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Copts return to broken homes, shattered trust


NO: 15952

150 FILS



China shines at APEC summit as US staggers


Iranians mock Israeli leader’s jeans remark


Broncos beat Cowboys, stay unbeaten


GCC to ‘detect, bar’ gays, transgenders No visa for homosexuals in the Arabian Gulf

E-protests rock Saudi, Kuwait RIYADH: Despite their country boasting the world’s greatest oil wealth, many Saudis complain their salaries are not enough to make ends meet, and are taking to Twitter to demand more money. “The salary is not enough”, a hashtag launched in early summer on the micro-blogging website, triggered more than 17.5 million tweets, reflecting the frustration of many Saudis over their purchasing power. The campaigners called on King Abdullah to order “by decree, an increase in the salaries of all civil servants” of the world’s top oil exporter. The basic monthly salary of a public employee ranges from between 3,945 riyals ($1,051) and 24,750 riyals ($6,599 dollars), in addition to various allowances, according to a study prepared by insurance companies. In the private sector, the average wage is 6,400 riyals ($1,700), compared with 15,299 riyals ($4,000) in most other Gulf monarchies, according to a reported study prepared by the World Bank and the Saudi economy ministry. “Let officials stop stealing... corruption has taken everything and people are the victims,” tweeted journalist Fahd Al-Fahid. Others posted images they said reflected the misery in the kingdom-a woman rummaging through Continued on Page 13

Max 39º Min 21º High Tide 00:57 & 14:18 Low Tide 08:01 & 20:07

KUWAIT: Gulf states plan to study a project which will identify homosexuals and transgender individuals through a ‘clinical test’ which will be added to the list of medical tests one has to undergo to obtain a visa. If individuals are revealed to be homosexual or transgender, they will be denied entry into the country, a local daily reported yesterday, quoting a senior official in Kuwait’s Ministry of Health. “Homosexuals and ‘third-sex’ individuals can be detected through clinical tests during the routine medical examination for visa”, Public Health Department Director Dr Yousuf Mendakar said. ‘Third-sex’ is a common term used in Gulf states to refer to transsexuals or people with gender identity disorder. The senior official added that an individual who is identified as homosexual will have ‘unfit’ stamped on his medical report; a term often used for people who fail medical tests which will automatically disqualify their visa application. Continued on Page 13

Father ‘murdered’ By A Saleh

RIYADH: A Saudi man prepares to log in to his Twitter account on his laptop at his office in Riyadh. Despite sitting on the world’s largest wealth of oil, Saudis complain their salaries are not enough to make ends meet, and are taking to Twitter to demand more money. — AFP

KUWAIT: A young man killed his father in Rihab area yesterday. Security sources said the suspect (a bedoon) arrived at the police station with blood stains all over his body. Police took the suspect to Farwaniya Hospital for treatment and then took him to criminal detectives for questioning.



LONDON: His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, accompanied by Deputy Chief of the National Guards, Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and an official delegation arrived in Stansted Airport in the United Kingdom yesterday. HH was received at the airport by Kuwait’s Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs, Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s Ambassador to the UK, Khaled Abdulaziz Al-Duwaisan and a number of officials from the embassy.

MPs propose death penalty for black magic Major cause of family problems KUWAIT: Several MPs demanded stricter penalties against sorcery and witchcraft as well as tougher measures to prevent smuggling of black magic paraphernalia. Meanwhile, at least one lawmaker suggested that Kuwait adopt the death penalty against those convicted of practicing witchcraft and sorcery similar to Saudi Arabia. Black magic is recognized in Islam as mostly involving communication with jinn; supernatural beings mentioned in the Holy Quran and often linked to evil. Islam forbids practicing witchcraft and sorcery. “Since these practices are haram (prohibited by the Islamic Sharia), efforts should be taken to tackle the spread of this phenomenon in our society”, MP Ahmad Al-Azmi told Al-Rai on Sunday. He further blamed “citizens of certain expatri-

ate nationalities” of “bringing their malicious ideas to our country”, and called for a “strong punishment in accordance with Sharia”. Meanwhile, MP Mohammad Al-Enizy announced presenting a draft law to set a fiveyear jail sentence for people convicted in cases of witchcraft and sorcery, which can be extended to 15 years “if people were negatively affected by their actions”. “Practicing black magic has increased lately and is the cause of many family problems”, he said. “These practices are prohibited and sometimes classified in Sharia in the same category as blasphemy”. MP Hmoud Al-Hamdan said in the meantime that he is preparing a draft to initiate death penalty against people who practice black magic. MP Dr Abdurrahman Al-Jeeran also iden-

tified capital punishment as “the penalty that most scholars agreed is most suitable for witchcraft and sorcery”. In another development, MP Dr Yousif AlZalzelah announced that he would not participate in any grilling motions against HH the PM Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak. “The PM is open to all opinions and welcomes dialogue with everybody to bridge gaps on all issues”, he underlined. Meanwhile, parliamentary sources said that a Cabinet reshuffle would be announced soon after two ministers refused ministerial portfolios and three Cabinet members were dismissed. The sources confirmed that the news about the reshuffle was 100 percent true and that highranking sources spoke of the reshuffle with some MPs.

Kuwait should allow private sector to alleviate housing crisis

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s traffic department continued its campaigns to ensure vehicle safety and smooth traffic flow. The campaign resulted in issuing 505 tickets, including 195 direct and 310 indirect. 21 cars and 10 buses were impounded. Jahra police launched a campaign in Amghara scrap yard and Jahra which resulted in the arrest of 83 Asians for violating labor law and eight bedoons were pulled up for driving without a license.— By Hanan Al-Saadoun

Kuwaiti economy ‘strong and stable’ KUWAIT: Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Sheikh Salem Abdulaziz Al-Sabah said that the economic situation of Kuwait is predominantly “strong and stable” - a point supported by the positive surpluses achieved in the internal and external budgets. The strength of the economy is illustrated in the recording of an actual surplus of KD 12.7 billion in the public budget for the FY 2012/13 which ended in March, representing 24.7 percent of the nominal GDP for 2012. The current account balance in 2012 also achieved a surplus of around KD 22. 2 billion (USD 78.5 billion) representing 43.2 percent of the nominal GDP. These financial surpluses, in spite of being a source of strength for the national economy, are fundamentally linked to the performance of international oil markets, which thus illustrates the importance of enhancing economic activity on a sustainable basis, he said. He identified the most prominent challenges that face the economy, during this point in time, as being structural imbalances affecting the state public budget, the dynamics of the labour market and the limited private sector role in economic activity. “These imbalances are partially or wholly linked to the exchanged relationship

with the size and nature of the role played by the government in economic activity, which has resulted in the oversized growth of its administrative sector and the complication of procedures - thus hindering sustainable growth,” he added. He expressed the need to address these challenges through uniting efforts on the local stage to move on with development plans set forth by HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The minister stated furthermore that he is set to head the Kuwaiti delegation at the 2013 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in Washington DC between October 11 and 13. Sheikh Salem will be delivering a speech on behalf of Arab central bank governors which will address economic and social challenges facing the Arab region in light of its ongoing political crises. The speech will pinpoint the state of uncertainty which has accompanied the developments in these countries, and efforts needed to increase the contributions of international financial institutions in order to achieve economic and social stability through enhancing prospects for global cooperation and economic integration. — KUNA

KUWAIT: There has been growing outcry in Kuwait regarding the unavailability of private housing for Kuwaiti citizens, forcing a number of young families to lease residences for years before receiving the state housing allowance owed to them. This angst goes back to the accumulation of housing requests at the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW). By virtue of the housing welfare law, the PAHW builds and distributes homes among applicants, regarding the residence as a loan that will not exceed 70,000 dinars ($247,000) to be repaid over the long term, at times as long as 40 years, in low monthly installments. The loan does not carry any interest. Citizens can also acquire a loan in the same amount from the governmental Credit and Savings Bank if the applicant is the owner of a plot of land upon which he wishes to build a private residence. The result of the PAHW’s limited capacities and the unavailability of land ready for residencies has required a great deal of patience among many citizens for a period of time that may drag out as long as 20 years before they get housing. According to official reports, there are more than 10,000 housing applications annually, while the government is unable to process more than 4,000. The Real Estate Union explained that there are more than 120,000 residential properties in Kuwait built before the beginning of the “oil age,” while the land suitable for housing to begin with is no more than 14,000 plots across the different regions. This shows a clear difficulty in offering housing to face the demands that will pile up in

the coming years, causing housing prices to rise uncontrollably. Areas of land that is inhabited and suitable for living with adequate infrastructure comprise around 8% of the country’s surface area, estimated at 17,000 square kilometers (10,500 square miles). There are wide swathes of uninhabited land that exhibit many difficulties that prevent it from being developed into residential property. There are expanses of land allocated for searching for oil and others for defense and security purposes. The cost of offering infrastructure, facilities and necessary services is exorbitant. There is little doubt that horizontal expansion and giving preference to Kuwaitis for independent residences and villas or large areas of land may increase the costs and capital needed. Ideas have been put forth since the 1970s for vertical housing expansion, meaning the construction of residential buildings and distributing the apartments among citizens instead of villas, land and housing loans. These proposals were not welcomed, however, and the political community did not seriously consider them despite its intention of working according to a philosophy of housing welfare because of the potential risk to the popularity of whoever takes on these proposals. It is well known that housing growth among Kuwaitis is increasing by 2.8% annually. The increase in the number of people seeking housing is especially dire if we take into consideration that more than 80% of Kuwaitis are under the age of 40, guaranteeing a continual flow of housing applications.

In 1954, the Development Council was issued a royal decree authorizing it to build 2,000 housing units to be distributed among Kuwaiti citizens in need of housing. Following that, the responsibility for housing was transferred to a number of governmental departments, including the Credit Bank, which then became the Credit and Savings Bank. Housing loans started at 15,000 dinars (about $53,088) before reaching 70,000 dinars ($247,743). In 1974, the Public Authority for Housing Welfare was established and took on the responsibility for building residences and distributing them among every Kuwaiti head-ofhousehold that had submitted a housing application. What is surprising here is that even within the framework of this responsibility, the private sector was not allowed to play an active role in providing private housing or developing residential compounds in a way that would have sped up the housing supply. Law No. 8 from 2008 “prohibits all companies and individual associations from dealing with selling and buying or mortgages or issuing an assignment of rights or issuing power of attorney to act on the behalf of another or accepting the power of attorney in land plots or houses allocated for private housing purposes in any location and as part of any project, be it direct or indirect, and is considered null and void as though all actions toward this end and as if every procedure for the purpose of moving ownership of the plots or houses allocated for purposes of private housing transpired in violation of the provisions of this law.” —Al-Monitor

KUWAIT: Salmiya, Hawally and Shuhada fire centers dealt with a fire in a three-storey building in Hawally. The fire which started on the first floor spread to the second and the residents were quickly evacuated while power was turned off. A resident and two firemen suffered heat exhaustion and were taken to Mubarak Hospital. —By Hanan Al-Saadoun



Contractor accountable for Jabriya building collapse Safety precautions not taken By A Saleh KUWAIT: Commenting on the collapse of a Jabriya building during a demolition process, MP Adel Al-Kharafi said that the contractor had not followed proper safety precautions, as reported by KFSD investigations. “Some old buildings must be examined before demolishing them to avoid similar disasters”, he said and held the demolition contractor accountable, especially since he worked on a weekend day to avoid safety precautions. The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) denied rumors about the alleged cost of the new Jabriya entrance via the Fifth Ring Road and stressed that it was exaggerated. “It’s only hearsay that the project costs KD 850 million,” stressed the ministry. MP Humoud Al-Hamdan recently asked the

interior minister about the video of a young man and two girls kissing that had recently spread across various social media network. In his inquiry, Al-Hamdan asked what measures will be taken against the three, if they will be freed after they sign affidavits stating they won’t repeat their mistake and also asked if similar offenders were being treated the same way and how many of them were actually held accountable for their actions. Commenting on recent news that the Ministry of Public Works had approved five international companies to apply for new road project tenders, MP Hamdan Al-Azmi asked for the reason international companies were approached instead of local ones and if the CTC was consulted first. MP Mohammed Al-Howailah called for establishing a new Leaders Training and Qualification Institute at Kuwait University to help train lead-


ers and officials perform better. He also said that passing the institute’s course should be a mandatory requirement before individuals are considered for a promotion. Meanwhile, within its attempts to develop the educational process and teachers skills, the ministry of education tends to set new conditions for hiring new teachers, said educational sources. The minister of education and higher education, Dr Nayef Al-Hajraf has raised the minimum grades for newly appointed teachers, citizens or expatriate hired locally or abroad, through selection committees to a minimum grade of ‘B’. The sources added that Al-Hajraf had already contacted the civil services commission in this regard and called for education graduates to work for the ministry and for also allowing them shift to other ministries.

Self-defense ruled out in Marina Mall murder

in brief

Increase in airport traffic KUWAIT: Passengers movement increased during the month of September 2013 by six percent compared to the same period last year, said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in a report yesterday. According to a press release by the DGCA the number of passengers exceeded 859,000 with 520,000 arriving in the country while some 339,000 departed. The total number of flights for September had reached 7,441, said the DGCA, adding that commercial flights had reached 7,029. On cargo traffic, the DGCA said that an amount of 14 million kilograms of cargo was transported during September. Military cooperation KUWAIT: Acting National Guard Undersecretary Maj Gen Hashem Abdulrazzaq Al-Refai discussed yesterday with British Parliamentar y Under Secretary of State for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne, military cooperation between the two countries. During the meeting, AlRefai praised the relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries, asserting Kuwait’s keenness on expanding cooperation in all fields, in particular in training and security, a statement by Kuwait National Guard said. For his part, Dunne said that the British delegation’s visit was to get acquainted with the best ways to exchange experience between the Kuwaiti National Guard and British Military. The meeting was attended by British Ambassador to Kuwait Frank Baker and other high ranking British and National Guard officials.

KUWAIT: A teenager accused of killing a Kuwaiti man at Marina Mall a couple of weeks ago was remanded in jail for two more weeks after a fresh round of investigations ruled out the possibility of selfdefense. According to a source, public prosecution noticed an ‘interval’ between when the suspect was first stabbed by the victim, and when he retaliated by stabbing him back with his friend’s knife. The prime suspect had claimed self-defense during questioning, saying that the armed fight started between his friend and the victim but argued that the victim was the first to use his knife. He denied murder intent, explaining that after being stabbed on his shoulder, he reacted by grabbing the knife from his

friend’s hand and stabbing the victim back. “The decision to rule out self-defense was based on the fact that self-defense is spontaneous but in this case, the suspect had sufficient time to take the knife from his friend and use it to attack the victim”, said the source who spoke to Al-Qabas on the condition of anonymity. The fact that the murder weapon was voluntarily brought to the crime scene also played against the suspect’s self-defense plea. Last week, public prosecution released two other suspects in the case including the knife’s owner whose involvement was restricted to initial altercation with the victim, according to investigations. The third suspect was standing at a distance when the crime took place.

Jeddah to host Gulf Press Forum next month KUWAIT: Gulf Press Association (GPA) Secretary General Nasser Al-Othman announced hosting the Gulf Youth Journalists Forum in Jeddah on Nov 10 and 11. The event takes place in cooperation with Okaz Newspaper in Saudi Arabia and under the patronage of the Saudi Minister of Culture and Information, Dr. Abdul-Aziz Khouja. “The forum provides a platform for nearly 40 journalists from Gulf Cooperation Council countries and Yemen to discuss a variety of topics while focusing on the field problems

that the GCC journalist faces” Al-Othman said in a recent statement. Meanwhile, Okaz Editor-in-Chief Dr Hashem added that the forum is an opportunity for young journalists to discuss their visions to improve journalistic work in the Gulf region. GPA President Terki Al-Sadeeri is set to chair the forum which takes place exactly one year following a similar event hosted in Kuwait and in cooperation with the Kuwait Journalists Association (KJA).

‘Collaboration key to mitigate the negative spillover of fiscal crisis’ By Ben Garcia NUSA DUA, Bali: APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting was formally opened yesterday at the Sofitel Hotel at Nusa Dua, Bali by this year’s summit host, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The Indonesian Head of State with First Lady Ani Yudhoyhono warmly welcomed 21 Economic Leaders of APEC including Russian President Vladimir Putin. “The CEO summit has been well-attended which reflects the interest of every stakeholder to create greater partnership,” he said. “ Through APEC, I would like to thank the business community for their commitment to achieve growth and prosperity in our region. Since 1995, APEC has played a key role in ensuring participation and contribution of businesses in the APEC process and we can see many achievements. It is even more important today as we are yet to fully recover from the global economic crisis,” he added. Yudhoyhono pointed out that even if the countries all over the world have felt tremors, if not the pain of the economic crisis, it is very important to develop closer collaborations to accelerate global growth and economy. “In Indonesian experience, I believe collaboration is the key to mitigate the negative spillover of the economic crisis. In 2008 during the financial crisis, governments sat together with businesses, listened to their views and formulated appropriate policies. This approach enables Indonesia to minimize the negative effect of the global financial crisis. In view of difficult global economic situation these days, it becomes even more critical for all of us to work together. I am confident that this APEC Dialogue with Leaders will be productive and fruitful as all of us will benefit from the recommendations,” he added. The participating APEC leaders include Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Brunei Darussalam Prime Minister Sultan Hasanah Bolkiah, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, Chief Executive of Hong Kong China CY Leung, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Japanese Prime Minister Sinzo Abe, Peruvian President Ollanta Humala, Mexican President Enrique Pena

Nieto, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, Papua New Guinean Prime Minister Peter Charles Paire O’neill, Philippine President Benigno S Aquino III, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang, South Korean President Park Geun-hye, and Chinese Taipei representative Vincent Siew, while the United States was represented by Trade Minister Penny Pritzker. APEC economic leaders also delivered their point of views to the APEC Business Advisory Council. Earlier, President Yudhoyono witnessed the signing of several memorandums of understanding (MoU) with allied countries including Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, and Peru. Yudhoyono also attended a series of bilateral meetings amongst the Russian and Japanese leaders. In a speech before a closed door session, President Yudhoyhono elaborated the role of APEC in the global economy. “During this challenging time, APEC economies should enhance cooperation and partnership and should redouble effort to sustain resilience, and maintain our role as a pillar and safety belt of global growth. We made significant contributions to prevent global economy from crashing during the 2008 financial crisis. I believe that this time, APEC economies will do the same,” he said. He noted APEC was created to build a region of common prosperity by advancing open and free investments in the region. APEC economies accounts for 54 percent of global GDP, according to Yudhoyono. Over the past 25 years, since the creation of APEC, fresh tariffs in the region have declined by almost 70 percent which opened more business opportunities and created millions of jobs. “Despite this achievement, the region has to respond practically to some challenges. This 2013 APEC, we want a free and open trade by 2030. “I believe we are all here to renew our commitment to achieve APEC objectives. I hope that after the meeting, we will all have a common document to realize our partnership. Meanwhile, President of South

Korea, Park Geun-Hye, said creative economy requires stimulus from the government to keep growing and developing. During the deliver y of his keynote speech at the APEC CEO Summit 2013 (Sunday), President Geun-Hye highlighted the significant impact of a creative economy towards economic growth and competitiveness. “An economic stimulus package may help overcome the global financial crisis, but it will only work temporarily. A sustainable solution would be to provide stimulus for a creative economy to keep innovating,” she added. According to the first woman president of South Korea, innovation is the basic necessity to recover from a similar crisis her country encountered earlier. “Guided by the beauty of the ever-flowing Han River, innovations keep producing products that are expected to absorb millions into the workforce,” she said. Geun-Hye conveyed how the Korean creative economy has gained worldwide acknowledgement through the process of combining innovation, technological science, and South Korean cultural values into high-quality products. “‘Gangnam Style’ is just one of the few examples of this world-famous Korean creative economy,” said Geun-Hye. Park further asserted that creativity doesn’t exist only in Korea, but in every country in the world, and that it is unlimited in capacity, unlike many natural resources. For this reason, every government should make it a priority to provide stimulus and transform innovations into commercially viable products to improve the country ’s economic growth. According to Geun-Hye, South Korea stimulates a creative economy by suppressing regulatory barriers, improving the quality of education and facilitating the commercialization of innovations. On the other hand, Park also admitted that applying creative economy in industrial sectors is not an easy thing. Investments and promotion of technological science, supported by the government’s commitment, are required to keep innovations sustainable. The APEC CEO Summit was held at Nusa Dua, Bali, for two consecutive days on October 6 and 7, 2013.

KUWAIT: Interior Ministry Undersecretary Lt Gen Ghazi Al-Omar received Capt Yousuf Al-Khareef in the presence of Assistant Undersecretary for IT and Communications Affairs Sheikh Mishal Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, on the occasion of receiving his masters degree on the communications networks - fourth generation. AlKhareef received his masters from UCL University in the UK. He also received director of the explosives department Col Abdelwahab Mulla Al-Yaqoot who presented a copy of his book, Evidence and Indicators of Home-made Explosives.

Jealousy cited as reason behind female brawl KUWAIT: Women are known for their soft and tender nature, but not all the time. When they are struck with jealousy, their tenderness could turn into savagery. A savage attack by a group of women against a pretty one in Kuwait shows this is true. A newspaper which reported the bloody assault blamed it on jealousy. The Kuwaiti woman, a local TV presenter and director, was attending a birthday party at her friend’s house in Kuwait City when

she was harassed by some women. She decided to ignore them, not realising her behavior only made them more jealous and hostile. “She then decided to leave, again not realising this would even make it worse. Just as she was out, those women rushed out of the house and attacked her with knives. They then kicked her many times and dragged her by the hair before fleeing and leaving her lying in a pool of blood,” Al Watan daily said.



letter to Muna

kuwait digest


Who are we really? By Dr Ibtihal Al-Khateeb


hey say that Arab societies and perhaps all those in the Middle East are ‘collective communities’ or ones that put the group ahead of individuals and the general interest over personal ones. On the other hand, western societies are mostly believed to be ‘individual communities’ or ones in which personal interest is given priority over general interests. The institution of marriage is often used as an example to explain that form of classification. In Arab countries, the family’s interest is usually put ahead of each family member’s personal interest. Individuals are usually encouraged to keep their marriages even if they were miserable “for the family”. On the other hand, a person under similar circumstances in the West would be encouraged to leave their miserable life behind and look for their own happiness. Regardless of which form is better, I personally do not see the argument behind the assumption that Arab societies give priority to the general interest when individuals compete every day to overtake each other by all means possible.

A society with a ‘one-forall’ mentality usually does not have policemen who find a source of entertainment or a way to let out anger whenever they lay their hands on a person accused of committing a crime. From the death of Kuwaiti man Mohammad Al-Maimouni under police hands to all the incidents that expatriates are subjected to, what happens inside local police station has no longer become a secret. Most recently, a picture spread across social network showing three police officers ‘posing’ with two expatriate men arrested during a police operation. How can we be a collective society when we fight every day on streets, don’t stand in line or give way at crossroads? While waiting can delay you for a few moments, it helps the entire group move faster in the end. Do we think as a group when we take advantage of simple services directed towards those in need, such as parking in handicapped parking spots? How can we claim teamwork when wasta, or using connections to take advantage of services or privileges unlawfully is a dominant feature in our society despite it being the very manifestation of selfishness? Furthermore, would a collective society allow a group of people to continue living among them without an identity or rights, or divide itself into numerous sub-groups, each conspiring against the other by pushing their political representative to the legislative authority by all means necessary? A society with a ‘one-for-all’ mentality usually does not have policemen who find a source of entertainment or a way to let out anger whenever they lay their hands on a person accused of committing a crime. From the death of Kuwaiti man Mohammad Al-Maimouni under police hands to all the incidents that expatriates are subjected to, what happens inside local police station has no longer become a secret. Most recently, a picture spread across social network showing three police officers ‘posing’ with two expatriate men arrested during a police operation. For the policemen, the whole thing was ‘fun’ and something with which they filled the void in their lives. How can a society that puts collective interest on top produce individuals like these? And how is it that inappropriate behavior like this is posted on social media? What do these practices reveal about us? They say that we are a society who loves families but in reality we love scandals more. We spread scandalous videos footnoted with condemnation. Shouldn’t we avoid spreading such videos if we truly cared about the group’s image and morality? Until now it seemed that we neither gave priority to the group nor to the individual, but only to ourselves. If we conspire against others, take advantage of their rights through wasta, spread news about their mistakes, judge them for their beliefs, and refuse to stand in line, then how can we claim to be a collective society? I am not pointing fingers at the society as a whole. Humans are good by nature, but the corrupt minority soon take over the good majority always. Here is where the group’s role lies: by imposing good behavior; not through force, not even by law, but by following the right example and insist on going through the slow right path rather than the highway of what is wrong. Any simple selfish behavior automatically nullifies the collective feature of a society, and since we are not individual societies to begin with, we find ourselves lost between this and that. — Al-Jarida

kuwait digest

Government shutdown By Dr Wael Al-Hasawi


n a recent phone call with a veteran lawmaker, I asked his opinion regarding the current position of the parliament. After sighing, he answered “I’m afraid that we, both MPs and Cabinet members, might not live up to the Kuwaiti people’s expectations”. He further explained that they find themselves in a challenging place with people having many expectations from them. I understand the MP’s frustration. Failure after failure has created a general opinion of pessimism regarding promises made by MPs and the government. Even when people were pushed to vote in the middle of summer and during Ramadan, the parliament went into a three-month recess shortly after elections, making people wonder why they went through the trouble of electing representatives, only to see those representatives go on extended vacations shortly afterwards. We saw the results - like lawmakers lacking co-ordination - and they soon started threatening of grilling and made demands for a Cabinet reshuffle. Furthermore, MPs questioned the government on its delay in presenting its work program. To be fair, the concerns that MPs made about the government being inept are true, but they actually reflect snowballing failures which I am not sure that the current parliament and Cabinet can address. On the other side of the equation, the opposition found an opportunity to strike while the iron was hot, and organized a seminar last week in which they provided many indications to support their claim that Kuwait’s wealth is being robbed. According to veteran oppositionist, Ahmad AlSaadoun, Kuwait is preparing to go through a very critical period in its history, which the ‘unqualified’ Cabinet is not ready for. Al-Saadoun then went on to explain that Kuwait faces the risk of falling into nearly KD 344 billion budget deficit that eats up the state’s strategic and future funds reserves by 2020, whereas progress of the Development Plan stands at zero percent five years after the plan was

The opposition found an opportunity to strike while the iron was hot, and organized a seminar last week in which they provided many indications to support their claim that Kuwait’s wealth is being robbed. According to veteran oppositionist, Ahmad Al-Saadoun, Kuwait is preparing to go through a very critical period in its history, which the ‘unqualified’ Cabinet is not ready for. Al-Saadoun then went on to explain that Kuwait faces the risk of falling into nearly KD 344 billion budget deficit that eats up the state’s strategic and future funds reserves by 2020. passed. There are many topics that MPs and former lawmakers brought up which cannot be summarized in one column. In the meantime, Kuwaitis wait for individuals who can correct the situation instead of making criticisms and advice without action to put the country back on the right track. I hope that the government takes a decision to shut down similar to the American Federal Government, instead of sending the parliament on a break only to dissolve it shortly afterwards and later we realize that there has been no improvement during the break. — Al-Rai

kuwait digest

The policemen, bootleggers

Abused women need help Dear Muna Al-Fuzai, Every Friday, I look forward to reading the Kuwait Times and go straight to your column. Your articles are pretty interesting and someone should reason out your point of view and necessary action should be taken. In your column ‘Local Spotlight’ published in Friday Times on September 20, your views on abused women who need a shelter were humble and I completely support them. There are many abused women who need help, not only financially but also emotionally and spiritually. And such help is not easy to find and who will go to higher authorities when everyone knows that they will not really do anything. But someone needs to come forward, right? Besides I suggest a couple should not get married unless they visit a marriage counselor and pass a family exam or test where both should learn how to live a normal, productive and good family life where responsibility and respect towards each other is the main focus. If they fail the exam, they should not be allowed to marry. In this way, I think a lot of marriages will be saved which won’t harm the individuals, their families or even their children. I am a happily married man of 50 and before I got married, my fiance (who is my present beloved wife) and myself attended a marriage course along with many couples who intended to get married. Here we learned to handle children, pregnancy, love, etiquettes in the house, solve financial disputes and a lot more. Without a doubt, I partly owe my successful marriage to this course. Just like there are school tests, driving tests, culinary tests and so on, I think a marriage family course and an exam should be compulsory. This way there would be less abuse or none at all in a marriage. Regards, Anthony Hi Muna, I liked your article where you wrote about education and schools. I have been a teacher in the Gulf for five years. I think the problem is that Western teachers are hired in lead management jobs who have no skills or knowledge on how to run a school. Keep up your great work. Kind regards, Chris Hi Muna, I am an American who has lived in Kuwait for almost a year. My friends and family till date keep asking me “What’s it like in Kuwait” or “Were you scared”? I always reply that Kuwait was indeed a great country and I never felt that I was in a foreign land or in any kind of danger. I was in The Avenues Mall the day before the doctor was murdered. I do agree that crime has increased but not as much as it has in the US. The government should pay attention to reduce crime rates and improve security for its people. I thoroughly enjoyed your article on the same issue that I got to read online. I hope to return to Kuwait one day and make a lot of Kuwaiti friends and get to know more of the Kuwaiti traditions and culture. I hope and pray that your country will continue to thrive and do well. Keep writing as you have readers waiting for your thoughts every Friday not only in Kuwait but all over the world. Looking forward to your article next Friday, have a great week. Take care, Randall

kuwait digest

Where exactly is corruption? By Abdullatif Al-Duaij

By Mohammad Hayat


strongly urge the interior minister to discipline security men at all posts and stations. For us, the public, they are the ones who protect and safeguard us; therefore they’re required to have high morals a high level of discipline. With regard to the pictures that were circulated of the three security agents who mocked and humiliated Asian bootleggers, they violated the ethics and role of a public servant. If the interior ministry decides to treat such conduct seriously, we should know that we are about to face an international legal claim. How? In December 1979, the UN General Assembly released what is known as ‘Law-enforcing Public Servants Conduct Blog’. By public servants here we mean the police who are authorized to arrest and detain people. According to article two of the blog, “Law-enforcing public servants will respect human dignity, protect it as well as protect other people’s human rights while carrying out their duties”. The blog also defines the term ‘human rights’ mentioned in the aforementioned text as “All the protection detainees need from their detainers”. Luckily, such obligations are clearly stated in international treaties signed and approved by the State of Kuwait. These treaties are: The international covenant on civil and political rights; Declaration on protecting all human beings from torture; Declaration of eliminating all forms of racial discrimination; International agreement on racial discrimination; International agreement to penalize racial discrimination; Treaty on preventing annihilation and the Vienna consular relations agreement. All the above stems from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which are highly valued and respected by Kuwait. So, basically the action of the policemen has clearly violated all of the above agreements and declarations. And, since these agreements have been an integral part of national laws, holding these policemen accountable is the right thing to do. I strongly urge the interior minister to take strict action and discipline security men because strictness is the only thing that can save the police reputation now. — Al-Jarida


ecently, during the seminar, ‘Kuwait Under Theft ’, organized by the opposition, all speakers claimed that the government is a failure and said that the state has failed to finalize any of its planned developmental projects. One of the speakers mentioned that the main reason behind the failure in finishing the projects is heated competition between the big companies.

The opposition and all those who claim to be defending public funds along with their followers have for years - or in fact decades - been revealing and condemning alleged thefts targeting state property, yet failed to present at least one form of proof or point a finger at one specific individual or party. All they were successful in doing was to put projects on hold and cancel others altogether under the pretext that the deals were “suspicious” or opened the door for public funds to be subjected to theft. Now this is a puzzle to me and I honestly think is too difficult for a simple man like myself to solve. I do believe, however, that oppositionists’ followers have no trouble understanding their leaders’ rhetoric and the meaning behind it. This is another puzzle or could be the main and real puzzle.

The opposition and all those who claim to be defending public funds along with their followers have for years - or in fact decades - been revealing and condemning alleged thefts targeting state property, yet failed to present at least one form of proof or point a finger at one specific individual or party. All they were successful in doing was to put projects on hold and cancel others altogether under the pretext that the deals were “suspicious” or opened the door for public funds to be subjected to theft. At the end of the day, the government failed to achieve anything or execute any project included in the Development Plan, simply because there was an opposition against any project under accusations of theft. We have heard so many stories about theft and even more about corruption, yet we have never seen or heard about anyone standing before court on charges relating to such accusations. Meanwhile, no one gave us specific details regarding the nature of crime or corrupt behavior they claim is taking place. If ‘corruption’ that the oppositionists refers to mean thefts, then how come they first claim that the government failed to carry out any developmental project, and later say that thefts were involved in projects that were executed? If there is another kind of corruption they know off, then I ask the oppositionists to explain it to us, who are ‘too simple’ to understand it. What is the opposition’s definition of corruption? Does it include reaching out to influential people to take advantage of privileges unlawfully? Does it include ‘exceptions’ in which transactions are passed to utilize public services without a right? There is corruption in state departments, and one that is spreading around the country. But the corrupt individuals here are those who actually benefit from and sponsor corruption among the Kuwaiti public, and most specifically among followers of the opposition who are exper ts in finding ways to ‘milk ’ the state by taking over public funds. — Al-Qabas



GCC ready to invest in Egypt projects First announcements could be ‘within days’ CAIRO: Cairo is hoping to start announcing details of its investment program for this fiscal year later this month and Gulf Arab countries have agreed to provide additional financial support, a senior minister said. Ziad Bahaa El-Din, deputy prime minister for economic affairs, did not say how much Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates would contribute but it would be in addition to the $12 billion that they agreed to give Cairo in aid after the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on July 3. Egypt’s cabinet has flagged a 120 billion Egyptian pound investment program for the fiscal year through June 2014. “Discussions with the Emiratis have been going on for some time, and the final program has not yet been announced due to the caution on both sides to make promises that have not been fully worked out,” Bahaa El-Din said.

“I am hoping that we will announce at least the first package of projects soon,” he said. “It will be soon, it could be within days.” Bahaa El-Din said the Gulf countries had agreed in principle to invest in projects that are part of the planning and finance ministries’ program. “There are programs that we the government are committed to spending on in any case. They are saying, I will undertake the expenditures on that,” Bahaa El-Din said. “This is a form of budget support.” The three Gulf countries have also agreed to supply Egypt with badly needed oil products until the end of December, Oil Minister Sherif Ismail said last week, and Egypt has been in talks with them to continue the supplies into 2014. Bahaa El-Din is part of a transitional government that was appointed after Morsi’s ouster until a new constitution can be drafted and a new

parliament and president elec ted. The transition is scheduled to be finished next spring. The interim government has said it will avoid austerity measures and instead stimulate the economy by pumping in funds. It wants to avoid unpopular moves to plug the budget deficit such as increasing taxes or cutting food or energy subsidies that eat up around a fifth of the state budget. Bahaa El-Din said that the Kuwaitis, who in late September deposited $2 billion with Egypt’s central bank, were also prepared to provide project finance. “ There are discussions with them. When the time comes we will announce them,” he said. Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Cairo s a i d i n Au g u s t t h a t t h e k i n g d o m w a s studying a repor t submitted by Egypt detailing its financial needs through June 2014.— Reuters

Cypriot president’s visit to widen ties with Kuwait KUWAIT: President Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus is expected to arrive here today on a two-day state visit to Kuwait, aiming at bolstering bilateral ties in all domains and meeting with top states officials. Ambassador-level diplomatic relations between Kuwait and Cyprus were established on May 3, 2005 to create political, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation in accordance to the UN Charter and international laws. These ties improved drastically during the Iraqi aggression on Kuwait in 1990 when Cyprus showed support to the legitimacy of Kuwait’s rights to its lands and strongly condemned the former Iraqi regime’s violations of its neighboring country, calling on the Iraqi

authorities to abide by international laws and swiftly release Kuwait POWs. Cyprus Minister of Foreign Affairs Ioannis Kasoulides told KUNA, Monday, that both Kuwait and his country are a peace-loving countries where they always strive to set peace and security in their regions. Signing an agreement in 2010 where it allowed Kuwaiti holders of diplomatic passports to enter Cyprus with no visas is a further sign of the strong ties between the two countries, he clarified. On her par t, Cypriot Member of the European Parliament Eleni Theocharous said that the upcoming visit would surely boost economic and commercial ties; another kick start to a more enhanced relations, especially

after her country’s suffering from its latest economic crisis. Secretar y General at Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry Marios Tsiakkis said that there are numerous opportunity investments for Kuwaiti businessmen in his country. Cyprus, he explained, is considered an attracting commercial hub because of its low taxation policies and high-quality services. Meanwhile, Kuwaiti Ambassador to Cyprus Ahmad Al-Wahaib commented on the visit by saying that it is seen as a positive curve in the political history of both countries. In May, Kuwait is to participate in an industrial and commercial exhibition in Cyprus; an opportunity to showcase Kuwaiti products and introduce Kuwaiti companies to the Cypriot market. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Members of the Kuwait Society for the Protection of the Environment releasing the green turtle. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

New project to monitor green turtle KUWAIT: Kuwait Society for Protection of the Environment released a Kuwaiti green turtle that lives in Qaroah island from Jumairah Hotel beach. The turtle’s movements will be monitored to understand its migratory habits and the environment it seeks. This event was held under the patronage of Sheikha Intisar Salem Al-Ali, and in the presence of representatives from the biological variety organization, Jumairah hotel officials, Wataniya communications and school children. Sheikha Intisar said this activity is important because this turtle species exists only in Kuwait apart from some Iranian islands. The project is set to monitor the turtle in order to gather important data about its species to help it multiply further.

Approval for new health zone IPU conference opens in Geneva GENEVA: The 129th session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) started here yesterday, with Kuwaiti National Assembly (parliament) Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim attending. In keynote speeches during the opening ceremony of the three-day session, parliament team heads called for establishing regional and international peace and security and setting out strategies aiming to consolidate cooperation among various world parliaments. They stressed the necessity of making use of such international gatherings to create a new channel for international communication and cooperation and to coordinate views and positions on issues and matters of mutual interest. The participating delegations then began to discuss the agenda of the 129th session of the IPU, primarily the IPU’s budget for next year, IPU membership and relevant reports. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Ministr y of Health Undersecretar y, Dr Khaled AlSahlawi announced that the ministry had agreed to establish a new health zone at Mubarak Al-Kabeer governorate and said that the new zone would help reduce the pressure on Hawalli and Ahmadi health zones. He added that polyclinics subject to the new zone and the name of the director would be decided later on. Speaking to repor ters after attending a meeting for MOH undersecretaries council, Al-Sahlawi said that the ministry’s new fiscal year budget would be determined within two weeks and that, in a bid to control the use of medications at various hospitals, all ministry facilities would start using e-pharmacies soon.

Further, Al-Sahlawi said that the meeting’s agenda included many topics such as giving geriatric medications at health centers instead of forcing senior citizens to go to hospitals to get them, reviewing the areas rented to cafeterias, florists and banks at various hospitals to make sure they had proper valid licenses and removing all fizz y drinks, food and beverage machines from various health facilities. On another health concern, the medical services and guidance manager at the blood bank, Dr Rana AlAbdul Razzaq said, in collaboration with the Nepalese embassy to Kuwait, the bank would hold a blood donation campaign Friday evening for members of the Nepalese community in Kuwait.

ABK sponsors Kuwaiti students in Ireland KUWAIT: As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility program, encompassing initiatives to work and contribute towards the betterment of youth in particular, ABK sponsored the Annual Carnival of Kuwaiti Students in Ireland. The sponsorship reflects the Bank’s commitment to support its national youth. Ali Al-Baghli, Assistant PR Manager at ABK, stated, “Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait is proud to sponsor this annual

event in order to support Kuwaiti students studying abroad. ABK believes in the importance of investing time, effort and resources in future generations that will contribute to the development of our beloved country.” The carnival organizer Abdulla Bahman stated, “The Kuwaiti Students in Ireland are delighted that the Kuwait banking sector and ABK in particular is keen on supporting the students activities”.



Emergency operator faints on hearing of brother’s death Addict leaves brothers with 34 stabs KUWAIT: An emergency operator was hospitalized after she fell unconscious on receiving a report informing about the unexpected death of her own brother. The tragic incident happened on Sunday when the employee handled an emergency call about a teenager who was found dead at home. According to a source, the operator did not recognize the caller at first, but then realized after she was given the address that the victim was actually her 18-year-old brother. The source hinted as well that the caller also did not realize that the operator was a family member, or the victim’s sibling in specific. The news report published by Al-Rai daily yesterday does not specify the cause of death of the young man who was reportedly found motionless in his room after his

family broke inside when he failed to open the door. Search for rapist Investigations are ongoing in search of a young man who faces multiple charges in a case involving kidnap and sexual assault of a minor. According to the police report, the victim, a 15-year-old girl, agreed to go out with her boyfriend who she said asked her out on a date. He picked her up from Sulaibikhat and drove to an apartment in Mahboula where he sexually assaulted her before taking her to a private property in Kabad. There, the man assaulted her again and then dropped her off at a location near her family’s house in Sulaibikhat afterwards and escaped. These details are based on the girl’s testimony which

was given at the Sulaibikhat police station where her family took her to file a case after she walked home. Drug addict Two brothers were hospitalized in a critical condition after they were stabbed 34 times by their brother who is an addict. The incident took place at home in Mubarak Al-Kabeer on Saturday night as the suspect took a knife and attacked his brothers without provocation, leaving one of them with 20 stab wounds and the other with 14 according to the medical diagnosis. The two miraculously escaped death and are currently receiving attention at Adan Hospital’s ICU. The suspect who was reportedly under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the crime was

arrested and is currently being questioned. Fatal crash A Kuwaiti man died in an accident when he was on his way back from a chalet where he spent the weekend with his friends. Paramedics and police rushed to street located south of the country on Saturday following a report about a pickup truck which lost balance and overturned. The victim was pronounced dead on the scene and his body was taken to the forensic department after criminal investigators examined the place. Investigations are ongoing to determine the circumstances behind the accident. Delivery in bathroom A woman was arrested at Mubarak

Hospital before she could escape after reportedly delivering a baby inside the emergency room’s bathroom. According to a source, the Filipina came to the hospital complaining of bleeding and abdominal pain. She was taken to the observation room, but soon asked to go to the bathroom located in the ER. Soon after the woman returned to the obser vation room, hospital staff found an infant in the ER’s bathroom. The woman was hauled up for questioning after preliminary investigations pointed out that she delivered the baby on her own in the bathroom. Charges were pressed against the woman after she admitted that she wanted to abandon the baby who was the

result of an illegal relationship. Bribery attempt Police are looking into a case in which a service department employee accused a company representative of bribery whereas the accused man insisted that a smartphone he had presented to her was only a gift. The woman who works at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor approached local authorities recently and handed them a brand new iPhone. She gave information of a local company representative who she accused of giving her the phone so that she approved his illegal transactions. When summoned for questioning, the man claimed that he gave the phone as a “reward for the employee’s hard work”. Investigations are ongoing.

Kuwait to take part in Budapest Water Summit

Al-Faylakawi wins one year student allowance with NBK KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK ) announced the third winner of its “Win 12 months allowance campaign” for Al-Shabab customers. Minor Shamael Yousef Al-Faylakawi won a year’s student allowance. The promotion allows existing or new Al Shabab customers who transfer their allowance to NBK the chance to win cash 12 months student allowance. There will be a total of 15 winners in 6 draws. One winner will be selected each month and 10 winners during a big draw that will be

held in January 2014. Existing Al-Shabab customers who transfer their student allowance to NBK will have one Chance in each draw and two Chances in each draw for New Shabab customers who transfer their student allowance during this promotion which runs till December 2013. The winner received her prize During NBK’s Mega Day event. Shamael expressed her gratitude and appreciation, explaining that Al Shabab account is the first choice for youth who want to save money and organize their

finances. NBK seeks to reward its Al Shabab customers with the best offers and promotions. Al Shabab customers enjoy a modern lifestyle and expect the best. NBK continues to meet those expectations by providing the most exclusive offers and benefits. Al Shabab is a youth account that caters to the various financial, social and lifestyle needs of college and university students between the ages of 17-23 years. Students can open an Al Shabab account by visiting any NBK branch in Kuwait.

VIENNA: The State of Kuwait and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will be participating at the Budapest Water Summit, hosted by the Hungarian capital of Budapest on Oct 8 and 9 entitled “The Role of Water and Sanitation in the Global Sustainable Development Agenda”. The Secretary General’s visit to Budapest will be followed by separate meetings with the Hungarian President Janos Ader, Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi, according to a statement issued by the UN Information Department. Ban will conclude his visit to Hungary after delivering a lecture at the well-known Corvinus University of Budapest. During the summit, Ban will also meet with Prince Hassan bin Talal of the Hashemite Kingdom, Chairman of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board (UNSGAB) on Water and Sanitation. Ban is scheduled to hold a joint press conference with the Hungarian President. Water is one of the precious natural resources especially that only 2 percent of water available on the surface of our planet is fresh water, said the statement issued by the UN Information Department in Vienna. These precious resources play a vital role in all facilities of nature, society and the economy, it added. Due to the expected increase in popular

demand on water and rapid climate changes, at least 40 percent of the world’s population is expected to suffer of water scarcity before the end of 2030. Europe and Hungary in particular will also suffer from lack of water, which would make it a key issue in the achievement of peace and well-being, both nationally and regionally. The water summit, which will be attended by a number of senior UN officials, aims to discuss various developments within and outside the UN system, as well as set the goals for water development in the framework of Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, which confirmed the crosscutting importance of water. The Kuwaiti delegation to this international event, that is organized by the Hungarian government, the UN system and World Water Council (WWC), will be headed by Minister of Electricity and Water and Minister of Public Works Abdulaziz Abdullatif Al-Ibrahim. The Budapest Water Summit is also organized by a number of officials from the UN, experts and envoys specialized in the field of water in the developed countries, international organizations and financial institutions, in addition to representatives of companies and civil society organizations. — KUNA

Seelye sisters hope gallery shows close US-Arab bond KUWAIT: As part of an American family that has for five generations and over 160 years lived happily in the Arab world, the Seelye sisters have taken it upon themselves to shed light, through art, on their family interactions on a personal level with the people of the region. “This is our second exhibition after Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). We hope to take it around the region and also to America, because one of our main targets is an American audience. We want Americans to learn a lot more about this region which we think is so rich, so important and so misunderstood,” Kate said at her and her sister’s gallery, hosted by Kuwaiti non-profit modern and contemporary art venue, Contemporary Art Platform. “After 9/11, when relations were very strained between America and the Arab world, and American perceptions of the Arab world were maybe at an all-time low, we thought let’s take this material because it shows such a positive past, such a positive relationship between Americans and Arabs, so let’s do something with it.” The project started out as Kate’s documentary of old videos and photographs, which remained unfinished, until sister Ammanda proposed its transformation into art. The exhibition includes historic portraits, collages and videos of personal accounts involving different generations of the family during their stay in different parts of the Arab world, including Kuwait. Asked about their fondest memories during their stay, Ammanda - whose name is spelt with a double m like in the capital of Jordan, Amman - said she remembers “the hospitality and warmth we received from the people throughout the many countries I stayed in, including Lebanon, Syria, Kuwait or

Saudi Arabia. We were so well received and so welcomed.” Her father and mother had many Arab friends, whose homes they were invited to, she remembers. “They weren’t just there as outsiders, they were welcomed as insiders,” she says. Ammanda in particular spent four years in Kuwait as a child from 1956 to 1960, just before the US was represented by an embassy. “My father was the fourth US Consul to Kuwait, and so I spent very wonderful years growing up on the sea in the Gulf and have very fond memories of that. Kuwait has changed quite a bit since then. Asked which artwork was the closest to her heart, she said that it was one of her great, great grandfather and his wife, who were the very first members of family to have moved to the region, settling in Mosul, Iraq. On the technique she used, Ammanda said “they are presented in an image here where I took the original daguerreotype photograph from 1848 and I blew it up on a digital canvas. I paint on top, I silk-screen on top, I do collage on top, creating a narrative about these wonderful ancestors. Pointing to the picture, she adds “essentially you can see here, some images of Persian miniatures of pots, rugs and bowls and I superimposed those on top, evoking things they might have brought with them on their journey, and I painted on top images of a boat which symbolizes journey and talks about this world of exploration. Asked which of her artworks represents best the theme of East meets West, she said it was one of her mother on a boat in 1950s Kuwait. Over her mother’s head is an American and old Kuwaiti flag joined together in the middle. “I created one flag - a flag of coexistence,” she said, with a look of pride and hope. — KUNA

Rents rise in Abu Dhabi as relocation takes effect

TEC holds calligraphy workshop at Cape Club KUWAIT: In collaboration with the Arabic Calligraphy and Islamic Adornment Diwan, Touristic Enterprises Co (TEC) recently organized its first calligraphy and Islamic adornment workshop for the Cape Club members’ children. Addressing trainees during the first course with the attendance of the club supervisor, Mohamed Al-Hajri and the programs’ coordinator, Raef Al-Abyadh, Al-Diwan coordinator, Jamal Humoud and Manager and Trainer Noura AlMajed briefed them on calligraphy and Islamic arts. Mohammed Al-Hajri thanked Al-Humoud and Al-Majed for their effort and the valuable information they provided the young club members with. Al-Majed said that another workshop would be held at Al-Shaab Marine Club on October 15 and the rest would be held after Eid in other TEC facilities.

ABU DHABI: Rents in Abu Dhabi have risen by over 20 per cent in the third quarter of 2013 compared to the previous year, according to a new report by property consultant Asteco. “This is mainly due to government employees returning to the city, following the implementation of the September 12 2012 decree governing their emirate of residence,” said Asteco’s Q3 2013 report. Dubai commuters have primarily moved to new properties within the city in locations such as Raha Beach, Al Reef and Reem Island. Average rents for high-end apartments on Abu Dhabi Island and areas such as Marina Square and Khalidya/Al Bateen rose on average by 20 to 29 per cent respectively, while flats in central Abu Dhabi and the Corniche are now leasing for 43 and 42 per cent below their 2008 levels. While Al Reef villa rentals grew by 14 per cent year-on-year, Golf Gardens, Al Raha Beach and Al Raha gardens saw three to eight per cent annual increases, said Asteco.

“Prime properties such as Nation Tower and St Regis Residences have seen little growth, given the limited availability in the market,” said Jeremy Oates, general manager, Abu Dhabi, Asteco Property Management. “However, if any of the desirable units were to become vacant, we believe that potential tenants would be willing to pay a significant premium on current rates.” Average sales prices in Abu Dhabi also rose between 14 and 26 per cent year-onyear in the third quarter of 2013, buoyed by rising demand for high quality developments. The positive sentiment in the emirate since the start of the year is driving sales prices up, said the report. Rates in Al Raha Beach have risen by 19 to 26 per cent due to lack of available units, said the report. Prices in Marina Square and Sun & Sky Towers on Reem Island also increased by 14 per cent and 18 per cent respectively, but they are 43 per cent and 50 per cent below their respective price spikes in 2008.


Afghan candidates stir fears of election turmoil Page 11

Israelis, Palestinians intensify peace talks despite skepticism Page 8

Five Egyptian troops killed

AL-TUR: Egyptian security forces inspect the site of a car bomb explosion which killed three policemen at the Egyptian provincial police headquarters in al-Tur, in the southern part of Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, yesterday. Suspected militants killed nine people in attacks in Egypt yesterday, a day after clashes between Islamists and police left dozens dead and dashed hopes of restored calm after president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster. — AFP CAIRO: Gunmen killed five Egyptian soldiers near the Suez Canal city of Ismailia yesterday, security sources said, in a series of attacks that highlight growing insecurity since the army ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. In an interview published yesterday, Egypt’s army chief said he had told Morsi as long ago as February that the president had failed, about five months before the military removed him. General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi made the remarks before dozens died on Sunday in clashes involving security forces, supporters of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and their opponents. The security sources said the gunmen opened fire on the soldiers while they were sitting in a car at a checkpoint near Ismailia on the Canal, a vital global trade route. In a separate incident, an explosion near a state security building in South Sinai killed two people and injured 48, medical sources said. A witness said the explosion was caused by a car bomb. In the most brazen attack of the day, assailants fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a state-owned satellite station in the Maadi suburb of Cairo yesterday, wounding two people, security officials said. Attacks by Sinai-based militants have risen sharply since the army toppled Morsi and promised a roadmap that would lead Egypt to free and fair elections. Almost daily attacks by Al-Qaedainspired militants in the Sinai have killed more than 100 members of the security forces since early July, the army spokesman said on Sept 15. Militant violence elsewhere in Egypt has raised fears that an Islamist insurgency, like one eventually crushed in the 1990s by then president Hosni Mubarak, could take hold beyond Sinai. The militant attacks, including a failed assassination attempt on the interior minister in Cairo in September, are deepening insecurity in Egypt along with the power struggle between the Brotherhood and the army-backed government. The death toll from clashes in Egypt rose to 53 yesterday, state media said, as calm returned to the streets after one of the bloodiest days since the military deposed Morsi. Meanwhile, at least 50 people were killed in clashes between Islamists and police in Egypt on Sunday, as thousands of the military’s supporters marked the anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Loyalists of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi tried to converge on a central Cairo square for the anniversary celebrations, when police confronted them. At least 45 people were

killed in Cairo and five south of the capital, while another 268 people were wounded across Egypt, senior health ministry official Ahmed Al-Ansari said. He said that “majority of the deaths were caused by bullets and birdshots,” adding that the identities of the dead were being ascertained. Sunday’s death toll was the highest in clashes between Islamists and police since several days of violence starting on August 14 killed more than 1,000 people, mostly Islamists. Traffic flowed normally in central Cairo where thousands of Morsi supporters had battled security forces and army supporters on Sunday on the anniversary of the 1973 war with Israel. State radio said security forces had regained full control of Egypt, which signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979. In addition to the dead, state media said 271 people had been wounded in the clashes. Most of the casualties were Morsi supporters, security sources said. Further confrontations may shake Egypt this week. An alliance that includes the Muslim Brotherhood has urged Egyptians to stage more protests against the army takeover from Tuesday and gather on Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday. Political turmoil since the army unseated Morsi on July 3 has unnerved foreign investors and hammered tourism, a pillar of the economy, but there is no sign of reconciliation between the Brotherhood and the army-backed government. The Brotherhood remains defiant, organizing demonstrations, even if they are much smaller than ones staged weeks ago. Army chief Sisi, in an interview published in a privately owned newspaper, Al-Masry Al-Youm, said Egypt’s national interests differed from those of the Brotherhood as an organization. In the interview conducted before Sunday’s violence, Sisi also spoke about his previous meetings with Morsi, whose time in office he said had driven Egypt in the direction of civil war. “I told Morsi in February you failed and your project is finished,” Al-Masry AlYoum quoted Sisi as saying. Sisi denied Brotherhood allegations that the army had intended to remove Morsi through a coup, saying it had only responded to the will of the people. Before Morsi’s overthrow, Egyptians disillusioned with his year-long rule had held huge rallies demanding that he quit. Last month, a court banned the Brotherhood and froze its assets, pushing the group, which had dominated elections held in Egypt after Mubarak’s fall in 2011, further into the cold. — Agencies

US credits Assad over weapons destruction DAMASCUS: Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad can take “credit” for moving quickly to eliminate his regime’s chemical arms, US Secretary of State John Kerry said yesterday, after experts began destroying the banned arms. The operation, performed by Syrian personnel supervised by international disarmament experts, comes under the terms of a UN Security Council resolution that will see Damascus relinquish its chemical arsenal. “The process has begun in record time and we are appreciative for the Russian cooperation and obviously for the Syrian compliance,” Kerry told reporters alongside Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the Indonesian town of Nusa Dua after the two held talks. “I think it’s extremely significant that yesterday, Sunday, within a week of the (UN) resolution being passed, some chemical weapons were being destroyed,” Kerry said. “I think it’s a credit to the Assad regime, frankly. It’s a good beginning and we welcome a good beginning.” Syria agreed to give up its chemical arsenal under last month’s UN resolution that enshrined an agreement struck between Washington and Moscow aimed at averting US military action. Under the plan, Syria’s chemical weapons mixing and production facilities must be destroyed by November 1. On Sunday, a statement released by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

said inspectors were verifying details of Syria’s chemical arsenal and overseeing destruction work. Syrian workers “used cutting torches and angle grinders to destroy or disable a range of items”, the statement said, to destroy or disable “missile warheads, aerial bombs and mixing and filling equipment.” Syria’s chemical arsenal, believed to include 1,000 tons of the nerve agent sarin, mustard gas and other banned arms at dozens of sites, must be destroyed by mid-2014. As the operation got under way, Assad admitted in an interview that his government had made “mistakes” in the country’s brutal conflict. But he again denied that his forces used chemical weapons in an August 21 attack that killed hundreds of civilians. The assault led to threats of a US strike and eventually the UN resolution requiring Syria to turn over its arsenal. Russia’s foreign minister meanwhile said Washington and Moscow had agreed to push for Syria peace talks in midNovember. On Sunday, UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi called on Assad’s regime and the rebels to hold peace talks “without preconditions”. Later, UN chief Ban Ki-moon is expected to send a report to the Security Council detailing the logistics of what is considered one of the biggest and most dangerous disarmament operations ever staged because the conflict in Syria is still raging. — AFP



Morocco reaction to Qaeda video reflects growing fears RABAT: Morocco has largely avoided the Islamist-related violence rocking much of the region, but a recent Al-Qaeda video calling for jihad prompted authorities to react furiously, reflecting the kingdom’s security fears. The video, which also denounced corruption and lashed out at King Mohamed VI-contrasting Morocco’s sprawling slums with his vast wealth-led to an independent journalist being arrested and charged with inciting terrorism for posting a link to the website of El Pais, which carried the video. The government also threatened to prosecute the Spanish newspaper. Analysts say the kingdom wants to reaffirm its zero tolerance policy towards jihadist activity, amid rising concerns about Moroccans being recruited to join Islamist fighters in Syria. “The palace’s reaction likely reflects its fears ... over the number of Moroccans joining the fight in Syria, since the kingdom was thought to be relatively insulated from the issue

of foreign fighters and jihadist returnees,” said Vish Sakthivel from the Washington Institute, a US think tank. The number of Moroccan Islamists battling Syrian President Bashar AlAssad’s regime is hard to know, but estimates run as high as 1,000, with around 90 having been killed so far, according to official figures. North Africa expert William Lawrence underlines that this is a region-wide phenomenon, citing estimates of around 250 Algerians and 450 Tunisians thought to have been killed in Syria, raising concerns in both countries. “The jihadists return to Morocco with training and new ideological hardening that poses a threat to the state ... So Morocco will do what it can to break up the recruitment that’s going on, to prevent people from gaining experience who may come back,” he said. The authorities frequently claim to have busted Al-Qaeda linked cells, highlighting the domestic threat as well as Morocco’s success in limiting the ability

of homegrown extremists to organize, through its tough policy of preventive security. Just last month, a court in Rabat’s twin city of Sale jailed nine young Moroccans belonging to Ansar Al-Sharia in the Islamic Maghreb, who were arrested in late 2012 and accused of planning attacks on strategic sites in several cities. Morocco prides itself on being a country with a moderate version of Islam, whose king is accorded the official title of Commander of the Faithful, and where stability prevails in a region racked by insecurity. The image of stability and tolerance is of heightened importance given the country’s reliance on Western tourists to supply the hard currency needed to prop up its ailing economy. But the kingdom is no stranger to jihadist violence, having suffered two major suicide attacks in the past decade, one in Casablanca in 2003 that killed 33 people, and the other in Marrakesh in 2011,

which killed 17 people. Now observers say Salafism, the ultraconservative brand of Sunni Islam which has enjoyed a revival across North Africa since the Arab Spring upheaval of 2011, is as strong as ever in Morocco. While the largely peaceful “traditional” branch of the movement commands the biggest following here, the more radical Salafi jihadists are active too. In the months after mass demonstrations swept Morocco’s main cities in early 2011, the king freed scores of Muslims extremists jailed in connection with the Casablanca bombings, among them four radical Salafist leaders. In a sign that the hardline religious current is taking hold, the niqab, or full women’s face veil, is increasingly visible in Morocco’s main cities, where 10 years ago it was virtually non-existent. For Abdullah Rami, an expert on Islamist movements, Morocco’s firebrand Salafist clerics benefit from the fact that their ideas are easy to understand and have a

receptive audience among the country’s poor. “ They aren’t a threat to the Moroccan state, which is strong. But they do have a radical ideology that could mobilize people to carr y out attacks,” he said. “They refer to the wars in the Arab world, in Syria, in Iraq, in Somalia, and that helps them.” Rights activists and family members say hundreds of Islamists who have committed no crimes and have never supported any jihadist ideology remain behind bars. Hassan Kettani, one of the hardline clerics freed in 2012, after being jailed for 20 years in connection with the Casablanca bombings, insists he does not support violence. But, speaking to AFP, he questioned why jihadist fighters should not assist the armed rebels in Syria. “If someone supports those guys fighting Bashar Al-Assad, why if he’s an Islamist does he have to be put in jail, but if he’s an atheist or a communist or anything else, no problem about him?”— AFP

Israelis, Palestinians intensify peace talks despite skepticism Abbas holds rare meeting with Israelis

JEDDAH: In this photo released by the Saudi Press Agency, Defense Minister and Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz, right, meets with Egyptian interim President Adly Mansour in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, yesterday. Egypt’s interim president has landed in Saudi Arabia for his first foreign trip since assuming power bafter the ouster of the country’s Islamist president.— AP

Egypt interim president in Saudi to ‘thank’ kingdom RIYADH: Egypt’s military-backed interim president Adly Mansour arrived in Saudi Arabia yesterday to thank the kingdom, the first country to welcome the July military ouster of his Islamist predecessor Mohamed Morsi. Saudi Arabia, which along with other Gulf monarchies has long seen Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood as a threat, embraced his July 3 overthrow and quickly pledged financial aid to the militarybacked authorities. Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz received Mansour, who arrived in the Red Sea city of Jeddah on his first official trip abroad since he replaced Morsi, who was Egypt’s first freely elected leader. “Visiting the kingdom was a must, as I had to thank the custodian of the two holy mosques (King Abdullah) personally on his supportive stances that comforted the Egyptians,” Mansour told the Saudi daily Asharq AlAwsat. King Abdullah, whom Mansour is set to

meet later, was the first foreign head of state to congratulate Egypt’s interim president hours after his appointment in July. Riyadh had also announced an aid package of $5 billion to Egypt. The Saudi monarch in August pledged his country’s support to Egypt’s fight on “terrorism,” saying it was the military-backed government’s “legitimate right.” The Cairo regime had said it was confronting a “malicious terror plot” by the Muslim Brotherhood. In his interview with Asharq Al-Awsat published yesterday, Mansour hailed the kingdom’s support to his government at a “time when many Arab states took a reserved stance or adopted the opposing view naming what happened a ‘military coup.’” The on-again off-again Gulf rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Qatar saw them back opposite sides in Egypt’s turmoil, with Doha supporting Morsi and condemning the subsequent crackdown on his supporters.— AFP

With raids, US renews limited force doctrine WASHINGTON: By ordering risky raids against Islamic extremists in Somalia and Libya, US President Barack Obama has shown a renewed readiness to use force while trying to keep the scope limited. The twin commando operations in the lawless African states came even while the US government was partially shut down and shortly after Obama climbed down from his threats to carry out military strikes in Syria. Obama supervised the raids on the very day he would have been heading to Asia on a four-nation tour to showcase US clout, a trip canceled as the rival Republican Party refuses to fund the government without stripping the president’s signature reform of expanding health care coverage. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the operations sent “a strong message to the world that the United States will spare no effort to hold terrorists accountable.” The use of force brought a rare moment of unison with Republican leaders. House Speaker John Boehner, speaking to ABC television, hailed a “great example” of coordination among US forces. In Libya, the United States captured Abu Anas al-Libi, who is indicted in connection with the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In Somalia, the United States targeted the Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab in the wake of its bloody assault on a shopping mall in Nairobi, although the result of the US raid was unclear. The operations marked a contrast with “boots-onthe -ground” wars, which Obama has vowed to avoid, and also from attacks using unmanned drones, a tactic which the United States has controversially pursued against extremists in Pakistan and Yemen. Seth G Jones, a counterterrorism expert at the RAND Corp and former military adviser, said that raids by special forces generally result in fewer civilian casualties

than drone strikes while allowing for interrogation of suspects and seizure of items of interest. “You can still accomplish many of the same objectives and collect the intelligence, and it will be a little less controversial” that drone strikes, Jones said. He warned of the greater risk posed by a possible internationalization of the targets for the Shebab, which has viewed Kenya and Ethiopia as enemies but had limited direct confrontation with the United States. “ The US has to be careful with direct engagement with Al-Shebab as it leaves open the possibility that they may attempt to strike back against the United States in East Africa or may try to do it outside East Africa,” Jones said. Several US citizens of Somali descent are known to have joined the extremist network, in a rare example of radicalization of second-generation Americans. Jones drew a parallel to the failed 2010 car bombing attempt in New York’s Times Square, which was linked to the Pakistani Taliban. The group, Tehreek-e-Taleban, was “fairly parochial” until a US drone strike killed its leader Baitullah Mehsud in 2009, Jones said. The United States has been gradually reducing drone attacks in Pakistan, which are seen as contributing to the widespread anti-US sentiment in the country. Just over 100 people have died in 20 drone attacks this year in Pakistan, compared with 679 dead in 101 attacks in 2010, according to an AFP tally. Unlike drone attacks, operations by the highly trained Navy SEALs come with the risk of US casualties, although officials said there were none in the Somalia and Libya raids. Steven Bucci of the conservative Heritage Foundation said that Obama should dispatch SEALs sparingly, writing on the think tank’s blog: “It cannot be just because it is easier, politically, to send them than to send anyone else.” —AFP

JERUSALEM: Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held a new round of talks yesterday, picking up the tempo of their meetings at the request of the United States in the face of widespread skepticism that they will ever reach a deal. The two sides resumed direct peace negotiations in late July after three years of stalemate and have conducted a series of discussions far from the gaze of the media over recent weeks, without any outward hint of the slightest breakthrough. Just as for much of the last 20 years, the same problems continue to snarl progress towards a deal, with Israelis and Palestinians at loggerheads over how to divide the land and over their future security arrangements - among other things. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held a rare meeting with a group of Israeli parliamentarians yesterday, warning that this could be the last chance to reach a deal to end decades of conflict and create two independent states living side-by-side. An uncompromising speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday underscored pessimism prevailing in both camps, with members of the Israeli leader’s own coalition openly campaigning for an end to the so-called peace process. However, a senior Palestinian official said that the talks were intensifying, with the negotiating teams agreeing to meet for up to eight hours a day and to see one another more regularly than at the star t of their latest diplomatic drive. “As the Americans requested, we are upping the tempo of the discussions,” the official said, adding that Washington would evaluate the situation in the next two months and see how to narrow the inevitable differences. “So far we have achieved noth-

WEST BANK: Israeli MP Labor Party members Isaac Herzog, left, and Hilik Bar, center, shake hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as they attend a meeting with Knesset members in the West Bank city of Ramallah yesterday. — AP ing,” he said. For the last two months, the two sides met once or twice a week, sometimes only for a couple of hours a time, raising eyebrows among foreign diplomats, who questioned how the US goal of reaching a full accord by April could ever be met. “If they are really serious about getting a result within nine months, then they should be meeting every day,” said one senior diplomat in Jerusalem, who declined to be named. Netanyahu on Sunday pinned blame for the continued impasse on a refusal by Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and said they would have to abandon their demand for refugees and their descendants to return to Israel. His speech went down well

with hardliners and supporters of the Jewish settlements that dot the occupied West Bank. Settlers fear that Netanyahu might buckle under international pressure and give Palestinians most of the land seized in the 1967 war. “Probably the best speech by Netanyahu as PM,” Dani Dayan, a former settler leader, said appreciatively on Twitter. A senior Palestinian official, Yasser Abed Rabbo, dismissed the speech as part of a “political game”. He also criticized chief Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni, who suggested at the weekend that the talks could go on beyond the April deadline. “ This is a clear sign that Israel wants to draw out the process of negotiations for as long as possi-

ble so that it can evade international pressure and American disfavor,” he told Voice of Palestine radio. Palestinian leaders have often said continued settlement expansion on land they seek for a state poses the main obstacle to a peace agreement. Striking a more upbeat tone in his meeting with mainly opposition Israeli politicians, Abbas said he still believed it was possible to strike a comprehensive accord by April. “I’ll say what (US Secretary of State) Kerry has said, that I fear this could be the last chance for peace, which is terrifying. This is why we must work with all our effor t to reach peace, because in the unknown, there is great danger.”— Reuters

Influential Israeli rabbi Ovadia Yosef dies at 93 JERUSALEM: Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who turned an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern heritage into a powerful political force, died yesterday at the age of 93, plunging masses of followers into mourning. Dubbed Israel’s Ayatollah by critics who condemned many of his pronouncements as racist - he likened Palestinians to snakes and said God put gentiles on earth only to serve Jews - Yosef was revered by many traditional

JERUSALEM: File photo shows Shas party spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in Jerusalem. Rabbi Ovadia has died. He was 93. — AP

Sephardic Jews as their supreme religious leader. Through the Shas (Sephardic Torah Guardians) party he founded in the early 1980s, Yosef, regal in his gold embroidered robes and a turban, wielded unique political influence from his modest apartment in Jerusalem. His heavily Arabic-accented Hebrew may have been difficult to understand, but Shas members followed his political policy pronouncements and the Biblical scholar’s religious rulings as if they were divine commandments. “I don’t want to describe what could, God forbid, happen (after Yosef’s death),” Shas legislator Arye Deri told Kol Barama, a religious radio station. “How will the world run without the sun? How will the world run without the moon? What will be of us? Who will lead us? Who will take his place?” At its height, Shas - now in the opposition held 17 of parliament’s 120 seats. For years, Yosef, as its leader, served as political kingmaker whose party could make or break Israeli coalition governments. Yosef ’s political messages were sometimes mixed: he viewed the occupied West Bank, captured in the 1967 Middle East war, as part of the Biblical Land of Israel, but in a challenge to mainstream rabbis, he said it was permissible to cede land to prevent bloodshed. Although Shas served in governments that pursued peace talks with the Palestinians, he voiced strong anti-Arab sentiments in sermons to devotees in Israel and abroad. “Abu Mazen and all these evil people should perish from this world,” Yosef, referring to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said in a sermon in 2010. “God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians.” Palestinians condemned the speech as hateful, and Yosef also drew fire from Israelis when he once suggested that six million Jews died in the Nazi Holocaust because they were reincarnated souls of sinners. Weaving a new social fabric in a Jewish state dominated by a so-called elite of Ashkenazim, or

Jews of European descent, Yosef oversaw the establishment of Shas-run religious schools and charity institutions that drew a new generation into his rabbinical fold. His soft-spoken cadre of young Sephardic Orthodox activists, nattily attired in black business suits and neckties, helped to reshape their community’s self-image as an Israeli second class. Born in Baghdad, Yosef arrived in Jerusalem when he was four and was ordained as a rabbi at the age of 20. In 1947, a year before Israel’s founding, Yosef went to Cairo, where he headed its rabbinical court and became Egypt’s deputy chief rabbi. In 1950, Yosef returned to Jerusalem, serving as a judge in religious courts that deal with family matters and divorce and served as Israel’s chief Sephardic rabbi from 1973 to 1983, a post now held by his son Yitzhak, one of his 11 children. His major work, “Responsa, Yabia Omer”, is a 10-volume collection of his rulings on questions pertaining to Jewish law and customs. For the past several months, Yosef had been in failing health. Israeli President Shimon Peres visited his bedside yesterday in Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital, joining a steady stream of Shas politicians and top rabbis. Thousands packed synagogues to pray for Yosef’s recovery. As a hospital spokesman announced the rabbi’s death, followers outside the facility and his home broke into tears, hiding their faces in their hands and swaying in worship. “All his life, the rabbi prayed for the People of Israel,” Shas legislator Eli Yishai said on Monday as Yosef’s condition deteriorated and Israeli television stations interrupted regular programming to carry live reports from the hospital. “I now ask the people to pray for him.” Yosef’s funeral on Monday is expected to be one of the biggest ever held in Israel, attracting a sea of Jewish mourners in traditional Orthodox black garb. Four rabbis have been mentioned as possible successors, but with Shas outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, their political influence is likely to be limited.— Reuters



Campaign finance case on US high court docket Citizens United ruling prompts howls of outrage from liberals WASHINGTON: The US Supreme Court will this week step into the politically charged debate over campaign finance for the first time since its controversial ruling three years ago paved the way for corporations and unions to spend more on political candidates and causes. The case has the potential to weaken a key element of the federal campaign finance regulations remaining after the 2010 ruling, and it could pave the way for challenges to the restrictions on contributions that remain. Supporters say those laws are key to preventing wealthy donors from exerting an undue and potentially corrupting influence on the political process, while opponents say the laws choke free speech. In the 2010 case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the high court, split 5-4, lifted limits on independent expenditures, not coordinated with individual politicians or parties, by corporations and unions during federal election campaigns. This time, in a case to be argued today, the nine justices will consider a challenge by Republican donor Shaun McCutcheon, an Alabama businessman, and the Republican National Committee to the overall limit on campaign contributions that donors can make to individual candidates and committees over a two-year federal election cycle. That the court has agreed to hear the case, and the court’s boldness in the Citizens United ruling, have prompted some legal experts to say there is a good chance the court will strike down the cap. Oral arguments will proceed today regardless of whether the federal government remains shut down, the court has said. McCutcheon, the owner of an electrical engineering firm outside Birmingham, Alabama, wanted to donate to multiple candidates and political committees but was frustrated when he realized the aggregate cap limited his ability to do so. In the current two-year election cycle (2013-14), an individual can give $2,600 to a candidate or committee and $32,400 to a p o l i t i c a l p a r t y. B u t d o n o r s c a n n o t exceed the $123,200 overall limit during that period. There is also a $48,600 cap on to t a l d o n a t i o n s to c a n d i d a te s a n d a $74,600 cap on donations to political

action committees and parties. McCutcheon argues that the limits are unconstitutional because they violate the free speech protections of the US Constitution’s First Amendment. The Supreme Court has long held that spending money in the political context is a form of free speech expression, meaning restrictions are subject to care-

WASHINGTON: A man walks past the front of the US Capitol yesterday in Washington, DC. Democrats and Republicans are still at a stalemate on funding for the federal government as the shut down goes into the seventh day. — AFP ful legal scrutiny. “It’s a fundamental free speech issue about your constitutional right to spend your money however you choose in this great, free country,” McCutcheon said in an interview. McCutcheon is only challenging the overall caps, not the “base limits” on how much a donor can give to each candidate. The Obama administration, which is defending the federal campaign finance laws that the Federal Election Commission implements and enforces, argues that the court already upheld similar limits in a landmark 1976 decision, Buckley v. Valeo. “Its reasoning remains sound,” Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said of the Buckley ruling in a brief filed in the current case. McCutcheon’s lawyers say he can win without the court needing to undermine the

WASHINGTON: In this Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2004 photo, a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe who lives on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming, attends the festivities on the National Mall for the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington. The Washington Monument is in the background. Federal agencies questioned how the Northern Arapaho government spent at least $3.4 million since 2007, but decided not to recover any of the money - and even increased funding. — AP

American Indian tribes misuse funds, go scot-free ETHETE: American Indian tribes have been caught misappropriating tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, according to internal tribal audits and other documents. But federal authorities do little about it - due to a lack of oversight, resources or political will. The result? Poor tribes like the Northern Arapaho of Wyoming suffer. One Arapaho manager pocketed money meant to buy meals for tribal elders. Another used funds from the reservation’s diabetes program to subsidize personal shopping trips. And other members plundered the tribal welfare fund, then gambled the money away at one of the tribe’s casinos. Altogether, employees drained at least a half-million dollars from the coffers of a tribe whose members have a median household income of about $16,000 a year. Federal agencies questioned millions more dollars the Northern Arapaho government spent, but decided not to recover any of the money - and even increased funding to the tribe. The Wyoming tribe is hardly unique. An Associated Press review of summaries of audits shows that serious concerns were consistently raised about 124 of 551 tribal governments, schools or housing authorities that received at least 10 years of substantial federal funds since 1997. Fraud and theft occur across the range of nonprofits and local governments that get federal money. But tribes are five times as likely as other recipients of federal funds to have “material weaknesses” that create an opportunity for abuses, according to the review. Overall, 1 in 4 audits concluded that tribal governments, schools or housing authorities had a material weakness in their federally funded programs; the rate was 1 in 20 for nontribal programs. Thousands of pages of audits and dozens of reports by federal investigators, obtained by the AP under the Freedom of Information Act, show evidence of embezzlement, paychecks for do-nothing jobs and employees who over-billed hours and expenses. The audits, conducted by private firms, are required of tribes that spend

1976 precedent - in part because Congress has since amended campaign finance laws and the concerns that justified the need for an overall cap are no longer warranted. In Buckley, the court said a ceiling on contributions was needed because it was too easy for the base limit regulations at the time to be circumvented. If the court accepts that argu-

more than $500,000 in federal funds annually. Agencies often cannot legally cut funding because of treaties, Supreme Court decisions and acts of Congress, and they frequently refuse to take control of failing programs. “It’s basically a reluctance to take on tribes. The Department of the Interior bends over backwards to be their friends,” said Earl Devaney, the former inspector general at the department that houses the bureaus of Indian Affairs and Indian Education. “It’s ‘make nice,’ and what you don’t know, you don’t know.” Many amounts were relatively small. But there are so many instances of abuses that the total was substantial. Tribal council members in Northern California used federal grants to pay their utility bills and mortgages. A Nebraska tribe spent health clinic money on horses and ATVs. An environmental supervisor with a Washington tribe received $16,000 for mileage and other charges he either exaggerated or never incurred. A tribal housing authority in Nevada sprang for a 25-night, $6,500 retreat at a resort in South Lake Tahoe, California. Among grant programs with a significant track record in a government database of audits, tribes ran 16 of the 20 with the highest rates of rule-breaking. Auditors flagged welfare grants to tribes, for example, 39 percent of the time. Most prominent were programs funded by Interior ’s bureaus of Indian Affairs and Indian Education and the Indian Health Service, under the Department of Health and Human Services. Many findings by auditors suggest mismanagement, not theft or fraud. One barrier to proper administration of tribal programs is turnover among staff and leaders - entire governments can be voted out of office ever y two years. Attracting qualified administrators to often-remote reservations in the first place is another challenge. “So they hire maybe the chairman’s nephew who had some accounting classes,” said Pete Magee, a longtime auditor of tribal books.—AP

ment, it could be more likely that the five justices in the majority in Citizens United would feel comfortable ruling in McCutcheon’s favor, legal experts say. The Citizens United ruling prompted howls of outrage from liberals because of what they viewed as the court’s alignment with corporate interests. President Barack Obama criticized it in his State of the Union speech just weeks after the ruling. Then, as now, the court was led by Republicanappointed Chief Justice John Roberts and was split 5-4 between justices appointed by Republican and Democratic presidents. Under the ruling, corporations and unions can now spend as much as they want on independent expenditures, such as TV ads, during the campaign season. In the

McCutcheon case, which has no bearing on corporate spending, the court’s ruling could allow politicians and the parties to receive more money directly from wealthy donors and spend it as they wish. The concern among McCutcheon’s opponents is that a ruling in his favor would allow individuals to “game the system,” as Tara Malloy, a lawyer with the Campaign Legal Center, which supports limits on donations, put it. That’s because there would be nothing to stop candidates and parties from funneling donations from the same individual donor from one candidate’s committee to other political committees, as a way of circumventing the base limit caps, Malloy and others say. Dan Backer, one of McCutcheon’s lawyers, said the notion that donors, candidates and parties would do that for the sake of a few thousand dollars is “utter nonsense.” It is possible that the court could reach a much broader conclusion and issue a ruling that would enable future challenges to campaign finance laws, including the base limits. But few legal observers think the court will take that step, largely because McCutcheon has not asked the court to do so. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader in the U.S. Senate, has, along with the RNC, joined McCutcheon’s side in the case. The court has granted McConnell’s attorney permission to take part in the onehour oral argument. This is not the first time the Kentucky senator has challenged campaign finance laws, and his involvement has led to accusations that a ruling against the limits could create a fundraising bonanza for Republicans and constitute a defeat for Democrats. Most donors who contributed up to the existing aggregate limit in the 2012 election cycle - and would be likely to give more if they could - are aligned with the GOP, according to a study published on Tuesday by Public Campaign, a Washington campaign finance reform group. But some McCutcheon supporters, such as Brad Smith, a former Republican chairman of the FEC, think the partisan divide is overstated. “We don’t see any basis for predicting that one side or the other is going to come out ahead,” he said. — Reuters

Canada spied on Brazil energy ministry: Report BRASÔLIA: Canada spied on communications at Brazil’s Mining and Energy Ministry, according to Canadian intelligence documents revealed late Sunday by Globo television. Documents leaked by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, purportedly from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, show a detailed outline of the Brazilian ministry’s communications including phone calls, email and Internet traffic. Earlier disclosures by Snowden that the United States spied on the same ministry, as well as on President Dilma Rousseff and her aides, have strained US-Brazilian ties. According to Globo, Snowden obtained the documents at a June 2012 meeting of intelligence analysts from the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, a group said to be called the “Five Eyes.” A Canadian software spying program named Olympia “mapped” the ministry’s phone communications and computers with the goal of studying contacts “made with other groups, within and outside of Brazil, aside from PETROBRAS,” Globo said. PETROBRAS is the country’s state-run energy giant. One of the documents shows a registry of calls from the ministry to other countries, including to the Quito, Ecuador-based Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE) and the Brazilian embassy in Peru. Communications between the ministry and countries in the Middle East, as well as South Africa and Canada, also appear in the report. Canada has mining interests in Brazil, Mining and Energy Minister Edilson Lobao told Globo. He described the development as “serious.” “There are many Canadian businesses interested in doing business in our country. If that is where the interest in spying comes from, to help certain business interests, I cannot say,” Lobao said. The documents Globo showed included instructions on the next steps the Canadian agency should pursue in Brazil, which included seeking help from a group code-named TAO, said to be an elite US espionage unit.—AFP



Website publishes photo of shopping ‘Snowden’ MOSCOW: A sensationalist Russian news website yesterday published a photograph that it claims is the first to show US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden since he emerged from a Moscow airport in August. In the blurry image published by Life News, a casually dressed man sporting a goatee with sunglasses perched on his head is pictured pushing a supermarket trolley full of groceries across a road. A car with partly legible Russian plates and a crossing sign identify the scene as in Russia. “The photograph was taken in Moscow,” said Life News, which is known for its close ties to the Kremlin and security services. There

“Let’s take as a starting point that on the photograph that came into your possession you can’t see the region or anything, only numbers (on a car number plate),” he said. The photograph, if genuine, also does not show the bodyguards who Kucherena says accompany Snowden. It was not clear when the photograph was taken, however it is likely to be several weeks old as it is now autumn in Russia and the picture shows trees covered with green leaves. Life News, which is the online wing of popular tabloid Tvoi Den, wrote on a Russian social networking page that it paid 100,000 rubles (about $3,000) for the photograph submitted via its web-

has been no reported sighting of Snowden since he walked out of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on August 1 after obtaining temporary asylum in Russia despite protests from Washington. The 30-year-old former CIA contractor is wanted by the United States after revealing details of massive surveillance by the National Security Agency to the media. Snowden’s Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena has said he is living in a secret location in fear of being tracked down by US law enforcers. Life News published video extracts from an inter view with Kremlin-friendly Kucherena, who refused to confirm that Snowden is living in Moscow.

site. Kucherena last month told Itogi weekly magazine that Snowden manages to walk around in disguise. “He would walk past you and you wouldn’t recognize him,” he told Itogi. “It’s a question of clothes and small alterations to his appearance... He really does walk freely around on the streets.” Life News pointed out that the man resembling Snowden did not seem to be economizing on his supermarket shop, with a trolley containing at least half a dozen bags-despite claims by Kucherena that the American is running out of money. “As you can see the former special services employee has picked up a full trolley of food accord-

ing to American tradition. That clearly cost more than one thousand rubles,” it wrote. Kucherena told the website that “(Snowden) is living in quite a poor way as he has practically no money”. The photograph appears to show Snowden breaking Russian law by jaywalking, Life News added, an offence for which he could be fined. Life News, known for eye-catching scoops, in August published photographs showing Snowden walking out of Sheremetyevo airport with a huge grin on his face. None of the journalists keeping watch at the airport spotted him at the time and it was not clear how the website obtained the photographs.— AFP

UK launches FBI-style force to tackle organized crime NCA replaces widely criticized SOCA

ATHENS: Orthodox priests conduct a blessing ceremony of the Greek parliament for the winter season in Athens yesterday.— AFP

Once hated, Sarkozy wins back the French PARIS: When he walked out of the Elysee Palace after a humiliating election defeat vowing never to return, Nicolas Sarkozy’s political career appeared to be dead and buried. But in less than 18 months, Sarkozy has enjoyed a phenomenal resurgence, now ranking among the country’s most popular politicians and widely touted as the right’s best chance for retaking the presidency in 2017. And while he still faces a slew of other legal probes, the decision by investigating judges to drop illegal campaign financing charges against Sarkozy has swept away a key obstacle to his potential comeback. The decision will come as a huge relief to Sarkozy and the many supporters who see him as the only candidate capable of defeating the ruling Socialists in the 2017 presidential and parliamentary elections. Sarkozy ’s loss to Socialist Francois Hollande in last year’s presidential vote was hardly unexpected-the right-winger ’s flashy style and failure to prop up France’s struggling economy had left him deeply unpopular. But Hollande has since suffered a steep drop in public opinion pollsbecoming the least-popular president in modern French history-while Sarkozy has enjoyed a surprising resurrection. Sarkozy has not yet officially announced a return to politics but his right-wing UMP party has struggled to find a replacement who can attract the same fierce loyalty he inspires.

In a poll of public confidence by TNS Sofres last week, Sarkozy came second only to popular Interior Minister Manuel Valls, with 35 percent of respondents choosing the former president as the best person to play an “important role” in running the country. In the same poll, 74 percent of those surveyed said they had no confidence in Hollande. Sarkozy’s legal woes are hardly over with the dropping of the campaign financing charges, which accused him of taking advantage of France’s richest woman, the aged L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt. French judges are still investigating alleged kickbacks on a Pakistani arms deal struck when Sarkozy was budget minister, amid suspicions the funds were channeled to then prime minister Edouard Balladur’s unsuccessful 1995 presidential bid. Sarkozy’s name is also at the centre of probes into whether his 2007 campaign accepted money from former Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi and whether his office used public funds to carry out political opinion polls. But none of these cases had the potential of the Bettencourt probe to do him serious political harm. Sarkozy has largely stayed out the limelight since his defeat last year, though he emerged in July to make a plea for donations after his party was denied millions of euros in campaign reimbursements. —AFP

PARIS: Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy leaves yesterday Paris’ Great Mosque after attending a lunch with the rector. Corruption charges against former French president Nicolas Sarkozy linked to the financing of his successful 2007 election campaign have been dropped, judicial sources said yesterday.—AFP

LONDON: Britain’s new crime-fighting agency started work yesterday with the power to mobilize intelligence from multiple sources and direct police forces across the country to tackle drug gangs, corruption, cyber crime and child sex abuse. The National Crime Agency, dubbed Britain’s version of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) by media, will consist of more than 4,000 officers and will take on many of the duties of its widely criticized predecessor, the Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA), while also having additional powers. NCA Director General Keith Bristow also promised a new relationship with the private sector to combat white-collar crime, actively seeking bankers to work as unpaid “specials”. “There will be no one beyond the reach of law enforcement or beyond the reach of the NCA,” Bristow told reporters at a briefing ahead of the agency’s launch. “Those people involved in the most horrible activities can expect the most comprehensive and robust responses.” The NCA will have the first national intelligence hub, a national unit to tackle cyber crime, and will take the lead in coordinating the police response to cross-border drugs

gangs, complex international fraud, and online child sex abusers. The agency estimates there are some 37,000 individuals spread across 5,500 groups involved in organized crime in Britain, with the annual cost of fraud from such gangs amounting to almost 9 billion pounds ($14.6 billion). Unlike the FBI, however, the NCA will not be involved in national security or counterterrorism, although that might change in the future once it is established. Prime Minister David Cameron’s government decided to replace the SOCA shortly after coming to power in 2010. Bristow said he wanted to establish a different relationship with the private sector to better understand areas of crime such as fraud that remain under-reported and under-recorded. “Banks, for instance, are aware of fraud ... and for a variety of reasons may or may nor report that to law enforcement,” said Bristow, a former police chief constable based in central England. “There’s a good example of where we need to work differently with the banks.” The agency will also recruit NCA “specials” similar to special constables who act as volunteer police officers - with skills in areas such as

finance to help uncover how some criminals hide their assets. “We will want people, for instance, who understand banking,” said Bristow. He said there had been no shortage of interest. “We have got people queuing up outside the door. I think sometimes it’s underplayed the level of energy that there is sat within the private sector to do good things for the public as well as to deliver for shareholders.” Britain introduced a tough law to clamp down on bribery in 2011 and Bristow said he expected this would be an important area for the NCA. “It’s a threat we are increasingly starting to understand and we have got a key role in ensuring that we develop that understanding and take appropriate, proportionate action,” he said. He played down suggestions the agency could take over the work of the Serious Fraud Office, which has come in for much criticism following massive blunders in some high-profile cases. The NCA begins life without anyone to head its economic crime command, one of its four divisions, after Jeremy Outen, a former KPMG partner who was chosen for the role, quit for personal reasons earlier this year.— Reuters

Italy looks to Europe as divers recover more bodies LAMPEDUSA: Divers in Italy resumed the search for bodies yesterday after a shipwreck in which over 300 African asylum seekers may have died as EU states prepared to address the growing refugee crisis this week. Divers had not yet entered the hold of the ship, where many migrants are believed to have died off the island of Lampedusa, where hundreds of rescuers and army personnel have been deployed. The fishing boat packed with around 500 Eritrean and Somali migrants capsized and sank on Thursday after its captain set fire to a T-shirt to signal distress to coast guards, sparking panic on board. The boat was within sight of the shore but many could not swim and those survivors that could spoke of being in waters thick with fuel oil that spilled from the wreck for hours before help came. Emergency services have recovered 194 bodies so far and 155 survivors were plucked from the waves. Many of the traumatized Eritrean survivors are living in unsanitary conditions in an overcrowded refugee centre, while the bodies are being stored in rows of coffins in a giant airport hangar. Divers have described the horrific sight of the bodies trapped in the wreck under water at a depth of around 50 meters, many still in the contorted poses in which they drowned. “There are a lot of young people. You imagine seeing your own children. It is really a tragic scene,” said Angelo Vesto, an army officer responsible for transporting the black body bags. European interior ministers are to discuss the influx of asylum-seekers at talks in Luxembourg on Tuesday and EU

LAMPEDUSA: Italian soldiers carry the body of a victim from the shipwreck of October 3, 2013 as divers recovered 17 more bodies today yesterday in the Lampedusa harbour. Divers in Italy resumed the grim search for bodies today after a shipwreck in which over 300 African refugees are feared to have died, as a government minister called for an easing of immigration rules. Hundreds of rescuers and army personnel have been deployed to the island of Lampedusa whose seas were described as a “giant cemetery”, with 211 bodies now pulled from the water. Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso will travel to Lampedusa on Wednesday. Barroso’s office said the Commission remained committed to “further measures and concrete actions” to help the refugees and the member states taking them in, as well as third countries. Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta has asked for more European assistance but has also blamed the lax border controls in Libya, where many of the boats, including the shipwrecked one, depart from. Some 30,000 asylum-seekers have landed in Italy so far this year-more than four times the number from

2012, although still below the 50,000 in 2011 at the height of the Arab Spring revolts. The majority are Eritrean, Somalis and Syrians. Most arrivals come to Lampedusa, Italy’s southernmost point, an island of just 20 square kilometers and one of the biggest gateways for irregular migration to Europe. “This island has the most beautiful beaches in the world but it has become a giant cemetery for the drowned at sea,” said Filippo Bruno, a 57-year-old fisherman. “Europe has to get its act together and do something before this happens again. And it will hap-

pen again,” Bruno said. Italy has said it wants the issue discussed at a summit of European leaders in Brussels later in the month, although EU experts say the chances of any major change soon are slim since immigration policies remain a prerogative of member states. One survivor, 25-year-old Ali, struggled to hold back tears as he spoke to AFP of the moment the boat capsized after the captain lit his signal. He said: “When the people saw the fire, they went to the other side and the ship lost its balance. A lot of persons sank down. The terror began.”— AFP

German SPD opens door to coalition deal with Merkel BERLIN: Germany ’s opposition Social Democrats have signaled their readiness to join Angela Merkel’s conservatives in a right-left ‘grand coalition’ by jettisoning a key election demand for higher taxes on the rich. Two weeks after losing the election to Merkel, SPD leaders have stopped speaking disparagingly of becoming Merkel’s junior partners again - a thankless supporting role the SPD filled in 20052009 and which they blamed for a plunge in support. However, it remains to be seen whether grassroots SPD members will back the moves towards a grand coalition, given their fears that the identity of Germany’s oldest party could erode further in a government led by the popular Merkel. Her conservatives emerged as the dominant force on Sept 22 but fell short of a majority, winning 311 seats in the 630-seat par-

liament versus 192 for the SPD. The Greens, another potential partner for Merkel, got 63 seats and the radical Left 64. Keeping the pressure on the SPD, Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and Bavarian allies, the Christian Social Union (CSU), will meet the Greens on Thursday for exploratory talks before a second meeting with SPD leaders next Monday. Full-scale talks with either the centreleft SPD or the Greens could begin in midOctober and last a month or more. After a first meeting with Merkel and conservative leaders on Friday, SPD chairman Sigmar Gabriel and his allies abruptly softened their demand for higher taxes, saying it was not carved in stone if the conservatives could come up with other ways to raise funding for infrastructure, education and local councils. “For us tax hikes are not an end in itself,” Gabriel said.

“If the CDU/CSU doesn’t want this, they must explain what alternative there is to finance these tasks.” “I’d rather see the SPD in a government shaping policy than outside looking in,” Gabriel said. The comments marked a departure from the language right after the election when SPD leaders professed little interest - and even urged Merkel to talk to the Greens about a government. Giving up tax increases runs counter to the SPD’s campaign platform, which called higher taxes an “important means to promote solidarity and counter growing social division”. The SPD wanted to raise the top income tax rate from 42 percent to 49 percent for people earning over 100,000 euros. Its retreat on tax hikes is an indication the party is more eager than a fortnight ago to join forces with Merkel. —Reuters

BERLIN : German Social Democratic Party (SPD) Chairman Sigmar Gabriel Gabriel (R) and SPD General Secretary Andrea Nahles leave after exploratory talks on forming a coalition government with the defeated centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), on October 4, 2013 in Berlin. Angela Merkel’s conservative party started yesterday talks with opposition on forming a “grand coalition”, nearly two weeks after parliamentary elections. —AFP



Afghan candidates stir fears of election turmoil No clear choice being presented to voters KABUL: A long list of controversial candidates for Afghanistan’s 2014 election raised concerns yesterday of a repeat of the chaotic last presidential poll as the country seeks a stable end to the foreign military presence. President Hamid Karzai, constitutionally barred from running for a third term, had called for just three or four candidates-to avoid the disorder of 2009, when 40 names appeared on the ballot paper. But negotiations failed to winnow out the field and more than 25 ministers, provincial governors and former warlords-including one with previous links to Al-Qaeda-piled into the election offices to register for the April 5 vote. The election will coincide with a continuing drawdown of foreign forces, with all overseas combat troops due to leave by the end of next year. “In terms of security, it is very disappointing that months of intensive tea drinking among Kabul’s most powerful men has failed to come up with any dominant tickets,” said Graeme Smith, analyst for the International Crisis Group. “There isn’t a clear choice being presented to Afghan voters.” Strict new nomination rules, including a deposit of about $20,000, were designed to prevent a mass scramble to get on the ballot paper. But when nominations closed on Sunday after a hectic day of bureaucracy and speech-making, virtually every potential candidate had thrown their hat into the ring to succeed Karzai. “Don’t be too hasty to assume that these are the names we will see in the election itself,” said Smith, predicting the nominations were just the start of deal-making. “We will see some shuffling in the frenetic months of politicking ahead.”

Smith added that US-led international donors who have backed the country since the Taliban were ousted in 2001 had limited patience after 12 years of war. “The international community’s primary interest is in stability,” he said. “It is overwhelmingly anxious to leave.” Among the runners to alarm diplomats in Kabul most is Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf, named in the 9/11 commission report as the “mentor” of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, mastermind of the Al-Qaeda attacks on the US in 2001. Sayyaf, reported also to be the man who helped Osama bin Laden return to Afghanistan in 1996, later fought against the Taliban and emerged as an ally of Karzai. For the election, Sayyaf signed up fellow warlord Ismail Khan, the strongman of Herat city, as his first vice-presidential candidate. Such names on the ballot paper-as well as pugnacious former Kandahar governor Gul Agha Sherzai-underlined that the election would see the same leaders who tipped Afghanistan into civil war 20 years ago running for high office. Karzai yesterday vowed not to endorse any one candidate, though he is likely to wield discreet influence through the comprehensive network of patronage developed during his years in power. “I and my two vice-presidents will remain neu- KABUL: Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai (R) gestures at a press conference as vice president tral but as individuals we will have our own prefer- Karim Khalili (L) looks on at the presidential palace in Kabul yesterday. — AFP increased fears that the election process could “The (nomination) frenzy seems to have been ences,” he told reporters. largely inspired by the absence of a clear endorseAt least three candidates could expect Karzai’s turn violent. “The long motorcades of armoured cars, body- ment of any of the candidates by President Karzai.” covert backing-foreign minister Zalmai Rassoul, former finance minister Ashraf Ghani and Qayum guards and entourages were in many ways remi- The 2009 election was mired by violence, massive Karzai, the president’s elder brother. Over the past niscent of the show of force associated with militia fraud and delayed results until Karzai finally week, several candidates arrived to register their leaders,” Martine van Bijlert, of the Afghan Analysts retained power in a process that shook international efforts to assist Afghanistan. — AFP papers in huge armoured convoys, which Network, said.

Corruption curse follows Congress party to the polls NEW DELHI: For two decades, Lalu Prasad Yadav was a giant on India’s political stage. He ran a state of 100 million people, he took charge of the country’s massive rail network and his party was a crucial prop for the shaky coalition government in New Delhi. Yadav managed all this despite a constant whiff of corruption around him. Indeed, he liked to thumb his nose at the law, riding triumphantly on the back of an elephant after a brief spell behind bars in 1997 as a crowd of admirers cheered. Last week, a court sentenced Yadav to five years in prison for his part in a multi-milliondollar embezzlement case. It was a landmark moment in a country where public disgust with corrupt politicians is finally starting to bite. Voters could throw the ruling Congress party out of power at the next general election, due by next May, for presiding over one of the most sleaze-ridden periods in the country’s history. An opinion poll in August said the party’s parliamentary strength could drop to about 125 out of 543 elected seats. Currently it has 206, and rules with the help of coalition allies. “Endgame of India’s unclean politics,” Kiran Bedi, a former police chief and now an anticorruption activist, tweeted cheerily after Yadav was bundled off to jail last week. The popular outrage has also spawned a clutch of new parties committed to ending the nexus between politics and crime, and - for the first time in quarter of a century - it has put corruption firmly on the agenda for national polls. Probity has never been the strongest suit of the world’s largest democracy. A staggering 30 percent of lawmakers across federal and state legislatures face criminal charges, many for serious crimes such as rape, murder and kidnapping. Politicians and gangsters have long been bedfellows, not least because of the dirty money that fuels political campaigns. More than 90 percent of funding for the two main national parties, Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, comes from unknown sources, according to the advocacy group Association for Democratic Reforms. Yet, only once in India’s history has the public been exercised enough about graft to boot a government out for shady dealings. That was in 1989, when a kickbacks scandal over the purchase of artillery guns from Sweden’s Bofors contributed to an election defeat for Congress and its then prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi.

The scandals have come thick and fast on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s watch in the last few years. There was a huge scam over the sale of the 2G mobile spectrum, which Time magazine listed as number 2 on its “Top 10 Abuses of Power”, behind the Watergate scandal. New Delhi’s botched hosting of the 2010 Commonwealth Games led to dozens of corruption cases, and then the government was hit by a furore over the allocation of coal deposits now known as “Coalgate”. All this has prompted the emergence of an anti-corruption movement, one that swelled in 2011 with huge protests led by Anna Hazare, who styled himself as a crusader in the mould of independence hero Mahatma Gandhi. The outcry has continued since then, rattling the government, in part because much of it comes from the urban middle-class, a traditionally apolitical bloc whose sudden engagement could shatter electoral calculations. A Lowy Institute poll of Indian citizens in May found that 92 percent thought corruption had increased over the past five years, and even more believed that reducing corruption should be a top priority for their government. A newly formed party, the Aam Aadmi (Common Man) Party, has tapped into the angst over sleaze. The AAP chose a broom as its symbol, to suggest it is sweeping the muck out of politics. In a video game launched last week, the party’s leader navigates the corruption-plagued streets of the capital wielding a broom. An increasingly activist judiciary has added to the clamour to rid politics of criminals. In July, the Supreme Court decreed that lawmakers convicted of a serious crime would immediately forfeit their seats, closing off a loophole that had allowed politicians to stay on during appeals, which can drag on for years in India. Last month, the court ordered the Election Commission to introduce a “none-of-theabove” choice for voters, allowing them to reject unsavoury characters instead of choosing the best of a rotten bunch. The AAP, which is expected to disrupt the usual two-party race in a Delhi state election next month, is just one of several parties to be set up on an anti-corruption platform. Among them is the Nav Bharat (New India) Democratic Party of Rajendra Misra, who gave up various business interests to join public service seven years ago. He worked with the main national parties to improve policy and governance, but was disillusioned by the venality around him and finally decided to go it alone. — Reuters

Malala eyes politics LONDON: Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taleban last year for campaigning for girls’ education, said yesterday she hoped to become a politician to “change the future of my country”. The 16-year-old, whose continued fight for all children to go to school has made her a favourite for the Nobel Peace Prize this week, also backed dialogue with the Taleban, although she said this was an issue for the government. “I will be a politician in my future. I want to change the future of my country and I want to make education compulsory,” Malala said in a BBC interview. She added: “The best way to solve problem and to fight against war is through dialogue, and is through peaceful way. “But for me the best way to fight against terrorism and extremism is a sim-

ple thing-educate the next generation.” She added that issues of terrorism are “not an issue for me, that’s the job of the government.. and that’s also the job of America”. Malala dismissed the continued threats against her life and repeated her desire to return to Pakistan from Britain, where she was flown for treatment after the attack in October and where she now goes to school. “The bad thing in our society and in our country is that you always wait for someone else to come,” Malala said. “If I’m saying that there is no-one who is doing anything for education, if I say there is no electricity, there is no natural gas, the schools are being blasted, and I’m saying no-one is doing this, why don’t I go for it, why don’t I do this? — AFP



Azerbaijan cracks down on critics ahead of polls BAKU: Sakina Gurbanova says her son is facing 12 years in prison for daring to challenge Azerbaijan’s government ahead of upcoming presidential elections in the tightly controlled ex-Soviet state. Arrested along with six others after an April rally over non-combat deaths in the army and held ever since, Gurbanova’s son Zaur Gurbanli has been charged with illegal weapon possession and attempting to create public disorder. “In reality though, by arresting my son and other young activists, the government wanted to scare the youth who weren’t afraid of taking on the authorities,” Gurbanova told AFP. Rights activists say the 26-year-old’s detention is part of a wider push to stamp out dissent ahead of polls Wednesday that look certain to see incumbent Ilham Aliyev-who took over in 2003 after the death of his father Heydar, a former KGB officer and Communist-era boss-claim a third term. Displays of public discontent often

meet a tough response in the secular but predominantly Muslim Caucasus country, whose oil resources make it attractive to the West. But rights groups say authorities have ramped up efforts to stamp out critical voices before the election by jailing opponents and passing laws aimed at curbing online dissent. “This year the Azerbaijani authorities have been engaged in an unprecedented crackdown to silence all forms of criticism,” says Rebecca Vincent, advocacy director of the Baku-based Human Rights Club, which brings together Azerbaijani activists. “There are now more than 100 people in detention or prison for politically motivated reasons,” Vincent said. A rare spate of popular demonstrations at the start of the year-including several days of rioting in the town of Ismayilli, where local government buildings were targeted by crowds fed up with corruption-seem to have shaken the authorities.

“ These protests showed that Azerbaijanis are not as politically passive as it might seem,” said Vincent, who once served as a US diplomat in Baku. “In response, the authorities used excessive force to disperse protesters and carried out mass arrests of protest organisers and participants.” Like Gurbanli and his fellow youth activists, prominent opposition figures involved in those protests were arrested and remain behind bars, seriously disrupting opposition preparations for the polls. “The absence of a large number of political prisoners has affected the election process,” said Isa Gambar, head of the opposition Musavat party, whose deputy is in jail over the Ismayilli riots. Activism on the rise Azerbaijan’s weakened and usually fragmented opposition, which largely boycotted previous polls in 2008, has come together on this occasion to back a single candidate for president.

Initially that choice was the Oscar-winning playwright Rustam Ibragimbekov. But officials blocked his candidacy over his dual Russian citizenship and the opposition was forced to switch to historian and former lawmaker Jamil Hasanli. Despite the rare unity from the opposition, most concede that it has little chance of making an impression at the polls. Activists put that down to the lack of a level playing field. “There is a huge difference between the opportunities for the incumbent president Aliyev and the other candidates,” Natig Jafarli, executive secretary of the Republican Alternative (REAL) opposition party. The government rejects claims that the polls are unfair and denies that the arrests of opposition activists were aimed at silencing critical voices. “None of this has anything to do with the upcoming presidential elections,” said Ali Hasanov, the head of the president’s sociopolitical department.

Aliyev is not personally campaigning and rising living standards fuelled by oil money over the past decade explain why he looks set to win, Hasanov said. Despite the obstacles, those opposed to Aliyev’s rule say that discontent and activismespecially among the youth-is on the rise. “Compared to the last elections, this time round the level of activism among the youth will be high,” said Aygun Panjaliyeva, a leading member of the opposition youth group to which Gurbanli belongs. Families of those caught up in what they see as a government clampdown also remain largely defiant, while admitting that the impact on their lives has been painful. “His arrest has really hit our family hard and we are very worried about him,” said Gurbanova. “But on the other hand, I am proud of my son for fighting for justice and democracy and against corruption in our country.” — AFP

Typhoon Fitow slams into China Three killed, more than 1,200 homes collapse

NUSA DUA: (L to R-front row) China’s First Lady First Lady Peng Liyuan, China’s President Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, First Lady Ani Yudhoyono, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, (L to R-2nd row) South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and wife Rosmah Mansor, Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto, Mexico’s First Lady Angelica Rivera, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key pose during a family photo before a gala dinner hosted for the leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali yesterday. — AFP

Bali on a high as world leaders attend summit BALI: A decade ago, Bali’s famed white sand beaches and popular shopping areas were deserted as visitors scared off by terrorism shunned the “island of the gods.” The dark cloud of the suicide bombings that killed 202 mostly foreign tourists in 2002 lingered for years, decimating one of Asia’s top tourist destinations. But the Hindu-dominated resort island has worked to overcome that image and is sending a message to the world this week that it’s now on a Bali high by hosting leaders and more than 8,000 delegates, business people and journalists at the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. “We have to move on,” said Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika. “Many international events in Bali have restored confidence of the Balinese.” Tourism has bounded back. More than 1.8 million foreigners arrived in Bali each year prior to the attacks, which caused the numbers to dive. But last year nearly 3 million visited the island, which was also boosted after Julia Roberts filmed on location for the movie “Eat, Pray, Love.” The tourism recovery also has a downside, with the rapid development of hotels and massive golf courses sapping natural resources and water supplies. The quaint Bali beloved by travelers who came here years ago has also been overtaken by massive commercialism, a lack of planning and frustrating traffic jams. For APEC, in a sign of the island’s growth, visitors were welcomed at a new international airport terminal and driven on a justopened toll road that runs 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) over the ocean to the exclusive resort enclave where the meetings are being held in Nusa Dua. A World Trade Organization meeting will also be held in December on Bali. But the threat of terrorism has not vanished entirely. Just a week before the forum

opened, Bali hosted the Miss World finale after the government moved the event at the last minute from the outskirts of the capital, Jakarta, following weeks of protests from hard-line Muslim groups. Miss Philippines was crowned Miss World without incident, but security was tight after members of the group threatened to disrupt the event and travel warnings were issued by the US, Australian and British embassies for citizens traveling to the island. And security has remained on high alert as leaders arrived for the economic summit with some 11,000 military, police and other security personnel working to maintain safety. Soldiers holding automatic weapons greeted cars at the enclave’s gates and could be seen patrolling the manicured grounds near the event. “It’s probably the safest time to be here,” said Lorrin Mathews, of Auckland, New Zealand, who works in security and was on vacation and staying in the heavily guarded enclave with his wife and two daughters. But he said their bags hadn’t been checked and there were no metal detectors at the hotel entrances. “Security is a bit of a joke,” he said. “They were checking under our car, but only looking under one side.” The 2002 terrorist attack in Bali, carried out by suicide bombers from the al-Qaeda-linked group Jemaah Islamiyah, started a wave of violence in the world’s most populous Muslim nation, hitting an embassy, hotels and restaurants. Three years later, another bomb on Bali attack killed 20 people. Indonesia has been largely successful in rooting out militants, arresting hundreds since the bombings and killing dozens more. Terrorist attacks aimed at foreigners have been largely replaced in recent years by smaller, less deadly strikes mostly targeting police and anti-terrorism forces. — AP

Scores dead in SE Asia flooding PHNOM PENH: More than 150 people have died in floods drenching swathes of Southeast Asia in recent weeks, officials said yesterday, after a tree smashed into a 12th century temple at Cambodia’s Angkor complex. Heavy rains have waterlogged homes and farmland across the region as recent typhoons worsened the annual rainy season. In Cambodia, the death toll from floods since midSeptember stood at 83 on Monday, nearly half of them children, according to the National Disaster Management Committee. More than 10,000 families have been evacuated, while hundreds of schools and dozens of homes have been deluged. Heavy rain and strong wind also uprooted a 30 metre (100 foot) tree and sent it crashing into the ancient Preah Khan temple in the country’s famed Angkor complex in northeastern Siem Reap province on Friday. “The tree knocked part of the temple structure, causing some stones to fall off. But the temple itself

did not collapse,” said Im Sokrithy of the Apsara Authority which manages the World Heritage archaeological site. In Thailand authorities said 34 people have been killed and 1.9 million have seen their homes or livelihoods damaged by the flooding. Typhoon Wutip left a trail of destruction in Vietnam in late September, with high winds that ripped the roofs off nearly 200,000 houses according to state media. The country has seen some 40 deaths in flooding since early September. Cambodia’s floods have prompted the government again to cancel the annual water festival in front of the royal palace in Phnom Penh. The festival, which usually draws millions of people, was also cancelled in 2011 and 2012, due to severe floods and the death of former King Norodom Sihanouk respectively. More than 350 people were killed in a stampede on a bridge during the water festival celebration in 2010. — AFP

BEIJING: Typhoon Fitow barrelled into China’s east coast yesterday, packing winds of more than 200 kilometres (125 miles) an hour, after hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated and bullet train services were suspended. At least three people were reported killed, all of them near the city of Wenzhou in Zhejiang province, the state broadcaster CCTV said. Parts of Zhejiang, which borders the commercial hub Shanghai, saw nearly 29 centimetres (11 inches) of rain over 17 hours from Sunday to early yesterday, while areas in Fujian to the south saw up to 16 centimetres, the official China News Service said. In the hard-hit county of Cangnan in Wenzhou, more than 1,200 homes collapsed and damages amounted to hundreds of millions of yuan, China National Radio said. One of the victims, 55-year-old Ni Wenlin, died “after strong wind blew him off a hill” late Sunday, Xinhua news agency said, citing municipal flood control authorities. Another person died of electric shock, CCTV reported. In Fujian the typhoon snapped electricity poles in half, leaving power lines on the ground, and bent iron road signs out of shape, the radio reported. In the coastal city of Ningde, a village leader told the Beijing Times that huge waves had damaged a 200-hectare (490-acre) seaweed farm, on which nearly 100 families depended for their livelihood. At least 59 bullet trains in Zhejiang were cancelled, along with 22 flights from the provincial capital Hangzhou and 27 in Wenzhou, Xinhua said. Sections of highways were shut and more than 350 buses from Wenzhou were cancelled. Forecasters said the storm was expected to move northwest but weaken quickly. But continued rainstomes were expected due to another typhoon, Danas, which was set to hit Japan’s main islands yesterday. Packing winds of up to 180 kilometres per hour near its centre, Danas was battering the southern Japanese chain of Okinawa, where more than 50 flights at Naha airport were cancelled while schools were shut, according to local media. The Japanese meteorological agency issued an alert for strong winds and high waves, while

CANGNAN: This photo taken on October 6, 2013 shows rescuers helping evacuate residents in typhoon-hit area in Cangnan, east China’s Zhejiang province. Typhoon Fitow barrelled into China’s east coast early yesterday, packing winds of more than 200 kilometres an hour after hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated, state media reported. — AFP urging residents to remain on guard for floods and landslides as well as lightning and tornadoes. Local authorities in Okinawa and Kagoshima separately issued evacuation advisories to some 6,500 households, public broadcaster NHK said. In China, authorities had evacuated hundreds of thousands and issued the country’s highest alert on Sunday as Fitow approached the mainland. The storm was packing winds of up to 151 kilometres an hour Sunday night as it moved towards the coast. Winds rose to 201 km per hour in parts of Wenzhou, Xinhua reported later, citing local flood control authorities. Zhejiang has so far evacuated more than 574,000 people, while in Fujian 177,000 have been displaced, it said. Two port workers in Wenzhou were missing and may have fallen into the sea, the agency added. The storm also forced the suspension of bul-

let train services in several cities in Zhejiang, Fujian and Jiangxi provinces, Xinhua said. Wenzhou’s airport cancelled 27 flights Sunday, the agency said. Xinhua quoted the weather centre as saying it was unusual for a typhoon to come ashore in China’s southeast during October, at the end of the storm season. Chinese maritime authorities also issued red alerts, warning of storm tides and waves. Fishermen were urged to return to port and local authorities told to prepare harbour facilities and sea walls for high tides. In Zhejiang more than 35,000 boats returned to harbour while in Fujian nearly 30,000 vessels were called back, according to Xinhua. Named after a flower from Micronesia, Fitow has hit just two weeks after Typhoon Usagi wreaked havoc in the region, leaving at least 25 dead in southern China. — AFP

Japan court: Anti-Korea ‘hate speech’ illegal TOKYO: A Japanese court yesterday ordered a group of anti-Korean activists to pay a Korean school in Kyoto 12 million yen ($120,000) in compensation for disturbing classes and scaring children by holding “hate speech” rallies outside the school. The ruling acknowledged for the first time the explicit insults used in the rallies constituted racial discrimination, said human rights experts, lawmakers and others calling for restrictions on hate speech. They said the ruling could prompt a move to exempt such speech from Japan’s constitutional right to free speech. Though attendance at such rallies has been limited to a few hundred people at most and they are far from becoming mainstream, similar demonstrations of nationalists targeting ethnic Koreans and other minorities have escalated since earlier this year, amid Japan’s chilly diplomatic relations with its Asian neighbors. The rallies highlight why Japan’s conformist society has been criticized at home and abroad for being less accepting of racial and ethnic diversity. Discrimination against ethnic Koreans and Chinese dates from Japan’s expansionist era in the first half of the 20th century and still runs deep. “Japanese society has been too insensitive to racial discrimination,” said Yoshifu Arita, an opposition lawmaker who is starting a parliamentary panel with a dozen colleagues to introduce hate speech legislation. “We must take steps to eradicate hate speech against Korean and Chinese people, and address broader discrimination problems.” In the Kyoto District Court ruling, Presiding Judge Hitoshi

Hashizume said the language that members of the anti-Korea group Zaitokukai and their supporters shouted and printed on banners during rallies in 2009 and 2010 was illegal, and had disturbed classes and scared the students. The judge said posting video footage of the rallies on the Web was illegal. He said the rallies “constitute racial discrimination” defined under the United Nations’ convention on the elimination of racial discrimination, which Japan has ratified. Yesterday’s ruling banned the group from staging further demonstrations in the neighborhood of the pro-Pyongyang Korean elementary school in southern Kyoto, according to court spokesman Naoki Yokota. Arita said he hoped the ruling would put a brake on such hate speech rallies elsewhere in Japan. There are about 500,000 Koreans in Japan - the country’s largest ethnic minority group - and many are descendants of forced laborers shipped to Japan during its 1910-1945 colonial rule of Korea. They still face discrimination in education, marriage and jobs. Anti-Korean rallies have escalated this year and spread to other cities with Korean communities. In Tokyo’s Shin-Okubo district, dotted with Korean restaurants and shops popular among South Korean popculture fans, hundreds of Zaitokukai members and supporters have called Koreans “cockroaches,” shouted “Kill Koreans” and threatened to “throw them into the sea.” The rallies have grown more intense, with anti-racism activists yelling back and sometimes getting into scuffles. In June, Zaitokukai leader

TOKYO: In this photo taken Sunday, May 19, 2013, nationalist protesters march through a Tokyo street to denounce “privileges” for Koreans residents in Japan. Anti-Korean rallies have escalated this year and spread to other cities with Korean communities. In Tokyo’s ShinOkubo district, dotted with Korean restaurants and shops popular among South Korean pop-culture fans, hundreds of Zaitokukai members and supporters have called Koreans “cockroaches,” shouted “Kill Koreans” and threatened to “throw them into the sea.” — AP Makoto Sakurai and seven others from lawsuit said. Human rights experts say both sides were arrested. Officials from Zaitokukai, which Zaitokukai and its sympathizers have boats more than 10,000 members, intensified their campaign since the said they were protesting the Kyoto Liberal Democratic Party of nationalist school’s use of a nearby city-run park Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned to without permission. They say they are power last December. During a parliamentary session in protesting alleged “special privileges” given to ethnic Koreans, and say July, Abe called the group’s activities Japan’s welfare system is abused by “regrettable.” Simmering racism has escalated through Internet chats and Korean residents. Shinichi Tokunaga, a lawyer for the online messages boards among the group, criticized the ruling for restrict- so-called “netouyo,” or ultra-right on ing political expression. The school the net. Japan’s slow economy is also filed the lawsuit in June 2010 against considered a factor. Hate speech ralthe group and eight activists over ral- lies seem to get support from relativelies held on three occasions between ly low-income young Japanese who December 2009 and March 2010. The feel frustrated and angry, said Yuriko activists threatened Koreans and Hara, head of the Japan branch of called them names, causing some chil- IMDAR, an international human rights dren to develop stomach pains, the group. — AP



Number of African billionaires rises up Out of 55, 20 are Nigerians LAGOS: There are far more African billionaires than previously thought, Ventures magazine said yesterday in a report on the continent’s mega-rich, but the number of Africans living in extreme poverty has also shot up. Previous Africa-rich-lists named as few as 16 billionaires, but Ventures said its exhaustive research had identified at least 55 on a continent where the wealthy often fiercely protect details about their fortunes. The pan-African business magazine said it was able to uncover dozens of new billionaires by using “on-theground knowledge” to overcome hurdles that may have “hampered” other researchers. Of the 55, 20 are Nigerian, including several oil barons, while South Africa and Egypt boast nine and eight respectively. Ventures’ supported reports by Forbes which listed Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote as Africa’s richest man with a fortune of $20.2 billion (15 billion euros). Dangote, who made his fortune in cement, heads a multi-interest empire, profiting from products including flour and sugar, while eyeing a massive investment in oil refining. The continent’s richest woman is Nigeria’s Folorunsho Alakija, whose Fama Oil owns an offshore oil block, which she acquired in 1993 “at a relatively inexpensive price”, likely through a helpful connection, the magazine said. Alakija studied fashion in London, then made dresses for Maryam Babaginda, the late wife of Nigerian military dictator Ibrahim Babaginda.

The former designer “is believed to have ridden on the crest of this relationship to acquire an oil block,” off the Niger Delta in southern Nigeria, said Ventures. The most prominent South African named is Nicky Oppenheimer, worth an estimated $6.5 billion, whose fortune came largely from the diamond mines his family controlled for decades, which were operated by De Beers. Oppenheimer sold his family’s stake in De Beers two years ago. The figure of 55 is “actually an under-estimate” of Africa’s billionaires, Chi-Chi Okonjo, the founder of Ventures said. “People are not comfortable disclosing their wealth,” he said. Corruption is rife on the continent and the rule of law still unevenly applied. African business moguls often face accusations that their fortunes were illegitimately earned, including with extralegal help from political patrons. The apparently rising number of ultra-rich Africans has come amid broader economic growth on the continent, which has seen an average of five percent GDP expansion since 2010. But economic growth has not kept up with a rising population. “There are more than twice as many extremely poor people living in subSaharan Africa today (414 million) than there were three decades ago (205 million),” the World Bank said in April. It is the only region where “the number of poor people individuals has risen steadily and dramatically,” over the last 30 years, the bank said. — AFP

DELGA: Egyptian Coptic Christians stand in front of their house, that was damaged during an attack by Islamist men in the town of Delga in the central Egyptian province of Minya. — AFP

Copts return to broken homes, shattered trust

WASHINGTON: Photo shows the new series $100. The new $100 bill will begin to go into circulation today and will include new security features such as a band with moving images, ink that changes color with the angle as well as a new design. — AFP

New $100 banknote WASHINGTON: The United States yesterday launched a new $100 bill that comes with, for the iconic greenback, a new touch of color, as well as special features to foil counterfeiters. In its first remake since 1969, the $100 banknote, which takes a key role in cash transactions worldwide, sports the traditional portrait of statesman Benjamin Franklin, a leader of the American Revolution, on the front and a picture of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall on the back. But it adds a yellowish “100” in one corner and, next to Franklin, a tan quill and bronze-colored inkwell that holds inside it the Philadelphia Liberty Bell in changing colors from darker brown to green, depending on the angle the note is held. Cutting vertically through the middle of the banknote is a blue security ribbon that shows “100” and smaller Liberty Bells in darker blue, which

appear to move as the note is shifted. The new design comes primarily to fight the increasing sophistication of counterfeiters, Sonja Danburg, program manager in charge of currency education at the Federal Reserve said. “It’s our most global bank note. Between a half and two-thirds of them are circulating outside of the United States, and it’s also the most counterfeited of US denominations outside of the United States,” she said. “We want to stay ahead of counterfeiting threats, we want to protect the public.” The new note hits the streets in the United States on Tuesday, and it will take some days before banks ship them to branches and counterparts around the world. With some $900 billion of them still out on the market, and mostly abroad, Danburg stressed, the old $100 note will continue to be honored, with no time limit. — AFP

Wave of blasts rock Baghdad, killing 30 BAGHDAD: A wave of explosions rattled the Iraqi capital after sunset yesterday, killing at least 30 people as AlQaeda claimed responsibility for a spate of rare suicide attacks last month in the northern, relatively peaceful selfruled Kurdish region. Attacks on anti-Qaeda fighters earlier in the day claimed another five lives. The attacks are the latest in a surge of bloodshed that has roiled Iraq for months, heightening worries that the country is returning to the widespread sectarian killing that marked the years following the 2003 US-led invasion. Police reported casualties from explosions in eight different neighborhoods. The force of one powerful blast, a car bomb explosion in the Bab Al-Sharji neighborhood that killed three and wounded 11, rattled windows in central Baghdad. The deadliest attack happened when a car bomb and roadside bomb exploded in a market and nearby parking lot in the northern Shiite district of Husseiniya, killing six and wounding 13. Car bombs also hit the mainly Shiite neighborhoods of Zafaraniyah, with four killed and 11 wounded, Alam, with two dead and 10 wounded, Obeidi, with two killed and eight wounded. Confessionally mixed neighborhoods were also hit. A roadside bomb hit a commercial street in Kam Sarah, killing three and wounding eight, and the eastern Baghdad Al-Jadidah, killing three and wounding 17. Another car bomb exploded in shopping streets in the mainly Sunni neighborhood of Dora, killing four and wounding eight, and in the mostly Sunni area of Sadiyah, killing three and wounding 10. Hospital officials confirmed the casualties. The authorities spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to brief reporters. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but coordinated bomb blasts in civilian areas are a frequent tactic by Al-Qaeda’s Iraq arm. Earlier, Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for a spate of rare suicide attacks last month in the northern, relatively peaceful self-ruled Kurdish region, underlining the terror group’s growing strength across the country. The Sept 29 twin suicide car bombs hit a complex housing the regional Interior Ministry and other

security agencies in Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish region, killing at least six Kurdish troops and wounding more than 30 others. The attacks were the biggest since 2007, when a suicide truck bombing hit the same ministry, killing 14 people, and 2004, when a twin suicide attack killed 109. In a statement posted Monday on a militant website, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant said the attacks were in retaliation for statements recently made by the regional President Massoud Barzani expressing readiness to help the Shiiteled central government in Baghdad in its fight against insurgents, and also offering to assist Kurdish militias in neighboring Syria. Al-Qaeda-linked militants in Syria have been fighting ethnic Kurds in Syria’s northeast. Since 2003 US-led invasion, the Kurdish region in northern Iraq has been relatively peaceful compared to the rest of the country, making it the best destination for foreign investors across sectors. The authenticity of the statement by Al-Qaeda’s Iraq branch could not be independently verified but it was consistent with the group’s earlier statements. The Irbil attacks were the latest in a bout of violence that began in April, the deadliest turmoil since 2008. Most of the attacks, which have killed more than 5,000 people since April, have been claimed by Al-Qaeda. Earlier on Monday, bombs targeting patrols of pro-government, anti-Al-Qaeda Sunni militia members outside Baghdad, killing five and wounding 10, two police officers and two medical officials said on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information. The Sunni militiamen, or Sahwa, joined with US troops to fight AlQaeda during the height of an insurgency. Since then, they have been a frequent target for AlQaeda in Iraq, which considers them traitors. Also yesterday, Iraq’s parliament said in a statement that lawmakers set April 30 as the date for holding national elections. Iraq’s last national elections were held in March 2010. It took political rivals nine months to form a government. Since then, the Defense and Interior portfolios have been held by embattled Prime Minister, Nouri Al-Maliki, because of ongoing political wrangling. — AP

DELGA: Samir Hanna, an Egyptian Copt, returned to his home in the town of Delga a short while ago, but only to find it torched and looted by masked Islamist men. “Hundreds of them attacked our homes, many of them wearing masks,” said the 43-year-old farmer inside his gutted house. “My home was looted, set on fire and destroyed.” On August 14, mobs of Islamists unleashed a wave of violence in Delga-attacking Coptic homes, centuries-old churches and terrorizing Christian families. The violence, which also killed a Coptic barber, drove a deep wedge between the town’s 120,000 Muslims and Christians who had until then lived peacefully in the mainly farming community in Upper Egypt. More than 100 Christian families fled their homes, some leaving the town after the attack. “When we fled, it was my Muslim friend at whose house we stayed. We trust him, but we are afraid and insecure as we can’t trust everybody in the town now,” said Hanna, indicating that some of the attackers were local, and others from outside town. “We fear for what could happen after the army leaves.” Troops stormed Delga, 400 kilometers south of Cairo, on September 16 to flush out Islamists, many of them hardline supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, according to media reports. The Islamists were enraged by a bloody army and police crackdown in Cairo on August 14 on Morsi’s supporters. Islamists accuse Coptic Christians of backing the military

that toppled Morsi, who belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood and was Egypt’s first democratically elected head of state. This perception was fuelled by the appearance of Coptic Pope Tawadros II alongside army chief General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi when he announced on television Morsi’s removal from office. Muslim leaders and politicians were also present. Rights groups say that Copts, who account for six to 10 percent of Egypt’s 85 million people, have come under attack mainly in the provinces of Minya and Assiut in central Egypt. The US-based Human Rights Watch says that more than 40 churches have been attacked since August 14, including 11 in Minya and eight in Assiut. Delga’s Coptic priest Yuannas says it will take a long time before the wounds inflicted on the town’s Christians heal. “We always had our quarrels, but we used to end them before sunset. But what has happened now will take a long time to heal,” Yuannas said as he showed AFP the destruction of the town’s monastery and three churches. “On the first day about 2,000 people attacked the monastery and the churches. They set fire to the buildings, stole many ar tefacts and also dug in the ground, thinking they may find some treasure. “It was brutal,” he said, pointing to a gaping hole which used to be a dome of the Blessed Virgin church, said to have been built in the fifth century. “The violence stopped only after troops came. If you want trust to return, such things must not be repeated. The authorities must step

up reconciliation efforts,” Yuannas said. Sheikh Mohammed Ali, imam of Delga’s mosque, said the “attackers were thugs”. “There are no political groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood in the town, but there are individual hardliners, Islamists and Salafists.” Several Muslim residents who spoke to AFP said they hoped the situation would improve with time. “I helped my friend Samir. I’m a Muslim and it is my duty to help those facing injustice. This is what Islam teaches. But I know it is not easy to rebuild” lost homes, said Tawfiq Zaki, a butcher. Delga has been slowly returning to normalcy under the watchful eye of troops mostly stationed around the local police station. Shops are open, the market is doing a brisk trade, the streets are full of children running behind mule-carts, and farmers drive their tractors and trucks loaded with onions, a key crop in the area. But on Sunday in Delga, one person was killed when Islamists clashed with civilian opponents and police, a health ministry official and witnesses said. And a look at Hanna’s two-storey house shows why it will take a long time before the two communities can forget what happened in August. Smokeblackened walls, smashed windows, a broken television and piles of debris in the five rooms of his house are proof of the fur y unleashed by attackers. “Who is going to pay for this now? How do I rebuild?” asked Hanna as his three children clawed in piles of debris inside their broken home. — AFP

GCC to ‘detect, bar’ gays, transgenders Continued from Page 1 Dr Mendakar’s statements did not specify the test or the people targeted in the new project. It was also unclear whether this excluded cross-dressers or included all homosexuals in general. He also did not explain how medical examiners intend to determine a visitor’s sexual orientation. “Expatriates undergo medical tests at local clinics, but the new procedure includes stricter measures to find out homosexuals and transgenders so that they are banned from entering Kuwait or any GCC state”, he added. Dr Mendakar could not be reached immediately for further clarification. The new proposal will be discussed during a ‘Central Committee for

Expatriate Labor Forces Program in the GCC’ meeting set to take place on November 11 in Oman, said Dr Mendakar. The meeting is expected to focus on regulations’ adjustments and the Kuwaiti official said that his proposal will be included in the list of amendments. Despite being distinguished by a Constitution that guarantees basic human rights, Kuwait’s laws - same as those found in Saudi, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, and Oman ban homosexuality and cross-gender acts. Same-sex relationships, cross-dressing or other homosexual acts can lead to a jail sentence. There have been several incidents in the past where homosexuals in Kuwait have complained of harassment from police and inappropriate arrests, apart from being stigmatized by society.

E-protests rock Saudi, Kuwait Continued from Page 1 rubbish, families living in dilapidated houses and students crammed into old trucks. Some posted cartoons, one of which featured a Saudi man standing in the shadow of a palm tree whose fronds stretch far beyond the kingdom’s borders. The caption reads: “Our assets go to others: the kingdom receives five percent (of the wealth) and 95 percent goes abroad.” As an example, Saudi Arabia has announced five billion dollars in aid to Egypt since the army there ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in early July. “Inflation and continually rising prices over several years have seriously affected the purchasing power of people,” economist Abdullah Al-Almi said. The result, he said, was “a shrinking middle class”. Unemployment stands officially at 12.5 percent and affects mainly young people, who represent 60 percent of the 20-million-strong native population. The job market is still dominated by foreigners who come mainly from Southeast Asia and accept low wages. The government has embarked on a policy of “Saudi-isation” of jobs, hoping to reduce unemployment among its citizens who also happen to be big spenders. “Nearly 80

percent of Saudis are now living on bank loans,” warned economic consultant Zeid Al-Rummani, adding that their spending is more than their income. And a housing crisis marked by soaring prices of land and property “puts heavy pressure on salaries”, he said. “Rising property prices, which is out of control, is a crime,” complained Abdelhamid Al-Amri in a tweet. Saudi Arabia is not alone in taking to Twitter to voice economic gripes. Complaints have also emerged from other wealthy Gulf states. In neighboring Kuwait, youth activists launched two campaigns on Twitter to urge the oil-rich emirate to accelerate housing plans for Kuwaiti families, some of whom have been waiting for 15 years. The campaigns “Nater Bait”, or “waiting for a house”, and “Watan Belijar”, or “a rented homeland”, have been successful, mainly among 107,000 Kuwaiti families placed on a waiting list for homes. Kuwait has a national population of 1.2 million people and financial assets estimated at more than $400 billion. The government builds houses for Kuwaitis against an interest-free loan repayable over 30 years. Those behind the campaign there now plan to lobby the newly elected parliament to make the housing problem a top priority. — AFP





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India to stick with austerity despite looming election By John Chalmers and Manoj Kumar he Indian government will have to rein in spending and cut subsidies to meet its fiscal deficit target, the country’s finance minister said yesterday, underlining that an austerity drive will not be blown off course by an election due next year. P Chidambaram said ahead of a trip to the United States - where one stop will be to woo investors on the West Coast - that he will not allow the deficit to cross a “red line” set at 4.8 percent of gross domestic product this fiscal year. “We’ve issued austerity instructions, it will bring us some savings,” he said. The finance minister’s vow to contain the deficit means there will be little room ahead of a tough election to spur growth, which has slumped from a double-digit pace in early 2010 to below 5.0 percent, its lowest in a decade. The government recently introduced a plan to distribute cheap food for two-thirds of the population, a step widely seen as wooing voters ahead of the election. But - without giving details Chidambaram pointed to food subsidies as one area where spending would need to be addressed in coming months. Along with pallid growth, Asia’s third-largest economy is facing stubborn inflation, companies are struggling and bank asset quality is worsening. But Chidambaram shrugged off the risk of a cut in India’s sovereign credit rating, which is one precarious notch above junk status. “There is no case for a downgrade,” he said in an interview at North Block, the sandstone colonial building that houses the finance ministry in New Delhi. “If any rating agency is looking for candidates to downgrade there are half a dozen other countries.” The Indian rupee was one of the hardest-hit emergingmarket currencies recently amid alarm in financial markets about an imminent “tapering” of the US Federal Reserve’s monetary stimulus, falling by about 20 percent at one point from May. It has recovered somewhat recently, and Chidambaram said the central bank may now be able to consider reversing some of the liquidity tightening steps it took to shore the currency up. “If the volatility of the rupee has been contained and speculation has come to an end, the central bank may want to unwind some of the measures it took earlier, he said. Yesterday the Reserve Bank of India cut a key overnight interest rate, further dialling back an emergency measure it had imposed in mid-July in order to defend the rupee that had tightened market liquidity and pushed up borrowing costs. Chidambaram said there would be some impact when the Fed’s tapering - which was put on hold - does eventually come, but it was now mostly factored into the market and he was confident that speculators had been put in their place. “We think we have sent a message to everyone - don’t speculate on the rupee,” he said.


DON’T WRITE US OFF Chidambaram said the economic downturn was no reason to think that his Congress party, which has been weakened by years of fractious coalition rule and a string of corruption scandals, would be ousted in a national election that must be held by May. “Don’t write us off so easily,” he said, adding that the next leader of the Congress party would be Rahul Gandhi, scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that has ruled India for most of its 66 years since independence. “I am glad you acknowledge prime minister Rahul Gandhi, but that is a question you should put to him,” Chidambaram said, when asked if he would serve again in a government led by the party’s heir apparent if Congress wins a third straight term in office. “The time has come for the torch to be passed on to a new and younger generation.” Chidambaram dismissed the dazzling emergence of opposition figurehead and candidate for prime minister Narendra Modi on the national political stage as “largely media created”. He conceded that the Hindu nationalist leader had united the rank and file of the Bharatiya Janata Party and “gained some traction among urban youths”, but said his party’s challenger was someone with a “very, very chequered track record”. Modi was chief minister of the state of Gujarat when deadly communal riots raged there in 2002. He has always vehemently denied charges that he turned a blind eye to the violence, and a Supreme Court inquiry found no evidence to prosecute him. An urbane Harvard-educated lawyer now in his third stint as finance minister, Chidambaram is widely seen as a business-friendly reformer. However, the weak coalition government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has struggled to push through reforms that might correct underlying economic imbalances, such as loosening strict labour laws and implementing a goods and services tax. Chidambaram said a jump in spending on fuel and food subsidies must be tackled sooner rather than later as part of a series of steps to stabilize the economy. India imports nearly 80 percent of its oil needs and the rupee’s drop has made government fuel subsidies more costly. “On the government side, sooner (rather) than later we will have to address the issue of higher subsidies than budgeted, on both fuel and food,” he said. — Reuters

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Libya, Somalia raids show US reach, problems By Ghaith Shennib and Abdi Sheikh wo US raids in Africa show the United States is pressuring Al-Qaeda, officials said on Sunday, though a failure in Somalia and an angry response in Libya also highlighted Washington’s problems. In Tripoli, US forces snatched a Libyan wanted over the bombings of the American embassy in Nairobi 15 years ago and whisked him out of the country, prompting Secretary of State John Kerry to declare that Al-Qaeda leaders “can run but they can’t hide.” But the capture of Nazih al-Ragye, better known as Abu Anas Al-Liby, also provoked a complaint about the “kidnap” from the Western-backed Libyan prime minister; he faces a backlash from armed Islamists who have carved out a share of power since the West helped Libyan rebels oust Muammar Gaddafi two years ago. In Somalia, Navy SEALS stormed ashore into the Al Shabaab stronghold of Barawe but, a US official said, they failed to capture or kill the target among the Somali allies of Al- Qaeda. US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the target was a Kenyan of Somali origin known as Ikrima, described as a foreign fighter commander for Al Shabaab in Somalia. Ikrima, whose real name is Abdikadar Mohamed Abdikadar, was associated with now-deceased Al-Qaeda operatives Harun Fazul and Saleh Nabhan, who played roles in the 1998 Embassy bombing in Nairobi and in the 2002 attacks on a hotel and airline in Mombassa, US officials said. One of the officials said the US operation in Somalia was not in direct response to last month’s al Shabaab attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi, in which at least 67 people were killed. It was unknown whether Ikrima was connected to that attack, the official said. Kerry, on a visit to Indonesia, said President Barack Obama’s administration was “pleased with the results” of the combined assaults early on Saturday. “We hope this makes clear that the United States of America will never stop in its effort to hold


those accountable who conduct acts of terror,” he said. Two years after Navy SEALS tracked down and killed Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, a decade after Al-Qaeda’s Sept 11 attacks on the United States in 2001, the twin operation demonstrated the reach of US military forces in Africa, where Islamist militancy has been in the ascendant. The forays also threw a spotlight on Somalia’s status as a fragmented haven for Al-Qaeda allies more than 20 years after Washington intervened in vain in its civil war and Libya’s descent into an anarchic battleground between rival bands on the Mediterranean that stretches deep south into the Sahara. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said they showed Washington would “spare no effort to hold terrorists accountable.” LIBYA RISKS Clearly aware of the risks to his government of complicity in the snatching of Liby as he returned to his suburban home from dawn prayers, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said: “The Libyan government is following the news of the kidnapping of a Libyan citizen who is wanted by US authorities. “ The Libyan government has contacted US authorities to ask them to provide an explanation.” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, without commenting on any specific communications, said, “we consult regularly with the Libyan government on a range of security and counterterrorism issues.” Another US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the Libyan government had been notified of the operation, but did not specify when Libya was informed. Liby is a suspect in the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 civilians. His whereabouts were unclear on Sunday, although in similar cases in the past, the United States has held detainees aboard ship. US Navy vessels in the Mediterranean, as well as bases in Italy and Germany, would provide ample facilities within a short flight time.

Liby’s son, Abdullah Al Ragye, 19, told reporters at the family home that men had pulled up in four cars, knocked him out with some kind of drug, dragged him from his vehicle and driven off with him in a Mercedes. “They had a Libyan look and Libyan accents,” he said. It was not clear, however, whether the men were connected to the Libyan state, which may either have sought to keep its distance or been sidelined by Washington for fear of leaks. Abdul Bassit Haroun, a former Islamist militia commander who works with the Libyan government on security, said the US raid would show Libya was no refuge for “international terrorists”. “But it is also very bad that no state institutions had the slightest information about this process, nor do they have a force which was able to capture him,” he said. “This means the Libyan state simply does not exist.” He warned that Islamist militants, like those blamed for the deadly attack on the US consulate in Benghazi a year ago, would hit back violently. “This won’t just pass,” Haroun said. “There will be a strong reaction in order to take revenge because this is one of the most important Al-Qaeda figures.” SOMALI CHAOS Somalia’s Western-backed government said it did cooperate with Washington, though its control of much of the country, including the port of Barawe, 180 km south of the capital, Mogadishu, is limited by powerful armed groups. “We have collaboration with the world and with neighboring countries in the battle against Al Shabaab,” Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon said when asked of Somalia’s role in the raid. US forces have used airborne drones to kill Somalis in the past and last year SEALS freed two kidnapped aid workers there. Somali police said seven people were killed in Barawe. US officials said their forces took no casualties but had broken off the fighting to avoid harming civilians. They failed to capture or kill their target during the assault around dawn at a seaside villa

that Al Shabaab said was one of its bases. A Somali intelligence official said a Chechen commander, who might have been the Americans’ target, was wounded. In Somalia, al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab told Reuters no senior figure was present when the Americans came ashore. “Ordinary fighters lived in the house and they bravely counter attacked and chased off the attackers,” he said. Al Shabaab said that in attacking the Nairobi mall it was hitting back at Kenyan intervention in Somalia, which has forced it from much of its territory. It also targeted Westerners out shopping. AFRICAN VIOLENCE From Nigeria in the west, through Mali, Algeria and Libya to Somalia and Kenya in the east, Africa has seen major attacks on its own people and on Western economic interests, including an Algerian desert gas plant in January and the Nairobi mall as well as the killing of the US ambassador in Libya a year ago. The trend reflects a number of factors, including Western efforts to force AlQaeda from its former base in Afghanistan, the overthrow of anti-Islamist authoritarian rulers in the Arab Spring of 2011 and growing resentment among Africa’s poor with governments they view as corrupt pawns of Western powers. Western intelligence experts say there is evidence of growing links among Islamist militants across North Africa, who share AlQaeda’s goal of a strict Islamic state and the expulsion of Western interests from Muslim lands. Liby, who has been reported as having fled Gaddafi’s police state to join bin Laden in Sudan in the 1990s before securing political asylum in Britain, may have been part of that bid to consolidate an operational base, analysts say. Wanted by the FBI, which gives his age as 49 and had offered a $5 million reward for help in capturing him, Liby was indicted in 2000 along with 20 other Al- Qaeda suspects including bin Laden and current global leader Ayman AlZawahri. — Reuters

Billions at stake for winners and losers of Iran thaw By Andrew Torchia fter years of being caught in the geopolitical crossfire over Iran’s disputed nuclear program, Iranian businessmen in Dubai are daring to hope that signs of a diplomatic thaw will allow crippling economic sanctions to be lifted. The wary optimism in Dubai, traditionally a major hub for Iranian commerce, reflects a tantalizing prospect for businessmen across the world: that progress toward an agreement on Iran’s nuclear plans could allow it to rejoin the global trading and financial system. This hope was created by the landslide election in June of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, seen as a moderate, and fed by last month’s resumption of high-level contacts between Tehran and Washington. “We are suggesting to our members that they should prepare for the possible removal of some of the obstacles to trade between the United Arab Emirates and Iran,” said Hossein Asrar Haghighi, a founder of Dubai’s Iranian Business Council. Some businessmen are making contingency plans to boost shipments to Iran if tensions ease further. “For example a trader buying a shipment of rice might get ready to increase it by 20 percent, and implement it depending on the situation.” With its population of 75 million, Iran would be the largest economy to rejoin the global system since post-Communist eastern Europe in the early 1990s. “A young, educated population, a credit-based society with huge unsatisfied demand for everything from refineries and chemical plants to housing and basic infrastructure - the business opportunities are huge,” said Emad Mostaque, a strategist who follows Iran at London-based NOAH Capital. The size of the economic opportunities means political pressure to lift the sanctions could grow rapidly in Western capitals if nuclear talks seem to be going well. But there would also be losers from an economic reopening of Iran. Some businessmen have prospered during its isolation - including some within Iran itself, who used


political connections to profit from policies resisting the sanctions. They may lobby against the country’s rehabilitation. SHORTFALL The web of US and European sanctions against Iran has slashed its oil exports by more than half since 2011, at an estimated annual cost of over $40 billion, and cut its access to equipment needed to keep its energy industry running. The country has largely been frozen out of the global banking system; many shipping lines have stopped serving Iran. Since US sanctions allow Washington to take action against third-country firms - effectively forcing them to choose between doing business in Iran and the United States much foreign trade, and most foreign investment, has halted. Tehran does not release timely, reliable data giving a full picture of the economic damage. But the central bank says gross fixed capital formation, adjusted for inflation, plunged 19.4 percent from a year earlier in the nine months to last Dec 20. This implies a massive shortfall of public and private investment during that period alone worth roughly $35 billion at the free-market rial/dollar exchange rate. Foreign companies would hope to supply much of the shortfall - in the form of factories, machinery, buildings and infrastructure - if they were permitted to resume normal trade and investment with Iran. Western governments will be reluctant to lift any sanctions against Iran until they get evidence that Tehran is moving towards opening its nuclear program to inspection. But Haghighi said a reduction in diplomatic tensions could help business even before sanctions were eased, as the threat of Western military action against Tehran receded. He noted that after losing two-thirds of its value against the dollar over 18 months - a depreciation which saddled businessmen with massive uncertainty and currency losses - the Iranian rial had regained some strength and then sta-

bilized in the free market since Rouhani’s election. “It’s easier for traders to do deals if they think they won’t be losers tomorrow because of a fall in the currency.” US officials have hinted that if diplomatic progress is made, they may ease sanctions partially and gradually to advance the talks further, instead of waiting for a final nuclear deal. Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman called last week for “specific steps by Iran that address core issues”, adding that in return Tehran would expect “some relief” from the sanctions. In this scenario, relatively minor sanctions might first be eased or suspended - for example, sales of Internet communications gear and software to Iran - while Washington kept its big guns, such as the banking measures, until a final deal. Mostaque predicted the European Union, where courts have ruled sanctions against some Iranian firms are not justified, could start to ease up first. Right-wingers in the US Congress will slow Washington’s removal of sanctions, he said. Iranian-born economist Mehrdad Emadi, of the Betamatrix consultancy in London, said Western oil firms might conceivably start to return to Iran within a year, while other firms such as banks and car makers would take longer, perhaps 12-18 months. “Do not underestimate the self-interest of the West. The first ones into Iran can expect huge rewards,” he said. French car makers could be among the biggest winners if they can rebuild their ties in the country. Peugeot’s decision to halt sales to Iran under sanctions pressure last year cost it nearly 10 percent of its global vehicle deliveries; in July this year, Renault took a 512 million euro ($696 million) writedown because of damage to its Iran business. Presanctions winners in Iran will not necessarily be post-sanctions winners, however. Peugeot would face a challenge reviving its sales of partially assembled “knock-down” vehicles to Iran. A company spokesman said it had disbanded teams working on the project and he expected parts suppliers would have done the same. — Reuters



Injured Sharapova sidelined ISTANBUL: World number three Maria Sharapova withdrew on Monday from the endof-season WTA Championship in Istanbul due to the shoulder injury that also kept her out of the US Open. The 26-year-old Russian has not played since losing to Sloane Stephens in the second round of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati in August. “I am very disappointed I will not be able to play in the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championship this year,” Sharapova told the tour website ( yesterday. “The fans in Istanbul have welcomed us each year with such intense passion and warmth. I will sincerely miss the energy and excitement they bring to the year-end tournament.” The four-times grand slam winner, who fired coach Jimmy Connors after just one match together following the defeat by Stephens, pulled out of the US Open held in August and September due to inflammation in her right shoulder. Petra Kvitova, Sara Errani and Jelena Jankovic have joined world number one Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska and Li Na in qualifying for the eight-player WTA Championship that begins on Oct. 22. Sharapova’s place is still up for grabs through the rankings. — Reuters

NHL results/standings Carolina 2, Philadelphia 1; Anaheim 3, Winnipeg 2; Vancouver 5, Calgary 4 (OT).

San Jose Vancouver Anaheim Calgary Phoenix Los Angeles Edmonton St. Louis Colorado Winnipeg Chicago Dallas Minnesota Nashville

Toronto Boston Detroit Ottawa Montreal Florida Tampa Bay Buffalo Pittsburgh Carolina NY Islanders Columbus Washington New Jersey NY Rangers Philadelphia

Western Conference Pacific Division W L OTL GF 2 0 0 8 2 1 0 12 2 1 0 8 1 0 2 12 1 1 0 5 1 1 0 6 0 2 0 6 Central Division 2 0 0 11 2 0 0 9 2 1 0 12 1 0 1 8 1 1 0 4 0 0 2 5 0 2 0 3 Eastern Conference Atlantic Division 3 0 0 12 2 0 0 7 2 1 0 6 1 0 1 5 1 1 0 7 1 1 0 4 1 1 0 4 0 3 0 2 Metropolitan Division 2 0 0 7 1 0 1 4 1 0 1 6 1 1 0 6 1 2 0 10 0 1 1 3 0 1 0 1 0 3 0 3

GA 2 10 11 13 5 7 11

PTS 4 4 4 4 2 2 0

2 2 10 7 5 7 7

4 4 4 3 2 2 0

8 2 7 5 5 9 5 7

6 4 4 3 2 2 2 0

1 4 6 6 12 7 4 9

4 3 3 2 2 1 0 0

Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L).

Sharks reunite with Smit

Botha’s bowling a suspect

CAPE TOWN: Former South Africa coach Jake White was confirmed as director of rugby at Durban-based Sharks yesterday and will reunite with his captain from the 2007 World Cup winning campaign John Smit. Sharks CEO Smit, who skippered the Springboks to their World Cup win under White six years ago, confirmed the appointment in a statement, ending speculation of where the 50-year-old would continue his career having surprisingly quit his role as Brumbies coach last month. “We are immensely happy to confirm the appointment of Jake White as our new director of rugby,” Smit said. “We formed a formidable relationship during my playing career and I am delighted to reestablish that partnership, which is in line with our vision to take the Sharks to the next level. “Jake is an experienced coach whose track record speaks volumes about his ability to rally his team and get the best out of them. We are pleased that he has decided to join the Sharks.” White takes over from Brendan Venter, who was appointed in June this year following the axing of New Zealand-born coach John Plumtree after a disappointing Super Rugby campaign. Venter remains director of rugby at English side Saracens having performed a dual role, though Smit hopes to keep him involved in some capacity with the Sharks.—Reuters

CAPE TOWN: Former South Africa one-day international captain Johan Botha has had doubt cast on the legitimacy of his bowling action for the third time in his career and will have to undergo biomechanical analysis. The off-spinner, who skippers South Australia, was cited by umpires following his state’s opening match in the domestic limited overs series against Victoria on Oct. 4. Before this year players had to be cited three times in the same season to be put under review, but now just a single instance is required. “Under CA’s Doubtful Bowling Action Procedure, a bowler must undergo testing after a single mention for a suspected illegal bowling action in an interstate season,” Cricket Australia said in a statement yesterday. “CA’s policy requires cited bowlers to undergo testing within 14 days of being notified.” He is allowed to keep playing while his action is under review and could line up for South Australia against Tasmania in Sydney tomorrow. Botha, who started his career as a medium pacer before being encouraged to turn to spin by ex-South Africa and Australia coach Mickey Arthur, was first cited in 2006 shortly after making his test debut for the Proteas in Sydney and was only given the all clear by the International Cricket Council (ICC) 11 months later.—Reuters

Ducks outlast Jets WINNIPEG: Corey Perry took advantage of a defensive mistake to score a third-period winner in the Anaheim Ducks’ 3-2 victory over the Jets on Sunday night, when Teemu Selanne got a standing ovation in what could be his last visit to Winnipeg. Selanne, who is retiring after this season, began his NHL career with Winnipeg in 1992-93 by setting rookie records of 76 goals and 132 points. The Ducks won’t return to Winnipeg unless the teams meet in the playoffs. “Some ways, you felt that I was on the home team,” Selanne said with a laugh. After playing 231 games in a Jets’ uniform, Selanne was traded to Anaheim in February 1996 and didn’t get to move with the Jets when they relocated. “I feel like even when I left, they have always been there after, too, so it’s a good feeling,” he said. Viktor Fasth made 15 saves for Anaheim, which also got goals from Mathieu Perreault and Andrew Cogliano. Andrew Ladd had a pair of goals for Winnipeg, Blake Wheeler assisted on both in his 375th NHL game and Ondrej Pavelec stopped 31 shots. In other games Sunday, the Canucks had a 5-4 win over the Flames and the Hurricanes earned their first win of the season with a 2-1 victory over the Flyers. At Calgary, Mike Santorelli scored his second goal at 3:17 in overtime to lead Vancouver to a comeback win. The Canucks scored three straight goals in the third period to lead 4-3, but with Flames goaltender Joey MacDonald on the bench for a sixth attacker David Jones sent the game into extra time with 19 seconds remaining in regulation. Dale Weise, Jannik Hansen and Santorelli scored in the third after the Canucks fell behind 3-1 early in the period. Canucks backup goaltender Eddie Lack made 32 saves in his first regular-season NHL game and David Booth scored for Vancouver in the first period. Mikael Backlund, Sean Monahan and Calgary captain Mark Giordano also scored for the Flames and Joey MacDonald stopped 23 shots. At Raleigh, Radek Dvorak scored the winner in the second period. Jay Harrison also scored, Jeff Skinner added two assists and Anton Khudobin made 17 saves in his Hurricanes’ debut. Luke Schenn scored for the Flyers, who have opened the season with three losses for the second year in a row. Before last year, Philadelphia had lost its first three games only one other time in club history. — AP

WINNIPEG: Jim Slater No. 19 of the Winnipeg Jets and Andrew Cogliano No. 7 of the Anaheim Ducks fight for the puck in second period action of an NHL game. — AFP

Former Spain sports boss fined MADRID: A Spanish court yesterday slapped a former sports boss with a fine of 5,400 euros ($7,300) for fielding athletes with no disabilities at the 2000 Paralympics in Sydney in order to win medals. The Madrid court found the former head of the Spanish Federation for Mentally Handicapped Sports, Fernando Martin Vicente, guilty of fraud and ordered that he pay the fine and return 142,355 euros in government subsidies which the federation received for the athletes without disabilities. The scandal broke in November 2000 when Carlos Ribagorda, a member of Spain’s gold medal-winning intellectually handicapped basketball team in Sydney, claimed

that he and other athletes in categories such as track and field, table tennis and swimming were not mentally deficient. “Of the 200 Spanish athletes at Sydney at least 15 had no type of physical or mental handicap-they didn’t even pass medical or psychological examinations,” he wrote in the magazine Capital just days after the Paralympics ended. Ribargorda said he had played for the Spanish Paralympic basketball team for over two years but had no mental handicap. He said the only test he had been asked to complete at his first training session was six press-ups, after which his blood pressure was taken.—AFP



Saints’ exorcism of ‘Bountygate’ complete CHICAGO: The exorcism is nearly complete. Spooked as the New Orleans Saints were - top to bottom - at this time a year ago, “Bountygate” seems like little more than a bad dream now. After a businesslike 26-18 victory over Chicago on Sunday, New Orleans is at 5-0, instead of last season’s 1-4 start, and still among the fast-thinning ranks of unbeatens in the NFL. Drew Brees is off to another scintillating start, Sean Payton is back in charge, and if reuniting one of the best quarterback-coach duos in the league wasn’t intimidating enough, well, the Saints are suddenly boasting a top-five defense to boot. Most of the credit for that last development belongs to Rob Ryan, the son of bona fide defensive genius Buddy Ryan, and the less-well-groomed twin brother of Jets coach Rex. Rob Ryan was calling the shots for Dallas’ defense last season, and the emergence of Cameron Jordan and Junior Gallette along the Saints’ defensive front, along with rookie Kenny Vaccaro in the secondary, made his move to New Orleans look downright prescient. But there’s no doubt up and down the roster who has made the biggest difference in the Saints’ fortunes

this time around - even if Payton’s players find it hard to say exactly why. “Coach understands the temperature of this team, when to turn it up and when to dial it down,” veteran corner Jabari Greer said. “Last year,” Brees said, “everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. ... It hasn’t been perfect, but ...” “I can’t quite put my finger on it, either. But if I had to guess, I’d say Coach Payton’s attention to detail is,” and here tackle Charles Brown paused to find the right word, “contagious.” The Saints got lucky when Chicago’s Matt Forte fumbled a pitch on the first play of the game, but made their own break on the first play of the next series, when corner Malcolm Jenkins scooted around the right end untouched on the blitz and jarred the ball loose from quarterback Jay Cutler. New Orleans settled for field goals after both turnovers; even so, the Bears wound up chasing the Saints the rest of the way. “I thought our guys played real smart and did what we needed to do to get a good road victory,” Payton said. “It wasn’t always perfect or clean in the second half, but it was good enough.”

Payton conceded that watching Saints games from his couch at home last year was tough. He was parked there because NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Payton for a year in response to a murky bounty system being run by former New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Additionally, Goodell fined the team $500,000 and banned general manager Mickey Loomis and assistant coach Joe Vitt for varying lengths of time. Coming off three straight playoff seasons - including a Super Bowl win - the Saints stumbled to 7-9. Payton’s personal life was only slightly less tumultuous. He got divorced, and barred from most NFL contact, his strongest connection to the game was coaching the offense for his son’s team back in Dallas. Payton talks sparingly about that time. But Brees volunteered last week that one area where Payton has improved noticeably is how thoroughly he gets his ideas across- “He wants to make sure everything is communicated,” is how the quarterback put it - and the coach was inclined to agree. “There’s a lot of players in this locker room that weren’t here a year ago. There’s constant change,”

Payton said. “The thing I noticed most being away one year, you miss out on a draft and free agency class and ... that first team meeting there’s 40 new faces. “Often times as a coach you think they’ve heard your message, or they’ve heard it before when a lot of them, by and large, haven’t,” he added. “This group’s worked hard. They’ve been very eager to please.” And he’s responded in kind. Payton admits he was furious at the start of the suspension, resentful a few weeks in, but learned to direct some of his anger and most of his energy into working out. Ultimately, he was humbled when Saints owner Tom Benson gave him a new contract instead of firing him. Payton, in turn, rededicated himself to shoring up the foundation he’s been building in New Orleans since taking a flyer on Brees in 2006. “He’s pretty consistent,” Greer said. “Maybe a little more mellow in certain instances than he used to be, but he’s the same steady guy. “You get used to taking orders from a guy like that,” he added. “So even if he goes away and comes back, like coach Payton did, it’s funny how familiar it seems and how fast you can settle back in.”— AP

Franchitti injured in Houston crash

KANSAS CITY: Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 13th Annual Hollywood Casino 400. — AFP

Harvick wins wreck-filled race at Kansas Speedway KANSAS CITY: Kevin Harvick won a wreck-filled race at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, keeping out of trouble all afternoon and making a big move in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Harvick pulled away from Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon on a restart with 19 laps to go for his third win of the year. It came after Harvick sat on the pole for the first time in 254 races. The last time he qualified first, at New Hampshire in 2006, he also won the race. “These guys just did a great job all weekend,” Harvick said. “To have a car fast enough for me to qualify on the pole says a lot about how fast this thing is.” Harvick was chased across the line by Busch and Gordon. Joey Logano finished fourth, Carl Edwards was fifth, and Jimmie Johnson finished sixth despite a slight hiccup with his engine on the final lap that cost him one spot on the track. Matt Kenseth held onto his lead in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship with an 11th-place finish. Johnson narrowed the gap to just three points, while Harvick moved into third place, just 25 points out of first with six races left in the season. Kyle Busch was the big loser after crashing for the third straight time at Kansas Speedway, dropping from third in points to fifth, 35 adrift of the lead. There were 15 cautions in the race, breaking the record of 14 for a Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway. The first came when the race wasn’t even a lap old and Danica Patrick slammed into the wall, and most of them occurred when cars got loose coming out of Turn 2. Busch and Kenseth both called the race “treacher-

ous,” pointing to the combination of a repave last year and Goodyear’s new “multi-zone” tires that made it seem as if they were skating across a smooth, glasslike surface most of the afternoon. All of it was compounded by temperatures in the 50s at the start of the race, more than 30 degrees cooler than testing and practice earlier in the week. “It’s all about restarts and making sure you can gain spots, but it’s treacherous,” Busch said. “You had to have a lot of give and take.” One of the major story lines coming into the race involved Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski, who got together in the Nationwide race on Saturday. Keselowski said that Busch intentionally dumped him and seemed to indicate that he would retaliate in the Sprint Cup race. Keselowski even asked NASCAR President Mike Helton in the prerace driver’s meeting about the line between hard racing and intentional wrecks. It turned out that Busch kept going for spins without Keselowski’s help. The first one came down the front stretch when he appeared to squeeze Juan Pablo Montoya, sending Busch sideways across the track. The second spin came after a restart a moment later, and this one sent his No. 18 Toyota head-first into the Turn 1 wall and ended his day. “I have no idea what happened, but it’s Kansas. It’s what we do here, we just crash,” Busch said. “The racetrack is the worst racetrack I’ve ever driven on. The tires are the worst tires I’ve ever driven on, and track position is everything. You can’t do anything.”—AP

Nasser bin Khalif Al-Attiya and Jean Todt

Qatar supports Todt to head FIA QATAR: Nasser bin Khalif Al Attiya - President of Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation, who also occupies the position of deputy of FIM and head of Cross country Committee - FIA, said he trusts the abilities of The French Jean Todt, so we decided to provide the full support to him for the second electoral period as the president of FIA in Dec. 2013 elections . About the nature of the support, Al Attiya confirmed that due to the great efforts and achievements of the French Jean Todt, at the first period, we decided to support him, where most of motor sports have witnessed undeniable great push and progress. I personally worked much closed to him and realized the volume of work activities inside FIA, I see it a must to reelect him for another period to fulfil and complete the achievements he initiated in the first period. Nasser bin Khalif Al Attiya says that there is common request from the assembly members of FIA to reelect the French Jean Todt, on the other side, such request would never diminish the other competitor status, but the coming period necessitates more sta-

bility for the benefit of the motor sport, which is considered one of the most popular sports in the world.... Personally, I touched full care and maximum support from him to create new ideas, such support contributed in the development of our championship in limited time, where they reached approximately 10 rounds instead of 4 before, such increase was automatically accompanied by promotional, advertising and marketing media. Now we have many requests from different countries to host new rounds of the championship. 2009 It’s worth saying that Jean Todt had taken over FIA presidency in 2009 after X- British Max Mosley after beating the Finland Ary Fatanen in the presidential election. Todt (X-GM Ferari Team) announced his will to compete for the position of FIA president; it’s also worth mentioning that the current Qatari support to the French Jean Todt is not considered the first, where Qatar supported him before in Oct.2009 FIA elections.

HOUSTON: Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti fractured two vertebrae and broke his right ankle when his car went airborne into a fence Sunday on the last lap of the Grand Prix of Houston. The accident showered debris into the grandstand, injuring 13 fans and an IndyCar Series official. Franchitti was transported by ambulance to a hospital. The four-time series champion had surgery on his ankle was being held overnight, and IndyCar said a series official was treated for minor injuries. Houston Fire Department spokesman Ruy Lozano said 13 fans were injured, and that 11 were treated on site at Reliant Park. Lozano said two were taken to the hospital for treatment. The accident in Turn 5 was reminiscent of Dan Wheldon’s fatal 2011 crash at Las Vegas in that competitors had to drive through the wreckage. It was a sobering moment for race winner Will Power, who injured his back in the Las Vegas crash, and for Scott Dixon, who took control of the IndyCar championship race Sunday but passed by teammate Franchitti’s car and waved in an attempt to get an update on his condition. “The smells and the visuals, for me, and even talking to Will, you have the remnants of Vegas popping into your head with you coming around the corner and you can’t drive through it because there’s a field of debris,” Dixon said. “There was no near the amount of damage that we saw (in 2011), but seeing the replay was a big shock.” The accident occurred after contact between Franchitti and Takuma Sato sent Franchitti’s car launching over Sato’s and into the fence. Parts and pieces from both cars flew into the grandstand and Franchitti’s badly damaged car bounced back onto the track. E J Viso then hit Sato’s car. The caution came out to immediately freeze the field, preventing Dixon from making a final attempt on passing Power for the win. Dixon won Saturday’s first race of the doubleheader weekend and settled for second after Franchitti’s crash. Power initially seemed shaken when he climbed from his car and admitted the accident reminded him of Las Vegas, where he and Wheldon both hit the fence. “I just saw Dario’s car and him sitting in it with a lot of damage, and yes, that’s what it reminded me of,” Power said. “I hate seeing that. We try to keep these cars on the ground.” The accident ended a weekend that saw Dixon move into the points lead following mechanical failures for Helio Castroneves on consecutive days. Castroneves came to Houston with a 49point lead over Dixon. But gearbox problems on for Castroneves on Saturday and Sunday mean that now Dixon has a 25point lead in the standings and needs only to finish fifth or better in the Oct. 19 finale in California to win his third IndyCar title. “It’s still going to come down to the wire,” he said. “It’s still going to be the last lap, last corner kind of situation. At least I hope that it ends that way.” Castroneves finished 23rd. He had started on the pole, got a great jump on the standing start to get past Dixon for the lead, but Dixon was screaming on his radio within minutes that Castroneves’ car was leaking oil everywhere and it was splashing onto Dixon’s tires and visor. Castroneves said little to his Penske Racing team, but detected a vibration in his car with every shift of the gears after just a handful of laps. The problem worsened and he came to a complete stop on the course at Reliant Park after just 11 laps. “It’s frustrating and disappointing,” Castroneves said. “It hurts. It really hurts.” Penske said Castroneves will likely have to change his engine before the finale which will incur a 10-spot penalty on the starting grid at Fontana. Power said his job in Fontana will be to help his teammate. “Going into Fontana, it’s all about Helio winning a championship, so whatever I can do,” Power said. “If Helio needs to win the race and I need to be somewhere in between him and Dixon, then that’s what we’re aiming for.”— AP

HOUSTON: Dario Franchitti, driver of the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi car races down the straight away during the Shell And Pennzoil Grand Prix Of Houston Race No. 2 at Reliant Park. — AFP

Hamilton feels for the fans; Vettel wins again SEOUL: Lewis Hamilton fears Sebastian Vettel’s Formula One dominance is becoming as much of a television turnoff for some fans as Michael Schumacher’s relentless success was a decade ago. Red Bull’s Vettel is on the brink of a fourth successive title after winning Sunday’s Korean Grand Prix from pole position. His fourth victory in a row gave the 26year old German a lead of 77 points over Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso with five races remaining. If Vettel wins in Japan on Sunday, and the Spaniard is ninth or lower, it is game over. “He has won already,” Hamilton, who was fifth for Mercedes at Yeongam on Sunday, told British reporters. “Unless he doesn’t finish the rest of the races, and even if he doesn’t he has probably still won it. “Personally I feel for the fans because I remember the period of time when Michael Schumacher was winning,” added the Briton. “I remember waking up in the morning to watch the start of the race and then going to sleep, and then waking up when it ended because I already knew what would happen. I am pretty sure a lot of people were doing that today.” Hamilton, the 2008 champion, has won once this season, in Hungary, but Vettel has taken eight of the 14 races and is on course for his most dominant season since 2011. That year he also triumphed in Suzuka with four races to spare and went on to end the season with 11 victories, a number only Schumacher, with 13 in 2004, has exceeded. Seven-times champion Schumacher, who won fives titles in a row for Ferrari between 2000 and 2004, also won 11

times in 2002 and racked up seven successive wins in 2004. While fans in Germany and Italy always wanted Schumacher and Ferrari to win, there were many others who craved for more excitement and an end to what some sections of the media referred to as ‘Formula Yawn’. Sunday’s race was deceptive, starting off with all the hallmarks of yet another familiar Vettel pole-to-flag victory parade but then exploding into something much more entertaining for the neutrals. Peeling tyres, two safety car periods and the bizarre sight of a fire vehicle leading the field after Mark Webber’s Red Bull went up in flames made it something worth setting the alarm for. Suzuka next Sunday will be another early start for European fans, with the added thrill of it being a potential title decider. Vettel won in Japan last year, as well as the following round in India. The only one of the remaining races that he has not previously won is the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, which made its debut last year with Hamilton winning for McLaren. A record run of wins could be on the cards but Vettel said, as ever, that he was taking nothing for granted and focusing on one race at a time. “I’m trying not to think about it, to be honest,” he said when asked about a fourth title. “Even though it looks very good, it’s still not over so we shouldn’t feel too comfortable. “Japan is one of the highlights in the year but regarding the championship, I think our target is to win the championship and not to win it in one place in particular.”— Reuters

YEONGAM: Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany come down the straight in this file photo. — AFP


S P ORT S Photo of the day

Climbers at the ready for 2014 Giro d’Italia

Competitors ride at Red Bull Sea to Sky in Antalia, Kemer, Turkey on September 27, 2013. —

A baseball journey: From shadows to playoff glare NEW YORK: Marlon Byrd was walking to his car, ready for another ho-hum night at a mostly empty Citi Field in late August, when his cellphone rang. It was the call he’d been waiting on for a long time, the one summoning him to a pennant race. Traded from the New York Mets to Pittsburgh, he quickly became a key part of the Pirates. Quite a change from where he was last October - playing for the Culiacan Tomato Growers in Mexico, trying to resurrect his career. “Twelve seasons, first postseason appearance. I’m trying to soak it all in and at the same time stay focused. You look at the crowd and you get lost in the energy and atmosphere. Just having a heck of a time,” he said Sunday.

Marlon Byrd Same for Jake Peavy, Justin Morneau, John Axford and others whose fortunes changed with late trades. All eight teams in the division series boosted themselves with midseason moves, adding the likes of Delmon Young, Jose Iglesias and Brian Wilson. In fact, both starting pitchers for Game 4 at Dodger Stadium - Freddy Garcia of Atlanta and Ricky Nolasco of Los Angeles - switched sides during the year. Nolasco went from the last-place Miami Marlins to a team with a chance to advance. “It was in my mind. I knew the Dodgers had been playing well when I got traded over, and I knew the possibility of us winning this division. I was excited about it, and definitely ready for the opportunity now,” he said Sunday. Garcia bumped around even more. Cut by San Diego in

spring training, he was pitching in the minors for Baltimore when the Braves got him shor tly before September. A two-time All-Star, the 37-year-old Garcia had once been a steady postseason presence, helping the White Sox win the 2005 World Series. No longer a hard thrower, he was sent to Triple-A by Atlanta and had wondered whether it was time to retire. “At one point you think about it,” he said. “But if you keep pitching, you’re feeling good, you still get people out.” Not that this year’s journey was any fun. “Oh, that wasn’t easy, man. Being in Triple-A, being in the big leagues for so long and then this year being in San Diego, Baltimore and now with the Braves, it’s been hard for me,” he said Sunday. “But more hard for my family. It’s being away from my family, my kids. But now I’m here and I just can’t wait till tomorrow,” he said. Peavy and shortstop Jose Iglesias were part of the same three-team deal in late July. Peavy went from the White Sox to pitch for Boston and Iglesias moved from the Red Sox to Detroit. The Tigers sent highly touted outfielder Avisail Garcia to Chicago. “I assume Garcia will be successful for the White Sox for a long time, but that’s how trades are supposed to work,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said recently. “Somebody is not supposed to get the piece of gold and somebody gets something out of the Cracker Jack box, that’s not the way it’s supposed to work. So it was a good trade for everybody.” Oak land catcher Kur t Suzuk i, Dodgers infielder Michael Young and Atlanta infielder Elliot Johnson also reached the playoffs because of in-season deals. Morneau went from Minnesota to Pittsburgh and Axford joined the St Louis bullpen. “I think getting a guy like Axford who has a lot of experience and who knows what it takes to win was a good move for us,” Cardinals third baseman David Freese said. “We didn’t know him too well on the personal level, but once he got over here he fit right in. He’s helped us.” The bearded Wilson, the closer when San Francisco won the 2010 World Series, wound up in relief for the Dodgers. “The experience has been he’s a guy that’s obviously been there. A little bit of a different animal, but he never seems too stressed about anything and keeps everything pretty loose in our clubhouse,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. The Rays plucked Young from the scrap heap. They also acquired outfielder David DeJesus and reliever Wesley Wright. Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said the team considers a lot of factors when deciding whether to add a player to the midseason mix. “I think you’re always going to look at the overwhelming physical abilities first. I think every sport does that,” he said. “But beyond that, I think we’re real careful in vetting ... the personality itself.” “What kind of guy is he?” he added. “Have we heard from other people what he’s like? How does he handle moments? How is he in the clubhouse? How is he with the teammates? All of that stuff is brought up regarding all of the guys.”— AP

MILAN: Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali will kick off the defence of his Giro d’Italia title in 2014 with three days of racing in Northern Ireland before a “key” final week of epic racing in the high mountains. Nibali, of the Astana team, claimed his maiden pink jersey after a dramatic 2013 edition that was blighted by torrential rain, a cancelled stage and a snow-hit ride to Tre Cime di Lavaredo in the Dolomites. Next year’s edition is set for an equally dramatic end with some key climbs including the 20th and penultimate day to Monte Zoncolan, labelled the ‘Welcome to Hell’ stage, set to decide overall victory. Nibali, who sealed his 2013 triumph with an epic ride in a snowstorm to the summit of Tre Cime, will line up as the man to beat. The Sicilian, who did not compete at the 2013 Tour de France but went on to finish runner-up at the Tour of Spain last month, said: “It’s a balanced and great looking race, but we’ll all have to race well. “There are a lot of stages that suit the climbers. The big riders that were here at the presentation are the ones that will go on to fight for the 2014 win.” Overall, the race will feature five stages in the high mountains, five in the ‘medium’ mountains, eight flat stages, one team time trial and two individual time trials. Australian Cadel Evans, who was pipped to a runner-up finish in 2013 by Colombian Rigoberto Uran, called it a “balanced” course which should suit his, and others’, climbing abilities. Asked about the climb-heavy last week, Evans told AFP: “It’s not as concentrated as previous editions, but they are certainly not easy stages. “You go into the last week already with some stages with a lot of climbs in your legs, not necessarily in the high mountains, but they are difficult. “At this point we have to look at Nibali (as the favourite), but experience will help guys like Ivan (Basso) and myself.” On the first of three days in Northern Ireland the race will kick off with a team time trial, with two flat, sprinter-friendly stages on the way to Dublin. Although there are nine summit finishes, some of those will come on medium mountain stages. The first uphill finishes come on stages eight and nine, and after the first of three rest days - one more than usual because of the transfer demands from Ireland - the first indiviual time trial will be held on stage 12. “The individual time trial will balance it out a bit,” said Evans, one of several contenders, including Nibali, Basso, Joaquin Rodriguez and Uran to see the inclusion of an uphill time trial on stage 19. The Bielmonte (18.3 km) and Oropa (11.8 km) climbs will

hang on to that. Problem was, I knew I wasn’t feeling good, and if I happened to mess up 18 we had to continue playing until it was decided. “I really don’t want to play anymore. I just thought - can I win, can I halve this last hole, somehow? And it ended up being that way. “To have the opportunity to win the Cup for Freddie and all the guys on the team, it means a lot to me, and to be able to have trust in the guys and be able to go out there and earn a point, it means a lot.” Woods had been in fine form throughout the week, impressing in foursome and fourballs with new team mate Matt Kuchar before taking on the key role in the eighth match of the singles. Despite a series of lengthy rain delays throughout the tournament and the pain from his back, Woods said he had enjoyed being back in the team environment. “We have a great time, you kidding me? This is why when you first experience it, you want to get back on these teams each and every year. It’s just a lot of fun. It was a long week but it was worth it. We did it,” he said. In the end, Woods needed to two-putt from 30 feet at the last to pick up the necessary point and put the US over the line as Sterne conceded him the second, offering his hand. “At no given time was I a nervous wreck, but it was nice when Tiger ... got the 18th point,” said Couples. — Reuters

provide racing drama in the mountains, with the 18.6 km tre to Plan di Montecampione on stage 15 likely to crank the pink jersey battle up a notch. The third and final rest day follows before another uphill finish on an epic stage 16, when just over 60km of climbing will feature. The overall contenders will be glad of a rest on stage 17, an undulating 204 km which finishes on the flat. The following three stages will be key. Stage 18 is another mountaintop finish which includes the climbs of Passo di San Pellegrino (11.8 km) and Panarotta (15.8 km). Stage 19 features only one ascent, the 19.3 km climb to the summit of Monte Grappa, while the 20th and penultimate stage features three in total including the daunting Monte Zoncolan, a 10.1 km hike over steep and uneven terrain. Basso, the 2006 and 2010 champion, believes in his own victory chances but said it will be crucial to keep some powder dry for the Zoncolan. “Of course I believe,” said the Italian when asked if he could win. Asked about the Zoncolan, he added: “Sometimes, a climb becomes really difficult when you’re not going so well, and is easier when you are going well. “I have god memories from the Zoncolan, so I hope it’s the same next year.”— AFP

Pacers, Rockets in Philippines to treat overseas fans MANILA: The Houston Rockets and the Indiana Pacers are in the Philippines to treat overseas fans to the first NBA game in this basketball-crazy Southeast Asian nation. Both teams flew in yesterday ahead of the NBA’s preseason Global Games in the Philippines on Thursday evening. Basketball is the country’s most popular sport and the NBA game has created a buzz on social media and radio and TV, with tickets going on sale months in advance. “We’re just excited to come over to play the game and give Filipinos a great show,” Houston Rockets guard James Harden said. The Rockets squad for the games in the Philippines and Taiwan includes Jeremy Lin, the league’s first American-born player of Taiwanese descent. The Indiana Pacers roster features Danny Granger and NBA All-Stars Paul George, Roy Hibbert, and David West. Organizers said the game is part of the NBA’s comprehensive global schedule that will have eight teams play in eight cities in six countries this October. After Manila, the Rockets and Pacers play in Taipei on Sunday. In the Global Games series, there’ll be 12 teams playing outside the US and Canada, the most ever, and the league will play regular-season games in two countries beyond those for the first time. There are stops in old standbys and firsttime trips to cities in Brazil and Spain that will be hosting major international competitions in the next few years. The Philippines tops the list of countries following the NBA on Facebook and Twitter outside the United States, the organizers said. Additionally, the NBA conducts each year local events in the Philippines, including the Jr. NBA program, which has reached more than 60,000 students, parents and coaches over the past five years, and NBA 3X, the league’s global fan event. A total of 16,000 tickets went on sale for Thursday’s game at the seaside Mall of Asia Arena, with premium seats going for 32,300 pesos ($751) and the cheapest 550 pesos ($12), in a country where wrenching poverty affects a third of the population of 96 million.— AP

Once again Woods proves the clincher at the Presidents Cup DUBLIN: Tiger Woods, despite battling back pain, clinched the decisive point for the United States at a Presidents Cup for the third straight time on Sunday, holding on for a one-up victory over Richard Sterne. Woods was 4-1 for the week, the best record of any of the 24 players involved in the biennial team competition, but he faced a surprisingly stiff test from the South African. In intermittent rain at a sodden Muirfield Village Golf Club, the world number one had trailed after bogeying the par-five seventh but he got in front when Sterne bogeyed the 16th and sealed the win with a comfortable par at the 18th hole. “It feels good. It was a team effort this whole week. We really played well and gave ourselves a really nice lead going into the singles and it was a tough day, tough conditions, rain, wind, tough all around,” said Woods. United States captain Fred Couples said he began to wonder how his team were going to wrap up what had earlier looked like a comfortable victory and Woods, whose back problem flared up again on the 14th, said he had felt some of that uneasiness too. “I was like in a similar position as Freddie; where is our fourth point going to come from? I was at a point where I wasn’t feeling my best coming down the stretch, and happened to get a one-up lead,” said Woods. “I was just trying to

Vincenzo Nibali

Kuwait shooters excel in Kazakhstan KUWAIT: Kuwait’s shooters continued their excellent performance and made yet another achievement by winning the double trap gold medal during the third Asian Clay Target Shooting Tournament in Kazakhstan. The team of Fuhaid AlDaihani, Hamad Al-Afas, and Ahmad AlAfasi defeated Oman which took second place and China third. Shooter Hamad Al-Afasi took second place and the silver medal in the double trap individual competition, China’s Kwang Ban took first place and Huo Wang took third. Secretary General of Arab and Kuwait Shooting Federations lauded the determination of Kuwaiti shooters to place Kuwait’s name among the best in the world. He said the shooting community

is proud of what was achieved as they won three gold and three silver medals so far, adding that the trap team will make the same achievement. Al-Osaimi also lauded the unlimited support of HH the Amir, HH the Crown Prince and HH the Prime Minister to the shooters resulting in many Olympic, Asian and international achievements. Al-Osaimi appreciated the instructions of president of the Asian Shooting Confederation and Vice-president of ISSF Sheikh Salman Al-Sabah to Kuwait’s shooters and the encouragements he affords them. President of KSSF Eng Duaij Al-Otaibi is with the shooters in Kazakhstan, and his efforts to ease things for the Kuwaiti teams are highly appreciated.

Swimming champion Ye to star for China BEIJING: Double Olympic Champion Ye Shiwen will be China’s star name at the East Asian Games, which beings Sunday with a “frugal but splendid” opening ceremony, Chinese state media said. More than 2,400 athletes from nine countries are set to take part in the multi-sport event in the harbor city of Tianjin, competing in 24 different sports, the Xinhua state news agency said. Some 1,500 performers will take part in the opening ceremony, which will be a “frugal but splendid” occasion, Xinhua reported, in an apparent nod towards China’s crackdown on big-spending and corruption. There will be no singing stars or fireworks displays at the opening as “a gesture of the organizers to cut down spending”, Xinhua said. Ye has had an indifferent year after she stunned the world at the 2012 London Olympics, taking gold in both the 200m and 400m individual medley events. She set a new world record of 4 minutes 28.43 seconds to claim the 400m title and also broke the Olympic record in the 200m event. But she failed to win a single medal at the World Championships in Barcelona in late July. A number of stars will be absent, including swimmer Sun Yang, who won five medals at China’s National Games last month but has not been in full training since. Lin Dan, the multi-medal winning star of Chinese men’s badminton, announced he was skipping all international events on the 2013 calendar after winning his third straight Chinese National Games singles title last month. And rising sprinter Zhang Peimeng, who recently broke China’s 100m and 200m national records is expected to only run in the men’s 4x100m relay. A total of 516 Chinese athletes and 236 coaches and officials will be sent to Tianjin, and the team will compete in 247 events, Xinhua said, citing an official announcement by the state sports council. China has dominated the regional games, topping the medals table in the five previous Games. The teams taking part in the event, which takes place every four years, come from China, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Mongolia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, and Guam. — AFP



Federer already looking forward to ‘great’ 2014

SHANGHAI: Gael Monfils of France hits a return to Tatsuma Ito of Japan during their first round match of the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament. — AFP

Isner rallies to beat Giraldo in Shanghai SHANGHAI: John Isner served 29 aces and rallied to beat Colombian qualifier Santiago Giraldo 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 yesterday in the first round of the Shanghai Masters. The 14thseeded American fought off three break points at 5-5 in the third set, then broke Giraldo for the second time to close out the match. “I started off a little slow in the first set,” Isner said. “I told myself the only thing I could do was keep fighting. I felt like I was serving well, so just try to hold serve as best as I could. That’s what I did.” Isner could meet Rafael Nadal in the third round. Nadal, seeded second in Shanghai, supplanted Novak Djokovic as the top-ranked player yesterday, despite losing to the Serb in the final of the China Open in Beijing a day earlier. Djokovic is the defending champion and seeded No 1 in Shanghai. He could meet Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. Djokovic, Nadal and Federer all

have first-round byes and aren’t scheduled to play their opening matches until Wednesday. Two-time champion Andy Murray is not playing in Shanghai this year after undergoing back surgery last month. Isner’s match was one of only a few that could be completed because of heavy winds and rain from the remnants of Typhoon Fitow, which made landfall in southern China over the weekend and blew through Shanghai yesterday. Isner played under the roof in the main stadium. In the only other singles matches completed, France’s Gael Monfils defeated Japanese qualifier Tatsuma Ito 6-3, 6-2 and Spain’s Marcel Granollers beat Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic 6-4, 6-4. In doubles, Federer teamed with China’s Zhang Ze to beat Kevin Anderson of South Africa and Dmitry Tursunov of Russia 6-2, 6-1 in a first-round match.— AP

BRAZIL: Picture taken at the Beira Rio stadium, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, during an inspection visit by FIFA’s secretary-general Jerome Valcke. The Beira Rio stadium, whose inauguration is scheduled for April 24, 2014, is already 80 percent completed. — AFP

FIFA’s Valcke in Brazil amid uncertainty over stadiums SAO PAULO: FIFA Secretar y General Jerome Valcke began his latest inspection tour of World Cup host cities yesterday amid uncertainty about whether Brazil will be able to deliver the final six stadiums by the December deadline established by FIFA. Valcke is visiting the southern city of Porto Alegre and will then move to the wetlands city of Cuiaba, where local organizers are still trying to finalize a bidding process for the seats at the new stadium. There were problems in the southern city of Curitiba, too, where construction was halted because of workers’ safety concerns. Brazilian organizers say all stadiums will be completed in time despite the recent setbacks. Valcke has made it clear FIFA will not accept the same delays that plagued stadium construction before the Confederations Cup earlier this year, when only two of the six venues were delivered on time. Some were ready just before the start of the warm-up tournament, keeping organizers from hosting the desired number of test events. Of the six stadiums yet to be completed, five were less than 90 percent finished by September, according to recent government numbers. The venues with the most advanced work were in Natal and in Sao Paulo, home of the World Cup opener on June 12. The stadium in Cuiaba was set to be completed by the FIFA deadline but the

problem with the seats has prompted concerns. Local officials were forced to cancel the initial bidding process for the seats after public prosecutors alleged they were overpriced, prompting a rush to find a new supplier. Local organizers said they want the new seats delivered by Dec. 20, just days before the FIFA deadline. In Curitiba, organizers were still trying to reverse a judge’s order that suspended construction after an inspection team deemed the site unsafe for workers. The work was stopped on Thursday and a new inspection took place Friday after officials said the safety problems were solved, but it remains unclear when the judge will issue a new ruling. Valcke was visiting Porto Alegre and Cuiaba accompanied by local World Cup organizing committee members Ronaldo and Bebeto, former Brazil stars. Brazil’s Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo also was expected to participate. In both cities, Valcke was expected to meet with high-ranking government officials in charge of the local preparations. He will also check on infrastructure work being done at the host cities. Valcke is also giving away symbolic tickets to representatives of the construction workers, who will be allowed to watch one match for free at the venues. The secretary general will participate in a board meeting of the local World Cup committee in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday. — AP

BEIJING: Looking back is a waste of time, as far as Roger Federer is concerned. While tennis fans and pundits are obsessed with his below-par performance at the four majors this year which has left him in danger of missing the cut for the season-ending ATP finale for the first time since 2001, Federer has already put a positive spin on his 2013 trials and tribulations. “I always knew that this year, after a very tough year in 2012, the Olympics (and winning Wimbledon), was going to be a bit more quiet,” the Swiss told reporters in Shanghai on Monday after winning his firstround doubles match with little-known Chinese Zhang Ze. “I expected myself probably not to be as successful and as busy playing matches and tournaments. “My mindset now is, okay, next year is going to be a great year again where I’m not going to have that many points to defend, especially at some very key moments where I consider myself a favorite. “For that reason I’m really looking forward to 2014 already.” Federer, who won the last of his record 17 grand slam titles at Wimbledon 15 months ago before scooping a silver at the London Games, went through the 2013 season without reaching a major final for the first time since 2002 and his only success has been at the low-key Halle tournament. He lost in the Australian Open semi-finals to Andy Murray, fell at the last-eight stage to JoWilfried Tsonga in the French Open, suffered a shock second-round defeat at Wimbledon to journeyman Sergiy Stakhovsky before losing to Tommy Robredo in the US Open fourth round last month. “I didn’t want to focus too much on what happened the last two months. The US Open, I hardly ever thought about it if I look back, at the Robredo match,” he said. “It wasn’t my day. It’s one of those things you just want to move on from. “I think my game’s been coming back, which has been very important. Now it’s about staying positive and working hard every single day. That’s been the mindset.”

Roger Federer

BIG MATCHES If the over-exuberant fan reaction in Shanghai is anything to go by, the 32-year-old will be the star attraction in China this week even though he has now slipped down the rankings. Fellow Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, Richard Gasquet and Milos Raonic are all breathing down his neck and could trip him up in the race to secure a place at the World Tour Finals in London. World number one Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Murray and Spain’s David Ferrer have already sealed spots for next month’s tournament involving the top eight players. Currently seventh in the ATP Race, Federer’s job has also been made more difficult as he is slated to meet Djokovic in the Shanghai quarter-finals

with only 105 points separating him and ninthplaced Frenchman Gasquet. “It was the goal at the beginning of the season to qualify for it. I consider it the absolute best of the best tournament out there, so I want to be part of that,” said Federer. “So it’s extra motivation for me to play well and be part of that great tournament.” Federer, who trained in intense heat in Dubai before coming to Shanghai, opted not to play a competitive match for over a month following his loss to Robredo in New York. But much to the delight of the local crowd, he partnered local hero Zhang, ranked 271 in singles and 437 in doubles, to breeze past Kevin Anderson and Dmitry Tursunov 6-2 6-1 to record his first doubles win of 2013. — Reuters

Ethiopian underdogs ready to face Nigeria ADDIS ABABA: In matching blue jerseys and red shorts, Ethiopia’s footballers confidently criss-cross their home pitch, launching the ball back and forth. The players press on under the blistering morning sun for over two hours. At this crucial stage in the 2014 World Cup Africa zone qualifiers, the team knows that every minute of training counts. “We have tried to prepare them physically as well as mentally in the first week and now we are doing our tactical work and we will continue in the coming few days to combine the two,” said Ethiopian ‘Waliya Antelopes’ coach Sewnet Bishaw, as his team waged a practice match behind him. Ethiopia are preparing to face Nigeria on Sunday in their toughest qualifying match yet. Though the odds are stacked against Ethiopia-Nigeria rank 36th in the world, according to international football governing body FIFA, while Ethiopia clocks in at 93 - the ‘Waliyas’ maintain an unflinching resolve to win. Having beaten 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa to land at the top of their group, it is the closest the Horn of Africa nation has come to reaching the finals. Ethiopia know the next match will be far from easy. On top of their impressive global ranking, Nigeria have more international experience and boasts several players from top European leagues. But the ‘Waliyas’ refuse to let that spook them. Having played Nigeria last January at the Africa Cup of Nations, Ethiopia are familiar with the strength of Nigeria’s ‘Super Eagles’, who won the game 2-0 before moving on to win the lift the trophy in South Africa. “We are ready for this match, we are very ready. We learned a lesson from the mistakes we made last time,” said midfielder Menyahil Teshome. Coach Sewnet said despite Ethiopia’s defeat, the Nigerian squad is not a better team and the ‘Waliyas’ maintained their strength until the last 10 minutes of the game. “If you look seriously at that match, Nigeria were not a better team than us. Up to the (end) we were performing good. But in the last 10 minutes they used their experience, so they got two penalties,” he said. “I think we will have a better game in the coming match against Nigeria,” Sewnet said. But he admits training has been set back by the absence of the team’s four professional players, including star striker Saladin Said, who are expected early this week. Ethiopia-a country better known for their renowned runners than their footballers-have amazed supporters by making it this far in the qualifiers. Menyahil said his team, regarded as underdogs among powerful African national football teams like Ghana and Ivory Coast, is bolstered by a strong sense of nationalism and a refusal to be intimidated. “Our strength is our team spirit,” he said, sweating after training at Addis Ababa’s national stadium, which is lined with posters of the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. “We have nothing to fear. Until now, we’ve been supported by our people,” added Menyahil, who was fielded illegally in a match against Botswana, costing the team three points. Though preventing Nigeria from scoring away goals is crucial if Ethiopia want to proceed, coach Sewnet said the team is focused on both defending and attacking, and is not prioritising one over the other. And while he insists he is focusing on winning each match individually, instead of pressuring his team to reach Brazil, he does not scoff at the idea of making it to the World Cup. “Why not? I don’t know Brazil, so I want to see it,” he joked. The return match is scheduled for Calabar in south-east Nigeria on November 16 and the aggregate winners qualify for the World Cup. — AFP

BELGIUM: Chinese gymnast Chaopan Lin competes in the parallel bars event at the 44th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships. — AFP

US lands record result at gymnastics worlds ANTWERP: All of 16 years old and given to giggles, Simone Biles showed she is ready to carry the weight of a nation. She anchored the strongest US team performance in world championship history on Sunday, and it didn’t take long for US women’s team coach Martha Karolyi to put this in perspective. “We are ready to go for Rio,” Karolyi said. After a dozen medals and a long week of domination, the Americans are clearly in a position of strength for the 2016 Olympics. And Biles, a newcomer to the team, is much the reason. First, she won the all-around Friday and then she added the floor event Sunday. She finished with four medals overall. “All the hard work has paid off,” she said. “It is so exciting to be part of that. I cannot ask for anything more.” The US team ended with 12 medals, exceeding its previous high of nine at the 2005 Melbourne championships. The Americans had almost double those of their nearest challenger, Japan, with seven. Perhaps most amazing, Biles may actually have surpassed Kohei Uchimura as the most successful gymnast of these championships. If the Japanese great proved to many that he is the greatest gymnast ever by winning a record fourth all-around world title, he came just short against Biles this week. Both won two golds and four medals overall, but Biles had a silver and a bronze to add compared to the two bronzes for Uchimura, who won his first parallel bars gold Sunday. Yet, as a nation, no one was a match for the United States, which came to Antwerp without the defending and Olympics women’s all-around champions and with a lot of question marks. Next to Biles, Kyla Ross was almost a strong, getting three silvers over the week and proving she had blossomed from last year’s Olympic team gold medalist into a strong individual performer whose grace and elegance is a counterpoint to Biles’ power and jumping. “It is usually the year after the Olympics can be a little bit hard and rocky, but we were able to find again some of the old generation,” Karolyi said. Beyond Ross, one such gymnast was defending champion McKayla Maroney, who won the vault Saturday. Karolyi stressed, however, that gold today means little tomorrow. She insisted she has several 13-year-olds already gearing up for Rio, when they will be just old enough to compete. It will make it all the tougher for 2011 champion Jordyn Wieber and Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas, who sat out this year’s event, to walk in and reclaim their

spot. “We have some more reserves,” Karolyi warned. Well behind the US, Japan had seven medals overall, including four gold. But other perennial contenders are clearly rebuilding. China had only two medals overall, even if they were gold. Russia had four, but only gold from Aliya Mustafina on the balance beam. And Romania left with just one bronze. For the US team, even the men started contributing again. They had only one gold in 2011, the last world championships. In London last year, they brought back a mere bronze. This time, four different men added two silvers and two bronzes, showing some strength in depth. “We are doing awesome,” said John Orozco after finishing third behind joint gold medalists Uchimura and China’s Lin Chaopan on the parallel bars. “I came into these worlds, I was like, ‘it is really going to be hard for us medals this year.’ I am so proud of the whole team.” At an individual level though, no one gets close to Uchimura, who at 24 looks fresh, healthy and eager enough to add many more years to his dominance. In Antwerp, he said he wanted to continue until Tokyo hosts the games in 2020. For all of the stature of Uchimura and the promise of Biles, the performance of the day came from Olympic high bar champion Epke Zonderland. The Dutchman set the Sports Palace alight with a routine full of gravity-defying leaps to win the last event of the championships. He edged Fabian Hambuechen of Germany and making Uchimura settle for bronze. After winning a record fourth all-around world title early in the week, Uchimura was at his best again in the parallel bars, enough for a shared gold with China’s Lin Chaopan. Uchimura won his first gold in the parallel bars. Usually serene and withdrawn, he was pumping his fists and flashing big smiles to the thousands in the stands after John Orozco of the US took third place. Aliya Mustafina won Russia’s first gold medal of the championships, edging Ross on the balance beam. Mustafina, the 2010 allaround champion, was nearly flawless as she twirled, twisted and jumped at will on the narrow beam, and then watched Ross and Biles fall short of overtaking her. It was Ross’ third silver of the championships. Biles took the bronze. In the men’s vault, South Korea’s Yang Hak-seon dominated again. The defending and Olympic champion brought a difficult new vault to Antwerp and performed it well enough to slip past American rival Steve Legendre. Kristian Thomas of Britain was the bronze medalist. — AP



Ethiopia 2 games away from football history JOHANNESBURG: In African football, it’s usually the unexpected marvels that capture the world’s attention. In 1990, it was Cameroon’s stunning win over Argentina and its subsequent path to the quarterfinals of the World Cup, highlighted by Roger Milla’s iconic hip-wiggling dance at the corner flag. In 2002, it was Senegal defeating world champion France at the showcase tournament, prompting fans to slaughter cockerels, the French mascot, on the streets of Dakar. Now, Ethiopia is just two games away from achieving another feat that once seemed inconceivable - simply reaching the 2014 World Cup. Champion of Africa in 1962, Ethiopia fell off the football map for three decades. Civil war ravaged the country, and terrible famine killed nearly half a million people in the early 1980s. Sport still played a part in the country, as world-beating runners hardened by poverty and high altitude continued to come out of Ethiopia. After barefoot Abebe Bikila won back-to-back marathon golds at the 1960 Rome and 1964 Tokyo games, successive generations of Ethiopian Olympic champions inspired the next. But there were no longer any Ethiopian foot-

ballers of any great renown. There still aren’t - although that could be about to change. To become one of five African teams that will travel to the World Cup in Brazil next June, Ethiopia must beat current African champion Nigeria in the qualifying playoffs. The first match is this coming Sunday in Addis Ababa Stadium. The return fixture is Nov 16. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has played in four of the last five World Cups. It can call upon stars including Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel, Liverpool’s Victor Moses and players from the Italian and Spanish leagues. Ethiopia has never played in football’s showcase competition. Its appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations this January was its first at a major tournament in 31 years. And few outside of Ethiopia will have heard of Saladin Said, its top player. The striker has made the biggest mark - if it can be called that of any player on Ethiopia’s national team by playing for Belgian club Lierse. A couple of other squad members play in Libya and Kazakhstan. Ethiopia is the only team that coach Sewnet Bishaw, a schoolteacher, has ever managed.

But sport loves underdogs and the World Cup loves African success stories. Milla became a global star in 1990 at the age of 38 as his Indomitable Lions shook world football, and Senegal went on to reach the quarterfinals in 2002 after beating old colonial power France in its first World Cup. In South Africa three years ago, Ghana provided one of the most gripping story lines as the entire continent rallied behind the Black Stars on their march to the knockout round in the first World Cup held in Africa. Having reached the quarterfinals, only Luis Suarez’s infamous deliberate handball on the goal line and Asamoah Gyan’s subsequent missed penalty that rebounded off the crossbar prevented Ghana from becoming the first African nation to reach the semifinals. The passion for football in Ethiopia easily matches those West African nations. At the African Cup this January, Ethiopia fans unfurled a banner that read: “We’re sorry for our behavior but we love the game.” That was after supporters hurled plastic bottles onto the field, furious at a straight red card shown to Ethiopia’s goalkeeper for a flying chesthigh kick on a Zambia striker.

To reach the last 10 African teams in the World Cup playoffs, Ethiopia came through a qualifying group containing 2010 host South Africa, Central African Republic and Botswana. It also overcame being docked three points for fielding ineligible midfielder Minyahile Beyene while he was suspended. Sellout crowds in Addis Ababa drive the team on. What players lack in technique they make up for with endurance. This is a country of runners, after all, although sometimes it only takes a single event for a sport to take a larger foothold. In 1980, around the last time Ethiopia qualified for a major football tournament, future Olympic distance running champion Haile Gebrselassie was 7 years old. He stole his father’s radio and ran into the fields around his home to listen to commentary from Moscow of Miruts Yifter winning the 10,000-meter gold at the Summer Games. That day, Gebrselassie decided that he, too, wanted to be an Olympic champion. If they get past Nigeria, it could be Saladin and his teammates leaving a similar legacy next year in Brazil.— AP

Southampton’s rise highlights intrigue

TURIN: Juventus’ defender Giorgio Chiellini (right) and Juventus’ defender Andrea Barzagli celebrate after scoring during the Serie A football match against AC Milan. — AFP

Milan undone by Pirlo’s majestic free kicks Genoa grab late draw; Sampdoria goal ruled out MILAN: Andrea Pirlo’s majestic free kicks and a stunning entrance from Sebastian Giovinco undid AC Milan as Juventus recovered from conceding a goal after only 20 seconds to beat their bitter rivals 3-2 in Serie A on Sunday. Pirlo, who spent ten seasons at Milan, cancelled out Sulley Muntari’s lightning strike by scoring direct from a free kick and saw another effort hit the bar and fall for Giorgio Chiellini to fire home for Juve’s third. In between, substitute Giovinco put Juventus 2-1 ahead two minutes after coming on as the titleholders kept up the pressure on AS Roma, who made it seven wins out of seven on Saturday with a 3-0 victory at previously unbeaten Inter Milan. Napoli also stayed in touch with the leaders by brushing aside Livorno 4-0 earlier on Sunday while there was plenty of drama elsewhere. There were shades of the 1978 World Cup when Sampdoria had a goal cancelled out at home to Torino because the referee had blown for halftime seconds before the ball entered the net. Genoa snatched a late 1-1 draw at Catania as coach Gian Piero Gasperini returned for a second stint at the club after some atrocious defending by both teams while Parma played the entire second half with 10 men and still beat Sassuolo 3-1. There were ugly scenes at Bologna where visiting Hellas Verona fans chanted throughout the minute’s silence for victims of the Lampedusa migrant boat disaster before seeing their team win 4-1. Other games were also preceded by a minute’s silence, impeccably observed elsewhere, after a boat carrying around 500 migrants sank off the island of Lampedusa on Thursday. The Italian authorities say 181 bodies have been recovered and more than a hundred are still missing. Roma top the table with 21 points, followed by Napoli and Juventus on 19. There is then five-point gap to Inter while Milan are down in 12th place on eight points. NIGGLY MATCH Milan kicked off and were immediately in front when Ghana midfielder Muntari turned in Antonio Nocerino’s deflected shot. But Juve were level after 15 minutes when playmaker Pirlo curled

in a typically exquisite free kick. The game was evenly-balanced, tense and niggly until a disastrous six-minute spell for the visitors. Giovinco replaced Fabio Quagliarella in the 67th minute and put Juventus in front two minutes later, brilliantly twisting past Cristian Zapata and slotting in from close range. Milan defender Philippe Mexes was sent off for a second booking, Pirlo crashed the resulting free kick against the crossbar and Chiellini volleyed home the rebound from the edge of the area. Muntari gave Milan hope when he dispossessed Paul Pogba and blasted a deflected shot past Gianluigi Buffon but it was too late. Napoli made light of injured striker Gonzalo Higuain’s absence due to a calf muscle injury against Livorno. After suffering their first defeat of the season in the Champions League at Arsenal on Tuesday, Napoli were quickly back on track when Goran Pandev fired them ahead after three minutes. Switzerland midfielder Gokhan Inler added the second when his curling 30-metre shot slipped through Francesco Bardi’s hands in the 26th minute before Jose Callejon and Marek Hamsik completed the rout in the second half. Winless Sampdoria took a first-half lead against Torino through Gianluca Sansone and thought they had added a second when Nicola Pozzi tapped the ball in after Angelo Palombo’s free kick was spilled by goalkeeper Daniele Padelli. But referee Andrea Gervasoni had already blown for halftime and ruled out the goal amid furious protests. The incident was reminiscent of a match at the 1978 World Cup when Brazil had a last-minute winner ruled out against Sweden because the referee blew for time while the ball was in the air after a corner had been taken. Ciro Immobile and Alessio Cerci, from a penalty, put Torino 21 ahead after the break, only for Sampdoria to be on the right end of a controversial decision when Eder won and converted a stoppage-time penalty. Genoa, who fired Fabio Liverani after three games and brought back Gasperini last week, grabbed a point when Catania defender Nicola Legrottaglie got in front of his goalkeeper and a forward at the near post to head a cross into his own net. —Reuters

LONDON: Southampton’s unlikely rise to fourth in the Premier League encapsulates a start to the season that is making the race for the title one of the most entertaining and unpredictable in years. Following a two-week break for World Cup qualifiers, the Saints will travel to champions Manchester United on the back of three straight victories and five clean sheets in seven outings, a remarkable effort for a side spending just its second season back in English soccer’s top tier after a seven-year absence. A trip to Old Trafford is one that many teams fear but given United have already lost three league games under new manager David Moyes, including a 4-1 thrashing by Manchester City, the south coast club will head north with a renewed sense of optimism and expectation. “I always look forward to this kind of pressure in my career, it is what I thrive on, what I relish,” manager Mauricio Pochettino said after his side’s 2-0 win over Swansea City on Sunday. “The players need to be a lot more self-demanding, very ambitious and learn how to withstand the great expectation that is being placed on them.” Southampton are not the only team ignoring expectations, with Arsenal, buoyed by the record-signing of German playmaker Mesut Ozil, sitting on top of the league after a rare goal from Jack Wilshere secured a point at West Bromwich Albion. Arsenal had been expected to struggle, but have not lost a match since the opening day defeat to Aston Villa and lead Liverpool on goal difference at the Premier League summit. It is a sign of the progress being made under Brendan Rodgers that the Liverpool manager was upset with his side’s 3-1 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday. “I was probably as disappointed as I’ve ever been because we played counter-attack football and we didn’t keep the ball so well,” the Northern Irishman told the club’s website ( ‘BIG DOUBTS’ Tottenham Hotspur’s 3-0 home loss to West Ham United and Manchester City’s reverses to Cardiff City and Aston Villa have reinforced the message that nothing can be taken for granted. Everton are also going well, starting the season with a sixmatch unbeaten run, which included a win over Chelsea, and Hull have surprised many by taking 11 points in their opening seven games to sit one place above Manchester United in the table. “I think the league will be open until the end,” Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said. “Some teams are being helped by the fixtures, because some fixtures are more difficult than others. I think Manchester United had the most difficult ones, playing at home against Chelsea, away against Liverpool and Manchester City. “Some other teams not so much. By the end of November, beginning of December, everybody basically played everyone and then we will find someone in a better situation than others. But I believe this is a situation that could go all the way with big doubts about positions and that is good.”

SOUTHAMPTON: Southampton’s Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama celebrates a goal which was then disallowed in this file photo during the English Premier League football match. — AFP Not all are convinced that the early-season pace-setters have the quality to last the distance, however. “People are saying it is the most open Premier League for years but, as far as I am concerned, the favorites at the start are still the favorites the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea,” former Liverpool defender Alan Hansen told the BBC. “Early on in the season, teams will start slowly and others like Southampton start really well. The table only starts to tell a story when we are 15-20 games in,” former Wales striker John Hartson added. — Reuters

Boca upset River in ‘superclasico’

ARGENTINA: River Plate forward Rodrigo Mora (left) vies for the ball with Boca Juniors’ defender Nahuel Zarate during their Argentine First Division football match. — AFP

BUENOS AIRES: Striker Emmanuel Gigliotti scored his third goal in two games to give Boca Juniors a 1-0 win at River Plate in the ‘superclasico’ and lift them to third in the Argentine ‘Inicial’ championship on Sunday. The 23rdminute goal and Boca’s victory celebrations met with an eerie silence from the crowd of 60,000 at the Monumental stadium, with away fans banned at first division matches since the end of last season in an effort to curb hooligan violence. Boca, who have gone four matches without conceding a goal and picked up 10 points in the process, are on 19, four behind leaders and title-holders Newell’s Old Boys halfway through the first of two championships in the season. Newell’s won 2-0 at Quilmes on Saturday with San Lorenzo second on 20 points after a 0-0 draw at home to Tigre. River dropped to seventh, nine points off the pace, after Racing Club’s woeful season worsened with a 1-0 home loss at El Cilindro to Atletico Rafaela, who are now fifth. Racing are bottom with two points and have a 3-18 goals record in 10 matches. Boca, who weathered an early storm of River attacks, went ahead when Juan Roman Riquelme sent a pass out wide to the right, Juan Manuel Martinez crossed low and Gigliotti deflected the ball past goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero into the net. “We didn’t want Newell’s to get away from us. We’re going to fight for the title to the end,” former Argentina playmaker Riquelme told reporters.—Reuters

LONDON: This handout picture received from the Football Association shows Referee Howard Webb makes the coin toss as Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in his role as The President of The Football Association attends the first ever football match at Buckingham Palace between Civil Service FC and Polytechnic FC as part of The FA’s 150th anniversary and an awards ceremony celebrating football’s grassroots heroes at Buckingham Palace. — AFP

‘Mind the windows!’ William tells Buckingham footballers LONDON: Britain’s Prince William warned footballers to watch the Buckingham Palace windows yesterday as Queen Elizabeth II’s official residence staged the first football match in its 308-year history. A match between two of England’s oldest amateur teams took place in the 39-acre gardens of the famous central London landmark as part of celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the Football Association. William, president of the FA and second in line to the British throne, was on hand to oversee the event, although the Queen, his grandmother, was not present. “This magnificent home, Buckingham Palace, is at the heart of the nation, and so there cannot be a more fitting setting to celebrate our national game, and to celebrate all of you,” he told volunteers and guests including FA chairman Greg Dyke and former England striker Michael Owen. William said he was “excited” to see “football on my grandmother’s lawn,” before joking: “One warning, though: if anyone breaks a window, you can answer to her.” The palace has played host to pop concerts in the past, as well as two boxing matches, but never a game of football. Civil Service FC and Polytechnic FC, both from Chiswick in west London, faced off on a pitch specially prepared by a team led by

the head groundsman from Wembley Stadium, Tony Stones. Civil Service are the sole surviving football club from the 11 teams who founded the FA in a public house in central London in 1863 and later drafted the game’s 13 original laws. Polytechnic were formed in 1875. Prior to kick-off, William shook hands with the players and spoke to match referee Howard Webb, Britain’s most high-profile referee, who previously took charge of the 2010 World Cup final. With Owen standing nearby, the Duke of Cambridge joked: “Michael’s available as a super sub.” Although William did not play in the match, which took place beneath bright autumnal sunshine, he did take part in a training session alongside members of the palace’s own football squad. The self-proclaimed Aston Villa fan sported a pair of orange Nike football boots for the occasion, which were reportedly given to him as a gift by Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney. The Civil Service team presented William with two miniature football shirts for his new son, Prince George-one red and one white, both with ‘HRH 1’ on the back. It was Polytechnic who prevailed in the Southern Amateur League game, however, winning 2-1. Polytechic’s manager, Geoff Brown, said the experience was “something very special”.—AFP


Climbers at the ready for 2014 Giro d’Italia



stay unbeaten ARLINGTON: Matt Prater kicked a 28-yard field goal as time expired and Peyton Manning and Denver overcame the first 500-yard passing game in Dallas history to keep the Broncos unbeaten with a 51-48 victory over the Cowboys on Sunday. Manning maintained his record pace of touchdown passes to start the season and finished with 414 yards and four scores for Denver (5-0). Tony Romo threw for 506 yards and five touchdowns for Dallas (2-3), but he was intercepted by Danny Trevanthan inside the Dallas 30 to set up Prater’s winning kick. The teams combined for 1,039 yards of total offense in the secondhighest scoring game in regulation since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, according to STATS. Cincinnati and Cleveland combined for 106 points in the Browns’ 58-48 win in 2004. RAIDERS 27, CHARGERS 17 Terrelle Pryor threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter and Charles Woodson equaled an NFL record with his 13th defensive touchdown to lead Oakland over the Chargers. Pryor got the Raiders (2-3) off to a fast start in the latest West Coast game in NFL history with a 44-yard touchdown pass to Rod Streater on Oakland’s first play from scrimmage. The Raiders then used five turnovers, a goal-line stand, Woodson’s 25-yard return of Danny Woodhead’s fumble and two long field goals by Sebastian Janikowski to beat the Chargers (2-3). Philip Rivers had his third 400-yard passing game of the season, throwing for 411 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions. COLTS 34, SEAHAWKS 28 Andrew Luck threw two touchdown passes and Donald Brown scored the go-ahead TD with 8:55 to go. The Seahawks (4-1) lost their first regular-season game since last Nov 25. Delano Howell scored on a 61-yard return of a blocked field goal for Indy (4-1). Luck led his ninth career fourth-quarter comeback by going 16 of 29 for 229 yards, beating Russell Wilson in their first matchup. Indy trailed 12-0 early, went ahead after Howell’s return, then rallied again to take the lead for good on Brown’s TD. The Colts sealed it with a 2-point conversion pass and a late field goal. Wilson finished 15 of 31 for 210 yards with two TDs, one interception and ran 13 times for 102 yards. SAINTS 26, BEARS 18 Drew Brees threw two touchdown passes to Pierre Thomas, Jimmy Graham equaled an NFL record with another 100-yard game and the New Orleans Saints remained unbeaten. Brees was 29 of 35 for 288 yards in his first victory in four career games at Soldier Field. Garrett Hartley matched a career high with four field goals as New Orleans (5-0) picked up its first win in Chicago since a 31-10 victory on Oct. 8, 2000. Graham continued his torrid start for the Saints (5-0), catching 10 balls for 135 yards in his fourth consecutive 100-yard game - matching an NFL record for a tight end. Tony Gonzalez was the first to accomplish the streak in 2000, and Graham matched it in 2011. Jay Cutler threw for 358 yards and two touchdowns for Chicago (3-2), which has lost two in a row. BENGALS 13, PATRIOTS 6 BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran 1 yard in the fourth quarter for the game’s only touchdown, helping the Cincinnati Bengals end Tom Brady’s long streak of touchdown passes in defeating the previously unbeaten New England Patriots. The Bengals (3-2) sacked Brady four times and kept New England (4-1) out of the end zone on a first-and-goal from the 1-yard line late in the

fourth quarter. Adam “Pacman” Jones picked off Brady’s desperation pass inside the 5-yard line with 16 seconds left to clinch it. Brady had thrown a touchdown pass in 52 straight games, second-longest in NFL history behind Drew Brees. The Patriots were held out of the end zone for the first time since a 16-9 loss to the Jets on Sept. 20, 2009. CHIEFS 26, TITANS 17 Jamaal Charles scored a 1-yard touchdown with 6:23 left, and the Chiefs rallied to keep up their perfect start. The Chiefs (5-0) are off to their best start since 2003, when they won their first nine games. This win came despite blowing a 13-0 halftime lead in this early AFC showdown between these surprising teams bouncing back after losing seasons. The Titans (3-2) couldn’t have been more out of synch in the first half with Ryan Fitzpatrick starting for Jake Locker, sidelined with his sprained right hip. He missed his first five passes and went three-and-out on his first five series before guiding Tennessee to 17 straight points in the second half. Charles put the Chiefs ahead to stay, and they intercepted Fitzpatrick twice in the final 6:14. Ryan Succop kicked four field goals, including a 48-yarder. RAVENS 26, DOLPHINS 23 Justin Tucker kicked a 44-yard field goal to put Baltimore ahead with 1:42 left, and the Ravens withstood a frantic comeback bid. Ryan Tannehill completed a 46-yard pass to Brandon Gibson on fourth down to keep Miami’s hopes alive, but Caleb Sturgis then missed a 57-yard field goal attempt wide left with 33 seconds to go. The Ravens (3-2) bounced back from a loss last week at Buffalo and won on the road for the first time this season. The Dolphins (3-2) lost their second game in a row. Baltimore moved 34 yards to set up Tucker’s game-winning field goal, his fourth of the day. The Ravens ran for a season-high 133 yards, and Joe Flacco threw for 269 yards. PACKERS 22, LIONS 9 James Jones caught a long touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers, and the Packers defense contained the undermanned Lions. Mason Crosby kicked five field goals. The Packers’ offense struggled to get into the end zone until Rodgers found Jones on an 83-yard completion down the left sideline for a 16-3 lead late in the third quarter. It provided enough of a cushion for a defense that had the luxury of facing the Lions minus star receiver Calvin Johnson, out with a knee injury. Penalties also bogged down Detroit. The Packers extended their winning streak in Wisconsin over the Lions to 23. EAGLES 36, GIANTS 21 Nick Foles threw for two touchdowns and led four scoring drives after taking over for an injured Michael Vick late in the second quarter, and Philadelphia kept the Giants winless. Foles threw fourth-quarter

GREEN BAY: Detroit Lions’ Brandon Pettigrew tries to leap over Green Bay Packers’ Davon House after a catch during the first half of an NFL football game.—AP

touchdown passes of 25 yards to Brent Celek and 5 yards to DeSean Jackson as the Eagles (2-3) snapped a threegame losing streak by forcing three interceptions by Eli Manning in the fourth quarter. Vick left the game with a hamstring injury late in the second quarter. LeSean McCoy added a 1-yard touchdown run and Alex Henery kicked five field goals for the Eagles, who gained 439 yards in total offense. David Wilson scored on a 5-yard run for the Giants (0-5) and Manning threw two touchdowns to Rueben Randle in the third quarter to give New York a 21-19 lead. 49ERS 34, TEXANS 3 Tramaine Brock intercepted Matt Schaub’s first pass of the night and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown, Schaub threw three interceptions in all before the embattled quarterback got replaced in the fourth, and San Francisco pounded Houston. Colin Kaepernick threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis and Frank Gore ran for 81 yards and a score in his second straight impressive prime-time game. The 49ers (3-2) are right back in the NFC West race with Seattle after the Seahawks (4-1) lost at Indianapolis. Each team has beaten the Texans (2-3) and lost to the Colts, and Seattle still must visit San Francisco on Dec 8. Anthony Dixon added a 2-yard touchdown run for the NFC champions, while Brock had a second interception and nearly a third. CARDINALS 22, PANTHERS 6 Arizona sacked Cam Newton seven times, once for a safety, and intercepted him on three occasions to overcome a sluggish offensive performance. Daryl Washington, back after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, had two sacks and an interception for Arizona (3-2). Calais Campbell had two sacks, one for Arizona’s first regular-

season safety in nine years, the other forcing a gameclinching fumble. Karlos Dansby also had two sacks and an interception. Carolina (1-3), playing for the first time since a 38-0 victory over the New York Giants two weeks ago, managed only Graham Gano’s field goals of 22 and 51 yards. Arizona’s Carson Palmer threw for a touchdown but was intercepted three times. RAMS 34, JAGUARS 20 Sam Bradford threw three touchdown passes and Matt Giordano’s 82-yard interception return was one of several big plays from the St. Louis defense against winless Jacksonville. Austin Pettis’ 31-yard TD catch with 5:45

to go was his second of the day and put the Rams (2-3) up by two scores. St. Louis, which had trailed by double digits in every game, established control with a 17-point second quarter after Jacksonville (0-5) had a pair of early leads. Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert injured his left hamstring in the third quarter. Rookie left tackle Luke Joeckel was carted off with a right ankle injury in the first.—AP

NFL results/standings Cincinnati 13, New England 6; Green Bay 22, Detroit 9; Indianapolis 34, Seattle 28; Baltimore 26, Miami 23; New Orleans 26, Chicago 18; Philadelphia 36, NY Giants 21; Kansas City 26, Tennessee 17; St. Louis 34, Jacksonville 20; Arizona 22, Carolina 6; Denver 51, Dallas 48; San Francisco 34, Houston 3; Oakland 27, San Diego 17.

ARLINGTON: Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) attempts to fight off a sack by Denver Broncos’ Shaun Phillips (90) late in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game. The Broncos won 51-48.—AP

American Football Conference AFC EAST W L T OTL PF PA New England 4 1 0 0 95 70 Miami 3 2 0 0 114 117 NY Jets 2 2 0 0 68 88 Buffalo 2 3 0 0 112 130 AFC North Baltimore 3 2 0 0 117 110 Cleveland 3 2 0 0 101 94 Cincinnati 3 2 0 0 94 87 Pittsburgh 0 4 0 0 69 110 AFC South Indianapolis 4 1 0 0 139 79 Tennessee 3 2 0 1 115 95 Houston 2 3 0 1 93 139 Jacksonville 0 5 0 0 51 163 AFC West Denver 5 0 0 0 230 139 5 0 0 0 128 58 Kansas City Oakland 2 3 0 0 98 108 San Diego 2 3 0 0 125 129

PCT .800 .600 .500 .400 .600 .600 .600 0 .800 .600 .400 0 1.000 1.000 .400 .400

National Football Conference NFC East Philadelphia 2 3 0 0 135 159 Dallas 2 3 0 0 152 136 Washington 1 3 0 0 91 112 NY Giants 0 5 0 0 82 182 NFC North Detroit 3 2 0 0 131 123 Chicago 3 2 0 0 145 140 Green Bay 2 2 0 0 118 97 Minnesota 1 3 0 0 115 123 NFC South New Orleans 5 0 0 0 134 73 Carolina 1 3 0 0 74 58 Atlanta 1 3 0 0 94 104 Tampa Bay 0 4 0 0 44 70 NFC West Seattle 4 1 0 0 137 81 San Francisco 3 2 0 0 113 98 Arizona 3 2 0 0 91 95 St. Louis 2 3 0 0 103 141

.400 .400 .250 0 .600 .600 .500 .250 1.000 .250 .250 0 .800 .600 .600 .400

W Bank lowers growth outlook for East Asia


Page 22 Social media fans bolster Regency’s brand image Page 23


BMW 7 Individual Pearl continues to redefine motoring in Kuwait Page 26 Page 25

VIVA presented with ‘Best LTE Deployment’ Award

NUSA DUA: US Secretary of State John Kerry (left) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov walking together at the APEC Leaders meeting in Bali yesterday. — AFP

China grabs limelight at APEC summit US hobbled as global growth worries persist NUSA DUA: China took centre-stage yesterday as Asia-Pacific leaders opened an annual economic summit in the shadow of global growth clouds that are darkening by the day with the US government paralyzed by infighting. The US federal shutdown has stopped President Barack Obama from attending the two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit on the Indonesian island of Bali, and another summit this week of East Asian leaders in Brunei. US Secretary of State John Kerry stressed anew Obama’s determination to remain engaged with the Pacific Rim region, but his absence has left the arena clear for the leader of one-party China to trumpet the mounting heft of the world’s second largest economy. In a speech to APEC business leaders, President Xi Jinping insisted there was “enough space to sail together” despite territorial disputes in Southeast Asia and tensions with Washington. “China cannot develop in

isolation of the Asia-Pacific and the Asia-Pacific cannot prosper without China,” he said, stressing that his country’s recent economic slowdown was the intended result of policies designed to put growth on a more sustainable path. “China will firmly uphold regional peace and stability,” Xi added. “Without peace, development is out of the question, like water without a source or a tree without roots.” The communist leader has been touring Southeast Asia, where there is much disquiet about China’s territorial ambitions, and also touted the benefits of free trade pacts after securing commercial deals worth tens of billions of dollars in Indonesia and Malaysia. China is involved in talks on a trade agreement grouping 16 East Asian nations just as Washington’s rival “Trans-Pacific Partnership” (TPP) of 12 countries appears to be running into trouble. While sympathetic to Obama’s political plight, the leaders of US allies in APEC such as Singapore expressed disap-

pointment that he had been unable to throw his presidential weight personally behind the TPP and Washington’s stop-start “pivot” towards Asia. Foreign friends and rivals alike, as well as financial markets, are worried by a threat bigger even than the shutdown: the possibility that the US government might default on its colossal debts unless Congress raises the federal borrowing limit by October 17. An unprecedented default by the holder of the world’s reserve currency would affect “the entire planet, and not just those countries with a strong geographical and economic linkage to the US”, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said at an APEC business summit. Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed similar sentiments to the business leaders gathered in Bali. “The US dollar is still the biggest reserve currency in the world, so it is of utmost importance to all of us,” he said. But Kerry, taking Obama’s place at APEC, said the president’s

epic tussle with the Republicans was merely “a moment in politics” that did not deflect the United States from its strategic goals. “I want to emphasize that there is nothing that will shake the commitment of the rebalance to Asia that President Obama is leading,” Kerry told the business forum. The United States is stumbling politically at a moment when, according to a statement by APEC foreign and trade ministers, the world economy can ill afford more instability following the 2008 financial crisis. Previewing Tuesday’s final summit declaration in Bali, the ministers said that “global growth is too weak, risks remain tilted to the downside, and the economic outlook suggests growth is likely to be slower and less balanced than desired”. ‘Race to the top’ Before he called off his foreign travel, Obama intended to throw his presidential weight behind a top-level round of talks

Default fears fuel angst in shutdown Washington WASHINGTON: The “terrible” and “unthinkable” threat of a US government default transfixed Washington yesterday, as a standoff over raising the debt ceiling surmounted angst over a weeklong government shutdown. Republican House Speaker John Boehner sparked alarm after warning on Sunday that he would not allow Congress to raise the government’s borrowing limit by an October 17 deadline unless President Barack Obama climbs down and offers concessions. The sense of building crisis over Washington’s financial paralysis was picked up in China, with Beijing warning that the United States must act quickly to establish the credibility of the dollar, the world’s major reserve currency. Concern also spread to previously calm investors, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 134.22 points (0.89 percent) at 14,938.36, mirroring a downward trend on global markets sparked by anxiety over US government paralysis. The White House reacted sharply to Boehner’s remarks, warning Congress could trigger a disastrous default and shred Washington’s prized credit rating, as doomsday scenarios of default, once deemed unthinkable, appeared to grow in credibility. The US government will be barred from borrowing by October 17 unless the current $16.7 trillion debt ceiling is lifted. In the resultant chaos, Washington would begin defaulting on its debts, global stock markets could plummet and the fragile world econo-

my could take a hit it can ill afford. Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council, said Boehner’s comments were disappointing and warned Obama could not allow the House of Representatives to hold him hostage over raising the debt limit because it would set a dire precedent for future presidents. “The president has made clear the era of threatening default has to be over,” Sperling said at a breakfast hosted by the Politico news organization. “If we sanction that as a regular process, that will do great harm to our democracy, great harm to our economy, great harm to the full faith and credit of the United States,” he said, adding that a debt default would be “unthinkable.” Obama is refusing to negotiate with Boehner on raising the debt ceiling, saying Congress has a duty to pay bills already run up by lawmakers. Boehner told ABC News on Sunday that his Republican-controlled House would not raise US borrowing authority without concessions from the White House. “We’re not going to pass a clean debt limit increase,” Boehner said. “The president is risking default by not having a conversation with us.” Uncertainty remains over Boehner’s true intentions. He had been quoted as saying by anonymous lawmakers in reports last week that he would not allow the United States to go into default. But Boehner is in a perilous political spot, between the wider interests of economic stabili-

ty and the radical demands of Tea Party conservatives in his Republican coalition to whom he may well owe his job as speaker. Jason Furman, chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisors, warned “the only plan here” was for Congress to raise the debt ceiling. He said the consequences of default were “too terrible a thing to even talk about.” “We’ve never actually tested it, we don’t know what happens,” he also told Politico. US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Sunday the United States will run out of its ability to borrow money on October 17, and with only $30 billion cash in hand to meet obligations that can run to $60 billion a day, it will quickly face default. “Congress is playing with fire,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union”. China voiced the alarm many foreign governments are feeling. “As the world’s largest economy and the issuer of the major reserve currency in the world, it is important for the US to maintain the creditworthiness of its Treasury bonds,” vice finance minister Zhu Guangyao told reporters. “It is important for the US economy as well as the global economy.” “The clock is ticking,” Zhu said. “It is only one week away before the deadline on the 17th.”Concerns over possible default, the second of two political crises that could pummel the US economy, overshadowed concern over the government shutdown, which went into a seventh day yesterday. — AFP

among the TPP countries in Bali today. But doubts about the TPP are gathering pace, and also about Obama’s vaunted “pivot”. Attending APEC “would have been a golden opportunity for America and President Obama himself to show leadership in that context of the new emphasis towards Asia”, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said. Obama was also forced to cancel visits to Malaysia and the Philippines due to the shutdown. The perennial disputes that hobble all trade agreements, such as market access and protection of intellectual property, are rearing anew in the TPP negotiations and Najib sees the end-of-year deadline as “very tight”. But Kerry said a deal was still achievable in the timeframe, as he sought to sell the merits of the pact. “At a time when all of us seek strong and sustainable growth, TPP is creating a race to the top, not to the bottom. It is reaching for the highest standards of all,” he said in his speech. — AFP

Gulf stocks down, Egypt edges up despite clashes MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS DUBAI: Gulf markets mostly edged down yesterday as investors took profits ahead of long Eid holidays and the US government moved into the second week of its shutdown. Egypt’s market rose despite at least 53 deaths in Sunday’s political violence. The Gulf will be closed for most of next week the time when the US government and Congress must agree on raising the country’s debt ceiling to avoid a default. Although most Gulf investors expect a positive resolution to the US crisis, they will be unable to react to any bad news during the holidays. Meanwhile, a handful of third-quarter earnings reports announced so far this week have been mixed. Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat), one of the world’s largest shippers of liquefied natural gas, fell 1.8 percent yesterday after its thirdquarter earnings missed the forecast of QNB Financial Services by 9 percent. Doha Bank was down 0.6 percent after saying it would seek shareholder approval to issue a perpetual debt instrument worth 2 billion riyals ($549 million) to boost Tier 1 capital by next March 30. Qatar’s main market index fell 0.2 percent. Saudi Arabia’s Riyad Bank rose 2.3 percent after it reported a third-quarter profit that

was 4 percent above analysts’ average estimate - a good omen for other Saudi bank earnings. But the kingdom’s main index was down 0.3 percent yesterday. Abu Dhabi’s index fell 0.5 percent with Dana Gas one of the day’s biggest losers as Deutsche Bank cut the stock to sell from hold; it slid 4.4 percent. The Dubai index’s 1.3 percent drop to 2,778 points brought it close to initial technical support around 2,750 points, where it peaked in August. Egypt continued to rise, however, climbing 0.7 percent to 5,766 points on Monday, the highest close since Feb. 5. The clashes between security forces and supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi on Sunday, when the market was closed for a holiday, were a reminder that politics have still not fully stabilised. But many Egyptian investors can accept such violence if they believe it is helping the government to assert its control. Ashraf Akhnoukh, senior equity sales trader at CIBC Brokerage in Cairo, said investors were actually relieved because Sunday’s clashes were smaller than those which occurred in August. Foreign investors, who had turned net buyers of Egyptian stocks last Thursday, were net sellers yesterday, bourse data showed. — Reuters




W Bank lowers growth outlook for East Asia

in brief

Gulf Capital to launch $550m GCC equity fund ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi private equity firm Gulf Capital plans to launch a $550 million fund to invest in companies across the Middle East and North Africa, its chief executive said yesterday. Gulf Capital, which manages assets worth over $2.5 billion, will seed the GCC Equity Partner III Fund with $100 million and hopes to raise the full amount of the fund by the end of 2014, Karim El Solh said. The company has not yet invested about 30 percent of an earlier $533 million fund and expects to close two more deals this year, he told reporters. “We’re very focused on the Gulf, mainly UAE and Saudi, and sometimes spillover to Egypt and Jordan.” Gulf Capital said in September that it had hired Rothschild to advise it on a share listing for its biggest asset, oil and gas services firm Gulf Marine Services, on an overseas stock exchange in early 2014. Saudi Hollandi Q3 net profit up 37% DUBAI: Saudi Hollandi Bank reported a rise in thirdquarter net profit of 37 percent over the same period last year to 433.3 million riyals ($115.5 million) yesterday, beating analyst forecasts. Saudi Arabia’s eighth largest listed bank attributed the improvement in earnings to a rise in operating income, without elaborating, in a bourse statement. Five analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast it would post, on average, a net profit of 398.9 million riyals. Nakilat posts 6.3% Q3 net profit increase DUBAI: Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat), one of the world’s largest shippers of liquefied natural gas (LNG), posted a 6.3 percent increase in thirdquarter net profit, according to Reuters calculations. The firm made 192.9 million riyals ($53 million) in the three months to Sept. 30, Reuters calculated based on financial statements, up from 181.4 million riyals in the same period a year earlier. The figure missed the estimate of QNB Financial Services, which forecast a net profit of 210.7 million riyals. In a statement to the Qatar stock exchange yesterday, Nakilat posted a slight decline in nine-month net profit. It made 552.5 million riyals versus 562.2 million riyals in the corresponding period of 2012.

US cheap money stimulus policy faces flak MUMBAI: The World Bank cut its 2013 growth forecast for East Asia’s developing countries yesterday, reflecting regional powerhouse China’s slowdown plus the looming end of the United States’ cheap-money stimulus policy. The international lender said it expects the region’s emerging economies to grow by an average of 6 percent this year, down from its April prediction of 6.5 percent. China was forecast to expand by 7.5 percent, lower than the 8.3 percent April outlook. The world’s second-largest economy’s rapid acceleration is slowing as it shifts to an economy driven by its own consumers instead of mostly exports, and growth hit a two-decade low in the second quarter. Other developing Asian economies have been hit by weaker demand, plus worries that the U.S. will pull back its loose monetary policy that has poured funds into emerging markets. Lower global commodity prices and weaker-thanexpected export growth have also slowed growth in larger middle-income countries including Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, the World Bank economic update said. The Philippines, though, was forecast to continue its surge of the past two years with a forecast expansion of 7 percent, nearly double the rate of two years ago. Asia’s developing economies may get a boost now that growth is finally picking up in the US, Europe and Japan, traditionally their biggest export biggest markets. “We are seeing a slowdown in domestic demand, which is a headwind, but at the same time Asia is seeing a tailwind from the revival of the rest of the global economy,” said Bert Hofman, the World Bank’s chief economist for East Asia and the Pacific. Many emerging economies are also bracing for the US Federal Reserve policymakers’ eventual wind-down of its unprecedented monetary stimulus program, which the Fed instituted to help push down interest rates and spur growth following the 2008 financial crisis. But the superlow rates led investors to overseas markets in search of higher returns. Hints that the Fed might start to scale back the $85 billion in bonds it buys each month as soon as September rocked developing countries’ financial markets and weak-

ened their currencies over the summer as foreign investors started pulling funds out on the expectation of higher returns back home. The Fed has delayed its “tapering” of the stimulus, but with advanced economies’ growth finally picking up, the end of cheap money is inevitable. Hofman said the delay gives countries “a second opportunity” to prepare for rising global interest rates, falling currencies and possible foreign

MONYWA: A woman ploughing a field in Monywa, northern Myanmar. The World Bank yesterday lowered its 2013 growth forecast for East Asian developing countries to 7.1 percent and warned that a prolonged US fiscal crisis could be damaging to the region. — AFP

Dubai’s Habtoor Group launches $3bn project DUBAI: Family-owned Dubai conglomerate AlHabtoor Group said yesterday that it was launching a $3 billion real estate development in the emirate that would include 3,000 hotel and residential units as well as a water-themed theatre. The group, whose operations span the hospitality, construction, education and automotive sectors, said it expected about 20,000 people would visit Al-Habtoor City every day. Chairman Khalaf Al-Habtoor told reporters that the group would use its own resources to finance the project, which would be completed by 2016. “We are capable of financing this. But if banks are interested, then we are happy to talk to them.” Developers in Dubai are back to announcing mega-projects as the emirate recovers from its 2009-2010 debt crisis. Dubai firms have announced projects worth nearly $40 billion in the first half of 2013, according to some estimates by local media, including plans to construct the world’s largest Ferris Wheel and billion-dollar theme parks. The Habtoor development would run alongside Dubai’s newly announced canal; the emirate’s government said last week that it would spend $545 million on building a canal through its downtown area. The return of a bullish mood to the real estate market has caused home prices in the emirate to surge over 22 percent in the past year, consultants Jones Lang LaSalle said in a report last week, raising concerns about an overheating of the market. Al-Habtoor, which has a stake in a jointventure construction firm with Australia’s Leighton Group , shelved plans to raise as much as $1.6 billion in an initial public offer of

shares last year. The chairman said yesterday that the company had no intention of reviving the IPO plan this year. Its new development will have three residential tower blocks incorporating 1,460 luxury apartments, and three hotels to be operated by Starwood Hotels & Resorts, he said. It will have 11 penthouses including two VIP penthouses with private garden terraces, a swimming pool and a Jacuzzi. “We don’t have plans to sell the VIP

penthouses, but if we did put them on the market, we would not sell them for less than $250 million each,” Khalaf Al Habtoor said in a press statement. The water-based theatre will bring “a touch of Las Vegas to Dubai”, the statement added. The chairman dismissed talk of another property bubble developing in Dubai. “We can’t control speculators. The government can’t do much about gamblers,” he said. — Reuters

Nakheel posts 58% 9-mth profit hike DUBAI: Dubai government-owned property developer Nakheel said yesterday that its nine-month net profit jumped 58 percent year-on-year as the company continued to benefit from the recovery in the emirate’s property market. The firm, which was taken over by the government as part of its $16 billion restructuring plan completed in 2011, made a net profit of 1.77 billion dirhams ($481.9 million) in the nine months to September 30, versus 1.12 billion dirhams in the corresponding period of 2012, a statement said. Dubai real estate prices slumped by more than 50 percent from their 2008 peak in the aftermath of the emirate’s property bubble bursting, but have been advancing in recent months as investor confidence in the sector returns. The extent of the rise - more than 22 percent in the past year, according to proper-

investment outflow. He urged countries to reduce reliance on short-term foreign currency denominated debt and to enact structural reforms such as improving infrastructure and investment climate to lure back investors once the US stimulus incentive dries up. “This is a good time to clean house,” Hofman said of governments and banking systems. “In a way, the talk of tapering in July and August was sort of a very nice general rehearsal for the actual thing.” — AP

ty consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle last week caused the International Monetary Fund to warn in July of the potential for another damaging real estate bubble forming in the market. Nakheel, builder of man-made islands in the shape of palms and a map of the world, said revenue of 6.83 billion dirhams in the first nine months of the year was up 50 percent on 2012, boosted by the handover of properties. The firm said it was on course to deliver 3,000 units in 2013, having completed 2,200 handovers in the first nine months of the year, with a pipeline of almost 2,800 units - worth 8.5 billion dirhams - as at September 30. Nakheel has repaid around 12 billion dirhams to trade creditors and almost 1.5 billion dirhams to creditors in the form of loan interest and sukuk profit payments since August 2011, the firm added. — Reuters

Germany’s FWU issues rare asset-backed sukuk said Harris Irfan, managing director at EIIB. “It is fair to say the spirit of shariacompliant financing is not merely about replicating conventional financing, rather it is about forging a new path - making a connection with the real economy.” The wakala format used by FWU is flexible enough for other Western issuers to consider tapping the sukuk market, as long as they can identify a set of assets, he said. “Anything with a regular income stream - it could be a utility or a toll-road - any asset which you can ring-fence.” Proceeds of FWU’s sukuk, which carries a profit rate of 7 percent, will be used to fund a set of re-takaful transactions for its Luxembourg-based unit Atlanticlux, which is the ultimate obligor under the program. The assets for the transaction are the beneficial rights of insurance policies; ownership is transferred to a Guernsey-based company which is in turn managed by AON PLC, which acts as the agent. Last December, FWU issued a $55 million seven-year sukuk through a private placement that was backed by intellectual property rights. That sukuk, its first, was based on the principle of ijara, an Islamic sale and lease-back contract. — Reuters

MUNICH: FWU Group, a Munich-based financial services company, has issued a $20 million five-year Islamic bond backed by insurance policies, a small but rare example of an asset-backed sukuk from a European firm. FWU, which offers takaful (Islamic insurance) solutions, used a structure known as wakala. The sukuk is the first tranche of a $100 million program rated BBB- by Fitch, and arranged by EIIB-Rasmala, a venture between London-based European Islamic Investment Bank and Dubai’s Rasmala Group. While many sukuk have used rental or asset-based structures, proponents of wakala agency agreements argue that because ownership of assets is fully transferred during the life of the sukuk, they offer a stronger link to real economic activity, a key principle in Islamic finance. In a wakala sukuk, certificates are issued by an originator to buy assets which are given to an agent for management; the agent charges a fee for his services and the originator undertakes to buy the assets on maturity at an agreed price. “Sukuk will benefit from moving to asset-backed structures, so ring-fencing and recourse to the underlying assets is important,”

EXCHANGE RATES Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal Irani Riyal Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Egyptian Pound - Cash Egyptian Pound - Transfer Yemen Riyal/for 1000 Tunisian Dinar Jordanian Dinar Lebanese Lira/for 1000 Syrian Lira Morocco Dirham

ASIAN COUNTRIES 2.899 4.554 2.673 2.154 2.841 226.800 36.561 3.639 6.524 9.065 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 75.630 77.927 736.650 753.290 77.237 ARAB COUNTRIES 41.700 40.679 1.323 173.080 400.510 1.903 1.308 34.914

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 283.500 Euro 384.430 Sterling Pound 460.400 Canadian dollar 274.820 Turkish lira 141.040 Swiss Franc 313.780 Australian Dollar 266.350 US Dollar Buying 282.300 20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

GOLD 244.000 124.000 64.000

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

SELL DRAFT 271.01 278.70 318.39 388.05 282.80 458.26 2.98 3.639 4.578 2.158 2.868 2.666 77.06 752.70 41.03 402.49 735.46 78.09 75.54

SELL CASH 272.000 279.000 318.000 390.000 285.500 462.000 3.000 3.700 4.820 2.500 3.300 2.760 77.400 753.500 41.100 407.500 741.500 78.500 75.800

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

Selling Rate 283.250 278.480 456.730 385.620 312.710 748.116 77.095 78.650 76.400 399.285 41.051 2.153 4.606 2.665 3.637 6.564 695.720 3.905

Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees Malaysian Ringgit

10.030 3.085 3.845 88.405

Singapore Dollar South African Rand Sri Lankan Rupee Taiwan Thai Baht

0.223795 0.022327 0.001827 0.009542 0.008731

0.229795 0.030827 0.002407 0.009722 0.009281

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

Arab 0.745268 0.038359 0.000078 0.000183 0.395501 1.0000000 0.000139 0.022687 0.001200 0.730072 0.077133 0.074937 0.001929 0.168969 0.140278 0.076178 0.001287

0.753268 0.041459 0.000080 0.000243 0.403001 1.0000000 0.000239 0.046687 0.001835 0.735752 0.078346 0.075637 0.002149 0.176969 0.147278 0.077327 0.001367

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

Australian Dollar New Zealand Dollar

Canadian Dollar US Dollars US Dollars Mint Bangladesh Taka Chinese Yuan Hong Kong Dollar Indian Rupee Indonesian Rupiah Japanese Yen Kenyan Shilling Korean Won Malaysian Ringgit Nepalese Rupee Pakistan Rupee Philippine Peso Sierra Leone

BUY Europe 0.007366 0.447592 0.006648 0.047494 0.379189 0.043353 0.081774 0.008124 0.040103 0.307068 0.140278

0.008366 0.456592 0.018648 0.052494 0.386689 0.048553 0.81774 0.018124 0.045103 0.317268 0.147278

Australasia 0.258727 0.229065

0.270227 0.238565

America 0.27000 0.279300 0.279800 Asia 0.003168 0.044844 0.034468 0.004336 0.000020 0.002833 0.003363 0.000255 0.085462 0.002937 0.002498 0.006415 0.000089


0.278500 0.283650 0.283650 0.003768 0.048344 0.037216 0.004737 0.000026 0.003013 0.003363 0.000270 0.091462 0.003107 0.002778 0.006695 0.000075

Al Mulla Exchange Currency US Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Canadian Dollar Indian Rupee Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupee Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso Pakistan Rupee Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal

Transfer Rate (Per 1000) 282.800 386.450 456.800 276.800 4.578 40.985 2.155 3.636 6.555 2.664 753.100 77.000 75.500



Social media fans bolster Regency’s brand image Regency Hotel is Kuwait’s own: Giraudo By Sajeev K Peter KUWAIT: The Regency Hotel, Kuwait’s foremost luxury hotel has developed a large network of fans across social media, establishing a personal rapport with each of them over the last six months, said its General Manager Aurelio P Giraudo. “By engaging with fans personally on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Foursquare, we want to turn this relationship into brand loyalty,” Giraudo said in an interview with Kuwait times. Giraudo, giving a detailed profile of the Regency, which is the country’s only member of the Preferred Hotel Group, also spoke about how the hotel has evolved into a leading property in Kuwait for corporate and leisure travelers. He explained how The Regency Hotel represents Kuwait as the country’s own luxury hotel, symbolizing its culture and heritage. New trend “The numbers of Facebook and Twitter users in Kuwait are some of the highest in the region. It is the new technology and trend. Today, the Kuwaiti population is active across all social media. If people don’t know you, they won’t come to you. If you are not online, then you are not communicating with your customers. So for companies to truly develop brand loyalty, they must be interacting with their customers online as well,” he explained the rationale behind the hotel’s engagement and interaction with its guests, customers and fans online. “Today, the reality of social media is that businesses no longer drive the brand’s message, customers do,” he elaborated. Giving the statistics of the growth of online followers of The Regency over social media networks, he said less than six months ago, the hotel had only 3,421 fans on Facebook, 128 on Twitter, 145 followers on Instagram and had no followers on Foursquare.

dow. Now, the hotel not only gets a unique perspective into what exactly customers want, but the hotel is also able to transfer their renowned excellent five-star services across their social media platforms,” Giraudo added.

Regency Hotel is located in Al-Bida’a, Salmiya on the shores of the Arabian Gulf. Though it shut down during the Gulf War, it reopened after 11 years of renovation following Liberation. “As a luxury and boutique hotel with a rich Kuwaiti tradition, we are slowly, but surely penetrating into the market. Guest satisfaction is our priority number one,” he said giving an overview of his market strategy. “We target primarily the luxury market. Our service is top-notch so we don’t discount our services. We try to stand out as a good luxury hotel with top quality services providing good environment and ambience,” he said. “We have 203 rooms, including 53 suites with butler service, offering breathtaking views over the hotel’s elegantly landscaped gardens,” he said. All rooms and suites feature elegant furniture, rich fabrics and the highest quality of imported amenities as well as complimentary Wi-Fi. The guestrooms are equipped with the latest technology including large LCD TVs with international satellite channels. Lighting and temperature are individually adjusted. Some rooms boast balconies, private patios or sun terraces. The hotel’s stunning oceanic backdrop offers two secluded beaches-one ladies-only —, five swimming pools, one of which is reserved for children. The women-only Ladies’ Lounge is where female guests can dine, swim and sunbathe in perfect seclusion, wearing any attire they like. The main pools require guests to follow rules of modest over-the-knee swimwear according to the principles of sharia. “We want to show the world that The Regency is truly a Kuwaiti Hotel, run by International management. It must be like what is Dolchester Hotel for London, Hotel Duomo for Milano Italy, and Hotel De Paris for Paris France,” he remarked.

Tradition Family-owned since its founding in 1981, the

Gastronomy Giving a brief overview of the exotic cuisines being

Currently, it has more than 4,278 followers on Instagram, an increase of 2,950 percent, 33,233 fans on Facebook, an increase of 971 percent, 242 followers on Twitter, an increase of 189 percent and over 4,224 Foursquare checks. “For many years, the hotel remained without a win-

The Regency Hotel Kuwait General Manager Aurelio P Giraudo. —Photo by Sajeev K Peter

China’s economy on a ‘smooth’ and controlled slowdown: Xi

Jazeera Airways, Travelport strengthen partnership DUBAI: Travelport, a leading distribution services and ecommerce provider for the global travel industry, and Jazeera Airways, Kuwait’s largest airline serving the Middle East, yesterday announced the renewal of their Global Full Content Agreement. Building on the existing relationship between the Kuwait-based airline and the Global Distribution Systems (GDS) provider, the new agreement will ensure that content from Jazeera Airways will continue to be made available exclusively to Travelport GDS users in Kuwait, with preferred access to the carrier’s best inventory and fares. Jazeera Airways, an award-winning airline that serves 19 destinations across the Middle East and North Africa, is one of the largest airlines on its routes network. In addition to the new content deal, Jazeera Airways will also subscribe to Travelport Sponsored Flights Advertising(tm)*, an advertising tool which enables carriers to place flights in a separate area above the neutral display on the travel agent’s availability results screen for optimum visibility. This industry first solution can promote new destinations or expanded service on existing routes, market reduced or promotional fares and offer alternative airport choices. “This new agreement will enable Jazeera Airways to continue building on its strong partnership with the travel industry across the region and offer travelers better access to an enhanced and larger competitive fares base through their local agent. Having a solid distribution strategy is a key element in continuing our strategic growth across the Middle East, and Travelport is the partner to help us achieve that.” said the VP Sales at Jazeera Airways, Rafiq Boghdady. “Travelport’s agreement with Jazeera Airways provides a level of agency access to the airline that is unmatched by any other GDS,” said Will Owen Hughes, Travelport’s Senior Director, Supplier Services, Middle East and Africa. “Working with low-cost carriers is a key part of our business strategy and this enhanced agreement will allow Jazeera Airways to take full advantage of Travelport’s global reach and take their business to the next level.”

Burgan Bank launches new apps for Apple, Android smartphones KUWAIT: Burgan Bank announced yesterday that it has officially launched the Smartphone App for Android users and upgraded the App for Apple IOS users. The new user friendly application includes an array of banking functions together with informative services such as locating the nearest branches and ATM. The locator uses the smartphone GPS information to display the closest locations. Also available are updated exchange rates, email support, seamless transfer between client bank accounts, account summaries and statements, online payments and other bank information. The new and improved smartphone apps will also allow customers to access Burgan Bank’s online banking service safely and securely wherever they are. This new application has been optimized for the IPhone 5 and will work for all earlier iOS versions > 5.0 including ipads. One of the great new functions within the app is “Stop Card”. This allows Burgan customers to block a lost or stolen credit or ATM card instantly without having to spend time and money calling the bank when travelling overseas. Burgan Bank is planning to expand its remote banking capabilities, with more application features over the next few months. Login is simple, using the same credentials as used for Burgan Online. Burgan Bank’s new initiative reflects on the bank’s commitment to providing a variety of added value and efficient banking services to its customers wherever they are. For further information on how to use the application, customers are required to visit either the Apple App store, and download the Burgan Bank iOS application free of charge, or visit the Google Play App store and do the same if you use an Android Phone. For any assistance, please contact the bank on 1804080 or at

offered at its restaurants, he said, “Our cuisines mostly follow the trend of the hotel guests. Fifty percent of the food here is Middle Eastern or Arabic and Indian while the rest is European. We have a 48-seat expensive Italian restaurant where we serve authentic and fresh Italian food. I personally take care of this restaurant. We don’t serve any frozen food and pastas are homemade. I taste each item before it is added to the day’s menu,” Giraudo said. The hotel’s ‘Silk Road Restaurant’ boasts a large sun terrace overlooking the gardens and swimming pools offering sumptuous buffets and seasonal festive suppers, brunch and barbeques. Menus combine flavors of the Middle East, Far East and there are myriad Mediterranean delicacies as well. Together with the hotel’s signature service, breakfast, lunch and dinner is a highly pleasurable dining experience. “Our lobby ‘Al-Liwan’ is probably the icon of the hotel and the best in Kuwait. For dining and relaxing whether indoors or outdoors, guests can enjoy ‘AlLiwan,’ the white Italian marble lobby with its 22-metre high glass atrium offers unrivalled ocean panoramas. Its huge windows offer stunning views of the Gulf,” he said. The Regency Hotel is one of the few luxury beach hotels in the region. It has some of the largest conference facilities in the Middle East. Its purposebuilt Conference Centre provides an ergonomic wedding, meeting and conference venue with ten conference halls and four ballrooms. Ample outdoor parking and the capacity for erecting outdoor marquees frequently attracts high-level international forums to The Regency. A shaded open air recreation area provides a perfect seaside venue for barbecues and parties. “We hold barbecue nights on every Wednesday on beach, in addition to weekly Lebanese nights and Maharaja nights. We are one of the few hotels in the region to have barbecue by the beach,” Giraudo concluded.

BALI: US Secretary of State John Kerry (left) waves as he prepares to give a keynote address at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)-CEO Summit in Nusa Dua on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali yesterday. — AFP

Kerry assures CEOs on US role in Asia-Pacific BALI: Filling in for an absent US President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday sought to assure AsiaPacific business leaders that nothing will shake America’s commitment to the region and that the current government shutdown in Washington will soon be over and forgotten. In an address to executives at an Asian economic summit in Indonesia, Kerry said that the shutdown is simply a “moment in politics.” He guaranteed America will move beyond it quickly and will come back more resilient than ever. Obama was scheduled to deliver the speech but was forced to cancel his participation to deal with the shutdown. Kerry, who unsuccessfully ran for the White House nearly a decade ago, joked that his appearance did not exactly fulfill his former presidential ambitions. “In 2004, obviously, I worked very, very hard to replace a president. This is not what I had in mind,” he said to laughter and applause from a packed auditorium at a luxury hotel on the resort island of Bali. Turning to the shutdown, which has led to speculation that American leadership and its place in the world may be faltering, Kerry warned against reading too much into it. “No one should mistake what is happen-

ing in Washington as anything more than a moment in politics. We’ve all seen it before and we’ll probably see it again,” he said. “But I guarantee you we will move beyond this and it and we will move beyond it with strength and determination.” Kerry told the executives that America’s resilience “will continue well beyond this moment being considerably forgotten by all of you” and maintained that the Obama’s administration determination to focus on Asia would remain unchanged. The shutdown and Obama’s cancellation of his planned four-nation Asian tour has raised concerns that other nations, particularly China, may fill a vacuum left by US preoccupation with domestic troubles. Kerry rejected those fears. “I want to emphasize here that there is nothing that will shake the commitment of the United States to the rebalance in Asia that President Obama is leading,” he said, before urging the region’s business leaders to push their governments for wide-ranging reforms. Kerry called on them to press for the elimination of corruption and the promotion of rule of law as ways to encourage investment and spur development. He also said climate change had to be addressed to prevent humanitarian and business catastrophes.— AP

NUSA DUA: China’s economy is on a smooth and controlled slowdown, President Xi Jinping said yesterday, emphasizing there was no reason to fear a hard landing. “The change... has on the whole been smooth,” Xi told an Asia-Pacific business forum, after detailing the slowing of the world’s second biggest economy from 2011. “Nothing has come as a surprise... the slowdown of the Chinese economy is an intended result of our own regulatory initiatives.” Xi acknowledged that there had been concerns around the world about China’s economy, after growth slid from 9.3 percent in 2011 to 7.6 percent in the first half of this year. “Some wondered whether there will be a hard landing, whether sustained healthy growth was still possible, how China will deal with the situation and what impact this will have on the AsiaPacific,” he said. “I wish to emphasise that based on a comprehensive analysis of all factors, I am fully confident about the future of China’s economy.” He said its current expansion was “within the reasonable and expected range”, while emphasising that even the slower growth experienced this year was still an enviable per formance. “In fact the growth rate of 7.6 percent makes the Chinese economy the fastest-growing among major economies,” he said. Xi said economic planners were prepared to

accept lower growth numbers to ensure a more sustainable model. “To fundamentally ensure long-term economic development, China has to press ahead with structural reforms even if this means some sacrifice of economic growth,” he said. The Asian Development Bank this month lowered its growth forecasts for the region, citing the sluggish Chinese engine as a key reason. The ADB projected regional gross domestic product to grow six percent this year, compared with its earlier forecast of 6.6 percent. The ADB cut its 2013 forecast for China to 7.6 percent, well down from its April estimate of 8.2 percent. It blamed weaker domestic demand, a softening industrial rebound and a sharp downturn in foreign trade. But in a statement accompanying the bank’s analysis, ADB chief economist Changyong Rhee also emphasized China’s slowdown was due to a deliberate plan to build more sustainable foundations. “Moderating growth in the People’s Republic of China is the price of structural reform as authorities engineer a medium-term transition to a more sustainable growth path than one led by exports and investment,” Rhee said. “However this growth deceleration could impact the rest of Asia... since the PRC’s economic influence has grown in the past decade.” —AFP

BALI: Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers his keynote address at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Bali yesterday. — AP

US budget showdown weighs on markets LONDON: Stocks took a pounding yesterday as the partial shutdown of the US government entered a seventh day and lawmakers appeared to be making little headway in raising the country’s debt ceiling. The US has to raise its debt ceiling by Oct 17. If it doesn’t, the world’s largest economy faces the possibility of defaulting on its debts, a move that would send shockwaves around the global economy and financial markets. Though most analysts think a deal between Republicans in Congress and the White House to avoid default will be cobbled together in time, investors are fidgety - uncertainty dis-

courages investors from buying into risky assets, such as stocks. On Sunday, Republican House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner ruled out a vote on a straightforward bill to raise the government’s borrowing authority without concessions from President Barack Obama before the deadline. “As the partial shutdown of the US government enters week two, there is little sign that the fiscal stalemate in Washington is being broken,” said Neil MacKinnon, global macro strategist at VTB Capital. “Investors are on the sidelines until there is greater clarity or a last-minute

resolution between the White House and the Republicans ahead of the debt ceiling deadline.” In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 0.9 percent at 6,393, while Germany’s DAX fell 1.1 percent to 8.528. The CAC-40 in France was 1 percent lower at 4,124. Wall Street was poised for further falls at the open with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures down 0.9 percent. The focus of attention in financial markets will likely remain on developments in the US capital. Any comments from leading Republicans, such as Boehner, and President Barack Obama, could potentially be big market-mov-

ing events. The dollar has also been on the defensive amid the budget fallout. It was struggling again yesterday, with the euro up 0.1 percent at $1.3577 and the dollar 0.4 percent lower at 96.89 yen. Oil prices have drifted lower, and the benchmark New York crude rate was down another $1.20 at $102.64 a barrel. Earlier in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei index tumbled by 1.2 percent to close at 13,853.32. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dipped 0.7 percent to 22,973.95. Trading was nearly flat on South Korea’s Kospi, which fell 0.1 percent to 1,994.42. China’s markets were closed yesterday for a public holiday. — AP



Gold gains as US stalemate lingers LONDON: Gold rose yesterday as investors assessed the impact of a lower dollar after politicians in Washington showed no signs of making progress to resolve the US budget standoff. While investors are increasingly worried that the political standoff in Washington will spark greater market volatility as the October 17 deadline to raise the borrowing limit nears, hopes for a deal remain strong, analysts said. The US Congress is already divided on a spending bill, resulting in a partial government shutdown that is hurting the economy and delaying key data releases. During the last debate over the US debt ceiling in 2011, gold hit an all-time high of $1,920 an ounce. An agreement was reached by Congress only at the last minute. “The whole story about the US is clearly key

for financial markets at the moment ...the general view on it is that a solution will be found and we will probably see a rebound in markets in general and that is not going to be a very favorable environment for gold,” Credit Suisse analyst Karim Cherif said. “For that reason, I don’t see much incentive for investors to be overweight in the gold market as they have been in the past.” Spot gold rose 0.4 percent to $1,315.61 an ounce by 1159 GMT. US gold futures for December were up $6.10 an ounce to $1,316.00. The US deadlock pushed the dollar lower on Monday, keeping it close to 8-month lows against a basket of major currencies. A weaker dollar makes it easier for holders of other currencies to buy dollar-denominated commodities

like gold. Though the US shutdown did not spark a lot of safe-haven bids, the prospect of a debt default would, traders said. “Sentiment remains hesitant towards gold, which has been reflected in the market positioning,” Barclays analysts said in a note. “While the temporary US government shutdown has not proved to be a positive driver for prices, the risk of a debt ceiling breach holds scope to spark interest given gold’s response in 2011.” The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitment of Traders data, which details positions in US futures and options markets and is a keenly watched measure to judge investor sentiment, was not released on Friday due to the partial government shutdown.

With no key US data coming in, traders are likely to remain cautious in coming sessions. Any pick up in physical demand, especially from China which returns from its week-long National Day holiday on Tuesday, will also be in focus. Dealers said they expected Chinese demand to be good at the current price levels, and a lot stronger if prices fell below $1,300. In top buyer India, importers were ready to process orders from yesterday after the customs department cleared more than a ton of gold stuck at airports. In other precious metals, silver rose 0.8 percent to $21.82 an ounce. Spot platinum gained 0.2 percent to $1,382.49 an ounce after a 1.3 percent increase on Friday, as mine strikes and curbs threatened to hurt supply. — Reuters

TOKYO: Airbus president Fabrice Bregier (left) and Japan Airlines (JAL) president Yoshiharu Ueki (center) and a JAL cabin attendant display a scale model of Airbus A350 as they announce that JAL will purchase Airbus A350 planes in Tokyo yesterday. — AFP

JAL makes first purchase from Airbus TOKYO: Airbus secured its first-ever order from Japan Airlines yesterday, in a deal that undermines Boeing’s long-held dominance of Japan’s aviation market. Japan Airlines is to buy 31 A350 planes from the European aircraft manufacturer. The purchase has a list value of 950 billion yen ($9.5 billion) and marks a big change in policy as Boeing had been JAL’s major supplier for decades. JAL also has an option to buy 25 more Airbus planes. No official price was given, but airlines usually get discounts on the list price when making big orders. Some analysts even think that JAL may be getting the planes at below cost as Airbus looks to make inroads in a part of the world that has been primarily Boeing’s domain for decades. Since the end of World War II, the US and Japan have been big trading partners. Amid much fanfare, Airbus Chief Executive and President Fabrice Bregier and Japan Airlines President Yoshiharu Ueki signed the deal in Tokyo yesterday. Ueki said the decision to turn to the Toulouse, France-based manufacturer for the replacement of its retiring Boeing 777 jets is unrelated to the problems that have plagued Boeing’s rival offering, the 787 Dreamliner. Earlier this year, the 787s were grounded for four months to confirm their safety after several of their lithium-ion batteries overheated. The batteries are now encased to prevent any overheating from spreading. The 787’s launch also was repeatedly delayed, with it finally making its entry into service in 2011, frustrating JAL as well as rival All Nippon Airways, Japan’s other major carrier. “We are sorry for the troubles we have caused our customers with the 787, but the decision on the aircraft was considered separately from that issue,” Ueki told reporters. He repeatedly said the long-range, twin-engine wide-body A350 was chosen because it was the “best match for our needs.” He brushed off concerns about the additional training JAL pilots will need to fly Airbus planes, which they are not used to. Even after taking such costs and risks into account, the A350 was the best choice, he said without giving specifics. Airbus and Boeing have for years waged a no-holds-barred slugfest in markets around the world. This commercial battle has also spilled over into a yearslong legal fight at the World Trade Organization between the two plane makers over government subsidies or other forms of state aid. Lately the battle has focused on sales of the next generation of long-range, wide-bodied jets. In that matchup, yesterday’s order represents a big coup for Airbus. Will Horton, senior analyst at CAPA Centre for Aviation, thinks JAL likely got a good discount from Airbus, which has been eager to break into the tough Japanese market. “They may have been sold at cost, or below cost,” he said. JAL has wanted an aircraft like the A350, which is smaller than Boeing’s 747 jumbo jets but slightly bigger than the 787, Horton said. London-based aerospace analyst Howard Wheeldon said the motivation behind the deal was probably not just

price. He said JAL appears to be copying the strategy of other airlines like British Airways and United Airlines in operating a mixed fleet. “This is a great day for Airbus and one that is the result of a huge amount of effort,” Wheeldon said. “But while Boeing may be disappointed to see that their big European competitor has made a big dent into a one of its traditional customers, this does not in my view signal anything other than a desire by JAL to operate a mixed fleet of the best available aircraft in the world.” Behind the domination of Chicagobased Boeing Co are the historical ties between Japan and the US, including security arrangements. But in recent years, other Japanese carriers, especially newer lowcost airlines, have been gradually switching to Airbus. Boeing said yesterday’s deal did not hurt its relationship with JAL. “Although we are disappointed with the selection, we will continue to provide the most efficient and innovative products and services that meet longer-term fleet requirements for Japan Airlines,” it said in a statement. “We have built a strong relationship with Japan Airlines over the last 50 years and we look to continue our partnership going forward.” Boeing spokesman Rob Henderson said the company was preparing the 777X as a replacement aircraft for the 777. It will be a larger jet, and the company has not yet started taking orders. Issei Hideshima, an aviation analyst in Tokyo, said the days in which Boeing dominated the nation’s jet industry are over, as Japan is forming more ties with Europe politically as well. JAL may also have its eyes on Airbus’ even bigger jet, the A380, as a future buy for use on lucrative routes such as those to other Asian nations. “ANA was the launch customer for the 787, and so JAL wants out of its commitment for the 787 with all its problems,” he said. “So JAL has been switching gears and moving to Airbus.” JAL is a special kind of carrier in Japan because of its close ties with the government. But Ueki said JAL did not consult the government or other parties in making its decision. JAL sank into bankruptcy three years ago, but re-emerged last year in one of the biggest IPOs in Japanese history following a government bailout and a wideranging restructuring. The carrier was long the symbol of Japan’s economic rise. However, in recent decades, it was hobbled by a bloated workforce, unpopular routes and safety lapses. Yesterday’s deal is the first for the A350 in Japan. The planes go into service in 2019, both sides said. JAL will be among the top customers for the A350, which also include Singapore Airlines and United Airlines. Ueki declined to give the specific flight routes where these jets will be used, but said they will basically take over the routes of the retiring 777s. Bregier praised the deal as “opening a new chapter in our relationship,” and as a boon to EU-Japan relations. Several EU ambassadors to Japan were present at the signing at a Tokyo hotel to welcome the move. Bregier called the JAL deal a breakthrough. But he noted he did not want to dwell on the past, and said it merely underlined that Airbus had the better product. “The world is changing. There is open competition everywhere,” Bregier said. — AP



BMW 7 Series Individual Pearl continues to redefine premium motoring in Kuwait BMW Individual Pearl available at Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive showrooms KUWAIT: In a fiercely competitive market, the BMW Individual Pearl continues to command the interest of discerning customers in Kuwait. Since its launch earlier this year, Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive, the BMW Group importer in Kuwait, has witnessed an unparalleled level of interest in the bespoke edition of BMW 7 Series. This exclusive collection of customised models is the latest creation from BMW Group’s bespoke optioning programme - BMW Individual, which enables customers to tailor their vehicle to a bespoke design that suits their individual style by using a range of premium materials, paints and interior trims. The shallow and warm waters of the Arabian Gulf are famous for creating the world’s most precious Pearls - the source of inspiration for creating the BMW Individual Pearl. Paying an ode to the rich heritage of pearls in the Middle East, the BMW Individual Pearl models are exclusive to the region. BMW Individual designers transferred the mystery, elegance and beauty of the Pearl to a total of 88 BMW 7 Series and 6 Series Gran Coupe models. Commenting on the BMW Pearl, Mr. Yousef Al Qatami, General Manager, Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive, said: “Customers in Kuwait continue to demand the exclusivity and luxury that is associated with the BMW 7 Series Individual Pearl. The BMW Pearl is something that is one of a kind; exclusive and very special. With the bespoke BMW 7 Series, we provide customers with a top-of-the range BMW that includes a selection of unique and very premium materials, paints and

interior trims options. The cars are very exclusive and examples of what can be produced within the BMW Individual programme.” The BMW Individual Pearl features an exclusive Frozen Matt Brilliant White exterior colour that reproduces the unique shimmer of the finest Arabian pearls. On the interior, this is coupled with the BMW Individual finest Merino

Amaro Brown leather with newly developed white piping, a headliner in Amaro brown Alcantara and the BMW Individual wood trim in Ash Grain White. An elegant ‘Pearl’ designation on the chrome trim adorns the rear of both models as well as the door entry seals. Established in 1991, BMW Individual was the first of its kind in the premium automotive industry. The programme

launched with the aim of leading the trend towards more individuality by concentrating on customers looking for made-to-measure solutions and making tougher demands on their BMW in terms of distinction design and function. The BMW Pearl models are the embodiment of luxury and style and are now available from Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive.

‘Celebrate Eid with Zain’ Company offers free data roaming bundles KUWAIT: In line with its current campaign “Celebrate Eid With Zain”, Zain, the leading telecommunications company in Kuwait, announced yesterday the launch of its free data roaming promotion in celebration of Eid Al Adha with its customers. Customers can now purchase any new device and enjoy data roaming services with a capacity of 150mb free of charge for one month while travelling to any GCC countries. Additionally, customers travelling to the United Kingdom will enjoy free data roaming services with a capacity of 100mb. Zain customers will continue to celebrate Eid Al-

ATHENS: Greek lawmakers attend a blessing ceremony for the upcoming parliamentary season inside the parliament in Athens yesterday. — AP

Greek budget sees end to 6-year recession next year ATHENS: Greece will emerge from six years of recession next year, a draft budget forecast yesterday, signalling the country is past the worst of a crippling debt crisis that nearly broke Europe’s single currency. Twice bailedout Athens also confirmed it would post a budget surplus before interest payments this year for the first time in over a decade, and its battered economy won a vote of confidence from billionaire US investor John Paulson. The positive outlook marks a sharp reversal in fortunes for a nation that had become Europe’s problem child, lurching from one crisis to the next as it tottered close to bankruptcy and exasperated its international partners with broken promises. Analysts cautioned that despite the signs of economic stabilization Greece remained hooked on aid and that further debt relief was inevitable to bring down a level of indebtedness set to top 175 percent of gross domestic product this year. “The key thing is that while things are improving they’re doing so from a very low level in Greece. Greece still needs financial assistance from outside,” said Ben May, economist at London-based Capital Economics. “Certainly there are signs that the worst of the crisis may well be over in the euro-zone in the short term but you could easily see concerns flaring up longer term.” The Greek economy, which has shrunk by about a quarter since its peak in 2007 and thrown more than one in four out of work, will grow by a modest 0.6 percent next year thanks to a rebound in investment and exports including tourism, the budget predicted. In a further boost, Athens forecast a primary budget surplus of 1.6 percent of national output next year after posting a small surplus of 340 million euros this year. Attaining a primary surplus - which excludes debt servicing costs - makes Athens eligible for further debt relief from its European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders. “In the last three years Greece found itself in a painful recession with an unprecedented level of unemployment,” Deputy Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said as he unveiled the 2014 budget. “Since this year, the sacrifices have begun to yield fruit, giving the first signs of an exit from the crisis.”

Athens will ask its creditors to honor their commitment to provide debt relief, and hopes it can return to the bond markets in the second half of next year, Staikouras said. Greece is hoping for an extension of maturities and lower interest rates on bailout loans after its partners ruled out an outright writeoff of debt. It also expects to receive a third bailout of about 10 billion euros to get through next year. On the streets of the capital, Greeks worn down by years of rising taxes and shrinking wages were sceptical about any upturn. Few shared their government’s optimism that the country was finally turning the corner. “I don’t believe them. Whatever they’ve told us has been wrong,” said Yorgos Dedousis, 55, a newspaper vendor on Syntagma square outside parliament. “Every day people walk past here and tell me ‘I’m hungry, I’m hungry.’ What’s changed? As long as we’re under the bailout, we’re going to have problems.” After a debt-fuelled boom in the years following its entry into the euro-zone, Greece’s descent into financial chaos began in 2008 when it plunged into recession amid a global financial crisis. Repeated rounds of spending cuts imposed at the behest of the EU and IMF exacerbated the recession and fuelled public anger against austerity. The economy is expected to contract by 4 percent this year, with the jobless rate peaking at 27 percent. Nearly 60 percent of all young people are out of a job. Excluded from financial markets since 2010, Greece has been kept afloat solely by 240 billion euros in aid from the EU and IMF. It nearly crashed out of the euro zone and dragged down the global economy along with it last year before returning to a more stable financial footing over the past year. The 2014 draft budget targets a general government deficit of 2.4 percent of gross domestic product next year, with unemployment dipping slightly to 26 percent. Debt is also expected to fall slightly to 174.5 percent of GDP next year. US hedge fund group Paulson & Co also said it expected the protracted recession to bottom out this year, making Greece’s recapitalised banking sector an attractive investment play on the country’s recovery after a deep six-year slump.— Reuters

Adha with free access of “Zain Pass”; a global Wi-Fi data roaming solution based on iPass Open Mobile Exchange(iPass OMX), whereby customers will benefit from staying in touch with friends and family in more than 1.24 million areas of 123 countries around the world. Commenting on this occasion Shafeeq Alsayed Omar, Chief Commercial Officer of Zain Kuwait said: “We would like to wish all the Islamic nation a very happy Eid Al-Adha as well as to share the spirit of solidarity with Hajj pilgrims fulfilling their holy duty. Zain is always keen to share its customers’ celebrations and religious rituals by offering unmatch-

able promotions that will suit their every need.” He continued, “Zain strives to provide the best choices to its customers by constantly presenting exclusive packages and latest promotions by which will put them at the forefront of the world of communication and information technology.” For more information about Zain’s numerous competitive promotions and product launches, customers are advised to visit any of Zain’s 80 branches located across Kuwait, visit the company’s website on, contact its 24 hour call center at 107, or visit the company’s social media channels.

India throws weight behind WTO drive for Dec pact NEW DELHI: India threw its weight yesterday behind a World Trade Organization drive to clinch a deal to ease global trade at a December summit in Bali after years of deadlocked negotiations. The Indian commitment came as new WTO chief Robert Azevedo visited New Delhi to seek support for an agreement that he said could add up to a trillion dollars to the world economy, while paving the way for further trade reforms. “India will remain consistently and positively engaged to ensure the outcome of the ministerial meeting is positive,” Commerce Minister Anand Sharma told a news conference, flanked by Azevedo who took over the top WTO job last month. Sharma added that New Delhi still believes in the “centrality” of the WTO multilateral trading system, at a time when countries are no longer waiting for progress on a global deal and are instead seeking regional and bilateral agreements. “It (the WTO) has to be strengthened to correct imbalances and distortions in the global trade,” Sharma added. Azevedo told reporters that “it is time we put the WTO back in business”, saying a deal was “doable” in Bali, even though the 159-member body

has failed to produce a global trade agreement since its founding in 1995. Azevedo on Saturday appealed for support from Asia-Pacific nations currently meeting in Bali as he races against the clock to assemble an agreement. Azevedo, who called the next few weeks “crunch time”, wants the shape of a deal in place by the end of October, so it can be finalised in time for the WTO’s ninth ministerial meeting in Bali. The pact taking form is narrower in scope than the gridlocked Doha development round and has been dubbed the “Doha Lite” agreement. The most deadlocked portions of the Doha agenda have been set aside and countries are focusing talks on areas where agreement is possible, such as simplifying and harmonizing trade procedures and agricultural subsidies. Azevedo said an accord in Bali could break the Doha gridlock and allow the WTO to move forward to create a modern new multilateral agenda, that embraces new models of production and communication in the Internet age. “Bali is in my view absolutely critical in establishing the conditions for moving forward,” he said. — AFP

Nigerian CB says tightening likely PARIS: Nigeria’s central bank is more likely to tighten than ease policy in the coming year, but it does not currently see a need to move, central bank governor Lamido Sanusi said yesterday. Inflation is running at a little over 8 percent currently but should fall back below 8 percent in December, said Sanusi, adding that the bank was keeping an eye on the currency’s exchange rate even if it had been relatively stable of late. “We are more likely to tighten than ease in the next year,” he said of the central bank’s monetary policy strategy, speaking at an African conference at the Paris headquarters of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

At its last Monetary Policy Committee meeting in September, the central bank held its main rate at 12 percent for the 12th time in a row, citing a stabilising naira and inflation. The bank has come under pressure in the past to cut rates from businesses who say that would stimulate lending. It has resisted, however, arguing that it is only by staying the course despite such pressure that the economy has stabilized. Nigeria’s central bank expects inflation to remain in a single-digit band through this year and next. It projects 2014 economic growth at 7.6 percent, which compares with a rate this year of around 6.5 percent. — Reuters

Wataniya Airways CEO Thamer

Wataniya Airways deny ‘aircraft rent’ reports KUWAIT: Wataniya Airways CEO Thamer Arab denied recent reports which suggested that his company signed new aircraft rental contracts and started accepting job applications. In a statement made available to the press yesterday, Arab said that these news are “completely false”, further denying reports which indicated that new employees have already been appointed. “[The news] do not reflect the reality, but rather our hope and goals which we continue working for with all of our strength”, he said in a press release. Regarding news which speculate that the Wataniya Airways plan to ‘sell’ the Saad Al-Abdullah Airport or offer the facility for rent, Mr. Arab clarified that the airport was never owned by his company. “The Saad Al-Abdullah Airport is considered state property and the state represented by the Directorate General for Civil Aviation has full authority to deal with it the way they desire”, he added. Dr Arab further indicated that the Wataniya Airport Board of Directors continues “efforts to settle the company’s debts” and eventually put the airline back on operation, the release added.



VIVA presented with ‘Best LTE Deployment’ Award Telecoms World Awards, Middle East

Yusuffali MA with the Dubai ruler

Lulu Group MD heads list of most powerful Indians in GCC ABU DHABI: EMKE Group boss Yusuffali MA has topped the Arabian Business Indian Power List for the fourth successive year. The retail king behind the hugely successful Lulu Hypermarkets chain of stores took the top slot ahead of food giant Feroz Allana, who came in second and Standard Chartered banking boss V Shankar who was named third. Healthcare boss Dr BR Shetty, and legendary investor Ragu Kataria completed the top five. Ashish Mehta was the highest placed lawyer at number seven, with Sunil John leading the way for entries from PR and Media, at number 14. The list was propped up by Geebee Group boss G B Jethwani in 100th place. This year’s list also featured a record 11 female entries, with 20th placed Zulekha Daud leading the way, ahead of Jumbo Group boss Vidya Chhabria ranked 39th. Diva Modelling founder Nicole Larsen made her first ever appearance in the list in 52nd place. Arabian Business Editor Ed Attwood said: “The contribution of the Indian community to the growth of the GCC has been nothing short of spectacular, and everyone on this list has played and continues to play a major part in that story.” A gala dinner is being held on October 28th at The Conrad Hotel in Dubai to celebrate the list, with Indian cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar appearing as the guest of honor. With over 32,000 employees from 29 different nations the EMKE Group has an annual turnover of $5.15 billion and its

retail brand Lulu was ranked as the ‘9th fastest growing retailer in the world’ by the audit research group, Deloitte. The head of EMKE Group, who was included as 34th wealthiest Indian and the 974th richest in the world, in the Forbes Billionaires list, is the first and only expatriate member to be elected to the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He was ranked among top 20 non-royal influential persons in the ME by Wall Street Journal and conferred with the prestigious Indian civilian award of Padma Shri by the President of India. Yusuffali has played a key role in facilitating many Indian investments in UAE, as well as investments from the Emirates in India, including the Smart City Project of TECOM in Kochi, India. Considered as the unofficial Ambassador of India to the Gulf, because of his close and cordial relationship with the royal family and government authorities here, he has helped smooth the implementation of many bi-lateral treaties between Gulf countries and India. Nominated by UAE Government to the Director Board of the prestigious UAE Zakat Fund, Yusuffali has always been in the fore front when it comes to being a good Samaritan. He has been ver y actively involved in many charitable initiatives both in his personal capacity and as part of CSR whether it is the rehabilitation of shop owners who lost everything in horrific fire in Deira, Dubai and in Saudi Arabia, or in contributing to the relief fund for the flood and earthquake victims around the world.

Al-Mazaya Holding enters new real estate sector


fter extensive studies, Al-Mazaya Holding Company has, in a promising step, signed an agreement to develop a warehouse industrial unit project, to the value of KD7.8 million. The development will take place on a stretch of land owned by Al-Mazaya Holding located in the Bahrain Investment Port. Rashid Al-Nafisi, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, said that the company recently embarked on a study of its real estate portfolio, which includes a series of real estate tracts in significant and strategic locations in the Gulf region and the Middle East, in order to develop these assets either directly or through entering into strategic partnerships. He pointed out that Al-Mazaya Company is currently following a work plan, through which they intend to achieve smart targets according to a strict timetable. The plan requires entering into new real estate projects, the exit from previous projects, as well as geographical expansion into promising states. Commenting on the Industrial Unit Project in Bahrain, Al-Nafisi said that Al-Mazaya Holding Company owns a piece of land amounting to 27,605 square meters in Bahrain investment Warf located in “Al-Hadd” Town near the Bahrain Airport on the highway leading to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The development is characterized as an integrated system that is divided into a variety of sectors to serve the needs of industrialists and investors alike. He added that Bahrain investment Warf has succeeded in attracting a large number of investors to develop within this system, after the completion of its infrastructure works and through the creation of a highly developer friendly environment, pointing out that the projects developed in the port have already exceeded the port’s 90 percent capacity mark. Commenting on this project, Eng. Ibrahim Al-Saqabi the acting CEO of Al-Mazaya Holding said that Al-Mazaya Holding Company has conducted extensive studies to develop its own land in a contemporary style in line with the movement of supply and demand sectors in the region, which resulted in the idea of

developing a warehouse industrial unit system. He went on to state that the project is being developed in synergy with the completed projects in this field, which still enjoys great demand by tenants, especially after feasibility studies demonstrated the possibility of achieving excellent profits and a steady income stream in the long term. He added that, in a move designed to enhance the success of the project’s development process, Al-Mazaya Holding Company signed an agreement to develop and implement the project in collaboration with Majaal Warehouse Company, which is considered one of the leading professional Bahraini companies in the development and leasing of logistic enterprises in Bahrain. The agreement was signed on behalf of Al-Mazaya Holding by Engineer Ibrahim Saqabi, Acting Chief Executive Officer, in the presence of the Chairman of the Board of Directors Rashid AlNafisi and the Executive vice president for Business development and Marketing Eng Salwa Malhas, while Amin Al-Arrayed, Majaal Managing Director signed on behalf of Majaal by, in the presence of Head of Operations, Daniel Taylor. Al-Saqabi went on to say that Majaal will be tasked with managing the developmental process of the project as well as the selection of engineering offices and qualified contractors, to facilitate the project’s implementation. Majaal will furthermore be responsible for attracting tenants, as the company has ample experience in this business sector in the Bahraini market, after the successful implementation of a number of other similar projects in the same area. Commenting on the investment within the project, Al-Saqabi pointed out that Al-Mazaya’s engagement in a new real estate sector is yet another successful step in the pursuit of distributing its investment basket over a number of different sectors. The company has already engaged in the residential, medical, commercial, administrative office and hospitality sectors. Through this project they are now expanding into the highly lucrative sectors of storage and logistics.

KUWAIT: VIVA, Kuwait’s fastestgrowing and most developed telecom operator, has been awarded the ‘Best LTE Deployment’ award by the’ Telecoms World Awards Middle East’, the world’s leading event for telecom operators. The award was announced among others during a three-day conference held in Dubai at the Jumeirah Beach Resort, from 30 September to 2 October, 2013. The award highlights VIVA’s outstanding efforts to provide an integrated and complete internet solution that allows customers to enjoy uninterrupted data streaming, and its commitment to offering its customers the latest in the world of technology. VIVA made this evident with its recent announcement regarding its network upgrade to LTE Advance, the next generation of LTE technology that can provide download speeds of up to 1 Gigabits per second. Commenting on VIVA’s great achievement, Abdulrazzaq Bader Al-Essa - Director of Public Relation and Social Media at VIVA said: “We are very proud to be presented with this esteemed award, and it’s an honor to have our effor ts acknowledged by a leading organization. VIVA began its operations with the aim to make a difference through the services it offers and to differentiate its customers by presenting them with a unique experience. VIVA has just recently

Zarrar Hasham Khan, Chief Technology Officer at VIVA receiving the award. started upgrading its network to offer the LTE Advance, and is the first to offer this in the Kuwaiti market. Our customers motivate us to expand our horizons and to lead further with excellence and innovation.” VIVA’s plan to invest further in its network, services and

human capital has been very evident as it continues to expand its reach across Kuwait through new branches and partnerships, offer the latest in products as well as presenting its customers with award winning services. In June 2013, VIVA was also

awarded ‘Best Small Help Desk’, and ‘Call Centre Manager of The Year ’ and ‘Best Call Center Photography’ at Insights Middle East Call Center 2013 Awards; the only Call Centre dedicated, Professional Ser vices Organization in the Middle East.

Chevrolet from Yusuf A Alghanim Automotive gives you more reason to celebrate Eid KUWAIT: October has proven to be a special month as it encompasses the month that celebrates Eid Al-Adha. It also is the beginning of avid campers’ trek into the great outdoors. Due to that, Yusuf A Alghanim & Sons, the exclusive distributor of Chevrolet vehicles in Kuwait, has introduced a comprehensive and highly rewarding offer on a range of its cars throughout the month of October of 2013. In addition to the current exceptional prices, the offer includes a special package of 5 gifts: First installment for Free, Free Service for 1 year / 20,000 KM, Free 3rd party insurance, Free registration, and a KD 100 voucher from X-cite . The offer comprises a wide range of Chevrolet vehicles including the: Sonic, Cruze, Malibu, Caprice, The New Captiva, and the Traverse. Fans of crossover vehicles will be attracted to the New Captiva that possesses an unrivaled performance on any road. The new Captiva comes with an enhanced, proportionate exterior that exudes a harmonious blend of modernity and liveliness especially in the front and back ends of the car that include bumpers, headlamps and a front unique grill. Under the hood lies the option of a 2.4-liter and four-cylinder engine that generate 169 hp or a 3-liter, 6-cylinder engine that generates 264 hp, elements that position the 2013 Captiva as one of the most powerful crossover vehicle in the market. The Captiva’s 6-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission that performs at different speeds in a smooth manner enables the driver and passengers to enjoy a comfortable and effortless drive throughout every journey. The Chevrolet Captiva’s spacious cabin is available of three rows that seat up to seven passengers. Enriched with the latest modern technologies including a powerful air conditioning system that is located throughout the mid-size SUV, the new Captiva includes Bluetooth, CD and an MP3 system.

The exciting New Captiva maintains a 360 safety package including ABS, StabiliTrak, rear park assisting sensors, a solid exterior and many more beneficial tools all of which makes the New Captiva one of the most secure and safe vehicles in the market. The offer also includes the elegant Chevrolet Cruze, a car that continues to evolve into one of Chevrolet’s most impressive vehicles in its segment, offering competitive amenities, quietness, safety features and space expected of a larger sedan, but still providing the efficiency and value of a compact car. Now available with the new infotainment system ‘MyLink’, the sleek and sporty 2013 Cruze offers more value for customers than ever. Chevrolet MyLink is the brand-new and sophisticated infotainment system, which brings smartphone capabilities into the vehicle. Chevrolet MyLink aggregates content from a smartphone onto the seven-inch, high resolution, full color touch-screen display. Apart from its large sunroof, the Cruze is equipped with ABS, Stabilitrak, USB connectivity, airbags, Bluetooth, rearview camera, Cruise Control and push start engine plus 16-inch alloy wheels and fog lamps. The Cruze also proves to be the economical luxury yet powered with a 1.8-liter engine that generates an impressive 140 hp which is the strongest in its segment. Rethought, reshaped and redesigned, the new Traverse provides its owner with a new exterior design and impressive engineering developments. The 2013 Traverse’s powerful performance is complemented with standard-setting safety features. General Motors enhanced the New Traverse’s exterior starting with the front grill, headlights and smooth, seamless lines that greatly beautify and enhance the hood and backdoor. Comfortably seating eight passengers, the interior is equipped with Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system that provides 6.5 inches of

touch screen interface for all entertainment needs. Apart from allowing one to access MP3 files, iPods, iPads and more, the MyLink system seamlessly integrates a smartphone’s capabilities into the vehicle via USB or Bluetooth. The Chevrolet Traverse is designed to help avoid crashes and protect the driver and his/her passengers in the event of a collision. From the StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control System, six standard air, fuel efficiency and much more. The New Traverse has a 3.6-liter direct-injected V6 engine that generates 281 hp, and standard 6-speed automatic trans-

mission that provides smooth shifting and effortless, quiet acceleration while contributing to impressive highway fuel economy. Apart from the remarkable features and the attractive prices, customers will enjoy excellent customer service, quality maintenance options and competitive prices on spare parts, all of which are provided to you by a team of professional and skilled technicians and team members. Visit any of Yusuf A. Alghanim & Sons Automotive’s four showrooms and choose your favorite Chevrolet car to benefit from this limited time offer.

Nissan GT-R sales hit record high in Middle East DUBAI: Renowned for its all-conquering road and track performance, the popularity of Nissan 315km/h GT-R has produced an equally unparalleled sales success across the Middle East. Known as ‘Godzilla’ by its innumerable enthusiasts, its unequalled mix of blistering pace and everyday usability has resulted in a 32 surge in sales across the region for the period January to August 2013. This powerful performance builds on the already impressive 12 rise in sales seen between the over period in 2012. “No vehicle could convey Nissan’s core philosophy of innovation and excitement better than our indomitable Nissan GT-R,” said Samir Cherfan, Managing Director, Nissan Middle East. “Despite the nameplate’s presence in Nissan’s portfolio for more than six decades, a convincing direct competitor is still yet

to appear which can go head-tohead with GT-R on performance, versatility, exclusivity and value. “Those who buy a Nissan GT-R not only buy a vehicle, but they are buying into a rich history of automotive excellence; they are buying something which exudes passion, something which exceeds all their expectations of what a super car should be.” The flagship model of its line-up, GT-R lies at the heart of Nissan’s global brand marketing campaign where it is appropriately featured alongside the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt: double Olympic Champion, GT-R enthusiast and Nissan’s Director of Excitement. The advertising hoarding in Dubai International airport, depicting these great speed icons of our time, set a Guinness World Record last year as the largest example of its type.



Kaspersky Lab announces new appointments DUBAI: Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content and threat management solutions, has announced the appointment of new security research experts to represent the Middle East, Turkey and Africa arm of the company’s Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT).Established in 2008, the GReAT is an integral part of the large R&D department at Kaspersky Lab. The team’s primary responsibilities include monitoring new global malware outbreaks, investigating global cybercrime incidents, and identifying effective solutions to reduce the risks

for the IT ecosystem. The announcement comes as cyber security continues to climb the priority agenda among enterprises and individuals in the region driven by the pervasive use of the internet and mobile devices and the simultaneous increase in the awareness surrounding targeted attacks on financial institutions and other critical industries in the region. The latest additions to the globally renowned team of security experts, in their roles, Mohammad Amin Hasbini and Ghareeb Saad will lead research and

development in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region to further reinforce the company’s leadership. A former Senior Information Security and Privacy Consultant at Deloitte & Touche Middle East, Mohammad Amin Hasbini now joins Kaspersky Lab as Senior Security Researcher with a core specialization in cyber security, advanced persistent threats, penetration testing, and UNIX based open source tools and systems in addition to a thorough understanding of the global malware landscape. A GREM Certified malware analyst,

Ghareeb Saadhas more than five years of experience in the field of cyber security. Prior to joining Kaspersky Lab Middle East, Saad worked with the Egyptian Computer Emergency Response Team (EGCERT) as a security incident handler responsible for studying and analyzing the security incidents and attacks on high profile governmental entities across the country. Sergey Novikov, Deputy Director, Global Research & Analysis Team said, “We welcome Mohammad Amin Hasbini and Ghareeb Saad to our international team of experts who work around the clock gath-

ering intelligence, evaluating possibilities of attacks and studying the latest breed of malware and advance threats in a bid to create new rapid response capabilities for customers across the globe. With a wealth of experience in the field of cyber security and threat intelligence, we are confident that Hasbini and Saad will continue to drive Kaspersky Lab’s leadership in the field of cyber security and incident prevention forward helping our customers identify and better protect themselves against the many threats they are exposed to today.”

Twitter tunes in to TV partnerships before IPO Hashtag ‘GoodbyeBreakingBad’ used nearly 500,000 times

VELAUX, France: A robot vehicle built by French company ECA Robotics is shown as part of “TIEMS Week 2013”, the annual conference of TIEMS (The International Emergency Management Society) at the Bouches-du-Rhone Fire Department school (SDIS 13) on October 4, 2013 in Velaux, southern France. — AFP

Cisco, Google and SAP mulling BlackBerry bids NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO: BlackBerry Ltd, on the block as its smartphone business struggles, is in talks with Cisco Systems, Google Inc and SAP about selling them all or parts of itself, several sources close to the matter said. Such a deal would be an alternative to the preliminary agreement reached weeks ago with a group, led by BlackBerry’s biggest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings, to take the company private for about $4.7 billion, a bid which has faced some skepticism because of financing questions. The company, based in Waterloo, Ontario, has asked for preliminary expressions of interest from potential strategic buyers, which also include Intel Corp and Asian companies LG and Samsung, by early next week. It is unclear which parties will bid, if any. But the potential technology buyers have been especially interested in BlackBerry’s secure server network and patent portfolio, although doubts about the assets’ value remain an issue, the sources said. Google, Intel, Cisco, LG and SAP declined to comment. Samsung was not immediately available for comment. Possible bidders are proceeding with caution given the uncertainty around BlackBerry, which last month reported a quarterly loss of nearly $1 billion after taking a writedown on unsold Z10 phones. The value of BlackBerry’s patent portfolio and licensing agreements is likely to halve in the next 18 months, a company filing from this week shows, potentially limiting its attractiveness. According to analysts, BlackBerry’s assets include a shrinking yet well-regarded services business that powers its security-focused messaging system, worth $3 billion to $4.5 billion; a collection of

patents that could be worth $2 billion to $3 billion; and $3.1 billion in cash and investments. Adding to the company’s woes, it’s likely to burn through almost $2 billion of its cash pile in the next year and a half, Bernstein analyst Pierre Ferragu wrote on Thursday after studying the filing. Private equity firms that have showed interest in BlackBerry which also include Cerberus Capital Management - have asked the company and its advisers to provide additional financial details about its various business segments, two of the sources said. That process could take another few weeks, as BlackBerry focuses on taking bids from industry peers, the sources said. In August, the company said it was weighing its options, which could include an outright sale, after Reuters first reported BlackBerry’s board was warming up to the possibility of going private. At that time, it formed a five-member special committee chaired by board director Timothy Dattels. Other members include Chairman Barbara Stymiest, Chief Executive Thorsten Heins, Richard Lynch and Bert Nordberg. A spokesman for BlackBerry said in an emailed statement to Reuters: “The special committee, with the assistance of BlackBerry’s independent financial and legal advisors, is conducting a robust and thorough review of strategic alternatives.” He declined to provide further comment. JPMorgan Chase & Co and RBC Capital Markets are advising BlackBerry. The board is being advised by Perella Weinberg Partners, the sources said. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Torys LLP are providing legal advice. — Reuters

NEW YORK: People don’t just watch TV anymore; they talk about it on Twitter. From the comfort of couches, they share reactions to touchdowns and nail-biting season finales and advertisers and networks are taking note. Examples of Twitter’s influence abound. The recent finale of “Breaking Bad” generated a record 1.24 million tweets. The conversation peaked at 22,373 tweets per minute according to analytics firm SocialGuide. People used the hashtag “GoodbyeBreakingBad” nearly 500,000 times. During this year’s Super Bowl, sports fans generated 24 million tweets about the competition and nearly half of the game’s nationally televised commercials contained hashtags that encouraged viewers to tweet. Twitter, says Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst at research firm eMarketer, “creates a community, a bond between people that doesn’t really exist without Twitter.” As Twitter prepares for its initial public offering, the San Francisco-based company is also working hard to insert itself into the TV advertising economy. In recent months, the social networking company has forged partnerships with television content owners such as CBS, MTV and the NFL through a program it calls Amplify. The platform lets content owners beam real-time video clips to Twitter users who may have seen -or could be interested in- their TV programming. It also allows marketers to communicate with viewers who saw their TV ads, extending commercial pitches to consumers’ smartphones and tablets. TV tie-ins allow Twitter to diversify its revenue stream beyond the relatively small niche of digital advertising campaigns, a move that should appeal to potential investors. On Thursday, Twitter unsealed documents for a Wall Street debut that could take place before Thanksgiving. While the company did not reveal how much money it makes from its TV partnerships, it touted its own “strength as a second screen for television programming.” Twitter wrote in its S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that “45% of television ads shown during the Super Bowl used a hashtag to invite viewers to engage in conversation about those television ads on Twitter.” Twitter’s public nature makes it an especially attractive platform for tracking live-TV conversations. So much so that Nielsen recently began using Twitter’s data to measure online social activity around TV programming, starting with this fall’s TV season. Nielsen will release its first “Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings” report on Monday. The study measures TVrelated conversations on the social network. Nielsen found that in the second quarter of this year, 19 million people wrote 263 million tweets about live TV events, up 38 percent

LONDON: File photo shows the logo of the social networking website ‘Twitter’ displayed on a computer screen in London. — AFP

from a year earlier. Separately, Nielsen found that the “Breaking Bad” finale was by far the most tweeted-about program last week. On Sunday, the NFL showed just how Twitter-enabled promotions work. Minutes after Cincinnati cornerback Adam Jones intercepted New England’s Tom Brady, ending the quarterback’s streak of 52 games with a touchdown pass, the NFL posted a video clip on Twitter. The clip shows Jones bobbling, and then snagging the ball before it hits the ground. The 32-second clip was prefaced by an 8second video ad for a Verizon Droid mobile phone. “Adam Jones ends the Pats undefeated season, Brady’s TD streak AND a rainstorm. With 1 INT,” the league tweeted. By inserting itself into the online buzz, the NFL was able to remind people the game was going on live at its NFL Network channel. Meanwhile, it earned new revenue from Verizon, a longtime sponsor that wanted to showcase its NFL Mobile app. The NFL has more than 5.1 million followers on Twitter. But its new partnership with Twitter means the tweet also went out to millions of other users who might be interested. Hans Schroeder, the NFL’s senior vice president of media strategy and development, says he expects promoted tweets will eventually reach tens of millions of fans, multiplying its reach. “We think it’ll drive tune-in to our games and drive more people into the experience through NFL Mobile,” Schroeder says. As part of the deal, Twitter shares some of the revenue from Verizon’s advertising spend when the phone company pays for “promoted tweets.” Previously, the money might have gone only to the league itself.

2m monitoring Internet in China

Social media fuel dangerous weight-loss trend in women BALLWIN: Experts in eating disorders are concerned about an Internet-fueled trend in which teenage girls and young women pursue an elusive and possibly dangerous weight-loss goal: to become so slender that their thighs don’t touch even when their feet are together. Specialists say achieving a so-called thigh gap is risky and virtually impossible. But some exceptionally thin models have the gap, which is upheld as a beauty achievement on countless Tumblr pages, blogs and other social media sites. “The issue of focusing on a particular body part is very common,” said Claire Mysko, who oversees teen outreach and digital media for the National Eating Disorders Association, an advocacy group. “What is new is these things have taken on a life of their own because of the Internet and social media.” When the vast majority of people stand with their feet together, their thighs touch. A tiny percentage of people have thighs so slim that they don’t come together. The “thigh gap” refers to this space. Studies suggest that peer pressure from social media plays a significant role in eating disorders. A 2011 study at the University of Haifa found that adolescent girls who spent the most time using Facebook had a greater chance of developing a negative body image and an eating disorder. “The intrusion and presence of social media in our lives really does make it very difficult,” said Nancy Albus, chief executive officer of Castlewood Treatment Center, a suburban St Louis facility that focuses on eating disorders. “The important distinction about thigh gap is it gives you an actual visual to achieve, this visual comparison of how your body does or doesn’t stack up.” Dr Vonda Wright, a Pittsburgh-based orthopedic surgeon and fitness expert, said the spacing between a person’s legs is based mostly on genetics. And even extraordinarily thin people may not have a body type that can achieve a gap. You have to be both skinny and wide-hipped, she said. Besides, Wright said, it isn’t a goal worth chasing. Most fit people won’t have a thigh gap because their thighs are muscular enough that they touch, she said. “Skinny does not mean fit or muscular,” said Wright, who works with Division I athletes. “I cannot think of one athlete I deal with” who has a thigh gap. Experts say it is impossible to know if the pursuit of a thigh gap has caused any deaths, nor is it known how

many eating disorders are blamed on the phenomenon. But Mysko said experts believe that “exposure to online images of extreme beauty standards and the drive to compare does increase the risk of developing eating disorders.” Sara, a 22-year-old Castlewood client, said thigh-gap sites were a contributing factor in her struggle. She spoke on the condition that she be identified only by her first name to avoid the stigma associated with eating disorders. Always a high achiever, Sara was captain of her high school swim team in Minnesota and a straightA student. In college, she graduated near the top of her class, even while hiding her secret. It was in high school that Sara developed anorexia. By college, she was purging and excessively exercising. She was a frequent visitor to thigh-gap sites. “It helped to normalize what I was doing to myself,” Sara said. “I never knew before that I wanted a thigh gap. It felt like it was some type of accomplishment that people would want to achieve.”The sites offered photos of slender-legged models, testimonials on how to achieve the gap and tips such as chewing food but spitting it out before swallowing. Grotesquely, some of the sites showed pictures of Holocaust victims “for motivational purposes” or martyred those who died from eating disorders. It seemed to make her own struggle OK, Sara said. “I would say, ‘Well, I’m not that bad.’” Her therapist, Kim Callaway, said she often encourages clients to avoid social media and even delete their Facebook pages. “It’s not uncommon for people to be on Facebook talking about what they ate today, posting pictures of their meals or writing about how they’re 10 pounds lighter than they were a month ago,” Callaway said. “The ability to be instantly connected to everybody and see what they look like and see them blog or talk about what they are eating and what they do for exercise - this makes it a lot more difficult for those with eating disorders,” Callaway said. The National Eating Disorders Association is fighting back with its own site,, which promotes positive body image and encourages healthy attitudes about food and weight. Sara is getting better after about four months of treatment at Castlewood. She’s moved out of the treatment center to an apartment, though she still gets outpatient therapy. “I want to recover,” she said. “And I don’t want this to be my life anymore.” — AP

Twitter’s projected 2013 revenue is about $582 million, according to research firm eMarketer. At the moment, the company generates tens of millions of dollars of revenue from all of its TV deals, including those with ESPN, Turner networks, CBS and others, according to Brian Wieser, an analyst with Pivotal Research Group. That’s not huge. However, says Wieser: “This year, it’s about getting the foot in the door.” Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter estimates that Twitter gets just a small fraction of its revenue from the TV deals - around 1 percent. But by next year, the deals could amount to 5 percent, and 15 percent the year after, he says. Twitter isn’t alone in its quest to befriend TV content companies. Facebook, too, is recognizing the value of live TV chatter. Because of its sheer size - nearly 1.2 billion users versus Twitter’s 218 million - Facebook has more conversations than any other social network. During the “Breaking Bad” finale, more than 3 million people generated 5.5 million “interactions,” that is, status updates, comments or “likes.” For now, Facebook’s TV partnerships are not intended to generate revenue, the company says. Rather, they are “focused on helping people discover great content,” says Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s vice president of media partnerships. Over the past few months, Facebook has rolled out more Twitter-like features as competition between the world’s leading social networks heats up. There are now hashtags on Facebook, and the company is encouraging celebrities to use its site to interact with fans -just as many of them do on Twitter. — AP

NEW YORK: In this file photo, a thin model walks the runway at the Proenza Schouler Spring 2007 fashion show at Milk Studios in New York. Experts in eating disorders are concerned about an Internet-fueled trend in which teenage girls and young women pursue an elusive and possibly dangerous weightloss goal: to become so slender that their thighs don’t touch even when their feet are together. — AP

BEIJING: China is employing two million people to keep tabs on people’s Internet use, according to state media, in a rare glimpse into the secret world of Beijing’s vast online surveillance operation. Many of the employees are simply performing keyword searches to monitor the tens of millions of messages being posted daily on popular social media and microblogging sites, the Beijing News said. The exact number of people employed to trawl through the Internet in a bid to prevent social unrest and limit criticism of the ruling Community party has long been the subject of speculation. The “web police” are employed by the government’s propaganda arm, as well as by commercial sites, the Beijing News said. It said that despite their large number, the monitors are not always able to prevent comments that are deemed by the government to be undesirable from being published and reposted. China’s censorship authorities tightly control online content for fear of political or social unrest that could challenge the Communist party’s grip on power. Authorities in recent years banned the popular social media sites Facebook and Twitter, which were instrumental in the wave of uprisings that swept the Middle East and North Africa from late 2010 in what became known as the Arab Spring. Last year authorities blocked The New York Times after it cited financial records showing relatives of former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao had controlled assets worth at least $2.7 billion-a report China branded a smear. In recent months authorities have ramped up already strict censoring of domestic social media sites such as the popular microblog service Sina Weibo. They have detained hundreds of people for spreading “rumours” online, and warned high-profile bloggers with millions of followers to post more positive comments. The Supreme Court said this month that Internet users could face three years in jail if “slanderous” information spread online is viewed more than 5,000 times or forwarded more than 500 times. China has more than 500 million Internet users, making it the world’s largest online population. — AFP


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

Sports superstars endorse sugary, fatty foods

WASHINGTON: In this photo Holly Sloan interacts with her baby Amelia at their home in Warrenton. — AP photos

WASHINGTON: In this photo Stephanie Gomez, a research assistant at Inova Translational Medicine Institute, works with urine and blood samples from a baby in a laboratory at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church.

Ethical issues as scientists peek into baby genes WASHINGTON: Little Amelia Sloan is a pioneer: Shortly after her birth, scientists took drops of the healthy baby’s blood to map her genetic code. Amelia is part of a large research project outside the nation’s capital that is decoding the DNA of hundreds of infants. New parents in a few other cities soon can start signing up for smaller studies to explore if what’s called genome sequencing fully mapping someone’s genes to look for

was something that was looming over the horizon,” said Dr. Alan Guttmacher, a pediatrician and geneticist at the National Institutes of Health. Last month, NIH announced a $25 million, five-year pilot project in four cities Boston, San Francisco, Chapel Hill, NC, and Kansas City, Mo - to start answering some of the questions before the technology is widely offered for babies. Today, the 4 million US babies born annu-

WASHINGTON: Dr Ahmad Moin, lab manager at Inova Translational Medicine Institute, handles a box of blood samples frozen in liquid nitrogen at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church. health risks - should become a part of newborn care. It’s full of ethical challenges. Should parents be told only about childhood threats? Or would they also want to learn if their babies carried a key gene for, say, breast cancer after they’re grown? Could knowing about future risks alter how a family treats an otherwise healthy youngster? And how accurate is this technology - could it raise too many false alarms? This is the newest frontier in the genetic revolution: how early to peek into someone’s DNA, and how to make use of this health forecast without causing needless worry. “This

ally have a heel pricked in the hospital, providing a spot of blood to be tested for signs of at least 30 rare diseases. This newborn screening catches several thousand affected babies each year in time for early treatment to prevent death, brain damage or other disabilities. It’s considered one of the nation’s most successful public health programs. A complete genetic blueprint would go well beyond what that newborn blood spot currently tells doctors and parents - allowing a search for potentially hundreds of other conditions, some that arise in childhood and some later, some preventable and some not.

NIEUWENDIJK: Dutch eels squirm are pictured in a bucket after being brought ashore before being released on the other side of a Dutch dike at the start of the ‘Eels over the Dike’ project. — AFP photos

“If I truly believed that knowing one’s genome was going to be transformative to medicine over the next decade or more, then wouldn’t I want to start generating that information around the time of birth?” asked Dr John Niederhuber, former director of the National Cancer Institute who now oversees one of the largest baby-sequencing research projects to date. At Niederhuber’s Inova Translational Medicine Institute in Falls Church, Va., researchers are mapping the genomes of newborns, along with their parents and other relatives for comparison. The long-term goal of the privately funded study is to uncover genetic patterns that predict complex health problems, from prematurity to developmental disorders. But the experimental tests will turn up some gene mutations already well-known to cause serious ailments, and participating parents must choose upfront whether to be told. They don’t get a full report card of their baby’s genes. Only ones that cause treatable or preventable conditions - so-called medically actionable findings - are revealed, to the family’s doctor. That means in addition to pediatric diseases, parents also could learn whether a baby carries a particular breast-cancer-causing gene, information useful once she reaches young adulthood. Nurse Holly Sloan was eager to enroll daughter Amelia, although she thought hard about how she’d handle any bad news. “If it was something that we could hopefully prevent through diet or exercise or some kind of lifestyle change, we could start with that as early as possible,” said Sloan, of Warrenton, Va. “I guess I’m just the type of person, I would rather know and address it.” Five months after Amelia’s birth, she hasn’t gotten any worrisome results. Until now, genome sequencing has been used mostly in research involving curious adults or to help diagnose children or families plagued by mysterious illnesses. But many specialists say it’s almost inevitable that DNA mapping eventually will be used for healthy young children, too, maybe as an addition to traditional newborn screening for at least some tots. It takes a few

drops of blood or a cheek swab. And while it’s still too costly for routine use, the price is dropping rapidly. Whole genome sequencing is expected to soon come down to $1,000, what it now costs for a more targeted “exome” sequencing that maps only certain genes and may be enough. The NIH decided this was a window of opportunity to explore different ways this technology might be used. One of the four teams - at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City - will test rapid gene mapping to speed diagnosis of sick babies in intensive care. Another will look for narrow sets of genes important in childhood, such as those involved with immune disorders not detected by today’s newborn screening or that alter how a child processes medication. “It’s not going to be some sort of fishing expedition throughout the genome,” said Dr. Robert Nussbaum of the University of California, San Francisco. The two other projects - at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill - will go a step further by enrolling healthy infants as they explore what kind of information parents want about their babies’ future. “We aren’t even sure that genome-scale sequencing in newborns is really a good idea,” cautioned UNC lead researcher Dr Jonathan Berg in a recent Facebook chat to alert the community about the study. Rather than a one-time mapping, it’s possible that “we will use targeted sequencing at certain times in a person’s life, when that specific information will actually be medically useful.” For those pioneering babies whose DNA is being mapped already, researchers are “trying to figure out what is legal, versus ethical, versus good medicine” in revealing results, said Joe Vockley, Inova Translational Medicine Institute’s chief science officer. Mom and Dad may be told something their child, once grown, wishes hadn’t been revealed. Other findings may be withheld now that would be good to know years later, as new treatments are developed. “This is a living, breathing problem,” Vockley said, “not a static decision that’s made, and it lasts for all time.” — AP

NIEUWENDIJK: Dutch eels are released from a bucket after being carried across a Dutch dike.

NEW YORK: When Miami Heat star LeBron James isn’t scoring baskets, he’s busy - selling soda, sports drinks and fast food. But James isn’t alone. In a new study, many top US athletes, from Peyton Manning to Serena Williams, were all over television promoting food and drinks, most of which aren’t very healthy. “We see these people - they’ve obviously (reached the top) of sports achievement, they’re obviously living a healthy lifestyle - and they’re endorsing these foods. And that kind of lends an aura of healthfulness to these foods and beverages that they don’t deserve,” said Emma Boyland, from the University of Liverpool in the UK. “The message is really getting mixed up,” added Boyland. She studies marketing and children’s food choices but didn’t work on the new research. The new study was led by Marie Bragg from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. She and her team compiled a list of advertising deals for 100 top athletes. In 2010, those athletes endorsed a total of 512 brands. About a quarter were food and beverages. The athletes endorsed 62 food products, including burgers, cookies and cereal. Forty-nine of the 62 were high in calories and low in nutritional value. They also endorsed 46 sports drinks, sodas and other beverages. And in 43 of those, all the calories came from added sugar, the research team wrote yesterday in Pediatrics. “What stood out to us was the striking irony of the practice of having the world’s most physically fit athletes endorsing these products,” Bragg said. Based on TV viewing data, Bragg’s team found that teens saw more of the ads by athletes during the year than adults. “We know that children and (teens) are really affected by this type of thing,” Boyland told Reuters Health. “We know that influences the type of foods they choose and they eat.”—Reuters

‘Minamata’ mercury treaty conference kicks off in Japan TOKYO: A UN conference to sign a historic treaty aimed at reining in the use and emission of mercury began yesterday in Kumamoto, near Minamata, the site of Japan’s worst-ever industrial poisoning. Delegates from some 140 countries and regions are scheduled to attend the five-day conference in the country’s southwest, organizers said. The conference comes after a January agreement on details of the world’s first legally binding treaty on mercury, a highly toxic metal. Preparatory meetings kicked off yesterday at the venue, the organizers said, while local media said the treaty is likely to be adopted unanimously on Thursday. The treaty has been named the Minamata Convention on Mercury, in honor of the Japanese city around 2,000 people died and many more were made sick by mercury dumped by a local factory. Delegates are to visit Minamata on Wednesday to mourn the victims. The treaty will take effect once ratified by 50 countries-something organizers expect will take three to four years. Mercury, also known as quicksilver, is found in products ranging from electrical switches, thermometers and light-bulbs, to amalgam dental fillings and even facial creams. Serious mercury poisoning affects the body’s immune system and development of the brain and nervous system, posing the greatest risk to foetuses and infants. The treaty sets a phase-out date of 2020 for a long line of products including mercury thermometers, while the text gives governments 15 years to end all mercury mining. But environmental groups say the treaty falls short in addressing artisanal smallscale gold mining, a major source of large amounts of the heavy metal, which also directly threatens the health of miners. — AFP

NIEUWENDIJK: Dutch fisherman Aart van der Waal pulls up an eel trap on a small canal.

Dutch fishermen give vanishing eels new lease of life NIEUWENDIJK: On an autumn morning on a small Dutch canal, fisherman Aart van der Waal pulls up a fish trap stuffed with squirming eels-not for the pot, but as part of a bold initiative to save the critically endangered species. Weighed and recorded, the serpentine swimmers are then carried several hundred meters (yards) across a dike in a plastic bucket, before being released back into the water on the other side with an unceremonious splash. Once in the Haringvliet, a North Sea estuary some 15 kilometers (nine miles) downstream, the rescued eels will complete their final freshwater swim, before tackling an arduous 7,000-kilometre journey to spawning grounds in the central Atlantic Ocean. Twice a week, Van der Waal sets out on his flat-bottomed boat to pull up the traps as part of an ambitious plan to help save Europe’s decimated eel population, an indicator species for the health of the continent’s estuaries and seas. As part of “Eels Over The Dikes”, some 50 volunteers consisting of professional and recreational fishers backed by funds from a fishing-industry foundation, the Dutch government and the European Union, lend a hand to help these mysterious creatures get back to the sea. Over the last three decades, European eel numbers

have been devastated, falling by as much as 99 percent in some areas, according to EU figures. One of the main reasons is that eels, which migrate from sea to fresh water and back, often find their paths blocked or are killed or injured when they swim through pump houses, sluice gates or hydro-engineering projects. Poaching and over-fishing, pollution and climate change also play a role in the decline of the eel population, which “European member states are doing too little to save,” European MPs said last month. Young transparent eels are known as “glass eels” and they have become particularly prized in Asia over the last 15 years, mainly to be fattened in farms, as a result of which the price of glass eels in the mid-2000s exceeded that of caviar. The European eel (Anguilla anguilla) is now listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on its Red List of Threatened Species. Eels are complex migratory animals, believed to hatch in the Sargasso Sea, before drifting back to continental shores on the currents. Eels can live for more than 80 years, during which they swim many thousands of miles. As young “glass eels”, they enter freshwater systems which they use as nurseries to grow and mature, before

heading back to sea. In the low-lying Netherlands, reclaimed land called polders, surrounded by myriad small canals and ditches, form the ideal eel habitat. Getting in and out of this “polder paradise” however presents the greatest obstacle to the eel, as water levels differ on both sides of the dikes.”Because we have to constantly pump water across the dikes to the sea to stay dry, thousands of eels try to swim through the pumping stations and inevitably get caught in the blades,” Van der Waal said. ‘Eels are like kids’ Last year, the Sustainable Eel Fund Netherlands foundation (DUPAN) funded a pilot project to see whether it would be possible to catch the eels before they are sliced to pieces and carry them safely across the dikes. The pilot project was a success, with some 4,600 eels safely transported across dikes at 11 pumping stations. In April, May and June this year, the foundation’s helpers released more than a million baby eels in lakes and canals across the country to restock their numbers. Wednesday marked the official start of the “Eels Across The Dikes” project, backed with around 230,000 euros ($310,000) in funds from the Dutch government

and European Union. It will run around the country until December in 23 spots. “The Dutch have been fighting against the water since the 13th century,” said Alex Koelewijn, DUPAN’s chairman. “When we built coastal fortifications against the water we never took into account that there are fish that migrate from salt to fresh water or the other way around. “The only and simple solution is to help the migrating eels across the dikes,” he told AFP. London-based Sustainable Eel Group chairman Andrew Kerr said eels are seen across the continent as “a very important indicator species.” “If eels suffer, it means that we’re getting it wrong in terms of how we manage our wetlands and our oceans,” he told AFP. The Dutch project served as an example to other European countries, where thousands of eels face similar obstacles, he said. “A project like this is part of the solution for saving our wildlife,” said Kerr. For Van der Waal, who’s been fishing since he was a teen, it’s personal. “These eels are like kids, they need a little love,” the burly fisherman laughed as he set out once more to pull up another eel-filled “fuik” (trap). “We have to help them across these bumps, otherwise we may in the future have none of them left,” he said.—AFP


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

OSLO: Picture taken on September 7, 2010 shows the laureates of Neuroscience Professor Thomas C Suedhof and Professor James E Rothman during the Kavli Prize Award Ceremony.

STOCKHOLM: A screenshot taken from the Nobel Prize Medicine Website shows photos of James E Rothman from the US, Randy W Schekman from the US and Thomas C Suedhof from Germany, all joined winners of the Medicine Nobel Prize, the Nobel Assembly announced yesterday during a press conference to announce the laureates the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. — AFP photos

STOCKHOLM: Juleen Zierath, head of the Section of Integrative Physiology, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery at Karolinska Institutet, stands next to a screen displaying Germanborn scientist Thomas C Suedhof and drafts of his work during a press conference to announce the laureates of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Americans, German win Nobel for cell transport STOCKHOLM: Americans James Rothman and Randy Schekman and German-born researcher Thomas Suedhof won the 2013 Nobel Prize in medicine yesterday for discoveries on how hormones, enzymes and other key substances are transported within cells. This traffic control system keeps activities inside cells from descending into chaos and has helped researchers gain a better understanding of a range of diseases including diabetes and disorders affecting the immune system, the committee said. Working in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s, the three researchers made groundbreaking discoveries about how tiny bubbles called vesicles (VEHS’-ih-kuhls) act as cargo carriers inside cells. Above all, their work helps explain “how this cargo is delivered to the right place at the right time” the committee said. “Imagine hundreds of thousands of people who are traveling around hundreds of miles of streets; how are they going to find the right way? Where will the bus stop and open its doors

so that people can get out?” Nobel committee secretary Goran Hansson said. “There are similar problems in the cell.” The discoveries have helped doctors diagnose a severe form of epilepsy and immune deficiency diseases in children, Hansson said. In the future, scientists hope the research could lead to medicines against more common types of epilepsy, diabetes and other metabolism deficiencies, he added. Rothman, 62, is a professor at Yale University, while Schekman, 64, is at the University of California, Berkeley. Suedhof, 57, joined Stanford University in 2008. Schekman said he was awakened at 1 am at his home in California by the chairman of the prize committee and was still suffering from jetlag after returning from a trip to Germany the night before. “I wasn’t thinking too straight. I didn’t have anything elegant to say,” he told The Associated Press. “All I could say was ‘Oh my God,’ and that was that.” He called the prize a wonderful acknowledgment of the work he and his students

had done and said he knew it would change his life. “I called my lab manager and I told him to go buy drinks and expect to have a celebration with my lab,” he said. In the 1970s, Schekman discovered a set of genes that were required for vesicle transport, while Rothman revealed in the 1980s and 1990s how vesicles delivered their cargo to the right places. Also in the ‘90s, Suedhof identified the machinery that controls when vesicles release chemical messengers from one brain cell that let it communicate with another. “This is not an overnight thing. Most of it has been accomplished and developed over many years, if not decades,” Rothman told the AP. Rothman said he lost grant money for the work recognized by the Nobel committee, but he will now reapply, hoping the Nobel prize will make a difference in receiving funding. Suedhof, who moved to the US in 1983 and also has US citizenship, told the AP he received the call from the committee while driving toward the city of Baeza, in

southern Spain, where he was due to give a talk. “I got the call while I was driving and like a good citizen I pulled over and picked up the phone,” he said. “To be honest, I thought at first it was a joke. I have a lot of friends who might play these kinds of tricks.” The medicine prize kicked off this year’s Nobel announcements. The awards in physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics will be announced by other prize juries this week and next. Each prize is worth 8 million Swedish kronor ($1.2 million). Rothman and Schekman won the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for their research in 2002 - an award often seen as a precursor of a Nobel Prize. Suedhof won the Lasker award this year. “I might have been just as happy to have been a practicing primary-care doctor,” he said after winning that prize. “But as a medical student I had interacted with patients suffering from neurodegeneration or acute clinical schizophrenia. It left an indelible mark on my memory.”—AP


W H AT ’ S O N

GUST student attends Gulf Research Center Training in Brussels



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



ishing Dr Mohammad Iyad all the best on the occasion of his daughter’s birth. May Allah the Almighty protect and guide her. Congratulations to her proud grandparents.


he Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) sponsored one its Public Relations students, Talal Al-Qaoud, to attend the Gulf Research Center (GRC) Student Training entitled: “Understanding the Institutions and Policies of the EU and EU-GCC Relations,” which took place in Brussels. Al-Qaoud, was among many students from six GCC countries which took part in the training, which was organized by the GRC within their European Commission project “Promoting Deeper EU-GCC relations.” The students were welcomed by Dr. Christian Koch, Director of the Gulf Research Center Foundation in Geneva, on the first day of the training. Throughout the next week, the students were taken on a series of meetings, presentations and exhibitions at various EU institutions and taught their relations to the specific policies and cooperation with the GCC countries. They also got the chance to meet the Kuwait Ambassador to Brussels, Ambassador AmalAlHamad. The students were also given the opportunity

to visit the city of Bruges and attend several presentations in different institutions and universities. Talal noted: “Every day was a day of new information and opportunities, trying to shape and figure out ways to improve the relations that we already have to build on a better future. It helped me understand how the European system works with other countries and regions such as the GCC and talking about the politics and parliament and every way that can benefit both parties for a better future.” All of which led to a final presentation done by the students based on the work they were doing, to an audience at the Institute for European Studies at Vrije University. The specific task assigned to them was to present their ideas for further development of the cooperation between the EU and the GCC. The outcome of their work ranged from the fields of education and media to cultural exchange and more person-toperson contacts. Al-Qaoud mentioned: “In our presentation, we tackled the situations of education and how

to make people aware of these opportunities available to the people from the GCC. We also talked about how research centers like the GRC should be conducted more often to give people the chance to participate and experience it in person rather than just read about it in class or watch it on the news. Finally, talked about keeping in touch with contacts, building relations and exchanging ideas which would help increase tolerance and the culture influence grow to be more understanding.” Al-Qaoud exclaimed: “The trip hosted by the GRC to help build relations between the EU and the GCC was absolutely brilliant and I was proud to represent GUST and Kuwait to help build a better future.” GUST continuously works on building relationships with institutions such as the GRC to promote a diversified experience for its students and help them build themselves educationally and independently for their future.

Announcements KKIC to hold Islamic students conference uwait Kerala Islahi is planning to conduct Second Islamic Students Conference (ISCON) on November 1 and 2 at Grand Mosque. Scores of students had participated in last year’s students’ workshop and other various activities. The two-day program will commence with inaugural ceremony on Friday evening. Renowned guests from the Ministry of Awqaf, Islamic Heritage Society in addition to renowned educationists, experts, guest lecturers from in and out of Kuwait will participate in the conference. Several sessions will be held under students workshop, parenting and butterfly meets with support of presentations. A souvenir will be released on this occasion. Students will be admitted only through registration. For details call on 50775545, 66977038, 99392791.


Oula Fuel Marketing concludes First Aid Workshop ula Fuel Marketing Company announced the conclusion of its training workshop entitled “First Aid Basics” that was organized by the Training & Administrative Affairs Department. The training was held at the company’s headquarters in the Kuwait Business Town Tower from September 1719, 2013. The workshop, which was held in cooperation with one of the leading consultancy centers, lasted for three days and acquainted 60 station managers with the safety procedures and first aid basics required in the case of an emergency. In accordance with the strong emphasis Oula places on maintaining public safety, and as a confirmation of the company’s commitment to implementing the highest of safety standards; the workshop came in line with a series of similar training programs regularly organized by Oula for its managers and employees. Through such workshops, stations managers are provided with all the necessary information and skills to efficiently handle both humanitarian cases and emergencies that may arise during a customer’s presence at any of the stations. In addition, employees are equipped with the appropriate means required to prevent or minimize any amount of human and material losses that may occur. Upon completion of the workshop, and as proof of the stations managers’ qualification and readiness to carry out first aid procedures and early intervention, Oula distributed certificates approved by the Management of Medical Emergencies. Participants also received a license from the Health Care Association, the American Heart Association and the American Hospital Management Company. Such efforts represent Oula’s genuine keenness on implementing its core strategy founded on constantly developing its products and services, along with ensuring that all health and safety standards are met in hopes of pleasing customers and maintaining the safety of citizens and station workers.

AUK holds annual Convocation Ceremony


Enjoy 3 nights at Starwood hotels for 2 urgan Bank announced yesterday that its XChange card holders can benefit from the bank’s new offer when travelling within Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Customers can book for two nights to receive a third night for free in more than 230 Starwood Hotels such as Sheraton, Le Meridien, W Hotels and many more. This offer is valid until July 31, 2014. The X-Change card comes in seven different currencies: the US dollars, euro, British pound, Saudi riyal, UAE dirhams, Egyptian pound as well as the Filipino peso. The card, which provides its users with easy access to online shopping, ticket booking and hotel reservations, comes with a unique key feature which is the ability to capture and hold the value of the exchange rate at which the card was bought to enable customers to capitalize on their preferred currency rates and withstand future currency fluctuations. Burgan Banks latest promotion is part of their long term commitment to provide customers with innovative benefits that go beyond their banking needs. To find out more about Burgan Bank’s XChange card, or any of its products and services, customers can visit any of the bank’s branches, or contact the call center.



his academic year is very unique for all of us because it marks the 10th anniversary of the American University of Kuwait. On this day, we would like to renew our commitment to academic excellence in teaching, research and service,” said Dr Nizar Hamzeh, Interim President of AUK, speaking to a crowd of 400 students at the AUK Convocation Ceremony for the incoming Class of 2017. Organized by the Division of Student Affairs, the annual Convocation Ceremony serves as a ceremonial rite of passage for new undergraduate students entering the AUK Community. The ceremony introduces new students to key components and symbols representative of AUK including the AUK Motto “Learn...Think...Become...”, as well as, the AUK Seal, Logo, Mascot, and Colors. AUK embraces a profound belief in life-long learning, which Dr Rawda Awwad, Interim Dean of the College Arts and Sciences, described as “an honest, selfreflective, and humble endeavor that should be motivated by a passion for knowledge and the desire to pursue that passion.” As she addressed the students, Dr. Awwad recalled the story of Wally Taibleson, a 90-year-old graduate of California State University San Marcos, who became the icon of life-long learning. Dr John Russell, Interim Dean of the College of Business & Economics, spoke to the incoming class about thinking, another higher order value of AUK, which he analogized to “an electric spark or key that unlocks the potential in knowledge.” Become - the last word of the motto and the end goal of AUK - was what Dr Carol Ross-Scott, VP for Student Affairs, urged the students to achieve. “To become, you must act on the opportunities and possibilities,” she said “Your college education is an

opportunity to become someone better...For the past decade, AUK students have been on a journey of excellence and this year we celebrate a decade of accomplishments. It is now your turn to become a part of the journey.” As a tradition of the ceremony, AUK faculty representatives, Athmar Al-Salem , Neamat Mosaad, Craig Loomis, Mohsen Bagnied, Shoma Munshi, and Chris Ohan, along with the undergraduate and alumni representatives Maryam Al-Faudari Haya Al-Qassar, took turns in explaining the connotations of the AUK icons and symbols. The AUK Seal, the most significant symbol of the university, was described in detail reviewing all four major components of the Circle of Life including the Bookwhich represents liberal arts and dedication to knowledge; Dhow-historical Kuwait’s aspiration, exploration and tradition; Falcon-representing vision, courage and leadership; and the Torch of Wisdom that represents the freedom to purse the big questions of life. Concluding the event, the Deans and the VP of Student Affairs ignited the flames of knowledge and wisdom, as a symbol of their significant partnership and commitment to the success of students. Candles were lit along the aisles of the celebration hall marking the transfer of knowledge to the next AUK generation. The Convocation Ceremony is the pinnacle event for the Annual Orientation and Welcome Week festivities for incoming students. During this week, many events were organized to welcome all students to campus including the Welcome Back Barbeque and Get Involved Fair. In addition, specific events were held to help First Year students get familiar with their surroundings. The Convocation ceremony in particular, is designed to promote community unity and

help students in their transition to University life at AUK. The American University of Kuwait (AUK) is an independent, private, equal opportunity, and co-educational liberal arts institu-

tion of higher education. The educational, cultural and administrative structure, methods and standards of AUK are based on the American model of higher learning. The language of instruction is English.


W H AT ’ S O N

Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa brings unrivalled Eid experience

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


umeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa, Kuwait’s Idyllic Resort, is the ideal destination this Eid for families, couples or groups of friends who can stay, dine and relax in beautiful surroundings. Offering Kuwait’s largest room inventory, the hotel aims to exceed all guest expectations of comfort, style and convenience. Special Eid menus and fun activities will be available in the hotel’s restaurants, cafÈs and stylish lounges. Garden CafÈ - the hotel’s main venue for breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets - offers the ‘Adha Mubarak’ program, an Eid buffet with live cooking stations of mixed grills, seafood dishes, Ouzi and other Arabic specialties. For children, a dedicated buffet will offer yummy treats with cotton candy and popcorn while they enjoy activities and entertaining games. For dinner, guests can enjoy the ‘BBQ Nights’ featuring the tastiest barbecued chicken, beef, lamb, mixed kebabs and delicious Mezze in town. The hotel’s premium steakhouse restaurant Pepper presents the ‘Celebrate Eid Differently’ program. The

restaurant’s chefs tailored a special four-course family set menu which offers a starter, soup and either a fresh fish or a delectable steak for the main, followed by an unforgettable dessert. A la carte options are also available. The aromatic Arabic cafÈ offers the ‘Eid Mubarak at Arabesque’ program. Complete with resident oud player, Arabesque provides an authentic local experience with hot and cold mezze staples, sandwiches and salads, along with a selection of drinks. The open terrace is the perfect place for Shisha lovers. The hotel’s Tea Lounge is an inviting venue to chill out and relax in with soothing live piano entertainment and the ‘Eid Al Adha Afternoon Tea’ program which brings together a variety of tea selections, Eid goodies, sandwiches and hot canapÈs. The ‘Continental Breakfast Buffet’ which includes an assortment of croissants, pastries, rolls, fruit juices and hot beverages is also served at The Tea Lounge. Health conscious guests can find their ideal venue at the recently opened Aqua restaurant which offers healthy signature dishes and drinks to soothe the sens-

es. Relaxation is also part of the Eid holidays. Guests in need of pampering should visit the newly opened Talise spa. Talise provides personalised deeply soothing and refreshing treatments and therapies for guests seeking relaxation and rejuvenation in tranquil surroundings. The hotel has entertainment planned for its younger guests. Children under the age of six can unleash their energy at the Sinbad’s Kids Club and enjoy supervised activities while older children try out the water slides at the beach. “Eid Al-Adha is a muchawaited holiday for people from this region. They look forward to a breather from the stress of work and from their normal routine,” said General Manager Mark Griffiths. “Our unrivalled service and range of leisure and dining options provide an ideal place to spend such precious holidays. “We look forward to welcoming entire families, couples or groups of friends who wish to have a truly relaxing and fun experience that only Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa can provide.”

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

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

Social media must act responsibly: Journalist

EMBASSY OF INDIA The Embassy of India will remain closed on Oct 13, 2013, Sunday on account of Dussehra (Vijaya Dashami). Holiday for Eid Al-Adha will be intimated after declaration of the same. nnnnnnn



he advent of social media has opened the floodgates of unlimited freedom to their users who often cross the boundaries of personal freedom, commented Indian journalist Sunnykutty Abraham. Participating in an interactive session organized by Malayali Media Forum, Kuwait, he said certain comments and opinions

expressed on topics related to individuals and religions in India through social media networks indicate that the users often flout all ethical standards and boundaries. “Currently, there is neither censorship nor licensing to regulate the functioning of online media in India. This scenario has created a ‘free-for-all’ environment

in India for social media users many of who behave irresponsibly and publish often slanderous or malicious reports defaming institutions or individuals,” he pointed out. He suggested that the government of India must introduce guidelines for online publications in India. The print media in India has more credibility than electronic media includ-

ing television channels because newspapers still acknowledge mistakes if they make while TV channels seldom admit their inaccuracies. MMF General Convener presented a memento to Sunnykutty. Convener Regi Bhaskar welcomed the gathering while Convener Gafoor Moodadi proposed a vote of thanks.

LAIF Church hosts 2013 Annual Convention

The US Embassy in Kuwait has new procedures for obtaining appointments and picking up passports after visa issuance. Beginning August 9, 2013, we now provide an online visa appointment system, live call center, and in-person pick-up facilities in Kuwait. Please monitor our website and social media for additional information. This new system offers more flexibility for travelers to the US and to meet the increase in demand for visa appointments. The general application steps on the new visa appointment system are: 1. Go to (if this is the first time on, you will need to create a profile to login). 2. Please complete your DS-160 Online Visa Application which is available at 3. Please print and take your deposit slip to any Burgan Bank location to pay your visa application fee. 4. Schedule an appointment for your visa interview online at or by phone through the Call Center (at +965-2227-1673). 5. If you need to change or cancel your appointment, please do so 24 hours beforehand, as a courtesy to other applicants. For more information, please visit the US Embassy website - - as it is the best source of information regarding these changes. nnnnnnn


ife Abundant International Fountain (LAIF Church) Kuwait invites you to its 2013 Annual Convention starting from the 10Th October to 13Th October at the National Evangelical Church Kuwait (NECK) Compound. This is a power packed and Holy Ghost filled program featuring seminar, music concert and ministration. Come and experience this unprecedented event with special guest from Netherlands and Ghana. For information, please visit our website

St Peter’s CSI annual convention 2013


t Peter’s CSI Congregation Kuwait will be conducting its annual convention from October 8-11 at the National Evangelical Church of Kuwait (NECK), at 8 pm on the Opening Day, and at 7:15 pm on the remaining days. Dr Pushparaj (Salem) will serve as the speaker this time around. The vicar of the church, Rev Samji K Sam, will preside over and lead the gatherings. All are invited to attend. For transportation, please contact 65109523 (Abbassiya) and 97230005 (Salmiya). For any further details, contact us at 99436810/65927381.

EMBASSY OF BHUTAN The Royal Bhutanese Embassy in the State of Kuwait would like to inform all concerned that its chancery has shifted to its new premises in South Surra, Al-Salaam, Block 3, Street 308, House 3. Telephone:25213601- 25213602,Fax: 25213603 and Email: nnnnnnn

EMBASSY OF BANGLADESH The Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait will remain closed from Monday to Thursday, October 14-17, 2013 on the occasion of Holy Eid-ul-Adha.



03:15 World’s Ugliest Dog Competition 04:05 Bad Dog 04:55 Animal Battlegrounds 05:20 Baboons With Bill Bailey 05:45 ER Vets 06:10 ER Vets 06:35 Call Of The Wildman 07:00 Monkey Life 07:25 Great Ocean Adventures 08:15 The Most Extreme 09:10 Breed All About It 09:35 Breed All About It 10:05 Big Five Challenge 11:00 Animal Cops Houston 11:55 Animal Battlegrounds 12:20 Call Of The Wildman 12:50 Roaring With Pride 13:45 Weird Creatures With Nick Baker 14:40 Big Five Challenge 15:30 Baboons With Bill Bailey 16:00 Monkey Life 16:30 The Most Extreme 17:25 Your Pet Wants This, Too! 18:20 World’s Ugliest Dog Competition 19:15 Monkey Life 19:40 Call Of The Wildman 20:10 Animal Battlegrounds 20:35 Baboons With Bill Bailey 21:05 Big Five Challenge 22:00 Bondi Vet 22:55 ER Vets 23:25 ER Vets 23:50 Animal Cops Houston 00:45 Swimming With Monsters: Steve Backshall 01:35 Untamed & Uncut 02:25 Big Five Challenge

03:10 03:40 04:05 05:00 05:20 05:35 05:45 06:00 06:15 06:35 06:50 07:00 07:15 07:30 08:00 08:30 09:20 09:50 10:20 11:10 11:55 12:25 13:15 13:45 14:15 14:45 15:30 16:20 17:10 17:40 18:10 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:45 21:15 21:45 22:35 23:05 23:55 00:25 01:15 01:45 02:15 02:45

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My Family Little Britain The World Of Stonehenge Tweenies Boogie Beebies The Large Family Nina And The Neurons Jackanory Junior Tweenies Boogie Beebies The Large Family Nina And The Neurons Jackanory Junior My Family Little Britain The World Of Stonehenge Eastenders Doctors Outcasts The Weakest Link My Family The World Of Stonehenge Little Britain Eastenders Doctors The Weakest Link Outcasts The World Of Stonehenge Eastenders Doctors The Weakest Link Last Of The Summer Wine Roger & Val Have Just Got In 32 Brinkburn Street Rev. The Old Guys Mistresses Dead Boss The Weakest Link Last Of The Summer Wine Outcasts Eastenders Doctors Roger & Val Have Just Got In Dead Boss

The Hairy Bikers Ride Again Great British Menu Cash In The Attic Bargain Hunt

05:35 Britain’s Dream Homes 06:30 Great British Menu 07:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 07:45 Bargain Hunt 08:30 Marbella Mansions 09:20 Bill’s Kitchen: Notting Hill 09:45 Come Dine With Me: South Africa 10:40 Come Dine With Me 11:30 Celebrity MasterChef 12:25 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 13:10 Antiques Roadshow 14:05 Homes Under The Hammer 15:00 Homes Under The Hammer 15:50 Bargain Hunt 16:35 Cash In The Attic 17:20 Antiques Roadshow 18:15 Homes Under The Hammer 19:10 Bill’s Kitchen: Notting Hill 19:40 The Hairy Bikers USA 20:05 The Hairy Bikers USA 20:30 Come Dine With Me 21:20 Antiques Roadshow 22:15 Bargain Hunt 23:00 Cash In The Attic 23:45 Homes Under The Hammer 00:40 Come Dine With Me 01:30 Celebrity MasterChef 02:20 Britain’s Dream Homes

03:00 Mythbusters 03:50 Border Security 04:15 Auction Hunters 04:40 Baggage Battles 05:05 How Do They Do It? 05:30 How It’s Made 06:00 Sons Of Guns 07:00 Mythbusters 07:50 Ice Cold Gold 08:40 American Chopper: Senior vs Junior 09:30 Border Security 09:55 Auction Hunters 10:20 Baggage Battles 10:45 How Do They Do It? 11:10 How It’s Made 11:35 River Monsters 12:25 Deadliest Catch 13:15 Deadliest Catch 14:05 Border Security 14:30 Auction Hunters 14:55 Baggage Battles 15:20 Yukon Men 16:10 American Chopper 17:00 Ultimate Survival 17:50 Dirty Jobs 18:40 Mythbusters 19:30 Sons Of Guns 20:20 Storage Hunters 20:45 Baggage Battles 21:10 How Do They Do It? 21:35 How It’s Made 22:00 Bear Grylls: Escape From Hell 22:50 Ed Stafford: Naked And Marooned 23:40 Car vs Wild 00:30 Bear Grylls: Escape From Hell 01:20 Ed Stafford: Naked And Marooned 02:10 Car vs Wild

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Deadly Sins I Almost Got Away With It Dr G: Medical Examiner Ghost Lab Nightmare Next Door Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth... On The Case With Paula Zahn Solved Disappeared Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Street Patrol Forensic Detectives On The Case With Paula Zahn Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth... Disappeared Solved

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Forensic Detectives On The Case With Paula Zahn On The Case With Paula Zahn Nightmare Next Door Couples Who Kill Dates From Hell Dates From Hell Deadly Women I Almost Got Away With It Dr G: Medical Examiner Ghost Lab Dates From Hell Dates From Hell

03:35 Thunder Races 04:25 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 05:15 The Gadget Show 05:40 How Tech Works 06:05 Superships 07:00 Scrapheap Challenge 07:50 Unchained Reaction 08:40 The Gadget Show 09:05 How Tech Works 09:30 Sport Science 10:25 Superships 11:20 Thunder Races 12:10 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 13:00 Unchained Reaction 13:50 Sci-Fi Science 14:20 The Gadget Show 14:45 How Tech Works 15:10 Scrapheap Challenge 16:00 Sport Science 16:55 Superships 17:45 Thunder Races 18:35 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 19:30 Scrapheap Challenge 20:20 Unchained Reaction 21:10 The Gadget Show 21:35 How Tech Works 22:00 Scrapheap Challenge 22:50 Unchained Reaction 23:40 Dark Matters 00:30 Sci-Fi Science 01:00 The Gadget Show 01:25 How Tech Works 01:50 Scrapheap Challenge 02:45 Unchained Reaction

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Austin And Ally Austin And Ally A.N.T. Farm A.N.T. Farm Jessie Good Luck Charlie Sofia The First Doc McStuffins Mickey Mouse Clubhouse A.N.T. Farm A.N.T. Farm Jessie Jessie Good Luck Charlie Good Luck Charlie Gravity Falls Shake It Up Shake It Up Austin And Ally Austin And Ally A.N.T. Farm Shake It Up My Babysitter’s A Vampire That’s So Raven Gravity Falls Jessie Violetta Dog With A Blog Austin And Ally Gravity Falls Shake It Up That’s So Raven A.N.T. Farm Violetta Jessie My Babysitter’s A Vampire Austin And Ally Shake It Up That’s So Raven Jessie A.N.T. Farm Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody Sonny With A Chance Sonny With A Chance Suite Life On Deck Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place

CHERRY ON OSN MOVIES COMEDY 03:25 04:20 05:15 06:05 07:00 07:50 08:45 09:35 10:30 11:20 12:10 13:05 13:55 14:50 15:45 16:40 17:35 18:25 19:20 20:10 21:05 Above 22:00 22:55 23:50 00:45 Above 01:35 02:30

Survivorman: Ten Days American Car Prospector Decoding Disaster Out Of Egypt Survivorman: Ten Days Speed Dynasties Ancient Inventions Crime Scene Wild Greatest Tank Battles Out Of Egypt American Car Prospector How We Invented The World Decoding Disaster Commander In Chief Ultimate Warfare Out Of Egypt How We Invented The World Survivorman: Ten Days History Cold Case USA American Car Prospector The First World War From

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The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody Sonny With A Chance Sonny With A Chance Suite Life On Deck Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place

History Cold Case USA Baker Boys: Inside The Surge Murder Shift The First World War From History Cold Case USA Baker Boys: Inside The Surge


03:20 Handy Manny 03:40 Special Agent Oso 03:50 Special Agent Oso 04:00 Timmy Time 04:10 Imagination Movers 04:35 Little Einsteins 05:00 Jungle Junction 05:15 Jungle Junction 05:30 Little Einsteins 05:50 Special Agent Oso 06:00 Special Agent Oso 06:15 Jungle Junction 06:30 Jungle Junction 06:45 Handy Manny 07:00 Special Agent Oso 07:15 Jungle Junction 07:30 Higglytown Heroes 07:45 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 08:10 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 08:35 Jake And The Neverland Pirates 08:50 Doc McStuffins 09:05 Doc McStuffins 09:20 Zou 09:35 Henry Hugglemonster 09:50 Henry Hugglemonster 10:00 Sofia The First 10:25 Mouk 10:40 Jake And The Neverland Pirates 10:55 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 11:20 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 11:45 Mouk 12:00 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 12:05 Higglytown Heroes 12:20 The Hive 12:30 Doc McStuffins 12:45 Doc McStuffins 13:00 Zou 13:15 Jake And The Neverland Pirates 13:30 Henry Hugglemonster 13:45 Henry Hugglemonster 13:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 14:20 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 14:45 Higglytown Heroes 14:55 The Hive 15:05 Doc McStuffins 15:20 Zou 15:35 Jake And The Neverland Pirates 15:50 Mouk 16:05 Art Attack 16:30 Goof Troop 16:55 Tarzan 17:20 Quack Pack 17:45 Lilo And Stitch 18:10 Henry Hugglemonster 18:25 Henry Hugglemonster 18:35 Sofia The First 19:00 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 19:05 Pajanimals 19:25 Doc McStuffins 19:40 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 19:45 Zou 20:00 Pajanimals 20:15 Jake And The Neverland Pirates 20:30 Goof Troop 20:55 Tarzan 21:20 Quack Pack 21:45 Lilo And Stitch 22:10 Sofia The First 22:35 Doc McStuffins 22:50 Pajanimals 23:05 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 23:10 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 23:35 Jake And The Neverland Pirates 23:50 Zou 00:10 Doc McStuffins 00:25 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 00:50 Jungle Junction 01:10 Handy Manny 01:30 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 01:55 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 02:00 Little Einsteins 02:25 Special Agent Oso 02:40 Special Agent Oso 02:50 Imagination Movers

06:00 Kid vs Kat 06:10 Scaredy Squirrel 06:35 Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja 07:00 Max Steel 07:25 Phineas And Ferb 07:50 Slugterra 08:15 Crash & Bernstein 08:40 Kickin IT 09:05 Kickin IT 09:30 Phineas And Ferb 09:55 Phineas And Ferb 10:20 Lab Rats 10:45 Lab Rats 11:10 Pokemon Bw: Adventures In Unova 11:35 Max Steel 12:00 Zeke & Luther 12:25 Zeke & Luther 12:50 Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja 13:00 Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja 13:15 Scaredy Squirrel 13:40 Pair Of Kings 14:05 Pair Of Kings 14:30 Phineas And Ferb 14:40 Phineas And Ferb 14:55 Phineas And Ferb 15:05 Phineas And Ferb 15:20 Pokemon Bw: Adventures In Unova 15:45 Max Steel 16:10 Pair Of Kings 16:35 Crash & Bernstein 17:00 Lab Rats 17:30 Kickin IT 18:00 Kickin IT 18:25 Phineas And Ferb 18:50 Phineas And Ferb 19:00 Phineas And Ferb 19:15 Slugterra 19:40 Crash & Bernstein 20:05 Ultimate Spider-Man 20:30 Max Steel 20:55 Pair Of Kings 21:20 Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja 21:45 Phineas And Ferb 21:55 Phineas And Ferb 22:10 Phineas And Ferb 22:20 Phineas And Ferb 22:35 Scaredy Squirrel 23:00 Programmes Start At 6:00am KSA

03:00 Andy Bates American Street Feasts 03:25 Food Wars 03:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 04:15 United Tastes Of America 04:40 Chopped 05:30 Iron Chef America 06:10 Food Network Challenge 07:00 Unwrapped 07:25 Unwrapped 07:50 Tastiest Places To Chowdown 08:15 Kid In A Candy Store 08:40 Jonathan Phang’s Caribbean Cookbook 09:05 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 09:30 The Next Iron Chef 10:20 Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam 10:45 Aarti Party 11:10 Unwrapped 11:35 Unique Sweets 12:00 Amazing Wedding Cakes 12:50 Reza’s African Kitchen 13:15 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 13:40 Charly’s Cake Angels 14:05 Siba’s Table 14:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 14:55 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 15:20 Symon’s Suppers 15:45 Chopped 16:35 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 17:00 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 17:25 Andy Bates American Street

Feasts 17:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:15 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:40 Guy’s Big Bite 19:05 Siba’s Table 19:30 Charly’s Cake Angels 19:55 Recipes That Rock 20:20 Chopped 21:10 Chopped 22:00 Reza’s African Kitchen 22:25 Reza’s African Kitchen 22:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 23:15 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 23:40 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 00:05 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 00:30 Food Wars 00:55 Tastiest Places To Chowdown 01:20 Outrageous Food 01:45 Reza’s African Kitchen 02:10 Reza’s African Kitchen 02:35 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives

03:00 The Colbert Report Global Edition 03:30 South Park 04:00 Legit 04:30 The New Normal 05:00 The Simpsons 05:30 Last Man Standing 06:00 Seinfeld 06:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 07:30 All Of Us 08:00 The Neighbors 08:30 Friends 09:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 10:00 Seinfeld 10:30 All Of Us 11:00 The Simpsons 11:30 Community 12:00 Modern Family 12:30 Friends 13:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 14:00 The Neighbors 14:30 Seinfeld 15:00 All Of Us 15:30 Friends 16:00 Last Man Standing 16:30 Community 17:00 Modern Family 17:30 The Daily Show Global Edition 18:00 The Colbert Report Global Edition 18:30 The Neighbors 19:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 20:00 Hot In Cleveland 20:30 Raising Hope 21:00 The Crazy Ones 21:30 Arrested Development 22:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 23:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 23:30 The Colbert Report 00:00 Louie 00:30 Legit 01:00 The New Normal 01:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 02:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

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Scandal Revenge Once Upon A Time 24 Switched At Birth Suits Revenge Once Upon A Time Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Suits 24 Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Suits Once Upon A Time Grey’s Anatomy Homeland House Of Cards

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Love Takes Wing I’ve Loved You So Long The Man Inside Pariah The Girl With The Dragon

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The Debt Heavy Duty Here On Earth Loosies The National Tree The Rich Man’s Wife Gandhi Dog Day Afternoon Marley Hide Away A Very Long Engagement He Got Game

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Shadow Dancer Perfect Plan Now Is Good Paranorman Shadow Dancer Planet Ocean Of Two Minds Paranorman Rock Of Ages Butter Small Apartments J. Edgar

I’ve Loved You So Long

04:30 A Very Fairy Christmas 06:00 Princess Sydney: The Legend Of The Blue Rabbit 08:00 The Missing Lynx 10:00 Winx 11:30 A Very Fairy Christmas 12:45 Rookie Of The Year 14:30 Jelly T 16:00 Tommy & Oscar 18:00 Winx 20:00 Who Framed Roger Rabbit 22:00 Jelly T 23:30 Tommy & Oscar 01:00 The Missing Lynx 02:45 Who Framed Roger Rabbit

23:00 Scandal 00:00 24

04:00 06:00 Life 08:00 10:15 12:15 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 00:00 02:00

04:00 Life 06:00 08:15 10:15 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 00:00 02:00

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Beverly Hills Cop 2 True Justice: One Shot, One John Carter Source Code Justice League: Doom Pizza Man Source Code The Speed Of Thought Pizza Man Taxi Driver Gangs Of Brooklyn London Boulevard

True Justice: One Shot, One John Carter Source Code Justice League: Doom Pizza Man Source Code The Speed Of Thought Pizza Man Taxi Driver Gangs Of Brooklyn London Boulevard Taxi Driver

I Don’t Know How She Does IT The Wish List Scrooged Sorority Wars I Don’t Know How She Does IT Toys Sorority Wars Chasing Liberty 30 Minutes Or Less Friends With Benefits Cherry 30 Minutes Or Less

00:30 The Daily Show 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Saturday Night Live 02:30 The League 03:00 Ben And Kate 03:30 Ben And Kate 04:00 Seinfeld 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 All Of Us 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Seinfeld 08:30 All Of Us 10:00 Hot In Cleveland 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:30 Seinfeld 13:00 All Of Us 15:00 Hot In Cleveland 15:30 The Daily Show 16:00 The Colbert Report 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 The Simpsons 18:30 The Mindy Project 19:30 Hot In Cleveland 20:00 Parks And Recreation 20:30 Wilfred 21:00 The Daily Show 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Veep 22:30 It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia 23:00 The League 23:30 Parks And Recreation

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Tricks Of A Woman Virtual Lies Would Be Kings A Better Life Remember Sunday Dreamgirls

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Surf’s Up Best In Show Super Buddies Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax Larry Crowne Just Crazy Enough Super Buddies Rise Of The Guardians Skyfall The New Daughter Just Crazy Enough Super Buddies

03:00 Super League 05:30 PGA European Tour Highlights 06:30 Futbol Mundial 07:00 Darts Grand Prix 12:00 The Presidents Cup Highlights 13:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 14:00 Futbol Mundial 14:30 Top 14 16:30 Trans World Sport 17:30 Champions League Twenty20 20:30 ICC Cricket 360 21:00 Live Darts Grand Prix 01:00 Futbol Mundial 01:30 NRL Full Time 02:00 The Rugby Championship

05:00 Top 14 07:00 AFL Premiership Highlights 08:00 The Presidents Cup Highlights 09:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 10:00 Champions League Twenty20 13:00 AFL Premiership Highlights 14:00 Darts Grand Prix 19:00 The Rugby Championship 21:00 Futbol Mundial 21:30 NRL Full Time 22:00 NHL 00:00 WWE Bottom Line 01:00 UFC - The Ultimate Fighter Season 18 02:00 UFC - Unleashed

03:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 04:00 Rock My RV With Bret Michaels 04:30 Rock My RV With Bret Michaels 05:00 Xtreme Waterparks 05:30 Xtreme Waterparks 06:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Departures 09:00 Airport 24/7: Miami 09:30 Airport 24/7: Miami 10:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 11:00 Xtreme Waterparks 11:30 Xtreme Waterparks 12:00 Ultimate Braai Master 13:00 Bizarre Foods America 14:00 International House Hunters 15:30 International House Hunters 16:00 Hotel Impossible 17:00 Soul Seeker 18:00 Ultimate Braai Master 19:00 Bizarre Foods America 20:00 International House Hunters 20:30 International House Hunters 21:00 The Food Truck 21:30 The Food Truck 22:00 Bizarre Foods America 23:00 Airport 24/7: Miami 23:30 Airport 24/7: Miami 00:00 Xtreme Waterparks 00:30 Xtreme Waterparks 01:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 02:00 Off Limits

Classifieds TUESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2013



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MATRIMONIAL Orthodox parents in Kuwait invite marriage proposals for their son, 27yrs/177cm/70kgs, MBA employed in a reputed bank in Kuwait from Orthodox/Jacobite/Martho ma parents B.Tech/MCA/MBA/M.Com God fearing and religious minded girls 23-25 yrs employed in Kuwait. Contact email: (4531) Australian/Lebanese man invite proposal from God fearing Arab women, single or divorce. Contact email: (C 4532) 7-10-2013 CHANGE OF NAME From Adeb Shams - as per the birth certificate - 15days-old to Adeb Ibrahim. Tel: 66993190. (C 4530) 6-10-2013 I, Livina Fatima Baretto,

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

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s ta rs CROSSWORD 334

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) Paying attention to the little things today when it comes to satisfying a client, patient or customer will be an important part of your day. If you are working for a company that has a production line, pay close attention to what a customer tells you about the working, or not working, product. Take nothing for granted. Do not jump to conclusions. This is a real time to pay particular attention and know that what you do and how you take care of the little details defines you and your company to the customer as well as the competitor. Your organizational abilities and sense of responsibility will be what guide you and prove successful. Good luck and positive actions are in the forecast today. This is one of your best overall days. This is also a good day for love.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Requesting a loan or obtaining any other type of acquisition is a positive. You have good practical job-related thoughts and ideas. Use that ability you have to communicate with superiors or describe what you see. You will find that you can really use your mind to think things through and make clear choices. The future of business in your country depends upon the children that we are now educating. Ask yourself if you can volunteer to help with junior achievement or some other junior business organization in order to help educate and instruct in the art of whatever professional expertise is yours; take a co-worker friend. Don’t be afraid to project your image—make those dreams real. Ideas of group cooperation could further your career.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

ACROSS 1. United States liquid unit equal to 4 quarts or 3.785 liters. 4. A step to one side (as in boxing or dancing). 12. A numbered compartment in a post office where mail is put to be called for. 15. Old World vine with lobed evergreen leaves and black berrylike fruits. 16. Pertaining to filberts or hazelnuts. 17. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 18. The shape of a raised edge of a more or less circular object. 19. United States writer and dramatist (1897-1975). 20. The capital and largest city of Ghana with a deep-water port. 22. Italian painter whose many paintings exemplify the ideals of the High Renaissance (1483-1520). 24. (Old Testament) The guardian archangel of the Jews. 26. Remove the hand from. 30. A steep rugged rock or cliff. 34. The part of a coal seam that is being cut. 38. Found in warm waters of western Atlantic. 40. The capital and largest city of Mongolia. 41. Any of a group of Indic languages spoken in Kashmir and eastern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. 43. Cud-chewing mammal used as a draft or saddle animal in desert regions. 44. Pompous or pretentious talk or writing. 45. (Greek mythology) The last king of Troy. 47. An undergarment worn by women to support their breasts. 48. A port in southwestern Scotland. 50. (British) Traditional jazz as revived in the 1950s. 56. Offering fun and gaiety. 59. A port in western Israel on the Mediterranean. 60. A coffee cake flavored with orange rind and raisins and almonds. 64. Drug (trade name Isordil) used to treat angina pectoris and congestive heart failure. 65. A colorless odorless gaseous element that give a red glow in a vacuum tube. 66. A branch of the Tai languages. 67. (trademark) A tinned luncheon meat made largely from pork. 68. Lacking either stimulating or irritating characteristics. 72. Flat tableland with steep edges. 73. Someone who dissipates resources selfindulgently. 75. A light touch or stroke. 76. A port city in northwestern Algeria and the country's 2nd largest city. 77. Covered with paving material. 78. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. DOWN 1. (Babylonian) God of fire. 2. (zoology) Pertaining to or characteristic of birds. 3. A thin coagulable fluid (similar to plasma but) containing white blood cells (lympho-

cytes) and chyle. 4. The fifth month of the Hindu calendar. 5. Overgrown with ivy. 6. A small wooded hollow. 7. Late time of life. 8. An inflammatory disease of connective tissue with variable features including fever and weakness and fatigability and joint pains and skin lesions on the face or neck or arms. 9. Covered with paving material. 10. Half the width of an em. 11. The state prevailing during the absence of war. 12. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 13. A cruel wicked and inhuman person. 14. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 21. Grayish baboon of southern and eastern Africa. 23. (Jewish cookery) A loaf of white bread containing eggs and leavened with yeast. 25. In or of the present month. 27. Taken before a meal as an appetizer. 28. A rare heavy polyvalent metallic element that resembles manganese chemically and is used in some alloys. 29. A mark left by the healing of injured tissue. 31. Syncopated music in duple time for dancing the rumba. 32. Sour or bitter in taste. 33. A Russian prison camp for political prisoners. 35. A suburb of Paris. 36. Any culture medium that uses agar as the gelling agent. 37. An ester of adenosine that is converted to ATP for energy storage. 39. A federal agency that supervises carriers that transport goods and people between states. 42. A unit of elastance equal to the reciprocal of a farad. 46. Brain corals. 49. A heavy brittle metallic element of the platinum group. 51. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 52. A deep opening in the earth's surface. 53. An employee who mixes and serves alcoholic drinks at a bar. 54. A member of an Algonquian people who lived west of Lake Superior. 55. A large commercial and industrial city in northeastern Texas. 57. 20 aspers equal 1 kuru. 58. Any of various perennial South American plants of the genus Loasa having stinging hairs and showy white or yellow or reddish-orange flowers. 61. English monk and scholar (672-735). 62. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 63. Jordan's port. 69. Of southern Europe. 70. Last or greatest in an indefinitely large series. 71. Angular distance above the horizon (especially of a celestial object). 74. Angular distance above the horizon (especially of a celestial object).


Although you shy away from challenges, you cannot escape facing a few of them. Challenges provide you with choices to either move in a new direction or work to overcome the challenge. Discover the root of a matter and then deal with that information. Approaching a situation from different angles or different viewpoints may be helpful. Moving through this interesting day you may find that in the afternoon a confused person has a lot to say to a group of people. Take a nibble on your bottom lip and do not comment; listen very closely for key words that help you see from the viewpoint of the person trying to communicate. Positive results happen when you do not push to reverse someone’s thinking. It is good to know the appropriate time to intercede.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) You often take the most interesting path to experience your life, skirting the crowd and the commonplace, heading for parts unknown. Your approach to any problem is often original and you could invent things or discover new places or develop new ways of doing things. This is the best time you will have to make progress, push forward and rise to fame. It will be hard for you to do wrong, for all the cycles are working in your favor. This is also a time when you may marry or take on a new role in the community or with other people. You will be in demand and recognition will be forthcoming. Your desires are strong and you will want to enjoy yourself. Romance is possible.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Circumstances may appear to bring very sensitive issues to your attention. Changes you want to make, or that someone else wants to make, may be challenged; you hold the solution. This is a good time to plan a change and you could rest easy with whatever results two people can achieve. Learn techniques that will relieve stress. Responsibilities and outside pressures are just a part of life, but knowing when to move forward with a worthwhile project requires patience and a positive attitude. There is the possibility of new visions or sudden insights into your self-image or into your dreams. There are breakthroughs in compassion and communication.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) You will gain some good information about your professional future today. You have plenty of energy to plot your path to success, especially if there is any competition. There are also breakthroughs regarding relationships and the social life in general. There are possibly unconventional approaches to partnerships. You may find yourself pursuing very eccentric or different methods of communicating and responding to others. Real power is always hidden—finding the key to your own life may mean letting go of previous difficulties. You may benefit from an older person’s advice or input. You can really gain a focus as to how you want to adjust your ideas so that you can accomplish your goals successfully.

Word Search

Libra (September 23-October 22) You are at your most practical when it comes to dealing and working with others. You know just what to do and can act without haste and emotion. You could find that you are appreciated or valued for your ability to act and get things done. You are called on to make use of your natural abilities and common sense. Your need to be respected can certainly be achieved at this time. Work, achievement and ambition mean a lot to you. There is an urge to join your friends in some social affair this evening. However, you may walk a fine line today between good company and disapproval, so be aware. You could find yourself working against the values of another—going against the flow. This evening may be best spent in relaxation with a loved one.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Don’t abandon the ship now. Although your mood is with your family members, a workday has begun and you would do well to climb on board, so to speak. No matter how much you think you may not be helping, you are actually able to make a difference in the professional realm. One day at a time, you can do anything. Pay attention to the shuffle of activity when employees change position within the company for which you work. You will be able to move up the corporate ladder as well. Today you help a person, project or activity move along in a fast and accurate manner. Completion of some difficult task or understanding will be met soon. Don’t be afraid to project your positive image; network. A most positive day follows you home. Smile!

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You are driven and passionate in your pursuit of change and inner growth. Your attitude in the workplace is usually an appreciative and respectful one. People like you and enjoy being around you because of your attitude. This job may be the only job you have been around where people actually work and achieve and the atmosphere lends itself to productive, creative, enthusiastic people. You may find, however, that with a strong inner push to be productive you are exhausted upon arriving home. The transition between work and home is important for you to be able to adjust. Be creative for yourself and find enjoyable ways to reach the home front. Try a massage once a week. Or music, a book or short story or old time radio might be fun for listening.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) You have a natural sense for communicating with others, particularly those younger than yourself. Clear thoughts about the past may also be flowing in today. You will perhaps, find yourself teaching and setting the pace for these young people. Financial savvy and a practical turn of mind are qualities that take on greater importance this afternoon. The right sales technique, completing a project or presenting an idea are all possibilities for your busy day. You have a good voice. This could be in speaking or in singing. If you are not performing, think about attending a performance of a stand-up comedian or going to a karaoke club and trying out your voice sometime this week.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) This is the day you will have new thoughts and sudden insights. You may get an unexpected boost in the way you think, speak or write. Communications are strong today—connections of all kinds, news and so on, are furthered—perhaps at the expense of tradition and established order. If you are a newspaper reporter, hold your head up high above the others as there is something in the air, something that will be your own scoop. Tear it down and build it up again, reach in and pluck out the offending element—that’s what the new cycle you have entered is like. Power becomes a compelling idea, perhaps even an aphrodisiac—and you have a stronger than usual supply of it now. Use it, do not abuse it—or you might find that it is a two-edged sword!

Pisces (February 19-March 20) Career decisions that point to real success may be just where you are searching. Although you are happy with your position, there are openings all around you. Look at your friends or a relative that has no job and consider informing them of some new opportunities, especially if you are not interested for yourself. You are able to show your worth, strength and stamina to any professional position. You may benefit from an older person or one in authority today. Take time to see the long-term results of his or her comments and transfer your attention to new possibilities. Shopping this afternoon may be fun for a change. Do keep a list handy so you will keep a focus. This is an ideal time to strengthen your home life.

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


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24575518 24566622


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N Khaitan





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


Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf


Dr. Khaled Hamadi

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari


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Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar


Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari


Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan


Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe


Dr. Verginia s.Marin

2572-6666 ext 8321


25665898 25340300

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



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General Surgeons Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer


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22666300 25728004

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Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688



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Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi

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Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad

24555050 Ext 210

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


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

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

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





M o v i e s


A minute with conductor Fischer on his ‘blood libel’ first


he shocking true story of a 19th-century “blood libel” in which Hungarian Jews were accused of murdering a Christian girl for her blood is the subject of conductor Ivan Fischer’s first opera which is to have its premiere this weekend in Budapest. The gruesome story, set to music in Fischer’s one-act “The Red Heifer”, is based on an incident in the Hungarian village of Tiszaeszlar, where Jews were accused of killing 14-year-old Eszter Solymosi in 1883 to obtain blood to make unleavened bread for Passover - a Jewish libel disseminated in the notorious anti-Semitic tract “The Protocols of Zion”. Some 15 Jews were tried and acquitted of the murder but the case stirred enormous waves of anti-Semitism at the time. Fischer, who is Jewish, said the case continues to have repercussions to this day, when Solymosi’s grave has become a pilgrimage site for Hungarians on the far-right. “Like in the 19th century, Hungary is again a battlefield between enlightened people who would like to join the Western world, especially Europe, and nationalist fundamentalists who feel threatened and create scapegoats,” Fischer told Reuters in response to emailed questions. In program notes for the Sunday premiere in Budapest, Fischer said he had planned to write an opera based on the Tiszaeszlar affair in the 1980s, after being inspired by a film, but the filmmaker with

whom he had hoped to collaborate died. “I have been thinking incessantly about composing this opera for 25 years now,” Fischer said. “The Tiszaeszlar Affair becoming a present day hot political issue finally helped me.” Here’s what else Fischer had to say about finally finding the time to compose his first opera, and some other pieces which will also have their premiere, his musical influences and why Hungary seems to produce more than its fair share of musicians: Q: You said some time ago that you had no time to compose. So how did you manage this and what makes a conductor want to compose anyway? A: In order to find time I stopped most guest conducting and work now only with three or four very familiar orchestras. About the question of “Why compose, isn’t conducting enough?” I have to say that there are ambitious conductors who enjoy leading a 100-piece orchestra and all the glamour attached to it. But there is another type of conductor who doesn’t care much about the glamour, the power, but does care about music and musical expression.... It is the difference between translating a book or writing one. Q: Since we’ve never heard music by Ivan Fischer before, who and what are your musical influences? A: I compose with a collage technique, meaning that different styles are heard in

close co-existence. This is not new - Gustav Mahler started it when he combined whatever popped up in his mind and his mind was filled with all kind of music. He was of course accused that it was an eclectic mix. Maybe this is the fate of most conductorcomposers because they spend most of their time with music of others in various styles. I came to the conclusion that the eclectic mix is my language and, besides, it is everybody’s language. We are all surrounded by a mix including Monteverdi, Schubert, the Beatles and heavy metal. Q: Why do you think Hungary produces such a large number of conductors, composers and musicians of truly international stature, way out of proportion to its population of 10 million? A: Hungary is a busy junction and has been occupied frequently. Having had the Turks, the Austrians and the Russians here is usually seen as a tragedy but it had wonderful musical pluses. Also, the presence of so many Jews, Roma gypsies - a treasure house of musical inspiration. Hungary has a rich folklore like other East European countries. The difference is that here it was elevated and integrated by a very high level intellectual community in Budapest, including great people like Bartok, Kodaly, Weiner, Ligeti and many others.—Reuters

Ivan Fischer

OSN extends landmark deal with Disney

Britain’s ‘kitchen sink’ cinema finds dark new twist


ritish director Paul Wright’s new film “For Those in Peril” pans across a dour Scottish coastal town where madness, tragedy and a feared sea monster lurk close beneath the surface. It’s a dark tale, typical of a new generation of filmmakers like this year’s Oscar hopeful Steve McQueen, who are taking Britain’s tradition of gritty “kitchen sink” cinema in a stark and sometimes strange direction. British actors and talent are a familiar sight at the Oscars and on big Hollywood movies, but more artistically challenging, homegrown projects have generally struggled to make waves, even in more accessible European markets. That is changing, with a rash of new works a world away from mainstream cinema’s depiction of affluent, London-centric life, typified by Hugh Grant and Richard Curtis’s romantic comedies “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Notting Hill”. McQueen, who debuted with his story of the 1970s Northern Irish prison hunger strikes “Hunger”, and contemporaries like Shane Meadows, Ben Wheatley and Lynne Ramsay have a very different take on life in the United Kingdom. Wright’s hero Aaron, the only survivor of a fishing accident that drowns five young men off Scotland, is steadily alienated and brutalised by the rest of his small village. Desperate, guilty and unable to remember the accident, he becomes convinced his brother and the other dead were swallowed by a sea monster. Like Scottish-born Ramsay’s “We Need To Talk About Kevin”, or Wheatley’s 2011 horror movie “Kill List”, Wright gives a tale that might

sound ludicrous or extreme roots with his realistic evocation of the setting - in his case Scotland’s cold, austere and Presbyterian east coast. “It could have been the Disney equivalent. The guy who believes there’s a monster out in the ocean, a cutesy version,” said Wright, 32, who grew up in a small fishing village in Fife, north of Edinburgh. “But by setting it out in the real world, the extremes become more vivid. Anything out with that world does feel all the more shocking. We were looking to explore the contrasts,” he told Reuters ahead of the release of his feature this week. The newcomers revel in the realistic detail of Britain’s “kitchen sink” films - a tradition rooted in classics like the 1960 tale of a factory machinist “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning” and more recently Ken Loach’s Scotland-based drama “My Name Is Joe”. But the drift into fantasy breaks that tradition. Wheatley’s ‘Kill List’ kicks off with a suburban dinner party and ends in scenes of excruciating, occult horror. His “A Field in England”, released earlier this year, mixes magic mushrooms with England’s 17thcentury civil war. “You buy the crazier elements by giving the audience more realism,” the director told British television cinema channel Film4. “If they start to believe that they’re in a world that’s documentary and real when those things come along, they don’t question them as much as if it starts off really stylised.”—Reuters

‘The Dirties’ director on hanging

Hollywood’s ‘Ridiculous’ take on bullying


atthew Johnson accidentally convinced several grandparents he made a documentary about a school shooting. He was in Sarasota, Fla, where a group of geriatrics had just seen his movie “The Dirties.” “At the end of the movie, I went to do a Q&A and we had this bizarre first minute of me answering questions from people who thought what they watched was 100 percent real,” Johnson told TheWrap. Johnson’s movie, which won the Best Narrative Feature Award at the Slamdance Film Festival, depicts the bullying of a high school kid and the violent outcome of that abuse. Though based on his experiences and those of his friends, it is a complete fiction. It also changed Johnson’s life. Kevin Smith fell in love with the film at Slamdance, the less famous cousin of the Sundance Film Festival. That earned the movie a distribution deal under Smith’s deal with Phase 4 Films. Johnson’s triumph at Slamdance also landed him meetings with major film studios about future work. Yet before Fox or anyone else can enlist Johnson for a new project, he has to graduate from film school first. Johnson is making a film about the CIA and a moon mission for his thesis, subsidized by the Canadian government. While in Los Angeles, Johnson spoke with TheWrap about making a movie about bullying and school shootings in an age of constant violence. Q: Where did the idea for the movie come from? A: My friend Josh, one of the co-writers, had just seen the Belgian film ‘Man Bites Dog’ about a French serial killer. We just got obsessed with a fake documentary about something so dark. I thought we could do that with our own stories, stories from our own childhood. Q: Did you look at other movies about bullying first? A: There are no decent movies about bullying. Every Hollywood take on the bullying issue is so sensational and ridiculous. There are so few movies made by young people about bullying or high school for that matter. We were inspired by the lack of conversation. Q: How do you want to change that conversation? A: Just by having the voice of someone younger and more connected. We’re trying to move the conversation towards a more humanizing place where we weren’t seeing people who committed terrible acts as these psychotic monsters who can never be helped or are completely evil. We are trying to figure out why people do the things they do, showing their childhood and the relatable side to broaden the conversation from “these people are evil.” Q: Have you seen “Blue Caprice”?

A: Yeah, we were on the festival circuit at the same time. This concept of humanizing these people is on the cusp of becoming a popular thing. We’re happy to see that film had a similar philosophy. Q: Why do you think it’s becoming more popular? A: We are trying to address the differences from what we all know in the collective media consciousness. The movie cuts at the moment where the mainstream movie would take over. Without justifying the behavior. The point of this film is that this kind of behavior is completely unjustified no matter what kind of causality you attribute to it. It’s the opposite. We need to start seeing things as ‘a decision young people feel they were forced into. They felt like they had no other choice. To these people this was their reality. Q: So how did you approach the subject of a school shooting? A: It seems to be in a flip way so we’re often asked to justify it. When we were making this film, schools shootings and violence were not in the zeitgeist the way they are now. We screened it for the first time three weeks before Sandy Hook. We were accepted into Slamdance before Sandy Hook happened. Then that happened and we expected to be told it wouldn’t screen. They told us they were still happy to screen it. It’s a movie about something that matters to me and what I’m trying to avoid is the notion that we were trying to trade on these issues. From our perspective, nobody was going to see this movie. It’s something very personal we made at film school. Q: How did the movie go from something you were making for school to something opening in theaters? A: When we won Slamdance Kevin Smith fell in love with it. We were a small indie movie with the godfather of American indie comedies offering to distribute it. It was a perfect storm. Q: And what’s life been like since then? A: I’ve just been going to film festivals and talking with audiences. Q: What was the most memorable conversation with audiences? A: The Sarasota Film Festival draws a very very old crowd, mostly grandparents. When we finished showing the movie, most of the audience thought they were watching a documentary. At the end of the movie, I went to do a Q&A and we had this bizarre first minute of me answering questions from people who thought what they watched was 100 percent real.—Reuters


SN, the region’s leading payTVnetwork, has extended its landmark deal with The Walt Disney Company MENA, further strengthening OSN’s premium and first-run content offering to viewers across the Middle East and North Africa. The agreement will make OSN the exclusivesubscription TV service in the region for first-run Disney movies, ABC Studios series and Turkish adaptations of ABC Studios hit series. As part of the deal, OSN will continue to bring Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior to the region as well as key ABC News programming. David Butorac, CEO of OSN said: “We have shared a mutually beneficial relationship with Disney and I am extremely pleased to extend this landmark deal. For subscribers, this means they will continue to get access to first pay-TV windows of some of the finest and most imaginative family films, award-winning series and world-class kids entertainment. “Audiences in the MENA region are more discerning now than ever before. Their unprecedented exposure to the world’s finest programming calls for upping the standards in television content delivery. Our partnership with The Walt Disney Company MENA, for home, On-Demand and online entertainment further defines our position as the number one premium content provider in the region.” OSN will premiere over 40 feature films this year alone including hit movies, “Wreck–it Ralph”, “Oz: The Great and Powerful” along with the most popular movie franchises such as “Marvel’s Iron Man 3”, “Thor 2”, Disney?Pixar’s “Monsters University”, and “Brave” as well as “Planes” from Disney Studios. New season ABC Studios series acquired by OSN will include the much-anticipated “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and drama “Betrayal”, along with top-rated favourites including “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Castle” and “Revenge”. OSN will strengthen its current repertoire of Turkish series with the addition of two new shows including “Intikam”, the acclaimed local adaptation of “Revenge” and “Marhaba Hayat”, the Turkish adaptation of “Private Practice”. OSN will have first-run rights in the MENA region to top-rated ABC News shows including “20/20”, “World News Saturday”, both airing in the region at the same time as the US. “This Week World News Now”, “America This Morning”, “World News with Diane Sawyer”, “Nightline” and “Good Morning America” will be brought live to OSN subscribers. Didier Vanneste, Country Head, The Walt Disney Company, MENA, said: “This deal with OSN brings audiences

across the Middle East and North Africa a superb range of quality content from Disney, Marvel, ABC Studios, and ABC News as well as successful local formats. We always aim to bring audiences the content that they want, whenever they want it. With the launch of Disney Movies on Demand, ABC Studios On-demand service and additional catch-up services, our agreement with OSN further underpins this commitment.” Khulud Abu Homos, SVP Programming & Creative Services, OSN added: “The Disney deal underlines OSN’s ‘see it first’ proposition with movies premiering weeks from its theatrical release and the best TV series airing at the same time as the US.” Starting from October 1, 2013, OSN has extended its premium OnDemand service with a dedicated new service called ‘OSN On Demand Extra’ giving viewers hundreds of hours of the best Disney movies including popular franchises such as Pirates of the Caribbean. Viewers will also have instant access to complete seasons of their favourite shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal to name a few. Additionally, OSN will launch two new On-demand, branded services; Disney Movies on Demand and ABC Studios. Disney Movies on Demand will be the home for new and classic premium Disney movies including “Little Mermaid”, “Jungle Book” and “Peter Pan”. ABC Studios will be the one-stop-shop for new and evergreen ABC Studios series. The services will be available on OSN Plus HD and OSN Play, the region’s first online TV viewing platform.






or all the antics that Miley Cyrus has demonstrated in the last few months - the wardrobe selections (or lack thereof ), the outrageous quotes, the awkward twerking and the rest of her wild child behavior she could easily grab attention if she did one thing: let her music speak for itself. Cyrus’ “Bangerz,” her fourth album, is a collection that marks the 20-year-old’s musical breakthrough. The former “Hannah Montana” star kicks off the 13-track set with “Adore You,” a downbeat song about love. Other tracks that follow with that energy - “Wrecking Ball,” “My Darlin’” and “Somewhere Else” - capture a more mature, nuanced side of Cyrus that we haven’t seen much of - and that’s a welcome change. When she explores the different emotions of her character and doesn’t play the caricature that she’s become, you’re able to appreciate Cyrus as an artist. If using the phrase “artist” and Cyrus is shocking, it follows the theme of “Bangerz” - which surprises you, in a good way. When Cyrus teased the album with the radio-friendly party anthem “We Can’t Stop” - a song originally created for Rihanna - and said producers would include Pharrell, Dr Luke and, the album seemed like it was going to be a hit machine in the vein of Rihanna or Katy Perry. But Cyrus’ jams don’t sound like insta-hits; some tracks even feel experimental as she blends elements of alternative, upbeat pop, soft rock with hints of R&B and hip-hop. The Britney Spears-assisted “SMS


Miley Cyrus’s (Bangerz)” and the Pharrell-produced “#GETITRIGHT” are addictive, feelgood, up-tempo pop tunes; “FU” - guess what it stands for - has Cyrus semi-angry over a dramatic beat, and it makes for an overall punchy and amazing track; and “4x4,” featuring Nelly, is a pop-twang adventure. Even “Do My Thang” - where Cyrus isn’t too convincing as a rapper - sounds good thanks to the groovy hook that she sings, and’s Southern hiphop-flavored beat. Cyrus’ outlandish behavior is helping her get attention. She’s become a social media queen, the talk of every news program and music’s “it” girl, even stealing thunder from new releases by Perry and Lady Gaga. It’s good for the Pop Star Cyrus, but for Artist Cyrus? Not so much. Aside from everything that made headlines following her MTV Video Music Awards performance, vocally she was horrific (she should also learn some better dance moves). When less is happening onstage, Cyrus sounds better - check out her strong singing in a gritty rendition of “Wrecking Ball” on this past weekend’s “Saturday Night Live.” If Cyrus would concentrate more on showcasing her music than trying to become the latest shock queen, perhaps we wouldn’t be shocked that “Bangerz” is a good album. She should focus less on the antics and let her music do the talking - and keep that Sinead O’Connor letter in her back pocket (whenever her outfit allows it).—AP


M o v i e s

new album shows promise

Miley Cyrus performs on NBC’s “Today” at the NBC’s TODAY Show yesterday in New York.—AFP

This CD cover image re leased by RCA shows “Bangerz,” the latest re lease by Miley Cyrus.—AP

bans two films in setback for tolerant image


ebanon has banned the screening of a film about homosexuality and another on short-term “pleasure marriages” practiced in some Muslim communities, in a blow to its reputation as a bastion of tolerance in a deeply conservative region. The films, which had been due to be shown at the Beirut International Film Festival that opened last week, were blocked by a government censorship committee, festival organizers said. Confirming the bans, an Interior Ministry spokesman cited a Lebanese news report which attributed the decision to “obscene scenes of kissing between gay men, philandering, naked men and sexual intercourse between men” in one film and “sex scenes that offend public opinion and obscene language” in the other. Critics took to local media and the Internet over the weekend to denounce the bans but festival director Colette Naufal said they could only be overturned by the interior minister, a move she considered highly unlikely. Naufal said the decision represented a step backwards for Lebanon after several years when the festival had been permitted to show controversial films, including one about paedophilia. “Lebanon has one thing that stands out: its freedom of expression, freedom of thought, freedom of everything,” she told Reuters. “That’s the difference between Lebanon and the whole of the Middle East.” One of the banned films is “L’Inconnu du Lac” (Stranger by the Lake) from French director Alain Guiraudie, which deals with a homosexual relationship between two men. It was screened this year at Cannes Film Festival. Homosexuals face discrimination and alienation in Lebanon and have been prosecuted for years under a law forbidding “acts against nature”, which judges often interpret as criminalising sex between men. However, Beirut is also home to a large gay community and a gay tourism industry that includes bars and nightclubs. Despite its relative liberalism by regional standards, Lebanon has a history of banning films, plays and books that touch on the taboo subjects of sex, religion and politics.

‘Pleasure marriage’ The second film is “I Offered You Pleasure,” a 15-minute short about temporary “pleasure marriages”, so named because they are often used to circumvent Islamic proscriptions on sex outside of marriage, including prostitution. Based on interviews with women from Lebanon, Iraq and Bahrain, the film tells the story of a middle-aged Shiite Muslim woman named Iman who is coerced into agreeing to a “pleasure marriage” with her teenage neighbor, Wael. Director Farah Shaer, 26, told Reuters the film tackles issues of sexual discrimination and the oppression of social traditions but does not contain any graphic sexual images. She said she was surprised that it was banned. “We all know about pleasure marriage contracts and about premarital sex,” she said. “So what if we talk about them in films? Why should that be banned?” While the film focuses on the Shiite community, to which Shaer belongs, she said it is not intended to single out one religious sect, noting that Sunni Muslims engage in a similar practice and Christians in Lebanon often have premarital sex. The film, which was Shaer’s senior project at the Lebanese American University, was screened in Lebanon in 2011 at another university’s film festival that falls outside the state’s censorship apparatus. It has also been shown at international festivals including France’s Clermont-Ferrand festival of short films and the Bustan International Film Festival in South Korea. Shaer said she thought the majority of Lebanese supported showing the film but that she had received harsh letters of reproval from critics. “About a quarter of the people are standing with the ban because they do believe that such taboo subjects shouldn’t be talked about, which in my opinion is really sick and really insane,” she said.—Reuters

Philippines drama

emerges as front-runner for Busan film prize


n emotionally charged drama from the Philippines about migrant families fighting to stay together in Israel has emerged as a front-runner for the top prize at Asia’s premier film festival this week. “Transit” from first-time director Hannah Espia has made it into the final field in the New Currents competition at the 18th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF). The film explores the stories of five migrant families who decide to hide their children from authorities in Israel rather than abide by a controversial law - introduced in the country in 2011 - which forbids foreign workers from marrying or having children while on contract in the country. “I wanted to show the lives of children born in foreign lands, and their struggles with identity,” Espia told a press conference. “The [children] are the new people of the diaspora. They are in a constant search for where they belong,” said Espia, adding that she had been inspired to write the film after a chance meeting with a migrant worker who was bringing his fivemonth-old son home to live with relatives. “Transit” has already caused a sensation in the Philippines, whose millions of overseas workers keep the economy afloat with dollar remittances. Last month it selected the film as its entry for next year’s Academy

Awards, after it won the major prize at the influential Cinemalaya festival in August, which celebrates the Philippines’ independent film. Espia said she was proud that the film was receiving so much attention and that she hoped this would lead to it finding a wider international audience. The New Currents award offers two prizes of $30,000 to first or second-time Asian filmmakers and festival organisers said this year’s final field of 12 - drawn from 11 countries reflected the “realities of Asia”. That is certainly the case for Mongolian director Byamba Sakhya, who has brought “Remote Control” to Busan. As the first entrant from his country to make the New Currents short-list, Sakhya said he wanted to use the opportunity to turn the spotlight on to Mongolia, and to inspire young filmmakers to follow the same path. “Remote Control” is set in an urban tower block and deals with one man’s growing obsession with a neighbor. “To be selected here has encouraged me and hopefully it will encourage others,” he said. “Our film industry is small, our capital only has four cinemas, but we are growing. “I wanted to show how our society is in transition - but we still have hope.” The New Currents award winners will be announced on Saturday, the final day of the festival. The year’s BIFF is screening more than 300 films from 70 countries.—AFP

Hannah Espia of the Philippines, director of the movie “Transit”, and other new directors wave after a press conference at the 18th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) in Busan yesterday.—AFP

Pixies look for revival in


new songs, tour

s a young musician, Pixies frontman Charles Thompson was determined to make it past the velvet rope at the mythical club that is rock stardom. “It inspired us even from the time before we were rock musicians,” said Thompson, who performs under the name Black Francis. “It’s how we became rock musicians ... the idea of being in that club.” But even for a band as influential and revered as the Pixies, maintaining club membership means staying relevant. And that can be a tricky thing. How many continual tours of only old hits, after all, can a band embark on before it starts drifting too close to nostalgia act territory? At what point must a band fire up the songwriting engines again to reaffirm itself to new generations of music listeners? In the case of the Pixies, who disbanded in 1993 and reunited in 2004, the last decade has been marked by what Thompson calls a “never-ending, it seemed, encore performance of our repertoire” with only one new song, “Bam Thwok”, released in 2004, to show for it. “It was easy to be distracted from any other kind of ambitions like recording and writing new material because we were constantly touring or taking a break from touring,” Thompson said during a recent stop in New York. That all changed in late June, when a video for a new song, “Bagboy,” showed up online unannounced. A few weeks later, the band again surprised fans with an online collection of four new songs released under the name “EP-1” along with a global tour announcement. The band added a 33 city, North American leg on Monday that’s scheduled to kick off in Toronto on

January 15. The band deliberately kept the whole affair low-key. The new songs didn’t leak online, there was no pre-release hype and no record label distribution. Pixies drummer David Lovering, who is also a magician, likens the excitement that resulted to his magic act. “As a magician the best thing is the element of surprise,” Lovering said. “You want that wonderment ... kind of like Christmas coming.” The biggest surprise came two weeks before the release of “Bagboy,” when the band announced the departure of bass player Kim Deal, who’d been with the Boston quartet since its inception in 1986. Her breathy background vocals and endearing stage presence provided a foil to Thompson’s aggressive delivery. Deal broke the news to Thompson and guitarist Joey Santiago midway through the recording sessions one late morning in a coffee shop.—AP

Rock band The Pixies, from left, Kim Shattuck, Joey Santiago, Black Francis and David Lovering, pose for a portrait in promotion of their new EP and upcoming tour dates on Friday in New York.—AP




Iranians F e a t u r e

An Iranian man looks at a pair of jeans at shop in Tehran.

mock Israel PM’s jeans remark on social media

Iranian men pose in a shop selling jeans in Tajrish Bazaar in Tehran.


ranians hit back at Benjamin Netanyahu’s suggestion that they were banned from wearing jeans and listening to Western music, mocking the Israeli premier’s comments on social websites yesterday. In an interview with BBC Persian television broadcast Saturday, Netanyahu had said “if Iranians were free, they would wear jeans and listen to Western music.” Netanyahu has sought to portray Iranian President Hassan Rouhani—a moderate elected in June—as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” in order to maintain international pressure on Tehran over its nuclear program. But his comments about jeans and music brought a storm of mockery online. By Sunday a Facebook page called “Our jeans in Netanyahu’s face, Bibi watch out” had appeared, posting dozens of pictures of young Iranians wearing jeans. Many young women in Iran wear Western clothes despite a strict Islamic dress code which requires them to cover their hair. While some

Iranian women wearing jeans in Tehran.

Western music, such as rap, is not available in licensed music stores, many young people download foreign artists’ work. By yesterday, the page had attracted more than 600 followers, with hundreds of comments. “He thinks he saw our bomb but he hasn’t seen our jeans,” one user wrote, referring to Netanyahu’s repeated allegations that Iran is trying to acquire nuclear weapons, charges denied by Tehran. “Even our ancestors wore jeans,” another netizen wrote, posting a photoshopped picture of an Achaemenid soldier from 500 BC wearing jeans. One post showed a photograph of young fighters during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war in blue jeans. On Twitter, Iranians posted more pictures of themselves wearing the supposedly-forbidden jeans and enjoying Western music. One user uploaded a picture of himself wearing jeans and listening to an album by Australian pop star Missy Higgins. “Here are my jeans and here’s

my Western music, idiot!” he tweeted. Saaman Zahedi posted a picture of himself with a friend in front of a satellite dish with the comment: “here are our jeans, Netanyahu. So shut it,” using the hashtag #jeans and #iran. In the same BBC interview, Netanyahu said Iran’s presidential election was not free and that its people would not have elected Rouhani if they had a real choice. Rouhani, a moderate cleric, beat his conservative rivals to win the presidential election in June. He has since launched a diplomatic offensive over Iran’s contested nuclear program; aimed at assuaging fears Tehran is trying to develop an atomic bomb. But Netanyahu has remained deeply sceptical of Rouhani’s intentions, insisting that Iran is still a major threat to the Jewish state.—AFP

Home’s design blurs the line between inside and outside T

he clouds were gathering on the late-summer morning, and raindrops started to patter around Bill and Pamela Jones house in the Tallgrass neighborhood of Wichita, Kan. The front yard of the house already stood out from its neighbors, lushly landscaped with sleek fountains and evergreens. But it’s not until you walk into the house that it lifts up to a whole new level. Bill Jones started to reveal the surprise in the vaulted family room by pulling back retractable glass walls that separate the family room from a large living and dining room that the Joneses refer to as the lanai. With the flip of a switch, wall-spanning shades rose on three sides of the lanai, allowing the leafy backyard, koi pond and swimming pool to rush into the space, uniting much of the whole first floor of the house with the outdoors. A light rain started to fall, but the Joneses were cozy and dry, breathing in the outdoor air, feeling the breeze, grinning at the beauty of being able to live as few do in the nontropical plains of Kansas. “This room is actually outside,” Pamela Jones said

of the lanai, though it does share the same roof as the rest of the house. The lanai contains a built-in grill, a long dining room table, a firepit and seating areas all done in outdoor fabrics and materials, though you can’t tell it. A European heat-pump system provides heating and cooling to help make the outdoor area comfortable. “We wanted to bring the outside in and the inside out so when you open it, the outside comes in, and when you close it ... it’s all interior,” Pamela Jones said. When the shades in the lanai are down, “you can’t see through. It’s very private in here.” And 95 percent of the outdoor air and light is blocked from coming through the screens. “We want to use this as much as we can, because it’s so enjoyable and fun,” Pamela Jones said of the lanai. Most people in Wichita can’t roll back the car sunroof or open the windows in the house all that much of the year because of the extremes in weather, but the Joneses think their lanai is weatherized enough to stretch the limits and be used most of the year with the screens up. Even as it rained, light moisture was visible on the floor only about a foot

A view of two sides of the lanai can be seen in Wichita, Kansas. –MCT photos

The ceiling of the lanai is an engineering feat; retractable glass walls that move along a track in the ceiling can be seen in the background at left.

A view from the lanai into the family room with the portrait of Pamela Jones on the far wall rises to reveal a large -screen TV. into the lanai. The elaborate remodeling of the back of the Joneses’ house started, as these things do, with one innocent discovery. “We had seen the movable glass walls when we were in Florida, and we decided we wanted to have those in Wichita,” Pamela Jones said. One thing leads to another. “Then whenever I was outside I would get bitten up horribly all the time. So my husband said we have to put up some screens that are movable so we can shut it down. We had a porch but we wanted it larger, and then we wanted it to have big openings, and then we wanted it to open and close, and so that turned into the lanai.” They decided to remove the back of the first floor of the house, adding the glass walls to the kitchen and the family room where solid walls used to be, and allowing access from both rooms to the lanai. That led to remodeling both the rooms as well, especially the family room. The Joneses ended up vaulting the family room’s ceiling, tearing out a wall that had a fireplace in it and replacing it with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the swimming pool, and enlarging the one interior wall of the family room while converting it to natural stone. Travertine marble tiles from Peru were placed on the floor of the lanai, the family room and the kitchen. “When you open up the glass doors, it makes it look like it’s all one space,” Pamela Jones said. Adding to the impression is the crucial fact that the tracks for the retractable glass doors are in the ceiling, not the floor. Which only helped make the whole job an engineering feat. Project manager Greg Rupp of Nies Construction said it would be something for him to brag about _ if only he could explain it to anybody. The whole massive roof leading from the family room through the lanai is engineered, he said; the headers that normally are above openings to outside doors are all hidden within the roof, “so that right below the ceiling you’re seeing outside.” Skylights in the ceiling required beams rather than rafters, also enclosed within the roof. Then there are the steel I-beams required to hold up each glass panel making up the retractable walls: Each panel is 10 feet high, 4 feet wide and 400 pounds. Putting the tracks for them in the ceiling required absolute rigidity. The company that makes the glass panels is in Pennsylvania, so Rupp and his crew had to communicate long-distance to arrange all the details, becoming good acquaintances in the process. In addition, in the kitchen, the glass walls have to turn a corner so that when they are open and stacked up they don’t obstruct the view. Rupp ended up placing the tracks in a box shape in the ceiling to accomplish the turning of the corner; Bill Jones still has to stop and figure out how

exactly to follow the tracks when he’s opening the doors, maneuvering them as if he were working a puzzle. “Everything was very, very tricky,” Pamela Jones said of the project. The concept work took a year; the construction took nine months, during which a temporary wall had to be built to hold up the second floor of the house and seal the house from the elements. The neighborhood had to live with the project, too on the day that the wooden beams arrived on semis, Star Lumber figured out the only way to get them to the house was to move each of them sideways down the street on a forklift, Rupp said. “They fit between all the trees and shrubs and things.” The neighbors sat outside and watched the spectacle for hours. Joe Gross of Designer Views did the landscaping and found that shipments of plant material for the yard didn’t always mesh with the construction schedule, forcing some plants to be hilled in the front yard until they could be planted. Pamela Jones is an interior designer (Interiors by Pamela), and Bill Jones’ business is insurance. So it was kind of a surprise that the two of them designed the new addition to their house together he did the architecture, and she did the interiors, meticulously choosing the furnishings, custom-designing a rug and a new front door, spending months, for example, hunting down someone who could translate a long, narrow vertical box into a firepit with exacting specifications. “Everything we did was like that,” Pamela Jones said. “It was a huge project. It was something else.”—MCT

The family room was renovated with a vaulted ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows; retractable glass walls can close the room off from the lanai.




Young artists shine at

F e a t u r e s

Hong Kong Contemporary Art Show

An exhibitor placing a frame on the wall.


ith artwork sprawled on queensized beds, hung in front of television sets and even placed on toilet counters, Hong Kong’s Asia Contemporary Art Show has an unusual take on what constitutes an art gallery. Hosted in a luxury hotel, the bi-annual fair caters for emerging artists hoping to break into global markets and the unorthodox venue is an attempt to reduce costs in a city fast becoming known as an international arts hub but where sky-high rents pose a challenge for artists and galleries. Thousands attended the four-day show, which emphasizes young and mid-career artists and is the city’s second-largest art fair after the Hong Kong edition of the prestigious Art Basel. Collectors moved from room to room inside the five-star JW Marriott hotel where more than 70 galleries showcased paintings, sculptures and photography from around the Asia region and the world. “The informality of the hotel is one of the characters of the art fair,” the show’s director Mark Saunderson told AFP. “It’s a bit of a journey of discovery from room to room,” he said, adding that the hotel format of the fair also helps to cut costs. “The whole spirit of what we are trying to do with the show is obviously to offer an opportunity for work to come to Hong Kong, which otherwise would probably never be seen,” he said. Galleries

An artwork displayed on the door of a hotel room at the Asia Contemporary Art Show in Hong Kong.—AFP photos

in the city deal with many costs including expensive rents, making them adopt a selection process that excludes many potential artists, Saunderson said. However, experts say that South-East Asian artwork has a major advantage: its price tag, with Vietnamese, Indonesian and Malaysian pieces popular on the international scene. “You can spend HK$50,000 - HK$100,000 ($6,400 - $12,900) and buy a very good quality artist,” said Saunderson. With the value of Vietnamese works having increased tenfold over the past 15 years, new artists are seeking more global exposure. “The most important thing is that young artists like me have a chance to show their works,” Vietnamese artist Dang Thao Ngoc told AFP. Dang, from Hanoi, is known for using colorful oil paintings to depict family members and also to represent life in Vietnam. “In Hong Kong, a lot of people come and see the artworks. They care about the artworks a lot,” she said, adding that this was not the case for her back home in Vietnam. Newly reforming Myanmar is also seeing more galleries open up as the art world catches on to its artists, with dozens now selling successfully. “Chinese painters paint very quick, and they paint quantity. The Burmese artists don’t do this. They tend to paint less paintings, but at much higher quality” said Sidney Cowell, director at the

Artworks displayed in a hotel room at the Asia Contemporary Art Show. Asia Fine Art Gallery. The art on offer ranges from the traditional to the more eclectic. In one room belonging to a Japanese gallery, a comical sculpture of a bald Asian man wearing a schoolgirl’s uniform was on display, his arms open and ready for an embrace. Another installation featured ultra-wide photographs shot from ground-level depicting the high density of Hong Kong’s buildings.

A painting displayed in the bathroom of a hotel room.

The art fair showcased works ranging from HK$30,000 to HK$200,000 and generated over HK$18 million in transaction sales during its previous May edition. The boom in Hong Kong’s international art market has been driven partly by the fast-growing wealth of mainland Chinese buyers. Over 3,000 international artists from 245 of the world’s leading galleries were displayed in May at Art Basel in the

southern Chinese city. Gagosian, White Cube, Acquavella, Lehmann Maupin and Galerie Perrotin are just some of the big-name galleries to have arrived in the city in the past two years.— AFP

Emporio Armani

celebrating their collaboration with ‘The Counselor’

Roberta Armani and Sigourney Weaver


Roberta Armani and Michael Fassbender

oberta Armani, Ridley Scott and Twentieth Century Fox Chairman Jim Gianopulos co-hosted a special screening and cocktail party on 3rd October celebrating Emporio Armani’s collaboration with the film ‘The Counselor’. Following the exclusive screening that was held at Odeon West End, guests moved to Freemasons’ Hall to continue the celebration. Giorgio Armani has been instrumental in collaborating with esteemed costume designer Janty Yates and award winning director Ridley Scott to create the style and wardrobe for the lead characters of the film – Michael Fassbender and Penelope Cruz - featuring his Emporio Armani collection. The evening was attended by the film’s cast including Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Ridley Scott, who were joined by a mixture of fashion, film industry and VIP guests including Sigourney Weaver, Laura Whitmore, Douglas Booth, Scott Eastwood and Amber Anderson all in a setting similar to one of the film’s scenes. The highly anticipated drama opens in the United States on October 25 and in the United Kingdom on November 15. Emporio Armani is available in the UAE at Mall of the Emirates, Marina Mall Abu Dhabi, The Galleria on Al-Maryah Island and at Armani /Dubai, The Dubai Mall, as well as in Kuwait at 360 Mall and at Armani / Kuwait, The Avenues Mall.

Ridley Scott

Laura Whitmore

Rare painting by Turkey’s last caliph sold at auction


rare oil painting by Islam’s last caliph, the whereabouts of which were unknown for decades, fetched 1.6 million lira ($804,000) at auction. An anonymous collector secured “Women in the Courtyard,” by Abdulmecid II in 1899, on Sunday after a hotly contested round of bidding. The asking price had been 1.2 million lira. The painting depicts semi-naked women attended by harem eunuchs around a pool. The work pays homage to the Roman goddess Venus and is a clear nod to 19th-Century Orientalist painters, like France’s Jean-Leon Gerome. “There have been questions about whether the conservative government and new elite would be comfortable with a painting by the caliph that features nudes,” Bora Keskiner of Alif Art, the Istanbul auction house which handled the sale, told Reuters. “The work is an important signifier of

how the late Ottoman Turkish elite and royal family were extremely close to European art circles and they themselves practised European art.” Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, whose party is rooted in political Islam, frequently evokes the glories of certain Ottoman sultans, who ruled a vast empire from the Balkans to the Persian Gulf for more than four centuries. The secular Turkish republic was formed in the empire’s wake following World War One. The existence of “Women in the Courtyard” was unknown until 1990, when its image appeared on the cover of an art magazine with little explanation, and it remained a secret in a private collection until its consignment to Alif Art, Keskin said. Abdulmecid II was crown prince of the Ottoman throne, held by his cousin Mehmed VI, until the sultanate was abolished in 1922 by the founders of the secular

Turkish republic. Mehmed was exiled, and Abdulmecid became caliph, a title through which Ottoman rulers long claimed religious leadership of all Sunni Muslims. Within two years, the caliphate too was elimated and Abdulmecid fled to Paris where he died in 1944. Besides his religious vocation, Abdulmecid was also one of the great artists of the late Ottoman period. Today, his self-portrait hangs in the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art.—Reuters

Young artists shine at Hong Kong contemporary art show


39 Diamond

fetches record $30.6 million at Hong Kong auction

A 118.28-carat white diamond sold in Hong Kong yesterday for about $30.6 million, or HK$238.68 million, the most paid for a white diamond.—AP photos


KUWAIT: Members of the Kuwait Environment Protection Society releasing a green sea turtle at the Jumairah Beach Hotel and Spa in Kuwait City on Sunday. The turtle, aged 45 years old and weighing 150 kilograms, was rescued from a fishing trap near the Failaka Island and released after undergoing medical attention. A tracking device was fixed on the turtle’s back in order to help the KEPS study the animal’s movement in territorial waters.—Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Real-life hobbit

118.28-carat white diamond broke a world record yesterday when it fetched more than $30 million at a Hong Kong auction. The sparkling translucent stone was sold to a phone bidder at the Sotheby’s auction for HK$238.68 million ($30.6 million) following bidding that lasted for more than six minutes. The egg-shaped stone has been described as the finest of its kind ever to appear at auction. Earlier estimates valued it at $28-$35 million. The stone, dubbed the “Magnificent Oval Diamond”, was discovered in a deep mine in an undisclosed southern African country in 2011. As a rough stone before being cut, it weighed 299 carats. The stone, described by Sotheby’s as “the largest D colour flawless diamond”, has been given the highest quality rating awarded by the Gemological Institute of America. “D colour” diamonds are rare and colorless and fetch premium prices. The sale beat the record set at a diamond auction last year, when a 101.73-carat diamond was sold for $26.7 million. Hong Kong has become a centre for jewelry auctions thanks to growing wealth in China and other parts of the region.—AFP

v i l l a g e c h a n n e l s e c o - va l u e s


real-life hobbit village will soon be nestled in the lush forests of a Swedish island, a whimsical housing scheme billed as the first of its kind—but behind the fantasy gimmick lies a genuine interest for sustainable development. The hobbits, small characters with hairy feet in novelist J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy classics, are a model of environmentally friendly living, said British hobbit-house architect Simon Dale. “Hobbits portray people living a peaceful life in harmony with nature,” Dale, 35, told AFP on a recent visit to Stockholm. He was in town to plan for the cluster of 30 houses on Muskoe, an island located some 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the city centre as the crow flies amid Stockholm’s picturesque archipelago. The island’s first hobbit house is scheduled to be ready in mid-2014, with the village completed within a few years. At first sight, the huts resemble Bilbo Baggins’s dwellings in the Shire in Tolkien’s 1937 novel “The Hobbit”. “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit,” begins Tolkien’s tale. “It had a perfectly round door like a porthole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle.” In Tolkien’s idyllic agrarian setting, the hobbits live in tune with nature in stark contrast to the author’s era of mature industrialization. The Swedish hobbit village will keep the notion of natural materials and soft, round shapes: the windows, doors and walls will all be curved. Yet the houses will be slightly more up-to-date, built for modern city-dwellers longing to retreat to nature on weekends and holidays. An induction hob, beside a wood-burning range, will be the “most high-tech thing integrated,” said Dale, whose design promises airy ceilings up to 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) high. Energy efficiency will be a primary goal, so heating will come from solar power and wood-burning. Natural building materials from the area will also be used, such as timber, stone, sand, clay and grass. Dale himself has lived in a hobbit house for the past decade with his wife and two kids. The family now resides in the West Wales community of Lammas, the first British low-impact eco-village of its kind. Building the earth houses has become a passion, said Dale, originally a photographer. The village isn’t targeted at fans of Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”—rather, it’s intended to appeal to those who care about the environment and want to live close to nature. “It’s a transition in lifestyle and values,” said Dale, who bears a faint resemblance to Bilbo as played by Martin Freeman in the new “Hobbit” blockbuster film trilogy.

‘Hobbit-holes’ and a Dream Farm Sweden, like other countries taking the lead in sustainable development, has in recent years seen a boom in eco-friendly urban renewal projects. But Dale noted a key difference between those projects and his. They “aim to maximize the efficiency of resource consumption, while we aim to minimize resource consumption,” he said, adding that sustain-

This publicity file photo provided by Warner Bros, shows the character Gollum, voiced by Andy Serkis, in a scene from the fantasy adventure “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”—AP

ability doesn’t require fancy new gadgets but can instead be attained by living more simply. He said Muskoe was the perfect location for his project. Home to a naval base decommissioned nine years ago, the island has a natural forest and farming landscape, yet is conveniently equipped with welldeveloped infrastructure, including a grocery store, restaurant, pharmacy, public transport and a threekilometer (two-mile) tunnel connecting it to the mainland. The island is also home to an eco-project called Droemgaarden, or The Dream Farm, which is building an environmentally sustainable community and which invited Dale to collaborate. Apart from his “hobbit-holes”, the village will feature 350 eco-friendly homes. Local farmers and residents are intrigued to see the old agricultural estate being brought back to life, providing jobs and atmosphere, said Dale. Yet for the moment the entire project remains in the realm of Tolkien’s fantasy pending real-world bureaucratic clearance. “It’s up to the municipality to give us the green light, but we’re optimistic,” said project organizer Marie Eriksson.— AFP A Christie’s worker poses for photographs with a gold and diamond inset minaudiere at the auction house’s premises in central London, Friday. The piece, is from the collection of Princess Soraya Esfandiary-Bakhtiari, the second wife of Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, and is estimated to fetch 15,000 to 18,000 pounds ($24,098 to $28,918 and 17,724 to 21,269 euro), in the sale of “Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds” on October 10.—AP

8th Oct 2013  

Kuwait Times

8th Oct 2013  

Kuwait Times