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What your handwriting reveals about you


Oracle grab America’s Cup beat NZ




US, Iran gear up for historic nuclear talks

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NO: 15941- Friday, September 27, 2013

Speaker, MPs visit mega project sites PAGE 9

KUWAIT: Project engineer explains the ongoing project at the construction site to the National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim and a number of MPs yesterday during their visits to the sites of three mega projects. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Local FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Conspiracy Theories

Local Spotlight

Attention seekers By Muna Al-Fuzai


ll my life, I have come across many people desperate for attention. They try their best to get others to pay attention to them or what they’re doing - which is not really significant. Recently, I witnessed two such incidents which provoked me to write about such people. I wonder what actually drives some people to act likes idiots just to attract a moment of attention from others. Should we be worried about such people, if they were our family or friends? One morning, I was waiting for my turn at a local bank. The bank environment was quiet with people waiting patiently in queues and the bank staff were busy serving their clients. A while later, a Kuwaiti man probably in his mid-thirties, walked into the bank and joined the queue. Suddenly, his phone rang and he moved aside to answer the call. He started speaking loudly, giving various orders and advice to the caller on life, work and family, just to name a few of the various topics. Everyone in the bank could hear him and soon he was the cause of giggles and snide comments. His call which lasted for 15 minutes was rather a debate than a quick call to be taken in a bank. Shouldn’t such a call be taken privately and in person? This was a man, desperate for attention! In another such incident, I accompanied a friend to a clinic; another place where silence is required. Two middleaged ladies showed up and unlike others, they started chatting loudly about health, good life and so on. The con-

versation that started about the hospital gradually developed into gossip about their maids, smoking, shopping and even husbands. Their conversation lasted for nearly 30 minutes. Everyone in the waiting area could hear them. It was like they were trying to send a message to everyone about how perfect they are and how wonderful, caring and passionate they are! The question here is this: Why do all the people in the room, including me, have to know this? I don’t know them but I do know one thing for sure that these ladies are exactly the kind I don’t want in my social circle or to be friends with, probably because they speak too much about unnecessary things in a crowded place for everyone to hear. I have a belief that people who constantly seek public attention are lonely and lack self-confidence. They want others to listen to them so they don’t feel left out. They also don’t trust themselves with anything and want to look perfect when it comes to giving opinions and ideas. Such people have a tendency to give orders and advice even in a situation when they do not know head or tail of anything. I do agree that life today is hard for many who live alone, especially for those who don’t have hobbies or jobs or close friends. Some don’t even have friends who they can talk to. I feel terribly sorry for such people but I am also grateful that we are not one of them. If such people were my co-workers, then they will be nothing but trouble, especially if they were our bosses. The simple thing you can do is just ignore them. Turn them a blind eye, as if they don’t exist and they will eventually get tired. You don’t need to do that for them but rather for yourself and your mental health because they could actually drive you crazy. You will come across many troubled and disturbed people in your life. What do we do then? We send them to shrinks, help them, and support them.

Kuwait’s my business

Let’s stop telling and start communicating By John P Hayes


ommunication” is a complex word in more ways than one. With five syllables, it’s a mouthful to say, but even worse, many people misuse the word. Just the other day, an executive said to me, “We communicated that information to them.” By “them” he was referring to a group of people that had complained about poor communication from this gentleman’s office. “How do you know you communicated the information to them?” I asked. “Because we told them in a memo!” he said defiantly. Communicating is not “telling”. And there’s the problem. Communicating is definitely not “telling”. Telling people information is nothing more than telling people information, and it may not even be that! At times like this, it’s usually helpful to turn to Merriam-Webster for clarification, but this time even the leading publisher of language-related reference works isn’t much help. MW defines communication as, “the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information.” Really? With the exception of “exchange information,” the rest of the definition is useless. Digging deeper for a working definition, defines communication as a “two-way process of reaching mutual understanding, in which participants not only exchange (encode-decode) information, news, ideas and feelings, but also create and share meaning.” MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING Perfect! And by that definition, communication failed in the above scenario. There was no “mutual understanding”

between the parties. It was not a “two-way process”, there was no “exchange” of information, and there was no shared meaning. “What more could I do?” asked the executive. “I told them what they needed to know. That’s all I needed to do.” It’s difficult to argue with that position, even though it’s misguided. So I asked, “What proof do you have that the group members received your information?” And before he could become further defensive, I continued, “How do you know they (a) read your message, (b) understood your message, and (c) acted upon your message?” He had no proof. In fact, not one member of the group had even acknowledged receiving his message. ALL THESE POSSIBILITIES Yes, this executive did everything he thought he needed to do, except communicate. It’s possible that none of the group members received his message. It’s possible that they received it, but did not read it (with so many pressing issues in our lives it’s easy to set aside a memo and forget to read it). It’s also possible that they read it, but did not understand it, and did not want to feel embarrassed by asking for clarification. With this lack of understanding, is it any wonder we have so many problems in the world? When it’s this difficult to communicate with a small group of colleagues, imagine how much more difficult it is to communicate with strangers. It’s even more challenging to communicate when people come from different cultures. It’s a shame, but so often when communication fails, people jump to conclusions: they’re ignorant, they’re unfriendly, they’re uncooperative, they’re secretive, they’re bigoted, they’re mean-spirited. When the only thing they’re really guilty of is not communicating. We could fix that! Let’s begin by teaching everyone the meaning of that complex word. 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, or via Twitter @drjohnhayes.

Shrink it! By Badrya Darwish


ur editor keeps complaining about the pathetic social and political situation in the Arab world. Though our editor is not from the Arab world, she seems to be one of those people who is loyal to the place she lives in. Sometimes she drives me out of my comfort zone. Because of that, I thought of sending her to a shrink so that she finally drops the idea that Arabs might one day unite, establish a real unity and liberate Palestine; that the Syrian refugees will return back to their homes in Syria after hanging at the triangle border of Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon in luxurious tents left over by the late Colonel Gaddafi. Of course I mean the UNICEF tents. I swear that I saw some of these tents on the beach in Aqaba during one of my recent trips. When I asked if there were Syrian refugees on the beach, I was told that these belonged to war profiteers. But I do not want to drift away. I told the editor that these refugees might end up like their Palestinian brothers who left their homes in 1948 and are now scattered all over the world. Even in Timbuktu, you will find a Palestinian refugee. By the way, whoever came up with the saying “Timbuktu”, bless him, we are still using this reference till today. Nowadays with all these fast jets you can have your breakfast in a falafel shop in Timbuktu and eat hummus in New York for dinner maybe even served by a Jew claiming the food is his traditional dish. Whatever. There I am. I arrived in Shrink-land. There - everybody believes the shrink is the savior. Shrinks are the richest people who are often self-employed. Mind you, they charge you per second. I don’t know why people relax with a shrink. He makes you lie on a couch with the eyes open or closed depending on what position you prefer and you start narrating your story. They ask you about your childhood. In authoritarian voice, they want to know everything about you. People are so carried away by the shrink that they open up and share every intimate detail. You cannot shut them up. What is the secret of that couch? They only shut up when the shrink tells them: “Time’s up!” The problem is that they walk out of that office with a smile on their face. All of their problems were mysteriously solved on that couch. I assure you that once they hit the street they realize that they paid hundreds of dollars to simply lie on that couch. The problem is that they keep on returning and paying high tabs. Good luck to all shrinks. I do not mind them. They studied hard at university and earned this. They get this by merit. Dear shrinks, I do not have a grudge against you. Thank God there are no shrinks in the Arab world. We are not a nation to rely on them. People here do not need a couch. They share their problems from their balconies. While the women are hanging the laundry, they talk to each other. Or they share on the building’s stairs while sipping chai and telling all of their stories. That is free shrinking. I think I will send my editor to that area and she will enjoy a sip of coffee or tea. @BadryaD


Local FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

What does your handwriting reveal about you?

It’s all in the writing

Dr Ali Obaid

By Nawara Fattahova


r Ali Obaid, the first Arab handwriting analyst from Saudi Arabia says he can guess people’s personalities from their handwriting. He is set to host a two-day intensive course on ‘Managing Emotions Through Handwriting’ in Kuwait next month. The course based on graphology will discuss nonverbal communication modules. “We analyze personalities through graphs and handwriting studies which help us understand how the body works and people’s abilities, strengths and weaknesses,” Dr Ali said. He explains that the graphs and written sentences exhibit a person’s characteristics. “They can show whether a person is nervous or if he has ever achieved anything. I can find out if the person is controlled by his emotions or his mind,” he says. “We can also find out if a person’s sexual problems are physical or psychological,” explains Dr Ali who adds that finding the gender of a person or his marital status through handwriting analysis, however, is impossible. Personality analysis is an extensive field of knowledge which includes 22 different issues, and emotional analysis is only one of them. READING PERSONALITY TYPES According to him, reading types of personalities is an old science that started with the advent of writing. An Italian scientist, Camillo Baldi, turned this into academic knowledge in 1622. “Science proved some of his theories, while other theories were not proven due to the shortage of people on who

it was applied. The problem is that some of the denied theories by the graphology experts are now researched by some people,” he added. The increasing number of divorces in the Gulf is what inspired the idea for this course. “I noticed there are a high number of divorces due to differences and incompatibility of personalities. I advise couples who are getting married to go through handwriting personality analysis before their marriage to find out more about the other person. It is true that some aspects of personality may only be realized later on and could have a negative impact on the marriage and result in behavior such as cheating, jealousy and suspicion amongst others. For instance, if one person is

romantic while the other is not, this could cause conflicts between the couple and lead to divorce,” stressed Obaid. The Manage Emotions course is also for the married. “There are solutions in this course for those who are already married. They can learn how to manage their emotions and how to adapt some characteristics of their personality to fit the other person’s personality as well. The most difficult problem is the mind being opposite to our emotions there is a big difference between emotion and feeling and how we can discover it and deal with it,” he pointed out. The participants follow certain rules of practice. “The participants of the course will obtain knowledge of principles and skills to practice the analysis.

This science has ethics that the precisionist has to follow such as not analyzing someone without their permission,” he explained. To analyze the present personality and emotions of a person, the handwriting has to be new. If it was an old writing, then it will show the old emotions or personality that he had during the time when he wrote it. “A professional analyzer needs three fully written A4 size pages to make the correct analyses, so we don’t consider the content. So for instance if the person wrote wrong information about himself or the family, the analyst won’t take that into consideration as he is focusing on the size of the handwriting, which he measures with a ruler. Even drawings and graphs can be analyzed. The analyzer can also notice if the person is writing consciously or unconsciously or if he is a slow writer or fast one,” concluded Obaid. Ali Obaid teaches and lectures Masters’ students at the King Fahad University for Security Sciences in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His lectures are on discovering deception through handwriting, and instructing on how to identify violent tendencies or a history of childhood or family problems. He also wrote a series of books called ‘You Are What You Handwrite’. The ‘Managing Emotions Through Handwriting’ course will be held on October 5 and 6, 2013. Ali Obaid will also present another two-day course called ‘Intelligence Management’ on October 7 and 8.

Local FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013










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Local FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Learning English: Local solution to a global problem Specialized Solutions to get students to ‘hear it in their heads’

Dr Ilene Al-Zaid who runs Specialized Solutions, Kuwait, an educational consultancy chats with teachers at Kuwait Bilingual School, Jahra during a workshop on sheltered instruction. By Sunil Cherian


ow are the world-famous authors Jana Echevarria, Mary Ellen Vogt and Deborah Short linked to Kuwait? The answer begins with Dr Ilene Al-Zaid, Managing Director at Specialized Solutions - a Kuwait-based educational consultancy organization. The three authors, known as SIOP authors (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) together have written voluminous books on learning English as a second language and integrating language with content instruction. Dr Ilene’s Specialized Solutions trains teachers and other educators in the methodology and practice of sheltered instruction, providing models (from lesson planning to assessment) for teaching English language learners. “What happens usually in Kuwait is someone from abroad comes and presents an orientation or training program at schools when the academic year starts and leaves the teachers without any time for follow-up”, Dr Ilene, the US-born educator who has been residing in Kuwait since 1984, said. The solution to this issue is a local consultancy, so schools can have clarification and support all year around. As a teacher and administrator-turned consultant, she is well aware of the problems - particular to Kuwaiti students. Rather than analyzing the symptoms, she is ready with a handy solution - programs that will bridge the differences between Arabic and English and the rest of the subjects a school may offer. “Sheltered instruc-

tion helps teachers to set goals and achieve them in the best possible manner”, said Dr Ilene. SHELTERED INSTRUCTION Sheltered instruction integrates language and content teaching. It provides access to mainstream grade level content, while promoting English language proficiency among students whose first language is not English. Dr Ilene noted that students must be given multiple exposures to the learning to make it more effective. “No, we don’t water down the curriculum for the sake of the students’ lack of English. If we do, we haven’t challenged our students”, she said. “Give the students what they can comprehend and don’t stop there; use that as a basis - a foundation to build on”, she advised. Lesson preparation, building background, comprehensible input, strategies, interaction, practice & application, lesson delivery and review & assessment are the eight components of SIOP an approach to teaching Dr Ilene fully supports. Content and language objectives are to be clearly stated for students, so they know what is expected from them at all times. Choosing content concepts appropriate for the age and background of the students through meaningful activities is equally important. A new concept is taught by linking it with the students’ past knowledge and experiences. Emphasizing key vocabulary is also an important factor here, as students must learn and use the word in multiple ways to be able to

apply it. Students of our time may need a variety of techniques and strategies - from modeling to real experiences, and problem solving to self-assessment. Higher order thinking skills are to be nurtured and teacher-student interactions and group discussions are to be encouraged. Assessment is not an end-of-theterm event. Rather, it is a cumulative know-how that includes spot-checking. SQP2RS (SQUEEPERS) Among the many training techniques Dr Ilene demonstrated at Kuwait Bilingual School Jahra was SQP2RS (Survey, Question, Predict, Read, Respond and Summarize) - an approach to reading which has been used globally with great success. The technique starts from surveying what is about to be read, questioning and predicting the content. Responding to questions and summarizing the text are the two tasks to be completed after reading. Mind-sketching is another method, in which students draw an illustration of a word the teachers wish them to learn. They then write a definition of the word and use it in a sentence on their own. This, Dr Ilene said, enhances internalization of learning. “Learning becomes interesting when it is meaningful” and this type of activity makes it so. Dr Ilene has a tip for the learners: ‘Until you own your learning, you don’t comprehend it.’

Local FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

India after December 2012 : Are women really safe? By Farheen S Sayed


fter living in a protected environment for the last 20 years, Nadia Sayed and her daughter recently moved out of Kuwait to live in India. Nazia, a 17-year-old, who completed her 12th grade at Carmel School in Kuwait, wanted to study CA and B.Com - which made India, their home country the best option. Luxury and life at it upper best in Kuwait, Nadia has been trying very hard to make all necessary arrangements for the safety of her teenage daughter in Mumbai. The recent Mumbai gang-rape case of a photojournalist has added to her worries when her daughter leaves home. “My daughter does not like being dropped off or picked up from classes. She likes going on her own and suggests that she is a big girl and can take good care of herself. I do agree with her that we can’t always baby sit-her. But I am a mother who hears all kinds of stories of abuse of young girls. I am actually the one living in fear,” said Sayed. The violent cases we get to hear about sexual assaults or eve-teasing is not a crime prevalent only in India. The United States documented about 80,000 rape cases in 2008 while India just had about 23,000 by the end of 2011. India, overall is a safe country for not only women but for young girls also. Indian women hold top positions in corporate offices and MNCs and enjoy a good social life while enjoying equality with men. But after the violent Delhi gang-rape case that shook the entire nation, along with past rape cases of foreign tourists, India has unfortunately fallen in the list of counties deemed unsafe for women. It is also unfortunate that people are blaming the entire country when a handful of culprits are involved in the crime. The recent cases that were in the spotlight like the Delhi gang-rape, the gang rape of a photojournalist in Mumbai or the molestation of a teenage girl by a so-called ‘Godman’ have raised awareness apart from many questions. Much has been said and done for the protection of women in the country. Seven fast track courts have been established while schools and colleges are promoting self-defense classes for girls. Over the centuries, India has worshipped women and respected them for giving birth to a whole family and nurturing them. But the abuse of women has tarnished the spotless

image the country had regarding women. The Indian government has begun to enforce strong laws to prevent such cases from happening again. The scream of the 23-year-old physiotherapist in Delhi (the rape victim who later succumbed in Singapore) shook the nation and brought out droves of people on to the streets, protesting against the lax laws and long court trials to punish the accused - even when all evidence proved their involvement and guilt.

After the case was highlighted by the media, a judicial committee was appointed to make amends to the criminal laws to sternly deal with sexual assault cases. On September 10, 2013, the Delhi court announced that all the perpetrators were guilty and gave them the death sentence. But debaters still questioned: Is hanging enough to ensure the safety of women in the country? Nivedita Bhaskar, a 19-year-old student at Delhi University has lived in Delhi all her life. She feels that the city which was never safe has become a menace for women who want to move around safely after sundown. “We live in the 21st century, we study hard to become independent and have a career. But what’s the point if we just can’t move around alone? Even if we have a male friend with us, we still don’t feel secure especially after the rape case, where her male friend, who tried to protect her, was brutally assaulted.” While Delhi and its neighbors have had many violent cases of sexual abuses, Mumbai was safe until July with the gang-rape of a photo journalist. Samina Shaikh, an Indian girl, who has lived in Kuwait all her life chose to study in India after she graduated 12th grade. Living in Mumbai with her grandparents, she gradually became a typical Mumbai girl. “I loved taking the local trains, going out for movies and on long drives with my friends, enjoying street food. But I was also aware of the fear that my family felt if I was not home by 8 pm”. On certain occasions she would come across some weirdlydressed men and fear that they might do something nasty. “But to be honest, it was just fear and biased stereotyping because everyone who looks crazy doesn’t actually have to be crazy and vice versa” she said. Samina has been brought up in a loving family with strong morals. “I have never faced or been subjected to any kind of illtreatment at home or anywhere outside. I can’t imagine my state of mind or even dare to step in to the shoes of the victims of such brutal crimes”. But what Samina does know is that she still has faith in her country’s law and judiciary and vouches for every Indian girl that anybody, be it family or an outsider, who outrages her modesty, will be dealt with severely. All they have to do is stand up and make their voice heard.

Local FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Kuwait promotes peace and stability NEW YORK: The current UN General Assembly is addressing many important events amongst them was Kuwait’s celebration of its’ 50th anniversary as member of the global organization, Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah said yesterday. “Other major events also included the participation of 131 heads of state and government, as well as the accelerating pace of regional and international affairs,” Sheikh Sabah told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) and Kuwait Television (KTV) after delivering Kuwait’s speech before the 68th UNGA on Wednesday.

Kuwait was keen on the speech to be inclusive in a bid to contribute to implementation of the UN plans to fight poverty and improve sustainable development beyond 2015, said the top diplomat who thanked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for his efforts in this regard. “The speech also addressed the Syrian situation and we hope the UN Security Council would have a serious stand and stop the bloodshed among the Syrian people and collapse of the state. We also urge the international community to ease humanitarian suffering of the Syrians.” Sheikh Sabah said Kuwait did and will

do what is required to be done to help Syrians, noting that the donors’ conference, held in Kuwait last January, was aimed at easing the suffering of Syrians. As for the Middle East peace process, the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister said “66 years have passed and the Palestinian people are still suffering from occupation, despite the role played by the United States recently to resume and move the process forward. We in the Arab group had a clear stance in the aim of attaining the Palestinian state.” On Iraq, Sheikh Sabah said “the speech called on the Secretary General to carry on with his role in helping close

Speaker, MPs visit mega project sites Appeals uphold acquittal of 5 opposition activists By B Izzak KUWAIT: The National Assembly speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim and a number of MPs yesterday paid visits to the sites of three mega projects-Jaber Al-Ahmad Hospital in South Surra and the roads of Jahra and Jamal Abdulnasser, which together cost around KD1 billion. Minister of Public Works Abdulaziz Al-Ibrahim, who took part in the visit, said that 53 percent of Jaber Hospital, one of the largest in the Middle East, has been completed and the facilities is slated to be completed in December 2015. Ibrahim said that the hospital, which has been delayed several times, has a capacity for 1,165 beds and 26 operation rooms. The project cost is KD 305 million. Project engineer Ali Nadoum said the project was running behind schedule because the lack of laborers, problems with the contractor, errors on design in addition to the long duration of bureaucratic works. In another development, MP Hussein Al-Mutairi yesterday threatened to grill the ministers of health and public works if they fail to cooperate to resolve problems in the health sector. The lawmaker criticized the minister’s action in scrapping contracts for four hospitals because financial bids exceeded ministry estimates. Meanwhile, the Court of Appeals yesterday upheld the acquittal of five opposition online activists from the charges of insulting the Amir through

KUWAIT: A street vendor sells fruit juice and water along the road as summer winds down in Kuwait with temperature dropping below 40 degree celsius. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat remarks on Twitter. The five men-Fares AlBalhan, Mohammad Al-Ajmi, Abdulaziz AlMutairi, Rashed Al-Enezi and Fahad AlJafeera-were accused of publicly insulting the Amir and undermining his status besides misusing their smart phones. In addition, the first was also accused of spreading false news that could undermine Kuwait’s image overseas. The Criminal Court acquitted the activists in February this year.

Over the past several months, a number of opposition youth activists were sentenced to different terms in jail over the same charge. A number of them were released from jail after the Amir pardoned them during the holy month of Ramadan. Dozens other activists and a number of former MPs are either on trial or under investigation for writing remarks on Twitter or making statements in public deemed offensive to the Amir.

Syrian tricked into sex Reveler arrested for reckless ‘celebration’ KUWAIT: Hawally detectives arrested a citizen who was accused by a Syrian woman of tricking her into having sex with him after promising to marry her. He took her to his flat in Maidan Hawally, had sex with her and then threw her out on the street. A security source said the Syrian expat went to the police station and told them that she was in a relationship with the Kuwaiti for a long time and he promised to marry her once his financial situation improved. He called her to his flat and said that he wanted to discuss certain issues with her but instead tricked her into having sex with him. When she panicked and demanded marriage, he kicked her out of the flat. RECKLESS ‘CELEBRATION’ Major General Abdulfattah Al-Ali, Interior Ministry Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs, ordered a reckless driver to be detained for 48 hours, and impounded his car for two months, when he “showed off” during a friend’s wedding. When policemen stopped

him, he allegedly retorted “We want to be celebrate and be happy... It is only the wind you did not ban!” A security source said that police patrols were monitoring a wedding party in Jahra when they noticed a young man performing dangerous stunts in his car, close to a group of old men who were sitting in a yard watching the celebrations. When the police stopped him, he accused them of trying to spoil his revelry. He was referred to General Al-Ali who detained him. MAN ABANDONS CAR Saad Al-Abdallah police impounded a 20-year-old’s car when he abandoned it and ran away to escape reckless-driving charges and illegal use of a firearm during a wedding. A security source said that a Kuwaiti called police and told them that someone was posing a danger to people’s lives with his car and weapon. When police arrived, he escaped on foot but they managed to recover seven cartridges and one round in the area.

the files on the remains of missing Kuwaitis and Kuwaiti properties, which we are currently working on, along with Iraq.” Sheikh Sabah also pointed out to Kuwait’s Arab and international obligations by hosting the third Arab-African summit next November, the 34th session of the GCC higher council in December, and the 25th Arab summit in March 2014. “Kuwait’s speech also commended positivity shown by the newly-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani concerning cooperation and full openness with countries in the region, which would contribute in its stability,” Sheikh Sabah concluded. — KUNA


in brief

Egypt receives $2bn deposit from Kuwait CAIRO: Egypt’s central bank has received a $2 billion deposit from Kuwait, the governor said yesterday. The deposit is part of $12 billion in aid that Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates promised Egypt after the military deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on July 3. “Yes. The Kuwait $2 billion (has been) received,” Hisham Ramez said in a text message. Ramez said one week ago that Egypt had returned a $2 billion deposit from Qatar, which strongly supported Morsi, after negotiations to turn it into three-year bonds had failed. Bahrain’s commander lauds ties with Kuwait MANAMA: Commander in Chief of the Bahraini Army Sheikh Khalifa Bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa yesterday lauded the strong relations between Kuwait and Bahrain. The statement came at Sheikh Ahmad’s reception of Kuwaiti Ambassador to Bahrain Sheikh Azzam Al-Sabah. The Bahraini military official hoped that the two nations would pursue means to further strengthen their relations. On his part, Ambassador Sheikh Azzam Al-Sabah praised relations between Bahrain and Kuwait, affirming its uniqueness. GCC civil service meeting RIYADH: The 12th meeting for ministers and heads of civil service in the GCC will begin in Bahrain September 30th, said a press release yesterday. The press release by the GCC Secretariat General said that the meeting would focus on the Gulf countries cooperation within the domain of civil service. The meeting would also address problems facing those seeking jobs in the public and private sectors, said the statement, adding that it would also focus on an upcoming symposium in Kuwait which would deal with problems pertaining to corruption within the administrative and financial levels. A GCC memorandum on linking civil services in the Gulf countries on the cyber level would also be discussed during the meeting. Suspected robbers arrested KUWAIT: The Interior Ministry Criminal Investigation Department has apprehended four people, who allegedly carried out a robbery at the Jahra Government Mall and caused damage to the building and storage equipment. Following inquiries, a search operation led to the arrest of three suspects. They were caught red-handed with the goods, which included cash and official stamps, the ministry’s information department said in a press statement. The suspects include; Kuwaiti national, a Syrian, and an illegal resident. The fourth person, a Jordanian national, who is unemployed and with a criminal record, was also later arrested.


Market blasts kill 22 in Baghdad area


Assad: Syria committed to chemical weapons deal


Interpol issues alert for British terror widow


TEHRAN: Iranians walk past a huge poster depicting Iranian soldiers during the war with Iraq in the 1980s. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s outreach to the West is stirring optimism on the streets at home. —AP

US, Iran gear for historic nuke talks Rouhani says Israel must declare nuclear bomb UNITED NATIONS: With the eyes of the world upon them, the United States and Iran were poised yesterday for one of their highest-level meetings since the 1979 revolution, as their foreign ministers join talks on Tehran’s suspect nuclear program. And while officials are saying that no bilateral talks are planned between US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, there remains the chance for a quick tete-a-tete in the corridor. Zarif will be the first Iranian foreign minister to sit down with his counterparts from the five permanent members of the UN Security-Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States-plus Germany to discuss Iran’s nuclear program. “We’re going to have a good meeting I’m sure,” Kerry said early yesterday as he met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. The Iranian delegation will only join part of the talks being hosted by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton however, and no one is keen to raise hopes of a breakthrough in the dragging negotiations. Meanwhile, Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani yesterday called on Israel to admit it has a nuclear bomb ahead of a landmark meeting between Iranian and

western foreign ministers. Rouhani also said he believed a deal could be struck with the international community on his country’s nuclear drive within three to six months. The Iranian president spoke at a UN nuclear disarmament conference just before Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Mohammad Zarif was to hold talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry and ministers from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia. The meeting was to discuss western allegations that Iran is seeking a nuclear bomb capability. It will also be one of the highest level Iran-US encounters since the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Rouhani said Iran’s arch-foe Israel should join the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which aims to contain the spread of nuclear weapons. Israel has never declared a nuclear bomb but is widely suspected to have several. Rouhani, speaking as current leader of the NonAligned Movement, highlighted the failure of attempts to organize a Middle East nuclear free zone. “Israel, the only non-party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty in this region, should join thereto without any further delay,” Rouhani told the meeting. He said that “all nuclear activities in the region” would then be sub-

ject to International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards. Iran is in dispute with the UN’s atomic watchdog, which says it has still not given definitive proof that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. Iran denies it seeks a bomb. “No nation should possess nuclear weapons, since there are no right hands for these wrong weapons,” said Rouhani, who also met with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday. “As long as nuclear weapons exist, the risk of their use, threat of use and proliferation persist. The only absolute guarantee is their total elimination,” Rouhani said. Rouhani told the Washington Post he wants a quick accord to end western accusations that Iran is seeking a nuclear bomb. He said he has the full backing of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to broker a deal. “The only way forward is for a timeline to be inserted into the negotiations that’s shortand wrap it up,” said Rouhani. “That is a decision of my government-that short is necessary to settle the nuclear file,” he said. “If it’s three months, that would be Iran’s choice, if it’s six months, that’s still good. It’s a question of months not years.” Zarif will be the first Iranian minister to sit down with western counterparts

to discuss Iran’s nuclear program. While US officials are saying that no bilateral talks are planned between Kerry and Zarif, an unofficial encounter is possible. “We’re going to have a good meeting I’m sure,” Kerry said early yesterday as he met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. The Iranian delegation, however, will only join part of the talks being hosted by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. Indeed the encounter with European, Russian and Chinese foreign ministers is set to be brief. It comes after speculation that Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani would meet or at least shake hands with President Barack Obama at the United Nations fizzled out. But diplomats say the meeting will give them the first chance to take the measure of the new Iranian leadership which took office in August. And they insist it will give the Iranians the opportunity to prove there is some substance behind Rouhani’s charm offensive, and his claims that Iran is only seeking to pursue a peaceful civilian nuclear energy program. Asked what the Iranians needed to do to prove they are serious, Kerry replied: “I’ll let you know after they’ve been serious.” —Agencies


International FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Bahrain stung by Obama comment on tensions DUBAI: Bahrain voiced disappointment with President Barack Obama’s description of the kingdom as beset by sectarian tension, arguing its problem was with “terrorists” who fomented division. Bahrain has been rocked by almost daily clashes by members of the Shiite Muslim majority since February 2011, when it quelled a Shi’ite-led uprising demanding the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty give up power. In a speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Obama mentioned “efforts to resolve sectarian tensions that continue to surface in places like Iraq, Bahrain and Syria”. The reference prompted Bahrain’s ambassador to the United States, Houda Nonoo, to say on a website described as her official blog that she was “disappointed to hear him compare the situation in Bahrain to that of the current situation in Iraq and the unfolding tragedies in Syria”. Bahrain was committed to making the country a “better place for all its citizens”, Nonoo wrote, while acknowledging that a reform program was not yet complete. “Making such a false equivalence only serves to obfuscate this important work,” she wrote. Yesterday, Bahrain’s foreign minister, Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa, said the kingdom fostered a culture of tolerance between its various communities. His statement “clarified that what is occurring in Bahrain today is a concerted effort by terrorist extremist groups to target security personnel and expatriates with the intent of spreading fear and division within Bahrain’s society, as well as targeting Bahrain’s national economy and development”. Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid bin Abdallah Al-Khalifa said Bahrain had “never witnessed at any time sectarian tensions” in a statement on the state news agency late on Wednesday. —Reuters

Market blasts kill 22 in Baghdad area Gunmen shoot down 5 of family BAGHDAD: Bombings hit two markets in Baghdad province yesterday, killing at least 22 people, while gunmen shot dead five members of one family south of the Iraqi capital, officials said. Iraq is experiencing its worst violence since 2008, when it was emerging from a brutal sectarian conflict, and more than 250 people have been killed in just seven days. Four bombs in a market north of Baghdad killed at least 15 people, while another hit a market in a predominantly Sunni neighborhood of south Baghdad, killing seven. The attacks also wounded more than 80 people, the officials said. Militants in Iraq often bomb areas where crowds of people gather, and they have struck markets, football pitches, cafes, mosques, weddings and funerals. Also yesterday, gunmen shot dead a man said to have been a former Sahwa anti-Al-Qaeda fighter, his three sons and one of their cousins south of Baghdad. The Sahwa, who helped US forces from late 2006 to bring about a sharp reduction in violence, are frequently targeted by

Sunni militants, who consider them traitors. A magnetic “sticky bomb” on a car also killed a policeman and wounded two civilians in the northern city of Mosul. A similar device killed an employee of a local television station and wounded a second in Baquba, also north of Baghdad. And in the northern city of Kirkuk, a bomb killed a man and wounded his brother, while two alleged Al-Qaeda militants were shot dead by gunmen west of the city. The identity of the shooters was not immediately clear, but militants affiliated with Al-Qaeda and those from rival group Ansar Al-Sunna have traded attacks in recent weeks. Thursday’s violence came a day after attacks in northern Iraq, including assaults by militants on local government and police buildings, killed 33 people. There are persistent fears of a return to the all-out Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence that peaked in 2006-2007 and killed tens of thousands of people. The UN Refugee Agency said this week it was “increasingly concerned about the situa-

tion in Iraq, where recent waves of sectarian violence threaten to spark new internal displacement of Iraqis fleeing bombings and other attacks.” Some 5,000 Iraqis have been displaced this year, joining more than 1.13 million who had previously fled or been forced from their homes, it said. The latest violence takes the death toll to more than 700 people this month and more than 4,500 this year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources. Diplomats and analysts say the Shiite-led government’s failure to address the grievances of the Sunni Arab minority, who complain of political exclusion and abuses by security forces, has driven the spike in violence. The government has made some concessions aimed at placating anti-government protesters and Sunnis in general, such as freeing prisoners and raising the salaries of Sunni anti-Al-Qaeda fighters, but underlying issues have yet to be addressed. The civil war in neighboring Syria has also fuelled sectarian tensions in Iraq. —AFP

Syrian refugees beg on Yemen’s streets SANAA/ADEN: Fleeing the bloodshed and destruction of civil war in Syria, Yosra Mustafa and 15 members of her extended family crossed into Turkey, but found life there too expensive. They tried their luck with Jordan, but were refused entry. Lebanon came to nothing. Never would they have expected to end up in Yemen, one of the world’s poorest countries, itself riven by Islamist insurgency, rebellion by a northern Shi’ite group and separatist unrest in the south. “There is nowhere else to go to now. We’re begging on the streets,” said Mustafa, who, dressed in black from head to toe, stationed herself at one of Sanaa’s main thoroughfares hoping cars would slow down to pay her a few Yemeni riyals. Bruno Geddo, UNHCR’s representative in Yemen, says the country already hosts 240,000 refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Iraq. But the scale of the Syrian conflict, which has virtually laid waste to Mustafa’s home town of Aleppo, seems to have prompted people “to run in all directions”. The Syrian civil war, pitting rebel groups against President Bashar Al-Assad, has created two million refugees, primarily in the neighboring countries of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. With no end in sight after more than two years, those neighbors are increasingly wary conflict could spread to their soil. Many refugees endure hard camp conditions as prospects of a speedy return home fade, eking out a living as best they can. But for some desperate Syrians the cost of living even in those tent cities is too high. Yemen, where nearly half of 25 million inhabitants are either hungry or on the edge of hunger, offers a last hope of sanctuary for a growing number. Mustafa said she and her family paid for their flight to Yemen, where Syrian families do not generally require a visa. “It’s cheaper here. People are kind and honorable,” the elderly woman told Reuters, though she acknowledged beggars from other

countries like Somalia occasionally harassed them for encroaching on what they consider their territory. Waheeda, Mustafa’s daughter-inlaw, was especially bitter as she recounted how ‘gangs’ had stolen her husband’s car which he used as a taxi to make a living in Aleppo’s Ashrafiyeh district. But everywhere her family flees, it seems, they face a new nightmare. In Sanaa, Waheeda said she feared for her daughters’ wellbeing, with anecdotes circulating about some Syrians’ desperation driving them to offer girls for marriage at a fraction of what a Yemeni bride’s dowry would traditionally be. “When you’re people living in the shadows, inevitably things may go wrong,” said UNHCR representative Geddo. “We’ve heard about some young Syrian women being married off cheaply and children are not going to school.” UNHCR says there are about 900 registered Syrian refugees in Yemen, the bulk of whom have arrived this year, and settled in the capital Sanaa, followed by the southern hub of Aden. Geddo says there may be as many as 1,600 unregistered refugees, according to a rough estimate compiled by an international non-governmental organization. “There is a fear of insecurity. When people are traumatized they may well fear that if the government found out that they went to another country they may be persecuted,” he said. Geddo said UNHCR was planning a program to encourage unregistered refugees to come forward and seek assistance. The agency can provide identification letters, blankets, kitchen utensils and cash assistance for the most vulnerable, as well as help admitting their children to schools in Yemen. “They do not need to fear being returned to Syria. Yemen is a very generous host country and they will be granted asylum until they need it ... We have to make it clear they have nothing to lose and only to gain by coming forward.” —Reuters

SANAA: Yemeni citizens gather at the site of two roadside bombs that exploded one after the other in Sanaa, yesterday. The twin blasts were on the busy AlRabat Street in the Yemeni capital where the explosive devices had been hidden among piles of rubbish. —AFP

New Sudan riots after 29 dead in 3 days KHARTOUM: Fresh rioting erupted in Sudan yesterday as protests sparked by a government decision to scrap fuel subsidies raged into a fourth day and medics reported an overall toll of 29 people killed. As the protests escalated, the largest since President Omar Al-Bashir seized power in 1989, the leader wanted for war crimes and genocide cancelled a planned trip to the UN General Assembly. Yesterday’s rioting erupted in the Inqaz district south of Khartoum where some 3,000 people marched on the main road, burned tyres and hurled stones at passing cars, witnesses said. Police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, the sources said, but there were no immediate reports of casualties. Earlier on Thursday, a hospital source in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman told AFP that “we have received the bodies of 21 people” since the protests first broke out on Monday, adding that all were “civilians”. Another eight people were killed in other regions, witnesses and families said.

The new protests came after anti-riot forces deployed from the early morning at major road intersections in the capital, an AFP correspondent said. There had been rioting in several Khartoum districts on Wednesday, some near the city centre, and public transport ground to a halt. The demonstrations continued late into Wednesday night and spread to new neighborhoods. “Freedom, freedom!” and “The people want the fall of the regime!” shouted protesters, many of them students, borrowing the refrain of the Arab Spring protests which toppled several governments in 2011. “We came out, we came out against those who have stolen our sweat,” they chanted, according to a video uploaded on YouTube. Protesters tried to torch a tourism ministry building in southern Khartoum, witnesses said, adding that its exterior was scorched. Khartoum governor Abdel Rahman Al-Khidr warned on state television overnight that “the government will strike with an iron fist against those who damage public property”. —AFP

International FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Assad: Syria committed to chemical weapons deal Major powers close to UN resolution

TRIPOLI: Syrian refugee girl Mashaael, 7, flanked by her sister Mariam, 13, carries documents as they leave their makeshift house heading to school yesterday in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. UN children agency UNICEF said 257,000 Syrian children were seeking education in Lebanon this year, a number that could rise up to 400,000 next year. — AFP

Hezbollah gambles all in Syria BEIRUT: In the photograph the two robed men stand shoulderto-shoulder, one tall and erect, the other more heavyset. Both smile for the camera. The picture from Tehran is a rare record of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meeting Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite paramilitary group. Taken in April during a discreet visit by the Hezbollah chief to his financial and ideological masters, the photograph captured a turning point in Syria’s civil war and the broader struggle between Sunnis and Shiites, the two main branches of Islam. It was the moment when Iran made public its desire for Hezbollah to join the battle to help save Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, diplomats said. At the time, Assad and his Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, were losing ground to an advancing Sunni insurgency. Within days of returning home, Nasrallah gave a televised speech making it clear that Hezbollah would fight alongside Assad to prevent Syria falling “into the hands” of Sunni jihadi radicals, the United States and Israel. The very survival of the Shiites was at stake, he said. Soon afterwards, fighters from Hezbollah - which until then had largely stayed out of its neighbor’s civil war - entered Syria. In June they helped Assad’s forces recapture the strategic town of Qusair and other territory, turning the war in Assad’s favor. Regional security officials told Reuters there are now between 2,000 and 4,000 Hezbollah fighters, experts and reservists in Syria. One Lebanese security official said a central command in Iran led by the Revolutionary Guards directs Hezbollah operations in Syria in close coordination with the Syrian authorities. Another source said Hezbollah had “hit squads” of highly trained fighters in Syria whose task is to assassinate military leaders among the Sunni rebels.—Reuters

DAMASCUS: Syria is committed to a deal to hand over its chemical weapons, President Bashar Al-Assad said in an interview, as major powers inched closer to a UN resolution enshrining the agreement. The Syrian president, in the interview with Venezuelan television station Telesur broadcast Wednesday, said he saw “no obstacles” to a plan under which Damascus will relinquish its chemical arms His comments came as UN experts arrived in Damascus to resume their investigations into around 14 incidents in which chemical weapons are alleged to have been used. Meanwhile, a team of UN chemical weapons experts, in Syria to investigate alleged use of the banned arms, left their Damascus hotel yesterday afternoon, a correspondent said. It was unclear where the team, which left in a three-car convoy, was headed. The experts arrived in Syria on Wednesday on their second mission to the country, where they will examine some 14 alleged incidents involving the use of chemical weapons. On their earlier mission, the team investigated an August 21 attack in the outskirts of Damascus that reportedly killed hundreds of people.Its report, submitted to the United Nations, confirmed that sarin was used, but did not apportion blame for the attack. Washington and other backers of the Syrian rebels have accused the Syrian regime of carrying out the attacks, a claim that the government denies. Assad told Telesur that his government was committed to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which it signed as part of the US-Russian agreement on the destruction of its chemical arsenal. “Syria is generally committed to all the agreements that it signs,” he said in the interview, which was published in full by the Syrian state news agency SANA yesterday. He said Damascus had begun to send the required details of its chemical arsenal to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons which is overseeing the deal, and that OPCW inspectors were expected to visit Syria. “Experts (from the OPCW) will come to Syria in the coming period to look into the status of these weapons,” he said. “As the Syrian government, there are no serious obstacles. “But there is always the possibility that the terrorists will obstruct the work of the experts by preventing them from accessing certain places,” Assad added. The Syrian regime calls all those fighting against it “terrorists”. Syria agreed to turn over its chemical arsenal under a deal thrashed out following an August 21 sarin attack in the suburbs of Damascus, which killed hundreds of people. The attack, which occurred as UN chemical weapons experts were in Syria investigating previous alleged chemical attacks, was blamed

on the Syrian regime by Washington and other international backers of the Syrian opposition. Assad’s government denies involvement, but agreed to turn over its chemical arsenal in the face of threatened US military action. The deal halted talk of a US assault, but Assad said it was “the possibility of aggression is always there”. “This time the pretext is chemical weapons, next time it will be something else,” he said. At the United Nations, meanwhile, the permanent members of the Security Council made progress on a resolution enshrining the chemical weapons deal. Some western envoys said important progress has been made on the resolution. One said there was agreement on “the main points” of a text which could be put

to the 15-member Security Council. The envoy said it could result in a resolution that allows for a later vote on sanctions under Chapter VII of the UN Charter if Syria fails to honor the RussiaUS plan. Russian officials denied however that there was any agreement on potential sanctions. A senior State Department official cautioned to AFP: “We’re making progress but we’re not done yet.” US President Barack Obama told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday there had to be a “strong” resolution and French leader Francois Hollande said it must include the threat of eventual “coercive” measures. But Russia, Assad’s major backer, has fiercely opposed any move to allow eventual sanctions or military force under the UN Charter.—AFP

DAMASCUS: A convoy of UN vehicles with chemical weapons experts on board leaves an hotel yesterday in the Syrian capital Damascus. — AFP

Iraqi consulate in Damascus hit by mortar shell DAMASCUS: A mortar shell hit the Iraqi consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus yesterday, killing an Iraqi woman and wounding four other people, witnesses said. State news agency SANA quoted a source at the consulate as saying the shell had also damaged the building. It was not clear whether the consulate - which is located in the upscale Al-Maliki neighborhood near the United States and Chinese embassies - had been deliberately targeted. A guard at the consulate said

he had been on duty when the woman was killed. “I helped carry her to the ambulance. She was limp and covered with a coat,” he said. Rebels trying to overthrow President Bashar Al-Assad have clung to a crescent of territories around the capital for about a year and a half, and have launched several mortar and rocket attacks into the city centre in recent months. A mortar shell landed in the Russian embassy compound in central Damascus on Sunday, wounding three people. — Reuters

HRW urges Israel to stop displacing Bedouins JERUSALEM: Human Rights Watch yesterday urged Israel to stop trying to displace Bedouin families in the West Bank, where the army last week manhandled European diplomats on an aid mission. “The Israeli military should end its unjustified attempts to forcibly remove a decades-old community,” the New York-based watchdog’s Middle East director Joe Stork said in a statement. “Israeli forces didn’t just rough up diplomats, they demolished every single building in Makhul and ordered the residents to leave and never come back,” he said. The army on September 16 demolished property built by the Palestinian Bedouin in the Jordan Valley village after Israel’s Supreme Court ruled they had been erected without building permits and declared the area a “closed military zone”. Mahul is in an area of the West Bank under full control of the army, which rarely issues building permits. The

move forced out 10 families, including 16 children, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said. Israeli troops last Friday then manhandled a group of European diplomats trying to deliver tents to residents of the demolished homes. The troops forcefully dispersed the French, British, Irish, Spanish, Swedish and Greek diplomats who had accompanied aid workers to Makhul. An Israeli court temporarily suspended any further demolitions on Tuesday following the incident, HRW said. Major Guy Inbar, spokesman for the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), told AFP that Makhul demolition orders were first issued in 2009. “In 2009 the civil administration issued demolition orders for this area and gave the population there an opportunity to come to the civil

administration’s committees in order to prove that they are living on their land, to legalize the place,” he said. “After not doing that for two or three years the civil administration issued again demolition orders and they appealed to the court,” Inbar said. “The court heard both sides and decided that the orders were correct and that the population there lived in an illegal way... therefore the civil administration came and demolished the tents in that area.” However, HRW said that under international humanitarian law, the forced transfer of civilians in an occupied territory is a “prosecutable war crime”. Israel has destroyed more than 500 Palestinian-owned properties in the West Bank and mostly Arab east Jerusalem since the beginning of this year, displacing 862 people, according to OCHA. — AFP

International FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Interpol issues alert for British terror widow LONDON: Interpol yesterday issued an arrest notice on behalf of Kenyan authorities for Samantha Lewthwaite, the fugitive Briton whom news media have dubbed the “white widow.” Lewthwaite - a 29-year-old Muslim convert whose first husband was one of the suicide bombers in the 2005 attack on the London transit system that killed 52 commuters - is wanted by Kenyan authorities over alleged involvement in a plot to bomb holiday resorts there. Social media reports that a white female was leading last week’s terrorist attack on an upscale Nairobi shopping mall - followed by comments from Kenya’s foreign minister that a British woman had been involved - led some British broadcasters and newspapers to link Lewthwaite to the recent attack on the Westgate mall, despite the lack of hard evidence that she was involved. The Interpol notice made no mention of Westgate, however, saying that Lewthwaite is wanted on charges of possessing explosives and conspiracy to commit a felony in December 2011. African authorities have linked her to other attacks as well - again, without presenting evidence of her involvement. She is believed to have been ques-

tioned by police once but was not taken into custody. She originally criticized her late husband Jermaine Lindsay - for taking part in the transit attacks, but later apparently embraced the jihadi cause. She told The Sun newspaper in September 2005 that her husband had fallen under the influence of radical mosques. “How these people could have turned him and poisoned his mind is dreadful,” the newspaper quoted her as saying. “He was an innocent, naive and simple man. I suppose he must have been an ideal candidate. “He was so angry when he saw Muslim civilians being killed on the streets of Iraq, Bosnia, Palestine and Israel - and always said it was the innocent who suffered.” The British woman reportedly linked to the Nairobi mall attack gained a South African passport using an assumed identity and the document was cancelled in 2011, Pretoria said yesterday. Samantha Lewthwaite-wanted by Kenyan police for alleged involvement in a separate terror plotused the alias Natalie Faye Webb to get the passport, which was last used in February 2011, said Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor. — Agencies

A Screen grab of the Interpol webpage showing the arrest notice for Samantha Lewthwaite, the fugitive Briton whom news media have dubbed the “white widow.” The international police agency says the notice was issued at the request of Kenya, where she is wanted on charges of possessing explosives and conspiracy to commit a felony in December 2011. — AP

International FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Russian court jails Greenpeace photographer MOSCOW: A Russian court yesterday jailed a photographer who was part of the 30-member Greenpeace team protesting near an oil platform last week. Two members of the group were detained Sept. 18 in their attempt to scale the Russian Arctic platform. The Coast Guard seized Greenpeace’s ship the next day and towed it with the 30 activists aboard, to Murmansk. The activists are being investigated for piracy. The court on Thursday sanctioned a two-month jail term for photographer Denis Sinyakov who was on that trip with Greenpeace, pending the investigation. No charges have been brought against Sinyakov. The judge has yet to rule in the case of the other 29 people. Though Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that the activists aren’t pirates, he defended their detention.

Greenpeace International activist Deckhand Francesco Pisanu sitting in a defendant cage in a court in the northern Russian city of Murmansk. — AFP

Small bomb goes off outside Greek tax office ATHENS: A small makeshift bomb exploded outside a Greek tax office in a wealthy Athens suburb yesterday, damaging the entrance of the building and smashing windows but causing no injuries, police officials said. Police had cordoned off the area in the upscale suburb of Kifissia, where many business executives and politicians live, after an unidentified person called a Greek newspaper and a news website around 0200 GMT warning a bomb would go off in 30 minutes. No one has claimed responsibility for the explosion, which police officials said was small. “The bomb contained a small amount of explosive material,” said a police official, who declined to be named. Homemade bomb attacks by urban guerrilla groups are frequent in Greece, which is struggling to end its worst financial crisis in decades. Attacks on political figures, police and justice officials have picked up in recent months, some claimed by anarchist guerrilla groups and anti-establishment leftists angry about Greece’s financial woes. In June, the anarchist guerrilla group Conspiracy of Fire Cells claimed responsibility for a time bomb that exploded outside the home of a prison director. — Reuters

Anti-chemical arms activist wins Swedish rights prize STOCKHOLM: US anti-chemical weapons campaigner Paul Walker, 67, was jointly awarded the Swedish Right Livelihood Award yesterday honoring those who work to improve the lives of others. “Chemical weapons are easy to manufacture but very difficult to get rid of. Walker has 20 years of experience in how to eliminate them both politically and technically,” Ole von Uexkull, director of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, told AFP. “It is his knowledge that is needed right now in Syria.” Walker, from the environmental group Green Cross, shares the prize with three other activists who the prize jury said work to “secure the fundamentals of human life”. They include Palestinian human rights activist Raji Sourani, Congolese surgeon Denis Mukwege and Swiss food security expert Hans Herren. “They show that we have the knowledge and the tools to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, to secure respect for human rights, to end the war on women in Eastern Congo, and to feed the world with organic agriculture,” wrote von Uexkull in a statement. Swedish-German philatelist Jakob von Uexkull founded the donor-funded prize in 1980 after the Nobel Foundation behind the Nobel Prizes refused to create awards honoring efforts in the fields of the environment and international development. —AFP

The detained activists are from 18 countries, including Russia, and a long detention or trials could draw unwelcome international attention to Russia’s tough policy against protests. The Arctic Sunrise sails under the Dutch flag. The Netherlands has asked Russia to release the ship and its crew immediately, explain the legal basis for their actions against the Arctic Sunrise, the exact location it was seized and any charges against the activists. The platform, which belongs to an oil subsidiary of state natural gas company Gazprom, is the first offshore rig in the Arctic. It was deployed to the vast Prirazlomnoye oil field in the Pechora Sea in 2011, but its launch has been delayed by technological challenges. Gazprom said earlier this month that it was to start pumping oil this year, but no precise date has been set. — AP

UN court upholds Charles Taylor’s 50-year sentence Liberian ex-president armed rebels during civil war LEIDSCHENDAM: A UN-backed appeals court yesterday upheld Liberian ex-president and warlord Charles Taylor’s 50-year sentence for arming rebels during Sierra Leone’s brutal 1990s civil war. “The appeals chamber... affirms the sentence of 50 years in prison and orders that the sentence be imposed immediately,” judge George King told the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) in The Hague. The landmark ruling marks the end of the road for the former west African strongman’s marathon case spanning seven years. Taylor listened impassively as the judgment was read out, wearing a dark suit, golden tie, gold cufflinks and goldrimmed glasses. He will now most likely spend the rest of his life in a foreign prison, possibly in Britain. His historic sentence on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity was the first handed down by an international court against a former head of state since the Nazi trials at Nuremberg in 1946. “The defense failed to demonstrate any discernable errors in the trial chamber’s sentencing,” King said. Taylor, 65, was found guilty in 2012 of supporting rebels from neighboring Sierra Leone who waged a campaign of terror during a civil war that claimed 120,000 lives between 1991 and 2002, in exchange for “blood diamonds” mined by slave labor. Arrested and transferred to The Hague in mid-2006, where his case was moved for fear of stirring up divisions at home, Taylor was sentenced in May last year for “some of the most heinous crimes in human history”. As Liberia’s president from 1997 to 2003, Taylor aided and abetted neighboring Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels by supplying guns and ammunition during the conflict, known for its mutilations, drugged child soldiers and sex slaves, trial judges found. Appeals judges confirmed that RUF rebels and the Armed Forces

MONROVIA: Men gather at a popular downtown tea shop known as a hotspot for political debate, to watch the announcement of a verdict in the appeal of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, in downtown Monrovia, Liberia, yesterday. — AP Revolutionary Council (AFRC) sought “to adding that he wished Taylor would achieve military gain at any civilian serve his time in an African prison. Throughout the trial, Taylor maincosts.” The rebels “used acts of terror as their primary modus operandi” and tained his innocence. Both defence and “there is a sufficient causality link prosecution lawyers had appealed the inibetween the accused and the commis- tial sentence. “It’s a very good decision. We feel good about it,” said Memanatu sion of the crimes.” “Taylor’s acts and conducts did not Kumara, 28, who had her left hand ampuonly hurt the victims... but fuelled the tated by the RUF in 1999 in Freetown and conflict that became a threat to peace who came to court for the verdict. Judge and security in the west African sub- King said he was “not persuaded” by a region,” King said. Sierra Leone govern- recent controversial ruling before the ment spokesman Abdulai Bayraytay told Yugoslavia war crimes tribunal (ICTY), also AFP that “as a government, we believe based in the Netherlands. The ICTY acquitthat justice has been done and impunity ted Yugoslav ex-army chief Momcilo is over.”Around 100 people, including Perisic on appeal, saying they required human rights activists and survivors of “specific direction” in the commission of the Sierra Leone civil war, watched a live crimes for a conviction. That verdict worbroadcast of the ruling in the capital ried rights groups as it raised the bar of Freetown. “Let Taylor rot in jail,” said evidence required to prove aiding and Freetown taxi driver Andrew Lebbie, abetting of war crimes. — Reuters


International FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Militants fire on Pakistan quake relief helicopter Survivors complain aid not reaching

SAMBA: Indian army soldiers stand vigil during a rebel attack on an army camp in Samba, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Jammu yesterday. —AP

Police say rebel attacks kill 10 in Indian Kashmir SRINAGAR: Suspected separatist rebels stormed into a police station in the Indian portion of Kashmir yesterday and shot and killed at least six people before attacking a nearby army camp, killing four soldiers, police said. Security forces killed three attackers after nearly six hours of fighting inside the army camp, said Ashok Prasad, a top police officer in Jammu-Kashmir state. He said the attackers used guns and grenades. “The firing from the militants has stopped and we are mopping up the area,” Prasad said. Police officer Rajesh Kumar said only three militants were involved in the attacks, based on eyewitness accounts. Four soldiers died and two others were critically wounded in the second attack, an army officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters. The deputy head of the army’s cavalry unit was among the dead and the unit’s commanding officer was being treated for injuries, the officer said. Television footage showed a helicopter hovering near the army camp as soldiers fired at the attackers. Two tanks moved inside the camp looking for the assailants. In the first attack, three gunmen dressed in Indian army uniforms sprayed bullets at a police station, killing at least four officers and two civilians, according to several police officers. Another three police officers and one civilian were wounded in the firing, Prasad said. The attackers then hijacked a truck and drove away. Kumar said they likely drove another vehicle to the army camp, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) away. A man identifying himself as Shams-Ul-Haque and claiming to be the spokesman of a previously unknown militant group Shohada Brigade, or Martyr’s Brigade - claimed responsibility for the twin attacks in a phone call to a local English daily, the Kashmir Monitor. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the attacks and said in a statement that India was “firmly resolved to combat and defeat the terrorist menace that continues to receive encouragement and reinforcement from across the border (in Pakistan).” He said, however, that such attacks would not succeed in derailing India’s efforts to resolve its differences with Pakistan through dialogue. Singh and Pakistan’s new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, are scheduled to meet this weekend on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting. The two are expected to discuss steps to improve ties. The area where the attacks took place is nearly 350 kilometers (220 miles) south of Srinagar, the main city in Indian Kashmir. Shortly after the attacks, authorities closed traffic on the nearby main highway linking Indian Kashmir with the rest of the country. Omar Abdullah, the top elected official in Jammu-Kashmir state, said the attacks were aimed at derailing this weekend’s meeting between the two prime ministers. “We should not allow such forces to succeed,” he said. However, the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party demanded that Singh call off his scheduled meeting with Sharif. —AP

AWARAN, Pakistan: Two rockets fired by militants in Pakistan’s quake-struck region narrowly missed a government relief helicopter yesterday as survivors complained that aid was not reaching far-flung areas and the harrowing death toll climbed to 348. The attack underscored the dangers authorities and aid workers face in helping victims in southwestern Baluchistan province where a massive, magnitude 7.7 earthquake hit earlier this week. Two days after the tremor struck, rescuers were still struggling to help survivors. The death toll from the quake reached 348 yesterday, with more than 500 people injured. In the town of Arawan, about 100 protesters gathered around the district office to call attention to the plight of those living in outlying villages still waiting for help. “The people who survived the earthquake are dying now because they have no food or water,” said Abdul Latif, one of the protesters. Tuesday’s massive quake was centered in Awaran district, one of the poorest in Pakistan’s most impoverished province, Baluchistan. The area’s medical infrastructure has struggled to care for the hundreds of injured who were crushed beneath mud brick houses when the quake struck. That task has been made even harder by the danger from separatists in Baluchistan who have been battling the Pakistani government for years. The militants fired two rockets Thursday at a helicopter carrying top Pakistani officials in charge of relief operations. The rockets missed and no one was injured, said the deputy district commissioner, Abdur Rasheed. The helicopter was carrying the head of the country’s National Disaster Management Authority, a Pakistani

Army general in charge of relief operations and other officials. Before the incident, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told members of parliament Thursday that rescuers were already having a hard time reaching some areas due to security problems. They were trying to use C-130

miles), said Thursday that they didn’t have an X-ray machine or a laboratory to treat the more than 400 patients that have come through the hospital since Tuesday. The supply of antibiotics and other medicines was low, said Dr. Ameer Buksh, who’s in charge of the facility. He

LABACH: Pakistani villagers collect belongings as their houses destroyed following an earthquake in Labach, the remote district of Awaran in Baluchistan province yesterday. —AP planes to reach those spots, said Nisar. Baluchistan is Pakistan’s largest province but also the least populated. Medical facilities are few and often poorly stocked with supplies and qualified personnel. Many of the injured were ferried to the port city of Karachi or Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan, for treatment. A doctor at the main hospital for Awaran, a district of 300,000 spread out over 29,000 square kilometers (11,197 square

said the hospital only has two ambulances, making it difficult to reach patients in the villages or transport the most serious to the port city of Karachi. The Edhi Foundation, which runs a network of ambulance services and other aid operations around the country, donated eight ambulances, he said. The quake flattened wide swathes of the district, leaving the mostly mud brick houses in crumbled piles and their former residents homeless. —AP

Ex-Afghan Taleban chief’s touted peace role in doubt ISLAMABAD/KABUL: A former Afghan Taliban commander, who Pakistan said had been released at the weekend, is being held under virtual house arrest by his Pakistani handlers who watch his movements and listen to his phone calls, an arrangement likely to undermine his role as a peacemaker. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was captured in Pakistan in 2010 and has since emerged as a figure Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States believe could help persuade his former comrades to lay down arms and talk peace after the withdrawal of most foreign troops from Afghanistan next year. Baradar was once a close friend of reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, who gave him his nom de guerre, “Baradar”, or “brother”, and he belongs to the same tribe as Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry announced last week that Baradar would be released on Saturday but as of yesterday, he was still being kept in a safe house in Karachi, Pakistani sources told Reuters. Afghanistan, which suspects its neighbor of trying to influence its internal affairs, wants Baradar to be handed over. But Pakistan’s powerful military, with its long history of sup-

porting the Taliban as its proxy in Afghanistan, appears determined to control efforts to end more than 10 years of war. Even at the time of Baradar’s arrest in 2010, Afghan officials suspected Pakistan had captured him simply because he was trying to broker a peace deal without involving Islamabad. “First they arrested him to keep him from talking to others. Now they’re releasing him presumably so he can talk to others,” said a senior Western diplomat in Islamabad. “It’s a reversal but the commonality is that in both cases, Pakistan decides who he talks to and who he keeps away from.” One Pakistani intelligence source with direct knowledge of Baradar’s movements said he had reached out to several Taliban figures - at the request of his minders. “Baradar has been instructed by security personnel guarding him to make calls to try to persuade the Taleban to bring an end to the bloodshed and enter into meaningful dialogue,” he said. The official said a laptop and a satellite telephone confiscated from Baradar during his arrest in 2010 had been returned and that a group of 10 security men kept an eye on him at the house where Baradar occupied the first

floor. Pakistan made the announcement of his release just before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif flew to the United States in what was seen by many as Islamabad emphasizing its readiness to help. Baradar himself has not publicly commented on the events and it is unclear how committed he is to embark on a peace mission. Deals with the Taliban have broken down in the past. Many believe war-hardened insurgents are also likely to be suspicious of a man seen as close to Pakistani authorities. “It is better if we have Mullah Baradar in Afghanistan,” said Mohammad Anwar Esaaqzai, a senior member of the High Peace Council, the body established by Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2010 to pursue peace with the insurgents. “If that’s not possible, then he must be handed over to a third country away from Pakistan’s control and influence.” Another Pakistani intelligence official privy to Baradar’s movements told Reuters in Islamabad that he had made several phone calls to Taliban members. “He has reached out to his colleagues in Afghanistan, Turkey and the United States and discussed his role in the peace process,” the official said. —Reuters


International FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Japan defends PM’s ‘Gekko speech’ on Wall Street ‘Japan is back’ is the message: Govt TOKYO: Japan’s top government spokesman yesterday defended a speech by the prime minister in which he compared the career of fictional Wall Street titan-turned-criminal Gordon Gekko with his own country’s economic resurgence. Shinzo Abe’s address to the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday-which touched on everything from hot dogs and sushi to baseball and US heavy metal rock band Metallica-repeatedly

Actor Michael Douglas, whose performance netted him an Academy Award, reprised the role in the 2010 sequel “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” which chronicles Gekko’s notoriety after his release from prison and his subsequent move to seek redemption. “What the prime minister wanted to say the most was that ‘Japan is Back’. And in the sequel, Gordon Gekko was redeemed, wasn’t he?” top government

NEW YORK: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addresses a High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament during the 68th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, yesterday. —AFP mentioned the anti-hero of the 1987 film “Wall Street”. “Today, I have come to tell you that Japan will once again be a country where there is money to be made, and that just as Gordon Gekko made a comeback in the financial world... so too can we now say that ‘Japan is Back’,” Abe said. The Oliver Stone-directed film portrays Gekko as a corporate raider who is ultimately sent to prison on insider trading charges and other securities violations. His memorable line that “ good” became a popular symbol of 1980s excess.

spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters. Suga was responding to questions about why Japan’s leader had cited a cinematic convicted criminal as an inspiration for a policy blitz aimed at reviving the country’s long-limp economy. Abe noted that the original film a quartercentury ago portrayed Japan as an economic powerhouse, while in the sequel “the investors that appear are Chinese-Japan is conspicuous only in its absence”, reflecting its two-decade slide. The premier’s wide-ranging speech, on the

eve of his appearance at the UN General Assembly, was strewn with metaphors, from the musical to the culinary. In one section he pointed to hopes that sushi carts would one day be lined up alongside New York City’s famous hot dog vendors-apparently confirming Japan’s revival. In a slightly strained sporting simile, Abe compared the “sharp breaking cutter” of Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, with the inevitability of Japan’s economic revival. “Even now, at age 43, Rivera has that one pitch-that sharp-breaking cutter-that every batter finds entirely unhittable,” he said. “I am convinced he is the best closer anywhere in the world. “There is likewise no need to go to extraordinary lengths to find a scenario in which Japan reemerges. I believe that, just like one of Rivera’s cutters, Japan will be able to revive as long as it unleashes its intrinsic potential.” New York Yankees star Ichiro Suzuki and Japan’s super-efficient bullet trains also got a mention, as part of a pitch for Japanese involvement in a proposed maglev link between Baltimore and Washington DC. After swinging through lithium-ion batteries, wind turbines, deregulation, trade pacts and an upcoming meeting with the editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, he returned to Michael Douglas’s big-spending trader. “To paraphrase Gordon Gekko, “How are we going to revive the global economy? Well, I’ll tell you. Three words: ‘Buy my Abenomics!’” The quote was an apparent reference to a scene in the second film in which Gekko is trying to convince an audience to buy his book. The Japanese prime minister, who is not known to have previously expressed a liking for hard rock, finished his speech touching on the title track from a 1991 album by US heavy metal group Metallica. “Japan is once again in the midst of great elation as we prepare for the (Olympic) Games seven years from now,” he said. “It is almost as if Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” is resounding throughout Yankee Stadium: you know how this is going to end.” —AFP

BANGKOK: Joseph Manuel Hunter (center) is escorted by Thai police commandos to Police Aviation Division after being arrested, in Bangkok yesterday. —AP

American held in Thailand over drug charges BANGKOK: Police in Thailand arrested an American man and five other suspects wanted by the US for allegedly running an international drug trafficking network that spanned Asia and the United States, authorities said yesterday. Joseph Manuel Hunter, 48, and his alleged accomplices were arrested Wednesday on the resort island of Phuket as part of a sting operation launched at the request of the US Drug Enforcement Agency, said Thai deputy police chief Somyot Pumpanmuang. He called Hunter a “leading drug lord” wanted for drug smuggling, trafficking and other international crimes, which he did not specify. “This group was considered to be a big network that spanned many countries,” including Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Philippines, Somyot said. All six suspects - including two Brits, a Slovak, a Filipino and a Taiwanese - have been named on a US arrest warrant and were expected to be deported to New York, where the warrant was issued, Somyot said. He did not give a time frame for the transfer. Hunter served in the US Navy, and his alleged accomplices were also believed to have had military training, police said. “All these people were trained to kill,” Somyot told reporters at a police airport in Bangkok, where the suspects were flown Thursday from Phuket. He said the DEA contacted Thai authorities several months ago to say that Hunter was believed to be hiding in Phuket. Hunter regularly traveled around the region and last entered Thailand from the Philippines on Sept. 6, Somyot said. US Embassy spokesman Walter Braunohler in Bangkok said he could not immediately comment on the case and referred questions to Washington. —AP

Taiwan’s navy launches surface-to-air missile ABOARD THE ROCS SU AO, Taiwan: Taiwan’s navy launched its premier surface-to-air missile from the deck of a warship yesterday, its first test of the weapon in six years, destroying a drone simulating a Chinese air attack. The US-made Standard II missile, fired from the Kidd-class Makung destroyer, soared into the skies over the ocean dozens of miles east off Hualien, eastern Taiwan, hitting the drone, according to the navy. Artillery were also used in the drill, codenamed “Sea Standard”, that simulated a Chinese strike on the Taiwanese fleet. “Standard II is very stable. There is no need to fire the costly weaponry every year to verify its reliability,” Admiral Wen Chen-kuo told AFP from the nearby Su Ao destroyer, citing its success six years ago in a similar naval manouevre. Each Standard II missile costs around

$3 million. With a range of over 130 kilometres (81 miles), it provides warships with a more comprehensive and longer-range air defense capability. Currently, only four 10,000-tonne Kiddclass destroyers, the biggest warships of Taiwanese navy, are armed with the regional air defense weaponry. Due to bad weather, Taiwan’s military had to call off some of the exercises. Taiwan and China split in 1949 at the end of a civil war. Tensions between them have eased markedly since 2008, after Ma Ying-jeou of the China-friendly Kuomintang party came to power. He was re-elected in January 2012. China has repeatedly threatened to invade Taiwan should the island declare independence, prompting Taiwan to keep modernizing its forces and conduct regular military drills. —AFP

Taiwan’s navy launches a surface-to-air SM-2 missile from a Kidd class destroyer during the Hai-Biao (Sea Dart) annual exercises off the northeastern coast of Taiwan, yesterday. —AP

International FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Avoiding shutdown likely means bigger debt fight Lawmakers mull options amid stalemate

Former President Bill Clinton (left) and President Barack Obama are seen on stage at the Clinton Global Initiative. — AP

Reunited Obama, Clinton tout healthcare law NEW YORK: President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton took to the same stage Tuesday to promote the new health care law that Obama championed after Clinton’s own efforts to reform health care years earlier fell flat. Joining forces under dimmed lights in a hotel ballroom in New York, Obama and Clinton laid out the law’s benefits and its connection to the economy while dispelling what they called disinformation about its downsides. Clinton, acting as host, lobbed the questions; Obama answered with the eagerness of a guest on a daytime TV talk show. It was a pair of presidents in dark suits, reclining on comfy, white chairs as they reflected on the effort that went in to passing the sweeping law, and the intense challenges facing its implementation. New exchanges where Americans can buy health insurance - a centerpiece of the law open for enrollment on Oct 1. “I don’t have pride of authorship for this thing, I just want the thing to work,” Obama said. He added that he was confident Americans will be swayed by its advantages even though polls show they’re deeply wary of the law. “The devil you know is always better than the devil you don’t know.” Clinton felt free to point out some of the drawbacks in the law’s implementation, while making clear that Obama was not the one to blame. For example, he noted that the Supreme Court said states could not be forced to take Medicaid money to finance the expansion of health coverage. “That’s going to lead to a cruel result, and there’s nothing the president can do, and it’s not his fault. That’s what the Supreme Court said,” Clinton said.The hourlong appearance, sponsored by the former president’s foundation known as the Clinton Global Initiative, marks the start of a concerted campaign by the Obama administration and its allies to inform consumers about their options under the law. It also took place around the 20th anniversary of Clinton’s address to a joint session of Congress calling for an overhaul of the health care system. That effort, by Clinton and former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, was unsuccessful. Mrs. Clinton, who ran against Obama before becoming his first-term secretary of state, introduced the two presidents with a list of what they have in common. They’re both left-handed, love golf and have fabulous daughters, she said. And one more thing: “They each married far above themselves,” Clinton said with a laugh. Beyond the discussion, Obama also plans to promote the law during a speech at a community college in Maryland. Vice President Joe Biden will reach out to nurses across the country on a conference call and Obama will hold a separate call with mayors and other state and local officials, the White House said. First lady Michelle Obama plans outreach to key groups, such as mothers and military veterans, through editorials. Aware that a lack of participation could imperil the law’s success, Obama noted the “unprecedented effort” by conservatives to block it, then repeal it, then scare Americans out of signing up for coverage. The Republican-controlled House has voted dozens of times to repeal, delay or starve the law of funds, arguing that it is hurting the economy. None of the bills have advanced in the Democratic-controlled Senate. —AP

WASHINGTON: With five days until a possible US government shutdown, lawmakers were to mull options yesterday for keeping agencies open while potentially postponing a battle over President Barack Obama’s healthcare law. The Senate expected to approve a stopgap funding bill soon that strips out a provision defunding the controversial health law, while House Republicans were to confer over possible plans to shift the healthcare fight to mid-October, when lawmakers will need to raise the debt ceiling. Congress is deeply fractured over how to spend within the government’s means, and they have yet to come to terms over a budget that funds federal operations beyond next Monday, the final day of the current fiscal year. After the Senate moved forward Wednesday on the temporary spending bill, the chamber’s top Democrat Harry Reid stripped it of the healthcare provision, insisting that nothing that defunds so-called “Obamacare” will pass the Senate, as it did in the House. Republican and Democratic leaders agreed to compress the procedural time before the next Senate vote, meaning the chamber could pass its legislation on Saturday, leaving the lower house barely 48 hours to pass the amended bill. Any changes to the bill by House Speaker John Boehner would require the reworked version to go back to the Senate for approval, almost certainly leading to a government shutdown. “I would hope we can expedite this,” Reid said. “We have a lot to do and I hope we can get there as quickly as we can.” If no deal is reached, many government agencies would shut down from Tuesday, and hundreds of thousands of federal workers would be ordered to stay home with no pay. Meanwhile, a congressional source said House Republicans were considering reworking their budget measure to include a

one-year delay of Obamacare’s so-called individual mandate, which requires nearly all Americans to have insurance by January 2014 or pay a fine. “It is an option that some people like,” a Republican aide told AFP. Other Republicans, however, have spoken of the potential for passing a clean stopgap budget and shifting the Obamacare fight to the debt ceiling, where they feel they might have more leverage. Boehner’s leadership team was expected to propose that plan to the caucus Thursday, according to the Washington Post. With the attention earlier this week on the Senate, conservative Senator Ted Cruz took to the floor Tuesday for an extraordinary, 21-hour speech railing against Obamacare as “the biggest job killer in this country.” Many Republicans expressed opposition to Cruz’s delay strategy, warning it could leave insufficient time for the House to consider the Senate measure. They said Republicans would be blamed for a shutdown debacle, and it would hurt the party’s standing with voters. White House spokesman Jay Carney weighed in, saying “it would be irresponsible to not fund the essential functions of the government out of ideological pique.” As lawmakers squabble over the way forward, the need to raise the US debt ceiling was rapidly approaching. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew warned that the government will reach its statutory debt cap by October 17, and that failure to raise it would lead to “catastrophic” default. “If we have insufficient cash on hand, it would be impossible for the United States of America to meet all of its obligations for the first time in our history,” Lew said in a letter to Boehner. Lew urged Congress to “act immediately” to increase the borrowing limit, which has been locked at $16.7 trillion since May.—AFP

WASHINGTON: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, and other lawmakers meet with new mothers and their babies on Capitol Hill in Washington to criticize Republican efforts to kill the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as “Obamacare.” — AP

Venezuelan president scraps UN trip over ‘threats’ CARACAS: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he had scrapped his plan to take part in the UN General Assembly in New York to “protect my life” after purported threats on it. Maduro, just back from a visit to China, said that on a layover in Vancouver he received intelligence on what he said were “two highly serious provocations,” which prompted him to scrap his UN trip. “When I got into Vancouver I evaluated the intelligence which we received from several sources. I decided then and there to continue back to Caracas and drop the New York trip to protect a key goal: safeguarding my physical integrity, protecting my life,” Maduro told local media. One of the alleged provocations “had been planned against my physical integrity” and another could have involved violence in New York, the leading face of Latin America’s left charged. Maduro also claimed the US “knew of these provocations” and that the US president was going to allow them “to take place under his own nose.” He said Foreign Minister Elias Juau was attending the summit in his place. Venezuela is the region’s closest ally of Communist Cuba, which regularly has charged US conservatives were plotting against their leaders, leftist policies and governments. Maduro earlier this month claimed the White House is plotting the “collapse”

of his government next month by sabotaging food, electricity and fuel supplies. Maduro’s predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez, also made regular claims about several alleged US plots to kill him. The countries have not had ambassadors in each others’ capitals since 2010, though the US remains Venezuela’s largest buyer of crude oil. Separately, Venezuela said it would be filing suit against Airbus after Caracas sent its presidential jet for routine maintenance in France and, when it was returned, found what Maduro claims was serious damage to a wing. “We are preparing legal action against the European manufacturer for that problem” found after the jet had been in the shop a longer-than-usual five months, Maduro said in a speech. Maduro, who took Venezuela’s helm April 19, on many of his presidential trips has flown in a jet with Cubana de Aviacion markings-which he calls “the ALBA jet” referring to the Cuban-founded, Caracas-funded leftist Latin diplomatic alliance called ALBA. The president said Wednesday that after the incident with the Airbus jet, he no longer will use it. “I have called in local experts to do a report. They are working on it and asking for Airbus to explain why the presidential jet has a defect if it was just in the shop for five months,” Maduro said. —AFP


International FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Police still searching for NY office shooter Kim once served as vendor GARDEN CITY, New York: Authorities searched yesterday for a disgruntled vendor who they say walked into a suburban light fixture company and opened fire, killing an employee and wounding another person. Police identified Sang Ho Kim, 63, of Queens, as the gunman who fled in a white SUV following the shooting Wednesday morning, which led to the lockdown of schools and businesses at Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City, about 30 miles east of New York City. Nassau County police Chief Steven Skrynecki said at a news conference that police believe Kim once served as a vendor to the light fixture import firm, Savenergy. “The motive here appears to be a work-related motive,” he said. “There was some disgruntlement between him and the company he was attacking. We have nothing to suggest that this individual is on a random, shooting rampage.” Police said yesterday that the search for the gunman has been

expanded to upstate New York. New Windsor police told The Times Herald-Record of Middletown that state and local police helicopters searched along Routes 9W and 32 in the Newburgh, New Windsor and Cornwall areas for the suspect. The search focused on a cemetery along 9W, among other locations some 55 miles north of New York City. Their search was scaled down Wednesday night. Authorities said the suspect walked into a room where the owner and employees were standing and opened fired. The wounded victim underwent surgery on Wednesday. The person’s condition was not immediately known. Police did not release any names. Around 11 pm, the scene of the shooting remained cordoned off with caution tape and law enforcement officers could be seen patrolling the streets. Some were pulling over drivers and talking to them. Skrynecki said about four people were inside the building when the shooting

happened. He refused to say what type of weapon was used or whether one was recovered. A call to Savenergy wasn’t returned. The company’s website said it develops energy reduction technology that promises to reduce lighting, air conditioning, heating and electrical costs. The shooting took place near a perimeter road that leads to the Roosevelt Field mall. The area isn’t far from where Charles Lindberg took off on his historic trans-Atlantic flight to Paris in 1927. When reports of the shooting surfaced, no customers or workers were allowed to leave the mall and no one was allowed to enter, but customers were able to roam around inside. Some stores, like Bloomingdale’s, closed. At nearby Nassau Community College, 18-year-old student Robert Brown said he huddled in a hallway for about two hours after police arrived on campus in search of the gunman. —AP

FBI: Navy Yard gunman left note about radio waves WASHINGTON: In the final months of his life, Aaron Alexis complained of hearing voices talking to him through a wall and of microwave vibrations that he said entered his body and prevented him from sleeping. His delusional belief that he was being bombarded by extremely low-frequency radio waves escalated to the point that, before embarking on a murderous rampage that killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard, he left behind this note: “Ultra-low frequency attack is what I’ve been subject to for the last 3 months, and to be perfectly honest that is what has driven me to this,” read an electronic document FBI agents recovered after the shooting. The FBI revealed that note from Alexis on Wednesday, along with peculiar notations on the shotgun he used, as evidence of a man in the throes of profound paranoia and delusions. Investigators have found no evidence that the

September 16 shooting was inspired by a workplace conflict, saying he picked his victims at random and appears to have been driven by an unchecked mental illness. The attack, which ended with Alexis shot dead by a police officer, came one month after he complained to police in Rhode Island that people were talking to him through the walls and ceilings of his hotel room and sending microwave vibrations into his body to deprive him of sleep. His shotgun, which he purchased two days before the shooting from a gun shop in Virginia, was etched with messages including “My ELF Weapon!” - an apparent reference to extremely low-frequency waves - and “End to The Torment!” The ELF frequency range has historically been used for submarine communications, but some conspiracy theorists believe it allows for government monitoring and mind control of citizens, said

WASHINGTON: Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office Valerie Parlave (right) followed by Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Office of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service Michael T Monroe (second from right) and Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier (second from left) arrive for a news conference about the investigation into the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard outside the FBI field office in Washington. —AP

Valerie Parlave, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office. Alexis, a 34-year-old former Navy reservist and computer technician for a government contractor, used a valid badge to get into the Navy Yard, entered a fourth-floor bathroom with a bag and emerged with a Remington shotgun with a sawed-off barrel and stock. He killed 12 workers, civilian employees and contractors ranging in age from 46 to 73, before being killed by a US Park Police officer during a rampage and shootout that lasted more than an hour, the FBI said. “There are indicators that Alexis was prepared to die during the attack and that he accepted death as the inevitable consequence of his actions,” Parlave said. Surveillance video released by the FBI on Wednesday shows Alexis pulling his rental car into a garage, entering the building with a bag and then moving through a corridor with the shotgun, ducking and crouching around a corner and walking briskly down a flight of stairs. The video does not show the shots he fired. A timeline issued by the FBI shows Alexis started the rampage on the building’s fourth floor and then moved down to the third and first floors. He ultimately returned to the third floor, where he was killed around 9:25 am. FBI Director James Comey has said there’s no evidence that Alexis shot down into the atrium despite earlier accounts from witnesses at the scene. Alexis had started a job as a contractor in the building just a week before. Although there was a “routine performance-related issue addressed to him” on the Friday before the Monday morning shooting, “there is no indication that this caused any sort of reaction from him,” Parlave said. —AP

NEW YORK: Pedestrians pass a depopulated New Haven transit line departures board at Grand Central Terminal, Wednesday in New York. —AP

Frustration for NY rail commuters NEW YORK: Tens of thousands of commuters traveling into and out of New York City are scrambling to devise alternative routes after a power failure on a heavily trafficked line of the nation’s second-largest commuter railroad brought service to a creep and forced commuters into cars, clogging the highways. Officials were working Thursday to find alternative power sources to end the hours-long delays that could last for weeks after a high-voltage feeder cable failed early Wednesday at a suburban New York station. “I’m just trying to get through the next two days,” said Pete Hartney, 64, who makes a daily two-hour commute from Guilford, Conn., to New York City that has extended by 90 minutes following the power outage. “I’m going to try to put up with whatever they throw our way for the next few days, then formulate a plan over the weekend.” Tens of thousands of people in the densely populated suburbs north of New York City and into Connecticut use the Metro-North commuter railroad. Metro-North said its service plans for Thursday’s commuters can accommodate about 33 percent of the regular ridership and urged customers to stay at home or find alternative services. The broken circuit could take two to three weeks to repair, the New Yorkbased utility Consolidated Edison said. “This is going to be a substantial disruption for a substantial period of time,” said Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy at a Wednesday evening press conference in Hartford, Conn., adding the line serving New Haven, Conn., was the busiest in the nation, with 125,000 daily passengers and serving 38 stations and 23 towns. “Folks, plan on longterm lack of service or being underserved,” he said. The delays had a ripple effect Wednesday. Interstate 95 saw significant traffic congestion Wednesday morning in Connecticut, where it runs near the railroad. And Amtrak, which runs along the same MetroNorth corridor, advised passengers that service in the Northeast was operating with significant delays. Acela Express service was suspended between New York and Boston, and service between New York and Washington was delayed. Irate passengers vented online, and the head of a commuter advisory group complained that rail service was disrupted frequently over the summer for needed track work in New York. Wednesday’s disruption, though not Metro-North’s fault, adds to frustration among commuters, commuter advocate Jim Cameron said. —AP

Decision to release Newtown tapes to prompt appeal HARTFORD, Connecticut: The prosecutor leading the investigation into last year’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School plans to appeal a decision by the state’s Freedom of Information Commission to release 911 tapes from the shooting. The commission on Wednesday ruled in favor of The Associated Press, which sought access to records withheld by investigators. The recordings will not be made available immediately, but Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky III said the decision will be appealed in Connecticut’s courts. The recordings could shed light on the law enforcement response to one of the worst school shootings in US history. Twenty-six people, including 20 first-graders, were killed inside the school on Dec. 14 by the gunman, Adam Lanza, who committed suicide as police arrived. Lanza also killed his mother, Nancy, at their Newtown home before the rampage. Sedensky argued that the calls should be exempt from public information laws because they contain information that could be used in a law enforcement action. He contended that releasing them could subject witnesses to harassment from conspiracy theorists and violate survivors from the school who deserve special protection as victims of child abuse. —AP

Business FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 US economy grew at 2.5% rate in spring

Oman set to unveil privatization plans PAGE 20


ATHENS: European Commission director Matthias Morse (left) and European Central Bank’s (ECB) Mission Chief for Greece Klaus Masuch (back-center) leave the Greek ministry of finance under police protection as a group of protesters gather nearby in Athens yesterday. — AFP

Dubai to double real estate fee Emirates to act as IMF warns of bubble threat DUBAI: The emirate of Dubai will double the registration fee charged on real estate transactions in an effort to prevent excessive speculation in its property market, a top official said yesterday. The fee will increase to 4 percent from 2 percent on Oct. 6, Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, Director General of the government’s Land Department, told reporters. Warehouses and industrial property will be excluded from the increase. “It will affect the quick selling of property,” he said. “It will limit the flipping of property and protect the market.” “Flipping” is buying and selling properties in quick succession to make speculative profits. After crashing more than 50 percent as a bubble burst in 2009-2010, pushing Dubai close to a debt default, residential real estate prices are rebounding strongly and the International Monetary Fund warned in July that the authorities might need to intervene to prevent another bubble from forming. Apartment prices are up about 20 percent this year, helped by an influx of foreign money. Sultan Butti said he did not believe a new bubble was forming. “The real estate market here is mature and based on real demand for property. The market is stable and is very active. We believe that prices in Dubai are not higher than other top cities around the world,” he said. But he said: “The IMF warning came in line

with our findings and that is why we think that increasing the fees will limit speculation and protect from a bubble. We decided to increase these fees before they even recommended it.” On the issue of whether the higher fee could hurt the

property market, he said: “We don’t see a negative impact affecting the transactions.” Analysts said the hike could deter some speculators though probably not eliminate them, as some aim for profits of 10 percent or more in the

Turkish lira continues slide as Fitch warns ISTANBUL: Turkey’s lira weakened for a fourth session in a row yesterday with investors skeptical of the central bank’s faith the currency can recover without rate hikes. Ratings agency Fitch’s statement that a slowdown in capital inflows may slow Turkish growth also weighed. Fitch said, however, that the slowdown should not trigger a crisis because of strong public finances. “At the moment I think the level of growth is too high/not sustainable given the global liquidity setting, and the authorities will need to accept a slightly lower level of growth,” Tim Ash from Standard Bank said in a note. “Until the authorities better rebalance, then the pressure will be for rates to go higher and the currency weaker - kind of what has been hap-

pening.” The lira was down at 2.0126 against the dollar by 0832 GMT compared with 2.0048 late on Tuesday. The 10-year benchmark bond yield rose to 9.09 percent from 9.05 percent on Wednesday. The Turkish central bank has been reluctant to raise rates, fearful of the impact on growth. Instead it has favored a mix of not holding daily one-week repo auctions and holding forex auctions. It has already spent a fifth of its readily available foreign currency reserves since May to support the lira. The lira’s depreciation trend was intensified by central bank governor Erdem Basci’s comments on Tuesday that he did not expect rates to rise and that the lira should recover. —Reuters

space of a few months from flipping properties. Dubai’s property-related stocks did not move significantly in response to the announcement. “It will have some effect on transactions and prices in the short term. But the main effect would probably be to raise more money for the government,” said Loic Pelichet, assistant vice president for research at NBK Capital in Dubai. Sultan Butti said real estate transactions in Dubai totalled 162 billion dirhams ($44 billion) so far this year, up from 90 billion dirhams in the same period a year earlier. Such figures suggest an additional 2 percent levied on transactions might earn the government around $1 billion annually - a significant boost to revenue as Dubai continues to grapple with the debt problems caused by its property crash. The government and state-linked enterprises face debt maturities of about $50 billion over the next three years; some of those enterprises have been selling assets this year as part of debt restructurings. A government legal committee will next week start looking into disputes over some of the hundreds of real estate projects that were frozen in Dubai during its crash, Sultan Butti said. Court fees will be waived for people seeking settlements with property developers, he added. Billions of dollars could change hands if disputes are resolved. — Reuters

Business FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Oman set to unveil privatization plans Sembcorp Omani JV completes $138m IPO

TOKYO: A logo sign of Japanese housing and materials company Lixil is displayed outside an office building in Tokyo yesterday.—AFP

Lixil buys Grohe to create bathroom fittings giant FRANKFURT: German sanitary fittings maker Grohe said yesterday it is being taken over by Japanese housing and building materials company Lixil in a deal to form the world’s largest player in the sector. Grohe “has entered into an agreement with Lixil and Development Bank of Japan in relation to the sale of an 87.5-percent equity interest in Grohe. This transaction represents the largest ever German investment by a Japanese company,” the German group said in a statement. Grohe said its current owners-US investment fund TPG and DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, part of Swiss bank Credit Suisse-would sell their stakes to a company jointly owned by Lixil and Development Bank of Japan. “The implied enterprise value, including the assumption of debt, is 3.06 billion euros ($4.1 billion). The transaction is subject to customary reg-

ulatory and antitrust approvals and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014,” the statement said. “The combined sanitary businesses of both groups generate more than 4.0 billion euros of annual revenue, making it the largest player in its industry,” Grohe added. Grohe said its chief executive David Haines would “remain in this position and has signed a new five-year contract.” Lixil and Development Bank of Japan “will have seats on the supervisory board” of the Luxembourgbased holding company. Earlier this year, Grohe raised its stake in Chinese group Joyou. “For Joyou in particular, this new partnership will be of enormous benefit, as our ability to grow and strengthen the brand in the Asia-Pacific region will be enhanced,” Haines said. Lixil president Yoshiaki Fukimori described Grohe as “one of the most well-known brands in the global sanitary market.” — AFP

DUBAI: Oman plans to release in January a list of state companies which it aims to privatize, Minister for Financial Affairs Darwish Al-Balushi was quoted as saying by state news agency ONA. “We are a few months away from the announcement of the new budget, which is currently under preparation and will be announced on Jan. 2. The 2014 budget will see the announcement of the companies that will be privatized,” he said. Balushi said the government owned more than 60 companies across various sectors, including some wellestablished firms with good profits and robust performance. “We have a privatization strategy, which was approved by the government. That is a two-fold strategy, which opens the doors for the private sector to venture into new projects on the one hand and reduces the government stake in...companies that are wholly or partially owned by the government,” he said. Asked whether the country’s national carrier Oman Air was among the companies slated for privatization, Balushi said the airline, which is expected to present its 10-year strategy to the government, was likely to be sold at an appropriate time. He did not elaborate on the privatization schedule. Oman, a small non-OPEC oil exporter, has smaller energy reserves than its wealthy Gulf neighbors and, after raising spending sharply in the last few years to improve social welfare and create jobs for its citizens, faces a challenge in managing its state finances. The International Monetary Fund warned in June that the country would need to contain spending growth and raise non-oil income in the medium term to keep its finances sustainable. The IMF predicted Oman’s state budget could slip into a deficit of 0.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2015, widening to 6.8 percent in 2018.

Oman said earlier this month that it planned to sell a 19 percent stake in its biggest mobile telecommunications operator Omantel, which could raise $595 million. Meanwhile, Sembcorp Salalah Power and Water Co, in which a unit of Singapore’s Sembcorp Industries has a 60 percent stake, completed a 53 million rial ($138 million) initial public offer of shares in Oman, it said yesterday. The share sale, which ran from Aug. 28 to Sept. 26 and was arranged by HSBC Bank Oman, was “comfortably oversubscribed” by retail and institutional investors from Oman, Gulf countries and Europe, a statement said. Public trading in the company on the Muscat bourse will begin on or around Oct. 10, it added. The operator of a power plant and seawater desalination facility offered 33.4 million existing ordinary shares or 35 percent of its share capital at a price of 1.59 rials per share. Oman and Emirates Investment Holding Co said earlier that it had obtained board approval to buy 1 million shares in the IPO. David Guy, chief financial officer of Sembcorp Salalah, told Reuters last month: “What we’re offering now is a plant with reliable assets and a very good business. The company is profitable and is expected to make 11 million Omani rials in 2013. We expect profit to hit 15 million rials by 2018.” He added, “This is mainly driven by paying down our financing debt. Our operating cash flow is largely stable.” The company has a total debt of $713 million payable over 14 years, another company official said. Guy said: “The Omani authorities are forecasting 6 percent annual growth in water demand and 12 percent growth in power until 2019. This growth, coupled with population growth, tourism and construction growth, is fuelling demand for more utilities.” He said, “The project founders will receive the IPO cash proceeds.” — Reuters

Mubadala’s H1 profit rises 10.4 % on investment gains ABU DHABI: Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi investment fund with a mandate to develop the emirate’s local economy, yesterday posted a 10.4 percent rise in first-half profit boosted mainly by income from financial investments. Mubadala, which has stakes in General Electric and private equity firm Carlyle, said profit attributable to equity owners for the first half of the year was 1.1 billion dirhams ($299.5 million), compared with 984.7 million dirhams in the corresponding period last year. Unlike other regional sovereign wealth funds like Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) or Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Mubadala’s main goal is to engage in investments which enhance development of the local economy, a theme which has gained greater prominence in the wake of the Arab spring. The fund has interests in semiconductors, oil and gas, aerospace and real estate among others. Net income from financial investments in the period was 1.3 billion dirhams, Mubadala said. That compared with a

loss of 771.6 million dirhams in the opening six months of 2012. Mubadala’s operating income dropped sharply to 614 million dirhams in the first half, compared with 2.3 billion dirhams in the yearago period due to an increase in investment-related spending, particularly research and development, it said. First-half revenues dropped to 14.8 billion dirhams versus 16.1 billion dirhams in the same months of 2012. The company attributed this to the one-time exceptional revenue increase recorded last year from semiconductor manufacturing and because of lower hydrocarbon revenues. Unlisted Mubadala’s total assets grew slightly to 204 billion dirhams as at June 30, 2013 from 202.2 billion dirhams at the end of December 2012. Mubadala, one of the few state-controlled vehicles to publish results, also owns stakes in local companies such as district cooling firm Tabreed and real estate developer Aldar Properties. — Reuters

CASABLANCA: Passengers entering a tram of Casablanca’s new tramway line. The Moroccan city Casablanca will get an aerial metro line in 2018. — AFP

Dana Gas waits on $600m in payments from Egypt, Kurdistan SHARJAH: Dana Gas is owed about $600 million in overdue payments for fuel supplied to Egypt and Iraqi Kurdistan, the chief executive of the United Arab Emirates-based company said yesterday. Delays in getting paid for operations in both Kurdistan and Egypt contributed to Dana becoming the first United Arab Emirates company to miss a bond redemption when it matured late last year. The Egyptian government has struggled to keep up payments to several fuel suppliers since a popular uprising unseated President Hosni Mubarak in early 2011. Cairo has been paying for some of the fuel that Dana produces in the Nile Delta for the domestic market but is not paying quickly enough to reduce the overall debt. As a

result, Dana has supplied about $290 million worth of gas which has not yet been paid for, of which $210 million is overdue, Dana Gas CEO Patrick Allman-Ward said. “Egypt is going through a rough period right now, but it will come good,” he said at a press briefing at the company’s headquarters in Sharjah. “It’s coming in, but it is not coming in quickly enough.” Payments due from the Kurdistan region of Iraq stand at around $430 million, of which between $380390 million is overdue. The Abu Dhabi-listed company completed repairs to its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) facility at the Khor Mor field in Kurdistan in mid July, but it has not restarted production because no buyers have contracted supplies from it yet.—Reuters

Business FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Euro-zone credit weakens, ECB comes under pressure Subdued money supply leaves room for rate cuts

BRUSSELS: French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici and EU Economic Monetary Affairs commissioner Olli Rehn give a press conference yesterday at the EU Headquarters in Brussels. — AFP

Brussels tightens grip on budget miscreants BRUSSELS: Four months ago, President Francois Hollande warned Brussels not to tell France how to run its finances. In a few weeks’ time, the European Commission will do exactly that as a new era of rigid fiscal surveillance begins in Europe. In one of the most far-reaching responses to the region’s debt crisis, the Commission, the EU’s executive, will now run the rule over the budget plans of the 17 euro zone countries before they are fully digested by national parliaments. The aim is to raise a red flag before it is too late and prevent a repeat of the turmoil of the past four years, which began because countries were living far beyond their means. The Commission, which acts as a civil service for the EU, will have the right to send back any budget plans it thinks do not make the grade. Countries can ignore its advice, but face tough, rapidly imposed fines if they stray out of line. The rules underscore just how far power over budget policy has shifted from capitals to Brussels and marks a fundamental change in the way the currency area is run, with a sizeable amount of sovereignty being surrendered - perhaps more than many governments realized at the time. If it works, it may launch the euro zone towards a single finance ministry handling taxation and bond issuance - a once unthinkable scenario that the crisis pushed leaders to consider. “In the euro zone, whatever one country does affects everyone else,” said Pablo Zalba, a Spanish lawmaker in the European Parliament, which this year approved the Commission’s monitoring powers, known in EU jargon as the Two-Pack. “We cannot make the same mistakes again,” said Zalba. The International Monetary Fund, which has played a central role in euro zone bailouts, backed the idea of a fiscal union in a new report this week, seeing it as a way to underpin an emerging single banking framework for the currency bloc. The United States faced a similar dilemma more than 200 years ago when its original confederation of 13 states found they faced financial ruin until they agreed an effective, central government with a wide range of enforceable powers. Under the new rules, countries must submit their draft 2014 budgets to the Commission by Oct. 15. They are then scrutinized for any shortcomings, whether they be unrealistic revenue projections, insufficient spending cuts or base financing that relies more on creativity than reality. They also face peer pressure to behave. Euro zone finance ministers will hold a special meeting on Nov 22 to coordinate fiscal policy and ensure everyone is meeting agreed targets. “We are embarking on a new era of economic governance in which the euro-zone’s credibility will be at stake,” said a senior euro zone official who will attend the meeting. What’s more, the rules are only one piece of a complex jigsaw of budgetary surveillance, which extends to the European statistics agency Eurostat and the powers it has to search governments suspected of massaging their accounts. Another set of six rules that became EU law in Dec. 2011 - dubbed the Six-Pack - gave the Commission powers to review EU national economies more thoroughly and penalize rule-breakers. Governments have also signed up to a fiscal pact that imposes quasi-automatic sanctions on countries that breach deficit limits and enshrines balanced budget rules in law. It all adds up to a new world order, but one that runs the risk of putting errant countries at odds with the Commission and testing whether governments can submit to a higher authority. Few EU officials need to be reminded of the 2005 debacle in which France and Germany pressured the EU to relax budget deficit rules, sowing the seeds for Greece’s spending explosion. — Reuters

FRANKFURT: Lending to businesses in the debt-mired euro-zone contracted sharply again in August, data showed yesterday, turning up pressure on the European Central Bank to act to correct the trend. ECB data showed that private sector loans dropped by 2.0 percent in August in a year-on-year comparison, after already contracting by 1.9 percent in July. The development suggests that the nascent economic recovery in the 17 countries that share the euro will remain sluggish. And it turns up the heat on the ECB, which has recently suggested it may consider pumping more money into the system via special long-term refinancing operations or LTROs. “The euro-zone’s recovery remains a credit-less one,” said Berenberg Bank economist Christian Schulz. But “there are some signs of improvement,” he added. Credit weakness was continuing to affect the crisis countries most. “But growth was improving in many countries,” notably Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal, Schulz said. “Had it not been for a sharp fall in Germany, credit growth might have improved overall,” he said. The ECB already flooded euro-zone banks with more than 1.0 trillion euros ($1.35 trillion) in cash at the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012 in a bid to avert a potentially disastrous credit crunch. ECB chief Mario Draghi told a hearing at the European Parliament in Brussels on Monday that another LTRO could be on the cards. Marie Diron at EY Economic Forecast said such a move “could indeed be needed for parts of the banking sector, if not for the euro-zone as a whole.” She argued that loans to businesses were falling “partly because companies are trying to reduce debt but also

because banks are not able to lend. “It seems that some banks at least are preparing for the ECB’s asset quality review by restructuring their balance sheets,” Diron said. “Although positive in the medium term, since this should deliver a fitter banking sector, it could be negative for growth in the short-term if lack of credit availability prevents business to invest as they would need to.” Howard Archer at IHS Global Insight attributed the ongoing weakness in credit to the fact that euro-zone economic activity was “still limited and business confidence hardly buoyant despite recent improvement.” However, with the euro-zone seemingly headed for further modest growth in the third quarter-after finally exiting recession in the second quarter-and business confidence improving gradually but steadily, “it is possible that demand for credit from businesses in particular could start to pick up over the coming months,” he said. The ECB also published its latest money supply figures, a preliminary indicator of inflation, showing a 2.3-percent increase in August after a rise of 2.2 percent in July. The data “add to the evidence that underlying euro-zone inflationary pressures remain very low and that the ECB has ample scope to eventually take interest rates lower if it feels the need to act,” Archer said. Nevertheless, the ECB will unlikely act on rates as soon as next week when it holds its October policy meeting, analysts said. In Berlin, ECB executive board member Joerg Asmussen held out the prospect of low interest rates for some time to come. “For us it’s clear. It’s too early to think about an exit at the moment” from expansive monetary policy, Asmussen said. — AFP

ADB sees rising risks to East Asia’s bond markets TOKYO: Emerging East Asia’s local currency bond markets are still expanding but risks to the outlook are rising given the prospects of tighter US monetary policy, slower economic growth in Asia, and persistent capital outflows, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said yesterday. In its quarterly Asia Bond Monitor report, the ADB also warned that most governments in the region have missed the opportunity to raise cheap funds to finance critical infrastructure spending. “Asia’s bond markets and its borrowers are better placed to stand up to this latest round of global volatility than they were in 1997-1998 but tough times certainly lie ahead, “ Iwan Azis, Head of ADB’s Office of Regional Economic Integration, said in a statement. “The challenge will be to ensure the region can cope with higher borrowing costs and falling asset prices, which could hurt corporate balance sheets and dampen economic growth,” Aziz said. The ADB estimates that Asia needs to spend at least USD 8 trillion on infrastructure between 2010 and 2020 to sustain economic growth. At the end of June, there were $6.8 trillion in local currency bonds outstanding in emerging East Asia, which is comprised of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Korea; Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, the Manila-based lender said. That was up 1.7 percent from March, but a slower growth rate than the 2.9 percent expansion in the first quarter of 2013, with investors now more cautious in

NEW DELHI: An Indian florist carries his purchases at a wholesale flower market in New Delhi yesterday. Flowers are an essential feature of many religious ceremonies in the Indian sub-continent. — AFP the wake of the May announcement from investment and encouraging a wider range the US Federal Reserve that it will soon of bond investors, the ADB said. Insurance and pension fund investments, guarantees, start reducing its bond purchases. According to the ADB, local currency and greater use of subordinated debt, bond issuance in emerging East Asia also alongside better project data, could also grew at a slow pace, as some borrowers help channel more funds into transport, held back in the face of higher funding energy, telecommunications, and other costs around the region. There were USD infrastructure, it added. The ADB is a multilateral development 827 billion in new bonds sold between April and June, up 4.0 percent from the finance institution dedicated to reducing January-March period. To build resilience poverty in Asia and the Pacific. Established and support growth, the region needs to in 1966, it has now owned by 67 members, continue to develop more stable sources mostly from the region, as well as the US, of funding, including more foreign direct Britain and Germany. — KUNA

Business FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

US economy grew at 2.5% rate in spring Economy may be slowing: Experts VIGO: Spain’s Prince of Asturias Felipe (right) waves as he drives the new Citroen C4 Picasso beside Chairman of group PSA Peugeot Citroen Philippe Varin during a visit to French auto giant PSA Peugeot Citroen plant in Vigo yesterday. — AFP

Barclays to shut wealth management services in 130 countries Barclays Plc will stop offering wealth management services in about 130 countries by 2016 and cut jobs in the unit as part of an effort to rein in costs and boost profit. “This is part of our new strategy, focusing on reducing complexity and competing where we can win,” a Barclays spokesman said. Barclays Wealth employs about 8,000 staff, and the spokesman said there is unlikely to be a significant change to that number although some jobs will go as part of new structure and technology. Barclays announced plans in April to restructure its wealth business so it works more closely with retail and corporate banking divisions and rolled out its new strategy this week after appointing Peter Horrell as chief executive of its wealth and investment management unit on Monday. Horrell had held the position on an interim basis since May, when his predecessor Tom Kalaris was ousted. Profitability at Barclays’ wealth business continues to lag rivals and the targets of CEO Antony Jenkins. The division posted a return on equity of just 2.5 percent in the first half of this year. The plan will see the Wealth unit focus on 70 markets, which it estimates covers 86 percent of the global wealth market, and leave countries where it lacks scale or which are unprofitable. Under the plan the bank will stop full-service wealth management for thousands of customers with between 100,000 and 500,000 pounds to invest. They will be served by a “lighter touch” new segment called “Private Clients”. Other banks are also restructuring in wealth management and Credit Suisse said this week it will pull back from some countries. Barclays Wealth, which has about 200 billion pounds ($321.36 billion) of assets under management, aims to cut the number of its “booking centres”, which enable clients to trade and book assets in particular jurisdictions, to about a dozen from 17. — Reuters

WASHINGTON: The US economy grew at a 2.5 percent annual rate from April through June, an improvement from the first three months of the year. But economists are worried that growth may now be slowing. The Commerce Department said yesterday that its final look at economic growth in the spring was unchanged from a prior estimate made last month. However, the components of growth were altered slightly. Businesses added a bit less to their stockpiles and exports did not grow as fast as previously thought. These downward revisions were balanced by slightly stronger spending by state and local governments. Many analysts believe growth is slowing to a sluggish rate at or below 2 percent in the current quarter. Economists had initially hoped growth would improve in the second half of the year. If economists are correct that economic activity slowed this summer, it would mark the third quarter in the last four that growth rates have been 2 percent or lower. Growth in the fourth quarter of 2012 nearly stalled out at a barely discernible 0.1 percent rate and then improved slightly to 1.1 percent growth in the January-March quarter. The government initially estimated activity in the April-June quarter at a lackluster 1.7 percent but a big narrowing of the trade deficit reflecting stronger export sales overseas helped boost growth to 2.5 percent in the government’s second look. The 2.5 percent figure held steady in the government’s third and final look at the gross domestic product for the spring quarter. The GDP is the economy’s total output of goods and services. Economists had initially thought that growth would accelerate in the second half of the year behind steady hiring and fading impact from government spending cuts and higher taxes.

But early activity for the quarter has been discouraging. Consumers spent more cautiously in July as their income barely increased. The government spending cuts have weighed on defense spending and business investment. And higher mortgage rates now threaten to slow a housing recovery that had been a solid contributor to growth in the first half of the year. Even the job gains from earlier in the year appear to be slowing. Employers have added an average of just 155,000 jobs a month since April, down from an average of 205,000 for the first four months of the year. Some economists worry that growth remains too weak to accelerate hiring, boost pay and encourage Americans to spend more. Consumer spending drives roughly 70 percent of economic activity. Mortgage rates have risen more than a full percentage point since May, after Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated the Federal Reserve might slow its $85-billion-a-month in bond purchases later this year. But the Fed surprised markets last week by not reducing the bond purchases at its September meeting. The decision was made after the Fed scaled back its economic growth estimate for this year and next. The Fed cited higher interest rates as a key reason it was less optimistic. And Bernanke warned during a news conference after the meeting that a looming government shutdown and failure by Congress to raise the nation’s borrowing limit could further weaken the fragile economy. Analysts are still hopeful that growth will pick up in 2014. In its revised forecast, the Fed last week projected that the economy would grow roughly 3 percent next year, up from around 2 percent to 2.3 percent this year. — AP

DETROIT: Jeff Caldwell (29) a chassis assembly line supervisor, checks a vehicle on the assembly line at the Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly plant in Detroit. The government issues its third and final estimate of economic growth in the April-June quarter yesterday. — AP

Spanish CB sees end of recession MADRID: Spain’s job-crushing, two-year recession appears to be drawing to a close, the country’s central bank said yesterday, predicting an end to the downturn in the third quarter of 2013. The country’s rapid economic descent, which sent the jobless rate soaring to 26.26 percent, has been easing up since the start of the year, the Bank of Spain said in a monthly report. “Available data, still partial and incomplete, would be coherent with a stabilization or even a slight increase in output in the JulySeptember period,” it said. The rate of deterioration in various sectors of the Spanish economy had slowed, the central bank said, pointing to rising confidence among households and retailers, and a return to expansion in manufacturing. Employment was still falling but at a slower pace, it said. The report was the latest sign of greater official optimism about Spain’s economy, the fourth-largest in the euro-zone, which last

year averted a widely anticipated full-blown economic bailout. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy this week said the government planned to raise its economic growth forecast for next year to 0.7 percent from 0.5 percent when it releases its budget for 2014 on Friday. Rajoy told the Wall Street Journal that he expected the economy to grow by between 0.1 and 0.2 percent in the third quarter. “Spain is out of recession but not out of the crisis,” the newspaper quoted him as saying. “The task now is to achieve a vigorous recovery that allows us to create jobs.” Analysts at New York-based global credit rating and research group Moody’s agreed that Spain is emerging from the recession. “The Spanish economy will begin to grow before the end of this year, led by exports,” said a report by the group’s research arm Moody’s Analytics. “However, the recovery will be weak, as

the boost to the economy from the pickup in exports will be only modest, and as fragile domestic demand drags heavily on growth,” said the report’s author, Zach Witton. The group forecast that Spain’s economy would contract by more than one percent this year before expanding by 0.3 percent in 2014 and 0.8 percent in the following year. That rate of growth would be insufficient to generate net job creation until 2016, Moody’s Analytics warned. Spain has been struggling in a double-dip recession brought on by the bursting of a housing bubble in 2008, which threw millions out of work, left banks holding huge bad loans and sent the public debt soaring. Rajoy’s right-leaning government is expected to stick to its austerity policies in the 2014 budget, freezing government workers’ salaries and abandoning inflation-indexing for retirement pensions. — AFP

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

The STORY so Far :

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A mysterious figure called The Botmaster disrupts the Dubai camel races — but Jami and Noora manage to deactivate the berserk robot-jockeys and calm the camels. Now only one task remains: Find the Botmaster!



The 99 ® and all related characters ® and © 2013, Teshkeel Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Opinion FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Mall raid rallies support for Kenyatta By Edmund Blair and Pascal Fletcher


hile it hurts Kenya’s tourism and investment, the bloody Nairobi mall assault by Islamist militants will help President Uhuru Kenyatta bolster international support as he confronts charges of crimes against humanity at The Hague. Accused by prosecutors at the International Criminal Court of fomenting post-election bloodletting in 2007/2008, Kenyatta leads a nation that is now in the spotlight as a victim of crimes punishable under international law. Saturday’s raid on Nairobi’s upscale Westgate mall, in which Islamist militants killed dozens of civilians in a hail of gunfire and grenades, has won Kenya words of support and firm condemnations of “terrorism” from leaders around the world. This could shift the diplomatic scenario for a 51-year-old president, whose election in March as Kenya’s head of state had already added a new dimension to the ICC prosecution against him. He denies encouraging the post-election violence that killed upwards of 1,200 people. Kenyatta’s allies are arguing that the security implications for Africa and the world of the weekend mall attack claimed by the Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab from neighboring Somalia should take priority over the president’s obligations to the ICC, where he is due to face trial on Nov 12. “Do you want to focus on the ICC when so much has to be done?” Moses Kuria, a strategist for Kenyatta’s Jubilee coalition who has worked alongside him, told Reuters. He suggested the ICC suspend its ongoing prosecutions against Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, for two to three years, to allow them to confront a threat to Kenya’s security that the Kenyan leader has called an “international war”. “The security concerns of the world at this time would better be served by us focusing all our energies on fighting terrorism, and ... ensuring the whole of Africa will not be a safe haven for terrorism,” Kuria said. “Therefore, it will be untenable to have these cases continue,” he added. ICC judges on Monday adjourned Ruto’s trial, which began this month, for a week to allow him to return home and deal with the mall attack crisis. ICC spokesman Fadi El-Abdallah said Kenyatta’s defence lawyers had filed a request for the Kenyan president to not physically appear at his trial in the Hague next month, but participate via video link. All requests for adjustments, suspensions or postponements would be considered by the judges on a “case by case” basis, he told Reuters, without commenting further. Western governments, obliged to walk something of a diplomatic tightrope in their relations with the ICC-indicted pair after their election, now seem willing to work more closely with them, especially in antiterrorism cooperation. Tackling terrorism “I would regard the need to combat terrorism as essential business,” the European Union’s Africa Director Nick Wescott told Reuters. He was in Nairobi specifically to discuss with the Kenyan authorities the security implications of the weekend attack, which killed several expatriates as well as Kenyans. Asked whether this would mean greater Western flexibility towards dealing with Kenyatta, Wescott said the two issues - the Kenyan leader’s ICC trial and his internation-

NAIROBI: Kenyan girls in a school bus look across at the scene as they drive past a road leading to the Westgate Mall in Nairobi yesterday. The bloody Nairobi mall assault by Islamist militants will help President Uhuru Kenyatta bolster international support as he confronts charges of crimes against humanity at The Hague. — AP

Kenyatta’s allies are arguing that the security implications for Africa and the world of the weekend mall attack claimed by the Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab from neighboring Somalia should take priority over the president’s obligations to the ICC, where he is due to face trial on Nov 12. al role in fighting Islamist extremist violence - should be kept separate. But he added: “Let’s see how it goes. It is essential that we all work as closely together as possible to deal with threats like this in Kenya, in Somalia, everywhere.” Reflecting this intensified cooperation, Kenyan Interior Minister Joseph ole Lenku said the United States, Israel, Britain, Germany, Canada and the police agency Interpol were assisting in the investigation of the Westgate mall incident and the identities of the attackers. But for those who want Kenyatta to face justice and an end to what they call a culture of impunity in Africa, the idea of giving the Kenyan leader any judicial leeway is anathema. “As tragic as the events at the Westgate mall are, the number of people killed there is a fraction of the people who were killed in the course of the events Kenyatta is accused of orchestrating,” said Makau Mutua, a Kenyan-born law professor at New York’s State University. He criticised the one-week postponement of the Ruto trial, saying the ICC acted emotionally rather than logically. He added he saw “short-term sympathy” over the mall attack but “for Kenya, not for Kenyatta”. Global risk consultancy Maplecroft said the Shabaab attack on Kenya’s leading shopping mall showed up how the ICC trials against the Kenyan leaders would be “hugely disruptive to the processes of governance” in east Africa’s biggest economy. “As such, the attack will provide another opportunity for Kenyatta and Ruto to

demand that their hearings are switched from The Hague to Arusha in neighboring Tanzania, or postponed altogether,” Maplecroft said in a briefing note. Ratings agency Moody’s said the assault would dent Kenya’s growth, particularly by depressing tourism. But Moody’s Assistant Vice President Edward Al-Hussainy added in a statement: “We also expect it to give President Uhuru Kenyatta’s new Jubilee coalition government an opportunity to galvanize a broader mandate and dull the international and domestic political effect of the ongoing International Criminal Court trial of the president and his deputy.” ‘Stand with us’ Kenyatta, who has up to now publicly pledged his cooperation with the ICC, has made clear that he is actively seeking international backing to confront the widening threat posed by cross-border jihadists like the weekend mall raiders. In a speech addressing the nation and its “friends” late on Tuesday when he announced that security forces had defeated the attackers after a four-day siege, Kenyatta stressed that “terrorism is a global problem that requires global solutions”. “Kenya will stand with our friends in tackling terrorism and I ask our friends to stand with us,” a sombre president told his nation, adding that Kenya had “stared down evil and triumphed”. Since the mall attack, Kenyatta has received calls and messages of support from world leaders including US President

Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron. Kenya is seen as a key ally in the fight against violent Islamist extremism in the Horn of Africa and Kenyan troops form part of an internationally-backed African peacekeeping force in Somalia that has put al Shabaab on the defensive. In contrast, another ICC indictee, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al Bashir, who is accused of orchestrating genocide in Darfur and is defying an arrest warrant, is treated as a pariah by the West. Kenya’s government, backed by east African states and some other nations on a continent that is increasingly suspicious of a perceived anti-African bias by the ICC, had already asked the ICC to suspend the hearings scheduled for Kenyatta and Ruto. African leaders are due to discuss the Kenyan prosecutions at the African Union next month, amid some calls for a walkout by African states from the decade-old ICC. The Hague court’s prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda of Gambia, who is leading the cases against Kenyatta and Ruto, has given no indication so far that the ICC will ease up on the prosecutions. In a statement on Tuesday, Bensouda said she was ready to work with Kenya and the international community to bring to justice those responsible for the weekend raid in Nairobi. “Such attacks by armed groups upon innocent civilians are contrary to international law and may constitute a crime under the Rome Statute, to which Kenya is a State Party,” she said. Evelyn Ankumah, Executive Director of Netherlands-based Africa Legal Aid, said that from a legal point of view the Nairobi mall attack should not affect the ongoing ICC cases. But Ankumah, whose organization supports human rights and criminal justice from an African perspective, said she could not rule out the possibility of the UN Security Council asking for Kenyatta’s ICC trial to be deferred, maybe for a year. “It would be naive to say that international criminal justice is not political,” she said. — Reuters


Sri Lankan schoolchildren play on a beach at sunset in Colombo yesterday. Sri Lanka's youth population aged 10 to 19 make up some 15 percent of its 20 million people. — AFP



up your life with chiles By Sabine Morrow


xcept for a class from Mexican cooking doyenne Diana Kennedy, who introduced me to epazote, a prickly leaf herb as sharp and daunting as the teacher herself, almost everything I know about preparing Mexican food, I gathered from my childhood friend, Deya. She, in turn, built her knowledge base from her mother, Dottie, who spent much of her early married life in Sonora, Mexico. Both parents were Americans living a grand adventure south of the border, leaving a permanent imprint on the family, and those lucky enough to be considered such. As teens, we’d hear romantic stories of silver mines and cattle ranches, and warm Mexican evenings spent dancing till dawn, of fortunes found and lost, then found and lost all over again. But it is impossible to discuss Mexico on any level without bringing up the food. And, in Deya’s family’s home, food with a heavy Mexican bent was always within reach - in conversation and on the table. Among constants was a simmering pot of fragrant bacon-scented pintos spiked with whole wrinkled dried chiles. When tender, the pintos would eventually find themselves transformed into rustic refried beans. Boosted with cheese, the beans left skinny web-like threads when spooned and smeared onto warm (sometimes freshly made) tortillas. We would cover the aromatic schmear with jagged strips of beef, grilled until the edges turned dark and crisp, while the inside remained a juicy pink. And the crowning moment would come with generous shots of handcrafted salsa, resulting in carne asada so sublime it’s the dish that would most satisfy my request for a final meal.

It’s the salsa that draws me to Mexican food. A mediocre carnitas is easily salvaged when doused with a slightly tart tomatillo sauce. But even an exemplary steak taco is rendered a crashing bore to me without a jolt from fresh pico de gallo or a squirt of bracing salsa roja. Around supper time in many households throughout Mexico, there’s a buzz of activity in the kitchen that has less to do with the main course, and everything to do with that most intrinsic element of the meal - salsa - made fresh daily. On this side of the border, most of us think of salsa as a combination that definitely involves tomatoes, maybe onion, some cilantro and a bit of fresh jalapeno or a more volatile chile like habanero. And while that’s certainly the base for many a good salsa, in Mexico dried chiles often take front and center, with tomatoes bringing up the rear, if they’re invited to the party at all. It’s the earthy, sometimes floral and slightly bitter finish of dried chiles that makes for a more complex and memorable salsa. In most northwestern Mexican homes, you’ll find festive chiles de sarta - strings of dried blood-red peppers dangling from patios, drying in the sun until their skins darken and turn papery thin. Locally, a variety of dried chiles are available in clear packages hanging in the Hispanic section of most grocery stores and farmers markets. The dried chiles range from petite but incendiary vermillion-tinged chiles de arbol to the

As teens, we’d hear romantic stories of silver mines and cattle ranches, and warm Mexican evenings spent dancing till dawn, of fortunes found and lost, then found and lost all over again. But it is impossible to discuss Mexico on any level without bringing up the food. mild and smoky maroon-tinted guajillo (pronounced wahhee-lo), which are easily distinguished by their long tapered bodies and skinny, elegant curved stems. These chiles are reconstituted and used in an endless array of dishes, including enchilada sauces, chili con carne, salsas and mole. While versatile dried chiles make strong foundations for sauces and pastes, they’re also ideal when pulverized into homemade chili pow-

With chile peppers, a meal is never boring

FOOD FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 der or rubs, which can be left plain or enhanced with dried herbs, coffee beans and other flavors limited only by your imagination. Today, many Mexican cooks still crush the chiles with a molcajete, a traditional stone mortar and pestle. I’ve long made a killer salsa with fresh chiles, but experimenting with their dried cousins is relatively new to me. And I admit that my attempts at creating a stellar dried chile salsa never yielded impressive results. Deya, however, concocts a rustic dried chile salsa, perfumed with caramelized garlic and a little cilantro, that you want to drink, even though it’s liquid fire. Following in her mother’s footsteps, she, too, spent her newlywed years in Mexico, but took it a step further by snagging a Mexican husband with a mother who taught her yet more culinary secrets. When it comes to common dried chiles, Deya passed on a piece of sage advice for the novice who might feel intimated when cooking with dried peppers for the first time. She explains that they’re pretty much all interchangeable, as long as you keep in mind the heat level. If your recipe calls for guajillo and you can find only California or New Mexico chile pods, go ahead and swap them out. If you want a sauce with more fire, add a few more chiles de arbol or the tiny pequin pepper and, conversely, if you prefer your salsa a bit more tame, add fewer hot peppers and sub out a milder dried pepper in its place. To make it really simple, keep in mind that, usually (there are exceptions), small peppers pack the most heat, while the larger dried chiles tend to be milder. My advice? The next time you come across dried chiles, snap up a few bags and start experimenting. Your meals will be much richer for the effort.

DRIED CHILE HOT SAUCE Hands on: 10 minutes Total time: 30-40 minutes, depending on how long the peppers take to soften Makes: approximately 1 cup I love hot sauce on eggs, so creating this version of a bottled hot sauce was a natural. 3 guajillo chiles, cut the stems with scissors and pour out the seeds 3 New Mexico chiles, prepared the same as the guajillos A handful of chiles de arbol, about 20 (use fewer for a milder sauce) 1 clove fresh garlic 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon molasses Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add the chiles to the water, cover the pan and turn the

heat down to simmer. Cook the chiles for about 20 to 30 minutes or until they’re soft. The small chiles de arbol usually take longer to soften than the larger peppers. Drain the chiles, discard the water and place the softened chiles in a food processor or blender. Add the garlic and process for about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the apple cider vinegar, molasses, and salt and process about 2 minutes more. The sauce won’t be perfectly smooth and you’ll notice flecks of skin and seeds. Press the mixture through a fine sieve, and pour the sauce into a clean glass jar or bottle. You can refrigerate for several weeks. Per 1-tablespoon serving: 25 calories (percent of calories from fat, 3), 1 gram protein, 5 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, trace fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 20 milligrams sodium.



Hands on: 5 minutes Total time: 10 minutes Makes: approximately 1 cup This is my take on the trendy French seasoned butter, Bordier Piment d’Espelette, flavored with Basque Espelette peppers, which, of course, originated in Mexico. Shape the spicy butter into a log and stash it in the freezer. Place a pat on grilled meats and seafood and add a spoonful to jazz up pasta. Spread it on crostini for a bit of drama. Note that a rich European-style butter tempers the bite from the fiery chiles, but regular unsalted butter works, too. 5 dried chiles de arbol 1 dried New Mexico chile, stem snipped 1 teaspoon dried oregano Pinch kosher salt 1 stick unsalted, European-style butter, room temperature (Plugra is found in most grocery stores) In a mini food processor or coffee grinder (one that’s not going to be used for coffee beans), add the dried chiles, oregano and salt. Process until the ingredients are the texture of salt. You should have about 1 tablespoon of ground pepper mixture. Stir the mixture into the softened butter and mix well. Shape into a log and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a couple of weeks or freeze. Per 1-tablespoon serving: 123 calories (percent of calories from fat, 82), 1 gram protein, 5 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 12 grams fat (7 grams saturated), 31 milligrams cholesterol, 20 milligrams sodium.

Hands on: 15 minutes Total time: 20 minutes Makes: about 2 cups of salsa 2 tablespoons olive oil 6 guajillo chiles, stems snipped 6 chiles de arbol (if you want a mild salsa, you can use 2 dried California or New Mexico chiles, instead) 5 garlic cloves, cut in half 3 whole fresh Roma tomatoes 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted whole or diced tomatoes (plain works, too) 1 cup fresh cilantro 1\1 of a white onion 1 teaspoon salt Add oil to a medium saucepan or skillet, turn heat to medium. When the oil is hot, add the chiles and garlic to the pan and toss them around for about 10 minutes until the garlic is a

deep golden color and the chiles darken slightly. Take care not to burn the garlic or chiles. Remove chiles and garlic from the pan and place in a blender. Place the Roma tomatoes in the pan and add a bit more oil if you need to, and shake the tomatoes over medium heat until some of the skin turns dark and starts to blister. It should take just a couple of minutes. Cut the stem end off of the tomatoes, quarter them and place them in the blender with the cilantro, onion and salt. Blend until smooth. Per 2-tablespoon serving: 42 calories (percent of calories from fat, 43), 1 gram protein, 5 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 2 grams fat (trace saturated fat), no cholesterol, 196 milligrams sodium. — MCT

Tr a v e l FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

The thrifty traveler Cape Breton offers affordable access, stunning scenery The rugged coastline of Cape Breton Island provides commanding views for travelers to enjoy. — MCT photos

By Myscha Theriault


Don’t be surprised if your cashier pulls out a fiddle and gives you a concert as you shop on Cape Breton.

There is a national historic site in the village which is actually a full-blown museum of his drawings, inventions and personal artifacts. This is a great educational experience, particularly for those traveling with school-age children.

hile the beauty of Atlantic Canada isn’t exactly a secret, there are few places where that beauty is as pronounced as along the raw and rugged coastline of Cape Breton Island. Crashing surf, frolicking whales, dramatic highlands and an abundance of bald eagles are just a few of the sights which will capture your attention. Factor in the island’s fiddling and Celtic music traditions, along with an authentic Scottishstyle whiskey distillery and a surprising connection to Alexander Graham Bell, and you’ll begin to see why travelers in the know make this an annual destination. Here’s how you can maximize your time there once you arrive. Nature: Kayaking is a popular way to explore some of the inland water access the island has to offer. Wildlife, undisturbed wilderness and the chance to work off a big breakfast are just some of the perks. If you’re not comfortable striking out on your own, affordable guided excursions can be booked through North River Kayak. Their half-day experiences start at $64 and include instructional time, paddling past some historic ruins and a break on a secluded beach with hot chai and homemade rhubarb jam on freshly-baked banana bread. Whale watching tours provide an additional way to experience the local wildlife. A fun place to work one in while cruising the Cabot Trail is Pleasant Bay. A number of local companies operate there, with prices starting as low as $35 per adult. Captain Mark’s goes the additional step of allowing visitors to ride on an actual research vessel where children can listen to the undersea whale song through an on-board device. Wildlife sightings in this area include pilot whales, seals, leatherback sea turtles and more. For those who prefer a more personal interaction with Mother Nature, there is Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Featuring stunning scenery, 26 hiking trails catering to a

variety of skill levels and eight separate camp grounds, it’s definitely worthy of an extended visit. There’s also road access around a significant portion of the outer perimeter, for those who want to visit civilization for a restaurant meal or a night at one of the local pubs. Attractions: Cape Breton Highlands National Park isn’t the only attraction on Cape Breton Island operated by Parks Canada. In fact, there a number of other venues vacationers can experience. One of note is the historic Fortress of Louisbourg, which features costumed actors throughout the site and period demonstrations of children’s dancing, soldiers’ living conditions, cannon firing and more. With a per-person entry fee of $17.60, you’ll definitely want to plan to spend the day. An affordable lunch option is available at the Grandchamps Inn on site. For $5, you can enjoy homemade soup and bread the way it would have been eaten when the fortress was still occupied. Large linen cloths tied around your neck and pewter dishes add to the experience. Many people are unaware of the connection Alexander Graham Bell had to Cape Breton Island. The famous inventor spent a great deal of his life here and is buried on a peninsula in the town of Baddeck where a number of his descendents still reside. There is a national historic site in the village which is actually a full-blown museum of his drawings, inventions and personal artifacts. This is a great educational experience, particularly for those traveling with school-age children. You may want to consider purchasing a national parks pass before your trip. With a price tag of $136.40 for a family, the majority of it will be paid for with a visit to the fort alone. Add on a day’s entry to Cape Breton Highlands National Park of roughly 30 bucks for four people and you’re even closer. The entry fee for four to Alexander Graham Bell facility in Baddeck has a similar price tag. Since these three venues basically cover the majority of the national pass cost, and you’ll still be granted access to other parks and historical

sites throughout the country, it’s a value purchase worth your consideration. Culture: In addition to the indigenous Acadian, Mi’kmaq, and Gaelic communities, Cape Breton Island also has deeply-rooted traditions in both fiddling and Celtic music. It doesn’t take too many times of seeing the guy behind the cash register take out the fiddle to play a tune during a lull or your nature guide whip out his guitar and start singing after you break from a canoe trip to realize something. These people are the real deal. Music is like breathing to them, and permeates a majority of experiences across the island. If you’re really a fan of this style of music however, a good time to schedule a trip would be during the annual Celtic Colours International Festival, held throughout the middle of October. Cultural events and concerts will be taking place across Cape Breton, with the fall foliage available as an added travel perk. Dining: While there’s certainly no shortage of affordable local seafood, I was particularly excited about the veg-friendly dining options I found. An especially fun one exists at Glenora Distillery, where you can start off with an affordable $7 facility tour which includes tasting samples. From there, it’s an easy stroll across the storybook grounds to their pub, where you can enjoy fireside treats and $12 breads and spreads starter with tapenade, hummus and red pepper dip. They also offer a mean homemade lentil burger. The Dancing Goat Cafe in Margaree has great coffee with soy milk available for the vegan crowd and a daily selection of vegfriendly soups and sandwiches. You can easily walk away satisfied for less than 15 bucks. Governor’s Pub and Eatery in Sydney is loaded with atmosphere and offers a number of affordable vegetarian dishes, including their $9 tomato bruschetta as well as a mushroom and asparagus risotto for $16. If you prefer the live entertainment of the pub upstairs, their bar menu also offers meatless burgers and vegetarian nachos. — MCT

Tr a v e l FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

An iconic Big Island hotel stands tall again H

awaii isn’t known for its skyscrapers, though there are more than a few (Hyatt Regency Waikiki, ugh) in Honolulu and a smattering elsewhere in the islands. So it’s odd that one of the most sublime architectural creations in Hawaii is the work of master skyscraper designers who began work in Chicago and were best known for churning out “international style” towers in Manhattan. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill had no reason to go to Hawaii except that a wellheeled client with the last name of Rockefeller asked them to come. The result was the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, the iconic, tropical skyscraper on its side on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island. It’s not hard to imagine what an impact it must have had when it opened in 1965 because it has been copied so many times ever since. The many knockoffs have left Hawaii with more than a few concrete blunders beside its beaches. But none of that is the fault of the original. The genesis of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel was in economic failure. The backbone of the west side Big Island economy, the sugar plantations, was fading by the time Hawaii became a state in 1959. But the introduction of jet travel had opened the possibility of tourism as a replacement. Gov. William Quinn invited Laurance S. Rockefeller, a scion of America’s most famous wealthy family, to essentially pick his spot along the west coast for a hotel. Rockefeller saw Kaunaoa Beach and asked if he could go in for “a swim.” From the water he picked it as the site of his new resort. Rockefeller hired Skidmore, Owings &

Merrill, previously known for urban business skyscrapers, to create a modern hotel that blended with the site. The firm created a concrete and glass hotel that has been copied many times but never matched. The steel and concrete allowed for open space where walls would normally block views. Interior designer Davis Allen came up with the bright orange, cream and off-green color scheme. Robert Trent Jones Sr was brought in to design the golf course that would ensure that Rockefeller’s friends and friends of friends would come to the previously bald spot on the flank of a volcano. Rockefeller installed large objects from his Asian art collection around the property, most famously a Buddha that is reached by ascending a long, modernist staircase. The hotel was a hit when it opened in 1965, touted as one of the three best hotels

in the world by Esquire magazine. The Mauna Kea was the premier hotel on the island for many years until tourism began to catch up. The Mauna Lani, just to the north, opened with a design heavily borrowing from the Mauna Kea. The Four Seasons Hualalai became the top place. It seemed as if the Mauna Kea might fade away. Then disaster struck. A major earthquake in 2006 was a turning point for the hotel. The supports for the building showed damage and there was talk of tearing it down. But its architectural standing and a solid core of longtime devotees encouraged the Japanese owners to spend $150 million to repair the damage and restore the hotel. The green light came before the world economy blew a gasket. In the process, changes to the hotel and

There were a few nods to modernity: Rockefeller had hated TV and banned them from the rooms - he wanted his guests to get away from all their worries and responsibilities. Today, there is a flat-screen in every room. golf course that had happened over the years were stripped away. The result was that when the hotel reopened two years later, it was closer in feel to the original Mauna Kea than any time since Rockefeller’s days. There were a few nods to modernity: Rockefeller had hated TV and banned them from the rooms - he wanted his guests to get away from all their worries and responsibilities. Today, there is a flatscreen in every room. It was a small gesture to keep the great skyscraper on its side above the sand to lure a new generation of guests who hopefully will fall in the love with the hotel and maintain its premier place on the Kohala side of the Big Island for decades to come. — MCT

Health FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013


hen most people think “abs,” they think the muffin top that blooms over the top of too-tight pants. But abdominals, a set collectively known as the core, includes the many interconnected muscles that run up the back and stretch down to the butt and the front and inner thighs, says Michele Olson, PhD, professor of physical education and exercise science at Auburn University-Montgomery, Alabama. Here are some moves, from simple to killer, that will keep your daily core workouts interesting! Get more from your core You’ll get more from your Pilates, yoga, or core-focused moves-meaning a slimmer, flatter belly-by following these tips: • • •

Move from your waist. Whenever you twist, make sure the movement happens from your bottom rib up. Keep hips still. Tighten up. Throughout each move, you should feel a tightening, similar to zipping up a pair of tight jeans, from one hip bone to the other. Exhale deeply. To help strengthen your abs and protect your lower back, be sure to exhale thoroughly with every breath.

A new kind of crunch Try this two-in-one abs-and-obliques move from David Barton Gym owner David Barton. Here’s how: Sit so thighs and upper torso form a V shape, with lower legs crossed and lifted. Hold a 5-pound medicine ball (or dumbbell) between both hands. Swivel left to right and back, bringing ball across body while maintaining the V shape. Do 3 sets of 15 reps 3-4 times a week. Bridge opposite arm-leg reach Lie faceup with your left knee bent, left foot flat on the floor, and right leg extended toward the ceiling. Reach toward the ceiling with your the left arm and keep your right arm down by your side. Without moving your hips or shoulders, open your raised leg to the right and raised arm to the left. Now, concentrating on your abs, return your raised leg and arm to the center. Do 10-12 reps, then switch sides and repeat. Low-belly leg reach Targets corset and six-pack. Lie faceup with knees bent to 90 degrees, hands behind head, and abs contracted. Keeping knees stacked over hips, lift shoulders and crunch up; inhale and hold for 3-5 seconds. Exhale and extend legs to 45 degrees; hold for 3-5 seconds while squeezing lower belly. Do 2 sets of 10-15 reps. Teaser An advanced Pilates-inspired move. Lie on your back with knees bent to 90-degree angles and feet lifted. Tighten abs as you inhale, and lift arms up and back over head. Exhale and swing arms forward, straightening legs so your body forms a V. If needed, put hands on the floor for support. Roll down slowly, bending knees and bringing arms overhead. Do 15 reps.

Donkey kickbacks A killer move that will torch calories as it works your core. Kneel on all fours, toes tucked under, keeping your back neutral. Draw your belly in toward your spine as you contract your abs and lift both knees about 2 inches off the ground. Keeping abs engaged, bring right knee to nose (shown). Then kick right leg straight out behind you, squeezing your butt (shown); keep lower abs contracted and hips facing the ground to protect your back. Repeat 8 times; switch legs and repeat. Advanced leg crunches Lie on your back with your knees bent and a 3-pound dumbbell between your feet. Place your hands, palms down, beneath your sitting bones. Concentrating on your lower abs, use them to bring your knees in toward your chest while lifting your hips, head, and shoulders slightly. Return to the starting position; that’s 1 rep. Do 15-30 reps 34 times a week; you should see results in 4 weeks. Ana Caban’s belly blaster Lie on your back with your knees bent in toward your

chest. Hold 1 (3-pound) dumbbell with both hands. Extend your left leg to 45 degrees, keeping your right knee bent. Lift your head and shoulders and move the dumbbell to the outside of your right knee, pressing into a crunch with a twist. Pull your left leg in to meet your right leg and reach the weight up toward the ceiling, keeping your shoulders and head elevated off the floor. Now repeat step 2, but this time extend your right leg and keep your left knee bent. That’s 1 rep. Do 8 reps 4 times per week, and you should see results in 3 weeks. Oblique driving-knee crunch Lie on your back on a stability ball with your feet hip-distance apart on the floor and knees bent to 90 degrees. Place your right hand behind your head and your left fingertips on the floor for balance. Brace your core and lift your left foot off the floor. Extend your left leg, foot flexed. Crunch up, twisting your right shoulder and rib cage toward your left knee while simultaneously stretching your right leg straight (keep your foot on the floor). Return to starting position (left leg lifted and right leg bent); that’s 1 rep. Do 15 reps, then switch sides and repeat. Scale Pose “I’m a fan of this efficient move not only for its core (and arm!) strengthening but also because it’s a great way to strengthen your pelvic floor-and that helps in everything, especially better posture.” Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position with hands on a mat next to your hips. Tighten your pelvic floor (as if you have to pee and are holding it in), push into your hands, and lift your entire lower body off the mat. Hold for 3 breaths, then lower back down. This is a pretty challenging move, so if you can’t lift your whole lower half, keep your feet on the floor and just lift your butt. Do 3 reps. —

Lifestyle FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Nine things we learned about the ‘Crazy Ones’ Star


obin Williams returned to television yesterday in the new CBS sitcom “The Crazy Ones,” and rallied his fans on Wednesday during his first Ask Me Anything session on Reddit. Although it was his first time on the popular online platform, he came prepared with plenty of honest answers, behind-thescenes anecdotes from some of his biggest movies, and his trademark wit, of course. “I am ready now for your questions. First time caller? Yes or no. What are you wearing?” Williams wrote in a welcome message to curious participants. “No, but seriously, I am excited to be here and exploring this medium.” Here are 10 things we learned about the Oscar-winner through his entertaining and honest exchange with some of his biggest fans. 1. Jack Nicholson is the comedian’s favorite celebrity to impersonate, and thinks Dana Carvey does the best impression of himself, too. “Oh my god, Jack Nicholson. He once was with me at a benefit and leaned over and said ‘even oysters have enemies.’ In a very intense voice. I responded with, ‘increase your dosage,’” Williams wrote. “Dana Carvey does my personal favorite impression of myself. It’s accurate. And kind.” 2. Williams is a huge anime fan. “Oh god, ‘Ghost in the Shell.’ ‘Akira.’ ‘Blood: The Last Vampire.’ But mostly ‘Ghost in the Shell,’” Williams wrote when asked about his favorite titles. “I love ‘Cowboy Bebop’!” 3. Williams is also a fan of Nintendo’s video game series,”Zelda,” (he named his daughter Zelda, which was a suggestion from his son Zachary) as well as music from Tom Waits, Radiohead and Prince. “‘Ocarina of Time’ is the best,” Williams said of his favorite game in the long-running franchise. “To be honest, I’m kind of challenged in terms of new music. I listen to a lot of Jazz, specifically Keith Jarrett piano solos. And for me, if you want just wonderful ballads and love songs, Tom Waits. I might also have to throw in Radiohead, but I can’t quote specific lyrics. AND PRINCE! For those special nights.” 4. “What Dreams May Come” was one of the hardest acting roles Williams ever had, and although he thought the final cut was “extraordinarily beautiful,” the ending was a bit of a disappointment. “Every day was literally hell, because of the nature of the subject matter, dealing with death and being in hell literally. When I watched the final movie, I felt it was extraordinarily beautiful but I felt disappointed by the ending,” Williams wrote. “There was a different ending that they shot that I felt was much more true to the story. It was about rein-

carnation, basically, that they were going to meet again. The movie ended with two babies being born simultaneously, one in Bombay and one in the United States, and they held them up, and then the screen went to black.” 5. Williams is an avid cycling enthusiast. “My favorite thing to do is ride a bicycle. I ride road bikes. And for me, it’s mobile meditation.” 6. Bobcat Goldthwait, the director of “World’s Greatest Dad,” and Peter Weir (“Dead Poets Society”) have been Williams’ favorite filmmakers to work with so far. And he can’t wait to work with comedian Patton Oswalt. “My favorite person to work with as a director was my friend Bobcat Goldthwait. My other favorite director would be Peter Weir. It’s hard to pick a favorite actor because I’ve been so blessed to have worked with so many great ones,” Williams wrote. “People I’d love to work with in the future? Oh, let’s see I’d love to do a movie with Patton Oswalt. Just because I think he’s such a gifted standup but also a really, really great actor.” 7. If Williams wasn’t friends with Christopher Reeves while attending Juilliard, he might have starved to death. “Him being such a great friend to me at Juilliard, literally feeding me because I don’t think I literally had money for food or my student loan hadn’t come in yet, and he would share his food with me,” Williams wrote of his best memories of his friendship with the “Superman” star. “And then later after the accident, just seeing him beaming and just, seeing what he meant to so many people.” 8. Williams will never forget what it felt like to fly on the set of “Hook.” He’ll also never forget how hard a few people had to work to help him do it. “Flying,” Williams said of his most memorable moment of starring in the Steven Spielberg fantasy film. “I only felt bad for the five guys who had to haul my fat ass up. At that time there were very few mechanical devices so it was literally guys on pulleys flying me across - I think it was 2 guys to pull me across. They would say, ‘We’re doing another take’ and they would say, ‘Oh not again.’” 9. Even after playing a boy who becomes trapped in the jungle after an unfortunate role of the dice during a board game called “Jumanji,” Williams would probably throw caution to the wind and play the game if it existed in real life. “Yes, I would I think,” Williams wrote. “Because the idea of a survival adventure on that level, with more solving problems versus run and gun, it would exciting.” —Reuters

De Niro takes on

Gandolfini role on HBO’s ‘Criminal Justice’


obert De Niro is attached to act on the HBO miniseries “Criminal Justice” in a role originally played by “Sopranos” veteran James Gandolfini, according to an individual close to the project. The seven-part miniseries was thrown briefly into limbo by Gandolfini’s death. But now it marks De Niro’s entry into television, one of the most notable cases of an A-lister turning his attention to the small screen. Gandolfini starred in the pilot before his death in June. HBO CEO Richard Plepler and president of programming MichaelLombardo said in July that co-writers and executive producers Richard Price (“The Wire”) and Steven Zaillan (“Schindler’s List”) were working hard on the show as the network decided what to do after Gandolfini’s death “James’ passing took the wind out of our sails quite a bit at HBO and so it’s taken some time to be able to have conversations with Steve about the future of that,” Lombardo said at the time.

Robert De Niro and James Gandolfini The miniseries, a New York City crime drama, is based on the BBC series of the same name. Gandolfini, who was among the series’ executive producers, will remain posthumously as an executive producer. Production on the series will likely begin in March. Peter Moffat, who created the BBC series, is also executive producing, with Jane Tranter, Mark Armstrong and Nancy Sanders. Zaillian is directing. Garrett Basch is producing. — Reuters

Jennifer Lawrence

to Star in ‘East of Eden’


ennifer Lawrence is attached to star in two literary adaptations - John Steinbeck’s seminal 1952 novel “East of Eden” and Hannah Kent’s “Burial Rites,” both of which will be directed by Gary Ross , an individual familiar with the “Hunger Games” star’s plans has told TheWrap. “East of Eden” is set up at Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment now that the studio and producer Brian Grazer have finalized a deal with Steinbeck’s estate. Ross is a big fan of the novel, and while he has flirted with the ambitious idea of telling Steinbeck’s epic story over the course of two films, a studio insider tells TheWrap that the adaptation is currently planned as one movie. Elia Kazan directed a 1955 adaptation that starred James Dean and Richard Davalos as brothers who compete for the attention of their father. The project will be developed for Lawrence, who would play the boys’ mother, though audiences may fear that the 23 year-old Oscar winner is too young for the role of Cathy Ames. As for “Burial Rites,” Lawrence would play a woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829, back when men scoffed at the notion of women committing violent crimes. CAA and producer Allison Shearmur will begin shopping the project to studios next week. Of course, both of these movies will spend years in development, as Ross is currently focused on casting Disney’s “Peter and

the Starcatcher.” It remains unclear whether Ross will use a previously adapted screenplay by Paul Attanasio for “East of Eden,” or whether he’ll hire a new writer. He could also choose to rewrite the script himself. Meanwhile, Lawrence is plenty busy of herself, with two more “Hunger Games” sequels on her schedule. She’s also attached to star in Chris Terrio’s script “The Ends of the Earth,” the Jeanette Walls memoir “The Glass Castle” and Susanne Bier’s FilmNation drama “The Rules of Inheritance.” CAA reps Ross and Lawrence. — Reuters

Jennifer Lawrence

Lifestyle FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Batman’s crime-ridden Gotham metropolis comes to Fox TV


atman’s crime-ridden gritty fictional metropolis of Gotham City will be the focus of a new Fox drama, the latest comic book-inspired series to tap superheroes’ ability to draw audiences to both film and TV. Fox described its new show “Gotham” as “the origin stories of Commissioner James Gordon and the villains that made Gotham famous,” the network said on Wednesday. Gordon is the police commissioner of Gotham City, and often supports Batman to defeat the city’s villains. Each episode will be one hour, and will be written and produced by Bruno Heller, a British screenwriter best known for co-creating the HBO-BBC produced drama “Rome,” which explored Ancient Rome’s reign under Julius Caesar and Emperor Augustus. Fox has yet to announce when the series will air and who will star in it. It was not clear whether Batman would even be a character in the series.

“Gotham” comes on the heels of Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” on Walt Disney Co’s television network ABC,

which premiered on Tuesday with 11.9 million viewers. The series features human agents and is based on the

world of Marvel’s “Avengers” comics, featuring an ensemble of superheros including Iron Man, Thor and Captain America. “Gotham” will be produced by Fox, a unit of 21st Century Fox Inc., in partnership with Time Warner Inc’s Warner Bros. Entertainment, which incorporated DC Entertainment, the company behind the DC comics universe that includes Batman and Superman. Batman has long been a moneymaker in films, with the latest adaptation, Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy starring Christian Bale as the caped crusader, taking in more than $2 billion at box offices worldwide. British actor Gary Oldman played Commissioner Gordon in the films. Oscar-winning actor Ben Affleck will be the next person to don the bat mask on the big screen as he faces off with Henry Cavill’s Superman in “Man of Steel 2,” due in theaters in 2015. — Reuters

I Coast puts hope in first feature film on conflict years

C File photo shows Drake performing at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nev. — AP

Drake is comfortable in his own skin


s Drake walks into the room, his body language projects an air of confidence. On any other day, it may go unnoticed, but on the eve of releasing his third album, “Nothing Was the Same,” there’s a look of satisfaction in his eyes. The mere mention of the record brings a smile to his face. He describes it as “an album that you have to listen to front to back and then go over and listen to it again.” That’s pretty bold considering that his last album, “Take Care,” won a Grammy Award this year for best rap album. But brashness counts as a virtue when it comes to hip-hop stars. So does aggression and machismo, which some critics find lacking in Drake. Though he’s sold millions and has critical acclaim to go with the pop success, he’s frequently criticized as “soft.” Many of the attacks center on his willingness to show his sensitive side, evident in songs like “Marvin’s Room” or “Find Your Love.” “I’m just being me, and part of being me is being in touch with emotion. That’s all I write about. If I didn’t write about my emotions, I don’t know what else I would write about. I’d make songs about generic things that nobody could relate to and I probably wouldn’t be in this position that I’m in right now,” said Drake, born Aubrey Drake Graham, in an interview Monday. Drake says he can “laugh off a lot of it,” but added: “Some of it is tiring and exhausting.” “I’m emotional, yeah, I guess. Let that be the worst thing in my life, please, not something like drug charges and God knows what else. I don’t get myself in trouble, so if the negative feedback that I do get is the worst thing that’s going to happen to me, then so be it,” he said in a slightly defiant tone. Feeling that his sound continues to evolve, he has no plans to shy away from his signature reflective nature. On the record, he addresses issues with family and friends, even high-profile friends like Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne. Neither performed with him on the record, but he claims it’s not personal. —AP

hased by a lynch-mob, a young man runs for his life-closely watched by director Philippe Lacote who is shooting the first feature film on the bloody chaos that rocked his native Ivory Coast from 2002 to 2011. “Run”, both the film title and the main character’s name, chronicles the slide from innocence to violence and crime in this resource-rich country that was once a beacon of stability in west Africa. Today, the wounds of war remain raw, politicians still trade crude insults and the former president awaits trial for crimes against humanity. “The film’s main question is, ‘How did we come to such violence?’” said the Franco-Ivorian director, lamenting the thousands of people killed during a decade of rebellion, civil war and post-election violence. Lacote, who finished shooting in September, hopes his film will be both cathartic for victims of the crisis and instructive for younger Ivorians, but also revive cinema in a country where only two of the 80 movie houses are still in use. His project drew attention when presented in pre-production at the 2012 Cannes film festival. And while the film has touched some nerves at home, the state has agreed to finance seven percent of its 1.8 million-euro ($2.4 million) budget, with the rest coming from France. The buzz has also brought native son Isaach de Bankole-who appeared in the 2006 James Bond thriller “Casino Royale” and Lars von Trier’s 2005 film “Manderlay”-back home for the first time in 17 years to play a role in “Run”. The story centers around a peaceable teenager who is on track to become a village “rainmaker” or sorcerer but instead joins the Young Patriots, followers of the former president Laurent Gbagbo who are capable of extreme violence. “When I was filming the Young Patriots, I asked one of the youths how he came to join them,” says the 42-year-

Ivorian actor Isaach De Bankole speaks to AFP during the filming of Run, a film about the crisis in the Ivory Coast. —AFP old Lacote of an earlier documentary. “He answered, ‘I have three lives!’-and that became the basis for writing the film.”Although fiction, Lacote’s film is grounded in real events.”There are scenes that remind me exactly of what I lived through during and after the war,” says Abdul Karim Konate, 32, who plays the role of “Run”. ‘Slippery ground’ Some 3,000 people lost their lives in the violence triggered by Gbagbo’s refusal to admit defeat in 2010 elections to his arch-rival Alassane Ouattara, who finally took office in May 2011. “I was there in Yopougon (a Gbagbo stronghold), there where things really got hot,” said Konate. “We are telling the story. We need to tell it to those who have not seen it.”“Run” is Lacote’s first full-length feature film. He calls it “indirectly political” and asserts his “right to approach the subject matter via fiction” while admitting that he finds himself on “slippery ground”. “We have already had problems,” the director conceded. “We were filming in a former headquarters of the FPI (Gbagbo’s Ivorian Popular Front party) occupied now by the Ivorian army. The

FPI press accused us of making a film to gather evidence against Laurent Gbagbo,” who is jailed in The Hague awaiting trial by the International Criminal Court. “My objective is not to say who is right or wrong. It is to recount the crisis seen through an individual prism,” Lacote said. Officials in charge of the country’s film industry also hope “Run” will help get Ivory Coast cinema back on its feet. The film business here is currently “flat on its face”, said Mamidou Coulibaly-Diakite, who manages public funds earmarked for Ivorian cinema. Prominent Ivorian directors such as Henri Duparc, Gnoan M’Bala, Yeo Kozoloa and Fadika Kramo-Lancine have either died or have not worked in more than a decade. “We have to start everything again from scratch,” he said. In the long run, Coulibaly-Diakite said he dreams that Ivory Coast, formerly the economic and financial hub of west Africa, can rival Nigeria’s thriving cinema scene.”Run” is due to be released in 2014 and distributed in France and Germany, and to be screened at several festivals, according to the film’s French producer Claire Gadea. — AFP

Lifestyle FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Paris fashion goes from peasants to space-age


old, space-age sheens, peasant garb, gravity-defying skirts and 1950s boudoir slippers all made for a dramatic - if incongruous - array for Paris’ first full day of spring-summer 2014 fashion shows. But what Wednesday’s ready-to-wear displays lacked in unity they by far made up for in energy and inventiveness, as showcased by Dries Van Noten, whose unchallenged mastery of contradictory styles was on full view in his dizzying fashion spectacle. The inimitable Belgian designer produced the strongest show of the day. With seven days to go before the season ends, it’s too early to spot the Paris trends - but flowers, metallic sheens, and white made strong statements across the day’s 11 official shows. Elsewhere, several shows - such as Gareth Pugh and Rochas - used dramatic hairstyles and make up to strengthen the statement of their increasingly imaginative catwalk presentations. ROCHAS Creative director Marco Zanini used Tennessee Williams’ play “The Glass Menagerie” as an inspiration behind his 1950s-themed catwalk show. The feathery boudoir slippers and messy bed-hair nicely evoked Amanda Wingfield, the play’s faded Southern belle and unstable single mother. But Zanini used Williams only as a jumping board in this Rochas show’s fascinating ode to the fifties. Not all the 41 looks worked - far from it - but each formed part of a carefullycrafted shopping list of all things in-vogue during this time: Pointed winklepickers, full skirts and box coats, as well as the must-have hues of pale peach and pale turquoise. Meanwhile, sheeny material with floral patterns perfectly captured the American society’s then obsession with the latest material to hit the stores: Nylon chiffon.

Models present creations by Italian-Swedish Marco Zanini for Rochas. — AP/AFP photos

Lifestyle FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Gareth Pugh



ondon’s enfant terrible produced one of his most sculptural shows to date, with stone-smooth fabric producing clean folds and engineering planes around the body. As ever with Pugh, it was high drama. Whether in stiff exaggerated collars in white, which billowed out like an unfurling rose, space age circular shoulders in gray or black, or bright turquoise silk column skirts which elongated the leg, surreal elements dominated the 38 looks. Three-dimensional makeup which enlarged the brow, alongside huge enveloping feathered headdresses, had the Star Trek fans in the audience smiling. — AP


Lifestyle FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Models present creations by Manish Arora during the 2014 Spring/Summer ready-to-wear collection fashion show in Paris.




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I, Shakeel Abbas Pawashkar holder of Indian Passport No. F8317333 hereby change my name to Shakeel Abbas Pawashkar Al Refaei. (C 4518) 25-9-2013


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I, Ameer Shahib Hassip Sheriph S/O Amir Sharif, date of brith 15.06.1969, Passport No: H0114576, hereby change my name to Asif Sharif Amir Sharif. (C 4512) 22-9-2013 I, Subramaniyan S/O Kaathan, holder of Indian Passport No: G9654545 converted to Islam do hereby change my name to Ahmed Omar Hashem. (C 4511)

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Original policy document No. 633002905-3 of Sajjad Haider Chohan of State Life Insurance Cooperation of Pakistan Gulf Zone is reported to have been lost. Anyone

Prayer timings Fajr: Shorook Duhr: Asr: Maghrib: Isha:

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‘Donkey farm’ helps adults mentor

young offenders A

boy at the Compass Center proudly showed a Summit County, Ohio, judge the eggplants he was tending in the center’s garden. He was learning how to grow the vegetables - even though he didn’t know what to do with them, said Juvenile Judge Linda Teodosio, who had sentenced the boy to an Ohio Department of Youth Services detention center. “He didn’t know much about eggplant, so I made the boys a tray of eggplant parmigiana. I think the ability to connect with caring adults is always a benefit for youth,” Teodosio said of the faith-based center more commonly known as the “donkey farm.” The farm, where young felons learn to trust those in authority by working with live animals, is the centerpiece of the True North Ministries program. The nonprofit ministry offers young felons from all of Ohio’s 88 counties an opportunity to learn new skills through outreach programs, vocational training and mentoring. The donkeys, bees and chickens the boys and young men care for are merely conduits for learning how to trust, True North Executive Director Becky Retzer said. Some of the ministry’s 45 mentors, through their faith in God, are teaching youths to do jobs required on a working farm - skills they can use in the future, she said, but the lessons go much deeper. “It’s more than about saving them. It’s more about building relationships,” Retzer said. “I want the kids to find their faith and to find God, but I also want them - whether they get to that point or not - to look at themselves as to who they can be and not what they’ve done.” It’s one of the reasons volunteers use only first names when addressing the boys and don’t ask about the crimes they have committed. For a young felon to be eligible for the program, a detention center official must deem him ready for off-ground privileges, which is achieved by exhibiting a certain level of good behavior. In Summit County, Teodosio then decides which young felons would benefit from signing on to work at the farm. “Most of the kids that participate in the program have done well at the Department of Youth Services and are able to attend as a positive incentive,” said Teodosio, who said she views the program as a privilege to be earned. Retzer, who formerly worked with youth offenders at the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center, established the ministry in 2002 and leased the property for the Compass Center on Boettler Road in Green in 2007. The program has 200 volunteers who work with incarcerated young people throughout the state and makes more than 2,500 contacts each year through mentoring, outreach programs and the donkey farm. Youths can par-

ticipate in the program one to three days a week up to three months, Retzer said. The ages of participants range from about 17 to 21 years, said Shayne Rowlands, parole supervisor with the Ohio Department of Youth Services. “The volunteers at the farm work on selfesteem and career readiness. They have employed three of our kids as landscapers who are on parole. They are able, besides paying them, to also mentor them as well,” he said. Grants from foundations and donations from local businesses and more than 60 churches finance the program. On a recent day, a young man from Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility in Warrensville Heights collected five freshly laid eggs from the farm’s chicken coop - a daunting task for someone who had never before been close to a live chicken. After gathering the eggs in a basket, he updated the figure - the number of eggs collected from the farm’s eight hens in a year’s time - on a chalkboard hanging on the coop to 890. Nine miniature jennies (female donkeys) were roaming in the pasture unaware that Rusty, the only jack in the pack, was in a separate pen recuperating from surgery that would prevent him from making

patient. It enables me to understand and help them,” he said as he worked alongside his charges last month. Antonio Boalden, a general activity thera

any more little donkeys. Rusty has earned a reputation of sorts. For the past seven years, each young man that shovels manure or grooms or feeds the small burros leaves with a T-shirt that reads: “I survived a day with Rusty.” Property manager Dave Duffey is in charge of maintenance at the 15-acre farm, handing out assignments and teaching the young men how to do the work. He said the youths aren’t the only people benefitting from the program. “Not only does it help the kids, it helps me. I’ve learned that God can give you strength and help you learn to be more

pist from Warrensville Heights who accompanied five youths, some from as far away as Cincinnati and Columbus, said the experience teaches the boys there are people who care about them. “The program has a very positive effect on these kids. Most of them think people don’t care. But they learn through mentoring and faith in God that people they never before met in their lives really do care,” Boalden said. — MCT



Aries (March 21-April 19)

Smile, Aries, because the forecast is bright today. You'll be in a curious mood, just right for new encounters. Perhaps this will add a little spice and enjoyment to your love life. There's a wide spectrum of experiences awaiting you, ready to offer fulfillment. A spirit of adventure prevails. You should take advantage of it!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

The Rolling Stones said it best, "I can't get no satisfaction," and that's how you've been feeling lately, Taurus. Indeed, looking back on your recent activities, you may feel a bit like a character in Wonderland - running as fast as you can just to stay in the same place. The day ahead will provide some relief and open up new, more fulfilling opportunities.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

You're often preoccupied by other people's lives. Your devotion to others will be appreciated today, Gemini. For example, in the family circle, you may have to bandage everyone's little physical or psychological wounds. Don't neglect your energy needs. As you're aware, you need all the strength you can muster.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

A visit from a relative or neighbor early in the day could put you in a fantastic mood. Perhaps this person has some interesting news, encouraging words, or maybe a gift. Listen and enjoy, Cancer, but beware of idle gossip. Some of what you hear is unlikely to be true, so it's best to keep it all to yourself. In the evening, go out on the town!

Leo (July 23-August 22)

The day ahead should be excellent, Leo. You tend to work with an energy unparalleled by the other signs, and today you reap some rewards for your diligence. These days it's rare to find someone as conscientious as you, and you deserve recognition. Nevertheless, you still have many hills left to climb, as you well know!

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

You've been lucky for the last two months, there's no doubt about it. Lately it seems like your luck is changing. It's hard to pinpoint, but something isn't quite right in your daily life. At the moment, the planets are imparting some lessons that could be difficult to bear, Virgo. Get through this transition with as little pain as possible. The lessons you learn will prove worthwhile.

COUNTRY CODES Libra (September 23-October 22)

This is going to be a good time to get a global view of things, Libra. Take full advantage of the current planetary aspects by reading some books on spirituality or travel. If you desire to go on a long voyage, don't be surprised if your job sends you on an adventure, even if it isn't part of your job routine. Don't hesitate! Go breathe in some fresh air in a new place!

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

It's true that having to earn a living isn't always the most agreeable thing in life, Scorpio. However, we all know that it's necessary. Have you thought about adding more balance to your life? All work and no play makes anyone a dull person. This would be a good day to examine your daily life and add some new elements. Yes, Scorpio, it's time for you to choose a hobby.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

If you've had some problems in your sentimental life during the last few months, Sagittarius, they're probably behind you now. It's a sure bet that you've learned something. You've been served the same dish for years and now it seems you've finally had enough! Know that from now on you'll be better about not falling into the same old traps.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

If you aren't the most self-assured person in the world, Capricorn, take a look around and see all that you've done. True, you still have many unattained dreams, but look at how many you've already realized. A lack of confidence in your abilities is holding you back. There's a moment for everyone when a leap of faith is required. It's time for you to jump.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18)

You may meet some new people in the next few days, Aquarius. Someone in your professional life may help you launch some unusual experiments that have never been done before. Or someone may want to create a new service or get into a completely new market. You will be the one they seek to explore these exciting new avenues!

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

It seems as though you're trying to live down some criticism, Pisces. For weeks you've taken special care to look over your work to catch any mistakes. Perhaps the number of errors you found surprised you. Criticism from others stung even more as a result, because you could see that it had some merit. Today you'll get some relief. In fact, you may receive some compliments.

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



Word Search

Yesterdayʼs Solution

C R O S S W O R D 3 2 3

ACROSS 1. System of measurement based on centimeters and grams and seconds. 4. An ancient branch of the Semitic languages. 12. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 15. Leaf or strip from a leaf of the talipot palm used in India for writing paper. 16. Rod-shaped gram-negative enterobacteria. 17. (informal) A witty amusing person who makes jokes. 18. (anatomy) A structure that resembles a shell in shape. 20. Enthusiastic approval. 21. A gonadotropic hormone that is secreted by the anterior pituitary and stimulates growth of Graafian follicles in female mammals, and activates spermforming cells in male mammals. 22. A woman hired to suckle a child of someone else. 23. Tall and thin and having long slender limbs. 25. Type genus of the Upupidae. 27. Any compound containing the group -C=NOH. 29. Living in or characteristic of farming or country life. 31. Increase in size, volume or significance. 34. Wild goat of mountain areas of Eurasia and North Africa having large recurved horns. 37. Work hard. 38. An island of central Hawaii. 41. East Indian fruit tree bearing fruit similar to but sweeter than that of the rambutan. 44. Animal food for browsing or grazing. 47. The 7th letter of the Greek alphabet. 48. An associate degree in applied science. 49. Impaired by diminution. 50. Large hawk of the northern hemisphere that feeds chiefly on small rodents and is beneficial to farmers. 53. The arch of bone beneath the eye that forms the prominence of the cheek. 54. Half the width of an em. 55. The shape of a raised edge of a more or less circular object. 56. A federation of North American labor unions that merged with the Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1955. 65. A white crystalline double sulfate of aluminum. 67. A system of solmization using the solfa syllables. 69. A branch of the Tai languages. 70. The whiteness that results from removing the color from something. 73. Tropical American tree grown in southern United States having a whitish pink-tinged fruit. 75. A master's degree in business. 76. General term for any insect or similar creeping or crawling invertebrate. 77. A river in northeastern Brazil that flows generally northward to the Atlantic Ocean. 79. Tag the base runner to get him out. 80. The capital and largest city of Japan. 81. Bearing or consisting of or resembling umbels. 82. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth.

3. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 4. The residue that remains when something is burned. 5. The civil and religious leader of a Muslim state. 6. (Sumerian) Goddess personifying earth. 7. A yellow pungent volatile oil (trade name Agene) formerly used for bleaching and aging flour. 8. Any of various floor-like platforms built into a vessel. 9. An uncertain region on the east shore of the Adriatic where an ancient IndoEuropean people once lived. 10. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 11. The essential qualities or characteristics by which something is recognized. 12. Exceptionally bad or displeasing. 13. A short labored intake of breath with the mouth open. 14. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 19. Arborescent cacti having very spiny cylindrical stem segments. 24. Any of a group of proteins found in saliva and pancreatic juice and parts of plants. 26. (Roman Catholic) A greeting signifying Christian love for those assisting at the Eucharist. 28. Being one more than ten. 30. The state of existing and being localized in space. 32. Meat from a mature domestic sheep. 33. Rice cooked in well-seasoned broth with onions or celery and usually poultry or game or shellfish and sometimes tomatoes. 35. Glazed yeast-raised doughnut-shaped roll with hard crust. 36. English monk and scholar (672-735). 39. An associate degree in nursing. 40. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 42. Formerly a term of respect for important white Europeans in colonial India. 43. Ragout of game in a rich sauce. 45. The branch of computer science that deal with writing computer programs that can solve problems creatively. 46. Chipmunks of eastern North America. 51. Pasture grass of plains of South America and western North America. 52. Shiny substance that resemble enamel and is secreted by the corium of certain fishes (especially ganoid fishes) and composes the outer layer of their scales. 57. Cheap showy jewelry or ornament or clothing. 58. A gonadotropic hormone that is secreted by the anterior pituitary. 59. A volcano in south central Guatemala. 60. A very poisonous metallic element that has three allotropic forms. 61. A Bantu language spoken by the Kamba people in Kenya. 62. A genus of Lamnidae. 63. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 64. Jordan's port. 66. (Welsh) A warrior god. 68. Fail to do something. 71. (computer science) The part of a computer (a microprocessor chip) that does most of the data processing. 72. Thigh of a hog (usually smoked). 74. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 78. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali metal group.

Yesterdayʼs Solution

DOWN 1. A South American shrub whose leaves are chewed by natives of the Andes. 2. Take by theft.

Daily SuDoku

Yesterday’s Solution

Sports FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Nationals and Mets advance ST. LOUIS: Rookie Shelby Miller won his 15th game, and Yadier Molina had the go-ahead hit for St. Louis, which wrapped up a three-game sweep of Washington and moved another step closer to the NL Central title with a 4-1 victory Wednesday. Jordan Zimmermann (19-9) missed his only shot at 20 wins, allowing four runs in seven innings. The Nationals had five hits one day after breaking up rookie Michael Wacha’s bid for a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning. Matt Adams hit his eighth home run since replacing injured Allen Craig and doubled for the Cardinals (94-65), who are a season-high 29 games above .500. Miller (15-9) walked two of the first three hitters to set up Bryce Harper’s RBI single. Miller allowed a run in six-plus innings. Rookie Trevor Rosenthal saved all three games. Zimmermann had won his previous four appearances and had been coming off a two-hit shutout of Miami. But he is 0-3 with a 8.27 ERA in six career starts against St. Louis, and lost Game 2 of the NL division series last fall.

tion throughout the lineup led San Diego. Kennedy (7-10) struck out seven and allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings while facing his ex-team for the second time since being acquired by the Padres on July 31. He had a no-decision in their previous meeting. The Padres hit three homers, four batters had at least two RBIs and four batters finished with multiple hits. Jedd Gyorko continued his solid season, as his 21st home run placed him one ahead of the Atlanta Braves’ Evan Gattis for the major league lead among rookies. Chase Headley had three RBIs, with Gyorko and Chris Denorfia getting two each. Arizona starter Randall Delgado (5-7) allowed six runs and seven hits in five innings. The Padres’ Tommy Medica homered in the fourth to tie the score 2-2. It was Medica’s third homer since being elevated from Double-A on Sept. 10. Chris Robinson’s three-run homer in the eighth was the first hit of his career, coming on his sixth major league at-bat. Rene Rivera, Headley and Denorfia all had three hits for the Padres.

METS 1, REDS 0 In Cincinnati, Daisuke Matsuzaka scattered four hits in 7 2-3 innings to win his third consecutive start, outdueling Cincinnati’s Mat Latos. Eric Young Jr. drove in the only run for the Mets, who won two of three in the series to further dampen Cincinnati’s hopes of hosting the NL wild-card playoff game on Tuesday. Matsuzaka (3-3) allowed two walks and hit a batter. He struck out six and evened his record after three losses and a no-decision in his first four starts after joining the Mets in August. He left the game with a runner on second and two outs in the eighth. Pedro Feliciano came on to walk Shin-Soo Choo before getting Joey Votto to fly out to center for the fourth time in four at-bats. LaTroy Hawkins pitched the ninth for his 13th save. The shutout loss was Cincinnati’s 11th of the season, after only four last year. The Mets (73-85) earned their 10th shutout, three fewer than last season, and New York finished its road schedule with a winning record (41-40), wrapping up a 5-1 trip.

GIANTS 6, DODGERS 4 In San Francisco, Barry Zito won in what likely was his final hurrah for San Francisco and Pablo Sandoval backed him with a two-run homer. Tony Abreu hit a bases-loaded triple to stake Zito to a quick 3-0 lead in the second, then added an RBI double in the sixth as last year’s World Series champions put themselves in position for a rare home series victory if they can win Thursday night’s rubber game with the NL West champion Dodgers. Zito (5-11) outpitched Ricky Nolasco (13-11), whose lateSeptember struggles have the Dodgers a bit concerned with the playoffs looming. The right-hander is 0-2 over his last three outings since getting victories in four consecutive starts and seven straight decisions. Zito, making his first start since Sept. 2, snapped a 13-start winless stretch and eight-game losing streak - including his previous four starts - since beating Oakland on May 30. Zito allowed four hits and one earned run in five innings, with a strikeout and no walks. Sergio Romo finished for his 37th save.—AP

CUBS 4, PIRATES 2 In Chicago, Darnell McDonald hit a three-run homer to lead Chicago to the win that really hurt Pittsburgh’s hopes of winning the NL Central. With three games remaining in the regular season for each team, the Pirates trail division-leading St. Louis by three games. The Pirates, who already have clinched a playoff spot, hold a onegame lead over Cincinnati for the first wild-card slot. Pittsburgh and the Reds finish up with a three-game set in Cincinnati this weekend. McDonald had three hits, including his homer in the sixth inning that put the Cubs ahead 4-1. Jake Arrieta (4-2) allowed one run and four hits for the Cubs. Kevin Gregg allowed an unearned run in the ninth for his 33rd save. Francisco Liriano (16-8) allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings. He struck out eight and walked one. BREWERS 4, BRAVES 0 In Atlanta, Kyle Lohse pitched a two-hitter and Milwaukee overcame Carlos Gomez’s ejection in the first inning. NL East champion Atlanta was shut out for the second time in three nights and has been blanked 17 times, second-most in the league.After losing three of four, Atlanta has fallen three games behind St. Louis for the NL’s best winning percentage. Lohse (11-10) struck out five and threw just 22 of 89 pitches for balls. Gomez, made it 1-0 in the first with his 23rd homer, but was ejected without touching home plate during a benches-clearing argument. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman and reserve catcher Gerald Laird were also ejected. Paul Maholm (10-11) gave up eight hits - including Gomez’s homer - and struck out seven in seven innings. Lohse, facing Atlanta for the first time this season, began the night 3-1 with a 4.97 ERA in 10 career starts against the Braves. MARLINS 3, PHILLIES 2 In Miami, Adeiny Hechavarria drove in three runs, including a go-ahead run in the eighth inning, for Miami. Hechavarria hit a tworun triple in the second before driving in the run that made it 3-2 on a fielder’s choice. Justin Ruggiano walked and Placido Polanco singled for his third hit in the eighth off Ethan Martin (2-5) before Hechavarria hit a grounder to shortstop Jimmy Rollins, whose throw went wide of catcher Carlos Ruiz allowing Ruggiano to slide in safely. Steve Cishek pitched the ninth for his 33rd save in 35 chances. It was Cishek’s 28th consecutive save setting the team record previously held by Todd Jones in 2005. Chad Qualls (5-2) got the final out in the eighth to earn the victory. Phillies starter Cole Hamels pitched six innings and allowed two runs. He struck out six as he reached 200 strikeouts (202) in a season for the third time in his career and the second consecutive season. The 2008 World Series MVP finished his season with an 8-14 record and 3.60 ERA. PADRES 12, DIAMONDBACKS 2 In San Diego, Ian Kennedy’s solid pitching and offensive produc-

ST. LOUIS: Ryan Zimmerman No. 11 of the Washington Nationals throws out Daniel Descalso No. 33 of the St. Louis Cardinals during the fourth inning. — AFP

Tigers see off Twins MINNEAPOLIS: Max Scherzer earned his 21st win and the Detroit Tigers clinched their third straight AL Central title, beating the Minnesota Twins 1-0 on Wednesday night. Torii Hunter’s single followed a leadoff triple by Austin Jackson in the first inning, and that was all Scherzer (21-3) and manager Jim Leyland’s Tigers needed to start the party. Scherzer gave up two singles in seven innings. Jose Veras and Drew Smyly teamed up for the eighth and Joaquin Benoit worked the ninth for his 24th save in 25 tries. A few dozen Tigers fans in attendance at Target Field cheered from their seats while Miguel Cabrera and his teammates mobbed Benoit in front of the mound after he struck out Josh Willingham to end the game. Scherzer struck out 10 and lowered his ERA to 2.90, ensuring he’ll finish the season with the most wins in the major leagues. Kevin Correia (9-13) took the loss. RAYS 8, YANKEES 3 In New York, the New York Yankees failed to make the playoffs for only the second time in 19 years, getting mathematically eliminated during their loss to Tampa Bay. Evan Longoria homered twice as the Rays won their sixth straight and lowered to three their magic number over Texas for clinching an AL wildcard berth. Slowed by age and hobbled by injury, the Yankees (82-76) were chased with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning when Cleveland completed a 7-2 win over the White Sox. Despite baseball’s highest opening-day payroll at $230 million, the Yankees failed to claim one of the 10 playoff spots. Since starting the latest run of success in 1995, New York had missed the playoffs only in 2008. David Price (9-8) ended a five-start winless streak, one shy of his career worst, and Longoria drove in four runs. Phil Hughes (4-14) allowed three early runs. RANGERS 7, ASTROS 3 In Arlington, Leonys Martin hit a three-run double, Ian Kinsler homered and the Texas Rangers kept pace in the AL wild-card chase, handing Houston its 12th loss in a row and team-record 108th defeat this season. Texas completed a three-game sweep and finished 17-2 with 11 straight wins against their instate rival. The Rangers remained a game behind Cleveland for the AL’s second wild-card spot - Tampa Bay is a game ahead of the Indians. Texas has four games left in the regular season, with the series opener at home against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night. Rookie left-hander Martin Perez (10-5) struck out eight over seven innings. Dallas Keuchel (6-10) took the loss.

INDIANS 7, WHITE SOX 2 In Cleveland, rookie Danny Salazar gave Cleveland a muchneeded quality start and Nick Swisher hit a two-run homer as the Indians tightened their grip one of the AL wild-card spots with their 14th straight win over the Chicago White Sox. Salazar (2-3) struck out eight in 5 1-3 innings for the Indians, who won their final six home games to stay with the wild-card leaders. The Indians lead Texas by one game for the second wild-card slot. They are one game behind Tampa Bay for the top spot. Swisher homered in the fifth inning off Dylan Axelrod (411) as the Indians finished the season 16-2 against Chicago. ANGELS 3, ATHLETICS 1 In Anaheim, Jered Weaver pitched seven innings of five-hit ball, Josh Hamilton drove in two runs and the Los Angeles Angels did a bit more damage to Oakland’s home-field playoff hopes. Erick Aybar had three hits in the Angels’ final home game of their disappointing season. Dan Straily (10-8) allowed seven hits while pitching into the seventh inning of his first loss since Aug. 17 for the AL West champion A’s. Weaver (11-8) finished his season impressively after missing last week’s scheduled start with tightness in his right forearm. Ernesto Frieri pitched the ninth for his 37th save. MARINERS 6, ROYALS 0 In Seattle, Hisashi Iwakuma pitched eight scoreless innings and Mike Zunino homered twice as the Seattle Mariners ended Kansas City’s playoff hopes. All three teams ahead of Kansas City in the wild-card hunt - Tampa Bay, Cleveland and Texas - won on Wednesday. The Royals’ loss eliminated them. Ervin Santana (9-10) matched Iwakuma (14-6) and kept the Mariners scoreless for the first four innings before Seattle broke through. ORIOLES 9, BLUE JAYS 5 In Baltimore, Ryan Flaherty hit a pair of two-run homers, Jonathan Schoop had a solo shot in his big league debut and the Baltimore Orioles beat Toronto to snap a six-game skid and clinch their second straight winning season. Steve Pearce also homered for Baltimore and Chris Davis doubled in a run to increase his RBI total to 137, tied with Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera for the major league lead. T.J. McFarland (3-1) pitched one inning of relief for Baltimore and Jason Hammel worked 2 1-3 innings for his first save since 2011. Esmil Rogers (5-9) yielded six runs in 4 1-3 innings. — AP

Sports FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Crucial time for 49ers to rediscover magic NEW YORK: The decision to play Aldon Smith against the Indianapolis Colts before sending him into rehab was questionable at best, though San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh must have thought it was worth a shot. Losing a star defensive player on a 2-1 team, after all, is a lot easier than losing him from a 1-2 team. And 2-1 is where the 49ers thought they would be after a Sunday at home to get back on track following a drubbing the week before in Seattle. They’re not, and now the questions can really begin - chief among them, whether the team that came within 5 yards of winning a Super Bowl last season has any shot of getting there again this time. Early indications aren’t good. Dreary on defense, the 49ers are suddenly dysfunctional on offense, too. The read-option that befuddled just about every opponent last year now seems befuddling to the 49ers. And if they don’t find a way to win in a short week last night in St. Louis, there’s a real possibility the NFC West title will be out of their reach just four games into the season. “We’re facing adversity,” Harbaugh said earlier this week. “It gives us the opportunity to stare it in the face and respond.” The problem with playing in the NFL, though, is that response must come quickly. Onefourth of the season will be over by the time the 49ers walk off the field in St. Louis, and if they do it as a 1-3 team, they will have dug themselves a hole that will be awfully hard to climb out from.

Losing too many games presumably was on the mind of the San Francisco brain trust last week when the decision was made to play Smith despite his arrest on suspicion of drunken driving and marijuana charges two days earlier - and with plans already underway to admit him to a rehab facility. Smith had five tackles against the Colts, issued an apology and headed off to improve his life. If Smith needed help that badly - he might have, judging from his arrest and a lawsuit that claims he fired a gun at a booze-filled 2012 party at his house - why did the 49ers wait until he played another game to get him in rehab? The 49ers barely bothered to justify their decision, calling it a personal matter for Smith. But if the plan was to try to steal a win with Smith on the field before he went into rehab, it backfired badly in a desultory loss to the Colts. What plans the 49ers have to bulk up a defense that has allowed 56 points in its last two games are being kept under tight wraps, too. With Smith, who set a franchise record with 191/2 sacks last year, out for an undetermined time and Patrick Willis troubled by a groin injury, the defense that helped propel the 49ers to the Super Bowl last season is shaky at best. “Football’s not easy,” Harbaugh said. “There are struggles. That’s one of the things you enjoy about the game, that there are struggles.” If so, this could be an enjoyable season for

Harbaugh and the team he is credited with rescuing from the bottom of the NFC West. After a season when everything up until the Super Bowl seemed to go right - including the decision to build around Colin Kaepernick as the future of the team - little has gone according to plan. While Alex Smith, cast off unceremoniously by the 49ers after a concussion sidelined him, is enjoying himself as quarterback of the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs, Kaepernick has no touchdown passes and four interceptions in his last two games. His running stats are so-so, but the real issue is that defenses have found ways to stop him from getting big plays when the 49ers run the read-option that was so successful for them last year. The NFL is all about adjustments, and defenses have adjusted. Teams are keeping Kaepernick in the pocket more, where he’s not nearly as accurate, and he has completed less than half his passes in his last two games. “It’s more our execution than anything,” Kaepernick insisted this week. That would be good news for San Francisco, which opened the season with a win over Green Bay in which its execution was fine. The schedule the rest of the way isn’t terribly tough, with two games against Arizona and one against Jacksonville, and the next time the 49ers play Seattle it will be at home. There’s still time to turn it around, still time to discover the magic that was last year.—AP

Oracle wins America’s Cup SAN FRANCISCO: Oracle Team USA prevailed in a dramatic winner-take-all showdown with Emirates Team New Zealand on Wednesday to win the 34th America’s Cup, completing a stirring comeback that helped make the once-troubled event among the most exciting in sailing history. For Oracle and its hard-charging skipper, Jimmy Spithill, the win was an extraordinary sporting triumph, one that saw the team climb back from a seemingly insurmountable 8-1 deficit in the best-of-17 series to keep the trophy it won three years ago. The thrilling final races were also a ringing vindication of Oracle owner Larry Ellison’s controversial decision to transform a oncestaid yachting event into a TV-friendly, extreme-sports spectacle featuring huge catamarans flying across the natural amphitheatre of San Francisco Bay at 50 miles per hour. “A lot of people who were never interested in sailing are now interested in sailing,” Ellison said at a post-race news conference. “This regatta has changed sailing forever.” Emirates Team New Zealand, a plucky challenger that lacked a billionaire sponsor but nonetheless sailed to the brink of Cup victory, must now endure the ignominy of having let the prize slip from its grasp in the final days after a grueling two-year campaign of boat development and training. Oracle dominated the last race, showcasing the dramatic improvements in boat speed on the upwind leg of the race that began to emerge a week ago. Oracle seemed to find an extra gear after losing most of the early races, and even overcame a pre-match penalty that required it win 11 races on the water. The speed improvements appeared to come mainly from changes that enabled the boat to consistently “foil,” or lift almost completely out of the water on small horizontal wings, even when heading upwind. The team also changed tacticians after its early losses, installing Britain’s Ben Ainslie - the winningest Olympic sailor in history - in that spot in place of San Francisco native John Kostecki. The winning Oracle team had only one American on board. As one of the most coveted sporting prizes, the America’s Cup over its 162-year history has fueled patriotism even in non sailors and winning the trophy was seen as a mark of a nation’s seafaring greatness. When Australia broke America’s 132-year hold on the Cup in 1983 the jubilation brought normal business to a standstill. Just a week ago, New Zealand fans had all but begun celebrating what seemed like an inevitable sporting and economic windfall for the longtime international sailing power, which supported the team with about $30 million in government funds in the hopes of bringing the trophy - and attendant tourism and publicity - back home. But on Wednesday it was Ellison who was celebrating, joining the crew on the boat for a champagne shower in the moments after the finish. New Zealand’s soft-spoken skipper, Dean Barker, called the defeat “very difficult to accept-a very tough pill to swallow.” Fans who flocked to the San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO: Brad Web, Oracle Team USA grinder, hoists the America’s Cup trophy while celebrating his team’s victory over Emirates Team New Zealand in the 34th America’s Cup. — AFP bayfront by the tens of thousands for the final races were treated to a little bit of everything: tense on-the-water duels, a near-capsize, winds that were alternately too light and too strong, and even a whale that threatened to disrupt racing. While Kiwi fans in San Francisco seemed to outnumber Oracle supporters through much of the regatta, the big crowds on the final days were distinctly proUS as local fans cheered the Oracle comeback. “Watching the comeback and seeing all these new boats, it’s just so exciting,” said Chris Barnsdale, 36, a Santa Rosa contractor who has never set foot aboard a sailboat and had never watched a race until last week. He drove an hour to see Wednesday’s showdown. “When it’s a do-or-die situation, we just said we’ve gotta go watch that final race,” he said. The TV coverage also proved to be a highlight of the event, with three helicopters, two speedboats and cameras aboard the catamarans bringing the action home, augmented by state-of-the-art graphics that made it possible to follow the complex match-racing tactics. The enthusiasm was a marked turnaround for the summerlong series of America’s Cup events, which until a few weeks ago looked like a monumental bust. A British Olympic champion sail-

ing for the Swedish team was killed in a training accident in May, calling the safety of the boats into question and forcing contentious rule changes. New Zealand completely dominated the Louis Vuitton challenger series, which featured only three competitors and saw some “races” with only one boat charging around the course. A cheating scandal erupted, with Oracle ultimately being docked two races and losing a key crew member as punishment for illegal boat modifications in a preliminary series. And Oracle had to recover from a capsize last year in which its boat was dragged out to sea and all but destroyed - an event Spithill cited Wednesday as a devastating moment but one that ultimately helped pull the team together. In San Francisco, meanwhile, many locals bristled at city support for what has often been derided as a rich man’s yacht race. On Wednesday, though, California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, who negotiated to bring the Cup to San Francisco when he was mayor of the city, was also declaring victory. He lauded Ellison’s vision, and said in a statement that the economic benefits for the city would be “well north” of the $480 million in economic activity generated by the most recent Super Bowl.—AP


Sports FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Venus back to her best to book semi-final spot TOKYO: Former world number one Venus Williams turned back the clock with some brutal hitting to overcome Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 yesterday and reach the semi-finals of the Pan Pacific Open. The 33-year-old American, who won the last of her seven grand slam singles titles in 2008, recovered from a poor sec-

Williams, currently languishing at 63rd in the world after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder in 2011. “Hopefully I can win it in a little less time. That’s the goal.” Watched from the royal box by five-times Pan Pacific champion Martina Hingis, Williams showed flashes of the form that swept her to five Wimbledon titles between 2000 and 2008

JAPAN: Venus Williams of the US gestures after her victory against Eugenie Bouchard of Canada during their quarter-final match in the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament. —AFP ond set tiebreak with a series of electrifying shots and acrobatic volleys in the decider, completing victory with another ferocious forehand cross-court after a shade over three hours. “It’s hard to believe it’s my first semifinal in Tokyo after all these years,” said

as she continued her purple patch in Tokyo. She won her last singles title-her 44that last October’s Luxembourg Open. “I’ve played against so many great players over a couple of generations, it seems,” added Williams, who giggled when reminded

Thursday was sister Serena’s 32nd birthday. “We always forget each other’s birthdays. Serena’s getting old, like me,” smiled Venus. “She’s an inspiration to me. “I’ve put a lot into the game and I’m not going to give it up easily. As a professional athlete you have a window. My window’s still open and I’m going to take advantage of it.” Williams upset top seed Victoria Azarenka in the second round of the $2.3 million event. But the 19-year-old Bouchard, ranked 46th in the world, pushed her hard, taking the second-set tiebreak 7-4. “Actually I’m surprised I’m able to play these matches, I can’t lie,” confessed Williams after her plans for karaoke and a visit to a nail salon were scuppered by her marathon quarter-final. “It was just determination, adrenalin and desire. These three-hour matches really cut down on my social life.” Williams will face the 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the last four after the seventh-seeded Czech thrashed Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-1. It was a quick return to court for both players after they were forced to play raindelayed third-round matches in the morning. “I don’t remember ever playing twice in a day on the WTA tour,” Kvitova told AFP. “But Venus played a three-hour match so tomorrow should be 50-50 physically. I’m looking forward to it.” Earlier, fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki, the 2010 Tokyo winner, advanced to the semi-finals with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Czech Lucie Safarova. The Dane will meet Germany’s Angelique Kerber in Friday’s semi-finals following the fifth seed’s 6-4, 6-4 defeat of second-seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwanska. —AFP

Boks chase bonus point as Australia seek redemption CAPE TOWN: South Africa will concentrate on the basics as they try to dispatch a bullish Australia at Newlands tomorrow in the hope of setting up a final-day showdown against New Zealand in the Rugby Championship. The Springboks’ controversial 29-15 loss to New Zealand during which hooker Bismarck du Plessis received a red card - later expunged last time out, has left them trailing the All Blacks by four points going into the final two rounds of the competition. The pressure is on South Africa to repeat their record 38-12 triumph they registered over Australia in Brisbane earlier this month and win with a bonus point, to set up a thrilling finale with the world champions in Johannesburg on Oct. 5. But South Africa have been at pains this week to say the win is all they are thinking of. “We don’t want to go for the bonus point; that will take care of itself,” Meyer told reporters. “We need to focus on the basics and just play the same type of game that we usually play. Australia are more motivated when they come off a big loss but we can’t look past this game because if we do so it could make the last game useless,” he added. Meyer said he would take a scrappy win tomorrow, even if the Springboks have looked a much-improved outfit in this year’s competition. “There are aspects of play that I’m not happy with but I think we’ve had a great season up until now. But that doesn’t mean anything if we don’t win the next two matches.” Australia’s record home defeat to South Africa was the major disappointment of a campaign that has shown up the many short comings in their side. Out-muscled, out-thought, outmanoeuvred and outplayed, there were no positives from the last contest against South Africa for Australia coach Ewen McKenzie, but plenty to build on. Since then, Australia have been able to take some confidence from their scrappy 14-13 victory over Argentina in their last match in Perth. But they go into their penultimate test without wing James O’Connor, suspended from the squad indefinitely after being escorted from Perth airport by police following that match and accused of being intoxicated. McKenzie made it clear he preferred to talk about their troubles with the scrum rather than off-field shenanigans. “I’m concerned with the scrums every week, sorting that area out and the quality of the ball we get from there is pretty important,” he told reporters yesterday. He also believes that if his side are to have any chance of getting a result on Saturday, fronting up to the physicality of their opponents will be key, something they failed to do in Brisbane. “The Springboks are very good at imposing themselves physically on their opponents, but we don’t think we are bad at that either. We feel like we are right in the groove for a good performance,” McKenzie said. —Reuters

Simon storms to 300 club BANGKOK: Frenchman Gilles Simon celebrated winning the 300th match of his career yesterday after dominating Australian Bernard Tomic 6-4, 7-5 to reach the quarter-finals of the Thailand Open. He was joined in the last eight by second-seeded compatriot Richard Gasquet, as the holder hammered Slovak Lukas Lacko 6-3, 6-2 in 67 minutes with six aces and three breaks of serve. Simon, who flew to Asia immediately after defeating compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to claim the Metz title at the weekend, admitted that he did not know that he was on the cusp of a personal milestone. “I must be getting older, I want to get to 400 now,” joked the 28-year-old, who became the ninth Frenchman in the post-1968 Open era to win at least 300 matches in Tour play. Canadian third seed Milos Raonic needed just over two and a half hours to win his opening match, overcoming Australian Marinko Matosevic 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 6-4 with a 21ace performance. Matosevic was under constant pressure, forced to save 15 of 16 break points before Raonic broke in the final game to earn victory. “It was a little bit frustrating,” said the winner, ranked 11th. “But he played well on a lot of those break points so I can’t always blame myself. “I couldn’t ask any more, I just told myself to hang in there and keep going.” The Canadian will Friday meet

Spain’s Feliciano Lopez a month after beating the sixth seed in the US Open third round. Russian fifth seed Mikhail Youzhny took victory over Denis Istomin 6-3, 6-3 while Taiwan’s Lu Yen-Hsun beat Czech eighth seed Lukas Rosol 6-3, 6-2. Simon began with an early break against Tomic, carrying that margin through the opening set, which he won in 43 minutes. The French player earned the break for 6-5 in the second set as his Australian opponent put a return wide. Simon closed out victory a game later, following another error from Tomic after 79 minutes. Simon, whose second child was born this month, said it took a big effort to get up for his noon start in the second round against Tomic after an opening-round bye. “I’m still on European time, so it was a 7am start and a 3am wake up,” he said. “It was tough today, but I like the conditions here,” said the 2012 Bangkok finalist who won the event in 2009. “I suppose that’s why I’ve been successful here most of the time.” “I was afraid of this match but I got through it, I’m happy about that, now I’ll try to recover as best as I can and be ready for tomorrow.” On Friday, the world number 14 will face Dutchman Igor Sijsling, whom he defeated in their only previous meeting indoors in Metz three years ago. Simon has now reached the quarter-finals or better nine times this season after winning his 34th match of the season against 20 losses. —AFP

THAILAND: Gilles Simon of France hits a return to Bernard Tomic of Australia during the second round of the ATP Thailand Open. —AFP


Sports FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Spurs make case for defence as they face Chelsea clash LONDON: With the abundance of flair and attacking talent Tottenham Hotspur acquired knowing Gareth Bale was leaving, it has perhaps been surprising that their impressive start to the season owes a lot to a watertight defence. Spurs anticipated the arrival of 100 million euros ($135.07 million) in Bale booty by bringing in the likes of Spain striker Roberto Soldado, Argentine forward Erik Lamela, Denmark playmaker Christian Eriksen and Brazil midfielder Paulinho. While the new boys have already given more than a glimpse of their talents, the men in white forming an impregnable wall at the back have gone quietly about their business. Spurs, who host London rivals Chelsea at White Hart Lane in tomorrow’s early kickoff, are level on points at the top of the Premier League with neighbours Arsenal and have conceded one goal in nine games in all competitions this season. That came in a 1-0 loss away to their local rivals on Sept. 1 but, apart from that blip, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and defenders Michael Dawson, Jan Vertonghen and Kyle Walker, along with Danny Rose and Kyle Naughton, have been rock steady. Manager Andre Villas-Boas would dearly love a first victory over his former side since they sacked him in March last year and believes Spurs have hit the ground running. “I think the team is playing very well, we have great strength in the squad, but I think, above all, great team spirit and ambition to do well,” he said after Spurs strolled to a 4-0 League Cup third-round win at Aston Villa on Tuesday. Chelsea, who themselves have only conceded two league goals, won 4-2 at White Hart Lane last season with Juan Mata scoring twice, but the Spain midfielder has been out of favour since Jose Mourinho returned to take charge at Stamford Bridge. Mata has been told by the Portuguese coach that he must improve his defensive work and appeared to have taken the advice on board in their 2-0 League Cup win at Swindon Town on Tuesday when he was afforded only his third start this season. “If you look at his performance tonight, he made Fernando’s (Torres) chance early in the game, he was involved in the goal... then in injury time he conceded the final corner of the game supporting Ryan Bertrand in the left-back spot,” said assistant coach Steve Holland. “We were pleased with Juan’s contribution, with and without the ball.” Fourth-placed Chelsea’s win did come at a cost with midfielder Marco van Ginkel picking up a knee injury while Ramires suffered a muscle injury at the top of his thigh. Leaders Arsenal, who on Wednesday extended their away record in all competitions to 11 successive wins with a League Cup success at West Bromwich Albion on penalties, visit Wales to take on Swansea City. Arsenal, who along with Spurs have 12 points from five games but with a slightly better goal difference, will be without sidelined winger Theo Walcott who has an abdominal injury. Champions Manchester United will try to bounce back from last weekend’s humiliating 4-1 drubbing by Manchester City when they host West Bromwich Albion

BIRMINGHAM: Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Jermain Defoe celebrates in this file photo. —AFP tomorrow (1600). United, who beat Liverpool 1-0 in the League Cup on Wednesday, are again likely to be without injured striker Robin van Persie. The Dutchman has a mild groin strain and was not risked against Liverpool, with United manager David Moyes saying he had only an “outside chance” of featuring against West Brom. Liverpool’s Uruguay striker Luis Suarez made his comeback on Wednesday from a 10-game ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic and is set for his first league start

since April when Brendan Rodgers’s team visit managerless Sunderland on Sunday (1700). Suarez played for 90 minutes against United, looking a bit rusty but creating a few chances on his return to action. Bottom side Sunderland, on one point, sacked Paolo Di Canio on Sunday with Kevin Ball taking temporary charge. Third-placed Manchester City travel south for tomorrow’s match with Aston Villa, who will be missing leading scorer Christian Benteke for four to six weeks with a hip injury. —Reuters

Arsenal to play Chelsea in League Cup fourth round LONDON: Arsenal will host Chelsea in the standout tie of the English League Cup fourth round after the draw was made on Wednesday. Arsenal needed penalties to beat West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday while Chelsea booked their place in the next round with a routine win over Swindon Town on Tuesday. Manchester United’s prize for knocking out rivals Liverpool was a home tie against Norwich City. Tottenham Hotspur will play Hull City, Newcastle United face Manchester City and Sunderland host Southampton in the other all-Premier League ties. Second tier Birmingham City, who knocked out holders Swansea City, host another top-flight side in Stoke City, Leicester City host Fulham and Burnley welcome West Ham United. The Capital One Cup’s fourth-round ties will be played in the week beginning Oct. 28. —Reuters

Roma move clear at the top ROME: AS Roma moved clear at the top of Serie A after beating Sampdoria 2-0 on Wednesday as struggling AC Milan came back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 in stoppage time at Bologna. Mehdi Benatia’s wonderful 65th-minute solo goal and a Gervinho strike gave Roma a hardfought three points at Sampdoria and means that they have started the season with five successive wins for the first time in their history. Morocco defender Benatia scored the goal of the night when he dribbled past three defenders before somehow crashing home his first Roma goal as he fell to the ground. “There’s always a first time for everything. Today we’ve shown that we’re a good team, because we fought,” Benatia told reporters. “I had the good fortune to score that goal and I’m happy because we’ve got the three points and we’re still up there.” Roma, whose manager Rudi Garcia was sent to the stands just after the hour, moved up to 15 points, two clear at the top after Napoli drew 1-1 with lowly Sassuolo. Massimiliano Allegri’s Milan looked certain to lose their second match in a week following two goals from Diego Laxalt and another from Lazaros Christodoupoulos after Andrea Poli gave Milan a 12th-minute lead. But two goals in three minutes from Robinho and Ignazio Abate, who struck in stoppage time, enabled the away side to miraculously save a point in a thrilling finale. “I’m annoyed because even after coming back to 3-3 we gave the ball away cheaply and risked losing 4-3. These are things that shouldn’t happen,” Allegri said. “We played really well, created lots of chances and made mistakes defensively. “I think that we put in a technically impressive performance against Napoli and it was the same tonight. We can’t capitalise even on 30 percent of the chances we create. “We need to improve on that just as we do on the defensive side of things.” Blerim Dzemaili gave Rafael Benitez’s Napoli the lead with a fierce drive after 15 minutes, running on to a poor clearance to thump home the opener. But Sassuolo, hammered 7-0 by Inter Milan at the weekend, fought back and grabbed a deserved draw through Simone Zaza, who beat Pepe Reina far too easily with a high shot from an acute angle in the 20th minute to give them their first point of the season. They could have easily come away with all three points had Reina not made a couple of smart saves in the second half. Champions Juventus came from a goal down to win 2-1 at Chievo Verona in a match marred by controversy over a wrongly disallowed Chievo goal with the scores level. Fabio Quagliarella had equalised for Antonio Conte’s side in the 47th minute after Cyril Thereau had given the home side the lead when Alberto Paloschi tapped in what he thought was the home side’s second. But despite being at least a metre onside for Simone Bentivoglio’s original shot, the goal was ruled out for offside. Alessandro Bernadini then knocked in an unfortunate own goal from Paul Pogba’s cross to compound Chievo’s misery. —Reuters

Sports FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

New Zealand braced for Argentina passion play BUENOS AIRES: New Zealand are preparing for a greater test of concentration than last year in the Estadio Unico cauldron tomorrow with Argentina edging ever closer to a first win in the Rugby Championship. The All Blacks had to recover from a disjointed start to last year’s fixture in La Plata, 60km from Buenos Aires, before stamping their authority on the game and coming through to win 54-15. The Pumas, however, are managing their run-in to the southern hemisphere’s top international tournament better than in their debut season and feel fresher for the match against the holders and world champions. Coach Santiago Phelan has sensibly rotated his squad and gave his players a week off after their efforts on the road in New Zealand, a 28-13 defeat, and Australia where they lost 14-13 two weeks ago. “We didn’t start as we wanted last year and made things tough for ourselves (but) we played pretty well after that to get ourselves back in the game,” New Zealand centre Conrad Smith said. “We gave them points and got their crowd involved in the game which makes it all tougher (so) we’ve just got to avoid that,” he told reporters at the team’s Buenos Aires hotel. Fullback Israel Dagg said the Argentines would be inspired by playing in front of their own crowd. “We’ve just have to worry about our game and not get too caught up in what the crowd’s doing,” Dagg said. “It’s quite easy to drift off and look at the crowd and what they’re doing, we’ve got to stay focused.” New Zealand assistant coach Ian Foster has seen a marked improvement in the Pumas despite their poor performance against South Africa in the opening match when they were hammered 73-13 in Soweto. “There’s been a lot of talk about last year’s game but we’re certainly not expecting last year’s game, when you look at what they’ve done in last two, three weeks they’ve shown they’ve made a lot of growth,” Foster said. “They’re very hard to break down so for us this is a very real and very tough test match, the way they responded in the second game with South Africa and hit the road with two very good performances,” he said referring to Argentina’s narrow 22-17 defeat in Mendoza a week after the Soweto mauling. Argentina’s coaching staff, with help from New Zealand’s World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry, have had to work on the team’s mental aptitude as much as their skills. “The pressure and having to give of their very best is something the players live with in every match and the more so against the three best teams in the world,” Phelan said. “Over and above the (match) result, our objective is to have confidence in what we’ve been working on,” he told reporters. “The team are growing with each match, whereas last year we started very well and didn’t play so well towards the end of the tournament.” — Reuters

Freiburg seek stability for trip to Dortmund BERLIN: Freiburg’s joyous celebrations for clinching a first European spot in 12 years with a fifth place finish last season have turned into a hangover as the minnows brace for a showdown against Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund tomorrow. Coach Christian Streich’s team has struggled for both pace and imagination after five key players were snapped up by bigger clubs in the summer transfer window and find themselves mired in the relegation zone, still winless after six matches. Two of the biggest losses were striker Max Kruse, who scored 11 goals and set up another eight last season before joining Borussia Moenchengladbach, and Congolese midfielder Cedric Makiadi, who moved north to Werder Bremen. Also hampering the club’s progress is an injury picked up earlier this month while on international duty with the Czech Republic to record signing Vladimir Darida, who joined from Viktoria Plzen but has yet to feature for Freiburg. This lack of consistency has led to three draws and three defeats in the league, and the squandering of a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw against Slovan Liberec in their opening Europa League Group H fixture. “At the moment, we are not capable of lighting any fireworks,” Streich said of his club’s recent form. “It is important not to have any fear. If you fail to win for some time in the Bundesliga, you develop this fear. It is about making the game fun for our players. This season we will need to fight enormous battles to survive.” The small club, still the only one to take points off the all-conquering Bayern Munich this season with a 1-1 draw, received a confidence boost on Wednesday when they reached the last 16 of the German Cup with a 2-1 win over VfB Stuttgart. —Reuters

Photo of the day

Competitor performs in a Camaro during the Red Bull Car Park Drift Saudi Arabia in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on May 9, 2013. —

Messi’s humble image faces tax evasion test MADRID: Idolised for his immense skill on the field, four-time World Footballer of the Year Lionel Messi’s squeaky-clean image off the pitch will come under scrutiny on Friday when he faces a judge accused of tax evasion. The Argentine and his father Jorge Messi are due to appear in court on Friday morning in the coastal town of Gava near Barcelona, where the player lives, accused of evading tax on Messi’s image rights to the tune of 4.16 million euros ($5 million, £3.5 million) between 2006 and 2009. Despite the looming court case, Messi’s form on the field has scarcely been affected with the Barcelona forward scoring 10 goals in just seven matches this season as the Spanish champions remain unbeaten. “I am not worried, I’m always on the sidelines of all that, just like my dad. We have our lawyers and our advisors who handle these things. We trust in them and they will solve the issue,” he said back in July. The case began in June when a prosecutor accused the Messis of evading tax by ceding the image rights of the player to “purely instrumental entities” in tax havens like Belize and Uruguay. According to the prosecutor’s report, Messi “obtained significant income” from image rights between 2006 and 2009 on which he “should have paid tax in his subsequent declarations” to the authorities and never did.A week later, a judge accepted the footballer and his father had a case to answer and ordered for them to appear before the court. Although the offences of which both men are accused are in principle punishable by a jail sentence, the Messis paid the tax authorities five million euros in August (the 4.16 million euros claimed by the taxman plus interest), which will significantly reduce any sentence should they be found guilty. The news caused astonishment in Spain where Messi is looked upon as a more humble figure than other football stars, particularly his Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo. “Messi is a very good player and he doesn’t have a conflicting

image. Rather, he has a very professional image, of being focused on what he does and very close to the public,” says Carles Canto, a marketing expert for IMG Consulting. However, despite the initial consternation, the player’s popularity doesn’t appear to have diminished at all due to the allegations. “Messi’s image amongst Barcelona fans is so solid that it is very difficult for it to be clouded by this case,” adds Enric Baneres, a sports journalist for Catalan daily La Vanguardia. “Tax evasion is something so common in Spain like the siesta or paella that the people are very permissive with it. “A fan doesn’t want to criticise their idols, so they are used to excusing them or putting the blame on someone else.” In this case the player’s defence seems set to try to exonerate him of any responsibility and point the finger at his former agent Rodolfo Schinocca. According to a document sent by Messi’s father to the court, obtained by Catalan daily El Periodico, Schinocca was put in charge of organising the “structure and management” of the income from

Messi’s image rights. However, Schinocca told Spanish radio station Cope that he had nothing to do with the case at hand because he stopped working with the Messis in 2006, before the supposed offences took place and accused Jorge Messi of wanting an offshore account to manage the income from the image rights. Whilst Messi’s 323 goals in 387 games for Barca have made him irreplaceable on the field, his income from endorsements off it has also soared. Between 2007 and 2009 he earned more than 10.17 million euros in image rights, whilst American magazine Forbes make him the 10th highest paid sportsman in the world with an annual income of $21 million from endorsements alone. Despite the court case, Messi continues to lead advertising campaigns for brands like Adidas and video games maker EA Sports, whose latest version of the immensely popular FIFA franchise is released in Spain the day before Messi is due to appear in court with the Argentine on the front cover. —AFP

SPAIN: Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi reacts during the Spanish league football match in this file photo. — AFP

Sports FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Bale set for Bernabeu baptism of fire MADRID: With his Real side misfiring and city rivals Atletico flying high, world record signing Gareth Bale may be in for a baptism of fire when he makes his home debut in Saturday’s Madrid derby at the Bernabeu. The 100-million euro ($135 million) Wales winger was due to play his first match at Real’s giant arena last weekend against Getafe but tweaked a thigh muscle in the warmup and was hastily withdrawn from the starting lineup. Coach Carlo Ancelotti rested Bale for Wednesday’s 2-1 win at promoted Elche, when Real needed a controversial Cristiano Ronaldo penalty deep into stoppage time to secure victory, but told reporters the 24-year-old would be back to face Atletico. Instead of taking to the field against one of the league’s weakest teams, however, Bale will be up against a fired-up side who have won all six of their matches and top the table on a perfect 18 points with champions Barcelona. Diego Simeone’s Atletico will also be buoyed by last season’s memorable 2-1 King’s Cup final victory against Real in the same stadium, the first victory for the club against their bitter city rivals in any competition in 14 years. Atletico’s triumph was particularly sweet for their long-

suffering fans as it left Real without major silverware and helped hasten the departure of coach Jose Mourinho. Mourinho’s successor Ancelotti has yet to get the best from his hugely expensive squad and the Italian delivered some blunt criticism after Wednesday’s unconvincing display at Elche, a club whose entire squad is worth less than half the fee Real paid Tottenham Hotspur for Bale. “I am not happy,” Ancelotti told a news conference after Elche snatched a 91st-minute equaliser only for Ronaldo, who had put Real ahead with a free kick in the 51st minute, to net the winner in the 96th. “We suffered a lot, especially at the end. The team did not control the match after Ronaldo’s goal,” Ancelotti added. “The important thing is the result but it’s not enough, we have to play better. “Playing like that we will not win the derby ... above all we have to play with more intensity and personality.” Intensity and personality are exactly what former Argentina captain Simeone, a combative midfielder for clubs including Atletico, Sevilla, Inter Milan and Lazio, has instilled in his squad since he took over in late 2011. None has benefited more from the Argentine’s guidance

than Brazilian Diego Costa, who has started the season with a bang and tops the La Liga scoring chart alongside Barca’s World Player of the Year Lionel Messi on seven goals. A burly forward who likes to rattle opponents with an aggressive playing style, Costa netted the equaliser in last season’s Cup final and his battle with Real’s central defenders Sergio Ramos and Pepe will be one of the most intriguing aspects of Saturday’s game. “We are working, taking each game at a time, and the only thing that concerns us is doing things well at Atletico Madrid,” Simeone told a news conference after Tuesday’s 21 La Liga win at home to Osasuna. “We are on a positive run, the fans are happy. “Each day the responsibility is growing and the demands even more and that’s why we have to rest properly and train hard.” Barca’s Argentine coach Gerardo Martino is likely to continue his policy of alternating rest days for key squad members when the champions play at promoted Almeria tomorrow. In-form Spain playmaker Cesc Fabregas is likely to start after sitting out Tuesday’s 4-1 success at home to Real Sociedad.— Reuters

Chinese star Li seeks biggest home win BEIJING: Li Na will hope to confirm her spot at the end-ofyear championships and seal her biggest win on home soil when she takes on a star-studded field at the China Open starting this weekend. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic headline the men’s draw and Serena Williams leads a packed women’s field at the dual ATP and WTA event at Beijing’s Olympic Park. But former French Open champion Li will be the centre of attention for home fans, and she will look to ride a surge in form which made her the first Asian player to reach the US Open semi-finals this month. The world number five will now target a strong finish to a season which has also brought a seventh career title, her second Australian Open final and a deep run at Wimbledon. In Beijing Li, 31, has the opportunity to book her place at the season finale, next month’s WTA Championships in Istanbul featuring the top eight women’s players. She may also get the chance to avenge her US Open semifinal defeat to the mighty Williams, a match in which she only managed to take three games. Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova and Agnieszka Radwanska-the world numbers one, two, three and four-have already qualified for the WTA Championships. Li has twice reached the semi-finals at the prestigious Beijing event without being able to go all the way. She has won twice in China, in Shenzhen this year and in Guangzhou in 2004. But first up for Li is an exhibition match against men’s number one Djokovic on Friday. “Haha, are you ready to play me?” the Serb said on his Sina Weibo microblog. “Don’t be happy too early,” Li joked. “I have a plan for the game. It is not certain who will be the winner and the loser.” Djokovic, one of six of the men’s top 10 in Beijing, is unbeaten in three visits to the tournament after he followed up wins in 2009 and 2010 with victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in last year’s final. And with the inclusion of Spain’s Nadal, the tournament offers the mouth-watering prospect of a repeat of the US Open final between the world number one and two. Nadal’s compatriot and world number four David Ferrer is also present, along with the Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych and France’s Richard Gasquet, a shock second-round loser last year to China’s Zhang Ze. Zhang, China’s men’s number one but with a world ranking of 190, is a wildcard this year. On the women’s side, his compatriot Zhang Shuai is also a wildcard, despite winning her first WTA title in Guangzhou this month. The 24-year-old recruited her own coach in July, following Li’s example in leaving the tightly-controlled state sports system. Speculation is now rising about whether she can now emulate the success of Asia’s first Grand Slam winner. “I’m looking forward to the China Open as I have fond memories there,” said Zhang, who has twice won a smaller WTA tournament in the capital. “I hope I can have a breakthrough and achieve something extraordinary this time,” she told the news website. The tournament begins at the weekend and will reach its climax on October 6. — AFP

SPAIN: Real Madrid’s players celebrate during the Spanish League football match against Elche. — AFP

Ronaldo penalty hands Real controversial win MADRID: A dubious injury time Cristiano Ronaldo penalty was enough to move Real Madrid back to within two points of league leaders Barcelona with a 2-1 win away to Elche on Wednesday night. However, the hosts were left furious with referee Cesar Muniz Fernandez as after failing to show Sergio Ramos a second yellow card for a clear bodycheck on Coro in the first-half, he pointed to the spot in the fourth minute of added time when Pepe fell to the ground under pressure from Carlos Sanchez. Ronaldo had put the visitors ahead from a free-kick early in the second-half, but Richmond Boakye thought he had rescued a point when he headed home in the 91st minute before the late drama. And Real boss Carlo Ancelotti admitted that he was far from satisfied with a lacklustre display from his side. “I am not happy, we need to play differently,” he told a press conference. “We didn’t control the game in the second-half after Ronaldo’s goal and it is obvious that I am not happy with the game. The result doesn’t suffice, we need to play better. “They played well. they were compact

and they deserved to equalise because they finished the game very well.” Elche had also started the brighter side and Real had goalkeeper Diego Lopez to thank for preventing his side from falling behind for the fourth time in six league matches this season. David Lomban was first to be denied by Lopez as he parried the defender’s header from Eduardo Albacar’s cross before Carles Gil’s low drive was also smothered by the keeper. Javi Marquez also fired wastefully over as the hosts continued to press and they were rightfully infuriated when Fernandez awarded a foul when Ramos chopped down Coro but didn’t show the Spanish international the 18th red card of his career. Madrid started the second period with more purpose and were rewarded just six minutes after the restart when Ronaldo’s free-kick bounced just in front of Manu Herrera and he could only help it on its way into the net. Having gone in front though, Madrid took their foot off the gas and were finally punished in stoppage time when Elche

produced their best move of the match to equalise. A long ball from Herrera was headed into the path of Fidel and his cross was expertly nodded home at the near post by Boakye.However, the drama didn’t end there as having signalled for there to be three minutes of added time, Fernandez allowed a Madrid corner to be taken well into the 94th minute and then pointed to the spot when Pepe hit the ground. After a number of Elche players had been booked for protesting, Ronaldo kept his cool and drilled the ball low into the corner to earn his side a precious three points. Ancelotti though is well aware that Real will need to up their game substantially if they are to emerge victorious from the Madrid derby with joint leaders Atletico on Saturday. “Obviously playing like this we are not going to win the derby. We need to play with more intensity and personality.” In the night’s earlier matches, Sevilla moved off the bottom of the table as they beat Rayo Vallecano 4-1 to secure their first victory of the season. —AFP


Ronaldo hands Real victory Page 47

SPAIN: Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (left) vies with Elche’s defender Botia (center) and Elche’s defender Lomban (down) during the Spanish League football match. — AFP

27th Sep 2013  
27th Sep 2013  

Friday Times