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Road Rush: Women take over the wheel


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NO: 15955- Friday, October 11, 2013

Pilgrims gather for haj rituals PAGE 13

Local FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Conspiracy Theories

Four days, KD20,000 WOW!!!

A Kuwaiti customer looks at misbahs in a shop in Kuwait City. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

By Badrya Darwish


t has been a week full of amazing news. Amazing news could be thrilling, disgusting or even immoral. According to the latest news I read yesterday, the Kuwaiti police raided a hotel in Salmiya and caught two “extremely beautiful” prostitutes who came on a “business trip” to Kuwait after they had managed to arrange customers through a porn site. I find this kind of news appalling. Unfortunately, these kinds of news have existed since ancient history. There is a reason why this is called the oldest profession in the world. I also think that it is the only permanent profession in the world. It is not affected by the money crunch, wars or different social circumstances or natural disasters. Famine, drought and earthquakes do not affect it too. It is not affected by dictators or liberals who are heads of different countries. These professionals manage to exist regardless of the circumstances surrounding them. The more conservative a country is, the more these species thrive. I felt insulted because whoever brought these girls into the country timed their “business strip” to fall on Eid-Al-Adha. I find this revolting. Or is this the way for the sponsor to make his Eid Al-Adha sacrifice? I am sure that these two ladies did not come to a conservative country like Kuwait on their own simply because Kuwait does not require visas for European and other nationalities. It is highly unlikely that they both packed their bags and came to stay in a hotel in Salmiya and managed to find 30 clients for just four days, according to the news. The source was also quite accurate with the money they were charging (KD300 per hour). That made our editor jump and become furious. I tried to calm her down that these are the realities of life. She could not digest how and why some men would pay KD300 for “a slut” who works hard for an hour. While others work for the whole month in desperate accommodation and appalling state and hardly make KD40 or KD50 a month. I think that in her comparison the editor meant maids and domestic helpers. If we start comparing then - the list will go on and on from here till the place from where these girls took off. On a serious note, how such suspicious women managed to pass through the immigration authorities? What reasons did they provide for their visit? Who were their contacts in the country? Usually at the visa counter you fill a form that lists many questions, such as financial status, connections in the country, local address etc. I think that these two workers could have come through someone influential and were not questioned at the immigration counter. But that is life. If you have the right connections you can do anything - even cash KD20,000 for four days. Have a nice Eid! @BadryaD

Local FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Women take over the wheel

By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Anyone who thinks that women can’t drive, should get ready to taste dust because these women will stop at nothing when they set the race tracks on fire. A motorsport, exclusively for women, will be finally held in Kuwait. The Road Rush Carnival will be held on November 30, 2013 from 5:00- 9:00 pm at the Kuwait Classic Car Museum in Shuwaikh. Not only the participants but also the audience will comprise of only women. The event includes drifting, drag racing and karting.

The event is organized by Road Rush group. It’s held for the fourth year, but this is their first time in Kuwait. “We used to hold it at the Bahrain International Circuit since they have the actual Formula 1 racing track which follows international standards. Our next drag race in Bahrain will be held on January 31 and February 1, 2014. Interested women can register with us now for both drag racing and karting. The event is open to women from all nationalities as long as they are 18 years and above,” Lateefa Al-Nassar, Founder

of Road Rush Group told the Kuwait Times. The Road Rush Carnival is not only a sport but also an entertaining event. “The proceeds of the event will go to charity. We will donate the proceeds to ‘Markaz21’ which is an educational center for the differentlyabled who are above 21 years of age,” she added. “We love cars and racing so we wanted to bring something new to Kuwait and we are the first in GCC to organize this race. Women in our community are oppressed in this field and even though many love car racing, they don’t have a place to practice it; so this event will be a great opportunity for them,” said Al-Nassar, who works at a bank and holds an MBA degree in finance. She founded the Road Rush group in 2011 which has five members now. The available place for both drag racing and karting is limited to 30 for each. “Interested participants should bring their Civil IDs, driving license and pay the registration fee. Registration is open now but will close a week before the race starts. The fee is non-refundable but someone who has registered can allow another woman to participate instead. For the drag race, participants will race in their own cars, but they will be required to drive the karting vehicles available at the museum,” she explained. The Car Museum’s track is less than a

quarter mile long and the cars don’t have special safety measures as they don’t have the space to drive fast. The participants should have a helmet and fasten their seatbelt. They can visit the museum and check out the track if they plan on participating. The Classic Car Museum is our sponsor along with Wataniya Telecom and I thank them for their support. We look forward to making this an annual event,” Al-Nassar pointed out. Attending the event will be free of charge but restricted to women and children only.

“There will be entertaining activities for kids and free food and beverage for all. We expect this event to have a large attendance as interest in our events in Bahrain is growing every year. Last year, there were 30 participants from Kuwait, two from Qatar and one from Bahrain. There were also two from Saudi Arabia, who participated using their brothers cars and held American driving licenses,” she stated. “The first three winners in the drag racing category will get trophies and their cars will be transported to Bahrain for free. In the karting category, they will also get trophies, and the first winner will also get free car transport (for drag racing) to Bahrain, while the second and third will get 50 percent discount on transporting the car,” concluded Al-Nassar. (For more information call: 69000690.)

Local FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Uncovering stereotypes

No hijab, no vacancy? By Farheen S Sayed


uring an interview at a Kuwaiti government school, Asmath Choudhary, a middle-aged lady from Bangladesh who was trying for the position of a cleaner was very nervous. “It’s my first time that I was going to attend any kind of interview. I have never been to school. I can’t speak English or Arabic and don’t understand both the languages. But, I wanted this job badly. I have three young school-going children”. Arabic knowledge was crucial, especially since the post was in an Arabic school but the authorities were willing to overlook it on one condition; that she wears a hijab at work. “I am a Muslim, but I never thought of covering my head until that day. But I don’t mind wearing the hijab”. Asmath has been working for a year-and-a-half, and wears the hijab as a part of her work uniform. No matter which part of the world you are from, if you have lived in Kuwait or the Middle East, you will be familiar with the hijab. Many have turned the hijab

into a personal style statement and opt for designer ones which make them all the more chic. Over the last few years, the hijab has been accepted all over the world though once upon a time, it was looked down upon and targeted in racial attacks. Many stories have been published in the past about women being denied jobs in some Western and European countries, only because they were ‘hijabis’ (a slang for a woman who wears a hijab). The latest story to make it to news was of American fashion brand, Abercombie & Fitch firing a Muslim clerk for wearing a hijab. The employee later went on to win the case against the company in the federal court. If such stories are common in the West, what about the scenario in the Middle East? Is the hijab

required to get a job in a Middle Eastern country? While many say no, there have been a few women who have been unfortunate victims of the ‘No Hijab, No Vacancy’ slogan, like Asmath. While Asmath wears the hijab only at work, many believe that wearing a hijab would deny them a job in India. Mehwish Agha, a 22-year-old student at Bombay University wears the hijab when she is out with family but refrains from wearing it to college. “I have very few Muslim friends, so my friends circle or even my professors don’t really understand the true meaning of hijab. They consider it to be some strained Islamic belief. Though India is a friendly place and accepts all religions, India is still a Hindu-dominated country. I have had friends who were denied front desk jobs because they used to wear the hijab. They were instead offered back office jobs in the administrative departments that did not require communication with the clients.” Mehwish also added that in India, only wearing a hijab is not acceptable. “In India, you either wear the entire abaya or you don’t. Only wearing a hijab with other flashy clothes is considered to be degrading to Islam”. Every place has a different hijab story to tell. The hijab has also received a lot of media attention from Western and Eastern media over the last two decades. Today’s media promotes women journalists, film-makers, celebrities and others to showcase their identity in front of the world. But what about the hijab? Should a woman appear on TV with her head covered? Would people like to see a modest Muslim woman in a profession which is constantly under the spotlight and at the helm of present affairs? Sara Mussaffar, a Kuwait University media student, who wears the hijab, feels that it is high time that Kuwait, its Gulf neighbors and all other countries see the hijab and Muslim women in the media in a different light. “A teacher is good, a doctor is excellent but a news reporter? No way! God knows how many people will be staring at her - this is the common perception,” she said. Undoubtedly, media is a large part of everyday life that can influence percep-

“I am a Muslim, but I never thought of covering my head until that day. But I don’t mind wearing the hijab”. Asmath has been working for a year-and-ahalf, and wears the hijab as a part of her work uniform. No matter which part of the world you are from, if you have lived in Kuwait or the Middle East, you will be familiar with the hijab.

tions of women and their roles in society. “Media has portrayed Muslim women as overly clad, a victim or just ladies in long black veils who all look the same. To clear this stereotype, many TV news channels, in the middle east are encouraging hijabi women to explore the field of media. I guess it is time that hijabis make their presence felt in the world and show everyone that they are stronger than how they have been portrayed in the media all along”. Sara also believes that wearing a hijab doesn’t define who you are or how devout a Muslim you are. “Being sacked from work because of the hijab is a loss for the company but being forcefully asked to wear one to get a job goes against your modesty and independence. Wearing a hijab should not hold you back in your job and hijabi women should stop keeping a low profile. It’s high time that women start flaunting the hijab, take an individual stand and be portrayed differently.”

Local FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Kuwait’s my business

Using social media to thrill customers By John P Hayes


ude” on Twitter asked his followers: “What should I have from Pizzetta other than pizza?” Imagine his surprise when Pizzetta replied almost immediately: “You can try our baked pasta, you will fall in love!” “Kitty” visited Prime & Toast Al-Bidaa for the first time and tweeted, “The omelet was fine, but the service is too slow and we need Arabic menu please!” Prime & Toast replied, “Sorry about the service, we will take action . . . Arabic menu noted.”

KUWAIT: The skyline over Kuwait City captured by the lens of Yasser Al-Zayyat. Local Spotlight

Death for sorcerers By Muna Al-Fuzai


everal Kuwaiti MPs called for penalties against sorcery and witchcraft as well as tougher measures to prevent smuggling of black magic paraphernalia. Meanwhile, at least one lawmaker suggested death penalty for those convicted of practicing witchcraft and sorcery. I thought this is funny news. In fact, I laughed because some MPs seem to have concluded that since all our troubles in Kuwait have been solved, from traffic jams to administrative corruption, from inflation to unemployment, all that is left for us to worry about now is who is practicing black magic so that we can send them to the gallows. Listen to this one MP who proposed five years in prison for people convicted in cases of witchcraft 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. I really loved this part where he linked black magic influence to family problems. Divorce rates in Kuwait are so high compared to the number of people here and I’m ready to debate that there are millions of reasons for divorce here - but black magic isn’t one of

them. I think the whole idea is so silly and naive. In fact, the attempt to blame black magic for serious social troubles in a country shows that we don’t want to take responsibility for our own actions. I do agree that maybe black magic exists, but not in a way where we have zombies walking in our streets! Now, does this mean that people who are living happily aren’t under the influence of black magic and others who are miserable are the ones who are targeted? I know that someone will next blame maids for bringing black magic into the country. Grow up! Now, should we sentence people who practice black magic to jail or just five to 15 years, so he can use this magic on other prisoners? I guess their lives are miserable enough, so would black magic make any more difference to it? If these MPs had put the same effort into improving our society by building new hospitals or solving family problems, it would make all the difference. Now if all those who are convicted of black magic are sentenced to death, does it mean they’re the same as murderers?

Getting any thrills? Pizzetta and Prime & Toast are two businesses in Kuwait that discovered the value of using social media to “thrill” customers. These special moments result in customer loyalty, which results in bigger profits! Given that businesses lose half of their customer base every five years (it’s even worse in a highly mobile country), and that acquiring a customer is one of a company’s most costly expenses, Pizzetta and Prime & Toast are model companies. We should all congratulate them by visiting one of their locations. Unfortunately, most customer relationships are “acceptable” at best, and not thrilling. We don’t complain because we’re too busy, and besides, we don’t believe businesses care, and we doubt they’ll change. We buy what we need, including meals, clothes, supplies, and services, and we move on with life. Maybe we’ll return to the same restaurant, nail salon, or grocery store again, or maybe not. Since thrills are few and far between it’s easy to spend our money someplace else. There’s no loyalty where there’s no thrill, and no profit where there’s no loyalty. Consequently, most companies struggle to keep customers and earn profits, and for some odd reason few companies get that message. These companies are not in business to provide customers with thrills . . . so why are they in business? My answer: They don’t know! Customers drive brand messages Aurelio Giraudo knows! He’s the general manager of Kuwait’s most luxurious hotel, the Regency, and he’s constantly looking for opportunities to thrill customers. He recently told the Kuwait Times that he’s not driving his brand message; his customers are doing it for him on social media. The hotel has more than 33,000 Facebook fans (and people say Facebook is dead in Kuwait?) and more than 4,000 followers on Instagram. By creating special moments with his fans, Giraudo is turning relationships into brand loyalty and turning brand loyalty into profits. Here’s how that works: “Hala” tweeted @PrimeToast: “We’ve been here for 30 mins still they didn’t take our order. It’s not busy inside.” No thrill there! Immediately Prime & Toast replied, “Which branch?” And within minutes “Hala” and friends got their order. There’s the thrill! Once she finished eating, “Hala” tweeted, “Your manager is so nice. I’m defo coming again!” And there are loyalty and profits! Using social media to generate loyalty and profits is a simple skill to learn and implement. Now all we’ve got to do is convince more of Kuwait’s businesses that their job is to thrill customers! Dr John P Hayes heads the Business Administration department at GUST where his thrill is teaching Internet Marketing. Got a question for him? Send it to, or via Twitter @drjohnhayes.

Local FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

13-yr-old girl gang-raped Junkie stabs own brothers KUWAIT: A 13-year-old girl was raped by four men who took advantage of her sexually for three weeks before they were finally arrested. The first man met the girl and convinced her to have sex with him and when she was scared to go home because it was late at night, he took her to his diwaniya and took advantage of her again. His friend saw her the next morning and took her to his apartment and raped her by which time, two of his friends joined him and raped her as well. This gangrape continued for three weeks. Meanwhile, her family was worried about her and informed the police. At a routine checkpoint, the four men were arrested with the girl and three of them turned out to be Kuwaitis while the fourth one was a bedoon. When questioned, the four said the girl was with them but denied having sex with her. Drug dealer busted Hawally police patrol foiled a man’s attempt to sell 36 heroin envelopes and some hashish to a ‘client’. The dealer was found to be an employee at the Interior Ministry. He had a firearm and an identification badge. He was arrested with his two companions and referred to concerned authorities. The buyer escaped and is still at large. The man was arrested when the patrol commander and his colleague noticed two cars parked side-by-side where the drivers were engaged in conversation and the police

approached them to investigate the matter. On seeing them, the second car’s driver escaped but police managed to block the first driver from escaping on noticing strange envelopes in the vehicle’s backseat, which proved to be drugs. Drug smuggler arrested Airport customs foiled a Lebanese expat’s attempt to smuggle three bottles of liquor and 16 Keptagon tablets into the country. The man was behaving suspiciously and when his bag was searched, three bottles were found and the Keptagon tablets were found hidden in his shoes. He was sent to concerned authorities. Junkie stabs own brothers A drug addict stabbed one of his brothers 20 times and the second brother 14 times while under the influence of shabu drug which makes its user paranoid and highly suspicious of everyone around him. The suspect left his room at home in Mubarak Al-Kabeer and launched an attack on one of the brothers with a knife and when the third brother attempted to intervene, he was also stabbed. The injured were rushed to a local hospital in a critical condition and are recovering in the ICU while the attacker is cooling his heels behind bars currently.

Kuwait Defense Minister receives US commander KUWAIT: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Khalid AlJarrah Al-Sabah received here on Wednesday Commander of the US third Army Lieutenant General James L Terry. Both men discussed issues of common interest, especially military matters. The Defense minister praised the deep-rooted bilateral relations between the two countries and the importance of enhancing and bolstering bilateral ties. The meeting was attended by Deputy Chief-of-Staff for Intelligence and Security Major General Abdulrahman Al-Hadhoud and Land Forces Commander Major General Khalid AlFoudiri. It was also attended by Deputy US Ambassador Michael J Adler and the accompanying delegation of James Terry. — KUNA

The suspect arrested with some illicit drugs.

Drug suspect nabbed By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Narcotics officials arrested an Asian with 150 grams of heroin, 50 grams of shabu drug and 700 unidentified tablets. Officials received information of an Asian selling heroin at home and when they raided his residence, they found drugs. On questioning, he admitted that the drugs were his and were for sale. Kuwaiti child molested Only 24 hours after a female Arabic teacher molested a young Kuwaiti girl at a private institute, another Kuwaiti child was molested at another linguistics institute in Salmiya. The child’s father said the teacher behaved abnormally with his son and lodged a complaint at the local police station. Body found Meanwhile, police received information about the body of a foundling in a Kuwaiti’s garden in Doha. Investigations are underway.

GCC targets monetary,economic integration RIYADH: The establishment of the Gulf Monetary Council (GMCO) signals a huge step forward towards materializing the Gulf states’ ambitious goal of complete monetary and economic integration among the resource-rich Arab region, economists said. “Establishing and the recent opening of the main premises of the Gulf Momentary Council (GMCO) in the Saudi Capital of Riyadh signals major progress of the Gulf countries’ efforts to achieve economic integration and coordination,” Economics Professor at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah Prof Dr Wadia Kabali said. Kabli highlighted that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have sought, since inception in the early eighties of the last century, to unify laws, regulations in all domains, particularly the economic one. “The GCC countries’ relentless efforts to achieve a monetary union signal a big step forward towards a complete economic and monetary integration similar to that of the European Union” he told KUNA. He, however, made it clear that the Gulf states have to take brave decisions to unify monetary policies and to avoid any problems in the future that could negatively impact the monetary union. “The Gulf states have to take specific steps to unify monetary policies such as unifying interest and exchange rates and oil products prices,” he said. He noted that the experience of the European Monetary Union is useful for the GCC states.

“It clearly shows the monetary policies in member states have to be identical to avoid a unilateral decision or policy that could negatively affect the entire group.”“Thus, monetary councils of the member states have to accept giving up some of their powers for the umbrella council, GMCO.” For his part, Economist Salem Bajajah said the GCC gives priority to the monetary union because it is a key to materialize the goal of complete integration among Gulf states. “The move is important for launching the GCC common market and Gulf unified labor market” Bajajah said. He underlined that the Gulf states will face several difficulties in their pursue to reach monetary unity, stressing the importance of the Gulf Monetary Council to help overcome any difficulties. For Economist Usama Filali, it’s too early to talk about a monetary union among Gulf states. “It’s too early to talk about Gulf monetary union especially - taking into account that European experience that took nearly 50 years following the establishment of the Union and the founding of the common market” he told KUNA. He explained that the GCC countries have to reach agreements on many key issues first - such as agreeing on the details of regulations of single Gulf currency issuance. The head of the Economic Section at Jeddah Office of the London-based Arabicspeaking Al-Hayat newspaper Mona Al-Manjomi have a different point of view. “The Gulf states have similar economic structures,

thus economic integration among them will be easier,” AlManjomi said. She also refuted claims that the efforts to adopt a single Gulf currency are progressing with a slow pace. “The plans are moving smoothly and decisions are taken with adequate study to reach the aspired goal.” During the opening ceremony of the Gulf Monetary Council last Saturday, Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency and Chairman of the GCC Monetary Council Dr Fahad bin Abdullah Al-Mubarak said the council will contribute to further promote the monetary cooperation frameworks between the member states, based on the institution-building approach which aims at developing the monetary union. Al-Mubarak pointed out that the main objective of the council is to “achieve the highest level of economic integration among GCC states for the interests and welfare of Gulf citizens.” The GCC Supreme Council in its twenty-ninth session (Muscat, December 2008) approved the Monetary Union Agreement and the Statute of the Monetary Council, which developed the legal and institutional framework for the Monetary Union, and identified the goals and tasks of the Monetary Council. The Member States of the Monetary Union Agreement (the Kingdom of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait) ratified the Agreement, and as a result, the Monetary Agreement entered into force on 27 February 2010. —KUNA


Weapons inspectors visit three Syria sites


Snowden’s father visits Moscow in search of son


Alice Munro wins Nobel literature prize


TRIPOLI: Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan (center) arrives at the government headquarters in Tripoli yesterday shortly after he was freed from the captivity of militiamen who had held him for several hours. (Inset) A general view of security checking after Zidan was kidnapped. —AFP

Libya PM briefly abducted amid chaos Zidan held in hotel by gunmen in retaliation of US raid TRIPOLI: Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan was abducted by gunmen who snatched him from his hotel and held him for several hours yesterday in apparent retaliation for a US special forces raid that captured an Al-Qaeda suspect in the capital last weekend. The brazen abduction, which ended with Zidan’s rescue, underscored the lawlessness gripping Libya two years after the ouster of autocrat Muammar Gaddafi. The weak central government is virtually hostage to multiple, independent-minded militias - many of them made up of Islamic militants that serve as security forces and hold sway across the country. The gunmen who abducted Zidan were believed to be militiamen, and it appeared he was freed when members of another militia stormed the site where he was being held. Yesterday afternoon, after authorities announced he had been freed, Zidan spoke at a Cabinet meeting aired live on Libyan TV. He thanked those who helped free him but provided no details and avoided pointing fingers at those behind the abduction. “We hope this matter will be treated with wisdom and rationality, far from tension,” he said. “There are many things that need dealing with.” The incident raised alarm over the power that militias hold over government officials. The militias originated in the informal brigades of “revolutionaries” who fought Gaddafi’s

forces in the 2011 revolt against his rule. Since Gaddafi’s ouster and death, the groups have resisted efforts to disarm them, multiplied in number and mushroomed in size. With the regular police forces and army weak and in disarray, the government has had to enlist some militias to act as security forces. But they often remain more loyal to their own agendas and commanders than the state, and many have hard-line Islamic ideologies sympathetic to AlQaeda. They frequently lash out at officials to get their way. Last month, the son of the defense minister was abducted, and there are frequent killings of security officials who cross militiamen. “The abduction is like the shock that awakened Libyans. Facts on the ground now are clearer than never before: Libya is ruled by militias,” said prominent rights campaigner Hassan Al-Amin. The motive for Zidan’s abduction was not immediately known. But it comes after many Islamic militants and militias expressed outrage over the US raid on Saturday that seized Al-Qaeda suspect Nazih Abdul-Hamed Al-Ruqai, known by his alias Abu Anas Al-Libi. They accused Zidan’s government of colluding in the operation and allowing foreigners to snatch a Libyan from Libyan soil. The government said it had no knowledge of the raid. Before daylight yesterday, around 150 gunmen in pickup trucks laid siege to downtown Tripoli’s luxury Corinthia Hotel,

where Zidan resides, witnesses told The Associated Press. A large group of them entered the building, some stayed in the lobby while others headed to Zidan’s residence on the 21st floor. The gunmen scuffled with the prime minister’s guards before they seized him and led him out at around 5.15 a.m., said the witnesses, speaking on condition of anonymity because they feared for their own safety. They said Zidan offered no resistance while he was being led away. The circumstances of his freeing were unclear. In the afternoon, government spokesman Mohammed Kaabar told the LANA new agency that Zidan had been “set free.” The brief report gave no further information. But it appeared Libyan forces had intervened in some way and that the abductors did not free Zidan voluntarily. A militia commander affiliated with the Interior Ministry told a private Libyan television station that members of a Tripoli-based militia stormed the house where Zidan was held hostage and rescued him. Haitham Al-Tajouri, commander of the so-called “Reinforcement Force,” told Al-Ahrar television that his men exchanged fire with the captors but that Zidan was not hurt. “He is now safe in a safe place,” he said. His account could not be independently verified.—AP

International FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Iraq executes 42 ‘terrorism’ convicts BAGHDAD: Iraq executed 42 “terrorism” convicts over the past week, the justice ministry said yesterday, defying international condemnation of its extensive use of the death penalty, as deadly violence intensifies. “The justice ministry carried out, during the past week of this month, death sentences for 42 convicts, among them one woman, all of them convicted of terrorism crimes,” the ministry said in a statement on its website. The statement was accompanied by a photo of a noose on a black background, a reference to the way in which executions in Iraq are usually carried out. The ministry did not specify the exact dates of the executions, but the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said they took place “between October 8 and 9.” “UNAMI

reiterates its call on the government of Iraq to adopt a moratorium on the implementation of all death sentences,” it said in a statement. The latest executions bring the number of people who have been put to death in Iraq this year to at least 132, compared to 129 executions in all of 2012, according to an AFP tally based on reports from the justice ministry and officials. Iraq executed 23 people in two days last month, 20 of them convicted on terrorism charges, the justice ministry said on October 1. The growing resort to the death penalty comes as violence in Iraq has reached a level not seen since 2008, when the country was just emerging from a brutal sectarian conflict. More than 230 people have been killed so far this month, and more than

4,900 since the beginning of the year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources. The executions have drawn widespread condemnation from the European Union, the United Nations and human rights groups. UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said this year that Iraq’s criminal justice system was “not functioning adequately.” She highlighted “numerous convictions based on confessions obtained under torture and ill-treatment, a weak judiciary and trial proceedings that fall short of international standards.” “The application of the death penalty in these circumstances is unconscionable, as any miscarriage of justice as a result of capital punishment cannot be undone,” Pillay said. And Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui of Amnesty

International said last month that: “The Iraqi authorities have chosen to defy repeated calls not to execute prisoners and to rely on tainted ‘confessions’ obtained under torture.” But Justice Minister Hassan Al-Shammari insisted on Thursday that the executions were carried out only after an exhaustive legal process. The death sentences “were appealed more than one time before appeals court judges to prove the accuracy of the sentences,” Shammari said in the statement. Those executed were found guilty of involvement in “terrorism crimes” that “led to the martyrdom of dozens of innocent citizens, in addition to the commission of other crimes that aim to destabilize the security and stability of the country, and cause chaos and terror,” the minister said. —AFP

Bahrain jails 18 Shiites for police station attack DUBAI: A Bahraini court yesterday sentenced 18 Shiites to between five and seven years in prison after they were convicted of attacking a police station, a judicial source said. Fifteen defendants were jailed for seven years and three for five years after being of attacking the police station in a Shiite village near Manama last November. They had been charged with “aggression” against police, “possession of petrol bombs” and taking part in an unauthorized protest “aiming at undermining public security”. No casualties were reported in the attack. Yesterday’s ruling brings to 122 the number of Shiites jailed since September 29 in connection with violence in the Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdom that began in February 2011 with a month-long uprising. In August, King Hamad decreed stiffer penalties for “terror acts”. These include a minimum 10-year jail term for an attempted bombing. If such attacks cause casualties, the sentence can be life imprisonment or the death penalty. Bahraini Shiites continue to demonstrate in villages outside the capital and frequently clash with police. At least 89 people have been killed since the protests began two and a half years ago, according to the International Federation for Human Rights. Strategically located across the Gulf from Shiite Iran, Bahrain is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet and is an offshore financial and services centre for its oil-rich Arab neighbours.—AFP

US wants destruction unit for Syria’s chemical weapons AMSTERDAM/WASHINGTON: The Pentagon is suggesting the world’s chemical weapons watchdog uses a US-made mobile destruction unit in Syria to neutralise the country’s toxic stockpile, officials told Reuters. It gave a briefing on the unit on Tuesday to officials at the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, who are deciding what technology to use for the ambitious chemical weapons destruction plan, two officials said. Faced with the threat of a US military intervention, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad agreed last month to a US-Russian plan to destroy his sizeable chemical weapons program by the middle of 2014. Initial talks between Washington and Moscow about where to destroy the stockpile included shipping it abroad, but it is illegal for most countries to import chemical weapons, making on-site destruction more likely. Syria and the OPCW must make a decision on what technology will be used by Nov 15. It will largely depend on how Syria’s suspected 1,000 tons of sarin, mustard and XV nerve agents are stored. The unit can destroy bulk chemicals, or precursors, but not munitions with a toxic payload.—Reuters

BEIRUT: A Syrian refugee woman, left, cries as she says goodbye to her relative who is waiting to board a bus to Beirut International Airport for a flight to Germany where she been accepted for temporary resettlement, at the International Organization for Migration office in Beirut yesterday.— AP

Weapons inspectors visit three Syria sites A few lucky Syrians fly to Germany BEIRUT: International weapons inspectors have so far visited three sites across Syria, their spokesman said yesterday, as they race to destroy its chemical arms stockpile and program amid a raging civil war. The team is to visit more than 20 sites around the country in their disarmament mission. The three sites that it has visited in the past 10 days have all been in government-held areas, making it relatively easier for them to reach, said Michael Luhan, spokesman for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Operating on rare consensus, the UN has tasked the OPCW to rid Syria of its stockpile by mid-2014 the tightest deadline ever given to the OPCW. It’s also the first conducted amid a two-year conflict which pitting disorganized armed rebels against forces loyal to the regime of Bashar Assad. While the first series of sites on in government-controlled regions, the 27-

member team will have to cross rebelheld territory to reach some sites. The UN hopes to organize cease-fires between rebels and government forces to ensure safe passage. Underscoring the complexity of their mission, in Syria, at least 18 people were killed, mostly men, after government forces bombed an area near the northern city of Safira in the Aleppo province and in the nearby city of Manbij, said the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which obtains its information through a network of activists on the ground. The official Syrian news agency SANA also reported another six people killed in the city of Aleppo in rebel fire. Clashes also broke out between al-Qaida fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and Kurdish rebels trying to push back their advance in the northern border province of Azaz, the Observatory reported. In Beirut yesterday, a few lucky

Syrians flew to Germany, where they were accepted for temporary resettlement. Men and women sobbed and hugged as relatives said goodbye to each other, helping them haul overstuffed suitcases onto a bus leading to the airport. They were 106 of the 4,000 refugees that Germany has accepted to receive on two-year visas, said Roberta Russo of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. They remain a tiny minority of the 2 million Syrians now registered as refugees. Another 5 million Syrians are displaced within their own country because of the conflict. Another 100,000 people have been killed. Russo called on donor countries to provide more aid to Syria’s neighbors, who are hosting over 97 percent of refugees. She says they’ve only received one-third of the $1.7 billion in aid the UN is asking for to help refugees, particularly in Lebanon. —AP

International FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Egypt criticizes US aid cuts Washington says not severing ties CAIRO: Egypt criticized yesterday a US decision to curtail military and economic aid to Cairo after a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, although Washington stressed it was not severing ties with its long-standing ally. The army-backed government insisted Egypt would not bow to US pressure, with the cabinet saying it found the decision strange at a time when the country was “facing a war against terrorism”. However, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington would consider resuming some of the aid “on a basis of performance” in following the interim government’s “roadmap” that promises to lead to fair elections. Washington faces a dilemma in dealing with its major regional ally; Egypt controls the strategic Suez Canal and has a peace treaty with neighboring Israel but its army overthrew in July the first freely-elected president, Islamist Mohammed Morsi, after mass protests against his rule. In some of the worst civilian violence in modern Egyptian history, security forces crushed protests by Morsi’s supporters. However, militant Islamists, who have been attacking Egyptian forces in the Sinai peninsula for some time, have begun staging assaults in or near major cities including Cairo. The United States said on Wednesday it would withhold deliveries of tanks, fighter aircraft, helicopters and missiles to Cairo as well as $260 million in cash aid, but left some other aid programs intact. The Egyptian cabinet criticized the decision. “The government expressed the strangeness of the decision which was issued at such a vital time during which Egypt is facing a war against terrorism,” it said in a statement said. Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty also reacted with defiance. “The decision was wrong. Egypt will not surrender to

American pressure and is continuing its path towards democracy as set by the roadmap,” he told the Radio FM station. However, he also said Egypt was “keen on continuing good relations with the United States”. The US position exposes differences with its Gulf ally Saudi Arabia, which had welcomed Morsi’s removal and has lavished financial support to the new government. It also raises the question of where Egypt, the second largest recipient of US aid after Israel, could now turn for more military aid. Kerry said Washington wanted to make certain the roadmap to new elections remained a primary goal of the interim government. “The interim government understands very well our commitment to the success of this government... and by no means is this a withdrawal from our relationship or a severing of our serious commitment to helping the government,” he told reporters on a visit to Malaysia. Washington has long provided Egypt with about $1.55 billion in annual aid, including $1.3 billion for the military. An Egyptian military source declined to give details on what effect the decision could have on military hardware as disclosing such information would harm national security. The US State Department has said it would continue military support for counter terrorism, counter-proliferation and security in the Sinai, which borders Israel. It will also continue to provide funding in areas such as education, health and private sector development. Egypt’s private, anti-Islamist leaning Tahrir newspaper was bolder in its criticism, with a headline proclaiming, “Let the American aid go to hell”. The Brotherhood refuses to work with the military, which it says staged a coup and sabotaged Egypt’s democratic gains

after a revolt toppled autocratic President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The military denies it carried out a coup, saying it responded to the will of the people. Security forces have crushed two pro-Morsi protest camps, killing hundreds, and arrested scores from the group, including much of the senior leadership. Morsi has been held in a secret location since his overthrow. He is due to face trial on Nov. 4 on charges of inciting violence, in a move that is likely to further inflame tensions between the army and the Brotherhood. The government also declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew. A court order has banned the Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest and most influential Islamist group, that dominated national elections since Mubarak’s overthrow. In the latest violence, pro-Morsi supporters clashed with security forces and political opponents on Sunday, with state media reporting 57 people dead. Raising the risk of more bloodshed, the Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, called for a “million-man march” in Cairo on Friday to head towards Tahrir Square, cradle of the demonstrations that overthrew Mubarak. Yesterday, one police and three army conscripts were killed in a car bomb attack in the Sinai, security sources said. Brigadier Abdelnasser Al-Adheb was quoted as telling state-run website Al-Ahram that security forces had arrested “five terrorist elements” who were behind an attack at a state security building in South Sinai earlier this week in which three conscripts were killed. Egypt has for decades been among the largest recipients of US military and economic aid because of its 1979 peace treaty with Israel. — Reuters

Saudi women defy driving ban Male motorists give ‘thumbs up’

Palestinian fishermen sail into the Mediterranean Sea to join a protest against the difficulties they face trying to make a living, at the fishermen’s port in Gaza City yesterday. Israel permits Gaza fishermen to head six nautical miles out to sea but intermittently reduces it to three nautical miles each time violence flares. —AP

Dissidents say Tehran moving N-research site PARIS/VIENNA: An exiled Iranian opposition group said yesterday it had information about what it said was a centre for nuclear weaponization research in Tehran that the government was moving to avoid detection ahead of negotiations with world powers. The dissident National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) exposed Iran’s uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and a heavy water facility at Arak in 2002. But analysts say it has a mixed track record and a clear political agenda. An accusation it made in July about a secret underground nuclear site under construction in Iran drew a cautious international response, while the United States expressed scepticism about

another claim in 2010. The NCRI’s announcement comes days before Iran and six world powers are to meet in Geneva to try to end years of deadlock over the nuclear program, with hopes of a breakthrough raised by the election of a relatively moderate president in Iran, Hassan Rouhani. Iran denies conducting any nuclear weapons work. The Paris-based NCRI, citing information from sources inside Iran, said a nuclear weaponization research and planning centre it called SPND was being moved to a large, secure site in a defense ministry complex in Tehran about 1.5 km (1 mile) away from its former location.— Reuters

RIYADH: Saudi women are increasingly getting behind the wheel in defiance of a driving ban ahead of a nationwide campaign planned by female activists for later this month, witnesses said. A video posted on social networks this week shows a fully veiled woman driving in Riyadh as male motorists and families gave her the “thumbs up” in support. “Several women are now driving but not being filmed,” said activist Khulud Al-Fahd. “I saw a woman in (the eastern city of) Khobar driving. This is becoming more acceptable and is no longer rejected as it once was,” she said. Residents of the Red Sea port of Jeddah say that seeing women drive is becoming increasingly common in the country’s commercial capital known for being more socially open than other regions of the ultra-conservative kingdom. Female Saudi activists are planning an October 26 initiative to defy the long-standing ban on women driving. On Tuesday, three female members of advisory body the Shura Consultative Council filed a recommendation that the ban be lifted, said one of them, Latifa Al-Shaalan. Their recommendation urges the kingdom’s top consultative body to “recognize the rights of women to drive a car in accordance with the

principles of sharia (Islamic law) and traffic rules”. “There is no law that bans women from driving. It is only a matter of tradition,” Shaalan said. Last month, a Saudi cleric sparked a wave of mockery online when he warned women that driving would affect their ovaries and bring “clinical disorders” upon their children. King Abdullah has been carefully treading towards change, introducing municipal elections for the first time in 2005.In January, he appointed 30 women members for the first time to the 150-member Shura Council which advises him on policy but cannot legislate. A petition signed in March by 3,000 Saudis had urged the council to launch a debate on the ban in the only country where women are not allowed behind the wheel. An earlier campaign in June 2011 saw some women being stopped by police and forced to sign a pledge not to drive again. The 2011 call, spread through Facebook and Twitter, was the largest mass action since November 1990, when 47 Saudi women were arrested and punished after demonstrating in cars. In addition to the driving ban, Saudi Arabia imposes other major restrictions on women, including the requirement to cover themselves from head to toe in public.—AFP

Bombing kills 3 troops in Egypt EL-ARISH, Egypt: A suicide bomber drove his explosives-laden car yesterday into a checkpoint outside a coastal city in Egypt’s volatile Sinai Peninsula and detonated it, killing three soldiers and a policeman, according to security officials. The attack outside el-Arish also wounded

five people, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. The bomber, they said, slowly approached the checkpoint, waited for soldiers and policemen to start searching the car before he blew himself and the vehicle up.—AP

International FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Pilgrims gather for haj rituals MERS death toll hits 58 RIYADH: Two Saudis have died in Riyadh after they contracted the MERS virus, health authorities announced yesterday, as the kingdom prepares to host some two million Muslim pilgrims for the annual haj. The two men, aged 78 and 55, had also suffered from other chronic diseases, the ministry said on its website. It did not specify when the deaths occurred. Meanwhile, authorities recorded two more infections bringing to 119, the number of people infected in the kingdom since the disease first appeared in Saudi Arabia in September 2012, the ministry said. The MERS virus has so far claimed 58 lives worldwide, with the greatest number of deaths from the respiratory disease - 51 - in Saudi Arabia itself, including the latest two. Local media yesterday quoted Saudi Health Minister Abdullah Al-Rabia as saying that authorities have not yet recorded any MERS cases among pilgrims arriving from all over the world ahead of the haj that begins Sunday. “So far, no case of any epidemic has been recorded among the pilgrims, especially the coronavirus,” Rabia said.

The haj is one of the largest gatherings in the world, and there are fears that pilgrims, expected to reach two million this year, could be infected and return to their homelands carrying the virus. The haj takes place in the holy city of Makkah, located about 800 kilometers west of Riyadh. However, the authorities have said they are optimistic that the haj will pass off without any outbreak, given that Muslims also go on lower-level pilgrimages throughout the year and there has been no mass spread of MERS. Riyadh has, however, urged the elderly and chronically ill to avoid the haj. Authorities have also advised pilgrims to wear face masks. Experts are struggling to understand MERS, for which there is no vaccine. It is considered a deadlier but less-transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died, and sowed economic chaos. Like SARS, MERS is believed to have jumped from animals to humans. It shares the former’s flu-like symptoms, but differs by also causing kidney failure. — AFP

MAKKAH: Muslim pilgrims pray on a street near the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah yesterday. — AP

International FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Azerbaijan vote unfair, flawed, say monitors opposition weighs legal challenge

The Bishop of Limburg Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst blessing a new Kindergarden in Frankfurt. The bishop already facing questions over his new multi-million euro residence now has legal problems on allegations he lied to a Hamburg court.— AP

Embattled German ‘luxury bishop’ faces legal trouble BERLIN: Pressure grew yesterday on a German Roman-Catholic bishop under fire for building an extravagant multi-million-euro residential complex when prosecutors alleged that he also lied under oath. Embattled Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, 53, of Limburg in Hesse state is accused of giving false statements in court in a case centred on a first-class flight he took to India to visit poor communities. Prosecutors allege the bishop twice gave false statements under oath in a Hamburg court battle against news weekly Der Spiegel when he denied having told the magazine’s journalist that he flew only business class. If found guilty, he would likely face a fine. The case adds to pressure on the bishop after laymen and clergy have voiced anger this week at his lavish spending on his ostentatious new bishop’s residence, where costs have ballooned to more than 31 million euros ($40 million). Critics within and outside the church have contrasted the costly architectural project with the more humble style of Pope Francis and asked how much good the money could do if used as aid in poverty-stricken African countries. The Vatican sent an envoy, Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, last month to investigate after protests in his diocese have grown louder over the years. Germany’s bishops conference has also said it is auditing the diocese finances. Tebartz-van Elst defended the costly project in the top-selling Bild daily, saying the centuries-old hilltop cathedral complex adjacent to the modernist new structure is heritage protected, complicating the project. “I understand that the high cost of 31 million euros sounds frightening,” he told Bild’s yesterday edition, adding: “Those who know me know that I don’t have a pompous lifestyle.” —AFP

PRETORIA: Some of the 400 white South Africans march with a cross and red balloons to protest against the violent murder of farmers which they term “genocide and oppressive state policies in favor of blacks” in Pretoria yesterday. Disgruntled right-wing white South Africans marched to protest violent murders and workplace discrimination against whites. — AFP

BAKU: Opponents of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said yesterday they would go to court to challenge his election to a third term, rejecting the result of a vote that international monitors said was seriously flawed. Aliyev, who succeeded his father a decade ago as leader of the oil-producing former Soviet republic, won a third five-year term with nearly 85 percent of the vote in Wednesday’s election. Standing before a national flag on state television, he thanked Azeris for their support and said he would ensure security in the South Caucasus, where tensions still simmer with neighboring Armenia over a disputed territory. Opposition candidate Jamal Hasanly said he would seek to challenge the official result in the Constitutional Court, alleging violations including ballot stuffing and multiple voting. “This election was neither free or fair,” he said. Aliyev, 51, has overseen an economic boom that has raised living standards in the Caspian Sea nation, which pumps oil and gas to Europe, bypassing Russia. He has allowed Washington to use it as a transit point for sending troops to Afghanistan. But he has faced criticism at home and abroad over his treatment of opponents. Media are tightly controlled, protests quashed, and one rights group said a pre-election crackdown had doubled the number of political prisoners. International monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said the vote was marred by a ‘restrictive media environment’ and allegations of intimidation of candidates and voters. “The limitations placed on the fundamental freedoms of assembly, association, and expression, the lack of a level playing field, the allegations

BAKU: Tana de Zulueta, Head of Mission OSCE/ODIHR, right, speaks, as Doris Barnett, the head of the delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE PA), looks on during a news conference in Baku yesterday.—AP of intimidation, all came in the lead up to an election day that our observers found to be seriously flawed,” OSCE official Tana de Zulueta said. Monitors reported clear indications of ballot-stuffing at 37 polling stations, and said the counting was assessed negatively at an unprecedented 58 per cent of stations observed. An OSCE news conference degenerated into chaos as journalists from pro-government media drowned out the observers and shouted “The OSCE is biased.” Hasanly, 61, a former lawmaker who has united Azerbaijan’s fractured opposition for the first time in a presidential election, told journalists: “When (officials) announce the final official results of the election and declare Ilham Aliyev as the president, we will address the Constitutional Court with a demand to cancel the election results.” A gaping divide between the rich and poor and allegations of corruption, which Azeris say pervades many

aspects of life, has led to an increase in protests, and the opposition plans a rally tomorrow. But few expect sustained protests over a vote whose results many saw as a foregone conclusion because of Aliyev’s tight grip over the South Caucasus nation of 9 million. Aliyev said he has reduced poverty drastically. But with an average monthly salary of 500 manats ($600), few Azeris can afford the designer boutiques and five-star hotels that dot the capital Baku, on the shore of the Caspian. Rights groups say Azerbaijan’s strategic location between Russia and Iran, its oil reserves, Europe-bound energy pipelines and support role for US operations in Afghanistan have cushioned it from Western criticism. Aliyev has dismissed accusations of human rights abuses and says Azeris enjoy full democratic freedoms. He won the presidency in 2003 and 2008 in votes that international observers said fell short of democratic standards. — Reuters

EU warns Malawi over graft ahead of payout BLANTYRE: The European Union warned yesterday it will not release scheduled budget finance to aid-dependent Malawi until the government deals with a widespread multi-million dollar treasury fraud. The EU is set to release 29 million euros ($39 million) in December to support the deeply impoverished country’s budget, which is bankrolled up to 40 percent by foreign donors. But the treasury and the powerful office of President Joyce Banda have been rocked by a spate of fraud scandals this year in which millions of dollars have been siphoned from the coffers. “There is need for a clean-up before we make our disbursement,” Alexander Baum, the head of the EU mission in Malawi, said in a statement. In one of the biggest fraud cases ever recorded in the country, the

principal accountant in Banda’s office authorized payment of one billion kwacha ($3 million) to a ghost firm, according to the state-appointed Anti-Corruption Bureau. In another case, a junior officer who earns $100 a month was found with $25,000 cash at his house during a raid by the police. Ten government employees have been arrested over the past two weeks for fraud in the so-called Capital Hill cash-gate scandal, named after the seat of government. Last month nine senior police officers were jailed to 14 years each for fraud involving $164,000. Donors are “watching with keen interest and the EU will make its disbursement of the pledged budgetary support of 29 million euros depending on how govern-

ment deals with the crisis,” said Baum. The southern African country’s government has vowed to carry out a forensic audit to ascertain the level of fraud and corruption in the public sector. But the EU is proposing external auditors be hired to do the job because the auditor general’s office cannot be trusted and may not have the capacity to handle it. “All this massive looting was happening under the very nose of the auditor general’s office and the malpractice was not detected or discovered,” Baum said. Prosecutors estimate that one third of Malawi’s revenue is lost to fraud and ghost workers. A top treasury official who was on the verge of busting a corruption ring, was last month shot and seriously wounded by a gunman in what Banda suspects was a targeted attack to silence him. — AFP


International FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Hungary murder suspects face long pre-trial custody BUDAPEST: Murder suspects in Hungary face unlimited pre-trial custody under new proposals criticized by opposition politicians yesterday as unconstitutional. The changes, outlined by the ruling Fidesz party on Wednesday, are set to go before parliament-where Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government has a two-thirds majority-within two weeks. At present European Union member state Hungary allows for suspects awaiting trial to be in custody for a

maximum of four years. The new proposals are the latest in a string of controversial moves by Orban’s right-wing government since he swept to power in 2010. They follow a high-profile case in which two men awaiting trial for murder were put under house arrest after their four years expired, and then fled the country. The two gang members allegedly carried out a series of violent robberies against elderly people in 2008 and 2009 that left two of their vic-

tims dead. They were re-arrested in Switzerland on Wednesday, police said. Gergely Gulyas, a lawmaker with Fidesz, told a press conference Wednesday that the changes would apply to murder suspects facing 15year jail terms or more. Fidesz also proposes to fit suspects under house arrest with tracking devices, Gulyas said. Opposition MPs however objected to the plans, with Tamas Harangozo from the Socialist party calling the proposals “anti-constitutional”.

Only last week a UN report criticized Hungary for “excessive use of pre-trial detention” and the lack of effective legal assistance as a safeguard against arbitrary detention. Up to 28 percent of the prison population in Hungary were pre-trial detainees, including juvenile or young offenders, the report said. “The regular use of pre-trial detention, as under international human rights law, should be an exceptional measure,” said UN expert El Hadji Malick Sow. — AFP

Snowden’s father visits Moscow in search of son Lawyer says he was ‘followed by four cars’

THE HAGUE: Liberia’s former president Charles Ghankay Taylor waits in the courtroom of the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague prior to the appeal judgement.

Liberia’s Taylor to serve war crimes sentence in UK LONDON: Liberia’s former president and warlord Charles Taylor is to serve out his 50-year prison sentence for war crimes in a British jail, Britain confirmed yesterday. Taylor, 65, is likely to spend the rest of his life behind bars in Britain after the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) in The Hague upheld his sentence for arming rebels during Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war during the 1990s. “Former president Taylor will now be transferred to a prison in the UK to serve that sentence,” Britain’s junior justice minister Jeremy Wright said in a statement to parliament. The justice ministry refused to disclose which jail would house the former strongman. “We don’t comment on individual cases,” a ministry spokeswoman said. Taylor’s landmark sentence-on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity-was the first handed down by an international court against a former head of state since the Nazi trials at Nuremberg in 1946. He had been arrested in 2006 and sentenced at The Hague last year for “some of the most heinous crimes in human history”. As Liberia’s president from 1997 to 2003, Taylor supplied guns and ammunition to rebels in neighbouring Sierra Leone in a conflict notorious for its mutilations, drugged child soldiers and sex slaves, judges said. He had maintained his innocence throughout the seven-year trial, which had heard evidence from witnesses including actress Mia Farrow and supermodel Naomi Campbell-who told of the diamonds she believed she was given by Taylor in 1997. The British government had offered in 2007 to house Taylor in a British jail if he was convicted, and to cover the costs of his imprisonment. Sweden, Finland and Rwanda also offered to take in Taylor, and his lawyer had earlier suggested that he would prefer to go to Rwanda to be closer to his family. “The United Kingdom’s offer to enforce any sentence imposed on former president Taylor by the SCSL was crucial to ensuring that he could be transferred to The Hague to stand trial for his crimes,” Wright said. “The conviction of Charles Taylor is a landmark moment for international justice. “It clearly demonstrates that those who commit atrocities will be held to account and that no matter their position they will not enjoy impunity.” — AFP

MOSCOW: The father of Edward Snowden arrived in Moscow yesterday, hoping to meet his son for the first time since the former US intelligence contractor became a fugitive after leaking sensational details of US covert surveillance.Lon Snowden arrived in Moscow on an early flight from New York, speaking to reporters at Sheremetyevo airport where his son had spent more than a month in transit limbo before Russia agreed to grant him temporary asylum in August. In an apparently carefully-organized itinerary, he swiftly appeared on the state television channel Rossiya 24, looking tired and still wearing his airplane outfit of sweat pants and fleece jacket. In comments heavily dubbed into Russian from English, he admitted he still didn’t know where his 30year-old son was staying. Edward Snowden’s whereabouts have been a mystery ever since he was given asylum. “It’s really inappropriate for me to go into detail” of plans for meeting Edward Snowden, his father said. He said his plans in Russia will depend on Snowden’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, who is hosting the father as his “guest”. “I’m here to learn more about my son’s situation,” he told journalists at the airport. “My hope is to learn more about his circumstances and his health and to discuss legal options.” “If the opportunity presents itself, I certainly hope that I have the opportunity to see my son,” Lon Snowden said in televised remarks. He was met at the airport by Kucherena, a pro-Kremlin public figure with ties to Russia’s security agencies, who has been the public’s only source of information about Snowden’s life in the past months

MOSCOW: Lon Snowden (left) listens as Edward Snowmen’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena speaks to The Associated Press in Moscow yesterday. — AP and said that he met the fugitive leaker Wednesday. Kucherena said Snowden continues to live in secret for fear of being tracked down by the United States and the lawyer himself complained of being followed by “four or five cars” while driving into Moscow with Lon Snowden. “We are driving from the airport, and the whole way, when I stop, they also stop,” Kucherena said. “That is rather worrying, including for the father.” While in hiding Edward Snowden has relied on money donated to him through various organizations, but has had several job offers and may decide to take employment soon. The former National Security Agency contractor is wanted by the United

States after revealing to the media details of massive domestic and foreign surveillance programs operated by the secretive agency. Lon Snowden said he had had no direct contact with his son in recent months, adding: “I really have no idea what his intentions are. “I’m not sure that my son will be returning to the US,” he told journalists. “That’s his decision, he’s an adult.” He said he believed his son was not leaking information from Moscow, adding: “Edward Snowden, since he has been in Russia, is simply trying to remain healthy and safe. “I have extreme gratitude that my son is safe, secure, and free” in Russia, he said, adding that he believed his son to be a “whistleblower” rather than a criminal. —AP

Former Belgian premier Wilfried Martens dies BRUSSELS: Long-serving former Belgian premier and together its Flemish- and French-speaking communities. “We will notably remember him as one of the fathers of European conservative leader Wilfried Martens died overnight aged 77. Martens headed nine Belgian govern- federal Belgium,” said Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo. “He was a convinced European and pursued his comments over a dozen years and led the mitment to the Europan ideal to the very European People’s Party conservative end,” Di Rupo added. Martens only a few group (EPP), the largest in the European days ago announced that he would hand Parliament, for more than a quarter cenover the reins of the EPP after having been tury. A Flemish-speaker whose parents hospitalised in August and early were farmers, Martens was born the eldSeptember. est of a family of seven on April 19, 1936, European Commission president Jose and went on to study law, philosophy Manuel Barroso paid tribute to his commitand theology. ment to the European Union and European As premier of the small but linguistiBelgian P r i m e Parliament president Martin Schulz said he cally-divided nation between 1979 and F o r m e r 1992 — with the exception of an eight- M i n i s t e r W i l f r i e d M a r t e n s had been “a great Belgian statesman, a month interlude in 1981 — Martens is who died overnight October European and an exceptional leader within the parliament”. — AFP credited with having successfully kept 9-10 aged 77.

International FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Alice Munro wins Nobel literature prize First Canadian to bag honor after Saul Bellow STOCKHOLM: Alice Munro, a Canadian master of the short story revered as a thorough but forgiving documenter of the human spirit, won the Nobel Prize in literature yesterday, the Swedish Academy said. Munro is the first Canadian writer to receive the prestigious $1.2 million award since Saul Bellow, who left for the US as a boy and won in 1976. Seen as a modern Chekhov for her warmth, insight and compassion, she has captured a wide range of lives and personalities without passing judgment on her characters. She is beloved among her peers, from Lorrie Moore and George Saunders to Margaret Atwood and Jonathan Franzen. She is equally admired by critics. She won a National Book Critics Circle prize for “Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage,” and is a three-time winner of the Governor General’s prize, Canada’s highest literary honor. “I knew I was in the running, yes, but I never thought I would win,” Munro said by telephone when contacted by The Canadian Press in Victoria, British Columbia. The award is likely to be the capstone to her career. Munro told Canada’s National Post in June that she was “probably not going to write anymore.” The permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, Peter Englund, said he had not managed to get hold of her but left a message on her answering machine. “She has taken an art form, the short story, which has tended to come a little bit in the shadow behind the novel, and she has cultivated it almost to perfection,” Englund told The Associated Press. Munro is the 13th female literature laureate in the 112-year history of the Nobel Prizes. Fellow Canadian writer Atwood - who also figured prominently in the Nobel buzz Tweeted “Hooray! Alice Munro wins 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature.” Munro’s published work often turns on the difference between Munro’s youth in Wingham, a conservative Canadian town west of Toronto, and her life after the social revolution of the 1960s. In an interview with AP in 2003, she described the ‘60s as “wonderful.” It was “because, having been born in 1931, I was a little old, but not too old, and women like me after a couple of years were wearing miniskirts and prancing around,” she said. Munro, the daughter of a fox farmer and a teacher, was born Alice Anne Laidlaw. She was a literary person in a nonliterary town, concealing her ambition like a forbidden passion. “It was glory I was after ... walking the streets like an exile or a spy,” recalls the narrator of Munro’s “Lives of Girls and Women,” a novel published in 1971. She received a scholarship to study at the University of Western Ontario, majoring in journalism, and was still an

Canadian author Alice Munro who has been awarded the 2013 Nobel Literature Prize. — AFP

undergraduate when she sold a story to CBC radio in Canada. She dropped out of college to marry a fellow student, James Munro, had three children and became a full-time housewife. By her early 30s, she was so frightened and depressed she could barely write a full sentence. Her good fortune was to open a bookstore with her husband, in 1963. Stimulated by everything from the conversation of adults to simply filling out invoices, her narrative talents resurfaced but her marriage collapsed. Her first collection, “Dance of the Happy Shades,” came out in 1968 and won the Governor’s prize. She later married Gerald Fremlin, a geographer. Her stories are usually set in Ontario, her home province. Among her best known is “The Bear Came Over the Mountain,” the story of a woman who begins losing her memory and

Munro, a master of the short story TORONTO: Canadian writer Alice Munro, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature yesterday, is an admitted short-story addict who has garnered international praise for her tales of the struggles, loves and tragedies of women in small-town Canada. She became the second Canadian-born writer to win the prize, although she is the first winner with a distinctly Canadian identity. Saul Bellow, who won the award in 1976, was born in Quebec, but raised in Chicago and is widely considered an American writer. The 82-year-old Munro, who won the Man Booker International Prize in 2009 and was often mentioned as a Nobel contender, stands out in a literary world that tends to reward novels. She told the Wall Street Journal in 2009, after winning the Man Booker prize, that she used to attempt to write novels but “didn’t get anywhere.” “The novel would always break down about halfway through and I would lose interest in it, and it didn’t seem any good and I wouldn’t persist,” she told the paper. Instead, she published a series of highly praised short story collections, beginning with 1968’s “Dance of the Happy Shades.” In addition to the Man Booker, she has won the Giller Prize Canada’s most high-profile literary award - twice, and has won Canada’s Governor General’s Award for fiction three times. In 2009 she removed her collection “Too Much Happiness”

from Giller consideration, saying she wanted to give younger, less-established authors an opportunity.She was largely ignored early in her career by international audiences, but began building a reputation when her stories started getting published in the New Yorker magazine in the 1970s. Her noted works include “Lives of Girls and Women” (1973), “The Love of a Good Woman” (1998) and “Runaway” (2004). A collection of her work, “Too Much Happiness: Stories,” was published in 2009. Earlier this year, Munro, who in 2009 revealed she had undergone heart bypass surgery and had been treated for cancer, said she was retiring from writing. She said the same thing in 2006, but went on to publish “Too Much Happiness” in 2009 and her most recent collection, “Dear Life,” in 2012. Munro is known for her ability to develop characters fully in the expanse of a short story. Comparing her to other writers, author Joyce Carol Oates described Munro’s stories in a New York Times review as having “the density - moral, emotional, sometimes historical - of other writers’ novels.” Munro, Oates wrote, scripts “fictitious worlds that are mimetic paradigms of utterly real worlds yet are fictions, composed with so assured an art that it might be mistaken for artlessness.” Munro has often explored the theme of girls coming of age in small-town Canada - a setting in which she grew up. — Reuters

agrees with her husband that she should be placed in a nursing home. The narrative begins in a relatively tender, traditional mood. But we soon learn that the husband has been unfaithful in the past and didn’t always regret it “What he felt was mainly a gigantic increase in well-being.” The wife, meanwhile, has fallen for a man at the nursing home. Some have called her “the greatest author in North America and yes I tend to agree with that,” said the academy’s Englund. “We’re not saying just that she can say a lot in just 20 pages - more than an average novel writer can - but also that she can cover ground. She can have a single short story that covers decades and it works.” Last year’s Nobel literature award went to Mo Yan of China. The 2013 Nobel announcements continue today with the Nobel Peace Prize, followed by the economics prize on Monday. — AP

Nobel Literature: The past 15 winners STOCKHOLM: Canadian short story writer Alice Munro was on Thursday awarded this year’s Nobel Literature Prize by the Swedish Academy. Here is a list of the 15 most recent winners of the coveted award: 2013: Alice Munro (Canada) 2012: Mo Yan (China) 2011: Tomas Transtroemer (Sweden) 2010: Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru) 2009: Herta Mueller (Germany) 2008: Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio (France) 2007: Doris Lessing (Britain) 2006: Orhan Pamuk (Turkey) 2005: Harold Pinter (Britain) 2004: Elfriede Jelinek (Austria) 2003: J.M. Coetzee (South Africa) 2002: Imre Kertesz (Hungary) 2001: V.S. Naipaul (Britain) 2000: Gao Xingjian (France) 1999: Gunter Grass (Germany) — AFP

International FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Bomb in Lahore kills one, wounds 13 LAHORE: A bomb exploded in a bustling food market in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore yesterday, killing one person and wounding 13 others, officials said. The blast hit Anarkali bazaar in the old city area of Lahore, Pakistan’s secondlargest city and capital of relatively peaceful Punjab province. Doctor Tahir Bilal told AFP that one dead body and 13 injured had been brought to Lahore’s Mayo Hospital. “The condition of some of those wounded is critical,” Bilal said, adding that one woman was among the injured. Senior police officer Rai Tahir confirmed the death toll and said the bomb appeared to have been a relatively low-powered device. TV footage showed broken tables and chairs outside a small restaurant in the street of food shops and stalls, where a bombing in July killed five people and wounded nearly 50 others. That attack was the worst bombing in Lahore since a teenage suicide attacker targeted a Shiite Muslim religious procession on January 25, 2011, killing at least nine people.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which came before the main lunchtime rush of customers in the area. Mohammad Kaish, owner of the restaurant, told reporters at the scene that he had not received any threats from militants. Kaish was unhurt in the blast but his son was critically wounded. Shopkeeper Ghulam Mustafa told AFP that the blast shattered nearby shops and people started running around in panic. “It was a big explosion and I saw people running here and there. Then we saw injured laying and screaming on the ground,” Mustafa said, adding that people took most of the injured to hospital in private vehicles. A bomb disposal officer told reporters at the site that more than a kilogram (more than two pounds) of explosive was used in the bomb. The attack came hours after a rare video interview was broadcast with Pakistan Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, who said he was still open to peace talks but complained the government had not taken any

serious steps to begin a dialogue. Mehsud, who has a $5 million US government bounty on his head, said he would continue to target the United States and its allies and reiterated the demand that any ceasefire in Pakistan must include an end to US drone strikes. Pakistan’s main political parties last month backed a government proposal to seek negotiations with Mehsud’s Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) group, who have been waging a bloody insurgency against the state since 2007. The TTP faction responded with a list of preconditions, including a government ceasefire and the withdrawal of troops from the tribal areas along the Afghan border where the militants have hideouts. Moreover, a spate of bloody attacks have cast doubt on the proposed dialogue, though senior ministers have said they are keen to press ahead. More than 140 people, most of them civilians, were killed in the space of a week in a series of bombings in the northwestern city of Peshawar, though the TTP denied responsibility.

LAHORE: Pakistani police officers, civilians and health workers gather at the site of a deadly bomb explosion in a busy market in Lahore yesterday. Police official, Raj Tahir, says the bomb, which was planted in a restaurant in the market and which went off yester Thousands of people have been killed in bomb and gun attacks by homegrown Islamist militants in Pakistan in recent years. The violence has largely focused on the country’s northwest, where Taleban and Al-Qaeda militants

have hideouts in the tribal areas along the Afghan border. Attacks in Punjab, the richest and most populous province and stronghold of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his ruling Pakistan Muslim LeagueN party, are more unusual. — AFP

Southeast India braces as cyclone Phailin arrives Disaster response team put on standby

Indian soldiers ride a truck during a patrol following Hindu-Muslim riots in Muzaffarnagar. — AFP

Rape victims suffer in silence after India riots MALAKPUR: Fatima’s face turned ashen as she recalled how neighbors armed with sickles and swords stormed her house and dragged her daughter out by the hair during Hindu-Muslim riots in northern India. “There were six of them. They tied me to a chair and raped my young girl one by one. I could do nothing to save her,” Fatima said with tears welling up at a relief camp a few hours drive from New Delhi. The family of seven was left shattered by the attack on the 17-year-old, which came during riots between Hindus and Muslims in and around Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district last month that killed at least 50. Yet they have chosen not to report the matter to the police. “If the word spreads that my daughter was gang-raped, tell me who will marry her? She will be branded as dirty and we will be thrown out of our own community,” Fatima told AFP at the camp in Malakpur where nearly 10,000 Muslims are sheltering. Her story is just one among many, indicating that as well as arson and beatings, sexual violence was rampant during the three-day riots, which started on September 7. But police say they have registered only five sexual violence cases from the riots from 282 criminal cases overall. “We are investigating each case carefully,” Kalpana Saxena, a senior police officer told AFP. The carnage was triggered by the killing of a Muslim man, allegedly by members of the dominant Jat Hindu family who accused him of sexually harassing their sister. The Muslims then allegedly killed two Jat boys, leading to violence that fast spiralled out of control. Local political leaders were accused of encouraging the violence to polarise the state along religious lines ahead of general elections next year.—AFP

BHUBANESWAR: India began stocking shelters with rations, put disaster response teams on standby, and cancelled government employees’ holidays as a cyclone hurtled towards its southeastern coast yesterday. Packing wind speeds of up to 185 kph (115 mph), cyclone Phailin is moving in from the Bay of Bengal and is expected to develop into a severe cyclone before hitting the coast of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha states on the night of Oct 12. The neighboring state of West Bengal, and the Andaman and Nicobar islands, are also expected to experience heavy rains, gale force winds and storm surges. Phailin is now classified as a Category 1 cyclonic storm on a scale that rises to Category 5. It is predicted to stiffen to Category 3 before reaching land between Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Paradeep in Odisha. “We have told the collectors (administrative heads) of 14 districts not to take

this alert lightly,” said Odisha’s Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Mohapatra. “We have asked them to prepare their plans at the ground level.” India’s weather office said damage to homes, power and telecoms disruptions and flooding were likely, and has urged authorities to suspend fishing operations and consider evacuating coastal residents. The country’s cyclone season runs from April to December, with severe storms often causing dozens of deaths, evacuations of tens of thousands of people from low-lying villages and wide damage to crops and property. In 1999, a Category 5 super cyclone battered the coast of Odisha for 30 hours with wind speeds reaching 300 kph (186 mph). It killed 10,000 people. The Odisha government cancelled holidays for civil servants in vulnerable areas during the popular Hindu festival of Dussehra and ordered relief and rescue officials to

spread out. Disaster response units and fire personnel are on standby and satellite phones have been sent to district heads, to ensure communications despite possible disruptions. In neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, government workers, who have been on a strike over a political decision to divide the state, were asked to come back to work in case of an emergency. Helicopters and boats are being positioned in strategic spots and mobile service providers have been asked to make sure damage to communications towers is repaired immediately. Aid workers said they were preparing for what could be a serious emergency. “The area that could be affected is massive and there is a large population that could be hit,” said Zubin Zaman, humanitarian manager for Oxfam India. “We have asked our local partners to check on contingency stocks and be prepared to respond if local communities need relief.” — Reuters

Myanmar, once a pariah state, now regional leader BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: Myanmar pledged yesterday to remove the remaining obstacles in its democratic transformation as it assumed the high-profile role of leading the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Brunei’s leader, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, this year’s outgoing ASEAN chairman, handed a wooden gavel to Myanmar President Thein Sein in a ceremony in Brunei’s capital marking the formerly military-ruled nation’s assumption of the role. Its duties as ASEAN leader will begin next year. Although Myanmar has embarked on democratic reforms, critics have said rewarding it

with such a key role is premature because of remaining problems, including the government’s failure to control deadly sectarian violence. “From a human rights perspective, the chairmanship is an honor the government hasn’t earned,” said Matthew Smith, a Myanmar expert who directs the advocacy group Fortify Rights. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who was in Brunei to meet ASEAN heads of state at the group’s annual summit, said the UN supports Myanmar’s new role but urged it to do more to end bloody communal violence. “We have seen remarkable progress in their participa-

tory democratic transition but we are also concerned that there are still many more challenges, particularly communal violence,” he told reporters. Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, has been undergoing unprecedented political transformation after a half-century of harsh military rule. But greater freedoms of expression have had a dark side, exposing deep-seated hatred toward Muslims that, fueled by radical Buddhist monks, has triggered attacks first in western Rakhine state, then from Meikhtila in the country’s center to Lashio near the Chinese border.—AP

International FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

BANDAR SERI BEGWAN: Leaders pose for a group photo at the East Asia Summit in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei yesterday. — AP

Philippines gets tacit US backing in China dispute Row remains flashpoint at ASEAN summit BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: US Secretary of State John Kerry gave tacit backing to the Philippines’ stance in a tense maritime dispute with China yesterday, saying that all countries had a right to seek arbitration to resolve competing territorial claims. The Philippines, a US ally, has angered China by launching an arbitration case with the United Nations to challenge the legal validity of Beijing’s sweeping claims over the resource-rich South China Sea. The United States has refrained from taking sides in the dispute, one of Asia’s biggest security headaches, but has expressed a national interest in freedom of navigation through one of the world’s busiest shipping channels. “All claimants have a responsibility to clarify and align their claims with international law. They can engage in arbitration and other means of peaceful negotiation,” Kerry told leaders at the East Asia Summit in Brunei, including Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. “Freedom of navigation and overflight is a linchpin of security in the Pacific,” he added. China claims almost the entire oil-and gas-rich South China Sea, overlapping with claims from Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Vietnam. The last four are members of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The row is one of the region’s biggest flashpoints amid China’s military buildup and the US strategic “pivot” back to Asia signalled by the Obama administration in 2011. Diplomatic efforts to ease tensions are now centred on Chinese talks with ASEAN to frame a code of conduct for disputes in the South China Sea, but Beijing has restricted talks to lowlevel consultations rather than formal negotiations. The annual East Asia Summit ended on Thursday without significant progress on the dispute, with a joint ASEAN-China statement saying only that the two

sides had agreed to “maintain the momentum of the regular official consultations”. Frustrated by the slow pace of regional diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute, the Philippines has hired a crack international legal team to fight its unprecedented arbitration case under the United Nations’ Convention on the Law of the Sea - ignoring growing pressure from Beijing to scrap the action. Any result will be unenforceable, legal experts say, but will carry considerable moral and political weight.Beijing has accused the Philippines of pursuing the case to legalise its occupation of islands in the disputed sea and said it would never agree to cooperate. Some diplomats have expressed concern that the ASEAN-China consultations are a bid by China to delay a final agreement on a code while it expands its naval reach and consolidates its expansive claims. ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh, in an interview with Reuters, insisted that the consultations that had their first round in China in September were a sign of progress. “It’s especially important progress if we look at what happened a year before,” he said, referring to an unprecedented breakdown of an ASEAN summit in Cambodia over a failure to agree wording on the South China Sea. The next round of talks will take place at an unspecified time next year, still at the relatively low “senior official” level. On Wednesday, the United States and Japan - which has its own maritime dispute with Beijing - both pressured China to agree to abide by rules for the South China Sea, where Beijing has backed its claims with an increasingly assertive naval reach. A Japanese official cited Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as telling Philippine President Benigno Aquino that Japan was “seriously concerned over efforts to alter the status quo by force, by intimidation or coercion”. — Reuters

Malaysia minister’s ‘shoot first’ remark fuels furore KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian opposition and rights groups yestersam day demanded the sacking of the home minister as outrage mounts over his remark calling for police to “shoot first” when confronting criminal suspects. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the minister responsible for internal security, made the comment at a gathering last Friday to discuss security in the wake of a recent spike in violent crime. “What is the situation of robbery victims, murder victims during shootings? I think that the best way is we no longer compromise with them. “There is no need to give them any warning. If we get the evidence, we shoot first,” he was quoted as saying in an audio recording made public by the online news portal Malaysiakini.In recent weeks, including after his remark, more than a dozen criminal suspects have reportedly been killed in police shoot-outs. “Zahid is not fit to be a minister. He

should be removed. (Prime Minister) Najib Razak has lost his credentials as a reformer for keeping quiet over Zahid’s remark,” said Tian Chua, lawmaker with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s Keadilan party. Zahid’s comments came just days after Malaysia’s parliament approved an amendment to a 1959 crime prevention law that allows authorities to hold suspects without trial for an initial two-year period, which can be extended indefinitely without charge. The amendment, put in place to deal with the gun violence, sparked a backlash by the opposition and activists who denounced it as a step back towards authoritarian rule. Zahid, who is defending his vice-presidency in the ruling United Malays National Organization, has been accused of making the statement in a bid to win votes ahead of party polls later this month. —AFP

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon speaks at the 5th ASEAN - UN Summit as part of the 23rd Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Bandar Seri Begawan yesterday.— AFP

China arrests journalist amid crackdown rumors BEIJING: A Chinese investigative journalist who has accused officials of corruption has been arrested, his lawyer said yesterday, becoming the latest in a series of government critics to be swept up in Beijing’s crackdown on rumors. Liu Hu, a reporter with the Guangzhou-based newspaper New Express, was arrested on a charge of defamation on Sept. 30, said his lawyer, Zhou Ze. Liu had been detained in late August in the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing on suspicion of “fabricating and spreading rumors”. China’s crackdown on online “rumor-mongering”, widely seen as a tool to halt criticism of the ruling Communist Party, has chilled political discourse, with high-profile bloggers saying they have reined in sensitive postings for fear of detention. Lawyers and activists called the crackdown a significant, if crude, expansion of powers to police the Internet and a blow to those who rely on microblogs to disseminate information that is often not monitored as strictly as traditional media. On July 29, Liu accused Ma Zhengqi, deputy director of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, of dereliction of duty during his time as party secretary of a local district in Chongqing. Liu had posted these allegations on his microblog. The administration said it had been informed of the accusation but made no further comment, according to the Beijing Times newspaper. Zhou called the charge against his client a “speech crime” and said the government could be retaliating against Liu because he detailed specific allegations against a wide range of officials, including many senior ones, across many provinces. Liu’s information came from his reporting and through his network, Zhou said, adding that Liu had no reason to suspect the veracity of the content. “It’s impossible that passing on this information constitutes the deliberate spread of false information or the intentional fabrication and transmission of information,” Zhou said. “Therefore it doesn’t constitute defamation.”—Reuters

Business FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

US default to hit everyone: Lew

California, shutdown lift US jobless claims PAGE 22


DUBAI: Models sit by a model of India’s historical Taj Mahal at the annual Cityscape Global show which showed the renewed confidence in a market that shed around half of its value in the Gulf emirates of Dubai. Dubai’s property sector is making a strong comeback five years after prices in the emirate nosedived, but a surge in demand and bouncing prices have triggered calls to remember the crisis. — AFP

Dubai property rebound stirs fears of bubble Cityscape shows realty sector is making a comeback DUBAI: Dubai’s property sector is making a strong comeback five years after prices in the emirate nosedived, but a surge in demand and bouncing prices have triggered calls to remember the crisis. Scale models of grandiose developments rolled out at the three-day Cityscape property show, which ended yesterday, showed the renewed confidence in a market that shed around half of its value. But Ali Lootah, chairman of Nakheel, the giant developer behind a clutch of landmark projects in the Gulf emirate including its famous palm-shaped man-made islands, was bullish. “Dubai is booming again,” he said. He was speaking as Nakheel launched a new seafront development on reclaimed land, along with a handful of residential projects. “We have a lot of people moving to Dubai. Dubai is back in business, and I’m not really worried about speculations,” he said. Speculation on the market pushed property prices to record highs before sending them tumbling during the global financial crisis. Dubai’s property market grew rapidly during the five years before the crash as the sec-

tor became a magnet for foreign investors. But foreign financing dried up when the global financial crisis hit the sector, just as it struck the heavily-indebted governmentrelated companies, while the economy contracted in 2009 and 2010. Dubai has weathered the debt crisis, leaning on its robust trade, tourism and transport sectors, although the city-state still carries a large burden of debt exceeding $100 billion (74 billion euros). Its economy grew 3.7 percent in 2011 and 4.4 percent in 2012, and is expected to expand by 4.1 percent this year. Some residential property has bounced by about 20 percent, said Alan Robertson, chief executive officer for the Middle East-North Africa region at Jones Lang LaSalle property consultancy. “We think prices will continue to grow quite quickly over the next 12 months, but over the next 24 months we will see the rate of growth slowdown,” he told AFP, adding that prices were still 20 to 30 percent below their 2008 peak. “We think that this is an initial burst of growth which will settle down as the pent-up demand we have experienced is satisfied.”

He said his consultancy predicted that “the market will reverse into a more sustainable growth in prices”. Robertson warned against getting carried away by signs of recovery, but said he was cautiously optimistic for the future. He did not foresee another bubble burst because of “a number of key differences,” highlighting a recent decision to double sales duties to four percent, in an attempt to curb flipping. “This will take a bit of steam out of the market place,” said Robertson, pointing to demand from end users, including Arab investors sheltering their money in Dubai away from their countries that have been rocked by the Arab spring uprisings. Robertson sees Dubai as a “safe haven”, noting that 80 percent of buyers are paying in cash, with the remaining fifth backed by mortgages. To meet the rising appetite of investors, Dubai has dusted off ambitious plans for new developments. At the Cityscape show, models of properties showcased elaborate features, including man-made canals dotted with Florence-style bridges, and a Dubai-I wheel that will stand larger than the London

Eye. EFG-Hermes investment bank has talked of “signs of a bubble developing,” but noted in its quarterly report this month that speculation has changed from the pre-crisis mode. “The speculation seen between 2006 and 2008 was greatly driven by cheap credit and high leverage,” compared to current speculations by cash-rich investors. In July, the International Monetary Fund warned Dubai it should intervene to prevent property prices from developing a bubble. “It is too early to speak of a bubble, but should price increases continue to take place at this pace, action will need to be taken to prevent a bubble,” IMF mission chief for the UAE Harald Finger said in comments reported in the media. But despite the gleaming display models at the show, the projects appear to be phased in over a long period of time, with releases made in small portions, according to Robertson. This was clear at the show, where a salesman standing by a model of thousands of planned villas, said only a couple of hundred had been released for sale. “The developers are showing that they have learnt lessons from last time,” Robertson said. — AFP

Business FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Egypt advances 2.2%, ignores aid cut-off Gulf stock markets

ACROPOLIS: Greek ministry of culture employees protest behind a banner reading’ success sorry’ at the entrance of the Acropolis yesterday against the job suspensions and layoffs. — AFP

‘Pitiful’ US infighting threatens world: Chinese media BEIJING: Chinese state media hit out at US lawmakers yesterday, a week ahead of a potential US default, urging them to “stop manufacturing crises” that threaten the global economy. The China Daily newspaper wrote in an editorial that five years after the global financial crisis “it is pitiful that the US is now putting the fragile world recovery under renewed threat with its mind-boggling political infighting”. The paper, which is run by the Chinese government, added: “The astonishing failure of the US Congress to put national needs before their partisan interests has sparked fears among investors and governments around the world that maybe it is time to think about the unthinkable.” The newspaper’s sternly-worded missive comes as Washington remains deadlocked ahead of the October 17 deadline, by which time it must vote to raise its $16.7 trillion borrowing ceiling or risk defaulting on its debt. The International Monetary Fund this week cut its forecast for world economic growth for 2013 and 2014, citing both US political infighting and China’s slowing growth as particularly worrisome factors. “The prospect of dimmer global growth predicted by the International Monetary Fund should make it a matter of urgency for US politicians to stop manufacturing crises,” the paper stated. China is the largest foreign owner of US debt, holding $1.277 trillion in Treasury bills in July, according to the latest available US government figures. Beijing has in recent days stepped up its calls for Washington to come to an agreement on raising the debt ceiling, highlighting the “inseparable” relationship between the two countries’ economies. “China pays high attention to the US debt ceiling,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters at a regular briefing yesterday, without elaborating. But on Monday Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao told reporters that “the clock is ticking” and warned that any US default would have global repercussions. “We hope that before October 17, the US will take credible steps to address its disputes over the debt ceiling in a timely fashion, avoid a default and ensure the safety of Chinese investments in the US and ensure the process of global economic recovery will not be seriously affected by this,” Zhu said.— AFP

NEW YORK: Trader William McInerney works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange yesterday. Stocks are rising sharply in early trading on Wall Street following hopeful signs that a budget impasse in Washington may break soon. —AP

DUBAI: Egyptian stocks jumped 2.2 percent yesterday to their highest level since September 2012 after the United States cut off some aid to Cairo - underlining how many investors now see the key to economic recovery as aid from Egypt’s Gulf allies, not the West. The main index rose to 5,932 points, nearing major technical resistance at 6,025 points, the September 2012 peak. It broke above this year’s high of 5,884 points, hit in January. The market has been rallying for most of the time since Islamist President Mohammed Morsi was deposed in early July, and many local investors have not been deterred by political bloodshed since then, viewing it as a necessary price for the army-backed government to establish control. Mohamed Radwan, director of international sales at Egypt’s Pharos Securities, noted that local retail investors, the main driver of the recent rally, were mainly supporters of the government. There have also been signs in recent days that some foreign institutional investors are starting to return to Egypt; foreigners were net buyers by a large margin yesterday, according to bourse data. The US aid cut, designed to pressure Cairo to do more for democracy and human rights, will deprive it of military

equipment as well as $260 million in cash aid. But it is dwarfed by the $12 billion in aid which Egypt’s Gulf allies, pleased by Morsi’s downfall, promised in July. In a report yesterday, Fitch Ratings said the US action would have little impact on Egypt’s external position and would not affect key indicators such as foreign reserves. Trade and industry minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour told Reuters that the government planned a second economic stimulus package worth billions of dollars early next year. That will almost certainly be made possible by Gulf money. “Another factor is a decline in local interest rates after a lot of Gulf countries provided financial aid to Egypt, reducing pressure on public finances,” said Simon Kitchen, a strategist at EFG-Hermes in Cairo. “This has pushed local retail investors and institutions into the stock market.” However, he added: “My concern is that it’s a little bit euphoric. There is still uncertainty on the political scene, you still have terrorist attacks continuing as well as the adverse relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood and the government. “Foreign investors haven’t been really participating in this rally seen in the last few months and without foreign investors, it is hardly sustainable.” In the Gulf, markets were supported by

hopes that US politicians were inching towards resolving the crisis over the US debt ceiling. But with Gulf markets due to be closed next week for long Eid holidays, trade was narrow and turnover was thin. Dubai was buoyed by buying in some speculative stocks such as Dubai Investments, seen as a play on hopes that the emirate will win in late November the right to host the 2020 World Expo. The stock rose 2.9 percent, while the Dubai index climbed 1.2 percent. Oman’s Galfar Engineering and Contracting dropped 1.2 percent after the company said its managing director had been called for questioning by “concerned authorities”. Galfar did not name the executive or provide any additional details, such as why he was being questioned; calls to the company and Omani authorities did not provide additional comment. The small number of third-quarter Gulf corporate earnings announced before the Eid holidays have been mixed, with several disappointments among Saudi Arabian banks. After yesterday’s close, Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia’s largest listed lender, said net profit fell 8.1 percent to 1.72 billion riyals ($458.6 million); analysts had on average expected a profit of 2.08 billion riyals. — Reuters

Oil rises to $110 on return of Libyan supply worry LONDON: Crude oil gained yesterday, reaching $110 per barrel, after the seizure of Libya’s prime minister punctured confidence that its oil exports would return smoothly to normal. Prime minister Ali Zeidan was captured and held for several hours by former rebel militiamen angry at the weekend capture by US special forces of a Libyan al Qaeda suspect in Tripoli. Brent futures were 96 cents higher at $110.02 per barrel at 1255 GMT, after having earlier hit $110.14. Libya’s oil output has risen to 700,000 barrels per day, after falling at mid-year to its lowest since the country’s 2011 civil war as strikes, militias and political activists blocked most oilfields and ports. Investors were looking to when the rest of the oil production - total capacity is over 1.5 million bpd - would be back on stream. “Markets were not anticipating a quick restart of the 0.9 million bpd missing crude oil production from Libya but a restart was a bearish flag,” said Olivier Jakob, analyst at Petromatrix in Zug, Switzerland. “That flag can now be pushed further away in time.” US oil was down 16 cents at $101.45 per barrel. The spread between US crude, also known as WTI, and Brent oil was heading for its highest close since early June, as the Libyan worries were less relevant for American crude supply. US crude was pressured as the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits hit a six-month high last week.

OPEC further lowered the forecast demand for its crude in the fourth quarter and 2014, and said its production remained higher than next year’s global requirement despite a plunge in Iraqi and Libyan output. Commodity and equity prices were also supported on signs of progress in Washington on ending the US fiscal stalemate and averting a possible debt default. US Republicans were looking into a shortterm hike in the government’s borrowing authority to buy time for talks on broader

policy issues, a Republican leadership aide said on Wednesday. Also supporting prices was renewed worry about supply from Nigeria. Shell Nigeria said on Wednesday it had shut its Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) after reports of leaks, deferring 150,000 barrels per day of crude oil just 10 days after the pipeline was reopened. “Better supplies out of Nigeria and Libya were another bearish influence but this seems not to be the case anymore,” said Christopher Bellew, broker at Jefferies Bache. — Reuters

Al-Rajhi Bank Q3 profit falls 8% RIYADH: Al-Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia’s largest listed lender, said yesterday third-quarter net profit fell 8.1 percent, widely missing the average forecast of analysts and bucking a positive trend in results reported by other Saudi banks. The bank made 1.72 billion riyals ($458.6 million) in the three months to September 30, compared with 1.87 billion riyals in the same period a year earlier, it said in a statement to the Saudi bourse. Analysts polled by Reuters expected the bank, on average, to post a net profit of 2.08 billion riyals for the third quarter. Al Rajhi attributed the fall in net profit to a decrease in operating income, which dipped 4.6 percent compared to the corresponding period of 2012. It did not elaborate fur-

ther. The profit drop goes against the general trend in this reporting season, where most other Saudi banks are producing strong net profit growth on the back of a surging economy, fuelled by high oil prices, which has boosted lending, deposits and deal activity. Saudi companies issue brief earnings statements early in the reporting period before publishing more detailed results later. Al Rajhi’s loans and advances at the end of the third quarter stood at 185 billion riyals, gaining 12 percent on the same point of 2012. While at a nine-month low in August, bank sector lending to private companies still grew at a rate of 15 percent year-on-year, according to central bank data. —Reuters

Business FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

US default to hit everyone: Lew Prioritizing which US bills to pay would be ‘chaos’ WASHINGTON: The Obama administration said yesterday that a looming US default would hit everyone from Social Security pensioners to bondholders and urged Congress to raise a cap on government borrowing to avoid a crisis. Appearing before lawmakers, US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew tried to shoot down the notion that America could prioritize between its many payment obligations. He warned lawmakers that later this month the government might miss payments on pensions and health care for the elderly, as well as salaries for the nation’s soldiers. While missing non-debt payments could over time push the economy into recession, a missed debt payment could potentially trigger an even more profound financial crisis. “I don’t believe there is a way to pick and choose on a broad basis. This system was not designed to be turned off selectively,” he told a Senate hearing.

Lew said there was no way the nation’s payment system would operate smoothly if President Obama chose to try to priori-

tize which obligations get paid. “It would be chaos,” he said. Washington takes in about 70 cents in

WASHINGTON: US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew (right) testifies before the US Senate Finance Committee about the debt limit yesterday on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.— AFP

Australian unemployment eases to 5.6% SYDNEY: Australia’s unemployment rate eased to 5.6 percent in September, retreating from a four-year high with the creation of 9,100 jobs in a better-than-expected performance boosted by election-related work. The seasonally-adjusted jobless rate receded from August’s 5.8 percent-a level not seen since the global financial crisis as Australia’s mining-powered economy confronts a peak in resources investment due to slowing commodity prices. Analysts had expected unemployment to hold steady at 5.8 percent but a fall in the participation rate-usually interpreted as evidence of jobseekers giving up on looking for work-and a surge in jobs related to the September 7 election meant the result exceeded expectations. “The employment numbers last month and this month have been flattered somewhat by the election,” said National Australia Bank economist David de Garis. The Australian dollar bounced from 94.48 US cents to 94.69 US cents after the headline rate beat forecasts, but analysts said the underlying picture was muted and unlikely to drive any move in the record low 2.5 percent interest rate. “The recent improvement in confidence and stabilization in labor market conditions is welcome but is still only tentative evidence that economic activity is improving from below-trend rates rather than just stabilizing,” said economist Justin Fabo from ANZ. Slowing growth in key export market China and plunging commodity prices have hit Australia’s key mining sector, with the central bank warning a decade-long, Asia-driven resources investment boom has peaked. —AFP

taxes for every dollar it spends, so it must borrow to pay its bills. Unless Congress raises the nation’s $16.7 trillion debt ceiling soon, Lew said the government would run out of borrowing authority by Oct 17. That means it would begin defaulting on its obligations soon after, something Lew said would cause a “crisis.” Lew also said the legal issues regarding prioritization of interest and principal on debt are complicated. He said gridlock in Washington was already hurting the US economy. The country’s political dysfunction has already led the government to partially shut down, which is sucking money out of the economy by delaying payments to many federal workers. “We now face a manufactured political crisis that is beginning to deliver an unnecessary blow to our economy,” Lew said, adding that uncertainty over the possibility of default was already weighing on financial markets. — Reuters

BoE keeps interest rate at 0.50% LONDON: The Bank of England kept its key interest rate at a record-low level of 0.50 percent yesterday, as expected. BoE policymakers decided also to maintain the amount of cash stimulus that the central bank is pumping around the British economy at £375 billion ($598 billion, 442 billion euros), a statement said. The crisis policies of some leading central banks involving the supply of low-interest money to stimulate their economies, and the question of when these taps will be turned off, is a hot issue on global financial markets. This was shown by the focus on the appointment on Wednesday of Janet Yellen to head the US Federal Reserve. Yellen is considered a so-called “dove” and therefore likely to delay the expected tightening of US monetary policy.“The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) at its meeting on 9 October voted to maintain the official Bank Rate paid on commercial bank reserves at 0.5 percent,” it said. “The Committee also voted to maintain the stock

of asset purchases financed by the issuance of central bank reserves at £375 billion.” The outcome had been widely expected by markets. The BoE will publish minutes of the meeting, that will provide reasons behind the decisions, on October 23. The latest BoE decisions, announced a day after they were taken, come amid an unexpected drop in British industrial output. Wednesday’s poor figures were in contrast to recent strong economic data, underscoring the fragility of Britain’s recovery, analysts said. October’s MPC gathering was the second session since it announced a “forward guidance” strategy under new governor, Canadian national Mark Carney. Under the policy change, any rise in record-low interest rates is to be tied to a drop in British unemployment. The key interest rate will remain at the current level of 0.50 percent until Britain’s unemployment rate falls to at least 7.0 percent, the central bank has said. The Bank of England’s own projections indicate that

such a drop from Britain’s current unemployment rate of 7.7 percent would not occur for three years, but markets are betting on this happening sooner. The interest rates could in any case rise earlier should British annual inflation remain high above its target rate of 2.0 percent, the Bank of England has itself warned. The BoE’s main task is to use monetary policy as a tool to keep annual inflation close to a government-set level of 2.0 percent, in order to preserve the value of money. British annual inflation fell to 2.7 percent in August from 2.8 percent in July, recent official data showed. The BoE kickstarted its stimulus, or quantitative easing (QE) program, in March 2009, coinciding with its decision to cut its main lending rate to 0.50 percent, where it has stood ever since. Under QE, the central bank creates cash that is used to buy assets such as government and corporate bonds with the aim of boosting lending-and economic activity. — AFP

Global finance leaders jittery over US impasse Crisis could imperil world economic recovery

WASHINGTON: Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), speaks during an interview following a press conference at IMF Headquarters during the annual World Bank International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings in Washington, DC, yesterday. — AFP

WASHINGTON: Concerns that the political impasse in American government will derail a fragile global economic recovery are expected to dominate a meeting of world financial leaders in Washington this week. In the run-up to meetings of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Group of 20 major economies, global financial leaders have been sounding loud warnings about the possibility of a US debt default as well as potential damage if the partial government shutdown continues. These new concerns are layered on top of anxiety over an expected reduction in the central bank’s bond-buying program to stimulate the economy. The prospect of that reduction has put significant pressure on developing-country markets even before it has actually begun. This is especially worry-

ing at a time when the IMF and other economic experts are counting on a strengthening US economy to help carry a still-fragile global economic recovery. “The current political deadlock in the United States is needlessly putting at risk the stability and growth not only of the US but also the world economy,” said Angel GurrÌa, head of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. “This comes at a time when a fragile recovery in advanced economies was underway and when a number of emerging economies were already facing new risks.” The mounting worries about the US mark a shift for the Washington-based IMF. After years fretting about the deep economic crisis in Europe, the focus of most concern is now in the backyard. The US government partially

shut down last week after lawmakers in the House and Senate failed to agree on a spending bill to fund government at the start of the new fiscal year. Republicans in Congress are refusing to approve a temporary spending bill, demanding changes to or elimination of President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law. They are linking the health care plan to the budget battle because they contend the costs of it could severely harm the U.S. economy. Democrats say Republicans want to challenge legislation approved three years ago. Separately, Democrats and Republicans are also clashing over the approaching deadline to boost the government’s $16.7 trillion borrowing limit. Republicans are demanding spending cuts to reduce the budget deficit as the price for supporting an increase in the debt ceiling. —AP

Business FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Eurogroup chief cancels IMF trip for Dutch budget talks THE HAGUE: Dutch Finance Minister and Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem said yesterday that he has cancelled a trip to the annual IMF meeting in Washington to attend crucial budget talks at home. “I will not be going to Washington ... this (budget talks) has more priority,” Dijsselbloem told national Dutch broadcaster NOS. Dijsselbloem was speaking early yesterday after another round of tough discussions aimed at garnering support for an austerity-focused budget in the Upper House. The Dutch government unveiled its 2014 budget, which included 6.0 billion euros ($8.0 bn) in cuts, last month at parliament’s official opening. The plan has majority support in the Liberal-Labour coalition controlled 150-seat Lower House. But the budget still needs to be approved by the Senate, where Prime Minister

Mark Rutte’s government has 30 seats and needs eight more votes from smaller parties to obtain a majority. There have been intense discussions over the last two weeks to get partners on board, including with the progressive pro-European D66, which has five seats in the Senate and two Christian parties which have a combined total of three seats. On Wednesday pro-environment leftist party GroenLinks walked out of the budget talks, saying it could not reach an agreement on its own demands for it to support the current budget proposal. The move leaves the Dutch government with little room to manoeuvre as it now needs the support of all the remaining parties to get the budget passed. “He (Dijsselbloem) has cancelled an important trip,” D66 leader Alexander Pechtold said after Dijsselbloem’s announcement. “The Netherlands, as Eurogroup chair

there (at the IMF), has an important role, but respect that he’s staying-it gives urgency to all sitting around the table,” he added. Both members of Rutte’s People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and its Labour Party (PvdA) partner have said that the budget cut was inevitable. The Dutch central planning office (CPB), which assists government in formulating financial policy predicted last month that the Dutch deficit will be 3.3 percent of GDP in 2014 if inclusive of the 6.0 billion euro cut. This is still above the EU ceiling of 3.0 percent, but is in line with European Commission recommendations. Last year, Rutte’s previous government’s far-right parliamentary partner walked out of austerity talks focusing on Europe’s long-term bailout plan, prompting Rutte’s cabinet to call for new elections. — AFP

California, shutdown lift US jobless claims Weekly unemployment claims rise to 66,000

WASHINGTON: Commuters make their way under heavy rainfall in downtown Washington, DC, yesterday on the tenth day of US federal government shutdown. — AFP

US default would ‘deeply’ damage markets: Treasury WASHINGTON: A US debt default would have dramatic economic repercussions and be “deeply damaging” to financial markets, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned lawmakers yesterday a week before a deadline to raise the nation’s borrowing limit. With the clock ticking toward a potentially catastrophic default that would see the United States fail to pay all its bills for the first time in its history, President Barack Obama was to meet his fellow Democrats as well as Republicans in separate White House meetings in a bid to forge a path out of the crisis. But all eyes were first on Lew, who trooped up to Capitol Hill to deliver a stark message to Congress: end the political impasse and act immediately to avoid “self-inflicted wounds” and potential financial disaster. “If Congress fails to meet its responsibility, it could be deeply damaging to the financial markets, the ongoing economic recovery, and the jobs and savings of millions of Americans,” Lew told the Senate Finance Committee. Washington has been locked in stalemate, with Obama and Republicans unable to agree on how to fund government. Failure to agree on a

budget led to the first government shutdown in 17 years on October 1, the beginning of fiscal year 2014. Now the nation careens toward another, potential hammer blow, and Lew warned it would be a “grave mistake” if the US Treasury is not provided with new borrowing authority that would allow it to pay all its bills. “It is important for Congress to reopen the government, raise the debt ceiling and then work with the president to address our fiscal problems,” Lew said. Lew warned of the “potentially catastrophic impacts of default, including credit market disruptions, a significant loss in the value of the dollar, markedly elevated US interest rates, negative spillover effects to the global economy, and real risk of a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse.” Rising interest rates would flood through all aspects of the economy and impact every American household, and the stock market could tumble. Lew said the fiscal impasse was already “beginning to deliver an unnecessary blow to our economy,” in the form of rising interest rates and market volatility reaching its “highest level of the year.” — AFP

WASHINGTON: The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits hit a sixmonth high last week amid a computer glitch in California, but the underlying trend pointed to a steadily improving labor market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 66,000 to a seasonally adjusted 374,000, the highest level since the end of March, the Labor Department said yesterday. California, which is still dealing with technical problems from the upgrading of its computers, accounted for about half of the increase in claims, a Labor Department analyst said. Troubles converting to the new system had resulted in a backlog of claims, which were now being pushed through, he said. In addition, 15,000 of the claims were from nonfederal workers affected by the partial government shutdown, which is now in its second week, the analyst said. Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications to rise to 310,000 last week. The claims data is collected by states and is the only government report being published during

the shutdown and is being closely watched for clues on the health of the job market. The fourweek moving average for new claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, increased 20,000 to 325,000. The measure remained at a level consistent with a moderate pace of job growth. “The broader picture is still that labor market conditions are improving, albeit not quite as much as we previously thought,” said Paul Ashworth, chief US economist at Capital Economics in Toronto. The dollar fell to a session low against the euro on the data, which traders viewed as a sign that the Federal Reserve would maintain its massive bond buying program for a while. Minutes of the central bank’s September meeting showed a decision to keep the monthly $85 billion in bond purchases that the Fed is making to keep borrowing costs low was a close call. The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid fell 16,000 to 2.91 million in the week ended Sept 28. — Reuters

South Korea holds key interest rate at 2.5% SEOUL: South Korea’s central bank yesterday kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 2.5 percent for the fifth straight month as a budget stand-off in Washington fuels concerns over a potential US debt default. In a widely expected move, Bank of Korea (BOK) Governor Kim Choong-Soo and his six fellow policymakers froze the overnight inter-bank lending rate for October at 2.5 percent. “Although (the) global economy is expected to show steady recovery, uncertainties over the US government’s budget and debt limits and potential changes in the global financial markets due to the US Fed’s future tapering of monetary expansion policies remain as downward risks for growth,” the BOK said in a statement. US President Barack Obama on Wednesday invited Republican and Democratic lawmakers to the White House to try to work through budget disagreements that have resulted in the partial shutdown of the government. The impasse threatens to trigger a devastating debt default if the two

sides fail to raise the borrowing limit by and October 17 deadline. The Bank of Korea on Thursday also slashed the nation’s growth outlook for 2014 to 3.8 percent from the previous 4 percent, citing signs of a global slowdown. The IMF on Tuesday trimmed its forecast for global economic growth for 2014 to 3.6 percent from the previous 3.8 percent, citing slower pace of expansion in emerging economies such as China and India. It also cut its outlook for the Asia’s fourth-largest economy to 3.7 percent for next year from the previous 3.9 percent. “South Korea is very sensitive to changes in global economy,” Kim told reporters. “It’s hard to expect South Korea to remain unaffected when the IMF slashes its outlook for the global economy,” he said. The South’s export-reliant economy grew 2 percent in 2012 — the slowest in three years-amid sagging demand from global markets. The central bank however left the outlook for the country’s economic growth for this year unchanged at 2.8 percent. — AFP

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

THE FASCINATING STORY OF THE 99 Three members of The 99—Jabbar the Powerful, Samda the Invulnerable, and Noora the Light, along with their mentor Dr. Ramzi—respond to a call for help from a scientific expedition. They learn that four great white sharks are trapped in a sunken military

Visit for free games featuring THE 99!

vessel, off the coast of California…



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


Opinion FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Iran’s conflicting signals confuse the West By Louis Charbonneau


estern nations are struggling to answer one key question as they assess conflicting signals from Tehran ahead of next week’s big-power meeting with Iran in Geneva - is the Islamic Republic ready to make a deal on its controversial nuclear program. While it is clear that Iran wants an end to the crippling international sanctions world powers have imposed on it for refusing to halt uranium enrichment and other sensitive atomic work, Western diplomats say it is not clear whether Tehran is prepared to significantly curtail its nuclear activities. On the one hand, Iranian officials recently suggested in New York that they plan to present a new offer to six world powers on Oct 15-16 in Geneva, Western diplomats say. On the other hand, the Iranians have indicated the opposite - that they want a new offer from the six powers before proposing anything. “Obviously they are very much worried about the sanctions,” a senior Western diplomat said on condition of anonymity. “Obviously they want a lifting of the sanctions. But how much are they ready to pay? I don’t know.” The main unknown, the diplomat said, is the position of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei: “Nobody knows the answer to the central question, which is whether Khamenei has decided to strike a deal.” Iran, which rejects allegations that its atomic program is aimed at giving it the capacity to produce bombs, has been negotiating unsuccessfully for years with the socalled P5+1 - the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany. Iran’s new centrist President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with dozens of delegations, many of them European, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York last month. Tehran’s nuclear program was one of the main topics of discussion. “There were a lot of smiles,” said another Western diplomat who attended a meeting with Zarif. “But what does it all mean? Are we ready to make a nuclear deal? We just don’t know.” According to the senior diplomat, the Iranian charm offensive during the General Assembly sparked a flurry of internal analyses in Western capitals among “all the Iranian specialists, like at the time of the (Soviet Union’s) Kremlin.” He compared the blizzard of studies of Iranian behavior and comments to the days when former Soviet Communist Party Chairman Yuri Andropov was considered by Western Kremlinologists as “a liberal because he was drinking whiskey.” Concrete steps? Sometimes symbols matter. The most significant piece of symbolism during the UN General Assembly, Western officials say, was Rouhani’s telephone call with US President Barack Obama, the first conversation between the heads of governments of the two estranged nations in over three decades. They said it showed the taboo against Iranian-US contact had been broken and both voiced a willingness for dialogue. So what are the Iran “Kremlinologists” predicting Tehran will bring to the table next week? There is no consensus. “They (Iran) have said they are going to bring new proposals to the table,” the senior Western diplomat said. That

President Hassan Rouhani and President Barack Obama is consistent with public comments of Rouhani, who said Iran would bring its plan for resolving the nuclear standoff to Geneva. According to an intelligence assessment of Rouhani prepared by a Western country, Iran might be willing to take some concrete steps in the interest of securing sanctions relief, including halting medium-level 20-percent uranium enrichment and freezing the expansion of its nuclear centrifuge program. But the diplomat who described the intelligence assessment said there were limits to how far Rouhani would allow Zarif to go in negotiating with the six powers. “Rouhani will likely be willing to make more compromise offers than before,” the diplomat said. “But he believes Iran won’t have to make significant concessions on its nuclear project in practice.” Rouhani led unsuccessful negotiations between Iran and Britain, France and Germany in 2003-2005 when he was secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. Another person who attended a meeting with Zarif in New York said the Iranians indicated they would not be presenting any new proposals at the Geneva meeting but were expecting a new offer from the six powers. That is consistent with public comments Zarif made a few days ago - that the six powers, not Iran, must come up with new proposals. “If that’s what happens, the most we might get from Geneva is an agreement to meet again,” the participant in the meeting with Zarif told Reuters on condition of anonymity. The Western powers said in February they want Iran to stop enrichment of uranium to 20 percent, ship out some uranium stockpiles and shutter a facility where such enrichment is done. Petrochemicals In return, they offered relaxation of international sanctions on Iran’s petrochemicals and trade in gold and other precious metals.

If there is a nuclear deal with the major powers, diplomats said, it would likely follow a bilateral US-Iranian agreement. The two nations have not had diplomatic relations since 1980. All of the Western diplomats cited in this article were skeptical about the possibility of reaching a deal with Iran, which Rouhani said he wants in as little as three to six months. One Western diplomat noted that the offer of trade in gold and other metals may no longer be workable due to new US sanctions that took effect in July. But even if there is no outcome from next week’s meeting in Geneva, the six powers and Iran will likely keep at it. “The Iranians aren’t going to walk away from the table,” a diplomat said. “But neither are the others. The Iranians know the Americans and Europeans want a deal.” If there is a nuclear deal with the major powers, diplomats said, it would likely follow a bilateral US-Iranian agreement. The two nations have not had diplomatic relations since 1980. All of the Western diplomats cited in this article were skeptical about the possibility of reaching a deal with Iran, which Rouhani said he wants in as little as three to six months. Western officials also expressed caution, however, about dismissing hopes that Iran, fed up with sanctions that are damaging its economy, might now want an agreement. Khamenei, who the final say on all domestic

and foreign policy matters in Iran, has said he supports Rouhani’s diplomatic initiatives. Still, he cautioned that some aspects of what happened in New York last month were “not proper” and the United States could not be trusted. Khamenei - the ultimate arbiter of high state policy under Iran’s unwieldy dual system of clerical and republican rule - said before Rouhani’s trip to New York that he supported “heroic flexibility” in diplomacy, while cautioning that the Islamic Republic must always remember who its foes are. A senior Western diplomat said it was not clear what Khamenei meant by “heroic flexibility.” But he speculated that it could mean he is preparing Iranians to drink a “cup of poison,” as his predecessor, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, described it when he reluctantly agreed to a UN-mediated truce that ended the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. “I’m wondering whether by speaking about ‘heroic flexibility’ Khamenei is not preparing his public opinion for a move comparable to what has happened in 1988,” the diplomat said. — Reuters


A Pakistani vendor walks with his goats for sale at an animal market ahead of the Muslim festival Eid AlAdha in Lahore on October 7, 2013. Muslims across the world are preparing to celebrate the annual festival of Eid al-Adha, or the Festival of Sacrifice, which marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah and in commemoration of Prophet Abraham's (PBHU) readiness to sacrifice his son to show obedience to God. — AFP

Food FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013


hen your workday is over and you need to get dinner on the table quickly, it’s time to play chicken. In the kitchen. So you, like millions of others, stop at the grocery store and pick up a rotisserie chicken. About 450 million are sold each year in grocery and warehouse across the US, according to the National Chicken Council. Costco, for example, says it sold more than 68 million rotisserie chickens worldwide last fiscal year. With retail prices ranging from $5 to $8, it’s easy to see why. And while your chicken, with its crisp, golden brown skin, will be delicious any way you slice it, you can - and should - take that bird a bit further. Fast and easy chicken recipe options abound, from soups and salads to pizzas and pot pies. And don’t forget to make broth with the leftovers. Today, we offer six ways to serve up that rotisserie chicken to the delight of all those at your dinner table. CHICKEN COBBLER CASSEROLE Makes: 4 servings Preparation time: 10 minutes Total time: 50 minutes 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, divided 4 cups cubed sourdough bread or rolls or day-old bread 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 1 cup sliced sweet onion 1 package (8 ounces) sliced fresh cremini mushrooms 1 can (10 ounces) reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup 1 cup drained and chopped jarred roasted red bell peppers

2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss 4 tablespoons melted butter with bread cubes, cheese and parsley; set aside. In a large skillet, place the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and saute onions over medium-high heat about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Add mushrooms and saute 5 minutes. Stir in soup, peppers and chicken. Cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until bubbly. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 9-

inch square baking dish; top evenly with bread mixture. Bake for 15 minutes or until the bread cubes are golden brown. 325 calories (49 percent from fat), 18 grams fat (9 grams sat. fat), 17 grams carbohydrates, 24 grams protein, 415 mg sodium, 85 mg cholesterol, 2 grams fiber. CHICKEN CHIMICHANGAS Makes: 10 Preparation time: 35 minutes Total time: 50 minutes 1 cups picant sauce or salsa, divided 4 cups chopped or shredded rotisserie chicken 1 cup diced onion 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 tablespoon favorite chili powder 1 teaspoon salt 10 (8-inch) flour tortillas 1cup shredded Mexican-style or favorite cheddar cheese Nonstick cooking spray or canola oil FOR SERVING Guacamole, sour cream, shredded lettuce, diced tomato In a saucepan combine 1 cup picante sauce, chicken, onion, cumin, chili powder and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, about 15 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet. Spoon 1/3 cup mixture below center of each tortilla; top with

Food FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

about 2 tablespoons cheese. Fold in 2 sides of tortillas to enclose filling. Fold over top and bottom edges of tortillas, making rectangles. Secure with wooden picks, if needed. Place, folded-side down, on greased baking sheets. Coat chimichangas with cooking spray or brush lightly with canola oil. Bake for 8 minutes; turn and bake 5 more minutes. Remove picks if you used them. Serve chimichangas with remaining picante sauce and desired toppings. 258 calories (20 percent from fat), 6 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat), 29 grams carbohydrates, 22 grams protein, 439 mg sodium, 48 mg cholesterol, 3 grams fiber. SWEET AND SOUR ROAST CHICKEN Serves: 4 / Preparation time: 20 minutes Total time: 35 minutes 1 cup packed light-brown sugar 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce 2 tablespoons less-sodium soy sauce or tamari 2 tablespoons water 2 teaspoons or to taste chili garlic sauce 1\2 cup fresh lime juice, divided 1 warm fully cooked rotisserie chicken, cut into 10 serving pieces 1 cup sliced seedless cucumbers 1 cup sliced red onion strips 1 teaspoon rice vinegar Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1 small head frisee, torn into bite-size pieces

1 fresh red or green chile, sliced, optional In a medium saucepan, whisk together the brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, water and chili garlic sauce until combined. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook until sauce thickens, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of the lime juice. Brush half of the sweet-and-sour sauce over the flesh and skin sides of chicken pieces. In a medium bowl, toss cucumbers and red onion with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lime juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. On a platter, arrange the frisee, cucumbers and onions and place chicken pieces on top. Sprinkle sliced chile, if desired. Spoon remaining sauce over chicken or serve on the side. 762 calories (38 percent from fat), 31 grams fat (9 grams sat. fat), 35 grams carbohydrates, 82 grams protein, 1,211 mg sodium, 246 mg cholesterol, 1 gram fiber. HERBED CHICKEN PIZZA WITH ROASTED RED PEPPERS AND ARTICHOKES Serves: 6 / Preparation time: 20 minutes Total time: 45 minutes 1 cup thinly sliced or cubed seasoned rotisserie chicken 1 can (14.5 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes or favorite canned tomatoes, well drained 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 1\2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 prepared pizza crust (12-inch) 1 small jar (6 ounces) marinated artichoke hearts, well

it is just turning golden. Sprinkle in the 2 tablespoons of flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in the broth and milk. Cook on medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture has thickened. Add the peas and carrots, chicken, thyme, seasoning blend, salt and black pepper to taste. Cook about 5 minutes. If mixture is too thin, scoop out some of the liquid into a small bowl and mix in the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour. Stir the flour mixture back into the saucepan and heat a few more minutes to thicken. Divide the mixture into the ramekins. Cut out puff pastry rounds to just fit over the filling. Brush the top with egg wash. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until pastry round is puffed and golden brown, and the filling is bubbly. Remove from oven and serve. 415 calories (48 percent from fat), 22 grams fat (6 grams sat. fat), 32 grams carbohydrates, 22 grams protein, 464 mg sodium, 52 mg cholesterol, 3 grams fiber. ROTISSERIE CHICKEN SOUP WITH RICE Serves: 8 / Preparation time: 20 minutes Total time: 1 hour 1 tablespoon canola oil 2 large cloves garlic, peeled, minced 1 cup chopped onion 3 mini red bell peppers, sliced into thin rounds 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 can (14.5 ounces) fire-roasted tomatoes with chipotle 1 tablespoon chili powder

drained and patted dry 1 jarred roasted red pepper, patted dry and thinly sliced 1 cup pitted black olives, cut in half 1\2 pound fontina cheese, shredded or sliced Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl mix the chicken, tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper; set aside. Brush the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and a few pinches of kosher salt on the pizza crust. Place crust on pizza pan or baking sheet. Bake 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and top crust with the chicken mixture, artichokes, red pepper, black olives and cheese. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and cut into desired size pieces. 382 calories (35 percent from fat), 15 grams fat (5 grams sat. fat), 48 grams carbohydrates, 13 grams protein, 1,001 mg sodium, 22 mg cholesterol, 4 grams fiber. CHICKEN POT PIE Makes: 6 individual pot pies / Preparation time: 25 minutes Total time: 50 minutes 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 cup chopped onion 2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 cups chicken broth or stock 1 cup 1 percent milk 2 cups frozen peas and carrots 2 cups cubed or shredded seasoned rotisserie chicken 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon Morton Nature’s Seasons seasoning blend Salt and black pepper to taste 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place 6 individual ramekins (6- to 8-ounce size) on a baking sheet. Set aside. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion and saute until

1 teaspoon cumin 4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken 6 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth Salt and black pepper to taste 2 cups cooked brown rice FOR SERVING Tortilla chips Shredded cheese Sliced green onion Cilantro leaves In a large pot, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the onion and red pepper slices and saute about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with brown sugar, stirring to melt the sugar. Add in the tomatoes with their juice, chili powder and cumin. Stir in the chicken and broth. Bring to just a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes to meld all the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper if needed, keeping in mind you may not need to because of the tomatoes and broth. Stir in the cooked rice just before serving. Top with chips, cheese, onion and cilantro if desired. 235 calories (19 percent from fat), 5 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat), 20 grams carbohydrates, 26 grams protein, 582 mg sodium, 60 mg cholesterol, 3 grams fiber. — MCT

Tr a v e l FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Do it like the


A train ride offers incredible views in Switzerland. By Samantha Feuss


witzerland is a wonderful place to take the family on holiday. With majestic mountains, lovely lakes, and train rides that are visually stunning as you cruise through the country en route to your destination, you and yours are in for a treat as soon as you set foot in this friendly and hospitable country.

One must-see spot in the country is Mount Pilatus, a 7,000-foot mountaintop that is accessible via train, aerial cable way, gondola and the world’s steepest cogwheel rail. If you decide to take the “Golden Round Trip,” you can view some of the best scenery in Switzerland in one day.

A train ride offers incredible views in Switzerland.

Mt. Pilatus rises above Switzerland. — MCT photos

It’s also an affordable option for Americans wanting to travel in Europe, with family friendly options such as the Swiss Pass to make saving money easier as you traverse. It offers unlimited travel on the Swiss Travel System, which includes trains, boats, buses, local urban transportation systems, and free entry to more than 450 museums. You also get free WiFi, and access to the Fast Baggage service, which provides same-day luggage delivery between 46 cities in Switzerland, according to the Switzerland Tourism Department. One must-see spot in the country is Mount Pilatus, a 7,000-foot mountaintop that is accessible via train, aerial cable way, gondola and the world’s steepest cogwheel rail. If you decide to take the “Golden Round Trip,” you can view some of the best scenery in Switzerland in one day. From the boat tour beginning in Lake Lucerne, you ride in comfort either in the inside or outside of the boat on crystal-clear waters surrounded by mountains. Some passengers may choose to get off at one of several stops, such as restaurants or the Swiss Museum of Transport (the country’s most popular museum).

Tr a v e l FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

A cog train takes passengers up Mt. Pilatus in Switzerland. Take the boat to Aspnachstad (the aforementioned steepest cog in the world) and then to Pilatus Klum’s peak, at nearly 7,000 feet above sea level, viewing amazing sights and scenery all along the way. The cog up to the top is both exhilarating and a little frightening _ it is very, very steep, and those lovely views will make some hold onto their seats a little tighter. From the top, one can view more than 70 peaks and five lakes. You can also visit several restaurants, spend some time at one of Mount Piliatus’ adventure parks, go tobog-

with a variety of foods to dip in it, as well as a chocolate fondue with fruit to dip for dessert. This was a cozy spot in a convenient location to experience a local favorite dish. After coming down from the mountain, an interesting and very fun way to spend the day with the kids is at the Agrovision, where you can see how farmers raise animals and foodstuff. Children not only can pet the animals, but there are hands-on experiences to be had. In addition to animals, there is a playground, meeting space for large groups, and an

Traditional fondue is served at the Fondue House in Lucerne, Switzerland. the animals, of course, and the playground was a huge hit and wonderful way to burn off any excess energy. No trip to Switzerland would be complete without a visit to the Top Of Europe, otherwise known as Jungfrau. It boasts the highest railway station in Europe, the Jungfraujoch, as well as ski lifts, adventure activities, hiking, snow adventures, and an “Ice Palace.” Riding to the top of the Jungfrau (on a variety of transportation), you will be wowed by astonishing views, flora and fauna, and maybe even

A chilly guest visits the Ice Palace in Jungfrau, Switzerland.

Castle Bridge crosses the waters in Lucerne, Switzerland. ganing or head over to the rope park. These are in operation from May to November, weather permitting. If you head back to Lucerne, stop by Chapel Bridge. It’s the most photographed place in Switzerland, and for good reason. This old bridge and tower spans the river, the ceiling and beams of which have paintings dating back to the 1300s. Chapel Bridge has become somewhat of a symbol for Lucerne, and something you don’t want to miss. If you want to indulge in a traditional Swiss meal, the Fondue House is just a few blocks away. Diners can enjoy traditional cheese fondue

award-winning restaurant on site that serves only local and organic food (most of which is made on the premises). It is amazing to see how they make bread in a giant, old-fashioned oven. A very passionate farmer explained to us that it is not only better living for the animals and people to grow and eat organic, but it ends up costing less money and is better for the environment. He had a lot to say about farming practices and farm-to-table living. I learned a lot, as did my 5-year-old son, who loved the bee exhibit and working hive, learning about the bees and what they do. He also enjoyed petting

the gentle falling of snow (even in the summer). We were able to make snowballs in the freshly fallen (and still falling) snow while we visited this summer, although we were told this was unusual for that time of year. There are a variety of hiking trails that offer amazing views of not just the three mountains (Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau) but also Lake Thun and Lake Brienz below. The mountains were named after a legend of a young maiden (Jungfrau) being protected by the monk (or Monch) from the cruel ogre (or Eiger) who wished to ravish her. As you make your way around the top,

there is much to see and do inside as well. There is the Alpine Sensation, where you can “experience” life as it happened in the mountains over the years. Step outside (very carefully, it’s slippery!) to the Sphinx, which has the best views in Europe: On a clear day, you can see as far as parts of France, Germany and Italy. Make sure to spend time in the Ice Palace - which is more like a winding cavern of ice sculptures, walls, floors, and ceiling also made of ice. I was told that since the body heat of all the tourists melts the ice, it shifts a little each year and needs constant maintenance. If you just can’t get enough of the views, check out the Sigriswil suspension bridge in Thun. Thun is a great place to spend time, with fantastic food and historic landmarks. After spending the day touring the castles of Thun (make sure you ask for the kit that allows your child to become a knight - visit three castles, complete the assigned tasks like “jousting” from your wooden horse and some fancy shield work, and by Merlin’s beard you have yourself a little knight!), head over for a unique walk. Suspended high above the air, you feel each step you take move the bridge, the wind causing it to sway. Not for the faint of heart, but if you can stomach it, the views are intense and quite literally breathtaking. — MCT

Health FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Don’t panic! It’s just a disorder P anic disorder is different from the normal fear and anxiety reactions to stressful events in our lives. Panic disorder is a serious condition that strikes without reason or warning. Symptoms of panic disorder include sudden attacks of fear and nervousness, as well as physical symptoms such as sweating and a racing heart. During a panic attack, the fear response is out of proportion for the situation, which often is not threatening. Over time, a person with panic disorder develops a constant fear of having another panic attack, which can affect daily functioning and general quality of life. Panic disorder often occurs along with other serious conditions, such as depression, alcoholism, or drug abuse. Dealing with anxiety and phobias Your heart pounds, your palms sweat, and you begin to tremble. These physical reactions to danger put your body on high alert. But if you’re gripped with fear when there is little or no real danger, like when you’re on a plane taxiing down a runway to take off, the real culprit may be anxiety. “Anxiety is a world-class bluffer. It bluffs people into thinking they’re in danger when they’re really not,” says Martin N Seif, PhD, a psychologist in New York City and Greenwich, Conn., who cofounded... Symptoms of a panic attack, which often last about 10 minutes, include: Difficulty breathing Pounding heart or chest pain Intense feeling of dread Sensation of choking or smothering Dizziness or feeling faint Trembling or shaking Sweating Nausea or stomachache Tingling or numbness in the fingers and toes Chills or hot flashes A fear that you are losing control or are about to die Beyond the panic attacks themselves, a key symptom of panic disorder is the persistent fear of having future panic attacks. The fear of these attacks can cause the person to avoid places and situations where an attack has occurred or where they believe an attack may occur. What causes panic disorder? Although the exact cause of panic disorder is not fully understood, studies have shown that a combination of factors, including biological and environmental, may be involved. These factors include. Family history: Panic disorder has been shown to run in families. It may be passed on to some people by one or both parent(s) much like hair or eye color can. Abnormalities in the brain: Panic disorder may be caused by problems in parts of the brain. Substance abuse: Abuse of drugs and alcohol can contribute to panic disorder. Major life stress: Stressful events and major life transitions, such as the death of a loved one, can trigger panic disorder.

What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder? People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are filled with greatly exaggerated worry and tension-even though there is usually nothing to worry about. These individuals anticipate disaster and ruminate about their health, their finances, their work, their relationships and family problems. To make a diagnosis of GAD, excessive worrying and anxiety have to occur more days than not for at least 6 months. The person is unable to control the worry and may have other symptoms including: Difficulty concentrating Fatigue Irritability Muscle tension Restlessness Sleep disturbance This anxiety disorder is not related to substance abuse or a medical condition. It occurs independently.

What Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder? Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is characterized by continuous, unwanted, and intruding thoughts that the person is unable to control. These thoughts are also accompanied by a pervasive anxiety. Compulsive disorder refers to repeated, ritualistic behavior that often is purposeless and which the patient is unable to stop. OCD is also accompanied by general anxiety. Obsessive thoughts and compulsive acts may focus around reallife problems the patient is confronting

or may take on a bizarre nature.

How common Is panic disorder? Panic disorder affects about 2.4 million adult Americans. Panic disorder most often begins during late adolescence and early adulthood. It is twice as common in women as in men.

How is panic disorder diagnosed? If symptoms of panic disorder are present, the doctor will begin an evaluation by performing a complete medical history and physical exam. Although there are no lab tests to specifically diagnose panic disorder, the doctor may use various tests to look for physical illness as the cause of symptoms. If no physical illness is found, you may be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist, mental professionals who are specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Psychiatrists and psychologists use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate a person for panic disorder. The doctor bases his or her diagnosis on reported intensity and duration of symptoms, including the frequency of panic attacks, and the doctor’s observation of the patient’s attitude and behavior. The doctor then determines if the symptoms and degree of dysfunction suggest panic disorder. How Is panic disorder treated? A combination of the following therapies is often used to treat panic disorder. Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy (a type

of counseling) addresses the emotional response to mental illness. It is a process in which trained mental health professionals help people by talking through strategies for understanding and dealing with their disorder. Cognitive behavioral therapy: A type of psychotherapy that helps a person learn to recognize and change thought patterns and behaviors that lead to troublesome feelings. Therapy also aims to identify possibly triggers for panic attacks. Medication: The anti-depressant drugs Paxil and Zoloft and anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax, Ativan, or Klonopin are used to treat panic disorders. Sometimes, heart medications (such as beta blockers) are used to help with anxiety. Some people will respond well to treatment only to experience panic attacks later in life. When panic attacks continue after treatment has stopped, additional treatment may still help control and reduce panic attacks. In addition, relaxation techniques, such as breathing retraining and positive visualization, may help a person during an attack. What is the outlook for people with panic disorder? Panic disorder can be successfully treated, and sufferers can go on to lead full and satisfying lives. With appropriate treatment, nearly 90 percent of people with panic disorder can find relief. Unfortunately, many people with panic disorder do not seek treatment. Without treatment, panic disorder can have serious consequences and can severely impair quality of life. Complications of untreated panic disorder include. Avoidance. A person may discontinue any activities that seem to trigger a panic attack. This can make a normal work and home life nearly impossible. Anticipatory anxiety. This refers to anxiety that is triggered merely by thinking about the possibility of having an anxiety attack. Agoraphobia. This is the fear of being in places or situations in which an attack may occur, or from which escape would be difficult or highly embarrassing. This fear can drive people to avoid public places and crowds, and may even progress to the point that the person will not leave his or her home. About onethird of people with panic disorder develop agoraphobia. Claustrophobia. The person fears enclosed spaces. Can panic disorder be prevented? Panic disorder cannot be prevented; however, there are some things you can do to reduce stress and decrease symptoms, including: Stop or reduce consumption of products that contain caffeine, such as coffee, tea, cola, and chocolate. Ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking any over-thecounter drugs or herbal remedies. Many contain chemicals that can increase anxiety symptoms. Exercise daily and eat a healthy, balanced diet.

Lifestyle FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013


Memories and melodies of Piaf fill the Paris air

t’s 50 years since she died and Paris still feels a bit more like Paris with Edith Piaf playing in the background. It was hard not to hear that unmistakable sound yesterday as radio stations marked the anniversary by playing her most famous recordings, filling the capital’s cafes and bistros with a throaty voice that has lost none of its power to move with the passage of time. It was a day for remembering Piaf the woman, as well as the performer, with hundreds of fans making a pilgrimage to Belleville, the still down-at-heel Paris neighborhood where she was born Edith Giovanna Gassain to a singer mother who was soon to abandon her. On the front of 72 Rue de Belleville, there is a plaque that solemnly declares: “On the steps of this house Edith Piaf, whose voice would later move the entire world, was born into utter destitution on December 19, 1915.” She was actually born in a hospital round the corner: the idea that Piaf literally entered the world via the streets of Paris was one of the many myths she cultivated about herself, most of which have been debunked by recent biographies. Self-serving invention was so integral to her character that Le Monde journalist Robert Belleret entitled his recently published biography of the star, “Piaf, a French myth”. Even as she lay dying from liver cancer in the southern French town of Grasse, she was planning the way her death would be presented, leaving precise instructions for her body to be whisked up to Paris and for the world to be told she had died in the city where she was born, and which inspired


lessly generous to, those who were close to her. “How could you not like a person like that?” Dumont said. “When you worked for her, she’d do everything she could to give you anything that you wanted.” Dumont, 84, also recalled the unerring ear for a hit that was such an important element of the alchemy that made Piaf a global star. “The first time I played ‘Je ne regrette rien,’ to her she went ‘Was it really you who wrote that?’ “Then she said, ‘You’ve nothing more to worry about, this song will go round the world and it will follow you to the end of your days.’” — AFP

many of her songs. Interred in Pere Lachaise, the cemetery that is the final resting place of dozens of celebrated artists from Oscar Wilde to Jim Morrison, Piaf’s funeral cortege was followed by more than 100,000 people.

‘Regal and fragile at the same time’ The turnout was testimony to the extent to which the singer, who had narrowly and perhaps undeservedly escaped the ignominy of being branded a collaborator after Paris’s liberation from the Nazis, had won the hearts of a nation. The Catholic Church, at the time, was less forgiving, the Archbishop of Paris decreeing that there would be no funeral mass for a divorcee who had, in the words of the Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano, lived her life in a perpetual “state of public sin”. It was a judgment that reflected Catholic doctrine at the time, and, in today’s more forgiving climate, the Church prefers to celebrate the power of Piaf’s art to move the human spirit. Memorial masses took place later yesterday, in Belleville at the parish church where the singer was baptized, and in Nice, close to the home she lived in at the time of her death. Not everyone however is ready to forgive Piaf’s capricious ways. Even half a century on, her fellow singing icon, Juliette Greco, still bears the psychological scars inflicted on her as a teenager by Piaf’s sharp tongue. “She could not stand other women who sang, she was regal and fragile at the same time,” Greco, now 86, told Le Parisien newspaper. “She’d say I was badly dressed, ugly, with hair like a drowned rat. I was only 19, just

A picture shows portraits of late French singer Edith Piaf and late French world boxing champion Marcel Cerdan displayed in front of Cerdan’s boxing gloves in her apartment now turned into a museum in Paris. — AFP starting out.” But Charles Dumont, the composer who wrote 29 of Piaf’s recorded songs, including the one that defines her-”Je ne regrette rien”-remembers a different woman, one who was fiercely protective of, and end-

A picture shows the black dress for the stage of late French singer Edith Piaf.

Boko Haram hits the screen and censors hit back

vicious would-be suicide bomber is heading for Nigeria’s vast metropolis of Lagos and only a down-on-her-luck prostitute can stop a horrific attack. This ominous fiction forms part of “Boko Haram”, a new film by Ghanaian-Nigeria director Pascal Amanfo, which has been banned by censors in Ghana and shunned by cinema owners in Nigeria. A movie inspired by the very real and brutal Islamist group active in Nigeria was potentially so inflammatory that it was released in the country with the title “Nation Under Siege” to avoid a backlash. “Boko Haram”, loosely translated, means “Western education is forbidden” and the group has said it is fighting to impose a strict Islamic state in mainly Muslim northern Nigeria. Amanfo admits his film raises uncomfortable questions about the Boko Haram conflict, which has left thousands dead in northern Nigeria since 2009 — including the 40 students massacred in their sleep at the Yobe State College of Agriculture on September 29. “I want to provoke people to see these things,” he said. But he was not expecting to see it banned. Brisk sales in Ghanaian capital For weeks after its March release, the film made brisk sales in Accra, where DVDs are sold on the street from shipping container store fronts or off makeshift wooden shelves for a couple of dollars. But when the Ghanaian film control board found out about “Boko Haram”, it ordered all the promotional posters torn down, saying the film was released without authorization, while police swooped down on vendors at a busy bus station in the capital and confiscated the copies they were selling. Its producer was also arrested and only freed after paying a 2,000

DVDs for sale are pictured in a store on September 24, 2013 in Accra. — AFP cedi ($920, 680 euro) fine. “We would not allow a film with the title ‘Boko Haram’ to be released in Ghana,” said Ken Addy of the Ghana Cinematographic Exhibition Board of Control. “We realized this was a film we had to be careful about so as not to antagonize a neighboring country.” Some scenes depict defenceless villagers being gunned down and children murdered by jihadist gunmen, evoking the style of attack Boko Haram has used during its uprising. Some aspects of the plot are inspired by popular but unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, including claims that senior Nigerian politicians are behind the bloodshed. In one contentious incident in the film, an extremist discusses a safe house in Lagos financed by a lawmaker sympathetic to Boko Haram. Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan said last year he believed Boko Haram backers

were in his government, but later distanced himself from that remark. No politician or official has ever been concretely tied to the insurgency. The Ghana film board chief Addy declined to comment on its content beyond saying that “Boko Haram” would not get approval for sale in Ghana without a name change and the removal of certain gruesome scenes. Telling the stories of our society Mustapha Adams, head of Ghana’s Film Distributors Association, speculated that some were concerned the film sought to arouse sympathy for Boko Haram, or even that finance had potentially been raised among supporters of the extremist group. “There were a lot of questions,” he told AFP. For Adams, the paramount issue is ensuring that Ghana and Nigeria, which are both try-

ing to develop their cultural sectors, do not crack down on free artistic expression. He described the response to “Boko Haram” by Ghanaian officials as an overreaction, saying: “What is there to hide?” In Nigeria, the film was released on DVD but Amanfo said many cinema owners recoiled when approached about screening the movie, which cost roughly $18,000 to make. One theatre manager in the capital Abuja said he could not imagine showing it in the city where Boko Haram blew up a United Nations building in 2011, killing at least 25 people. Nollywood, as Nigeria’s film industry is known, is the third largest in the world, churning out hundreds of typically low-budget films each year, sometimes involving witchcraft or divine intervention with a little sexual promiscuity thrown in. Ghana’s much smaller industry (“Ghollywood”) generally mimics the Nollywood formula, which has generated films with massive popularity across Africa, even if their reach outside the continent has been limited. But some of the region’s directors have been trying to change both style and themes, seeking to explore contemporary issues like Islamic extremism or political corruption while moving away from traditional tales driven by magic and mysticism. “Boko Haram”-in which a radical Islamist bomber has a life-altering conversation with a commercial sex worker-may not be a study in gritty realism. But Amanfo said the reaction has been frustrating because he believed his film was targeted simply for trying to achieve a filmmaker’s core mission: to probe current and relevant issues. “If we can’t tell the stories of our society then we have failed as artists.”— AFP

Lifestyle FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Kanye West, Jimmy Kimmel make nice after beef


anye West and Jimmy Kimmel quickly dispelled the idea their so-called rap feud was a publicity stunt during a sometimes uncomfortable appearance on the comedian’s television show. Speculation that the rapper’s anger over a “Jimmy Kimmel Live” parody skit that mocked him was staged was immediate after West lashed out at Kimmel in late September. But both said that their beef was authentic during a 30-minute interview on Wednesday night’s show in which West discussed a range of topics including his artistry, paparazzi, family, fashion and the idea of celebrity. Kimmel said early in the interview that he knows West personally and always found him friendly, but that he seems misunderstood. “I don’t know if you know this, but a lot of people think you’re a jerk,” Kimmel said after West called himself a genius. West was objecting to the idea that he’s “just a celebrity.” “When you said you think you’re a genius, I think that upsets people,” Kimmel said. “But the truth is a lot of people think they’re geniuses, but nobody says it because it’s weird to say it. But it is most certainly more honest to say, ‘I am a genius.’” “I’m totally weird and totally honest and I’m totally inappropriate sometimes, and the thing is for me not to say I’m not a genius I’d be lying to you and to myself.” The fight broke out the day after Kimmel hired a child actor to portray West in a recreation of an interview West gave on BBC Radio 1 in which he discussed the limita-

This combo of photos shows Jimmy Kimmel seen in a Jan 25, 1013 file photo left and Kanye West seen in a May 23, 2012 file photo. — AP tions he’s faced as his fame has grown, among many other topics. West told Kimmel he’s often upset with his portrayal in the media but usually keeps his reaction to himself. This time, though, since he knew Kimmel, he felt he had a license to reach out by phone and discuss his disapproval man to man. “That elevates sometimes,” West said. “Jimmy does his thing, I do my thing, and at some point egos can flare up, and we kind of

took it back to high school.” Kimmel showed the highlights from West’s resulting Twitter rant “You should have seen the second set of tweets,” West joked - and admitted he’d just seen a few snippets of the BBC interview before approving the skit and didn’t realize how personal it was. “I really felt bad about all this stuff, I did,” Kimmel said after West walked on stage. West responded: “Mmm huh,” but smiled widely after watching a portion of the skit.

In a sometimes stream-of-consciousness delivery, West talked passionately about discrimination based on class, protecting his music publishing from covetous drug dealers, false humility and his thoughts on and experience with high fashion. He also ranted against the Hollywood Walk of Fame organization for denying his girlfriend, Kim Kardashian, a star and reflected on his recent negative interactions with paparazzi. “The way the paparazzi talk to me and my family is disrespectful also, you know what I’m saying?” West said. “We bring something of joy to the world. When people hear my music they have a good time, and I should be respected as such when I walk down the street. Don’t ask me a question about something you saw on the tabloids. Don’t try to antagonize me, because it’s not safe for you in this zoo, you know? Never think that I’m not from Chicago for one second.” Though both denied it was a publicity stunt, they did take advantage of the opportunity. A commercial touting West’s concert tour ran during the show and ABC’s “Nightline” aired a segment on West in the wake of the appearance. West’s appearance went long, pre-empting appearances by Matt Damon and Arctic Monkeys. Kimmel thanked West for appearing on the show, and West responded: “Thank you for the platform.”— AP

McCartney celebrates anniversary at NY high school


aul McCartney celebrated his second wedding anniversary with his wife and a few hundred high school students on Wednesday. The 71-year-old performed at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, which was opened by Tony Bennett. McCartney said, “Happy anniversary, Baby,” to Nancy Shevell before going into his latest song, called “New.” He said the song was inspired by his wife as the students turned to her and gushed. The event with iHeartRadio was to celebrate McCartney’s album, also called “New,” out next week. One student asked McCartney when he felt he officially made it in the music industry.

File photo shows musician Paul McCartney at fashion designer Stella McCartneyís Fall/Winter 2013-2014 ready to wear collection, in Paris. — AP

McCartney said when the Beatles recorded their first single, “Love Me Do.”The students cheered, and McCartney said: “You shouldn’t know about that.” The crowd, which included some adults, was feverish as McCartney performed a 13-song set from his Beatles, Wings and solo catalogue, including “Hey Jude,” “Eight Days a Week” and “Jet.” “This beats going to class,” said McCartney, who performed on the piano and the guitar along with a four-piece band. McCartney was energetic with the students, most of whom were a bit nervous when they asked questions. One sophomore asked why McCartney decided to continue being a musician after all of his successes. McCartney said people frequently ask him, “Can you just retire?” “I say, ‘Thank you very much. No,’” he said. He added that he could be home watching TV but he’d rather be with the students and performing on stages. Bennett, who attended the event, launched the school in Queens in 2001. McCartney talked about funding and updating the Liverpool school he and George Harrison attended. “I used to say that half of the Beatles went to that school,” he said to laughs. McCartney also told the crowd on Wednesday, which would have been John Lennon’s 73rd birthday, that he connected with Lennon through songwriting. “We weren’t trained,” he told the teenagers. “You guys have an advantage.” McCartney ended the day with inspiration to the arts students: “You rock on. You be great.” The event will stream on Yahoo! and across Clear Channel’s classic rock, classic hits, oldies and adult contemporary stations Monday at 9 pm.-AP

This photo released by Lions Gate Entertainment, Inc shows, from left, Jeffrey Wright as Henry, Skylan Brooks, as Mister and Ethan Dizon as Pete in a scene from the film, ‘The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete.’ —AP photos

Kid stars of ‘Mister & Pete’ show impressive range


hen working with spirited child actors, directors often keep a few tricks up their sleeves. For George Tillman Jr, directing 14-year-old Skylan Brooks and 11year-old Ethan Dizon, the stars of the new coming-of-age drama “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete,” meant encouraging them to match young Quvenzhane Wallis’ Oscar-nominated performance in “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” “I told them that is how good I wanted them to be,” said Tillman in a recent interview. “That was the standard and they really met it head-on.” Starring alongside Jennifer Hudson, Anthony Mackie, Jeffrey Wright and Jordin Sparks, the young actors offer emotional portrayals of Mister and Pete, two boys forsaken by their drug-addict mothers and left to fend for themselves through a sweltering summer in New York City.

“I got lost in the role,” says Skylan between sips of lemonade while sitting with Ethan on the patio of a westside cafe. “Ethan and I had such a strong connection during the crying scenes that we made other people on set cry. I didn’t think I would ever be able to do that. That was life changing.” Evoking the emotions of helpless kids running out of options was something Tillman knew both youths would be capable of in “Mister & Pete,” which opens today. “During the audition process, they could really express themselves not only through dialogue, but through their behavior,” says Tillman. “Ethan’s eyes say it all.”—AP

Lifestyle FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Timberlake celebrates return to music with 2nd No1 album this year


op singer Justin Timberlake scored his second chart-topping album this year on Wednesday as his latest record debuted at No 1 on the weekly Billboard 200 album chart, capping the singer’s successful return to the musical spotlight. Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience - 2 of 2,” which follows the first set of 10 songs released in March this year, sold350,000 copies in its first week, according to figures compiled by Nielsen SoundScan. The first installment of “The 20/20 Experience” sold 968,000 copies, the biggest opening week sales of the year so far. Timberlake, 32, returned to music after more than a five-year hiatus, during which he focused on his acting career. His debut single “Suit & Tie” featuring rapper Jay Z became a chart-topper in January, and his album was received well by fans and critics. Other new albums in the top 10 this week include 16-year-old New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde at No 3 with her debut album “Pure Heroine,” selling 129,000 copies. The album has been driven by the popularity of the single “Royals,” which topped Billboard’s digital songs chart this week, selling more than

2 million download copies in the United States. Lorde’s album also garnered nearly 6 million US plays on online streaming platform Spotify in its first week. Country singer Tyler Farr entered the chart at No 5 with his debut album “Redneck Crazy,” while Los Angeles sister trio Haim came in at No 6 with the critically acclaimed debut album “Days Are Gone.”On the digital songs chart, which measures song downloads, the top three songs remained steady this week with Lorde’s “Royals” at No 1, Katy Perry’s “Roar” at No 2 and Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” at No 3. A surprise entry on the digital songs chart this week came in the form of British 1960s rock band Badfinger’s “Baby Blue” at No 32. The song scored 37,000 downloads in the past week after being featured in the closing scene in the final episode of AMC’s drug drama “Breaking Bad” last month. Overall, album sales for the week ending Oct 6 totaled 4.8 million, down 10 percent from the comparable week in 2012, according to Billboard. — Reuters File photo shows Justin Timberlake performs at his Post Grammy Concert at the Palladium, in Los Angeles. — AP

Bollywood boards ‘Chennai Express’ to steam back to Egypt


File photo shows Taylor Swift performs onstage during her Red Tour at the Verizon Center in Washington. — AP

Swift to receive country music songwriting award


ountry-pop singer Taylor Swift will be honored as this year’s songwriter and artist of the year by the Nashville Songwriters Association International, making her the only artist to win the award six times, her record company said on Wednesday. The 23-year-old singer and writer of pop crossover hits “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble” will be officially named the award’s recipient on Sunday, Big Machine Records said. The annual award recognizes country music’s songwriters who scored top 30 hits during the past year. Swift’s win pulls her ahead of five-time winners Vince Gill and Alan Jackson. She is also the youngest person to have won the award. Her fourth album, “Red,” has sold 6 million copies worldwide since it was released last October. Swift and newcomer singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves lead the nominees with six nods each at next month’s Country Music Association Awards.—Reuters

rowds of movie lovers cheered as Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s latest film “Chennai Express” screened in Cairo theatres, marking the return of Hindi cinema to Egypt after more than two decades. Men, women and college students applauded Khan’s comic timings and laughed when he punched the bad guys, clearly showing that the film’s Hindi language soundtrack is no barrier to Egyptians. “I love Shah Rukh Khan. I am so happy that I saw his movie in Cairo,” said a cheerful Mohammed Hamid who sells DVD films, as he emerged from Cairo’s Galaxy multiplex after watching the movie for the second time in as many days. “Chennai Express” has entered its second week in Egypt, screening in 10 cinema halls-eight in Cairo and two in Alexandria-after smashing box office records in India. It is the first of a “pipeline” of Bollywood films to be screened with Arabic subtitles in Egypt, distributors say. The film, which also stars popular Indian actress Deepika Padukone, has become Bollywood’s biggest box office grosser, with earnings topping $30 million since its release in August, Indian film weeklies say. A typical Bollywood mix of action, romance and comedy, the film tells the story of a 40-year-old man who becomes embroiled in the dealings of a south Indian don when he rescues his runaway daughter from thugs aboard the Chennai Express train to southern India. Khan himself is jubilant at the Egyptian response to his movie. “A big thanx to everyone in Egypt... I am made to understand u guys made the film go thru the roof of the pyramids ...!!!” the actor wrote on his Twitter account. DVD vendor Hamid, who has given himself the nickname Kabir Khan after a character played by the actor in his 2007 blockbuster “Chak De India!” (Come on India!), showed up to the film screening in a headband similar to one worn by Khan at a cricket match. He says he wants more Bollywood movies to be screened in Egypt.

“Shah Rukh is the best, but we want to see movies of Amitabh Bachchan also,” said Hamid, referring to India’s legendary actor. Bachchan is a household name in Egypt, with fans ranging from taxi drivers to bankers fondly remembering his movies from the 70s and 80s when they dominated Egyptian theatres. His megahit “Mard” (Macho) was a huge success in the 80s in Egypt, ruling cinema halls for months. In 1987 the regime of now toppled president Hosni Mubarak put restrictions on Bollywood movies entering Egypt in order to protect the local film industry. Barring the occasional screening, Indian films disappeared from Egyptian theatres. The restriction was “one of the reasons” for the demise of Bollywood’s influence in Egypt, says Antoine Zeind, chairman of United Motion Pictures, the distributors of “Chennai Express” in Egypt. “At that time there were no multiplexes and Egypt also produced a large number of films,” said Zeind, detailing other causes of

the fall-off in public screenings of Indian films. For Bollywood insider Amrita Pandey of Disney UTV, the scourge of piracy and accessibility to Indian cinema through satellite and cable television contributed to Egyptians “retreating to watch movies at home instead of at theatres”. “Needless to say the political instability of the region added to the challenge,” Pandey told AFP in Mumbai. Cairo’s deadly violence and a night-time curfew imposed since August after a bloody security crackdown on supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi is no deterrence to Zeind. He plans to bring two other big budget Bollywood films “Kriish 3”, the latest in the hit superhero franchise, and action-thriller “Dhoom 3” as soon as they are released in India.—AFP

Egyptians stand under a poster of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s latest film ‘Chennai Express’ in the Galaxy cinema in Cairo on October 3, 2013, which is marking the return of Hindi cinema to Egypt after two decades. — AFP

Lifestyle FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Miss Universe

faces police case over Taj Mahal photoshoot I

Colors of Fashion Gala

The 3rd Annual United

Miss Universe 2013, Olivia Frances Culpo of the US arrives at a hotel in Mumbai on October 2, 2013.—AFP

ndian police said yesterday they had filed a case against Miss Universe for conducting unauthorized footwear fashion shoot at the Taj Mahal which was slammed as an “insult” by the monument’s caretaker. Twenty-one-year-old American Olivia Culpo, wearing a long peach-colored dress, visited the world-famous “monument to love” in Agra on Sunday during a 10-day tour of India. “We have registered a case against Ms Culpo and her team members after receiving a complaint,” Sushant Gaur told AFP from the tourism police station in Agra, 180 kilometers (112 miles) south of New Delhi. “We have booked her under various sections... of India’s Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act,” he added. Gaur said Culpo posed for photographers with branded shoes while sitting on the Diana Seat, a marble ledge in front of the white mausoleum named after the late British princess who visited in 1992. “There are strict guidelines against any sort of branding and promotion at Taj Mahal and the photo shoot conducted was without any prior permission,” said N.K. Pathak from the Agra unit of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). A case has also been registered against Indian-born fashion designer Sanjana Jon who accompanied Miss Universe to the site. Registering a case is a preliminary step and the issue may not necessarily go to court. Visitors must take off their shoes while visiting the monument, an Islamic mausoleum built for the late wife of Mughal ruler Shah Jahan and completed in 1648. Footwear is allowed in the garden area where the Diana Seat is located. Culpo’s office was not immediately available for comment. The complaint was filed by the monument’s caretaker on behalf of the ASI, an official working for the state-run body told AFP on condition of anonymity. He said she would face a fine if found guilty. The Mumbai-based Mid-Day tabloid quoted Taj caretaker Munazzar Ali as saying Culpo’s modeling at the Taj amounted to “disrespect and insult”. “The sandals from a bag she carried were taken and placed on the Diana Seat for shooting pictures, which is not permitted by the ASI. It also amounts to disrespect and insult,” he told the paper. The tabloid also suggested that security personnel responsible for frisking at the entrance gates of the monument “were too impressed” with Culpo and allowed her to carry her bag inside. Culpo, seemingly unaware of any brewing controversy, uploaded a photo of the Taj to an Instagram account on Monday, a day after her Agra visit. “We made it to the Taj Mahal. One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen!!!! So amazing,” she wrote.—AFP

Models wearing Kosibah, Marc Bouwer, Naked Ape, and David Tlale walkthe runway during the 3rd Annual United Colors of Fashion Gala at Lexington Avenue Armory on October 9, 2013 in New York City. —AFP photos

Lifestyle FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013




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Pets FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Want to raise rabbits? Slim odds of warm, fuzzy ending


he five women in the “Raise City Rabbits” class at Seattle Tilth have some soulsearching to do. Sure, plenty of city types now raise chickens for their eggs as they join the urban-farming movement. Rabbits, well, that’s kicking it up a notch, for a reason that soon becomes apparent. “We have to talk about slaughtering,” says Charmaine Slaven, who teaches the class. Meaning that you, the owner of the rabbits, will have to do the deed that clinically is described as “cervical dislocation,” and colloquially as “breaking their necks.” Unless you plan to raise Angora rabbits for their wool, when you’re talking rabbits, you’re talking meat. This is the third time in a year Slaven has taught the class at Seattle Tilth’s headquarters in the Good Shepherd Center. Rabbits won’t replace chickens as the next urban-farming trend, she says. It will be more of “a niche.” Near Slaven, in a cage, is a long-eared, fuzzy creature that’s wiggling its nose and looking cute. His name is Tom and he is one of Slaven’s rabbits that she raises at the White Center property where she lives with her husband, Charlie Beck. At some future date, she says, Tom will end up in a stew or maybe roasted over a bed of veggies. Slaven says she names all her rabbits - Bruiser, Dollar, Dime. They still get killed. “I cared for these animals. I name them to honor them. They were all my friends, and one day they’ll be on the dinner table,” she says. “Slaughter day is no fun. I always dread it and put it off for a couple of days,” says Slaven. “One thing that I’ve thought about is the ethical price we pay for meat when we go to the store. Somebody, somewhere in some factory, had to kill for you. I feel better paying that ethical price myself.” Anyway, for urban farmers, this is a task you really can’t leave to someone else - unless you’re willing to pack the rabbits in your car and spend the day delivering them to a place like Farmer George Meats in Port Orchard, Wash. It is one of nine food-processing facilities licensed by the state to slaughter rabbits for meat. Owner Joe Keehn says he charges $5 a rabbit to butcher and bag. Slaven is 33 and used to be a veterinary tech until switching full time to playing music with her husband in an old-time country and blues band, The Tallboys. She had become a vegetarian at 17, but when she was 26, Slaven’s doctor told her that eating meat would help with her iron deficiency. She decided on rabbits. Slaven wanted meat from animals that had had “a good quality diet,” without hormones and the rest, and what better way than to feed them herself? Inevitably, there is a point in each of the classes when cervical dislocation is discussed. Annya Uslontseva, 32, is one of the students. She remembers her grandparents raising rabbits for meat in Russia and would like to try raising them at her Seattle home. But it will be she, not her husband, doing the deed, says Uslontseva. “He said that if I want to do it, fine. But he said that he’ll eat it,” she says. The couple has a 3-year-old son. “My biggest issue is what his reaction will be to his mother going to slaughter a rabbit. I’m trying to figure out if it’s emotionally possible,” says Uslontseva. Certainly, it’d be an image her son would remember. Slaven describes the most common way of breaking a rabbit’s neck. (If you want the full details, just Google “rabbit and broomstick.”) “Be determined and be quick,” she advises. As the class goes on, Tom, an American Chinchilla rabbit (they are not related to chinchillas, just bred to resemble them) placidly stares off into the distance. Tom is about 6 months old. He weighs 8 to 9 pounds, and will dress out at 5 pounds. He is among the five rabbits, two dairy goats, 12 chickens and two turkeys Slaven raises. “My urban farm is well accepted in the neighborhood,” she says. Slaven figures she spends about $25 in feed to raise a rabbit from when it’s born to ready-to-cook four months later. She figures she butchers about 10 rabbits every three months. Rabbits are such cheap meat to raise that during the World War II food-rationing years, homeowners put in “Victory Gardens” that also included raising rabbits. Patrice Barrentine, administrator of the office of compliance for the state’s Department of Agriculture, explains why it makes sense for urban farmers to raise rabbits for meat: “They grow so fast and multiply so quickly. They’re a very inexpensive meat to raise in a small space like a backyard.” But Barrentine understands the problem for modern city types. “The rabbits are cute and furry. But that’s how you get meat,” she says. Unlike the French or Italians, modern Americans aren’t particularly fond of eating rabbit. John Mariani, the Esquire magazine restaurant reviewer, in 2002 wrote an article: Why to Eat Bunny. He said: “I just hope your average American will someday stop being so damn squeamish and figure out that rabbit is a far better dinner than an antibiotic-charged, fatengorged chicken.” Holly Smith, chef and owner of the acclaimed Cafe Juanita in Kirkland, Wash., which serves Northern Italian food, has a $36 entree on its menu for “Rabbit Braised in Arneis with Chick Peas, House Made Pancetta.” She says the dish is “crazy popular.” She says about eating rabbit, “It’s so superior to chicken in flavor.” But, she says, “Americans are still leery of rabbit.” She went to New York City a few years ago for a chefs’ benefit dinner for the James Beard Foundation and told them she was planning a rabbit dish. “They balked,” remembers Smith, but relented when she pointed out this was a chefs’ event, after all. When the Seattle Tilth class ends, the five women take turns holding Tom and ponder if they could really do it. Three say they are seriously considering raising rabbits. One of them is Brandy Reyna, who lives in Redmond, Wash., with her husband, Rene Reyna. Both work in the computer field. Brandy says her husband, too, said that if she wanted to raise rabbits, she’d do the killing. She says she already raises chickens for meat, and butchers them by slicing their throats.”I can do it with chickens,” she says. “But put a little fur on it and a twitchy nose....” — MCT



Aries (March 21-April 19)

Your energy and enthusiasm are elevated as you approach yet a higher level of accomplishment. This could inspire you to channel most of your energy into more work and climb yet higher. You might even be thinking in terms of expanding all your horizons - professional, intellectual, and spiritual. Travel could also be in the offing. Consider your options carefully. There might be too many choices.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Today you might experience a bit of restlessness, perhaps because you feel there's something you ought to be doing but you aren't sure what. Your mind is sharp, intuitive, and logical, but too many options could be on the horizon. You might find it difficult to choose among them. Once you decide, you'll charge ahead and make a success of whatever you try.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

You might consider entering a business partnership of some kind with friends. This is a good time because your communication is especially good. Details of each person's role can be worked out clearly. Though it's admittedly going to take some effort, success is indicated for just about any goal.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Have you been working toward public acknowledgement of some sort? If so, you may receive it today. You've been working hard and produced results that aren't likely to go unnoticed. Expect some compliments, a lot of praise, and maybe even a moment of fame. Needless to say, this is going to give your selfconfidence a boost.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

All should be going well for you - love, money, and career. Still, you seek other goals, and today you might be thinking of educational, intellectual, and spiritual matters that you've always wanted to pursue. Don't be surprised if you're preoccupied with trying to sort it all out. And don't feel you have to rush to make a decision. Give it some time.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

You may experience writer's block in every sense of the phrase. Even if you don't consider yourself a writer, for some reason it may be difficult to get even the simplest words down on paper. Don't get upset. Your verbal juices may not be flowing freely, but they haven't disappeared. Use this time to read other people's works and visit museums for inspiration.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

A social event involving business associates and friends could bring fresh ideas your way, pointing you in a new direction. Your material and spiritual goals might come under discussion and open your eyes to previously unnoticed opportunities. Communication is clearer than usual. This may prove beneficial. Increased understanding brings you closer to others.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

You're likely feeling alert, strong, and full of energy and stamina. Your sense of adventure is high. You may be exploring the possibility of an interesting vacation - rafting, backpacking, or some other adventure. This is a good idea. This trend in your physical condition should continue for a while. Get some travel brochures and look into it!

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

Intimate relationships gather steam as increased involvement in each other's life brings you closer. Relationships grow through enhanced communication and shared dreams, goals, and ideals - not to mention physical passion! You should feel strong and confident today, especially as your material success continues. Travel, a new car, and a few luxury items might be on your agenda.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

Happiness reigns in the home as your household continues to experience success. Someone new may come to visit. Expect a lot of comings and goings, plus an impromptu party or two. Meditation and contemplation could provide inspiration for new projects, and you might spend some time writing down ideas and brainstorming ways to approach them.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18)

Your heart may be hurt by misfortunes that have befallen you. Thinking about times past is just pulling up buckets of tears from a well. Don't keep doing this to yourself. It's time to move forward. Your heart is eager to start something new and bring adventure into your life. Use your emotions as fuel for the future instead of restraints from the past.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

You're likely to be doing so well financially that you might be a little complacent. With all the hard work you've been doing, you might feel that you deserve some rewards and decide to go shopping. Don't throw caution to the winds, however. You're doing well, but you don't want your house cluttered with items you don't want or need.

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

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



Word Search

Yesterdayʼs Solution

C R O S S W O R D 3 3 7

ACROSS 1. The month following March and preceding May. 4. Separated in space or time or coming from or going to a distance. 11. Young of domestic cattle. 15. Large brownish-green New Zealand parrot. 16. Loss of the ability to swallow. 17. Someone who copies the words or behavior of another. 18. A pilgrimage to Mecca. 19. (sports) The chief official (as in boxing or American football) who is expected to ensure fair play. 20. A drug (trade name Atabrine) used to treat certain worm infestations and once used to treat malaria. 22. (of reproduction) Not involving the fusion of male and female gametes reproduction". 25. East Indian tart yellow berrylike fruit. 26. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 27. The mission in San Antonio where in 1836 Mexican forces under Santa Anna besieged and massacred American rebels who were fighting to make Texas independent of Mexico. 31. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 32. A white soft metallic element that tarnishes readily. 34. A member of an American Indian peoples of NE South America and the Lesser Antilles. 35. People having the same social or economic status. 39. Wild sheep of northern Africa. 43. An enclosed space. 44. Of first rank or importance or value. 48. A prominent rock or pile of rocks on a hill. 52. Toward the mouth or oral region. 54. Short and fat. 56. Small terrestrial lizard of warm regions of the Old World. 57. An ancient board game resembling backgammon. 59. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 60. A colorless and odorless inert gas. 61. A strategically located monarchy on the southern and eastern coasts of the Arabian Peninsula. 62. A boy or man. 64. The skin that covers the top of the head. 67. A mountain peak in the Andes in Argentina (21,654 feet high). 71. A short labored intake of breath with the mouth open. 74. A severe or trying experience. 76. Of or in or relating to the nose. 78. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 79. The syllable naming the sixth (submediant) note of a major or minor scale in solmization. 80. Write in the latin alphabet. 82. A light touch or stroke. 83. A doctor's degree in dental medicine. 84. A person who sins (without repenting). 85. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth.

2. Small beads made from polished shells and formerly used as money by native Americans. 3. The seventh month of the Moslem calendar. 4. An Iranian language spoken in Afghanistan. 5. A medicinal drug used to evoke vomiting (especially in cases of drug overdose or poisoning). 6. 3 to 30 gigahertz. 7. A hard gray lustrous metallic element that is highly corrosion-resistant. 8. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 9. A luminance unit equal to 1 candle per square meter measured perpendicular to the rays from the source. 10. An official language of the Republic of South Africa. 11. Of the appetites and passions of the body. 12. Type genus of the Apidae. 13. A Russian river. 14. Agitation resulting from active worry. 21. An indehiscent fruit derived from a single ovary having one or many seeds within a fleshy wall or pericarp. 23. A woman of refinement. 24. At a great distance in time or space or degree. 28. Made of or resembling lace. 29. A unit of length equal to one thousandth of an inch. 30. A Russian river. 33. The first light of day. 36. (Hindu) A manner of sitting (as in the practice of Yoga). 37. A mountain peak in the Andes in Bolivia (21,391 feet high). 38. Of or relating to a directionless magnitude. 40. English theoretical physicist who applied relativity theory to quantum mechanics and predicted the existence of antimatter and the positron (1902-1984). 41. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 42. A unit of magnetomotive force equal to 0.7958 ampere-turns. 45. A genus of Laridae. 46. A very young child (birth to 1 year) who has not yet begun to walk or talk. 47. A motley assortment of things. 49. A soft yellow malleable ductile (trivalent and univalent) metallic element. 50. A popular tourist area in northwestern England including England's largest lake and highest mountain. 51. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 53. Fierce wild dog of the forests of central and southeast Asia that hunts in packs. 55. The last imperial dynasty of China (from 1644 to 1912) which was overthrown by revolutionaries. 58. Pierce with a sharp stake or point. 63. (Irish) Chief god of the Tuatha De Danann. 65. Crowd or pack to capacity. 66. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 68. A blue dye obtained from plants or made synthetically. 69. A genus of European owls. 70. A cape at the southern tip of Norway. 72. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 73. A metabolic acid found in yeast and liver cells. 75. A room equipped with toilet facilities. 77. (Irish) The sea personified. 81. A light strong gray lustrous corrosion-resistant metallic element used in strong light-weight alloys (as for airplane parts).

Yesterdayʼs Solution

DOWN 1. A Loloish language.

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Yesterday’s Solution

Sports FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Toulon lead heavyweight charge into Europe PARIS: French heavyweights Toulon begin the defence of the European Cup at home to Glasgow this weekend in what is likely to be the last such tournament in the current format. Leading clubs in England and France have served notice of their intention to quit the existing set-up when the agreement governing the running of the European Cup expires at the end of the season and set up their own separate competition, to which other teams from the continent have been invited. Quite how the protracted debate over how next season will pan out might affect this season’s competition is anyone’s guess. But it will surely add extra spice, especially from the Celtic and Italian sides, to a cut-throat tournament in which only

the six pool winners and two best runners-up qualify for the lucrative knockout phase. Toulon’s star-studded side, bolstered by the likes of Springbok Bryan Habana, All Black Ali Williams and proven matchwinners Matt Giteau and Jonny Wilkinson are a match for any outfit on their day. They host Glasgow, unbeaten in the Celtic League, on Sunday fresh from a 2519 victory in the Top 14 over last season’s beaten finalists Clermont. Ex-Springbok flanker Joe van Niekerk, in his sixth season with Toulon, dismissed allegations that the Mourad Boudjallalfinanced team were a bunch of mercenaries. “I’m proud to say that this image is false,” Van Niekerk told L’Equipe newspaper. “People have seen that the boys play

for their jersey, the town of Toulon, the fans. “An Englishman, a South African, a Scot, all give their passion and their bodies for Toulon!” Exeter and Cardiff complete Toulon’s Pool 2, with the French club big favorites to advance. Arguably the toughest draw was for Pool 1, pitching Top 14 champions Castres against in-form English giants Northampton, three-time winners Leinster and Ospreys, perennial underachievers in Europe. Northampton travel to Castres and Saints coach Alex King, who spent six seasons at Clermont, admitted that they were under no illusions as to the challenge facing them. “We’ve had three tough trips away in the Aviva Premiership and French teams at home are notoriously difficult to play,”

said King. “We know what to expect. Castres are the French champions, they’ve got a very good pedigree and good players, and now we’re looking forward to it. “We want to win away from home. If you can win in France it sets you up very well in the pool, so that’s been our focus this week.” Toulouse will likely battle Saracens to top Pool 3, and with minnows Connacht and Zebre making up the quartet, the first two both have a chance of progressing should they ramp up enough bonus points against the weaker opposition. Last year’s runners-up Clermont will have to disperse with the inconsistent run they have shown domestically if they are to have a fighting chance of safely negotiating Pool 4.—AFP

Sharks pound Rangers skate or body, in any manner, the goal shall be allowed.’ Good goal Colorado,” the NHL said in explaining the call. Avs rookie Nathan MacKinnon, the 18-year-old first overall pick in the draft, got an assist - his fourth - on Parenteau’s third goal of the season. Cory Sarich also scored for Colorado, which got another terrific start from Semyon Varlamov in net. Joffrey Lupul scored for Toronto.

SAN JOSE: Tomas Hertl scored four goals, Matthew Nieto had his first NHL goal and added two assists and the San Jose Sharks beat the New York Rangers 9-2 Tuesday night. Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Dan Boyle, Logan Couture and Justin Braun also scored for the Sharks, who won their third straight of the young season. They have outscored their opponents 17-4. Jason Demers and Joe Pavelski each had three assists. Brad Richards and Derek Dorsett scored for the Rangers, who were coming off a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night. San Jose goalkeeper Antti Niemi needed to stop 18 shots for the win while Rangers goalkeeper Henrik Lundqvist stopped 22 of 26 shots during his nearly 30 minutes on the ice. Martn Biron took over in the net after the Sharks built a 4-1 advantage and saved 16 of 21. The nine goals were one off the franchise record.

ISLANDERS 6, COYOTES 1 John Tavares scored his first two goals of the season and defenseman Matt Donovan added the first of his NHL career to lift New York over Phoenix. Peter Regin and Tavares scored in the first period, and Donovan, Tavares and Colin McDonald connected in the second against beleaguered goalie Mike Smith to turn it into a rout. Frans Nielsen earned the second of his three assists on the night when McDonald made it 5-1 with 2:36 left in the second. Evgeni Nabokov was the beneficiary of all the offense and made 33 saves for the win. The 38-year-old goalie has started all three games for the Islanders. Martin Hanzal scored in the second period for the Coyotes.

PENGUINS 5, HURRICANES 2 Jussi Jokinen scored his first hat trick in nearly six years to help Pittsburgh pull away from Carolina for the victory. Jokinen helped the Penguins improve to 3-0, opening the scoring in the first period and adding two goals in the third after Carolina drew even at 2-2. Paul Martin and Tanner Glass also scored for Pittsburgh, while Sidney Crosby picked up his first two assists of the season. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 32 shots for the Penguins, who have not trailed through three games. Pittsburgh has outscored opponents 12-3 while getting off to the franchise’s best start since 1994-95. Eric Staal and Nathan Gerbe scored for the Hurricanes and Cam Ward made 32 saves. CANUCKS 3, DEVILS 2 Jason Garrison scored at 2:18 of overtime as the Vancouver defeated New Jersey. Garrison’s shot from the point through traffic beat Cory Schneider in the goaltender’s first game against his former team. Daniel Sedin, with a goal and an assist, and Alexander Edler scored for Vancouver (3-1-0), which got 21 saves from Roberto Luongo. Jaromir Jagr and Patrik Elias each had a goal and an assist for New Jersey (01-3), which was playing its second game in as many nights. PREDATORS 3, WILD 2 Filip Forsberg and Colin Wilson scored power-play goals 39 seconds apart in the first period to lead Nashville to victory over

FLYERS 2, PANTHERS 1 Brayden Schenn and Braydon Coburn scored to lead Philadelphia past Florida make Craig Berube a winner in his coaching debut. Berube was on the bench a day after Peter Laviolette was fired after a 0-3 start. With Berube calling the shots, the Flyers scored their season high for goals. Steve Mason had 33 saves for the Flyers. Brad Boyes scored for the Panthers.

SAN JOSE: Tomas Hertl No. 48 of the San Jose Sharks celebrates after he scored his fourth goal of the game during the third period against the New York Rangers. —AFP Minnesota in its home opener. Eric Nystrom added his first career penalty shot goal all in the first period for Nashville, matching the goals the Predators had totaled in losing their first two games. Pekka Rinne made 32 saves. Zach Parise scored a power-play goal, and Jared Spurgeon also scored for the Wild. Minnesota lost goalie Niklas Backstrom to a lower body injury in the first when Nystrom crashed into him after being tripped on a breakaway. The Wild said Backstrom will be evaluat-

ed Wednesday. Josh Harding replaced Backstrom and gave up the goal to Nystrom. AVALANCHE 2, MAPLE LEAFS 1 PA Parenteau scored early in the third period to help Colorado edge Toronto. Tied 1-1 going into the third, Colorado went ahead at 2:30 on a two-on-one with Jamie McGinn setting up Parenteau. The goal stood up to video review. “According to Rule 78.4 ‘if an attacking player has the puck deflect into the net, off his

LIGHTNING 3, SABRES 2 Alex Killorn scored 1:50 into overtime to lift Tampa Bay to a come-from-behind victory over winless Buffalo. Teddy Purcell had the tying goal 5:43 into the third period and Tyler Johnson also scored for the Lightning (2-1), who have two wins after regulation. Tampa Bay has yet to hold a lead in regulation after coming off a 3-2 shootout victory at Chicago in which the Lightning overcame a 2-0 third-period deficit. Jamie McBain and Cody Hodgson had a goal and assist each for Buffalo (0-3-1). Despite the loss, Buffalo finally generated some offense by doubling its season goal total. And the Sabres also earned a point to avoid extending their franchise-worst season-opening losing streak to four games. Buffalo had previously never lost more than two straight in regulation.—AP

Sports FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Schumacher was more dominant, says Vettel SUZUKA: Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel has rejected comparisons between his current dominance with Red Bull and the days when Ferrari and Michael Schumacher had the sport in a stranglehold. Vettel, who can win his fourth title in a row at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday, has won the last four races after taking three pole positions in a row. In Singapore last month, the 26year-old German was some two seconds a lap quicker than his rivals. Such a dominant display prompted Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton to suggest after last weekend’s Korean Grand Prix that Vettel’s success was sending some fans

in Europe, who got up early to watch the Asian races, back to bed because they already knew who was going to win. Hamilton later clarified his comments by hailing Vettel as a “great champion”. “Well, that’s a compliment,” Vettel, who was once nicknamed ‘Baby Schumi’, told reporters at Suzuka yesterday after being told of the comparison to his compatriot and seven times champion. However, he said Singapore was “a bit of an exception” and the Red Bull was nowhere near as dominant as the Ferrari had been when Schumacher won five titles in a row between 2000 and 2004.

“If you take Korea, which I think is more similar to Spa, the gap was something between three and six seconds for the whole race,” said Vettel. “If you look at 10 years ago, it was more like 30 to 60 seconds which is a big difference.” “Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice cushion to have in the car...but equally you know that if you make one stupid mistake...three seconds is nothing compared to 30 or 60.” Vettel will win the title at Suzuka, where he took his second crown in 2011, with four races to spare if he wins the race and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso fails to finish in the top eight. Although the Spaniard — 77 points

adrift of the German — has finished in the top eight in all but one race this year, he retired in Japan last season while Vettel won. “The drivers championship is nearly impossible so we will try to enjoy the races, try to attack all the time and fight for the constructors’ championship,” said Alonso, who beat Schumacher to championships in 2005 and 2006 when with Renault. Vettel, he said, had a clear advantage in car performance over Ferrari. “Sometimes you have the car to do it, sometimes not,” the Spaniard told reporters. “At the moment Red Bull and Vettel are a very good combination and too good for us.” — Reuters

Contador eyes Tour, Vuelta double MADRID: Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador is targeting victory in both the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana in 2014 after investment firm Saxo Bank increased its commitment to sponsor the Danish team led by former Tour winner Bjarne Riis. Saxo Bank will become the sole name for the team formally known as Saxo-Tinkoff after Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov announced his intention to withdraw his funding of the team for 2014. “Saxo has decided to step up its commitment in 2014 and with that help we are able to continue the team. This is fantastic news for us, our riders and our fans,” Riis told a press conference in Madrid yesterday. “We are extremely grateful to Saxo Bank and the commitment they have shown to us over the last number of years is very important. “It is a team that will be as strong as it was last year. We have the same quality of riders. Our aim is to be amongst the best in the world tour and hopefully achieve a lot of wins.” Contador didn’t enjoy the best 2013 season on the road as he finished a disappointing fourth in his quest for a third Tour de France victory and decided against defending his Vuelta a Espana title. However, he intends to return to ride in his homeland in 2014 and believes he is capable of winning both races. “I am already thinking about 2014 and I am hopeful it will be a good year for us,” he said. “We didn’t meet all our objectives in 2013, but sometimes it is normal that you don’t always win. “The Vuelta has many great memories for me, it has given me many things and it is obviously is the race of my country. “Independently of how the Tour de France goes, unless there is something unexpected, I will be at the Vuelta and I hope to have a good race. “I believe it is possible to win both as they are completely compatible. If I thought I couldn’t win both then I would only go for one.” — AFP

Alberto Contador

Marc Marquez in action in this file photo.

Marquez escapes grid penalty over crash KUALA LUMPUR: MotoGP front-runner Marc Marquez escaped a grid penalty on Thursday over a high-speed collision, boosting his chances of extending his championship lead this week in Malaysia. Officials handed the 20-yearold rookie one penalty point for a contact with Dani Pedrosa which sent his fellow Spaniard crashing out of last month’s Aragon Grand Prix. But Marquez avoided the heavier fine of two penalty points, which would have forced him to start at the back of the Malaysian Grand Prix grid on Sunday. As well as the one-point penalty, which brings his season total to three, Marquez was stripped of the constructors’ points earned for his victory at Aragon. Defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo, who trails Marquez by 39 points in the standings, had earlier urged officials to be tough with the inexperienced Marquez. Safety is again in focus at Malaysia’s Sepang circuit after two people died in an accident last month, two years after

the fatal crash of young Italian star Marco Simoncelli. “The mistake (by Marquez) was not as serious as others, but if you sum them up then I say that he is a very aggressive rider who puts himself and others at risk,” the Yamaha rider said, according to reports. In Aragon, Marquez, following a braking mistake, touched Pedrosa’s Honda, causing his team-mate to lose traction control and come off. Marquez then went on to rack up his sixth victory of the year, with Lorenzo second. Lorenzo has totted up five wins in a season which has been interrupted by collarbone injuries after falls in the Netherlands and Germany. Race officials have again promised that the Sepang circuit is safe after a rider hit a marshall late last month during practice for the Malaysian Super Series, killing both. “The incident... has nothing to do with the safety aspect. It’s a tragic incident,” Sepang chief executive officer Razlan Razali told AFP, dismissing the accident as a one-off.

But he said the mood was still “emotional” at the course on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. A tribute will be paid to the two men on Saturday. In 2011, 24-year-old Honda rider Simoncelli lost control of his bike and died in an accident at Sepang’s turn 11. A bronze plaque was installed at the turn in his honour. Rain could also mar the race in the hot tropical climate with some 80,000 tickets already sold for Sunday. A torrential downpour caused the race to be cut short last year, with Pedrosa crowned as the winner. Lorenzo, who secured his first MotoGP title at Sepang in 2010, said he was keen to recover some points from Marquez with only four races left this season. “The championship is difficult, but we want to fight until the end. Let’s see what happens!” he said. Pedrosa is third in the standings while nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi, still mathematically capable of winning this year’s title, is fourth. — AFP

What’s next for Tendulkar?

GWALIOR: In this photograph taken on February 24, 2010, Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar throws his arms up into the air as he celebrates scoring a world record-breaking double century (200 runs) during the second One Day International (ODI) cricket match against South Africa. — AFP

‘Little Master’ to hang up his bat NEW DELHI: India’s record-breaking batsman Sachin Tendulkar announced yesterday that he will retire after his 200th Test next month, calling time on an extraordinary career that lasted nearly a quarter of a century. Tendulkar, the highest run-scorer in both Test and one-day cricket and the only batsman to make 100 international centuries, said he had been “living a dream” since his debut in 1989, but recognised it was now time to call it quits. “It’s been a huge honor to have represented my country and played all over the world,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to playing my

longer format came against South Africa in January 2011. Tendulkar retired from one-day internationals late last year and played his last Twenty20 match earlier this month in an appearance for the Mumbai Indians. Tendulkar captained India for several years but the high point of his career came in 2011 when, in his sixth World Cup, he helped India win the coveted one-day title at home in Mumbai. Known as the “Little Master”, he has been widely hailed by his contemporaries as second only to the Australian legend Sir Donald

Tendulkar to retire after 200th Test 200th Test on home soil, as I call it a day.” India will play a two-Test series against the West Indies at home next month which would enable Tendulkar, who has already played 198 Test matches, to become the first cricketer to reach the 200 landmark. Tendulkar, 40, said he found it hard to imagine life without cricket “because it’s all I have ever done since I was 11 years old”.

Bradman in the pantheon of batting greats. Australia’s Shane Warne, who was considered one of his generation’s finest spinners along with Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan, said no one else came close to Tendulkar in his prime. “Sachin Tendulkar is, in my time, the best player without a doubt-daylight second, Brian Lara third,” said Warne. Tendulkar, who is now

old when he shared a then-world record partnership of 664 runs in a school match with Vinod Kambli, who would also go on to play for India. Legendary Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar once said he was convinced Tendulkar would achieve greatness when he first saw him bat in the nets more than two decades ago. “It is hard to imagine any player in the history of the game who combines classical technique with raw aggression like the little champion does. There is not a single shot he cannot play,” said Gavaskar. Former captain and team-mate Sourav Ganguly said on Thursday no praise was too high for Tendulkar. “It’s not just the talent he was born with, but what he did with it,” Ganguly told NDTV news channel. Kris Srikkanth, Tendulkar’s first Test captain, said: “Sachin is still the same person I saw in 1989. That’s his greatness not just as a cricketer but as a human being.” Anil Kumble, who shared a long association with Tendulkar in the Indian side, told the Wisden India website it was time to celebrate “an incredible career”. “It will be a sad moment for everyone who follows the game, but it is also a moment to celebrate an incredible career,” he said. “He is a great player, a great ambassador for cricket and he has inspired many in the younger generation to pick up the sport. Surely, he will be missed. I wish he finishes on a high.

NEW DELHI: Retired sports stars often struggle to build a life away from the game, but for record-breaking cricketer Sachin Tendulkar the transition will be particularly painful. The Indian batsman admitted he never imagined life beyond cricket as he pursued his passion for most of his 40 years-more than half of them as an international player. “All my life, I have had a dream of playing cricket for India. I have been living this dream every day for the last 24 years,” Tendulkar said Thursday as he announced his retirement. “It’s hard for me to imagine a life without playing cricket because it’s all I have ever done since I was 11 years old.” The Mumbai batsman, who said he will retire after playing his 200th Test next month, will at least not have to worry about where his next rupee is coming from. The multi-millionaire is listed by Forbes among the world’s highest-paid sportspersons, with annual earnings of $18.6 million — $16.5 million from endorsements and $2.1 million from cricket-in the financial year that ended in June. Tendulkar, who has millions of devoted fans, already serves in India’s parliament, the first active sportsperson to do so. But the veteran will almost certainly be offered a job as a commentator, while former cricketers are hoping he takes up coaching. Tendulkar accepted a government offer last year to take up a seat in parliament’s upper house. The special category is usually reserved for those contributing to the arts, sciences or social services. Many were surprised that someone who has steered clear of controversy had decided to enter India’s muck-raking world of politics, but Tendulkar was determined to make his six-year tenure count. “I am in a better position not only to help cricket but also other sports in the country,” he said soon after his swearing-in last June. “I would be happy if I am remembered as someone who has contributed to all sports in India rather than just my cricket statistics.” A lucrative career in television commentary is an option for Tendulkar, following in the footsteps of a host of international cricketers. He would be in good company alongside former team-mates like Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri, Sanjay Manjrekar, Navjot Sidhu, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly. The soft-spoken introvert may not be an ideal candidate, but a senior TV executive said production houses will still queue up to sign the “Little Master”. “Sachin is too big a player not to attract TV companies,” said the executive, who did not want to be named. “What he says is worth its weight in gold.” Kapil, who played alongside Tendulkar in the Indian team from 1989 to 1994, hoped the master batsman would devote some time to coaching young players. “Sachin will have many options before him, but I wish he will also spare time to pass on his invaluable knowledge to youngsters,” Kapil told AFP. “They will hang on to every word of his.” Tendulkar misses no opportunity these days to spend time with wife Anjali and their two children, Sara and Arjun, which effectively rules out a travelling job with the Indian team in the immediate future. Charity work will also

Sports FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Hotspot dumped for return Ashes series — report

BANGLADESH: New Zealand batsman BJ Walting reacts after scoring a century (100 runs) during the second day of the first cricket Test match between Bangladesh and New Zealand. — AFP

Ton-up Watling leaves New Zealand on top CHITTAGONG: Bradley-John Watling led New Zealand’s remarkable fightback with a gutsy century to leave the tourists in control of the first Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong yesterday. The South African-born wicket-keeper compiled a careerbest 103 as the Black Caps recovered from 282-7 to post 469 all out by tea on the second day at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium. Bangladesh were 103-2 in reply at close, following a breathtaking counter-attack by 22-year-old Mominul Haque, who smashed an unbeaten 77 off 71 balls with 13 boundaries. Mominul shared an unbroken third-wicket stand of 95 with debutant Marshall Ayub (21 not out) after two wickets had fallen for eight runs by the fourth over. Bangladesh, who have lost eight and drawn one of their nine Tests against New Zealand, will need to match the rivals’ huge total if they are to avoid defeat in the first game of the two-match series. Watling’s century was the cornerstone of the brilliant resistence by New Zealand’s tailenders that frustrated Bangladesh’s bowlers. Number 11 Trent Boult also hit a personal best of 52 not out, helping Watling add a valuable 127 runs for the 10thwicket on the newly-laid pitch that provided only slow turn. “It was great fun batting with Trent out there,” Watling said. “I thought he played extremely well. He waited for the loose ball and played some nice shots through the onside. “We played some good cricket and put Bangladesh under pressure. We were patient and managed to put on a good partnership together. It was needed because 400 is pretty much par on this wicket.” Watling, who was on four when he was caught off a Rubel Hossain no-ball, prospered with the help of the tailenders and reached his second century with a six off Abdur Razzak. His valiant effort ended just at the stroke of tea when he was stumped off Mominul, the eighth bowler deployed by Bangladesh during the innings.

Watling hit six boundaries and two sixes as he surpassed his previous best of 102 not out against Zimbabwe in Napier in January last year. Boult breezed past his personal best of 33 with a six off Shakib Al Hasan and returned unbeaten as Watling was dismissed attempting to pick up the scoring rate. The Black Caps, who resumed at the overnight score of 280-5, lost Bruce Martin and debutant Corey Anderson in the first two overs of the day to slip to 282-7. Martin was caught behind from a thin edge off Rubel and Anderson edged Razzak to first slip, giving the left-arm spinner his third wicket in the innings. But Watling and Doug Bracewell prolonged the innings by adding 57 for the eight wicket. Bracewell gifted his wicket when he attempted a rash sweep off Sohag Gazi, missed the line and was bowled for 29. —AFP

SYDNEY: The controversial Hotspot technology will not be available to umpires to review decisions in the upcoming Ashes series between Australia and England, its inventor Warren Brennan told local media. Hotspot, which uses infrared cameras to determine whether the ball has struck the batsman, bat or pad, was the subject of much controversy in the Ashes in England series earlier this year, which the hosts won 3-0. With a second series in Australia getting underway in Brisbane on Nov. 21, Brennan told the Sydney Morning Herald that the technology had been dumped by host broadcaster Channel Nine for cost reasons. “It’s their decision and that’s what’s been communicated to us. As far as I’m concerned, it is final,” Brennan, a former employee of Channel Nine, told the paper. “We’re just moving on with things. Channel Nine have got a new deal with Cricket Australia which I know has cost them a lot more money. I gather there had to be some restructuring of costs.” Channel Nine said it was not in a position to comment on the matter at this stage. “The Nine Network are still finalising arrangements with our various stakeholders for the coming season,” a spokeswoman said via e-mail. “Comprehensive details of our upcoming Ashes coverage will be available shortly.” Although by no means at the centre of every controversial umpiring decision during the first series in July and August, there were several occasions when Hotspot failed to pick up edges. Cricket Australia requested an explanation from global governing body the International Cricket Council over the dismissal of Usman Khawaja during the third test in Manchester. The batsman was given out caught despite a review of the television pictures and Hotspot which showed no convincing evidence of a nick off the bat. England’s leading batsman Kevin Pietersen was also involved in an incident in the same test when he was given out caught behind, even though nothing appeared on the Hotspot review. If Brennan is correct, umpires will now have just the ball-tracking device “Eagle Eye”, slow motion replays and the microphones set into the stumps to aid their decisions. Simon Taufel, the ICC’s umpire performance and training manager and a keen supporter of the Decision Review System (DRS), said the absence of Hotspot would be a blow to the umpires in the series.“The news is a bit disappointing, to be honest, but we do understand the financial realities,” the former test umpire told Fox TV. “The umpires will have a little bit of work on their hands to decide what is conclusive evidence.” Back-toback Ashes are being played this year to move the Australia-hosted series out of its position in the calendar immediately ahead of the limited overs World Cup every four years. — Reuters

Scoreboard CHITTAGONG: Scoreboard at stumps on the second day of the first Test between Bangladesh and New Zealand at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium in Chittagong yesterday: New Zealand 1st innings: (overnight 280-5) P. Fulton c Mominul b Nasir 73 H. Rutherford c Razzak b Gazi 34 K. Williamson lbw b Shakib 114 R. Taylor c sub (Naeem) b Razzak 28 B. McCullum lbw b Razzak 21 B. Martin c Rahim b Rubel 1 C. Anderson c Nasir b Razzak 1 B.J. Watling st Rahim b Mominul 103 D. Bracewell b Gazi 29 I. Sodhi lbw b Shakib 1 T. Boult not out 52 Extras: (b4, lb6, nb2) 12 Total (all out, 157.1 overs) 469 Fall of wickets: 1-57 (Rutherford), 2-183 (Fulton), 3-244 (Taylor), 4-276 , (Williamson), 5-280 (McCullum), 6-282 (Martin), 7-282

(Anderson), 8-339 ,(Bracewell), 9-342 (Sodhi), 10-469 (Watling). Bowling: Robiul 13-3-23-0 (nb1), Rubel 20-2-77-1 (nb1), Razzak 55-10-147-3, Gazi 32-6-79-2, Shakib 24-5-89-2, Ayub 2-0-15-0, Nasir 5-1-19-1, Mominul 6.1-0-10-1 Bangladesh 1st innings: Tamim Iqbal c Williamson b Boult 0 Anamul Haque lbw b Bracewell 3 Marshall Ayub not out 21 Mominul Haque not out 77 Extras: (w1, nb1) 2 Total (for two wickets, 26 overs) 103 Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Tamim), 2-8 (Anamul). Bowling: Boult 3-2-5-1 (w1), Bracewell 4-0-25-1 (nb1), Martin 30-20-0, Sodhi 8-0-27-0, Anderson 3-2-8-0, Williamson 5-1-18-0

Sports FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Photo of the day

Duaij Al-Otaibi and Talal Al-Rashidi

Kuwait bags 12 medals in Kazakhstan KUWAIT: The third Asian Clay Target tournament concluded yesterday in Kazakhstan with Kuwait shooters winning five medals (1 gold, 3 silver, and a bronze) bringing the total medals to 12. Shooter Talal Al-Rashidi won first place in the junior trap event, while Shahad Al-Hawal placed second in the women trap, as Fuhaid Al-Dauhani took second place in the men’s event. The team of Fuhaid Al-Daihani, Abdelrahman Al-Faihan and Khalid Al-Mudhaf won second place. The trap junior team of Talal Al-Rashidi, Mohammad Al-Hamli and Khalid Murad won the bronze medal. President of Kuwait and Arab Shooting Federations Duaij Al-Otaibi said this achievement is dedicated to HH the Amir, HH the Crown Prince, HH the Prime Minister and HE Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud Al-Sabah as well as the Kuwaiti people. Al-Otaibi said Kuwait shooters were able to get 4 gold, 6 silver and 2 bronze medals affirming that Kuwait shooting sport is maintaining its outstanding performance both continentally and internationally. He said the achievement is the result of joint efforts and long term planning based on a strategy that takes care of young Kuwait shooters to enable them join the national teams.

Honduras eye World Cup berth, Mexico ‘must win’ LOS ANGELES: Honduras host Costa Rica today with a chance to secure a 2014 World Cup berth as mighty Mexico bid to breathe life into their CONCACAF qualifying campaign. The United States and Costa Rica have already qualified for next year’s finals in Brazil, leaving Honduras, Mexico and Panama battling for the third and final direct entry from North and Central America and the Caribbean with two matches remaining. The fourth-placed team will face Oceania’s New Zealand for a World Cup spot, with even lowly Jamaica still technically in with a chance of making the playoff. Honduras lie third in the standings with 11 points, three more than both Mexico and Panama who face off at Azteca Stadium today. Honduras can book their second straight World Cup finals appearance, and third overall, with a victory over Costa Rica in San Pedro Sula-depending on the outcome in Mexico City. Honduras missed out on a chance to bolster their position on September 10 when they were unable to hold onto an early lead and finished with a 2-2 draw against Panama. Mexico will be under the microscope, their so-far disastrous qualifying campaign seeing them in danger of missing the World Cup finals for the first time since 1990 - when they were banned by FIFA for using overage players in the 1989 World Youth Championship. With just one victory in eight matches in the six-nation final qualifying group, Mexico are fifth-trailing Panama on goal difference.—AFP

Competitors race during the semifinal round of the Red Bull Kart Fight National Final in Castelletto di Branduzzo, Italy. —

Drogba among African stars eyeing World Cup JOHANNESBURG: Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, Asamoah Gyan, John Obi Mikel and Jonathan Pitroipa are among the stars seeking 2014 World Cup places when the African play-offs begin this weekend. Ivory Coast will expect goals from veteran captain Drogba as they strive to build a commanding lead over Senegal in Abidjan. Striker and skipper Eto’o has changed his mind about retiring, giving Cameroon a timely boost before tackling Tunisia in Rades. Many Ghana goals come from captaincum-attack spearhead Gyan and Egypt will afford him time and space in Kumasi at their peril. After ending a 185-match English Premier League goal drought, Nigeria midfielder Mikel hopes to make the net bulge against Ethiopia in Addis Ababa. Voted the best 2013 Africa Cup of Nations footballer, wide attacker Pitroipa expects his service to set up a victory for Burkina Faso over Algeria in Ouagadougou. The play-offs comprise five home-andaway ties with the overall winners qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. And if Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria succeed, the same five African countries who qualified for the 2010 tournament in South Africa will make it again. South Africa also competed in the highly acclaimed first World Cup hosted by Africa, but as hosts having been exempted from qualifying. Top-ranked African national team Ivory Coast have cause for confidence after beating Senegal convincingly at home in a 2013 Cup of Nations qualifier. They were leading 2-0 in Dakar when supporters lit fires on the terraces and hurled missiles on the pitch, forcing the game to be abandoned. A one-year ban on internationals at the stadium ensued, meaning the midNovember return fixture has been switched to Moroccan city Casablanca. Ivorian coach Sabri Lamouchi recalled 32-year-old Liverpool defender Kolo Toure, older brother of Manchester City midfielder and reigning African Footballer of the Year Yaya Toure.

ABDIJAN: Ivory Coast’s forward Didier Drogba (left) and Ivory Coast’s midfielder Cheik Tiote take part in a training session with teammates ahead of the World Cup qualifying match against Senegal. —AFP Senegal continue to omit Demba Ba because he is not playing regularly for Chelsea, but off-form fellow striker Papiss Cisse of Newcastle returns after a onematch suspension. It is a pairing neither coach wanted. “Unfavourable,” said Lamouchi. “Not my wish,” lamented fellow Frenchman and 1980s superstar Alain Giresse. The other Saturday showdown pits rising Burkina Faso against resurgent Algeria with France-based flier Pitroipa desperate to prove second place at the 2013 Africa Cup was no fluke. Dismissed pre-tournament as cannon fodder, the Burkinabe shocked Ghana en route to a final where they took champions Nigeria to the wire. “We want to show South Africa was not a fluke,” stressed Pitroipa. “Everything we did there will become irrelevant if we fail to make Brazil.” Algeria had a horrid Nations Cup, going out in the first round after being touted as possible champions, but bounced back to finish above Mali in a World Cup group. Portugal-based Islam Slimani is among the leading qualifying

competition scorers with five goals and a scoring streak in Germany earned Mohamed Amine Aoudia a call-up. “It is a 50-50 tie,” said Bosnia-born coach Vahid Halilhodzic. “We avoided Cameroon, Egypt and Senegal, but there is no room for cockiness.” Tunisia hope history does not repeat itself Sunday as they lost home and away to Cameroon in a 1990 World Cup play-off. Dutch coach Ruud Krol takes charge for the first time and devising a plan to shackle recent Chelsea signing Eto’o must be a priority. Krol excluded highly-rated midfielders Youssef Msakni and Oussama Darragi and promoted Maher Hannacni and Fakhreddine Ben Youssef from CA Sfaxien, the club he also coaches. Cameroon have lost midfielder Stephane Mbia to injury, but the return of Eto’o offers hope of a record seventh World Cup appearance by an African country. Mikel is part of a full-strength Nigeria side that arrives in Addis Ababa only on the eve of the Sunday showdown to escape the worst effects of the 2,300metre (7,550 feet) altitude. —AFP

Sports FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013

Uruguay, Ecuador prepare for World Cup place MONTEVIDEO: Luis Suarez believes the momentum is with Uruguay as the South Americans look to edge closer to World Cup qualification with a daunting tie away to rivals Ecuador in the thin air of Quito today. With Argentina already assured of their place at next year’s finals in Brazil following their thrashing of Paraguay last month, attention turns to the nip-and-tuck battle for the three remaining automatic qualifying places in South America. Uruguay are currently outside the automatic qualifying spots in fifth place, meaning they would face a two-legged play-off against Asian minnows Jordan next month if they fail to secure a top-four finish. But Uruguay are level on 22 points with fourth-placed Ecuador and would wrest the initiative away from their rivals with a win at the Atahualpa Olympic Stadium heading into next week’s final round of qualifiers. Friday’s crunch clash is a repeat of the 2009 classic between the two sides which saw Uruguay snatch a dramatic 2-1 victory in Quito, wrecking Ecuador’s hopes of securing a play-off place for the 2010 World Cup. Liverpool striker Suarez has played a key part in

helping to transform Uruguay’s qualifying campaign, which sees them head into today’s match buzzing with confidence on the back of three consecutive wins over Venezuela, Peru and Colombia. Suarez scored an equalizer at the Atahualpa four years ago when the Uruguayans grabbed their vital victory-and the controversial striker believes the two-time winners are ready to repeat the feat on Friday. “We’ve won our last three games well and we’re in good shape,” Suarez told reporters as Uruguay departed for Quito, where the challenge of playing at altitude, some 2,800 metres above sea level, has often unhinged so many sides. “We have to be smart and control the tempo, and not play so fast because they are much more used to playing at altitude,” Suarez added. “Playing in Quito is difficult and we are aware of what is at stake. We can’t afford to be complacent. We’re winning and doing things well but we can’t take anything for granted.” Uruguay captain Diego Lugano said that while a point would guarantee Uruguay at least a play-off place, the two-time winners were setting their sights on maximum points.

“A win can lead us to Brazil directly,” said Lugano, who plays for in-form English Premier League side West Bromwich Albion. “Going for the win must be our mentality. “Physically it is going to be hard so we have to play a smart and effective game,” Lugano added. A defeat for Uruguay on Friday would all but guarantee Ecuador a place in the finals, and leave sixth-placed Venezuela, who have 19 points, in with a chance of pipping them to the play-off place if they can beat already-eliminated Paraguay in their final match in San Cristobal. A Uruguay defeat and a Venezuela win could leave the Uruguayans in the uncomfortable position of needing a positive result against Argentina in Montevideo next Tuesday to be sure of holding onto fifth place. Elsewhere on Friday, Colombia will be hoping to secure their first World Cup appearance since 1998 when they host Chile in Barranquilla. The Colombians, with 26 points, have won their last five matches in Barranquilla, and need only a point against Chile to reach the finals in Brazil. Chile, who are two points adrift of Colombia, would secure automatic qualification with a win over the Colombians. — AFP

Federer crashes out in China PALMA DE MALLORCA: Spain’s forward Pedro (left) and Spain’s midfielder Koke look on during a press conference at the Spanish team’s hotel on the eve of their FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifier football match against Belarus. — AFP

Striker puzzle for Spain ahead of Belarus visit MADRID: World champions Spain can move to the brink of qualification for next year’s World Cup in Brazil when they host Belarus in Mallorca today. Vicente del Bosque’s men need just four points from their two remaining qualifiers to seal an automatic place at the finals with the meeting against the side ranked 80th in the world followed by the visit of Georgia to Albacete on Tuesday. Whilst it would be a major surprise should Spain not emerge victorious from both games, there is still plenty for Del Bosque to ponder ahead of the expected defence of their title in South America. The biggest question for the former Real Madrid boss remains who he will play up front. Spain’s all-time leading goalscorer David Villa has been ruled out of both games with an arthritic ankle injury, whilst Villa’s Atletico Madrid teammate Diego Costa was not included in Del Bosque’s squad as the paperwork to allow him to switch allegiance from Brazil to Spain hadn’t been completed in time. Their absence led to a first ever call up for Swansea City forward Michu and he is hoping to get the chance to further his chances of being on the plane to Brazil in June. “To be an international is a dream for anyone and with Spain it is even more so. To wear the shirt of the Spanish national team is to wear the shirt of the best team in the world,” said the 27-year-old. “I will play wherever the manager decides, to be here with the best players in the world is already a reward and I will do whatever they ask me. “You are always a bit nervous to start with, but when you go onto the pitch and you see footballers of such a high level everything is easier. I have come here to help, learn and seal our qualification.” However, rather than opt for Michu or Manchester City’s Alvaro Negredo, Del Bosque is expected to stick with Cesc Fabregas in the false nine role that he has occupied for Spain over the last 18 months and more recently for Barcelona in Lionel Messi’s absence. —AFP

SHANGHAI: Roger Federer was bundled out of the Shanghai Masters by world number 42 Gael Monfils yesterday in another demoralising early tournament exit but the defiant Swiss is still eyeing a strong finish to the season. Federer, desperate to recapture his best form, went into the match boasting an overwhelming 6-1 record against the flamboyant Frenchman but although he showed flashes of inspiration, he went down 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3. It follows a fourth-round loss at the US Open and a second-round exit at Wimbledon to players he would have brushed aside at his peak, results that have contributed to a slide to number seven in the rankings. The 17-time Grand Slam champion described the third-round defeat to Monfils as “a tough loss” but said the margin between success and failure was small. Federer still believes he can compete at the sharp end of the men’s game, saying he can turn his season around as he bids to qualify for next month’s seasonending World Tour Finals in London, featuring the top eight players of the season. “I can still finish strong. I believe that,” he said. “There’s not much time left. But if I do qualify for London, that gives me an extra shot there. I usually play well indoors. So I hope this year’s going to be one of those years again.” “It’s just important not to worry too much, to be honest. It’s important to keep on doing what I’m doing,” added the 32-year-old. “Obviously I might get tougher draws as we move along with my ranking not being in the top four anymore. But that’s OK. I don’t really care that much about the rankings if I’m not world number one.” Monfils said Federer still inspired fear in opponents. “When he’s on the court, he’s still Roger,” said Monfils. “He can rip it from anywhere. He can do stuff that not many players can do.” “Maybe it helps a little bit because you know he has had a couple of losses,” he added. “So it’s less fear, but still, you know, you’re not going, ‘OK, I play

SHANGHAI: Gael Monfils of France (right) shakes hands with Roger Federer of Switzerland after his victory during their men’s singles match in the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament. — AFP Federer, it’s an easy draw’. No, definitely not.” Playing his first tournament since the US Open, Federer started in the worst possible way, limply losing his first service game to immediately hand the initiative to Monfils, who went on to take the opening set. Monfils, clad in bright orange, put a straightforward forehand long when he had a chance to engineer two match points in the second set tie-break, allowing Federer back into the set. But with both players committed to attack, Monfils grabbed the initiative in the third set, breaking to take a 3-1 lead and keeping his nerve to see out the match despite vocal support from a partisan crowd for Federer. On a day of shocks in Shanghai, third seed David Ferrer lost 6-4, 6-3 to Germany’s Florian Mayer and Tomas Berdych, seeded fourth, saw his campaign ended by

Spain’s Nicolas Almagro in three sets. But top seed Novak Djokovic had few problems in disposing of Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-3 and world number one Rafael Nadal, chasing a record sixth Masters title in a single season, saw off Carlos Berlocq of Argentina 6-1, 7-6 (7/5) Djokovic, who plays Federer’s conqueror Monfils in the quarter-finals, said of the Frenchman: “I’m sure he was very motivated to beat Roger today. He succeeded in that. I don’t think he’s going to lack this kind of motivation for our match tomorrow.” Seventh seed JoWilfried Tsonga brushed aside Kei Nishikori 7-6 (7/5), 6-0 and Juan Martin del Potro progressed with a walkover after German veteran Tommy Haas withdrew with a back injury. Switzerland’s eighth seed Stanislas Wawrinka beat Canada’s Milos Raonic, the 10th seed, 76 (7/2), 6-4. — AFP


‘Little Master’ to hang up his bat Page 44

DHAKA: In this photograph taken on March 16, 2012, Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar reacts after scoring his hundredth century, the first batsman in history to do so, during the one day international (ODI) Asia Cup cricket match against Bangladesh. —AFP

11th Oct 2013  

Kuwait Times

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