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Glimpses of Ramadan PAGE 5

MAKKAH: Worshippers eat during Iftar, or breaking of the fast, at the Grand Mosque in the holy Muslim city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Wednesday.—AP

Local FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Kuwait’s my business

Your new business will help Kuwait create 1.7 million jobs By John P Hayes


n the news this week we learned from Mohammad Al-Roumi, an undersecretary in the Civil Service Commission, that Kuwait must create 1.7 million jobs to meet the demands of citizens who will expect the government to hire them by 2030. The undersecretary also said that Kuwait’s labor market is out of balance “when most Kuwaitis opt to work in the public sector and shun away from the private sector.” No doubt the government wants to see more citizens moving into the private sector, but for that to occur, the private sector must create more jobs. There is also the problem, as many Kuwait business owners have explained to me, that the government makes it more attractive to choose the public sector over the private sector, but that’s a story for another day. The focus now should be on creating desirable jobs in the private sector, and Kuwait surely is doing its part to help that happen. The problem is that not enough entrepreneurs are showing up to do their part. KD 2 billion for entrepreneurs Last week I told you about the loans that are available through the Industrial Bank of Kuwait’s (IBK) Handicraft and Small Enterprises Financing Portfolio, which has already provided KD 65 million to local entrepreneurs. Now there’s an even bigger fund coming online, the new Kuwait Small Business Fund, which will provide up to KD 2 billion for the development of small enterprises. Money is available to help grow existing businesses as well as to fund startups. If that doesn’t get the entrepreneurial glands pumping in Kuwait, then I hope Kuwait will invite expat entrepreneurs to apply for those loans and the job

creation will follow. Since my column appeared last week, numerous Kuwaitis have contacted me to say that getting a government-sponsored loan is too bureaucratic, but I’m not buying that story. According to Saad Al-Othman, assistant manager of the IBK fund, if a qualified applicant provides the necessary documentation, a loan can be approved in about 45 days, an extremely reasonable timeframe. Granted, not every loan application succeeds, but 593 loans have been approved in the last dozen years. Entrepreneurs would be wise to focus on why those loans succeeded and ignore the naysayers. In every society people want to make sure the other guy doesn’t get ahead, and they’ll do everything they can to pull you down to their level! Secret to getting your loan If you’re cut out to be an entrepreneur, you want to get into business for yourself, and you like the idea of helping Kuwait create valued jobs in the private sector, but you’re not sure if you have what it takes to start a business from scratch, here’s the secret to moving forward. Find a franchise brand that you’d like to own and operate in Kuwait. As soon as you say “franchise” to IBK, or to any other government-sponsored fund, you’re going to snag the lender’s attention and enthusiasm. “We like franchises,” Al-Othman said with excitement, “because they come with systems, recipes, marketing plans, and they know how to succeed.” Lenders are always worried about the new entrepreneur who has an idea, but no track record in business. Put that same entrepreneur into a proven franchise and the lenders get serious. “We’d like to fund more franchises,”

said Al-Othman, but to date, only about 10 percent of IBK’s loans have been awarded to franchise owners. There’s a huge opportunity waiting to be tapped. Comfort for lenders Once you find a franchise to acquire, the franchisor not only share its operating systems with you, saving you the time and expense of inventing your own systems, but the franchisor also trains you, and your colleagues, to operate the business. Then, the franchisor provides ongoing support. And all of that adds up to a feeling of comfort for lenders. They’re afraid of funding an untested entrepreneur in a new business, but they like the idea of funding an untested entrepreneur in a franchise. Because in a franchise, as the saying goes, you’re in business for yourself, but not by yourself. The franchisor is there to guide you. Not all franchises are created equal, some are better than others, and so you must search for the good opportunities. Not all franchises will succeed in Kuwait, but success is a matter of doing your homework and verifying the potential marketplace. There are thousands of new franchises to bring into Kuwait and while they alone will not create 1.7 million jobs, they can create a sizable percentage of needed jobs, and create some of the most exciting jobs available in the local labor market. Take it from a 30year veteran of franchised businesses - few jobs or careers are more exciting than what you’ll find with the right franchise. NOTE: Dr John P Hayes heads the Business Administration department at GUST. He has worked with more than 100 franchised brands and written several books about franchising. Contact Dr. Hayes at, or via Twitter @drjohnhayes.

In my view

Fair compensation

By Labeed Abdal


court order to compensate an accident victim with a lifetime salary for him and his wife and children was one of the most satisfying damages for accidents resulting from reckless driving. Having a monthly salary and a compensation lump sum is just the minimum for an air force captain whose life changed dramatically after the accident. Entering the road from a side exit directly into the middle lane without checking for incoming vehicles caused a collision leading to severe injuries to the victim. Tens of similar cases involve expats who are new in Kuwait and who need help from the authorities, especially to overcome language barriers. There must be Englishspeaking officers in every police station so that evidence collection does not get negatively affected. Good compensations from courts will always need a good structure of medical reports and well conducted investigations. Being in Kuwait City or the far north or south roads of Kuwait should not be a reason for lack of evidence. Nothing can compensate for the loss of a dear friend or family member - we ask for mercy for them - but a good, tangible and fair remedy is the least one can get. KUWAIT: Vendors in the Mubarakiya market are getting ready for the holy month of Ramadan. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Local FRIDAY, JULAY 12, 2013

Local Spotlight

Ramadan and fasting workers By Muna Al-Fuzai


amadan Mubarak everyone! Ramadan has just started in the middle of summer, and for those who fast, the day is long and they will surely feel thirsty. But this article is not about those who fast while sitting in their offices with 24-hour air-conditioning. I’m more concerned about workers who work under the sun. They are the ones who suffer the most. I wanted to write something today informing them on a few Ramadan legal issues. As you all know, summer is here are relentlessly long, with dust storms in June and July and humidity in August with temperatures not less than 50 C. The heat is searing and exposure to direct sunlight can cause sunstroke and sunburn. Without enough liquids to hydrate the body, it can be damaging. I am sure you have all noticed that working hours decrease in Ramadan. This was not a decision by the bosses who sit in their cold offices from their good hearts. The working hours have to decrease during Ramadan according to Kuwait’s labor law (for the private sector). “Working hours during the month of Ramadan shall be equal to 36 hours per week,” it says. The law also stresses that it is forbidden to make workers work more than 48 hours per week or 8 hours a day, except in jobs that are specified in this law including emergency services. This means workers get a discount of two hours. I personally think that no worker should be forced to work under the sun and in this heat during the whole month of Ramadan and should be given the option to work after iftar. He can work 6 hours from say 9 pm to 2 am when the heat is less and he doesn’t have to suffer from the sun or thirst. We need to focus on the fact that the law is rigid and not easy when it comes to the duty of the workers, but there has to be some supervision over companies who disregard regulations and laws. It is about the safety and life of poor workers who barely make their living here and is not about power. Those bosses who run the show need higher powers to make them understand that the decrees of working hours and working at night is not their choice but a law made to control the misuse of power against workers. I wish everyone happy Ramadan with an advice for fasting workers - try to avoid exposure to the sun.

3) Which Surah begins with “Say O disbelievers?” A) Al-Nasr B) Al-Asr C) Al-Kafirun

KUWAIT: Worshippers in Kuwait are praying during the holy month of Ramadan. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Local FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013















Local FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Ramadan Kareem

Why do Muslims fast? By Tony Braun


any Westerners who are not familiar with Islam question why Muslims fast during Ramadan. Some Westerners even question whether or not it is possible to fast for an entire month. Keep in mind that Muslims do eat and drink between sunset and dawn. It isn’t as difficult as it first seems. It is not impossible to fast for an entire month. If you don’t believe me then just ask the 2 billion people on earth who do it every year. Also, keep in mind that those with medical issues don’t have to fast. So why do Muslims fast? Allah says in chapter 2 verse183 “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may learn self-restraint.” In other words, it is to develop discipline. It is very important in the Islamic faith that a person is able to control their desires, rather than having the desires control the person. Unfortunately, there are many people who chase after their desires instead of using reason and logic to guide their life. Allah says in chapter 25 verse 43 “Have you ever seen the one who makes his own desires into his god?...” In short, Muslims are supposed to be in control of themselves and fasting helps us to attain this goal. Allah has given Muslims a higher calling than to simple live after our own desires. Ramadan is also a time when Muslims focus more on their faith. It is a chance to reflect and meditate on our religious path without the distraction of food and drink. Hopefully this inward focus will help us to become better people and remind us about the importance of our religion. Muslims are especially motivated and inspired to fast during Ramadan because it gives us the opportunity to identify with the suffering of the poor. Many people around the world have great difficulties providing for their basic needs. Many people go to bed hungry and don’t know where their next meal will come from. As Muslims, we should always be grateful for the life that we have been given. Ramadan allows us to understand, to a small extend, the pain and discomfort of those who are living in poverty. This understanding, which we develop in Ramadan, teaches us gratefulness. Allah says in chapter 2 verse 185 that fasting is also performed to develop a sense of gratefulness. There is no better way to be grateful than to fast. Every day at sunset, when Muslims break their fast, there is a small feast to thank Allah for all the food that we have been blessed with. This Ramadan don’t take food and drink for granted. Why do Muslims fast during Ramadan? A) Muslims want to lose weight B) Muslims should develop discipline, and gratefulness C) Muslims are trying to save money D) Muslims have developed this tradition as a way to help them survive a desert life

Courtesy TIES Center, a leading non-political NGO promoting relations between Westerners and Muslims through dialogue, friendship and cultural exchange. For more information. Please fill in the answers of today’s question and that of the previous two days on the three coupons printed below.

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Local FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Bringing the gym home By Nawara Fattahova


any women are very busy with kids and work so they don’t find time to join a gym and exercise. For them there’s a service now that provides a personal trainer at home. “Women don’t have to go out in the heat and traffic to reach the gym - they can now exercise at home with a personal professional trainer. Moms especially have responsibilities and jobs, so we bring the gym to their house with qualified and internationally certified trainers. The trainer will design a special training program according to the client’s needs,” Huda Al-Shatti, CEO of HomeFit, told Kuwait Times. This service became available since June 16 and is currently fully booked till the end of the holy month of Ramadan. “We haven’t faced any problems with our clients till now. I have received positive feedback from my customers and was happy to know that their health condition and lifestyle has improved. For instance one of my clients is a grandmother who booked this service along with her grandchildren. I was pleased to hear that she is now able to climb stairs and feels much better after the exercises,” beamed Shatti. “The main idea of this service is to deliver qualified and certified trainers to the client’s house to give her training as if she goes to the gym. The trainers use light equipments such as kettlebells, skipping ropes, stretching ropes, boxing pads and others. Every trainer is certified from British company Creating Chaos, which is an international training company,” she added. “The CEO of Creating Chaos himself came to Kuwait and gave a full intensive training program to my trainers, so every trainer has certificate a from Creating Chaos. The trainers receive training in kettlebells, boxing pads and in personal training. The trainers can now set an exercise map for the client that suits her and can also add the client’s favorite sport to the training mix,” Shatti explained. This service is currently available for women only and boys under the age of 12. “We have about 27 clients- some have completed their courses already while others are still training. The majority of our clients are Kuwaitis and we cover about 80 percent of areas. There are some faraway areas that are hard for us to reach, but we are working on this,” she stressed. The courses are based on membership, which can be weekly, monthly, or yearly. “The client first arranges an appointment and the trainer goes to the residence of the client. By telephone we register the address, telephone number, time and date, and the client receives a confirmation message. The first visit includes an additional 15 minutes to take

HomeFit founder Huda Al-Shatti is seen with her trainers. measurements and arrange the settings. Then starts the full one hour training, as each session is an hour long,” she pointed out. Huda faced problems from the ministry when applying for a license for her business. “It was hard to get IDs for my trainers, which was a major problem. Also getting the right stuff was not easy. I couldn’t get qualified trainers who had to be willing and committed people. Currently my trainers are Filipinas and maybe in the future we can go for other nationalities. They speak English and some Arabic,” she noted. HomeFit provides three programs: Weight loss; fitness, for those who need to be fit or build muscles; and the third program is for women after delivery to give them a proper regimen to lose weight and get in shape. “Each program is divided into two programs: for the upper part of the body and the lower part. So basically we have six programs. The trainer takes the measurements and asks all questions so she will be able to prepare the program for the trainee. The client can also practice after surgery or injury, and definitely she should not hide any health condition,” said Shatti. “I think for older clients, it’s better to reach them at home, as most of them are shy of

going to the gym with other people and they usually don’t get the right training. I’m glad to hear that some of the trainees are now going to parties and dance or practice other sports after taking the course. We try to give the best fitness service to everyone who needs it,” she

said. “HomeFit was an idea I worked hard to bring to reality. I got great help from my family, especially my husband and parents as well friends and Kuwaiti bloggers. A great part of my success is because of their good help,” Shatti concluded.

Local FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013


By Hussain Al-Qatari


uwaiti artist Hussam Al-Reshaid has an eye for beauty, and he sees beauty in everything. From everyday encounters with traditional pots and pans in Kuwaiti kitchens to the intricate details of how the fins of a faskar fish (a variation of the sea bream) are angled at a certain way and are a certain degree of sunset yellow, Reshaid manages to magnify the beauty he finds into beautiful accessories and furniture, adding a gleam of beauty to any domain they occupy. He shares the story of his business Becarre, an establishment he co-founded with his partner Jaber Al-Sabah in 1996. Its main aim, he says, is to make beauty an everyday event. Too ambitious and general as that may sound, he believes in creating beautiful objects for everyday use. “I always aspire to use elements from our own culture and tradition. In my designs I use modern

A world of Kuwaiti splendor

techniques to make pieces functional, but I preserve the beauty of our culture by adding elements of it to every piece,” he said. His latest collection, called Bint Al-Nokhetha (the daughter of the sea ship captain) is a re-interpretation of Kuwait’s oldest traditions: pearl diving and fishing. Elements of beautiful sea creatures are present in all designs - from cake stands decorated with silvered fishing nets on their glass covers to candles gracefully ornamented with prints of fish. The collection adds a flair of chic to the old tradition of Kuwaiti people’s connection with the sea. One impressive work of art is a wall with silvered fixtures of fish swimming in a blue ocean. Vibrant colors and luxurious materials are used to paint the wall to bring it to life, with hidden light fixtures to add an element of awe. Reshaid’s journey with the world of furniture and design is expansive - not only does he design and exe-

Reshaid’s journey with the world of furniture and design is expansive - not only does he design and execute pieces of furniture and accessories, he also has a reputation among Kuwait’s chic and posh as an event styling specialist.

cute pieces of furniture and accessories, he also has a reputation among Kuwait’s chic and posh as an event styling specialist. From big lavish weddings to small cozy receptions and dinners, with his team at Becarre he takes care of the A-to-Z of these events. “I try to focus more on how to make the event as much as possible their own; I try to execute the vision that they have, and if I can make it better, I don’t hesitate to do so,” he said. Throughout his journey in this field, he managed to meet a large number of art enthusiasts, from collectors to collaborators. At Becarre, a regular event takes place called Tawsheeha. An Arabic word that means a song of praise, Tawsheeha is a gathering at the private rooftop garden of Becarre, where Kuwaiti artists, lyricists, collectors and writers meet in an intimate setting to discuss their passions and aspirations. The rooftop garden can also be used by people for private events when the weather permits. “I try to contribute to the art community in Kuwait, so whenever possible, I invite artists to meet with us and with whomever likes to join. It’s a public event, but is usually only attended by people who appreciate art with a passion.” The network of guests includes artists from the region, some of whom regularly display their work at Becarre for sale. “What I look for when I display these artists’ works is creativity and originality. I’m always scouting for beautiful works to be displayed in Becarre. Whenever possible, I don’t hesitate to invite people here,” he said.

Local FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Amir receives Ramadan well-wishers

KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the Al-Sabah family receive well-wishers on the holy month of Ramadan at the Al-Sabah Diwan at Bayan Palace on Wednesday. — KUNA

Candidates face adverse conditions Heat and stress add to polling pressures KUWAIT: The upcoming parliamentary elections in Kuwait will be held amid extraordinary conditions and circumstances and in the peak of scorching summer temperatures which will aggravate the heated atmosphere of the polling and put the candidates in particular under tremendous pressure and stress. Many candidates, especially those who are contesting for a seat in the National Assembly for the first time, are suffering from a deep sense of frustration, particularly when they feel circumstances are not in their favor. This is seen among littleknown nominees as well. Psychologist Dr Hassan AlMousawi told KUNA most candidates suffer from migraine, insomnia and disorientation throughout the polling process until the declaration of the results. Anxiety grows as the balloting day approaches, he said. In addition to the high summer temperature and heated preparations for the polls, nominees are compelled to cope with other factors that cause stress, such

as local and regional issues and developments. Candidates who are serious and eager to win seats and honor promises are likely to suffer from high jitters, Mousawi said, also noting that candidates nowadays are compelled to exert enormous efforts to win the hearts and minds of voters, and that deepens their psychological trauma and hardships. Consultant neurosurgeon Dr Yousef Al-Awadhi, analyzing candidates’ jitters, said human beings tend to interact with events and the human body, namely the brain, secretes certain hormones and enzymes that affect the physical status of the person exposed to stress. A person under stress experiences vein contractions, high blood pressure and rapid heartbeats in reaction to occurrences. In such case, he or she undergoes chemical reactions and loses control on movements. These worries, Awadhi said, result in losing focus and frustration, even in cases where the nominee has high chances of win-

ning the elections, likening the candidate’s psyche to that of a student taking exams. The forthcoming elections will coincide with the climax of the summer heat and Ramadan fasting, so some candidates may have to struggle to cope with the extraordinary stress and meet requirements of campaigning that warrant extreme focus and rational sharpness. Citing some of the other difficulties, Awadhi said the nominees may not have sufficient time to visit all diwaniyas, and that many voters are expected to be preoccupied with performing religious rituals of the month of fasting. Nutritionist Bahja AbdulHameed Al-Awadhi recommended eating food that nourishes the brain and protein-rich ingredients, such as the popular Kuwaiti meals jireesh and tashreeb with meat, fish or chicken. Other foods are also necessary for physical and mental wellbeing, such as dates and milk. A nominee is in need to move a lot and visit potential voters, so he or

she must refrain from eating food that include white flour and sweets because they cause lethargy. She also advised against excessive

drinking of tea or coffee due to their effects on memory, and encouraged those active in the polling to eat fruits and raw nuts. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Fire broke out at dawn yesterday in two cars in Hawally. Firemen rushed to the scene and put out the fire before it spread to other cars. Investigations are on to find the reason behind the fire. — By Hanan Al Saadoun

FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Saudi princess charged with human trafficking


Dead Russian lawyer Magnitsky convicted

The CIA and a secret vacuum cleaner



INDORE: Indian heart patient Niranjan Lal Pathak (right) poses with his wife Bhankali Pathak at his residence in Indore. — AFP

India’s poor ‘duped’ into drug trials Side-effects of drug trials take toll on victims NEW DELHI: Niranjan Lal Pathak couldn’t believe his luck initially. When a doctor at a hospital in central India offered the factory watchman free treatment for a heart complaint, he jumped at the chance. It was five years ago and the family of the 72-year-old says he didn’t realize that the Maharaja Yashwantrao Hospital in the city of Indore was about to enroll him in a trial of an untested drug. “We were told that our uncle will be treated under a special project,” his nephew Alok Pathak said over the phone from Indore, the largest city of Madhya Pradesh state. “The doctor said we wouldn’t have to spend a penny. There was only one condition placed before us-that we should not approach local chemists if we ever ran out of his medicines but go straight to the doctor,” he said. A petition filed by the family in India’s Supreme Court alleges that the drug tested on him was Atopaxar, developed by Japan-based pharmaceutical company Eisai and supposed to treat anxiety disorders. His family and health rights group Swasthya Adhikaar Manch (Health Rights Platform) say that he would never have enrolled for the trial had he known that an untested drug would be administered. The family also claims that the side-effects of

the drug left Pathak suffering from dementia. “He barely recognizes us. His life is finished and so are our hopes to see him healthy and happy again,” Alok said his voice choked with emotion. Many desperate and poor people in India are unwittingly taking part in clinical trials for drugs by Indian and multinational pharmaceutical companies that outsource the work to unregulated research organizations. The record of Pathak’s treatment was maintained on a medical card and his family is now fighting a legal battle, one of scores of cases brought by people who say they are victims of illegal trials. A BOOMING BUSINESS Testing pharmaceuticals on humans is a mandatory and expensive step for drug companies who must prove to regulatory authorities that treatments have no dangerous side-effects in order to bring them to market. The Confederation of Indian Industry estimates that companies save up to 60 percent by undertaking the different phases of testing a new drug in India as compared to developed countries. The clinical research market in India grew by

12.1 percent in 2010-11 with revenues of $485 million, according to report by Frost and Sullivan, a global business research and consulting firm. The study, released in July last year, projected the industry to reach the one-billion dollar mark by the end of 2016. But the legal case in the Supreme Court, which began in February last year, has helped to bring to light many of the alleged misdeeds by doctors in connivance with pharmaceutical companies. “There has to be some sense of responsibility. Human beings are treated like guinea pigs,” Supreme Court judges RM Lodha and AS Dave said last year in a written statement. In Pathak’s case, the hospital says the doctor who treated him administered the drug without authorization and had since left the institution, while Eisai declined to comment, saying it was unable to respond to enquiries on individuals. “Eisai is committed to making a meaningful contribution under any healthcare system and undertaking all of its activities adhering to the highest legal and ethical standards,” it said in an email to AFP. Health campaigner Amulya Nidhi says the lack of strict regulations has prompted many pharma-

ceutical companies to look to India and other developing countries for the tests. “In Europe and the United States the laws are pretty strict. India, on the other hand, makes for a less restrictive destination for drug trials because the regulator lacks teeth,” said Nidhi, who works for the Swasthya Adhikaar Manch group. Swasthya Adhikaar Manch, which is fighting on behalf of some of the trial victims, says most of them visited hospitals for routine treatment but were subjected to trials without their “informed consent”. “In almost all the cases there is no genuine informed consent,” said campaigner Nidhi. “The label on the medicines often does not specify that it is meant for trial, and vulnerable people end up being used as lab rats,” he said, showing one such drug sample to AFP in New Delhi. Faced with widespread criticism, the government is amending the old Drugs and Cosmetics Act in order to fix greater responsibility on companies and ethics committees which are supposed to oversee the trials, although no timeframe for completion has been given. As per the law, the subject of a trial or his family must be given copies of the patient information sheet, consent form and a clinical trial liability insurance policy. —AFP

International FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

First New Delhi gang-rape verdict deferred to July 25 NEW DELHI: A New Delhi court trying a teenager over a fatal gang-rape last December that shocked India deferred yesterday announcing the first verdict in the case, lawyers said. A juveniles’ court has finished hearing the case of the youngest suspect, aged 17 at the time of the assault on a moving bus, and had been widely expected to announce a verdict. “The court has completed the hearing. The order has been deferred to 25th of July,” public prosecutor Madhav Khurana told reporters who had massed outside the court. The crime, which saw the 23-year-old student victim die of internal injuries inflicted during the attack, generated widespread anger about endemic sex crime in India to the boil. Several weeks of sometimes violent protests pushed parliament to pass a new law toughening sentences for rapists, while a round of public soul-searching sought answers to the rising tide of violence against women. The victim’s family had called for him to be tried as an adult, alongside five men initially arrested over the assault on December 16 who face the death penalty. The trial of the adult suspects-one of whom died while in jail from a suspected suicide in March-continues in a

separate court but is expected to wrap up in the next few months. The parents of the victim, whom AFP is also not naming in accordance with Indian law, were present inside the small juveniles’ court yesterday. “We hope we get justice on July 25th,” said the mother, who has previously called for all suspects to be hanged, before entering the court. Reporters were not allowed inside the courtroom. The juvenile suspect, a runaway who reportedly left home aged 11, can be sent to a correctional facility for a maximum three-year term, which will take into account the time he has already spent in custody. The teenager, the youngest of six children according to his mother, was employed to clean the bus allegedly used for the attack and often slept rough or inside the vehicle, reports say. He has denied any involvement in the crime. The maximum sentence of three years’ detention is likely to cause further anger in India where the suspects, some of whom have been beaten up in jail, are public hate figures. Amid pressure to put the juvenile on trial in an adult court, officials conducted an investigation to determine his age and concluded he was 17. A government panel set up after the Delhi gang-rape to recommend

changes to sex crime laws rejected calls to lower the age at which people can be tried as adults from 18 to 16. The panel’s report in January said India’s justice system continued to “breed more criminals including juveniles in our prison and reformatory system by ghettoing them in juvenile homes”. The report, overseen by a retired Supreme Court judge, added that it was “completely dissatisfied with the operation of children’s institutions.” Shahbaz Khan, from the “Haq: Centre for Child Rights”, told AFP that there were “no proper care plans” for institutionalized children which undermined the intention of rehabilitating wrong-doers. Ranjana Kumari, a women’s rights activist from the Centre for Social Research, said police and the courts were still too slow to respond to the victims of sex crime. “What we got was a good piece of legislation and an increase in the number of women with the confidence to report crimes against them. But so what? That’s not good enough,” she said. Kumari said the teenager’s likely punishment was too lenient, and he should have been tried as an adult. “This is a very gruesome crime and he was almost an adult at the time it was committed,” she said. — AFP

Saudi princess charged with human trafficking Princess accused of holding Kenyan captive in US SANTA ANA: Suitcase in hand, the 30-year-old domestic worker from Kenya managed to flag down a Southern California bus and tell a passenger she had been held against her will and believed she was a victim of human trafficking. It wasn’t long before a Saudi princess was under arrest. Meshael Alayban, who prosecutors said is one of the wives of Saudi Prince Abdulrahman bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz al Saud, was expected to appear in an Orange County court for arraignment yesterday. Alayban, 42, was charged Wednesday with human trafficking. She was arrested at an Irvine condominium that policed searched after talking to the Kenyan woman. The woman told authorities she had been hired in Kenya in 2012 and taken to Saudi Arabia, where her passport was immediately taken. She said she was forced to work excessive hours, was paid less than promised and was not allowed to leave. “This is not a contract dispute,” District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said in court during a bail hearing Wednesday. “This is holding someone captive against their will.” A judge set Alayban’s bail at $5 million, ordered GPS monitoring and banned her from leaving the county without authorization. Alayban did not appear in court Wednesday. Her attorney, Paul Meyer, said the case was a contractual dispute and argued his client shouldn’t be assigned a ransom-like bail solely because she was rich. He said she had been traveling to the US since she was a child, owned properties here and had given her word she would address the allegations. “This is a domestic work hours dispute,” he said. Rackauckas had asked the judge to deny bail for Alayban or set it at $20 million, saying it was unlikely any amount would guarantee a Saudi princess would show up in court. He said the Saudi consulate had already offered to cover $1 million in bail initially set after her arrest. Police said Alayban’s family traveled to the US in May with the victim and four other women from the Philippines. The victim had signed a two-year contract with an employment agency guaranteeing she would be paid $1,600 a month to work eight hours a day, five days a week. But starting in March 2012, she was forced to cook, clean and do other household chores for 16 hours a day, seven days a week,

CALIFORNIA: This file photo shows Meshael Alayban, who was arrested in Irvine, Calif, for allegedly holding a domestic servant against her will. — AP and was paid only $220, prosecutors said. She was allowed to have a passport only long enough to enter the US, prosecutors said. Once here, she was forced to tend to at least eight people in four apartments in the same Irvine complex, washing dishes, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and ironing, the office said. The other four women left the condominium voluntarily with police once authorities arrived. They told police they were interested in being free, said Irvine police chief David Maggard Jr. No charges have been filed related to those women, and police said there were no signs any of the workers had been physically abused. — AP

Troubled Lahore begins Ramadan; Police on alert LAHORE: Pakistanis began celebrating the holy month of Ramadan yesterday with police on alert in Lahore and shopkeepers braced for a slump in trade after the worst bombing in the city for two years. Five people were killed and nearly 50 wounded on Saturday in the Anarkali market in Pakistan’s second largest city, which prides itself on its fine cuisine, much loved during Ramadan meals at sundown. It was the worst bombing in Lahore since a teenage suicide attacker targeted a Shiite Muslim religious procession on January 25, 2011, killing at least nine people. The market is back at work, but has little of the normal hustle and bustle associated with

Ramadan, when families shop for special food and dine out in the evenings. Instead people are scared. “We’re definitely afraid. These blasts are intended to disrupt the peace of the city,” said Wajid Hussain, who is around 50 and runs a hotel and restaurant in the same street where the bomb went off. Traders in Anarkali say business has fallen nearly 50 percent since the bombing in Lahore, the home city of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who took office last month. “Many people died, dozens injured, they lost their eyes, their limbs, this is the biggest act of cruelty in my mind,” said Abdul Ghafoor, 50, who sells clothes in the area. —AFP

Australia at crossroads as China boom ends SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd yesterday said the China resources boom was over, leaving the economy at a crossroads, as he called for a new productivity pact to boost competitiveness. In his first major policy speech since ousting Julia Gillard as leader, Rudd also urged a sharper engagement with Asia, particularly Indonesia, to help smooth the nation’s economic transition from its reliance on commodities. “If we make the wrong decisions now, we will be living with those decisions for the decade ahead,” he said. “The truth is in 2013, the China resources boom is over. While the export of resource and commodity volumes are up, the prices we receive for them have now fallen almost 25 percent since their peak and may well fall further. “Right now, we find ourselves at a crossover point for our national economy.” Rudd’s comments came as Australia’s jobless rate jumped to 5.7 percent in June, its highest level in almost four years, as the mining-driven economy begins a tough diversification drive to other sources of growth. The economy grow at a slower-than-expected rate in the first three months of the year, expanding 0.6 percent on quarter and 2.5 percent on year suggesting the decade-long mining investment boom was unwinding “Managing this economic transition is now a core task of Australian economic policy,” said Rudd. “Critical for jobs. Critical for infrastructure.” He said lifting national productivity was a key priority, calling for better cooperation between business, unions and government so everyone was “pushing in the same strategic policy direction”. “The core of this new national competitiveness agenda must be a common agreement to lift the rate of annual productivity growth from its existing level of 1.6 percent to two percent or better,” he said. Since becoming prime minister a fortnight ago, Rudd has met four times with the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Business Council of Australia to enlist their support for closer cooperation. Agenda items included rising energy prices, rigidities in the labor market, business productivity, red tape, education, skills and training, infrastructure and small business. Rudd said greater business engagement with Asia outside of the resources and energy sector was also necessary to help the economy cope. “The truth is Australia is much under-done in Asia beyond the resource and energy sector,” he said. “Indonesia is a classic example - an economy which by 2050 is on track to become the fourth largest economy in the world after China, India and the United States. But at present, Indonesia does not fall within our top 10 trading partners or our top 20 investment destinations.” — AFP


Skepticism over corrupt China minister’s punishment BEIJING: China’s Communist authorities are touting a suspended death sentence for an ex-minister as proof new leaders are serious about their avowed corruption crackdown, but analysts remain skeptical in the absence of systematic reforms. Former rail minister Liu Zhijun on Monday became the highest-ranking official punished for corruption since the new leadership under President Xi Jinping vowed to clean up the ruling party. He was convicted of bribery involving at least 64.6 million yuan ($10.5 million) - but the scandal reportedly involved more than 10 times that amount. In China suspended death sentences are routinely commuted to life in prison. Senior figures like Liu-once hailed as the “father” of the country’s high-speed rail network-are often said to enjoy cushy prison conditions or

medical parole. Seriously tackling corruption would require fundamental reform, say analysts-a daunting task given the powerful vested interests that would be disturbed, and leaders’ overriding fear that destabilizing the party could weaken its grip on power. “People are looking for genuine systemic changes, genuine checks and balances, mechanisms being built, instead of just another campaign (where) everybody will lie low for a while,” said Joseph Cheng, a Chinese politics expert at City University of Hong Kong. Official corruption is often a factor behind the disputes that trigger public protests in China, where the leadership prioritizes social stability and has sought to portray itself as committed to fighting graft. The anti-corruption rhetoric of recent months has been unrelenting and full-throated,

with Xi warning it could “destroy the party” and threatening “no leniency” for those mired in graft. Several other senior figures have come under investigation, including major economic policy maker Liu Tienan, former deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, and top provincial officials. Numerous low-level cadres have been sacked after Internet users exposed alleged-sometimes salaciousscandals, some involving luxury watches or multiple mistresses. Liu’s sentence on Monday was trumpeted as further proof of intent, with the Xinhua state news agency saying it underscored “top leaders’ resolve to target both high-ranking ‘tigers’ and lowranking ‘flies’ in its anticorruption efforts”. But in a country that executes thou-

sands of people a year-the exact number is a state secret-many ordinary Chinese saw the opposite: different standards for the powerful. “For officials as high-ranking as Liu Zhijun, everybody knows how luxurious their prisons are... and these kinds of special privileges show once again how unfair the system is,” wrote one user of the Twitter-like microblog Sina Weibo, under the handle Shiyang Pinglun. Reports have described a prison outside Beijing, Qincheng, as reserved for elite inmates, offering more comfortable cells and relaxed treatment. Another Weibo user, Laolao V, said: “This is like striking a tiger with a fly swatter.” Under Chinese law, capital punishment can be imposed for taking bribes exceeding 100,000 yuan, and the Beijing court found that Liu’s offences deserved execution. —AFP

Iran building new nuke site: Exiled dissidents Exile group claims evidence of hidden site PARIS: An exiled opposition group said yesterday it had obtained information about a secret underground nuclear site under construction in Iran, without specifying what kind of atomic activity it believed would be carried out there. The dissident National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) exposed Iran’s uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and a heavy water facility at Arak in 2002. But analysts say it has a mixed track record and a clear political agenda. In 2010, when the group said it had evidence of another new nuclear facility, west of the capital Tehran, US officials said they had known about the site for years and had no reason to believe it was nuclear. The latest allegation comes less than a month after the election of a relative moderate, Hassan Rouhani, as Iran’s new president raised hopes for a resolution of the nuclear dispute with the West, and might be timed to discredit such optimism. The Islamic Republic says its nuclear energy program is entirely peaceful and rejects US and Israeli accusations that it is really seeking the capability to make nuclear weapons. But its refusal to curb sensitive nuclear activity, and its lack of full openness with the UN nuclear watchdog

agency, have drawn tough Western sanctions and a threat of pre-emptive military strikes by Israel. The NCRI said members of its affiliated People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran (PMOI) inside the country had “obtained reliable information on a new and completely secret site designated for (Iran’s) nuclear project”. The NCRI, which seeks an end to Islamist theocratic rule in Iran, is the political wing of the PMOI, which fought alongside Saddam Hussein’s forces in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. TUNNEL NETWORK The NCRI said the site was inside a complex of tunnels beneath mountains 10 km (6 miles) east of the town of Damavand, itself about 50 km northeast of Tehran. Construction of the first phase began in 2006 and was recently completed, it said. The group released satellite photographs of what it said was the site. But the images did not appear to constitute hard evidence to support the assertion that it was a planned nuclear facility. A spokesman for the dissidents said he could not say what sort of nuclear work would be conducted there, but that the companies and people involved showed it was a nuclear site. The group named officials it said

were in charge of the project. “The site consists of four tunnels and has been constructed by a group of engineering and construction companies associated with the engineering arms of the Ministry of Defense and the IRGC (Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards force),” the NCRI said. “Two of the tunnels are about 550 meters in length, and they have a total of six giant halls.” Asked about the report, International Atomic Energy Agency spokeswoman Gill Tudor said in Vienna: “The agency will assess the information that has been provided, as we do with any new information we receive.” A Western diplomat accredited to the IAEA told Reuters: “I have heard nothing. My first suspicion is that it is like the 2010 revelation - a tunnel facility the Iranians are keeping quiet, but no known link to the nuclear program.” Iran said in late 2009 that it planned to build 10 more uranium enrichment sites on top of its underground Natanz and Fordow plants, but has provided little additional information. Refined uranium can provide fuel for nuclear power plants, which is Iran’s stated aim, but can also be used to make atomic bombs, which the West fears may be Tehran’s ultimate goal. — Reuters

China rain and landslides leave 28 dead, 66 missing BEIJING: Heavy rain across China has left at least 28 people dead and 66 missing, officials reported yesterday, after landslides crushed homes, bridges collapsed, and dozens of villages were cut off. The storms, which began Sunday, have affected more than three million people, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said on its website. Nearly half of those - 1.45 million people-were in Sichuan, where 62 were missing, the government of the southwestern province said on its Sina Weibo microblog account. At least 18 people died after a landslide on Wednesday engulfed homes in Zhongxing in the province, the state news agency Xinhua reported Thursday, citing local authorities. Footage on state broadcaster CCTV showed a wide rush of muddy water, though a reporter said levels had fallen.

Another 12 people were unaccounted for Wednesday after landslides at a village in Mianyang in the province, the Sichuan government said. Twelve others and six vehicles were still missing after a bridge in Jiangyou city collapsed into the rushing waters on Tuesday-one of three such incidents in Sichuan. Other deaths spanned the country, from Beijing to the central province of Henan and Xinjiang in the far west, ministry figures showed. Some 2,000 people trapped in a tunnel by another landslide in Sichuan were rescued on Wednesday, with television footage showing crowds walking down the middle of a road. Emergency teams were working to clear a landslide on a road to Beichuan county that had left 40 villages cut off. —AFP

FUKUSHIMA PREFECTURE: This aerial photo shows reactor buildings Unit 2 (left) and Unit 1 at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuama, Fukushima Prefecture, northern Japan. Japan’s nuclear regulator says radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima power plant is probably leaking into the Pacific Ocean, a problem long suspected by experts but denied by the plantís operator. — AP

Radioactive water ‘leaking’ to Pacific TOKYO: Japan’s nuclear regulator says radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima power plant is probably leaking into the Pacific Ocean, a problem long suspected by experts but denied by the plant’s operator. Officials from the Nuclear Regulation Authority said a leak is “strongly suspected” and urged plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. to determine where the water may be leaking from and assess the environmental and other risks, including the impact on the food chain. The watchdog said Wednesday it would form a panel of experts to look into ways to contain the problem. The watchdog’s findings underscore TEPCO’s delayed response in dealing with a problem that experts have long said existed. On Wednesday, the company continued to raise doubts about whether a leak exists. TEPCO spokesman Noriyuki Imaizumi said the increase in cesium levels in monitoring well water samples does not necessarily mean contaminated water from the plant is leaking to the ocean. TEPCO was running another test on water samples and suspects earlier spikes might have been caused by cesium-laced dust slipping into the samples, he said. But he said TEPCO is open to the watchdog’s suggestions to take safety steps. The Fukushima Dai-ichi plant was ravaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and TEPCO has used massive amounts of water to cool the damaged reactors since then. Repeated leaks of the contaminated water stored on site have hampered decommissioning efforts. Marine biologists have warned that the radioactive water may be leaking continuously into the sea from underground, citing high radioactivity in fish samples taken near the plant. Since May, TEPCO has reported spikes in cesium levels in underground water collected from a coastal observation pit, while the water-soluble element strontium showed high levels in seawater samples taken in areas just off the coast of the plant. —AP

International FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Ireland MPs delay abortion vote after all-night debate Bill allows abortion when woman’s life in danger DUBLIN: Ireland’s parliament adjourned debate yesterday on a bill that would legalize abortion for the first time, following an overnight session of emotional speeches on an issue that has long polarized the staunchly Roman Catholic country. Premier Enda Kenny has provoked a strong backlash by pushing for access to abortion when a woman’s life is in danger. Both sides of the debate have attacked Kenny’s stance and the government has faced down more rebels on the issue than it did over its painful economic austerity plans. Kenny told parliament he had been sent plastic foetuses and letters written in blood and his private house has been picketed by protesters wearing skeleton masks. Debate on the bill continued until 5 am (0400 GMT), when it was adjourned until later. A vote is possible late in the evening. “It is a fudge and a sham, where the lives of women have become secondary to the need of this

government to protect itself,” said independent deputy Richard Boyd Barrett, who supports the bill but wants it to go further. The two-decade debate over how Ireland should deal with a Supreme Court ruling that abortion be permitted when a woman’s life is in danger was reopened last year after the death of a woman who was denied an abortion of her dying foetus. The ruling was the result of a challenge, by a 14-year-old rape victim in the so-called “X-case” of 1992, to a constitutional amendment nine years earlier that intended to ban abortion in all instances. RESISTANCE Kenny has met resistance from some within his conservative Fine Gael party and has also faced a concerted campaign by Ireland’s once powerful Catholic Church, which is putting pressure on lawmakers. The Church, rocked by a series of child abuse scandals, has

seen its public influence wane since the 1980s and a younger, secular generation wants to end the practice of Irish women travelling to nearby Britain to terminate their pregnancies. Several lawmakers from Kenny’s Fine Gael are expected to vote against the measure and face expulsion from the party. In a sign of how contentious the abortion issue is, Kenny - midway through a five-year term - lost only one of the party’s 76 members of parliament over economic austerity measures even as his coalition made deep cuts under an 85 billion euro ($109 billion) EU/IMF bailout. Protesters camped overnight outside parliament, mostly anti-abortion and a few in favor. “Abortion is murder,” said decorator Joe Duffy, 53, holding a poster asking “The death penalty?” over a picture of a pregnant woman’s bare belly. “And it’s totally against my religion. So many innocent children are going to die.” — Reuters

Muslim nations press UN over Myanmar Rohingyas

UNITED NATIONS: Islamic nations on Wednesday called on UN leader Ban Ki-moon to do more to halt the “tyranny” they say Muslims are enduring in Myanmar. Religious riots in Buddhist-majority Myanmar have cast a shadow over heralded political reforms since military rule ended two years ago. Envoys to the UN from Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries say the global body should pressure the Myanmar government over the troubles. “Myanmar is having a honeymoon with the world. The only problem is that that honeymoon is being built on the bodies of the Muslim victims in that country,” said Saudi Arabia’s UN ambassador Abdullah Al-Mouallemi. Mouallemi and other ambassadors from OIC members met Ban on Wednesday to demand more action by the United Nations, particularly over Rohingya Muslims. In March at least 44 people, mainly Muslims, were killed in sectarian strife in central Myanmar. Communal unrest last year in the western state of Rakhine left about 200 people dead and up to 140,000 displaced, mainly Rohingyas, minority Muslims who are rejected by many in Myanmar. Roble Olhaye, Djibouti’s UN ambassador and head of the OIC group at UN, called the action against Rohingyas “ethnic cleansing”. “The Myanmar authorities are failing in taking the necessary measures to stem the violence,” he added at a press conference with Mouallemi. “What we need from the UN is to have its voice heard loud and clear, being the conscience of the world,” Olhaye said. Olhaye and Mouallemi said the UN leader had promised to be more vocal about defending Muslims in Myanmar. “We called on the secretary general to interfere to make his voice heard more loudly,” said the Saudi envoy. “The most basic human rights and human values are being stepped upon by the current government and by the radical elements within Myanmar.” Mouallemi said Islamic nations wanted the United Nations and the major powers-particularly the United States, Russia, China, European Union and Myanmar’s neighbors-to speak out against what he called the “ethnic cleansing” of Rohingyas. “I think there is a lot more that the UN can and should do,” he said, adding that Muslim nations would also be speaking with UN Security Council members about Myanmar. “Myanmar is trying to open itself to the world, trying to attract attention, investment, engagement by the entire world. It is not enough to simply say that you must have elections and feed the basic structures of democracy. “There has to be an end to the killing, that is much more basic, there has to be an end to the persecution, to the tyranny that this population is facing,” said Mouallemi. Ban met on Wednesday with mem-

Dramatic escapes as blaze rips through Manila slum MANILA: Three hundred homes were destroyed in a fire that tore through a slum in the Philippine capital yesterday, forcing residents to make dramatic escapes, authorities said. A bare-chested man with a cigarette in his mouth, a Jesus statue in one hand and toiletries in the other ran down a narrow, smoke-filled alley just a few minutes walk from the glistening sky-rises of Manila’s financial district. A neighbor fled by jumping through an upstairs window and sprinting across rusted tin roofs. Crying children were separated from their parents amid the chaos of adults carrying refrigerators, televisions, pots and pets from their homes. “We were on the cot lying down, and then people started running. There was smoke everywhere, the place was up in flames,” said a tearful Anna Anciller, 27, on a nearby footpath while the fire was at its peak. “We just ran. I lost everything,” she said, clutching her six-year-old daughter and breastfeeding her months-old baby boy. Homes made of scrap wood and plastic sheets crumbled to the ground during the two-hour blaze, as portable cooking gas tanks exploded and the sirens of fire fighting trucks wailed. The firemen walked onto the roofs of homes not yet ablaze to get their hoses close to the flames, risking a deadly fall. No-one died but about one third of the 1,000 homes in the slum were destroyed, according to local fire chief Ricardo Perdigon. While heart-breaking, the scenes at the “Botanical Garden” shantytown are common throughout the vast slums that dominate Manila. Homes mostly made of salvaged wood and plastic are tinder boxes waiting to be ignited by makeshift electricity networks, cigarettes or gas cooking. An arson investigator said yesterday’s blaze was likely caused by a faulty power outlet. —AFP

Bosnia to bury hundreds at Srebrenica massacre site

LHOKSEUMAWE: A Rohingya asylum-seeker from Myanmar looks through a window of the immigration detention center in Lhokseumawe town of Aceh province. — AFP bers of the Group of Friends on Myanmar, which includes the United States, China, European and Asian nations to discuss changes in Myanmar and recent unrest, said a UN spokesman. The group welcomed peace talks with Kachin rebels, but also “stressed the urgent need for effective action to punish the perpetrators of the violence” in Rakhine and “urgent attention” to issues including Rohingyas citizenship. Ban “expressed his confidence that Myanmar would continue to make all round progress in strengthening its democratic institutions,” said the spokesman. — AFP

SREBRENICA: Bosnia will bury 409 victims of the Srebrenica massacre, including a newborn baby yesterday, the 18th anniversary of Europe’s worst post-war atrocity in which Bosnian Serb forces slaughtered some 8,000 Muslims. Thousands of people flocked to this ill-fated town to attend the funeral of the victims whose remains were found in mass graves in the eastern Bosnian Srebrenica region and only identified almost two decades after the 1995 killing. On the same day, the UN Yugoslav war crimes court was to rule on an appeal of the decision to drop a charge of genocide against Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic, who faces other counts including masterminding the Srebrenica massacre. “This year we are going to bury the youngest victim of the genocide, the Muhic family’s baby” whose remains were exhumed from a mass grave in 2012, said Kenan Karavdic, a government official in charge of the burial ceremony. The baby, who died shortly after her birth in July 1995 at the UN base in Potocari, near Srebrenica, “will be buried next to the grave of her father Hajrudin, killed in a massacre,” Karavdic said. Among 409 victims to be laid to rest, 44 were aged between 14 and 18, officials said. Some 6,000 people have already arrived at the memorial centre in Potocari, near Srebrenica, after marching for 80 kilometers along the path the Muslim men and boys had taken in 1995 to escape the slaughter. Ahead of the funeral services, columns of simple wooden coffins, covered with green cloth, were aligned in a vast hall as relatives searched for their loved ones. At the cemetery were freshly dug graves with green wooden signs where the coffins were to be laid, lined with rows of white marble columns. Srebrenica was UN-protected Muslim enclave until July 11, 1995, when it was overrun by Bosnian Serb forces. The troops brushed aside lightly armed Dutch UN peacekeepers in the “safe area” where thousands of Muslims from surrounding villages had gathered for protection. They loaded thousands of men and boys on to trucks, executed them and then threw their bodies into mass graves. The remains of 5,657 victims, identified through DNA tests, have already been buried in the memorial centre in Potocari since the process started a decade ago. Their remains-often only a handful of bones-were found in dozens of mass graves scattered in the area, said Amor Masovic, head of the Bosnia’s Institute for Missing Persons. —AFP

International FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Syrian rebels deny Russia’s chemical attack allegation UNITED NATIONS: The opposition Syrian National Coalition on Wednesday denied a Russian charge that rebel fighters fired a projectile laden with the nerve agent sarin at a suburb of Aleppo in March, saying UN inspectors should be allowed to investigate the attack. Separately, Western diplomats said Russia blocked a draft UN Security Council resolution this week calling for a stalled UN chemical weapons investigation team to be allowed to visit Syria and to be permitted to conduct an “objective” inquiry. The United Nations said in a statement that the head of the UN chemical arms team, Ake Sellstrom of Sweden, and UN disarmament chief Angela Kane have accepted an invitation from the Syrian government to discuss their investigation of alleged chemical attacks in Syria. Russia, along with Iran, is Syria’s closest ally and chief arms supplier. The draft resolution echoed a recent statement by the Group of Eight (G8) developed nations including Russia. “The Free Syrian Army strongly condemns all usage of chemical weapons against a civilian population and denies Russia’s allegations about the FSA using chemical weapons in Khan al-Assal, Aleppo,” Khalid Saleh, a spokesman for the coalition, said in a statement. “Only the Assad regime has the know-how, capability and willingness to use these weapons,” Saleh said, referring to Syrian President Bashar Al-

Assad. “The coalition and supreme military council have asked for the UN monitors to come to Syria to investigate the use of these weapons and the Assad regime refuses to allow them to do so,” he said. Russia’s UN envoy, Vitaly Churkin, on Tuesday said Russian scientific analysis strongly indicated a projectile containing sarin that hit Khan al-Assal on March 19, killing 26 civilians and military personnel, was fired by rebels.

The government and rebels have blamed each other for that incident, as well numerous other alleged chemical attacks. Both sides deny using chemical weapons. “The usage of chemical weapons is inconsistent with the guiding principles and goals of the Syrian revolution,” Saleh said. “Targeting civilians indiscriminately to achieve political gains is a common characteristic of the Assad regime.” The United States has cast doubt on the Russian analysis

IDLIB: An opposition fighter stands over seven year old Ahmad Jabir, who was injured alongside some his family members by a shell, as he lies on an X-Ray machine after he brought the boy to a hospital in Syria’s northwestern province Idlib. — AFP

Syria abuses mount Jihadists losing support BEIRUT: In the early days of the Syrian uprising, when opponents of the regime were desperate for assistance from any quarter, jihadist fighters were welcomed but a spate of abuses is fuelling a backlash. Things have changed. “Out, out, out, the (Islamic) State (of Iraq and Syria) must get out,” protesters shouted at a rally in the northern town of Manbij this week, referring to an Al-Qaeda front group. The video of the demonstration is one of many showing how civilians and mainstream rebel fighters alike are turning against the more hardline Islamist factions. The rebel forces seeking to overthrow President Bashar Al-Assad are disparate but many espouse political Islam of one form or another. There are two main Al-Qaeda linked factions, both with Iraqi origins, according to Washington-the Al-Nusra Front, which has operational independence, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a front for Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Numerous other smaller groups, many of them composed almost exclusively of foreign fighters, are also operating on the ground. Unlike the mainstream rebel Free Syrian Army, which has received weapons from several Gulf Arab governments as well as promises of US arms, the jihadist groups rely on pri-

vate donations. But there are enough wealthy benefactors attracted to their fundamentalist vision to ensure a steady stream of weapons, as well as volunteer fighters from around the world, many of them seasoned in other conflicts. That has helped them become a fighting force out of proportion to their numbers, and they have captured several population centers. But their imposition of their extreme form of Islam has increasingly alienated civilians. In Raqa, the only provincial capital in rebel hands, the Al-Nusra Front is accused of detaining dozens of men. “My father has been held for a month by the Front. They think they’re Islamic... I want my father to be free,” weeps a little girl in one Raqa protest, footage of which was posted online. “We reject this oppressive brand of Islam... We are Muslims. You’re just fakes,” a woman protester cried in another video from Raqa, demanding the release of the men held by Nusra. Activists in the city also point to the disappearance of Abdallah Al-Khalil, a veteran dissident and human rights activist. “Khalil was about to open up council elections to the whole of Raqa. Al-Nusra was against the idea. He disappeared the next day,” an activist from Raqa said, speaking on condition

of anonymity for fear of retaliation. “Although their methods differ from the regime’s, they are just as brutal. “As they get more powerful militarily, they do whatever it takes to stem the growth of freedom in liberated (rebelheld) areas. They want power, not democracy.” Reports emerged on Wednesday that a Raqa-based activist who has documented the uprising against Assad since its early days has been detained by ISIS. “The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria detained the media activist Mohammad Nour Matar on Tuesday evening outside its base... after he stood alongide a woman who tried to stage a sit-in,” Matar’s brother Amer said. In Idlib province in the northwest, whose borders with Turkey have allowed foreign jihadists to join the fighting in numbers, dozens of mainstream rebels were killed in a battle with ISIS last week, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The fighting broke out after rebels protested against the detention by the jihadists of a 12-year-old boy accused of uttering a blasphemous phrase. “The chief of the (Free Syrian Armyaffiliated) Hamzah Assadullah Brigade and his brother were both killed” in the fighting, the Britain-based watchdog said. —AFP

of the Khan Al-Assal incident and, along with France, called for full UN access to Syrian sites where chemical weapons use was suspected. The United Nations says as many as 100,000 have died in the two-year civil war. CHEMICAL PROJECTILE FELL SHORT? Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior Western diplomat also expressed skepticism about the Russian claim that the rebels were behind the Khan Al-Assal attack. He dismissed the idea that Assad’s government was willing to let the UN team investigate Aleppo because it was certain the rebels were responsible for the March 19 chemical attack. He said available evidence suggested the Syrian army carried out the attack. “What they hope will be discovered there is lots of soldiers who were poisoned by chemical weapons, which is true,” the envoy said. “But our information suggests that that was because the projectile ... fell short and landed in an area where there were Syrian troops, not that the opposition had done it.” Churkin said Russian experts visited the location where the projectile struck and took their own samples of material from the site. Those samples, he said, were then analyzed at a Russian laboratory certified by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. —Reuters

Gunmen in western Iraq kill 14 at Ramadan meal BAGHDAD: Gunmen overran an Iraqi army checkpoint and opened fire on a trailer packed with policemen breaking their Ramadan fast, killing 14 in the country’s restive western Anbar province, authorities said yesterday. The attack happened at sundown Wednesday as the troops were marking the end of the first day of fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. It was the latest in a string of brazen strikes by militants that has killed more than 2,600 people since the start of April. Gunmen launched their assault on the army checkpoint near the town of Barwana, which lies across the Euphrates River from the town of Haditha, about 220 kilometers northwest of Baghdad. Barwana’s mayor, Meyasser Abdul-Mohsin, said three soldiers were killed and four were wounded in that attack. The attackers then made their way to a trailer not far away that is used by special oil industry police assigned to protect a nearby pipeline. The men inside were sitting down to have the iftar meal that breaks the daytime Ramadan fast at sunset, Abdul-Mohsin said. The gunmen shot up the trailer and then set it on fire before making their getaway, the mayor said. Eleven police were left dead, with some of their bodies badly burned and making them difficult to identify, he said. “This is a crime carried out by terrorists during iftar on the first day of Ramadan,” Abdul-Mohsin said. “It just proves what a cowardly act it is.” A security official in nearby Haditha gave a similar account and confirmed the death toll. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Sunni militants, including Al-Qaeda’s Iraq arm, frequently target security forces and the country’s vital oil infrastructure in an effort to undermine the Shiite-led government. —AP

International FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

US drone lands on carrier deck in historic flight MARYLAND: A bat-winged drone touched down smoothly on the deck of a US aircraft carrier on Wednesday, marking a historic milestone for robotic flight. The US Navy’s X-47B floated down toward the carrier USS George HW Bush at reduced speed and then caught an arresting wire on its tail hook, bringing it to a stop in a textbook landing, as reporters and top brass watched. “You saw the future today,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told journalists afterward. The experimental plane had taken off about an hour earlier from the Patuxent River naval air station in Maryland before arriving at the carrier about 80 miles off the Virginia coast at about 1:40 pm local time (1740 GMT). Naval pilots require years of training to learn how to land a fighter jet on a carrier floating at sea, one of the most daunting tasks in aviation. But Wednesday’s unprecedented landing by an unmanned plane showed that sophisticated computer software could perform the same task, guiding a robotic aircraft safely onto the deck of a ship at sea. The touch down by the unmanned plane, dubbed “salty dog” by the Navy, represented a new era in naval flight, 102 years since a bi-plane made the first arrested landing on a ship. Escorted by two F-18 fighter jets, the grey X47B was perfectly aligned with the carrier deck as it made its descent, readjusting its position automatical-

ly with a GPS navigational system installed in the aircraft and on the carrier below. In contrast to older model drones such as the Predator and Reaper, the X-47B can fly with more autonomy and does not require flight operators to exert constant step-by-step direction using a joystick. In Wednesday’s test, the plane calculated on its own when to put its wheels down. As the drone made its initial approach, there was a final precaution to test the aircraft. The landing officer on the carrier issued digital instructions to call off the landing, and the aircraft pulled up and gained altitude, circling above the ship. As planned, the drone then came in for a second approach, gliding in gracefully and catching the arresting line in a flawless performance. Rear Admiral Mat Winter, head of the Navy ‘s unmanned aviation program, called it an event for the “history books,” but said the successful outcome came as no surprise after years of research and testing. “What you saw today was a major visual demonstration, but we’ve been demonstrating and achieving technology maturation in the laboratory, in the models and the simulations,” Winter said. “We knew we were going to touch down x number of inches past the second wire, the hook was going to bounce x number of feet and that the hook was going to engage the third (wire),” he said. The X-47B drone

Washington plans to send F-16s to Egypt WASHINGTON: The United States still plans to go through with the delivery of four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt in the coming weeks, US defense officials told Reuters on Wednesday, even after the Egyptian military’s ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. The disclosure came as Washington treads a careful line, neither welcoming Morsi’s removal nor denouncing it as a “coup,” saying it needs time to weigh the situation. A US decision to brand his overthrow a coup would, by US law, require Washington to halt aid to the Egyptian military, which receives the lion’s share of the $1.5 billion in annual US assistance to that country. The jets, which will likely be delivered in August and are built by Lockheed Martin Corp, are part of the annual aid package, a US defense official said. “There is no current change in the plan to deliver F-16s to the Egyptian military,” a second US official said on condition of anonymity. Asked about the F-16s, White House spokesman Jay Carney said: “It’s our view that we should not ... hastily change our aid programs.” He directed specific questions about the jets to the Defense Department. The Pentagon, responding to queries by reporters, later issued a statement echoing President Barack Obama’s July 3 comments that he had ordered a review of US assistance to Egypt. Asked whether Obama’s review had put the F-16 delivery on hold, one of the US officials said: “The delivery remains scheduled as planned.” Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon’s biggest supplier, declined comment on the issue. Egypt has been one of the world’s largest recipients of US aid since it signed a 1979 peace treaty with Israel. It was the first Arab country to buy F16s, widely viewed as a symbol of political and security ties with Washington. US-Egyptian co-production of the M1A1 Abrams battle tank has also been a key part of US assistance. In a sign of how important US aid is to Washington’s ties with Egypt, Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood warned last year before taking power that Egypt might review its peace deal with Israel if the United States cut aid.—Reuters

had already successfully taken off from a carrier in a catapult launch on May 14, and after its arrested landing on Wednesday, the plane took off from the deck, leaving behind a cloud of smoke as it shot upward. The Navy envisages the tailless plane playing a central role in all air wings aboard carriers, which currently rely on manned fighter jets and helicopters. The successful arrested landing clears the way for the Navy to press ahead with the program and to invite bids from industry for production. The drones, which are not due to be operational until 2019, will carry out surveillance as well as strike missions. The X-47B, which is about 38 feet long with a wingspan of 62 feet, can reach subsonic speeds and fly at an altitude of more than 40,000 feet. Unlike the Predator, which is slower and has a more limited range of 675 nautical miles, the X47B can fly 2,100 nautical miles before refueling, allowing it to potentially carry out long-range bombing raids. The experimental prototype, which looks like a smaller version of the B-2 bomber, was developed by aerospace giant Northrop Grumman at a cost of about $1.4 billion. As the program moves to a new stage, the two X47B prototypes will soon be moved to museums at the Patuxent River air station in Maryland and the Pensacola air base in Florida.— AFP

VIRGINIA: An X47-B Navy Drone is launched from the deck of the nuclear aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush off the Coast of Virginia. It is the first landing by a drone on a Navy carrier. — AP

Marathon bombing suspect’s hearing frustrates survivors Blase-looking 19-year-old pleads ‘not guilty’ BOSTON: Survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings got little satisfaction from surviving suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s first public appearance since the deadly attacks. “Not guilty,” was all he said, over and over. The blase-looking 19year-old, his arm in a cast and his face swollen, entered his pleas Wednesday during a seven-minute arraignment in federal court. Bombing victims showed little reaction in the courtroom after a federal marshal warned them against any outbursts, but some made their views known afterward - as did a group of chanting Tsarnaev supporters. “I thought that maybe he would come with a different attitude or maybe look a little different, maybe look like he cared a little bit. But he didn’t show me that,” said Peter Brown, whose two nephews each lost their right legs in the explosions. Tsarnaev gave a small, lopsided smile to his two sisters upon arriving in the courtroom. He appeared to have a jaw injury and there was swelling around his left eye and cheek. Leaning into the microphone, he told a federal judge, “Not guilty,” in his Russian accent. Then he was led away in handcuffs, making a kissing gesture toward his sisters with his lips. One sobbed loudly, resting her head on a woman seated next to her. Tsarnaev, who has been hospitalized since his capture with wounds suffered in a shootout and getaway attempt, faces

30 federal charges, including using a weapon of mass destruction to kill, in connection with the April 15 twin explosions that left three people dead and more than 260 wounded. Tsarnaev also is charged in the killing of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer and the carjacking of a motorist during a getaway attempt. He could get the death penalty if prosecutors choose to pursue it. The proceedings took place in a heavily guarded courtroom packed not only with victims and their families but with police officers, the public and the media. The Russian immigrant and former college student looked much as he did in a photo widely circulated after his arrest, his hair curly and unkempt. Wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, he appeared nonchalant, almost bored, during the hearing. The cast covered his left forearm, hand and fingers. MIT Police Chief John DiFava, who was in the courtroom, said Tsarnaev looked “smug.” “I didn’t see a lot of remorse. I didn’t see a lot of regret,” he said. “It just seemed to me that if I was in that position, I would have been a lot more nervous, certainly scared.” DiFava added: “I just wanted to see him. I wanted to see the person that so coldly and callously killed four people, one of whom being an officer of mine.” Authorities say Tsarnaev orchestrated the bombing along with his older brother, Tamerlan

Tsarnaev, who died following a gunbattle with police several days after the attack. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested on April 19, hiding in a bloodstained boat in a suburban backyard after a manhunt that paralyzed much of the Boston area. Tsarnaev’s lawyer, Judy Clarke, an expert in death penalty cases, asked that the judge enter not-guilty pleas for him, but US Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler said: “I would ask him to answer.” On the same day as the arraignment, Boston’s police commissioner appeared on Capitol Hill and complained to a Senate panel that the Justice Department failed to share information on terrorism threats with local officials before the bombing. “There is a gap with information sharing at a higher level while there are still opportunities to intervene in the planning of these terrorist events,” Commissioner Edward F Davis III said. Reporters and spectators began lining up for seats in the Boston courtroom at 7:30 am. Wednesday as a dozen Federal Protective Service officers and bombsniffing dogs surrounded the courthouse. Four hours before the 3:30 p.m. hearing, the defendant arrived at the courthouse in a four-vehicle motorcade. About a dozen Tsarnaev supporters cheered as the motorcade arrived. The demonstrators yelled, “Justice for Jahar!” as Tsarnaev is known.—AP


International FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

The CIA and a secret vacuum cleaner WASHINGTON: Confined to the basement of a CIA secret prison in Romania about a decade ago, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the admitted mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, asked his jailers whether he could embark on an unusual project: Would the spy agency allow Mohammed, who had earned his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering, to design a vacuum cleaner? The agency officer in charge of the prison called CIA headquarters and a manager approved the request, a former senior CIA official said. Mohammed had endured the most brutal of the CIA’s harsh interrogation methods and had confessed to a career of atrocities. But the agency had no long-term plan for him. Someday, he might prove useful. Perhaps, he’d even stand trial one day. And for that, he’d need to be sane. “We didn’t want them to go nuts,” the former senior CIA official said, one of several who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about the now-shuttered CIA prisons or Mohammed’s interest in vacuums. So, using schematics from the Internet as his guide, Mohammed began re-engineering one of the most mundane of household appliances. That the CIA may be in possession of the world’s most highly classified vacuum cleaner blueprints is but one peculiar, lasting byproduct of the controversial US detention and interrogation program. By the CIA’s own account, the program’s methods were “designed to psychologically ‘dislocate’” people. But once interrogations stopped, the agency had to try to undo the psychological damage inflicted on the detainees. The CIA apparently succeeded in keeping Mohammed sane. He appears to be in good health, according to military records. Others haven’t fared as well. Accused al-Qaida terrorists Ramzi Binalshibh and Abd Al-Nashiri, who were also locked up in Poland and Romania with Mohammed, have had mental issues. Al-Nashiri suffers from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Binalshibh is being treated for schizophrenia with a slew of anti-psychotic medications. “Any type of prolonged isolation in custody - much less the settings described in the press - have been

BUCHAREST: This undated file photo shows the National Registry Office for Classified Information, also known as ORNISS, in a busy residential neighborhood minutes from the center of Romania’s capital city of Bucharest. — AP and its citizens to exceptionally Along with the other five jailers. known to have a severe impact on In Graham Greene’s spy thriller grave danger,” Wright said. the mental condition of the detainees at the prison in Bucharest, But Wright added that he often detainee,” said Thomas Durkin, Mohammed was given assignments “Our Man in Havana,” a vacuum Binalshibh’s former civilian lawyer. about his knowledge of Al-Qaeda, salesman in Cuba agrees to work for discussed “modern technological Durkin declined to discuss or “homework,” as CIA officers MI6, the British spy service. He innovations” and the “scientific Binalshibh’s case. Mohammed was called it. He was given Snickers can- dupes the British into believing his wonders” of the Quran with subjected to harsh interrogations in dy bars as rewards for his studious- vacuum designs are military instal- Mohammed. He called Mohammed Poland. Agency officers and con- ness. In Romania, the prison provid- lations. The AP was unable to deter- “exceptionally intelligent.” “If he tractors forced him to stay awake ed books for detainees to read. mine whether Mohammed ever had access to educational programs for 180 hours, according to a CIA Mohammed, former officials said, read the famous novel. It remains a in Guantanamo Bay, such as disinspector general’s report. He also enjoyed the Harry Potter series. For mystery how far Mohammed got tance learning programs, I am confiunderwent 183 instances of water- the CIA officers at the prison, not so with his designs or whether the dent that in addition to furthering much. For security reasons, after a plans still exist. The secret CIA his Islamic studies, he could obtain boarding, or simulated drowning. After the CIA prison in Poland prisoner finished a book, they prison in Romania was shuttered in a PhD in mechanical engineering, was closed in September 2003, tediously checked every page to early 2006 and Mohammed was and very likely patent inventions,” Mohammed was moved to ensure detainees weren’t passing transferred later that year to Wright said. The CIA won’t discuss Guantanamo Bay Naval Base prison, Bucharest, to a black site code- messages. They once caught Mohammed where he remains. It’s unlikely he Mohammed’s vacuum plans, either. named “Britelite.” Soon the CIA was trying to find ways to entertain trying to hide a message in a book was able to take his appliance plans The AP asked the CIA for copies of the vacuum designs or any governMohammed as his intelligence val- warning his prison mates not to talk to Cuba. Mohammed’s military lawyer, ment records about them under the ue diminished. The prison had a about Osama bin Laden’s courier. debriefing room, where Mohammed graduated from North Jason Wright, said he was prohibit- Freedom of Information Act. The Mohammed, who saw himself as Carolina AT&T State University with ed from discussing his client’s inter- CIA responded in a letter to the AP something of a professor, held a degree in mechanical engineering est in vacuums. “It sounds ridicu- that the records, “should they exist,” “office hours,” as he told CIA offi- in 1986. It’s not clear whether lous, but answering this question, or would be considered operational cers. While chained to the floor, Mohammed was interested in confirming or denying the very exis- files of the CIA - among its most Mohammed would lecture the CIA designing a better vacuum or had tence of a vacuum cleaner design, a highly classified category of governofficers on his path to jihad, his ulterior motives. He might have Swiffer design, or even a design for ment files - and therefore exempt childhood and family. Tea and cook- intended to use the plans to con- a better hand towel would appar- from ever being released to the ceal secret information or trick his ently expose the US government public.—AP ies were served.

Tired of helping CIA? Venezuela urges Facebook to quit CARACAS: A Venezuelan government minister on Wednesday urged citizens to shut Facebook accounts to avoid being unwitting informants for the US Central Intelligence Agency, referring to recent revelations about US surveillance programs. Edward Snowden, a former US National

Security Agency contractor who is stuck in a Moscow airport while seeking to avoid capture by the United States, last month leaked details about American intelligence agencies obtaining information from popular websites including Facebook. “Comrades: cancel your Facebook accounts, you’ve been working for free as CIA

informants. Review the Snowden case!” wrote Prisons Minister Iris Varela on her Twitter account. Venezuela has offered to provide asylum for Snowden, but he has not responded and appears unable to leave the transit zone of Sheremetyevo International Airport. He exposed a program known as Prism that relied on cus-

tomer data supplied by major technology companies. “Countries and people that have fallen victim to gringo spying should sue the United States to ensure fair compensation. We’re going to bankrupt the US economy!” wrote Varela, known for radical rhetoric and ardent support of the late socialist leader Hugo Chavez.— Reuters

International FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Portugal political crisis deepens LISBON: Portugal’s political crisis deepened yesterday after the president rejected a plan to heal a government rift and critics accused him of igniting a “time bomb” by calling for early elections next year. President Anibal Cavaco Silva proposed a cross-party agreement between the ruling coalition and opposition Socialists to guarantee wide support for the austerity measures needed for Portugal to exit its bailout next year, followed by elections. The decision was a warning shot to all the leading parties and it indicates that the president does not think any of them is capable of ruling effectively until the bailout is due to finish in June 2014. Cavaco Silva’s move prompted sharp criticism in a country that has descended into its worst economic slump since the 1970s under the weight of austerity imposed by the bailout. Portuguese assets fell in

UK’s Kate: Middle-class mum of future monarch LONDON: Kate Middleton was the middle-class girl who made becoming a princess look easy-but bringing up a royal baby will bring fresh challenges for Britain’s glamorous future queen. Since her fairytale marriage to Prince William in 2011, 31-year-old Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as she is now formally known, has hardly put a foot wrong. Reportedly once nicknamed “Little Miss Perfect”, the glossy brunette has breathed new life into the monarchy, drawing comparisons with William’s late mother Princess Diana. And as the first “commoner” to marry a future king since 1660, she has helped bring the royals closer to ordinary Britons. Kate’s greatgreat-grandfather was a humble coal miner, although hers is no rags-to-riches story-her parents are self-made millionaires from a party supplies business. Michael and Carole Middleton met at British Airways, she as an air hostess and he as a flight dispatcher. Catherine, their first child, was born in the town of Reading, west of London, in 1982. The family lived in Jordan when Kate was a toddler, before returning to Britain and setting up their company Party Pieces in 1987. Kate was sent to the expensive Marlborough College boarding school, where she mingled in the same aristocratic circles as William. But it was not until 2001, studying history of art at St Andrews University in Scotland, that she met her husband-to-be. “She was known as Beautiful Kate almost from day one,” recalled former student Helen McArdle in a television documentary. Known at school for being hard-working and sporty, Kate kept up her whiter-than-white image at university-with a couple of exceptions. There was the student fashion show where she wore a transparent dress-the moment, legend has it, that she caught the prince’s eye. McArdle also remembers seeing the future duchess “paralytically drunk” on one occasion. ‘WAITY KATIE’ After university, while William began his military training, Kate worked for Party Pieces and took a part-time job as a fashion house buyer. Alone in London, she was hounded by photographers in a grim reminder of the media’s hunger for Diana, who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997, pursued by paparazzi. Nicknamed “Waity Katie” by British tabloids and reportedly mocked by William’s circle, who would whisper “doors to manual” when she entered a room because of her mother’s old job as a stewardess, it was a difficult time. It was made worse when William dumped her in 2007. Many jilted girlfriends would have got revenge by selling their story, but Kate maintained a dignified silence during the brief split. “At the time I wasn’t very happy about it,” she later said of the breakup. “But it made me a stronger person.” Since then she has won praise for her poise in the intimidating world of the royals. Her Alexander McQueen wedding gown installed her as a fashion icon, while her mix of designer labels and high street bargains has made her a fixture on “best dressed” lists. Echoes of Diana, meanwhile, are never far away. In September the royals sued over photographs of Kate sunbathing topless in France, raising fears Kate could face the same intrusion. And as with Diana, there was constant speculation about when she would produce an heir. The announcement came in December when the duchess was hospitalized with morning sickness. —AFP

response. Stocks declined 1.4 percent and 10-year bond yields climbed six basis points to 6.95 percent. “The president of the republic decided to overcome the political stalemate between the parties in the ruling coalition by adding another problem to the one that already existed,” wrote daily Publico in an editorial. “He decided to take power.” Such accusations are not made lightly in the country that had western Europe’s longest dictatorship under Antonio Salazar. Under Portugal’s constitution, the president has the power to dissolve parliament and call elections. Cavaco Silva said the coalition government remained in office but he rejected a proposed cabinet reshuffle by the ruling Social Democrats and their junior coalition partner, the rightist CDS-PP party. The crisis was sparked by the resignation of Foreign Minister Paulo Portas last week, threatening

the continuation of the government as Portas leads the rightist junior coalition party, the CDS-PP. Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho held emergency talks last week with Portas and announced on Saturday that he would promote Portas to become deputy prime minister and put him in charge of economic policy coordination to fix the rift. A senior cabinet minister in the former Socialist government, Pedro Silva Pereira, said the president’s intervention had thrown the future into doubt. The plan would have avoided the necessity of elections in the short-term, which could have interrupted reforms under the bailout and negotiations with creditors. “After the turmoil of last week when it seemed a solution had been found, the announcement of the president comes as a surprise,” said analysts at Espirito Santo Research in a note. — Reuters

Dead Russian lawyer Magnitsky convicted ‘Posthumous trial’ MOSCOW: More than three years after he died in prison, whistle-blowing Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was found guilty of tax evasion by a Moscow court on Wednesday. The posthumous trial of Magnitsky was a macabre chapter in a case that ignited a high-emotion dispute between Russia and Washington that has included US sanctions against Russians deemed to be human rights violators, a ban on the adoption of Russian children by US citizens and calls for the closure of Russian nongovernmental organizations receiving American funding. Magnitsky was a lawyer for US-born British investor William Browder when he alleged in 2008 that organized criminals colluded with corrupt Interior Ministry officials to claim a fraudulent $230 million tax rebate after illegally seizing subsidiaries of Browder’s Hermitage Capital investment company. He subsequently was arrested on tax evasion charges and died in prison in November 2009 of untreated pancreatitis at age 37. His death prompted widespread criticism from human rights activists and the presidential human rights council found in 2011 that he had been beaten and deliberately denied medical treatment. Browder, who has been banned from Russia since 2005 as a security threat, was also found guilty in absentia along with Magnitsky of evading some $17 million in taxes. In Russian courts, the reading of verdicts can stretch several hours and there was no immediate announcement of a sentence. A statement from Hermitage Capital released shortly before the verdict said the trial showed that Russian President Vladimir Putin “is ready to sacrifice his international credibility to protect corrupt officials who murdered an innocent lawyer and stole $230 million from the Russian state.” Russia’s top court ruled in 2011 that posthumous trials are allowed, with the intention of letting relatives clear their loved ones’ names. But the afterdeath trial of Magnitsky also underlines Russia’s strong resentment of foreign criticism of its human rights record.— AP

MOSCOW: In this file photo, a portrait of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who died in jail, is held by his mother Nataliya Magnitskaya, as she speaks during an interview with the AP in Moscow. — AP

Prince William carves out ‘normal life’ for new baby LONDON: Prince William’s future has always been mapped out but as fatherhood nears, the 31-year-old shows little sign of giving up the semblance of a normal life he has carved out for himself under the media spotlight. The eldest son of Prince Charles and Diana, William knew from an early age the duties that await him as second-in-line to the British throne, even if he did not expect to inherit the crown for decades. Yet despite the weight of expectation and the trauma of losing his mother in 1997, the Duke of Cambridge has balanced royal ribbon-cutting, a military career and a personal life of his own choosing. William is a Royal Air Force (RAF) search-and-rescue helicopter pilot in Wales, a job that also gives him the privacy to live with his wife, the former Kate Middleton, away from the world’s media. Their marriage in April 2011 was a global event, but William delayed tying the knot for almost a decade to ensure the match was right, just as the couple then waited for two years before starting a family. Aides say he has always fought to do things his way. “You have to be slightly stubborn because everybody wants you for one reason or another,” William once said. The prince was born on June 21, 1982 into a life of wealth and privilege, although Diana ensured he and his younger brother Harry did not suffer the rather cold upbringing endured by their father. She showered the boys with affection and, although they were brought up in a palace by nannies, took them on official trips and to charity events to see how ordinary people lived. William has Diana’s gift for engaging with people and is also an assured and often amusing public speaker.—AFP

International FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Canada rail disaster ‘probably’ killed 50 LAC-MEGANTIC: Residents of the town of Lac-Megantic in Quebec were coming to grips yesterday with the reality that 50 of their own were most likely dead in the aftermath of the worst railway disaster in North American in more than two decades. Five days after a train hauling 72 cylinders of crude oil jumped the track and exploded into a wall of fire, provincial police said they had recovered 20 bodies, with another 30 people still missing and presumed dead, confirming the worst fears of a community that had all but given up hope. “She’s dead,” said Jean-Guy Lapierre of his niece, holding a copy of a Quebec tabloid that had printed pictures of some of the town’s missing young people on its front page. “She was just 28.” The crash and subsequent explosions rocked the eastern Canadian town of Lac-Megantic shortly after 1 am on Saturday, leveling its historic downtown strip. Numerous houses and businesses were burned to the ground, including the Musi-Cafe, a popular bar that was packed with people, eyewitnesses told Reuters. On Wednesday, the head of the railway company said the engineer probably did not set enough handbrakes when he parked his train some eight miles west of town late on Friday, leading to the deadly accident. The official apologized to residents of the town of about 6,000. The words of remorse came too late for many locals who remain angry at the company Montreal Maine and Atlantic - and accuse chairman Ed Burkhardt of shirking responsibility for the accident. “They still aren’t taking the blame,” said Christiane, a woman who lived near the blast site and declined to give her last name. “First it’s the firemen, now the engineer, who will they blame tomorrow?” Burkhardt had previously said that the air brakes that would have prevented the disaster failed because they were powered by an engine that was shut down by firefighters as they dealt with a fire shortly before the catastrophe occurred. On Wednesday, his focus was squarely on the engineer. “It’s very questionable whether the hand brakes were properly applied on this train,” he told a crush of reporters. “As a matter of fact, I’ll say they weren’t, or we wouldn’t have had this incident.” More than 200 investigators are working day and night to sift through the charred wreckage in the center of town in what authorities say is a crime scene. They have made no arrests. A death toll of 50 would make the accident Canada’s deadliest since in 1998, when a Swissair jet crashed into the Atlantic off the coast of Nova Scotia, killing 229 people. It would also be North America’s worst rail crash since 1989, when 112 people died when an 11-car passenger train plunged off a bridge in Mexico. But there were glimmers of hope too. Nicole Carrier, who works at a local hospital, was shocked to open a newspaper Wednesday morning and see her own face under the headline: ‘Have you seen these people?’ “It’s Facebook’s fault,” said Carrier, explaining that a friend’s daughter had posted a frantic message on the social media service asking if she and her partner were still alive. The couple, who were evacuated from their home and did not have access to the Internet, did not respond. —Reuters

Angry Latin America wants answers on alleged spying Brazilian senators question Rousseff trip to US BRASILIA: Latin American governments urged the United States on Wednesday to be more forthcoming in answering allegations of US spying programs there that have set off a wave of outrage that could damage its standing in the region. Colombia, Washington’s closest military ally in Latin America, joined the chorus of governments seeking answers following reports the United States used surveillance programs to monitor Internet traffic in most of the region’s countries.

BRASILIA: US Ambassador to Brazil, Thomas Shannon, leaves Planalto palace in a car after meeting with the Chief of the Institutional Security Cabinet of Brazil, Jose Elito, in Brasilia. Shannon and Elito discussed the espionage charges of US in Brazilian territory. — AFP

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said it would be “totally unacceptable” if it were revealed that the United States had spied on in its neighbor and largest Latin American business partner. A leading Brazilian newspaper reported on Tuesday that the US National Security Agency targeted most Latin American countries with the secret spying programs, citing documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the fugitive former US intelligence contractor. In Brazil, the United States’ largest trading partner in South America, angry senators questioned a state visit that President Dilma Rousseff plans to make to Washington in October, and the potential billion-dollar purchase of US-made fighter jets that Brazil has been considering. One senator said Brazil should offer Snowden asylum for providing information of vital importance to the country’s national security. Another senator said Snowden should get Brazilian citizenship. Facing tough questions in a Senate hearing, Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota said Rousseff’s visit to Washington was not being reconsidered. Patriota said US Ambassador Thomas Shannon, who was called to the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday, acknowledged the United States collects metadata on email traffic but does not access the content of email messages or conduct the monitoring on Brazilian territory. Patriota dismissed any changes in the “broad” relations between Brazil and the United States. But asked whether US explanations had satisfied the Brazilian government, he told reporters, “They haven’t been satisfactory so far.” APOLOGY DEMANDED The espionage allegations surfaced one week after South American nations fumed about the diversion of Bolivian President Evo Morales’ plane in Europe because of the suspicion that Snowden was on board. As anger mounts in the region, the Mercosur bloc of South American plans to issue a tough response at a meeting in Uruguay on Friday. “We’re going to be very firm ... the United States has to show some respect to the sovereignty of Latin America and when spying is discovered, it should be punished,” Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said in an interview with Radio del Plata. “What is striking is just how massive the US spying is and how unskilled they are at keeping it a secret.” Latin American nations want the United States to tell them what it was up to in the region, and to apologize, he said. Colombia said it was concerned about the reports of an “unauthorized data collection program.” Colombia is considered a top US military and diplomatic ally in the region following a decade of joint operations against Marxist rebels and drug trafficking gangs. “In rejecting the acts of espionage that violate people’s rights to privacy as well as the international conventions on telecommunication, Colombia requests the corresponding explanations from the United States government through its ambassador to Colombia,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.—Reuters

US House Republicans divided on immigration WASHINGTON: Republicans in the US House of Representatives emerged from an immigration meeting on Wednesday divided over whether to help the 11 million undocumented people living in the United States, but eager to bolster border security. Several lawmakers said there appeared to be no consensus over calls for granting legal status to the 11 million, many of whom have lived in the United States for years, after a 2 1/2-hour closed-door session. “We have a disagreement inside here,” said Republican Representative Steve King, who guessed that his colleagues were split “50/50” on whether any of the undocumented residents should get legal status. There will likely have to be an agreement between the Republican-led House and Democratic-led Senate, which last month approved a comprehensive immigration bill backed by the White House that includes a pathway to citizenship. Backers of the Senate bill insist some sort of path to citizenship must be part of any final bill that they help send to President Barack Obama to sign into law. The Republican lawmakers said there was consensus that the US border should be secured further against illegal crossings and suggested that House Speaker John Boehner could seek passage of such a bill as a first step toward a larger agreement. Republican leaders issued a statement again rejecting a Senate-passed bill that puts the 11 million on a 13-year path to citizenship. “It’s hard not to be discour-

aged right now,” said Senator Jeff Flake, the Arizona Republican who helped write the Senate bill and served 12 years in the House. The Senate bill removes the threat of deportation for most illegal residents, but features several hurdles to citizenship, including learning English, paying back taxes and passing criminal background checks. It authorizes $46 billion for border security and to revamp the visa system to help high-tech firms, farmers and other businesses hire foreign workers. Obama and his fellow Democrats have been calling for prompt action by the House. Earlier on Wednesday, the president told a group of Hispanic lawmakers that he was willing to do whatever it takes to help enact a bill. Even former President George W Bush, who rarely wades into policy debates, gave a boost to efforts in Congress. While the twoterm Republican president did not embrace any particular bill, he said he hoped there would be a “positive resolution.” Speaking in Dallas at a naturalization ceremony, Bush said, “We have a problem. The laws governing the immigration system aren’t working. ... The system is broken.” But House Republicans, who hold a 234-201 majority over Democrats, gave no indication of fast action on a major bill. “It is going to be a process of months, not days or weeks,” Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma told Reuters in a telephone interview after Wednesday’s meeting. “I don’t see anything until late

this year or early next year. It is going to take that long; it is going to be that big of a debate,” Cole added, referring to tough bargaining with the Senate. Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is working on a plan to grant citizenship for children of illegal immigrants who are in the United States through no fault of their own, according to Republican lawmakers. In the past, Republicans have blocked such legislation. ‘AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL’ But even that relatively modest step is controversial among some of the most conservative House Republicans. “You can’t separate the ... kids from those (parents) who came across the border with a pack of contraband on their back,” King said. And Representative Mo Brooks said he recited a line from “America the Beautiful” to bolster his argument that legislation should not help those in the United States illegally: “Confirm thy soul in self control, Thy liberty in law.” “Anyone who has come to our country, their first step on American soil is to thumb their nose at American laws ... we should not award them with our highest honor, which is citizenship,” Brooks said. Earlier, the White House signaled that Obama will become more publicly engaged in the intensifying immigration debate in Congress.—Reuters

Business FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

BoJ stands pat on monetary policy

Egypt has less than 2 mts of imported wheat left

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CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts: Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke responds to a question during a talk at the National Bureau of Economic Research Wednesday. — AP

Bernanke: Stimulus still needed Fed chief says jobs market weak, inflation low WASHINGTON: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that the Fed’s easy-money policy is still necessary, throwing cold water on fresh market expectations that the Fed’s stimulus would soon be ended. Bernanke told an audience of economists in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that the jobs market remains too weak and inflation remains too low for comfort. He also warned that the full impact of steep government spending cuts initiated in March was yet to be seen. Together, the evidence underscored the need for the Fed to keep in place its highly accommodative monetary policy, he said. “Both the employment side and the inflation side are saying that we need to be more accommodating,” he said, answering questions after a speech. “Moreover, the other portion of macroeconomic policy, fiscal policy, is now actually quite restrictive.... Put that all together, I think you can only conclude that highly accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future is what’s needed in the US economy.” His comments came just hours after the release of the minutes from the June 18-19 meeting of the Fed’s policy board,

the Federal Open Market Committee, which suggested the central bank would move more rapidly toward winding up its $85 billion a month stimulus program. The minutes said that about half of the FOMC policy makers wanted to fully end QE, or quantitative easing, by the end of this year, six months earlier than the mid-2014 timeline that Bernanke laid out to reporters after that meeting. Bond prices sank after the release of the minutes, in anticipation of an earlier rise in interest rates from a Fed headed toward tightening monetary conditions. But bonds headed back up just as quickly, and the dollar weakened, after Bernanke sent his more cautious message. Bernanke said that the 7.6 percent unemployment rate, though far below its crisis peak, “if anything overstates the health of our labor markets.” He pointed to the low overall participation rate in the job market, four years after the country emerged from a deep recession, and the high rate of long-term unemployment. Both are barriers to the economy pushing toward full employment, one of the Fed’s two policy goals. “So we’re not there, obviously, on the maximum employment part of the mandate,” he

said. On the other goal - price stability - inflation at the current one percent level is low, he said, and well below the Fed’s two percent target rate, and low enough to generate some worry about deflation. “We expect inflation to come back up. But if that’s not the case, I think we have to say that that would be a good reason to remain accommodative and try to achieve that objective.” Taken together, the minutes and Bernanke’s comments continued to send an unclear message about, at least, the timing of tapering QE. Bernanke, as head of the Fed and the FOMC, ultimately sets the tone of policy, and so his words carry more weight in markets than the notes of the FOMC’s internal discussions. However, Bernanke’s second term as chairman expires in January and he is not expected to stay on for a third to oversee the reeling in of QE. Any more clarity on policy will have to come from data on the economy, said currencies specialist Sebastien Galy of Societe Generale. “Overall the reactions of the market are fairly intense to small Fed nuances, an indication of some fundamental instability or great uncertainty in the market,” he said. — AFP

Business FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Buyers nibble at Egypt’s international bonds DUBAI: Some foreign buyers are returning cautiously to Egypt’s international bonds, betting the country may succeed in stabilising its economy and engineering a tricky transition back to civilian rule in coming months. Yields on the bonds have plunged by more than 2 percentage points over the past two weeks. Flows of money have not been large; in many cases, prices are being quoted higher without much actual trading. Huge uncertainties remain over Egypt’s ability to form a stable interim government that would govern until elections, the risk that street violence could develop into a campaign of industrial unrest and militant attacks, and prospects for fiscal reforms to curb the state’s soaring budget deficit. But this week’s naming of an interim prime minister acceptable to many Islamists, and pledges of $12 billion in financial aid to Egypt from wealthy Gulf governments, have at least raised the chances of overcoming these obstacles. And if Egypt does stabilise, the steep drop in its debt prices during the first half of this year means there is plenty of room for them to snap back further. So for some investors, a high-risk bet makes sense. “Currently we can finally say the market is back...Cautious buying, but there is buying interest at the moment,” said Khalil El-Bawab, managing director

for asset management at investment bank EFG Hermes in Cairo. “Yes, asset managers are willing to increase exposure now.” The yield on Egypt’s $1 billion sovereign bond maturing in 2020 soared to a peak of 11.07 percent on June 27 from 5.84 percent at the end of last year, as political tensions worsened and the economy ran deeper into trouble during the last months of president Mohamed Morsi. The bond began recovering well before Morsi was ousted last week, as it became clear that the army was likely to intervene to remove him suggesting the market viewed the performance of his government as more of a threat than the tumult created by a military coup. “The risks attached to Egyptian currency, fixed income and equities are actually lower than 10 days ago because, from an investor’s perspective, anything is better than the prior stalemate between the Muslim Brotherhood and old-regime loyalists,” said Hasnain Malik, who heads economic research firm Frontier Alpha in Dubai. Trading in Egyptian bonds is being limited by several factors. Much of the debt is believed to be owned by Egyptian banks who aim to hold it for the long term, viewing it as a hedge against depreciation of the Egyptian pound ; they have been unwilling to sell. Also, European banks which might have bought the

bonds a few years ago are now reluctant to take on fresh risk because the euro zone debt crisis has weakened their balance sheets. But a trader in London said he had detected some buying by foreign banks, while hedge funds, scenting an opportunity for quick profits, had been bidding up the bonds. The yield on the 2020 bond has now dropped to 8.64 percent. History suggests that if Egypt’s economy and politics do stabilise, the yield may fall much further; it is still more than 300 basis points above its levels late last year, before the political and economic outlook darkened. Since last year, yields on emerging market bonds have risen around the world, often by more than 100 bps, because of climbing US Treasury yields. But even including this factor, Egyptian yields could still have at least 200 bps to fall. Last week, when the Egyptian 2020 bond yield was around 10 percent, frontier marketsfocused investment bank Exotix switched to a buy recommendation on Egypt’s 2020 and 2040 international bonds. “If and when an Egyptian government demonstrates it is capable of delivering economic adjustment and structural reforms, we see ratings increasing and yields declining rapidly. We think there is 400-500 bps upside in such a scenario,” Exotix economist Gabriel Sterne wrote in a report.—Reuters

GFH hopes active investment stance to secure recovery MANAMA: Bahrain-based investment firm Gulf Finance House (GFH) hopes a leaner balance sheet and a revamped business model can revive the fortunes of a firm which once symbolised growth of the kingdom’s Islamic finance sector. GFH’s new strategy calls for it to become more involved in its investments, and to hold projects until completion rather than passing them to third parties to develop as was done in the past, its acting chief executive said in a telephone interview. For several years a hands-off approach worked well for the sharia-compliant investment house, which was founded in 1999. Strong global markets allowed it to book healthy premiums in the stakes it sold in real estate projects. Profits poured in, totalling $343.3 million in 2007 and $291.9 million in 2008. But the global financial crisis then made it hard for GFH to sell assets and in 2009 it posted a net loss of $728.4 million. Last year, it booked a profit of $10.05 million and in the first quarter of this year, $1.5 million. “Because the market was hot everything was sellable, but now we are looking at fundamentals and more calculated risks,” said Hisham Al Rayes, who took the helm at GFH in April last year. Formerly chief investment officer, Al Rayes has been with GFH since May 2007. “We have changed the model - instead of using sub-developers we are now going vertical in the development of our projects.” The credit crunch piled up liabilities of over $2 billion, and GFH was forced to restructure some of them more than once to avoid defaulting in the years after 2008. But Al Rayes said the company had now slimmed down its debt to $223 million, with maturities extended until 2018 via two-year grace periods. GFH completed the takeover of English soccer club Leeds United in December through its Dubai-based subsidiary, GFH Capital; it hopes the deal will vindicate its new way of doing business. It did not give a value for the deal, but its cashflow statement indicates GFH has so far paid over $33 million for Leeds, with a further $42.7 million in liabilities. The statement values the club at $88 million. “I think it was a transaction that to a certain extent confirmed the recovery of GFH,” said Al Rayes. Because of its debt burden, GFH may not be able to put as much money into Leeds as other Gulf investors have showered on European soccer clubs such as Manchester City. But with new players and staff, including former Reading coach Brian McDermott, GFH says it plans to turn Leeds into a sustainable franchise by emulating the success of clubs such as Reading. “I would like Leeds to reach that stage as well...but you can’t just do changes overnight, you have to do it smoothly. Overall we are looking at the enhancement of operations and enhancement of results.” GFH has had to outline its strategy not only to its shareholders but also to the soccer club’s vocal fan base, an unusual demand on a firm that has kept a low profile since 2009. GFH classified its stake in Leeds as being “held-for-sale” on its year-end financial statements, but Al Rayes said this did not mean it intended to exit the club any time soon. He said GFH planned to bring new investors into Leeds while retaining an “influential minority” stake, declining to give a figure. —Reuters

CAIRO: A niqab-clad woman walks outside the Al-Ahzar mosque on Wednesday at the end of the first fasting day of the holy month of Ramadan. — AFP

Egypt has less than 2 mts of imported wheat left UN says turmoil causes food security concerns CAIRO: Egypt has less than two months’ supply of imported wheat left in its stocks, ousted President Mohamed Morsi’s minister of supplies said, revealing a shortage more acute than previously disclosed. Speaking to Reuters near midnight in a tent at a vigil where thousands of Mursi supporters are protesting against the Islamist president’s removal, former Minister of Supplies Bassem Ouda said the state had just 500,000 tonnes of imported wheat left. Egypt usually imports about 10 million tonnes a year. Two and a half years of political turmoil have caused a deep economic crisis in Egypt, scaring away investors and tourists, draining foreign currency reserves and making it difficult to maintain imports of food and fuel. Egypt is the world’s largest importer of wheat, half of which it distributes to its 84 million people in the form of heavily subsidised saucer-sized flat loaves of bread, which sell for less than 1 US cent. Bread has long been a sensitive issue in Egypt. Former President Hosni Mubarak faced unrest in 2008 when the rising price of wheat caused shortages. Although it also grows its own wheat, Egypt needs huge quantities of foreign wheat with higher gluten content to make flour suitable for bread. The ousted government closely guarded figures about its foreign grain stores even as a shortage of cash halted its imports. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said yesterday that civil unrest and dwindling foreign exchange reserves meant Egypt could have serious food security concerns. Its import requirements next year would be equal to this year, it said. Since Morsi was toppled last week, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have promised $12 billion in cash, loans and fuel,

which economists say buys Cairo several months of breathing room to fix its finances. Egypt had halted its purchases of international wheat since February - its longest absence from the market in years - until the eve of Morsi’s overthrow, when the state grain buying agency, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), bought wheat under Ouda’s instruction. “In spite of all the political differences between the parties, the international price of wheat was very nice, we bought about 180,000 tonnes of wheat,” Ouda said. Mamdouh Abdel Fattah, vice chairman of GASC, was not immediately available to comment. Apart from imports, Ouda said the government had bought 3.7 million tonnes of home-grown wheat from a harvest that is now finishing. It still has 3 million tonnes of domestic wheat left in its stores, having begun milling the domestic crop in May. Egypt normally mixes its domestic wheat with equal parts foreign wheat to produce flour. Ouda said Mursi’s government had tried to increase the ratio of domestic wheat, which would make the country less dependent on imports. “Our plan was to increase the contribution of the local wheat. We hoped to reach 60 percent,” Ouda said. Morsi’s government said on June 26 it had 3.613 million tonnes of total wheat but did not reveal how much of that was imported. Earlier this week a report issued by a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) attache in Egypt said domestic wheat stocks would last through October at current consumption levels. It gave no estimate for when foreign wheat would run out. In the past, Egypt maintained stocks of both imported and local wheat that would cover at least six months’ needs.—Reuters

Business FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

US oil boom to erode OPEC market share LONDON: The North American shale oil boom could spur the biggest rise in non-OPEC supply growth in decades next year, helping meet strong global demand and eroding the market share of OPEC countries, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said yesterday. Shale oil and gas is already transforming the global energy market, notably by providing cheap supplies to the US economy and lessening its dependence on imports. Even though global oil demand growth in 2014 will rise to its strongest level since 2010, supply will remain quite comfortable, meaning oil prices should avoid steep spikes, the IEA, the energy adviser to industrialised countries said in its monthly report. “The 2014 outlook... should give oil bulls some cause for alarm. Non-OPEC supply growth looks on track to hit a 20-year record next year, surpassing the 1.3 million bpd high reached in 2002,” the IEA said. While demand growth is also forecast to gain momentum, rising to 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2014 from 0.930 million bpd in 2013, it will still fall short of forecast non-OPEC supply growth. As a result, the need for OPEC oil will decline. The IEA said the “call” on OPEC crude is set to ease in 2014 to 29.4 million bpd from 29.6 million bpd this year and versus current OPEC production of 30.61 million bpd. The picture painted by the IEA represents a dramatic change in patterns seen in recent decades when the world was expected to be increasingly reliant on OPEC’s oil with supplies from other producers declining or remaining stagnant. OPEC itself said on Wednesday that 2014 incremental demand will be covered by non-OPEC supplies. Rising shale output will make it harder for the 12-member group to keep its own output at high rates without risking a drop in prices below $100 a barrel, its preferred level. In 2014, the IEA expects North American supply to grow by close to 1 million bpd and other countries including Brazil and Kazakhstan to also produce more. Major pre-salt projects in Brazil, the Kashagan field in Kazakhstan, West Chirag in Azerbaijan, and new fields in the North Sea are expected to offset declining production elsewhere. “Production could prove even higher than forecast in Russia, the United States, Canada, and Brazil, especially if prices remain at or above current levels,” the IEA said. On the demand side, China is forecast to remain the main engine of demand growth in 2014 adding 385,000 bpd, followed by the rest of non-OECD Asia adding 325,000 bpd and the Middle East, where demand should rise by 225,000 bpd. “While demand in the OECD region is expected to contract, it will do so at a much slower pace than has been the case in the last few years since the 2008 financial crisis, edging down by 0.4 percent in 2014 compared to the 0.8 percent drop of 2013.” —Reuters

Tablet wars heating up as prices tumble New devices flood market WASHINGTON: Tablet prices are plunging amid a flood of new devices and cutthroat competition for market share. Amazon has slashed prices of its Kindle HD tablets to as low as $169 in the US and 139 pounds in Britain, while Barnes & Noble has cut the price of its Nook to as low as $129, and has announced plans to outsource production of its tablets. “Since Hewlett-Packard launched its tablet, there has been a lot of pressure on prices,” said Rob Enderle, analyst with Enderle Group. HP sells its Androidpowered seven-inch Slate for as low as $139, helping make the paperback-size tablet computer an affordable commodity. A Gartner survey suggests tablet sales globally will rise 67.9 percent to 202 million units this year, but analysts say the market is

cooling after a couple of years of sizzling growth. Gartner said the red-hot growth in tablets and smartphones will taper off as these devices gain longer life cycles. The report said many consumers are opting for “basic” tablets to cut costs. “It looks like the market may be tiring of tablets and as makers get desperate, you may see more pressure on prices,” Enderle said. Some retailers are selling tablets for less than $100, but Enderle said the flood of poor-quality devices may eventually backfire and turn off consumers. Jitesh Ubrani, analyst at the research firm IDC, said many of the low-cost tablets come from small, sometimes unbranded “whitebox” vendors. “The decline of the PC market makes it increasingly important for PC ven-

JAKARTA: An Indonesian woman plays a game on her tablet during a sermon on the first night of the holy month of Ramadan at the Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta on July 9, 2013. — AFP

dors to compete in the tablet space,” Ubrani said. “As more top-tier brands introduce low-cost products, we expect to see a reduction in the number of whitebox vendors.” Even so, the analyst said, average prices for tablets is likely to drop further, and that tablet shipments are expected to overtake all PC shipments in 2015. The market leader, Apple, has so far kept above the fray, keeping prices steady on its iPad line of tablets, although it introduced the lower-cost iPad mini last year at $329, less than the $500 for its full-size iPad. “Apple does not look at the competitive marketplace to determine its strategy,” said Jeff Orr, analyst with ABI Research. “They look at their buyers. Because of that I would expect their price points to remain consistent for the foreseeable future.” Enderle said Apple is seeking to remain a “premium vendor” but faces a difficult choice - lowering prices, which can hurt its profits and worsen its share price declines, or giving up market share. “Under Steve Jobs, when a product started to commoditize, they would come out with something new,” Enderle said. “Apple needs another premium product. It is overdue for whatever the next big thing is.” Microsoft has also aimed at the high end of the market with its Surface, which debuted with a starting $500 price tag, but it has cut the price as low as $199 for education buyers. Orr said some of the manufacturers may be forced out of the market if tablets are not part of their “core” business. “Every brand believes it has an audience which will be interested in their device to connect to their ecosystem,” he said. “The reality is not every player can survive.” Amazon sells its Kindles near the cost of production, in an effort to direct the buyers to Amazon content and apps. The others, including Apple. Google and Microsoft, also want to keep their customers tethered to an ecosystem for advertising and sales. —AFP

Palestinian economic plan taking shape WASHINGTON: Behind the scenes, a team of international experts have for months been working on a plan to boost the stagnant Palestinian economy, set to be launched if peace talks with the Israelis resume. US Secretary of State John Kerry unveiled the broad contours of the scheme to attract some $4 billion in private-sector investment over the next three years at a World Economic Forum in Jordan in late May. But decades of frustrations and disappointments mean the concrete details are being kept under wraps until there is an agreement to resume the talks, stalled since September 2010. The hope is that, hand in hand with movement on the political front, the scheme could sew tangible economic benefits on the ground to alleviate dire unemployment and poverty for the Palestinians. Kerry said business experts had been working to make the project “real, tangible and shovel-ready,” adding an initial analysis had predicted “stunning” results. These included boosting the Palestinian GDP by as much as 50 percent over three years and cutting unemployment from 21 percent to eight percent. But similarly ambitious US-led plans by past administrations have faltered, and a blanket of secrecy has been thrown up as Quartet special envoy Tony Blair and his team hammer out the details with the aid of international experts. Critics say the vague details may signal a lack of substance. But others believe the need for secrecy is in part due to concerns on the Palestinian side that any so-called “economic peace” would sideline efforts to

seal a two-state peace deal with Israel. “The Palestinian leadership will not offer political concessions in exchange for economic benefits,” insisted Mohammad Mustafa, president of the Palestine Investment Fund, a day after Kerry’s announcement. Part of the aim, though, is to wean the Palestinian economy off its dependence on donor handouts, sources told AFP. After several years of what the World Bank called “robust growth,” the Palestinian economy has slowed since 2012, hit by a fall in aid amid international fatigue at the moribund peace process. The basis for Palestinian economic growth “is largely donor support, which in the long term is not sustainable. And it is really job creation that is needed,” said Mariam Sherman, World Bank country director for the West Bank and Gaza. “We would like to see greater private sector investment,” she told AFP. The International Monetary Fund said last week that Palestinian growth was expected to slow to about 4.25 percent this year down from about 11 percent in 2010 and 2011. Unemployment in the West Bank is set to reach 24 percent this year, while in Gaza joblessness stands at 31 percent - with half of all women in the Gaza Strip out of work. Cuts in donor aid had in the past two years “brought the PA close to insolvency”, wrote the Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University last month. “The PA was unable to pay the salaries of public sector employees fully and on time.” The Quartet is understood to have targeted eight sectors for growth construction/housing, building materials, tourism, light manufac-

turing, agriculture, energy, water and information technology. The aim is not to present an investment plan dividing money between each sector, but rather to map out a potential path forward. Much needs to be done on both sides to foster a better environment to lure private investors. “If that $4 billion flows in and meets all the security-driven restrictions, you will not get the proper result,” Kari Tapiola, a special advisor to the International Labor Organization, cautioned about the Quartet-Kerry plan. “You have different areas of potential productive investment, but under the current conditions they are very limited,” agreed Sherman. Last week’s IMF report sharply criticized “persistent Israeli controls and obstacles on internal movement, exports, and imports in the West Bank, as well as the virtual closure of Gaza”. Such restrictions “thwart the private sector,” the report warned. Prohibitions and bureaucratic red-tape have contributed to a fall in Palestinian exports, while the industrial and agricultural sectors have also weakened. With no functioning airport, much of what the Palestinians produce has to be trucked out through the West Bank and sent to Jordan via the Allenby Bridge. Marble from quarries, dates and herbs from farms, as well as some processed foods are among the most successful exports from small Palestinian businesses. But such built-in inefficiencies add to the overall cost, while a strict Israeli ban on importing dual-use items such as fertilizer mean West Bank manufacturers can struggle to get materials.—AFP

Business FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

‘No work’ jobs roil UK labour market LONDON: No work, no pay, but still employed? Welcome to Britain’s ‘zero-hours contracts’, which offer no guaranteed amount of work and pay, and some weeks provide nothing. Almost unheard of in the rest of Europe and the United States, the rapid growth of this type of work helps explain how Britain’s barely growing economy has nonetheless been able to provide jobs for a record number of people. One in five jobs created in Britain since late 2008 has come with a zero-hours contract, many of them in low-paid roles such as caring for the elderly or stacking shelves, but increasingly in work that requires more qualifications. Under a zero-hours contract, an employer has no obligation to provide a minimum number of shifts, unlike other jobs. Workers are not obliged to accept hours either. But critics argue that the flexibility mostly benefits employers because workers who reject being called up on one occasion risk being frozen out of all future work. This has engendered criticism. Opposition Labour party leader Ed Miliband says the contracts make some British workplaces “nasty, brutish and unfair”. His colleague, Julie Elliott, who led a parliamentary debate criticising the contracts said it put too many people’s life “on call”. Some Labour politicians are trying to push through legislation to ban the contracts. But they stand little chance of success, with the governing coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats convinced there is a place for them. Flexibility in hiring is viewed by

many as key to employment growth, and Britain has long had easier rules on hiring and firing workers than other European countries. Even so, some change may still be on the way. Britain’s business ministry is holding informal talks with employers and unions, which Lib Dem employment minister Jo Swinson said this week may presage a more in-depth inquiry. Lawmakers also say plenty of their constituents face difficulties with the contracts. The experience of one 26-year-old man who spoke to Reuters earlier this year is typical. He worked in warehouse jobs in central England for several months under a zero-hours contract from an employment agency. He did not wish his name to be published in case he got sacked. Usually he gets a text message to tell him if there is work the following day. But often the number of hours is unclear, and sometimes he is required at even shorter notice. “It is very sporadic and unpredictable, making it virtually impossible to budget or plan for my other commitments,” he said. “I don’t earn enough, and since I’ve been doing zero-hours contracts I’ve been getting more and more in debt.” Some weeks he works eight hours, others more than 40, generally at a minimum wage of £6.19 ($9.18) an hour. The unpredictable income plays havoc with his state benefit entitlements, which assume a steady amount of work each week. How many people are in a similar situation is unclear. The latest official data from the Office for National Statistics - which covers the last three months of 2012 - suggests just 200,000 people are employed

under zero-hours contracts, up from 116,000 in late 2008. This is 0.7 percent of the workforce, but the 70 percent increase is a fifth of the net jobs increase over the period. But the numbers may significantly undercount the number of people on zero-hours contracts, as its survey relies on workers knowing the precise legal status of their jobs. Earlier this week the government said that it was possible that 300,000 people were employed on zerohours contracts last year in the social care sector alone. “The numbers are dodgy, really dodgy,” said Ian Brinkley, a former chief economist for Britain’s Trades Union Congress who now heads the Work Foundation, a labour market think. Brinkley said he expected such contracts to grow further in the future - and did not advocate a ban - but he predicted a damaging effect on worker morale would limit their use. Data on whether the contracts acted as a stepping stone into more permanent employment, or left workers stuck in a rut, was largely absent, he added. Kevin Green, director of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, whose members place a lot of people into temporary work, does not dispute that some bad practice exists. But he questions whether it is more prevalent in zero-hours work than in other types of contract, and added that it benefited people who might not be able to work otherwise. “It’s hugely important for businesses that they can flex and provide the right resource and the right capability to meet their customers’ needs.” — Reuters

BoJ stands pat on monetary policy Central bank upgrades assessment TOKYO: Japan’s central bank yesterday struck an optimistic note about the economy, using the word “recover” for the first time in more than two years and pointing to a pick-up in investment as well as consumer and business confidence. The Bank of Japan left its vast monetary easing program - a huge bond-buying scheme unveiled in April - unchanged, saying the situation for the world’s number three economy was looking up. “Japan’s economy is starting to recover modestly,” BoJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda told a press conference after a two-day policy meeting. The comment was seen as a notch stronger than its previous assessment that the “economy has been picking up”. “With regard to the outlook, Japan’s economy is expected to recover moderately on the back of the resilience in domestic demand and the pick-up in overseas economies,” the bank said in a statement. Kuroda pointed to a rise in business and public investment, private consumption and industrial production, while noting that exports also picked up. BoJ board members slightly adjusted their growth forecasts, with their fresh median forecast registering at 2.8 percent in a range of 2.5 to 3.0 percent growth. In April, their median forecast was 2.9 percent growth, in a range of 2.4 to 3.0 percent growth. The moderate change came as the rest of the world was performing weaker than expected, while the Japanese domestic economy did better than anticipated, Kuroda said, adding that the growth rate and inflation were moving “broadly in line with the April forecasts”. The bank in April unveiled a multi-billion-dollar bond-buying

scheme - similar to the US Federal Reserve’s aimed at kickstarting growth in the limp economy and bringing an end to deflation. Business confidence among Japan’s biggest manufacturers surged in the past three months, a closely-watched central bank survey showed earlier in July, in the latest sign of an uptick in the economy. The public has largely cheered the economic initiatives of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who came to power in December and has offered a series of huge government spending pledges that run in tandem with monetary easing. The two policies have driven down the value of the yen and given a fillip to exports.

But news that the bank would hold off any more policy moves sent the yen higher against the dollar, adding to gains made in New York after the US central bank indicated its own easy-money policy would be kept in place for some time. Abe appointed Kuroda, a veteran of international finance, as the central banker in March with a promise to generate two percent inflation in two years in a country long beset by growth-sapping deflation. Economists are divided over the merits of Abe’s controversial initiatives, dubbed “Abenomics”, which are so far a little short on details of how Japan’s massive public debts will be tackled or how cossetted industries will be made more competitive. — AFP

TOKYO: Bank of Japan Gov Haruhiko Kuroda reacts at a news conference after attending a policy meeting at the BoJ’s head office yesterday. — AP

China accuses GSK staff of graft, tax crimes BEIJING: Senior managers of British drug firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in China have confessed to bribery, “serious” business offences and tax crimes, the ministry of public security said yesterday. “As a big multinational pharmaceutical company, GSK China in recent years rampantly bribed some government officials, a number of pharmaceutical industry groups and funds, hospitals and doctors,” said the ministry, which is in charge of China’s police, in a statement. The firm did so in order to sell products or raise prices, it said, adding that benefits were provided “via travel agencies and other channels in the form of direct bribery or sponsorship”. It also committed tax-related crimes, the statement said, following police investigations in the financial hub Shanghai and the central cities of Changsha and Zhengzhou. “The case involves a large number of people, a long period of time, a huge value and its circumstances are vile,” it added. Some senior managers have confessed their wrongdoings in preliminary interrogation, the statement said, and the inquiry was continuing. It did not specify the suspects’ citizenships, but in London the Foreign Office said it was providing consular assistance to a British national. It is common practice in China for pharmaceutical firms to offer doctors and hospitals bribes to have their products used, industry insiders say. GSK is one of the largest multinational pharmaceutical companies in China with total investment of more than $500 million, according to its website. A spokeswoman for the firm said it was willing to co-operate with the inquiry, adding: “This is the first official communication GSK has received from the police in relation to the specific nature of its investigation. “We take any allegations of bribery and corruption very seriously,” the spokeswoman said in an email to AFP, adding that it had found “no evidence of bribery or corruption of doctors or government officials” in China. — AFP

FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

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

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Opinion FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Morsi’s ouster comforts Saudis, disconcerts Qatar By Angus McDowall and Regan Doherty


he $12 billion in aid Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait offered Egypt this week showed their delight at the army’s ousting of President Mohamed Morsi in a reversal for Islamists empowered by the Arab ferment of 2011. It also marked a recalibration of power among Gulf Arab states which, with the notable exception of Qatar, had viewed the Arab uprisings as catastrophic for regional stability and feared the Muslim Brotherhood would use its domination of Egypt to push a radical, Islamist agenda in their own backyard. Qatar, however, saw support for the Muslim Brotherhood as a means to project its influence in the Middle East, and gave Egypt $7 billion in aid during the movement’s year in power. “I suspect the Qataris will draw back somewhat,” said Robert Jordan, a former US ambassador to Riyadh. “Their infatuation with the Muslim Brotherhood has probably been dampened. They’re likely to come around to a position closer to the Saudis.” Saudi Arabia in particular was alarmed by the popular unrest that toppled Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia’s Zein al-Abidine Ben Ali, and rippled through Bahrain, Yemen and other countries. But most Gulf rulers had fewer qualms about rebellions against Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi and Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad, whose links with Shiite Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement had long antagonised US-backed Sunni Arab states. Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which has challenged Riyadh’s traditional leadership in recent years, were broadly aligned on support for rebels in Syria and Libya, but they bitterly disagreed over their attitude to Islamist groups. Now that argument appears to be over - at least for now. Flawed Strategy Doha insiders say it is too early to judge Qatar’s reaction to the crisis unfolding in Egypt, but they say the new emir may consider reducing his wealthy country’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood and playing a less prominent regional role. “They have admitted that there were some flaws in their Egypt strategy,” said a Doha-based source who has advised the Qatari government and who asked not to be named. “Their intervention was seen as overly reflexive support of the (Morsi) government without adequately taking into account the will of the people. The way it was handled has caused them some problems, and they have acknowledged that,” he said. For Saudi Arabia, the Brotherhood’s fall was sweetened by the decisive intervention of an Egyptian military with ties to Gulf states that flourished under Mubarak. Army chief General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi was once a military attache in Riyadh. “He has long experience there and long ties to not only the Saudi military, but also the political leadership,” said Jordan. Saudi Arabia and the UAE publicly insist they do not comment on other states’ internal affairs, but both rapidly broadcast congratulatory messages to Egypt’s new interim leader, tacitly signalling their hostility to the Muslim Brotherhood. “The problem with the Brotherhood is their

ideology has no borders,” said Abdullah AlAskar, chairman of the foreign affairs committee of Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council, a body King Abdullah appointed to debate policy and advise the government. “They don’t believe in national identity, but they believe in the iden-

tity of the Islamic nation. They have their fingers in different states in the Gulf,” he said. That concern was manifest in the trial in Abu Dhabi of 94 Emiratis accused of plotting to overthrow the government on behalf of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Their sentences were announced a day before the tanks

rolled in Cairo last week. While Kuwait’s ruling family shares Saudi and UAE concerns about the Brotherhood, its stance is complicated by the presence of Islamists linked to the movement in its parliament. As a result it has been less vocal than other Gulf states in criticising

the Brotherhood after the Arab uprisings and has left fundraising for Syrian rebels largely to private citizens. Soft Power Like the Brotherhood, most Gulf states follow strict versions of Islam, but while the

Islamist movement preaches political activism, Gulf clerics mostly espouse a doctrine of support for traditional rulers and oppose radical change. In Doha, the question now is how far the new emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamid AlThani, might retreat from Qatar’s alliance of convenience with the Middle East’s sturdiest Islamist movement. Qatar’s support for the Brotherhood, including sheltering its sympathisers, arming its brigades in Syria and, some say, guiding the editorial policy of its Arabiclanguage Al Jazeera television station, has irritated Saudi Arabia and the UAE. “They (the Qataris) think soft power comes via the Brotherhood, via Al Jazeera television but this is dangerous,” said the Saudi Shoura Council’s Askar, saying he was speaking for himself and not for the kingdom. He said the Qataris “use the Brotherhood for political reasons”, without belonging to the movement themselves. There is no outward sign yet of Qatar changing its policy. Sheikh Youssef AlQaradawi, a prominent Doha-based Egyptian cleric and Brotherhood champion, has continued to lament last week’s army intervention in Cairo that was backed by popular protests. ‘Hedging Their Bets’ And Al Jazeera’s coverage is still interpreted as pro-Morsi, prompting Egypt’s military to close its Cairo bureau, where some staff quit in protest at its perceived pro-Brotherhood line. “The Qataris are hedging their bets right now. They’re willing to engage with anyone who will come to the table. No one knows how this is going to play out. Right now, the best option for Qatar is to remain quiet,” said the Doha source. It amounts to a weighty foreign policy challenge for the new emir, whose father stepped down unexpectedly this month. “The abdication was miraculously welltimed. They changed the regime one week before Egypt hit the wall,” the Doha source said. “Now they have the opportunity to refashion the policy, and present the new emir as someone whose policies will be more aligned with the will of the Egyptian people.” It is not clear how far the Brotherhood’s defeat in Egypt will energise Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies in the region, although the election of a Saudi ally to head Syria’s opposition last week was seen as evidence of the shifting power balance. On Wednesday, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash wrote an opinion piece in Washington-based Foreign Policy magazine condemning political Islam and pledging support for Middle Eastern countries he described as moderate. Saudi King Abdullah’s Ramadan message inveighed against joining political parties, an apparent warning to Saudi members of the Brotherhood angry at Riyadh’s approval of Morsi’s fall. Saudi rulers may worry about radicalisation of Islamists in Egypt, but homegrown ones in the Gulf pose little domestic threat, analysts and former diplomats in the region said. Mustafa Alani of the Geneva-based Gulf Research Centre said: “Their bigger concerns are about the interference of a strong Muslim Brotherhood in the internal affairs of their own states.” —Reuters

FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

In this Wednesday, July 10, 2013 photo, worshippers circle the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in the holy Muslim city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Many devout Muslims in the Middle East have started observing the dawn-to-dusk fast for the month of Ramadan even as the region is rocked by Egypt's turmoil and the relentless civil war in Syria. —AP

Food FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013


e spoon up so much yogurt at breakfast, lunch and dinner that we spent $7.3 billion on the tart stuff last year. Its creamy texture and good-foryour-gut benefits are draws. So are the varieties: full fat, nonfat and low fat; organic and conventional; honey sweetened or plain, fruit on the bottom or swirled throughout. Among these cultured denizens of the dairy case, it’s Greek yogurt that’s getting lots of attention. Retail sales in the US of this thicker-than-regular yogurt increased more than 50 percent in 2012 to reach $1.6 billion, according to Packaged Facts, a Rockville, Md., market researcher. Such numbers, they say, have pretzel, salad dressing and cerealmakers jumping on the Greek yogurt bandwagon. Greek yogurt’s appeal is easy to understand. It’s deliciously thick and creamy, it plays well in recipes, its ingredient list is simple (milk plus live cultures) and its tartness dovetails with our fondness for fermented foods (pickles etc.). “There’s been a lot of marketing with the Greek

yogurts. And people like the thick texture of the Greek variety,” says registered dietitian Sarah Krieger, an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson. “If you’re using Greek yogurt in cooking, basically you can use it anywhere that sour cream is used.” Subbing Greek yogurt for sour cream in many recipes cuts calories and sodium, while delivering more protein. “If you’re making a cold soup that uses sour cream, I would swap it out for nonfat Greek yogurt,” she says. “You’re getting more nutrition with the Greek yogurt.” Its acidity also works well as a marinade for meats and poultry. “It’s great for baked fish or chicken. If you’re using it instead of mayonnaise, you’re actually using less fat and you’re adding a little bit of protein and a little bit of calcium,” says Krieger, a St Petersburg, Fla, mom. She spreads yogurt on whitefish, then mixes dried herbs with breadcrumbs or panko to sprinkle atop before baking. “With yogurt, almost anything goes, the possibilities of

cooking with it are infinite,” wrote Arto Der Haroutunian in “The Yogurt Cookbook: Recipes From Around the World” (Interlink Books, $35). The late author, restaurateur and artist suggested using it in place of cream, milk, buttermilk and sour cream. “It makes an excellent marinade and goes well with vegetables, eggs, meat, poultry, cheese and grains,” writes Der Haroutunian, whose book boasts 200-plus recipes, including a garlic sauce (yogurt mixed with a crushed garlic clove, finely chopped green onion, a bit of salt and dried mint) for serving atop fried - we like grilled - slices of zucchini or eggplant. Greek yogurt, like regular yogurt, can be temperamental in the presence of heat. If you’re using it in cooking, it will curdle if you cook it over high heat, says Krieger, who suggests using low heat or stirring Greek yogurt into sauces at the end of cooking for texture and creaminess. Nutritional differences between Greek and regular

Food FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Look for the National Yogurt Association’s “Live & Active Cultures” seal identifying “yogurt products that contain significant amounts of live and active cultures.” SKEWERED CHICKEN (MURGH TIKKA) Prep: 20 minutes Marinate: Overnight Cook: 10-15 minutes Servings: 4 Note: Adapted from “The Yogurt Cookbook” by Arto Der Haroutunian (Interlink Books, $35). The author suggests serving it with a tomato and onion salad, plus rice pilaf or the Indian bread, chapati. Two-percent Greek yogurt was used in our testing. Ingredients 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs 1 onion, roughly chopped 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger Juice of 1 large lemon 1\2 cup plain Greek yogurt 2 teaspoons each: ground coriander, salt 1 teaspoon ground cumin 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or mint Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes. Put the onion, garlic, ginger and lemon juice in a blender; puree until smooth. Empty paste into a large non-reactive bowl. Add yogurt, coriander, salt and cumin; mix well. Add chicken pieces; turn until well coated. Cover; refrigerate overnight. yogurts are due in part to the number of times each is strained. Regular yogurt is strained twice to remove liquid (called whey); Greek yogurt is strained three times, which makes it thicker and sometimes tarter. “Regular yogurt has more whey, that is more of the liquid where most of the lactose - also known as the carbohydrate - is found,” says Krieger. “So when the whey is removed, you’re left with a higher concentration of protein. That’s why you’ll see more protein in nonfat Greek yogurt than of the same amount of regular nonfat.” Yet another reason to give tart, thick, creamy Greek yogurt a role to play in your culinary creations.

Servings: 4 Note: Adapted from “The Yogurt Cookbook” by Arto Der Haroutunian (Interlink Books, $35), this dish has a firm texture, not unlike cheesecake. The egg yolks help stabilize the yogurt. We used 2 percent Greek yogurt in testing. Ingredients 4 ounces dried apricots, soaked overnight in cold water 2 cups plain Greek yogurt 2 egg yolks 1 tablespoon brown sugar 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios Heat oven to 325 degrees. Drain softened apricots; cut them into small pieces. Place in a 4-cup baking dish. Beat yogurt and yolks together in a bowl; pour over apricots. Place baking dish in a baking pan. Pour enough cold water into the pan to come halfway up the outside of the baking dish. Bake until set, 30-40 minutes. Allow to cool. To serve, mix brown sugar with pistachios. Sprinkle over top.

GREEK YOGURT IN THE KITCHEN Plain Greek yogurt’s thickness works for dips, on spicy foods (chili anyone?), baked potatoes and adds another flavor dimension to some condiments (say, Dijon mustard or sriracha sauce). Remember: Liquid (whey) may pool at the top of yogurt. Dietitian Sarah Krieger says: It’s a good source of calcium so stir it back into the yogurt. Because yogurt is acidic, use a nonreactive dish when marinating foods or storing yogurt. Overstirring yogurt may thin its consistency. It may be warmed gently, but do not boil. To stabilize yogurt for a dish that may be cooked at a higher heat, cookbook author Arto Der Haroutunian suggests: Stir 1 to 2 teaspoons flour into a little water then add to yogurt before cooking. Or beat an egg into the yogurt before cooking. SHOPPING TIPS Dietitian Sarah Krieger offers these tips: “Always look at the ingredients first. Know what you’re eating.” Not all Greek yogurts are created equal. Check ingredients beyond milk and live cultures. Some yogurt makers may be “adjusting their recipes to accommodate what people are looking for,” she says. Sometimes that means adding thickeners (i.e. gelatin or cornstarch) to yogurts strained only twice rather that the usual three times. “People with lactose intolerance may find Greek yogurt easier to digest,” she says since Greek yogurt has less lactose (found in the whey). Yogurts are made using live cultures (good bacteria such as S thermophilus, and L bulgaricus, as well as others).

Nutrition information Per serving: 297 calories, 16 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 112 mg cholesterol, 29 g carbohydrates, 10 g protein, 45 mg sodium, 3 g fiber. — MCT

Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade; thread pieces on skewers. Cook on a grill or under a broiler, turning frequently, 10-12 minutes. Serve sprinkled with chopped mint or cilantro. Nutrition information Per serving: 255 calories, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 127 mg cholesterol, 1 g carbohydrates, 46 g protein, 228 mg sodium, 0 g fiber. APRICOT AND YOGURT CUSTARD Prep: 1 hour, 15 minutes Cook: 30-40 minutes

Tr a v e l FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013


Grand Bahama Island

Seeking adventure on a faded hot spot

Waterfalls at Garden of the Groves on Grand Bahama. — MCT photos

By Marjie Lambert


rom the deck of Banana Bay restaurant on the south shore of Grand Bahama Island, where I waited for a plate of conch fritters, I admired the pretty but empty beach that stretched to the east: a narrow, curving strip of white sand; a shallow lagoon of clear blue water; a hammock strung between two wind-bent palms. I turned to the west, sighting more sand, more palm trees, until a sign appeared in my camera’s viewfinder: ‘Nude beach. Swimsuits optional. Voyeurism prohibited. Absolutely no peering, staring, leering or outright gawking.’ I lowered my camera in a flash. What category would photography fall into - voyeurism or gawking? Had anyone seen me? I flicked my eyes up and down the beach, my gaze never stopping so I couldn’t be accused of staring, until I was sure that the few people walking along the sand were fully clothed. Then I raised my camera again and snapped a picture. Beaches are the No. 1 reason tourists come to Grand Bahama, its tourism officials say, and I was on one of its prettiest, Fortune Bay, less than 10 miles from Freeport and just steps from Grand Bahama Highway. Earlier, a nature tour had taken me to a more secluded spot, Gold Rock Beach, part of Lucayan National Park. The beach was accessible by a quarter-mile walk, mostly via boardwalk, through a mangrove

swamp. When we emerged from the trees, half-tame raccoons met us, begging for food. The beach was narrow, but a large sandbar was just a short walk away through shallow water clear enough that I could see the ripples in the sandy bottom. The tour guide said that scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean had been filmed here, and I wondered if cast, crew and equipment arrived by canoes or came through the mangroves each day. There are beaches here for snorkeling and for fishing, undeveloped beaches with few if any amenities, beaches with bars, music and watercraft rentals, beaches for shelling, beaches with kayaking trails, and, as I’d just learned, at least one nude beach. Despite Grand Bahama’s wealth of beaches, though, tourism - which in the late 1980s and early ë90s drew more than 1 million visitors a year took a dive here years ago and is recovering very slowly. Last year, tourism drew only about 840,000 people, their numbers diminished by the ups and downs of the US economy, competition from other budget beach destinations like Cancun, hurricane damage and aged hotels. I had come to explore the island at the northwest edge of the Bahamas by way of a fast ferry from Port Everglades, a ride of 2 to 3 hours. Three months later I would return on the Bahamas Celebration, a low-budget ‘ferry’ cruise that gives passengers the option of remaining on the ship for a traditional two-night cruise with a day visit to Freeport, or spend-

A visitor pauses to take a photo in a cave, partially lit by sunlight, in Lucayan National Forest on Grand Bahama.

ing a few nights on the island before returning on the ship to the Port of Palm Beach. The ferry, in operation for about 18 months, and the Bahamas Celebration, which began sailing from Palm Beach to Freeport three years ago, are part of that rebuilding. Carnival and Norwegian have added port calls as well, pushing total cruise ship arrivals from about 336,000 10 years ago to nearly 733,000 in 2012. However, cruise passengers who spend only part of a day on Grand Bahama account for the vast majority of those arrivals, while the number of far-morelucrative overnight visitors has plummeted. The Grand Bahama Port Authority has spiffed up the port in the last year, adding a straw market, Senor Frogs and other businesses, so some cruise passengers never even leave the port. Other upgrades: More flights from the United States and Canada are being added, and the closed Reef village is being renovated and rebranded by Sunwing, which will add 500 hotel rooms. Grand Bahama had almost 3,000 rooms in 1995; today it has about 2,100. A small eco-tourism element has been added, but green tourism can absorb only so many tourists and still remain green, said David Johnson, director-general at Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. ‘It’s a feature that helps to brand the island and we hope to see more of that but ecotourism by its very nature is not a volume-driven experience.’ It would be my first Grand Bahamian adventure. But first, I had to get there. THE FERRY The Pinar del Tio is rolling side to side. The few people who are walking around grab a post or seat back, then lurch to the next pillar or seat. On my way to the snack bar, I miscalculate and let go of a seat back just as the ship rolls to one side, so I throw my arm around a pillar. Never mind, I don’t need coffee that badly. It’s a windy, overcast Friday morning in January and the ferry is encountering rough seas. I bought a round-trip coach-class ticket to Grand Bahama Island, where I’ve reserved two nights in a hotel. Sunday night I’ll return on the ferry to Port Everglades; the ride will be smooth. The Pinar del Rio has a small first-class seating area, a snack bar, a bar that’s not open this morning, slot machines, a duty-free shop, and a movie showing at the back of the ship. I’ve stowed my roll-aboard suitcase in a luggage area (it was free, but there’s a charge to check larger bags). The ferry holds 463 passengers; on this trip it looks like a third to half of the seats are empty. Outside the ferry terminal, a fleet of taxi vans awaits. We’re divided into groups based on what hotel we’re going to. If the group is eight or more, the ride is only $5. Several vans quickly fill with people going to the Grand Lucayan or the Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach. But I’ve chosen the Bell Channel Inn, a small, out-of-the-way hotel, and I split the $27 fare with the only other passenger going there. I have a late lunch of crab salad by a window in the inn’s restaurant, which overlooks Bell Channel Bay. Then I spend some time with Jeanne, the hotel’s tour concierge. Jeanne arranges for me to join a group tour of Lucayan National Forest the next day and promises to look into what’s available on Sunday. Because of the timing of the tours and the fact that many shops are closed on Sunday, I won’t be able to fit in kayaking or a visit to a shop that hosts rum-tastings. Next trip, I promise myself. I set off on foot for Port Lucaya Marketplace, about a mile’s walk (and which, despite its name, is not located at the

Tr a v e l FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

port). The marketplace is a 12-acre complex on the waterfront, painted Bahamian-style in bright colors and built around Count Basie Square, which has a bandstand with dancing to live music that I can hear faintly from my hotel balcony at night. It has a marina, straw market, boutiques, hair-braiding stations, restaurants and bars specializing in rum drinks. Once, the International Bazaar in the center of Freeport was the hub of tourism activities. But since 2004, when the nearby Royal Oasis resort closed and hurricanes damaged the market, most of its shops and restaurants have closed or moved to Port Lucaya Marketplace, the new Tourism Central. Most tours include a stop at the marketplace, so over the course of my two trips to Grand Bahama, I’ll end up here several times, where I eat lunch, drink rum runners, buy mangoflavored rum in a liquor shop, get a haircut, go across the street to gamble at the island’s only casino, take a boat tour and evade the entreaties of shop owners to come in and look.

Tourists walk on the boardwalk through a mangrove swamp to Gold Rock Beach on Grand Bahama Island.

Scenes from “Pirates of the Caribbean” were shot at Gold Rock Beach on Grand Bahama Island. Saturday morning, a bus picks me up at my hotel for the trip to Lucayan National Forest and Gold Rock Beach, about 25 miles east of Freeport on the island’s south shore. It’s a small forest, just over 40 acres, but it has six miles of underwater caves and tunnels, formed when acidic water ate through the limestone. The Arawak Indians, also called the Lucayans, inhabited the island before Christopher Columbus arrived on nearby San Salvador, and were subsequently wiped out by the Spanish. But before that, they used the cave system as burial grounds. As our guide tells us about the Arawaks, he leads us along boardwalks, past palms, stands of pine trees, orchids, bromeliads and other tropical plants. We follow him down stairs into two caves that opened up when the ground above them partially collapsed. The light is dim in the first cave; only portions of these caves are open to the sky. Bromeliads hang from broken rock ledges. Our guide points out bats clustered in corners, fish in the greenish water illuminated by angled rays of light and entrances to underwater tunnels that only certified cave divers are permitted to explore. In the second cave, the remains of several Lucayan Indians were found in a burial mound. On the opposite side of Grand Bahama Highway is a mangrove swamp, crossed by boardwalks and signs detailing the fish, birds and other wildlife that live here. Beyond the swamp is Gold Rock Beach, where parts of Pirates of the Caribbean were filmed. We take off our shoes and go wading in the warm shallows. Then our tour bus takes us to Banana Bay for a late lunch. My options on Sunday are few, and I settle on a glass-bottom boat tour. While I’m walking to the marina at Port Lucaya Marketplace, a woman on her way to church falls in with me. We chat about cruises, walking, living on the island before our paths split. A short time later, a clown horn sounds behind me, and I stand aside to let a 70-ish man on a bicycle pedal past me. ‘Good afternoon,’ he calls in a British accent as he passes. The boat motors down a canal and into the ocean, then cruises along the coast to a coral reef. We crowd together, kneeling on benches, looking down through the thick glass bottom of the boat. At first we see just a few creatures - sergeant-major fish with their black stripes, Elkhorn coral - but before long we’re learning about several other kinds of coral and many fish. When a Caribbean reef shark swims into view, we’re entranced. Later, a crew member tosses handfuls of food into the water and the surface roils as the fish rise and snap at the floating bits. Back at the hotel, I catch a cab to the port for the 6 p.m. departure of the ferry. With no one to share my ride, I pay the full $27 fare. The evening is pleasant, and though I’m now armed with Dramamine, the seas are smooth.

A raccoon begs for food from a beachgoer on Gold Rock Beach, Grand Bahama Island. CRUISE SHIP The hard sell starts even before I board the Bahamas Celebration, but I’ve done my homework. Yes, I want to sign up for the kayaking excursion but not for snorkeling. No, I don’t want to pay extra to eat in the hamburger place - pay extra for a hamburger? Really? But yes, I will pay $25 to eat in The Cove, the fanciest of the ship’s restaurants. It continues in my tiny stateroom, pitches on the P.A. system for bingo, shore excursions, the spa, discounted drinks at the sail-away party. My stateroom is 86 square feet and has a small, cot-like lower bed plus a fold-down top bunk like on a train. The ship is a converted Norwegian ferry built in 1981 and has no balcony cabins. The electrical wiring is for European appliances - 220 volt - and US hairdryers won’t work. I borrow a hairdryer and a converter so I can recharge my cellphone. Since the ship sails only two-night cruises, passengers don’t require a lot of closet and drawer space. Bahamas Celebration offers the option of a ‘ferry cruise’ sail to Freeport, spend two or more nights in a hotel, then return. I’ve booked a traditional cruise and will be stopping in Grand Bahama only for a day, time for one shore excursion, then reboarding the ship in the evening and returning to the Port of Palm Beach the following morning. I have the late dinner seating but am hungry now, so I stop at the trattoria for bread and a small salad of tomatoes and tiny balls of mozzarella. Then I head for the salon, where, yes indeed, someone is available to give me a manicure. Then I head to the piano bar with its line of tables and chairs against the big windows and order a glass. A woman is singing rock ën’ roll and loudly entreating her audience to join in, but few people do. Finally, it’s almost time for dinner, and I go to my stateroom to dress up - the only occasion on either trip when I’ll wear a dress and high heels. I’ve brought a magazine to read, but two young women at

the next table want to talk. They are college students from South Florida on spring break, 19 and 20, taking their first vacation without their families and feeling very grown-up. They will be spending two nights at the Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach, an all-inclusive, and are looking forward to an endless supply of cocktails on an island. But eventually they leave, and I enjoy a dinner of sauteed escargot, seafood bisque, grilled shrimp with lobster risotto and Grand Marnier creme brulee. The food is significantly better than in the ship’s other restaurants and worth the extra $25. After-dinner entertainment includes a comedian in the showroom, a singer in the piano bar, karaoke and the usual games in the casino. Later, there’s an all-night dance party in the showroom. When I return to my stateroom, I find a notice that my kayaking excursion has been canceled because not enough people signed up. The next morning at the shore excursion desk, I find out that all water excursions - kayaking, snorkeling, the glass-bottom boat - are canceled because of the wind and rain, so I switch to a tour of Garden of the Groves. The Garden of the Groves is not named for its groves of trees, but for Wallace Groves, a disgraced American financier whose story is also the story of how Grand Bahama became a tourist destination. Groves’ career as a US businessman ended in 1938 when he was indicted for mail fraud. In the late 1940s, after serving time in federal prison, he moved to the island, purchased a lumber company and bought 115,000 acres of pine forest for his lumber mill. Soon, he began to envision Grand Bahama as a resort, one that would compete with Cuba for US tourists. In 1955, he formed the Grand Bahama Port Authority and negotiated an agreement with the Bahamian government to establish the city of Freeport as a free trade zone on what was then swampland and to build a port, schools, roads and develop utilities in return for significant tax concessions. He was given control of 50,000 acres and the authority to issue business licenses and work permits, run immigrations and customs operations at the port, operate casinos and set utility rates. Groves died in 1988 in Miami at 86. Our tour guide recounts Groves’ story as he drives us to the botanical garden, where a sign commemorates Groves and his wife Georgette. We learn about the lignum vitae, or tree of life, the national tree of the Bahamas; about the plants that grow in the ‘healing garden,’ the fern gully, and some of the other 10,000 species of plants that grow there. We sit in a chapel that is a replica of one from the early days of the logging industry, admire the pieces in the sculpture garden, pause to take pictures of manmade waterfalls, study the birds in the aviary, learn about the meditation labryinth and browse in the little shops at the end of the tour. Back on the ship, I’m seated for dinner in one of the main dining rooms with a mother and her young son who are visiting from New York. I say something about how they probably appreciated the beaches more than I did, even on a rainy day, but the mother says the boy doesn’t like buses, so they stayed at the port. It’s a reminder that each person I’ve met on this boat had a different reason for coming on the cruise, and a different reaction to the experience. I say goodnight and turn toward the piano bar, and as I do, I realize that I have my own reason for making a return trip: I still want to go kayaking on Grand Bahama. — MCT


Health FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013


t’s leg day. You’re tired. You’re tempted to take it easy and wander through a few sets of leg press, extensions, and curls. Sure, you could attack those exercises with sufficient intensity and make short-term progress. Eventually, though, your development will get top-heavy and you’ll be the guy stuck in sweat pants, hiding your peg legs. Real men and women-the kind with bulging quads and hanging hamstrings-can pull off short shorts. This one’s for you, brothers and sisters in the sweats. Over time, we tend to get into a training groove. We hit the same exercises with the same intensity, so our progress slows, crawls, and eventually stops. Don’t get comfortable; get uncomfortable! Try some new exercises-like the five leg legends below-to challenge your patterns and kickstart new gains. 1 Zercher Squat This is one of my favorite all-time movements, especially for strength athletes. Zercher squats eliminate many of the problems that immobile people have with back squats. I’ve seen shoulders so jacked-up that people can’t get their hands on the bar when squatting.

Bad hips, weak hamstrings, and a bad back can all contribute to complications with back squats. The Zercher is a great alternative while you fix your jacked-up crap. It heavily recruits the upper back and posterior chain, is relatively easy on the spine, and the bar position makes it simple to squat correctly. As you start, you may find cradling the bar to be uncomfortable. There are a couple of solutions to this-along with sucking it up, of course. You could use a thick bar, such as a strongman axle. The increased surface area will radically reduce the discomfort. You could also use a barbell pad, such as those the weak might use during a back squat. Regardless, rotate the Zercher squat into your program. It’s fantastic. 2 Bulgarian Split Squat A single-leg squat not only adds a limited amount of instability to your squat (more similar to what you would see on an athletic field than a two-legged squat), but also allows you to train with a lighter load. This has its place, like when you want to give your spine a break from those disc-crushing poundages. It’s easy to get someone doing this movement correctly with intense loads,

and injuries are unlikely. That makes a rearfoot-elevated split squat a great addition to any program. The most common issue with the split squat is incorrect placement of the front foot. Most will place the front foot too close to the rear, causing excessive knee displacement and potential discomfort. Get more glutes and hamstrings involvement, with less knee pain, by moving the front foot to a position that keeps the knee directly above the ankle. If the movement causes too much of a stretch in the hip flexor as you descend, use a shorter bench or box. I recommend beginning with dumbbells until you have mastered the set-up. It won’t be too long before your weights move up drastically. Once you have graduated to a barbell, I would recommend doing this movement in the comparative safety of the squat rack, on the off chance you lose your balance. You also might consider using the safety-squat bar for this move. 3 Donkey Calf Raise This is a great movement because, unlike some of the more popular calf moves, it keeps the gastrocnemius into a heavily stretched position as it crosses the

knee. This iconic movement brings back images of Arnold with several women on his back. If you can pull it off, that is definitely the way to go! But you can use training partners as an external load, use a machine, or set it up with a weight belt. However you “ride the donkey,” there is one issue you will run into with this movement: the load. Your calves can handle considerable weight. Whatever load you use, you may not encounter much of a challenge. Don’t write yourself off as an uberstrong badass. Instead, do your calf raises one leg at a time. 4 Glute-Ham Raise This might be the most underrated movement on this list. As good as it is, few gyms carry the proper equipment needed to perform this movement. It’s difficult and requires good technique, which often makes it the odd machine out in commercial gyms. The glute-ham raise hits your entire posterior chain-your calves, hamstrings, and back all contract strongly during this movement. Progressing this heavyhitting movement will radically improve your squats, deadlifts, and even your vertical jump! Just pay attention to good technique. On a strictly performed glute-ham raise, most people will struggle with only a few bodyweight reps. It is tough. 5 Good Morning There are few movements as effective for your posterior chain as the good morning. There are a lot of ways to perform it, but the key here is the hip hinge. People tend to use a lot of back and quads in posterior chain movements, which leads them to perform the exercises incorrectly. When teaching this movement, I usually start by having “Assistant Coach Wall” instruct the athlete. Stand six inches in front of a wall with your feet in your squat stance, and push your hips back until your butt touches the wall. Maintain a neutral to slightly arched spine, and ensure that you aren’t facilitating the movement with knee displacement. Your knees should stay directly above ankles, or even behind if you can manage it. After you’ve achieved the form, move forward an inch or two and repeat the drill. Continue doing so until you reach the limit of your flexibility, with your hips fully displaced and your hamstrings feeling like they’re going to rip off. Add a barbell to your back, perform the above movement, and you’ve hit a perfect good morning. —

Lifestyle FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

An Iraqi Kurd visitor takes pictures of statues showing a scene of torture in a cell.

Iraqi Kurds look at tanks as they visit a former torture centre. —AFP photos

Memories vivid at Iraq torture centre turned museum ‘A dungeon for a dictator’ In the 1980s and early 1990s, each room in the facility was dedicated to a specific form of torture, according to Gharib. In one soundproofed office, museum visitors are shown a likeness of a detainee whose hands are tied to a metal pipe on the ceiling, his feet about 50 centimeters (20 inches) off the ground. In a second room, guards would tie inmates’ feet to a metal bar held at waist height, while another guard would beat the detainee’s feet with an electric cable or metal pipe. The beatings would last between six to 12 hours at a time. Ali, now a civil servant in Iraqi Kurdistan’s education ministry, suffered a different form of torture. Having joined the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan-the rebel

A dummy is displayed in a cell.


amiran Aziz Ali grimaces and leans forward, his hands behind his back, re-enacting the moment in January 1990 when Saddam Hussein’s henchmen flung him into a jail cell in the “Red House”. “I am still in pain,” Ali says. “I cannot sit down for a long time anymore.” But mercifully for Ali, his return to the cell where he was jailed was not for real. For years an infamous torture centre earmarked for Kurdish rebels fighting the ex-dictator’s regime-Kurdish fathers would threaten their sons with being sent to the Red House for not doing their homework or other misdeeds-the Red House is now a museum. Once used to extract so-called confessions from fighters opposed to Saddam, since 1996 the Red House has exhibited the torture used by regime loyalists before the threeprovince Kurdish region of northern Iraq gained some autonomy and respite-from the dictator’s rule. Officially called the “National Museum In Order Not To Forget”, locals still refer to it by its Saddam-era nickname. The concrete building lies in a wealthy neighborhood of Sulaimaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan’s second city, 270 kilometers (170 miles) north of Baghdad. While the red paint that covered its walls has faded over time, the bars and barbed wire that stopped inmates from escaping are still in place. When Iraqi Kurdistan was under the yoke of Saddam’s regime up to 1991, several hundred Kurdish rebel fighters were imprisoned in the Red House, accused of “subversion”. Among the prisoners was the current governor of Sulaimaniyah province. It took six years to build the facility, which was designed by engineers of the former East Germany, according to Ako Gharib, director of the museum. “This was not a prison in the conventional sense,” he says. “It was an ‘interrogation centre’. Detainees stayed here for six to eight months and would then be transferred to Abu Ghraib or Baghdad,” he adds, referring to a town just west of the capital that houses one of Iraq’s infamous prisons. “Interrogation” at the Red House was a euphemism in Saddam’s era for the barbaric means that the General Security Directorate used to extract “confessions” from inmates.

Iraqi Kurds visit a former torture centre.

group that is now the political party of Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani-in the 1970s, he was arrested and thrown in the Red House. The words of his tormentors are still fresh in his mind. “They told me, ‘if you confess we will not torture you, and if you will not confess, we will put a power cable on your penis and pass an electric current through it.’” “I still have terrible back pain,” he continues. “It dates back to my arrest. I have pain in my spine. I cannot sit down for a long time, otherwise I suffer horrible pain.” “When I lie down to sleep, I remember this place where, for two months, my bed was a piece of cardboard.” And the practice of extracting confessions continues to plague Iraq. US-led forces that overthrew Saddam’s regime spent years, right from the 2003 invasion until the final American military withdrawal in December 2011, trying to reform Iraq’s justice system to consider a wider array of evidence. But police and judges still rely heavily on confessions. In its 2013 annual report, London-based rights group Amnesty International said that still in Iraq, “torture and other ill-treatment were common and widespread in prisons and detention centers ... and were committed with impunity”. “Torture was used to extract information from detainees and ‘confessions’ that could be used as evidence against them at trial.” Ali spent nearly a year in the Red House, moving from one cell to another, often spending months in each, and was due to be transferred to Abu Ghraib prison. But he was freed when a March 1991 uprising in Sulaimaniyah against Saddam’s forces put an end to the Red House’s activities. Memories from the Red House, however, are still vivid. “This building was a dungeon for a dictator,” he says. “We can never forget.” — AFP

An Iraqi Kurd visitor stands in a cell at a former torture centre that was turned into a museum.

Lifestyle FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Del Toro eyes monster hit with ‘Pacific Rim’

Screenplay Writer/Director Guillermo del Toro, left, and Tom Cruise seen at the Los Angeles Premiere of Warner Bros Pictures and Legendary Pictures ‘PACIFIC RIM’. — AP lifelong fascination with Japanese mega-monsters is behind Mexican director Guillermo del Toro’s eagerly anticipated summer blockbuster “Pacific Rim,” due to be released worldwide this week. Ever since childhood, del Toro has been captivated by Japanese “kaiju,” the name given to huge creatures such as Godzilla who emerged in popular culture in the 1950s. Monsters and the supernatural have been a recurring theme of del Toro’s movies which include “Cronos” (1993), “Mimic” (1997), both “Hellboy” films and his Oscar-nominated 2006 masterpiece “Pan’s Labyrinth.” “Monsters are my obsession,” del Toro told AFP. “You see some people whose faces light up when they’re talking about their puppies or kittens. Me, I’m happy when I’m talking about monsters.” Del Toro’s new film-with an estimated budget of around $180 million-has allowed him to indulge his passion on a vast scale. The film stars British actors Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba as humans who control giant robots constructed to battle a crop of enormous sea monsters who emerge from a chasm at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. The film is by far the largest and most complicated of del Toro’s career, but he said he was unfazed by the scale of the movie. “I’ve always been a filmmaker with a strong technical bent, whether in terms of makeup, animation and special effects,” he said. “So I wasn’t lost in the technical aspect of the film. Making a film of this magnitude is above all a matter of discipline, work and energy,” del Toro added. The challenge, del Toro said, was trying to ensure the overall feel of the film was not overwhelmed by the myriad visual effects. “The most daunting aspect was to coordinate the artistic aspect of the film to be visually beautiful, in terms of colors, textures and shapes,” he said. As usual, del Toro’s film creates some stunning images, from a colossal robot emerging from the ocean and collapsing on a beach, to the heart-stopping scene where a huge creature chases a girl through the streets of a devastated megalopolis. Del Toro also emphasized his desire to create strong human characters from a cast which, in addition to Hunnam and Elba, features Ron Perlman and Rinko Kikuchi, who, in 2006, became the first Japanese actress to be nominated for an Oscar in 50 years for her performance in “Babel.” “I wanted to do an ensemble film, where there is not a single hero but where all the characters have the same weight,” says del Toro. “Because the film is about humanity saving humanity. The human element was very important for me.” Ultimately, though, “Pacific Rim” is a monster movie, and del Toro hopes it will inspire a whole new generation of movie-goers in the way characters such as Godzilla inspired him as a child. “I hope that young audiences and family will go see the movie,” he said. “It would be very nice to create a new generation of fans of this genre.” Del Toro has paid a respectful homage to”kaiju” monster mythology in “Pacific Rim.” “The typology of kaiju is very strict: there’s the bug, the crustacean, the reptile,” he says. “I chose to use some. There’s one that looks like an elaborate crab, and others that are clearly reptiles.” But the scale of “Pacific Rim” has left del Toro looking for a smaller project. “What I want to do now is something quick, short, and does not cost much money,” he said. — AFP


US singer Lana Del Rey performs on stage during a concert as part of the Byblos music festival on July 10, 2013 in the coastal city of Byblos, north of Beirut. The festival runs until July 27. —AFP

A playlist of 5 of Randy Travis’ greatest songs M

illions of fans are thinking of Randy Travis and repeating calls for prayers following the country music star’s stroke and surgery Wednesday night in a Texas hospital. Here’s a playlist of five of Travis’ most inspirational and heartbreaking songs. “Three Wooden Crosses” - Released in 2002 during his gospel period, this song returned Travis to the top of the charts after a nine-year absence. The song’s narrator refers to three crosses seen alongside the road and tells the story of a crash survivor. Travis opens the song by singing, “A farmer and a teacher, a hooker and a preacher, riding on a midnight bus bound for Mexico ... “and it unfolds like a heartbreaking mystery. The song won the Country Music Association’s song of the year award and a Dove Award as well. “Forever and Ever, Amen” Driven by a subtle but bouncy bass line, this love song is told from the perspective of a free spirit trying to convince the woman he loves that he’s ready to settle down. “I’m gonna love you forever and ever/forever and ever, amen,” Travis sings in his mellow baritone on the chorus, and by the end of the song he’s got you convinced. Released in 1987, the song was Travis’ third No. 1 and won the Grammy Award for best country & western song and the Academy of Country Music’s song of the year. “Angels” - This post-9/11 song is Travis as evangelist. The song begins with a bunch of friends sitting around talking about “politics,

File photo shows Randy Travis performs on day 2 of the 2013 CMA Music festival at the LP Field in Nashville. — AP religion love and life” in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks when one says he doesn’t believe in angels. Travis preaches, “Are you telling me you’ve never seen an angel?/Never felt the presence of one standing by?/No robe of white, no halo in sight?/Well, you missed the most obvious thing/Man, are you blind?/Just look in your mother’s eyes.” “On the Other Hand” This was Travis’ first No. 1 song in the US, but it required a little extra work to reach the top of the charts. Released in 1985, the song was Travis’ first single as a Warner Bros recording artist, and appeared on his game-changing album “Storms of Life.” It initially drew little notice, but after Travis neared the top of the charts with his next single, he

decided to re-release it in 1986. The rest is country music history. “I Told You So” - This Travispenned breakup song was released four times over the years twice by Travis, once by Carrie Underwood and with Underwood as a duet. That duet helped return Travis to the spotlight in the latter years of the last decade. He performed the song with Underwood on “American Idol” and at The Academy of Country Music Awards. It also returned him to the stage at the Grammy Awards in 2010 when it won best country collaboration with vocals. The lyric “Now I found somebody new and you will never break my heart in two again ... “sums up the mood. — AP

Lifestyle FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

‘Machete Kills’ world premiere set for fantastic fest R obert Rodriguez’s “Machete Kills” will make its world premiere on Sept 19 as the opening night film for the Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. “Every year we compile our dream targets for opening night film; ‘Machete Kills’ was at the top of that list,” said Fantastic Fest co-founder and creative director Tim League. “We are going to pull out all the stops to ensure Robert’s world premiere red carpet experience is literally blood red.” The premiere will be held at the new Alamo Drafthouse location. The festival will run through Sept 26. Open Road Films’ “Machete Kills” is scheduled to hit theaters nationwide on Oct 4, 2013. The cast includes Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Carlos Estevez (aka Charlie Sheen), Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demian Bichir, Vanessa

Hudgens, Cuba Gooding, Jr and Mel Gibson. “Fantastic Fest has quickly become the best place for fans to first experience the newest and coolest genre movies and blockbusters,” said director Robert Rodriguez. “I am honored and extremely excited for ‘Machete Kills’ to have its world premiere right here in Austin and kick off Fantastic Fest.” In “Machete Kills,” Trejo plays ex-Federale agent Machete, who is recruited by the President of the United States for a mission that would be impossible for any mortal man-he must take down a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war and anarchy across the planet. “Machete Kills” is based on a screenplay by Kyle Ward. Rodriguez produces, along with Aaron Kaufman, Iliana Nikolic, Sergei Bespalov, Alexander Rodnyansky and Rick Schwartz. — Reuters

Wonder, Mayer, Keys and Kings headline Global Fest S

In this image released on Wednesday Beyonce performs on her “Mrs Carter Show World Tour 2013” at the BB&T Center in Ft Lauderdale, Fla. — AP

tevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, John Mayer and Kings of Leon have volunteered their time to attend the second Global Citizen Festival in New York’s Central Park, and organizers hope you will, too. Tickets are again free for the Sept. 28 event, but must be earned through acts meant to help end extreme poverty around the world. The festival is designed to coincide with the UN General Assembly meeting and put pressure on world leaders to address the needs of the world’s poor. Fans can earn points toward tickets through simple tasks like sending letters to political leaders or reposting information through social media. Hugh Evans, the 30-year-old chief executive officer of the Global Poverty Project, says the festival’s nonprofit partners pledged $1.3 billion in new fundraising commitments last year and nearly 70,000 people took more than 700,000 actions through the project’s website. Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Foo Fighters and The Black Keys headlined the first year. Evans said he and the organizers who help him pick a lineup approach the task with goals in mind. “We write a big list and we think, ‘Who will effectively represent the cause of ending extreme poverty in the way they perform and the way they’re involved, and who would also

Beyonce responds to non-controversy over Pepsi


eyonce finds herself at a product endorsement crossroads that perhaps crosses no actual roads. The singer was a big supporter of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” fitness campaign, which preaches an active lifestyle and a healthy diet. But Mrs Carter is also the spokesperson for sugary soft drink Pepsi, to the tune of $50 million. Conflict much? Not much. But the question came up again in a new interview with Flaunt. Here’s the exchange: Flaunt: “Some were critical at your participating in a Pepsi campaign after you moved your body for childhood obesity. Where is the balance between your career objectives and your philanthropy?” Beyonce: “Pepsi is a brand I’ve grown up seeing my heroes collaborate with. The company respects musicians and artistry. I wouldn’t encourage any person, especially a child, to live life without balance.” She continued, “When you work out, take care of your body, rehearse as hard as I rehearsed in the commercial, I think it’s great to have a Pepsi or Diet Pepsi when you want one. It’s all about choices.” Pepsi produced Beyonce’s Super Bowl halftime show and debuted her new song “Grown Woman” in its “Mirrors” commercial. Beyonce similarly premiered “Standing in the Sun” in an ad for clothing chain H&M. —Reuters

Barbadian singer Rihanna performs on stage, on July 10, 2013 in Monaco. —AFP

(From left) Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, John Mayer and Kings of Leon. inspire a generation of people to take action?’” Evans said. “We’re fortunate that this year some extraordinary people put up their hands to perform for free.” — AP

Lifestyle FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

US tenor Gregory Kunde and Italian soprano Carmela Remigio perform ‘Othello, the Moor of Venice’ by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi outside Palazzo Ducale in Venice. St Mark’s Square in Venice on Wednesday was the spectacular backdrop to a tragic opera in the first open-air performance in 43 years by the famous La Fenice theatre - a new must on the global culture calendar. — AFP

Restaurant adds menu of mechanical music


ou’d be hard-pressed to find a San Francisco restaurant these days that doesn’t keep its diners entertained with flat-screen TVs mounted in every corner. Silicon Valley engineer-turned-entrepreneur Mark Williams has the amusement factor covered at his new restaurant too. But his business concept is firmly rooted in the years from 1900 to 1925, so he’s filled his Orchestria Palm Court in San Jose with a dozen of the mechanical music machines of that era-from player pianos to nickelodeon-style jukeboxes. Just as the 1973 movie “The Sting” attracted a new generation to composer Scott Joplin’s ragtime music, Williams hopes to

A detail view of the Electramuse shows its coin slot.

Band instruments are revealed below the piano keyboard on the Coinola X at Orchestria Palm Court restaurant.

ignite interest in these machines and the classic melodies, operettas, jazz, rags and novelty tunes they play. “I want to reintroduce people to this great old music,” he said. “I think there is a whole generation that doesn’t know about this at all and will be excited.” Step into the vintage brick building and you’ll find yourself transported into another time by several player pianos and what are known as orchestrions machines with two instruments or more that are designed to sound like a band or orchestra including a rare model nearly 10 feet tall with a full percussion section. Williams’ favorite piece because it’s the most technically intricate is the Violano-Virtuoso, a violin-playing machine that was advertised as the 8th Wonder of the World when it was invented a century ago. (Let’s face it, the Great Pyramid of Giza just sits there. It doesn’t play “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”) The restaurant’s first days have drawn preservationists and downtown residents curious about what had been going on behind the doors of 27 E. William St, near the San Jose Stage Company theater in the artsy South First Area district. “It’s great to have a place that is a tribute to old technology in a place where we worship new technology,” said customer Barbara Goldstein, an arts consultant who formerly headed the city’s public art program. Sandy Swirsky, herself a collector of music machines, booked the Orchestria for a San Jose Woman’s Club luncheon. “I think it has wonderful potential,” she said. “There have been pizza parlors with pipe organs, but most of those are gone now.” Indeed, Williams believes his restaurant will win over anyone whose only contact with player piano music has been at an amusement park or pizza parlor where one tinkly tune played ad nauseam. He has more than 500 paper rolls of music and countless 78 RPM records for these beauties and beauties they are, antiques crafted of mahogany or quarter-sawn “tiger oak,” a wood-grain pattern that was “all the rage in the teens and twenties, then just fell out of fashion,” he said. Many have their original stainedglass embellishments. These machines were the technological marvels of the time, and in the days before radio and amplified sound became common any restaurant, bar or movie theater that couldn’t afford to hire a house band had one, Williams said. He’s been amassing these behemoths it takes four people to move each one since the mid-1990s and meeting with other aficionados in the Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors’ Association, an international society founded in San Francisco. A decade ago he came up with the restaurant plan and purchased this 1910 building that was originally an auto showroom. Earthquake retrofitting came next, then fleshing out his vision. The result is a music palace with an organic, locally sourced menu, a wine/beer/coffee bar, an antique peanut “toasting”

A record plays on the Electramuse at Orchestria Palm Court restaurant in San Jose, California. —MCT photos machine and a soda fountain that serves vintage beverages like the Poppy Dew and the Arctic Phosphate. Oh, and if you can’t hear your cellphone call because one of the machines is playing, just step into the old wooden phone booth for some quiet and privacy as San Jose Stage chief Kathleen King had to do during her post-theater snack Friday night. At a nearby table, Goldstein and her husband, John Pastier, an architecture critic, were dishing on dessert and nostalgia while a rendition of “Swanee” played on the piano near the front door. “It’s a nice curiosity” and a good addition to the neighborhood, Pastier said. “I wonder if this is a sign that downtown San Jose is finally going to jell.” Then they hopped up to examine the Violano-Virtuoso and try to figure out what substituted for a violin bow. “It’s like three little rotating elements are pulling the strings,” Goldstein guessed. Williams later explained that the manufacturer, the Mills Novelty Co of Chicago, invented a circular stack of celluloid pieces revolutionary for its time to emulate a bow. With the company still in business, he can purchase replacements whenever the faux bow wears out. There’s no problem getting new paper rolls of music either; any time old rolls are found, someone recuts them, he said. And a Turlock company turns modern songs into player-piano versions. But don’t expect to hear Rihanna or Carly Rae issuing forth from the bellows of the machines at Orchestria Palm Court. Williams first has to introduce a whole new generation to Margie, Minnie, Lulu and a few other gals. “You can bring Pearl, she’s a darn nice girl, but don’t bring Lulu. You can bring Rose, with the turned-up nose, but don’t bring Lulu.” — MCT

Lifestyle FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013


ust before little Baasanjav Lkhagvadorj was lifted onto a horse for a race across Mongolia’s open steppe last week, he asked his father to bless him with a kiss. Minutes later the seven-year-old was killed in a fall, the latest in a rising toll among the country’s child jockeys. As Mongolia’s biggest national festival, Naadam, begins on Thursday, controversy is mounting over the way unprotected young riders are risking injury and even death. Horses are at the core of Mongolian culture-there are dozens of words for the colors of an equine coat, and children learn to ride almost as soon as they can walk. Horseracing is one of the “three manly sports”-along with wrestling and archery-that make up the Naadam celebrations, where the races are among the longest in the world, up to 28 kilometers (17 miles) depending on the age of the horse, four times the length of Britain’s Grand National. The contests are a legacy of the nation’s warrior past, when Genghis Khan’s forces would cover vast distances to wreak havoc on their enemies. Mongolian horses are sturdy creatures bred for endurance, but the demands are so tough that child jockeys are preferred for their light weight, and around 30,000 ride in competitive races every year. A health ministry study showed that 326 children were treated for racing injuries at the National Traumatology and Orthopaedics Research Centre in Ulan Bator alone last year, up from 222 in 2010. But accidents in the countryside, where most of the population live, often go unrecorded. Lkhagvadorj’s death was the third recorded child fatality so far this year, according to Baljinnyam Javzankhuu of the National Agency for Children, adding there had been more than 20 in the past decade. “Competitions have become very cruel,” she said. As well as the official Naadam races, newly wealthy owners-reportedly including MPs and state officialshave taken to organizing barely regulated competitions of their own in ever increasing numbers, particularly since Mongolia liberalized its economy after the advent of democracy in 1990. Private races have looser rules, can be held in winter when conditions are more risky, and now that the country is enjoying a resources boom betting on them is said to sometimes reach as much as $60,000. But according to child rights defenders children can be hired informally to take part for as little as a bicycle, a set of schoolbooks, or up to 150,000 tugriks ($100). Horses can be insured for millions of tugriks but their riders are either not covered-contrary to legal requirement-or only for a token amount less than $30, said Javzankhuu. Helmets and protective gear are also mandatory, but the rules are often ignored. Purev Oyunchimeg, one of Mongolia’s

This picture shows a Mongolia youngster taking part in a horse race at the annual Naadam festival in UlanBator. — AFP photos

three national human rights commissioners, wants parliament, the Great Khural, to class horseracing as child labor, or at the very least improve standards and raise the minimum age for Naadam riders from seven to nine.”The rich should stop making children victims of entertainment,” she said of the private races. “When children die (the families) don’t even get any compensation.” Mongolia’s culture, sports and tourism ministry is preparing a new law that will ban children under 16 taking part in private events. But no decision has yet been made on changing the minimum age for official races. “Mongolian traditional horse racing is the most democratic, liberal event,” minister Tsedevdamba Oyungerel told AFP. “But when money gets involved the races become fiercely competitive and thus dangerous for children.” Traditionalists, however, defend the practice. Adya Bayarmagnai, advisor to the Mongolian Equestrian and Horse Trainers’ Union, and an owner and trainer himself, said that only “a tiny percentage” of children have accidents. “Children fall from horses-it’s the only way to learn horse-riding,” he said. “A Mongol child is put on horseback at the same time as he or she learns coordination and walking. Thus a child and a

horse become one harmonious entity.” Lkhagvadorj’s father, a seasonal agricultural worker from Jargalant, 135 kilometers northwest of the capital Ulan Bator, is himself an ardent horse lover and had ambitions for his son to take part in bigger events. It was an official contest, but the boy was on someone else’s animal, uninsured and not wearing a helmet or protective gear when he fell and suffered a fatal head injury. He had just finished his first year of primary school, filling his notebook with the phrase: “I love you, daddy”. Fighting back tears, his great-aunt Norjin told AFP: “All the right things are only being discussed on TV, but never implemented in real life. If he only wore a helmet...” — AFP

A group of Mongolia children taking part in a horse race.

A Mongolia youngster falling off his horse during a race.

FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013





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360º- 5 WAHED SAHIH (Re -Release) WAHED SAHIH (Re -Release)


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Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

PHONE 23915883 23715414 23726558


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Thottakathu Abu, holder of Indian Passport No G9943123, issued at Kuwait 27/10/2008, hereby change my name to Aboo Backer Thattakathu. (C 4458) 11-7-2013 I, Ramdas V.M., S/o Kunhiraman M.V., Trikarpur, Kasaragod, holder of Indian Passport No. J 1329697 hereby change my name as RAMADAS. V.M. and this will be effected in all records connected with me. Objection, if any, may be intimated to the authorities within 15 days from the date of this notice. (C 4457) 10-7-2013 I have changed 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

TUITION Position available in Kuwait for a teacher/ psychologist. Qualifications: male, degree in education, experience in behavior modification and or social skills training, excellent command in English. Contact: 99114449/ 99602744. (C 4456) 8-7-2013

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Pets FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Meet the dog whisperer

Dog-training expert has been to Japan, prison, as part of job

Animal trainer Ken McCort (right) and Lodge staffer Bekkah Dee work with dogs in the day care center in the All Creatures Animal Clinic.


or more than 30 years, Ken McCort has been considered an elite animal trainer - the trainer of last resort. He’s the man people turn to when other trainers have thrown in the towel and given up on an animal with problem behaviors. Not only do local veterinarians refer their incorrigible clients to him, McCort has traveled the world dispensing his knowledge and training techniques. His work has taken him to Japan, one of his favorite countries, 14 times. Recently, he spent several weeks at Wolf Park research center in Battle Ground, Ind., lecturing humans and training wolves. Why? Because training is an essential part of the animal husbandry, keeping the wolves, coyotes, foxes and bison at the park healthy and necessary “for minor exams, inoculations - simple procedures,” McCort said. He excels at the process. McCort and his wife, veterinarian Dr. Marilyn McCort, live in Doylestown, Ohio, along with five dogs, seven cats, seven large birds, some finches, a lizard, “too many” horses and a donkey. His reputation is built on his ability to read an animal’s body language, translate it into words and interpret it for the animal’s caretakers. And it’s the humans that he is training, he said. “It’s always training the people. If it was just a training problem with dogs, I’d go to the pound, get a bunch of dogs and

sell well-trained dogs,” he said. Owner of Four Paws animal behavior services, McCort recently started offering individualized training classes at All Creatures Veterinary Clinic and Lodge in Rittman, Ohio. The move from his center to the clinic’s lodge, where boarding and day-care facilities are offered, was an easy transition, he said. He offers puppy training, classes for shy dogs, arousal (impulse control) classes and therapy dog classes. “I still go to homes for cat and bird trainings,” he said. “Cats do very poorly outside their homes.” McCort has taught classes at Columbus State University, Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and at the University of Akron’s Orrville branch where he instructs veterinary technicians and assistants. He was a guest lecturer at the Midwest Veterinary Conference and is a national committee member with Pet Partners. It is the last position that he gained after helping establish the therapy and visiting Doggie Brigade at Akron Children’s Hospital in 1990. His black Labrador retriever, Bumper, was the first dog to earn a spot on the elite team. He designed and implemented an inmate training program for stray dogs at the Mansfield Correctional Facility. McCort said some of the worst cases he’s seen during his career are rescued dogs. “People don’t get rid of dogs because

they can’t feed them. It’s because they don’t like their behaviors,” he said. In many cases, “I’m the third or fourth trainer they’ve seen,” he said. More than 50 veterinarians in Northeast Ohio refer misbehaving patients to him. Later this spring, he is due to help keepers train resident wolves and coyotes at the Akron Zoo’s Mike & Mary Stark Grizzly Ridge exhibit that will open in July. Recently, McCort gave a demonstration of his training methods, using Diego, an adolescent male German shepherd, into a training room at the lodge. With more than a dozen dogs in the large “day care” room across the hall, Diego, a high-energy dog, had many reasons to lose focus. “He’s more obnoxious than anything else,” McCort said. “In human terms, he is a 21-year-old male that is full of himself.” McCort took Diego through a few exercises, using treats and a whistle to show the dog when he accomplished a desired behavior. Making Diego use his brain to think about what McCort expected of him burns more energy than a brisk walk in the park, McCort said. “The brain uses five times the energy than exercising them,” he continued. “When a behavior becomes habituated enough that they aren’t even thinking about it,” you will know you’ve succeeded. — MCT

Animal trainer Ken McCort demonstrates using his hand as a target to get the attention of a clients dog named Diego in the All Creatures Animal Clinic and Lodge in Rittman Ohio. — MCT photos


FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Aries (March 21-April 19) There may be several times today where you could be in a position to guide young people. Perhaps several new young people are helping in the workplace for a few weeks. This could mean taking inventory or rearranging inventory. You have a natural sense for communicating with others, especially those younger than yourself. They just tend to follow you around like the kids that followed the pied piper. Gathering and exchanging information becomes a more important part of your life these days. There is much interest in new techniques and equipment, which is a very educational experience. This evening, neighbors or siblings have a big impact on your goals and make a big impression. This is a mentally and socially active period.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Outer circumstances are favorable and it should be easy for you to push forward in projects. Things may seem almost magical in the way they work in your favor. This is a great time to organize and get things accomplished. Quick answers, great wit and a surplus of insights are ready for you to use. Continual discovery, persistent search and continual change and transformation keep you on the move and growing. You are able to penetrate and get to the very heart of things; thus research and the like would be worth considering. This evening you may find yourself involved in some intense soul-searching during which you examine your ideals and goals. You could take an interest in some sort of research—perhaps filtering water.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) As a hard worker, you pour yourself into the task before you with positive determination. You are very responsible and take on obligations as though you just cannot get enough. You may question authority figures today but after a little thought and patience, you will find an understanding. You are wise to take a step back and look for the amusing parts of a situation, then focus on the main subject matter. This will help to bring about better insight. A major project may come to an end; however, a new door opens to better projects. A child gives you new insight on your surroundings this afternoon. You may enjoy helping this child express a new talent. A little exercise helps you relax this evening, perhaps a walk after dinner.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Even the most hard-nosed of us have moments of real understanding. We stop getting the idea in little flashes and just get the whole thing. It dawns on us. We each have our own way of understanding. This flash of understanding is what you are finding today. This may mean you are a student or you are learning the methods of some technical process but, whatever the case, you are one happy camper by the end of the process. There are also many ways of seeing through the separateness in the world to the unity behind it. Obviously, your creative side is on fire. Whether you are an artist or in advertising, the preparation work is over . . . Now is the time for presenting your ideas to others. A celebration is in order this evening.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Work, as usual, has a good pace to it all day long. You have good practical job-related ideas when group meetings are called. The ability to communicate with superiors or describe what you see makes you a key player in your place of business. Creative abilities and hunches play a big part in your success, whether you are at work or at home. This afternoon others could learn from your easy manner. A child or friend makes a request and you comply as best you can. There is an opportunity to build on this relationship in a most positive way. There is fun in the adventure of sharing and helping this person. You seem to be an expert at the many forms of love. Romance and other things that tug at the heartstrings come your way this evening.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) You may find yourself very appreciative of your career and practical skills. You might enjoy solving puzzles and problems, finding solutions, etc. A renewed appreciation for your work may be apparent to your superiors—in fact, to everybody. Rewards are possible. It is certainly a time when you might consider requesting a promotion or job change. This could be a period of great material gain; it is certainly a time when material things have a great deal of importance. After waiting for what seems a very long time, you may be ready for your first car or your first home or some other investment. You may be involved with an upcoming event that needs your creative talents. This could mean finding the right prop for a play, etc.

Libra (September 23-October 22) The best way to gain respect for yourself is to act as though you have respect, not haughty or proud but a person with confidence. This is a good day to try out these ideas. Feedback will be in the form of questions regarding your attire. You are a great doer and now may be the better time to listen to the input of others, show others the respect you would like others to show you. Make sure that everybody shares when it comes time to making a contribution to the pool of information. Positive changes happen where there is respect and confidence. A neighborhood planning committee is plugging along successfully with its plans. You may want to think about volunteering for some entertainment aspect. Perhaps you enjoy singing or playing an instrument.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) A new life style and ways in which to earn a living interest you. You are economy personified, always able to salvage and redeem anything. You like to tend and care for people and things. You relax by working. Emotional security, a sense of belonging and nurturing are issues that are instinctively felt now. You want roots; you crave a sense of intimate connection that will last. You have suitable force, practical competence, tremendous discipline and a love of routine work. You are able to simplify code and reduce a subject to its essential elements. This afternoon it is time to turn off your working abilities and enjoy the company of the young people around you, which might mean you are babysitting children, but could also mean you have a new puppy.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You can sense the drift of a situation without a lot of analysis. This immediate hands-on approach might be contrasted with one that is more deliberate and cerebral. You radiate energy and information today and have to just accept the fact that people like to feel your warmth. Let them take care of you. You are quite regal. You have a sense of justice and an innate ability to understand the law, whether natural or artificial. Showing others the way through or beyond the problems in their lives comes easily, for you sense how to manipulate the opportunities of life. You are a nurturer of nature and humanity, able to cultivate and nurture almost any subject. This is a good time for using your intelligent mind to decipher a friend’s trivia questions this evening.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Legal work, not necessarily problems, may come into play today. Perhaps there is someone near you who needs your guidance. Your very fine verbal skills and a natural sense of justice make legal work a distinct possibility. You may have a working knowledge or some experience with the law. Working with laws, natural or fabricated, amounts to a real talent. You also have a great interest in ideas, the truer and more lasting the better. You may be able to give a co-worker some thoughts that will help them avoid legal problems today. Your love of job and practical skills makes you a fine manager and businessperson. You may find yourself entertaining others this evening. You are always centerstage and entertaining others is just another one of your talents.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Your timing should be perfect today; the right words, good choices and spontaneity are easy. There are lots of communication, investigation and research—perhaps through probing questions. You are not afraid of constructive confrontations and you seldom pull any punches. You may find yourself involved in some sort of research or work that requires digging, searching, investigating and getting beneath the surface of a situation. You are fascinated by social interchange where you tend not to be too emotional. When those in command or customers ask for changes in your work or business, you seem ready, willing and able. You enjoy variety and change. Thinking, writing, researching and sciences are good.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) If you are not on vacation this week, you should be. This is a great time to travel. In the working world, you proceed with your work as usual—happily, no big interruptions. You enjoy working hard and being organized and you exercise skill and discipline in anything that affects your career. This afternoon you may find the need to entertain one or two people. Basically, this means that you will be stopping an argument with some short story or fable. Whatever you do, it works, mostly because it is evident that you care and want to help. At home this evening, you and your sweetheart may be planning the next social. You have plenty of new ideas and guarantee the usual fun filled time. Rest early tonight. Horoscopes July 2013

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

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


FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Word Search

Yesterdayʼs Solution

C R O S S W O R D 2 4 8

ACROSS 1. A digital display that uses liquid crystal cells that change reflectivity in an applied electric field. 4. Oldest known reptiles. 12. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 15. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 16. An underground tunnel with recesses where bodies were buried (as in ancient Rome). 17. Support resembling the rib of an animal. 18. Characterized by variety. 20. A decree that prohibits something. 21. Affect with wonder. 23. An active and efficient cause. 25. East Indian silk cotton tree yielding fibers inferior to kapok. 26. An amino acid that is found in the central nervous system. 28. In bed. 30. Pastry made with a cream cheese dough and different fillings (as raisins and walnuts and cinnamon or chocolate and walnut and apricot preserves). 34. Harsh or corrosive in tone. 38. An onerous or difficult concern. 39. Ratio of the hypotenuse to the opposite side. 41. The language of the nomadic Lapp people in northern Scandinavia and the Kola Peninsula. 42. Prevent from being included or considered or accepted. 44. Half the width of an em. 46. A rapid escape (as by criminals). 47. A deep bow. 51. Explosive consisting of a yellow crystalline compound that is a flammable toxic derivative of toluene. 52. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali metal group. 56. Make less active or intense. 57. Large tropical butterfly with degenerate forelegs and an unpleasant taste. 60. (of a bed) Not having the sheets and blankets set in order. 63. The sixth month of the civil year. 64. A military trainee (as at a military academy). 65. A Hindu prince or king in India. 69. Supernatural half-man and half-bird vehicle or bearer of Vishnu. 71. The back side of the neck. 73. The act of slowing down or falling behind. 74. A blue dye obtained from plants or made synthetically. 75. A tricycle (usually propelled by pedalling). 77. A sudden loss of consciousness resulting when the rupture or occlusion of a blood vessel leads to oxygen lack in the brain. 78. An independent agency of the United States government responsible for aviation and spaceflight. 79. Only extant member of the order Rhynchocephalia of large spiny lizard-like diapsid reptiles of coastal islands off New Zealand. 80. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine.

2. A steep rugged rock or cliff. 3. A challenge to do something dangerous or foolhardy. 4. Any organic compound formed by adding alcohol molecules to aldehyde molecules. 5. A coenzyme derived from the B vitamin nicotinic acid. 6. A highly unstable radioactive element (the heaviest of the halogen series). 7. A metabolic acid found in yeast and liver cells. 8. A mark left by the healing of injured tissue. 9. Region of western Asia Minor colonized by Ancient Greeks. 10. Diabetes caused by a relative or absolute deficiency of insulin and characterized by polyuria. 11. Lower in esteem. 12. The biblical name for ancient Syria. 13. An ancient Egyptian city on the west bank of the Nile opposite Cairo. 14. Norwegian mathematician (1802-1829). 19. Solid and liquid nourishment taken into the body through the mouth. 22. (Greek legend) The greedy king of Phrygia who Dionysus gave the power to turn everything he touched into gold. 24. An indehiscent fruit derived from a single ovary having one or many seeds within a fleshy wall or pericarp. 27. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 29. Any skeletal muscle having two origins (but especially the muscle that flexes the forearm). 31. Cause to lose one's nerve. 32. The state of having committed an offense. 33. Someone who practices homosexuality. 35. West Indian tree having racemes of fragrant white flowers and yielding a durable timber and resinous juice. 36. A hostel for pilgrims in Turkey. 37. A chad that has been punched or dimpled but all four corners are still attached. 40. A metallic element having four allotropic forms. 43. To fix or set securely or deeply. 45. A rechargeable battery with a nickel cathode and a cadmium anode. 48. Wild sheep of northern Africa. 49. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 50. A heavy wooden pole (such as the trunk of a young fir) tossed as a test of strength (in the Highlands of Scotland). 53. A passage for water (or other fluids). 54. Type genus of the Parulidae. 55. Port city on Atlantic coast. 58. A city in southern Turkey on the Seyhan River. 59. Any of the openings to the nasal cavities that allow air to flow through the cavities to the pharynx. 61. Joint capital (with Riyadh) of Saudi Arabia. 62. Essential oil or perfume obtained from flowers. 66. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 67. An island in Indonesia south of Borneo. 68. Any culture medium that uses agar as the gelling agent. 70. (usually followed by `to') Naturally disposed toward. 72. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 76. A bivalent and trivalent metallic element of the rare earth group.

Yesterdayʼs Solution

DOWN 1. Rock that in its molten form (as magma) issues from volcanos.

Daily SuDoku

Yesterday’s Solution

Sports FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Tigers maul White Sox DETROIT: Prince Fielder homered and Rick Porcello pitched six solid innings as the Detroit Tigers bounced back Wednesday night with an 8-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox. Detroit allowed 23 hits in an 11-4 loss to the White Sox on Tuesday, but it was the Tigers who did the slugging early on in this game. Fielder lined a two-run shot to right field in the first inning for his 16th homer. Conor Gillaspie and Gordon Beckham homered for Chicago. Porcello (6-6) allowed three runs and seven hits. Joaquin Benoit pitched the ninth for his eighth save in eight chances. Dylan Axelrod (3-6) allowed seven runs and 11 hits in 5 2-3 innings. Fielder, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez had three hits each for the AL Central leaders. Cabrera’s run-scoring single in the sixth pushed his major league-leading RBI total to 93. Chicago’s Alex Rios was hitless a night after going 6 for 6. ORIOLES 6, RANGERS 1 Wei-Yin Chen returned from the disabled list to pitch seven innings of three-hit ball, and the Baltimore Orioles got a threerun homer from Nolan Reimold in a victory over Texas. Manny Machado had three hits and an RBI for the Orioles, who won for only the third time in nine games. Chen (4-3) had not pitched since May 12 because of a strained right oblique. The left-hander allowed one run, walked three and struck out four. Major league home run leader Chris Davis went 0 for 3 with a walk and is hitless in his last 17 at-bats. He hasn’t gotten a hit since Major League Baseball announced he was the leading vote getter in All-Star fan balloting. Reimold homered off Josh Lindblom (1-3). YANKEES 8, ROYALS 1 Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer and Lyle Overbay added a grand slam to help the New York Yankees beat Kansas City. Ivan Nova (4-2) delivered another impressive pitching performance and the Yankees, held to one run each of the previous three days, stopped a three-game slide. They watched two more players get banged up, though, when slumping Travis Hafner and speedy Brett Gardner left with injuries. Hafner came out with a bruised left foot, while Gardner departed with a bruised right leg after getting hit by a pitch. The team said X-rays on both were negative and they were day to day. Nova yielded only four singles and a double in eight innings for his second win in three solid starts since returning from the minors. Cano and Overbay both connected off Wade Davis (4-8), who dropped his third consecutive start. BLUE JAYS 5, INDIANS 4 Munenori Kawasaki hit a two-run single with the bases loaded in the ninth inning as the Toronto Blue Jays beat Cleveland. Kawasaki, who broke an 0-for-18 slump, broke a 2-all tie with his two-out hit. A third run scored when center fielder Michael Bourn misplayed the ball for an error. Neil Wagner (2-3) struck out Ryan Raburn with the bases loaded to end the eighth after the Indians tied the game. Casey Janssen allowed two runs in the ninth before Steve Delabar retired Michael Brantley on a fly ball for his first major league save. Rich Hill (0-1) took the loss. RAYS 4, TWINS 3, 13 INNINGS Ben Zobrist hit an RBI single with two outs in the 13th inning as Tampa Bay beat Minnesota to win its season-best seventh straight game. Zobrist lined a 1-2 pitch from Ryan Pressly (2-1) into the gap in right-center field, ending a 4-hour, 47-minute game that featured 35 strikeouts - 19 for Rays pitchers. Tampa Bay climbed to a season-best 12 games over .500. The Rays also improved to 9-1 in a stretch of 14 consecutive games against the Twins, Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros - teams with the three worst records in the American League. Minnesota has lost 10 of 11, including four straight. Cesar Ramos (2-2) got two outs, escaping a jam with runners at first and third in the 13th to get the win. RED SOX 11, MARINERS 4 David Ortiz doubled in his first at-bat to become baseball’s career leader in hits as a designated hitter and hit a two-run homer an inning later, leading Boston Red Sox to victory over Seattle. Ortiz entered the night tied with Harold Baines for the most hits as a DH and it took just one at bat to claim the record. Ortiz doubled to left-center field to lead off the second inning and was acknowledged by a standing ovation from the mix of Red Sox and Mariners fans. An inning later, Ortiz collected his eighth hit of the series with a two-run homer off Seattle starter Aaron Harang (4-8), his 19th this season. Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits to extend his hitting streak to 18 games, currently the best in baseball, and the Red Sox knocked around Harang for seven runs and eight hits. Felix Doubront (6-3) pitched seven innings, giving up five hits and one run with six strikeouts and two walks.—AP

Dodgers beat Diamondbacks PHOENIX: Hanley Ramirez and AJ Ellis hit consecutive homers in the 14th inning off Josh Collmenter, helping the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-5 on Wednesday night to complete a three-game sweep. Ellis tied the game with a two-out, run-scoring single in the ninth inning off Heath Bell and Ramirez hit the first pitch of the 14th off Collmenter (4-2) just over the wall in right field. Five pitches later, Ellis made it 7-5 with his fourth homer. Kenley Jansen (3-3) pitched the final two innings for the Dodgers, who used all of their position players and had Zack Greinke, Monday’s starter, pinch hit in the 10th inning. Los Angeles has won 15 of 18 to move within 1 1-2 games of the NL West lead after its first sweep of Arizona since 2010. Arizona went through eight pitchers in the 19th game in the majors to go at least 14 innings this season, according to STATS. There were 20 total last season. METS 7, GIANTS 2 Former Giants prospect Zack Wheeler pitched seven sharp innings and Marlon Byrd homered again as the New York Mets completed their first sweep in San Francisco since 1994. Daniel Murphy and John Buck each had two hits and drove in two runs as the Mets won their fourth in a row, including three straight over the slumping World Series champions. The Giants have lost 16 of 19. Wheeler (3-1), a former Giants’ first-round draft pick, took a shutout into the seventh. He allowed one run and three hits overall, striking out five and walking three. Matt Cain (56) lasted less than an inning for the first time in his career, giving up three runs on two hits while getting just two outs. He walked three. San Francisco dropped a season-high 10 games under .500 as it was swept at home for the first time in nearly a year. NATIONALS 5, PHILLIES 1 Gio Gonzalez tossed seven sharp innings and the Nationals hit a pair of consecutive homers off Cliff Lee as Washington beat the Philadelphia Phillies. Anthony Rendon and Wilson Ramos hit back-to-back shots off Lee to start the fifth and Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth did it to open the sixth. Gonzalez (7-3) gave up one run and six hits, striking out five to win his fourth straight start. The lefty has eight quality starts in a row. Lee (10-3) had allowed nine homers in his first 135 2-3 innings this year before yielding four in a span of eight batters. Darin Ruf hit a solo shot for the Phillies, who failed to reach .500 for the first time since June 7. MARLINS 6, BRAVES 2 Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run double to end a 10-game RBI drought, and the Miami Marlins broke a five-game losing streak by beating Atlanta 6-2. Stanton had been in a 3-for-26 slump before he put the Marlins ahead in their four-run first inning against Paul Maholm (9-8). Placido Polanco added three hits and three RBIs. Jacob Turner (3-1) allowed four hits and two runs in seven innings. Steve Cishek allowed two singles in the ninth to complete a six-hitter. The Braves won two of three games in the series but missed a chance for their first

CHICAGO: Darwin Barney #15 of the Chicago Cubs forces out Hank Conger #16 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the ninth inning at Wrigley Field in Chicago. — AFP

road sweep since April 12-14 at Washington. Miami improved to 3-12 against the Braves at Marlins Park since it opened in 2012. REDS 6, BREWERS 2 Mike Leake scattered four hits over 8 1-3 innings and Brandon Phillips had three RBI, lifting the Cincinnati Reds over the Milwaukee Brewers. The Reds put the leadoff runner on base in each of the first seven innings and snapped a three-game losing streak. Leake (8-4) bounced back from a rare rough start in his last outing and seemed to get stronger as the game progressed. He allowed four walks while striking out two. Milwaukee starter Johnny Hellweg (0-3) had trouble throwing strikes and was battered for his fourth consecutive appearance. The right-hander, who made his majorleague debut on June 28, allowed four runs on four hits and five walks in 4 1-3 innings. Sean Halton hit his first major league home run for the Brewers. ROCKIES 5, PADRES 4 Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa took a one-hit shutout into the sixth inning and Colorado held on to give the lefthander his sixth straight win against the San Diego Padres. De La Rosa lifted his record at Petco Park to 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA. His winning streak against San Diego spans eight starts. The Rockies were leading 4-0 in the sixth when Carlos Quentin hit his 11th home run, a two-run shot to straightaway center field, scoring Chase Headley, who had walked. That was all for De La Rosa (9-5), who allowed two hits over five innings with four walks and four strikeouts. Andrew Cashner (55) went five innings for the Padres, giving up three runs, two earned, on eight hits. INTERLEAGUE PIRATES 5, ATHLETICS 0 Francisco Liriano scattered four hits over seven innings, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Oakland Athletics. Liriano (9-3) struck out six and walked one. He trimmed his ERA to 2.00 as the Pirates snapped a four-game losing

streak. Pedro Alvarez went 2 for 4 and drove in two runs for Pittsburgh. Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Jose Tabata also had two hits each as the Pirates beat Oakland for the first time ever. Pittsburgh came in 0-11 against the A’s since interleague play began in 1997 but broke loose against Tommy Milone (8-8). The Pirates worked quickly, following a nearly three-hour rain delay, and touched Milone for three runs in the third inning. CARDINALS 5, ASTROS 4 Matt Carpenter hit a two-run home run and Matt Holliday drove in two with a two-out hit to help the St Louis Cardinals beat the Houston Astros. Carpenter’s ninth homer of the season in the seventh gave the win to Seth Maness (5-1). Tony Cruz got hit by starter Jordan Lyles’ first pitch of the inning and one out later Carpenter put a 2-1 pitch into the right field stands off reliever Wesley Wright (0-3). Maness gave up two hits and a run in two innings of relief. He struck out three. Edward Mujica earned his 25th save in 26 tries. He has appeared in six consecutive games, going 1-1 with four saves. ANGELS 13, CUBS 2 Josh Hamilton hit two home runs, Albert Pujols also connected and the Los Angeles went deep a season-high five times in a rout of the Chicago Cubs. Mark Trumbo and Brendan Harris also homered for the Angels. Hamilton drove in five runs and Pujols drove in three. All of the Angels’ home runs were no-doubters. They hit a pair during a five-run first inning and then followed with three more in a six-run fifth, providing more than enough support for CJ Wilson (9-6). The Angels have won 11 of 14. Once 12 games under .500, they are now within two games of the break-even mark since June 12, they have the best record in baseball at 17-8. Jeff Samardzija (5-9) took the loss for the Cubs, who had their four-game winning streak snapped, a day after they hit five home runs to beat the Angels 7-2.—AP

Sports FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013


Photo of the day

Bulls, Chiefs in box seat for Super 15 playoffs SYDNEY: Triple champions Northern Bulls and holders Waikato Chiefs can lock up the top two positions-and with them, semi-final hosting rights-in this weekend’s final Super 15 regular round of matches. The Bulls will take a big step towards hosting this season’s Super Rugby final if they can win their South African derby against the Western Stormers in Cape Town to finish top after 20 rounds of the southern hemisphere provincial series. The Pretoria-based Bulls are two points clear of the Chiefs, who face a tricky New Zealand derby with the Blues in Auckland if they are to maintain their top two spot heading into the playoffs. The top two teams have a bye from next weekend’s opening playoffs and will face the winners in the following week’s semi-finals to decide this season’s Super 15 finalists. Only Australia’s ACT Brumbies, a former two-time winner, and, mathematically, the seven-time champions Canterbury Crusaders, can knock the Chiefs out of the top two places in final round jockeying. The Brumbies, resuming after a month’s break for Australia’s home Test series against the British and Irish Lions, take on Western Force in Perth on Saturday where they have only lost once in four trips, while the Crusaders host the Wellington Hurricanes. The Bulls, who have lost on two of their last three trips to Cape Town, have Francois Venter in for injured midfielder Jan Serfontein, and Jano Vermaak taking over from injured scrum-half Francois Hougaard. The suspension of Wilhelm Steenkamp opened the door for 19-year-old Jacques du Plessis, who could make his debut for the Bulls after he was included as replacement lock. Captain Dewald Potgieter said the Bulls will have to step up their approach and execution if they want to beat the Stormers and finish the season top of the heap. “We did not react well in certain situations when placed under pressure last weekend and will have to improve on that,” Potgieter said. “The Stormers have momentum and the home crowd on their side and this being the big North/South derby we will have to front up. It is fair to say that this will be our biggest test this season.” Springbok captain Jean de Villiers has recovered from his sternum injury, and will lead the Stormers after missing the last two wins over the Cheetahs and the Kings. Recordbreaking Springbok winger Bryan Habana will be playing in his final and 57th match for the Stormers, having scored 18 tries in the process. The Chiefs have made several team changes with prop Toby Smith starting and Liam Messam returning after a back injury. Robbie Robinson and Lelia Masaga are on the wings and Tim Nanai-Williams (centre) and Andrew Horrell (fullback) have been named. “We are obviously pretty disappointed with our performance last week but we are excited about the opportunity to redeem ourselves,” Coach Dave Rennie said. “We know the Blues will want to put in a big performance in their final game of the season.” Wallaby flanker George Smith will be on the bench with Colby Faingaa starting in the number seven jersey for the Brumbies, who have been boosted by the return of seven Wallabies from national duty for the match against Force. Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has made only one change, putting Tom Donnelly at lock with Luke Romanof out with an ankle injury against the Hurricanes in Christchurch. Prop James Slipper will captain the Queensland Reds in the injury absence of Wallabies James Horwill and Will Genia in tomorrow’s Australian derby with the NSW Waratahs in Sydney. The Reds cannot be overhauled in the top six but this weekend’s game gives playmaker Quade Cooper a chance to show what the Wallabies missed after he was passed over by former coach Robbie Deans for the Lions series. In this weekend’s other games with no playoff bearing, the Rebels face the Otago Highlanders in Melbourne and the Sharks host the Kings in Durban. The sixth-placed Cheetahs have the bye. — AFP

The Red Bull Skydive Team performs at the AirPower13 in Zeltweg, Austria. —

Heremaia backs Hull to avenge Dragons defeat LONDON: Hull FC’s Aaron Heremaia admits his side are desperate to avenge their recent loss to Catalan Dragons when the sides meet again in this weekend’s Challenge Cup quarter-finals. Hull headed to the south of France last month having gone on a five-game unbeaten throughout May, but Dragons ended that with a 30-4 victory in Perpignan. That sparked three more Super League defeats for Hull, the latest 22-16 to Huddersfield Giants last Sunday, and Heremaia, who played three seasons in the NRL for the New Zealand Warriors, believes a switch of focus to the Challenge Cup can provide a change of fortunes. Hull will have to do it back in Perpignan tomorrow but, with victory putting them within 80 minutes of Wembley, Heremaia is adamant they won’t be fazed by the challenge. “Watching the final last year and seeing the crowd at Wembley, I was thinking how amazing it would be to be a part of that,” said Heremaia.”The hunger is there to win on Saturday and to go all the way and get to the final. It will be a tough game because they are a good side and they beat us at their place last time. “There is a whole different mind-set going into this game, though, with it being a knockout game, we have to leave everything out there on the pitch. “We know we have to learn lessons from the last game. The heat affected everyone in the last game over there but we know what to expect. “We have learnt a lot from it, we know it will be hot and we know it will be tough. It will be hotter this weekend and we know coping with that is key.” Elsewhere in quarter-final action, Huddersfield face Challenge Cup holders Warrington, while Wigan host Widnes. And Brett Hodgson is desperate for Warrington to edge ever closer to Wembley with victory over Huddersfield, who sit one place above them in second in the Super League table. “I have been fortunate enough to have played in some great stadiums but Wembley tops them all,” said Hodgson, a former Giants and Wests Tigers full-back. “It has got an aura about it where you know some special players have played before in whatever sport it may be.” —AFP

Subplots aplenty as Super Rugby enters final round WELLINGTON: Subplots abound in the final round of Super Rugby matches this weekend as the top six sides jostle for home-field advantage in the playoffs, a World Cup winner returns to action and players get the chance to impress Australia’s new coach. While the top six have already booked their spot in the playoffs, which begin next week, the first five positions in the standings could all change after the final round. Only South Africa’s Cheetahs, who have a bye and will receive four points to finish sixth on 54, are guaranteed to finish in the position they started the weekend. Every other side above them could rise or fall depending on results, with the table-topping Bulls (63) and second-placed Waikato Chiefs (61) still needing to win their games against the Stormers and Auckland Blues to ensure they advance straight to the semifinals. “We are obviously pretty disappointed with our performance last week,” Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said in reference to his side’s 43-15 loss to the Canterbury Crusaders that put a dent in their run to the playoffs. “We are excited about the opportunity to redeem ourselves. “We know these are traditionally big clashes and know the Blues will want to put in a big performance in their final game of the season.” The top two sides will have home advantage for the semi-finals, with the highest-ranked winner of those matches to host the final on Aug 3. The other four teams will meet next week in the first round of the playoffs, with the third- and fourth-placed sides, currently the Australianconference leading ACT Brumbies (59) and the Crusaders (56), having home advantage. The Crusaders’ match against the Hurricanes on Friday, despite the playoff ramifications, has been overshadowed in rugby-mad New Zealand by the return of World Cup winning captain Richie McCaw following a six-month sabbatical. —Reuters

Sports FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Sprinters battle set to decide stage 12

FOUGERES: The sprinters’ battle for maximum stage wins on the flat continues when the 12th stage of the Tour de France takes the peloton over 218 km from Fougeres to Tours. So far, Germany’s Marcel Kittel holds the bragging rights after a second win of the 100th edition, the only sprinter to do so, on Tuesday that was marked by his Argos teammate Tom Veelers falling victim to sprint rival Mark

Cavendish. Omega-Pharma’s Cavendish barged into the Dutchman on his way to the finish line and was lucky to escape punishment from race officials. That incident, and the fact Cavendish was victim to an angry fan who threw urine at him during Wednesday’s time trial, makes stage 12 one not to be missed for fans of hectic bunch or group finishes. Starting in the Breton town of

Fougeres for the first time, the Tour peloton will roll over slightly undulating terrain at the start before heading towards a virtually pancake-flat finish in Tours, which has hosted several sprint finishes in the race. With a number of riders and teams, including the hosts, still looking for their first stage win a breakaway is likely to form early and be allowed to build a comfortable lead on the main bunch.

However the sprinters and their teams are unlikely to give them too much freedom before collaborating in the chase in a bid to reel them in before the finale. Cavendish, who had won 23 stages on the race before this edition, has won one only so far and will be looking to make amends, especially after finishing third as the crash drama unfolded in Saint Malo on Tuesday. — AFP

Mixed martial arts-UFC back in Macau, set for Singapore debut SINGAPORE: The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announced yesterday it has signed a multi-year deal with venues in Macao and Singapore to stage mixed martial arts events in the region from next year. The UFC said it would hold events at The Venetian resort hotel in Macau and Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands from 2014, and produce a Chinese version of its reality show The Ultimate Fighter. The organization made its first foray into Greater China last year with a glitzy event in Macau and Mark Fischer, the UFC’s Asia chief, told Reuters the success of that event had been a springboard to their latest expansion plans. “The event in Macau was a tremendous success and I think it was an eye-opener for both the fans and the UFC,” Fischer told Reuters by telephone from Beijing. “We’ll be bringing at least one live fight event to the Singapore Marina Bay Sands, with the first one coming early first quarter next year. “We’ll have well-known fighters on the main card but we want to fill the card with more Asian fighters. We really want to build a base and... create more relevance with local audiences.” Fischer, who was one of the driving forces behind the National Basketball Association’s growth in China, said The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) reality show could be key in cracking the Chinese market. “We are still at the investment stage but we do see tremendous long-term potential here. TUF China is a watershed, we believe it’s going to do more for growing the brand and the sport of MMA among the Greater China audience than any other program to date. “In terms of making money, I’m sure Asia is going to be very fruitful but right now we still consider it a building phase, but this is a huge step in that build.” ASIA SPREAD One of the fastest-growing sports in the world, MMA is a full contact combat sport that allows fighters to utilize techniques from both striking and grappling martial arts such as boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay Thai, wrestling and judo. Already hugely popular in mature MMA markets such as the United States, Brazil, Japan and Canada, the UFC is looking to extend its reach throughout Asia. Clearly looking to hook Chinese viewers, the UFC statement said applicants for The Ultimate Fighter show must “speak Mandarin, be of Chinese decent and able to compete as a featherweight, lightweight or welterweight”. The show features up-and-coming mixed martial artists living and training together, and competing with each other for a UFC contract. The US version catapulted the UFC, and the sport, into the mainstream in 2005. “It’s definitely a series targeted at a Chinese audience,” said Fischer, adding that the sport’s following there had so far been built on provincial television channels and on Internet streaming sites. “But it’s been relatively niche, and we think this series is going to spread that niche following to more of a mainstream one.” As to when the UFC would hold events on the Chinese mainland, Fischer said they first had to reach a critical mass. “It’s a question of strategy and how aggressive we want to get. We’ve had a very deliberate and patient strategy to date, and TUF is a very big step in the middle of that strategy. “Certainly in the longer term we want to hold regular events here, but we need to do it at the right time. We want to build up demand, build up a very strong understanding of the sport, before we bring the live events here.” With the growing popularity of Asian fighters such as the “Korean Zombie” Jung Chan-sung, Kim Dong-hyun and Yushin Okami, Fischer said the UFC was looking at several other cities in the region to host events. “Seoul and Jakarta, no firm plans yet but we are in discussions in both of those cities,” he added. “Manila is in our sights, we’re in advanced talks with Tokyo and I guess to round it out would be Bangkok. There’s lots of interest throughout the region but those are the key cities for 2014.” — Reuters

LE MONT-SAINT-MICHEL: Australia’s Cadel Evans competes during the 33 km individual time-trial and eleventh stage of the 100th edition of the Tour de France cycling race between Avranches and Mont-Saint-Michel, northwestern France. — AFP

Evans loses legs as Porte bounces back MONT SAINT MICHEL: Former champion Cadel Evans’ Tour de France hopes remain alive but on the day race leader Chris Froome took more time off his rivals the Australian admitted he simply didn’t have the legs. As Froome finished only 12 seconds behind Germany’s Tony Martin, the winner of the stage with a time of 36min 29sec, Evans crossed the finish 2:18 in arrears to the yellow jersey holder. Having lost 26secs to Froome on the team time trial, then over four minutes to the Kenyan-born Briton on the dramatic eighth stage to Ax-Trois-Domaines, Australia’s 2011 champion is now 14th overall at a massive 6:54 off the pace. Froome’s closest rival Alejandro Valverde of Spain is now 3:25 adrift in second place with one time trial and four tough mountain stages to go. Evans, who finished third overall on the Giro d’Italia barely six weeks ago, now looks out of the running for a place on the podium of the 100th Tour de France. The 36-year-old remains defiant, but he admitted he simply didn’t have the legs to threaten the big specialists like Martin and Froome. “Looking toward Paris and the end of the race, it would have been ideal to take back more time on some of the rivals ahead of me, but I didn’t have it in the legs today to

do better,” he said. As Evans underwhelmed, trailing such riders as Frenchman Jeremy Roy and green jersey holder Peter Sagan, Australian Richie Porte produced a solid performance that was good enough for fourth place at 1:21 behind Germany’s two-time world champion. Porte had sat in second place overall following Froome’s winning attack on the way to Ax-Trois-Domaines in the Pyrenees on Saturday’s eighth stage, only to collapse spectacularly the following day. The Tasmanian started Wednesday’s 33 km race against the clock in 34th place at 20:10 behind Froome. Although he is now far behind in 31st at 21:19, his performance in the ‘race of truth’ reassured Froome that Porte, and fellow climbing specialist Pete Kennaugh, will be ready to provide crucial pace-setting support when required. “Unfortunately Richie has slipped back from second place in GC, but I think he’s shown today he’s not out of this race,” said Froome. “I expect him to be there in the mountains with Pete Kennaugh as we move into the Alps.” Froome missed what would have been his third stage win in the race, but there were other rewards for the Kenyanborn Briton. “I’m very happy with the time I set. The objective today was to try and take

the maximum time possible from my rivals,” said Froome, who won Olympic time trial bronze in London last year. Asked if he could beat Froome, Valverde, who won the 2009 Tour of Spain but has never finished on the podium of the Tour de France, just shook his head and said: “Difficult... difficult.” Two-time champion Contador, a climbing specialist like Froome but who was less suited to the flat, mostly linear race course, said he has not given up hope despite sitting fourth at 3:54. “No one’s lost this race yet and no one has won it. There’s a lot of racing to be done,” said the Spaniard. The onus will now be on Froome’s rivals to attack in the Alps. Asked how he expected his rivals to race next weekend, Froome said: “Like we saw last weekend, other teams are going to throw everything they’ve got at us. “We’re just going to try and have to deal with that the best we can with the team that we’ve got.” Evans’ BMC team have yet to make their mark on this race with Jim Ochowicz admitting: “We think that the race is far from over. Certainly for us, it’s a lot more difficult to think about winning in Paris.” Evans added: “From here, I hope to improve myself for the next set of mountains and the next time trial and keep moving ahead on the GC (general classification).” — AFP

Sports FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Al-Nasser and Cardinal Match teams play during the match.

LelMakasa and Atletico teams

World Futsal Club Tournament By Abdellatif Sharaa KUWAIT: Ukraine’s team Cardinal-Rivne was the first to score a win at the start of the Kuwait Mini World Futsal Club Tournament Wednesday and tops Group 1 by goal difference with Misr LelMakasa, as Cardinal defeated Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nasser 2-0 while Egypt’s LelMakasa defeated Atletico Huila 2-1. Experience played a major role in the first match as Al-Nasser fell victim to it during its meeting with Cardinal, which possessed the ball for a long time and imposed its style of play and limited the ability of Al-Nasser to score as its chances were very scarce. Cardinal relied on deep penetration by its highly skilled players Trygubets Sergii, Kashuba Vitaliy and Piddubnyi Serhii, while Al-Nasser relied on Bedro. Al-Nasser players missed several chances due to a lack of coordination among its strikers and this was utilized very well by Cardinal. Miscommunication between Al-Nasser’s goalkeeper and one of his defenders was used by Sergii who scored the first goal for his team, placing tremendous pressure on Al-Nasser which attempted to equalize, but most shots were off target. In the second half, fitness of Al-Nasser players dropped while Cardinal kept possession of the ball for long periods and succeeded in scor-

ing its second goal by Bondar which caused the morale of Al-Nasser players to drop significantly and they could not do much as the match ended with the score of 2-0. In the second match, Misr LelMakasa from

Perry banks on power game at Senior Open NEBRASKA: Searing heat and a hilly course are likely to pose problems for players at this week’s US Senior Open in Omaha, Nebraska where Kenny Perry hopes his power game can help him clinch a second successive major title. The 52year-old American is one of the longest hitters on the over-50s Champions Tour and he views his length off the tee as “a huge advantage” on the 6,711-yard, par-70 layout at Omaha Country Club. “It’s all going to be how well I drive the golf ball is how well I play this week,” Perry told reporters on Wednesday while preparing for Thursday’s opening round at the fourth of the season’s five senior majors. “Definitely length is going to be a big advantage this week, but you’ve still got to hit the fairways. The rough is very penal out there. It’s chip-out rough. “It’s got definitely a US Open feel out there, with the greens as small as they are and undulating. But with my power, if I can keep driving it

straight like I did at Fox Chapel ... I’ve got a huge advantage.” Perry landed his first major title by two shots in last month’s Senior Players Championship at Fox Chapel Golf Club in Pittsburgh for his third career win on the Champions Tour. He capped a superb driving display there with a closing six-under-par 64 to seal victory but this week he knows he will need stamina as well as power if he is to visit the winner’s circle for a second consecutive event. “This is probably the hardest walking course I’ve ever been on,” Perry said of the Omaha Country Club layout. “I played the (PGA) Tour 27 years and a couple of years out here and it’s the hilliest I’ve seen. It’s very physically demanding. “You’re always coming off the green and walking 50 to 80 yards up the hill to the next tee box, and then you’re walking straight down and then back (up). “The guys that will do well this week are going to be the guys who are in pretty good shape.”—Reuters

Egypt were determined from the very start to perform well and refused to accept defeat to Colombia’s Atletico-Huila which scored first, but LelMakasa was able to turn that into a 2-1 win. The Colombian team began the match with

total control and reached their opponent’s goal several times, but the outstanding performance of goalkeeper Ayman Ibrahim denied them any score. As time went by, LelMakasa began to get into the match with the skills of its players Ahmad Abdulqader, Mohammad Idrees and Ahmad Yusri, and attacks were exchanged with Huila until its player Fernando was tackled and got a penalty but failed to score, and the first half ended scoreless. The second half was totally different as the Colombian team was awarded a penalty kick during the fourth minute of the second half and Rodriguez was able to score. This made LelMakasa players nervous and angry, prompting the referee to show yellow cards to players Al-MutazBillah Sami, Yusri and Ibrahim Mohammad. The 15th minute of the half witnessed an organized attack by LelMakasa which allowed Ahmad Hussein Othman to equalize for his team followed by a red card to Huila’s player Sergio Vega Balaguera, making it easier for LelMakasa players to keep the ball, until Ramadan Samasiri was able to score the second goal a few seconds before the end of the match. Matches today will be between Iran’s Dabiri Tabriz and Qatar’s AlSadd while the second match will be between Paraguay’s Sport Colonial and Kuwait’s AlQadisiya.

Part-time strategy works well for PSG Tour veteran Stricker ILLINOIS: Like a connoisseur of fine wines, Steve Stricker prefers quality to quantity and his decision earlier this year to cut back on his PGA Tour schedule seems to have been a master-stroke by the veteran American. He has recorded four top-10s in only seven starts on the US circuit and is among the pre-tournament favorites for this week’s John Deere Classic at the TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois, where he is a three-times former champion. “I don’t know if my game has improved, my attitude is fresher,” Stricker, 46, told reporters on Wednesday about the success of his part-time strategy on the 2013 PGA Tour. “I am excited to be at each and every event that I tee it up in. “I still work at my game at home, just not as much. There are times now when I am home for two or three weeks I can set the clubs down for a week or two and then pick them up the week prior to get ready to come to an event. “I am enjoying the down-time at home where I don’t feel like I

have to practice every minute. And that’s been fun,” said the American, who will miss next week’s British Open to be at home in Wisconsin with his wife Nicki for their wedding anniversary. A 12-times winner on the PGA Tour, Stricker said he had cut back on his playing schedule because of his desire to spend more quality time with his family while also retaining his love for competitive golf. “This is my 20th year on tour and I want to make sure that I am fresh when I come out,” said the softly-spoken Wisconsin native, who has long been regarded as one of the best putters in the game. “I don’t want to get to the point where I dread coming out. I am too old for that. I’ve seen guys through their career just feel like they have to come out and play for some reason and I don’t want to be that guy. “I want to be a guy who comes out and be excited to play, want to be there and put all my effort into playing well that week that I am there.” —Reuters

Sports FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Uruguay overcome Iraq to meet France in U20 final ISTANBUL: Uruguay scored the equalizer in the 87th minute to draw with Iraq 1-1 and won the penalty shootout 7-6 to reach the final of the Under-20 World Cup on Wednesday. Runner-up in 1997, Uruguay will play first-time finalist France tomorrow. The Europeans beat Ghana 2-1 in the first semifinal. Iraq midfielder Saif Salman sent the decisive spot-kick over the crossbar after both teams missed one penalty. Gianni Rodriguez had Uruguay’s first attempt saved by Iraq goalkeeper Mohammed Hameed and Ali Faez also

missed the first for Iraq as he hit the post. Uruguay substitute Gonzalo Bueno leveled the score with a volley in the closing minutes of regulation after Iraq took the lead in the first half on a free kick by Ali Adnan. Iraq missed the chance to reach the final of a FIFA tournament for the first time. Iraq’s successful run to the semifinal has been warmly welcomed at home. Streets and cafes in Baghdad and other cities were the scene of jubilant celebrations after the wins over Paraguay and South Korea, but the streets remained calm on Wednesday.

Iraq also drew a lot of Turkish fans, who switched allegiance after the host team lost in the first knockout round. Striker Florian Thauvin scored both goals for France against Ghana. Two minutes before halftime, Thauvin was set up by Jean Christophe Bahebeck, dribbled past Ghana goalkeeper Eric Antwi and netted into the empty goal. Ebenezer Assifuah equalized for Ghana in the 47th with his fifth goal of the tournament as he collected the ball with his back to the goal, and held off three defenders

before directing a 20-meter strike past goalkeeper Alphonse Areola. Thauvin found the net again coming in from the right and beat Antwi with a low shot at the near post in the 74th. France defender Samuel Umtiti was sent off for receiving a second booking in the 80th and will miss the final. France, improving on its best result of fourth two years ago, can become the first European winner since Spain in 1999, which has been the sole European victory in the competition for the past 20 years. — AP

Spain gripped by sporting ‘crisis’ as budget cuts bite BELO HORIZONTE: Lucas Bernardi (right) of Argentina’s Newell’s Old Boys, vies for the ball with Ronaldinho Gaucho (center) of Brazil’s Atletico Mineiro, during their Libertadores Cup semifinal match at Arena Independencia Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. — AFP

Victor’s shootout save seals Atletico progress Ronaldinho penalty gives Brazilians 3-2 win RIO DE JANEIRO: Goalkeeper Victor made another crucial penalty save to send Atletico Mineiro on the way to a first Libertadores Cup final appearance with a 3-2 shootout win over Newell’s Old Boys in Belo Horizonte on Wednesday. Victor, who saved a stoppagetime penalty against Tijuana to secure Atletico’s passage to the semi-finals, stopped Maxi Rodriguez’s effort after Ronaldinho had put the Brazilian side ahead in the shootout. The tie had ended 2-2 on aggregate. Tournament favourites Atletico recovered from a 2-0 defeat in last week’s first leg in Roasario by beating Newell’s by the same score in a match interrupted for 11 minutes late in the second half due to a power failure. Brazil forward Bernard was quick to reduce the arrears, scoring from a fine Ronaldinho pass after three minutes and substitute Guilherme pounced on a poor clearance with five minutes remaining to make it 2-0 with a long-range shot. “(Rodriguez) had scored two penalties in the shootout against Boca Juniors and he had hit the first in the corner (of the net) that I went for,” Victor told reporters in reference to Newell’s quarterfinal win over their fellow Argentine side. “We have to also thank our researchers for passing that information on to me,” Victor added. Atletico will meet three-times South American champions Olimpia of Paraguay in the final over two legs on July 17 and 24. They will be looking for Brazil’s fourth consecutive Libertadores Cup title after victories by

Internacional, Santos and Corinthians in the last three years. “What motivates me to carry on playing is to win unprecedented titles, it makes me feel like a kid again to go on running and doing what I like,” an elated 33year-old Ronaldinho told reporters. Bernard will miss the first leg of the final through suspension after being booked near

the end of the first half for dissent, protesting to the referee for not awarding fellow forward Jo a penalty. Atletico coach Cuca said the power failure helped him to reshuffle his team, who were struggling to score a decisive second goal against a Newell’s side defending well with Rodriguez in fine form in midfield. —Reuters

3 athletes charged with raping official in Malaysia KUALA LUMPUR: Three young Malaysian handball players have been charged with raping an official at a national tournament, a government lawyer said yesterday, in a case that has shocked the country’s sporting fraternity. The alleged gang-rape of the female official has sparked widespread public anger, as officials demanded tough punishment for the perpetrators. The victim was a communications liaison officer for the Federal Territories girls’ handball team at the recent inter-state Malaysia Games. Deputy public prosecutor Tan Gin Han said the court had set August 20 for a judge to announce a possible trial date. The three players-aged between 18 and 19 - pleaded not guilty, he said. Tan said the three who were charged in the sessions court were: Adib Adha Ismail, Megat Farzeril and Mohammad Shaizzad. The trio were freed

on bail despite objections from the prosecutor, defence lawyer Suraj Singh said. The incident was said to have occurred in the early hours of July 4 in a room at a games village during the ongoing competition. It was reported that the 19-year-old victim was semi-conscious at the time. The Star newspaper had said that before the alleged rape, the young woman had left the games village to have alcoholic drinks with several handball players. If found guilty, the three accused face a maximum 20 years in jail and whipping by a cane. Peter Velappan, former Asian Football Confederation general secretary, Wednesday said the “outrageous” incident was the first of its kind in Malaysian sports and had tarnished the country. Offenders must face “severe punishment”, he said. — AFP

MADRID: Think Spanish sport and images that spring to mind include the nation’s all-conquering soccer team, Rafa Nadal hoisting aloft the French Open trophy or Fernando Alonso burning up a Formula One track in his Ferrari. While these are some of the highest-profile and wealthiest athletes on the planet, and a source of immense national pride, recession-hobbled Spain is increasingly having to face up to a new reality marked by stinging budget cuts that threaten the country’s status as a hive of sporting excellence. Elite competitors from athletics and swimming to rowing and gymnastics are being denied basic facilities, face delays in grant payments and in some cases, are forced to pay for travel, accommodation and equipment. They are scarcely the ideal conditions for a bid to improve on a disappointing 21st-place finish in the medal table at last year’s London Olympics when the next Summer Games take place in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Nor does the current financial crunch suggest Spain will be reliving the euphoria of Barcelona 1992 or emulating the stunning performance of 2012 hosts Britain if Madrid beats Istanbul and Tokyo to win the right to host the Summer Olympics in 2020. Local media talk of a “crisis” and the issue has been given an unusual amount of coverage alongside the latest news about soccer giants Real Madrid and Barcelona. “The moment will come when all Spanish athletes are reduced to mediocrity,” gymnast Isaac Botella, who was sixth in the men’s vault at the London Olympics, told radio station Cadena Ser this week. Botella said he had not received any grant cash since January and without regular employment, was having to rely on his parents for support. “It hurts quite a lot and you lose motivation,” the 29-year-old added. “I couldn’t afford to buy a pair of short trousers for the summer and it’s embarrassing to ask my mother. “It has an effect on your training, you are down in the dumps and your work is of poorer quality.” Botella’s experience is not an isolated case. He and his disgruntled team mates sent an open letter to the gymnastics federation (RFEG) last month complaining that budget cuts had left them with only one physiotherapist for 32 athletes and practically no medical services. Carlos Perez, a kayak gold medalist with Saul Craviotto in Beijing in 2008, angrily told Marca sports daily last week he would have to pay his own way to compete at the world championships in Duisburg starting next month. “It’s a disgrace having to pay to represent Spain,” Perez told the newspaper. BLEAK OUTLOOK The tribulations of Botella, Perez and others like them are partly the result of deep cuts to government subsidies for Spain’s sports federations, part of a wider effort to rein in state spending. Public assistance totalled 76.3 million euros ($98.1 million) in 2009 but has more than halved since then to a mere 34.1 million this year. The soccer federation (RFEF), which has a host of corporate sponsors and is flush with cash after a run of success in international tournaments, can afford to forego its subsidy and is not affected by the cuts. For most of the rest, however, the picture is anything but rosy and a recent report in El Pais newspaper suggested 25 of Spain’s 63 federations were flirting with bankruptcy. The plight of the athletics federation (RFEA) is typical. Its subsidy was slashed 47 percent this year compared with 2012 and had sunk to 2.8 million euros from 7 million in 2008, according to RFEA president Jose Maria Odriozola. Spanish track and field athletes have performed particularly poorly in recent years and failed to win a single Olympic medal in Beijing or London. —Reuters

Sports FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Pellegrini plans Man City youth revolution MANCHESTER: Manuel Pellegrini admits part of his remit as Manchester City manager will be to help nurture young talent and save the club spending heavily on transfer fees in the future. City, who were bought by Sheikh Mansour’s Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, have been the Premier League’s highest spenders in the transfer market in recent years. But new financial fair-play rules have been introduced in a bid to curtail the spending of clubs like City and Pellegrini, who on Wednesday spoke to the media for the first time since he was appointed as Roberto Mancini’s successor, seemed to suggest a slight departure from that policy in the long term. “We have to have a different style here in the club,” Pellegrini said. “I mean a different style in the way Man City must work in the next few years. “It is impossible every year to buy three, four, five expensive players. We need a mix with young players, who work exactly the same as the first team, and as the Under 21s. “There are a lot of things we can improve. What Roberto Mancini

and the other coaches have done we will continue working at and adding different things.” Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano was recently quoted as saying that he wanted Pellegrini to win five trophies in the next five years. Former Malaga boss Pellegrini knows he will be under pressure to compete for all trophies on all fronts, but the 59-year-old Chilean believes that is only part of his mandate at Eastlands. “As a coach of course we always want immediate success,” he added. “If that will bring us trophies, perfect, we have more chances to win that way. In the same way we are working with young players and we will continue to. “I’m here not only to win trophies - the Premier League, the Champions League, the FA Cup - I am here to work with young players. “To win trophies is very important but I am not here just for that. I will do my job here completely with Ferran, with Txiki Begiristain (Manchester City sporting director), with Patrick Vieira (elite development squad manager) also working with young players.” Pellegrini

has already boosted his squad with the signings of Brazil midfielder Fernandinho from Shakhtar Donetsk for £30 million and Spain winger Jesus Navas from Sevilla for £15 million. And the City manager confirmed a player’s nationality will not be an important issue when asked whether he would target any English players. “We need good players, yes. Good English, Argentinean, South American players. We are trying to have a strong squad in all positions,” Pellegrini said. “I think that all the clubs have the same problem with English players. Arsenal or Chelsea do not have a lot of English players but we have here very important young players. “Is signing English players a priority? It is important but not a priority. We have very good English players like Joe Hart and James Milner. “It is very difficult at an important club to have only national team players. “We will see. I am sure that players can arrive when we are on the club’s tour of South Africa and Hong Kong. We are not in a hurry. We have people and choices.”— AFP

Pep talks of resignation RIVA DEL GARDA: Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola finally shed some light on his resignation at Barcelona yesterday and confirmed he hoped to raid his old club for midfielder Thiago Alcantara. Guardiola, 42, quit as head coach at Barca after winning 14 titles during his four-year reign at the Camp Nou between 2008 and 2012. “After four years the desire was gone in Barcelona,” Guardiola said at Bayern’s training camp in northern Italy. “The same players, the same opponents, the same journalists, the same games. Now everything is new.”It’s good for my experience. My family will come to Munich soon, it’s a good education and therefore I’m grateful.” He also confirmed the European champions’ interest in Alcantara. Spanish media had already linked the 22-year-old with a move to Bayern and Guardiola admitted he has already asked the Bavarian giants to sign the midfielder. “Yes, I want Thiago Alcantara, I have asked (Bayern to get him),” he said. “I know him very, very well. He’s a great player and can cover three, four, five positions. “I have talked to (chairman Karl-Heinz) Rummenigge and (director of sport Matthias) Sammer, we will have to wait and see. “Thiago is the only player I want, it will be him or no one. “We have many players, but we need the special qualities Thiago Alcantara brings.” Both Manchester United and Real Madrid have been linked to Alcantara, who has a market value of around 20 million euros ($26 million) and captained Spain Under-21 to the European title and was voted player of the tournament. Alcantara, who has a contract at Barcelona until June 2015, scored a first-half hat-trick as Spain beat Italy 4-2 in the European Under21 Championships in Jerusalem last month. Bayern already have several midfield stars with Germany’s Mario Goetze signed from Borussia Dortmund, plus Holland’s Arjen Robben, France’s Franck Ribery, Thomas Mueller, Toni Kroos and Swiss Xherdan Shaqiri vying for places. “I don’t think adding another midfielder will be a problem for us,” said Guardiola. “I spoke to club about my concept and told them why I want Thiago Alcantara. “I give my opinion but I listen to the board. If they say no, that’s ok. “Nobody will leave Barcelona, unless they feel they won’t play much. He wants to play. That’s why I proposed him to the club.”— AFP

BANGKOK: Manchester United football fans hold a scarf as team players arrive at the Four Seasons hotel in Bangkok yesterday.— AFP

Fans mob United as Asian tours kicks off BANGKOK: Hundreds of cheering fans gave Manchester United a stirring welcome yesterday as the English champions jetted into Thailand at the start of a flurry of Asian tours by top European clubs. Spectators were out in force as the superstar squad, wearing suits with trainers, arrived by chartered jet at Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport, where new manager David Moyes performed a traditional Thai greeting. The players then boarded a huge bus emblazoned with the words “United in Thailand” and drove to their five-star downtown hotel, where they were welcomed by more fans holding banners and scarves. Moyes and United great Ryan Giggs were also mobbed during a visit to Siriraj hospital, where they paid their respects and brought a big bunch of flowers for Thailand’s revered king and queen, who are both unwell. England striker Wayne Rooney, at the centre of intense speculation about his future, walked with his head down and did not talk to media as he arrived with his team-mates. “It’s crazy whenever we visit this part of the world,” defender Rio Ferdinand told the club’s website. “The reception we get in the Asian countries is something else entirely. I’ve never seen fanatics like them. “They come to airports at mad times in the

morning to greet us, they hang around our hotels... it’s great and makes us feel really welcome.” Manchester United are the first to arrive in what will be a bumper Asian pre-season, with Chelsea also due in Bangkok this week and Barcelona, Manchester City and Liverpool among the other clubs headed to the region. Moyes, taking over after Alex Ferguson’s 27-year, 38-trophy career at the club, will lead out the team for the first time against a Thai All-Star XI in Bangkok on Saturday. Captain Nemanja Vidic stayed in Manchester because of back pain, but he may join the 19-man squad later on the tour of Thailand, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong, according to the club website. Robin van Persie, David De Gea and Shinji Kagawa will also meet up with the team later but Javier Hernandez, rested after international duty, and injured trio Chris Smalling, Ashley Young and Nani are all missing. Exciting new signing Wilfried Zaha is one prominent inclusion and veteran defender Ferdinand said all players were keen to make an early impression on the new boss. “I think it’s natural that everybody here is trying to impress on this tour,” he said. “When you get a new manager you want to show him that you should be in the starting XI for that first day of the new season and that process has started already.”

But the tours are likely to be dominated by transfer talk with British media reporting that Chelsea, who arrive in Bangkok on Friday, are preparing a major bid for Rooney. However, Moyes has signaled his determination to keep the striker, who asked for a transfer in May, by describing his concerted effort to win over the want-away star. “I have met Wayne two, three, four times,” Moyes, who coached Rooney when they were both at Everton, told Britain’s talkSPORT radio. “A lot has been said about myself and Wayne over the years but we have a really good relationship. He came to my house, I have been to his recently to have a chat.” Moyes, who looks set to lose out on a bid to sign Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara, also insisted the club were “working hard” to buy new players as they seek to defend their Premier League title. Chelsea will also play their first game under returning manager Jose Mourinho in Bangkok next week, while Manchester City will be under new boss Manuel Pellegrini when they play a mini-tournament in Hong Kong. Barcelona and Liverpool are also among the visitors in the coming weeks to a region which comprises the bulk of the world’s population and contributes growing revenues to top clubs via TV rights and merchandise.— AFP

FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Fans mob United as Asian tours kicks off Page 47

Atletico eye first

Libertadores Cup final Page 46

BELO HORIZONTE: Ronaldinho Gaucho, of Brazil’s Atletico Mineiro, heads the football during their Libertadores Cup semifinal match at Arena Independencia Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. —AFP

12th Jul 2013  

Friday Times