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THULHIJA 25, 1434 AH

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150 FILS

13Amir urges 20 9 22 it’s time to change ‘old concepts’ Sheikh Sabah opens new Assembly term • Committees elected

Max 29º Min 18º High Tide 07:37 & 21:18 Low Tide 02:07 & 14:33

KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim and Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Sabah pose with members of parliament and Cabinet ministers during the opening session of the National Assembly yesterday. — KUNA (See Pages 2 & 3)

Housing shortage poses big dilemma KUWAIT: Kuwait, one of the world’s richest countries per capita, must make tackling a shortage of government-funded housing its top priority, officials state said at the opening of parliament yesterday. Accustomed to a welfare state which is generous by international comparisons, Kuwaitis say they may have to wait for up to 20 years on the housing list. “The housing issue is the top priority in this session,” parliament speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim said at the opening of the National Assembly yesterday. The Cabinet needs to put forward improved solutions within a timetable, he said. “We have enough finances to solve this problem.”

Providing more government-subsidised housing, however, would put further pressure on already stretched public finances, with government spending forecast to exceed oil revenues soon. Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah warned on Monday that the welfare system is unsustainable and said the major oil producer must slow consumption of its natural resources. As part of an extensive national welfare program, Kuwaiti men can apply for government housing after marriage, receiving loans that are paid off slowly. Continued on Page 13

LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron (fourth left) poses for a picture with world leaders and delegates at the start of the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum yesterday. Kuwait’s Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Sheikh Salem Abdulaziz Al-Sabah is at right. — AP

London aims to become hub of Islamic finance Kuwait urges more economic cooperation LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron said yesterday London aims to become a top capital of Islamic finance as the city played host to the first World Islamic Forum outside the Muslim world. “Already London is the biggest centre for Islamic finance outside the Islamic world. And today our ambition is to go further still,” Cameron told more than 1,800 political and business leaders at the ninth forum, dubbed the “Davos of the Muslim world”. “I don’t just want London to be a great capital of Islamic finance

in the Western world, I want London to stand alongside Dubai and Kuala Lumpur as one of the great capitals of Islamic Finance anywhere in the world,” he said. “Investing in London is good for you and opening London up to your investment is good for us.” More than 20 UK banks currently offer Islamic financial products, while 49 Islamic bonds - called sukuks - with a total value of $34 billion, have been listed over the last five years on the London Stock Exchange. But Cameron aims to

expand well beyond this. “When Islamic finance is growing 50 percent faster than traditional banking and when global Islamic investments are set to grow to £1.3 trillion by 2014, we want to make sure a big proportion of that new investment is made here in Britain.” As part of realising his ambitions, Cameron announced a new “Islamic Index” on the London Stock Exchange and revealed plans for Britain to release an Islamic bond. “This means the creation of a new Continued on Page 13

Gulf rail project on track ABU DHABI: Construction of a $15.5 billion rail network linking the six wealthy Gulf Arab states will start late next year and an overseeing authority for the project is being set up, an advisor said yesterday. The joint project is to develop a railway network linking Oman in the south to Kuwait in the north through the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Progress has been held up by bureaucratic and techni-

cal obstacles, but if the railway is completed, it could have a major impact on the Gulf economy by stimulating trade and limiting consumption of fuel for road travel. Detailed engineering and design (DED) work will be completed by late 2013 or early 2014, with construction to follow, Ramiz Al-Assar, the World Bank’s Continued on Page 13

By B Izzak KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlSabah yesterday called for undertaking comprehensive reforms and change old concepts and launch a new page of cooperation between the government and the Assembly. “It’s time to launch a new decisive era and a

major qualitative move aimed at achieving comprehensive reforms and completing construction, growth and development in all aspects of life,” the Amir said as he opened the new National Assembly term following a summer recess. The Amir also urged the legislature and the government to cooperate closely to undertake Continued on Page 13



KUWAIT: His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Sabah (right) and health minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah attend the opening session of the parliament yesterday. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: Minister of Planning and Development and state Minister for parliament affairs Rola Dashti exchanges greetings with MPs before the opening session of the parliament yesterday.

Premier highlights national unity, shared responsibility Top priority to democracy KUWAIT: His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah addressed parliament on the inauguration of the second session of the 14th legislative term yesterday and stressed both shared responsibility and the need to heed HH the Amir’s counsel and directives towards national unity and furthering development across the nation. Commenting on the Amir’s inaugural address earlier, the premier said the speech had been right on target and pointed out the way towards reform. The premier expressed gratitude to the Amir’s wise counsel which enables officials in the state to fully meet their responsibilities and continue to work for more achievements. Since its earliest days, Kuwait chose to adopt a democratic system to manage its affairs and guide its efforts. The concept of shared responsibility is at the core of all initiatives. “The homeland needs sincere dedication and best utilization of resources and capabilities of all parties within a framework of mutual cooperation, trust, and constructive understanding between the legislative and executive authorities.” Today’s world and challenge cannot be countered with yesterday’s understandings, tools, and methodologies, the premier noted, for yesterday’s internal local affairs is today’s focus and point of interest for the whole world, and maybe a point on which the world might intervene. We are all witnesses to the great developments, technological advancements, and revolutions in information and communication technologies and capabilities, as well as their varying impact on countries and communities. “We all realize the status quo in our coun-

try does not satisfy our ambition and expectation, nor does it suit our capabilities, and it is not acceptable for this state to continue. No doubt an accumulation over many years, it is not productive to dwell on the details or point the finger regarding this situation. “The weight of the responsibility we - parliament and government - share and the scope of ambitions and expectations of our people require serious self-examination to pin point, admit, and correct errors and mishaps and address them with courage and clarity to decide on appropriate measures and guidelines to amend the situation as well as avoid repetition of past mistakes, “ stressed Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak. His Highness the Prime Minister further stressed, “If we get over the small picture on many key issues, not to say we are to overlook the particulars entirely, we would see that an overall reform project is by now a national priority. It would chart the right path forward and would also curb imbalances and deal with their causes. “True reform is a close and courageous examination and a firm and courageous decision,” the premier remarked. “It is also a comprehensive process that touches on all fields and on all levels. Limiting its scope to one issue of one aspect of an issue would distort its objectives and decrease its value. “Reform is also a long journey which requires will of steel, sincere effort, and great sacrifice. It is a meeting of effort and ability with all members and groups of society playing a role, both individuals and organizations. “It is also based on justice, equality and a state of law and of institutions, and it is through the latter that we see our plans through, implement our pro-

grams, and improve our capabilities, reform our institutions, and increase our human resource qualifications and capabilities. “Needless to say, reform is not possible without a just legal system, and we than Allah Almighty for our legal system’s efficiency, integrity, and justice, and we consider the system a point of reference. “Further on this last point, we as a government wish to stress some facts, summarized as follows: “Firstly; fully realizing the burden and challenge in the coming days, the government is here extending its hand in cooperation with an open heart to realize fruitful cooperation with parliament to establish a relationship characterized by integration and coordination rather than competition. “I seek this opportunity to stress that the government never did and never would spare any effort to help parliament play its proper legislative and oversight role and meet its constitutional duties in full, within the frameworks of law and constitution and as befitting the competencies of each authority. “Secondly; the government welcomes any positive observation or constructive and objective criticism, and is keen on working with parliament to bring about the aspired qualitative leap towards true partnership in decision making and in responsibility and accountability of implications. “Our roadmap in this regard shall be the articles of the constitution, parliament’s standing order, and acknowledged parliamentary norms and protocol, the aim being further entrenching a state of law and institutions. “It is important that all parties frequently take stock of the local scene and make objective assessments within a comprehensive and all-inclusive national perspective and mechanisms of joint

action. “Thirdly; The Kuwaiti People had on numerous occasion expressed its expectations on many issues affecting our society, including some that should be addressed as urgent priorities with all due firmness to get to the root of the matter and come up with solutions. In the lead of such topics is the housing issue, as housing is a key factor for a Kuwaiti family’s stability, as well as the need to improve health care and education system. Solving problems in these areas no doubt follows clear assessment and diagnosis to get to the bottom of things, and requires sound execution of plans and transparency throughout the process, which is the government’s policy of choice as it seeks to implement its working program. “Such attitude needs to be met with sound, effective, and understanding parliamentary practice guided by constant coordination and deliberation to decide on priorities, methodologies, objectives, and ultimately serve the public interest. “Fourthly; the government would make the initiative in employing tools and mechanisms of reform aiming to improve the performance of the executive body,” seeking to secure the requirements for reform and to play an example and out of realization that the executive body plays a vital role in this respect. The premier added, “This means adherence to clear criteria to measure performance, effective follow up and assessment mechanisms, and serious accountability tools that stress reward and punishment and encourage creativity, discipline, and equal opportunity. The premier further listed “Well-thought programs for continued training while in state employ-

ment on all administrative levels, and most particularly on leadership levels, with passing and undertaking such training a pre-condition for assignment, renewal of tenure, or promotion on such level. The government is keen on limiting procedures required for the initiation of projects which have become complicated and have formed an obstacle standing in the path of these plans. However, he stressed, that any talk of downsizing these procedures needed to be adopted according to the rule of law, the safeguarding of public funds and the application of complete transparency. “This will lead to quicker and greater accomplishments, and this can only be achieved through serious and fruitful cooperation with your (National Assembly) esteemed council,” he said. He then noted to HH the Amir’s speech at the opening of this term’s last session on the government’s working plan, which focuses on comprehensive development, sustainable development, serving the interests of the nation and the people while keeping in mind the balance between aspirations, potentials and conforming to existing realities and strict accountability. “The government has recently sent its future working plans to the National Assembly which include the priorities of the nation,” he said, adding that next month a draft law on the annual 2013-14 plan will also be raised. He also referred to huge security, economic, political and social challenges on the internal and external fronts, adding that Kuwait maintains its foreign policy positions on the GCC, Arab and Islamic nations, justice, peace and the complete respect of the sovereignty of nations. — KUNA



Time for major qualitative leap aimed at overall reform: Amir New parliament session inaugurated KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah inaugurated the second session of the 14th legislative term of the Kuwaiti parliament yesterday. The inaugural address focused on shared responsibility, honest self-examination aimed at reform, sanctity of public funds, and Kuwait’s unwavering support of just causes and proud hosting of related events. His Highness started on a positive note, recalling what he called positive signs and sound gestures on the part of parliament, in particular efforts to assess and prioritize the concerns and needs of the public. He also praised signs of mutual keenness on cooperation and coordination between the government and parliament to serve the nation and its citizens. “We for our part bless these initiatives and gestures and feel that they merit optimism and serve as a good start for a new phase of serious effort and sound practice of parliament’s supervisory and legislative role and for a manifestation of article 50 of the Kuwaiti Constitution. Addressing MPs, the Amir stressed, “The constitution is your point of reference and roadmap, and should you disagree on any point or detail, you have the counsel of our legal system which is known for impartiality and integrity and enjoys the esteem and respect of all. “No doubt the flaws that impede national efforts are the result of mistakes and malpractices accumulated over the years, and many confused, wrong, and harmful notions had also taken root over time. It is

necessar y at this point in time to correct these notions and put things back in their right perspective, which is most fitting in view of the many decades since establishment of our modern state institutions. “It is time for a new phase and major qualitative leap aimed at overall reform, continued construction, development, and improvement in all walks of life in our nation. This in turn requires a re-examination of old legislation, policies, concepts, and practices that are of no use to us today or tomorrow. “It is also time to adopt a new working method aimed at reinvigorating and realizing the values and principles that are vital for our present national initiatives. Such method should be based on integrated and combined effort within a spirit of shared responsibility, discipline, and objective responsibility and accountability as part of a comprehensive national framework to guarantee realization of national goals. His Highness specified some aspects of such attitude and mode of governance. “Our paramount priority at all times is the safeguarding of Kuwait’s security internally and externally, ensuring stability, and maintaining rule of law, and there is no room for slack on this account. He then mentioned, “Diligent effort to secure means of prosperous and dignified life for all Kuwaitis.” His Highness stressed that “The solidarity among the citizens of our homeland despite their various backgrounds and origins is among the greatest boons God the Almighty bestowed on our country.” Further on this last point, His Highness the Amir

KUWAIT: Ambassadors attend the the opening session of the parliament yesterday. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

stressed that such diversity is a strength and wealth for a society and a nation, adding that “those who try to cause rift and antagonism within our ranks and create dissent among citizens do not bear the best intentions towards this nation in their hearts. Rather, they aim to destroy national solidarity and tear at our social fabric to push us to the brink of destruction. The Amir further stressed, “We would do well to learn from others’ mistakes.” The first and paramount objective of national effort today should be reform and development to make up for lost time and years wasted in tension and lost opportunities. “We should focus on the present, prepare for the future, and spare ourselves preoccupation with and futile debate over the past. Yesterday’s fall should not distract us from working for today and tomorrow.” His Highness stressed that “true patriotism is a grave responsibility,” and that while citizens have rights, they also have duties, and the benefits should not be sought without heeding commitments. “True allegiance to a homeland is non-negotiable, in good times and in bad, and every citizen is a partner,” he spelled out. The appropriate application of democracy, the encouragement of dialogue, mediation and respecting the other and their point of view, he also encouraged. “We have to be aware that this is not achieved by the swipe of a pen or overnight, however, through a series of practices and continuing experiences that call for honest and devoted efforts. “This could take years and generations and we all know that it took nations with deep-rooted democracies centuries to reach the maturity of their democratic practices,” he said. Prospects for cooperation between both branches constitute an “appropriate environment, calm suitable surroundings and large incentives for serious work, reform and development,” he added. He described development as not being “limited to high rise buildings, despite their beauty, or fancy shopping centres, despite their benefits, or roads and airports, despite their necessity,” but said this meant human development, noting to the youth as being fundamental in these plans. HH the Amir also underlined the importance of the protection and safeguarding of public state funds, which he described as “the people’s money.” Speaking of Kuwait’s position in the wider international community and its foreign policy, he said that the nation would remain committed to its position as a dynamic member in the Arab World, serving its causes but without intervention in each of the region’s countries’ internal affairs. On this, he mentioned the African-Arab Summit, the summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Second Donors’ Conference for Syrian Refugees all of which Kuwait will be hosting this year. He went on to express confidence in the efforts of the parliament and government in overcoming challenges through “sincere cooperation.” — KUNA

KUWAIT: Minister of Social Affairs and Labour, Thekra Al-Rashedi arrives for the opening session of the parliament yesterday.


LOCAL In my view

Arab sectarian rampage By Nicola Nasser


he blind sectarian rampage, which has been waging a war on worship mosques, churches and religious shrines, has become a modern Arab trademark phenomenon, since what the Western media called from the start the “Arab Spring” overwhelmed Arab streets. The sectarian rampage is sweeping away in its rage cultural treasures of archeology and history, hitting hard at the very foundations of the Arab and Islamic identity of the region, but more importantly tormenting the souls of the Arab Muslim and Christian believers who helplessly watch the safe havens of their places of worship being desecrated, looted, bombed, leveled to the ground and turned instead into traps of death and monuments of destruction by “suicide bombers” who are shouting “God is great”. The only regional precedent for the destruction of worship places on such a scale was the destruction of some one thousand mosques since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. A research by Israeli professor Ayal Banbanetchi noted that after 1948, only 160 mosques remained in the area. In the following years, this number shrank to 40, meaning that 120 were destroyed. Palestinians in the Gaza Strip documented the names and locations of 47 mosques that were destroyed completely and 107 others partially damaged by Israeli bombing during the “Operation Cast Lead” in 2008. Maybe because those crimes went unpunished the Western public opinion turns a blind eye to the new Arab phenomenon. Most likely, the leaders of the Israeli fundamentalist Jewish “Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement” are watching closely and wondering whether the current destruction of mosques by the Muslims themselves would be enough justification to carry out the movement’s public threats to build the “third temple” on the debris of AlAqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, in Jerusalem. It is noteworthy that this destructive phenomenon was an integral part of the “Arab Spring” which so far has ousted two presidents in Egypt and three others in Tunisia, Yemen and Libya, but was successfully contained in the Moroccan and Jordanian monarchies. However, containment has been so far unsuccessful in the Kingdom of Bahrain, where the ongoing anti-government mass protests still rage uncontainable to the extent that the tiny island kingdom was forced to invite a Saudi Arabian contingent of the GCC’s “Peninsula Shield Force” to move in for help. The “Arab Spring” was optimistically named after a season in nature during which life is reborn and was supposed to promise a renewal of the stagnant political, social and economic life in the Arab world. Unfortunately it turned instead into a sectarian season of killing, death and destruction by counterrevolution forces nurtured financially, logistically, militarily and politically by the most conservative among the Arab ruling regimes in the Arabian Peninsula and their US-led western sponsors and backers. The sectarian cleansing in Iraq and Syria committed by the exclusionist sectarian zealots has become an Islamist modern copy of the European Christian inquisition in the Middle Ages, with the difference that the old

European one was more systematic and organised by the Vatican institution and its allied states while it is perpetrated by uncontrolled sporadic and shadowy gangs of terror in the modern Arab case. The fact that this horrible phenomenon came into life only with the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 and exacerbated with the onrecord US campaign for a “regime change” in Syria could only be interpreted as an outcome of a premeditated policy to divide and rule in the Arab world. On Aug 24, the Maronite patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai’e told the Vatican Radio: “There is a plan to destroy the Arab world for political and economic interests and boost inter-confessional conflict between Sunnis and Shiites,” adding, “We are seeing the total destruction of what Christians managed to build in 1,400 years” in terms of peaceful cohabitation and coexistence with Muslims. This interpretation is vindicated, for example, by the fact that both the sectarian ruling antagonists, who were brought to power in Iraq by the invading US army, and the Al-Qaeda-linked protagonists, whose presence in Iraq coincided with the US occupation of the country and who are waging a sectarian war of terror to remove them from power, were both US-made warriors, the first as the “democratic opposition” to the national “dictatorship” of late Saddam Hussein and the second as the “freedom fighters” against the military occupation of Afghanistan by the former Soviet Union “empire of evil”, according to US propaganda terminology. In Iraq, AFP reported on May 20, that a “war on mosques” still “rages”. Seven years earlier, the bombing of the dome of the Shiite Al Askari Mosque in Samarra, or the Golden Mosque, was followed by attacks on more than 200 Sunni mosques within two days according to the UN mission in the country. This is indeed a sectarian civil war, but its seeds were sown during the US “Operation Phantom Fury” in 2004 on what Iraqis call “the city of mosques” of Fallujah, where scores of mosques were destroyed completely or damaged by the Americans. Misleadingly or otherwise, the mainstream western media is singling out the plight of Arab Christians in this blind rampage, although their plight is incomparable to that of their Muslim compatriots neither in numbers and magnitude of the phenomenon nor in the resulting human, social, political, cultural and material losses. Writing in Gulf News on Sept 11, Dr Joseph A Kechichian said, “it was impossible to separate the fate of Arab Christians from their Muslim brethren”, a term used here in the sense of fellow citizens not necessarily brotherhood. Indeed, when Iraqi, Egyptian and now Syrian churches were/are destroyed, it is necessary to also note that Sunni and Shiite mosques were and are shelled on a regular basis. In Iraq for example more than sixty churches were attacked since the US invasion in 2003, but more than four hundred Muslim mosques were targeted. An estimate of two thirds of Iraq’s 1.5 million Christians have been forced to flee the country, but four million Iraqi Muslims became refugees abroad and a few millions more were internally displaced as the result of mass sectarian cleansing campaigns.

kuwait digest

kuwait digest

Fear of being different By Suad Al-Mojel


nce there was a blind man who sat with his hat in front of him near a sign that read ‘I am blind. Please help me’. A man passed by and noticed that the hat had only a few coins in it. After putting some change in the hat, the man took the sign, wrote something on it, then walked away without speaking a word. After a while, the blind man noticed that his hat had was filled with money, so he knew that something was different. He then realized that the nice things that people said to him was because of what was written on his sign. He asked a passerby to read the sign for him and found out that it said: ‘It’s spring, but I cannot see its beauty’. To be different requires courage first and confidence second. While everyone seeks to be ‘special’ and distinct from others, such desire usually faces social, psychological and ideological obstacles. ‘Think Different’ was an advertising slogan adopted by Apple between 1997 and 2002. It was promoted simultaneously with TV commercials known as “Crazy Ones” featuring several iconic personalities including Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr, Thomas Edison, Mahatma Gandhi, and Pablo Picasso. The concept was to point out that each of those greats thought differently and created a turning point in history which humanity continues to benefit from today. It might not be easy for a person to have a completely different way of thinking compared to his or her society. Having a different ideology, appearance or perception of things often clashes with traditions that do not encourage such differences, or classify them as ‘divergence from the general custom’ or ‘unjustified audacity’. There are many proverbs in our culture which highlight the negative aspects of being different compared to almost no sayings highlighting the positive ones. This explains why our home decorations are almost identical, and how fashion becomes an unwritten law under which all women wear the same clothes, carry the same bags and put on the same accessories. After studying the psychological and social characteristics of a number of human groups, a group of scientists came up with the following conclusion: “A person is like all humans in one aspect, like some humans in another aspect, and like no other human in a third aspect”. Despite that, only a few are brave enough to speak about their differences, which is something that John Stuart Mill expressed when he said: “That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time”. Fear of being different is the main reason behind the lack of creativity in the Arab World. Unfortunately, we are brought up to believe that thinking or behaving in a different way is an ‘insult’ to society and a violation of the general custom. The result was a majority hidden behind the cloak of traditions and customs, and who practice their differences and distinct features and views in the dark. Meanwhile, distinguished individuals are stigmatized as eccentric or deviating away from customs, traditions and even religious principles. — Al-Qabas

kuwait digest

Welfare state unsustainable By Abdullatif Al-Duaij


hose who slammed Prime Minister HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubrak Al-Sabah’s statement that the welfare state is unsustainable are right. Unfortunately, we have been poor financially and morally since the plunge in oil prices and the beginning of the Manakh Crisis in 1984. The majority of the current generation never got the chance to live in the state of welfare that the older generation sang the praises of. The welfare state is over, and today ends the state of minimum standard of living, similar to how the state of minimum standard of democracy has politically ended. As usual, it was expected that a majority of citizens and all politicians would blame the government for the deteriorating conditions. It could be true if we overlooked people’s duty in observing the government’s performance and going after the alleged welfare or spreading corruption. But it is not the whole truth. It might not be the truth at all, because real blame is on the shoulders of citizens who are guilty in the most part of abuse and waste of national wealth. The most obvious way to support this argument is the public reaction which pointed at government leniency, corruption and waste as the only reason for the imminent depletion of wealth. Citizens and their political ‘leaders’ continue to insist on holding the government solely responsible for the downward spiral that the country is going into. If we put together all documented and alleged thefts by the government, the total would not exceed a few millions or maybe a few hundreds of millions of dinars. Yet this amount can never lead to budget deficits or shortage in public funds. One might argue that the K-Dow project, North Zour project and others cost more than this, but I find this argument to be groundless because none of those projects were carried out so as to accuse anyone of stealing or benefiting illegally from them. The truth, as explained by the opposition during a seminar they hosted recently titled ‘Kuwait under theft’, is that nothing of the development plan has been executive, and construction work on future projects is yet to start. This means that public funds are still in the safe. But the real question is, are those funds actually ‘safe’? If we put aside all the talk about ‘theft’ or ‘waste’ promoted by those with open mouths, empty minds and lazy souls, are public funds really in good hands? — Al-Qabas

Going round in empty circles! By Bader Al-Daihani


t would be a disaster if the government did not know that what was known as the ‘development plan’ was not originally right, as stated by the finance minster and member of the supreme council for planning and development. Yet, the disaster would be even greater if the government had known this and kept misleading the public by giving false information. The statement made by the finance minister that ‘the development plan was not built on sound foundations’ was not surprising to us at all as we said the same in a previous article. In that article I stressed that what was approved in 2010 was not a development plan. It was rather a structural one made with plans to maintain and repair some expired infrastructure projects, which primarily aims at benefiting some private contracting companies. Since development plans are political state decisions, none can be soundly and successfully set in view of the dominance of a ruling project over an integrated vision of the state’s project or in view of a corrupt political system, weak performance of specialized governmental bodies and lack of competent qualified administrative leaderships that are capable of carrying out ambitious development plans, as per a confession previously made by the PM that most senior officials in government bodies had been appointed by wasta rather than for their own competence. (Quoting Al-Kuwaitiya on May, 24, 2013). What is remarkable about the minister’s statement is its timing. It came only six months before the conclusion of what was described as

a ‘development plan’ that had been approved in 2010 to cover the period between April 2010 to March 2014. So a full confession of failure in preparing a proper sound development plan comes after three and a half years during which the government kept making statements about executing the plan. The PM and his Cabinet members kept making statements about the success of the plan, its progress and the pace at which development was going. They also said that they would not pay attention to those delaying the development process. Cabinet members even kept bragging about the humongous sums spent on ‘development projects’. What kind of development are they talking about?! Now, since the finance minister confessed that what was known as the ‘development plan’ was not correctly set, the government must apologize to the Kuwaiti people, shoulder its own responsibilities and bear the following consequences. In this regard, talking about preparing a new development plan will be no different from what we have been repeatedly hearing since 2010 for a very simple reason - development plans are basically political decisions with technical support and are put into practice through a modern developed administrative apparatus. A sound political decision cannot be made in view of the prevailing political corruption and the falling behind political system that has been reproducing the ver y same problems over and over. Such a state requires comprehensive and radical political reform, otherwise we will keep going round and round in empty circles! —Al-Jarida

kuwait digest

The required govt initiative By Dr Mohammad A Al-Moqatei


veryone in Kuwait agrees that the problem of the country’s standstill and the delayed development as well as the lack of success in already executed projects is due to the fact that the government is hesitant and unable to adopt certain project or projects and support them and provide all what is necessary for their success in all executive fields, star ting with Abdullah Al-Salem Hall with the legislative authority and ending in it. But the general mood is mixed with continued disappointment, that the disability goes back to the government itself. I think it is time for the government to launch what we can call the “development initiative” or the “developmental change project”, and it should be the initiator this time away from all texts and slogans about many government projects and development plans that end up on the shelves and never materialize. What is required in this initiative is to include certain projects in urgent areas of Kuwait society. These are

housing, employment, education, health and infrastructure, and these should be included in the government program and should be mentioned in the Amiri address at the start of the parliamentary term, so there will be political support, a government vision and time schedule, and let there be one full year during which the stages of the required achievements are decided, especially since there is not one house in Kuwait that does not suffer because of these lingering issues. I see on the horizon intentions to repeat the same address and well written expressions in the government program which the Amiri address will include, as the prime minister reads, and I hope that I am wrong in what I see. It is no longer that the difference in opinion is for just that, or doubting the government’d credibility or not, or search for government faults to criticize it. What I write today is a wish that the government initiative be fulfilled to reform the country and rescue it before it’s too late.



New tariff for Kuwait Airport taxi services Charges already implemented By Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: The winner receiving her prize from Ahmed Al-Khader, NBK’s Assistant General Manager, Consumer Banking Group, Mohammed Al-Othman, NBK’s Executive Manager, Consumer Banking Group and Ghadeer Al-Awadhi, NBK’s Executive Manager, Consumer Banking Group.

‘Win 12 months allowance’ campaign KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) announced the fourth winner of its “Win 12 months allowance campaign” for AlShabab customers. Aisha Abdulsalam Abdullah Al-Tuwaitan won a year’s student allowance. The promotion allows existing or new Al-Shabab customers who transfer their allowance to NBK the chance to win cash 12 months student allowance. There will be a total of 15 winners in 6 draws. One winner will be selected each month and 10 winners during a big draw that will be held in January 2014. Existing Al-Shabab customers who transfer their student allowance to NBK will have one Chance in each draw and two Chances in each draw for New Shabab customers who

transfer their student allowance during this promotion which runs till December 2013. The winner expressed her gratitude and appreciation, explaining that Al-Shabab account is the first choice for youth who want to save money and organize their finances. NBK seeks to reward its Al-Shabab customers with the best offers and promotions. Al-Shabab customers enjoy a modern lifestyle and expect the best. NBK continues to meet those expectations by providing the most exclusive offers and benefits. Al-Shabab is a youth account that caters to the various financial, social and lifestyle needs of college and university students between the ages of 17-23 years. Students can open an Al-Shabab account by visiting any NBK branch in Kuwait.

Ministries to run by solar power KUWAIT: Solar power will be used to provide electricity to the headquarter buildings of the Ministry of Electricity and Water and the Ministry of Public Works starting from February, a local daily reported yesterday quoting a senior MEW official. Undersecretary Ahmad Al-Jassar said that that project will be launched ‘for a oneyear experiment period’ before it is applied at all state departments and public schools. ‘The KD1.5 million project generates 500 kilowatts for each building’ and work is currently ongoing to inaugurate it simultaneously with the national holidaysî he said. This project is part of the MEW’s plans to utilize alternative energy to save power; a large portion of which goes to power air

conditioning during the summer. This translates into overload in consumption in parallel with high temperatures that usually break the 50 C degrees point multiple times in July each year. Production capacity was improved to 14,000 megawatts before this year’s summer which recorded the highest consumption rate in Kuwait’s history at 12060 MW registered in July. Annual reinforcement and maintenance operations at power plants, transformers and distribution networks helped the MEW cope with the yearly increase in demand, but senior ministry officials have repeatedly indicated that a new power plant is necessary to avoid shortage crises in the future.

KUWAIT: The Directorate General for Civil Aviation released the new tariff for Kuwait International Airport taxi services which now ranges between KD 4 for areas near the airport and KD 20 for border areas. A taxi from the airport to Hawally or Salmiya for example costs KD 7. The increase approval by the Directorate General Civil Aviation comes a few months after airport taxis already implemented the increased tariff. “In June I went to Europe but came back and was forced to pay KD 7 to get home from the airport,” a female passenger revealed. “No explanation at all - the driver collected KD 7 and said the fare had increased. I gave him KD 10 but I was shocked to receive change of KD 3 only. I was told the airport taxi fare had increased and that’s it,” she lamented. Airport taxis have been lobbying for an increase in fares since last year. The taxi operators note their original tariff was introduced in 1991. They claimed with the continued increase of cost of living in the country and in the light of

increased maintenance and spare part costs, it was now necessary to increase the fare. According to a local newspaper, the new tariffs are 50 percent higher compared to the old ones, but are less than limousine rates by KD 2 to KD 10. Besides limos, there are other options too, like ‘illegal taxis’ (cars without license to operate as airport taxis) that carry passengers from the airport. “If you know the language, you could easily bargain. For me, when I ride the ‘illegal transport’ from the airport, I pay only KD 3. Why pay KD 7 if you can get a ride for KD 3,” a traveler noted. But he warned these taxis were being targeted by authorities. “Remember the expat crackdown? They were plenty before, but now they are reduced to a very few because some of them were deported. So be careful. If the police catch you riding in the illegal transport, you could be in trouble too. Why ruin your livelihood for few dinars,” he reasoned. Other passengers opt for the bus (Route 13), the cheapest option. Both KPTC and Citybus take passengers to and from the airport for 250

fils. Public buses are available at the airport from seven in the morning till 11 pm. “If you don’t want to pay that excessive amount asked by airport taxis, I suggest you better take the bus instead. When I came from Dubai and only had a few things with me, I rode the bus just to get out of the airport. It cost me 250 fils only. Then after few kilometers, you can disembark and get a taxi in front of Crowne Plaza. All taxis from that point charge KD 1.5 only, whether you are going to Salmiya, Hawally or Kuwait City. This is the best and safest way. But you can’t ride the bus if you have ten bags with you,” he explained. Many passengers, especially those who are taking short vacations in neighboring countries, have no choice but pay the long-term airport parking fee. Short term parking costs 200 fils for the first hour and 400 fils per hour subsequently. Long term parking costs KD 2 per day. Parking fees across the country have increased recently. Previously, parking in shopping malls cost 150 fils an hour. Today one hour of parking costs 250 fils.

Procedures underway to establish labor authority KUWAIT: The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor is looking into a recommendation to set a separate budget for the Labor Public Authority when it prepares the budget for the 2014/2015 fiscal year which starts in April next year. The recommendation was made by Assistant Undersecretary for Financial and Administrative Affairs Dr Husain Al-Duwaihees in a letter to Undersecretary Abdulmuhsin AlMutairi, which was in response to a letter from Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Sheikh Salem Al-Sabah. The letter quoted by Al-Qabas yesterday provides procedures that need to be carried in order to start ‘separating’ the ministry’s budget. They mention the need to outline the ‘organizational structure’ for the Labor Public Authority which includes naming directors and staff, including a general director for the authority. The procedures also call for changing the ministry’s name into ‘The Ministry of Social Affairs’ after the labor department becomes an independent entity.

While the parliament passed the law to establish the Public Labor Authority earlier this year, there has since been no set date for it to start operating, but the recent report seems to suggest that it could not happen before the start of the fiscal year. The new authority is hyped as an imminent replacement for the sponsorship system by exclusively handling the affairs of expatriate labor forces including hiring in local companies. It was passed to answer demands which call for scrapping the present system that has fallen under pressure for years for its responsibility over injustice workers often complain from. The main drawback of the sponsorship system are loopholes that allow visa traffickers to release work permits on fake companies or nonexistent job openings (the sponsorship system sets a cap for the maximum number of employees a company can hire), then sell them to unskilled labor forces looking for a chance to work in the oil-rich Gulf region. Once they reach Kuwait, workers in most cas-

es end up with no jobs, resort to accepting hard labor and often live without valid visas. Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Thekra Al-Rashidi had identified those workers as the target of a plan announced last March to deport 100,000 foreigners every year as part of a scheme to cut the country’s expatriate population by one million within a decade. There are nearly 90,000 people living illegally in Kuwait according to official figures, and those along with workers doing menial jobs are often referred to in government rhetoric as ‘marginal labor forces’. Moreover, the sponsorship system lacks sufficient regulations to regulate the affairs of more than 800,000 domestic helpers in Kuwait. Kuwait, which is home to 2.6 million expatriates who make 68 percent of the country’s 3.8 million population, has been the subject of rights groups’ criticism in the past number of years over human rights violations resulting mostly from practices relating to deficiencies in the sponsorship system.



Hungary looks to expand Kuwait ties beyond oil Delegation signs MoU with KU, eyes more agreements By Sajeev K Peter

KUWAIT: Two people got stuck on a scaffold while working on a tower yesterday. Hilali fire and rescue rushed to the scene and rescued them using the fire ladders. —By Hanan Al-Saadoun

‘Imitator’ arrested after car chase in Hawally KUWAIT: A man faces several charges after he was arrested Monday following a car chase in which he reportedly ran over a police officer. The incident took place in Hawally where police pulled over a vehicle after noticing that a man sitting in the passenger’s seat was a cross-dresser. The man refused to cooperate with police, then took the driver’s seat and escaped, hitting a police officer in the process. He was eventually arrested and taken to the Hawally police station where he was charged for assaulting a police officer on duty, escaping arrest and imitating the opposite sex. The injured officer was taken to the hospital. Phone confiscated A school principal could face theft charges after he refused to return a cell phone he confiscated from a high school student. Officers at the Nugra police station were approached by a man who explained that the principal refused to return his son’s cell phone even after he obtained a letter from the Ministry of Education to hand it over. According to the man, the principal said that he keeps the phone with others confiscated from students over a month ago and will be returned at the end of the school term. The man requested to file a case and police launched preparations to summon the principal for questioning. Work mishap A man was injured in an accident reported in Amghara scrap yard recently. The inci-

dent took place inside a workshop where the 38-year-old Egyptian national fell from a high place, according to the emergency call. An ambulance arrived at the scene shortly after the incident was reported and took the man to Jahra Hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken left hand and multiple concussions. A case was filed for investigations. Drug traffickers Two drug traffickers were arrested following a car chase on Abdaly Road. Patrol vehicles went in pursuit of a sports utility vehicle after its driver ignored orders to pull over. The man was eventually forced to stop and placed under arrest with his companion after police found out they were under the influence. One kilogram of hashish as well as two hashish rolls were found in the suspects’ possession. They were referred to the Drug Control General Department and charged with trafficking. Actress caught A female driver identified as an amateur actress was arrested with possession of drugs at a checkpoint in Mubarak Al-Kabeer. The woman was pulled over at the side of the road after she failed to produce a driver’s license or registration, and then placed under arrest after police found three sticks of hashish when they searched her car. The woman, in addition to a man who was sitting in the passenger’s seat at the time, were taken to the authorities for further action.

Golden opportunity for small project entrepreneurs in tourism sector KUWAIT: “Establishing the tourism sector was a good step on the path of caring for this major sector as it was granted enough budgets to develop it in a way that would stir stagnant tourism waters in Kuwait,” said the general manager of Leaders Group Company For Consultancy and Development (Leader Group), Nabila Al-Anjari. In the company’s monthly report, Anjari added that despite the obstacles faced by the tourism sector, such as low budgets, red tape, bureaucracy and the lack of a defined vision that would

Nabila Al-Anjeri enhance Kuwait’s image as a regional touristic country, the efforts exerted are quite evident. “Why not consult those experienced in tourism regarding the fate of this vital sector in order to resume the strategy set in 2005,” asked Anjari, stressing the need to establish an independent authority for tourism affairs that would help turn Kuwait into an international destination for tourism. The report also stressed that tourism can enhance the availability of non-governmental job opportunities in small and medium projects providing touristic

services such as travel agencies, travel guides, transportation, restaurants, cafes, sports activities, desert spas and many other avenues that would have a great role in boosting the tourism industry in Kuwait. “There is a golden opportunity for small projects’ entrepreneurs in tourism,” stressed the report. The report also defined small and medium projects as companies with manpower and staff less than a 100 people and investments between KD 100,000 and 2 million. “Development does not only depend on billions-worth mega projects,” said the report, adding that the private sector could provide the best job opportunities through selfemployment and small projects that help promote GDP. “Such projects have been amongst the reasons of neighboring countries’ progress, namely Dubai, where the small and medium projects form 46 per cent of UAE’s GDP and provide job opportunities for 61 per cent of the manpower. Those companies form 95 percent of the ones operating in Dubai (200,000 companies)”, explained Anjari, highlighting that on the other hand, small and medium projects are going through terrible situations in Kuwait as only 214 of them were established in Kuwait in the period of 2007-2012. “ The contribution of Kuwait Small Projects Development Co in Kuwait’s GDP modestly form 0.001 per cent”, she added. “How can Kuwait’s economy be diversified while 95 percent of it mainly depends on oil revenues, as per World Bank reports”, asked Anjari, noting that the World Bank’s report suggests that Kuwait’s greatest challenge was getting ready for post-oil economy, especially since all factors indicate that Kuwait’s economy would retreat by 3.3 percent by the end of 2013. Moreover, Anjari said that political conflicts and the disputes between the government and the parliament were not the only reasons for delaying Kuwait’s development plans.

KUWAIT: Hungary is looking to expand its bilateral relations with Kuwait beyond oil as there are many new promising areas of cooperation, said a Hungarian government official here yesterday. Peter Wintermantel, Hungary’s State Secretary for Global Affairs and Junior Minister for International Development Cooperation, arrived in Kuwait yesterday, heading a high-ranking delegation, to hold foreign policy and bilateral consultations with the Kuwaiti officials. Wintermantel was accompanied by Andras Kiraly, the director of the Hungarian Institute for International Affairs and by Geza Mihalyi, head of Middle East and Africa Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hungary. Talking to Kuwait Times in an interview, Wintermantel, said, “Hungary and Kuwait are natural partners as both counties have similar views on many areas such as generating more opportunities for SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and job creation. Both Hungary and Kuwait are looking at new economic possibilities beyond oil industry such as energy, water management, healthcare etc. So there are many promising new areas where we can be natural partners,” he said. The delegation visited the Kuwait University yesterday morning and Andras Kiraly signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kuwait University President Prof Abdullatif Al-Bader. Talking about the MoU with the KU, Wintermantel said, “It is an excellent opportunity to have a Kuwaiti counterpart with whom we can cooperate. Of course, the natural counterpart will be the Kuwaiti Diplomatic Academy. So, we handed over a draft agreement to the Academy which might also spice up our bilateral relations,” he said. JOINT COMMITTEE Later, the delegation held discussions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with Undersecretary Khalid Al-Jarallah. Besides preparing the upcoming high-level visits and meetings, the discussions also provided an opportunity to assess the current status of bilateral ties and certain elements of the EUGCC relations. “Kuwait-Hungarian relations are traditionally strong. We have a history of more than five decades. In May this year, we held the first session of the newly-established Joint Economic committee where many different areas of business and economic cooperation were identified. Now, we are working on the implementation of these agreements,” Wintermantel added. The delegation also had a meeting at the ministry of Finance with Undersecretary Khalifa AlHamada, who is also the Kuwaiti Co-Chairman of the Joint Hungarian-Kuwaiti Economic Committee. They revised the results and the follow-up of the first Hungarian-Kuwaiti Joint Economic Commission, which was held in Budapest, on May 7-8, 2013. Wintermantel hinted at the possibility of a visit of the Hungarian president to Kuwait in the near future. “We are working on the realization and preparation of this high-level visit,” he said. FOREIGN POLICY Talking about the major shift in Hungarian for-

KUWAIT: Peter Wintermantel (center) flanked by Geza Mihalyi (right) and Hungarian Ambassador Ferenc Csillag. — Photo by Sajeev K Peter Talking about the relations between the GCC eign policy, the Hungarian minister said, “Over the last two decades, Hungary concentrated on joining and the European Union, he said the EU and the the Euro-Atlantic integration schemes charted by GCC are continuing talks. “But, we call upon our the EU and the NATO. We also have been dealing Kuwaiti partners to engage in a new kind of diawith our neighboring countries in Central Europe. logue with the Visegrad (V4) countries - Hungary, Also, we have a responsibility for the Hungarian Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. Next year, Diaspora living around Hungary. These three main when Kuwait assumes the presidency of the GCC, vistas formed the crux of the Hungarian foreign Hungary will also take the chair of the V4 Group. policy until the new government took office in We can further deepen our bilateral and intraregional dialogues and explore more opportunities 2010,” he informed. “In 2010, we set a new foreign policy goal called for cooperation in the fields of business, politics ‘global opening’ where we will go and seek new and security,” he mentioned. partners in addition to our traditional partners like INVESTMENTS Kuwait. This will enable us to articulate more on Hungarian Ambassador Ferenc Csillag, who was mutual interests and possibilities in faraway places, not just in Euro-Atlantic alone, but also in the Gulf, also present, said the Kuwait Investment Office South East Asia, Middle East and African countries. (KIO) is looking to bolster its investments in This was a whole new approach and an ambitious Hungary. The KIO has already made considerable plan for Hungarian diplomacy,” he remarked. “There cross border investments in the region ranging are several cooperation agreements between from $300 to $400 million. “As part of its new stratHungary and Kuwait in the pipeline. We hope to egy, the KIO is looking to invest in the fields of finalize agreements initially in five key areas such infrastructure and technology innovation in as health, education and science, infrastructure, Hungary. Kuwait’s National Technological and Enterprise Co, the daughter company of Kuwait agriculture and aviation,” he said. Investment Authority, is also exploring investment opportunities in startup Hungarian firms in the VISA EXEMPTION Peter Wintermantel handed over the draft ver- field of technology innovation,” he said. “We are also preparing to set up a private joint sion of the agreement between Hungary and Kuwait on the exemption of visa requirements for venture with Kuwaiti partners in the healthcare holders of diplomatic, service and special passports sector which might open in another six months. and also a draft MoU of Cooperation between The This will be a healthcare center specialized in Kuwaiti Diplomatic Academy and the Hungarian orthopedic, rheumatology, rehabilitation and dermatology. Institute of International Affairs. There will be a permanent specialized “The agreement will facilitate Kuwaiti officials and the leadership to visit our country quite fre- Hungarian medical presence in Kuwait soon which quently. The Kuwaiti authorities are studying the can be a bridge between Hungarian hospitals and draft,” he said. He informed that these agreements Kuwait and the broader Gulf,” the ambassador could be ratified during the visit of Hungarian pres- added. “These new areas of investments and partident to Kuwait. “We are working on these agree- nership will not only add value to the bilateral ments. We are in the middle of restructuring and relations, but also help complement the national renewing our old relations with Kuwait in order to development programs of both countries,” Csillag meet the demands of the modern times,” he added. added.

Govt ‘contradictory’ work program slammed KUWAIT: A political group in Kuwait criticized the government’s work program and listed several points which it said reveal ‘contradictions’ and point out ‘clear negative orientations’, in a statement released one day after the program was announced on Sunday. “Slogans such as ‘sharing responsibility for welfare sustainability’ and ‘sharing political responsibility between all national groups’ [contradict with] the reality where monopoly of power and decision making prevail”, reads the statement released by the Kuwaiti Progressive Movement. It also quoted a sentence in the government’s program about “attempts to create

political instability which obstructs the reform and development process in Kuwait”, and accused the government of making a subtle accusation against the opposition of obstructing development. Furthermore, the group criticized the government for “failure to address the Kuwaiti bedoons’ issue” in its work program”. Liberal MP Rakan Al-Nisf argued in the meantime that while Prime Minister His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah’s statement about the state of welfare being unsustainable is a correct one, it came from the wrong place. “Kuwait’s government has no right to announce the end of the welfare state when it was the one

KD 68 million to expand Ahmadi fuel depot KUWAIT: Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) has launched a KD-68-million tender for the expansion and renovation of Ahmadi fuel depot, KNPC Public Relations Director Mohammad Mansour Al-Ajmi said here yesterday. The project aims at increasing the storage capacity of the depot, by building 11 additional storage units, to hold larger amount of fuel to meet future market demands. The depot will be equipped with the latest automatic control systems, he said. The tender was launched with the goal of

completing the project by the end of 2017, AlAjmi noted. KNPC is working on a strategic plan to supply future fuel needs until year 2030 through studying various projects, such as building new fuel depots in Mitlaa area to provide fuel for Kuwait’s northern and westerns parts. KNPC has three major refineries: Mina Abdullah, Mina Al-Ahmadi and Subhan with a collective production capacity of 936,000 barrel a day that supplies local markets of its petroleum needs. — KUNA

EQUATE represents Kuwait at world’s biggest plastics event KUWAIT: EQUATE Petrochemical Company participated in the world’s biggest plastics event, the International Trade Fair for Plastics and Rubber (K 2013) in Germany, as the only Kuwaiti organization. On this occasion, EQUATE President and CEO Mohammad Husain said, “With its products forming over 60% of Kuwait’s non-oil exports, EQUATE’s participation in K 2013 was aimed at manifesting Kuwait’s overall national sustainability, as well as being an international market player in the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa.” Husain added, “Such an event was a great opportunity for EQUATE to showcase its products, as well as extend its commitment and collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, and business partners, especially customers as part of its tagline ‘Partners in Success’.” Husain noted, “As a prominent petrochemical producer, EQUATE is a world-class organization that delivers the highest quality of products and services, distinguished customer service, and end-to-end

integrated supply chain that is orchestrated by its reliability and sustainability-driven approach.” Along with Husain, several members of EQUATE’s senior management and leaders attended K 2013 including Senior VP Eliezer Maldonado, Polyethylene Business Director Ahmad Al-Saleh and Procurement Leader Muayad Al-Faresi. EQUATE had a unique exhibit stand welcoming the event’s over 200,000 visitors from close to 60 countries between October 16th to 23rd in Dusseldorf, Germany. Established in 1995, EQUATE is an international joint venture between Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), The Dow Chemical Company (Dow), Boubyan Petrochemical Company (BPC) and Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company (QPIC). Commencing production in 1997, EQUATE is the single operator of a fully integrated world-scale manufacturing facility producing over 5 million tons annually of high-quality petrochemical products which are marketed throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.

which made the decision to increase the public sector’s payroll”, Al-Nisf said during a seminar organized by the political club in Kuwait University on Monday. Also on Monday, the Kuwait Democratic Forum released a statement outlining the “government’s responsibility at the beginning of the parliamentary term”, which they said include moving from the “slogans phase” to execution. “Achievement is not assessed by what is written on paper, but by projects that directly affect citizens’ daily lives and moves the country up in reform and development indexes”, the statement reads.

KISR continues inspection of Jaber Stadium KUWAIT: The Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) was commissioned by the cabinet to further continue working on Jaber AlAhmad International Stadium to help overcome any obstacles that prevent its opening, said a senior sports official yesterday. KISR had prepared a report that shows the presence of cracks in some of the stadium’s columns, said Director General of the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) Faisal AlJazzaf, who added that addressing the issue is not the duty of the leading sports authority in the country. The committee involved in the project, which includes KISR, Ministry of Public Works and PAYS, decided at its last meeting to postpone the opening date of the stadium until it is reformed and fully functional, he added. PAYS does not have the authority to determine the opening date until after the cabinet’s resolution, which depends on KISR’s approval, he said, noting that the “reform measures will be soon completed.” Al-Jazzaf stressed that Jaber Stadium is a property of PAYS, which provides support to Kuwait Football Association in holding matches, even at Jaber Stadium. Jaber Stadium will be under the management of a global company that operates maintenance measures after receiving a tender that will also be offered to all international companies specialized in stadium operation and maintenance, he added. Jaber Stadium has the capacity to seat up to 60,000 spectators, a world-class international stadium surrounded by a racetrack, athletics field and two outer fields, one of which has a natural grass surface, as well as 60 electronic gates. —KUNA


As Europeans seethe, US reviews intel operations

Saudi religious leader urges youths not to fight in Syria Page 12

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BRIGHTON: A woman is soaked as large waves crash against the walls of Brighton seafront in southern England.— AFP

Death toll rises as wind, rain batter Europe Winds of 99 mph recorded in England LONDON: Hurricane strength winds have battered northern Europe, killing more than a dozen people, cutting power and forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights and train journeys. At least seven people died in Germany while there were four deaths in Britain and fatalities in the Netherlands, Denmark and France as the storm brought down trees, blew roofs off houses and turned over trucks, causing chaos across much of the region. In Germany, falling trees killed several drivers, at least one man drowned and a 66-year-old woman died when a wall collapsed on her, German media reported. The storm had barreled in overnight, with gusts of up to 99 mph, leaving a trail of damage across parts of southern Britain, before heading eastwards into mainland Europe. A 17-year-old girl was killed when a tree fell onto her home while she slept in Kent, southeast of London, while a man in his 50s was killed when a tree crushed his car in the town of Watford, just north of the capital. A man and a woman were found dead in west London after several houses were damaged in a suspected gas explosion on a street where the storm blew a tree down. London police said the tree may have damaged gas pipes, causing the explosion. A crane smashed into the Cabinet Office, a ministry in the heart of London, forcing Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to cancel a news conference. Thin volumes on London’s financial markets suggested many traders had been stuck at home, along with millions of commuters who would normally head into London but were

thwarted by train and Tube lines being shut by toppled trees and power failures. London’s Heathrow airport said 130 flights were cancelled. Passenger Nozipho Mtshede said she was going to miss her father’s funeral in Zimbabwe due to her flight being delayed eight hours: “I won’t make it because they can’t keep him so I’ll have to miss his burial.” Winds of more than 150 kph swept across the low-lying Netherlands, killing two. Uprooted trees smashed cars, homes and sank a houseboat on an Amsterdam canal. Roofs were blown off buildings and several houseboats were ripped from their moorings, police said. A woman died in Amsterdam when a tree fell on her. A 24-year-old man who was struck on the head by a branch while cycling in the central city of Veenendaal died in hospital. COUNTING COST The storm brought trains to a standstill across much of the country, and services had not fully resumed by Monday evening. Fifty flights at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport were cancelled and Rotterdam Port, Europe’s busiest, said incoming and outgoing vessels were delayed. In France, a 47-year-old woman was found dead after being swept out to sea during a cliff walk on Belle Ile, an island off France’s northwestern Brittany coast where the high winds generated waves of 5 to 6 meters, local authorities said. Winds topping 100 kph struck the north and northwest of the country felling trees, whipping up seas and cutting power supplies to around 75,000 homes, according to the ERDF electricity distribution company.

Homes and businesses were counting the cost of the damage as a British Met Office spokeswoman said the worst of the storm in Britain had passed by late morning as it headed east. Some 486,000 properties in Britain were left without power, UK Power Networks said, in one of the worst storms to hit England since the 1987 “Great Storm”, which killed 18 people and felled around 15 million trees. By mid-afternoon, 115,000 properties were still without power. The Association of British Insurers said it was too early to give figures on the insured loss. The 1987 storm caused 2.2 billion pounds of damage in today’s terms (1 billion in 1987 money). The last comparable storm to Monday’s was in 2002, a Met Office spokesman said. “So far it is not as bad as ‘87,” said Philip Moore, group finance director at LV, which insures more than 500,000 British homes. Gusts - in places above the 33 meters per second classified as hurricane force - battered Scandinavia from mid-afternoon, closing the bridge between Sweden and Denmark and paralyzing road and rail transport. A Danish man was killed in Gilleleje, north of the capital Copenhagen, by a collapsing wall and a woman was injured when she was trapped under a fallen roof in the province of Jutland. As evening fell there were no reports of injuries in Sweden but widespread reports of damage with roofs blown off buildings and trees and overturned trucks blocking roads. A ferry ran aground off Karlskrona on southwest coast, but the Swedish Maritime Administrations said the 33-man crew were not in danger.— Reuters

3 judges withdraw from Brotherhood chief’s trial CAIRO: The three judges presiding in the trial of Muslim Brotherhood chief Mohamed Badie and his aides withdrew from the proceedings yesterday, citing “reasons of conscience”. Their decision to step down comes just days before a Cairo court begins prosecuting ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on November 4 in a separate trial. Badie and his two deputies, Khairat Al-Shater and Rashad Al-Bayoumi, face charges related to the deaths of protesters who stormed the Brotherhood’s Cairo headquarters on June 30. “The judges are retiring from this case for reasons of conscience and the accused must remain in detention,” head judge Mohammed Fahmy AlQarmuty told the court at the start of the session, without elaborating. It is expected that new judges will be appointed to hear the case. Lawyer for

the accused Mohamed Damaty insisted “there is no evidence at all in the case” and told AFP that the proceedings were “political”. A total of 32 other defendants are being prosecuted along with Badie, Shater and Bayoumi. None of the 35 were in the court yesterday, when the second session of their trial began. An official told AFP that the defendants were not brought to the court for security reasons. Badie, Shater and Bayoumi face charges of inciting the murders of nine protesters on June 30. If found guilty, they face the death penalty. Three other of the accused Islamists also face murder charges while 29 are charged with participating in violence. “I just want to see Badie and Shater hanged. I will fight for my son’s rights,” said Setohy Abdel Rahman, father of a protester killed in June 30 clashes, after

the judges announced their decision. Millions of protesters on June 30 called for the ouster of Morsi, accusing him of working for the sole benefit of the Brotherhood, ruining an already dilapidated economy and monopolizing power following the 2011 overthrow of longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak. His supporters deny such allegations and point to the Muslim Brotherhood’s victories in a series of polls held after Mubarak’s overthrow. The army on July 3 ousted Morsi after mass protests against his one-year rule. Yesterday’s developments in a downtown Cairo court come just days ahead of the start of Morsi’s trial. Morsi is being tried with 14 others for “incitement to murder” in connection with deadly clashes between his supporters and opponents outside the presidential palace in December 2012.—AFP




in brief

Gunmen storm home of Pakistan tribal elder, kill 7 QUETTA: A pro-government tribal elder and six members of his family were killed when unknown gunmen stormed their home in southwest Pakistan yesterday, officials said. The pre-dawn attack occurred in Dera Bugti district, some 450 kilometers southeast of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, a hub for separatist rebels, Islamist insurgents and sectarian militants. “Dodha Khan, his wife, son, daughter-in-law and three grandsons have been killed in the attack,” Abdul Jabbar, a senior government official in Dera Bugti said. Jabbar said more than a dozen attackers armed with assault rifles and other sophisticated weapons came in vehicles and sprayed the family with bullets. One female member of the family was struggling for her life in a local hospital where her condition was critical, Jabbar said, adding that attackers fled safely after the killing. Officials said they were investigating whether Khan and his family members were killed because of his support for the government or whether he had some personal enmity with anyone. Group urges Jordan to end military trials AMMAN: Human Rights Watch (HRW) yesterday urged Jordan’s parliament to amend or eliminate “vague” penal code provisions used by authorities to try peaceful pro-reform protesters on terrorismrelated charges. The Jordanian government has proposed to parliament, currently in recess, a bill restricting the jurisdiction of the military State Security Court over civilians to four categories of offences: terrorism, treason, currency counterfeiting and drugs. But the New York-based HRW called on legislators to “narrow the overly broad definition of terrorism to make the new restriction meaningful.” “Jordan’s move to limit civilian trials before military courts is good, but it needs to call a halt to trying peaceful protesters for terrorism,” said Joe Stork, acting Middle East director at HRW. “Jordan should overhaul its outdated penal code and stop dragging civilians in front of the State Security Court just for demonstrating for reform.” Iran kills four rebels TEHRAN: Iranian forces have killed in a fresh clash four members of an extremist rebel group that killed 14 Iranian border guards Friday, a top military commander said yesterday. “We clashed with Jaish-ul Adl (bandits) and killed four of them,” the Fars news agency quoted brigadier general Hossein Zolfaqari, commander of Iran’s border guards, as saying. He did not say when or where the new clash took place. Jaish-ul Adl, a Sunni rebel group formed last year whose name means Army of Justice in Arabic, has claimed responsibility for the deadly ambush Friday in the mountains of Sistan-Baluchestan in the restive southeast. 14 Iranian border guards were killed in the attack, while seven others were wounded. Iran in retaliation said it had executed 16 “rebels”-eight Sunni insurgents and eight drug traffickers, all of whom had been on death row, according to Iranian media. “Whatever measure they take against us, our response will be more crushing,” Zolfaqari said. Tehran has demanded Islamabad take “measures to control the borders more seriously,” saying the militants had crossed over from Pakistan and fled back across the border after carrying out the attack.

As Europeans seethe, US reviews intel operations Transatlantic tensions boiling WASHINGTON: The White House said it will seek to keep US intelligence-gathering operations in check and possibly add new restraints for more transparency amid mounting European ire over American snooping on the continent. “There are a number of efforts underway that are designed to increase transparency, to work with Congress to look at reform to the Patriot Act (and) to look at ways we can increase oversight and increase constraint on the authorities provided by these programs,” presidential spokesman Jay Carney said at a news briefing Monday. The New York Times, quoting administration and congressional officials, reported Monday that President Barack Obama is considering banning eavesdropping on leaders of US allies in the wake of the European furor. As Spain became the latest ally to summon a US ambassador to denounce the mass eavesdropping, the normally loyal head of the US Senate intelligence committee claimed her panel had been kept in the dark. Washington stands accused of snooping on the telephone and online communications of millions of ordinary citizens in Europe, including allied world leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Obama refused to corroborate such reports, citing the need to keep intelligence operations classified. But he acknowledged that the way US agencies go about their business was being reassessed. “We give them policy direction,” he told ABC News. “But what we’ve seen over the last several years is their capacities continue to develop and expand, and that’s why I’m initiating now a review to make sure that what they’re able to do doesn’t necessarily mean what they should be doing.” Senator Dianne Feinstein said lawmakers on her committee had not been briefed on the extent of National Security Agency activity and announced a “major review” of spy operations. US ENVOY SUMMONED “With respect to NSA collection of intelligence on leaders of US allies-including France, Spain, Mexico and Germany-let me state unequivocally: I am totally opposed,” Feinstein said. “It is clear to me that certain surveillance activities have been in effect for more than a decade and that the Senate Intelligence Committee was not satisfactorily informed.” Feinstein, a member of Obama’s Democratic Party who defended the NSA in the recent past, did not disguise her opposition to those policies that have led to a deterioration in transatlantic ties. “Unless the United States is engaged in hostilities against a country or there is an emergency need for this type of surveillance, I do not believe the United States should be collecting phone calls or emails of friendly presidents and prime ministers,” she said. The Spanish government meanwhile called in US ambassador James Costos to explain the latest allegations. A senior Spanish foreign ministry official met the envoy after the El Mundo daily published a classified document purportedly showing that US intelligence services tracked 60.5 million Spanish telephone calls in one month. The NSA recorded the origin and destination of the calls and their duration but not the content, said El Mundo, which printed a classified graph showing 30 days of call tracing up to January 8 this year. The newspaper said such systematic trawling of huge volumes of digital information-or metadata-would include intercepting personal details through Internet web browsers, emails and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. “Spain conveyed to the United States the importance of preserving the climate of trust that governs bilateral relations and of knowing the scale of practices that, if true, are inappropriate and unacceptable between countries that are partners and friends,” the Spanish ministry said. ‘TRUST HAS TO BE REBUILT’ With transatlantic tensions on the boil, members of a European delegation met Monday with House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers, who sought to soothe injured European feelings and said the two sides “made some progress” in

Pakistani family recounts drone terror in visit to US WASHINGTON: Nabila Rehman was picking okra in her family garden last year when missiles from a drone rained down from the sky, killing her grandmother and injuring her and seven other children. The nine-year-old Pakistani girl now has a question for the US government: “What did my grandmother do wrong?” Rehman’s father has traveled with her from Pakistan’s North Waziristan region to Washington, along with her 13-year-old brother, who was also wounded by shrapnel, to put a human face on America’s drone campaign. Their account was cited last week in an Amnesty International report that demanded an end to secrecy around the drone attacks and questioned US claims the missile strikes in Pakistan’s tribal belt are carried out only against imminent threats with minimal civilian casualties. Nabila’s father, Rafiq Rehman, said he accepted an invitation from a documentary production company to come to the United States because “as a teacher, I wanted to educate Americans and let them know my children have been injured”. “My daughter does not have the face of a terrorist and neither did my mother. It just doesn’t make sense to me, why this happened,” he told AFP in an interview. The Rehmans said they have no connection to any anti-US extremists or Al-Qaeda militants, and as they mourned their

WASHINGTON: Nabila Rehman, 9, who was injured by a US drone strike in Pakistan, is seen during a press conference on Capitol Hill yesterday. — AFP

grandmother, they were confounded by inaccurate accounts of the Oct 2012 bombing raid. Media reports afterward confirmed a drone strike took place, but said missiles hit a house, with one version alleging a car was struck and several militants killed. But the Rehmans said no building or car was directly hit in the attack, and that paved roads are some distance away. They say missiles landed in the field where their grandmother was teaching Nabila how to recognize when okra are ripe enough to pick. After a loud boom, “where my grandmother was standing, I saw these two bright lights come down and hit her,” said Nabila. “And everything became dark at that point.” She noticed blood on her hand and tried to wipe it away with her shawl. “But the blood just kept coming,” she said. Shrapnel lodged in her right hand and she was treated at a local hospital. Her brother, Zubair, suffered shrapnel wounds to his left leg, which required two operations. His family had to take out a loan to pay for the surgery. Since the attack, Zubair said he has trouble sleeping and no longer goes outside to play cricket. “I don’t feel like going outside and playing with my friends. I don’t feel like going to school. It’s really destroyed my life,” he said. His sister said the US government’s explanation for drone strikes did not apply to her family. “When I hear that they are going after people who have done wrong to America, then what have I done wrong to them? What did my grandmother do wrong to them? “I didn’t do anything wrong,” she said. The Rehman family’s experience features in a new documentary, “Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars,” which takes a critical view of the air strikes. Yesterday, the Rehmans appeared at a press conference in Washington with a member of Congress, Alan Grayson, a Democrat from Florida. “When it comes to national security matters like drone strikes, it’s important that we hear not only from the proponents of these attacks, but also from the victims,” Grayson said in a statement. In their village in North Waziristan, there is the constant buzz of drones overhead and even small children learn to identify the sound, the father said. Rehman said all he wanted was “peace” and to end the violence that claimed his 63-year-old mother. “I believe there are better ways to go about it than these drones, perhaps through discussions and negotiations with whoever they are targeting.” The US government insists the drone strikes are a legal means of “self-defense” and an effective tool in the fight against Al-Qaeda, arguing other methods would put more lives at risk. Rehman’s Pakistani lawyer, Shahzad Akbar, who represents others who say they are victims of drone strikes, had planned to accompany the Rehmans but the State Department denied him a travel visa for the trip, according to Jennifer Gibson, a lawyer with Reprieve, which works with Akbar. The Rehmans “are not asking for money. They want answers,” she said. “They hope that by coming here and saying we’re the faceless people who you keep counting as numbers, somebody is going to start listening and questioning if this is really a smart policy.” — AFP

WASHINGTON: Demonstrators protest outside of the US Capitol in Washington during a rally to demand that the US Congress investigate the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programs. — AP the talks. A British member of the European Parliament, Claude Moraes, said it was vital to begin a healing process but also to reassure Europe that surveillance abuses do not persist. “Trust has to be rebuilt. We need to figure out why this kind of mass surveillance activity is happening,” Moraes said. Elmar Brok, chairman of the parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, was more critical of the US overstepping its

bounds. “It is not acceptable, for example, this espionage on Chancellor Merkel and others since more than 10 years,” he said. Brok said he believed the eavesdropping on the German administration is a breach of German law. The Wall Street Journal said Monday the NSA had tapped the phones of some 35 world leaders, including Merkel, who last week branded the snooping as unacceptable between friends.—AFP

Dozens of migrants die of thirst in Niger desert NIAMEY: Dozens of migrants from Niger, most of them women and children, died of thirst in the Sahara desert earlier this month after their vehicle broke down, officials said yesterday. One survivor recalled how a man watched his wife and nine children die, and said the migrants, who were headed for Algeria, had been packed “like cattle” into overcrowded vehicles. “Thirst was the main cause of the deaths of our wives and children,” Sadafiou told the Sahara FM radio station, adding that “hunger and the travelling conditions also took their toll”. Rhissa Feltou, the mayor of the main northern town of Agadez said that two vehicles were carrying at least 60 migrants when one broke down, and they were all left behind in the desert while the remaining vehicle was driven off. “About 40 Nigeriens, including numerous children and women, who were attempting to emigrate to Algeria, died of thirst in mid-October,” he said. “Many others have been reported missing since their vehicle broke down in the desert.” Niger is one of the world’s poorest countries and has been hit by successive food crises. The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that at least 30,000 economic migrants passed through Agadez between March and August of this year. The army found the bodies of two women and three adolescents, a paramilitary policeman said. No other bodies have so far turned up. “Travelers told us that they saw and counted up to 35 bodies, mostly those of women and children, by the road,” said Abdourahmane Maouli, the mayor of the northern uranium mining town of Arlit. According to Feltou, two vehicles left Arlit with at least 60 passengers “around October 15”, heading for Tamanrassett, an Algerian town in the heart of the Sahara. When one vehicle broke down, the other drove on empty, leaving the

passengers behind in a plan to find spare parts and bring them back for repairs, the mayor of Agadez said. The migrants, short of water, dispersed in small groups in search of an oasis, Feltou said. After days of walking, five survivors reached Arlit and alerted the army, “who arrived too late at the scene”. A survivor told Niger’s bimonthly Air Info that 82 people had perished, in a further conflicting report on the death toll. Fatou N’Diaye of the International Organization for Migration in Niger said that 78 people were in the two vehicles heading for Algeria, and that 13 survivors had passed through the organization’s transit centre in Arlit. “Like all the migrants we welcome, they were worn out and feeling very ill” upon arrival, she said. In the lucrative business of transporting Africans fleeing conditions at home for what they hope will be a better life elsewhere, traffickers quite frequently abandon their human cargo in the desert, leaving them to near certain death. Azaoua Mamane, who works for the non-governmental organization Synergie in Arlit, said the group left behind consisted of “entire families, including many children and women, who departed for Algeria, where they hoped to beg for their keep”. Libya, rather than Algeria, is more frequently the favored country of transit for west Africans making the journey across the continent. These migrants often look to Europe as their final destination, a security source said, and use Libya as a jumping off point amid the relative chaos in the North African country since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Humanitarian agencies say nearly 20,000 migrants have perished while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe over the past 20 years. The death of more than 300 Africans in a shipwreck off the Italian island of Lampedusa earlier this month has recently pushed the issue to the top of Europe’s political agenda.— AFP

SAHARA DESERT: A would-be immigrant rests in the middle of the Sahara Desert, near the border with Algeria.—AFP

Stop moving the target on Kosovo, Serbia PM tells EU LONDON: Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic has urged European countries to stop setting new conditions on the vexed issue of Kosovo as he tries to steer his nation to EU membership, in an interview with AFP. Dacic complained that “you never know where the finish line is” in negotiations with Brussels over Serbia’s efforts to join Europe’s elite club. He conceded that delegates attending a forum in London on Tuesday aimed at attracting foreign investment to Serbia would be looking for it to join the European Union as a prerequisite for pumping in money. “The most important thing in our negotiations on EU membership is not going to be an internal issue, but Kosovo,” Dacic said. “For this reason we need to always keep in mind that we should work on the normalization of relations (with Kosovo) and also on the implementation of agreements that were reached in Brussels.” Serbia has made a series of concessions on Kosovo, the territory which sparked a war between Serb forces and ethnic Albanian rebels in 1998-1999, but it remains the main stumbling block in the membership process. Having delivered two key war criminal suspects to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Serbia was granted EU “candidate status” in March 2012. After the EU-brokered deal with Kosovo on the normalization of relations between Serbia and its former province in April, Belgrade was given the green

light to begin membership talks with Brussels. Serbia expects the negotiations to start in January. “We don’t ask for any privileges; the only thing that we ask for is not to introduce new criteria on top of the criteria and benchmarks that have already been set,” Dacic said in the interview Monday. “We are constantly facing this problem of moving targetsyou never know where your finish line is,” he said, blaming “some member states” for introducing new requirements. He urged Kosovo’s minority Serb population to vote in local elections on Sunday, in the face of a campaign of opposition from many Serbs there who vehemently reject the territory’s self-proclaimed independence. “They should go and vote at these elections, not to help and assist Pristina but to elect the authorities which are going to be legal and legitimate and which would be recognized by Belgrade, Pristina and Brussels as well.” Another barrier to the EU throwing open its doors is corruption, which the prime minister promised to fight “swiftly and strongly”. In a bid to reassure potential investors, he said new legislation would be introduced to combat corruption and simplify the red tape that discourages foreign companies. “Serbia wants to create this legal basis for all investors, to provide guarantees that we are not going to have any corruption,” he said.—AFP



Tehran denies nuke aims; pledges ‘new approach’ Iran seeks practical solution to rift with inspectors VIENNA: Iran’s new proposal to UN inspectors is practical and meant to “solve the issue”, an Iranian envoy said before a second day of talks yesterday, a hint Tehran may cooperate more with an inquiry into suspected nuclear arms research in the country. A series of meetings since early 2012 have yielded no deal that would give the International Atomic Energy Agency access to sites, files and officials relevant to its investigation. But the election in June of a moderate Iranian president has opened doors for good-faith negotiations to end the deadlock. Reza Najafi, Iran’s new ambassador to the IAEA, made the comment late on Monday to an Iranian news agency after he and other Iranian officials met with senior IAEA experts at the agency’s Vienna headquarters. Tehran denies having any nuclear weapons ambitions, saying it is enriching uranium and trying to master nuclear technology only for electricity generation and medical treatments. Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said in Vienna on Monday that he had put forward proposals to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano and pledged a “new approach” in dealings with the UN agency. But he gave no details. “Our proposal is practical and intended to solve the issue between Iran and the agency,” Najafi told the ISNA news agency, adding that Iranian and IAEA experts had “entered into substantive discussions in these negotiations”. Najafi made clear he believed the time had come to find new ways to bridge differences

between Iran and the IAEA on how the UN agency’s investigation should be carried out. “The approach of the past cannot be implemented and there must be changes to it,” Najafi said. Expectations for this week’s Vienna talks, the first since pragmatic President Hassan Rouhani took office, were relatively high and diplomats believed Iran might soon offer concessions, perhaps by permitting UN inspectors to visit its Parchin military base southeast of Tehran - long an IAEA priority. The IAEA-Iran discussions resumed around 10 am yesterday and were expected to end around lunchtime, officials from both sides said. Taking advantage of the diplomatic opening enabled by Rouhani, Iran and six world powers have revived separate negotiations towards a broader political settlement of the nuclear dispute to head off any risk of a new Middle East war. Their last meeting was held on Oct 15-16 in Geneva, and another one is scheduled for Nov 7-8. An end to Iran’s higher-grade enrichment of uranium is a central demand of the powers. Refining uranium to 20 percent is sensitive as it is a relatively short technical step to raise that to the 90 percent needed for a nuclear bomb. Iran says its nuclear program is a peaceful bid to generate electricity. But its refusal to curb activity that can also have military applications and lack of full openness with the IAEA have drawn increasingly tough sanctions, cutting Iran’s daily oil sales earnings by 60 percent since 2011. — Reuters

VIENNA: Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Reza Najafi (left) and the IAEA chief inspector Tero Varjoranta attend a press statement after their meeting at the United Nations headquarters yesterday. — AFP

Canada scandal deepens PM accused of cover-up

PHOENIX: Standing in front of the place where Bruce Moore was shot and killed, Patrick Riley, brother of another shooting victim Michael Moore, surveys the bloody crime scene for the first time outside the Moore home in Phoenix. — AP

Barking dogs may have sparked family slaying PHOENIX: It was the knock on the door every mother fears. Three police officers stood somberly to deliver the news. “I’m sorry to tell you but Michael has been killed,” Jacque Alderman recalled one officer saying. The 70-year-old’s son and three members of his family were shot to death over the weekend by a man neighbors say was incensed over the incessant noise of barking dogs. For months, Michael Guzzo, 56, complained to neighbors about the barking from homes all around him in the tidy Phoenix complex where a central courtyard looks like a tree-laden park, even putting up fliers on doors advising people of pet ordinances and fines. On Saturday, police say, Guzzo went on a rampage, methodically killing his neighbors Bruce Moore, 66; his daughter, Renee Moore, 36; her husband, Michael Moore, 42, who used his wife’s last name; and Renee’s son, Shannon Moore, 17, along with the family’s two dogs. Guzzo then walked across the courtyard and tried to kill more neighbors who had dogs. Libni Deleon, 26, said that just a few months ago he returned home from work to find Guzzo standing by his back gate where his two dogs were on the patio barking. “He said, ‘Your dogs are barking. I’m here to live in peace,’” Deleon recalled. Moments after the killings Saturday, Guzzo went back to Deleon’s home and began kicking on the front door. Libni Deleon’s wife, Vanessa, had just gotten out of the shower, grabbed their two children and ran upstairs to hide in the bathtub. Libni went toward the door as Guzzo blasted two holes through it, sending about 20 shotgun pellets into the walls at the back of their home. He ran upstairs to get his gun, opened the window and began to yell at Guzzo, who opened fire again before walking back to his own home to kill himself. “I feel pretty darn lucky,” Libni Deleon said.

While Guzzo’s motive died along with him, neighbors and family members of the victims say he was becoming increasingly unhinged over dog noise. “He hated them. But everyone here has dogs,” said Joni Flood, 27, who lives a few doors down from the victims. Family members, meanwhile, struggled to come to grips with their loss, dumbfounded by the sheer senselessness of the killings. Standing amid pools of drying blood on the home’s back patio where the two men were apparently shot first, Michael Moore’s brother called the killings “angering beyond belief.” “It just angers me looking at all this because I just feel for my brother,” said Patrick Riley, 41. THE HELPLESSNESS The patio wall was chipped with pockmarks from the shotgun’s blast. Police haven’t given specific details of the attack, but Riley said he thinks Guzzo shot his brother over a 6-foot cinderblock fence while he worked on an engine. “He had no idea what was coming,” Riley said. Bruce Moore was killed a few feet away near the patio door to the home. Riley said police told him Guzzo killed the two men first, then walked through the family’s unlocked front door and shot Renee, her son, Shannon, and the dogs. The killer was no stranger to the family, even though they had little contact with him, Alderman said. Renee Moore had told her repeatedly “the man was crazy. He can’t stand the dogs.” Alderman sobbed Monday as she stood outside the home while other family members gathered on the porch where the two men, including her son, were shot. “I don’t want to see the blood,” she said with a heavy sigh. Phoenix Sgt Steve Martos said authorities can only speculate on a motive for the killings. “If he had left a note, maybe,” Martos said, “but nothing like that occurred in this case.” — AP

Pacquiao creating political dynasty? GENERAL SANTOS: Philippine boxing hero-turned-congressman Manny Pacquiao had three more relatives elected to public office yesterday, but a representative for the star downplayed suggestions he was creating his own “political dynasty”. The Commission on Elections said that two of the boxing superstar’s brothers, along with a sister-in-law, won village council seats in their home city of General Santos in the country’s south. Rogelio and Bobby Pacquiao were elected councilors in separate districts of the city in polls held Monday, while Bobby’s wife, Lorelei, won re-election as village chief. Although villages are the smallest government units, seats are hotly contested and considered the first step in building a crucial grass-roots network for politicians aspiring to higher office. It is common practice among Filipino politicians to have their relatives also run for office to put a “dynasty” in place in the hope of expanding their influence and keeping them in power.

The 34-year-old Manny Pacquiao, who recently expressed hopes of becoming president, has used the fame and riches generated from his boxing to launch a successful political career. The high school drop-out won a seat representing the impoverished southern province of Sarangani in 2010, and was re-elected unopposed in May. His wife Jinkee was elected vice-governor of Sarangani, also in May. The boxing hero’s chief of staff, Franklin Gacal denied that Pacquiao was trying to install his own political dynasty. “Barangay (district) elections are nonpartisan (and are) premised on ‘bayanihan’ spirit, a Filipino custom of helping one another in your community,” he said in a statement. Manny Pacquiao was widely criticized after he said in July that he hoped to run for president. Critics said he appeared ignorant of the law which sets 40 the minimum age for a presidential candidate, making Pacquiao too young for the next elections in 2016. —AFP

OTTAWA: A Canadian legislator at the heart of a spending scandal on Monday accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of being involved in a cover-up deal, deepening a crisis that has engulfed the Conservative government. Senator Mike Duffy made his allegations just days before a Calgary convention of the ruling Conservatives, who have lost support in the polls since the scandal broke in May and are now trailing the opposition Liberals. The crisis is the worst to hit the right-leaning government since Harper came to power in early 2006 on a promise to boost accountability. Harper exercises strict control over the Conservatives - also known as the Tories - and such broad signs of division and dissent inside the party are unprecedented. Duffy made his allegations in the Senate chamber, where comments are subject to Parliamentary privilege and make him immune from prosecution. Duffy and two other senators - all appointed by Harper - face suspension without pay for allegedly charging too much in expenses. Duffy denies he did anything wrong but he said agreed in February to repay C$90,000 ($86,000) in expenses after Harper told him to do so on the grounds the affair was becoming a political embarrassment to the party’s core supporters. Duffy said he had been coached by the prime minister’s office to say he had taken out a loan to pay back the C$90,000. In fact, Harper’s chief of staff, Nigel Wright, wrote him a check to cover the amount. Referring to the aftermath of the February

meeting with Harper, Duffy said: “So I’m back home ... after the Prime Minister’s decided we’re going to do this nefarious scheme.” The government has said Wright acted alone, and Harper was not aware of the C$90,000 payment. Wright resigned in May after news broke about the check, a payment that caused anger among Conservative legislators and supporters. “This monstrous fraud was the PMO’s creation from start to finish,” Duffy told the Senate, adding that Harper and Wright knew he had followed the rules on expenses. Harper says he told Duffy to repay the money because it had been wrongly claimed. “The millions of Canadians who voted for Prime Minister Harper and the thousands of Tories gathering in Calgary this week would be shocked to see how ... some of these Tories, operate. They have no moral compass,” Duffy said. Harper’s office, asked for comment on Duffy’s remarks, said Wright had assumed full responsibility for his actions. “The prime minister was not aware of the arrangement and had it been presented to him he would not have approved of such a scheme,” said chief Harper spokesman Jason MacDonald. In another explosive accusation on Monday, Duffy said a Conservative Party lawyer had arranged to pay his legal expenses, which he said was evidence that Harper’s office backed the deal. Duffy submitted to the Senate a copy of the check for C$13,560 paid by the lawyer. “Contrary to the prime minister’s assertion ... that

he ordered repayment because Senate expense rules were in his words ‘beyond a shadow of a doubt broken’, he had my legal bills fully paid,” Duffy told the Senate. “He did this because as I’ve said from the start, this was all part of his strategy negotiated by his lawyers and the Conservative Party’s lawyers to make a political situation embarrassing to his base go away.” In response, the Conservative Party said it sometimes helped legislators pay their legal bills but gave no more details. The next election is not due until October 2015. Harper has a majority in the elected House of Commons, giving him effective control over legislation. Members of the Senate, which has limited powers, are all appointed. The Conservative Party’s handling of the crisis has come under scrutiny amid a series of apparent missteps. At the same time as Harper was insisting last week that the three senators be suspended without pay, the leader of the Conservative Party in the Senate said he was prepared to offer two of the three a more generous deal. Harper, who has until now said Wright resigned in May, told an Atlantic Canada radio station in an interview broadcast on Monday that he had in fact fired him. “Every day, the Conservative web of lies on the Senate scandal keeps falling apart. There’s only one way for Stephen Harper’s crew to stop this mess: stop the cover-up and lame excuses and come clean,” the official opposition New Democrats said in a statement. — Reuters

5 die as Mexico vigilante groups, drug cartel clash Cartel flexes muscle in troubled Mexican state MORELIA: Clashes in which self-described “selfdefense” forces sought to oust the Knights Templar drug cartel from the western Mexico state of Michoacan left at least five men dead and hundreds of thousands of people without electricity. The weekend confrontations followed a daring march by a self-defense force into the city of Apatzingan, the central stronghold of the pseudoreligious Knights Templar cartel that for years has dominated Michoacan, a state that sends a steady stream of avocados and migrants to the United States. State Interior Secretary Jaime Mares said soldiers and federal police had taken over security in Apatzingan following the clashes. Since rising up in February against systematic extortion by the Knights Templar, residents of a half dozen towns that formed self-defense patrols have lived without access to Apatzingan, a commercial and road hub that is home to the region’s main hospital and markets. Self-defense leaders said they finally grew tired of the cartel blocking services and commerce in an attempt to strangle their uprising and showed up Friday on Apatzingan’s outskirts, armed and ready to “liberate” the city. They were turned back by soldiers who said they couldn’t

enter with weapons. A convoy of hundreds of unarmed self-defense patrol members returned on Saturday and successfully entered the city, where they were met by gunfire, presumably from the Knights Templar. “They attacked us with grenades, and with M-60 machine guns, judging by the bullet holes in some of our vehicles,” self-defense leader Jose Manuel Mireles said Monday. He said one of their members was wounded. Mireles said the Knights Templar was apparently outraged by the invasion of their stronghold, and early Sunday attacked defensive trenches constructed by the self-defense patrols near Apatzingan’s outskirts. Local police said five men were found dead following that attack, but Mireles said self-defense patrol members saw 12 dead cartel gunmen and lost one of their own. Drug cartels often quickly retrieve and bury the bodies of fallen members after clashes. Apparently in retaliation, suspected cartel members on Sunday mounted coordinated attacks on electrical facilities, including power distribution plants and electrical sub-stations, in 14 towns and cities around Michoacan. The Federal Electricity Commission refused to say how many homes were affected, but local

sources reported about 400,000 people lost power for hours before repairs were made. About a half dozen gas stations were also attacked. The Interior Department said in a Sunday statement that fire bombs and several different types of guns were used, but didn’t identify the attackers. “It was the Knights Templar who did it, to pressure the government and intimidate them into disarming the selfdefense forces,” said Hipolito Mora, leader of selfdefense forces in the hamlet of La Ruana. Although the government has said it won’t tolerate vigilantes, it has let the self-defense forces operate in most towns. The control of the Knights Templar group was once so complete that it would have been unthinkable for any rival to enter Apatzingan. The Knights Templar often traveled in vehicles marked with its symbol, a red cross, and sponsored demonstrations calling for the federal police to leave the city. Members of the self-defense patrols deny suggestions by some officials that they are controlled by a rival cartel. “This is the only stupid shield they can use ... to justify themselves after 12 years in which these useless officials haven’t done anything” to combat cartel control of the state, Mireles said.— AP

Trucks, buses torched in Sao Paulo’s unrest SAO PAULO: One person was injured and 90 detained while trucks and buses were torched in Sao Paulo late Monday in renewed violence after police fatally shot a 17-year-old boy. A police statement said some of the rioters made use of firearms during the unrest. It added that one pedestrian was injured during the shooting and rushed to hospital by police. The statement said 90 rioters were detained while three trucks and six buses were set ablaze and shops looted. Earlier, a police spokeswoman said that some 500 youths were involved in the latest disturbances as vandals forced the temporary closure of a local highway. Television pictures showed hooligans climbing atop a truck after forcing the motorist to turn back while other vehicles were set on fire. Monday’s protest in Brazil’s largest city began earlier in the day in response to the shooting death of the teenager in a confrontation with police Sunday. Police said a policeman called to check on a disturbance in the northern Vila Medeiros neighborhood, accidentally discharged his weapon and hit a 17-year-old youth who was rushed to hospital but subsequently died of his wounds. Hundreds of angry youths then went on a rampage, attacking buses and ransacking area shops, they added. Last Friday, vandals also

smashed windows and ATM machines and battled riot police here in violence blamed on the “Black Bloc” anarchist group. Police fired tear gas and arrested 92 people during the disturbances, which began as a peaceful march to demand

free public transportation for students before turning violent. Sao Paulo’s military police said a police colonel was mobbed and beaten by a group of “criminals disguised as protesters” who stole his pistol and radio. —AP

SAO PAULO: People ride bikes by a car on fire in a highway in Sao Paulo, following disturbances triggered by the accidental fatal shooting of a 17-year-old boy by police. — AFP



Bali Hindus angered by sacred temple tourism plan DENPASAR: Hindu leaders on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali yesterday lashed out at a government plan to attract more tourists to their most sacred temple as “degrading” to Hinduism. The row highlighted concerns that Bali’s booming tourism industry is a doubleedged sword, as it threatens to erode the Hindu culture which is part of the attraction for the millions who visit the tropical island. The Indonesian Hindu Association’s concerns centred on a government decision to include the Besakih temple and the volcano upon which it sits on an official list of sites to be developed for tourism. “These sites are the centre of the universe for us Balinese Hindus, and we are worried that by making it an official tourist destination, our spiritual lives will be disrupted,” association head Ngurah Sudyana said. “We are concerned that our spirituality will be degraded and exploited if these sites are just seen as commercial.” While the sites in eastern Bali already receive considerable numbers of visitors, they are far less crowded than the major tourist areas in the south. Sudyana said he was worried the government plan would change this. “We are worried big buildings for accommodation and entertainment will be erected,” BALI: Balinese people pray as they celebrate the religious festival of Galungan at a temple in Denpasar, on Indonesia’s he said. The temple and volcano, in eastern tourist island of Bali. — AFP Bali, were included in the list of 88 places

80 Afghan police die every week in ‘fighting season’ Australian forces to quit Afghanistan by Christmas KABUL: Nearly 80 Afghan police have died every week during the current fighting season, officials said yesterday, as the national security forces take on the battle against Taleban militants. The figures, which are in addition to Afghan soldiers killed, reflect a sharp rise in casualties at a time when US-led NATO forces are stepping back from the frontline and steadily withdrawing 87,000 troops by the end of next year. Afghanistan’s fighting season traditionally begins in April or May as snow melts in mountains, and slows in November, when winter sets in. This year the Taleban launched their annual offensive six months ago on April 27, vowing a nationwide series of multiple suicide bombings, “insider attacks” and roadside bombings. “Since the Taleban launched their operation, they have conducted 6,604 operations, 50 suicide attacks and 1,704 direct attacks on police,” General Salim Ehsas, deputy interior minister, told a conference in Kabul. “1,273 national police, 779 local police, and 858 civilians have lost their lives.” Around 5,500 police and civilians were wounded in attacks, he said, adding that most Taleban operations were in provinces such as Logar and Ghazni, close to the capital Kabul.

The defense ministry and military have declined to release Afghan army casualty figures this year, but admit that levels have climbed. In June, Afghan forces took control of security across the country, marking a major milestone as US-led combat troops prepare to end more than a decade of war. This year’s “fighting season” has been seen as crucial to Afghanistan’s future, as its much-criticized security forces pitted themselves against the insurgents who have waged a guerrilla war against the Kabul government since 2001. “The year that passed was a very difficult one... and it was a very dangerous one,” defense ministry spokesman General Zahir Azimi said. “They wanted to show that Afghan security forces are not able to provide security for the country, but our army, police and other security forces neutralized their plans.” Doubts remain over the ability of Afghan forces to thwart the Taleban, and the NATO military coalition retain an important function in logistics and air support as well as in combat emergencies. In another development, Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared the end of Australia’s “bitter-sweet” war in Afghanistan during a surprise visit to the country, with 1,000 troops set to

return home for Christmas. Abbott flew to the Australian Defense Force (ADF) mission in Uruzgan province to make the announcement, an official statement said yesterday. “Sweet because hundreds of soldiers will be home for Christmas. Bitter because not all Australian families have had their sons, fathers and partners return,” he said at Australia’s main base at Tarin Kot on Monday. “Our mission in Afghanistan has been critical to our national security,” added Abbott’s statement. “We have worked to ensure Afghanistan does not again become a safe haven for terrorists and have worked with our allies to make the world a safer place. “People have paid a high price. We have lost 40 of our best.” More than 20,000 Australians have served in Afghanistan, with 40 killed in action and 260 wounded since 2001 when Australia joined close ally the United States to fight the Taleban and Al-Qaeda. Abbott reaffirmed Australia’s commitment to support Afghanistan in the future, notably with training for the Afghan National Security Forces and development assistance. Several hundred Australians will continue to serve in non-combat roles in Afghanistan. — Agencies

Xinjiang suspects named after Tiananmen crash BEIJING: Chinese police have named two suspects from the restive Xinjiang region after a car crash on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square killed five people, state-run media said yesterday, as analysts said the incident looked like a premeditated attack. The crash-in which a sport utility vehicle drove along the pavement, ploughed into crowds and caught fire at the capital’s best-known and most sensitive site-killed three people in the car and two tourists, according to Beijing police. The square lies next to the Forbidden City, a former imperial palace and top tourist attraction, and was the location of pro-democracy protests in 1989 that were violently crushed by authorities. In a notice to hotels, police identified two suspects and four car number plates, all from Xinjiang, in relation to a “major case” on Monday, the Global Times reported. Police also instructed hotels to watch out for “suspicious” guests and vehicles, said the paper, which is close to the ruling Communist Party. It carried the details in its English-language edition, but the Chinese version did not mention Xinjiang. Security guards from several hotels in Beijing confirmed they had received a police notice. A version posted online by, a Sichuan-based human rights news portal, gave the suspects’ names, identity numbers and registered resi-

dences, while urging hotels to report potential clues. Its veracity could not be confirmed by AFP. Xinjiang, in China’s far west, is home to ethnic minority Uighurs, many of them Muslim. State media have reported several violent incidents there and a rising militant threat, but Uighur rights groups complain of ethnic and religious repression, while information is tightly controlled. Police have arrested 140 people in Xinjiang in recent months for allegedly spreading jihad, and killed 22 Uighurs in August in an “anti-terrorism” operation, the official news agency Xinhua reported earlier. One of the suspects named in the reported notice was from Lukqun, where state media said 35 people were killed in June in what Beijing called a “terrorist attack”. China politics expert Willy Lam said the Tiananmen incident “looks like a terrorist attack” but cautioned that more information was needed. “If it is indeed a terrorist attack it shows that Beijing’s efforts in trying to stamp out terrorism have not been very successful,” he added. But Ilham Tohti, a prominent Uighur intellectual, said the police notice was not definitively linked to the Tiananmen crash, and even if a Xinjiang car was involved, it would not establish that members of the minority were responsible. — AFP

across Indonesia to be developed for tourism over a 15-year period. Besakih, known as the “mother temple” by Balinese Hindus, is a huge, stone complex which sits 1,000 meters (3,000 feet) up the side of Mount Agung, a volcano that has great spiritual significance for Bali’s Hindus. The tourism ministry plans to improve tourism links and accommodation at the selected destinations to boost an industry that is often criticized as underdeveloped compared with neighbors like Thailand and Malaysia. The list was first drawn up in 2011 but Hindu leaders have spoken out amid growing unease on Bali about the pace of development. The tourism ministry defended the plan, however, and said it planned to hold consultations with Bali’s religious leaders to address their concerns. “We are trying to conserve strategic tourism destinations, not cause any disruption to them. It will certainly bring benefits to the communities,” ministry spokesman Noviendi Makalam said. “There will be no major developments there without consultations with the community first.” As a Hindu-majority island, Bali is an anomaly in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation of around 250 million people and is known for its hedonistic party scene and comparatively relaxed social attitudes. — AFP



Island row rages China warns against shooting down its drones

MOADAMIYET AL-SHAM: Syrian civilians evacuate the war-battered suburb of Damascus, Moadamiyet Al-Sham, with the help of the Social Affairs Ministry, as fighting between pro-government troops and rebel fighters continues in districts of the capital. —AFP

Syria’s chemical weapons inspectors miss deadline BEIRUT: International inspectors overseeing the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile have missed an early deadline in a brutally tight schedule after security concerns prevented them from visiting two sites linked to Damascus’ chemical program. The chief of the global chemical weapons watchdog disclosed for the first time in a report obtained by The Associated Press that Syria has declared 41 facilities at 23 chemical sites where it stored approximately 1,300 tons of precursors and agents, and over 1,200 unfilled munitions to deliver them. Ahmet Uzumcu said in his first report to the UN Security Council that inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had corroborated the information provided by Syria at 37 of the 41 facilities. But the OPCW said inspectors were only able to visit 21 of the 23 sites because of security risks - which means the tight timeline for visiting all declared sites by Oct 27 was missed. While there are no consequences for missing the deadline, the group’s failure to meet it underscores the ambitious timeline as well as the risks its inspectors face in carrying out their mission in the middle of Syria’s civil war. The OPCW did not say who was responsible for the security problems, but Uzumcu has said in the past that temporary cease-fires may have to be negotiated between rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar Assad to reach some sites. The two sites appear to be in rebel-held or contested areas. At least one location is believed to be the town of AlSafira, which experts say is home to a production facility as well as storage sites. It has been engulfed by fighting for months, and

many rebels in the area are from al-Qaidalinked groups. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a seven-page letter to the Security Council, also obtained by AP, that the joint OPCW-UN mission is constantly reviewing security at the two locations “with the intention of visiting them as soon as conditions permit.” The mission faces a string of target dates for specific tasks as it aims to achieve the overall goal of ridding Syria of its chemical stockpile by mid2014. The next target is Nov. 1 when Syria is to complete the “functional destruction” of all equipment to produce chemical weapons, aimed at ensuring that Syria can no longer make new chemical weapons. The UN chief said he expects the destruction to be completed on time, “with the possible exception” of the two sites. After that, the international community and Syria have to agree to a plan to destroy the country’s chemical stockpile, which is believed to include mustard gas and the nerve agent sarin. Uzumcu’s report provided details of the 41 facilities - 18 chemical weapons production facilities, 12 chemical weapons storage facilities, eight mobile units to fill chemical weapons, and three chemical weapons-related facilities. Syria also submitted information on approximately 1,000 metric tons of Category 1 chemical weapons, largely precursors which are rarely used for peaceful purposes; approximately 290 metric tons of Category 2 substances which are toxic chemicals that pose significant risk; and approximately 1,230 unfilled chemical munitions, which could include rockets, cartridges and mines. —AP

Saudi religious leader urges youths not to fight in Syria DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti, the highest religious authority in the birthplace of Islam, has urged young Saudis to refrain from fighting in Syria. The kingdom has backed the rebels battling President Bashar Al-Assad, publicly calling on the world powers to “enable” Syrians to protect themselves, but is wary that fighters could return home ready to wage war on their own dynastic rulers. Islamists in Saudi Arabia, who follow a puritanical version of Sunni Islam, denounce Assad and his administration as infidels because of their roots in the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. However, Sunni Muslim Al-Qaeda fighters led by Saudi-born Osama bin Laden attacked targets inside Saudi Arabia between 2003 and 2006, having gained experience fighting in Iraq, and before that in Afghanistan and elsewhere. “This is all wrong, it’s not obligatory,” Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Al-Sheikh said, in reference to Saudi men joining a civil war that is now in well into its third year, according to pan-Arab daily AlHayat. “These are feuding factions and one should not go there. I do not advise one to go there ... Going to a land that you do not know and without experience, you will be a burden to them, what they want from you is your prayer.” A Gulf source familiar with military movements in the region said in September 2012 thousands of Saudis had sought to head to Syria to join the uprising. It is not known how many succeeded. The grand mufti, appointed by the Saudi king, also warned preachers against encouraging young men to fight in Syria during their sermons, after delivering what the paper said was a lecture on “Deviation among the youth” at a mosque. “Muslim should be fearful of God and not deceive young Muslims and exploit their weakness and lack of insight and push them to an abyss,” the mufti was quoted by the paper on Monday. “I advise them (preachers) to advise (young people) as they would advise their sons.” Bin Laden led a battalion of Arab volunteers fighting against the Soviet forces occupying Afghanistan in the 1980s, while others joined local Muslim forces in civil wars in the 1990s in Bosnia and Chechnya. But even before he sent 15 Saudis and four other Arabs to carry out the Sept 11 attacks on the United States in 2001, bin Laden had turned against the Saudi Arabia’s ruling Al-Saud family, mainly because of its close relationship with the West. That relationship, especially with its oldest ally the United States, has cooled somewhat over the past months over the failure to end the war in Syria and a softening of tone towards arch-rival Shiite Iran. UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, in Syria yesterday on the most sensitive leg

of a regional push for peace talks, has warned of the ‘Somalisation’ of the war-ravaged country. His grim warning came as fighting prevented chemical weapons inspectors from visiting two sites, although UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the mission to destroy Syria’s arsenal by mid-2014 was still on track. Brahimi has been seeking to build on the momentum of last month’s USRussian deal to eradicate Syria’s chemical weapons in order to launch the so-called Geneva II peace talks proposed for next month. But the talks have been cast into doubt by the increasingly divided opposition’s refusal to attend unless President Bashar Al-Assad agrees to step down, a demand rejected by Damascus. In an interview with a French website published Monday, Brahimi said Assad could contribute to the transition to a “new” Syria but not as the country’s leader. “What history teaches us is that after a crisis like this there is no going back,” the Algerian diplomat told the Jeune Afrique website ahead of his first visit to Syria since December, when he angered the regime by insisting that all powers be handed over to a transitional government. The veteran troubleshooter admitted “the entire world will not be present” at the talks, but said the alternative to a political settlement could be a failed state in the heart of the Middle East. “The real danger is a sort of “Somalisation,” but even more deep and lasting than what we have seen in Somalia.” More than 115,000 people are estimated to have been killed in Syria’s 31month conflict, which erupted after the regime launched a brutal crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy protests. In the latest blow to peace efforts, 19 Islamist rebel groups issued a statement Sunday saying anyone who attends the Geneva talks would be committing “treason” and “would have to answer for it before our courts,” implying they could face execution. Russia denounced the warnings, saying it was “outrageous that some of these extremist, terrorist organizations fighting government forces in Syria are starting to make threats.” But the rebel statement came from a wide range of opposition groups, from radical Salafists to moderates who form the backbone of the mainstream rebel Free Syrian Army. “So you can say that Geneva II is almost totally rejected within rebel ranks,” said Thomas Pierret, an expert at Scotland’s Edinburgh University. “If some of the opposition does take part and reaches an accord, it will be worthless.” Under pressure from its Western backers to attend, the National Coalition, an umbrella opposition group, is to meet on November 9 to decide whether to take part.—Agencies

TOKYO: Beijing is jeopardizing peace in a row with Tokyo over disputed islands, Japan’s defense minister said yesterday, days after China warned any bid to shoot down its drones would constitute “an act of war”. Itsunori Onodera’s comments are likely to fur ther heighten fears that the two countries could be sliding towards conflict over the outcrops in the East China Sea and come as China showed off its fleet of nuclear-powered submarines and as Japan readies for war games. “I believe the intrusions by China in the territorial waters around the Senkaku islands fall in the ‘grey zone’ (between) peacetime and an emergency situation,” Onodera told reporters in Tokyo. The two sides have been at loggerheads over the island chain, which China claims and calls the Diaoyus, since Tokyo bought three of them from their private Japanese owner in September 2012. But the comments from Onodera following those from China’s defense ministry at the weekend, appear to have taken the verbal fisticuffs to a new level. On Monday, China’s coastguard sent four vessels into the waters around the islands, where they stayed for two hours, shadowed by their Japanese counterparts. That came after three consecutive days in which Tokyo scrambled jets to meet Chinese aircraft as they traversed a strait leading to the Pacific. They did not enter Japanese airspace. “ They were two early-warning aircraft and two bombers,” Onodera told reporters yesterday. “It was unusual that so many aircraft flew between the Okinawan main island and Miyako island. We consider that it is also very unusual that it occurred for three days in a row. “We understand that it is one of the trends showing that China is now vigorously expanding its areas of activities, including into the open

AT SEA: This undated picture shows a nuclear-powered submarine of the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s North Sea Fleet preparing to dive into the sea. Beijing has put its nuclear-powered submarine fleet on public display, with state media touting the move as unprecedented and necessary to show other countries China’s strike capabilities as territorial tensions mount. —AFP ocean.” Last week it was reported that popular Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had given the green light to plans to fire on any unmanned aircraft that did not heed warnings to leave Japanese airspace. The report came after an officially unidentified drone was logged on a trajectory towards southern Japan. Privately, policy-makers said there was no doubt it had been Chinese. China’s defense ministry said on Saturday that Japan’s firing on its aircraft “would constitute a serious provocation, an act of war of sorts” and vowed “firm countermeasures”. Yesterday Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters Japan should “stop hyping up the external threat theory and elaborate to the international community the true intent of

(its) military buildup”. Akira Kato, professor of defense and security at Obirin University in Tokyo said the two sides appeared to be painting themselves into a corner, and without a diplomatic channel of communication, things could only get worse. “Since China is unlikely to tone down its stance, tensions are likely to increase further,” he said. “For Tokyo, the JapanUS security alliance is the fallback,” he said, referring to the security pact under which the United States must come to Japan’s aid if it is attacked. “The case will be a crucial test to see if the alliance can function.” The rhetoric from Japan yesterday came as Beijing put its nuclear submarines on display, with state media touting the move as unprecedented and necessary to

show other countries the full extent of China’s strike capabilities. Tokyo announced last week that it was planning a huge drill on an island hundreds of kilometers (miles) away from the disputed archipelago, starting Friday and intended to sharpen the skills of 34,000 troops in defending-and retaking-distant territory. The recent maneuvers are the latest in a long line of actions and reactions in the bitter scrap with China, which is putatively about the uninhabited islands but is fuelled by historical animosities and nationalism. Japan says it incorporated previously unclaimed islands in 1895. China says it has owned them for hundreds of years and their 19th century annexation by Japan heralded the star t of expansionist imperialism that cul-

Beijing, Shanghai divorces soaring over property tax BEIJING: Divorce rates in China’s two wealthiest cities, Beijing and Shanghai, have soared after the announcement of a property tax that includes a loophole for couples who split up, figures show. Nearly 40,000 couples divorced in

the Chinese capital in the first nine months of this year, jumping 41 percent on the same period in 2 0 1 2 , a ccording to fig u res released by Beijing’s civil affairs officials this month. S i m i l a r l y, d i vo rce s in

SHANGHAI: A couple leave the historic Bund after having wedding photos taken in Shanghai yesterday. Divorce rates in China’s two wealthiest cities, Beijing and Shanghai, have soared after the announcement of a property tax that includes a loophole for couples who split up. — AFP

Shanghai-where concerns over the tax were high-leaped almost 40 percent over the same period, data from authorities in the commercial hub showed. But figures from the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing, where the tax has yet to be impos ed, had divorces there rising by just over seven percent. In March China announced a nationwide capital gains tax of 20 percent on the profits owners make from selling residential property. But the terms allow couples with two properties who divorce and put each house into one person’s name to then sell them taxfree under cer tain conditionsafter which they can remarry. The capital’s divorce growth rate was “far higher” than in the previous four years, the state-run Beijing Youth Daily reported yesterday. “Some of these people divorced in order to avoid the capital gains tax,” Zhang Dawei, direc tor of research at real estate agenc y Centaline China in Beijing said. “ Th e y w i l l q u i c k l y re m a r r y.” Getting separated on paper is currently the “only feasible” way to escape the tax, he added. With property prices skyrocketing in recent years, the capital gains tax can amount to tens of thousands of dollars in China’s first-tier cities if fully implemented. Homeowners were previously taxed at just one or two percent of the sale price. An exemption from the tax is available for vendors who are selling their only home a nd have owned it for more than five years. More than 44,000 couples separated in the January-September period this year in Shanghai, up nearly 40 percent year-on-year, official data

showed. A Shanghai marriage registration office-where divorce applications are also processed in China-has put out a sign saying: “There are risks in the property market, think twice before you get divorced,” the Beijing Youth Daily s aid. Shang ha i divorce lawyer Zhong Tao said that the effect of the capital gains tax on his business had peaked in the early part of the year, as it had been widely publicized at the time but Shanghai had yet to fully implement it. “In fact the divorce rate is rising ever y year and caused by multiple factors, including related policies like the 20 percent capital gains tax, but this is just an episode,” he said. Other financial considerations that can also play a part in divorces include qualifying to take out a lower-rate firsttime-buyer mortgage or, in other cases, buy a second apartment. Zhang said: “The divorce rate has been high over the past few years du e to the home pu rcha s e restrictions and the capital gains tax in all cities where these policies apply.” But policymakers were unlikely to be able to close the loophole, he added. “ This is a grey area. The government cannot do anything if a couple insist on getting divorced,” he said. Property prices are a sensitive issue in C h i n a a n d a u t h o r i t i e s h ave sought for the past three years to control their rise. As well as the capital gains tax, other measures have included restrictions on purchas es of s econd a nd third homes, higher minimum downpayments and taxes on multiple and non-locally owned homes in some cities.— AFP

Top Shebab militant killed in drone strike MOGADISHU: A top suicide bomb-maker for Somalia’s Shebab rebels has been killed in a drone strike, government officials said yesterday after the latest attack by US forces against the Al-Qaeda-linked group. Residents near the site of the strike in southern Somalia reported at least three people were in the charred vehicle, which burst into flames shor tly after the sound of an aircraft was heard overheard. Somali Interior Minister Abdikarin Hussein Guled told government radio that his intelligence services had been tracking Ibrahim Ali Abdi, also known as AntaAnta, for some time before the strike took place on Monday. “The operation in which this man has been killed was very important for the government. This man had a major role in the death of many innocent civilians and his death will help in bringing back peace,” the minister told

Radio Mogadishu. The strike came weeks after an audacious attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi claimed by Shebab in which at least 67 people were killed. The minister did not say who carried out the drone attack, but an official in Washington said the US military was responsible. Officials from Somalia’s internationallybacked government have described the dead militant as being well-known for making suicide bomber vests and preparing car bombs used regularly by the rebels to attack government-held areas. There has been no comment from the rebels. The missile strike also follows a raid by US Navy SEALS on the southern port of Barawe in early October that failed to hit its alleged target: a senior Shebab militant leader and Kenyan of Somali origin called Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir, also known as Ikrima. Barawe is a key Shebab training

centre specializing in preparing suicide attack squads, according to a United Nations monitoring report earlier this year. An American official, speaking on condition of anonymity in Washington, said Monday that the latest missile attack was a drone strike conducted by the US army. The source did not specify where the drone was launched, but the US army operates the devices from bases in Djibouti and Arba Minch in southern Ethiopia. Th e S h e b a b h ave b e e n d r i ve n o u t o f Somalia’s major towns, including the capital Mogadishu and the key southern por t of Kismayo, by a UN-mandated African Union force that now numbers 17,700 men. However the group still controls large swathes of southern Somalia and has over the past few months stepped up the scale of its suicide attacks, including storming a UN compound in Mogadishu in June.— AFP



A Palestinian boy plays with a duck near the house of Palestinian prisoner Omar Massud’s family, held by Israel since 1993, prior to his release in Gaza City yesterday. — AFP

Turkey realises Ottoman dream ISTANBUL: Turkey opened the world’s first underwater rail link between two continents yesterday, connecting Asia and Europe and allowing Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to realise a project dreamt up by Ottoman sultans more than a century ago. The engineering feat spans 13 km to link Europe with Asia some 60 m below the Bosphorus Strait. Called the Marmaray, it will carry subway commuters in Europe’s biggest city and eventually serve high-speed and freight trains. “Today we are realizing the dreams of 150 years ago, uniting the two continents and the people of these two continents,” Erdogan said at the opening, which coincides with the 90th anniversary of the founding of the modern Turkish Republic. The 5.5 billion lira ($2.8 billion) tunnel is one of Erdogan’s “mega projects,” an unprecedented building spree designed to change the face of Turkey. They include a 50-km canal to

rival the Suez that would render half of Istanbul an island, an airport that will be the world’s busiest and a giant mosque atop an Istanbul hill. Atomic power stations are on the drawing table. A third bridge over the Bosphorus, whose construction has already felled 1 million trees, is under way. The plans have fired up Erdogan’s opponents who dub them “pharaonic projects”, symptom of an increasingly authoritarian style of government, and warn of environmental catastrophes in one of world’s most earthquakeprone nations. They accuse Erdogan, still broadly popular after 10 years in power, of bypassing city planners and bulldozing history to make way for pet projects in an ancient city that was the capital of the Byzantine Empire, then after the 1453 Islamic conquest became the centre of Ottoman power. “System error. Please load another system. Your time’s up Tayyip,” read a banner hung by a leftist group at

the Maiden’s Tower, on an islet at the southern entrance to the Bosphorus. A small environmental effort to save an Istanbul park in late May grew into the biggest anti-government protests in decades. Besides engineering projects, Erdogan has wrought radical social change, breaking the traditional power of the secularist army and drawing accusations from some that he pursues an Islamist agenda, something he denies. Erdogan argues his policies meet the needs of a rapidly expanding and increasingly affluent population. “Roads are civilisation,” he said last week. “Our values recognise no obstacle for roads. If a mosque is where a road will go, we will tear down that mosque and build it elsewhere.” Erdogan has called the Marmaray the project of the century and says it fulfils an age-old “dream of our ancestors”. Plans for a rail tunnel below the Bosphorus date to at least

1891, when Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid, a patron of public works whom Erdogan frequently evokes, had French engineers draft a submerged tunnel on columns that was never built. Today, the gleaming Marmaray is an immersed tube set in the seabed built by Japan’s Taisei Corp with Turkish partners Nurol and Gama. The bulk of financing came from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. “Japan and Turkey are the two wings of Asia. Let us dream together of a high-speed train departing from Tokyo, passing through Istanbul and arriving in London,” said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who attended the opening. Money for the other infrastructure schemes may prove more difficult to come by as global liquidity tightens, and that may force Erdogan to scale back plans or scrap some altogether, said Atilla Yesilada, an analyst with GlobalSource Partners. — Reuters

Amir urges it’s time to change ‘old concepts’ Gulf rail project on track Continued from Page 1 projects urgently needed by the country after delays as a result of political disputes witnessed by the country in the past few years. The Amir’s inaugural address focused on shared responsibility, self-examination aimed at reform, sanctity of public funds and Kuwait’s unwavering support of just causes. He recalled the positive signs and sound gestures by parliament, in particular efforts to assess and prioritize the concerns and needs of the public. He also praised signs of mutual keenness on cooperation and coordination between the government and parliament to serve the nation and its citizens. “The constitution is your point of reference and

Parliamentary committees Amiri Speech Response Maasouma Al-Mubarak, Rakan Al-Nisf, Abdulkarim Al-Kandari, Osama Al-Tahous and Yousef AlZalzalah. Public Petitions and Grievances Saadoun Hammad, Roudhan Al-Roudhan, Khalil Abdullah, Ahmad Al-Azmi and Faisal Al-Duwaisan. Internal Affairs and Defense Mohammad Tana Al-Enezi, Askar Al-Enezi, Abdullah Al-Turaiji, Abdullah Al-Adwani and Sultan AlShimmeri Finance and Economic Affairs Faisal Al-Shaya, Mohammad Al-Jabri, Rakan Al-Nisf, Faisal Al-Kandari, Safa Al-Hashem, Hmoud AlHamdan and Khalaf Dumaitheer Legislative and Legal Affairs Maasouma Al-Mubarak, Faisal Al-Duwaisan, Mubarak Al-Hurais, Abdulkarim Al-Kandari, Talal AlJallal, Yaqoub Al-Sane and Abdulrahman Al-Jeeran. Education, Culture and Guidance Khalil Abdullah, Oudah Al-Ruwaie, Abdulrahman AlJeeran, Ahmad Al-Azmi and Hmoud Al-Hamdan. Health, Social Affairs and Labor Saadoun Hammad, Khalil Al-Saleh, Hussein AlQuwaian, Hamad Al-Harshani and Saad AlKhanfour. Foreign Affairs Kamel Al-Awadhi, Ali Al-Rashed, Saleh Ashour, Hamad Al-Harshani and Hamdan Al-Azmi. Public Utilities Abdullah Al-Tamimi, Mohammad Al-Huwailah, Ali Al-Omair, Mohammad Al-Hadiya, Madhi Al-Hajri, Adel Al-Kharafi and Osama Al-Tahous. Budgets and Final Accounts Adnan Abdussamad, Mohammad Al-Jabri, Yousef Al-Zalzalah, Riyadh Al-Adsani, Mohammad AlHuwailah, Adel Al-Kharafi and Ali Al-Omair Protection of Public Funds Saif Al-Azmi, Jamal Al-Omar, Roudhan Al-Roudhan, Majed Al-Mutairi and Abdullah Al-Tamimi.

roadmap, and should you disagree on any point or detail, you have the counsel of our legal system which is known for impartiality and integrity and enjoys the esteem and respect of all,” the Amir told the lawmakers. “It is necessary at this point in time to correct old (negative) notions and put things back in their right perspective after decades of the establishment of our modern state institutions,” he said. “It is also time to adopt a new working method aimed at reinvigorating and realizing the values and principles that are vital for our present national initiatives. Such methods should be based on integrated and combined efforts within a spirit of shared responsibility, discipline, and objective responsibility and accountability as part of a comprehensive national framework to guarantee realization of national goals,” the Amir said. He emphasized that the paramount priority at all times is safeguarding Kuwait’s security internally and externally, ensuring stability and maintaining rule of law as there should be no room for slack on this account. “The first and paramount objective of national effort today should be reform and development to make up for lost time and years wasted because of tension and lost opportunities” the Amir said. The Amir also called for appropriate application of democracy, encouragement of dialogue, mediation and respecting others and their point of view. Prospects for cooperation between the government and MPs constitute an “appropriate environment, calm suitable surroundings and large incentives for serious work, reform and development,” he added. The Amir also stressed on the importance of protecting and safeguarding of public funds, which he described as “the people’s money”. In his speech, Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber AlMubarak Al-Sabah stressed the need to heed the Amir’s directives towards national unity and promoting development. Since its earliest days, Kuwait chose to adopt a democratic system to manage its affairs and guide its efforts. The concept of shared responsibility is at the core of all initiatives, said the premier. “The homeland needs sincere dedication and best utilization of resources and capabilities of all parties within a framework of mutual cooperation, trust and constructive understanding between the legislative and executive authorities,” he said. “The weight of the responsibility we - parliament and government - share and the scope of ambitions and expectations of our people require serious self-examination to pinpoint, admit, and correct errors and mishaps and address them with courage and clarity to decide on appropriate measures and guidelines to amend the situation as well as avoid repetition of past mistakes,” said Sheikh Jaber. “Reform is also a long journey which requires a strong dedication, sincere efforts and great sacrifice. It is a meeting of effort and ability with all members and groups of society playing a role” he said. Speaker Marzouk Al-Ghanem highlighted the need to cooperate and forge ahead with development programs, but he blamed the lack of efficient implementation of programs and plans and the delayed decisions on this matter. Ghanem, who was elected speaker for the first time in August, said that reforms must start from the government and the National Assembly, adding that he believes the main problem is the correct and appropriate implementation of programs. Later the assembly elected MP Yacoub Al-Sane as a secretary for the house and MP Saud Al-Huraiji as an observer and then elected members of the various permanent and temporary panels.

Continued from Page 1 resident advisor to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretariat, told a conference organised by MEED, a business information company. A GCC authority to oversee the project is being established after it was recently approved by national ministers of transport

and finance, he said. “Some key milestones have been achieved and we are targeting for the project to be fully operational in 2018,” he said. GCC countries will build their parts of the railway on their own; the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have begun their construction work while other countries will start shortly, he added. Oman has

begun preliminary design on its rail project. Meanwhile, the contract to study a proposal for a new causeway linking Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, part of the GCC rail project, will be awarded next month and the study is scheduled to be completed in 2014, he said. “This is an important strategic project in the scheme.” — Reuters

London aims to become hub of Islamic... Continued from Page 1 way of identifying Islamic finance opportunities - a world-leading Islamic Market Index,” he explained. The index will identify companies that meet traditional Islamic investment principles. A foundation of Islamic investment is that it should be structured on the exchange of ownership or real assets, with money being used only as a method of payment. Islamic financial principles also prohibit the payment of interest, so Islamic bonds pay investors a fixed return based on the profit generated by an underlying asset. “It is another global first for the City of London,” said Cameron. Kuwait’s Minister of Finance Sheikh Salem Abdulaziz AlSabah yesterday called on Islamic countries to increase their economic cooperation, including more trade and investment exchanges to achieve high rates of sustainable development and maximum growth. Addressing the forum, the finance minister, who is also deputy prime minister and the personal representative of HH the Amir of Kuwait, said that the Islamic world is facing great challenges that require enormous efforts to surmount them. Chief among these, he said, are the increasing rates of poverty, disease and the low rates of education, health, housing, and economic opportunities.

He urged partnerships among Islamic countries to face these challenges and to achieve progress through the partnership between private and public sectors. Noting that the forum is being held for the first time outside of the Arab or Islamic worlds, the Kuwaiti minister said that his country valued the forum and its recommendations and recalled that Kuwait hosted the 4th edition of the forum in 2008. It was at that forum that Kuwait contributed $100 million toward the establishment of a fund to provide basic food staples for needy Muslims around the world. The minister also recalled Kuwait’s pledge of $300 million to the Islamic solidarity development fund, which was announced at the recent OIC summit in Makkah. Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai said the comments from the British prime minister marked a “very welcome step”, and added he hoped Islamic finance could play a role of “reinforcing ethical and moral values” in the financial world after the economic crisis. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also welcomed the news that Islamic finance was “no longer confined to the Muslim world”. Islamic finance has already helped to transform London’s skyline, with Qatari money part-funding the Olympic village used at last year’s games and the 310-m Shard building now towering over the River Thames. — Agencies

Housing shortage poses big dilemma Continued from Page 1 But the waiting list for government-subsidised housing grew to more than 100,000 in 2013 and is expected to grow by thousands each year in a country where more than half of the 1.2 million nationals are under 25. Despite its oil wealth, Kuwait has suffered from a lack of infrastructure development due to political infighting, entrenched bureaucracy and bad planning, analysts say, making it lag regional peers like the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Kuwaiti citizens might have disposable income but are lacking in basic necessities, they say. “You can buy a Bentley but you cannot buy a house,” joked Eid Al-Shihri, an organiser of a campaign called “Waiting for a House” which was set up by a group of young Kuwaitis to press the government to build more homes. The group, which has increased its activities in recent months, has around 12,000 followers on its Twitter account @na6er_bait. A recent government poll found that housing was the most pressing topic for voters. As well as the prime minister, a number of other officials have voiced concern that Kuwait is spending money too fast. Like other wealthy Gulf Arab countries, Kuwait does not tax earnings. Spending programs are often seen as having largely shielded the region from Arab Spring-style unrest. “I think the announcement is not at the right time,” MP Adel Al-Kharafi said, referring to the premier’s remarks which appeared in local media on Monday. “Even if the idea is accepted, even with that support, people are still weak,” he said, citing a lack of public

sector jobs, poor health services and education, alongside housing. Less than 8 percent of Kuwait’s land has been developed, according to an Oxford Business Group report published in April which said it was hard for investors to enter the market. Campaigners say powerful individuals hoard land to push up prices and rents to their benefit. Housing is also a major issue in large neighbour Saudi Arabia where King Abdullah announced after Arab uprisings broke out in North Africa in early 2011 that the government would build half a million new homes at a cost of 250 billion riyals ($67 billion). The world’s top oil exporter has also made it easier for people to take out low-interest loans to buy houses and has passed a mortgage law that may ease access to private-sector home loans. Kuwaitis say they want this kind of support too. Former boxer Ahmed Al-Ezmi said he had been waiting 17 years for a house. His nine-member family, which includes his son’s family, are crammed into a three-bedroom rented apartment costing KD 300 ($1,100) a month, he said. His son is also on the waiting list, he said at a weekly “Waiting for a House” meeting outside the government housing authority late on Monday. It is the middle class which is suffering, said 30-year-old entrepreneur Bashar Al-Ostad, who runs a hotel booking website. “I consider myself one of the fortunate Kuwaitis and still I cannot afford to buy a house,” he said at the meeting, where around 30 men sat on carpets and sipped coffee. The prime minister’s comments about the welfare system “outraged public opinion,” Ostad said. “We can travel, we have disposable income but the basics are not there.” — Reuters





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Kenya shutdown tempers east Africa oil ambitions By Edmund Blair ullow Oil’s suspension of drilling in Kenya after weekend protests shows that popular impatience for a share of the spoils is compounding the problems energy firms face building an oil and gas industry from scratch in east Africa. Backed by local politicians, demonstrators from Kenya’s poor, northern Turkana community marched on Tullow sites demanding jobs and other benefits, prompting one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s most experienced oil explorers to “temporarily” halt work. That is a blow to Kenya’s government, determined to show it has security under control following last month’s attack by Islamist militants on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, in which at least 67 people were killed. Investors’ confidence was another casualty. While east Africa is a hot new province for oil and gas exploration, excitement has been tempered by wrangles with governments, gaps in regulations and rickety infrastructure. Local populations are understandably anxious for a windfall, but production may be years away, and such direct action is only likely to slow the region’s emergence as a significant producer. “There are numerous potential risks on exploration projects in poor, remote areas,” said Tom Savory at consultancy Africa Practice. “Navigating local politics can be just as much of a challenge as navigating national politics.” London-listed Tullow, which has a track record of delivering projects elsewhere in Africa, said it was working with the Kenyan government, local authorities and communities in the area to resume work as soon as possible. Grievances in the local community erupted into protests around at least two of its drilling sites, demanding more jobs and contracts. Tullow says more than 800 of its 1,400 employees in its Kenya operations are from the Turkana region. “We welcome them (Tullow) to Turkana. But we want to start benefiting as early as possible,” said James Lomenen, a regional member of parliament who joined the protest at Twiga South-1 site. He said he saw workers evacuated from the site. “No one was telling them to go; the community was just coming to have dialogue,” he said, adding that the protest was peaceful and demonstrators “were just outside singing”. An industry source, however, described a “very tense” scene, and a senior Kenyan energy ministry official, Martin Heya, said politicians, whom he did not name, had stirred things up. “We want them (Tullow) to work as soon as possible,” Heya said. “We shall work with security agents to make sure they feel secure,” he added, after police said they beefed up security. Such incidents are not unique to Kenya. In Tanzania, where gas deposits have attracted firms like Britain’s BG Group and Norway’s Statoil, residents of the Mtwara region protested in May over construction of a pipeline there, demanding more benefits. Hardy oil firms are not likely to be deterred by such unrest, but anything that makes them more wary and imposes extra costs hinders development of an industry that Kenya, like other governments, hopes will generate new revenues to plug budget deficits and lift more people out of poverty. “Risks for operators in this zone will in the end be at the cost of Kenya’s exploration success and potentially lead to delays in the commercialisation of discoveries,” said Duncan Clarke, chairman of Global Pacific and Partners, an advisory firm to the upstream industry. “It will add some concerns, already emerging in Kenya, about tougher terms and state regulatory involvement,” he said. Kenya is revising outdated laws governing the oil and gas industry. A draft law could go to parliament in November. Others are also updating industry rules. Tanzania is drawing up a new gas policy, but has yet to issue it as a debate rumbles on about how much gas should be sold to foreigners. Elsewhere, a wrangle between Uganda and oil firms over whether to process crude or export it has pushed back production until 2016, a decade after oil was discovered. Uganda has now agreed with France’s Total and China’s CNOOC on building a smaller refinery than it had earlier wanted. After helping bring Ghana’s discoveries to production, Tullow shows no sign of backing away from its Kenya and Uganda investment, but the shutdown in Kenya comes at a tricky time for the group. It has suffered a greater number of dry holes this year than its investors have come to expect and is looking for a partner to take on the $4.9 billion development costs of its Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme (TEN) offshore Ghana project. — Reuters


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US Congress finds cure for gridlock in water By Fred Barbash and Caren Bohan he US House of Representatives has rediscovered the formula for peace, harmony and an end to gridlock after a month of partisan warfare: $8 billion worth of harbor dredging, dam and lock construction and other federal waterway improvements. The bill got only modest attention in the aftermath of a government shutdown and the technological woes of President Obama’s health law when it passed last week by a vote of 417-3. No error there: 224 Republicans and 193 Democrats, at each others’ throats for the past five years, joined together in what Representative Virginia Foxx called a “love feast”. Pork it was not, members insisted, rejecting the old pejorative term in favor of “infrastructure” spending, and garnishing the title with another word, “reform”, that’s also in vogue. Nor, by members’ definition, were these earmarks, the pet projects inserted by individual members that have become taboo symbols of lavish Washington spending. Whatever the jargon, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act was a reminder of the allure of traditional home-district spending and its healing power in an age of division. The bill included projects that would benefit about half of the state delegations in Congress, by a rough count. For Georgia, there was an expansion of Savannah Harbor; for Florida, improvements to the ports of Jacksonville and Canaveral, not to mention the Everglades Restoration Plan. Texas and Louisiana won approval for the dredging of the Sabine-Neches Waterway, 79 miles billed as America’s “energy gateway,” and “the artery of southeast Texas.” Authorizations went to North Carolina, California, the Mississippi Coast, Maryland, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and the entire Great Lakes region. In voting for the measure, small-government Tea Party faction members bucked conservative organizations, like the Heritage Foundation, that held sway over them during the October showdown that shutdown the government. And liberal Democrats bucked environmentalists, who expressed concerns about provisions designed to speed up the environmental impact assessments that sometimes slow down water projects. What is more, the Senate has already approved similar - though not identical - legislation and the White House, though skeptical, is not threatening a veto. “For all the hand wringing about the inability of Republicans and Democrats to get along in Washington, there is definitely one area in which they continue to get along and that is parochial projects,” said Tad DeHaven, a former Capitol Hill policy adviser and now a budget analyst at the Cato Institute. A dominant theme during the debate last week was redemption. Even those who said they had concerns about the bill said they would support it because of its bipartisan sponsorship, “something all too rare in Washington these days,” said Elizabeth Esty, a Democrat of Connecticut. “I am


proud to say that this bill reflects the bipartisan action that my constituents expect from Congress.” But Americans in search of a do-something Congress should not get their hopes up. Water bills are unique: Tea Party or not, a member of Congress cannot go home and tell the locals that he voted against a deeper port or a shored-up beach. Most vote yes, issue a press release and if possible, go down to the jetty or the dam for a photo op. “The Peoria Lock and Dam is becoming a popular place for federal legislators to conduct news conferences,” the Pekin Times reported in Illinois over the weekend after the third visit from a member of Congress in a few months. So powerful are the forces behind water bills that when President George W Bush vetoed a $23 billion version in 2007 as “fiscally irresponsible”, Congress overrode him, one of only six veto overrides in 25 years. Water bills are “not inherently” partisan, said Patrick Griffin, a former White House aide and now associate director for the Center for Congressional and Presidential studies at American University. “I’m not sure I would be betting a new era of cooperation simply on that vote,” he said. Plus, authorizing projects is but the first step toward actually funding them. Actual spending must be approved by appropriations enacted separately by both houses of Congress. With the appropriations process broken down and replaced by temporary crisis-mode funding showdowns, it is possible that only a fraction of the money promised will ever be spent. The Army Corps of Engineers, for which the money was authorized, already has a $60 billion construction backlog, as a skeptical White House pointed out in its response to the bill’s passage. Indeed, the bill passed by the House deauthorized dozens of projects that had languished for years, enabling House conservatives to say they were offsetting the cost of the new projects by sacrificing the old, justification for adding the word “reform” to the title of the bill. But the questionable future of the newer projects got lost in the torrent of press releases that poured forth from members in the days following Thursday’s House vote. Hailing the Savannah project, designed to deepen the Georgia harbor for supertanker use, Georgia Representative Tom Graves, a Republican Tea Party favorite, predicted that in no time, “those supertankers will arrive at the harbor full of goods, and Georgia business will make sure they leave full”. The legislation “will allow larger ships to reach our ports and energy and manufacturing centers,” said Texas Representative Randy Weber of the Sabine-Neches Waterway project, which aims to deepen the channel from 40 to 48 feet to accommodate larger ships. Still, the measure brought back nostalgic glimpses of the way Congress used to operate, for better or worse, in the days when they actually appropriated money, much of it “earmarked” for pet projects of individual members. Though some members pine openly for a return to earmarks, argu-

ing that they allowed Congress rather than the president to decide where money is spent, earmarks stand condemned, especially by conservatives, as a corrupting contribution to exploding deficits. Representative Daniel Webster of Florida contrasted this water bill with the one portrayed in the movie, “Mr Smith Goes to Washington,” about a naive new member who fights against a dam, and the system. Unlike the water bill in the movie, said Webster, these were not “pet projects” but rather taken from a list provided by the Army Corps of Engineers. “Gone or the days of inserting earmarks at the last minute,” he said. And “gone are the days of wasting taxpayer money on pork barrel spending.” Only one member, Democrat Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, had the temerity to call the projects earmarks, mostly, he admitted, because he didn’t get one. “I support all of these projects,” said Cleaver, “but I don’t have an earmark in it - and I want one.” Democratic Representative Collin Peterson of Minnesota, one of the three lawmakers to vote against the bill, also felt left out. It failed to include reauthorization for a flood-control project in Roseau, Minnesota, said a spokeswoman. The bill mobilized the big-time lobbyists, hundreds of them, according to lobbyist registration data, from powerhouses like Exxon Mobil, the American Petroleum Institute and the National Corn Growers Association to every county, city and even villages that stood to gain. Their show of force gave them a rare victory over the new breed of small-government ideological lobbying group, like Americans for Prosperity, which called it a “giant spending bill” and the Heritage Foundation, which condemned the measure as “an abyss of spending.” Progressive Democrats came out in force to support the bill as well, despite the concerns of environmental organizations about provisions designed to speed up time consuming environmental reviews required for water projects. “This is something Congress has done many times in the past, going back almost 200 years,” said Steve Ellis, vice-president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, which urged a ‘no’ vote. “It’s sort of a reflexive activity in many ways.” It also benefited from the “hangover” of the fight that shut down the government earlier in October and nearly risked a default. “People were so fatigued by that,” Ellis said. “If you read the transcript of the Congressional Record, it was everybody touting how bipartisan this is. It was “almost like they were trying to convince themselves that they can do things on a bipartisan basis and wanting to make sure that their constituents and other people thought that Washington could work.” In the aftermath of the government shutdown, said American University’s Griffin, there may be slightly more inclination to cooperate. On a water bill, said Griffin, it “is probably not a mortal sin to vote on the same side as the other party. It’s probably just a venial sin.” — Reuters

Euro zone seeks to escape debt overhang By Paul Taylor s the euro zone’s weakest members crawl out of their longest recession in modern history, their prospects of recovery are weighed down by a crushing mountain of debt far heavier than before four years of financial crisis. Italy, Greece, Ireland and Portugal all have public debt well in excess of annual economic output and risk a Japanese-style “lost decade” of grindingly low growth and high unemployment as they slowly repay their way out of trouble. The average ratio of debt to gross domestic product in the 17-nation single currency area stands at 95 percent - lower than in the United States and far less than Japan but dangerously high for ageing societies that cannot individually print money or devalue. The official European Union line is that each bailed-out country must clean up its own mess and grow its way back to health without debt relief or mutualisation, except perhaps for Greece, which has long been declared a special case. “As Margaret Thatcher used to say: TINA - There Is No Alternative,” said Graham Bishop, an economic consultant. Fiscal discipline and pro-market reforms to liberalise labour contracts, break trade union wage bargaining power and curb welfare and pensions are the only road to salvation, he argued. Yet other economists - and a closet minority of EU officials unwilling to break ranks publicly with the orthodox line - say that policy prescription is politically and socially untenable and Europe will have to consider some form of broader debt relief, perhaps via the European Central Bank. “Ideally the euro zone would combine a symmetrical budget policy with debt monetisation by the ECB,” Belgian economist Paul De Grauwe at the London School of Economics wrote in an essay for the


Centre for European Reform. Under such a policy, low-deficit countries like Germany with room for manoeuvre would run a more expansionary budget to balance out spending curbs in peripheral states, while the central bank would buy up and retire weaker states’ bonds. Neither option is likely, given Germany’s fear of inflation and the vehement resistance across northern Europe to any perceived sharing of the burden of other euro countries’ debts. De Grauwe said the alternative was that countries like Greece and Portugal would default sooner or later, since politicians in those countries would not accept being forced to transfer resources for years to rich northern creditors. Yet default remains taboo in the euro area even after Greece’s imposition of losses on private bondholders in 2012. Two other economists who analysed the options in a paper on the economic website VoxEU in August concluded that the only realistic and effective option would be for such countries to default by selling monetised debt to the ECB. Arguing that Europe’s debt crisis was still getting worse despite appearances to the contrary, Charles Wyplosz, professor of international economics at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, and Pierre Paris, CEO of Banque Paris Bertrand Sturdza, said this would amount to “burying the debt forever”. Under their scheme, the ECB would buy up 1.2 trillion euros in bonds of the most indebted countries and exchange them for a perpetual interest-free loan that would never be repaid unless the bank was liquidated, effectively eliminating the debt. Such moves have sometimes caused runaway inflation in the past, but the authors argue it would be unlikely to do so now because credit markets are so weak that increases in the monetary base do not actually expand money in circulation.

Their plan would go far beyond the ECB’s current policy of offering to buy up short maturity bonds of states that apply for a precautionary loan from the euro zone’s rescue fund and accept heavily monitored EU/International Monetary Fund austerity. The authors examine other avenues for debt reduction such as running big budget surpluses, selling off public assets, making creditors take losses on bond holdings, or debt forgiveness by creditor governments. Even taken together, those options would be insufficient, politically unacceptable or merely shift the burden to weak banks and “forgiving nations” such as Germany, which would see its debt ratio soar to perhaps 110 percent, they say. Historians who have studied past episodes of very high debt in the last three centuries say inflation, devaluation, roaring economic growth or selective default have often reduced the burden without massive pain. Nicholas Crafts, professor of economic history at Warwick University, said the orthodox fiscal approach of running a big budget surplus had enabled Britain to reduce its debt over the century after the Napoleonic wars from 200 percent of GDP to 25 percent in 1913 in the eve of World War One. Another tactic, used successfully by the United States and Britain after World War Two was “financial repression”, forcing real interest rates down to very low levels through the capture of holders of government debt. Banks and investors were constrained by capital controls and reserve requirements, paying an effective “inflation tax” that helped reduce the public debt ratio. Roaring economic growth fuelled by productivity gains and a baby boom helped ease the burden in the 1950s and 1960s. Yet neither looks likely in the near future given ageing societies, chronic unemployment, depressed demand and high savings. — Reuters



O’Connor joins Irish exiles LONDON: Australia utility back James O’Connor has signed a short-term contract with London Irish, the struggling English Premiership club announced on Tuesday after securing the services of a talented player capped 44 times by the Wallabies. The 23-year-old was released from his Australia Rugby Union contract this month after a string of disciplinary issues and failed to agree a deal with any of his country’s five Super Rugby franchises. “Having decided that I needed a change from both a personal and playing point of view, I spoke to clubs in Japan and France, and concluded that the best way forward for my development was to move to England,” O’Connor said in a statement on the club’s website ( Confirming the contract would run until the end of the season in May, London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith added: “James is a world-class player and a terrific kid and it is fantastic to have him at London Irish. “He will bring a huge amount of experience to our group and will fit in well to our style of play. He is fit and ready to play so the coaching group will get him up to date on everything and hopefully he’ll be ready to go this weekend.” He is expected to make his debut at fullback against the Northampton Saints on Sunday.—Reuters

NHL results/standings Dallas 4, Buffalo 3; Pittsburgh 3, Carolina 1; Montreal 2, NY Rangers 0; Chicago 5, Minnesota 1; Vancouver 3, Washington 2. Western Conference Pacific Division W L OTL GF GA PTS San Jose 10 1 1 48 20 21 9 4 1 41 39 19 Vancouver Anaheim 9 3 0 39 31 18 Phoenix 7 3 2 40 39 16 Los Angeles 8 4 0 35 30 16 Calgary 5 4 2 34 39 12 Edmonton 3 8 2 36 50 8 CENTRAL DIVISION Colorado 10 1 0 35 16 20 7 2 3 39 33 17 Chicago Minnesota 6 4 3 30 31 15 St. Louis 6 1 2 35 23 14 Nashville 6 5 1 23 32 13 Winnipeg 5 6 2 32 37 12 Dallas 5 5 1 30 34 11 EASTERN CONFERENCE ATLANTIC DIVISION Tampa Bay 8 3 0 39 31 16 8 4 0 40 30 16 Toronto Boston 7 3 0 30 17 14 Montreal 7 5 0 35 22 14 Detroit 6 4 2 27 33 14 Ottawa 4 5 2 30 32 10 Florida 3 7 2 26 42 8 Buffalo 2 11 1 23 41 5 METROPOLITAN DIVISION Pittsburgh 8 4 0 38 29 16 4 4 3 35 36 11 NY Islanders Carolina 4 5 3 26 36 11 Columbus 5 6 0 31 29 10 Washington 5 7 0 34 38 10 New Jersey 2 5 4 24 36 8 Philadelphia 3 7 0 18 27 6 NY Rangers 3 7 0 15 35 6 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L).

Neuer fond of Guardiola’s style GERMANY: Manuel Neuer is better suited to new Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola’s style of passing the ball out from the back than he was to the tactics of predecessor Jupp Heynckes, said the Germany goalkeeper. Guardiola took over from the treble-winning Heynckes in the close season and ball possession has always been a priority for the Spaniard who won 14 trophies in four years with his former club Barcelona. “Under Guardiola we are trying to play the ball out in a more controlled way instead of with long balls forward,” Neuer told Sport Bild magazine in an interview to be published on Wednesday. “It was often the case last season that we played it safe and looked for (striker Mario Mandzukic) up front with long, high balls. Now we play the ball out. “Players are looking for me more now than before and I can take part in launching our plays. For me it is easier because that way I am more involved in the game,” added Neuer. Bayern have enjoyed a stellar start to Guardiola’s first season and are undefeated in all three competitions they have taken part in. The Bavarians top the Bundesliga, a point ahead of Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen, and are also leading their Champions League group with three wins from three games.—Reuters

Vonn wise to skip race NEW YORK: Lindsey Vonn was tempted to speed up her return from knee surgery to rediscover the rush of racing she misses so badly. Instead, the Olympic downhill champion made what she calls a “wise” decision and skipped last Saturday’s season-opening race in Austria. She will stick with her original plan to come back at home at the event in Beaver Creek, Colorado, from Nov. 29-Dec. 1. After training in Chile in August went better than expected, Vonn flirted with the idea of coming back for the giant slalom in Soelden. She decided last week to wait. Her right knee felt great in training. But she could tell her body just wasn’t quite ready to race. “My timing is a little bit off,” Vonn told The Associated Press in a phone interview Monday. “If I get into trouble, if I make a mistake on the course, I revert to bad habits. I’m not as technically sound as I need to be. That just takes time on the snow.” Every decision centers on making sure she’s healthy and in top form for the Sochi Olympics. The four-time overall World Cup winner injured her anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in a crash at the world championships in Schladming last February. “I really wanted to compete,” Vonn said. “I’ve been really antsy. I need that adrenaline rush. I need to be back on the circuit.”—Reuters

Canadiens see off Rangers NEW YORK: Peter Budaj made 27 saves for his 11th career NHL shutout, and Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk provided all the offense Montreal needed as the Canadiens spoiled the New York Rangers’ long-awaited home opener with a 2-0 victory Monday night. The 31-year-old Budaj was on the top of his game despite playing in place of No. 1 goalie Carey Price for only the second time this season and first since Oct. 10 at Edmonton when he stopped 27 of 28 shots in a win. Plekanec scored the decisive goal on a power play in the second period. Budaj made it stand up for Montreal (7-5), which had lost three of four since a four-game winning streak. Galchenyuk scored his second goal of the season with 2:51 left. That sealed the win moments after Budaj blocked an inclose chance for Mats Zuccarello.

victory over the Hurricanes. Chris Kunitz and Tanner Glass also scored for the Metropolitan Division-leading Penguins. Brooks Orpik had three assists, Sidney Crosby added two and MarcAndre Fleury stopped 20 shots. Pittsburgh ended its longest losing streak since 2011-12 by defeating the Hurricanes for the fourth straight time. Nathan Gerbe scored a power-play goal for Carolina, which lost its third straight but remained tied with the New York Islanders for second in the division - five points behind the Penguins. Justin Peters made 26 saves in his second straight start in place of the injured Cam Ward. CANUCKS 3, CAPITALS 2 Daniel Sedin scored the game-winner in the third period

and added an assist for Vancouver, which won its fourth straight. Zack Kassian and Ryan Kesler also scored for Vancouver, which played at Rogers Arena for the first time since Oct. 12 after a seven-game trip. Henrik Sedin added an assist to extend his point streak to nine games. Roberto Luongo made 17 saves for the Canucks. Jason Chimera, with a goal and an assist, and Mikhail Grabovski scored for Washington, which got 38 saves from Michal Neuvirth.After the teams traded goals early in the third period, Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin played keepaway in the Washington zone to give Vancouver the lead for good. Daniel Sedin finished the sequence off by faking a pass at the top of the slot and blasting a shot past Neuvirth at 5:01 to make it 32. — AP

STARS 4, SABRES 3 Tyler Seguin capped a three-goal, first-period outburst, and the Stars hung on to deliver coach Lindy Ruff a win in his homecoming against the Sabres. Jamie Benn, Alex Goligoski and Vernon Fiddler also scored in a game the Stars nearly squandered a 4-1 lead against the NHL’s worst team. Eric Cole added two assists in Ruff’s first game against his former team after his 16-year tenure in Buffalo ended with him being fired on Feb. 20. Matt Moulson nearly spoiled Ruff’s return by scoring two goals in his Sabres debut, a day after being acquired in a trade the sent Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders. Steve Ott also scored for Buffalo (2-11-1), which matched its worst start through 14 games. BLACKHAWKS 5, WILD 1 Patrick Sharp finally scored and Nick Leddy jump-started Chicago’s stagnant special teams with a power-play goal as the Blackhawks beat the Wild. Corey Crawford made 29 saves, and Sheldon Brookbank, Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad all scored to give the Blackhawks just their third game of more than three goals in 12 contests this season. After giving up 11 goals while losing their previous two games, the Blackhawks played tougher defense, were more disciplined and paid the Wild back for their 5-3 win Saturday in Chicago. Jason Pominville had a goal for the Wild, his third in two games to tie it at 1 midway through the second period, but Niklas Backstrom never found his footing in the net. PENGUINS 3, HURRICANES 1 Rookie Jayson Megna had his first career goal and assist, helping the Penguins end a three-game losing streak with a

NEW YORK: Brian Boyle No. 22 of the New York Rangers gets wrapped up with PK Subban No. 76 of the Montreal Canadiens during the second period at Madison Square Garden. — AFP



Game On Dude early favorite for Breeders’ Cup ARCADIA: Game On Dude was made the early 8-5 favorite in an impressive field of 12 for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, a race he has failed to win in two previous starts for trainer Bob Baffert. For the second straight year, the gelding will be running on his home track. Game On Dude’s only loss in nine races at Santa Anita came in last year’s 11/4-mile Classic, where he finished seventh behind winner Fort Larned. “I’m just hoping he runs like an 8-5 shot,” Baffert said Monday. Baffert is winless in the Classic, but he has trained Game On Dude to a 5-0 record this year heading into Saturday ’s race. Joe Torre, the former Dodgers and Yankees manager, co-owns the gelding, which will be ridden by Mike Smith. The 48-year-old Hall of Fame jockey has mounts in 13 of 14 Breeders’ Cup races. Baffert sent Game On Dude out for his final workout Monday. “He’s not the same horse that ran here last year, thank God,” he said. “He’s bigger, he’s filled out and he’s a happy horse. I’ve spaced his races out and that’s allowed me to keep his weight on.” Fort Larned, who won last year’s Classic by three-quarters of a length over Mucho Macho Man, is back to defend his title. Mucho Macho Man returns, too, with Gary Stevens in the saddle. Game On Dude drew the No. 9 post. “I didn’t want him to be buried on the inside,” Baffert said. “The field is strong. It’s so competitive. All these horses are back from last year.” Baffert also will saddle Paynter, who will start from the No. 2 post at 12-1 odds. Fort Larned drew the No. 7 post and was listed at 6-1 odds. Mucho Macho Man will break from the No. 6 post at 5-1 odds. Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has Will Take Charge in the Classic. The Travers winner drew the No. 10 post and was listed at 12-1 odds. Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice is 10-1 and drew the No. 8 post. The Irish father-son duo of trainer Aidan O’Brien and jockey Joseph O’Brien team up with 10-1 shot Declaration of War in the Classic. Reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan drew post position eight in a field of 10 and was made the even-money favorite for the $2 million Mile, where the 6-year-old gelding will try to improve to 6-0 on the turf this year.

Wise Dan will be ridden by John Velazquez, who was aboard for the gelding’s only loss in his last nine starts earlier this month at Keeneland, where the race was moved from the turf to the synthetic surface. Wise Dan will face nine rivals in the 30th Breeders’ Cup. Cleburne and Havana - both 2-0 - will put their undefeated records on the line in the $2 million Juvenile, which drew a full field of 14. Velazquez will ride Havana, the 5-2 morning-line favorite; Cleburne was listed at 12-1. Stevens, who launched a successful comeback earlier this year at 50, has nine mounts over the two days of racing. Trainer Todd Pletcher won’t have Graydar, who had been pre-entered in both the Classic and the Dirt Mile. The Kelso winner has a quarter crack in his left front hoof. “We’re disappointed,” Pletcher said. “Graydar had been training extremely well and I thought we got the perfect comeback effort from him in the Kelso.” The two-day, $27 million championships open Friday with five races, including the Distaff, which has reverted to its original name after being called the Ladies’ Classic since 2008. Two-time defending champion Royal Delta was made the early 8-5 favorite among a heavyweight field that includes 95 second choice Princess of Sylmar, who has won six stakes this year, and last year’s BC Juvenile Fillies winner Beholder, third choice at 5-2. “It is a heck of a race and she’s going to have to be at her best for it,” said Richard Mandella, who trains Beholder. Royal Delta will break from the No. 4 post. Beholder and Princess of Sylmar will be next to each other in the No. 5 and 6 slots, respectively. Rosie Napravnik and Chantal Sutherland-Kruse each have one mount on Saturday, and will try to join Julie Krone as the only women to win a Breeders’ Cup race in the event’s history. Napravnik rides 5-1 shot Untapable in the $2 million Juvenile Fillies; Sutherland-Kruse is aboard 20-1 longshot Great Hot in the $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint. Saturday’s nine races include the $1 million Turf Sprint, with defending champion and 4-1 favorite Mizdirection among the 14-horse field. — AP

ST LOUIS: Yadier Molina No. 4 of the St. Louis Cardinals gets out on David Ross No. 3 of the Boston Red Sox at home plate in the seventh inning during Game Five of the 2013 World Series at Busch Stadium. — AFP

Ross lifts Red Sox to victory ST. LOUIS: David Ross never expected to be on a World Series podium. That seat is for stars, not for gray-bearded baseball journeyman, not for backup catchers knocked onto the disabled list for much of the summer by foul tips. “The trip I’ve taken this year, I never thought I’d be here, There were times I was questioning whether my career was over,” he said Monday night with a smile that brightened the interview room. “I’m playing in the World Series, so just this whole skit is just - I’m up here talking to you guys. This is pretty cool, right?” The very definition of a bench player - he’s never gotten more than 311 at-bats in a season - Ross got the biggest hit of the year thus far for the Boston Red Sox, nearly completing his long-and-winding trek to a World Series title. Ross pulled a hanging curveball down the left-field line that landed just a few inches fair in the seventh inning, driving in the go-ahead run and boosting the Red Sox over the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 for a 3-2 World Series lead. Now 36, Ross’s sandy-colored beard makes him look more aging rocker than dashing athlete. A veteran of six major league organizations, he signed last November for his second tour with the Red Sox, his team for part of 2008. His season began to come apart on May 11, when he took a pair of foul tips off his mask against Toronto. He went on the DL for two weeks and fell into a 3-for-22 slide when he returned. Then he got whacked in the mask by another foul at Baltimore on June 14. “I got home and my wife said, ‘You’re not right,’” he recalled. “And they did some tests and kind of concluded I wasn’t right. Then I tried to come back

fast, not giving enough credit to really what a concussion is. As athletes we feel like we can get through anything, and I couldn’t. I stunk for a good two weeks, three weeks, and my wife finally was like, ‘If you don’t tell the doctors, I’m going to.’” The Red Sox sent him to Pittsburgh to be examined on June 20 by Dr. Mickey Collins, a concussion specialist. Ross didn’t play for Boston again until Aug. 20. “We try to do mind over matter sometimes, and the hardest part when you’re going through something like that is just you don’t have a cast on or you didn’t have surgery,” Ross said. “I looked fine, but I wasn’t right. It’s hard to look your teammates in the eye when you’re going through something like that and see if you’re bowing out or not, with the questions that they have. Because I used to do the same thing. ‘Concussion, just push through it. You’re not tough enough’ or something like that.” But now he knew. “Headaches and dizziness and all the symptoms, couldn’t ride in a car, couldn’t be in crowded places,” he said, “but did all the exercises Mickey put me through and slowly came back. And thank goodness my hitting has come around, because I stunk there for a while.” With Jarrod Saltalamacchia in a 6-for-32 (.188) postseason slump, Ross got the opportunity of his 12-year major league career. He’s caught Jon Lester’s last four postseason starts, impressing Red Sox manager John Farrell with their rapport. “We’re all excited for him, and we’re glad he’s doing it and hope he keeps on doing it,” first baseman Mike Napoli said. Lester credited Ross for his dazzling performance. “Did a good job of keeping me calm, keeping

Malabar United FC

Don Bosco Oratory

me in the game,” he said. Ross was 1 for 9 in the Series before his fifth-inning single. He stepped to the plate in the seventh against Adam Wainwright following a single by rookie Xander Bogaerts and a walk by Stephen Drew, took a called strike, watched a ball and then fouled off a pitch. When Wainwright left a 79-mph hanger up, Ross pounced. If the ball hadn’t bounced into the stands, Drew would have scored, too, but he came around on Jacoby Ellsbury’s single as Ross was thrown out at the plate by center fielder Shane Robinson. Ross had never seen himself as a Series star. “I’m kind of more of a keep-my-head-down-and-workhard kind of guy,” he said, “I’m not the type of player who can plan out all these goals. That’s probably why it hadn’t sunk in yet of what all this is, because I’m worried about Game 6 already. There’s a pit in my stomach already.” After it was over, already showered and dressed for the flight home, he was given a televised postgame news conference. He called it “the signature moment” of his career. “I’m just in awe of being in the World Series, really,” he said, turning around to look at the MLB logos on the backdrop behind him, as if he wasn’t quite sure they were real. “That’s when you see people on TV,” he said excitedly. “I’m stoked!” Ross had answered questions for 14 minutes, yet he still didn’t want to leave the room. “Jon Lester is waiting to come in,” announced Phyllis Merhige, an MLB senior vice president. “You can stay as long as you like.” “Can I sit up here while he’s up here?” Ross asked. And so he did, alongside Lester and David Ortiz, savoring the night of his career just a little bit longer. — AP


Sparx shine, YRC Rising Stars win KUWAIT: The seventh round of the KIFF League matches was held on MOH grounds at Sabah Hospital on 25th October 2013 for the Late JP D’Mello Rolling Trophy. Four matches were held with Sparx FC winning against Indian Strikers 1-0, Malabar United drew 1-1 with DHL FC, YRC Rising Stars beat GOA Maroons 2-0 and DBO were held by UFC. In the first match between Indian Strikers and FC Sparx the match got underway to a decent pace with FC Sparx dominating with their fleet footed strikers and a youthful midfield. They sounded the scoreboard through Bipin Sebastian in the first half. Indian Strikers found the going tough against a youthful team who have dominated the group ‘A’ so far. Sparx’s midfield and strikers played in tandem with their defense being rock solid not succumbing to any pressure from Indian Strikers and saw the match off with a 1-0 win and top the group. Zidik of FC Sparx was declared the Man of the Match given away by KIFF Vice President Derrick Gomendes. The match was supervised by Sarto Baptista and assisted by Jose and Lloyd. In the second game Malabar United took on DHL FC. Both the teams needing a win to stay afloat in the group went for the attack. DHL midfield was in coordination and sprayed defense splitting passes, but the for-

YRC Rising Stars

wards could not take advantage. As DHL started the match in right earnest they scored the opening goal through Cruz who tapped in after Malabar United defense failed to clear the lines. Any thought of DHL recording their first win was extinguished when a goal bound shot from Indian Strikers was fumbled by DHL keeper and Younus of Malabar scored from the spill. Towards the end of the second half both the teams went for a win but failed and the game ended in a tame draw at 1-1. Rahim of Malabar United was adjudged the Man of the Match and the award was give away by KIFF PRO Joseph. The match was officiated by Pascoal with assistance from Lloyd and Tiago. The third encounter was between Goa Maroons and YRC Rising Stars. The match started on a cautious note and gained momentum with Rising Stars pressing GOA Maroons deep and this ploy played dividends as Sydney of Rising Stars scored the first goal with a deft placement. The goal pumped Rising Stars who started dominating the pace of the match and found the second through their Captain Bernard who let go a stinging shot from the top of the box leaving GOA Maroons shot stopper a mere spectator. Maroons tried to come back in the match in the second half with purposeful substitutions, but Rising Star’s defense led

by Joaquim held firm. Towards the end of the match GOA Maroons had their chances to reduce the margin, but poor balance infront of the goal led them down and the match ended 2-0 in favor of Rising Stars. Joaquim of Rising Stars

was deservedly declared the Man of the match and the award was handed over by KIFF’s flamboyant Sports Secretary Kevin Vaz. The match was supervised by Nicholas with Alvaro and Sharma on the lines. The last match of the day saw DBO taking

Man of the match

United Friends Club


on a rejuvenated UFC. DBO started with an attacking intent and their midfield reigned supreme. UFC came back strongly in to the match and mounted pressure on DBO defense led by Godfrey. The match was mostly played in the midfield with both the teams’ defense not allowing a sniff to the opposition. The second half started with a real intent of scoring by both the teams. DBO mounted pressure on UFC but their defense soaked in and attacked DBO on counters, but could not find the net and game petered to a fiery draw to leave group ‘B wide open. Shehin of UFC was awarded the Man of the Match for his superb midfield display which was handed over by KIFF Treasurer Shyam Kumar. The match was refereed by Tiago at the center with Nicholas and Pascaol on the lines. The matches were supervised by IFRA officials. Man of the Match awards for the KIFF League are sponsored by United Steel Industrial Company. The customary housie snowball was conducted by Mr. Bernard Fernandes. The schedule of KIFF League matches for 1st November 2013 is as follows: At 6.45am Kerala Challengers v/s RBFC. 7.45am Skynet v/s FC Sparx. 8.45am AVC - Kuwait v/s Curtorcares United. 9.45am Indian Strikers v/s Santos United. All matches will be played at MOH grounds at Sabah Hospital, Kuwait



Seahawks stand firm to hold off battering Rams

Photo of the day

NEW YORK: The Seattle Seahawks made a last-second defensive stand at the goal line to produce a 14-9 victory against the St. Louis Rams on Monday in a tough road test for the NFC leaders. St. Louis had driven the length of the field on the game’s final possession and had two chances to score from Seattle’s one-yard line but the Seahawks’ defense stopped a running play and then forced an incompletion as time expired. “We needed 97 yards and got 96,” St. Louis quarterback Kellen Clemens told reporters after starting the last drive on his own three-yard line. “They scored two

NFL standings

Graham Agassiz rides during Red Bull Rampage qualifiers in Virgin, Utah, USA, on 11 October 2013. —

Court case against Ecclestone over Formula One sale starts LONDON: Two days after Sebastian Vettel won his fourth Formula One title, the spotlight shifted to London’s High Court and the latest case that leaves Bernie Ecclestone’s future in doubt. The longtime commercial head of F1 is already under investigation in Germany over an alleged payment of $44 million relating to the sale of the racing series in 2006. A German court won’t say until next year whether Ecclestone will stand trial on charges of bribery and incitement to breach of trust. German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky has already been jailed for taking the payment from Ecclestone. Gribkowsky was in charge of selling the bank BayernLB’s stake in F1 to investment group CVC Capital Partners. Now at a London trial which began on Tuesday, former F1 shareholder, German media company Constantin Medien, is suing Ecclestone and three other defendants for up to $144 million, claiming F1 was undervalued at the time of the sale. Ecclestone - estimated by Forbes magazine to be worth $3.8 billion - was not at the High Court but is expected to give evidence next week. Philip Marshall, representing Constantin Medien, accused Ecclestone of making a “corrupt bargain” with Gribkowsky “to facilitate a sale of the Formula One Group by a purchaser chosen by Mr. Ecclestone in return for remuneration (for Gribkowsky) and a position (for Ecclestone) relating to Formula One going forward.” To that end, Constantin Medien is claiming it lost out

due to the deal negotiated by Gribkowsky. Gribkowsky is a defendant in the case along with Ecclestone’s lawyer, Stephen Mullens, and the Ecclestone family trust, Bambino Holdings. Ecclestone and Bambino benefited by more than $1 billion from the sale of the 47 percent stake, according to Marshall, figures that gave F1 an enterprise value of more than $3 billion in “stark contrast” to the actual value of “just in excess” of $2 billion at the time of the sale. “We see this transaction as being significantly weighted for the benefit of Mr. Ecclestone and Bambino, and significantly to the detriment of BayernLB,” Marshall said. Ecclestone is accused of paying Gribkowsky $44 million from 2006 to 2007. “A variety of means were used to conceal the fact the payments were made,” Marshall said. Ecclestone built his powerbase in F1 from the 1970s and helped to create the Formula One Constructors’ Association that controlled the business side of the series, including selling the TV rights. The British-based company later became known as Formula One Management. It has fought regular tussles with the teams over finances, but has retained control of the global motor racing extravaganza. CVC, having amassed a 63 percent stake of F1, has reduced its holding as other investors have come on board in recent years, although a planned flotation has stalled. Ecclestone’s holding has been diluted to about 5 percent. — AP

American Football Conference AFC East W L T OTL PF PA New England 6 2 0 1 179 144 4 4 0 0 143 211 NY Jets Miami 3 4 0 0 152 167 Buffalo 3 5 0 1 176 213 AFC North Cincinnati 6 2 0 0 197 144 3 4 0 0 150 148 Baltimore Cleveland 3 5 0 0 148 179 Pittsburgh 2 5 0 0 125 153 AFC South Indianapolis 5 2 0 0 187 131 3 4 0 1 145 146 Tennessee Houston 2 5 0 1 122 194 Jacksonville 0 8 0 0 86 264 AFC West Kansas City 8 0 0 0 192 98 7 1 0 0 343 218 Denver San Diego 4 3 0 0 168 144 Oakland 3 4 0 0 126 150 National Football Conference NFC East Dallas 4 4 0 0 230 186 3 5 0 0 176 211 Philadelphia Washington 2 5 0 0 173 229 NY Giants 2 6 0 0 141 223 NFC North Green Bay 5 2 0 0 212 158 5 3 0 0 217 197 Detroit Chicago 4 3 0 0 213 206 Minnesota 1 6 0 0 163 225 NFC South New Orleans 6 1 0 0 196 120 4 3 0 0 170 96 Carolina Atlanta 2 5 0 0 166 184 Tampa Bay 0 7 0 0 100 163 NFC West Seattle 7 1 0 0 205 125 218 145 San Francisco 6 2 0 0 Arizona 4 4 0 0 160 174 St. Louis 3 5 0 0 165 198

PCT .750 .500 .429 .375 .750 .429 .375 .286 .714 .429 .286 0

touchdowns and we had three field goals. That’s the difference in the game.” It was the third successive victory for Seattle (7-1), who regained a half-game edge over New Orleans (6-1) atop the NFC despite being outplayed by the Rams. St. Louis (3-5) held the ball for more than 38 of the game’s 60 minutes and had 339 net offensive yards to the Seahawks’ 135 but could not find a way into the endzone. Seattle’s Russell Wilson tossed a touchdown pass in the second quarter for a 7-3 lead and put the visitors 146 ahead on an 80-yard strike to Golden Tate in the third. The Rams kept moving the ball, but could only manage three field goals from Greg Zuerlein, the last coming with 12:51 remaining in the game. Clemens, playing in place of Sam Bradford, who tore his ACL last week, completed only 15-of-31 passes and had two interceptions. The St. Louis offense was led by rookie Zac Stacy, who ran for 134 of the team’s 200 rushing yards. Stacy was not in the game for the final decisive plays after suffering a sprained ankle in the fourth quarter. On defense, the Rams pressured Seattle QB Wilson, sacking him seven times and restricting him to only 139 yards passing but he survived the onslaught without giving up a turnover. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman had an interception that set up Seattle’s first score in the second quarter. “Our guys kept hanging in there. It was a difficult night,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “They ran the ball down our throat. We were very fortunate to get out of here with a win.”— Reuters

1.000 .875 .571 .429

.500 .375 .286 .250 .714 .625 .571 .143 .857 .571 .286 0 .875 .750 .500 .375 Kellen Clemens

Sarajevo Winter Games venues crumble

Ewen McKenzie

Can anyone beat the All Blacks? LONDON: A familiar question hangs in the air ahead of the start of this year’s November internationals-who can defeat New Zealand? The world champions have been in especially scintillating form of late, winning all six of their matches in the southern hemisphere rugby championship. Even South Africa had to give second best to their arch-rivals with the Springboks suffering a 38-27 loss to their arch-rivals at their Ellis Park stronghold in Johannesburg. And the worry for the rest, two years out from the 2015 World Cup in England, is that New Zealand coach Steve Hansen expects further improvement during a four-match tour featuring Tests against Japan, France, England and Ireland. “We will be looking to use the tour to take ourselves beyond where we are at the moment,” Hansen said. If this has been a year to remember for New Zealand, so far it’s been to one forget for Australia. Heading into Saturday’s Twickenham Test against England, the Wallabies have won just three of 10 internationals in 2013. New Zealand’s Robbie Deans was sacked as Wallaby boss after the 2-1 series defeat by the British and Irish and his replacement, Ewen McKenzie, has since won just two of his seven games in charge. But a year ago, having been thrashed 33-6 by France in Paris, Australia promptly beat 2015 pool rivals England 20-14 at Twickenham. “As much as everyone talks about us, they (England) are under pressure themselves,” McKenzie said. England will try to recapture the form that saw them stun New Zealand

38-21 this time last year with the kind of running rugby they are likely to require if they are to win the next World Cup. But injuries mean they will be without centres Manu Tuilagi and Brad Barritt, who both starred against the All Blacks last year, and midfield, long a problem area for England, is again posing difficulties for coach Stuart Lancaster. “We believe we have a great attacking team,” Lancaster said on Monday. “We want to hit the ground running.” For Six Nations champions Wales this November offers a chance to improve upon a dreadful record against the Tri-Nations of one win and 20 defeats since New Zealand’s Warren Gatland, the victorious Lions chief, became their coach in 2008. “Hopefully, there is enough experience now so that we can make an impact against the southern hemisphere sides over the next couple of years, Gatland said. As former Wales international Eddie Butler pointed out, Scotland, especially if it rains at Murrayfield, “usually beat somebody big, usually by something like 9-6”, so South Africa and Australia will be on their guard in Edinburgh. Meanwhile Ireland, in Brian O’Driscoll’s final season before retirement, would love nothing more than to notch up a first win over the All Blacks. On their day, France can play a brand of rugby even the All Blacks can struggle to contain. The challenge, as it so often has been for France, three-times losing World Cup finalists, is to make sure those good days happen more often. — AFP

SARAJEVO: Abandoned and left to crumble into oblivion, most of the 1984 Winter Olympic venues in Bosnia’s capital Sarajevo have been reduced to rubble by neglect as much as the 1992-95 conflict that tore apart the former Yugoslavia. One set of photographs shows the venues gleaming with state of the art facilities nearly three decades ago, when Sarajevo made the former Yugoslavia the first communist country to host the Winter Games, beating Japan’s Sapporo and Sweden’s Gothenburg in the bidding process. The other paints a sad picture of the bobsleigh and luge track at Mount Trebevic, the Mount Igman ski jumping course and accompanying objects decomposing into obscurity. The bobsleigh and luge track, which was also used for World Cup competitions after the Olympics, became a Bosnian-Serb artillery stronghold during the war and is nowadays a target of frequent vandalism, still bearing the scars of war epitomised by defensive holes

drilled by the troops. The two ski jumping hills were also never used after becoming battlegrounds, although there are plans to reconstruct the in-runs, expand the large one and build new spectator stands and visitor facilities. Many areas of Mount Bjelasnica, where Bill Johnson became the first American man to win an Olympic skiing gold after a spectacular downhill run, were sites of extensive combat during the fighting and some still pose a mine risk. Mount Jahorina, the site of the women’s Alpine skiing events is again popular with holidaymakers after its skiing, hiking and sledging facilities were overhauled. However, Jahorina’s off-course slopes were also littered with landmines during the war and many of them remain risky terrain, with a Slovenian paraglider suffering critical injuries when he landed in a minefield in October 2011. The Zetra Hall, where Britain’s ice dancing duo Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean mem-

orably received a row of perfect 6s in front of a packed crowd, was completely destroyed by the shelling and bombing during the war and was rebuilt in 1999 after the International Olympic Committee donated $ 11.5 million for the project. The bigger Skenderija Hall suffered less damage in the fighting but having been deemed a surplus to the city’s post-Olympic and post-war requirements, it was abandoned into disrepair until the local authorities decided to start overhauling it in 2000. The job was completed in 2006 and Skenderija is again the venue of various sports and cultural events drawing around 500,000 visitors every year, although heavy snowfall made the roof of its ice hall collapse in 2012 and forced another repair. The Kosevo stadium, which organised the opening and closing ceremonies, was renovated in 1998 and today it is the home of Bosnian soccer first division side FC Sarajevo and the country’s national team. — Reuters

NEW YORK: Matt Lauer demonstrates Olympic event Nordic Combined during 100 Days Out Sochi Winter Olympics Event at NBC’s TODAY Show in New York City. — AFP



S Africa hopes quotas can unearth black stars JOHANNESBURG: Nearly two decades after the fall of apartheid, South Africa are still struggling to adjust the complexion of teams in the high-profile white-dominated sports of cricket and rugby. Sporting authorities have reintroduced racial quotas for domestic professional teams in a bid to encourage more black Africans to emerge through the ranks. The latest to adopt quotas is cricket with the country’s six franchises ordered to field at least one black African in each starting line-up. Teams that field more than one black player will get a cash bonus. The only black African coach among the domestic professional teams, Geoff Toyana of the Highveld Lions, backs the idea of quotas. “It’s not a bad thing, it’s spot-on,” Toyana told AFP. “Hopefully, more players will be exposed and more will play. Hopefully, in the next two to three years we will see a black African batsman playing for South Africa ... or guys like Mangaliso Mosehle (of Titans) might come in as a wicketkeeper. “You cannot explain that a population of 80 percent black African people cannot produce one Test

player-it doesn’t make sense,” said Toyana. But he opposes cash incentives and would prefer that money be used to develop sports in townships. Cricket officials speak of a “huge drop out” of black African players between under-19 and franchise levels. “Black African players need to get quality and meaningful opportunities and, therefore, the incentive-based transformation policy was introduced,” Corrie van Zyl, general manager of Cricket South Africa (CSA), told AFP. But the restoration of a quota system, two decades into democracy, is seen by observers as a sign of failure by both sporting administrators and government to develop sport among previously disadvantaged racial groups. The problem, according to Frans Cronje of the South African Institute of Race Relations is that “we are not investing in young people”. Quotas are an ineffective “artificial affirmative action” that “undermines” black players, he said. “I think it’s a political excuse on the part of sports administrators not to deal with the real

issues, which is creating opportunities for young people,” said Cronje. But the blame does not solely rest with sporting bodies. Government has also been accused of not doing enough to develop sports in black public schools. “How do you think players are going to be produced when the best you produce is a dusty sports field? Unless you learn to bat with a soccer ball in some dust of the Eastern Cape, you are not going to do it,” said Cronje. Only five black Africans have played for South Africa’s national cricket side since 1991 when the country was accepted into international competitions. “It is not a statistic that we are proud of,” admitted Van Zyl. “It shows just how important it is for us to bring many more African players through the system.” “Next year we celebrate 20 years of democracy in our land and it is simply not acceptable for 80plus percent of the population not to feel represented in one of our national sides.” Previously, racial quotas generated heated debate in South Africa, but now there appears to

be a general consensus. The majority of players accept that “transformation is imperative”, said Tony Irish, chief executive of the South African Cricketers’ Association. A quota system was introduced in 1999 but scrapped in 2007. Blacks remain under-represented in cricket and rugby, but dominate in football, where the national team is not faring well. The latest round of quota systems were adopted at a 2011 meeting of all sporting bodies and government. Rugby quotas will take effect next year and seven players in each 22-man Vodacom Cup (a second-tier competition below the Currie Cup) squad must be black, including at least two forwards. But the move has brought into question the possibility of sidelining other racial groupsColoureds (mixed race) and Indians. Van Zyl said the early attempt at quotas was “a huge success” for the development of Coloured and Asian cricketers. Anton Alberts of the small white opposition party Freedom Front Plus, thinks “race quotas is a step backward”. — AFP

Rubel claims hat-trick as Bangladesh crush NZ

SHARJAH: South African batsman Colin Ingram plays a shot during a training session in Sharjah cricket stadium in Sharjah. South Africa face Pakistan in the first of five one-day internationals today. — AFP

Misbah hopes conditions give edge over South Africa SHARJAH: Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul Haq is hoping his side can bounce back from their crushing second Test defeat when the fivematch one-day series with South Africa starts in Sharjah today. With what he calls favourable conditions in the United Arab Emirates, Misbah is aiming to put the Dubai defeat by an innings and 92 runs behind him and hopes Pakistan can exploit the conditions. “We have been really playing well in one-day cricket in the last threefour years, everybody knows what they are going to get against South Africa and these conditions are always in favour of Pakistan so we are looking forward to playing a good series,” said Misbah. But he warned against complacency as South Africa will be without spearhead bowler Dale Steyn, who is being rested, and Hashim Amla, who returned home as his wife has given birth, for the first two one-day games.“I always feel that after such news the team gets complacent so if Amla does not play or Steyn doesn’t play it doesn’t make a difference, South Africa is one of the good teams in the world and have very strong replacements,” said Misbah. Steyn will also miss the second one-dayer, in Dubai on November 1, but is likely to return for the third match in Abu Dhabi on November 6.The fourth match will also be played in Abu Dhabi, on November 8, before the series ends in Sharjah on November 11. The two teams will also play two Twenty20 internationals in Dubai on November 13 and 15.

Pakistan will be boosted by the return of allrounders Mohammad Hafeez and Shahid Afridi, in addition to opener Nazir Jamshed, Umar Akmal and paceman Wahab Riaz. The Pakistanis won their last two one-day series, against Zimbabwe and the West Indies, while South African went down tamely in Sri Lanka 4-1. But despite that defeat Misbah reckons South Africa are difficult one-day opponents. “They are a good decent side, they have players who can really turn the matches around, dangerous side so you really need to be on your toes while playing against them,” said Misbah, referring to the 3-2 home series defeat the South Africans handed Pakistan in March. Misbah said Pakistan would not be relying only on a spin sttack, led by Saeed Ajmal and backed by Abdur Rehman, Afridi and Hafeez. “South African are a very good side, they play spin really well, so overall, your bowling attack has to perform,” the Pakistan captain said. “I think the batsmen will have to raise their game because batting has been our problem in the recent past,” said Misbah, who is the leading runscorer in one-day cricket this year with 961 from 21 matches. South African coach Russell Domingo hoped his team take the momentum of the second Test win into the one-day series. “I think the second Test win will help us in our confidence in a way although it is a completely different format but we will take a little bit of confidence,” said Domingo.—AFP

Broad top villain among England’s ‘Urinators’ SYDNEY: England’s Stuart Broad is relishing the role of Ashes villain but he won’t be the only target of boos in a team dubbed “the Urinators” by the Australian press. The lanky pace bowler was labelled “public enemy” over his contentious decision not to walk in the first Test of the recent Ashes series, which England won 3-0. Broad can expect a raucous reception, especially after Australia coach Darren Lehmann called him a cheat and urged fans to send him home crying-comments that drew a fine. But he’s not alone in a team that drew strong criticism for oafishly urinating on the Oval pitch during beer-soaked celebrations for this year’s Ashes win. Spin bowler Monty Panesar will also be braced for some cat-calls after he was caught, in a separate incident, urinating over bouncers after being thrown out of a nightclub. Outspoken batsman Kevin Pietersen-one of the alleged Oval urinators-is another who often finds himself in the sights of Australian fans. But far from playing down the walking controversy, the spiky Broad has fanned the flames by saying he would “look forward to” exchanges during the upcoming series. “The head coach of Australia has called for a barrage, but I am one of these characters who thrives off a bit of niggle,” Broad said. “It’s strange, because off the field I am a shy, quiet person. I prefer to watch a bit of TV at home. But get me on the cricket field and I like it all kicking off. “So it’s something I look forward to. It will be interesting out there. I don’t quite know what to expect from the crowds in Australia, but I’m certainly not expecting cheers.” Broad refused to give himself out in the first Test in July when umpire Aleem Dar missed an edged catch to slip, which Australia were unable to challenge because they had used up their two available reviews. England went on to win a nail-biting match by 14 runs. The incident has not been forgotten by Australian fans. In a Fox

Sports poll asking which English cricketer most got under Australians’ skin, Broad was top with 43 percent. His tally far outstripped England’s infamous Bodyline series captain Douglas Jardine (20 percent of the votes) and former star all-rounder Ian Botham (11 percent). Broad does not shrink from his feisty image and he said England revelled in being an “unpleasant” team to play. “We do have a win-atall-costs mentality. I think we’re quite an unpleasant team to play against,” he said. “Teams won’t play against us and enjoy the experience. That’s what we want.—AFP

Stuart Broad

DHAKA: Rubel Hossain claimed six wickets including a hat-trick as Bangladesh crushed New Zealand by 43 runs yesterday in the first one-day international, leading 1-0 in the three-match series. Rubel finished with 6-26, helping the hosts to dismiss New Zealand for 162 runs after the visitors were set a revised target of 206 runs in 33 overs in the rain-hit match at the Sher-e -Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka. New Zealand were 823 in 20 overs, replying to Bangladesh’s 265 all out, when rain halted the game for nearly two hours. Needing 124 off 78 balls on resumption, Corey Anderson hit some lusty blows before Rubel turned the table with his hat-trick. Rubel bowled Anderson, who scored 46 off 31 balls including three fours and fours sixes, before taking the wicket of Brendan McCullum and James Neesham to complete the hat-trick in his third over. New Zealand skipper McCullum was caught by substitute fielder Shamsur Rahman while Neesham flicked a catch to wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim on the leg side as Rubel became the third Bangladeshi to claim a hat-trick in a oneday international (ODI). Rubel took the wicket of Ross Taylor before rain later added Nathan McCullum and Grant Elliot (71) to his tally, equalling the record of Mashrafe Mortaza for the best ever ODI bowling for Bangladesh. Mashrafe, who claimed 6-26 against Kenya at Nairobi in 2006, took the catch of Elliot, the last man out for New Zealand. The visitors conceded a defeat as Kane Williamson was unable to bat for a thumb injur y. Earlier, Mushfiqur and Naeem Islam hit half-centuries to set up

Bangladesh’s total after New Zealand captain McCullum won the toss and elected to field. The pair added 154 for the fourth wicket to rescue the home side from a perilous 25-3. Skipper Mushfiqur hit a solid 90 off 98 balls with eight fours and two sixes before he fell to Neesham. Naeem struggled initially, taking 17 balls to get off the mark, but soon grew in confidence to hit a career-best 84 off 113 balls. Naeem, who was picked in the starting line-up after Bangladesh were forced to leave out ailing all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, smashed 12 fours in his fourth one-day half-century. “I thought the wicket was tricky and it wasn’t coming on to the bat,” Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur said after the match. “All credit to Naeem who came in and performed straightaway. Rubel was amazing.” New Zealand captain McCullum praised Mushfiqur and Naeem for the partnership. “We were in for a good game of cricket. Bangladesh recovered well after being three down through a good partnership,” he said. “We allowed them, Rahim and Naeem, to get away and get that partnership going. Our middle order didn’t contribute today,” said McCullum, who, also praised Rubel. “Getting a hattrick is an achievement. Rubel was outstanding.” Tim Southee ended Naeem’s innings when he forced an edge to the wicketkeeper. Neesham and Southee were the pick of New Zealand bowlers, sharing seven wickets between them as Bangladesh lost their last five wickets for 33 runs. Neesham claimed a career-best 4-42, while Southee returned with 3-34. — AFP

DHAKA: Bangladeshi bowler Rubel Hossain (center) celebrates with teammates the dismissal of New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum during the first one-day international cricket match. — AP


Aussies in upheaval ahead of Ashes bid SYDNEY: Australia are bracing for a battle to regain the Ashes for the first time in six years but injuries, selection woes and a questionable build-up give every sign of a team in upheaval. The signs are not promising in the home camp as Michael Clarke’s men try to stop old rivals England winning a fourth successive Ashes series, after their 3-0 victory in July and August. England have not savored four straight Test series wins against Australia since 1890, but they will be sniffing blood against a team under pressure. The last time England made the long trip to Australia, in 2010-2011, the series ended in humiliation for the hosts who lost three Tests by an innings to capitulate 3-1. Injuries have already put the Australians on the back foot with frontline pace bowlers Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson and Jackson Bird all out with back problems. Skipper Clarke is battling a chronic disc injury, placing a question-mark over the ability of Australia’s only genuine world-class batsman to last the series. In the recent Tests in England, Australia’s top six were changed so frequently that ex-skipper Ricky Ponting urged selectors to “pick and stick” with young batsmen such as Usman Khawaja and Phil Hughes. “The lack of stability and the lack of confidence that some of our players have been taking, not just into each game but into each innings they play, that doesn’t make things any easier,” Ponting said. Coach Darren Lehmann, who presided over this year’s Ashes defeat after taking over from the sacked Mickey Arthur, even convened a forum of former Test stars to brainstorm the batting woes. And in a move that highlights the

hosts’ edginess, Cricket Australia said it will not reveal any injuries-unless a player has been ruled out of a Test to avoid giving a possible advantage to England. As difficulties abound, criticism has been flowing freely and former selector Merv Hughes this week hit out at Australia’s pre-Ashes schedule. While England are preparing on Australian pitches in Perth, the hostsalbeit minus several key players-are in the middle of a seven-game one-day series in India. “I am just dumbfounded with England being in town and preparing for an Ashes that starts in about a month’s time and Australia has got a team playing in India, playing in subcontinent conditions preparing for the Ashes,” said the former Test fast bowler. “So who’s going to be better prepared come the first Test match? England appears to be doing everything right at the moment.” Ponting raised questions over Clarke’s captaincy in his recently released autobiography, adding to the pressure on the 32-year-old New South Welshman. And Ponting also endorsed allrounder Shane Watson, who is said to have an edgy relationship with the captain, as a potential future skipper. Meanwhile, discarded coach Arthur warned that Clarke and key figures at Cricket Australia, including CEO James Sutherland, could be axed if England win again. Lehmann and Clarke will be hoping to use the difficulties as motivation for their players as they set about building a steady team capable of stopping the rot. Australia’s 2010 victory in Perth was the last time they have won an Ashes Test, and they last held the trophy in 2006-2007, when Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Adam Gilchrist were still playing. — AFP

SCOREBOARD DHAKA: Scores after Bangladesh beat New Zealand in the first one-day international at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka yesterday: Bangladesh innings Tamim Iqbal lbw b Southee 5 Anamul Haque c N. McCullum b Southee 13 Mominul Haque run out 0 Mushfiqur Rahim c B. McCullum b Neesham 90 Naeem Islam c B. McCullum b Southee 84 Nasir Hossain b Neesham 1 Mahmudullah c Taylor b Neesham 29 Sohag Gazi c B. McCullum b Anderson 6 Mashrafe Mortaza c N. McCullum b Neesham 6 Abdur Razzak c B. McCullum b Anderson 12 Rubel Hossain not out 3 Extras (lb2, w13, nb1) 16 Total (all out, 49.5 overs) 265 Fall of wickets: 1-13 (Tamim), 2-17 (Mominul), 3-25 (Anamul), 4-179 (Mushfiqur), 5-181 (Nasir), 6-232 (Naeem), 7-241 (Mahmudullah), 8-249 (Sohag), 9-250 (Mashrafe), 10-265 (Razzak). Bowling: Southee 10-2-34-3 (nb1), McClenaghan 8-051-0 (w3), Neesham 9-0-42-4 (w4), Anderson 8.5-1-46-2 (w5), N. McCullum 4-0-28-0, Devcich 5-0-32-0 (w1), Williamson 4-0-20-0, Elliot 1-0-10-0 New Zealand innings H. Rutherford b Gazi 1 A. Devcich b Mahmudullah 22 G. Elliot c Mashrafe b Rubel 71 R. Taylor c Rahim b Rubel 8 C. Anderson b Rubel 46 B. McCullum c Sub (Shamsur) b Rubel 0 J. Neesham b Rahim b Rubel 0 N. McCullum c Mashrafe b Rubel 10 T. Southee c Sub ( Shamsur) b Razzak 0 MJ McClenaghan not out 1 K. Williamson absent hurt Extras (lb2, wb 1) 3 Total (all out, 29.5 overs) 162 Fall of wickets: 1-9 (Rutherford), 2-43 (Devcich), 3-60 (Taylor) 4-121(Anderson) 5-121 (B. McCullum), 6-121 (Neesham), 7-143 (N. McCullum), 8-149 (Southee) 9-162 (Elliot) Bowling: Mashrafe 6-1-20-0, Sohag 6-0-36-1 (wb1), Razzak 7-1-45-1, Mahmudullah 4-0-27-1, Rubel 5.5-026-6, Nasir Hossain 1-0-6-0 Result: Bangladesh win by 43 runs in D/L method



Bayern dominate FIFA Player of the Year nominations ZURICH: Six players from Bayern Munich’s treblewinning team were included among the 23 nominees for the World Player of the Year award announced by FIFA yesterday. Jose Mourinho was included on the shortlist for Coach of the Year despite failing to win any major trophies with Real Madrid last season, a performance the Portuguese himself described as “disastrous”. The only British player to make the list was Wales international Gareth Bale. African Nations Cup winning coach Stephen Keshi of Nigeria was overlooked and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure was the only African to make either list. There were no representatives from Asia or CONCACAF. German internationals Manuel Neuer, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Mueller and Philipp Lahm, Frenchman Franck Ribery and Dutchman Arjen Robben were the Bayern players on the list. Joining the Bayern contingent were the usual favourites such as Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Cristiano Ronaldo. Bayern’s former coach Jupp Heynckes, since replaced by Pep Guardiola, was on the coaches list

after leading his side to a Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League treble. The omission of Bayern’s Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic was a surprise as many critics felt he had made the difference between last season and 2011/12, where Bayern were runners-up in all three competitions. Brazil’s Luiz Felipe Scolari, whose side hosted and won the Confederations Cup in June, was the only South American to make the coaching shortlist. Radamel Falcao, Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez, Neymar and Thiago Silva were the South American nominees for the Player of the Year award, along with Messi. All six are based in Europe. Although several of the nominated coaches failed to win a major trophy last season, Mourinho’s nomination was the biggest surprise as his side’s results fell far short of Real Madrid’s expectations. They finished 15 points behind Barcelona in La Liga, lost to smaller neighbours Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey final and were outclassed by Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League semi-finals. Atletico’s Argentine coach Diego Simeone was overlooked.

“The list of 23 male candidates has been drawn up by football experts from the FIFA Football Committee and by a group of experts from France Football,” said FIFA in a statement. It said the final decisions would be made by the captains and coaches of the national teams and international media representatives selected by France Football magazine. The ceremony takes place in Zurich on Jan. 13. Players’ shortlist Gareth Bale (Wales) Edinson Cavani (Uruguay) Radamel Falcao (Colombia) Eden Hazard (Belgium) Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden) Andres Iniesta (Spain) Philipp Lahm (Germany) Robert Lewandowski (Poland) Lionel Messi (Argentina) Thomas Mueller (Germany) Manuel Neuer (Germany) Neymar (Brazil) Mesut Ozil (Germany)

Andrea Pirlo (Italy) Franck Ribery (France) Arjen Robben (Netherlands) Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany) Luis Suarez (Uruguay) Thiago Silva (Brazil) Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast) Robin Van Persie (Netherlands) Xavi (Spain) Coaches Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Paris Saint-Germain FC/Real Madrid) Rafael BenÌtez (Spain/Chelsea/Napoli) Antonio Conte (Italy/Juventus) Vicente Del Bosque (Spain) Alex Ferguson (Scotland/Manchester United FC former coach) Jupp Heynckes (Germany/Bayern Munich former coach) Juergen Klopp (Germany/Borussia Dortmund) Jose Mourinho (Portugal/Real Madrid/Chelsea) Luiz Felipe Scolari (Brazil/Brazil national team) Arsene Wenger (France/Arsenal). — Reuters

Bilbao halt Getafe charge

ITALY: Juventus’ Argentine forward Carlos Tevez celebrates after scoring a goal in this file photo. — AFP

Juventus look to close gap, Roma keep eye on record MILAN: Juventus host struggling Catania in one of eight Serie A fixtures today when the champions will be among the sides looking to close the gap on record-setting Roma. The Bianconeri have endured a tough two weeks, seeing their Champions League group hopes nosedive with defeat away to Real Madrid, four days after suffering a first reverse of the season in a 4-2 away defeat to Fiorentina. Despite a dominant 2-0 win over Genoa on Sunday, the spotlight has been directed away from the Turin giants and southwards towards league leaders Roma. Roma’s fairytale start under Frenchman Rudi Garcia continued Sunday when they set a new Serie A record of nine consecutive wins at the start of a season. Their 1-0 win away at Udinese was all the more impressive as defender Maicon had been sent off earlier in the second half, and Udinese had not been beaten at home for over a year. In the absence of injured captain Francesco Totti, likely to be sidelined for another two weeks, Garcia will be relying on Moroccan Mehdi Benarti to marshal his forward line away to the ‘Flying Donkeys’. Chievo sit bottom of the table, but having seen league newcomers Sassuolo pull off a sensational 1-1 draw at title contenders Napoli on September 25, Garcia was quick to warn his side against complacency in Thursday’s only fixture. “Although we’ve already won our most difficult match of the season so far (against Napoli), everyone thinks we’ve already won the game against Chievo,” Garcia told the Roma Channel. “All the games in Italy are tough, and this one will be even tougher. Look at what happened with Napoli v Sassuolo for example,” added the 49-year-old, who guided unfashionable Lille to the 2011 Ligue 1 title. While not dismissing Roma’s impressive start,

Juventus striker Carlos Tevez said the scudetto battle has just begun. “There’s a long way to go,” said Tevez, Juve’s top scorer with five goals in nine games. Napoli, who sit second, are also five points adrift but unlike Juventus, Rafael Benitez’s side face a tough task away to Fiorentina. ‘La Viola’ sit fifth, a further four points adrift, are unbeaten at home this season and full of confidence following that come-from-behind 4-2 win over Juve just over a week ago. Any slip-ups at this juncture could prove costly for Napoli, who after facing Catania at home this weekend are away to Juventus. “We have a crucial run of fixtures coming up so we have to focus on every match,” said Slovakian forward Marek Hamsik, who was Napoli’s top scorer until being caught by Argentinian teammate Gonzalo Higuain following his penalty double in a 2-0 win over Torino. Reports in Italy suggest it could be a make or break week for Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri following their 3-2 defeat away to Parma. Milan striker Mario Balotelli lasted less than an hour on his return from injury and suspension on Sunday, when the Rossoneri’s fourth defeat in nine games reportedly infuriated Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi. Milan should welcome back Mattia Di Sciglio but have lost another defender to injury in Matias Silvestre. Lazio, who recorded their first win in a month at home to Cagliari on Sunday, will fancy at least a share of the points. Meanwhile Garcia, who has so far talked down Roma’s hopes of winning a title they last secured in 2001, appears to be changing tack. “I would prefer that people remember us for what we do at the end of the season, perhaps with a title. That is something that remains,” said the Frenchman. “Nine victories are exceptional, but we have to keep our streak going. — AFP

MADRID: Athletic Bilbao ended Getafe’s run of four straight wins and climbed above them into fifth place in La Liga when Aymeric Laporte’s early bullet header secured a 1-0 win at the Coliseum in Madrid on Monday. An entertaining game played at frenetic pace was decided in the eighth minute when Laporte met Markel Susaeta’s corner and powered the ball past Getafe goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya. The home side should have levelled from the penalty spot shortly before halftime after Adrian Colunga was barged to the ground by Carlos Gurpegi but Getafe midfielder Diego Castro’s spot kick was brilliantly saved by Gorka Iraizoz. It was Bilbao’s first away win in four attempts since an opening day success at Real Valladolid with midfielder Ander Herrera saying the Basque club had banished the fragility that led to three straight defeats on the road. “Today it wasn’t like that and we didn’t allow them many chances while not creating all that many for ourselves,” Herrera said in an interview with Spanish television broadcaster Cuatro. “We have to challenge ourselves and I think we have the squad for that but we also have to be careful as the season is very long and any team can surprise you,” he added. Castro, who had scored all 15 of his previous penalties in his La Liga career, said a draw would have been a fairer result. “It was a combination of a lack of precision and a bit of bad luck in front of goal,” he told Cuatro. Bilbao have 19 points from 10 matches, one fewer than fourth-placed Villarreal, with Getafe on 16 points in sixth. Unbeaten leaders Barcelona with 28 points pulled six clear of Real Madrid when the champions beat their arch rivals 2-1 in Saturday’s ‘Clasico’ at the Nou Camp. Atletico Madrid are a point behind Barca in second after their 5-0 drubbing of Real Betis at the Calderon on Sunday. There is a midweek round of La Liga games this week including Barcelona at Celta Vigo late yesterday. Real host Sevilla today and Atletico visit Granada tomorrow. — Reuters

SPAIN: Athletic Bilbao’s defender Mikel Balenziaga (left) vies with Getafe’s midfielder Angel Imanol Lafita during the Spanish League football match. — AFP

India postpones new league NEW DELHI: A new football tournament in India that was to feature former international stars of the game has been postponed after opposition from domestic clubs, organisers said Monday. The franchise-based event by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and its commercial partners IMG-Reliance, which was due to be held from January to March next year has now been pushed back until September. “Keeping in view of various key factors, including scheduling conflicts with the (national) I-League, it has been decided to launch the Indian Super League on a permanent window of September to November starting from year 2014,” an official statement said. The Kolkatabased Telegraph newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying that possible franchise owners had told the AIFF that there was not enough time to prepare for such a league. Former international stars such as Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Hernan Crespo, Fredrik Ljungberg, Dwight Yorke and Louis Saha were reported to have been lined up for the league. Squads for the eight yet undecided city

teams were to comprise nine foreign and 13 Indian players each. The made-for-television event, sold to Rupert Murdoch-owned Star TV network, had already run into trouble over fierce opposition from India’s top clubs. The clubs declined to release their players for the tournament, saying it would ruin the national I-League competition. Last year a similar idea by football officials in West Bengal state for a franchise-based league featuring other retired stars such as Crespo and Fabio Cannavaro foundered. India, ranked a lowly 154th in the world and 28th in Asia, has seen a surge in football’s popularity due to live television coverage of matches played around the globe. Star TV, which also beams English Premier League (EPL) matches into the country, roped in India’s cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to promote football for its sports channel. It also launched Hindi-language commentary on EPL games to ensure wider viewership in smaller towns where English is spoken less commonly. — AFP

Al-Rashidi bags bronze medal By Abdellatif Sharaa KUWAIT: Kuwait’s shooter Abdullah Al-Rashidi won the bronze medal in the skeet event during the finals of the world champions tournament in Abu Dhabi, as Spain’s Juan Jose won first place while Brofeld Touri from Norway grabbed second place. President of the Arab and Kuwait Shooting Federations Engr Duaij Khalaf Al-Otaibi said he is pleased with the result and dedicated the victory to HH the Amir, HH the Crown Prince, HH the Prime Minister and Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah, honorary president of Kuwait Shooting Federation and President of the Asian Shooting Confederation. He also dedicated the win to the Kuwaiti people. Al-Otaibi lauded the spirit of Abdullah Al-Rashidi as he performed so well in this tournament under the new rules of the ISSF.

Improving McIlroy will win by end of year — Woods MACAU: Tiger Woods believes Rory McIlroy is slowly getting his golf game back on track and predicted yesterday that the former world number one would claim a breakthrough first victory of the year by the end of December. McIlroy was on top of the world at the end of 2012, having won the orders of merit on both sides of the Atlantic, but he has had a turbulent season this year on and off the course. The Northern Irishman changed his clubs in January, a switch that was criticised by several pundits. He is also in the middle of a bitter court dispute with his former management team and, according to media reports, has split from girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki. “He is playing better and swinging a lot better,” 14-times major champion Woods told Reuters in an interview. “You can see that some of the stuff he and his coach are working on are starting to come together. “He’s starting to put together a few good rounds, now he just has to make a few more putts. I can definitely see him winning sometime this year because his game has come around.” World number one Woods had a close-up view of McIlroy when he lost to the twice major winner in a lucrative head-to-head exhibition match on China’s Hainan Island on Monday. The two golfers are both based in Florida and the 37-year-old American said he and world number six McIlroy had formed an excellent relationship.

“Rory has become a good friend of mine over probably the past year, year and a half,” explained Woods. “It seems like every tournament we’re paired together, we’re also playing practice rounds together and we have really hit it off. “He plays on both tours, US and

European, so we see each other at big events and when we do we try and play practice rounds whenever we can.” Woods has taken full advantage of the 24year-old McIlroy’s form slump, returning to the top of the world rankings with five victories this

CHINA: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland (left) holds a traditional Chinese weapon during the photo call for the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament on the historic Bund in Shanghai. The WGC-HSBC Champions will return to Shanghai’s Sheshan International Golf Club from tomorrow to Nov 3. — AFP

season. None of his 2013 wins have come in the big four championships but he left little room for doubt that he still yearns to break the 18-major record of compatriot Jack Nicklaus. “It took him until he got to 46 to do it and this year I’ll be 38 so there’s plenty of time,” said Woods. “A lot of guys have won a lot of majors post 40. “The great thing about staying fit is we’re able to play at a high level for a long period of time so hopefully I can compete at this level for a very long period of time.” Woods said his game was still improving and he could now plot his way around courses better than before. “I don’t necessarily have the same whooping power I used to ... but my understanding of how to play, how to manage my game around the golf course has got infinitely better,” he added. “I’m still hitting the ball plenty far but there’s a next generation of kids out there that are taller, bigger, more athletic who absolutely annihilate it. The game has changed, a lot of guys are 6-foot-3 and above and hit the ball for miles. “It’s not too often you see shorter, smaller players who don’t have power doing well. You’ve got to have power in our game now,” said Woods. The American is to miss the final World Golf Championship (WGC) event of the season in Shanghai this week but will compete in next week’s Turkish Open. — Reuters

Engr. Duaij Al-Otaibi with Abdullah Al-Rashidi.

Seahawks stand firm to hold off battering Rams



Rubel claims hat-trick as Bangladesh crush NZ


Bayern dominate FIFA Player of the Year nominations Page 19

PARIS: Spain’s Fernando Verdasco returns a shot to France’s Richard Gasquet during their tennis match at the ninth and final ATP World Tour Masters 1000 indoor tournament. —AFP

Gasquet marches on in Paris PARIS: France’s Richard Gasquet needed five match points to beat Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 6-7 (6/8), 6-3 in the second round of the Paris Masters yesterday and boost his hopes of qualifying for the end of season World Tour Finals. The 27-year-old Frenchman and Verdasco traded blows for 2hrs 40mins, in front of a raucous Parisian crowd, before Gasquet finally made it through to the third round where he could meet compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who is also in the hunt to make the World Tour Finals. Gasquet wasted two match points at 6-5 up in the second set before Verdasco took it to a final set by edging the tiebreak 8-6. However the right-hander from Beziers forced a crucial break in the decider to go 4-3 up and this time he kept his nerve to set up a last-16 tie against either Tsonga or Kei Nishikori of Japan who play later yesterday. The win for Gasquet, who is clinging to the eighth and final place for London which is available as Andy Murray is injured, keeps the pressure on Tsonga who is one place behind him in the World Tour rankings. Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov continued his rich vein of form yesterday as he marched into the second round with a threeset win over Frenchman Michael Llodra. The lanky 22-year-old lost the opening set in a tie-break before taking control and setting up a meeting against Italian 16th seed Fabio Fognini with a 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-3 victory. The highly touted Dimitrov picked up his first ATP win last

weekend when he triumphed in Stockholm and continues to impress since taking on Leyton Hewitt’s former coach Roger Rasheed. Llodra meanwhile, who is a two-time semi-finalist at Bercy, became the fifth Frenchman to be eliminated in two days of action. “The difference was when I started missing my first serves. I’ve really had difficulties serving really hard lately, so if my first serve isn’t perfect, then he returns well and it’s tough for me,” explained a dejected Llodra. “He’s very good in passing and he’s extremely fast. “He’s extremely serious in training and I believe we’ll see him soon go to the top.” continued Llodra. The home record was finally improved by Nicolas Mahut who fired down eight aces to subdue Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 7-6 (8/6), 6-1. Mahut, who played the longest match in history against American John Isner at Wimbledon 2010, won 93 per cent of his first serve points and broke the spirit of his opponent in the crucial opening set tie-break. The 1.90m (6ft 3in), 25-yearold never dropped his serve while breaking his opponent three times in a one-sided finale to the match. He can now look forward to playing 15th seeded compatriot Gilles Simon in an all-French second round tie, a player he met recently. “Well, we played each other three weeks ago and I lost in straight sets,” said Mahut. “I have many regrets on that match. I had the feeling that I was doing some things well, and others I was not doing well.

Real Madrid asks Blatter to apologize to Ronaldo MADRID: Real Madrid has asked FIFA president Sepp Blatter to apologize for making fun of Cristiano Ronaldo. Blatter recently told an audience at Oxford University that Ronaldo “is like a commander on the field of play” before strutting around the stage to the laughs of the students in attendance. Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said yesterday that club president Florentino Perez has sent a letter to Blatter asking him to “rectify what I consider a lack of respect for a serious and professional player.” While slighting Ronaldo, Blatter said he preferred Barcelona rival Lionel Messi, the Argentina forward who has won FIFA’s world player of the year award for the past four years. Ronaldo won the award in 2008, finishing second in voting behind Messi in 2009, 2011 and 2012. Yesterday, FIFA included Ronaldo and Messi on its list of 23 finalists for

this year’s world player of the year award. The list will be pared down to three players in early December. “Messi is a good boy, that every father and every mother would like to have at home,” Blatter said. “He’s a kind man, a good boy. That’s what makes him so popular, and naturally he’ll always get a lot of votes because he plays well and scores goals.” Then, while comparing Messi and Ronaldo, Blatter made a joke about Ronaldo’s hair. “They don’t have the same attitude and that gives life to football. One has more expenses for the hairdresser than the other but that doesn’t matter,” Blatter said. Ancelotti defended Ronaldo’s character. “I completely agree with the president (Perez),” Ancelotti said. “I haven’t spoken to Ronaldo about this. I think he shows every day and in every match that he is a serious and professional player that respects everyone.” — AP FIFA President Sepp Blatter

At 6-5 he was imposing his own game. He was able to make me play badly. “But I’m going to use that match to do the same thing tomorrow (Wednesday), I hope I can win that match tomorrow.” added Mahut. Croatian Ivan Dodig scraped past Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin in a scrappy 7-6 (8/6), 6-4 victory as he moves on to oppose Spaniard Nicolas Almagro in the second round. The big serving 25-year-old rained down 20 aces on his French debutant but nine double faults made life difficult before he eventually sealed only his second career win at Bercy. Earlier, Poland’s Michal Przysiezny broke his duck against veteran Jarkko Nieminen by defeating the Finn for the first time in four meetings 6-3, 7-6 (8/6). The 29-year-old, who came into the week ranked 65 in the world will now face American 13th seed Isner for a place in the last-16. Spaniard Pablo Andujar took full advantage of an injury suffered by Gael Monfils on the eve of his first round match against Canadian Davis Cup semi-finalist Vasek Pospisil. The ‘lucky loser’ led all the way as he stepped in to face the world number 32 and while he needed five match points to close out the match, he got the job done 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. Instead of heading bach home, he can now relish the prospect of a high profile second round tie against Czech sixth seed Thomas Berdych.

World number two Novak Djokovic makes his bow in the final match late yesterday when he takes on French qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert. On Monday, In his first match since returning from a fourmonth ban following a failed doping test, Marin Cilic beat Dutch qualifier Igor Sijsling 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 to reach the second round. The Croatian served 21 aces and hit 42 winners against Sijsling, who double-faulted to give Cilic a 4-3 lead in the deciding set. “All the players, they know me and they were really happy to see me and they were really happy that this is over for me,” Cilic said. “Everybody knows it was like honest mistakes, and it can happen to really anyone. I’m of course definitely against doping, against the players who are cheating, and I would say that there should be some more seminars for the players to be more aware about these things that can happen.” Cilic tested positive for a banned stimulant in May, but claimed he ingested it inadvertently through a glucose tablet bought at a pharmacy. The International Tennis Federation found traces of nikethamide in Cilic’s urine sample from a tournament in Munich, where he lost in the second round to fellow Croatian Ivan Dodig. Nikethamide is prohibited in competition, but can be used out of competition. Cilic said he had taken the tablets five days before his match. —Agencies

Ashour reaches last 16 MANCHESTER: Egyptian Ramy Ashour, the squash genius who is unbeaten in 47 matches and almost 18 months, reckoned he had recovered from “a slap in the face” as he reached the last 16 of the World Championships. The titleholder’s words of relief matched his deeds in a second round encounter in which he overcame his 19-year-old Fares Dessouki 11-6, 11-6, 11-4 with a much more convincing performance than on Monday. Then Ashour was within one good blow of going two games down against the Dutchman, Laurens Jan Anjema. However on Tuesday against the world junior finalist from Egypt he was in control throughout, delivering delicate killer drops and masked drives with dazzling fluency. His relief was obvious. “Yesterday (Monday) I was pushed to the limit. It was kind of a slap in the face,” Ashour said. “When you play very hard you enjoy it, and next day you are calm when it is over. I had a hard test, and today I am more calm. “I have never felt bad here in Manchester or lost a match, and hopefully it will stay the same. But I mustn’t have too great an expectation as there are many incredible athletes here.” One of them is Nick Matthew who hinted, while overcoming Max Lee of Hong Kong, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6, that he could still be good enough to regain the title at the age of 33. Lee gave Matthew plenty to think

about, not least an aggrieved complaint that the Englishman was shouting “come on!” too loudly and left a ringing noise in his ear. Matthew responded with mock concern, sidling over and pretending to inspect Lee’s ear, and then following it with a retort that “it’s not the sort of thing you’re inclined to whisper, is it?” Another is Amr Shabana, the 34-year-old fourtimes former champion who had moments of his old brilliance with an 11-8, 11-7, 12-14, 11-6 win over Mathieu Castagnet and afterwards he had to talk down his chances of winning a fifth world title. A third is James Willstrop, the former world number one, who beat fellow Englishman Tom Richards 11-8, 11-3, 11-6 despite being distracted as his girlfriend, Vanessa Atkinson, the former world champion, is about to give birth to their first child and is a week overdue. Two seeds went out. Alister Walker, the 15th and a former England international from Botswana, lost 11-7, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7 to Saurav Ghosal, who matched last year’s achievement in Doha when he became the first Indian man to reach the last 16 of the World Championships. Peter Barker, the seventh seeded Englishman who has had a hard time of it with injuries, suffered another, to his calf and had to retire while leading by two games to one against Henrik Mustonen of Finland. — AFP

Derivatives row harming EU-US free-trade talks Page 23 Nissan Al-Babtain holds annual competitions


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Qatar Airways joins Oneworld alliance Page 22

Kuwait welcomes New BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo Page 26

DUBAI: Jazeera Airways aircraft receives a water cannon salute on arrival at the Maktoum International airport Dubai on Sunday. (Inset) Jazeera Airways Group Chairman Marwan Boodai.

Jazeera Airways on course to build own terminal Kuwait’s low-cost carrier shifts the gear upward By Velina Nacheva KUWAIT: Jazeera Airways, Kuwait’s low-cost airline, has been given government approval to build its own terminal and facilities, said Jazeera Airways Group Chairman Marwan Boodai. In an exclusive interview with Kuwait Times on Sunday, he noted that Jazeera Airways is in discussion with Kuwait’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation for the position and location of the terminal. “Soon we are going to be announcing this,” Boodai said. The quality of infrastructure and geographical positioning are pivotal elements in the aviation industry. Kuwait’s strategic location within a half-hour radius from key destinations in the Middle East - a region purported as the highest growth area in global aviation coupled with the government’s most recent announcement of financial commitment for airport investments create a buoyant environment in the intraregional aviation sector. Growth in aviation often intertwines with adding capacity. Is there sufficient government assistance in Kuwait to sustain capacity growth? In response, Boodai says that airlines cannot stand alone without government support. “I don’t mean financial support. I am talking about political support, decision-making and liberalization.” In his words, governments give the edge to national carriers to take their position vis-a-vis the competition regionally and internationally. “So far we have had great support from our government and that is why Jazeera Airways is where it is today. We believe that there is more to be done,” he said. Investment Both private and government sector investments are crucial for the sustainability of the airline industry. According to Boodai, Kuwait’s government has committed to invest more

than KD 900 million in a new terminal in Kuwait in addition to other projects that are planned for Kuwait International Airport. “Jazeera Airways is committed to invest a good part into the aviation industry in Kuwait. We firmly believe this is a growing business in Kuwait,” Boodai emphasized. Jazeera Airways has been on an upward trajectory since its establishment in 2005. Taking off in the pre-bust period that globally led to the grounding of many other airlines and slashed routes around the world creating price wars, fleet cuts and weakening business travel, Jazeera Airways has proved to have a resilient business model that supported its growth from strength to strength. Capacity and more capacity Flexibility and capacity adjustments were at the core of the strategy of Kuwait’s no-frills carrier. Having initial plans for two-hub operations in Kuwait and Dubai, Jazeera today has focused its operations mainly on its home base. Asked if Jazeera’s strategy for a multihub strategy might be reconsidered, Boodai says that any company and any business will have to adapt to the surrounding circumstances. “When we started Jazeera, we had a vision and idea to have more than one hub other than Kuwait. In reality, we have realized that the rules and regulations in the Gulf and the larger Middle East region do not allow the freedom of airlines like Jazeera to set up operations and hubs,” Boodai said, adding that it is a very costly operation to invest in. He opines that a multi-hub plan cannot work unless an airline has “solid grounds or legal approvals” for different countries. To explore this premise, he said the European Union presents a similar case. He explained that as a registered operation in the EU, an airline can operate anywhere within its boundaries. “We are not at that point (yet)... not even

in the GCC where we hope that one day this will happen. We will be ready to branch out when it happens. For the time being, since we don’t have such laws within the GCC, Jazeera’s focus is only on Kuwait,” Boodai said. “With that we have adapted and modified our strategy with a focus on our home market in Kuwait and with a focus on our profitability.” In evidence, he says that Jazeera Airways has marked double-digit growth for the last three years. “We are targeting double digit growth for this year too. This shows the size and the potential that we have in Kuwait’s market,” he said. On a possible new aircraft order announcement at the Dubai Air Show next month, Boodai says that Jazeera Airways has no plans for new aircraft orders. “We are not here to make Boeing or Airbus richer but really to make our shareholders richer. This is our cause for the foreseeable future.” He remains upbeat about Kuwait’s growing demand for air travel. “Kuwait is thirsty for supply of air transport from Kuwait to the region and beyond. Jazeera will focus only on regional traffic. We believe that there is still much more to serve within that net,” Boodai said. Are airlines still vulnerable to recessionary impacts, especially in an environment of tough competition in the budget segment? Boodai responds, “Our biggest competition is not low-cost. Our biggest challenge is that all our peers are government-owned. The last thing they care about is bottom line. We have to adapt and sometimes use different means and ways in order to navigate within such a situation where you have got all your peers and industry in the region owned by governments,” he said, adding that Jazeera has been successful so far to ensure that whatever challenges they face in one area, such as the geopolitical situations in Egypt or in Syria, they shift capacity to other locations, in the

GCC for example, and others. “This proved to be wise policy and strategy. Our ability to move and react fast and take action has given us the edge over the competition. This is what made us consistently profitable for the last 14 quarters and we will continue so,” he said. Spelling out Jazeera’s success recipe, Boodai says, “We do not overload ourselves with huge capacities. We do not order large numbers of aircraft. We provide the market with just the right size of capacity that is required. This proved to be a very successful recipe.” Boodai does not envision a diversification of Jazeera’s fleet in the foreseeable future. A fleet of one-type of aircraft helps Jazeera Airways maintain a lower cost. “The perception of low-cost in the GCC is different compared to the international (perception). When you have seven-star airlines, you have to be just below them as low cost. We are not Ryanair. We are not Southwest. We provide more services. That is what the customers want and this is what they expect from us,” he said, adding that Jazeera “has to stick to the basics” that help the airline maintain a lower cost. “That is why we operate a fleet of (Airbus) A320s. We do not see that changing in the foreseeable future. We are still going to continue operating the same aircraft.” Price wars Boodai does not expect to see any price wars in the market in the region. He observes that today there are fewer operators compared to before. Arguing that price wars hurt the consumer before anybody else because of the lack of frequencies or flights, he adds that price wars hurt the airline and the investors too. “You need to have the right balance; you have to provide value for money and you have to cover your expenses and your cost to pay your bills. You have to pay back your shareholders,” he explained.

Infrastructure and demand The lack of waterways and rail network in the Middle East is a boon for the aviation industry in the region. To tap the growing demand for business and leisure tourism, Jazeera has made certain capacity adjustments. As a response to the evolving travel market, capacity to routes with weaker demand was restrained whereas capacity to destinations with soaring traffic was increased. Ideally, Boodai said, we would like to operate an average of two-hour flights. This is what we do today. Jazeera Airways has long-haul flights to Istanbul and 40-minute flights to Bahrain. A mix of the airline’s network gives Jazeera an average of two hours. “We would rather stick to this market. That is why we did not add many new destinations. We do not need them. We focus on adding more capacity to the existing destinations,” he said. Flights to Jeddah have been increased from four to seven and currently to 17. Flights to Cairo also increased from five to 14 today. “The focus for Jazeera is to grow its well-established markets rather than spread horizontally,” Boodai said. Asked if the aviation infrastructure in the Gulf and the crowded skies in the region allow adding more capacity, Boodai explains, “If you look at the map and the number of flights in Europe, you can no longer see Europe. Here in the Middle East you still have plain skies and a handful of airports. It is not the same as Europe. Only Dubai has two airports. So there is still room to expand.” Stressing that the Gulf skies are not crowded, he asserts that Kuwait’s market has huge potential for growth. Jazeera Airways, he asserts, was the very first airline that called for single Gulf skies. A single Gulf sky, he says, will empower this region to have a better position and an edge over its competitors in the aviation industry. “Jazeera Airways will definitely benefit from being a club member in the GCC,” he said.

S&P at record ahead of Fed meeting

LONDON: King Abdullah II of Jordan addresses delegates at the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum yesterday. It is the first time that the forum has been held outside a Muslim country. —AFP

NEW YORK: The S&P 500 hit a record yesterday, leading global shares higher ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting on the future of its stimulus program, while the euro neared a two-year high against the US dollar. Brent crude gave back some of Monday’s gains but hovered near $109 as Libya’s output stayed low, while other markets traded in tight ranges. Most investors expect the US central bank will vote to extend the current $85 billion monthly bond-buying stimulus into next year. Markets were thrown for a loop in mid-September, when the expectation was high for the Fed to start trimming its monthly purchases, aimed at fueling recovery. Although many are wary of surprises when the Fed publishes a statement after its two-day meeting on Wednesday, most see the recent rally in riskier assets and a dollar selloff as largely factoring in the decision. On Wall Street, stocks rose modestly at the open, with the S&P 500 hitting an intraday record high for a third

straight day. “There’s a lot of buyer’s fatigue in the market right now. We’re up more than 20 percent this year, markets have been through a lot and we’re sitting at all-time highs. No one wants to over-commit in that environment,” said Oliver Pursche, president of Gary Goldberg Financial Services in Suffern, New York. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 56.29 points, or 0.36 percent, at 15,625.22. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 5.26 points, or 0.30 percent, at 1,767.37. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 3.91 points, or 0.10 percent, at 3,944.04. MSCI’s world equity index edged up 0.1 percent, trading within last week’s range. In Europe, BP and Saipem were among the top gainers on the FTSEurofirst 300 index, which was up 0.2 percent. The euro hit a session high at $1.3813, near a two-year high of $1.3832 hit Friday, after the European Central Bank’s Ewald Nowotny said he does not see any tool the ECB could use to

weaken the euro-zone’s currency. The euro was up 0.2 percent at $1.3808, though the upcoming Fed policy decision remained however as the dominant factor in the currency and fixed income markets. The dollar gained 0.15 percent against a basket of currencies to 79.365 on thin volume, as many players withdrew from the market ahead of the Fed meeting. US Treasuries prices were little changed as mildly encouraging data on housing and retail sales reduced bids for bonds, although yields remained close to three-month lows. “The market is directionless. There is no urgency to push yields higher or lower,” said Lou Brien, market strategist at DRW Trading in Chicago. The light trading volume suggested traders were reluctant to make big bets ahead of the Fed meeting and as the Treasury Department sought to sell $96 billion in coupon-bearing debt this week.—Reuters



Credit Suisse sees Qatar fund in emerging markets push DOHA: Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is looking at more investments in emerging markets in order to diversify beyond developed nations, said a senior executive of Credit Suisse who is one of the top advisors to the fund. With assets estimated by analysts at about $100-200 billion, and over a dozen potential deals on its radar ever y week, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is courted by bankers and politicians around the world. While the fund will continue to take large minority stakes in well-established firms, it may in future place more emphasis on tangible assets such as real estate, infrastructure and commodities rather than merely financial instruments, said Aladdin Hangari, head of Credit Suisse’s Qatar operations. “For a sovereign wealth fund, that’s investing for future generations, it makes sense to go for assets that are income -producing and can act as a good inflation hedge for the future,” he said in an interview for the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit. “They tend to do more in Europe and the United States because they’re more familiar with the legal framework, which makes it easier to do things. I think going forward, we’ll see them doing more in emerging markets as long as they find the right opportunities.” Qatar Holding, the investment arm of the wealth fund, has in recent years deployed the tiny country’s natural gas wealth to buy a string of high-profile stakes in the West, from German sports car maker Porsche to British bank Barclays and Swiss lender Credit Suisse. But in a sign of an increased focus on emerging markets, the fund hired Michael Cho, a Hong Kong-based banker, as head of mergers and acquisi-

tions in August. The veteran Merrill Lynch banker filled a post vacant since 2011. Deven Karnik, another Asia-based banker who was previously with Morgan Stanley, joined in April to run a newly formed infrastructure team. QIA is the second-largest shareholder in Credit Suisse with a 6.2 percent stake, and the Swiss bank has landed advisory roles on some of the fund’s most high-profile investments. Hangari, who is one of the closest bankers to the fund and has advised it on a number of deals, does not see any major impact on business from political change in Qatar. In June, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani became Emir as his father handed over power. “My feeling is that there will not be a major change in Qatar’s economic policy and investment strategy. Qatar, with the surpluses that they have, will continue to invest abroad like they’ve been doing during the past few years,” Hangari said. Credit Suisse in Qatar owns an asset management venture with Qatar Holding named Aventicum Capital Management. The firm plans to launch a second Middle East and North Africa (MENA) fund before the end of this year, Hangari said. The long-short fund is planned to be “multi-asset but will invest predominantly in equities and equity derivatives in MENA, Turkey and other frontier markets,” the executive said. The venture launched its first flagship, long-only equities fund, which invests in the MENA region, in 2013. The asset management firm is owned 40 percent by Qatar Holding, while Credit Suisse owns the rest. “Post-launch at the end of 2013, the venture is expected to have $250-300 million of assets under management,” Hangari said. — Reuters

UAE caps mortgage loans to avoid property bubble DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates has imposed limits on mortgage loans to prevent another boom-and-bust cycle in the property market, but the restrictions are not as stringent as first planned after lobbying by the banking industry. UAE property prices plunged more than 50 percent between 2008 and 2010 after a speculative bubble burst, pushing Dubai close to default. Dubai’s housing market is now rebounding, with prices up over 20 percent in the last 12 months, prompting the International Monetary Fund to warn in July of the risk of another bubble forming. Under rules issued by the central bank this week, mortgages for first-time buyers of a home worth up to 5 million dirhams ($1.4 million) will be capped at 80 percent of the property value for UAE citizens and 75 percent for foreigners, government and banking sources said. For purchases of second-time and subsequent homes, mortgages will be capped at 65 percent for locals and 60 percent for foreigners, the sources said. Among other restrictions, loans should not exceed 25 years and should be cleared by locals by the age of 70 and foreigners by the age of 65. The rules will take effect one month after being published in the UAE’s official gazette, bankers said; it was not clear when that would happen. Senior central bank officials could not be reached to comment. The UAE central bank often does not announce policies publicly, preferring to circulate them pri-

vately among banks. The central bank had originally announced curbs on home loans last December, limiting mortgages for foreigners to 50 percent of a property’s value for a first purchase and 40 percent for subsequent house purchases. Caps for UAE citizens were set at 70 percent and 60 percent. But those rules were suspended after just a month due to strong protests from commercial banks, which complained that their business would be hurt. The revised rules have been issued after consultations with the banks. Authorities have taken some other steps to prevent the property market from overheating; earlier this month, Dubai doubled to 4 percent the fee charged for registering real estate transactions. But it is not clear how much impact the mortgage caps will have on a market where many purchases, especially speculative ones arranged for quick profit, are conducted with cash. “The (new mortgage) rules are a good thing for the industry and I don’t think they will have a negative effect on prices,” the head of retail banking at one bank in the UAE told Reuters. “It’s a good, balanced document which takes everyone’s needs into consideration.” In a commentary, investment bank EFG-Hermes said the new limits were roughly in line with the size of mortgages that banks were already providing, so it did not expect any immediate impact but “a formalising of the regulatory landscape”. —Reuters

DOHA: Crew members pose in front of an aircraft during a ceremony to mark the alliance of Qatar Airways and Oneworld airline grouping yesterday at Hamad International Airport in Doha. —AFP

Qatar Airways joins Oneworld alliance A350 delivery on schedule; plans order in Dubai DOHA: Qatar Airways announced it is to become a full member of the Oneworld airline grouping yesterday, becoming the only major Gulf carrier to join a global alliance. “From its first flights tomorrow ( Wednesday) morning... Qatar Airways will be offering Oneworld’s full range of services and benefits,” it said in a statement yesterday. Qatar Airways is the second Middle Eastern carrier-after Royal Jordanian-to join the alliance founded in 1998 by American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas. “Becoming a member of Oneworld is one of the most significant landmarks in Qatar Airways’ history,” said its CEO, Akbar al-Baker. “It will strengthen our competitive offering.” Qatar Airways serves more than 130 destinations in 70 countries. It has a fleet of 130 aircrafts and has orders and options for more than 250 new planes for delivery over the next few years. Qatar, a wealthy gas producer, has made huge investments in infrastructure to establish itself as an international hub before it hosts the football World Cup in 2022. A new airport, Hamad International Airport, was scheduled to open in Doha on April 1 but has been delayed after it failed to meet new security standards. Built at a cost of $15.5 billion, the airport will have an initial capacity to handle 30 million pas-

sengers per year, and its sponsors hope to expand that figure to 50 million by the time work finishes in 2020. Oneworld is one of three major airline groupings, alongside Star Alliance and SkyTeam. Qatar Airways, the launch customer for Airbus’s A350 plane, expects the European planemaker to start delivering the aircraft by the second half of next year, the airline’s chief executive said yesterday. The Gulf carrier has ordered 80 A350 jets from Airbus. The A350, designed to compete with Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and the larger Boeing 777, staged its maiden flight in June. The European planemaker now has two aircraft flying and has notched up 75 flights and over 370 hours of flight tests. By the end of the year, Airbus aims to freeze the design of the largest member of the A350 family, the 350-seat A350-1000. The aircraft is due to enter service in mid2017, some three years ahead of a larger revamped version of Boeing’s 777. Qatar Airway’s Al-Baker said the airline would place another plane order during the Dubai Airshow next month, billed one of the largest industry events in the region. “I won’t tell you what the order is, but there will be one,” he said. Qatar Airways is among several major carriers being courted by Boeing as it finalises plans for a

DOHA: Prime Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani (left) and Chief Executive of Qatar Airways Akbar alBaker arrive for a ceremony to mark the alliance of Qatar Airways and Oneworld airline grouping yesterday.—AFP larger version of its profitable 777 wide-body jet, which is expected to be launched at the Dubai Airshow. But Al-Baker said last week the airline was not interested in ordering the 777X wide-body jet. “We don’t know anything about the airplane. We can’t just compare with the size of aircraft. We are just

waiting for Boeing to offer us the aircraft and to show us what the aircraft is going to do,” he said. Etihad is close to placing an order that could kick off a $50 billion jetbuying spree from the Gulf. It is expected to buy 25-30 of the 777X jets and place a repeat order for its 787 Dreamliner. —AFP

NBAD posts first profit fall in nearly two years ABU DHABI: National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the largest lender by market value in the United Arab Emirates, posted its first profit drop in nearly two years, missing analysts’ forecasts, mainly because of a sharp fall in investment gains. NBAD, majority-owned by the Abu Dhabi government, said yesterday that third-quarter net profit fell 8 percent to 1.04 billion dirhams ($283 million) from 1.12 billion dirhams in the year-ago period. Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast on average a profit of 1.22 billion dirhams for the quarter. The profit drop was NBAD’s first since the fourth quarter of 2011, according to Reuters

data. Alex Thursby, previously chief executive for international and institutional banking at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, took over as NBAD’s chief executive in July. The bank has been seeking to expand abroad from its largely saturated local market. “I have now laid out my strategy for the next five years, and we are beginning to gain momentum as we focus on being core to our chosen customers,” Thursby said in a statement yesterday. Profit for the first nine months of this year rose 13.8 percent from a year earlier to 3.65 billion dirhams. Net investment gains in the third quarter plunged 92 percent to 9 million dirhams from

112 million dirhams in the year-ago period, while operating income in the quarter fell 2.5 percent to 2.19 billion dirhams. The bank booked quarterly net impairment charges - the amount set aside to meet loan losses - of 299 million dirhams in the three months to Sept. 30, a drop of 18.5 percent on the same period last year. Loans and advances grew to 182.5 billion dirhams at the end of the third quarter, up 10.9 percent from end-2012, while deposits expanded 20.6 per cent to 229.5 billion dirhams. Shares of NBAD did not trade yesterday. The shares have risen 40 percent year-to-date. — Reuters

EXCHANGE RATES Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. ASIAN COUNTRIES 2.895 4.592 2.649 2.155 2.877 228.980 36.431 3.626 6.559 9.105 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES Saudi Riyal 75.350 Qatari Riyal 77.639 Omani Riyal 733.920 Bahraini Dinar 750.500 UAE Dirham 76.951 ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 40.950 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 40.544 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.318 Tunisian Dinar 174.190 Jordanian Dinar 399.030 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.896 Syrian Lira 3.070 Morocco Dirham 35.306 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 282.450 Euro 391.480 Sterling Pound 458.560 Canadian dollar 271.590 Turkish lira 142.650 Swiss Franc 317.360 Australian Dollar 272.420 US Dollar Buying 281.250 GOLD 20 Gram 248.000 10 Gram 125.000 5 Gram 65.000 Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal Irani Riyal

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

SELL DRAFT 275.52 274.65 320.91 393.26 281.85 460.19 2.95 3.624 4.588 2.162 2.872 2.655 76.81 750.17 40.90 401.14 732.99 77.83 75.29

SELL CASH 276.000 274.000 321.000 396.000 284.600 464.000 3.000 3.700 4.850 2.600 3.400 2.750 77.100 751.000 41.000 406.200 739.100 78.200 75.500

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

Selling Rate 282.200 273.175 457.715 390.670 316.630 745.145 76.810 78.360 76.120 397.805 40.907 2.160 4.589 2.646 3.625 6.546 693.140 3.890

Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees Malaysian Ringgit

Singapore Dollar South African Rand Sri Lankan Rupee Taiwan Thai Baht

10.085 3.045 3.865 90.230

Bahrain Exchange Company CURRENCY Belgian Franc British Pound Czech Korune Danish Krone Euro Norwegian Krone Romanian Leu Slovakia Swedish Krona Swiss Franc Turkish Lira Australian Dollar New Zealand Dollar Canadian Dollar US Dollars US Dollars Mint Bangladesh Taka Chinese Yuan Hong Kong Dollar Indian Rupee Indonesian Rupiah Japanese Yen Kenyan Shilling Korean Won Malaysian Ringgit Nepalese Rupee Pakistan Rupee Philippine Peso Sierra Leone

BUY Europe 0.007345 0.448705 0.006608 0.048204 0.383966 0.043780 0.081543 0.008087 0.040394 0.319148 0.141327 Australasia 0.260651 0.227554 America 0.265278 0.278500 0.279000 Asia 0.003404 0.044980 0.034362 0.004478 0.000021 0.002816 0.003408 0.000256 0.085920 0.003013 0.002504 0.006425 0.000069

SELL 0.008345 0.457705 0.018806 0.053204 0.391466 0.048980 0.81543 0.018087 0.045394 0.319348 0.148327 0.272151 0.237054 0.273778 0.282850 0.282850 0.004004 0.048480 0.037112 0.004879 0.000027 0.002996 0.003408 0.000271 0.091920 0.003183 0.002784 0.006705 0.000075

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

0.225074 0.022824 0.001849 0.009502 0.008762 Arab 0.743146 0.038385 0.000078 0.000183 0.3944368 1.0000000 0.000138 0.022589 0.001195 0.727993 0.076913 0.074723 0.001924 0.169551 0.141327 0.075960 0.001283

0.231074 0.031324 0.002429 0.009682 0.009312 0.751146 0.041485 0.000079 0.000243 0.401868 1.0000000 0.000238 0.046589 0.001830 0.733673 0.078126 0.075423 0.002144 0.177551 0.148327 0.077109 0.001363

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

Transfer Rate (Per 1000) 282.000 391.250 456.500 272.050 4.598 40.915 2.152 3.628 6.540 2.648 751.000 76.850 75.350



Cost of banking clean-up hits Deutsche, UBS, Lloyds ZURICH/FRANKFURT: Three of Europe’s biggest banks suffered third quarter hits yesterday as the relentless rise in the cost of an industry clean up after a string of scandals shows no signs of abating. Shares in Deutsche Bank and Lloyds Banking Group fell sharply after they set aside unexpectedly large sums to cover possible law suits and fines, overshadowing their day-to-day performance in the quarter. UBS stock also tumbled after the Swiss bank announced it has been ordered to hold extra capital in case it has to pay out more than expected in legal settlements. European and US banks are still struggling to cast off the shadow of the scandals revealed after the financial crisis that erupted in 2008. “Just as we thought the regulation might be over, back it comes,” said Andrea Williams, European equities fund manager at Royal London Asset Management, referring to the UBS hit. Deutsche, Germany’s largest bank, set aside an extra 1.2 billion euros ($1.7 billion) to deal with potential litigation costs, depressing its quarterly pretax profit to 18 million euros from an expected 642 million. Its shares were down 1.6 percent at 1115 GMT. Net profit at its rival UBS was 577 million Swiss francs ($644 million), beating analysts’ consensus forecast of 537 million. However, UBS said the Swiss financial regulator was forcing it to hold extra capital to deal with possible legal costs, raising fears that it would end up paying billions to deal with claims and fines. This surprise sent UBS shares down 6.7 percent at 1115 GMT. In Britain, Lloyds set aside another 750 million pounds ($1.21 billion) to compensate customers who were mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI). Shares in Lloyds were down 1.9 percent at 1145 GMT, even though the bank almost doubled underlying profits in the third quarter. Other banks have set aside billions of dollars for claims or already paid out billions in fines. Dutch

mutual Rabobank could announce as early as yesterday a settlement with US and European regulators over claims it manipulated an interest rate. “I’m sure there’s a large amount of provisions still to come,” said Rupert Baker, a European equity sales executive at Mirabaud Securities, speaking of the industry generally. Deutsche acknowledged it had sprung its shareholders an unpleasant surprise. “The timing and costs of legal charges is frustrating for investors and other stakeholders,” said Stefan Krause, Deutsche’s chief financial officer. Deutsche’s overall litigation reserves its war chest to deal with possible legal costs - stands at 4.1 billion euros after the charges booked in the third quarter. “We expect the litigation environment to continue to be challenging,” the bank said in a statement, signalling that the worst may not be over. The latest charges amounted to 1.163 billion euros, with the lion’s share set aside for cases involving Residential Mortgage Backed Securities. Deutsche declined to give a more detailed breakdown. Bonds backed by subprime and other risky residential mortgages lay at the heart of the financial crisis and are subject to a number of law suits in the United States. More than a dozen banks and brokerages, including Deutsche, J.P. Morgan and Citigroup, are under investigation by regulators over the possible manipulation of benchmark interest rates, including the London interbank offered rate (Libor), which are used to price trillions of dollars’ worth of loans. Unlike Barclays and UBS, Deutsche has not yet reached a legal settlement. “The investigations underway have the potential to result in the imposition of significant financial penalties and other consequences for the bank,” Deutsche said in its third-quarter report. In Zurich, UBS said its financial regulator FINMA was forcing the bank to hold extra capital to deal with greater risk related to “known or unknown litigation, compliance and other operational risk matters”. The

The headquarters of Deutsche Bank is photographed in Frankfurt. — AP measure means the bank’s target of achieving a 15 percent return on equity (ROE) by 2015 will be pushed back by at least a year, UBS said. Kian Abouhossein, a London-based banking analyst with JP Morgan who rates the stock ‘overweight’, said the market had not priced in this target. “That’s less of a worry,” he said. “The real worry is that there are more litigation charges.” Several regulators have recently launched investigations into the possible manipulation of foreign exchange markets, and UBS

said it was also conducting an internal review. “We have taken and will take appropriate action with respect to certain personnel as a result of our review, which is ongoing,” it said, without elaborating. Matt Spick, a London-based analyst at Deutsche Bank who rates UBS as a ‘buy’, said FINMA’s demand that UBS hold additional capital had “absolutely not” been expected. “FINMA are effectively saying we think you need an extra 3 billion Swiss francs in capital against litigation issues,” said Spick. — Reuters

Derivatives row harming EU-US free-trade talks Commissioner hoping for breakthrough

MUMBAI: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor, Raghuram Rajan pauses before his meeting with bankers at RBI headquarters in Mumbai yesterday. — AFP

India’s central bank hikes key interest rate MUMBAI: India’s new central bank governor raised the key interest rate yesterday for a second straight month, disregarding calls for lower borrowing costs as he stays focused on battling high inflation. After its monetary policy meeting in the financial capital Mumbai, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said the benchmark repo rate, at which it lends to commercial banks, would be increased by 25 basis points to 7.75 percent. “The policy stance and measures... are intended to curb mounting inflationary pressures and manage inflation expectations in a situation of weak growth,” bank chief Raghuram Rajan said in a statement. Most economists had predicted the hike because wholesale inflation has been above the RBI’s comfort zone of 5.0 percent for four successive months. Annual inflation jumped to a seven-month-high of 6.46 percent for the month of September, led by surging food and fuel prices. Shares on the Bombay Stock Exchange, which hit their highest level in nearly three years last week, were up 1.52 percent at 20,883.87 points in yesterday afternoon trade. After taking office in September, Rajan-who had warned he was prepared to take unpopular steps to bring the economy back on track-surprised markets by raising interest rates in his first monetary policy meeting. At his second such meeting yesterday, the bank also kept the cash reserve ratio-the percentage of deposits banks must keep with the central bank-unchanged at 4.0 percent. Rajan did, however, relax some curbs imposed on banks in July to support the rupee when it was plunging against the dollar. The marginal standing facility-used to

lend to commercial banks when there is a shortage of funds in the market-was cut by 25 basis points to 8.75 percent. The rate rise disappointed the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). It is among industry groups pushing for a cut to spur growth in Asia’s third-largest economy, which is running at a decade low of five percent. “A high interest rate regime deters consumption and investment demand,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, CII director general, adding that raising the rate would “hurt growth”. A rate rise dampens business sentiment by increasing borrowing costs for the economy and pushing banks to raise their rates on loans for property and cars. But cutting rates risks pushing inflation higher and further weakening the rupee, which hit record lows in the weeks before Rajan took charge on September 4. Despite improved investor sentiment and a strengthening of the rupee since Rajan took charge, the bank warned on Monday night that anchoring inflation expectations would be key to monetary policy. “It is important to break the spiral of rising price pressures in order to curb the erosion of financial saving and strengthen the foundations of growth,” Rajan said in yesterday’s announcement. “The Reserve Bank will closely monitor inflation risk while being mindful of the evolving growth dynamics.” The RBI expects India to grow at 5.0 percent in the current fiscal year that ends in March, below its earlier forecast of 5.5 percent. Huge expectations have been riding on Rajan, a former International Monetary Fund chief economist nicknamed “The Guv”, since he came to office in a period of economic turmoil. — AFP

Nomura, Daiwa profits jump TOKYO: Nomura Holdings Inc and Daiwa Securities Group Inc reported jumps in quarterly profit from a year earlier, but slowing trade in Tokyo stocks has knocked some wind out of a resurgence of Japan’s top two investment banks. Both companies have seen their fortunes improve markedly this year thanks largely to the aggressive economic growth agenda of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who came to power in December, renewing investor interest in Japanese stocks. While the latest quarter revealed some bright spots, such as Nomura expanding revenues from fixed income trading while most of its peers suffered declines, the results also underscored just how crucial “Abenomics” is to the two companies’ future growth prospects. “If there is a regression in Abenomics then that will of course hit the markets,” Daiwa’s Chief Financial Officer Mikita Komatsu said after the earnings release. “But we are optimistic. We don’t think that will happen.” Nomura posted on Tuesday a net profit of 38.1 billion yen ($389.9 million) for JulySeptember, up from 2.8 billion yen a year earlier but down from 65.9 billion yen in AprilJune. The Starmine SmartEstimate of four top-ranked analysts was 43 billion yen. Daiwa said its net profit increased fivefold on year to

35.5 billion yen, compared with the SmartEstimate of 32.8 billion yen and a record 57.3 billion yen in April-June. Nomura Chief Financial Officer Shigesuke Kashiwagi pointed to revenue gains in Europe, the Americas and Asia outside Japan as progress toward making its overseas business profitable. That business, built by buying parts of failed bank Lehman Brothers in 2008 and expanding in the US on its own, was downsized as part of a recently completed $1 billion cost-cutting program. “There is no need for us to embark on a big expansion overseas,” Kashiwagi said at an earnings briefing. “Our break-even point has been lowered and we can steadily work towards boosting market share and profitability.” The flow of money into Japanese equities has slowed as investors become skeptical about whether Abe can deliver on promised reforms. Trading value on the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 30 percent in the September quarter, cutting into brokerages’ bread-and-butter business of selling shares. Both Nomura and Daiwa said profit from their retail divisions halved from the prior quarter. Nomura has 176 branches across Japan while Daiwa has 120, though it has announced plans to expand in its network by 50 percent over the next few years. — Reuters

BRUSSELS: Ambitious plans for an EU-US free-trade agreement may be put in jeopardy by Washington’s failure to finalize a deal coordinating rules in the $630 trillion derivatives market, the EU’s financial markets chief has warned. The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission agreed in July this year on a common position with the European Commission and other global regulators that aimed to iron out differences in how they police derivatives trading worldwide. But in the months since that agreement was struck in principle, the parties have failed to sign off on the details of the arrangement. The CFTC, under pressure to adhere to DoddFrank legislation, has pushed ahead with enforcing its own, tough rules without waiting to coordinate. Michel Barnier, the Frenchman in charge of European financial regulation, said he hoped to conclude an agreement with CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler in the months ahead, potentially before Gensler steps down at the end of the year. But he warned the current lack of clarity was starting to cause problems in financial markets, with liquidity in the derivatives industry breaking up and transaction costs rising. Without agreement on a common approach, including mutual recognition of each other’s rules, it would be difficult to move ahead with the EU-US free-trade negotiations, which Europe expects to incorporate financial regulation, Barnier said. “In the medium-term, it is a bad signal for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership,” he told Reuters in an interview, using the formal name of the free-trade talks. “I hope all elements of the derivatives agreement from July can be implemented right away,” he

said, adding: “The TTIP negotiations will be difficult enough without also adding on top of it the financial services’ issue.” Europe and the United States launched negotiations on a free-trade agreement earlier this year. Europe hopes that the deal will include financial regulation and markets-related activity, especially as the EU and US account for 80 percent of global financial transactions. But there are doubts on the US side about whether financial regulation can be incorporated. Without an agreement on derivatives, regulators fear a “Balkanization” of the market and the likelihood that more transactions will be done outside of exchanges, undermining the transparency that the rules - first set out by G20 leaders at a meeting in Pittsburg in 2009 - were supposed to achieve. Gensler, who has been criticised by some members of the CFTC board for taking an overly rigid line, is expected to step down in the coming months. Asked whether a change at the top might open the way for breakthrough with the EU, Barnier demurred. “I have a very good personal relationship with Gary Gensler,” he said. “It’s true that I sometimes get a little impatient, but I’ve never expressed my frustration. “We’re going to need another couple of months to find a solution, provided there is the will to find a solution on both sides,” he said. While Europe is keen to fold as many finance issues into the free-trade negotiations as possible, the US is more reluctant. The multitude of powerful regulatory bodies in the United States, from the CFTC to the Securities and Exchange Commission, not to mention the Treasury, make it more complicated. Barnier linked the timeframe to the end-of-year deadline the

German and French governments set last week for reaching an agreement with the Obama administration on a ‘no-spying’ pact, following the revelations of widespread US eavesdropping. As with the need for a better understanding among allies on what is acceptable in the world of espionage, Barnier said progress on financial regulation would only be achieved once there was more trust between the parties. “We have to realize that there is a serious problem of confidence here,” he said, referring to the deterioration in transatlantic relations in the wake of the spying scandal. “The fact there are new revelations almost every week clearly makes the situation worse and worse. It’s absolutely urgent that we reestablish confidence.” EU leaders, who met in Brussels last week for talks that were dominated by how to respond to the allegations of US spying, have made clear they do not want to call off or stall the free-trade talks, which were launched in July. But they do want to put the United States on watch that Europe expects to be treated as an equal partner when it comes to sensitive negotiations, whether over the sharing of data or the application of complex derivatives rules. Barnier, a former French foreign minister, described himself as a “big advocate” for the free-trade deal, the most ambitious piece of legislation the EU and US have ever attempted. But he said it wouldn’t be complete without incorporating financial regulation, and doing that depended on reaching an agreement on derivatives rules, as well as on resolving problems with how European banks are treated in the United States. — Reuters

UAE, Saudi markets fall MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS DUBAI: Mixed earnings in UAE triggered marginal profittaking yesterday while Saudi Arabia’s bourse declined for a third consecutive session after its largest-listed firm reported earnings that disappointed investors. Abu Dhabi’s telecom operator Etisalat weighed on the bourse and dampened sentiment after it reported an 18 percent drop in third-quarter profit and fell short of analysts’ forecast. Large-cap First Gulf Bank fell 1.5 percent after reporting earnings that matched estimates. Abu Dhabi’s measure slipped 0.7 percent, but it lacks direction as it remains in a 100-point range for the last four weeks. The sentiment spilled over to Dubai, where the benchmark dipped 0.8 percent, down for a second session since Sunday’s five-year high. But daily trading volumes were the lowest in three weeks. “Technically, the market should correct but it is very solid because there isn’t heavy selling pressure in a bearish trend,” said Mohab Maher, senior sales trader at Mubasher. “Most investors are holding their shares until the Expo announcement.” Expectations are high that Dubai will win its bid to host the World Expo 2020. The results are set to be revealed on Nov 27. Investors are selling some shares in firms that have reported results, despite earnings surprising on the upside. Emaar Properties lost 1.1 percent and Deyaar Development retreated 1.2 percent. The latter on Monday posted a surge in earnings. In Saudi Arabia, retail sector shares extend losses as investors booked gains after an earnings disappointment. Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair tumbled 7.4 percent to a sevenweek low in its third straight loss. The retailer on Monday posted an 11.8 percent rise in second-quarter profit but fell moderately short of estimates. Investors had favored the stock because of its sharp growth in earnings, so the miss triggered heavy selling. It is still up 80.3 percent year-to-date. “This is a normal reaction and profit-taking in stocks that went up more than 20 percent this year,” said Abdullah Alawi, assistant general manager and head of research at Aljazira Capital. “We’re still in a long-term uptrend - after some selling, prices will stabilise. The retail sector has proved profitable and remains strong fundamentally.” Profit-taking spread across other sectors with banks and petrochemical shares weighing. — Reuters

HONG KONG: A tourist poses beside a bull sculpture in front of the historic Hong Kong Bank building on the Bund in Shanghai yesterday. — AFP

China to hold key economic reform meeting Nov 9-12 BEIJING: China’s leaders will hold a key meeting to discuss deepening financial reforms between Nov 9 and Nov 12, the official Xinhua news agency said, as the ruling Communist Party looks to set its economic agenda for the next decade. The meeting marks the third time China’s 200-member Central Committee has gathered since last year’s leadership change. Historically, such meetings, known as third plenums, have been a springboard for economic change in China. The meeting “must be a new historical beginning that comprehensively deepens reforms,” Xinhua said yesterday, citing a meeting of the elite politburo. No details were given on what changes will be pursued and in what manner, but where conditions for reform are ripe change must be rolled out quickly, Xinhua said. Analysts and investors are eagerly awaiting the outcome of the meeting in the hope that it will outline a growth strategy for the world’s No 2 economy as it matures and enters a stage of slower expansion. However, political reforms are not expected to be a major part of the meeting.

China’s leaders are trying to shift the economy away from a reliance on exports and investment and more towards consumption. That may mean the economy slows, but the leaders hope it will provide the basis for a more sustainable pace of expansion after years of double-digit growth. The government sees GDP rising this year by 7.5 percent, which would be its weakest increase in more than two decades. Yu Zhengsheng, the fourth-ranked member of China’s elite politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party, said last weekend the meeting will unveil “broad” and “unprecedented” reforms. People familiar with discussions about the meeting said last month that of a long list of proposed changes likely to be announced after the plenum, only financial reforms have garnered enough support to warrant a plan and a roadmap. Other proposed reforms including fiscal, land and residency registration have been major sticking points as politicians debate how to implement change, and as they face resistance from powerful interest groups such as state firms. — Reuters



Japan watchdog to probe megabanks Mizuho loan scandal unravels TOKYO: Japan’s financial watchdog said yesterday it would probe the country’s top three banks in the wake of a loans-to-mobsters scandal that has scarred the reputation of major lender Mizuho. The Financial Services Agency (FSA) will look at Mizuho’s business dealings as well as rivals Mitsubishi UFJ and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., an agency spokesman said, without disclosing further details. Jiji Press news agency said the widening investigation would probe a range of issues

including the banks’ risk management systems, while Japan’s finance minister said earlier yesterday that the watchdog must do a better job in weeding out corporate misdeeds. The scandal has made headlines for weeks in Japanese media, and reportedly sparked a police investigation into corporate ties with organized crime. The widening regulatory probe comes a day after a panel of lawyers hired by Mizuho to look into its links with organized crime said bank executives knew it was doing business with

gangsters but failed to stop the practice. “Many officials and board members were aware of, or were in a position to be aware of, the issue,” said the panel’s 100-page report. “However they failed to recognise it as a problem, believing that the compliance division... was taking care of it.” Mizuho has been under fire since it emerged last month that it processed hundreds of loans worth about $2 million for the country’s notorious yakuza crime syndicates, which are involved in activities ranging from prostitution and drugs

to extortion and corporate crime. Finance Minister Taro Aso on Monday slammed the Mizuho transactions as a “huge problem”, and said the bank’s initial-and incorrect-claims to regulators that executives knew nothing about the shady loans was “the worst thing a bank can do”. On Tuesday, Aso took aim at the FSA, saying that “we have to improve what we are supposed to be doing”. His comments were in response to questions about the watchdog’s handling of the high-profile case.

Mizuho has submitted its own report to regulators, and said Monday that 54 former and current executives would be punished, including Mizuho Bank chairman Takashi Tsukamoto. He will step down from his post but stay on as head of the parent company. Mizuho Financial Group chief executive Yasuhiro Sato-who has acknowledged he was in “a position to be aware of” the loans but refused to quit-will work without pay for six months. Other managers would also take wage cuts.—AFP

LAHORE: A Pakistani farmer fills a sack with water chestnuts in a field on the outskirts of Lahore yesterday. Around 68 percent of Pakistan’s population depends on agriculture for their livelihood, with the agricultural sector contributing nearly a fourth of the country’s GDP. —AFP

BP ups asset sales, dividend as big oil Q3 kicks off LONDON: BP Plc kicked off the results season for top global oil firms yesterday with forecast-beating profits and a dose of what the industry’s investors want - a dividend hike, plans for asset sales, and a promise to keep a lid on spending. The world No. 5 among investor-controlled oil and gas groups worldwide scaled back its guidance on capital spending next year to $24-$25 billion compared with previous guidance of $24-$27 billion for the years up to 2020. BP also raised its quarterly dividend by 5.6 percent to 9.5 cents a share and said it would sell $10 billion of assets over the next two years, returning most of the proceeds to shareholders - a higher rate of disposals than previously promised under a program aimed at jettisoning $2 to $3 billion dollars worth of assets per year until 2020. Shareholders throughout the sector have been worried that rising costs will allow spending to balloon, crimping cash flow should oil prices drop, and reducing the industry’s ability to offer them returns. They want spending controlled and spare cash siphoned back into their pockets. “The stockmarket doesn’t want the oil majors to spend money. I nstead, investors want their cash back. And BP has obliged this morning,” said analyst Neill Morton of Investec, who noted that the share prices of Europe’s integrated oil firms as a multiple of their earnings stand at a 20-year low relative to the broader market. BP shares climbed 4.8 percent to 473 pence after the results, supporting others tocks in the sector. Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch/Shell and Total

report results later this week. BP’s underlying replacement cost net profit for the third quarter of 2013 was $3.692 billion compared with a companysupplied consensus analyst forecast of $3.170 billion. The figure was sharply lower than the $5.017 billion a year earlier - mainly because of much weaker refining margins, divestment of refineries and reduced income from its Russian business, but it was more than the second quarter’s $2.712 billion when a big Russian tax charge hit the bottom line. Rosneft, the state-controlled Russian company into which BP folded its Russian business last year in exchange for a 19.75 percent stake, delivered $808 million of the profits. It also reported quarterly results yesterday. BP has already sold $38 billion of assets - mainly to pay for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010 - but asset sales have become a theme throughout the sector as it struggles with rising costs and eyes potentially lower oil prices in future. Most of the top oil companies have been making noises this year about “active portfolio management” and “value over volume”. BP recently won a small victory in its sea of legal defeats over the oil spill and to reflect that, it derecognized about $400 million of provisions within the $20 billion fund it has set aside for certain types of compensation. However, it raised slightly its overall cumulative charge for the costs of clean-up, fines, and compensation for the spill to $42.5 billion from $42.4 billion due to other small extra provisions. — Reuters

Japan households bolster spending TOKYO: Japan’s thrifty households boosted their spending last month while unemployment fell, data showed yesterday, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) gave a thumbs up to Tokyo’s economic policy blitz. The 3.7 percent jump in spendingthe best result in six months-was far beyond economists’ expectations of a 0.5 percent rise, and comes days after Japan hailed separate consumer price data as showing the government was winning the war on deflation. The latest spending figures and a stronger labor market are key yardsticks for the success of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policy blitz, dubbed “Abenomics,” which is squarely aimed at stoking growth in the world’s third-largest economy. The on-month spending jump was likely driven by expectations over a sales tax hike approved earlier this month as consumers looked to buy goods cheaper before the increase. There are fears that the rate rise, designed to bring down Japan’s staggering national debt, could derail Japan’s recovery. But Tokyo has been under heavy pressure to chop a debt mountain that is proportionately the heaviest burden among rich countries at more than twice the size of the economy. Anoop Singh, director of Asia and Pacific Department at the IMF, on

Tuesday repeated calls for Japan to get its finances in order while he described Abe’s almost year-old growth plan as “so far, so good”. “The first phase of Abenomics is improving confidence, jump-starting the recovery,” he told a news briefing in Tokyo Tuesday, adding that wage hikes were “essential” to exiting deflation. Abe has pledged to drag Japan out of its 15-year deflationary spiral by stoking price rises through lifting wages and consumption. While falling prices may sound like a good thing, they encourage consumers to put off spending in the hope they will be cheaper down the road, which hurts producers. Cautious firms have been reluctant to usher in widespread pay or capital spending hikes after years of lacklustre consumer spending weighed on their expansion. Still, upbeat data from the internal affairs ministry yesterday showed the average income among working households rose 0.9 percent in September, while the unemployment rate was down to 4.0 percent last month, down 0.1 percentage point from August. Credit Agricole economist Yoshiro Sato said the latest figures showed Japan’s labor market was tight and predicted the jobless rate “would stay comfortably low supporting steady consumption”. —AFP



Mohamad Shalaby, COO, Al-Babtain Group of companies and managers with the finalists of Nissan contests - NISTEC, NISAC, and NIPEC who will represent Nissan Al-Babtain, Kuwait.

Nissan Al-Babtain annual technical competitions for Aftersales, Service and Parts departments


bdulmohsen Abdulaziz Al-Babtain Co WLL, the sole distributors of Nissan vehicles in Kuwait, conducted the Annual NISTEC, NISAC and NIPEC competitions in cooperation with Nissan Aftersales, Service and Parts departments at their Shuwaikh Workshop on October 11, 2013. Nissan Service Technician Excellence Competition, Nissan Service Advisor Excellence Competency and Nissan Parts Executive Excellence competency skill contests are based on the Nissan’s global competency testing templates to assess the knowledge and skill of the engineers, technicians, service advisers and parts executives employed with the distributors. It aims to promote their skills, discover their strengths, capabilities and identify future learning needs. The contest was conducted by Learning and Development Division. Al-Babtain Group places great emphasis on the development of itsstaff to meet the growing customer expectations. Many officials including Mohamed Shalaby, COO, Al-Babtain Group, Surendra Acharya, Regional Service Manager, Nissan Gulf FZE and senior management staff were present to encourage the participants and extended their support to the core activity of staff development. In his message Saleh Al-Babtain, CEO Al-Babtain group mentioned “Nissan is the flagship brand upon which the success of Al-Babtain has been forged through every aspect of our daily operations. The aftersales team provide a vital interface with our customers and play a key role for the organization in delivering on our promise of quality. This is an area we have invested heavily and will continue to invest in terms of our people and infrastructure. A warm thank you to Nissan

S Acharya, Regional Service Manager, Nissan Gulf FZE, M Rauf (NSM) AABC, Kuwait and managers observing the skill contest.

Middle East for continuing to conduct these contests annually on a Regional basis. I sincerely wish all participants the very best in the National contest. Do your best and do yourselves and your team proud!” Shalaby, further emphasized, “The secret of success

Nissan Service Advisor Excellence competency (NISAC) in action. Process: Receiving customer — role play with contestant, customer and the judge.

behind Nissan Al-Babtain is not only valuing our client but our staff as well. The NISTEC, NISAC and NIPEC contests assist us to improve and promote the Group’s objective of customer’s excellence. We carefully understand customer’s opinions and proposals to meet their

Nissan Parts Executive Excellence competency (NIPEC) in action. Process: Parts order taking — role play with contestant, customer and the judge.

Shalaby, COO, Al-Babtain group of Companies, Ruwan (NPM), and NIPEC participants and parts team enthusiastically joined the contest.

expectations. Competitions like these are conducted as per international standards, and they helps us to benchmark ourselves on the global scale. Contests also assist to identify talented staff, motivate them, and also inspire other coworkers to continuously improve their skills. This will ultimately result in better quality of work, higher productivity & increased customer satisfaction. He concluded with “Thank you again for being a part of this competition and keep up the great work”. Highlighting its importance, Victor Birman , Group General Manger - HR and Personnel explained that the participants will pass through a series of practical problem solving exercises, role plays and discussions on measures to be taken to provide an exemplary customer service by the service advisors, parts executives and the technicians alike. He further added that the winners of the national competition in Kuwait will qualify to participate in the respective Regional competitions to be held in Dubai later this year. All the participants received a certificate from Nissan Japan while the winners also took home medals, gifts and cash prizes. Abdulmohsen Abdulaziz Al-Babtain Co is the second oldest distributor of Nissan cars outside Japan. This authorized dealer of Nissan Motor Co, Ltd in Kuwait has been honored and awarded in recognition of its outstanding achievements in Sales and Marketing, Aftersales Service & Spare Parts and Customer service for its overall performance amongst Nissan agents across the world. Today Nissan Aftersales Network, with 8 service centers and 14 parts outlets, is the largest network of automotive Aftersales facilities spread across Kuwait. It’s no wonder why more and more customers are eager to shift to buy a Nissan!

Nissan Service Technicians Excellence competition (NISTEC) in action. Live demonstration of fault identification & its rectification with Technician and the judge in picture.



Kuwait welcomes New BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo The industry’s first Sports Activity Vehicle blends innovation with elegance

KUWAIT: Combining the characteristic features of a prestigious sedan, the functionality and space of an Sports Activity Vehicle and elements of a traditional grand touring car, the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo makes its official debut in Kuwait. Distributed by Ali Alghanim and Sons Automotive, the BMW Group importer for Kuwait, the new 5 Series Gran Turismo defines a new segment in the market featuring an exterior that’s immediately identifiable as a BMW, yet combines the proportions of an elegantly stretched silhouette with a coupÈ-like roofline with four doors which house frameless windows to create one complete, harmonious unit. The front view of the car animates power ful dynamism through the sheer presence of the upright BMW kidney grille, large air intakes and dual round

headlights slanted back at an attractive angle. Its daytime driving light are provided by corona rings with LED technology, while the rear end is enhanced by Lshaped rear light clusters with homogenously illuminated rows of lights in LED technology and a two-piece tailgate. The luxurious interior of the BMW Gran Turismo enables the driver and passengers to vary the generous space inside the car as they wish to their individual, personal requirements. This superior feeling of comfort is further enhanced by the large window areas, the optional panorama glass roof, as well as exquisite materials and supreme quality of finish. The new BMW Gran Turismo enters the market carrying over BMW EfficientDynamics into a new segment in the automobile world, allowing the model to set new standards in terms of econo-

my and emission management. “The 5 Series Gran Turismo continues BMW’s proud history of innovation and pioneering automotive excellence,” Yousef Al-Qatami, General Manager, Ali

cess, backed of course by Ali Alghanim & Sons’ renowned BMW customer ser vice,” he added. The Gran Turismo will enter the Kuwaiti market with an 8-

Alghanim and Sons Automotive said. “It is the only vehicle of its kind in the market and we are confident it will be a huge suc-

speed automatic transmission and two engine variants - the TwinPower Turbo in-line six cylinder 528i and the twin-turbocharged V6 535i. The BMW

528i Gran Turismo has a maximum output of 245 hp with a top speed of 240 km/hr and acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 7 seconds. The engine used in the BMW 535i Gran Turismo has a maximum output of 306 hp with a top speed of 250 km/hr and accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds. A host of safety and comfort options are available, including Integral Active Steering to improve manoeuvrability and safety at low and high speeds, Driving Dynamic Control for variable drive settings depending on road conditions and adaptive headlights - a function that varies the angle of the headlight beam when it detects a change in direction. Active and passive warning systems such as the Lane Change and Lane Departure Warnings ensure that the driver stays within lane limits. The BMW Gran Turismo also

comes with a wide range of comfort touches and innovative entertainment options, including telecommunication and navigation systems, a multi-channel audio system, USB port, 80 GB Hard Disk, DVD entertainment system in the rear, four-zone automatic air conditioning, and a panorama glass roof. All BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo vehicles from Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive feature innovative communication features via BMW ConnectedDrive. This includes a host of new BMW Apps including Facebook, Twitter, Web Radio and Wiki Local; all of which can be accessed via an Apple iPhone as well as the all new BMW Remote App which will be compatible on both iPhone and Android platforms. BMW in Kuwait is the only automobile manufacturer to offer these technological innovations to the Kuwaiti market.

Tissot, two-times winner of the International timing competition

Air Arabia kicks off 10-year anniversary celebrations with special aircraft livery SHARJAH: Air Arabia, the first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC) in the Middle East and North Africa, yesterday unveiled a specially designed 10-year anniversary aircraft livery, which marks the beginning of the 10-year anniversary celebrations. The 10-year anniversary livery is painted on the carrier’s Airbus A320 aircraft’s fuselage. The new livery was installed with the

help of Air Arabia’s engineering team at the carrier’s state-of-the-art Hangar facility in Sharjah, marking a decade of successful operations. For the next few weeks, the commemorative aircraft will shuttle between the original destinations served by Air Arabia when it began operations in October 2003: Kuwait, Bahrain, Muscat, Beirut, and Air Arabia’s primary hub in Sharjah.

LE LOCLE: The prizes of the International Timing Competition were awarded last night at the Time Museum of Besancon, in the name of precision per fec tion and expertise in the watchmaking arena, specifically in the domain of contemporar y mechanical timing. Tissot SA was already awarded first place in 2011 for the “Classic Enterprise” category. This year, the brand proved itself again as an expert in its field by winning it once more, in addition to also receiving the second place. Following scientific, technical and cultural procedures that were carried out in official certified laboratories of Besancon’s Observatory and by the Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometres (Swiss Official Controlling of Timing) in Bienne as well as being exposed to particularly tough magnetic fields and shocks at the Haute Ecole Arc in le Locle, the jury revealed the great winners of the Enterprise categories - Ecole, Classic and Tourbillons. Derived from the Tissot T-Complication collection, the leader of this year’s “ Classic “ category, portrays the innovative and traditional values of the brand. It celebrates the art of watchmaking and more particularly, Tissot’s 160 years of expertise in that area. As such, this watch is symbolic to the Tissot classic range. The second prize was awarded to a piece derived from the same collection and demonstrates the consistency of quality of the Tissot products. Tissot is accustomed to participating in timing contests and already in 1884,the company received first place for their pocket watch timing movement. These contests allow the brand

to keep reaching further and push their limits in terms of the quality of their products as well as proving themselves as a brand in a competitive market. Francois Thiebaud, the Tissot President emphasises “ Receiving this award is a great honor for us. It confirms a know-how developed overmultiple centuries, which allows the Swiss watchmaking industry to excel. We would like to thank everyone that contributed to that

success, within Tissot, the Swatch group and within other contributing enterprises. “ Today, Tissot continues more dynamic and motivated than ever on the watchmaking path, gaining priceless knowledge every single day after 160 years of history, which was celebrated this year worldwide, remembering the good old times that brought them where they presently stand when producing jewels such as these.

Joyalukkas now open in Vadodara, Ahmedabad


Canon celebrates production of 90 million EF lenses DUBAI: Canon announced the achievement of a new lens manufacturing milestone - the company’s 90-millionth EFseries interchangeable lens. This new milestone follows, just over nine months since Canon announced the production of the 80-millionth lens in August 2012, highlighting the significant demand and continued popularity of the EF lens range. Over the past 26 years Canon has been at the forefront of the imaging industry, driving demand with cutting-edge innovation. Production of Canon’s signature interchangeable EF lens series began in 1987 at the Utsunomiya Plant, when the series was first introduced together with the EOS SLR camera system. Since then, the global demand for Canon’s EOS products and lenses has continued to gather pace and in 2011 there was only nine months between the increase from 60 to 70 million units manufactured. In order to meet this demand, Canon scaled up its production with facilities across Taiwan, Malaysia and Japan. Throughout its history, Canon has continued to drive the imaging industry

forward, introducing world firstsπ such as the Ultrasonic Motor (USM) for use in lenses, Image Stabilizer (IS) technology, a multilayered diffractive optical (DO) element and Subwavelength Structure Coating (SWC) anti-reflection technology. EF lenses - consistent precision, complete versatility In May of this year, Canon announced the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x, a super telephoto zoom lens which is equipped with a 1.4x internal extender and offers a wide, 200-560 mm zoom range. As a result, Canon’s current EF lens line-up comprises of 80 models≤ including the EF Cinema Lens series for use in cinema and TV production. Canon will continue to refine its diverse imaging technologies based on its core optical expertise, striving to produce exceptional and reliable lenses and cameras, whilst expanding the photographic and video imaging culture. Canon’s range caters to the varying needs of photographers - from first-time users, to advanced amateurs and professionals.

oyalukkas, Dubai-based, world’s No 1 jeweler, opened its first two showrooms in the state of Gujarat. The two new showrooms are located in the cities of Vadodara and Ahmedabad and mark Joyalukkas’ entry into this dynamic state. Newly appointed brand ambassador, Hrithik Roshan, inaugurated both the showrooms in the presence of other distinguished VIP’s and customers who were present for the opening. “It gives me immense pleasure to open of our first two showrooms in the state of Gujarat. The new showrooms will allow the people of Gujarat to experience the world-class Joyalukkas shopping quality, which has become synonymous with excellent customer service, over a million design choices, quality assurance and trust and all this will be offered to them at best prices within our unique shopping environment,” commented Joy Alukkas, Chairman & MD, Joyalukkas Group at the opening. The Vadodara and Ahmedabad showrooms have been designed in the signature Joyalukkas large format designs and showcases over a million designs across a range of jewelry forms such as gold, diamond, precious stones, polki platinum and pearl jewelry. The interiors of both stores have been carefully designed to give customers a taste of the global jewelry expertise of Joyalukkas, which is evident through the modern design of the store. In addition, Joyalukkas assures best price practice across all its products with the popular CPT (clear price tag), allowing customers to fully understand the value and details of the jewelry they are purchasing. “We are 100 percent transparent on our pricing to safe guard our customers interest, we like to build relationships

with our customers by assuring 100 percent at all times,” added Joy Alukkas. “It was an amazing experience, inaugurating two showrooms for Joyalukkas as their brand ambassador. I would like to thank all the residents of Vadodara and Ahmedabad for their overwhelming response. At both Joyalukkas showrooms it felt magical in the world-class ambience to view the never ending choice of jewelry. This is evidence of Joyalukkas’ understanding of its customers’ needs, through the range and quality of jewelry it provides. Rest assured you will get only the best at Joyalukkas

and they will do everything possible to protect the customers interest at all times,” said Hrithik Roshan, Bollywood superstar, and brand ambassador for Joyalukkas. Joyalukkas Jewellery is one of the fastest growing jewelry chains with a customer base of over 10 million people world-wide. The brand enjoys Superbrand status in Dubai and has over 90 stores across 10 countries. Known for its intricate jewelry designs that attract a plethora of customers across its retail showrooms, the Group further plans to expand to a 100 jewelry showroom chain by the end the year 2014.



Google expands sales of Internet-connected glasses MOUNTAIN VIEW: Google is relying on a little social networking to put its Internet connected glasses on the heads of more people. The expanded sales of the device known as Google Glass will come as par t of an invitation only program announced Monday. The roughly 10,000 Glass owners who began testing the device earlier this year will each be allowed to invite up to three people to buy the device. The early Glass users are primarily computer programmers and winners of an online contest conducted earlier this year. The recipients of the invitations will have to pay $1,500 apiece for Glass, which works like a smartphone except that it’s worn on the head like a pair of spectacles. The device includes a speaker, a hand-free camera and a thumbnail-sized display screen attached to the frame above the right eye. Google Inc. still plans to release a less-expensive model of Glass next year. The precise pricing and timing of the mass-market version still hasn’t

been determined. Relying on the early users of a test product to gradually widen the audience is a familiar strategy for Google. The Mountain View, Calif, company did something similar in 2004 after it released Gmail, its free email service. Glass already has generated concerns among critics who worry that its hidden camera could invade the privacy of people who don’t realize that video or pictures are being taken of them. Others are concerned that Glass will thrust more technological distractions into society by making it even easier for people to be online at all times. Google says it believes Glass will promote more meaningful interaction by giving people less reason to glance down at a smartphone screen every few minutes. As part of Glass’ expansion, Google is giving the early testers the option to exchange their current device for an improved version. The updated model includes an ear bud for better acoustics and will work on prescription frames. —AP

TAIPEI: Employees from Taiwan Google seen during an annual parade in Taipei. — AFP

Australian government upholds ban on Huawei Company excluded from $38 billion broadband network

KAZAKHSTAN: (Left to right) Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin and US astronaut Rick Mastracchio attend their preflight training in the Russian leased Kazakhstan’s Baikonur cosmodrome on October 28, 2013. The three-man crew is scheduled to blast off to the International Space Station (ISS) from Baikonur on November 7. — AFP

India, US preparing satellites to probe Martian atmosphere CAPE CANAVERAL: Two new science satellites are being prepared to join a fleet of robotic Mars probes to help determine why the planet most like Earth in the solar system ended up so different. India’s Mars Orbiter Mission, the country’s first interplanetary foray, is due to blast off on Nov 5 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India. Billed as a pathfinder to test technologies to fly to orbit and communicate from Mars, the satellite follows India’s successful 2008-2009 Chandrayaan1 moon probe, which discovered water molecules in the lunar soil. The Mars Orbiter Mission has ambitious science goals as well, including a search for methane in the Martian atmosphere. On Earth, the chemical is strongly tied to life. Methane, which also can be produced by non-biological processes, was first detected in the Martian atmosphere a decade ago. But recent measurements made by NASA’s Mars rover, Curiosity, show only trace amounts of methane, a puzzling finding since the gas should last about 200 years on Mars. India’s Mars Orbiter Mission also will

study Martian surface features and mineral composition. Also launching in November is NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, spacecraft. MAVEN will focus on Mars’ thin atmosphere, but rather than hunting methane, it is designed to help scientists figure out how the planet managed to lose an atmosphere that at one time was believed to be thicker than Earth’s. “MAVEN is going to focus on trying to understand what the history of the atmosphere has been, how the climate has changed through time and how that has influenced the evolution of the surface and the potential habitability - at least by microbes - of Mars,” lead mission scientist Bruce Jakosky, with the University of Colorado at Boulder, told reporters on a conference call on Monday. MAVEN is due to launch on Nov 18 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and reach Mars on Sept. 22, 2014 - the day after India’s spacecraft arrives. They will join two NASA rovers, two NASA orbiters and a European Space Agency satellite already studying Mars. — Reuters

This satellite image shows the Sohae site where North Korea launched a long-range rocket into space. US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies said Monday, Oct 28, 2013, North Korea is conducting major construction at its main missile launch site, apparently to accommodate larger rockets and new mobile missiles. — AP

SYDNEY: Australia’s newly elected conservative government is upholding a ban on China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd from bidding for work on the country’s $38 billion National Broadband Network (NBN), the attorney-general said yesterday. The former Labor government cited cyber-security concerns when it banned Huawei, the world’s largest supplier of telecom network equipment by revenue, from bidding for contracts on the infrastructure rollout last year. Some senior officials in the new Liberal-led Coalition government, including Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, had supported a review of the ban, raising expectations it would be scrapped. But Attorney-General George Brandis said the government had decided not to change the policy, citing new briefings from Australia’s national security agencies. “Since the election the new government has had further briefings from the national security agencies. No decision has been made by the new government to change the existing policy,” Brandis said in an email to Reuters. “The decision of the previous government not to permit Huawei to tender for the NBN was made on advice from the national security agen-

cies. That decision was supported by the then opposition after we received our own briefings from those agencies,” he said. The government would not comment on advice from the national security agencies, he added. China, a major trading partner in the midst of negotiations on a free-trade agreement with Australia, expressed concern. “We...consistently oppose using national security concerns as a pretext to interfere with the two countries’ normal economic cooperation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing in Beijing. “We hope all sides can make joint efforts to engage in normal cooperation and create good conditions for each others’ companies on the basis of market principles and on the foundation of mutual respect and equality.” The move could please Australia’s traditional ally, the United States, where lawmakers have warned against awarding Huawei major contracts over spying fears. The US House Intelligence Committee last year described Huawei as a national security threat and urged American firms to stop doing business with the Shenzhen-based company. Huawei has denied

the US allegations that its equipment could be used by Beijing for espionage. The British government said in July that checks on Huawei’s role in British telecommunications infrastructure had been “insufficiently robust” in the past, and announced a review of security at a cyber centre the company runs in southern England. Huawei spokesman Jeremy Mitchell said the company believed the Australian government was still reviewing its policy. “Huawei’s understanding is that no decision has been made regarding the NBN and that the review is ongoing,” Mitchell said in an emailed response after Brandis released his statement. Huawei has become a significant market force in Australia. It supplies equipment to Singapore Telecom’s local unit Optus as well as Vodafone, and has conducted trials with Australia’s biggest telecom company, Telstra Corp Ltd. It also employed former senior Liberal Party officials as part of its lobbying effort to overturn Australia’s ban. The company, founded in 1987 by former People’s Liberation Army officer Ren Zhengfei, last year proposed building a cyber security evaluation centre in Australia. — Reuters

Hi-tech aqueduct explorers map Rome’s ‘final frontier’ VICOVARO: Armed with laser rangefinders, GPS technology and remote control robots, a group of speleologists is completing the first ever mapping of the aqueducts of ancient Rome on archaeology’s “final frontier”. They abseil down access wells and clamber through crevices to access the 11 aqueducts that supplied Rome, which still run for hundreds of kilometers underground and along stunning viaducts. The mission of these “speleo-archaeologists” is to update the last above-ground map of the network compiled at the beginning of the 20th century by British Roman archaeologist Thomas Ashby. As he made his way through a perfectly preserved tunnel section of the Acqua Claudia on the grounds of a Franciscan convent in Vicovaro near Rome, Alfonso Diaz Boj said he was “proud” of the study. “It combines what was the birth of archaeology as a science with the latest instruments available,” said Diaz Boj, a member of Sotterranei di Roma (Underground Rome), in a hard hat and torch. The pick marks of the Roman diggers can still be seen in the limestone of the tunnel completed in 38 AD under the Emperor Claudius and a lawyer of calcification about half a meter off the ground shows where the water level would have been. “These aqueducts may not be as beautiful as a statue or like some architecture but I think they are important, they are very beautiful,” he said. The ancient waterways were true feats of engineering, which relied solely on gravity to ensure a flow of water can be seen across what was once the Roman Empire from Germany to North Africa. ‘FINAL FRONTIER’ Their strategic significance is underlined by the fact that Rome had a special magistrate to oversee their maintenance and that the Visigoths cut them off when they were laying siege to the city. The Acqua Claudia runs 87 kilometers from the Simbruini Mountains to the heart of Rome and supplied 2,200 liters of water a second. Only one of the aqueducts is still operational today-the Acqua Vergine which can be accessed in various hidden locations near Rome including a doorway near the Villa Medici that leads down a spiral staircase to the water. The Acqua Vergine runs for a total of 20 kilometers and ends up in the Trevi Fountain, photographed every day by crowds of tourists. “Underground Rome is a final frontier,” said Riccardo Paolucci, another explorer, as he examined a viaduct in a valley near Vicovaro that carried the water further towards the city. “Water was a fundamental service for hygiene. In a city like Rome, which had a million inhabitants, there were very few epidemics,” he said. “There was a concept of service for the people, for the city. It is a key concept that is maybe lacking not just in modern Rome but globally.” Diaz, Paolucci and the others from

ROME: ‘Speleo-archaeologists’ make their way through a perfectly preserved tunnel in a section of the Acqua Claudia aqueduct, on the grounds of a Franciscan convent in Vicovaro, 60 km out of Rome. A group of “speleo-archaeologists” is completing the first ever mapping of the 11 aqueducts that supplied ancient Rome and which still run for hundreds of kilometers underground and along stunning viaducts. — AFP

Sotterranei di Roma work together with Rome’s archaeological authority, helping them understand what can be seen above the ground from what is underneath and inaccessible without specialist equipment. “We are who we are because of what we have inside and Rome is what it is because of what is underneath it,” said Paolucci, a specialist potholer who is also called to emergency incidents or whenever a sinkhole opens up in the city. The group also organizes guided tours and courses, including one on the aqueducts starting next month, and are earning an international reputation. They were commissioned to map the underground remains of

ancient Ephesus in Turkey. Their study of the aqueducts is based on the map made by Ashby, director of the archaeological British School at Rome between 1906 and 1925. Ashby’s signature can be seen scrawled on the wall of a section of the Acqua Marcia aqueduct, which also transits through Vicovaro, alongside graffiti and poems dating back to the 17th century from visitors who stumbled on the ancient waterway. “Ashby’s maps were ahead of their time,” Diaz said. “He want to the villages, to the local trattorias, he spoke to farmers, to hunters. He found what he found thanks to local knowledge,” he said. “It is a technique that we still use today.” — AFP

LG to sell phone with curved battery, screen SEOUL: LG Electronics Inc said it will offer a smartphone featuring a curved display and battery in South Korea from next month. LG joins Samsung Electronics Co, the world’s largest maker of smartphones, in rethinking the flat rectangular surface design of smartphones. But the two companies are showing off different curves with their latest devices. The G Flex smartphone will sport a display that curves inward from its top and bottom edges. The display on Samsung’s Galaxy Round curves inward from its right and left edges. Samsung Electronics Co. began selling

its curved screen smartphone this month in South Korea. LG said the G Flex device will be fitted with a curved battery that its affiliate LG Chem Ltd began making this month. The G Flex is among the largest smartphones. It has a screen measuring 6 inches diagonally, slightly bigger than the Round’s 5.7-inches. Both companies kept mum on overseas availability for their curved screen smartphones. LG did not disclose a price. Curved screen smartphones are expensive because the technology is at an early stage. — AP


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

Gym not for you? Easy home tasks also help heart PARIS: Mowing the lawn or washing the car are among simple activities that can reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke by almost 30 percent in people over 60, researchers said yesterday. A study in Sweden found that older people who were physically active around the house stayed healthier longer than couch potatoes-regardless of whether they also did any kind of “formal” exercise like jogging or going to the gym. “A generally active daily life was, regardless of exercising regularly or not, associated with cardiovascular health and longevity in older adults,” said the

study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. While the health risks of prolonged sitting and the benefits of regular exercise have both been well documented, the contribution to good health of “nonexercise physical activity (NEPA)” is not fully understood. For the study, researchers screened nearly 4,000 Swedish 60-year-olds in 1997-99 and tracked their health for an average 12.5 years. The participants recorded how frequently they performed certain activities, including doing home repairs, cutting the lawn or hedge, car maintenance, going hunting

or fishing, cycling, and gathering mushrooms or berries. The researchers found that people with high levels of physical activity, excluding formal exercise, had a 27 percent lower risk of contracting cardiovascular disease compared with inactive people, and a 30 percent lower risk of death from all causes during the study period. The results were “not significantly different” from those for people who did do regular formal exercise but had low NEPA levels, the study said. Those who did both had the lowest risk. “Promoting

everyday NEPA might be as important as recommending regular exercise for older adults”-boosting individual and population health as the demographic shifts towards an ever-older population in many parts of the world, the study said. The researchers factored in other lifestyle factors that could influence the results, including alcohol intake, education level, smoking habits and diet. And they warned that care should be taken applying the findings in cultures that may have different physical activity habits and levels. — AFP

Tangiers pioneer clinic fights drug addiction and stigma TANGIERS: In Morocco’s drug capital Tangiers, a pioneering clinic is trying to help addicts fight a rising habit in a conservative Muslim state where many would prefer the problem stay underground. “I don’t want to steal from people to get my fix,” Mohammed tells a group of around 30 hard drug users who have come to the Hasnouna clinic seeking support. Once famed as a haven for fugitives, spies and junkies, the port city of Tangiers sits at the crossroads between Europe and Africa, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, making it a prime drug traf-

TANGIER: A volunteer shows a syringe that is part of the kit of a hard drug user at the Hasnouna clinic that proposes a program to fight drug addiction in the Moroccan city of Tangiers. — AFP

ficking destination. But while it has benefited from targeted development programs, notably the construction of a giant cargo port nearby, its seedier side is never far away, and heroin use has been rising over the past five years. The clinic, which opened in 2006 in the heart of Tangiers, claims to be the first in Morocco to help addicts by working with them to come clean, in a traditional, religious society where they are normally just ignored. “For me the hardest thing is the look I get from people, the sense of exclusion we are subjected to,” says one user, asking not to be identified. “In Tangiers, everyone knows everyone, and they are suspicious of us. Sometimes the taxi drivers don’t stop when they recognize us,” he adds. Some of those attending a meeting at the clinic described

living normal lives in Morocco’s northernmost city before turning to drugs, while others said they came to Tangiers after growing hooked elsewhere. “When I left school at 17, I did all sorts of jobs, working as a car park attendant, a porter at the port, as a waiter in a cafe,” says Mohammed, adding that the methadone substitute he now receives makes giving up heroin easier. Explaining their methods, staff say a priority is to “accompany” the patients by building a dialogue based on mutual trust, before helping them “get out” of their drug-taking routine. “This strategy of being close to them involves helping the addicts to understand their illness, to be aware of the problem of addiction,” Faouzia Bouzitoune said. The clinic is authorized to supply addicts with methadone, but as Mohammed Essalhi, the doctor who signs off on all such decisions, explains, they first have to prove that they really want to stop. “Methadone is not an end in itself. Some people come here simply because they don’t have the money to buy heroin.” One addict at the clinic said he’s been attending the meetings for months and was still waiting for a methadone prescription. DEAL WITH STIGMA, PREJUDICES There are no official figures on heroin consumption in Morocco, either locally or nationwide, given the strong social taboo that surrounds the issue. But due to its location, Tangiers is more exposed than other cities to the drug, which mainly comes from Europe via Ceuta, the Spanish territory around 80 kilometers to the east, where a shot costs between three and five euros ($4 and $6.5), clinic staff say. “The minimum is three fixes a day, but most need between five and seven, sometimes 10,” according to an addict at the centre trying to quit. Fatima, 45, admits being one of those who turned to crime to fund her habit, also working as a prostitute, before finally coming clean “thanks to the association”, after 20 years of drug abuse. Originally from a middle-class family in Rabat, she says she fell in with a group of diplomats in the capital and began taking cocaine, before switching to heroine. “I was outside of society. In a country like ours, women drug addicts suffer much more,” she said. The staff of the Hasnouna clinic say they also have to deal with the prejudices of Moroccan society, and the stigma associated with drug addiction. “We know all about that,” says Bouzitoune. “While we work essentially with the users, indirectly we are also trying to change the way of thinking a little bit. We have to convince people that drug addiction is an illness,” she adds. — AFP

TANGIER: Hard drug users take part in a group session as part of a program that they follow to fight their addiction at the Hasnouna clinic in the Moroccan city of Tangiers. — AFP

Polio outbreak in Syria’s northeast GENEVA: A polio outbreak has been confirmed among young children in northeast Syria and risks spreading in the region, the World Health Organization ( WHO) said yesterday. Twenty-two children in Deir al-Zor province became paralyzed this month with acute flaccid paralysis, symptoms that can be caused by other diseases, and WHO’s laboratory in Tunis has now isolated the wild polio virus in samples taken from 10 victims. “Out of those 22 being investigated, 10 are now confirmed to be polio type one,” WHO spokesman Oliver Rosenbauer told a news briefing in Geneva. Most victims are under two years old and are believed never to have been vaccinated against the crippling disease or to have received even a single

dose of the oral vaccine instead of three which ensure protection, he said. It is the first outbreak of polio in Syria since 1999, according to the United Nations agency. “Immunizations have started in that area,” Rosenbauer told Reuters. “The next step will be to look genetically at these isolated viruses and where they came from. That should give some clarity on the origin,” he said. With about 4,000 refugees fleeing Syria’s civil war daily, polio immunization campaigns are planned in neighboring countries, where there may be gaps in coverage. “Of course this is a communicable disease. With population movements it can travel to other areas. So the risk is high for (its) spread across the region,” Rosenbauer said. — Reuters

LAHORE: Pakistani laborers pick water chestnuts in a field on the outskirts of Lahore yesterday. Around 68 percent of Pakistan’s population depends on agriculture for their livelihood, with the agricultural sector contributing nearly a fourth of the country’s GDP. — AFP

China’s water megaproject threatens flood of problems Beijing seeks to rework nature with gargantuan project GUPANG: China is looking to rework nature itself with a gargantuan project to divert water from its lush south to the parched and populous north which will take half a century and tens of billions of dollars to achieve. But when test runs began this year, villagers along the route said the inflow polluted their lake, leaving it teeming with silvery rotting fish carcasses and killing their livelihood. Officials in the eastern province of Shandong rejected their account, but the incident feeds into concerns that the behemoth South-to-North Water Diversion plan may be creating more problems than it solves. The hugely complex geo-engineering project officially began in 2002, is scheduled to take 50 years and 500 billion yuan ($80 billion) to build, and requires feats including blasting channels through mountains in earthquake zones on the Tibetan plateau. If it works, its three separate routes from different points on the Yangtze river will deliver 45 billion cubic metres (1.6 trillion cubic feet) of water a year across 4,350 kilometres (2,700 miles) of canals and tunnels to the Beijing area and vast swathes of the north. The region needs the water. With just a fifth of the country’s total supply, northern China supports nearly half the population and economy and two-thirds of the arable land, according to a 2009 World Bank report. China already boasts a long history of water megaprojects, with the Grand Canal stretching from near Shanghai to Beijing first dug 2,500 years ago and extended over the centuries. The directive for the expanded South-to-North network came from Mao Zedong himself, the project’s official website says. The leader known for big-and often counterproductive-ideas remarked in 1952: “The south has a lot of water. The north has little. If possible, lending some water would be okay.” But troubles abound. Pollution could render the water unusable, long uphill sections will require tremendous energy for pumping, and reservoir construction has displaced communities. Even if the full supply arrives as promised, rising demand in the still growing country could quickly render it insufficient. The greatest pollution threat lies with the eastern route, set to begin carrying water at the end of this year from Jiangsu province to Shandong and a little further north. Built upon existing waterways in China’s highlydeveloped seaboard, including the Grand Canal, it risks picking up tainted supplies from start to finish. “A focal point of the first phase of the project is to strengthen pollution control,” the official website says. But in Gupang, a stretch of ramshackle concrete homes, villagers say the water dumped into Dongping lake during a month of test-runs was deadly. STOPGAP MEASURE TO ‘BUY TIME’ The channel itself is picturesque, flanked by walkways and trees, and a billboard proclaims the project will “benefit the country and the people”. But a retired fish farmer surnamed Pang, 72, says: “The water’s surface was full of fish and they started to stink. Then they rotted and sank.” Now, the family farms-underwater nets tied to poles that jut out toward the sky-sit unattended. Creaky wooden boats bob nearby, one using a brick as an anchor. Villagers said they had just poured in their annual 50,000 yuan ($8,000) of fish fry when the wipeout hit in June. Unable to afford replacements, many younger men left to find work in the cities. Residents said local authorities dismissed their version of events but gave them 5,000 yuan as compensation-then warned people not to talk about what happened and detained three fish-

farmers considered ringleaders. “They won’t let us see him,” the 25-year-old daughter of one of them says, her eyes welling up. The central section-set to start sending water from Hubei province to the Beijing area next year-has forced 350,000 people to relocate. Five rivers feeding that route’s main source, the Danjiangkou reservoir, are “unlikely” to meet cleanliness standards because anti-pollution projects lack funding, the state news agency Xinhua reported in July. The western element traverses the Tibetan plateau and aims to channel water from the Yangtze’s upper reaches to the Yellow river, but poses the biggest construc-

Scott Moore. “It would be more effective in the long run to try to tackle the demand side rather than just to try to increase the supply.” But that would require authorities to force industries and the populace to curb both demand and waste. China is inefficient in its use of water, the World Bank says, with two-thirds of supply going to agriculture, where irrigation systems have “extensive” losses. The rest largely goes to industry, which recycles only 40 percent, half as much as in developed countries, while urban distribution networks are among the world’s leakiest. The north might have learned to conserve better if it had

NANYANG: Labourers work on an aqueduct used for South-to-North water Diversion plan in Nanyang, central China’s Henan province. Half a century in the making, tens of billions of dollars in budget, China is looking to rework Nature herself with a gargantuan project to divert water from its lush south to the parched and populous north. — AFP

tion challenge and will not be finished for nearly four decades. Experts argue the real solution should be to contain China’s growing thirst, not encourage it. “It’s actually a very prolonged, very tortuous process that probably should have been killed off a long time ago,” says Harvard research fellow

not anticipated receiving diverted water, says Ma Jun, a prominent Beijing-based environmentalist. He stresses that authorities should view the backup supply as only a stopgap measure to “buy some time”. “I hope this time will be used well,” he says. “Because it won’t last particularly long.”— AFP

Japan imperial couple meet man-sized bear TOKYO: He is instantly recognized all over Japan, generates millions of dollars of merchandising sales, and has 300,000 Twitter followers. Now Kumamon, an oversized cartoon bear, has a new fan: the empress. Michiko and her husband Emperor Akihito got what was almost certainly their first taste of the adultsized mascot when they met him on a visit to his home city of Kumamoto in southern Japan. Kumamon-whose name blends his birthplace with the local dialect word for “person”performed a dance for the imperial couple, reproducing the steps he performs in a video that has already garnered nearly two million viewings on YouTube. “Thank you, Kumamonsan,” said the 79-year-old empress. The ruddycheeked bear is the most popular of Japan’s ubiquitous “yuru-kyara” (“laid back character”), mascots that are pressed into service to represent everything from regions to companies or even prisons, in a country where cute is king.

Since his birth in 2011, Kumamon has become the official marketing manager for the local government, charged with boosting sales of regional produce and attracting tourists. His monthly schedule, posted on his official website, indicates he is a character in demand, showing up at promotion and charity events throughout the nation and even travelling abroad. In September, Asahikawa Prison in Japan’s far north unveiled “Katakkuri-chan”, a nearly two-meter (6 foot 6 inch) humanoid with a huge square face and an enormous purple flower for hair, aimed at softening the image of the jail. However, “Fukuppy”, the winged egg introduced by a refrigerator-maker, drew a collective titter from English-speaking Internet users earlier this month, who pointed out its name sounded like a description of the hapless handling of the disaster at Fukushima nuclear plant. — AFP


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

Asian carp reproduce in Great Lakes watershed TRAVERSE CITY: Scientists said they have documented for the first time that an Asian carp species has successfully reproduced within the Great Lakes watershed, an ominous development in the struggle to slam the door on the hungry invaders that could threaten native fish. An analysis of four grass carp captured last year in Ohio’s Sandusky River, a tributary of Lake Erie, found they had spent their entire lives there and were not introduced through means such as stocking, according to researchers with the US Geological Survey and Bowling Green State University. Grass carp are among four species imported from Asia decades ago to control algae and unwanted plants in controlled settings such as sewage treatment lagoons. They escaped into the wild and have spread into the Mississippi and other rivers and lakes across the nation’s heartland. Of greatest concern in the Great Lakes region are bighead and silver carp, prolific breeders that gobble huge amounts of plankton - tiny plants and animals that are vital to aquatic food chains. Scientists say if they gain a foothold in the lakes, they could spread widely and destabilize a fishing industry valued at $7 billion. Grass carp are less worrisome because they eat larger plants instead of plankton and don’t compete with native species, although they could harm valuable wetland vegetation where some fish spawn. But because all Asian carp species require similar conditions to reproduce successfully, the Sandusky River discovery suggests it’s likely that any of them could spawn there and in many other Great Lakes tributaries, said Duane Chapman, a USGS fisheries biologist and member of the research team. “It’s bad news,” Chapman said. “It would have been a lot easier to control these fish if

MISSOURI: Erinn Beahan, a technician with the US Geological Survey, holds a large grass carp taken from the Missouri River. (Right) Photo shows a grass carp seized by Michigan officials from a man who was selling the invasive fish illegally. Scientists have discovered that grass carp have reproduced successfully in the Great Lakes watershed. — AP they’d been limited in the number of places where they could spawn. This makes our job harder. It doesn’t make it impossible, but it makes it harder.” The Obama administration has spent nearly $200 million to shield the lakes, focusing primarily on an electrified barrier and other measures in Chicago-area waterways that offer a pathway from the carp-infested Mississippi River watershed to Lake Michigan. Critics say more is needed and are pressing to physically separate the two systems. The US Army Corps of Engineers is scheduled to release a report in coming months on a long-term solution. John Goss, who heads the

White House Council on Environmental Quality’s Asian carp program, said sterile grass carp have been found in the Great Lakes for years. But the discovery that they can reproduce within the watershed “reinforces why we must continue to execute the aggressive strategy to keep silver and bighead carp out of the Great Lakes that we have been pursuing for the past three and a half years,” he said. A commercial fisherman captured four small grass carp from the Sandusky River in 2012. Chapman and his colleagues determined they were at least a year old and could become spawning adults. The scientists also examined bones in the fishes’ heads called

“otoliths” that indicate the chemistry of the waters they’ve inhabited, and they compared them with otoliths of farmed fish. The analysis confirmed the grass carp were hatched through natural reproduction in the river. To spawn successfully, Asian carp need rivers of a certain length with currents that keep their eggs drifting long enough to hatch. Researchers are fine-tuning computer models that can determine the likelihood that a particular river is suitable. A few years ago, scientists believed that perhaps two dozen rivers in the Great Lakes watershed offered good spawning habitat. But the grass carp analysis and other recent findings suggest the number may be

considerably higher, Chapman said. He and others are developing a list. “It also means that many more reservoirs in the United States are at risk of Asian carp establishment,” he said. The Sandusky River has about 15 miles of flowing waters accessible to the grass carp - a shorter stretch than experts previously believed necessary for spawning. “This is further evidence that we can’t underestimate the flexibility that Asian carps have to become acclimated to and even adapt to environments outside their native range,” said Reuben Goforth, a Purdue University scientist who has studied the carp but wasn’t involved with the USGS project. — AP


W H AT ’ S O N

EVF to launch beach cleaning camping

Announcements Expat writer releases poetry collection he 4th book of Lisy Kuriakose, Jleeb AlShuyoukh-based writer and social activist, was released by renowned poet, Ezhacheri Ramachadran by receiving a copy from Prof PJ Kurien. Writers should have an aim and through their creative works, to impart a vision to the society and Lisy has successfully proved this through her poems and the poem ëTrees do no walkí is exemplifies this vision. This was expressed by Hon Deputy Speaker of Rajya Sabaha, Prof. PJ Kurien on the release function of “Idvappathiyile Pumaram” (Flourished tree in Monsoon), a collection of 44 poems. Prof Amurtha Deva Ganga, Head of Malayalam Section, SN College Cherthalla, introduced the book “Idavppathiyile pumaram” to the audience. Dr. Amurtha remarked that this book published by Paridhi Publications, Trivandrum. HG Mathew Mor Theodosuios, Vinood Elakollur, Sajayan Omallor, MR Gopinathan, Adv Rachel P Mathew, Binu Vazhamuttam made felicitation speeches. On behalf of Linguistic Teachers Coordination Forum, J Sulekha, Patron decorated Lisy with golden shawl of honor.


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


he Environment Voluntary Foundation (EVF) will launch a moving voluntary beach cleaning campaign in coordination with educational, diplomatic and private institution and support from governmental departments, said the campaign supervisor at EVF, Noura Al-San’oussi noting that a special fully equipped van with colorful paintings on it aimed at encouraging

more children take part, would tour various beaches along with schools students to promote and enhance environmental awareness. Al-San’oussi added that the campaign would start next Saturday, November 2 and last for four months, during which cleaning operations would be done on Saturdays and Tuesdays. “This is an invitation to all environmental voluntary wok lovers”, she stressed.

Enjoy the taste of true Espresso at Vergnano Cafe at Olympia Complex


he superior quality of the blends comes from the meticulous selection of the best raw materials available, and from an extraordinary production process. Cafe Vergnano is the first to introduce an innovation that brings all the passion and pleasure of the perfect

espresso to everyday life at home. Espresso is now available in Kuwait, through Al-Sanabel Al-Thahabiya Est. Tel: 22413795/98. Espresso Vergnano can be ordered through Espresso Vergnano capsules are compatible with other espresso machines.

Onathanima 2013, a huge success


AAW supports CAN in its drive to fight Breast Cancer through testing and early detection


uwait has a higher number of delayed cancer detection cases compared to countries like the US and the UK. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in Kuwait. One in 19 Kuwaiti females likely to develop breast cancer in their lifetime. 40 year-old females have higher chance in developing breast cancer Ali Abdulwahab Al Mutawa Commercial Co. (AAW), one of Kuwait’s leading medical distribution companies and the main distributor of Roche Pharmaceuticals in Kuwait, partnered with the Cancer Awareness Nation (CAN) to encourage women to take mammogram tests for early breast cancer detection through a month-long breast cancer awareness campaign targeting 20,000 women in the Kuwaiti community. Marking breast cancer awareness this month, AAW and CAN helped encourage women to start testing by providing discounted services at a select number of private hospitals. It also calls on women to get tested before the end of the month. AAW’s support stems from recent national studies by the Kuwait Cancer Registry showing that delayed cancer detection cases are the higher in Kuwait than in other countries like the US and UK. Studies from the Kuwait Cancer Registry also showed that breast cancer is the most common

type of cancer among women in Kuwait with 40year old women most likely developing the disease. AAW General Manager of Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Sherif Younan said: “According to the last reports from Kuwait Cancer Registry in 2009, one in 19 Kuwaiti females are likely to develop breastcancer in their lifetime and this number is on the rise. Women in Kuwait are not conducting regular mammogram tests for this disease. Health checks are not common practice in Kuwait, and we support CAN’s mission to encourage as many women as possible across the country to acknowledge and understand the importance of getting mammograms. Testing can result in early detection of the disease, which can also mean overcoming it. We encourage every woman to test today. CAN is a Kuwait-based organization initiated in 2006 under the patronage of HH the Amir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and aims to increase cancer awareness and help support cancer patients.

TIES Center Clarifying Common Misunderstood teachings of Islam


hird session of the course entitled, “Clarifying Common Misunderstood teachings of Islam,” by Hassan T. Bwambale. On Thursday October 31, 2013 at 7:00pm, we will share with the audience Islamic guidance on dealing with recalcitrant women. Does Islam condone violence against women? When should a husband punish his wife in case of recalcitrance? What is the real meaning of “Dharb,” and how many connotations does it have? What about a man; when he betrays his wife, what should the wife do? I (Hassan) will answer all these questions during the presentation and many more. If you are interested in the topic, TIES Center is the most appropriate place to visit on Thursday October 31 at 7:00pm.

nathanima 2013 organized by Thanima, the socio-cultural group active in Kuwait flagged off successfully with a fantabulous array of flawless festivities, the most awaited and spirited Tug O’ war competition, honoring of the pearls of different Indian schools in Kuwait who excelled in academics, extracurricular, social and other areas in the presence of a jampacked audience whose cheers reverberated the premises of the Indian Central School. The dais was blessed with the guest of honor Delarey VanTonder, South African Ambassador to Kuwait and his wife Sebella VanTonder, whose presence added more color and grace to the function, followed by a galaxy of intellectuals headed by Johny Lukose, News Director, Manorama Vision. M V Shreyams Kumar (MLA and Director of Marketing, Mathrubumi daily), Santha Maria James (president’s award winning teacher and Principal Indian Central School). A vibrant and colorful cultural procession marked by a galore of art-forms encapsulating the essence of India’s varied culture and heritage was the hallmark of the function. Fourteen Indian Schools nominated their best student for the prestigious ‘Pearl of the School award’, and the nominees were honored by HE The Ambassador. Nominee from Kuwait Indian School was Keynat Shahid, a Pakistani national. Added to this there were lively sessions of music by Shaiju Pallipuram and team. Vaikom Vijayalakshmi, the blind singer whose voice rocked the stage and the crowd rendered melodious hit numbers. Thanima’s website was officially launched by Johnny Lukose. A devotional CD, by Babuji Bathery (lyrics) and

Mustafa Ambadi (music) was released in the function by Vaikom Vijayalakshmi. Singers are Mano, Vijay Yesudas, Swetha Mohan, Sudeep Kumar, Markose, Kester, Sindhu Premkumar and Shaiju Pallipram. There were 18 teams for the most awaited 9th Tug O’ War competition for the Sancelia ever-rolling Gold Cup, wherein sports was played in the body but it was won in the mind. The competition was held in ‘League Cum Knock Out’ basis where the teams took part after many months of practice. Team ‘Friends of Rajeesh’ defeated ‘Lions of Kuwait’ in a neck to neck final match to lift the most prestigious SanceliaEver Rolling Gold Cup. The runner up team, Lions of Kuwait, was presented with Blue Line trophy and team Seven Star was presented with Jiju memorial ever rolling trophy for the third position. ‘Friends of Kannur’ team won the new trophy for the Best All-rounder Team, implemented from this year in memory of the brave Indian soldier who lost his life in the border Col. Jojan Thomas. Vijil of friends of Kannur got the Most Promising player award for the Rajeesh memorial ever rolling trophy. The other individual prizes are as follows. Best caption: Ajo (Seven Stars), Best Back: Giji Thomas (Lions of Kuwait), Best coach : Saji (Friends of Rajeesh). KEA won the Roneymon memorial ever rolling trophy for women Tug O’ War. Every good thing has to come to an end but the memories live forever just that ONATHANIMA 2013 was as promising and fabulous as it used to be, but this year it really engulfed us in its whirlpool of happiness and fun.


W H AT ’ S O N

Embassy Information

Satish Mehta, Indian Ambassador to Kuwait (3rd right) seen with DPCS members at the DPCS Diwali mela.

DPCS Diwali mela gets a stupendous response “E

verything was perfect; there were so many good items at the stalls, the cultural program was very nice also; we especially enjoyed the Punjabi songs! Total, total fun evening!” said an enthusiastic gentleman. His wife, smiling profusely, was quick to add, “.....DPCS has done a great job! Everything was organized so well! Now, we are looking forward to their next program!” - a sentiment that was not only limited to this excited couple but was an expression on the faces of each and every one of the approximately 2,500 people who had come to enjoy the ‘DPCS Grand Diwali Mela’, and went back immensely pleased with a great show that DPCS had painstakingly put up for them. A special mention, in this regard, has to be made of the Executive Members of DPCS, who have worked day and night to bring this event together! The evening of October 25th, 2013, saw a spectacular event unfold! The DPCS Grand Diwali Mela - a grand cultural extravaganza filled with fun, food, festivities, lights, music and dance - was an exclusive, one-of-a-kind event in Kuwait! At the sprawling premises of the entire Messilah Beach Resort, amidst the exceptionally pleasant weather, people, along with their families and friends, were present in full force and enjoyed the event with full gusto! One could feel the upbeat, festive mood in the air! And although DPCS (Delhi People Cultural Society) is the first cultural society in Kuwait for people of Northern India, the Grand Diwali Mela saw people from all parts of India come together. Dressed in their colorful, traditional best, people enjoyed the fervor and flavor of Diwali. They ran into old friends they hadn’t seen in years; old bonds of friendship were rekindled, and people experienced this great festival of India symbolic of friendship and love - in its truest essence! As you entered, your eyes fell upon the various stalls, each more beautifully decorated than the other, with brightly colored lights, posters and banners. From ethic clothes, traditional and mod-

ern jewelry, henna, Indian food items, to carnival games, and more, the stalls were a ‘hit’ with the people who were thronging to see and purchase the delights being offered. “We have been quite busy the whole evening. Our items are getting sold quickly. We will soon run out of things, I think!” said one lady who had put up an Indian street-food stall. While the stall items were selling like ‘hot-cakes’, at another area of the Messilah Beach, upon the big, open stage set up, with excellent light and sound system, the cultural program was commenced; with the cultural show being declared open by the DPCS Chairman, Mr. Bharat Nanda. Mr. Nanda spoke of the great support that DPCS had been receiving from its members, which he said was “the main driving force for us to put up programs like these for our esteemed members!” He then called upon stage, the two Executive Members of DPCS - Mr. Vikas Arora and Mrs. Sujata Sharma - who were the main comperes of the cultural show. They thanked everyone for being present, and then invited onto the podium, Aksh and Sapna to take over. The young, exuberant couple, compered excellently, speaking both in Hindi and Punjabi, and drawing the crowd to actively participate, rather than just be spectators. To get the ‘electricity’ going from the start, the first performance was a ‘bhangra’ (Punjabi folk dance done by Punjabi men) performed by young boys attired in the traditional Punjabi clothes, with long sticks used as props in this type of folk dance. This performance was just the thing to get the crowd going, who rose up from their seats and began clapping and cheering the dancers ! On a more social and serious note, the ‘bhangra’ performance was followed by a skit performed by school children, on the ‘exploitation of small children in India, due to economic imbalance and resulting poverty’. The talented children performed exceptionally and were successful in highlighting the lost innocence of young children who are forced into child labor due to poverty.

The mood reached fever-pitch once again, as compere called upon the stage, Roop Rajinder Singh - a renowned Punjabi singer who has taken India by storm with his hit album “Glassi”. Mr. Singh sang a number of hit Punjabi songs from his own album as well as others. The crowd, which could no longer contain itself, got up from their seats once again and started dancing to the rhythmic beats of the music and the soulful voice of the great singer! Giving a little break to Mr. Singh, who was singing one song after another on the insistence of the crowd, as they shouted, “One more !”, the compere then went on to ask some interactive questions, the answers to which brought attractive spot prizes. People were clamoring to answer and win prizes in the spirit of the game. Following the interactive and thoroughly entertaining question and answer session, little children performed the folk dances from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. The immense talent of these little children made the astonished crowd clap, cheer and whistle in encouragement! Some of them from the crowd came on to the stage and joined the children, trying to coordinate their steps with them. After the girls’, more traditional performance, little boys came upon the stage and enthralled the audience with their perfectly synchronized dance on a popular Bollywood song. Among the other attractions of the Grand Diwali Mela was the Thali (plate) competition - a traditional Indian competition where women participate in the competition for the most beautifully and artistically decorated steel thalis, which are decorated with sparkles, beads, small mirrors, acrylic paint, and other decorative material. “Each of the participants has decorated their thalis so beautifully! It’s a kaleidoscope of colors! It’s such a treat to watch this competition!” said a lady who was taking pictures of the ongoing thali competition. The Chief Guest for the event was Satish Mehta, Indian Ambassador to Kuwait, who was escorted and shown around by the DPCS Chairman, Bharat

Nanda. Among the imminent dignitaries who graced the event with their august presence, was the Nepali Ambassador to Kuwait, Madhuban Prasad Poudel. Mehta expressed his pleasure at cultural societies such as DPCS taking up this cause to bring the culture and tradition of India to the Indian people residing far away from home, in Kuwait. DPCS Vice Chairman, Vijay Dhillon mentioned that Mehta will be leaving Kuwait soon, and he will be dearly missed by all Indians in Kuwait, and read some heart-winning poetry for Mehta, which was followed by presenting a memento to the Ambassador. As the event progressed, the audience was captivated and equally involved, in dancing and singing along with the performers. One of the DPCS guests, Mr Mubarak, a Kuwaiti gentleman, came up to the stage to sing a few songs from Amitabh Bachchan’s movies, and he impressed the entire audience with his melodious voice and knowledge of Indian movies and songs. Towards the end of the cultural show, a raffle draw was announced by Vikas Arora and attractive prizes were given to the lucky winners. “We have won a return ticket to India from Air India! We are very happy!” said one lucky winner. Needless to add, the DPCS Grand Diwali Mela was a stupendous success! But to organize such an event, on such a large scale is far from an easy task! DPCS General Secretary, Dipen Sen gave a vote of thanks, thanking all the Sponsors, including WTC, Noida (Platinum Sponsors), Oula Petroleum, Iffco, HDFC, Air India, Centrepoint, karus International, Texas Gulf Global, Moashk, Daawat Restaurant, Winners Restaurant, and printing partners German Press Company, who have been extremely generous, and helped to transform a vision into reality! Sen also extended his heart-felt gratitude to DPCS members, and each and everyone present at the Grand Diwali Mela, who made this event a stupendous success with their presence and participation! For further information, please visit the official website of DPCS:

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


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

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


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

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



03:25 Queens Of The Savannah 04:15 Bondi Vet 05:05 ER Vets 05:30 ER Vets 05:55 Predator’s Prey 06:20 Lion Man: One World African Safari 06:45 Roaring With Pride 07:35 Call Of The Wildman 08:00 Monkey Life 08:25 Bondi Vet 09:15 The Most Extreme 10:10 Too Cute! 11:05 Queens Of The Savannah 12:00 Animal Cops Houston 12:55 Predator’s Prey 13:20 Call Of The Wildman 13:50 Animal Airport 14:15 Animal Airport 14:45 Weird Creatures With Nick Baker 15:40 Queens Of The Savannah 16:30 Lion Man: One World African Safari 17:00 Monkey Life 17:30 The Most Extreme 18:25 Baby Planet 19:20 Pandamonium 20:15 Monkey Life 20:40 Snow Leopards Of Leafy London 21:10 Animal Kingdom 21:35 Lion Man: One World African Safari 22:05 Queens Of The Savannah 23:00 Snow Leopards Of Leafy London 23:25 Snow Leopards Of Leafy London 23:55 North America 00:50 Animal Cops Houston 01:45 When Animals Go Bad

03:20 South Riding 04:15 The Weakest Link 05:00 Me Too! 05:20 Teletubbies 05:45 3rd & Bird 05:55 Nuzzle & Scratch: Frock n Roll 06:15 Me Too! 06:35 Teletubbies 07:00 3rd & Bird 07:10 Nuzzle & Scratch: Frock n Roll 07:25 Last Of The Summer Wine 07:55 Roger & Val Have Just Got In 08:25 Peckham Finishing School For Girls 09:20 Eastenders 09:50 Doctors 10:20 Full Circle With Michael Palin 11:10 The Weakest Link 11:55 Last Of The Summer Wine 12:25 Peckham Finishing School For Girls 13:15 Roger & Val Have Just Got In 13:45 Eastenders 14:15 Doctors 14:45 The Weakest Link 15:30 Full Circle With Michael Palin 16:20 Peckham Finishing School For Girls 17:15 Eastenders 17:45 Doctors 18:15 The Weakest Link 19:00 One Foot In The Grave 19:30 Dead Boss 20:00 Mistresses 20:50 Lead Balloon 21:20 Alan Carr: Chatty Man 22:05 Alan Partridge’s Mid-Morning Matters 22:30 Bedlam 23:15 The Weakest Link 00:00 One Foot In The Grave 00:30 Dead Boss 01:00 Eastenders 01:30 Doctors 02:00 Alan Carr: Chatty Man 02:45 Bedlam

03:30 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 04:20 The Boss Is Coming To Dinner 04:45 Cash In The Attic 05:30 Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets 05:55 Bargain Hunt 06:40 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 07:30 The Boss Is Coming To Dinner 08:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 08:45 Bargain Hunt 09:30 Homes Under The Hammer 10:25 Bill’s Kitchen: Notting Hill 10:50 A Taste Of Greenland 11:40 Come Dine With Me 12:30 Celebrity MasterChef 13:30 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 14:15 Antiques Roadshow 15:05 Holmes On Homes 15:55 Holmes On Homes 16:45 Bargain Hunt 17:30 Cash In The Attic 18:20 Antiques Roadshow 19:15 Homes Under The Hammer 20:10 Nigel Slater’s Simple Cooking 20:35 Baking Mad With Eric Lanlard 21:00 Baking Mad With Eric Lanlard 21:30 Come Dine With Me 22:20 Antiques Roadshow 23:15 Bargain Hunt 00:00 Cash In The Attic 00:45 Homes Under The Hammer 01:40 Come Dine With Me 02:30 Celebrity MasterChef

03:00 Mythbusters 03:50 Border Security 04:15 Auction Kings 04:40 Baggage Battles 05:05 How Do They Do It? 05:30 How It’s Made 06:00 Sons Of Guns 07:00 Mythbusters 07:50 Yukon Men: Last Chance 08:40 American Chopper: Senior vs Junior 09:30 Border Security 09:55 Auction Kings 10:20 Baggage Battles 10:45 How Do They Do It? 11:10 How It’s Made 11:35 Bear Grylls: Escape From Hell 12:25 Dual Survival (Brazil) 13:15 Car vs Wild 14:05 Border Security 14:30 Auction Kings 14:55 Baggage Battles 15:20 Finding Bigfoot 16:10 American Chopper: Senior vs Junior 17:00 Ultimate Survival 17:50 Dirty Jobs 18:40 Mythbusters 19:30 Sons Of Guns 20:20 Storage Hunters 20:45 Baggage Battles 21:10 How Do They Do It? 21:35 How It’s Made 22:00 You Have Been Warned 22:50 Dynamo: Magician Impossible 23:40 Mythbusters 00:30 You Have Been Warned 01:20 Dynamo: Magician Impossible 02:10 Mythbusters

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Dates From Hell Dates From Hell Deadly Women I Almost Got Away With It Dr G: Medical Examiner A Haunting Nightmare Next Door Mystery Diagnosis

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Street Patrol Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Solved Disappeared Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Street Patrol Forensic Detectives On The Case With Paula Zahn Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? Disappeared Solved Forensic Detectives On The Case With Paula Zahn On The Case With Paula Zahn Nightmare Next Door Couples Who Kill Blood Relatives Who On Earth Did I Marry? Who On Earth Did I Marry? I Almost Got Away With It Dr G: Medical Examiner Ghost Lab

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

Unchained Reaction Da Vinci’s Machines Through The Wormhole Gadget Show - World Tour The Tech Show Kings Of Construction Deadliest Space Weather Deadliest Space Weather How Techies Changed The

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Gadget Show - World Tour The Tech Show Sport Science Kings Of Construction Thunder Races How The Universe Works How Techies Changed The How Do They Do It? Gadget Show - World Tour The Tech Show Deadliest Space Weather Deadliest Space Weather Sport Science Kings Of Construction Da Vinci’s Machines Through The Wormhole Trek Nation Gadget Show - World Tour The Tech Show Trek Nation Dark Matters: Twisted But How Do They Do It? Gadget Show - World Tour The Tech Show Trek Nation

Legend Detectives I Shouldn’t Be Alive Classic Car Club Ultimate Cars Raging Planet Trashopolis I Shouldn’t Be Alive Classic Car Club Ultimate Cars Inventions That Shook The Altered Statesmen Ultimate Warfare Trashopolis Classic Car Club Ultimate Cars Inventions That Shook The Raging Planet History Cold Case USA Bomber Boys Trashopolis Inventions That Shook The


World 19:25 20:20 21:10 21:35 22:05 Above 23:00 23:55 00:50 01:45 Above 02:35

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I Shouldn’t Be Alive Empire Classic Car Club Ultimate Cars The First World War From

This Means War Wrath Of The Titans What’s Your Number? Prosecuting Casey Anthony Wanderlust Shark Night

Empire Jack The Ripper In America Murder Shift The First World War From 04:30 The Ugly Duckling In Tales Of Mystery 06:00 Super Buddies 08:00 Cher Ami 10:00 Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron 11:30 A Cat In Paris 13:00 Three Investigators And The Secret Of Terror... 14:45 Vickery’s Wild Ride 16:30 Crab Island 18:00 Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron 20:00 Brave 22:00 Vickery’s Wild Ride 23:30 Crab Island 01:00 Cher Ami 02:45 Brave


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

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

03:15 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part One 04:45 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part Two 06:15 Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted 08:00 The Odd Life Of Timothy Green 10:00 Flicka 3 12:00 Midnight In Paris 13:45 The Bourne Legacy 16:00 The Odd Life Of Timothy Green 18:00 Dark Shadows 20:00 Prometheus 22:15 Small Apartments 00:00 Amphibious 01:45 The Bourne Legacy

SHARK TALE ON OSN MOVIES COMEDY 20:40 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 20:45 Zou 21:00 Pajanimals 21:15 Jake And The Neverland Pirates 21:30 Goof Troop 21:55 Tarzan 22:20 Quack Pack 22:45 Lilo And Stitch 23:10 Sofia The First 23:35 Doc McStuffins 23:50 Pajanimals 00:05 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 00:10 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 00:35 Jake And The Neverland Pirates 00:50 Zou 01:10 Doc McStuffins 01:25 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 01:50 Jungle Junction 02:10 Handy Manny 02:30 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 02:55 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship

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

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Reza’s African Kitchen Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Food Wars Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives United Tastes Of America Chopped Iron Chef America Food Network Challenge Unwrapped Unwrapped Food Crafters Kid In A Candy Store Red, Hot And Yummy Barefoot Contessa The Next Food Network Star Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam

11:45 12:10 12:35 13:00 13:50 14:15 14:40 15:05 15:30 15:55 16:20 16:45 17:35 Basics 18:00 Basics 18:25 18:50 19:15 19:40 20:05 20:30 20:55 21:20 22:10 23:00 23:25 23:50 00:15 00:40 01:05 01:30 01:55 02:20 02:45

Aarti Party Unwrapped Unique Sweets Halloween Wars Reza’s African Kitchen Barefoot Contessa Charly’s Cake Angels Siba’s Table Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Symon’s Suppers Halloween Wars Barefoot Contessa - Back To Barefoot Contessa - Back To Andy Bates Street Feasts Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Guy’s Big Bite Reza’s African Kitchen Siba’s Table Charly’s Cake Angels Chopped Chopped Charly’s Cake Angels Charly’s Cake Angels Unique Sweets Unique Sweets Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Food Wars Recipes That Rock Outrageous Food Charly’s Cake Angels

03:00 The Colbert Report 03:30 Louie 04:00 Brickleberry 05:00 Hot In Cleveland 05:30 Raising Hope 06:00 Seinfeld 06:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 07:30 Two And A Half Men 08:30 Friends 09:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 10:00 Seinfeld 10:30 Two And A Half Men 11:00 Hot In Cleveland 11:30 The Crazy Ones 12:00 Arrested Development 12:30 Friends 13:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 14:30 Seinfeld 15:30 Friends 16:00 Raising Hope 16:30 The Crazy Ones 17:00 Arrested Development 17:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 18:00 The Colbert Report 19:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 20:00 Breaking In 20:30 Whitney 21:00 Whitney 22:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 23:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 23:30 The Colbert Report 00:30 Out There 01:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 02:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

06:00 07:00 08:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00

24 Parenthood Covert Affairs Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Covert Affairs 24 Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Covert Affairs Warehouse 13 Perception

22:00 Justified 00:00 24

04:00 06:00 08:00 10:15 12:45 14:15 16:00 18:30 20:00 22:00 23:45 02:00

Vacancy Blackthorn Courageous The Avengers The Apparition Source Code The Avengers Alien Tornado Source Code The Killing Jar End Of Days Silent House

04:00 06:00 08:15 10:45 12:15 14:00 16:30 18:00 20:00 21:45 00:00 01:45

Blackthorn Courageous The Avengers The Apparition Source Code The Avengers Alien Tornado Source Code The Killing Jar End Of Days Silent House The Killing Jar

04:00 Larry Crowne 06:00 Blame IT On The Bellboy 08:00 Drop Dead Fred 10:00 Shark Tale 12:00 Larry Crowne 14:00 Puss In Boots 16:00 Shark Tale 18:00 Another Stakeout 20:00 Rushmore 22:00 Midnight Run 00:15 How To Make Love To A Woman 02:00 Rushmore

03:30 06:30 09:00 10:45 13:30 15:00 16:30 18:45 20:45 23:00 01:00

Les Miserables The Terminal Now Is Good Les Miserables Boy Five Hugo The Descendants Savages The Bang Bang Club Boy

03:15 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:15 13:00 Fan 15:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00 01:00 Cradle

Intolerable Cruelty A Better Life The Trial Thorne: Sleepyhead The Beaver Snow Flower And The Secret Thorne: Scaredy Cat The Beaver Neds The Woman In Black A Little Bit Of Heaven The Hand That Rocks The

03:00 Katy Perry The Movie: Part Of Me 05:00 Gnomeo & Juliet 07:00 A Dog Named Duke 09:00 Wrath Of The Titans 10:45 Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows 13:00 The Wild Girl

04:10 08:00 10:35 12:15 13:35 15:30 17:00 18:50 20:45 23:00 00:50 02:45

Ben-Hur The Four Horsemen Of... The Girl And The General Village Of The Damned Captains Courageous The Fighting 69th Please Don’t Eat The Daisies Operation Crossbow Mr. Skeffington The Wrath Of God Captains Courageous The Wrath Of God

03:00 05:00 07:00 11:00 11:30 14:30 15:00 15:30 16:00 20:00 21:00 01:00 01:30 Cup

Currie Cup ITM Cup Darts Grand Prix ICC Cricket 360 Champions League Twenty20 Total Rugby Inside The PGA Tour European Tour Weekly Live PGA European Tour Trans World Sport Live Darts Grand Prix Total Rugby Amlin European Challenge

05:00 UFC - The Ultimate Fighter Season 18 06:00 UFC - Unleashed 07:00 The Rugby Championship 09:00 ICC Cricket 360 09:30 NRL Full Time 10:00 Futbol Mundial 10:30 Total Rugby 11:00 Darts Grand Prix 15:00 UFC - Primetime 2011-13 15:30 UFC Prelims 17:30 UFC - Maia vs. Shields 20:30 UFC - The Ultimate Fighter Season 18 21:45 Live Amlin European Challenge Cup 00:00 Live PGA Tour

03:00 04:00 04:30 05:00 06:00 06:30 07:00 Rides 08:00 09:00 10:00 10:30 11:00 Rides 12:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 15:00 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 21:30 22:00 23:00 23:30 00:00 00:30 01:00 01:30 02:00 Rides

Off Limits The Food Truck The Food Truck Bizarre Foods America Bert The Conqueror Bert The Conqueror World’s Greatest Motorcycle Globe Trekker Departures Airport 24/7: Miami Airport 24/7: Miami World’s Greatest Motorcycle Bert The Conqueror Bert The Conqueror Eden Eats Bizarre Foods America International House Hunters International House Hunters International House Hunters International House Hunters Hotel Impossible Soul Seeker Eden Eats Bizarre Foods America International House Hunters International House Hunters Descending Magic Man Magic Man Airport 24/7: Miami Airport 24/7: Miami Bert The Conqueror Bert The Conqueror World’s Greatest Motorcycle

Classifieds WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2013


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Sharing accommodation available in Hawally Tunis Street, dowra Sadique, near bank Tijari, with attach bath for single executive or couple. Contact 69302121. (C 4545) 26-10-2013

CHANGE OF NAME I, Santhosh Kumar Oommen S/O Oommen Anjilikattadiyil Kochitty, holder of Indian Passport No. E8128729 hereby change my name to Santhosh Kochitty Oommen. (C 4549) 28-10-2013 FOR SALE


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Pathfinder 2003 model, in good condition, white, Serious buyer may contact 97277135. 29-10-2013


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A lady maid is needed to work for a single ArabAmerican man in a house located in Salmiya. Time 2-8 pm. Salary KD 100. Call 66417504. (C 4550) 28-10-2013

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2007 KIA ex carnival white color, full options, 8 passengers, leather seats, DVD, power doors, safety sensors, in excellent condition. KD 2950. Tel: 66714700/99123411. (C 4548) 27-10-2013 MATRIMONIAL Marriage proposal invited from boys for a PG teacher Protestant 29, divorced girl. Email: (C 4543) 26-10-2013 SITUATION WANTED M.Com (finance) graduate, pursuing MBA 10 years of experience in company accounts, preparations of

financial statements, reconciliation of bank accounts, payroll management, transferable visa, Kuwait driving license. Mob: 65008377. (C 4547) 27-10-2013

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

THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR CIVIL INFORMATION Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is

04:38 05:58 11:32 14:41 17:05 18:23



Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (


Arrival Flights on Wednesday 30/10/2013 Flt Route Time 574 MUMBAI 00:10 267 BEIRUT 00:40 539 CAIRO 00:40 772 ISTANBUL 00:45 1084 DOHA 00:55 620 ADDIS ABABA 01:45 211 BAHRAIN 02:10 764 SABIHA 02:15 853 DUBAI 02:35 305 ABU DHABI-INTL 02:45 643 MUSCAT 03:05 612 CAIRO 03:10 1076 DOHA 03:45 67 DUBAI 04:00 770 ISTANBUL 05:35 170 BAHRAIN 05:40 69 DUBAI 05:50 529 ASYUT 06:20 555 ALEXANDRIA 06:05 157 LONDON 06:40 412 MANILA 06:45 53 DUBAI 07:50 382 DELHI 07:55 206 ISLAMABAD 07:40 302 MUMBAI 07:55 352 COCHIN 08:10 284 DHAKA 08:50 344 CHENNAI 08:35 362 COLOMBO 08:45 855 DUBAI 08:40 125 SHARJAH 09:00 1070 DOHA 09:10 1186 TEHRAN 09:15 301 ABU DHABI-INTL 09:20 55 DUBAI 09:40 213 BAHRAIN 10:40 603 SHIRAZ 10:45 157 BAGHDAD 11:00 165 DUBAI 11:30 404 BEIRUT 11:55 213 BEIRUT 12:10 470 JEDDAH 12:15 403 ASYUT 12:20 870 BAHRAIN 11:15 561 SOHAG 12:55 357 MASHAD 17:55 563 SOHAG 17:55 1188 MASHAD 12:40 871 DUBAI 12:50 610 CAIRO 13:00 792 LUXEMBOURG 13:15


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Departure Flights on Wednesday 30/10/2013 Airlines Flt Route Time AIC 82 AHMEDABAD 00:05 UAL 981 WASHINGTON 00:10 JAI 573 MUMBAI 01:10 DLH 635 FRANKFURT 02:10 ETH 621 ADDIS ABABA 02:45 THY 773 ISTANBUL-ATATURK 02:55 UAE 854 DUBAI 03:50 ETD 306 ABU DHABI 04:00 OMA 644 MUSCAT 04:05 MSR 613 CAIRO 04:10 QTR 1085 DOHA 04:25 FDB 68 DUBAI 04:40 QTR 1077 DOHA 05:15 JZR 560 SOHAG 06:20 FDB 70 DUBAI 06:30 JZR 164 DUBAI 06:55 THY 765 ISTANBUL-SABIHA 07:05 GFA 212 BAHRAIN 07:15 THY 771 ISTANBUL-ATATURK 07:30 KAC 537 SHARM EL SHEIKH 08:10 FDB 54 DUBAI 08:30 BAW 156 LONDON 08:45 KAC 790 MADINAH 09:05 KAC 787 JEDDAH 09:25 ABY 126 SHARJAH 09:40 UAE 856 DUBAI 09:55 KAC 117 NEW YORK10:00 ETD 302 ABU DHABI 10:05 QTR 1701 DOHA 10:10 FDB 56 DUBAI 10:20 IRM 1187 TEHRAN 10:30 KAC 175 FRANKFURT 10:45 JZR 562 SOHAG 11:20 GFA 214 BAHRAIN 11:25 KAC 541 CAIRO 11:30 IRA 602 SHIRAZ 11:45 JZR 356 MASHHAD 11:55 IAW 158 AL NAJAF 12:00 KAC 103 LONDON 12:20 MEA 405 BEIRUT 12:55 KAC 785 JEDDAH 13:00 DHX 521 BAGRAM 13:00 KNE 461 MADINAH 13:10 MSC 406 SOHAG 13:20 JZR 786 RIYADH 13:35 JZR 176 DUBAI 13:45 TMA 223 DUBAI 13:45 MSR 611 CAIRO 14:00 IRM 1189 MASHHAD 14:05 UAE 872 DUBAI 14:15 IRC 6693 MASHHAD 14:25 IYE 824 SANAA 14:30



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s ta rs CROSSWORD 353

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) ARIES Challenging authority and rocking the boat will likely play a bigger role in your life now. Remember, most jobs are enjoyed because of the respect you have earned. If you do not find respect and you are only receiving money, you may want to consider a different position or place to work. Perhaps there are new ways you can receive or earn respect as well as earn the money—think on this before making a change. The new broom sweeps clean; old patterns of organization and power are ripe for an innovative approach. Listen to your intuition—it is strong and will lead you in the right direction. Radical and inventive ideas hold the key to realizing your ambitions and advancing your status. There is significant improvement in finances now.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) This may be a challenging day that will give you an opportunity to use your skills to solve problems. This may be a good time to make a positive difference in worldly affairs or in someone’s life. You might look around for approval but if you continue to do this, you could lose the support of others. Move forward and do what you know to be the right thing; you will be pleased you did. You may find that both your personal growth and your career may depend upon how you can handle the problems that come up now. You will benefit from logical insights—getting to the heart of things. Penetrating. If possible, get away from the city lights this evening, perhaps with a loved one. A dinner away from home would be relaxing.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

ACROSS 1. The younger of two major political parties in the United States. 4. A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (trade name Lodine). 12. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 15. The act of using. 16. Small genus of Old World ferns. 17. The compass point that is one point east (clockwise) of due north. 18. One millionth of a gram. 19. Rock star and drummer for the Beatles (born in 1940). 20. Jordan's port. 22. One of several parallel sloping beams that support a roof. 24. A United States unit of weight equivalent to 2000 pounds. 25. Converted totally or partly into ions. 26. (Greek mythology) One of the mountain nymphs. 28. Sewing that repairs a worn or torn place in a garment. 29. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 30. A stringed instrument usually having six strings. 35. A heavy odorless colorless gas formed during respiration and by the decomposition of organic substances. 37. A fictitious name used when the person performs a particular social role. 39. Capital and largest city and economic center of Peru. 41. United States author (born 1932). 43. A person who descends down a nearly vertical face by using a doubled rope that is wrapped around the body and attached to some high point. 46. A fixed charge for a privilege or for professional services. 47. (Old Testament) The eldest son of Isaac who would have inherited the Covenant that God made with Abraham and that Abraham passed on to Isaac. 49. One of the five major classes of immunoglobulins. 50. The basic monetary unit in many countries. 53. Acute lung injury characterized by coughing and rales. 56. A refuge from attack. 59. A port city in southwestern Iran. 61. A sloping edge on a cutting tool. 62. Any of various small biting flies. 63. Antihistamine (trade name Dimetane) used to treat hypersensitivity reactions (as rhinitis). 66. A port city in southwestern Turkey on the Gulf of Antalya. 70. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 71. Sadness associated with some wrong done or some disappointment. 74. An anti-TNF compound (trade name Arava) that is given orally. 75. The use of nuclear magnetic resonance of protons to produce proton density images. 76. Characterized by hard work and perseverance. 78. An emotional response that has been acquired by conditioning. 79. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 80. A great raja. 81. The compass point midway between east and southeast.

DOWN 1. Any of various fine-grained silty soils that become waxy and very sticky mud when saturated with water. 2. An annual award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for achievements in motion picture production and performance. 3. A prosthesis that replaces a missing leg. 4. An international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members. 5. Of the nature of or undergoing an experiment. 6. Thick cushion used as a seat. 7. The official residence of a dean. 8. Canadian hockey player (born 1948). 9. Long-winged web-footed aquatic bird of the gull family. 10. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 11. Thorny shrub or small tree common in central Argentina having small orange or yellow flowers followed by edible berries. 12. Squash bugs. 13. A French abbot. 14. Having been read. 21. The capital and largest city of Rwanda. 23. An island of Hawaii northwest of Oahu. 27. A couple who both have careers and no children. 31. Having a toe or toes of a specified kind. 32. Thickening of tissue in the motor tracts of the lateral columns and anterior horns of the spinal cord. 33. A white secretion of the sebaceous glands of the foreskin. 34. A native of ancient Troy. 36. A drama set to music. 38. A flat-bottomed volcanic crater that was formed by an explosion. 40. A Greek epic poem (attributed to Homer) describing the siege of Troy. 42. Lacking or deprive of the sense of hearing wholly or in part. 44. A partially opened flower. 45. The square of a body of any size of type. 48. Low tree ferns with large fronds. 51. The compass point that is one point east of northeast. 52. 100 chetrums equal 1 ngultrum. 54. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 55. An Arab country on the peninsula of Qatar. 57. A chronic disease of the nose characterized by a foul-smelling nasal discharge and atrophy of nasal structures. 58. The linear extent in space from one end to the other. 60. A member of an agricultural people of southern India. 64. A United Nations agency created to assist developing nations by loans guaranteed by member governments. 65. A female domestic. 67. A cord that is drawn through eyelets or around hooks in order to draw together two edges (as of a shoe or garment). 68. United States composer noted for his innovative use of polytonality (1874-1954). 69. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 72. To make a mistake or be incorrect. 73. Brief episode in which the brain gets insufficient blood supply. 77. A Mid-Atlantic state on the Atlantic.


There are many more rewarding days this month than challenging. You will be reaping the rewards of your hard work, even though it may only be the good feeling that comes when you do your best. This is a rewarding day. Today is also a good day to take off for a vacation or just take the time to relax. Time away from regular responsibilities gives you new insight and renewed appreciation of just where you are in your life’s story. Opinions and beliefs of different cultures have an appeal for you. There is an interest in books that are spiritual, cultural or philosophical and you enjoy learning from others that have survived life’s difficult trials. Travel and adventure are compelling temptations and you dare to test your mettle.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) If you need a loan, today and tomorrow bring high probabilities. Social affairs are available after work and are wonderful ways in which to network. Accept those invitations that will be coming now and through the end of this month. Neighbors or relatives, brothers or sisters in particular, can be subjects for concern at home later today. If someone has important needs, you will be able to help in many ways. You may find that you could lend your time or guidance in just the right places. Work at developing your listening skills by giving feedback to what you hear. You will find the other person will appreciate your wanting to understand. The person talking will get better at communicating. Make smart life-style choices as you shop for your food.

Leo (July 23-August 22) This may be a challenging day. You may be experiencing a bit of a crunch as your career direction squares off against your more personal interests. This may be a real test for you. Be careful not to blow an opportunity for success. This is a good time to make some changes and reach new levels. You may have trouble getting moving, but once rolling, others better step aside. You have a stick-to-itiveness that always finds you in the thick of things. A lot of personal and sensitive psychological material may be surfacing, but you can handle it and turn it to your advantage. You may look back on this month as a very transforming and successful time. Romance, recreation and creativity take on an inspirational and perhaps wildly idealized quality.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) This is the best time this month to start a diet or a new exercise plan. You could prove helpful to a friend, co-worker or family member today by inviting that person into your exercise plans. For a fun get-together to exercise, power walking can be very beneficial. Short or long trips and possible adventures are compelling temptations. The urge for change enters the workplace as well. You may be ready to move up the corporate ladder and if this is so, begin looking around for a good place to stretch your talents. There could be more money in it for you—if you but ask. A soul-mate experience or the yearning for one can change your whole approach to relationships now; seek the truth before committing yourself too deeply.

Word Search

Libra (September 23-October 22) Stay alert today. Check your e-mail and your office in-box as well as the telephone messages so that you get all the information you need to perform your job the best way possible. Hidden agendas of a co-worker or competitor will not get past you because you will be alert and aware of all the activity surrounding your working universe. This afternoon there is an opportunity for an unusually large sales transaction and you will be able to step in and secure the deal. You could be most persuasive. The situation today is a natural for self-expression and lends itself to your particular ideas. A good conversation with those you love is possible tonight. Some idea that a young person has can be adopted by others and given attention this evening.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Before the noon break there will be plenty of opportunities to solve work issues and direct people to whatever or wherever they need to go. You could be a store detective, a tour guide or a host. You are able to converse with customers and minimize any frustrations. You may even have an opportunity to read a thank you note to the people that you know as friends. You love to communicate and discuss ideas with people and may find an avenue of information you can pull on when you need it. You may not have known of this new company or service. You are at your mental best when you are communicating with others. This evening you are highly motivated regarding a particular romantic relationship and you may find yourself showing off new clothes.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Ideology is a keynote of the new phase you have begun—the power of ideas and the power they wield over people. You may decide to gather a few couples together for a camping adventure. All of the friends you are thinking about like the camping adventure and you could do this trip as a photography trip or just enjoying the camping. If the weather is good you might consider renting a house-boat. You have plenty of enthusiasm and warm up to things and people quickly. You have an inner self-confidence that burns with its own light. Your tastes in art and appreciation in general are heightened this evening you may find yourself creating or enjoying a visit to an art showing. Take your sketch pad and perhaps your checkbook.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Understanding others and getting them to understand you seem easier than ever today. People that were difficult to communicate with before today may seem to understand your messages so much better. Your timing should be perfect and those around you should find you most spontaneous and alive. Romance, recreation and creativity take on an inspirational and perhaps wildly idealized quality now. Such experiences can be truly soul stirring. Someone you care about—a child or lover perhaps—may have difficulty distinguishing fantasy and reality. Investments that seem too good to be true just may be; hang onto your checkbook. You can appreciate an imaginative approach and may value futuristic ideas.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Customers expect immediate responses to their inquiries. You are the one that usually finds the right solution. You can match the right company to the right customer and when a person is a self-starter, you are able to help this person find the best direction in which to earn a living. The cast of characters today is enjoyable, if not a little quirky. Community or family concerns may hold your interest this afternoon. There is an interest in bringing people together. This could become involved in developing communications between neighbors, friends or family. You can expect a little boost, some sort of extra support from those around you. Others want to help you achieve and you will find all the support or help you need is available.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) A low profile in the business world now is the best road to a happy day. You have already worked to put things into progress—now let progress take its course. Think positive with regard to financial, health and relationship matters. There is a lot of energy and drive to accomplish things and this would be the best time to take care of old business or make decisions about contracts and investments, or to confirm plans. You may enjoy some form of physical exercise in a group environment, perhaps with coworkers this afternoon. Your love of art is strong. Perhaps this is a good time to invest in a special art item that you have had your eye on lately. Your sense of value is good. The evening brings opportunities to just sit back and enjoy your life.

Yesterday’s Solution

Yesterday’s Solution

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Yesterday’s Solution


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


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

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


lifestyle G O S S I P

Shephard’s wedding to Bell

cost $142 D

ax Shephard says his wedding to Kristen Bell cost just $142. The 38-year-old actor tied the knot with Kristen, 33, on October 17, but it wasn’t a typical Hollywood ceremony as it took place at the Beverly Hills County Clerk’s office and cost just under $150 for the whole ceremony. Speaking on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’, he revealed: “So we went to the Beverly Hills Court House and all in, with fuel to get there, $142 out the door. “Friends of ours came to the courthouse, and it was just Kristen and I at this lonely Court House, so they brought us this cake afterwards. ‘World’s Worst Wedding.’ How many people can say they threw ‘The World’s Worst Wedding?’ The pair - who got engaged in 2010 - decided to delay their nuptials until their home state of California legalized same-sex marriage, which happened in June. However, the ‘Veronica Mars’ actress appeared to be quite happy with her low-key wedding as she admits she’s “still on a high”. Earlier this week, she said: “I’m still on a high. We actually did it. I can officially call him my husband, which is pretty awesome. Other than that, it feels exactly the same.”

Natalie Portman

Motherhood is tough


atalie Portman says motherhood is the hardest job in the world. The ‘ Thor: The Dark World’ actress claims raising her twoyear-old son Aleph with her husband, French choreographer Benjamin Millepied, is far more demanding and exhausting than any acting role she has ever undertaken. She said: “The one thing my mom didn’t warn me about is how hard it is to be a mother yourself. I never thought of motherhood as being the full-on job that it is. Going to work now feels like a day off.” The 32-year-old Oscar winner believes her special bond with her own parents, Shelley and Avner, is responsible for her being a sensible and “conservative” person. Natalie - who was born in Jerusalem, Israel - began her acting career at the age of just 11 with a star-

ring role in hitman thriller ‘Leon’ and her commitment to her work also meant she was never interested in partying when she was younger. Speaking to The Sun newspaper, Natalie revealed: “I am an only child and all my holidays were with [mom] and dad. I would hang out with my parents on a Friday night when my friends were at a party that I didn’t want to attend. I was always conservative. I’ve never tried smoking. I didn’t drink. I never tried drugs. I don’t condemn people who do - I just never wanted to. “I didn’t even like parties when I was at high school. My closest friends were very straight. But I had the most adult experiences, in a way. I have been working since the age of 11, getting paid, in a grown-up world. Yet, on the other hand, I missed out on the experiences of a lot of kids.”

Kudrow Jason Aldean’s tour bus kills pedestrian

C Liev Schreiber

I’m no film star L

iev Schreiber doesn’t see himself as a film star. The 46year-old actor - who has sons Alexander, nicknamed Sasha, and Samuel with long-term partner Naomi Watts - thinks he’s not in the same league as other Hollywood actors and would describe himself first and foremost as a parent. Asked whether he calls himself a movie star, Liev told Cigar Aficionado magazine’s November/December issue: “I’m flattered but that seems like a bit of a stretch. When I hear that term, I think about people like Johnny Depp or Angelina Jolie. “Actually, I think of people like Gary Cooper, Bette Davis, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant. I mean, I act, I’m a parent, I’m an entrepreneur. I don’t know if you have anyone anymore who is exclusively a movie star.” Despite having graced the screen in big budget movies alongside the likes of Meryl Streep and Hugh Jackman, Liev is happy to take a backseat and prefers to accept supporting roles. He said: “I made a career out of being a supporting actor. I enjoy the process of understanding a script, breaking it down, figuring out where my part fits in.” The star has finally made the move into TV with crime drama ‘Ray Donovan’, which sees him play a high-powered fixer, and he is pleased with the success of the show. Live explained: “I was not interested in television. And I was less interested in a TV show that was shot in LA, because I’m a New Yorker. [But] It was a really good script; there was no way around that.”

ountry music star Jason Aldean’s tour bus struck and killed a pedestrian early on Monday in southern Indiana, according to local police. Sheriff Michael Morris said in a statement that Knox County Coroner Gordon Becher confirmed Albert Kennedy, 49, died from trauma to his head and neck after he walked into the middle of the roadway. Aldean, 36, whose “My Kinda Party” was named album of the year in 2011 at the Country Music Awards, turned to Twitter Monday afternoon to tell fans about the accident. “With a heavy heart, I’m sad to say that a man passed away last night after stepping out in front of my bus in Indiana,” Aldean tweeted. He added that he was praying for Kennedy’s family and friends and asked his fans to do the same. Morris said Aldean and the driver were the only passengers on the bus when the accident occurred. They have not been detained, but police are examining the bus as part of their investigation. A full report of the accident should be available in two or three days, Morris said.

had nose job aged 16 L

isa Kudrow had a “life altering” nose job aged 16. The 50-yearold actress found the surgery was a “great change” as it allowed her to start at a new school feeling more confident without having to worry about the “hideous” appearance she believed she had. Lisa told The Saturday Evening Post: “That was life altering. I went from, in my mind, hideous to not hideous. I did it the summer before going to a new high school. So there were plenty of people who wouldn’t know how hideous I looked before. That was a good, good, good change.” The blonde beauty turned to surgery after her pals ditched her and decided they didn’t want to be friends with her. She explained: “That happened in the seventh grade when we moved from sixth grade to a new school. So they knew some people, and I didn’t. Eventually they got tired of me being a tag-along. They said, ‘For your own good, you need to see what would happen if we weren’t’ here.’ It was brutal. Very hard. “It was just mean. And all of junior high felt upside down to me.” The star was catapulted into the spotlight as Phoebe Buffet in the sitcom ‘Friends’ and she likes that teenagers often feel they can relate to her quirky alter-ego.

She said: “She [Phoebe] was basically a ditzy girl who lived in a happier reality than everybody else, because everything was so gloomy around her. That’s what I decided. And she was fearless and unapologetic. Now on Twitter or Facebook I see young girls saying, ‘I identify with Phoebe because I’m different too.’ That’s nice, to think that people who don’t feel they fit in perfectly well can relate to that character.”

Weaver Joins Jackman in Blomkamp’s ‘Chappie’


Ciara has got

Cyrus and Lohan party together

engaged T

iley Cyrus and Lindsay Lohan partied together in New York City on Saturday evening. The ‘Wrecking Ball’ hitmaker and the ‘Mean Girls’ star hit it off at Chelsea nightclub 10ak and although they were initially sat at different tables Lindsay approached the former ‘Hannah Montana’ star to join, and by the end of the night the pair were inseparable. A source told the New York Post newspaper’s Page Six section: “Lindsay climbed over from her table next to the DJ booth to Miley’s table. “The two immediately began whispering in the corner. From that point on, the two tables essentially became one.” Miley was accompanied by basketball legend Magic Johnson’s son EJ Johnson and Andrew Warren, while Lindsay was with Ralph Lauren model Morgan O’Connor. The pair acted like they’d known each other for years and “stayed till just after 5 am” when they left the hotspot together. A source told “It was absolutely bizarre but they looked like old pals. They even left together!”

he 28-year-old singer-songwriter is set to tie the knot with her boyfriend Future - who she confirmed she was dating in January - after he popped the question to her with a 15-carat diamond ring. The 29-year-old rapper got down on one knee during the award-winning star’s birthday celebrations over the weekend in New York City, according to their publicist Chris Chambers. A date for the wedding is yet to be set. Future - real name is Nayvadius Cash - is currently in the middle of a tour with Drake, but took time away

M from his busy schedule to surprise his girlfriend with the huge sparkler. Future’s private life has been the subject of much interest in the last couple of years after it emerged he fathered a son with Jessica Smith in 2001. Last year, she filed for child support after a DNA test confirmed he was the boy’s father, and he was ordered to pay $1,662 in child support every month. Since then, Future has been accused of fathering another child - who was born on December 4, 2012 - but nothing has yet been proven.

ci-fi movie icon Sigourney Weaver has joined the cast of Neill Blomkamp’s new film “Chappie,” which has started production in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sony Pictures and Media Rights Capital announced Monday. The two companies are co-producing and cofinancing the sci-fi movie, which will be marketed and distributed worldwide by Sony. After being kidnapped by two criminals during birth, a prodigal robot named Chappie is adopted by a strange and dysfunctional family. Sharlto Copley, who starred in Blomkamp’s “District 9 and “Elysium,” will voice the role of Chappie. Weaver joins Hugh Jackman and Dev Patel in the film, as well as Ninja, Yolandi Visser, Jose Pablo Cantillo and Brandon Auret. Blomkamp will direct “Chappie” from a screenplay he wrote with Terri Tatchell. Blomkamp will also produce the film with Simon Kinberg. The duo previously teamed with Bill Block to produce Sony and MRC’s “Elysium,” which has grossed an estimated $283 million worldwide to date. Hannah Minghella

and Rachel O’Connor will oversee “Chappie” for Sony, while Brye Adler will oversee for MRC. — Agencies






Lou Reed leaves dwindling band of rock icons he death of Lou Reed, feted as a musical game changer and the godfather of punk, leaves a dwindling band of musical icons from the 1960s still performing into their 70s. Tributes continued to pour in for the 71-year-old former Velvet Underground frontman who died at the weekend, many highlighting the breadth of his influence on generations of musicians. “He was a master,” commented simply David Bowie, who himself recently released his first record in a decade at the age of 66, on his Facebook page after Reed’s death Sunday. Talking Heads frontman David Byrne joined the tidal wave of praise Monday, calling Reed “inspirational” and highlighting how he “never stopped checking out emerging artists,” even in his later years. “Lots of creative types retreat after they achieve a certain level of success or renown-Lou seemed to maintain his curiosity and willingness to take risks,” Byrne told Rolling Stone magazine. Reed and the Velvet Underground-the band he formed with Welsh musician John Cale in 1965 — influenced generations of rock bands such as The Who, REM, Nirvana and Sonic Youth among others. The band didn’t have anything like the immediate impact of icons like Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. But they arguably had just as much of an impact on later generations of musicians. “Lou Reed expanded boundaries of rock music,” commented entertainment industry journal Variety, calling him “a thorny, restless and often reckless spirit who proceeded to the tattoo of his own drum.”


Reed “put the underground front and center,” commented The Los Angeles Times, noting that while the Velvet Underground “was a flop” commercially, its musical subject matter was much more authentic. “While the Beatles experimented with LSD and weed and offered coy hints in “Lucy in the Sky With

Beatle Paul McCartney are still playing into their seventh decade-Jagger is 70, McCartney 71 and Dylan 72 — while others close behind include The Who’s Roger Daltrey (69) and Pete Townshend, at 68 the same age as Rod Stewart and Eric Clapton. Reed remained active through his 60s, including teaming up with heavy

In this file photo dated May 28, 2010 shows legendary musician Lou Reed listening to a question during a media conference at the Sydney Opera House.

Flowers and candles are placed at the entrance to the Chelsea Hotel in memory of musician Lou Reed on October 28, 2013 in New York City. — AFP photos Diamonds,” Reed and band were examining dissonance with “Heroin,” a stark song about injecting the opiate,” it added. Reed was part of a generation who came of age in the 60s, but only a few are still rocking half a century later. Dylan, the Stones’ Mick Jagger, and ex

metal rockers Metallica in 2011 and touring with his band Metal Machine Trio, whose stage performances were-typically-always improvised. Musicians, artists and commentators from across the spectrum have flooded the Internet with tributes to Reed, who

died from complications after a liver transplant in May this year. The New York Times called him “outsider whose dark, lyrical vision helped shape rock ‘n’ roll,” noting that Joy Division, Talking Heads, Patti Smith, REM, the Strokes, and many others were “descendants” of the Velvet Underground. “My friend Lou Reed came to the end of his song. So very sad. But hey, Lou, you’ll always take a walk on the wild side. Always a perfect day,” said Salman Rushdie, referring to two of Reed’s best known songs. His influence crossed national and linguistic boundaries. “For me Lou Reed

must be among the four or five biggest figures in the history of rock,” French musician Rodolphe Burger told AFP. “But he’s not just the heir to Elvis Presley. He’s someone who completely changed the game, open up new possibilities,” said Burger, who made a 2011 tribute album, “This Is a Velvet Underground Song That I’d Like To Sing”. Fans flooded Reed’s Facebook page with tributes, underneath a picture posted by Reed apparently hours before he died, showing a poster of himself on the back of a door, with, scrawled underneath, “Papa Loves Baby.” “He is not dead, just taking a walk on the wild side,” wrote one. — AFP

Iran’s activist actress jailed

File photo shows The Jonas Brothers, from left, Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas and Kevin Jonas, performing during ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ television program in New York. — AP

The Jonas Brothers announce breakup T he Jonas Brothers are disbanding. Nick, Joe and Kevin announced yesterday they’re ending their highly successful run. The news comes after the brothers abruptly canceled their tour over creative differences earlier this month. The breakup was first reported by People magazine. Publicist Jesse Derris confirmed the news and said no other details were available.

The brothers told People the breakup was unanimous and came after Nick Jonas told his brothers in a meeting earlier this month that he felt “trapped.” The New Jersey brothers formed the band in 2005 and built a fan base through their association with the Disney Channel. The band had been scheduled to release its fifth album later this year. — AP

‘Last Vegas’ review: De Niro + Douglas + Freeman = Grumpy Old Hangover f you’ve ever wondered what it would be like if your favorite actor took you up on your vow that you would watch him read the phone book, “Last Vegas” will give you an idea of what that performance might be like. A thoroughly contrived and artificial bonbon that gives four screen legends of a certain age the opportunity to chase skirts and punch out guys a third of their age in some of Sin City’s glitziest nightclubs, “Last Vegas” lives and dies by the aggregate


charm and charisma of its stars, since that’s pretty much all it has to offer. The film is a feature-length advertisement for the Aria resort (and its concomitant Cirque du Soleil show) with some male bonding and autumnal displays of testosterone thrown in for good measure. No one would begrudge Morgan Freeman the opportunity to have a flashy dance number on screen, but certainly there could be better venues for him to do so than this sexist sitcom. After his mentor dies alone, 70-ish swinging bachelor Billy (Michael Douglas) decides it’s time to tie the knot with his 30-ish girlfriend. Since he engineered the bachelor

parties for all his childhood pals, they decide to return the favor in Vegas: for Archie (Freeman), it’s a chance to get away from the smothering concern of his son Ezra (Michael Ealy), who’s been overprotective since Archie’s stroke, and for Sam (Kevin Kline), the trip offers respite from his doddering peers in a Florida retirement community. Paddy (Robert De Niro), on the other hand, has had a lifelong rivalry with Billy - as kids, they both loved the same girl, who wound up marrying Paddy. The fact that Billy skipped her funeral one year previous has only made things worse. Still, Archie and Sam manage to get the still-grieving Paddy out of his apartment and onto a plane to Nevada. The Billy-Paddy rivalry blossoms anew when they both fall for lounge singer Diana (Mary Steenburgen, burdened with some really unflattering bangs). Beyond that, each of the men gets their little bit of plot that the screenplay by Dan Fogelman (“The Guilt Trip,” “Crazy, Stupid, Love”) makes clear will be resolved as neatly and tidily and blandly as possible. The situations (bikini contest! bar brawl!) feel like the stuff of a thousand prior Vegas movies, and the characters aren’t written with enough specificity to feel like the lifelong chums they’re supposed to be. But Douglas, De Niro, Freeman and Kline collectively stuff the movie into a sack and hoist it as high as they can manage. It’s the sort of film where the men are written with something resembling personalities, while the women (with the exception of Joanna Gleason, as Kline’s understanding wife, and Steenburgen) are divided into two categories: sexy young babes for our heroes (and the camera) to ogle, and chubby old frumps that the movie punishes for the crime of not giving Michael Douglas an erection. Ultimately, “Last Vegas” feels like a desperate attempt to graft “The Hangover” onto “Grumpy Old Men” (or, perhaps, “The Golden Girls”), and while the transplant never quite takes, you won’t lose your affection for the surgeons. — Reuters

TEHRAN: An Iranian court has sentenced an actress known for her reformist political activism to 18 months in prison on security charges, newspapers reported yesterday, in another sign of the underlying tensions between Iran’s hardliners and calls for greater openness by new President Hassan Rouhani. The reports came a day after authorities ordered the closure of the pro-reform Bahar daily for publishing a commentary on the Prophet Muhammad, citing a law authorizing media closures over articles deemed to violate Islamic values or insult Islam. Iran has shown some signs of easing political restrictions since the moderate-leaning Rouhani took office in August. Dozens of prisoners held on political charges have been freed, and a prominent artistic center known as the House of Cinema has reopened. But the case over the 24year-old actress, Pegah Ahangarani, shows how centers of power in Iran often work at cross-purposes. The judiciary is controlled by the country’s ruling clerics, headed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He has given the green light so far to some of Rouhani’s main international initiatives, such as outreach to Washington despite opposition from some hardline groups. But Khamenei and his inner circle appear cautious on fast-paced domestic reforms that could further anger Rouhani’s opponents. Ahangarani, who has appeared in about 20 films, has been detained twice since the protests in 2009 over the disputed re-election of then President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but she was released without publicly announced charges. Since 2011, she has been banned from traveling abroad. The Chicago Film Festival is currently showing Ahangarani’s latest film, “Darband,” about a university female student who becomes the roommate of a young woman wrestling with financial problems. Yesterday’s report by the pro-reform Shargh daily quoted Ahangarani’s mother, Manijeh Hekmat, as saying the actress

In this Monday, July 18, 2011 file photo provided by German public radio Deutsche Welle, Iranian actress and blogger Pegah Ahangarani speaks during an event of Deutsche Welle on June 3, 2009, in Bonn, Germany. — AP has been sentenced to 18 months. She said it is unclear who filed the complaint against Ahangarani, but noted the charges including “action against national security and links to foreign media.” Ahangarani can appeal the ruling. Shortly after Rouhani’s election victory, Ahangarani asked him at a public meeting to appoint a culture minister who would be able to deliver on the president’s promises of “freedom of thought and expression.” She also said “incompetent” officials were the country’s “biggest enemy.” In 2011, an Iranian court sentenced filmmaker Jafar Panahi to six years in house arrest and gave him 20-year ban on filmmaking after he was convicted of “making propaganda” against Iran’s ruling system. Panahi, however, has

been seen at recent cultural events in Tehran. In reaction to the verdict, many movie-lovers joined a cyber-campaign urging authorities to reconsider. “It is frustrating,” said Ahmad Abri, 29, a moviegoer outside the Qods cinema in central Tehran. “I did not expect an actress to get a jail term for her political views.” Another moviegoer, Zahra Navidi, said she had hoped that authorities had learned that “cultural and political problems cannot be solved by prison.” Many artists were reluctant to comment on the case to international media, apparently fearing a similar fate as the actress. One post on Twitter criticized the subdued reaction: “The young girl is in prison to teach courage to men.” — AP

‘Modern Family’ cast, creators celebrate fans

he cast and creators of the Emmywinning sitcom hit “Modern Family” gave back Monday, honoring some 600 of the show’s devotees with a socalled “fan appreciation day.” The fans “have really gotten us where we are,” noted actor Nolan Gould, who plays the youngest Dunphy child, Luke, on the series, a mockumentary-styled comedy about close relatives living in three different households. The entire “Family” acting ensemble made it to the event, including Gould, for whom time with the fans doubled as part of his 15th-birthday celebration. On the arrivals line, many of the cast members had stories about memorable “Family” fan encounters. But when it came to namedropping, there was no topping veteran actor Ed O’Neill, who portrays the series’ patriarch, Jay Pritchett. “I was having coffee one day in (the Westside Los Angeles neighborhood of) Brentwood, in my car, reading the paper,” O’Neill recalled. “There was a knock on my window on the other side. And I looked up and the guy was waving, and I rolled the window down and it was Steven Spielberg. And this was this was the first season. And he was saying, ‘Ed, I love the show.’ He watches it with his daughter. It was very sweet.” Though “Modern Family” is in its fifth season and first-run episodes air stateside on ABC, this fan event was sponsored by USA, the cable network that picked up syndication rights to the

viewers responded and 600 were selected to come to Los Angeles - on their own coin, no less - to see the cast do a reading of the selected episode. The winner? Season two’s “Caught in the Act,” in which the Dunphy kids accidentally barge in on their parents, Phil (played by Ty Burrell) and Claire (Julie Bowen), having sex. —AP


Cast members, from left, Ed O’Neill, Julie Bowen, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson attend USA Network’s ‘Modern Family’ Fan Appreciation Day at the Westwood Village Theatre on Monday, in Los Angeles. —AP series. USA has been running a strapping nine hours of the show’s reruns weekly since late September - on some nights attracting as many as a million total viewers, many apparently seeing the series for the first time. “I can tell on Twitter that I see (postings such as), ‘Where has ‘Modern Family’ been my whole life?’” observed actor Eric Stonestreet, who plays gay groom-to-be Cameron Tucker on the show. “Definitely

I’m seeing in my own little study and research that we’re opening up new territories for viewership.” USA, previously best known as a venue for original and syndicated dramas, has been promoting the sitcom heavily, including a campaign asking fans to go online and choose their favorite “Family” installment. According to the network’s executive vice president of marking and digital, Alexandra Shapiro, about 3000

Cast member Sofia Vergara arrives at USA Network’s ‘Modern Familyî Fan Appreciation Day. — AP



French curvy women group files complaint against Lagerfeld


Karl Lagerfeld

French association that fights for the rights of curvy women has made an official complaint against designer Karl Lagerfeld over his comments that no one wants to see plump models on catwalks. The association-called “Pretty, curvy, sexy and fine with it”-filed the complaint at the prosecutor’s office in the western city of Saintes, accusing the haute couture star of “defamatory and discriminatory comments”, its president Betty Aubriere said. The Chanel designer, who lost 42 kilos (93 pounds) more than a decade ago and wrote a book about it, has periodically criticized overweight people and lauded thinness. “No one wants to see curvy women on the catwalk”, he is cited as saying in the recently published book “The world according to Karl”, which collates some of his most famous quotes. He repeated this on television earlier this month, and said France’s healthcare system was struggling partly because of “all the illnesses contracted by people who are too fat.” “It’s the fat women sitting in front of televisions with their pack of crisps who say slim models are hideous”, he was also quoted as saying in the book. Lagerfeld’s comments-he once also said singer Adele was “a little too fat”-have caused controversy and concern in an industry often criticized for employing wafer thin and unhealthy models. Aubriere told AFP that famous people must stop coming out with these “insults.” “We’re fed up. Many young girls are insecure and hearing such comments is terrible for them”, said the head of the association, which was set up in January 2012 in Saintes. “Today it’s him who insults us and tomorrow who will it be?” Aubriere added, calling for a law to deal with discrimination against curvy people. Aubriere pointed out that young, curvy girls who are the victim of insults from their classmates sometimes leave school altogether. She added there needed to be an awareness campaign in schools “so that people understand that curves are often an illness or genetic, and not due to a poor diet.”— AFP

Delevingne, Beckham, McQueen up for fashion awards


ara Delevingne, the model whose face seems to be everywhere, will compete with Edie Campbell and Sam Rollinson as this year’s British Model of the Year. They were among the nominees announced yesterday by the British Fashion Council for its annual awards. Victoria Beckham is up for favorite brand and red-carpet designer. Also nominated for red-carpet designer are Antonio Berardi and Erdem. The other nominated brands are Burberry and Alexander McQueen. Marc Jacobs, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons of Dior are competing for top international designer, a new prize. More than 300 industry insiders choose the winners, who will be announced Dec 2 at a ceremony at the London Coliseum. — AP

China Fashion Week

Young models parade creations from the 1001 NIGHTS Yeye Children’s Collection during China Fashion Week in Beijing yesterday. China Fashion Week runs from October 25 to November 1. —AFP photos


lifestyle F a s h i o n

This undated product image provided by Ralph Lauren shows a reindeer turtleneck, part of the official gear of the US Olympic team. — AP photos

Image provided by Ralph Lauren shows US Olympic skater Evan Lysacek wearing fashion by designer Ralph Lauren for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

US Olympic skier Hannah Kearney wearing fashion by designer Ralph Lauren for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

An American flag sweater, part of the official gear of the US Olympic team.

Olympic Team USA uniforms get Made in USA label T

Photo by Ralph Lauren shows a belt, part of the official gear of the 2014 US Olympic team.

eam USA will now wear the Made in the USA label. Every article of clothing made by Ralph Lauren for the US Olympic athletes in Sochi has been made by domestic craftsman and manufacturers. Ralph Lauren Corp. used more than 40 vendors, from ranchers in the rural West to yarn spinners in Pennsylvania to sewers in New York’s Garment District for the closing ceremony outfits unveiled yesterday. The ensemble includes a navy peacoat with a red stripe, a classic ski

sweater with a reindeer motif and a hand-sewn American flag, and a tasseled chunky-knit hat. During the 2012 games in London, it was a flashpoint in the media and among Washington politicians that much of the US apparel was made overseas, especially China.-AP

Damas announces Bollywood’s Nargis Fakhri as brand ambassador for its 2013 Diwali campaign DUBAI: Popular Bollywood actress Nargis Fakhri has been named Damas’ newest brand ambassador, and will debut as the face of Damas during the company’s upcoming Diwali campaign. The Middle East’s leading jewellery and watch retailer has signed the Indian beauty for the year to represent its portfolio of well known brands, which include Legacy, Gehna, Mira, Harmony and Ananya. The starlet will appear in print ads, recently shot in Mumbai, and a television commercial that was filmed

under the direction of renowned director Fabien Lambert. “In selecting an ambassador, we wanted to find someone who was a representation of classic beauty; but who would also give a modern take on traditional style, and we feel we have definitely hit the mark with Nargis Fakhri,” said Ajit George, Deputy COO - Damas. “We are certain that this Diwali, customers will be pleased with what Damas has to offer. As always, we have stunning jewellery, exciting promotions, and a wonderful campaign

with a great face for our brand,” he added. Damas will be rolling out its new Diwali campaign, featuring Nargis Fakhri, from the 25th of September 2013 onwards across the GCC region. The company is set to unveil its most exciting Diwali campaign yet featuring new designs and promotions.

Salsa’s new collection Women For women, it is all about bold and wide tops contrasted against slim bottoms and denim fits. The female themesCamomile, Earl Grey and Green Tea- veers away from bright colors, pure perfection. Hints of olive green, peach pink or animal prints embrace the denim, boasting a powerful though ethereal effect. Materials range from suede to patent to snakeskin contrast with the deep blue soft touch denim, coatings, overdye washes or laser techniques, creating relaxed feminine silhouettes right for the self-assured sophisticated style that is the season’s must-have. Bikers, jeans and jackets have never been so feminine, possessing that perfection of shape that requires no words in order to be understood. Men In addition menswear collection themes -Raw Elegance, Contemporary & Luxury and Modesty Heritage- highlight prints and materials, with pieces inspired by neo-dandy, sporty or tailoring styling. The use of heavy fabrics, including denim and canvas but also rich wools, leather jackets provides the touch for a contemporary, vintage or raw elegant look. Parka jackets, padded throughout, along with internal pockets, and special fabrics, it features the best option to

resist wind and rain, keeping you protected through the worst weather. For a relaxed fit with minimal detailing bomber or denim jackets are iconic menswear items of the collection. The brand Salsa is an internationally renowned Portuguese Jeanswear brand. Created in 1994, the brand has now expanded into more than 35 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Salsa is present in over 250 Salsa points of sale (single brand and shop-in-shop) and in more than 2,000 mutli-brand customers. Salsa is known for its entrepreneurial spirit and for being a pioneer in the development of innovative products. Its goal is to create unique clothing that fits the body like a second skin, offering both comfort and sensuality. A strategy that allows the brand to present a range of more than 20 fits for man and woman that adapts to every body type. At the core of the brand’s innovation are the Innovation Products: Push-Up, Push-In, Sculpture, Shape Up, Hope -maternity Jeans and, the most recent product launches ER-GO for men and MYSTERY - that creates curves, for women.


Jason Aldean’s tour bus kills pedestrian


Cat Elmo sits amid red winter roses (poinsettia) in a greenhouse in Barth, northern Germany, and yesterday. These days the delivery of poinsettias begins. 50,000 plants in different colors and sizes are grown in these gardens.—AP


he elusive British graffiti artist Banksy, who has been writing and spray painting images on New York City buildings, is causing another sort of sensation with an essay condemning the design of the new World Trade Center as “a disaster.” The 104-storey skyscraper “clearly proclaims the terrorists won,” the artist asserts in an essay posted on his website Sunday. It includes a picture of the tower with the words “replace with better artwork.” The essay is designed to resemble a New York Times op-ed column. The artist said he submitted it to the newspaper, which declined to publish it. “We couldn’t agree on either the piece or the art so it was rejected,” Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said Monday. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the Trade Center site, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Banksy, who refuses to give his real name, could not be reached for comment. He has been visiting the city for the past few weeks. He announced earlier this month that he was undertaking “residency” on the streets of New York in October and has posted pictures on his website of his paintings on city buildings without providing exact locations. But those who spotted the graffiti spread the word through social media. Banksy writes that the tower lacks “any self-confidence.” He likened it to a “tall kid at a party, awkwardly shifting his shoulders trying not to stand out from the crowd.” He suggests that “a better building” be constructed immediately in front of the nearly completely skyscraper. He ends by saying: “You currently have under construction a one thousand foot tall sign that reads - New York - we lost our nerve.”—AP A graffiti painted car is parked in front of the 5 Pointz Building, a landmark in the New York graffiti scene that has attracted artists from around the globe, on October 28, 2013 in the Long Island City neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. –AFP photos

People explore the outside of the 5 Pointz Building, a landmark in the New York graffiti scene that has attracted artists from around the globe.

KT Daily Paper layout 2.indd 5

Graffiti by British street artist Banksy is seen on a roll-down security gate covering the main entrance to Larry Flint’s Hustler Club on October 24, 2013 in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City.

10/29/13 7:09 PM

30th Oct 2013  

Kuwait Times

30th Oct 2013  

Kuwait Times