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Bangladesh court sentences senior Islamist to death

Bahraini police summon oppn leader Marzouq

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THULQADA 12, 1434 AH

Say goodbye to welfare state: Dutch king

Ronaldo treble guides Real to victory




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Kuwait drops idea of Hormuz bypass GCC to launch ‘This is the Arabian Gulf’ radio station

AT SEA: In this file photo, Iranian military personnel place a national flag on a submarine during the ‘Velayat-90’ navy exercises in the Strait of Hormuz. Kuwait has decided not to build an oil export pipeline to bypass the Strait of Hormuz because it would be too difficult and costly, a leading Kuwaiti newspaper reported yesterday. — AFP

in the


Brotherhood’s leaders liken prisons to graves


Max 43 º Min 25º High Tide 10:40 & 23:35 Low Tide 04:38 & 17:31

KUWAIT: Kuwait has decided not to build an oil export pipeline to bypass the Strait of Hormuz because it would be too difficult and costly, a leading Kuwaiti newspaper reported yesterday. Kuwait’s Gulf OPEC allies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have opened alternative oil export routes to reduce their reliance on shipping lanes that Iran has threatened to block several times over the last few years. State-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) has also studied alternative export options, including pipelines through neighboring Saudi Arabia and Iraq, Al-Qabas daily newspaper said. But these proposals have been dismissed as too expensive because of the long routes involved, the paper said, citing senior oil industry sources. KPC was not immediately available for comment. Unlike Saudi Arabia and the UAE, whose Hormuz bypass pipelines only run across their own territories, Kuwait would have to pump oil hundreds of miles across a neighboring state. Kuwait’s economy is highly dependent on oil revenues and all its oil exports - around 2 million barrels a day - are shipped out of the narrow waterway between Iran and Oman. In another development, officials of government radio stations in the Arab Gulf countries support Bahrain’s initiative to launch “This is the Arabian Gulf” Radio Station in October this year, contributing to common GCC action, a Kuwaiti official said yesterday. Yusuf Mustafa, Information Ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Radio Affairs, said the new radio station would contribute to preserving traditions, culture, art and literature of the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Mustafa was speaking to KUNA after a meeting of senior radio officials in GCC countries. He said participants approved initial launch of the Bahrain-based radio station through Bahrain Radio end of this month. The GCC countries will assess the new radio station for three months, said Mustafa, and engineers would determine the frequency modulation (FM) in every country. GCC information ministers will be discussing the new radio station when they meet late this month, he said. Once approved, added Mustafa, the Gulf radio stations would launch promotion campaigns for the new station. Mustafa, meanwhile, said Kuwait Radio gave Bahrain Radio a copy of its programs for non-Arab listeners in English, Urdu, Filipino and Persian languages. The GCC consist of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman. — Agencies

Contentious mosque stirs sectarian unrest


Saudi beheads Syrian RIYADH: Saudi authorities beheaded a Syrian man yesterday after he was convicted of trafficking drugs into the ultra-conservative kingdom, the interior ministry said. Waleed Zeineddin was arrested while trafficking a large amount of amphetamine stimulant capsules that are listed as drugs in Saudi Arabia, the ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA. His beheading in the northern Jawf region, brings to 67 the number of people executed in Saudi Arabia so far this year, according to an AFP count. In 2012, the conservative Muslim kingdom carried out 76 executions, according to a tally based on official figures. Human Rights Watch has put the number at 69. Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under the oil-rich Gulf state’s strict version of sharia, or Islamic law.

Austrian siege drama VIENNA: Police commandos and army tanks surrounded an Austrian poacher’s farmhouse yesterday after he allegedly went on a killing spree that left three policemen and a paramedic dead. The 55-year-old was holed up with an arsenal of hunting guns in his home at Grosspriel near Melk, some 90 kilometers west of Vienna, police spokesman Johann Baumschlager said. He legally owns several weapons and lots of ammunition, mostly for hunting, a popular pastime in Austria, reportedly including a powerful hunting rifle able to pierce protective clothing. “He appears to be heavily armed,” Baumschlager said, calling the situation “terrible and very explosive”. Media reports said that “Cobra” police commandos had late on Monday attempted to stop the man, a well-known poacher, in his car near Annaberg after a tip-off that he was hunting illegally.

Rare contact between Obama, Rouhani Niqab row rages in UK LONDON: Britain was dragged into a debate yesterday on Muslim women wearing full-face veils in public, with its biggest selling newspaper backing calls from politicians to join European countries that have banned its use. The topic had stayed below the British political radar until the past week when a judge ruled that a Muslim woman will be allowed to go on wearing a veil but

must take it off while giving evidence at her trial. Her case came after Birmingham Metropolitan College, in a central English city which has a large Muslim population, dropped a ban on Muslim face veils after thousands of people signed a petition against the rule. Junior Home Office Minister Jeremy Continued on Page 13

Israel prefers Qaeda in Damascus to Iran’s ally JERUSALEM: The Israeli ambassador to the United States says Israel has wanted to see Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad removed from power since before the outbreak of war there - a shift from its publicly-stated position. It sees his defeat by rebels who include Al-Qaeda-linked Islamists as preferable to his current alliance with Iran, ambassador Michael

Oren said. His comments in an interview with the Jerusalem Post marked a move in Israel’s public position on the civil war in Syria. Though old enemies, a stable stand-off has endured between the two countries during Assad’s rule. Unlike Israeli President Shimon Peres, Prime Continued on Page 13

Storms kill 38 in Mexico ACAPULCO: Twin storms left scenes of havoc on both of Mexico’s coasts yesterday, with tens of thousands of tourists stranded in the resort city of Acapulco on the Pacific and heavy damage reported along the Gulf coast. The death toll from the combined punch of Hurricane Ingrid and Tropical Storm Manuel rose to 38 Tuesday, according to Mexico’s federal Civil Protection coordinator, Luis Felipe Puente. As many as 60,000 tourists, many of whom traveled from Mexico City for a long holiday weekend, found themselves stranded in Acapulco, with the airport flooded and highways blocked by landslides and water caused by Manuel. While many hotels were operating normally, many of the outlying neighborhoods of the city were without water or power service, and television images showed water knee-deep around the check-in counters of the city’s airport.

ALEPPO: A citizen journalism photo shows a damaged building after heavy fighting between government forces and Free Syrian Army fighters in Aleppo. — AP

President Barack Obama

President Hassan Rouhani

DUBAI: Iran said yesterday that President Hassan Rouhani had exchanged letters with US President Barack Obama, confirming a rare contact between leaders of the two nations at loggerheads over Iran’s nuclear program, the Syrian war and other issues. The United States and Iran cut off formal diplomatic ties in 1980, shortly after students and Islamic militants stormed the US Embassy in Tehran and took American diplomats hostage. But officials from both countries have said they are open to direct talks in order to find a diplomatic solution to a decade-long dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, over which the West has imposed economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Tehran denies seeking nuclear weapons but the United States and its allies suspect it is working towards such a capability. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said yesterday that Obama had sent Rouhani a message of congratulations on the occasion of his election. “This letter has been exchanged,” Afkham said, according to the ISNA news agency. “The mechanism for exchanging these letters is through current diplomatic channels.” Though rare, it is not the first time letters

have been exchanged. Rouhani’s predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, wrote one to Obama three years ago, and Obama wrote twice directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in 2009 and 2012. Obama said in an interview broadcast on Sunday he had exchanged letters with Rouhani. The two men will speak on the same day at the UN General Assembly next week, though there are currently no plans for them to meet. Rouhani, a centrist cleric who defeated more conservative candidates in June elections, has said he wants to pursue “constructive interaction” with the world, raising expectations of a negotiated settlement to the nuclear dispute. Khamenei, who would have to authorize any nuclear deal, said in a speech yesterday that he supported “correct and rational foreign and domestic policies,” according to ISNA. Iran does not seek nuclear weapons, Khamenei said, adding that the nuclear issue was an excuse by the United States and its allies to confront Iran. At a UN nuclear agency meeting in Vienna yesterday, a senior French official said Paris had noted the intention to dispel international concern about Iran’s nuclear program expressed by the new government in Tehran. — Reuters



12,000 to go on trial for unpaid traffic fines

KUWAIT: The Ambassador of the Slovak Republic Ivan Lanvaric hosted a reception at the Crowne Plaza hotel on the occasion of the National Day of his country. A number of high-ranking officials, diplomats and media personnel attended the reception. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

KUWAIT: The Public Prosecution issued traffic bans against nearly 12,000 people who prepare to stand before court for failing to pay traffic fines, a local daily reported yesterday quoting Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs at the Interior Ministry, Major General Abdulfattah Al-Ali. Speaking to Al-Qabas daily on Monday, Major General Al-Ali said that the offenders owe the General Traffic Department between KD 500 and KD 8,000. “All cases will be referred to court to guarantee the state’s right to collect dues from traffic fines”, he indicated. The senior official further insisted that the General Traffic Department is an ‘executive body’ that enforces the law at hand. “Decisions to deport offending expatriates comes from the court, and not from the General Traffic Department as commonly believed”, he explained. He further noted that the deportee is first required to pay their fine and then have their driving license revoked before they leave. Major General Al-Ali also denied rumors which suggest that the General Traffic Department plans to release automatic travel ban against offenders next month. “Only the court has the authority to ban offenders from traveling”, he said. Several lawmakers criticized the senior official who stated last week that a driver will not be allowed to leave Kuwait until they pay their traffic fines, arguing that only the court is authorized to release such orders.

IMF panel fails to present solutions to Kuwait issues Discussions on economic problems By A Saleh KUWAIT: The parliament’s budget committee met representatives from the International Monetary Fund yesterday based on the IMF request and in accordance to agreements signed with the State of Kuwait. Committee chairman Adnan Al-Abdulsamad said in a statement following the meeting that discussion focused on “diagnosing errors in Kuwait’s economy”, but indicated that the IMF team “failed to add anything new to what is already known”. “While they provided theoretical solutions, we need practical mechanisms to fix the problems which were never introduced during the meeting”, he said, adding that “we believe that the problem is essentially political”. Kuwait saw seven parliamentary elections a n d m o re n u m b e r o f Ca b i n e t s fo r m e d between 2003 and 2013, something that Abdulsamad believes the IMF team ignored. “They should have kept the main cause of the problem in mind while trying to look for a

solution”, he argued. According to Abdulsamad, the IMF team warned panel members that Kuwait could face a budget deficit after 2018 based on their analysis and judging from the projected oil prices. “We have a different opinion on the subject based on a higher oil price rate than the one they outlined”, he added. Meanwhile, Abdulsamad commented on the opinion poll results announced Monday which identified the housing issue as the top issue of public priority. “While the survey did not bring new information, I believe it can help in allowing the parliament to focus on resolving issues gradually and in order of priority”, the lawmaker said. In other news, MP Riyadh Al-Adasani urged Prime Minister HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak AlSabah to “address the errors in tender and execution procedures for the North Zoor Power Plant project”, saying that failure to do so could cost country a similar fine to the $2.16 billion that the government paid for Dow Chemical over the canceled K-Dow deal. Al-Adasani prima-

rily alleges that the company which won the project’s tender is not listed in Kuwait Stock Exchange. On the same issue, MP Safa Al-Hashem announced that she plans to send a number of inquiries to Finance Minister Sheikh Salem AlSabah regarding what she claims were “incorrect details” given during a press conference that was held by the Partnerships Technical Bureau Monday to respond to MPs’ accusations. Separately, MP Kamel Al-Awadhi announced that he received promises from Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Dr Nayef Al-Hajraf that the Ministry of Higher Education plans to provide an alternative accommodation for female students in Egypt who were forced out of their previous home after the government’s contract with the person who was leasing expired. Meanwhile, MP Hmoud Al-Hamdan sent questions to Minister Al-Hajraf inquiring about controls that the Education Ministry adopts to prevent rapid fees increase at private schools.

KRCS made ‘significant imprint’ on relief efforts KUWAIT: Kuwait Red Crescent Society was described by a leading global humanitarian organisation as having made a “significant imprint” in relief efforts worldwide due to its swift action across a spectrum of affected areas. KRCS was commended for its efforts to limit human suffering and to provide relief for nations faced with crises like natural hazards or man-made catastrophes, said Medecins Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders) UAE

regional office Executive Director Ghada Hatim, applauding its ongoing role on Syria. Hatim said she had discussed enhancing cooperation and coordination on the regional and global scales between MSF and the Kuwaiti organisation during a meeting with its honorary Secretary Saad Al-Nahedh in Kuwait. MSF also seeks to host training courses and specialised workshops in the fields of humanitarian assistance and emergency and hazardrelated situations.

Meanwhile, Al-Nahedh pledged KRCS’ commitment to lifting the suffering off those in need, doing so according to its goals in achieving the principles of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies based on the four Geneva conventions and their additional protocols. “Kuwait’s role translated through KRCS is merely a humanitarian duty to help those suffering, without paying attention to their race, ethnicity or belief,” he said. — KUNA

ABK offers account holders chance to win a FIAT 500C KUWAIT: ABK launched a special promotion exclusively for university and coll ege level students, whereby they get the chance to win a Fiat 500C only by opening an A Plus account and depositing KD 10, plus an additional chance to win upon activating the SMS service. In order to ease the process of

opening the account for new students, this week ABK will be at the Australian College of Kuwait - ACK , Business Studies College and the Secretarial Institute for boys, where ABK representatives offer full services to students granting them a chance to win a Fiat 500C car.

Kuwait urged to organise conference on Somalia

KUWAIT: A fire broke out in a warehouse and laborers residence in Al-Rai. Firemen from industrial Shuwaikh, Ardhiya and back-up centers who responded to the call evacuated the building and controlled the fire before putting it out. Two firemen suffered heat exhaustion and were treated on site. Director General of Kuwait Fire services Directorate Maj Gen Yousuf Al-Ansari and other fire leaders were present. —Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

BRUSSELS: Sharif Omar Ahmed, Chairman of Somali Elders based in the UK, has urged Kuwait to organise a conference to restore peace and stability in Somalia. Ahmed said in Brussels that he visited Kuwait in February to ask the Kuwait government to organise such a conference. “Kuwait is an Arab brotherly country. And Kuwait is a very close friend to Somalia and the Somali people. Many Somalis live in Kuwait,” he said. “HH the Amir of Kuwait was also in Somalia and he likes very much the Somali people. We thank very much the Amir of Kuwait and now we are asking to

arrange for some conference in Kuwait for Somali people,” said Ahmed who was in Brussels to attend an international conference on Somalia held on Monday. He noted that the Brussels conference called “A New Deal for Somalia” was a “European conference and Europeans always have their own policies.” He described the situation in Somalia as good. “We have now an elected government, elected President, elected parliament. Now we have fixed government. I am hopeful for the future,” added the Somali elder. He explained that his organisation for ten years has been engaged in social activities to help the Somali community in the UK. — KUNA



US Embassy ‘pleased’ with Kuwait labor protection efforts By A Saleh

KUWAIT: His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah meeting UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos yesterday. During the meeting, HH the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince hailed the UN role in deepening international relations and establishing human values. He also commended the UN official’s great efforts in the coordination and supervision of humanitarian aid to the Syrian people.

KUWAIT: A team from the United States embassy in Kuwait expressed relief regarding the procedures that local authorities take to protect expatriate labor forces’ rights, which could pave the way for improving Kuwait’s position regarding the status of its non-Kuwaiti manpower. This was revealed during a meeting between the US embassy team and representatives from the labor relations department at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor. They reportedly applauded the procedures taken to address labor complaints as well as transparency with regard to allowing international organizations to follow up with the procedures followed on that regard. The US embassy team is set to report to a human rights exper t in the US Department of State, who are preparing to arrive in Kuwait soon to observe local

regulations regarding labor forces. Their assessments will provide the base for Kuwait ’s classification in the 2013 Human Rights Report to be released by the US Depar tment of State, amid reports suggesting that the country’s status could be improved from the third to the first level. Water cuts The Ministry of Electricity and Water announced that 82 percent of people who owe money to the ministry have paid their fees after the ministry started cutting supply in a bid to force unpaid dues. The announcement was made by Assistant Undersecretary for Water Operation and Maintenance, Mohammad Bushehri, who further indicated that the campaign will continue indefinitely “af ter achieving fruitful results”. According to the official, the ministry has so far collected KD 261 million out of KD 300 million it is owed in unpaid water bills.

Time to end plight of bedoons population Amnesty International circulates campaign digest KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti authorities must do more to address the rights of more than 100,000 stateless residents, known as ‘bedoons’, many of whom have lived in Kuwait for generations, Amnesty International said in a new campaign digest, “ The Withouts of Kuwait”. “ The continued denial by the Kuwaiti authorities to grant citizenship to tens of thousands of bedoons has devastating consequences on their lives. The reality is that thousands of bedoons in Kuwait face a daily struggle for things we take for granted such as having a job, sending their children to school or accessing medical care,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of the Middle East

and North Africa program at Amnesty International in a press release yesterday. “The authorities’ promise to grant citizenship to 34,000 bedoons should only be welcomed if it is just a first step towards fairly addressing the legal status of all the bedoons. It is absurd that a foreigner who has just moved to the country could have more rights than someone who has had no other home than Kuwait.” The campaign digest is published ahead of a ruling by Kuwait’s Constitutional Court today on whether bedoon protesters can be prosecuted for holding demonstrations in 2011. “Not only are bedoons denied their basic rights but they seem to also be denied the right to claim them in peaceful protests,” Sahroaoui was quoted as saying. He added, “A lasting solution must urgently be found to end the plight of the bedoons. Failing to do so is a breach of Kuwait’s international human rights obligations and is a stain on its human rights record.” Below are excerpts from the campaign digest: More than 100,000 stateless bedoons people live in Kuwait. Many were born there and belong to families who have lived there for generations. Yet in this oil-rich land of plenty, most of these bedoons face severe restrictions on their access to employment, health care, education and the state support enjoyed by Kuwaiti citizens. When bedoons have protested to demand their rights, they have faced violence and repression. Many bedoons currently living in Kuwait were born and raised in Kuwait. Some have Kuwaiti mothers and other Kuwaiti relatives. Many belong to families that have been settled in Kuwait for many years, including before independence in 1961. Yet for over 50 years, the Kuwaiti authorities have denied bedoons people citizenship of the only country they know, labelling them “non-Kuwaiti”, “unidentified (citizens)” and, now, ‘illegal residents’. The term bedoons comes from “bedoons jinsiyya” (“without nationality”). The bedoons are indeed Kuwait’s “withouts” - without nationality but also without the rights conferred by full citizenship. Until 1986, the bedoons enjoyed a status similar to that of Kuwaiti citizens. Since then, however, many thousands of bedoons have not been able to access government services that require national IDs because they possess only temporary documents whose renewal is at the discretion of the state. Thousands more have no documents at all and often rely on charity to survive. The naturalization process, administered by a government body - the Central System to Resolve Illegal Residents’ Status - is opaque

and based on shifting criteria. The Central System assesses cases and makes recommendations to the Higher Committee of Citizenship, a government body that decides whether nationality will be granted. Because of the discrimination they face, bedoons who are able to work in the public sector accept lower wages and poorer terms of employment than Kuwaiti citizens. The bedoons often pay higher fees for essential medical care they cannot obtain at state facilities. Bedoon parents sometimes have to send their children to fee-paying schools as some are excluded from free state schools, although there is a state-sponsored fund for education that bedoon families can access.

In April 2011, the government promised to improve the rights of bedoons, but have yet to turn their words into deeds. This not only continues to deny tens of thousands of bedoons their internationally recognized human rights. It also damages Kuwait’s international reputation. In despair, some bedoons have felt compelled in recent years to buy forged, foreign passports in order to regularize their status. However, their inability to renew these passports has left them even more disenfranchised and further complicated any possible resolution to their statelessness. In July 2013 the head of the Central System repeated the government position that some bedoons have an alternative nationality and are therefore ineligible for Kuwaiti citizenship. The demand for citizenship All bedoons who can prove that they have lived in Kuwait for a number of years - the number to be determined by law based on international standards - should be eligible for citizenship. The birth, marriage and death of all people should be recorded in a clear and consistent manner, facilitating easy decision-making about a person’s status in Kuwait. Any act to undermine this process should face stiff penalties. The application process must be fair and transparent. Bedoons whose applications are rejected must be able to appeal through Kuwait’s court system or an independent tribunal that has the force of law. Unfortunately, the latest government plan a 2010-11 proposal to create four color-coded categories of citizenship further threatens the human rights of bedoons. The criteria for the varying degrees of citizenship are subjective and determined by factors such as whether an applicant can “prove” that his or her forbearers took part in the 1965 census, served in the army or police, or lived in Kuwait. In May and October 2012, Amnesty International delegates in Kuwait discussed the bedoons issue with government representatives, including the Prime Minister, and met many members of the bedoons community. One bedoon man said that he felt betrayed because he had served in the Kuwaiti army but still has no nationality. Another said that he had been refused citizenship even though he has proof that his grandfather worked in the pre-independence government and his father served in the army in the 1970s. A bedoon man described how the country’s complex yet arbitrary registration system affects his relatives: “I was born in 1986 and have a birth certificate. But I don’t have a nationality. I have a bedoon passport and so do my brothers because my father is in the military...” Another observed: “My father has been working in the Ministry of Interior since 1910

but he does not have Kuwaiti nationality. My mother is a Kuwaiti but has no right to extend her nationality to her children” Women and girls As is often the case in marginalized communities, bedoon women and girls are particularly vulnerable to discrimination and abuse. Nadia Al-Husain, a bedoon activist, explained: “Bedoon women do not really express their anger and frustration at the situation... there are no provisions for bedoon women in case of divorce... They tell us we should be happy with what we have. “In a family with four girls and two boys, the family will (pay to) send the two boys to school. The girls will each take a year in turn, so each girl will go to school every four years. Girls will be victims at home unless they choose to marry... [However] many bedoon women choose not to marry in order not to repeat the cycle with their own children. Protests met with violence Just as 2011 marked the 50th anniversary of Kuwait’s independence, it also signaled the 50th anniversary of statelessness for the bedoons in Kuwait, although it was the 1959 nationality law that set in motion the legal problems confronting the bedoons. Frustrated by the lack of progress on securing basic rights, in early 2011 bedoon activists began organizing demonstrations. Most took place in Taima, an area west of Kuwait City. As months passed, the scale of demonstrations increased, as did repression and retaliation by the authorities. On February 18, 2011, some 120 largely peaceful demonstrators were arrested and 30 required medical treatment: the security forces had forcibly dispersed those gathered. Another clash took place on 11 March 2011. In May 2012, security forces used batons and armoured vehicles to disperse about 200 peaceful bedoon protesters near Taima. At least 15 activists and a journalist were detained. On successive weekends in December 2011, thousands of people attended themed demonstrations, such as “Friday of the Flowers”, where flowers were given to participants and the police, and Donation Friday”, when a blood bank was established. For two consecutive demonstrations, the security forces allowed peaceful demonstrators to assemble. Then, on January 7,2012, the Deputy Interior Minister declared that bedoon demonstrations were forbidden. Scores of bedoons face trial in connection with such protests. Some have been acquitted, but at the time of writing in July 2013, the cases were stalled awaiting a ruling on whether or not the constitutional prohibition on demonstrations by non-Kuwaitis was applicable to the bedoon community. The Constitutional Court’s ruling is expected today. International law and standards Under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Kuwait has promised to uphold, all children have the right to a nationality. In November 2011, the UN Human Rights Committee instructed Kuwait to end discrimination against the bedoon community, including by amending its nationality law. Kuwait is also obliged under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) to end discrimination against bedoons and guarantee non-discrimination in the fulfillment of human rights, including the right to a nationality, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of movement and the right to health, education and employment. Change The pressure for change continues to grow. In February 2013, Group 29, a local NGO named after the article of Kuwait’s Constitution providing for equality before the law, held a conference on statelessness in Kuwait and set out clear recommendations to the authorities. In March, parliament passed a bill paving the way to granting 4,000 individuals citizenship, although the government appears not to have ratified it. In May, a coalition of Kuwaiti NGOs formed the National Committee for the Resolution of Statelessness in Kuwait. Days later, the head of the Central System wrote to the government asking it to oppose the work of the coalition. Amnesty International is adding its voice to those calling on the government to address urgently the issue of the bedoons. —Amnesty International

KUWAIT: Large flocks of both eagles and falcons have been seen in Kuwait during this season of the annual migration.

Large flocks of eagles, falcons crossing Kuwait in migration KUWAIT: The bird watch team of Kuwait Environment Protection Society reported that large flocks of both eagles and falcons have been seen in the country, during the season of the annual migration from north and east Asia. Some 2,000 eagles of different sizes were spotted in different parts of the country in morning hours in groups of 100-200 birds, and the number drops by noon, member Rashid Al-Hajji said. Noting the birds take a very specific and calculated route with sun position as point of reference, Al-Hajji said the birds land in Kuwait for rest rather than food, though drinking water is also an objective. When the birds land in Kuwait, they are in the middle of their journey, he said. Kuwait is an important stop for migrat-

ing birds, he remarked, and bird watchers have spotted 39 types of predatory birds of different sizes out of a total of 397 birds known to migrate through Kuwait. This is a huge number in view of the country’s small size, which makes it a prime destination for bird watchers from around the world. Though the birds face many hazards throughout the journey, the bird watcher stressed they are particularly hunted and shot in Kuwait. There is even more care by the authorities to try and counter this violation this year, he added. The bird watchers, he said, document their observations and present monthly and annual reports to specialized international bodies. “Last year, bird watchers spotted some 4,000 birds in a single day around this time of year,” he said. —KUNA

55% couples married in last 4 years seek divorce KUWAIT: Almost 55 percent of couples filing for divorce in Kuwait have been married for four years only, including 25 percent who are yet to celebrate the first anniversary of their wedding, a local daily reported yesterday quoting official statistics. The statistical report released by the Research and Statistics Department in the Ministry of Justice and obtained by AlQabas daily further indicates that out of 5,662 couples who sought marriage counseling, only 20 percent had their issue successfully resolved. Lack of willingness to coexist was identified as the primary cause for divorce requests, with 32 percent of the requests made by husbands and 23 percent by wives. The statistics further indicate that 77 percent of couples who attended marriage

counseling were Kuwaitis compared to 22 percent non-Kuwaitis. Meanwhile, 62 percent of those couples do not have children, 34 percent have one to three children, and 2.7 percent have between four and six children. Regarding age groups, the statistics show that 42 percent of couples seeking marriage counseling are aged between 25 and 34, 22 percent aged between 35 and 44, and 20 percent aged between 15 and 25. And according to the couples’ academic levels, the statistics indicate that 28 percent of husbands have middle school degrees, 22 percent have high school degrees and 21 percent have university degrees, whereas 27 percent of wives have high school degrees, 23 percent have university degree, 22 percent have diploma and 20 percent have middle school degree.

Media campaign to boost traffic awareness KUWAIT: Public relations and moral guidance and security information department launched a media campaign to educate students, pedestrians and motorists as the new school year started under the supervision of Col Adel Al-Hashash. Security information team led by Lt Col Abdellah Al-Abdelsalam distributed informative gifts for students in some Hawally schools. The campaign will contin-

ue to make sure that citizens, expats and students are educated on the importance of cooperating with security men and traffic to ensure their safety. The campaign will also include installation of TV screens in streets and yards which will broadcast messages to urge adherence to traffic law, and follow traffic officer’s instructions. Stickers were also displayed on buses covering all governorates.

Gene that can treat obesity, diabetes isolated KUWAIT: A team of researchers at the Dasman Diabetes Institute has been successful in isolating for the first time a gene that can be effective in fighting obesity and diabetes type 2, said team leader Dr Jihad Abu Bakr, in a press statement yesterday. The lack of the Gene 3DNIGB in the bodies of those with diabetes and obesity may increase their chances to contract long-term infections, he said, while exercise and specific treatments can induce their bodies to pro-

duce this gene which helps in defeating the infections. This gene can also help diabetics and the obese to regulate their blood insulin better, so much so that it can be used as a way to treat diabetes and obesity with good results, said Dr Abu Bakr. The Institute’s director Dr Kazim Behbahani noted that the Institute spared no efforts to carrying out researches into seeking ways to assuage the impact of diabetes and obesity on their sufferers. —KUNA


LOCAL as the new parliamentary term approaches

kuwait digest

In my view

Are we all equal?


ussian President Valdimir Putin wrote a column in the American New York Time on Sept 11, 2013 and addressed the American people and leaders regarding the Syrian issue. I beg the Russian President’s permission to quote the last sentence of his column, to start my column with where he wrote: “When we ask for the Lord’s blessing, we must not forget that God created us equal.” Yes, we are all equal, and this equality is what motivated me to answer you, and this equality is what made me wonder when you started your article by supporting the veto right at the Security Council and considered it the foundation of international relations stability. So how can the veto define equality among people? There are countries with population approaching one billion, and countries with no more than 90 million, and despite that you agree to give the veto power to those 90 million and you ignore the right of the billion to have the same power - and then you ask the American people not to forget that we are all equal. Do you remember Mr President how Russia undertook the responsibility of preventing a security council resolution to use force against Serbia and Montenegro who were wiping out the Bosnian Muslims? And then you tell the American people that we are all equal. You said that what is happening in Syria is not a struggle for democracy but an armed confrontation between the government and the opposition in a multi-religious country! It was clear that whoever wrote the article, whether it was you or one of your advisors, he depended on the American people’s lack of interest in foreign culture, and this was why your article was full of inaccuracies, in order to deliver inaccurate information to the American people without seeking the real truth. The Syrian people came out two years ago demanding freedom in a country which has the most unrelenting dictator in the entire Middle East. Your saying that Syria is a multi-religious country is misinformation aimed at giving a wrong impression about the Syrian people’s indigenous nature, which is totally wrong by all measures, as Syria is a Muslim country where Muslims form the absolute majority, and there is not one country in the world which is void of ethnic or religious minorities, and the Syrian people’s indigenous nature did not witness disputes during its old and modern history. As for your saying that there are few supporters of democracy, it is something against you, because why didn’t the Russian Federation stand with them and increase their numbers instead of its total support of the dictator government? You mentioned in your article, the names of foreignarmed groups that are fighting against the government, and you ignored mentioning other foreign groups who are fighting with the government. This ignorance indicates a lack of honesty and you shouldn’t get into this when you represent a respected country. You called for peaceful dialogue and said that you do not protect the Syrian government but this is contradicted by your enthusiastic article that and looked as if you are defending your own country’s cause. You confirmed the use of poison gas in your article, but you said there are reasons that make you believe that it was not used by the Syrian army, and although you did not reveal what makes you think so, you said that the opposition is the one who used them in order to bring in foreign intervention and then provided new information that the opposition is preparing an attack against Israel. Your evidence is strange because suddenly talking about Israel is an attempt to gain the sympathy of the Jewish lobby in America without regard to logic and this is a big mistake in belittling those you are addressing. You later called upon the International Community to benefit from the Syrian government’s readiness to place its chemical weapons under international supervision to be destroyed later. The logical aspect that was uncovered by your call is: If the opposition has chemical weapons, then there is no meaning in the Syrian government’s readiness to hand over its share. It seems the article’s writer was not aware that the Syrian government’s readiness to place the chemical weapons’ stockpile under international supervision is the strongest proof that the Syrian government has complete control over them and is responsible for using them. You said American intervention in domestic disputes of foreign countries is something familiar, and wondered if that was in America’s interest, and your mentioning of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya is only to strengthen the Syrian excuse, and this question is really strange, when we know that the Russian intervention in the Syrian issue is not only old, but also today it is flagrant with weapons and exper ts, while America’s intervention is no more than statements and aid to refugees. Mr Russian president, your article revealed your strong ability to mask the truth, and brought to me the concerns of the Arab who sees the Russian president who exerts his efforts, including the loss of proof to protect the Syrian regime and does not care, under any circumstance for the Syrian people who are divided into refugees, prisoners and those unwavering under difficult circumstances. If your efforts, Mr President, were to prevent war while siding with the Syrian people and demand to return their stolen freedom after more than 40 years, we, as Arabs, would have thanked you and the Russian Federation, but the Russian Federation played the same role you are playing today during the Serbian war and the Syrian people will pay the price of your support for the regime. Finally, we should know that our prayer to Allah the Almighty to grant us His blessing must be backed by good deed which will ultimately remove oppression and this is the secret of heavenly blessings.


National Assembly


By Labeed Abdal


By Dr Khalid Ahmad Al-Saleh

Ca bi n

Back to school

Financial responsibility

kuwait digest

Alarming security breach By Dr Shamlan Y Al-Essa


ccording to a report in Al-Qabas on Sept 9, the ing test. A month later, the same boy told me he was General Traffic Department is currently inves- leaving the university to work as a driver. How had tigating the loss of almost 20,000 blank driv- he got a license so quickly? He had paid KD 350 to a ers’ licenses from its offices, which it now expects are government employee. As long as there is no punishment for bribery, circulating with forged details. The I nterior M inistr y and General Traffic there is no hope of reform. Whether in the Interior Department should first of all be thanked for this Ministry or any other department. So how else can we deal with such security admission of error. It shows, breaches? I recognize that it at least, that there are some officials committed to solvThe Interior Ministry and is not particularly useful to compare Kuwait to the couning the problem. Yet the error itself represents a secu- General Traffic Department tries of the West. However, rity breach of the most should first of all be thanked for we can learn much from the experience of our brothers in alarming order. If criminals can illegally bypass security this admission of error. It shows, at the UAE. Dubai in particular seems to be an ideal model: in the Interior Ministry, what implications does that have least, that there are some officials the equivalent transaction is for other areas of govern- committed to solving the problem. performed by one employee through an automated sysment? And if drivers’ licenses can go missing, what about Yet the error itself represents a tem. The transaction, therepassports? Visas? Nationality security breach of the most alarm- fore, is comprehensively recorded and easily moniand residence documents? All are administered by the ing order. If criminals can illegally tored. Readers concerned by same outdated system. Security systems around bypass security in the Interior security may wish to try the the globe have developed Ministry, what implications does Tidallal ser vice - a home security system that allows rapidly in recent years, particularly in response to that have for other areas of gov- families to record all their A telephone increasingly sophisticated ernment? And if drivers’ licenses transactions. call to the Interior Ministry c yber- criminals and espionage techniques. Such sys- can go missing, what about pass- and you can inform an official of the transactions that tems are now tremendously advanced and have the par- ports? Visas? Nationality and res- you wish to manage electicular benefit of tracking idence documents? All are tronically. Trained engineers will pay you a visit and and recording the activities administered by the same out- install the system that you of employees. require. The strange thing is that Why is Kuwait in the state many processes in the dated system. it is in? We are not profesInterior Ministry are handled manually, without ever being recorded on a comput- sional enough, the law goes unenforced and corrupt er system. I remember very well one Bangladeshi tea employees go unpunished. How is reform to ever be boy at the university who came to me a week after achieved? We need the rule of law to put an end to starting and asked for help in getting a drivers’ the corruption and bad management afflicting this license. I told him that he first needed to pass a driv- country. —Al-Watan

kuwait digest

One-way trip to Mars By Dr Wael Al-Hasawi


rabian Business recently released a report indi- cent in Mars’ atmosphere. I think this is a good opportucating that 142 Kuwaitis signed up among 1,259 nity for someone in Kuwait to start a company that manfrom Gulf states to take part in a one-way trip to ufactures oxygen tanks, then sell those to Mars residents Mars with the plan to establish the first human colony at high prices. If someone fails to pay their oxygen tax, on the Red Planet by 2023. Reading the report made me they can simply be eliminated by cutting their oxygen think that the idea behind the journey does not sound supply. As for water, scientists argue that it could exist really bad, and in fact could have some privileges. on Mars but in the form of ice. This is a good opportuniFirst of all, going to Mars means never having to go ty for Martians to practice skiing all year long! through the terrible traffic The best thing about the jams crisis that we experience trip is that you will never have The majority of people partici- to read about the wars and everyday in Kuwait. You can reach your workplace within pating in the trip come from the massacres which happen on minutes, and the chances of Earth once you reach Mars. traffic accidents would be very United States of America. This Unless Bashar Al-Assad decides limited. With only 200,000 means that once we reach Mars, to join the trip once he is people planned for this trip, forced into exile from Syria. He we certainly do not need an agreement must be put to pre- then would go on to massacre someone like Maj Gen vent unipolar domination of the half of Marsí population! Abdulfattah Al-Ali to regulate The majority of people parRed Planet and allow everyone to ticipating traffic on Mars! in the trip come from Land prices on Mars are share power. The agreement the United States of America. also expected to be very means that once we reach should also include a clause not This cheap. Any person can get a Mars, an agreement must be piece of land to build a house to establish a prison on Mars’ put to prevent unipolar domion it without waiting for a own Guantanamo Bay. nation of the Red Planet and word from the Public allow everyone to share power. Authority for Housing Welfare; The agreement should also who in turn wait for a word from oil companies to free include a clause not to establish a prison on Mars’ own lands on high demand. Let us just hope that none of the Guantanamo Bay. Kuwaiti adventurers brings empty oil barrels there, place Conjunction of Earth and Mars (the point when the them on Martian lands and sell them at high prices! two planets reach their closest distance from each othSince there are two moons orbiting Mars, deciding er) happens once every 27 months. Once that happens the beginning of Ramadan becomes easier. If you are during Earthís summer, an inhabited Mars provides a not too excited about the date that a group of people perfect place for hundreds of Kuwaiti families looking to selects based on their own observation of the moon, enjoy cold and refreshing weather! you can simply chose a different date by observing the All that might sound too unrealistic, but when we are second moon! living at a time in which people plan to go on a one-way Scientists say that carbon dioxide levels reach 95 per- trip to Mars, nothing else becomes hard believe. —Al-Rai

believe that it’s fair enough to ban people from leaving the country until they have paid off any outstanding debts or public fines, whether they are Kuwaiti or expatriates. Such a step is vital to protecting the rights of creditors.

Imposing a travel ban may well be an inconvenience, but what about the people they have in turn inconvenienced by failing to pay their debts? And let us not forget the problems caused for government workers who have to deal with late payments when they should be helping those who have paid up on time! The Interior Ministr y will coordinate with the Ministry of Justice via a sophisticated IT system to track individuals with outstanding loans as well as unpaid passport, residence and traffic fines. Imposing a travel ban may well be an inconvenience, but what about the people they have in turn inconvenienced by failing to pay their debts? And let us not forget the problems caused for government workers who have to deal with late payments when they should be helping those who have paid up on time! The government initiative promises to recovers millions of Dinars for the public treasury, which collects no taxes from either its citizens or expatriate workers. It will also be comforting news for those who have suffered from non-repayment of personal loans in the past. Many of us will have lent money to someone in need, only to see it disappear through the departure gate at Kuwait Airport and never return. Under this new initiative, such characters will not only be prevented from leaving the country. They will also find their mobile phone cut off and will be deprived of the right to reside in their address. The harm to the public caused by such behavior must be eliminated. As a nation, Kuwait must nurture a sense of financial responsibility among its citizens.

kuwait digest

Wingless birds of Arab world By Dr Mohammad Al-moqatei


here is no difference between a bird locked inside a cage and a bird which has lost its wings. Both of them have lost the ability to fly freely in the open sky, effectively losing the very thing that defines their existence. Instead, they become puppets in the hands of a hunter who plucked off their wings or locked them inside a cage. They suffer injustice and are controlled after falling into a trap set up by the hunter, who takes advantage of their need for food and water as well as well as their free nature. Even when they manage to escape the traps, the birds remain in view of the hunters who can kill them with a single shot. The majority of Arab people live like wingless birds. They are caged by their leaders who deprive them of their freedom and will. They cannot think, express an opinion, participate in authority or reject a decision. They cannot move without permission from their wardens who realize that keeping people prisoners and oppressed is the only way to protect their illegitimate rule. Any decision relating to state management comes from an ideology which believes that people receive ‘gifts’ and ‘acts of kindness’. The rulers think that by intimidating people into locking themselves inside their houses, they are doing them a favor. Meanwhile, anyone who goes outside to breathe the fresh air of human dignity would be lucky to dodge the regime’s sniper bullets. Even then, they would find jails of humiliation waiting for them; just like a bird with no ability to fly. The system of power in some Arab countries looks at people as birds with broken wings who cannot fly at their level, much less above them. Instead, they can barely fend for themselves and return home with a filled stomach. Just like sheep, they live their entire lives earning their own livelihood without time to demand rights or power, criticize wrong practices, expose theft of public wealth, or participate in the decision-making process. Anyone who dares to do any of those things will immediately be labeled as a ‘conspirer against the ruling system’, ‘secret agent’, ‘disobedient’, ‘terrorist’, etc. People under those circumstances are left with no other choice but to accept being imprisoned inside their own countries without power or human value, and are looked upon as ‘inferior’. Anyone who acts against what the authority dictates either faces jail or death, whereas in advanced countries, people are the authority. The public shares leadership duties with each other as the better party wins through free elections. While the idea of assuming power through colonial preparations or on the top of a tank has disappeared in advanced countries, it remains present in our own, leading us to suffer further setbacks, disasters, and murders at the hands of tyrant regimes. We have become wingless birds in the hands of illegitimate authorities who practice oppression with no boundaries. —Al-Qabas



Kuwaitis to showcase talents in four-day entertainment event Focus on disabled individuals By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: Maj Gen Yousuf Al-Ansari met a delegation from the prevention sector headed by Deputy Director General for Prevention Affairs Brig Khalid Al-Zaid. The delegation included representatives from Kuwait National Petroleum Company to discuss several issues to ease work procedures and make sure facilities are safe. — Photo by Hanan AlSaadoun

Al-Qardawi defends charity work KUWAIT: President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars Dr Yousuf Al-Qardawi said “those who resist the Muslim Brotherhood are enemies of the nation and do not know anything about what Allah the Almighty ordered. We pray to Allah the Almighty to enlighten them.” Al-Qardawi said charity work in Kuwait is based on the fear of Allah the Almighty and His acceptance, adding that this activity is lead by the international Islamic charity organization which is holding important projects in the Arab Muslim worlds, and collecting a billion dollars from Muslims to establish work that continues for a very long time and wished it success.

On a separate note, American Ambassador to Kuwait Mathew Tueller said his country is interested in solving the issue of Kuwaiti detainees in Guantanamo, adding that the closure of the center is among President Obama’s priorities. He said talks between HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad and Obama during their meeting few days ago focused on closing the center. He said that experts are following the matter to determine a suitable time to return the detainees to their countries, and hoped this will be done soon. He said the issue is a security matter and it must be ensured that they do not pose any danger after they return to their countries.

Rania Abdul-Rahman Al-Mulaifi

Kuwait promotes women’s rights GENEVA: The State of Kuwait, addressing the 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council, has affirmed its long-time keenness on supporting women rights and activities as well as the United Nations adoption of these rights. Rania Abdul-Rahman Al-Mulaifi, the diplomatic attache of the permanent Kuwaiti mission at the UN, affirmed in a statement to the session, themed “integration of the women rights within the UN framework,” Kuwait’s support for bolstering the women status in states and international organization. At the national level, the Kuwaiti Women Society was founded in 1962 and laws had been enacted to enhance the role of women in national development, Al-Mulaifi said, adding that several women associations had been formed in the country. These associations play a role in boosting women development and rights, namely right to work, the Kuwaiti diplomat said, noting that the Kuwaiti woman has made concrete success, occupying seniors posts in the public sector, the judiciary and police. “The Kuwaiti woman has picked the fruits of her efforts of attaining political franchise, nomination and election in the National Assembly and the municipality, in 2003, and since then has been playing her role as member in the assembly and the municipal council,” Al-Mulaifi stated. Kuwaiti women’s assumption of senior posts came after a gradual process that began with granting them the right to education and work, Al-Mulaifi said. The National Constitution stipulates equality between the two genders and various laws have been enacted to safeguard the rights of working women. Kuwait endorsed, in 1994, the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. —KUNA

Al-Tijari sponsors new students week KUWAIT: The Commercial Bank of Kuwait sponsored the new students week that is held yearly and arranged by the student association of Business Administration College in Kuwait University aimed to explain the various specialization at the college for new students. Staff from sales unit were present to advise the students about the various banking services and especially advise them regarding @Tijari youth account, which is perfect account for students joining the university and starting new phase in their lives. @Tijari is a savings account designed for customers aged 15 to 21 years old and offers its holder countless benefits including discounts at many retailers and a specially designed ATM card. Students who transfer their month social allowance to the Commercial Bank of Kuwait receive an added benefit in the form of a pre-paid card topped up with KD50. The Commercial Bank of Kuwait always promotes the significance of education in Kuwait and tries to support the youth as they join university or college, being the keystone of Kuwait’s future.

KUWAIT: A four-day entertainment and fun event will be held at the seaside, particularly the Marina Crescent next month. The Kuwaiti Talent Expo will be held from Oct 3 to 6, and entrance will be free to the public. It’s organized by ZM Media and Advertizing. Different activities will be held during the four days from 6pm to 10pm. “The Minister of Information Sheikh Salman AlHmoud will launch the event. Talented Kuwaitis from both genders and all ages are welcome to showcase their talents on stage. There are about 10 people who registered already, and others can still register at the company’s headquarters free of charge,” Mohammed Ibrahim, Marketing Manager of Kuwaiti Got Talent Expo told the Kuwait Times. “We are mainly focusing on the disabled individuals who are talented but don’t have an opportunity to show it. Through this event, we want to provide them this chance to show what they can do for the public. This participation is not only for the disabled. There are certain conditions for registration, so the participant has to provide an activity or show. There will be different categories like music, pottery, dancing, and drawing apart from others,” he added. The event will also include an interesting activity held in Kuwait and the Middle East for the first time. “The expo will be associated with Catapult Sky Racket provided by Finish team coming especially for this event. Pictures and videos have already been posted on social media. We provide the safety standards and have brought all equipment including life jackets, ropes, seats and other material from Finland. We also have insurance certificates for all participants. I expect the event to be successful as our company organized the bungee-jumping event three times this year which was very successful and most participants were between 18-20 years of age,” stressed Ibrahim.

More activities will be held. “Magician Ali Al-Samer from Bahrain will be participating and presenting a show at the theatre. Educational and cultural lectures and presentations from different fields will be presented by different participating societies. This will include lectures about environment, divorce and marriage, human development and others. Furthermore, the public can also participate in the quiz competitions which will be focusing on Kuwait, and winners will get prizes. On the last day, all participants including the media, participants, and sponsors will be awarded,” explained Ibrahim. The event is held in cooperation with societies such as the Kuwait Creativity Association for Arts and Letters for the Disabled, Down Syndrome Society, Disabled Child Care Society, Environment Protection Association

- Global Warming, Draw a Smile Society, and AlNumani Cultural Saloon at Scope TV. It’s sponsored by Marina Mall who supported the event. Booths selling different items like outfits, accessories, perfumes, watches, snacks and others will be available. “We thought of doing something different from the common exhibitions which focus on cupcakes or others. We have chosen to hold the event outdoors as the weather is nice and there is more freedom outside considering the space. There are many talented Kuwaitis and nobody is paying attention to them. We want people to see them and notice what they have. We wanted to keep a competition so that people could vote through SMS but the Ministry of Information didn’t approve the license at the last minute,” concluded Ibrahim.

GCC theater festival opens 10th session KUWAIT: The 10th GCC Youth Theater Festival kicked off at Al-Dasma Theater Monday evening with several theatrical troupes from the GCC member states participating. The week-long edition of the annual event is being hosted by Kuwait’s Public Authority for Youth and Sport (PAYS). Addressing the opening ceremony, head of the organizing committee Abdullah Abdulrasoul said the festival will continue to be a beacon of cultural enlightenment for the Gulf youth and a platform for partnership between the theaters of the GCC countries. “The youth theaters in the GCC countries reflect the cultural interaction between differ-

ent generations and the pulse of our communities,” he pointed out. “Through hosting the festival, the State of Kuwait aims to reaffirm support to creativity of the talented youth on the local and regional scales,” Abdulrasoul added. The opening ceremony featured ‘Darb AlSalama’ (the safe track) play, directed by Abdullah Al-Bader. A constellation of celebrated artists and playwrights such as Marwan Abdullah - of the UAE, Youssof Al-Fezai’ Bahrain, Fahad Al-Hoshani - Saudi Arabia, Isa Akzon - Oman, Fahad Al-Qoraishi - Qatar, and Mohamad Al-Hmeli - Kuwait - were honored during the ceremony. — KUNA



KUWAIT: Kuwait municipality (Ahmadi branch) continued its sudden inspection campaigns, as food and markets department inspected a sweet bakery that is operating in the basement of a Mangaf area residential building. Almost 17 citations were issued. Ahmadi municipality director Fahad Al-Dughaim said seven citations were issued because workers were dealing with food items without health certificates, for employing workers before receiving health certificates, not complying with public cleanliness and selling food unfit for human consumption.— Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

Foul play suspected in Farwaniya man’s death Maids charged with theft KUWAIT: A homicide investigation was underway to probe the death of a Farwaniya resident after evidence of foul play was found during preliminary inspection. Police and paramedics rushed to a house in the area Monday after a Kuwaiti man made an emergency call and called for an ambulance. The man was unconscious by the time they reached the house, and crime scene investigators were called in after he was pronounced dead. The body was taken to the forensic department and further investigations are ongoing to determine the circumstances behind the incident. Attempted murder Jahra police are on the lookout for a male driver identified as the main suspect in an attempted murder case filed at the Taima police station on Monday. The suspect reportedly left a man critically wounded after he ran him over deliberately. Police also say that the victim, who is in his twenties, has a history in drugtrafficking which suggest that the suspects’ actions were motivated by a botched drug deal. Police are also looking for other suspects who were reportedly inside the suspect’s car when the incident took place. The victim was admitted inside the intensive care unit in the Jahra Hospital following the incident. His father told officers at the Taima police station that the man

came across a group of people he knew while walking in the area, and then the suspects ran him over before escaping. Search for kidnappers Search is on for four men accused of kidnapping a teenager who managed to escape from their car before being transported to an undisclosed location. The case was filed on Monday at the Sulabiya police station where the 18-year-old stateless resident told officers that a man he was able to identify forced him inside his car with three other men. The teenager indicated that the suspects kidnapped him with the intention of sexual assault, but he managed to escape before the car moved. Investigations are ongoing. Theft case A Mubarak Al-Kabeer resident reported thousands of Kuwaiti dinars stolen from his house in the area, and pressed charges against two domestic workers who reportedly disappeared simultaneously with the theft. The Kuwaiti man filed the case at the area’s police station Monday, and accused his two Ethiopian housemaids who were left alone at home of stealing KD 12,000 he had kept inside a safe. Investigations are ongoing for the runaway women.

Al-Zour station materializes public-private partnership KUWAIT: Chairman of the Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB) Adel Al-Roumi said yesterday the construction of AlZour North electricity-generating station was the fruit of concerted efforts by dozens of government agencies and the private sector. “The implementation of Al-Zour North IWPP (Phase I) goes smoothly and the station will become operational by early 2015,” he said. Al-Roumi made the comments at a press conference at the PTB headquarters in the presence of Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Electricity and Water Ayad Al-Falah. “This is the first mega development project being developed under the Public Private Partnerships (PPP) Law,” he noted. The Project involves the development, design, engineering, construction, operation, maintenance and transfer of a power and desalination plant with a capacity of at least

1,500 MW and 102 Million Imperial Gallons per Day (MIGD). The project also includes the sale and purchase of associated power and water by the MEW pursuant to an Energy Conversion and Water Purchase Agreement (ECWPA), AlRoumi noted. “Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) specified the type of fuel that best suits the station as per the technical studies of the corporation,” he went on. He appreciated the efforts the MEW for the developing the technical specifications of the station according to the world-recognized standards, and the Environment Public Authority for laying down the parameters of environment protection. He added that global banking institutions showed interest in funding 80 percent of the project which affirms the trust of investors in the Kuwaiti economy. — KUNA

Spanish-Kuwaiti ties tangibly improve MADRID: Ties between Spain and Kuwait have noticeably improved and increase of number of Spanish companies investing in the Gulf country constitutes a tangible manifestation of the relations development, said Foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo. Reciprocal visits by senior Kuwaiti and Spanish officials and mounting figure of Spanish companies contributing to development ventures in Kuwait signal “positive development of the bilateral relations,” particularly over the past seven years, said Garciua-Margallo, during a meeting with the outgoing Kuwaiti ambassador to Spain, Adel Hamad Al-Ayyar, at the Spanish Foreign Ministry headquarters in the Spanish capital, yesterday. Praising the distinctive ties bounding Spain and Kuwait in various sectors, namely in the political and economic domains, Garcia-Margallo hailed the diplomat role in cementing the bonds between the two friendly countries. For his part, Al-Ayyar praised the continuous coordination between the ministry and the Kuwaiti embassy. Meanwhile, Jose Maria Rodriguez Coso, Chief of Protocol at the Spanish Ministry, said in a statement that ambassador AlAyyar was successful in bolstering the mutual cooperation and bilateral ties between the two countries. He noted “the ties of friendship and brotherhood” between His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah and the Spanish King, Juan Carlos, who had exchanged several reciprocal visits over the past years. Last April, Kuwait hosted a forum grouping Spanish and Kuwaiti entrepreneurs, held at headquarters of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Among the attending Spanish figures were representatives of companies desiring to contribute to the country’s development ventures, At the forum, chamber officials underscored need to enhance further level of KuwaitiSpanish trade exchanges, volume of which stood at USD 209 million in 2012. Moreover, it was underscored during the forum that Spanish companies could invest in ventures for construction and renovation of ports, ports, power plants, aromatics, rehabilitation of islands, development of oil fields, telecommunications and transportations. — KUNA

Workshop to promote education TUNIS: Director General of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) Dr Abdullah Mohareb on Monday highlighted significance of cooperation with UNESCO to modernize education in the Arab countries. “The memorandum of understanding, signed by the Tunis-based ALECSO and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Institute for Statistics (UIS) provided a strong support to the Arab education observatory,” he noted. Dr Mohareb made the remarks in a speech at the opening session of a workshop held by the observatory in association with UIS. The Arab education observatory is an attempt for opening up to the world’s successful experiments in field of educational modernization, he added. Meanwhile, UIS representative Dr Talal AlHorani said the ongoing workshop aims to help the observatory play its role in assessing the quality of education in the Arab countries and modernizing this sector. Speakers at the opening session of the workshop included Dr Kamal Ibrahim who briefed the gathering on the activities of the observatory since its inception in 2010. — KUNA

Call for expanding Sino-Arab cooperation in energy, trade NINGXIA, China: Top Chinese government political advisor Yu Zhengsheng called yesterday for further expansion to SinoArab partnership and cooperation, particularly in the fields of energy and trade. “We need to enhance mutual confidence, cooperation and trade exchange,” Yu, also chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said in keynote speech at the ChinaArab Expo, held in in Yinchuan, capital city of northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. He also stressed the importance of cultural exchange between China and Arab countries. Yu officially announced that the China (Ningxia) International Investment and Trade Fair and the China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum, which was held annually from 2010 to 2012, has now been renamed China-Arab States Expo. For his part, Head of Kuwaiti delegation to the Expo, Minister of Commerce and Industry Anas Al-Saleh lauded the steadily developing Kuwaiti-Chinese relations. He pointed out that China is one of Kuwait’s top trade partners, estimating the trade exchange between the two countries at over USD12 billion in 2012. He added that Kuwait is looking forwards to broadening economic cooperation with China. More than 7,300 domestic and overseas officials, exhibitors, purchasers and investors from Jordan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Kuwait and other countries were present at the event. The expo, “Arab and China jointly embrace the world”, is scheduled to run from Sept 15 to 19 in Ningxia. It includes forums, exhibitions and promotions in different fields including

agriculture, energy, finance, culture, education and tourism. Apart from trade attractions, a friendly soccer match is also organized, along with a performance by Kuwait Television Folklore Troupe, to enhance the cultural aspect of the expo. A forum with the theme “Kuwait-China Cooperation” is also in the program. China-Arab State Agricultural Cooperation Forum, ChinaArab State Energy Cooperation Forum, the World Muslim Tourism Entrepreneurs Conference, China-Arab State Cultural and Art Exhibition Week and the China-Arab State Financial Cooperation Forum will be held at the expo. Meanwhile, Kuwait Minister of Commerce and Industry Anas Al-Saleh vowed Monday to retain support to social development projects in China. Al-Saleh’s pledge was made during a visit to a Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED)-financed hospital in the Chinese Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. He noted that the hospital is the third project to be funded by KFAED in Ningxia alone. KFAED has offered local authorities a $30 million-loan to build the hospital which started operation and currently caters for over 60,000 people. “This project is the fruit of the strong Kuwait-Chinese relations,” Al-Saleh said. He disclosed that the KFAED has also funded rural areas development program in Ningxia with $68 million. Since the start of its operation in China in 1982, the KFAED financed 35 projects at total value of $900 million.Later, Al-Saleh paid a visit to a language institute for Chinese Muslims in the Ningxia province.—KUNA


Concordia raised off Italian rocks

Bahrain questions top Shiite opposition figure Page 8

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Iran denies presence in Syria TEHRAN: Iran yesterday denied government forces were deployed in Syria, in which the bloody conflict has killed more than 100,000 people and displaced millions others. “Iran has no official military presence in Syria,” foreign ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afgham told a press briefing. She said Iran exerted efforts to prevent the military strike against Syria. “We have clearly declared that the political mechanism should be used and that chance be given for the diplomatic solution,” she said. “Iran’s efforts are focused on prevention of war and using all available energies to pre-

WASHINGTON: A member of the Navy has her ID checked as only essential personnel are allowed in to a closed Washington Navy Yard in Washington, yesterday, the day after a gunman launched an attack inside the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, spraying gunfire on office workers in the cafeteria and in the hallways at the heavily secured military installation in the heart of the nation’s capital. — AP

Shooting reignites gun talk ‘When will enough be enough?’ WASHINGTON: Some proponents of gun control are citing the Washington Navy Yard shooting as another reason to condemn Congress for failing to strengthen firearms laws, but it’s unclear if what President Barack Obama called “yet another mass shooting” will reignite idle legislation. The case for increased gun control has become increasingly difficult since Obama proposed stricter laws in January following the shooting of 20 first-graders and six staffers at a Newtown, Conn. Elementary School. The president was powerless to push through national legislation this year, and just last week two Colorado legislators who supported stronger state laws were recalled by voters. It remains to be seen whether Monday’s 13 additional deaths, including the lone gunman at the Navy Yard, can change momentum in the debate, particularly with so many details uncertain. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a leading advocate for tougher gun control in the Senate, said the shooting “is one more event to add to the litany of massacres” and issued a call to action. “When will enough be enough?” the California Democrat said in a written statement. “Congress must stop shirking its responsibility and resume a thoughtful debate on gun violence in this country. We must do more to stop this endless loss of life.” Some congressional Democrats and family members of shooting victims planned to gather at the Capitol today to call for background check legislation. The trip, organized by the Newtown Action Alliance, was previously planned to mark the ninemonth anniversary of the Connecticut school shooting. Law enforcement officials say the shooter, 34year-old Aaron Alexis, suffered a host of serious

mental issues, including paranoia and a sleep disorder, and had been hearing voices in his head. There were conflicting reports on which guns he used or how he obtained them. Two law enforcement officials told the AP that an AR-15 assault rifle was found at the scene, but one of them said yesterday that Alexis did not use that weapon in the shootings. It was not immediately clear whether the rifle belonged to a law enforcement or security officer who may have been responding to the gun battle. The official said Tuesday that guns Alexis used included a shotgun that he had purchased and two handguns that he took away from law enforcement at the scene. For Obama, it was at least the seventh mass shooting of his presidency, and he wearily mourned the victims while speaking at the White House. “We are confronting yet another mass shooting, and today it happened on a military installation in our nation’s capital,” Obama said. “It’s a shooting that targeted our military and civilian personnel. These are men and women who were going to work, doing their job protecting all of us. They’re patriots, and they know the dangers of serving abroad, but today they faced the unimaginable violence that they wouldn’t have expected here at home.” Asked later about whether the shooting would reignite his call for more gun control, Obama spokesman Jay Carney said the president was implementing executive actions and reiterated his commitment to strengthening gun laws, including expanding background checks to sales online and at gun shows. “The president supports, as do an overwhelming majority of Americans, commonsense measures to reduce gun violence,” Carney said. Dr. Janis Orlowski, chief operating officer of

Chaotic Libya appeals for help to restore security LONDON: Libya’s prime minister yesterday appealed to the outside world to help restore security, as it combats political chaos and tries to restart oil exports, crippled by protesters at a cost of $130 million a day in lost income. Ali Zeidan met with his British counterpart David Cameron, who two years ago was a driving force behind a Western military campaign that helped topple Muammar Gaddafi and aimed to encourage a stable democracy in Libya. That has yet to emerge. A combination of strikes, militias and political activists have blocked the majority of Libya’s oilfields and ports since end July but the government’s fledging army and police force are ill-equipped to deal with armed protesters. “If the international community does not help in the collection of arms and ammunition, if we don’t get help in forming the army and the police, things are going to take very long,” Zeidan said at a Libya investment conference in London. “The situation is not going to improve unless we get real and practical assistance.” Zeidan insisted that he still wanted to solve the crisis through dialogue rather than force. “We are going to work on solving this problem,” he said. “When blood is shed, the loss will be greater”. Tripoli has had some success with the restart of its biggest south-western oilfield on Monday but the bulk of oil production in the east is still paralysed. The General National Congress’ crisis committee negotiated a deal with an armed group to allow the resumption of the El Sharara oilfield, which is expected to reach full capacity by Friday. But Western oil companies, which jostled for the chance to join Libya’s oil sector revival after the fall of Gaddafi, are losing faith. ExxonMobil, the world’s largest publicly-traded energy company, said yesterday it would cut back its staff and operations there as growing instability no longer justified a major presence. Royal Dutch Shell suspended drilling and abandoned exploration on two Libya blocks last year due to disappointing results and other firms have postponed exploration due to concerns about safety since the 2011 war. — Reuters

Washington Hospital Center, which treated several of the Navy Yard victims, said: “We need to do whatever we can - to have people argue, to have people disagree - this is something we’ve got to work on together. ... We’ve got to stop it.” Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said after every shooting, “the corporate gun lobby’s friends in Congress obstructed the will of the American people and stood in the way of sensible solutions to gun violence.” “While it is too early to know what policies might have prevented this latest tragedy, we do know that policies that present a real opportunity to save lives sit stalled in Congress, policies that could prevent many of the dozens of deaths that result every day from gun violence,” Gross said in a written statement. The National Rifle Association declined to respond to requests for comment. The group successfully fought Obama’s push for stricter firearms laws after outrage over the death the children in Newtown. The Senate in April rejected expanded background checks for gun purchasers, despite broad public support for such a measure. Obama and gun control advocates have vowed to continue fighting for the cause but they can’t point to a single new Senate supporter. Their case wasn’t helped by last week’s recall of two Colorado Democratic senators who supported expanded background checks and limits on ammunition magazines. Matt Bennett, senior vice president at Democratic-leaning Third Way, said the Colorado senators’ mistake that led to their recall was voting to ban high-capacity magazines, even though Third Way has supported such a ban. — AP

vent it,” added Afgham. On UN inspectors’ report which concluded that chemical weapons were used in Syria, Afgham said the “inspectors confirmed that chemical weapons were used but did not announce the party that used it, so the analyses should not head in that direction.” She said Syria’s joining of the Organization of Prohibition of use of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was a “positive step,” but voiced concerns that Israel was not an OPCW member yet. Afgham voiced concern that Syrian opposition might possess chemical weapons. — KUNA



Turkey begins retrial over murder of journalist ISTANBUL: A court in Istanbul began a retrial on yesterday over the murder of an ethnic Armenian journalist, a case that has gripped the nation for years and sparked accusations of state conspiracy. Hrant Dink, 52, was shot dead in broad daylight in 2007 outside the offices of his bilingual weekly newspaper Agos, sending shock waves across Turkey and triggering a wider scandal after reports that state security forces had known of the murder plot but failed to act. A crowd of about 150 people gathered outside the courthouse, chanting: “We are

all Hrant, we are all Armenians”, “For Hrant, for Justice” and “This trial won’t end like this.” An Istanbul court in 2011 sentenced Dink’s self-confessed killer Ogun Samast, who was tried as a juvenile, to 23 years in jail. A year later, the court sentenced the so-called mastermind of the murder, Yasin Hayal, to life in prison for inciting the killing but acquitted 18 other defendants, ruling that there was no conspiracy. In May, Turkey’s appeals court partially overturned the 2012 verdict. It upheld the conviction for Hayal but ordered a retrial

to look into whether he and another 18 acquitted defendants belonged to a criminal network. From the outset, Dink’s lawyers had demanded a new investigation and a retrial to determine if there was a conspiracy behind the journalist’s killing. The appeals court in May acknowledged that Dink’s killers did not act alone but were part of a criminal conspiracy, paving the way for a retrial of the case. But it stopped short of launching a deeper investigation into the potential involvement of Turkey’s powerful institu-

tions. Dink’s lawyers and human rights defenders believe that those behind the murder were protected by the state because Dink had received threats for a long time before he was killed, often writing about them in his columns in Agos. “Hrant Dink was killed... with instructions from public agents. The state will continue to protect those public agents,” Gulten Kaya of the Association of Friends of Hrant Dink said outside the courthouse. Kaya said she was not optimistic about the outcome of the new trial. “The picture is clear... It is possible that the instigator

and its comrades will be sentenced for forming a gang,” she said while claiming that the real conspirators behind the murder would get away with the crime. “The trial... will bring no justice.” Three MPs from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party also attended the hearing. Every year since Dink’s murder on January 19, 2007, thousands have gathered outside Agos offices on that date to remember the journalist, whose life-long campaign for reconciliation between Turks and Armenians won him as many enemies as admirers. —AFP

Brotherhood leaders liken Egyptian prisons to graves Tougher conditions underline scale of crackdown

DAMASCUS: Palestinians living in Damascus wait outside a bank to collect financial aid donated by the United Nations' Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA in the Syrian capital Damascus, yesterday. The Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp in the capital is home to around 450,000 people, including 150,000 Syrians, many of whom have married Palestinians. The area was established in 1957 as a camp for Palestinian refugees, but has gradually become a district of the capital. —AFP

CAIRO: Murad Ali says he was put in a foul-smelling cell on death row, sleeping on a concrete floor, and denied light and human contact after his arrest in Egypt’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. “It was as dark as a grave,” he wrote in a letter addressed to friends and family and seen by Reuters. The army-backed authorities deny claims Brotherhood leaders have been mistreated, and there is no way to independently verify such accounts; but people who have spoken to them in jail say some have been kept in similar conditions for days on end. Their relatives describe it as a bid to break their spirit - a measure of the severity of the campaign against the group that was swept from power by the military on July 3, when Mohamed Morsi, a Brotherhood member, was deposed. Analysts say it points to a state effort to weaken the Brotherhood by decapitating it. The movement says it has up to one million members and it is one of the most influential Islamist groups in the Middle East. “They are putting them under psychological pressure to break them,” said a relative of another inmate, adding that in the first 13 days of his incarceration he had been let out of his cell only for questioning. “He said: ‘It is a grave. We are in graves’,” she said. “It was as if he hadn’t seen us for years.” The woman, like others interviewed, declined to be named for fear it would lead to tougher treatment in prison or retribution against her family. The authorities have arrested at least 3,000 people since Morsi was toppled, according to Amnesty International. A state of Emergency gives security forces sweeping powers, though Brotherhood leaders have been detained under normal criminal laws. Much of Egypt remains under a nighttime curfew. Accounts emerging from prisons indicate much tougher jail conditions for the leaders than the group faced under autocrat Hosni Mubarak, toppled in a 2011 revolt. Brotherhood leaders were generally treated better than most inmates in his day, for all the repression across the country at large. But the group that propelled Morsi to power in Egypt’s first freely contested presidential vote faces the toughest clampdown since the death of President

Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1970. While the Interior Ministry denied the leaders have been put in solitary confinement, it confirmed they had been separated for security reasons. Hany Abdel Latif, spokesman for the ministry, said prison rules allowing for exercise, medical treatment and library access applied to all prisoners. “The situation is normal,” he said. Leaders of the Brotherhood, described by local media in terms akin to Al-Qaeda, have been charged with crimes including inciting violence and murder since the army deposed Morsi after mass protests against his rule. Some of the leaders now seem to have no idea what is going on outside prison. A relative of one said he had been surprised to hear there were still protests against the army-backed government. Amnesty International, citing Brotherhood lawyers, said Murad Ali’s eyesight had been affected by the lack of light in his solitary cell. “He was also not allowed to take medication for blood pressure for two days,” its Egypt researcher, Mohamed El Messiry, said. “Amnesty International is not able to confirm other reported cases,” he added. In a hand-written note Ali, arrested at the airport last month as he tried to leave the country, said his cell had no running water for the first two days. Charges against him include forming a “terrorist gang”. Spokesman for the Brotherhood’s political party, he said the shutter in his cell door was kept closed for the first eight days. Echoing Ali’s account, two other senior Brotherhood politicians told state prosecutors they were being held in solitary confinement, official documents published by a local newspaper showed on Saturday. Mohamed El-Beltagi, one of the two, said he had been held in a cell with no light or ventilation and had only been let out for questioning, according to the document, published on Saturday in Al-Masry Al-Youm, an antiBrotherhood daily. “I am not being dealt with as someone in pretrial detention,” Beltagi said. “I have been dealt with in a political way in revenge for my politics.” Beltagi, charged with inciting killing and torture, also

said he had been assaulted upon his arrival at prison, though the prosecutor reported no sign of injury in the document. He complained that food and medication were not allowed - echoing complaints of relatives who say they have not been allowed to deliver food. At least five prominent detainees have been held for days on end in poorly lit and ventilated cells with little or no human contact, according to written accounts attributed to some of them and interviews with relatives who had visited others. One of the relatives said she knew of at least a dozen such cases. The police continue to arrest Brotherhood activists, a sign of how dim the prospects are of reconciliation with the armybacked government. Morsi is among those charged with inciting killing. His whereabouts remain a secret. Security forces have killed at least 900 of his supporters in the streets since his downfall, the worst spasm of violence in Egypt’s modern history. More than a hundred members of the security forces have also been killed since Aug. 14, when the police moved to break up pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo. CARTE BLANCHE “We can’t compare it to Nasser - they were torturing and killing them (in prison) - but it is definitely worse than Mubarak,” said Khalil Al-Anani, an expert on the Brotherhood and a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington. “Under Mubarak, they had access to the movement. There were connections between the leaders and organization, and they used to run the organization from prison. Now they want to make sure there is no connection, in order to break the Brotherhood and to push them to accept any deal,” he said. The leaders are being held at Tora Prison, a high security facility on Cairo’s southern outskirts. One relative noted that the prison authorities appeared to get tougher on the Brotherhood leadership a few weeks ago, when they stopped a group of them from eating together. They were then confined to cells until medics warned that a lack of exposure to sunlight risked exacerbating skin diseases that some were already showing signs of, said the relative. —Reuters

Iraqi Sunnis say sect targeted in southern city BAGHDAD: Gunmen have shot dead 17 Sunnis in Iraq’s Shiite-majority city of Basra over the past two weeks, following threats to retaliate against them for attacks on Shiites in other parts of Iraq, police and a Sunni community leader say. Sunnis in Basra were frequently targeted during the widespread 20042008 sectarian killings that pushed the country to the brink of civil war. The shootings in the southern port city are likely to raise fears that Iraq may be drifting back toward the cycle of violence in those years that left thousands dead every month. Abdul-Karim al-Khazrachi, who leads the Sunni Endowment that oversees holy sites in the city, said in a statement issued late Monday that the sect had decided to close down its mosques due to “grave security deterioration and the continuation of the sectarian killings.” Khazrachi told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Baghdad that the killings were preceded by threats - letters that came with bullets in the envelopes, and text messages - that vowed revenge for insurgent attacks against Shiites across Iraq. The letters demanded that Sunnis leave the province. He said he didn’t know the killers’ identities. The slain, he added, included clerics, worshippers and others. The latest was a 70-year old grocer who was shot dead by gunmen while standing in his store Monday night. A police officer in the city confirmed the 17 killings, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to media. Khazrachi said the mosque closure was intended to “protect the Sunnis in the province” but was “also a message to all those in charge of the security to shoulder their responsibilities.” Shiite-dominated Basra is Iraq’s second-largest city and is located about 550 kilometers (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad. It was controlled by militias for years before the US-backed Iraqi army gained control following a series of offensives in 2008. Sunnis across Iraq have been protesting since last December against what they consider to be second-class treatment by the Shiite-led government, demanding the abolition of some laws they believe unfairly target them. Things deteriorated in April after government troops moved against a camp of Sunni demonstrators in the town of Hawija, about 240 kilometers (150 miles) north of Baghdad, triggering clashes that killed 44 civilians and a member of the secu-

BASRA: An Iraqi Army soldier, right, and a policeman, left, guard the Sunni Othman Mosque in Basra, 340 miles (550 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq, yesterday. —AP rity forces, according to a UN estimate. Since then, violence has flared across Iraq. Bomb attacks claimed by or blamed on al-Qaida’s local branch have killed hundreds of Shiite civilians in mosques, markets and elsewhere. Apparent retaliatory attacks on Sunni

mosques have been less bloody overall, but have still claimed dozens of lives. More than 4,000 people have been killed, including 804 just in August, according to United Nations figures. The monthly death tolls are the highest since 2008. —AP

Bahrain questions top Shiite opposition figure DUBAI: Bahraini authorities referred former Shiite opposition MP Khalil Marzooq to the public prosecutor yesterday, the interior ministry said, with the opposition saying he has been accused of inciting violence. Marzooq, a prominent figure in the main Shiite opposition Al-Wefaq formation, has been “summoned and referred to the public prosecution,” the ministry said on Twitter. The ministry’s statement follows calls from Al-Wefaq to release Marzooq, saying he was being held for questioning after police summoned him to AlBudayia station, west of Manama. Former MP Ali Alaswad said that the police had called Marzooq in over a speech he gave last Friday. “He is accused of encouraging youth to engage in violence and trying to topple the regime,” Alaswad said. Al-Wefaq also condemned the summons in a statement issued on Tuesday, calling it “a clear attack on political activism in Bahrain,” adding that it “reflects an inten-

sive effort by the regime to further complicate the situation” in the country. Marzooq served as deputy speaker in the 40-member parliament before 18 AlWefaq MPs walked out in February 2011 protesting violence against demonstrators. The summons comes a day after the justice ministry in the Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdom filed a lawsuit to close a Shiite clerics’ council, accusing it of involvement in politics, in a new sign of a clampdown on opposition. Despite a deadly crackdown that ended a month-long protest led by the Shiite majority in mid-March 2011, Shiites continue to demonstrate and clash with police frequently in their villages. Elsewhere yesterday police announced that security forces dismantled a “homemade bomb” in Isa Town, a Manama suburb. Security forces were alerted that “two suspicious objects” were spotted in the suburb but “after examining them they found the first to be a fake bomb,” a government statement said. —AFP



Death toll from Colorado floods rises to eight Local officers trying to reach hundreds of residents

BELGRADE: Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn gestures next to Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic (R) during their joint news conference in Belgrade yesterday. Strauss-Kahn has agreed to advise the Serbian government, Vucic said. “We have agreed in principle, there are only technical details to be settled,” Vucic said. — AFP

Strauss-Kahn takes on Serbia advisory role BELGRADE: Ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn began work yesterday as economic adviser to the Serbian government, his latest incarnation since a sex scandal cost him his job and ruined his French presidential ambitions. Strauss-Kahn, who has been initially engaged for three months and will take no salary, told a news conference that he and his team had “no magic wand or silver bullet” for the shaky economy of the European Union candidate. The 64-year-old economist, who quit the International Monetary Fund after being accused of sexually assaulting a New York hotel maid in 2011, has been working for the French boutique investment bank Arjil and says he has been advising companies around the world. The Serbian government, which has suggested it plans to seek a loan deal with the IMF but is struggling to rein in its public debt and budget deficit, has shrugged off concerns about Strauss-Kahn’s private life. Though the New York charges were later dropped, Strauss-Kahn is due to go on trial in France on charges of pimping that stem from sex parties he attended in the northern city of Lille. Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said Serbs were less interested in the Frenchman’s private affairs than in what he could do to address the fundamentals of the Serbian economy - an average net wage of 380 euros per month, unemployment of 24 percent, public debt projected at 65 percent of annual output and a budget deficit on course to breach 5 percent of GDP. “The great Picasso treated women and children badly, and some other people including Hitler loved women,” Vucic told state television last week. “If you want to judge by that, then you can judge Strauss-Kahn negatively.” Addressing a news conference with Strauss-Kahn on Tuesday, Vucic said: “Dominique Strauss-Kahn is an expert. On the economy, I have never heard anyone question his expertise. We are not ashamed to say the guy knows those things much better than we do.” It is not clear how much time Strauss-Kahn, whose hopes of running for the Socialist Party in France’s 2012 presidential election were ruined by the sex revelations, will spend in Serbia. Vucic said he would hold talks in Belgrade today. Earlier this month the 28-year-old Yale-educated former McKinsey consultant Lazar Krstic became Serbian finance minister. Krstic has pledged “serious” measures to rein in the budget deficit and debt, reform the bloated public sector and pension system, but faces resistance within the coalition government. Meanwhile, Vucic’s Progressive Party is riding high in opinion polls, and speculation is rife that he may seek a fresh mandate in a snap election that could follow the expected start of EU accession talks in January. StraussKahn declined at his news conference to discuss specifics of the Serbian economy. Asked if he would advise Belgrade to seek a new loan deal with the IMF, which scrapped a 1 billion euro arrangement in early 2012 over broken spending promises, he replied: “Maybe, maybe not.” — Reuters

New Yorkers face very different choices for mayor NEW YORK: With the arduous campaign to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg in its final stage, New Yorkers now have their choices before them: Stick with policies that have kept the city relatively safe and prosperous, or break from a past that some residents complain has nurtured income inequality and racial divisions. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio became the undisputed Democratic nominee Monday after primary runner-up Bill Thompson withdrew and eliminated the need for a runoff election. Republican nominee Joseph Lhota quickly went on the attack and painted the Nov 5 general election as a contest between two major-party opponents with vastly different visions of how the city should function after 12 years of Bloomberg. “Bill de Blasio’s change is radical. My change is practical. It’s straightforward. It’s to be able to build upon what we have done, not tear down what has happened,” Lhota said at a news conference. Democrats have not elected a mayor since 1989, yet they outnumber Republicans 6 to 1 among registered voters, presenting Lhota with an uphill climb. However, the GOP’s unlikely mayoral winning streak could continue if he “runs as a manager,” according to Kellyanne Conway, a Washington-based pollster who has followed the race. “Managers tend to do pretty well in New York City,” said Conway, who is not affiliated with any candidate. “He’s literally the guy who can keep trains running on time and keep taxes low, and that has appeal to people.” De Blasio, whose current elected post charges him with ensuring city government is serving residents, has run an unabashedly liberal campaign, calling for a tax increase in the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods to pay for universal pre-kindergarten, reforming the controversial policing strategy called “stop and frisk,” and demanding greater income equality to “put an end to the tale of two cities.” He also placed his interracial family at the center of his campaign. An ad narrated by his 15-year-old son helped fuel his meteoric rise from fourth to first in the primary campaign’s final month. Lhota, who served as the head the region’s transit agency and was a deputy mayor to Rudy Giuliani, has vowed to continue many of Bloomberg’s policies. He is an ardent defender of stop and frisk, which allows officers to stop people deemed to be acting suspiciously, saying it helped drive down crime. A federal judge ruled it discriminates against minorities and ordered a monitor to oversee changes. Lhota has mocked de Blasio’s plan to raise taxes, saying it would never pass the Legislature. He has suggested funding pre-kindergarten by cutting other government expenses. And he has taken issue with de Blasio’s campaign theme. —AP

LOS ANGELES: The confirmed death toll from massive floods in the US state of Colorado has risen to eight, while more than 600 people remain unaccounted for, officials said early yesterday. Helicopters resumed search and rescue missions, helped by clearer weather after days of torrential rain that has left over 1,500 homes destroyed and more than 17,000 damaged. Five teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are bolstering hundreds of state and local officers trying to reach hundreds of residents stranded by the floods, centered on Boulder County north of Denver. “We have a strong opportunity here, with FEMA’s help, to come out of this whole situation with a stronger infrastructure,” Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper told a press briefing. On Sunday, heavy rain prevented helicopters from taking off for most of the day as officials put the number of people unaccounted for at more than 1,200 across the western state. But on Monday there was even blue sky in some areas, allowing some 21 helicopters to take to the air. “We are hoping to take advantage of the weather today and get those rescue operations complete,” spokeswoman Micki Trost of the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management was quoted as saying by the Denver Post. In all seven people have died, including three in Boulder County, two in El Paso County and two missing presumed dead in

LYONS: In this Sept. 13, 2013 file photo, cars lay mired in mud deposited by floods in Lyons, Colo. Little more than a year after Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper assured the world his wildfire-ravaged state was still “open for business,” he may have to throw another lifeline to keep the state’s billion-dollar tourism industry afloat. — AP In all 11,700 people have been evacuatLarimer County, said the Colorado Office of Emergency management (COEM) in its lat- ed, the COEM said. A total of 17,994 residential structures have been damaged, and est update. The number of people unaccounted for 1,502 destroyed. Many of the missing may simply be stood at 658 Monday it said, stressing however that that number was “approximate unable to report their whereabouts, but and changing,” as rescue crews gained Hickenlooper warned that the death toll access to more places, and as stranded may increase. “ There are many, many people got in touch with authorities to homes that have been destroyed,” he said. Rain began pelting the western state confirm they were alright.

early last week, with Boulder especially hard hit, seeing 7.2 inches (18.3 centimeters) of precipitation in about 15 hours starting Wednesday night. Flash floods have afflicted 15 counties down a 200-mile (320-kilometer) northsouth section of the Front Range, where the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains, the Colorado Office of Emergency Management said. “We’ve got a heck of a lot of communities dealing with a heck of a lot of water,” Jennifer Finch, a spokeswoman for Weld County northeast of Boulder, told Denver Channel 7 News on Sunday. On Sunday, traffic on Interstate 25, Colorado’s main north-south thoroughfare just east of the mountain range, was brought to a halt by water covering two of the three southbound lanes, according to an AFP correspondent on the road. President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in Colorado and ordered federal aid to support state and local efforts. Hickenlooper called the widespread flooding “a heck of a storm.” Although skies were clearer Monday, weather forecasters warned that scattered storms could still dump up to an inch of rain in less than 30 minutes, according to KUSA-TV. Drier, warmer weather conditions are due to return to the battered state yesterday, lasting through to Thursday when there is a chance of showers through the region, it said. — AFP



Spanish city seeks lottery winner who lost ticket MADRID: A Spanish city is seeking a missing millionaire. Somebody bought a lottery ticket in the town of La Coruna that won 4.7 million euros ($6.3 million) but lost the ticket in the shop. After failed attempts to track the winner down, the city is now making a public plea for the buyer to step forward. Fortune hunters beware: Anybody trying to claim the prize will have to prove that they know where and when the ticket was purchased. The ticket for the June 30, 2012 drawing was found in one of the city’s authorized lottery agency outlets

by another customer, who handed it to the manager of the store. The manager informed authorities, who are now publicizing the story to get leads. The city this week released an official notice about the ticket on its website list of lost-and-found items such as cellphones, keys and wallets. “I’ll be the first Spanish mayor who’s searching for a millionaire not to ask for money but to give it,” La Coruna Mayor Carlos Negreira joked in a statement. Authorities are not revealing where the ticket was bought or the time of purchase so that they can ques-

tion people claiming to be the owner, and try to determine whether they’re telling the truth. Like many Spanish cities, La Coruna has dozens of lottery outlets. Many people in Spain play their own series of numbers, so people will also be questioned about their lottery playing history and what numbers they usually choose. However, it’s also possible that the ticket purchaser paid for a ticket with random numbers generated by the lottery machine. La Coruna, population 246,000, is an international tourism destination so the ticket could also very well

have been bought by a visitor. Prizes for small lottery winnings can be claimed at lottery agencies, but bigger amounts like the jackpot for the lost ticket must be claimed at regional lottery headquarters. La Coruna is required by law to try to find the winner: An 1889 Spanish statute states that municipalities must safeguard lost winning lottery tickets and make every effort to find the legitimate buyer. The search will last for two years - and if the owner of the ticket doesn’t show up the jackpot goes to the person who found it. — AP

Concordia raised off Italian rocks 19-hour salvage ends with Concordia upright

BERLIN: Placards featuring the Christian Democratic Union candidate German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) are pictured yesterday in Berlin. Germans go to the polls. — AFP

Merkel rival holds steady despite rude finger picture BERLIN: A rude finger gesture on the cover of a national magazine by the main rival of German Chancellor Angela Merkel has not harmed his campaign, said a poll released yesterday, five days before election day. Peer Steinbrueck and his Social Democrats (SPD) held steady at 25 percent while all opposition parties taken together ran, at 44 percent, in a dead heat with Merkel’s centreright alliance, according to the poll conducted September 10-16 by independent institute Forsa. The survey points to a suspenseful race ahead of the general election on Sunday to see whether Merkel can maintain her ruling alliance with the Free Democrats or have to form a “grand coalition” with the Social Democrats. Steinbrueck took fire last week for a magazine cover showing him making the vulgar middle-finger gesture, with many questioning his fitness to lead the nation. The gesture by a sneering Steinbrueck was his response to nicknames such as “Problem Peer” given to him by the media over blunders and gaffes that have hobbled his campaign. Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) tallied 39 percent in the poll, unchanged from last week. Their jun-

ior partners, the pro-business Free Democrats, lost a point to five percent. Meanwhile the Greens, the Social Democrats’ favoured partners, looked stuck at nine percent. And the opposition far-left Die Linke, with which the Social Democrats have ruled out cooperating in the federal government, scored an unchanged 10 percent. The upstart anti-euro party AfD drew three percent, below the five-percent threshold for seats in parliament, as did the Internet freedom party the Pirates. However Forsa chief Manfred Guellner said that AfD supporters were likely to under-report to pollsters given its fringe status. Merkel remains Germany’s most popular politician for steering the country unscathed through the eurozone debt crisis. “Although the (conservative) Union lies just under the 40-percent mark, a majority of Germans want her to continue governing,” the Forsa statement said. “If they could elect her directly (instead of through a party-based system), 53 percent would choose the CDU, up one point from last week. Twenty-six percent would choose SPD candidate Peer Steinbrueck as chancellor.” The poll was conducted among a representative sample of 2,502 Germans with a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points. — AFP

Berlusconi supports Italy govt in video message ROME: Silvio Berlusconi is expected to step back from moves to bring down Italy’s government following his tax fraud conviction in an announcement yesterday relaunching his original party, political sources said. Berlusconi has been threatening for weeks to torpedo the uneasy left-right coalition of Prime Minister Enrico Letta following his conviction, but the sources said dovish advisers seemed to have finally convinced him this could misfire for his centre-right PDL party. The Berlusconi announcement is

expected in a video message around midday (1000 GMT ). He has already recorded the message, aides said. Renato Brunetta, floor leader in the Chamber of Deputies for Berlusconi’s People of Freedom Party (PDL) said in a tweet that his leader “Will make a very important announcement about Forza Italia (Go Italy), aiming to inspire everybody.” The party was the vehicle with which Berlusconi stormed into politics in 1994 after a major bribery scandal swept away the old postwar order in Italy. It was later replaced by the PDL. A Senate committee is expected to vote on Wednesday to reject attempts to prevent Berlusconi’s ejection from parliament following a conviction for a huge

fraud at his Mediaset television empire. Some sources said on Tuesday that Berlusconi was considering resigning before a full Senate vote to expel him, but this could come in a second video message after the committee vote on Wednesday night. Berlusconi appears to be using the resurrection of his original Forza Italia party to try to seize back the political initiative following the damaging conviction, which has condemned him either to a year’s house arrest or community service. Il Giornale newspaper, run by Berlusconi’s brother, suggested the media tycoon was espousing a more conciliatory line towards Letta’s government, an uneasy coalition of the PDL and the premier’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD). “To sum up, Berlusconi could once again put the interests of the country before his own to demonstrate his stature as a statesman,” the paper said. Libero, another daily close to the billionaire media magnate, said there were two video messages, one for Tuesday and one for Thursday. In the first, Berlusconi would again state his total innocence of the fraud charge and announce that “as far as he is concerned the government can continue.” Berlusconi has been planning the relaunch of Forza Italia for months, seeing it as a way to reinvigorate centreright voters and appeal more to young people than the PDL which is seen by many as dominated by an older generation of political hacks. Ever since the supreme court confirmed Berlusconi’s conviction in early August, many of his party allies have threatened to bring down the government if the centre-left votes for his ejection from parliament. But party doves, family members and leaders of his business empire have recently apparently persuaded him that torpedoing the government and causing elections in the midst of Italy’s worst postwar recession would misfire for the centre-right. — Reuters

GIGLIO: The Costa Concordia liner was pulled upright off the island of Giglio yesterday, in one of the world’s most complex and expensive salvage operations which the prime minister said had boosted Italy’s battered national pride. The Concordia, a 290metre-long (950-foot-long) liner carrying more than 4,000 passengers and crew, capsized and sank, killing 32 people on Jan. 13, 2012, after it came too close to shore and jagged rocks tore a hole in its side. In a 19hour operation which ended at 4.00 a.m. (0200 GMT), the 114,500-ton ship was pulled from its side to an upright position by a series of huge jacks and cables and lowered onto underwater platforms drilled into the rocky sea bed. Prime Minister Enrico Letta congratulated Franco Gabrielli, the official in overall charge, by telephone. “I told him everyone working there is a source of great pride to Italy,” he said in a tweet. Nick Sloane, the South African engineer who has led the operation for the US-Italian contractors consortium Titan-Micoperi, was greeted by local residents as he came ashore. “I think the whole team is proud of what they achieved. A lot of people said it couldn’t be done,” he told reporters at the quayside before heading off to celebrate with jubilant colleagues. “I feel good, it’s time for a beer.” When daylight broke, the marks of the giant liner’s 20 months on the rocks were clearly visible. Brown mud and scum stains covered one half of the gashed and crumpled hull which had been crushed under its own weight. The vessel, with two thirds of its body now resting in 30 metres of water, will remain in place for some months while it is stabilised and refloated before being towed away to be broken up for scrap. In contrast to the accident, a catalogue of mishap and misjudgement over which Concordia’s captain Francesco Schettino is facing multiple criminal charges including manslaughter, the salvage was a tightly coordinated engineering feat. A multi-national team of 500 salvage technicians and divers has been on Giglio for most of the past year, stabilising the wreck and preparing for the lifting operation, which had never been tried on so large a vessel in such challenging conditions. Schettino, accused of causing the accident and abandoning ship on the night of

ISOLA DEL GIGLIO: This combination made yesterday shows four photos of the Costa Concordia, after the cruise ship ran aground and keeled over off the Isola del Giglio taken on January 14, 2012 (Top L), beginning to emerge during the salvage operation on September 16, 2013 (Top R) and (Bottom L) and after she was turned upright (Bottom R) yesterday — AFP

the disaster, was widely seen as a symbol of all that was wrong with Italy, unsure of itself after years of recession and political scandal. Gabrielli said the success of an operation in which Italian engineering competence was decisive should be a boost to national confidence. “Today our country can resume the position and role which it needs to have,” he told reporters. Af ter a three hour delay due to an overnight storm on Monday, the so-called “parbuckling” operation, in which the hulk was painstakingly rotated upright, took much longer than the 10-12 hours estimated. Engineers said it had gone smoothly. “It was a perfect operation, I would say,” said Franco Porcellacchia, leader of Costa Cruise’s technical team. The Concordia salvage is expected to be the most expensive maritime wreck recovery ever, with costs that exceed 600 million euros ($801.15 million) and account for more than half of an

overall insurance loss of more than $1.1 billion. I n a painstak ing day of work on Monday, a series of massive jacks pulled the Concordia up inch by inch until it was raised high enough for water tanks welded to one side to start to pull it down into place by the force of gravity. Six platforms, drilled into the rock and 16,000 tonnes of grouting piled up to create an artificial sea bed held the ship in place once it was upright. Oil booms surround the vessel to intercept waste water and oil trapped in the ship, but officials said there appeared to have been no significant environmental damage. The work will not be complete until the vessel is towed away from the island, probably by next spring but Sloane said any operational challenges could be met. “ The weather is the main thing, if you have good weather and you have a good plan, then you just have to follow the plan.” — Reuters

Uproar as French jeweler kills thief, is charged PARIS: Outrage is growing in France over the decision to bring manslaughter charges against a jeweler who shot and killed an escaping robber but the country’s top security official yesterday urged fearful storekeepers to let justice take its course. The 67-year-old jeweler, Stephan Turk, was confined at home with an electronic bracelet after the shooting last week that left a teenage robber dead in the street outside Turk’s jewelry story in the French Riviera city of Nice. An accomplice escaped on a motorbike. In a country where gun violence is rare but thefts are increasingly common, the shooting has placed the government in a difficult position. “Even when faced with the unbearable, we have to let justice prevail,” Interior Minister Manuel Valls said yesterday in Nice, where he was sent by the president a day after a protest by hundreds of Turk’s supporters. Jewelers in southern France say they’re being targeted as never before and lack the resources to protect themselves. “It was a difficult situation. I don’t know how I would have reacted myself. I don’t endorse what he did, but he had been beaten and threatened with death,” Yan Turk, the son of the jeweler, told the Nice Matin paper. “We’ve had it with being targeted by robbers.” France has seen a spate of high-profile jewelry thefts lately. A single gunman in the southern city of Cannes made off with a $136 million cache this summer. That was followed by another armed robbery days later in the same city. In Paris’ wealthy Place Vendome on Sept. 9, thieves drove a sport utility vehicle into a jewelry store, grabbed 2 million euros ($2.7 million) worth of loot, then set the vehicle on fire and escaped. “The number of jewelry store robberies has been climbing for years. There’s one robbery a day in France,” Christine Boquet, president of the union of jewelers and watchmakers, told

the Nice Matin. “This creates enormous stress for the merchants. They live with this fear and insecurity every day.” Yet the sister of the 19-year-old who was killed says Turk shot him in the back and deserves prison. “He shot a kid in the back. He’s a traitor, he’s a coward,” said Alexandra Asli, the sister of Anthony Asli. Asli, who was shot dead in the street outside the jewelry store, had been convicted 14 times in juvenile court, according to Eric Bedos, the Nice prosecutor. Bedos defended

his decision to bring preliminary charges Friday against Turk, whose gun he said was not legal. “After he was threatened, the jeweler grabbed his firearm, moved toward the metal shutters, crouched and fired three times. He said he fired twice to immobilize the scooter and a third time he fired because he said he felt threatened,” Bedos told the media. “I’m convinced that he fired to kill his aggressor. When he fired, his life was no longer in danger,” the prosecutor said. — Reuters

NICE: Nice citizens, holden a banner writing “No in jail, Yes to self defense”, take part in a rally supporting Stephan Turk, Monday, in Nice southeastern France. Outrage is growing over the decision to bring manslaughter charges against Stephan Turk, 67, as the country’s top security official yesterday, urged fearful storekeepers to let justice take its course. — AP



N Korean inmates starved and tortured, abuse widespread GENEVA: Inmates in North Korea’s prison camps have suffered starvation, torture and other “unspeakable atrocities”, UN human rights investigators said yesterday in their first report on violations in the reclusive state. The paper, swiftly rejected by Pyongyang, uncovered a pattern of human rights abuses, the head of the independent inquiry told the UN Human Rights Council. There have long been concerns about reports of attrocities including executions and torture, but they have largely been overshadowed by international alarm about North Korea’s nuclear weapons. Tuesday’s report came after pressure by Japan, South Korea and Western powers to investigate and begin building a case for possible criminal prosecution. Inquiry head Michael Kirby said the findings were based on testimony from

North Korean exiles, including former political prison camps inmates, given at public hearings in Seoul and Tokyo last month. “They are representative of largescale patterns that may constitute systematic and gross human rights violations,” Kirby added. The former justice of Australia’s top court told the council: “I have been a judge for a very long time and I’m pretty hardened to testimony. But the testimony that I saw in Seoul and in Tokyo brought tears to my eyes on several occasions, including testimony of Mr. And Mrs. Yokota.” Their daughter Megumi Yokota, 13, vanished on her way home from school in Japan in 1977. She was one of 13 Japanese that Kim Jong-il, the late father of the current leader Kim Jong-un admitted in 2002 to having kidnapped in the 1970s and 1980s to help train spies. Pyongyang has said eight of them are dead, including Megumi.

Some North Korean exiles testified that they had faced torture and imprisonment “for doing nothing more than watching foreign soap operas on DVDs”, Kirby said. A North Korean woman testified how she “witnessed a female prisoner forced to drown her own baby in a bucket”. Kirby cited testimony of torture, starvation, and punishing generations of families under the so-called practice of “guilt by association”. Kirby said the independent inquiry would seek to determine which North Korean institutions and officials were responsible. The report did not say what kind of prosecution might be considered. North Korea is not a member of the International Criminal Court, but the UN Security Council can ask the Haguebased court to investigate alleged abuses by non-signatories. North Korean diplomat Kim Yong Ho

said the inquiry was a fake and defamatory “political plot” to force regime change in North Korea. It had been politicised by the European Union and Japan, “in alliance with the U.S. hostile policy”, Kim said. “We will continue to oppose any attempt of regime change and pressure under pretext of ‘human rights protection’,” he said. North Korea’s main ally China, joined by Belarus and Syria, were among countries defending it during the 90-minute debate. “Politicised accusations and pressures are not helpful to improving human rights in any country. On the contrary they will only provoke confrontation and undermine the foundation and atmosphere for international human rights cooperation,” said Chinese diplomat Chen Chuandong. Recently the situation of the Korean Peninsula had shown a “positive trend of

relaxation”, he said. The commission of inquiry was launched by the Geneva forum in March to investigate reports of violations in the secretive state, including possible crimes against humanity. Shin Dong-hyuk, North Korea’s bestknown defector who escaped a political prison camp where he was born, was among those who testified in South Korea. Kirby, referring to Shin, said: “We think of the testimony of a young man, imprisoned from birth and living on rodents, lizards and grass to survive and witnessing the public execution of his mother and his brother.” The investigators, who have not had access to the country despite repeated requests, said the testimony by defectors and other witnesses and “extensive evidence” stood unanswered. Kirby challenged Pyongyang to produce “an ounce of evidence” in its defence. — Reuters

Dozens of hostages freed in embattled Philippine city 90 dead and 90,000 residents displaced

DHAKA: Bangladeshi police search pedestrians in front of a court after a verdict against Jamaat-e-Islami party leader Abdul Quader Mollah was delivered in Dhaka, Bangladesh, yesterday. Bangladesh’s Supreme Court yesterday sentenced Mollah to death for committing crimes against humanity during the nation’s 1971 independence war against Pakistan. — AP

Bangladesh court hands down death sentence DHAKA: Bangladesh’s Supreme Court yesterday sentenced a leader of an opposition political party to death for committing crimes against humanity during the nation’s 1971 independence war against Pakistan. The Jamaat-e-Islami party leader, Abdul Quader Mollah, was found guilty by a special war crimes tribunal in February and sentenced to life in prison. That sentence was appealed by both the defense and prosecution. Yesterday, a five-member panel headed by Chief Justice M. Muzammel Hossain ruled that Mollah be put to death for his role during the war. The panel found him guilty of ordering the killing of a family of four during a Pakistani army crackdown in Dhaka in March 1971. Attorney-General Mahbubey Alam said the verdict was final, with no option for another appeal through the courts. He said Mollah’s family can seek presidential clemency. Defense counsel Abdur Razzaq said they were “stunned” by the decision. Hours after the verdict, Mollah’s party said it would enforce a 48-hour general strike beginning today across the country to denounce the ruling. Somoy TV station reported that activists from Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing had torched a police car and smashed several cars in the southeastern city of Chittagong to protest the verdict. No injuries were reported. Other T V stations reported clashes between Jamaat-e-Islami activists and

police in the capital, Dhaka, and in several other towns. Scores were injured in those clashes. In Dhaka, police detained at least five activists from the party when they clashed with security officials, Bangla Vision TV station said. The ruling Awami League and its allies welcomed the verdict. Mollah and his supporters say the case against him is politically motivated. Mollah’s party is an ally of the country’s main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party headed by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, a rival of current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Hasina formed the special tribunal in 2010 to tr y war crimes suspects. Bangladesh says Pakistani soldiers, aided by local collaborators, killed 3 million people and raped 200,000 women during the nine-month war. Zia has accused the government of using trials to weaken the opposition. The government denies the allegation and says it won power in 2008 with an election pledge to prosecute war crimes suspects. Several other top leaders of Jamaat-eIslami have been convicted of similar charges. The government says the trials are being held at an international standard, but New York-based Human Rights Watch has raised questions about the impartiality of the tribunal. The earlier sentence against Mollah led to protests across the country by his supporters as well as those who said the sentence was too lenient. — AP

Afghan president says no rush for US security deal KABUL: Afghanistan’s president said yesterday that he was in no rush to sign a security deal with the United States, once again dashing American hopes that a pact can be quickly finalized. The United States wants a deal by October to give American and NATO military planners enough time to prepare for to keep some troops in the country after a scheduled 2014 withdrawal, instead of a total pullout. Afghanistan and the United States have since last October been negotiating a security deal that will give the US a legal basis for having forces in Afghanistan after 2014, and also allow it to lease bases around the country. If the US does not sign the deal, it is unlikely that NATO or any of its allies will keep troops in Afghanistan after 2014. Karzai however is pressing demands that the US is reluctant to meet, and also is believed to want to shield himself from any possible backlash from signing a deal that some see as compromising Afghan sovereignty. “The Americans wanted this security agreement in March or April, and now they are trying to bring it in October. But we want to do well, not to hurry; they are in a rush, not us. We are very relaxed,” Hamid Karzai told a youth conference in the capital. He added that if by October the United States can’t meet a set of wide-ranging conditions, including security guarantees for the country and pledges for modern weaponry, then they could sign a deal with his successor after the April 5 elections for a new head of state. Although Karzai has never fully spelled

out his conditions, some of the guarantees are thought to include the security of Afghanistan’s borders from foreign intervention. It is unlikely that the US would ever agree to such a condition, as Washington is reluctant to sign anything that could be read as a pledge to defend Afghan borders against a neighbor such as Pakistan. Karzai also said any security deal would also have to be first approved by a council of Afghan elders, or Loya Jirga, a national meeting that can take weeks to organize. It was not the first time Karzai has said there was no rush for the agreement, but his comments came one day after President Barack Obama’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, James Dobbins, said Washington was optimistic a deal could be signed in October. “The talks are underway, they’re taking place in Kabul, and we’re hoping the agreement can be reached sometime in October, and we’re reasonably optimistic that it will be,” Dobbins told reporters in Washington on Monday. The US and its allies earlier this summer formally handed over control of security for the country to the Afghan army and police. The handover paved the way for the departure of coalition forces - currently numbering about 100,000 troops from 48 countries, including about 60,000 Americans. By the end of the year, the NATO force will be halved. At the end of 2014, all combat troops will have left and will be replaced, if approved by the Afghan government, by the smaller force that will only train and advise the Afghans.— AP

ZAMBOANGA: More than a hundred people who were held hostage by Muslim rebels waging deadly street battles with Philippine troops escaped yesterday amid a military offensive in which dozens of guerrillas were killed. Ninety-nine people have died and 90,000 residents displaced since the standoff in the southern city of Zamboanga began on Monday last week, when hundreds of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) gunmen invaded in a bid to derail peace talks. Hundreds of other civilians had remained trapped as the rebels sought shelter from a military assault in Muslim neighbourhoods of the city, with some of the residents used as hostages or human shields. After a relentless military offensive involving helicopter rocket attacks and intense street fighting, 149 people escaped on Monday night and yesterday morning from the MNLF, authorities said. The shell-shocked men, women and children were tearfully reunited away from the frontlines with their relatives, who had waited in anguish for days. “I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, all I thought about was my little boy and my family,” said a 28-yearold hotel employee as he and his rescued family members embraced tightly. “My son, my father and mother, cousins and nephews were taken hostage... it was nearly too much to bear.” The man, who did not want his name published for security reasons left Zamboanga three months ago with his wife to work in the United States but returned when they learnt their relatives had been taken hostage. Military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala said the rebels had been swept out of 70 percent of neighbourhoods they had initially controlled and reduced to a few dozen fighters, down from an estimated 200 when the conflict began. “They (the rebels) have nearly run out of bullets. They are practi-

ZAMBOANGA: A boy hostage is reunited with his parents after being processed at the Philippine National Police Camp Gen. Eduardo Batalla in Zamboanga city in southern Philippines yesterday. —AP cally defeated,” Zagala told AFP. In one of the biggest victories, Zagala said 123 hostages had been freed in a battle with rebels yesterday morning that left three soldiers dead. Thirty rebels had been killed over the past 24 hours, according to Zagala. This brought the total number of MNLF fatalities to 86, with nine security forces and four civilians also killed. But Zagala acknowledged that the rebels remained a threat, as they hid in homes and possibly continued to hold civilians as hostages. “This is not yet over... there are still pockets of resistance,” he said, noting that the rebels were also occupying key areas in which they could shoot down at advancing troops. In one confusing distraction to the conflict, the national police spokesman reported that the city’s police chief Senior Superintendent

Chiquito Malayo was kidnapped yesterday morning. However Interior Secretary Mar Roxas later sent a text message to the media saying Malayo had returned from MNLF territory having convinced 23 rebels to “come into the fold of the law”. The national police spokesman who initially reported the alleged abduction, Senior Superintendent Reuben Sindac, was not available for immediate comment to clarify. Muslim rebels have been fighting since the 1970s for an independent or autonomous homeland in the south of the mainly Catholic Philippines. An estimated 150,000 people have died in the conflict. The MNLF signed a peace treaty in 1996 that granted limited selfrule to the south’s Muslim minority, and has since largely participated in the country’s political process rather than foment violence. But 71-year-old MNLF founder Nur Misuari has been angered by a

planned peace deal between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a rival group with 12,000 gunmen, as he believes it would sideline his organisation. He deployed his gunmen to Zamboanga to plant an independence flag and, according to security analysts, show the MNLF could prove a major threat if it continued to feel ignored. President Benigno Aquino has described the autonomous region established under the 1996 pact with the MNLF as a “failed experiment”, largely because the southern Philippines has continued to endure dire poverty and corruption. Under the envisaged new peace deal, a new autonomous region would replace the MNLFbrokered one. The rival MILF would have most control of the new autonomous region and the potential riches on offer if large mineral deposits and the area’s fertile farming regions are exploited. — AFP

Cambodian political rivals edge towards deal PHNOM PENH: Cambodia’s two main political parties said yesterday they were nearing an agreement to end a political crisis, as the opposition ended a three-day mass protest over hotly disputed elections. Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has ruled for 28 years, held talks with opposition leader Sam Rainsy for a second straight day in the wake of violent clashes at the weekend in which one civilian was shot dead and several wounded. The talks were the third in four days between 61-year-old Hun Sen, who has vowed to rule until he is 74, and Rainsy, who returned from

self-imposed exile in July after a royal pardon for criminal convictions which he contends were politically motivated. “We have come closer to finding a solution to the problem facing the country,” opposition spokesman Yim Sovann told reporters after the latest talks. He said more discussions were needed to reach an agreement before parliament convenes at the beginning of next week. Ruling party spokesman Prak Sokhon said the two sides were “on the path to find a joint resolution”. On Monday Hun Sen and Rainsy, a Frencheducated former banker, agreed to heed the

PHNOM PENH: A Cambodian security officer (C) carries an unconscious protester during a demonstration at the Democracy Park in Phnom Penh yesterday. Cambodia’s two main political parties said they were nearing an agreement to end a political crisis, as the opposition ended a three-day mass protest over hotly disputed elections. — AFP

king’s call for an end to the violence, to set up a mechanism to bring about election reform in the future and to continue negotiations, according to a joint statement that gave few details. The two sides, however, remained at odds over the opposition’s demand for the creation of an independent “truth committee” to investigate Hun Sen’s controversial election victory in July. Rainsy’s Cambodian National Rescue Party has threatened to boycott the opening of parliament next Monday unless the alleged poll irregularities are addressed. “We will not betray the will of the people,” Rainsy told about 10,000 protesters on Tuesday, the last of three days of mass rallies in the capital. “Democratic forces will vanquish acts of dictatorship,” he added. The opposition blamed the authorities for the death of a protester who was shot dead during a clash in Phnom Penh Sunday, on the fringes of a mass demonstration that drew an estimated 20,000 people demanding an independent probe into the vote. Security forces fired smoke grenades, tear gas and water cannon at rock-throwing protesters. International rights groups accused the security forces of firing live ammunition-an allegation denied by the authorities. “There must be an immediate and impartial investigation into the killing of this man, and full disclosure about why the security forces resorted to lethal force,” said Amnesty International deputy Asia director Isabelle Arradon. Organisers of the demonstration said a 35-year-old monk at yesterday’s rally had poured petrol on himself while on stage in an apparent attempt to set himself on fire, but was stopped by onlookers. “He is very emotional and he wants a solution to be reached more quickly,” senior opposition party official Ho Vann said. —AFP



THE HAGUE: Dutch King Willem-Alexander (right) and Queen Maxima (2nd right) wave to the crowd from the balcony of Palace Noordeinde in the Hague yesterday. — AFP

Say goodbye to welfare state: Dutch king AMSTERDAM: King Willem-Alexander delivered a message to the Dutch people from the government yesterday in a nationally televised address: the welfare state of the 20th century is gone. In its place a “participation society” is emerging, in which people must take responsibility for their own future and create their own social and financial safety nets, with less help from the national government. The king traveled past waving fans in an ornate horse-drawn carriage to the 13th-century Hall of Knights in The Hague for the monarch’s traditional annual address on the day the government presents its budget for the coming year. It was Willem-Alexander’s first appearance on the national stage since former Queen Beatrix abdicated in April and he ascended to the throne. “The shift to a ‘participation society’ is especially visible in social security and long-term care,” the king said, reading out to lawmakers a speech written for him by Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s government. “The classic welfare state of the second half of the 20th century in these areas in particular brought forth arrangements that are unsustainable in their current

form.” Rutte may be hoping that the pomp and ceremony surrounding the king and his popular wife, Queen Maxima, will provide a diversion from the gloomy reality of a budget full of unpopular new spending cuts he revealed later in the day. A series of recent polls have shown that confidence in Rutte’s government is at record low levels, and that most Dutch people - along with labor unions, employers’ associations and many economists - believe the Cabinet’s austerity policies are at least partially to blame as the Dutch economy has worsened even as recoveries are underway in neighboring Germany, France and Britain. After several consecutive years of government spending cuts, the Dutch economy is expected to have shrunk by more than 1 percent in 2013, and the agency is forecasting growth of just 0.5 percent next year. “The necessary reforms take time and demand perseverance,” the king said. But they will “lay the basis for creating jobs and restoring confidence.” Willem-Alexander said that nowadays, people expect and “want to make their own choices, to arrange their own lives, and take care of each other.”

Contentious Turkish mosque project stirs sectarian unrest ANKARA: Billed as a symbol of peace between two faiths, a new place of worship has turned a poor suburb of Ankara into a battleground and exposed wider sectarian tensions within Turkey. The project’s blueprint envisages a Sunni mosque rising side by side with a new cemevi, or assembly house, to be used by Alevis, Turkey’s biggest religious minority. But with its concrete foundations barely set, Alevis suspect an attempt to assimilate their community into the Sunni Muslim majority and youths from the minority are battling riot police nightly. In response, Ankara’s mayor has dismissed the protesters as Assad’s “soldiers” in an uncomfortable reminder of the largely sectarian civil war raging in neighboring Syria. Making up about 15-20 percent of Turkey’s 76 million people, Alevis draw from Shiite, Sufi and Anatolian folk traditions, practicing distinct rituals which can put them at odds with their Sunni counterparts, many of whom accuse them of heresy. Residents in Tuzlucayir, the poor and mainly Alevi suburb on the outskirts of Ankara, are determined to halt the project. “We will not stop protesting until the construction stops,” said Candas Turkyilmaz, a 29-year-old laborer from Tuzlucayir, pointing to construction workers busying around the site by day while riot police keep close watch from the hill above. “Nobody

knew what they were building at first. We thought it was just another mosque, but when we found out we started to protest. You cannot have a cemevi next to a mosque, our beliefs are different,” said Turkyilmaz. Even as the groundbreaking ceremony got under way this month, Alevis poured onto the streets of Tuzlucayir in protest. Since then mostly young Alevi men have fought nightly with police, drafted in to guard the mosque’s construction site. Hundreds of demonstrators, some armed with stones and slingshots, face off into the early hours with the riot police who fire tear gas and water cannon. Broader demonstrations against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan this summer have resurfaced again in recent days, including in at least two Alevi districts of Istanbul. Protests have also erupted in Hatay province, an ethnic and religious melting pot right on the southern border with Syria. The unrest, which intensified again following the death of a protester in Hatay’s Antakya city last week, is still not on the scale seen in June and July, but appears to have adopted a more sectarian and violent tone. In Tuzlucayir, tension is palpable even during the day. Smoldering barricades across roads have turned the suburb into a labyrinth, graffiti and slogans adorning its walls. — Reuters

Niqab row rages in UK Continued from Page 1 Browne called on Monday for a “national debate” on the issue. It exploded onto the front pages yesterday after The Sun, Rupert Murdoch’s top-selling British tabloid, carried a huge splash with the headline “UNVEILED” over a picture of the woman defendant wearing a niqab. The Sun-which sells 2.25 million copies a day and features a photo of a topless woman in its daily “Page 3” featuredemanded “vital reforms” that would ban veils in schools, courts, hospitals, airports, banks and secure areas. But it said women should have “freedom to wear them in streets and parks.” Many other newspapers took a similar stance. In the right-leaning Daily Mail, former interior minister Jack Straw wrote that the government should “go further”, while the Daily Telegraph said in an editorial that “veils in court are a barrier to justice.” The Daily Express meanwhile said that “Britain needs to turn back the spread of the veil.” The leftleaning Guardian disagreed, saying that “full-face veils aren’t barbaric-but our response can be.” There is no ban on wearing the full-face veil in Britain, and a number of Muslim women do so, particularly in cities with large ethnic communities such as London, Birmingham and Bradford. The debate is one that Britain, which prides itself on a liberal heritage and ethnic tolerance, has largely avoided even as some of its European neighbors with large Muslim populations have acted. France has banned women from wearing full-face veils in public since April 2011 and Belgium followed suit three months later. Other nations are considering similar legislation, including Switzerland, Italy and the Netherlands. The leading Muslim Council of Britain has expressed “concern at the direc-

tion of the national conversation currently taking place on the niqab”. “There are few people who wear the niqab, and they should be allowed to wear this veil if they freely decide to do so,” said Talat Ahmed, chairwoman of the council’s committee for social and family affairs. The veil debate “usually comes with a diet of bigoted commentary”, she added. A growing number of politicians in Britain have been calling for a ban. Prime Minister David Cameron, from the centre-right Conservative party, had backed Birmingham Metropolitan College’s stance on wearing the veil. Then Browne, from the centrist Liberal Democrats who are in coalition with the Conservatives, weighed in on Sunday when he said that Muslim girls and young women should be banned from wearing veils in schools and public places. Browne told the Telegraph newspaper he was “instinctively uneasy” about restricting individual choice but added: “I think this is a good topic for national debate.” His views echoed those of some Conservatives in parliament who have been pushing for a ban. But Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said he opposed any legal ban. “My own view, very strongly held, is that we shouldn’t end up like other countries issuing edicts or laws from parliament telling people what they should or should not wear,” Clegg said. But the government may find it needs to address the issue sooner than it thinks. Judge Peter Murphywho in the veil case on Monday ordered the 22-year-old woman from London to go uncovered to give evidence in her trial on a charge of intimidation-said there needed to be clarity on the legal situation. He expressed the “hope that parliament or a higher court will provide a definite answer” to the issue soon, adding: “The niqab has become the elephant in the courtroom.” — AFP

The ‘participation society’ has been on its way for some time: benefits such as unemployment compensation and subsidies on health care have been regularly pruned for the past decade. The retirement age has been raised to 67. The king said yesterday some costs for the care of the elderly, for youth services, and for job retraining after layoffs will now be pushed back to the local level, in order to make them better tailored to local circumstances. The monarchy was not immune to cost-cutting and Willem-Alexander’s salary will be cut from around 825,000 euros ($1.1 million) this year to 817,000 euros in 2014. Maintaining the Royal House - castles, parades and all - costs the government around 40 million euros annually. A review of the government’s budget by the country’s independent analysis agency showed that the deficit will widen in 2014 to 3.3 percent of GDP despite the new spending cuts intended to reduce it. Eurozone rules specify that countries must keep their deficit below 3 percent, and Rutte has been among the most prominent of European leaders, along with Germany’s Angela Merkel, in insisting that Southern

European countries attempt to meet that target. Among other measures, the government announced 2,300 new military job cuts. That follows a 2011 decision to cut 12,000 jobs - one out of every six defense employees between 2012 and 2015. However, the government said yesterday it has decided once and for all not to abandon the U.S.-led “Joint Strike Fighter” program to develop new military aircraft. The program has suffered cost overruns and created divisions within Rutte’s governing coalition. A debate over the budget later this week will be crucial for the future of the coalition, as it does not command a majority in the upper house, and it must seek help from opposition parties to have the budget approved. Challenged as to whether his Cabinet may be facing a crisis, Rutte insisted in an interview with national broadcaster NOS yesterday that he ultimately will find support for the budget. “At crucial moments, the opposition is willing to do its share,” he said. Geert Wilders, whose far right Freedom Party currently tops popularity polls, called Rutte’s budget the equivalent of “kicking the country while it’s down.” — AP

Egypt Brotherhood faces new setbacks Authorities freeze Islamists’ assets CAIRO: Egypt’s army-backed authorities arrested the spokesman of the Muslim Brotherhood yesterday and froze the assets of other Islamists, in a new blow to deposed president Mohamed Morsi’s supporters. Since Morsi’s overthrow by the army on July 3 and his detention, more than 2,000 members of the Brotherhood have been arrested and several are facing trial. The crackdown that has fractured the Brotherhood’s organization has also seen hundreds of Islamist supporters killed in clashes across the country. In a new blow to the Brotherhood, police arrested group spokesman Gehad Al-Haddad and five others yesterday. An arrest warrant had been outstanding for Haddad, who was active on social networks. For weeks he managed to escape arrest although he kept active on social networks and appeared frequently on television. Among the others arrested Tuesday was a Morsiappointed former provincial governor, Hossam Abu Bakr, in an apartment in Cairo’s Nasr City district, security sources said. The six men are to be held at Cairo’s Tora prison where several top Brotherhood figures are jailed, including the group’s supreme guide Mohamed Badie, security sources said. Nasr City was the epicenter of pro-Morsi protests, where the deposed president’s supporters camped for weeks to demand his reinstatement and clashed with security forces. Morsi has been held at a undisclosed location since his overthrow in a military-led coup following massive protests against his one-year turbulent rule. In mid-August the military-backed interim govern-

ment launched a bloody operation to break up two proMorsi protest camps in Cairo, including in Nasr City. Hundreds of people there, and elsewhere in the country, were killed in ensuing clashes. By the following week, more than 1,000 people had been killed in violence across Egypt, most of them Morsi supporters. Haddad’s arrest came as an Egyptian court ordered the freezing of the assets of top Brotherhood chief Badie, his two deputies Khairat Al-Shater and Rashad Bayoumi, as well as Salafist leader Hazem Abu Ismail and preacher Safwat Higazi. The five are currently under arrest, accused of inciting the murder of protesters opposed to Morsi. Around 15 Islamist politicians have already had their assets frozen as part of the crackdown against the Brotherhood, a once formidable and highly organized movement founded in Egypt in 1928. Long banned in Egypt, the group had become gradually more tolerated in the years before the 2011 revolution, winning parliamentary seats through candidates who ran as independents. It took centre-stage only after the uprising which toppled President Hosni Mubarak, winning a majority in parliament and then the presidency. But Morsi’s July 3 ouster has reset the clock. The violent dispersal of the protest camps in August and the campaign of arrests has thinned Brotherhood ranks and made it increasingly difficult for it to mobilize large numbers of supporters. The new authorities have laid out a political roadmap which provides for parliamentary and presidential elections in 2014.— AFP

Israel prefers Qaeda in Damascus to... Continued from Page 1 Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stopped short of publicly urging Assad’s overthrow and Israeli officials have long warned of the danger that al Qaeda-aligned rebel forces could turn their guns on Israel if the Syrian leader fell. But, Oren said: “The initial message about the Syrian issue was that we always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.” Oren said. This was Israel’s position well before the outbreak of war in Syria and had continued to be so, he said. Assad’s overthrow would also weaken the alliance between Israel’s arc foe Iran and Tehran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas, Oren said. “The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to

Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc. Oren described Al-Qaeda-aligned rebels as “pretty bad guys” but said that others were less radical. Israel believes around one in 10 Syrian rebels are Sunni militants sworn to its destruction. Assad’s Alawite sect is closer to the rival Shiite Islam of Iran and Hezbollah. In the interview, excerpted ahead of its publication in full on Friday, Oren - a Netanyahu confidant - did not say if or how Israel was promoting Assad’s fall. Netanyahu casts Iran’s disputed nuclear drive as the main threat to Israel and world stability. The Jewish state, which is widely assumed to have the region’s sole atomic arsenal, has played down any direct Syrian threat to it but is concerned that a weak Western policy towards Assad could encourage Iran. — Reuters




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Why is France pushing so hard on Syria? By Jamey Keaten


n a secretive compound north of Paris, colored blips and blotches on a computer-screen map of Damascus depict an armored vehicle at a highway, tanks, a blown-up building in a suburban field. An unusual glimpse at France’s military intelligence headquarters demonstrates how closely the French are watching what’s happening in Syria - and how involved the French government is in ending Syria’s civil war. As French President Francois Hollande keeps up the threat of military strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, he isn’t just acting as President Barack Obama’s poodle, as some critics maintain. France, Syria’s onetime colonial ruler and a country eager to maintain its place as a military and diplomatic power, has plenty of reasons to be out front on Syria.

HISTORY The Middle Eastern country took its current shape as a French mandate after being chiseled out of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, as did neighboring Lebanon, and French is spoken by many in both countries. France has particularly close ties to Lebanon and wants to prevent it from being sucked further into Syria’s chaos. The ties to the region also make Syria a particularly attractive place for homegrown French extremists. French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said this month that about 110 citizens or residents of France have joined up with jihadist fighters in Syria - about half the total number from European Union countries. French authorities fear they will return home to carry out terrorism. Also, fear of chemical weapons runs deep in France, which is why France has hardened its line since the Aug. 21 attack in which the US and some allies believe Assad’s regime used sarin gas against Syrian citizens. Many French people have ancestors who faced mustard gas in World War I, as chemical weapons scarred public consciousness for the first time. INDEPENDENCE AND INTELLIGENCE Dating back to the presidency of Gen Charles de Gaulle in the midst of the Cold War, France has long sought to show it makes military decisions independently. A nuclear power, it has also built up one of the world’s more robust intelligence machines, in part to show that it doesn’t just rely on the United States for information. French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian tried to drive home that point to a small group of journalists invited to the headquarters of DRM, France’s military intelligence agency, in Creil north of Paris, and taken inside the high-security computer nerve center where images are beamed down from France’s Helios and Pleaides satellites. The message was aimed mostly at domestic audiences, who are disillusioned with Hollande and wary of an intervention in Syria. Screens bore labels of Damascus, the Syrian capital; a nuclear facility at Bushehr, Iran; and Gao, Mali - in the vast desert zone that was controlled by al-Qaida-linked Islamic radicals until French troops ousted them this year. The images from Damascus appeared to date from late August, and military officers in the image-monitoring center quietly acknowledged that tracking movements of chemical weapons in Syria was difficult by satellite. The DRM also collects intelligence from human sources and through electronic monitoring. A high-ranking officer with the 13th RDP Special Forces regiment explained how French troops parachuted secretly into Mali - not showering for days beforehand because dogs can smell soap. Another showed a fake cinder block with a camera inside that could be planted near the suspected hideout of enemy fighters. A bogus stone made of plastic resin about the size of a volleyball hid a GPS beacon inside, to help with targeting. Defense Ministry escorts said the officers’ names could not be used for security reasons. THE MALI MODEL OF MILITARY MUSCLE France’s intervention in Mali has emboldened the government on other overseas operations. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb was largely ousted from northern Mali. Only seven French soldiers died in the monthslong intervention, while French officials say hundreds of militants were killed. The operation paved the way for elections generally seen as legitimate. The Mali intervention offered France “an assertion of French military capabilities outside of an operation dominated by the U.S.,” said Marc Pierini, a Frenchman who served 35 years as a European Union diplomat, including four years as its ambassador to Syria at the start of Assad’s tenure. SOLE STRENGTH IN EUROPE? After Britain’s parliament blocked any potential British military participation in a Syria strike earlier this month, France stood alone as the European country most willing to wield the military threat alongside the United States against Assad’s regime. From a military standpoint, “none of the other European countries are needed,” Pierini said. “The only European country that has Tomahawks is the U.K. - it’s paralyzed politically - so the next best thing is the French Scalp,” an airplane-fired cruise missile. —AP

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Syria: A chemical crime, a complex reaction By John Irish and Warren Strobel


n early spring France’s ambassador to the United Nations dined with a Russian colleague and discussed the crisis in Syria. Ambassador Gerard Araud told the Russian diplomat France was going to go public with proof from its intelligence services that Syria’s government was using chemical weapons against its own people. The Russian diplomat laughed, according to a source familiar with the meeting. “Gerard,” he told his counterpart, “don’t embarrass the Americans.” It was a revealing exchange. France and Britain had been pressing for almost a year for the United States to engage more directly in the war in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad’s battle against a popular insurgency has killed 100,000 people and displaced more than 6 million. But Washington had resisted pleas for action, reluctant to get sucked into another Middle East quagmire after a decade of fighting and misadventure in Iraq and Afghanistan. It had no desire for France to pile on further pressure by telling the world Assad was committing atrocities with weapons of mass destruction. Even when the French went public with their claims in early June, the Obama administration said it needed more time and evidence to judge what had happened. A couple of weeks later the White House said that US intelligence agencies had “high confidence” that Assad had launched small scale chemical attacks at various points over the previous year. But while Paris said all options were on the table, Washington played down the attacks, merely promising to give more aid to the anti-Assad rebels in Syria. The gap between the two Western allies was just one awkward step in an extraordinary two-year dance around the civil war in Syria. That dance, detailed here with reporting drawn from interviews with senior diplomats and officials over the past year, has grown ever more complicated in recent weeks after graphic evidence of a much bigger chemical attack hit computer and television screens around the world on Aug 21. Videos posted online after the attack showed hundreds of people in suburbs of the Syrian capital Damascus struck by a mysterious, lethal affliction. Men, women and children struggled for breath, foaming at the mouth and twitching. Other scenes showed scores of corpses with no obvious wounds. Rebels said Assad had killed hundreds of civilians with chemical weapons. Assad denied it, but the evidence suggested otherwise. In the first few days after the attack it appeared likely that the United States and some of its allies would launch airstrikes on Assad and his military. In 2012, Obama had called a chemical attack in Syria a “red line” that should not be crossed. But as the US president began trying to convince Congress to back military strikes, the lack of political enthusiasm became obvious - and not just in Washington. Many in the West questioned the logic of military intervention. Fatigued - financially, politically, emotionally - by Iraq and Afghanistan, voters in the United States, Britain and elsewhere worry whether military action will help in Syria; from Louisiana to Leeds they have let their elected officials know they oppose a strike. Britain’s parliament voted against military action, and last week, with a vote on the issue in the US Congress seemingly headed for defeat, an alternative response emerged, partly by design and partly by accident. After nearly three days of talks between Washington and Moscow, which has long backed Assad and his forces, the United Nations Security Council will vote on a resolution that will see Syria hand over control of its chemical weapons to international inspectors, who will destroy them. The resolution targets only the chemical weapons and does not address the wider war in Syria, which seems likely to rage on. EARLY PRESSURE It was the recently defeated French president Nicolas Sarkozy who first urged the West to confront Assad with military force. As most of France’s political class headed for their holidays in August last year, Sarkozy, who had lost out to Francois

Hollande for the presidency in May, spoke by telephone with a key figure in the opposition to Assad - Abdulbasit Seida, then leader of the Syrian National Council. His 40-minute call with Seida was aimed at putting pressure on Hollande to get more involved in Syria. How far it influenced Hollande is unclear. But soon afterwards, France called an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council at foreign minister level. The US response was lukewarm: Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state, did not attend. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also did not show. France’s push to provide aid directly to rebel areas met with little support other than from Britain and Turkey, who called for the immediate establishment of safe zones in Syria. The French, who had been disparaged in the run-up to the Iraq war as “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” for their aversion to military action, did not give up. They put out feelers about the possibility of imposing a no-fly zone. French diplomatic sources told Reuters that Paris was considering supplying heavy artillery to the rebels to protect them from government attacks if the opposition were able to create a transitional government. France’s ambassador to Syria, Eric Chevalier, who had been withdrawn from the country earlier in the year as Assad’s crackdown intensified, publicly said that Hollande had instructed him to help organise the opposition and make contact with armed groups. Paris, he said, was “seriously” discussing the issue of arming the rebels. Chevalier was the first Western envoy to meet General Salim Idriss, a defector from Assad’s forces who had become the chief of staff of the rebel Free Syrian Army. The French were not bent purely on military action: They felt full American engagement was necessary for other measures to work, including dealing with Russia. “The idea was that in terms of balance of power if the US was not completely on board with all its muscle we wouldn’t be able to wrestle the Russians,” one French diplomat said. “The idea wasn’t to persuade them to go to war, but to get involved seriously on the Syrian dossier.” TALK, BUT NO ACTION But Obama’s reluctance to get involved was made clear in an interview in January with the American magazine New Republic. “In a situation like Syria, I have to ask, can we make a difference in that situation? Would a military intervention have an impact? ... Could it trigger even worse violence or the use of chemical weapons? ... And how do I weigh tens of thousands who’ve been killed in Syria versus the tens of thousands who are currently being killed in the Congo?” The British fared little better than the French in convincing Obama to get tough. “The British were always closer to us than the Americans,” one French diplomat said. “The clearest example was the chemical weapons because when we made our findings public, the Americans were still asking for more evidence.” During a marathon meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on May 27 the British, backed by Paris, succeeded in lifting the EU embargo against sending arms to the Syrian rebels, although both countries agreed to hold back on making a decision on deliveries until at least Aug 1. The Americans were not involved in the EU decision, though they quietly backed it. The froideur between the United States and the French was clear. John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, and Lavrov, his Russian counterpart, were due to meet in Paris that evening to discuss their Geneva 2 initiative to get Assad and the opposition to the negotiating table. Despite the location, the French were not initially invited to the talks, diplomatic sources said. NEW ISOLATIONISTS? In June, when France announced that tests it had carried out on blood, soil, urine and clothes samples from Syria showed that sarin had been used, Washington vacillated. It eventually agreed that sarin had been used in “limited” amounts. Washington remained more interested in negotiating a solution to the crisis than any form of military action. A US diplomat told Reuters at the time:

“This US administration is extremely worried about falling into the regional trap and getting sucked into the Middle East, and with Syria they are facing a country that is very well-armed and they really don’t know what the consequences would be and for that reason they don’t want to get caught out.” Almost two and a half years after protests first began in Syria, the West had still given little help to the rebels, least of all weapons capable of countering Assad’s vastly superior firepower, in particular his fighter jets. Speaking before the chemical attacks in April, a senior Western diplomatic source said: “Obama has Iraq, Afghanistan behind him. He tells his entourage ‘prove to me that American intervention (in Syria) would improve the situation’. It’s a legitimate position.” The source added: “Obama’s focus is rebuilding America and putting its interests first.” Washington’s interest in Syria was also influenced by Russia’s stance. After Moscow first used its veto in the UN Security Council to block a move towards sanctions on Assad in October 2011, the United States felt it was futile to push for strong action. Washington had concluded that the “rePutinization of Russian foreign policy,” as one senior European diplomat called it, meant an agreement with Moscow was out of the question without a major shift in the military situation on the ground. IN LONDON, A VOTE Britain’s David Cameron was on a beach holiday with his family when news of the Aug. 21 chemical attack in Syria broke. He and Obama spoke on the phone about what to do next. Haunted by his country’s unpopular intervention in Iraq in 2003, Cameron had until now privately ruled out arming the Syrian opposition, focusing instead on supplying humanitarian aid and trying to set up peace talks. But the images he saw changed his mind. Cameron promised Obama that British forces would take part in punitive military strikes if serious proof that Assad and his lieutenants had been behind the chemical attack was obtained. The British prime minister recalled parliament, which was on its annual summer break, for a one-day debate to vote on taking military action against Syria “in principle”. In the days before the debate, British MPs were inundated by phone calls, emails and Twitter messages from voters opposed to military action on the grounds that it would fuel more violence and suck Britain into another costly war. Cameron lost the vote by 285 to 272 votes, the first time a British leader had been defeated on such a matter since 1782. Even some of his own Conservative lawmakers rebelled against him and the opposition Labour party lined up against him too, despite demanding and getting numerous concessions. Visibly angry, Cameron conceded defeat. “It is clear to me that the British parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action - I get that and the government will act accordingly.” British government officials said later that they could have won a vote a week later because more Conservative lawmakers could have been present and it would have given Cameron more time to broker a deal with Labor. In Washington, White House officials realised even before the vote in London that British resolve had begun to crumble. One US official said the administration had underestimated how much of a hold the memories of Iraq still had on British lawmakers. Obama had to decide whether or not to proceed with military action without British support. The day after the UK vote, during a stroll around the White House grounds with his top adviser, he chose a middle route, deciding to get Congress to sign off on a military strike. Despite the British ‘no’ vote and Obama’s decision to go to Congress, France appeared as determined as ever to act. Even if Congress decided to vote against a strike, Paris said, France would up its military aid to Syrian rebels as a way to change the balance of power on the ground. A senior French official lamented that the West should have intervened 18 months ago. “We told the Americans that they had to go in hard, but they kept insisting that

they would be leading this and it was them on the front line if it happened,” he said. In Moscow, Putin saw things differently. Publicly, he said rebels were behind the chemical attack. Behind the scenes, though, some diplomats were hearing that Russia and Syria would try to head off a strike with a deal to decommission Assad’s chemical weaponry. “This is something being discussed by Russia and Syria,” a source close to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Reuters on Aug 29. As leaders headed to a G20 meeting in St. Petersburg, opinion was split on how to proceed. The likelihood of a military strike was beginning to fade. A SURPRISE At the G20 events took an unexpected turn. During a break in a morning session, Putin approached Obama. They moved to a corner of the room where they pulled chairs together and spoke for about 30 minutes while other leaders looked on. “It was not acrimonious” but neither was it especially productive, one senior US official said on the flight home. But the two leaders, as Putin later confirmed, had discussed “placing Syria’s chemical weapons under international control.” On Sept 9, in a London press conference, Secretary of State Kerry noted that Assad might avoid an attack if he surrendered his chemical weapons to international inspectors. “He could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week. Turn it over, all of it, without delay and allow a full and total accounting,” Kerry said. The State Department quickly sought to downplay the statement, describing it as an off-hand “rhetorical argument.” Hours later, though, Kerry called Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov from his plane. Lavrov noted Kerry’s remarks in London and said Russia would be willing to engage in the idea of Syria surrendering its chemical weapons. Kerry denied that it was a formal suggestion and said he remained sceptical of anything working out; but he promised to look at a serious proposal. US officials gave the impression that they believed the offer was a political ploy on Putin’s part to avert military action. Later, though, some Obama aides said the idea of Assad surrendering his chemical stockpile had been discussed by Obama and Putin both at their talks at the G20 in Mexico last year and again in their private chat in St Petersburg. Soon afterwards, Russia’s ambassador to Washington, Sergei Kislyak, met Wendy Sherman, the No 3 State Department official, and handed her a two-page document containing ideas on how to implement the initiative, a senior State Department official said. At that point, “no one had a full-blown plan, no one,” the official said. Kerry called Lavrov again on Sept 10 and suggested the two men and their teams meet in Geneva. The White House was furious when a French draft resolution on chemical weapons inspections appeared later that same day. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius wanted a resolution that could lead to the use of force, lay blame on Assad and include a line that those who committed the Aug 21 attack would be brought to justice. US officials fumed that France was trying to look like it was driving events. Though Obama told Hollande he backed the French resolution, Kerry called Fabius and asked him what he was playing at by putting a resolution forward. French officials, for their part, were annoyed that they had not been invited to Geneva. They feared the Americans might accept a weak resolution just to avoid strikes. Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn told Reuters after talks with Kerry that he sensed the White House was looking for a way out of military action “to get the responsibility off their back.” BACK TO GENEVA The Americans prepared intensively for negotiations in Geneva. Kerry carried an intelligence presentation, cleared for sharing with Russia, that detailed US estimates of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal and infrastructure: 1,000 tons of weapons and agents, and at least 45 research, production and mixing sites, US officials said. —Reuters




Wiggins roars into lead

Ajax head to court for fans

LAKE DISTRICT: Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins took the lead in the Tour of Britain after a rain-soaked time trial through Cheshire’s Knowsley Safari park yesterday. The Team Sky leader finished the 16 kms course in 19.54 minutes with team mate and fellow-Briton Ian Stannard 32 seconds behind. Wiggins, who lay in 12th place overall before the stage began, shrugged off any effects from a fall on Monday’s stage in the Lake District. He will defend the race leader’s golden jersey as the Tour winds from Stoke-onTrent into Wales today and in the remaining four days of racing. New Zealander Jack Bauer of the Garmin-Sharp team was third on the stage, 42 seconds behind, which propels him into the same position in the overall classification. —Reuters

EINDHOVEN: Ajax Amsterdam are going to court today to try and overturn a ban on their supporters attending their weekend clash against fellow Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven. Ajax, together with two supporters groups, are taking the action against the city of Eindhoven who, wary of possible supporter violence, had previously decided Ajax fans could only travel to the Philips Stadium by special trains. This is not possible at the weekend because of work on the railway, Ajax said on their website Dutch railways said they were unable to find a solution but Eindhoven last weekend allowed a busload of Ajax fans to watch their reserve team play FC Eindhoven in the Dutch second tier. The complaint will be heard in Den Bosch today. Sunday’s match is traditionally one of the highlights of the Dutch season. Between them Ajax and PSV have won 17 of the last 20 Dutch league titles. —Reuters

Johnson edges Watney to win BMW Championship ILLINOIS: Zach Johnson fired a bogey-free 65 in Monday’s final round to win the weather-delayed BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois, and move into great position for the Tour Championship. Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion, used a late charge to finish at 16-under-par 268 for a two-stroke victory over fellow American Nick Watney, who shot 64 on the rain-softened course in the penultimate event of the FedExCup playoffs. Lifted by clutch birdie putts at the 16th and 17th holes, Johnson moved to fourth from 27th on the points list going

LAKE FOREST: Zach Johnson kisses the JK Wadley Trophy after winning the BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club. —AFP into next week’s Tour Championship in Atlanta, where the overall winner of the four-event series pockets a $10 million bonus. The top five in the standings among the 30 players on the points list that qualified for the season-ending event are assured of winning the FedExCup with a victory at East Lake. Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson of Sweden and Australian Adam Scott top the standings with Matt Kuchar holding the fifth spot. It was the 10th career PGA title for Johnson, who has yet to win in back-to-back weeks during his 10 years on the tour. “Frankly, I’m going to have to forget about this week,” he said about his approach to winning the Tour Championship. “I’m going to have to take Atlanta for Atlanta and just play. East Lake is not Conway Farms. It is a beast. It’s a classic

and a challenge that myself and all my peers get juiced up for.” Johnson made three birdies on the outward nine and then pulled away with a slick downhill 20-foot birdie putt from just off the green at the 16th and followed it with a 13foot birdie on the next hole to build a two-shot advantage. Watney was already in the clubhouse after his brilliant round that moved him to 12th on the points list after beginning the tournament outside the Tour Championship field in 34th place in the FedEx standings. Jim Furyk, who surged into early command of the tournament with a second-round 59, led by two shots after a birdie at the 10th took him to 15 under par, but three late bogeys in gusting winds dropped him to a level-par 71 for third place at 13-under 271. For Furyk it was the sixth time since his last victory at the 2010 Tour Championship to clinch the FedExCup title that he has failed to win after holding the 54-hole lead of an event. “I hit the ball plenty good enough, but I didn’t make the putts when I needed to,” said Furyk, who began to round with a one-shot lead. Sharing the lead with playing partner Steve Stricker during the round, Furyk said they both suffered from the same fate. “I think that was kind of the story of our group. Strick hit some beautiful putts today and lipped a bunch out, and it just seemed like he was all over the hole, and we didn’t see a bunch go in today.” Tied for fourth place at 11-under were Americans Steve Stricker (72) and Hunter Mahan (67), Australian Jason Day (66) and Briton Luke Donald (66), who moved from 54th place in the standings into 28th place on the points list to qualify for the Tour Championship. “It’s very surreal to play a PGA event on your home course,” said Donald, a member of Conway Farms, who closed with 67-66. “I needed a big week this week and I needed all the help I could get. But it was nice to come up with the goods the last couple of days.” Dustin Johnson barely hung on to the 30th spot on the list by finishing with a 72 for nine-over 293. The two players that were inside the top 30 entering the tournament and fell out were Briton Lee Westwood and American Harris English. Westwood, who came to Conway Farms in 30th place, shot a final-round 74 to finish on 12-over 296 and fell to 41st on the list, while Harris just missed out in 31st after a 72 finish put him at three-over 287 as he fell from 28th place. —Reuters

Hamburg sack coach Fink BERLIN: Hamburg SV sacked coach Thorsten Fink yesterday after their 6-2 demolition by Borussia Dortmund on Saturday compounded a bad start to the season. Reserve team coaches Rodolfo Cardoso and Otto Addo had been put in temporary charge, the club said. “I had very good relations with Thorsten Fink and I hope this will stay that way but given the situation we are in we decided last night to go our separate ways,” sports director Oliver Kreuzer told a news conference. The 45-year-old Fink, who angered club bosses after leaving the team following the heavy loss to join his family in Munich, had taken over in 2011 from Swiss side FC Basel. After a bad start to the current campaign and heavy defeats to Dortmund and Hoffenheim, Hamburg are in 15th place on four points from five games, having conceded 15 goals so far for the league’s worst defence. Hamburg, who were hoping for a Europa League spot finish before the season start, are the only team to have played in the Bundesliga every season since its creation in 1963. “Rodolfo Cardoso and Otto Addo will take over this afternoon’s training. Obviously it is in our interest to present a successor very soon. There are a few names we are considering”, Kreuzer said. —Reutesr

Tiger in prime place for East Lake despite some doubts ATLANTA: Tiger Woods heads into this week’s season-ending Tour Championship in pursuit of his sixth victory of the year as the top seed in the FedExCup standings, yet a few question marks are still hovering over his game. No one has come close to his six PGA Tour wins during 2013 but the American world number one has lost some momentum in the last two FedExCup playoff events with poor putting undermining his once renowned ability to close out tournaments. After getting into prime position to contend for the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston just over two weeks ago, Woods fell back into a tie for 65th with scores of 72 and 73 in the last two rounds. At the weatherdelayed BMW Championship in Chicago, which ended on Monday, Woods trailed by just four shots going into the final round but he again struggled with his putting as he slipped back into a share of 11th in an elite field of 70. “I think I had somewhere in the neighbourhood of either five to seven three-putts,” Woods said of his four rounds at Conway Farms Golf Club where low scores were plentiful. “It was not a very good putting week. You know, it was just one of those weeks where I just didn’t have it.” Woods has recorded the lowest scoring average on the PGA Tour this season, with 68.87, but significantly he sits a lowly 118th when it comes to his average score in the final round, managing only 71.43. “Eliminate the simple mistakes on the greens, and I would have been all right,”

the 14-times major champion said of his final round at Conway Farms. “I would have been in there with a better chance. But I’m in good shape going into this week.” Woods is certainly in good shape this week at East Lake as one of just five players in a field of 30 players who would secure FedExCup honours, and the mind-boggling bonus of $10 million, with victory here. As the number one seed in the standings, he has a reasonable chance of landing the overall prize with a top-five finish at the Tour Championship, and mathematically could still do so by ending up 29th at East Lake. “Well, I’m in a position just like the other four guys in the top five,” said Woods, who was the FedExCup champion in 2007 and 2009. “Top five you control your destiny. You win the tournament, you win it outright. “Sneds proved that last year,” he added, referring to fellow American Brandt Snedeker, who clinched the 2012 Tour Championship and FedExCup honours after starting the week fifth in the standings. “With the double (points) reset, it’s all about positioning,” said Woods. “We’re jockeying for position to be in the top five, and I was able to accomplish that.” The other question mark hanging over Woods’ game at the moment relates to the rules violation he incurred during the second round of the BMW Championship where he was hit with a two-stroke penalty for a moving ball. What made that infraction stand out was that it was his third this year, but

the first where he was still unhappy with the decision even after watching video footage of the incident. “After seeing the video, I thought the ball just oscillated, and I thought that was it,” Woods said. “I thought that was the end of story. But they (rules officials) saw otherwise. “They replayed it again and again and again, and I felt the same way.” The infraction occurred on the par-four first at Conway Farms where Woods struck his second shot over the back of the green under trees, then tried to remove a twig from his ball before playing his third. Though Woods felt his ball had only oscillated before he ran up a doublebogey six there, video footage showed that it had slightly shifted its position and his score was amended to a quadruple-bogey eight. While many critics have expressed surprise that Woods could have been unaware of his ball’s movement at the time, some have pointed out that it may not have been that obvious from his angle, looking down. Woods has since received welcome support from his fellow players. “I’ve got good eyesight, I was probably 20 feet from the television ... I looked; I didn’t realise that ball moved,” said Jim Furyk. “It was so minute, it was probably tough to pick up.” Steve Stricker said: “There’s always a fine line between oscillating and moving. A player can see it as one thing and the camera is going to pick it up differently. It’s tough.” —Reuters



Rays thrash Rangers ST. PETERSBURG: Wil Myers homered and had three RBIs, and Alex Cobb pitched eight solid innings as the Tampa Bay Rays took the lead for the first AL wild-card spot by beating the skidding Texas Rangers 6-2 on Monday night. Tampa Bay and Texas started play a halfgame ahead of Cleveland in the race for two wild-card berths. Myers had a second-inning solo shot and hit a two-run double during a four-run fifth. Cobb (9-3) allowed two runs and six hits while striking out 10. Matt Garza (9-6, 3-5 with Texas) gave up six runs and eight hits over 4 1-3 innings against his former team. He lost his third straight start for the Rangers, who have dropped seven in a row and are 2-12 in September. The announced crowd was just 10,724. The Rays entered with the lowest home attendance in the majors, an average of 18,747. PITTSBURGH: Ronny Cedeno No. 3 of the San Diego Padres fields a ball in the fifth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game. —AFP

Padres blank Pirates PITTSBURGH: Andrew Cashner carried a perfect game into the seventh inning and faced the minimum 27 batters in a one-hitter that sent San Diego Padres past the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-0 on Monday. Cashner (10-8) retired his first 18 batters before Jose Tabata grounded a clean single into right field leading off the seventh. Tabata was erased when Andrew McCutchen grounded into an inning-ending double play, and the right-hander cruised the rest of the way for his first complete game in 31 career starts. Cashner struck out seven and did not walk a batter. The Pirates lost for the second time in eight games but remained tied for first place in the NL Central with the St. Louis Cardinals, who lost at Colorado. PHILLIES 12, MARLINS 2 In Philadelphia, Cliff Lee had three hits, knocked in a career-high four runs and struck out a season-high 14 to lead the Phillies to a win over the Marlins. Lee (14-6) stroked a two-run, basesloaded single to cap off a six-run third inning and also hit his first career triple in the fifth. Chase Utley, who also drove in four runs, hit a long three-run homer in the third. On the mound, Lee allowed two runs while scattering eight hits and walking none, at one point retiring 11 straight en route to winning his fourth consecutive decision. He is 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA in his last six starts and 5-1 with a 2.29 lifetime ERA against Miami. Philadelphia has won six in a row over Miami. In his first major-league start, Sam Dyson (0-1) allowed seven runs. ROCKIES 6, CARDINALS 2 In Denver, Todd Helton started his final homestand with a key single in the eighth inning as the Rockies beat the Cardinals. Charlie Blackmon had three hits and drove in three runs for the Rock ies, who prevented the Cardinals from taking over sole possession of first place in the NL Central. They remained tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who lost 2-

0 to San Diego. Matt Carpenter and Matt Adams had two hits each for the Cardinals. Helton was playing in front of Colorado fans for the first time since he announced his plans to retire at the end of the season, his 17th. He received a standing ovation when he came to the plate in the first, and Cardinals starter Lance Lynn stood behind the mound and waited as the crowd saluted Helton. BREWERS 6, CUBS 1 In Milwaukee, Caleb Gindl had three hits, including a two-run home run, as Wily Peralta pitched six strong innings to lead the Brewers to a win over the Cubs. The Brewers’ fourth win in five games moved them 31/2 games above Chicago at the bottom of the NL Central. Peralta (1015) gave up an unearned run on five hits. He struck out seven while walking two. Edwin Jackson (8-16) lasted only four innings for the Cubs, giving up two runs on two hits and three walks. Jackson has the most losses of any pitcher in the NL. Peralta is second with 15. DIAMONDBACKS 2, DODGERS 1 In Phoenix, Paul Goldschmidt hit a tworun home run in the first inning and Trevor Cahill and three relievers made it stand up in Arizona’s win over Los Angeles. Goldschmidt raised his NL-leading RBI total to 116 with his 33rd home run off Dodgers starter Ryu Hyun-jin (13-7). Goldschmidt has homered in each of his last two games after an 83 at-bat drought. With Los Angeles’ fourth loss in a row and the Diamondbacks third straight win, the Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the NL West remains four. Ryu (13-7) went the distance for his second complete game, allowing only the two runs on two hits in eight innings. He walked one, struck out four and retired 23 of the final 24 batters he faced. Cahill (7-10) won for the fourth straight decision, holding Los Angeles to one run on two hits over 5 2-3 innings.—AP

TIGERS 4, MARINERS 2 In Detroit, Rick Porcello struck out 10 in six innings as Detroit beat Seattle to move a step closer to its third straight AL Central title. Victor Martinez broke a 1-all tie in the sixth with a run-scoring single, and Omar Infante followed with his own RBI single. Porcello (13-8) allowed a run and five hits with two walks, falling one strikeout short of his career high. Drew Smyly got five outs in relief and Jose Veras finished the eighth. Joaquin Benoit pitched a hitless ninth for his 21st save in 21 chances. Joe Saunders (11-15) pitched well until the sixth, when he got two outs before a walk and three hits chased him from the game. Abraham Almonte homered for Seattle, which has lost seven of eight. ROYALS 7, INDIANS 1 In Kansas City, James Shields kept Cleveland off balance for six innings and Salvador Perez led a scrappy Kansas City offense as the Royals won the opener of a three-game set with significant playoff implications. Shields struck out a season-high 10 for the Royals (79-71), who moved within 21/2 games of the second AL wild-card berth. The Indians (81-69) remained a half-game back of Texas. Shields (12-9) allowed only Lonnie Chisenhall’s homer before turning the game over to his stingy bullpen. Wade Davis, Luke Hochevar and Tim Collins did the rest in a steady drizzle. Scott Kazmir (8-9) gave up four runs in fiveplus innings. He didn’t get a whole lot of help from his offense, which racked up a seasonhigh 17 strikeouts. ANGELS 12, ATHLETICS 1 In Oakland, CJ Wilson pitched seven innings of four-hit ball for his career-best 17th win as Los Angeles became the first team in nearly four months to beat Oakland starter Jarrod Parker. Kole Calhoun had two of his three RBIs during a five-run fifth inning that chased Parker (11-7), who was 9-0 in 19 starts since a loss at Texas on May 22. It was the longest unbeaten streak by an A’s starting pitcher since Hall of Famer Lefty Grove went 21 in a row in 1931. Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo each hit a tworun homer in the eighth. Wilson (17-6) extended his career-best winning streak to nine and is unbeaten in his last 13 star ts. Oak land remained 61/2 games ahead of second-place Texas in the AL West.

ST. PETERSBURG: Infielder Yunel Escobar No. 11 of the Tampa Bay Rays slides into home plate against the Texas Rangers at Tropicana Field. —AFP WHITE SOX 12, TWINS 1 In Chicago, Erik Johnson pitched six scoreless innings to earn his first major league victory as Chicago scored seven runs in the first against Minnesota. The White Sox, who had lost six straight and 15 of 17, broke out of their offensive funk against Liam Hendriks (1-3), who got only two outs. Chicago set a season high for runs and posted its biggest margin of victory this year. Alexei Ramirez went 4 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs. He was a triple short of the cycle. Adam Dunn, Dayan Viciedo and Jordan Danks also homered. During their skid, the White Sox totaled seven runs. They matched that in their highestscoring first inning since scoring eight against Detroit on April 21, 2002. Johnson (1-2), called up from Triple-A Charlotte on Sept. 3, gave up

four hits and struck out eight. INTERLEAGUE REDS 6, ASTROS 1 In Houston, Johnny Cueto threw five shutout innings in his return from the disabled list and Zack Cozart homered and drove in four runs to lead Cincinnati over Houston. Pitching for the first time since straining the muscle below his right shoulder on June 28, Cueto (5-2) allowed five hits and struck out five with one walk. Cincinnati moved five games ahead of Washington for the second NL wild card. Cozart hit a two-run homer in the second and a tworun single in the fourth. Erik Bedard (4-11) allowed four hits and four runs in four innings in his return from a stint in the bullpen. —AP

MLB results/standings Philadelphia 12, Miami 2; San Diego 2, Pittsburgh 0; Detroit 4, Seattle 2; Tampa Bay 6, Texas 2; Chicago White Sox 12, Minnesota 1; Kansas City 7, Cleveland 1; Milwaukee 6, Chicago Cubs 1; Cincinnati 6, Houston 1; Colorado 6, St. Louis 2; Arizona 2, LA Dodgers 1; LA Angels 12, Oakland 1. American League Eastern Division W L Boston 92 59 Tampa Bay 82 67 Baltimore 79 70 NY Yankees 79 71 Toronto 68 81 Central Division Detroit 87 63 Cleveland 81 69 Kansas City 79 71 Minnesota 64 85 Chicago White Sox 59 91 Western Division Oakland 88 62 Texas 81 68 LA Angels 73 77 Seattle 66 84 Houston 51 99

PCT .609 .550 .530 .527 .456

GB 9 12 12.5 23

.580 .540 .527 .430 .393

6 8 22.5 28

Pittsburgh St. Louis Cincinnati Milwaukee Chicago Cubs

.587 .544 .487 .440 .340

6.5 15 22 37

LA Dodgers Arizona San Diego San Francisco Colorado

Atlanta Washington Philadelphia NY Mets Miami

National League Eastern Division 89 60 79 70 70 80 67 82 55 95 Central Division 87 63 87 63 85 66 66 83 63 87 Western Division 86 64 76 73 69 80 69 81 69 82

.597 .530 .467 .450 .367

10 19.5 22 34.5

.580 .580 .563 .443 .420

2.5 20.5 24

.573 .510 .463 .460 .457

9.5 16.5 17 17.5

Santos United and Skynet win KIFF season starts

KUWAIT: The eagerly anticipated and most watched Indian Expatriate soccer season 2013/2014 in Kuwait got underway on Sept 13, 2013 at the Al Kazma grounds with the start of the KIFF League for the Late JP D’Mello Memorial Rolling trophy. 4 games were held on the firstt day at the sprawling Al K azema stadium in Adeliya. The proceedings started with the introduction of the teams with the KIFF President Fidelis Fernandes leading the Club Presidents, KIFF MC members and IFRA members on to the field of play. National anthems of Kuwait and India were played at the onset. Hon. Rev Father Franco Fernandes invoked the Blessings of The Almighty and advised the affiliates and KIFF MC to carry out the KIFF activities in a fair and responsible manner. KIFF President Fidelis Fernandes in

his speech thanked IFRA for their support and the ground authorities for providing the grounds and also the affiliates and his managing committee members for working tirelessly to ensure the season start as per schedule. He also thanked the sponsors United Steel Industrial Company for the Man of the Match awards. A ceremonial cake was cut to mark the 30th Anniversary of the Federation and the start of the new season. After the opening proceedings and amidst rising temps the real action got underway. AVC - Kuwait and Malabar United star ted the match on ground ‘A’ which was a hotly contested affair with Malabar dominating the opening proceedings. Malabar took the lead through Younus in the first half. AVC equalized through Anurag Thapa in the second half. In the dying minutes of the second half Malabar

almost scored, but AVC’s coach and the most experienced goalkeeper Alvaro Dias made stirring saves to keep the score level at 1-1 and was rightly adjudged the Man of the Match and the award was handed over by John Furtado, President of AVC - Kuwait. On ground ‘B’ Santos United kicked off against DHL FC. Santos United took an early lead through Domnick, but DHL equalized through Aivey. Once again Santos United were put in front by Anthony and then went on a rampage to score another three goals through Manuel, Peter and Marcelino thus finishing the match 5-1. Veteran midfield maestro Tiago of Santos United marshaled the entire game to earn his side an overwhelming win and was awarded the Man of the Match which was handed over by Tony Corriea of GOA Maroons. The 3rd match was between Skynet Raiders and Indian

Strikers on ground ‘A’. Skynet Raiders started with a positive rhythm and went into an early lead through Jr.Joe and Simao increased the tally for Skynet. Haris reduced the margin for Indian Strikers, but Arif scored the third for Skynet to end the match 3-1 to give his side the win. Prak ash of Skynet Raiders was awarded the Man of the Match for his brilliant midfield play and handed over by B.M. Viegas ex President of KIFF. The 4th match k icked off between Cur torcares United and Sparx FC on ground ‘B’. The young guns of Sparx as usual started the match in a whirlwind speed and opened the scoring through Ahmed Ali, but Curtorcares United stormed back into the match and equalized through Gomes. Both sides settled for a well earned draw. Ahmed Ali the live wire of Sparx bagged the Man of the Match award handed over by

Vinay Kumar the President of Kerala Challengers. The matches were supervised by IFRA officials. The proceedings were ably conducted by Bernard Fernandes and Kevin Vaz with professional ace lens man Revon Gomes capturing the moments on camera. Man of the Match awards are sponsored by United Steel Industrial Company. The match schedule for 20th September 2013 to be played at Kazma grounds is as follows: At 6.45 am Don Bosco Orator y (DBO) v/s Kerala Challengers on Ground ‘A’ and Real Betalbatim FC (RBFC) v/s United Goans Club (UG) on Ground ‘B’. At 7.45 am United Friends Club (UFC) v/s GOA Maroons on ground ‘A’ and Kuwait Goan Association (KGA) v/s YRC Rising Stars (Rising Stars) v/s on Ground ‘B’.


S P ORT S Photo of the day

Watson leads Australia to series victory over England

Mohammed Al Attar Freerunning at Kuwait Towers in Kuwait City, on June 18, 2013. —

Bengals pound Steelers NEW YORK: Cincinnati rookie Giovani Bernard enjoyed a breakout performance with two touchdowns as the Bengals beat the stuttering Pittsburgh Steelers 20-10 on Monday. Bernard, a shifty young running back, earned the first score of his career on a seven-yard run in the first quarter then broke a 10-10 tie in the third on a 27-yard reception that helped the Bengals (1-1) run away from their AFC North foes who slipped to 0-2. He finished with 38 yards on the ground and 27 yards receiving. “It’s nice to be able to throw check downs and for him to take it for a touchdown,” Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton told reporters. “He ran the ball well (also), that’s what we expect out of him.” Pittsburgh struggled on offense for the second consecutive week, and was limited to just 278 total yards as they lost their opening two games for the first time since 2002. “There’s not a lot of positives going on right now,” said Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger. “We can’t start doubting each other. Right now, there’s a general feeling of being upset.” Bengals quarterback Dalton completed 25 of 45 passes for 280 yards and one touchdown while

Roethlisberger finished 20-for-37 for 251 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Roethlisberger found Derek Moye on a one-yard score late in the second that tied the game 10-10 going into halftime, but the Steelers could get nothing going in the second half. One week after managing just 195 yards of offense in a 16-9 loss against Tennessee, the Steelers didn’t manage a first down on seven of their first 10 possessions. The Bengals forced two turnovers inside the red zone, including an interception by safety Reggie Nelson with 4:55 left in the game at the Cincinnati 13. The Bengals had already taken a 10point advantage thanks to Mike Nugent’s 25-yard field goal with 7:51 remaining. Cincinnati began the game showing off their air attack, but ultimately grounded Pittsburgh into submission. Dalton attempted 32 passes in the first half as the Bengals ran the ball just 10 times for 53 yards. Cincinnati ran the ball 24 times in the second half as it got the lead and then ran time off the clock. The Bengals finished the game with 407 total yards. — Reuters

Giovani Bernard in action in this file photo.

India tour of S Africa in limbo JOHANNESBURG: Arrangements for India’s scheduled tour of South Africa will remain in limbo until after the Indian board’s annual meeting on September 29, according to Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat. Lorgat met with Sanjay Patel, his counterpart from the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Sanjay Patel, in Dubai on Monday night in an attempt to resolve concerns about the tour, scheduled to start on November 18. Although due to include three Test matches, seven one-day internationals and two Twenty20 internationals, doubts have been raised about the tour, with India having made arrangements for an incoming tour by the West Indies and a tour of New Zealand which clash with the beginning and end of the fixtures published by South Africa. Although thanking Patel for a “constructive” meeting, Lorgat said in a statement: “After listening to Sanjay, it is clear that we will now have to wait for the BCCI’s AGM to be completed before any tour schedule can be confirmed. It is key for all of us to make sure that the good relationship between our respective boards is maintained and, in fact, strengthened and that we also honour the proud history between our two countries.” Lorgat added that there had been discussions between the presidents of the two boards. “We will now arrange for them to meet soon after the BCCI AGM,” he said. The appointment of Lorgat is believed to have upset key members of the BCCI because of differences which arose while Lorgat was chief executive of the International Cricket Council. The CSA statement said no further comments would be made about the tour until after the BCCI meeting.— AFP

SOUTHAMPTON: Shane Watson’s century saw Australia to a 49-run win over England in the fifth one-day international at Southampton on Monday as their lengthy tour ended with a 2-1 series victory. Watson, involved throughout in a trip that saw Australia arrive in Britain in May before their early Champions Trophy exit was followed by a 3-0 Ashes series loss, made 143 in a total of 298 all out. Together with Australia captain Michael Clarke (75), he shared a fourth-wicket partnership of 163, on a ground where they’d both played for Hampshire, after their side had slumped to 48 for three in this day/night clash. Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes led England’s attack with an ODI best five wickets for 61 runs, the 22-year-old all-rounder starring as Australia fell just short of 300. England debutant Chris Jordan, in for fast bowler Steven Finn (side strain), took three for 47 after his first ball in international cricket was hit for four by Finch, whose last match on the ground saw him score a Twenty20 world record 156 against England last month. But Australia had more than enough runs as they enjoyed a win over England ahead of the return Ashes series ‘Down Under’ starting in November. “I’m extremely happy to win the series,” said Clarke. “To a lot of people this ODI series does not mean much, but to the Australia players it means a lot. “I don’t know whether it will have much impact on the Ashes back home but we get the flight back home tomorrow (Tuesday) a lot happier as a one-day side certainly,” the man-of-the-series explained. “The Ashes is still a way away but everyone is excited about that and the players are thinking about it already, but our focus has to be on the seven ODIs in India first.” Man-of-the-match Watson added: “ Things have changed for the better in a big way. We are playing the brand of cricket we enjoy and everyone is very excited about what lies ahead.” Meanwhile stand-in England captain Eoin Morgan, leading a side missing five rested Ashes-winners including regular skipper Alastair Cook, remained upbeat. “We prioritise Test cricket and with back-to-back Ashes series we have to be picky and choosy. But the next best guys here have done really well.” England’s reply got off to a disastrous start when Kevin Pietersen was run out for nought after being slow to answer Michael Carberry’s call. Carberry, on his home ground, made 30 before he was lbw to left-arm seamer James Faulkner (three for 38). And it wasn’t long before 50 for two became 68 for four as Joe Root (13) and Luke Wright (nought) came and went. Morgan fell for 30 when stumped by Matthew Wade off spinner Adam Voges. England’s hopes now rested with Ravi Bopara and Jos Buttler, whose 65 not out saw them to a series-levelling three-wicket win in Cardiff on Saturday. Buttler scored at better than a run-a-ball but Faulkner, cleverly changing to around the wicket, bowled him for 42 to end a stand of 92 with Bopara. And when Bopara, who made 66, followed when well caught at extra-cover by Voges off Johnson to give the leftarm fast bowler his 200th ODI wicket, England were down and out at 197 for seven. Pakistan-born leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed finished the match by bowling last man Rankin with two overs left. Australia, on a ground where New Zealand’s Martin Guptill struck 189 not out against England in an ODI in June, saw 48 for one become 48 for three when Stokes took two

The problems he faced during the eighth stage came because of a malfunction in the steering that halted his car and had to leave the race, but on the second day, based on the “Rally 2” rules, and after a significant time reduction he returned to the race, loosing first place in the process. Al-Rajihi said “I, once again, proved that we are going on the right path with the correct strategy, after being to

SOUTHAMPTON: Final scoreboard in the fifth one-day international between England and Australia at Southampton on Monday: Australia P. Hughes c Carberry b Jordan 2 A. Finch c Morgan b Stokes 26 S. Watson c Buttler b Stokes 143 M. Wade c Buttler b Stokes 0 M. Clarke c Pietersen b Jordan 75 G. Bailey st Buttler b Root 4 A. Voges c Buttler b Stokes 8 J. Faulkner c Buttler b Jordan 10 M. Johnson c and b Stokes 2 C. McKay c Root b Rankin 5 F. Ahmed not out 4 Extras (lb10, w9) 19 Total (all out, 49.1 overs) 298 Fall of wickets: 1-13 (Hughes), 2-48 (Finch), 3-48 (Wade), 4211 (Clarke), 5-221 (Bailey), 6-244 (Voges), 7-282 (Watson), 8-284 (Johnson), 9-294 (Faulkner), 10-298 (McKay) Bowling: Rankin 9.1-1-26-1 (1w); Jordan 10-0-51-3 (6w); Stokes 10-0-61-5; Bopara 10-0-54-0; Tredwell 4-0-38-0; Root 6-0-58-1 (2w); England M. Carberry lbw b Faulkner 30 K. Pietersen run out (Ahmed/Hughes) 0 J. Root b Johnson 21 E. Morgan st Wade b Voges 30 L. Wright run out (Bailey) 0 R. Bopara c Voges b Johnson 62 J. Buttler b Faulkner 42 B. Stokes c Clarke b Faulkner 27 C. Jordan c Bailey b Watson 14 J. Tredwell not out 5 B. Rankin b Ahmed 4 Extras (b3, lb5, w6) 14 Total (all out, 48 overs) 249 Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Pietersen), 2-50 (Carberry), 3-64 (Root), 4-68 (Wright), 5-103 (Morgan), 6-195 (Buttler), 7-197 (Bopara), 8-236 (Jordan), 9-240 (Stokes), 10-249 (Rankin) Bowling: McKay 9-1-54-0; Johnson 10-1-21-2 (4w); Faulkner 9-0-38-3; Ahmed 7-0-51-1; Voges 4-0-25-1 (1w); Watson 9-0-52-1 (1w). Result: Australia won by 49 runs.

wickets in two balls after a 30-minute rain break. Finch was caught by Morgan at point and next ball Matthew Wade gloved an intended hook to wicketkeeper Buttler. Clarke, passed fit after fears he’d suffered a recurrence of his long-standing back injury, survived the hat-trick. He followed his hundred in Australia’s 88-run victory in the second ODI in Manchester with another fine innings before slicing a pull off Jordan to Pietersen at mid-off to end a 76-ball knock including 10 fours and a six. Watson’s dominant 107-ball innings, featuring 12 fours and six sixes, finished when he was caught behind off Stokes. — AFP

SOUTHAMPTON: The Australian team celebrate with the trophy after winning the fifth One Day International (ODI) cricket match between England and Australia at the Ageas Bowl. —AFP

Rajihi excels in Australia KUWAIT: Rally driver Saudi Arabian Yazeed Al-Rajihi took third place in the Australian rally, which is the 10th stage of the world rallies championship. Al-Rajihi made this achievement despite several problems he faced, along with his navigator Michael Orer, from Ireland, driving a Ford Fiesta RC, bearing in mind that this is the first time for him to participate in the difficult Australian rally.


drive in the front, despite being the first time I participate in Australia, and I was able to maintain the fastest times with good differences with the closest competitors.” He said that he was happy for being able to rejoin the race during the Friday stages and finishing the race in third place, and “I am happy for the speed that I have, and hope that we do not face mechanical problems during my upcoming participations.

Guangzhou poised for Asian breakthrough SINGAPORE: Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande look poised to storm into the AFC Champions League semi-finals for the first time this week as they zero in on a famous treble under super-coach Marcello Lippi. While this week’s other quarter-final second legs are on a knife-edge, Guangzhou hold a healthy 2-0 lead over Qatar’s Lekhwiya as they bid to erase their heartache in missing out at the same stage on their debut last year. Guangzhou were toppled by Saudi Arabia’s twotime winners Al Ittihad a year ago but they have returned stronger in their first full season under Lippi, whose coaching honours include the 2006 World Cup with Italy and 1996 European Champions League with Juventus. Lippi’s men hold a 14-point lead in the Chinese Super League and have reached the domestic cup semi-finals-as defending champions in both competitions-as they also bid to secure China’s first Asian title since 1990. Inspired by Argentine maestro Dario Conca, deep-pocketed Guangzhou have established themselves as the favourites in this year’s AFC Champions League, winning six of their nine games and scoring a tournament-leading 21 goals. Brazilian target man Elkeson has successfully replaced departed Paraguayan star Lucas Barrios, scoring against Lekhwiya on his tournament debut last month in what was his 21st goal of the season. “Lekhwiya are a strong team and as it’s the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League it’s always going to be difficult to win games,” Elkeson said ahead of the second leg.—AFP



Barcelona welcome Ajax for historic first clash

LONDON: FC Basel’s Swiss manager Murat Yakin (back) looks on during training for the forthcoming UEFA Champions League, Group E football match against Chelsea. — AFP

Mourinho plans to banish memory of Euro misery LONDON: Jose Mourinho is ready to erase one of the worst memories of his career as the Chelsea manager returns to the Champions League against Swiss champions FC Basel today. Mourinho’s last Champions League match in charge of Chelsea turned out to be the final fixture of his three-year reign in west London as a 1-1 draw against Norwegian minnows Rosenborg proved the final straw for owner Roman Abramovich. A power struggle between Abramovich and Mourinho came to a head following that lacklustre performance at a half-empty Stamford Bridge and the Portuguese coach was dismissed just 48 hours later. It was a most unfitting epitaph for Mourinho’s glorious spell at Chelsea, which yielded two Premier League titles, two League Cups and an FA Cup. Mourinho, who has since won the Champions League with Inter Milan in 2010, also suffered two agonising semi-final defeats against Liverpool in Europe’s elite competition during his time at Chelsea. But, following his return to the club from Real Madrid in pre-season, the 50year-old has an opportunity to ensure thoughts of Chelsea and Europe conjure up happier memories in future. Chelsea, of course, won the Champions League in 2012 and lifted the Europa League last season, so the pressure is on Mourinho to deliver more continental glory. To do so, he will have to balance his desire to fight for the Premier League title with the demands of European action. That means prioritising who should play in each competition, with his three attacking midfield positions especially hard to juggle given he can choose from Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Oscar, Andre Schurrle and Willian.

“I don’t know if I keep them happy,” Mourinho said. “I’m happy because I have so many good players and I’m happy because doing well or wrong, I do it in an honest way. “I will judge on the pitch. I will not judge on words or interviews, not on agents or parents or friends or comments or the press or twitters or something like that. “I will let football speak and I will let football decide. “So if one guy is the man of the match he has to play the next match.” Basel have giant-killing pedigree in the Champions League after a stunning 2-1 win over Manchester United in 2011-12 allowed the Swiss team to progress to the knockout phase at their opponents’ expense. But Chelsea, then managed by Rafael Benitez, proved too strong for Basel when they met in the Europa League semi-finals in May, winning 5-2 on aggregate before claiming the trophy with a final triumph against Benfica. Chelsea are favorites to progress in top spot from a group also featuring Schalke 04 and Steaua Bucharest, but there is little margin for error against Murat Yakin’s side. Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Everton gave Mourinho his first taste of Premier League defeat since his second coming at the Bridge. And Belgian midfielder Hazard, who started in both legs against Basel, admits it would be unthinkable for a club of Chelsea’s stature to lose two games in a row. “We have another game on Wednesday in the Champions League and we need to win because Chelsea is a big club,” Hazard said. “If we lose two games it’s very bad for us. We need to work in training to help us win that game.” — AFP

MADRID: For two sides with such a great history in European football, the meeting between Barcelona and Ajax today will remarkably be the first ever competitive match between the two clubs. The feeling that this is an historic occasion is felt even more strongly in the Catalan capital given the huge influence the Ajax model has had on the incredible success Barcelona have enjoyed over the past three decades. Both sides have four European Cup titles to their name but it wasn’t until 1992 that Barca won the famous trophy for the first time when Johan Cruyff, who as a player had guided Ajax to their first three European titles, was the Barca coach. Since then Cruyff’s influence has continued at Barca in the 4-3-3 formation that they still use and most notably in the success of a former Cruyff pupil in Pep Guardiola during his period in charge. Despite currently being an advisor to the Dutch club, Cruyff won’t be at the Camp Nou on Wednesday due to an ongoing bust up with Barca president Sandro Rosell, which prompted Cruyff to claim he will not step foot in the Camp Nou until Rosell’s term in charge comes to an end. On the field, Barca have had an uncertain start to the season despite winning all four of their league games and reclaiming the Spanish Super Cup. The Spanish champions needed an injury time winner from Alexis Sanchez to beat Sevilla 3-2 on Saturday after spurning a two-goal lead in the final 10 minutes. However, winger Cristian Tello believes it is a positive sign that they have continued to win whilst adjusting to new coach Gerardo Martino’s methods. “It is good to be critical of ourselves and even more so when we have taken 12 points from a possible 12 and won the Super Cup,” he told a press conference on Monday. “Martino is adding new facets to our game that perhaps we lacked so that we are not predictable.” There are defensive concerns for Martino as left-back Jordi Alba has been ruled out for three weeks due to a hamstring injury. Carles Puyol is also still unavailable, although he is nearing full fitness following knee surgery, but otherwise Martino has a fully-fit squad to choose from. Pedro Rodriguez is expected to come back into the side in place of Tello to partner Neymar and Lionel Messi in attack after being rested against Sevilla, while Adriano will deputise for Alba at left-back. Ajax, meanwhile, also warmed up for the game in unconvincing fashion with a 2-1 win over PEC Zwolle on Saturday. Coach Frank de Boer, a former Barca player, rested a host of first team players for the match and afterwards admitted that his side had been lucky to take all three points. On-loan Barca forward Bojan Krkic is free to play against his parent club and is expected to return to the starting line-up, whilst captain Siem de Jong should also feature after making his comeback from a collapsed lung as a substitute at the weekend. — AFP

Napoli to test mettle against Dortmund MILAN: Rafael Benitez’s Napoli will put their Champions League credentials on the line when they welcome last season’s beaten finalists Borussia Dortmund to the San Paolo today. Napoli are the only team in Serie A with a perfect record so far thanks to a formidable front line that has seen Marek Hamsik, Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Callejon combine to hit nine goals, for only two conceded, in three wins from as many games. Dortmund, beaten 2-1 in May’s Wembley final by Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich, are certain to provide an altogether different challenge from the likes of Bologna, Chievo and Atalanta, though. However Benitez, brought on board following Walter Mazzarri’s departure for Inter Milan, has been wisely rotating his squad ahead of this week’s challenge and the mood in the Azzurri camp is high. “We are not afraid of Borussia Dortmund,” Swiss international Blerim Dzemaili told Sky Sport Italia after Sunday’s 2-0 win over Atalanta. “They’re a top side but at the San Paolo we can beat anyone.” Aware of Dortmund’s impressive 6-2 win over Hamburg at the weekend, Dzemaili added: “They’re obviously playing well, but we’ll be going out for a win.” Napoli’s chances of claiming a first victory from a group which also contains Arsenal and Marseille were given a potential boost when Dortmund skipper Sebastian Kehl was ruled out for six weeks Monday with torn ankle ligaments. But along with Arsenal, the Germans will be fancied to claim one of the group’s two qualifying spots following last season’s impressive drive to the final. In the close season Dortmund, already boasting the talents of Robert Lewandowski, reinforced their attack

with Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Armenian playmaker Henrikh Mkitaryan. At the weekend Aubameyang and Lewandowski both grabbed a brace and Mkitaryan one goal as Dortmund tore Hamburg apart, to make it five league wins in as many games. Coach Jurgen Klopp says his side is ready, but knows it will be a tougher challenge in Naples. “We are ready for Naples. However this is a different competition and Napoli will be a tough opponent to break down, but we are also no pushovers,” said Klopp. Napoli, runners-up to Serie A champions Juventus last season, are making their second group stage appearance in three years, having made it to the last

16 in 2012 only to fall 5-4 on aggregate to eventual champions Chelsea. Slovakian midfielder Hamsik, who with four goals is Serie A’s top scorer, was one of four regulars rested for Saturday’s visit of Atalanta but immediately made a difference after replacing Goran Pandev on 65 minutes. Despite finding it “difficult” to make a prediction, Hamsik is confident Benitez’s men can do enough today to lay the foundations for another charge towards the competition’s knockout phase.“Two years ago we were in a group of death with Bayern, Manchester City and Villarreal but we still qualified for the last 16,” he told Monday’s Gazzetta dello Sport. “I believe that now, more than ever, we can challenge any side.”— AFP

ITALY: Borussia Dortmund’s Polish forward Robert lewandowski (left) and German midfielder Marco Reus warm up during a training session on the eve of the Champions League football match against Napoli. — AFP

SPAIN: Ajax’s players take part in a training session at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on the eve of the UEFA Champions league football match against Barcelona. — AFP

Arsenal seek winning start in tough group MARSEILLE: In-form Arsenal face Marseille today wary of the need to hit the ground running in what was just about the toughest Champions League group they could have been given. The Gunners have won their last five matches in all competitions, and sit in a lofty position at the top of the Premier League after Saturday’s 3-1 win at Sunderland. That sequence of results, combined with the feel-good factor generated by the arrival of record signing Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid, ensures that confidence is high in Arsene Wenger’s squad just now, even if they continue to be plagued by injuries. Santi Cazorla was the latest man to arrive in the treatment room, with an ankle problem ruling him out for the next few weeks, and the Spain star joins the likes of Lukas Podolski and Alex OxladeChamberlain on the sidelines. The increasingly pivotal Olivier Giroud should be fit, however, despite picking up a knee knock in the win at Sunderland, and Wenger certainly hopes so after admitting that the France striker “is the player at the moment that would be very difficult to replace.” A return to a ground he knows well from his days with Montpellier would be a special occasion for Giroud, as Arsenal seek to extend their record of never having lost away to a French club. “I know Marseille very well, it is a big atmosphere there and an amazing crowd,” Giroud told the Arsenal website. “I am sure we will fight as we need a first win in the Champions League to start well. We need to be strong. Even though we have a lot of injuries, we have a lot of quality and we need to win this game.” These clubs met in the group stage two years ago, an Aaron Ramsey goal in injury time securing a 1-0 win for Arsenal at the Stade Velodrome before the clubs drew 0-0 in London. Amid all the talk about Ozil, who impressed on his debut at the weekend,

Matches on TV (Local Timings) UEFA Champions League Barcelona v Ajax Aljazeera Sport 1 HD Aljazeera Sport +8


AC Milan v Celtic Aljazeera Sport +7 Aljazeera Sport 3 HD


Marseille v Arsenal Aljazeera Sport +6 Aljazeera Sport 5 HD


Chelsea v Basel Aljazeera Sport +5 Aljazeera Sport 4 HD


Wien v FC Porto Aljazeera Sport +3


Atletico v Zenit Aljazeera Sport +4


Schalke 04 v Steaua Aljazeera Sport +2


Napoli v Dortmund Aljazeera Sport +8 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD


Ramsey has been Arsenal’s outstanding player in the opening weeks of this season. The Welshman scored three times in the 5-0 play-off round win over Fenerbahce and was at it again on Saturday, netting a brace. Nevertheless, it is the arrival of Ozil that has lifted the mood among Gunners fans and raised hopes that their team can progress from the group stage for a 14th consecutive campaign despite the presence of last season’s runners-up Borussia Dortmund and a Napoli side to be taken seriously under Rafael Benitez. Marseille started the Ligue One season with three consecutive wins but needed a late equaliser from Brazilian defender Lucas Mendes to come away from Toulouse with a point on Saturday. While hoping to push fancied duo Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco all the way on the domestic front, there was an acceptance by coach Elie Baup as soon as the draw was made that his team were very much the outsiders in Group F.

“The other three teams are superior to us but we can be the surprise package,” said Baup at the time. Baup says hard work and an intensive pressing game will be the keys to unsettling Arsenal at a Stade Velodrome which will attract a crowd of around 45,000 despite remaining partially under construction. Nevertheless, the 1993 European champions can boast considerable attacking potential with the likes of Mathieu Valbuena, Andre-Pierre Gignac and Dimitri Payet being joined by France under-20 World Cup winner Florian Thauvin, who completed a protracted transfer from Lille just before the deadline and will hope to make his home debut. “He has trained a lot and run a lot but he has hardly played any games,” said Baup of the talented Thauvin, who had previously been monitored by Arsenal and who made his first appearance for Marseille at Toulouse on Saturday. “I know he is not yet ready but he needs to reacclimatise to playing competitive games.” — AFP

FRANCE: Arsenal’s French manager Arsene Wenger (left) and German defender Per Mertesacker hold a press conference at the Velodrome stadium on the eve of the UEFA Champions League Group F football match against Marseille. — AFP

Crisis-hit Milan ripe for Celtic picking MILAN: If Scottish champions Celtic are to ever cause an upset away to seven-time European champions AC Milan, today’s Champions League Group A opener could be their best opportunity. Two weeks ago fans of the Rossoneri were in jubilant mood as former star Kaka returned to the San Siro amid huge festivities following a mitigated three-season spell at Real Madrid. But since then, things have gone distinctly downhill for Massimiliano Allegri’s side, who have shown mediocre form in Serie A and have an injury list that seems to be growing daily. Milan started the league campaign with a 2-0 reverse away to league new boys Verona and although the Rossoneri bounced back to beat Cagliari 3-1 at home with a far-improved display, a short trip to Torino on Sunday almost ended in disaster. Torino, exploiting Milan’s defensive lapses and making the visitors pay with explosive counter-attacks, were leading 2-0 until midfielder Sulley Muntari reduced arrears in the 87th minute. Only a late penalty, converted by striker Mario Balotelli in the seventh minute of injury time, secured a rather lucky share of the points. “We didn’t play well. Torino were strong, especially on the counter-attack, and showed their speed and technical ability when going forward,” lamented Allegri. It was a ragged performance allround, and one Allegri says cannot be repeated Wednesday when the Rossoneri will be missing midfielder Riccardo Montolivo, Brazilian playmaker Kaka, striker Stephan El-Shaarawy and defenders

Ignazio Abate and Mattia De Sciglio. “At the moment, our defensive play is just not where it should be-and I’m talking about as a team,” added Allegri. “We need to work harder. (Conceding) five goals in three games is just not good enough. We can’t afford to slip up against Celtic today.” On paper, Milan will be fancied to grind out a win against the Scots, a side whose aim in every Champions League campaign, at least in the shortterm, is to make it to the knockout phase. But despite a comparatively lower pedigree-Celtic have won one European Cup, in 1967, to Milan’s seven-Neil Lennon’s men are known for digging deep and causing upsets against teams that seem better equipped-although almost never away from home. And, Lennon expects to see some better football from his troops this season. Celtic beat a strong Spartak Moscow side 2-1 home and away last season before humbling Barcelona by the same scoreline in Glasgow, having lost 2-1 in Catalonia. Those results helped Celtic qualify for the knockout phase for the first time since 2008, when Barcelona ended the Hoops’ dream of a quarter-final place. Last season Juventus dominated Lennon’s men 5-0 on aggregate, but after a 3-0 win over Hearts at Tynecastle at the weekend, Northern Irishman Lennon was bullish when asked how far he hoped to lead his side this season. “My target is to qualify, basically. I don’t care how many points we get. If we could finish second-or first-that would be amazing,” said Lennon. “But I want us to play well and compete. —AFP



City sweep aside Pilsen

SPAIN: Shakhtar Donetsk’s midfielder Taison (right) vies with Real Sociedad’s midfielder Dani Estrada (left) during the UEFA Champions League, Group A football match. — AFP

Teixeira ruins Sociedad’s Champions League return SAN SEBASTIAN: Brazilian midfielder Alex Teixeira struck twice in the final 25 minutes to hand Shakhtar Donetsk the perfect start to their Champions League campaign with a 2-0 win at Real Sociedad. The Basques had enjoyed the better of the early exchanges in their first appearance in the competition for a decade and were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty when Darijo Srna felled Xabi Prieto inside the area in the first half. Shakhtar have reached the last 16 of the competition in two of the last three years, and their greater experience of this level shone through in the second period. They counter-attacked to deadly effect and Teixeira twice fired home from the edge of the area. Real Sociedad had only been beaten once at home since last November and impressed mightily in thumping Lyon 4-0 on aggregate to qualify via the play-offs last month. And it was the hosts that started this Group A clash on the front foot as Antoine Griezmann had an early effort parried by Shakhtar keeper Andriy Pyatov before only an excellent saving challenge by Olexandr Kucher prevented Carlos Vela from opening the scoring. The home fans and players were

left furious at Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan as he only awarded a free -kick outside the area when Srna brought down Prieto despite the offence clearly taking place within the box. Pyatov made a smart stop to deny Haris Seferovic from a narrow angle as the second half started as the first ended. However, the visitors began to look more dangerous on the break as the half developed and, after Taison rightly had a goal ruled out for offside, Teixeira put Shakhtar in front when his low drive from the edge of the area went straight through Claudio Bravo in the Real goal on 65 minutes. Real responded positively to going behind as coach Jagoba Arrasate introduced last season’s top-scorer Imanol Agirretxe from the bench. And his side came within inches of an equaliser when Mikel Gonzalez saw his headed effort come off the crossbar on 77 minutes. Shakhtar though were thriving on the counter as the hosts desperately pushed bodies forward in search of an equaliser, and Teixeira killed the game off three minutes from time when he cut inside and fired a magnificent effort into the bottom corner that left Bravo with no chance. — AFP

PILSEN: Three goals within ten secondhalf minutes handed Manchester City an easy 3-0 Champions League win over Czech title-holders Viktoria Pilsen in their opening Group D fixture here yesterday. Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko scored in the 48th minute with a low shot past helpless Pilsen keeper Matus Kozacik after being set up by Sergio Aguero. Five minutes later, Yaya Toure sent a superb curling shot from outside the box into the top corner of Kozacik’s goal. Another five minutes passed and Aguero, a constant threat for the injuryplagued Pilsen defence, made it 3-0 with a low left-footed strike. Big-spending City, sitting fourth in the Premier League with seven points from four games, have never made it to the Champions League knockout phase in their two appearances to date. But they started this year’s mission in style. Jesus Navas produced the first shot on goal in the seventh minute, tipped over the crossbar by a diving Kozacik. The Slovak keeper also stopped a Dzeko header from close range and then a low shot by Aguero just before halftime. Aguero beat Kozacik in the 26th minute, but his low shot hit the post and the keeper then stopped a powerful follow-up from Aleksandar Kolarov. It was the first time Pilsen had played a Champions League game in their home city, famous for its Pilsner beer, after being exiled to Prague for the 2011/2012 edition as their stadium had failed to meet UEFA requirements. But the team that beat Atletico Madrid and Napoli in last season’s Europa League showed very little going forward yesterday. Pilsen’s stocky 38-year-old captain Pavel Horvath tested Joe Hart with a free-kick, but the England international managed to keep the effort out, just like another long-range Horvath attempt, both of which came in the first half. In the second half, Dzeko sent two chances over the bar shortly after opening the score and Aguero had two shots turned away by a diving Kozacik before narrowly missing the target in the last minute. Pilsen’s Tomas Horava then hit the woodwork with a volley just before the end in a rare chance for the home side. Giving City a boost ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with bitter rivals Manchester United, captain Vincent Kompany played the whole game after recovering from a groin injury. But defenders Martin Demichelis, Micah Richards and Gael Clichy as well as midfielder David Silva remained sidelined.—AFP

Bayern see off Moscow MUNICH: Pep Guardiola enjoyed a winning start in his first Champions League match as Bayern Munich coach as the title-holders saw off CSKA Moscow 3-0 yesterday. Goals by left-back David Alaba, striker Mario Mandzukic and Dutch winger Arjen Robben sealed a convincing win as the defending champions opened their Group D campaign at Munich’s Allianz Arena. Austria’s Alaba was outstanding throughout, hitting a pin-point free-kick for the opening goal, then play-

MUNICH: Bayern Munich’s Dutch midfielder Arjen Robben (left) and Moscow’s Swedish midfielder Pontus Wernbloom vie for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group D football match. — AFP

ing a deft chip over the Moscow defence for Robben to slam home Bayern’s third. After Jupp Heynckes led Bayern to the treble of Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League last season, Guardiola has been under pressure to continue that success since taking charge in June. After winning 14 titles in four years at Barcelonaincluding the 2009 and 2011 Champions League titlesthe Spaniard has been the centre of much hype since his arrival in Bavaria. Having changed Bayern’s formation, Guardiola has won four of his five Bundesliga games so far, despite missing stars Javi Martinez, Thiago Alcantara and Mario Goetze through injury. This was arguably Bayern’s most polished performance at home this season, even with vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger starting on the bench as he recovers from an ankle strain. Bayern needed just four minutes to get on the scoresheet when Alaba floated a beautiful free-kick over the Moscow wall and out of reach of Moscow goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev. A second nearly followed on seven minutes when a superb pass from right-back Rafinha landed at Mandzukic’s feet with the goal at his mercy, but Akinfeev blocked his shot. With Bayern dominating possession, the hosts peppered the CSKA goal and it was only a matter of time before the European champions added their second. Moments after beating Akinfeev with a powerful header which cannoned off the woodwork, Mandzukic was the first onto the end of a Robben free-kick to add the second four minutes from the half-time whistle. Replays showed three Bayern players were offside, but the relief was palpable on the Munich bench with Guardiola hugging his backroom staff. CSKA, the Russian league, cup and Super Cup holders, came out fired up for the second-half, but Leonid Slutski’s side had only limited opportunities. The Russians enjoyed a good spell of possession until Bayern added their third when Alaba floated a lovely pass over the defence to give Robben all the time in the world to rifle home. The Dutchman, who scored the winner at Wembley’s final in the 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund in May, smashed his 68th-minute shot under Akinfeev, who had a busy night in the CSKA goal. With the outcome decided, Moscow threw more players forward and put more pressure on Bayern’s goal, but Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was solid all night. It was a good start for the champions ahead of their next group stage match at Manchester City on October 2, the same night CSKA host Czech champions Viktoria Pilsen in Moscow. — AFP

PLZEN: Manchester City’s Belgian defender Vincent Kompany (left) and Pilzen’s midfielder Daniel Kolar vie for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group D football match. — AFP

Copenhagen deny dominant Juventus COPENHAGEN: Despite a dominant second-half display, Juventus had to settle for a 1-1 draw in their Champions League Group B opener away to FC Copenhagen yesterday. Nicolai Jorgensen gave the hosts a 15th-minute lead but, after riding their luck in the first half, the Danes fell to a 54th-minute equaliser from Fabio Quagliarella. Juve went on to dominate after the interval but were thwarted by a combination of ‘keeper Johan Wiland’s brilliance as well as their own inaccuracy. The Italian champions’ coach Antonio Conte made a number of changes from his usual starting 11 for the clash against the Danish title-holders, who have endured a mediocre start to their domestic season. Striker Mirko Vucinic, midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah and defender Andrea Barzagli were all rested as Quagliarella, Federico Peluso and Angelo Ogbonna came in. Although Carlos Tevez saw a fifthminute strike go just wide following Andrea Pirlo’s delivery, Copenhagen were celebrating first when Jorgensen bundled the ball past Gianluigi Buffon in goal after the Juve defence had failed to deal with a free-kick.Quagliarella almost levelled for Juve moments later when he tested Wiland after the ‘keeper had spilled Tevez’s shot. Wiland then produced two superb saves in succession to thwart the Italians. He first tipped a Giorgio Chiellini header over the bar from close range and then, from the subsequent corner, he kept out Paul Pogba’s effort with his knee to send the ball hurtling over the bar. Juventus spurned another chance

DENMARK: Kobenhavn’s Swedish defender Olof Mellberg (right) and Juventus’ forward Fabio Quaglierella vie for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group B football match. — AFP when Swiss international Stephan striker’s header over. At the other end Lichtsteiner scuffed a volley well over Jorgensen slipped through Pirlo and the bar from close in following Peluso’s Ogbonna to unleash a shot which sailed just over Buffon’s crossbar. cross. With 15 minutes to play Conte Juve resumed in determined fashion after the break and, after Tevez shot replaced Quagliarella with Sebastian straight at Wiland while unmarked from Giovinco, but it was Tevez who produced 10 yards out, Quagliarella beat the ‘keep- Juve’s next chance, the Argentine’s voler with a first-time shot from Peluso’s ley from 15 yards forcing Wiland to parry down low. Juve then produced a hatful incisive pass on the left. It was the second consecutive year of chances in the following 10 minutes. Wiland stopped Arturo Vidal while the striker, used sparingly by Conte in Italy’s top flight, had rescued the on a one -on-one and then Pogba Bianconeri in their Champions League missed with a header from Pirlo’s cross. opener having levelled against Chelsea Wiland also pushed Giovinco’s shot to secure a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge away while Tevez spurned a golden chance for an injury-time winner when this time last year. Quagliarella almost made it two 10 he missed the net by inches with the minutes later but Wiland pushed the goal at his mercy. — AFP

LISBON: Benfica’s Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic (right) vies with Anderlecht’s midfielder Guillaume Gillet (center) during the UEFA Champions League football match. — AFP

Benfica win over Anderlecht LISBON: A debut goal from new Serbian signing Filip Djuricic and another by captain Luisao gave Benfica a deserved 2-0 win over Anderlecht in yesterday’s Champions League Group C match at the Luz Stadium. The Europa League runners-up went in front when forward Djuricic pounced on the rebound after keeper Silvio Proto could only parry a fourth-minute shot. Benfica were in control throughout and Brazilian Luisao extended their lead with a neat volley after 30 minutes. The Belgian visitors perked up after the break

and were unlucky when they had a goal disallowed for offside. Overall, though, Anderlecht struggled in attack and rarely penetrated Benfica’s all-Serbian midfield wall of Nemanja Matic and Ljubomir Fejsa. Benfica were content to settle for the two-goal victory margin in the second period as they claimed their first clean sheet of the season. The Luz Stadium will stage this season’s Champions League final.In the other Group C match, Paris St Germain romped to a 4-1 win at Olympiakos Piraeus. — Reuters

Barca welcome Ajax for historic first clash

Watson leads Australia to series victory over England




Arsenal seek winning start in tough group

Page 18

TURKEY: Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo (left) vies with Galatasaray’s Dany Nounkeu (right) during the UEFA Champions League football match. — AFP

Ronaldo treble guides Real to victory ISTANBUL: Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated the signing of his new contract with Real Madrid in stunning fashion as the Spanish giants hammered Galatasaray 6-1 at the Turk Telekom Arena yesterday. The Turkish champions had beaten Madrid on their visit to Istanbul in last season’s quarter-finals and started the brighter of the two sides with Felipe Melo seeing a trio of efforts saved. However, the Spanish giants were rarely troubled after Isco had fired them into the lead 12 minutes before half-time as they cruised to victory in the second-half thanks to two goals from Karim Benzema and three from Ronaldo with Umut Bulut’s late strike the

only consolation for the hosts. Real boss Carlo Ancelotti decided to leave big money signing Gareth Bale on the bench following his goalscoring debut at the weekend, whilst Iker Casillas returned in goal for the fist time in eight months. However, it wasn’t a happy evening for club captain Casillas as he had to be withdrawn after just 15 minutes due to a rib injury. The Spanish international collided with teammate Sergio Ramos after just 60 seconds as he collected a routine cross into the area and, despite making one flying save from Melo, was in some discomfort as he came off to be replaced by Diego Lopez. Melo then had two more fine chances to

give the hosts the lead as he failed to make proper contact with Wesley Sneijder’s free-kick before the Brazilian midfielder was denied by a brilliant save low to his left by Lopez. Other than an Angel Di Maria shot that flew just over Madrid had barely threatened in the opening half hour, but they went ahead on 33 minutes when Di Maria’s long pass picked out Isco and he controlled wonderfully before dispatching the ball into the net via the inside of the post. Galatasaray also suffered a significant loss just before half-time when Didier Drogba had to go off with a shoulder injury after clashing with Pepe and Madrid nearly took advantage of their temporary numerical advantage when Ronaldo saw a rasping drive

parried to safety by Fernando Muslera. The Uruguayan keeper then had to be alert to keep his side in the game as he produced a fine double save from Di Maria and Ronaldo at the start of the second period. Seconds later the hosts should have been level when Burak Yilmaz somehow headed wide from Nourredine Amrabat’s cross. And that miss was to prove costly six minutes later as two Galatasaray players went for the same long ball, only to present Di Maria with possession and he fed Benzema who finished calmly for his third goal of the season. Ronaldo was the competition’s top scorer last season with 12 and he finally got in on the act with two goals in little over three minutes

Motta brace lifts PSG

Rooney gives Man United winning start MANCHESTER: Wayne Rooney reached 200 Manchester United goals with a brace to give David Moyes a 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen in his first Champions League group game yesterday. Once again sporting a black headband to protect a facial injury he picked up last month, Rooney scored twice and made another goal as Moyes made an encouraging European bow at Old Trafford. Overseeing his first continental game since succeeding Alex Ferguson as manager, Moyes saw Rooney, his former Everton protege, give United a 22nd-minute lead. Simon Rolfes equalised with a deflected shot in the 54th minute, but Robin van Persie’s fine volley restored United’s lead five minutes later and further goals from Rooney and Antonio Valencia completed the job. After an uncertain start to the season, United appear to have rediscovered their scoring touch ahead of Sunday’s trip to derby rivals Manchester City in the Premier League. Leverkusen coach Sami Hyypia, another Champions League novice, saw Omer Toprak add a late goal, but it was a chastening evening for the exLiverpool defender, whose side must also contend with Shakhtar

Donetsk and Real Sociedad in Group A. United made the breakthrough midway through the first half, Rooney dispatching a cross from Patrice Evra with a side-foot volley, but Leverkusen appeared to have twofold grounds for complaint. Evra looked marginally offside as he crossed from the left and Valencia, backing into Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno, was clearly offside when the ball left Rooney’s foot. Nonetheless, the goal stood, and Rooney went close to adding to it with a replica of his free-kick from Saturday ’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, only to bend his shot a foot too far. It should have been 2-0 early in the second half, but Rooney let Leverkusen off the hook when a goal seemed certain. After seizing on a slip by Toprak, the United number 10 rounded Leno, but with the goal vacant and Van Persie charging in, he somehow contrived to miss both net and team-mate with a low cross-shot from a tight angle. Moments later Leverkusen equalised, Rolfes curling a shot inside the left-hand post via a deflection off Michael Carrick, but although Moyes put his head

just after the hour mark. The Portuguese fired high into the net from point-blank range from Isco’s headed cut-back and then volleyed home after Muslera could only parry Sergio Ramos’ header from Bale’s free-kick. Ronaldo also played a key role in Madrid’s fifth as he squared for Benzema to tap home his second of the evening from close range before Bulut restored some pride for the hosts with a deft finish of his own from Amrabat’s cross. And fittingly it was Ronaldo who was to have the final say with an incredible individual effort in stoppage time as he weaved past three Galatasaray defenders before smashing the ball high past the helpless Muslera. — AFP

MANCHESTER: Manchester United’s English striker Wayne Rooney (left) challenges Bayer Leverkusen’s German goalkeeper Bernd Leno during the UEFA Champions League Group A football match. — AFP in his hands, his side took just the ball into Rooney’s path, and the England striker shortened his five minutes to respond. Valencia motored into space stride before whipping the ball on the right before dispatching a past Leno at his near post to cross and Van Persie showed bring up a double-century of wonderful agility to meet the ball United goals. Rooney completed his night’s with a hip-high right-foot volley that a startled Leno could not work by teeing up Valencia to drill home United’s fourth in the keep out. The hosts’ failure to clear in 79th minute. A calamitous finale the 69th minute allowed Lars saw Toprak pull a goal back with Bender a crack at goal, but David two minutes to play after De Gea De Gea saved smartly and from flapped at a corner before Van the United goalkeeper’s result- Persie somehow missed an open ing kick, Rooney doubled his goal from two yards out, but it was not enough to spoil Moyes’s side’s lead. Emir Spahic could only head night. — AFP

ATHENS: An utterly commanding secondhalf performance helped Paris Saint-Germain begin their Champions League campaign with a 4-1 win against Olympiakos in Greece yesterday. Edinson Cavani had put the French champions ahead at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium with 19 minutes on the clock, but Olympiakos deservedly drew level six minutes later courtesy of a fine individual effort by Vladimir Weiss. However, PSG upped their game after the restart and were rewarded for their efforts when Thiago Motta twice headed home from corners. Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw a 82nd-minute penalty saved before Marquinhos marked his debut with a late headed effort to wrap up an excellent win. The Ligue 1 club are hoping to improve on last season’s run to the quarter-finals, where they were a little unlucky to lose on away goals to Barcelona, and their new coach Laurent Blanc was desperate to get off to a positive start in Group C. Blanc, who led Bordeaux to victory against Olympiakos in the last 16 in 2009-10, handed Brazilian summer signing Marquinhos his long-awaited debut in central defence with Alex missing due to injury, while Maxwell and Cavani were also restored to the starting line-up. Against such an expensively assembled away side, Olympiakos were relying on the notoriously hostile atmosphere of their ground in the Athens port of Piraeus to tip the scales in their favour, and Michel’s side came flying out of the blocks. Slovakia winger Weiss crashed an effort off the bar inside the opening minute before David Fuster rattled the post from the edge of the area after PSG had failed to deal with a corner. However, it was the visitors who took the lead against the run of play thanks to a goal

from their record 64 million-euro ($85.5 million) summer recruit Cavani. The Uruguayan just stayed onside to connect with Maxwell’s square pass and slide the ball into an empty net after a superb Ibrahimovic pass had cut open the home defence. The lead did not last long, however, with Weiss restoring parity in remarkable fashion, nutmegging Marquinhos and sidestepping Thiago Silva before finishing past Salvatore Sirigu in goal with the help of a deflection off Gregory Van der Wiel. Olympiakos spent much of the opening period in the PSG half but it was the visitors who enjoyed most of the possession and the introduction of Ezequiel Lavezzi at the interval in place of Lucas helped swing the game definitively their way. Roberto turned a powerful Cavani shot around the post as PSG pressed, and Blanc’s side retook the lead in the 68th minute when Lavezzi’s corner from the left was headed in by Motta, who had escaped the attentions of Andreas Samaris inside the area. Five minutes later, Motta scored again with a near-identical goal, getting away from Samaris to head in Lavezzi’s corner. Brazilian-born Italy international midfielder Motta has never been a prolific scorer but his goals ended Olympiakos’s hopes, and they crumbled towards the end. Ibrahimovic missed from 12 yards after being upended inside the box by the hapless Samaris, but Marquinhos capped his first appearance for PSG with a goal as he headed home in the 86th minute, the home defence again going missing at a corner. Fresh from this result, PSG will next face Benfica at the Parc des Princes early next month in a game which is likely to be pivotal, especially after the Portuguese club won their opening Group C game 2-0 against Anderlecht. — AFP

Business WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2013

Stocks, dollar dip amid Fed decision on stimulus looms Page 24 Portugal in crisis; A new Eldorado for the retirees Page 25

How freewheeling Twitter became a money-spinning juggernaut Page 22

Car sales in Europe still sagging despite growth Page 25

Bukhamseen grabs Award

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti businessman Emad Bukhamseen received the Distinguished Contribution in Business Award during the CEO Middle East Magazine’s 2013 Awards that took place recently in Dubai. Bukhamseen, who is the Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Bukhamseen Group is one of 50 businessmen from the region to qualify for 16 categories after being selected by a 19-member panel in a closed voting. The annual event was organized by ITP Publishing Group to honor successful and innovative businesses as well as vital contributions that CEOs provide to telecommunication companies in the region. “Emad Bukhamseen is considered one of the most prominent and inspiring characters that leads one of the largest companies in the region”, said ITP CEO Waleed Akkawi.

UAE eyes bank exposure rules Omantel’s shares slump Expatriates could not buy third homes with mortgages DUBAI: Shares in Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel) plunged to a 10week low yesterday after the government rekindled plans to reduce its stake in the former monopoly. Omantel was down 5.6 percent at 1.51 rials at 0624 GMT, its lowest level since July 11 and nearly wiping out its 2013 gains as investors gave the thumbs-down to a state move to offload a 19 percent stake in the operator via a public subscription that will be open to individual and institutional investors. In 2007, the government said it would offload a 25 percent stake in Omantel, prequalifying eight operators from Europe, Asia and the Middle East for the sale, but it then postponed the sale in December 2008, citing the global financial crisis. Omantel announced the planned secondary share sale through a statement on the Muscat bourse yesterday and said the government would appoint a consultant for the proposed sale. The government holds a 70 percent stake in Omantel, so the sale would leave the state with a majority 51 percent holding. Omantel’s market capitalization was $3.13 billion as of Sept. 16, according to Reuters data, making a 19 percent stake worth about $595 million. The new sale plan comes as Omantel fights back against domestic rival Nawras - majority-owned by Qatar’s Ooredoo. Omantel’s share of the country’s mobile subscribers was 58 percent at 2012-end, up from 53 percent in 2009 according to its annual reports. The company has a near-monopoly on fixed line services, claiming a 96 percent market share last year. That dominant position has enabled Omantel to improve its financial performance and it made an annual profit of 116.2 million rials ($301.82 million) in 2012, according to Reuters data. This was up 4 percent from 2011, when the company’s profit slumped to a sixyear low. Unlike other Gulf former monopoly operators, Omantel has done little to expand abroad. Its only active foreign unit is Pakistan’s Worldcall, in which Omantel owns a 57 percent stake. — Reuters

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates central bank is expected to announce within one or two months rules restricting the amount of exposure which banks can have to the debt of government-related entities (GREs), a top commercial banker said yesterday. Abdulaziz Al-Ghurair, head of the national banking industry association and chief executive of Mashreq Bank, told reporters that each bank would then discuss the time frame for its compliance with the central bank on a case-by-case basis. “It is already finalized by the central bank. Now the central bank just has to announce it - I think in the next month, two months max. It’s already passed the board,” he said. “We will have to wait and see what is the final decision. I’m sure some banks will seek time. There will be some slight changes but the good news is that other loans are growing so the overall proportion of GRE loans is shrinking.” He added, “The central bank said, ‘This is the guidelines and we’re willing to sit down with each bank and discuss with them how much time we’re willing to give and what they need to adjust.’ If I tell you to lose weight - 10kgs now - you can’t. You need time - it can’t happen overnight.” The central bank tried to introduce the rules last year as part of a drive to reduce risks and prevent any recurrence

of Dubai’s 2009-2010 corporate debt crisis. But it suspended the rules after banks complained the regulations would slow growth of their business and could cause them losses if they were forced to unload some of their state-linked loans quickly. Lending to government-owned enterprises by some of the UAE’s biggest banks is currently well above the ceilings envisaged by the central bank last year. Sudden reductions could hurt not only the banks but the Dubai government, which has increasingly relied on loans from local banks for funding since the crisis. In a research note last week, Bank of America Merrill Lynch calculated that the UAE banking sector’s exposure to the government and non-financial public enterprises as a percentage of bank capital was at 104 percent, the highest ratio since the late 1970s. Ghurair did not give details of the upcoming rules. Bank of America Merrill Lynch said UAE banks had proposed that bonds and sukuk be excluded from the limits, which would reduce the total amount of exposure to be regulated by about a fifth. MORTGAGE LENDING Ghurair also said on Tuesday that limits on UAE banks’ lending for residential mortgages were

expected to be announced by the end of this year. The central bank also tried to introduce those rules last year, to reduce the risk of another bubble building in UAE real estate markets. But it suspended them after complaints from the banking association; since then, the central bank and the association have been discussing how to modify the regulations. Banking sources told Reuters in March that the central bank had agreed in principle to banks’ proposal that caps on mortgages should be set at 75 percent of the value of a property for foreigners who are first-time buyers and 80 percent for local citizens. Ratios for second homes would be 60 percent for expatriates and 65 percent for UAE nationals. This would mark a softening of the original rules, which limited mortgages to 50 percent for first-time foreign buyers and 70 percent for locals, while levels for second homes would have been set at 40 percent and 60 percent. Ghurair said yesterday that under the revised rules, expatriates could not finance third or subsequent homes with mortgages; they would have to pay cash. “I expect it before the end of this year to be announced. It was discussed and the views of the association were taken. There is a general agreement on the levels,” he said. — Reuters

UK pockets £3.2 bn from part sale of Lloyds bank LONDON: The British government earned £3.2 billion from selling six percent of Lloyds Banking Group, it announced yesterday, placing the part-nationalized lender on course for a full return to the private sector. The coalition government had on Monday launched plans to sell part of its stake in bailed-out LBG after a recent upturn in the bank’s fortunes following its rescue at the height of the global financial crisis in 2008. UK Financial Investments (UKFI), which manages the government’s stake, said about £3.211 billion ($5.12 billion, 3.83 billion euros) was earned from the sale of LBG shares priced at 75 pence each to institutional investors. LBG shares were down 2.28 percent at 75.6 pence in early trading yesterday on London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index, which was down 0.28 percent overall to 6,604.14 points. The government had said it needed 63.1 pence a share to break even following the bank’s hefty bailout. “Further to its announcement on 16 September 2013, UKFI announces the successful completion of the disposal of part of HM Treasury’s shareholding in Lloyds Banking Group,” a statement said. The ConservativeLiberal Democrat coalition government’s stake in LBG has in turn dropped to about 32.7 percent from 38.7

percent. The government is hoping to eventually recoup £20 billion of taxpayers’ cash ploughed into the group created by a merger of Lloyds TSB and rival British lender HBOS amid the crisis. With HBOS at the time saddled with high-risk property investments, LBG subsequently received a vast state bailout under the then-Labor administration. British finance minister George Osborne, a member of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative party, authorized Monday’s part sale. It comes after LBG, whose chief executive is Portuguese national Antonio Horta-Osorio, revealed in August that it had bounced into profit and was looking to resume shareholder dividend payments. Horta-Osorio on Monday said he was “pleased” the government had begun the process of selling its stake. “I believe this reflects the hard work undertaken over the last two years to make Lloyds a safe and profitable bank that is focused on supporting the UK economy,” he added. Analysts said the partial sale provided a boost to Britain’s strained banking sector, symbolized to a large extent by Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) struggle to follow in the footsteps of LBG and be released from the government’s grip. The sector has also been hit by the Libor interest

rate-rigging scandal and mis-selling of insurance products. “With the UK (general) elections in 2015, the coalition government appear to be playing the re-privatisation of Lloyds strategically by gradually selling ahead of the elections-the government has said the next stake sale will not be for another 90 days,” said Joe Rundle, head of trading at ETX Capital. “Putting the politics aside, the move to offload the six-percent stake is very welcome, particularly for the UK banking sector which continues to suffer from a mixture of scandals, litigation and poor reputation amongst the UK public. “Lloyds has turned out to be a model student versus RBS which has been unable to repair its finances as quickly and as efficiently as Lloyds,” Rundle added. As part of its turnaround and to meet European Union competition criteria, Lloyds last week relaunched TSB as a standalone lender. LBG rebranded 631 of its British branches, calling them TSB, ahead of their stock market flotation planned for next year. TSB was a familiar part of Britain’s banking landscape until Lloyds snapped it up 18 years ago and folded it into its name. The government meanwhile holds 81 percent of Edinburgh-based RBS. — AFP

LONDON: This picture shows the sign outside a branch of Lloyds bank in central London. — AFP



How freewheeling Twitter became a money-spinning juggernaut SAN FRANCISCO: Around midnight on Christmas Eve of 2009, a handful of employees at Twitter received an unconventional holiday greeting from Dick Costolo, then the chief operating officer. “It was an email that said, ‘We have to move really, really fast. There’s no time to rest because we have a massive opportunity in front of us,” recalled Anamitra Banerji, who headed the team that built Twitter’s first advertising product. “It was kind of crazy because we were all on break, but that attitude was exactly what we needed at Twitter.” The company is now on the verge of fulfilling the opportunity Costolo foresaw as it prepares for the most highly anticipated initial public offering since Facebook’s debut last May. The offering is expected to value Twitter at up to $15 billion and make its early investors, including Costolo, very wealthy indeed. Yet Twitter’s quick transformation from an undisciplined, money-losing startup into a digital media powerhouse took every bit of whip-cracking that Costolo could muster, along with a rapid series of product and personnel decisions that proved effective even as they disappointed some of the service’s early enthusiasts. Costolo was a comparative late-comer at Twitter, joining the company three years after it’s 2006 launch, but the company increasingly bears his imprint as it hurtles towards the IPO: deliberate in decisionmaking but aggressive in execution, savvy in its public relations and yet laser-focused on financial results. Costolo has not flinched in pruning and

reshaping his management team, while Twitter, the company, has been ruthless in cutting off the smaller companies that were once a part of its orbit. A one-time comic actor who cut his teeth in business at Andersen Consulting before starting several companies, Costolo may never be as closely associated with Twitter as Mark Zuckerberg is with Facebook, yet he is arguably just as important. “ The founders consider Dick a cofounder, that’s how deep the connection is,” said Bijan Sabet, an investor at Spark Capital and a Twitter board member from 2008 to 2011. “He’s not this hired gun to run the company. He understands building out the business but also the product, strategy, vision.” Twitter declined to make Costolo available for comment, citing the pre-IPO quiet period. When Twitter’s then-CEO Evan Williams brought on Costolo, an old friend and colleague from Google Inc, as COO in September of 2009, the three-year old company was already under pressure. The microblogging service was gaining hip, young users at an unprecedented pace, and its trio of co-founders - Williams, Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey - had been splashed across magazine covers as the embodiment of San Francisco cool. Yet the whispers in Silicon Valley were growing louder: Twitter didn’t have the technical chops to make the service reliable at huge scale, and it didn’t have any way to make money. “Having been on the core original team of engineers, we didn’t have the skills

among us to build a world class service,” said Alex Payne, an early Twitter engineer, noting that many of the team members came from smaller start-ups and non-profit organizations rather than established Web giants like Google. Williams viewed fixing the site’s notorious technical problems as the top priority but was ambivalent about the business strategy. For months, people familiar with the situation say, Williams weighed options ranging from display advertising to licensing Twitter’s data to becoming an e-commerce hub to offering paid “commercial” accounts to businesses. Costolo - who had sold Feedburner, an advertising-based blog publishing service he founded, to Google for $100 million had no such doubts. By his second month on the job, he had helped persuade Williams to green-light engineering positions to build Twitter’s first ad unit, which would become the “promoted tweet” - the cornerstone of Twitter’s business today. “Dick’s conversations with Ev were key,” said Banerji, now an investor at Foundation Capital. “He had a fundamental belief that this was the future of Twitter monetization and said, ‘You have to do it.’” Over four months in early 2010, Costolo, working closely with Banerji and Ashish Goel, a Stanford engineering professor who specialized in the science of auction algorithms, to refine the promoted tweet. It resembled an ordinary Twitter message in every way, except that advertisers could pay for it to appear at the top of users’ Tweet streams and search results. Costolo

threw his heft within the company behind the advertising strategy. In early 2010, as the ads team drew up a related product called “promoted trends,” Costolo privately told them to make sure he was in the room when they pitched the product to Williams, so it would get pushed through. A central mechanism governing the promoted tweet was “resonance,” a concept coined by Goel. Because Twitter users can re-circulate or reply to tweets, including paid advertisements, the company had the real-time ability to gauge which ads were most popular, and those ads could then be made more prominent. And because the ads appeared in the same format as other tweets, they were perfectly suited to mobile devices, which could not handily display traditional banner ads. Paid ads that are inserted into a stream of status updates have since become something of an industry standard for mobile advertising. Its adopters include Facebook, which has enjoyed a 60 percent rise in its stock price in recent months due to its newfound success in mobile. “The closest thing before this was the contextual advertising that Google was selling, but the problem was that it was clearly an ad,” said Charlene Li, the founder of Altimeter Group, an online research and consulting firm. “Promoted tweets look just like every other tweet. The form factor, the way it is displayed in stream - that was a breakthrough.” When Costolo unveiled the promoted tweet in April 2010, Twitter announced it as a trial for only five brands, including

Starbucks Corp and Virgin America, and users almost never saw the ads. But by the summer of 2010, Costolo felt confident enough in his concept that he began seeking a deputy to ramp up the company’s sales effort. For months, he courted Adam Bain, a rising star at News Corp, and at the same time began assiduously courting marketers, from corner suites on Madison Avenue to industry conferences on the French Riviera. Under Bain, the Twitter ad team set it sites on the most lucrative advertising market of all: television. Twitter attached itself to TV programmers and major brand marketers by positioning itself as an online peanut gallery where TV viewers could discuss what they were watching. “Hashtags,” which help people find the conversations they’re looking for on Twitter, soon grew ubiquitous on TV, appearing in Super Bowl commercials, at Nascar races and on the Oscars red carpet. “It wasn’t easy for Twitter to explain to people why they should buy content on Twitter until they sold it as a companion to TV,” Ian Schafer, the chief executive of Deep Focus, a digital advertising agency. “Now you’re even seeing the networks selling Twitter’s inventory for them. That’s magic.” Twitter has steadily refined its targeting capabilities and can now send promoted tweets to people based on geographic location and interests. This month, the company paid more than $300 million to acquire MoPub, which will enable it to target mobile users based on websites they have visited on their desktop computers.—Reuters

Oil falls below $110 on Syria and Libya Fed tapering may hurt oil prices further LONDON: Brent crude fell below $110 a barrel yesterday as easing worries over a potential US attack on Syria calmed fears of a disruption to Middle East oil supplies and after output resumed at a large western Libyan oilfield. US air strikes on Syria now look unlikely after a deal to remove Syria’s chemical weapons, although the United States, Britain and France have warned President Bashar Al-Assad of consequences if he fails to comply. Oil supplies from Libya, hit this year by unrest and strikes, are set to recover after the government in Tripoli agreed a deal with protesters in the country’s west to allow pumping to resume from one major oilfield. Investors are also wary over the market outlook ahead of a meeting of the US central bank, which is likely to signal tighter monetar y polic y and could strengthen the dollar. “ This Federal Reserve meeting is the most interesting for at least a year because it could mark the exit from ultra-loose monetary policy,” Commerzbank senior oil and commodities analyst Carsten Fritsch said. “The market believes the US dollar will strengthen if monetary conditions are tightened, which would put some pressure on oil,” he added. Brent crude for delivery in November was down 55 cents at $109.52 a barrel by 1040 GMT, after touching a near- one -month low of $108.73 in the previous session. The benchmark slid 2.4 percent on Monday, its steepest one-day decline since June 20, after the deal to strip Syria of chemical weapons. US crude for October delivery fell 50 cents to $106.09 a barrel, after hitting a session low of $105.59, its weakest

since Sept. 3. Brent has lost more than 6 percent since hitting a six-month peak of $117.34 in late August when a US military strike against Syria appeared imminent. Libyan oil output is expected to rise to 400,000450,000 barrels per day (bpd) as one of the biggest western oilfields, El Sharara, ramps up after workers resumed pumping on Monday, deputy oil minister Omar Shakmak said. Oil production in Libya is still a long below its pre-war level of 1.6 million bpd, but officials say output from other oilfields could resume soon. Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said yesterday he wanted to solve the crisis in the oil industry through dialogue: “We are going to work on solving this problem,” Zeidan told a conference in London. “ When blood is shed, the loss will be greater”. The Fed begins a two-day meeting yesterday and is expected to cut its monthly $85-billion bond purchases by at least $10 billion as it begins to close the era of cheap money that has boosted the flow of funds into commodities. “If our assessment is correct, the dollar could strengthen in the wake of the tapering announcement, followed by more selling in commodities,” INTL FCStone analyst Ed Meir said. Investors also awaited US oil inventories data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) industry group at 2030 GMT, and the US Energy Information Administration due today at 1430 GMT. A Reuters survey of analysts suggested US commercial crude oil stockpiles fell last week by around 1.4 million barrels, while distillate inventories probably rose slightly. — Reuters

Lenovo brings world’s slimmest All-In-One PC KUWAIT: Lenovo, the world’s No.1 PC vendor, yesterday announced the availability of the IdeaCentre A720, the world’s slimmest All-InOne PC, exclusive to X- cite by Alghanim Electronics, the largest multi-brand electronics retailer in Kuwait. The new IdeaCentre A720 AIO features a whopping 27-inch screen that takes computing to a futuristic new level. Not only does the desktop’s razor-thin screen boast 10-point multi-touch, but it has a hinge for comfortable use and viewing from angles varying from -5 to 90 degrees. Whether the application or program is best used with an upright, angled or completely flat computer screen, the A720 obliges in a stylish form factor. Samer Sayegh, Vice President at X-cite, said: “As the largest multi-brand electronics retailer in Kuwait, X- cite have always been committed to bringing the latest innovations to consumers in the countr y and we believe the award-winning IdeaCentre A720, with its unique design and features, will certainly stand out among other PCs and will be a big hit with customers seeking the latest innovations in PCs.” Mohammed Hilili, Lenovo Gulf

General Manager, commenting on the importance of Kuwait as a market for Lenovo, said: “As the leaders in PCs and All-in-One devices, Lenovo prides itself in pushing the design and performance envelope to provide users with the best possible computing experience,” said. “The IdeaCentre A720 takes touch computing to the next level thanks to its unique hinge for angled viewing and multi-touch capability, and svelte, powerful design. “Kuwait is a key market for Lenovo and the demand for All-in-One is growing rapidly. We are very excited to introduce the A720 for the first in Kuwait and exclusive to Xcite stores, where technology truly meets excitement.” As the industry’s slimmest 27” all-in-one and spor ting a sleek metal exterior, the IdeaCentre A720 measures less than an inch (24.5mm)1and combines a frameless display supporting 10-point multi-touch. The A720 continues Lenovo’s heritage of svelte designs for the AIO by smartly positioning the PC at the base on the unit. Improving AIO design even further, the A720 is engineered to optimize the touch experience in the ‘digital’ home. The A720’s widely adjustable hinge allows the screen

to be pulled towards the user and folded back making touch applications more comfor table over longer periods in any position. To optimize the touch experience on the AIO, the A720’s 10point multi-touch display supports multi-user scenarios with greater accuracy. Powered by the latest Intel Core Series processors and NVIDIA GeForce graphics with up to 1TB HDD and 64 GB SSD2storage, the A720 delivers an impressive home multimedia experience

on a frameless high definition 16:9 wide -screen. With integrated entertainment features, such as room-shaking Dolby Home Theatre V4 audio, Lenovo High-Sense (720p HD) Webcam, and Lenovo IdeaTouch (a suite of touch-optimized applications and games), the A720 is an ultra stylish and fun addition to the modern home enter tainment center. The IdeaCentre A720 is available now at X-cite Avenues Mall as well as Al Rai and Fahaheel showrooms.

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

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

ASIAN COUNTRIES 2.869 4.515 2.709 2.150 2.845 225.770 36.714 3.655 6.510 8.952 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 75.950 78.257 739.770 756.480 77.564

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 41.200 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 40.829 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.329 Tunisian Dinar 174.020 Jordanian Dinar 402.120 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.911 Syrian Lier 30.094 Morocco Dirham 34.593 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 284.700 Euro 381.500 Sterling Pound 454.670 Canadian dollar 276.540 Turkish lira 142.280 Swiss Franc 308.120 Australian Dollar 265.770 US Dollar Buying 283.500

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

GOLD 249.000 126.000 65.000

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

SELL DRAFT 265.33 276.98 306.57 377.70 285.35 448.23 2.92 3.681 4.316 2.141 2.741 2.725 77.62 758.15 41.24 405.40 740.79 78.66 76.09

SELL CASH 263.000 282.000 311.000 384.000 287.400 443.000 3.000 3.800 5.150 2.700 3.600 2.920 78.000 759.500 41.100 416.200 746.400 79.000 76.300

Bahrain Exchange Company CURRENCY Europe Belgian Franc British Pound Czech Korune Danish Krone Euro Norwegian Krone Romanian Leu Slovakia Swedish Krona Swiss Franc Turkish Lira

Australian Dollar New Zealand Dollar

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

Selling Rate 285.000 278.290 448.020 378.675 304.795 754.545 77.570 78.230 76.865 401.755 41.281 2.143 4.463 2.716 3.664 6.493 699.120 3.830 9.195 4.070 3.900 86.710

Canadian Dollar US Dollars US Dollars Mint

Bangladesh Taka Chinese Yuan Hong Kong Dollar Indian Rupee Indonesian Rupiah Japanese Yen Kenyan Shilling Korean Won Malaysian Ringgit Nepalese Rupee Pakistan Rupee Philippine Peso Sierra Leone Singapore Dollar South African Rand Sri Lankan Rupee



0.007402 0.446270 0.006715 0.045987 0.374225 0.044136 0.082150 0.008185 0.039625 0.301027 0.140214

0.008402 0.455270 0.018715 0.051987 0.381725 0.049336 0.82150 0.018185 0.044625 0.310527 0.147214

Australasia 0.257256 0.226738

0.268756 0.236238

America 0.270728 0.280600 0.281100

0.279228 0.284850 0.284950

Asia 0.003149 0.045172 0.034633 0.004443 0.000020 0.002784 0.003335 0.000252 0.083790 0.002950 0.002582 0.006389 0.000070 0.222040 0.022980 0.001897

Taiwan Thai Baht

Bahraini Dinar Egyptian Pound Iranian Riyal Iraqi Dinar Jordanian Dinar Kuwaiti Dinar Lebanese Pound Moroccan Dirhams Nigerian Naira Omani Riyal Qatar Riyal Saudi Riyal Syrian Pound Tunisian Dinar Turkish Lira UAE Dirhams Yemeni Riyal

0.009478 0.008631

0.009658 0.009181

Arab 0.748716 0.038262 0.000079 0.000184 0.397428 1.0000000 0.000139 0.022424 0.001208 0.733450 0.077490 0.075283 0.001939 0.169233 0.140214 0.076532 0.001293

0.756716 0.041362 0.000080 0.000244 0.404928 1.0000000 0.000239 0.046424 0.001843 0.739130 0.078703 0.075983 0.002159 0.177233 0.147214 0.077681 0.001373

Al Mulla Exchange 0.003749 0.048672 0.037383 0.004844 0.000026 0.002964 0.003335 0.000267 0.089790 0.003120 0.002862 0.006669 0.000076 0.228040 0.031480 0.002477


Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

US Dollar




Pound Sterling


Canadian Dollar


Indian Rupee


Egyptian Pound


Sri Lankan Rupee


Bangladesh Taka


Philippines Peso


Pakistan Rupee


Bahraini Dinar


UAE Dirham


Saudi Riyal


*Rates are subject to change



The battle to secure German shipping lender HSH Management believes HSH should stay in public ownership HAMBURG: Once the beacon of a brave new future for Germany ’s publiclyowned regional banks, HSH Nordbank is now a focal point of concern over the sector. The Hamburg and Kiel-based bank earned its trail-blazer status by attracting 1.25 billion euros from US investor JC Flowers in 2006 and touting plans to list a significant minority of its equity on the stock market. Now it is blazing a very different trail the first Landesbanken to return to the European Commission for approval after it regretted a 2011 decision to hand back some of its original post-crisis bailout and asked for it to be re-instated. Two of the bank’s shareholders told Reuters they were concerned about the prospect of the European Commission (EC) imposing future restructuring measures on the bank, whose core shipping market is in a recession that may last two more years. “We are riding the razor’s edge - and it will stay like this for a while,” one shareholder said, voicing fears that the ECJ would not be satisfied with Ash’s business plan and would order the bank to be closed. The bank’s shareholders are the City State of Hamburg and the State of Schleswig-Holstein (85.4 percent), the Savings Banks Association of SchleswigHolstein (5.3 percent) and JC Flowers, whose stake has fallen to 9.3 percent from 26.6 percent after it was diluted by state-funded bailout. HASH itself is more optimistic about its ECJ prospects. “The bank is confident

that the measures from the European Union will not be changed,” said a source familiar with Ash’s position. “The ECJ understands that the earlier measures were substantial.” HASH has already reduced its balance sheet from 210 billion euros in 2008 to 120 billion euros at June 2013, a speed of delver aging unmatched in Germany. Its refocused core business includes a regional corporate bank, lending for real estate, energy and infrastructure and some shipping business, and serving the savings banks. That core generated pre tax profits of 131 million euros in the first half of 2013, against a pre tax loss of 30 million euros a year earlier. “(When the decision comes) the bank will have proven for almost two years that the business model is working,” said a second source familiar with the bank’s position. “There is a client base we can build up.” The ECJ said the investigation, which was announced in June, is ongoing and declined to comment further. Despite the uncertainty, a third source close to HASH said it was still a “normal functioning bank”. Job applications continue to flow in from graduates and executives at other big banks. The Christmas party still takes place. “If there are more (EU) measures, that could change everything,” he admitted, adding that the situation at HASH “is not the easiest one”. HASH has already shed more than 2,000 staff, with many who remained only kept after

reapplying for their positions. The model ships that adorn the lobby of Ash’s low-rise Hamburg headquarters serve as a constant reminder of the losses that halted the bank’s onward march and set it on a very different course. In 2009, largely because of the poor performance of its shipping loans portfolio, HASH found itself with a massive capital

against). The cost influenced the 2011 decision to reduce the guarantee, a controversial choice, even now. One person familiar with the situation terms said management was too fixed on telling a ‘good story’ and failed to appreciate changes that were coming down the line. Two others disagree. “There’s a difference

FRANKFURT: A trader works in front of a board displaying Germany’s share index DAX at the stock exchange in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany. — AFP hole and succumbed to a 3 billion cash injection from its majority state owners, plus an extra 10 billion euros in guarantees against future losses on certain types of loans. The bailout carried a hefty cost - so far 3 billion euros has been paid back by way of interest and other charges - but it allows HASH to meet its capital requirements without needing direct equity injections, since the guarantee reduces the bank’s risk weighted assets (which capital is measured

between a bad decision and a bad outcome,” said a source familiar with JC Flowers’ position. “Based on the information at the time, the chances of what happened happening were very low.” What happened was “The shipping industry deteriorated surprisingly,” said the first source familiar with Ash’s position. “ The regulatory requirements changed, not in a way the industry expected, the hurdles went up.” How to solve the guarantee problem proved

divisive. JC Flowers put forward a proposal for a private sector solution, led by its investors, that would not have triggered a mandatory state aid review. The bank instead decided to go with a proposal from its two state shareholders. The first source familiar with the bank’s position said JC Flowers’ proposal would not have eliminated the prospect of a new ECJ investigation, since the bank has fallen behind on its Disapproved business plan and could be reviewed on that basis. Another European headwind could come from the European Central Bank’s asset quality review. On August 30, HASH chief executive Chief Executive Constantine von Overstretch told Reuters he “presumed” the review would lead to the bank having to make extra loan loss provisions. His staff are not too concerned about the extra day-to-day demands of ECB supervision. Two sources familiar with the situation said that German supervisor Baffin was already holding a daily liquidity call with HASH. “We were always under special watch in the last year,” said one of the sources. “I don’t know how it could be tougher.” If there are any further capital demands, the chances of HASH trying to fill them with private cash seem remote. “It knows today, much more than before, that this bank belongs in the publicly-organized structure,” said the first source familiar with the bank.—Reuters

Landesbanken: Inside Germany’s trillion euro banking blind spot Public ownership and regional role make reform difficult

BERLIN: Members of Germany’s fledgling anti-euro party Alternative for Germany (Alternative fuer Deutschland, AfD) play a scene where a woman wearing a mask featuring German Chancellor Angela Merkel hands out fake Euro banknotes to a man featuring European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi (right) during an electoral action in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. — AFP

German plan may weaken European banking union BRUSSELS: A German plan to scale back a major element of European banking union may reinvigorate the ambitious project, but also threatens to compromise its ability to prevent future crises. If Berlin’s idea prevails, the resulting banking union would fall well short of what European leaders originally envisaged as their response to the 2008 financial crisis, leaving small but risky banks outside the scheme. “If you are going to have true banking union, it should be a union for all banks,” said Alan Ahearne, an economist who advised the Irish government as it faced the collapse of its financial system. While European leaders have endorsed the concept of banking union, creating a system that would move banking supervision and dealing with banks in trouble from a national to European level has proved much harder. Deposit guarantees are excluded for now. Euro zone officials said that Berlin is working on the plan that would allow completion of the project without changing the European Union treaty, something that would almost certainly be long and complex. Germany is suggesting that a new “resolution” agency to wind down or salvage bad banks should have power only over the euro zone’s largest lenders, scaling back its reach to around 130 institutions, rather than all 6,000 in the currency bloc. Ahearne said this would leave unsolved a fundamental requirement for restoring confidence in the European banking system after the taxpayer-funded bailouts during the crisis. “Governments like to have control over their own banking systems. That’s where a lot of the problems come from. These decisions have to be made at a European level,” he said. Germany, the largest and most powerful euro zone country, is worried it will be liable for problems in other countries’ banks if the resolution agency has too much scope. Berlin also wants to keep responsibility for its own savings banks. The European Central Bank is due to take over supervising euro zone banks - the first element of the project - late next year, a move policymakers hope will help to restore confidence. Berlin has already ensured that the ECB has direct oversight of only the largest 130-150 “systemically important” banks, and now wants the resolution agency to have the same limits on its powers. The European Commission’s top financial regulatory official, Michel Barnier, stressed the project’s urgency on Monday. “We need to get the resolution system up and running as quickly as possible,” Barnier told the European Parliament. “We have to be prepared to handle any manner of crisis. We need to remember what we have learned from having to bail out banks with their backs to the wall.” Limiting the scope is important for Germany since the resolution agency,

once fully operational, could demand that a bank be closed down. That could prompt a request for help from the euro zone’s rescue scheme, the European Stability Mechanism, of which Germany is the biggest shareholder. While Germany’s desire to limit its own liability is understandable, it runs the risk of hampering the work of the ECB in tackling wider banking problems. If, for example, the ECB identifies shortcomings at a smaller bank - defined here as one with assets of less than 30 billion euros it would struggle to force its closure without the resolution agency to back it up. But if this agency is responsible only for the largest 130150 banks, it would not be in a position to back the ECB up on a small bank. “There is no magic line dividing banks which are systemically relevant and those that are not,” said Johannes Wassenberg of credit ratings agency Moody’s. “The question for the market is, how far is the state liable for these banks?” he said, warning that such a compromise would undermine the aim of ending the damaging link between indebted countries and their troubled banks. “If the resolution decision is carried out on a national level for these banks, then this central goal of banking union has been watered down.” Charles Goodhart of the London School of Economics also questioned the wisdom of excluding small banks, citing the example of Spain’s cajas. These regional savings banks, many of which ran into trouble when the property market collapsed, were responsible for forcing Madrid to seek international aid. But under the German proposal, the cajas would not fall either under the ECB’s direct supervision or under the resolution agency’s purview. “If you have a large number of small, weak banks, that can cause a problem as well,” said Goodhart. Berlin’s problem is partly political. Any suggestion of signing up to a scheme that increases its liability would be unpopular with Germans, who vote in national elections on Sept. 22. Policymakers in Brussels hope that the proposal from Berlin will form part of a negotiation in the next few months. “The line of the German government is to do joint supervision but to stop at any common responsibility,” said Sven Giegold, a German Green member of the European Parliament. One EU official signaled that limiting the resolution agency’s reach was a compromise that Barnier may accept. The big banks that would be covered by direct ECB supervision and the new wind-down agency would still account for roughly 85 percent of the euro-zone’s banking system. “This is a glass that is two thirds full,” said Daniel Gros of the Centre for European Policy Studies think tank. “I can imagine that it fills up over time.”— Reuters

HAMBURG: Many Germans feel that whoever wins Sunday’s election, they should not fund any more bailouts of fellow European countries, whose errant banks are a particular bugbear for Berlin. But a cornerstone of Germany’s own banking system, which has already received state bailouts, is facing fresh challenges, increasing the need for reforms which will be very hard for any new government to deliver. Founded in the 19th century to promote regional development, the publicly-owned Landesbanken play a hallowed role as low cost lenders to local projects and the ‘Mittelstand’, the small and midsized firms central to the euro-zone’s most resilient economy. With combined assets of a trillion euros, they account for 12 percent of the country’s total banking assets, and 3 percent of Europe’s as measured by the European Central Bank (ECB). The eurozone’s steps towards banking union have triggered the toughest stress tests banks have ever faced and new global regulations impose higher capital demands particularly difficult for low-margin banks like the Landesbanken to achieve. At the same time, their core business is threatened by increasing competition from international banks like France’s BNP Paribas, which want a bigger part of the action in Europe’s economic powerhouse. Experts from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), ratings agencies and German academia say the best Landesbanken solution is restructuring to leave as few as two players with well-defined businesses. The prospect appears remote, undermining Berlin’s reputation as the driver of European banking reform. None of the five main Landesbanken Hanover’s Nord LB, Munich’s Bayern LB, Stuttgart’s LBBW, Hamburg and Kiel based HSH Nordbank and Frankfurt’s Helaba - said they thought industry consolidation likely when asked by Reuters for this article. As Gunter Dunkel, head of Nord LB and president of the Association of German Public Banks put it in comments to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: “I offer you a bet: neither in my working life or yours will someone take the immense economic and political risks of such a merger.” TRADITION The risks stem from the Landesbanken’s tradition of serving the savings banks and local authorities that own them. For the municipality-owned savings banks, they provide wholesale banking services and investment products to sell on to customers. For the Laender, they support local businesses and regional projects, accounting for 15 percent of all German corporate lending. Officials in the German administration say Landesbanken are not a source of major concern; where once their woes were a talking point at European finance ministers meetings, a source

familiar with their discussions told Reuters the Landesbanken had not arisen recently. Their top line numbers are comparatively strong, with capital ratios above the international average and four of the five biggest showing higher profits in the first half of 2013. But experts say the figures belie a more complex reality. Return on equity - a key measure of a bank’s profitability - is lower for the Landesbanken than international peers. More international competition could make margins even slimmer, as banks like Barclays and BNP look to Germany for growth that is lacking elsewhere in the euro-zone. Earlier this year, BNP Paribas’s corporate bank lowered its client threshold from companies with 500 million euros of annual sales to those with 250 million euros, putting them further into the Landesbanken’s core market. BNP’s sweet spot - and an area attractive to other foreign banks - is exporters with cross-border banking needs. “It’s the largest economy by far in Europe, and the country with the highest share of exports in terms of GDP,” the head of BNP’s German corporate and investment bank business, Torsten Murke, said. Fitch Ratings analyst Christian van Beek noted the Landesbanken’s public ownership means they do not need the high double-digit returns sought by other banks, so they can do lower margin business. But low earnings power carries risks. In its 2012 Economic Survey of Germany, the OECD noted Landesbanken “remain vulnerable due to their low capitalization and profitability and will be especially affected by the regulatory increases in capital requirements”. One of its major sources of strategic investment is drying up. Several sources in savings banks, including Michael Auge, spokesman for Helaba’s 69 percent owner the Savings banks and Giro Association Hesse and Thuringia, told Reuters they would not invest further in the Landesbanken. ‘CIVIL SERVICE’ CULTURE Long-beset by the problems of politically motivated lenders, and cultivating a work culture several employees describe as “civil service like” with a clear-out at 5 pm, Landesbanken did not begin to build serious problems until 2001. The trigger, several experts say, was a surprise agreement between Germany and Brussels to end a sovereign guarantee on bonds sold by Landesbanken by 2005. The Landesbanken’s response was to sell as much debt as they could before the curtain fell. They piled into international lending and highyielding bonds, sponsoring 8.4 percent of the global supply of asset backed commercial paper (ABCP) by 2006, according to a major 2012 study on Landesbanken by four German academics. The Landesbanken expansion ended in bailout. In 2008, German states began the first of five bailouts totaling 70 billion euros, including the rescue of and eventual shutting of WestLB, which lost heavily

on bets on the US subprime market. Others stayed afloat, avoiding deep restructuring. Next year’s European stress tests will be a seminal moment. “Some people suspect these banks will need to take further state aid or at least further substantial writedowns on their portfolios,” said Robert Montague, senior investment analyst at ECM Asset Management. HSH has admitted it is likely to need to set aside extra money to deal with loan losses after the tests, but said it does not expect to need further state support either to deal with the cost of regulation or the tests’ outcome. Nord LB noted it had completed an extensive capital conversion and boosting program in 2012. “Our earnings potential will enable us to bolster our capital further. We will meet the regulatory and market challenges coming up,” it said. LBBW said it would not comment on “possible consequences of tests, regulations, market conditions which are still unknown”. “We think that LBBW is prepared to satisfy the higher future capital requirements,” the bank added. Helaba and Bayern LB were not immediately able to comment on the effect of the stress tests, and whether they could need state aid. A senior official at the German finance ministry said Berlin had pushed for the tests to be rigorous, regardless of the potential consequences for its own banks. “It’s necessary to bring the (European) banking sector back to health,” he added. This will force all banks to be more transparent. The 2012 study on Landesbanken lending said that between 2001 and 2005 they loaned money to riskier German companies than other banks, and charged lower rates. Some of these loans are medium term facilities, still on the banks’ books. “They (Landesbanken) have lots of risky loans on their balance sheets, sometimes it can be very difficult to see,” said Joerg Rocholl, the president of the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) in Berlin and one of the authors of the 2012 study on Landesbanken lending. Another area of concern is “if they are zombie banks, if they invest continually in bad companies,” Rocholl added, a concern heightened by their public-spirited ownership. DIFFICULT BACKDROP Curth Flatow, a Berlin-based managing partner of real estate advisory firm FAP, said there were write-downs of between 15 and 50 percent in the German real estate loans market this year, mainly by international lenders and banks being wound down. “I haven’t seen a deal yet where Landesbank have made a huge write down,” he added. Not taking write-downs protects banks’ short term earnings, but risks storing up losses for later. While Germany has weathered the euro-zone’s economic headwinds well, 2013’s first half results showed the five remaining Landesbanken had a combined 260 billion euros of international exposure at the end of last year. — Reuters

FDI into China up 6.37% BEIJING: Foreign direct investment (FDI) into China rose 6.37 percent year-on-year in the first eight months of 2013, the government said yesterday, adding it was a sign of investor confidence in the world’s secondbiggest economy. Incoming FDI, which excludes financial sectors, reached $79.77 billion for the January-August period, the commerce ministry said in a statement. For August alone the figure was $8.38 billion, up 0.62 percent on last year. That represented a substantial slowdown after rises of 24.13 percent in July and 20.12 percent in June. But commerce ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said that was mainly due to a high base figure a year ago. “Such single month volatilities are insufficient to reflect changes in China’s overall FDI. There is no need to worry about (a reverse) in the trend,” he said at a press conference. Shen said in a statement that investment maintained “quite fast growth” in the eight-month period.

“FDI growth is expected to be higher than last year,” he told reporters, adding that improved momentum since February had proven foreign investors’ confidence in China’s competitiveness. Recent financial market turmoil in developing economies would not affect China’s recovery trend, he said. Incoming investment from the EU rose significantly, up 24.3 percent to $5.44 billion, as it did from the US, up 18.0 percent to $2.50 billion. But the vast majority of investment into China comes from a group of 10 Asian countries and regions including Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan, and FDI from them only rose 7.87 percent on-year to $68.63 billion in the eight-month period. The figure for Japan alone was $5.56 billion, up 9.45 percent. Direct overseas investment from China in non-financial sectors rose 18.5 percent year-on-year to $56.5 billion. “Perhaps it won’t take too long for the size of China’s overseas investment to overtake FDI into China,” Shen said.

ANHUI: A woman works in a civil explosives factory in Huaibei, east China’s Anhui province yesterday. Foreign direct investment (FDI) into China rose 6.37 percent year-on-year in the first eight months of 2013. — AFP Investment in the seven major my, the world’s second largest, economies of Hong Kong, the south- expanded 7.7 percent in 2012, its sloweast Asian grouping ASEAN, the EU, est pace in 13 years. Growth stood at Australia, the US, Russia and Japan 7.7 percent in the first three months of totaled $39.11 billion, up 3.0 percent this year and slowed further to 7.5 peron-year. But investment into Japan fell cent in the April-June period, but 25.0 percent and into Hong Kong it recent data have pointed to renewed was down 11.4 percent. China’s econo- strength in the economy.—AFP



Toyota Corolla: ‘World’s Most Popular Car’ More than 40 million units sold KUWAIT: Toyota Motor Corporation ( TMC) recently announced that cumulative global sales of the Toyota Corolla, the world’s most popular car, surpassed 40 million units in July, reaching 40.01 million units. This milestone marks another historic achievement for the Corolla, Toyota’s perennial global car. Marking the milestone, the current Corolla Chief Engineer Shinichi Yasui said: “I feel this car has been nurtured by people all over the world and I am very proud to have contributed to its foundation and grateful to all those who have owned and loved their Corollas. The key to the Corolla’s success is the faithful passing down of its original development concept from Hasegawa: that the Corolla must bring happiness and well-being to people around the world.” According to Nobuyuki Negishi, Chief Representative of Middle East & North Africa

Representative Office, Toyota Motor Corporation, “Reaching this significant milestone is a huge achievement for Toyota and reflects the company’s commitment to ensuring that customers get to enjoy a car with a legendary global reputation for providing excellent value for money, low operating costs and reliable trouble free motoring stemming from quality engineering, along with outstanding comfort levels. All these factors have been instrumental in the success of the Corolla and we look forward to continuing this remarkable success story and making sure that this iconic model stays popular with a new generation of Middle East consumers in the future.” In November 1966, Toyota opened a new plant in Takaoka, Aichi Prefecture, dedicated solely to Corolla production. Two years later, with an emphasis on providing region-specific vehicles, production began in Australia and Malaysia. From 1965 to 1968, Toyota more than doubled its total annual production from 480,000 to 1.1 million vehicles-a testament to the Corolla’s significant contribution to the growth of the company. The Corolla, currently produced at 15 plants worldwide, accounts for one in five vehicles sold in Toyota’s 76-year history. Corolla exports to North America began in 1968, and early sales success in this market helped global cumulative sales of the car reach 1 million units just four years after launch. In 1997, the Corolla became

the world’s best-selling nameplate, with global cumulative sales exceeding 22.65 million units. More than a million units have been sold each year since 2002; last year, a total of 3,180 Corollas were sold every day across more than 150 countries and regions. The Corolla was originally designed to meet the changing needs of Japanese commuters. In the mid-1960s, the then Chief Engineer Tatsuo Hasegawa recognized that with Japan’s industry expanding, most consumers’ daily commuting time was increasing. The need to get around in a personal vehicle was therefore growing and this insight led Hasegawa to conceptualize the first Corolla, with his guiding principles defining the vehicle ever since: always evolving and designed to meet consumer needs in each market. When the first Corolla rolled off the production line, many basic safety features were still optional. Later, to meet the needs of families, Toyota decided to include many of these features as standard. Toyota’s commitment to pursue significantly higher levels of quality and continue adding new standard features to the affordably priced Corolla has helped ensure that families around the world continue to choose it more than any other sedan. The history of the ever-evolving Corolla, filled with examples of technology and quality improvement, is emblematic of Toyota’s efforts to anticipate customer needs and provide even better cars.

Stocks, dollar dip as US Fed decision on stimulus looms MSCI world equity index retreats PARIS: Shares dipped and the dollar lost ground yesterday as investors consolidated positions before this week’s US Federal policy meeting at which the central bank is set to start scaling back stimulus. German Bunds also edged lower, with Bund futures down 0.2 percent at 138.24, increasing their losses after a survey from ZEW economic think tank showed German analyst and investor sentiment rose more than expected in September, prompting a search for higher yielding assets. The monthly poll of economic sentiment rose to 49.6 from 42.0 in August, reaching the highest level since April 2010 and beating the consensus forecast for a rise to 46.0. Despite the stronger-than-expected figure, equity investors were reluctant to chase stocks higher, a day after Germany’s DAX jumped to a record high and the MSCI’s world equity index hit a five-year high, and as the Fed is set to trim its quantitative easing program which has been a major factor behind the brisk stock rally of the past year. The MSCI world index was down 0.2 percent around 1100 GMT, while Europe’s FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.5 percent. In Asia, the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.3 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei stock average closed 0.7 percent lower. The Fed’s Open Market Committee begins its two-day meeting yesterday, and despite a lacklustre August US jobs report, it is expected to trim its monthly asset purchases by about $10 billion from $85 billion. “With the Fed set to start trimming down its quantitative easing program, we could see the return of volatility, especially for markets that have benefited the most from it, such as US stocks,” said Roland Kaloyan, global asset allocation strategist, at Societe Generale CIB, in Paris. “The Fed’s liquidity played a key role in the rally that has propelled US stocks to record highs this year, while at the same time, company fundamentals and earnings momentum are not that great, so we could see some profit taking following the Fed’s announcement tomorrow.” The MSCI world equity index has gained 12.6 percent so far this year, while Wall Street’s S&P 500 is up 19 percent. The dollar was down 0.2 percent versus a basket of currencies yesterday, at 81.141, but remained in a tight range, having recovered from a four-week low of 80.968 set on Monday. “Once the Fed will announce the first reduction of its quantitative easing program, the debate will quickly shift to the timing of the central bank’s first interest rate hike, and this should put pressure on short-term US treasuries and boost the dollar,” SG’s Kaloyan said. With the Fed looking set to take its first step to wind down its stimulus, investors will also be focusing on the central bank’s guidance on its future policy stance today. SYRIAN TENSIONS EASE “On top of the size of tapering, what’s more important this time is the Fed’s forecast of interest rates in 2016, which will give markets an idea on the pace of future rate hikes,” said Sho Aoyama, senior market analyst at Mizuho Securities. Brent crude fell below $110 a barrel as easing worries over a potential US military action on Syria calmed concerns of a disruption to Middle East oil supplies and after output resumed at a western Libyan oilfield. US air strikes on Syria now look unlikely after a deal to remove Syria’s chemical weapons, although the United States, Britain and France have warned President Bashar Al-Assad of consequences if he fails to comply. “The market believes the US dollar will

strengthen if monetary conditions are tightened, which would put some pressure on oil,” Commerzbank senior oil and commodities analyst Carsten Fritsch said. Gold hovered just above a fiveweek low, while copper edged higher yesterday but stayed close to five-week lows in cautious trade ahead of the Fed. — Reuters

Obama warns of ‘economic chaos’ WASHINGTON: With a potential federal government shutdown looming, President Barack Obama warned congressional Republicans they could trigger “economic chaos” if they demand a delay of his health care law as the price for supporting continued spending for federal operations. House Republican leaders were to meet Tuesday in hopes of finding a formula that would avoid a shutdown on Oct 1 without alienating party conservatives who insist on votes to undercut the Affordable Care Act. Even more daunting is a mid- to late-October deadline for raising the nation’s borrowing limit, which some Republicans also want to use as leverage against the Obama administration. “Are some of these folks really so beholden to one extreme wing of their party that they’re willing to tank the entire economy just because they can’t get their way on this issue?” Obama said Monday in a speech at the White House. “Are they really willing to hurt people just to score political points?” The Republicans don’t see it that way. House Speaker John Boehner, who opposes the threat of a shutdown, said, “It’s a shame that the president could not manage to rise above partisanship today.” Obama, said Boehner, “should be working in a bipartisan way to address America’s spending problem, the way presidents of both parties have done before,” and should delay implementation of the health care law. While some conservatives supported by the tea party movement have been making shutdown threats, Sen Rand Paul of Kentucky said Monday that was “a dumb idea.” At a community meeting in Louisville, he said, “We should fight for what we believe in and then maybe we find something in between the two. ... I am for the debate, I am for fighting. I don’t want to shut the government down, though. I think that’s a bad solution.” Obama timed his remarks for the fifth anniversary of the bankruptcy of Wall Street giant Lehman Brothers, a major early event in the near-meltdown of the US financial system and the severe global recession that preceded his presidency. He used the occasion to draw attention to the still-recovering economy and to what he called a “safer” financial system now in place. He delayed his remarks as authorities responded to the shootings that officials said left at least 13 people dead at the Washington Navy Yard just a few miles from the White House. While unemployment has dropped to 7.3 percent from a high of 10 percent and the housing market has begun to recover, the share of longterm unemployed workers is double what it was before the recession, and a homebuilding revival has yet to take hold. —AP



Cyprus bail-in ensured Russians would be bank saviors NICOSIA: Russians now have a say in key lender Bank of Cyprus because of European reluctance to fully bail out Nicosia, fearing that would safeguard oligarchs’ ill-gotten gains, analysts believe. “Unlike all the other bailout countries the Eurogroup did not want to give Cyprus a full bailout, largely because of media hysteria about alleged money-laundering,” finance analyst Fiona Mullen said. She said six Russians being appointed to the 16-member board of Bank of Cyprus last week should not surprise anyone because it was a natural consequence of the harsh bailout terms. “Russians running the biggest bank in Cyprus is a consequence of that (bailout), so the answer to euro-zone leaders is ‘you get what you pay for’,” she said. During its arduous and long drawn-out bailout negotiations with international lenders, Cyprus was portrayed, especially by Germany, as a laundromat for dirty Russian money. Local banks were accused of asking no questions when rich oligarchs wanted to

park their cash-which is why Cypriots suspect international lenders ensured Cyprus was the only euro-zone member where uninsured depositors were forced to contribute. Despite vehement government denials, the mud stuck and Cyprus was made to pay dearly for mishandling its economy and allowing a juggernaut banking system to veer off the rails. In return for a 10-billion-euro ($13-billion) bailout secured in March, international creditors demanded the winding up of the country’s second largest banker Laiki and a haircut on deposits over 100,000 euros in its largest lender Bank of Cyprus (BoC). Ironically, the consequences of the 23-billion-euro bail-in/bailout package has led to the six Russian members of the new BoC board. They were voted in following an historic shareholders’ meeting of those who had received a deposits haircut to help Nicosia secure EU rescue aid. For the first time in its history the island’s largest financial institution has non-Cypriots managing it-the same big

savers who got burnt when the bloated banking system was saved from collapse. However, the Central Bank of Cyprus must approve the newly elected BoC board members. Cypriot Christis Hassapis, an academic, was voted chairman and Vladimir Strzhalkovskiy became vice chairman. The Russian, reportedly a former KGB official and close friend of President Vladimir Putin, is also former CEO of Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest nickel and palladium producer. RUSSIANS NOW ‘DEEPER IN’ Economy lecturer at Nicosia’s European University Alexandros Apostolides said if international lenders wanted to nullify the Russian influence in Cyprus they should not have opted for a bail-in. “Forcing Russian depositors to become shareholders puts them deeper in than ever beforethe only person more tied to a country than a depositor is a shareholder,” he said. “The bail-in has locked in the Russians for years to come. If they wanted to punish the Russians by taking their money and

putting it into shares you have only managed to make them stay,” Apostolides added. He argued that having Russians involved is positive because they have an interest in the bank holding their money becoming profitable. The view closer to home is that Russians have saved Cyprus from the abyss by not abandoning it. In an interview with Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency last week, President Nicos Anastasiades thanked the Russian community for sticking it out. “Our friends have remained our friends,” said Anastasiades, also pledging to partly compensate Russian investors who received a severe haircut in the bailout. The BoC board is now tasked with ensuring a rigid restructuring which will see the number of branches and staff drastically downsized. The final haircut for uninsured BoC depositors was 48.5 percent, a majority of whom were foreign, most of them Russians who received bank shares in the trade-off. An unprecedented euro-zone “haircut” on deposits forced the government to

close the island’s banks for nearly two weeks in March and impose draconian controls when they reopened. Cyprus is still the only euro-zone member to impose capital controls. The largest BoC shareholders, at 18.1 percent, are depositors in wound-up Laiki, while the next largest are Russian and Ukrainian businessmen with 12-15 percent. BoC’s share capital is 4.7 billion euros, 81.4 percent of which is owned by 21,000 depositorsturned-shareholders because of the bail-in decision demanded by international lenders. Old shareholders are limited to a 0.5 percent stake. The government concedes that without a healthy Bank of Cyprus the recession-hit economy will struggle to recover. But nobody knows the exact extent of the damage to the BoC as no financial results have been published including year-end 2012 figures. Apostolides said what really matters is keeping the bank afloat. “We have no idea if the bank can be saved as we haven’t seen the accounts. We don’t know how bad the finances are.” —AFP

Car sales in Europe still sagging despite growth European auto sales hit a new low

LISBON: A fish seller gives change to a customer at Lisbon’s Ribeira food market. —AP

Portugal in crisis; A new Eldorado for the retirees LISBON: Portugal is luring increasing numbers of European retirees seeking the easy life in the sun, thanks to generous tax breaks, low property prices as the debtladen country sweetens the deal. “Many British, German and Scandinavian seniors seeking sun already come to Portugal, in particular the Algarve, and the number of French visitors is up sharply,” said Carlos Vinhas Pereira, head of the FrancoPortuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. To tempt more into exile the Lisbon has added a tax sweetener: from the beginning of 2013 all Europeans with private pensions are exonerated from Portuguese income tax on pension payments received in their home countries. “Austerity measures that the government has imposed to satisfy the troika of creditors has contributed to lowering domestic demand, hence the idea to call outside to kickstart the motor,” said Vinhas Pereira. Portugal’s economy contracted for more than two years under the effect of spending cuts and tax rises which the government imposed to stabilise state finances and receive continued funding under its 78 billion euro ($104 billion) bailout from the EU, IMF and European Central Bank. The tax break for foreign retirees has not gone down well with some Portuguese, who have seen their pensions and wages cut while tax bills have risen. But for Erwin Mohr, vice president of the association of foreign property owners in Portugal, the country is already well on its way to “becoming the Florida of Europe” or a “tax haven for new retirees”. He settled in the sun-drenched southern Algarve region 19 years ago “to escape the snow in

Germany”. “A German retired couple living in Portugal easily spends 1,500 to 2,000 a month, which easily compensates” for what the Portuguese tax is losing in taxes on pension income, said Mohr. “Without the pensioners the economy of the Algarve would collapse,” he said. FREE PORTUGUESE LESSONS The property market is also welcoming for foreigners, with prices down nearly a third since the euro-zone debt crisis struck. “But contrary to Spain, there was no property bubble in Portugal and there are no ghost towns” noted Vinhas Pereira. There are plenty of properties on the market as many Portuguese over-extended themselves and banks foreclosed. At the end of 2011 there were 735,000 empty residential properties in Portugal, according to the national statistics institute. Portuguese banks, which are looking to get these properties off their balance sheets and generate income are offering low-interest loans to foreign buyers. “In the Algarve you can get a 120,000-euro loan at 1.5 percent to buy a two room apartment 100 meters from the beach,” said Ivo Agostinho of the Formula Prime real estate agency, which counts numerous retirees among its clientele. Apartments can easily be rented out to cover the mortgage payments, he added. In Lisbon “the time to buy is now, the prices won’t go any lower,” said Pascal Goncalves of the Maison real estate agency in the capital. There are signals the market is stabilizing and about to begin picking up. The agency offers foreigners 20 hours of free Portuguese lessons to help new arrivals overcome the language barrier and better integrate into local society. —AFP

Asia refiners see a winter boost SINGAPORE: Asian refiners are looking to winter demand to counter the high oil prices and slow consumption growth in China that have driven refining margins to some of the lowest values since late 2010, although earnings are expected to weaken again next year. Supply disruption in the Middle East and Africa and jitters over a possible US strike in Syria pushed global benchmark Brent above $117 a barrel in August to a six-month high, shrinking profits for refiners and forcing some to cut runs. But winter heating demand should give a brief boost to the earnings from processing crude into oil products, analysts said. “I’m quite bullish on distillates for the winter ... if you were to look at global diesel inventories, they are not very high,” said Amrita Sen of Energy Aspects. Fourth-quarter margins, or the profit made on processing a barrel of crude into oil products, are still expected to be lower than in the same period last year, while additional capacity coming online dampens the prospect for further improvement in 2014. Complex refining margins in the last quarter should be about 5 percent higher than in the third quarter, according to Victor Shum of IHS, although he and refining consultants from FGE and JBC Energy said processing profits would drop 10-50 percent in the fourth

quarter against the same period a year ago. “And now you’re getting run cuts and a lot of turnarounds. If margins remain weak, refineries are not going to come back strongly,” said Energy Aspects’ Sen. Complex refining margins have been running at $5 to $10 a barrel over the past three years, according to Reuters data. A complex Singapore refinery that includes a fluidized catalytic cracker and a hydrocracker could earn about $3.40 a barrel less in the second half of 2013 compared with the first half, Wood Mackenzie data showed. Woodmac expects its complex refining margin this year to be about $1.50 a barrel less than the average in 2011 and 2012, and it could fall another 50 cents next year, the consultancy said. “We are currently clearly a couple of dollars (per barrel) away from a level that could be considered as healthy,” said David Wech of energy consultancy JBC Energy. “Furthermore, the exchange rate of many developing markets is currently moving against refiners,” he said. That has particularly hurt refiners in India and Indonesia, where oil input costs have risen while the rupee and rupiah plunged to multi-year lows. State refiners in both countries sell domestically at controlled prices and are unable to pass on higher crude prices and foreign exchange losses to consumers. —Reuters

FRANKFURT: Car sales in Europe are still sagging despite the return of modest economic growth. For the first eight months of the year, passenger car sales in the European Union were off 5.2 percent to 7.84 million compared with the same period last year, the European Auto Manufacturers’ Association said yesterday. That’s the lowest JanuaryAugust figure since the group started keeping track in 1990. New car registrations in August fell 5 percent from a year ago to 653,872, the association said. The economy in the 28-country EU grew 0.4 percent in the second quarter, ending a recession. But the unemployment rate remains high at 11.0 percent, making many consumers unable or afraid to buy a new car. Governments hit by the euro-zone debt crisis have cut back on spending and raised taxes to try to manage oversized debt levels, slowing their economies. The hardest hit countries, such as Greece and Spain, face even higher jobless rates that have hurt sales of moderately priced vehicles especially hard. Luxury carmakers are doing better. The August downturn was distributed across Europe’s biggest markets. Germany saw a 5.5 percent drop, despite a stronger economy than in other members of the 17county euro-zone. Registrations fell 10.5 percent in France, 18.3 percent in Spain, and 6.6 percent in Italy. Britain’s was the only major market to expand, rising 10.5 percent. Analyst Carlos Da Silva at IHS Automotive said the figures suggested the market was bottoming out because the decline had slowed from 9.7 percent in the first three months of the year. “Decline is still on the menu but the rate of descent

has nearly been halved,” he said. Global auto executives remain cautious, however. They said in interviews at the Frankfurt Auto Show last week that while the European market may have reached the bottom, they do not see any significant increase in demand this year. The European market contrasts with a rebound in the United States,

Germany’s Volkswagen Group was off 11.2 percent in August while France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen slid 17.3 percent. Renault Group rose 6.0 percent and General Motors was up 0.5 percent - as a large jump in sales of Chevrolet-branded vehicles made up for a 3.4 percent fall in sales of its main European Opel and Vauxhall brands. Ford was off 1.5 percent.

biggest market share over the first eight months remained with Volkswagen Group, including the company’s other brands such as Audi, Seat and Skoda, with 24.9 percent, up slightly from 24.8 percent. The auto association also issued figures for July, which showed a 5 percent increase over the previous year. July had one more working day than

RENNES: Photo shows cars parked at the plant of French car maker PSA Peugeot. —AFP where figures show that sales are on track to reach 16 million vehicles a year - the level from before the recession. European annual sales were 15.6 million in 2007 - but are heading for just under 12 million for all of this year. Among the major carmakers,

Luxury brands did better. Daimler’s Mercedes was up 8.9 percent, excluding its compact Smart city car, and BMW AG rose 9.5 percent, excluding its Mini brand. However, VW’s Audi luxury brand, a chief competitor for Mercedes and BMW, was off 5.6 percent. The

the previous July, while August had one less. In July, the only major market to shrink was Italy, which was down 1.6 percent. The association releases figures for July and August together. The figures excluded Croatia, which only joined the EU on July 1. —AP

Gold edges up LONDON: Gold edged higher yesterday as the dollar remained under pressure on prospects the Federal Reserve will announce a modest reduction in its bond-buying stimulus at its two-day meeting. The Fed’s Open Market Committee, which begins its meeting yesterday, is widely expected to announce it will begin curbing its $85 billion monthly bond purchases by $10 billion, a smaller reduction than previously anticipated. Spot gold rose 0.6 percent to $1,320.80 an ounce by 1159 GMT, after falling 1.5 percent in the previous session to a five-week low of $1,303.85. US gold futures for December were up $3.10 an ounce to $1,320.90. “We are seeing that the expectations for tapering continue to be lowered and at the moment we are down in the $5-to-$10 billion bracket, which is lending some support to gold and pressuring the dollar and bond yields,” Saxo Bank senior manager Ole Hansen said. “There is no doubt that the positioning and trading activity in general is going to be light ahead of tomorrow because this is the most awaited announcement for a long time.” Hansen said a bigger-than-expected stimulus reduction could surprise the gold market, triggering losses to below $1,300 an ounce, which is now seen as a strong short-term support level. Gold has lost 21 percent of its value this year after the Fed signaled it would start reining in QE, which would reduce financial liquidity in the market and eventually lead to an increase in interest rates. The dollar was lower against a basket of currencies, hovering around a four-week low hit in the previous session, while US Treasury yields edged lower and European shares fell from five-year highs seen on Monday. FED’S POLICY STANCE With the Fed looking set to take its first step to wind down its stimulus, investors will also be focusing on the central bank’s guidance on its future policy stance today, while monitoring US inflation data due at 1230 GMT yesterday, analysts said. Goldman Sachs said in a note it was neutral on gold in the near term, but expected the metal to make fresh lows in 2014. “Our US economists’ expectations for a ‘dovish’ taper and gold’s recent decline will likely limit the downside to gold prices heading into the September FOMC,” it said. “We continue to expect that gold prices will resume their decline heading into 2014 when we expect economic data to solidly confirm a re-acceleration in US growth and warrant a less accommodative monetary policy stance.” —Reuters

ATHENS: Social Security employees push the shuttered entrance of Labor Ministry during a protest in Athens yesterday. —AP

Doctors join the latest wave of Greek strikes ATHENS: Greek doctors yesterday joined the latest wave of strikes to hit the debt-stricken country, with thousands of public sector workers protesting government plans for lay-offs and redeployments. Teachers from schools and universities, civil servants and lawyers are also on strike, protesting reforms that the government of conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is undertaking in return for international bailout funds. Doctors in public hospitals are protesting government plans to merge various hospitals in an effort to cut down on public spending, while lawyers oppose changes in their sector that will result in pay reductions for salaried attorneys. Many secondary schools remained shut around the country, with the main OLME teachers union opposing a reduction of teaching staff and the abolition of so-called secondary subjects that include foreign languages, art and music. Universities remained shut as well, refusing to provide the government with a list of names of staff that could be placed on a redeployment scheme. The lawyers are expected to be on strike

for two days, the doctors for three, while the teachers are due to continue their action for the rest of the week. The latest wave of public sector strikes began on Monday and come ahead of Samaras travelling to Brussels yesterday for talks with EU officials and the start of a new audit in Athens by European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund creditors. All of Greece’s other public sector unions will embark on a two-day strike today and tomorrow, called by main union Adedy. Under pressure from its EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank creditors, Greece announced in July that it would place 12,500 civil servants on a redeployment scheme by the end of September. According to the redeployment scheme, workers have to accept new posts or spend eight months on reduced salaries looking for alternative posts with the risk of losing their jobs altogether. Overall, Greece has pledged to axe 4,000 state jobs and redeploy 25,000 public sector workers by the end of the year, in return for its much-needed rescue loans. —AFP



New products launched at The Big 5 Kuwait KUWAIT: Close to $16bn-worth of contracts is estimated be awarded across various infrastructure and development projects in Kuwait by end of 2013, according to MEED, a business intelligence service provider and The Big 5 Kuwait’s Official Knowledge Partner. Taking advantage of this growth opportunity, more than 260 exhibitors from 25 countries chose to display their latest products and innovations at The Big 5 Kuwait, which opened its doors at Kuwait International Fair yesterday. Commenting on the success of the opening day, Andy White, Group Event Director for The Big 5 said, “Kuwait’s fast-growing construction industry presents huge growth opportunities for global businesses who can meet the demand for innovative products that are cost, time and energy efficient. Our aim is to provide our exhibitors and visitors an open and diversified platform to introduce new products and services to benefit the local market.” One such exhibitor is France

based Haulotte Group, a people and material lifting equipment specialist, who will be promoting their full range of aerial work platforms and telehandlers including the newly launched telescopic boom. This innovative technology is part of the range of Haulotte’s diesel telescopic plat-

forms for people and material lifting. The product has the best lifting speed at 56 seconds and offers optimal productivity, comfort and safety. Reynaers Middle East, a Bahrain based supplier of innovative and sustainable aluminum solutions for windows, doors, curtain walling, sliding

systems, sun screening and conservatories unveiled a brand new range of ‘green handles’ at the exhibition. These handles are 100% recyclable, durable, corrosion resistant and hypoallergenic. Commenting on their participation at The Big 5 Kuwait, Ali Khalaf, Managing

Director, Reynaers Middle East said, “There is great potential in the construction market at present and we expect to grow further in the years ahead. The Big 5 Kuwait is a great platform to launch new products and services as key decision makers from the construction industry are present at this event. It is definitely an opportunity that should not be missed!” The outdoor arena at the event is also a hive of product activity, with live demonstrations taking place throughout the day. Demonstrations included concrete cutting, drilling machinery, fire suppression and protection equipments. Companies exhibiting at the outdoor arena include Kuwait based Instant Access, who is one of the leading Infrastructure Project Developer, Contractor and Facilities Management Service Providers in the Middle East. Instant Access has taken a prime location of 900 sq meters at the outdoor arena, adjacent to the main

entrance of the show, and will be displaying a wide range of branded and award-winning construction equipment available for sale or rent. Speaking on the importance of Big 5 Kuwait, Instant Access’ Operations Manager, Chris Brocklehurst said, “Participating in the first Big 5 in Kuwait is an excellent opportunity for Instant Access to assist in the next phase of the countries development, as the requirement for both equipment and technology will be paramount over the next decades. We predict the construction market will boom in the coming year and Instant Access is placing itself at the forefront as can be seen in the commitment in the first Big 5 exhibition. We are here to serve our clients and provide them with the best equipment and service to ensure the successful completion of their projects on time and under budget.” The Big 5 Kuwait is taking place until Wednesday, 18 September 2013 at the Kuwait International Fair.

Turkish central bank keeps rates on hold Lira weakens slightly ISTANBUL: Turkey’s central bank held fire on any further steps to support the lira currency at its September meeting yesterday, as promised keeping all interest rates on hold while also opting against changes to reserve requirements. The bank kept its main policy rate, the one-week repo rate, at 4.50 percent, its borrowing rate at 3.50 percent and its overnight lending rate at 7.75 percent, it said in a statement after its monthly monetary policy committee meeting. It also made no immediate changes to how much foreign currency banks have to hold in reserve, a move which would have supported the lira by boosting the amount of dollars and euros in circulation and which had been forecast by some economists. The lira, which has taken a hammering this year but recovered around four percent in the past ten days, weakened very slightly in response. The yield on the 10-year

bond was unmoved. The bank said it expected core inflation indicators to remain above target for some time and signaled greater transparency in its liquidity management amid fears about the effects of the US Fed’s plans to taper its stimulus program. “It was deemed important to increase the predictability of Turkish lira liquidity policy for the sake of limiting the domestic impact of global monetary policy uncertainties,” the central bank said in a statement. All 14 economists in a Reuters poll had expected key rates would be left unchanged. The lira - still down more than 10 percent since May - is among the most high-profile victims of a shift in global capital prompted by the Fed’s move towards reining in years of ultra-easy monetary policy. Turkey is particularly vulnerable because it is heavily dependent on foreign

inflows to finance its current account deficit, running at over 7 percent of national output. But Governor Erdem Basci has said he would not need to raise central bank rates outright to defend the lira in a policy mix that aims to support a return to the higher growth rates Turkey achieved in 2010-11. The Fed meets yesterday and today to decide when and by how much to scale back its asset purchases from the current pace of $85 billion a month. The withdrawal on Sunday of former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers as a candidate to head the U.S. central bank has led investors to bet that its next chief will be more inclined to extend an era of easy money that has flooded global markets with cash. That appeared on Monday to have bought Basci some time, helping the lira to strengthen back over the psychological 2 to the dollar level. —Reuters

Standard Chartered finances ENSHAA’s premium luxury project - D1 Tower DUBAI: Standard Chartered Bank and ENSHAA PSC have signed a finance facility agreement of AED 255 million for the D1 Tower. This demonstrates the Bank’s continuous support of its key clients in the UAE and the region. Fergal G Harris, Regional Head, Commercial Real Estate, Standard Chartered Bank said: “As Dubai’s housing market continues to recover on the back of improving economic conditions, D1 project represents a best in class asset. Standard Chartered is pleased to support ENSHAA’s premium luxury tower as we continue to extend financial support to our clients from the various sectors in the UAE and the region. This again demonstrates Standard Chartered’s continuing commitment to our clients in the UAE and the region”. Raza Jafar, CEO of ENSHAA said: “ENSHAA is pleased by the confidence that banks such as Standard Chartered Bank have shown in our projects. We are looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship with Standard Chartered Bank.”. The project is planned to be complete in the second half of 2014. ENSHAA continues its commitment to the delivery of its projects including the D1 Tower. The company has built a reputation for developing quality projects such as Palazzo Versace Dubai and Emirates Financial Towers. In another first for Dubai, the Guinness Book of World Records has recorded the construction of the world’s largest automated car parking facility at ENSHAA’s Emirates Financial Towers in Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai.

DSI wins AED 1.28b project DUBAI: Drake & Scull Construction the General Contracting Arm of Drake & Scull International PJSC (DSI), a regional market leader in integrated design, engineering and construction disciplines of General Contracting, Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP), Water and Power, Rail and Oil and Gas was awarded yesterday a general construction contract worth AED 1.28 Billion to develop a turnkey mix use development project in Algeria. Zeina Tabari, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of DSI stated that more details on the project will be released shortly.

Qatar ‘less likely’ to bid for Versace MILAN: Qatar is looking less likely to bid for the iconic Italian fashion house Versace despite holding talks with the group earlier this year, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. Versace, a brand worn by pop stars like Madonna and Lady Gaga, is putting a minority stake on the block to raise cash for investments, Donatella Versace said recently. Several sources have told Reuters the family is prepared to sell 15-20 percent. “There were bilateral discussions between Qatar Holding and Versace a while back but the fund has put a potential investment into Versace on hold,” one of the sources said. Versace is the latest privately-owned Italian

luxury brand to turn to outside investors to help combat fallout from a protracted economic crisis. Several Italian newspapers have listed Qatar as the most likely front runner for Versace following the highly-priced acquisition of Valentino, another top Italian designer brand, by the Qatar royal family. A second source with knowledge of the matter confirmed Qatar was one of the players Versace had been in touch with but added that the Gulf investor “had not shown the same degree of activism as other players”. The sovereign wealth fund is known for rarely getting involved in formal sales processes as it tends to prefer direct

negotiations with the owners. Qatar Holding has a liking for luxury investments and bought a very small stake in LVMH last year. The source said several investors, including Italy’s strategic fund FSI, were still interested. FSI had tried to take a stake in Valentino, but was outbid by the Qatar royal family. But many have also pulled out or said they are not interested, like South Korean retailing group E-Land Group. The sales process, the second source said, was still at a preliminary stage and could take weeks if not months. Versace and the FSI had no immediate comment. It was not possible to reach Qatar Holding for comment. —Reuters

Faten Abu Ghazaleh

Service Hero begins its ‘assessment sampling’ KUWAIT: Service Hero, Kuwait’s only annual customer satisfaction index, invites customers to take part in the 2013 assessment’s sampling phase; an opportunity to evaluate the level and quality of the services acquired on regular basis, express requirements, needs and expectations. This year’s assessment kicked off earlier this summer and will be available until 31 December, 2013. Faten Abu-Ghazaleh, Service Hero President, said: “As the only voting platform in Kuwait, Service Hero works by presenting service providers with customers’ honest and constructive feedback, which allows service providers to identify areas of weakness and strength and quickly address any issues. “The initial feedback we have received indicates that cafes, casual and fine dining, retail banks, electronics and home furniture remain the strongest industry categories, followed by fast food, airlines, supermarkets and new cars sales. The categories that are currently scoring the lowest totals are telecom operators, internet service providers, Islamic banks, private hospitals and auto services, but there is plenty of time for this to change as voting continues. “We have also received a great range of detailed comments and feedback from customers about the general quality of the services they bought or received and the indications so far suggest that there is plenty of opportunity for improvement, especially in customer liaison and value for money. This information is invaluable for companies as they compete to provide Kuwait’s consumers with better standards of service, quality and consistent all round value. “

Service Hero has extended the sampling phase this year to six months rather than three, to allow for more customer feedback and to gain more insight. The company has also facilitated accessibility of the survey by making it available not only through the website,, but also through the company’s social media channels and by downloading it as an application for smart phones, making it as easy as possible for customers to voice their opinions Service Hero will announce the final results early next year at the company’s annual Service Hero Award ceremony, where winning companies will be acknowledged for their excellence in service. Worthy to note, the assessment index is divided into 17 industry categories. These are: cafes, casual dining, fine dining, fast food, retail clothes, home furniture, regional airlines, retail and Islamic banks, hospitals, electronics stores, internet services providers, mobile operators, cars agents, car service centers, supermarkets and health clubs. Each industry category is measured across up to eight service dimensions, which are reliability, speed, product quality, staff quality, value for money, location, call center and website quality. These dimensions are assessed on a ‘before and after experience’ basis to evaluate the difference between customer expectations of service and actual satisfaction with the service. This method will allow participating companies to learn about any shortcomings and where they fall below expectations. The index also measures loyalty of customers towards their service providers.

NBK announces the Al Jawhara winners KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) announces the three lucky winners in Al Jawhara weekly draws during the month of September. NBK has re-launched Al Jawhara account by offering customers more chances to win bigger prizes; KD 5,000 weekly, KD 125,000 monthly and a grand prize of KD 250,000 quarterly. Khalifa Ashour Suliman Al Rasheedi, Joel Roland Amaral and Mohammad Iyad Mohammad Hasoneh each won KD 5,000. The winners expressed their gratitude and thanked NBK for its great services and promotions. Al Jawhara is one of Kuwait ’s leading cash prize accounts offering numerous benefits to its customers. Not only is it an interest-

free account with regular deposit and withdrawal privileges, it also entitles account holders to enter the weekly, monthly and quar terly Al Jawhara draws. Each KD 50 in an Al Jawhara account entitles the customer to one chance in any of the draws. All prizes are automatically credited to the winners’ accounts the day after the draw. The more money held in Al Jawhara account, the greater the chances of winning. Al Jawhara account is available to both Kuwaitis and expats and can be opened at any of NBK’s branches in Kuwait. For further information visit , or call Hala Watani at 1801801.



Twitter flies from obscurity to the height of fame NEW YORK: The Pope. President Barack Obama. Queen Elizabeth. Oprah Winfrey. When Twitter started seven years ago as an obscure medium for geeks, critics dismissed it as an exercise in narcissism. Some thought it would be as intriguing as watching people gaze at their bellybuttons. But it quickly matured into a worldwide messaging service used by everyone from heads of state to revolutionaries to companies trying to hawk products. Now, Twitter is taking the next critical step in its evolution - selling stock to the public. It promises to be the most hyped and scrutinized initial public offering since Facebook’s Wall Street debut in May 2012. To be successful, the company will need to become an advertising behemoth and prove that the same service that has already helped change the course of history can also make money. Twitter quietly slipped out news of its plan to go public in a tweet on Thursday afternoon. By the next morning, nearly 14,000 of Twitter’s 200 million users had retransmitted the message. “Twitter epitomizes the revolution of social media ...more than Facebook, more than YouTube,” says Fordham University communications professor Paul Levinson, author of “New New Media.” ‘’It caters to the immediacy, the equality of all users.” And yet, Twitter really isn’t that big. Only about 15 percent of Americans say they’ve ever used Twitter, according to an August poll by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. That’s up from 9 percent in June 2010. At the time of Facebook’s IPO, an APCNBC poll found that 56 percent of Americans said they had pages on Facebook. Some 17 percent said they used the site several times a day. Twitter’s 200 million global users represent about one-sixth of Facebook’s 1.16 billion. If Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s third-largest behind China and India. Twitter would clock in at No. 6, edging out Pakistan. Even so, Twitter generates more news than Facebook. A big part of that is its public nature, Levinson says. With their messages of 140 characters or less, most people tweet openly, for better or for worse, allowing the world a glimpse at their thoughts. Facebook, in contrast, gives its users a plethora of controls to hide or show posts to as many or as few people as they’d like. That means many users share updates only with people they already know. “You can rub elbows with famous people instant-

ly,” Levinson says, noting that people can send a message to the president or a movie star just as easily as they communicate with a friend. “That’s what makes communication in the 21st century radically different from any time in the past. It wasn’t until Twitter that the combination of speed and access to anyone

were using it that much. By early 2006, Glass and fellow Odeo programmer Jack Dorsey began work on a new project. They were given the go-ahead to work with co-worker Christopher “Biz” Stone on a way to corral the menagerie of text messages typically sent over a

In this combo picture, celebrities who are most followed on Twitter are pictured. — AP

became available for everyone.” Twitter might never have become the world’s digital watercooler if Noah Glass and Evan Williams had convinced more people to tune into a podcasting service called Odeo started in 2005. Less than a year after its birth, it became apparent that Odeo was destined to be a dud. Not even its own employees

phone. It was an offshoot of Dorsey’s longtime fascination with the dispatch systems used by police cars, fire trucks, delivery trucks and taxis. Dorsey even wrote dispatch software in one of his first jobs. It was Glass who came up with the original name Twttr in a reference to chirping birds. (The two vowels were added later.) On March 21, 2006, Dorsey

posted the world’s first tweet: “Just setting up my twttr”. Glass posted the same words just 10 minutes later. By 2007, Twitter was incorporated with Dorsey as the original CEO and Williams as chairman. Dorsey and Williams would eventually swap roles. Both remain major shareholders, though neither runs the company. Dick Costolo, a former Google executive and once an aspiring stand-up comedian, is now CEO. Despite his early involvement in Twitter, Glass was never promoted as one of the company’s founders along with Dorsey, Stone and Williams. Glass, though, proudly boasts of his role on a Twitter account that he rarely uses. His Twitter profile states: “I started this.” Perhaps Twitter’s greatest appeal is that it allows users to see news unfold in real time. People can follow and even communicate with newsmakers. And they can witness history. In 2009, Twitter became an essential communication tool in Iran as the country’s government cracked down on traditional media after a disputed presidential election. Tech-savvy Iranians took to Twitter to organize protests. As the events unfolded, they used the service to send messages and pictures to the outside world. Twitter played a similar role in the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and other countries. Today, a billion tweets are sent every two and a half days. To be fair, most tweets don’t comprise the world’s weightiest matters. They are ruminations about lunch, the weather and Justin Bieber -and occasionally they involve career-crashing missteps of the sort that derailed the political career of former congressman Anthony Weiner. Like Facebook, Twitter reaps most of its revenue from advertising. Research firm eMarketer estimates that Twitter will generate $582.8 million in worldwide ad revenue this year, up from $288.3 million in 2012. While companies are flocking to Twitter to woo consumers, not all of them are convinced of its usefulness. More than 60 percent of U.S. marketers use Twitter, according to Forrester Research analyst Nate Elliott, but he says they are not “fully satisfied with the results.” Twitter, he says, still needs to improve the way it targets advertisements to users and it needs to find more types of ads to sell. Still, by 2015, eMarketer expects Twitter’s annual ad revenue to hit $1.33 billion. — AP

Twitter IPO marks end and the beginning in social media era Twitter expected to earn $582.8m in ad revenue this year

KANSAS: Installers for Google Fiber including Brian Briley were working, March 19, 2013, in the Piper area of northwest Kansas City, Kansas. — MCT

Google Fiber earns excellent grades from early customers KANSAS CITY: Installers show up on time. Headquarters often tells customers when something needs to be fixed without prompting. Unsolicited credits sometimes show up on bills to account for small service glitches. Talk to a sampling of the earliest Google Fiber subscribers in the nation’s first neighborhood wired to the company’s service, and you find a pretty happy lot. Yet Google Fiber’s customers in this first, small group don’t talk about the service as life-changing. Even those with its fastest Internet hookups say things feel more evolutionary than revolutionary. So far, they’ve not found new uses for the Internet. Rather, they say, it’s just easier to handle things they were already doing. Those who buy their TV lineups from Google mostly talk about the delight of dumping predecessors, cable and phone companies that have had the chance over decades to disappoint customers. Despite some glitches, many talk giddily about living in the first neighborhood in the country to get industrial-strength Internet connections at consumer prices. They’re regularly gleeful that they’ve found a new, endearingly attentive company willing to fill their TV screens with programming. “The customer service is outstanding. They’re very apologetic if there’s a problem. They do their best to take care of things,” said Jennifer Tuttle, whose home was hooked up in November. “It’s not something you’re used to with that kind of service.” Her experience rings typical of what the Kansas City Star heard from many in the Kansas City, Kan., neighborhoods of Spring Valley and Hanover Heights. The newspaper contacted dozens by online survey and telephone. They’re the first to get Google Fiber service, the ultra-fast Internet and TV service that could signal to the rest of the country whether home consumers can show a demand for next-generation connection speeds. Broadly speaking, these first-in-line customers say prices run roughly the same or less than what they paid to Time Warner Cable or AT&T for Internet or TV packages before. True, TV channels can freeze for a moment or two, Wi-Fi might not reach every corner of a house, the TV setup feels to some more attuned to Web surfers than couch surfers. None of the problems, however, seems like a deal breaker. Home office workers seem the most grateful for the Internet upgrade - theoretically 100 times faster than most home broadband - even if the speedier Infobahn doesn’t entirely remake life online. Dramatic ways to put the full 1-gigabitper-second speeds to use could come later, and figure to be more likely as the service spreads across the market and, next year, to Austin, Texas. Can Google keep it up? For now, just a few scattered neighborhoods in Kansas City, Kan, have been lit up with Google Fiber service. Google won’t say how many cus-

tomers it has connected. The early satisfied customers, analysts said, speak to the resources Google poured into a service unlike any it’s tried before. “It looks like they’re pacing their installations based on their ability to fulfill the service, to take the time and make sure the installation goes right,” said Glen Friedman, who runs the Ideas & Solutions broadband consulting firm. “The challenge will be to maintain the consistency as they get to a larger and larger customer base.” Another student of the industry, former cable trade group executive Steve Effros, said he fully expected Google Fiber to please its first customers. He’s less sure that the company will be able to keep a broader customer base as satisfied. “If I’m the new guy in town and serving a fraction of the number of people as the old guy, my customer service damn well better be better,” said Effros, a cable industry analyst. “Do we really believe that Google is not going to have billing problems? Everybody else has security problems, but not Google? They’re human. They’ll find this only gets harder.” A Google spokeswoman said in an email: “We’re going to continue staffing our support team so that our customers can always get their questions answered quickly, and aren’t rushed off the phone.” For now, customers largely say the California-based Internet colossus delivers well. Time and again they talk of friendly installers and helpful customer service folks - Google representatives fairly easy to reach either by email or phone. The company also responds to problems in an online forum. Several people in the neighborhood speak appreciatively how Google has opened its local sales office for neighborhood association meetings, and how it lavishly catered a block party - using local vendors. Google Fiber isn’t without flaws. Among the observations: “There have been some growing pains.” “I have experienced periods of very slow response.” “Still has some kinks to work out.” “Fiber Internet is great. TV service stinks.” “Buggy skips in watching TV.” Google Fiber representatives talk proudly about the service but concede it has room for improvement. “We don’t claim to be perfect,” said Carlos Casas, the leader of Google Fiber’s team in Kansas City. “But we are going to learn and make it better.” Generally, customers gripe very little about the Internet service. Some are just delighted at the price. Google offers seven years of service for a total of $300 - for relatively pokey Internet speeds of 5 megabits-per-second downloads and 1 megabit uploads. “We feel like we’re saving a ton of money,” said Elaine Mick, a part-time teacher who lives with her husband and a small child. The household still uses Time Warner for its TV package, but finds the low-end Google Fiber Internet connection more reliable than the 15 megabit service it had been buying from the cable company. —MCT

WASHINGTON: Is Twitter’s stock offering the end of the social media era, or just the beginning? While Twitter appears to have carved out its niche in the social Internet, a big question now is how much growth and innovation remains in the space. Charlene Li at Altimeter Group sees a “last call” mentality around Twitter’s initial public offering (IPO). “Twitter is the last of the Big Four to go public,” she said on her blog. “In the social networking ecosystem, Twitter is seen as a must have in terms of a social strategy, and is the only major player left that is still up for grabs-YouTube (owned by Google), LinkedIn (IPO), and Facebook (IPO) are all spoken for. Other upstarts like Pinterest are just getting started so Twitter is going to be the talk of the town into 2014.” Trip Chowdhry at Global Equities Research said Twitter may be the final social media IPO. “The Twitter IPO symbolizes this industry is coming to an end, and future investments will be in some industry we don’t know,” he told AFP. But others who watch social media say Twitter and others have just scratched the surface of the sector’s potential. “We’re far from the end in innovation,” said Daniel Odio, an executive at the California-based Internet firm Share This, who has been involved in a number of technology startups.

“I believe we are in the Dark Ages of social, there is so much opportunity,” he added. “The whole fabric of our existence is based on sharing, but digitally we haven’t really cracked the code. Facebook has done part of this, and Twitter has created the ability to find people who are not your friends but who share a common interest... that’s why Twitter is good at disrupting governments.” A 2012 report by McKinsey Global Institute suggests social media is just getting started. The report said social networking can increase productivity and “unlock value” to the tune of $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in key segments of the world economy. This comes from “using social tools to enhance communications, knowledge sharing, and collaboration within and across enterprises,” the report said. “While 72 percent of companies use social technologies in some way, very few are anywhere near to achieving the full potential benefit. In fact, the most powerful applications of social technologies in the global economy are largely untapped.” Twitter claims to have more than 200 million active users, but some analysts say the figure is closer to 500 million and growing rapidly, as it becomes a key platform for celebrities, politicians, journalists and others. The research firm

eMarketer, for one, says Twitter is expected to earn $582.8 million in global ad revenue this year, and nearly $1 billion in 2014. Twitter, which launched in 2006, opened the door to advertisers in 2010 by allowing marketers to insert paid “promoted tweets” into user feeds. Olivier Toubia, a Columbia University business professor and co-author of a study on Twitter appearing in the journal Marketing Science, said Twitter is evolving as it becomes a mainstream outlet, similar in some ways to television. “It becomes less valuable as a word of mouth and viral marketing tool, but more valuable as a media outlet,” Toubia told AFP. “It becomes a way for companies to reach consumers, to broadcast content with lower barriers to entry.” Toubia said that with Twitter’s success, “it has lost a bit of its grassroots flavor.” But he maintained that “there is a lot more room for innovation” in social media. “Facebook and Twitter have shown it is possible to connect people all over the world,” he said, but noted that “consumers cannot react with millions of people at the same time.” “There are a lot of opportunities for smaller niche types of social media that will serve different needs that will connect people on a smaller scale in more meaningful ways,” he said. — AFP

Brazil looks to break away from US-centric Internet RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil plans to divorce itself from the US-centric Internet over Washington’s widespread online spying, a move that many experts fear will be a potentially dangerous first step toward politically fracturing a global network built with minimal interference by governments. President Dilma Rousseff has ordered a series of measures aimed at greater Brazilian online independence and security following revelations that the US National Security Agency intercepted her communications, hacked into the state-owned Petrobras oil company’s network and spied on Brazilians who entrusted their personal data to US tech companies such as Facebook and Google. Internet security and policy experts say her government’s reaction to information leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is understandable, but warn it could set the Internet on a course of Balkanization. “The global backlash is only beginning and will get far more severe in coming months,” said Sascha Meinrath, director of the Open Technology Institute at the Washington-based New America Foundation think tank. “This notion of national privacy sovereignty is going to be an increasingly salient issue around the globe.” While Brazil isn’t proposing to bar its citizens from US-based Web services, it wants their data to be stored locally as the nation assumes greater control over Brazilians’ Internet use to protect them from NSA snooping. The danger of mandating that kind of geographic isolation, Meinrath said, is that it could render inoperable popular software applications and services and endanger the Internet’s open, interconnected structure. The effort by Latin America’s biggest economy to digitally isolate itself from US spying not only could be costly and difficult, it could encourage repressive governments to seek greater technical control over the Internet to crush free expression at home, experts say. In December, countries advocating greater “cyber-sovereignty” pushed for such control at an International Telecommunications Union meeting in Dubai, with Western democracies led by the United States and the European Union in opposition. US digital security expert Bruce Schneier says that while Brazil’s response is a rational reaction to NSA spying, it is likely to embolden “some of the worst countries out there to seek more control over their cit-

RIO DE JANEIRO: In this file photo, people use the Internet during the Internet Governance Forum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. — AP izens’ Internet. That’s Russia, China, Iran and Syria. That’s Tunisia. That’s Egypt.” Rousseff says she intends to push for new international rules on privacy and security in hardware and software during the UN General Assembly meeting later this month. Among Snowden revelations: the NSA has created backdoors in software and Web-based services. Brazil is now pushing more aggressively than any other nation to end US commercial hegemony on the Internet. More than 80 percent of online search, for example, is controlled by US based companies. Most of Brazil’s global Internet traffic passes through the United States, so Rousseff’s government plans to lay underwater fiber optic cable directly to Europe and also link to all South American nations to create what it hopes will be a network free of US eavesdropping. More communications integrity protection is expected when Telebras, the state-run telecom company, works with partners to oversee the launch in

2016 of Brazil’s first communications satellite, for military and public Internet traffic. Brazil’s military currently relies on a satellite run by Embratel, which Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim controls. Rousseff is urging Brazil’s Congress to compel Facebook, Google and other US companies to store all data generated by Brazilians on servers physically located inside Brazil in order to shield it from the NSA. If that happens, and other nations follow suit, Silicon Valley’s bottom line could be hit by lost business and higher operating costs: Brazilians are among the most voracious consumers of social media, ranking No. 3 on Facebook and No. 2 on Twitter and YouTube. An August study by a respected US technology policy nonprofit estimated the fallout from the NSA spying scandal could cost the US cloud computing industry, which stores data remotely to give users easy access from any device, as much as $35 billion by 2016 in lost business. —AP


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

Healthy lifestyle fights cell ageing Precious strings of DNA code PARIS: In a small but unprecedented study, scientists yesterday said they had proof that a healthy lifestyle helps the body’s cells fight ageing. The strategy is structured around a whole-food, plant-based diet, moderate daily exercise, yoga-based relaxation and stress management, they said. Researchers recruited 35 men, 10 of whom were asked to follow this lifestyle, while the other 25 were not asked to make any lifestyle changes at all. In addition to the diet and daily physical and mental routines, the 10 also attended weekly sessions for three months where their new skills were reinforced by specialists, including a one-hour weekly “support” session. After five years, the scientists assessed the participants for a hallmark of biological ageing called telomeres. Telomeres are nubby pieces of protein that are attached to the end of chromosomes. They help to protect the precious strings of DNA code when a cell replicates.

They are often likened to the tips of shoelaces. As the telomere wears down, its protection erodes too, and so does the risk that the DNA is not faithfully replicated in the daughter cell, which boosts the risk of cellular malfunction and then disease, including cancer. Looking at the length of telomeres thus gives a telltale of cellular lifespan. Among the 10-man group, telomere length increased significantly by an average of 10 percent over the five years-and it was higher among those who had adhered most faithfully to the new lifestyle. Among the “control” group, though, telomeres had shrunk by three percent on average. The study has limitations as the number of recruits was small, and it was conducted as part of an investigation into prostate cancer. In addition, the research was not empowered to test whether lifestyle changes affected the risk of cancer. But, say its authors, its focus on the vital

telomeres was carried out scientifically and over the long term. This is what makes it new compared with evidence that is anecdotal or only short-term. “The implications of this relatively small pilot study may go beyond men with prostate cancer,” said Dean Ornish, a professor at the University of California in San Francisco, who led the study. “If validated by large-scale randomised controlled trials, these comprehensive lifestyle changes may significantly reduce the risk of a wide variety of diseases and premature mortality. “Our genes, and our telomeres, are a predisposition, but they are not necessarily our fate.” Ornish is the founder of the not-for-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute at the university. He has vigorously promoted in medical presentations and books the argument that lifestyle changes, especially a shift in diet, can protect against disease. The study appears in the journal The Lancet Oncology. —AFP

Danone bribed hospitals to push baby milk

JINAN: A chef who specializes in Confucius cuisine with one of her shrimp dishes at a restaurant in Jinan, Shandong Province. The fine-dining trend is a reflection of how the ruling Communist party which long saw the sage as a reactionary force, has now drafted him into its modern campaign to boost China’s cultural standing and commerce. The philosopher lived from 551 to 479 BC, and his teachings of hierarchy, order and deference had deep resonance in the feudal societies of China and the region. —AFP

Binge drinking common among US teens: Study WASHINGTON: One in ten US teenagers reports engaging in “extreme binge drinking”-downing 10 or more drinks in a night-new research out Monday highlighting the public health risks of alcohol found. The survey of 16,332 high school seniors found that binge drinking, defined as consuming five or more drinks in a row for boys and four or more for girls, was common, with one in five students admitting to at least one episode within the past two weeks. Drinking at this level makes driving dangerous and poses a long-term risk of addiction, deterioration of the still-developing brain of the liver, the researchers emphasized. The results-from the sample of whom 52.3 percent were girls, 64.5 percent white, 11 percent black, 13.1 percent Hispanic and 11.5 percent of other race/ethnicity-found young men were more likely than young women to engage in binge drinking. White students were more likely than their black counterparts to binge drink, as were the children of college-educated parents-though extreme binge

drinking was more common among children whose parents were not college educated. One drink was defined as 12 ounces (0.36 liters) of beer or a wine cooler, four ounces (0.12 liters) of wine, and one shot of liquor. Although drinking as a whole has decreased among high school students since a peak in the 1970s, researchers said, the highest level of extreme binge drinking of 15 drinks or more in a rowreported among 5.6 percent of the study sample-has stayed steady since 2005. “The documented rates of extreme binge drinking, and the fact that they have not changed across recent historical time, support the need for additional research to develop effective prevention and intervention strategies to reduce high-risk alcohol behaviors of youth,” the authors write. The legal drinking age in the US is 21, thanks to a 1984 federal law. Before that, the legal age varied by state, with many allowing alcohol purchases and consumption at 18. High school seniors are typically 17 or 18 years old. —AFP

SHANGHAI/PARIS: Chinese state TV said on Monday that Danone had bribed hospital staff to give its milk powder to new-born babies, allegations that the French food group said it was shocked by and would investigate immediately. China Central Television (CCTV) cited an unidentified former Dumex sales manager as saying the company had paid medical staff at a city hospital in Tianjin to promote its products. Milk powder is a highly sensitive topic in China after a scandal in 2008 when melamine added to baby milk killed at least six children and left thousands ill. This damaged the reputation of local firms and boosted international brands’ market share. Chinese authorities have been cracking down in recent months on graft in various industries, with foreign companies such as British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline and Germany’s Bayer in regulators’ sights. Autos, telecommunications and banks may come next, regulators have suggested. Local and foreign-owned milk powder firms, including Danone, were fined a record amount in August for price fixing. The former Dumex sales manager, cited by CCTV, said that that company gave several hundred thousand yuan in “gifts” to the hospital every year. CCTV said the man had a document detailing payments to doctors, with their bank card details and amounts paid. The document, which CC T V said it had seen, showed staff at the hospital had received about 300,000 yuan ($49,000) in total each month from Dumex, with individual payments ranging from several hundred yuan to about 10,000 yuan. “Dumex China pays great attention to and is extremely shocked by the CCTV report... We will immediately launch an investigation,” Dumex said in a statement passed on by a Danone SA spokeswoman in Paris on Monday. “Dumex Baby Food Co strictly adheres to Chinese laws and regulations,” she said. Corruption in China’s healthcare industry is widespread, fuelled in part by low base salaries for doctors at the country’s 13,500 public hospitals. International guidelines, used in China, say doctors should promote breastfeeding unless there are medical reasons not to. Mothers, meanwhile, were discouraged from breastfeeding, according to the CCTV report, which also quoted a nurse at the hospital as saying that formula-milk makers had been bribing them to recommend their products to mothers. China is an important market for Danone’s babynutrition division, which accounted for 20 percent of overall revenues in 2012. Danone praised “a very strong performance” in China in its annual results statement, citing the success of “a complete revamp of the Dumex range”. Danone had a 9.2 percent share by retail value of China’s $12.4 billion formula milk market in 2012, according to data from market research firm Euromonitor. —Reuters

China’s hunger for soya more animal than vegetable SHANGHAI: China is the biggest soya consumer in the world, but demand is being driven by the increasingly wealthy country’s voracious appetite for meat and fish raised on the product, rather than tofu or soy sauce. When China began reforming its then state-planned economy just over 30 years ago meat was a less common sight on family dining tables. But decades of spectacular growth have transformed the diets of the country’s more than 1.3 billion people as much as its skylines and transport networks. Now around 80 percent of China’s annual demand for soybeans-estimated at roughly 70 million tonnes last year-is crushed into meal to produce oil and feed for farmed animals and fish, analysts estimate. Only about 20 percent is directly used for food, such as traditional tofu, soy milk, or the seasoning soy sauce. “The biggest demand is for soy meal, which is mainly used in animal feed,” said Zhang Lanlan, an analyst at Sublime China Information Co., which runs a com-

modities website. “Demand for oil and animal feed is increasing given China’s urbanisation and population,” she added. Beijing has long been concerned over the world’s most populous country’s ability to feed itself-a fear that factored into the introduction of its controversial one-child policy-but it is hugely dependent on imports of foreign soybeans, which account for most of its consumption. Last year, Chinese farmers grew around 12.8 million tonnes of soybeans, preferring alternative crops yielding better profits, while the country imported 58.38 million tonnes, up 11.2 percent from 2011, official figures show. According to consultancy Beijing Orient Agribusiness, the United States was China’s top soybean supplier in 2012 with 44 percent of imports, closely followed by Brazil on 41 percent, and Argentina in third place with 10 percent. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates China will import 63 million to 67.5 million tonnes for the current crop year, with domestic production stable at 12

million tonnes. More than 90 percent of the soybeans grown in the US are genetically modified, according to USDA figures. But while Chinese producers-who are concentrated in the northeast of the country-are barred from using GM seeds, Beijing allows the import of 11 varieties of GM soybeans, including three approved in June. Despite concerns over food safety following a series of scandals, there has been scant debate in China over GM foods. “Imported genetically modified soybeans are safe to eat,” the mouthpiece of China’s Communist Party, the People’s Daily newspaper, declared in a recent article. “People have no need to worry.” International soybean prices surged late last year but have fallen back in recent months and on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange, the benchmark soybean futures contract for November delivery closed at 4,471 yuan ($730) per tonne on Tuesday. Nonetheless demand for soya is holding up even as economic

growth slows in China, analysts said. Gross domestic product grew 7.8 percent in 2012, its slowest pace in 13 years, and expansion could weaken further this year. But Gao Yanbin, an analyst at Jinshi Futures, said: “When the economy is so -so or slowing down, demand for agricultural products is definitely restrained, but this is not especially obvious. “China’s economic environment is bad but China’s consumption of food is, on the contrary, increasing,” he added. Soya demand did suffer a setback earlier this year when China’s outbreak of H7N9 bird flu killed more than 40 people and decimated poultr y consumption. But the poultry sector is now recovering, so purchases of the soy meal used in feed are picking up, analysts said. The trend is set to continue. China’s domestic soybean crushing industry has annual capacity of more than 100 million tonnes, analysts said-showing the Asian giant has an appetite for far more. —AFP

BARCELONA: A woman carrying bags with food walks along the street as she leaves a vegetables market in a Barcelona. In a poll released yesterday, more than two dozen economists suggests that global growth will remain below full health this year and next. —AP

Hellman Calipar to double warehouse capacity at DWC DUBAI: Dubai World Central (DWC), the world’s first purpose-built aerotropolis, has announced that Hellman Calipar Healthcare Logistics, a strategic joint venture between Hellman Worldwide Logistics from Germany and Calipar Integrated Services DWC LLC from India, has commenced work on its warehouse extension project that will double the current warehouse capacity of the company by adding over 12,500 temperature-controlled pallet positions in a new state-of-the-art dedicated healthcare facility, located next to the existing warehouse at DWC. Upon completion, this will be the largest dedicated healthcare warehouse in the region. Hellman Calipar Healthcare Logistics, which presents a unique concept of healthcare logistics services using Dubai as the hub, has been offering its range of services to support secure distribution of its customer’s specialized pharmaceutical and healthcare products across the region through its fully-equipped logistics centre located at DWC. The significant expansion of its warehouse capacity will enable the company to address the growing demand for its high quality services in key markets. Madhav Kurup, , CEO for Hellmann and Hellman Calipar Healthcare Logistics, said “Ever since we began operations in Dubai World Central we have benefited immensely from the distinct advantages and world-class infrastructure offered by DWC. Especially since this venture is dedicated to healthcare logistics, an industry which is extremely time-sensitive, it was crucial that we have a fast-cycle logistics environment such as DWC that gave us access to fast and efficient multi model logistics platform with global connectivity. Our decision to further expand our warehouse capacity is due to the established credibility, industry confidence and ever increasing demand for this operating model using DWC as the healthcare Hub, and we believe that our

new facility will help us address customer requirements even more efficiently.” Healthcare products require a validated temperature-controlled storage and distribution process. Global pharmaceutical companies have realized the importance of taking control of their ‘cool chain’ until the product reaches the patient, triggering the need for keeping stocks closer to the market. Companies also recognise that Dubai provides the right platform to serve as the distribution hub for healthcare products meant for the rest of the Middle East and Sub Saharan Africa. Mohsen Ahmad, VP Logistics District, Dubai World Central, said: “DWC-based companies operating in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector have often pointed to the strategic advantages they enjoy, including the multimodal transport, fast-cycle logistics environment, and proximity to Al Maktoum International Airport and Jebel Ali Sea Port. Moreover, DWC also offers state-of-the-art infrastructure that will significantly benefit fast-growing healthcare logistics companies such as Hellman Calipar Healthcare Logistics. This niche segment in particular is witnessing steady growth in DWC, thanks to the close collaboration with government entities such as the Ministry of Health and Dubai Customs which are extending their total support for the sustained development of healthcare logistics.” Hellmann Calipar Healthcare Logistics was the first company in the region to invest in a dedicated healthcare validated facility, which was set up after complete validation through simulation exercises for hub processes and freight management. DWC offers an array of benefits to logistics businesses with its integrated operation model, high level of security and safety, enhanced connectivity and competitive pricing. Its modern facilities and state-of-the-art infrastructure have enabled businesses to expand regionally and globally from Dubai.

Soy rules in Latin America as China, Europe beckon BUENOS AIRES: In row after neat row, lush green plants cover the fertile plains of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay-soybeans destined for hungry markets in China and Europe. The green fever stems from this: soy is a great, cheap source of protein. And the stuff is here to stay. Cows make more milk when they are fed soybean meal, for instance. The Chinese go after soybean sprouts, which they then turn into oil or meal, while Europe wants the meal directly, for use as feed for poultry, cattle and pigs. Prices have quadrupled over the past dozen years or so, making the Brazil-Argentina-Paraguay region the world’s soy powerhouse. Their harvest in 2013 was at an all time high. Brazil alone produced 81 million tons this year, matching that of the soybean pioneer, the United States, according to figures from the US Department of Agriculture. The last US soybean harvest was hit by drought. “The benefit is that soy has the same nutritional value as meat but it is a vegetable. Per hectare, it is the cheapest protein to produce,” said Marc-Henry Andre, author of a book entitled “Argentina, Brazil: the El Dorado of Agrobusiness.” At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, thanks to burgeoning demand soy prices have shot from $100 a ton in early 2000 to more than $500 now, said Argentine economist Luciano Cohan. China imported 60 million tons of soybean sprouts in the 2012/2013 season and plans to take another 70 million in 2013/2014. The soy is genetically modified but no one objects “because the benefits for the State are such that this is seen as a positive technology,” Cohan said.

“Soy now has a central role in agriculture. A cow fed with soy clearly produces more milk than one fed with hay,” said French agronomist Marcel Mazoyer. Conservation groups are not thrilled, however. They worry about cattle raising and wheat growing being neglected as farmers jump on the soy bandwagon. Other problems are deforestation, aerial fumigation with pesticides and pollution of groundwater, they say. Beekeepers are buzzing too: they say their insects are being denied flowers for making honey as agriculture grows obsessed with the green leaves of soy. Soybean growing requires little manpower, so it has a social cost as well. Many small-scale farmers have given up agriculture and moved to sprawling slums in big cities. But others are fighting the relentless advance of soy and trying to hold on to land they have inherited from ancestors. In Brazil, soybean is the country’s third largest export (11 percent of the total), after minerals and oil. Brazilian farmers have been flocking to Paraguay to settle there and grow soybean, causing its production to quadruple in one year. A word has been coined to describe them’brasiguayos’-or Brazilian Paraguayans. Paraguay, a country of seven million sandwiched between Brazil and Argentina, is the world’s sixth largest producer and fourth largest exporter, after Brazil, the United States and Argentina. Argentina did not post a record harvest in 2013. But soy accounts for 25 percent of its exports and is the driving force in the country’s economy. Its 2014 harvest is forecast to be a record 53.5 million tons. —AFP


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

Celebrity chef Smith shares weight-loss tips in new book Mandela liked biriyani NEW YORK: Celebrity chef Art Smith, who shed 100 pounds (45 kg) after being diagnosed with diabetes three years ago, shares his weight-loss tips and healthy recipes in his newest cookbook, “Art Smith’s Healthy Comfort.” Smith, known for his Southern-inspired cuisine, has six restaurants dotted around the United States, including Table FiftyTwo in Chicago and New York’s Joanne Trattoria, which is a joint venture with the parents of pop star Lady Gaga. Before opening his own restaurant the Florida native spent 10 years as the personal chef of media mogul and actress Oprah Winfrey. He has also cooked for President Barack Obama and other world leaders. Smith, 53, spoke to Reuters about healthy living, losing a television job and cooking for former South African President Nelson Mandela. Q: There are so many diet cookbooks out there. Why did you decide to do one? A: With this book, it was first one that the publisher allowed us to include calories counts in. Before they wouldn’t do it ... That showed how people have changed. When they asked me to write another book I said I don’t want to do a diet book. I want to show people more of a lifestyle, and how I eat and how I would like to eat. And what I did was that I put together a lot of delicious, healthy recipes. Q: What were your food nemeses? A: When I was diagnosed with adult diabetes, the doctor said, ‘Control your diet or I have to put you on medication.’ So I went on medication rather than address the diet. I did that for a year or so but I wasn’t getting better. One of the biggest problems with my diet was that I would use sugar and caffeine to keep my energy level high. I am a bit of a high-strung person. I would be drinking six packs of diet sodas everyday and eating huge amounts of food at night because I hadn’t eaten anything else during the day. Q: So your diabetes came at a crossroads in your life? A: At 49, I saw myself in a not very good place with my health. I’ve cooked for billionaires, celebrities and all kinds of people. I was used to cooking food more on the healthy side for them. I have been doing it for years. Whatever diet they brought to me, I did it for them. I never liked diets. I don’t think they will work. The word diet and the word gourmet really bother me because they segregate people from the table and from food. One is like ‘I’m not going to eat enough’ and the other one is too fancy to

had the opportunities to cook for him and he enjoyed it. Unfried Chicken with Roasted Brussels Sprouts (serves 4)

Celebrity chef Art Smith eat. I felt like I wanted to bridge the two together because I want to show people that they could have their health and feel comfortable about it. Q: Do you think your weight loss affected your image? A: I literally lost a television show with a major cablenews network because of my weight loss, because they wanted a heavy-set chef just eating food across America, and I wouldn’t do that. I’m not going to be one of the types who is going to eat 50 doughnuts. That’s not the type of message I want to put out there. Q: You have cooked for former South African

President Nelson Mandela. What did you make for him? A: I cooked for Mr Mandela three times. The first time I cooked for him, Miss Oprah said, ‘Mr. Mandela will come and visit.’ I don’t get star-struck but I was pretty star struck. I called his chef and asked him what he liked. He said he liked oxtail and he liked biriyani (an Indian rice dish). Then Oprah called me and I was such a mess. At 35,000 feet or wherever they were in Oprah’s jet, she said Madiba (his clan name) just wanted to tell you the oxtail was pretty stellar. “Did we pack any on the jet?” I just feel grateful that I

For the chicken: 1 cup buttermilk 1 tablespoon Louisiana Hot Sauce or other hot sauce 4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut in half 1-1/2 cups multigrain or whole wheat panko bread crumbs 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese 2 teaspoons ground black pepper 1 teaspoon cayenne 1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder 1 teaspoon paprika For the Brussels sprouts: 16 Brussels sprouts, cut in half 1-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper For the garnish: 1 lemon, quartered To prepare the chicken: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a mixing bowl, mix the buttermilk and hot sauce. Submerge the chicken pieces in the buttermilk and soak in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour but no more than 24 hours. In a gallon-size plastic bag, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, black pepper, cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Seal the bag and shake until well mixed. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and transfer directly to the bag with the bread crumb mixture. Shake the bag until the chicken breasts are evenly coated with the bread crumbs. Remove the chicken breasts from the bag and lay flat on a nonstick baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Bake the chicken for 20 to 25 minutes or until just cooked through. To prepare the Brussels sprouts: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place Brussels sprouts in a medium mixing bowl, toss with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Spread the Brussels sprouts in a medium ovenproof baking dish and roast for 20 minutes or until caramelized and tender. Divide the chicken and Brussels sprouts among 4 serving plates, and squeeze the lemon over the chicken. Per serving: 427 calories; 12 g fat; 3 g sat fat; 79 mg chol; 349 mg sodium; 45 g carb; 6 g sugar; 9 g fiber; 40 g protein; 185 mg calcium. —Reuters

New battery uses microbes to turn sewage into energy WASHINGTON: US scientists may have found a new way to produce clean energy by way of dirty water, according to a new study out Monday. The engineers have developed a more efficient method to use microbes to harness electricity from wastewater. They hope their technique could be used in wastewater treatment facilities and to break down organic pollutants in the “dead zones” of oceans and lakes where fertilizer runoff has depleted oxygen, suffocating marine life. However, for now the team from Stanford University have started small, with a prototype about the size of a D-cell battery, consisting of two electrodes-one positive and one negativeplunged into a bottle of wastewater, filled with bacteria. As the bacteria consume the organic material, the microbes cluster around the negative electrode, throwing off electrons, which are captured in turn by the positive electrode. “We call it fishing for electrons,” said environmental engineer Craig Criddle, one of the lead authors of the study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Acadamy of Sciences (PNAS). “You can see that the microbes make nanowires to dump off their excess electrons,” Criddle added. Scientists have long known of microbes, dubbed exoelectrogenic, that live in airless environments and are capable of “breathing” oxide minerals, instead of oxygen, to generate energy. Over the past dozen years, several research groups have tried different approaches for transforming these microbes into bio-generators-but it has proven difficult to harness this energy efficiently. The researchers said their new model is simple, yet efficient, and can harness about 30 percent of the potential energy in the wastewaterabout the same rate as commercially available solar panels. There is far less energy potential available in wastewater than the sun’s rays, they concede, but say the process has an added benefit: it cleans the water. That means it could could be used to offset some of the energy currently being consumed to treat wastewater. —AFP




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RunQ8 so that no child is left behind


malendu Anil Kumar is celebrating her 11th birthday today! “The Almighty sent us a gift once. A gift, that filled our existence with love, joy and happiness. That gift was everything. That gift was you. Happy Birthday my little girl!” and God bless you. Best wishes from Acha, Amma, Maman and all relatives.

Announcements A photowalk in Kuwait on Oct 5th photowalk is more like a social photography event where photographers gather in a spot, take photos for an hour or two then maybe meet up at a restaurant after that. Scott Kelby’s worldwide photowalk never took place in Kuwait until now. Kuwait’s photowalk will be held on October 5th at Souk Al-Mubarakiya at 10am. There are some prizes to be won like a Canon 70D and Adobe Creative Cloud Membership. So far there are 700 registered photowalks with 8700+ photographers. The prizes are for the worldwide event, not just Kuwait. Kuwait Mapping Meet-Up will be held on September 2 at 5:30 pm in Coffee Bean (Mahboula, Coastal Road). The event is for anyone interested in maps, spatial analysis or surveying in Kuwait. For more information, contact Wil at 9722-5615.


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


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


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


awzia Sultan Rehabilitation Institute (FSRI) and Agility today announced that, this year, the proceeds from its annual RunQ8 charity race will go towards supporting underprivileged children through the not-for-profit children’s rehabilitation program managed by FSRI. RunQ8 2013 will start and end at the Marina Crescent on Gulf Road. The annual 10 kilometer run was launched in 2010 with a clear mandate to raise public awareness on health issues affecting communities in Kuwait, supporting medical institutions, as well as encouraging healthy living amongst the community-atlarge. Medical Director of FSRI, Dr Elham Hamdan, explains that the approach the run takes in supporting a different cause year after year is based on issues that are relevant to the local community at the time. “Each year, the run adopts a different health issue. Previously, we have supported causes such as the prevention of blindness, as well as tackling road safety hazards.” “This year, our focus will be to support our little ones through our not-for-profit children’srehabilitation program. Most people don’t realize that having a child with a physical and/or cognitive disability takes a toll on the family financially. There are cases in Kuwait whereby families delay seeking treatment for their child due to financial constraints. All proceeds from our run this year will fund our children’s rehabilitation program which will be our way of ensuring that no child is left

behind without a chance to live a normal life,” she said. Dr Elham also encourages companies to partner with the run. “No partner is too big or too small for us. We are firm believers that anyone can contribute in any way they would like to. This includes being formal

partners through the Platinum, Gold and Bronze packages or even through encouraging their employees to participate by organizing for it as a company team effort, whilst raising awareness for an important health initiative.

FAIPS-DPS delegation attends Harvard MUN


delegation from FAIPS-DPS Kuwait participated in the third session of The Harvard Model United Nations India 2013, organized by Harvard University, held from the August 15-18. About 11 young leaders from the school travelled to Hyderabad, India to engage in 3 days of intense debate, deliberation and negotiation with 1300 students to draft resolutions on various global issues, such as border conflict and global warming. The conference was a simulation of the United Nations where students play the role of diplomats and representatives of countries, learn about international issues, and discuss and debate these issues from the point of view of their chosen country. In addition to the committee sessions, the delegates also wit-

The harvest festival of St Johns Mar Thoma Parish, Kuwait will be celebrated on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at National Evangelical Church, Kuwait from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm. The distribution of the Harvest festival coupon was inaugurated by Rev C V Symon, vicar of St Johns Parish. Harvest Festival is organized by a committee constituted by the Parish under the leadership of Rev C V Symon as the President and Sam V Thomas as General Convener.

nessed powerful speeches by Nobel Laureate RK Pachauri, Binalakshmi Nepram, Suhasini Haidar and other international and community leaders, and took part in social events like the Global Village fair, India Night and the Delegate Dance. The students returned from the conference with incredible insights into some of the most pressing problems faced by the global community and the importance of diplomacy and constructive dialogue in formulating a long-term solution. The delegates who participated were Rahul Raju, Navonil Datta, Nilasis Bhattacharya, Bharat Nair, Aditya Vishwanath, Divanshu Jain, Chitika Vasudeva, Shounak Ray, Rishabh Bahri, Siddharth Dash and Syed Ameer.


W H AT ’ S O N

Embassy Information EMBASSY OF ARGENTINE For the Argentinean citizens who had not already enlisted in the embassy’s electoral register, and taking in consideration the elections which was held on Sunday 11/08/2013, it is necessary to justify they no vote by presence at our embassy which located in (Mishref - Block 6 - Street 42 - Villa 57) and should present the DNI and/or the Argentinean Passport. The Embassy of the Argentine Republic in the State of Kuwait avails itself of this opportunity to renew the assurances of its highest consideration. nnnnnnn

GUST welcomes new students at Annual Orientation Day 2013


he Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) hosted its annual Orientation Day at its campus conference center organized by the Office of Student Life (OSL), to greet the new students for the upcoming fall semester and give them an inside look at the campus as well as pointers to go through their first semester at the university with comfort, confidence and ease. New students and their parents were excited to be attending the welcoming event as they were greeted by GUST staff and the Students Association committee. Souvenir pictures were taken of the students and distributed to them through a USB Flash Drive to mark this special day. Goodie bags and warm smiles were passed out as the freshman spent time walking around the different booths set up in the hall, including: GUST departments and student clubs while waiting for the event to start. They were guided through the numerous booths ranging from the Student Success Center, Registration Dept., Student Association, and student clubs such as: Management Club, Accounting Club, English Club, Anime Club, Photography Club, MUN Club, Islamic Finance Club and Media Club. After the opportunity to ask questions, learn about what GUST has to offer and sign up for clubs that interested them, GUST’s new students and their parents made their way into the hall for their first official

GUST event. The event kicked off with Joanne Al-Abdul Jalil, Public Relations officer welcoming them to the event and introduced student Abdulaziz Al-Obaid who talked about his success story as the youngest restaurant owner worldwide. Rakan Al-Fadhala and Ali Najem, two of GUST very successful alumni, talked live about their first year experience at GUST and gave some tips for the new students on how to take advantage of the campus life. Al-Abdul Jalil then introduced Dr Donald Bates, the new GUST President who welcomed the students and their families to GUST. Dr Bates talked about the importance of attendance and gave students pointers and advice to make their first year at GUST a pleasant and successful one. Dr Ghassan Aouad, the new Vice President for Academic Affairs, congratulated the students on their acceptance to GUST and highlighted the different services offered to them. Vice President for Academic Services, Dr Sabah Qaddoomi, the new Dean of the Students Affairs, Dr. Raghad Al Kathemi, later took the stage to advise new students and offer tips about self-development. They also talked about the importance of family and the role a student’s parents play in their education, discussing the future of GUST students and encouraged them to take part in clubs and campus activities. Later on, Dr Salah Al-

Sharhan, Vice President of Planning and Development at GUST, talked about the future engineering major and its accreditation. After the speeches, questions from students and parents were answered. Then, Dr Margaret Combs Head of the Foundation Program Unit gave a brief overview of majors at GUST and what careers they can lead into after graduation. A final motivational speech was given by guest speaker Dr Kameleddine Benameur, Assistant Dean of College of Arts and Sciences, discussing how the students’ attitude towards their university life and way of thinking will shape and determine how their time and experience at GUST is spent. He also talked about the importance of attendance and how students should focus on their education during these years. GUST Students Association committee members then guided the freshman out of the hall and led them on a campus-wide tour. New students were eager to get aquatinted with university grounds and were excited to be shown around. GUST succeeded in welcoming its newest students to their new home, answering their questions, and familiarizing with the campus that they will be spending the next four years in. GUST wishes its students the best of luck in their studies and hopes to assist the students in every way they can even after graduation.

EMBASSY OF AUSTRALIA The Embassy of Australia has announced that Kuwait citizens can apply for and receive visit visas in 10 working days through All other processing of visas and Immigration matters are handled by the Australian Visa Application Centre located in Al Banwan Building, 4B, 1st Floor, Al Qibla Area, Ali Al Salem Street, Kuwait City. Visit. for more info. The Embassy of Australia does not have a visa or immigration department. All processing of visas and immigration matters is conducted by the Australian Consulate-General in Dubai. Email: (VIS), (Visa Office), Tel: +971 4 205 5900 (VFS), Fax: + 971 4 355 0708 (Visa Office). Notary and passport services are available by appointment. Appointments can be made by calling the Embassy on 22322422. nnnnnnn

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada in Kuwait does not have a visa or immigration department. All processing of visa and immigration matters including enquiries is conducted by the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Individuals who are interested in working, studying, visiting or immigrating to Canada should contact the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, website: or, E-mail: The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakei St, Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. The reception is open from 07:30 to 12:30. Consular services for Canadian citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00, Sunday through Wednesday. nnnnnnn

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

EMBASSY OF UKRAINE The Embassy of Ukraine in the State of Kuwait would like to inform that submission of the documents for tourist visa is temporary closed (from August 26 till September 26). Within the above-mentioned period, the visa will be issued only in the case of emergency. In the case of planning travel to Ukraine, please apply for visa before August 20. nnnnnnn


The US Embassy in Kuwait has new procedures for obtaining appointments and picking up passports after visa issuance. Beginning August 9, 2013, we now provide an online visa appointment system, live call center, and in-person pick-up facilities in Kuwait. Please monitor our website and social media for additional information. This new system offers more flexibility for travelers to the US and to meet the increase in demand for visa appointments. The general application steps on the new visa appointment system are: 1. Go to (if this is the first time on, you will need to create a profile to login). 2. Please complete your DS-160 Online Visa Application which is available at 3. Please print and take your deposit slip to any Burgan Bank location to pay your visa application fee. 4. Schedule an appointment for your visa interview online at or by phone through the Call Center (at +9652227-1673). 5. If you need to change or cancel your appointment, please do so 24 hours beforehand, as a courtesy to other applicants. For more information, please visit the US Embassy website - - as it is the best source of information regarding these changes. nnnnnnn

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



00:30 Hillbilly Handfishin’ 01:20 Top Hooker 02:10 River Monsters: Untold Stories 03:00 Mythbusters 03:50 Border Security 04:15 Auction Hunters 04:40 Auction Kings 05:05 How Do They Do It? 05:30 How It’s Made 06:00 Sons Of Guns 07:00 Mythbusters 07:50 Yukon Men 08:40 American Chopper: Senior vs Junior 09:30 Border Security 09:55 Auction Hunters 10:20 Auction Kings 10:45 How Do They Do It? 11:10 How It’s Made 11:35 Hillbilly Handfishin’ 12:25 Top Hooker 13:15 River Monsters: Untold Stories 14:05 Border Security 14:30 Auction Hunters 14:55 Auction Kings 15:20 Finding Bigfoot 16:10 American Chopper: Senior vs Junior 17:00 Ultimate Survival 17:50 Dirty Jobs 18:40 Mythbusters 19:30 Sons Of Guns 20:20 Auction Hunters 20:45 Auction Kings 21:10 How Do They Do It? 21:35 How It’s Made 22:00 Dynamo: Magician Impossible 22:50 The Big Brain Theory 23:40 Mythbusters

00:05 How Tech Works 00:30 Food Factory 01:00 NASA’s Greatest Missions 01:50 Scrapheap Challenge 02:45 Scrapheap Challenge 03:35 Junk Men 04:00 Junk Men 04:25 Engineered 05:15 The Gadget Show 05:40 How Tech Works 06:05 NASA’s Greatest Missions 07:00 Alien Mysteries 07:50 Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design 08:40 The Gadget Show 09:05 How Tech Works 09:30 Ecopolis 10:20 Mighty Ships 11:15 Scrapheap Challenge 12:05 Moon Machines 13:00 Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design 13:50 Food Factory 14:20 The Gadget Show 14:45 How Tech Works 15:10 Alien Mysteries 16:00 Eco-Tech 16:55 Engineered 17:45 Scrapheap Challenge 18:35 NASA’s Greatest Missions 19:30 Alien Mysteries 20:20 Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design 21:10 The Gadget Show 21:35 How Tech Works 22:00 Alien Mysteries 22:50 Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design 23:40 The Gadget Show

00:30 01:20 02:10 02:35 03:00 03:45 04:30 05:20

Dr G: Medical Examiner Psychic Witness Dates From Hell Dates From Hell Deadly Women I Almost Got Away With It Dr G: Medical Examiner Psychic Witness

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Nightmare Next Door Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Solved Disappeared Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Street Patrol Forensic Detectives On The Case With Paula Zahn Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? Disappeared Solved Forensic Detectives On The Case With Paula Zahn Dr G: Medical Examiner Nightmare Next Door Couples Who Kill LA: City Of Demons I Was Murdered I Was Murdered I Almost Got Away With It

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Hannah Montana Forever Hannah Montana Forever Brandy & Mr Whiskers Brandy & Mr Whiskers Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School The Replacements The Replacements Brandy & Mr Whiskers Brandy & Mr Whiskers Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School The Replacements The Replacements Brandy & Mr Whiskers Brandy & Mr Whiskers Austin And Ally Suite Life On Deck Shake It Up A.N.T. Farm Jessie Good Luck Charlie Sofia The First Doc McStuffins Jake And The Neverland Jake And The Neverland A.N.T. Farm A.N.T. Farm Jessie Jessie Good Luck Charlie Good Luck Charlie Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Shake It Up Austin And Ally Austin And Ally Austin And Ally Gotta Kick It Up Gravity Falls Jessie Violetta A.N.T. Farm Austin And Ally Gravity Falls Shake It Up That’s So Raven A.N.T. Farm Violetta Jessie My Babysitter’s A Vampire Austin And Ally Austin And Ally That’s So Raven Jessie A.N.T. Farm Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place

06:00 Kid vs Kat 06:10 Iron Man Armored Adventures 06:35 Kickin’ It 07:00 Max Steel 07:25 Phineas And Ferb

07:50 Slugterra 08:15 Pair Of Kings 08:40 Kickin It 09:05 Kickin It 09:30 Lab Rats 09:55 Lab Rats 10:20 Pair Of Kings 10:45 Kick Buttowski 11:10 Mr. Young 11:35 Slugterra 12:00 Kickin It 12:25 Max Steel 12:50 I’m In The Band 13:15 Lab Rats 13:40 Almost Naked Animals 14:05 Phineas And Ferb 14:15 Phineas And Ferb 14:30 Kickin It 14:55 Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja 15:20 Phineas And Ferb 15:45 Ultimate Spider-Man 16:10 Ultimate Spider-Man 16:35 Crash & Bernstein 17:00 Lab Rats 17:30 Kickin It 18:00 Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja 18:25 Phineas And Ferb 18:50 Phineas And Ferb 19:00 Phineas And Ferb 19:15 Slugterra 19:40 Crash & Bernstein 20:05 Ultimate Spider-Man 20:30 Max Steel 20:55 Pair Of Kings 21:20 Rated A For Awesome 21:45 Kick Buttowski 22:10 Mr. Young 22:35 Scaredy Squirrel 23:00 Programmes Start At 6:00am KSA

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Dr G: Medical Examiner Psychic Witness Dates From Hell Dates From Hell Deadly Women I Almost Got Away With It Dr G: Medical Examiner Psychic Witness Nightmare Next Door Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Solved Disappeared Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Street Patrol Forensic Detectives On The Case With Paula Zahn Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? Disappeared Solved Forensic Detectives On The Case With Paula Zahn Dr G: Medical Examiner Nightmare Next Door Couples Who Kill LA: City Of Demons I Was Murdered I Was Murdered I Almost Got Away With It

00:30 01:00 01:30 02:00 02:30 03:00 03:30 04:00 04:30 Leno 05:30 06:00 07:00 08:00 08:30 09:30 10:00 11:00 Leno

The Daily Show The Colbert Report Louie South Park Weeds Two And A Half Men Raising Hope Seinfeld The Tonight Show With Jay All Of Us The War At Home Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Seinfeld All Of Us Two And A Half Men Arrested Development The Tonight Show With Jay

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The War At Home Seinfeld All Of Us Raising Hope Two And A Half Men Arrested Development The Daily Show The Colbert Report The War At Home Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Family Tools Happy Endings The Tonight Show With Jay

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24 Homeland Breaking Bad Smash Once Upon A Time 24 Switched At Birth Fairly Legal Homeland Emmerdale Coronation Street Fairly Legal 24 Emmerdale Coronation Street Fairly Legal Warehouse 13 Bones Castle Justified Smash

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House Of Cards Good Morning America Nip/Tuck American Horror Story Good Morning America Emmerdale Coronation Street Awake Emmerdale Coronation Street Drop Dead Diva House Of Cards Live Good Morning America Drop Dead Diva Awake House Of Cards Drop Dead Diva Awake House Of Cards Treme Nip/Tuck

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The Daily Show The Colbert Report Louie South Park Weeds Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

XXX: State Of The Union Botched Terrible Angels Mission: Impossible The Man Inside Mission: Impossible II Dragonheart Tombstone Mission: Impossible II Jesse Stone: Benefit Of The Tombstone Seconds Apart

00:00 Botched-18 02:00 Terrible Angels-PG15 04:00 Mission: Impossible-PG15 06:00 The Man Inside-PG15 07:45 Mission: Impossible II-PG15 10:00 Dragonheart-PG 11:45 Tombstone-PG15 14:00 Mission: Impossible II-PG15 16:15 Jesse Stone: Benefit Of The Doubt-PG15 18:00 Tombstone-PG15 20:15 Seconds Apart-PG15 22:00 A Dangerous Man-18

00:00 Hard Breakers-18 02:00 Venus And Vegas-PG15 04:00 The Beautician And The Beast-PG 06:00 Who Framed Roger RabbitPG15 08:00 Police Academy 6: City Under Siege-PG15 10:00 Another Stakeout-PG15 12:00 The Beautician And The Beast-PG 14:00 Mad Buddies-PG15 16:00 Another Stakeout-PG15 18:00 Celtic Pride-PG 20:00 Flypaper-18 22:00 Hard Breakers-18

01:00 Remember Sunday-PG15 03:00 When Love Is Not EnoughPG15 05:00 Ties That Bind-PG15 07:00 Remember Sunday-PG15 09:00 When Love Is Not EnoughPG15 11:00 Katy Perry The Movie: Part Of Me-PG 13:00 Hidden Crimes-PG15 15:00 On The Inside-PG15 17:00 Waiting For Forever-PG15 19:00 Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, SpyPG15 21:15 Summer Coda-PG15 23:15 The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo-R


01:00 Project Nim-PG15 03:00 Idlewild-18 05:00 L’amour C’est Mieux A DeuxPG15 07:00 Bobby Fischer Against The World-PG15 09:00 StreetDance 2-PG15 11:00 The Intouchables-PG15 13:00 The Key Man-PG15 15:00 The Wild Hunt-PG15

FLYPAPER ON OSN MOVIES COMEDY HD 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00

The Intouchables-PG15 Something Borrowed-PG15 Color Of Night-18 Rabbit Hole-PG15

01:00 Toast-PG15 03:00 Blue Lagoon: The Awakening-PG15 05:00 Gnomeo & Juliet-PG 07:00 Dating Coach-PG15 09:00 The Three Stooges-PG15 11:00 Damsels In Distress-PG15 13:00 Flower Girl-PG15 15:00 Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax-PG 17:00 The Three Stooges-PG15 19:00 Men In Black 3-PG 21:00 Small Apartments-PG15 23:00 American Reunion-18

01:00 02:45 04:30 Chase 06:00 08:00 10:00 11:45 13:15 15:00 16:30 18:15 20:00 22:00 23:30

00:00 Cricket Champions League Twenty20 03:00 ICC Cricket 360 03:30 AFL Premiership Highlights 04:30 Top 14 06:30 NRL Full Time 07:00 Cricket Champions League Twenty20 10:00 Cricket Champions League Twenty20 13:00 NRL Full Time 13:30 Futbol Mundial 14:00 The Rugby Championship 16:00 Super League 18:00 AFL Premiership Highlights 19:00 PGA Tour Highlights 20:00 NRL Full Time 20:30 Futbol Mundial 21:00 Cricket Champions League Twenty20

00:00 AFL Premiership 02:30 Top 14 Highlights 03:00 NRL Full Time 03:30 Futbol Mundial 04:00 World Cup of Pool 05:00 World Cup of Pool 06:00 Golfing World 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 Trans World Sport 09:00 World Cup of Pool 10:00 World Cup of Pool 11:00 Sydney Darts Masters 15:00 Sailing America’s Cup Highlights 16:00 Top 14 Highlights 16:30 Golfing World 17:30 World Cup of Pool 18:30 World Cup of Pool 19:30 ITU World Triathlon Series 22:00 Top 14 Highlights 22:30 Rugby Union Currie Cup

00:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 12:30 13:00 15:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 23:00

UFC UFC Countdown Ping Pong World US Bass Fishing Mass Participation WWE Vintage Collection WWE NXT Ping Pong World US Bass Fishing Triahlon UK Triahlon UK UIM Powerboat Champs WWE SmackDown Prizefighter WWE Vintage Collection UFC Countdown UFC UFC The Ultimate Fighter

The Emerald City Of Oz¬† Easter Egg Escapade Moomins And The Comet Surf’s Up Marco Antonio Charlotte’s Web A Monster In Paris Easter Egg Escapade Problem Child Arthur Christmas Charlotte’s Web Cinderella Problem Child Arthur Christmas

00:00 Burden Of Evil-PG15 01:45 Think Like A Man-PG15 04:00 The Wild Girl-PG15 06:00 Three Investigators And The Secret Of Terror...-PG 08:00 Superman vs. The Elite-PG15 09:45 Flicka 3-FAM 11:45 Think Like A Man-PG15 14:00 Today’s Special-PG15 16:00 Superman vs. The Elite-PG15 18:00 Dark Shadows-PG15 20:00 Looper-18 22:00 Meeting Evil-18

01:00 Trans World Sport 02:00 NRL Full Time 02:30 Futbol Mundial 03:00 Rugby Union Currie Cup 05:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 06:00 AFL Premiership Highlights 07:00 Trans World Sport 08:00 Sailing America’s Cup Highlights 09:00 Golf The Challenge Series 09:30 ITU World Triathlon Series 12:00 Futbol Mundial 12:30 Sailing America’s Cup Highlights 13:30 Live Cricket Champions League Twenty20 16:30 PGA European Tour Highlights 17:30 Live Cricket Champions League Twenty20 20:30 PGA European Tour Weekly 21:00 Inside The PGA Tour 21:30 Trans World Sport 22:30 NRL Full Time 23:00 Futbol Mundial 23:30 Super League

Indian Bollywood film actors Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone attend their first look trailer launch of the upcoming romantic-drama Hindi film ‘Ram Leela’ directed and produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali in Mumbai on September 16, 2013. — AFP

Spikes Asia opens for second day SINGAPORE: The Spikes Asia Festival of Creativity, Asia Pacific’s premier event for the creative communications industry, has opened its doors for a second day of inspiration. A further two shortlists have now been released showing that 41 entries have been shortlisted in the Film category with 37 being shortlisted in the Branded Content & Entertainment category. The Film Craft, Print & Poster Craft, Creative Effectiveness and Integrated shortlists will be revealed tomorrow ahead of the Spikes Asia Awards Ceremony, which will draw the 2013 Festival to a close and unveil the winners of this year’s trophies. Yesterday afternoon seminars came from Starcom MediaVest Group, Naked, Microsoft, Lowe and Partners, JWT, Dentsu and DigitasLBi. Meanwhile a program of forums has commenced which is exploring topics around three themes: Creative Talent Management, Consumer Insights and Understanding People and Creativity in Social. Yesterday’s Forums were held by the likes of Senior Writer, Peter Vegas, and Creative, Matt Williams, both of Draftfcb, who challenged the idea of the traditional creative team in favour of the larger group which allows for more powerful forms of creative expression. Today’s line-up will see

Forums given by Omnicom Media Group, BBDO and Media Innovation Group. Meanwhile, in today’s seminar program, delegates will see the likes of Rei Inamoto, Tom Beckman and Richard Pinder taking to the stage. Elsewhere at the Festival, the Spikes Asia academy program is now into its second day. Four academies are taking place this year which include the new Young Media and Young Account Executive academies, along with the Young Creative and Young Marketers academies. Offering an unrivalled program of training and learning whilst also allowing attendees to immerse themselves in the creativity of the Festival, these academies are seeing unique and intimate sessions given by industry professionals that include Keith Reinhard, Chairman of DDB, John Hadfield, CEO of BBH and David Mayo, CEO of Bates CHI & Partners to name a few. Tonight delegates will get to network and party at the dedicated Spikes Night, Networking After Dark, as some of Singapore’s top agencies open their doors for some Singaporean hospitality. Transported by the Bates CHI party bus, delegates will be dropped at Lowe Asia Pacific, VivaKi, JWT and McCann Worldgroup to enjoy a night of parties.

Classifieds WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2013


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I, Anandharaj S/O Subbaiyan, holder of Indian Passport No: F4197628 residing in Kuwait hereby change my name to Abdul Rehman. (C 4509) 16-9-2013

Prayer timings


CHANGE OF NAME 1:15 PM 3:30 PM 5:45 PM 8:00 PM 10:15 PM 12:30 AM

Massive moving house hold sale, furniture, single beds, dining table, crockery, glass-ware, ladies clothing etc. Call: 67723993, 66118406, 25316866. (C 4506) 12-9-29013

I, Murali Dhar Nair, I have embraced Islam so I have changed my name as Mohammad Yaseen. So please consider my new name. (C 4507) 14-9-2013













No: 15932

TUITION Learn holy Quran, in perfect way, private tuition available for elders and children by Hafiz-e -Quran. Contact: 66725950. (C 4502) 14-9-2013

SITUATION VACANT Required English speaking live-in nanny / maid. Please contact 99824597. (C 4508) 16-9-2013

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (



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s ta rs CROSSWORD 314

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) ARIES You can enjoy another high-cycle day! Much can be accomplished but if you have no focus or no guide to move you in any particular direction, you could become frustrated with a headache by the end of this day. Make a list of the things you need to accomplish and let that guide you. Try not to overextend yourself, or to push these energies to the extreme. Take your allocated breaks and during the noon hour, make it a point to get outside, weather permitting. You could come up with new solutions or inventions today. This evening you may want to take a little trip or enjoy some social event with your loved ones. It is easy to see what you value and care about—you will find it easy to express your appreciation. This may be a good day to select furnishings.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) This is a rewarding day—any reasonable investment will prove successful. Your friends or co-workers that are above you in the work field are in a position to help you get ahead or give you advice on the best way to handle a business situation. Do not hesitate to use them when you need them. Your life is fast paced and planning some ways to relieve the stress is a very important part of maintaining good health. Perhaps a couple of your friends or a family member will meet you after work at a health spa or a gym for an hour of exercise in the evening. This is one good way to bring family members or a loved one into parts of your life outside your working world. A good workout can bring about some inspiring moments and tonight you will find inspiration.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

ACROSS 1. Counting the number of white and red blood cells and the number of platelets in 1 cubic millimeter of blood. 4. Oldest known reptiles. 12. The compass point midway between northeast and east. 15. The syllable naming the sixth (submediant) note of a major or minor scale in solmization. 16. The unintentional misuse of a word by confusion with one that sounds similar. 17. A close friend who accompanies his buddies in their activities. 18. A dark-skinned member of a race of people living in Australia when Europeans arrived. 19. Lock up in jail. 20. An agency of the United Nations affiliated with the World Bank. 21. (Roman Catholic) A diplomatic representative of the Pope having ambassadorial status. 23. A radioactive gaseous element formed by the disintegration of radium. 24. 40th President of the United States (1911- ). 26. A Hindu goddess who releases from sin or disease. 29. A Hindu disciple of a swami. 32. A very poisonous metallic element that has three allotropic forms. 33. A rare silvery (usually trivalent) metallic element. 34. United States labor organizer who ran for President as a socialist (1855-1926). 37. Mollusk with a low conical shell. 39. A board game in which players try to move their pieces into their opponent's bases. 42. Fermented alcoholic beverage similar to but heavier than beer. 43. Evergreen trees and shrubs having oily oneseeded fruits. 44. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 46. The vertical triangular wall between the sloping ends of gable roof. 48. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 49. Made from residue of grapes or apples after pressing. 50. A river of southwestern Africa that rises in central Angola and flows east and then north (forming part of the border between Angola and Congo) and continuing northwest through Congo to empty into the Congo River on the border between Congo and Republic of the Congo. 52. A drug (trade names Calan and Isoptin) used as an oral or parenteral calcium blocker in cases of hypertension or congestive heart failure or angina or migraine. 54. A heavy iron lever with one end forged into a wedge. 55. Any property detected by the olfactory system. 56. Any of several tall tropical palms native to southeastern Asia having egg-shaped nuts. 59. The cry made by sheep. 61. King of Saudi Arabia since 1982 (born in 1922). 62. Used especially of fruits. 66. Ions are accelerated along a linear path by voltage differences on electrodes along the path. 69. A Tibetan or Mongolian priest of Lamaism. 73. (botany) Of or relating to the axil. 77. Someone who is morally reprehensible. 78. An independent agency of the United States government responsible for aviation and space-

flight. 79. A tricycle (usually propelled by pedalling). 80. A master's degree in fine arts. 81. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 82. A starch made by leaching and drying the root of the cassava plant. 83. The sense organ for hearing and equilibrium. DOWN 1. Group of people related by blood or marriage. 2. Used as a Hindi courtesy title. 3. 100 chon equal 1 won. 4. Only the bowfins. 5. A river in southeastern Australia that flows generally northwest to join the Darling River. 6. Any high mountain. 7. United States painter (1870-1966). 8. A swift whirling motion (usually of a missile). 9. The bureau of the Treasury Department responsible for tax collections. 10. A jamb for a door. 11. Transient cessation of respiration. 12. Small creeping evergreen shrubs. 13. A quantity of no importance. 14. A feeling of strong eagerness (usually in favor of a person or cause). 22. A high-crowned black cap (usually made of felt or sheepskin) worn by men in Turkey and Iran and the Caucasus. 25. A resource. 27. A hard gray lustrous metallic element that is highly corrosion-resistant. 28. (Greek mythology) One of the three Graces. 30. Of or relating to or located near a hilum. 31. A hard gary-black mineral consisting of corundum and either hematite or magnetite. 35. The whiteness that results from removing the color from something. 36. The upper house of the parliament of the Republic of Ireland. 38. The basic unit of money in Bangladesh. 40. Small terrestrial lizard of warm regions of the Old World. 41. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 45. An aggressive remark directed at a person like a missile and intended to have a telling effect. 47. An outpouring of gossip. 51. The froth produced by soaps or detergents. 53. A unit of length of thread or yarn. 57. Scarabaeid beetle considered divine by ancient Egyptians. 58. The last (12th) month of the year. 60. Date used in reckoning dates before the supposed year Christ was born. 63. Of a pale purple color. 64. Squash bugs. 65. Annual to perennial herbs of the Mediterranean region. 67. The chief solid component of mammalian urine. 68. Armor plate that protects the chest. 70. The highest level or degree attainable. 71. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 72. The sixth month of the civil year. 74. A drug combination found in some over-thecounter headache remedies (Aspirin and Phenacetin and Caffeine). 75. A room equipped with toilet facilities. 76. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth.


Routine duties are in for a change. You contribute a great deal of positive input that helps to bring about new business. Patience is in order now and with time, you may see the purpose in another person’s decisions or plans and that person may also see the advantage of your ideas. If you fight the unavoidable it could make the process of decision making difficult. If you go with the flow, you will find your ideas can be merged with other people’s ideas. You may be sought after for your advice regarding some very personal and emotional issues this afternoon. You will know the right things to say. Someone experienced and wise will help you when you need it this afternoon. A social affair shows you at your best this evening.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) You seem to shine today as matters keep coming up in the workplace for you to address. You could call on a creative talent or two. You have suggestions and methods that will cut cost; superiors are listening. You have an easy way with superiors or those in authority and can always manage to get the most out of any skill. You like work that allows you to be creative. You communicate with gifted skills and others will be able to learn your techniques under your patient tutelage. Your high degree of mental concentration helps you to excel in all types of skills. Your ambitions go hand-in-hand with communication and using the mind and the two should never be far apart. Rest a little and then take some time to enjoy your friends this evening.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Today you will need to use tact. You may find dignitaries visiting your company. Everyone uses his or her best manners. There is an urge to please that is so strong it may be hard to decide the best action. You will balance your day out very nicely and may be asked to share in the responsibility of entertaining. This may only mean that you will quickly do the research and make the reservations. You may benefit from other people’s money, perhaps through a loan or through some investment. This is certainly a time to rejoice, but you may want to reassess your investments. It would be well worth your time to think about some sort of travel or volunteer service that would enhance your understanding of human experiences.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) Challenging authority and rocking the boat will likely play a bigger role in your life now. The new broom sweeps clean; old patterns of organization and power are ripe for a creative approach. There are no arguments, just a new understanding and a reaching out for something new. Radical and inventive ideas hold the key to realizing your ambitions—a shakeup is in the works. There is a chance to understand those around you and to have a special time with someone you love this afternoon. General good feelings and a sense of harmony make this a happy time. There is so much living to do and so much to learn—a big world out there to explore and make a part of your experiences. This is a time when more travel opportunities may enter into your life.

Word Search

Libra (September 23-October 22) You may have a sense of circumstances working against you or feel a lack of support and love from those around you. You could clash with young people or old habits. Your environment or the atmosphere around you just now may feel stressed. Find the cause of the problem so that the whole day is not stressed—show your gratefulness for this person, even though you may not be happy with his or her actions. This person or situation is teaching you something great unintentionally and they do not even know it. You have a strong need for psychological security and truth and this cuts through most chitchat and settles on a basic understanding. You could work in law or research. You concentrate on positive changes. Make the evening a special one.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Real insight into your own inner workings could surface today and in a manageable form. You may be in the mood for deep and penetrating conversations or thoughts. You usually have a sense of what the public wants and if you are finding yourself preparing for a conference or lecture, your coordination of events is something to be admired. As you focus in on how much things really mean to you, a financial gain is a bright prospect looming before you now. There may be a tendency to emphasize the material too much, which could lead to the feeling that things you own, own you instead. You will be delighted to know your busy day still has a little time left to enjoy being with a loved one. Your smile is contagious.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Ties between people become a focus. New business partnerships are entered into; old ones are renewed or else they get left behind. You will no longer be hampered by dead weight and old issues. A fresh, invigorating quality blows into your life now. You sharpen your critical powers and make them apparent to all. You may gain a chance for a promotion now. You minimize stress with efficiency and could teach others some of your new problem-solving techniques. You need more energy and it makes a lot of sense for you to be sure that you are eating properly. Exercise is also necessary, no matter how little time you have available. If there are young people in your home, now may be the best time to help them create good study patterns.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) This is a very good day for job-related events. Much can be accomplished. You may shine in your particular job or find that promotion or practical insights come with ease. This is a great time to be with others and to work together. You may be sought after as just the person for a particular job. Your management abilities are strong. Look for ways to make money away from the workplace. This is a nice day that should just flow along very well. You will also do well in activities that include children, young people and your home and surroundings. You could feel real support and harmony from others and you can give others that feeling of support and harmony as well. A cycle of nostalgia and domesticity begins.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You may enjoy your own life situation today. Professional challenges and frustrations are easily put behind you, if you will try not to rush through the problem-solving steps too quickly. Trying to solve problems very quickly will create opportunities to return to the problem at another time. Someone may compliment you on your accomplishments this afternoon. At home later today you will find that group activities are where you enjoy putting your energies. There is a yearning to boost your energies, perhaps through a volunteer type of activity. You could be teaching some young person to swim, play a musical instrument or learn math or a language. You have an opportunity to rethink some of your personal goals now.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) You analyze things realistically and you teach others to do the same. You take professional problems one step at a time and you look to solve the most complicated problems. Careful—others could lean on you too much in this type of circumstance. Abundance is in the air—keep thinking positively. You send flowers to a loved one or find some way to express your gratitude for their love. You may find some wonderful surprises will occur from this sort of action on your part. This afternoon would be a good time to tend to a few chores you had previously set aside. One item that you may have forgotten is the need for either new keys or additional keys to your home or vehicle. This could be for safety reasons or perhaps convenience.

Yesterday’s Solution

Yesterday’s Solution

Daily SuDoku

Yesterday’s Solution


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


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital














Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

23915883 23715414 23726558




Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622




Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967




New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638





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

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

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241



Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh









Kaizen center


















Abdullah Salem




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Gar






Ayoun Al-Qibla










Maidan Hawally






W Hawally






New Jahra


West Jahra


South Jahra


North Jahra


North Jleeb








N Khaitan





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


Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf


Dr. Khaled Hamadi

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari


Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed

Dr. Abdel Quttainah


Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar


Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari


Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan


Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe


Dr. Verginia s.Marin

2572-6666 ext 8321


25665898 25340300

Dr. Zahra Qabazard


Dr. Sohail Qamar


Dr. Snaa Maaroof


Dr. Pradip Gujare


Dr. Zacharias Mathew


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



Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan


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Dr. Shamah Al-Matar


Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed



Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari


General Surgeons Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer


Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher


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

22666300 25728004

Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra


Dr. Mobarak Aldoub


Dr Nasser Behbehani


Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688



Dr. Mousa Khadada


Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri


Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly


Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali


Kaizen center 25716707


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


Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees


Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi

Dr Anil Thomas

Dr. Salem soso

Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman


Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah


Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad

24555050 Ext 210

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


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

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

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


lifestyle G o s s i p

Bullock tells Vogue she doesn’t look back I

t’s been three years since Sandra Bullock split from her husband Jesse James but she has no desire to go backward and examine what happened, especially not publicly. Days after Bullock won the Best Actress Oscar for “The Blind Side,” tabloids reported James had cheated on her. She reacted swiftly, by going under the radar and filing for divorce. Now she tells Vogue, “We’re all where we’re supposed to be” and “I’m grateful that I’m here, blessed to have

what I have.” What Bullock has is a three-year-old son named Louis whom she adopted in January 2010, in the middle of awards season. She managed to keep him a secret for the first few months of his life. Vogue’s Oct issue goes on sale Sept 24.

Spears announces Las Vegas residency

B Moore tells

daughter it takes help to get made up


ulianne Moore is known for her milky white skin and striking red hair but the actress says her “camera ready” look is much different than when she’s off the clock. In fact, the 52-year-old tells In Style magazine that her friends tease her for wearing mostly yoga clothes when she’s not working. She also says her 11-yearold daughter Liv recently saw a photo of her and proclaimed, “Mom, you don’t look like that!” The actress says she explained to her daughter it was “the result of all these people working together.” Moore says she appreciates the way a glam squad can make her look “so much better” but it “takes too much time.” The Oct issue of In Style goes on sale Sept 20.

ritney Spears is heading to Las Vegas. The pop star announced a 16-date residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino during an interview yesterday on ABC. She will perform 50 shows each in 2014 and 2015. “Britney: Piece of Me” will debut Dec 27. The Grammy-winning singer said in an interview that the show will feature her greatest hits as well as new material. “I’m definitely ready,” she said, adding that she’s training five hours each day. The 31-year-old Spears released a new song, “Work (Expletive),” this week. The song is from her untitled eighth album, due out Dec 3. It will include songs about her exfiance Jason Trawick. “They suck,” she said. “Breakups suck.”



Rachel Stevens

lead Soul Train nominee


endrick Lamar is the top nominee for the Soul Train Awards. The rapper is up for six awards, including album of the year for “good kid, m.A.A.d city” and song and video of the year for “Poetic Justice.” R&B singers Justin Timberlake, Miguel, Robin Thicke, Chris Brown and Tamar Braxton follow with five nominations each. The latest albums from Lamar, Timberlake and Miguel will battle efforts from Jay-Z, Rihanna and Fantasia for album of the year. Lamar’s other nominations include best new artist, hip-hop song of the year and collaboration. The Soul Train Awards will be presented Nov 8 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The awards will air Dec 1 on BET and Centric. Actor-comedian Anthony Anderson will host the show.

Beckham has got a new ‘Victoria’ tattoo he retired 38-year-old soccer star already has his wife Victoria Beckham’s name inked in Hindi script along his forearm, and he has now had her moniker needled onto his right hand in English. He debuted his latest tattoo as he

is the

stepped out hand-in-hand with the fashion designer at a London Fashion Week party yesterday. Earlier in the year, Victoria, 39, brought David a tattoo voucher for his 38th birthday, which he celebrated on May 2, and despite admitting her husband doesn’t really need another inking she was happy to spoil him. She previously said: “Not that he needs another tattoo. I also bought him some Ralph Lauren T-shirts, which he loves.” Among David’s other 33 tattoos are tributes to his children sons Brooklyn, 14, Romeo, 10, Cruz, eight, and two-year-old daughter Harper. The former Los Angeles Galaxy player has the name of Harper etched in script along his left collarbone and a design of Jesus being carried by three cherubs, which is dedicated to his three boys. He has Brooklyn’s name running across his lower back, Romeo on the base of his neck and Cruz across the middle of his back underneath an image of a guardian angel.

is pregnant


he S Club 7 singer and her husband Alex Bourne are expecting their second child together and can’t wait for their two-year-old daughter Amelie to have a younger sibling. In a statement released on her official website, Rachel revealed: “PREGNANT WITH BABY NUMBER TWO! I’ve got some very exciting news to share with you today ... Alex and I are so happy to find out that we are pregnant again and can’t wait to meet our new little member of the family early next year. Needless to say, we’re all super excited, especially Amelie who is looking forward to meeting her new little brother or sister. (sic)” Accompanying the statement was a photo of Rachel’s trainers, Alex’s trainers, Amelie’s trainers and a pair of trainers for the unborn baby, with the year each person was born and will be born written next to the footwear. Rachel, 35, and Alex got engaged in June 2008 and were married in August 2009. They delayed their wedding by a year so the brunette star could prepare for her appearance on ballroom TV show ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ in 2008.

Hilton takes swipe at reality TV rival Kardashian


aris Hilton has taken a swipe at Kim Kardashian’s series ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ by insisting ‘The Simple Life’ is still the best reality show. The hotel heiress claims is too busy to watch the popular E! reality series which catapulted her former friend Kim to fame and hailed her own reality series - which saw her and pal Nicole Richie work in a variety of unusual jobs - as “iconic”. In an interview with heat magazine, she said: “Reality TV is a lot of hard work, and Kim has done well for herself. I don’t watch reality TV now, because I don’t have time. As far as I’m concerned, ‘The Simple Life’ was the best reality TV show going, and it turned 10 years old recently. It’s timeless, iconic and you can still watch it.” Paris - who recently finished her DJ residency in Amnesia nightclub in Ibiza - claims her busy work schedule won’t allow for a reunion with Nicole on ‘The Simple Life’. She explained: “They wanted us to do a 10-year reunion show recently, but Nicole and I were both too busy.” Meanwhile, Paris insists there is no longer a feud with her ‘Simple Life’ co-star after a fall out between the pair saw Nicole replaced by Kimberly Stewart for the show’s fourth season. The 27year-old blonde beauty explained she is “happy” for Nicole - who is married to Good Charlotte singer Joel Madden, with whom she has two kids, five-year-old

Harlow and four-year-old Sparrow - and is supportive of her current endeavors. She said: “[Are we still friends?] Of course! We’ve been friends since we were two years old and we will always be close. I’m so happy for her with her family. She’s so cute now.”


lifestyle M u s i c


ven though Rick Ross lost his deal with Reebok this year, the Miami-based rapper continues to sport and promote the sneaker brand. “I’m still supporting Reebok. I’m still wearing Reebok,” he said in an interview last week. “It’s nothing more than that. I’ve been wearing Reebok my whole life. ...Still got nothing but love for Reebok.” The burly, husky-voiced Ross became known for his colorful and heavy lyrics, rapping about the grimy street life, money, luxury cars and women. But the Grammy-nominated performer took things too far on Rocko’s song, “U.O.E.N.O,” where he raps about giving a woman the drug MDMA, known as Molly, and having his way with her. Petitions were issued by women’s groups and rape victims. Reebok terminated its contract with Ross in April following the heavy criticism. But Ross says he has moved in and learned from the setback. In a recent interview with The Associated Press, the 37-year-old talked about Reebok, his acting career - he appears in the Starz drama “Magic City” - his relationship with Jay-Z and his compilation album, “Rick Ross Presents: Self Made 3,” released yesterday. AP: What did you learn from your setback with Reebok? Ross: You live and you learn. I think the most unfortunate thing about the whole situation was just

the fact that my lyrics offended some ladies, especially dealing with the topic of rape. It was interpreted as rape. I really wanted to make sure that I apologize to any woman that I offended in that way. I just wanted to make that clear. When I make music and I’m talking on records, it’s like I’m painting a picture. In my mind, I’m seeing a film. I apologize. AP: How did the women close to you feel about the situation? Ross: They know where I stand as far as women. They know the level of respect I have for women. With my mother being the most beautiful woman in the world, she knows where I’m coming from. AP: Jay-Z has supported you since he signed you to Def Jam in 2006. How has he helped you through your maturation? Ross: He’s been a part of pretty much every project I’ve put together as a solo artist. He’s always been there any time I’ve made a call. It’s just an array of things I’ve learned from him outside of music, like handling business and money. ...I come from down South where I want the music, bass and the beats that shake the walls. Hov talked to me about performing (and) what live music brings to the table. AP: This is your label’s third compilation album



orror fans got the memo long ago, and have no reason to waver now: Don’t watch alone. While an onslaught of home-based entertainments erode moviegoing in general, there’s something about the communal experience of being scared that still attracts a crowd to multiplexes, experts say. The astounding success of “Insidious:Chapter 2 once again proves that horror has become the movie business’ most durable genre. “Horror movies play much better in packed theaters than they do in a living room by yourself - that’s the way people prefer to digest a horror movie,” Phil Contrino, senior analyst with, told TheWrap. Horror movies are also extraordinarily cost-efficient; they rarely require extensive and pricey special effects or major stars. “Insidious: Chapter 2 dominated the weekend box office, racking up $41 million and making back its $5 million production budget in its first full day of release. Financiers quickly announced plans for a third installment. But it’s simply the latest in a steady stream of horror hits that have been scaring up big returns this year. “The Conjuring,” “The Purge,” Mama” and several other titles have all carved out a niche for themselves, despite being produced for a fraction of what most films cost to make. “The Purge,” for example, cost a mere $3 million to produce, while “The Conjuring” required just $20 million. They made $64.5 million and $135.4 million respectively in North America, giving their studios the kind of capacious profit margins that are becoming an endangered species. “It’s a genre that is less dependent on big budgets than other genres and that doesn’t need lavish marketing or explosions,” Bruce Nash, founder of the box office website The Numbers, said. “These kind of movies thrive on social media guerilla marketing and word-of-mouth support.” The innovative compensation structure allows filmmakers to keep the costs down. For instance, Blumhouse Productions, which produced “The Purge” and “Paranormal Activity” in addition to “Insidious: Chapter 2,” pays its directors and top talent with profit participation in place of a big salary. “You bet on yourself and if you deliver everyone gets rewarded,” Blumhouse Productions founder Jason Blum told TheWrap last summer shortly after the success of “The Purge.” “When you have people who are only getting paid if the movie makes money, it means everyone’s interests are aligned.” It’s a structure that is lifted from Silicon Valley, where executives like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs traditionally preferred to take their compensation in the form of stock. It turned out rather well for them, too. With the cost of major movies routinely topping out at between $150 million to $250 million, finding new compensation structures for Hollywood’s top stars could be criti-

cal. The makers of costly duds like “R.I.P.D.” and “White House Down,” which featured expensive stars like Jeff Bridges and Channing Tatum and still face an uphill climb to profitability, should take a note. But there are other lessons as well. While comedies also offer the shared experience of laughing in a theater, heavy dialogue and cultural differences make them a tougher sell overseas. Not so for horror, which translates easily. “The Conjuring” added $135 million to its overall haul from foreign territories and recent releases like the remake of “Evil Dead” and “Mama” essentially matched or even surpassed their domestic totals in overseas markets. “The primal urge to be scared is just something that resonates worldwide,” Jeff Bock, a senior analyst for Exhibitor Relations, said. “Given that they play so well in other countries, it’s surprising there aren’t more horror movies made. They’re such a shot in the arm to the box office.” The low-cost model employed by Blum is one that he and his disciples swear by. The cost constraints actually force the filmmakers to be more creative, and that shows in everything from how scary scenes are staged to the way studios use social media sites like Twitter to draw crowds. And don’t look for the filmmakers to turn their backs on their low-budget past. Blum insisted to TheWrap that he did not equate the size of a film’s budget with success. Asked what he would do if offered $100 million to make any film, Blum replied, “I’d use it to make 35 movies.” He’s not just a pennypincher. After a summer that relied on bombast to lure the fickle teenage crowd, the breakdown of “Insidious: Chapter 2s’ audience is instructive. This was an R-rated film that appealed to and attracted a younger set on a wide scale. Sixty two percent of the audience were 25 years or younger, according to polling data released by the studio. Of course, members of that particular demographic have many demands on their time and attention - one thing that the horror genre has done well is to make sure that audiences don’t have to wait long for new installments in their favorite franchises. After all, a year separated the two “Insidious” movies and a new “Paranormal Activity” movie has arrived like clockwork nearly every year out of the past five (except 2013, though two are coming next year). It’s no accident that FilmDistrict and Blumhouse unveiled plans for an “Insidious” sequel before many theaters had finished tallying the ticket sales from last weekend. “We live in an ADD culture,” Contrino said, “so if something is on a hot streak you have to strike fast.”— Reuters


M o v i e s

and it mainly features you, Wale and Meek Mill. Why do you think it’s beneficial to release a compilation album? Ross: When you see compilations like this, you see longevity. With us, we have people who are on top of their game. But we want to bring more artists into the fold, and give young artists an opportunity to be on the same playing field with us. That in itself speaks volumes to someone at home chasing their dreams. AP: What was going through your mind when you first saw yourself on “Magic City” as the character Butterball? Ross: Honestly, when I saw myself come out from around that corner, I was really amazed by how handsome I looked. It’s like I got to see myself outside of seeing myself. I said to myself, ‘Wow, that’s an attractive (expletive) there. Not to mention, he’s rich.’ I just kind of laughed at myself. All the calls I had coming in, everybody was (messing) with me, picking at me and saying how I charged out to the car. They said I was talking like I was not me. I told them, ‘So what ... I’m a boss.’

doesn’t necessarily make me want to be a part of it. Even if I had the opportunity or the offers, I could pass. I’ve passed on many films and lost checks, but that’s not what drives me to act. On “Magic City,” in particular, it’s a show pertaining to my city (Miami). Once I began watching it, I became a fan. — AP

File photo shows Rick Ross performs at the BET Hip-Hop Honors at Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center in Atlanta. —AP

AP: Do you want to act more? Ross: I think it’s super cool when you’re able to act, but I’m really exciting if it’s something I’m a fan of. There are a lot of films that I see and like today, but it

ant to hear the sound of pure contentment? Pop on the new Jack Johnson record. If you thought the Hawaiian folk-rock singer was ultramellow before, wait until you hear “From Here to Now to You.” “I just write about whatever it is that’s on my mind,” Johnson said. “This record has been a lot of just sort of being in the family in just kind of my own little bubble. Dropping the kids off at school, and just day-to-day life, just washing the dishes, working in the garden, taking the trash out. That’s not necessarily what the songs are about, but that’s kind of where I was living, in that space.” It’s a very comfortable space. “From Here to Now to You,” out Tuesday, is his sixth album and moves away from the darker, more electric-oriented music on his last two albums, which were filled with songs affected by the deaths of his father and a cousin. There’s a gentle, rolling rhythm throughout the album’s 12 tracks with a handful of love songs aimed at his wife and others examining fatherhood. There’s even one called, “Washing Dishes.” The songs were mostly written on an acoustic guitar on Johnson’s front porch on the North Shore of Hawaii, recorded in his studio and created with his friends, including his longtime band members, Ben Harper and producer Mario Caldato Jr, who recorded Johnson’s second and third albums in the mid2000s. The process mimicked the way he started, before his platinum debut, “Brushfire

Fairytales.” “Music’s always been about sharing to me,” Johnson said. “The first chords I ever learned were basically so we could do Bob Marley songs on the front porch, and the Beatles and Cat Stevens. So when I started writing my own, it was the same thing, about sharing. Everybody’s singing together. ... It’s a very nice feeling. It’s spiritual, you know. So I do like it. But I can have too much of it and I can decide I don’t need it for a while.” Which is what happened after he finished the tour for his last album. Johnson simply unplugged. And when he returned to the studio, he stayed that way, keeping it mostly acoustic. And if things didn’t feel right, he just shut it down, setting songs aside that didn’t resonate within the group or that grew difficult to tame in the studio. “It’s like we’ve always talked about as a band,” Johnson said. “That term easy listening can have kind of a cheesy connotation for people, but we’ve always wanted to make our music easy on the ears. We’re never really going for that kind of edgy thing that’s kind of like breaking new boundaries. We’ve always felt part of a tradition, kind of like folk barbecue or something. We just try to go in and do the simplest form of the song we can and just make it easy on the ears.”—AP

File photo shows Jack Johnson performs at the 2013 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn. —AP


t’s something old, something new, as Justin Timberlake and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis lead the 2013 MTV EMA nominations with five nods each. Timberlake proves he’s still got what it takes after his long hiatus from music, with nominations in the best male artist, best live, best look, best US act and best video categories. Breakthrough duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will compete for the best new artist, best hip hop, best song, best

US act and best world stage prizes in the nominations announced yesterday. Following in their wake are four solo superstars - Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke - who are all up for four awards. The 2013 MTV EMAs will be held at Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome on Nov 10. — AP

Laurie Holden


aurie Holden, who played Andrea on AMC’s hit series “The Walking Dead,” is set to join Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in “Dumb and Dumber To,” an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap. Peter and Bobby Farrelly are directing the follow-up to 1994s “Dumb and Dumber,” which grossed $247 million worldwide. Sequel finds Harry (Daniels) in need of a kidney transplant, forcing him and Lloyd to hit the road to find his possible illegitimate daughter (Rachel Melvin) who may be a donor. Holden will play the girl’s stepmom, who married a wealthy doctor (Steve Tom) to inherit his fortune. Kathleen Turner costars as the girl’s biological mother who was conceived after a sexual encounter with one of the two male leads. Red Granite is producing and financing the movie, which will be distributed in the US by Universal Pictures. The Farrelly brothers wrote the script with Bennett Yellin and Mike Cerrone, with an earlier draft written by Sean Anders and John Morris. The Farrells are producing with Red Granite’s Riza Aziz and Joey McFarland, as well as Bradley Thomas and Charlie Wessler. Jon Mone will oversee the project for Universal, while David Koplan will oversee on behalf of Red Granite Pictures. Production starts this month with a tentative release date summer 2014, which marks the 20thanniversary of the first “Dumb and Dumber.” Holden has worked with Carrey before on Frank Darabont’s “The Majestic.” She’s repped by APA and attorney Alan Wertheimer. Melvin, who starred on “Days of Our Lives,” is repped by Innovative Artists and ROAR. Tom, who recently appeared in WB’s “The Campaign” and Paramount’s “The Guilt Trip,” is repped by O’Neill Talent Group and Silverberg Management Group. — Reuters

File photo shows Ben Haggerty, better known by his stage name Macklemore, left, and his producer Ryan Lewis at Irving Plaza in New York. — AP


f you’re curious about Lily Collins and head to the Internet to find out, beware - McAfee has ranked the actress as the most dangerous celeb to search for online. Collins - who starred in movies such as “Mirror, Mirror ” and “ The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” - posed the biggest risk of landing on a malicious site, according the computer security company; last year Emma Watson topped the list. Female celebrities were the overwhelming lure to malware; Avril Lavigne, Sandra

Bullock, Kathy Griffin and Zoe Saldana rounded out the top five; “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm was the only man in the top 10. A person could be led to malware after doing a general search and clicking on dubious links, but risks increased when searchers added phrases like “free apps” or “nude photos.”— AP


lifestyle F A S H I O N

Fashion Week


Models display Spring/Summer desigs by Agatha Ruiz de la Prada during Madrid’s Fashion Week, in Madrid, Spain. —AP photos

Model campaign brings more diversity to runways


upermodel Iman watched the runways like a hawk this Fashion Week - but she wasn’t looking at the clothes. Iman joined with Naomi Campbell and veteran modeling agent Bethann Hardison for an unusual effort they are calling Balance Diversity to bring more black models to the runway, and they called out designers who whitewash their runways in the process. By all indications, their open letter made a difference, with an uptick in diversity at the previews that ended last week. All the top designers presenting in New York used at least one black model, and some who previously had no black models used as many as seven this season. “I’ve always said runways and photos are important to shape our young girls,” Iman said in an interview last week. “To see models of color on the runway is important to the self-esteem of our young girls. To see otherwise makes them feel like they can be ‘in or out.’” What remains to be seen: Is the greater black presence on runways a lasting trend - or just more fast fashion? If black models fall out of favor next season like a short hemline, is that racist? Balance Diversity is part activist group, part blog, part watchdog. They posed a catwalk challenge just before the seasonal style previews were to begin in New York. “Eyes are on an industry that season after season watches fashion design houses consistently use ... one or no models of color. No matter the intention, the result is racism,” said their open letter to the Council of Fashion Designers of America. They called out by name some industry heavyweights, including Donna Karan, Proenza Schouler, The Row, Victoria Beckham and Calvin Klein - designers the group said used almost no black models

in last February’s shows. The website Jezebel calculated that 82.7 percent of that season’s New York Fashion Week models were white, 9.1 percent were Asian, 6 percent were black and 2 percent Latina. Iman and Hardison both note they aren’t calling the designers or the casting agents themselves racist - but they say defining one’s look with only white faces is a racist act. And they acknowledge that sometimes designers don’t see the models until a day or two before a show, but say they are nonetheless ultimately responsible. Their letter went to the heads of the London, Milan and Paris fashion councils. The European designers, according to Iman, are bigger offenders. (She makes an exception for Tom Ford and Jean Paul Gaultier, who are the old-school types of designers who cast a model for her personality instead of trying to jam her into a particular seasonal mold.) Some black models remain in hot demand. Campbell is the favorite, even in a jaded industry that typically likes the next big thing. The crowd at Diane von Furstenberg gave her bigger cheers than the designer. Joan Smalls and Jourdan Dunn also are consistently booked in top-tier shows. But Iman said it has to be about more than a token or two black models, and it has to be about more than the established names. Without a turn on the runway, younger black models don’t get discovered and booked for advertising jobs. Recently, shows moved toward a blonder, whiter cast, with a few minority model slots filled by Asians, she said, in an effort to appeal to the growing consumer economies in Asia. And even when big international brands put black models on their billboards, those same brands were holding out on the runway. Designer Nanette Lepore, who was not tar-

File photo shows Model Naomi Campbell walks the runway in the Diane von Furstenburg Spring 2014 collection show during Fashion Week, in New York. —AP photos

File photo released by Starpix shows model Chanel Iman, of Atlanta, during the Oscar de la Renta Spring 2014 collection during Fashion Week in New York. geted by Balance Diversity and whose runway featured a diverse group of models, said that she tries to cast a runway reflective of the world. “The fashion world goes through these moments where people think that to get their message across they have to have one certain type of model,” she said. “At one point everyone had to look like Kate Moss. Or it’s Eastern European, or it’s Brazilian.”Lepore also noted seeing more Asians, and, this season,

more black models. “I think this will be the trend now,” she said optimistically. Things did change in New York: Calvin Klein, for example, increased its use of black womenswear models from zero to five this season, while The Row, the label helmed by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, used seven dark-skinned models, according to Modelinia, a modeling industry website. “This season will be more fun to count,” said Hardison. “Before it was a job. I think it’s going to be a pleasure this season.” Calvin Klein creative director Francisco Costa said in a post-show interview that this collection, inspired by the patchwork of cultures in New York City, was a celebration of diversity. He said model diversity is something he thinks about. “Casting for us - we take it very seriously,” Costa said. Of this season’s catwalk, he said, “The casting was very fantastic, it was very seamless ... but it was very worldly and very multicultural.” Reed Krakoff was also on the Balance Diversity list, but he said he thinks about the issue, too, and there was darker skin on his runway: “It’s important to represent a broad cross-section of different types of women. We’re really looking for that interesting mix.” Most designers certainly weren’t pushing

toward the microphones last week to talk about this issue. Most seemed as if they’d be happy to talk only about their clothes and inspiration. Rachel Zoe said discussions about diversity were like the touchy ones about the age and weight of models. “It’s always going to be an issue,” the designer said. “I just think it’s important that we keep everything mixed up and fair.” Zac Posen, however, brought up the issue of diversity during a backstage interview. He said he thinks his diverse runway makes his clothes look better, and it wins him the support of models, who have backed him even when retailers and editors didn’t. He does use a casting director, but the final say is his. He’s looking for “physical beauty, star quality who’s the next Naomi, Coco Rocha or Lindsey Wixson?” Posen said. “They all look different. It’s about who’ll look good in the clothes.” Hardison and Iman did notice the improvement this season and are committed to making it last through the European shows this month and beyond to next season and next year. “The public is very excited by the fact that this is happening. Not just black people care, people care, people who care about beautiful,” she said. “The activism has to remain.” — AP


lifestyle F A S H I O N

Burberry, Tom Ford headline London Fashion Week


oft, lacey pastel confections at Burberry Prorsum, wacky florals at Christopher Kane, sparkly party dresses at Tom Ford: London Fashion Week was in full swing Monday, with a huge diversity of new spring looks from a parade of big names all jostling for buyers’ attention. Luxury British label Burberry packed in the biggest crowds with its runway show, which featured a collection of ultra-feminine pastel

catwalk of leather biker jackets, glamorous black double-breasted trouser suits and slinky little dresses for partying the night away. The American designer said the collection, which also included some ultra-sparkly catsuits, had a powerful and strong woman in mind. “There’s nothing stronger in our culture than a beautiful woman who’s also physically strong,” Ford said. Day 4 of

barely-there floral print skirts. Outerwear is Burberry’s strong point and although there were none of its signature trench coats in sight, the collection featured plenty of light cashmere and wool coats in a loose and relaxed cut. TOM FORD As with everything Tom Ford, his new womenswear collection is slick, opulent and full of sex appeal. Set in a darkened room with mirrored walls, Ford opened with luxurious brown leather jackets and dresses, then moved on to a series of mostly monochrome mini dresses in zebra print, an oversized fishnet pattern, or black mesh overlaid with cobweb-like patterns. There were big statement party dresses covered in sparkly beading, and catsuits encrusted head-to-toe in mirror pieces. More practical for most women would be the sharp black trouser suits: One had a sexy lace-up back, and another was double-breasted with satin panels. CHRISTOPHER KANE Kane’s show started out with a science fiction vibe, with outfits that featured daring teardrop peepholes. Some of the first models wore metallic paisley cutouts on their collars or lapels, suggesting something from Star Trek. There were diaphanous gowns with lots of pleats, as well as more girl-next-door sweaters bearing words like “PETAL” and “POWER.” Less accessible were Kane’s hologram-effect dresses with delicate, glittery streamers these could be party wear in the year 3013. Also on the odd side were sheer black dresses festooned with traffic-sign arrows pointing at each other.

TOM FORD outfits, sheer pencil dresses and light cashmere coats. Designer Christopher Bailey said it was all about romance and softness and as if the floral details and lace prettiness weren’t enough, he drove the point home by closing his show with a shower of pale rose petals. “I wanted everything to feel like you are being enveloped in fabric. I wanted people to feel warmed by it,” Bailey said after the show.If that’s not your cup of tea, there were plenty of other inspirations for next season’s wardrobe on show Monday. Tom Ford, for example, went in the opposite direction, showcasing a

BURBERRY PRORSUM Romance was in the air at Burberry, which showcased a collection of feminine lace dresses, soft cashmere cardigans and organza shirts in pastel shades of rose, mint, lavender and cornflower blue. The color palette and textures may be sweet and dreamy, but there was also a sassiness and a sexiness to the designs. Some models wore nothing but loose unlined wool coats in simple clean shapes, while others sported head-to-toe see-through lace outfits and


ERDEM Erdem’s catwalk show was a black and white romance, a haunting and dreamy tale told purely in monochrome. Dresses and separates were made of sheer tulle and organza embroidered with delicate lace, and many looks had wispy layers of sheer fabric trailing behind the shoulder like a soft cape or a bridal veil. Feathers added to the

the 5-day style event is traditionally reserved for London’s blockbuster shows, and a host of celebrities joined the fashion crowd on the front row. Colin Firth and Cate Blanchett were spotted at Ford, while Naomie Harris, Sienna Miller and One Direction’s Harry Styles turned up at Burberry. Other hot tickets Monday included Kane’s, which featured florals - but not as you know it. Kane, one of the most influential among London’s younger generation of designers, showcased prints of flowers dissected, complete with the biological names of the plant’s parts. Monochrome reigned at Erdem, which created a poetic and haunting mood with wispy layers of sheer tulle and organza. Those who prefer color in their spring and summer wardrobes need not worry, though: Roksanda Ilincic was among designers who worked with vibrant tones, with color blocks from sunshine yellow to neon green. London Fashion Week winds down with its last shows Tuesday, when models, buyers and editors pack up and leave for more runway previews in Milan and Paris.

collection’s couture look, though the softness was offset by the bulky jelly clog shoes the models were wearing. “He’s so clever - I loved all the wide leg trousers that were see through. It was so dreamy and beautiful, it made me a bit teary,” said model Daisy Lowe.

CHRISTOPHER KANE ROKSANDA ILINCIC Ilincic has given her feminine style a bolder spin this season, with vibrant graphic blocks of neon orange, green and purple and experimental dress shapes. There are still her signature calflength, A-line skirts that emphasize a tiny waist, but Monday’s show conveyed a much stronger woman overall. There were pleated skirts worn over skinny trousers, big padded jackets, and skirts with stiff pleats. The show closed with dresses and jackets embellished with hard crystal flowers - luxurious for sure, but it’s femininity with an edge to it. — AP

Model campaign brings more diversity to runways



Picture taken on September 10, 2013 in Paris shows French-Spanish artist Antonio Garcia Leon posing in a flat he decorated in a building set for demolition in 2014, where artists from all over the world occupy the 36 flats to create ‘street Art works’. Gallerist Mehdi ben Cheikh is behind this ‘ephemeral’ event and the exhibition ‘Tour Paris 13’ will be opened to the public from October 1, to 31 2013. —AFP

Versace’s tragic Miami mansion set for auction T

he palatial Miami mansion where iconic fashion designer Gianni Versace was murdered goes under the hammer yesterday with auctioneers hoping to clinch a sale for as much as $40 million. Bidding for the Mediterranean-styled estate on Miami Beach’s prestigious Ocean Drive, just steps from the sea, is to start at $25 million, a Fisher Auction spokesman. Auction organizers have said the sale has attracted interest from overseas buyers, including potential bidders from Russia and South America. Casa Casuarina boasts 10 bedrooms and 11 baths, mosaic flooring and an array of frescoes and murals custom-made for Versace. Two rooftop terraces boast spectacular views of

the beach and an observatory has everything one needs for an evening of star-gazing-cushions, armchairs and a bar. Other luxury features include gold-plated bathroom fixtures and an open-air courtyard. A suite once occupied by the designer himself contains a kingsize bed, as well as a huge bathroom, a walk-in closet and even a small terrace overlooking the sea. Versace, 50, was shot dead on the steps of the villa in July 1997 by serial killer Andrew Cunanan. In the wake of the murder, the Italian fashion designer’s family put the property up for sale and it subsequently changed hands in 2000 for $19 million. Most recently, the villa has been a boutique hotel. The man-

sion was built in 1930 by architect and philanthropist Alden Freeman in homage to a villa constructed in the Dominican Republic in 1510 by Diego Columbus, the son of explorer Christopher Columbus. Seven years later, in 1937, the house was sold to Jacques Amsterdam, who called it “The Amsterdam Palace.” Versace bought the property for $2.9 million in 1992, in addition to the empty Revere Hotel next door. He spent $33 million on renovations. The villa went on sale more than a year ago for $125 million but, in the absence of buyers, the asking price dropped to $75 million several months ago, before it landed on the auction block. —AFP

Dated April 22, 2005 filed photo shows Ray, a homeless man living in the streets of South Miami Beach, Florida pulls a shopping cart full of coconuts past what used to be the house of famous late fashion designer Gianni Versace. —AFP

Just outside Las Vegas, kayaking through a canyon I

A Beluga paints a picture with a special paintbrush at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo yesterday. The aquarium will show the Beluga’s new attraction from the end of this month. —AFP

Feds to auction off celebrity memorabilia owned by Jesse Jackson Jr


guitar signed by music legends Michael Jackson and Eddie Van Halen is among the items that will be auctioned from the estate of disgraced former Illinois congressman Jesse Jackson Jr to help settle a judgment against him, federal authorities said on Monday. Jackson, a former Democratic representative and the son of civil rights leader the Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr, was sentenced in August to 2-1/2 years in federal prison for misuse of campaign funds. The US Marshals Service said in a statement it will sell 13 items owned by Jackson in an auction ending Sept 26. The proceeds from the sale of the items will be subtracted from the $750,000 judgment against him. In addition to the guitar, which will have a starting bid of $525, the auction will consist of pictures

and posters signed by Michael Jackson and kung fu superstar Bruce Lee, two fur coats and two fur capes, the US Marshals Service said. Jackson, 48, once considered one of the most promising black politicians in the United States, pleaded guilty in February to misusing about $750,000 in campaign funds. His wife, Sandi, a former Chicago city council member, was sentenced to one year in prison for filing false joint income tax returns that knowingly understated the coupleís earnings. To give the former congressman more time to make restitution, a federal judge in August postponed until Oct 25 a ruling on a request by prosecutors that Jackson forfeit his interest in family homes in Chicago and Washington, DC and a retirement account containing about $80,000. — Reuters

t’s easy to trade the wild ways of Las Vegas for the wilds of the nearby Colorado River: All it takes is a call to a boating outfitter and a federally-approved form of ID. That’s because the overnight float trips in the Black Canyon put in just below the Hoover Dam, 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Las Vegas. The massive power plant, which produces enough electricity for 1.3 million people, is located in a security zone enforced by its own federal police force. Those wanting to paddle this stretch of river must have a launch permit, and traffic is limited to 30 boats per day. The permits are available up to six months in advance and are generally obtained through a government-approved outfitter.

Kayakers at the Emerald Cave on the Arizona side of the Colorado River. — AP photos

Photo shows the Colorado River snaking through the Black Canyon near Boulder City, Nev. That was fine with me, since for about $350 per person, the operator also provided transportation, a guide, high-quality kayaks, camping gear, dry bags, life jackets and food. All we needed to bring were a change of clothes, hats, sunscreen and our passports, driver’s licenses or birth certificates. Our adventure started early. We were picked up at our hotel on the Las Vegas strip at 6 a.m., but with driving time, a stop to pick up the boat trailer, and the security check in a Boulder City parking lot, it took about two hours before we were in our kayaks, gazing up at the 700-foot-high (213-meter-high) U-shaped dam. Some outfitters take groups of 10 people or more, but my husband, my daughter and I got a private trip, as no one else had signed up. We launched at the same time as a group of 20 Boy Scouts, but they canoed off quickly and were soon out of sight. The scenery in the gorge was spectacular. Facing downstream, Nevada was to our right, Arizona to our left, and stretching out in front were high canyon walls and a ribbon of gently flowing green water. The standard two-day trip down the Lower Colorado River covers about 12 miles (19 kilometers) within the Lake Mead National

Recreation Area. Spring and fall are the most popular times. When we visited in April, it took some doing to find a place to camp that was private, but in the end, we had a spit of land that we shared only with some chuckwalla lizards. Still, there was enough used toilet paper strewn about to remind us that the area is heavily used. The diversity of activities also helps disperse the crowds. There are miles of hiking, hidden hot springs, waterfalls, historic ruins, caves, and critters to be found along the way. The first half of the trip offers the most spectacular scenery, and the most interesting activities. Here, many of the walks involve scrambling up steep rocks - sometimes in running water - and several sites are fixed with permanent ropes to help explorers haul themselves up. At the Sauna Cave, using flashlights provided by our guide, we penetrated about 50 feet (15 meters) into a shaft drilled by miners working on the dam until they hit a geothermal vent. Between the 130-degree Fahrenheit (54 Celsius) steam and the hot water underfoot, our visit was brief. Other places to explore have names like Gold Strike Canyon, Lone Palm Canyon and Boy Scout Canyon. Each offers something different, making each worth the stop. The approximate midway point is the Arizona Hot Springs Beach. This is one of the few sites accessible on foot from Highway 93, making it so popular it has its own reviews on Yelp. We stopped there only briefly, to purify enough river water to fill our water bottles. We were facing a strong headwind and wanted to cover more distance to ensure we could reach the take-out point in time to meet the shuttle the following day. When we finally made camp in the lee of boulder on a gravel wash with no name, our guide started unloading gear: tents, pillows, sleep pads and camp chairs (but no toilet paper). A gas stove allowed him to cook steak, veggies and rice for dinner, and metal roasting forks and marshmallows completed the repast. —AP

18 Sep 2013  

Kuwait Times

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