its new owners said yesterday. The QE2, launched more than 40 years ago by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, will be owned by a consortium of investors under a Dubai-based entity called QE2 Shipping, Khamis Juma Buamim, the chairman of the new company said at a press conference. The identity of the individual investors was not revealed and neither was the final destination of the vessel. But the ship will be moored in Asia and will not return to Dubai. “We are going to do what we think is right as this is our ship but we won’t scrap it and we won’t destroy it,” Buamim said. “This is a piece of history. We are going to deliver the proj-

ect in a timely manner,” he added. Dubai World’s investment arm Istithmar bought the vessel from Cunard for $100 million back in 2007, but the 2008 debt crunch which left the conglomerate heavily indebted resulted in the vessel being largely left unused. Hit by the global economic slowdown the emirate scaled back on plans to turn the ocean liner into a luxury hotel at the tip of the emirate’s famous palm-shaped island last year and said she would be moored in an unglamorous part of town instead. However, in January Dubai announced its decision to move the ship to Asia where it would become a floating hotel. QE2 will steam out of Dubai on October 18, after which she is expected to reach Singapore on November 1 where she will stay for 3 days before proceeding to Hong Kong for another 3 days

and thereafter leave for the selected shipyard in China to complete her transformation, the new owner’s said in a statement. The ship’s memorabilia will be sent to Singapore and stored in a specially secured warehouse and reassembled after renovation. NO SALE QE2, which undertook its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City in May 1969, will continue to be owned by Dubai and there are no plans to sell the ship, Buamim said, dismissing media reports that the ship would be sold to Chinese investors. “We have already spent the money...a large amount was spent on it. Now, it’s a recovery cycle and we expect a ten-year cycle,” said Buamim, adding that he expects the all suite-hotel to turn profitable by 2024.

The profits from the new hotel, expected to be functional in 2014, will be shared among the consortium of investors. He did not specify where the funds to convert the cruise liner into a hotel are coming from. The annual maintenance cost of the hotel, which will have 400 suite-size rooms varying in size from 60 to 150 square meters, has been estimated to be around $2.5 million. Some larger suites in the hotel will be for long stay residences. Buamim said discussions are underway with two to three countries in Asia, which may be QE2’s final destination. “Whoever gives a better deal, we will give it to them. This should be sometime next year,” said Buamim. Dubai shipbuilder Drydocks World and Oceanic Group, an Asian cruise company, will be carrying out repairs to enable the voyage to the Far East, Buamin said. —Reuters

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


Price-cost pinch dulls last luster of South Africa gold Labor unrest adds to the losing value equation JOHANNESBURG: A hand drill lying in the hillside tunnel of a 19th-century South African gold mine testifies to the back-breaking labor by black miners that built what was once the world’s biggest bullion industry. But even with basic tools and cheap labor, costs overran returns at the Kromdraai gold mine north of Johannesburg, which listed in London in 1893 and closed in 1914. A century later, South African’s remaining gold mines, which still employ a mostly black and lowly paid workforce, look set to follow the same fate, as the sun sets on an industry that has produced a third of the bullion extracted from the planet. Gold’s sliding price and surging costs are hitting an industry that laid the foundations for Africa’s largest economy but has been slowly dying for decades as ore grades decline and shafts reach depths of 4 kms, the world’s deepest. Unrest is also flaring as restive miners demand more for their toil after over a century of low wages linked to a system of migrant labor that outlasted the end of apartheid in 1994. A weaker rand currency, which lowers local costs for domestic gold producers, has given them a temporary life-line of sorts but not enough to halt the terminal decline. According to Roger Baxter, chief economist at South Africa’s Chamber of Mines, in the fourth quarter of 2012 the price of gold averaged 509,000 rand per kilogram, but it fell in the first six months of this year to under 400,000 rand/kg. “This precipitous fall in the price ... has been the biggest decline that has taken place since the 1920s,” he said. “At a 400,000 rand a kilo gold price, our estimate is that about 60 percent of the industry is in loss-making territory.” This spells doom for an industry that accounted for 79 percent of world production in 1970 in its heyday, when Johannesburg, still ringed today by the hill-like humps of eroding dusty mine tailings, was dubbed the “City of Gold”. Thomson Reuters GFMS ranked South Africa sixth in global production in 2012, when it fell behind Peru and produced 177.8 tons of gold, just 6 percent of the world total, the country’s worst year for production since 1905. HAEMORRHAGE OF JOBS Gold may have lost much of its luster for the South African economy, accounting for only around 1.5 percent of gross domestic product, but it is still the country’s main mineral export, which in 2012 fetched 72 billion rand, about 10 percent of all export earnings. The industry has shed 340,000 jobs since 1990, more than two thirds, and there are fears of further big lay-offs

as militancy among workers steps up ahead of tough wage talks this month. “Further job losses are an inevitability, and these are linked to falling commodity prices, but long-term labor instability could act as additional downward pressure on the sector,” said political analyst Nic Borain. This is a headache for President Jacob Zuma’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, which faces an election next year. It wants to head off further strife in the mines after wildcat strikes and violence stemming from a union turf war last year killed over 50 people and hit the country’s credit rating. The membership war between the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), a key ANC ally, has rumbled on, and the latest government effort to defuse it is showing little progress. Ominously, even during gold’s bull run over the past decade, South African producers shed jobs almost every year, according to government data. The number of miners employed in the gold shafts fell to 142,000 last year from almost 500,000 in 1990. Much of the gold workforce, drawn from rural areas far from the shafts, is illiterate and will struggle to find work in a slow-growing economy where 25 percent are unemployed. “It’s not a labor force that naturally joins the queue to be part of the middle class. It has one foot in urban squatter camps and one in poverty-stricken rural areas,” said Borain. This could put pressure on the welfare system and pose a threat to social stability, he added. DEFLATING BUBBLE, SHRINKING MARGINS South Africa’s fortunes as the world’s No 1 platinum supplier have been sinking, too, and top global producer, Anglo American Platinum, wants to cut up to 6,000 South African jobs to restore profits. But gold is outpacing the white metal in the race to the bottom, dragged down by the plummeting price. Less than two years ago, in September 2011, gold hit a record $1,920.30/ounce as investors, spooked in part by inflation concerns linked to the US Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy, stampeded to bullion’s safe-haven embrace. They are now in flight on speculation the US Federal Reserve will wind down its stimulus program, known as “quantitative easing” (QE), as the US economy picks up. “Gold has been in a bubble, and that bubble is deflating,” said Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar. Gold lost 23 percent in the April-June period and is now at $1,224/oz, 36 percent off its life high, and looks set to go lower as the Fed stops printing money.

“ This year we could well touch $1,000. Anything you think could be negative for gold, will be negative,” said Bhar. South Africa’s gold mines were able to earn tidy profits in 2008 and 2009 when gold was $1,000/oz, but costs notably labor and power - have ballooned. In the fourth quarter of 2009 for example AngloGold Ashanti’s cash costs in southern Africa were $575/oz, but by the same period last year its cash costs in South Africa had doubled to $1,166/oz. Major South African gold producers have among the weakest pretax profit margins in the industry. Harmony Gold, which gets more than 90 percent of its output from South Africa, keeps less than 10 percent of its sales as pretax profit, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. Gold Fields and AngloGold, with most of their production outside South Africa, fare better with about 19 percent and 15 percent, respectively. This pales in comparison to 28 percent pretax profit earned by Canada’s Kinross Gold Corp or the 44 percent that Russia’s Polyus Gold delivers, StarMine data shows. “BENEFIT THE PEOPLE” Gold companies in South Africa have been paying above-average wage increases for several years. But those at the bottom of the pay scale were at an extremely low salary base as migrant workers, and, with an average eight dependants to feed, they still struggle to make ends meet. In the current pay round, the NUM is seeking a 60 percent hike, over 10 times the inflation rate, for entry-level workers. Not to be outdone, the more hardline AMCU has made the fight for “a living wage” its battle cry under charismatic president Joseph Mathunjwa and wants an increase of 150 percent. Unlike the unprotected Kromdraai workers more than a century ago, today’s gold workers toil with automated drills, have helmets and boots and are covered by a safety code. But AMCU and NUM insist they are still not being rewarded the full fruits of their labor, despite warnings from the companies and industry analysts that more wage pressure will accelerate the industry’s deep decline. “The majority of the people have not yet benefited from the distribution of wealth created within the mining industry,” Mathunjwa’s AMCU said in its demands to the gold producers. “We believe the minerals of this country must now benefit the people,” it added. But unless the wage talks reach an outcome that reflects the balance sheet realities, neither companies nor workers can salvage a gold industry crushed between a toppling price and climbing costs. —Reuters

BMW Group Middle East shifts into overdrive with 22% sales growth KUWAIT: BMW Group Middle East is shifting into a higher gear with its announcement of a 22% increase in sales for the first half of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. With both BMW and MINI brands going from strength to strength, BMW Group Middle East delivered a record breaking 12,657 vehicles to customers across 13 Middle East markets. Based on these outstanding figures, the world’s most successful premium automotive manufacturer is gearing up for yet another successful year in the region. The UAE remained the highest volume selling market in the Middle East, accounting for 49% of BMW and MINI regional sales in the first half of the year, followed by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. Markets which showed strong individual sales increases included Kuwait which grew 47%, Bahrain 44%, Qatar 27%, Dubai 23% and Jordan 20%. “BMW Group Middle East is on track for yet another successful record year after confirming record breaking sales figures during the first six months of the year,” said Dr. Joerg Breuer, Managing Director, BMW Group Middle East. “Together with our importer partners we have continued to invest in several areas of our business to elevate the customer’s brand experience even further.”

Joerg Breuer, Managing Director, BMW Group Middle East

TOP END MODELS The company’s impressive first half year numbers demonstrate the continued growth of the region’s premium automotive industry, and also highlight Middle East customers’ appetite for luxury vehicles. The BMW 5 Series took pole position as the

company’s bestselling model. Globally, over the last two years, annual sales for the BMW 5 Series the worlds’ best-selling vehicle in the executive saloon segment increased by 50% and in the Middle East 2,739 cars were sold in the first six months of the year, an increase of 8% over the same period in 2012. Hot off the heels of the sales of the BMW 5 Series is the BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle. Since its inception in 1999, the vehicle has achieved phenomenal success with demand currently exceeding vehicle supply. During the first six months 2,276 BMW X5 vehicles were sold. BMW Group’s flagship 7 Series model continued to lead the luxury sedan segment in the region consistently ranking amongst the Group’s best selling cars with 2,200 vehicles delivered in the first half of 2013, marking

a 22% increase in sales. Commenting on BMW Group’s flagship 7 Series model, Dr. Breuer said: “The BMW 7 Series continues to be a market leader in the luxury sedan segment across the region. With a combination of luxury, elegance and innovation, the model epitomises everything the luxury sedan segment stands for. The success of the launch of the latest generation BMW 7 Series late last year has continued through into the first six months of this year and we are confident that it will continue to contribute to the future of our Group’s accelerating sales.” Other models which proved popular with the regions’ discerning customers were the BMW X6 Sports Activity CoupÈ and BMW 3 Series. Since the launch of the latest generation of both models in 2012, there has been an increased demand for these vehicles. The BMW 3 Series, the world’s best-selling premium car achieved an unprecedented growth of 87% with the delivery of 1,406 vehicles in the first half of 2013, while the BMW X6 Sports Activity CoupÈ had 11% growth with 1,369 vehicle sales. MINI kicked off the year with the introduction of the seventh model to the brand’s portfolio, the all-new MINI Paceman which contributed towards the sale of 773 vehicles sold in the first half of 2013, an 11% sales increase. The most popular model was the MINI Countryman - the first MINI with four doors with four wheel drive option - which accounted for 46% of regional sales. Meanwhile the MINI Hatch, MINI Cabrio and MINI CoupÈ were also strong contributors to the brand’s first half 2013 success.

Al Mulla Exchange honors long-term, loyal customers KUWAIT: Recognizing the customer relations that withstood the test of time, Al Mulla International Exchange, Kuwait’s premier money exchange company, honored their long-term and loyal customers with a colorful appreciation dinner banquet in a unique reach out program. Included in the exclusive invite were those privileged customers and their families, who continue to patronize Al Mulla Exchange since 2001. The happy families attended the function on Thursday June 27, held at the Daheya Ballroom of Holiday Inn Downtown in Sharq area. It was not just the dinner alone, the event was marked by lively music, a lavish dinner banquet and distribution of appreciation certificates and gifts to those customers for their decade long loyalty and continued patronage to Kuwait’s leading money remittance company, Customers who were invited to the event were unanimous in expressing their appreciation for the outstanding services that Al Mulla Exchange had rendered down the years and continued to do so till today with same professionalism the exchange is known for. “The fact that we have continued to use the services of Al Mulla Exchange for

over ten years is the best attestation of the customer-attuned offerings of the exchange company, and the trust we have for their safe and fast remittance services,” said one of the very satisfied customer. Al Mulla Exchange senior management left no words to express their gratitude to the customers who have reposed their trust to the exchange. Customers were overwhelmed by the acknowledgement and gratitude as it was the first time ever that an exchange company has conducted such a customer loyalty reception Over the years, by introducing innovative ideas and implementing cutting edge technologies, Al Mulla Exchange has offered their customers the finest money remittance solutions. Free insurance and loyalty points on every transaction, SMS confirmation on delivery of remittances; server to server transactions that ensure the beneficiary’s account is credited within seconds in the most secured manner and the facility to send money from the comfort of one’s home or office through are only some of the outstanding services offered by Al Mulla International Exchange Company.

US economic growth ‘accelerating’ KUWAIT: The US economy is building a strong base, found on a very healthy consumer spending and a much healthier housing market than last year. The recently reported weak economic growth will not last and economic activities will start accelerating in the second half of this year and should accelerate substantially in 2014 and 2015. Removing the threat of any further government spending cuts should give a further boost to economic growth. The comment by the Federal Reserve chairman about his future plan of reducing the amount of bonds purchased on monthly basis should give officials in the government and opposition some comfort about the debt ceiling. The Federal Reserve chairman has to weigh carefully any reduction in bond buying against the much week inflation number that is well below its own official target. Even here some members of the board of the Federal Reserve are not sure if the chairman should do so. Obviously, the bond market has started to price in any future action by the Federal Reserve. However, any move by them should take into account that overall asset prices in the US apart from US treasury are not stretched and within the economy there is still some slack to be filled. Also, consumers and banks are far less leveraged now than few years ago and this can be good at times of strong economic growth but not when the growth could weaken suddenly by any wrong action. I think because of the fragility of the global economic activities and a low inflation around the world the Federal Reserve chairman will be concern about taking the wrong action.

Hayder Tawfik The recent fall in oil, gold and other commodity prices should be seen as very positive for consumers and companies alike. We have yet to see the benefits coming through in the next few months. The nature of the US economy is so dynamic and consumption driven, so when it is given the right fuel such as record low in interest rates and lower fuel prices it reacts with some time lags. Overall, I think a stronger second half economic growth is well underpinned and it appears very solid. Consumers spending, strong housing market and the amazing revival of the US auto industry should all contribute strongly to economic activity for the next couple of years.

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


Game-makers bend energies toward keeping teen girls interested in STEM SEATTLE: Consider, for a moment, the possibility of a completely addictive electronic game that had a more noble objective than destroying pigs with slingshot-flung birds or traveling through post-apocalyptic wastelands. What about a game that was geared toward teen girls — a free game that kept them engrossed in math and science, nudging them toward careers in those fields, at that very time in their lives when they start to lose interest? “You’re right, it’s a huge order,” said Karen Peterson, principal investigator of the National Girls Collaborative Project. “But I think we can do it.” Gaming and education experts gathered recently at the Northeastern University-Seattle campus to kick off an ambitious, long-term project to create just such a game. GAMES — short for Girls Advancing in Math, Engineering and Science — includes participants from Northeastern,

the University of Washington’s Center for Game Science, the private DigiPen Institute for game developers, and game companies such as Big Fish and Her Interactive. The idea is the brainchild of Tayloe Washburn, dean of Northeastern-Seattle. He thinks a successful game could underscore the advantages of a career in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields for young girls. Why a game? Research shows that children spend about two hours a day playing electronic games. “This is the medium they’re on; it’s where they are,” Washburn said. Peterson, of the National Girls Collaborative Project, said girls often lose interest in math and science around fifth or sixth grade, not because they lack the ability but, for some, because their confidence lags. They don’t take challenging math or science classes in middle school and later find it hard to

catch up. Peterson said only about 26 percent of employees in computer and mathematical sciences are women, with half that many in engineering. The numbers are even lower for minority women, who make up fewer than 1 in 10 employed scientists and engineers. The game idea “is not about fixing girls, or changing girls _ it’s about finding a better way to portray all the exciting things you can do if you go into STEM,” she said. Washburn thinks it will take three to five years to create about 20 test games. He hopes the group can get assistance from professional game designers as well as university researchers who study game science. He wants to test the prototypes’ effectiveness exhaustively, then pick the best and roll them out in some easy-to-use platform, for little or no cost to the gamers. If the ideas are good, he believes the necessar y funding will follow from

sources such as private foundations or the National Science Foundation. A few girl-centered games have been wildly successful. Seattle company Her Interactive, for one, has sold more than 9 million copies of a detective game built on the Nancy Drew book series. Megan Gaiser, chief creative -strategy officer of Her Interactive, is joining the effort to create the new game. “One of the reasons I’m so excited about this initiative is that we can do this on a much broader scale,” Gaiser said. “The Nancy Drew series is great, but there can be so many different types of content that haven’t been imagined yet. It’s possible to create games around anything.” Kate Fisher, community manager for UW’s Center for Game Science, said educational games have come a long way in recent years. “We’re fusing the idea of fun and edu-

cation in a much more sophisticated way these days,” Fisher said. For example, the Center for Game Science’s Foldit game has gotten hundreds of thousands of players all over the world to solve protein-folding puzzles. The key, Fisher thinks, is to have great incentive structures built in. “If it’s not fun, and it doesn’t incentivize students to continue playing, you’re going to lose them and you’re going to lose them fast,” she said. Peterson — herself a gamer — said the incentives will need to go beyond just scoring points or reaching new levels. They must show girls that in math and the sciences, they may need to try, and fail, many times to get something right. And the game also needs to show that women from all walks of life can be successful in STEM careers. “It’s like the supergame, isn’t it?” Peterson said, laughing. “Well, we can dream right now.” —MCT

Fake product reviews may be pervasive, study finds LOS ANGELES: Consumers often turn to the Internet to research a product before buying. Fake reviews are always a concern, and the problem may be bigger than previously thought. There have long been reports and rumors of businesses posting negative reviews of their competitors’ products or companies that pay or reward users to write glowing reviews, a practice known as cyber-shilling. But new research shows that loyal customers are writing extremely negative reviews about products they never purchased. Marketing professors Duncan Simester of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Eric Anderson of Northwestern University did a study based on reviews posted on the website of a major private-label apparel company. The duo found that about 5 percent of the product reviews were written by customers with no record of actually buying the item. Those reviews were “significantly more negative” than the others. Those bogus reviews have conse quences, Simester said. Low ratings result

in significantly less demand for an item for at least 12 months. “We have some evidence that these negative reviews do drive purchasing decisions and can reduce sales,” he said. Simester and Anderson said they were also able to replicate the effect using book reviews on It’s unclear why customers would post negative reviews about products they didn’t buy. Consumers might be acting as self-appointed brand managers that see the reviews as a way to give feedback to a company about products, regardless of whether they bought them. Or they might be seeking to raise their online social status by posting with great frequency or detail, assuming that doing so increases their level of expertise, the study said. All told, ver y few customers write reviews. For the private-label apparel brand, fewer than 2 percent of the company’s customers wrote reviews. People who write reviews generally buy more items, are more likely to buy at a discount, are more likely to return items, and are more likely to buy new or niche items. —MCT

Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 flawless in AV-Comparatives Test DUBAI: Kaspersky Lab reports that Kaspersky Internet Security blocked 100% of malicious attacks in a recent Real-World Protection Test. The test was conducted by the authoritative international test lab AV-Comparatives in May 2013. The Kaspersky Lab solution was joined by 20 rival products, but only one other vendor could match Kaspersky Internet Security 2013’s perfect performance. The Real-World Protection Test aims to measure the ability of security solutions to withstand attacks that emulate realworld conditions - those which occur during commonplace computing scenarios. These scenarios include web surfing and the use of popular applications like Adobe Reader, Flash, Java, etc. The test is conducted monthly, enabling it to use the most widely used malware samples at any given time. This May the organizers prepared 569

infection scenarios using various vulnerabilities and malware samples. Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 effectively repulsed every attack. “Stable protection levels are critical for an advanced security solution. The threat landscape changes dramatically every day, and a good solution must be able to respond to this. As AV-Comparatives results show, very few solutions can achieve this,” said Nikita Shvetsov, Deputy CTO (Research) at Kaspersky Lab. This is the third month in a row that Kaspersky Internet Security has returned strong results in this Real-World Protection Test. Similar AV-Comparatives tests conducted in March and April 2013 also placed the Kaspersky Lab solution at the top of the ratings. In addition, the product was awarded AV-Comparatives’ highest Advanced+ rating following a similar test conducted between August and November 2012.

Xerox named finance and accounting leader in 2013 Magic Quadrant report DUBAI: Industry research firm Gartner, Inc. placed Xerox, in the Leaders Quadrant of its 2013 Magic Quadrant for Comprehensive Finance and Accounting (F&A) Business Process Outsourcing, Global. Quadrant leaders have “superior market understanding, have a global client base, an extensive network of well-distributed and highly populated global delivery centers catering for multiple languages, a good balance of transactional and highend F&A delivery and innovative well communicated and marketed sales offerings,” the report said. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant offers visual snapshots of a market’s direction, maturity and participants and evaluates companies on “completeness of vision and ability to execute.” Xerox manages the core end-to-end process areas of finance, accounting and procurement for more than 250 clients.

With more than 7,000 finance and accounting professionals around the world, each year Xerox performs 180,000 account reconciliations processes $421 billion in global payables and processes payroll for more than 500,000 customer employees in 12 countries. Demonstrating a commitment to global expansion, Xerox recently added finance and accounting service delivery capability centers in Mexico and Ghana. “Today’s finance and procurement professionals must manage and build flexible finance functions and capabilities, while driving growth and mitigating risk,” said Dan Smith, Head of Integrated Marketing for the Middle East and Africa region of Xerox’s Developing Markets Operations. “With our full F&A capabilities, business process technology and business analytics, Xerox is uniquely positioned to help our clients tackle these challenges.”

PHOENIX: In this Wednesday, May 22, 2013, file photo, the Solar Impulse, piloted by Andre Borschberg, takes flight during the second leg of the 2013 Across America mission. —AP

Solar powered plane finishes NYC journey NEW YORK: A solar-powered aircraft completed the final leg of a history-making cross-country flight Saturday night, gliding to a smooth stop at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The Solar Impulse touched down at JFK at 11:09 p.m., completing the final leg of the crosscontinental journey that started in California in early May. For Saturday’s final leg, the aircraft left Dulles International Airport a little before 5 a.m. The flight plan for the revolutionary plane, powered by some 11,000 solar cells on its oversized wings, had called for it to pass the Statue of Liberty before landing early Sunday at New York. But an unexpected tear discovered on the left wing of the aircraft Saturday afternoon forced officials to scuttle the fly-by and proceed directly to JFK for a landing three hours earlier than scheduled. Pilot Andre Borschberg trumpeted the milestone of a plane capable of flying during the day and night, powered by solar energy, crossing the U.S. without the use of fuel. “It was a huge success for renewable energy,” Borschberg said while standing in front of Solar Impulse on the runway at JFK. “The only thing that failed was a piece of fabric.” Bertrand Piccard, the other pilot who took turns flying the Solar Impulse across the United

States, said the flight across the country tested the entire project team. “Flying coast-to-coast has always been a mythical milestone full of challenges for aviation pioneers,” Piccard said. “During this journey, we had to find solutions for a lot of unforeseen situations, which obliged us to develop new skills and strategies. In doing so, we also pushed the boundaries of clean technologies and renewable energies to unprecedented levels.” Borschberg noticed balance issues with the wing in the early afternoon Saturday off the coast of Toms River, NJ, said Alenka Zibetto, a spokeswoman for Solar Impulse. Officials said the pilot and aircraft didn’t appear to be in danger. They said the eight-foot tear on the lower left side of the wing wasn’t expected to worsen through the final portion of the trip. “It was supposed to be the shortest and easiest leg,” Piccard said. “It was the most difficult one.” Piccard said in addition to the wing issue, another problem with the landing was Borschberg’s lack of air breaks to avoid making turbulence in the wing with the tear. Despite the relatively short distance, Saturday’s commuter-like hop was a long flight that lasted 18 hours and 23 minutes. The slowflying aircraft was traveling between two of the world’s busiest airports and was required to take

off very early in the morning and land very late at night, when air traffic is at a minimum. “ This is a leg where ever ybody is quite moved,” Piccard said shortly after the plane was in the air over Washington early Saturday. The aircraft soars to 30,000 feet while poking along at a top speed of 45 mph. Most of the 11,000 solar cells are on the super-long wings that seem to stretch as far as a jumbo jet’s. It weighs about the size of a small car, and soars with what is essentially the power of a small motorized scooter. The Solar Impulse left San Francisco in early May and has made stopovers in Phoenix, DallasFort Worth, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Dulles. The cross-country flight is a tuneup for a planned 2015 flight around the globe with an up-graded version of the plane. Solar Impulse’s creators view themselves as green pioneers - promoting lighter materials, solar-powered batteries, and conservation as sexy and adventurous. Theirs is the high-flying equivalent of the Tesla electric sports car. Europe saw the solar plane first with a test flight from Switzerland and Spain to Morocco last year. Promoted as solar-powered, what really pushes the envelope with this plane is its miserly energy efficiency, Borschberg said before the flight. —AP

Tech companies turn attention to older customers SAN FRANCISCO: Tech companies have made hundreds of gadgets and applications for smartphoneaddicted teenagers and young professionals. But now, there’s technology just for grandparents. New online and mobile services to help aging adults live alone in their own homes and ease the burden on their caregivers are cropping up. From in-home sensors that monitor when a senior leaves the house or takes medicine, to wireless technology that allows elderly patients to get medical treatment without leaving home, this emerging technology can dramatically improve lives for seniors and entire families, according to tech business leaders and experts on aging. Until recently, the tech industry has largely ignored the elderly. Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and developers tend to be in their 20s, and many have focused only on building smartphone apps and Internet services that make life more convenient for consumers the same age, said Iggy Fanlo, cofounder of San Francisco-based Lively, a wireless technology for aging adults and their caregivers. “It’s a youth-obsessed culture,” Fanlo said. But Silicon Valley companies

have the chance to create technology with a greater social impact, and probably get just as rich as they would building a video game or shopping app, said David Lindeman, director of the Center for Technology and Aging in Oakland, Calif. “These areas may not be sexy in terms of the latest and greatest device, but they will have the broadest and longest-lasting social impact,” he said. By 2030, 20 percent of the US will be age 65 and older, and more of them will live longer and more independently in their older years than any time in history. The age to enter a nursing home is inching up, with one study putting the national average at 89. With older relatives living longer and staying at home, there is often more of a burden on the caregiver to help with medication and doctor’s visits, and daily tasks such as cooking, errands and home repairs. Tech companies are beginning to step in and help. Next month, Fanlo and his team will launch Lively, a sensor-based technology that tracks an elderly person’s movements at home. Small wireless sensors are placed around the house - on the bathroom door, refrigerator or pill box - and count on average how many times the pill

box opens or how long the elderly person stays in the bathroom. Lively figures out the person’s daily routine, and if something goes awry maybe the pill box opens only once, but the medication has three daily doses - the company will alert family, friends and neighbors with text messages and emails. Patrick Guerra of San Martin, Calif, said he’s been searching for a remote monitoring technology like Lively to “provide a tremendous amount of security I don’t have today.” Guerra, who works in high tech, helps care for his 87-year-old mother and 88-year-old mother-inlaw who both live alone and have health problems. After a recent weekend away in Las Vegas, he called his mother-in-law and got a busy signal. Worried, he drove to her house in Los Gatos, Calif., to discover she had bumped the phone off the hook. About a year ago, she slipped into a coma state after missing a dose of medication. Guerra said he found her nonresponsive on her couch. “The issue is just not having this anxiety and wondering, ‘Why aren’t they answering the phone?’ “ he said. Home repairs can also cause anxiety for older people living alone and their caregivers. ClubLocal, a

free Web service and mobile application available in Dallas and the San Francisco Bay Area, does background checks on plumbers, handymen and electricians, and sets the price of each service to prevent dishonest markups, said founder Zorik Gordon. Gladys Lowenstein, 62, recently hired a plumber through ClubLocal to fix her swimming pool in San Jose, Calif. “We are always worried about being safe and making sure people aren’t taking advantage,” she said. “Over the age of 60, and getting a repair person to your home is not an easy task. You’re increasingly vulnerable.” Advances in wireless technology are helping seniors get medical care without leaving home. Oakland, Calif, software company Sovran is working with an Asian health tech company, ConnectedHealth, to provide technology that remotely measures a patient’s glucose levels and other vitals, reducing visits to the doctor and hospital stays. Companies face numerous challenges in making technology for the elderly. Many seniors don’t use cellphones because of deteriorating eyesight and motor skills, and they often don’t have an Internet connection or a computer. —MCT

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013

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

Fixing up seniors’ homes to help them age in place BALTIMORE: Alberta Hough struggles to feed herself a snack, her arms shaking badly from Parkinson’s disease. Days earlier, the 84-year-old fell while eating, sliding off her kitchen chair. The rest of Hough’s day isn’t much easier to navigate. She wobbles into a bathtub with no grab bar. Her feet catch on damaged floor tiles. Part of the banister she needs to steady herself on the stairs has pulled out of the wall. At the back door, a rickety wooden ramp no longer supports the scooter that helps her get around. The environment in which you live can be as disabling as a disease, and too often, older Americans wind up in a nursing home not because they ’re super-sick but because they can’t get through their days safely at home. Now a major research project will bring handymen, occupational therapists and nurses into the homes of 800 lowincome seniors in Baltimore to test if some inexpensive fix-ups and strategies for daily living can keep them independent longer, and save millions in taxpayer dollars spent on nursing home care. “Very small changes can make a big difference,” said Sarah Szanton, a Johns Hopkins University associate nursing professor who leads the project. “We’re not saying, ‘What’s your blood pressure?’ We’re focusing on function: What do they want to do?” Losing independence is a leading fear as people age. But a recent poll shows that too few comprehend the changes in

lifestyle needed to offset the chronic illnesses and gradual slowdown that hit just about everyone in the 70s, 80s and beyond. Asked about their choice of living situation when they ’re older, Americans 40 and over say their top priorities are a one-level home with no stairs, that’s close to their children and medical care, according to the poll by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Chances are, that won’t be enough. For Hough, No. 1 is feeding herself without everything tumbling off the fork. “I’m shaking all the time,” she quietly told Hopkins occupational therapist Allyson Evelyn-Gustave. Hough’s other priority is not falling, and stairs are only one of her home’s hazards. To Hopkins’ Szanton, bridging the gap between what older adults are able to do and what their homes allow them to do is key to maintaining independence. The Capable study aims to prove how. During 10 home visits over four months, the Hopkins team is tailoring interventions - including about $1,100 in home repairs or modifications provided for free - to help low-income seniors who are having trouble caring for themselves. Drills buzzed in Hough’s house as carpenters installed a new banister and added grab bars and a raised toilet seat in the bathroom. They replaced patches of flooring to prevent trips, and prepared to tackle the ramp. As for eating, EvelynGustave recommended a little-known tool: utensils and cups that are specially

weighted to counter Hough’s tremors. “It’ll be easier for you to hold,” she promised. The set of utensils costs only about $20, one of the affordable tips the study is generating. Hough’s daughter had thought the only solution was an aide to feed her mother, which the older woman hates. “I always said I wouldn’t let my mom go to a nursing home,” said Gloria J. Hawks, 66, who is determined to care for her mother in the house the two share. The Capable project - it stands for Community Aging in Place, Advancing Better Living for Elders - is being closely watched by Medicaid officials in other states as a way to coordinate care and improve the functional problems that lead to pricey, and sometimes preventable nursing home admissions. Today, it’s difficult for Medicaid patients to get these services. With more than $8 million in research money from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the project goes beyond home repair for health. It starts with a full-scale assessment of each participant’s needs. In one home, a Hopkins nurse discovered that an 82-year-old woman was taking all of her 26 daily medications at once instead of staggered throughout the day, leaving her disoriented and sedentary until she became too weak to get out of bed without help. First the nurse fixed the medication schedule. Then the occupational

therapist taught the woman legstrengthening exercises and installed $30 steel risers to make it easier for her to get in and out of bed. Add new banisters, and soon the woman was moving around on her own. Whether it is the cost or emotional ties, many people grow old in the same home where they spent their younger, more agile years. An AARP survey in 2010 found nearly 90 percent of seniors wanted to remain in their current home for as long as possible. Yet government figures show nearly 1 in 5 seniors living in the community have trouble with at least one activity of daily living, such as walking or bathing. Those physical limitations become more difficult with doorways too narrow for walkers, toilets that are lower than chairs, and kitchen counters too tall to sit while cooking. Plus, nearly one-third of older adults experience a fall every year, and most who are injured fell inside the home, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “You don’t think about that stuff,” said Hattie Watties, who can’t imagine leaving her Baltimore home of 36 years, that’s near children and grandchildren. “You just do what you have to.” For Watties, 74, that meant climbing onto kitchen counters to reach too-high cabinets. Steep, dark stairs to the basement laundry only had a partial railing, so she threw clothes down and inched her way after them. No more: Carpenter Tyrone

White lowered Watties’ cabinets to a comfortable reach, installed railings, and showed how an energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulb provided more light than a regular bulb in the dim stairway. In homes where it’s even darker, White sticks motion-sensing lights by each step to show where to aim your foot. They’re less than $15 for a two-pack and run on batteries, so no rewiring is needed. The work that perhaps has the biggest impact seen so far is a double railing for stairs lets people rest their weight on both sides. The handymen, employed by the urban service corps Civic Works, also insist on installing carbon monoxide monitors, which have detected leaking gas stoves in some homes. Do these solutions really save money? The four-month intervention costs about $4,000 per participant, including the home modifications and specialists’ salaries. The average cost for nursing home care in the US is $6,700 a month, so even a modest delay could add up fast. Szanton will track participants long term and, based on results from an earlier pilot test of 40 high-risk seniors, hopes to delay nursing home entry by up to a year in this frail population. For families, perhaps the bigger question is how long the solutions will last. Evelyn-Gustave teaches families to brainstorm options as new challenges crop up. “We can’t be there forever. They need the skill to carry on,” she said.—AP

War on MERS: Deadly virus prompts global battle plans

TAIPEI: This handout photograph released by the Taipei City Zoo on July 6, 2013 shows giant panda Yuan Yuan taking care of her newly-born panda cub at the zoo.—AFP photos

Panda from China delivers cub in Taiwan TAIPEI: A giant panda, one of a pair presented by China four years ago to mark warming ties with Taiwan, has given birth to a female cub at a Taipei zoo, officials said yesterday. The 9-year-old Yuan Yuan delivered the cub Saturday night, following artificial insemination given in March, the zoo announced. It was the seventh such attempt on Yuan Yuan in three years, they said. Natural pregnancy among pandas is relatively rare. The zoo showed a picture of Yuan Yuan holding the pink, palm-sized cub. China sent the pandas to Taiwan in December 2008. The two sides split amid civil war in

1949. China named the animals Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, which together means “reunion.” Opposition politicians and other Taiwanese skeptics have warned China could use the pandas to advance its unification agenda with self-governed Taiwan. But the pair has remained the most adored animals at the zoo. Yuan Yuan’s anticipated pregnancy has been closely followed by the media. Zoo official Chao Ming-chieh said China has agreed to allow Taiwan to keep the cub on the island. Beijing has loaned its giant pandas to many countries but cubs born abroad are to be returned to China.—AP

TAIPEI: A newly-born panda cub of giant panda Yuan Yuan being taken care by zookeepers in an incubator at Taipei Zoo.

ATLANTA: In a war room of sorts in a neatly appointed government building, US officers dressed in crisp uniforms arranged themselves around a U-shaped table and kept their eyes trained on a giant screen. PowerPoint slides ticked through the latest movements of an enemy that recently emerged in Saudi Arabia - a mysterious virus that has killed more than half of the people known to have been infected. Here at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, experts from the US Public Health Service and their civilian counterparts have been meeting twice a week since the beginning of June to keep tabs on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. MERSCoV, as the pathogen is known, causes fevers, severe coughs and rapid renal failure as it attacks the lungs of victims. Since it was first isolated in June 2012 in the city of Jeddah, MERS has infected at least 77 people and killed at least 40 of them. The number of confirmed cases has quadrupled since April, and patients have been sickened as far away as Tunisia and Britain. Most troubling to health experts are reports of illnesses in patients who have not been to the Middle East. The virus has not yet emerged in the US, and perhaps it never will. But when the pilgrimage season begins in July, perhaps 11,000 American Muslims will travel to the Arabian Peninsula, if past trends persist. In the meantime, millions more will fly between continents, citizens of today’s globalized world. “A person from New York could go to Saudi Arabia for business and carry the virus home on the way back,” said Matthew Frieman, a virologist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. “There’s zero reason why that couldn’t happen.” Many of the scientists working to understand MERS are veterans of the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. A previously unknown coronavirus - a sphere-shaped virus spiked with proteins that make it look like it has a corona, or halo jumped from its bat hosts and started infecting and killing people in China and Hong Kong. By July 2003, more than 8,400 people around the world had become ill with SARS, which spread rapidly in hospitals. There were no fatalities in the US, but the World Health Organization warned travelers to avoid Toronto after 16 deaths there. The epidemic was over within a year thanks to effective infection-control practices like wearing masks, identifying patients quickly and treating their symptoms promptly. By then, more than 800 people had died and local economies suffered $30 billion in losses, according to WHO estimates. Scientists hadn’t thought coronaviruses,

known for causing colds and stomach woes, could be so dangerous. After SARS, they started taking the viruses seriously. So when a coronavirus killed the patient in Jeddah, researchers pounced. “We’ve always speculated that there could be another outbreak that could be as lethal as SARS,” Frieman said. Teams around the world starting sequencing the virus’ genetic code. They determined that MERS must have emerged sometime in 2011. Other researchers kept track of MERS victims. They reported sporadic cases in Saudi Arabia and Jordan, then in England, France and Italy, where sickened Middle Easterners had gone to seek medical treatment. Most of the victims were men, and many already had problems like heart disease and diabetes that may have contributed to their illnesses. Epidemiologists started noticing clusters of MERS cases in families and in hospitals, in people who had close contact with victims. That made researchers worry that the virus might evolve to spread more easily from person to person - a prerequisite for a pandemic. One such instance was described in May in the medical journal Lancet. It began in midApril with a 64-year-old man who had diabetes and had received a kidney transplant in 1998. Five days after traveling from Dubai to France, he developed a cough and breathing problems and was admitted to a hospital in Valenciennes, where he shared a room with a 51-year-old man being treated for a blood clot in a vein in his arm. After three days, the older patient was transferred to an intensive care unit, where his respiratory symptoms worsened and his kidneys began to fail. Doctors began to suspect MERS on May 1, and their suspicions were confirmed about a week later. The patient died of multiple organ failure. Meanwhile, the younger man was discharged from the hospital on April 30 but started having respiratory troubles about a week later. He had a history of heart disease, and his bed had been five feet away from the patient with MERS. He was admitted to an intensive care unit, where tests revealed he was infected with the same virus. He developed a fever, and his lungs and kidneys began to fail. He spent several weeks in the intensive care unit and was still alive when the report was published in May 29. By the end of May, health officials had identified a particularly large cluster of 26 people who fell ill in Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ahsa region, as well as smaller clusters in Britain, Italy and Tunisia. That uptick may have reflected a surge in infections and deaths - or perhaps just health workers doing a better job of testing and reporting new cases, said Dr Ian Lipkin, an epidemiologist at Columbia University in New York. “We don’t know: Is it

new information, or is it information we should have had before?” he said. There are many important details about MERS that scientists haven’t yet been able to figure out. For instance, researchers think that MERS, like SARS, comes from bats - but they aren’t entirely certain. They also don’t know whether the virus spreads to pets or livestock before it strikes people or how it would do so, said Christian Drosten, head of the Institute of Virology at the University of Bonn Medical Center in Germany. Scientists are still perfecting their methods to test for the virus in ailing patients. Swabs from nasal passages and throats don’t seem to pick up the pathogen as well as samples from deep in the lungs. Experts don’t know how many people may have been infected with MERS without getting sick from it, Drosten said. Researchers also need a more complete understanding of the health problems the MERS victims had before they got sick, Frieman said, adding that the information would “crucially affect” the work in his lab. Public health officials, meanwhile, are readying their response on the ground. The World Health Organization is tracking the outbreak. In June, representatives from the United Nations agency traveled to Saudi Arabia to review the kingdom’s response to MERS, including stepped-up efforts to identify infected people and new measures to prevent infections in hospitals. Saudi Arabia has limited the number of visas for the annual hajj pilgrimage, though officials there say construction is the reason. The CDC response team is working with other countries and with medical facilities in the US to make sure procedures are in place to combat MERS. Hospitals have received guidelines for assessing and isolating patients to keep the virus contained. “If there are cases that come to the US, we want to be well-prepared to address them,” said CDC Director Dr Thomas Frieden. During the briefing last week in the CDC boardroom, the response team briskly considered a variety of issues: Which states have labs to test for MERS? How were scientists the National Institutes of Health prioritizing different types of MERS research? Would it be feasible to create a video about MERS to screen on flights arriving from overseas? Could social media help alert people to the potential danger? MERS has been suspected in about 40 people in the US , but tests revealed that none had the virus. Even if that luck holds, experts insist that their efforts to understand MERS and to bring the international community into the fold to combat it - are an investment in the future, when another mysterious pathogen starts sickening people. — MCT

Japan to launch satellites to monitor oceans TOKYO: Japan plans to launch satellites to monitor the world’s oceans, a report said yesterday, as Chinese government ships sailed in waters around islands controlled by Tokyo and claimed by Beijing. The Cabinet office plans to launch nine satellites in the next five years to counter piracy and monitor the movements of foreign ships intruding into Japanese territorial waters, the business daily Nikkei reported. They will also collect data for forecasting natural disasters such as tsunamis, it said. The report, which cabinet officials could not immediately confirm, came as Japan’s coastguard said three Chinese government ships entered waters around the Senkaku islands in the East China Sea. The maritime surveillance vessels

entered the 12-nautical-mile zone around Uotsurijima, one of the Senkaku islands which China calls the Diaoyus, at about 9:30 am (0030 GMT), the coastguard said. The ships left the area shortly before 1:00 pm, the coastguard said later. Ships from the two countries have for months traded warnings over intrusions into what each regard as their territory, as Beijing and Tokyo jostle over ownership of the islands. The territorial row that dates back four decades reignited last September when Tokyo nationalized three islands in the chain, in what it said was a mere administrative change of ownership. Former Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama came under fire in June after he said he understood China’s claim to the islands.—AFP

SOUTH AFRICA: A file photo taken on June 28, 2013 shows boys from the Xhosa tribe who have undergone a circumcision ceremony Qunu in Eastern Cape Province. Botched circumcisions killed 30 young men and landed almost 300 more in hospital during traditional initiation rites in a South African province, the health department said yesterday. The 30 deaths in rural Eastern Cape province occurred during the annual season when young males undergo a rite of passage into manhood.—AFP

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013

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

Two new MERS deaths in Saudi

Photo shows Dr Kazem Behbehani, Director-General of Dasman Diabetes Institute along with the team of the Immunology and Innovative Cell Therapy Unit at Dasman Diabetes Institute.

Dasman Diabetes Institute holds a scientific lecture


s a part of a series of seminars, Dasman Diabetes Institute has held a talk titled “Interaction of osteopontin with interleukin-18 in obese individuals: implications for insulin resistance” presented by Dr Rasheed Ahmad, senior scientist/Head of Immunology and Innovative Cell Therapy Unit at Dasman Diabetes Institute. Osteopontin and interleukin-18 (IL18) are inflammatory mediators that

are known to participate in a wide range of biological processes linked to immunological disorders. Increasing evidence shows that circulating levels of both inflammatory mediators are elevated in obese individuals. However, it is still unclear whether both inflammatory mediators are simultaneously increased in obesity, and whether the two mediators interact with each other. In the current issue of PLOS ONE, Dr Ahmad and his colleagues show for the

first time that the levels of both osteopontin and IL-18 are simultaneously increased in plasma, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and adipose tissue of overweight and obese individuals. The two inflammatory mediators were also found to correlate with each other and with fasting blood glucose and body mass index (BMI) in these individuals, which may trigger the development of insulin resistance. In addition, this study provides direct

evidence that IL-18 regulates osteopontin production in PBMCs. In view of the above results, the interaction between the two inflammatory mediators may serve as a potential disease marker for monitoring insulin resistance severity and therapeutic efficacy. Importantly, obese individuals with a combined osteopontin/IL-18 elevation may be at greater risk for developing insulin resistance as compared with non-obese subjects.

RIYADH: A Saudi man and a child have died from the MERS virus, bringing the number of deaths from the respiratory infection in the kingdom to 38, the health ministry said yesterday. The 53-year-old man died from the SARS-like illness in Eastern Province, where the illness first broke out last year, the ministry’s website reported. The second victim was a two-year-old boy in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, it added. It also reported three new confirmed MERS infections, two men in Riyadh aged 66 and 69, and a foreign employee in the health sector in Hafr al-Batin in the east. The new cases bring the number of confirmed MERS infections in Saudi Arabia to 65 since the outbreak began. The World Health Organisation announced on Friday it had convened emergency talks on the MERS virus, which is striking hardest in Saudi Arabia. The move came amid concern about the potential impact of October ’s hajj pilgrimage, when millions of Muslims from around the globe head to and

from Saudi Arabia. The WHO has not recommended any MERS-related travel restrictions, but says countries should monitor unusual respiratory infection patterns. The first recorded MERS death was in June last year in Saudi Arabia. Experts are struggling to understand MERS, short for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus. It shares the flu-like symptoms of its cousin SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, but differs in that it also causes kidney failure. Like SARS, MERS is thought to have jumped from animals to humans. It seems deadliest for older men who already have other medical conditions, and can spread between humans, but so far appears far less contagious than SARS. There have been cases in Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, while Britain, France, I taly, Tunisia and Britain have recorded transmission to patients who did not travel to the Middle East but had close contact with people who did.—AFP

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013

W H AT ’ S O N



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

Emotional farewell for Bangladesh Ambassador




elated birthday wishes to Cherish Cherian. Your terrific presence makes our life more colorful. Greetings from Alma Trisa, Liva Maria, dad, mom, friends and wellwishers.


embers of the Indian community held a farewell reception in honour of the Ambassador of Bangladesh H E Syed Shahed Reza and Punam Reza, who returns after completing a very successful and meaningful tenure in Kuwait. Known for his warmth and simplicity Ambassador H E Syed Reza leaves behind a flood of fond memories of his association with officials, diplomats and various community members who he had befriended during his stay here. Addressing the gathering Andrew Thomas congratulated Ambassador Syed on his remarkable achievements in Kuwait and wished them both a very happy future. Recalling his tenure in Kuwait, Mr Thomas said that Ambassador Reza won the hearts of many by his easy accessibility and ready to help attitude. In his brief address, Reaven D’Souza pointed out that Ambassador Syed’s immense popularity in Kuwait was a reciprocal gesture of his warm and ever friendly disposition. While reaching out to all sections of the society Ambassador Syed played a leadership role to his own

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.


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

Ambassador Syed recalled several occasions where he had attended Indian community functions as chief guest and guest of honour. He profusely thanked the com-

munity members for showering friendship and warmth to him during his tenure here which will always remain etched in his memory.

The Palms Ramadan nights


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.

community and at the same time made many friends with his accessibility and positive attitude, D’Souza added. While thanking the Indian community


arm welcome during Ramadan where ‘The Palms Ramadan Nights’ offers you a distinguished venue “Jawa Grand Ballroom” with its magnificent atmosphere and high-tech audio visuals to host special corporate and group events for Iftar, Ghabka and Sohour for a capacity of 400 persons. You can enjoy the selective favors of Shisha - “Tagine Restaurant & Cafe” with its captivating ambiance that reflects the beauty of Ramadan to savor sumptuous Ghabka & Sohour buffet while enjoying the traditional Shisha & live oriental music “ Al-Muhallab Restaurant” with its rich buffet menu for Ghabka & Sohour. Enjoy the fascinating sea view, the Shisha & live oriental music- “Outside Catering Services” present special Ramadan menus to Indulge your guests with a memorable experience to the site of your choice... Enjoy our grand raffle with the palms valuable prizes from Air France & KLM, SAMA Dental Center, Fly Dubai, and Sebamed

Celebrate Ramadan with Zafran special iftar buffet


afran, the contemporary Indian restaurant by Foodmark invites you and your family to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan for the third year in a row with its grand Ramadan buffet. On offer will be a lavish spread of Indian delicacies, enjoy an array of savory delights with heart-warming ambience and service during the entire month. Ramadan is a month of blessings and generosity, Zafran will create the perfect

ambience to ensure the spirit of Ramadan pervades throughout the restaurant from sunrise to sunset. At Zafran, you can get together with family and friends for a sumptuous Iftar buffet featuring a variety of delicious hot and cold dishes, appetizers, soups, fresh salads, live cooking stations, an array of mouthwatering dessert as well as a selection of specialty beverages including Ramadan juices, tea and coffee. Zafran is a combination of contempo-

rary Indian cuisine using traditional cooking techniques with a modern flair and international ingredients. The fresh and innovative specialties on the menu offer bold yet simple flavours created by giving a new twist to the Indian classics. Indulge in a great selection of treats from a wide buffet spread which includes tandoor grilled kebabs, tikkas, chaats, special curries, elaborate biryanis with saffron and long grain basmati rice. The Iftar menus also consist of a selec-

tion of dressings, chutneys and pickles. Zafran is located at 1st floor Centrepoint Salmiya (Salem Al Mubarak Street), is known for its vibrant and modern setting, and is a warm and welcoming retreat for friends and family who wish to relax and enjoy good high quality food at purse-friendly prices. During Ramadan, you can take advantage of Zafran’s home delivery during Adan. The 180 seat restaurant is open to visitors from Iftar- 1am.

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013

W H AT ’ S O N

What to do in Kuwait this summer? Visit the Sadu House Al-Sadu Society is dedicated to preserving, documenting and promoting the rich and diverse textile heritage of the Kuwaiti Bedouin, from the nomadic weaving of the desert to the urban weaving of the town. Sadu is a traditional Bedouin art that involves weaving geometric designs on dyed and colored wool that is spun by hand to create magnificent carpets, rugs, and Bedouin tent screens. Inside the Sadu House, visitors have the opportunity to see Bedouin women weaving. Sadu House is located near the National Museum. It is considered to be the center of Bedouin art aiming at presenting Kuwait’s roots and protecting Bedouin crafts from eradication. Address: Arabian Gulf Street, Next to the National Museum of Kuwait, Kuwait City Opening Hours: Saturdays to Thursdays: Mornings from 08 am to 1 pm. Evenings from 4 pm to 8 pm. Contact: 22432395 E-mail: Website: View Boushahri Gallery The Boushahri Art Gallery was established in 1982 by Jawad Boushahri, the Chairman of the Boushahri group who is also an acclaimed Kuwaiti sculptor. It is one of the oldest private art galleries in the Middle East. This long established gallery showcases contemporary regional work. In order to create an awareness toward art in Kuwait as a community service, the Boushahri Art Gallery educates, supports and sponsors local and international artists, displaying their paintings, potteries, ceramic portraitures, designs, photographers, sculptures and much more. To encourage the Art lovers and educate society, Boushahri Art Gallery offers many courses, seminars and lectures about Art. Address: Salmiya, Baghdad St., Building Number: 36, in front of Al- Laheeb Mosque Opening Hours: 10 am to 1 pm and 5 pm to 9 pm. The museum is closed on Friday and Thursday afternoons. Contact: 25621119/99770607 Website:

Enjoy the taste of true espresso at Vergnano Cafe at Olympia Complex


he superior quality of the blends comes from the meticulous selection of the best raw materials available, and from an extraordinary production process. Cafe Vergnano is the first to introduce an innovation that brings all the passion and pleasure of the per-

fect espresso to everyday life at home. Espresso is now available in Kuwait, through Al-Sanabel Al-Thahabiya Est. Tel: 22413795/98. Espresso Vergnano can be ordered through Espresso Vergnano capsules are compatible with other espresso machines.

Take a break at Al-Khiran Resort The Al-Khiran resort is a relaxing “get-away” from the mayhem of stressful city life. The resort provides a soothing tranquil environment that includes beautiful green lawns, wide, well-defined roads, ample parking spaces, and clean well-maintained beaches. It has many chalets that are beautifully furnished and air-conditioned. The resort also offers a variety of other facilities such as football and basketball courts, luxurious restaurants, yacht clubs, an amusement park for children, electronic computer arcade and the ‘Duza’ ballroom. The resort also provides variety in food as it includes a fast-food counter, and a counter that offers seafood, Italian and oriental food. Address: Gulf Street, Al-Khiran district Contact: 23951122 E-mail: Website:

Creating lasting memories at Marriott Hotels this Ramadan

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.



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


he elegant Five Star JW Marriott Hotel Kuwait City and the modern, downtown Courtyard by Marriot Hotel Kuwait City will be hosting fascinating festivities throughout the holy month of Ramadan this year. Arabian Ramadan Nights are back at Courtyard Marriott where the panoramic eight story high Atrium Restaurant will be transformed into a beautiful Ramadan tent offering fascinating oriental and international buffets every night for iftar and sohour. Alongside the traditional buffet symbolizing the heritage of Kuwaiti hospitality, there will also be exciting live cooking stations including koushari, shawermas, saaj, ouzi rice, dry fruits, katayef and more, along with a special Moroccan sta-

tion, a burger corner and an ice-cream corner. To relax and enjoy the ambience, guests could also explore different flavors of sheesha while being entertained with a delightful instrumental Arabian music band and valuable raffle draw prizes like airline tickets and more, every weekend Sponsors for the Courtyard mega event this year include noted brands in Kuwait - American Express, Yacoub Behbehani and Sons, Samsonite travel accessories, IKEA, Home Selection, Nail Works Spa and Salon, L’Oreal and Kefan Optics, while sponsors of JW Marriott include Etihad Airways, Yacoub Behbehani and Sons, Samsonite travel accessories, Damas jewelry, Nail Works Spa and Salon, Sebamed and Rasasi

Perfumes. Meanwhile, the much-awaited Layaly JW Marriott El Ramadaniya will be a month long event held nightly at the largest ballroom of the hotel - the Al Jahra Ballroom. Located on the first floor, the ballroom will be elegantly transformed into an Arabian tent to guarantee an authentic flavor to the occasion. Guests and patrons will be served a special Ramadan family style iftar and sohour, featuring oriental and international dishes in addition to live cooking stations and different flavors of sheesha. Highly discounted prepaid vouchers are also awaiting guests who wish to have group iftar and sohour this Ramadan. During Sohour, guests will be

given the opportunity to enter raffle draws every Thursday and Friday night to win valuable prizes like airline tickets and more. Guests can enjoy a relaxed family atmosphere or experience the comfort of a cozy private tent, with complimentary Ramadan beverages - while being entertained with a live music band strumming authentic tunes during Sohour. Alongside the traditional buffet with all-time favorites like majboos, morabin, lamb Fattah and more, there will be live cooking stations for shawerma, saaj, stuffed Kak under sandwich press, a new JW salad bar, JW bakery bread display, traditional Arabic ice cream, live kunafa station and a brand new live barista station.

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:

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


14:35 15:05 15:30 16:00 Japan 16:55 17:50 18:45 19:40 20:05 20:35 21:00 21:30 22:25 23:20 00:15 01:10

14:20 14:45 15:10 16:00 16:55 17:45 18:35 19:30 20:20 21:10 21:35 22:00 22:50 23:40 00:05 00:30 01:00 01:25

14:00 15:00 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00 00:00 01:00 02:00

Border Security Auction Hunters Auction Kings Megaquake: Hour That Shook One Man Army Mythbusters Sons Of Guns Deconstruction How It’s Made Auction Hunters Storage Hunters Gold Divers Alaska: The Last Frontier Man, Woman, Wild Gold Divers Alaska: The Last Frontier

The Gadget Show Tech Toys 360 X-Machines Storm Chasers Superships Thunder Races Through The Wormhole X-Machines Mega World The Gadget Show Tech Toys 360 X-Machines Mega World The Gadget Show Tech Toys 360 Weird Connections Sci-Fi Science Sci-Fi Science

C.S.I. Miami Drop Dead Diva Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show C.S.I. Miami Parenthood Covert Affairs Once Upon A Time Banshee Awake Drop Dead Diva Banshee Once Upon A Time

03:00 Guys With Kids 03:30 The Mindy Project 04:00 Brothers 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Friends 06:00 Hope & Faith 06:30 Arrested Development 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Brothers 08:30 Friends 09:00 Guys With Kids 09:30 Hot In Cleveland 10:00 2 Broke Girls 10:30 Arrested Development 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Hope & Faith 12:30 Brothers 13:00 Friends 13:30 Arrested Development 14:00 The Mindy Project 14:30 2 Broke Girls 15:00 Hot In Cleveland 15:30 The Daily Show 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Hope & Faith 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Breaking In 18:30 Breaking In 19:00 Hot In Cleveland 19:30 Parks And Recreation 20:00 Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23 20:30 30 Rock 21:00 The Daily Show Global Edition

21:30 The Colbert Report Global Edition 22:00 Family Guy 22:30 Cougar Town 23:30 Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23 00:00 30 Rock 00:30 The Daily Show Global Edition 01:00 The Colbert Report Global Edition 01:30 Family Guy 02:00 Cougar Town 02:30 Cougar Town

05:15 05:35 06:00 06:30 06:45 07:10 07:35 07:55 08:20 08:45 09:05 09:30 09:55 10:15 11:50 12:15 12:35 13:00 13:25 13:45 14:10 14:35 15:00 15:25 15:50 16:10 16:35 17:00 17:20 17:45 18:10 18:30 18:55 19:20 19:40 20:05 20:30 20:50 21:15 21:40 22:00 22:25 22:50 23:10 23:35 00:00 00:20 00:45 01:05 01:30 01:50 02:15 02:35

A Kind Of Magic A Kind Of Magic Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Doc McStuffins A.N.T Farm A.N.T Farm Jessie Jessie Shake It Up Shake It Up Austin And Ally Austin And Ally Good Luck Charlie Let It Shine 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 Shake It Up A.N.T. Farm Austin And Ally That’s So Raven Suite Life On Deck Good Luck Charlie That’s So Raven That’s So Raven Good Luck Charlie Good Luck Charlie 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 15:00 York 16:00 York 17:00 17:30 18:00 19:00 20:00 20:30 21:00 22:00 23:00 00:00 00:55 01:25

Style Star Kourtney And Kim Take New

Ice Loves Coco Ice Loves Coco E! News THS Married To Jonas Married To Jonas Playing With Fire Playing With Fire E!es Opening Act Style Star E!es

03:15 04:00 04:55 05:25 06:15

Bargain Hunt A Taste Of Greenland Delicious Iceland Antiques Roadshow Cash In The Attic

Kourtney & Kim Take New

07:00 Cash In The Attic 07:45 Phil Spencer - Secret Agent 08:35 Bargain Hunt 09:20 Antiques Roadshow 10:15 Gok’s Fashion Fix 11:05 Celebrity MasterChef 12:00 Vacation Vacation Vacation 12:25 Come Dine With Me 13:15 Bargain Hunt 14:00 Cash In The Attic 14:45 Antiques Roadshow 15:40 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 17:00 Phil Spencer - Secret Agent 17:55 Tareq Taylor’s Nordic Cookery 18:25 Planet Cake 18:50 Home Cooking Made Easy 19:15 Home Cooking Made Easy 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 00:40 Come Dine With Me 01:30 Wine 02:25 How Not To Decorate

03:25 Unique Eats 03:50 Food Crafters 04:15 United Tastes Of America 04:40 Chopped 05:30 Iron Chef America 06:10 Unwrapped 06:35 Unwrapped 07:00 Unwrapped 07:50 Andy Bates Street Feasts 08:15 Unique Sweets 08:40 Red, Hot And Yummy 09:05 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 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 Red, Hot And Yummy 22:25 Red, Hot And Yummy 22:50 Andy Bates American Street Feasts 23:15 Andy Bates American Street Feasts 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 Red, Hot And Yummy

00:30 01:20 02:10 03:00 03:45 04:30 05:20 06:10 07:00 07:50 08:15 08:40 09:05

Deadly Affairs Dr G: Medical Examiner Blood Relatives On The Case With Paula Zahn Killer Kids Deadly Affairs Dr G: Medical Examiner Disappeared Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth...

09:30 On The Case With Paula Zahn 10:20 Solved 11:10 Disappeared 12:00 Life Or Death: Medical Mysteries 12:50 Street Patrol 13:40 Forensic Detectives 14:30 On The Case With Paula Zahn 15:20 Real Emergency Calls 15:45 Who On Earth... 16:10 Disappeared 17:00 Solved 17:50 Forensic Detectives 18:40 On The Case With Paula Zahn 19:30 Dr G: Medical Examiner 20:20 Nightmare Next Door 21:10 Couples Who Kill 22:00 I Was Murdered 22:50 Blood Relatives 23:40 I Almost Got Away With It

13:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 20:30 21:00 23:00 00:00 01:00 02:00

Agatha Christie’s Marple Murdoch Mysteries The Jonathan Ross Show 60 Minute Makeover Emmerdale Coronation Street Coach Trip Come Dine With Me Ireland Lewis Above Suspicion The Jeremy Kyle Show USA 60 Minute Makeover Emmerdale

03:00 Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol-PG15 05:30 A Mother’s Choice-PG15 07:30 Into The Wind-PG15 09:00 My Own Love Song-PG15 11:00 Waiting For Forever-PG15 13:00 The Big Year-PG 15:00 The Pirates! Band Of MisfitsPG 17:00 My Own Love Song-PG15 18:45 John Carter-PG15 21:00 The Tree Of Life-PG15 23:15 Columbus Circle-PG15 01:00 Seeking Justice-PG15

07:00 I’ve Loved You So Long-PG15 09:00 Neverland-PG15 12:00 Muhammad And Larry-PG15 13:00 The Stool Pigeon-PG15 15:00 When Love Is Not Enough 17:00 Muhammad And Larry-PG15 18:30 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel-PG15 21:00 The Lincoln Lawyer-PG15 23:15 Summer Coda-PG15 01:15 When Love Is Not EnoughPG15

04:00 Stealing Paradise-PG15 06:00 The Family Stone-PG15 08:00 Carjacked-PG15 10:00 Tinker Bell And The Secret Of The Wings-FAM 12:00 Mary & Martha-PG15 14:00 Flower Girl-PG15 16:00 Carjacked-PG15 17:45 Hugo-PG 20:00 Think Like A Man-PG15 22:00 The Ides Of March-PG15 00:00 Carjacked-PG15 01:45 Hugo-PG

04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 00:00 02:00

Vengeance-PG15 Go Fast-PG15 Source Code-PG15 Boiler Room-PG15 True Justice: Dead Drop-PG15 Source Code-PG15 Burden Of Evil-PG15 True Justice: Dead Drop-PG15 Soldiers Of Fortune-PG15 Disturbing Behavior-18 Beverly Hills Cop 3-PG15 Soldiers Of Fortune-PG15

08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 00:00 PG15 02:00

Bushwhacked-PG Gabe The Cupid Dog-PG15 Lying To Be Perfect-PG15 A Heartbeat Away-PG15 Gabe The Cupid Dog-PG15 Sorority Wars-PG15 Analyze This-PG15 Johnny English Reborn-PG15 The Giant Mechanical Man-

09:00 10:30 14:15 16:00 17:45 19:45 PG15 21:45 23:45 01:45 PG15

Glee: The Concert Movie Cinderella PT 1-PG15 Glee: The Concert MovieOffline-PG15 Catch And Release-PG15 L’amour C’est Mieux A Deux-

Analyze This-PG15

12:00 15:00 18:00 20:00 21:00 21:45

Rugby World Cup Sevens Cricket Friends Life T20 NRL Premiership AFL Premiership Highlights Futbol Mundial Live Super League

00:30 05:00 07:00 08:00 08:30 09:00 11:00 16:00 17:00 19:00 21:00

NRL Premiership Super Rugby Golfing World Futbol Mundial ICC Cricket 360 World Pool Masters ITU World Triathlon Series Golfing World Super Rugby Super League Trans World Sport

00:00 01:00 03:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 13:00 13:30 14:00 15:00 15:30 17:30 18:30 19:00 21:00

UFC Countdown UFC Prelims UFC UAE National Race Day Series WWE Bottom Line WWE Experience Ping Pong World US Bass Fishing NHL Mobil 1 The Grid Adventure Sports Porsche GT 3 Cup Motor Sports 2013 WWE Smackdown WWE Experience Adventure Sports UFC Prelims UFC

00:00 Departures 02:00 Globe Trekker 03:00 Wild Carpathia 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 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 11:00 Hotel Impossible 12:00 Eden Eats 13:00 Bizarre Foods America


Filmmakers capture Hong Kong’s struggle with identity


s Hong Kong grapples with its identity 16 years after returning to Chinese rule, frustration on the streets and a nostalgia for the past is providing plenty of inspiration for the city’s filmmakers. Emotions in the former British colony run high. Tens of thousands of people marched on the July 1 handover anniversary to demand universal suffrage amid concerns Beijing is increasingly meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs. Polls have shown residents see themselves as “Hongkongers” rather than “Chinese”, while the use by protesters of old colonial flags has raised eyebrows in the city and tempers north of the border in mainland China. “The relationship we have with China always affects the mood of Hong Kong,” film director Flora Lau told AFP. “We are a city which has a very distinct identity, and some of the people here feel that this identity has slipped away. On the other hand, we have new immigrants who think of Hong Kong as a place of dreams.” Lau’s first feature film “Bends” was the only production from Hong Kong to be selected in competition at the prestigious Cannes International Film Festival in May. The film follows the relationship between a Hong Kong housewife (Carina Lau) and her mainland Chinese chauffeur (Chen Kun) “as they each negotiate the pressures of Hong Kong life and the city’s increasingly complex relationship to mainland China”. “To me, Hong Kong is filled with duality and I am interested in portraying the city, which represents a sense of deterioration for some, and yet a sense of hope for others,” said Lau, who attended Columbia University in New York and the London Film School. A survey published by the Hong Kong University last week found only 33 percent of Hong Kongers took pride in being a Chinese national, the lowest level since 1998. Such statistics come amid growing resentment towards mainland Chinese visitors, whose numbers are estimated to reach 50 million annually by 2015 in a city of around seven million. Hong Kong’s unpopular Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has faced the brunt of public anger, and in his first year has had to deal with shortages of maternity beds and baby formula, both blamed on the influx of mainlanders. ‘Collective nostalgia’ The city has also seen protests over the widening gap between rich and poor. Property prices have surged in recent years due to record low interest rates and a flood of wealthy mainlanders snapping up

homes, while the choking smog that often hangs over Hong Kong’s spectacular Victoria Harbour is seen as a sign of China’s industrial growth. “I think Hong Kong is a place that has gone through lots of changes and the people here adapt quite quickly,” said Lau, whose film is set for release in the city in November. “But the changes we went through are very different from the changes China went through over the past 50 years, and now that we are more closely related to each other, we are confronted with cultural clashes on a more day-to-day basis.” Others said the city has reacted to the rapid changes by embracing a “collective nostalgia”. “Old values and mentality seem to have disappeared so the films we now make are a reaction to these changes,” said veteran director Herman Yau at the Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy, in April. Yau travelled to Europe with his film “Ip Man: The Final Fight”, a production which charts the later years of the eponymous martial arts master who counted Bruce Lee among his disciples. It is a film soaked with nostalgia for a Hong Kong the filmmakers believe has long since faded from view. “Hongkongers were once trusting people who were not scared to leave our doors open for our neighbors,” said screenwriter Erica Li. “But we have become a big metropolis and we are losing that sense.” Under the “One Country Two Systems” governing arrangement, Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous region within China, with its own currency and mini-constitution guaranteeing freedoms and liberties not seen on the mainland. People are free to protest and speak their minds, there are no restrictions on the Internet and many lawmakers are directly elected even if the leader, known as the chief executive, is picked by a pro-Beijing electoral committee. “Outside of Hong Kong, I would say that, from people I have talked to, not many understand the complicated political situation we have with China,” said Lau. “In my film, I have shots of the river between Hong Kong and Shenzhen and the character crossing the border, but to my surprise I have had questions about why we have a border with China.” Director Adam Wong was in Udine screening “The Way We Dance”, which follows the trials and tribulations of a group of street dancers. “It is also a film which reflects on how young people in Hong Kong today are searching for their own identity,” said Wong, whose film will be released in August. “Young people feel they are losing control of their own destiny.” — AFP

Route Irish-PG15 The Debt-18 L’amour C’est Mieux A Deux-

01:00 Cricket Friends Life T20 04:00 NRL Premiership 06:00 Trans World Sport 07:00 NRL Premiership 09:00 Cricket Friends Life T20 12:00 Live NRL Premiership 14:00 Futbol Mundial 14:30 AFL Premiership 17:00 Trans World Sport 18:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 19:00 PGA Tour Highlights 20:00 Super Rugby Highlights 21:00 Live Cricket Friends Life T20


00:00 01:00 05:30 06:00 06:30 07:00

Trans World Sport PGA European Tour ICC Cricket 360 Futbol Mundial Inside The PGA Tour PGA Tour

(From left) Singers Donnie Wahlberg, Danny Wood, Joey McIntyre, Jonathan Knight and Jordan Knight of New Kids on the Block perform at the Mandalay Bay Events Center during The Package Tour in Las Vegas, Nevada. — AFP

Classifieds MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013




10:00 PM 12:15 AM


5:15 PM 8:15 PM 11:15 PM

1:30 PM 3:30 PM 6:00 PM 8:00 PM 10:30 PM 12:30 AM


1:15 PM 3:30 PM 5:45 PM 8:15 PM 10:30 PM 12:30 AM



12:30 PM 3:00 PM 5:30 PM 8:00 PM 10:30 PM 1:00 AM

12:45 PM 3:15 PM 5:30 PM 7:45 PM 10:15 PM 12:45 AM


12:30 PM 3:15 PM 6:00 PM 8:45 PM 10:45 PM 12:45 AM


1:00 PM 3:00 PM 5:00 PM 7:30 PM 9:30 PM 12:05 AM

1:00 PM 3:00 PM 5:00 PM 7:00 PM 9:00 PM 11:00 PM 1:00 AM




12:30 PM 2:30 PM 4:15 PM 6:00 PM 8:15 PM 10:00 PM 12:05 AM

12:30 PM 2:45 PM 4:30 PM 6:30 PM 8:15 PM 10:15 PM

12:45 PM 2:45 PM 4:45 PM 6:45 PM 8:45 PM 10:45 PM 12:45 AM




12:45 PM 3:00 PM 5:15 PM 8:00 PM 10:15 PM 12:45 AM

12:45 PM 3:00 PM 5:30 PM 7:45 PM 10:00 PM


2:30 PM 5:00 PM 7:30 PM 10:00 PM 12:30 AM


12:30 PM 2:45 PM 5:15 PM 7:30 PM 9:45 PM


12:30 PM 2:45 PM 5:00 PM 7:15 PM 9:45 PM 12:30 AM


1:30 PM 4:00 PM 6:30 PM 9:00 PM 11:30 PM


2:15 PM


1:15 PM

12:30 PM 3:00 PM 5:15 PM 7:45 PM


1:30 PM 3:45 PM 5:30 PM 7:45 PM 10:00 PM 12:30 AM


1:15 PM 4:00 PM 6:45 PM 9:30 PM 12:15 AM

CHANGE OF NAME I have change my name from Husain, s/o Kosar Godichand, Indian Passport No. H1819475 in future I am known from this name Husain Godichand, s/o Kosar Godichand, Res. Obrimohalla, Sagwara. (C 4455) 8-7-2013


No: 15863

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (



Time 00:05 00:10 00:30 00:40 00:20 01:40 01:45 01:55 02:15 02:25 02:30 01:45 02:50 03:10 03:15 03:15 03:30 04:35 05:10 05:50 06:05 06:30 06:25 06:20 06:40 06:15 07:45 08:25 08:50 09:00 09:15 9:30 10:35 10:40 10:50 10:55 11:35 12:45 13:00 13:10 13:20 08:20 12:35 12:00 07:40 13:40 09:55 07:50 13:40 09:35 08:15 07:25 11:35 13:45 13:50 13:55 14:30


472 645 640 134 303 857 127 982 215 510 251 144 63 219 405 572 61 647 129 402 618 535 777 177 189 135 185 489 401 229 859 307 136 217 146 576 59 975 981 327 104 786 788 542 546 118 618 674 742 774 802 257 239 636 205 574 614 411 772


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




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


611 767 481 872 58 141 673 93 473 646 501 617 773 188 741 641 238 135 304 538 128 858 216 511 982 184 266 252 145 64 220 134 404 283 571 62 120 331 648 351 403 619 171 402 308 230 860 137 301 218 60 205 147 575 554 1540 411 328


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


stars CROSSWORD 244

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) An important relationship, perhaps an older person or someone in authority, may come into focus today. There could be some tension or sense of opposition requiring compromise or negotiation on your part. An opportunity for understanding and even growth is available. Independence, as well as anything unusual or different, is valued. You may enjoy getting away from routine and doing something completely different for a change. You are at home where there is a lot of communication, investigation and exploration. Fascinated by social interchange and gossip, you have learned to remove the emotions and listen for new ideas. You may enjoy variety and change today. New reading, writing, research and other sciences are enjoyed today.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) A library or museum has intriguing possibilities for today and if you had no previous plans, your family will follow you anywhere, particularly if you have the food. Perhaps a planetarium show or a stroll through the zoo would be fun. This is a time to have the camera ready and take notes; a young person is full of funny stories. This evening there are relaxing activities and hugs and soft voices to enjoy. Since you can easily gain the attention of family members, this would be a good time to ask each member of the family or each member of the house, what choices could be considered for the next outing. There could be talk of education, vacation, philosophy, meal planning or even religious studies. When people talk about pleasant gatherings, magic happens.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

ACROSS 1. The seventh and last day of the week. 4. A genus of Tettigoniidae. 11. A member of a formerly tribal people in south central India. 15. Electronic equipment that provides visual images of varying electrical quantities. 16. Merchandise issued for sale or public showing (especially a record or film). 17. The capital of Western Samoa. 18. The month following July and preceding September. 19. A representation of common ground between theories or phenomena. 20. For fear that. 21. An unwholesome atmosphere. 23. A brittle gray crystalline element that is a semiconducting metalloid (resembling silicon) used in transistors. 24. Any of various spiny trees or shrubs of the genus Acacia. 26. (of a young animal) Abandoned by its mother and raised by hand. 28. A Russian prison camp for political prisoners. 30. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 33. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 34. A gray tetravalent metallic element that resembles zirconium chemically and is found in zirconium minerals. 35. Italian lawn bowling (played on a long narrow dirt court). 39. All the plant and animal life of a particular region. 41. A small pellet fired from an air rifle or BB gun. 43. The act of hopping (jumping upward or forward (especially on one foot)). 44. United States musician (born in Japan) who married John Lennon and collaborated with him on recordings (born in 1933). 45. A doctor's degree in religion. 47. A silvery ductile metallic element found primarily in bauxite. 51. Recite in elocution. 54. Not performed on the stage. 57. Jointed and nearly leafless desert shrub having reduced scalelike leaves and reddish fleshy seeds. 58. Any plant of the genus Caragana having evenpinnate leaves and mostly yellow flowers followed by seeds in a linear pod. 59. A unit of dry measure used in Egypt. 61. 16 ounces. 62. A brittle silver-white metalloid element that is related to selenium and sulfur. 63. Influential German idealist philosopher (17241804). 66. An independent agency of the United States government responsible for collecting and coordinating intelligence and counterintelligence activities abroad in the national interest. 69. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 71. Any of several tall tropical palms native to southeastern Asia having egg-shaped nuts. 74. A short labored intake of breath with the mouth open. 77. In the Arabian Nights a hero who tells of the fantastic adventures he had in his voyages. 79. The capital and largest city of Bangladesh. 81. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 82. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 83. An animal or plant that lives in or on a host (another animal or plant). 85. A light touch or stroke. 86. A liquid used for printing or writing or drawing. 87. Of or relating to speech sounds. 88. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth.

DOWN 1. A fraudulent business scheme. 2. Wild sheep of northern Africa. 3. A one-piece cloak worn by men in ancient Rome. 4. Any property detected by the olfactory system. 5. A state in the western United States. 6. Fermented alcoholic beverage similar to but heavier than beer. 7. A large mass of ice floating at sea. 8. English courtier (a favorite of Elizabeth I) who tried to colonize Virginia. 9. North American republic containing 50 states - 48 conterminous states in North America plus Alaska in northwest North America and the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean. 10. One of the green parts that form the calyx of a flower. 11. Agile long-tailed nocturnal African lemur with dense woolly fur and large eyes and ears. 12. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 13. Not final or absolute. 14. A collection of facts from which conclusions may be drawn. 22. Singing jazz. 25. Open-heart surgery in which the rib cage is opened and a section of a blood vessel is grafted from the aorta to the coronary artery to bypass the blocked section of the coronary artery and improve the blood supply to the heart. 27. A gradual decline (in size or strength or power or number). 29. An (apparently) flying object whose nature is unknown. 31. Tropical American tree bearing a small edible fruit with green leathery skin and sweet juicy translucent pulp. 32. An illicitly distilled (and usually inferior) alcoholic liquor. 36. A Bantu language spoken by the Chaga people in northern Tanzania. 37. Having the power to influence or convince. 38. Large family of bark-boring or wood-boring short-beaked beetles. 40. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 42. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 46. English theoretical physicist who applied relativity theory to quantum mechanics and predicted the existence of antimatter and the positron (19021984). 48. United States publisher of magazines (18981967). 49. The rate at which red blood cells settle out in a tube of blood under standardized conditions. 50. A motley assortment of things. 52. Being or located on or directed toward the side of the body to the west when facing north. 53. A dark region of considerable extent on the surface of the moon. 55. Tag the base runner to get him out. 56. A fine grained mineral having a soft soapy feel and consisting of hydrated magnesium silicate. 60. A native of ancient Troy. 64. Place in a line or arrange so as to be parallel. 65. Indian religious leader who founded Sikhism (1469-1538). 67. The female or generative principle. 68. (Irish) Chief god of the Tuatha De Danann. 70. An inhabitant of Lappland. 72. Freedom from difficulty or hardship or effort. 73. The bill in a restaurant. 75. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 76. A metabolic acid found in yeast and liver cells. 78. The longer of the two telegraphic signals used in Morse code. 80. A former agency (from 1946 to 1974) that was responsible for research into atomic energy and its peacetime uses in the United States. 84. An artificial language for international use that rejects rejects all existing words and is based instead on an abstract analysis of ideas.

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013

You may find your patience running thin today, causing you to be at odds with others. You may be going against tradition and become too independent for group approval. You could become carried away under this kind of pressure and make mistakes. Take some time to review your habits. Have you been getting enough sleep or eating the right foods stress and tension can quickly take their toll on the weak points in our thinking or physical makeup. If you are not looking for the positive answer in your life, you could be holding onto some conflict—access and process. You will find chatting with a friend or relative productive. Perhaps this is the best time to relax, prop up your feet and enjoy a good book, cool drink, or just some quiet time.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) This is a nice day that should just flow right along. In particular, you will do well in activities that include children, young people and your home surroundings. There is support available for whatever you want to accomplish or however you want to proceed. You are freedom loving, independent and at times, even a trifle remote. You seem not to be bound by relationships, although you have many friends and may not be inclined to be much of a domestic. However, today you may find yourself decorating or repairing in order to spruce up the area in which you do your best thinking. Today, you will find it easy to work with music, color, fabric and the arts—whatever is beautiful and genial. You would make a superb decorator.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Your cravings get you in trouble now and again—even if it is just as simple as gaining a bit of weight. You may often appreciate things that are not always in your own best interest. Your ambition and drive to grow and progress may not be fully met. Consider busying yourself with some creative work today. You can display a vocabulary of lovely words and a flair for description—the artistic in all its many forms. You might think of a jingle for an advertising company. There is an inner sense of warmth and goodness along with the ability to express this. You have perfect taste in literary and artistic matters. This is a harmonious day. Expect a sense of support and goodwill from those around you. Music and laughter can be heard—enjoy.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) You are able to make a positive difference today. When you love, you love with energy and passion. You value personal contact, cutting through all the externals and getting to the heart of things. You may be called on today to help a family member get to the truth of some disturbed child or confused elderly member of the family. Changes and transforming experiences are where you like to be most. Your words and ideas can transport others beyond the world as they know it and into the world as they wish it could be. Family, investments, home and health issues can all be corrected or tended to today. It may seem there is not enough time left in your day but help is as close as your lips and someone is waiting for your lead.

Word Search

Libra (September 23-October 22) Making spirit matter and making the ideal real by bringing it down to earth—is the mood today. Perhaps there is a fear of losing oneself in the beginning, perhaps a push to accomplish and achieve seems more important just now. Give yourself a break this Sunday and enjoy your creative side: swim, paint, sketch, create music, sew, build, etc. You could invent or create a design or artwork, or just enjoy this time. Your ideal dream is a private one and heaven is as close as work and family. Luck is in your corner this evening and this could mean you might want to invest in a lottery ticket or a scratch-off ticket. There is time this evening for a family dinner and an opportunity to get to know the people you live with better.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) In some sense, just being you is the goal itself and the means of traveling to that goal. Others sense that your life is important. You are your own reason for being. Today you think about goals and visions and ideals. This is a good time to update your resume and write out a plan for future accomplishments. You are good to mark events on your calendar so consider giving yourself reminders to the steps you need to take in order to accomplish these goals. This is a good time to eliminate the unnecessary stress in your life. You radiate a contagious fondness for people. This evening you have the pleasure of sharing a little time with old friends. Your most essential quality has to do with the very real love you radiate to others.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You can demonstrate great understanding and sensitivity to the needs of others just now and are in a good position to communicate concerning groups and society in general. Perhaps some volunteer service is in order. Your most essential quality has to do with the very real love and compassion you radiate. Your sense of values and sheer appreciation for life are communicated to all who come to know you. You may be sought after for your advice and counsel regarding very personal and emotional issues. Perhaps this is a good time to think and study—you have a real appreciation for ideas and thoughts. You may find yourself enjoying a long conversation, writing a letter, or making a special phone call. This evening is a good time for a walk.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) CAPRICORN You are able to enjoy and value your own life situation. Catching up on personal projects, preparing for the workweek, working in a garden or flowerbed seems to be the routine of the day. Friends may try to entice you to gossip, but you show the courage to move into different directions. You are unusually energetic today and people respond positively to your charisma. You are also very sensitive to the feelings of others. You like to take care of everything and are always redeeming, salvaging and restoring. You could gain insight from a young person this afternoon. Since you are near home most of this day, use home as a base of action and pop in from time to time to get whatever you need. You and a friend may enjoy a good movie tonight.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You prefer the forest to the desert, the common to the uncommon. You are at home in ideas of man’s essential unity. Religious and psychological ideas are talked about with your peers and you may discover the need for a book someone is reading. Group gatherings are small today and everyone benefits. The matter of beginning a book club comes to your attention and you may give this plenty of thought. A little research into other book clubs may help you decide on how you want to develop one of your own. A new neighbor or some change to the neighborhood has several families curious with excuses to get out and about this afternoon. You could dust off the old bicycle and ride it around for exercise and of course, to satisfy a little curiosity of your own.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) You can find new ways to relate with others and you look for opportunities to use your newly achieved knowledge. Very tolerant and accepting of differences, you have good insight into all social values. You are independent. You like to facilitate, compromise and otherwise show your people skills. You are the life of the party, able to loosen up even the most sober. You are great at bringing out the best qualities of others, discovering hidden talents. This afternoon may develop into a talent show, or at the least, the planning of one. Some of your friends like karaoke and some of your friends are good at playacting. Your options are wide and varied and you may decide to help these friends put an act together for the rest of the neighborhood.

Yesterday’s Solution

Yesterday’s Solution

Daily SuDoku

Yesterday’s Solution

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013

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


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital






Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

Fahaeel Makka St Abu Halaifa-Coastal Rd Mahboula Block 1, Coastal Rd

23915883 23715414 23726558


Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622


Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967


New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638

Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy Ibn Al-Nafis Mishrif Coop Salwa Coop

Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Salmiya-Amman St Hawally-Beirut St Hawally & Rawdha Coop Jabriya-Block 1A Jabriya-Block 3B Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Mishrif Coop Salwa Coop

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241






















Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh








Kaizen center


















Abdullah Salem




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Gar






Ayoun Al-Qibla










Maidan Hawally






W Hawally






New Jahra


West Jahra


South Jahra


North Jahra


North Jleeb








N Khaitan





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


Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf


Dr. Khaled Hamadi

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari


Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed

Dr. Abdel Quttainah


Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar


Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari


Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan


Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe


Dr. Verginia s.Marin

2572-6666 ext 8321


25665898 25340300

Dr. Zahra Qabazard


Dr. Sohail Qamar


Dr. Snaa Maaroof


Dr. Pradip Gujare


Dr. Zacharias Mathew


(1) Ear, Nose and Throat (2) Plastic Surgeon Dr. Abdul Mohsin Jafar, FRCS (Canada)



Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan


Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami


Dr. Shamah Al-Matar


Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed



Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari


General Surgeons Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer


Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher


Internists, Chest & Heart Dr. Adnan Ebil Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan

22666300 25728004

Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra


Dr. Mobarak Aldoub


Dr Nasser Behbehani


Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688



Dr. Mousa Khadada


Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri


Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly


Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali


Kaizen center 25716707


Dr. Ahmad Al-Ansari 25658888 Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr 25329924 Physiotherapists & VD Dr. Deyaa Shehab


Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees


Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi

Dr Anil Thomas

Dr. Salem soso

Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman


Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah


Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad

24555050 Ext 210

Dr. Mohammad Zubaid MB, ChB, FRCPC, PACC Assistant Professor Of Medicine Head, Division of Cardiology Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital Consultant Cardiologist Dr. Farida Al-Habib MD, PH.D, FACC Inaya German Medical Center Te: 2575077 Fax: 25723123


William Schuilenberg, RPC 2290-1677 Zaina Al Zabin, M.Sc. 2290-1677

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

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

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013

lifestyle G O S S I P

Depp wants tattoos memorial


ohnny Depp wants his tattoos framed when he dies. The ‘Lone Ranger’ actor originally wanted his death to “entertain people” but revealed he’d want to go with the “gruesome” idea of saving his body art for future generations to see. He told The Times Magazine: “[I originally wanted to be] just tossed over a mountain so that people could watch it bounce. Might as well entertain people. “Or maybe just save the tattoos. Because it might revolutionize what happens after death. Take a guy’s tattoos off, make formaldehyde frames where it’s preserved and stretched out and

Pitt - Jolie’s kids want

Lohan battling demons since 18 L

indsay Lohan’s father claims she has been battling her drug and drink demons since she was 18. Michael, 53, has revealed she took cocaine on the set of ‘Just My Luck’ in 2005 - going against her recent claim she first tried it when she was 21. He recalled being told of her first overdose and admitted he wanted to “kill” the assistant who gave her the drugs. He told The Sun on Sunday newspaper: “Lindsay was filming in New Orleans and I got a call saying she had overdosed on cocaine. One of her assistants had given her the drug. “I was so angry I got a gun from the house and planned to go New Orleans to kill him. “I couldn’t believe that had happened to my daughter. I was just so angry.” Michael also speculated the ‘Liz & Dick’ star’s career could be over if she suffers another “relapse” when her recent 90-day rehab stint is completed. He added: “If Lindsay does relapse, then I think it will be over for her with Hollywood. “She takes Adderall and vodka. The combination just turns the brain to mush. People who do that are zonked out.”

themed wedding


rad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s children have been suggesting themes for their wedding. The couple are set to marry at their French estate Ch‚teau Miraval later this summer and their kids Maddox, 11, Pax, nine, Zahara, eight, Shiloh, six, and four-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne - have been arguing over how they should celebrate their big day. A source told America’s OK! magazine: “Brad and Angelina made no secret of the fact that the wedding is mostly for kids. So they lined up all the siblings and asked them what kind of theme they want. “It turned into an all out war. Maddox wanted ‘World War Z’ zombie compounds, Shiloh wanted a ‘Monsters Inc’ theme and suggested that Angie dress up as Boo, Zahara wanted a princess theme and Pax couldn’t decide between zombies and monsters.” Meanwhile, Brad is reportedly more in

stuff - that doesn’t sound gruesome at all, does it? “No. That’s not at all serial killer. That’s totally cool. Can you imagine? ‘What are those?’ ‘Oh, that’s my dad’s tattoos all over that wall’.” While the 50-yearold star might be thinking about mortality after recently celebrating the milestone age, Johnny has insisted reaching the landmark has made him truly appreciate life. He previously explained: “It’s great. I mean, I think any day you wake up and you’re still around is a good thing. Every time you could take a breath and exhale and inhale again, it’s a good thing; 50 is like, ‘Sure! Why not?’

love with Angelina than ever and their romance - which began on the set of 2005 - is still rock solid. Another insider said: “Brad says he wakes up every morning and feels the same thing he felt when he first saw Angelina. He kisses her every time he sees her for the first time that day or comes home from long day of work. “He doesn’t care if she’s baking brownies and cupcakes and has batter on her face, if she has fruit pebbles stuck in her hair from that morning, he’s as in love as you can ever be. “Brad and Angelina are at a point in their lives where they are happy. They wake up every morning and feel lucky to have the family they do, fortunate that they can provide for their family and that ultimately they are living the lives that they think inspires each of them to be the best possible versions of themselves.”

Seacrest super Cuthbert is married size sliming plan


yan Seacrest keeps a pair of large jeans in his closet to inspire him to stay in shape. The ‘American Idol’ host used to be larger when he was younger and admitted he keeps a pair of jeans from his bigger days to remind him of how he used to look. He told Life & Style: “The oldest thing in my closet is my husky jeans that I will not throw away from when I was a chubby kid. I just have them to inspire me.” Despite his work to keep in shape, Ryan admits “my

guilty pleasure is warm chocolate chip cookies”. And if that wasn’t inspiration enough, Ryan has recently been linked to svelte Sports Illustrated model Dominique Piek. The media personality, who split from Julianne Hough in April after three years of dating, has been spotted on dinner dates with the brunette beauty. An insider said that while the duo are still getting to know each other, Ryan, 38, “gets along really well” with Dominique.

Perry suffered after Jet Ski accident


atthew Perry says Vicodin made him feel “better than ever” after a Jet Ski accident. The former ‘Friends’ star, who battled a number of addictions during his 10-year stint on the sitcom, became reliant on the power ful painkiller after a doctor prescribed it to him for injuries he sustained from crashing in the water in 1997. Matthew, who had two failed stints in rehab before getting clean, admits to People magazine that he already had a problem with booze at the time but when his doctor told him: “‘Here, take this.’ I did, and I felt better than I ever felt in my entire life. I had a big problem with pills and alcohol, and I couldn’t stop.” The 43-year-old actor is now “in a really good place” and hopes to settle down and have children in the near future. He said: “I would love to start a family of my own. I think I’d make a great dad and I think shortly I would make a great husband.” Matthew also admits acting is no longer as important to him as it used to be and he is instead focusing on having fun and enjoying life. The ‘Go On’ star explained: “People are always asking me, ‘What’s next?’ There are a few entertainment things I’m discussing but honestly it’s gone down in import for me. “A year and a half ago I went to the doctor and was told, ‘The new prescription for you? ‘Go have fun.’ Wow that’s really freeing.”


lisha Cuthbert has married Dion Phaneuf. The ‘Happy Endings’ actress, 30, who announced her engagement to the ice hockey player, 28, in September, tied the knot in front of 300 guests at St James Catholic Church in Summerfield, Prince Edward Island, Canada, on Saturday . The couple, who began dating in 2008, then celebrated with a lavish reception at the Toronto Maple Leafs star’s nearby waterfront estate, according to The former ‘24’ star previously expressed her love of the property, saying: “It’s such a quiet place that we can be ourselves and not get bothered too much and have a real summer away from the hustle

and bustle of our lives.” The blonde beauty was tight-lipped about her nuptials but admitted she wanted them to be “formal”. An insider also revealed: “The wedding will be in tents, and if it’s not raining, the tents will be open. There will be fireworks while guests are eating and food trucks at midnight, courtesy of the in-laws.” Elisha and Dion also celebrated their engagement on Prince Edward Island with a seafood feast at New Glasgow Lobster restaurant in September. The restaurant tweeted at the time: “Last night we had the privilege of hosting a surprise engagement party for Dion Phaneuf and Elisha Cuthbert. Congrats to them both.”

Wilkinson wants another baby


endra Wilkinson plans to get pregnant this summer. The former ‘Girls Next Door’ star and her husband Hank Baskett already have three-year-old son Hank IV together and after a romantic trip away together recently, they decided to expand their family. She said: “I want baby number two. We really connected and had the most romantic time on a trip to celebrate my 28th birthday last month. That’s when we actually started talking baby. We’re starting to try shortly.” Kendra doesn’t care whether the couple have a son or a daughter as long as the baby is healthy and happy. She explained: “Before I was a parent I used to think it was so cheesy when people said this but honestly as long as he or she is healthy, that’s all I care about. “Parenting has the power to bring a couple closer. You realize you’re the only two people raising this amazing child, so you have to work together. It also makes you appreciate time together as a couple, because along time

is harder to come by.” Kendra, 28, also hasn’t ruled out the option of having a third child. She added to America’s OK! magazine: “Sometimes I think two are ideal and sometimes I think more. We’ll have to see.”

Derulo not threatened by Sparks’ success


ason Derulo isn’t “insecure” about Jordin Sparks’ success. The ‘Other Side’ singer - who has been dating the former ‘American Idol’ winner for two years - admits it takes a lot of “confidence” to go out with his pop star girlfriend, but he isn’t intimidated by her fame. He told Cosmopolitan magazine: “Going out with a woman as successful as Jordin takes a lot of confidence for a guy. You have to be sure in yourself to deal with it. I feel I can still be that protective figure without feeling insecure about what she does.” The 23year-old star reveals that he was something of a womanizer prior to his relationship with Jordin, 23, but suffering a broken neck during tour rehearsals in 2012 helped him put everything - particularly his romantic life - into perspective. He explained: “Before the accident, I was more reckless in relationships. I was a guy in my early twenties having fun. I wasn’t really looking for love, but my injury woke me up. “Jordin and I had been friends for a long time and I definitely liked her. The injury made me pay attention - it was like someone saying, ‘Hey, wake up!’ “ The ‘In My Head’ hitmaker insists his girlfriend is “the one” and hopes to one day tie the knot with the singer. He added: “Marriage will happen at the right time.” — Bang Showbiz


MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013




Rolling Stones deliver biggest bang in nostalgic London show

British rock and pop singer Rod Stewart performs on stage, on July 6, 2013 in Monaco. — AFP

he Rolling Stones blasted through the past into the present on Saturday with a rip-roaring show in London’s Hyde Park that paid homage to their last concert here 44 years ago. Frontman Mick Jagger strutted, howled and belted his way through a two-hour set that gave a nod to founding member Brian Jones, whose death in 1969 turned their last appearance at the royal park into a tribute. “Anybody out there who was here in 1969?” Jagger called out to applause from a sea of grey hair after opening with “Start Me Up” and “It’s only Rock and Roll”. “Well welcome back, it’s nice to see you again.” Jones had already left the Stones the last time Jagger, guitarist Keith Richards and drummer Charlie Watts played the park at a gig meant to introduce his replacement, Mick Taylor. Guitarist Ronnie Wood joined in 1975. But two days before their appearance, the 27-year-old Jones drowned in his swimming pool under the influence of drugs and alcohol, turning that concert into a commemoration. Now the band with an average age of 69 stormed through the classics from “Brown Sugar” and “Honky Tonk Woman” to “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Sympathy for the Devil” - with rubberlipped Jagger strumming the guitar for the latest single “Doom and Gloom”. The Stones bounded across the stage and along a catwalk stretching into the sea of 65,000 fans gathered on a sultry summer evening in 21st century central London, sipping beer. The unmistakable aroma of marijuana wafted in the air. The night belonged to the reconciliation of past and present for a crowd of old and young steeped in Stones lore, watching the band on stage with images of past concerts occasionally flashing past on big screens rising up behind the band. Jagger donned a white smock-like outfit similar to the one he wore in 1969, played the harmonica and quoted a piece of poetry. The references to


Avery Sunshine set for Essence Festival debut

Jones and the old days were unmistakable even if his name was never mentioned. Mick Taylor takes a brief turn Taylor - who left the Stones in 1974 appeared on stage for a rollicking version of “Midnight Rambler,” where he delivered a master class in the guitar solo before jamming in front of Watts with Wood and Richards. “Mick’s very first show was with us here,” Jagger told the crowd. “We found him in a pub and put him in front of 250,000 people.” The crowd reflected the longevity of the band and their continued popularity across the generations. “This is my birthday present from my dad,” said 34-year-old Dan Kemsley, who had been waiting in front of the stage alongside his Stones-mad father John since noon. Nostalgia has played a major part in the Rolling Stones’ activities the past year as they celebrated 50 years in the music business and embarked on a North American tour. The Rolling Stones lived up to their reputation as one of the greatest rock and roll bands when they played to more than 100,000 revellers at last weekend’s Glastonbury festival. The band emerged alongside the Beatles in the early 1960s to become one of the most successful groups in rock and roll history with hits such as “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “Satisfaction”, which rounded off the show amid fireworks. They last went on the road for their “A Bigger Bang” tour from 2005 to 2007, playing 144 shows around the world and grossing more than $550 million, making it one of the world’s most lucrative rock tours. They play another concert in Hyde Park on July 13. Live performances have emerged as the major money earner inthe music business as record sales go digital, with growing numbers of veteran acts returning to the stage and attracting wellheeled, aging fans willing to pay high ticket prices. — Reuters

very(asterisk)Sunshine may be a new voice to some, but the 38-year-old Atlanta artist hopes more fans will be saying her name after her debut performance at the Essence Festival. Her self-titled first project was released in 2010. Three years later, its singles “Ugly Side of Me,” “All in My Head” and “Blessin Me” have gained a strong following and heavy radio play. “We’re completely independent,” said Avery(asterisk)Sunshine, whose real name is Denise White. “It’s been one fan, one show, one tweet at a time. And now it’s snowballing. “This is a big deal for us to play Essence,” she said. “Most of the country still has no idea who we are. There are so many who haven’t heard the material and for me, this kind of invitation to per-


James Todd Smith, known as LL Cool J, stops bye the pressroom on Day 1 of the 2013 Essence Music Festival at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. — AP photos form means someone is paying attention to what I’m doing. I’m honored to have this opportunity.” She said she’s bringing her whole family, including her 75-year-old mother, 13-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son, to New Orleans to see the

Maxwell performs on Day 1 of the 2013 Essence Music Festival at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. performance scheduled for 7 pm CDT Saturday give fans another visual.” Avery(asterisk)Sunshine has played keyboard inside one of the festival’s Superlounges - music venues set up in the Superdome’s huge corridors. with Tyler Perry’s productions and has worked on On the festival’s main stage Saturday are a couple of soundtracks, including “The Fighting Solange, Keyshia Cole, Trey Songz, Charlie Wilson Temptations.” “I play OK,” she said, modestly. “I’m not Herbie and New Edition. Avery (asterisk) Sunshine said she’s never attended Essence during its 19 years. Hancock,” she added, laughing. White said she “I’m nervous and excited at the same time,” she and her writing partner, Dana Johnson, who’s said. “But honestly, I’m even more nervous about also a guitarist in the band, are “very close” to finwhat I’m going to wear.” The accomplished ishing their second project. It includes a duet pianist plays the instrument at all of her shows with Musiq Soulchild and a song the pair wrote and she said finding an outfit that’s eye-catching that Musiq produced. “I’m super excited,” she and comfortable is often an issue. “I’ve got to find said, though she didn’t have an actual release a way to get up from that keyboard and move date. “We may do an extended play release. We around the stage more,” she said, laughing. “It’ll just haven’t decided at this point.” — AP


Jay-Z treads familiar ground on 12th album Jay-Z, “Magna Carta Holy Grail” (Roc Nation/Universal) anye didn’t care about satisfying radio with his latest album. Neither does Jay-Z. “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” the rapper’s 12th album, doesn’t have the pop or mainstream appeal his past records have offered. The 16-track set,


File photo shows Jay-Z performs the inaugural concert at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, in New York. — AP

mostly helmed by Timbaland, is full of robust and moody hip-hop beats that maintain a nice groove, but don’t expect any booming anthems or party jams here. Like Kanye, there isn’t a single or music video ahead of the album’s release, which comes out officially on Sunday though up to 1 million Samsung mobile phone users were able to download the album for free on the Fourth of July. With the exception of rapping about fatherhood and infant daughter Blue Ivy, the superstar lyrically doesn’t tell us anything new on “Magna Carta.” We all know how he rose from selling drugs in the Brooklyn projects to become arguably the most important rapper of all time, his multiplatinum feats, his awards, and the benefits of having a superstar wife - Beyonce at his side. But while Jay-Z continues to make headlines away from music, this album treads familiar ground, which makes the album - dare we say it? - average. He’ll remind you - a couple of times that Samsung bought 1 million copies of the record and gave it away three days early - on songs like “Somewhere In America.” There’s a similar flavor lyrically on “Tom Ford,” with its freaky beats, and the bumping “Picasso Baby,” where Beyonce gets a shout-out: “Sleeping every night next to Mona Lisa, the modern version, with better features.” It’s when he talks about the other lady in his life, his 1-year-old daughter, where we see a rare side of the typically braggadocio rapper. “Now I got tattoos on my body, psycho (expletive) in my lobby, I got haters in the paper, photos shoots with paparazzi, can’t even take my daughter for a walk,” he raps on “Holy Grail,” a collaboration with Justin Timberlake. It’s revealing, and especially special coming from the often-unfazed Jay-Z. While Timberlake works well with Hova, his collaborations

with Beyonce and Frank Ocean on “Part II (On the Run)” and “Ocean” rely too much on the R&B singers. There are other big names on the album, like Rick Ross, Pharrell and Nas, but “Magna Carta,” isn’t designed like albums in the past. There are no catchy hooks to grab you in. The most excitement about the album hasn’t been generated from the music, but it’s promotion plan - Jay-Z announced the album in a commercial during the NBA Finals and launched a series of videos explaining the recording process and songs. He’s continuing to create new blueprints to debut his music. That should be congratulated, but the songs on “Magna Carta” don’t boom like his business plan. “Knock me to my knees about a million times, uncle said I’ll never sell a million records, I sold a million records like a million times,” he raps on “Crown.” Yes, you’ve defied the odds, but we want a little more from the king. — AP

This file photo provided by Universal Pictures shows the minion characters in the film ‘Despicable Me 2.’ — AP

Top 10 films at box office 1. “Despicable Me 2,” Universal, $24.5 million. 2. “The Lone Ranger,” Disney, $9.86 million. 3. “The Heat,” Fox, $6.4 million. 4. “Monsters University,” Disney, $5.2 million. 5. “World War Z,” Paramount, $4.3 million. 6. “White House Down,” Sony, $3.5 million.

7. “Man of Steel,” Warner Bros, $3.03 million. 8. “Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain,” Lionsgate, $2.58 million. 9. “This Is the End,” Sony, $1.13 million. 10. “Now You See Me,” Lionsgate, $673,127. — AP

Black Sabbath top British album chart again he British rock band Black Sabbath’s album “13!” has given them a first British Number One album in nearly 43 years, a record interval between chart-toppers, the Official Charts Company said yesterday. Black Sabbath were last at the top of the UK chart with their second album, “Paranoid”. “I’m in shock!” Black Sabbath front man Ozzy Osbourne told the Official Charts Company. “The success of this album has blown me off my feet. We’ve never had a record climb the charts so fast.” The band saw off competition from Liam Gallagher’s band Beady Eye, in second place with “BE”. In the singles chart, American R&B singer Robin Thicke made it three weeks on top with “Blurred Lines”. The song, featuring rapper TI and Pharrell Williams, has sold over 580,000 copies, making it the fifth-best selling single of 2013. “La La La” by the British rapper Naughty Boy, featuring singer Sam Smith, remained in the number two spot. — Reuters

T Black Sabbath

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013

lifestyle A W A R D S

Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit performs.

Bollywood’s Barfi wins at Indian film awards in Macau T

he film Barfi scooped top honours in India’s version of the Oscars at a ceremony in the Chinese gambling haven of Macau on Saturday that also celebrated a century of Bollywood, which makes up a big chunk of a multi-billion-dollar film industry. Barfi is a romantic comedy about a mute and deaf man and his relationship with two women. The movie was praised by critics for its positive portrayal of physically disabled people, a somewhat unusual theme for Bollywood screenplays. India, the world’s biggest film producer, makes more than double the number of Hollywood movies on an annual basis. Already popular in countries with sizable Indian populations, Indian films are also a growing hit with Chinese audiences as well as in Russia and Germany. Hosted by Bollywood heartthrobs Shah Rukh Khan and Shahid Kapoor, the four-hour ceremony of pulsating dance routines and colourful costume changes was attended by an audience of over seven thousand screaming fans. Some of Indian cinema’s biggest names including Deepika Padukone set the Macau arena alight with high octane performances, while older generation actors like Boman Irani and modern pin ups such as Vidya Balan graced the green carpet. Known for catchy songs, whimsical backdrops and raven-

Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan looks as actress Vidya Balan speaks after winning the award for Best Actor - Female.

well in China. “We make musicals. I think every film is a musical. Every film has at least six to seven songs,” said Ayushmann Khurrana, nominated for best actor after his debut in “Vicky Donor”, a romantic comedy about sperm donation. “So that is how Bollywood is completely different from Hollywood.” Best actress was won by Vidya Balan for Kahani while Ranbir Kapoor for Barfi took home the award for best actor. Barfi also won the award for best film. India’s film enter tainment sector is booming and estimated to generate revenue of close to $5 billion by 2015. The choice of Macau to host the annual event comes as the gambling hub is pushing to diversify its customer base beyond the traditional casino punter who spends only on the baccarat tables rather than on entertainment, dining and hospitality. Indian customers are increasingly targeted by the casino operators due to their tendency to stay longer than the average Chinese punter and their heavy spending on non-gaming pastimes. — Reuters

tressed actresses, Bollywood films typically transport viewers away from reality to a world where good triumphs over evil and love reunites everyone, themes that resonate

Indian Bollywood director Anurag Basu enacts the character of unseen actor Ranbir Kapoor from his film Barfi after winning the award for the best film at the 14th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Award ceremony at The Venetian hotel in Macau on July 6, 2013. —AFP/AP photos

Indian Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma looks on as director Anurag Basu (l) reacts after winning the award for the best film. Bollywood actors Shahid Kapoor and Shah Rukh Khan jokes with Parineeti Chopra on stage.

Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan interacts with Indian Tourism Minister Chiranjeevi after receiving his award for Best Performance in a Comic Role.

Indian Bollywood director Anurag Basu holds the best director, best actor and best story trophies.

Indian Bollywood actress Sridevi Kapoor and Prabhudeva perform.

Indian actress Lisa Haydon poses.

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013

lifestyle A W A R D S

Indian Bollywood dancers perform along with Sri Lankan actor Jacqueline Fernandez.

(From left) Indian Bollywood actors Shahid Kapoor, Shahrukh Khan and Boman Irani host the 14th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Award ceremony at The Venetian hotel in Macau.

Indian Bollywood actors Gauhar Khan and Hussain Kuwajerwala perform.

Indian Bollywood actor Sridevi Kapoor performs.

Indian Bolywood lyricist and songwriter Javed Akhtar receives his award for Contribution to Indian Cinema from Indian Minister for Tourism Chiranjeevi.

Indian Bollywood actor Prabhudeva performs.

Indian Bolywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput dances.

Indian Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor jokes with co-host Shah Rukh Khan and Ayushman Khurana on stage.

Indian Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone performs.

Indian Bolywood actors Ayushman Khurana and Parineeti Chopra perform.

(From left) Indian Bollywood actors Shahrukh Khan, Ayushman Khuran, Parineeti Chopra, Sushant Singh Rajput and Shahid Kapoor joke on stage.

Indian Bolywood actors Aftab Shivdasani, Shahid Kapoor, Fardeen Khan perform a skit with actor Boman Irani.

Bollywood’s Barfi wins at Indian film awards in Macau

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013


People throw colorful powder during the Holi Festival of Colors near Karlsruhe, southern Germany, yesterday. Originally, the festival was celebrated in north India by throwing colorful powers onto each other to celebrate spring and to drive away evil spirits. — AFP

Andalusian fusion: Christianity and Islam By Giovanna Dell’Orto


or the third time in a week, I’m touring the Alhambra, one of the most popular sites in the world’s fourth most-visited country, and finally I have it all for myself. Not a pushy guide but a bullfrog in one of the fountains is the loudest sound on a late May night in this hilltop Islamic palace complex in southern Spain. I linger to stick my nose into the cabbage-size roses lining the pathways and to gaze over the floodlit red-tinged ramparts. Their massive simplicity belies the infinite intricacy of the palaces inside, and I can easily believe the legend that the last Muslim ruler wept as he left Granada. Centuries later, we can be grateful that the conquering Christian royalty left this masterpiece nearly intact. Nowhere in Europe is the complex coexistence between Islam and Christianity more etched in historical landscapes and current customs than here, in Spain’s Andalusia, a vast region of snowy mountains, olive-studded valleys and desert coasts whose tip sits less than 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Morocco. For nearly 800 years, caliphs ruled Andalusia. In 1492, the Catholic king and queen (and ultimate power couple), Fernando and Isabel, ended

ple of the region’s cultural fusion, having originated in Andalusia centuries ago, even though internationally they have come to symbolize trendy modern Spanish cuisine. Of course, Andalusia also offers all the other experiences that draw tourists to Spain: Channeling Hemingway at a bullfight, getting goose bumps from a wailing flamenco singer, mingling sacred and profane at the Eastertide processions and fairs, gorging on jamon iberico and whole fish baked in sea salt, and joining throngs of sunburned Northern Europeans on

Photo shows roses in the garden of a mosque in the Albaicin neighborhood in Granada.

File photo taken in Granada in Andalusia, Spain, shows a bird resting inside Palacios Nazaries, the centerpiece of the city’s Alhambra medieval Islamic complex, lushly decorated with carvings. — AP photos

Photo shows a woman throwing rose petals at the float of the Eucharistic host, in a procession through the streets of Granada during the city’s major yearly celebration, the feria del Corpus Christi.

Photo shows the bell tower of the Mezquita cathedral framed by bright flower pots along narrow Calleja de las flores, a whitewashed alley in the city old Jewish neighborhood of Cordoba. the last Islamic stronghold in Europe -a few months before signing off on Christopher Columbus’ trip to the new world, which also started here. I’ve traveled through the region in fall, winter and spring to admire the Muslim-Christian monuments in the major cities of Granada, Cordoba and Seville. But this year, on a longer trip, I found the mingling of cultures in everyday life. In Granada, I bought almond cookies and orange wine through a wooden rotating tray from an unseen cloistered Catholic nun in a convent near re-created Arab baths, where I sipped mint tea and spent a silent hour steaming and soaking feet sore from climbing cobblestone alleys. And it turns out that tapas are a classic exam-

Mediterranean beaches. But what’s unique about Andalusia is the trail of Islamic conquerors who arrived in the eighth century, and the Catholic monarchs who imposed their reconquista (reconquering) centuries later - vanquishing not just Islam but also eventually the Jews who had flourished under the Muslims’ tolerant rule.

Photo shows the grounds of a 14th-century royal residence, the Alcazar, featuring Islamic garden motifs, from citrus trees to the centrality of water.

Cordoba Begin your visit with the earliest masterpiece, the bizarrely repurposed great mosque, now a cathedral, of Cordoba. From its massive size and horseshoe arches, the Mezquita’s exterior gives some hints that this is not your usual medieval cathedral, but walking in still stuns. Out of the darkness pierced by low-hanging lights is a multiplication of two-tiered arches in all directions, disorienting like a house of mirrors. This forest of shiny columns and red-and-white arches, togeth-

er with the kaleidoscope of golden mosaics, Arabic inscriptions, and carvings, show off what I see as the hallmarks of Andalusian Islamic art. Geometry and repetition play with light to create flowing motifs that both overwhelm with their richness and seem weightless. Smack in the midst sits an unremarkable church, built in the 16th century. A much nicer reconquista touch is a few blocks away, in the 14th-century Alcazar, a fortress whose gardens lined by pools and rippling fountains mirror the centrality that water has in Islamic architecture. The whitewashed homes around both monuments, covered by decorative iron grilles and bright potted plants, were part of Cordoba’s Jewish quarter, called the Juderia, a center of Jewish intellectuals before the Catholic takeover. The great philosopher Maimonides was born in Cordoba in the 12th century, and a modern statue of him is located in the quarter near a 14th century synagogue. But Maimonides did not die here; he fled to Egypt as the persecution of Jews began under the Catholic regime. Digging deeper into cultural fusion: The Roman philosopher Seneca was also born in Cordoba, and a restored bridge from around his time still crosses the wide river behind the Mezquita.

drink (think giant chorizo sausage and heaping plates of fried whitebait for the price of a 2-euro frosted glass of beer). But its attractions are outsized - not only the Alhambra, arguably the most impressive secular medieval monument from the Muslim world, but its ideological counterpart, a triumphant cathedral with its royal chapel preserving the marble funeral monuments of, who else, Fernando and Isabel. I most enjoyed my night visits to the Alhambra’s Nasrid Palaces, where every inch is covered in Koran and poetry inscriptions, starpatterned tiles, and gravity-defying ceilings decorated with pointed ornamentation called muqarnas, all deflecting light with a soothing, aweinspiring effect that plays on the motto written all over: “Only Allah is victor.” In the many marbled patios and sprawling Generalife gardens farther uphill, water fountains seem to trace in the air the same curves as Arabic script, bubbling and flowing with precise patterns. On the opposite hill is the Albaicin, the much restored Muslim quarter of whitewashed homes hiding scented gardens, or carmenes, watered by medieval cisterns, whose only outside signs are overflowing purple bougainvillea and austere cypress spires. Nearby, two more churches show off Romaninspired triumphalism, the convent of San Jeronimo with its giant altarpiece and the Cartuja’s small Baroque sagrario, which theatrically swirls with chubby angels and saints in a profusion of red marble and gold. That Christian humanism sitting next to Islamic intellectualism is Andalusia’s own enchantment. Back in the Generalife, a guard watched me linger by water jets arching into a long pool. She was the daughter of a watchman there who raised his eight kids in a house on its property, and she’s worked in the Alhambra for 31 years. “Magico, no?” she whispered. Three days later, I got back for visit number four. — AP

Seville Less than 100 miles (160 kilometers) to the southwest, Seville’s grand cathedral also incorporated a Muslim element: La Giralda, the former 12th-century minaret, now bell tower, nearly identical to towers still standing in Rabat and Marrakech. Next door is another much embellished Alcazar fortress, this one too visited by Fernando and Isabel as well as Columbus. Its style, called mudejar, is all about fusion, reflecting the taste and workmanship of Muslim artists in Catholic Spain. Around it is the former Jewish neighborhood, the barrio de Santa Cruz, centered on small, orange-tree lined squares with homes and palaces whose doors and windows are often bordered in blue and gold. Granada Seville is the region’s largest, most cosmopolitan city. But my Andalusian favorite is Granada, framed by the improbably snowy Sierra Nevada mountain range. It’s a university city that is small enough for the tradition of free tapas with each

Horse carriages waiting for tourists outside the Mezquita cathedral, which originated as a mosque when the city was the center of Islamic Europe a thousand years ago.

8th Jul 2013  

Kuwait Times

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you