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KERDASA: Egyptian security forces help the lifeless body of Giza Police Chief Gen Nabil Farag (center) who was killed after unidentified militants opened fire on security forces yesterday. — AP


Local FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Local Spotlight

Kuwait’s my business

Y Workshop plans to improve Kuwait

Abused women need a shelter

By John P Hayes

By Muna Al-Fuzai

local@kuwaittimes.net muna@kuwaittimes.net

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hen people get married, they promise before Allah the Almighty that they will care for each other, through good and through bad, until death does they apart. The party’s over and everyone goes home. The cowardly can’t commit and go their separate ways; the brave stay together and build a future. But the tragedy is when the man becomes an abuser. Abused women in this country need our help. I don’t mean maids here. I mean women who are married to expatriates. She could be a doctor, a teacher or a housewife. The law supports domestic servants who flee abuse but makes no provision for abused wives. It is very possible that the problem ultimately lies in differing views of marriage: the woman might see it as the start of a wonderful future together; the man may take it as a chance to do what he wants, content in the knowledge that his wife is stuck with him. The theory of marriage is that the man will care for his wife, while she reciprocates. But what happens when a man begins to treat his wife badly? There is often no way out. Over a million expats live in Kuwait. How many of them are married? Are all their stories one of happily ever after? Imagine the plight of the abused expat wife, with a Kuwaiti or expat husband, who finds herself isolated in a strange country, far from friends, family or any support. We need to deal with this problem and work to prevent abuse before it’s too late: before the women ends up with serious injuries and the man is taken away by the police. All too often, abuse is met with silence. Take the abusive Kuwaiti husband ,for instance, whose family turns a blind eye out of shame. They are too ashamed to

do the right thing and seek divorce or the involvement of the authorities. The Kuwaiti society must change its views on women. Are we to keep indoctrinating our girls with the belief that their only purpose is to serve as obedient wives? Many women resign themselves to abuse marriages, feeling that a divorce would be impossible to obtain and fearing that their own families would ostracize them. In particular, some conservative elements in our society believe that it is a man’s right in Islam to beat his wife: these are the people that make me feel sick. I cannot comprehend how abusing women can be religiously justified. I believe that the problem lies in the distortion of religion by men with the desire to exert control. In the Islamic world, we tend to keep family affairs behind closed doors. Any woman who dares to speak out against her husband is treated as an object of shame, no matter how badly she has been treated. How much is society willing to tolerate in the name of marriage? Depression? Injury? Death? Considering the facts, and the number of times I have seen men here insult their wives in public in a perverse display of masculinity, I would say that society is willing to keep turning a blind eye. I think a good first step in changing things would be to build a women’s shelter in Kuwait. We need to give women a way out of abusive marriages - a way out that isn’t in an ambulance or a coffin.

in my view

A tale of two tweets By Krishna Shanthakumar local@kuwaittimes.net

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sers of the social networking website Twitter have spent the last three years privy to every development in Shane Warne’s love affair with Liz ‘Fembot’ Hurley. Rumors of their involvement were first sparked when they were spotted quaffing champagne at Goodwood. Twitter followers were soon treated to a furious exchange of messages boasting some of the most leering innuendo since John Cleland’s publisher suggested the title Fanny Hill. And from the moment the relationship was made official (on Twitter), it seemed that Shane and Liz were spending more time tweeting than meeting, hence the whispers that followed their recent silence. Fears were confirmed when Hurley tweeted ‘Apologies to loyal followers for Twitter silence on recent events. Too raw and personal to share right now.’ Though if telling 432,816 people you’ve never met about ‘raw and personal’ events isn’t sharing then I, Krishna Shanthakumar, am a Dutchman - nay, I am Dennis Bergkamp making a killing on the gouda market and using the profits to buy a Brueghel. It took Warne just thirty-five minutes to issue a Tweet of his own: “Some of the reports re EH & me r absolute rubbish. Yes we’re sorting through some (private) issues. But we’re not throwing the towel in yet.” Though pictures of

Liz without her sapphire engagement ring suggest that Shane might be able to land a leg break on sixpence but, this time, is somewhat off the mark. Now, I understand the appeal of Twitter. I think it speaks to the child within us all - the child who has the non-existent attention span but pathologically demands the attention of others. You can elicit an immediate response from an audience that is potentially unlimited and, luckily, shares your interest in the light-speed and directionless exchange of information that, for all its claims to the contrary, constitutes an irrelevant travesty of human existence. Famous Tweeters in particular can revel in and indeed, become addicted to, the comforting but ultimately corrupting drug of instant recognition. My question, then, is why does Warney go in for all this? A man who was such a presence on the cricket pitch that he took wickets just by virtue of being Shane Warne. His influence over the opposing batsman extended to his own players: it’s no secret that, post-Waugh, it was Warne rather than Ponting who ran the show. He doesn’t need Twitter: Twitter needs him. Maybe, when the dust settles, this experience will help him see that.

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f Faisal Al-Fuhaid, a young Kuwaiti college student, can muster support for just a few of his ideas, Kuwait will rise to the top of all those surveys that evaluate countries by degree of satisfaction, civility, and prominence. If you spend just a few minutes with Faisal, you’ll catch his passion for improving Kuwait, and you’ll want to join him. Faisal is a founder of Equait, a youth-driven organization associated with the British Council’s Global Changemakers and the We Are Family Foundation’s Three Dot Dash program. Equait’s purpose is to promote social equality and respect towards Kuwait’s residents, regardless of nationality. Of course, lots of people talk about mobilizing Kuwait’s multi-cultural residents to create positive changes, but little change seems to occur. Faisal knows why. Youth need skills “Young people in Kuwait either have a reason to change something about Kuwait but they don’t know where to start, or they know where to start but they don’t have the incentive to succeed,” he told me during a visit to my office at GUST. “Ideally, people who want to create change in Kuwait would have all the basic tools at their disposal to succeed, but that’s not the case. For example, let’s say you want to create a campaign to promote riding buses and carpooling in Kuwait. How would you get that done? Most young people do not have the tools they need to succeed. Some might know where to begin, but many would not, and they’d be defeated before they got very far. We want to initiate change in Kuwait by teaching those basic tools.” To support his ideas, Faisal and several colleagues have organized the Equait Y Workshop. The Y symbolizes two components of successful advocacy: where to start, and the incentive to get the job done. During the Y Workshop, young people will learn how to define a problem, how to visualize a solution, and how to implement an action plan to bring about change. “Workshop participants will discover the core fundamentals of community projects and leadership attributes that are essential to success,” said Faisal. Cooperative advocacy The Y Workshop is centered on cooperative advocacy, which “is basically people coming together for a common purpose,” continued Faisal. “We chose this platform because we want to increase interaction and participation between people from different backgrounds in order to achieve a common purpose. Anyone can get a group of friends together and start a project, but if you really want your project to succeed. you must bridge the gap between different communities by identifying people who believe in the same cause as you do. By doing this, you will have great support from not just your circle of friends, or your community, but also the support of people in various communities and sectors within Kuwait, leading to an increased chance of your project’s success.” By uniting sectors within Kuwait, Faisal says success is only a matter of “if” and not “when.” Free registration So here’s an opportunity for people ages 15 to 26 who feel even the slightest desire to improve Kuwait. Equait, in partnership with the GUST Model United Nations, and the US State Department, will host the workshop on Sept 24 and 25 between 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm. Registration is free, but required at bit.ly/yworkshop. Note to readers: Whom do you know who should attend this workshop? Pass along this column using Twitter, Instagram and other social media tools utilized by our youth in Kuwait. When they create positive change in Kuwait, you’ll share in the credit! And we’ll all benefit from a more unified Kuwait. Dr John P Hayes heads the Business Administration department at GUST where he teaches marketing and leadership. He’s also the director of the Kuwait Leadership Mastery. Got a question for him? Send it to questions@hayesworldwide.com, or via Twitter @drjohnhayes.


Local FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

KUWAIT: Artificial grass used in an inter-junction in Kuwait. KUWAIT: A dangerous shift from real to fake. Many of the pavements of the country are being adorned with artificial grass now replacing environment-friendly natural grass.

A dangerous shift: From

real to fake

The grass is not greener on the other side By Ben Garcia

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ave you noticed the greenery on Kuwait’s roadsides lately? We are talking about the well-shaped artificial grass near many intersections and roads all over Kuwait. This artificial turf seems to be growing in number which beautifies the surroundings but destroys life around. A source from Public Authority for Agriculture and Fish Resources (PAAFR) said the artificial grass which they use are approved and would not be planted if no directive was given to them by PAAFR. “It was approved and allowed by the authorities here,” said a landscape engineer who is currently working with PAAFR. “There is a directive to replace the real grass because it is not being maintained. Besides no water is necessary and it’s not easily destroyed. In some areas, if the grass is dead, we replace it with artificial grass,” he admitted. But some doctors say that this affects human beings, animals and even the earth. “It is not an environmentally-friendly shift, from real plants to fake ones. Come to think of it, the life cycle of animals will be affected and insects will get exterminated. These insects are the only food on which some birds survive. Birds are a part of our natural environment and if you continue to replace real grass with artificial grass, then you’re virtually killing the insects and unbalancing environment,” said a doctor said who spoke with the Kuwait Times on the condition of anonymity. Artificial grass can be seen everywhere nowadays. Most of them can be seen at the roundabouts, side roads and even in the garden in front of the fish market. Artificial turf is used in many football fields in various countries around the world now. They are created from tiny plastic fibers to look like natural grass. Artificial grass is distinguished by its long-lasting color and does not need water, fertilizer, or maintenance. “Real grass needs water every day; at least two liters per square meter and even more during summer. Real grass is also cheaper compared to artificial grass which costs KD7.5 per square meter as opposed to real grass which costs KD1-2, depending on the supplier,” the landscape engineer mentioned. “I believe that artificial grass is also bad for our environment but

“The shift from real plants to fake ones is of course not environmentally-friendly. Come to think of it, the life cycle of animals will be affected and insects will get exterminated. These insects are the only food on which some birds survive. Birds are a part of our natural environment and if you continue to replace real grass with artificial grass, then you’re virtually killing the insects and unbalancing the environment,” says a doctor. we are strictly following orders”. When asked if we will see more artificial grass around soon, he said that it will be a matter of time before it happens. One of the studies showed that artificial grass is warmer at least by 10 degrees Celsius more than the normal air tempera-

ture. “We are already experiencing high temperatures in Kuwait and if you add more artificial grass outside, it will raise the temperature even more,” an expert added. Replacing natural grass with artificial grass may reduce maintenance costs but it comes at a high cost to public health and environment.

KUWAIT: Installing artificial grass on a street pavement in Kuwait. — Photos by Joseph Shagra


Local FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

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

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Local FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Showing off in the name of tradition? Women-only events in Kuwait mean big business

By Nawara Fattahova

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he traditional culture in the Gulf and women’s natural penchant to showoff coupled with a conservative society have created a tradition of lavish celebrations during weddings and baby showers. The social schedule of women in the Gulf - and mainly in Kuwait - is crowded with weddings, baby showers and weekend gatherings. A wedding is all about the bride, many admit, and baby showers are all about the mother and baby. And everything is about showing off, claim both men and women alike. Parties for the bride are bigger and more expensive than events held for the groom. Very often engagement parties are also a cause for women-only celebrations. Women in Kuwait usually hold a reception for women to come and greet them and see the new-born in the hospital or right after the leave the hospital. Later on, a second party for the baby is put together. Another 40 days later, the new-born is the reason for the new mother to invite her friends and relatives to another grand party. Nowadays girls organize birthday parties not only at home but also in hotel’s ballrooms. 29-year-old-Fatma thinks that the main reason for having such a huge number of parties and receptions for women only is due to the country’s conservative society. “Women don’t have other places to go to, so they attend these social events. Some occasions are celebrated by both

men and women but the women-only parties are more important and cannot be canceled,” she said. Just like women have the baby showers, men have the Tamayim celebration, though there is a wide discrepancy in costs, she says. “Men only slaughter a sheep and invite guests to the diwaniya, and some don’t even hold this celebration, while the woman who just delivered can’t cancel her reception for any reason,” Fatma explained.

as well. Some women hold engagement parties, while the majority don’t as they believe in the evil eye, so they prefer to hold it after they get married officially as a pre-marriage reception,” added Fatma. These parties can be very expensive depending on the place where it is held and the number of invitees. So it can range between KD 500 for a simple dinner in a public multipurpose hall to KD 23,000 in a five-star hotel’s ballroom for one night.

These parties can be very expensive depending on the place where it is held and the number of invitees. So it can range between KD 500 for a simple dinner in a public multipurpose hall to KD 23,000 in a fivestar hotel’s ballroom for one night. Women spend a lot of money for a one-night celebration just to make their ‘fairytale’ event the talk of the town. The price tag of social gatherings for women is high too. According to Fatma, the women-only events and receptions are usually expensive. “Most women host such parties to show off; everybody wants to be better than the other,” she said, and added, “I attend some parties but not all; if the party is hosted by a relative or a friend, I will go because I expect them to come to my party

Women spend a lot of money for a onenight celebration just to make their ‘fairytale’ event the talk of the town. In this cacophony, it turns out, men tend to be forgotten. Ahmad, 25, thinks that such receptions are a part of social life and traditions. “Maybe over time, these parties will disappear; what matters is the expensive demands of women. It reflects the

financial development of the community, especially at parties hosted by rich people who want to wear expensive outfits and accessories, and they see these celebrations as an essential part of their lives,” he said explaining that in the past these receptions were more simple and so was the Kuwaiti community. “Money changed old traditions, and today weddings and graduation parties are an opportunity for women to show off,” he pointed out. Sumaya, 31, traces the women-only parties to the country’s heritage. “In the past, men used to go hunting, fishing and be busy with other typical male activities. Women wanted to have fun during the absence of men. Because they do not usually go out much, the practice of womenonly gatherings became common,” she said. She explained that such women-only gatherings are common to the West where women hold baby showers” she stated. Men, on the other hand, do not feel left out and in fact find all these events bemusing. “From a male point of view, I think it is silly to repeat receptions and parties for the same occasion. If a woman hosts a dinner for the new-born baby after delivery, why should she hold a reception again and a third one after 40 days?” Soud, 34, queried. “I think they hold these receptions just to get gifts. This strays from our traditions. These are new modern trends that aren’t essential,” stressed Soud, who added, “Women only care about showing off rather than having fun and that is why their events are much more expensive.”


Local FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Why suicide rates go up in Kuwait KUWAIT: The number of suicide cases in Kuwait has gone up gradually over the past few years and transformed from being a limited problem into a phenomenon that requires efforts from all concerned authorities to prevent it. Official statistics point at a rise in suicide rates since the Iraqi invasion. In 1991, there were 27 cases, 43 in 1992, 56 in 1993, 62 in 2009, 73 in 2011 and 76 in 2012. These official stats indicate that Kuwait is one among the countries in the world with the most number of suicide cases when compared to other countries. This is cause for concern and calls for action to be taken before the situation gradually worsens. Hanging oneself to death is the most common method which is followed by jumping from a height. Ingesting a large quantity of pills or poisonous material in addition to burning and slashing one’s hands are also on the list. Many experts believe the reasons for attempting or committing suicide are fear, low morale,

financial difficulties, family problems or psychological illnesses. Some examples of suicides include an 18-year-old Kuwaiti girl who drank a large quantity of medicine and despite attempts to save her life, she succumbed. The girl’s brother said she was a bright student and did well in all the subjects except for math. This upset her and despite their attempts to calm her down, she committed suicide. Another case in Salmiya was reported of an Arab who committed suicide last March. One of his neighbors said that he was surprised when a man was standing at the window on the fourth floor screaming “Death... death”. It was evident that he was trying to throw himself from the window and all attempts to stop him from jumping failed when he threw himself out immediately and died. In Sulaibiya, the mother of an Arab girl said that she was surprised when she heard screams coming from her daughter’s room and when she broke upon the

Asian maid swallows contraceptives to die KUWAIT: A 27-year-old Asian maid attempted suicide after swallowing the contents of three boxes of contraceptives, according to a security source. Security officials received a call from a citizen who found her maid unconscious next to three empty boxes of contraceptives. The maid was rushed to the hospital while investigations are underway. Senior citizen dies A citizen in his 70s fell down dead when he was sitting in front of his store in Duaij market and paramedics who tried to revive him said that he collapsed due to low blood pressure. His body was taken to Amiri Hospital and handed to the coroner. Young man raped A European of Arab origin told Maidan Hawally police that his 22-year-old son was kidnapped at gun-point by two men who harassed his 23-year-old sister. He said that he didn’t know the culprits and even though his daughter escaped minutes after the incident, she is still missing. Hawally detectives called the complainant and while working on the case, the kidnapped young man returned and was asked questions at the station. He said the kidnappers took him to a flat and forced him to wear women’s clothes and make-up, and ordered him to dance before they raped him for two-and-a-half hours. He told police that the entire incident was video-taped and denied knowledge of the culprits. Initially, he agreed with his sister that she would sleep with the men for KD 20 after they forced him. The two perpetrators came to the building and the boy handed the money to his sister and helped her escape. The duo then kidnapped the boy and raped him to take revenge on him for helping his sister escape. The police managed to arrest the perverted duo who confessed to raping him out of anger. Detectives are searching for the girl who disappeared since. Brother beats up sister’s friend A citizen lost his mind and attacked a young man at a famous mall when he saw his sister talking to him. He hit him and a fight ensued before police intervened and broke them up. Meanwhile the girl disappeared and was nowhere to be found. The man saw his sister talking to the stranger in a relaxed mood and realized that they were old friends. This enraged him and he attacked him and beat him up. When the girl began screaming, nearby shoppers attempted to break up the fight but failed to do so and called the police who rushed in and controlled the situation. Police are investigating the case.

door and rushed in, she found her daughter hanging from the ceiling. She said that her daughter was going through mental and emotional stress because she was 28years-old and unmarried while her sisters who were younger were married with kids. Colonel Adel Al-Hashash, Acting Director of Interior Ministry Public Relations and Moral Guidance, Director of Security Information said that a person commits suicide when he thinks that there is no hope left in life and thinks that death will put an end to his suffering and torture. Colonel Al-Hashash said suicide is a decision taken when a person is overwhelmed by problems and unable to solve them and elaborated that the Interior Ministry is keen on protecting lives. Meanwhile, Dr Khalid Al-Mathkoor, Head of the Islamic Sharia Rules Implementation Completion Committee said that Allah the Almighty banned suicide and it is mentioned in many Quranic verses and sayings of the Prophet (PBUH). He said suicide is a major sin and added

Sponsor system in Kuwait on way out New authority in place to streamline transfers By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Changing the sponsor system or ‘kafeel’ system for expats will be applied within a few months, according to Jamal AlDosari, Undersecretary of Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor after the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) is established. The logistics of this project are not clear at the moment but it is said that it will replace the current sponsor system. “The word ‘kafeel’ does not exist in the Kuwaiti labor law. There is employer and employee, and ‘kafeel’ is an unofficial term,” Al-Dosari told the Kuwait Times. According to him, the decree for establishing PAM was issued some time ago. “There have been gradual steps over the past few years to

change the present kafeel system and PAM was founded to replace it. This public institution will have a board of directors who will meet soon and set the procedure to organize relations between employers and employees,” Al-Dosari said. According to him, an employee is now able to transfer his residency without the approval of the employer after three years of working with him. “This period is shorter if both parties agree. The employee can now leave the present employer and transfer to another employer after one year only if the employer agrees. It’s not reasonable for the time frame to be shorter as the employee has to work for at least a year to not harm the employer’s interests on the other hand,” he explained.

This authority will be responsible for employees holding Visa 18. Maids, domestic drivers, and other employees in similar positions are working in Kuwait according to Visa 20 which does not follow the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour and will not be included in the labor law, Al-Dosari said explaining that they follow the Ministry of Interior, so PAM won’t be responsible for them directly. According to Al-Dosari the recruitment offices which are currently responsible for hiring maids from abroad will no longer deal with this. “Instead, PAM will work with a private company to hire maids from abroad. This will solve most of the problems which plague both the companies, as well as the sponsors,” Al-Dosari said.

Asian driver tries to bribe cop By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: A policeman pulled an Asian to the side of the road and issued a ticket for driving without a license when the driver approached him and placed KD200 in his pocket and said “Help me”. The man was

arrested for trying to bribe the officer and his car was impounded. Citizen robbed during surgery A citizen told Jahra police that her smartphone was stolen when she was unconscious after being sedated during a surgery. Guns recovered Security officials confiscated eight shotguns on Salmi Road and held three wanted cars and nine cars for reckless driving during a security campaign in Jahra. Two drunks were also caught and 89 traffic tickets were issued.

Temperatures to vary KUWAIT: Director of Meteorology department at Civil Aviation Directorate General Mohammad Karam said he expected the winds to turn to North-westerly with speeds of 45KM per hour creating dust over open areas. He said that those winds will continue until Sunday evening adding that because of those winds temperature will vary between 41 and 43 Celsius while minimum temps will reach 24 in some areas. He said the sea waves will be moderate and may rise late Friday, Saturday and Sundy and vary between 3 and 5 feet. — KUNA

that a person who commits suicide shows that he does not have a grain of faith in his heart and that the act cannot be justified under any circumstance. Dr Khader Al-Baroun, psychology professor at Kuwait University said many reasons push men and women to end their lives in a tragic way. He said that among the main reasons are social and psychological pressure that the person endures and that many people committed suicide because of their family or illnesses they weren’t able to cure. Al-Baroun also said that suicidal people cry out for help in many ways and keep stressing that they are not important enough to live with statements like “I will say goodbye in a few moments” or “ I do not want to live” in addition to distributing valuables to friends. He also said that the women who commit suicide do it when they are ridiculed for being spinsters and it’s mainly an emotional decision they take to end their lives. — Al-Qabas

The shotguns confiscated on Salmi Road.

Narcotic haul Narcotics officers arrested an Asian man with two envelopes containing 125 grams of heroin, 45 grams of shabu and 30 grams of marijuana. The suspect and the material were sent to concerned authorities.

The Asian expat with the narcotics


Local FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Premier to address Syria issue at UN General Assembly to weigh resolution against Damascus

UNITED NATIONS: His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah arrives in New York today to attend the 68th General Assembly session at a time it gains huge significance due to the current political turmoil in Syria. Kuwait’s Permanent Ambassador to the UN Mansour AlOtaibi said that the Syrian crisis, namely the chemical arms issue and the possible issuance of a resolution against the Damascus regime would be among topics of the agenda, in addition to other issues related to development worldwide. There is also no doubt that Syria will feature highly in international, regional and bilateral talks held on the sidelines of the session, he added. In his speech at the General Assembly on September 25, HH the Prime Minister will highlight political, security and economic challenges worldwide, the Middle East and Syria in particular, and Kuwait’s role in providing assistance to developing and under-developed countries.

HH the prime minister is also expected, in a separate meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in two days’ time to discuss, along with Syria, several issues related to Kuwait, including relations with Iraq, the Middle East peace process and Kuwaiti support for UN development programs. Preparations are also being made for the prime minister to meet Iraqi Vice President Khodair Al-Khozaei, with a meeting, in turn, between the Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari. These meetings will be held against the backdrop of completion of maintenance of the neighboring countries’ border markers, ratification of a navigation regulation agreement at Khor Abdullah - an estuary waterway shared by both countries - and concluding mission of the special UN coordinator for the issue of missing Kuwaiti individuals and property according to Security Council resolution 2107. “Both countries are expected to address a joint letter to the UN chief bidding farewell to the

agreement to regulate navigation in Khor Abdullah,” revealed Al-Otaibi. Elaborating, Al-Otaibi said the “Gulf Troika” which comprises Kuwait, Bahrain and the GCC Secretary General will hold several coordination meetings, next week, with heads of regional groups and ministers of the Security Council permanent member states. Moreover, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled will represent Kuwait at other meetings, grouping representatives of “Yemen’s Friends,” the Non-Aligned Movement and the Islamic Cooperation Organization. On Monday, a “crucial meeting” for the Arab-African coordination committees will be held in preparation for the ArabAfrican Summit, due in Kuwait in November. Ambassador AlOtaibi added that the Kuwaiti delegation would take part in a series of other meetings and round-table gatherings due to address a host of issues, namely development, nuclear disarmament and migration.— KUNA

Kuwait’s solar plant to come up in Abdaliya

KUWAIT: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim visits the construction site of the Sabah Al-Salem University campus yesterday. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Kuwait, one of the world’s major oil producers, is now taking tangible steps to cut dependence on fossil fuel, with a key solar thermal plant to be built in Al-Abdaliya west of the country’s capital. Latest move in this respect was declared yesterday by Technical Office for Examining Development Projects and Initiatives, a department that operates under umbrella of the Ministry of Finance, which said in a statement that it signed a contract with HSBC to offer consultancy for the thermal solar plant, in the first such initiative offered by the private sector within realm of the state development strategy. The 280 MW plant will be built in Al-Abdaliya, southwest of the farming region of Kabad, at a projected cost of KD 926.75 million.

The venture is the first in Kuwait’s record by the private sector, according to Law 2008/7. The initiating company has prepared feasibility studies of the unprecedented venture at the national level. The technical team is due to float the venture for tendering according to regulations of Kuwait’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) program, in cooperation with the Ministry of Electricity and Water. The statement added that the venture would contribute to optimum utilization of the country natural resources, indicating that Kuwaiti share-holding companies would be established for its execution. Moreover, it will be in tandem with the state approach to grant incentives for private-public partnerships and would contribute to meeting mounting demand for energy locally. — KUNA

Speaker vows fast steps to complete university campus KUWAIT: Visiting the construction site of the Sabah Al-Salem university campus, House Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim underscored the National Assembly’s commitment to pass bills that would accelerate the completion of that campus in a record time. The speaker was touring the site along with a number of MPs to get a firsthand look at how the project of building the new university was coming along. Attending them was Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Nayef AlHajraf. The House Speaker noted in a press statement on the sidelines of the tour that AlHajraf sought from the lawmakers visiting the campus site to bring about some legislative amendments that would ensure an early completion of the construction of the university.

The Education minister said-also in a press statement-that according to information he received from the project manager Dr Rana Al-Faris, the date set for the completion of the construction would be in 2017. Dr Al-Faris put on an audio-visual presentation for the visitors regarding the campus project, which she indicated was made of two separate campuses, one for male students and the other for female ones in accordance with the law of separation of sexes at educational institutions. The new university campuses will hold at least 40,000 students plus 10,000 faculty and staff members, said the project manager. Infrastructure costs have topped KD 304 million since April 2010 and it is estimated that the total cost for the project would be at least KD 600 million, she said. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Deputy Chief of the Army Staff Lt-General Abdulrahman Al-Othman promoted a number of army officers to the rank of Major. The Deputy Chief of the Army lauded the Army officers for their performance, conveying greetings from His Highness the Amir and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The ceremony was attended by Defense ministry and Army officials. — KUNA

Kuwait’s Beatona.net draws overseas browsers KUWAIT: Kuwait Official Environmental Portal “Beatona.net” is increasingly drawing browsers, individuals and institutions, from abroad, seeking data and information about Kuwait’s environment. The website offers detailed information, photos, statistical figures, sketches and maps. It exchanges information and documents in Arabic and English, in simplified language for clients of various ages. Beatono.net, which aims to promote environmental awareness, provides users with detailed geographical infor-

mation about the various locations and regions of the country, along with capacity to use satellite images and pictures, old and new ones, in addition to the option of uploading high-definition maps. The website, in addition to its educational and promotional roles, is also helpful for potential tourists. Beatona had won the e-Government Web Award for the category “Official Governmental and Public Authorities Websites” during the 3rd annual competition 2012

(eGovernment Web Awards), organized by the Arab Administrative Development Organization/Arab League, in 2012. The award was received by Mohammad Al-Ahmad, Manager of the Environmental Monitoring Information System of Kuwait at the Environment Public Authority,) during the Awards Ceremony held on the 21st September, last year, at the International Congress Centre in Sharm ElSheikh in Egypt. It had been also honored by other organizations, namely the United Nations. — KUNA


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Iraq boils; Shiite and Sunni militia face off

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$1bn needed to destroy Syria chemical weapons

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Tamils vote under shadow of guns

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KERDASA: Egyptian security forces help the lifeless body of Giza Police Gen Nabil Farrag (center) who was killed after unidentified militants opened fire on security forces deployed early morning in the town of Kerdasa, near Giza Pyramids yesterday. — AP

Egypt troops storm Islamist stronghold Two bombs defused on Cairo metro line

CAIRO: Egyptian security forces clashed with gunmen on the outskirts of Cairo yesterday as the army-backed government moved to reassert control over an Islamist-dominated area where militants staged a bloody attack on a police station last month. A police general was killed in an exchange of fire during the operation in Kerdasa, a town 14 km, from Cairo. Dozens of police and army vehicles entered the town at daybreak. It was the second operation this week to restore control over an area where Islamist sympathies run deep and hostility to the authorities has grown since the army deposed President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood on July 3. “The security forces will not retreat until Kerdasa is cleansed of all terrorist and criminal nests,” Interior Ministry spokesman Hany Abdel Latif told state media. The police were hunting 140 suspects. There had been little or no sign of state authority in Kerdasa since an Aug 14 attack on its police station in which 11 officers were killed. The building was hit with rocket-propelled grenades and torched after police had stormed pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo and killed hundreds of his supporters. The main suspects in the Kerdasa attack had been detained, state TV reported. Security sources said dozens of weapons, including rocket-propelled grenades, had been seized, and 41 people were arrested.

Militant attacks have been on the rise since the overthrow of the Islamist Morsi, Egypt’s first freely-elected president. The army is mounting an operation in the Sinai Peninsula against Al-Qaedainspired groups. Shootings and bomb attacks have also taken place in the Nile Valley - two members of the armed forces were shot dead in the Nile Delta on Tuesday. In Cairo yesterday, explosives experts defused two primitive bombs on the metro public transport system. NEW WAR The authorities say they are in a new war on terror against Islamist militants. State media have labeled the Muslim Brotherhood, the group that propelled Morsi to power last year, as an enemy of the state. Heavy gunfire was heard in a village near Kerdasa as police chased a group of men into side streets, TV footage showed. Gunfire appeared to hit near a police position. Security forces in body armor and armed with automatic rifles fanned out in Kerdasa. Two policemen were wounded by a hand grenade thrown from a rooftop, security sources said. Army checkpoints secured the entrances to the town. Tyres set ablaze to obstruct the operation smouldered in the roads. Around a dozen residents dragged

a man towards an army checkpoint, yelling “We caught one”. After handing him over to soldiers, they chanted “the army and the people are one hand”. They said he had been caught in a car with weapons. In a similar operation earlier this week, the security forces moved into the town of Delga in the southern province of Minya another area known for Islamist sympathies and a major theatre for an insurrection waged by Islamists in the 1990s. The Aug 14 attack on Kerdasa’s police station was triggered by the security forces’ operation against two pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo. That led to the worst spasm of violence in Egypt’s modern history, with more than 100 members of the security forces killed as well as the hundreds of Morsi supporters, and a spate of attacks targeting the Coptic Christian community. Mass arrests have netted at least 2,000 people, mostly Morsi supporters, since his downfall. The former president and many Brotherhood leaders have been jailed on charges of inciting violence. Egypt has been in a state of emergency since Aug 14 and large parts of the country remain under a nighttime curfew. The government decided yesterday to shorten the hours of the curfew to start at midnight instead of 11 pm from tomorrow. — Reuters


International FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Iraq ‘boiling like a volcano’ Shiite Muslims, Sunni militants face off BAGHDAD: In Sadr City, an impoverished district of northeastern Baghdad, local people say the anger of Shiite Muslims against Sunni militants is ready to erupt into violence. “Iraq today is boiling like a volcano and it could blow at any minute,” said Ali Al-Husseini, a 27year-old cleric. So far, Iraq’s Shiite majority has stayed largely quiescent, despite the highest violence for five years, with car bombs and other attacks killing hundreds of people every month. But officials have said the government is looking at plans to create a government-backed Shiite militia to counter Al-Qaeda, which is undergoing a resurgence in the country. The government hopes a unified force will help protect the population and prevent local Shiite militias taking matters into their own hands. Sunnis are not so sure. Such a project could be helpful if prominent locals, such as tribal chiefs, are involved, said Qais Al-Shathir, a senior Sunni lawmaker. “But if this project is adopted by political sides ... then this will certainly give official cover for the militias and this will negatively impact the security situation.” Three senior officials in the Shiitedominated administration of Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki said the government plans to combine at least three Shiite militias into a single force. “All Shiite factions have agreed with this plan,” a senior official in Maliki’s office said. The idea is to combine elements from the Asaib Al-Haq and Kata’ib Hezbollah militias, which ceased fighting in Iraq after 2011, as well as the Mehdi army, which is loyal to anti-US preacher Moqtada Al-Sadr and which stepped aside from the fighting in 2008. The plan, said the official, is partly designed to boost Maliki’s credentials ahead of elections in 2014. “Maliki will present himself as the Shi’ite defender,” the official said. It comes as the increase in violence, fed in part by the conflict in neighboring Syria where Islam’s two main strands are also at odds, is raising fears that Iraq could return to the bloody days of 2006-2007 when tens of thousands of people died. “The aim of Al-Qaeda is clearly to provoke a civil war,” a Western diplomat in Baghdad said. It was remarkable, the diplomat added, that a Shiite backlash had not yet occurred. THE CATALYST Maliki’s delicate cross-sectarian political alliance was supposed to share power between Shiites, who make up just over 60 percent of Iraq’s 32 million people, and Sunnis and Kurds, who make up roughly 20 percent each. But it has been paralyzed since US troops withdrew in 2011, stalling legislation and policymaking in a country that still needs to rebuild its infrastructure after years of war and sanctions. Tensions spilled onto the streets in December when thousands of Sunnis in the western provinces of Anbar, Nineveh and Salahuddin, in central Iraq, protested against Maliki, demanding he step down over what they saw as the marginalization of their sect. Protesters were furious after state officials arrested the bodyguards of the Sunni Finance Minister, Rafie Al-Esawi, on terrorism charges. Authorities denied the arrests were political, but Sunni leaders saw them as a crackdown. Esawi later resigned at an antiMaliki rally. Tareq Al-Hashemi, Iraq’s vice-president and one of the most senior Sunni politicians, has fled the country and been sentenced to death in absentia for running death squads, which he denies. Many Iraqi Sunnis say they see a sectarian hand behind Hashemi’s case. These steps have undermined the power-sharing pact, forged after elections in 2010, between Iraq’s different sectarian and ethnic groups. After the protests the government made some concessions, such as releasing hundreds of detainees and granting pensions to former army officers and members of the Baath Party that dominated Iraq under Saddam Hussein. But seven months on from the unrest, day-labourer Mohammed Abdullah said Sunni demands had still not been met. “The government does not recognize us, we do not recognize it and we will work to topple it because we are facing a crucial battle to prove the Iraqi identity,” the 54-year-old said in the city of Fallujah, 70 km west of Baghdad. “As a last option, maybe we will carry arms against the government.” Ramzy Mardini, an analyst at the Iraq Institute for Strategic Studies in Beirut, believes Maliki’s response in the run-up to next year’s elections will be crucial. “A heavy-handed Baghdad response toward the Sunni population will inflame sectarian tensions even further and play into Al- Qaeda’s hands.” DEATH VALLEY Tensions are already inflamed by the fighting in Syria, which is spilling over its border with western Iraq. A 15-minute video posted on jihadi forums in August showed an Al-Qaeda fighter backed up by dozens of militants in pickup trucks blocking a desert highway in

BAGHDAD: Iraqis inspect the site of a car bomb attack in front of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in central Baghdad, Iraq. More than 4,000 people have been killed since April, including over 804 just in August, according to UN figures. — AP western Iraq. The attackers interrogate three Syrian drivers about their religion, then gun them down outside the town of Rutba, 360 km west of Baghdad. On the video, the assassins identify the dead drivers as Alawites members of the offshoot of Shiite Islam that rules Syria under President Bashar Al-Assad. The militants accuse the drivers of transporting supplies from Iraq to Assad’s forces, who are fighting AlQaeda-linked rebels in Syria. Fighters and supplies are passing back and forth through Iraq’s porous 680-km border with Syria - which locals now call “Death Valley” - especially in the western Anbar province. The Al-Qaeda cell which claimed the highway attack, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, has said it is behind this year’s wave of bombings, as well as a mass jail break in July. The Iraqi-based operation has expanded into Syria. It’s a combustible mix. Maliki, whose government is close to Shiite-ruled Iran, Assad’s staunchest ally, sees rebel forces in Syria as a far greater problem than Assad. The jihadists say they want to carve out an Islamist “emirate” from eastern Syria and western Iraq. In Iraq, Al-Qaeda has strengthened its presence around Baghdad and in some northern regions. Fighters now control most of the villages and towns in an area known as the Hamrin Mountains basin, which links the northern provinces of Diyala, Salahuddin, Kirkuk and Mosul, say security officials, residents and local lawmakers. Many al Qaeda members are former officers of Saddam Hussein’s intelligence services or army. Baathists may offer support to Al-Qaeda even if they have not joined it, said Amer Al-Khuzaei, an adviser to Maliki. “They do not wear an explosive belt or blow themselves up, but they are planning, providing intelligence, nominating the targets and providing all kinds of logistical support,” he said. Members of Sunni militia groups are buying farms and houses to hide militants, and prepare suicide bombers and explosives, a senior security official in Baghdad said, citing reports from police and military officers working on the ground. “The same coalition of jihadi interests in Iraq seems to have been recreated as existed in 2006 and 2007,” said Crispin Hawes, director of Middle East and North Africa analysis at risk consultancy Eurasia Group. MONEY AND MISTAKES As well as blaming Iraq’s increased violence on the Syrian conflict, the Maliki government also says Al- Qaeda in Iraq is receiving more funds from Arab countries in the Gulf. “Withdraw your hands with their black fingers and leave us as Iraqis to live in peace and love,” Maliki said in a televised speech on August 14 in which he called on Arab countries to “stop earning the enmity” of Iraq by funding insurgents. Saudi Arabia has not commented publicly on accusations about such funding and did not respond to request for comment for this report. Diplomats in the Gulf say that Saudi Arabia works hard to prevent private funds going to militant groups, but that money still gets through. Western diplomats and some junior Iraqi intelligence officials believe Al-Qaeda has also thrived in part because of mis-

takes by Maliki’s government. Since militants staged the daring jail break in July - in which more than 500 Al-Qaeda fighters are believed to have escaped the government has arrested hundreds of Sunnis in a campaign called “Avenge the Martyrs.” To the north west of Baghdad, residents in Tarmiya town said Special Forces had angered Sunnis when searching the area as part of the campaign. “They provoked people by burning down one of the (palm) groves for no reason,” said a man who gave his name as Abu Mustafa. “They destroyed the furniture of some of the houses they raided,” he added. He said police had stolen items from homes. Other critics accuse the government of incompetence. One senior Shiite politician who lives in Diyala province, to the east of Baghdad, said: “The real problem, entirely, is the mismanagement of the security file (operation).” Raids in Diyala were publicized in the media ahead of time, allowing militants to escape, he said, voicing frustration with the security forces for not targeting the right areas because of lack of local knowledge. Families of Sunnis who were arrested or killed in previous raids have been abandoned, stoking resentment, he said. “They are all in dire need of financial support and the government ... is not trying to take care of them. So they become hotbeds for terrorism.” THE ENEMY Iraq is not at the level of a civil war yet, according to Fuad Hussein, chief of staff to Massoud Barzani, leader of Iraq’s autonomous northern Kurdish region, which tries to stay out of the Sunni-Shiite battles. “But those fighting each other express themselves (as) belonging to these ideologies and this is very dangerous.” Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr, who is based in both the Iraqi holy city of Najaf and the Lebanese capital Beirut, has repeatedly declined to comment on any of his followers’ recent activities. But a visit to Sadr City in northeastern Baghdad goes some way to explaining why a backlash has not yet emerged - and why it still could. The district is named after Sadr’s late father, who was also a cleric. Portraits of both men dominate squares and street corners. Residents of the neighborhood are outraged by the number of bomb attacks by the Iraqi arm of Al-Qaeda. But so far, they say, they have not fought back because this would set off a new cycle of retributive killings that most want to avoid. Husseini, the 27-year-old follower of Sadr, said he had decided against taking up arms, at least for now, because insurgents were spread among the wider community. “The enemy here is hidden, I cannot target everyone in order to reach the enemy,” Husseini said. Ali, a 32-year-old former member of Sadr’s Mehdi army, said the violence in 2006-2007 was driven by Shi’ite reprisals against the Sunni community and such a situation was unlikely to happen again. But he added that if Sadr called his followers to arms, the fighters were ready. “We still have our weapons and are ready to respond in any minute,” he said. — Reuters


International FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Iraq’s Kurds to vote amid tensions ARBIL: Iraq’s Kurdish region goes to the polls tomorrow, grappling with a swathe of disputes with the central government while fellow Kurds fight bloody battles across the border in Syria. The legislative election also comes amid questions over the future of the Kurdish nation, spread across historically hostile countries that have more recently either shown a willingness to discuss Kurdish demands, or have suffered instability, allowing Kurds to carve out their own territory. The September 21 vote is the first to be held in Kurdistan, a threeprovince autonomous region in north Iraq, in more than four years. It will see three main parties jostle for position in the Kurdish parliament, with long-term implications both domestically and farther afield. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of regional president Massud Barzani is widely expected to garner the largest number of seats. But the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, which is in government with the KDP, faces a challenge from the Goran faction in its own backyard as it struggles with leadership questions as its long-time chief Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi president, recovers in Germany from a stroke. “This election may be even more important (than previous ones) for the Kurdistan region because if the KDP, for example, wins a big majority, they will decide the system,” said Asos Hardi, an analyst, referring to angry debate about the region’s constitution. “A strong KRG (Kurdistan regional government) can be a strong supporter of all the Kurds in different parts of Kurdistan,” he added of the Kurdish areas of Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran. Special voting for security forces, detainees, prison staff, patients and hospital workers was held yesterday, ahead of the main vote tomorrow. Internationally, the focus is likely to be on the region’s increasingly strident moves in recent years towards full-fledged independence from Iraq’s central government.

OIL DEALS IRK BAGHDAD The progress made by the region stands in marked contrast to previous decades, when Kurds faced hostility from Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq. Oil-rich Iraqi Kurdistan has sought to establish a pipeline that would give it access to international markets, it has sent crude across the border to neighboring Turkey, and signed deals with foreign energy firms, including giants such as Exxon Mobil and Total. It has also capitalized on its reputation for greater safety and stability, as well as a faster-growing economy than the rest of Iraq, to solicit investment independent of the federal government. All this has drawn the ire of Baghdad, which insists that the transporting of crude to Turkey amounts to smuggling and the signing of energy contracts without the express consent of the national oil ministry is illegal. The two sides are also locked in a protracted dispute over a swathe of land which Kurdistan wants to incorporate, over the objections of the central government. The region has also become more involved in the 30-month-long civil war in neighboring Syria. Clashes last month between Kurdish forces and jihadists keen to secure a land corridor connecting them to Iraq pushed tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds across the border, seeking refuge in Iraq’s Kurdish region. Barzani, meanwhile, has threatened to intervene in the Syria conflict to protect Kurds there, although officials have since walked back those remarks. In all, nearly three million Iraqi Kurds are eligible to vote in the election for the 111-seat legislature, which drafts its own laws. Kurdistan also operates its own security forces and visa regime and has control over a wide array of other responsibilities. But while it claims its citizens enjoy greater freedoms than their compatriots elsewhere in Iraq, Kurdish authorities have been criticized for a litany of rights abuses. Ahead of the polls, attacks on Goran supporters have left one person dead and several wounded.— AFP

YALDA: Rebel fighters hold a position on a front line in the Damascus suburb of Yalda. — AFP

Bomb hits bus in central Syrian province, kills 19 Qaeda-linked gunmen capture town near Turkish border

DAMASCUS: A handout picture shows Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad speaking during an interview with Fox News in the capital Damascus.— AFP

$1bn needed to destroy Syria chemical weapons WASHINGTON: Defiant strongman Bashar Al-Assad has promised he would surrender Syria’s chemical weapons but warned it would take at least a year to do so and cost one billion dollars. His latest appearance came as UN envoys debated a draft resolution that would enshrine a joint US-Russian plan to secure and neutralize his banned weapons in international law. In a confident interview with US network Fox News, Assad insisted that Syria was not gripped by civil war but was the victim of infiltration by foreign-backed AlQaeda fighters. He insisted that his forces had not been behind an August 21 gas attack on the Damascus suburbs that left hundreds of civilians dead, but vowed nevertheless to hand over his deadly arsenal. It was Assad’s second interview this month with US television, and one of a series of meetings with Western journalists to counter mounting political pressure from Western capitals. After last month’s barrage of sarinloaded rockets, which Western capitals

say was clearly launched by the regime, US President Barack Obama called for USled punitive military strikes. But-with US lawmakers and the Western public not sold on the virtues of another Middle East military adventure-Assad’s ally Russia seized the opportunity to propose a diplomatic solution. Pushed by President Vladimir Putin, the White House agreed to hold fire while Russia and the international community-with Assad’s agreement-draws up a disarmament plan. Assad reiterated his pledge to cooperate, but insisted he had not been forced to do so by US threats of US action. “I think it’s a very complicated operation, technically. And it needs a lot of money, about a billion,” he told Fox. “So it depends, you have to ask the experts what they mean by quickly. It has a certain schedule. It needs a year, or maybe a little bit more.” Asked why he had used force to repress a popular uprising and triggered a two-and-a-half year war that has claimed 110,000 lives, Assad insisted Syria was a victim of terrorism. —AFP

DAMASCUS: A roadside bomb struck a bus in Syria’s central province yesterday, killing 19 people, a local government official said. The explosion in the village of Jbourin also wounded four people on the bus, according to the official from the governor’s office in Homs province who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. The village is predominantly Alawite, an offshoot of Shiite Islam and a minority sect to which President Bashar Assad belongs, but it also has Christians and Sunni Muslims. It was not immediately clear why the bus was targeted but Syria’s civil war, which has left more than 100,000 dead since the crisis erupted in March 2011, has taken increasingly sectarian overtones. Most of the rebels trying to overthrow Assad belong to the majority Sunni sect. Elsewhere in Syria, Al-Qaeda-linked gunmen captured a town near the Turkish border after heavy clashes with a rebel group that held the area, an activist group said yesterday. It was the latest development in what has been a relatively new component in the conflict - stepped-up infighting between extremists with ties to Al-Qaeda and Westernbacked opposition groups. The US and its European and Gulf allies are increasingly concerned about the rising prominence of Islamists among the rebels, who have been playing a major role in the battles against Assad’s forces. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist group that monitors the violence, said members of the Al-Qaeda offshoot known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant stormed the town of Azaz in the northern Aleppo province on Wednesday evening, forcing the opposition fighters from the Western backed bloc to pull out. There has also been infighting among rebel groups in the eastern province of Deir El-Zour, which borders Iraq, and in the north where Al-Qaeda fighters from the ISIL and their allies in the Nusra Front have been battling Kurdish anti-government rebels for months. The infighting has left hundreds dead.

The fighting in Azaz broke out on Wednesday, when ISIL fighters tried to detain a German doctor they accused of taking pictures of their positions on behalf of their rivals, said Rami Abdul-Rahman, who heads the Observatory. The doctor, who was a volunteer in the region, escaped but the two rebel factions started fighting. Amateur videos showed dozens of gunmen with heavy machine guns mounted on pickup trucks gathering at the nearby border crossing with Turkey. The videos appeared genuine and corresponded to other Associated Press reporting on the events depicted. Abdul-Rahman said three opposition fighters and two jihadis were killed in the fighting. Yesterday, mediation was under way to get the jihadis to leave Azaz, he said. Also yesterday, the international aid agency Oxfam issued an appeal, saying many donor countries are failing to provide their share of the urgently-needed funding for the humanitarian response to Syria crisis. Oxfam said donors, including France, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Russia, should prioritize funding the UN’s $5 billion appeals. Oxfam’s report came ahead of next week’s donors meeting in New York. The donor countries have been influential in shaping the international response to the conflict, but should also bear their fair share of the burden of humanitarian aid, the agency said. “Too many donor countries are not delivering the level of funds that is expected of them,” said Colette Fearon, head of Oxfam’s Syria program. “While economic times are tough, we are facing the largest man-made humanitarian disaster in two decades and we have to seriously address it.” “The scale of this crisis is unprecedented and some countries must start to show their concerns to the crisis in Syria by putting their hands in their pockets,” Fearon said. The fighting in Syria has forced 7 million people to flee their homes. Five million Syrians have been displaced inside the country and more than 2 million have sought refuge in the neighboring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, according to the UN. — AP


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Iran reaches out to longtime enemy US Rowhani vows not to seek nuclear weapon

WASHINGTON: Iran will never seek nuclear weapons, newly elected President Hassan Rowhani vowed, as he reached out to longtime enemy the United States. In a US television interview days before he travels to New York for the UN General Assembly, Rowhani praised US President Barack Obama for taking a “positive” approach toward Tehran in a letter. “Under no circumstances would we seek any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, nor will we ever,” Rowhani told NBC News. “We have never pursued or sought a nuclear bomb, and we are not going to do so,” he said, according to the US network. Rowhani repeated Iran’s position that the clerical state-suffering from US-led sanctions following sensitive uranium work-was solely “looking for peaceful nuclear technology.” Rowhani, considered more moderate than his rivals, swept to power in June on promises to help repair Iran’s economy and to ease tensions with the West. His stance has been met alternately with cautious optimism and skepticism in Washington, where experts

note that supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ultimately controls foreign policy. Rowhani told NBC News: “In its nuclear program, this government enters with full power and has complete authority.” “The problem won’t be from our side,” he was quoted as saying. “We have sufficient political latitude to solve this problem.” Asked about Rowhani’s interview, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he was “glad” to hear his remarks and that Obama had always been “willing to talk.” “But I think the next step here is let’s see how Iran’s actions match their words,” Hagel told the “PBS Newshour” on public television. Obama recently acknowledged that he exchanged letters with Rowhani. The United States and Iran have had no diplomatic relations since the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic revolution that overthrew the Western-oriented shah. In an interview Tuesday, Obama pledged to test the “opportunity here for diplomacy.” “I hope the Iranians take advantage of it. There are

indications that Rowhani, the new president, is somebody who is looking to open dialogue with the West and with the United States-in a way that we haven’t seen in the past,” Obama told Spanish-language network Telemundo. The White House has played down chances of Obama meeting Rowhani at the UN General Assembly, while not completely ruling it out. At the very least, Rowhani is virtually certain to project a different image at the UN than his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was known for his harsh denunciations of Israel and questioning of the Holocaust. Ahead of the UN visit, Iran on Wednesday freed prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and several other political prisoners, winning cautious praise from the West. Rowhani, in the interview to NBC News, said that Obama’s letter was “positive and constructive.” “I believe the leaders in all countries could think in their national interest and they should not be under the influence of pressure groups,” he said, in a possible allusion to the pro-Israel lobby in the United States.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described Rowhani as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and threatened military action to prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb. Despite the flirtation between Iran and the United States, the two countries are at loggerheads over Syria’s bloody civil war. Rowhani was cautious when asked whether Obama looked weak by shelving a threatened strike on Syria over President Bashar Al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons. “Any government or administration that decides to wage a war, we consider a weakness. And any government that decides on peace, we look on it with respect to peace,” Rowhani told NBC News. Iran’s Shiite regime counts Assad-a secular leader from the heterodox Alawite sectas its closest regional ally. The rebels enjoy support from Sunni Arab monarchies Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Obama put off a strike on Syria after Russia and the United States reached a plan under which Assad agreed to hand over chemical weapons. — AFP


International FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Diplomatic tension exposes HK fragility HONG KONG: From China warning Western nations to stop meddling in Hong Kong to Communist Partybacked newspapers describing “plots” by foreign spies to seize the city, a growing row over electoral reform has exposed the fragility of hopes for full democracy. Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 with wide-ranging autonomy, an independent judiciary and relatively free press under the formula of “one country, two systems” - along with an undated promise of full democracy, a subject never raised by the British during 150 years of colonial rule. The implications stretch beyond the shores of Hong Kong, a glamorous, free-wheeling global financial hub. The Hong Kong model has been held up by Beijing as a possible solution for self-ruled Taiwan, which China considers a breakaway province which must return to the fold, by force if necessary. Hong Kong elects its next leader in 2017 in what will be the most far-reaching version of democracy on Chinese soil. But Beijing’s top representative in Hong Kong has ruled out open nominations for candidates, meaning he or she will be chosen by a committee stacked with Beijing loyalists.

Japanese PM Abe demands end to Fukushima leaks FUKUSHIMA: Japan’s prime minister told Fukushima’s operator to fix radioactive water leaks as he toured the crippled nuclear plant yesterday, less than two weeks after assuring the world the situation was under control. Shinzo Abe also said he stood by assertions he made at a meeting of Olympic chiefs that the effect of contaminated water was contained. Those reassurances, given at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee in Buenos Aires, were seen as key to Tokyo’s successful bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games. Yesterday’s visit came as it emerged that just months after the March 2011 disaster, authorities allowed operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) to shelve costly plans to deal with groundwater over fears it would push the massive utility into bankruptcy. Hundreds of tons of groundwater are becoming contaminated daily as they mix with highly polluted water used to cool the broken reactors. The water then flows out to sea. Abe wore a full face mask and an orange helmet for the tour, along with a white Tyvek protective suit that had the words “Prime Minister Shinzo Abe” emblazoned on the back in black. He was escorted around the site by TEPCO executives, including president Naomi Hirose. The visit is part of a campaign aimed at reassuring the world about the state of the plant, more than two-and-a-half years after it was battered by a huge tsunami. Speaking to Olympic chiefs in Buenos Aires just ahead of a decision to award the Games to Tokyo, Abe said of the plant: “Let me assure you, the situation is under control.” But some critics and experts say Abe’s gloss on the disaster is bordering on the dishonest-a senior TEPCO executive flatly contradicted the PM earlier this month. “I think the current situation is that it is not under control,” he told opposition lawmakers. COUNTER RUMORS TEPCO has poured thousands of tons of water onto the Fukushima reactors to tame meltdowns sparked by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The utility says they are now stable but need more water every day to keep them cool and to prevent them running out of control again. Much of that nowcontaminated water is being stored in temporary tanks at the plant, and TEPCO has so far revealed no clear plan for its disposal. The problem has been worsened by leaks from some of those tanks that are believed to have seeped into groundwater or begun to make their way out to sea. But Abe was bullish yesterday, pledging to “work hard to counter rumors questioning the safety of the Fukushima plant”. “One of the main purposes of this visit was to see it for myself, after I made those remarks on how the contaminated water has been handled,” he told reporters. “I am convinced the impact of waste water is completely blocked within 0.3 square kilometers inside the bay, as I said in Buenos Aires,” he said.—AFP

British Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire this week called for universal suffrage in the 2017 polls, saying Hong Kong people should get a genuine choice. China said it would not tolerate outside interference. Michael Davis, a constitutional law specialist at the University of Hong Kong, said foreign states had a legitimate interest in Hong Kong, noting how China had once courted international support for “one country, two systems”. But Beijing, he said, was now suspicious of their motives. “At its heart it is a kind of insecurity,” Davis said. “China is at that stage of development where it constantly attempts to edit inbound criticism, and that is what we are seeing here.” The United States and its large Hong Kong consulate are also being targeted by Beijing and its allies - something Washington’s new top envoy, Clifford Hart, is expected to address when he delivers his first Hong Kong speech next week. Diplomats from both Western and Asian nations fear their routine work to reach out to political and business contacts in the city is growing difficult as Beijing rails at “foreign interference”. Party-backed newspapers in the city have long questioned the activities of foreign diplo-

mats, this week upping the ante with claims that British spies are highly active, subverting politics with leaks from colonial-era files. “The diplomatic community is a core part of Hong Kong’s international edge,” one Asian diplomat said. “But we feel a bit squeezed and unwelcome ... we are entering a very sensitive time.” Hong Kong remains by far the freest city in greater China but tensions are rising. Every year, on the anniversary of the 1997 handover, thousands take to the streets demanding fully democratic elections, some openly declaring their support for the British. Pro-democracy groups have threatened to seal off the central business district next year as part of a campaign of civil disobedience. The most prominent Catholic in greater China, Cardinal Joseph Zen, warned last month that the government and pro-Beijing supporters might try to incite violence. “We’re at a point where the significance of the issues on the table are such that the (leaders) responsible for Hong Kong are paying very close attention,” said a Western diplomat. The diplomat added the hardening of China’s stance towards Hong Kong was a decision made by senior Beijing leaders.—Reuters

Sri Lanka’s Tamils vote under shadow of guns Poll marred by allegations of intimidation, harassment JAFFNA: Tamil voters in northern Sri Lanka are set to elect their first ever semiautonomous council, in a post-war powersharing exercise already marred by allegations of army intimidation and harassment. The poll is being held with Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse under international pressure to allow a fair vote for the Provincial Council in the once strife-torn region which was a former stronghold for the Tamil Tiger separatist rebels. The Tigers were crushed by a Sri Lankan military onslaught in 2009, which remains dogged by war crimes allegations, and the army maintains a heavy presence throughout the region of about a million people. “It is clear that there cannot be a free and fair election if the military continues its interfering presence in the Northern Province,” the leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) party, R Sampanthan, wrote in a letter to Rajapakse on Monday. He asked for the army to be confined to their barracks for the election. The Tamil Tigers, which held sway over a third of the country at their height, fought for a homeland for the ethnic Tamil population in Sri Lanka which is majority Sinhalese Buddhist. Many Tamils complain they are treated as second-class citizens and face discrimination and tomorrow’s vote is seen as crucial in reducing ethnic tensions. The 36member Provincial Council will have no powers to address major local grievances which include war crimes allegedly committed by Sri Lankan troops or the issue of thousands of missing people. Any decisions it takes-for example, raising taxes, building new infrastructure or changes to local services-can also be vetoed by the regional governor who is an appointee of the president. A candidate for the moderate TNA, the largest Tamil party which is expected to win tomorrow, said that soldiers had deliberately blocked some of his campaign meetings. “We are going to win the election, but the government is doing its best to stop us from getting a two-thirds majority,” Dharmalingam Sithadthan said. “At (the village of) Kollankallatti the army went in uniforms and closed down a hall where we were planning a

meeting,” he said. The army says the heavy deployment, despite the end of fighting, is to prevent a resurgence of terrorism. “You may not see it on the streets, but people are keen to vote,” says Tamil journalist Sabeshwaran Armukarasa who works for the Jaffna-based Thinakkural daily. “Tamils see this as an opportunity to have their own leadership that will speak up for them.” Under heavy security, President Rajapakse entered the campaign trail in Jaffna at the weekend, a rare presence from the leader in the Tamil heartland. Rajapakse, who was stung by criticism at the end of last month from the UN’s top human rights expert, accused the TNA of raising false hopes among the local population. “The TNA is misleading the people by promising self-government and independence,” Rajapakse told a campaign rally of his United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA). “Holding

an election in the north that was subjugated to terrorism for 30 years is a great accomplishment,” Rajapakse added. Rajapakse is hoping that economic revival in the once-impoverished region will see his party win the election. Provincial Councils are the highest level of local government in Sri Lanka under the country’s de facto federal system adopted in 1987, but elections for the north were never able to take place because of fighting. Security forces maintained a crippling embargo on Jaffna at the height of the war. Even chocolates and penlight batteries were restricted fearing that Tigers could use them in their war effort. Both the Tigers and troops did not allow civilians free passage out of the province. The Tigers had their own police, courts and a tax system and even a bank. All that has been replaced by the writ of Colombo.—AFP

JAFFNA: A Sri Lankan Tamil family cycles past a posters featuring images of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the Jaffna peninsula, some 400 kilometers north of Colombo yesterday. Tamil voters in northern Sri Lanka are set to elect their first ever semi-autonomous council tomorrow, in a post-war power-sharing exercise already marred by allegations of army intimidation and harassment. — AFP


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International FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

‘Honor killing’ shocks India Man beheaded, woman beaten to death OKLAHOMA: Officials investigate the scene at Foss Lake, Oklahoma, where two decades-old cars were pulled from the water by a dive team. The Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office says authorities have recovered skeletal remains of multiple bodies in the Oklahoma lake where the cars were recovered. —AP

Vehicles in lake shed light on Oklahoma cold cases FOSS: An Oklahoma sheriff says the families of six people who have been missing for more than 40 years should be able to gain some closure with the discovery of cars and bones believed to be connected to the cases. What still lingers, though, are questions about how the skeletal remains and two vehicles ended up submerged in Custer County’s Foss Lake, said Sheriff Bruce Peoples. He’s hopeful the answers will come, helping solve a pair of mysteries that have haunted residents for more than a generation. “Now the family will know, and that’s what we look at as an important part of our job,” Peoples said. “It’s going to close a very unhappy chapter in their lives, but nothing any worse than having those lingering questions and wondering what happened.” Were the victims in the two separate cold cases murdered and dumped in the lake about 100 miles west of Oklahoma City? Or did they take a wrong turn, drive off the edge of the boat ramp and end up submerged? “It’s way too early to tell at this point,” Peoples said. “We’ll treat it as a crime until we’re able to determine it’s a simple car wreck.” Divers conducting a training exercise with sonar equipment found the 1969 Camaro and early 1950s Chevrolet at the bottom of Foss Lake on Tuesday. The vehicles were in about 12 feet of water - about 50 feet from the end of a boat ramp. Remains were inside both cars. Missing persons reports show three teenagers from Sayre in nearby Beckham County - Leah Johnson, Michael Rios and Jimmy Williams - disappeared in 1970 while heading to a high school football game in Williams’ new 1969 Camaro. Another missing persons report - from 1969 - indicates two men and a woman also from the area disappeared and were last seen in a 1950s Chevrolet, Peoples said. “These vehicles match those missing persons reports real close,” the sheriff said Wednesday as investigators combed through what remained of the rusty, mud-covered vehicles. He said it was entirely possible that the victims simply drove into Foss Lake and drowned. “We know that to happen, even if you know your way around. It can happen that quick,” he said. Still, some locals cling to the theory that the three teens ran across some dangerous people and ended up getting killed. “Everyone suspected foul play,” said Dayva Spitzer, publisher of The Sayre Record and a longtime resident. “They’ve been talking about it for 43 years. “I think everybody is hoping there’s closure now. But there’s still more questions than answers.” The teens’ disappearance gripped the town for years. “I think the kids were frightened by it, and we didn’t talk about it much,” said Gayla Splinter, a clerk at a Sayre law office who lived in nearby Erick when the teens went missing. “It’s always been a mystery.” Peoples said he was confident the Camaro held the remains of the three teens. Authorities were not as clear about what the second vehicle contained. The state medical examiner’s office said it believed the remains of six people were recovered overall. Tim Porter of Enid said he believed the remains in that vehicle could be those of his grandfather, John Albert Porter, who disappeared along with two other people in 1969. “Forty-something years of wondering who or why,” Porter said. “If it is my grandfather in there, it’s a gift.” Porter said he offered up a DNA sample to help authorities determine the identities of the victims, a process Peoples said could take as long as a year. The bones were being sent to the medical examiner’s office to identify the victims and determine how they died. —AP

NEW DELHI: A man was beheaded and his girlfriend beaten to death in an “honor killing” in northern India after they eloped, police said yesterday. The woman’s mother, father and uncle were arrested after the gruesome murders carried out in a village in the state of Haryana on Wednesday, police said. The couple were tracked down and brought back to their village in Rohtak district after they fled to the capital New Delhi, local police chief Anil Kumar said. The woman, 20, was allegedly beaten to death and then relatives, angry about their decision to leave, turned on her 22-year-old boyfriend, attacking him with sticks, Inspector-General Kumar said. “While murdering the boy they also beheaded him,” Kumar said. The family had tried to burn the woman’s body but were stopped by

police, Kumar said by telephone. The pair had been in a relationship for three years. The woman was studying to be an art teacher while her boyfriend was also a student at a local college, Kumar said. “We have arrested her father, mother and uncle and we are looking for her brother, a friend and driver of the car in which the couple were brought back to her home in Gharnavati village,” the police chief said. “Both belonged to the same village and the same caste. “It is an honor killing but the murder was not approved by society.” India has for centuries seen killings that often target young couples who have relationships of which their families, clans or communities, particularly in traditional rural areas, disapprove. Reasons for disapproval are numerous, but they sometimes include having

relationships outside of their caste or religion. The killings are carried out by relatives to protect the family’s reputation and pride. Police in Haryana have been conducting a campaign against honor killings in the state, where the sex-gender ratio is skewed in favor of men because of an outlawed but still existing tradition of female infanticide. “We hold seminars and our women officers visit villages but the ultimate weapon against the scourge of honor killings is (more) education,” Kumar said. India’s Supreme Court said in 2010 that the death penalty should be given to those found guilty of honor killings, calling the crime a barbaric “slur” on the nation. There are no official figures on honor killings in India, but the All India Democratic Women’s Association says its research shows about 1,000 such cases nationwide a year. —AFP

Can Pakistan talk its way to peace with Taleban? ISLAMABAD: Pakistani politicians have offered talks to the Taleban, but with attacks continuing and the militants issuing demanding conditions for negotiations, the road to peace looks as long and tortuous as ever. At the instigation of the new Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, a conference of Pakistan’s political parties last week called for talks with the Tehreek-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP), the main grouping of the militants. An umbrella faction for armed Islamist outfits but also criminals and mafia gangs, the TTP was created in 2007 and pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda. In the years since, it has carried out hundreds of attacks, killing more than 6,000 people. The TTP initially hailed the initiative but on Sunday issued a series of tough conditions for taking part in talks, including the release of all of its members held in Pakistani jails and the complete withdrawal of government forces from the tribal areas along the Afghan border that are its stronghold. The same day, the militants carried out a series of attacks in the country’s restive northwest that left seven soldiers and police dead, including a general commanding an army division. TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said they had not been approached for talks and the war with the Pakistani authorities would continue unless the government announced a ceasefire. After Sunday’s attacks, army chief General Ashfaq Kayani released a statement affirming the army’s support for talks but vowing not to cave in to the TTP’s demands. “While it is understandable to give peace a chance through the political process no-one should have any misgivings that we would let terrorists coerce us into accepting their terms,” Kayani said. Peace deals reached with the TTP in the past, in limited geographical areas, have fallen apart quickly and Pakistani media have questioned whether a genuine, effective peace agreement was really possible. They noted the difficulties apparent in trying to reconcile the government and army’s firm commitment to maintaining Pakistan’s

ISLAMABAD: An Afghan refugee drinks water leaking from a public water point on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan. Pakistan hosts over 1.6 million registered Afghans, the largest and most protracted refugee population in the world. According to the UN refugee agency, thousands of them still live without electricity, running water and other basic services. —AP territorial integrity and constitution with the Taleban’s desire for the imposition of sharia law, among other issues. It is a dilemma which some say is fuelling division within the militant ranks as much as debate among the politicians and men in khaki. “The attack on a senior military general is a sign that there are Taleban groups who don’t want to negotiate with the government,” said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, former information minister in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which has borne the brunt of TTP attacks. The Pakistani Taleban are made up of a myriad of factions which have declared “holy war” on the government in Islamabad, which they accuse of kowtowing to Washington, India and religious minorities such as Shiites. Citing intelligence sources, Hussain said that while some Taleban groups support talks, notably those in Punjab which are vehemently anti-Indian and historically close to the

military, others do not. The latter include the hardline group of Mullah Fazlullah, which took control of Swat valley in 2007 before being kicked out by a major army operation two years later. Hussain said Sunday’s attacks were “basically an effort to spoil the peace talks”, a view backed up by a senior Taleban commander, who said Fazlullah’s group were behind the blast that killed the general. UNANSWERED QUESTIONS Journalist and analyst Rahimullah Yousufzai said there has been some contact with the TTP but nothing of substance has been achieved so far. “Lots of questions remain unanswered: how do you talk, where, how do you implement any agreement? Do you need to free prisoners?” he said. Moreover, the support of the army-still the most powerful institution in the country-for a talks process is not guaranteed to last indefinitely. —AFP


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International FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

EU officer shot dead in Kosovo First EU fatality since 2008 deployment Georgia’s Stalin statue signals political divide TELAVI: Recently re-erected then vandalized within hours, a communist-era statue of Joseph Stalin stands sprayed with bright orange paint on a hilltop overlooking the provincial town of Telavi in eastern Georgia. The slightly larger than lifesize monument was torn down several years ago as part of staunchly pro-Western President Mikheil Saakashvili’s campaign to eradicate all traces of Georgia’s Soviet past. But local Stalin loyalists clubbed together this month to restore the statue-only to see unknown vandals cover it in paint and scrawl slogans on the wall behind, one reading: “Stalin is a murderer”. Sixty years after the dictator’s death, commentators say the incident-the latest of several in the last year-highlights not only the deep political divisions in Stalin’s homeland but also a struggle over his legacy. “Some sort of nostalgia for Stalin still exists in a certain segment of the Georgian society,” said political analyst Gia Nodia. In October 2012, Saakashvili’s party lost parliamentary polls to a coalition led by his bitter foe billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, who has made normalizing relations with Russia his foreign policy priority. Since the election upset, Stalin monuments have been erected in six other villages and all have suffered a fate similar to the Telavi statue, each quickly defaced. With Ivanishvili now prime minister and Saakashvili preparing to step down as president when his second and final term ends next month, analysts say the changes have emboldened conservatives who believe the time is right to rehabilitate Stalin. “When a party, which has been pursuing an active deSovietisation policy has been replaced in power by politicians who were flirting with Stalinist sentiments during the electoral campaign, those who are nostalgic about the Soviet past reckoned that their time has come,” said Nodia. Shota Lazariashvili is the self-proclaimed president of Telavi’s Stalin Society who was behind restoring the hilltop monument of his “idol”. For him, Stalin embodies the social justice he feels was lost amid the political turmoil and economic hardship that followed the Soviet Union’s collapse. “We miss his truth and justice,” said the 63-year-old, standing under a framed portrait of Stalin in his crumbling office as he launched into an ecstatic ode to the “great leader”. Born Joseph Dzhugashvili in 1878, Stalin ruled the Soviet Union with an iron fist from the late 1920s to his death in 1953. But Lazariashvili flatly rejects Stalin’s responsibility in the death of millions of Soviet citizens in brutal Gulag prison camps and the forced collectivisation of agriculture. “Stalin liberated the suppressed class of workers and peasants, he symbolises the Soviet Union’s victory over Hitler” in World War II, he said. While Prime Miniser Ivanishvili says he remains “cautiously negative” about the dictator, his culture minister has endorsed plans to resurrect a giant Stalin monument in the courtyard of the Stalin museum in his hometown of Gori. The statue, erected in 1952, stood in Gori’s central square until it was torn down in 2010 on the orders of Saakashvili, who later initiated a law banning the public display of Soviet symbols and prohibiting former Communist Party and KGB security service officials from holding public office. The return of such statues is seen as a backlash against those policies, though authorities say most of the monuments are being re-erected without government backing. For Zurab Butskhrikidze, the vice chairman of Telavi’s city council, “some groups feel more relaxed about expressing views they were forced to hide under the previous government,” now that Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream coalition has assumed power. He supports the continuation of de-Stalinisation policies but through education, rather than draconian measures. “Some people from the old generation still are under the Soviet propaganda’s influence. We can’t do anything about this by force, we need to step up information efforts. “Our whole society failed to repent for what happened in Stalin’s era,” said Butskhrikidze. “This is why Stalin’s ghost makes such bizarre appearances in our modern life.”— AFP

BELGRADE: Kosovo and EULEX policemen secure the perimeter where two EULEX vehicles came under fire near the town of Zvecan yesterday. —AFP PRISTINA: Gunmen shot dead a European Union police officer in a mainly Serb region of Kosovo yesterday, dealing the mission its first fatality since deploying in 2008 and shaking a fragile accord between the Balkan country and its former master Serbia. The Lithuanian officer was killed in a northern region where minority ethnic Serbs are growing increasingly nervous over a deal brokered by the EU in April to integrate them with the rest of majority-Albanian Kosovo. The EU’s law and order mission in Kosovo, known as EULEX, said the officer’s vehicle “came under fire from unknown persons” at around 7.30 a.m. (0530 GMT) as he returned from a shift at a border crossing with Serbia. EULEX chief Bernd Borchardt told a news conference the officer had been ambushed. Doctors in the ethnically divided town of Mitrovica, where the officer was taken for treatment, said he was dead on arrival, having been shot in the chest and lower leg. A Czech officer was also in the car but was unharmed. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, almost a decade after NATO waged a 78-day air war to drive out Serbian forces and halt the massacre

and expulsion of ethnic Albanians during a two-year Serbian counter-insurgency campaign. Serbia rejected the secession and retained de facto control over a northern strip of Kosovo where some 50,000 Serbs live. Ninety percent of Kosovo’s 1.7 million people are Albanians. Seeking the economic boost of membership talks with the EU, Serbia - which does not recognize Kosovo as independent - agreed in April to cede its hold over the north and for the Serbs living there to be integrated with the rest of Kosovo. COWARDLY ACT As part of the accord, the north is due to take part in Kosovo’s next local elections on Nov 3, but hardline Serb leaders there say they will boycott the vote. The 28-member EU, of which 23 members recognise Kosovo as independent, plans to open accession talks with Serbia in January, providing there is progress on the ground in implementation of the April deal. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she condemned the killing “in the strongest possible terms” and urged all sides to press ahead with the accord.

“I appeal to all parties to redouble their efforts to implement the agreements reached, to normalize relations and to improve the lives of the people on the ground in northern Kosovo,” Ashton said in a statement. Kosovo has been recognized by around 100 countries, including the United States, but Serbian ally Russia - a veto-holder in the UN Security Council - is blocking its membership of the United Nations. With 2,250 staff, including police officers, judges and prosecutors, EULEX is the largest civilian mission ever deployed by the EU. It has an annual budget of 111 million euros ($148 million) but has come in for criticism, particularly from Germany, over its effectiveness in stamping out organized crime and quelling violence in the north, where it is backed by some 6,000 NATO peacekeepers. Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, a former guerrilla commander, said the killing was a “cowardly act”. The Serbian government’s pointman for Kosovo, Aleksandar Vulin, told the Tanjug state news agency: “Whoever did this is the greatest foe of the Serbs and the Serbian state.”— Reuters

South Africa suffers setback; Crime rises JOHANNESBURG: After years of decreasing crime, South Africa is grappling with a rise in murders, home burglaries and car hijackings, the police minister said yesterday. For the first time in nine years, the number of murders has increased, by 0.6 percent in the year to April, Minister Nathi Mthethwa said, announcing annual statistics. A total of 16,259 murders occurred, or close to 45 murders a day. South Africa has gained a reputation as one of the most violent countries in the world, with murder, rape, robbery and carjacking widespread. After inroads made to lower the crime rate and repair that

image, crime statistics released by the South African Police Service (SAPS) showed a setback. Attempted murder, home burglaries, and car hijackings have also increased for the year ending in April while drug-related crimes have soared by 13.5 percent. “It is clearly evident that there are many underlying contributing factors, these include alcoholism, drugs, unemployment, and the generally violent nature of our society,” said national police commissioner Riah Phiyega. The country of 52 million is plagued by unemployment, which currently hovers around 25 percent, as well as widespread drug use and gang

warfare. The statistics are closely watched in the crime-obsessed country, where the rich live behind high electric fences and hire private security guards armed with automatic weapons. But poor black South Africans are disproportionately affected. The latest figures are a gift to Democratic Alliance, the country’s official opposition party, ahead of the 2014 general election. The ruling African National Congress will have to fight accusations that its government is unable to fight crime. However the statistics showed a decrease in sexual assault and common robbery. Sexual offences and rape fell by 0.4 percent.—AFP


International FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Steinbrueck - Merkel’s luckless challenger BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s election rival Peer Steinbrueck is a political straightshooter of sharp intellect and acerbic wit whose campaign-trail bullets have tended to end up in his own feet. A string of blunders and gaffes have hobbled the campaign of the self-styled “rock ‘n’ roller” and seen the Social Democrat lag badly behind the popular chancellor in personal approval ratings. The labels “Polit-Clown” and “Problem Peer” have haunted the former finance minister, who compounded the damage with a magazine photo last week in which he pointed a middle finger at the camera. What was meant as an ironic non-verbal reply to a tough question on his struggling candidacy became an instant social media sensation and earned Steinbrueck widespread ridicule. On the homestretch to Sunday’s vote, the 66-year-old has put on a brave face as he battles on with the unenviable task of trying to dethrone Merkel, the country’s most popular post-war leader. Steinbrueck has said his favorite animal is the rhinoceros because “it starts very slowly but when it gets going, nothing can stop it”-but so far his campaign has failed to gather the momentum likely to get him first across the finish line. The former premier of populous North Rhine-Westphalia state was chosen almost a year ago as the can-

didate of his centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) after other top players excused themselves from what many saw as a political suicide mission. The trained economist from the northern port of Hamburg had earned kudos as finance minister under Merkel in a left-right “grand coalition” government, when they

he is known for his lively oratory skills, which earned him 1.25 million euros (about $1.7 million) on the lecture circuit after his stint as minister. Those speaking fees became the first liability for Steinbrueck the candidate, as many saw them as excessive and unseemly for the new standard-bearer of working class

tion with what he calls the soothing but empty polit-speak of Merkel, while pushing his own brash “straight-talk” style as an asset and entertaining voters with campaign theatrics and wisecracks. After Italy’s elections, he labelled two winners “clowns”, an image that was gleefully picked up on an Economist maga-

BERLIN: A combo picture shows German Social Democratic Party (SPD) chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrueck (left) and German Chancellor and Christian Democratic Union (CDU) candidate Angela Merkel in Berlin. German voters go to poll for the general elections on September 22, 2013.—AFP battled to limit the damage of the financial crisis sparked by the 2008 Lehman Brothers collapse. It was “his biggest political act”, said one of his biographers, Daniel Friedrich Sturm, who praised Steinbrueck for his “composure, assurance and determination” amid the global turmoil. Steinbrueck’s firm grasp of policy detail has been beyond doubt, as he showed in a recent TV debate against Merkel, and

‘World’s most powerful woman’ on track for new German term BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, an unflappable pastor’s daughter, is closing in on a third term in Sunday’s general election, cementing her title as the world’s most powerful woman. So strong is Merkel’s position that she has often seemed to transcend politics during what may be the last of her juggernaut campaigns, simply ignoring her opponent along the way. This month a giant billboard went up at Berlin’s main train station featuring only a picture of the chancellor’s hands folded in her trademark diamondshape gesture. Quite simply, the mighty Merkel is the message. After eight years at the helm of the top European economy, and three as the go-to leader in the euro-zone crisis, Merkel looks set to sail to another term at the helm for steering the country unscathed through the turmoil. But abroad, angry protesters have marched through the streets of Athens, Lisbon and Madrid blaming her for national budget cuts they say are choking off desperately needed economic growth, some even brandishing caricatures of Merkel in Nazi garb. “I am determined to see Europe emerge stronger from the crisis,” she intones regularly. “Germany can only be strong with a strong Europe.” During a widely criticized campaign virtually devoid of real substance, observers complain that Merkel has lulled the prosperous country into a false sense of security 23 years after its joyful reunification. “Merkel perfectly embodies the sensibilities of the Germans in the early 21st century,” the publisher of the influential weekly Die Zeit, Josef Joffe, wrote last month. “You don’t have to expect any threatening new tacks from her, no tough decisions for or against. She is perfectly predictable in her flexibility and the risk-averse electorate loves it. Merkel is us, and we are Merkel.” Her late biographer Gerd Langguth found a “sphinx-like quality” in her, allowing Merkel to quietly triumph in the most unlikely circumstances. —AFP

Germany. The perception of a candidate out of touch with the people was reinforced when Steinbrueck sneered at moderately priced Pinot Grigio wine and pointed out that chancellors earn little more than regional bank managers. For many, such talk eroded his credibility as he pushed the SPD message of social justice and fighting for the working poor. Steinbrueck has voiced exaspera-

zine cover but led a less-amused President Giorgio Napolitano to cancel dinner with Steinbrueck. “I want the citizens to know where they stand with me. Vagueness is not my style,” an unapologetic Steinbrueck declared later, adding for good measure: “With me, it’ll rock”. Some have viewed the focus on Steinbrueck’s missteps as unfair hounding by a Berlin media that sees a Merkel victo-

ry as a foregone conclusion, given her almost 30-point popularity lead over him. “Never in the history of federal elections has a candidate been massacred like Peer Steinbrueck,” commented the Zeit weekly. “Whether in print, online or on television, Steinbrueck is portrayed almost everywhere as a politically simple-minded fool who is only worth reporting on when he commits another blunder.” The sustained media hammering the father-ofthree has endured has at times shown him to be less thick-skinned than his favorite animal. He lost his voice and shed tears when his wife, appearing on a TV talk show, spoke about the pressure the campaign fight had put on their family and praised his commitment for soldiering on for the cause. Others argue Steinbrueck has been his own worst enemy, and that the now iconic middle-finger phototaken for a regular “photo interview” in which subjects answer questions with gestures and mimicry-proved that he lacked the maturity required to lead the nation. Influential news weekly Der Spiegel arrived at its own damning assessment in an article last week that was headlined “Views of a Clown”. “So here is the straight talk,” it said. “Steinbrueck is hot-headed, aggressive and narcissistic. It is difficult for him to take anything truly seriously, including his own candidature”.— AFP

Swiss to vote on military draft, a national bedrock Pollsters forecast anti-conscription referendum will fall flat GENEVA: Swiss voters will head to the ballot box Sunday to decide whether to abolish their conscript army, as much a part of the Alpine nation’s image as direct democracy, chocolate and cheese. Countries across Europe have ditched the draft in the two decades since the end of the Cold War, and pro-change campaigners say Switzerland should head the same way. But pollsters forecast the anti-conscription referendum-spearheaded by pacifists, backed by left-wing parties, and opposed by the right, parliament and the government-will fall flat. A survey last week gave it only 31 percent support. A vote on abolishing the army outright in 1989 mustered a surprise 36 percent support, but just 21 percent backed a similar move in 2001. The debate has exposed sharp divisions between adversaries who see the mass army as a relic and those who cherish it as a hub of national identity. “It’s going to take time to shift the mindset. It’s anchored pretty deep in the national psyche,” said Tobias Schnebli, spokesman of the anti-military group GSoA. Male Swiss citizens aged between 18 and 32 start with a seven-week boot camp and take six 19-day refresher exercises over ensuing years. Since 1992, nonmilitary service has been available for conscientious objectors. Armed neutrality has been the Swiss watchword for two

centuries, with part-time soldiers keeping their arms at home. Switzerland has not been attacked since the early 1800s, though the two world wars sparked mass mobilization. “We’re neutral, and not exactly in danger, so do we really need this system?” said serviceman Cedric, 23, who asked that his name be withheld. Switzerland is ringed by friendly nations, but draft supporters say the status quo is essential in a world of morphing threats, since postconscription countries struggle to fill the gap. “There wouldn’t be enough volunteers, those who came forward wouldn’t be ideal, while a professional army would just attract Rambos and mercenaries,” said army commander General Andre Blattman, 57. The pro-draft camp says a citizen army is more than a military force. “Abolishing military service would break the genuine link uniting the people and the army,” insisted Defence Minister Ueli Maurer, 62.” The army has long been seen as the cement of a highly-federal country with three main language groups-German, French and Italian. “I’ve served with German-speakers and Italian-speakers. It brings us together,” said Nicolas Bauer, 22, a psychology student in Frenchspeaking Geneva. Many regard the military as a leveler. “Everyone’s mixed together. That’s important. I’ve served

with apprentice butchers and cheesemakers, and people with law or business degrees,” Bauer said. Service has long been seen as oiling the wheels of the economy, with its contacts and skills appreciated by business. Swiss firms must free male staff for military duty. The state covers 80 percent of their salary, and most companies opt to pay the remaining 20 percent. “The militia system means the army can count on people whose professional qualifications make our country one of the world’s top-performing economies,” said Maurer. Critics dismiss such arguments. Schnebli, 55, said fellow Italian-speakers stuck together in his army days. In any case, he said, today’s world offers multiple alternative ways to work, study and connect across language divides. “It’s a bit of a legend. And what about women? They’re half the population. Don’t they count? And around 40 percent of men drafted are declared unfit for service. Many are city dwellers and middle class, they’re better at playing the system, so the idea of a broad mix doesn’t reflect reality,” said Schnebli. Men who do not serve pay a special tax of four percent of their salary instead. Analysts also say the value of “militia” service-a term the Swiss apply to part-time politicians or volunteer fire-fighters as well-is losing ground to individualism. —AFP


18

International FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Mudslide buries village

Mexico death toll hits 80; New storms loom ACAPULCO: A resurgent hurricane lashed Mexico’s northwest coast yesterday after twin storms killed at least 80 people nationwide and buried a village under a massive mudslide, leaving dozens more missing. Hurricane Manuel was “hugging” the coast of Sinaloa with winds of 75 miles per hour, threatening to spark flash floods and landslides, the US National Hurricane Center said. Earlier this week, Manuel pummeled the southwestern Pacific coast with tropical storm force while Ingrid barreled across the east in a dual onslaught unseen since 1958. The storms damaged bridges,

80 across 12 of 32 states, but the body count could rise after the grim discovery of a huge mudslide in the mountains of southwestern Guerrero state. President Enrique Pena Nieto said 58 people were missing after a “major landslide” collapsed on La Pintada, a remote village of 400 people west of Acapulco. “We are not sure for the moment how many people are trapped under the mud,” Pena Nieto said. Ediberto Tabarez, the mayor of Atoyac de Alvarez, a municipality that oversees La Pintada, told AFP by telephone that at least 15 bodies have been found

GUERRERO: Photo shows an aerial view of landslides along a highway going to Acapulco, in the Mexican state of Guerrero, as heavy rains hit the country. —AFP caused rivers to overflow and flooded half of the Pacific resort of Acapulco, stranding tens of thousands of tourists who sought airlifts while looters ransacked stores. At 0900 GMT yesterday, Hurricane Manuel crept up the Mexico coast at about three miles per hour, and was about 20 miles northwest of the Mexican town of Altata. Its slow, northward trek was expected to continue for at least 24 hours, dumping as much as 15 inches of rain on the northwestern state of Sinaloa. Authorities said Wednesday the death toll had risen to

after more than 20 homes were crushed. Survivors who were evacuated to Acapulco told AFP that villagers were having lunch during independence day celebrations on Monday when a thundering noise came from the hill. Then the earth came crashing down on homes, the church and schools as people ran for their lives, according to survivors who were taken to a convention center serving as a storm shelter. Ana Clara Catalan, 17, was preparing corn tortillas when she heard a “loud noise.” “We ran out. It was an ugly

noise, worse than a bomb,” she said. “The school, the kindergarten and the church were lost. Everything was taken.” News of the disaster only emerged after a survivor was able to radio someone in a neighboring village. “More than half of La Pintada was demolished, few homes were left,” said Maria del Carmen Catalan, a 27year-old mother of three. Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said 334 people-mostly women, children and senior citizens-were evacuated by police helicopters while 45 men would spend the night there before being rescued yesterday. The injured were taken to a navy hospital. The minister said earlier that 14 people were hurt. Osorio Chong held up a picture showing the mountain of earth and rock smack in the middle of the village. He said the search for bodies will only begin today because the area remains dangerous, with water gushing from where the earth fell, threatening to trigger another landslide. The storms have affected some 220,000 people across the country, damaging 35,000 homes, officials said. While Manuel churned in the west, a new cyclone threatened to form in the east. With Acapulco isolated, authorities were scrambling to clear rocks and mud from the two highways to Mexico City, hoping to open a way out on Friday. The disaster sparked panic buying at supermarkets while looters took televisions, food and fridges from flooded stores. “Unfortunately, there is desperation, but more army and navy troops have arrived,” Mayor Luis Walton told MVS radio. Thousands of exhausted tourists stood in massive lines to board military aircraft at an air force base, shouting as some cut the line. Their anger rose as a separate, shorter line formed for wealthier visitors who booked flights on private jets. “I ask the government that, since we all pay taxes, we all be treated the same way because the rich and the poor are equal in this tragedy,” said Leonor Carretto, 45, whose five-year-old daughter was running a fever after waiting for hours in line. The civilian airport’s terminal was flooded in knee-high dark water, but commercial carriers Aeromexico and Interjet have flown special flights since Tuesday despite the lack of functioning radar. More than 5,000 people have been flown out and officials hope to have evacuated 15,000.—AFP

US, Brazil in difficult bid to rebuild trust WASHINGTON: Spying allegations and a delayed state visit have breached oncestrong ties between the United States and Brazil, and only time will rebuild trust, analysts said yesterday. “This is a very unfortunate incident,” said Riordan Roett, director of the Latin American studies program at Johns Hopkins University. “The US government had hoped to created a much stronger relationship with Brazil, which is the most important country in the region, and clearly this is not going to happen.” Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s indefinite postponement of her longplanned visit to Washington marks a clear setback in the two countries’ efforts for rapprochement. The visit had been scheduled for October 23 but was called

into question after documents leaked by the former National Security Agency intelligence contractor revealed the widespread American spying on its Brazilian ally. Rousseff has lashed out at the “illegal” practices, saying they represent a “serious act which violates national sovereignty and is incompatible with democratic coexistence between friendly countries.” “My sense is that there is so much anger on the Brazilian side, and confusion on the American side, it will be probably very difficult to reschedule the state visit during the remaining part of her term,” said Roett, who has authored several books on the South American giant. “Probably the dialogue is going to be relatively frosty between Brasilia and

Washington for some while to come.” Rousseff’s four-year term ends in January 2015 but she is widely expected to run for re-election in the October 2014 vote. Paulo Sotero, director of the Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute in Washington, noted that Rousseff had invested more effort than any of her predecessors in rebuilding relations with Washington. Ties were often prickly under Rousseff’s predecessor and mentor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who had brokered a deal with Turkey on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program. US President Barack Obama had made it a priority to improve ties with Latin America’s economic powerhouse. “It is especially important to rebuild a climate of mutual trust that no longer exists,” Sotero said. —AFP

What happens in a US govt shutdown? WASHINGTON: Democrats and Republicans in the US Congress are waging a budget battle that threatens a government shutdown on Oct 1 unless lawmakers reach a compromise on a federal spending measure. The last shutdowns occurred during the budget battle between the Republicancontrolled Congress and President Bill Clinton in late 1995. Much of the federal government was closed for five days in November 1995 and then from mid-December 1995 to early January 1996. Many US agencies also made preparations ahead of a threatened shutdown in 2011, and on Tuesday the Office of Management and Budget said agencies should update their contingency plans. Here is what the public might expect if the federal government is forced into a partial shutdown: FEDERAL WORKERS Employees in all three branches of government are vulnerable to furlough, or temporary unpaid leave, although each agency makes its own final decisions, according to a report last month by the Congressional Research Service. However, some high-level employees, such as the president and presidential appointees, are not subject to furlough. Other socalled “essential” workers must work during a shutdown, some with and others without pay. For example, exempt workers include those whose work is critical for national security or public health and safety, such as air traffic controllers and border security agents, according to federal guidance. Affected workers may be able to receive pay retroactively, as has happened after past shutdowns, but such payments are not guaranteed, CRS staff said. About 800,000 federal workers were furloughed in November 1995; the next month, nearly 300,000 were furloughed and another nearly 500,000 worked without pay. Federal contractors are also likely to be affected. In the last shutdown, more than 20 percent of federal contracts, or nearly $4 billion, were involved, researchers said. Members of Congress cannot be furloughed, according to CRS. PUBLIC SAFETY For the most part, services to protect the public should be the least affected by furlough, although workers could still face “no pay” status. Guidelines direct federal agencies to continue police work and criminal investigations and operate prisons, according to CRS. Work to care for critical patients, oversee food and drug safety, and protect federal research laboratories is also considered essential. FEDERAL BENEFITS The impact on the Social Security and Medicare entitlement programs is unclear. Delays could be seen in processing new claims, congressional researchers said. In the last shutdown, the Social Security Administration initially kept fewer than 5,000 workers on the job out of more than 66,000 workers. The agency then had to call back nearly 50,000 workers to provide critical services, CRS said. Military veterans could also see delays in processing of benefits as well as service cuts affecting health, income, travel and more, according to the research service. CRIME AND COURTS The US judicial branch is likely to continue to operate for a period of time using various fees it receives. Judges, key court staff and probation officers would not be furloughed, although each court would determine its own staffing needs. Supreme Court justices and other critical federal judges would be paid while other essential staff would not, CRS said. Most federal courts “generally operated with limited disruption” during the 1995-1996 shutdown, it added. Still, thousands of bankruptcy and delinquent child support cases were delayed. Federal work related to the nation’s banking system and the US Treasury, such as borrowing and tax collection, are also deemed critical and likely to be exempted, according to federal guidelines. TOURISM AND TRAVEL Tens of thousands of Americans’ passport applications could go unprocessed along with visa applications from foreigners seeking to visit the United States, which will affect airlines and other related industries. Hundreds of National Park Service sites could close temporarily along with national monuments and museums, losing millions of visitors. Such closures can also impact neighboring communities and businesses that depend on tourism. —Reuters


Business FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Iraq’s 5-year plan seeks to diversify economy

PAGE 21

Greek recession bottoming out, Ireland exits recession Page 20

WASHINGTON: A jobs sign hangs above the entrance to the US Chamber of Commerce building in Washington, DC. —AFP

US jobless claims edge higher Current account deficit drops to 4-year low WASHINGTON: The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits rose last week, but it was difficult to get a clear read on the labor market’s health because two states appeared to be working through a backlog of unprocessed claims. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 309,000, the Labor Department said yesterday. Claims data have been thrown into disarray since an update to government computer systems in California, the nation’s most populous state, and Nevada created a backlog in the processing of new claims two weeks ago. That initially led to a sharp decline in new processed claims earlier this month, and a Labor Department analyst said the two states still appeared to be working through the backlog, which he said could take another week or two. If taken at face value, the data hinted at a pickup in hiring during September that might make the Federal Reserve more comfortable about a plan to begin winding down a bond-buying economic stimulus program. “This report paints a very encouraging picture on the job separation side of the labor market, which continues to see signs of sustained improvement,” said Millan Mulraine, an economist at TD Securities in New York. At the same time,

policymakers have recently appeared more demanding about how much better the outlook for hiring must be before they trim monthly bond purchases. The US central bank surprised investors on Wednesday by saying it wanted to see clearer signs of an improved labor market outlook before scaling back its stimulus program. Most investors expected the Fed would reduce bond purchases this month. “Although claims are progressing on a lower trend, the Fed doesn’t seem to be satisfied about the recent development of the labor market,” said Annalisa Piazza, an analyst at Newedge Strategy. The claims data was collected during the same week the Labor Department surveys employers for its monthly employment report. At 314,750, the four-week average was about 5 percent lower than it was during the employment report’s survey week in August, when employers added a lackluster 169,000 jobs to payrolls. However, even that reading, which smooths out weekly volatility, could rise in coming weeks if a backlog of claims continues to be cleared. The data appeared to have little impact on Wall Street sentiment. Futures for US stock indexes were higher following the Fed’s surprise decision on Wednesday. —Reuters

Nintendo chief who built gaming empire dies at 85 TOKYO: Hiroshi Yamauchi, credited with transforming acclaim in 1989. Yamauchi was born in the ancient capiNintendo from a family-owned Japanese business into tal of Kyoto into a family that operated a maker of a global byword for video games, died yesterday from Japanese and Western playing cards. He was a 22-yearold student at Tokyo’s Waseda pneumonia. He was 85. Yamauchi University when he took over the was just 22 when he took over the family business in 1949. family business from his ailing Yamauchi started Japan’s first grandfather and he went on to mass production of plastic playing head the firm for over half a centucards and took the company public. ry. It was during his tenure-in 1983 After running Nintendo for 53 years, — that Nintendo released a games Yamauchi stepped aside in 2002 as console called the “Family he brought in current chief Satoru Computer”, which laid the foundaIwata. Yamauchi’s death comes at a tions for the modern video-game time of uncertainty for the compaindustry. ny, which faces stiff competition Known abroad as the “Nintendo from smartphone games. “Mr Entertainment System”, the early Yamauchi has taught us that there is console became an international value in being different,” said Iwata phenomenon, with the company’s Hiroshi Yamauchi in a statement. “We will continue to global success skyrocketing on the back of the legendary Super Mario series. A string of suc- flexibly change the shape of Nintendo from one era to cessful game software titles followed while the popular another, as Mr Yamauchi has done, and Nintendo, as a Game Boy hand-held console was released to popular whole company, will keep his soul alive.” —AFP


Business FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Greek recession bottoming out, Ireland exits recession Athens hopes recovery might help avoid austerity

HANOI: A woman selling vegetables at a daily afternoonmarket in front of a temple at a village in the outskirts of Hanoi. Village markets are seen in most rural regions of the country. — AFP

Vietnam’s scandal-hit shipbuilder to fire 14,000 staff HANOI: Vietnam’s debt-swamped state-run shipbuilder Vinashin has said it will axe some 14,000 jobs as part of a restructuring that will see it shed 70 percent of its workforce. The company collapsed in 2010 under $4 billion in debts, triggering investor alarm over the health of other key stateowned firms and leading to a downgrade of the communist country’s credit rating. Vinashin currently employs some 26,000 staff-less than half the number in 2008 — but said it had a “plan to restructure its labour, keeping about 8,000 people”, in a statement on its website posted Monday. The firm, which expanded into areas from real estate to electricity generation before it toppled under vast debts, said paying off staff was “not simple” because of a lack of funds. While the company will lose a total of 18,000 workers in the process, it only specified that 14,000 staff-many of whom already have no work-would lose their jobs. It did not give details of the further 4,000. State-run Lao Dong newspaper said yesterday the cuts were a blow to the group’s skilled workforce, who bore no responsibility for its collapse. Vinashin “used to be given preferential treatment to overcome difficulties. So why is there no plan to help 14,000 employees, redundant due to irresponsible and corrupt officials?” it said. Before its collapse Vinashin, officially known as Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group, was seen as a new model stateowned enterprise that would lead Vietnam’s efforts to compete on a global stage. The company’s near-bankruptcy-as well as scandals at other state-owned firms-caused turbulence in Vietnam, which has seen its economic dreams sour in recent years. Nearly a dozen executives were jailed in 2012 and the Vinashin case piled pressure on Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who appointed the disgraced chief executive and was later forced to accept responsibility for the group’s failings. Vinashin did not specify how long the restructuring would take, but said it would be in two stages. Economist Jonathan Pincus, dean of the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program in Ho Chi Minh City, said it was “hard to know... where the job cuts are falling hardest and how it relates to disinvestment in their highly diversified conglomerate”. “Are they focusing on ship building and giving up the other things? Are they consolidating their shipyards? If yes, then it is a positive development,” he said. — AFP

ATHENS: Greece’s economy is inching towards recovery, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said yesterday before a visit by foreign lenders and as unemployment registered its first quarterly fall in almost four years. The country’s battered economy expanded from April to June on a quarterly basis for the first time since its crisis erupted four years ago, Stournaras said, citing government estimates. “Signs of a recovery are now evident,” he told a privatizations conference in Athens. Stournaras was referring to government estimates of seasonally adjusted GDP figures, which the country’s statistics agency ELSTAT does not report. Based on unadjusted ELSTAT data released this month, the economy shrank 3.8 percent year-on-year in the second quarter. Greece hopes that a return to growth after six years of recession will boost government revenues and help Athens avoid further, painful austerity measures to meet the fiscal targets under its international bailout. The trio of European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank lenders begin an inspection on Sunday to assess compliance with reforms and how much further financing Athens will need before it regains market access. Encouraged by the latest GDP figures, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has urged lenders to not demand any more cuts to jobs, wages and pensions onto Greeks struggling through the country’s worst crisis in decades. The crisis has led to many street protests, some violent. It has contributed to the rise of a far-right group, Golden Dawn, which was being blamed on Thursday for having links with the killer of an anti-racism rapper. Civil servants, meanwhile, were on the second day of a 48-hour strike to protest planned layoffs as part of the bailout. Stournaras told Reuters earlier on Thursday he expected the economy to shrink by about 3.8 percent in the full year, less than a 4.2 contraction project-

ATHENS: Municipal police march in central Athens yesterday against the redeployment scheme and layoffs after government abolished their service. Civil servants are on a second day of strike against a job redeployment scheme demanded by Greece’s EU-IMF creditors in return for access to bailout loans, and likely to bring additional layoffs in the recession-hit country. —AFP ed by the EU and the IMF. Bailed-out euro-zone nation Ireland exited recession in the second quarter with economic growth of 0.4 percent thanks to solid expansion of its construction and export sectors, official data showed yesterday. Ireland fell into recession in late 2012 but returned to growth in the three months to June of this year, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) said in a statement. Ireland’s economy had contracted during the previous three quarters, the CSO confirmed. A recession refers to two or more consecutive quarters of negative growth. “Preliminary estimates for the second quarter of 2013 indicate that GDP increased by 0.4 percent in volume terms on a seasonally adjusted basis compared with the first quarter of 2013,” the CSO said. However the growth rate was weaker compared with market expectations. The Irish economy shrank by 0.6 per-

cent in the first quarter. “Preliminary estimates for the second quarter of 2013 show that GDP rose by 0.4 percent seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter, a much weaker performance than expected,” said Alan McQuaid, economist at Merrion Stockbrokers. “That said, the positive increase means that Ireland has technically come out of recession.” A breakdown of the latest data showed that Ireland’s construction sector grew by 4.2 percent in the second quarter compared with the first three months of the year. “The real estate market has bottomed out, although it is way too early to call this a recovery,” said ING bank economist Anthony Baert. “Finally, with the improving economic climate in Ireland’s most important trading partners, the euro-zone, the US and the UK, prospects look good for Irish exports. Therefore, we forecast a gradual strengthening of Irish economic activity in the following quarters,” he added. — Agencies

Onion prices sting India’s CB ahead of policy review MUMBAI: The aroma of frying onions from the Britannia and Co restaurant might not penetrate the office of India’s central bank governor Raghuram Rajan a block away, but like the eatery’s customers, he can’t escape the soaring price of the pungent vegetable. The price of onions has added to Rajan’s already full plate as the new head of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) wrestles over how to help stabilize the rupee currency and tackle inflation without further dampening economic growth. A former IMF chief economist, Rajan took over at the RBI on Sept. 4 in the middle of India’s worst economic crisis in 20 years. He will announce his first monetary policy review today. The US Federal Reserve’s surprise decision on Wednesday not to wind down its massive monetary stimulus just yet helped

the rupee to a one-month high on Thursday, so inflation may have now moved up on his list of priorities. In August, the cost of onions was 245 percent higher than a year earlier, while other vegetables shot up 77 percent, driving headline inflation to a six-month high. Onion prices have risen even further in September, prompting the government to take steps to limit exports. Eaten raw as a side dish, or blended into a vast array of curries, onions play a prominent role in Indian cuisine and public anger rises quickly whenever prices spike. In Britannia, the pinch is being felt by customers who include employees of the Reserve Bank, who drop by to lunch on steaming plates of its famous Parsi berry pulav rice. “Instead of one person eating one plate, two people are splitting. And

three people are dividing two plates,” said Boman Kohinoor, the 91-year-old co-owner of the restaurant. Much remains unchanged in Britannia, which was founded in 1923, 12 years before India’s central bank was set up. But the prices keep on rising. The restaurant raised prices on its menu by between 30 and 50 rupees ($0.50-$0.80) earlier this year-a fragrant plate of rice-based chicken biryani now costs 350 rupees-and Kohinoor said the soaring costs of ingredients may force him to hike prices again by April. With overall food prices up an annual 18 percent last month, Kohinoor’s new neighbour at the Reserve Bank will probably be careful not to stoke inflation in other areas, despite calls from industry to cut interest rates and lower borrowing costs. But in reality there is little Rajan can do to prevent the volatility.—Reuters


Business FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Singapore Airlines, Tata to establish new carrier SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines and India’s Tata conglomerate are to establish a new full-service carrier based in New Delhi, the two firms said in a joint statement yesterday. Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Tata Sons have signed a memorandum of understanding and applied for government approval to set up the new airline, the statement said.

The establishment of a new airline “will help further stimulate demand for air travel”, it said, adding it will be subject to regulatory approvals including from India’s foreign investment promotion board. The new carrier “will be based in New Delhi and will operate under the full-service model”, the statement said. Tata Sons will own 51 percent of the

carrier and SIA will hold 49 percent. “We have always been a strong believer in the growth potential of India’s aviation sector and are excited about the opportunity to partner Tata Sons in contributing to the future expansion of the market,” said SIA chief executive Goh Choon Phong. “Tata Sons is one of the most established and respected names in India. With

the recent liberalisation, the time is right to jointly bring consumers a fresh new option for full-service air travel,” he added. Prasad Menon, chairman of the proposed new carrier, said: “It is Tata Sons’ evaluation that civil aviation in India offers sustainable growth potential. “We now have the opportunity to launch a worldclass full-service airline in India.” — AFP

Iraq’s 5-year plan seeks to diversify economy Violence, political feuds hamper projects

KARACHI: Pakistani stockbrokers watch the index share price board during a trading session at the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) in Karachi yesterday. The benchmark KSE100 index was 23303.65, increase 373.59 points in middle of the day’s session. —AFP

World stocks rally after Fed keeps stimulus intact LONDON: Global stock markets soared yesterday, especially in emerging economies, as investors welcomed the US Federal Reserve’s surprise decision to keep its vast stimulus policy unchanged. The Fed confounded market expectations overnight with its decision to refrain from tapering its $85-billion-a-month bond-buying program, unleashing a worldwide equities rally led by emerging markets. “With tapering seen as all but certain, frenzy ensued last night when... the Fed held back, causing markets to soar,” said Spreadex trader Alex Conroy. “This move by the Fed comes as a shock to investors who had positioned themselves and effectively accepted that Chairman (Ben) Bernanke would start the reduction.” European stock markets joined the global rally yesterday after the Fed decision fuelled a buying spree on Wall Street that sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.95 percent and the S&P 500 up 1.22 percent-with both closing at record highs. London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies climbed 1.44 percent, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 gained 1.16 percent to push further into record territory and the CAC 40 in Paris rose 1.15 percent to levels last seen only before the global financial crisis began. The European single currency raced to $1.3569 — the highest level since early February. It later stood at $1.3561 in late-morning trade, up from $1.3516 late in New York on Wednesday. The stock market gains in Europe followed an Asian rally led by under-pressure developing economies, which breathed a sigh of relief after suffering a heavy sell-off in August as investors bet on the Fed tightening its monetary policy. After news the Fed would hold off scaling back quantitative easing, or QE, Manila jumped 2.81 percent, Jakarta 5.05 percent, Mumbai 3.33 percent and Bangkok 3.66 percent in value. In Tokyo, the Nikkei rose 1.80 percent. Hong Kong added 1.67 percent and Sydney rallied 1.10 percent to finish at a five-year high. Emerging economies have suffered a huge outflow of cash since Bernanke hinted in May that the Fed would begin tapering its bond-buying scheme, which had led to a spurt of investment abroad in search of higher returns than in the United States. “Ben Bernanke had threatened to take away the punchbowl and bring the QE-party to an end. But he’s changed his mind... and told us all to party on,” said Societe Generale fixed income strategist Kit Juckes. “Emerging Markets is the asset class which suffered most from the ‘taper talk’ and is the one which is bouncing most as the removal of stimulus is delayed.” The Fed decision sent the South African rand climbing to 9.62 to the dollar, up about 8 percent from a low point set last month. South Africa’s JSE Top 40 index rose 2.45 percent to 39,782.3 points in midday trade. —AFP

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s government has released a five-year economic plan which will try to diversify beyond oil production and develop the industrial sector. The plan, announced this week, faces major obstacles including a rising level of sectarian violence and political infighting within the country’s fractious coalition government. But if implemented, it could mark a new stage in Iraq’s recovery from decades of war and international economic sanctions. So far, the recovery since the US invasion of 2003 has been based almost entirely on rising oil production. “The government made a decision to focus on other sources in the country instead of oil, so the new plan will basically focus on industry instead of oil,” said Hussain Al-Shahristani, deputy prime minister for energy affairs. The plan for the years 2013 to 2017 calls for investment of approximately $357 billion in development projects across

the country, focusing in particular on five sectors: building and services, agriculture, education, transport and communications, and energy. About 79 percent of that investment total would come from the government and the rest from the private sector. Oil would remain by far the biggest source of revenue for the government during this period. Revenues from oil in the five years are projected at 768.7 trillion dinars ($662 billion), with revenues from non-oil sources at 43.5 trillion dinars. Production of crude oil is envisioned rising from 3.2 million barrels per day in 2012 to 9.5 million bpd in 2017, with crude oil exports climbing from 2.6 million bpd to 6 million bpd in 2017, assuming an average oil price of $85 per barrel over the five years. Many analysts think such targets may be much too optimistic, given logistical bottlenecks and the damage which the sectarian violence is doing to oil production and

government operations. Iraq aims to increase its storage capacity for crude oil for export from 10.987 million barrels to 30.057 million barrels in 2017. The five-year plan also envisages increases in agricultural production to reduce Iraq’s dependence on grain imports. “The plan aims to produce about six million tons of wheat in 2017 which will cover the domestic consumption, and to raise the average production of barley from 820,000 tons in 2011 to 1.2 million tons in 2017,” said Sami Matti, technical deputy minister at the ministry of planning. He said Iraq’s total production under the plan would rise by an average of 13 percent annually, while the country’s poverty rate would fall from 19 percent in 2012 to 16 percent in 2017. The government also hopes the plan will help to reduce economic disparities between rural and urban areas. — Reuters

Lufthansa adds 34 Boeing, 25 Airbus jets to fleet FRANKFURT: Lufthansa, Germany’s biggest airline, said yesterday it has placed orders for 59 new fuel-efficient long-haul aircraft worth a total list price of 14 billion euros ($19 billion). Lufthansa said in a statement it has ordered 34 new Boeing 777-9X jets and 25 Airbus A350-900 to renew its fleet. The order - described by Lufthansa as the single largest investment ever made by a private investor in Germany - will build a fleet of more fuel-efficient aircraft to combat high oil prices. “With these aircraft, we make a quantum leap in terms of efficiency,” chief executive Christoph Franz told a news conference. Delivery is scheduled from 2016, the company said. The new aeroplanes would primarily serve to replace existing aircraft at Lufthansa, with older Boeing 747-400s and Airbus A340-300s to be phased out by 2025, Franz explained. “This investment will safeguard about 13,000 jobs at Lufthansa alone as well as thousands of jobs at our partners in aviation and other suppliers,” he said. Lufthansa currently operates a wide-body fleet of around 107 aircraft, among them 10 ultra-modern Airbus A380s and nine

Boeing 747-8s as well as the Airbus A330300. The fleet also includes Airbus A340s and Boeing 747-400s. “The aim is to reduce the number of different models and fleet complexity and also replace existing aircraft with state-ofthe-art aeroplanes,” Franz said. Following an order already placed in March of this year, Lufthansa currently has a total of 295

brand-new aircraft on order with a list value of 36 billion euros. “These should be delivered by 2025,” he said. In Seattle, Boeing issued a statement saying it was “delighted” by Lufthansa’s choice of its 777-9X jet, which is expected to be launched later this year and come into service “around the end of the decade”. —AFP

MUNICH: Lufthansa airplanes are parked at the international airport in Munich, southern Germany. — AP


22

Business FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Wary Fed leaves $85bn stimulus unchanged Markets jump as QE continues JAKARTA: Chief executive officer and representative director for Honda Motor Co Takanobu Ito officially unveils the Honda Mobilio prototype for the first time at the 21st Indonesia International Motor Show 2013 in Jakarta yesterday. —AFP

Honda eyes sales boost in Indonesia by 2016 JAKARTA: Japan’s Honda Motor launched its first low-cost car for Indonesia’s booming automotive market yesterday, part of plans to more than quadruple sales in the country by 2016. The launch of the Mobilia, a multi-purpose vehicle, comes as Honda builds its second plant in Indonesia to boost both production and sales. Honda sold nearly 70,000 vehicles in Indonesia in 2012, and 62,000 in the first nine months of this year. “Now we are going to enter the more mass-oriented market,” president- director of Honda’s Indonesian arm, Tomoki Uchida, told reporters. “Our target is to achieve 300,000 unit sales in 2016,” he said. With its second plant Honda plans to increase production capacity in Indonesia from 80,000 units to 200,000 by early next year. Japanese carmakers hold a 95 percent share of Indonesia’s market of around one million units annually in recent years. Honda holds an 8.4 percent share, far behind Toyota with 40 percent. Toyota has stayed ahead with its multi-purpose vehicles, popular with Indonesians who often travel with large families and prefer high elevation to cope with floods during the wet season. A burgeoning middle class is moving up from motorbikes to low-cost family cars, with multi-purpose vehicles representing more than 30 percent of the total market. Indonesia, with a population of 240 million, has become a target for automakers as sales slow in developed nations and as its people become wealthier. The car market is expected to exceed Thailand’s and become the biggest in Southeast Asia next year. Earlier this week Nissan revived the iconic Datsun in Indonesia after having launched it in India in July. —AFP

WASHINGTON: The Federal Reserve left its $85 billion a month stimulus program in place, surprising economists and markets expecting a reduction that would confirm a strengthening US economy. Fed policy makers instead cut their growth forecast for this year and next, and said they wanted to further gauge the economic impact of government spending cuts and a spike in interest rates in the past four months. In addition, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) was wary of possibly “very serious consequences” from the brewing political battle in Washington over a new budget and the US debt ceiling. “The Federal Reserve’s policy is to do whatever we can to keep the economy on course. And so if these actions led the economy to slow, then we would have to take that into account, surely,” he said. Bernanke said that the FOMC could still begin reducing its $85 billion a month bond-buys, which aim at holding down long-term interest rates, in the next three months, but only if the outlook for the economy strengthens. “There is no fixed calendar,” Bernanke told reporters in a news conference after a two-day FOMC policy meeting. “If the data confirm our basic outlook, if we gain more confidence in that outlook... then we could move later this year,” he said. “But even if we do that, the subsequent steps will be dependent on continued progress in the economy.” Markets, which had anticipated the beginning of the end of the “quantitative easing” (QE) program since May, reacted sharply to the prospect of continued easy money injections into the economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 rocketed up around 1 percent to new record closing highs. Bond yields plummeted, the benchmark 10-year US Treasury sinking to 2.71 percent from 2.87 percent. The dollar dropped to its lowest level against the euro since February, hitting $1.3511 per one euro from $1.3340 before the announcement. The dollar fell to 98.13 yen from 99.33 yen. The FOMC said

that the economy continued to grow at a “modest” pace and appeared to be holding up against the sharp “sequester” spending cuts by the federal government. Nevertheless, it was holding back on QE cuts “to await more evidence that progress will be sustained.” “The committee sees the downside risks to the outlook for the economy and the labor market as having diminished, on net, since last fall.” “But the tightening of financial conditions observed in recent months, if sustained, could slow the pace of improvement in the economy and labor market.”

economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said the Fed’s call was likely a good one. “The economy has not pulled away from its near-2 percent trend growth rate of recent years,” he said. “The likelihood of fiscal policy chaos over the next couple of months, coupled with very low inflation, means the Fed can afford to wait for a while without taking any significant risks.” “The Fed did what they should have, not what the markets expected: this took guts,” echoed economist Steven Ricchiuto of Mizuho Securities. “After

WASHINGTON: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington. —AP Reflecting those concerns, the FOMC reduced its 2013 growth forecasts by 0.3 percentage point to a range of 2.0-2.3 percent, and lowered its prediction for next year to 2.9-3.1 percent. And FOMC members reiterated that they only expected to begin truly tightening monetary policy, by lifting the benchmark federal funds rate from its current near-zero level, in 2015. Ian Shepherdson, chief

leading the market down the tapering path, the Fed decided that the improvement in the labor market was not as broad as they had expected and decided not to taper.” Bernanke had said in May and June that the FOMC would ratchet down the QE bond purchases from as early as this month, with the expectation of winding them up completely by mid2014. —AFP

Swiss CB ups growth forecast, holds rate ZURICH: The Swiss National Bank yesterday kept its key interest rate unchanged, sticking to its monetary policy as it raised its economic growth forecast for 2013. The bank held its target range for the Swiss franc’s three-month London interbank offered rate (Libor) at 0-0.25 percent, a bank spokesman said in a conference call with journalists. It also increased its forecast for gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2013 to a range of 1.5-2.0 percent, up from 1.0-1.5 percent. It also repeated its longstanding pledge to prevent the Swiss franc from gaining too much value against the euro, reiterating that it would buy as much foreign currency as necessary to maintain a twoyear-old exchange-rate floor of 1.20

francs to the euro. “Although the situation on the global financial markets has eased somewhat, the minimum exchange rate, with the three-month Libor close to zero, remains essential,” the bank said in a statement. “It prevents an undesired tightening of monetary conditions were the upward pressure on the Swiss franc to intensify once again,” it added. The Swiss franc is traditionally seen as safe haven by the markets in tough times, and investors unsettled by the euro-zone debt crisis and uncertain global economic climate have flocked to the currency, driving up its value. While the Swiss economy has remained a rare bright spot on the European map, the surging value

of the franc created headaches for exporters, whose margins were eroded by unfavorable exchange rates, leading the bank to set the floor in September 2011. The upwardly revised GDP forecast came after second-quarter growth came in at a better-thanexpected 0.5 percent. “While the service industries experienced mainly robust growth, value added in manufacturing declined. Exports in the second half of 2013 should pick up on the back of firmer demand from abroad,” the bank said yesterday. But it underlined the persistent uncertainty for the global economy. The better performance of key European trade partners, notably Germany and France, was offset by sluggish activity in emerg-

ing economies. “The risk of less favorable global economic developments has decreased somewhat compared to the last quarter. Nevertheless, structural problems in Europe persist, which could cause new tensions on the markets. Moreover, the outlook for the emerging economies has deteriorated, and events in the Middle East could push up the oil price,” it added. The bank also raised its inflation forecast for 2013 and 2014. It predicted consumer prices would fall by 0.2 percent this year, from a previous prediction of -0.3 percent, and rise by 0.3 percent in 2014, up from 0.2 percent. It left its inflation outlook for 2015 unchanged at 0.7 percent. —AFP


Health FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

34m people infected with HIV worldwide Gene discovery could lead to new types of HIV treatments LONDON: Scientists have identified a gene which they say may have the ability to prevent HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, from spreading after it enters the body. In an early-stage study in the journal Nature, researchers said the gene, called MX2, appears to play a key role in how HIV is controlled in human cells, so using it could lead to the development of new, less toxic treatments that harness the body’s natural defences and mobilise them against the virus. Although there are many more years of research ahead, Mike Malim, who co-led the

research at King’s College London, described the finding as “extremely exciting” and said it advanced scientists’ understanding of how the HIV virus interacts with the immune system. “Until now we knew very little about the MX2 gene, but now we recognise both its potent anti-viral function and a key point of vulnerability in the life cycle of HIV,” he said in a statement about the study, published on Wednesday. Some 34 million people worldwide are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS - the vast majority

of them in poor and developing countries. But while, particularly in wealthy nations, there are many effective drugs available that allow HIV patients to live long, healthy lives, they often have side-effects and drug resistance can become a problem with long-term use. In this study, Malim and a team of researchers conducted experiments on human cells in the laboratory, introducing the HIV virus to two different cell lines - one in which the MX2 gene was “switched on”, and in the other it which is was “silenced” - and then observing the effects.

They found that in the cells where MX2 was silenced, the AIDS virus replicated and spread, while in the cells where it was switched on, the HIV was unable to replicate and produce new viruses to spread. Malim said the findings suggest MX2 is a key player in establishing viral control in people with HIV, and that armed with this new knowledge, there are two possible routes for potential drug development using the gene. “It may be possible to develop either a molecule that mimics the role of MX2 or a drug which activates the gene’s natural capabilities,” he said. — Reuters


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Opinion FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Syria, Egypt policy leave Turkey’s Erdogan isolated By Nick Tattersall

on your values and principles just because your allies and other countries don’t take your side,” he said in a subsequent newspaper interview. But as with Egypt, critics see a personal agenda in Syria. “The personal animosity is very palpable between the Turkish leadership and Assad. The Turkish leadership initially believed they had a good relationship, believed they could influence him, and ended up being extremely frustrated,” said Ulgen. “Where I would criticize Turkish policy on Syria is the gap between its very heavy rhetoric, assertive, ambitious rhetoric ... and its total inability to really shape the evolution of the crisis.”

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linging to calls for military action in Syria and wedded to his backing for Egypt’s ousted Islamist president, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan cuts an increasingly lonely figure in a region whose future he still hopes to help shape. Finding himself in what one adviser calls “worthy solitude”, Erdogan risks alienating some important Gulf investors in Turkey as well as weakening his diplomatic clout with international powers and Egypt’s new military-backed rulers. Long feted by the West as a model democrat in the Muslim world, his influence had seemed to be rising when he backed the pro-democracy uprisings of the Arab Spring, particularly when fellow Islamists initially won power in Egypt and elsewhere in north Africa. But his strident calls for intervention to help force Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad from power have left him appearing sidelined after Washington and Moscow struck a deal this week averting US strikes, at least for now. His outspoken support for the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt’s deposed president Mohamed Morsi has left Turkey without full diplomatic relations with the Arab world’s most populous nation, and set it at odds with the Gulf Arab states whose investment has helped Turkey to prosper over the past decade. Turkey already may be suffering economic damage, with exports to the Middle East down sharply and Abu Dhabi delaying a major investment project in the country. Beyond this, Ankara’s reduced ability to influence its neighbors makes it a less useful ally for Washington and other Western states seeking reliable partners in the turbulent Middle East. Soner Cagaptay of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said Turkish leaders had taken a risk by backing various branches of the Muslim Brotherhood, a pan-Arab Islamist movement with saw the success of Erdogan’s AK Party as a political model. “While Turkey’s foreign policy deserves credit for supporting democratic movements and the ouster of dictatorships ... they banked all their money with one political party,” said Cagaptay. “They hoped the Brotherhood would come to a prominent position in Libya, they hoped the Brotherhood would become Turkey’s ally in Egypt, they wanted to make a Brotherhood member the leader of the Syrian opposition,” he said. “All of these failed.” The implosion of the Brotherhood in Egypt after the army removed Morsi in July riled Erdogan. This was not just because it reopened a debate on whether democracy and political Islam can co-exist - one he hoped had been laid to rest by the AK Party’s three successive election victories. It also galled him because he saw parallels to his own experience in Turkey, where the secular military pressured an Islamist government from power in 1997 while he was mayor of Istanbul. The precursor to the AK Party, which he later founded and now dominates Turkish politics, was closed.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

“There is a very strong sense of identification with the Brotherhood which tends to shape Turkish policy,” said Sinan Ulgen, chairman of the Istanbul Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies, EDAM. The AK Party and the Egyptian Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party are both linked to political Islam, he noted. “These are both parties - in Turkey successfully, in Egypt much less so - that have tried to navigate the difficulty of dealing with the political influence of the military.” Erdogan has called Morsi’s removal an “unacceptable coup”, accusing Western nations of double standards by failing to do likewise while criticizing a police crackdown on weeks of anti-government demonstrations in Turkey over the summer. Ankara recalled its ambassador from Cairo in August after a violent crackdown on Morsi’s supporters. He returned this month but Egypt has said its envoy will not return to Ankara until Turkey stops its “interference”. WORTHY SOLITUDE Erdogan takes criticism of his foreign policy on the chin. “We believe in a world not where the strong are right, but where the right are strong,” he said in a speech on Wednesday. “We don’t have any intention to interfere in any other country’s domestic affairs. But we have shown a very clear and principled stance ... against initiatives that have turned people we consider brothers into a state of oppression.” Foreign policy is unlikely to top the agenda when Turkish voters go to local, parliamentary and presidential elections over the next two years. However, the public is skeptical, with a majority opposing deeper involvement in the Syrian crisis. When the Turkish leader visited the White House four months ago, he was deter-

mined to push President Barack Obama for more assertive action - in short, a military intervention which would weaken Assad to the point of forcing him from power. Any strikes should not just be a “24 hour hit-and-run”, Erdogan said late last month, citing the 11-week NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999 during the Kosovo war as a possible template. But NATO member Turkey was left looking like a bit player after Russia and the United States agreed a plan under which Assad will escape the immediate threat of US air strikes by placing his chemical weapons under international control. “With regard to Syria, they are out in the cold. Their calls for a comprehensive intervention have been sidelined,” said Faruk Logoglu, former Turkish ambassador to Washington and vice chairman of the main opposition Republican People’s Party. “To put it bluntly, Erdogan pursues a Sunnidominated foreign policy ... They were banking on the prevalence of the Muslim Brotherhood whether in Iraq, Egypt or Syria. It is a bankrupt policy,” he said. Erdogan’s government strongly denies any sectarian agenda in Syria or the wider region. His aides point to his cultivation of good relations with Assad for years before the conflict. Syria’s Sunni Muslims and its Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiism to which Assad belongs, are not fixed blocs and Turkey does not see the crisis in sectarian terms, they argue. “The claim that Turkey is alone in the Middle East is not correct, but if this is a criticism then you have to say: this is a worthy solitude,” Ibrahim Kalin, one of Erdogan’s top foreign policy advisers, said on his Twitter account last month. “There come moments in history when you are alone on the side of truth in an atmosphere where the world is silent to coups and massacres. You cannot give up

REALPOLITIK Erdogan’s opposition to Assad should give him common cause with the Sunniruled Gulf Arab states. A year ago, a Pew survey of Arab public opinion found Erdogan to be the most popular leader, beating King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia who has special status as guardian of the holy city of Makkah. But Erdogan’s support for Morsi has created friction with Gulf states, which see Egypt as a strategic ally against any threat from non-Arab Iran and which celebrated the president’s departure with palpable relief. The US-allied United Arab Emirates has never trusted the Brotherhood, which it has accused of plotting to undermine governments in the region and has banned. There are signs of a trade impact from Turkey’s strained relations with an increasingly important export market and a growing source of portfolio investment in its capital markets. Turkish exports to the Middle East fell by almost a third in July to $3.1 billion from a year earlier, Turkey’s statistics agency said. Abu Dhabi’s stateowned oil explorer and power supplier TAQA announced last month that it was delaying a $12 billion project to build several power plants in Turkey, a decision some saw as politically motivated. “A growing sense of Turkey’s isolation in the region ... risks the erosion of benefits from the enormous strides made over the past decade in terms of the development of trade and investment flows,” said Timothy Ash, an economist at Standard Bank in London. “Considering Turkey’s already strained relations with Iran, Syria, Iraq and Israel, the fear now is that this could have quite a detrimental impact on the Turkish economy.” New trade relations are developing, not least with northern Iraq’s Kurds, with whom commerce is flourishing. Turkish truckers are shipping goods to Middle Eastern markets through the Israeli port of Haifa, an unlikely beneficiary, to bypass Syria, albeit on a small scale. Erdogan should also not be counted out diplomatically. “Turkey is not alone in regional or global politics,” Kalin said in the newspaper interview. “Ten years ago people were not even curious about what Turkey said. Today whether they support it or criticize, everyone is watching Turkey’s position.” — Reuters.


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 www.kuwaittimes.net

People celebrate the lantern festival as part of the MidAutumn Festival at Victoria Park in Hong Kong yesterday. The Mid-Autumn Festival, also called the Moon Festival, is a popular East Asian celebration of abundance and togetherness, dating back over 3,000 years to China's Zhou Dynasty. The festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month of the Chinese calendar, which usually parallels the Autumn Equinox of the solar calendar. —AFP


FOOD FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Laying a better egg Farmers returning to traditional practices with modern marketing

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h, the glamorous world of the chicken farmer. The calfdeep mud. The subzero-tosweltering temperatures. The endless, backbreaking work. The, um, fragrance. Here’s a revealing yardstick: When it came time to clear out winter’s 8 tons of accumulated manure from the plastic solar-fueled “hoop coops” at Locally Laid Egg Co in Wrenshall, Minn, about a half-hour southwest of Duluth, co-owner Jason Amundsen recruited six local high schoolers for the task. Only one returned the second day. Guess who ended up finishing? “Not one of the more pleasant jobs,” Amundsen said with a laugh. “But that’s the first thing that I learned about farming,” he said. “There are no controlled conditions. You nod and smile every time Mother Nature kicks you in the teeth.” Dealing with predatory skunks is no picnic, either. Still, the payoff is significant, certainly for the growing clientele of the 2-year-old farm. An early devotee was John Hanson, co-owner of the Duluth Grill in Duluth, Minn. During its peak summer tourist season, the restaurant consumes about 500 dozen eggs per week. Forty percent come from Locally Laid, and Hanson quickly noticed that his kitchen staff was reserving the farm’s brown, bespeckled eggs for the finicky demands of short-order frying and poaching, while steering the cooler’s remaining egg inventory into scrambles, pancakes, baking and other, far less flashy uses. “Without any direction from me, they quickly discovered that the Locally Laid eggs were so much easier to use,” said Hanson. “The yolks are firm - and they’re so yellow that they’re almost orange - and the whites are durable. Nothing breaks when they hit the grill.” Proof is in the pan Judge for yourself and crack one

into a hot skillet; the yolk stands tall and proud. Swirled in simmering water, the egg whites hang together like a cumulus cloud floating across a summer sky. Under the force of a whisk, the egg whites whip into nearHimalayan peaks of remarkable volume and durability; add sugar, and they’re transformed into the most lustrous, satiny meringue imaginable. “They’re hard to keep on the shelf because people recognize the outstanding flavor and freshness of the eggs,” said Shannon Szymkowiak, promotions and education manager of Whole Foods Co-op in Duluth, another Locally Laid customer. “But that’s what happens when chickens are eating well and running around, being happy.” Exactly. Through plenty of research and trial and error, Amundsen and his wife, Lucie, a writer, have created a quality-obsessed operation based on the simple yet nearly forgotten principle of letting chickens be, well, chickens. “Rather than treat them as a commodity, we allow our ladies to express their natural chicken instincts,” said Amundsen. “It’s all the things that confinement doesn’t allow them to do.” Under an open northern Minnesota sky year-round, in pens the size of a baseball infield, enclosed by easily movable plastic mesh fences, the chickens engage in all the activities they can’t do confined in a large factory farm: Move as a flock, dust-bathe and soak up the fresh air and sunshine (“They’re the best disinfectants in the world, and they’re free,” said Amundsen). They also get plenty of exercise, since the birds’ water and their twicedaily feed - a custom mix of alfalfa, soybean meal and corn - are kept on opposite sides of the pen. But most important, the chickens supplement their daily diet through foraging. “Cage-free,” “free-range” and other egg-carton catchphrases are not part

of the Locally Laid lexicon. At this 10acre operation, the passwords are “pasture-raised.” Kept in groups of about 500, the highly vocal choruses of Gold Stars, Production Reds, California Whites and central casting’s idea of a chicken, Barred Rocks, feed their omnivore appetites by nibbling on insects (“They love mosquitoes,” said Amundsen) as well as clover, timothy and other grasses until they’ve mowed down everything in the enclosure. That’s the signal for Amundsen to move the fence to greener pastures and restart the process. “All that nutrition goes right into the egg,” he said. “No factory can replicate that.” New to the land Farming was not part of Amundsen’s career trajectory. “But I got laid off a lot,” he said with a laugh. One Great Recession pink slip too many had him connecting the dots between self-employment and the small back-yard flock of chickens that the couple and their two children had

started keeping at their Duluth home. “We were really feeling disconnected from where our food was coming from,” Amundsen said. Amundsen grew up in Edina, Minn., a fine enough launchpad for his former career as a grant writer but not exactly prime training ground for live poultry. “To be a farmer, you have to be good at problem solving, and you have to fix things,” he said. “The learning curve was really steep. It has been an extremely humbling process.” Perhaps out of necessity, Locally Laid is a relatively low-tech operation. Aside from several impressively large vehicles, there are few machines. Most of the never-ending labor - carrying feed, hauling water, collecting eggs - is done by hand, a workload shared by Amundsen and his brother Brian, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Off the farm, in leased quarters in the back of a Duluth supermarket, the eggs are washed, rinsed, bleached and dried, then routed into the Egomatic, a 1950s-era device for sorting, inspecting and grading. “We found it in a pole


FOOD FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

barn, and it hadn’t been used for 40 years, but it works just fine, so why not?” said Amundsen. A pair of food wholesalers handle the shipping duties. Change, one egg at a time During peak warm-weather periods, the farm’s output hovers somewhere around 200 dozen eggs a day, which represents less than a drop in the ocean that is Minnesota’s overall egg output. With roughly 10.4 million egg-laying hens producing nearly 2.9 billion eggs each year, the state ranks 11th in production nationally (by comparison, No. 1 Iowa produces more than five times that amount) and account for roughly 3 percent of all eggs produced annually in the United States. Due to the company’s cheeky name, strong social media presence (that’s Lucie’s handiwork) and eye-catching logo (the result of a contest, won by Duluth graphic designer Matthew Olin), the farm’s T-shirts are a hot item, with sales accounting for several percentage points of Locally Laid’s revenues. Another boost to the balance sheet is a soon-to-be-launched chicken feed line, targeted at back-yard enthusiasts. But major growth is projected to come via agreements with other small family farms adapting Locally Laid practices. Starting in a few weeks, an arrangement with an Iowa farmer will

help supply a handful of Twin Cities natural food co-ops and several restaurants; a second Midwestern farm should come under the Locally Laid umbrella by year’s end. Pay for the difference Locally Laid’s hands-on approach comes at a price, and there’s some sticker shock involved: It’s roughly twice the amount associated with conventionally raised eggs. Locally Laid’s

first _ and currently only - Twin Cities outlet, Linden Hills Co-op, sells them for $4.49 per dozen. The price hasn’t been a stumbling block, at least not yet. “We have heard nothing but rave reviews from customers, many of whom are willing to pay more for a higher-quality egg and from a place they trust,” said Jane Jefferson, the co-op’s dairy buyer. “I often tell people Locally Laid eggs are the best ones we carry.” You don’t have

to look across the chicken pen at Locally Laid to realize that all eggs aren’t the same, and that cheapest isn’t necessarily better. After all, eggs are one of nature’s most highly efficient nutrition delivery systems. “There’s a saying in the sustainable farming industry,” said Amundsen. “You can pay the farmer, or you can pay the doctor.”

Grilled vegetable egg foo young

Perfect hard-cooked eggs

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lace eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water, about 1 inch above eggs. Bring water to a boil over high heat. Once water reaches a boil, remove pan from heat and cover for 15 minutes. Run cold water over eggs until eggs feel cool. Drain and refrigerate, preferably overnight. Sardinian hard-cooked eggs Makes 16 hard-cooked egg halves. Note: From “The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper,” by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift (Clarkson Potter, $35). 8 hard-cooked eggs (see sidebar at left) Olive oil 1\2 c. white vinegar Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 garlic clove, minced 3 tbsp. freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley 1 c. fresh bread crumbs Directions: Peel eggs under cold running water to remove any small pieces of shell. Cut hard-cooked eggs in half lengthwise. Over medium heat, film a large nonstick skillet lightly with olive oil, then add vinegar. Heat until vinegar is bubbling. Sprinkle pan with salt and pepper and add eggs, cut side down. Cook eggs, turning them gently a few times, until vinegar has evaporated and they are golden. Transfer eggs to a platter, arranging them yolk-side up. Add garlic, parsley and bread crumbs to the skillet and saute until bread crumbs are golden, taking care not to burn the garlic. Scrape crumb mixture over eggs and serve.

Serves 4 Note: From “LA’s Original Farmers Market Cookbook,” by JoAnn Cianciulli (Chronicle Books, $22.95). 2 c. finely shredded cabbage 1 c. bean sprouts 1 green onion, white and green parts, finely chopped 1 medium carrot, shredded 1 small zucchini, shredded 1\2 c. flour 3 eggs, beaten Salt and freshly ground black pepper Canola oil for brushing 1 c. low-sodium chicken broth 2 tbsp. soy sauce 1 tbsp. cornstarch 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper Directions: Pat cabbage, bean sprouts, onion, carrot and zucchini with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Spread vegetables on a baking pan to air-dry for about 1 hour (for patties to hold together, it is important that vegetables are completely dry). Place vegetables in a large bowl, sprinkle with flour and toss with your hands to combine and coat evenly. Season eggs with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Fold eggs into vegetables. The mixture should look thick and feel sticky, almost like dough, and definitely have more vegetables than eggs. Place a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat and brush with oil. Set a 4-inch ring mold in pan and pack it tightly with vegetable mixture. Remove ring and make a second patty (if you don’t have a mold, press mixture into free-form patties). Remove ring again and season tops of patties with salt and pepper. Cook until patties are set and undersides are crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes. Flip with a spatula, season again, and cook the second side until browned, about 3 minutes longer. Repeat to make 2 more patties, adding more oil as needed. Set aside and keep warm (egg foo young can be made up to 2 hours ahead and kept in a warm oven). In a pot over medium heat, combine broth, soy sauce, cornstarch and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring often, until gravy thickens, about 3 minutes. Place an egg foo young patty on each of 4 plates. Spoon gravy over patties and serve immediately.


Tr a v e l FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Jay Talbert photographs an old wagon at the Bodie State Historical Park in Bodie, California.

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A visitor looks over the windows at the Boone Store and Warehouse, originally erected in 1879, at the Bodie State Historical Park in Bodie, California. - MCT photos

othing against Virginia City or Tombstone or any other collection of Gold Rush-era wooden structures along that ribbon o’ highway, but they are to ghost towns what Disneyland’s Matterhorn is to true alpine peaks. That is, a pale, sterile and blatantly commercial imitation of the real thing. You won’t find staged gunfights at high noon in Bodie. No trinkets to buy, cardboard cut-out miners to pose next to or T-shirts for sale. Nor can you belly up to a faux saloon where women in diaphanous bodices flit their false eyelashes at you. Bodie, rather, is the real thing. Or, as close as you can get, due to the ravages of time and the vicissitudes of the harsh eastern Sierra weather. It is a State Historic Park, after all, duty bound to maintain a dirty realism, rather than perpetuate a cinematic cliche. And, boy, is there a lot of dirt in Bodie. Dirt, and its first cousin, dust. That, apparently, is what the old West was really about. Dirt collecting at the crook of your neck, grit working its way into your molars, a scrim of dust obscuring your vision. The landscape in summer, and well into fall, is as brown as a fleet of UPS trucks, so brown

as to be monochromatic. Then, in snowy winters, the site is blanketed in white. No wonder that, back in the day, no fewer than 65 saloons graced this erstwhile gold-mining metropolis that boasted a population of 10,000 in its heyday. People’s throats had to be parched from all those swirling airborne particulates. And, come winter, they needed stiff libations to gird themselves from the cold. Alas, the edifice of only one saloon remains, the Sam Leon Bar on Main Street, nestled between the barber shop and the ruins of the carpenter’s shop. That’s the problem with hewing to strict realism when it comes to preserving historical sites; you’ve got to work with the original materials. And, while you are allowed to subtly prop up a rickety building (“stabilize” is the operative verb) and make small repairs if the wind knocks down a plank or two, true renovations or re-creations are frowned upon. It is verboten, too, for Park Service employees or members of the nonprofit Bodie Foundation to play house and furnish rooms with period-appropriate pieces and accoutrements. They aren’t even sup-


Tr a v e l FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

posed to rustle the dust collected on old pie tins. All of which is not done to ensure the appearance of verisimilitude but to give visitors an actual screen-grab of what Bodie was like as a Gold Rush boomtown in the late 1800s. The term Park Ranger Ryan Randar uses is “arrested decay,” as if the 500-acre site with 170 remaining buildings was suspended in amber. So when you peer into the dust-streaked windows of the Boone Store & Warehouse, you see what was on the shelves in 1900, when the Boone brothers shuttered the windows during an economic downturn and told townsfolk, “We’ll be back when times are better.” We’re still waiting for their return. Meantime, the cans of mustard, Old English pipe tobacco and Ghiradelli chocolate and display cases for Guittard & Co. coffee rot on the shelves. The cash register is enveloped by cobwebs, the counter so coasted with dust that the fine wood paneling is just a myth. And when you peer inside the pine Jeffrey Miller House, built by patriarch Tom Miller, who worked for the Mono Lake Railway & Lumber Co., you see the kitchen just as the family left it in the late 1800s: cabinets flung open, cups and plates on the table, dirt caked in the muffin pan. Back in time These rooms and others like it have been this way since 1962, when Bodie was awarded National Historic Landmark status. There is a distinct Pompeii-preservation vibe to Bodie, and it makes visitors use their imaginations to fill in the gaps. They wonder about people’s lives during the period, the boomtown carousing, the ladies taking tea, the search for culture in a town that, before William S. Bodey set down stakes in 1859 following a discovery of gold nearby, formerly was a harsh milieu with jagged rocks and few, if any, trees to block the relentless summer sun or provide firewood during snowy winters. (Quick aside about the name: State Parks officials say the spelling was changed to “Bodie” in the late 1800s “to avoid the name being mispronounced.”) Nancy Frye, vice president of the Bodie Foundation, says it takes vigilance to keep the town the way it was at its demise in 1932, when the mines had been played out and the last of a series of fires made stragglers find other accommodations. “Initially, the inside-of-buildings photographs were taken and nothing was moved,” Frye said. “It was all cataloged. But since then, some of the more valuable paper items have been moved because the dust and the rats that have gotten in there.” Preservation Preserving Bodie as it is, Frye said, “is difficult because sometimes there is horrific wind and snow.” Occasionally, then, rules will be slackened and shiny new roofing will cover gaping holes. Call it a compromise to history, a way of keeping the bulk of a structure the way it was by bolstering a small portion. Visitors don’t seem to mind that, for instance, a part of the roof on the Methodist Church, erected in 1882, is visibly newer than the rest. In that case, it wasn’t the inclement weather that gutted part of the church; vandalism, rather. In the years since the final religious service was held in 1932, the church has been a favorite of vandals. They even stole an oilcloth painting depicting the 10 Commandments, thereby violating No. 8.

Peter Fay looks over a rusted car at the Bodie State Historical Park in Bodie, California.

For the most part, though, the public has been respectful. Or maybe it’s just that Bodie is so far out of the way - 13 miles east of Highway 395, between Bridgeport and Lee Vining, the last three miles of which is a bladder-busting, rocky dirt road - that it’s too much of a bother. It, however, does not seem too much of a bother for tourists. Randar said about 250,000 tourists annually visit Bodie, impressive considering that the road in is closed seven months out of the year. A quick check of the guest register in the Bodie museum shows that, on just one page, people from Germany, Switzerland, France, Denmark and Korea had a look around. “About half our visitors are from Western Europe,” Randar said, “and they think this is a town of ghosts.” Once they are set straight, most don’t seem disappointed that they aren’t assailed by actual apparitions. Docents regale visitors with tales from old times, about gambling and boozing, prostitution and claim jumping, murder and mayhem, and even

boring, old everyday life for families. Some, like Los Angeles resident Jenene ArvidsonPerkins, get caught up in the Old West romance. This is her family’s sixth time visiting Bodie. “The very first time we came, my daughter Stephanie was in third grade,” Arvidson-Perkins said. “She wanted to do a report and one of the terms they used that I still remember is that the town was in a state of ‘arrested decay.’ I love that term. Strangely, it still looks the same, as if you’d blow on it and it would fall over.” A self-described history buff, Arvidson dragged her husband, Bob, daughter Stephanie and grandson Caleb, back out one more time to walk the ruins. “I like to go to the graveyard and read the stones,” she said. “If you see mother and child on the same day, that probably was someone dying in childbirth. If you see certain dates, that was a plague or flu. “I’m the one in the family that reads everything. It drives them crazy. But then I go ahead and tell them all about it. I like telling about this one lady here who was a

Visitors look over the old buildings at the Bodie State Historical Park in Bodie, California.

‘lady of the evening’ by force, but who married the town butcher. Her house was right next to the saloon. She donated a painting and did lots of great things for the town. But she couldn’t be buried inside (the cemetery) because she was a lady of the evening. This tells us about where our society was, where we came from.” The woman to whom she referred was Lotti Johl, who lived the “Pretty Woman” scenario a century before the Julia Roberts film. She went from turning tricks in the red-light district to painting landscapes that hung in the town’s finest places. Bodie is rife with such colorful stories. Some could be apocryphal, for all we know. But Frye, who visited Bodie as a girl in the 1960s and later worked as a park aide and archivist, actually knew a Bodie resident, whose parents settled there at the turn of the century. Bob Bell grew up at the house his father, Lester, built near the corner of Union and Fuller streets. He worked in the mines until they played out, then, after the last residents left in the 1950s, he stayed on and helped the Park Service stabilize Bodie’s buildings. That’s when Frye made his acquaintance. Bell had the distinction of being the last person buried in Bodie, in 2003. “So, to me, it’s not a fictional story,” Frye said. “It’s real. It’s like, ‘Hey, this is Bob’s house. We need to save it.’” The Bodie Foundation holds fundraisers to augment State Parks’ shortfalls. But she’s concerned that, long term, Bodie’s decay might not remain so arrested. Things happen, like the time a mountain lion wandered into town and briefly wreaked havoc, or the vandals, or the notorious high winds that have many structures tilting crazily. “Because it’s a state park, we can’t sell stuff made in Japan, like in Virginia City, to keep it running,” Frye said. “We’re not like Yosemite. You know, Half Dome is never going to fall down. But, in Bodie, particularly the outlying buildings, once there are collapses and (buildings) fall down, then that’s it. It’s over.” — MCT


Health FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Eat your fruits and veggies B

ananas are a rich source of potassium which can help prevent strokes. Research proves that fruit and vegetables can protect us from a range of illnesses, from cancer to heart disease. For this to work, however, we need at least five portions a day. This may sound daunting but, in fact, it is easy to integrate fruit and vegetables into your diet. For instance, did you know that frozen peas and baked beans both count? Below, we reveal 15 medical benefits of eating enough fruit and vegetables, and tips to disguise them in everyday meals. 1. The World Health Organisation has found that 85 percent of adult cancers are avoidable, and of these, around half are related to nutrition deficiencies in the Western diet - many of which can be rectified by eating those five portions of fruit and vegetables. 2. In the UK, one person dies every three minutes from coronary heart disease, but new research from Cambridge University has found that eating just one apple a day cuts your risk of premature death from heart disease by 20 percent. Add one orange and one banana and that increases to 50 percent. 3. Minor infections like colds and flu are also less likely if you eat plenty of fruit and veg - particularly kiwi fruit, raspberries, blueberries, red peppers and citrus fruit. These offer the best way to get high levels of vitamin C in your diet - and research shows that people with high intakes of vitamin C have 34 percent fewer sick days than others. 4. A study in 1998 showed that a high-fibre diet will protect against breast cancer and prostate cancer. Cabbage, peas, beans, berries and dried fruit are particularly rich sources, but there is fibre in nearly all vegetables and most fruit. 5. Age-related memory loss is one of the most distressing elements of old age, but a 1999 study found that a diet containing the equivalent of half a cup of blueberries a day can actually stimulate the growth of new brain cells, which may prevent memory deterioration. 6. Most of us think only dairy products can help build bones, but dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and kale can also provide calcium, while onions stop the process that causes bones to weaken. Studies from the University of Bern in Switzerland found just one gram of onion a day is enough to strengthen your skeleton. 7. Five portions a week of red fruit and vegetables - for example, tomatoes, watermelon and red pepper - can reduce the risk of lung cancer by a quarter. 8. Research at the University of Arizona has shown that a daily intake of five to ten portions of red, yellow or orange fruit and vegetables can reduce skin cancer risk by forming a UV protection layer under the skin. 9. According to the world’s largest study on successful weight loss, focusing on a diet high in fruit and vegetables is a vital factor in losing weight and keeping it off. This is not surprising when you think that a 2-3tbsp portion of most fruit or veg contains just 50 calories - the same as five potato crisps or half a chocolate biscuit. 10. A high intake of fruit and veg has been shown to lower the risk of stomach cancer. A Swedish study on sets of twins found that a twin eating a high intake of fruit and vegetables had a 5.5 times less risk of stomach cancer than their brother or sister who did not eat a high intake of fruit and vegetables. 11. Research shows that compounds in cranberries and blueberries stop bacteria sticking to the inside of the urinary tract and so help prevent infections like cystitis from taking hold. A handful of blueberries or a glass of cranberry juice a day can cut frequency of attacks by 58 percent. 12. Eating two-and-a-half carrots a day has been shown to lower cholesterol by 11 per cent in three weeks in Scottish studies. High cholesterol is one of the major risk factors in heart disease. 13. A 12-year American study showed a significant reduction in strokes among people broccoli can help strengthen bones who consumed a high level of potassium. Fresh fruit and vegetables - particularly bananas, grapes, leeks and cabbages - all provide plenty of potassium. 14. Eating fewer than one-and-a-half portions of fruit and vegetables a day increases your risk of cataracts - the major cause of blindness in the world. Spinach helps prevent cataracts and prevents age-related macular degeneration the commonest cause of blindness in people over 55.

Fifteen reasons to eat five portions a day 15. Studies show that people who eat diets high in fruit and vegetables that contain vitamin B6 (such as bananas and avocados) find it easier to handle stress that those who did not. 5 WAYS TO HELP YOU EAT 5 AT EVERY MEAL: Breakfast 1) Sprinkle a cup of berries on your cereal - 1 portion. 2) Mash a banana on your toast instead of jam - 1 portion. 3) Make a smoothie: Combine a glass of fruit juice with a banana, and a cupful of berries or another fruit - 3 portions. 4) Have beans on toast with a grilled tomato - 2 portions. 5) Combine fresh fruit and yoghurt: Try a chopped apple with 1 tbsp chopped apricots and 1 tbsp apricots with low-fat natural yoghurt - 3 portions. Lunch 1) Instead of buying a pre-packed sandwich, get one made to order and ask for tomato, avocado, rocket, onions and alfalfa sprouts with your filling - 1-2 portions. 2) Bring soup to work in a flask - heat up a can and throw in some frozen peas, sliced mushrooms, carrots, sweetcorn or asparagus. Each 2tbsp is a portion. 3) Have a glass of juice instead of a fizzy drink - 1 portion. 4) Have a dessert. A portion of fruit after your meal will fill you up and add nutrients - 1 portion. Dinner 1) Add vegetables to pizzas and stir fries. Pile pizza with mushrooms, peppers, spinach and extra tomato sauce. Add carrots, peppers and bean sprouts to stirfries - 1-2 portions. 2) Make a fruit dessert: Stuff a cored apple with 2tbsp raisins and bake at 200C/400F/Gas 6 for 45 minutes - 2 portions. 3) When making mashed potato, add vegetables. Cabbage,

swede, carrots, parsnips, chopped onion or sweetcorn all work well - and add nutrients - 1 portion. WHAT IS A PORTION? VERY LARGE FRUIT: cantaloupe melons, watermelons, pineapple = 1 LARGE SLICE LARGE FRUIT: grapefruits, mangos, papayas = HALF A FRUIT MEDIUM FRUIT: apples, avocados, bananas, oranges, peaches, pears = A WHOLE FRUIT SMALL FRUIT: apricots, clementines, figs, kiwi fruit, passion fruit, plums, satsumas, tomatoes = 2 WHOLE FRUIT BERRY-TYPE FRUIT: blackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, gooseberries, grapes, raspberries, strawberries = 1 CUPFUL(SHOULD BE COFFEE MUG SIZED) STEWED, TINNED, MIXED FRUIT: apples, apricots, fruit cocktail, fresh fruit salad, peaches, pears, pineapples = 3 TBSP DRIED FRUIT: apricots, bananas, cranberries, dates, figs, papaya, pineapple, raisins, sultanas = 1 TBSP FRUIT JUICE: all actual fruit juices, including tomato, freshly squeezed or processed, not fruit drinks = 1 MEDIUM GLASS (150ML/ 5FL OZ) MIXED SALAD VEGETABLES: celery, cucumber, iceberg and other pale lettuces = 1 DESSERT BOWLFUL CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, radishes, turnips, swedes = 2 TBSP GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES: chard, dark green winter cabbage, kale, pak choi, rocket, romaine lettuce, spinach, watercress = 2 TBSP OTHER VEGETABLES: aubergines, carrots, green beans, mushrooms, onions, peas, peppers, squashes = 2 TBSP SPROUTING BEANS: alfalfa, bean sprouts = HALF A CUPFUL BEANS AND PULSES: baked beans, black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, soya beans = HALF A CUPFUL www.dailymail.co.uk


Lifestyle FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

‘House of Cards’ hopes to come up trumps at Emmys

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Jimmy Fallon to feature live Ads

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ate Night With Jimmy Fallon” thinks it has a way to make you watch ads: By letting you write them, and see them performed live. Beginning with today’s episode, the show will feature live ads based on viewer suggestions, the New York Times reported. In a promotion with Lexus, called “It’s Your Move After Dark,” viewers will be invited to suggest ad ideas through social media. Four improve groups will then act some of them out, live, from below the Brooklyn Bridge. During an early break in the episode, viewers will be asked to submit ideas using the hashtag #LexusIS. The ads are supposed to help build buzz about Lexus’ 2014 IS model. One of the four groups - Fun Young Guys, Magnet Theater Touring Company, MB’s Dream and Stone Cold Fox - will then perform ads inspired by the suggestions. NBCUniversal executives told the Times that two commercials will air during each of the next four Thursday episodes - one for the Eastern time zone, and one for the Western. The ads are an attempt to address one of the biggest problems for broadcasters: How to get viewers - especially younger ones like Fallon viewers - to watch advertising. NBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap Wednesday. NBC made a previous attempt this month by incorporating trivia into ads for “Million Second Quiz.” The show earned fairly low ratings, however. As the Times noted, live ads were once fairly typical on television. Advertisers would use the power of live television to show viewers how quickly a Polaroid picture could develop, for example. — Reuters

Keith Urban tops The Weeknd in tight race Billboard chart

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ustralian country singer Keith Urban beat out Canadian The Weeknd in a tight race to No.1 on the US Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday. Urban’s latest album, “Fuse,” sold 98,000 copies in its first week according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan, while The Weeknd’s debut studio album “Kiss Land” sold more than 95,000 units, leaving the R&B artist less than 3,000 shy of the top spot. Rapper 2 Chainz landed at No. 3 this week with his latest record “B.O.A.T.S II #METIME,” while soul-pop singer Janelle Monae entered the chart at No. 5 with her sophomore album “The Electric Lady,” behind Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party” at No. 4. Other debuts in the top 10 of the Billboard 200, which measures weekly album sales, includes British alt-rockers Arctic Monkeys at No. 6 with “AM” and singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow’s country-inspired album “Feels Like Home” at No. 7. On the digital songs chart, which measures weekly song downloads, pop singer Miley Cyrus had the top spot with her latest single, “Wrecking Ball,” which sold 477,000 copies in the past week, overtaking Katy Perry’s “Roar,” which dropped to No. 2, and New Zealand indie artist Lorde’s “Royals” at No. 3. Album sales for the week ending Sept 15 totaled 4.5 million copies, down 11 percent from the comparable week in 2012, according to Billboard. — Reuters

etflix political drama “House of Cards” hopes to make television history this weekend by becoming the first online-only series ever to win a major Emmy award. The series, starring Oscar winner Kevin Spacey as scheming US congressman Francis Underwood, is nominated in nine categories including best drama and best actor at the Emmys, the Oscars of the television world. “Breaking Bad,” “Homeland” and “Mad Men” are key rivals for the coveted top drama prize, while “American Horror Story: Asylum” has the most nominations with 17 nods at the 65th annual primetime Emmy awards ceremony in Los Angeles. Elton John will make his first ever appearance at the show in a tribute to piano legend Liberace, the subject of acclaimed biopic “Behind the Candelabra” whose stars Michael Douglas and Matt Damon will be among the presenters. Other stars handing out awards include Alec Baldwin of “30 Rock,” “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston and “Homeland” nominee Claire Danes, while Sunday’s show will be hosted by “How I Met Your Mother” star Neil Patrick Harris. “House of Cards,” inspired by a BBC series from the early 1990s, was made exclusively for Netflix, the online movie streaming website, which put all 13 episodes online in February in one fell swoop. The series’ success highlights the radical changes underway in the TV industry, with more and more viewers “cutting the cable” and watching favorite shows via the Internet on cellphones, tablets and so-called “smart TVs.” “Anyone who has recently been in a college dorm room or the home of a twenty something may have noticed there is something missing: a television,” the LA Times noted. “More and more young people are accessing TV content on their computers, iPads or cellphones. Somebody is going to profit from this and, right now, Netflix seems well positioned to be the chosen one.” Other nominees for best drama include “Downton Abbey” and “Game of Thrones” marking the first time no series from a mainstream US television network has been nominated in the category. Cranston and Spacey are frontrunners for the best drama actor prize, while other nominees are Jon Hamm for “Mad Men,” Jeff Daniels for “The Newsroom” and Britons Damian Lewis (“Homeland”) and Hugh Bonneville (“Downton Abbey.”) For best drama actress, the clear favorite is Danes as CIA agent Carrie Mathison in “Homeland,” although contenders who could cause an upset include Kerry Washington (“Scandal”) and Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men”). Up for best comedy are “Modern Family,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Girls,” “Louie,” “Veep,” and “30 Rock,” which after seven seasons aired its final episode on NBC in January. Nominated for best TV movie or miniseries are “American Horror Story: Asylum,” “Behind the Candelabra,” another HBO music biopic “Phil Spector,” “Political

Animals,” “Top of the Lake” and the History Channel’s “The Bible.” There were some notable snubs when the Emmy nominations were announced in July, including Julianna Margulies, who failed to pick up a nod for her turn in “The Good Wife,” and “Two and a Half Men” actor Jon Cryer. “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini, who

died in June aged 51, and late “Glee” actor Cory Monteith will be remembered among others who passed away this year, in the show’s “In Memoriam” segment. The show will also mark the 50th anniversary of two key historical events: president John F Kennedy’s assassination and the Beatles’ appearance on the “Ed Sullivan Show.” — AP

Jolie’s ‘Unbroken’ casts Hedlund as Zamperini’s fellow POW

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arrett Hedlund is nearing a deal to join the cast of Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken,” anindividual familiar with the Universal Pictures project has told TheWrap. Jack O’Connell (“300: Rise of an Empire”) stars as Louis Zamperini, an American track star who survived a plane crash and a harrowing oceanic ordeal only to become a POW in a Japanese prison camp during WWII. Domhnall Gleeson and Finn Wittrock co-star as men who wind up stranded at sea with Zamperini on a life raft for 28 days when their plane is gunned down. Hedlund will play a fellow prisoner at the camp where Zamperini is being held captive. Jolie is producing with Matthew Baer, Erwin Stoff and Clayton Townsend, while Mick Garris will executive produce. Joel and Ethan Coen did the latest pass on the script, earlier drafts of which were written by William Nicholson and Richard LaGravenese. The film is based on the bestselling book by “Seabiscuit” author Laura Hillenbrand. Universal execs Kristin Lowe and Sara Scott are overseeing “Unbroken” for the studio, whose Donna Langley and Peter Cramer championed the long-gestating project. Universal has had Zamperini’s life rights since 1957. Production starts this fall, as the

Angelina Jolie Zamperini tale runs into theaters on Christmas Day 2014 alongside musicals “Into the Woods” and “Annie.” Hedlund, who will soon be seen in the Coen brothers’ folk music tale “Inside Llewyn Davis,” is currently filming William Monahan’s thriller “Mojave.” He’s repped by WME. Hedlund’s casting was first reported by Variety.


Lifestyle FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Chili Peppers, 2 Chainz

Jackman

to be honored at Spain’s San Sebastian film festival

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ustralian actor Hugh Jackman will receive a lifetime achievement award at the San Sebastian film festival which gets underway today in Spain with 13 movies in competition for the best film award. The 44-year-old “Wolverine” and “X-Men” star will collect the festival’s Donostia award — the Basque name for the coastal city San Sebastian-on September 27, the penultimate day of the nineday festival, just before his latest film “Prisoners” is screened out of competition. Directed by Canada’s Denis Villeneuve the movie tells the story of a distraught father, played by Jackman, who holds captive the troubled young man he believes kidnapped his six-year-old daughter. Spanish actress Carmen Maura, best known for her starring role in Oscar-winning director Pedro Almodovar’s “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”, will also receive a lifetime achievement award at the festival, the oldest and most prestigious event of its kind in the Spanish speaking world. Past recipients of the award include Meryl Streep, Richard Gere, Ian McKellen and Robert De Niro. In the race for the festiHugh Jackman attends val’s Golden Shell award for best film is Canadian director Atom the premiere of Egoyan’s “Devil’s Knot” about a Warner Bros Pictures’ private investigator played by ‘Prisoners’ at the Colin Firth whose detective work Academy of Motion helps get three men who had Picture Arts and been convicted of murder Sciences in Beverly Hills, California. —AFP released from prison in Arkansas. Firth, who won the Oscar for best actor in 2011 for his role in “The King’s Speech”, also stars in another movie in competition at the festival, Australian director Jonathan Teplitzky’s “The Railway Man” about a British train enthusiast profoundly damaged by his experience as a prisoner of war. British director Roger Michell’s “Le Weekend”, about a long-married couple who revisit Paris for the first time since their honeymoon in an attempt to revitalise their marriage, and French director Bertrand Tavernier’s “Quai d’Orsay”, a political satire about a dashing French foreign minister whose charm masks his incompetence, are also in the run. “In the official selection we tried to have all types of movies, radical movies, commercial movies,” said festival director Jose Luis Rebordinos. US director and screenwriter Todd Haynes, whose films include the Oscar-nominated “Far From Heaven” and “The Karen Carpenter Story”, will chair the jury of the 61th edition of the film festival. —AFP

List of films in competition “Canibal” by Manuel Martin Cuenca (Spain-RomaniaRussia-France) “Club Sandwich” by Fernando Eimbcke (Mexico) “Devil’s Knot” by Atom Egoyan (USA) “Enemy” by Denis Villeneuve (Spain-Canada) “For those who can tell no tales” by Jasmila Zbanic (Bosnia-Herzegovina) “La Herida” by Fernando Franco (Spain) “Mon Ame Par Toi Guerie” by Francois Dupeyron (France) “Oktober November” by Gotz Spielmann (Austria) “Pelo Malo” by Mariana Rondon (Venezuela-PeruGermany) “Quai d’Orsay” by Bertrand Tavernier (France) “The Railway Man” by Jonathan Teplitzky (BritainAustralia) “Vivir Es Facil Con Los Ojos Cerrados” by David Trueba (Spain) “Le Weekend” by Roger Michell (Britain)—AFP

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headline Music Midtown

magine Dragon’s Wayne “Wing” Sermon remembered hearing all the childhood stories drummer Daniel Platzman used to tell about the Music Midtown Festival. “He made it seem like an epic thing,” said Sermon, the guitarist of the four-man rock group. They’re among 22 acts that will perform at the two-day festival, which kicks off in Piedmont Park in downtown Atlanta today. “It’s kind of where (Platzman) fell in love with live music,” Sermon said. “It was always one of his ambitions to play there. With all the people performing, it’s going to be ridiculous. I definitely can’t wait.” Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix, Kendrick Lamar, Journey, 2 Chainz and Weezer are some of the top acts at the festival, which drew more than 90,000 people last year. This year’s performances will take place on three different stages. Sermon is looking forward to checking out and meeting a few of the other acts, especially the Red Hot Chili Peppers one of his favorite bands. “I might have to break through security to get to them,” he said. “They’re one of my idols. I grew up listening to them from the early days. They’re very influential to me and the band. They are legends.” Ryan Merchant, singer of indie pop duo Capital Cities, said he is hoping to join the crowd as a spectator after the group’s tomorrow afternoon performance. “I think people believe it’s better to go backstage or see the bands from the side of the stage,” Merchant said. “But the reality is that it sounds crappy from there. It’s more fun to watch the show out in the crowd in front of the speakers.” Music Midtown, which was first held in 1994, drew as many as 300,000 people over a spring weekend as a threeday festival. For 12 straight years, three stages stretched through several blocks. But Peter Conlon, co-founder of the event with Alex Cooley, decided to cancel the 2006 festival because the event became too expensive. He also said the rain each day put a damper on the festival, which was held in

File photo shows 2 Chainz performs on day 1 of the 2013 Budweiser Made in America Festival in Philadelphia. — AP what he called a “congested area” behind the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center. At the time, Music Midtown became too much of a hassle. “It just didn’t make any sense,” said Conlon, who is also the president of Live Nation Atlanta. “I didn’t feel the urge or need to do it any time soon. People were asking me when I was going to bring it back. But they just didn’t understand the issues.” In time, the festival was resurrected. Conlon said the support of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and the newfound location at Piedmont Park helped convince him to bring the event back in 2011. Since the festival’s return, Coldplay, Foo Fighters, T.I., Black Keys, Ludacris and Pearl Jam have performed. Conlon doesn’t foresee Music Midtown going back on a hiatus any time soon. “I want this to go on for a longtime,” he said. “I hope this becomes the annual festival that is associated with Atlanta.” — AP

This publicity image released by Disney-Pixar shows Arlo, a 70-foot-tall teenage Apatosaurus, and a young human boy named Spot in a concept art image for ‘The Good Dinosaur.’ —AP

Disney bumps ‘Good Dinosaur,’ no 2014 Pixar movie

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alt Disney Pictures has pushed the release date of the Pixar film “The Good Dinosaur” to November 2015, leaving the Pixar cupboard bare for next year. The 3-D film had been planned to hit theaters in May before Disney’s announcement Wednesday. It means that 2014 will be the first year since 2005 to go without a new Pixar movie.

“The Good Dinosaur” imagines a world if dinosaurs never became extinct. The production has been rocky, with director Bob Peterson exiting the film last month. A replacement hasn’t been named. Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” sequel, “Finding Dory,” has been pushed from November 2015 to June 2016. Planned for summer 2015 is “Inside Out,” a film set inside a young girl’s brain.

Weinstein Co to develop JD Salinger feature film

H This image released by The Weinstein Company shows author J.D. Salinger, left, after the Normandy invasion with his fellow counterintelligence officers from the film ‘Salinger.’ —AP

arvey Weinstein is developing a feature film about JD Salinger to follow a recently released documentary. The Weinstein Co said Wednesday the biopic will focus on the author’s life between his World War II service and the publication of “The Catcher in the Rye” in 1951 and will examine “the effects war can have on an artist.” The film will be written by Shane Salerno, whose documentary “Salinger” opened in limited release Sept 6. Salerno spent years researching the reclusive author for the documentary and a recently published 700-page book, coauthored with David Shields. —AP


Lifestyle FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Harris, Crowell win 2 trophies at Americana Awards

T

he power of two voices raised in harmony was on display Wednesday night at the Americana Music Honors & Awards as Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell and the husband-wife duo Shovels & Rope earned top honors. Each duo won two awards during the annual roots rock celebration at Ryman Auditorium. Old friends Harris and Crowell won album of the year for their

Actor and comedian Ed Helms, center, joins the Old Crow Medicine Show after presenting them the trailblazer award.

Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell accept the award for duo/group of the year during the Americana Honors and Awards show on Wednesday. — AP photos

US court revives lawsuit over Bob Marley recordings

A

US appeals court Wednesday revived legal action between music giant Universal and a small media company over rights to distribute remixes of early recordings by reggae icon Bob Marley. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California ruled that a previouslydismissed lawsuit can go to trial over the Marley and the Wailers tracks, recorded before the music legend signed with Universal’s Island Records in 1972. Universal Music had persuaded a lower court in Los Angeles to dismiss the lawsuit brought by Rock River Communications over a 2006 contract with a third company, for an album entitled “Roots, Rock, Remixed.” But a three-judge panel on the appeals court ruled Wednesday that Universal must prove that it did not try to block the smaller company from distributing remixes of 16 Marley songs. Rock River claimed it legally licensed the tracks, recorded between 1969-1972, before Marley signed with Island Records from New Jersey-based San Juan Music. The Pasadena, Californiabased appeals court noted that when Marley recorded in Jamaica in the early years, “record keeping was not a primary concern” saying that for decades there was “confusion in the marketplace as to which entities own licensing rights for these recordings.” Universal could not have the case summarily dismissed “based on the holes in Rock River’s claim to a valid license when the validity of UMG’s own licensing rights is equally spotty,” the court ruled, sending the case back to a lower court for trial. Marley, hailed as Third World’s first pop superstar with global hits including “No Woman, No Cry,” “One Love” and “Stir it Up,” died from cancer at the age of 36 on May 11 1981. —AFP

collaboration “Old Yellow Moon,” and duo-group of the year. And Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent of Shovels & Rope won song of the year for “Birmingham” and emerging artist of the year. “Old Yellow Moon” was the most recent collaboration in a 40-year friendship between Crowell and Harris, who met in the mid-1970s when Crowell wrote songs for the Country Music Hall of Fame member and joined her band. “Rodney and I, maybe we’re just arrogant, but we feel like we were Americana before it got a name,” Harris told the crowd. First-time nominees Hearst and Trent, from Charleston, South Carolina, performed “Birmingham” for the crowd, and later seemed stunned by their win - which came over The Lumineers’ omnipresent hit “Ho Hey.” “Whoooaaa,” Trent said before thanking his parents for making the trip down from Michigan. “Our minds are blown,” Hearst said. “The mind that we share has exploded.” Dwight Yoakam, whose album “3 Pears” was heralded in the roots music community, won top honor artist of the year. And multiinstrumentalist Larry Campbell was

Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell perform. named instrumentalist of the year. Old Crow Medicine Show won the Trailblazer Award a day after being inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. Stephen Stills received the Spirit of Americana Freedom of Speech award. The Americana Music Association honored Duane Eddy, Dr. John, songwriter

Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent of the duo Shovels & Rope accept the award for Song of the Year. Robert Hunter and Arhoolie Records founder Chris Strachwitz with lifetime achievement awards. The AMA also recognized Hank Williams with the President’s Award, which was accepted by Williams’ daughter, Jett Williams, and his granddaughter, Holly Williams. “Hank would have been 90 yesterday and it was just bizarre sitting here in an empty Ryman during soundcheck and singing his songs so many years later,” Holly Williams told the crowd. — AP Holly Williams, granddaughter of Hank Williams Sr, accepts the president’s award on behalf of her late grandfather.


Lifestyle FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Fendi’s Lagerfeld shows off in

F

Milan

endi’s Karl Lagerfeld offered a palette of shades from pastel to fluorescent yesterday in his latest collection at Milan Fashion Week, with designs inspired by computer chip geometry. The keyword for the spring/summer 2014 show was layering of fabric, each layer with subtly different shades, making the dresses look something like the strips of color handed out at a paint shop. Skirts and a cocktail dress of mirrored glass sparkled in the spotlight like disco balls, the hard

edges softened by the use of velvet for blouses. Lagerfeld said in a note that he had been inspired by the “visual web communication world” and the angular patterns used bore a resemblance to an integrated electronic circuit. “The collection is a kind of easy ‘Dreamwear’”, he said, its otherworldly nature enhanced at the catwalk show by the models wearing identical black wigs and walking almost robotically as if on a factory production belt. — AFP

Models wear creations for Fendi women’s Spring-Summer 2014 collection, part of the Milan Fashion Week, unveiled in Milan, Italy yesterday. —AFP photos

Just Cavalli


Lifestyle FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Blugirl

Just Cavalli


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Kuwait

SHARQIA-1 PRISONERS (DIG) PRISONERS (DIG) PRISONERS (DIG) PRISONERS (DIG) GETAWAY (DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED SHARQIA-2 PLANES (DIG-3D) BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG-3D) PLANES (DIG-3D) BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG-3D) GETAWAY (DIG) GETAWAY (DIG) SHARQIA-3 MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) 2 GUNS (DIG) THE COLONY (DIG) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED MUHALAB-1 MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) RIDDICK (DIG) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) THE COLONY (DIG) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG)

1:00 PM 4:00 PM 7:00 PM 10:00 PM 1:00 AM

12:45 PM 2:45 PM 5:00 PM 7:15 PM 9:30 PM 11:30 PM

1:30 PM 3:45 PM 6:00 PM 8:00 PM 10:15 PM 12:30 AM

12:45 PM 3:00 PM 5:15 PM 7:30 PM 9:30 PM

MUHALAB-2 BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG) PRISONERS (DIG) PRISONERS (DIG) PRISONERS (DIG)

1:00 PM 3:15 PM 6:15 PM 9:15 PM

MUHALAB-3 PLANES (DIG-3D) PLANES (DIG) BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG-3D) GETAWAY (DIG) GETAWAY (DIG)

1:45 PM 3:45 PM 5:45 PM 8:00 PM 10:00 PM

FANAR-1 BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG) RIDDICK (DIG) BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG) BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED FANAR-2 PRISONERS (DIG) PRISONERS (DIG) PRISONERS (DIG) PRISONERS (DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED FANAR-3 2 GUNS (DIG) TOM & JIMMY (DIG)(ARABIC) THE COLONY (DIG) YOU’RE NEXT (DIG) TOM & JIMMY (DIG)(ARABIC) 2 GUNS (DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED MARINA-1 PRISONERS (DIG) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) TOM & JIMMY (DIG)(ARABIC) THE COLONY (DIG) YOU’RE NEXT (DIG) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED MARINA-2 PRISONERS (DIG)

12:30 PM 2:45 PM 5:00 PM 7:15 PM 9:30 PM 11:45 PM

2:15 PM 5:15 PM 8:15 PM 11:15 PM

12:45 PM 3:15 PM 5:30 PM 7:30 PM 9:45 PM 12:05 AM

12:30 PM 3:30 PM 5:45 PM 8:00 PM 10:00 PM 12:05 AM

1:45 PM

CHANGE OF NAME

KNCC PROGRAMME FROM THURSDAY TO WEDNESDAY (19/09/2013 TO 25/09/2013) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) PRISONERS (DIG) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) PRISONERS (DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED

4:45 PM 7:15 PM 10:15 PM 12:30 AM

MARINA-3 BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG-3D) PLANES (DIG-3D) PLANES (DIG-3D) BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG-3D) GETAWAY (DIG) GETAWAY (DIG) GETAWAY (DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED

12:45 PM 3:00 PM 5:00 PM 7:00 PM 9:15 PM 11:15 PM 1:15 AM

AVENUES-1 THE COLONY (DIG) THE COLONY (DIG) THE COLONY (DIG) WISH YOU WERE HERE (DIG) THE COLONY (DIG) THE COLONY (DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED

1:00 PM 3:15 PM 5:30 PM 7:45 PM 10:00 PM 12:15 AM

AVENUES-2 2 GUNS (DIG) YOU’RE NEXT (DIG) 2 GUNS (DIG) YOU’RE NEXT (DIG) 2 GUNS (DIG) AVENUES-3 BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG-3D) BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG-3D) BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG) BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG-3D) BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG-3D) BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED

2:15 PM 4:30 PM 6:45 PM 9:00 PM 11:15 PM

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

360º- 1 MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED

12:45 PM 3:00 PM 5:15 PM 7:30 PM 9:45 PM 12:05 AM

360º- 2 THE COLONY (DIG) THE COLONY (DIG) WE’RE THE MILLERS (DIG) THE COLONY (DIG) THE COLONY (DIG) THE COLONY (DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED

2:00 PM 4:15 PM 6:30 PM 8:45 PM 11:00 PM 1:15 AM

MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) YOU’RE NEXT (DIG) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED AL-KOUT.3 PRISONERS (DIG) PRISONERS (DIG) PRISONERS (DIG) PRISONERS (DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED

8:15 PM 10:30 PM 12:30 AM

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

2:30 PM 5:30 PM 8:30 PM 11:30 PM

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

SITUATION VACANT

AL-KOUT.4 BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG) 2 GUNS (DIG) BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG) TOM & JIMMY (DIG)(ARABIC) RIDDICK (DIG) 2 GUNS (DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED

12:30 PM 2:45 PM 5:00 PM 7:15 PM 9:30 PM 11:45 PM

BAIRAQ-1 PLANES (DIG-3D) PLANES (DIG-3D) BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG-3D) PLANES (DIG-3D) GETAWAY (DIG) GETAWAY (DIG) GETAWAY (DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED

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

BAIRAQ-2 THE SMURFS 2 (DIG) PRISONERS (DIG) PRISONERS (DIG) PRISONERS (DIG) PRISONERS (DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED

1:15 PM 3:30 PM 6:30 PM 9:30 PM 12:30 AM

BAIRAQ-3 BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED

2:15 PM 4:45 PM 7:00 PM 9:15 PM 11:30 PM

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

Prayer timings

PLAZA GETAWAY (DIG) PHATA POSTER NIKLA HERO (DIG) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG)

5:30 PM 7:30 PM 10:30 PM

LAILA MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) GETAWAY (DIG) PRISONERS (DIG)

6:00 PM 8:15 PM 10:15 PM

AJIAL.1 PHATA POSTER NIKLA HERO (DIG) PHATA POSTER NIKLA HERO (DIG)

6:30 PM 9:30 PM

AJIAL.2 YA YA (DIG) (TAMIL) YA YA (DIG) (TAMIL)

6:45 PM 9:45 PM

360º- 3 2 GUNS (DIG) 2 GUNS (DIG) ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US 2 GUNS (DIG) 2 GUNS (DIG) PRISONERS (DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED

1:00 PM 3:15 PM 5:30 PM 7:45 PM 10:00 PM 12:15 AM

AL-KOUT.1 PLANES (DIG-3D) PLANES (DIG) GETAWAY (DIG) BATTLE OF THE YEAR (DIG-3D) GETAWAY (DIG) GETAWAY (DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED

1:45 PM 3:45 PM 5:45 PM 7:45 PM 10:00 PM 12:05 AM

AJIAL.4 PRISONERS (DIG) PRISONERS (DIG)

7:00 PM 10:00 PM

METRO-1 MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) CHENNAI EXPRESS (DIG) (HINDI) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG)

5:30 PM 7:45 PM 10:45 PM

2:00 PM 4:00 PM 6:15 PM

METRO-2 YA YA (DIG) (TAMIL) 6:30 PM PULLIPULIKALUM AATTINKUTTIYUM 9:30 PM

AL-KOUT.2 THE COLONY (DIG) MALAVITA (THE FAMILY)(DIG) THE COLONY (DIG)

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TUITION

AJIAL.3 PULLIPULIKALUM AATTINKUTTIYUM 6:15 PM CHENNAI EXPRESS (DIG) (HINDI) 9:15 PM

Fajr: Shorook Duhr: Asr: Maghrib: Isha:

04:15 05:35 11:42 15:10 17:48 19:05

Hospitals Sabah Hospital Amiri Hospital Maternity Hospital Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital Chest Hospital Farwaniya Hospital Adan Hospital Ibn Sina Hospital Al-Razi Hospital Physiotherapy Hospital

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Clinics Rabiya Rawdha Adailiya Khaldiya Khaifan Shamiya Shuwaikh Abdullah Salim Al-Nuzha Industrial Shuwaikh Al-Qadisiya Dasmah Bneid Al-Ghar Al-Shaab Al-Kibla Ayoun Al-Kibla Mirqab Sharq Salmiya Jabriya Maidan Hawally Bayan

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Pets FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Aging urban chickens get a second life as pets A

s the urban chicken fad grows up, so do the chickens. And that has become a snag for some urban farmers who jumped on the bandwagon for their own supply of fresh eggs: Most hens lay eggs regularly for only two or three years. So what happens to those urban chickens that have become almost part of the family once they’re past their prime laying years? Yes, some get eaten. But others get traded to other farmers, who may end up doing the eating. “I cannot eat anything that I’ve made eye contact with,” said Teresa Kelly, a Roeland Park, Kan, council member who advocated for an ordinance allowing backyard chickens in her city almost three years ago. “I wouldn’t dream of eating one of my own chickens.” And some chickens hang around as pets. In fact, Susie Arnold says they make great pets. Arnold raises chickens in her backyard in southeastern Kansas City, Mo, and chickens have been part of her life since she was a little girl raising them with her parents in Merriam, Kan. She even brings her hens to her weeklong summer school class, “Are You Chicken?” at Pembroke Hill School. The half-day class introduces chickens to kindergarten and first-grade students. “Chickens do have personalities like all animals do,” Arnold said. Some chickens are smart pets, and some, well, not so much. But that’s just like cats, dogs or other more typical pets, said Katie Nixon, a small-farms specialist with Lincoln University’s Cooperative Extension program. She has even seen chickens that come when you call their names. “It depends on the chicken, but they can be quite good pets,” Nixon said. Kelly said she has considered her hens as pets, too. She still has pictures of her sons holding their barred rock hen, Phat, who was one of her first chickens. After Phat died, Kelly and her family put some of Phat’s feathers in a glass Christmas ornament with a little red ribbon. “We still have Phat feathers on our Christmas tree every year,” she said, laughing. Different rules govern backyard hens in different areas, and some municipalities don’t allow them at all. But on Thursday night, the Lee’s Summit, Mo, City Council narrowly approved a revised ordinance that will allow residents to house six hens 10 feet from a property line and 40 feet from another structure. In Roeland Park, urban farmers can have six hens after applying for a $100 special use permit. In Kansas City, the ordinance allows up to 15 chickens, but they must be housed 100 feet from any other properties. But in many cities you can’t (legally) keep chickens at all. Nationwide, the trend is growing. And in some spots around the country, animal shelters are dealing with more chickens that people either

don’t want or can no longer care for. But local shelters, like the KC Pet Project and the Great Plains SPCA, haven’t seen an increase in the number of hens they’re asked to place in new homes. “If you’re going to get any animals, it doesn’t matter if it’s a goldfish, you have a responsibility to take care of it,” said Sheri McNeil, a Roeland Park council member and chicken owner. McNeil’s chickens were the original spark behind creating Roeland Park’s chicken ordinance. Since it passed, McNeil and Kelly have worked with City Hens in Roeland Park, or CHIRP, to educate residents interested in raising hens. From their experience, the folks who are raising chickens know what they’re getting themselves into. “People aren’t being impulsive about getting chickens,” Kelly said. “They’re being practical and thinking through the responsibility.” That includes taking care of sick or injured chickens, and that’s where avian veterinarian Julie Burge comes in. Burge works with exotic birds, but she has recently taken on treating local chickens. Ten years ago, her office and rescue would get almost no chicken-related calls, and it wasn’t unheard of to go a year without seeing a single chicken. Now Burge gets a couple of chicken-related calls a month, she said. But as the backyard hens fad grows up, she thinks she’ll be seeing more and more poultry patients. “Call me a couple years from now, and I’ll probably be running a new chicken adoption service,” she said. — MCT


Stars

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Sometimes a little indulgence has value far beyond its price, Aries. A bubble bath in the middle of the day, a luxurious hour spent browsing in a bookstore, a special outfit you've wanted for a long time - these are a few of the ways you could perk up your spirits. Why not? You could use a boost.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

You feel as though you've turned a financial and professional corner, Taurus. Recent accomplishments have you feeling energized and on top of the world! You exude confidence. It's a good feeling, isn't it? Members of the opposite sex are especially attracted to you right now. And who could blame them? You're looking great!

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Who knew you were so talented, Gemini? A creation done long ago suddenly takes on a life of its own. A short story written and submitted long ago is pulled from the bottom of the slush pile. Or a portrait you painted gets a second admiring look. Whatever the circumstances, you enjoy the recognition. Your work isn't the only thing receiving admiring glances. Your partner appreciates you, too!

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Loving care is prescribed for someone in your family, Cancer. Offer a bowl of soup and some tea, but beyond that try and stay out of the way. Sometimes uninterrupted quiet is the best cure of all. You could use a bit of this yourself. Why not curl up with a good book? Even if it's the middle of the day, draw the shades and pretend it's night.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

There's tension in the air, Leo, but there's little you can do about it. The harsh atmosphere is in stark contrast to the frivolity you felt over the last several days. It seems you received some good news. Perhaps you were finally recognized for your hard work? Don't brag about your accomplishments. It would only exacerbate the situation. Be patient. Avoid confrontation.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

You might be in a financial jam right now, Virgo. The stress of the situation has you considering some radical solutions. Would it really benefit your family if you took a second job? Confide in a friend and see if he or she can help you find a more agreeable solution. Perhaps a relative could give you a lowinterest loan.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

Don't spread the good news too quickly, Libra. As exciting as it is, nothing is confirmed yet. Keep the information under your hat until plane reservations have been made or you have the job offer in writing. Whatever the good news is, it's exactly what the doctor prescribed to give your self-confidence a boost.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

If you receive a financial windfall, spend it wisely, Scorpio. Your tendency might be to buy gifts or treat a crowd to a lavish night on the town. But where is the enduring value? Invested carefully, a small chunk of money can grow into a much larger one, which will give you many more options. Be prudent.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

You're energetic and enthusiastic today, Sagittarius, and those around you respond favorably. It seems everyone wants to be in your orbit. Work at home and the office goes quickly and smoothly. Because you have so much energy, why not take on a new project? Normally this would send you over the edge, but today you feel you could take on anything. Go for it.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

There's tension all around you, so you'll be happiest spending as much time by yourself as possible, Capricorn. If you must interact with people, keep your communication clear and concise. There's room for misunderstanding, which could result in a major blowup over a minor event. It simply isn't worth the trouble being with people today. Seclusion is the only place where you'll find peace.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18)

You're ready for a change, Aquarius, there's no doubt about it. As you grow older your interests broaden, and you're considering pursuing some of these new interests in earnest. Perhaps school beckons, or some adult education courses. You're ready to make a new place for yourself in the world. Go ahead and get started!

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

You've never looked better, Pisces. Your partner notices, too, and showers you with extra affection and perhaps even an unexpected gift. This should put a smile on your face! At work, you may be given responsibilities beyond your usual job. Take care to do this special assignment well. If you do, other advancements are likely to follow.

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

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


Stars

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Word Search

Yesterdayʼs Solution

C R O S S W O R D 3 1 6

ACROSS 1. A user interface in which you type commands instead of choosing them from a menu or selecting an icon. 4. Type genus of the Ascaphidae. 12. Fermented alcoholic beverage similar to but heavier than beer. 15. A widely distributed system consisting of all the cells able to ingest bacteria or colloidal particles etc, except for certain white blood cells. 16. Small genus of Asian trees or shrubs. 17. A boy or man. 18. The sense organ for hearing and equilibrium. 19. Cooking in fat or oil in a pan or griddle. 20. Well grounded in logic or truth or having legal force. 22. An implement used to erase something. 24. A soft yellow malleable ductile (trivalent and univalent) metallic element. 25. Small tropical American tree bearing edible plumlike fruit. 26. A small flat triangular bone in front of the knee that protects the knee joint. 28. Preliminary drawing for later elaboration. 31. Club consisting of a heavy stick (often bamboo) bound with iron. 32. (botany) Of or relating to the axil. 35. Characteristic of false pride. 37. A heavy odorless colorless gas formed during respiration and by the decomposition of organic substances. 39. A porch along the outside of a building (sometimes partly enclosed). 41. A Russian river. 43. A soft white precious univalent metallic element having the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. 44. Not divisible by two. 45. The 12th letter of the Hebrew alphabet. 48. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 51. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 52. A light strong brittle gray toxic bivalent metallic element. 53. A young child. 55. A Loloish language. 57. A Russian river. 60. A nation in northern North America. 61. The birds of a particular region or period. 64. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 65. The capacitance of a capacitor that has an equal and opposite charge of 1 coulomb on each plate and a voltage difference of 1 volt between the plates. 67. Made from residue of grapes or apples after pressing. 69. A Hindu prince or king in India. 73. The sixth month of the civil year. 77. The act of slowing down or falling behind. 78. Type genus of the Majidae. 79. A tricycle (usually propelled by pedalling). 80. A sudden loss of consciousness resulting when the rupture or occlusion of a blood vessel leads to oxygen lack in the brain. 81. Mild yellow Dutch cheese made in balls. 82. The great hall in ancient Persian palaces. 83. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine.

Daily SuDoku

DOWN 1. A natural stream of water smaller than a river (and often a tributary of a river). 2. Acquire or gain knowledge or skills. 3. Of or relating to or characteristic of Israel or its people. 4. The conscious subjective aspect of feeling or emotion v 1. 5. Formerly a contemptuous term of address to an inferior man or boy. 6. A loud utterance. 7. Type genus of the Amiidae. 8. Type genus of the Pinaceae. 9. An ugly evil-looking old woman. 10. An organization of independent states to promote international peace and security. 11. An important god. 12. Muslim name for God. 13. Concerning those not members of the clergy. 14. Edible starchy tuberous root of taro plants. 21. The capital and largest city of Ghana with a deep-water port. 23. A meeting of spiritualists. 27. A linear unit (1/6 inch) used in printing. 29. (Polynesian) An alcoholic drink made from the aromatic roots of the kava shrub. 30. Resembling or characteristic of or appropriate to an elegy. 33. A number that is added to another number (the augend). 34. A member of an agricultural people of southern India. 36. Having the wind against the forward side of the sails. 38. South American wood sorrel cultivated for its edible tubers. 40. A water wheel with buckets attached to the rim. 42. A support that consists of a horizontal surface for holding objects. 46. A great raja. 47. A logarithmic unit of sound intensity. 49. A weak soluble dibasic acid (the parent acid of cyanamide salts). 50. Relating to or near the ulna. 54. A unit of absorbed ionizing radiation equal to 100 ergs per gram of irradiated material. 56. Evergreen Indian shrub with vivid yellow flowers whose bark is used in tanning. 58. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 59. Guinea fowl. 62. A state in the Rocky Mountains. 63. Any of several tall tropical palms native to southeastern Asia having eggshaped nuts. 66. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 68. A capacity unit used for measuring fresh herring. 70. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 71. An island in Indonesia south of Borneo. 72. Any culture medium that uses agar as the gelling agent. 74. An accountant certified by the state. 75. (informal) Informed about the latest trends. 76. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth.

Yesterdayʼs Solution

Yesterday’s Solution


Sports FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Tampa Bay take over AL top spot ST PETERSBURG: Desmond Jennings had an RBI single in the 12th inning and Tampa Bay took over the top spot in the American League wild-card playoff race by beating Texas 4-3 on Wednesday. Texas has a half-game lead over Cleveland, which lost at Kansas City, for the second wild card. Jose Lobaton opened the 12th with a single off Joseph Ortiz (2-2) and pinchrunner Sam Fuld went to second on Yunel Escobar’s bunt. Fuld scored on Jennings’ hit to right center. Brandon Gomes (2-1) struck out Ian Kinsler with runners on second and third with two outs in the top of the 12th for the Rays, who have won two of the first three games of the four-game series. Texas took a 3-2 lead in the 11th when Elvis Andrus scored from first base on Adrian Beltre’s two-out single. The Rays tied it on David DeJesus’ RBI single in the bottom of the inning as Matt Joyce drew a two-out walk from Rangers closer Joe Nathan and pinch-runner Freddy Guzman stole second and scored on DeJesus’ single. It was Nathan’s third blown save in 42 chances this season. Sean Rodriguez, who had just two hits in his previous 16 at-bats against Rangers’ starter Derek Holland, tied it at 2-all in the sixth with a two-run homer off the left-hander. ORIOLES 5, RED SOX 3, 12 innings Davis hit a tiebreaking two-run single with two outs in the 12th inning to lift Baltimore. Matt Wieters had two RBI doubles for Baltimore, which closed to within one game of Texas for the AL’s second wild-card spot in the playoffs. The Rangers lost 4-3 in 12 innings to the wild card-leading Rays. TJ McFarland (2-1) worked the 11th for the win and Jim Johnson got the final three outs for his AL-leading 47th save. The Orioles played their 114th errorless game, surpassing the 2008 Houston Astros for Major

League Baseball’s most since 1900. JJ Hardy and Brian Roberts had consecutive one-out singles and both advanced on a wild pitch by Franklin Morales (2-2). After pinch-hitter Steve Pearce was intentionally walked, Manny Machado fouled out before Davis’ grounded one up the middle into center field. Boston had runners on first and second with one out in the 11th, but Stephen Drew grounded into a double play. David Ortiz hit his 28th home run - a two-run shot - and Mike Naploi added a solo homer for the Red Sox. ROYALS 7, INDIANS 2 Bruce Chen worked five innings and Salvador Perez doubled home two runs for Kansas City. Cleveland is a half-game behind in the AL wildcard playoff race while the Royals are 21/2 games back. Chen was pulled in the sixth after giving up a single to Michael Bourn and walking Nick Swisher to lead off the inning. Francisley Bueno replaced Chen and recorded two outs with three pitches. Royals relievers Tim Collins, Will Smith and Greg Holland preserved the lead, allowing just one hit. The Royals broke the game open with three runs off four Indians pitchers in the eighth. Alcides Escobar had a two-run single, while Jarrod Dyson walked with the bases loaded. Rookie Danny Salazar (1-3), who had allowed just one run in 13 2-3 innings in his first three September starts, took the loss, giving up four runs and six hits in six innings. ANGELS 5, ATHLETICS 4, 11 innings Josh Hamilton hit a tying two-run homer in the ninth inning, then put the Angels ahead with a sacrifice fly in the 11th. Hamilton connected against Grant Balfour, who blew his third save of the season. Jesse Chavez (2-4) was the loser. Mike Trout added a two-run home run for the Angels, who won for the fourth time in five

games. Coco Crisp and Yoenis Cespedes each hit two-run home runs for the A’s, who lost for the third time in 12 games. They entered Wednesday with a six-game lead over Texas in the AL West division. Juan Gutierrez (1-4) pitched the 10th for the win. Ernesto Frieri worked the 11th for his 35th save in 39 chances. TWINS 4, WHITE SOX 3 Scott Diamond pitched into the seventh inning for his first win since June as Minnesota avoided a three-game sweep. Diamond (6-11) allowed three runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings to earn his first MLB win since June 20 against the White Sox. Since then, he was 0-5 with a 6.20 ERA in eight starts. Minnesota had scored four runs during the first two games of the series, but matched that in the first two innings, scoring once in the first and three times in the second against John Danks (4-14). Oswaldo Arcia, Chris Colabello, Eric Fryer and Brian Dozier drove in runs that helped the Twins win for the second time in eight games. Glen Perkins pitched a scoreless ninth for his 36th save in 40 tries, ending the White Sox’s five-game winning streak against the Twins. YANKEES 4, BLUE JAYS 3 Vernon Wells had a go-ahead two-run double in the eighth inning and Mariano Rivera earned a four-out save as New York rallied from three runs down to end a four-game skid. Robinson Cano drove in the Yankees’ first run in this three-game series with a one-out single in the eighth. Alfonso Soriano followed with an RBI double, helping New York avoid falling farther behind in the AL wild-card playoff race. New York entered 31/2 games behind Tampa Bay and Texas for the second wild card. David Huff (3-1) pitched 3 2-3 innings of relief to earn the win. Colby Rasmus homered for the fourth

straight game and Ryan Goins hit his first career homer but the Blue Jays couldn’t hold on to a 30 lead, losing for the sixth time in eight games. MARINERS 8, TIGERS 0 Hisashi Iwakuma extended his scoreless innings streak on the road to 25 and Seattle’s Justin Smoak homered off Justin Verlander. Iwakuma (13-6) matched his career high going eight innings, giving up just four hits and one unintentional walk. His 25-inning scoreless streak on the road matches a franchise record. Verlander (13-11) allowed three runs, four hits, walked three and struck out six over seven innings. He was hoping to win consecutive starts for the first time in more than three months. The AL Central-leading Tigers had won three straight and six of seven to close in on their third straight division title. Iwakuma, who became an MLB All-Star this year in his second season, joined Randy Johnson (1994) and Brian Holman (1989) as Mariners who have thrown 25 straight scoreless innings on the road. INTERLEAGUE REDS 6, ASTROS 5, 13 innings Jay Bruce’s two-run double in the 13th inning put Cincinnati ahead for good. Rookie basestealing specialist Billy Hamilton got his first three career hits, had four steals and scored the go-ahead run in his first major league start. Hamilton walked to start the 13th and stole second before Shin-Soo Choo walked. They advanced on a wild pitch before Jorge De Leon (0-1) intentionally walked Joey Votto with one out. Bruce’s third double of the game made it 64. Alfredo Simon (6-4) pitched three scoreless innings for Cincinnati. Aroldis Chapman allowed a hit and a run in the 13th, but struck out Chris Carter to end the 5-hour, 18-minute game for his 37th save.—AP

Padres rally past reeling Pirates 3-2 PITTSBURGH: Logan Forsythe and Rene Rivera delivered consecutive RBI singles in the ninth inning off Pittsburgh closer Mark Melancon as the San Diego Padres rallied for a 3-2 victory in the National League on Wednesday. Forsythe’s single to right scored pinch-runner Andrew Cashner to tie it and Rivera’s hit brought home Chris Denorfia as the Padres sent the Pirates to their third straight loss. Pittsburgh fell two games behind St Louis, which beat Colorado 4-3, for first place in the NL Central division. But the Pirates still inched closer to clinching one of the wild-card playoff spots for their first postseason berth in 21 years when Atlanta beat Washington. Dale Thayer (3-5) picked up the win in relief. Huston Street pitched a perfect ninth for his 33rd save. Melancon (2-2), who inherited the closer’s role when All-Star Jason Grilli went out with a forearm injury in July, blew his third save of the season. DIAMONDBACKS 9, DODGERS 4 Paul Goldschmidt homered and the Arizona Diamondbacks blew the game open late to prevent Los Angeles from clinching the NL West division title. Goldschmidt’s opposite-field two-run shot off Stephen Fife (4-4) in the first inning moved him into the NL lead with 34 home runs. Yasiel Puig hit a solo home run for the Dodgers, who have lost five of six and get one more chance to clinch in Arizona in the series finale. The Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez was ejected after Michael Young was called

out at the plate in a close play in the sixth inning. Brandon McCarthy (5-9) went six-plus innings to get the victory. Arizona broke open a close game with five runs in the eighth.

hitter. Chatwood is rounding back into form after missing nearly a month with an inflamed right elbow. Ross Ohlendorf (4-1) allowed three runs over six innings.

BRAVES 5, NATIONALS 2 Justin Upton and Dan Uggla each homered in a three-run sixth inning as the Braves rallied past the Nationals to close in on the NL East division title. Brian McCann and Jordan Schafer also drove in runs as the Braves ended a three-game losing streak. Atlanta has not won the division since 2005, the last of 11 straight titles. Kameron Loe (1-2) got one out for the win. Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta’s seventh pitcher, rebounded from his loss Tuesday to record his 48th save. Denard Span extended his hitting streak to 29 straight, the longest in Major League Baseball this season.

MARLINS 4, PHILLIES 3, 10 INNINGS Ed Lucas homered in the 10th inning to lift the Marlins to a victory over the Phillies. The Phillies loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning but could not score after Roger Bernadina struck out and Freddy Galvis grounded out to end it. The homer was the fourth of the season for Lucas. Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton tied the game 3-all in the sixth inning with a two-run, homer to center field. Brad Hand (1-1) got the victory for pitching a scoreless ninth. Cesar Jimenez (1-1) was the loser as Miami ended its sevengame losing streak to Philadelphia.

CARDINALS 4, ROCKIES 3 Adam Wainwright pitched effectively into the eighth after a shaky start and helped himself at the plate with three hits as the Cardinals beat the Rockies to expand their lead in the NL Central division race. Wainwright (17-9) gave up two runs in the first and then found his groove to earn his 17th win, secondmost in the NL this season. He went 3 for 3 with a double and two RBIs to help the Cardinals stretch their lead to two games over Pittsburgh after the Pirates lost 3-2 loss to San Diego. Tyler Chatwood (7-5) allowed four runs in six innings before being lifted for a pinch

METS 5, GIANTS 4 Josh Satin hit a two-run single to cap a four-run rally in the ninth inning that sent the Mets past San Francisco. Shut down by Matt Cain for almost eight innings, the makeshift Mets lineup put together a surprising comeback. Pinchhitter Zach Lutz had an RBI double and Juan Centeno, making his major league debut, knocked in a run with a single off closer Sergio Romo (4-8). Satin had three RBIs, including a sacrifice fly against Cain in the eighth. Vic Black (20) pitched a perfect inning for the win. Gregor Blanco hit a two-run homer for San Francisco. —AP

PHOENIX: (From left to right) Adam Eaton #6, AJ Pollock #11 and Gerardo Parra #8 of the Arizona Diamondbacks leap together in celebration of their 9-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers during a MLB game at Chase Field on September 18, 2013 in Phoenix. — AFP


43

Sports FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Tiger targets sixth win to lock up the Player of Year Woods hunts for 11th Player of the Year award

ATLANTA: Tiger Woods heads into this week’s Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club with his sights set on a sixth victory of the season which, in all likelihood, would secure him PGA Tour Player of the Year honors. Though he has not claimed a major title since the 2008 US Open, the American world number one feels his 2013 campaign has been one of the most consistent of his career, having included two wins in the prestigious World Golf Championship events. The top seed in the FedExCup standings going into the PGA Tour season finale, Woods is one of just five players in the field of 30 who would automatically guarantee overall playoff honors and the $10 million bonus with victory this week. Each of the remaining 25 players has a mathematical chance of claiming both titles but would need several other scenarios to go his way. “I’m excited to be back here at East Lake,” Woods told reporters on Wednesday

before heading out for a practice session ahead of Thursday’s opening round. “The playoffs have been pretty successful. I’ve gotten to the No 1 spot coming into the Tour Championship and that’s kind of where I wanted to be, especially having the year I’ve had. “Winning five times this year has been pretty good, and to have the No 1 spot, just like the other four guys in the top five, we control our destiny. I’m looking forward to the week and getting started tomorrow.” Asked how much bearing the season-ending Tour Championship would have on the battle for Player of the Year honors, Woods replied: “This tournament has a lot of value to it. “There are guys who have won a couple of times but they’ve had major championships in there. I’ve won five times.” Woods’ main rivals for Player of the Year honors are Masters champion Adam Scott and British Open winner Phil Mickelson, who have both triumphed twice on the PGA Tour this

season. “This week has a lot to do with it,” said Woods, a 14-times major champion. “Up for grabs are the Player of the Year, the Arnold Palmer award (leading money winner), the Vardon Trophy (best scoring average) and all those things. “The Player of the Year award is something we hold dearly because it’s the respect of our peers. It’s pretty special. I’ve had my years over the course of my career, and hopefully this will be another one.” BEST SCORING AVERAGE Woods, who has the best scoring average this season with 68.87, has won PGA Tour Player of the Year honors 10 times and the Vardon Trophy on eight occasions. Asked whether he felt he had already done enough to secure the Player of the Year accolade with his five-win season, Woods smiled: “Well, I’d like to get a sixth win, how about that?” The American did not hesitate in his reply when

asked if he felt his 2013 campaign had been one of the most consistent of his career. “I think so,” Woods said. “I won some big events this year, two World Golf Championships, a Players (Championship) ... I think that’s been a pretty good year. “I’m excited the way I’ve put together my last couple of years, coming off the (assorted leg) injuries. A lot of people thought I would never win again, and here we are with some more wins.” Woods, FedExCup champion in 2007 and 2009, feels very comfortable heading into Thursday’s opening round at East Lake as a twice former winner of the Tour Championship. “I’ve had a good run here,” he said. “I’ve won twice and finished second four times. That’s not too bad over the course of my career here. “I have felt comfortable on this golf course. This week’s going to be interesting. We’re going to get some different weather coming in here, and obviously got to make the adjustments.” —Reuters

Haas once again: A long shot to win at East Lake ATLANTA: Bill Haas faces long odds in his bid for FedExCup playoff honors at this week’s season-ending Tour Championship but no one in the elite group of 30 players has better experience in knowing what is possible. Two years ago, the unassuming American came into this tournament ranked a lowly 25th in the points standings and yet, helped by the misfortune of a few other players, he went on to complete an astonishing double by winning both titles. With both points leader Webb Simpson and Luke Donald failing to do well enough in the final round, Haas beat compatriot Hunter Mahan in a thrilling playoff to clinch the Tour Championship along with the FedExCup and its $10 million bonus. This week Haas faces a similarly uphill task, sitting 18th in the FedExCup standings after the first three playoff events and needing a great deal to go his way at East Lake for him to pull off a repeat double. “I wouldn’t say I have had the playoffs that I would have liked,” the softly spoken 31-year-old told Reuters while preparing for Thursday’s opening round in the PGA Tour’s season finale. “I am just being patient, and I’m just trying to say, ‘Well this week was a goal of mine after last year finishing just out (of the rankings) to try to defend and all of that stuff.’ “So to get back here was a goal and to achieve that is a great feeling. I am looking forward to this week, just having good memories and I am proof that anything can happen this week.” North Carolina native Haas missed out on last year’s Tour Championship after missing the cut in the first of the four FedExCup playoff events and then finishing no better than joint 35th in the next two. LOST GROUND This season, he came into the playoffs ranked fifth but steadily lost ground after tying for 25th at The Barclays, missing the cut at the Deutsche Bank Championship and sharing 28th place at last week’s BMW Championship. “I played great all season to be seeded fifth but then I have dropped a little bit,” said Haas, who clinched his fifth PGA Tour victory at the AT&T National in June. “But I know just as well as anybody, if you can win here, with a little bit of help from a couple of guys, you never know what can happen. “So I am just looking forward to that opportunity. Overall, I am definitely pleased with some pretty good finishes this season.” Haas, whose father Jay is a successful Champions Tour player who triumphed nine times on the regular PGA Tour, has two vivid memories from his unexpected triumph at the 2011 Tour Championship. “One is that water shot, obviously, and the other is the putt I had to win,” he recalled. “The putt was from about four feet and it certainly wasn’t a tap-in. “I remember just being that nervous, having that much on the line and having that putt and then seeing it go in ... I haven’t ever had a feeling like that in golf.” The water shot came in the playoff on the second extra hole, the par-four 17th, after Haas ended in the right fairway bunker off the tee and appeared to be literally sunk when he pulled his second shot left of the green into the edge of a water hazard. —Reuters

LAS VEGAS: In this file photo, former heavyweight boxer Ken Norton poses on the red carpet at the Keep Memory Alive “Power of Love Gala” fundraiser honoring Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Norton, a former heavyweight champion, has died. He was 70. —AP

Former boxing champ Ken Norton dies at 70 LOS ANGELES: Former boxing champion Ken Norton, considered one of the greatest heavyweights of his era, died Wednesday of a heart attack, his manager said. He was 70. The fighter was best known for beating Muhammad Ali in 1973, breaking the Hall of Famer’s jaw in the process. Norton passed away Wednesday afternoon at an Arizona care facility, said friend and manager Patrick Tenore. “His wife called me and said Ken had passed away,” Tenore told Agence France-Presse. “I saw him a few days ago. His mind was always clear but his speech was impeded since the car accident in Los Angeles.” Norton, who suffered a stroke last year, ended his brilliant career with a record of 42 wins, seven losses, one draw and 33 knockouts. He fought in the 1970s era of magnificent heavyweights-a group that also included Ali, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Leon Spinks and Jimmy Young. “They called us handsome. Muhammad they called pretty. But the fairest of them all Ken Norton,” Foreman wrote on his Twitter page Wednesday. “What a loss to all of us.” Other tributes also quickly poured in for Norton, who was once given the title of the “Father of the Year” by the Los Angeles Times in 1977. “My heart has been heavy since hearing

the news earlier today,” boxer Larry Holmes wrote on Twitter. “He was a good man. #RIP #KenNorton.” Norton was born in Jacksonville, Illinois, and was an award-winning athlete in American football and track and field at Jacksonville High School. His prowess on the gridiron earned him a scholarship to Northeast Missouri State University. He started boxing during his four year-stint in the United States Marine Corps, which he joined in 1963. In March 1973, Norton shocked the boxing world by winning a split decision over Ali at the San Diego Sports Arena. He would go on to fight Ali twice more, losing both times. He lost a split decision to Ali later in 1973 and by a unanimous decision in 1976 at Yankee Stadium. In 1974, Norton fought and lost to Foreman in Venezuela for the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association heavyweight titles. The fight was stopped in the second round after Foreman knocked him down three times. Norton, who was nicknamed “The Black Hercules”, also fought Holmes, losing his title late in his career to the up-and-coming heavyweight in 1978. It was the first defense of the WBC title for Norton, who fought in the era where championship fights lasted 15 rounds.

Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson said he met Norton when Tyson was still an amateur boxer. “Today a great man passed away,” Tyson wrote on Twitter. “A legend in the boxing world and a good man. “Ken Norton was always nice to me even when I was just an amateur fighter. He always treated me like I was somebody. Remarkable man. Condolences to Ken Norton’s family on this very sad day.” Norton had what some called an unconventional style. He would lean forward backing his opponent up while holding both arms up high and across his face like he was looking through the bars of a gridiron helmet. That style helped him win scores of fights and after he retired he starred in movies, appearing in about 20 Hollywood films. The character of Apollo Creed in “Rocky” was originally going to be played by Norton, but when he back out of the role, Carl Weathers took the job. Norton was involved in a serious car accident in 1986 on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles. He recovered, and three years later he was inducted to the World Boxing Hall of Fame. Reflecting a strong athletic pedigree, one of Norton’s sons, Ken Jr, played in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers. —AFP


Sports FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Photo of the day

Haddin in, Warner out for India

David Coulthard performs during the Red Bull Show Run in Esch, Luxembourg on September 15, 2013. —www.redbullcontentpool.com

Ferrari in the spotlight ahead of Singapore GP SINGAPORE: Formula One arrives in Singapore this week for its annual night race with Sebastian Vettel racing toward a fourthstraight championship and attention turning toward the combustible situation at Ferrari. Vettel’s win in the previous two races at Belgium and Italy has put the Red Bull driver 53 points clear atop the standings. It only appears a matter of when, rather than if, the German will wrap up the 2013 title. The biggest news since the race in Monza has been Ferrari’s signing of Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen to a two-year contract, starting next season. The return of the Finn to Maranello, where he was ousted after 2009 to make way for the arrival of Fernando Alonso, has set up a potentially fractious rivalry with the Spaniard and pushed Felipe Massa toward the exit. Raikkonen will not accept the secondary role that Massa played to Alonso for the past four years, and many are already predicting trouble as Alonso is not accustomed to having a genuinely challenging teammate, aside from his one year at McLaren. The man in the best position to make a judgment is Massa, who has been a teammate to both at Ferrari, and he is expecting friction. “I know Fernando and Kimi well, both on and off the track. They are excellent drivers but I fear, as a team, there will be conflict,” Massa said in an interview in Brazil this week. “I have told (Ferrari’s man-

agement) to breathe deeply now, because breathing will be much more difficult next season.” Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo dismissed such forecasts of doom, saying Alonso was kept in the loop about the team’s desire to sign Raikkonen and was happy with the choice. “We are not masochistic enough to take on a driver without informing Alonso,” di Montezemolo said in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport. “Fernando was always in the picture regarding the choice of Raikkonen, taken partly because the alternative, that of employing a youngster in what will be a complex 2014 season, did not inspire confidence. Today, Raikkonen is one of the best, along with Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton, and Alonso is the first to be happy that he is coming here.” The Ferrari president likened Raikkonen to former great Niki Lauda, who left F1 for two years and then returned to win his third drivers’ championship. Raikkonen also had two years away from the sport before returning in 2012. “The break has been good for him, he has returned to greatness, he’s won races, he’s finished lots of races,” di Montezemolo said. “I wanted a driver who wouldn’t make me look back on Massa with regret and I’ve got one. I want more victories, consistency, podiums from Raikkonen. Alonso will be the first to benefit.”—AP

SYDNEY: Veteran wicketkeeper Brad Haddin was recalled yesterday to Australia’s one-day squad to play India but troubled batsman David Warner and spinner Fawad Ahmed missed out. Captain Michael Clarke was also among the 14 players selected for the seven-game series in India from October 11, which will be coached by Steve Rixon while Darren Lehmann is rested. Whether Clarke makes the trip or not depends on treatment for his chronic back problem, with national selector John Inverarity making clear he was picked “subject to fitness.” Haddin was the surprise inclusion, winning his place on the back of a lean England one-day series by alternative keeper Matthew Wade, which Australia won 2-1. Haddin, 35, was drafted back into the Test side in place of Wade for the recent Ashes series against England to serve as Clarke’s vice-captain. He broke Rod Marsh’s 30-year-old record for the most dismissals in an Ashes series, but was not in the team for the subsequent one-day matches. “Matthew Wade has been omitted due to lack of form and has been replaced by Brad Haddin, who captured an Ashes series record of dismissals in July and August,” said Inverarity. “Matthew is 25 years of age and has a great deal of natural ability both as a batsman and as a keeper. The selectors are confident that Matthew will regain form and press hard for selection in the not-too-distant future.” The glaring omission for India was the dynamic Warner, who missed the first two Ashes Tests after being suspended in the run-up to the series for punching England’s Joe Root in a Birmingham bar following Australia’s Champions Trophy defeat to their arch-rivals. He was then dropped for the one-day matches against England and returned home early to Australia. Inverarity made no comment on the left-hander but Clarke earlier in the day backed him to bounce back from his England disappointment, saying he remained a vital part of the Australian set-up despite his problems. “Davey is certainly a big part of the Australian team, whatever format,” said Clarke. “He knows we’ve got a huge summer ahead and when an opportunity comes up again, I’m sure he’ll grab it with both hands.” Pakistan-born Ahmed, who made his international debut in England, also missed out. Xavier Doherty replaces him as the only specialist spinner in the squad. Inverarity said Ahmed bowled well in England with limited opportunities, but Doherty was better suited to Indian conditions. Whether Clarke is on the plane depends on the progress of treatment for his back, which has plagued him for years. The captain returned to Sydney late Wednesday and said he would consult team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris and probably undergo scans. “No doubt it’s quite stiff and sore,” he said of his back. “But I’ll be guided by the experts on what I need to do now to try and get myself as fit as I can be. I would certainly like to go and continue to play.” Rixon will coach the tour with Lehmann, who took over from the sacked Mickey Arthur just before the Ashes started, given time to rest ahead of the return series against England starting in November. “Darren has been on the road and away from home for a considerable amount of time. This is a great opportunity for Darren to refresh, work with the states and provide others with opportunities,” said Inverarity. — AFP

Yachting: Kiwis on the brink of capturing America’s Cup SAN FRANCISCO: Emirates Team New Zealand moved to the brink of capturing the America’s Cup with an eighth race victory on Wednesday before the potential clinching race was postponed by high winds. The Kiwis need to beat defending champion Oracle Team USA just once more to claim yachting’s coveted trophy, with the next two races scheduled for yesterday. New Zealand darted past Oracle to snatch a lead over the starting line in Wednesday’s second race before getting word from officials that the match was cancelled due to strong winds. “It was not a certain thing that it would have turned into a win. We were happy to be in first position,” New Zealand skipper Dean Barker said, downplaying how close his team is to victory. “If we can get a win, that would be great.” New Zealand’s victory by 15 seconds in race 11 continued the humbling of billionaire yachtsman Larry Ellison and the team he is counting on to keep possession of the Cup. New Zealand beat the Americans across the start and established a slight lead that lasted into the pivotal upwind third leg, where the rivals engaged in an intense tacking duel during which the Kiwis managed to fend off the hosts. Oracle split the race at the third gate and opted for the opposite side of the

course, closing the gap but eventually being cut off by the Kiwis on their way to victory. It was New Zealand’s eighth triumph in the best-of-17 series, putting them one win shy of the trophy while Oracle, penalized two points before the start for pre-regatta violations, must win eight times in a row to deny the Kiwis the Cup. ‘We’ve got one hell of a battle on our hands here, but stranger things have happened in sport,” said Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill. “It’s never over until it’s over. We won’t give up.” He contended that no matter how the event ends for Oracle, dueling on the San Francisco Bay with first-generation AC72 catamarans has proven to be a winning formula by adding excitement to the Cup. “It is the ultimate test; the ultimate challenge,” Spithill said. “This event is great for the competitor, great for spectators, and more importantly we have introduced it to a broader audience.” Safety measures lowering the wind threshold in which races would be conducted were put in place for the regatta following the death of Andrew Simpson from the crew of failed challenger Artemis during a training run in May. The AC72 catamaran of Swedish team Artemis, one of three challenger hopefuls, cap-

sized in May and Simpson, a British double Olympic medalist, drowned after being trapped under the overturned structure. New Zealand will go with the lead and the momentum, with Oracle having scrambled to make changes to its boat after being repeatedly out-sailed by the Kiwis. The adjustments payed off with ramped-up speeds but the USA has been consistently outmaneuvered on the bay. “That is a good description; chess on rocket ships,” said Oracle strategist Ben Ainslee, a Britain who won four Olympic gold medals in sailing last year. “You just need to keep believing. We are a strong team. We can win races.” Oracle, penalized two points for infractions before the start of the races, is fighting for an unprecedented comeback. The America’s Cup, first contested in 1851, has been held since 2010 by Ellison. The technology industry titan, whose personal fortune is estimated at some $40 billion (30.6 billion euros, 26.3 billion pounds) beat the giant Swiss catamaran Alinghi 2-0 three years ago in Valencia, Spain, with a 30-metre-long (98feet) rigid wing trimaran. Ellison brought the regatta to San Francisco, setting the scene for high-speed AC72 catamarans to race this year. If the Kiwis win, they will decide where the next regatta takes place and what type of boats are used. — AFP


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Sports FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Goalkeeper Valdes shows Barca what they will miss MADRID: Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes has hit some of the best form of his career in the opening weeks of the season, making it all the more perplexing for the club’s fans that he appears determined to stand by his decision to leave. The 31-year-old, a product of the club’s youth academy who made his first-team debut in the 2002-03 campaign, announced last term he was quitting because the pressure of being Barca’s first choice keeper for a decade had taken its toll. He refused the offer of a contract extension beyond June 2014 and said he wanted to experience different cultures and different languages, prompting speculation he could accept a lucrative offer from big-spending Ligue 1 side Monaco. Barca have made a solid start to the La Liga season under new coach Gerardo Martino and will be chasing a fifth win in five matches at Rayo Vallecano tomorrow (1800 GMT). However, three of their four league wins have been by a single goal and Valdes has made a host of vital interventions that have helped avert an early setback to the club’s bid for a fifth title in six years. He was also decisive in Wednesday’s Champions League Group H opener at home to Ajax Amsterdam, including stopping Kolbeinn Sigthorsson’s 77th-minute penalty with a typically athletic dive. Valdes has been praised by coach Gerardo Martino and team mates for his professionalism and his form has prompted calls for Spain coach Vicente del Bosque to give him the keepers’ spot ahead of captain Iker Casillas. “I would be very excited to win this Champions League and I want to win it in whatever manner possible,” Valdes, who won the competition with Barca in 2006, 2009 and 2011, told reporters after the 4-0 success against the Dutch champions. “I know that it will be the last one I compete in with Barca,” he added. “I am very grateful for the people’s support. That gives me even more confidence.” Barca are the only team along with Atletico Madrid with a perfect 12 points from their four La Liga games. Atletico, who started their Champions League campaign with a 3-1 win at home to Zenit St Petersburg, play at Real Valladolid tomorrow (2000) and will have combative forward Diego Costa back after he was suspended for the Zenit match. STRANGE THINGS Real Madrid host city rivals Getafe on Sunday (1700) fresh from knocking six goals past Galatasaray midweek and record signing Gareth Bale could make his second start after coming on as a second-half substitute in Istanbul. The Wales winger, who became the world’s most expensive player when Real bought him from Tottenham Hotspur for 100 million euros ($133.5 million) in the close season, scored on debut at Villarreal in last weekend’s 2-2 draw. Real coach Carlo Ancelotti was buoyed by the news on Wednesday that central defender Raphael Varane and fullback Fabio Coentrao trained with their team mates for the first time since being sidelined by injuries. Getafe came from a goal down to stun Real 2-1 at their Coliseum stadium in the Madrid suburbs last season and midfielder Diego Castro said anything was possible at the Bernabeu on Sunday. “You cannot fear anyone in football,” Castro told a news conference on Wednesday. “Strange things often happen.” Real Sociedad need to pick themselves up for tomorrow’s match at home to Malaga (1400) after they fell 2-0 at home to Shakhtar Donetsk in their Champions League opener on Tuesday. —Reuters

BARCELONA: Barcelona’s goalkeeper Victor Valdes celebrates with Barcelona’s defender Gerard Pique after stopping a penalty kick during the UEFA Champions league football match FC Barcelona vs Ajax Amsterdam at Camp Nou stadium on September 18, 2013. —AFP

French League Preview

France await battle of the billionaires

PARIS: The first clash of two of Europe’s newest financial heavyweights is set to indicate who has the early edge in France when champions Paris Saint-Germain host Monaco at the Parc des Princes on Sunday. Both teams spent heavily in the off-season with Qatari-backed PSG going chequebook to cheque-book against the Russianbacked Principality outfit in a billionaires’ battle for the game’s most coveted players. PSG coach Laurent Blanc welcomed Uruguayan Edinson Cavani from Napoli where he was Italy’s top scorer last season, in the sixth highest transfer deal of all time at some 64 million euros. While Monaco stunned the European football world when they captured the highly-rated Colombian Radamel Falcao for 60 million euros from Atletico Madrid. Falcao was not the only recruit brought in by Italian coach Claudio Ranieri who also splashed out on big money deals to bring in James Rodriguez, Joao Moutinho and Geoffrey Kondogbia, while captain Eric Abidal was picked up on a free from Barcelona. Both teams are off to unbeaten starts although Monaco come into the match one point clear of Saint-Etienne while PSG are two points back but starting to change

gears after an eye-catching 4-1 win over Olympiakos in midweek gave their Champions League quest a dream start. “Obviously we are getting stronger and physically we have taken it to a higher level now,” said Blanc, the former Bordeaux and France coach. “We are going to prepare meticulously for this match against a very good team in very good form,” added the 47-year-old Thiago Motta, who scored twice in Athens, feels the team is still a work in progress despite winning their first French title since 1994 last season. “We have everything we need to be better and we have the players. It only depends on us now,” explained the Brazilian. League Cup holders Saint-Etienne may profit from their Europa League elimination as they try to keep pace with the favoured giants when they open the weekend slate at home against second-frombottom Toulouse today. Last season’s runners-up Marseille are also waiting in the wings and feeling the effects of not having the same financial clout as their rivals, but go into their away match against Bastia lying fourth and only three points off the pace. —AFP

German League Preview

Schalke hail new prince as Bayern clash looms BERLIN: Kevin-Prince Boateng continued his stellar start to life at Schalke 04 by helping them secure a third straight win since he joined the Ruhr Valley club but his talismanic credentials will be given their sternest test against Bayern Munich tomorrow. The Ghana international, who joined Schalke just three weeks ago, scored one goal and helped orchestrate a 3-0 win over Steaua Bucharest in the club’s opening Champions League group match on Wednesday. It was Schalke’s third win without conceding since Boateng, whose powerful midfield presence has formed a strong bond between defense and attack, signed from AC Milan. “Kevin-Prince does not shy away from a challenge easily,” Schalke coach Jens Keller told reporters. “He always makes himself available and demands the ball. He talks to the team and leads it and it is very clear that he has already become a very important player in this team.” Boateng’s arrival could not have come at a better time for Schalke, who are missing injured leading striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and defensive rock Kyriakos Papadopoulos. The 26-year-old German-born midfielder, whose half brother Jerome plays for Bayern and Germany, was welcomed with open arms despite his past spell at rivals Borussia Dortmund, and has quickly become a crowd favorite. VALUABLE EXPERIENCE His experience, with stints at Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth before joining Milan in 2010, has proved invaluable at a key moment for Schalke, who are looking to reestablish themselves as a major force. “We have got every reason to be satisfied with this win,” a smiling Boateng told reporters on Wednesday. “Everyone in the dressing room is very happy with this excellent team performance. We know we have some tough games coming up but we are prepared.” The “Boateng effect” has restored Schalke’s Bundesliga ambitions after they failed to win any of their first three league games before the arrival of the player once branded a ‘bad boy’ for his off-pitch antics. “It is great for us to have played three straight games without conceding a goal,” added Julian Draxler, who set up Boateng for Schalke’s second goal in the 78th minute before scoring the third himself. “Our game with Kevin is coming together and is becoming better. We are on a very good road.” However, treble winners Bayern, two points behind leaders Dortmund, are riding high after a solid 3-0 Champions League win over CSKA Moscow on Tuesday, boosting their confidence as they look to extend their 30-game unbeaten run in the league. Dortmund, still licking their wounds after a 21 defeat at Napoli in the same competition, travel to Nuremberg in the hope of extending their perfect start to the league season with a sixth straight victory.—Reuters


Sports FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

European magic lifts City and United before derby MANCHESTER: Manchester United fans have been buying Marouane Fellaini wigs with their new Belgian showing signs he can add a cool head and quality passing to the midfield just in time for Sunday’s derby against City. Last season’s champions and runners-up meet at the Etihad Stadium, hoping midweek Champions League success can ignite their domestic campaigns after some uninspired performances from both in their first four games, each taking just seven points. While Wayne Rooney’s return to form in Tuesday’s 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen stole the headlines, Fellaini’s physical presence and ability to hold the ball in his first start since signing just before the transfer deadline added a new dimension. It was no coincidence that a side who had not scored in two of their last three league games and only netted from set pieces in the other were suddenly able to put together more meaningful charges forward with the big Belgian on the pitch. Similarly, City, who had failed to repeat the scintillating showing of their season-opening demolition of Newcastle United, rediscovered some attacking flair in a stylish 3-0 win at Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday. “It will give confidence for all the players,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini told reporters. “We have the derby next Sunday and always winning away in the Champions League, scoring three goals, having at least three or four more chances to score and a clean sheet - I think it will give all the players a lot of confidence.” City midfielder Yaya Toure, who like Fellaini offers a towering presence, creative instinct and ability to read a game, scored a sublime goal at Plzen and it could well be the battle between these two powerful players that proves key on Sunday. It will be the first Manchester derby for both clubs’ managers and they will be aware that City hold a slight advantage in recent years having taken 10 points to United’s seven in league encounters in the past three seasons. The return of captain Vincent Kompany, who made a successful comeback from a groin injury on Tuesday, will offer the hosts a further boost ahead of what he describes as a “special game.” “It is becoming one of the most sought-after fixtures in the world and it is always great to be involved in such games. I never take them for granted,” the Belgian defender said. This fixture two seasons ago, which City won 1-0, proved decisive as they went on to secure the Premier League crown on goal difference from their neighbors. It is far too early in the season to be talking of the title race but it is nevertheless a crunch game with both sides keen to establish the edge on their opponents. Early season pacesetters Liverpool, who are unbeaten with 10 points from four matches, host Southampton tomorrow but have suffered a blow with midfielder Philippe Coutinho ruled out until the end of next month with a shoulder injury. They are, however, full of confidence over the form of striker Daniel Sturridge. He has netted in all their league matches this season and will be keen to keep up his scoring escapades before the return of Uruguay striker Luis Suarez from a 10-match ban, which comes to an end after this game. Later on tomorrow, Chelsea host Fulham in a west London derby eager to make amends after suffering their first league defeat of the season at Everton last weekend and losing at home to Basel in the Champions League. Everton, the only unbeaten Premier League side along with Merseyside rivals Liverpool, travel to West Ham United who are proving miserly at both ends of the pitch. North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, who both have nine points, are in action on Sunday, with Arsene Wenger hoping for more magic from record signing Mesut Ozil when they host Stoke and Andre Villas-Boas taking his team to Cardiff. Ozil enjoyed an exciting Arsenal debut, taking only 11 minutes to create a goal against Sunderland, and team mate Aaron Ramsey, whose rich scoring vein continued in the 2-1 Champions League win at Marseille, said it was just the beginning. “You saw what Mesut is all about with those lovely, telling through balls to set people up one on one with the keeper,” local media quoted him as saying. “That’s why he is top of the assist chart around the whole of Europe. “He is an unbelievable talent and hopefully that is just the start of many things to come from him. Two of the early season strugglers, West Bromwich Albion (two points) and Sunderland (one), meet at the Hawthorns tomorrow, while fellow slow starters Crystal Palace entertain Swansea City on Sunday. The weekend’s other games are Norwich City at home to Aston Villa and Hull City travelling to Newcastle United.— Reuters

fledglings need to grow up fast Chelsea flailing LONDON: Jose Mourinho blamed Chelsea’s surprise 2-1 home defeat by Basel partly on his team’s immaturity and said his young millionaires had better grow up soon or their only Champions League involvement this Christmas will come via their beloved Xboxes. The Londoners, fielding an attack-minded side but with only Frank Lampard offering real experience in midfield, barely threatened in the first half but scraped a 1-0 lead through Oscar. However, they were pegged back by a Swiss side who grew in confidence the longer the game went on as Mohamed Salah equalized and, as Chelsea froze, Marco Streller headed the winner nine minutes from time. “I think it’s probably not a team with such a personality and maturity to face the difficult moments of a game,” Mourinho told reporters. “Against Everton (in Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League defeat) the team struggled to deal with the situation despite dominating and today was a bit the same. “They began by accepting the responsibility of playing but when the first negative moment arrived the team shakes a little bit. “Emotionally, this is not a mature team and when you are in a difficult position it was not enough.” Mourinho gave a debut to 30 millionpound ($47.9 million)signing Willian and a first start for 20-year-old Dutch midfielder Marco van Ginkel. Eden Hazard and Oscar were also on duty - talented players undoubtedly but young, slight and too often bullied out of a contest. RUSSIAN EXODUS Up front he opted again for Samuel Eto’o, who is certainly experienced but is only tentatively feeling his way back to his best after his Russian exodus. Lampard, who won his 100th England cap this month, undoubtedly brings vast experience and confidence but he was

LONDON: Chelsea’s Samuel Eto’o (left) has his attempt on goal stopped by Basel goalkeeper Yann Sommer during the Champions League group E soccer match between Chelsea and Basel at Stamford Bridge stadium in London on Wednesday, Sept 18, 2013. —AP withdrawn with the score at 1-1 as Mourinho tried to regain the initiative. Demba Ba, preferred on the bench to Fernando Torres, was unable to make an impact, however, and in the end it was basic poor defending that did the damage. “I’m happy with all the strikers, they are good players, good professionals, they all give their best and I can’t complain about them,” Mourinho said. “He (Eto’o) has regained that hunger, that motivation. He’s participating a lot in the collective game, but for the sharpness maybe we will have to wait. “They scored their equalizer in our best period. We had a bit more space to play and made some better situations. “Then the (winning) header came in a position where we had two players defending that zone plus the player marking

Streller so three players made a mistake for that goal.” A year ago Chelsea were held by Juventus in their first group game as European champions and failed to progress to the knockout stage. With Schalke 04 and Steaua Bucharest still to come they should still be able to turn things round this time but Mourinho will have to use all his famed managerial skills if he is to instill a confidence that seems to be missing despite the undoubted talent oozing through the team. “The objective is to finish in the top two and go through and that objective has not been lost,” Mourinho said. “It is always the same thing in football we just have to go away and work hard. “The only way is to believe in each other and stick together.”—Reuters

UK PM ignites debate over Tottenham and the Y-word LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron has stirred a hornet’s nest by wading into a debate about the right of Tottenham Hotspur supporters to describe themselves using a racially sensitive word. For years, sections of the north London football club’s support have described themselves as ‘Yids’, in a bid to reclaim the pejorative term from antiSemitic opposition fans who have used it to make slurs about Spurs’ Jewish connections. Spurs have traditionally attracted support from London’s Jewish communities and chairman Daniel Levy is the latest in a line of Jewish businessmen to have managed the club’s affairs. However, in its bid to clamp down on discrimination in the English game, the Football Association has asked their fans to refrain from using the

term ‘Yid’. In a statement released last week, the governing body said the word was “likely to be considered offensive by the reasonable observer” and that fans “should avoid using it in any situation”. The FA warned that use of such words could lead to a banning order or even criminal charges, but the response from Spurs’ supporters was voluble, with chants of “Yid Army!” and “We’ll sing what we want!” aired during Saturday’s 2-0 win over Norwich City. Tottenham have approached the issue carefully, announcing plans to distribute a survey about the use of the word among their season ticketholders, but Cameron threw his weight behind the chanters. In an interview with the Jewish Chronicle newspaper published on Tuesday, the prime minister said support-

ers who used the term should not face prosecution. “There’s a difference between Spurs fans self-describing themselves as Yids and someone calling someone a Yid as an insult,” Cameron said. “You have to be motivated by hate. Hate speech should be prosecuted-but only when it’s motivated by hate.” Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas agreed, saying on Wednesday: “I think his intervention was probably what Spurs fans would want to hear.” He added: “I think our fans sing it with pride, it is something that they defend. It is not sung with offence. I see no problem with it.” Cameron’s stance has been criticized, however, with Jewish comedian and writer David Baddiel arguing that it is unacceptable for the term to be appropriated by people who are not Jewish. —AFP


Sports FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Gutted Lennon defiant despite Milan stunner MILAN: Celtic manager Neil Lennon insisted the Scottish champions’ bid to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League remains intact despite falling to two late goals against Group H rivals AC Milan on Wednesday. Celtic beat Barcelona at home and Shakhtar Donetsk home and away during last year’s group campaign to make the last 16 where the Scots were eventually humbled by Juventus. This season Lennon’s men battled through a tough qualifying campaign to be drawn again with fellow former champions Barcelona, Ajax and Milan. However despite dominating the Rossoneri for long spells at the San Siro, the Scots failed to convert several chances and went down 2-0 inside two second-half minutes when Emilio Izaguirre turned in Cristian Zapata’s low shot and Sulley Muntari pounced on a rebound from a Mario Balotelli free kick three minutes later. Despite Celtic losing 20 of their last 22 away encounters in the competition, it was a harsh result for the visitors, who sit bottom of the group ahead of their meeting with Barcelona in two weeks’ time. Lennon claimed the scoreline was generous to the seven-time European champions. “We’re bitterly disappointed,” said the Northern Irishman. “I think the scoreline flatters Milan tonight.” But he saw enough to believe Celtic have the quality and belief to force their way out of the group and into the last 16 for the second consecutive season. “I was very confident going into the game, given the mentality of the team and the condition of the team,” added Lennon. “I don’t know why anyone is so surprised. We’ve got an excellent side, we made the last 16 last year and that wasn’t a fluke. “We had good spirits coming into the game and we fancied getting some kind of result from here. It does heighten the disappointment when you play so well.” A raft of injuries to key Milan players including Kaka and captain Riccardo Montolivo forced coach Massimiliano Allegri to reshuffle his squad and gave Celtic hopes of causing a major upset at the San Siro. But after a superb second half from the visitors, in which striker Anthony Stokes notably hit the woodwork with a curling free kick, Milan broke the deadlock when Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster was wrong-footed by Zapata’s deflected shot. Three minutes later the big keeper performed heroics to keep out Mario Balotelli’s curling free kick, but Sulley Muntari was quick to pounce on the rebound to virtually seal the win on 85 minutes. It was a positive end to what has been a frustrating few weeks for Milan, who lost their Serie A opener to new boys Verona, beat Cagliari 3-1 at home and then eked out a 2-2 draw away to Torino last Saturday. In between, the Rossoneri lost several key players to injury including defenders Ignazio Abate and Mattia De Sciglio, as well as Montolivo and newly-signed Brazilian playmaker Kaka. Massimiliano Allegri was forced to re-jig and despite Milan looking dangerous while on the offensive, it was far from a convincing display from the hosts. Allegri later admitted: “It was an important win for us, especially as we suffered in the second half. We were lucky tonight, but I think the lads played a solid game under the trying circumstances.” Milan will travel to Ajax, trounced 4-0 by Barcelona on Wednesday, in two weeks’ time. Remembering last season’s heroics against Lionel Messi and co at Parkhead, Lennon is hoping for more of the same: “We’ve got Barcelona coming up, who are a different animal. But we’ve played against Barcelona in the last year and I hope the players hold on to the feeling of disappointment from tonight and take it into the game. “We’re here to compete, we’re here to try to qualify and nothing changes after tonight’s performance.”— AFP

Manchester United’s English striker Wayne Rooney

Rooney credits Moyes with improved fitness LONDON: Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney says that new manager David Moyes’s “intense” training sessions have helped him rediscover his touch on the pitch. Rooney missed almost of all United’s pre-season campaign through injury and was then ruled out of the 1-0 loss to Liverpool prior to the international break with a facial wound. However, he has looked sharp since returning to action, netting a free-kick against Crystal Palace at the weekend before notching his 199th and 200th United goals in Tuesday’s 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen. Having been strongly linked with a move to Chelsea during the close season, the 27-year-old England forward says he is now just focusing on playing as well as possible. “I’ve put my head down and worked hard and tried to do everything right,” Rooney said, in comments reported by several

British newspapers on Thursday. “I’ve tried to show the right attitude. I’ve always felt that’s a really important thing to do. That’s paying off for me on the pitch. I feel fit and ready to do well. “I feel good. I’ve had some good training the last few weeks. It’s been stop-start with the injuries, but I’ve just kept my head down and worked hard and now I’ve played and got some goals. “I feel great. The training is a bit different under the new manager. I remember it from Everton-it’s more intense. That’s helping me. I feel good and am glad to be out playing.” Rooney came to prominence under Moyes as a teenager at former club Everton and says he is happy to have been reunited with the Scot at Old Trafford. “He’s a great manager and thoroughly deserves this job because of what he did at Everton,” Rooney said. “It’s good to work under him and

hopefully be successful together.” Rooney also dismissed claims that he has an uneasy relationship with Robin van Persie, who superseded him as United’s attacking spearhead last season after arriving from Arsenal in 2012. “Robin and me dovetail well and try and help each other score goals,” Rooney said. “I’ve seen things said over the summer, but me and Robin are friends off the pitch. There’s no problem between us at all. We’re great friends and want to help each other be successful.” He added: “The times when Robin and I played together last season we did well. So hopefully we can play more together this season. We’ve done the work together. “The manager has made it clear he wants one up and one behind. Whatever way round it is doesn’t matter, as long as one is always filling in behind and helping out the midfield.”— AFP

Seedorf misses penalty in loss, Botafogo bus stoned SAO PAULO: Dutch veteran Clarence Seedorf missed a penalty as leaders Cruzeiro thumped Botafogo 3-0 in their top-of-the-table clash to open up a sevenpoint lead in the Brazilian championship. Botafogo complained that their bus was stoned as it arrived at Belo Horizonte’s Mineirao stadium, a 2014 World Cup venue, and there was also trouble at Vasco da Gama, where angry fans confronted the club president after they conceded two late goals in a 2-1 defeat at home to Vitoria. Nilton put Cruzeiro ahead just before halftime when he managed to hook the ball in with an unorthodox volley following a corner. Former AC Milan and Real Madrid midfielder Seedorf, 37, had the chance to equalize when Botafogo were awarded a penalty after the break but the Dutchman rolled a weak effort past the left-hand post. Former AS Roma, Malaga and Real Madrid forward Julio Baptista then came off the

bench to score two more goals for Cruzeiro, the first from the penalty spot. “I’m sorry for the penalty, which was at an important moment in the match,” Seedorf told reporters. Botafogo said on Twitter that their bus was attacked as it entered the stadium and showed a photograph of a broken window. Cruzeiro have 49 points from 22 games, seven ahead of Botafogo, with Gremio a further four points behind in third after their 1-1 draw at home to Santos. Vasco da Gama dropped into the bottom four after slumping to a defeat against Vitoria. The team known as “Dried Cod” led from the seventh minute when Andre turned in Wagner’s cross but it all went wrong when Alemao equalised with 10 minutes left and Marquinhos scored an 89th minute winner. After the equalizer, video images showed angry fans surrounding the VIP box to remonstrate with presi-

dent Roberto Dinamite and the 1978 World Cup striker eventually left his seat. Media reports said that more fans protested outside the main entrance, letting off fireworks, and players left the stadium by an alternative exit. Despite all the trouble, only 5,240 people watched the game at Rio de Janeiro’s Sao Januario stadium. Sao Paulo chalked up their third win in eight days under new coach Muricy Ramalho, this time beating South American champions Atletico Mineiro 1-0 with a goal by Welliton. Ramalho, who led Sao Paulo to three successive Brazilian championship titles in his previous spell at the club, returned for a third stint after Paulo Autuori was fired after 13 games with the team in the relegation zone. The latest win moved Sao Paulo up to 13th although they are still only three points clear of the danger area. —Reuters


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Valdes shows Barca what they will miss Page 45

www.kuwaittimes.net

Woods eyes 11th Player of the Year Page 43

ILLINOIS: Tiger Woods hits off the first fairway during the Final Round of the BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois.— AFP

20 Sep 2013  

Friday Times

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